Friday, July 5, 2013

Chapter 15 ~ Getting Used To Everything Again



“Where are we gonna go?” Adam asked me as I picked him up.
“It’s a place with tons of toys and food and all kinds of fun stuff.” I explained.
Ashley giggled right as I looked over at her. Jared tickled her sides as he grabbed her to pick her up. I smiled and opened the nursery door, leaving it open for Jared who was right behind me.
“Oh, okay.” Adam replied, sticking his thumb in his mouth.
“Will we love it there?” Ashley questioned as she was strapped into her pink stroller I got a discount on the other day.
Jared smiled as he clicked the last buckle together. “You sure will!” Then he looked over at me and whispered. “At least I hope so.”
I agreed and grabbed the diaper bag along with two warm bottles of milk; one pink bottle and one blue one. Ashley would always refuse to drink her milk unless it was out of a pink bottle. I could tell she was my little girl.
Jared and I both strapped a toddler into their car seats. Adam always could entertain himself with something for any car ride, but Ashley needed something to keep her busy. She loved cuddling her doll that she received from one of our neighbors, so that always gave her something to do.
I sat in the driver’s seat, turned my car keys in the ignition, and we were off.

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\


I looked back at the kids in the back seat of the car as I shifted into park. They were entertained and had a look of carelessness on their faces. Jared and I unbuckled each toddler and let them walk on their own into the building. Adam stopped at the colorful sign that said ‘T.L.C. – Toddler Learning Center’  to smell it. I laughed at him and grabbed him by the shoulders and swinging him up onto my hip.
“Why did you smell the sign?” I asked Adam, who was now sucking on his thumb like always. Jared opened the door for Ashley to walk in and kept it open for me and Adam.
“Maybe it would smell like cookies. Like the ones you make with the candies in them.” He replied. He was talking about my neighborhood-famous M&M Cookies that I make often. The twins absolutely loved them, but I tried not to make them too often so that we could all stay in shape at least a little bit. Yet, I always had a few of them in a baggie in some purse or bag at all times.
I laughed at Adam and closed the door behind me. A rush of cold, air-conditioned air hit my face and gave me the goose bumps. I shivered at the freezing air, even though it was a nice change from the summer heat wave here in Aurora Skies.
The whole building was filled with all kinds of bright colors and cute kid-like decorations. There were a ton of cute touches here and there. Like the toy train that went up and down the multiple floors to the building, the porthole-type windows with bubbles and fish painted around it on every door, and the little bear tracks imprinted on the ground leading to the 'Cub Clubhouse' area towards the back. Ashley saw the tracks first and pointed to them, smiling up at me. “Bear tracks!” Her eyes were lit up in amazement as she reached down to touch them. Then all of a sudden, she looked confused. “Wait, I’m a Bear. How come I don’t make those tracks?” She asked me.
Jared and I both burst into laughter. “Your last name is Bear, but you’re a human.” Jared explained, rubbing her hair around. I couldn’t stop laughing. They were so adorable and creative; I have no idea how they had any relation to Mystery.
“Well, I wanna be a bear.” Ashley stated, proudly. Adam agreed with her and they both put down their toys to get on their hands and knees. Jared and I watched as they growled and roared as they placed their hands and feet into the bear imprints on the ground, pretending to be bears.
“There go our little bear cubs!” I said. Jared and I giggled and picked up our toddlers’ toys, following them to the Cub Clubhouse.

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\


I could hear Ashley laughing out in the family room from inside the kitchen. Jared was out shopping for a book I had been wanting and some more ingredients to make my M&M cookies (we were almost out). I was busy cooking Jared’s favorite meal—steak with garlic mashed potatoes. As Ashley’s laughs grew louder, I leaned back and peeked through the doorway to see what she was laughing at. Kyle was running around while Ashley chased him all around the couch on the floor. Even Adam, who was learning how to walk in an orange and blue walker, was laughing at the two of them. Their laughs were too contagious to hold anything in, I had to giggle.
Ashley then took a seat on the floor. Kyle laid down right next to her. Ashley reached for his tail and started tugging on it.
“Uh, Ash, I don’t think that’s a great idea. Kyle might get mad at you.” I said, tossing some more chives into the bowl of mashed potatoes.
“But he loves me and he would never want to hurt me, right?” She continued to play with his tail and Kyle started looking aggravated. I thought about what she said for a split second.
‘He loves me and he would never do anything to hurt me, right?’ Well, you’d think so. Even though she didn’t know that what she said may apply to her or anyone, really, in the future, it was something people probably said often. I might even think that one day after something hap-
My train of thought was stopped when Kyle lowered his back legs and pounced on my baby girl.



I gasped as Kyle angrily jumped up with his claws out onto Ashley. I threw the wooden spoon I was stirring the mashed potatoes with onto the counter and quickly moved over to Ashley, now lying on the floor, before Kyle got too angry and did something like that again. Ashley was screaming in fear and Adam looked very worried for his twin sister. Adam was very protective over Ashley—Ashley was protective of Adam, too, though.
“Now you learned to never annoy cats, right?” I scolded Ashley and grabbed a paper towel for the parts of her face where Kyle had gotten her with his sharp claws.
“Right.” Ashley whimpered and reached for Adam, who had somehow managed to get his way out of the walker to comfort Ashley and was now standing by my left leg.
I finished cleaning up Ashley’s face with the paper towel and let her sit on the rug with Adam and her doll. I then threw Kyle out onto the back porch and locked to door. He was being a bad kitty. Katie had paid no attention to the whole disaster and continued to lick her paws. The mashed potatoes became a little dry because I had left the stove on when I took care of the whole mess, so I had to fix that problem now, too.
I felt really bad for Ashley, though, so I gave her one of the last two cookies I had stored away in the diaper bag hanging by the door. She was satisfied after that. Adam became jealous of her, so I gave in and handed him a cookie. I then heard Jared pull up in the driveway, home from the errands. I looked at the kids munching away at their cookies and said, “Don’t let him know I gave you two cookies before dinner, alright?” I held up a finger to my lips and whispered “Shhh,” and they mimicked me, smiling. I threw away the empty bag and swept up a few cookie crumbs on the floor real fast as I heard Jared lock the car doors. The twins could tell I was trying to be sneaky, so they hurried and finished what was left of their cookies. I laughed at them and continued cooking like nothing had happened.

