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  • 1. Chapter One The Afterword
  • 2. Truthfully, I’ve Always… Chapter List AquamarineLily~Page 3 Tyranitar/Waverly~Page 62 Salmanca~Page 95 Jif~Page 153
  • 3. You need to see Katie. As soon as possible,” Gwen concluded.“Katie- What?!”“Jaymie… Trust me on this.” 4 DAYS EARILER
  • 4. “Thanks for coming.” The witch behind him took one look athim and shook her head.“The pleasure is all mine, Knightley.” She gazed at the back ofhis ruffled blonde hair.
  • 5. Lucinda De Lune kept a neutral face, it was so hard to hold inthe excitement and anticipation that had been graduallybuilding up since Knightly had called her. He never called her.
  • 6. She turned and wandered toward the single portrait on thebare, white walls.“Is this the girl?” Lucinda didn’t wait for a response, “She’s apretty little thing. But then again, Dream Walkers usually are.”
  • 7. When Lucinda turned, Knightley was already behind her. Shecontinued, “Dream Walkers. I never thought I would seeanother in my lifetime.” Knightley nodded, “Yes, Katie’s a reallyspecial-” He trailed off, as the witch threw her hands in the air.“Katie?” Lucinda grinned at the informal title. Not Subject A orB, but Katie.
  • 8. “It’s not- She’s not-” Knightley stuttered quickly.“You didn’t. No, actually you did. You fell in love. How adorable!Son of the head of NWAM in love with the Dream Walkerprotégé!” She rambled on, as Knightley remained silently, notdenying any of Lucinda’s assumptions.
  • 9. “I want you to turn her.” Knightley interjected abruptly.Lucinda’s eyes light up, “Oh this is perfect! Her powers willstrengthen, I need someone to mentor…” She trailedoff, “Um, was this request cleared with the board?” Knightley’sface darkened and he pointed at her.“Has that ever stopped you before?”
  • 10. “Good point,” She replied as Knightley sat at the desk, fingersflying. She glanced over at the address on the screen.“Here’s where she lives.”
  • 11. “Have you got it?” Knightley asked as they stood by the door.Lucinda clapped her hands in response.“Truthfully, I’ve always wanted to do something like this. Oh,this will be such fun!” She cried, “But wait.”
  • 12. “This white is really getting to me, Sweetie.” And withthat, Lucinda waved her wand in a full circle, chanting quietly.
  • 13. “SO much better,” She sighed, her innocent smile radiatingthroughout the room.“Well, bye now Knightley,” Lucinda smartly walked out of theroom, through the cold, unfeeling hallways, snatching abroomstick from the wall.
  • 14. “Great seeing you!” Lucinda finally called out as she mountedher broom and flew upward. She finally vanished into thesapphire blue sky in a glittering burst of sparkles.
  • 15. Knightley smiled slightly as he watched her go, and he sincerelyhoped that he had made the right decision.
  • 16. He did love her, after all, and he hoped that she would stay safewith the new targets on her back.
  • 17. Mei Yu and Xue Li snapped their heads up in shock as the firstboom of thunder sounded. A thin stream of lightening trickleddown from the sky and in a shower of sickly green sparklesappeared an old woman, a diabolical leer smeared onto herface.
  • 18. Xue Li screamed and leapt backward, covering her ears with herhands in an effort to shut out the alarming cracks of thunder.Rain pelted the sidewalk with a barrage of icy droplets.
  • 19. Mei Yu pressed her hands together and wailed, staring at thehorrid elder who was surveying her surroundings. She couldn’tlook away no matter how disturbing the image was.
  • 20. All went silent for a moment, and Xue Li slowly lowered herhands from her ears. She looked back to the witch, but waseven more frightened at what she saw. Her high pitched shriekfilled the air.
  • 21. “One’s enough for now,” The witch cackled gleefully, a handplaced firmly around Mei Yu’s neck. Mei Yu struggled, but theold lady was unusually strong. She began twirling her wand tosummon a portal.
  • 22. Suddenly, she was thrown backward by an unbelievably strongforce, and in the instant she lifted her hand to her chest, theyoung child bolted, and hurried with her sister down thesidewalk. The witch looked up and into the cold, unforgivingeyes of Katie AquamarineLily.
  • 23. “What?” The witch cried in disbelief, “A Dream Walker?” Shehad no chance to react, shock was evident. Katie reachedforward and placed the palm of her hand on the witch’sforehead.
