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View Full Version : The Slightly Eventful Life of Victoria Stephens: Gen 4. : 4.1 Victoria Takes Over (UPDATED OCT 17th 2012)


Shababygal
29th Jan 2012, 5:01 PM
A/N: This is a legacy story, and I'm following all legacy rules. There will be all 10 generations in this story, and I'm not 100% sure as to what may happen. This is going to be slightly spontanious, and written casually.
Awesome Extra Links!
Stephens Family Tree (http://www.familyecho.com/?p=NP60O&c=7rcjirlhbv&f=447575612605495179) (May contain spoilers)
Stephens Family Extra's Website (http://xkandyix.wix.com/stephenslegacy) A look at all extra things Stephens! For example, wedding pictures, baby pictures, and generation overviews.(May contain spoilers)
Now, on with the story! (:
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Hello, everyone. I'm Harmony Stephens. Welcome to my some-what eventful life.

Firstly, let me give you a bit of my back story.

I'm 22 years old, and I moved to the beautiful town of Riverview a little over a month ago. I'm slightly neurotic, very artistic, I'm a perfectionist, I'm very ambitious, and I'm extremely lucky.

I grew up in Bridgeport, and let me tell you, I hated it. Not because of the town, or any of the things that happened there, but because that's where my good-for-nothing family lived, and each one of the 18 years I lived with them were awful.

My mother, Cheryl Peterson, was always too busy for me; I was simply an inconvenience to her, and she hardly ever spoke to me. She was always out at the bars, drinking and trying to get into the VIP sections, trying to do whatever she could to get one of the town celebrities to notice her. She was noticed a few times, and one of those few times resulted in my birth. My mother worked as a spa receptionist, and would occasionally moonlight as a mixologist at one of the more questionable bars in town for extra cash. She would normally be gone all night, and if she came back, it would always be with a man, and they would go back into her room. The moment I heard her door close, I knew I wasn't going to be able to get any sleep.
Why? Simply because our walls were incredibly thin, and I could hear everything that went on in my mothers room. My mother was a neurotic and inappropriate person, but she was also ambitious. She was extremely unlucky, and she had serious commitment issues.

My father was a much more interesting character. My father was none other than the Brandon Stephens, an extremely talented artist and musician. He had a number of masterpieces, and almost everyone knew who he was, including everyone in Bridgeport. He was in town for three days, and a ton of Sims came to see him at the art gallery and each one of the venues he played at. In one of those clubs, on one of those nights, my mother ended up getting into the VIP section. She bought him a few drinks, and went off to her apartment.
Not too long after that, I was born.

From what I've heard about my father, he was a flirt, and he was very lucky. He was obviously artistic, and he had a real gift for music. Apparently, he was also a perfectionist. From the pictures I've seen of him, he was a beautiful man, and I keep getting told that I look a lot like him, although, I personally think I look more like my mother.

Some of you may wonder why I speak of my parents in past tense, and that's rather simple; they both are dead. My father died a week after I was born. He ended up getting into a car accident, and was killed instantly. My mother died a little over a month ago of sickness, and it was with the money she left me that I moved to Riverview. I have been out on my own since I was 18, as I said earlier, and during that time, rather than doing anything productive, I wandered the streets of Bridgeport, hanging out with the wrong people, and doing some things that were questionable. I lived with my cousin, Riley for awhile. Riley and I looked eerily similar, probably because she was on my dads side of the family. The only real difference there was is that she was a blonde, and my hair is a dark red. She was my best friend, but then she met this guy, Allen, and they ran off together. I haven't heard from her in almost a year.

Riley, and the lack of cash, were the only things keeping my in Bridgeport. After I realized that Riley was gone, and not coming back, I got a job at the grocery store, trying to get my life back together.
Not too long after that, my mother passed, giving me enough money to leave.

So, I left and bought a huge plot of land in Riverview. Why? I want to build my home from scratch, I want to create a beautiful home step by step, and maybe when I get older, I want to be able to raise my kids on enough land for them to run, and grow.

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My first night in town, I decided to go explore some of the local venues. None of them are anything like the ones back home. But I found a cute little bar and soon enough, I was approached by a few people. I even made some friends with the guy you see me speaking too, Hal Breckenridge, and the man in the background, George Dean. I went out looking for jobs first thing the next morning, and I accepted the first one I could find, and that was a job as a stylist.

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My first day on the job was rough, but I got the hang of it and I made about $600. Not bad, right?
Now, if you're wondering why I chose to be a stylist, it's really rather simple, I love fashion. I grew up in a highly fashionable area, and everyone knew how to dress themselves. I lived and breathed it as a teenager, and I thought about maybe trying to be a designer, but I thought in this town, it might be better to style people. My god, was I right. So few people in this town know how to dress themselves, it saddens me.

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That day after work, Hal stopped by, and we talked for awhile. He and I flirted a little, but I kept it light, after all, I only met him a short while ago, I didn't want to start anything so soon. I told him about all the people that came in, and that I styled. Including a few celebrities. One that made the biggest impression, however, was one Don Lathario. I mentioned him because he gave me some beautiful purple flowers that were sitting by my station.

Hal laughed a little, and said that he was surprised that I even mentioned it, because he thought people gave me flowers all the time.

"You're seriously beautiful, it's only natural for guys like Don to notice."

I laughed a bit, and shrugged it off. I had not expected him to say something like that. He had successfully made me blush.

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A few days later, I had gotten promoted and as a result of that promotion, I had my first in home appointment that afternoon. I went to this woman's home and styled three formal outfits for her, and she hated what I gave her. It took me six tries to get what she wanted. She. Was. So. Damn. Picky. I went back to the salon, and Don came in again.

"Hey, beautiful." He smiled.

"Hello there, Don." I giggled, softly.

"How's it going?"

"It's going fairly well, I can't wait for work to be over."

"Oh?" He questioned, "Why's that?"

"I'm going to a party later," I grinned, "it's going to be a lot of fun."

"I hope so." He smiled, "Are you going with someone?"

His intrest in the matter made me laugh a bit, and I shook my head.

"Nope, I'm just going. It's not going to be too big of a party anyway. More like a little get-together."

"I see," he smiled.

We continued to talk until the end of my break, and I even considered him a good friend by the time the conversation, and slight flirting was over. There was something slightly.... electric about him. There was a pull, and we stood very closely the entire time we talked. He drew me in, he had some of the most amazing looking eyes I'd ever seen, and he looked genuinely happy to see me. Once my break was over, I styled him, and we said I goodbyes, and he promised to call me later.

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I went to the party, that was being hosted by Hal. We chatted for awhile, and he was flirting with me. I flirted back, even though I'm not normally such a flirt. It didn't get too intense, but it was pleasant, and I enjoyed the feeling I had when I held his hand. I ended up leaving the party a little early, as I was simply worn out from a tiresome day of work and flirting.

Don actually did call me that night, and we chatted for about an hour, or so. I ended up hanging up with him, telling him that I was starving and I had to go eat something before I went to bed. He apparently thought of that as an acceptable reason to hang up with me, and he promised that he'd talk to me again soon.

Right before I was about to get into bed, Hal called. He asked if I would be interested in going on a date with him on Sunday. I agreed, told him that I had to go to bed, and I would see him on Sunday.

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Sunday rolled around and he and I met up at the park. The date was awkward. He tried to flirt with me, but I just wasn't feeling it. He seemed genuinely into me, but I ended up having to end the date when he tried to kiss me and I turned my head, dodging the kiss. I then had to explain to him that the date was too much like hanging out with any other guy friend, and we should remain just friends. He was slightly hurt, but he accepted my wishes.

Later on that evening, I got a call from Don. He insisted that I meet him at this fishing spot up in the mountains, he swore it was beautiful, and totally worth seeing at night. I reluctantly agreed, and I met him up there just after sunset.

I went up there and we chatted for a bit, and again, it felt like there was a magnet in between us, and our conversation became much, much more flirty. We spoke to each other in whispers, and I looked in his eyes. He looked back into mine, and before I knew it...
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I was giving him a soft, gentle kiss. It sent fireworks throughout my body. I couldn't believe it! I had never had a kiss that felt like that before. The feeling was intense, even though the kiss was soft.

He smiled at me, and stroked my cheek, softly whispering in my ear, "Do you wanna just sit and maybe watch the stars for a little while?"

"I'd love to."

We sat down and looked at the sky, admiring the stars and how much they shined. I was impressed on how much brighter the stars looked here in Riverview. Especially up here, in the mountains. It was breath taking.

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He whispered in my ear, "Do you mind if after we finish here, we go back to your place?"

"For what reason?" I asked, laughing. "Dinner?"

"Sure, we'll start with Dinner. Who knows, though, Miss. Stephens, you might want me to stay longer, for other purposes..."
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I giggled, and bit my lip, before looking back at him and speaking in a soft tone, "Well, Mr. Lathario," I paused, "I suppose we'll just have to see."

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We both laughed, and he gave me a suggestive smile, and I giggled a little bit. We stayed there a little longer before we got up and headed back to my place, a tiny little home-well, shack, really- and we ate some salad for dinner.

"Why aren't you with anyone, Harmony?" He asked.

"Uh, well, I haven't really been asked to be with anyone."

"Will you be with me?" He asked.

"Like, as your girlfriend?"

"Yeah," he laughed, "As my girlfriend."

"Of course!" I squealed. I kissed him and then, because I didn't have a couch, we ended up sitting on my bed and talking, which ended up to laying on the bed and flirting, and that led to kissing, and well, of course that led to...

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I gotta say, it was the best woohoo I think I've ever had. He was good, very good, and when we finished, I was exhausted, and thankful that I had the next day off.

We slept in late, and I woke up at about 11 to go and make breakfast. Don was in the shower, I could hear it running. I ate my breakfast and put Don's in the fridge. I had just finished cleaning up when he came out, and smiled at me. I noticed that he looked different, but I didn't really think of that too much until he came closer to me.

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He kissed me good morning and I could not believe how incredible it felt when his cool lips touched mine. I opened my eyes, and smiled at him, and as soon as he locked eyes with me, I immediately knew, he had transformed into a Vampire.

I almost jumped back, slightly startled, but he held onto me, comfortingly, and said not to worry. He found out that morning, and he had been turned without wanting to be. I told him that it was okay, I wasn't going to dump him just because he was a vampire. After all, I grew up in Bridgeport, I had come across more than my fair share of vampires, and as a teenager, half of my friends were indeed vampires. He was relieved, and kissed me again, telling me how happy he was that I wasn't mad at him. I kissed him again, showing him that it didn't matter to me that he was a vampire, just as long as he didn't try to kill me. He laughed, and promised me he wouldn't, but he did say he might bite me once or twice. I laughed and told him that was okay, and that I wouldn't mind if he bit me.

He gave me a sexy grin and said he had to go out for some plasma fruit, and he said he'd be back after nightfall. I smiled and told him okay, but not to be gone for too long.

After he left, I chuckled to myself. I was dating a vampire.
A really, really sexy vampire....
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A/N: Just so everyone knows, I did not want Don to be a vampire, nor did I think he was when I had them start going out. I know that storyline is really overplayed, but I'm just letting the game play out. I might cure him later on, I might not, but either way, I think it's a cool twist in the story!

Shababygal
8th Feb 2012, 5:22 AM
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On our six-month anniversary, Don moved in with me. Not that he practically wasn't living with me already, as he was over just about every night, but it just became official on that day. He sold his old place and gathered all of his things that weren't already over here and moved in. With some of the money I've been saving up from work, and some of the money he brought to the household when he moved in, we were able to add a small addition onto my little shack-actually making it a real house...kind of. We actually have a bedroom, even though it's really small, our kitchen has gotten bigger,
and we now have a couch, and a pretty nice TV.

Don has been one of the best things that's happened to me in a long time. Having him around makes life feel so much more complete. Don't get me wrong, as much as I love him, Don is nowhere near perfect. He hardly ever cleans up, unless I ask him to, and I'm a very tidy person, so waking up and seeing that he hasn't made up his side of the bed sort of bothers me, but he's been getting better at it. He also has his commitment issues, but we've been working on them and he seems to be very much committed to me, as whenever we go out, he doesn't look at any other girl the way he looks at me. He's told me that his vampirisim seems to have made his emotions much more intense. He keeps telling me that he didn't know he could be so in love with someone, want someone so much, or be so happy. Every time he says things like that, I can't help but blush.

I really am very much in love with him, and it makes me overjoyed that he's staying with me now. Everything is just as intense as it was when we first started going out, and he makes my heart beat extremely fast, and I can never get enough of him.

He also got a new job in the Business Career when he moved in. He told me that he wanted to make sure he could make enough money to support me, and that he wanted to, and to try to convince him otherwise would just make him want to do so even more. I tried to tell him to not worry about it, but I realized that money is tight, and having a little more income added to the household would definitely not be a bad thing, so, I kept my mouth shut. He also told me that going to work would keep him on the same schedule I am, so, we could see as much of each other as possible, and it would keep him out of the sunlight during the day. After hearing all of that, I was more okay with him doing so, as it seemed like a very logical thing to do.

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I've moved up in my Stylist Career, and the local town Celebs are always asking me to make them over. Because of my constant interaction with them, I'll occasionally go to their parties. For example, a few weeks ago I went to Hunter Cotteneye's party. It was a fun party, and Hunter is a very nice guy. Of course, since I've been working with celebrities, and am living with one, I've gotten quite famous myself, and lets not forget to mention that everyone has now found out that I'm Brandon Stephens daughter, and apparently, his only child, upping my fame a little more. I really don't mind getting noticed, everyone here in Riverview is very sweet, and I enjoy getting to know them.

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Of course, with my Promotion comes my awesome new uniform. I think this one looks pretty great, I mean look at me! I look so professional. I'm making quite a bit more money a week, and a day, depending on how many Sims I style. Don and I have been saving up to make our house a little bit better. I mean, right now, it doesn't really look all that bad, but it could be better. Actually, it could be a lot better. But hey, something is better than nothing. However, if I'm going to be a celebrity, I need to save up some money and build a better house so I can at least look like I'm living like one.

Don goes to work an hour before I do, so, he normally wakes up first, but he always kisses me good morning before he goes off to take a shower. He'll eat his plasma fruit, and by this time, I'm making my way to the shower, so he'll kiss me again right before he leaves for work. Our routine works out pretty well. He always gets home at right about 3 o'clock. I don't get home until 7. So, he's taken up the habit of working out and working on his skills until I get home. When I get back home, he'll drink his plasma juice, and I'll eat my dinner, and we'll talk about our day. He always offers to clean up, and I'll let him-but only sometimes. After all, I'm the one who's the perfectionist, and the neat freak, so, I should be the one to clean.

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Our favorite thing to do after dinner is go out and watch the stars. Because we really don't have too much money, we have to do things that are either cheep, or free, and watching the stars in our back yard is a free thing, that's always fun to do. We always enjoy doing it, and it's rather romantic, too. It's also one of the things that brought us together in the first place, so it also brings back happy memories of our first night together.

Sometimes, we'll stay out there for hours, looking up and talking about anything, and everything. Work, people in town, being a celebrity, our future, things we did that day, who we saw, who we talked to, any parties that might be going on soon, and a whole bunch of things like that. Other times, we'd only be out there for an hour or so, in silence, just enjoying each other's company, and just being close to one another, and occasionally looking away from the sky and into each other's eyes.

Yet, there were still other times when we would just spend the entire time making out, and we'd only be out there for about thirty minuets before we decided we needed to take it back into our room.
No matter what happens, we always end up closer together by the end of the night, and that's something I really can't get enough of.

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Today, I came home from work and Don greeted me with a very deep, and very passionate kiss.

I smiled at him, and laughed a little bit, "Now, Mr. Lathario, what was that about?"

He chuckled a little, "What? I'm not aloud to kiss my lovely girlfriend with passion when she comes home from work without having a reason behind it?"

"Well, of course you're aloud to," I said while keeping my arms wrapped around his neck, "But, it does make me think that you might be up to something."

"Would it be bad if I was up to something, Miss Stephens?" He whispered softly into my ear.

"Well, I suppose not...." I smiled.

"Good," he said, while getting down one one knee in front of me, making me shake my head slightly, but when I saw him pull out a box, I knew exactly what was going on, and I couldn't control my blushing.

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"Harmony Cheryl Stephens, I love you more than anything in the entire world. I want to be able to spend as long as I can with you, and I want you to be mine, and officially mine, and I want to be yours, officially yours. I love you so much, I can't even describe. I want to take care of you, I want to have a family with you, and I want you to grow old by my side. I want to protect you, and I want to make you as happy as I can make you. There is no one else in this entire world that I want to be with. Harmony, will you marry me?"

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He slid the ring on my finger and I simply couldn't speak. I looked at it for awhile, with happy tears rolling down my face. I looked him in the eyes and ended up being able to whimper out a "yes".

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He smiled and stood up, wrapping me in his strong arms and giving me a deep, loving kiss. I held onto him and let out happy tears. I had never been so happy in my life. I was getting married, and I was going to eventually be able to have a family, and then, I could give my family something that I never had, a good, happy life with parents that loved them, and loved each other.

I was going to be able to start my legacy out right, and I was going to be able to give my family happiness, and security, something I never had.

Life was going to be good.

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The next day at work, I got a promotion, encouraging my feeling of goodness and that everything was going to be great. That was, until I saw my new uniform.

Who else wants to join me in saying, "ew!"?

Don saw it that evening, and he told me it wasn't that bad, but I was quick to disagree.

He just smiled at me though, and kissed my forehead.

I was beyond happy to be with him, and I was even happier that soon, I would be his wife, and that he'd be my husband.

Yeah, life was going to be good.

Shababygal
8th Feb 2012, 5:25 AM
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A few weeks before the wedding, I noticed that I needed a new look. My hair had grown out, and it was looking just a bit odd, so I decided to do something about it, I also felt that my outfit needed to be upgraded from, "Oh look, it's Harmony, the new girl!" To, "Oh look! It's Harmony, the oh-so-awesome Stylist!"
think I did a pretty good job achieving that look, if I do say so myself. I made sure to complete the look long before the wedding. I think that having my hair fall in long, loose curls, the new purple eyeshadow which really makes my eyes pop, and adorable, fashionable and age, as well as position appropriate outfit made me look fantastic, and like I was ready for the new responsibilities that will soon be coming my way.

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Don and I were ecstatic about the wedding. Everyone around town was talking about it, and was excited to go. Half the town was coming. If not the entire town. Most of the people coming were my friends, as through my line of work, I met and quickly become friends with everyone who entered the salon. Don didn't mind, though. He was more than happy to have a lot of people, even though he might not have known who they were, come to see our wedding. Since we were so tight on cash, we skipped all of the pre-wedding parties, so we could have the best wedding possible. It ended up being a wise choice, because we were able to get married in the most beautiful place in town. It was a newly built park, that had a waterfall that you were in front of in the reception area, and when you were in the actual area where the wedding would be taking place, you were above it, and no matter where we looked in that area, we had an amazing, beautiful view.

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He took me there for the first time three days before the wedding. Needless to day, I was quite blown away when I saw the park. It was gorgeous, and I couldn't believe he and I had the money to rent it for the wedding! Not to mention the cost of catering, and the open bar that we were going to have. He just smiled, though, and told me that it wasn't as expensive as it sounded. We sat down on a bench that was placed just in front of the waterfall, so we could look at the park while listening to the water crash behind us. It was incredibly romantic When he took me there, there was no one else besides us in the park, which only added to the sweetness of it. We sat there for a long time, enjoying the peace of the night.

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"Don?" I whispered.

"Yes, Harmony?"

"You do know that when we marry, you're going to have to take on my last name, right?" I questioned.

"Yeah, I know." He began,"I know why you came here, to build a name for yourself, and for your future generations. Actually, it's going to be our future generations now, isn't it?" He paused, and smiled, "Anyway, I'm just honored to be a part of it, I truly am. It makes me ecstatic to think that I'm going to be responsible for bringing the next generation of Stephens into the world. I also hope that when we have our daughters, that they all turn out like you; strong, smart, and incredibly beautiful."


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I smiled at him, and was speechless for a moment. I think he could tell, and he just chuckled a little and kissed my forehead. I giggled a little, and I looked at him for a long time, thinking about how lucky I was to have such a wonderful man in my life, that was going to stay in my life, for a very long time.
I could see it, in a few years from that moment, I'd be a mother, with 2.5 children, with hopefully at least one daughter, they would all be beautiful, with dark hair and uniquely colored eyes, as mine were purple and Don's, when he was human, were blue.


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Don brought me back to reality by commenting on the beautiful flowers that were all around the park, and how they were all wild, and had grown in perfectly-placed clumps naturally. He also said that he thought the park was more beautiful at night, simply because it was always so much quieter.

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I then looked up at the sky and gasped, and he noticed my reaction, and looked up the same moment I did. He smiled widely when he noticed that I was admiring the beauty of the night sky. It certainly was a beautiful sight. We were both startled when I heard his stomach growl. He jumped back and realized that he had forgotten to bring his plasma fruit with him, and that we must have been gone much longer than he thought we were. He apologized, but said that we would have to go home before he lost control of his thirst and drank from me. I looked at him, and tilted my head.

"I'd like to stay here, though, Don, it's beautiful."

"It wont be so beautiful when my fangs are ripping through your skin, will it?"

"Well, maybe if they're not ripping, maybe if they're just poking through..." I whispered, lightly.

He gave me a serious look, that soon changed to one of passion, and then to one of hunger, and then one confusing, but sexy mix of all three.

"You're saying that you'd be okay with it if I drank from you?"

"Yes," I smiled, wrapping my arms around his neck, "After all, you are going to be my husband, I'm okay with providing you some nourishment. Granted, I probably shouldn't do it too often, but every now and again..."

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As soon as I stopped speaking, he was brushing my hair away from my neck, and he gave me some gentle, loving kisses all over the right side of my neck, causing me to shiver. He did this for awhile until I softly whimpered out, "Don, it's okay, go ahead and bite me..."
He did not need to be told twice.

He seemed certain that it was going to hurt me, but, it was actually quite the opposite, the feeling was euphoric, and I don't think I had ever experienced anything that felt better. He fed for only a few moments and stopped quickly, licking the wound to help seal it and help it heal.

He looked me right in the eyes, and asked me with deep concern if I was alright. I simply smiled and kissed him, deeply and passionately. I suppose that answered his question, because he just smiled, and we walked around the park for about another hour before we headed home.

Three weeks later, it was time for the wedding. Almost everyone in town came. The ceremony was at night, of course, and the wedding started at sunset. The food was excellent, and so was the mixologist, he made some of the best drinks I ever had the pleasure of tasting.

When the ceremony started, I walked down the isle, up to my soon-to-be husband, and the one I was to spend the rest of my days with.

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"Harmony, you are my everything. I have never loved anyone the way I love you. You're so beautiful, and you're beyond perfect. I love everything about you, to me, you have no flaws, and I know that I could never ask for anything better. You're everything I've ever wanted. I love you, Harmony, and I happily will take you as my wife, and I will love you, I will cherish you, and I will stay with you, no matter what hardships may get thrown our way. I give you this ring, symbolizing how my love for you is eternal, and will never end."

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"Don, I give you this ring, symbolising my eternal, and ever-lasting love for you, and only you. I love you Don. I love you more than I can put into words. You're everything to me, and I gladly take you as my husband, always, and forever, and no matter what happens. You are the best thing that has ever happened to me, Don, and I can't wait to spend the rest of my days with you."

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The moment I finished speaking, we kissed. It was the softest, sweetest, and most passionate kiss I had ever received. I blushed, and we walked back down the isle, holding hands and going down to the reception, so we could cut the cake.

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The cake was beautifully decorated, and it fit our wedding perfectly.

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Everyone had a good time, and when we weren't entertaining our guests, Don and I would spend a moment or two laughing, excited about the wedding, and being able to go home and make the marriage, 'official'

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That night was one of the best nights of my entire life.I didn't think my day could have gotten any better than it was, but it did, and laying there beside him that night, knowing that we were now officially Mr. and Mrs. Stephens, the joy was indescribable, and I hoped that the rest of our life together would be equally as amazing as the first year had been.

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A few weeks later, I ran from the bathroom and jumped into Don's arms.

He laughed, "Hello there, darling, what has you so excited this early in the morning?"

I gave him the biggest smile I could, and I gleefully shouted out, "Don! I'm pregnant!"

Shababygal
8th Feb 2012, 5:28 AM
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The next nine months went buy in a blur of doctors appointments, cooking, cleaning, watching T.V., and having the weirdest cravings. It ended up working out well, though. Everything was going like it was supposed to, and I knew that my baby was going to be healthy, and happy. I was eating a lot, but that was okay, and actually a good thing, because I was eating for two people. I told Don that it would have been fine if he needed to drink from me again, but he refused to the moment he found out I was pregnant. He told me that the baby needed to by my main focus, and even though it wasn't very good, he'd get buy on plasma juice.

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He loved the baby, and as soon as he would come home from work, he'd spend 15 minuets talking to my tummy, and telling the baby that was growing inside of me-our baby-how much he loved it, and how he would be the very best daddy in the entire world. He kept saying how he'd buy our little angel all the toys it wanted, how he'd spend as much time as he could with it, and how he couldn't imagine how happy he'd be when they baby did come.

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After he spoke to the baby, he'd start talking to me and we'd spend the rest of the evening chilling out, and cuddling. Life was going by slowly, but pleasently, and the excitement of having a baby on the way just made everything better. Life was going good. Don and I were both making excellent money, and even though my Aunt Wilma died, she left me 31K in inheretince, so, Don and I used it to expand the house, and make room for baby.

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On March 12th at 4:30 in the morning, Tabitha Joy Stephens was born. I had her at the hospital, and by the time I cane home, her room was ready for her. She was born a vampire baby, meaning that Don had passed his vampirsim on to our child.

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At first, it didn't bother me. So my daughter was just a little different than most little girls. She was still beautiful, she was still mine, and I still loved her more than I loved anything in the world, but I almost felt bad for her. She was going to be ridiculed when she went to day care, and eventually, school. She was going to be an outsider, because she'd be a vampire's child. My heart ached for her, and I wanted to cure her of her vampirsim, as soon as possible, no matter the cost. I called the Science Facility as soon as I could, and asked them how old my daughter would need to be to be able to drink the cure. They said she'd have to be a young adult, because the effects the cure might have on children are extremely negative, so it was best to wait.

My heart sank. I held my beautiful Tabitha in my arms, my little Tabby, and tried my best to not worry too much about her future.

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would spend hours in her room each night, just looking at her, holding her, telling her how much I loved her, and that I'd be there for her, and I'd be her best friend, and that no matter what happened, I'd take care of her, and make sure that she was happy.

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This was about the time that Don started working a lot more. He had to, we needed money. He'd wake up at four,shower, be at the office by six, hold a meeting before seven, work all day, eat some plasma fruit, and then go back to holding meetings until eight in the evening, then he'd have to report to his boss, tell her what happened throughout the day, and then he'd head home. Often times, he wouldn't be back until ten at night. By this time, both Tabby and I had both been in bed, her for two hours, me for one. I was always exhausted by the end of the day. I was still working as a stylist, but, I was working from home so I could take care of Tabby, and when I wasn't styling, I was cleaning the house, or making something for myself to eat, taking care of Tabby, or trying to take care of the house.

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So, of course, if Tabby woke up in the middle of the night, I'd have to get up and take care of her, no matter what, because Don had to work in the morning, and my appointments didn't come in until 10 AM. So, I'd get up with her, change her diaper, feed her, snuggle her, comfort her, tell her everything was okay, and all of that. I really didn't mind too much, it just bothered me that Don wasn't stepping up to be a father. I never saw him with her. Ever. He never went in to check on her, he never gave her toys, I don't think she ever even saw her father, and that was the thing that bothered me the most.

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When she became a toddler, her vampirism was much more noticeable. The other little kids didn't want to play with her at the park, so she'd play by herself. She didn't really seem to mind though, it seemed as if she enjoyed being alone. I always fed her and put her to bed sometime around eight at night. Before I'd put her to bed, I'd sing to her, just soft little lullabies, but she really enjoyed them, and more often than not, they would put her right to sleep.

I was the one who taught her how to walk, how to talk, and I was also the one who potty trained her. It seemed like it was really only the two of us, and it seemed like Don, for the most part was out of the picture. He was always either at work, or asleep, or when he did have some free time, he'd be watching TV, or at the gym.


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So, for the most part, it was just me and Tabby. I could leave her to play alone in her room most of the time, she didn't mind. She enjoyed sitting in her room and playing with her toys, especially the one that my Great Uncle Timmy gave to her. He ended up dying not too long after he sent her that toy, and since I was his only living relative, over the age of 21, he left me 30k. I placed that money in a savings account, so we could add a real second story to our home.

I told this to Don, and he seemed to be indifferent. There was something wrong, and every time I would try and talk to him, he simply would insist that nothing was wrong and he would end the conversation.

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I was making myself some lunch one Sunday afternoon, and Tabby was playing in her room, while Don was sitting there, watching T.V, this was the first time I saw him stay at home for more than fifteen minuets in weeks. I ate my lunch and decided that I needed to go over and speak to him about Tabby. Tell him that it bothered me that she had inherited being a vampire, that it bothered me that he never spent any time with her, and that I wished he'd take a few days off to spend with his family.

