Julian joins Jilly on the sofa on the balcony outside their new bedroom in the house they bought in Isla Paradiso, located conveniently near Nautilus Laboratories, one of Landgraab Industries' many research facilities where Fergus had sent he and Jilly to work for him. "Fergus just texted; he wants to meet with us at the lab tomorrow. He has an assignment for us."
"I have an assignment already," Jilly pouts playfully, stroking his knee, "What are you guys doing with all those octopusses, octopi, whatever, that I keep catching for you, anyway?"
"That's not my project," Julian clarifies, "But I believe they're experimenting with cell regeneration. And I think whatever Fergus has planned will take precedence over your scuba expeditions."
"Okay," Jilly says, resting her head against his shoulder. "Are you okay?" she asks quietly, "With being at Fergus' beck and call like this, I mean?"
"I am if you are, Jill," Julian answers non-committally.
"But, he's my cousin," Jill points out, as though her family relationship with their new boss makes her situation more tenable than his.
He could explain to her that everything Fergus had done went according to Geoffrey's plan, and if he was caught up in it now, it was probably more than well-deserved, but Julian tries to distance himself from the man he was before and simply speaks to a different truth, "I'm happy, Jill. Happier than I think I ever imagined I could be." That wasn't part of Geoffrey's plan, as far as Julian can tell, though figuring out what, exactly, his former self had actually wanted when all was said and done has proved near impossible, despite his access to Geoffrey's memories. Maybe Geoffrey never really knew himself.
Julian puts thoughts of Geoffrey to rest; whatever his former self had wanted is no concern of his now, and he has his own desires to look to. Jill draws her knees up against her chest as she nestles under his arm.
"Good," she answers simply, not being one to brood over things.
"I knew, the moment I first saw you, that you were the one," Julian broaches a new subject after a small, content silence.
"You mean love at first sight?" Jilly interrupts his carefully prepared speech, "That's silly. You didn't even know me."
"Even so, I knew in my gut that you were the one," Julian carries on.
"I thought you were cute," Jill says cheerfully, "Really, really cute. I definitely wanted to get to know you better."
"Which is why you blew off our first date," Julian laughs, following her down this sidetrack into their shared memory, leaving his prepared speech behind.
"I never did!" Jilly protests, and laughs, "Oh, you mean that day I blew off classes and you made Fergus call me?"
"You had promised to let me walk to class with you," Julian says.
"Well, that was hardly a date," she answers, "But still, I'm sorry if that's what you thought."
"I'm over it now," Julian answers, smiling fondly at the reminiscence. It wasn't that long ago, really. But so much had changed since their first meeting that it felt like years gone by. Closing his eyes and taking a deep breath, Julian decides to drop the tender preamble he'd practiced and put his proposal out there in the most direct and simple way he could, "Jill, will you marry me?"
"Okay," she answers as casually as if he'd suggested they order a pizza.
"Should I do the same act I did in the restaurant for the fake engagement?" she asks, her voice teasing.
"No," he answers with vehemence, pulling her onto his lap to embrace her fervently, "I don't want you to fake anything. I just want to know that you want this, that you aren't agreeing just to be agreeable."
"Julian, baby, you know that's not me, I don't do things I don't really want to do," Jilly answers, wrapping her legs around his waist as he buries his face between her breasts, "Of course I want this. After everything we've been through, we've stuck together. I just thought it was obvious that marriage was the next step for us."
Pulling their clothes off each other in a desperate hurry, they fall back onto the couch together in a deep passionate kiss.
"I love you, Jilly," he says, his voice husky as he comes up for air.
"I know, baby," Jill answers, "You don't have to say it."
"I like saying it," he answers, "And I like hearing it."
Jilly smiles indulgently, "I love you, Julian," she says, groaning as he enters her.
"Again," he begs, holding himself still inside her as he waits.
"I love you," she sighs, and he thrusts again.
"Again," he demands.
"I love you," she answers, her response become as much a demand as his as they move in time with the back and forth rhythm of their words, until the words themselves lose their meaning and become the song of their lovemaking.
