Saturday, November 29, 2014

Chapter 88: Julia



  Warning: Language

  Skye carefully picked her daughter up, grateful for the few moments alone with her.  She loved her family, and she understood why they were so concerned about her, but their constant hovering over her was driving her mad.  She wasn't an invalid, she just had to be careful, her body was still healing from its ordeal.

  She was just thankful that she had only missed six weeks of Julia's life, it could have been much worse.  She could have missed out on all of her daughter's life.  She snuggled Julia, and breathed in her baby scent.  She was sad that Julia would be her only child, that she was physically unable to have any more.  Sad, and yet, she counted herself blessed to have her daughter, and she would do it all over again if given the choice.

  Her daughter was well worth it.  She looked down at her baby and smiled.  "Just think Julia, of all the fun we can have as you get older.  There will be tea parties, and dancing lessons, and frilly dresses and..."  Skye sighed happily.  "It will be wonderful."

  Julia started to fuss, and Skye tried to soothe her daughter by rocking her in her arms, but Julia was having none of it.  Her little lips pursed, and she began to wail. Skye raised Julia up, and blew raspberries on her daughter's tummy.  It was enough to startle a smile out of her, and interrupt her crying.


   "Hey, is everything okay in here?"

  Skye met the concerned glance of her husband.  "We're fine."  She assured him.

  "Hmm."   He answered non committedly, and he walked closer and put his arm around his girls.  "Hello Pumpkin, you're not giving your Mama a hard time now, are you?"

  Skye rolled her eyes.  "Hawk, she's a baby, babies cry."

  He grunted.  "I know.  I just..."

  "Relax Hawk, I'm fine, Julia's fine, we're all fine, okay?"  She smiled at him.

  He sighed.  "Okay."


  "So, Kalen, I was wondering..." Rebecca paused for a moment for effect, "if you already had a date for Prom?  If you didn't...maybe we could go together?"


  Kalen thought Rebecca was a really nice girl, but he just wasn't interested in her, that way, and she never seemed to take a hint.  He was only at her house, because her brother was one of his good friends, not because he like liked her.  Besides that, he hated dancing, so why would he want to go to the stupid Prom?  It was a waste of time and money, he could be doing something much more fun.

  He frowned.  Just about anything was more fun than dancing.  "No, I'm not going.  How about you?"

  She shrugged, disappointed.  "I was thinking about going, but I don't have a date."  She looked up at him, her eyes hopeful.  "That's why I was hoping you were still free, so we could together."

  He hated to hurt her feelings, but he didn't want to give her false hope either.  "Sorry."


  "Pwetties."  Julia pointed towards the window.  "Pwetties!"

  Hawk smiled at his daughter, ever since he had taken her outside to see the stars in the night sky, it was all she could talk about.  "Stars.  Yes they are pretty aren't they?"  It was hard to believe that Julia was already toddler.  It seemed like she had just been born a few days ago, but now here she was.  Walking, talking, and already strongly asserting her own opinions.


  "Pwetties." She said stubbornly. 

  "Yes, they're pretty Julia.  Those are stars, remember?"

  Julia frowned, and the hand held monitor next to her started to shake a little.  "No tars!  Pwetties!"

  Hawk picked her up.  "Okay Pumpkin, calm down."  He rubbed her back in soothing circles, and slowly he could feel her small body start to relax.  He was glad that his daughter had a stubborn streak as far as the Ocean was wide, she might need it someday, but sometimes...

  ...sometimes it was just a huge headache to deal with, and he wished for a more pliable daughter.  Especially when she got an idea in her head, and wouldn't let go of it, no matter what.  Today it was the stars outside, but what about tomorrow?  He sighed, it was up to him to teach her how to control her powers, so that no one, including herself, got hurt.

   She started to arch her back, and wiggle.   "Need down!  I pee!  Pee!"

  "Okay, okay, hang on."

  Julia decided he was too close, and she pushed him away.  "No!  I do it!"

  He held his hands up.  "Okay, Little Miss Independent."

  "I done!"  Julia announced.  She held her hands out.  "Ucky!  Ucky!"

  Hawk brought her over to the sink, and helped her wash her hands.  Skye had been determined to teach their daughter good habits from the very beginning, sometimes it even worked, like with the handwashing.  Julia liked to splash around in the water and wash her hands.  "There, all clean." he said as he wiped her hands dry with a towel.  "Now, I think it's sleepy time for you."

  "No!  I no seepy!"

  "Not sleepy?"  Hawk said in mock surprise.  "Don't you want to go swimming with Grumpa later?"

  "I sim!  Gunpa!  Me!  Me!"

  Hawk chuckled.  "Okay, me, me, you need to take a nap first, and then you can go with Grumpa."


   Julia laid down without further complaint, and closed her eyes.  Hawk watched his daughter for a moment, and tried not to feel jealous of his father in law.  His father in law seemed to have the magic touch with females of all ages, even the toddler ones.

 Julia loved spending time with her Grandpa, and would do anything for him.  Her mom and dad?  Heck no, she fought them over every little thing.  His father in law had over heard him talking to Skye about it one day, and had interrupted them to say, "The lil Spitfire has good taste birdboy, she must take after me."  And then he had given Hawk that grin that irritated him to no end.  That all knowing, blasted grin...


  "Okay lil Firecracker, are you ready?"

  Julia kicked her feet in the water.  "Me!  Me!"

  He pulled her back, and swung her through the water.  "One!"  Julia giggled as he did it again.  "Two!"


  "Three!"  Colin threw her up high in air, and then caught her.

  Julia shrieked.  "Gan!  Gan!"

  "Do it again?"


  "Okay Spitfire, you asked for it!  One, two..."


  He threw her up into the air, and caught her.

 "Mo!  Mo Gunpa!  Mo!"