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The discussion quickly turned into an argument.

"Look, Don, I'm not trying to make you feel bad! I'm just trying to talk to you! We hardly even see each other anymore! You never see me, you never see Tabby, and she's your daughter! She's a vampire because of you, and you should be there for her! I know she's young right now, but she's going to need you to tell her how to cope with being a vampire in the near future. You should be talking to her, you should have been helping me teach her how to talk, walk and become potty trained! But no! All you ever do is work, and when you're not working, you're either at the gym, or watching T.V, can't you please just spend some time with your family? Tabby and I need you."

"Harmony, shut up! I'm stressed out after working so long and the only two things that calm me down are working out and watching TV. I can't stop working, Harmony, we need money. You're always working on something, another addition, better counters, more furniture, repairs, clothes, if I stopped working so hard we would never have any money because of your ridiculous spending! And oh, Tabby's a vampire because of me? No, really? I know that, but you're her mother, so she's your responsibility!"

"She's our daughter, Don! She's our responsibility! And don't you DARE go into how much money I spend, all the money I've spent has been for the benefit of our family! All the money I've spent has been from my job, and the inheritance left by my dead family members! You seem to keep all of yours, I have no idea what the hell you do with it, you certainly don't do anything for me and Tabby! What happened, Don? Four years ago, right before Tabby was born, you loved me. When she was born, you loved her too. You used to love us, Don. Now, you're never around. She hardly even knows who you are. She'll ask me where you are, sometimes. She asks me why she never gets to see you. She misses you, Don. I miss you, too."

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Don sighed.

"I'm sorry, okay? I still love you, Harmony, I do. I-I just don't know what else I'm supposed to do. I'm supposed to work, and you're yelling at me because I'm working too much! That's insane! You're insane! You told me that you didn't mind that I was a vampire, and that you wouldn't mind if we had vampire children, but now, you're yelling at me because our first child is a vampire? Did you just now realize what she was going to go through? I thought you knew when I told you it was going to be a possibility! ******, Harmony!"

"Don...I'm just concerned. And I feel like you don't love us anymore. It's always me who's with Tabby, you never even come inside her room to even check on her. You don't even put your arms around me when we sleep anymore. We're always facing away from each other. I feel so alone in this, Don. I do. I love you so much, but I feel unwanted by you. Couldn't you burn off stress by talking to me? By playing with Tabby?"

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Goddamnit, Harmony!" He shouted, "I'm trying okay! Just-! Screw it, Harmony, just fuck it. I'm going out for awhile." He shouted and walked towards the door.

"Don-wait, I-" Before I could finish, he slammed the door.

I sat back against the wall and cried. I cried for a long, long time. The only reason I stopped was because Tabby needed to be put down for her afternoon nap.

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That night was the first night in six years that I slept alone. I fell asleep, just kind of accepting that Don wasn't going to come home.

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However, around 4:45 in the morning, I heard him walk in the front door. I walked out of the room and saw him walking towards the kitchen. I stopped right in front of him, and my anger ended up getting the best of me.

"Where the HELL have you been! Do you even know what time it is! I was worried sick! You should have been home hours ago! Why didn't you call?"


I was fuming, and I felt like I was on the verge of tears.

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"You haven't even noticed, have you?" He whispered.

"Notice wha-" I stopped, because I just realized what he was talking about.

He was human again.

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I held onto him as tightly as I could, he was so warm. I cried into his shoulder, and he kissed my forehead. It was going to be okay. He was human, he changed back, because he thought that was what was going to make me happy. I wasn't going to have to have anymore vampire children, not that I minded. I was going to have someone warm to sleep next to, and Tabby was going to have her daddy. A human daddy, yes, but she would at least have her daddy.

At least, that's what I thought.

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In the years that followed, Don would work even longer hours, and, he'd go on buisness trips almost each weekend, so, it wouldn't be unusual for him to not come home. I got accustomed to sleeping alone.


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We lived like this for two more years, before I got a call from his boss. She was crying, and she told me that Don had been sleeping with her for the past year and a half, and she thought that she might be pregnant with his kid.

When he came home that night I was angrier than I had ever been.

"WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU DOING? Is that why you hardly ever come home anymore? 'Cause you're with your boss? How could you, Don? I've been faithful to you! I haven't even LOOKED at another man since we've been together. I've even stayed faithful to you throughout all of this, even though you'd be gone for days at a time! I don't understand, Don! What have I done to deserve this!"

"I'm sorry, Harmony, but, I just couldn't not do it! You never want me anymore, and I have needs, Harmony."

"Who said I didn't want you anymore? I think it's you who doesn't want me anymore, actually, it is you that doesn't want me, you've proved it!"

"You know what? Maybe you're right, maybe I don't want you anymore, but you know what? Maybe that's your fault because you're always so nasty all the time and nit picking me about how I'm never here!"

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"Sweet jesus, Don! I-You know what! Never mind, I want a devorce, and as of right now, you are moved out of this house. I loved you, Don, I did, but you know what? I'm done with you! I don't want anything to do with you anymore. I never want to see you again, ever. I want you out of my life. I'm done with this, this is over."

"Awe, Harmony-"

"GET OUT." I screamed, pushing him towards the door.

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"You know what?" He shouted, "FINE. Fine! I'm out of here, Harmony, I don't want any of this, I'll leave, I'll go away,you'll never hear from me again! I hope doing this makes you happy. I'm gone. I'll leave town, I'll go out to the middle of nowhere. I don't want to deal with any of this!"

And with that, he walked out of the door.

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I heard crying, and I turned around, and I saw my six-year-old daughter standing by the door to her room. I ran over to her and gave her the biggest hug I could.

"Mommy, does daddy hate us?"

"I don't know sweetie. It doesn't matter now, though, honey. It's just you and me now. Daddy-daddy's gone, and he's not coming back. It's just us, like it's always been. But Tabby, I'm here for you, and I love you, and I'm not going to leave you. You're my baby, and I'm your mommy, and we're going to stick together, alright?"

All I got were sniffles and slight whimpers.

I cried with her, and I just hoped that everything would end up alright.

Shababygal
8th Feb 2012, 5:30 AM
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After Don and I got divorced, I gave myself a new look. I didn't want to look like the woman everyone thought of as "Don's ex-wife". It was hard to get over Don, and it took me a long time, but once I felt I had suffered enough, I started to hang out with some of my friends, Like the man you see me sitting with here. His name is Hunter Cottoneye, and he invited me to a party way back when I first moved here. I've styled him many times since then. He's a good guy, and he's pretty handy. He lives fairly close by, so he insists on coming over and making sure that everything is in good working order. I tell him that it's not necessary, but he always insists.

He's one of my very best friends, and in the four years since I got divorced, he's been willing to listen to me and try to make me feel better, and he helps out a lot.

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He's almost always there when something breaks, and he'll fix it for me while I clean up the mess. I try to pay him, but he refuses to take any money from me, and he keeps telling me to save it, because Tabby and I need it.

The only way I ever found to repay him was to make him dinner. He never turned that one down. He always tells me that I'm a great cook. I simply thank him, and jokingly tell him that I need to do something right.
He's a great friend, and because of that, he always tells me I'm doing good at everything I do, and for a single mom, I do amazing things with Tabby.
I never know what to say to him after he says things like that, but I always smile, and that seems to be enough for him.

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Normally, whenever he's over, we just sit on the couch and talk, like friends do, but one day while Tabby was at school, he looked over at me, wrapped his arms around my shoulders, pulled me close and gave me a very deep, very passionate kiss. I was shocked, extremely shocked, actually, but I kissed him back. It didn't feel like it did with Don, there was no spark, there was nothing, it was just kissing. However, I hadn't been kissed in a very long time, and he was actually a fairly good kisser, so I went along with it.

When he finally pulled away, he smiled and stood up, and helped me up as well. I looked at him and he smiled at me, and said, "Harmony, I've been in love with you for such a long time, but you and Don were together, so I didn't say anything, and then, when you two got divorced, I didn't want to say anything then, because I didn't want to be your re-bound guy. But now, I think that maybe you've moved on, so I'm saying something now. Harmony, I really, truly love you, and I think maybe if you tried, you could love me too."

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I smiled a little and hugged him tightly and I looked him in the eyes while I spoke, "Hunter, you're really a great guy, I've never really thought of you in that way before, but who knows. I really do believe in giving everyone a chance, so, let's try this, and who knows, maybe something might come of it."

I really didn't think anything was going to come of it, but I felt comfortable around him, and he made me happy, if nothing else. Plus, it might be a good idea to have Hunter around, he and Tabby were great friends, and maybe having him around would be a good thing for her.

However, despite what I thought, something did come from it.

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Again, he wasn't anywhere near as good as Don was, but still, he knew how to have a good time.

He left before Tabby came home, and he told me he'd call me later. I told him that I'd be waiting and as soon as he left I took a shower and did the laundry. I felt kind of uncomfortable after we woohooed, like I had made a mistake, kind of like what I did was start something that shouldn't have been started, and even though he was my friend, I kind of hoped that I could just ignore him for awhile. I didn't want to be like this with him.


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When Tabby came home, I told her to go and do her homework. She finished it rather quickly and came at me with a pillow and demanded for a pillow fight. Boy, did I give her one, we pillow fought all the way to dinner time.

Out of everyone I knew, Tabby was my best of best friends. Of course, she was my daughter, but even still, we were always on the same page, and she loved spending time with me, just as I loved spending time with her. We had been through a lot together. We had spent nights crying together after her father left, and we had spent time laughing together over silly things we saw on her TV programs.

Even with everything that happened with Don, I was actually thankful for him because he gave me the best thing I ever could want or have. He gave me the opportunity to be a mother. Something I didn't even know I wanted to be. But I was glad I had Tabby. She was my everything. Everything I did, I did for her. She was perfect, at least in my eyes. Most of the other kids really didn't spend too much time talking with her, but she didn't mind. She kept telling me that she was a loner, and preferred not having very many friends.

I was so glad that I had Tabby, especially after Don and I got divorced, because she was going to be my only baby.

At least, that's what I thought.

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Two months after my woohoo with Hunter, I found out that I was pregnant. I didn't tell him, I hadn't spoken to him since, except a message or two saying that I didn't think it was a good idea if we saw each other.

However, Don somehow found out that I had gotten pregnant, and he actually sent me an e-mail, with a "Congratulations!" message. I didn't respond.


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Eight months after I found out, Courtney Alice Stephens was born. She was just as beautiful as Tabby, and she was human. Tabby was so happy to have a baby sister, and she was the one who helped me pick out a name.

Somehow, Hunter ended up finding out. He came over that night.

"Why didn't you tell me, Harmony? I love you, and the fact that we now have a child, that just makes me want to be with you more. Please, Harmony. I want to be in my daughters life."

"Hunter, please," I began, "It's not a good idea if we're together. I can take care of both of my girls on my own. I was the only one who took care of Tabby when she was born, and I can be the only one to take care of Courtney too. I don't need you, neither does Courtney, or Tabby."

That's when he surprised me.

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He pulled out a ring and placed it on my finger, "Harmony, I love you so much, and I know you can take care of the girls by yourself, but I want to be able to be their father, I want to be able to support you, and them. You shouldn't have to do this alone, Harmony."

I shook my head, and gave the ring back to him.

"I'm sorry, Hunter, I am, but no. I'm not going to marry you, I'm not going to let you be in my life, or the girls' lives. We don't need you. Now please, Hunter, go. If I married you, I'd feel like I was making an awful mistake."

"If you're so sure, Harmony, then okay. But, my offer still stands. Just give me a call if you change your mind. My door is always open." And with that, he left.

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A few months later, I turned 35 years old. I gave myself a new look and thought about my life. I was a full-fledged adult now, with two children, one failed marriage, and a baby daddy that I refused to talk to. However, I was also a level 8 Stylist, and my daughters were absolutely beautiful. I felt wiser, and like my life was only going to get more complicated from here on out.

One reason for that was because Tabby was going to be a teenager soon. I was going to have a teenager, and a toddler

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-E6NaYnFQaUE/TymJCWF5wYI/AAAAAAAAALI/nFqFWu3Qcx4/s640/13.png

On her thirteenth birthday, I wont lie, I cried a little, not because I'm that sappy, but because I remembered how I was when I was a teenager, and I prayed to whatever gods there were that she wouldn't end up being anything like me.

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When she grew up, she was even more beautiful. She was also, thankfully, proving to be nothing like me.

I gave her a makeover, and she was very grateful. She loved my style, and she loved all the styles I picked for her.


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She also insisted that she help me take care of Courtney, I let her, simply because of the joy I saw that it brought her.

She really loved her little sister, more than anything, it seemed. If I was working, Tabby would take care of Courtney until I had finished with my client. Those two were close, even from the beginning. I simply hoped that it would stay that way, and that those two would end up being best friends rather than the other, because that would make my life much easier, but then, when has anything in my life ever been easy?

Still, I could hope.

Shababygal
8th Feb 2012, 5:33 AM
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I think I did even better with Courtney than I did with Tabby. Court was quick to pick things up, and she learned how to walk and talk very quickly. I could tell the kid was smart, and luckily, she stayed that way.
She was a delightful little girl, and I felt a little sad that she was going to be my last baby. I kind of enjoyed the whole baby-toddler thing. They were so cute, even when they threw up on you.

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Life went on and as Courtney became a child and would play with her toys in her room, that's when I would throw myself into my work. I had recently got a drawing pad, so I used it to help me sketch some ideas.

Work kept going better and better, and it seemed like it'd be one promotion after another, and I was getting to the top of the ladder, and I was getting there fast.

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Courtney would ask for help on her homework very often. I don't think it was because she couldn't do it, just that she didn't want to be doing schoolwork alone. Tabby and I would switch off helping her, but because Tabby was working to get a car and was in the art club, I normally did it, not that I minded. I enjoyed spending time with my daughters, and if I could help them, even better.

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Even though Tabby was full-on in her teen years and Court was still a child, they got along fairly well, and would often eat dinner together, away from me, talking about their day at school. I thought it was cute that they were bonding. Often times, while I was cleaning up, they'd be running around upstairs, having a pillow-fight war, seeing who would win, and then what chores the loser would have to do.

Tabby didn't show any resentment toward Court, not even from day one. They may have different daddies, but neither of their dads ever saw them, all they had was me, and each other, and as a result, we were all very close. Nothing could happen in that house without everyone knowing. Perhaps that's the reason Tabby never had a boyfriend.

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When prom came around for Tabby, I almost didn't think she would go, she hardly had any friends at school or anyone to go with, as she spent most of her time painting or writing, but when she came home and told me that she was going, I supported her, and I offered to buy her a new dress, but she declined, and simply wore her everyday dress. When she came back home, she told me she was crowned prom queen and I nearly passed out. I was so happy for her, but I couldn't believe it. My loner, vampire daughter, prom queen? Is anyone else confused? Either way, I was so happy for her, and hoped that meant that she had more friends than I thought she did.

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Tabby was very talented, and she picked things up quickly. She had mastered both the painting and writing skills before she even became a young adult. To say that I'm proud of her would be an understatement.
The thought of her being so close to graduating made me feel very old for a moment. It seemed like only yesterday that she was a baby, and here she was, so close to being all grown up.

For awhile, even the simple thought was enough to make me cry a little.

However, the thing that made me feel really old, and made me cry even more, was when Courtney became a teenager.

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When I looked at Courtney as a teenager, it was like looking at myself when I was in highschool. Her hair was much more red than mine, but it worked on her.
She was beautiful. Both of my girls were beautiful. It was looking at Courtney when I realized that it wouldn't be too long until I had to pass my legacy onto one of my girls.
The thought alone made my heart ache, I wanted to pass it onto both of them. But I couldn't, and I knew that it was going to be a difficult choice.
They were both strong, beautiful, intelligent, and very determined. They were both people, and book smart, they understood things, and they never seemed to look at things negatively. The more I thought about who I would chose, the harder it became to think about.

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Not too long before Tabby's 21st birthday, I reached the top of the Stylist Career, and I completed my Lifetime Wish. The Mayor of Riverview came and presented me with an award, and I smiled very big, as there was a small party outside City Hall in my honor.

I was so happy, I had worked very hard to get to the top, and now that I was there-before I even became an elder-was a huge accomplishment.

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When Tabby's 21st birthday came around, I was excited, and sad. I was excited, because my little girl was going to be a fully grown woman now, but I was sad because that meant that I was 45. I did not want to be 45.

Looking at her standing there, now a young adult, I smiled and thought back to when I moved into town, and started out living in a shack, and in only 22 years, I had created a beautiful home for my children, and I gave them a great life.

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For the sake of our daughter's 21st, Don and I even put up with each other. We actually were a little friendly, and spoke pleasantly with each other for awhile, much to Tabby's joy.


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And as promised, on her Birthday, I gave her the cure for vampirisim. It took her awhile to be able to convince herself to take it, but once she did, the change was almost instantaneous.

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And right before our eyes, she became human, for the first time.

I smiled, and cried. I don't think my daughter had ever looked more beautiful.

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(A/N: I know this chapter seems a little short, but so much happened, I couldn't place everything in, so, I just kind of did an overview. The next one will be better!)

Shababygal
8th Feb 2012, 5:35 AM
Gen 2 Heiress!
http://i159.photobucket.com/albums/t150/tonkatoy12131415/Mountain%20Breath/Tabby.png

Shababygal
10th Feb 2012, 4:06 PM
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The day of Tabitha's graduation, I bought her a car. We were doing excellently financially, so I decided that the girls and I would no longer have to share a car. They could have their own, but, there would be no way what-so-ever they could park in the garage. That was for my car only.

After she graduated, before we even went out to celebrate over dinner, she went to City Hall and registered as a self-employed artist. I was concerned, at first, as I wasn't sure how much of a steady income it would bring her, but I didn't say anything. If being an artist made her happy, then she could be an artist, at least for right now, because she was living with me still, and doesn't need to worry about expenses.

After we came home, I spoke to her, and started talking about her plans for the future. I wanted to know what she planned on doing. I wasn't quite sure who I was going to pass my legacy on to yet, but I had to face it, I was getting to be old now, and my children were growing up, and I needed to start thinking about it.

I gave my oldest daughter a hug, and kissed her forehead, and then I stepped back, looked at her, and began to speak; "You know what my dream was when I came here to Riverview, Tabby. I wanted to build a beautiful home, and let my children live happily, grow up, and have all the things I never had, and I wanted to pass it on to my children, I wanted to start a legacy, and I think I've done a pretty good job. As you know, it wont be long until your younger sister graduates, just a few more years, and a few months before she graduates, I'll be turning 65-"

"Yes mom, I know. After a year, you're going to pick who you wish to pass your legacy to. I know, you've been saying this to me for ages. I just don't understand why you're talking to me about it now." Tabby said, cutting me off and looking slightly bored.

"I'm talking to you about it now, because right now is when you're going to be making all of your own decisions," I spoke while looking her in the eyes, "I'm talking to you about it now because I need to know if you even want to continue the legacy, because if your not even interested, there's no point of talking to you about it."

"Mom," she paused, "I'm going to tell you right now, that if you think that I'm the one you want to pass on the legacy to, then I will gladly step up and do the very best I can to live up to, and even surpass the name you've created for our family, and I'll do my very best to make sure that I make you proud."

I smiled at her and gave her a very big hug.

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"Tabby, honey, you already do more then make me proud."

"Thanks mom," she smiled and hugged me back, "hearing you say that means a lot. I want to make sure that you stay proud of me, too."

"I'm sure you'll do that well, Tabby." I smiled.

We let go of each other and we went inside. I went to go clean up a little and prepare some more sketches and Tabby went upstairs to go paint.
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A few weeks after I spoke with Tabitha, we go to the park as a family to enjoy a day outside. It was a beautiful summer day, after all. We sit down and have a pick nick and talk about things going on in the town, when suddenly, Courtney spots a guy in her class.

"Excuse me, mom, Tabby, but I need to go over and say hi to Brenton." Courtney smiled as she started to get up.

"Oooh, someone has a crush now, does she?" Tabby teased.

"Ohmygod!" Courtney exclaimed, "Of course not! He's just one of my best friends. Can't a girl have a male best friend? Mom had like three!"

"It's true, I did, but I didn't jump up to see them if I saw them out about town randomly." I grinned.

"Yeah," Tabby agreed, biting her lip, trying to stifle a giggle.

"Oh my god! I do not like him! So, be quiet!" Courtney pleaded, while swatting at Tabby's shoulder.

"Why not?" Tabby questioned, "Is it because he's fat?"

"No! It's-" Courtney let out an annoyed sigh, paused and then stood up, "He's just my friend, and if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go speak with him."

As soon as Courtney went to go talk to her friend, Tabby burst into giggles, and I just shook my head.

"She could be just friends with him." I smiled, taking another bite out of my sandwich.

"Yeah, she could be, I suppose. However, I doubt it."

I just smiled, if Courtney did like this boy, then that was alright with me, I knew his parents, and I met him not too long ago, and he seemed like a pretty nice kid.
---------------------------

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That fall, Tabby met Kendrick Acker. He was the cousin of Tabby's high school friend. By Halloween, they were dating, and I met him on Thanksgiving. They really were quite cute together, except for when they'd make out in the living room, for everyone to see. I really didn't mind too much, but Courtney would complain, constantly about how they were being gross and should get a room. I would simply smile, and Courtney would go upstairs and call her friends to get adequate sympathy.

I thought it was good that they were so into each other, because that gave Tabby someone she could speak to, and be close to, and because she was a loner, she didn't have very many of those people.

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When prom came around for Courtney, she was more than happy to let me buy her a dress and style her for prom. She ended up going with Brenton, because the guy she had her eye on graduated last year, and couldn't make it to prom with her.

When she ended up not getting prom queen, I almost laughed, I thought she was joking, but no, she wasn't. She was the most popular girl in her school, and yet, she didn't win prom queen, but my loner daughter who knew next to no one was prom queen? I don't think I had ever been more confused then I was at that moment. It simply boggled my mind. However, she still had a good time, and she was still happy that she went.

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One week after Courtney's prom, Kendrick asked if he could speak to me for a moment.

"Harmony," he paused, "I have a question for you."

"And what would that question be, Kendrick?"

"Well, I know you're technically supposed to ask the dad this, but because Tabby's dad isn't around, and you're the one who raised her, well, um, I want to know if you'd be okay with me asking your daughter to marry me? We've been together a few years now, and I love her a lot, and don't worry, she's explained the legacy thing to me, and I'm totally cool with that, and I would appreciate it if I had your approval to marry her."

"It's not me you have to ask, if you want to marry her, and she wants to marry you, then you two have my full approval. I would certainly not mind having you as a son-in-law."

"Really?" He asked, very excited.

"Really." I smiled.

He grinned widely, "Thank you, Harmony. You're awesome!"

I smiled, and told him to go on and spend some time with Tabitha.
I was excited for my daughter, and I was excited about possibly having grandchildren running about in the near future.
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About a month later, it was my birthday. I turned sixty-five years old. I had a rather small party, filled with just a few friends, and of course, my family.

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Don even came, and we chatted for awhile. It was definitely safe to say that he and I had patched things up, and were friends. We weren't romantic by any means, but, we were close, and I think that having him come around more often had a positive impact on Tabby, and so far, she's told me that she has enjoyed getting to know her father.
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Right near the end of summer, it was Courtney's birthday, so of course, she had graduated right when school ended. Her father even came and gave her a birthday congratulations, and a gift, a beat-up car. She thanked him appropriately, and she told me that she had a great time at her party.

-------

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A few weeks later, I sat down with her to have a conversation, very similar to the one I had with Tabby a few years earlier.

Before I could even speak, however, she interrupted me.

"Mom, I know that you're going to talk to me about the legacy thing, and I just want to tell you, and if you want me to take over for you, I'd be more than happy to. If you want to give it to Tabby, you can give it to Tabby. Either way, it's fine. I want you to do what will make you happy, okay? Whatever you chose, I'll do what it is I need to do."

I smiled at her, the similarity of what she said compared to her sister's almost made me laugh. They both were okay with being the heir, and even staying in this same spot and raising a family. I knew the choice was going to be hard, and I hoped, that within the next year, I'd be able to chose.

JamilaKashe
10th Feb 2012, 5:18 PM
Hi, are we supposed to vote here or send you a message? Since I don't see any other comments here.

Shababygal
10th Feb 2012, 6:05 PM
Hi, are we supposed to vote here or send you a message? Since I don't see any other comments here.

You can go ahead and vote here. I also have this story posted on the Sims 3 website in their forums, so some people have voted there. :3

JamilaKashe
10th Feb 2012, 6:40 PM
I really like your story so far. I usually go with the first born because it's fair, but in this case it was hard to choose. I want to know Tabitha's side of the story growing up a vampire, but then I wanted to know more about Courtney. I actually ended up doing a coin toss and my vote is for Tabitha.

Shababygal
11th Feb 2012, 12:12 AM
I really like your story so far. I usually go with the first born because it's fair, but in this case it was hard to choose. I want to know Tabitha's side of the story growing up a vampire, but then I wanted to know more about Courtney. I actually ended up doing a coin toss and my vote is for Tabitha.

For awhile, I thought I was going to have to do the same! I'm probably going to keep the sisters living together in the house, at least for a little while, so you will end up getting to know both girls at least a little better. :3

JamilaKashe
11th Feb 2012, 2:07 AM
That's great! Keep it up, I look forward to reading more.

LovethMia
11th Feb 2012, 5:12 AM
Though I like both girls, my vote is for Tabitha, being the first born and all. It only seems fair. :) This is such a great story! Keep it up!

Shababygal
11th Feb 2012, 1:38 PM
That's great! Keep it up, I look forward to reading more.

^.^ I will be, the next chapter should be up on Monday. :3

Though I like both girls, my vote is for Tabitha, being the first born and all. It only seems fair. :) This is such a great story! Keep it up!

Yeah, both girls can really be the basis for awesome stories, that's why I needed to have a vote, I knew I wasn't going to be able to pick! XD

Thank you so much! :3

Shababygal
13th Feb 2012, 9:11 PM
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xSeg0FrFmGs/TzlidvlwMlI/AAAAAAAAAPM/S0DbaoK5ceE/s640/1.png

For an entire year, I observed my girls and their behavior. Courtney decided that she wanted to be a famous news star and jumped into the journalism career, and, when she wasn't at work, she was at home, in her room, typing away, trying to improve her writing skills. Her focus on her career ended up taking all of her time, so she wasn't able to find anyone she wished to spend her days with. She was simply too busy writing.

However, it payed off, as in one year, she's moved halfway up her chosen career's ladder.


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When Tabby wasn't trying to have me teach her a recipe, or with Kendrick, she was painting. Sometimes I'd hear Court and and Tabby talking, and I'd go into Tabby's room and find Tabby painting while Court was writing. They would say hello to me, and then get back to their conversation. The girls were still as close as they were when Courtney was a child.

One evening we all went out to the park, it was a beautiful Spring night, about two months before I had to chose who I wanted to take over the legacy. We all sat down and talked. After we ate the sandwiches that I had packed, Tabby and Kendrick went to walk around the park. I continued talking with Courtney, when all of the sudden, I heard Tabby scream.

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I ran as fast as my old bones would allow and there I saw Tabby, squeaking with joy, and staring at the small, but beautiful diamond on her finger.

I smiled. She saw me and ran over and gave me a tight hug. Her happiness was contagious.

"Congratulations!" I smiled.

"Oh, mom! I-I can't believe it! I'm going to be getting married!"

I smiled, and then she went and hugged Courtney.

"Aww! Tabby!" Courtney grinned.

"I'm so excited! You're definitely my maid of honor!" Tabby laughed.

"Awe, thanks, Tabby!"

Tabitha smiled, and then ran over back to her fiance and kissed him. Courtney and I just smiled at each other. and then we all went back home.

Despite my offer to pay for a large wedding, Tabby insisted that it be small, and that we have it at the house, as soon as possible. She scheduled it for the week before I had to announce who would be the heiress to the legacy.

She didn't have too many friends,so she didn't want to do any of the pre-wedding parties. Kendrick agreed, saying that it would be best if they didn't, especially since the wedding was so close.

I had another discussion with Courtney a week later about being the heiress, and why she didn't have anyone she was romantically involved with.

"Mom, right now, I feel like I need to be working on my career, I feel like if I take any time away from it now, I wont be able to progress as quickly as I'd like. So, right now, I don't feel like having a man in my life is a good idea." Courtney explained.

"It's okay, sweetheart," I smiled, "I understand."

It was then, after that conversation, I knew who I would be passing on my legacy to.

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On Tabitha's wedding day, I pulled her to the side.

"Honey, I'm so happy for you, and I'm so proud of you. Kendrick is an amazing guy, and I think you two are going to have an amazing life together."

She smiled and hugged me, "Thanks, mom. I hope we really do last. I want to be able to give my children a complete family, ya know? I want them to have what I didn't."

"I do know, that was my goal with you girls. For the most part, I think I succeeded."

"I think you did too." She smiled.

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"Here," I whispered, "I have something for you."

"Really?" Tabby smiled, and took the small box out of my hands.

