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2: Cosaro – ‘No One Knows’

Dominic Cosaro (Young Adult), Asha Steel (Young Adult)

Dominic Cosaro was doing pretty well for himself in Aperture City.  The sports league was more than pleased with him and he had even earned an MVP award for the year.  It was officially off-season, so most of his time now was spent training and practicing.

This, of course, also meant jogging with Lola.  It was a morning ritual.  They would jog around the block and then Dominic would start his day.  He was definitely happy that Lola was able to make the trip to Aperture City with him.

When he wasn’t spending time with his dog, he was with Asha Steel.  They did a lot of late-night clubbing and high-rise parties, but Dominic’s favorite kind of date was when they just hung out at the local sports bar.  He loved darts.

“Just watch.  I’ll only need one shot.”

Asha rolled her eyes.  “Of course, master of darts.  We all bow before your ungodly skill with plastic, pointy tips!”

Dominic’s ego belied his actual skill.  Asha beat him every time.  He swore she was cheating.

When she didn’t win, Dominic knew something was up.  She had done her best to act normal, but Dominic knew it was a front.  When they sat down at the bar for another drink, he decided to ask.

“You never lose.  Are you feeling okay?”

“Yeah, I just have a lot on my mind right now,” she said, sighing.  “It’s nothing big, just family stuff.”

“Asha, you never lose… at anything, seriously.  I’m an athlete and you still manage to beat me whenever we race.  What’s going on?”

She shrugged her lean shoulders.  “My family is trying to pressure me into something I don’t want for the ‘good of the family.’  I can’t really say much more.  You know how wrapped up they are in Aperture Industries.  I just want to do what makes me happy and they… they just want me to do what our family has done for years and years… hell, since Aperture was first built here.”

Dominic didn’t even try to pretend knowing what that was like.  Asha was a part of a family of old money and prestige.  The Steel family had been one of the first families Aperture brought over when they built their laboratories.  Her great, great grandfather had been their lead scientist until his untimely death.  Her family was so deep in that web that it was almost impossible to escape.

“Do you ever miss your family?” She asked, pulling him out of his thoughts.

“Not really, I didn’t have much of a family to speak of.  My dad was always kind of gone after the divorce and my mother, well… she spent more time with her parade of husbands than me.  I had a nanny.  She was really nice.  I never really met any of my other relatives.”

Asha took a long drink before replying.  “I wish I could just get up and leave.  I love Aperture City, but I hate that my family’s shadow follows me everywhere here.  It doesn’t matter, though.  I’m going to do what I want to do… they can cut me off, I don’t care anymore.”

Their discussion ended soon after, Asha refusing to speak about it anymore.  Instead of pressing her, Dominic did his best to cheer her up.  They played more games–at which he lost, terribly–and then eventually got a cab.  They arrived at Dominic’s before midnight.

“Any better?”

Asha smiled.  “Of course.  You always make me feel better.”

They went inside, at which point Dominic pulled Asha close.  She smiled that half-lidded smile and rested easily against him.  She may have looked like a femme fatal, but her true personality was anything but.  She was a softie.

“You’re staying over, right?”

She laughed. “I don’t even know why I have my own place… I always end up here.”

“Maybe you should just stay here.”

She blinked, startled by his response.  The shock wore off quickly and she kissed him, her hand lingering on his face once they parted.  “I’ll think about it.”

Dominic tried not be full of himself, but it was kind of hard.  He was a legitimate sports star now and he had added fame from his connection to Asha.  The tabloids had a field day with that one.  He had reporters calling his house, which he brushed off easily.  He was even sort of considering making things serious with her, which was a huge step for Dominic.  He hadn’t had a girlfriend since high school, opting instead of be single and dating.

The incident with Kelly was the farthest thing from his mind, especially after Asha’s confession about her family.  Asha and Dominic had a lot more in common, their families were both kind of messed up.

Dominic and Kelly were still friends, but they hadn’t really talked since that night.  Well, not in person.  They spoke over the phone quite a bit.  Kelly had told him how she moved to the city and how amazing it was.  She was only three blocks away and yet they rarely saw one another.  At first, Dominic had been kind of avoiding her, but now it seemed like Kelly was avoiding him.

He didn’t share his thoughts about Asha with her.  It just seemed less complicated that way.

He probably should have told her, though.  Especially when Asha moved in.  It had taken some convincing, but she eventually relented after a huge blowout with her family.  She was there when he got home after work.  She never said it outright, but he knew just by her face… not that he was paying much attention after he realized her state of undress.

“Asha?”

“Oh good, you’re finally home.  Come here.  We can talk later.”

Later turned out to be morning.  She was up before him, pacing the living room.  She had commandeered one of his shirts and he had to admit, it kind of looked better on her.