  Colin laughed.  "My little adrenaline junkie." He said fondly.


   He happily threw her up into the air several more times, and then chuckled.  Skye would have a f*cking cow fit if she could see them.  Good thing for him, she was preoccupied with grading papers.  He brought Julia closer to the water, and let her splash about.

  Julia kicked her feet, giggling when she managed to spray him with water.  "Oh, you think that's funny do you?"  He pretend growled.

  She splashed him again, and chortled, pleased with herself.  "Gunpa wet!"

  Colin loved all of his grandchildren equally, and spent as much time with them as they would let him, but he was especially close to Julia.  They had really bonded, much to his daughter's chagrin.  Skye was such a f*cking worrywart, always worried that something was going to happen Julia, and she fretted about it constantly.  Colin grimaced.  If she could put her daughter in a f*cking plastic bubble, then she would, all in the name of keeping Julia safe.

  Trouble was, Colin could recognize Julia's spirit, for it was a lot like his own.  Rebellious.  Only time would tell, but Colin had a hunch that Skye was going to have her hands full with this one.

  He swung Julia up, and held her above his head.  He grinned at her.  "You think soaking Grumpa is fun..."

  "Fun!  Gunpa wet!"  She giggled, her eyes were alight with mischief.

  He dragged her through the water again, and she squealed.


  Colin tipped a giggling Julia onto her back, and helped her float.  Julia had no f*cking fear, and trusted him implicitly, which freaked the h*ll out of him in some ways.  He pointed to the puffy white clouds in the sky.  "Look Squirt, clouds.  There's a monkey cloud, he's going to tickle you"  He playfully waved his fingers above her as she laughed.

  She pointed up.  "Pwetties!"

  "Is that so?"  Colin looked up.  "Well, I'll be, Miss Julia, you're right.  Pretties they are!"

  She smiled smugly.  "Pwetties."


   Hawk glanced up at his wife as she came into the kitchen, holding a very vocal, unhappy Julia.


  "She's being impossible today!"  Skye said, exasperated.  "She barely let me brush her hair, and she refuses to let me get her dressed!"

  "No dwess!  No dwess!"

  "See!?"  Skye closed her eyes for a moment, and searched within herself for one more strand of patience to deal with her stubborn daughter.  "It's Saturday!"  Skye wailed.  "I had so many things I wanted to do with her today, like mother daughter shopping!  They have the cutest dresses in that little shop downtown..."

  "No dwess!  No dwess!"  Julia hollered.

  "Well, Skye,"  Hawk said diplomatically, "maybe she's a little young for shopping.  We could take her to the park though."

  Skye's face fell.  "I suppose."  She sighed.  "I had so hoped, well, never mind that then.  Julia, how about we go to..."

  Hawk watched the bowl of fruit in front of him start to shake.  "Julia."  He said sternly, trying to snap his daughter out of an impending fit.  He was marginally successful, as the bowl stopped shaking, but Julia started wailing again.

  Hawk sighed, one disaster averted.  He feared that her powers might develop more quickly than her maturity, and that would be frightful indeed.

  "Are you pinching that cute little baby Skye?"  Luna asked, as she came over to see what the commotion was all about.  Hawk really wished Luna would be more careful with her words, Skye already struggled with feeling inadequate as a mother.

  "No."  Skye said, a little short.  "I'm just trying to get my daughter to..."  Skye's voice was drowned out by Julia's wails of no "dwess".  "Julia, please calm down baby."  She gently bounced Julia in her arms, but Julia wouldn't settle down, and continued to cry.  "She's just so impossible sometimes!"  Skye felt like crying along with her daughter.  All she had wanted to do was spend some time with her on her day off, and have some fun.  Motherhood was definitely not what she had expected it to be.

   "What the h*ll is all that noise?"  Julia suddenly stopped crying, but her lower lip still quivered.

  "Dad!"  Skye chastised her father.  "No cursing around her, remember?"


  "Hawk, would you take her, and see if you can do something with her, I just, I just..."  Hawk held out his arms out and Skye tried to transfer Julia over, but she resisted.

  "No!"  She howled.  "Gunpa!  Want Gunpa!"

  "Grumpa doesn't take howling monkeys."  Colin said calmly.  He watched as Julia processed what he said, and then calmed herself down.  He held back a grin as she smiled at him, all winsome and sweet once again.  He shook his head, the little faker, he was wise to her tricks.

  "Gunpa hug?"  She held her arms out to him, and Colin looked to Skye for permission, who wearily shrugged and handed her daughter over.

  "I don't know why she behaves so well for you Dad, but I'm grateful for it."

  "Because I'm not her parent."  Colin told her.  "Grandparenting is way more fun, than parenting."  He turned his attention to his granddaughter.  "Now you lil firecracker you, how about you and I have a little chat about that temper of yours..."


  "Once upon a time, there lived an Evil Queen..."

  Hawk had decided a good way to introduce his daughter to his story, was through a fairytale story.   "This Evil Queen had two children, a boy, and a girl."

  Julia pointed at a picture. "Pwincess."

  "That's right, the Princess was sad, because the Evil Queen..."


  "Terry, I need some back up over here!  We're losing our base!"

    "On my way!"

  Kalen thought Terry was a lot of fun, and she never seemed to look at him as anything more than a friend, which was perfectly all right with him.  He had no interest in having a girlfriend, just listening to his friends talk about theirs he had come to a conclusion.  Girls took too much money and time, and he wasn't willing to part with either.

  Kalen had plans, big plans for his life.  He wanted to travel the world, and explore history while finding artifacts from the past.  Hanging around in this town, tied to one girl, and even worse, having the burden of kids, it just didn't factor into his life.