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\


“Hopefully the Band-Aid will help your cut feel better, alright, Ash?” Jared told Ashley, handing her a corner of the soft, knitted, pink blanket in her crib. “That darn cat.”
“Thanks.” Ashley rubbed her eyes and yawned really big.
I smiled as I stood in the doorway and watched Jared be animated with Ashley as he kept talking to her, even when he was getting Adam all situated in his crib. ‘Jared’s going to make a really good daddy one day. One day…’ I thought.
We told both of the twins that we loved them to the moon and back, then turned out the lights, and went to bed ourselves.


I closed the door very slowly, trying not to make a sound since Adam was already snoring. Jared smiled at me and kissed me on the cheek. We made our way into our bedroom.
“You know, you make a really good daddy.” I smiled at Jared as I slipped on my cozy, pink pajama shorts.
He smiled back at me. “I guess so, huh. But you know I’m not a dad.”
“Yet,” I smirked.
Jared’s smile grew wider. “Oh yeah? And when’s that gonna happen, huh?” He leaned over and kissed me. My heart fluttered as I watched Jared take off his shirt, his big tan muscles making my heart skip a few beats here and there.
“I think we should wait until after my challenge, when I’m all yours. Then we could start our family.” I smiled and gave him a kiss back.
“I think you’re right. Better get going on that challenge!” He laughed and reached out for my hand. We both laid down on the soft mattress.
I grabbed his other hand and kept the same smile. “I love you.”
He leaned his head down on the pillow and whispered, “I love you more.”

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\





























The morning went nicely. There was a slight, cool breeze outside that took some sting away from the intense summer heat. The birds were chirping, the pets were all running around out front, the twins were playing with their toys, and Jared and I were sitting on the floor with the kids in the nursery. The smell of coffee was strong. I don’t drink coffee; Jared does. He likes it black, but I don’t even know what it tastes like. I like to have hot chocolate in the mornings. I don’t really need some caffeine to give me energy, and hot chocolate tastes good. Even if it’s 100 degrees outside here in Aurora Skies, Jared and I still have our usual, hot drinks when we wake up.
I really had to start get going on my challenge… I am pretty far behind. The whole “Mystery Incident” is not an excuse; I have to pick up right where I left off.
I sighed and left my thoughts alone while I looked at Jared sitting next to me. He looked at me concerned and gave me a kiss on my forehead. “What’cha thinking about, Little Red?” I sipped my hot chocolate then leaned on Jared’s chest.
“I just really need to get going on my challenge. I’m so far behind. I need to have tons of triplets and twins to pick up the pace. It seems like it’s been forever since I started and I only have eight kids.” I took another sip of my hot cocoa.
“You know, you would’ve had nine if it wasn’t for Mystery.” Jared stated.
I was confused. I looked up at Jared, puzzled. “Wait… what… how woul-“
“Mystery didn’t tell you this.” Jared interrupted me. He sat up so that we were looking each other in the eyes. “Before he took us to Aurora Skies while both of us were passed out, he took you to an abortion place. He somehow knew that you were pregnant with our child… remember?”
I was overwhelmed with feelings. Anger, confusion, sadness. “Oh yeah, I do remember being pregnant with our child… god dammit Mystery.” I whispered that last part just loud enough for Jared to hear but quiet enough so that the twins wouldn’t pick up on those words.
“He offered the workers at the abortion place about $100,000 to abort our baby.” Jared’s eyes were full of anger. His voice was a little shaky but evened out, sounding more angry than upset. “If only I was awake-“
I interrupted him. “Jared, there was no way you could’ve woken up… you didn’t know. It’s not your fault. But… how do you know this?”
“He paid me $50,000 when I woke up before you towards the end of this whole incident to not tell you about it. I took the money but never made any promises,” He finished. Jared looked so mad with himself.
I kissed Jared and we kept kissing for a while. The twins were so caught up in their toys, they didn’t notice or understand what we were talking about. “You did the right thing, Jared. Thank you,” I ended the conversation, after finishing our kiss.
“I love you.” He said.
I smiled, “I love you more.”

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\


It was about 12:00 in the afternoon and I had just gotten off of the phone with the owner of the local pet store. I realized how much trouble Kyle had been to this family… I decided it was best to put him up for adoption. Two pets was enough for us, especially with all of the kids that were going to be in the house. A nice lady named Jackie was on her way with a pet carrier to get Kyle. Kyle and his mom, Katie were playing and they seemed like they loved each other so much. Well, I take that back. I caught Katie sitting on Kyle the other day and had to save him from suffocating. Overall, I just figured it was a good time for Kyle to go.
Jackie was very sweet and loving towards Kyle and Katie. She even gave Jack a dog bone biscuit she had in a pouch on her side. “We will find Kyle a loving home for you. Don’t worry about him at all!” She smiled, locking the pet carrier.
“Thank you. But be careful, he’s a trouble maker.” I laughed as Kyle, almost on cue, tried to scratch Jackie’s fingers as she was locking to carrier. I looked down at Katie as Jackie headed out the door. Katie couldn’t care less what they did with Kyle; she just climbed to the top of her kitty tower and licked her paws. I shook my head at her and smiled.
Jared came down the stairs, right as Jackie left, from showering, the only clothes he was wearing being a towel wrapped around his waist. He smiled at me when he caught me staring at his abs. Jared walked closer to me and I put my hand on his muscular chest and kissed him on the lips passionately.
After we pulled away, he said “Well, hello to you, too.” I laughed and Jared smiled. “I always love how your freckled nose crinkles when you laugh,” He tapped my nose with his finger.
I smiled and ruffled his damp hair, “What are you even doing down here?”
“Came down to see my beautiful girlfriend,” He kissed me on the forehead. He always kissed me on the forehead. I guess it was just easy to reach since his lips were at the height of my forehead. I had always been smaller, but when I was with Jared, I didn’t even mind.
I smiled, “Well, thanks, but your beautiful girlfriend is going out to get pregnant.” I grabbed my purse and car keys as Jared laughed. “Life of a challenge mom, I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be sorry.” He opened the fridge looking for some lunch. “Go continue your challenge and make some gorgeous babies! I know they’ll be gorgeous since they’re going to have some of your genetics.” He winked at me as I walked down the hall.
“Thank you!” I closed the door and stepped out on the porch. I walked out to my car. It was kind of chilly outside. I could tell it was the end of summer soon. In Aurora Skies, there isn’t the fall season every other year. This year was the year where it would go straight to icicles and snow in winter right after summer ends. Yeah, it seems pretty odd, but I just went with it, believing the neighbors who had lived here 5+ years.
I bundled up a little bit with my gray pullover sweater and turned on my car seat heaters to low. I started up my car, already knowing where I was going. I had talked to someone earlier that morning who had heard of me and my challenge from some of the neighbors. I didn’t know them very well, but they seemed to know a lot about me. I guess when something like the Mystery Incident happens to you and then you just move in, people start talking. Everyone in this town was nice, but it was strange how many times I had seen people on their front lawns pointing to my house and talking in lower voices.
Anyways, this guy I had talked to’s name was Aaron James. He didn’t describe anything about himself, but he gave me his address and told me any time after noon was fine for me to come over.


