With Addie out of the house, things had been quiet – too quiet, as far as Aurora was concerned. Sebastian was obviously missing Beau – he still saw his best friend and partner-in-crime every day after school, but he the absence of his 24-7 playmate was keenly felt. And so as Aurora’s due date drew near, she looked forward to expanding her family, and to the arrival of a new sibling for Sebastian and Coralie.
When the big moment finally arrived, Aurora went off to the hospital on her own. Mathias hadn’t actually ever called her again, and Aurora knew she was more than capable of handling the delivery on her own anyhow. She was a self-sufficient kind of gal, after all.
The delivery went smoothly, and before long, Aurora welcomed her second son into the world.
Happy Birthday, Axel Hasslich!
((Note: Aurora did go to the hospital to have the baby, but I’ve been plagued by the hospital delivery bug. After hanging around the hospital for 3 hours doing absolutely everything but giving birth, I had to send her home to deliver the baby.))
The days following Axel’s birth were more hectic than she’d anticipated, and soon Aurora found herself wishing for those quiet days she’d been so eager to leave behind. With Addie gone, Aurora was the only adult in a house with a fussy infant, a heartbroken teenager, and a rambunctious little boy. Aurora realized she was in over her head – and she needed help.
Luckily, Aurora knew exactly who to call in her time of need. Her big brother would know just what to do!
Aurora filled Milo in on the debacle with Addie, but it turned out he had already heard all about it from Roxas – who had heard it straight from the horse’s mouth. News sure got around fast in this family!
Milo: For what it’s worth, Rory, I think you did the right thing, asking her to leave. You have a legacy to run, and a family of your own to raise. They have to come first, no matter what.
Aurora: Well it turns out, despite her flaws, I kind of needed her help. Now I’ve got three kids, and a full-time job, and I’m all on my own! I’m completely overwhelmed, Milo!
Milo: I think I might have an idea….
Milo hung up with Aurora, and went inside to find his wife and daughter.
Milo: So, Tabitha – how would you like to go stay with your Aunt Aurora for awhile?
Three days later, Aurora opened the front door to find Tabitha smiling on the front porch, suitcase in hand.
Aurora launched at her, drawing her in for a tight, grateful hug.
Aurora: Just look at how big you are! You’re all grown up! And so beautiful! You look a lot like your grandmother, has anyone ever told you that? Oh, Tabitha, come in – I’m just so glad you’re here!
This is Tabitha Piper-Hasslich in CAS. She is the daughter of Milo and Juliana, making her Aurora’s niece and first cousin to Coralie, Sebastian, and Axel, as well as to Sylvie and Abe’s twin boys. Tabitha is a young adult and she is squeamish, family-oriented, jealous, and gregarious with the Party Animal aspiration.
Over the next few days, Tabitha settled into the household. She seemed to get along well with her cousins, and immediately assumed the gardening responsibilities. And when Aurora tasked her with painting the family portraits, Tabitha was more than happy to oblige, and took to improving her artistic technique in her free time.
And so it came as no surprise that when Sebastian’s teen birthday rolled around, Tabitha was on hand to help Aurora prepare for the festivities. Together with Coralie, they baked a cake, wrapped the gifts, and sent out the invitations. Despite Coralie’s grumbling, they even sent one to Addie in a gesture of goodwill and family unity.
“You don’t have to forget, Coralie, but someday, you will have to forgive her.” Aurora had said gently. “She’s family above all things, and her family is your family too. If you cut out Addie, you’re also cutting out Beau, and her two beautiful twin baby girls. Don’t you want to get to know Addie’s daughters, Coralie? Wouldn’t you like a relationship with little Morgan and Ada?”
Coralie did want to know her cousins, as it turned out. And so, however begrudgingly, she agreed not to tear Addie’s hair out if she turned up at the party.
And turn up at the party she did, streamers in hand, and ready to celebrate.
Here is Sebastian in CAS. He acquired the childish trait, making him both childish and self-assured. With his mother’s nose and Marvin’s body type, Sebastian is kind of a goofy looking guy, which actually seems to suit his personality well.
Meanwhile, Tabitha’s help around the house had allowed Aurora just a bit of time to herself, which she chose – predictably – to spend at the gym.
It was just after her weekly yoga class, as the sun began to set and a chill tinged the air, that first saw him.
He was gorgeous. Different. She could tell just by the look of him – the way he dressed, the way he walked, those strange tribal tattoos – that he wasn’t from around here.
Could it really be true? Had the Watcher answered her prayers?
Aurora gravitated toward him involuntarily, her feet moving her closer of their own free will . She watched as his muscled form dropped to the ground for another set of push-ups, and fanned herself as a parade of scandalous images marched through her head. Aurora had been to bed with men, of course, but always – and only – to serve a purpose. She wanted children – and woohoo was a necessary step to creating them – nothing more. But this man – this man stoked a fire in her. This awakened something primal in her, something lustful, animalistic. This man would be her downfall.
He jumped up abruptly and she startled as their eyes met. He’d caught her staring at him. She felt the heat rising in her cheeks.
The handsome blonde held her gaze as he approached, and Aurora felt dizzy. When he stopped before her, he did something surprising. Ever so slightly, he bowed.
“My name is Palani Wahine,” he said. “I have just come to this town from my Amazon home. Your beauty is…..exotic.”
Well that answered one question – he was from out of town! She’d never heard of this Amazon place – was it another city? Amazon could be a different country, or a whole different planet – Aurora didn’t know and she didn’t care. As far as she was concerned, this beautiful man had been dropped straight from the sky into Willow Creek, chosen carefully by the Watcher, just for her….
He was perfect. And he thought she was beautiful! -or did he? He said she was exotic. That could be a compliment – or it could be a euphemism. Or it could mean nothing at all.
Aurora shook her head.
It DID mean nothing.
Just listen to me! she thought. Ruled by lust just like my mother! Well I won’t be tempted! I won’t allow it! I’ve fulfilled my duty to the legacy already, and family comes first, always. No matter WHAT my va-hooha says!!