Work, work, work!

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The goofballs were very much in love.

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And Juniper was alone.

Their parents had bought them a house to live in, and then moved into one down the street themselves, saying that they needed to be away from kids now.

They were happy, too.

Juniper was alone.

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She read

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Got a job as a sing-o-gram and spent her evenings trying to boost her popularity and make some tips.

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And hung out with her brothers a lot.

She saw Sebastian as a second brother, now. He was part of the family.

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Sometimes she wondered if she should be here and living with them, but every time she thought about leaving, they convinced her to stay. They weren’t ready to be on their own just yet. They were as afraid of the real world as she was.

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Fortunately, work was going well. And it kept her busy.

She was still sad, though. She often thought of Giuseppe, and of Bridgeport, and she wondered if she;d made the right decision.

She hadn’t heard anything from him. Maybe he was seeing someone new?

Someone gorgeous and talented and famous, probably. Knowing Bridgeport. Knowing how handsome and lovely he was. Maybe it would be some famous actress and they;d be the power couple of the city? She sometimes bought those silly celebrity gossip magazines just in case she saw a glimpse of him. Pathetic, right?

“I should move back to Bridgeport.” She told her brothers one day.

“I really enjoy Starlight Shores!” she’d gush the next.

She liked Starlight Shores, but she pined for Giuseppe.

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She tried dating. She dated a lot of people, but never promised anything or did anything. She was keeping her options open. She’d find a person who made her feel the same spark Giuseppe did.

She had to.

Right?

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Evan and Sebastian got engaged, though! Finally!

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And she got a little puppy called Ginger. Things were getting better. She was moving on with her life.

Sort of.

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She was having fun at festivals!

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Seeing her silly mum.

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Working

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Working some more

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And working even more.

Until the days had passed, and suddenly, it was time for Evan and Sebastian to get married.

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The ceremony was beautiful. She cried a lot.

They were so happy! And so…leaving!

She’d be all alone in this big house for some reason. Evan and Seb needed the space after all, because it wasn’t just them anymore.

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They adopted a little girl! She could be cool aunt Juniper, the singer!

She would miss them. But they wouldn’t be too far. Just across the road. But still!

That night, she tried to settle down in her newly empty home. But everything was so…quiet. The walls seemed to echo. Every sound she made sounded deafening.

She was surprised to hear the doorbell very late. She hoped it wasn’t anybody who wanted something from her, she was just so tired.

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She opened the door, and she was stunned.

“Giu!”

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“What are you doing here?” Juniper asked.

“Well, I thought I’d come and visit you. See how you’ve been, and…oh, Junie.” He trailed off.

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“How could I live in a world without you in it?”

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You are Juniper Schmidt, and you will conquer the world

 

 

 

Sorry about being away for so long! I wonder if anyone’s still reading this…University is hard. D:

