Chapter 2.73 – Succession Plans

Cole hadn’t felt this happy in a long time. The week long vacation had done wonders for his and Avery’s marriage. The past month had been a breath of fresh air.  Even the kids recognized the change in their mother.

During their week in Sunlit Tides, they spent as much time talking things out as they did in each other’s arms.  The first thing they had agreed on was to hire another live in Nanny/Housekeeper to help relieve the stress they both felt over never having enough time to simply relax.  Secondly, Avery agreed she would try harder to be ‘present’ in her children’s lives, as long as Cole would not push her about her hours at work.

Sarah Chabra, aka Ms. Sarah, their new live-in help, was a retired schoolteacher and came highly recommended by Fran. They tried to get Fran back, but sadly, she had officially retired. Sarah turned out to be great and they weren’t disappointed. The kids loved her. Just her presence seemed to relieve a lot of the tension in the household.  Plus, having Sarah gave Cole and Avery time to continue to focus on their own relationship.

One of the things they agreed to was a weekly date night. Avery promised to block out at least one evening per week for him.  Her hours were her hours, and she couldn’t really change them.  She explained that the new buyers were simply more demanding, plus she was working with the investors trying to attract retail to the area, which would ultimately help drive new sales.

On one of their date nights, he finally asked Avery about Ami and Noah. She assured Cole that Ben had no idea and that she only knew, because she had seen them, more than once, making out at the construction sites.

“Of course,” she added, “if one of the workers said anything, well, then he might have an idea. But he never said anything to me.”

“Ami and Noah are adults,” said Avery, “I’m not even sure why they want to keep their affair secret. Maybe it’s more exciting that way. But one thing I have noticed, is that she is finally starting to step up at work. Maybe Noah is a positive influence on her. She has been working a lot closer with Ben lately. Maybe while I was gone she realized how much I really do.”

“I hope so. I guess I need to have a talk with Noah before things get out of control. Or my sister.” said Cole.

Avery slowly shook her head and frowned. “Leave them be Cole. Either they will finally get the guts to tell Ben, or it will end. Stay out of it.”

He took a drink of his wine, and thought about what she said.  She was right.  Avery was usually very intuitive when it came to other people’s wants and desires. He figured being on the outside looking in gives you an unbiased view of things that tend to get muddied when you’re in the thick of it – like the two of them.

*******************************************************************************

A week later, Ben called a surprise family meeting in his office, after work hours, so Cole could make it over from the Clinic.  When he arrived, Ami, Avery and even his mother were there. He wondered if maybe his Dad found out about Noah.  Although, he had to admit, now that he knew about his sister’s affair with his best friend, it was pretty obvious whenever he saw them together.  Regardless, he could tell everyone was clueless as to what this meeting was really about. Probably not Ami’s love life.

As soon as Cole was seated, Ben addressed them. “Cole, thanks for coming over. Your mom and I have been discussing my succession plan for C&M Development. Since it affects all of you, we wanted to bring you three here together to let you know what we’ve decided.  Essentially, I am going to retire in two years.” Sofia gave him a warm smile, but everyone else was shocked.

Dad is C&M, thought Cole, how can he retire?  Then he glanced at Avery. He could tell she was suppressing a grin and he relaxed. She had been right. Of course, she would be running the show. He felt proud of his wife.

Ben continued, “I don’t want to be too old to enjoy the time I have left with my family.”  He paused, and swallowed hard looking lovingly at Sofia. Finally, he was able to continue. “Your mom and I plan to travel and just enjoy the rest of our life together. She is my everything, and I need to spend as much time with her as I can.”

Cole looked at his mother and she had tears in her eyes, chewing her lip to maintain control.  What his dad didn’t say, but Cole could tell was weighing heavily on both of his parents, thus influencing this tough decision, was his grandmother’s sudden death just over a year ago at age 76. His dad took it hard, especially seeing how lost Leroy is now without her. They all were lost without her.

