After my summer vacation, it’s time to return to Tusnelda’s universe.
When we left her, she had come to a realization about the most important thing in her life. It has created peace in her relationship with Martin.
Rasmus has forever given up on his dream of Blue, which has set him free from longing, hope, anger and an unattainable dream of the ultimate love.
All in all, this could continue as a peaceful they lived happily ever after story, except for a few unfulfilled dreams.
That’s why I want to draw another character into the story. To scratch a little at what lies behind an anonymous facade.
In this chapter I venture into deep water, below the surface and in some places below the belt. I must apologize if I thereby provide some information that the reader absolutely does not need to know.
Warning: words that some may find offensive appear in this chapter.
Morning in Brindleton Bay
Tusnelda rushes out of bed even if it’s a little past five in the morning.
Martin continues to sleep undisturbed.
As a new routine, she has started running every morning and if she is not fast enough, Martin has already taken the treadmill.
After training, she finds him at the computer. It is one of his daily tasks to analyze the opponents’ team and now that Tusnelda is using the treadmill he might as well get it over with.
“Good morning my love…I’m making breakfast.” she says as she walks by.
He does not allow himself to be disturbed but concentrates on working.
Tusnelda is a trained chef and she enjoys cooking.
However, under no circumstances will she trade a chef’s work for her current job as Scientist.
Today she made a delicious spinach omelette for breakfast. High in proteins and vitamins.
“Breakfast is ready my love,” she calls.
Martin is quite introverted by nature and he tends to get stressed in the presence of other people, but he always becomes relaxed and happy when he looks into Tusnelda’s eager, lively eyes.
“Do you have any plans for today?” she asks.
“I think I’ll go for a nice long run before I go to work.” he answers.
The morning is quiet and undramatic as it always is lately. It might be right before their lives seem boring… but don’t jump to conclusions. Even the still water can hide some challenges.
It’s time for them to get ready for today’s work.
Martin puts the leftovers in the fridge.
He makes sure that the cat’s automatic feeder is full.
He puts the laundry in the washing machine.
It’s just who he is. A guy who likes order in things.
Tusnelda finds him just as all the work is done.
“Hey sweety.” he says.
Looking into her sparkling eyes he wishes they had time to…. He interrupts his own whims….. Tusnelda leaves for work in 10 minutes.
“I’m going for a jog. You must have a lovely day.”
Martin loves exercising and the weather is perfect for a jog.
A moment later we see Tusnelda going out the door.
She has risen through the ranks to Mad Scientist….. One might wonder why it should be an honorable title?
She can seem fearless and she has more than once been on the verge of burning to death when she was conducting an experiment.
We will leave you here Tusnelda, but please, do not make any experiments that are too mad while you are unsupervised.
Today, Martin has set his running route past Rasmus’s house.
It has been weeks since he has seen Rasmus. He suddenly declared that he wanted to go on a very long holiday to get a new start in life.
Martin really hopes he is doing well.
Martin runs on through a viaduct down to the beach.
The beach at Brindleton Bay is one of the most beautiful places he knows. He feels so privileged to live in a place with such nature.
Finchwick in Henford-on-Bagley
It was a most unexpected call that has caused Marcus to travel to Finchwick. Now he has found a market stall where he can ask for directions.
“Excuse me, but do you know where I can find Professor Lana McKinnon?”
“Oh! Mrs. McKinnon?…. She is a sweet lady who is known by everyone in town.” replies the greengrocer.
“If you walk across the square and up the hill until you reach Cobblebottom Street, then you will see her house immediately on the left ….Give her my regards and tell her that I have just received a fresh shipment of chocolate berries. “
“Thanks for the help,” Marcus replies kindly.
Marcus looks at the houses and the landscape as he walks across the square. Finchwick is a charming little village with well-maintained houses and lots of flowers growing everywhere.
It can be seen that the inhabitants take good care of their town….. A town so different from the vibrant neighborhood by Foxbury Institute in Britechester where she used to live.
As described, he finds Cobblebottom Street at the top of the hill.
He immediately spots the house.
He stops and lets his thoughts flow before continuing. It is a small, charming stone house with a thatched roof.
It doesn’t surprise him that she lives in such a house… as he remembers her, she is quite romantic.
He had spotted her right after she had started as a professor at the Foxbury Institute and he had asked her to be his tutor.
She was very intelligent and skilled in her education fields. Although medicine might not have been one of them, she was young and quite attractive. To him, it was not without significance.
Perhaps it was because it was her first year as a teacher that she did not keep a professional distance. Their tone soon became quite light and uninhibited and they often burst into laughter when she tutored him.
One day she suddenly became very quiet and serious when she looked into his eyes and he had felt madly aroused.
They kissed for the first time secretly at the back of the building.
It felt completely forbidden and dangerous, which made his excitement rise even more.
Later they always tried to meet in places where there was not too much crowding. Like Pepper’s Pub in the morning hours when most students were in class.
She had looked at him like he was something special and that made him feel important and smart.
She had tried to keep a professional distance, and she politely declined that they could become lovers. It was not considered acceptable behavior for the lecturers to have intimate relationships with the students.
Don’t say no to a hungry young lion…he had learned some tricks over the years at Foxbury.
She had said it was impossible…that they risked someone seeing them together.
He had breathlessly suggested they should find a room with a key.
They found their way into the only room nearby that could be locked.
It was the first time he had sex in a public bathroom, but it wouldn’t be the last.
The experience of the thrill made an indelible impression on him.
They had continued to meet in secret places for some years to come, even after he had graduated as a medic.
Then other lovers had come his way and suddenly one day she had disappeared from his life.
Ohan’ali Town in Sulani
Rasmus is flipping some vegetarian steaks on the grill outside the house in Ohan’ali.
He has rented the house for two months after he had decided to move temporarily to the tropical island a few weeks ago. To get a fresh start and a new perspective on life.
“Lunch is finished” he shouts.
Rasmus has not traveled alone to the tropical island. Fortunately, his friend Don has moved to the island with him.
Don could as well use a break. Not least from all those women he’s messed around with. He has a special attraction to women and he finds it very difficult to disappoint them.
“Did you really need to take your cat to Sulani.” Don says annoyed.
“She is my only partner and therefore she comes with me,” Rasmus replies firmly.
“But Brooke, you don’t belong at the table while we’re eating,” he scolds.
Brooke seems to have a different opinion about that thing and sings a love song in return.
After they eat, the two friends help each other clean up.
They want to go on a trip to the beach.
Cobblebottom Street, Finchwick
To Marcus’s surprise, he is greeted by a child when he knocks on the door.
“Dadda!” she shouts excitedly.
“Your name is Adda?” he asks insecure.
Fortunately, they are interrupted when Lana arrives. She seems happy to see him.
He gives her a hug and the recognition of her body immediately sends a shiver through him.
“Who is the child?” he asks.
Her answer shakes him even more.
“She is your daughter Marcus.” Lana replies while sending her daughter a loving look.
“When did this happen? Why wasn’t I told?” he asks incredulously.
“You didn’t seem like the fatherly type willing to make commitments, so I thought it was best for all to raise her by myself,” Lana replies seriously.
He feels hit spot on which in a way offends him… but the only person he could be offended at was himself and his own behavior. He knows she’s right.
“Dadda! interrupts the child.
“You can start by calling me Marcus.” he says kindly.
“You must understand this comes as a big surprise…I don’t know how to handle it…I don’t know her.” says Marcus apologetically.
“Her name is Maria and she is three years old.” Lana replies.
“She is an incredibly easy and content child…but I will leave you two to each other’s company, so you can get to know each other… You can start by reading a book to her, she will appreciate that.” she continues.
Read a book!? ….. Marcus looks at the book in confusion. The letters and pictures seem to rotate around without a fixed place.
He is a very confident guy and he was sure at nothing could shake him. He was wrong in that assumption. He is quite shocked right now.
Maria unchallengedly climbs onto the bench where she settles down, …. “Read please,” she says.
Marcus hesitantly starts reading. His voice shakes a bit, but it doesn’t seem to bother the child.
She attentively follows every movement that comes from his lips. He has never before met such an intense gaze.
“It’s nice to meet you.” he tries gropingly… “My name is Marcus and I’m a senior doctor and apparently also your father.”
“Dadda? Marcus?” she answers questioningly.
“I think I will see what your mother is doing,” he quickly replies.
Lana is sitting at the kitchen table correcting some assignments.
After she left the Foxbury Institute, she got work as a regular primary school teacher.
“Why did you call me and why now?” Marcus asks wonderingly.
“Maria has started asking me questions about whether she has a father and who he is, so I thought it’s about time you got to know each other.” Lana replies calmly.
“But are you are missing something? Do you need money?” Marcus asks.
“I am a respected senior doctor with a permanent employment and a good salary at the public hospital.”
“Next to it I have opened a private clinic specializing in fertility, reproductive technology and pregnancy, in San Myshuno….. I can transfer an amount every month if that is what you want? says Marcus.
“Reproductive technology and pregnancy?…it sounds like they have found the right expert in you,” Lana says with a smirk….
“But no thanks. We are not missing anything. Maria was just starting to ask me questions.” Lana says.
Sand Simoleon Beach in Sulani
In Sulani, Rasmus and Don have found their way to the beach. They both run quickly into the crystal clear water.
Rasmus enjoys swimming and he can achieve a pretty good speed when he swims along the coast.
As usual, Don has found a beautiful obstacle.
She kindly declines further acquaintance with Don.
Oh well, you can’t be lucky every time he thinks casually……but he might otherwise like to ask the woman if it is a local custom to go into the water with with high heels in Sulani?
It may well be that Rasmus is a fast swimmer, but now Don has found a vessel that is even faster.
Don loves speed and he loves to show off.
Rasmus has found a diving mask and a snorkel. He wants to see what lies beneath the surface of the sea.
Rasmus snorkels around casually while enjoying the sight of brightly colored corals, snails and starfish.
Every now and then a fish swims by at a rapid speed.
In the background he can hear the sound of Don’s jet ski.
He apparently appreciates being seen more than looking at the nature that surrounds him.
Factory One in Windenburg
Marcus stands in front of the disused factory that has been his home for years.
This is where he has shared a kitchen, living room and sometimes a bed with three other party-loving youngsters.
He considers them his friends and he could really use to see his friends today.
He walks in the door familiarly, where he finds Paolo on the treadmill.
Like Marcus, Paolo is obsessed with training and he is part of the training club which, in addition to Marcus and Paolo, has Clara, Don and Rasmus as members.
It has been a while since the club has been together. Don and Rasmus have gone on holiday and Clara is trying to save her marriage.
“Hey buddy, where is everyone?” Marcus asks.
“Hi Marcus! It’s new to see you….Eva and Jade are hanging around downtown.” Paolo says.
“Take a seat Marcus….. If you wait about 15 minutes then I have accomplished my goal for today.” says Paolo.
Marcus sits down and immediately his thoughts find their way to the day’s reveal.
The discovery that he is the father of Lana’s daughter is vividly clear in his memory. He has no doubt Lana is telling the truth. The child has inherited his eyes.
“Hey Marcus, why do you have that gloomy face?” asks Paolo.
“Well, it’s just some stuff I’m messing with.” Marcus replies flatly.
To avoid more questions, he starts training with Paolo.
He pulls hard on the barbells. Lana has said she doesn’t want anything from him, so he assumes the matter is closed now.
Paolo has finished his training for today, but Markus is stubbornly fighting on with the weights for a little while longer.
Suddenly he stops training….
“Hey Paolo, I could use some alcohol, hang out at a bar and get drunk. I heard about a lounge in San Myshuno Uptown…do you want to join?”
“Why not?” Paolo answers readily.
Sand Simoleon Beach
In Sulani, Don has found an interesting group of locals.
There is one younger woman in particular who seems to be amused by his cheeky remarks.
Rasmus has become hungry and he quickly swims towards the shore.
He lights up the grill and puts some corn cobs on the grate
A change in the light makes him forget all about hunger… the sun is setting.
Sky and sea are changing color.
From a long way off, he can see Don swimming towards the beach.
When Don reaches the beach, everything is bathed in gold.
Rasmus goes right down to the water’s edge. He’ll definitely remember a camera the next time they’re here.
He turns to look for Don. He wants to share the experience with him, but he discovers that Don has a completely different focus.
It may constantly surprise him how different Don’s approach to life is compared to his own, but that’s what friendships are all about. Expanding each other’s world.
For Rasmus, the world right now is yellow and green and uniquely breathtaking.
San Myshuno, Uptown
At the same time, Marcus and Paolo have just arrived at the Stargazer Lounge in San Myshuno.
This place is quite different from The Narwhal Arms in Windenburg or Rattlesnake Juice in Oasis Springs where they often hang out with the club.
“This place is huge!….and look, you can see right up to the stars.” says Marcus impressed.
All bars have one purpose, regardless of the address, and that is to sell drinks.
Maybe these drinks are a bit more expensive than they are used to, but as we already know, money is no problem for Marcus.
Soon the conversation is loose and cheerful and it turns to all other topics than a certain topic that Marcus wants to forget.
At one point Paolo goes to the toilet and Marcus is once again left to his own devices.
Immediately, the image of Lana and the child pushes forward in his consciousness.
He needs another drink.
Marcus takes a big gulp of his drink when a guy appears at the edge of his vision.
The lounge has a large swimming pool and the guy looks like he just got out of the water.
A shiny wet Poseidon. A welcome break from his racing thoughts.
“You are welcome to sit down.” says Marcus welcomingly.
Soon Paolo returns and Marcus talks like he is on speed.
Maybe he should talk about what’s on his mind the most, but right now he prefers the distraction.
They continue to talk about wind, weather and which drink is the tastiest until Paolo starts to feel a little left out.
“I’ll leave it to you two.” says Paolo
“I guess that’s ok?” says Marcus.
The Sand Bar in Ohan’ali Town
In Sulani, Rasmus and Don have just arrived at a local bar.
“A glass of red nectar, please.” says Rasmus.
Don has ordered another drink. For his sake, Rasmus can keep the all nectar for himself.
“Ah! This nectar is really tasty.” Rasmus sighs contentedly.
“I really want to see the nectar you don’t want to guzzle.” Don says dryly.
“To each his own vices,” says Rasmus calmly … “Maybe I could turn it around and say the same about you and women?”
“You are a strange man.” Don replies.
Now there is no need to fear that Rasmus and Don are becoming unfriended.
They have a very special bond together that is borne of friendship and a curious mutual respect.
Brooke has found Rasmus in the bar and she tries in vain to get his attention. It seems hopeless right now.
Instead, she goes exploring in the area and on her way she spots some delicious bewildered birds.
Brooke has never seen a hen before and this hen has never seen a cat before.
But even a hen understands that it is important to run away when any animal starts to attack.
This ends Brooke’s hunting adventure with no visible result.
“I don’t understand you Rasmus. Sulani’s beaches are teeming with beautiful half-naked women….how can you avoid seeing them?” Don asks.
“I’ve finally found peace, Don. I’ve stayed a whole day in a blue sea without giving her a single thought. I don’t need women to enjoy life…..all I need right now is a toilet.” replies Rasmus casually.
Fortunately, there is a simple solution to this need.
Stargazer Lounge, San Myshuno
Far away from Rasmus and Sulani, Marcus has also found his way to the toilet.
“Do you mind if I come along?” asks Poseidon.
“I guess that’s ok.” Marcus replies.
It will soon turn out to be more than ok.
The thrill and arousal drowns out everything around him.
There is only this sparkling reality right now and he surrenders to it completely without hesitation.
“Wow! You’re one hell of a hungry lion.” says Poseidon.
“I could use a dip in the swimming pool now, how about that?” Poseidon continues.
“I’m all in.” Marcus replies.
Midnight in Ohan’ali Town
Don and Rasmus are running home from the bar.
“Ha! Today I was the fastest.” Rasmus laughs… “Would you like to come with me down to the water and snorkel?”
“No, I think I’ll stay here.” Don replies.
“So it’s just you and me for the rest of the evening?” he says to Brooke.
“You seem like a nice guy, so that’s ok with me.” Brooke replies with a friendly meow.
Don never ever expected to befriend a cat, but somehow Brooke has snuck up on him.
Rasmus swims casually around on the surface while his eyes try to adjust to the darkness.
Below him, small fish swim back and forth.
Then he takes a deep breath and dives into the depths. Down to all the beautiful and alluring things that hides beneath the surface.
He lets himself float casually on the surface while enjoying the cool caress of the water. He has found peace and quiet.
Midnight in Stargazer Lounge
Most guests have now left the Stargazer Lounge, but the place echoes with loud roars.
It is Marcus and Poseidon fighting for fun in the water.
There is a sound of big splashes as they send cascades of water at each other’s heads.
Occasionally they stop in gasps of laughter.
“Hey Lion King! Give me a break,” Poseidon pleads breathlessly.
Full of a tingling fear of perhaps being exposed, Marcus gives the sea god a deep kiss.
“It’s getting terribly hot in here!” sighs Poseidon…. “I could use a cold shower.”
“I’m all in for that.” Marcus says.
“I don’t know your name.” Marcus says when they end up behind the locked door.
“You can call me J.” he says.
J or Poseidon. It doesn’t make much of a difference.
Right now there are only the two of them in the universe. Right now, the name is the least interesting thing.
There are still a few hours until morning and no time to waste.
If Don had imagined a quiet night with Brooke as company, he was sadly disappointed.
The young woman he had met in the sea earlier today has found her way to him through unfathomable means.
She looked a bit prettier in a bathing suit than in the strange outfit she’s wearing now…. but he’s not judgmental when it comes to a woman’s clothes. Right now, the clothes is the least interesting thing.
If Brooke had dreamed of an evening in pleasant company with Don, she will be badly disappointed.
It is getting light when Rasmus finally returns home.
He is terribly hungry so he starts making his famous pancakes.
Pancakes like these can make any good morning even more amazing.
Even Don seems to agree as he finally get eyes.
Life is good.
San Myshuno Private Practice
The first thing Fatima does every morning is to walk around the entire clinic.
She looks for forgotten coffee cups and makes sure everything appears clean and tidy.
She stands for a moment looking at some ultrasound pictures of unborn babies on the wall.
The clinic has achieved really good results throughout the year it has been in existence.
She has found a forgotten lunch plate and a couple of dirty cups.
Everything is washed up and put aside.
When all practical tasks have been completed, she turns on her computer and prepares to form an overview of the day’s appointments.
There is two doctors employed at the clinic, but today it is Dr. Flex who is on duty.
All of a sudden, Marcus comes rushing through the door.
“I’ll be ready in about 10 minutes!” he shouts.
“Good morning Dr. Flex. You are very late today. Is there anything I should know?” she asks.
She gets no answer as Marcus has already closed the door behind him. She guesses that means no.
Fatima returns to the appointment calendar.
Soon she becomes aware of a young man who looks somewhat hesitant.
“How can I help you?” she asks welcomingly.
“My name is Martin Andersen and I have an appointment with Dr Marcus Flex.” Martin says uncomfortably.
“Welcome Martin! My name is Fatima…. I can see it’s your first time at the clinic.” she says smiling.
“We’ll make sure you get the best treatment here…. If you take a seat in the waiting room, the doctor will be ready in a moment.” she continues kindly.
Martin sits down on a sofa to wait. He is no longer sure that this is a good idea.
He knows he should have talked to Tusnelda, but she’s already moved so far and he doesn’t want to push her over the edge.
