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 Better Place, Tag- Jack
✧ LORETTA
 Posted: Jul 31 2016, 02:17 AM
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226 • Human (Immortal) • Imagination • Monterey, CA


Monterey, CA - Summer 2024




The warm summer air combined with the gently scent of sea salt was intoxicating and exciting all at once. It had been such a long time since she was last here. Monterey, California...

The small town never seemed to change too much...and it was one so dear to her heart. Loretta leaned against the wooden railing near the docks as people bustled all around. She observed people walking, and chatting with their friends. Children laughing, teenagers and adults texting, or families excitedly pointing out something interesting leading others to some new exciting thing.

It felt nostalgic.

Looking down at her dress she took a deep breath as she fingered the green pendant hanging around her neck. Loretta was wearing a deep blue sundress with small white flowers and leaves embroidered on the edges. Her hair was styled in the same favored style she usually chose. All in all... it was normal- but that was a feeling she had been embracing. A feeling she had come to love. Despite the hardship this past year had brought her... there was also so much beauty and good as well. She had to ward off the sense of déjà vu or at least strange familiarity at the location she was in and purpose that brought her here.

Jack and Loretta had been planning this trip since March, it was to be a time to get away and enjoy the summer. To spend more time together... something that had become rather addicting and something that she never tired of. She couldn't really imagine becoming bored around him at all... not when both he and the world seemed to come up with new things. The thought of that brought a smile to her features almost earning a laugh as she remembered the various situations they had both managed to get into.

A little over a year ago, she had been here wondering if Jack would even show up- but now there was no doubt in her mind that he would. Still... she knew that in order to keep things going well... she would have to tell him everything eventually. She had managed to put it off in the fall.... in the winter... even in the spring. Using excuses about how too much had been going on and how she didn't want him to be overwhelmed. In all honesty- she was scared. Scared of how he would react... but she knew it also had to be done. So in the end... she would do it.

Come sometime soon this month at the very least, and with Caerwyn there it would be more bearable.

But for tonight, a reunion... and time together would be put first. And she was looking forward to it. Forward to everything that being together would mean. Despite everything in both their pasts... the future was looking mostly good. Jack's training was going well... things were smoothing out, she'd figure out a way to escape her predicament.

It would all be ok.

And that thought relaxed her. It was strange how important things like hope could become. She never used to give it much credit... a lot really had changed though- hadn't it?

The sounds of the waves crashing and the gulls further comforted Loretta as she came to that conclusion. All this change in the end had been for good. Green eyes began to scan the crowds for the familiar face. He'd show up soon enough...




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✧ JACK KELLY
 Posted: Aug 2 2016, 03:20 AM
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143 • Human/Celestial • Resourcefulness • North America (Santa Fe)
Lady Archive 694 posts application plotter wanted tracker other


They had been looking forward to this for a while now. After having had to go their separate ways for their work for awhile getting back together again had been exciting. Now, not only were they able to spend time together again but would get to see Monterey. Jack knew how special this place was to Loretta and he had enjoyed their last trip here, even if it had been cut short by some problems with that jerk Mel. But this time they would be free to stay as long as they liked and enjoy it all.

And that was exactly what the newsie intended to do. They had both been working hard, pushing the abilities of both their magics, running across rooftops, studying up on legends and what magical beings they knew of, and even working on some non-magical fighting skills over the past few months. And so he figured they had well earned at least a little while to just take it easy. He made his way along the seaside streets, noting a few familiar buildings as he made his way to the same meeting spot they had chosen last time.

It wasn't long before he spotted Loretta up ahead, waving as he noticed her gaze seeming to search the crowds and picking up his pace. Weaving through the crowd he made his way over to her, wrapping her in a quick hug as he came up beside her wearing a bright grin. It had been a couple of weeks since they had actually seen one another. With the summer starting Loretta's kids had even more free time for her to fill with amazing games and stories.

"How've you been?" He asked, still leaving his arm draped lightly around her as he pulled back a bit to look at her properly.