He still couldn’t believe she was gone. Sometimes he would think about something he wanted to tell her about the kids. He would even pick up his phone, before he realized he couldn’t, and that he would never hear her voice again.  He got teary-eyed himself, just thinking about it.

Once Ben had regained his composure, he addressed Cole directly, “Cole, half of this business is yours, but, because you have your hands full with the clinic, I have decided to give the controlling shares to your sister. You still have a vested interest, but just won’t have to worry about the day to day activities.”

Wait, he thought, Sister? Ami? Not him and Avery? Cole had to work hard to keep the shocked look off his face. Cole heard Ami gasp, but she didn’t speak. Obviously she was as surprised as he was. He couldn’t even look in his wife’s direction.

His father went on to explain his decision, looking fondly at his wide-eyed daughter. “Ami has been stepping up and her degree in finance has actually helped me a lot already. Over the next two years, I will be teaching her more about the investment side of the business.”

Then Ben looked at Avery.  “Avery, you know the business so well. You were one of the best investments I ever made. You helped me run it, to make it what it is today.  You made my son happy and gave me two beautiful grandchildren in the middle of it all.  I really hope you and Ami will be able to continue on without missing a beat once I’m gone.  Again, it’s not for a couple of years, but the sooner Ami begins to learn more about the finance side of things, the better.  Avery, effective next week, Sofia is going to fill in for Ami and be your new assistant so you won’t have to work 24/7.  I need to have Ami start shadowing me every day.”

Cole finally looked at Avery. She had managed to mask her emotions and had plastered a smile on her face. Personally, he didn’t care and was happy for Ami. It actually made sense. Even Avery had said she was working hard. His sister had grown up a lot after college, and he bet Noah had something to do with it too.  But he knew, his wife was upset. He wondered how she would feel playing second fiddle to someone she might consider less qualified. Especially since she had worked tirelessly for the company, thinking she would eventually be in charge.

Avery’s smile didn’t reach her eyes. Maybe no one else noticed but he did. “Sofia and I’ll be fine Ben. Congratulations Ami,” she said graciously. Cole was impressed. He hoped she would be okay, because with Ami taking over, it might have undone everything they had worked so hard to rebuild.

Ami jumped up and hugged her father. “Daddy, I’ll make you proud. Thank you for believing in me.”

“Congrats Ami – you deserve it,” said Cole and hugged her too, while Avery just stood back with her plastered on smile.

*******************************************************************************

Avery was quiet the short ride home.  Cole walked straight to the bar and poured her a glass of wine.  He figured she could use it.  “Well, that was unexpected,” he said as he pushed the glass towards her. “What do you think?”

When she didn’t say anything, he looked up and realized she was crying silent tears. His shoulders slumped and he walked around to where she stood.  “Oh, baby. Come here,” he said, and opened his arms to pull her to him and comfort her.

“No!” she yelled, “Don’t you ‘oh baby’ me! How could you just sit there and not say a damn thing? Ami?  For real?  Yes, so she has a degree in finance and I don’t. Big fucking deal. I know that business. I helped make it what it is today! Ben even said it!  He couldn’t do it without me. And you didn’t say shit exceptYou deserve it Ami?

Avery, he had a good reason for giving her the controlling shares. What was I supposed to say? It’s his decision and he’s right, I have a career and my own business to run.”

“COLE! How can you be so fucking dense? I am your WIFE. I could run it.”

“It’s always about the business isn’t it Avery? Dad was trying to do what was right for our family. FAMILY Avery. You know, you, me, the kids. Or did you conveniently forget about them again?”

Avery threw her hands up.  “Screw you Cole!” she ground out.  Then she grabbed her handbag and walked out the door.

“Avery!” he yelled after her, but she just kept going.

Cole picked up her glass of wine and downed it.  He wondered if this was the end of their marriage. How could things have gone so bad so quickly? All the work they had put in to fix their relationship seemed to be all undone with his Dad’s decision to hand a multi-million dollar business over to his 26 year-old sister.  Maybe Avery was right and he should have said something. But how could he? Ami was the one that’s been working for their Dad since she was 16. For the past ten years. He didn’t deserve it, she did.