I arrived at his house in less than ten minutes. Turns out it’s just around the corner and on the end of the next street. Someone was in the front yard turning on sprinklers to a garden. That reminded me I needed to tend to my garden at home. I made a mental note while I parked my car and stepped out. The man had light pink skin, brighter pink hair with purple-ish highlights, gorgeous eyes, and transparent (sort of) fairy wings.
Well, this should be an interesting baby.
“Payton Bar?” Aaron asked, stuttering a little bit when he mis-pronounced my last name.
I laughed, “Payton Bear, actually.”
He looked embarrassed, “Oh, my mistake. I just never thought anyone would have a last name like that. No offense.” He rubbed his neck with his hand and smiled nervously at me.
I smiled to let him know that it didn’t bother me at all. “Nah, I’m used to confused faces when I tell people my last name.”
“So, uh,” He stuttered. I could tell he was uncomfortable with the whole challenge situation.
“Let’s do it?” I questioned, trying to move things along.
“Yeah, I guess.” Aaron replied.
I followed inside, trying to imagine what the next baby or babies would look like. I imagined them with tan skin, red/pink hair, and cute little fairy wings.

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\


Once I finished filling Jacks’ bowl with his special bacon flavored pet food the next day, I clicked the TV onto the weather channel. It had been as hot as an oven outside and I was wondering when it would stop. The tall, weather man came on the screen a few minutes later with the forecast. Has anyone else wondered why all weather men are tall, tan, and have really bright white teeth?
Anyways, the forecast predicted only two days left of heat, then it was time for winter. Apparently we would wake up to snow on the first day of winter, but who knows if they’re right. I turned the TV off and rubbed Jack’s ears, as he was standing next to me the entire time. “I guess we’re gonna see some snow soon, buddy!” I said in that excited baby talk voice and Jack wagged his tail, even though he had no idea what I was talking about. I think it’s just the tone in my voice that made him expect something good. Who knows if the snow will be good or not?

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\
















I was still in my pajamas around 7 o’clock at night. I guess it was just one of those lazy days for me. I did go through about four mugs of hot chocolate… you would never have guessed it was summer the way I was dressed and what I was drinking all day!
I looked at the calendar and noticed two marks by today’s date. It said “Jack and Katie’s Birthdays!” in purple ink that looked like Jared’s handwriting. Jared was upstairs with the twins, reading them their favorite book about two pigs that went to the beach during the summer, so I walked towards the stairs to go talk to him about what to do with the pets for their birthdays. When I walked towards the door, I could hear the twins laughing in sync at their favorite part in the book. I smiled and knocked on the door before heading in. As I opened the door, all three of the loves of my life turned their heads toward me and smiled. Jared finished reading the page he was on as the twins looked back at the book before asking me what was up. I explained how I realized it was the pets’ birthdays and that I thought we should do something? “Like what?” Jared asked.
“That’s exactly what I was wondering.” I sighed.
Ashley smiled and I could almost see the light bulb above her head that showed she had just gotten a good idea. “We could make them little doggy and kitty cookies! Like the ones you make, Mommy!” Adam agreed that was a good idea and Jared and I laughed.
“You can’t feed animals human food; they’d get sick!” Jared ruffled Adam’s hair.
“Oh.” Ashley dropped her shoulders in disappointment.
I thought for a moment then got an idea. “We could just brush them and play with them the rest of the day.”
We all agreed on that and headed downstairs to have fun with the pets.

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\

















It wasn’t until a little later in the day that Jack and Katie actually aged up. I couldn’t believe that my first pets, after the incident, were both already elders! It was sad to see them age up, but hey, life happens and you just have to go with the flow.

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\


 My stomach gurgled loudly as I felt a pain in my head and stomach. I was overwhelmed with nausea and dizziness so abruptly, I shot up straight out of bed and ran to the bathroom, making it just in time to the toilet. I hugged the cold porcelain and hurled up everything I had eaten that day. Oh how much I hate this part of pregnancy.

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\


The sun was just barely peeping through the window as I looked at the alarm clock on my side nightstand that read “7:38”. I could faintly hear Adam and Ashley crying for someone to go and take care of them. The pain in my forehead intensified and I slowly started to roll out of bed. Jared kissed me on my cheek before I even sat up.
“You’ve been up all night throwing up. Don’t worry about it, Pay. I got them.” He whispered, knowing my head hurt.
“Thanks.” I breathed and rolled over, rubbing my hand over my empty, gurgling stomach. At least my pillow was able to block any sound in the house. I felt absolutely awful.

