Kona gets all dressed up to attend the Island's Graduation ceremony.
Ethan comes out first, wearing his cap and gown.
Kei is one of the next graduates that comes out of the Ceremony Hall. She didn't bother with a cap or gown, nor did she bother giving Ari the time of day. Ari had shown up to attend his brother's graduation ceremony.
Kona splurges and takes everyone out to eat for lunch. Kei and Ethan exchange glances when they realize Kona has taken them to the very place where Ethan had first bit Kei.
Ethan has a motorcycle, and often enjoys taking long rides.
Many times he will pull over and look through scrap piles to try to find some usable material for his inventions.
The twins have their birthdays.
Kei discovers she has this incredible craving for apples. She heads to the grocery store to stock up on her latest fix.
On the way home, she was regretting eating the apple, as it roiled around in her stomach. She made the taxi driver pull over to the side of road, so she could jump out and puke her guts out.
When she got home, she told her father how she keeps feeling ill. The little girl part of her is a bit fearful , because she remembers how ill her mother was. And then her mother died. Kei doesn't want to die.
"Are you telling me that I am going to have another grandbaby?" Kona asked her. Keilani had called him earlier to let him know she was pregnant with
Cyrus' baby. Kona was dismayed to hear that Keilani had broken up with
Cyrus. He knew the pitfalls of being a single parent and would not wish
it on anyone.
Kei had never considered the possibility. Her? Pregnant? A mother? Impossible. But she went back to the grocery store and bought a pregnancy test. When she got back home, she closeted herself into the bathroom and followed the directions on the back of the package. "Gross." she muttered to herself.
The next three minutes were agonizingly long. When they were finally up, she steeled herself, and looked at the results. Kei felt faint. She was going to be a mother.
Ethan was thrilled when she told him. He hugged her. "Kei, that is wonderful news! A little girl just like you..."
Kei felt nauseous. "Oh no!" she moaned. "Don't curse me with that! I know what I am like!" She is not feeling too well, and decided to lay down and take a nap. The very thought of a little girl like herself. Frightening.
Ethan wandered outside, deep in thought.
He thought about the missive sitting in his back pocket. The command to come home, straight from his father. He sighed heavily. Ari had cackled when he handed it to him after the ceremony. So Ethan knew his brother was up to his usual tricks. But how to best protect Kei and their baby?
A summons from the Pack Leader could not be ignored. He winced when he thought of how his father would react to the news that Ethan, his heir, had married an outlander. He would not be pleased. He probably already knew, courtesy of Ari, and such was the reason for the summons.
He tried to work on his little inventions, usually they amused him.
But today, his heart was heavy. He went for a walk instead, and ended up in front of the grocery store. He sat down there, to rest for a moment.
What to do? He knew the Pack's plans for this little Island, and he didn't want Kei or their child to be here when they came. They would have to move. Kei's family was family now as well, so he would have to try to convince them that moving is what they wanted to do. A fresh start. In a new town, where it was safe.
He looked up at the sun, shining brightly and warmly in the noon sky. How to best convince Kei? He smiled fondly. She was such a scrapper, and she wouldn't like backing down from a fight. But this would be one fight neither he, nor she, could win. The Pack was too powerful. Ethan had to tread carefully, and get everything set up in secret, so that when the time was right, they could disappear. One false move, and either Kei or their baby, or even both, could be in grave danger.
His ears picked up the sound of a bird. He started to rise to his feet, to check out the little bird, But to his dismay, he found it was a Raven. A grave omen indeed.
At the Park, Kona was performing. His act---was---magical.
He went home with a chunk of change jingling in his pocket and the thunderous cheers of the crowd roaring in his ears. It only got better. Kei confirmed that she was expecting a baby. He was going to be a grandpa! Twice over.
Kei meanwhile, fretted. What did she know about being a mother? Nothing. She knew nothing. And the responsibility of it all---she wanted to be a good mother. Kei dug through the bookshelves, to see if she could find any books on parenting. "What to expect when you are Expecting. Perfect!" She sat down and opened it up and started to read. She was going to be the best mom she could be.
