Monthly Archives: September 2015

Chapter Fifty Seven : Coo Coo C’Choo, Mrs. Robinson

As the heir announcement loomed on the horizon, Andalie spent more and more time among her plant-friends, seeking advice on the difficult choice ahead of her.

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Andalie: I don’t know what to do, George! Sylvie is going to be a young adult tomorrow, and I don’t want to wait too long to make the announcement. But, neither of my daughters really seems to care about the legacy. They both seem so….indifferent. Neither of them will even talk about it, so how do I know which is the right choice?

George was frustratingly silent. Usually Andalie liked that about him – he forced her to reflect and come to her own conclusions. He was very smart like that, and Andalie thought he would have made a good psychologist, if he wasn’t a cowplant of course. But today what she really needed was an answer.

Time marched on as Andalie’s uncertainty grew, and the next day passed in the blink of an eye.

Sylvie’s birthday was upon them.

Sylvie wasn’t much of a cook, but her love of food had only multiplied, and she never did outgrow her goofball tendencies. Young adulthood had also brought out a certain level of materialism and a passion for learning – she wanted to be a nerd brain, and was also a very quick learner as a result.

Here she is in CAS:

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In celebration of Sylvie’s birthday, Aurora mixed her big sister a drink. She had developed a passion for mixology, and hoped to someday become the most famous bartender in Willow Creek! She had been practicing a lot lately, but as a minor, Aurora had little experience with juice-aholic drinks. Sylvie’s first day as a young adult was the perfect occasion for Aurora to experiment with something a little stronger.

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Sylvie: This stuff is fantastic, Rory! If this is what it means to be an adult, then I have no complaints.

Aurora: I’m so glad you like it – kind of hard to know if it’s good when I can’t have any!

Sylvie: I’m sure mom wouldn’t mind if you had just a sip. Here, taste..

She handed the drink off to her sister, who brought the glass to her lips. Aurora smiled.

Aurora: Plum, I’m good!

Sylvie laughed, but quickly fell silent, suddenly serious and thoughtful.

Sylvie: So you know that Mom’s going to pick an heir, now, right?

Aurora: I know. I’m nervous.

Sylvie: Nervous? I didn’t know you wanted to be the heir…

Aurora: It’s not that – I’m not nervous about being the heir, or not being the heir for that matter. I’m nervous about…. us, I guess. You’ve heard all the stories about the heir announcements – the drama between mom and Aunt Emmeline, and how Grandma Sera and her sisters ALL didn’t want to be the heir? I just don’t want us to fight or be mad at each other…

Sylvie laughed.

Sylvie: I don’t think there’s anything to worry about, okay? Nothing – not even the legacy – could drive a wedge between us! And besides, I couldn’t care less about being the heir! I mean, it’s fine if I am, I guess, it’s not like I have anything to lose, but I really don’t mind either way.

Aurora: I feel exactly the same way! I’ll be happy enough to be the heir, but I wouldn’t be disappointed if I wasn’t.

Sylvie: One thing’s for sure…. I’m not wasting any time getting a job, whether I’m the heir or not. Aunt Emmeline keeps talking about something … strange… she saw in space, and I just have this hunch….

She trailed off, and Aurora looked at her expectantly.

Sylvie: Let’s just say I have some scientific research to do. But first, I want to have a little fun….

As Sylvie leaned over and whispered her plan in her sister’s ear, Aurora’s eyes widened, and her face broke into a wide, mischievous, grin.

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It was early morning by the time their hot tub rendezvous came to an end, but Sylvie was nothing short of encouraged. Tonight was a step in the right direction, and Sylvie was sure that she’d sensed a certain flirtatious vibe from Abe. He squeezed her hand as he said goodbye, and playfully tugged her hair as he left. Sylvie sank deeper into the hot, swirling water, satisfied that she’d given him something to think about when he was alone at night.

What Sylvie didn’t know was that she wasn’t the only Hasslich woman who’d noticed Abe’s dashing good looks and flirtatious demeanor.

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Andalie had been starved for attention since being rejected by Dean and Nash, and Abe’s handsome face quickly sparked her interest. Of course she knew all about her daughter’s long-standing crush on the younger man, but as she flirted shamelessly, Sylvie’s feelings were the last thing on her mind. Abe was a grown man now, and though Andalie recognized the significant age difference, she felt sure that her feelings were returned.

Abe left, and the day passed, though Andalie hardly noticed. That night, she sneaked out to the garden to talk to George. She hadn’t slept, her thoughts totally consumed by the charming Abe Lothario.

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Andalie: I love him, George, and I know he loves me! He just can’t say it because of Sylvie! We’re meant to be! Soul mates! Star-crossed lovers! I have to find a way to be with him….!

As per usual, George stared at her silently.

This again? he thought to himself. Three days ago she wanted to be a better mother! Today she’s stealing her daughter’s boyfriend? And will she ever SHUT UP?

But Andalie rambled on, consumed by her self-involved delusion.

Andalie: It’s not like Sylvie could have him anyway, if she was the – that’s it! Sylvie will be the heir, and then Abe and I can be together! I’ll propose and we’ll be married and – oooooh, cake!

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George burped with satisfaction.

Andalie made a much better meal than she did a mother, anyway, and George figured he’d actually done her kids a service. Now everyone was happy – well, everyone but Andalie, he supposed. But George was satisfied with his meal, and Sylvie would never know that her mother cared so little for her feelings. Win-win, as far as George was concerned.

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Rest in Peace, Andalie Hasslich.

But of course, Andalie hadn’t lived long enough to declare Sylvie the heir….leaving Emmeline, as the last remaining third generation sister, to make the decision on her own.

