Before everyone was up, Mila started the Yacht and took us over to Freeport where we were to start the day with an ATV tour. Well, breakfast on the way there was arguably the start, but the ATV tour was fairly early.
“Would sitting this one out be horrible?” asked Shaurya.
“Of course not.” I assured him.
Just as I did, Marlin said, “Yes. Completely.”
Looking a bit worried, Shaurya explained “I’ve ridden on ATVs before. They’re simply not my thing.”
“Have you ridden ATVs on a tour in the Bahamas before though? Mila tells me we’re going to have some great stuff to see.” argued Jarod.
“Well, no…” replied Shaurya.
“Ha!” exclaimed Marlin, pointing her fork at him. “You know you’d rather be part of the story than the one simply hearing it.”
“Yeah, man. This is going to be great!” insisted Brandon, still chewing his food.
Putting a hand on Shaurya’s shoulder, Jesse said, “If you have a terrible time, I’ll pitch in toward that new armor you wanted.”
Shaurya looked at her for a second, sighed, and said, “Fine, I’ll go.”
Mila had cross-referenced everyone’s social media as part of the planning process. I wondered if she misinterpreted pictures of Shaurya on an ATV or something similar when deciding he’d enjoy this.
“Yes! This’ll be awesome. The guild’s going to be so jealous when we tell them about this.” stated Damien with a big grin.
Brandon laughed and told him “They’re already jealous. Are you sure you’ll live through them getting even more jealous?”
“Bring it!” exclaimed Damien pointing at Brandon.
“No time, guys.” I told them as both started opening their laptops. “We’re almost to the island, and the limo will be waiting for us.”
“Come on… beating him will take under a minute.” claimed Damien.
“Ha! Elf Hottie would take Sinister and his buddies out in one swing.” replied Brandon.
She actually might if Damien were really careless, but he’d more than likely goad Brandon into doing something reckless.
“I’ve been wondering… who was that model you got to play your character when you guys did that convention?” asked Lake.
Brandon choked mid-swallow and coughed out the drink he was taking.
“Why? You interested?” asked Jarod, smiling suggestively at her.
“Maybe.” she told him.
“I’m sure Mila has her contact information, but there’s probably a great number of legal restrictions against us releasing it, given that my company was technically being employed by Aaliyah’s at the time.” I explained.
“Laws take the fun out of everything.” she complained with a sigh.
Aaliyah looked ready to cry as she said, “But… but… but…”
Mila was quick to assure her “Don’t worry, mother. I always read every line.”
“Did you know Aaliyah’s an attorney?” I asked with a smile.
“No way!” exclaimed Jesse.
“Really?” asked Marlin.
Still pouting, Aaliyah quickly nodded.
“We’re here!!!” exclaimed Aaliyah, jumping off her seat.
“You have time to finish eating if you hurry.” stated Mila. “I’ll take care of cleaning up while you’re out.”
“You’re not coming with us? I was looking forward to seeing what an android can do with an ATV.” complained Damien.
“Put you to shame.” teased Marlin.
“Well, yeah!” he exclaimed.
After a little more excitement and some rapid eating, we disembarked and walked over to the limo.
“David, I presume.” I stated, offering to shake his hand.
“Yes, sir. A pleasure to meet you, Mr. Somerset.” he replied.
“How did you know his name?” asked Jesse.
“I read his mind.” I told her, doing my best not to laugh when she looked shocked.
“Come on, come on. Are you really surprised the man paying for everything would know the name of the driver he picked?” asked Jarod.
I laughed and winked at David, who gave me a polite smile.
“Ooooh.” stated Jesse.
The trip from where we landed wasn’t terribly long. After introductions to our tour guide, Mario, there was some discussion about everyone needing to be twenty-one to drive an ATV. He had looked terribly surprised when he saw Aaliyah, but her Slayer ID was apparently as good to him as a driver’s license after he scanned it. To his surprise, there was also a modified ATV with a smaller seat waiting for her.
The ones in our group less familiar with Aaliyah seemed entirely confused by the exchange, and I couldn’t blame them at all. Their expressions at seeing her mastery of the vehicle were equally hilarious, but I tried not to laugh, unlike Jarod and Brandon.
