Mara let the warm sand filter between her toes as she lifted her feet out of the beach. The girl inhaled deeply, breathing in the salty breeze as the ocean tumbled against the shore with gently rolling waves. Exhaling she could feel what little stress remained in her system dissipate even further. Her parent's, who believed work was the only way to live one's life, had clearly never been to the island of Jotiga. The warm sun continued to bake her pale skin, but she basked in it, welcoming every bit of comfort it had to offer.

"Your drink, miss," a man's voice said from behind her.

Turning around she slowly opened her eyes to the bright light. A short tan man in a bleach white suit presented her beverage on a corkboard tray. The pina colada was complete with a swirly straw, tiny umbrella, and served inside a coconut no less.

"Thank you," she replied as reached out took a hold of frozen beverage.

Mara had pictured herself a lot of places in the future, but where she sat now was never one them. Her dreams had never even been this kind to her. She tried to tell herself if there was a person in the world that deserved it, it was her, but that only made her feel selfish. However, after taking a sip of the tangy drink and looking out into the turquoise ocean, Mara decided that perhaps she was okay with that.

"Just where I left you," a familiar voice called out from her other side.

"Jake," the girl said eagerly as she jumped up from her chair to give him a hug.

He, much like her parents, needed something to keep his hands busy, but having nearly purchased the island in its entirety meant there was hardly a shortage of work. Mara quickly rapped her hands around him as she jumped into his arms.

"Glad you could find time for me," she said trying to make him feel guilty.

"You know I am right over there," he said pointing to the building belonging to his newest business.

"And I am all the way over here, relaxing."

He set her back down in the chair, "Well then don't let me interrupt."

The former Dominion agent sat down next to her as he put on a pair of sunglasses.

"I do see why you like it over here though," he added as he stared at the place where the ocean melted into the sky. "I don't think I could ever get sick of this."

"Remind me again," Mara began, "how you bought this island. I thought you said they froze your accounts."

Jake chuckled, "They did, for all the good it would do them. A little bit of money goes a long way here. You remember how we got out of the country right?"

"Yeah, the Saber."

"Well what if I told you that you could have one seventy-five percent off the market value. Wouldn't you want one?"

Mara looked at him kind of funny unsure if his question was serious.

"A lot of governments did. I simply handed it over to the highest bidder."

"How much are they worth?" she asked as she took another sip of her drink.

"Ten billion credits give or take. I only got two though."

The girls jaw hit the ground. She knew he had sold the plane, but never at any point realized what it was worth.

"Sabers were the prized jet of our nation. The technology in them is light-years ahead of what everyone else has. I am already a traitor, so why not add selling state secrets to the list."

"Won't they hunt you down?"

"They can try, that is if they even know where to start looking. We are half way around the world with new names, new lives. and our own soverign nation. Not to mention, Fiona taught me a thing or two about disappearing. If she wasn't chained to Kintobor she could have vanished off the face of the planet."

Mara nodded in her head in agreement, letting him know that she trusted him. After all he had gotten them this far without any problems.

"Oh, I almost forgot," Jake said as he rummaged around his cargo pants searching for something, "I got this today. It was addressed to you. You didn't tell anyone where we are, did you?"

He produced a small envelope and handed it to her.

"Who could I have told? I didn't have anyone left to tell."

"Then who the hell knew where to find you?"

Mara slid a finger under the seal and tore the parchment from its container. The handwriting was eloquent, all written with a fountain pen.

Dear Mara,

It has come to my attention that you and Fiona's old partner are both still alive. I was relieved to learn that you were not only able to successfully complete your mission, but also find a new life for yourself.

While I am sure you are very happy where you are, know that I intend to uphold my promise. Should you ever want to return to Knothole, you will be welcomed with open arms. The Acorn family wishes to extend its gratitude for your willingness to help in a time most dire.

Please also inform Jake that despite his previous allegiance, he has allies should he need them. As he will no doubt learn, it is difficult to battle the world a one, no matter how much money one has.

Sincerely Yours,

Princess Sally Acorn

"What does it say?"

Mara could hardly believe what she had just read. Not only because Sally seemed to be polite, but also because she had found her. Tails had told her the Acorn family was well connected, but they were practically on a deserted island. The girl handed the letter over to the large man sitting next to her and let him read it.

"I'll be damned. How in the hell did she find us?"

"Your guess is as good as mine. I learned a long time ago not to underestimate them."