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Chapter Fifty Six : Dreams & Nightmares

On the day of her elder birthday, Andalie awoke with a start. Her sleep had been restless and fraught with nightmares. She dreamed she was on fire, screaming out for help, as her family stood idly by, ignoring her peril and pain.

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Andalie was exhausted, and and as she lie alone in bed, staring at the ceiling, she reflected on her life, her relationships, and her own internal struggles. Staring her very last birthday in the face, she struggled to come to terms with the sad fact of her own mortality.

And when she spun into elderhood later that day, Andalie found herself – unsurprisingly – alone. There was no cake, no celebration with her family, no streamers or singing. They’d forgotten her, just as she had forgotten them so many times before.

Only Milo noticed the change in his mother.

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Andalie: Ouch, my back!

Milo: You okay, Mom? You look, um…. kind of different. But I’ve gotta run – Juliana’s family is expecting me for lunch. I’ll be back for dinner, though. In case you forgot, it’s Aurora’s birthday, and Roxas’s, too.

And without so much as a birthday hug, Milo skipped off to see his girlfriend.

She deserved this, she knew. But still, the loneliness stung. Andalie remembered her nightmare and choked back a sob. She had never intended to alienate her family or to hurt a man as good and kind as Nash. She knew now that there was no making up for those mistakes – but dwelling on the past would do her no good. Today wasn’t just about her; today was also Roxas’s birthday, and Aurora’s teenage birthday to boot.

While the past couldn’t be undone, Andalie thought that at least, for once in her life, she could put her family first – not to ingratiate herself or to seek forgiveness – but because she truly wanted to do something nice for the only people who had ever truly mattered.

And so Andalie set to work. She started by repairing the broken objects in their home, and then to baking a cake for Aurora. Afterward, she noticed that Sylvie was feeling a little under the weather, and offered to make her some herbal tea.

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And when it came time for Aurora to blow out the candles, Andalie watched in awe as her youngest daughter became a teenager. Aurora, despite her absent, neglectful mother, had grown into an amazing young woman. Aurora was a perfectionist, always striving to be the very best, and had developed a passion for fitness, making her the first Hasslich to acquire the active trait. And though Andalie could take no credit for raising her, she felt nothing but pride in the person her daughter had become.

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Being an active sim, Aurora skipped the cake and immediately hopped on the treadmill.

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Here she is in CAS after a work out or two… She DEFINITELY got her dad’s nose…

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Of course the legacy branch wasn’t the only side of the Hasslich family with a birthday today – Roxas had also grown up, into a striking little boy with the good looks of his mother.

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And speaking of his mother, Emmeline found that Roxas’s newfound childhood independence afforded her a level of freedom she’d missed when he was just a baby, demanding her attention at every turn. And she celebrated the best way she knew how…

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Two days later, Emmeline found herself smack in the middle of her second trimester. It turns out that upgrading a rocket is no easy feat when there’s a baby on the way!

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Meanwhile, Andalie had a new pet. His name was George.

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Chapter Fifty Five : On Bended Knee

The days that followed Roxas’ birth were a whirlwind of activity.

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Sylvie had met Abe Lothario at school, and they quickly discovered that they had a relative in common – like Emmeline, Abe was a grandson of Don Lothario, making the two of them half-cousins. But Sylvie was relieved to know that she and Abe were not related themselves. Abe treated her as a strictly platonic friend, but Sylvie’s feelings for him had rapidly intensified into a massive crush of the can’t-eat-can’t-sleep variety.

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Sylvie knew she’d been friend-zoned, and each night when she looked in the mirror, she sighed sadly, wishing for fuller lips and a “normal” skin tone. Abe was out of her league, she told herself, over and over again. But whatever Sylvie lacked in looks, she knew she more than made up for with her sense of humor and quick wit. And she wasn’t ready to give up.

Luckily, Milo was faring far better in the romance department. He had met Juliana at the park, and their relationship escalated quickly from there.

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Juliana lived in Oasis Springs and went to a different high school, but she came by the house almost every weekend. They had become exclusive after only two dates, and with his aspiration for a successful lineage, it wasn’t long before he was envisioning a future with his new girlfriend, complete with a traditional white wedding and house full of kids. And so, despite the protestations of his family, who thought that he was moving way too fast, Milo saved up the money from his part-time job and bought Juliana a promise ring.

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Meanwhile, Emmeline had embarked on her very first space mission, and returned home safely. Since then, she had been telling everyone that she’d seen something strangely familiar out there, but was frustrated to find that no one seemed to take her seriously – not even Enrique.

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But Enrique’s desire to marry Emmeline had only intensified with the birth of their child, and while he knew that Emmeline was still needed in her family home, he began to grow impatient. He wanted a family of his own, to live in the same house as his wife and to be involved in his son’s everyday life. He and Emmeline had agreed that Roxas would split his time between the two households until they married, but Enrique wanted every day, with both Roxas and with Emmeline.

Enrique had spent most of his savings on the rocket ship he’d bought for Emmeline, and so he had little leftover for a ring. But he scraped together what he could, and when he was ready, he dropped to one knee before her.

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Enrique: Emmeline, I love you more than you could even imagine. You’ve given me our son, and I fall more in love with you with every day that passes. I know you’re not ready to marry me yet, and that’s okay – I would wait for you forever. But I don’t want to be just your boyfriend anymore. We don’t have to set a date yet or start planning or any of that… I just want to put this ring on your finger and call you my fiancĂ©.

Of course, Emmeline accepted with tears in her eyes.

Emmeline: But Enrique, by the time we can even get married I’ll probably be old and gray! Don’t you want a young and beautiful bride?

Enrique: You’re missing the point, Emmeline. You’ll always be young at heart, and to me, you always have been and always will be beautiful.

