The Gestalt Legacy 1.2

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Chapter 1.2 of The Gestalt Legacy

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The Gestalt Legacy 1.2

  1. 1.
  2. 2. Thanks for reading Chapter 1.2 of the Gestalt Legacy! In the first chapter, Amarante Gestalt moved to Pleasantview after graduating college. While trying to get her music career off the ground, Amarante met up with a few of the Megahood’s more supernatural denizens, and fell in love with a friend from her college days. He moved in, and the result was, well…the picture above pretty much explains it. Without further ado, here we go!<br />
  3. 3. “Stupid counters…how the hell do they get so dirty so quickly?” Jeremy grumbled. “All I did was make a sandwich. It’s like they expect you to clean this thing everyd--”<br />“WAAHHH!”<br />
  4. 4. “Amarante?” Jeremy called, immediately abandoning the half finished counter. “Babe, what’s wrong? Where are you? Are you ok?”<br />“Ok? Look at me!” Amarante wailed.<br />“Oh my…”<br />
  5. 5. “I’m pregnant! And we weren’t even trying!* How could this happen, I’m not ready for this! What am I going to do?” Swept up the shock of her discovery, Amarante barely felt Jeremy’s arms close around her.<br />Jeremy tried to choose his words carefully, in spite of his girlfriend’s obvious pain—and his newfound status as a soon-to-be father. “Amarante…I don’t know how this happened either, but you know you won’t be alone in this, right? I’m not going anywhere.”<br />*It’s true, they weren’t. I have risky whoohoo enabled, plus I have a silent pregnancy hack installed so this was a complete surprise.<br />
  6. 6. Despite his best efforts, Jeremy was unable to calm Amarante down. “Jeremy! I just…I can’t do this right now ok? It’s too much! I just, I can’t deal with this…! Could you…could you leave me alone for a while?”<br />Though she had no way of knowing, her words cut Jeremy like a knife. <br />“I guess I’ll give you some ‘alone-time’ then,” Jeremy muttered. <br />
  7. 7. As he walked through their front door, a part of Amarante wanted to yell at him, scream at him…do anything to keep him from leaving. But the distrust and confusion that caused her to react so strongly to her sudden pregnancy also caused her to watch him silently walk away. <br />
  8. 8. After cleaning up and trying, unsuccessfully, to get her feelings in order, Amarante called the only other friend she had in the city.<br />
  9. 9. “You know, when you said you had a major problem, sudden weight gain wasn’t exactly what I was expecting,” Cassandra beamed.<br />“…Cassandra, I’m pregnant, not fat.”<br />Cassandra shook her head and laughed. “I know, Amarante. Let’s go inside.”<br />
  10. 10. At first, Amarante waited for Cassandra to begin speaking. But after it was apparent that the other woman was making a point of not starting the conversation, Amarante took a deep breath and, before she could help it, spilled out the whole story.<br />
  11. 11. “…so now I have no idea what to do, Jeremy’s probably going to break up with me, and I’ll have to raise this baby by myself—and I have no idea how since I work such crazy hours. What am I going to do?”<br />“Amarante, have I ever explained my family situation to you?”<br />Amarante thought for a second, and surprisingly, realized she hadn’t. “No, I guess not.”<br />
  12. 12. “After my mother disappeared, I went through a…I guess a phase is what you’d call it, when I felt like I wasn’t in control of my own life. I completely withdrew from my family, would stay in bed for hours…that sort of thing.” Cassandra paused for a moment, scowling. “I met a guy and started a relationship with him immediately, before I realized what a lying scumbag he was. We got engaged, but on the day of our wedding he left. I haven’t seen him since,” Cassandra ended with a bitter smile.<br />Amarante was shocked. “That’s horrible!”<br />
  13. 13. Cassandra’s smile widened. “Yeah, but it doesn’t end there. After my engagement collapsed, my best friend Darren found the courage to tell me he loved me.” By now, Cassandra was positively grinning. “We agreed to take it slow, but since then I couldn’t be happier. We got engaged five years ago, and since then I’ve given birth to two adorable little boys.”<br />“You aren’t married?”<br />“Nope, not yet. We will eventually, when the time is right, but we don’t feel the need to rush into anything. What’s important is that we love and support each other…like you and Jeremy do.”<br />
