Aida Book 1: Dreaming of the Stars

Transferring from their home on Mars, best friends Isla and Anise arrive on Aida, hopeful and eager. Isla is initially unsure of her direction, but soon meets someone who can help her discover her destiny, and Anise finally feels like she can truly be who she is.

Alongside their new friends and mentors, Lisa and Mira, Aida's latest arrivals quickly adjust to their new lives, beginning their ascent to idolhood. And along the way, they might both find some new and exciting interests on the side...

Aida: An Idol Romance is a sci-fi-themed lesbian romance novel serial with some 10 books planned, and probably more. This is the free version of the full book and includes everything except the explicit ero scenes, those are mentioned but not directly shown.

Like my work? You can support my writing here if you enjoy it: https://www.patreon.com/YurikaSGrant

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13. Chapter 13

  Soon, the following Friday rolled around, the previous week largely having been spent practising and running with little of real interest happening. That was soon to change, however, as the morning of the camp dawned. The very same morning which would see Anise travelling to Slogh with Lisa for a weekend of work and fun.

  Isla considered her best friend probably had the longer end of the stick on this occasion, but couldn’t bring herself to feel jealous; her brand new friend, Millie Bright, with her equally blinding and bubbly personality, would no doubt smooth over any potential problems.

  Isla sat up in bed, had a damn good stretch, then swung her legs out and yawned. Her bed partner was vaguely conscious, so she decided to be a good friend and run to the en-suite to make them both a cup of strong morning coffee, using a CoffeeMate™ instant coffee machine she had bought a couple of days previously.

  She returned a moment later with a tray, which she placed on the floor after carefully moving one of the cups across to her desk. She took her own cup from the tray, straightened up, and sat on the edge of the bed, sipping her drink. “Morning!”

  “Mm… morning…” Mira murmured, sitting up, hair a mess. She gazed blearily at Isla. “Coffee…”

  Isla laughed quietly at this vision of sexy sleepiness. Over the last few evenings of enjoying each other’s company, Isla had discovered that Mira really didn’t deal well with early mornings. Hovering the mug at her lover’s lips, she carefully tilted it for her to take a sip. Mira duly did so, nodded vaguely, issued a thank you, and promptly collapsed back into bed.

  “What time do you normally get up, out of interest?” Isla asked.

  Opening her eyes and staring at the ceiling, Mira stroked Isla’s leg for no particular reason. “If I have a modelling job or other work? Whatever time is required. Otherwise, normally around ten.”

  It was currently seven.

  Isla giggled. “Sorry, I didn’t want to wake you before I left, but you… well, you had your legs wrapped around me. Kind of hard not waking you, to be honest.”

  “Mm, that’s okay, I’d like to see you off in any case,” Mira said, and sat up once more, a little more awake with caffeine running through her veins. Pecking Isla’s lips, she slipped out of bed and dressed.

  Getting into her comfy pink tracksuit, Isla grabbed her bag and they ran downstairs. “See you Monday morning!” Her heart sank. “Oh… you won’t have a partner for the next few days, will you?”

  “Indeed. Lisa’s heading off to Slogh with Anise today, isn’t she?” Mira said.

  “Yep, you should’ve seen her face last night before you arrived.”

  “Excited?”

  Isla let out a low laugh. “You could say that.”

  “Can’t blame her, I imagine they’ll be having some fun in their hotel tonight.” Mira gave her partner a thorough snog. “Enjoy yourself. It’s a tough camp from what I’ve been told, but it’s well worth it.”

  “I will!” Isla said, backing away and running over to the skybus, parked on the landing pad on the western end of the island, the very same black metal platforms Anise had wandered past with Lisa after the pleasant evening at Arco Iris.

  A sleek design in white and black, reminiscent of twentieth-century space shuttles, the skybus had four stubby wings, one at each corner. Attached to each wing, a variable-direction ion engine provided both vertical lift and horizontal thrust. And all along both sides, circular porthole-like windows indicating approximately one-hundred seats inside.

  Roughly a third of the way along the fuselage, a section had been lowered with three steps on the inner side of the door providing a means of entry. Standing at the end of the line of girls making their way on-board, the last two arrivals shuffled into the queue.

  Millie took her friend’s hand. “Ready?”

  “For once in my life, yeah, I think I am.” Isla’s expression matched the one from the previous morning when she faced off against Luna; utter determination.

  “Let’s go, then! I’ll be by your side the entire time, don’t worry. I’m looking forward to it!”

  They climbed up the three-step entrance into the skybus, the last two girls aboard of the thirty attending the camp, at which point the door rose behind them, shutting with a reassuringly solid ‘thunk’. Making their way to the back, they sat together on the rear seat, looking out over the academy as the skybus got airborne, it’s thrusters muted by several layers of soundproofing.

  Isla investigated their destination while they travelled. “So where are we heading, exactly?”

  Staring out of the window at the ground speeding by below them, Millie smiled at her reflection. “A deserted island!”

  “… seriously?”

  “Yep. The academy owns it, along with a large area on the mainland side. The lodge we’ll be staying at is on the mainland, and we’ll be taken across to the island in the skybus.”

  “It’s occurred to me before, but I’m incredibly fortunate to be here, aren’t I?”

  Millie tapped her friend’s shoulder. “You wouldn’t be here at all if you didn’t have the talent, right? Headmistress Lawson is pretty stringent, though if someone catches her eye she’ll also bend over backwards to get her enrolled.”

  “Sounds like you have some experience.”