  Kids, he had discovered, were a pain in the butt.  If having Kate hadn't cured him of ever wanting children, his cousin Julia sure would have.  Man she was so noisy, and she always got into his stuff, she had even eaten his homework once, not that anyone believed him. 

  Still, he liked the company of girls, he just didn't want any of the expectations or complications associated with them.  Terry fit that bill rather nicely.  "Woohoo!" he crowed as he blasted his way through an enemy line of soldiers.  "Behind you!"  He warned Terry.

  "I see him.  Gotcha!"

  "Kalen, would you guys keep it down!"  Tanner grumbled.  "I'm trying to work here."

   "Whoops!  Sorry Dad!"  His dad had been a little grumpy lately, like he had a lot on his mind.  He was hoping it was because his dad was finally going to propose to his mom.  He had just happened to see the engagement ring in his dad's hand the other day, but he had quickly pocketed it as soon as he had seen Kalen watching him.

It had certainly taken his dad long enough to get a ring.  Sheesh.


  "Out pease?  Daddy?"

  Sometimes his father in law drove him crazy, but Hawk couldn't deny that he was good for Julia.  She hadn't thrown a temper tantrum ever since her and her Grumpa had a little chat.  In fact, she had even learned a new word, please, which had thrilled Skye to no end.


 Hawk could still see the occasional flare of temper in Julia's eyes at times, but then she would glance over at her Grumpa, and the temper would fade away.  Colin was nothing short of a miracle worker, not that Hawk would ever tell him so.  He was conceited enough as it was.

  "Come here Pumpkin."  He lifted his daughter up, and cuddled with her for as long as she let him.  In Julia time, that meant it only lasted mere minutes before she was struggling to be put down.  His Julia was a go getter, never content to just...hold still for a minute or two.

  Her energy seemed boundless, she would run and run and run until she passed out, and then she would wake up and run some more.  Sometimes Hawk feared he would be unequal to the task of raising her or teaching her what she needed to know.  In theory it had seemed easy enough, but he had not taken her personality into account when he had made his plans.

  In his mind, his child had been compliant.  Hawk knew how his mother would have dealt with non-compliance, but he did not want to break Julia's spirit, he loved his daughter's passionate, adventurous spirit; he just needed to help her temper it bit...


  "Uh, Luna?"  Tanner cleared his throat nervously.  "I have something I wanted to ask you."


  "Well,"  Tanner pulled at the neck of his shirt, was it just him or was it warm in here?  "We've been together, well, since we were kids, but together together, you know, romantically..."

  Luna smiled at him.  "I'm aware of all of that, yes."

  "Well, yeah."  He said sheepishly.  "Anyway, what I was trying to say, was, you know, I..."  His voice trailed off for a moment, and then he regathered himself.  "I don't know why I'm so nervous."

  "Because you're adorable."  Luna told him, and she grinned at him.

  He smiled back, and suddenly he wasn't nervous anymore.  "I have loved you for all my life Luna, through the bad times, and through the good times.  I love our life together, and I want to make us officially official. Would you make my lifelong dream come true, and marry me?"

  Luna was stunned, and couldn't take her eyes off the ring.

  "Luna?" Tanner prompted.

  "Yes! I'd be honored to be your wife!"

  "Whew, you had me worried for a moment."  Tanner said as he got up off his knees and put the ring on her finger.

  "I'm sorry."  Luna said softly.  "I was just thinking how stupid I was when I was younger, not to see what was right in front of me..."

  Tanner put his finger over her mouth.  "Hush now Luna, we're not looking back, remember?  That was in the past, and I am way more interested in our future together."  He pulled her in close to him.  "I think we should travel, and have some fun, once Kalen graduates."

  Luna thread her fingers through his hair.  "I've always wanted to travel."


  "I know."  He smiled at her.  "Think of all the adventures we could have!  I think we should go to France first, and check out the Museum d'Art.  I bet if you show them some of your pieces, they would even display your work.  You're a brilliant artist."

  Luna chuckled.  "Flattery gets you every where."

  "It's not flattery if it's true."  Tanner said loyally.

  "I love you Tanner."  Luna said, and then she kissed him.


  "I love you too."


  Julia frowned.  It was her birthday, why couldn't she do what she wanted instead of what her mother wanted?  It didn't make any sense to her at all.

  Julia didn't care about the cake or the ice cream, she wanted to go night swimming with her Grumpa, and see the Glo-fish.  Stupid cake.  She didn't even like cake anyway.

  "Julia!"  Skye called.  "Come here Sweetie."

  Julia ignored her mother.  It just wasn't fair.

  "Squirt, get your a*s in here, or forget about going with me tonight."

  Julia squealed, and ran into the kitchen where her whole family waited, with a lit birthday cake.  She was going swimming after all!

  "Dad, language!"  Skye admonished, "Put a quarter in the jar!"  She then turned to Julia with a big smile on her face.  "There's my birthday girl!"  They started singing Happy Birthday to her, but she only half payed attention, she only had one thing on her mind.  She was going night swimming with her Grumpa!


  "Come on Spitfire!"

  Julia shivered.   "The water sure is colder at night!" she exclaimed.

   "That's right, it's not for the freaking wussies, only for the strong ones like us."  Her grumpa bragged.

  "Mother says it's only for the crazies."

  Her grumpa laughed.  "Or those." He agreed.  Julia giggled, she loved her grumpa's laugh, it made her happy just to hear it.

  "Where are the Glo fish Grumpa?"

  "In the deeper water, come on Spitfire, get your a*s over here."

  "Ooooh, Grumpa, you said a naughty word."


  "I'll put another quarter in the jar when we get home."  He grumbled.

  Julia grinned.  "Mother says you're going to pay for her vacation to Egypt with your words."

  "She does, does she?"

  "Yep.  She says you're incorrigible, just like me."