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\


Around noon, I had starting feeling good enough to actually get up and do something productive. I had wondered what had made me so sick, since I usually only throw up a few times when I’m pregnant… maybe I had eaten some bad mac and cheese or something.
After eating some crackers that I hoped would stay in my stomach this time, I got dressed and went out into the beautiful, warm sunshine and took care of my garden. The excessive amount of weeds and the droopy flowers was a really bad sign. I had a lot of work to do.
I actually liked gardening and found it fun, well sometimes. But I really enjoyed it, especially since it was so nice out. I wasn’t really ready for winter. I loved summer, but it has to end at one point, right?
While I was weeding and picking fresh tomatoes, Jared was outside running around with the twins. (After gardening, I had played with them, too. Ashley and I kept teaming up against Jared and Adam trying to be the best lions. I never said my family was normal!) But the heat eventually got to all of us, so we headed into the cool, air-conditioned kitchen and made snow cones with our cheeks still red. Adam was fascinated that his tongue and teeth turned blue from eating his blue raspberry snow cone; it was adorable! He couldn’t stop sticking his tongue out in the mirror and laughing. I held him up to the mirror in front of the sink until my arms got tired.
(#61, finding out pregnancy after shower after gardening)
Then, the baby kicked my stomach unexpectedly and I almost dropped Adam. I placed him down on the floor and changed my clothes after handing him to Jared. I was pregnant!
“Do you think he or she will be a fairy?” Jared rubbed my ever-so-slightly enlarged tummy.
I smiled, “I don’t know, but I really hope so.” I then realized something. How would I explain this to the kids? Should I just wait until they’re older? It seems reasonable, I guess, but I would have to lie to them now.
“S-something wrong?” Jared realized I looked kind of worried.
I put a smile back on my face and replied honestly, “No, I’m fine.”
“I’m fine, too.” Ashley giggled, listening in on our conversation.
We all laughed and I had the twins wash their hands and faces, since they got so messy with the melting snow cones. After that, we decided to just have a nice family afternoon and hang out in the family room.


Jared and I each grabbed a giggly toddler and helped them into the walkers, which was their absolute favorite toy in the entire house. I’m not even kidding. If I accidentally left them in the walkers, they wouldn’t even mind. They would just stay there all day. It was a great way to let them play while Jared and I watched movies on Netflix.
Right as we chose what movie we wanted to watch, there was a knock on the door.
“Are you expecting anyone?” Jared looked at me.
I was confused, “No, you?”
“Nope.”
“Well, let’s see who it is!” I said, getting up from the couch and walking over to the door.


I turned the doorknob not having any idea what or who to expect. As I opened the door I saw a familiar face with dark hair and green highlights. It was my best friend—Danielle Smores! She was wearing a green dress with black flip-flops and she looked as beautiful as ever.
“DANIELLE?” I shouted, filled with excitement.
“The one and only!” She flipped her green-highlighted hair confidently.
I had tons of questions. “But how and when--“


Danielle stopped me from going on with millions of questions by hugging me tight. I needed a hug from her. I missed her so much, and she did cross my mind every day, but I tried to forget about her sometimes because I knew I probably would never see her again. I couldn’t believe that here she was, in my new house, giving me one of the best hugs ever. She always knows how to make people feel better, even if she is a complete mess.
“I know what happened… are you alright, Payton?” Danielle had a concerned tone to her voice. I didn’t need to hear the way she said it to know that she truly cared; she’s just that kind of person.
I looked her in the eyes as the whole scene played back in my head, almost like it was fast forwarded from then to now and I answered, “Yeah, I’m fine now.”


We all sat down on the couch and talked for what seemed like hours, just catching up on everything while the twins played together.
“So that’s the Chase story.” Danielle finished her share of explanations. I could see the tears filled with anger in her eyes so I reached over to her and comforted her as best as I could. She seemed to pull herself back together so quickly, I could easily tell it wasn’t her first time doing that after saying what she just had. I was never sure about Chase, but I always felt happy for her because she was happy with him. I would have never dared to say that out loud, especially now.
She shook her shoulders, trying to shake it off, and she was back to normal. “Well,” She looked at Jared. “How are you treating Payton?”
He kissed me on the forehead. “The best I can. I hope I’m doing a great job. She deserves the best of the best. She needs to be treated like a princess.”  I could tell Jared started getting lost in my eyes. “She’s amazing… I’ve never met anyone like her.” I smiled as he went on and on. “I hope I never lose her. I love her.”
Danielle held up her camera and took a picture of us, trying and failing to be sneaky. We looked over at her with that ‘Really?’ look on both of our faces after the flash blinded our eyes.
“What?” Danielle shrugged and repositioned the camera to her eye.
Jared and I laughed, then leaned into a long kiss. I could hear the click of Danielle’s camera but didn’t mind. I grinned at Jared as the Danielle snapped yet another picture. She was always doing clever things that made everyone laugh. I think that was why we clicked so much when we first met each other.
The oven dinged, telling us that my daily batch of cookies was done. I looked over at Danielle and explained how I always make cookies. When I explained it, it occurred to me how unhealthy that seemed, but I didn’t care. They were delicious.
“COOKIES!” Adam and Ashley shouted in unison. They were always excited when the cookies were done.
Jared laughed and stood up. “I’ll get them. You talk to Danielle.” Adam and Ashley followed Jared into the kitchen in their walkers. They knew the rule: “Stay a few feet away if you want cookies today.” I made it up after Ashley eagerly pulled one of the 350 degree cookies from the oven right as I opened it up. You can guess who didn’t get cookies that day.