  14. 14. Calmed and encouraged by Cassandra’s story, Amarante stood up to hug her friend. “Thanks Cassie. Really”<br />
  15. 15. “Of course, Sweetie. Always.”<br />
  16. 16. Unlike Amarante, Jeremy didn’t have the luxury of a friend’s advice at the moment. As he walked to the main doors of the Pleasantview PD, he took several deep breaths in an effort to calm himself down.<br />It’s not her fault, it’s not her fault. This is a big deal for both of us, she’ll calm down eventually, Jeremy thought to himself. So how come I can’t calm down?<br />
  17. 17. To be fair, things at work weren’t going particularly smoothly. In the past few months, crime had sharply increased in several Sim City neighborhoods. Assaults, thefts, even kidnappings were occurring at a particularly alarming rate, and though Pleasantview wasn’t suffering too badly, the same couldn’t be said for her police officers.<br />
  18. 18. Forcing a smile on his face, Jeremy approached Detective Adam Jung as he entered the building. “Adam, tell me we aren’t being sent halfway across the county again. I don’t think I could deal with another three hours of listening to your relationship problems,” Jeremy joked.<br />
  19. 19. “Look man, I can’t help the fact that the ladies love me, alright?” Detective Jung yawned. “But bad news for you—the chief wants to see you in his office, pronto.”<br />Jeremy groaned. “Looks like I spoke too soon. Thanks for the head’s up man.”<br />
  20. 20. “Look, we’re all stressed out, but claiming some fairy tale monsters are the cause of this BS that’s happening around town is crazy! C’mon Victor, think about what you’re saying.”<br />On his way upstairs, Jeremy hesitated near two patrol officers arguing. Though he didn’t eavesdrop as a general rule, this was the first time he’d hear one officer accusing another of believing in “fairy tale monsters.”<br />
  21. 21. “Keep your head in the sand if you want Louie, but the evidence is everywhere,” the officer ranted. “Disappearances, violent crime, government corruption. Connect the dots and it paints the same picture: some thing is controlling the city, Mac!”<br />“Dude, whatever you say.” As Mac Louie got back to work, Jeremy approached his paranoid companion.<br />“I think you’re mixing metaphors, Officer Aspir.”<br />
  22. 22. “Say whatever you want, I know the truth! I don’t need some know-it-all detective telling me I’m crazy,” Officer Aspir fumed.<br />
  23. 23. “Woah, wait a minute!” Jeremy backed up. “ I was just kidding man, calm down!”<br />With a dismissive gesture, Officer Victor Aspir turned to walk away. “I wouldn’t expect anyone here to get it, you’re all so caught up in your own messes that you can’t see what’s right in front of you!”<br />What, Jeremy wondered, the Hell was that all about?<br />
  24. 24. “Ah, Detective Barnes. Derek has been waiting for you.”<br />If there was one person in the office Jeremy could count on to have a little sense, it was Chief Boyle’s wife and receptionist, Cara.<br />
  25. 25. “Thanks Cara. Any idea what this is all about?”<br />“None, but you’ll have to wait another minute or so. Apparently someone filed another complaint about Detective Verr.”<br />“Again?”<br />
  26. 26. “Again.”<br />For Police Chief Derek Boyle, this conversation was not a new one. Though Max Verr’s apprehension rate was among the best in the county, the young detective’s methods often resulted in broken bones and the occasional lawsuit.<br />“Max, all I’m saying is, tone it down a bit. Your last bust ended up on the news, and I’m getting phone calls from lawyers all across town.”<br />
  27. 27. “So you’re saying I should have let the owners of that dog-fighting operation go free, is that it?” Verr growled.<br />“No, I’m saying breaking one’s jaw and giving another a concussion wasn’t necessary. Your job is to enforce the law, not to dole out punishment.”<br />“I’ll take that into consideration, Chief.”<br />