  • 24. The girls exchanged a look of confusion as the witch vanished aswell as the lightening, and their adoptive mother walked calmlytoward them.
  • 25. Wordlessly, she gave each of her daughters a warm hug.“I am so sorry. I promised to keep you safe, and I will until theend of time,” Katie finally whispered.
  • 26. When the girls got home, Katie sat them down on the couchand began to tell them about their heritage, the line of royaltythat ended with them.
  • 27. “Mommy, why did the evil lady call you a Dream Walker?” XueLi gazed up, her grey almond shaped eyes narrowed ever soslightly, not with distrust, but trying to take in all theinformation she had learned in the single hour.
  • 28. “Yeah Mommy, why?” Mei Yu chimed in, leaning forward. Katiesighed and rubbed her tired head before she finally opened hermouth to speak.
  • 29. “Well my dears, I have a special gift. I don’t really know allabout it yet, but I know that help is on the way. He promised methat last time I saw him,” Katie answered, wistful as shementioned Knightley before carelessly plopping down in a chair.
  • 30. “Mommy who is he-” Xue Li was cut off as a column of goldenlight appeared and the shape of a slender blonde woman slowlycame into view.
  • 31. “Mommy! The evil witches are back!” came the shrill cries ofthe twins as they clutched their hearts in fear.
  • 32. “Oooh. Magivestigium always leaves me a bit light headed…”Lucinda trailed off as she noticed the two young princessescowering by the couch.“Don’t be frightened sweetheart!”
  • 33. Finally, Lucinda cleared her throat and steppedforward, “Knightley sent me,” Katie’s eyes grew as wide assaucers, “And he asked me to give him a little favor.”
  • 34. As quick as a rabbit, Lucinda leapt backward and began twirlingher wand rapidly before Katie could even react.“Magus Mutatio, Magus Mutatio, Magus Mutatio,” Shechanted.
  • 35. Instants later, Katie was dressed from head to toe in whitegarments and a scowl was written on her face. Lucinda wasoblivious to it, and she was smiling widely.
  • 36. Soon however, she noticed the horrified look on Katie’s face.“What’s wrong?” Lucinda asked, confused as why to someonewould not enjoy being a witch.“You turned me into the everything my daughters are terrifiedof.”
  • 37. “Oh, good point.” Lucinda noticed Xue Li peeking throughcovered eyes and waved slightly.
  • 38. “That may take some getting used to…” Mei Yu was failing herarms and making an incoherent noise.
  • 39. Lucinda sat down slowly as the princesses rushed off to bed.They were eager to be anywhere but there, hoping this was alla bad dream.
  • 40. “Knightley told you to do this to me?” Katie bit her lip as shetried to imagine her kind hearted and slightly impatient loverdoing something to cause her suffering. She couldn’t.
  • 41. “Yes dear, but wait, don’t give me that look. Trust me, it’s forthe better. Let me tell you how I first became a witch, five yearsago.”
  • 42. “I had just moved into my new apartment. It was kind ofstrange that I got such a remarkably good price for such a hugecomplex, but I brushed that thought away.”
  • 43. “Later that day, I went out of the main gates to fetch my mail.To my surprise, an elderly lady, no, not like the one whoattacked your girls, this one had a white hat, she was on thegood side, as am I.”
  • 44. “A younger witch joined as well. Together, they informed methat I had been chosen out of hundreds for join their coven.They had arranged for me to move to Neoseekera for thisreason.”
  • 45. “I supposed them explaining the process to me helped, but I stillwasn’t ready for what happened next,”
  • 46. “Just like with your, sparkles enveloped me, and I rose into theair. When I landed, I wore the robes you are wearing now, and Ibecame a good witch.”
  • 47. After telling her story, Lucinda lead Katie outside and theypracticed some wand exercises.“Nice job Katie! You’re a natural!”
  • 48. Before Katie knew it, five hours had passed and Lucinda had tofly, literally.“Nice working with you dear! And you should check thedragon!” came Lucinda’s parting words.
  • 49. Katie walked into the house, and after changing back into hernormal clothes, she approached the dragon on the coffee table.She cautiously reached out a hand toward the dragon.
  • 50. When she pulled her hand back, she was on the astral plain.She blinked in surprise, then when she held the familiarfootsteps behind her, she spun around.
