The concept of time had completely escaped the inseparable couple, so by the time they emerged from the tent, they were shocked to find it already late in the afternoon of Flora’s last day in Al Simhara.
They sat down at a nearby table in the shade to wait for her departure time.
“That was…” Drake began to say but paused, appearing to try and find the exact words. “...simply magical,” he finished.
A complete sense of calm emanated from his pale body. He took a deep breath before he continued, “I had long given up the hope of being physical with someone. I generally find teenagers abhorrent, and as you know, Sim law does not allow for affairs such as this. To have this miracle occur with you is something I could never have dreamed of,” he beamed.
Flora wasn't quite sure how to respond to that, “it was quite a surprise for me, too,” she returned.
“Everything happened so fast," she continued, "One moment we were in the tomb, and the next we were in the tent. But, I've always felt a connection to you, from the first time we met. I didn't even think it was possible for us to…” she trailed off, still a bit embarrassed by the acts that had just occurred between her and this teenager.
“Anything can become possible if we want it enough, yes?” Drake asked pointedly.
Flora sat in silence for a few moment while her mind swirled with all manners of complex confusing and conflicting thoughts. Finally, her mind settled on just one; “I want to see you again,” she said plainly. “But,” she pointed out, “my parents can’t know about us. My mother still blames you, and every Vampire, for my brothers’ deaths,” she finished, sadly.
“We require a secret rendezvous location where your parents can stay safely in the dark,” he conjured, his voice tinged with mischievousness.
Flora stood up laughing, “you’re going to enjoy this a little too much, I think,” she playfully scolded, then her face fell, “I should be going, though, I have a plane to catch,” she said unhappily.
“I’m going to miss you,” she sighed, as he placed her hand into his.
He looked up into her eyes and conveyed, “when your despair of not being at my side becomes unbearable, simply return here and I will come to you. All of
Egypt can be our secret,” he told
He pulled her in close for another passionate kiss. His arms wrapped around her tightly as if it would be the last time he was ever to see her again.
Eventually she had to break off the embrace to make the dreaded call.
Once he saw her into the backseat and the cab began to pull away, Flora took one last look behind her and waved, already regretting having to be apart from Drake.
“Hello?” Flora called out, many hours later. "I'm home!"
There was no response.
She tried again, and yelled “I come bearing gifts!”
Thundering footsteps immediately came bounding down the stairs. Her dad swooped in and pulled her into a huge hug.
“What’d ya get me, what’d ya get me??” he said, as he bounced up and down excitedly, like a Sim child.
“You’re looking at it,” she replied, jokingly. “Ta-Da! I got you a daughter who missed her daddy a whole bunch!” she laughed. “It’s good to be home.”
Pete smiled, “I missed you too, hun. I’m glad you’re back safe. I can’t wait to hear all about your trip and the amazing adventures you must have gone on. Come inside, leave your bags for the butler.”
Flora took a few more steps inside and looked around at the living room. Not much had changed while she was gone. A few more things had been unpacked, but the place still had a very “new” feel. She felt a pang of longing for their old house in Harmony, even though it contained some very sad memories.
After the butler (her dad) brought down the many trunks she returned with, Flora spent the rest of the afternoon unpacking her finds. Drake had allowed her to take some of the artifacts that had been lying around the Pyramid of the Sea. He figured they were only going to sit around in a sealed tomb, this way they had a better chance of being appreciated by someone with a pulse.
She covered the walls with pictures of
Egypt. Looking at them made her think of Drake, as
if he was here with her in Charlton.
One thing was certain, though, if she planned to continue with these Egyptian adventures, she was going to need to get into better shape. Busting up rubble is a tough job.
So she joined the Charlton gym and got to work building that upper body strength that slinging a sledge hammer required.
It was a lot harder than she thought it would be! For a girl that looked like she was in pretty good shape, she sure was having a hard time!
At least she wasn’t the only one having a tough go of it.
However, over the next few days, her strength had improved enough to attempt the gym’s new rock climbing wall. If she could tackle this beast, she could tackle anything.
She was ready.
She found herself eating breakfast (Autumn Salad, her favorite) with Pete the next morning. Her stomach was in knots. Better to just get it over with, like a band-aid.
“So, um, Dad,” she started off fumbling over her words, “I’m going to be going away again. Just wanted to let you know,” she finished quickly, glad to have that conversation over with.
“That’s great, sweetie,” he replied casually, “now, go and tell your mother the same thing.”
Flora’s knots tightened.
That afternoon she offered to help her mom with her plants. Replanting Faith’s garden had been a very slow process, considering the one in Harmony had been just about perfect.
Flora peered at her mother, and tried to gauge her mood before bringing up the subject of her leaving again so soon after just getting home. Faith had still been somewhat easy to set off and she didn’t want to upset her mother or make her sad.
It was now or never, thought Flora. She was either going to react well, or she wasn't Being a grown woman, though, Flora should be able to do whatever she wanted regardless of her mom’s opinion.
She took a deep breath and dove in, “Mom, I know I just got home a few days ago, but I'v; already planned my next trip back to
Egypt,” she started, a slight
pleading in her voice. “There’s just so
much excitement over there; the scenery, the tombs, the…”
“Boys?” Faith finished for her. “Or at least one boy, in particular. Right?” she asked pointedly.
Flora was so shocked she almost dropped the mop she’d been using to dry up the sprinkler puddles. It was impossible that her mother would have found out on her own. And so soon! How did she know about Drake?
“Um, why do you say that?” Flora asked tentatively and in what she thought was a completely neutral tone.
Faith stood up for a moment to look at her daughter squarely. “Because, you've been giddy and smiling ever since you got back. Like a girl who's freshly fallen in love,” she explained. While her face and tone still expressed overall sadness, there didn't appear to be any anger or resentment hidden underneath. “I know that look," Faith finished, "I had it once. Or twice.”
There was no reason to lie, Flora thought. She just didn’t have to tell her the whole truth.
“Yes, ok, there might be a boy,” she admitted shyly, realizing her mother's ironic choice of words, referring to Drake as a ‘boy’ in regards to him being being several generations older than herself.
“A mother’s intuition,” Faith confirmed. “Well, at least you’ll be able to spend a little time at home helping me get this garden started while you’re planning this next big adventure. It’s nice having you home again,” Faith finished quietly.
Flora wasn’t sure how to break it to her mother, so she barely looked up and blurted out, “I leave tomorrow.”
“Oh. That’s wonderful,” Faith replied, a forced smile played across her face.