  28. 28. “What the hell is supposed to stop these bastards from doing the same thing once they get out in a few months if I don’t give them a reason?” Max seethed through tightly clenched teeth.<br />Waiting until Detective Verr was safely out of earshot, Jeremy turned back to Mrs. Boyle. “What is it with everyone today?” Jeremy wondered.<br />“Beats me, hon,” Cara drawled. “But it looks like the Chief is free.”<br />
  29. 29. “You wanted to see me, Chief?” Jeremy asked as he closed the door Detective Verr hadn’t bothered to close.<br />
  30. 30. “Ah, yes. How’s it going, Jeremy? I hear your girlfriend’s making quite a name for herself downtown. Everything’s going well, I’m sure?”<br />“Uh, sure. Everything’s great,” Jeremy lied. “Is that why you wanted to see me, Sir?”<br />
  31. 31. “No, no. I wanted to let you know that I need you to head over to Veronaville for the day and cover for one of their officers. It seems that they’ve suffered from a rash of no-shows lately, and they’ve got no one to patrol this afternoon.”<br />“Patrol?” Jeremy protested. “Can’t you send over one of our actual patrol officers? Even if I leave now, I won’t be back until nightfall.”<br />
  32. 32. “If I send one of our patrol officers, then we’ll be understaffed,” Boyle responded with a stern glare. “Understood?”<br />Jeremy sighed. “Of course, Sir. I’ll leave now.”<br />
  33. 33. As it turns out, Jeremy made good time getting back, and was able to make it home by sundown. The long drive to and from Veronaville did nothing but to allow Jeremy even more time to ruminate on his situation with Amarante. Needless to say, he was not in the best of moods as he arrived.<br />
  34. 34. As they sat down for dinner, at first neither spoke. This time, however, it wasn’t long before Amarante broke the ice.<br />“Jeremy, I want to apologize for this morning,” she tentatively offered.<br />Jeremy responded with a wordless glance.<br />“This baby isn’t about me,” Amarante continued. “It’s about us. I admit, I’m scared, but I don’t doubt that you’ll make a wonderful father. I’m sorry for even remotely implying otherwise.”<br />
  35. 35. Though he had planned to deliver a proper rant about Amarante’s lack of faith in both him and herself, and how her unwillingness to get over her past was keeping their relationship from moving forward, when Jeremy saw the sad, hopeful look in her eyes, he forgot whatever it was he was going to say.<br />“Amarante, I’ve been thinking about it all day, and I know this isn’t the most romantic proposal, but now that you’re…well, that we’re having a baby, if you want to get married you know I will.” Jeremy cringed at that last part. This really isn’t going right, is it?<br />
  36. 36. “Jeremy, I love you, but I don’t want you to think that we have to get married just because I’m pregnant.”<br />“No! That’s not it, I just wanted you—”<br />“I know what you mean. And I think, eventually, getting married would be wonderful. But, to be honest we’ve only been together for a few months now, and I think it would be best if we got married when the time is right. Is that ok?”<br />
  37. 37. Feeling a huge burden lifting off of his shoulders, Jeremy laughed. “Yeah, that’s ok. So can we stop being mad at each other now?” he asked.<br />
  38. 38. “That works for me.”<br />
  39. 39. While waiting for their baby to be born, Jeremy and Amarante passed the time in different ways. Jeremy focused on getting promoted, so most of the time he could be found working out, improving his analytical skills, and brushing up on proper crime scene etiquette.<br />
  40. 40. Of course, he always found some time to work on a painting or two.<br />
  41. 41. Amarante was a bit more preoccupied with the future.<br />
  42. 42. Nevertheless, she found that music remained a valuable outlet for her stress. In fact, Amarante was able to channel her uncertainty into writing and composing several new songs.<br />All things considered, as it grew closer to Amarante’s due date, the couple seemed more and more prepared to take on the coming responsibility.<br />
  43. 43. Preparations that, of course, seemed to go out the window once it was actually time to have the baby.<br />“Owwwww! Jeremy! It hurts!” Amarante wailed.<br />
  44. 44. “Don’t worry Babe! You’re doing fine, just remember: short, shallow breaths!” Jeremy cheered the soon to be mother of his child.*<br />*What would be the correct term? Baby Mama?<br />
  45. 45. Before either of them could say another word, it was over.<br />“Welcome to the world, my little Nicholas.”<br />