  • 51. Even without the black ninja robes, she knew it was him.Knightley’s eyes still shone with the familiar combination ofhappiness and annoyance, just how she liked it.
  • 52. Before Knightley could comprehend what was happening, Katielaunched herself clumsily into his arm, wrapping her handsaround her neck.
  • 53. When she finally pulled away, she reached out and grasped hishand. His eyebrows were raised with surprise at the unusuallywarm welcome, but it occurred to him that he hadn’t seen herin a year. Time passed differently…
  • 54. Knightley digested that information, but when he looked upagain, he was not met with an excited smile as he expected.Katie looked like she was going to be sick, and her lips were afirm line.
  • 55. “You left me. You left us. For a year. A whole year! What the hellKnightley! You can’t just leave me like that, when I’m worriedsick, and you never sent any sign at all-”
  • 56. Knightly cut her off as he pulled her close.“I’m here now. And I will never leave like that again.”“Truthfully, I’ve always known that this would be hard. I justwish I had a piece of you each and every day.” Katieresponded, much quieter.
  • 57. “As you wish.” came Knightley’s short reply, before hecontinued, “And you must go to Three Lakes to seek theGuardian.”“What do you-” Katie began to ask, when she stopped. He wasalready gone.
  • 58. “Knightley! Knightley!” Katie cried. “Knightley,” She finallywhispered and fell into nothingness, tears forming at the edgesof her deep brown eyes. ~-~-~-~-~
  • 59. Xue Li and Mei Yu yanked open the huge drawers to theirdressers. They reached in and grabbed an assortment ofclothes.
  • 60. “You girls packed yet?” Katie called impatiently from the hall.Before she could add something else, her stomach rolled again.“Ugh. If I didn’t know better, I’d think I was…” She trailedoff, something dawning on her. She was pregnant.
  • 61. “Hurry, hurry girls, the taxi is waiting! Three Lakes here wecome!” ~-~-~-~-~
  • 62. Tim Waverly opened the door to his bedroom, still dressed inhis work clothes from his late night shift. He was meet with asurprise in the form of-“Evangilenne?”
  • 63. “What ever happened to ‘Honey, I’m home’?” came Eve’scomment as she lay sprawled on the bed, foot in a pillow.
  • 64. “What ever happened to it’s three in the morning, you shouldbe asleep?” Tim countered with a raised eyebrow as he sat onthe bed frame.
  • 65. “God Tim, you sound like my mother,” Evangilenne said as shecame to sit on the other side of the frame, making a pouty faceat Timothy.“Sounds like a sensible lady.”
  • 66. “Tiiiim!” Eve cried, pulling him up, “I hate these late night shifts!I never see you, you sleep so late when you work at night!” Timgave her a smile.
  • 67. “Don’t worry about me babe,” He answered easily, “This is justuntil I can land a permanent job at the hospital. Now go to bed!I’ll be up in a sec, I’m gonna grab a bite to eat downstairs.”
  • 68. As Tim left their room and walked toward the stairs, he had tostop and admire the deeds lining the walls. One for each ofEvangilenne’s businesses.
  • 69. The next morning, Tim was back in his uniform, ready for workin an hour. He was shoveling some leftover pancake into hismouth as he heard Eve stomping down the stairs.
  • 70. “Thought you were going to get out of a goodbye kiss?” Eveasked as she slid into the seat across from his. She leanedacross the table and gave him a sweet kiss.
  • 71. “Go get ‘em Tiger,” She smiled as he pushed back his chair.“Love you Eve, have fun at your dinner party.” Eve sighed andshook her head.“That’s tomorrow Hot Stuff.” ~-~-~-~-~
  • 72. Star was perched on the cool granite counter top, feeling verysorry for herself. She hadn’t gotten much attention lately, withEvangilenne fussing over Tim every second.
  • 73. Looks like it hasn’t done him much good though, Star thought asshe watched him dozing off face first in the chili. She crept overto the unwatched bowl of the warm food, and helped herself.
  • 74. “Naughty Kitty!” came Eve’s voice from behind her. Star leaptdown from the counter, and hissing, went to find somethingelse to eat.
  • 75. Evangilenne shook her head, then rushed to her fiancés side.“Tim! Wake up!” She leaned forward and kissed his head.“Get more sleep Sweetie.”