"It's a good thing we own this whole island," Julian remarks with a chuckle as they lounge together after making love on their balcony. Their new house sits alone on a small island named, appropriately enough, Isla Romantica.
"I bet any creep with a telescope on their balcony could get an eyeful, though," Jilly laughs.
"I'm going to pretend that we have absolute privacy here," Julian laughs with her, "Otherwise, I'd have to get up and take you inside. And buy more curtains, too, probably."
They laugh together, making no move to go inside, too content to just lay in each other's arms out in the warm evening air.
"That day you disappeared," Jilly breaks the small silence, her tone grown serious, "I looked everywhere, I couldn't believe you were gone. All I wanted was to get you back, I would have done anything to get you back."
"I knew you would," Julian answers softly, contrite now, "I used that to lure you in, to rescue us both. I'm sorry I used you that way."
"No, don't be sorry," Jilly replies hastily, "You didn't plan to be kidnapped, and you just did what you had to get us back together, even if that meant tricking me. You're a very sweet person, Julian, but you can be ruthless and cunning when you need to. I like that about you, and it will definitely come in handy." She rests her head back against his chest, laying her hand over his at it wanders down her stomach, "What I was trying to say is, I'm not romantic like you are. I don't talk about my feelings much, though I'll try, for you. And I just wanted you to know how much you mean to me. I was lost without you, and I'll never forget that."
"I'll never forget it, either," Julian promises as she releases his hand to continue its travels down her abdomen, "Do you want to go inside or...?" he asks.
"Hot tub," she says, taking his hands as she stands.
The next morning, Jillyan was able to get in a few hours of scuba diving, catching a few more of the requested octopi to bring to the lab before their scheduled meeting with Fergus. After delivering her catch, she finds Julian at his station, and throws her arms around his neck.
"You are so sexy in your science costume," she purrs against his shoulders, "Dorky sexy."
"And you can really rock a wet suit," he replies, turning to embrace her.
"Fergus!" Jilly exclaims when her cousin joins them, "You'll never guess! We're getting married!"
"Actually, I had guessed as much," Fergus answers, "You'll have to put off any wedding plans, though, until you finish this mission I'm sending you on."
"Like you delayed your wedding so we could rescue Julian?" Jilly replies, her fists balling in anger. Julian wraps a gentle arm around her waist, calming her with his touch.
"It's okay," he whispers in her ear, "We're in no rush. Let's hear what he wants."
"Both MorcuCorp and my grandfather did a lot of back and forth time-travelling to one particular time and place. You know what I'm referring to," Fergus says looking significantly at Julian, who nods in response.
"Where your grandmother came from?" Jilly asks.
"Yes. The number of divergent timelines created by both Farrell's and MorcuCorp's interference has created an imbalance in that area. Unfortunately, it's an area already heavily imbued with fairy magic, including a portal into the fae realm."
"You think there might be contamination?" Julian asks.
"My grandfather brought an artifact home with him from France, a nectar bottle, that should never have existed in this timeline. There's definitely contamination, but how bad it is, I can't say. I'm sending you two to investigate."
I haven't updated the rolls on my sidebar yet, but I'll reveal it here. It's Couple, 2 kids.
So, Julian is here to stay. The original rolled secondary career was Business, but I've decided to take the expansion gift and change it to ITF Astronomy career. Though Julian has actually been in the household all this time, he's not worked at all. In the story, his career was going to be about his continued attachment to MorcuCorp under Fergus' reign, and I rather prefer him being in the scientific research area over the business side of things. It certainly helps to go along with Jilly's adventuring. For those of you who have not played the scuba career, you can actually get dive jobs from the science rabbithole (and from City Hall and the Bistro, too) so Jilly diving for octopi as an assignment is actually a real thing she does for her job.
I've torn down the science rabbithole in IP and replaced it with an open building that has science & chemistry stations and stuff, plus rabbithole rugs for the science building and ITF's astronomy career building. (Thanks, Misty!) I will eventually post the lot on my Simblr for anyone who wants it. It will be an IP specific lot, since it's a beachfront lot and being non-level will probably only fit in that one location.