Time flies so fast, and soon Grainna found herself in her third trimester. This pregnancy had been more taxing than the first, and she was more than ready to leave her days of waddling and back aches behind.
So when the time came, Grainna called Geoffrey to come stay with Seraphina, and then drove herself to the hospital. This was a completely different birth experience than she’d had the first time around, and Grainna was beyond grateful she didn’t have to go through a home birth again.
Compared to the pregnancy, delivery – for the most part – was a breeze. For a brief moment she felt like her heart had been ripped out, but the doctor assured her it was just indigestion.
A few hours later, Grainna grinned as she held her second eligible heir in her arms. Blue like her sister, and with J’s exceptional genetics, Grainna was confident that her new baby was the future of the Hasslich legacy.
Yeah, I wouldn’t be so sure, Grainna.
Welcome to the world, Clarissa Hasslich!
Seraphina was playing outside while Geoffrey took a nap on the couch. She’d been having trouble looking him in the eye, knowing what she now knew, and so she found it easier to just avoid him entirely.
Normally they would read or play chess together, and she could tell he was hurt when she said she wanted to go outside to be alone. But Seraphina was either angry or sad – sometimes she couldn’t tell which – and she found she really just didn’t care very much how her father was feeling at the moment.
She was walking aimlessly down the sidewalk, wondering how her mother was and whether her new sibling would be a brother or a sister, when a voice jolted her out of her trance –
“Little girl, have you seen my husband?” The voice was harsh and jarring, and definitely not friendly.
Seraphina looked up into the eyes of Nancy Landgrabb.
Nancy: Did you not hear me? I asked if you’d seen my husband. His name is Geoffrey Landgrabb, I assume you’ve heard of him.
Seraphina stared at her, a niggling, mischievous part of her wanting nothing more than to stir up some trouble.
And then she noticed the woman’s belly.
Seraphina: You’re PREGNANT!
The realization dawned on her that the baby in that belly would be related to her – it would be her little sister or brother, just like the baby being born at the hospital at the very same moment. Without thinking, Seraphina reached out and put her hands on Nancy’s belly.
Irritated, Nancy swatted her away.
Nancy: How observant of you. My husband?
Seraphina: No. No, I haven’t seen him, I’m sorry.
And with that Nancy sighed and walked off, taking her belly and the baby in it back to the house where they lived with her father.
…..With HER father. To the big, beautiful house where they lived without her, where she couldn’t ever go because no one knew about her. Because her father kept her hidden like a dirty secret.
Sweet Seraphina was feeling unusually sour.