Chapter 1.5: Winter is Coming

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The first Morning After dawned in rain.

“Thank you Lilith, thank you for giving this a chance. How do you feel?”

“Sore,” she said ruefully, and then giggled at the silly-delighted look on his face. “Good. I’m good. Great. That was nice…both times. I’m glad we did this.”

Maru kissed her tenderly before he left.

 

 

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Autumn was coming to a close for Ouroboros Isle and the villagers of Laguna.

Winter was coming.

On the island, seasons passed long and slow (think Game of Thrones, but not as long). It had been many moons since the last winter, and she’d had her parents then. She needed to store up some salt fish.

 

 

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And if she was going to do anything with her singing, she needed to focus on that; she could use any extra simoleans to buy up other winter provisions. She needed a means of storage, as well. At least she still had plenty of time to think about that.

 

 

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Lilith was happy to have Maru back. Things weren’t the same, of course, but their knowledge of each other made their new status much easier to fall into. She also discovered he was a great kisser–not that she had any point of comparison, unless she counted Daniel–but the question of whether Maru could turn her on was wholly answered. Maybe he had been right and it was just a natural progression.

 

 

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She found sex with Maru plenty to her liking. A few days later at the tidal pool,  fishing for dinner turned into sex on the beach, after which she again invited him back to her camp. She appreciated his strength in ways she had never imagined possible.

 

 

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Shane Stone was also thinking about winter. He began collecting seeds; there was still time to take in a crop.

 

 

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Thinking ahead to spring, he thought he might like to try farming on a larger scale, but for that he’d need a better supply of seeds than whatever could be found on the ground around the island.

 

 

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He was fishing more often, too. He’d sold some of his catches at the consignment shop, but he was beginning to put aside a cache for the winter ahead.

 

 

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One rainy autumn day, Lilith headed to the beach on the other side of the village, and was surprised to see Maru’s cousin Shane there.

“Heya. Mind if I cast a rod here too? This is one of my favorite spots for clownfish,” she said.

Shane glanced at her and averted his gaze to the water, nodding. “Sure. Mine too. Good choice.” Her wet dress is gonna be distracting, he thought.

 

 

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They fished mostly in silence. She didn’t say much; her father had taught her that noise might scare away a good catch. (whoops, no pun intended!)

She glanced sideways at Shane, and was shocked to see butterflies around them! What a beautiful sight this time of season! A throaty, delighted laugh escaped her, and Shane lowered his fishing rod. Then he too noticed the butterflies. A slow smile cracked his face as his eyes met hers. “Well that’s unexpected!” he said softly, so as not to disturb the butterfly that had landed on his shoulder. It flitted away a few moments later.

Shane turned to her. “So how have you been?”

Lilith pursed her lips. “Good. I’m trying to get ready for winter. It’ll be my first winter alone.”

“Same here.” He flicked his rod out over the water, and they lapsed into silence again for awhile.

“So you and Maru, huh?” he finally asked.

She shot him a glance and shrugged, then recast her line.

 

 Sick Puppies – Don’t Walk Away

 

 

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A few days later, she invited Maru to spend the night with her again. He eagerly agreed, and bought a bottle of nectar at the consignment shop to bring back with them.

After having given the idea some thought for the past few days, Lilith had decided to travel off the island to get some supplies for the coming winter. She’d always had her parents to provide for her, and now she needed to make sure she could get herself through the winter. Besides, she’d never been off Ouroboros Isle, and this was as good a reason as any to travel.

“Maru, I’m going to take a trip to Champs les Sims, before winter hits. I’ll bring back some nectar too. But more importantly, some winter supplies.”

“Are you serious?”

“Yes why not?”

“I…you…you’ve just never been off the island. I should come with you,” Maru was surprised.

 

 

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“No, it’ll just be a short trip. This time of season, merchant ships are finishing up their business, so I should be able to get there and back fairly quickly. I can bring back some things we can’t get here. You should fish and harvest. Winter is coming.”

Reluctantly, Maru nodded. He knew he wasn’t in a position to insist or dictate, and ships did come and go frequently enough in the Autumn. She would be back before he knew it.

 

Maybe when she returned, he’d ask her to move into his camp.