  46. 46. Though at this age, it’s always hard to tell, it seemed as though Nicholas Gestalt at least looked like a mixture of his two parents. His skin tone was a solid blend of his mother’s light and his father’s dark, and while he had his father’s blue eyes, Nicholas shared his mother’s black hair. In his parent’s eyes,* he was simply perfect.<br />*And in the author’s eyes too!<br />
  47. 47. Nicholas’ babyhood proved to go as smoothly as any baby’s goes. His parents divided up caring for him basically evenly, with Jeremy taking control of feeding him…<br />
  48. 48. And Amarante assuming the less enviable but no less adorable changing duties.<br />
  49. 49. In no time it seemed, it was time for Nicholas’s first major birthday…which Amarante chose to spend in her underwear.<br />“Yay Nicholas! Happy birthday my big, grown up boy!”<br />
  50. 50. “All right kiddo, here goes nothing!” Jeremy yelled, tossing his son into the air.<br />
  51. 51. “Mama! Dada!”<br />To no one’s surprise, Nicholas grew up into a healthy, adorable toddler. However, to both of his parents’ surprise, Nicholas managed to learn all of his basic skills in less than a day.<br />
  52. 52. Each of which Nicholas made to put to the best possible use.<br />“I go outta bed Mama!” <br />Needless to say, he put his parents through quite the workout.<br />
  53. 53. But for the most part, Nicholas was a sweet, well-behaved boy. Even from an early age, he adored playing quietly by himself, preferring his blocks to drawing or his toy xylophone. <br />
  54. 54. For sure, one thing Nicholas never lacked is attention and devotion from his parents.<br />
  55. 55. Relieved that family life was going much more smoothly than they could have imagined, Amarante and Jeremy began to consider expanding their household. For this moment at least, life was good.<br />
  56. 56. “So that’s milk, apples, peanut butter, and, hmm let me see.” Amarante paused. “And bread, right? Am I missing anything?”<br />“Nope, that sound about right. If you want to run in and grab what we need, I’ll bring Nick over to the playground,” Jeremy replied.<br />Though it was easier to have their groceries delivered, Amarante and Jeremy relished any opportunity they had to take their son out to play.<br />
  57. 57. As Amarante made her way into the store, Jeremy turned to his son. “Hey Nicky! Do you want to go play on the llama?”<br />
  58. 58. “Yay llama!”<br />
  59. 59. “Here you go champ, be careful ok?”<br />“K Daddy, I will!”<br />
  60. 60. “Whee!”<br />Jeremy looked down at Nicholas and smiled. There really is nothing I wouldn’t do for this kid, he thought to himself. Amarante too, for that matter. I wonder what’s taking her so long?<br />
  61. 61. “So you’re sure she’s supposed to be here, right?” Geoff Rutherford asked his roommate nervously.<br />Eyes intently focused on the video game rack in front of him, Conner Weir replied, “Yes, I’m sure. They come here every other Thursday afternoon. Now pay attention and do your job, ‘cause the last thing I need is your sister breathing down my neck anymore than she already does, got it?”<br />
  62. 62. “Are you even listening to me?” Conner demanded.<br />“Not really, no. But quit worrying. I’m totally on my game today, there’s no way I’ll screw this one up.”<br />“Oh yeah? Well why don’t you work your game over on the target, dumbass. She’s standing right over there.”<br />
  63. 63. “Oh, right. Thanks man.”<br />Geoff sauntered over to the dark-haired woman to his right, running over his sister’s instructions in his head. I’m supposed to get a feel for her politics, her abilities, and whether or not she’s valuable to the effort. Can’t be too hard, right?<br />
  64. 64. “Excuse me miss, but I couldn’t help but notice. You’re Amarante Gestalt, right?<br />
  65. 65. As she turned to the stranger before her, Amarante felt a familiar sense of dread wash over her body. Though not as intense as the fear she felt the night of her first performance, it was unmistakable. Whatever it was that prompted her to loath the woman who approached her that night reared it’s ugly head the moment she locked eyes with this man.<br />“Y-yes. That’s me,” she stammered.<br />“Ah, great. I’m Geoff Rutherford, of the Belladonna Cove Rutherfords. I just wanted to make a formal introduction, and to let you know that once you start practicing again, we’d love it if you would join us.”<br />