  “Yup, I’m a scholarship student! Or… well, the closest we can get. Scholarships don’t really exist at Dreamstar.” Millie settled comfortably back into the seat, resting her knees on the backrest of the empty seat before her. “Mira kind of pulled a few strings.”

  “Why am I not surprised?” Isla said with a quiet laugh, not wanting to disturb the other idols. Through the rest of the vehicle, a low buzz of voices filled the air. Something else filling the air was a pleasant aroma of coffee. “You’re not tired already, are you?”

  Millie stopped halfway through filling a cup from a flask. “Eh? Nah, I just really like coffee!”

  Thinking back to her friend’s comments on food combinations, Isla’s features turned mildly sceptical. “Is this going to be some crazy combo of flavours again?”

  “Not with coffee. I like that super strong, black as night, and unsweetened. Just that, nothing else.” Millie lifted the plastic cup to her nose and inhaled of the heavenly jet fuel.

  While these vehicles all featured high-grade inertial dampers fitted as standard to prevent buffeting and general discomfort for the passengers – especially during extra-atmospheric trips – changes in altitude could still be felt, not least by the popping of one’s ears. Such a change had just occurred, indicating they neared their destination.

  Again peering out of the windows, Millie saw the lodge and pointed it out to her friend. “See? That’s where we’re staying!”

  As the vehicle came in to land on a large black platform some three metres from the ground, supporting by thick beams and poles with two staircases running down to a paved area approximately one-hundred metres from the beach, Isla gazed out at the lodge.

  Two storeys of wood construction with a pointed roof, painted blue, the building had a balcony running along the front of the second storey. Eight French doors opened out onto this, informing them that the building had at the very least eight bedrooms, and probably double that.

  On the ground floor, a small porch led up to the front door, with a wooden veranda running right under the balcony to either end of the lodge. And surrounding the whole structure, hundreds of square metres of golden sand leading right down to the beach.

  Touching down, the pilot shut the engines off and opened the door, letting the idols jump out and run down the staircases to the sand. Here, they were met by some of the academy staff, primarily fitness instructors, dance coaches, and even an ex-army member or two. They were lead across to the lodge, inside, then split into pairs with a key being issued to each for the rooms upstairs.

  Millie more or less bounced off the walls with excitement. “We get to room together? This is the best!”

  “I have to admit… I feel a bit more relaxed knowing you’ll be sleeping with me,” Isla said, laughing.

  “That an invitation?” Millie said, head cocked.

  “Is what…?”

  Millie winked. “You want me to sleep with you?”

  This made Isla blush. She hadn’t in fact meant it like that, but now she thought about it, the idea certainly appealed.

  Upstairs, they made their way along the pleasant-smelling wooden hallway connecting both ends of the building with a staircase leading down from both. Halfway along, Millie stopped before a door, unlocking it and leaping across the threshold in an energetic manner.

  Joining her, Isla entered and looked around the spacious room. To their right, a built-in bunk bed arrangement. Directly ahead, the French doors to the balcony. And to the left, a small table against the wall with two comfy armchairs, one to either side.

  “Pretty nice, huh?” Millie said.

  “Yeah, it’s really cosy!” Isla said, turning to the bed. She pointed. “Should we toss a coin?”

  “Eh?” Millie looked at the beds and laughed. “No problem, pick whichever you like, I don’t mind either way.”

  “Mm, top? Never slept on a bunk bed before.”

  “Sure thing! I actually slept in a bunk for a few years at home, until my older sister moved out. We used to swap bunks all the time.”

  “Sounds really nice. I’m an only child so I’ve never experienced anything like that,” Isla said, unpacking her clothes for the weekend and placing them in a small chest of drawers to the right of the door on entering.

  “Not sure I could imagine life without my awesome older sister in it. Though she’s left Aida City now so… I guess I already know!” Millie said, using a second chest of drawers under the window.

  “Having Anise by my side for the last thirteen years more than made up for not having siblings.”

  Millie paused in the act of unpacking. “Anise?”

  “My best friend.”

  “Ah! You came to Aida together, I think? Mira mentioned there were two of you.”

  “Yep, she’s off with Lisa to Slogh right now, though.”

  Millie let out a suggestive giggle. “Anise is pretty dirty and mucky, then.”

  “Dirty…”

  “Lucky!”

  Isla was beginning to understand what she had put Anise through with her puns over the years. Millie’s rhymes were equally hard going. “Oh, in that case, yep, Lisa’s a lovely girl.”

  “Also dirty.”

  “You’re not rhyming this time, are you…”

  Returning to her task, Millie giggled. “Haha, nope. I guess dirty isn’t really accurate, she’s just super easy-going and sexy.”

  Isla finished and leaned against the bunk. “I’d noticed, yes. Um, you appear to be pretty well-informed about, you know…”

  “Sexy stuff? Well, having the bends with Mira helped there, she ain’t what you’d call reserved.”

  “Having the bends… oh, being friends? Talking to you gives my brain a workout, Millie, I don’t mind admitting,” Isla said, laughing. She sat in one of the armchairs. “Mm, these are comfy.”

  “Mebbe we can enjoy a nice beer together later?” Millie said, dropping into the other chair and putting her feet up on the table.

  “Sounds like a… a fruity flan?”

  Millie exploded with delight. “Perfect!” She jumped across to the other chair and hugged her new friend. “People don’t normally join in, so consider me super happy, Isla, thanks! Righto, we better head back outside, can’t relax yet.”

  They ran downstairs and out to a paved area at the front of the building.

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