"What is it?" She asked.

"It's the keys to the house. The ones I carried. It's a silver necklace I got ages ago that I meant to wear all the time, but I never did. These are just a few things I had, and now you have them."

"Oh, thanks, mom!" She smiled, but then a look of wonder danced across her face, "Wait, mom, your keys?"

"Yes," I nodded, "My keys, well actually they're yours now. I'm officially passing on the legacy to you, my dear."

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"Oh my god! Really? To me?" She gasped.

"Yes, to you." I laughed.

"Oh thank you mom! I'm so excited. I'll do my best to live in such a way that I can make you proud."

I just smiled at her, gave her another hug, and told her to enjoy the rest of her wedding day.

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Tabitha and Kendrick got married in the backyard at about 7:00 at night. They made the cutest couple. I was so happy for them, and the ceremony made me start crying, but then again, I guess it's normal for mothers to cry at their children's weddings. However, one of my favorite things about the wedding was that Don came, to watch his only child get married. It meant a lot to me, and a lot to Tabitha.

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The reception was a blast, and I was happy to see that everyone enjoyed the cake I made. I was also glad to know that my legacy was going to be left in loving, smart, and beautiful hands.

This is the end for me, but it's just the beginning for Tabitha.

JamilaKashe
13th Feb 2012, 11:08 PM
:luff: aww I'm happy for Tabitha

LovethMia
14th Feb 2012, 1:02 AM
Yay for Tabitha! She looks very pretty too! :)

Shababygal
14th Feb 2012, 4:59 AM
:luff: aww I'm happy for Tabitha

I am too! :3 I think she and Kendrick are gonna make some pretteh babies! ;D lmao x3

Yay for Tabitha! She looks very pretty too! :)

Thanks! (: Both girls almost look exactly identical to each other and their mother. Sometimes, it wireds me out a bit, but, they are lovely :3

Next chapter will be up soon (:

JamilaKashe
14th Feb 2012, 8:24 AM
Yay! Can't wait. Pretty babies indeed

Shababygal
15th Feb 2012, 5:25 PM
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Hello, everyone, I'm Tabitha Joy Stephens, most of you probably know that already, though. One year ago, my mom, Harmony Stephens, passed her legacy on to me. Over the past year, she's been teaching me how to cook things properly, and be a strong, capable independent woman, who, if need be can take care of her children, her self, her house, and hold up a good paying job. I honestly think she was really trying to make sure I knew what to do if me and my husband Kenny, (or Kendrick, as my mother insists on calling him) get a divorce, like her and my father did, such a long time ago. I don't think she ever got over it. She kept their wedding pictures and the wedding ring in a box under her bed. She still doesn't know that Courtney and I know where it is, and the contents of which are inside of it, and we don't plan on telling her, either.

My mother was a really amazing woman, and I'm more than happy to be aloud to follow in her footsteps, although, those footsteps are pretty large. She's mastered five skills; Cooking, Painting, Athletic, Handiness and Writing, she is also a legendary Master Stylist, that everyone in town knows. As of right now, I've only mastered the painting and writing skills, and that's because I learned them back when I was still a vampire and picked up things at the speed of light. I'm at the second from the top in my painting career, but hardly anyone knows of me, as I'm a loner and I don't like to be around very many people. I have a few other skills, like cooking, which my mom has been trying to help me with, but lets be honest here, I'm a god-awful cook. Mom insists that I'll get better as time goes on, but I doubt her, seriously.

Because it's what I do for my living, I spend about 70% of my time painting. I love to paint, it makes me feel free, and when I'm painting, there's nothing in this world that bothers me, I escape into my own little world.

That is probably why I'm so easy to sneak up on.

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"Hello there, my lovely, lovely Tabitha, what are you painting today?" Kenny's voice rings right next to my ear.

I jump about three feet in the air, and turn around, startled, but happy to see him.

Kendrick is amazing. His eyes are a light, beautiful blue-green, and he never ceases to make my heart skip a beat each time he looks into my eyes.

I met Kendrick right after I got out of high school. He was my best friend, Tina Sinclair's cousin.
When I met him, we hit it off right away. I had never met anyone so amazing. Granted, I didn't meet very many people, and only about half the people I met I actually got to know and most of the time, it was forced, but it certainly wasn't that way with Kendrick. I wanted to get to know Kenny as soon as we started to talk, I wanted to be close to him, I wanted to love him. I wanted him to love me. So, naturally when he asked me out on a date, I simply could not say no, as a matter of fact, I think I may have been too quick to say yes. He didn't seem to mind though. We dated for four years before we got married, and we've now been married for a year. He moved in about six months before he proposed.

My mom and sister adore him. He's funny, sweet, really adorable, understanding, and incredibly handsome.

He also seems to understand me perfectly, because I don't always have to say things for him to know what I'm thinking. He just gets me.

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"Oh, I'm just painting a picture of the river. Nothing too fancy." I smiled.

"It's looking really good, but no where near as good as you look, my love."

"You're so sweet to me," I laughed softly, "It's ridiculous."

"Is it?"

"Yeah, it kind of is." I giggled.

He just smiled and took me in his arms. He was very, very, very strong. Of course, he was in the Athletic career track, and had almost mastered the Athletic skill. I smiled up at him and we kissed each other softly

He told me that it was late, and that we should get to bed before it became too late.

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I loved it when we would crawl into bed together, because most the time, before we actually went to sleep, he'd let me lay on his chest for just a little while, and sometimes, he'd even sing me a song to help me get to sleep. It was so incredibly sweet. Every time he did that, I'd fall a little more in love with him, realizing what an amazing man I had, and that he was always going to be mine. Always. At least, that's what I hoped and prayed for. I never wanted to lose him, he was everything to me. He was the only person outside of my family that I trusted.

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He was also very warm, and he warmed me up, which was a good thing, because I had the strangest tendency to just about always be cold. I loved being with him. He was everything I needed, and everything I wanted, and I couldn't wait to have children with him,

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Courtney and I are still very close, despite her busy career and my many new found responsibilities of cooking and cleaning for everyone.

One night she burst into my room, and insisted that she had to say something that was very important, and she wanted me to be the first to know.

"Okay, okay, what is it, honey?" I asked, putting a calming hand on her shoulder.

"Well...." She began, "I just got promoted, and I feel like I'm at a place now where having a man in my life would be a good thing."

"Uh huh...?"

"And, do you remember meeting my friend Lukas? Yeah, he works in the same building as me, but for a different company. I'm in journalism, he's in business, you know the deal. Anyway, we've been seeing each other for about two-ish years now, we just haven't been together because I explained to him my work situation."

"Oh, that's interesting..." I smiled.

"Yeah, and about six months ago I told him that I was ready for a relationship, and tonight, he proposed to me!"

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"Oh, wow! Really! Oh honey, I'm so happy for you!" I squealed.

"I'm so happy too! He's such a nice guy, Tabs, he really is."

Tabs. That was her nick-name for me, and only Courtney was aloud to call me Tabs. My mom and husband could call me Tabby if they wanted to, but only Courtney could call me Tabs. She's been calling me that ever since she was a toddler.

We've always been close. It didn't matter that we didn't have the same father. Our dads were never in our lives. We were a family of women, who stuck close together and didn't need anything else. Maybe that's why we get along so well, I'll never know.

My father just came into my life. After 20 years of being divorced from my mother, I'm just now starting to get to know him, and that was mostly because he came to my wedding. However, Courtney's dad never shows up to anything, and our mom always invites him, he just simply doesn't want to come.

So even though we're only half-sisters, we're still sisters, and we're still family.

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"I'm so, so happy for you Court!" I giggled.

"I'm happy too! Oh my god! You're going to be my maid of honor, and you HAVE to help me plan!"

"Of course, my dear." I laughed, "Of course."

"Kay, good." She smiled.

"I also have some pretty big news." I whispered.

"You do?' She asked, slightly concerned.

"Yup, I just found out today."

"What did you find out?" Courtney softly questioned.

"Well, I found out that I'm pregnant!" I squealed happily.

"Wow! That's awesome! Congrats!" She smiled and hugged me really tight.

"Thanks, hun!"

"C'mon!" She smiled as she pulled me down the stairs, "We have to go tell mom!"

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As soon as my mom found out that I was pregnant, she started feeding me my favorite foods, and lots of really tasty things that were good for me to be eating. She always made sure I had a ton of food, and that I also had a ton of water.

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After I went to go see a doctor to confirm my pregnancy, I told Kenny.

I took him by the hand and led him over to the side of the room after he finished his dinner.

"Hey darling," he smiled, giving me a quick kiss, "what's up?"

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"Well," I paused, "I have some pretty big news, but don't worry, it's good news."

"Alrighty then," he said, laughing, "What's the news, then?"

"I'm pregnant!"

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His hand immediately went to my belly and he left it there, and then he looked up at me and smiled.

"Oh my god, we're gonna have a baby!"

"Yeah! We are!" I laughed.

He smiled and gave me a big hug and said he was so happy, and that he couldn't wait to meet the next baby Stephens.

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Every night when he came home from work, he'd listen, talk to, and feel my tummy, to "check" on the baby. He was so excited, he kept saying that he couldn't wait, and he read just about every parenting book he could get his hands on.

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After he'd check on the baby, he'd kiss me, tell me how much he loved me, and that he would be nothing like my dad when it came to raising our children. He swore every night that he was never going to leave me or any of the children we had, he was going to stay with us, and I wouldn't have to do it alone.

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If I ever was scared, or unsure, all I had to do was hold his hand. For some reason, that simple act was enough to make me believe anything he told me.

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The night I went into labor, I was just about to sit down to eat some dinner, and then it just happened, I felt my water break and I ran out to the car, telling Kenny to get the things we had packed up for this trip.

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Kenny freaked out a little at first, and my mom just looked a little smug, but she quickly helped him compose himself and sent him out the door to drive me to the hospital.

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At 1:09 AM, Paige Irene Stephens was born, and she was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my entire life. I just had my first baby, and from what my mom has told me, this is where the real fun begins.

I guess we're just going to have to wait and see.

LovethMia
16th Feb 2012, 1:24 AM
Yay! New baby. ^ ^

JamilaKashe
16th Feb 2012, 1:22 PM
Adorable!

Shababygal
16th Feb 2012, 1:41 PM
Yay! New baby. ^ ^

Yeah, little ones make me happy. :3

Adorable!

Thanks! :3

LovethMia
18th Feb 2012, 1:18 AM
What happened to the pictures? :( My one and only critique. I'd love to see Paige as a toddler. Baby number 2! lol ^ ^

Shababygal
18th Feb 2012, 7:22 PM
What happened to the pictures? :( My one and only critique. I'd love to see Paige as a toddler. Baby number 2! lol ^ ^

I don't know what you mean, they're all there and look to be like normal. o:


That's all going to happen in the next part! (:

LovethMia
18th Feb 2012, 9:30 PM
They're back! Lol, at first all the pictures said "image not available" or something. Courtney really looked pretty at her wedding. :)

JamilaKashe
19th Feb 2012, 7:50 AM
I like seeing them progress!

Shababygal
25th Feb 2012, 5:41 PM
They're back! Lol, at first all the pictures said "image not available" or something. Courtney really looked pretty at her wedding. :)

Ohh, really? That's odd. Thank you! (:

I like seeing them progress!

I do too! (:

Shababygal
30th Mar 2012, 8:55 AM
I'm sorry everyone! I could have sworn I posted the next part here! Next part will be up in just a few minuets! My apologies!

Shababygal
30th Mar 2012, 8:58 AM
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Paige was growing up faster than I wanted to say. I loved spending time with her. She was beautiful, always happy and she really made every day brighter.


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On Paige's birthday, I threw a party, and I invited Courtney and Lukas over. Courtney was just beginning to show, as was I. Her due date was only a few weeks before mine. We started talking about names for the babies, and how much fun it would be to have our children grow up with one another. Mom was smiling at us from across the room, while our husbands watched some TV.

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When it was time to blow out the candles, I brought Paige over and she blew them out one by one.

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My then 5-year old daughter demanded that she get her cake, and it was promptly given to her, and she ate it quicker than I would have thought possible. Afterwards, there was some present-giving. She got a few new toys and a couple new dolls, as well as a teady bear that was mine when I was a child.

She appreciated her gifts, and by the end of opening up presents, the poor thing was worn out, and Kendrick took her upstairs and put her to bed.

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Before she left, I went and talked with Courtney, joking that I could hear twins and that she needed to prepare herself. She just laughed a little, and not too long after that, she and Lukas headed home.

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Paige loved the color yellow, so, when we moved her into the "big girls room" and told her that she could design it any way she pleased, she chose yellow. Everything in her room was yellow. Everything. I tried to convince her that yellow wasn't the only color, but rather than fight her, I decided to let her have what she wanted.

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Three and a half months after Paige's birthday, I went into labor. Kendrick, now knowing what to do a little bit better than before, grabbed everything we needed, and drove me to the hospital.

I knew that I was going to come out of the hospital with a baby, however, I didn't expect to come out with my arms full.

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Everyone, meet the two newest members of the Stephens clan. Julia Naomi Stephens (right) and Natalie Jessica Stephens (left). Julia was born at 5:06 in the morning, and Natalie was born four minuets later, at 5:10 AM.

Welcome to the world, little ones.

Shababygal
30th Mar 2012, 2:42 PM
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Julia and Natalie were a handful. They looked almost exactly alike, the only difference being their hair color.
Kendrick had to work more, he was close to getting a promotion right after the girls were born, so mom helped me teach them how to walk and talk. Mom loved helping me with them. It brought her so much joy to be teaching children again. I had gone from having one beautiful daughter to having three. It was hard to adjust and I had a much busier schedule, but I loved it. My little girls were a joy, and I loved having them around.

After the girls had learned how to walk, mom and I sat down and watched them play with their toys. They played quietly together, trying to smash little blocks into little holes.

Mom smiled at me and laughed a little, causing me to turn my head and give her a quizzical look.

"Oh, it's nothing," she smiled. "I'm just enjoying being a grandmother. The girls are beautiful, Tabby. They take after you. They're learning very quickly, and they're all gonna be smart and beautiful. Just like you."

I smiled a little and watched them play, working together to get the right pegs in the right holes. When one would go in the hole, they'd clap excitedly and pick up a different peg and start the proses once again.

"Yeah," I smiled, "I suppose they do a little bit, but that's only because I take after you."

My mom smiled, crying a little as she gave me a side-hug and kissed my forehead.

"You're still with Kendrick, going on eight years of marriage. He's a wonderful father, you're a wonderful mother, taking all of your responsibilities seriously and taking care of everything, and everyone, all while still making time for yourself. I'm so proud of you, Tabby. You're doing everything right, and you're giving your children everything I couldn't give you."

I gave my mom a big hug and a tear escaped my eye. It made me so happy to know that my mother was proud of me. It touched me and I was beyond happy to know that I was doing everything right.

"It means so much to hear that, mom. You have no idea. Thank you, mom. You're the reason I'm who I am today, you taught me everything I know. I'm going to live rest of my life trying to be as good of a person as you are."

She smiled even wider at me and kissed my hair again, and then she went downstairs and made my favorite food for dinner, something she would do every time she was proud of something I did.

I just smiled and looked back at my two youngest daughters, knowing that one of my three girls would be where I am someday, and that I need to prepare them just like my mother prepared me.

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Even though he did have to work a lot more, he still managed to be home in time to help Paige with her homework and read her a bedtime story before she went to bed. Paige really loved having that quality time with her dad and he really loved spending time with her. It really was their little bit of quality time. He had almost completely mastered the Logic skill, so he was very good at explaining things to her in ways she could understand. It was cute to watch, and I was happy that my daughter had the father I could have only dreamed of having.

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When Julia and Natalie's birthday came around, I invited over Courtney and her triplets. Yes, that's right, Courtney had triplets. Two girls, and a boy. Regina, Ursula, and Eric. Their birthday had been a few days before, but rather than having two different parties, we all just had one big one. That being said, there were five cakes and five young children. To say it was chaotic is an understatement. However, when it was Julia's turn to blow out her candles, I don't think I ever saw her more excited. Maybe it because she knew she was going to be getting cake once everyone was done blowing out their candles.

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When it was Natalie's turn, she giggled a lot and blew her candles out with a huge puff of air. She was pleased to have blown them all out, and since she was the youngest, and the last to blow out the candles on her cake, everyone ran to get a slice of one cake or another.

Needless to say, after a whole bunch of cake, all the kids were hyper, so we let them loose in the back yard, where they all played on the mini playground we had back there, having a blast and enjoying themselves until late in the evening when Courtney and her family had to head home.

We said goodbye to each other and hugged. It had been almost two months since we saw each other, the both of us being so busy with our young children. She had quit her job, swearing up and down that one day she'd get back into it, but I could tell that she wouldn't be able to, and that made me sad because I knew that she wouldn't be able to fulfill her lifetime wish.

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Two years later, it was Kenny's 37th birthday, and my 35th was a few days later. We had a small party that consisted of our close family friends, and we went out to dinner together. It was a small party, but still a party. We were both full-fledged adults now, with three children, and fairly advanced in our careers. I was a level 9 painter, and he was a level 7 in the athletic career track. Mom took the girls out for a night so Kenny and I could have the house to ourselves, which was something we both appreciated.

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In her later years in life, mom took up gardening. She loved it, and would spend most of the day outside tending the garden. She'd come back in at the end of the night and teach me new recipes using all the fruits and vegetables she harvested that day. It was a fun and unique experience that we both enjoyed. I loved cooking with my mother, and when we cooked together, the meal was always so much better than when we cooked on our own.


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Kendrick and I stayed close, even after 15 years of marriage. Being with him was how being with someone was supposed to be. Things weren't perfect, we had our disagreements, but he was my best friend, he was everything I wanted and everything I needed. He understood me and I understood him, and he was always home, every night and he was always there to sleep by my side. He always whispered in my that he loved me, and he'd always hold me when we drifted off to sleep together. He was the man my father could have never been. He was the best husband that I could have ever asked for, and the best thing that had ever happened to me. I loved him with every part of my soul, and I knew that he felt the same way about me. I trusted him completely, and I was beyond glad to have him in my life.


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When Paige's 13th birthday rolled around, I invited the family and a few of her friends. She had a great party and I had a lot of fun too, but I also realized that she was a teenager, and soon she'd be driving, bringing home boys, going to prom, staying out late, and the thought of all of that scared the living hell out of me.


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Paige was a beautiful teenager. She looked quite a bit like me when I was her age. That thought made me smile. For her birthday we got her a keyboard, a guitar and a bass. She was musically talented and she was beyond excited to get those instruments for her birthday.

The party lasted a few more hours, but it was on a Sunday night, so I sent the girls upstairs to go to bed, letting Paige stay up an hour later than her younger sisters, and that seemingly gave her quite a bit of joy.

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When Kendrick and I went to bed that night, I smiled as we laid in each others arms and he kissed my forehead and mumbled into my hair.

"Do you remember how we met?"

I laughed softly, "Oh, how could I forget?"

He chuckled a little.

"I don't know, but I do enjoy reflecting upon the story."

"You mean Tina, your cousin embarrassing the hell out of me?"

"It couldn't have been that embarrassing. All she did was tell me that you thought I was attractive."

"Oh no," I started, "It was much worse than that."

"Oh was it?" He questioned.

"Yes, yes it was."

"Then tell me how awful it was." He chuckled.

"Alright, alright." I laughed, "So basically, Tina invited me over to hang out and watch some movies, and I was totally cool with that. Watching movies, popcorn, hanging out, it was all fun. So, I cam over. In my god-awful pj's and my hair in a mess. She didn't tell me that you and your friends were there. So, I walk in, carrying The Notebook and a box of popcorn and then I see you, and like your four friends all sitting there and chilling out. I saw you first and I thought you were so hot, I could not stop blushing."

"I could tell," he laughed, "You were so adorable."

I blushed a little bit and continued explaining exactly why the experience of our first meeting was so embarrassing, "So then, Tina comes down and we go upstairs into her room and the very first thing I ask her is 'Whoa, who's that really hot guy downstairs?' and she asked if I meant you, and I said yes, and she said, 'Oh, that's my cousin. Sorry. I didn't think about telling you he was here visiting.' I fell back on her bed. I was so embarrassed. Especially since when I first saw you I couldn't stop blabbing on about what I was there doing. So, then Tina goes downstairs to pop the popcorn and I suppose that's when she told you what I thought about you."

"You would be correct in thinking that." He smiled.

"She comes back up, we watch a few movies, we fall asleep, the next day I come downstairs and there you are in a pair of boxers getting some cereal and I squeak out of embarrassment and then you turn around and we start to talk..."

"I noticed how beautiful you looked as you were coming down the stairs. Your hair was all wild and messy, but it was beautiful, it framed your face perfectly. You had this unzipped hoodie on and it was off one shoulder and the sun was coming in through the main window. It danced off your hair and the skin on your shoulder and reflected in your eyes. Your cheeks were so red, I laughed a little. You were simply too cute. So, when we started to talk and I saw that you relaxed a little, I asked you out on a date."

"In the middle of your aunts kitchen, wearing nothing but a pair of boxers."

"Yup."

"And I squeaked out a very excited yes and gave you my number."

"And we went out on our first date two days later." He chuckled, kissing my lips softly.

"Mhmm, indeed we did." I laughed a little, kissing him back softly and lovingly.

"Now look at us, 17 years later, married for 15 years, with three beautiful daughters, still as in love as ever." He smiled widely, kissing me once more.

I smiled and snuggled into him whispering softly, "Yeah, I'm really happy about that. Thank you for not being like my father, Kenny. Thank you for loving me, and our children. Thank you for keeping your promises and staying with me. Thank you for being a wonderful husband and father. I love you more than I can say."

He gave me a deep, reassuring kiss, "Tabby, it;s my pleasure to love you, our kids, to keep my promises and to spend every second possible with you. I love you more than anything, Tabby, and I will never, ever hurt you, and I will never, ever, ever be like your father."

I smiled and looked into his eyes and we stayed like that for quite some time. How long, I'm not sure. All I know that was that night, I slept peacefully in the arms of the man who loved me and that I loved.

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Two months later, my mom got news that my father, Don Lothario, had passed away two nights before. She was completely heart broken. I never really knew my father, so the fact that he was gone didn't really upset me. But it broke my mothers heart. It was like watching her after the divorce all over again. She was so upset, it was painful to watch.

I heard her crying in the bathroom that was next to her room. I went inside to see her crying while sitting up next to the wall. My mom looked broken. It was the only time I had ever seen her that way, and I had no idea what to do.

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I helped her up and held on to her shoulders.

"Mom? Why are you so sad? I thought you hated my father."

"Oh, sweetheart," she breathed, "I never hated him. I could never hate him. I loved him more that you could fathom. He was the love of my life, Tabby. I dated many guys before your father, and even one or two after, but he was the one I loved the most, he was the one I wanted to be with more than anything else. He was the man I loved. I have a box underneath my bed with all our wedding photos, and the ring he gave me."

"But he cheated on you, and you divorced him. If you loved him so much, why did you divorce him, momma?"

"Because I was mad, and I was hurt. But one gets over being mad and hurt after 30 or so years my dear. I'm not saying I regret the divorce, because that divorce gave me your beautiful sister, but god damn, honey, I loved your father, and no one, I really do mean no one else could compare to him."

I looked in her eyes and I saw all those years of sorrow and loneliness. My heart broke for her and I gave her a big hug.

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"I'm sorry, momma." I whispered.

She cried a little into my shoulder. "I just wish I could have told him before he died that I was in love with him just as much as I was when we got married, but now he'll never know."

"No mom, I'm sure he knows. I'm sure he knows."

She cried harder into my shoulder and I held onto her. My mom had always been so strong, so to see her like this broke my heart. She sounded so old, and weak, like she was about to break for the last time and I started crying too.

"I loved your father. Remember that. I loved him, and he gave me you. He loved you, too. I hope you know that."

The tears started coming a little bit faster and I whispered, "I know mom. I know."

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Three days later I got up int the middle of the night to go get some water. I walked passed my mothers room and I didn't hear anything in there. I looked inside and I saw my mother. I went over to her, and I touched her shoulder. It was cold. I called 911 and they came and confirmed that she had died in her sleep in the middle of the night.

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We had her funeral a few days later and we laid her to rest in the back yard underneath a willow tree, right next to my father. We held a funeral service for her and the entire town came, showing their respects for my mom.

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A few months after my moms funeral, I found out that I was preggers once again, and the doctor confirmed it when I went in the next day. It was at that point Kendrick and I decided to re-build our home.

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The old house was torn down, save a few pieces, and the new one was built and finished three months later. We had one guest room put downstairs, and one put upstairs that could easily be converted into a bedroom. The house was huge. But even though the house and most of the things inside were new, I still thought of my mom all the time, and it was hard not having her around, and I could often times be found crying in the kitchen. Kendrick would always just come up behind me and kiss my hair and assure me everything was okay. I believed him, for the most part. I still missed my mother dearly, though.

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Not too long after the new house was built, I had another surprise. Another set of twins, and this time, they were boys. Everyone, welcome Chase Alec Stephens (left) and Scott Don Stephens (right).

Looks like we needed that second upstairs guest room after all.

Shababygal
1st Apr 2012, 4:15 PM
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Kenny absolutely adored taking care of his sons. He loved Scott and Chase very much, they were his boys. He could often be found just sitting in their room, playing with them. He told me after we brought them home that he was going to sign them up for sports, take them camping and fishing, and do a whole bunch of "guy stuff" with them. It made me smile, I loved seeing Kenny so excited. He loved all our kids, but I think the two boys really made him happy simply because he didn't think we'd ever have any. We both taught them how to walk and talk, and he volunteered to do the potty training, as I had done it for all the girls. I was very much okay with this arrangement.

Often times when all the girls were at school, I'd sit in the doorway and watch him play with the boys. His eyes would light up, and he was so very happy to have them in our home, as was I. Both boys take after their father with most of their looks and eye color, but have my hair color and nose. They're quite adorable, if I do say so myself.

It really was a shame that mom couldn't be here to see them, she would have been just ask excited as Kenny is. I thought to myself more than once during those many times I stood in the doorway watching Kenny, Scott, and Chase play.

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When the girls' 13th birthday came around, I felt much older than I really am. We threw a party with all of their friends from school and our family members. Her cousins had already had their party two and a half weeks before, simply because we didn't want five-sugar high teenagers running about.

Julia got to go to her cake first. She was quite excited and when she blew out her candles, everyone cheered.

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When it was Natalie's turn, everyone got even more excited because they knew after she was done, they'd be getting cake, and after all, who doesn't love cake?

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Natalie looked like the perfect blend between Kendrick and I. She had my hair, Kenny's eyes, and a mix between our face shapes. She's quite beautiful, and I think with the hairstyle she currently has, she looks quite a bit like me when I was a teenager.

She loves the color purple, and following in her oldest sisters footsteps, she has a completely purple room, and has not changed it since her birthday, which I honestly thought she would.

She basically only ever wore two colors; purple and black. She was quite the artist, and she would ask me on many occasions to teach her how to paint better.

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Julia, like her sisters, is beautiful, and I personally think she takes more after Kenny.
Julia is the sweetheart of our family. She's constantly thinking about others and asking if we can donate some money to some charity she found out about. She loves the color pink, and like her two sisters, has her entire room decorated in that color.

She's very happy, and sweet to everyone. There are very few people in her class that are not friends with her, and she is genuinely liked.

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Paige was now in her Junior year in highschool, and while for the first few years she basically ignored boys (much to my delight), she decided that now was a good time to get involved and there was one boy, Jordan Crowely who had caught her eye. She invited him over for dinner so that Kenny and I could meet him, and he was quite the nice guy, and he seemed to be head over-heals for Paige. To be honest, seeing those two together were adorable.

Kenny, however was not seeing the adorableness of the situation and said that he "really didn't like the kid", and that made me laugh. I had always heard about fathers being over protective, but I really didn't see it happen until now.

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In the few years that have passed since mom died, someone had to take over looking after the garden. That someone ended up being me, and it took up quite a bit of my free time, but I did it simply because I knew that my mom loved her plants, and she'd want me to take care of them for her. I also enjoyed being outside in the late afternoon, after the girls come home from their after-school clubs. They'll hang out on the playground and talk about things they did that day, and it was a great way to hear about how their social lives were going.

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One afternoon a few weeks ago, Natalie brought a boy over. His name was Clifford Gains, and those two had been friends in elementary school, but since she started highschool, I hadn't seen much of him. So when I saw those two together, I laughed a little to myself. Cliff was obviously crushing hard on Natalie, and I over heard him ask her to the spring dance. She said yes, and my smile grew even wider, and I could really see those two together sometime in the future.

Seeing the girls interact with each other and boys made me realize that one of them will be taking over the legacy some day, and some day soon. It was hard to think who I would pass it on to, each one of my girls was so beautiful, and very capable.

However, it wasn't time to chose yet, so that's good, but it wont be too long until it's time to chose.

-------

A/N: Who do you guys think should take over?

Squalls_Lover
2nd Apr 2012, 7:03 PM
He whispered in my ear, "Do you mind if after we finish here, we go back to your place?"

"For what reason?" I asked, laughing. "Dinner?"