ANYWAY

~~~
Screenshot-24Evan was a man now. He graduated High School with honors, and looked forward to starting his life. He had decided that he would go to work with his dad, with dreams of becoming a 5 star chef.

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But he wouldn’t be working with his dad for long. Puzzle had finally saved enough money to buy his very own bar!

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Luigi’s was small, but he loved it very much. It was his dream, finally come true.

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Meanwhile, Juniper was having troubles at school.

“I don’t know why they’re doing this, Evan!” She cried to her brother one night.

“I thought Rudolph liked me. But he humiliated me in front of the entire school! Nobody will talk to me, let alone go to prom with me!”

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Evan could see how hurt she was. He remembered how hard it was at the beginning for him being accepted by his classmates for his sexuality.  Some people he thought were his friends had reacted horribly to him. But he’d gotten through it. And he’d help his sister get through her problems, too.

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He had to try and boost her confidence first, though.

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So he and Sebastian gave her a makeover to lift her spirits.

They spoke to her, and let her know that people could be cruel, and they would hurt you, but you had to stand with your head held high against them. You couldn’t let them get to you, even though it was hard.

She seemed to understand.

 “June-bug, you have to be strong. You’re better than they are, you’ll see. And you’ll find people who like you for you. Just like I found Seb.” Evan said. “You’re Juniper Schmidt. And you’ll conquer the world one day.”

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Speaking of Seb, he had moved into the house. His family weren’t thrilled with he and Evan’s relationship, and so Holy and Puzzle had given him sanctuary with them. They could stay there for however long they wanted.

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They wanted the best for their son. They wanted him to be able to be able to be in love how they were.

Meanwhile, Juniper’s confidence had been raised by her brother’s kind words. She found new friends who accepted her, just like he had said.

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Juniper was approached by Rudolph after music class one day.

He asked her to prom.

She said no. She had won.

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Her parents, and Seb and Evan had gone on vacation to celebrate Holly and Puzzle’s birthdays. Juniper decided to throw a party to celebrate her own new found independence.

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And that’s where she met Giuseppe.

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Everything was good.

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Juniper got ready for prom that night with help with her brother. She would be the belle of the ball.

And who would be on her arm?

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Rudolph?

No.

Th person who liked her for her.

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Giuseppe.

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Her birthday came, and she grew to be a beautiful young woman.

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Unfortunately, her mother had gotten an offer from a team in Starlight Shores to coach there.

She wanted to be a singer, as well, and Starlight Shores was a good place to move to if you wanted to be discovered.

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With a heavy heart, she said goodbye to Giuseppe. She really liked him, so it was very sad.

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In the taxi, she cried.

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But she knew things would be alright.

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She was Juniper Schmidt, and she would conquer the world.

Doubletime!

(This chapter is mooostly filler, to be honest. I’m anxious to get on with the next generation!)

DOUBLETIME

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“I do.” Said Holly

That was it. Hand in hand, Holly and Puzzle walked into their new house as a married couple. Holly was a Schmidt again.

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The new house was wonderful. They settled in, and time passed.

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Shortly after Evan’s birthday, Holly had news.

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She was pregnant again!

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They got a kitten called Nala.

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And soon, the baby was born. Baby Juniper.

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Life was slow, happy and nice.

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And the children were growing up faster than Holly could keep up.

Puzzle saw that his family was growing, and decided to give up bar work for a while. He went to work in the diner.

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Puzzle and Holly grew int their thirties, and like her mother, Holly didn’t take the fact she was aging too well.

But they managed.

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Their fractured unit had formed into a family.

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But Evan was struggling with something. He decided to open up to his stepdad about it.

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He admitted that he was gay.

Puzzle said it didn’t matter, as long as he was happy. Together, they told Holly, who felt the same way.

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So he and his childhood friend Sebastian were finally able to pursue a relationship.

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The future seemed like a happy place.

Be All and End All

I’m sorta trying out a couple of styles in this chapter, so be patient with me! Thanks!

~Sinny

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Puzzle and I were tentative with how we felt about each other for a while. There was so much history between us. He was my brother’s imaginary friend, and I’d been in and out of love with him ever since I was a teenager. He took me to prom, we had our first kisses together. But I broke his heart, and I know it was a stupid mistake. I don’t know why I did it. I was young and dumb and the way I felt about him was so confusing and huge that I didn’t want to feel it. So when a simpler love came about, I wanted so badly to believe in that instead. I hurt him. I feel terrible for that and I always will in a way.

So we kept it slow.

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I taught Evan to walk, and got a job at the arena, trying to make the team notice me. Puzzle was still in bars.

We were struggling for money.

We were trying.

But maybe we just couldn’t make it.

***

As soon as she got in through the front door, Holly made a beeline for the couch. She’d just pulled a double shift, and was tired as hell. Puzle came down the stairs from the tiny bedroom/nursery they had, with a wailing Evan in his arms.

“Jesus, there you are. It’s 6, I’m nearly late for Happy hour at the Prosper Room!” He was bouncing Evan up an down, trying to make him stop crying. She stood up and grabbed the child, going over to the coffee table and grabbing a dummy. He stopped crying nearly instantly when it was in his mouth, and nestled his head into her hair.

“I needed to take another shift.” She told him.

“What, why? I’m making money, it’s fine!” He responded, grabbing his coat and going to get his shoes. Holly stayed silent. Noticing this, Puzzle abandoned the search for his shoes, and came over to her.

“What’s wrong, Hol?” He asked, touching her cheek. She turned her head away. “What? What is it?”

Holly’s lips were drawn in a straight line. She sighed. “No, Puzzle. We aren’t fine.”

“We have food, we make rent, it’s fine!” Puzzle responded. He looked hurt. She hated this, but it needed to be said.