  "I think you got that backwards Squirt."

  Julia frowned.  "Backwards?"

  "Yep, I think you're incorrigible, just like me.  Come on Spitfire, if you want to see those Glo fish, we better get our a*ses moving."

  "Two quarters!"


   "I'm glad you're keeping track, you'll make your mother proud."  He grinned at her.  "Come on, let's go."

  "Mother's not as fun as you."

  "Whoa, Julia, I don't want to ever hear you say that again, you hear?  Your mama tried for a really long time to have you, she loves you, and would do anything for you.  You understand me Squirt?"

  "Yes Grumpa."  Julia said dutifully.  Inwardly though, she still thought it.  Her mother wanted her to take stupid ballet dance class, and stupid piano lessons, and wear stupid dresses, and have stupid tea parties, all that stupid boring stuff.  Julia would rather be outside on the beach, or even better, swimming around in the Ocean. She wanted to be just like her Grumpa.


  "Dad, do we hafta to do this now?"  The only thing worse than piano and dance lessons, was what her dad called, 'Survival Lessons'. 


  Hawk turned towards his daughter.  "Yes."  He answered.  "Don't you remember what we talked about?"

  Julia sighed.  "Yes, I have to learn to defend myself because there are evil people out there that want to hurt our family."

  Hawk smiled at her.  "That is why I must start teaching you, because there is a lot to learn.  The first thing you must know Julia, is how to control your power.  Once you can control it, then you can use it to defend yourself, and protect others.  Your powers will only grow stronger as you grow older, and you don't want to accidentally hurt anyone, right?"

  Julia nodded.

  "Okay, so, first, watch me, and then I'll show you how..."


  "Malfunction.  Malfunction.  Malfunction."

   "Bob!"  Jack sighed.  "What have you gotten into now?"

  "Malfunction.  Malfunction.  Malfunction."

  "I really need to program more words for you."

   "Malfunction.  Malfunction.  Malfunction."

  "Yes, yes Bob, I see you're malfunctioning, hold still would you...Bob!  Have you been in the swimming pool again?"

  "Malfunction.  Malfunction.  Malfunction."

  Jack grumbled to himself.  "Malfunction alright!  Bob you can't go into the water!  I sure thought that last programing update took care of any swimming urges you might have."  He pulled out his screwdriver and opened up the panel to bob's postitronic brain.  "Back to the drawing board I guess."



  Julia sighed.  Her mother was calling her...again.  How was she ever going to get ready for tonight's party with her mother bugging her every few minutes?


  "What Mother?"  Julia hollered back.

  "When did you say that party ended?"

  "I didn't."  Julia muttered to herself.  She walked into the room where her mother sat, grading papers.  "Two a.m., I think."

  "Two?  Oh no, miss, there is no way you are staying out that late on a school night.  I want you home by 10."

  Julia groaned.  How lame was that?  10!?  Ha!  As if!  That was simply unacceptable.  "Yes Mother."  She said politely.  Thankfully she knew a handy little trick that would confuse her mother's memories a little bit, which would allow Julia to stay longer.  Her dad was off on some mushroom gathering trip for a few days, so as long as she avoided her Grumpa, she could stay as long as she liked.

  She had tried out her powers on her Grumpa a few times, but for whatever reason, they never worked on him.  It wasn't like she could ask her dad or anyone why, because then she would have to confess to what she had been up to.  So if her Grumpa caught her, she was in big a*s trouble.  She had no intentions of getting caught though, no intentions at all.


Notes: What a whirlwind of time, lol :P  I have a bazillion pictures of Julia, because I think she is just so darn adorable, but I decided using all the pics just because I have them, would only bog my story down.  Her early years aren't too terribly important, other than she's learning stuff, and she takes more after her grandfather than her mother.

  Poor Skye, she survives to raise her daughter, but her daughter is not at all interested in any of the girly stuff that Skye wanted to with her.

  Kalen is not interested in romance, he rejects all flirts, lol  He does however, have lots of friends! =)

  And, yay!  Tanner and Luna are finally getting married!  There probably won't be a wedding though--maybe a mention next chapter.  Weddings are always annoying glitch fests for me, so I stopped doing them.  Now everyone gets married privately, lol

  My kids call their paternal grandfather, Grumpa.  I have always thought it was pretty cute. <3

  Questions?  Comments?  Thanks for reading! =)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Chapter 87: Promises

Warning: Language


   Luna still couldn't get over the fact that this tall, handsome young man with the deep voice was her little boy Trevor.  Where had all the time gone?  "Yeah?"

  Trevor grinned.  "I got it."


   Luna squealed.  "You did?"  She hugged him tightly.  "I'm so proud of you!"

  "Mom!"  Trevor laughed.  "I need to breath!"

  "Oops, sorry."  Luna smiled and let him go.  "When do you start?"


  "So soon?"  Luna said, disappointed. 

  "This is my big chance Mom, I'm ready."

   "I know you are, it's just..."  She sniffed, trying to keep her tears at bay, "I'm just really going to miss you."

   "Mom, it's okay!  You act like you're never going to see me again."  Trevor chuckled.  "I'll still be around."

  "Maybe." Luna acknowledged.  "But with your big important job, you might not have time to come visit little old me."

  Trevor shook his head in exasperation.   "I'll always have time for little ole you Mom."  He hesitated for a moment, and then said,  "Now don't freak out, but Mayor Raas has put me in charge of setting up a program to help prevent domestic violence."

   Luna stiffened, and then forced herself to relax.  "Really?"

  Trevor nodded.  "I want to help make sure that others don't have to go through what you went through."  He paused for a moment, and then said in a rush, "Mom, what really happened to my father?  Do you know?  I haven't seen him since I was a little kid, and I always wonder if he's going to show up one day.  And then what would I say to him?  I know I'd like to punch him for what he did to you."  

