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.
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.
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.
But when Aurora Hasslich was born just a short time later, Andalie beamed with pride, knowing she had served the legacy well.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Zara: I’ll take that as a yes.
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.
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.
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.
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: