Heath's first gig, or rather Gunther Fretless' first gig, since Sim Nation requires all performers to work under an assumed name as some kind of futile deterrent against the paparazzi, is quite a success. Whatever name he's using Heath is a babe magnet, and quickly garners two female fans to watch his show.
And that guy. The fourth audience member is actually one of paparazzi, not here for Heath, unfortunately, but for Stella Striker, the wife of famous sports star Sebastian Striker.
When he gets home, Ashlynn is waiting up for him. Though he's been a bit apprehensive about how quickly this relationship is moving, Heath won't overlook the serious upside to having a very hot chick in his bed every night.
In the early hours of dawn, Hath is awakened by a burglar skulking around the house.
"Are you trying to steal my shit?" Heath accuses, "Or are you just trying to peep my girl's tits?"
The burglar doesn't answer, his eyes firmly glued to the window.
"All right, that's it, you're going down," Heath snarls as he defends both his stolen yard furniture and his girl's honor from further violation.
Inside, a frantic Ashlynn calls the police.
Heath is victorious. But the burglar still manages to get away with Heath's bike before the police arrive.
"Ma'am, I'm going to have to ask you to put a shirt on," the police officer who failed to apprehend the burglar demands.
"Okay," Ashlynn says, "But could you maybe patrol this area more often?"
"We have to protect the whole county, ma'am," the officer says.
Heath uses the freezer bunny to land himself an indoor gig, at the Little Lennon coffeehouse.
"I made you a salad," Ashlynn says when he gets home from his audition. Since she moved in, she's been busting her ass trying to be useful, cleaning, cooking and doing minor repairs.
"You don't have to do all this, you know," Heath says, taking her in his arms.
"It's the least I could do, " she says, "You've been so generous."
"I like having you here, Ash," he says, "You don't have to pay your way."
Before he tucks into the salad she made, Heath asks if she'll join him for a shower.
It has been more than the couple of days she originally asked to stay, but Heath has stopped counting., not in any hurry to see her go.
It's been a hell of a morning, everything is breaking around her, like she needs the extra stress right now.
Ashlynn didn't want to impose herself on Heath, hated lying to him, and she really meant to find a way to leave town before a couple of days passed. But once Colin learned she'd left the house, he'd expect her to leave town as well, and the last place he'd look would be an old beach rental that had been unoccupied for years. Staying was the safest option for Shasta, and her daughter is her top priority. And of course now she has an even bigger reason to stay. Ashlynn pounds the shower head angrily with her wrench, dreading Heath's return from his morning sing-o-gram assignments.
"You look beautiful," he says, greeting her with a light kiss, "Is that a new dress?"
"No, I've had this one packed away since, well..."
"Heath, this is a maternity dress," she blurts, getting it out as quickly and painlessly as possible, "I'm pregnant."
"I've got a few gigs lined up," he answers, looking down at his shoes, "I should be able to get the money together to take care of it."
"Take care of it?" she asks sharply, "Are you suggesting I have an abortion?"
"Well, yeah, I mean...you don't seriously want to have baby right now?" he says, still unable to meet her eyes, "We're not..." In love? Capable of handling it? Ready for the commitment?
"It's not about what I want, Heath," she says, "I just can't do that. If you want me to leave and have nothing to do with it, then I'll go. But I'm keeping this baby."
Ton of bricks, Heath thinks, never having understood that expression until now. Like it or not, want it or not, he's going to be a father.
"Okay," he says, his voice hoarse and barely audible, as he grabs her into a tight embrace, "It's okay. It's going to be okay," he says, trying to convince himself as much as her.
Ashlynn was actually prepared for much worse of a response, and is surprised by how quickly Heath accepted her news. When Colin found out about Shasta...Ashlynn pushes the thought out of her mind.
"I didn't mean for it to be this way," she whispers, tears forming in her eyes.
"I know that," he says, "But we'll be okay, I promise." He's going to have to bust his ass, he realizes, to get the money together to expand this place, to give them their own bedroom, and one for Shasta and the new baby.
Ashlynn tries very hard to believe that everything will be okay as Heath promised, and does her best to be cheerful around Shasta, and never let her daughter see the fear that lurks behind her smile.
If Colin were to find them, find her pregnant with another man's child...
Heath's, or rather Gunther Fretless', career is on the rise, playing frequent gigs at the Little Lennon Coffeehouse.
The ice cream truck has been parked outside their house for hours, and it's past midnight. Ashlynn's suspicions are quickly aroused. She can't go this alone any longer, she realizes. Heath could be in as great a danger as she is, and he needs to know. Tomorrow, she decides, she'll tell him tomorrow.
Ashlynn was asleep when he got back from his gig, and she continued sleeping even after he wok up in the morning, so Heath quietly gathered up the laundry and headed out to the laundrymat.
Not one to waste any opportunity to add to his growing bank account, Heath busts out his microphone to sing for tips while his clothes are in the washer.
Not only dies he get a nice wad of cash from the couple, he manages to sell one of his CDs. He can't wait to tell Ashlynn when he gets home.
When he gets home, he finds the door wide open, and Shasta sitting by herself on the floor.
"Ashlynn?" Heath calls. The house only has the one room, and she's not in the bathroom. "Where did your mother go?" he asks Shasta, who can't reply. Thinking quickly, he calls the hospital, both the one here in town and the one over in the city. Though she wasn't due this early, it seemed like the most obvious explanation. But both hospitals say she wasn't with them.
She wouldn't just leave Shasta like that, he knows that for sure. Something must have happened.
As the sun makes it way down for the day, Heath calls a sitter for Shasta, cancels his gig and heads to the local police station. As soon as he reports his pregnant girlfriend missing, he immediately becomes their first suspect.