Welcome back to another chapter of Random Branches! In the last chapter Canderous found out who his biological mother was and had a heart to heart with Immortal Council member Nicholai Tritten. At the very end of the chapter, Bailey got word that her father had passed away. And now, on with the story.
Bailey got to house her step-mother and half-siblings lived in after taking some time to cry on Atton’s shoulder. She used the key that her father had given her and stepped into the house and located her step-mother and gave her a hug.
“I… I can’t do it, Bailey,” Latanya cried. “Do what, Latanya?” “Raise… raise…” Latanya started before losing control again.
“Yes, you can. You’ve raised them this far. You can raise them the rest of the way.”
“I did that with Chester. I can’t do it alone. You take them.”
“Latanya, I can’t take them. I’m pregnant. I’ve got a toddler son at home as well as three others who are under the age of 18. Plus, it’s not my house. I’d have to ask Mira and Sinbad. The house is hectic as it is. My pregnancy hasn’t been that easy. I’m sorry, but I can’t take them.”
“After you’ve given birth then?”
“Latanya, you’re in the middle of grieving. I’ll come visit after I’ve given birth and we can discuss it then. I’ll approach the subject with Sinbad and Mira and see what they have to say on it.”
Bailey gave Latanya another hug before stepping out of the room.
“Bailey, Liliana was standing near the door you and mother were on the other side of and then suddenly ran outside. What was being said in there?” Dominique asked.
Bailey mentally swore, “Your mother is having a hard time coping with her grief and is having some doubts as to whether she can raise you two by herself. I think it’s just the shock and grief talking right now. I’ll talk to your sister, you stay in here and help your mother.”
Dominique nodded and walked into the room his mother was in. Bailey herself took a deep breath and stepped outside, hoping Liliana had only run outside to the yard and not run away.
Bailey spotted Liliana crying in the backyard. She walked up to her and gave her a tight hug.
“Mom doesn’t love us anymore,” Liliana cried, “She wants to give us away to you.”
“Oh, Liliana, your mom loves you very much. She’s just not sure if she can handle her grief while raising you two. So she thinks it would be better if you stayed with me. However, I think she can do it, so I’ve asked her to give it a try. Can you do me a favor and try not to cause too much trouble for her?”
Liliana sniffled and said ok before excusing herself and going back in. Bailey followed and said goodbye to her step-mother and half-siblings and headed for home.
“How is she taking it?” Mira asked.
“Not well. Neither are the kids, but they’re hanging in there. Speaking of her kids, I need to ask you something.”
“When I was there Latanya asked me to take Dominique and Liliana in. Said she wasn’t able to raise them anymore. I figure it’s just the shock and grief talking. Plus, with me being pregnant and the house so hectic right now, I told her that I wouldn’t consider taking them until after I give birth and only if you and Sinbad were fine with it. This is your house not mine.”
“It’s as much your house as it is Sinbad’s and mine,” Mira said, “But I agree, letting some time pass before considering it was wise. Don’t need her making a rash decision. But if she still feels the same later, I do not mind if Dominique and Liliana come live here. Sinbad can just deal with it and you know Atton will say yes.”
And life went on. Bailey had gotten Dominque’s cell phone number during one of her visits to help with the funeral and had checked in with Dominique to get a feel for how Latanya was coping. Bailey was figuring that shortly after she gave birth, the house would be increasing in size by two with Dominique and Liliana moving in.
It wasn’t too much after the funeral when Bailey went into labor. This time, Atton didn’t panic and was able to get himself and Bailey a cab and to the hospital.
The pair learned why this pregnancy had been harder on Bailey. Bailey was carrying twins. Twin daughters they named Leia* and Mission*.
Sion doted on his nieces and was a great help to the couple who was a bit unsure of having a toddler and twins in the house at the same time.
A week or so after the twins were born, Bailey went to her step-mother’s house to discuss who would finish raising Dominique and Liliana. “We’re going to be going with you,” Dominique said sadly as he let his sister into the house, “She still spends a majority of the day crying. If it wasn’t for the fact that Dad’s job had left him a decent sized retirement package and his life insurance paid out, I’m not sure we would have money for food. Mom’s not really stepping up to the plate. If we stay here, I’ll have to get a job and try to balance school and work.”
“Dang. Thanks for the heads up,” Bailey said. She then went off and found her step-mother.
“I can’t do it, Bailey. Take them,” Latanya said upon seeing Bailey, “They deserve someone who can keep it together. I’ve… I’ve got enough money that I should be fine for the rest of my life as long as I don’t have to care for the kids. And if I live longer than I expect, I should be where I’ll be able to focus on a job.”
“Alright, I’ll take them, then.”
It didn’t take long to get Bailey listed as the legal guardian of Dominique and Liliana allowing the two to be raised by Bailey. It also didn’t take long for them to get settled in. Dominique took Sion’s old bed since he doesn’t use it anymore and Liliana took Atton’s bed from when he was a kid.
Dominique didn’t take long to settle in and begin helping out at the house. “Atton, thanks for taking us in. I don’t think I could have handled balancing a job and school.”
