This wasn’t supposed to happen. None of it had been supposed to happen. She and Xia were still exchanging text messages, talking about how much it had never happened.
Now she was in the bona-find soap opera position of having no idea whose kid this was.
While Dylan played, Sky sat down in Hunter’s arboretum to collect her thoughts.
Hunter stood up from his weeding. “You look like somebody kicked your puppy,” he said.
Sky tried to smile. “No, nothing like that.”
Hunter gave her The Look. “You’ve been like this for weeks, and it’s not like you. You’re usually so full of life.” That word always had a bit of an ironic twist when he said it, considering her ghost blood. “Is it something so bad that you can’t tell me?”
Sky hesitated, and she suddenly felt like she was going to cry. “I didn’t something really terrible,” she said.
Hunter gave her his full attention. “No, not that kind of terrible,” she said quickly. With Forest in the house, doing who-knew-what these days, you had to be careful with your word choice. “It’s just… Leah’s going to hate me.”
Hunter nodded. “I’ve been hearing rumors,” he admitted. “I don’t know what the truth is, but I know that it’s going to eat you up if you lie to her. Whatever happens, your family will still love you.”
He wasn’t promising anything about Leah, Sky noted.
She felt Leah’s hand tense. “Yes of course,” she said.
Sky pulled her to a corner of the living room. A sense of deja vu washed over her. This felt almost exactly like the last time she’d confessed a pregnancy to Leah. Life shouldn’t be this way!
“Eee!” Leah cried out.
“That’s wonderful! I wasn’t expecting it, but if it happened once, of course it could happen again!”
Sky gulped. “Get married?”
“Sure,” Leah said. “I mean, we’ve been living together for quite a while. We have kids together and own a house together. Why shouldn’t we be married too?”
Sky was completely blindsided. “But you wanted to have a big ceremony with flowers and a dress!” she exclaimed. “And your family!” Sky had a decent-sized family, but the Mai clan was huge.
“I decided I don’t need all that,” Leah said firmly. “Let’s just do it, and our second child won’t have to be born out of wedlock. You want to marry me, don’t you?”
Sky had the distinct impression she was being tested. More than that, she had completely lost control of the conversation.
“Of course I want to marry you!” Sky cried.
And before she knew it, Leah had the Samples gathered in the arboretum for them to exchange their vows.
Please let the baby be Leah’s. Please let the baby be Leah’s. The line ran over and over through Sky’s head for the entire short ceremony, so much that she almost forgot her vows.
“It’s about time!” Veronica announced when they had sealed with a kiss.
Hunter looked more thoughtful.
It would be all right, Sky told herself. It had to be. More than anything in the world, she wanted Leah to be happy. From here on out, she would make that her top priority.
Starting right now.
Woo. It kind of aches to write this stuff.
The game seems to calculate the reflection wrong for those metallic skintones in certain kinds of lighting. I try not to use pictures like that, but I didn’t have much choice for these scenes.
I’ll try to keep the pace up for a while. There’s so much story to tell.