It was late in the Galactus household. Han was still at work. Ulrike was painting away downstairs and Ripley was asleep. The newlyweds were relaxing in the hot tub on the deck.
“This is a lovely night,” Jaimie murmured as she leaned against Marcus.
“Sure is, though not as lovely as you.”
She giggled. “I may be old, but I’m not blind. I know what I look like.”
“That’s my wife yer talkin’ about,” he scolded her, kissing her gently, his grip around her waist tightening.
She smiled at him. “Thanks.”
He leaned close and murmured in her ear, “You are a fine, fine woman, Jaimie Flex. Don’t you forget that.”
Jaimie giggled again. The two were too involved with one another to realize that a certain little girl had woken up in the middle of the night to go get a glass of orange juice. She was half asleep as she wondered into the sunroom. She liked to sit in there. And doing it at night, when everyone was asleep added another element to it; it was a little scary, but really cool at the same time. But as she sat, she heard the murmur of voices behind her.
She turned and saw that Uncle Marcus and Aunt Jaimie were in the hot tub. She turned around in her seat, her head tilted as she watched them.
They were kissing!
Ripley was puzzled. Her parents kissed all the time. She always came upon them with the same kind of looks in their eyes. She heard a bit of splashing and her attention refocused on the hot tub as she saw the two of them disappear under the water!
Feeling intrusive, Ripley scuttled out of the sunroom, put her glass in the sink and then went back down to her room. Her mother must have gone up to bed because she wasn’t in the family room painting anymore. Ripley made a note to herself to ask her mother what Jaimie and Marcus were doing in the morning.
Han got home just as dawn was breaking up over the horizon. He hit the treadmill first, then decided it was time for breakfast. Marcus and Jaimie were already at the table, looking like two cats that had just eaten the canary. He arched a brow and sat down. “You guys are in your swimsuits,” he observed.
Jaimie giggled and looked at Marcus, winking. “We were just- uh, enjoying a soak in the hot tub, right Marcus?”
Marcus nodded, his eyes twinkling. “Mhm.” He cleared his throat. “Look, Han, ol’ buddy… were you serious when you said that I could uh- quit my job whenever I wanted?”
Han looked puzzled, then he nodded. “Of course. You don’t have to do anything you don’t wanna do. Right Watcher?”
Of course. You are all free Sims.
Marcus looked at Jaimie. “I’m glad to hear it. Because I’m done. I’ve got seven young uns now. Some young buck can take over.” His hand came up and he put it over Jaimie’s. “Han, Jaimie and I got married last night. We want to spend what’s left of our lives together.”
Han blinked for a moment as he processed the information. “You- married?” Then a huge grin split his face. “Congratulations! Sincerely!” He winked at Jaimie. “Gonna keep him in line?”
Jaimie laughed. “You can call it that, yeah.”
Marcus laughed, a big booming sound. Han stood. “C’mere, big guy!” The older man stood up and the two shared a back slapping hug.
“Congratulations, really. I’m really happy for you guys.”
“Thanks man, truly. She- makes me happy. In a way I’d never thought of bein’.”
Han stepped back and then pointed at Jaimie. “C’mon you! Your turn!”
Jaimie gladly stepped toward him and was treated to a bear hug.
“You make sure he takes good care of you and you take good care of him, huh? I want you guys to enjoy yourselves.”
Jaimie sighed. “Thanks Han. That means a lot. Without you… Marcus and I would never have met. So, thank you.”
While Han congratulated his two friends, Ulrike sat at the chess table in the family room with her daughter. “Hey Mom?”
“I uh, I saw Uncle Marcus and Aunt Jaimie in the hot tub last night.”
“Mhm,” Ulrike said, moving a piece. It wasn’t that unusual. After gardening especially, Jaimie liked using the hot tub to soak her sore muscles.
“Well, they were- doing stuff.”
“Stuff?” Ulrike turned her full attention on her daughter.
“Well, there was kissing and then they went under the water and there was a LOT of splashing.”
Ulrike almost choked on her laughter. “Oh-oh my, is that so?”
“Mhm, I wanted to get a drink and I was sittin’ in the sun room and I saw them out the window.”
“I-I see. Well, don’t you worry about anything, baby. They were- just having a good time, is all.”
“Oh, ok! Can I have a good time, too Mom?”
Ulrike looked down at the bowl she was mixing things in, deep in thought. Her daughter was off to school; luckily, the bus had come right around the time that Ripley was asking her why she couldn’t have fun like Marcus and Jaimie. Ulrike was pulled in two directions. She saw nothing wrong with those kinds of activities. After all, didn’t she and her husband enjoy it? Enjoy their relationship? But this was her little girl! She was a child yet she would be a teen soon enough and that meant rampaging hormones.
“Afternoon beautiful.” Han walked in, kissed his wife on the cheek and then sat down at the island.
“Hey, babe.” She looked over her shoulder at him, batting her lashes.
“So, did you hear about Marcus and Jaimie? They got married!”
Ulrike snorted out a laugh. “I heard- something, as it were.” Knowing that her husband might not take it so well about his daughter asking about ‘fun’, Ulrike decided to wait to tell him. “I’m happy for them. They both deserve it. There’s always been- something there. It’s nice they have one another.”
Han nodded. “Yeah, that’s what I thought too.”
“Hey Han? Ripley texted me on her lunch break. She’s bringing a friend over after school. One of Marcus’s brood, actually.”
“Oh yeah? That’s nice!”
“Thanks for having me over, Ripley!”
“You’re welcome, Landon!” Ripley giggled. She and Landon- Marcus’s only son- were seated in the sun room, talking and laughing about their school day.
Han was on the treadmill, using the excuse to work out, though in reality, he just wanted to watch them. He’d been a bit shocked to see that his daughter’s little friend had been a boy. The two kids stood up and though Han grinned, the thoughts in his head were not quite so pleasant.
“I should get back home. Again, thanks Ripley! And thanks for the help with the homework!” The two children hugged and Landon left.
Ripley smiled up at her father. “Landon’s great, Papa! It’s ok for him to come over this weekend?”
“Um, sure, baby. Of course.”
Ripley beamed up at him. Han had to hold in the sigh.
You look a little- tense. Everything ok?
Han was running on the treadmill, looking very intense.
“I’m fine. Just- thinking. Thinking about Ripley. My little girl’s gonna be a teenager soon.”
Yes, she will. Tis the way of life, Han.
“Yeah, yeah, I know. Go on, I’m fine. Just wanted to get in a workout.”
Hmm… Hey Ulrike, think your husband could use some time with his wife.
“You got it, Watcher. Thanks.”
As Han emerged a little while later, Ulrike was there to greet him with a tight hug and a knowing look on her face. Han let out a sigh and let himself sink a little.
“I love you, Ulrike.”
“I love you too, Han. C’mon. Let’s just go relax a while, huh?”
“Yeah, that sounds like a plan.”