  • 76. That night, Tim didn’t have work, so Eve made it her personaltask to make sure he got some much needed sleep. Shereached over and brushed a stray hair from his face with asmile.
  • 77. “Hi there Kitty! You’re gonna make a good friend for Star! Yesyou are!” Eve cooed, stroking the newest addition to thefamily.
  • 78. However, it seemed like Star didn’t share Eve’s enthusiasm forthe new housemate. She ignored him more than anything else.
  • 79. Tim was wrapped up in his book, a informative textbook aboutthe human body. The chattering of teeth forced him to look up.
  • 80. Evangilenne stood in front of him, bundled up, but pale as aghost. Her eyes had lost their spark, and she looked helpless.
  • 81. Tim hurried up to her, and picked her up easily. She seemedlighter as well, maybe in all of the nursing she was doing for himand his odd work hours, she forgotten to take care of herself.
  • 82. “Wha-” Eve weakly sat up in bed, confused and disoriented.Sun light shone through the windows, and right in front of herwas Tim, a true doctor.“We’re going to the Pancake Palace.”
  • 83. “Wow,” Tim breathed as he saw the Pancake Palace, truly apalace. He hadn’t realized all of the work Eve had put into itwhile he was at work. They started working right away.
  • 84. Tim took off a few days of work so he could work at Eve’sbusiness. It was slow at first, the restaurant being a newestablishment.
  • 85. However, it wasn’t about the money, Evangilenne was elated tobe spending time with Tim, who was not exhausted out of hismind. They would lay under the stars and relax for the firsttime in a long while.
  • 86. Slowly, business began to take off. The Pancake Palace wasbeyond busy, and new and old faces alike joined together for awarm batch of pancakes.
  • 87. Just as Evangilenne closed shop for the day, she heard Timbehind her.“You gotta sec Eve?” He asked easily.
  • 88. She turned quickly and almost spilled the coffee in Tim’s righthand.“You bought coffee for me?” Eve asked in astonishment.“Yup. Vanilla Hazelnut, extra foam.”
  • 89. “Tim, this coffee is heaven on earth!” Evangilenne moaned withdelight after taking a sip.“I try.” Tim grinned and pushed a clipboard toward Eve.
  • 90. “I think we should hire a manager. That way, we can focus onyour next business and make it better than ever!” Tim criedwith excitement.
  • 91. “Wow Tim, you’re really getting into this!” Evangilenne smiled,“Truthfully, I’ve always thought that you didn’t like mybusinesses.” The shocked look on Tim’s face told Eve howwrong she was.
  • 92. “You’re hired! Congrats, you’re the new manager! Call me if youhave any trouble!” Eve shoved a pair of keys into the younglady’s hands and ran to the car on the curb.
  • 93. “Why. Won’t. This. Stain. Come. Out.” Eve scrubbed furiously ata tricky spot of cake mix on the counter. She was in the kitchenof her new store, the Cakery.
  • 94. “Yay! Done! All cleaned up!” Eve dropped the spongeunceremoniously on the dark countertop, then turned andfound herself in Tim’s arms.“I’m proud of you,” Tim smiled, “Proud of all of your hard work,and I love you.” Eve silenced him with a kiss. ~-~-~-~-~
  • 95. “Hello! I’m Kalia Physco. I, or should I say we,” She gestured ather round belly, “Are the head of the Neoseekera WelcomingCommittee. It’s always wonderful to have new families join us.”She held out a slender hand, and Emily Salmanca promptlyshook it.
  • 96. “My goodness, all of you are so kind! I can already tell that wewill enjoy living here,” Emily brushed a stray red tendril of hairout of her face, “Well, I am Emily Salmanca.”
  • 97. “Mom! Where’s my box of books?” Max called from the secondlevel of the front yard. Emily glanced up and gestured slightly atthe young boy.“There’s my son Max… Max, this is Mrs. Physco, it’s sitting rightby the desk!” Max nodded and turned to leave, but not beforehe called over his should, “Nice to meet you! Thanks Mom!”
  • 98. Emily then lead Kalia up to her newly build home. Theystepped through the front door and Kalia saw Max scamperupstairs holding a huge box. Through the doorway, a toddlerwith her mother’s fiery red hair became visible.“This is my daughter, Alexa,” Emily introduced, then smiled asAlexa cooed at her name.