Danielle scooted closer to me on the couch and sighed.
I looked at her and shook my head. “How did you do it?”
She smirked like she always does and explained everything to me.  “I had heard about what happened… I mean, everyone did. It was all over the news and it was the front page story of the newspaper almost everywhere for a few weeks.”
I was in shock. “Re-really? How much did it tell everyone?”
“Don’t worry. There were no details; just the basic story was written down and spoken about. Anyways, it stated that you and Jared were now living here. And um,” Danielle stopped short and rubbed her neck with her hand.
“What is it?” I was concerned.
“I’m not sure you want to know, but uh,” She continued and put a hand on my shoulder while I braced for the worst.
It has to do something with my kids.
“They found all of your kids’ bodies in the ocean… near the lighthouse.” She paused for a few seconds. “I-I’m so sorry.”
I could tell she was leaving out details, but I tried to not ask. I really didn’t want to know. I felt stiff… frozen. I pushed all of the images I had in my head of my kids floating, lifeless in the ocean. It was so hard to not imagine it, yet I had to try my hardest not to. I could keep myself from thinking too hard about it, but I couldn’t keep the tears in my eyes from falling.
Jared was watching from the kitchen doorway. I could feel Danielle look up from where she had her arms around my shoulders, telling Jared that she’s got it. Only a few tears fell, but I could tell that this pain would be inside my heart forever.
Danielle tried to move the conversation along. “Good news, though: Mystery will be locked up in a jail cell for the rest of his life.” Danielle half smiled when I looked up at her.
I laughed a little bit from the relief of him out of my life… or I guess everyone’s life, forever.
Ashley, out of her walker now, peeped her head out from around the couch with three cookies in her hands, one half eaten. “Mommy and other nice lady,” She began.
Danielle giggled, “Yes?”
Ashley separated the cookies in her hands and held out two towards me. “I brought you some of your cookies.”
“Thank you, princess!” Danielle took the cookies from her tiny hands.
Ashley smiled and took another bite of her cookie, then walked away, proud of herself.
Danielle and I both took bites of our cookies. “She is so cute! What’s her name?” Danielle asked. She looked over at Adam who only had his back end sticking out of the toy box. “And what’s his? Twins?”
I chewed on my warm cookie and replied, “Twins, yes. Adam and Ashley.” I pointed to each of them. “They’re adorable and they get along well. Hopefully they get along with this one, too.” I rubbed my stomach.
“Aw, I can’t wait to see her or him!” Danielle rubbed my stomach, too. She then said, “You know, these cookies are really good!” before finishing it up.
“Thanks! My kids absolutely love them. Seriously, they’re crazy over these things.” I stated. I then pointed to the two of them standing in the kitchen with Jared. Jared had a plate full of cookies and two begging toddlers at his feet.
“Please, please, please with extra cookies on top?” Ashley whined in unison with Adam.
Danielle and I laughed as Jared gave into their sweet faces, splitting a cookie in half; one half for each child. They then came running with huge smiles on their faces to the couch with their cookies in the air.
“What do you say?” I stood up and picked up Adam, swinging him onto my hip.
“Thank you!” They shouted in unison to Jared. Jared smiled from the kitchen doorway.


Ashley stood at Danielle’s feet with her arms up as if saying ‘Hold me, too!’. Danielle didn’t hesitate and she bounced Ashley up.
They had both finished their cookie halves by now. I went to talk to Jared and help clean up the cookie mess in the kitchen, Adam still in my arms.
I could hear Ashley’s little laughs from the other room and saw Danielle tickling her sides. Ashley has always been a social butterfly, unlike Adam who is very shy. Adam’s pretty much a momma’s boy.
“Hey, where is Danielle staying here?” Jared asked while picking up the cookie sheets.
I turned off the oven and replied, “Huh. I didn’t think to ask that.” I leaned my head out the doorway. “Danielle?”
She swung around as Ashley’s giggle fit had calmed down. “Yeah, girl?”
“Uh, so where are you staying here?”
She scratched her head. “Oh, yeah. Uh, one small problem.”
“You don’t have a place to stay, do you?”
“Nope.”
I looked at Jared and we had a quick conversation without saying anything; just making different looks and hand gestures. I have no idea when we got really good at that, but we did.
“We have an extra room upstairs with an extra bed and some other random stuff in there, if you’d want to stay here for a few nights until you find a house.” I put the last of the dirty dishes in the sink and wiped my hands off with a blue kitchen towel.
Danielle smiled, “That’s really sweet, but you don’t have to do tha-“
“C’mon, just follow me upstairs!” I interrupted her. I took Adam’s hand and started heading towards the stairs with Danielle. “Seriously; it’s not a problem at all.”


I opened to door to the crowded extra room upstairs. “I know it’s kind of cluttered and all, but we’d love to have you stay here! Jared and I don’t know what to do with this room anyways, so here you go.” I opened my arms towards the room with a smile.
“Wow, thank you so much!” Danielle hugged me again. “Well, I’ll get changed and go to bed soon. Thank you again, Payton.”
“You’re welcome here anytime.” I smiled.
Ashley was still right by Danielle’s side this entire time. I pried her off of Danielle’s leg and led them out the door. “Goodnight, girl!” I put my hand on the doorknob.
“Night!” She replied and I closed the door.


Jared was coming up the stairs as I walked towards the nursery. “The pets are all taken care of, so don’t worry about them.”
“Thank you. Help me put these little munchkins to bed?” I opened the child locked gate.
Jared picked up Ashley and said, “Of course.”
We went through the usual night time routine and turned out all of the lights. Jared put his arms around me in the middle of the dark hallway and sighed. “You know I love you, right?”
I looked up at him. “Why wouldn’t I?” I held his hand and walked to the bedroom, exhausted. I changed into my pajamas along with Jared when we got inside. “And you know I love you more, right?”
Jared pulled up his covers on his side of the bed. He laughed. “Not possible.”
He kissed me on the forehead before putting an arm around me and falling asleep.
Well, let’s see if we wake up to that winter snow, huh? I snuggled my face into my pillow and pulled Jared’s arm closer. I then closed my eyes and slowly drifted asleep.

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\

Hello, readers! So, here's an important announcement--
*throws confetti*
IT'S THE 100 BEARS ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY TODAY!
Woop woop!
I feel awful because I don't have a gift or anything ready to celebrate it!
BUT, this is your gift for now! :D
I know, it's a lame gift, but I promise I will come up with something else and give it to you later!
I love you all and feel free to comment what you thought about the chapter and maybe even an idea for the one year celebration! 
I love you all and if you live in America, Happy 4th of July as of yesterday! <3
*throws more confetti and gives everyone a red, white, and blue cupcake*
But seriously, can you believe it's been a year?
Holy crap!

~Heather ^_^

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Chapter 14 ~ St-Start Over? (Baby #7 and #8)



My head hurt, my muscles ached, and my eyes seemed forced closed… I felt too tired to do anything. I was very confused. I gathered enough energy to open my eyes.