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Andalie had been feeling a bit down ever since Dean rejected her marriage proposal, and with so much love in the air around her, she couldn’t help but feel lonely. She had tried calling Nash, but apparently he’d been very busy, because no matter how many messages she left, he still hadn’t called her back. So Andalie surrounded herself with her beloved plants, and while she appreciated their advice, talking to them didn’t do much good.

The fiasco with Dean weighed heavily on her heart, but at least, she thought, she learned something important. She learned to cherish the people who were always there for her, to make time for the people who treated her with kindness and respect, and to respect herself enough to walk away from anyone who couldn’t see her worth.

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She was talking to her plants about this very realization, when the snapdragon plant said something that gave Andalie an idea. After all, this was a superb snapdragon plant, and so Andalie was inclined to take its advice seriously.

So the very next morning, she left the house in search of Nash. Come plum or high water, she was going to find him, and make him see just how important he was to her.

When she finally found him, dropped down to one knee (this was becoming a bit of a habit, apparently).

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Andalie: Nash, I know it’s taken me way too long to realize this, but I want to spend the rest of my life with you!

Nash took one look at her, turned around, and walked the other way. Andalie was confused and shocked – she was sure that this time, her proposal would be accepted! Nash was clearly a better man, a more loving man, than Dean, and she knew that he loved her. This was not the reaction she’d expected.

She chased him down, not willing to let him go so easily when she finally knew what she wanted.

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Andalie: What’s the matter? Didn’t you hear me?! I said will you marry me! I can get down on my knee again if you want, but this time make sure you don’t forget to say yes before you walk away again, okay?

Nash: Don’t you get it, Andalie? I’m not saying yes. I’m saying no. I saw you flirting with Dean at the park last week. You always swore that you had no feelings for the fathers of your other children, you said I was the only one you cared about! But obviously that’s not true. Not only did you cheat on me, but you lied to me, too! This is over, Andalie.

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Andalie: What?! You saw us? It…it didn’t mean anything! I never cared about Dean! Okay, well maybe I cared a little, but when I proposed and he said no, then I realized that you’re the only one! I’m sorry! Please forgive me, Nash!

Nash: You…. PROPOSED to DEAN?!

Nash shook his head sadly.

Nash: This is even worse than I thought, Andalie. I do love you – I’ve always loved you – but you’ve ruined us. I deserve better than this. I don’t want to be the guy you settle for, and I don’t want a woman who lies to me and cheats on me. It’s just too late. Don’t call me again.

And with that, he was gone.

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Chapter Fifty Four : Little Fighter

As Milo’s birthday drew near, so did Emmeline’s due date. Milo made the most of his last days of childhood freedom by playing pirate in the park…

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While his aunt bemoaned the perils of pregnancy…

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But soon it was time for Milo’s birthday party, and Andalie took it upon herself to bake a hamburger cake for the occasion.

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Happy Birthday, Milo!

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Here is Milo in CAS. He is an active, domestic slob with an aspiration for a successful lineage.

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But while Andalie had made a show of attending the party, she ducked out as soon the festivities died down. She had something important to do, and she couldn’t wait a minute longer. She set out in search of Dean. When she called and he failed to answer, she went to his house and knocked on the door. Again, she got no answer, so she walked the neighborhood, scanning the streets for him as she went.

When she found him at last, Dean was in the company of two other women Andalie had never seen. She felt a sharp jab of jealousy but quickly pushed it aside. Nothing would stop her from what she had come here to do.

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Last time she’d been passive, but she knew now that passivity does not yield results. Pure boldness had worked for Zara, and it would work for her too.

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Dean’s face darkened. Andalie knew what that look meant. Humiliated, she quickly spun into her workout gear and ran off in the opposite direction. Unfortunately, Dean caught up with her.

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Dean: How dare you come here and embarrass me like this! You really think I’d ever marry you? Just look in the mirror! You look like a dog and you act like a dog – following me around begging for attention or a pat on the head! It’s pathetic! Now get lost before I call the pound to come and pick you up!

Andalie felt the tears spring to her eyes, but she refused to let him see her cry. She felt her spine straighten and chin tilt up, as if attached to a marionette string. Without a word, she turned on her heel and walked away. She never looked back.

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Emmeline was sitting in the living room when Andalie returned – she had gone into labor and was waiting for Enrique to pick her up to go to the hospital.

Emmeline: Where have you been?! I called you a million times! But of course you can never be bothered by your own family!

Emmeline’s infamous temper reared, taking Andalie off guard. Andalie burst into tears.

Realization dawned on Emmeline’s face. Someone had hurt her sister. Suddenly her temper was uncontrollable. Panting through her most recent contraction, she looked her sister dead in the eye.

Emmeline: WHO did this to you?

Andalie sobbed, managing to wail Dean’s name through her gasps. Emmeline’s kindness, her protective rage, only made Andalie sob harder. She knew she deserved none of it.

Emmeline: I am going to the hospital. I am going to have this baby. And then, I am going to KICK. HIS. ASS.

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Enrique showed up minutes later and before she knew it, Emmeline was in the delivery room. She screamed through the entire procedure, letting go of her rage at her sister and at the sorry excuse for a man who had hurt her.

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In the end, she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy.

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Happy birthday, Roxas Hasslich!

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True to her word, Emmeline hunted Dean down just as soon as she recovered.

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Emmeline: Stay away from my sister, you plum, or I’ll be back – and next time, I’ll break your legs.

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Chapter Twenty Five : Under Pressure

Seraphina spent her first trimester in a bubble of excitement.

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She felt healthy and strong, and hadn’t even experienced much morning sickness. Being pregnant, it turned out, was much easier than actually getting pregnant. Much more enjoyable, too, in Seraphina’s opinion. Eduardo was handsome and kind, but she’d somehow expected…..more…..from her first woohoo. Not that it mattered. She’d achieved her goal and now all that was left to do was wait and hope for a girl.