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✧ LORETTA
 Posted: Aug 8 2016, 01:55 PM
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226 • Human (Immortal) • Imagination • Monterey, CA


When Loretta saw Jack weaving his way towards her she couldn't suppress the sudden surge of excitement and happiness she felt at just seeing him. When he wrapped her in his arms she felt even happier. She wanted to just stay near him, never let him go. She hugged him back, and kissed him- Jack hasn't been near her for so long she couldn't resist. She wanted to savor this moment.

When he pulled back she did too, Loretta had a smile on her face that she knew wouldn't go away... not with him around. This was exactly what she wanted, she never wanted this to end. Things were going to be ok, and the fact that Jack was here... proved it. As he got a better look at her, she took him in as well. Jack seemed just as happy as she was. Which was good.

The late afternoon sun was calming, and peaceful... and beautiful when reflected in his hazel eyes. She took his hand in hers and leaned against him slightly as he wrapped an arm around her.

The last time they were here, it hadn't lasted long at all...Mel had called her back too quickly for it to be fully enjoyed. But this time it would be remedied. Mel was no longer here... there was none of that in her life now... no...with Jack here- she felt free. Times like these were times when she felt like she could forget about the war- forget about all of the chaos, and focus on this. What felt like actual life...

And this time would be theirs. Loretta had no idea what they'd be doing. But she was sure they could be doing nothing and it would still be amazing. Of course, the universe never seemed to give them a break... but she didn't want to tempt fate. She squeezed his hand as he asked how she'd been,

"I missed you," She said with a light laugh, "But otherwise, I've been well. And you? Did you have a good trip?"




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✧ JACK KELLY
 Posted: Aug 10 2016, 01:01 AM
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143 • Human/Celestial • Resourcefulness • North America (Santa Fe)
Lady Archive 694 posts application plotter wanted tracker other


Jack's smile never faltered as he pulled Loretta into an excited hug to see her again. And only widened further as she leaned in to kiss him in return. Or it would have, if his lips hadn't been occupied eagerly returning the kiss. He smiled back at her as they parted still full of excitement of being able to get back together with her and to have some time to just have fun together exploring the town he knew was a special place for Loretta.

It felt good having her here, leaning into him as they stood overlooking the ocean as her hand slipped easily into his, their fingers threading together. "Missed you, too." He replied, giving her a sideways hug with the arm draped over her shoulders. "I've been pretty good. Trip was pretty quiet, worked on sketches for most of the train ride." He added with a nod to the bag hanging from his shoulder where she had gotten pretty used to him keeping his sketchbook and drawing supplies in.

"So, you have anything in mind to start with?" He asked, still smiling at Loretta. They had not really made any specific plans beyond just spending some time in Monterey. Most likely they would spend some time around the beaches and boardwalks...and they had mentioned another trip to the aquarium. But as far as the order of thing went were or if they just played it by ear and wandered around a bit, Jack would be pretty content with anything.

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✧ LORETTA
 Posted: Aug 17 2016, 06:05 PM
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226 • Human (Immortal) • Imagination • Monterey, CA


Loretta smile still hadn't vanished. She looked up at Jack, taking him in. His bright hazel eyes and the stray charcoal marks on his hands and apparently today on his face. Reaching up she gently rubbed one away, laughing at him as he told her about his trip.

"I can tell you were certainly doing something intensive... I can't wait to see them. Glad to hear your trip was quiet, even the universe knows you need a break sometimes."
She said teasing him with a playful smile on her face.

At his question, the smile softened and she let out a small hum. Her eyes took in the crowds... the people... their surroundings. The Aquarium was always an option but they had done that last time and she wanted....something different to start out with at the very least. They could get food... There seemed to be some sort of festival nearby... there had been people heading in and out but she had been happy to note it wasn't too crowded and most of the people were leaving to go elsewhere for the night.

"Hmm...well I saw some event... a festival of sorts it seemed. Could be a nice place to grab some dinner...spend some time. It wasn't too crowded either- I think most of the families are leaving to do other things for the evening. Up to you of course," She added with a smile.