“You’re going to wear a hole in the floor.”  He joked, taking her hands in an effort to get her to stop pacing.  “What happened?”

“I’m kind of ‘cut off,'” she admitted.  “They actually did it.  So, um, when you said I could stay here…””

“You’re serious?”

“Well, if you–”

“No, I meant about cutting you off.  They really did it?”

“They tried, but failed to realize that I made my own connections and found my own work… so all they could take is my inheritance.  Whatever.  I don’t need it, anyway.”

Living with Asha was a little different than just dating Asha.  She was a bit more high-strung than Dominic realized.  Certain, small things could easily set her off.  It had been a long time since Dominic had to share living space with someone, though, so he was sure it was just part of the adjustment.

Besides, he had been the one silly enough to mention the incident with Kelly to her.  He wasn’t sure why he did it, he just knew he felt really bad keeping it from her, especially now that she was living with him.

She had been angry at first, but she seemed to get over it fairly quickly.  Kelly wasn’t really coming around and that seemed to be enough for Asha.

Anytime she acted erratically, she would calm down and apologize.  Dominic let it slide.  He was pretty easy-going and no one was perfect.  Asha had a lot going for her, she was bound to be a little neurotic.

How could he get angry when she cleaned everything, constantly.  It was almost like she couldn’t stand anything to be messy.  She even bathed Lola regularly!  Dominic’s town house had never been cleaner.  She even trained Lola not to be such a pig.

The one thing Dominic failed to do was tell Kelly that he and Asha were officially together.  To be honest, it had just never come up.  He’d seen her here and there; they still talked on the phone, but she never asked and he just never said anything.  It wasn’t until Kelly stopped over one day that the truth sort of came out.  She walked in on Dominic hugging Asha goodbye–he was getting ready to go train with his team for the upcoming season.

It would be obvious to anyone that Asha was living there.

Kelly knew she should have knocked.  The realization hit her kind of hard.  She still wasn’t sure if she had ever wanted anything more with Dominic, but now she’d probably never get to find out.  She felt like a stupid little girl all over again.

Dominic turned around and felt like a complete ass.  Kelly had a key and before the incident, she would randomly stop over when she needed breathing space from her job.  She had come to see him and he had just thrown Asha in her face.  He didn’t stick around for that blow up, he left as quickly as possible.

He was a coward and left Asha to deal with the mess.

Asha saw Kelly’s face and instantly felt guilty.  She hadn’t really done anything wrong, but Asha wasn’t a cruel person and so she tried to make Kelly feel better.  Asha had clearly won, so there was no reason to see her as a competitor anymore.

“He didn’t tell you, did he?”

Kelly was aghast.  She didn’t want to be comforted by his girlfriend! “N-no… look, I’m going to–”

“I’m sorry, Kelly.  This wasn’t personal for me… I just like Dominic and you kind of got caught in the middle of it all.”

“It’s fine…”

“Look, maybe we can come to some sort of understanding… I really don’t care if you’re friends with Dominic… but like I said, I really like him and we’re sort of together… so yeah.  I don’t want anymore incidents like that night happening again.”

“H-He told you?”

Asha nodded.  “Don’t be embarrassed.  We’re adults here and we can handle this like such.  I’ve got connections, Kelly… ones you desperately need.  If you’re serious about becoming an actress, I can help you.”

“Why would you do that?”

“Because I care about Dominic.  But you, you’re a train wreck of vulnerability and naivety… it’s like a moth to a flame.  I’ll help you, but you and Dominic are strictly platonic, got it?  Anymore romantic business between you two… and I’ll end you.”  Asha regained her composure, the venom quickly leaving her voice.  “I’m not trying to be mean, Kelly.  I just… I really care about him and I know you are just floundering and lost.  I can give him everything he needs and wants… you two would just be messy and complicated.”

Kelly couldn’t argue with her.  She cared about Dominic, too, but not with the same conviction that Asha had.  The offer was tempting and Asha was right, she really could help her.  She had also been right about getting together with Dominic… Kelly wanted to be an actress, but she wanted a family someday, too.  Dominic would never willingly want that and if she tried to force him into it, she’d be stifling who he was.

“Okay.  I… I accept your offer.”

“Good,” Asha smiled, leading her to the couch.  “Have a seat.  You’ll learn that I may be a Steel, but I’m not as cold and callous as the rest of my family.  I really do want to help you… maybe it’ll give you some direction in life.  Now, first… let me show you something.”

Kelly watched, her face a mask of shock.  “O-Oh my God… are those your–”

“Yep.”

“But, what about a body double–”

“Nope.  All me.”

“…Wow.  Um.  I–”

“Got some awards for this one.  Art films are very good for launching careers.  My family was so pissed about this one.”