  Luna sighed heavily.  She had known that eventually she and Trev would need to talk about Trevor's biological father, she just hoped that what she had to say didn't hurt him any further than he had already been hurt.   "For many years, I didn't know."  She paused, gathering her thoughts.  It was so hard to think of Devin, and to remember her younger self, and how much she had suffered, how much Trev had suffered, all of it needlessly.  It shamed her even now to think of it.

  "I didn't want to know."  She confessed.  "I was so torn and mixed up, but a few years after moving here, I finally asked your Grandpa, just what had happened, how did he die."

  Trevor stared straight ahead, his face emotionless.  "He's dead?"  He was silent for a moment, he had hoped his father was dead, and then felt guilty about it.  Shouldn't a son love his father no matter what?  But he hadn't, he had only felt relief as a kid when his father had suddenly stopped coming around, so much relief he hadn't even asked why.  He had always considered Tanner more his father than his real one anyway.  "And what did happen?"

  Luna looked away.  "Something I never expected."


  Trevor turned back towards her, curious.  "Like what?"

  "Trev..." Her voice trailed off.  "I'm scared that you'll pursue this, and I don't want you to."

  "Mom, I'm an adult now, not a little kid.  I can handle the truth, and I'm fully capable of making my own decisions."

  Luna bit her lip.  "I know.  I just..."  She sighed again.  "When your father, well, that last time he hurt me pretty badly, and I ended up in the hospital, I nearly died.  Your Grandpa was so p*ssed, he didn't even pack a bag, he just left for Bridgeport, with one thing on his mind.  Finding your father.

  He wasn't gone very long, and when he came back, as you've heard, he refused to talk about it.  Until that day, when I finally asked him.  Did he kill him?  I was so sure he had, because the police reported that your father disappeared, and he has never been seen again."


   "Whoa!?  You mean his body was never found?  Couldn't he still be alive then?"

   "Yes, his body was never found, and no, he's not alive.  According to your grandfather, after searching the city for a couple of days with no luck, he found out that a Mr. Nickolas Alto owned the team that your father played for.  He marched into Mr. Alto's office, and demanded to know where Devin lived.  Mr. Alto threatened to have your grandfather arrested if he didn't leave immediately, which, " Luna sighed, "Dad didn't take too kindly to.

  After Dad took care of Mr. Alto's security team, Mr. Alto decided it would be wise to hear Dad out.  So they talked, for hours I guess.  Dad told him why he was looking for him, what had happened to me, and about you, and Mr. Alto then let Dad in on a few truths about Devin.  One, he had married Mr. Alto's sister right after graduation."

  Trevor was stunned.  "He did what?!"

  Luna smiled sadly.  "Yeah, he did.  He married her, because her brother owned the best team, and your father, Devin," Luna corrected herself, Devin had never been a true father to Trevor,  "was an ambitious man.  He was determined to make it to the top, by any means necessary."

  "But, what about you, or me?  Why?  I don't understand!"


  "We just fed his ego, that's the sad truth.  Me, I was his conquest, proof that he could juggle more than one woman at a time, and what did I ask of him?  Very little.  I was such an idiot.  You, you were his only son, and that went back to him proving his manhood."

  "His only son?  The way you said that..."

  Luna said quietly, "He and his wife had two girls, twins."

   Trevor stared at his mother.   "So, I have twin sisters?"

  "Yes, but Trev, please leave it alone!  The Alto's are bad news, they're part of the mob, you'll get yourself killed snooping around.  It was Mr. Alto that had Devin disposed of, before your grandfather ever had a chance to get anywhere near him.  Mr. Alto had Devin cemented and deposited into the Bridgeport River.  Mr. Alto owns the police around there, so no law will ever find him, he didn't take too kindly to Devin playing his sister like that."

  "I don't know what to say."

  "Tell me you'll stay away from them."

  Trevor hugged his mother.  "Of course Mom."


   "I have all the family I need, right here."

  Luna sighed in relief.  The truth was out, and she was so relieved that Trevor wasn't going to pursue it further.


  Skye felt nauseous.  What had she eaten for lunch again?  Oh yeah, a corndog.  She had been craving one, but it seemed the corndog was not loving her back.  She put her hand over her mouth, and groaned.  Definitely no more corndogs, they weren't worth this misery.

  Another wave of nausea hit her, and she tried valiantly to beat it back, but it didn't work.  She raced for the bathroom, and puked her guts out into the toilet.



  "Hey Nate!"  Colin greeted his best friend.  Not only had they instantly hit it off, but Colin had discovered that Nate was also highly skilled in the art of Wu Ying Tao.  They had both agreed to get together at least once a week to test each other's skills, and spar.   Colin had kept up with the discipline, using a training dummy that Wu had gifted him long ago, but to have an actual person to spar with?  F*cking priceless. "Are you ready to get your a*s kicked?"  


   Nate smiled.  "I wasn't the one on the ground last time buddy." He said easily.

  Colin smirked.  "You took me by surprise, that's all.  Don't expect it to f*cking happen again."

  Nate chuckled.  "You must love the taste of crow."

  Colin and Nate good naturedly traded insults until Nate's daughter interrupted with a groan.  "Really guys?  Are you ever going to spar, or am I going to die of old age here?  Do you really need me to count points Daddy?  If you don't, I'd rather go to bed, I'm tired."

  "Go head Tasha.  That way there won't be an audience to Colin's defeat, he has a delicate psyche you know."

  "Ha!"  Colin snorted.  "Delicate my a*s.  Prepare to eat your words a*shole."

  "Bring it on."


  Colin did a left front kick, which Nate easily blocked, and the game was on.  While they sparred, they talked, like they usually did, about their families and such.  "Smart move giving that position to Trevor."

