Dawn in Oasis Landing was pretty much the same as dusk – orange-gray hazy and the stink of pollution.
Gamora was ready to put this place behind her. Permanently.
Gamora rose early, not that early and late looked all that different. She had one more place to go before she returned to the time machine — the Oasis Landing Library.
She needed to now a lot more about the future history that brought her here.
That errand finished, she found herself on the roof of the visitor’s center, staring again at the enigmatic glow of Emit Relevart’s little holiday project.
“All right,” she said to herself. “I hope this works.”
And then she was home, with a backache this time.
“Are you here for the Simfeset?” the asked the proprietor of Coffee Under the Sea. “What name should I put on the list?”
“Twisted Tiberious,” Winston said brightly. “Maybe you’ve heard of me.”
The proprietress chuckled as she pocketed his entry fee. “Nope, and I never heard of that guy either. You’re up after the magic act.”
Winston had to admit that Josie Sample-Ursine’s performance was getting pretty polished these days.
The vanishing cabinet routine still could use some work, though.
Winston hated to admit it, but watching Josie screw up made him feel more confident. If the vanishing-cabinet-that-wasn’t was the best he was up against, this contest was his to lose.
Which he did.
The prize went to Daniel Ibari.
When Winston trudged home for a shower, he found Gamora and Victoria’s boyfriend having a shouting match on the porch.
“I don’t care who you’re sleeping with, you step on my flowers, I will cut you!”
“So, you live her too? Vickie didn’t say anything about a wicked — is your hair made out of leaves?”
“None of your business!”
Winston shoved his way between them. “Pardon me, I actually do live here.”
When he made it through the door, he found Victoria standing in the middle of the living room, glowering at her phone. “I have got to get out of here for a while,” she declared.
“I’m coming with you,” said Winston.
“Did someone say vacation?” Roderick chimed in. “I’ve heard you plan some truly amazing vacations.”
So she took them to Barnacle Bay, a lovely seaside village turned resort town.
Gamora was not invited, but she made it clear she had other plans anyway.
Victoria found them rooms at The Blue Bridle Inn, a cozy bed and breakfast that had been renovated in recent years and now billed itself as a luxury hotel.
“Let’s drop our bags behind the counter and get out on the water!” Vickie exclaimed as they burst through the front doors.
Rod grabbed hold of her hand. “Let’s check out our rooms first,” he said. Vickie shrugged and allowed him to lead her up the stairs, hauling her rollerbag behind her.
He opened the door with a flourish, and Vickie looked around. Rod puffed out his chest. “I slipped the receptionist a 20 and got us the honeymoon suite,” he said.
“This is our first trip away as a couple. I want us to have all the romance.” He pulled her into his arms.
Victoria fumbled with her bag. “Um, just give me a sec,” she said, finding a corner to stash it behind her. “Now I’m ready.” Roderick grinned a pulled her in for a kiss.
“You sure you want to go back outside?” he murmured in her ear. “The bed looks so comfortable.”
Vickie hesitated, processing what he said. Sure, the room looked nice, and the bed might be more comfortable that the one she had at home, but it wasn’t SO different. Why would she go on vacation just to stay inside?
“A bit later?” she asked sheepishly. “We can’t go sailing after the sun goes down.”
Rod’s smile didn’t falter, but his eyes showed his disappointment. “Sure, make me wait,” he teased.
They changed quickly and ran out the back deck to the semi-private beach. Victoria’s face lit up. “They have windsurfing!” She dashed down into the stand where the resort offered complimentary surfboards. Ankle deep in the water, she looked back to Roderick. “Join me?”
“I’ve never windsurfed,” he admitted.
“I could give you some pointers,” Vickie suggested.
“That’s all right. I’m still a bit jetlagged. I’ll just watch you.”
She was on the sea with the wind in her hair within minutes, feeling free as she never did on the shore.
Rod grabbed a cocktail from the bar and sat down to sun himself. As he sipped his drink, his eyes drank in Victoria’s expert movements too and fro across the waves. “She’s amazing,” he whispered to himself. “I’m so lucky.”
Edmund settled for some lower-key swimming.
Winston, on the other hand, was distracted before he made it out the door.
“Hey there,” the hot blonde called as she caught him as he walked past the bar. “New to Barnacle Bay?”
He took in her face and body in a glance and moved closer. “Never been here before in my life. Do you have advice?”
She smirked. “My friend and I were just heading to the hot tub.”
“You know?” that sounds like a great idea to me too.
The rest of the family never really missed him.
The sun was well below the horizon when Vickie returned to the short, and Rod was waiting for her.
“Did you have a nice time?” she asked. “You didn’t have to stay sitting around the whole time.”
Rod waved her worries away. “Not at all. The sun felt wonderful.”
“Well, I’m famished,” Vickie continued. “I wonder what’s at the buffet.”
“So… I was thinking,” Rod said with a twinkle in his eye. “What say we call room service? It’d be nice to get some time alone together on our first night.”
That didn’t seem like such a bad idea. Vickie met his seductive glance with one of her own.
“All right then,” she said. “I think I can be persuaded.” She blew him a kiss.