But what if it isn’t a girl? Seraphina knew she was running short on time. If this baby was a boy, she would need to get pregnant again immediately. She didn’t have time to waste, and so she needed to start lining up her next baby daddy NOW.

She thought back to the party, and immediately remembered Alexander Goth. Their conversation had flowed easily, and she had a feeling she had already piqued his interest. He was a Goth, after all, and the family did have a reputation for loving all things …. unique.

There was no time like the present. Seraphina was just about to pick up the phone to call him, when there was a knock on the front door. She didn’t even have time to change out of her sexy pajamas! Oh well. She figured he’d be seeing her in far less eventually anyway, so she answered the door without changing.

Once again, she gathered her courage. It was easier this time. Eduardo had been good practice, and she had a better grasp now on how to act around men, how to attract them and inspire romance.

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Alexander was sweet and kind. He was an unassuming type of man, and as they spent more and more time together over the next few days. He was interested in her life and in her art, and a genuine friendship developed between the two.

Seraphina hadn’t had many friends in her life. She had her sisters, of course, but they were sort of built-in friends. Alexander sincerely liked her, and Seraphina realized she very much valued their friendship. She knew it would be underhanded to use her best friend as a donor without his knowledge. She just couldn’t go through with what she had planned, and she knew she would have to fess up.

She invited him over to talk. Again, she wore her sexy pajamas. She worried that it might give him the wrong impression, but at this point she was well into her third trimester and nothing else fit her anymore. Not to mention, it wasn’t anything he hadn’t seen the last time he’d been over.

Seraphina: Alex, there’s something I want to talk to you about. I realize how crazy this is all going to sound, but I consider you a close friend, and I need to be completely honest with you.

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Alexander looked at her and nodded.

Alex: I’m listening.

Seraphina: You see, my mother was the founder of the Hasslich legacy. She named me her heir and entrusted me with the future of her life’s work. Hence, well….

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Seraphina: This baby is my first chance at an heir. Of course I’ll love my child – boy or girl – but only a girl would be eligible for the title. So, if this is a boy…. Well, that would mean I’d need to try again. And of course it takes two to make a baby. My problem is twofold – one, I’m almost halfway through adulthood and I’m running out of time. And two – there’s a rule that prohibits me from having more than one child with any one man. So this baby’s father is out of the question.

Alexander: So…..what exactly are you saying?

Seraphina: Please, please don’t be mad. The real reason I became friends with you was because I intended for you to father my next child. Now I KNOW that sounds terrible, but before you say anything, I changed my mind once I got to know you and realized how much I value your friendship! That’s why I’m telling you now, I needed to come clean–

Alexander: Seraphina, stop! You…… wanted me to father your baby?

Seraphina: Yes, but I know —

Alexander: YES! The answer is yes!

Seraphina: ….. WHAT? But I just said….

Alexander: I know – I heard you. But really… I’m not offended. Not offended at all actually. Honestly….I’m flattered. And, well….. You’re not the only one with a legacy to uphold. My sister died without having any children, so if I want the Goth name to continue, it’s on me to make it happen. I’m not exactly in my prime anymore either, Seraphina, and I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have a child with than you.

Seraphina was dumbfounded. This unexpected turn of events was beyond her imagining. It was hard for her to hide her excitement, but still she had concerns.

Seraphina: Alex, we’re friends. You realize that in order to have a baby together, we would have to….woohoo. Don’t you think that would make things awkward? I don’t even think I’m all that good at it….

Alexander: I’ve always found you attractive, Seraphina. I’m sure we won’t have a problem. And we’re both nearly elders now. If anyone is mature enough to handle this, we are.

Seraphina: And what about what happens after? How could the baby be the Goth heir AND the Hasslich heir? Which last name will it have?

Alexander: If the baby is a boy, it can’t be the Hasslich heir no matter what, so by default he would be the Goth heir. If the baby is a girl, and she is chosen as the Hasslich heir, then she will also need to be the Goth heir. She would need to produce both a female heir for the Hasslich line as well as a male heir for the Goth line. And whether it’s a boy or a girl, the last name should be Hasslich-Goth.

Seraphina couldn’t believe this was happening. She could feel herself grinning ear to ear.

Seraphina: You’ve got yourself a deal.

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Seraphina was on cloud nine, knowing that her second child was all but conceived. She had been sick with worry that the first baby would be a boy – and not just because of the legacy. She worried that her baby could somehow sense how badly she wanted a girl, and that a boy would feel unwanted based solely on his gender. But now she could rest easy with the knowledge that her firstborn was not her one and only chance.

But of course, nothing is ever easy, and just when she thought she could finally relax, Seraphina began to itch. And itch. And itch. And itch.

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The doctor diagnosed her with Itchy Plumbob, which apparently was uncommon for pregnant women in their third trimester, but not hazardous to the pregnancy.

Regardless, Seraphina spent her entire third trimester completely miserable. She itched, she ached, and she was constantly fatigued. She could not wait to go into labor. But her firstborn was stubborn. Seraphina tried everything she could think of, but the baby was determined to stay put.

On the fifth day, Seraphina finally went into labor.

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She asked Esmeralda to drive her to the hospital, and just a short time later, her first baby – an eligible heir, no less! – was welcomed into the world. She had the insane trait and blue skin a shade lighter than her mother’s.

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Happy Birthday, Andalie Hasslich!

And don’t worry – Seraphina was cured of her Itchy Plumbob immediately after delivery!

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Chapter Fifty Three : Broken Promises

Days went by as the Hasslich family adjusted to Zara’s absence. Andalie’s relationship with Nash continued, Emmeline’s belly grew rounder, and Aurora jumped out of the crib, ready to take on the world.

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Aurora has her father’s hair, her mother’s skintone, the trademark Hasslich eyes, and has gained the Perfectionist trait.