Jake laughed quietly to himself as he stood up, "Me too. C'mon enough lounging around, you're going to get burned again."

Mara sighed as she stood up and followed the him back to their apartment complex which was a short walk down the sand ladden street. Gazing up to the top of the highrise, she could see the towels she set out to dry on the penthouse balcony flapping in the wind.

The doormen hardly paid the two any mind as they crossed into the open-air lobby, stopping at the bar to get refills.

"Look," Mara said quietly as she pointed, "A Mobian."

Jake followed her finger to the far end of the bar where an older hedgehog sat. Intrigued the man pulled up the seat next to him, "Don't think I have seen you around here before."

"I would suspect not," the groggy old voice responded. "I may still be old, but you will only see me if I want to be seen."

"The name is J…" he said as he attempted to introduce himself before being cut off.

"Jake, yes I know. I understand you own this place now. I like what you have done with it so far. I have been living here for years, and I don't think it has ever looked this nice."

"I am sorry have we me…"

"No, we have not met. I still however, know exactly who you are, where you come from and who you used to be."

Mara tugged at his sleeve, obviously concerned about the Mobian who could blow their cover, but he ignored her. Not many people outside of the resistance network could know who he was before. Nor were their many hedgehogs left in the amongst the Freedom Fighters.

"Sir Charles is it?" Jake asked already feeling confident that he was right.

"Chuck will do just fine. They were right about you, smarter than you look. You must have been quite the agent."

Seeing that the Mobian was no longer a threat, Mara quietly took a seat next Jake at the bar, "How do you two know each other exactly?"

"We don't," they replied in unison.

Chuck let Jake continue, "There are not many Mobians left in the resistance network unaccounted for. Sir Charles was a master tactician for the Acorns as well as a renowned scientist. Julian told the world that he was dead to make it seem like he was winning the war, but every Dominion agent was made to remember a list of kill on site targets. Chuck was number four."

"I made it wall the way to four?" he asked slightly amused. "And I can only assume my nephew is still number one?"

The two humans nodded in reply.

"Julian did me few favors in my life, but perhaps the best thing he did for me was to proclaim me dead. It allowed me to walk away. I had overstayed my welcome and my years were finally starting to show. With Sally's leave, I came here to spend the rest of my days. Life is simple, slow, and above all relaxing."

"So you're how Sally knew were to find me," Mara asked rhetorically.

"Indeed I am."

The idea of having a resistance contact so readily available immediately peeked the former agent's interest. "Would you be able to send something back to Knothole?"

"If it is important I suppose I could arrange for it," the hedgehog replied. "What did you have in mind?"

"I owe someone a few favors, I thought a care package might be in order."

"I don't suppose you plan on filling it with this do you?" Sir Charles asked as he raised a glass of brown liquid. "I do believe you perfected the recipe. Can't say I mind the label either. I knew the fox, but he was just a kit when I left."

"That's exactly what I had in mind."

The hedgehog smiled, "Less important packages have been sent for worse reasons. I will make sure he gets it. Now do tell me what a lovely young couple such as yourselves plan on doing on a tiny island like this for the rest of their lives."

"Same thing you are," Jake replied as followed the hedgehog's gaze out to the beach, "watch the ocean, drink, and relax. I felt as if I have had enough excitement for two lives and have little need for anymore. How about you Mara?" he asked as he prodded her with his elbow.

The girl nodded slowly. Words could hardly express how she felt. There were still nights she woke up screaming. Her mind had never come to grips with killing Colin. Even if he deserved it, the short pointy nosed man haunted her dreams, forcing her to relive a moment she would sooner forget. Sitting in the sun with out a care in the world did, however, make it easier to bear.

"Jake, Mara," Chuck said as he took a moment to look at them both, "you came to the right place."

If you have made it to the end of my story, I would greatly appreciate any feed back you have to offer, for better or worse.



Bonus Content

The following is a random assortment of music that likely had an effect one way or another on the writing of this story. Listed in no particular order for your optional enjoyment.

Metalica: Nothing Else Matters

Metalica: The Unforgiven

Zedd: Clarity

Zedd: Spectrum

Avici: Fade into Darkness

BT: Every Other Way

Wax Nostaligc's remix of the Local Natives: Who Knows Who Cares

Adele: Skyfall

Of Monsters and Men: Dirty Paws

Of Monsters and Men: Little Talks