"What's that buzzing?" she asked him.
"You don't think it could be one of the 10,000 insects with 20 feet of us?" he teased her.
"It sounds like your cellphone," she said.
"It's that contractor I found to put on Derek's second story," Bill said. "But his text came in hours ago, and it took this long for the message to show up. I need to call either him or Derek, but I don't have a signal here."
"There's WiFi in the ranger station in the National Forest," Regina said. "I noticed the signs yesterday when I was in the bug museum. And I bet they have a phone, too, because that's their fire station."
Regina finished making the insect repellent, and put some on.
"Yeah, I have a signal here," Bill said an hour later, once they'd reached the Ranger Station in the National Forest.
"I've gotta call Derek--it'll be only a couple of minutes."
"Take your time," Regina said. "I want to use the CLEAN bathroom in here, anyway."
"Dude!" Bill said.
"Hey, LadyParts!" Derek boomed. "You're interrupting my workout. And don't tell me you're calling for sex tips on your honeymoon--because THAT would just be pathetic!"
"I've got TWO minutes, asshole," Bill laughed. "The contractor called me; here's his number; call him back, because he wants to deliver materials to your place this afternoon."
Derek wrote down the number.
"So, everything okay there?" Bill asked. "Has Kelly been over to check on Alice?"
"Actually," Derek answered, "we took Alice and Dude to the Solar Flare last night for dinner."
"That was nice--thanks for doing that," Bill said appreciatively.
"Oh, I haven't even gotten to the GOOD part yet," Derek said mysteriously.
He then told Bill about Rafael showing up in the restaurant with Zoe on his arm.
"Oh my God!" Bill sputtered.
"Yes," Derek said drily, "that was the phrase most often uttered last evening, to Kelly's displeasure."
"So, what happened after that???" Bill asked. "Did they sit down at the table next to you? Did Rafael send you all over a round of drinks?? Or did he show off and pick up your whole tab???"
"No, nothing like that. Zoe freaked out when she saw Dude with the very pregnant Alice, and Rafael hustled Zoe out of there right quick. Alice was enough of a trouper to get through dinner with a smile on her face, and I give her credit for that. She's tougher than I thought."
Regina came out from the ranger station bathroom.
"So, how do we find this bramble cave place?" Bill asked.
"I marked the trail yesterday," Regina answered excitedly, as they set off.
"Once we get to the firepit and the outdoor bathroom," she explained,
"we head toward those big rocks." She indicated to her right.
"We line up with that wild plant on the left,
"then turn to our right, and we can see the entrance to the cave off in the distance."
As they hiked further, Bill told Regina about his conversation with Derek.
Regina stopped and turned around. "Well, this is going to sound awful," she said, "but I'm not sorry that all that happened."
She continued. "I mean, I'm sure it was an unpleasant experience for all of our friends, but Rafael is a VERY sleazy guy, and Alice is much better off without him."
"Yeah," Bill said, "I've heard Lou describe him as a 'dirtbag'."
"And from what I've seen of Zoe," Regina went on, "Dude is well shod of her--she strikes me as clingy, whiny, and extremely high-maintenance."
"Quite frankly," she said, "I fervently hope that Rafael sweeps Zoe off her feet and takes her back to Sims Freeplay Town--or anywhere else but Willow Creek!!!"
Custom content credits--thanks to:
tiffybee for Bill's vest and henley