Birthday Party?

So I just realized that A Second Chance turned one year old last week. Wow! I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for a year and I’m still on the first gen LOL. Anyway, I wanna do something kind of different or special for the birthday. I’m thinking of doing that style meme with Parksten and maybe a couple of the other characters.

Is there anything you guys would like to see? Feel free to chime in, and also keep in mind that anything I do will likely be posted on Tumblr. I’m completely up to writing little side-stories if you guys want to know anything more about minor characters or anything like that :3 Just keep in mind that the side-story will take away from actually story writing time.

Anyway, I love you all<3 Thank you for supporting me through this challenge!

<3, Tashie.

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Sunlit Tidings?

A/N: Sucky author is sucky about updating haha. I’m sorry for the wait, guys. Enjoy!

>>>>>>

1

It’s crazy how fast your kids grow. I’m sure if you asked any parent, they would say the same thing. Cassidy would be starting school this year… My baby, starting school.

2

3

Of course she was still best friends with the McGraw twins, and they were all actually excited to start school.

4

Desmond was still the same wonderful big-brother that he had always been, and he was the big reason that the girls weren’t worried about school. They all said he would protect them, so they didn’t have anything to be afraid of. It was cute.

5

To sort of wind down before everyone returns to school and work, Parker decided that we should take a houseboat to Sunlit Tides. As you might imagine, I’m not exactly pleased… But it’s three against one here.

6

The morning we left was pretty hectic, and a letter in the mail only made it more-so. I would recognize that strange envelope anywhere, Tatiana. I sucked my lip into my mouth, chewing on it nervously as I ripped the letter open.

7

8

“Come on, kids! Your father is already in the car.” A ruckus that sounded like thunder began overhead as the kids rushed toward to the stairs.

9

We all loaded up in the car and headed toward the brand new port. It had been built only a few months ago, but it was getting plenty of use now.

11 10

“Please be careful!” I called after them, letting out a deep sigh. This was going to be a long trip.

12

“Hey.” A gentle hand was placed on my hip, and I turned to face. “Calm down, baby, they are fine.” I nodded, finding comfort in his soothing voice.

>>>>>>

13

14

The ride to Sunlit Tides took most of the day, and it was nearly 8PM before we arrived. The kids had grown restless, and of course I was nervous nearly the whole trip.

15

“We’re here!” Parker called unnecessarily as he docked the houseboat. The kids perked up a bit, looking out the window at the beautiful blue water.

16

Sophie slept peacefully, as she had the entire trip. We decided to bring her along because she was old and got upset when we left her. She took to being on the houseboat easily.

17

“Mom, can we go swimming?”

“No.”

“But whyyyy? Pleasee!”

“It’s late, Desmond, you can swim tomorrow.”

18

“It isn’t that late, the sun is still up!”

“The sun is setting.” I corrected, frowning.

“But mooomm.” He whined, poking his bottom lip out.

19

“Fine, but I want everyone out of the water as soon as it gets dark.”

“Yay! Thank you!”

20

21

22

Parker relaxed in the water with the kids while I stayed on the dock and soaked up the last rays of sunlight. The kids had fun snorkeling, and seeing their delighted faces was enough to make me realize this trip had been a good decision.

But Tatiana’s letter weighed heavily on my mind. I had four months, I should have told him so long ago. It had to happen on this vacation.

After the kids go to sleep, I decided.

23

“Woah!” I giggled as I was swooped up into Parker’s arms. The kids were fast asleep below us, having worn themselves out swimming. “I need to put my shirt on.”

“No, I don’t think you do.” He said with a grin, his deep green eyes twinkling.

24

“Ohh really?” I cooed, laughing again. He responded by tossing me on to the bed.

25

I’ll tell him tomorrow, I decided as I brought our lips together.

>>>>>>

26

I woke up early the next morning, feeling better about my decision last night. Telling him probably would have ruined the entire trip, and I didn’t want that. I decided to wait for the right moment to present itself.

27

28

Everyone filed into the kitchen yawning and rubbing their eyes about an hour later. We tucked into our waffles, Cassidy insisting on sitting at bar because it was “funner.”

29

30

31

32

33

We spent the most of the day traveling around Sunlit Tides and taking in the sites. At first the kids were excited, but by the afternoon they were making remarks like:

“I thought we came here to swim.”

“I’m really hungry.”

“I’m borreedd.”

Eventually we gave up on site-seeing and made our way to one of the many beaches. Really you could walk for ten minutes in any direction and find one.

34

35

36

A lot of our days passed in the same way. Walking around, beaches, swimming… It got a bit repetitive, but I still loved the time I was getting to spend with my family.

37

One night we decided to make a bonfire. It got surprisingly cold on the island at night, so everyone was forced to wear hoodies. I was just glad that I’d decided to pack them instead of a couple of extra bathing suits.

38

39

The kids played with the fire for a while, and I enjoyed the romantic atmosphere.

“Eww, don’t be gross.”

For a little while, anyway.

40

41

After that Parker gathered everyone up for a ghost story.

The subject of the story, which was about a tormented girl who had died in a fire and haunted her old house, reminded me that I still hadn’t told Parker.

I only had two more days.

42

43

44

The next day Parker managed to coax me into the water for a little while, which was a feat he wouldn’t appreciate until I told him.

I had to tell him soon.

45

46

I made my way out of the water, running into a local.

“So, tomorrow will be our last day on the island… What do you think we should do?” I couldn’t help but notice how thin and tan she was, I tried not to think about it.

“Oh, you guys definitely have to visit The Sauna on the Mountain!” She exclaimed, describing how to get there. “Be sure to wear pants and shoes, though. The climb can be a bit hard, but it’ll be worth it!”

47

The next morning at dawn our taxi dropped us off at the foot of the mountain. The taxi driver said if we hadn’t returned by that night a search party would be sent out.

Well, that was comforting.

48

The mountain didn’t turn out to be a treacherous hike. Steep and muscle cramping, yes, but that was about the most dangerous thing. Only Parker wasn’t out of breath, scaling the mountain with ease.

49

50

The kids ran off to explore while Parker and I enjoyed the sauna. The whole time all I could think about was what had to happen tonight.

51

“Are you alright?” He eventually asked me.