She didn't want him to feel pressured to go or not go, but she wanted to give him a warning about the possibility of many people in one place.

"We could also just walk around... the pier has a lot of local shops and restaurants. Or if you want we can visit the Aquarium, but its still open now- so it'd have to be a different experience than our fun trip last time..." she laughed lightly at the thought of their last trip. The good memories of the past... and tonight would only add more.




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✧ JACK KELLY
 Posted: Aug 25 2016, 03:11 AM
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143 • Human/Celestial • Resourcefulness • North America (Santa Fe)
Lady Archive 694 posts application plotter wanted tracker other


The gentle touch of Loretta's hand against his cheek further brightened Jack's smile. He hadn't quite known what she was doing when she first reached up towards his face but at the brush of her fingers as she wiped something away it wasn't too hard to guess. He knew he had a tendency to forget himself when working on his drawings, shading and wiping his hand against the charcoal lines and then getting it on his face and clothes without even thinking about it. Judging by her comment about him doing something intensive Lori had obviously noticed the habit already. And the simple gesture of her wiping at the smudge just served as a welcome reminder that they were here together to enjoy themselves.

He waited as she seemed to consider what to do and then mentioned a few options. He gave a small laugh at the mention of the Aquarium being a different experience from their last visit since it was open. "Guess it would be pretty hard to top that adventure." He replied playfully.

"Festival sounds like fun though. Been awhile since I've been to one actually." He replied. He appreciated her thought about his not liking to be overcrowded but outdoor crowds he could usually deal with easily enough, especially if a lot of people were leaving or winding down for the evening. And a festival did sound like a good way to start their time here in Monterey. "So, big gathering of attractions and entertainment seems like a pretty good way to start our time to just relax and have fun together."

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✧ LORETTA
 Posted: Aug 25 2016, 02:26 PM
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226 • Human (Immortal) • Imagination • Monterey, CA


Loretta beamed at Jack as he mentioned the difference of the adventures in the aquarium, hearing him laugh… it was a sound she could never get tired of. Nodding she grinned,

“Be careful, might take that as a challenge.” She replied jokingly. Her expression further brightened as Jack mentioned he wouldn’t mind going to the festival. If she had been completely honest, she had been hoping to be able to go to the festival- so hearing Jack say he also wanted to go… well now she was sure more now than ever that tonight would be fantastic.

Slipping her hand into his she began to walk with Jack towards the park where it was being held. “Exactly my thoughts,” She said with a nod, “Although I don’t think there were a lot of rides- there were some attractions… it was mostly just a lot of stands, some entertainment in the forms of performers, and maybe a couple of shows. Also a good view of the ocean as can be expected.”

They passed by a variety of shops on their way, and soon up ahead an area lit up in string lights and paper lanterns came into view. There were stands and tents with vendors selling their wares, families streaming out with festival food in hands, children with face paint and cotton candy or snow cones trailing not too far behind. There was an even ever-present chatter that came with being in an area with a good amount of people. It wasn't overwhelming, and had a wonderful feeling to it. She was happy to see the ocean glittering behind a stone wall with lamposts already lit up and connected with the glowing string lights. But…. despite everything Loretta couldn’t help but look around as she tried to take it all in. It almost seemed a bit too much to really do so- but her eyes scanned the area all the same as she leaned against Jack just a little. Relishing this moment with him by her side. She glanced up at Jack to see if she could gauge how he felt- but she also felt like he'd enjoy it. It seemed peaceful...and nice.

A good way to start things... just like he said.




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✧ JACK KELLY
 Posted: Sep 1 2016, 07:25 PM
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143 • Human/Celestial • Resourcefulness • North America (Santa Fe)
Lady Archive 694 posts application plotter wanted tracker other


Jack laughed at Loretta's comment. "That might actually be a fun challenge to try," he teased back. "Make it a competition and we're guaranteed to see some interesting places."