"Sure, we'll start with Dinner. Who knows, though, Miss. Stephens, you might want me to stay longer, for other purposes..."


Hehehe, i love this kind of thing. ;) Rrrrowr. It's very easy going and fun to read! :rofl:

Squalls_Lover
2nd Apr 2012, 8:41 PM
Ah, finished. Wow...it's very long! I've never actually finished a generation - i.e. finished a sim life from cradle to grave. I don't know why, but I just get bored with my sims doing whatever's expected of them. But you've made me realize how much fun it can be - endless possiblities. So much to do... and the interaction between child and parent and all that, nice.

I was sad to see Harmony go....but that's what you said 10 generations!


Brilliant work, I love your writing. It's very realistic and life-like. I can really connect with the sim.



Keep it up!

Love


Squalls_Lover

Shababygal
3rd Apr 2012, 3:42 AM
Ah, finished. Wow...it's very long! I've never actually finished a generation - i.e. finished a sim life from cradle to grave. I don't know why, but I just get bored with my sims doing whatever's expected of them. But you've made me realize how much fun it can be - endless possiblities. So much to do... and the interaction between child and parent and all that, nice.

I was sad to see Harmony go....but that's what you said 10 generations!


Brilliant work, I love your writing. It's very realistic and life-like. I can really connect with the sim.



Keep it up!

Love


Squalls_Lover

Haha, thank you! (: I'm glad you enjoyed it. :3

I thought the same thing at first, but then I read over the 10 Gen. challenge, and read a few stories and realized the possibilities are nearly endless. It kinda makes you not want to play how you normally would. You realize your Sim's lives don't *have* to be a certain way, and things can certainly happen unexpectedly.

Yeah, I was very sad when she died. However, I think Tabby has done quite well, thanks to her mother's teachings.

Thank you! I hope I don't disappoint! (:

Squalls_Lover
3rd Apr 2012, 7:02 AM
From what I've seen, I'm sure you won't disappoint. :)

JamilaKashe
5th Apr 2012, 1:20 PM
Love the updates! I've missed your story lol, I wouldn't know who to choose if we really had to choose right now. The kids have pretty much been mentioned in passing so far, but Natalie seems to be something else lol. I mean that in a good way lol. Can't wait to see what you do with her.

Shababygal
7th Apr 2012, 2:54 AM
From what I've seen, I'm sure you won't disappoint. :)

<3

Love the updates! I've missed your story lol, I wouldn't know who to choose if we really had to choose right now. The kids have pretty much been mentioned in passing so far, but Natalie seems to be something else lol. I mean that in a good way lol. Can't wait to see what you do with her.

Thank you! :D
Yeah, in the next part you get more of a feel for who the girls are, what the like, what they don't like, their love interests, ect. So, you'll get to know them all a little better. :3
She kind of is. She's like the only Sim I've ever seen to get mood swings ALL the time as a teenager, haha xD Like, she's had quite a few of them, so I always gotta keep an eye on her. xD

Shababygal
10th Apr 2012, 6:16 AM
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When the boys' 5th birthday came around, we invited my sisters family over for a barbecue, at Kenny's request. They were growing up so quickly, it shocked me. I couldn't believe how big they already were. Its surprising how quickly the years go by. However, I was happy that I wasn't going to be having anymore children. 5 children is more than enough to keep me busy for quite sometime. I was in my mid forties when the boys were born, and now that they're 5 years old, I'm pushing 50 while Courtney is in her late 30's. God, I feel old.

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Paige is now 17. She's our little musician. She's most skilled in her piano playing, but she also plays guitar, bass, and is trying to convince her father and I to buy her a drum set. We wont. Not ever. If she wants to play her keyboard at 1:30 in the morning, she can turn it down, drums on the other hand...oh, I just shudder at the thought. She's the most creative in our family. All the girls in the family, including my mother, did ballet as children, however Paige was the best in her class by far, and got a special statue for her achievements in the class. She does music club after school and is the best in her group at everything musical. She's a real virtuoso and loves everything that has even anything remotely to do with music.

Her other interests include going after guys her father doesn't like. First, there was Jayden Ratcliff. "Jay", as she called him, was a junior when she was a freshman, and he wasn't the best kid to be around. He was rude, loud, and rather obnoxious, and if I may speak bluntly, kind of a dick. So, because he was the first boy she introduced to us, Kenny now assumes that she goes after the same kind of guy, and that's part of the reason why he's so against Jordan Crowley, even though, from what I've seen of him, he's a nice kid.

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Julia is 15, and she's our writer/future journalist. She adores writing, much like Courtney. She especially loves writing factual articles on whatever is assigned to her. She's also the bookworm of our family, and like me, you could say she's a bit of a loner. She is very friendly once she gets to know people and is a real sweetie. You could say that she's a girly girl, but also a bit of a nerd. She's not too interested in boys, but she does keep talking about this one guy, Nickolas Rapp. He's in the newspaper club with her and she thinks that he's "quite amazing".

She's shy in school and she's always the first one to finish her homework and help her younger brothers with theirs. Her voice, like she is, is very soft and sweet, and I can see her being quite an excellent mother someday. However, she doesn't want to be stuck at home, and she insists that she's going to become a journalist, and eventually, be the star of the evening news.

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Natalie is much like me in the sense that she loves art, and she loves to paint. She also adores taking photographs and is quite good at it. She'll spend hours painting after she does her homework, and sometimes, we'll even paint something together, which can be a rather awesome experience. She's very much a free spirit and while she say's that she "really likes" Cliff, she's not in an exclusive relationship with him, and "doesn't really plan on it", either.

She tells me that she wants to travel, and go see the world before she's "too old to enjoy it", and I love the fire she has. She's very passionate and very much an intense personality. Most people find her to be over the top and loud, but it's that very thing about her that makes me smile. She knows what she wants and how to get it.

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Teaching the girls to drive was the most terrifying experience I have ever encountered in my entire life. There was a lot of yelling, break-stomping and mini heart attacks. Julia was the easiest to teach to drive, then came Paige, and Natalie...Nat was quite the pain to teach, as she kept insisting that I had no idea what I was doing. Not that I "ever did anyway", according to her.

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Mostly, the boys were very...well, they were boys, and Kenny was more than happy to run around outside with them, push them on the swings, or throw a ball around with them. As a pro athlete, he didn't tire out until after the boys did, which was always a good thing, as by the end of playtime with their dad, they were worn out.

Scott was a little more...intense. His personality was the most like his older sister, Natalie's. Chase, on the other hand was very outgoing, funny, and very active, but he wasn't as in your face as his slightly older brother.

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After the school dance in late spring, everyone displayed their dance pictures in their room. Julia, being the lover of pink that she was, wore an all pink dress, the same color as her carpet. I tried to get her to wear another color, but she insisted on the pink.

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Natalie went with Cliff, and they were just plain adorable in their picture. She kept insisting that she was "just keeping him around for now", but you could see when they were together, you could see how into each other they really were.

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And when Paige went to prom with Jordan and won prom queen, I was beyond happy to have my oldest daughter win, like I had when I was her age.

All in all, as I watched my daughters grow, I was more and more torn as to who I was going to pass the legacy on to. Each one of the girls would be amazing as mothers and at upholding the legacy, and as time went on, the choice just got harder and harder.

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I was now, thankfully, a much, much better cook than I was before. Now that I was at level 8 in my cooking skill, as well as level 7 in gardening, the meals I was making were continuing to get better and better, and I think my mother would be beyond proud of how good of a cook I'm becoming.

However, now that I was gardening, cooking, cleaning, yelling at my children to clean their rooms and do their homework, calling the repair man every time something broke, doing all the laundry and attempting to spend some time with my husband and children, I hardly ever had any time to paint anymore. That made me a little sad. I loved painting, it was the way that I dealt with things, or just the way I relaxed. Now, however, I never had the time.

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After Kenny would come home from work, the kids would have just finished eating dinner, and were normally burning off some steam by playing a game or doing a fun activity together. Most of the time, it was hopscotch. Everyone loved to play hopscotch.

Often times, on Friday nights, whoever wasn't out on a date or catching up on late homework was playing hopscotch in the play area off the living room.

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A few months before her 18th birthday, Paige came up to me while I was in the garden and asked me something that was quite unexpected.

"Mom?" She asked.

"Yes, Paige?"

"Um...I was wondering if it'd be okay if I got a horse."

"A horse? Why do you want a horse?" I questioned, very confused.

"One of my best friends, Sara West has one, and he's so beautiful, and well, I just really want one. We have the land, the yard already has a fence a horse can't jump, all we need is the stall and another small fence to protect the plants." She mumbled.

"Where are you going to get the money to buy a horse?"

"Oh, I'm not gonna buy one, mom. I'm going to adopt one. Plus, I've been saving up money from my job at the grocery store, I already have my car...please?"

"I'll think about it sweetie," I smiled, now knowing exactly what to get her for her birthday.

"So, I'm guessing that means that you need to talk to dad about it?" She asked.

"Yup, now, hurry up and get ready for work, silly."

She smiled and skipped back into the house, and I just laughed a little, smiling widely at her.

Shababygal
10th Apr 2012, 6:17 AM
Paige: ~
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-TLuJxxmg7Yc/T4O8ddfZPMI/AAAAAAAAAas/HVY09dpNtXA/s1600/Paige.png


Natalie: ~
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JamilaKashe
10th Apr 2012, 10:16 PM
I'm leaning towards Natalie, seems to have a little rebel in her. Although, I'm not sure if Cliff should end up being her husband or lifetime mate, but he's cool for just dating in high school. I see Natalie being with someone a little more like her, someone with a little edge. Maybe my feelings about him will change by the end of Tabby's saga.

Shababygal
15th Apr 2012, 4:40 PM
I'm leaning towards Natalie, seems to have a little rebel in her. Although, I'm not sure if Cliff should end up being her husband or lifetime mate, but he's cool for just dating in high school. I see Natalie being with someone a little more like her, someone with a little edge. Maybe my feelings about him will change by the end of Tabby's saga.

Oh, she does. xD Her personality is very loud, at least, when I write her, or something about her, that's what I feel its like. (:

Shababygal
15th Apr 2012, 4:49 PM
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The next day I made a point to speak to Kenny before he left for work about possibly getting our oldest daughter a horse. When I told him the idea, he laughed.

"She wants a horse?" He chuckled, seeming to be amused at the idea.

"Yeah. She does." I replied with a smile.

"Well, she wants either a drum set, or a horse, and we both know she will not be getting the drum set anytime soon." He grinned.

"You have a point."

"So, it's settled. We'll go pick out a horse for her in a few days, so she can meet the horse and decide if she wants to adopt the one we picked out for her, or if she wants a different one, and by the time all of that happens, it should be reasonable to let the horse be her birthday present." Kendrick spoke.

I smiled and gave him a quick kiss before heading back inside to get dressed. I was going to go look at the horses after Kenny left for work, and then when he had his day off, I'd make sure he liked the horse as well.

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We chose on a beautiful mixed breed mare. She was very well tempered and smart and very friendly. Her name was China and when Kenny and I brought Paige to see her, we could tell that we had picked out the perfect horse for her.

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Two and a half weeks later, we brought China home, and instantly, Paige began to ride her around the neighborhood. At first the poor girl was scared to death about falling off, but, as time went by, you could see her getting more and more comfortable.

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Most nights when the kids were out or sleeping, and everything was quiet, Kenny and I would relax in our room and talk. Sometimes we'd talk about the day, the week, how things were going in our life, our kids. The topic of who to pass the legacy on to came up a few times as well. The conversation would normally fell from daughter to daughter, lingering for a moment on a different one of our girls each time.

One night, while we were talking, Kenny whispered, "Whoever you chose, I'll support you. I'm sure your mother would too."

I smiled at him and gave him a soft kiss, smiling a little at him. Kenny always knew what I needed to hear, and what to say to calm me down. He was the definition of a good husband, and I was beyond happy to have him as mine, and in my life.

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In the month before Paige's 18th birthday, Natalie and Cliff started to hang out more and more. Each time they hung out at night, she'd cut it closer and closer to curfew. When I asked her about it, she just kept saying that Cliff was just that awesome of a guy, that when she was around him, she easily lost track of time.

I smiled at her when I heard that, realizing how crazy about him she must actually be.

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The boys were getting older, and because of this, Kenny would take them down to the hatchery in town and let them do a little bit of fishing. It was a good way for all of the boys to bond and spend time together. Scott and Chase adored it, and they would bring back fish for me to use as fertilizer in my garden.

Scott loved to be outside. Often times, you could see him standing beside me in the garden, talking about plants, animals, life, nature and playing outside.

Chase, on the other hand didn't really care either way, he just wanted to spend time with his brother and father, and get away from all the drama three teenage girls can create.

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I started to try and let Paige have some more freedom. She was going to be a young adult soon, and so, she needed more freedom, as well as responsibility. She had a job, car, and a horse to take care of, all on top of her school work, and she was doing very well.

I pushed her curfew back to midnight, and she would normally be home by 11:15 when she went on dates with Jordan. One night, however, she didn't make it home until almost 2 AM.

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To say that Kendrick was mad would be an understatement. He was furious and scolded Paige for staying out so late, especially with a boy. He grounded her until her birthday, and she did not think that was fair. She explained that they went out to dinner after the movie, and it had simply taken forever to get inside, eat, pay the bill and leave. The diner was all the way across town, and it took awhile to come back.

I eventually said that I understood her reason, and that she was still grounded, but for only a week, and to go upstairs. She seemed to think that was more reasonable, and went to bed. I told Kenny not to worry about it either. It was a Friday night, she was nearly 18, and there was no reason to be so mad that she was out with a boy, especially one as kind and reasonable as Jordan.

He eventually sighed and admitted I was right, and that he had simply been worried about her. The next day he lifted off all punishment, and told her not to stay out so late again. She agreed and swore to always be home by a reasonable hour.

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When Paige's 18th birthday came around, all of her friends from school came. All in all, the party was a blast, and my oldest daughter was now a young adult, ready to take on the world.

LovethMia
20th Apr 2012, 12:26 AM
Now that I read it again, Paige does need to be on her own it seems. She might be the first to leave. So...I go for Natalie too! I wonder what the boys will be like.


You know... I'm leaning toward Paige actually. I love that she wants a horse and Jordan could be a good husband. She's my favorite lol.

Shababygal
1st May 2012, 9:26 AM
Now that I read it again, Paige does need to be on her own it seems. She might be the first to leave. So...I go for Natalie too! I wonder what the boys will be like.


You know... I'm leaning toward Paige actually. I love that she wants a horse and Jordan could be a good husband. She's my favorite lol.


So, Nat? xD

I love them all. xD

LovethMia
2nd May 2012, 12:22 AM
Yep! My votes for Natalie. She seems like she has a feisty spirit. Lol

Shababygal
27th May 2012, 11:51 PM
I'm sorry everyone! D: My sister was sick, so I was trying to help her feel better, and I got sick, and it was a pretty nasty bug, but I'm feeling better now!
Next chapter WILL be up very soon! (:

bbc100
28th May 2012, 5:07 AM
YAY!!! Glad that you fell better now!

JamilaKashe
29th May 2012, 9:04 AM
Welcome back, glad you're snuffle free.

Shababygal
30th May 2012, 1:36 AM
Thanks guys (:
It would have been up by now but my game is being kind of glitchy. Hopefully I can get the rest of the pics I need ad have it up tonight (:

Shababygal
30th May 2012, 5:18 AM
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A year and four months later, the boys celebrated their 13th birthday, and that made me feel beyond old, but also very happy. We did still have a party at the house, but the next day, Kenny took the boys on a weekend camping trip, which is something they both still talk about.

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Paige adored her horse, as she was nearly almost always outside with her and they seemed to have a close bond. She would spend her days outside riding China then toward mid-afternoon take her into the stable, brush her, give her food, clean her hooves and dart inside for a short while, shower, and then go off and spend her nights with Jordan.

She was always doing something. It might have been the guitar, piano, bass, riding China, on the phone with Jordan, on a date with Jordan, or talking to some friends.

Most nights, she and Jordan would be at our home for dinner. I thought that Jordan was a really nice guy, and that he was going to be good for my daughter. He just had this look in his eyes whenever he'd glance at her, and she gave him the same look in return, and I knew that it was simply a matter of time before they got married.

Kenny was starting to warm up to Jordan, but just barely. I knew he saw the way Jordan looked at Paige, and there were times when he'd catch my eye and we both knew that it wouldn't be long, especially when it got nearer to Paige's 21st birthday.

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On her 21st birthday, Paige and Jordan went out to dinner, along with Kenny and I.
After dinner, they walked outside, hand in hand and a few moment's later, the entire restaurant smiled when they heard a loud, high pitched "Yes!"
A few days beforehand, Jordan asked us if we were okay with him proposing to Paige. Kenny said that he was okay with it if I was, and I definitely was more than happy to have my daughter marry such a nice young man, however, we didn't expect him to propose so soon.
Kenny and I walked outside and gave our daughter a hug, she was beaming with tears of joy in her eyes.
I began to cry as well, my beautiful daughter was going to get married! I was going to be a grandmother! The joy I felt in my heart for my daughter at that time was unbelievable. I had high hopes for her and her soon to be husband.

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A few weeks after Paige announced her engagement to the family, I found out that the oldest of my beautiful twins had a boyfriend. A Mr. Nicholas Rapp. He was a complete opposite of her. He was loud, sometimes rude, and very opinionated, while Julia was very quiet, extremely polite and soft-spoken. They complimented eachother beautifully.

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Six months after the engagement was announced, the twins celebrated their 18th birthday.

It was a huge party where all the family, and friends came over. Everyone had a blast, and I looked at my girls, how beautiful and strong they were, and I realized how difficult choosing a heiress really would be.

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Both girls made incredibly beautiful young women. I keep getting told that the resemblance between me and Nat is astounding, and I kind of agree. She looks almost exactly like I did when I was her age.

Nat is quite the character. She's always been a little on the "edgy" side, and is very loud and kind of demanding. She knows what she wants and how to get it, and I can see that she's very strong, and capable of doing anything she sets her mind to.

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Julia is also extremely beautiful, and she looks a lot like Kenny. She is very soft, gentile, kind and a fantastic writer. She is very reserved, and while she's soft spoken, she has the ability to make sure she gets her way.

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Nat is also very artistic. She is always painting something and isn't happy unless she has paint on her hands. She adores art, and her lifetime wish is to master both photography and painting.

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Julia is always at her computer. She recently got a job in the journalism career, just like her aunt did when she was about her age. She was very determined, however to actually accomplish her lifetime wish.

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Things between Nat and Cliff keep getting more and more intense. Throughout the years, they have been very on-and-off, but looking at them, you know that they're in love, and I know that it wont be long before Kenny and I get approached by him. Nat insists that it's nothing-like she always has, but the way she looks at him is unmistakable. She's in love with him, and he's in love with her, and someday soon, they'll be exchanging vows.

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A few weeks ago, Julia called me into her room.

"Hey, mom!" Julia smiled as she got up from her chair and gave me a hug.

"Hey sweetie." I grinned, "What's up?"

"I need to talk to you about the whole heiress thing." She whispered, looking down at the ground.

"What's wrong?" I asked when I saw a tear escape her eye.

"Nothing, momma," she whispered, "I just don't want you to be disappointed in me."

I gave her a hug and smoothed down her hair, "Julia, honey, why on earth would I ever be disappointed in you?"

"Because, mom," she let out a ragged breath and then whispered into my shoulder, "I don't want to be the heiress the the legacy."

"Why?" I asked, curious.

"Because, I feel like that would seriously be too much for me to handle. I don't want to have any more than one child, ever, and I wont do so until much later in my life. I need to be a star news anchor, and I wont get there if I have to worry about upholding the legacy. It's too much pressure for me, mom."

"I understand, Julia. It's okay, I'll decide between Nat and Paige then, okay? You go ahead and do whatever you want with your life, okay? You won't have to be the one to uphold the Stephens legacy."

"You're not disappointed?" She asked in a soft voice.

"No sweetie, I'm not." I said as I hugged her tightly

"Thanks mom." She whispered as she hugged me back before stepping away and telling me she had to get back to writing an article due in three days for the Riverview Times.

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Later on that night while I was cooking dinner, I let out a sigh of relief. My choice was just made that much easier, and I knew that I was going to have some long talks with Kenny in the near future about who will take on the Legacy.
After all, I was going to be turning 65 here in just about another year or so, and I need to make a choice before then.
Well, at least it's now going to be a little bit easier.

Shababygal
1st Jun 2012, 4:11 PM
I just added some stuff to the first post. Basically, just some links to a few things that you guys may be interested in, such as the family tree, and a website that's dedicated to Stephens Family Extras, basically things like baby pictures, wedding pictures, family pictures, random stuff that may have happened in game, and generation overviews, so, here's the link to both of those here as well.
Stephens Family Tree (http://www.familyecho.com/?p=QK7EL&c=1637w8d3gzo&f=447575612605495179) (May contain spoilers)
Stephens Family Extra's Website (http://xkandyix.wix.com/stephenslegacy) A look at all extra things Stephens! For example, wedding pictures, baby pictures, and generation overviews.(May contain spoilers)
Let me know what you guys think! (:

Shababygal
2nd Jun 2012, 9:22 AM
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As the time to chose a heiress got ever closer, the longer Kenny and I would spend together talking about who would take over for me. It was a hard choice, and I wanted to make sure that the daughter I gave the legacy to would be able to give my grandchildren the kind of life I gave them. A good one, with both parents in their lives, and with both parents loving them.

"Kenny?"

He smiled and kissed my forehead, "Yes, my love?"

"Who do you think I should give the legacy to?" I asked in a small voice.

"Honey, we've gone over this," he began, "I'll support you and whoever you choose."

"I know," I said, resting my head on his shoulder, "but I want to know, who do you feel would be best suited to inherit the legacy?"

He chuckled a little, "Well, if I had my choice, I would probably say Julia. She has a lot of patience, she explains things very well, and she's compassionate. However, she doesn't want to inherit it, so she's out. Now, between Natalie and Paige, I'm not sure. Paige want's to be in the spotlight, and that's not good for a family. And while Jordan seems like he's going to be a good match for her, I'm not sure. Now Natalie, that little girl has some fire in her. In some ways, she reminds me of your mother. Harmony told me some stories about when she was younger, and it sounds a lot like Natalie. Those two also had a really close bond when your mom was alive. However, the on and off thing with Cliff either needs to stay on or stay off, and she needs to settle down if she's to inherit the legacy."

I smiled a little, "Yeah, Nat is a firecracker. I also agree that she needs to settle down if she wants the legacy. Now as far as Paige goes, she want's to do a little bit of music on the side. Jordan is going into medicine. He's going to end up making bank and he'll support his family beautifully. He's a hard worker, and a good man. All that being said, Paige wont have to work, she'll be able to take care of the house and children, and have time to do whatever she pleases."

He gave me a soft smile and tilted my head up and gave me a deep, loving kiss.

"Once again, my dear," Kenny paused, "It's your choice, and I'll support you."

I looked up at my loving husband. The man I have known since I was a young woman. The man I've been in love with for nearly 40 years and I kissed him softly, and lovingly.

"Thank you," I whispered.

"Anytime, my love, anytime." He smiled as he kissed my hair softly.

It was then I knew what I had to do.

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Kenny and I still went out on dates every now and again, now that the kids were all grown up enough to take care of themselves for an evening. We would never go really far, or for too long, just for an evening at the bistro for dinner, and then a walk around the park. It was never very much, but, it was always pleasant, and I enjoyed the time I had with my husband.

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A few weeks before Paige's bachelorette party that her sisters insisted that she have, I got a call from a sobbing Courtney.

"Courtney? Honey, what's wrong?" I asked.

She sniffled and then let out a ragged sigh, "Regina, my youngest daughter, she...she's dead."

"What?" I gasped, feeling tears spill over.

"She drowned. She was driving along Riverview Highway, and she was trying to avoid a deer in the road, and she swerved too far the car fell into the river. The fire department and the EMT's got there as quickly as they could but, it was too late-she was already dead. She couldn't get out of the car...oh dear god, Tabs, my baby, she's gone, my baby's dead, Tabby!" Courtney cried, unable to control her emotions. I heard Lukas in the background, trying to soothe her, and when that failed, he took the phone.

"Hey Tabby." Lukas murmured.

"Hey," I replied.

"The funeral is going to be in a few days, and we want to know if we can lay her to rest in the family plot in the back of your property, where everyone's been laid to rest so far."

"Oh, of course! Not a problem. We can lay her down there. That's completely fine." I rushed.

I sat there and started to cry as the realization hit me. Regina was so young-the triplets' birthday had been just before the girls' birthday. She was only 19. The realization struck me like a ton of bricks, and it hurt.

"Thank you, Tabby. This means a lot to Courtney. We'll see you in a few days."

"Alright, bye."

We hung up and I put on my strong face and went to tell my family what had happened to their favorite cousin.

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The funeral was very sad, although, one good thing did seem to come out of it. The romancer of the two of my boys, Chase, seemed to have found a girl who caught his eye. Maureen was the younger sister of one of Regina's friends, and she and Chase hit it off instantly.

Chase had been more what I assume to be, more like my father. He loved all sorts of girls, and every weekended for his entire teen life, up until he met Maureen, he was going out with a different girl, after he met Maureen though, he only wanted to go out with her.

It was quite cute to watch them, to be honest.

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When Paige's bachelorette party came around, everyone was excited. She asked me to go, and I did. We all danced, cheered, and had a really good time. However, whoever invited the old man strippers, which certainly was not me, has a cruel since of humor.

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Courtney even came by, which I didn't expect, and she also said that she had a great time.

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As the wedding got closer, Paige would spend more and more time with Kristin, who wasn't only Jordan's sister, but also her Maid of Honor. They met each other in first grade, and it was through her Jordan and Paige met, so it was only fair I suppose. Those two were like to peas in a pod, and I was very happy for my daughter.

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When the wedding came, everyone was excited, it was a beautiful ceremony, and everyone cheered, and cried. Even Kenny cried a little, and said that he was happy for his oldest girl.

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I made the wedding cake, and everyone told me that it was really good, and I'm not going to lie-I thought so too.

All in all, the wedding was beautiful, and even though we were missing one guest, I'm pretty sure everyone still had a good time.

All I had to worry about now was who I was going to pass my legacy on to.

Shababygal
5th Jun 2012, 2:42 AM
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The next three years passed by in a flash, and before I knew it, I turned 65, and by the time this year was over, I would have to pass the legacy on to either Nat or Paige.

However, on the night of my birthday, when Kenny took me out to our favorite restaurant in town, I let myself not think about it for awhile, and I let myself bask in the happiness of my life. I had reached the very top of the painter career, and even got an article written about my accomplishments as an artist in the paper by none other than Julia. I had also finally mastered the cooking and gardening skills, on top of painting, writing, logic and athletic skills. I was very proud of my life so far, and even though my mother left me big shoes to fill, I feel as if I have done so, and done it well.

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This was also the year when the boys turned 18. My baby boys. It seemed like only yesterday they were in diapers. I know, that's so cheesy, but it's true. Their birthday was a blast, and the entire family came over to celebrate.

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They grew up to be incredibly handsome young men, and I couldn't wait to see what they did with their lives. Chase, (right) wanted to go into politics and eventually become mayor. He was very charismatic, and loved to work, so I think that career path would be perfect for him.
Scott (left) wanted to become a Firefighter. He was very brave, and wanted to do what he could to help others. I was worried for him joining that career, of course, but I also knew if that's what he wanted, it was best to support him.

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Two days after the boy's birthday, Julia decided it was time that she move out. Everyone went into her now-bare room and said their goodbyes to her individually.

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I cried a little as I gave her one last goodbye hug.

"I knew this day was coming," I sniffled, "but I was hoping you were going to change your mind."

"Aww, momma," she whispered, hugging me tightly, "I'll be fine. Nick and I have already gotten place together. He's a good man, momma, and he'll watch out for me, I promise."

"I know sweetie," I sighed, "but it's gonna be hard for me to let you leave nonetheless. You hardly even know how to cook! Does your new place have a fire alarm? What about a burglar alarm? Will there be room for you two to start a family?"

She laughed a little and patted my shoulder as she broke from the hug, "Mom. I'll be fine. Daddy put in the alarms two weeks ago. You went and saw the house, it's a four bedroom, of course there's room for that. Nick is a great cook, plus, I'm not the housewife, I'm the evening news reporter. Remember? I'll be just fine, I'll call you every week, okay? I promise."

I sighed a little and stepped back. "Alright sweetie, just remember you can always come home if things don't work out, okay?"

"Alright, momma," she smiled, "I'll remember."

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She and Paige also said their goodbyes, giggling as they recalled some of their childhood antics.

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And something similar happened when Natalie and Julia said goodbye.

After everyone said goodbye to her and all of her boxes were packed into Nick's truck, she left and was officially moved out of the house.

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I went grocery shopping the next day for some of the meat we had run out of, and as I was walking up the porch steps I saw a beaming Natalie, latching on to an equally happy Cliff. I looked at them and I saw the small, sparkling diamond on Natalie's finger, and tears in her eyes. Cliff hadn't come to either Kenny or I, but I'm pretty sure that he knew that we'd be more than okay with it.