“Hmm? Yeah, of course.” I answered, sinking a bit deeper into the mud. We couldn’t talk about it here, not with Desmond and Cassidy running around.

52

53

I made everyone grilled salmon that afternoon.

54

And then we relaxed and soaked up the last rays of sun we would see in Sunlit Tides.

>>>>>>

55

The kids were asleep.

Tonight was the last night.

Tonight was the only night.

I kept repeating those things over and over, cursing Tatiana for forcing me to do this. If she’d never asked for a favor, I wouldn’t have to worry about ever telling him.

The ladder creaked as Parker’s weight pressed against one of the rungs. I jumped, bumping into the dressing and hissing a curse.

“You alright?” He asked, finally appearing. I closed the distance between us quickly for fear of losing my nerve.

56

“No, I’m not alright… I really need to talk to you about something, Parker.”

He quirked an eyebrow at me, creases appearing in his forehead. “Okay…”

“You would love me no matter what, right?” I asked, digging my nails into my arms.

“Of course I would, honey, just spit it out.”

“I’m a ghost… Well, I mean… I was a ghost… I think?”

Concern flitted across his face for half a second before he began to laugh.

5857

“That’s a good one, honey. Let’s go to bed.” He said, laughing again.

“I’m not joking!” The sharpness in my voice caused him to stop chuckling mid-laugh.

“Kirsten, come on. You’re acting weird.”

“I died when I was a little girl, I drowned in the river. That’s why I hate water, I’m scared of drowning again.”

He didn’t respond.

“Here,” I said, ushering him to the desk, “Read through all that.”

59

60

And so he read. I waited on the couch, my stomach churning. He gave nothing away by expression, adopting the dead-pan look that he so often does when he doesn’t know what to think. I cursed myself the entire time, wincing when I thought of my word-choice. I had always sucked at these things.

Finally, he stood up.

“I’m going to bed; you can explain your joke to me tomorrow.”

61

62

I jumped off the couch, grabbing his arm tightly.

“It is not a joke, Parker!” My voice was a hiss, though I would much rather have screamed. I couldn’t, I couldn’t wake the kids up.

“I don’t see how it can’t be,” he said, attempting to shake off my arm. “People don’t come back from the dead, Kirsten.”

“Explain my death certificate, then. Explain my grave in Riverview.”

“I’ve never seen your grave.”

“I can show you. You remember when we went, right? When I was pregnant with Desmond. That’s why I was so upset…” I told him the full story, of how Tatiana cornered me and explained everything to me.

63

He jerked his arm from my grasp, his lips pressed into a thin line. “I need time to think.”

“Fine.”

64

65

I laid on the bed, taking deep breaths. I knew it was a lot to take in, especially about someone you thought you knew. I was still the same person, of course, but this was definitely something that set me apart from everyone else. Somehow, though, I knew it would be okay. I didn’t doubt Parker’s love for me; he was just hot-headed. He always had been.

66

An hour later, the bed pressed down and I opened my eyes. Parker was staring at me, as if he was trying to see something different in my appearance that he’d never seen before.

“It’s unbelievable… Witches… And ghosts…” He started, and I remained silent. “But why would you lie about it? That would be absurd… It’s so hard to believe… But I guess I have no choice…” He sighed, his fingers drumming ceaselessly on his chest.

“You still love me?”

“I always will.” He replied, his voice certain for the first time.

67

“I was thinking, about the letter…” He said after silence had lapsed for several minutes between us.

“Yeah?”

“We’re probably gonna have another mouth to feed soon.”

“What makes you say that?”

“Think about, why else would we need an extra bed… Why else would it have to be you? Clearly she wants us to adopt another kid that…. died….” He grimaced, as if the thought of the supernatural caused him physical pain. I could relate.

68

I snuggled up to him, and he laid his arm over me.

“I think you’re right.”

Milestones

1

“Mom, do I really have to go to school tomorrow?”

Desmond had been complaining about having to go to school for the past month. It really was getting tiring to have to hear it every other day, but I put on a patient smile.

2

“Of course you do, sweetheart, all kids your age have to go to school. Are you scared or something?” Despite his insistence that he shouldn’t have to go to school, he hadn’t given any a reason for his aversion. His face fell, and he frowned.

“Cass is going to be real upset if I leave her all day!”

Perhaps most mothers would have assumed their kid was lying about this, but I knew better. Desmond was more protective over Cassidy than I would have ever dreamed possible.

3

“So that’s what all of this is about?” I questioned, dropping down to his height and placing my hand on his face.

“Yeah…” He mumbled, his cheeks reddening a bit.

“Cassidy will be just fine tomorrow. I’ve arranged for us to spend the day with the McGraws, you know how much she loves Kari and Brandi.” I said, hopefully reassuring him.

It didn’t though, as he started to push my hand away.

“That’s not fair.” He murmured, looking at the floor.

“Well, sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to. You better get in bed, Daddy will be in soon to tell you goodnight.”

“Okay…”

4

“So, did Little Man try to weasel his way out of school with you too?” Parker asked, flopping down on the bed next to me.

I nodded, biting my lip. It made me feel bad that he would be going to sleep angry with both of us again tonight.

“Has he told you what all of this is about yet?”

5

“Apparently he doesn’t want to leave Cassidy because he knows she’ll be upset.”

“Ah,” said Parker, clicking his tongue knowingly, “Yeah, it took me awhile to convince her to go to sleep. She’ll be okay, though. I guess we’ll just have to let him see that.”

I nodded. Desmond was a very stubborn kid, and he liked to know things for certain. Obviously there was nothing we could do to convince him, so experience would have to be the teacher.

“Come here.” Parker said, opening his arms to me.

6

“I can’t believe how big he’s getting,” I admitted, feeling a twinge of sadness in my stomach.

“I know.” Parker replied, pressing his lips against mine.

*

7

The next morning was hectic to say the least. Cassidy cried nearly constantly and refused to allow me to dress or bathe her. At least Desmond was being compliant. As much as I knew he didn’t want to be, I also knew he didn’t want to make things harder on me either.

8

Eventually everyone got moved downstairs and I coaxed Cassidy into her highchair. Now that she could see Desmond, she was behaving a little more calmly.

“What do you want for breakfast, honey?” I asked, making my way to the fridge.

“Cereal.” He said, climbing into a chair.