She devoured the book, hungry for any knowledge on how to be a good mother. She only looked up when she heard the voice of her husband.
"Doing research I see." he said with a smile.
Kei closed the book. "I am so scared Ethan." she confessed. "I want to be a good mom, but I am scared that I am not cut out for it. That I will abandon our baby, or, or, " she finally put into words her worst fear of all, "or die."
Ethan pulled her into his arms. "Kei, every parent has worries, it is natural. Of course you are worried that you might die, but you are not your mother. You don't have cancer like she did. You're perfectly healthy, and our baby will be just fine. You'll see."
Kei's voice was somewhat muffled. "But what if I am like my mother, and I leave you guys?"
"Kei, from all that I have heard, you had a wonderful mother. She did not chose to leave you per se, she chose to give Kale and Lani life. I am sure it was not an easy decision for her. She gambled, and she lost."
"I hope you are right Ethan. I am still scared though."
"I know." He crouched down so he was eye level with her tummy. "Hello little one, this is your Daddy. You and me, we're going to teach Mommy what it's like to trust, and to love. It's a tall order, but I know we can do it."
Kei swatted him. "You are a goof ball."
Ethan grinned at her and then kissed her. "Well, I think I will work on my invention some more. You can go back to your book, you are quite adorable when you concentrate hard on something."
But Kei wasn't in the mood to read any more. She looked around the house, and decided it needed some sprucing up. She was in the mood to clean, she started with the upstairs shower.
Once things were done to her satisfaction, she took a break. She put her hands on her belly, and the baby kicked back in return. "Daddy was right about one thing." she whispered to the baby. "I already love you, and I have loved him for forever." The words felt right, and Kei felt peaceful. She had not felt any sort of peace inside since her mother had died so many years ago.
She felt a twinge. And then another. And then they felt stronger, and more intense. She sucked in her breath, and then let it out slowly. "Ethan!" she called. "I think this baby is ready to come out!"
Ethan came running in. "Don't panic Kei!" he yelled. "Don't panic. I'll get you to the hospital in no time at all."
Kei still can't help feeling a bit trepiditious. After all, her mother had gone through these very same doors, pregnant with the twins, and she never came back out alive. Ethan squeezed her hand reassuringly. "I'll be here, Kei. Every step of the way."
The pain was excruciating, the wait interminable , but in the end Kei remembered none of that. She remembered Ethan, and the look of awe on his face as she delivered their daughter, Layla. She remembered Layla's first cry, and her squinched up little face. Darling little face. She remembered the intense flood of love she felt for this one small little baby.
She remembered also, the shock, when she delivered their son, Kit. Ethan had said very carefully, "There's another?"
She remembered the pride that blazed in his eyes as he held both of his children in his arms, and the love in his eyes as he looked at her. And smiled. He brought them closer to her, so she could count all their fingers and toes. Layla had her eyes, but little Kit, had those beautiful golden eyes, just like his daddy.
After they were cleaned up, and Kei was all checked out and ready to go, she carefully picked up Layla, while Ethan picked up Kit, and they made their way home.
Kei was exhausted, so she carefully placed Layla in her crib and went to get some sleep. Ethan spent a few minutes with his son, before placing him in his crib and following his wife to bed.
Kona picks up Kit and looks at his grandson.
He holds Kit to his chest and sighs softly. "Ah, Kanani. You are
missing it. He's beautiful. Our little Keikei's baby. She had twins,
you know. Little Layla is a doll. It seems like just yesterday, it was
you and me, and our three little girls."
"I sure miss you."
Kei ate the apples, because they both wanted a boy, and they could only have one (together). So I tried to give them good odds on getting a boy. So when the game said she had a girl, I'll admit I was disappointed. lol All those lovely points---gone! But then she had twins, the second was a boy. So I was thinking, "Yay!" followed by, "Oh no! Another multiple birth!"
This to me was a bittersweet chapter. Kei is finally finding some peace, but poor Kona. He still misses his wife.
Next: Chapter 14: And Then Comes the Mourning