Chapter 1.7: Wish You Were Here

Back on Ouroboros Isle, Maru was miserable. He shouldn’t have let Lilith go to Champs les Sims. Or better yet, he should have put up more insistence about going with her. It could’ve been so romantic, maybe he could’ve even proposed to her in a beautiful, exotic place. He always seemed to trip up in his approach to Lilith. Instead he was here, alone and unhappy. Worse, most of the village had seen or heard about his confrontation with Shane.



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Days passed. It’d been nearly 2 weeks since Lilith left, and 10 days since his cousin Shane had also sailed south. Maru brooded. He tortured himself wondering if Shane had found Lilith in Champs les Sims, and what was happening. Was she on her way back to Maru even now? Shane said he respected Maru’s friendship with Lilith. But maybe I didn’t want to, he’d also said.

I shouldn’t have been such an ass.

“Maru, you really shouldn’t brood so much,” a voice purred. He looked up to see Kaila perched on the stump in front of him.

“Whoa, where’d you come from?”



In Champs les Sims, Lilith was still exploring the nectary. As yet, she hadn’t been to the abandoned nectary, but she’d already purchased a trunk full of goods to bring back to Ouroboros. She had collected many fruits and vegetables that she could store at home. She’d been away from home two weeks already and knew she would need to go back soon. Maru would be worried. He’d acted brave when she left, but she knew he was probably lonely and brooding until she returned.



Also, she was quite enjoying tasting the endless varieties of nectar available at the nectary. She got a little tipsy a few times! It was enjoyable sharing a glass with visiting patrons and tourists like herself. She  experimented with the nectar machines a couple times, but her nectars weren’t that great. She purchased parts so she could build one at home. The villagers would love it!

She decided to gather up a few more bunches of grapes and head back to the boarding house in town. She wanted to do a few more things, like visiting the abandoned nectary, but then she needed to make plans to sail back home.



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Instantly she recognized his voice. Shane. She froze, then grabbed the last bunch of cherimola blan grapes before standing up and turning to face him.



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For a moment, everything around her faded except for his face.

“I…” She shook her head to clear it.

And then he grinned. “Surprised?”

“That would be an understatement! This place is…” she lifted her hands and looked around them. “Worlds away from home. What are you doing here?”

He laughed deeply. “Glad to see you too. I didn’t know you were here until right before I left Ouroboros. Maru told me you had come for winter supplies too.” His deep violet eyes darkened.

“Yes, I’m here for winter supplies too. I’ve gotten most of what I came to get. And then some!” she chuckled, and Shane smiled in response. “How is Maru? Everyone back home ok?”

Shane’s smile faded a little. “Maru’s fine, but I think he’s looking forward to your return. And worried about French men, ” he added with a sardonic smile.

Lilith waved it off. “Oh I’ve been all over town, no time to meet men. But gosh it’s so great to see a familiar face!”



“I’m done here. Have you been here awhile?” she asked him

“Yes I was gathering fruits and seeds on the other side of the nectary. I was about to head back to the boarding house for some dinner.”

“Perfect, I’ll come with you.”

Shane smiled at her as they walked down the road together. He seemed so much more…open. Normally he didn’t say much to her other than to acknowledge her.



After having dinner together at the boarding house, Shane challenged Lilith to a game of chess. She didn’t know the game, so Shane taught her the basic moves. It was late by then, but Lilith pulled out a checkmate. She was pleased as punch, and Shane had to stifle a giggle at her. He’d let her win, of course.

They retired to the sleeping quarters and tucked into their beds.

“So what’s the plan for tomorrow?” he asked drowsily.

“There’s an abandoned nectary outside of town, I wanted to go there and check it out. Would you come with me?”

“Absolutely. Sounds wonderful.” He was softly snoring a few minutes later. Lilith curled up under her blanket and fell asleep with a smile.



“Kaila, I shouldn’t have done this.”

“I’m sorry Maru. You seemed in need of comfort.”

Maru leaned his head back against her breasts. “I guess I did. But how on earth can I explain this to Lilith? This is exactly what I’m afraid she’s doing.”

“Maybe that’s why you needed this.” Her eyes glowed strangely.

Maru brooded on that for a moment, but Kaila interrupted again.



“Thanks Kaila. For understanding.”

She comforted him once more, after which he walked back to his camp, forlorn and feeling guilty, confused, and wondering when the hell Lilith would get back.