Race woke up slowly, feeling disoriented. Something was definitely different from what it had been when he’d gone to sleep. First off it was hot. Like New Orleans hot but more so. And much more humid, if the fact that a sheet seemed to be plastered to his chest was any indication. And there was sunlight. How the hell can it be this bright in the cave, was his first thought, quickly followed by, Because that’s not where I am?
It finally sank in, as he fully opened his eyes, that he was in a hammock of some sort. A very wide and comfortable one that was more like a swinging bed than the kind you’d hang between two trees in a backyard. He carefully eased himself to the edge, sat up, and looked around. He was in an airy room made of bamboo screens, a high curved bamboo roof above him. Through an opening between two of the screens he could see foliage, large plants and trees that definitely weren’t anything he’d seen back home.
“Where the hell am I?” he muttered.
“In my private little corner of paradise,” Shan told him, strolling into the room. “Put some clothes on and I’ll show you around.”
“Shit!” Race looked down and quickly grabbed the sheet to cover the important bits.
Shan broke into laughter. “It’s nothing I haven’t seen before Race. There’s clothes over there,” he thumbed in the direction of a low chest in one corner of the room. “The pants should fit you 'cause they’re drawstring and shorts, though on you they’ll probably look more like boarding shorts than regular ones. Addie should be up and moving in another hour which will give us time to eat first. I’ll meet you outside.” With that he left, moving the screen inwards the close the gap.
Still feeling embarrassed, and wondering how he’d ended up naked in the first place, Race crossed to the chest. There were several pairs of shorts there and some light-weight shirts as well, he discovered. As he got dressed he realized he was in definite need of a bathroom and wondered where around here it was. After running his hands through his hair to try to tame it at least a little, he made his way outside.
Shan was sitting cross-legged on a low bench, leaning back against a tree trunk, the laptop sitting open beside him. He glanced Race’s way and before the young man could ask he told him where the facilities were. “They’re not fancy but you can shower and there’s toothpaste and brushes. Just don’t go overboard on water usage. We have it but it’s at a premium this time of year.”
Race followed the path Shan had pointed out to a small hut that at least had real walls, not screens. After taking care of business, including a very short but refreshingly cool shower, he rejoined Shan.