"What do you think?" he asks.
"It's a great house," she answers, "I love the studio."
She's smiling, but there's something in her voice and in her eyes that worries him. "What's wrong?" he asks.
"I just...it's just a little weird. I mean, we just hooked up once, and now we're playing house, pretending to be married. We aren't even in love."
"I've hurt your feelings," Tearney observes.
"Did you think I didn't have feelings to hurt?" he asks bitterly.
"No, I just thought...in high school, you had a new girlfriend every other day. Aren't you a little freaked out to suddenly have to play at being married?"
"They broke up with you?" she asks, "I thought you just had commitment issues or something. You never seemed broken up by it, and your girls would cry for days afterwards."
Aiden shakes his head, "No, I got dumped every time. I never really wanted any of them, but girls just kind of, well, throw themselves at me whether I want them or not. My mother said it was a fae thing, that humans are attracted to our kind, drawn to use almost against their will. But whatever it was, it always ended when they realized that what I really wanted was to be with you."
"Oh," Tearney breathes, remembering all the times he flirted with her, tried to touch her. She thought that was just his nature. "I never thought...I wish I'd known."
"You know now, Tea. This situation we're in, forced into hiding together, I never wanted that, and I'm sorry I put you in this position. But being with you, that's the one bright spot in this mess for me. We have to maintain this cover for awhile at least, but if you want to be free of me..."
"I'd rather be with you than not," she says. Not the confession of love he wanted, but better than outright rejection.
He smiles, a little weakly, "It's been a long trip out her. Why don't we go check out our new bedroom."
"I'll make you happy, Tea," he promises, lifting her gently to the bed, "You will love me." He makes love to her, slowly, tender and deep, nothing like the furious passion of their time, and Tearney discovers there are other ways to satisfy the passions that burn inside her.
The house came with a guitar, and Aiden has picked up a new hobby.
Tearney had always meant to be an artist, but moving away from the city and into this town in the middle of nowhere has squashed those dreams. There are no agents out here, no galleries to show her work. But having no audience will not stop her painting and sculpting.
"Are you the welcome wagon?" she asks.
"I'm Kenji Midden," he answers, shaking her hand, "My meter has been off the chart since you arrived."
"Okay," she laughs, "For one, that is probably the worst pick up line in the history of pick up lines. And, two, I'm taken. Married."
"A what? I've seen ghosts, yes...what is this about?"
"Oh, excellent!" Kenji is beside himself with excitement. "I need someone to collect spirit samples for my research, but the banshee banisher won't work for just anyone. And there are no sensitives in this town. You will come to the center won't you, and try it out?"
Kenji grins, "It's an amazing piece of tech, invented by Landgraab industries." he goes on to describe the device and its operations in technical terms that are way over Tearney's head.
"In Simlish, please," she says with a frown.
"Oh, right," Kenji says, slidng his glasses back up on his nose, "It sucks up spirits and ghosts, like a vacuum, and traps them in spirit jars."
"So, you want me to hunt ghosts and suck them up with your magic vacuum," Tearney says. Her mind goes back to the night the ghost of Sun Young invaded her nursery and stole her candy. Since then, she's always had a fear of ghosts. Tearney likes to think of herself as fearless, so she decides it's time to conquer the only thing that contradicts her self-image. And she could do with a job, since she can't be a career artist. "I'll come by tomorrow, and you can show me how it works."
"Bedlington has worked with my father before, so she's willing to let me into her operation," he answers, "But I can think of a million things I'd rather do right now than talk about work."
"A million? Really?" she laughs.
"No," he admits, "Just one."
"Can I have both?"
"You can have whatever you want, sweetheart," he promises, and delivers.
"My mother, too," Tearney laughs, "She'd always sing while she was cooking. I guess I picked it up from her."
"Don't stop, you have a beautiful voice," he says.
"You are a sensitive! I knew it!" he exclaims. "The banshee banisher reacts to your innate abilities, and also enhances them. Take it out at night, and you will sense where spirits and poltergeists are lurking. Suck them up and bring them to me. We'll pay you for every jar you bring to us, plus a weekly stipend."
"Hey," he says, wrapping his arms around her, "I heard you got into a fight."
"Are you okay? What happened?"
"I'm fine, just a few bruises," she brushes it off, "Some jerk was checking me out at the gym."
"I know," she sighs, "It just pisses me off. I was there to work out, not looking for a date. But, still, I need to control my temper." That was a lesson her father always tried to teach her, but one that she repeatedly failed to learn.
"If anything ever happened to you..." Aiden can't finish the thought.
He sleeps fitfully that night, his worries translated into various nightmare scenarios of losing Tearney to her own violent urges.
One Fight down for the Fighter goal.
Party to Remember is actually going to be a little challenge. If I had stayed in BH, it would have been no problem, as Allyriane was a level 10 chef and Aymeri level 10 guitarist (and mixologist). So, I think Tearney is already a good enough cook to get the three required dishes for a party, but it will be some time before Aiden's guitar skills are up to performing a song.