I sat on the yacht, watching many of the others swimming by the beach. Alma didn’t come last night, much to my disappointment. I had gone swimming with the others earlier but quickly gained a crowd after someone recognized me from Ancient Tribes of Earth advertisements. Gaming seemed a safer plan for me at present, though my gaze kept checking on the others. I knew nothing was likely to go wrong, but Portentia might well be nearby. Considering her, I felt vigilance was a better option.
“People die at their time, boss-man, sir.” stated Aaliyah.
I quite nearly jumped, having just watched her dive under the water near the beach, but I said, “Is it their time?”
“Nope. You can relax, boss-man, sir! This is a vacation!” she exclaimed, smiling at me.
I sprawled out on the seat and told her “I’m the picture of relaxation. Happy?”
Aaliyah seemed to be considering when she tripped, falling behind the table. I knew better than to check on her, but I was out of my seat in an instant, finding the bikini-clad form of Trix there.
“I could help you relax.” she told me with a grin.
I did not feel relaxed, thinking a hundred ways this could turn out badly. I turned, hearing Shaurya approach. Aaliyah was already gone again when I looked back.
“Were you talking with someone?” he asked.
“I sometimes feel I’m never alone. Gets me mumbling to myself at times.” I teased.
He smiled and sat at his laptop.
I felt a bit guilty that I hadn’t done anything with my own Lieutenant Generals now that I was getting to know Jarod’s this well. Should I invite them to my wedding? Wedding… I might well get married in the near-ish future. The idea still seemed strange to me. On this day a year ago, I was trying not to think about class. My senior year in high school was only halfway through.
A chance meeting with Alma had drastically changed my life forever. Would I have met Aaliyah again if hadn’t met Alma? I tended to think I would have, simply because I had actually met Aaliyah years before. She made a point to show me that moment, so I had to think it was important to her. Still, I was grateful for meeting Alma. I could no longer imagine a life without her and have any sense of happiness. Marriage still seemed an odd idea in my mind. I never thought of myself marrying shortly after high school. Well, my plans for the future were never very solid if I could claim any real plans at all.
My thoughts continued circling around my head as the gaming and beach watching stretched over several hours. The others arrived back for a late lunch, which I found somewhat shocking in its form.
“Evanna!?” I blurted when a boat pulled up to our yacht.
“We deliver!” she replied.
“Huh?” I asked.
“You’ve seen it before, right?” she questioned, handing several brown bags with the logo of the Intergalactic House of Awesome Sauce to Aaliyah.
“Ummm… yes.” I told her.
“Then you know!” she claimed with a wink. “Enjoy!”
As she was driving off, Jarod exclaimed “Oh! I do remember her. Crazy that she got a job here now.”
“I’d say she was lucky, but I really wouldn’t give up my current job to come work for the Intergalactic House of Awesome Sauce here.” stated Brandon. “No need to worry, boss!”
“Oh, Brandon, you’d still be working for James even if you did switch to here, remember?” asked Mila.
“Yeah-yeah, but you wouldn’t get to see me every day!” he retorted.
“I do have access to the restaurant’s security feeds, so you could never be certain.” she teased.
“Well… uh…” he mumbled.
“Whoa there, Mila. Getting a little creepy, aren’t you?” claimed Marlin.
“Puh-lease!” exclaimed Aaliyah. “Mila has way better things to do than stalking Brandon!”
“Hey now! I’m totally worth stalking!” insisted Brandon. “I’ll challenge everyone who says otherwise to a duel.”
“Except Aaliyah.” stated Brandon.
“Well, I wouldn’t particularly be interested in stalking you either.” I pointed out.
“Except Aaliyah and James.” he stated.
“You know I must accept your challenge.” stated Mila.
“Except Aaliyah, Mila, James, any of the girls from the bachelorette party…” started Brandon. Noticing Jarod smirking, he quickly added “and Jarod. Wait. I’ll take on my sister, so she’s back in.”
“You’d want your sister to stalk you!?” asked Jesse.
“She’s my kid sister. She was born to stalk me everywhere.” he insisted.
“I wouldn’t really call her a kid.” stated Lake.
Smiling, Mila informed him “I may have informed Brenna you said that. She’ll be logging into the game shortly.”
“The girls have internet? Oh, she’s welcome to try taking me on!” exclaimed Brandon.
“You didn’t say you’d be taking people on one at a time, so she has plenty of help. Right, guys?” asked Aaliyah.
Alec laughed and said, “You know I wouldn’t stalk Brandon, so I’m in.”
“Me too.” stated Shaurya.
Frowning, Brandon told them “Guys, come on… I know you wouldn’t stalk me.”
“Hey, I wouldn’t stalk you either.” insisted Lake.
“You’re gonna be eating your words.” added Jesse.
Smiling, Marlin said, “It is so on.”
“Guys, this just isn’t fair!” claimed Brandon.
Brandon futilely tried putting up a fight once everyone was ready, but there really wasn’t anything he could do, other than laugh and protest the unfairness of this little event. Poor Elf Hottie took a brutal beating. We continued gaming into the evening up till Aaliyah insisted we made our way to Bay Street.
The crowds gathering were enormous, and we saw a parade coming down the streets. New Year’s Eve in the Bahamas was apparently a big event. Fireworks started early, and the celebration was everywhere. We ended up hopping around between clubs for a while before we ended up on a beach party that lasted long into the night. Tomorrow, we were heading home. Given the smiles and laughs Jarod had, I deemed his bachelor party a success.