  "He was the best qualified."

  "Of course he was."  Colin said as he blocked a downward strike.  "He's a smart kid, takes after me."

  Nate laughed.  "Sure he does."

  "Just you wait, someday he's going to be f*cking doing your job, and he'll do it better."  Colin bragged.


  "I hope so."  Nate commented, as he blocked another kick.  "I want to retire someday, and just sit and do nothing for a change. Trevor is ambitious, empathetic and he's got a good head on his shoulders, he'd make a great mayor.  "

  Colin chuckled.  "Yeah right, like you would ever f*cking retire.  What the h*ll would you do with yourself?"

  Before Nate could answer, his wife, Bethany opened the front door.  "Nate, the baby wants you."

  "I'll be in a minute."  He bowed towards Colin, and Colin returned the bow.  "Duty calls.  Until next time?"

    "Saved by the baby again."  Colin snickered.  "Other than family, you're the only person I know of who has more kids than I do, what do you have, a dozen of them?"

  Nate's eyes twinkled.  "We're working on a baker's dozen, after that, well, we'll see."

  "That's a sh*tload of kids."

  Nate laughed.  "What can I say, I find my wife very attractive."

  Colin shook his head.  "On that note, I'm getting the f*ck outta here."  Colin didn't begrudge his friend's happiness, he just couldn't f*cking stand to be around it too much.  It just reminded him of what he had lost, who he had lost.  Even all these years later, he still couldn't f*cking move on, despite the many interested looks thrown his way, and despite the urging of his kids.


  Hawk tried to concentrate on his book, but he was too worried about his wife, and he kept sneaking glances at her.  She was always pale, tired, and she couldn't keep anything down.  Thinking she was pregnant at last, he had bought a pregnancy test for her, but the test was negative.  She wasn't pregnant.



  If she wasn't pregnant, then what was wrong with her?  She was supposed to have seen the doctor today to determine that.  He resisted the urge to wake her up, she needed her sleep.

  He flipped another page without reading it.

  She had lost weight, and there were hallows under her eyes.  He had mixed up some herbs for her, to help her stomach settle down, but nothing had seemed to work.  He hated to see his wife so miserable.

  Skye stirred, and then sat up with a yawn.


  She noticed Hawk quietly studying her.  "Hey, you're home."  He nodded.  "Did you find the rare herb you were looking for?"

  "No,"  Hawk answered her, "but I'd rather hear about your appointment.  Are you okay?"  His worst fear was that something was seriously wrong, and that he would lose her.

  She smiled.  "I'm pregnant."

  Hawk stared at her.  Had he heard her right?  "What?  But the test..."

  She shrugged.  "I guess I took it too early."  She bit her lip.  "I don't want to tell anyone yet, because I could still..."  Her voice trailed away.  She left the word miscarry unsaid, but Hawk heard it anyway.

  He hugged her.  "Whatever you want Skye."


  "...and I don't ever want kids."   


   The local highschool had a Real Baby program to help prevent teen pregnancy by giving them a small taste of what it was like to be responsible for a baby.  Each teen had been paired with a partner, Kalen had been paired with Mona Capp.  She had decided their 'baby' was a girl and had named her Kate.

  Kalen hadn't cared what it was, or what the name of it was, he had thought the whole thing was stupid.   What could he learn from dragging a dumb doll around for a couple of weeks?  Turned out he had actually learned quite a bit from it, the most important of which---he definitely didn't want kids.  They were a pain in the butt.

  "All it did was cry, cry, cry!" he complained.  "I didn't get any sleep for two weeks straight!"


  "Kate did cry a lot."  Mona agreed.  "Mr. Lamour says that some babies are like that, they have colic, they're not always smiling and happy like they show them in the baby commercials."

  "Ain't that the truth!"

  Mona smiled shyly.  "I'd still like to have kids though, someday."

  Kalen stared at her.  "Really?!  Why?"

  She shrugged.  "I like kids."

  Kalen shuddered.  "I don't.  I'm glad we don't have any real babies around the house.  Mom's done with having kids, and Aunt Skye has never had any.  I think she's getting too old now anyway."  Kalen nodded his head.  "Yep, too old."  Besides that, he didn't like to think of any of the adults in his household having s-e-x, it was just too gross.  Aunt Skye and Uncle Hawk?  His mom and dad?  Ewww!


  "After we finish up this school report, do you want to go to a movie or something?"  Kalen had always found schoolwork a deadly bore,  but at least with this assignment, he had someone else to do the work for him.

  "Sure, I'd love to."  Mona handed a pencil.  "I'll speak,  you write."

  "What?!  It was supposed to go the other way!"

  Mona rolled her eyes.  "Nice try Kalen."  He blew a raspberry at her, and she grinned back.  "Let's get to work."

  "I hate that word."  Kalen grumbled as he sat down beside her on the ground.


 "I think we're really going to have a baby!"  Skye's eyes shone as she looked up at her husband.


  Hawk hugged her.  "What all did the doctor say at your appointment?"

  "He said everything seems to be okay so far, there's no real signs of my body miscarrying this one.  I've had a few twinges though, and since I'm a high risk pregnancy he gave some rules to follow.  Like no heavy lifting or anything.  I might have to stop teaching for a while, and go on bed rest towards the end of this pregnancy.  He said we'll take it step by step.  Oh Hawk!  I can hardly believe it!  You always had faith that it would happen, but I didn't!"

  He smiled weakly.  "Yeah, I always knew it would happen sooner or later."  He had just assumed it would happen sooner, and now, after all these years, they were finally going to have a baby.  A son, the child of promise...  The ramifications of it all started to hit him.  The prophecy.  His mother.  He had to keep his son and Skye safe.  But how?

  Skye frowned.  "Aren't you happy about it?"