“Are you sure? You know I don’t mind making pancakes or something.”

“I’m sure, Mom.”

9

Desmond was a smart kid, extremely smart. He seemed so much more mature than any of the other kids his age, and he picked up on things they didn’t. For example: the fact that it would be very hard for me to cook with a fussy baby. Most five year-olds didn’t pick up on that kind of stuff. I placed his cereal on the table in front of him, and he started to eat.

10

Cassidy downright refused to eat, though, smacking anything I tried to offer her away with a wail. I chewed my bottom lip nervously, hoping that once she got used to the idea of Desmond being gone for school she wouldn’t act like this every morning.

11

Before I knew it, it was 7:30 and the bus was on its way. I had been walking Cassidy around in an attempt to comfort her. It worked a bit. Instead of wailing she was now sniffling, murmuring things like, “Des nooo.” I tried to keep him from hearing it, but I’m sure he did.

“The bus will be here soon.” I told him, bouncing Cassidy a bit.

“I know,” he replied, “Put her down so I can tell her bye.”

I raised my eyebrows at him.

12

He sighed loudly, rolling his eyes.

“…Please.”

We’d had a bit of a problem with him making demands and trying to order us around. I don’t think he really did it to be rude, but it was rude, and we were trying to break him from it.

13

I placed Cassidy on the ground and she instantly toddled toward him, wrapping her little arms around his waist. He whispered something in her ear, I’m not sure what, but whatever it was it calmed her down a lot.

14

The bus arrived outside, and he turned on his heel and headed toward the door.

“Hey!” I exclaimed indignantly, “Aren’t you gonna tell me bye?”

15

“Sorry, Mom.” He said, turning back around and wrapping his arms around my neck.

“That’s okay, honey. Have a good day at school, I love you.” I squeezed him a bit.

“I love you, too.”

*

17

A couple of hours later, I had finally managed to get myself and Cassidy ready. Promises of Desmond’s return and a trip to the twins’ house were the only things that would make her comply with any of my wishes.

18

When we arrived, one of the twins yelled “Cass!” and beckoned her toward the play table. Her troubles with her brother were momentarily forgotten as she immersed herself in play with the twins. I sighed, feeling relieved.

19

“Thank you for letting us come over today. I can’t imagine what she would have been like without this distraction.” I told Jamie gratefully.

At first regular trips to her house for play-dates had been weird. She was my doctor, after all. But she never tried to give me any medical advice when we were just hanging out, saying she kept her business and private lives completely separate.

20

“Oh, its no trouble at all. You know how much the twins love her. Anyway, my show is on!”

With that, we both retreated to the couch.

21

“Oh, gross!” I exclaimed, turning my head as the doctor pulled a giant cyst out of some poor woman’s ovary. The only real downside about hanging out with Jamie was that she only ever watched medical shows.

“Oh don’t be such a pansy, Kirsten, that was nothing.”

22

“I think I would have done that differently.” Jamie said, commenting on the style of stitches that the other doctor had chosen… Or something like that, I didn’t follow the shows very well.

23

24

The rest of the day passed peacefully with Cassidy and the twins playing together. They made rounds with all of the toys, trying to play with each and every one of them.

*

Desmond’s POV

25

School was, well, boring. The teacher tried to make it interesting, but I already knew all of the stuff she was teaching the rest of the kids. Mom had taught me to read a long time ago, I could already write my name, and count to 100. So basically I just had to sit around, bored out of my mind. Recess finally came, but I didn’t really know what to do with myself. I spotted Heather across the playground, and decided to play with her.

“Uh, hey Heather, do you want to play?” I asked. It had been awhile since we’d played together, but I know we did a bunch when we were younger.

26

She brought her swing to a stop, narrowing her eyes at me. Heather was two grades ahead of me, but I didn’t think that would stop us from playing together…

27

“Of course I’m not going to play with you!” She yelled, pointing her finger at my chest. “You’re way too little!”

Her friend was behind her, grinning. Clearly I had misjudged the situation. Maybe older kids didn’t play with younger kids?

“I-uh.. I just thought… That since we used to play together it would be okay.”

“Look, I can’t help what my parents made me do when I was little.” She said icily, stomping back toward the swing set.

28

“You can play with me and Cameron, if you want.” I turned around, coming face to face with Harvey Alto. I heard Heather scoff disapprovingly behind me, but I felt relieved.

29

“Yeah that sounds like fun!” I said, following him back to the jungle gym.

30

31

We played pretend all through the rest of recess, and I decided I liked Harvey and Cameron a lot… Even if Harvey was overdressed and Cameron was always dropping his glasses.

From Winter to Spring

A/N: Whoop, Whoop! Finally got a chapter out to you guys (: It is fairly long, and I hope you all enjoy it. The next chapter will kick off with Des as a child -weeps-. The kids need to be older for me to advance the plot, and I’ve really run out of thing to do with them as toddlers ): Ahhh it makes me kinda sad.

Anyway, I hope you like it!<3

*

1Winter hit Sunset Valley hard, with thick snow falling on the first day of December. By the tenth we were covered in at least a foot of snow all the time. This ensured that most people stayed in their houses all the time.

2We hung our Snowflake Day lights, well, Parker mostly hung them but the kids and I enjoyed them.

3Everyone pitched in on the Snowflake Day tree, and I think it looks great. The kids were super excited about it, but Desmond ended up throwing a bit fit when we told him he couldn’t open his presents until Snowflake Day.

4It was on a day when the snow-level was lower than normal that I received a call from Zelda. She said she and her boys were going crazy being cooped all the time, and I definitely knew the feeling. My kids were getting pretty restless too. Hopefully a play day would help everyone out.

5I got everyone ready and we moved downstairs. Parker was still sleeping, since he worked late most of the time, and I didn’t want to wake him. I sat the kids down in the floor and decided to get started on my letter to Tatiana. I had put it off for way too long already, but the thought of having to get involved in the Supernatural again, when my life was so normal, made me a bit nervous.

6I could hear blocks falling against each other as one of the kids played at the building table. The clinking of the blocks was occasionally accompanied by a ‘thump’ as someone smashed a toy against the ground. I closed my eyes, breathing out through my nose. Did it really take this much concentration?