Andalie had taken her mother’s advice to heart and decided to take a more active role in her children’s lives. While her thoughts and desires still revolved around Nash (and Dean – always Dean), she made a concerted effort to prioritize her kids.

Unfortunately, Andalie’s newfound devotion to her family came to a screeching halt the day that Dean called and asked for a date. Yes, she was still with Nash, and yes, she had promised Aurora she would teach her to swim tonight, and yes, she knew it was wrong for her to go – to cast her family aside, to cheat on her devoted boyfriend, in favor of a man who’d only ever made her cry. But Dean was always on her mind, every night and every day, invading her thoughts and her .

Andalie was running out the door before she’d so much as hung up the phone.

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Aurora: I’m never going to learn to swim! She doesn’t even care if I drown!

Emmeline: You know that’s not true, Aurora. Your mom is easily distracted, but she loves you so much! And don’t worry, sweetie, as soon as I have this baby, I’ll teach you how to swim. That’s a promise.

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Andalie arrived at the park first and waited on the sidewalk for Dean. The minutes crawled by, and Andalie wondered anxiously if he would even show up at all. He was five minutes late, then ten, then twenty. And as she waited, she began her to question her decision to come. Was Aurora learning to swim without her? Was Nash wondering why she hadn’t called?

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But when, at long last, she caught sight of Dean in the distance, her heart leaped and her doubts vanished. He was here and he wanted to see her and that was all that mattered – Dean was all she could see.

Dean: Hey Andrea, long time no see…. Is it just me or did you somehow get less ugly?

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Andalie swooned at his heartfelt “compliment.” She didn’t even notice that he’d gotten her name wrong…..again.

Andalie: I’m so glad you called, Dean! I’ve missed you, you know. And Milo has gotten so big! You should come by to see him.

Andalie felt a pang of guilt at the mention of Milo – but she quickly rationalized her actions. Really she was here for Milo, to facilitate a relationship between father and son…Really she was going a good thing here, an unselfish thing…right??

Dean: Milo? Oh right, the kid! Sorry, I can’t keep track of these brats, you know?

Andalie: What do you mean you can’t keep track? Are there….others?

Dean: Come on, Anna, you can’t really think you’re my only baby mamma. I’ve got three or four other kids running around here somewhere – guess your Milo has a couple siblings he didn’t know about. Don’t ask me their names though, I sure as plum couldn’t tell you.

Andalie didn’t have the sense to be hurt, or even to feel sympathy for her son, whose father chose to ignore his existence. Nor did she recognize the similarity between Dean’s mistreatment of his various children and her own neglect of the family she had waiting at home.

All she saw was Dean. All she heard was that he’d chosen her. Over all the other women, he picked her.

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She never noticed the older man passing by, let alone recognize him, when he’d changed so much since the last time she’d seen him. She was besotted by Dean, her attention focused solely on his blue eyes and confident swagger. She never saw the other man’s shoulders slouch, never saw his face fall, or the hurt in his eyes.

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And as Nash walked away, crushed by her betrayal, Andalie saw nothing but Dean.

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Chapter Fifty Two : A Change Would Do You Good

Andalie’s third and last pregnancy went by almost unnoticed, and when the time came to deliver, even Andalie herself was surprised at how quickly the day had come. Once again, it was time to head to the hospital.

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Nash was at work when she went into labor, so Andalie asked Emmeline to take her to the hospital. And when they arrived, Andalie was comforted to see that her sister-in-law Isla had come to oversee the delivery, despite having passed away a few days prior.

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The delivery was strenuous, but Andalie was less stressed with this baby than she had been with the others. Yes, she had failed to produce a spare thus far, and this baby was likely to be her last chance at that, but Andalie was far from bothered. She considered her obligation to the legacy complete already, and at this point a spare would be nice, but not entirely necessary as far as Andalie was concerned.

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But when Aurora Hasslich was born just a short time later, Andalie beamed with pride, knowing she had served the legacy well.

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Happy Birthday, Aurora Hasslich!

————————————————————————————–

When Andalie returned home, Seraphina and Grainna were waiting for her. Andalie was startled, not by the ghosts in her front yard (she’d become accustomed to living in a haunted house by now), but because she hadn’t seen either of them in quite some time.

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Andalie: I’m so glad you both have come to congratulate me on the spare! I’m so excited I’ve been able to make you proud!

Grainna: Of course, honey, your mother and I are both so proud that you’ve furthered the legacy. But, actually, that’s not why we’re here…

While Grainna tried to go easy on her granddaughter, Seraphina got right to the point. She had a bone to pick with her daughter, and she had no intention of mincing words.

Seraphina: It’s great that you’ve produced and “heir” and a “spare,” as you call them. But don’t you think your children are more than that? It’s like you see your kids as trophies, Andalie – something you show off, but store up on a high shelf out of the way. They have names, they’re real people – children, at that. And they need their mother.

——————————————————————————

With a new baby in the house, and still another on the way, Zara had made up her mind. There was just no way she could live her life in a house with four kids, even if they were her own nieces and nephews. She was constantly tense, frequently angry, and she felt like a shadow of her former self.

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Zara had to move out. NOW.

Having donated most of her income to the main line, Zara had little in the way of savings – but her friendship with Marilyn had grown, and Zara was sure that together, they could afford their dream home.

Yes, she’d wanted to take things slow with Marilyn, to assess the situation, to be sure that Marilyn returned her romantic feelings before wearing her heart on her sleeve. But if Marilyn only saw her as a friend, Zara decided she’d rather know now. And if Marilyn felt the same…well then, she was ready to move forward. Zara trembled at the thought of rejection, but she knew she loved Marilyn, and it was time to take a risk.