Cliff and Natalie had literally known each other their entire lives. They met when his family moved just up the street. He was about three years old, and she was a brand new baby. You could say that they have been best friends ever since. They have been through just about everything together. They would always play together as children, and he would help her inside every time she fell and scrapped her knee, he stood up to some of the bullies that were picking on her in elementary and middle school, he was there for her when my mom died, and he had been there for each other after every bad relationship ended. Even though they were very on and off, it was obvious that they loved each other. I knew it was only a matter of time before this day came. I'm surprised it took this long, to be honest.

They had the kind of love that they put into the love songs and fairytales. It was magical, intense, and very real. It ran deep and true, and when they were around each other, you could almost see the sparks. This was the kind of love that was going to last through anything.

It was at that point, I knew exactly who was going to get the legacy.

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Once Cliff left, I told Natalie to wait for me inside. I went upstairs and I got the same box my mother had given me the gift of the legacy in. I took off my necklace, got THE keys to the house, and placed them all inside. I then slowly walked downstairs, and handed her the box.

Her eyes opened wide, and she gasped softly.

"Mom?" She asked, "Is this what I-?"

I laughed softly and gave her a small nod.

She squealed and opened the box, gasping and crying a little when she saw the necklace and keys, I helped her put it on, and smiled at her.

"I-" she laughed, "I can't believe it! Thank you Momma! This is such an honor! I hope I can do as good of a job as you have. Thank you so much!"

I laughed and gave her a hug, "You're welcome my dear, I know you'll do a great job at upholding the legacy."

We both smiled, and went to bed for the night.

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A few weeks later at breakfast, Paige stopped eating and cleared her throat.

"Yes, sweetie?" I asked.

She looked over at Jordan, and he nodded slowly. She then took a deep breath and said, "Jordan and I want to start a family, so we're going to be moving out of here in just a few weeks. We bought a house right next to Julia's. Since I'm not the heiress, and I know that there's hardly going to be enough space here with Clifford moving in, I just think it's best we move out."

I looked at her, shocked. I knew she was going to move out eventually, but so soon after Julia?

Natalie smiled over at her. "I understand sis. I'll help you move and settle in too. I can't wait to see the house!"

Paige smiled and so did Kenny, so I had to as well.

I gave her a strained smile, "Alright, alright. I'm happy for you. I'll help you start your garden when you move in to your new house."

She gave me a big smile and we continued on with breakfast, discussing her new place.

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When the day finally came, I cried. She swore up and down to give me a call every week, just like Julia. I nodded and sighed, knowing that this was for the best.

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I think Kenny cried more than I did when I said goodbye, he and Paige and always had a special bond, so I knew it was going to be extra hard on him.

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Paige apparently also told Natalie that she was happy for her, and that she wished her and Cliff the best.

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I watched Paige and Jordan drive away, a heavy feeling in my heart. I knew that all children grow up and move away, but it hurts when they do. I looked over at Natalie, and she smiled at me. It was then I knew that this was the end of my time being the center of the Stephens Legacy, but just the beginning for Natalie.

JamilaKashe
5th Jun 2012, 5:13 PM
Love it! Everybody's all grown up and moving out of the nest. I'm glad Nat was passed the legacy, Now maybe we'll get to know Cliff better as a character.

Shababygal
6th Jun 2012, 12:04 AM
It ended up having to be a coin toss between Paige and Nat, but I'm glad that Natalie got it too~she's going to be fun to write, and I have a bit of plotline that I'll probably start being able to use this gen. & Yes! I hope so, Cliff is also pretty cool, I really hope to get into their back story. It's gonna be pretty cute (:

JamilaKashe
6th Jun 2012, 3:31 PM
aww! Can't wait!

Shababygal
9th Jun 2012, 12:53 AM
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"It's been a little over a year, hasn't it?" Clifford asked one morning just a few days before our wedding.

"A year since what?" I questioned, grinning as I let my arms wrap around him.

"A year since we got the house renovated, and a year your mom started your housewife training," he paused, giving me one of his sexy smirks and laughing at my slightly offended stare.

"Okay, you buthole," I started, "Just because my mom has been teaching me how to cook and garden does not equal housewife training! She's not gonna live forever, and I need to make sure I can make things that are edible. Plus, that garden was started by my grandma, and weren't you the one that came over on Saturdays when we were small children to help her with it?"

"Yeah, yeah, whatever, Nat." He laughed, giving me a deep, but very quick kiss and then looking me in my eyes, making me blush ever-so-slightly. "You know I was just playing with you, sweets."

I giggled a little, "Yeah, I know."

He grinned and swept my hair back from my face and gave me a soft, loving kiss, that took my breath away.

I laughed softly and stared back at him. He's been my best friend for my entire life. I don't ever remember him not being in my life. Ever. In one way or another, he was there. We've always been best friends, and honestly, we've probably loved each other before we even thought we had an idea of what love could be. It took me the first fifteen years of my life to realize that he and I should be together. I remember the first time he kissed me. It wasn't my first kiss, but it was the only one worth remembering. It had been nothing but a soft, sweet peck, and it sent a jolt of electricity through my body, making me weak in the knees. Even now, nearly ten years after we started dating, every single time he kisses me, it's electric.

"Let me guess," he began, letting out a low chuckle "You're thinking about our first actual date, aren't you?"

"What?" I gasped.

"You're thinking about our first date." He smirked.

"Yeah, well, it's one of my favorite memories." I blushed.

He chuckled, "Yeah, it's one of mine too. Although I think my favorite memory of you was when we raced down to the lake near my old house and you attempted to jump in the water via the rope swing, but instead you flung off and hit your face against the bank." He laughed loudly when he noticed me glaring at him, "Or maybe it might have been when you and Julia were about 8 and you found had found a frog right next to the lake, and you went to go show her after you showed me, but she thought it was gross and she ran away. I remember watching you chase Julia around my yard for a good 30 minuets until you tackled her and shoved the frog down the front of her dress."

I laughed, recalling the memory, "I got in so much trouble for that! I thought it was seriously the most hysterical thing. Mom didn't think so." I giggled.

Cliff smiled at me and then wrapped his arm around my waist and pulled me closer to him and then whispered into my ear, "Or it may have been the first night we made love," he paused, giving me a soft kiss on my neck, "It brought us so much closer together, in a few different ways. I remember you were so nervous before hand, but once we got going, mmm. I never knew you could be so....creative." he chuckled suggestively.

I scoffed a little and shook my head, and seeing this reaction, he chuckled.

"Fine," he smiled, cupping my face in his other hand, "My favorite memory of you is when you said yes to my proposal. Your eyes lit up, and you jumped into my arms, and in that moment, I could see the happiness in your eyes, and I knew that despite all the bull we've been through, you'd be mine forever, and in three days, you will be. Finally." he paused, kissing my forehead. I let my head down to rest on his shoulder as I felt his strong arms surround me completely. He then smiled and continued on, "But, in three days, when I see you walking down the isle toward me, and we exchange vows, rings, and kiss, sealing the deal that you're mine and I'm yours, forever...that will be the happiest moment of my life."

"How do you do that?" I asked, my heart pounding in my chest.

"Do what?" he questioned, smoothing down my hair.

"Make me feel so incredibly unbelievably happy?"

He chuckled at me and shrugged, "I don't know, maybe the same way you do it to me."

I laughed a little and let my eyes fall closed.

"You know," I began, talking softly " when you first picked me up for our very first date, it wasn't very different than when we would simply go out to the park to hang out, but it was because we called it a date. When you picked me up that night, you gave me my favorite purple flowers. Then, when we went to the park after dinner, you pushed me on the swing set, just like when we were little kids-"

He cut me off, "And when you stopped swinging, I took your hand. I new I had to get you home soon, and that I had my chance, so I led you over to the kids play building. You leaned up against it and smiled at me. I stood in front of you and I was-"

"Shaking like a leaf? I'd say so," I giggled.

He ignored my side comment and continued on, "But you didn't go anywhere, so when I leaned in, and you leaned in, we kissed."

"And it was amazing, and every kiss has been just as, if not more so than that one."

He blushed softly and led me over to our bed and nodded.

"Indeed."


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We laid down together and I smiled widely when I snuggled up next to him. I felt so at home in his arms. It had been a year since he officially moved in, and that meant the legacy was officially "mine" now, as I learned from my mom for the past year about all the ins and outs and how-to's of being a Stephens heiress.

It had also been over a year since Paige moved out. A few months ago, she and Jordan had their first baby, Devon Adien Stephens. It was awesome to have a new baby in the family so soon, and Paige had called me a few weeks ago, and we joked about how she knew I was going to be the next one with a baby on the way. I laughed it off. I didn't think I was going to be the next, especially since Kristen, Jordan's sister had gotten married just three months after Paige did, and since Norman, Clifford's younger brother had just announced that he would also soon be getting married, I honestly doubted that I would be the next in our family to have a baby. Plus, I know I didn't want to get pregnant too soon, but I knew that that kind of came with being the Stephens heiress.

The day mom put the legacy necklace on me, the weight of being the matriarch of the family hit me. The cool metal of the necklace brushed my skin, suddenly making me feel a surge of power, and responsibility. It tingled on my skin, and at first it felt heavier that it really was. In that moment when mom smiled at me and clasped the necklace I knew that I had to step it up. The house was mine, the family that will eventually grow up here is mine. Everything that is within the walls of this house, and most of the things that happen in this family is my responsibility to take care of.

That's partly why the very first thing I did after becoming heiress was having the house re-built, hoping that we'd never have to do another addition.

It now also just set in that in a few days, I would be getting married, I would be the new official "Mrs. Stephens". I was thrilled and terrified all at the same time, as I wasn't sure what exactly I was going to end up getting myself into.

However, those thoughts could wait, as I was much more excited about Clifford's and my honeymoon trip to Egypt, and so I let my thoughts drift to that, and I wondered what I would want to tour first once I got there.

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The day of the wedding came in an instant, and when I was getting ready, my mom came up to talk to me for a bit.

"So, how are you feeling, sweetie?" she asked.

"Oh momma," I sighed, "I'm nervous, but in the best way possible. I mean, I can't believe it! I'm marrying my highschool sweetheart. Actually, my childhood sweetheart, and I don't know, it almost seems too good to be true! But I'm so happy, mom, and I know my wedding is going to be a blast."

She gave me a hug and brushed my hair back.

"From now on, darling, you're the one who makes all the decisions. I basically monitored them for the last year or so, but I won't be doing that anymore. The moment you go from Miss to Mrs Stephens is the moment the family becomes completely your responsibility. Do you understand, sweetie? After today, I wont be able to help you as much anymore. I'll still be here, but I wont be able to make decisions for you, do you understand?"

I nodded and sighed a little, "Yes momma, I understand."

She smiled a little at me, "Good. I'm so happy for you my dear. Oh, by the way do you have everything you need packed up for your trip to Al Simhara? Your flight is about an hour and a half after the wedding ends."

"Yeah momma, I know, and yes, everything is all packed up." I sighed.

"Alright Natalie," she smiled and gave me a hug and whispered, "I'm so proud of you, I know you two are going to last just like your father and I have."

I smiled a little and hugged her back, "Thank you for that, mom."

"Anytime Nat, anytime." She whispered.

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I knew there was going to be nothing like walking down the isle toward the man of my dreams, my best friend, my one true love, or whatever you want to call him, but even still, I don't think I can describe what it was like. It seemed as though it took me forever to walk down the isle, but when I finally reached Clifford, I don't think there's any word to use to explain how I felt.

Clifford smiled and took my ring, and placed it onto my finger, and as he did so, he said, "Natalie Jessica Stephens, I have known you my entire life. When we were kids, I told you that one day, I was going to marry you. You laughed, and as per usual, didn't think I was serious, but it was at that moment, when you were ten and I was thirteen, on the old playground as I pushed you on the swing watching your hair blow in the wind and seeing that smile you gave me that I meant it, and now, here we are. Natalie, this ring I give you is a small physical symbol of my love for you. Natalie, I Clifford Allen Gaines, take you as my wife, for now, forever, and for always."

With happy tears in my eyes, I placed the ring on his finger, and said, "Clifford Allen Gaines, there has never been a time when I did not know you, you've always been there for me. Through everything that has happened, you've been there to help me get through it. You're everything to me, and to not have you in my life would be like not having air to breathe. Clifford, I give you this ring as a small physical symbol of my love for you. Clifford, I Natalie Jessica Stephens, take you as my husband, for now, forever, and for always."

And then, of course, we kissed, and everyone who had come to watch the wedding cheered.


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When we cut the wedding cake later on that evening, everyone rushed to get some of it as mom had made it for the wedding, and everyone knew that my moms cooking was the best in town, especially when it came to making cakes. However, my mom always insisted that she wasn't anywhere near as good as my grandmother when it came to cooking.

Dad came over and gave both Clifford and I hug. He said that he was happy for us, and knew that we had nothing to really worry about, as he knew that we could make it through anything. He didn't admit that he had cried, I mean after all, he was Kendrick Stephens, one of the biggest sports stars in Riverview history, and even though he'd been retired for a few years now did not mean it had turned him into some "sissy", as he said. However, I knew my father and when Clifford and I turned around to walk back down the isle, I saw him with a few tears in his eyes.

We stayed and we danced and had our fun for the rest of the night. However, the moment the wedding was over, Cliff and I ran upstairs, changed our clothes, and went to the airport and off to Al Simhara.

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After an incredibly long flight, it was mid-evening the next day, so the very first thing we did was grab a bite to eat at one of the local resturaunts. It was a very interesting meal that I honestly don't think I can spell properly, so I wont even try, but either way, it was really good.

We spent the rest of the first day in the marketplace and we got a few things we could bring back home. I also got a camera at the general store, as well as a few books to take back home for my mom.

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After dinner, we went to go find our campsite. It took a bit of driving, and when Cliff just stopped at the end of a road and got out of the car, I gave him a quizzical look, to which he just smiled and bolted off, shouting "Come on!" over his shoulder, to which I just sighed and darted after him.

"You buthole!" I yelled after him.

All I heard him do was laugh as he ran quickly down the hill, telling me to hurry up.

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He got down to the campsite a few moments before I did, and he started a fire. I was out of breath by the time I got down to the campsite. He set up a few chairs and I plopped down in one of them and attepmpted to catch my breath. He smiled at me widely and chuckled a little. We looked up at the sky and he asked me proudly, "So, what do you think? We're camping right on the SimNile!"

I looked at him and smiled, "This is beautiful."
I wasn't just saying that either, the lush ground around us, the deep blue of the river that flowed right next to us, and the sandy mountains in the distance under the light of a full moon really was beautiful.

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He smiled and looked over at me, "Yeah, but you're much more beautiful."

I laughed and blushed a little, "You're so corny."

He chuckled, "Yeah! But that's why you love me!"

I giggled and we sat there and talked for a good few more hours before he and I realized that we had to get some rest, the next day we were going to go tour the pyramids and the Sphinx.

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The next few days were filled with tours, wonder, and lots of um...extra curricular activities. The entire trip was a blast, and by the time we realized we had to go home, we sighed. We had a lot of fun while in Al Simhara, and it was certainly a trip neither of us is going to forget.

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About a week or two after we got home, I noticed I wasn't feeling too well, and I was ever-grateful when my mother walked into the room with one of her soothing teas.

"Drink this sweetie. It might help settle your stomach," she said while she handed me the steaming cup.

"Thanks mom." I sighed, leaning back into my chair and taking a sip.

She just smiled and patted my hair, "Just remember sweetie, sip on it slowly, okay?"

I nodded and sipped on the tea for a good 20 minuets, my mom sitting there and keeping a close eye on me, worrying that I may have gotten some horrid foreign disease. I sighed and told her not to worry and I stood up. On my way to wash the cup out, I got the dire need to vomit and I rushed to the bathroom.

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I sat there at the toilet and groaned, feeling like utter crap. From what I heard from my sister and my mother, this could mean one of two things, and I was hoping that I had just eaten something bad and that it was not the other possibility. I was too young to have the other possibility.

I guess we'll just have to wait to find out.

LovethMia
9th Jun 2012, 3:58 AM
Yay! This is so wonderful. I'm ecstatic that Nat got it, at first I thought you were going to give it to Paige lol. She and Cliff and very cute together. Great change with everyone moving out as Jamila said. I loved that transition. I can't wait to read what happens next. :)

Shababygal
9th Jun 2012, 8:50 AM
Yay! This is so wonderful. I'm ecstatic that Nat got it, at first I thought you were going to give it to Paige lol. She and Cliff and very cute together. Great change with everyone moving out as Jamila said. I loved that transition. I can't wait to read what happens next. :)

Thank you! I really tried to really WRITE this chapter rather than be like, "oh so then this happened and then this happened," kinda how the last gen. was. Ahaha, it really was a flip of a coin, and I'm actually really happy to be writing Nat! She's quite fun, and spunky. At first I did too, but while I think all of them could have had really awesome stories, I think Natalie's story will be the most I don't know, maybe moving, I suppose? I really think everyone is going to be able to relate to her pretty well. I know! While I was writing those two I kept "d'aww"ing. xD Thank you. :3 I just figured that would be a good way to tie up Tabby's gen and start Nat's. Plus, it ended up being really good as Paige had a baby, and if she and Jordan had stayed in the house, there wouldn't have been enough room, aahaha xD

Thank you! I'm going to be off to take some shots in just a little bit! I think with this gen's storyline, the characters are going to seem much more real, and this gen might end up being a bit more intense, ahaha xD

LovethMia
11th Jun 2012, 11:52 PM
Well...if the sparks continue to fly between Nat and Cliff like they have been, I can only image how much more intense it will be! Great job! :)

bbc100
12th Jun 2012, 5:04 AM
Err, I can only see the stories if I make it look like a thread! I have no idea why.

Shababygal
12th Jun 2012, 6:39 AM
Well...if the sparks continue to fly between Nat and Cliff like they have been, I can only image how much more intense it will be! Great job! :)

Oh these two have actually been in game friends their entire lives, so, I'm sure that they will, the story I have for these two is hopefully gonna be really good. xD & Thank you! :D

Err, I can only see the stories if I make it look like a thread! I have no idea why.

Hmm. Sadface ): I'm not sure why either, as every post that involves story has a title...o3o.

~

Next chapter should be up in a few days. :3

bbc100
12th Jun 2012, 9:36 AM
Because it says "Join us in out Live Chat" or something like that!

Shababygal
14th Jun 2012, 9:40 AM
Because it says "Join us in out Live Chat" or something like that!

Hmmm. It should be better now?

Shababygal
14th Jun 2012, 9:52 AM
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"Natalie?" Clifford asked me.

"Yeah, honey?" I replied one afternoon while I was laying down with my arm over my head, feeling awful. Ever since I had come back from the honeymoon, I was feeling a bit off. Mom insisted that I go to the doctor, but I told her I probably just had the stomach flu, and that I'd be better soon.

"How would you feel about us getting a kitten?" he questioned.

"A kitten?" I paused, removing my arm from over my eyes for a moment to look at him, "Where on earth would we get a kitten from?"

"Your aunt just called. Her cat Snugglez just had kittens, she wanted to know if we would like one of them. I told her that I would need to ask you." He said.

He looked a little shy about asking me this, and quite frankly, it was adorable. I knew he loved animals, his parents always had two in the house throughout his entire childhood. I didn't think he'd miss having one, but it's kind of obvious now.

"Do you want one?" I asked, to which he just nodded sheepishly. It was one of the most adorable things I had ever seen in my entire life.

So, of course, I couldn't say no. I've never been an animal person, but I wont lie, when I saw the little guy I have pictured, I couldn't stop petting him. He's just so cute! Needless to say, we took him home. We named him Felix. Why, I'm really not sure. I think I suggested it as a joke and it just stuck. He stays on the main floor right now, he's too tiny to make it up the stairs, but he has everything he needs downstairs, a kitty condo, a box of toys, his food and water dishes, and his litter box. He was quite shy at first, but he's slowly warmed up to us over the last two weeks.

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After nearly a month and a half of being sick, my mom marched into the house after going out to the grocery store and shoved a pregnancy test into my hands, and demanded I go check to see if I was pregnant.

"And if you aren't," she said, "I'm dragging your sorry bum to the hospital. Now get your ass in there and see if you've got a bun in the oven!"

As soon as I got into the bathroom, a strong wave of nausea overcame me. I lunged for the toilet and groaned. I threw up mostly in the mornings, I realized sort of off-handedly.

After about 10 minuets of me telling myself it was okay, I ended up using the test. I waited for those incredibly awkward, think-a-thousand-different-situations, worrisome, and just flat out uncomfortable 15 minutes.

"Pregnant." I mumbled dumbly after I looked at the test.

The test said that I was pregnant. I couldn't believe it.

I walked out of the bathroom and just sat down on my bed. I didn't look when my mother sat down next to me and patted my shoulder.

"So, you're pregnant?" She asked.

I simply nodded, "According to the test, yes. I am."

Before my mom could say anything else I grabbed my phone and I called my doctor. After a few minutes, I set up an appointment for a little later that day. I had my mom come with me. You can call me a 25 year old baby if you want to, but Cliff was still at work, and I wanted to get the test done as soon as possible, and I didn't want to go by myself.

After my appointment was over, I said I would get a call in a few days.

For the next three days I was very much on edge. Clifford asked what was wrong, and I told him nothing, but he knew me better than that, so rather than just taking my "No, I swear, I'm okay" as an answer, he simply kissed my forehead and said, "Okay, sweetie. Whatever you say, but when you want to tell me, I'm all ears."

I just smiled at him and continued to wait for the call.

When I finally got the call I'd been waiting for, I answered in a heartbeat.

"Hello?" I asked.

"Hello, Mrs. Stephens?" a soft, feminine voice replied.

"Yes?"

"Oh, hello there! I'm Doctor Phillips. I'm calling so I can give you your test results."

"Oh, okay then," I sighed, pausing for a moment, "what are they?"

"Well, Mrs. Stephens, you came in for a whole bunch of tests, including a pregnancy test, is this correct?"

"Yes ma'am." I spoke softly.

"Well, all of your blood work came back normal, and we didn't find any illnesses."

"Oh!" I smiled, "Excellent!" I giggled, "So that means I'm fine?"

"Yes, Mrs. Stephens, you're perfectly healthy, and, you're six weeks pregnant." Dr. Philips spoke with a smile in her voice.

"I'm what?" I squealed, shocked.

"Congratulations, Mrs. Stephens!"

The doctors words set in and I blurted out, "Um, I'm sorry, you might have one of my sisters, this is Mrs. Natalie Stephens."

"I'm positive it's you, Mrs. That's the name we have on the result sheet and in our records."

"Are you sure it's me?" I paused, "This is Mrs. Natalie Jessica Stephens, twin of Julia Naomi Stephens, daughter of Tabitha Joy Stephens and Kendrick Alex Stephens... Granddaughter of Harmony Cheryl Stephens and Don Chase Lothario-Stephens." I gasped, as if there would miraculously be another Natalie Stephens in town. Of course there wasn't. All the Stephens in this town were related to me. However, I was trying to make sure I heard this right.

"Yes, Mrs. Stephens, this is you. If there is a problem, you're still not too far along for an abortion if that's what would-"

I cut off the doctor, "No!" I paused, "No, that wont be necessary, Dr. Phillips. I'm sorry, I'm just shocked. I didn't think I'd get pregnant so soon..."

I simply heard her chuckle, "Yes, we get that reaction from a number of young mothers. Anyway, Mrs. Stephens, would you like to set up your next appointment now? We need to continually check up on you throughout the pregnancy to make sure that you and the little one are healthy."

"Yes, yes of course. When should I come in?"

I set up my next appointment and hung up with the doctor. During all the commotion I had stirred up my mom came in, a sly smile on her face. As soon as I hung up my mom beamed at me.

"I'm gonna have another grand-baby!" My mom smiled widely and gave me a hug. I just grinned at her and hugged her back.

"So," she paused, "When are you going to tell Cliff?"

"I don't know, but I will soon." I sighed biting my lip.

My mom just brushed my hair back and smiled at me and then said, "I'm going to go make some tea to help settle your nerves and stomach, okay?"

I just nodded, and she left me in my room to ponder.

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"Cliff?" I mumbled softly a few days later right as we were going to sleep.

"Hmmm?" He murmured sleepily as he pulled me closer to him, then softly nuzzling his head into my back.

I let out a ragged sigh and that caught his attention, he soothingly kissed my shoulder and lovingly whispered into my ear.

"Love, what is it?"

I turned to look at him, his blue eyes searched my green ones. He wrapped his arms around me and pulled me closely to him. I in turn wrapped my arms around his neck and we laid like that for a few moments. It was one of those silences where it wasn't awkward, but there was an expectancy of something. I sighed one more time and he gave me a reassuring squeeze. I closed my eyes for a moment and when I opened them, I said what I'd been thinking about ever since I found out.

"I'm pregnant, Cliff."

I felt him stiffen, and his eyes lit up, a hint of excitement in his voice, "What?"

"I said," I paused, looking him in the eyes, "I'm pregnant. We're gonna have a baby."

"Really?" He asked, squeezing me a little tighter. He didn't even give me a chance to respond as he turned us over and gave me a deep, loving, excited kiss.

When we finally stopped kissing, I was giggling a little bit. He looked at me with a smile on his lips and in his eyes.

"We're really gonna be having a baby?" He smiled, laying back down on his side, causing me to do the same.

"Mhmm. We are." I smiled, snuggling back down as I felt his strong arms wrap back around me.

I then felt him tenderly place one of his hands on my stomach. I looked back over my shoulder at him and he grinned.

"I've always wanted to have the chance to be a father." He smiled, rubbing my tummy.

"I know, but I was still nervous about telling you." I admitted.

"Why?" he asked, kissing my shoulder.

"Because, we haven't even been married for a year yet, I mean, we're having this baby so soon..."

"Shh..." he cut me off, soothing me, "we've been together since we were teenagers. I was 18, you were 15, so that means we've been together for 10 years. We got married on our 10th anniversary, remember? So yes, we may not have been married for a year, but we've been together for 10 and a half years. So it's not all that soon anyway. I love you, Natalie. I love you with all of my heart and my soul, and I will love this baby we have together just as much. I will protect you, and all the children we have together with my life, because you, and any children we may have are my life. Okay?"

I rolled over onto my other side and smiled at him, nodding, a tear in my eye.

He wiped away my tear with his thumb, making me smile a little. I pulled myself into him and held him as tightly as I could, nuzzling my face into his chest.

I softly mumbled out, "I love you with all my heart and soul too, Cliff. I just never want to lose you, over anything. I want us to stay together our entire lives, and when our lives reach an end, I want us to die together at the same time, in each other's arms. You're my soulmate, Clifford. You're everything to me."

He softly rubbed my back and held tightly onto me and after I finished speaking, he said, "Natalie, darling, I've known you my entire life. I've seen you at your best, and your worst, and you know what? I loved you every second of it. Nothing will make you lose me, not even death. We'll be together, forever, no matter what. Our love surpasses time. I promise you, Natalie, that you, will never, ever lose me. That's what these rings we wear are for, right? To symbolize our eternal love?"

I glanced down at the ring on my finger. God, it was beautiful. It shimmered, even in dim light. To answer his question, I just nodded and then let out a soft yawn.

He just smiled and kissed my hair.

"I love you, Natalie."

"I love you too, Clifford."

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"Oh!"
I gasped one morning after I got out of bed, my hands instantly going to my ever-growing baby bump.

Clifford darted over to me, "Are you okay, love? Is everything okay? Is there something wrong with the baby?"

I laughed a little and nodded, "Yes, honey, I'm fine, the baby just kicked. I...I hadn't felt that before. It just surprised me a little."

Clifford smiled and then placed his hand on my tummy and I giggled as I watched his eyes get wide.

"Oh my god! He's kicking!" He chuckled.

"He?" I asked, with a raised eyebrow.

Clifford chuckled and shrugged, "Yes, he. I want to have our son first."

I laughed a little, "Why's that?"

"So that he can protect his baby sister." Clifford stated like it was the most obvious thing in the world. I just laughed a little.

"Alright, but you know my family has a lot of girls, and even multiples. So if anything, I think our baby is a girl. Who knows, we might even have babies."

He grinned a little and then felt my tummy again.

"What do you want to name our baby if it's a girl?" Clifford asked.

"I don't know," I said, pondering it for a moment. "I was thinking either Victoria Shea Stephens or maybe Rebekah Brianne Stephens, or baby both, if they're twin girls."

He chuckled, "Both names are beautiful. What about if we have a boy?"

I smiled, "I'm not sure, I was thinking maybe Layton Blake Stephens, or maybe Todd Xavier Stephens."

He chuckled a little. "I like Layton Blake. I think if we have a son, that's what we should call him."

I smiled and nodded a little, "We'll think about it some more, I mean, we have another four months."

He nodded and then looked at the clock and went and hurried back to get ready, "I gotta go to work, babe. Have a great day here, okay? Maybe you should go to the day spa and let yourself relax or something."

I smiled and went up behind him and gave him a loving hug, "I'll see what I can do, stay safe honey."