*******************************************************************************

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Three hours and a bottle of wine later, the front door opened and Avery came in.  “Cole, are you awake?” she asked softly.

“Yeah. Are you here to get your clothes? I woulda packed ’em but I prolly woulda screwed that up too,” he said, anger oozing out of his slightly slurred words.

Avery walked over and sat down next to him. “No….” she said softly, looking at her hands, “I’m not. I’m here to tell you I’m sorry – for acting like such a bitch. I let my pride get the best of me. Can you forgive me?”

She had his attention and his head snapped up. “Really? Why the sudden change of heart?”

“I, um, had time to think. I was wrong. I’m sorry Cole. I said things I shouldn’t have. Forgive me?”

Cole looked at her suspiciously. “Where’d you go?” he asked.

“Out, just driving around,” she said.

He looked at his watch. “For three hours?” he asked, still confused as to where she was for so long.

“I had to do some soul searching. I – um – went to park and just sat in my car.  I realized, I belong here, with you Cole, and the kids. I’m so sorry for getting angry,” she said looking as if she might cry.

Cole had never seen her so vulnerable. His anger subsided slightly so he sat up. “I’m sorry too Avery. I said some mean things I shouldn’t have. You know I love you. I don’t want to lose you.”

“You aren’t. I’m here now,” she said. Then she nodded towards the wine bottle sitting on the table. “Cole, are you drunk?”

“Maybe a little,” he admitted and gave her a lopsided grin.

“Got any of that wine left? I could use some too. Tonight was a bitch.”

Cole reached up and wiped her tear away.  “We are okay? You are okay with this?” he asked.

She sighed. “What can I do?”

“I’m sorry Avery. You understand his decision? Right?” asked Cole as he finally sat up and poured her a glass.

She took the glass and held it up in a mock toast. “I suppose. Here’s to always being second best,” she said sadly.

“Oh baby, you know, you are never second best with me,” said Cole.

“Yeah, I know. I’m third best,” she grumbled under her breath and took a long drink.

“Avery, dammit!” he said trying not to get angry again. “Stop thinking that. It’s not true. Why do you always do that?”

She sucked in a breath and winced. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that. I’m just feeling like everything I’ve done my whole life is for nothing. That I don’t matter.”

“Honey, you do matter. Especially to me. More than you know. C’mere,” he said and pulled her into his arms. “I need you. I thought I had lost you tonight.”

He pulled her down on top of him talking in between kisses. “Sarah’s gone . . .  the kids are asleep.”

*******************************************************************************

The next morning the kids ran into their bedroom. “Daddy! Mommy! What’s for breakfast?” asked Ryan.

“Where is Ms. Sarah?” groaned Cole.

“It’s Saturday Daddy. It’s her day off!” explained Reagan.

“Shit….,” he grumbled under his breath and Avery couldn’t help but snicker. He had a wine hangover. Nasty.

“Reagan, honey, why don’t you go get Daddy a glass of water,”  said Avery sweetly as she pulled herself out of bed, “He’s not feeling too well.”

“Daddy’s sick?” she asked suddenly worried.

Damn, she thought, I suck at this. “No, no. He’s fine.  Just tired. We were up late last night.”

“Okay Mommy!” she said brightly, excited to have a chore, probably because it involved doing something for her Daddy.

“What about me?” asked Ryan.

Oh yeah, the other one. “Um. Ryan, why don’t you grab my robe?” instructed Avery, trying not to roll her eyes.

His eyes lit up and ran to get his mother’s robe out of the closet.

 While the kids were off doing their assigned chores Avery leaned over and kissed her husband on the forehead. “I will get breakfast this morning sweetheart. You stay in bed.”

She put on the robe just as Reagan walked in with the water. “Set that down on the table by Daddy and let’s go make breakfast,” said Avery quietly, since Cole had turned over and closed his eyes.

“Yippie!” The pair said in unison.

“Shhhhh….you’ll wake Daddy. Come on. Scoot,” said Avery and ushered the kids out of the bedroom. Now what? she thought.

