CHAPTER 1 - Jill's arrival

Disclaimer: I do NOT own rights over Harvest Moon or any of the characters mentioned in this fanfic.

I did make up some of the characters though (like Grayson).

Please forgive any spelling mistakes. My native language is not english, as you can see.

...

It was a beautiful day at Forget-Me-Not-Valley's shores. The sun shone high up in the sky and the sea was unusually calm. Twenty-six year old Marlin watched a boat arrive in the distance, his bright blue eyes fixed upon the horizon. He leaned against the posts of the deck, chewing on a straw. Typical farm boy, anyone could tell.

The boat arrived and the captain - a gray haired man around his 50's - left his cabin. He jump off the boat and helped Marlin tie the boat's rope to the deck.

"Is this the load Vesta asked me to pick up?", Marlin asked, looking at the older man in the eyes.

"Yes.", the man, called Grayson, replied. "That and..."

Before he could finish his sentence a noise was heard from inside the cabin. A young looking, brunette and amethyst eyed woman walked out. Well, more like stumbled out.

"Uh.", she muttered. "Sorry. I am so clumsy sometimes."

The old man smiled at her, offering his hand as she took off the old boat, luggage occupying her other hand.

"Marlin, this is Jill. Jill, this is Marlin, one of the local farmers.", Grayson politely attempted to introduce the two young adults. Marlin took a moment to look her in the eyes, and she stared right back into his blue ones. He simply muttered something about having business to attend to and picked up two boxes, then proceeded to walk towards a pickup parked nearby.

Grayson sighed and started to pick up a box aswell. "I'm sorry, kid. Marlin has always been sort of a..."

"Impolite jerkface?", she interrupted, quirking a thin brow at the poor man. She could sense his embarassment. "No problem, pal. I'm from the city. I'm used to it."

"I guess you are right.", he chuckled. "But hey, don't get me wrong. Deep down everyone around here knows Marlin is a great guy."

Jill let down her luggage and picked up a box too, deciding she would help Grayson carry the load to the pickup.

"Oh dear, you don't have to.", he said. "You must be tired from this trip."

"No worries!", Jill smiled. On their way passed a very distant Marlin. He went back to pick up more boxes.

"He is Vesta's younger brother. Vesta is a very nice woman. She owns the seed shop around here, and she happens to be an excellent farmer too!", Grayson pointed out.

"Oh, nice!", Jill lightened up, carefully placing the box in the pickup's trunk. "Maybe I can ask her for a few tips, then?"

"I bet she will be delighted to help a rookie out.", Grayson said, placing his box in it's place too, but with a lot less care.

Marlin came from behind them, placing the remaining three boxes on the trunk. "This should be it."

Jill watched him in awe. She struggled just to carry one box, but Marlin made it look like the easiest thing in the world. This was one strong man, she figured.

Grayson was watching Marlin almost as interested as Jill was, but instead of awe he carried a look of slight concern for the younger man. "Should you be carrying weight like that?"

"Shut up, old man.", Marlin sneered, turning his back at the two of them.

"Hey!", Jill protested, reaching for his arm and grasping as hard as she could before he could get inside his pickup. "That was not nice of you!"

Marlin easily shook her hand off, his cold gaze nearly piercing her innocent soul. "Mind your own business. Who the heck are YOU, anyway?"

"I already told you.", Grayson frowned. "This is Jill. By the way, she is the new owner of that abandoned lot that's close to downtown."

"Yes.", she confirmed. "You should treat your potential costumers a bit better, by the way."

Marlin quirked a thick brow at her, as if restraining himself from saying something awful to her as a comeback, but he knew she was kind of right. Forget-Me-Not-Valley was a small place and he could not afford to lose any income. Plus, if Vesta found out he was being rude to the new girl she would be super pissed.

"I'm out.", he said, looking at Grayson one last time before entering the pickup and taking off.

Grayson patted Jill lightly on the shoulder. "Really, you get used to it. Now... shall I help you with your luggage?"