  66. 66. “Practicing?” Amarante stared at Geoff quizzically. “What are you talking about?”<br />“Oh, come on,” Geoff grinned sheepishly. “You know we can recognize our own, so you don’t have to keep on hiding what you are. Unless…you aren’t a part of a Pentacle order, are you?” he asked with a suspicious eye.<br />
  67. 67. “’Our own’? ‘Pentacle Order?’ I have no idea what you’re talking about, but stay the hell away from me and my family!” Amarante fumed, calling the attention of her fellow shoppers.<br />“Hey, I don’t know what you’re playing at here, but we don’t allow apostates in around here…” Geoff’s carefully constructed charming veneer beginning to crack.<br />
  68. 68. Why Marissa chose Geoff to approach Gestalt is beyond me, Conner reflected, as he tried to come up with a way to salvage this debacle.<br />
  69. 69. Pushing his roommate to the side, Conner approached Amarante with a calm smile. “I’m really sorry about that, Geoff tends to lose his mind around celebrities—I remember this one time we were hanging out at the Strangetown Carnival, and I swear, none other than Bella Goth walks past us. The guy went mental, he ran up and grabbed her hand, going on about how they were ‘meant to be together’ or something. But really, he’s harmless.”<br />
  70. 70. “But I’m not a celebrity,” Amarante replied, confused beyond all measure.<br />“Sure you are!” Conner grinned. “Everyone in town’s been to at least one of your concerts, and I bet most can sing along with at least one of your songs.”<br />
  71. 71. “Thanks for the compliment, but that doesn’t explain anything about what he was talking about,” Amarante observed, refusing to forget Geoff’s very specific ranting. “I understand if he was…starstruck, I guess, but your friend was talking about stuff that has nothing to do with music—and nothing to do with reality, from what it seemed like.”<br />Connor froze, trying desperately to come up with an excuse for Geoff’s colossal screw up. “Well, you see, he—”<br />Amarante interrupted him with a glare. “Just forget it. I’m leaving.”<br />
  72. 72. As she made her way back to her family, Amarante debated whether or not she should tell Jeremy about her odd confrontation. Maybe he was right, and his friend Geoff is just crazy. But even as she tried to convince herself of that fact, Amarante couldn’t help but remember the irrational fear Geoff had inspired in her, and the fact that, to a part of her she couldn’t quite reach, some of what he said almost made sense.<br />“As much as Nicholas enjoys visiting the playground, I believe wecame here for groceries,” Jeremy joked.<br />“I didn’t like how some of their produce looked, I think we should switch stores. Let’s go.”<br />
  73. 73. After finding what they needed at a new store in Desiderata Valley, the happy family headed home. There, they faced a different sort of challenge: getting Nicholas to take his nap. <br />“Nicky, even big boys take naps! Aren’t you all sleepy in your jammies?” Amarante pleaded.<br />“Nooooooo” Nicholas cheerfully replied.<br />
  74. 74. “You know, his birthday is coming up soon. Maybe Nicholas is ready to graduate from naptime. What do you think, Jeremy?”<br />Lost in thought, Jeremy’s only response was a smile as he watched their son babble to himself.<br />“And speaking of birthdays, I was thinking we could invite Cassandra and her boys to the party; once Nicholas grows up they should be around the same age,” Amarante continued, not noticing her partner adjusting his position.<br />
  75. 75. However, once Jeremy cleared his throat Amarante quickly noticed he was kneeling in front of her, without thinking she leapt to her feet. “Jeremy?” she asked with a smile.<br />
  76. 76. “Amarante,” he began softly. “When I met you in college, I had no idea I’d ever know you as more than a quiet, beautiful girl who hated the class I was teaching. But in the time that we’ve been together, we’ve created the kind of family that I never thought I’d have. I love you and Nicholas more than I could ever love anything else, and I can’t picture a life without the two of you.”<br />
  77. 77. “Will you marry me?”<br />
  78. 78.