I woke up to find myself lying on Jared, who seemed to just have opened his eyes. I looked around to find myself lying in a bright white, empty room with no furniture what-so-ever. I was lost, but having Jared with me automatically made me feel better.
“Um,” I whispered to Jared, “do you have any idea where we are?”
He looked at me with worried eyes and whispered back, “No. I thought I heard someone else here, but that doesn't hel-“
We both gasped as we looked up.


“Awake now, I see?” The mysterious man said as he looked at us. “Very good… very good.” He had an evil grin plastered on his face. Jared and I looked at each other, frightened, but didn't dare say a word. “You are now mine.” I gulped at his words. I don’t think I've ever been as scared as I was in that moment.
I tried to speak but it was as if my words were trapped inside of my throat.


Jared and I sat up, trying to get a better understanding of everything. Jared worked up the courage to stand up and talk to the man. Jared slowly stood up, his energy mysteriously very drained along with mine. “Why are we here, where are we, who are you, what did you do to us, why did you do this to us, and where are Payton's kids?” Jared angrily shouted all of his questions at the man. I wanted to know everything he asked, too. But, that last question made my heart stop.
My kids. My everything. Are they gone forever? Where were they? Were the okay?
My mama-bear instincts kicked in and I stood up as fast as I could, wobbling a little bit from my lack of balance and energy. I was now standing next to Jared, looking angrier than he did. I looked the strange man straight in the eyes and said, “Where. Are. My. KIDS?” I was filled with rage. My kids meant everything to me. They couldn't just be gone.
They had to be here… somewhere.
The man just looked at the both of us and laughed, evilly. “Now, now darlings. It’ll all be fine now that you’re here with me… Mystery Jones.”
Mystery Jones. I made a mental note of his name.
“You have no need to worry about anything, since life from now on will be alright.”
Furious, I questioned him again. “You either tell me where my kids are now, or I’ll just have to tie you up, and skin you alive, pushing the blade deeper into your skin every time you don’t answer my question.” I spat at him. “Now, it’s your choice.”
Mystery just laughed again. “Payton, dear, calm down for a second and just rela-“
Jared interrupted him with yelling, “You better tell us where her kids are right this moment or I’ll help her do so, is that clear?”
Mystery looked frustrated, but not as much as we did. Mystery got up out of his chair and looked at the both of us before saying, “Look, Jared. I have more power than you right now, obviously.” Mystery shifted his focus over to me. “I’ll tell you where your kids are, Payton.”
I felt relief at his words, but still anticipated his answer. “They’re in a better place now.”
My whole body went stiff. I couldn't breathe… I couldn't focus. Did he murder them? Did he just kidnap them? What did he mean by ‘a better place’? My thoughts scattered off into millions of different directions. I tried to not think of the worst, even though I had a feeling he meant the worst. “G-go-gone?” I choked out, barely able to speak.
Mystery kept his smile on his face and said, “Yes. They’re gone. As in, you’ll never see them again.”
I gulped, scared to death. Mystery paced back and forth in the small room, each step making a click of his slightly heeled shoes. “Well, you can see them again, of course, if you want me to send you to that place.”
I had never been in such a horrifying situation before… I had no idea what to do. Jared punched Mystery in the face, protecting me after what he had said. Mystery kicked Jared in the stomach back. Jared had more of the control in this fight, though, and was able to punch him no less than twenty times while slamming Mystery on the ground.
At the end of it, Jared had a red mark in the shape of Mystery’s footprint on the left side of his body and Mystery had several gashes in his face and arms. I never knew Jared had it in him.
I was still shaken from everything that had happened in the past few minutes… so much, that I collapsed on the floor.


I felt he familiar fabric of my couch at home under me, but had trouble opening my eyes.
I found the ability to open my eyes to see Jared looking down at me with a worried expression on his face. I rubbed my eyes, yawned, and then laughed at Jared. “Don’t worry… I must’ve fallen asleep on the couch last night. I’m fine, I promise.” I kissed Jared.
“No, Payton… everything’s not fine. You must’ve fallen so hard that your memory is gone. It’s good that you remember me, though.” Jared rubbed my arm, helping me sit up.
“Wait… I’m confused.” I rubbed my forehead, where the pain mainly was.
“I know you are… let me explain.”


“So, let me get this straight.” I said, still totally lost. “Okay, I still remember the part with Mystery, but nothing after that. You said he knocked you unconscious, then gave me drugs that made me not remember anything, right?”
Jared sighed, “Right.”
“Then, he had sex with me?” Jared looked as if he was going to cry. “Yes, I would've stopped him if only-“ I could tell he was trying his hardest not to cry in front of me.
“I know you would have, but it’s not your fault, got it?” I tried to smile at him.
“Got it.” Jared said, looking more like his real self again.
“Then, you woke up and found me on the floor, unconscious. There was a note taped to my shirt that read ‘I’m the next challenge father, my work’s already done.’  You then picked me up and ran as fast as you could to somewhere safe and far away from Mystery.”
Jared nodded after everything I said, then took over with reviewing the story.
“As I was running, I saw a sign that said ‘Welcome to Aurora Skies’ and studied the map of the town beneath it. I saw a sign down the street that had a sign staked into the ground that said ‘Free to anyone who needs it.’  So, I took it. I brought you in here, put you down on the couch with a blanket, and sat here waiting for you to wake up, hoping that this was a safe spot that we could stay forever in. It was a place on the opposite side of town from Mystery, so I figured we’d be fine… at least for now.” Jared gave me a hug. “I’m truly heartbroken about the kids, but I’m sure I’m nowhere as sad as you are about it.”
I hugged him tightly back and sighed. “I am devastated, but there’s nothing that I can do about it now. Everything happens for a reason.”

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\


It had been two days since the whole ‘Mystery Incident’. I wasn't as rattled up anymore, since I felt more protected with Jared and the police knowing about the situation. It also helped me feel better when they arrested Mystery.
Jared and I were doing pretty well in the new house, especially since Jared managed to steal all of Mystery’s money before he ran off with me. Fortunately for us, Mystery was a millionaire
Hah. Not anymore.
We never mentioned that part to the cops, but I figured he owed us a lot.
Things were actually going pretty good for us. Oh yeah, did I mention the new pets we have that we found in the backyard?