  • 99. Emily peeked into the door to a bare office where a man wastyping quickly on the computer. She closed the door slightlyand quietly, and then turned back to Kalia.“My husband David. He just got a new job right in theIntelligence line of work, but at the moment he’s working fromhome.” Emily sat simply and then gestured toward the couch.
  • 100. Kalia sat down on the newly bought couch, and glanced aroundthe almost bare room.“Yes, we don’t have much right now, we were formally living inan apartment in Pleasant View, and just about all of thefurniture belonged to the landlord. And I must say, Neoseekeraalready seems so much nicer,” Emily explained.
  • 101. “It’s a wonderful place to raise a family,” added Kalia. Emilytilted her head thoughtfully.“So this baby isn’t your first?” Kalia shook her head and laughed.“No, I had octuplets, four girls and four boys, and it’s beenconfirmed that I am currently pregnant with twins,” Kaliabeamed.
  • 102. “Ten kids, wow. And David and I though four would be pushingit!” Emily cried in amazement.“Well, many people have a lot of kids here. There are currentlythree other pregnant women here as well… I just wasconfirmed about an old friend of mine, even though she’s notshowing yet. Oh dear, I must be going,” Kalia said her goodbyes.
  • 103. “Ten kids, wow,” Emily said quietly to herself. She walked backinto the Family Room and saw her husband settling down on anormal computer, he was done with work for the day.
  • 104. “Who was that, Em?” David glanced up as the computer beganto hum to life.“A member of the welcoming committee, Kalia Physco,” Emilysaid as she walked by, “She has ten kids! Imagine that.”
  • 105. Emily bent down toward her daughter and Alexa shiedaway, giggling.“Now Lexi, sweetie, you know you need a bath,” Emily chided.“No Baf! No Baf!” She cried and Emily stood up.“Fine. Later though,” Emily silently scolded herself for beingsuch a pushover.
  • 106. David settled down in front of his daughter on his way to theexercise machine, now dressed in workout clothes.“Hi Lexi. You have to be better for Mommy, okay?” He askedcalmly, watching his daughter carefully.“’K Daddy, I be good.” David smiled and stood up.“Good girl Lexi.”
  • 107. Max was perched on the couch, jittery with excitement. He hadstarted school two days ago, and was instantly popular. All of hisnew friends, who had lived in Neoseekera their whole lives, wereimmensely curious about Max’s old life. One girl in particular caughtMax’s eye. Reasonably quiet, but had a hidden fiery attitude.Apparently, she was part of the richest family in Neoseekera.
  • 108. In fact, Max was so interested in her, he had invited her over. Andto his surprise, and maybe even hers, she had said yes.“Hello Max,” Vivienne looked calming at her with her piercinggolden eyes, cascades of pale blonde hair lining her face.“Um, hi Vivie. Uh, this is my house…” Max trailed off.“Oh yes. It is slightly small for my taste, but,” She smiled.
  • 109. “Oh. Yeah, maybe compared to what you’re used to…” Maxbegan to rethink asking a girl as popular and wealthy as Vivieover.“No, no. You’re getting the wrong idea. I am used to largemanors, but you have one of the largest and loveliest homes inNeoseekera. It’s more comfortable then mine at least.”
  • 110. “What do you mean, Vivienne?” Max asked, confused.“Please just call me Vivie. And my house is very large, true, butit is very unfriendly. I am afraid to sit on the couch, because Imight ruin the Peruvian leather. My parents are at workconstantly, my father at the NeoTV, and my mother at someelite party downtown,” She finished sadly.
  • 111. Emily, who had been standing at the end of the hall behindVivienne, heard the whole story, and her heart ached. Finally,she stepped forward.“Hello! You must be Vivienne Hunt?” The little girl nodded, andMrs. Salmanca bent down and hugged her, “Welcome to ourhouse Vivienne. Make yourself at home.”
  • 112. “Thank you Mrs. Salmanca,” Vivie smiled as she sat down at theMahjong game board, her backpack neatly tucked away in thecorner. Emily nodded and left the room.
  • 113. “Wow Max, your mom’s very kind,” Vivie said quietly, staringintently at her game piece. Max shrugged.“I guess so, but don’t feel bad.” Vivienne looked up sharply.“How did you know?” She asked quickly. Max returned her gazesadly, “It’s written all over your face.”