So Zara invited Marilyn out for a drink, and when Marilyn arrived, Zara was waiting for her on the sidewalk. There was no time to think, no time for hesitation, or Zara knew she would back down.

Instead, she took Marilyn’s hands in her own and launched into the speech she’d prepared only minutes before.

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Zara: Marilyn, there’s something I have to tell you. You’re a wonderful friend, but the truth is, I don’t want to be just your friend. I’ve wanted to kiss you ever since the first day I saw you –

Zara had so much more to say, but she saw that Marilyn was smiling. So instead of more words, Zara took action.

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Impulsively, she didn’t wait for an answer or even a reaction from Marilyn. She knew what she had come here to do, and she wasn’t going to chicken out now.

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Zara: I know this is fast, but I know what I want. If you feel the same way about me, then Marilyn…. will you be my wife?

Marilyn nodded, a huge grin on her face, and jumped directly into Zara’s arms.

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Zara: I’ll take that as a yes.

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—————————————————————————————

The next day was Sylvie’s birthday, and the family threw a party. But it was more than just a celebration of Sylvie’s coming of age – it was also a going-away party for Zara, who was moving out that very night.

In an effort to become a more involved mother, Andalie baked her eldest daughter a cake.

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This is Sylvie in CAS after a bit of a workout. I think she actually resembles her Aunt Clarissa, and she still has that saggy Hasslich chest (which I’m starting to think I’ll never get rid of). Sylvie is now a foodie in addition to a goofball – here she is showing off her goofball tendencies.

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—————————————————————————————

After the party, Zara moved to her new home in Newcrest with Marilyn. They decided on a private wedding ceremony to be held as soon as possible, and they promptly turned their home’s second bedroom into an office. For a couple who hated kids, there was just no need for a nursery.

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Side note : Since Zara and Marilyn both hate kids, they will not be having any children. But my curiosity got the better of me, so for your enjoyment, here are a few samples of what Zara and Marilyn’s genetic daughter could have looked like:

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Chapter Fifty One : Cinder-Emmie, Cinder-Emmie

While Andalie chased the men of Willow Creek, life went on back at the Hasslich homestead.

Most significantly, Milo had aged into a child, and though he rarely saw his mother, he looked more and more like her every day.

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Andalie had always been tenacious – she pursued her goals with alarming intensity, the outside world filtered away by her single-minded tunnel vision. As a young adult, she had been entirely fixated on the legacy and securing the heirship, but as a romantic, her short attention span was quickly redirected toward Nash. Or Dean – whoever the man of the moment happened to be. And in the rare times that Andalie wasn’t consumed by her romantic obsessions, she devoted her time to her thriving garden, lovingly tending her plants and talking to them as cherished friends.

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Unfortunately, Andalie’s children existed mostly in her peripheral vision, a product of a previous fixation. She had completed her mission as heir, producing at least one daughter to further the legacy, and she now, even as her third pregnancy drew out, she paid more attention to the plants than she did to her own children.

Andalie was a much less reliable and involved mother than her own mother had been, which forced her sisters to step up as caretakers to the children. Zara was less than thrilled with the responsibility that had been thrust upon her, but she contributed what she could as an aunt, however begrudgingly.

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Still, Zara wasn’t much help, and Emmeline quickly became the primary caretaker and homemaker. Between her shifts as a rocket technician, Emmeline cleaned the house, repaired broken appliances, cooked for the children, and in her spare moments, improved her painting technique. No matter how exhausted she was, Emmeline was determined that she would keep her promise to her mother, and paint the fourth generation portraits when the time came.

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Overworked and under appreciated, Emmeline decided it was time for a day off. Though she rarely had time to see him, Emmeline was still happily dating her high school boyfriend, Enrique.

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Emmeline: I always wanted to contribute to the legacy, but this really isn’t the way I imagined it, Enrique! I feel like Cinderella while my irresponsible sister gets to have all the fun! I thought the bright side of being a spare was that I could pursue my dream of becoming an astronaut, but my career is suffering, and I have no time for myself… I’ll never get to space, at this rate!

Enrique: You’ve done enough, Emmie. You’re not the heir, you do have the freedom to live life the way you want! You just have to walk away from this and force Andalie to step up to the plate.

Emmeline: I can’t leave Sylvie and Milo, you know that! They’re defenseless kids with a mother who forgets they even exist!

Enrique: But I want to marry you, Emmeline. We could get a place of our own, and you’d finally have time to focus on your work. You’d be a top level astronaut in no time!

Emmeline sighed. She had been devastated when Andalie was named heir, her only consolation the freedom to pursue her own dream – but now she didn’t even have that. Maybe Enrique was right.

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But the kids would be home from school soon, and Emmeline still had so much to do on her one day off from work. She had such little time left with Enrique, and she didn’t want to spend it worrying about the future.

She invited Emmeline to “hang out” with her at home for a few hours.

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Afterwards, cuddling together in bed, Emmeline turned to Enrique with resolve in her eyes.

Emmeline: I want to marry you, too, Enrique. Please just be patient. Once my nieces and nephews are teenagers, they’ll be able to take care of themselves and we’ll be free to start a life together. I promise.

————————————————————–

Two days later…

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Emmeline felt dizzy, a sneaking suspicion washing over her. How could this be? She and Enrique had always been so careful! She wasn’t ready for this, she had a career to dominate!

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But as she watched the little pink plus sign appear, Emmeline realized that she was ready for this. She was already a mother to Milo and Sylvie, and though it wasn’t easy, she wouldn’t trade them for the world. Or, even, for the universe.

Of course, Enrique was the first person she told.

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She had been somewhat nervous to tell him, but Enrique was overjoyed – he had always wanted a family and took the pregnancy as a sign that he and Emmeline were meant to be a family.