“We aren’t! Puzzle, we’re a family of three living in a studio apartment! Evan’s nearly a child! What are we going to do when he needs a bed, huh? Put that at the end of the room, too? We can’t do this!” She was nearly in tears. “Puzzle, I think we made a mistake coming here. We had a full house back on the island, with my parents and my brother and Robbie close by to help us if we needed it. We came here for you. But I don’t think we can stay.” Her eyes clenched shut so she wouldn’t have to look at his face.

“I think I might have to leave. You’re happy here, and you’d be fine on your own. But we can’t support ourselves and Evan. You don’t have to look after us anymore.”

Silence gripped the room.

She heard the door open and close.

Puzzle was gone.

She opened her eyes to the silly, empty, tiny apartment.

She sat down on their cheap sofa.

She stroked Evan’s blonde curls until the pain dissolved into a dull ache.

***

The days passed without much interaction. She went to work, and Puzzle often stayed out all night. Just like Silas did.

Another relationship ending?

Possibly.

She hated this.

After a week, she was ready to book a flight home, when Puzzle came to her. He told her to come with Evan for a trip. Maybe a goodbye? She tried to build up a wall around her heart, so she wouldn’t cry when he said those words.

She loved him. She did. But she had to think of her baby.

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They got on a bus, and then walked for a while. Evan was getting tired and cranky, and so was she.

“Puzzle, for goodness sake, just tell me what we’re doing and get it over with!” She snapped.

He frowned.

“Just around this corner.” He said.

They rounded the corner, to find a small neighborhood built on the cliffs. She turned to him, confused. he smiled and kept walking, before standing outside a house.

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“I’ve been working my ass off.” He laughed. “Nearly did some terrible things, did a lot of dumpster diving, and then a miracle happened. Dad…well, your dad phoned.” He smiled. “And he knew something was wrong. So he gave me a loan. And that was what pulled it together, really. I;d made enough to make a down payment.” He smiled.

“What are you saying?” Holly asked.

“Well, the apartment isn’t our apartment anymore. All of our stuff is being packed as we speak and this, my darling, is our house.” He said.

“We have a house.” Holly said.

“We have a house.” Puzzle said.

“We have a house?” Holly asked.

“We have a house!” Puzzle grinned.

“Oh my God we have a house!” Holly screamed. She pulled Puzzle to her, making sure  Evan was in her other arm, and kissed him.

They went in, where a few pieces of new furniture were sitting. Puzzle took Evan from her and put him on the floor with his toy.

“Only for a bit. Come outside.” He said.

Holly didn’t ask a single question. She just followed.

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“I love you. I’ve always loved you, through thick and thin, even when I shouldn’t have. And I’ve wanted you more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my whole life. Holly, you’re the be all and end all for me. I’ll never stop being here for you, no matter what. I want everything from you, selfishly, madly, totally. I want your heart to only beat for me, and for your footsteps to always be by mine.”

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“Will you marry me?”

“Oh God!” Holly exclaimed. She was crying heavily. And not very prettily. “Even though I’m a terrible, terrible person?”

“Even if you were the worst.”

“Even though I shouted at you?”

“Baby, even if you scream at me.”

“Even though I’m already divorced with a child?”

“Holly. I know all this. I still love you. But this snow is freezing my kneecaps. Will you marry me?” He asked again.

“Of course I’ll marry you! I love you!” Holly exclaimed, bending down to kiss him.

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Together

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We argued for the last time.

And not in a good way.

After a remarkably short marriage, I am now a divorcee.

I was alone, sobbing, pregnant and I have never felt worse in my entire life. I blamed myself. I tried to save it, but I couldn’t. Silas stayed out that night and returned in the morning, saying nothing about our relationship, but only informing me that he was finding another place to live.

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He moved out quickly, just leaving me as quickly as he had found me.

I was an idiot.

But at least I had someone who cared for me.

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I felt guilty when he came over. Like I was taking advantage of his kindness, but he assured me he was doing this of his own accord. To help me. I was nearly bursting.

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It felt strange, and oddly right having him near me. The baby wasn’t his, but he kicked when Puzzle touched my belly.

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Maybe he was kicking for another reason, though!

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We rushed to hospital together.

And he held my hand and helped me more than I could have ever asked of anyone. I didn’t ask. He just did it. Because, like he kept saying through the labour, he’d always be there for me. Because it’s him, and I’m me, and really, this is all it has to be.

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And he was great. Letting me sleep, looking after baby Evan.

Because it’s him.

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Silas came over and demanded to see the child. I knew that I couldn’t stop him, and that he should see him, but the breakdown of our relationship was so fresh and raw that it burned my heart and I hated it. I hated the sight of him with my child.

With our child.

And I felt terrible for that, because he’s Evan’s father and he needs to see him.

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Puzzle didn’t like it either. He hated that Silas had left me while I was pregnant. I had to go out and stop them from attacking each other!

Silas left after that. I didn’t know if I should have felt happy for it.

Puzzle and I talked that night. The island was nice to grow up on, but there was a child to think about now, and jobs weren’t too good around the town. Bartending earned scraps, and our sports teams had no openings.

It was a hard decision, but we decided to leave together to move to Bridgeport.

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Together.

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It’s a nice word. I like it. I like the way it makes me feel.

It makes me feel hopeful for the future.

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Because through thick and thin

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Through arguments and mistakes

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And through hard work

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We’ll make it together.

Conflict

Some of you may know, others may not, but anyway…I’m starting the next generation as the last one had gotten a little stale. I’m not doing so much of the supernatural elements at the moment, but I’ll try to work something out. Suggestions would be dope.

This generation’s heir is…Holly Schmidt!

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She grew up fiiine.

Darcy and Benjamin were still themselves, and very much in love.

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Harley grew up and married a girl called Deirdre, who had green skin for nooo apparent reason.

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They’re adorable.

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And Puzzle was working at a bar in town, with dreams of owning his own one day. But in a small coastal town, that was going to be harder than it looked…

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And for a while, there had been a strange, yet forbidden attraction between Holly and Puzzle. But they grew up together…it was too strange.

On with generation 3!