  79. 79.
  80. 80.
  81. 81. “Yes, of course!” Amarante answered through her tears.<br />
  82. 82. Oblivious to the significant development occurring in front of him, one member of the Gestalt family was concerned with more practical matters. <br />“MAMA! I go nap! Up up!”<br />
  83. 83. Unable to stop laughing, Amarante comforted her son. “It looks like we’ve two big parties coming up, huh Nicky?”<br />“Yay! Party!”<br />
  84. 84. Deciding to hold their wedding the day of Nicholas’ birthday, for the next week Jeremy and Amarante rushed to plan not one, but two parties. On the day before the occasion, they received an unexpected phone call. <br />
  85. 85. “Hey Babe?” Jeremy called to his wife. “Some charity called the Oikoumene Foundation wants to know if you could sing at their benefit downtown tonight. Apparently the entertainment they had booked bailed at the last minute or something. I told them you’d think about it.”<br />
  86. 86. “That sounds great! I’ll—ooh.” Before she could finish her thought, Amarante swayed for a moment before rushing to the bathroom.<br />
  87. 87. After she spent a few seconds throwing up last night’s leftover chicken, Amarante rose shakily to her feet. “Ugh, did I catch a bug or something?” she wondered aloud.<br />
  88. 88. “If you’re sick, I don’t think you should go tonight. We’ve already got a lot planned for tomorrow and I don’t want you wear yourself out,” Jeremy insisted.<br />Fully recovered from her momentary upset stomach, Amarante replied “Don’t be silly Jeremy. I’m fine now, the leftovers must have gone bad. Go on and head to work, I’ll call a babysitter for tonight.”<br />“Hmph. Alright, but if you start feeling sick again, make sure to take a break, ok?”<br />“I will. Have a good day Sweetie.”<br />
  89. 89. After spending the day putting together meeting with a member of the Oikoumene Foundation and assuring Nicholas the babysitter was in fact not the boogeyman, Amarante made her way to the Similar Sights Sculpture Park. As she made her way to the stage, an unwelcome sight caused her to pause.<br />
  90. 90. Oh no…what is he doing here? Is he here to cause a scene? What should I do?<br />
  91. 91. Bolstered by the fact that they were in the middle of a crowded space, and so there wasn’t much Geoff could do without attracting attention, Amarante decided to move on with the show.<br />“Alright everyone! Thank you so much for making to the show! All proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Oikoumene Foundation, a group dedicated to promoting education and literacy throughout the country.<br />
  92. 92. If the sky should fall into the sea,<br />And the stars fade all around me,<br />All the times that we have known here, <br />I will sing a hymn to love… <br />
  93. 93. Don&apos;t you ever worry, dear. <br />And the stars shall fade from the sky,<br />All the times that we have known here, <br />I will sing a hymn to our love. <br />Oh darling, Just for you I sing, <br />A hymn to love.<br />“L’hymne a l’amour” – Edith Piaf<br />
  94. 94. Just out of sight, two women pretended to play chess as Amarante began to sing. “I hope you’re committed to the cause, Isabel. I’d hate to see you back out now when you’ve already put so much at stake,” the older woman sneered.<br />
  95. 95. “I’m ready, Marissa. You have nothing to worry about.”<br />
  96. 96. “So tell me again why you dragged us down to the park, Max,” LeodMcGreggor asked his friend and packmate. “Since when are you the charitable type?”<br />“You may have grew up on a farm on the ass-end of nowhere,” Max teased. “But that doesn’t mean us city folk can’t enjoy a good time now and then.”<br />
  97. 97. “Don’t you think we’re cutting it a little close though?” Leod wondered. <br />Max’s younger brother Henry cut in. “Aw, c’mon. It’s not like we can’t handle ourselves after dark. After all, it’s nowhere near the full moon, so if we focus, we’ll stay in like Flynn…right bro?”<br />
  98. 98. “Hold on,” Max brusquely replied, sniffing the air.<br />“Something’s not right.”<br />
  99. 99. The three werewolves paused, each focused on surveying the landscape. Though none of them could pinpoint the disturbance, something or someone in the park set their Beast on high alert.<br />“Uh oh,” Henry quaked as the sun finally set. “Maybe you’re right, Leod. We should get out of here.<br />
  100. 100. “Go ahead, Isabel.”<br />As her acquaintance muttered something incomprehensible to human ears, Marissa and Geoff made their way out of the park. Once she finished her incantation, Isabel ran to catch up with them.<br />
  101. 101. “Guys?” Henry cried. “Wait are you doing? This isn’t---argggh!”<br />
  102. 102. Oh no! Samantha Cordial trembled as she watched the transformation unfold. I was just supposed to observe, I can’t let her know I’m anything special. But the Seers must be behind this! Oh man! Are they trying to kill her?<br />
  103. 103. Amarante gasped as she spotted the werewolves. “What…? What’s going on, what is that?!” she exclaimed, forgetting she still held a microphone.<br />
  104. 104.