  • 114. “Hm,” Vivie said, and placed her row of tiles, “I won!” Maxlooked at the game piece in astonishment.“You tricked me! You acted all sad and stuff to distract me!”Max laughed in disbelief.“Well I am my mother’s daughter,” Vivienne said with a grimacethat went unnoticed by Max.
  • 115. “Save the rematch for later!” Emily called out, “Have a bite toeat!” The two kids looked at each other and then scrambled offtheir seats.“Race you!” Max yelled as they clambered to beat one otherinto the Dining Room where the plate of food was waiting.
  • 116. With full bellies, the children wandered back to the waitingMahjong board. Before Max could sit down however, a tall,well-dressed figure appeared in the doorway. Vivienne lookedup and immediantly frowned at him.
  • 117. “Vivienne, come on, we need to get you back home; yourmother and I are going to a gala and we need you to stay withMr. Smith,” Malcolm urged hurriedly.“Ugh Daddy,” Vivie frowned as she turned to Max, “Sorry Max. Iwould rather be here anyway.”
  • 118. “I had really fantastic time though!” She beamed, and Max wasstruck by how pretty she was with a smile lighting up herunusual features.“Me too, Vivie,” Max grinned, happy he could please Vivienne.
  • 119. Her father spun on his heels and began to confidently stride outof the room, Vivienne trailing half-heartedly behind him. Emilypeeked her head out of the Living Room and smiled at the pair.“It was nice meeting you Mr. Landgraab, bye Vivienne, thankyou for coming today.”
  • 120. As Vivienne departed into the chilly night, she smiled as sheremembered the hospitality of Mrs. Salmanca as well as Max.Max… She was going to pay more attention to him from nowon… Much more.
  • 121. Max, perched up on a pile of phonebooks glanced down at hisfather.“Hey Dad?” Max asked slowly, and when David looked up hecontinued, “How do you know when you like a girl?” His dadgrinned at him.“You think about her all the time, you love spending time with her.”
  • 122. “Talking about me?” Emily teased as she walked over to thechessboard where her boys were sitting.“Of course I am, Em,” David grinned cheekily at his wife. Maxgroaned at their sweetness.“Get a room guys!” He ducked his head and made a face.
  • 123. “Max, sweetie, someday you’re going to meet a girl, and start afamily, and your kids will be telling you to get a room. Putyourself in our shoes,” Emily smiled, her silver eyes glistening.“Or maybe I already met her,” Max whispered so quietly thatneither parent heard him. ~-~-~-~-~
  • 124. “Excellent work, Max!” cried Emily as Max held up a report cardwith high marks on it. Max beamed back at the eager tone ofhis mother.“Oh, sweetie, you know Mrs. Physco?” Max nodded, “She’sbringing one of her boys over.”
  • 125. “Why not Derek or Zane or Nate?” Gavin whined to hismother, “You know I had plans.” Kalia rolled her eyes.“Your brothers all have detention along with the rest of theirgym class. And Gavin, Silver doesn’t count as plans. You’re withher everyday. You’ll like Max.” Kalia responded firmly as sheguided Gavin to the Salmanca Household.
  • 126. “Kalia!” Emily hurried down the wooden stairs surprisingly fastfor a woman wearing stiletto heels. She looked over at thebored looking boy, “And you must be Gavin! Welcome! My sonMax is right over there with his father, but he just got the newSimG7 gaming system.” At that, Gavin’s eyes lite up.“Whoa. That just came out yesterday!”
  • 127. Gavin looked over to where a boy his age was giving a man whohad just gotten out of the car a hug. He scampered over to Max.“Hey, I’m Gavin!” Max raised an eyebrow at his enthusiasm.“The SimG7 is in the living room,” was all that Max said inresponse. The two boys hurried into the house as their motherssmiled at one another and followed.
  • 128. “It’s so nice to be free of my kids everyone once in awhile,”Kalia sighed happily as she dealed cards, the quiet beeping of agame system in the background a constant reminder that Gavinand Max were still there. Emily and David laughed in response.“Greg has been working late recently, there are a lot of newhomes being build in Neoseekera,” Kalia continued.
  • 129. “Ha. Well, you’re welcome here anytime,” Emily offered, “Or ifyou and Greg want the evening off, you can surely leave thekids with us.” Kalia laughed a bit a that last part.“Emily, we’ve been through more babysitters than we cancount. Apparently, eight kids becomes a little much tohandle, especially when they’re all complete opposites.”