~~~

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For a while, I had been interested in mermaids. But I’d never met one…not until Silas Irwin.

He was attractive, and very mysterious. I felt a draw to him that I’d never felt before.

Well, perhaps I’d felt it once before…

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But that was in the past. We’d tried to overcome how strange it felt for us to be together, but we just couldn’t. He was my brother’s imaginary friend, turned real best friend. We’d grown up together under the same roof. It wasn’t that it felt too weird, but it felt almost…forbidden. Like something was telling us we shouldn’t.

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We were friends.

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That’s how it had to be.

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With Silas, it was different. We came from different worlds, sure, but there was something…

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Magical.

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He moved into the house with my family, and we were looking for our own place within a matter of months. It was fast, yes, but I couldn’t help myself.

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I hoped he felt the same. Sometimes I felt he didn’t, though.

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Puzzle stil lived with us. Harley and Deirdre had their own place, and Robbie had a studio downtown, where he could paint in peace.

It was a little awkward sometimes. But I tried to not let it be.

It was autumn. Spooky Day. Robbie’s friend had lent him a small houseboat to have a party on.

It was great. I had perhaps a little too much to drink. Silas wasn’t there.

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In a dark corner, Puzzle dragged me to him and kissed me. I felt all the old feelings bubbling up to the surface again.

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But it couldn’t happen.

I loved Silas! …Didn’t I?

There was no time to ponder the thought, because Silas was there, and then suddenly, things were happening so fast.

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Dressed as a hot dog, my merman proposed. A weird situation, but very sweet.

I said yes. Because I love him. I do. I do.

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I’ve made some bad decisions in my life, and I’ve felt guilty for them. But I’ve never felt more guilty in my life than when I looked into his eyes from across the room and saw his heart break.

Part of me was wanting to get the ring off my finger, go to him and kiss him. Tell him that he was the only person I’ve ever really wanted, and that Silas was a mistake. But I loved Silas!

My conflicting feelings were made worse.

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I was pregnant.

Silas was the father. Obviously.

I wouldn’t have sex with another man. And Puzzle kissed me! I was not a cheater!

Not a cheater.

We had to move, and we had to do it quickly.

I couldn’t be near him anymore.

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My parents gave us some money, and we moved to a small house on an island not too far from the mainland.

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The baby’s room was set up.

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We got married.

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But I really wondered if I’d made the right choice.

I had a family now to think of. A husband, a baby on the way. I couldn’t be having these stupid, stupid thoughts!

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But my belly was growing.

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Silas was gone for log periods of time in the nights.

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And we started arguing.

I didn’t know why we couldn’t just be happy! But it’s like he was closed off all of a sudden!

Or perhaps it was me?

Oh, poor baby…I’ll do whatever I can to make your life a happy place.

Ending the legacy

After a month of bullshit including a death in the family, I appear to have lost myself with this legacy.

However, i will be doing a self-legacy sometime soon.

Thank you for reading and I’m very sorry

Time goes on

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“Have you gotten them to sleep?” Darcy asked.

“Yeah, finally.” Benjamin replied.