“But, weren’t you scared?  I mean… that’s… you’re…”

Asha laughed.  “I was young and trying to make my family hate me.  I would have flashed main street back then.  I’m better now, I don’t do this stuff anymore… but you can only imagine what this did for my career.”

“I-I could never–”

Asha laughed.  “Of course you couldn’t!  I just wanted you to see what got me started.  I didn’t even want to be an actress, but after this, I got tons of offers.  I turned down most of them, except that spy flick franchise, which eventually launched my modeling career.  Let me tell you, acrobatics tight lycra bodysuits will get anyone famous these days.”

“I… I never realized that was you!”

“They made me dye my hair blonde.  It was weird.  I can still put my ankles behind my ears, though.”

Kelly slumped.  While she was a great opportunity for her, it also just exemplified all the things Asha had that Kelly did not.  Asha was tall, sexy, and mysterious… Kelly was just kind of Kelly.  Her most distinctive feature was her red hair.

“Don’t get depressed.  I’m just telling you what my niche was.  You just have to find yours.  You’re a red head naturally, so there’s a big plus.  That’s distinctive and a bit unusual, so make it work for you.  You’re also good with horses, right?  And you’ve got that whole… ‘innocent’ look about you.  You look like a deer in a child’s cartoon movie.  You’ll be fine, just learn to build on your strengths and hide your weaknesses.”

“You’re right!  I am always having to help stupid actresses around animals.  They act like they’ve never seen one before!”

Asha nodded.  “Having skills just makes you more valuable.  In fact, there’s a script floating around the studio right now that they are trying to find financing for.  It would be a great start for you.”

“Do you really think so?  That would be amazing!”

Asha shook her head at Kelly’s sudden mood swing.  “I don’t want to rain on your parade or anything, but just remember that this isn’t going to be easy.  Let me tell you right now that fame isn’t as awesome as it seems.  Make sure that you are okay with that before you really go into this.”

“Of course,” Kelly replied, not really listening.  She was just imagining all the wonderful things in her future.  “I can’t wait.  When do you think they’ll have the funding for the script?”

Asha smirked.  “As soon as I sign off on the financial reports.  That’s the bonus of being an accountant for Aperture Studios.”

——-

Poor Dominic.  His update was overrun by women.  In my defense, Asha’s personality really hasn’t been fleshed out past being smokin’ hot and since she’s part of the hood now, I figured we should see her as more.  Her moving in just kind of happened.  Dominic constantly spun up date wishes and those dates ended up back at his place (of course!)  Since he seemed so dedicated, I figured he wouldn’t mind her moving in.  They are officially boyfriend and girlfriend now.  Kelly is still flagged as a romantic interest and the game considers that cheating.  Annoying.

Kelly used to stop by a lot and call all the time, but she only called once this play through.  It was a clear indication that these two, while incredibly attracted to one another, aren’t entirely sure what they want.  So, for now, Dominic is with Asha.

Asha is actually a Good and Friendly sim, so I couldn’t see her being unnecessarily mean to Kelly.  I think, instead, she’d try to help her and get her to focus on something else other than Dominic.  Asha is also neurotic, which I translate as her being a little anal-retentive and anxious about things.  She loves cleaning!  Any time there is a mess in Dominic’s apartment, she wants to clean it up.

6 comments to 2: Cosaro – ‘No One Knows’

  • Whoa, don’t cross Asha! I was thinking that her helping out with Kelly’s career would allow her to keep Kelly at arm’s length and probably ensure Kelly always feels like she owes her something…that’s on top of the whole thing with Dominic. But then you say she’s Good and Friendly, so maybe the offer really is exactly what it appears to be.

  • I’m glad we got to know Asha more and rather soonish. I wasn’t thinking she was very good since she did that whole phone call to get Kelly out of the picture. I guess though being neurotic can make you a little unbalanced. Man, I can’t believe that Dominic just ran off! But hey, at least Kelly might be able to get a career going now with this connection. Something she wouldn’t have had if Dominic hadn’t started dating her. I thought he might dump her after she lost her inheritance and was acting a little nutty. I’m glad he didn’t.

    • Mao

      Yeah, I wasn’t really sure to make of her motivations until now. I figured she was just manipulative, but being able to see her wishes/etc really changed my vision of her quite a bit! I am a bit neurotic myself (it would be the FIRST trait I’d assign to my simself, lol), and I tend to be very, very, very high strung and OCD… so, maybe Asha is a little that way, too!

      Dominic really seems to care about Asha, which is sweet. He constantly spins up romantic wants for her. So, I think he’ll be a little more tolerant of her strangeness right now. ;)

  • I get the impression Kelly is going to end up being in over her head with the fame business! I still think her and Dominic would be good together but I like Asha too so.. yeah, I don’t know now! Still plenty to catch up with…

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