  • 130. “I’m sure that we could manage,” Emily insisted, “I would lovefor you to have some time to yourself.” Kalia shook her headslowly.“That’s what school is for. Seven whole hours of peace andquiet. Though I admit, I do start to miss the chaos every nowand again,” Kalia replied.
  • 131. “We only have Max in school, and every time he leaves, it’s assilent as a winter night. I can’t even imagine how hard eight is!”David finished, and all of the adults laughed. Just as theyfinished their card game, Kalia got a text from her husband whohad just come home to an empty house.“I must be going, but thank you for the lovely time.”
  • 132. “Thanks for letting me play with your game station, err, you,”Gavin corrected quickly. Max laughed.“It’s fine. And good luck with that Silver girl. I’ve seen heraround in school and she is really pretty,” Max said, thennoticed Gavin’s scowl at the last part, “And totally not my type,”He finished, and Gavin relaxed visibly.
  • 133. “Brie?” Max asked the girl sitting cross-legged in front ofhim, “Anything wrong?” He noted her expression, not usuallyher cheery smile that she had become so well known for.
  • 134. “Oh, you know,” She replied vaguely, picking at a cuticle on herfinger. Max furrowed his eyebrows.“No, Brielle, I really don’t.” Brie glanced up in surprise at hertitle.
  • 135. “Wow Max. You’re the first person to call me by my real namein like, forever,” Brie said with a surprised expression. Maxshrugged.“Well, you never seemed to really enjoy being called cheese,”Brielle nodded at that, “And you have a really pretty name thatno one uses.”
  • 136. “That’s sweet Max,” Brielle beamed at him, “I like it when youcall me Brielle.” Max grinned back and inched toward her.“So what’s wrong?” He became serious at that.Brie ran her hand through her hair, and Max looked closer atthe dark ebony coloured curls. She really was pretty, he thoughtto himself. There was a cute bunch of freckles lining her nose.
  • 137. “Oh, well, um, there’s this guy…” Brielle started, and she tiltedher head to the side, a hopeful expression on her face. Maxsilently urged her on, holding his breath.“And I really, really like him, but I think he likes this other girl,”Brie continued, her voice almost a whisper.
  • 138. Max smiled at her uncomfortably.“Brielle, any guy would be lucky to have a girl like you,” Maxreplied to her. She blushed just as her phone buzzed,interrupting the moment. She glanced at it, and then frownedand stood up.“I have to go home for dinner, Max.” He nodded.
  • 139. “Thanks Max,” Brie smiled sweetly at him and batted hereyelashes, “Truthfully, I’ve always thought you were awesome,”Brie said, then blushed. Max had no words so he stuck out ahand, and laughing nervously, Brie shook it.“Bye Max, see you in school,” She finished, and then left. ~-~-~-~-~
  • 140. Emily was sitting on the exercise machine when the first bout ofnausea struck. Her stomach felt tight, and Em’s breath becameshallow and labored. Slowly, she pushed herself up, from theseat, one hand on her pained stomach.
  • 141. She felt horribly sick, and was sweaty from her exercise session.Emily’s silver bracelet jingled nervously on her thin wrist as sheheld her hand in front of her face. She leaned her head forwardas she began to gag on air. Finally, she mustered up the strengthto run to the bathroom.
  • 142. On her hands and knees, the cool hardwood floor kept herbalance and she lurched forward, holding her face over thepristine porcelain toilet. When she was finished, she stumbledout of the room and down the hall.
  • 143. “Em? Emily? Emily!” David shouted as he stared the sickly greenwater, wondering where his wife was. He ran into each room onthe ground floor, calling her name. Finally, he hurried up thestairs to and continued the process.
  • 144. Finally, he ran into their bedroom, and saw Emily laying in bed, fastasleep. The plain covers were pulled up to her chin, and she seemedpale in comparison to the covers. David suddenly recalled a similarevent three years ago, when Alexa was born. He walked forward andlightly placed his hand on her stomach.“You’re pregnant,” He said simply, and then walked out of the room.
  • 145. Later that evening, Emily crawled out of bed. Her stomach hadthankfully settled, and she felt much better. However, sheraised a thin, red eyebrow as she noticed the tightness of herbaggy, satin pajamas around her belly.