“Is it getting hot in here?” Rod asked, fanning himself. He took her hand, and she could barely get up the stairs fast enough.
At the top of the stairs, Roderick held the door to the honeymoon suite open for her. “Ladies first.”
Vickie laughed. “Don’t be full of such crap.”
He looked into her eyes, the teasing crinkle smoothing from the edges of his to show the longing he tried to keep hidden. He adored to the depths of his soul, and she could feel it. He drew close to her, and she nestled into his arms. “Is it all right?” he asked in a small voice. “I don’t mean to be a jerk.”
She rested her head on his shoulder and breathed in the scent of him. “No,” she said. “You’re being sweet.
She pulled away and drew them to the bed.
This part, this part felt good. They fit together so well.
Vickie had to admit that Rod had been right. This place, and this bed, were a very nice place to spend part of her vacation.
As they came up for air, Roderick drew back and gazed into her eyes. “Oh, Victoria,” he whispered. “I love you.”
She froze. “You… I mean I…”
“Shh,” Rod said, “You don’t have to say anything.”
So she didn’t. She let her mind shut off and fell back into the easy part, the part that always felt right.
But she lay awake, curled against him, long after she could feel the gentle rise and fall of his breath as he slept.
He loved her. What did it mean? What should she do? What was she supposed to feel?
Was this what love felt like?
She rose at dawn. Rod murmured muzzy nonsense against her lips as she kissed him.
Then she grabbed her gear and made out to the beach for an early dive.
The air was chill, and thick mist rolled in from the sea.
But the fabled undersea crystal canyon glittered with its own light.
It was just as beautiful as she’d been led to believe.
Back at the hotel, Winston made it downstairs as far as the masseur.
Then he spent some time at the bar, which was hosting a karaoke night…. well, karaoke afternoon.
After a few drinks, he teamed up with a local sim to sing a few ballads.
He thought she’d said her name was Luisa Libros. She was pretty hot. Oh, and she had a pretty good voice.
At least he thought so. The peanut gallery wasn’t so sure.
He thought he felt a connection, but there had been so MANY hot women at the resort he’d connected with. She headed out before he could ask for her number.
Edmund took in the view from his room and pondered the meaning of life.
When Victoria returned from diving, she found Roderick in an alcove off of the dining room.
“Did you realize they have a screening theater here?” he told Vickie excitedly. “The proprietress says they host a film festival in the fall. We should totally come back then! Here, you should really see this. This director uses light like I’ve never seen. It’s almost film noire, except not really.”
“Oh, wow,” Vickie said. “I’m so glad you had a good time. But did you go outside at all?”
Rod blushed. “Well, I… no, no I didn’t. Their film collection has some classics I’ve never seen before.”
“Wow,” she said.
He patted the seat beside him. “You should sit down and rest. I’d love to share this film with you.”
“Thanks,” she said, “But I’m pretty tired after diving, and I’m crusted with salt. I’ll see you at dinner.”
They called an early night.
Which was a good thing because a couple of drunk regulars woke everyone up with a loud pillow fight at one AM.
Winston was back in the hot tub for the evening when he was met with a surprise.
“Luisa? I thought you went home!”
“I did go home silly. It wasn’t far away. I thought I’d come back and see if you were still around.”
“I’m still around,” Winston said. “Definitely still here!”
She turned out to be just as fun as she was hot. They were up late, laughing and talking.
He couldn’t imagine the vacation could go better.
In the morning, Vickie caught Winston at breakfast. “How was the night?” she asked slyly. “You sure seemed to be having a great time when I went to bed. Who was the girl?”
“Luisa,” Winston said, “And… I think I need to spend more time in this town. Maybe a lot more time.”
“My wild and crazy brother couldn’t be taking some girl seriously?” she asked.
“Come on,” Winston wheedled. “I’m not that wild and crazy.”
“I’m really not feeling so hot,” Rod admitted. “I think I’m coming down with something. Air travel, the hotel, you just never know what you might be exposed to.”
“Don’t worry about me, though. There’s a special screening this afternoon, and I hear they booked the mayor.”
Vickie leaned in to kiss him, then thought the better of it. “Just so long as you’re having a good time,” she said.
“Don’t worry about me,” Rod said. “Everything your brothers told me about your vacationing is true. I’m having a fabulous time.”
So she left him watching a science fiction robot thriller
and went cave diving.
Winston spent his last evening in Barnacle Bay out under the stars with Luisa.
“I’d really like to see more of you,” he told her earnestly.
She gave him a secretive smile. “Well, you have my number.”
“I’ll call as soon as I get home.”
“I’ll be here.”
He did call as soon as he was back in his room. The phone number she gave him connected to a local restaurant.
He never saw her again, and he never found out why.
I wrote a post! I wrote a post!
Yeah… so Winston and Luisa REALLY hit it off. I thought he’d finally found The One and was going to get into a serious relationship.
The NRaas Traveler erased their entire relationship when he returned home. Sadly, the whole travel process was glitchy going and coming.
I’m sure that if I sent him back, the whole romance would have been right there waiting for him, but I took it as a sign that the story was going somewhere else.