Once in the kitchen, she looked at their expectant faces. “Okay. What do you want for breakfast?” she asked.

“Can we have cereal?” asked Ryan.

Cereal? she thought, well, it would be easier, but Cole probably needs some dry toast. “How about toast for Daddy and cereal for you two?”

She could do this. At least until Cole felt better, and she might even get some brownie points. Brownie points would be really good, she thought smiling to herself.  After the way she yelled at Cole last night, she knew she was going to need them.

Avery made desperately needed coffee while the twins made their own cereal. Avery groaned at the mess she would have to clean up. But she bit her tongue and let them pour the milk. Why wasn’t Sarah here?

“I’m going to go check on Daddy,” she said sweetly. She needed to make sure he knew she was truly sorry. She badly needed his forgiveness. “Will you be okay and stay out of trouble?”

“Yes ma’am,” they said in unison.

Ryan yelled ‘Jinx’ and hit his sister. Her arms went flying.  Avery held her breath, prepared for crying, tantrums or split milk. She let it out gratefully when Reagan accepted the punch in the arm with just a squeal and continued to eat her cereal, while Ryan just smirked at her like he won some big contest.

Avery took a deep breath, and with the coffee and toast she prepared, walked past the cereal mine field, towards their bedroom to go make nice with her husband.

Go To Chapter 2.74>>>>>

Go Back to Chapter 2.72

A/N – I couldn’t do a chapter depicting the sadness of my true founder’s death.  It was just too hard. So below are a couple of highlights to celebrate her life. Some of them come from my first story, “Starting Over” in Sims 3.

 ♥♥♥♥  RIP Kaitlin Murdock-Chapman  ♥♥♥♥

0.Retirement

A screen show if you want to scroll through…..

50 thoughts on “Chapter 2.73 – Succession Plans

  1. Oh no, thought that Kaitlin was here to stay forever. I’d cry at her death chapter too.

    I’m going to hold off at the obvious comparing of Ami to Thu (considering that Ami dates normally and doesn’t have rocks for brains) but she has 30 or more years in her as a leader. Not like Avery will EVER retire but youth goes a long way.

    Cole needs to reel in that wine too. It’ll kill ya. 😛

    Liked by 2 people

  2. RIP original founder Kaitlin. 😞

    Avery…hmm…were my eyes deceiving me? Was that ho actually telling her lover to get lost because she’s going to make it work with her hubby and kids?

    This is shocking behavior, especially since she didn’t get what she truly wanted all along—the Murdock biz.

    I have a feeling that her lover will try to fight for her. Openly. That often happens. When you cheat, you forget that the other person has feelings too and once you break up with them you can’t control what they do. Oh no… 💩 is about to hit! 😱

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kaitlin. 😢 And her legacy is the Tiramisu she so lovingly gave Ben! ❤️.

      Avery and Spencer didn’t part happy did they? Hmmmm. But he didn’t seem tooo bothered by it. He may well go after her. We shall see. But she did double down on the domestic goddess routine. Very un-Avery like or maybe exactly Avery like! 😈. Going after what she wants?

      The 💩 is piling up, just waiting for someone to turn on the fan! 😱😱😱

      Liked by 1 person

  3. R.I.P. Kaitlin.
    Avery is totally playing Cole. She may be a bitch, but I like how two-faced her character is. Makes an exciting read.
    Since there was no written dialogue between her and Spencer I’m going to guess what was going on there. I think he talked some sence into her, like, “All is not lost yet, darling. Let me help you get what you want. Revenge. Here’s my strategy…” Avery is going to play a good wife and meanwhile she’ll do as much damage to Ben’s company as possible. She knows everything about it after all. I don’t expect her to succeed completely, but it’s going to be fun to watch how much damage she can cause before they stop her.
    Thumbs up for Noami.
    Great pictures in this chapter.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Bye bye. Kaitlin. 😢. Your Tiramisu will never be forgotten! ❤️

      Avery is a master at playing Cole. He may have layed out a strategy for her, but it seemed maybe she wasn’t happy with it? Interesting supposition as to the convo. Maybe she dumped and decided to take matters into her own hands….but that smirk at the end makes me wonder what he’s thinking.

