Galen took her to the coast in a vehicle that almost resembled a motorboat crossed with a glider crossed with an ATV. It apparently had wheels on spring loaded joints so it could drive over the roughest terrain and still give its driver a smooth ride. It was apparently called a Smooth Transporter, because Carthigians were all about being extremely literal. Galen tried to explain the technology to her, but Marie told him to shut up.
The coast was not particularly far, and they burst through a particularly bushy section of foliage and found themselves, quite unexpectedly, on a beach.
The beach was one of the most beautiful beaches Marie had ever seen. The water was a crystalline blue, and the sand a scintillating white. She’d been to a few good beaches in her day, but had never had the whole stretch of sand to herself.
“Wow,” she said, kicking off her flip-flops and sticking her toes in the sand, which was scorching hot.
“Fuck!” she swore, and instinctively ran towards the water.
Galen followed at a more leisurely pace, apparently able to withstand the heat on his bare feet. He rejoined her in the ocean, where she stood up to her knees in fresh, clean water.
“God, that’s nice,” he sighed. He peeled off his shirt and tossed it behind him, then reached for the button on his pants.
“What on god’s green earth are you doing?” Marie shrieked, covering up her eyes with her hands.
“Calm down, princess,” Galen said, pulling his pants off, “I have boxers on.”
“Yeah, but no one wants to see that!” Marie said fervently. She turned away.
“Come on in, the water’s magnificent!”
She heard Galen’s pants hit the shoreline with a soft thud and made a face.
“Is this some sick ploy to see me naked?” Marie asked.
“Don’t flatter yourself. Woman isn’t my type. Besides, you’re not nearly as good looking as you think you are.”