  "Of course I am."  He answered swiftly.

  "Oh, you just seemed, I don't know, troubled."

  He forced a smile, to try and reassure her.  "I'm just stunned."

  Skye smiled happily.  "I know!  Me too!  It's a wonderous thing, I think it's time to let the family know."

  Hawk nodded.  "I'm sure your dad will be thrilled with another grandson."

  "You seem so sure that this baby is a boy.  What if it's a girl?"

  "I just have a feeling it's a boy."

  "Really?  Well, I for one, hope it's a girl.  I can dress her up in those frilly dresses, do her hair, I could teach her how to dance, oh, it would be so lovely to have a little girl."

  Hawk pulled away from Skye, and talked directly to his son.  "Hey there little guy, this is your daddy.  You stay nice and cozy in there, and don't worry, I'll always protect you."  Somehow.


  Skye laughed.  "You persist in the son thing, hmm?  Well, I wouldn't mind a little boy either, just so long as our baby is healthy."

  Hawk smiled at his wife, this time his smile was genuine.  "Agreed." 


  When Skye told her dad, he didn't seem all that surprised at her surprising news.

 "I've had a few kids."  He reminded her as he gave her a congratulatory hug.  "I can spot a pregnant woman a mile away."

 "But I didn't even know until not that long ago, how could you have known?" 


  "My heebie jeebie radar went off."

  Skye rolled her eyes.  "Daddy!"

  He held his hand up.  "Scout's honor."

  "I know better, you were never a scout."

  He sighed.  "Too true.  If I had been, I wouldn't have my built in heebie jeebie pregnant woman radar."

  She shook her head.  "You're impossible."


    The first thing Hawk did in the mornings, after kissing his wife, was to say hello to his son.


  He was worried, but he kept it to himself.  Who would he tell after all?  To confess why he was worried, would be to confess to a few other things, and he just wasn't ready for that yet.  He needed more time.  As more time passed though, the more he worried.  Would Skye ever forgive him?  Could he keep her safe?  Could he keep their son safe?

  And what about her family?  His mother had something special planned for Skye's father, but she had never clued him in on that plan.  At the time he hadn't cared, but now...what was she planning?  He hadn't contacted her for a while, and he knew his mother didn't have much patience to start with, he really needed to send another message, soon.  Before leaving Midnight Hollow he had set up some safety protocols, redirects and the like, with the hope that it would slow her down, and give him more time...

  But how long would it work?  That he didn't know.  He knew that eventually she would tire of receiving encrypted electronic messages from him, and she would seek him out.  Only to find that he wasn't in Midnight Hollow anymore.  She would be furious.  He cringed.

  That was why whenever he was left alone in the house, he spent all his time practicing, honing his skills, for as many hours as he could. He couldn't afford to become rusty, his family's life depended on it.


  Hawk held Skye's hands.  "How are you feeling today Beautiful?  Aren't you supposed to be lying down?"

    Skye sighed heavily.  "I'm bored."  After a rather serious scare and some time spent in the hospital, Skye had been diagnosed with preclampsia.  She had been released under strict orders, most of which boiled down to bed rest.  Lots and lots of bed rest.

 She had managed to get her husband and doctor to agree to let her lie on the living room couch, so she could at least watch tv, but she was even bored with that now.  She was an active person, lying around and being waited on hand and foot wasn't the life for her.  "I just wanted to stand up for a minute and stretch my legs.  It's so hard just lying there doing nothing."

  "You're not doing nothing Skye, you're taking care of our baby."

  "I know, I just hadn't expected it to be this hard.  I'm sorry I'm so whiny."  Skye knew logically what she was doing was best for her baby, that every day their baby stayed inside the womb, would make the baby stronger.

  "Well," he teased, "if anyone was entitled to be whiny, it would be you."  He smiled at her.  "I'm done with the day's herb scavenger hunt, so my time is all yours."

 "Well, you can watch reruns of Simnanny 911 with me, I've only seen them a hundred times or so." 

  Hawk grinned.  "Only a hundred?"  Skye scowled at him, and he chuckled.  "You're cute when you're all disgruntled.  Well, we could come up with a name for our son."

  Skye rolled her eyes.  "Our daughter you mean?"

  Hawk shook his head.  "No, son."  He smiled at her again.  "I was thinking we could name him after your father, then he might actually like me."

  Skye cringed.  "No!  Oh no, that would be like tempting fate, and there's no way I could handle two of them, one of him is more than enough!"  She paused, "I like the name Julia though."

  "Julia?"  Hawk pretended to ponder the name.  "I think that's a terrible name for a boy."

  Skye groaned.


  He sat on the couch, and tugged her down until she was snuggled on his lap.  "What about Peregrine?  We could call him Perry for short."

  Skye loped her arms around his neck.  "Another bird name?"

  "What's wrong with bird names?"  Hawk asked.  "It's kind of a family tradition."

  "Is it?  You never talk about your family at all, and I haven't pushed it because I sense there's some pain there, but..."

  Hawk realized his error too late, he had slipped up, and given her an opening.  Or given him an opening.  He looked at her, at the trust and love reflected in her eyes, and he just couldn't do it.  He didn't want to lose her just yet, he wanted a little more time, so he took the coward's way out again.  He distracted her with a kiss.


  It was in the early hours of the morning when Skye woke up to a sharp pain across her stomach.  She gritted her teeth, and carefully sat up.  Her water had broke, soaking the bed, but worse than that, were the blood red streaks on her sheets. "Hawk," she shook her husband," Hawk,  I need to go to the hospital, now."  Hawk mumbled something.  She shook him again.  "I'm bleeding.  I need to go to the hospital."

  Hawk's eyes flew open, and he bounced out of bed.  "Sh*t!"