As they made their way towards the festival Jack listened as Loretta explained what it was likely to have. Entertainments and shops would be fun to see and these sorts of events usually had good food being sold as well. And as she said, the location made for a great view from just about anywhere during the festivities. It was clear they were getting closer as the sounds of chatter could be heard and face painted children passed by as people with bags of crafts and other goods wove in and out around them.

He smiled as Loretta leaned into him slightly enjoying the feeling of having her close as the main section of the festival came into view. Tents and stands were set up all around with strings of lights and colorful lanterns adding a soft glow to the light of the setting sun. Noticing her looking towards him Jack turned to meet her gaze with a contented smile. This really was going to be a nice evening- not that that was hard to accomplish as long as they were spending it together.

"Pretty lucky all this was going on the day we got here," he said. "Any idea on where to start? Smells like we're pretty close to the food stands." He added noting the sweet scents of sugary treats, fried, and grilled food that filled the air.

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✧ LORETTA
 Posted: Sep 5 2016, 10:01 AM
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226 • Human (Immortal) • Imagination • Monterey, CA


"Lord knows if we made it a competition we'd have enough adventures to last hundreds of lifetimes." She said with a laugh. As she looked around at the small fair she felt herself relax.

Being near Jack tended to have that effect on her. Being near him made her feel safe, made her feel normal. And it was hard to believe that little over a year ago... she had never really had that feeling. Or well... she had... but it was fleeting and short. The fact was- now she had something that frankly she had only ever dreamed about. And had all but discarded the possibility from her mind until...well.... she met him.

And even then it wasn't like their meeting was an easy one, no... looking back she still wondered how it even happened. Somehow... Jack was just so honest and refreshing and willing to look in the best of people... he managed to find and bring forth something she had lost. And she owed him so much...

And at the end of the month- or whenever she could manage to get Caerwyn.... it would be time for her to become completely honest. But she had faith that maybe... no... that Jack would understand. It would just be about timing and about presentation. Making sure he wasn't overwhelmed. Making sure he understood, and knowing Jack- he would try his best to make sure he understood. What had once frightened her- still made her plenty nervous, but also seemed... possible. Doable.

It'd be ok.

Whenever she was near him, she could feel that. That no matter what- it'd be ok. Just looking at his smile- she could tell he felt the same way she did. At his words she let out a small hmmm...

The smells coming from the food stands were tantalizing to say the least, and she had eaten a more earlier lunch so she was now beginning to feel a bit hungry. And if Jack noticed it too, well she had an idea to say the least.

"Seems like the universe is finally giving us a break, I guess. We really did get lucky." She said with a laugh, "Food sounds good though, I haven't eaten anything since late-morning."

Looking towards the direction of the food stands she could see all sorts of food. Some were fish and seafood from the locals that had been freshly caught, there were some typical fair food like hotdogs and kebabs, one stand was even selling hamburgers and other sandwiches alongside most of the stands were vendors selling drinks assorted from water, sodas, juices, and alcoholic beverages. There was an assortment of treats as well- cotton candy, candy apples, popcorn, churros (which was something she admittingly hadn't seen in quite a while), crepes, and snow cones. There were surely more types of food if they continued down the path.

"Looks like they have a lot of vendors, both from restaurants and just locals..." she said as her eyes spotted some familiar names, "Anything that sticks out for you?"




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✧ JACK KELLY
 Posted: Sep 29 2016, 09:32 PM
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143 • Human/Celestial • Resourcefulness • North America (Santa Fe)
Lady Archive 694 posts application plotter wanted tracker other


Jack laughed at Loretta's response. "Well, I did promise not to let the lady get bored." He replied jokingly. They walked together a little farther, a day of just relaxing and having fun together definitely was welcome. And clearly they were both on the same page about that.

"Yeah, guess the universe had to lighten up sooner or later," he replied. At her agreement about the food he began scanning around noticing much of the same things Loretta pointed out. Monterey seemed to have really gone all out with the food selections. Local restaurants supplying some of their specialties, food stands taking advantage of the ocean setting and offering a variety of seafood- though Jack had noticed that Loretta hardly ever ate that sort of stuff though.