“You’re welcome and it’s the least I could do after all Bailey has done for me,” Atton said, “Plus, your one more hand in the house to help with Obi, Leia, and Mission.”
Canderous had taken up Nicholai’s offer a number of times and today was no different. However, this time, he had brought Sion with him since Sion had needed a break as well from the chaos. Plus, Nicholai had expressed interest in meeting Sion after hearing from a number in town that Canderous and Sion were pretty much inseparable.
“Nice to finally meet you, Sion,” Nicholai said, “Canderous speaks highly of you. Now, Canderous, have you thought about what you’re going to do when you grow up some more? And what about you, Sion?”
“Like I said the last time, travel,” Canderous said.
“I’m thinking about going into veterinary medicine,” Sion said.
“Yes, Canderous mentioned your love of dogs,” Nicholai said, “And veterinary medicine is a wonderful choice. Canderous, travel rarely brings in the money required to fund traveling. How are you going to earn the money to travel?”
“You bring that up every time I say what I want to do! But I have thought about it and done some research. I’ve decided I’ll join the military. I’ll be able to travel even if I don’t end up with money enough to do it on my own time. Plus, I’ve looked into the details of it and there are aspects of it that will appeal to me and still allow me to travel,” Canderous said.
“So will you go to college, Canderous?” Nicholai asked.
“Of course. I’ll go with Sion if he’s willing to wait. I’m not going to turn down a college education just to join the military. There are other careers that will allow me to travel. I just feel the military is the best option at the moment.”
“Of course I’ll wait for you,” Sion said, “What major do you think you’ll do, Canderous? I know I’m going to go into Science and Medicine.”
“I’ve been looking and I think I’m going to go for Technology.”
“Sounds like you two have got the bases covered, where will you stay?” Nicholai asked.
“Dorms will be too noisy. We’re thinking of renting a house on campus. Put in a request for a couple of roommates to help with chores and bills.” Sion said.
“Nicholai, this is random and off topic but I’ve been wondering. Who are those people in the pictures behind you?”
“My biological family,” Nicholai said, “This is, was, their home before they died. The pictures are of my dad and his family. None are of me. My mom didn’t really have any pictures she wanted to share apparently. I don’t know. But beyond that explanation I don’t want to talk about my family, biological or otherwise.”
The two talked with Nicholai for a few more hours before deciding it was time to head back home to the chaos.
And that’s it for this chapter. Will the Huber-Swains thrive in the chaos? Will the Rands be able to handle the sheer number of kids in the house?
Progress towards Atton’s goals:
- Master an instrument – Piano at level 9
- Get married – Achieved Chapter 2.6 when Atton married Bailey
- Join Music Career – Achieved Chapter 1.8 when Alistair got Atton a job
- Learn all songs – He knows all his skill level gives him
- Become Hit Movie Composer – He’s level 8 – Quartet Lead
- Know all co-workers – Achieved Chapter 1.8 when Alistair got Atton a job (a mod from Twallan)
- Befriend 1 co-worker – Achieved Chapter 2.0. Pip Goodfellow and Atton are already Best Friends
- Level 5 Logic – He’s got 3.
Progress toward’s Mira’s goals:
- Grow a garden with every plant from the store – She’s gotten everything from the store except what requires 7 or higher gardening skill, it’s winter so progress is slow
- Master gardening skill – She mastered gardening behind the scenes of Chapter 2.8
- Get married – Accomplished Chapter 1.0 when Mira married Sinbad
- No woohoo until married – Accomplished Chapter 1.0 as Mira never woohooed before marrying Sinbad
- Have a boy and a girl – Accomplished Chapter 1.1 as they have 2 boys and 1 girl as of that chapter
Progress toward’s LTW’s
- Mira – Illustrious Author: Level 2 Painting, Level 6 Writing
- Sinbad – Master Thief: Master Thief – Level 10 – MET Chapter 2.7
- Atton – Hit Movie Composer: Quartet Lead – Level 8
- Bailey – Alchemy Artisan – 2 potions thrown, Level 5 Alchemy
Author’s Note: Leia’s name is from Princess Leia so she’s in the same universe as Atton. Mission’s name is from Mission Vao. Mission Vao is from KOTOR so the same game series and universe as Atton.
Dominique and Liliana moved in with the Rands because I didn’t want them to disappear or anything when Latanya dies. I wasn’t sure what the game or Story Progression would do. Neither Chester nor Latanya had any relatives other than Bailey. And story wise that would make Bailey the closest living relative. She’d end up with Dominique and Liliana. So I went ahead and moved them in before Latanya got anywhere near dying. Plus, it gives Wolfgang some people who are near his age. Wolfgang is between the two in age exactly. Dominique is 3 days older, Liliana is 3 days younger. Canderous, the next closest in age is 9 days older. Obi is 3 days until he turns child.
I know who the heir is, as I needed to figure out who it was before Canderous hit YA. I will go ahead and say that Canderous is not the heir. Mostly because of the way his and Sion’s story has decided to go. But I’ll let you in on where it’s headed when they leave the nest. Which will be in the next chapter or so.