He spots some big beautiful fish swimming in an aquarium. For a time they manage to distract him from his mind spin.
Out of the corner of his eye, he sees a doctor walking by.
“Hi Fatima, I’m sorry I’m a little late today. Is everything in order “
“Everything is done and your first patient has arrived….Did you enjoy your day off yesterday?” Fatima asks kindly.
“Yes, it was in every way a day with several surprises.” Marcus says with a dreamy smile.
“Oh! That sounds really exciting… maybe you can tell me more over lunch.” Fatima says with a smile.
“Did you say the first patient had arrived?” Marcus asks and thus ends the conversation.
“Did I say something wrong?” Fatima asks wonderingly.
Marcus wishes that Fatima didn’t ask so many questions, but it is precisely that ability that makes her such a skilled medical secretary. She has everything under control.
Martin tries to form a quick impression of the doctor who suddenly stands before him.
“Good day sir. You can come with me,” Marcus says neutrally.
Marcus looks at the patient who is sitting and twisting uncomfortably in the seat.
He has seen it so often and he has just as often seen his patients leave the clinic a few months after with a big smile on their faces.
“I see you’re coming alone?” says Marcus.
“Yeah, I couldn’t be bothered to ask my wife…she… how shall I say it?” Martin answers.
“I thought….. you hear so much about men’s failing abilities and I might as well get it sorted out before she…”
“Of course it would be best if your wife participated, but until then I might recommend some videos on SimsTube.” says Marcus.
“What!? videos!? That’s not the problem!” says Martin aggressively.
“Are you implying that we don’t know how babies are made?”
“Please cool down. I’m not implying anything…I’m just trying to understand why you’re here today.” Marcus says soothingly.
“I apologize for losing my temper” Martin replies… this is just a little awkward for me.
“But I assure you that my wife is a very attractive woman. She can be very difficult to resist,” says Martin.
“If that is not the problem, then I would suggest that I start by analyzing the quality of your semen. We can make a new appointment where you get the result next week… but I would really recommend that you bring your wife.” Marcus says seriously.
“But can’t you just take a blood sample for a genetic test?” Martin asks worriedly.
“It’s not a workable method.” says Marcus.
“If you don’t have any more questions, we will end the consultation here,”
“I don’t think so,” Martin replies quietly.
On the way out of the doctor’s room, Dr Flex calls the medical secretary.
“Fatima! Will you show the gentleman a room where he can submit the necessary sample.”
“This is really awkward.” Martin says uncomfortably.
“I guess that’s not a problem for a young strong guy like you. I’ve done the process countless times myself.” laughs Marcus.
“Dr. Flex! Please consider the delicate gravity of the problem.” Fatima interrupts firmly.
Then she calmly says that Martin is welcome to hand in the sample early the next morning, with instructions on how to store it safely on the way to the clinic.
Martin thanks her with relief. He already likes the friendly welcoming secretary very much.
To lighten the mood, she shows Martin some pictures of little chubby babies that have been conceived with the help of the clinic.
“I can tell we have very positive results here.” she says cheerfully.
“I’m really relieved to hear that,” says Martin in a much better mood.
On the way out the door, Martin wonders what lies behind the surface of the insensitive doctor. He wasn’t unfriendly but…
Martin then leaves the clinic.
Now he is just wondering how and when he should start that conversation with Tusnelda.
“Fatima, I want to acknowledge you for having an amazing ability to soften people up and make them feel safe.” says Marcus… “Shall we drink a cup of coffee before the next patient?”
“Thanks Marcus! Yes that will be great.” replies Fatima…. Without patients in the area, they often keep a more informal tone.
They both set course for the clinic’s private department.
Marcus walks ahead with confident steps.
Fatima has already made sure that there is fresh coffee in the pot.
Marcus has rediscovered his confident self. Tomorrow he will meet his new lover in a secret place. Life is good.
For the interior of San Myshuno Private Practice I have used som human body posters and ultrasound pictures shared by NaJoPau and Jonboy1975
They can be found in the gallery.