"Well it is a festival, kinda put me in the mood for some fair food," he replied taking in the sites of all the tents and trucks and other stands set up. "That place looks pretty good." He added, gesturing toward a stand with a brightly colored sign listing their food and prices. Hamburgers, hotdogs, and all sorts of fried foods, probably fundraising for a local school district judging by the amount of high school aged kids taking the orders and others in hair nets and gloves behind them working over grills and fryers and other cooking areas.

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✧ LORETTA
 Posted: Oct 11 2016, 12:07 PM
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226 • Human (Immortal) • Imagination • Monterey, CA


Loretta couldn’t help the smile that lit up her features as Jack laughed. The sound…God… his laugh was just… uplifting. Having him here, with her- laughing and joking- this had to be a form of paradise. One she never thought she’d be able to have.

“Thank God for that…” She said with a laugh as she leaned into him slightly more just enjoying his presence.

The universe…the Man in the Moon…God… sometimes it seemed like everything had been against her and perhaps that was why she teased Jack so much about the universe picking on them and never giving them a break. Because it seemed like it was the same for him too- that the universe was unforgiving… and that together their so-called track records kept things a little more than interesting…. But still, despite all of that they were together. And that was what mattered.

They were together.

When Jack responded about what kind of food he preferred she followed his line of sight and gesture to a stand staffed by a couple teenagers. High School students raising money for their school… Loretta smiled,

“It does, let’s grab something and sit down, relax a bit.” She said with a nod. There was something nice about this… being in one place and partaking in something local like this. And with him by her side she began to slowly make her way over there so they could do just that.




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✧ JACK KELLY
 Posted: Nov 6 2016, 02:25 AM
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143 • Human/Celestial • Resourcefulness • North America (Santa Fe)
Lady Archive 694 posts application plotter wanted tracker other


Much as their track records might have kept things interesting it was nice to have some simple time together. And the fair seemed a perfect setting for them to have one of those days. Still smiling, Jack gave a nod as they moved towards the food stand. With so many food places and the evening winding down for many people there wasn't much of a line and soon they were at the counter. Jack ordered a hamburger and root beer, waiting as Loretta made her own order. The teens working the stand seemed to have developed a rhythm and had the food ready to go in no time.

After paying for the food and getting what they needed from the condiments table he glanced around the area. Most of the benches and tables nearest to the food stands had at least one or two people at them since most of the fairgoers probably just looked for the nearest place to sit once they had their food in hand. "I think there's some more places to sit on the boardwalk," he suggested with a nod a little farther along where he thought he saw a few tables set up along the weather worn railing of the boardwalk, probably brought out for the festival.

They made their way along walkway and soon enough found an empty table. Set up right beside the railing it offered a perfect view of the ocean as the sun seemed to touch down on the water, it's reflection glowing golden on the water. Distant sounds of music from some of the rides and maybe performers somewhere farther along the boardwalk mixed with the crashing waves. "They sure know how to throw a festival here," Jack commented as he sat down taking in the whole thing now that they had come into the main area of the attractions.

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✧ LORETTA
 Posted: Nov 6 2016, 01:25 PM
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226 • Human (Immortal) • Imagination • Monterey, CA


Getting a cola and a burger, Loretta couldn't help but smile at the thought of the the classic American food she was now enjoying with a true New Yorker. And to think she had been in England when she started off...

She couldn't help but get more excited when Jack suggested the boardwalk. "That sounds perfect, Jack." Loretta replied. She followed him as he made his way to the boardwalk, the crowds thinning out more as they moved away from the main festivities. The wood was well-worn and weathered, shops lined one side of the boardwalk but even they thinned out as Jack and Loretta made their way to the tables. Settling at one she placed her things down and took a deep breath of the ocean's air. She looked out towards the horizon and could see the lovely golden light mingle with the sea and waves.

"...Jack, isn't it beautiful?" She said looking at him before sitting down. She couldn't help but glance back at the ocean. Marveling at how the waves blending with the other noises of the seaside town and the cries of the gulls into something just...so peaceful. This was amazing. And she was with Jack and still that just made her so happy. The same kind of lights from the festival adorned the wood and area around them. All in all it was a fun, and wonderful atmosphere.

