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