"Yes, thank you.", Jill smiled, back to her normal self. She handed him one of her bags and both entered his car, which was parked near the beach too.

...

It was the end of the afternoon when Jill finally got home. Grayson took the time to show her around town since he was driving anyway. Forget-Me-Not-Valley was indeed a very small island. There was the beach, the mountain and it's mysterious caves, a forest, some unexplored jungle and a few family farms around. Downtown there were houses and shops, which she would eventually have to visit. For the most part, Jill was unimpressed, making her start to miss the busy life in the city a little, but on the other hand taking a sneak peek at Vesta's beautiful crop farm was a real inspiration to her. She just had to meet this woman.

Jill sighed happily as she laid down on her comfy, large bed. She was tired from the boat trip, obviously, and tomorrow would be a long day. Now sitting up on the edge of the bed, she untied her ponytail, allowing her smooth, long brown hair to fall down her back graciously. She smiled at the sensation, getting up slowly and starting to strip off her clothes.

The young woman found herself only in a pair of white and blue polka-dots boyshorts and unmatching black bra. Clearly she was not the kind of girl that would care about matching stuff, unless it was for a special occasion.

Suddenly, Jill turned on her heels, her ears catching the sound of steps coming towards her. Boots. She froze, looking up.

"Wha-", Marlin was interrupted by his own shock. He covered his eyes with his hands as quickly as he could muster. "W-WHY ARE YOU NOT WEARING ANY CLOTHES, WOMAN?"

Jill's eyes were so wide open she swore they nearly popped out of her face. She grabbed the robes that were hung nearby and put them on with mad hurry. "WHY ARE YOU IN MY HOUSE? CAN'T YOU KNOCK?"

Marlin let his hands fall back on his sides, slightly blushing in embarassment. "I saw the front door open... figured it would be okay to come in."

"That god damn lock.", she sighed, slapping her own forehead playfully. "It's broken. Grayson told me he would call the local carpenter to fix it for me."

"Oh.", was all he could bring himself to say.

"Yeah.", she scowled. "Why are you here anyway? I think I heard enough from you earlier today."

Jill crossed her arms across her chest. She was still mad about their first encounter, this he could tell. And God, was Marlin terrible when it came to figuring girls out. Maybe it was why he was still single. Or maybe it was his terrible attitude.

"I was thinking about what you said earlier.", Marlin answered cooly, leaning his back against the wall. "I kinda hope I didn't make a bad impression on you. We could always use new costumers around here, you know."

"Well, you DID make yourself look like a total asshole back there.", she smirked. "But that doesn't matter. You and your sister are the only crop dealers around here anyway. Plus, I hard great things about Vesta."

Marlin nodded, satisfied with her answer despite how she called him an ass and all. "All I wanted to know.", he said, turning around. "Well, if you need any crops for your new farm, you know where to find us. And... erm. Sorry about this little.. incident."

"All good.", Jill grinned. Was it a hint of playfulness on his voice? No, she must have been wrong. She followed him to her front door.

Marlin turned around, his icy blue eyes on her amethyst ones. They were a bit too close for two people that just met eachother, but none even flinched. They both had very strong personalities.

"You should stop by tomorrow.", he said. "You and Vesta are sure to get along."

"You think so?", she blinked, a satisfied grin creeping up her rosy lips.

"Sure. Maybe if she makes a new friend she will get off my back.", he grumbled, causing her to roll her eyes at him. He turned his back at her again and began walking away. Jerk.

Jill went back inside, deciding she would take a shower before going to bed. Once again she stripped off her remaining clothes, this time making sure no one was around to interrupt her, and walked into her shower.

"So..", she thought to herself, fidgeting with her long brown strands. "Tomorrow I meet Vesta. Maybe she can teach me a thing or two about growing crops."

Jill sighed, leaning against the cool beige tiles of the wall. She had no idea of what she was doing. Leaving behind the busy life in the city and the comfort of her mother's arms to a hard working life in a small island would be hard, but she had to do this. She had to do this for her dad. She had to honor his memory.

This is it for the first chapter. What do you think? Please feel free to C&C!