7The kids played noisily behind me as I tried to concentrate on writing. Should it be long? Short? What should I even say? Should I apologize for taking so long? Would it even reach her before December was over? I chewed on my lower lip, placing my pen against the paper and finally writing one short sentence.

‘I will help you out.’

8It wasn’t long after I finished writing the letter that Zelda busted through the door, a baby on each hip. Recently, she had noticed some very fine lines around her mouth. She decided to combat feeling older by dying her hair bright blue. Of course, Zelda looked good no matter what, but she was definitely turning some heads now.

“Cassidy’s hair is growing in pretty slow, dontcha think?”

It was an off-handed comment, and I knew Zelda didn’t mean anything by it, but it still hurt for some reason. Of course I had noticed her hair was growing in very slowly. William, who was a couple months younger than her, had more hair than she did. Beau already had little whisps of hair on the top of his head.

9“Yeah, I guess it is. I think her curls are cute, though. She must have gotten them from my mother.”

 Zelda smiled at me, turning her attention back to the TV. My hair could be a little wavy sometimes, but it wasn’t curly. It was entirely possible that Cassidy’s hair would straighten out as she got older. In fact, for all I knew my hair could have been curly like that when I was younger, I hadn’t seen any pictures of myself younger than when Hannah adopted me in a very long time. If I had to guess, I would say there were at the old house somewhere.

10Zelda and I sat in silence for a while after that, watching the news absent-mindedly and also watching the kids play. All three of them were more rowdy than they normally were, and I definitely couldn’t wait until spring when we could get them out of the house again.

11It wasn’t long before Beau got tired of lying on Cassidy’s old mat and started crying. Zelda picked him up and his cries instantly ceased. Apparently he was much needier baby than William, who could sit in a room all day by himself and be just fine.

Of course, it wasn’t long after that that Cassidy demanded to be allowed on the couch as well. At first I thought she wanted to sit in my lap, but she only had eyes for Beau.

12She kept pointing at Beau and saying “Bayy, bayyy!” She seemed to be very interested in him. I thought it was pretty cute.

13After Cassidy and Beau were up on the couch, William decided he wanted to play with the blocks. It was great to see him and Desmond playing together, because normally they ignored each other’s existence all together.

*

15A couple of days passed and our anniversary was upon us. Parker insisted that we get out and do something despite the snow. Desperate though I was to get out of the house and have a bit of time to myself, I felt bad for leaving the kids with the Langeraks. Mostly because of how riled up they were right now, and how much of a handful they would be. In the end, though, Iliana had said she would come and get them herself if we didn’t drop them off, so she took the choice away from me. It was probably a good thing.

16When we arrived at the Langerak house, Iliana wasn’t there. Apparently she was getting in all the time she could before she was forced to take off for the holidays. That woman did not know how to take a break. Cassidy was instantly scooped up by her grandpa, but Desmond refused to allow anyone to touch him. He was mad at us, apparently.

17“Are you ready to go?” Parker asked after we had been there for a while.

 “Yeah, I guess.”

 “Now, don’t you worry about a thing Kirsten, these babies will just fine with us tonight.” Dustin assured me, ushering Parker and I out the door.

19

20Our first stop was the beach-side café. We could have gone to the bistro, but we weren’t really in the mood for anything too fancy right now. Due to the cold temperatures, we both got something really warm to eat. It was delicious, and the view was beautiful, as the sky turned hues of pink for the sunset.

21After we were finished eating, Parker reached over the table and grabbed my hand, running his fingers over mine.

 “I’ve felt bad that you’ve been cooped up with the kids all winter, Kirs. I can tell you’re getting restless.”

 I shook my head a bit, “I don’t really mind too much. It isn’t all that long before Des will be going to school during the day.”

22“I can’t believe he is already that old. It seems like just yesterday we were living in the old house and having his nursery constructed while we were in Riverview.” He squeezed my hand a bit, but it felt like he had his hand around my belly instead. This would be the perfect time, to tell him everything, to come clean about why I was really so upset in Riverview…

 I opened my mouth to speak, but he was already talking.

 “But tonight is supposed to be fun, how about we go check out that new dance club?” He was already standing up; I followed him, grabbing his hand and turning him toward me.

23“Parker,” I said, catching his attention even more.

 “What, honey?”

 “I-Uh…” Somehow, I couldn’t make the words come up. I looked into his face, which despite being slightly confused, was so relaxed. Things had been perfect lately, tonight was supposed to be fun. Maybe it wasn’t the right time after all.

24I stood up on my tip-toes, placing a small kiss on his lips.

 “I just love you, is all.”

 He smiled, unconvinced. “I love you too, honey.”

25The new club had replaced The Grind, probably around the same time that Cassidy was born. We’d heard great things about it, but we had never been. We started off with a couple of drinks, but both of us agreed that we didn’t want to get really drunk tonight.

26We headed to the dance-floor, trying to get back into the groove of dancing after so long. It had been at least a year since we last danced. We were getting old, weren’t we?

27But as the drinks hit us and we got a bit tipsy, we really got back into dancing and had a great time.

28It wasn’t long before Parker’s hands were around my waist, his lips finding mine as he pulled me in close to him. The club was basically empty due to the weather, but I still felt a bit awkward making out in public.

29“Let’s go home,” I breathed against his lips, pulling back a bit. He grabbed my hand and we ran out of the club.

30We were barely through the door before he was pushing me against the wall, kissing me passionately. Between his long hours, and long days of running around after rugrats, we were often too tired for anything. Right now, though, the house was completely empty and we didn’t have any certain time to be up tomorrow.

31

*

32Snowflake Day rolled around, and the Langeraks piled into our little house. Everyone was all dressed up in holiday clothes, because Iliana was demanding a good family picture. Hannah and Zelda were both off on vacation for the holiday, and I was kind of grateful, because even though we’d rearranged the living area, there was barely enough room for all of us.

33Everyone sat down at the table and tucked in to a dinner of spaghetti and shrimp cooked by Dustin. It was delicious.

34A very pregnant Kaylynn was back for seconds before everyone else finished their first plates. There had been a lot of tension between her and her mother tonight, and I could only assume it was because Iliana wasn’t too pleased with her most recent pregnancy. It was true that Kaylynn and Michael were young, but they seemed happy to me, so I really didn’t see the issue.