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Darcy sighed and leaned into her husband. After a hard day at work, it was nice to get some alone time.

“Listen, so it’s your birthday tomorrow…” Darcy started. Benjamin groaned and rubbed his temples. She smiled. “Don’t worry. You’re still as handsome as the day I met you. If not more.” She told him. “I’ve booked a room at the big resort in town. Sitter’s been called, everything’s ready for us to go and be by ourselves for a while.”

“Well that’s going to be a change from the norm.” He said. Darcy glared at him. “What? We have twins. It’s bound to be a madhouse around here. But I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else, or with anyone other than you.”

“Are you sure? Even though…even though you left the Plains for me?” Darcy asked.

“That was years ago. All that matters is that you’re safe. And you are. All of us are. Besides, I love it here. Don’t worry that silly little head of yours. Lets go to bed.”

***

The winds stirred, and a family watched the house.

“She isn’t ready. She’s prime material, but she isn’t ready. We’ll just have to wait.”

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***

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The morning of his birthday, Benjamin had only exploded a couple of times before he finally got what he wanted.

Darcy went to work, and he made snowmen with the children.

It was a good day.

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They relaxed together, alone for what felt like the first time in years.

“It’s so nice to sit down without having to worry about sitting on a toy car or something.” Darcy moaned in bliss.

***

The next day was a snow day again. It was two days before Snowflake Day, and the family decided to go down to the beach, so that Benjamin could encourage Holly’s budding love of fishing, and so that Harley could swim. Darcy watched over him. It was cold, but they had winter clothes and a fire pit was set up nearby.

Benjamin’s eyes met Darcy’s, and they got the children together.

“We have surprises for you.” Benjamin started.

“We both know about your imaginary friends.”

The children looked shocked.

“My sister had an imaginary friend. And now they’re married.” Darcy told them.

“You had a sister?” Holly asked.

“Yes. A twin sister. She, uh…moved away.” She told them. “Anyway. The reason my sister could get married to her imaginary friend was because she made him real. And this is how you do it.”

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They all rushed back home.

“I think it’s going to become more of a madhouse around here, babe.” Benjamin winked at Darcy. She giggled.

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Robbie and Puzzle Schmidt were alive.

***

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Snowflake Day was full of friends, cheer and way too much food. The house was decorated in all corners, and everyone was very happy.

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All was well.

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A few days later, it was Darcy’s birthday.

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She did not take it well.

She felt sad all of a sudden. Unfulfilled…old.

She had a husband, two biological children, and two former imaginary friends living in her house. At least dogs couldn’t talk.

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As if that wasn’t bad enough, they got broken into.

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He got away.

They were all very nervous about this. Darcy decided that she wanted more security, and so she made preparations to move.

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But first, it was time for the birthdays of the four Schmidt children.

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They were all developing into very different, very good people.

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But Darcy still felt unfulfilled and old.

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Times were changing.

Starting again…again

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It was a bit of an upgrade.

Benji was shocked that I had all this money squirreled away, and a bit angry, too, but after I sat him down and explained everything, he seemed glad that I had it. He just wasn’t so thrilled that I’d hid it from him.

After that big talk, we didn’t speak much for a couple of days. I worried. I hoped that he didn’t feel he’d made the wrong choice by coming with me to Ilsa Paradiso. It was so different from the plains. I’d found a new job, but he was re-evaluating his life. He took up fishing, and was getting better at it.

But we still weren’t speaking much and it killed me.

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We were in seperate worlds.

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He invited me out to the garden one evening a few days after we moved. And I was so shocked.

Candles, a nice dinner, the lot.

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He loved me.

He really loved me!

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I nearly fainted on the spot.

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We decided to get married right there on the spot. Who would come to a lavish thing anyway? And besides, we didn’t need it. All we needed was each other.

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A few weeks later, I woke up feeling…strange.

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Benjamin went to the beach with Monty and Ralston. He was totally oblivious.

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I phoned into work sick.

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I felt horrible. Really, truly horrible. I took myself to the doctors. After a few questions, he asked if I would be willing to do a pregnancy test. I scoffed, and did it just to prove him wrong.

He wasn’t wrong.

I was pregnant.

He sent me home with the news. I walked in a daze. We were careful…except the night we got married. We were a flurry of passion and we must have forgotton to use protection.

I wanted children, but this all seemed too sudden. Were we ready?

I told Benjamin when he got home from fishing.

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He was shocked.

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I tried to relax

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He was still shocked.