  105. 105.
  106. 106. “ARRROOOOO!”<br />
  107. 107. Amarante turned at the sound of footsteps climbing onto the stage. “I know you don’t know me,” Samantha explained with a pained expression. “But believe me, you’ve gotta get out of here before they start attacking!”<br />“What ARE they?” Amarante demanded. “And who are you?” <br />
  108. 108. “Oh no! It’s too late!”<br />Someone cried “Call the Police!” as the rest of the concertgoers fled in fear. As the newest werewolf to discover his heritage, Leod was also least in control of his inner Beast. After he finished transforming, he rushed to the first human he saw and attacked.<br />
  109. 109. Though physically younger than Leod, Henry and Max had much more practice controlling their transformations, enabling them to resist the urge to kill. Despite that, Max couldn’t help but get excited over the overwhelming scent of fear their true forms inspired in the humans around them.<br />
  110. 110. Fortunately, the Pleasantview PD made it to the park in record time.<br />
  111. 111. “NO!” Max growled under his breath. I can’t let them see me like this!<br />“Henry, grab Leod. We’re leaving. Now!”<br />
  112. 112. Fearing his fiancé was in danger, it was due in large part to Jeremy’s efforts that the PPD was on the scene as quick as the were. Quicker even than the Sim City police, who technically held jurisdiction over all of Downtown, this park included.<br />Not that a detail like that mattered to Jeremy, of course.<br />“Amarante?” he frantically yelled. “Where are you?”<br />
  113. 113. “I’m over here Jeremy!” Amarante called from the stage.<br />
  114. 114. Taking advantage of the confusion, Max and his pack quickly ran into the distance, thankful they hadn’t been identified close enough for anyone to describe them in detail.<br />But why did we change?! Max furiously thought to himself as they left. Could the vamps have released pheromones into the air nearby? I can’t think of anything else that could have caused it, but I don’t sense any of them nearby. Screw it, we’ve got bigger problems at the moment. I’ll figure it out later.<br />
  115. 115. “Thank God you’re ok!” Jeremy exclaimed as he clutched Amarante tightly to his chest.<br />
  116. 116. “I’m fine, but what about the man who was attacked?”<br />
  117. 117. Jeremy glanced towards the husband and wife involved in the brawl. “It looks like Officer Park is questioning them now. As far as I can tell, he’s banged up, but he’ll be fine.”<br />
  118. 118. “Before we go, I wanted to talk to the woman who tried to help me earlier. Where is—hey!”<br />
  119. 119. “Heh, caught me,” Samantha quipped. “But there’s no need to thank me, I’m just a friendly fan who wanted to help, that’s all. See you around, Amarante.” <br />
  120. 120. Why do these things keep happening to me?<br />“You believe her?” Jeremy laughed.<br />“Why not? It’s late and I’m tired. Let’s go home.”<br />“Ooooh, snippy. I like that,” Jeremy retorted, his grin widening.<br />
  121. 121. “It’s a good thing I like you too then, Detective Barnes,” Amarante grinned, silencing Jeremy’s inevitable retort with a kiss.<br />
  122. 122. The next afternoon, a small crowd gathered in the backyard of 95 Woodland Drive. Wanting to keep the wedding small, Jeremy and Amarante decided to limit the invitations to their wedding to Cassandra Goth and members of her immediate family. But despite the relatively few number of people in attendance, the bride and groom couldn’t be happier.<br />
  123. 123. “With this ring, I thee wed.”<br />
  124. 124. “With this ring, I thee wed.”<br />
  125. 125.