      Noami, Definitely a thing now. ❤️

      Glad you enjoyed the pics!

      Like

    • I like that theory xD the only thing that bugs me about this smh is that Ave pushes Spencer’s hand away. But Avery definitely has a plan.

      I also like Avery talking some sense into Cole regarding Noami and he agrees.

      But when she breaks down about Ben’s decision, though I can understand her, she should kinda have expected that.
      It’s only logical that Ben would leave the company to his own child that actually would run it, why should he give it to her? She’s not his child, and if Cole and Avery get a divorce (which is always possible, no matter how close a couple is), his own kids would have a hard time getting it back.

      Cole’s reaction to her break down was funny, though. She didn’t get the company, so ofc she’ll divorce him? If I’d suspect my spouse to be married to me to get their hands on my company, I’d divorce them myself first xD

      And aww, Kaitlin ; _ ;

      Liked by 2 people

      • Avery wasn’t seemingly too happy with Spencer. But a true domestic goddess, she isn’t. So maybe she is trying to figure out something. Yay for her not making Cole do something stupid. Score one for Avery.

        I think she thought Cole would be given the controlling shares and then, by proxy she would be running the show. She never expected he would hand it to Ami. She was pissed at Cole for not saying anything because she knew she couldn’t. He would never have given it to Avery. She knew that.

        He thought she was mad at him for not taking up for her. Not because they weren’t getting the company. And then he’s drunk and not really 100% rational. So she’s trying hard to make him forget her outburst.

        Kaitlin. 😢 We thank you for the Tiramisu! It will live on.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh no, Kaitlin! 😭 Poor Leroy must be devastated now 😢
    I actually forgot to comment about Ami and Noah in the previous chapter… ding ding ding! I approve (as long as they develop into something more serious of course)! ❤
    Hmmm Avery Avery Avery… I don't really know what to think of her, as I have no clue what she was talking about with her (ex?) lover, but this sudden change of hers makes me a bit suspicious. It's not like her to just forget about the company (she wanted it forever) and shift her focus onto her family just like that. I bet she's forming some sort of revenge plan or… a coup? Now that would be something, lol!
    Oh man, you have at the edge of my seat, can't wait to see what's next! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Leroy was devastated. 😢😢😢

      Ami and Noah ❤️❤️❤️. They are a real thing. More about them the next chapter. 😍

      Avery is being very mysterious right now. Nobody knows what was said. 😇 She did make some very sudden changes in her behavior. I doubt she has forgotten about the company. Seems she has wanted that for awhile and feels it should be hers. Maybe revenge or a coup.

      Glad you are enjoying the suspense! 😈mwahahaha!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t know what to think of Avery. “She badly needed his forgiveness.” – but for what? New plans are in the making, that’s for sure. I just don’t know what she wants to achieve this time yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Avery is a mystery right now. No doubt she has a plan…..but what and who does it involve? Likely her! 😂. She desperately wants to get into Cole’s good graces, but really, that’s not hard to do, he’s so dang forgiving. Maybe she is going a bit overboard.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Kaitlin 😭😭😭 That pic of her and crying little Ben in your slideshow broke my heart 😭

    Avery… oh man. She’s a freaking psycho. The way she pretended to be okay with Ben’s announcement then FLIPPED and somehow made it his fault. Gahhhh! And what was up with that little rendezvous??? I am so skeptical now lol

    Also, in an awful way, it was hysterical when she saw Ryan and was like “Oh right, there’s another one” OMG this woman… I can’t even.

    I want Cole to dump her sooooo bad now. Things are only getting worse 😱😱😱

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kaitlin hugging Ben….💔 I admit to shedding a few tears putting it together. She had a tough life. Thank goodness her later years were filled with love and children and Leroy! ❤️❤️❤️

      Avery is a mystery. She is up to something, or maybe just resigned to being the wife that Cole wants after the little rendezvous that didn’t seem to go like she wanted.