35Everyone got together and posed as best we could for a holiday picture. Iliana was very pleased with it, so at least there was something she was happy with tonight. After the picture we all opened presents and then collapsed on the couch while the kids played together.

36Michael sat off to the side and stared a little too intensely at the Snowflake Day programming. Even though he and Kaylynn were married with children, I had the sinking feeling he wasn’t welcomed into the family quite as warmly as he should be.

37Parker and his father sat on one end of the couch, discussing the up-coming season in whatever sport. I didn’t follow sports very well, though I did take the kids to all of Parker’s games that I could. Parker was holding Desmond’s new dragon toy, because Desmond had demanded it.

38The girls and I sat at the other end of the couch, and I stared blankly at the TV. I was way too tired to try and wade through the stiffness between the two women.

 “I like your new living room set-up.” Kaylynn muttered.

 “Thanks,” I said, smiling at her. It was basically the only warm interaction anyone but the babies had all night.

39Speaking of the babies, they were playing happily in their pile of new toys. At least someone had a good Snowflake Day this year.

40

*

41By the time that Cassidy’s first birthday rolled around, the snow had long since melted away. Sunset Valley was heating up, and the trees were regaining their leaves. My baby girl was taking small steps, and talking more every day.

“Are you ready for your party?”

“Nooooo.”

I couldn’t tell if she was answering me or if ‘no’ was the only word she could think of.

42We decided to have her party at the beach, since the kids had never actually seen the ocean they lived so close to. Being around it made me a little nervous, but we were far enough away that it didn’t bother me too much. I did have this ridiculous fear that one of the kids would sneak into it, though.

44Once the kids were playing happily in the sand-box I approached Zelda. I hadn’t really seen her much since she’d came over in the winter.

“Wow, your hair looks so great!” I complimented, remembering the neon-blue she’d had it dyed before.

“Thanks, Kirs. Yours looks the same as always.” She stuck her tongue out me. She was always wanting me to cut all my hair off or dye it some silly color.

45I watched as Parker and his sister hugged out of the corner of my eye.

“Is Mom still giving you a hard time?” He questioned.

“Not really, ever since the new baby arrived she has been distracted by him.”

46She smiled, but I didn’t catch the rest of the conversation. I had some food to make!

47I got started on the hotdogs, nervously watching the kids out of the corner of my eye. If Parker hadn’t insisted that they see the ocean, I would have had the party somewhere else. It was one thing for me to be so close, but it was an entirely different thing for them. I didn’t want my babies to go through what I did.

48After a few minutes, Iliana approached me.

“Kirsten, I want to apologize for how I behaved on Snowflake Day. I should have put aside all of that for the kids, it wasn’t right.”

49I plated the hotdogs and walked over to her.

“It’s fine. To be honest, I could have handled the situation a bit better myself. I think we were all just tired.”

She smiled gratefully at me before I turned and called everyone over so Cass could blow out her candles.

50“Are you ready to blow out your candles?”

51“No, Maaa, no!” She whined, digging her little fingers into my shirt. There was an edge to her voice that told me we were five seconds away from a full-blown fit; something that Cassidy didn’t have very often.

52“Look, Des, Sissy is gonna blow out her candles.”

“Gooo Sissy!”

There seemed to be something about Desmond’s voice that calmed her down, because after she heard him she was more than willing to approach her cake.

53“Are you ready, baby girl?

1…2….3….”

Sincerely, Tatiana Ivanov

A/N: This chapter might seem to cut off kind of abruptly. I was going to get more pictures for it, but I don’t have time and I wanted to get something posted for you lovelies<3

*

1

My stomach was reeling when I made it home and opened up the letter from Tatiana. All I had wanted was to live the rest of my life without ever hearing from her again, but here I was. Some sort of nagging feeling in my gut kept me from throwing the letter out and ignoring it. I’m not sure why, but I just couldn’t.

Tatiana's Letter

2

A deep sigh escaped my lips as I finished reading. So, I did have a choice in this. I could just refuse to write back, I could just pretend that I never received the letter. The parts of the letter that were bothering me the most were the parts about my children. Of course I knew they were special, they were my babies.. But what was going to happen to Cassidy? And why would Desmond have to prove himself?

3

I dug my fingers into the back of my neck, trying to push the mysterious and foreboding letter from my mind, but the words seemed to dance tantalizingly behind my eyelids. Before I could fall victim to the hysteria that was building in my stomach, Desmond’s cries reached my ears.

“MAAAAAA!”

I gathered the letter up and stuff it in a book, hoping that Parker wouldn’t find it before I could find a better hiding place.

4

I gathered the children from upstairs. Cassidy was still tired and fell asleep downstairs on the couch almost instantly. Desmond played happily with his blocks as I tried to distract myself with a book.

5

But distractions simply weren’t working. I looked at my son, watching as he played happily with his blocks. He could be grumpy sometimes, but he never backed down from a challenge or seemed to be afraid of anything.

6

My eyes then drifted to Cassidy. Her little chest rose and fell steadily. Where her brother was grumpy, she always seemed so happy. She rarely ever cried, in fact, most of the time she only cried when Desmond did. She loved her big brother very much, it was clear in the way that she always wanted to be around him. I smiled softly, I knew my babies were special… But didn’t every mother think that?

7

When Parker got home that night, the kids were already asleep. I took comfort in his warm embrace, but soon things escalated. What can I say?

*

8

Spooky Day rolled around and that called for a party! None of the kids were really old enough to Trick or Treat yet, so we decided to make use of the new playground that had recently been built.

9

10

Everyone had fun dancing around, and the weather stayed beautiful all day.

11

The kids had a lot of fun in the toddlers section of the park. Cassidy and William were growing every day, and I was sure they would soon be as big as Desmond.

12

At the end of the day we decided to take a photo, and then we all headed home.

*

13

Tatiana’s letter weighed heavily in my mind as October rolled into November. The beautiful weather that we had experienced all of October was pushed away, replaced by thunder storms and rain almost every day. Temperatures plummeted, and all of the babies were kept inside where it was warm.

14

I decided to go over to Hannah’s one Saturday, to talk to her. She still didn’t know that I had found everything out when Parker and I went to Riverview, but I needed advice and she was literally the only person I could talk to about it. I left the babies in their daddy’s care and was over at Hannah’s within minutes.