  • 146. She slowly began to stretch her aching body, lifting her left legup, and then her right, and arching her back. She knewnow, especially now, that she had to stay limber and loose. ~-~-~-~-~
  • 147. “Huh? Wha-?” a drowsy Emily slowly pushed herself up, andlooked around bleary eyed. Max glanced over as his motherwoke up.“Hey Mom. You wandered down here at six and then you laiddown on the couch and was out like a light,” Emily nodded andsat back into the plush, cream couch.
  • 148. Emily opened her mouth wide and yawned loudly, releasing allof the tension in her. She turned toward her son.“Max, I’m-” She started before he cut her off.“Pregnant, yeah Mom, that’s obvious enough,” He finished forher, giving her a ‘do-you-think-I’m-a-moron-?’ look. Emily justsmiled at his unfazed reaction and relaxed.
  • 149. David picked up Alexa and swayed back and forth slowly, as shesmiled happily and looked at him.“You’re going to be a big sister soon,” He said softly. Lexi’s eyeslit up with excitement.“Bab-beh!” squealed Alexa as she grasped the collar of herfather’s white t-shirt when he started to place her back down.
  • 150. “Oh, yes. I’m definitely pregnant,” Emily said aloud as she feltthe undeniable kicking from her stomach, just as she had feltwith Max and Alexa. She lightly placed a hand on her stomach.“Names, names, names.” Emily recited thoughtfully.
  • 151. “What in the world are you doing, David?” Emily asked inastonishment as she entered the kitchen.“Cooking for you.” He said, gesturing toward the plate of food inhis hand.“Sweetie, you told me you burn cereal,” Emily reminded him.“I lied. I’ve actually went to culinary food for five years.”
  • 152. “David! Why would you keep such a delicious secret from me?”“I love you Emily.” David announced suddenly. Emily put downher fork and gazed into David’s light blue eyes.“Truthfully, I’ve always known that,” She laughed. ~-~-~-~-~
  • 153. “You’re crazy,” Gwen gasped as she stared at the blonde girlwith identical deep blues eyes.“You wish clone,” I smirked at my former Simself.“What the- What did you say your name was again? Caroline?”“Caroline Gwen actually. And I’m going to ask you again toplease leave and never come back. Ever.” I added.
  • 154. Gwen rolled her eyes, “And I beat you’re going to tell me thatthat girl with Rya is her ‘real’ self.” I threw back my head andlaughed.“Nice try but that’s my sister Rosalie,” I smiled innocently atGwen, “And I will ask you again nicely to please leave.”
  • 155. “Me? Leave? Listen Crazy, I’ll give you five minutes to get thehell off my property or I’m calling the cops.” I crossed my armsand frowned the nuisance in front of me. I honestly didn’texpect her to be this much of a bother. I probably added toomany Outgoing Points.
  • 156. “So who are you supposed to be?” Rya sneered at my sister.“Well not you obviously. I’m much too pretty to be you,” Rosaliesmirked at Rya, “And by the way, Elmo is so out. Hello Kitty’swhere it’s at.” Rya clenched her fists in response.
  • 157. “Listen, I won’t ask you again. There are updates that needwriting.” Gwen cried angrily.“Well duh. Why do you think I’m here? That’s my job, Gwen,” Itried to explain to her.
  • 158. “Honestly, it was a mistake to make you first. You don’t evenlook that much like me! I guess that’s what I get for making asim at ten o’clock at night,” I sighed and shrugged my shoulders.I don’t quite know what I was trying to accomplish by that, butit only seemed to get her angrier.
  • 159. “Alright, I tried reasoning nicely, but you didn’t listen. You’rehistory, Gwen,” I snapped my fingers, and my annoyingexSimSelf vanished along with Rya.
  • 160. “Caroline…” Rosalie gave me a critical look, “You couldn’t justerase their memories? You had to erase them?” I shruggedeasily.“They were ticking me off, Rosie. You know that’s my petpeeve.”
  • 161. “Forget it Caroline, so what’s next?” Rosalie shook her head andstarted over.“Hm, I think I wanna get a puppy. And name him, Percy,”Caroline said thoughtfully.
  • 162. “Caroline, you’ve got to follow the rules. You need to set all ofthe house to Spring First by playing them all. There are peoplewho want updates you know.”
  • 163. “Rosalie, since when do I follow the rules? I’m Caroline Gwenfor Pete’s sake. I know what I’m doing. And truthfully, I’vealways been this much of a procrastinator. So there.” ~-~-~-~-~

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