“Which cabin should we pick? Something with 2 bedrooms, right?” Easter asked over the line.
Edelweiss blushed a bit at the thought of sharing a room with Malcolm, even though she needn’t. She was supposed to be a hardened romantic, after all.
“Yeah, 2 bedrooms,” she told her sister.
“Ooh, ‘Forest Hideaway!'” squealed Easter, “I like the sound of that one.”
“Sounds perfect,” Ede smiled.
The four rode together, Jarrett talking, Malcolm trying not to talk, and Easter and Ede spacing out while drinking in the scenery passing by the vehicle.
They arrived at Granite Falls in the late afternoon. Jarrett must’ve hit the ground running, because he was nowhere in sight when the rest of them got out of the car.
The cabin they rented was huge!
The surrounds were amazing – Ede was already on a high from just being out there. But it’d been a long car ride, and the group was pretty tired already.
“I think I’m going to go in and unpack. Maybe take a little nap,” Easter said. “We can do a campfire in a few hours!”
Jarrett came bounding out of the cabin, landing on his rump.
“Silly!” Easter giggled as she went to check her hubby for bruises. “You shouldn’t run on the stairs!”
That may have been some sort of elaborate foreplay signal between Easter and Jarrett, as the two headed inside together all flirty-like, giving Malcolm and Ede a chance to explore the grounds a bit.
The immediate area had easy trails leading to fire pits, log benches, and bbq grills. There were fishing holes nearby and wild plants growing here and there. The nearby cabins were distant enough that it felt like they’d be able to find solitude if they sought it. She’d heard to expect insects, being so close to the water, but Ede wasn’t noticing anything personally.
“Ouch!” Malcolm yelped.
“I’m mosquito bait out here,” he noticed.
“That’s what you get for being so tasty,” Ede teased.
“Very funny,” he said, stopping to sit at a bench.
“Aw,” Ede said. “It’s getting dark already. Maybe we’d better go to the cabin and check in with Easter and Jarrett.”
“Do you think it’s safe to disturb them yet?” Malcolm asked, recalling their romantic departure earlier.
“Oh – that,” Ede said, sitting beside him as he swatted away more bugs.
“It’s been like 15 minutes since they went in there,” she said, “so yeah.”
“That’s not very long,” Malcolm argued.
“It isn’t?” Ede gawked.
Malcolm just smiled.
Ede was motivated to find their own room, so they decided to risk embarrassment and enter the darn cabin already. But Easter and Jarrett weren’t even home.
“Weird,” Ede remarked. “Well, looks like they’ve put their stuff in the downstairs bedroom, so we’ll take upstairs.”
“Well,” Ede said, “this is wholesome.”
“Disappointed?” Malcolm teased.
She’d be lying if she said no. But, maybe it was better this way, taking it slow and all that.
“You’ll definitely be safer from bears in here,” she said seriously.
Ede and Malcolm really were exhausted, so they decided to call it a night. They laid awake chatting for a bit, each in their own beds, making plans for tomorrow. Ede wanted to explore the national park, where the real woods were. Hopefully they’d be able to connect with Easter and Jarrett before then – maybe invite them to come along.
The time between words grew and was filled with the sounds of the outdoors. Crickets chirping, an owl hoot here and there, the dampening effect of the forest trees. Ede could hear water lapping at a nearby shore, too. If she stilled herself and let her perception widen, she felt that she was outside, rather than in her little room with a roof over her head. She was totally at peace here.
“Good night, Malcolm.” Ede said gently as she got up to turn off the lamp.