"...Yea...it's been a couple years since I've been back for it- but gosh it makes me miss it." Loretta said laughing. She sighed and glanced at Jack, "You know... sometimes, I forget that there is a world back out here... one that keeps turning despite the war... despite everything going on..."

She trailed off thinking for a bit before realizing that she had fallen quiet, "Ah...sorry- didn't mean to drag the war into the conversation topic. That's... yea." laughing nervously she tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and sighed.

"Kinda a downer. Uh let's see... " She moved to open her soda, tapping the top a bit as she thought before opening the can. "...So, how long do you want to stay here?" she took a sip as she waited for Jack's answer.



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✧ JACK KELLY
 Posted: Nov 14 2016, 06:56 PM
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143 • Human/Celestial • Resourcefulness • North America (Santa Fe)
Lady Archive 694 posts application plotter wanted tracker other


Jack's gaze was pulled away from the horizon as Loretta commented about the view, looking instead at Loretta. With the golden glow of the sunset all around her Jack found himself remembering the evening they spent together after playing with Annabelle. When they had their first kiss- even if under strange circumstances- and really opened up to one another. The night they both seemed to realize that they were more than friends. A smile spread across his features at the sight of her now and those memories. "Yeah," he replied quietly to her words.

Settled into their seats Jack listened as Loretta spoke about missing getting to do this sort of thing. He gave a small nod of understanding. With everything that had been going on with the war it was easy to forget that much of it went unnoticed by the average mortal. He smiled reassuringly giving a small shake of his head at her apology. "It'd be kinda hard not to think about. All the more reason to make the most of distractions." He added with a grin, gesturing towards the festivities. They had been training and researching so much after Loretta was recovered from what happened on Avalon that they had all sorts of reminders of the war. But today, especially with the festival going on, it was a good chance to forget about that for a little while once they had spent a bit more time here.

Taking a bite of his burger, Jack waited as Loretta seemed to try to think of a subject change. He swallowed considering her question for a moment. "I'd be good with staying for awhile. Don't have any plans set." He replied. "Might be nice to settle in one place, or at least somewhere around the area for awhile. How 'bout you?"

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✧ LORETTA
 Posted: Nov 17 2016, 10:41 AM
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226 • Human (Immortal) • Imagination • Monterey, CA


Thank God that Jack was so understanding...

Loretta felt so relieved as he nodded and agreed with her. Another thing she wasn't alone in- No....she wasn't alone. And she really did feel like she had gained a lot recently...and she would keep growing and gaining...right? She wasn't alone anymore... and that thought shone brighter than anything.

"I suppose so..." She replied with a small sigh, only for her expression to brighten as Jack grinned. A small laugh escaped her as she looked at the festivities once more as he gestured, "Well... then hopefully this distraction lasts us a while. I think you deserve it- you've come a long way so far."

It was nice to hear Jack say he wanted to settle in one place- honestly Loretta didn't mind traveling from place to place with Jack... She'd been doing it for almost a year now and it...was just so nice- they'd stay in places for a month or so at the longest...maybe a week or two longer. With Jack nearby it wasn't too dull- and even then they sometimes went their separate ways...

But, if she was honest- she was beginning to grow a bit tired of it. Restless that there wasn't really a single place that she could just go back to- and being back in Monterey only reminded her of it.

Well there was always Jack's place... but even then... she liked here better. Loretta sighed deeply as she looked out at the ocean as the waves continued to wash in and out. She then glanced over at Jack giving him a small smile- she didn't want to bring things down too much,

"I don't either- and you know me besides visiting Believers I never really 'have plans' anymore. I really 'ought to get a job." She said laughing slightly as she joked, "But yes, staying for a while would be nice. It's been a long time since I've been out here on a longer basis. So..." She shrugged and trailed off. She had a feeling Jack would know what she meant.

She didn't mind staying in one place at all- if anything she welcomed it. Especially here- one of her favorite places in the world.



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