He smiled and finished getting ready and he turned around and gave me a quick kiss, and letting his hand rest on my tummy, "Don't worry, Natalie, I'll always come back to you and our child safe and sound."

And with that, he left for work.

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As time went on, I read every parenting book I could get my hands on, and I even gave a few to Clifford so he could read them and be as prepared as I was. Some of them my mom recommended to me, others my older sister Paige, of whom, I talked quite often to, especially since I became pregnant. We talked nearly every day.

"Natalie! How's my favorite baby sister doing!" Paige said one afternoon that she called.

"I'm doing well," I said, smiling into the phone, "Just the baby's deciding to kick a lot today. God I can't wait to have this kid! I feel like a balloon!"

I heard her laugh, "Oh honey, I was there too. Do you know what gender the baby is yet?"

"No, I want it to be a surprise." I smiled.

"If you say so, darlin', but I would find out so you can pick out the name, and just about everything else easier. I mean when I had Davion, I made sure I knew it was a boy before I did anything."

"Yeah, I know," I spoke softly, "But I like to be surprised. And how's little D-man doing?"

I heard her let out a giggle, "Oh, well, you know, he's a toddler, and he gets into everything. Although, he's learned to walk, he's learning to talk, and pretty soon he should be potty trained. I'll be finishing up with him while you're getting started with yours, ahaaha."

I just smiled and shook my head, "Thank you for reminding me, Paige."

"You're very welcome, Nat!" I heard a loud bang, and then Davion crying.

"That's my signal to go, he probably knocked something over. Have a good day, Nat, and remember honey, I'm just a phone call away if you need anything."

"Thanks Paige," I smiled, "I'll talk to you later."

And after that, we hung up.

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When I wasn't reading, talking to Paige, or my mom, or spending time with Kenny, I was in my room painting. I loved to do it, just like my mom and grandma did, and as a pregnant lady, there really wasn't too much else I really wanted to do.

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Maureen, who is Chase's long time girlfriend moved in soon after their engagement, which took place around month 8. They're going to be married soon after the baby is born, although, they're going away to have a private wedding, rather than a party.

Since she moved in, she took great interest in helping me out and asking a lot about pregnancy. She was barely 19, my brother, barely 20. She was a real sweetie.

"I can't wait until I'm actually a member of your family!" She enthused.

I smiled and giggled, "I can't wait to have you as a sister in law. I'm sure you and Chase are going to be good for each other."

"I'm glad you all think so, you guys are such great people." She smiled.

"Aww, thank you sweetie."

"You're welcome!" she smiled and then she tilted her head at me, "Can I listen to your tummy?"

I giggled and nodded, "Sure, if you want to."

She leaned her head down and her eyes got wide, and after she was through listening, she stood up and asked me a question I really wasn't prepared to answer.

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"Do you think Chase and I will have babies someday, Natalie?"

I smiled, a little taken aback, "I'm sure if that's what you guys want, then of course you will."

"Do you think they'll be pretty like you? I mean let's be honest here Natalie, everyone in your family is beautiful, and I can only hope that the kids Chase and I have are beautiful like the rest of your family."

I smiled and laid a comforting hand on her shoulder. "I'm positive, you're beautiful too, Maureen, and I know you and Chase will make beautiful Nuun-Stephens babies."

That seemed to make her happy, and it was about time to make dinner, so she darted off to help my mother finish cooking.

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Sure enough, on his due date, at 1:14 in the morning, my water broke. I woke up with a start and I instantly woke up Clifford, and we drove to the hospital as fast as we could.

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I would like everyone to meet the newest addition to the Stephens Family.

Everyone, let's give a warm welcome to Layton Blake Stephens, my first born son.

Shababygal
19th Jun 2012, 1:08 PM
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"You two are so cute together!" I smiled as I continued to snap pictures of the soon-to-be-married couple.

Chase smiled a little and squeezed Maureen's hand and she giggled softly.

"Thank you, Natalie." Chase grinned.

"You're welcome, Baby Bro." I giggled. He gave me a mock glare and then stuck his tongue out at me and mumbled something under his breath that caused Maureen to elbow his side.

"Also, Natalie," Maureen paused, her eyes full of joy, "Thank you so much for taking our wedding pictures for us. With us having a private wedding and all, we didn't think we'd have them. At first, I didn't think I wanted them, but then I remembered how much I loved looking at my parent's wedding pictures and I knew that I can't deny our future babies the option the look at ours."

I smiled at her and continued snapping away, "You're very welcome, Maureen. Can you guys change poses? Oh! I like that one, stay like that-yes, good." I paused, focusing the camera and zooming in a little, "After all, it's obvious that I love photography. This is a reasonable excuse to take pictures. I've taken so may of Layton since we brought him home that I think he's sick of seeing me with the camera." I laughed a little, and so did Maureen.

"That's so cute!" She giggled, "You'll have to come over and take pictures of our babies when we have them, right Chase?"

Chase smiled down at her and kissed her forehead, "Of course Maurie, if that's what you want."

I smiled and clicked at the perfect time, getting my favorite shot of the day by far.

Maureen grinned and looked over at me, "I'm going to miss living with you Natalie. I'm an only child, so I don't have any siblings, and you were exactly what I would want in a big sister. You and Tabby have been so wonderful to me, it's going to be hard when you two are no longer in the same house with Chase and I."

I gave her a soft, knowing grin, "Aww, Maureen! You're such a sweetie. I'm the youngest girl in my family, and you're going to be a great sister-in-law. Don't heasitate to call me about anything, alright? Even if it's about my brother. Chase can be a dick sometimes." I paused, laughing at the face my brother made at my statement. "What? It's true!" I laughed, and soon Maureen did too. "I know it might be hard at first, but it's going to be nice to have some privacy, yeah? Plus, we're only a phone call away."

"I suppose you're right." Maureen nodded, "Plus, the house we bought is beautiful! I can't wait until I actually get to live in it!"

"You'll need to send me pictures." I giggled, causing her to do the same.

"Oh, I will!" She smiled.

I grinned at them and took the last shot before I was told that my memory card was full.

"Alright, guys," I said, turning off the camera, "I'm out of memory. So, it looks like it's time for you two to head out."

I stepped forward and gave them each a hug.

"Bye, sis." Chase whispered as he gave me a fair-well hug.

"Bye, Chase, you take good care of Maureen, okay? Be nice to her, and remember, she's the best thing that's happened to you, baby bro." I said as I hugged him back.

"I know, and I will. I promise. I gotta go change and finish packing up the car, I'll see ya, Nat."

"Bye, Chase."

I then went over and gave Maureen a hug.

"Thank you for being so kind to me, Natalie. I really feel like a part of your family. I'll be good to your brother, and I'll be sure to keep in touch." She whispered.

"I know, we'll need to hang out again when you guys come back from your vacation. Bye, Maureen." I said as I hugged her goodbye.

"Bye, Natalie." She said as she walked over to Chase's car and waited for him to come out so they could leave.

I walked into the front yard and waved goodbye to my youngest brother and his wife.

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"Mommy." I said gesturing to myself, attempting to teach my young son to talk. I started teaching him his basic skills after he became a year old, which was only a few months ago. I was teaching him how to talk, Clifford was teaching him to walk, and we both took over potty training duty. We hoped by Clifford's 30th birthday, which would be a few weeks before Layton's 3rd birthday, we'd have all his basic skills down.

All I got back was excited toddler gibber. I smiled a little and tried again, "Mommy."

Layton tilted his head a little and made more little noises, that sounded like he was trying to say, "mama" or something. I got all excited and tried once again looking down at him and pointing to myself.

"Mommy." I said again, dragging out the sounds of each letter.

He looked at me and gave me a cute little smile and said, "Mommy."

It wasn't perfect, but it was close enough to where I understood what he was saying. I got so excited. I clapped, making him laugh and shout out "Mommy!" again.

I got so excited, I called Clifford at work. It was noon-ish anyway, so I knew he was on his lunch break.

He answered after the second ring, "Hello?"

"Cliff!" I squealed happily.

"Nat?" He asked, sounding concerned, "What happened? Is something wrong?"

"Everything is fine," I laughed, "I just had to call you because Layton said his first word! He just said Mommy! Oh, oh my god! I'm so happy! He said mommy!"

I heard Clifford chuckle on the other end of the line. "I can't wait to hear him say it when I get home. I bet it's adorable!"

"It really, really is!" I smiled and then I saw Layton go and attempt to stick his hand into his training potty. I ran over to him and picked him up, making him cry and give me a sad face. I guess he thought I was ruining his fun.

Cliff shuffled on the other end when he heard Layton cry. "Is everything okay, sweetie?"

"Yeah, Layton's just mad because I wont let him stick his hand into his training potty."

He let out a low laugh. "Ah, I see. Anyway, Nat, I gotta go back to eating my lunch so I can finish all this paperwork I have to do so I can come home on time. I love you, Natalie."

I smiled and bounced Layton softly on my hip, "I understand, I'll see you when you come home, I love you too, Clifford."

With that, we hung up, and I snuggled and soothed my crying baby. I never really thought I'd make a good mother, but I really enjoyed taking care of my son, and my mom told me that I was doing a good job. She was really good with giving me tips and advice on how to take care of Layton, and just children in general. I knew that my mom's advice was good, after all, she raised me and my four siblings, so I listened to her, for the most part, and when I didn't listen to her, I followed my intuition, but even then in a way, I was still listening to her advice.

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Later on that night it was bedtime for Layton. I gave him a bath and put him in his pajamas and sat down in the rocking chair across from his bed. I sang him the same lullabies my mom sung to me, which were sung to her by my grandma. I rocked back and forth slowly, letting the song I knew by heart flow from my lips as I held him in my arms.

He was so small, but I knew that would eventually change, no matter how badly I wished it wouldn't. I looked down at him at the end of the fourth repeat of the song and his eyes started to close. I started going through the song one more time, and after I was finished, I looked down at him and I heard his soft little snoring.

I smiled softly down at him, careful not to move too much. He was so warm, so small. He was my first little boy, my first baby. I wondered then how it was possible to love something as much as I loved him. I was told from childhood, that the love a mother feels for her children is indescribable and one of the most powerful kinds of love, but I didn't really comprehend it until I held him for the first time. It amazed me how much I love this little guy. I would do anything to protect him, anything at all. His life is more important than mine, or anyone's, even Clifford's. If it came down between Layton or Clifford, it would hurt to lose Clifford, but I'd chose my child. This thought really didn't surprise me too much, though. I knew the moment I first held him in my arms that he was the most important thing to me.

I watched my little Layton sleep for a good 30 or so minuets before I put him down in his little bed and kissed his forehead and I pulled the blankets up around him. I smiled as I went and quietly opened the door, knowing for sure that my little boy was safe.

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I walked downstairs and saw Felix, who was now a fully grown cat playing with one of his toys. He was a really sweet cat, and he tolerated Layton very well. Often times we'd come into the living room to find Layton half-way laying on Felix, and petting him. Felix really didn't care too much, as long as he was getting some sort of attention.

That was one of the great things about this cat. He was very tolerant, and he loved to be petted, and he seemingly considered any sort of touch to be pleasant. Even with the pulling and prodding from Layton, he never got agitated, sometimes, he'd even purr.

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"Alright, that's it, come here Layton!" Clifford urged as our son took wobbly steps to his dad.

Layton was hardly stable, but with each time he practiced with his daddy he was getting better. He was nearly three now, and had learned how to talk and we could hardly get him to stop after we got him started.

When Layton finally reached Clifford, Cliff smiled and picked him up and spun him around three times, cheering.

"Yay Layton! You did such a good job, buddy!"

Layton giggled and said, "Daddy! No fall!"

Clifford smiled and ran his hand through Layton's hair. "That's right, you didn't fall. You did such a good job. Right, Momma?" Clifford asked, turning his head to face me.

I walked the rest of the way down the stairs and the moment Layton saw me he got very excited, "Mommy!" he cheered.

I looked over at Clifford and Layton and I nodded, "Yeah, Layton! You did such a good job! Daddy's a good teacher, isn't he?" I smiled over at Clifford.

"Yes!" Layton agreed happily, "Daddy good!"

I laughed a little and so did Cliff. He kissed Layton's forehead and then set him back down at the start point.

"Alright, little buddy," Cliff said, smiling, "let's show Mommy how far you can walk, okay?"

"Yeah!" was Layton's happy reply.

Clifford got down low all the way on the other side of the room and Layton walked all the way over to his daddy. He put his arms out a little to help him balance, and while still not a hundred percent there, he made it to his dad and giggled.

I smiled and Cliff brought Layton over and passed him to me.

"So, what do you think?" Clifford asked me.

"I think Mr. Layton did a fantastic job! Yay for Layton!"

Clifford laughed and said, "Yay Layton!"

Layton laughed and then hid his face into my shoulder, making both Clifford and I laugh.

"Well," Clifford said, "I know that I'm very proud of my little man."

"I'm proud of him too," I smiled.

Layton blushed and then said, "Yay!" sending both Clifford and I into a fit of laughter.

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A few months later after bath time, I cleaned up the bathroom while Cliff went and got Layton ready for bed.

When I finished cleaning up and stepped back into the bedroom, I couldn't help but smile when I saw Layton playing, and Clifford playing with him. It was so beyond cute.

"Excuse me, gentlemen," I said as I closed the bathroom door, making both of my boys look at me sheepishly. The resemblance between them was uncanny, even at Layton's young age. I simply laughed and went over and picked up Layton, who in turn looked at his father for help in stopping bedtime from actually coming.

I smiled at both of them, "It's little Mr. Layton's bedtime."

"Mommy!" Layton protested, shaking his head, "No bedtime!" He said as he tried to wiggle out of my arms. Clifford stood up and took Layton, who by this point was sniffling, looking quite upset.

Clifford looked down at Layton and sighed, "No buddy, I'm afraid Mommy's right, it's bedtime."

Layton gave his dad a betrayed look and Clifford kissed his head and passed him back to me.

"Come on, buddy," I said as I walked over to his bed.

"No! Mommy!" He cried, "No bedtime! No!"

I shook my head and put my snuffling toddler down onto his bed, and I went to go get the blanket and he jumped down from his toddler bed and ran behind Clifford.

"No bedtime!" He shouted again, sniffling.

Clifford picked him up and looked Layton in the eyes. "Hey, Layton?"

"Daddy?" Layton questioned.

"Mommy is boss. When Mommy speaks, the debate is over. Mommy is Shwimbo." Clifford said sternly.

"Shwimbo?" Layton and I asked, simultaneously.

Clifford smiled over at me and then looked back at Layton, "Mommy is Shwimbo, she who must be obeyed."

Layton looked Quizzically at Clifford and I just laughed. Shwimbo. I liked it.

"That means that you have to do whatever Mommy says. If she says it's bedtime, well then sweetie, it's bedtime." Clifford explained.

Layton just looked defeated and Clifford set him down and he made his way back over to his little bed and laid down. I tucked him in and after fifteen minuets, he was asleep. I walked back out into the hallway and I saw Clifford and asked the first thing I thought of.

"Shwimbo? Where did you get Shwimbo?" I asked, laughing softly.

Clifford just laughed, "My dad used to say that all the time. I picked it up from him, I guess. It seemed to have gotten the point across."

"I suppose so," I said laughing.


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"Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Clifford, happy birthday to you!" Layton, my mother, my father, my younger brother and everyone else who came to Clifford's 30th birthday party sang.

When Clifford blew out the candles, Layton clapped and said, "I want Cake!" causing all of us to laugh. I passed Layton over to my mother who got him a piece of cake, which he ate happily.

Clifford and I ate our cake and after we had cleaned it up, my mom had already put Layton to bed. It was only about 8:30, and my mom told the both of us to go out and enjoy the rest of the evening.

We went for a walk around our neighborhood, our hands clasped tightly together. It was a beautiful night, and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. We walked in a comfortable silence. We didn't always need to be talking to each other and we've always been that way. As we walked through the neighborhood, I smiled at the memories that lined these streets.

Down at the end of the neighborhood there was a playground where Clifford and I would go all the time as children. We'd race each other down there almost every day when I was in elementary school. It was also where we had our first date. There was a big old tree three houses down where our names are carved. Down by the fence at the other end of the road was where Clifford caught up to me a month after our first break-up. He had seen me down on the swings and went to talk to me but I ran off, but he caught up to me pushed me up against the fence and kissed my tears away. Back in the woods behind the brand-new home that had just finished being built was where Clifford and I would go to make out, and it was back there where Clifford and I set up a little "camp" and we first made love. Down by the old home across the street is where I fell and sprained my ankle and Clifford carried me all the way back to my house. There were so many memories here, and each step I took seemed to cause more and more to come to my mind.

"Looks like we can say we've done good as parents." Clifford said while we were walking, bringing me out of my thoughts.

"I suppose you can say that," I smiled, "after all, Layton does know all his basic skills, which is good." I said after a moment of letting my thoughts come back to the present.

Clifford just smiled at me and then he stopped. We were nearly back home and he gave me a deep, loving, beautiful kiss that caught me off guard.

I sighed into the kiss and wrapped my arms around his neck, smiling as I realized that even after all this time I still felt a fire inside when he kissed me.

He picked me up and carried me back into the woods behind the new house, still as dense as ever. He pushed me up against a tree. I just giggled a little and wrapped my legs around his waist and I smiled. I mean, after all, it was his birthday...

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A few weeks later I realized that I was late. Late as in the fact that Aunt Flow hadn't come to visit yet. I also noticed that I was feeling a little...ill. Nothing too awful, just nauseous for the most part. Slowly as I started to mentally add everything up and after I looked back on my experience the first time these symptoms came around, I knew that I was most likely pregnant. I gave my doctor a call and I went and saw her later on that day.

She did a few tests and said that I'd have a call from her offices in just a few days. Sure enough, three days later, I got the call confirming the results with a congratulations.

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Later on that night, after I got the call confirming that I was pregnant, and after Layton went to bed, I went and talked to Clifford, who had recently got a hair cut.

"Hey, love," he smiled, wrapping his arms around my waist.

"Hey," I giggled.

"Something on your mind?" He asked as he gave my neck a gentle kiss.

"A few things." I said, letting out a deep breath.

"Oh?" he asked, kissing my neck again.

"Mhmm," I nodded.

"Well then, my dear, what's on your mind?"

"Well, one, I'm still not used to your hair," I said as I ran my hands up through his hair, messing it up, not that he really minded.

"Yeah, well, I did have that other hairstyle my entire life. It's going to take awhile for you to get used to seeing this. Plus, I really had to cut it, my long hair apparently wasn't 'professional' enough, but this apparently is, at least, according to my boss. He's the CEO, so I kind of have to listen to him."

"I know, but still. I mean, I like your hair, its just very, very different." I laughed.

"I know baby." He laughed as he kissed my hair, "Anyway, what else is on your mind?"

"Well, I saw the doctor the other day." I said causally.

"Oh? What for? Are you okay? Is there something wrong?" He asked, worry covering his features.

"Cliff, honey, I'm fine. I just realized that my period was late, and I was feeling a little sick, so I went in for a pregnancy test. She called back with the results today. I'm pregnant. We're going to have another baby."

His entire face lit up, "Really!" he asked excitedly, "Another one?"

"Yup!" I giggled, throwing my arms around his neck.

He smiled and kissed me softly, "So Layton is gonna be a big brother, eh?"

"Mhm, he is!" I laughed.

"I can't wait! I wanted another baby, but I didn't want to make you feel like you had to have another one if you didn't want to..."

I smiled, "One, we need to keep having babies until I have a girl to pass the legacy to, and two, I really enjoy being a mom, so having another one is definitely something I want to do."

Clifford smiled and gave me a loving kiss, looking so incredibly happy to have another baby Stephens on the way.

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As I got bigger, Layton began to notice. One day while his dad was at work I had picked him up and was playing with him, and he asked me a question that surprised me.

"Mommy?" Layton asked.

"Yes sweetie?"

"Why is your tummy big?" He questioned, tilting his head.

"Well sweetie," I paused, unsure how to really answer his question.,"remember when I said you were gonna be a big brother?"

"Yeah! I'ma be a big brother!" He nodded, very excited to have that title.

"Well, my tummy is getting big, because your younger brother or sister is inside my tummy, and they're getting bigger." I explained.

"Oh." He said, surprised. "Mommy?"

"Yes sweetie?"

"How will my younger brother or sister get out of your tummy?" He asked, perplexed.

I sighed to think of a way to put it without giving my three-year old a sex-ed lesson.

"I go see my doctor and then she'll get your younger brother or sister out of my tummy because she's a special doctor and she does that."

"Oh. Okay Mommy. When do you go see the doctor?"

"In a while. Your younger brother or sister will tell me when I need to go see the doctor." I sighed again, trying to make sure I didn't lie, but wasn't graphic.

"How?" he asked, his big blue eyes wide.

"They just tell me, I'm the mommy, so I'll know. " I said, not being able to think of a way to put the actual way gently.

My response seemed to be good enough for him so he just smiled and nodded, "Okay Mommy!"

I smiled at him and he looked at me again, "Mommy?"

"Yes, Layton?"

"Can I go play with my toys, Mommy?" He asked, his big blue eyes wide.

"Of course, sweetie." I smiled and put him down and he ran for his toy box. I smiled over at him, "Layton?"

"Yeah Mommy?"

"I'll be up in half an hour so we can have lunch, and then it'll be nap time, okay?" I said, giving him fair warning.

"Okay mommy!"

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"I think the baby's ready." Cliff smiled about a week before my due date.

"Oh you do, eh?" I laughed as he leaned down and listened to my tummy.

"Yup!" He chuckled, "As a matter of fact, I'm positive. It wont be long until our new baby's here."

"I don't know, Cliff. We have another week or so before the next little Stephens is born." I laughed a little.

"That's what you think,"Cliff chuckled, "I wouldn't be surprised if you went into labor tomorrow!"

I glared at him, "Don't even joke! I see my doctor in a week, and I'll already be in the hospital, and it'll be fine. I don't want to wake up in the middle of the night because my water broke again."

"I'm just joking with you, sweets." He laughed as he stood up and gave me a kiss.

"I know, but still..." I sighed.

He smiled and wrapped his arms around me and then kissed my forehead.

"I know, I just can't wait until we get to meet our new baby. I'm very excited. I want to know what gender it is, who it looks like, traits it may have, everything."

"I know. I really hope it's a little girl. I mean, I'll love the baby regardless, but we do need a female heiress, preferably more than one if possible..."

"Well, if we have a boy, we'll just have to go and make more babies." Clifford laughed.

"I'd be okay with that," I giggled.

Clifford smiled sexily, "Yeah, baby making can be rather....fun, don't you agree, Mrs. Stephens?"

I giggled a little, "Why yes, yes it can. But, we can talk more about that later, I need to go get some sleep." I laughed as I walked passed him and a few moments later, we were both in bed, fast asleep.

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At four-thirty in the morning after I had gone to bed, I woke up, screaming loudly. My water had broken.

I gasped and sat up, breathing heavily, and although we had done this before, Clifford freaked out.

"Uh! Where's the bag? Should I go wake up your mom? Should I go get the car? I-uh-er!"

"Clifford!" I yelled, making him stop his freaking out for a moment, "Go get the bag, it's in the closet, then on your way down to the car, wake up my mom. I can get to the car just fine on my own, okay?"

"Okay!" He gasped and started doing what he had to do.

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We got to the hospital just at sunrise, and at 7:00 AM, my baby was born.

Everyone, welcome the newest member of the Stephens Clan, Todd Xavier Stephens, my second born son.

Shababygal
28th Jun 2012, 11:02 PM
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"Cliff," I said with a sigh, "I don't know how you convinced me to come out today. I told you, I didn't want to celebrate my 30th birthday. It just means I'm old now."

"Nonsense," Cliff smiled, "It just means you're 30 years young, beautiful and full of life experience."

"Yeah, but I don't want to be 30." I mumbled.

"Natalie," Clifford laughed, "Just because you're 30 now doesn't really mean anything. It's just marking how many times the earth has gone around the sun since you were born. It doesn't make you any less beautiful or any less amazing or any less desirable."

I just smiled a little and shook my head, "If you say so, Cliff. I still feel old."

"Just because you feel old, my love, doesn't mean you are."

"I suppose..." I sighed and let a small smile play across my lips, "and I guess that the food here IS really, really good."

"That's my Natalie." Cliff laughed, "Plus, this is your favorite restaurant, yes?"

"Yeah, it's only been my favorite place to eat since, I don't know, forever?" I giggled.

"Do you remember when we used to come here with our families every other weekend?"

"I do!" I laughed, "and after dinner we'd run around down at the old gazebo and play games like hide and seek as well as tag. It was great. My sisters and I loved playing down there. Once, Paige climbed up to the top of the gazebo. My mom got so mad!"

"I remember that!" Clifford laughed loudly, "Your mom had to call the fire department to get her down, didn't she?"

"Yeah, she did! Paige was grounded for so long, it was hysterical."

Clifford chuckled, "Let's not forget your shinanagins either, missy."

"You mean that one time at the Neighborhood Grill-A-Thon that we all went to and they had a kiddie pool set up and I ran up behind you and shoved you in?"

"And then I pulled you in to!"

"Yeah, you did! But I escaped and you chased me all the way down to the City Hall building and back." I giggled at the memory.

"We both got in so much trouble for that, didn't we?" He laughed.

"Yeah, I think we were both grounded for like a month."

"I think we were as well."

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Clifford gave me a smile and signaled our waitress and paid the bill.

"Natalie?" He asked, breathing softly and taking a step closer to me.

"Yeah?" I said while turning around, gasping a little when I saw how close he was to me. Even after 15 years of being with him, he still could make me forget how to breathe.

He wrapped an arm around my waist and leaned in for a sweet, soft kiss.

"Happy birthday, my love." He purred into my ear.

I giggled softly and kissed him lightly back, "Thank you, Cliff. I enjoyed my birthday dinner."

"You're more then welcome, Natalie. I enjoy taking you out, especially on your birthday."

I blushed a little and he grabbed my hand as we walked back to our car.

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"Can you say Mommy?" I asked my little toddler. Clifford and I were once again going along with the I teach our kids to talk, he teaches them to walk, and we both go with the potty training.

Todd just looked at me funny for a moment and shook his little head.

"I know you can! Come on, say Mommy." I said, tickling him a little.

"Mommy!" He giggled squirming around a little.

"That's my boy." I laughed. "Now, can you say Daddy?"

"Daddy!" He laughed a little bit again.

"What about bottle?"

"Bowtle!" He giggled.

"No, its bottle. Can you say bottle?"

"Bottle!" Todd smiled widely.

"Yay Todd!" I laughed, tickling him again. I continued like this for quite some time, giving him different words and phrases to try. He was getting to be quite good at talking, and it wouldn't be long until he had it completely down.

When Clifford came home he came into Todd's room to check on us. Todd saw Clifford open the door and as soon as the door was opened, Todd's little eyes lit up.

"Daddy!" Todd stood up and wobbled his way over to his dad.

"Up, up Daddy!"

"Hey there, Todd!" Clifford grinned as he picked up his youngest son, "Were you talking with Mommy?"

"Yeah!" Todd laughed.

"Good job, little buddy!" Clifford smiled and ruffled up our son's hair, causing him to giggle.

"Daddy?" Todd asked.

"Yeah T-man?"

"I love you!" Todd grinned as he gave his Daddy a big hug.

I smiled and gasped a little, and Clifford was very much taken aback, but he snuggled little Todd and with a soft voice said, "Aww, I love you too, Todd."

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"Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Layton! Happy birthday to you!"

Layton laughed. He was so happy. He turned five today and in the fall, he'd be starting school. He blew out the candles on his birthday cake excitedly and then demanded he get the biggest slice of cake.

After we ate the cake, it was time for opening presents.

"Here ya go, Layton," my mom said, passing him a small little box.

"Thanks, Grandma!" He smiled as he tore open the little box.

He grinned when he realized that he had gotten a video game that he could play. He was very excited and said that he would play it as soon as the party was over.

Layton loved the outdoors very much, so my younger brother Scott gave him a book on all the different kinds of plants and animals that were in the area.

"Thanks, uncle Scott! Will you read some of it to me?" Layton asked.

"Of course Layton. How about on Saturday night?" My younger brother offered.

Layton shot Scott a big smile, "That sounds perfect!"

Layton was five now, and Clifford and I knew that it wouldn't be long until he'd want to start riding a bike around town. He'd been eyeing the big box in the corner from Cliff and I the entire party. When we finally told him he could open it, he darted over to it and ripped open the paper and the box.

When he saw the shining red bike and helmet, he got so excited. He ran over to Cliff and gave him a big hug, and then he gave me an even bigger hug, smiling widely.

"Thank you Mommy! Thank you Daddy! Daddy, are you going to teach me how to ride the bike?"

Clifford gave Layton a smile and patted his hair, "Of course, Kiddo. On my next day off I'll help ya learn, okay?"

Layton smiled so incredibly wide, it probably made his poor little face hurt. I just laughed and smiled, loving the fact that something so simple could make Layton so happy.

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"C'mon, Todd! Come 'ere my little man!" Clifford said to our youngest son, getting him to walk all the way across the room to him.

"Daddy!" Little Todd giggled when he reached his father.

"Go Todd! That's my lil' man!"