“Excuse us, but you’re obviously in our way!” yelled the twins after sneaking up on Jarod.
He smoothly turned around and said, “Heya, girls. Aren’t you supposed to be off on a bachelorette party, instead of bugging your fiance?”
“We have a tour scheduled for this morning.” stated Ai.
Mai leaned against him and said, “You wouldn’t want to interrupt our fun, would you?”
“You must be Ai.” stated Marlin. “I’m Marlin. I don’t know whether to congratulate you on pinning Jarod down or warn you about what you’re getting into… He seems like a handful in game.”
“Pleasure to meet you. He’s hopeless, but I’ll try to bring him around.” claimed Mai.
“You two really are identical, aren’t you.” stated Jesse.
“Not quite.” argued Mila, making Jesse jump.
“Whoa. I thought you were back on the yacht!” exclaimed Damien. “Couldn’t stay behind?”
“I am on the yacht. This is my second body.” she replied.
“Second body!?” exclaimed the twins. “Jarod!”
“How could you make a second one without telling us?” asked Mai.
Poking Mila in the chest, Ai asked “How could you be at Jarod’s bachelor party without telling us?”
“I helped too!” exclaimed Aaliyah, smiling at them.
“This is so odd.” stated Lake. “But really incredible!”
Emma hugged her from behind and said, “Isn’t she!?”
Lake looked distinctly uncomfortable for a second before taking a look at Emma. Then she looked intrigued.
“Oh. Sorry. I’m Emma. You’d know me as Toxicodendron Radicans.” stated Emma, releasing Lake and offering her hand.
“Toxi!? That’s you!?” exclaimed Lake, taking Emma’s hand with both of hers.
“Third Mila incoming?” asked Damien, looking excited.
“No. That’s my girlfriend, Alma, whom you know as Eseld.” I informed him.
“Just look for the smile.” stated Aaliyah. “Mila has one. Alma likes to look like this.” Aaliyah’s face went completely expressionless in an instant.
I had no doubt Alma could hear her, but there was, surprisingly, no burst of magic.
Upon reaching us, Alma introduced Portentia and Raine by their game names and actual names.
“If everyone’s ready then, shall we depart?” asked Mario.
“No training course for them?” asked Alec, looking surprised.
“Oh, they went through the course earlier. They’re good.” stated Mario with a reassuring nod.
“Where’s Cosette?” I asked under my breath.
“For obvious reasons, she’s staying at the ship with Marco. Don’t worry. We planned numerous activities within her limits.” explained Alma. “Mila is actually transmitting everything for Cosette to watch, so she’ll at least get to see this part.”
I nodded, hoping she was having a good time. Being a vampire certainly had disadvantages. The rest of us certainly were having a wonderful time as we race through roads and trails. We saw beaches and gardens. The guide was friendly and funny as well as informative, telling us about the various types of protected wildlife. Emma openly complained about how the plants weren’t included, explaining to the guide about certain rare specimens she noticed. There were numerous times I mused over how much more quickly Alma and I could traverse the distance on our feet, but the slow pace was pleasant and relaxing. We were having a splendid time, even Shaurya. Also, I believed this to be a personal record for Raine going without a cat nap.
After the ATV fun, the two groups split up again. My group ate a late lunch on the yacht and did a bit of gaming while heading back to Nassau. Then we went on a private tour of the forts, since I couldn’t imagine Jarod coming this close to actual historic forts without seeing them. He certainly won at geeking out over the place, especially when Aaliyah slipped in some information about hidden rooms that our tour guide doubted.
For dinner, we had a walking tour, guiding us through different restaurants and numerous types of rum. Even the chocolate at the chocolatier turned out to have rum. Being of legal age to drink was odd for me, considering I was only nineteen, but no amount of alcohol could get me drunk, banishing any need to worry. Keeping the others in line wasn’t too much trouble, although Jesse was certainly not at her best by the third restaurant. Even knowing my effect on people, I was certain Alma wouldn’t appreciate how clingy Jesse became. Still, we all made our way back to the yacht as a group and might even have kept everything alcoholic from Aaliyah, not that I believed she could get drunk anymore. All-in-all, the day was good.