Enrique: I already know this doesn’t mean you’ll marry me right now. But we are going to be a family, Emmeline, and that means you have my unconditional support. But what about your job? It’s your dream to be an astronaut!

Emmeline: I guess this baby is my new dream. Andalie is living proof that you can’t have it all, but if I have to choose, I will always choose my family.

————————————————————–

The next day, when Emmeline returned from her shift, there was a note from Enrique taped to the front door.

Emmeline,

Go to the backyard.
You are my everything – with you, I have it all.
You can have it all, too.

Love,
Enrique

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Chapter Fifty : One Way Or Another

The next evening, Andalie carefully dressed and arranged her hair. Tonight was an important night – a life changer! – and she was determined to do this right.

She walked alone to the park, and waited patiently under the wedding arch, her white dress heavy against her legs.

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As she stood and waited, Andalie’s patience waned. She was so excited, so anxious to see the expression on Dean’s face when he arrived! Her romantic surprise proposal and flash wedding were sure to impress, and while the shadows grew longer and longer, Andalie passed the time fantasizing about the life they would have together as husband and wife.

But as the minutes stretched on, and the sun began it’s descent behind the horizon, Andalie’s excitement turned to worry and then finally, to acceptance.

Dean wasn’t coming.

There would be no wedding tonight.

Andalie did not take it very well.

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She tried to cheer herself by flirting with this guy…

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But her efforts were to no avail. No one would ever live up to Dean. Andalie wandered home with a shattered heart and a broken spirit.

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————————————————————–

Luckily for Andalie, there was an upside to her insanity, and it came in the form of frequent irrational mood swings. Usually this got her into trouble, but when she woke up the following morning, it was as if Andalie had completely forgotten about the previous night’s rejection. She was as optimistic and cheery as if Dean was nothing but a distant memory. On this particular morning, her insanity was a blessing in disguise.

She bounced downstairs to find Emmeline and fill her in on her newest, BEST plan yet.

Andalie: It’s go time for Operation Nash!

Emmeline’s jaw nearly hit the floor. Just two days ago, Andalie was head over heels in love with Dean, and now she was back to pursuing Nash? Emmeline didn’t know what happened to change her sister’s mind, and she didn’t ask questions. There was no point trying to understand crazy.

Emmeline: Okay, well that’s good news. But, uh, Andalie … what happened to Dean?

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Andalie blanched, but recovered in the blink of an eye.

Andalie: Nash is the love of my life! My soulmate! Today is the day! Carpe diem!

And off she went. It didn’t take long for her to score a date with the hunky blonde, and later that night they met up at the local nightspot. Andalie worried vaguely about getting caught by his girlfriend, but like most other unpleasant thoughts, she pushed the idea quickly out of her head.

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Andalie: I’m so glad you agreed to meet me! Whatever happened to your girlfriend?

Nash: Girlfriend? I’ve never been in a relationship before, Andalie. I don’t know who you’re talking about.

Andalie: After my mom died and I was so awful to you…I saw you in the park with a pretty girl in a pink shirt… She wasn’t your girlfriend?

Nash: You must mean Paulina! She’s just a friend, Andalie. I went to her for advice on how to cheer you up. If you’d only asked instead of just disappearing you would have known that!

Andalie: I thought I’d driven you away…

Nash: You could never drive me away, Andalie. Why do you think I’ve never been in a relationship? No one has ever measured up to you!

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Andalie: Nash… There’s something you should know. I have two children. A girl and a baby boy….

To his credit, Nash managed to hide his shock. All this time he’d been waiting around for Andalie, and she’d had two children with another man?

Nash: What happened to their father?

Andalie explained that there were actually two fathers. She gave him a brief rundown of her role as the heir, and breezily glossed over her rather intense obsession with Dean.

Nash seemed satisfied to think that Andalie hadn’t had any real feelings for either of the men, that she was only answering the call of duty.

Nash: Well…how about we avoid any more misunderstandings, Andalie. I’ve waited a long time to call you my girlfriend …. Is it okay if I start now?

Of course Andalie accepted. She only thought of Dean twice while she hugged Nash.

The new couple celebrated by renting a room in the adjacent lodge.

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And of course, Andalie couldn’t wait to take a pregnancy test.

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While Andalie used the bathroom, Nash had wandered back to the night club. Andalie ran off in search of him, so excited to tell him the good news that she didn’t even think to change out of her pajamas.

But as she walked into the bar, a familiar face stopped her in her tracks.

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Her heart dropped into the pit of her stomach. Dean. She suppressed the urge to run to him, but his name screamed through her head.

Dean!! Dean!!!!!!!!!! DEAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dean!! Dean!!!!!!!!!! DEAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Go to him! Make him love you! Who was I looking for, anyway? Wait, Nash! I like Nash! Dean! DEAN! DEAN!

She closed her eyes, overwhelmed by the cacophony inside her head. She opened her eyes carefully, and focused on the task at hand. She needed to tell Nash that he was going to be a father. At first, she balked at the idea of letting Dean know she had someone new – after all… what if he still wanted her? She didn’t want him to think she was taken. Even if, technically, she was.

But then she remembered his never ending game of hard to get.

Perfect, Andalie thought. Now he’ll finally see how desirable I am! He’ll be sure to want me back, now that he thinks he can’t have me!

And so, right in front of Dean, Andalie gave Nash the good news.

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Dean reacted just as she’d hoped – by showing off and trying hard to get Andalie’s attention. Of course, he already had her attention. But Andalie saw jealousy written all over his face, and for once, she was sure she had him right where she wanted him.

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And Andalie was back to square one. Only this time, she had a boyfriend and Nash’s baby growing inside her.

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Chapter Forty Nine : Patiently(?) Waiting

As Zara and Emmeline threw themselves into their careers, Andalie was careening toward the delivery of her second child. The days sped by, and in what felt like the blink of an eye, Sylvie had grown into a child.