Todd was two years old now, and getting bigger and bigger each and every day. He had mostly learned to walk and was well on his way as far as talking went. He was becoming so big, so fast just like his older brother did.

"I hate to intrude on the male-bonding time, guys, but it's time for Todd to go to bed. It's nearly nine o'clock." I said looking at the two of them.

Right on cue, Todd yawned and laid his head down on his fathers shoulder.

"No sleepy." Todd said, shaking his head. "Daddy playtime!"

Clifford just shook his head, "Nah little man, we'll play more tomorrow, okay?"

"Okay," Todd sighed and Clifford picked Todd up and then passed him over to me.

"Mommy's gonna go put you to bed so I can shower, okay?" Clifford said to the little toddler now laying in my arms.

"Okay Daddy!" Todd said, smiling, "Ni-ni Daddy!"

Clifford smiled and ruffled up Todd's hair, "Night little man."

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"Oh good, you didn't burn them." My mom said as she walked out into the kitchen one morning after I had made some waffles for breakfast.

I nearly jumped and let the waffles fly everywhere, but I regained my composure and set them on the counter.

"Jesus, mom! You scared the hell outta me!" I sighed.

"I'm sorry dear. Move, I wanna see how these waffles turned out." She grinned.

"Let me get mine!" I giggled and we went out into the dining room to eat our food.

"Mmmm," my mom mumbled as she ate her waffle, "you're getting better. You're still not good, but you're better, much better."

"Thanks Mom," I laughed, "What can I do to make these better?"

"Cook them a little longer, maybe 30 or so seconds, and add a little extra flour to the mix when you're mixing the batter, they're a little too moist."

"Anything else?" I asked, sighing. Cooking was hard. I had no idea how my mom became so good at it.

"Practice more!" Mom said enthusiastically, "That's the only way you ever get better. I used to be an awful cook, and I burned everything! However, I kept practicing, and eventually, I became pretty damn good."

I smiled and laughed a little and nodded, "Okay, mom."

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"Ugh!" I groaned as I lunged over the toilet just in time, my stomach quickly getting rid of everything that was inside it.

This was the second time I threw up within twelve hours. The only time this ever happened was when I was pregnant. I gave my doctor a call and I went in to see her. Sure enough, the pregnancy test came back positive.

When Clifford came home that night I ran into his arms and giggled, "Cliff! I'm pregnant!"

Clifford gave me the biggest smile and hugged me back tightly,"That's amazing! We're gonna have another little Stephens running around!"

"I know!" I said giggling. I really loved being a mother and taking care of my children, I loved watching them grow and develop their own little personalities.

"Do you think it'll be another little boy?" Clifford asked

"I don't know," I laughed, "If it is, we'll just need to keep trying."

"What if it's a girl?" Clifford smiled, brushing back my hair.

"I would be very, very happy." I said honestly.

"I would be happy too." Clifford laughed.

"How many more children do you want to have, anyway?" I asked giggling.

"As many as you want. I love our kids, and I'll love any more that we have. You have them, I'll feed them." he explained simply.

I just smiled at him and hugged my wonderful husband tightly, "You're the best husband ever."

"I try my best to be, so I can be good enough for you, the best wife ever."

We smiled at each other and I gave him a soft, loving kiss.

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Time marched on, and I got bigger by the day. Most days later in my pregnancy I liked to sit and read books on cooking and gardening, as instructed to do so by my mother. I didn't tell her that I enjoyed reading up on it though. At first it was a little boring, but as I became more and more advanced, the more I enjoyed reading and attempting to do the things I was taught to do in the books.

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The only reason I was really even able to do this was because my dad would sit and watch the boys while I read for a few hours.

Layton loved playing with Todd. They were really close and even though Layton was three years older than Todd, Layton was more than happy to play nicely with his younger brother through the time I was pregnant. My dad only had to step in and play referee a few times. That was probably mostly due to the fact that the boys' favorite game was peak-a-boo.

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Before anyone knew it, it was time for me to bring the newest baby Stephens into the world. My water broke at 2 AM 2 days before she was due. Clifford was still freaking out over it, even though we had already done this twice before

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At four-thirty in the morning, Victoria Shea Stephens was born. Welcome to the world, little one!

JamilaKashe
29th Jun 2012, 7:11 PM
aww! Adorable

Shababygal
2nd Jul 2012, 8:43 AM
Thanks! :D
Sorry for taking so long to respond to ya, my power was out for the last few days. .-.

Shababygal
15th Jul 2012, 4:33 AM
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"Victoria, can you say 'Mommy'?" I asked my little daughter, my first, and only possible heir.

"No!" Victoria stubbornly said, shaking her head. "Play now! Play now!"

"Victoria Shea!" I sighed, letting my face go into my palm.

She just giggled a little. I knew from the instant she was born that this little one was going to be a handful. She was barely two and already she was giving me a fit. This kid was gonna be a hard one to raise, I could tell that for sure.

"We can't play yet. It's learning time right now." I explained gently.

"No!" She shook her head vigorously, "Play now! No learn!"

"Victoria." I said sternly.

"No!"

"Victoria, if you don't finish learning time, you wont have playtime." I spoke while I ran a hand through my hair, trying to calm myself down.

"No! Play!"

"Okay, kiddo. We can play any game you want in five minutes. Alright?"

"No! Play now!"

I sighed heavily and wondered exactly what I had gotten myself into with this little girl.

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"Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear Todd! Happy birthday to you!"

The entire family sang to a now-five year old Todd.

I sighed. He was going to start school in just a few weeks, and I simply couldn't believe it, he had gotten so big, so fast, and now, the only toddler I had in the house was little stubborn Victoria.

I mean don't get me wrong, I loved my little Tori but she was a handful to say the least. The boys didn't give me anywhere near as much trouble as my little girl had. I heard from a number of people that the boys were always the worst ones to raise, and that the girls were going to be easier than the boys. In my experience, that was complete bull.

She was quite stubborn, very smart and she knew how to manipulate her daddy to give her anything she wanted. Sometimes it was cute, other times I had to step in to prevent Clifford from over-spoiling her, and little miss Tori did not like that.

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"That's it Tori!" Clifford smiled as he guided Victoria across the floor a few months after Todd's birthday. "One foot in front of the other, little one. There we go!"

"How's our little marathon walker doing?" I asked as I came into the room after doing some laundry.

"She's doing excellent! Right Tori?" Clifford laughed.

"Yeah!" She laughed as her dad spun her around.

"Good job Victoria!" I smiled and walked over to her and messed up her hair a little, causing her to giggle.

"More spinny, Daddy! More spinny!" Victoria insisted.

"Well, if we want more spinny we have to do more walking."

"Daddy!" Tori pouted.

"Nope, in order for there to be spins, there must be walks." Clifford chuckled.

Victoria began to wiggle in his arms so he put her down and walked to the other side of the room. She walked all the way over to him quickly and he spun her around again, as promised.

"Mommy!" Victoria giggled, "Mommy! Spinny!"

I laughed and then did what Clifford had done beforehand, making her giggle with complete joy. I held her in my arms and gave her a tight hug. Even though she could be a little much at times, there was no doubt that I adored my little girl to itty bitty pieces. Mom says that she's a lot like I was when I was her age, and insisted that turn about is fair play and if Tori is anything like me, she'll grow out of it.

All I could do was sigh and hope that my mom was right.

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"Natalie?" My mom asked one evening while we were watching Victoria play.

"Yeah mom?"

"I noticed that you're not pregnant yet. Victoria has learned all her basic skills and she's nearly four years old. You should be already with another possible heiress," my mom stated calmly.

"Mom!" I gasped, surprised at her bluntness

"What?" She questioned, "You need to have another possible heiress. It wouldn't be fair to Victoria if you didn't give her the option to say no. She may not want to be apart of this, you have to give her the option to accept or decline. To force her into it would just make her bitter. You can't just assume that Victoria will want to have the respectability of being the Stephens Family Heiress. What if she dreams of traveling the world? What if she doesn't end up wanting children? What if she isn't attracted to males? What if she doesn't want to marry? These are all questions you need to ask yourself."

"I see your point, mom," I sighed, "but one, I may not end up having another girl. I could have another son. Two, even if I have another daughter, she may not want children, or she may dream of traveling the world or she may not be attracted to males or never want to marry. There are too many unknown factors."

"There may be, but if you have another daughter at least you'd be giving Victoria the option to decline."

"If Clifford and I end up having another child, then okay, if we don't that's fine too. I have time, mom." I smiled, "I'm barely 35, I have what, another 10,15, hell maybe even 20 years before I start menopause? I don't need to worry about that right now. I have a lot of life left to live and a lot of that life can be used for making babies. I'm in no hurry. I have tons of time."

My mom just smiled sadly at me, "You know, Natalie, that's the problem with life. You think you have all the time in the world to accomplish something, but then all the sudden 20 years turns into 20 minutes and all the time you thought you had is lost. Life is what happens when you're making other plans my dear. Remember that."

I just looked over at her and tilted my head and wondered if I would ever understand what my mom meant by that, and really everything that had been said in our conversation. After a moment I sighed and turned to my daughter who was happily playing with her toys.

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Is it fair to not give Tori a choice? I don't understand why she wouldn't want to be a part of this legacy. Julia just wanted to be sure she could accomplish her Lifetime Wish, if she could have doe that then she would have been happy doing whatever, including being a mother and continuing the legacy. Paige and I both were happy and wanted it, and from what I understand, it was the same way with my mom and my aunt.

I don't see why Victoria wouldn't want to be a part of this. It's an honor. If I don't have another daughter, it might not put her under the stress that both Paige and I underwent as we were waiting for mom to make her choice. That was awful, and it tugged at our bond as sisters.

I was deeply lost in thought, pondering if I was going to have another child or not, and if I could be sure it's a little girl, so when my mother gently touched my shoulder, I jumped.

"It's alright Natalie. You do have some time. Just think about it, okay?"

"Okay mom." I sighed as I turned and gave her a hug.

"Your father and I are going to go to dinner. We'll be back later, okay honey?"

"Alright, mom! Have fun!" I laughed as dad came down the stairs.

"We will, wont we Kenny?" My mom smiled as my dad got her coat and helped her put it on.

"Of course, dear." My dad smiled, "Come, let's go to dinner."

My dad opened the door for my mother and the way my mom smiled at him made my heart melt, and I couldn't wait until Clifford and I could be like that.

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Later on that night, right after I put Victoria to bed, I got a call from my mom.

"Hey, mom." I said happily.

"Natalie?" My mom sobbed.

I instantly changed moods, I never heard my mother cry before, not like this. She was crying because she was in pure agony.

"Momma?" I gasped, "Mom, what's wrong?"

"It's your father," she cried, "he-he-he had a stroke..."

I couldn't quite understand the rest of what she said, and I tried to get her to calm down, but soon enough the phone was taken from her.

"Natalie?" I heard Jordan, my sisters husband ask.

"Jordan!" I gasped, relieved that he was working that night, "what's going on? What happened?"

"You need to come down to the hospital, Natalie. Your dad is in critical condition. He's had a massive stroke and it's taken out anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 of his brain. We're not quite sure yet. He continues to have mini seizures, and we just did an MRI, and it looks like there's a blood clot in his brain. We're going to see if we can get it out. If we can, he may be able to make a full recovery, if we can't, the outcome will not be good for anyone in this family."

"I'll be there as soon as I can." I said softly.

We said our goodbyes and hung up and I called a babysitter for Victoria, gathered the boys and my husband and drove to the hospital as quickly as I could.

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"Is Paige here?" I asked.

"Yeah, she's here with your mom right now. Davion is also here."

"Okay, good. Are you dad's doctor? Or did you just oh so happen to be the unlucky one who got to call and tell me what happened?" I asked.

"I called because you needed to know. Yes, I work here, and I am a surgeon, but I'm not a brain surgeon. However, Dr. Richards is going to be taking care of Kendrick, and he's the best doctor in a few thousand miles, so he's in good hands. Plus, we'll only have the best for Riverview's all time best sports player."

"Thank you, Jordan." I smiled a little. He just shrugged and went to go sit by Paige.

I opened the door into my fathers private room and gasped at what I saw.

Shababygal
11th Aug 2012, 4:38 AM
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"D-Daddy?" I cried softly, feeling like a lost little girl. I had walked into the room and my mother was collapsed near my father's bedside. My dad looked lifeless, old and fragile. I had never seen him look anything like this, and it scared me to no end. I began to shake as tears cascaded down my face.

"Daddy?" I cried again, taking a step closer and touching his hand, "Daddy? You need to wake up. Momma's here, so are all your kids. Julia, Paige, Scott, Chase and I. We're all here for you Daddy, but you need to wake up, please..."

There was no response whatsoever. The only noise in the room was my mothers agonizing sobs.

I looked down and over at my mom. She wasn't just crying from sadness, she was sobbing out of pure agony. The feeling of complete and total loss was apparent in her cries. Her heart was breaking and she was letting it be known to everyone. I really couldn't say that she was in the wrong for doing that, though. She had been with my father for nearly 55 years, that's over half a century. She gave all of her heart to my father just like he gave all of his to her, and everyone knew the moment his stopped beating, hers would shatter.

I knew I couldn't say anything, so I just stood there and squoze my moms shoulder, but that simply seemed to make her cry harder, which I didn't think was possible. I sighed and took a step back, running my hands through my hair and attempting to compose myself enough to go out of the room so other members of my family could come in and see our father. However, the nurse seemed to have a different idea.

I open the door to leave and the nurse shuffles in my husband, Todd, Layton and my younger brother Scott.

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"I brought you all in here because you all live in Mr. Stephens household, yes?" The nurse asked as she leaned up against the desk.

"Yes ma'am." I replied in a shaky tone. I didn't like the way she looked at us. Her eyes were sad and very dim, but full of sympathy, signaling that whatever news she had for us was not good.

"I hate to inform you that from the test results that we have received, we see that Mr. Stephens has lost nearly 3/4 of his brain. With so much loss, it's surprising that he's still breathing. If we were to do a surgery to remove the blood clot, you'd very well be left with a vegetable on your hands, and that's if he woke up from the anesthesia. Currently, Mr. Stephens survival is in question. Dr. Richards doesn't think he'll survive another three days. I would suggest that all of you get your goodbyes in."

We all sat there in silence, stunned. No one had any idea what to say. Mom, who had quieted down while the nurse spoke once again erupted into intense sobs, laying her arms over my father and crying loudly, begging him to stay, to come back. It was painful to watch.

I looked over at the nurse who was looking at my mom with a sympathetic expression and cleared my throat to get her attention. "Thank you for letting us know. It might be helpful if you went and told the rest of the family what our father's current outcome may be. They all need to know as well."

She simply offered us all a weak smile and nodded softly as she left the room. The door fell closed with a click and we all stood in the room in silence.

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The first thing to break the silence was my youngest son Todd.

"Momma?" He asked, looking up at me, "Did the nurse just basically say that Grandpa is gonna die?"

"Todd!" Layton shouted over at his brother, "You're a dummy! You don't just ask things like that."

"Well I wanna know!" Todd pouted at his older brother.

I looked down at the both of them and shook my head. "First, Layton, be nicer to Todd, he actually wants an answer to that question. He didn't understand what was said so he asked, and that's okay. Second, Yes, Todd, that's basically what the nurse just said."

Todd nodded, now having his answer. Layton sat on the floor and looked over at his younger brother and let out a bit of a sigh.

No one said anything else for a good five or six minutes. Everyone in the room was reflecting on what may happen to my father, and how my mom was going to cope.

I wrapped my arms around Clifford and before I could contain it, I simply started to cry into my husbands shoulder. He tried to soothe me, but that was nearly impossible, because after I started to cry I was crying almost as hard as my mother, which in turn made both my boys to start crying as well.

My brother was trying to make sure he didn't cry too, he wanted to be strong but this was our dad and not getting worked up over this was impossible.

After an hour or so, we all had managed to say our goodbyes to my father and we left the room to give my other siblings a chance to say goodbye. The only person who was constantly in that room and refused to leave was my mom.

Mom didn't leave my fathers side until he passed away, and she only left then because the doctors pulled her off of him.

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"Time passes by so quickly
But I guess I thought you'd be here forever."


When my dad's funeral came I was flooded with childhood memories. On the days he had off dad would take one of the kids down to the park or wherever they wanted to go and he would spend time with just one of us. He went in order of the oldest to the youngest child. When my turn came around, I was always so excited. I always loved going to the park, and my daddy would push me on the swing so high I could swear if I reached out I could touch one of the clouds in the sky. It was wonderful. I'd swing and talk to him and it was fun to be able to spend some one on one time with my dad.

"I never even had a chance
To say goodbye
There's so many things to tell you
Left unsaid until now."

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"Can you hear me when I talk to you?
Do the words I say ever make it through?
Can you hear me when I talk to you?
'Cause I'd give anything if I knew."

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"Every night I have the same dream
The one where you get to hold me
We laugh and talk until the morning
And then you vanish, yeah
It always leaves me feeling helpless
When I wake up and you're not there."

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"Can you hear me when I talk to you?
Do you know how much I'd love to be with you?
Can you hear me when I talk to you?
'Cause I'd give anything if I just knew."

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"Living in this world without you
I constantly search through my memories
Hoping that I find some treasures
That I passed over,yeah
All that I took for granted
Means so much now and I won't let it go."

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"Can you hear me when I talk to you?
'Cause I never said some things that I meant to
Can you hear me when I talk to you?
'Cause I'd give anything if I just knew."

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"You know I never said some things that I meant to
Can you hear me when I talk to you?
'Cause I'd give anything if I just knew."

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"I miss you Daddy."

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I stayed outside next to my father's fresh grave for a long time. Clifford didn't leave my side, he just held me while I let myself cry. The funeral had been hard, everyone saying some final words for my father, praising his career and how he did well in managing being a great father and superstar athlete. None of that made it better though, no one said anything that could fix the pain. He was still dead. He was still gone and there was nothing anyone there could do about it or could have done about it.

Nearly the moment the last person left the funeral, my mother went inside and into her room. Scott came out a few times to tell me that he hadn't been able to get her to come out, but I knew that I wouldn't be able to do anything either. The boys kept themselves quietly entertained and Scott tended to Tori while I was outside with Clifford.

Clifford knew better than to talk. He knew I needed it to be quiet, so all he did was hold me and rub small circles on my back, in attempt to calm me down. It did after awhile, but I'm not sure if I had actually been calmed down or if I simply ran out of tears. The first option doesn't sound as depressing, so I'll let myself think that he actually calmed me down.

After about 30 minutes of standing there without crying, I went back inside. The rest of the evening was hard but I went about my usual evening activities such as playing and attempting to get some sort of learning into little miss Tori, checking the boys homework and it was my night to prepare dinner.

By the end of the night, I was worn out and exhausted. Scott mentioned that mom had not come out of her room all day and I promised that I'd speak with her in the morning.

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On my way to go to her room the next morning, I actually ran into her as she was walking out into the kitchen.

"Hey, Momma, how're you holding up?"

"How am I holding up?" She asked quizzically, with a slightly annoyed edge.

"Yeah."

"How do you think I'm holding up, Nat?" She asked with tears in her eyes, "The love of my life and partner for the last 55 years just died. I'm doing absolutely terrible! I have no idea how to hold myself together and I'm not sure if I even want to right now! I'm angry and sad and I wish he was still alive but there's nothing I can do to bring him back. I'm completely heartbroken and this all doesn't feel real and I'm hoping this is simply a nightmare and that I'm gonna wake up. But I waited all night last night to wake up, and guess what, I didn't wake up. I'm miserable."

My mom looked so defeated by the time she finished speaking, and I had tears in my eyes as well. I wrapped my arms around my mom and gave her a tight hug. "I'm sorry Momma. I didn't mean to upset you so much. Do you wanna sit down? I was just about to go make some tea and you could have some with me."

Mom looked over at me and sighed, "Tea would be lovely. I'm sorry for snapping at you Natalie. You didn't deserve that. I'm just very upset right now."

"It's fine mom, I understand. Now go sit down on the couch while I go fix us some tea."


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(AN: The song that I used in this chapter is called "Can You Hear Me" by Ashley Gearing, and you can listen to it here. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U11u9uEr9mg ) )

bbc100
11th Aug 2012, 1:20 PM
That last chapter took awhile, power cut or writers block?

Shababygal
13th Aug 2012, 7:08 AM
Mostly it was just not being able to word it right. I wanted this chapter to really pull at the heartstrings, so I wanted to make sure I wrote it right. :3

Shababygal
20th Sep 2012, 12:03 PM
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"Happy birthday dear Tori! Happy birthday to you!" The entire family sang happily to my now five year old daughter. It had only been a few months since Dad's death, but even though the family was still in mourning, it didn't stop us from letting everyone's favorite little girl have a birthday party.

Victoria Shea is beyond spoiled. She's the little, tiny apple of her daddy's eye, and to say that this kid is a daddy's girl is a complete understatement. For her birthday, Clifford completely renovated the old tree house in the back yard and turned it into something that slightly resembled a castle, and on top of that he got her the most intricate little dollhouse I'd ever seen. My mother wasn't any better, though. Mom got her favorite-and so far only-granddaughter the newest, top of the line toy oven. Her uncles and aunts gave her various other things, dolls, dress up clothes, and things of that nature. I was going to re-do her room for her, but, Tori insisted that she wanted a pet instead. While walking in the pet store a few weeks ago to pick up some more cat food for Felix, we passed the chinchillas. She'd been begging me for one since, and it just oh so happened that Felix brought me one a few days after that incident. I took the poor little critter to the vet after Felix left it shivering at my feet. The little guy was okay, and the vet told me that he was probably at one point someones pet, and that I should keep him. So keep him I did, and Victoria got her first pet. So, essentially, Tori got everything she wanted for her birthday, except for a later bedtime.

At the end of that day, I realized something. I wasn't getting any younger, as a matter of fact, I was getting older. Much older. The years flew by before my eyes and I realized that if I wanted Tori to be able to have a choice if she wanted to be the Stephens Family heiress rather than just giving it to her, I had to start thinking about having another baby, and I had to do it soon.

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The following spring, Layton turned 13. The fact that my oldest boy was now in highschool absolutely terrified me. I didn't want to have my first born in highschool, not yet! I'm was way too young for that! Soon he'd end up bringing home girls, and wanting to drive and go on dates and it seems like only yesterday when I was in the same place, excited and ready to go to highschool, and giving my mom the same face he gives me when I now try and talk to him about something he doesn't think is important. My mother was right, life goes by way too fast.

Tori was now six years old and entering first grade, and that meant that Clifford and I have been trying to have another baby for over a year. It obviously hasn't been a success. I still only had one daughter, and I was still getting older and I still knew that I had to have another baby. I tried doing everything I could think of to make sure I conceived, but after numerous amounts of failed pregnancy tests, I could feel myself wearing thin.

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Since dad's death, my mom has been keeping very quiet, but always doing something. Always. She cleans, gardens, does the laundry, runs to the store and cooks at least one meal a day, every day. She doesn't say very much to anyone anymore, really, especially since Scott moved out. Everyone knew that he and I were her two favorite of the kids she had, but Scott was also the youngest, and therefore had a very special place in my moms heart.

After six or so months of doing this, I knew it was taking a toll on her. She was old, and as tough as she may be, all that work at her age does really take a lot out of her, so I began to help her out with the things that she would let me do. She insisted that she continue to clean everything,but she did tell me that it was alright if I helped her in the garden and helped her to cook, both were things I was more than happy to help her with.

I loved working in the garden with my mother. Sometimes we'd talk the entire time we were out there, other times we would never say a word. It was nice to have something to spend my day doing while the kids were in school, and it was even nicer to spend so much time with my wonderful mother.

We rarely, if ever talked about my lack of pregnancy. If I brought it up my mom would just give me a sad smile and tell me that it'd be alright, and if I was meant to have another baby, I'd have another baby.

"Just let fate handle it dearie," she'd always say with a soft, comforting smile. A smile I always returned, but never wanted to, and never meant.

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Years pass and before you know it, one year turns into two, which turns into three and steadily becomes four and by the time you realize it, you've been trying for four years and still don't have a pregnancy or a baby. I saw a number of different doctors, as did Clifford, and there was nothing wrong with either of us, technically, we were both able to have more children, we just weren't.

"Do you really think we'll ever have another baby, Clifford?" I asked one night as I was snuggled up against him, a million different things running through my mind.

"I don't know, Natalie. I mean, I hope we do, but there's really no way to say so for sure," he whispered.

"I just hope Victoria wont hate me," I said mournfully after a long silence, tears beginning to prick at my eyes.

"Why on Earth would Victoria ever end up hating you?" Clifford asked, dumbfounded.

"For making her take the Legacy, Cliff. This isn't something simple. The Stephen's Family Heiresses have a reputation, a name, something to uphold. We have to be incredibly successful. My grandmother set an incredibly high standard for us. The entire town knew and loved her, and the mayor even attended her funeral. The mayor! My mother is only one of the most talented and respected artists in the country, and her art is displayed all over the damn world. I'm a respected photographer and my photos are displayed in numerous places and in news articles, as you know. That's a lot to live up to, Cliff. The Stephens, we're a famous family. My grandfather wasn't that great of a man, as he was Riverview's own man ho, but my father was the top athlete in the world in his day, and you're the CEO of Llama Inc, which essentially controls everything. All of us in this household, at one point or another, is in the spotlight. Tori may not want that. She may not want to have all this responsibility. If I force it on her, she may end up hating me."

"It's not your fault if we simply can't have another baby, love," Clifford said sternly, "I'm sure that when the time comes, Victoria will understand that. Plus, have you met our daughter? I don't think little Hollywood would have any problem at all being in the spotlight, actually, I think that's her favorite place to be."

I laughed a little, but Clifford's support really didn't help.

"I don't know, Cliff. Let's try for one more year, if I'm not pregnant by the end of one more year, we can stop trying for a baby." I sighed, looking down at my stomach and touching it gingerly.

He slid his hand over on top of mine and squeezed softly, "Okay darling," he whispered, "one more year."

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As it turns out, we didn't need another year.

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As soon as the morning sickness started, I made an appointment with my doctor, and by the time Todd's 13th birthday came around, it was confirmed, I was pregnant. It was going to be interesting having a baby now. My oldest was 16, only two years away from graduating, Todd was entering highschool and Tori was only a few years away from entering it herself. By the time the baby would be a toddler, Layton would be graduating. The thought made me gasp a little, and I really couldn't believe I'd have my kids be so far apart in age.

It was easier for me to watch Todd go into highschool, maybe it was because his older brother promised to watch out for him, or maybe it was because I knew that Todd was a smart kid and could handle highschool easily, either way, I was actually very proud as I watched him get on the bus.

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About five months in to my pregnancy, something awful happened.
Clifford was at work and I had a doctors appointment. Today, they were going to give me an ultrasound and confirm the gender of the baby. I was excited beyond words but as I made my way down the stairs, a sudden, brutal wave of nausea came over me and I tumbled over the spiral staircase's railing and fell hard on the floor, right on my stomach. I seemed to fall in slow motion, but I couldn't move quickly enough. I couldn't spin myself onto my back and I couldn't move my arms in time to cover my stomach. I was helpless, and before I even hit the ground, I began sobbing.

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My mom, who was in the kitchen heard the noise and the last thing I remember was her rushing to my side and dialing 911.

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Four hours later, after a whole bunch of tests, ultrasounds and questions, the doctors finally had news for us.

Clifford walked in right after the doctor did, looking beyond worried. He ran over and gave me a hug and then sat down next to me on the hospital bed.

"I'm sorry, love," he murmured, "I couldn't get off until about fifteen minutes ago, we had to close a business deal and I couldn't get anyone to cover for me, but I'm here now. Are you okay? Is the baby okay? Tabby said you fell down the stairs...?"

"Mr. Stephens?" The doctor questioned as he cleared his throat, trying to get my husband's attention.

"Yes?" Clifford replied.

"I'm Dr. Timothy Jason and I'm the doctor that has been providing the care for your wife."

"Okay, good," Clifford paused, "Now what can you tell me about my wife and the baby?"

"Yeah, is the baby okay?" I asked with tears in my eyes and my voice cracking.

Dr. Jason gave us a mournful look and spoke in a hushed tone. "Mrs. Stephens, Mr. Stephens, I'm very sorry. The tests we have done show that the baby is no longer alive. I had hoped if she was still alive we could have possibly done an emergency C-section, but it's too late. I'm sorry. Mrs. Stephens, your body will take care of the disposal process itself but I'd like it if you'd stay here for the week to make sure everything runs smoothly and that there's no internal bleeding or busing that we may need to keep a look out for."

"I'm sorry, Dr. but, did you say she?" I asked, more tears threatening to fall.

"Yes ma'am. I'm sorry we couldn't do anything to help her." Dr. Jason sighed.

I began to sob and Clifford pulled me into his arms and just let me cry, and he began to cry too.

Dr. Jason looked over at us and out of the corner of my eye, I saw worry cross his features.

"I'll leave you two alone to mourn, but if you need anything, just let one of the nurses know, I'll be back to check on you in a little while, Mrs. Stephens."

Without another word, he closed the door, and left Clifford and I alone.

