The next few days were difficult. Vickie and her brothers had lost both their parents now. Everywhere she looked, Vickie saw her mom.
Even cooking was difficult. Especially cooking.
Winston’s sense of loss hit him in the moments he was least prepared for it.
Fortunately he never hurt himself badly.
They took comfort in their family.
Caspian was a growing toddler filled with laughter.
He was always out to be the center of attention, and if he wasn’t, he figured out how to get there.
And then there was another one on the way. Vickie had a lot more cravings with this pregnancy than the last one. Ice cream and pickles at midnight it was.
Jonah couldn’t stop looking at her with those adoring eyes. Vickie had never seen anyone so happy to be a father.
Vickie was checking the mail when she realized it was time again.
This time, she was feeling a bit more fae than usual, so she flew herself to the hospital and told Jonah to catch up with her there. Winston stayed kept an eye on Caspian.
They brought home their second son, Wade Sample.
The parenting routine began again, this time in stereo.
On Snowflake day, they decided to have a gift exchange. Vickie, Jonah, and Winston sent out a long list of invitations, and most friends and family attended.
With an extra surprise who wasn’t on anyone’s invitation list.
In fact, most people didn’t recognize him or guess why he was there. Gamora’s face lit up when she saw him, though. “Uncle Forest! How are the creatures of the night these days?”
Maya Ocean dropped in, as well as Uncle Chaim and his son Hans.
Edmund showed up with a twinkle in his eye. Vickie drew him aside and applied some sisterly pressure, and he admitted that he’d met someone. “It’s just been two dates,” he said. “It might not be anything. Don’t spread any gossip yet.”
“My lips are sealed,” Vickie said. “But you should see your face! Those must have been two great dates.”
“She’s captivating,” Edmund said. “I look forward to introducing her to you…. assuming things continue apace.”
And then there was Joyelle Waves. She came, as inappropriately dressed as ever, and just as oblivious to the cold.
But the chill in the looks she exchanged with Jonah was unmistakable. Reconciliation was clearly not going well.
Everyone gathered around the gift pile, talking and squealing over their gifts.
Caspian turned up the charm to pull attention back to him.
Wade slept in his baby swing.
Joyelle and Gamora struck up an unexpected friendship.
Unfortunately, it mostly seemed to be built around complaining about humans in voices loud enough that everyone could hear.
“Are you all right?” Vickie asked Jonah.
“I’m managing,” he said, but the ache in his heart was clear on his face.
To make things even more tense, Forest waved Jonah over after he’d opened his gift. He wanted to discuss the, um, lavish financial circumstances of the Sample family, and what a bad idea it would be for a penniless interloper to try to get a piece of that wealth by romancing an heiress. Hypothetically speaking, of course.
Jonah had seen better parties. He was ready to send everyone home.
When the party was finally over, Emilie didn’t go home at all. She and Winston slipped up to the attic rec room with their own plans for the evening.
Jonah escorted his mother to the beach behind the house. He returned after Vickie had said the rest of the goodbyes. His expression was bleak.
“What happened?” Vickie asked. “What did she do?”
Jonah looked past her and stared out at the snow swirling beyond the window. “My mother and had a long talk,” he said. “She won’t be attending any more gatherings. I can consider myself in dispersal from my pod. She is not going to accept my choice of life on land.”
“Oh Jonah,” Vickie breathed. “You didn’t have to do this. I don’t know why you–”
Jonah cut her off with a wave of his hand. “I don’t regret a moment. I want to be here. It was my mother’s choice whether to accept me, and she did not. I’m sad she made that decision, but I don’t want to change how I live… or who I live it with.”
“Can you really be happy? With me? Away from the sea?”
Jonah turned back to face her, and this time his eyes were smiling. “I’m so far from the sea I can watch the surf from our bedroom window,” he said. “And as for you–” He pulled her close and kissed her, then kissed again more hungrily. And for a while there was nothing more to say.
I can’t find the screenshots, but Jonah and Joyelle had a nasty argument in front of the house after this party. I’m grumpy that the screenshots are missing.
Stupid snowfall inside the house. I try to mitigate it, but it’s everywhere.
This is not my most inspired post, but it moves time along and introduces their second kid. It was pretty entertaining to see Forest crash the Snowflake Day party.