15

I walked in without knocking and was greeted by a very excited Hannah. She pulled me into a hug and I couldn’t help but smile. I knew she would be more than willing to help me.

“Kirsten, dear, what brings you here?”

“Well… I kind of need to talk to you…” My eyes strayed over her shoulder to Suzy, who was glued to the TV. “…Alone.”

16

“You heard her, young lady. Up to your room.”

Suzy stood up with an over exaggerated sigh, rolling her eyes moodily. “Are you serious, Mom? I was in here first!”

“Doesn’t matter, use the TV in your room.” Hannah crossed her arms and raised her eyebrows, a look I knew all too well. I smiled sympathetically at Suzy, but she just glowered at me before stomping up the stairs.

“Teenagers!” Hannah muttered, making her way over to the couch and patting the place next to her.

17

I sat down next to her, feeling nervous and wary. How exactly do you start a conversation like this? A few silent minutes passed between us, with me chewing on my lower lip, before Hannah broke the silence.

“What’s wrong?”

Her voice was tense, and it was very clear that I needed to start talking before she freaked out.

“I know.”

18

That one phrase seemed to be all I needed to say for her to understand. Her eyes widened slightly, and she stared down at her hands.

“When did you find out?” Her voice sounded apprehensive and guilty.

“Back when I went to Riverview with Parker, when I was pregnant with Desmond..”

An uncomfortable silence passed between us.

19

“Kirsten, I’m so sorry that I lied to you.” She stared at her hands in remorse, but truthfully I had never been angry at her. Before I could tell her this, though, she was speaking again. “You were just so young! How was I supposed to break the news to you in a way that you would understand? I know it was wrong to lie, but I knew you’d be so upset.. I just didn’t know if a child could handle that sort of information..”

20

“Hannah-“

“Why didn’t you tell me you knew before? I never sold the house, you know. We needed the money, but it just didn’t feel right. The house only passed to me because you and Cody were dead.. So really, the house should be yours. But you never asked, and once again, I didn’t know how to bring it up.”

21

She quieted for a moment, and I realized it was finally my turn to speak.

“I’m not mad, I never was. I don’t care about the house, or that you lied to me. I completely understand, especially now that I have children. There are some things you want to protect them from, and this definitely qualifies as one. You brought me back to life, you raised me like your daughter, you gave me everything I ever could have wanted.. You are the reason I am sitting on this couch right now. I could never be angry with you, Hannah.”

I watched as she visibly relaxed, wiping her eyes hastily.

22

“So.. What’s wrong, then?” I could easily hear the relief in her voice, and I wondered how long she would feel relieved for after I told her.

“I got this letter from Tatiana Ivanov, Raina’s grand-daughter..” I went on to explain everything that had happened in Riverview, looking at my own grave, and I even let Hannah read the letter word for word.

23

When she had finished reading, she was silent for awhile.

“I think you should tell her that you’ll help. Before you say anything, Raina was the witch who brought you back to life. You owe that family a lot, and anything they are asking you to help them with isn’t bad. It is going to be something to help someone, they are a good family, Kirsten. I’ll be here to help you in any way I can.. And if you don’t want to help that is ultimately up to you. But please consider it.”

*

24

When I got home, my mind was whirling. Hannah really believe that I should help Tatiana, and deep down I knew that I was going to. Hannah was right, I owed Raina a lot, and if all she wanted me to do was help her grand-daughter once.. Then I could at least do that. When I walked through the door, I heard giggling upstairs, and Sophie ran up to me. I picked her up, running my fingers through her soft fur.

25

I held her away from my face, looking at her closely for the first time in a long time. I frowned.

“Sophie, when did you get those gray hairs in your muzzle?”

She just wagged her tail and barked.

When I’m Wiser & I’m Older

1

The day of my sweet baby’s first birthday rolled around. His birthday wasn’t too far away from spooky day, and maybe when he was older we would have costume parties, but for today we wanted to keep things fairly simple. Family and friends were invited to come our and celebrate with us, and of course they were all excited as well.

2

Parker and I bought a couple of spring riders for the party, and Desmond had a lot of fun on them before the party began. I will admit that I was sad to see him getting older, but I knew that I just had to embrace it. Being sad would only ruin the party.

3

We moved the baby swing outside so that Cass could enjoy the birthday celebrations as well, but the warm sun and comfortable rocking soon put her fast asleep.

4

The guests started arriving, and Parker and his dad greeted each other in their normal very excited fashion.

5

Michael Bachelor was brave enough to show up, and he got a very.. Firm handshake from Parker. I honestly couldn’t believe that he and Kaylynn were already married with a son. Kaylynn hadn’t seemed like the kind of girl who would get pregnant right out of high school.

But they seemed happy, and that was all that mattered to me.

6

8

Of course Zelda showed up, with little Sandra in tow. I was surprised by how much she had grown in the past year or so. Apparently she had just started school this fall.

7

Bella came as well and said that Mortimer would be arriving soon. They had also recently had a baby, who would be staying home with her grandparents. Little Cassandra Goth.

9

10

Of course Hannah came as well, with her family. Suzy made a bee-line for the spring riders. She was already twelve, and would soon be a teenager. Where did the time go?

11

But soon my gaze fell upon the guest I was the most excited to see: Morty!

“Ahh, its been so long! You look so old!” I teased as he pulled me into a hug.

12

“Oh very funny, Kirsten. I could say the same about you.”

“Please, I haven’t aged a day.”

14

We giggled a bit, falling back in so easily. It had been so long since we’d seen each other, but he was still so easy to be around. I guess we would always be best friends, just like we promised.

13

“So you have a little girl, then?”

“Yes, she is about three months old now.”

“Her and Cass are around the same age! We should arrange a play-date sometime.”

“Cassidy and Cassandra.. I guess we’re lucky my family doesn’t believe in nick-names.”

15

“Gather round everyone, Des is gonna blow out his candles!”

16

Everyone gathered around as I placed Desmond on the table. He crawled over to his cake and pursed up his lips just like we’d practiced.

17

*

18A couple of weeks later, I found myself running late for a play-date at the park. Sunset Valley was staying unseasonably warm. It was typically much colder by the end of October. I reached into the mailbox, and pulled out a handful on envelops, sifting through them almost absent-mindedly. Bills, magazines, blah, blah, blah.

