Dafne has had plenty of time to reevaluate the relationship that she had with Henri and prepare for the new one that is awaiting her once she returns from her business trip - she's also had plenty of time to realize that the man sitting next to her at this very moment is attractive, and caring, and intelligent, and ... quite possibly someone that she'd be interested in, if she didn't feel guilty for having these thoughts so soon after a break-up.
If only she knew that Harlan can sympathize. He's been feeling the same for far longer.
"Don't count on it." Dafne pouts. "I wasn't paying attention."
"It looked more like you were lost in thought. Are you okay?"
Dafne blushes slightly, feeling like she's been caught. "Don't you have a meeting with Shalonda?" She blurts, changing the subject.
Harlan looks at her skeptically for a moment before glancing at the clock. "Yeah, I'd better go."
Shalonda smiles briefly, before shaking her head. "A former colleague and I... it was an accident, but a happy one. That's not why I asked to meet up with you though."
"We're stretched thin; - " she concludes with a frown, " - the Conference did nothing but to showcase that to the public."
"So what now?"
"They have a new plan." She says warily. "Each city is to assemble a small team of experts to analyze any new evidence, if we get any. Redwood and Bridgeport are going to be the hubs for Forensics."
Harlan quirks a brow in confusion. "Redwood?"
"I've been chosen to lead the Forensics branch of the investigation. Apparently, I'm the best they have and since I refuse to relocate, well... their hands were tied."
The last admission isn't necessary. Harlan's been waiting for this since he arrived, but the money is a definite plus as far as he's concerned. "Count me in."
Shalonda nods with a satisfied smile. "Good. I'll expect you at the Facility early tomorrow morning."
"What are you doing out here?" Harlan asks.
Dafne shrugs. "It's a nice night out and I wanted to look at the stars." Harlan looks at her skeptically, earning a laugh. "Fine. It was a boring day without you at the house, so I've been sitting outside waiting for you to come home."
So he reaches for her hand, hoping that the attention will be reciprocated...
"Henri returns in a couple of days." Dafne says, breaking the silence. She doesn't need to say anymore for Harlan to understand; she's worried what Henri will think when or if they tell her about... whatever it is they are now.
It would be a lie if Harlan said he wasn't worried either. Maybe scared is a better word. He's seen Henri's wrath and would much rather not be the cause of it. And there's also the matter of their friendship...
Title is a song by Com Truise.
Sorry this chapter ends so abruptly. The next portions of the story don't transition well from here, so I leave you with nekkid Harlan/Dafne.
*I used the word disrobe guys. I feel classy.
Harlan's everyday outfit randomly changed. I had this weird glitch where the game was assigning two everyday outfits in the panel and switching between them intermittently (even though only one showed in CAS) - I managed to fix it by resetting the town a couple of times, so hopefully that stays fixed. We shall see.
The "father" of Shalonda's baby is actually a female that I made a long time ago and whose genetics I really wanted to experiment with. Since Shalonda isn't fond of staying in relationships for more than a few sim-days and never gets pregnant, I decided to take matters into my own hands.
Me trying to write smut.