The Dalmatian’s name is Jack, and he is a really playful and cute puppy if I say so myself. The orange cat’s name is Katie, and I think she’s one of the cutest cats I've seen. Yes, I did miss my old pets, but these were practically already living here, so you can’t just kick them out, right? I mean, c’mon, look at those faces! Jack was mainly Jared’s and Katie was mainly mine, but we loved both of them very much.


Jack and Jared got along really well. They both clicked right when we found them.


Katie and I clicked, too. She took more of a liking towards me than Jared, but it made Jared feel better when I told him that cats are really stubborn.


After doing my usual morning things, minus the kids part, I decided to make some food for later on during the day. I made some mac & cheese that we could have for dinner. I gathered all of the ingredients and started putting everything together.
Jared came up behind me and gave me a hug.
I smiled from the nice warmth of his body and the tightness of his strong hugs.
“So, when do you think that little guy is going to show up?” Jared asked me, rubbing my stomach lightly.
“It should be soon… my children usually appear early in the pregnancy. Now that I think of it, my pregnancies go really fast.” I shrugged. “You and I both know that I love all of my kids very much, but to be honest with you,” I took a deep breath, “I’m not too excited for this one. He or she will remind me so much of Mystery, especially if he/she has a lot of his genetic traits. I will love the baby no matter what, I just have a feeling it’ll be rough looking into their eyes and remembering so much of their father.”
Jared hugged me even tighter. “I know what you mean… I understand, too. It’ll be okay, because the baby will grow up fast, and we can get fully away from Mystery. We’ll get through it… together.”
I smiled at his comforting words and instantly felt better.
Jared has a way of doing that with me. We click like that. I think that’s the reason we’re so deep in love… we’re perfect for each other.

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\


After we ate dinner, I went upstairs into the nursery just to think about things… I thought being in the nursery would maybe help at least a little bit. I sat down near the colorful playpen and walkers that I was excited to use and thought about everything.
My whole life had stopped, flipped upside down, was shaken, and then thrown at my face. Everything was different now. The only thing the same was being with and loving Jared and doing my 100 baby challenge… without my kids.
Tears rapidly ran down my cheeks as I thought more about my kids.
Jay, Nicole, Paris, Naomi, Bailey, Jack… all gone.
I loved them all so much. I looked down at my belly that was slightly extended from my baby.


Dammit, Mystery. Why’d you do this to me? What did I ever do to you? I never even knew you before! I swear he—My train of thought was interrupted when Jared walked into the room.
I looked up at him and blinked repeatedly to keep the tears from falling out of my eyes.
He reached down to touch my face. “Payton,“ He looked down at me sitting in the corner of the nursery, “Is everything alright?”
I wiped my eyes, but didn't answer at his question. “Okay, that was a stupid question, because everything isn't alright, because you’re crying, but—“ Jared fumbled with his fingernails trying to find the right words to say to me. He realized he couldn't come up with anything and sat down with his arm around me in the corner of the nursery. He let me cry on his shoulder to just get everything out.
He couldn't comfort me with his words, but his love and care was all I ever needed to feel better.

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\


“You have to get the mushroom to level up, dude!” Jared yelled at me as we were playing ‘Super Mario Brothers’ later that evening. The house had an amazing Adventure Time collectible—the BMO video game system. I had always wanted one of those, but never got the chance to get one out of the five in the world.
“I know, I know, my controller isn't working right!” I yelled back, trying my hardest.
We always became competitive when we played video games, but in a cute way. We never were really mad at each other, but we did get a little frustrated sometimes. I was a pretty good gamer girl, and no, I’m not one of those girls who posts pictures online of me holding a controller and saying “Gamer Gurl! Xo”, I’m the one who used to stay up all night trying to beat a game. I usually cuss a lot while playing video games, too.
“Jump up!” Jared anxiously urged me, as I tried my best to keep up with him. Jack then barked at the TV screen, laying on the couch next to us. “See? Even Jack thinks you should be doing better!” Jared winked at me.
We just both laughed, but continued to focus on the game.


Jack shifted from couch to couch as Katie left the room entirely, not really a fan of all of the yelling.
“Smash his head!” I yelled at Jared, as we were trying to defeat Bowser on the last level of the entire game. Despite all of the instructions I kept yelling out, we ended up losing the game on both of our last lives, causing both of us to rage. We hit the controllers and yelled some bad words, but nothing terribly bad.
After the final bang of the controllers, we decided it was time to get some rest.
I filled the pet bowls to the rim with food before heading upstairs to get some much needed sleep.


Before I even had one foot on the stairs, my stomach gurgled loudly. I could feel my stomach churning my dinner as I ran to the nearest bathroom to throw all of it up. I have no idea why people call this the “joys of pregnancy”, because I’ll tell you this—it’s not joyful.

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\


I could just barely hear a loud meow come from downstairs from in my bedroom. This was strange, because Katie is such a good cat and has never been disruptive in the middle of the night. I opened my eyes and stretched in bed. Everyone else was sleeping, so I went downstairs to check on Katie.
I stumbled my way to turn on the family room light. I wasn't very familiar with the locations of things in this house in the dark, or even in the light.
I saw Katie standing on the green and blue rug, her stomach a lot larger than it was before.
Is she pregnant?
She groaned and lied down on the rug, mumbling in pain.
I think she’s in labor!
I quickly got a towel and tucked it under her stomach, being careful to not hurt her.
I woke Jared up and told him to come down but told Jack to stay.
We were going to have a kitten, possibly kittens, in a few hours.

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\


It had been two hours of slipping in and out of sleep on the couch in the family room for me and Jared. But, it wasn't long until we welcomed a new kitten into the family. We didn't name him right away, but he looked just like his momma; orange fur, cute little ears, same meow. He was absolutely adorable!


