New Digs For Local Engineer And Conservationist: Will It Be Enough?
Some images are slightly NSFW.
Summer, Year 2
The sun was shining brightly in the city as Jared stepped out for coffee. he could easily have made it in his own apartment but he wanted to feel the sun on his face for a while. He had big plans for the day. He was seeing Andrea later and had a big question for her.
He bumped into her coming out of her apartment as he returned to his.
“Andrea, there you are.” He smiled warmly. “Have you got a minute?”
She nodded. “Sure.”
“Listen, we’ve been seeing each other for about six months or so and we’ve known each other for longer than that. So I was wondering what you thought about us living together?”
Of course, she said yes. They agreed that she would move into Jared’s apartment as it was bigger.
They spent the day enjoying the summer sun in the Spice District.
“Do you know what would finish today off nicely?” Andrea asked as they gazed across the water at the rest of the city. The bustling skyscrapers looked so serene in the summery haze. Even the traffic seemed quieter today.
“What’s that?” Jared nuzzled her neck in response.
“The fire festival in Sulani.” She turned to face him. “I understand that’s tonight. I’ve never been before but I’d love to go. What do you think?”
“Dancing with fire? Hell, I’m in!” Jared gave a cheeky grin and they headed off back to their apartment.
It turned out they were both very good at the customary fire dance. All the years of dancing at University must have paid off somewhere along the line because they both drew quite an audience among the natives!
The sun started to set over the islands when Andrea had an idea. “Fancy a late night swim?” she asked.
Jared raised his eyebrows. “Sounds like fun!” He began to run towards the beach. “Race you to the water!”
Suddenly, Andrea’s bike came flying towards him. She tossed her hair and laughed. “Snooze, you lose,” she called as she hurtled towards the shoreline.
Jared still beat her to the sea and was slicing effortlessly through the water when she came swimming hastily towards him. Laughing, he enveloped her in a hug as he caught her.
“Swim a bit further,” she said impishly, the moonlight dancing in her eyes. “Where it’s more secluded.”
“I never would have had you down as a skinny dipper, Andrea Houston!” Jared laughed as her splashed Andrea. The spot they’d picked was incredibly secluded and with only the moon to see them, they kissed and splashed in the water. In the early hours of the following morning, they had a friendly boat race back to the shore.
Feeling incredibly tired, Andrea returned to Sulani the following day for work. She needed to gather together more evidence of the pollution in Sulani and her heart sank as she noticed the green algae in the water. The harsh realities of the effects of the increase in Sim activity hurt her soul as she remembered hers and Jared’s laughter the night before.
One day, she’d love to live in Sulani. It felt like home every time she visited. The problem was she knew that Jared needed to be in the city for work; commuting from the islands wouldn’t be practical for him.
Sighing, she turned back towards the islands and shook off the sadness creeping over her.
That evening, Jared accompanied Andrea to a charity benefit in Willow Creek, hosted by Andrea’s close friend Cristina. Cristina was throwing the party to raise money for some local charities and was urging all the local philanthropists to donate to good causes. One of them was an environmental cause, so naturally both Jared and Andrea donated.
“I didn’t expect you to,” Andrea commented as Jared signed the cheque.
“Why wouldn’t I?” Jared smiled. “I love the islands like you do, Andrea. They’re beautiful and the thought of losing that beauty because of people’s disrespect would be heartbreaking. Money might not do as much as what you do for a living but it’ll help.”
“May I have this dance, Miss Houston?” Jared asked, holding out his hand.
“After that hefty donation?” Andrea grinned back. “It would be my pleasure, Mr De Luca.”
It was a very different way to spend an evening, slow dancing to the tinkling of the piano in the corner compared to firedancing on the islands of Sulani but it was perfect nonetheless.