      She totally made things Cole’s fault. She doesn’t do anything wrong! And poor Ryan. An afterthought. 😳

      Cole is happy now….why would he dump her? 😇

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Watch your back Amy. Avery will do everything she can to make you look bad or should I say undermine you. Better be on your toes, girl.
    Avery better cross her “T’s” and dot her “I’s” now that Sophia is her assistant. Sophia will catch her or tell Cole she is not working late and Cole will catch her having an affair. Maybe Amy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You picked up on Sofia! 😯 Nobody else has so far. Both good points about Avery and Ami! Avery’s definitely between a rock and a hard place right now. She knows Sofia isn’t her number one fan, although as long as Cole is with her she’s not going to stir the pot. But if she found something out, then…..look out Avery…..cause momma bear’s gonna take a piece outta you! 😂😂😂😂

      I would for sure think that Ami needs to be cautious. Actually, I think Ben and Cole are the only clueless one of the bunch! Avery for sure caters to Ben and makes things easy for him. Cole just gets a little and he’s good! 😂😂😂.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed. I don’t think Ben’s head is in the sand exactly, he just trusts her because she’s worked for him forever. Cole, on the other hand, buried deep! Lol. Sofia, I don’t think she trusts her. Ami probably indifferent. Maybe a little dislike between the two but that would be because Avery deems herself better than Ami, but she’s not dumb enough to show it. 😳

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Come back, Kateeeee! Gahhhhh! This is just to sad! I got the feels when looking at hte pictures, and the journey she had. May you rest in peace, alongside Grace and Grace’s grandmother.

    Oh, Ami and Noah..can’t say I didn’t see that coming. They were really buddy-buddy with each other ever since Ami passed her teens years.

    I bet Avery’s lover has kinda dumped her, so she now doesn’t have a ”safe net” anymore, so she really need’s Cole’s support now.

    It’s always interresting to see the way Avery treats her kids…like strangers. That’s what happens when you bet on only one thing, Avery! If that didn’t happen, you flip.

    I think Ami is going to call Avery out in her motivations, but Avery is going to use her relationship with Noah to her advantage, like, threatening to tell Ben about it, if Ami tells Cole what his wife is actually all about.

    She’s selfish, for sureeee! But, I really wonder what kinda of lines she would, or wouldn’t, cross, to get what she wants..(Like making Amy look bad, by demaning the company’s gain, only to make herself look better.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kate! I know….😢😢😢. Augh Grace and her grandmother. ❤️❤️❤️.

      Ami and Noah! ❤️ They are officially a thing.

      Avery does treat her kids like strangers. She has no clue. It’s really sad. Interesting theory about Avery and Ami and that dynamic. She could very well threaten her.

      I do also wonder how far she will go to get what she wants. Maybe undermining Ami wouldn’t be a stretch. Hmmm,. Lots of interesting theories!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Chapter 2.74 – Ami | New Beginnings

  10. Pingback: Chapter 2.72 – Reconnecting | New Beginnings

  11. What is Avery up to? She is definitely up to something and I don’t like how this is sitting in my gut! I have a distinct feeling she is making up with Cole because she’s done or is going to do something bad. But what could it be? Did she plan a coups with her paramour (can you call a guy a paramour? Technically, that’s what he is. LOL) to take over the company? I have a bad feeling.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. In your face, Avery >:) I know she’s worked hard, but she’s been so freaking entitled, it’s crazy. After the way she’s been talking about Ami and Noah as well, I don’t feel even slightly sorry for her. Don’t even get me started on the cheating.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Kaitlin 😭😭😭 My heart! I loved her, especially after seeing the growth she had experienced by the time Ben became an adult. Seeing her and Leroy having such a good influence and having grown despite all pain was just so… so touching. A happy ending even though their story felt so natural, without an ending because they were *still* growing. And I loved them together, they comforted and supported each other so much it made my heart fuzzy each time 😭

    Liked by 1 person

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