We both looked down at the new family addition, whom we eventually named Kyle! He was adorable and Jared and I were relieved to finally be able to go back to bed. 
"Who knew that Katie and I were pregnant buddies?” I said as going back up the stairs with Jared. He just laughed and put his arm around me before falling back to sleep.

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\


The next day was pretty normal. Well, at least for the Bears it was normal.
My morning started off with feeding all of the pets and myself. Around nine in the morning, while reading a new magazine, I felt one kick after another short one in my stomach. I pulled out some new maternity clothes I had bought within the first few days of settling in to the new house and slipped them on. There was now plenty of room for my belly to stretch. I was excited and felt more relaxed to be pregnant again and I couldn't wait to see my “new start baby’s” face.


I also started a garden in the front yard later on in the afternoon. I figured it would be a nice way to relax when I’m stressed, it would be my own ‘getaway’, and if I was ever going through a rough time, I could remind myself that I was going through a bad time when these plants were barely growing… now they’re full grown. It would be a sense of progress whenever I’m struggling… just like how it works with my kids.
I started with the basic plants, tomatoes, apples, potatoes, etc., I wasn't very talented at it, but I know I would get better. It was also nice not having difficulty bending down yet, since my belly wasn't too large, yet.


It was such a nice summer day that the whole family spent the afternoon outside. Jack was a crazy little curious dog, for sure.
He curiously dug up the ground right outside of the garden fence, like I wouldn't see or something. “Seriously, Jack?!” I yelled, walking through the gate door to get a shovel after I noticed he was digging a hole.
Jack just looked at me with the cutest guilty face I had ever seen.
As I returned back with a shovel, Jack let out a little, quiet “Woof,” as if saying he was sorry. I smiled a little, but still disciplined him, making sure it wouldn't happen again.
As I filled the hole with the pile of dirt next to it, Jack stood there licking my face every time I bent down and got more dirt.
He was cute, but he was a bad boy. I needed some other way to distract him.


“Jared!” I called from the front yard.
“Yeah?” Jared replied from the back of the house.
“Can you play with Jack or something to keep him from digging up more holes, please?” 
“Sure,” Jared laughed. He called Jack to him and like a silver bullet, Jack was racing around the house to find Jared, his favorite person ever.


Jack loved that ball and always had it in his mouth while walking around the house. He was so cute and probably the best dog I ever had. Jared would chuck the ball and Jack would sprint as fast as he could, always coming to skidding halts when the ball slowed down.
One of the times, he didn't slow down fast enough and tripped over his ball, tumbling on the ground. Jared and I both laughed, since we both saw the whole thing happen, and smiled at Jack as he got up, all embarrassed.

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\


Jack was so draggled, from falling into the mud chasing his ball, when he walked into the house; I had to give him a bath. He didn't refuse or fuss at all, which made my life a whole lot easier. I let him have his ball in the bathtub, especially since he never wants to leave it behind.
I always pictured him feeling like he was leaving a friend behind or something crazy like that that only Jack would think of. It didn't take too long to get him all clean, leaving me extra time in the night.


Katie walked into the bathroom to see what we were up to, and I figured that I could give her a bath, too, with all of this extra time I had.
“Do you want a bath, too?” I pet Katie on her head.
She looked at me with eyes full of fear and a back with hair sticking straight up. She did not want a bath.
I just laughed, picked her up, and led everyone out of the small and crowded bathroom.


As I walked out, I almost squished Kyle, who was running around the house as fast as he could. His fast wasn't very quick, but it sure was adorable the way he turned the corners with his back feet falling under him from running so fast.
Jared walked in to see what I was laughing so hard at. As Kyle approached Jared, he stopped, looked around, and then pranced on Jared’s leg, as if capturing it.
This made me laugh even harder and Jared joined in. We kept laughing and watched as all three pets started running around the family room, through the dining room, in and out of the kitchen, out the pet door, and back in the house to lay down and catch their breath.
I was then 100% sure that we owned the cutest pets in the world.

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\


I was sleeping really hard that night, at least until the labor pains kicked in. I had no idea I was so close to having my baby. My stomach wasn't big at all the day before, but I didn't question it. I got up, in a lot of pain, and walked across the hall into the nursery.


Jared noticed about three minutes later that I was gone. He poked his head in and half-asleep-half-awake said, “Oh my God, is the baby coming?” He was obviously really tired and couldn't get himself to wake up.
“Just go back to sleep, I’m fine.” I managed to mutter between the sharp shoots of pain, sending Jared back to bed. 
 forgot how much this really hurt after each pregnancy.
I just had to push the baby out and fast.


About two hours later, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Ashley Bear. I wrapped her in a blanket and laid her down in her crib just to feel another jolt of pain in my lower abdomen. Twins? Oh God.


It wasn't much longer until I welcomed another baby into my family, this time a boy.
I named him Adam.


I did what any good mother would do after giving birth to twins and fed them both bottles, then making sure they were all wrapped up warm in blankets and comfortable in their cribs.


I looked down at the both of them, thinking to myself, ‘You can do it. You’ll raise these kids up to be the best kids anyone could ever want, despite who their father is. They’ll never meet their father and see what kind of a sick bastard he is. I never want them to experience that. They’ll only experience my burning, raging love I have for them and Jared’s kindness and care towards them.
“I promise,” I whispered, giving them both kisses on their heads as they laughed in response.
I loved both of them so very much.


Adam and Ashley Bear. It even sounded cute. Not as cute as they grew up to be, though.
They both had their father’s ginger hair, Ashley getting her dad’s stunning blue eyes, Adam getting my green ones. Ashley was definitely the more outgoing one, while Adam was the shyer, cute, and quiet twin.
They both loved each other very much, but not as much as I loved them.

Take that, Mystery. I am strong enough to do this after what you did to me, you sick bitch.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I hope all of you enjoyed reading this chapter as much as I loved making it! I'm truly sorry about the huge delay, but I didn't have a computer, so I couldn't make a new chapter. I finally a got my new one and it has amazing graphics! :D
Sorry, too, for the strong language in this... I just felt like it fit with how Payton felt.
I love you all, and thank you so much for sticking with me! <3

Love, Heather/Payton Bear ^_^