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Her skin tone matched her mother’s, but her eyes and hair color were all Shay’s. Sylvie gained the goofball trait and spent most of her time playing innocent pranks and telling jokes. She took an particular shine to her Aunt Zara, often following her around the house armed with good humor and general silliness.

While Zara had been marginally calm with a baby around the house, the presence of a full-on child was more than she bargained for. While she tried her best to be an involved aunt to this eligible Hasslich heir, Zara couldn’t conceal her disdain for poor Sylvie. Luckily, as a happy-go-lucky goofball, Sylvie didn’t even seem to notice.

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With all the commotion of a child (and a second on the way!) Zara found herself spending more and more time outside the Hasslich household. Most often, she frequented the local lounge, where she tickled the ivories and showed off her growing talent for the piano. She rarely talked to anyone, preferring her much-needed alone time to the petty conversation of strangers. And besides, she had yet to run into anyone who actually piqued her interest.

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But one sunny afternoon, as she relaxed at the local pool, Zara noticed a pretty brunette who immediately caught her attention. Of course, Zara had always been ambitious – and when she saw something she wanted, there was no question she would get it. She sauntered over to the woman and introduced herself.

The woman’s name was Marilyn Swenson, and as Zara got to know her better, she found that she was mesmerized not only by her innocence and genuine sweetness, but by her quirky style and the tiny twin buns she wore in her hair. But the deal was sealed with Zara learned that Marilyn also hated children.

Zara knew this was the beginning of something special, so while their conversation had quickly taken a flirtatious turn, she saw no need to rush things. Zara took Marilyn’s number, and said goodbye. For now.

———————————————————————————
Meanwhile….

While Zara was out painting the town red, Andalie finally went into labor. This time, she called Dean to accompany to the hospital, but of course he refused. No matter, there was no time to dwell on hurt feelings. Another Hasslich baby was coming!

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Happy Birthday, Milo Hasslich!

Andalie was ashamed to admit that she was disappointed that Milo had been born with the “wrong” genitalia. She wanted to think that she loved both of her children equally – and indeed, she did – but her failure to produce a spare left her in quite a pickle. If Mil-O had been Mil-A, then she would have been free to pursue Nash. Now Andalie found herself confused – should she throw caution to the wind and potentially put the legacy at risk, or should she wait and try again to produce a spare?

She immediately thought of Dean. That had been happening a lot lately – everything reminded her of him, all the time, no matter how hard she tried to delete him from her memory. She knew she should be thinking of Nash – sweet, reliable, generous Nash – but it was Dean who filled her dreams and her waking moments alike. Would it be against the legacy rules to have a second child with him if it was sure to be a girl? Andalie had heard rumors of a special, secret fruit that could ensure an eligible heiress…

Andalie thought long and hard about her options, but ultimately she sought the advice of her youngest sister. Emmeline had always been dedicated to the legacy, and Andalie thought she would steer her in the right direction.

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Andalie: I just don’t know what to do, Emme!

Emmeline sighed.

Emmeline: Is this about Dean again?

Andalie: What do you mean, again?

Emmeline: Come on, Andi. You don’t really think we haven’t noticed, do you? Every conversation we’ve had since you got pregnant somehow rolls around to Dean.

Andalie: That’s not true – okay okay, it is true. Emme, do you think it would be against the rules if I had another baby with him that was sure to be a girl? It’s not like Milo is an eligible heir…I heard there’s a voodoo spell and a secret exotic fruit to make sure you have a girl!

A devilish glint flashed in Emmeline’s eyes. She wasn’t blind to the opportunity that had just fallen into her lap. There was no doubt her sister was crazy. And if Andalie spent the rest of her days chasing after Dean like a lunatic, then she could never produce another eligible heir. Even if she managed to get Dean into bed again, and even if she DID have another daughter, there was no way a second child would be considered a legitimate heir. And if Sylvie – hypothetically, of course – shunned the legacy, then Emmeline would be the successor.

The temptation was intense. All she had to do was say, Yes, Andalie, I’m sure if you had a daughter with Dean, she would be a legitimate spare.

Emmeline sighed. She was good, after all, and as much as she wanted to, she couldn’t bring herself to sabotage her own sister that way.

Emmeline: I don’t know, Andalie. Dean seems like bad news. Nash is nice, and you wouldn’t have to worry whether a daughter with him would be considered eligible as heir.

Andalie: Exactly! Dean IS the perfect guy for me and there’s no WAY it would be against the rules to have a daughter with him! You give the best advice, Emmie!

Andalie flitted off, probably to bombard Dean with an avalanche of flirty texts messages, leaving Emmeline shaking her head. Turns out she didn’t need to sabotage her sister – Andalie was more than capable of sabotaging herself.

It turns out, Andalie had done exactly as her sister expected. She called Dean to invite him over to meet his son, but when Dean showed up on the doorstep, Andalie met him in her bikini.

At first, Dean seemed receptive.

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Dean: How sweet of you to meet me out here all ready and raring to go!

Of course Andalie was ready and raring to go, but by now she knew that Dean was delicate and had to be handled with care. Meaning, she would have to play hard to get. Beat him at his own game.

Andalie: Milo is upstairs in the nursery, would you like to meet him?

Unsurprisingly, Dean turned on her.

Dean: I don’t want to meet your fugly baby!

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Andalie could see this was getting her nowhere. She needed more time to prepare for her seduction.

Andalie: I can see you’re not feeling well, Dean. Let’s meet tomorrow night in the park. I’ll leave Milo home.

Dean’s mood turned once again, suddenly all charm and charisma. He agreed to the date, kissed Andalie’s hand, and headed for home. Andalie smiled – she had a completely new plan up her sleeve.

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