I cried, and I cried hard, harder than I think I've ever cried in my life. I lost my baby, my baby that I had tried to get for nearly four and a half years, and she's just now gone. The little baby that I had brought all the toys out for and set up the crib for and was already trying to decide on names for was simply never going to be born now, and that thought hurt.

LovethMia
23rd Sep 2012, 6:39 PM
Awh. That's so sad. RIP Baby Girl Stephens

Shababygal
25th Sep 2012, 8:50 AM
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"Mrs. Stephens?" The doctor questioned.

"Please, just call me Natalie." I smiled half-heartedly.

"Okay, Natalie," the woman said in a very respectful tone, "I'm Dr. Maria Rodriguez, and I'm taking over for Dr. Jason."

"Taking over?" I asked.

"Yes ma'am. Dr. Jason thought that I would be of more help to you, given your current condition."

"I see. So, what do you have to tell me, doc?"

"Well, you see Mrs Steph-I mean Natalie, the fall you took down the stairs was very severe, and you said that you fell due to nausea, correct?" Dr. Rodriguez asked sharply.

"Um, yes. That is correct." I said looking down at my stomach. I had been here for a few days now, and the baby's loss was still fresh in my mind and the pain was still very sharp. It hurt to be here, I just wanted to go home, but by the look on the doctors face, I didn't think that was going to happen.

"Natalie, I know it hurts. The reason I was assigned to be your doctor is because ten years ago, something very similar happened to me. I also know you're frustrated with being here, I was too. However, it is necessary that we ask you all of these questions and keep you here. In my case, and in many others, there is some internal injury when a baby is lost in an accident."

I sat up a little, obviously shocked that she had undergone something similar. I really couldn't say anything, so I just nodded at her.

"Now, it looks like the worst injury you have is a bruised rib, so just take it easy for a little while and give it some time to heal. I would also suggest that you stop trying to have another child. How old are you now, Natalie?"

"I've just turned 40." I said with a long sigh.

"Yes, I see now that I'm looking at your file. Mrs. Stephens, getting pregnant again would be incredibly risky, not only for the baby's health, but for yours. I would suggest that you enjoy the children you have. I'm sure your daughter wont have a problem upholding the family's name when she comes of age."

I smiled over at her and let out another sigh, "I understand."

"Alright, Natalie, I'm going to leave you to rest now, but here," she paused as she reached into her pocket and pulled out her card, "Here's my number. If you have any questions, or if you just wish to talk about your loss, it may be helpful to talk to someone who also went through it."

"Thank you Dr. Rodriguez."

"Call me Maria." She said with a smile.

"Thank you, Maria." I laughed.

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I ended up being in the hospital for a total of three weeks, and Maria and I ended up becoming great friends. The night I left she gave me a hug and wished me the best and made me promise to call her soon.

My mother and Victoria wanted to celebrate me getting out of the hospital so we had a girls day of going to the spa and then going out to dinner and hanging out in the park. I had to explain to my mom and daughter, that essentially, I could no longer have any kids.

"I'm sorry, Tori, it looks like you're stuck with being the heiress." I said, trying to hide the shame in my voice for forcing it upon her.

"It's okay, mommy!" She smiled as she hugged me, "I wanna be just like you, and in order to be JUST like you I would have had to be the heiress anyway."

I laughed a bit and kissed my beautiful daughters hair, "Alright, if you're sure, sweetheart."

"It is momma, it is."

Feeling much better about the entire situation, we went home and picked up the boys, and we all went to see a game at the stadium, and every Saturday since, my mom, daughter and I would have a girls day and the boys would go see a game and then we'd meet up for dinner.

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It's surprising how fast time flies. Before I knew it, another two years flew by and Layton was graduating. I was so beyond proud for my son. He graduated with all honors at the top of his class.

"I'm so proud of you, Layton!" I said with happy tears in my eyes.

"Aw, momma," he smiled, "Don't cry!"

"I can't help it! I'm just so happy for you! You got that scholarship to go to Simmarian University out by Bridgeport a few months ago, but now that you're graduated, you're actually gonna go soon! I'm excited for you honey but I also don't want you to leave home!" I exclaimed, more happy tears coming now.

"Don't worry, momma," he smiled, "I'll be sure to call, and write and come visit."

I gave him a warm smile and one last hug before letting my mom come and give her congratulations.

Clifford walked over and wrapped one of his arms around my waist as we watched Layton go about and speak to everyone.

"Things have gotten a lot better over the past few years, eh?" Clifford asked with a smile on his face.

"Yeah, a lot better. I mean look at us! We're all here, and healthy. Layton is going off to school and you're now at the complete top of your career, mom's doing great, Todd's happy, and Tori, well, she's Tori."

"She's almost as bad as you were when you were her age," Clifford chuckled.

"Hey!" I laughed as I nudged him in the side with my elbow.

"Ow!" He laughed, "Okay! Okay! Maybe you weren't that bad."

"Thank you." I giggled.

Clifford laughed a little and then kissed my hair, "You know Natalie, when Victoria graduates highschool, I'm gonna retire, and then you and me, we can take it easy, and maybe do a little bit of traveling. Maybe go visit Champs Le Sims? Or Shang Simla?"

"I think we could do that." I sighed happily, leaning over and kissing my husband tenderly.

Although the past few years had been very hard, things were most certainly getting better, and I was starting to get excited for the future.


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The next year, Victoria turned 13. That was the day I started feeling a little less optimistic. What if she turns 18 and then hates me for not giving her the option to decline...?

However, my fears were settled a bit as she exclaimed how happy she was to be 13, because she didn't have that much longer until she got to be the one in my place. She may not be a little kid anymore, but she was just as spoiled as she was when she was 5. Her father overhauled her room and promised to buy her a car when she turned 16, I let her go on a shopping spree and my grandmother gave her her very own lap top, much to my surprise.

Since Layton left for school, Todd and Tori and become very close, and so it wasn't too much of a surprise to see them talking intently in the corner during her party, it was surprising though when she called everyone's attention and let him speak.

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"Uh, so guys," Todd said nervously, "I really didn't expect to bring this up now, but Tori seems to think that now is the best time to bring it up, as it's just us here as a family."

"Yeah," Victoria smiled, "right now seems like a really good time to tell everyone the good news that you're finally over Carrie, or whatever her name was and on to someone much better!"

Todd blushed and gave his younger sister a pleading look to which she completely ignored.

"So, you have a new girlfriend?" I asked.

"Well, see, n-not a girlfriend." He stuttered.

"What?" Clifford asked, confused before saying in a half serious, half joking tone, "Did you get someone pregnant?"

"Dad!" Victoria squealed.

"Clifford!" My mother and I both said sternly at the same time while Todd face palmed.

"What?" Clifford shouted, "It's a legitimate question! He might have, I mean come on, all of us Stephen men have dashing good looks, the ladies can probably hardly keep their hands off him."

"Dad." Victoria sighed with an annoyed edge, "It's not the girls who can't keep their hands off him."

"Victoria!" Todd fumed, blushing uncontrollably.

"What!" She squealed, "You're not telling them!"

"Okay! Okay!" Todd shouted, "Momma, Dad, Nana, I have a boyfriend. I'm very attracted to him, and I think he really has a wonderful personality. I'd really like it if you guys would meet him sometime soon."

"How long have you two been together?" Clifford asked.

"A few months..." Todd answered sheepishly.

"Well, I'd love to meet him." Clifford smiled.

"I would too." I grinned.

"I gotta make sure this boy is good enough for you, Todd, so yes, I'd love to meet him." My mother said with a smile tugging at her lips.

The wide grin that Todd gave us was priceless and then he ran around the room and gave everyone a hug, obviously happy that we accepted him still.

Even though I was surprised at my sons announcement that he had a boyfriend, it was a happy kind of surprise, and from watching how supportive she was of her brother, I knew that Victoria was going to be wonderful in the place of Heiress, and that for right now, life was good.

I simply hoped that it would stay that way.

Shababygal
28th Sep 2012, 10:17 AM
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I woke up instantly in the middle of the night, Clifford already getting out of bed.

"Cliff?" I asked sleepily, "What's going on?"

"I heard something downstairs shatter. It sounded like the front window. I think someone is in the house." Clifford said sternly as he put on his robe and began to head toward the room's exit.

"Cliff! Don't go down there! If there is a robber in here, the cops will be here shortly. We have a security system." I said nervously, also standing up and walking over to Clifford and putting my hand on his shoulder.

"I'm going to go down stairs and get your mom. You go get the kids, get them all here in our room and do not under any circumstances leave this room after you get the kids, do you understand?" Clifford asked in a low, harsh, and somehow protective voice.

"Clifford, I-" I was trying to speak, but I couldn't and tears were already pricking behind my eyelids. I did hear noises downstairs of items being moved around and I started to panic.

"Natalie, please. It's my job as the father and the man of this household to protect you, the kids, and even your mother. She's down there, Natalie, it's not safe for her."

I couldn't argue with him, but I still didn't want him to go. I couldn't speak, so he quietly ran out of the room and downstairs.

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As quickly and quietly as I could, I woke up each one of the kids and we quietly hurried back into my room.

"Momma," Victoria whispered, "It's too quiet down there."

"Maybe the robber is gone?" Todd offered.

"It's been five minutes since we first heard the robber, three since your father went downstairs, he's probably helping grandma-" I was cut off by a gunshot.

It's difficult to describe the feeling of absolute horror, dread and terror you get when you know two of your loved ones are in danger, and may have just been shot or killed. Victoria let out a cry and I had to close my hand over her mouth so she wouldn't make another noise, but that didn't stop the tears coming from my eyes.

Then, suddenly, time stopped going by so slowly and I heard the noises of a fight and struggle, and then someone else running up the stairs. My mother ran into the room, and she had been shot in the leg, and was bleeding everywhere. She collapsed in front of me and gave me a pleading look.

That was the moment I decided to hell with waiting for the police to get here and my emergency system, and I called 911.

"Hello, you've reached 911, what is your emergency?" A young woman asked.

"Hello, Ma'am," I said shakily, trying to keep my calm but failing at doing so completely, "I'm Natalie Stephens, and my house has just been broken in to, and I have a secruity system, but it's been nearly 10 minutes and no cops are on the scene yet, and my mom has just been shot and my husband and the robber are downstairs and you need to send someone over here immediately!" I started talking as smoothly as I could, but as I told the operator what was happening, I just became more and more hysterical.

"Well Mrs. Stephens, we haven't gotten a distress call from your security provider telling us to send anyone out. However, upon hearing what you've just told me, I've just sent an ambulance and police team to your house, they should be here soon. Would you like me to stay on the phone with you until they arrive?

"Yes please," I whispered weakly.

"Who all is in your house, ma'am?"

"Well, there's me, obviously, there's my daughter Victoria, my son Todd, my husband who is downstairs and my mother, who has been-" I was cut off by another loud gunshot and my husband screaming. I gulped out the last word, "shot."

I heard sirens in the distance and I threw my phone down, stood up and bolted downstairs, hoping that Clifford wasn't really hurt, that this was all a nightmare and I'd be able to wake up, but then I saw him, laying in a steadily-growing pool of blood.

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"Clifford!" I screamed at the top of my lungs and dashed over to him, "Oh my god! Clifford! Clifford! Speak to me, love!" I cried, trying to use my hand to stop the bleeding. He was shot in the middle of his chest and there was blood everywhere, but I didn't care about how I was getting all bloody too, this was my soulmate, my one true love, my life partner and he was bleeding out on the living room floor.

"Nat?" Clifford coughed, "Natalie!"

"I'm right here, babe, I'm right here," I cried as I grabbed his hand and put it next to my heart, "I'm right here."

"Is he gone? Are the police on the way? Are the kids safe? What about your mom?" Clifford could hardly speak and with each word I could see him straining.

"Yes baby, he's gone. As soon as he heard the sirens, he bolted, I don't know where he went. I called the police, love. Our alarm system didn't send out a distress signal apparently. I called 911. An ambulance is coming for you, Cliff, hold on for me, alright? Everyone is fine, every one is safe." I sobbed. He was loosing a lot of blood, and as hard as I tried to stop the bleeding, I was unable to do so. I knew he was fading fast and the more the thought sunk in that I was probably going to be losing him, the harder and harder I cried.

"Everyone is safe..." he smiled through the obvious amounts of pain he was in and then he opened his eyes and he locked his beautiful, loving, compassionate baby blue eyes with my green ones and he leaned up and kissed me softly, "Tell the kids I love them for me, will you Natalie? Please?"

"Tell them your self, Cliff, you'll see them soon..."I assured, but Clifford just gave me a sad smile.

"We both know that I'm not going to be seeing them for a long time, Natalie...I don't regret what I did, either. He was gonna light the place on fire, I stopped him, but I didn't know he had a gun, and honestly, even if I could do it again, I'd do the same exact thing. I protected what was most precious to me, and if protecting my loved ones means I die but they stay safe, then so be it."

"Clifford, don't talk like that! You can't leave me! I need you! I've always needed you! Please stay with me! Please!" I sobbed, leaning over him and crying into his body.

"Natalie, look at me," he paused, making sure I did what he requested, "I love you, Natalie, I've loved you since we were little kids and I still love you now and I'll be loving you forever, and for all eternity. Don't worry, you don't need me physically here, and you know I'm never going to really leave you, Nat, I'll always be with you. Always."

I cried even harder than before, "But I need you to stay here with me. I love you, please don't leave me!"

"I love you, Natalie. More than words can describe..." Clifford smiled and kissed me one last time before he closed his eyes and he stopped breathing.

"Clifford?" I cried, "CLIFFORD!" I screamed at the top of my lungs and let out massive heart-wrenching sobs, "Come back to me! Please, baby, come back to me! CLIFFORD!"

I clutched onto him as tightly as I could and sobbed uncontrollably into his chest. I only vaguely remember the EMT's dragging me off of his body and placing me, my mother and my husbands body in the back of a few different ambulances. Someone called Julia and got her to come and watch Todd and Victoria.

I sat in the back of the ambulance with a blanket wrapped around me. My very soul had just been completely shattered, and I didn't know if I could ever go on.

JamilaKashe
2nd Oct 2012, 3:37 AM
:cry: Not Cliff too! Poor Nat, she's going through so much right now, can't wait to see what happens next.

Shababygal
4th Oct 2012, 9:31 AM
The next chapter should be up soon, and that's the end for Natalie's story. So, you wont be waiting much longer :3

Shababygal
5th Oct 2012, 3:01 AM
(A/N: I suggest that when you get to the black and white pictures, you listen to this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1QGnq9jUU0) song and read the lyrics as the song plays).
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The night I spent at the hospital was miserable. The EMT's who picked us up declared Clifford dead on the scene, and police officers came in to question me right around sunrise. I told them everything that happened, from the moment I woke up, to the moment I realized that I was in an uncomfortable, stiff hospital bed. The officers said that there was someone running away from the house, dressed in all dark clothes as they turned down our street, and had teams out looking for him now. Around 9 AM they told me that there were no more questions, that they were sorry, and to call them if I needed anything. A representative from my security company came to speak to me as well, saying that their service went out last night at 3:35 AM for an update, and was back on at 3:40 AM, so in that five minute span, the intruder must have come into the house. The ambulance arrived at 3:49 AM, and I was in my hospital room by 4:00 AM, according to the records. The representative apologized for my loss, and said that this incident would make sure that company policy changed to make sure that this never happened again, and that the company would pay all funeral and hospital costs. I simply shrugged and asked to be left alone. I didn't want their money, I didn't want anything except for Clifford to be alive. I needed him to be alive.

They released my mother and I two days later. Mom had been shot in her knee and it was essentially shattered completely, and she could no longer walk unless she wanted surgery. Mom, now being close to 90 years old simply said that she was old enough now where she shouldn't be walking anymore anyway, so now, she was in a wheelchair, but she honestly didn't mind.

I don't remember much after I got home. With no one coming in and talking to me every forty five minutes, I started losing track of time. I sat in my room for hours in silence with the blinds drawn closed. The world went on, Todd and Victoria still went to school, mom's garden still grew, the sun still rose and set, but it seems as if my life was over. My world had completely shattered.

When Clifford died, I died. Not in a physical way, but in a spiritual, emotional, and mental way, I was dead. My soul had been shattered. There had never, ever been a point in my life where Clifford wasn't there. My entire 45 years here on this earth, there was Clifford standing right beside me. Now that he wasn't there anymore, I simply didn't know what to do, I shut down completely. I didn't understand how the world could just go on, while my life went in to ruin.

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Clifford (and the family that was previously buried on the Stephens property), was buried in a brand-new beautifully designed cemetery, paid for by the security company. It was a beautiful place, and the gesture was kind, but it didn't make me feel any better, and it most certainly did not bring Clifford back to me.

Clifford's funeral was about a week after his death, which gave Layton enough time to come back home from school to visit and mourn his father with us. When Layton came out of the car, and walked up to his fathers burial spot, I had to take another look. Layton looked exactly like his father did when Clifford was Layton's age, and it took me a moment to realize that it was my son standing in front of me.

"Momma?" Layton asked me, "Momma, I'm so sorry. If I was home, I would have been there to help Dad. I'm so sorry I wasn't home, Momma, I'm sorry." He cried as he hugged me, blaming himself for what happened.

"Oh, Layton, baby," I cried back, "don't blame yourself, please. You weren't here, you were off going to school,you were where you were supposed to be. God, Lay, please don't blame yourself."

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It seemed as if the entire town came to Clifford's funeral. He was well known, all throughout the world, actually, and a number of reporters covered the story of his passing, and were following the police investigation closely. Thankfully, however, no news reporters or paparazzi were anywhere around the funeral site.

Every member of the family went up and spoke, including me, even though I could only muster out a few words between sobs each time I tried to say something. Eventually, however, I got the point across.

"I know that everyone here was somehow touched by Clifford in their life. He was a really great man, and he was a genuinely good person, and I knew him my entire life, so I can also say that he was always a good person. He was much more than just a great man, amazing father, and a fantastic husband, though. No, Clifford was breathtaking in his work, both in his business, and in the community. He kept his good naturedness with him, even after becoming essentially, one of the most powerful people in the business world. Even though he had to work a lot, he never missed one birthday, recital, or ceremony of honor. He was always there for his family, and his dedication to us, his loved ones, is exactly why he put himself in danger." I sighed, trying to hold back tears.

"He was my very best friend, and he always was. My first memory, ever was of him. I was running around on the playground and fell and scraped my knee. I couldn't have possibly been older than 3 years old. Clifford ran over to me and got me to stop crying and he told me that whenever he got hurt, his mom would just kiss it better, so little Clifford gently kissed the little scrape on my knee and made it all better, but then continued on to take me to my mom." I paused for a moment, the tears forming in my eyes once again, "I loved him, I always loved him, even before I even knew what love was, I loved him. He was everything to me. I loved him more with every day that passed by, and living without him here is hard, but it's my love for him, and our beautiful children that will keep me going."

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Time. It's a strange concept. Since Clifford died, I really didn't even pay attention to the world around me. I simply got up, did whatever had to be done, and then went back to bed, day in and day out. Time really meant nothing to me anymore. It just hurt too badly to go out and do anything. I was lost without Clifford, completely and totally lost. I was weak, and I knew it, but I didn't know what else to do with myself other than what was strictly necessary.

I lived like this for over a year. I had my good days, and I had my bad days, but the bad days were much more in number and the good days were incredibly few and far between.

One day, upon her request, I went into my mothers room to speak with her.

"Natalie?" My mom asked as I walked into the room.

"Yeah, it's me." I half-smiled as I walked in with two cups of steaming tea.

"Hey, sweetie. How're you doing today?"

"I don't know..." I sighed and took a sip of tea, "I don't know."

My mom nodded and we sat in silence for a moment, "Natalie. It's been over a year since Clifford died, it's already planting season again. I know it hurts baby, but you still have a son and a daughter to finish raising. He wouldn't have wanted you to stop living your life, honey. You need to go back to being Victoria and Todd's mom, and to being yourself. Tell me, hun, when was the last time you painted?"

"Over a year ago. I finished my last one a few days before Cliff..." I gulped and took a sip of tea, causing my mother to nod.

"Natalie, please. Be strong, live your life. It's what Clifford would have wanted."

I nodded and gave her a sad smile, "Okay, momma."

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I did my best to get up and do something productive each day. Mom couldn't really do too much house work or gardening anymore so I took up those responsibilities and started to spend more time with my kids.

Time didn't drag on as much and before I knew it, the months flew by and I was starting to feel better, however, it seemed as if fate was out to make me as miserable as possible. A year and a half after the robbery, I walked in to my mothers room to see that she had passed away in her sleep at 92 years old.

We buried her right next to my father, who she hadn't been with in close to 15 years. Most of the town attended and paid their respects to her, saying that she was as great as a woman as my grandmother was, and I was as strong and great as well.

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Loosing my mother set me back very far back in my healing prosses, and that essentially made me go back in my little world of self-pity and tears. I still did the things I did when I was getting better, but slowly, Victoria took over, with Todd there helping her. When Layton came out for his grandmothers funeral, he insisted on staying here, and started doing his classes online.

I slowly started to settle into a routine, but one night, I was sitting down on my computer, checking e-mails and essentially trying to keep myself distracted when I suddenly realized the date. It had been two years. Two years since...

It was then I had to get out of the house. I had to go visit my husband.

I rolled out of bed and headed downstairs and grabbed the keys to my truck.

"Momma?" Victoria asked, "where are you going?"

"I'm going to go visit your father," I said simply.

"It's 12:30 AM, mom. Can't you go in the morning?"

I simply shook my head at her.

"Alright, momma." Victoria said as she gave me a hug. "Stay safe."

I smiled and hugged her back.

"Oh," I paused, realizing I was no longer wearing the necklace, "here, honey. I know you're not 18 yet, but I want you to have this now. Consider me giving you this as a start of your heiress training."

I gave an actually geniune smile at her when I saw her face light up, "Oh, Momma!" she squealed, "I'm so excited! I'll wear it every day, just like I do with Daddy's watch! Thank you, Momma, I can't wait to start!"

I kissed her forehead and walked out the door.

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I drove along the dark and winding roads that lead up to Clifford's gravesite, and I was letting my mind wander to thoughts of him, and of us, and with the song that came on the radio, it all simply became too much.

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I will wander 'til the end of time, torn away from you.

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I pulled away to face the pain.
I close my eyes and drift away.
Over the fear that I will never find
A way to heal my soul.
And I will wander 'til the end of time
Torn away from you.

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My heart is broken
Sweet sleep, my dark angel
Deliver us from sorrow's hold
(Over my heart).

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I can't go on living this way
But I can't go back the way I came
Chained to this fear that I will never find
A way to heal my soul
And I will wander 'til the end of time
Half alive without you

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My heart is broken
Sweet sleep, my dark angel
Deliver us.

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Change - open your eyes to the light
I denied it all so long, oh so long
Say goodbye, goodbye

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My heart is broken
Release me, I can't hold on
Deliver us
My heart is broken
Sweet sleep, my dark angel
Deliver us
My heart is broken
Sweet sleep, my dark angel
Deliver us from sorrow's hold.

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Shababygal
17th Oct 2012, 9:36 AM
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"Victoria?" Layton asked as he poked his head in to my room.

"Lay?" I yawned, "Why are you trying to talk to me now? It's almost four in the morning, and I have school tomorrow. I need to get some sleep." I angrily sighed as I rolled over and tried to ignore my oldest brother.

"Tori, it's about mom," he said simply.

"What?" I gasped.

"She was in a car accident, Tori. The hospital just called. She's dead." Layton said in a low, pained voice.

"What?" I cried, "No, Layton, she's not dead! She just went to go visit dad's grave! She's probably on her way back, just, let me call her!"

I reached for my phone and called my mother's number. She didn't answer. Tears started to form in my eyes and I tried my best to keep them from falling. I tried calling again, but Layton sat down on the bed next to me and took my phone away and wrapped his arms around me. That's when I lost it. I started sobbing into my oldest brothers chest as he held me and started to cry as well.

"Lay, she just gave me the legacy before she left. She said she was gonna come back and then after school today she was going to start teaching me all those things I have to learn before I can become the heiress. I'm not ready for this, Lay! I need her! She can't be...she can't!"

"Victoria," Layton whispered, "You can do this. Mom wouldn't have done that if she didn't think you were ready."

"But I need her...she's not even going to be around to paint my heiress portrait..."

"Todd can do that for you, Tors."

"I know he can, but it wont be the same!" I cried. It's true that it was tradition to have the mother paint the heiress's portrait when she came of age. Great Grandma Harmony started it, and mom was planning to do mine on my birthday, but now she wont be able to.

"It'll be fine, Tori, everything will be fine." Layton whispered as he held me, "it'll all be fine."

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Three days after I found out she was dead, we buried my mother right next to my father.

The ceremony was simple, just my family was there as we had requested that my moms funeral be a small affair.

It still hurt though. I'm not even 18 yet and I've already lost both of my parents. It hurt, it hurt a lot. Even though my two brothers were standing next to me, I felt utterly alone, and I didn't know when, or if, that feeling would ever go away.

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When my 18th birthday finally rolled around, I decided that rather than throwing a party, I was going to go out to a party. At first, Layton and Todd were worried, I mean I was their baby sister after all, but after I promised to be home at a reasonable hour and to always have my phone on me, they calmed down a little.

As I got ready to go to the club downtown, I started to feel a little bad for my brothers. Layton left Simmarian University and transferred to some online classes so he could stay at home. I felt so bad for him though, because when he left he gave up one of the best opportunities he had. Todd refused to even try and go out of Riverview, he stayed in-town and also did online art classes rather than going to the art academy. They didn't stay because they loved this town, they didn't stay because they couldn't go to those schools either. They had full scholarships and we had more than enough money to send them out there, yet they still stayed, and they stayed because of me.

I let my mind wander for a little while longer as I put the finishing touches on my make up and once I decided that I was ready to go, I skipped outside and got into my car.

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I could hear the music halfway down the block from the club and I got excited as I drove closer and closer.

When I parked and stepped outside a smile crept up my lips and when I got inside the building, I knew I was going to have a fun night.

I went over to the bar and got myself a drink before I started dancing. I was having a blast and more than a few guys came up to me and started dancing with me. I throughout enjoyed the attention and I felt incredibly sexy as I danced.

After about an hour or so of dancing I went over to the bar and got something to snack on, all that dancing had seriously made me work up an appetite.

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I was sort of lost in my own little world when one, rather attractive guy came up beside me.

"Hey sexy," he smiled, "mind if I buy you a drink?"

I rolled my eyes at him and laughed a little, "It'd be a waste,"

"Oh? Why do you say that?" He chuckled.

"Well, maybe I say that because I'm not interested, and maybe because you wreak of juice and maybe I don't let just any mildly attractive guy buy me a drink." I laughed, hardly paying any attention to him at all now.

"Oh, well someone is a little feisty, aren't you?" He chuckled, "It's hot, I must say."

"Eh, if you say so. The flattery wont make me any more interested in you, I hope you understand that."

"Oh? Well damn," he chuckled, "I was hoping it would make you at least slightly more interested."

"Keep dreaming." I scoffed.

"I will. I can promise you that." He smiled.

I gave him an annoyed look and then went back to eating my nachos.

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"Hey, do I get to at least know your name?"

"Victoria." I smiled as I looked over at him.

"Hello, Victoria, I'm Mark. It's a pleasure to meet you."

"Oh, now someone's going to be all gentlemanly?" I giggled.

"Indeed, actually." Mark winked, "Now, lovely Victoria, may I please buy you a drink?"

I smiled at him, "You're not gonna give up on this, are you?"

"That assumption would be correct." Mark grinned.

"Well then, okay, one drink."

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One drink became three, which then became dancing, if you could even really call it that.

All I was focused on was Mark and how his body felt as he ground against me. We had a good rhythm and before long I got lost in the sensation and in the loud, pounding music.

I danced with him for hours, even though it seemed like only minutes and I could have stayed with him all night if I didn't have to go home to my brothers.

We were seriously getting into it when I suddenly heard the music get turned down and the bartender yelled out last call. I pulled myself away from Mark and looked at my phone. It was nearly three in the morning.

"Shit!" I gasped as I turned and looked at Mark, "I gotta go. I was due home over an hour ago."

"Wait! Victoria, before you go, can I at least get your number?" He asked.

"Sure. Text me sometime." I smiled at him and typed my number into his phone and then ran out to my car and hurried home.

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When I finally got home, Todd and Layton were sitting in the living room.

"Victoria! It's almost four in the morning! You had us worried sick! Where were you?" Layton yelled.

"I was at the club, sorry. I just kinda lost track of time. Plus, you guys, I'm not exactly a baby anymore. I can take care of myself, alright?

Todd piped up, "Yeah, I know, but you should have called us, Tori."

I scoffed, "Whatever you two. I'm tired, I'm going to bed. See you guys in the morning."

I sometimes seriously hated how over protective those two could be. I mean seriously! I'm not some helpless little baby anymore. They didn't need to stay here with me, I didn't ask them to, and honestly, I really didn't even want them to. There were times when I wished that Layton went back out to Bridgeport and took Todd with him so he could go to school like he wanted to, just so I didn't have to deal with them anymore. I didn't need them, I didn't need anyone.