“You look like you got something on your mind, lad. What is it?” Kade asked, looking sideways at Han on the other end of the couch.
Han started and then looked over at the gardener. “I uh… met someone, Kade. I-I can’t seem to get her out of my mind.”
Kade laughed. “A pretty woman’ll do that, son. Did you get her number?”
Han had the grace to blush a little. “Um, yeah.”
“You gonna call her?”
“I-I don’t know. Maybe…”
“Let me give ya a little advice: it’s better to regret what you did do, than what you didn’t, alright?”
Han’s brow furrowed. “Yeah… I guess.”
Kade grinned and stood. “Well, I’m gettin’ old, so I’m gonna head to bed. Have a good night, lad.”
Didn’t you learn your lesson the last time?
“I’m doing much better, I promise. That and it helps clear my head a bit. Don’t be such a-a… what’s the term? Worrywart? Something like that.”
Hm… I hope so. Wouldn’t want any unfortunate accidents, would we?
Oh dear, Kade! I didn’t realize your cowplant had grown up… Just be careful with him.
“Oh don’t worry, Watcher. Rover here won’t hurt anyone!”
Rover? Um, alright… Sims!
You two look as if you’ve hit it off.
“Hey Watcher! How’s it hangin’?” Marcus grinned.
“Ain’t he a trip, Watcher?” Jaimie asked with a chuckle.
Hm, he’s something alright. I’ll leave you to it. Keep him out of trouble, Jaimie.
“You got it!”
Han? You have a visitor.
He looked up from the piece he was working on, this time he was clothed. “A visitor? Really?”
Intrigued, he left the workbench and stepped outside. When he saw his visitor, he froze. “Ulrike…”
She smiled at him. “Hello Han. I got a little tired of waiting. I’d heard you were pretty busy, so thought I’d come and check on you myself.”
Han swallowed. All thoughts had flown out of his head. Without thinking, he opened up his mind, something he’d been warned about doing around Sims. But it was too late! Thoughts and feelings flowed between them in a matter of seconds, an intense flood that staggered them both for a moment.
Ulrike shook her head, trying to clear it. She looked at Han intensely. “Y-you’re an alien!”
Han tried to smile, though it was more of a grimace. “Um… yes?”
“That’s really cool! Everyone said I was crazy to think there were aliens, but… wow!”
“Wait… you aren’t… freaked out?”
“Freaked out? No, of course not! I think it’s really cool!”
“Y-you do?” He couldn’t help but grin. He had been worried about that. It was one reason he hadn’t ventured out much. No one in the house really cared about him being an alien, but he’d heard some insane stories about how Sims reacted. The fact that Ulrike thought it was ‘cool’ seemed to be a sign! He’d been careful to keep his glow down to a minimum, but this time he didn’t care.
“Poor thing,” she murmured. “You ok, Han?” She gave him a hug, having felt and seen some of what he had been feeling earlier.
“Yeah, yeah I am. You uh, wanna stick around for a bit tonight?”
She lowered her gaze a little, looking at him through her long dark lashes. “Sure, I’d like that.”
“Morning beautiful,” Han murmured to Ulrike.
“Hi yourself, handsome.”
“Thanks for hanging out. Sorry to keep you so long.”
Ulrike laughed. “I hardly noticed the time. Thanks for having me.” She wrapped her arms around him.
Hello Kade. What do you see?
“W-watcher… It-it’s that time. The Reaper is coming. Y-you take care of Han, ok? T-tell him I’m glad to have been a part of his family, even if only for a little while. So-so tired.”
O-oh, Kade… Oh, I’m so sorry.
“Now, now. N-none of that. Y-you look after him. And you make sure he listens to you. And Watcher?”
“Make sure he’s happy.”
I’ll-I’ll try, Kade.
“What’s going on here?” Han came running over the grass, looking concerned. Then he saw Kade on the ground. “K-kade? C’mon, man. Thi-this isn’t funny! Get up!” His hand went to his mouth as the realization that he was losing one of the only people in the world who had really believed in him, even when he hadn’t believed in himself.
“Han? What is it?” Ulrike was running toward them.
“Ah, man, not Kade!” Marcus exclaimed, not quite able to disguise the sniffle.
“Oh, Kade,” Jaimie whispered, tears in her eyes.
“Oh-oh, dear. Oh Han… I-I’m sorry.” Ulrike had talked to Kade a bit the previous night and she had seen how close he had been with Han.
Grim, if-if you could please hurry… this is agony. He-he was a good man.
“Yes, Watcher, I see that here. Don’t worry, he will be well taken care of. You are right, he was a very good man.” The Grim Reaper’s scythe swiped down, severing Kade’s soul from his body. “I am sorry for your loss. I am- only doing my job.”
“We know, Grim,” Jaimie told him gruffly. “But… your job surely sucks.”
“That it does.”
RIP Kade Cotter. You will be dearly missed.