  126. 126. Immediately after Jeremy and Amarante became man and wife, the ceremony was briefly interrupted by a welcome surprise.<br />
  127. 127. “Wow, that was quick!” Alexander Goth laughed, and the rest of the wedding party followed suit.<br />
  128. 128. After the nuptials, the party moved inside in preparation for another milestone.<br />As she looked down at the boy in her arms, Amarante tried her hardest to hold back her tears. My baby is growing up, she smiled to herself. How could I have ever thought you were anything less than a blessing? Once she was sure she could speak without bursting into proud tears, she asked, “Are you ready to grow up, sweet boy?”<br />“Yeah!” Nicholas answered with a large grin.<br />
  129. 129. In a shower of sparkling lights, Nicholas grew from a toddler…<br />
  130. 130. To a handsome young man. <br />
  131. 131. Proving he hadn’t lost the good nature and cheer he possessed as a baby, Nicholas immediately began to make friends with Cassandra’s twin boys: Christopher and Anthony.<br />
  132. 132. While the boys created imaginary castles and cities with their blocks, the party continued in the Gestalt’s living room. Jeremy in particular grilled Cassandra’s step-son Dirk on his love life, unfortunately eliciting nothing but a confused stare.<br />
  133. 133. Less embarrassingly, but far more heartfelt, Amarante reached out to her closest friend. “Cassandra, if it wasn’t for you this day probably wouldn’t have happened. There’s no way I could thank you enough, but I hope you know that your friendship has meant the world to me.” <br />
  134. 134. Cassandra shook her head. “Amarante, you and Jeremy would have works things out on your own; I only said what you both knew was true. For what it’s worth though, I’m truly glad we’ve become so close.”<br />
  135. 135. “And I can’t wait for this little one to be born! You’re a little sweetie, aren’t you? Yes you are!” Cassandra crooned, followed by an indecipherable combination of cooing sounds and baby talk. <br />
  136. 136. Though she didn’t understand a word of what her friend was saying, Amarante appreciated the gesture.<br />
  137. 137. After the party had wound down, and they finally managed to get their son to go to sleep for the night, Amarante and Jeremy nearly collapsed on their way to the sofa. <br />“So, another kid,” Jeremy mused. “I should have known; it’s never a case of bad food.” Pulling his wife close to him, Jeremy thought out loud. “I wonder if it’s a boy or a girl.”<br />Amarante closed her eyes and leaned into Jeremy’s neck. “Maybe it’s both.”<br />“Both would be nice,” Jeremy smiled, as the newlyweds fell asleep in each other&apos;s arms.<br />
  138. 138. All the way in Belladonna Cove, things weren’t as cozy.<br />“So,” Marissa Cleveland snapped as she surveyed the group in front of her. “Will someone please tell me who or what exactly Amarante Gestalt is?”<br />To be continued!<br />
  139. 139. Yay! I was able to finish Chapter 1.2 quicker than I thought! Thanks so much for reading, and if you have any questions about the story, my custom content, or just want to leave some words of encouragement/criticism, my thread at boolprop or my livejournal are always open!<br />              <br />
  140. 140. Before I go, let me introduce the first member of Generation Two <br />Nicholas Gestalt<br />10/7/3/3/7<br />Favorite Hobby: Science<br />Likes: Entertainment, Sports, Paranormal, Travel<br />Dislikes: Politics, Money, Environment, Crime, Culture, Food<br />

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