In fact, I was so out of it that I almost didn’t notice it. If it hadn’t been so odd, I probably wouldn’t have.

20

It was completely blank on the front, no address.. Nothing. Flipping it over revealed a scrawled note from someone who I had almost forgotten… But could never really forget.

Tatiana Ivanov

19“No, no, no…” I muttered under my breath, my stomach churning nervously. I stood around, indecisive, for a moment longer before I shoved the letter in my pocket and went inside to get the kids ready.

21

We arrived at the park at least fifteen minutes late, with no Zelda to be found. I checked my phone almost neurotically while a couple of other parents arrived. Finally, Zelda showed up with William on her hip. Beau was at home with Connor, since he was still too little to play.

22

All of the children were sat down around one another, and Cassidy immediately started to cry. She calmed down as soon as Zelda picked her up, and she seemed to have fun just watching the other kids. Something was definitely wrong with Zelda, but I was too distracted and worried to ask her about it. Instead, we both turned our attention to the kids.

23

24

Heather Keaton, the oldest of the group, started dancing around. All of the other babies were giggling at her, and she was eating up the attention.

25

Kari and Brandi McGraw sat close to each other, as they always did. Apparently they became very distressed if they were separated.

26

William sat near the twins, with his thumb in his mouth. He was the calmest of them all, rarely ever making a noise or trying to interact.

27

28

With a bit of coaxing, and the help of some toys, all of the babies eventually sat down in a circle and played happily.

29

The dads made their way over to the sand box and started playing themselves. I thought it was adorable, and I decided that we were lucky to live in such a small town. It was nice that other parents could be so easily trusted, and I knew any one of those men would protect me and my kids if it came down to it.

30

Watching the babies play seemed to ease both mine and Zelda’s bad moods, and she told me why she was so upset.

“Two little kids are a lot harder to manage that we thought they would be,” she admitted. “I mean, we’re both in our late 30s. We should have known to be more careful, we weren’t really ready for Beau.. But we saw you and Parker managing with Desmond and Cassidy.. Not to mention how well Stiles and Jamie do with Kari and Brandi.. We just thought it would be easier, but its not easy at all. I feel like our relationship isn’t strong enough, everyone else manages so well.”

A couple of tears gathered in the corners of her eyes, and I patted her leg softly.

31

“You can’t judge the quality of your relationship by comparing it to others. You don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. Parker and I were just so thankful that Cassidy’s birth went well, the relief coasted us through the first couple of weeks. And we got lucky, with both of our babies being good sleepers. Give it time, Zel. When William and Beau start sleeping through the night, things will get better.”

She smiled softly, just as thunder sounded overhead. I sighed, not really ready to go home and face the letter just yet, but I knew no one would keep their babies out with the threat of rain. We couldn’t risk sick babies, after all.

32

Soon enough, all of the babies were packed up and ready to go. Jamie showed up right after work, but of course the sky had grown dark, so all she really got to do was help Stiles carry the girls.

33

Little Heather walked expertly alongside her Daddy. I heard him saying something about how Mommy would be home from work and Bubby would be back from school by the time they got home.

34

Little William was asleep before Zelda ever left the park, and she seemed to be in a much better mood.

35

I packed my kids up as well. I knew that the perfect time to read the letter was when I got home. The kids would be napping, Parker was at work… But I just didn’t know if I could bring myself to do it.

An Announcement

So, after posting my latest chapter a couple of you might be confused and thinking “What happened?” It has been brought to my attention that the past two chapters before it don’t show up on people’s readers, so it is very likely that you missed them. For some reason, leaving them as drafts for a couple of weeks caused WordPress to mess up and think they were posted not on the date that I wanted them to be, but on the date that I created them as drafts.

So before you read my latest chapter, please read these two first:

Growing.. Growing all the Time

Baby Showers & New Friends.

I’ve learned my lesson about leaving drafts sitting for a long time xD Hopefully this won’t happen again, and I apologize for the confusion. Happy reading!

<3 Tashie

It Isn’t Advisable

A/N: I finished my mid-term and final and decided to let myself play a bit this weekend since its my fall break! One of my teachers is even giving me almost the full week off, which is awesome compared to the two days my school thinks is acceptable >:(

Anyway, the adorable poses with Kirsten, Desmond, and Cassidy were made by the amazing Momo<3 I’ve thanked her like ten million times for them, but they are just so cute and perfect… I had to thank her one more time hehe.

Okay, shutting up now. Enjoy!

*

1

In short, bedrest was awful. Of course, I wasn’t actually confined to just the bed, but I wasn’t allowed to do anything. In fact, I wasn’t even supposed to pick Desmond up. I was willing to do whatever I needed to to make sure that Cassidy would arrive healthy and happy.. But it was still awful.

2

I stared lazily at the TV, listening more to Desmond and Parker on the other end of the couch. With me being sick, Parker was given the last month of my pregnancy off, which was nice. Still, I only had a week until my due-date, so we were expecting Cassidy any time.

Any time.

A sharp pain, almost too familiar, shot through my abdomen. I sucked in a breath, gritting my teeth as Parker sat Desmond back on the ground.

“Parker.” My voice was even, but serious.

3

He moved closer to me on the couch, raising his eyebrow.

“What’s up?”

I pulled my legs in as far as I could, glad that the pain had passed for now. I knew it could be several hours before I had another one, but I was nervous.

“I think you should call Kaylynn and we should go to the hospital.”

My nerves were heightened, I was much more scared than I had been with Des. Everything had went so perfectly with him, but it was different this time… Everything wasn’t exactly going to plan.

I watched as Parker’s eyes widened with comprehension, he stood up, and grabbed his phone.

4

Desmond was playing, always so intrigued by the bright blocks on his play table. We had tried to explain to him that his little sister was in Mommy’s tummy, but he didn’t seem interested at all.

Another sharp pain shot through my belly, and I grabbed it. Was I feeling light-headed? Oh God. Was something going wrong?

5

I stood up and walked slowly over to Parker, listening as he explained the situation to Kaylynn.

“Hurryyy!” I moaned, grabbing my belly as another pain hit me. Everything was happening so much faster this time.

“Okay, we’ll see you in a few.” He took the phone off his ear and placed a hand on my back. “She’ll be here soon. Remember what Dr. Jolina said.. Try to stay calm.” I shot him a nasty glare, even though I knew he was right.