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But soon, we started to get excited. We talked. This was the next step, really. We were married, and now I was pregnant. We were young, but why not have a baby? We both wanted kids, we were well off, I had a good career, and he had just gone professional with his fishing.

We were having a baby!

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Midnight cravings were horrible, though. I made pasta and pies at stupid hours of the night.

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Months passed and I was a whale. I heard that swimming was good for me when I was pregnant, so we went to the beach.  I was shocked i could still fit in my suit, to be honest.

But then my water broke.

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So I drove myself to the hospital because Benjamin’s legs had turned to goo.

As you do.

We were both in a state of shock.

I did pretty well driving with contractions.

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I gave birth to a set of twins. Holly and Harley. I wasn’t expecting two.

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They were perfect.

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Our little family was just what I’d always wanted.

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The babies grew into beautiful toddlers, and soon, it was time for me to get back to work! Benjamin was happy to be a stay at home dad for half of the day. He’d fish when I got back home for a few hours, and then we’d put the babies to bed and spend some time together.

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We had it all planned and worked out.

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Well, as worked out you can have it with two toddlers, two dogs and a young could all sharing a house!

***

BONUS

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Adorable Darcy is adorable

Everything changes

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Work was going well and I was very happy. It was Spooky Day and we invited the whole neighbourhood and all of our friends and family to a huge party in our tiny house. Great idea, right?

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Dad dressed up as something…I’m not really sure. He wore a suit and gloves, played tricks and gave kids candy. He’s like a kid sometimes. I can see a twinkle in his eyes like a teenager’s when he kisses mom. Normally it would be gross, but after so many years of being alone, it’s nice to see her happy.

I still don’t know why he left though. I do wonder.

The party left early in the morning, and I was about to go upstairs and get ready for bed when a car pulled around. Mom came over to me ad told me not to worry, but to get in. I don’t know what it was, but there was something in her eyes that looked scared. Aunt Cassie and i got in the back, mom got in the passenger seat, and in a brief exchange, dad got in the drivers seat.

I had no idea what was going on, but the further we drove away, the more tired I got, and I eventually fell asleep.

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When I woke up, we were somewhere else. I didn’t know where.

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Somewhere along the shore, in a small town with a name I didn’t know.

Everything was already there. Everything that we ever loved or owned, alopng with a few new things. I didn’t even kno we could afford this. How had we been living in such a small house for so long and then go to this? I didn’t want to ask.

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I found mom on the drive. It was Cassie’s birthday that day, and she was hanging balloons everywhere.

I asked her what was wrong, what was happening, why we were here and how I got into bed all in a single breath.

She sighed.

And explained.

“There must always be a Roby in Hidden Springs. Your father fled, but someone thinks that he should have stayed. And you’re his firstborn daughter. They believe that the duty has passed to the next fertile member of the family. And that’s you. Three and a half minutes older than Bree. Apparently that still counts.” She laughed…but it was sad.

All I could do was hug her and let her explain the rest. She explained dad’s history, why she’d be on the phone so often and cry so much when Bree and I were kids, how she felt when he came back. It felt like some sort of twisted fairytale.

 “Darcy, you can’t stay here.” She said, tearfully. “You’re in danger. You’ll be forced to go to Hidden Springs, marry someone you don’t love and then you and your children and your childrens children will never be able to escape. You’ll be a caged dove. And I know how desperately you need to fly.”

I hated to admit it, hated to say…she was right. What she was saying…was just like her. logical and emotional all wrapped up in the same thing. We both cried. I looked for a new job. We celebrated Cassie’s birthday, mom’s birthday and dad’s birthday. They were all within three days.

And then it was time.

I had to go.

That last night, my dad sat me down and told me how dangerous these people could be. People looking to take me back to Hidden Springs, people looking to take revenge for my dad leaving. I didn’t know why it was so important. I asked. he said it was something to do with the power of the town.

We had a family dinner, watched movies, and then in the morning, with my bags packed, and Monty in his carrier, I left.

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Appaloosa Plains. Small, but with a gaming industry, apparently. Quiet. Somewhere to hide and thrive.

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And to love.

Benjamin Schmidt.

The first time I’ve ever felt this way.

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Months passed. We fell in love. We moved him into my little house, along with his dog, Ralston.

All was well.

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All was good

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We were happy.

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But that was before the fire.

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Before my life flashed before my eyes.

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Before I realised I’d never be truly safe.

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But all he wanted to do was protect me, and love me.

So we fled together into the night.