  "Hold on Baby, I'll come around and carry you out to the car, just let me throw my shoes on."  He glanced down at his bare chest.  "And a shirt."  He picked up the shirt he had thrown on the floor the night before and pulled it on.  He didn't care if it was dirty, time was of the essence.  Once he had his shoes on, he grabbed Skye's jacket and shoes, and helped her put them on.

  He gently lifted her into his arms, her face was pale, and she moaned as another pain hit her.  "It hurts."

  "I know, Baby, I know.  Hold on, I'll have you at the hospital quicker than you can say spit."


  The Hospital front door banged open as Colin quickly strode through it.

   He made a beeline for the Nurse's desk to find out where they were keeping Skylar.  He had come as soon as f*cking birdboy had phoned him, letting him know that Skye had lost too much blood, and the doctors were trying to save her life.  Colin couldn't even f*cking conceive of losing his baby girl, so the f*cking doctors had better f*cking fix her.  Or he would f*cking fix them.

  He was directed to a small waiting room, where f*cking birdboy was frantically pacing back and forth.  "What the h*ll is going on?"  He barked, and Hawk jumped.

  "They kicked me out."  Hawk said, his voice was thick with emotion.  "They won't let me in to see her, she's lost so much blood.  So...much...blood."  His voice broke.  Hawk had learned at an early age, never cry, tears were weakness, but he couldn't stop them, no matter how hard he tried. He worst fear was coming true, but in a way he had not expected, or anticipated.  It wasn't supposed to go like this.

  "What the f*ck?"  Colin snarled.  "They better f*cking tell me what the f*ck is going on..."  He stopped his rant, when the doctor came into the room.  Colin pounced on him before the doctor could say a word.  "How the f*ck is my daughter doing?  What the f*ck is going on?  Where the f*ck is she?"

  The doctor tensed.  "Please, calm down Sir, and let's all sit down..."

  "F*ck that, talk before I f*cking shove your a*s down your f*cking throat."

  The doctor began to talk...


  Hawk was torn.

  He wished he could be in two places at once, at home with his daughter, and at the hospital with his wife.  No, more than that, he wished his wife was well, and at home with them, where she belonged, not lying lifeless in a coma, in a hospital bed.

  Hawk had only heard bits and pieces of the doctor's explanation of what had happened to Skye; something about her uterus rupturing, which had immediately endangered her life, and Julia's.   It had been touch and go for several hours, they had successfully saved his daughter, in fact, she had been able to go home within a week.  His wife, on the other hand, still battled for her life.

  He cuddled his daughter, and smiled sadly.  He had named her Julia, because that was the name Skye had chosen if they had a girl.  He only wished that Skye could hold her, that he could hear her voice tell him, "I told you so."  She had hoped for a daughter, he had believed they would have a son.

   Why had he believed so strongly that they would have a boy?  The prophecy had said a child, it had not said whether it would be a son or a daughter,  yet he had assumed...out of his arrogance...that of course it would be a son!   Now he held a daughter in his arms, his precious daughter...

  He looked at her sweet, innocent face, and he felt an intense, overwhelming rush of love for her, and a fierce desire to protect her, and keep her safe.  "My Julia, if only your Mama was here."  He brought Julia to the hospital with him, to visit her mother, as often as he could, but hospitals were no place for a newborn.

  He traded time with his father in law, so that Skye would never be alone.  Tanner and Luna helped out as much as they could, but none of it was right.  It was all wrong.  Skye was supposed to be the one that rocked Julia to sleep at night, who fed her, cuddled her, played with her.

  Julia yawned sleepily.  He smiled at her.  He regretted a great many things, but he could never regret having Julia.  Never.  He gently laid her in the crib.


  Julia waved her little arms and legs about, and Hawk stroked her soft, downy hair.  "Sleep well Pumpkin, I will keep you safe, I promise."


Notes:  Mean cliffhanger, yeah, sorry.  We'll find out if Skye recovers or not, next chapter.  It was so hard to make Skye and Hawk wait so long to have a child.  They both rolled immediate baby wishes right after they got married, but I wanted to do something a little different.  Skye is part fae---and as I wrote many eons ago---they do have troubles conceiving, and that is why their numbers are down---and why Ellie sought out a human mate (Reilly).

  Of course, neither Alder nor Colin had that trouble, lol

  I'm not a doctor or anything; uterine rupture is a real thing, and it is serious, but I have taken some artistic license with it. 

  Speaking of Colin, no, he didn't murder Devin, though if he had been able to get his hands on him before Mr. Alto had, he would have.  I thought about it a lot, and decided I didn't want to make Colin a killer---justified or not.  However, I couldn't let Devin live either, haha!  So, enter the mobster.  Devin was playing a dangerous game, convinced he would never be caught, except he was.

  Colin and Nathaniel are best friends.  As soon as the family moved to Sunlit Tides, it was like Colin knew he was there, because suddenly he was rolling wants to spar with someone.  I rarely ever bother with the martial arts skill, especially for inactives, but of course, Nathaniel Raas comes with level 10 martial arts skill.  So it's been fun watching the two of them spar.  Colin wins some, loses some.  But hey, he's sparring the Grandmaster himself!!

  I am missing Alder and Ryder quite a bit.  Ryder was my clean sim, and was constantly cleaning up after everyone.  It was very handy in this hands off generation!  Alder was always good for laughs, he was always up to mischief!!  And he cooked. lol

  A closer pic of Trevor's face, because the pics I used of him in this chapter, he's pulling different facial expressions, lol  I think he's pretty cute.

  Julia. <3  It is probably pretty obvious, but I will state it anyway,  Julia is my Gen 9 heiress.  I'm pretty excited about her storyline, and I can't wait to delve into it!

 Questions?  Comments?  Thanks for reading!  =)