*

6

Cassidy made her way into the world smoothly. My blood pressure had been a bit higher than Dr. Jolina would have liked, and after she was born I passed out.. But in the end we were discharged from the hospital after a week and sent home with a clean bill of health.

I settled in to life with two young children, which I have to admit was a little hard. Cassidy was much more complacent than Desmond, who threw more fits than she did, but sometimes it was difficult to balance them both out.

7

It was times like these that I enjoyed the most. Everyone was changed into their pajamas, waiting for Daddy to get home. Cassidy slept soundly in my arms as Desmond played quietly with her toys. It was very apparent that he was jealous of his little sister, and that he didn’t know what to make of her. Every chance he got, he would take anything that he knew was hers. Playing with her toys was harmless, but pulling her pacifier right out of her mouth was… Something else.

8

I watched as Des put down the toy, crawling over to where we sat. He pulled himself up on the chair, and with a little assistance from me, was soon sitting in it. The fact that he could almost climb into a chair by himself hit me hard. I looked down at Cassidy, who still slept soundly in my arms. Des had grown so fast, was his birthday really only a couple of months away?

9

He let out a harsh puff of air, pulling my attention back to him. I wrapped my arm around his little shoulders and watched as he eyed his sister warily.

“Do you wanna lay with her?”

He looked up at me briefly before turning his attention back to Cassidy.

10

For a moment, I thought he was going to refuse. But they he moved closer to her, attempting to wiggle into the small space in my lap.

11

With a little bit of repositioning, we were soon all comfortable in the chair. I rested my cheek against the top of Desmond’s head, smiling. He thought he had me fooled into thinking he was asleep, and I was fine with that. I wanted him to get used to the idea of sharing Mommy, and if he had to stare at his baby sister a little to get comfortable with it, I was okay with that. After all, he’s never really seen another baby before.

12

I heard the door open and close as Parker made his way into the room.

“How is my family tonight?” He questioned, the warmth in his voice undeniable.

“We’re all doing great, do you wanna put Des to bed?”

13

Parker leaned down in front of the chair, and Desmond crawled onto his back.

“Be careful, will you?” I murmured, rocking slightly to make sure that Cassidy didn’t wake back up.

“We’re lucky they’re both good sleepers, aren’t we?”

I nodded in agreement as Parker left the room.

14

“Goodnight, little man.”

“Maaa..?”

“I’m sure Mommy will come and tell you goodnight.”

15

Once both of the kids were settled, we cuddled up on the bed together. I could see Parker’s eyes already beginning to droop, and I giggled softly.

“Tired?”

“Very.”

16

He pressed his lips against mine, and I returned the gesture eagerly. We both knew we’d get about three hours of sleep before Cassidy would need to be fed again, so we knew we needed to take advantage of our sleeping babies while we could.

*

17

I sat silently in Dr. Jolina’s office, smiling a bit. It had been a couple of months since Cassidy’s birth, but she still seemed very concerned about me for some reason.

“So, how are you holding up? Taking care of two babies can be exhausting, believe me, I know.”

She was, of course, referring to her daughters who had been born twins. After many years of failing to have a baby with Stiles, they had went to Moonlight Falls for a week. Nine months later, Brandi and Kari were born.

“It is tiring, I’ll admit, but I think I’m handling it fine.”

18

“Are they at home with Parker today?”

“Of course.”

“Is this the first time he had been alone with the two of them?”

“No, he’s handled it a couple of times.”

“Are you worried?”

19

“Of course not, Parker is an excellent father.”

“Good, good. You have been making an effort to keep your stress levels down? Any weight loss?”

20

“Things have been calm for me lately, I don’t I’ve lost too much weight.. Just what came off when Cass came out.. Really… Is there something wrong?”

“No.. All of your tests have been coming back normal…” She sighed, and ran her hand through her hair.

21

“Are you and Parker planning to have anymore children?”

“Not right away.. We discussed maybe when the kids are older.. Why?”

“Because.. I don’t think it would be advisable for you to become pregnant again. You’re young now, and your body was able to hand the difficulties it was presented with.. But it is ill advised to put your body through that again.”

22

“But I mean.. Everything with fine with Desmond.. What makes you think it will happen again?”

“Well, the odds are 50/50, aren’t they? It is my opinion that it is too much of a risk to take. As of right now, I think you should start taking birth control. You said you guys didn’t want anymore for awhile anyway, right?”

23

“Right.” I mumbled, a knot growing in my stomach.

*

24

That night, after the kids had fallen asleep, I allowed myself to reflect on the discussion Dr. Jolina and I had. The knot in my stomach seemed to twist at the thought of it, because I knew that when I told Parker he wouldn’t want anymore kids, he wouldn’t want to take the risk.

And why did I?

Desmond and Cassidy were perfect, our family was happy.. I guess I had just always imagined myself with a lot of kids.

25

Parker entered our room, coming over to me and wrapping his arms around me. His calloused fingers trailed lightly down the length of my arm, before ending at my hand. He pressed his lips against my shoulder.

“What’s wrong?” He murmured.

Had I really been that transparent? Either that, or Parker was getting better at reading me.

“Dr. Jolina told me she didn’t think we should have anymore kids.”

26

I felt his lips twitch upward against my skin.

“Is that all?”

“What do you mean ‘Is that all?’? This is a big deal to me!”

“Why?”

“Because I want more.”

“But not until Cassidy is in school, at least.. That’s what we agreed on.”

I nodded, turning and pressing my face against his chest.

27

“Then why are you so worried about it right now? A lot can change in five years.”

28

“You’re right.” I agreed, deciding to push the issue from my mind for now.

No Update

Ugh, I know, it totally sucks! My Economics Midterm and my Ethics Final (Ethics class was really short for some reason) are both this weekend.. And like, I just won’t have the time to write the update.

Also, since I just noticed the dates were messed up, my two most recent updates appear on my blog after this post and the other ‘No update this Friday’ post. I guess leaving them as drafts for a couple of weeks backfired, because WordPress has them down as being posted on the dates I created the drafts and not the dates I actually posted them. Its stupid ):

Anywayyy, I really hope I can have an update out next Friday and be regular from here on out..

<3 Tashie