1st Anniversary Magic For Willow Creek Couple, Critic Ethan Richmond And Teacher Hollie Richmond!
Some pictures are slightly NSFW.
Spring, Year 2
It didn’t feel like a year had passed since Ethan and Hollie had got married in that spur-of-the-moment wedding in San Myshuno. The couple had dated since University and tied the knot during a romance festival in the city, to mark where their relationship began. After their wedding, they’d bought a tiny cottage in Foundry Cove, Willow Creek.
“I love the cottage, Hollie. It’s so cosy!” Cristina and Hollie had become quite good friends and she came round to visit often.
“Thanks. It’s really small though. There’s never going to be enough room to raise a family here.” Hollie said, glancing round the tiny lounge.
“You still wanting a baby soon, then?” Cristina raised her eyebrows. “I mean, you’re doing so well at work! Your students love you and the University’s lucky to have you. Isn’t this a crazy time to be thinking about a baby?”
Hollie looked defensive. “I can still keep up my job if I have a baby! I can start working from home a bit more. I’ll take up more online tutoring. It’ll be fine.”
“So you won’t give up work then?” Cristina suddenly widened her eyes. “You wouldn’t be able to afford to live on Ethan’s salary alone, would you?”
The problem was, Cristina was quite right. Ethan had been expelled from Foxbury and never got his degree. He was working as a Food Critic and hated it but he had no idea what he really wanted to do. Hollie, on the other hand, had graduated with a Psychology degree and was indeed working as a popular lecturer at Foxbury Institute. If she gave up working once they started a family, they’d never manage on the money Ethan brought in. It was quite a sobering thought.
Spring had certainly sprung in Foundry Cove as Ethan and Hollie walked down the path to the kerb.
“Look, don’t worry about what Cristy said,” Ethan reassured her as he gave her a hug. “We’ll work something out, Hollie. I know we will.”
Not convinced, Hollie nodded and they set off for the station. They parted ways at the station to catch their different trains and Hollie wondered what the future had in store.
“Listen, do you remember what I said this morning?” Ethan asked. He’d taken Hollie out to dinner after work to celebrate Hollie’s new promotion. “About how we’d work something out with the jobs and the house and everything?”
Hollie nodded. “Yeah. I’m stuck, Ethan. I don’t know what to suggest.”
“I think I do.” Ethan took a deep breath. “I’m thinking of quitting my job.”
Hollie stared at him in disbelief.
“That’s your solution?” Hollie shook her head. “You’re not serious?”
Ethan started laughing. “No, that’s not the whole solution. No, I meant quit as a Critic but I’m interested in the idea of the technology routes. There’s a job opening for a Live Chat Support Agent and I think I’d like to go for it. It’s more my thing. If I can get really involved with that, there’s no reason why you couldn’t do your work full time from home.”
“That’s actually not a bad idea,” Hollie agreed, nodding slowly. “Let’s see how that goes then!”
The following day, Ethan went for a run around the neighbourhood. He passed a large house that had been up for sale for ages with no interested parties. He remembered seeing the listing several weeks earlier; it was being sold pretty cheaply. Maybe it would be ideal?
The young couple went to the Shrieking Llama in Windenburg after work for a drink. Ethan guided Hollie towards the table near the door and sat down. “I’ve seen the perfect house.”
“What?” Hollie raised her eyebrows. “What do you mean, the perfect house? For what?”
“For us. Hollie, ever since we got married last year, you’ve dropped hints for a larger house so we can start a family. Everybody knows that. Well, what about Ivy Cottage? It’s been up for sale for ages, it’s priced to sell so it’s cheaper and we’d still be in Foundry Cove. No big moving expenses, nothing. We simply pack up our stuff and go for it.”
“Are you serious?”
Ethan nodded. “Perfectly.”
Letting out the breath she didn’t know she’d been holding, Hollie smiled. “I do love the look of that house!”
Ethan set about making changes. He put in an offer for Ivy Cottage and left his position as a Food Critic. He’d got the job easily as a chat support agent and was set to start his new job very soon.
As soon as their house move, in fact!
The day after they moved in, Ethan went off to start his new job. As Hollie had a day at home, her two best friends, Cristina and Andrea, came round to watch movies and gossip.
“So how are you managing now, Hollie?” Cristina asked as they switched the movie off.
“Not bad.” Hollie sniffed. “I’m just so glad the puppy found his way home.”
Cristina rolled her eyes. “Not the movie, you daft cow. I meant with Ethan, the house and his job and everything.”
“Christy!” Andrea shook her head. “You could be a little more tactful than that!”
“It’s okay.” Hollie sighed. “Better. Ethan’s going to be a lot happier with this new job, I’m sure of it. The house is bigger, we’ve got a lot more space and the money should be fine with me working from home all the time. I think we’ll make it.”
Andrea’s boyfriend Jared rang and invited the women out to the Spice Festival in the city. Since Ethan was still at work, Hollie dropped him a text to let him know where she was and the friends caught the train into the city. They met up with Jared to test out the bubble blower that had been temporarily installed for the festival.
Instead of catching the train home, Ethan instead walked down to the festival to meet up with his wife. He found her sitting at a table with Jared and Andrea and inwardly groaned. He’d had a fling with Andrea before he and Hollie had got together but it was a little complicated; he’d only really broken up with Andrea after he’d married Hollie. On top of that, Hollie didn’t actually know he’d had a fling with her best friend and he’d never thought to bring it up. He prayed silently that Andrea hadn’t said anything.
“Ethan, there you are!” Hollie beamed as he sat down beside her. “We were testing out the bubble blower. It’s incredible!” She giggled.
“It’s a bit like inhaling nitrous oxide!” Andrea agreed.
“We were just saying, Ethan, that we should get together and double date sometime,” Jared said casually. Ethan widened his eyes. He’d suspected for a while that Jared knew about Andrea and Ethan last year and simply hadn’t said anything. “What do you think?”
“Oh that would be so fun, Ethan!” Andrea squealed.
“Come on Ethan, I think it’d be great,” Hollie chimed in.
Ethan folded his arms. “I don’t see why not. Come on Hollie, we’d better get going. We’ve got to catch the train.”
“You didn’t seem very enthusiastic about doubling with Jared and Andrea,” Hollie commented when they arrived home.
Ethan swept Hollie up in his arms. “Who cares? It’s our anniversary, Hollie. I’m not interested in other couples right now.”
She gasped. “You remembered?”
“Of course I did!”
“You like your present?” Ethan asked. Hollie struck a pose and giggled.
“The better question would be…do you like the present?”
I think Ethan liked the present very much indeed. Happy 1st Anniversary to Hollie and Ethan!