Welcome back to another chapter of Random Branches! In the last chapter, Max and Leia welcomed their first child, Hermione, and Obi and Mindy welcomed their first child, Minerva. Mindy also seemed to focus more on her job as a business person than at her job as a mother, leaving Obi to be a single father for the most part. And at the end of the chapter, Leia found out she was pregnant again. And now on with the story!
Nine months passed by quickly and soon Leia gave birth to a baby boy named James Zenteri*. He appeared to have a mixture between Atton’s red and Max’s pink/yellow hair. It’s like he got the yellow tips but with the red hair instead of Max’s pink hair.
And baby Hermione was no longer much of a baby. She had turned five and was out and about exploring like Aunt Mission did, and was impressing teachers with her ability to take pictures.
And the years went by. Soon Hermione wasn’t the only school aged kid in the house. Minerva had aged to child. And little James was a toddler. The little guy loved exploring, especially the outdoors.
It was then that Obi realized he wanted another kid. But Mindy wasn’t having any of it.
“She has Hermione and James to play with. She’s not effectively an only child,” Mindy said.
“I still want another kid, Mindy. Is that too much to ask for?! Another kid to call my own,” Obi countered.
“It slowed my progress at work down too much when I was pregnant. Why are you trying to infringe on my dream?”
“And why won’t you give me my dream? To have a second child,” Obi sighed sadly, “Please, Mindy. One more child.”
“No.” Mindy then headed off downstairs.
Leia heard the argument and her heart broke for Obi. But as she thought about how Mindy didn’t want to get pregnant, she thought of one thing: surrogacy. Many actresses who wanted biological kids used surrogates. So they wouldn’t have to get pregnant. She’d have to talk it over with Max since if she was going to be a surrogate, it meant they couldn’t have a third child for a while, if they decided to go for a third.
“Max. You wouldn’t mind if I was a surrogate for Obi and Mindy would you?”
Max blinked. “That’s a random question, but no I wouldn’t. I’m quite happy sitting at two kids. Have you asked Mindy or Obi about it?”
“Not yet. I didn’t want to get Obi’s hopes up if you were wanting us to try again soon.”
“Go ask them.”
It took some doing, but she soon got Mindy and Obi to take a breather on their arguing and listen to her.
“You both realize that many actresses who have biological kids have surrogates, right?” Leia asked.
“I do, but what does that have to do with us?” Mindy asked.
“I know you don’t want to lose work time due to maternity leave. What if you got a surrogate?”
“That would be acceptable. How are we going to find a surrogate?” Mindy asked.
“I’ll be the surrogate. I’ve already talked this over with Max and he’s fine with it. And it would bypass the issues you were having conceiving the last time.”
“Thank you, Leia,” Obi said and Leia could hear the relief and joy in his voice.
And soon it was done. And nine months later, Albus Rand* joined the world. And just like with Minerva, Mindy left the care of the child to everyone else.
And the effects of that were showing with Minerva. Leia had to explain to Minerva one day that she wasn’t her mother. She was her aunt and Obi’s younger sister.
Minerva frowned at that realization, “So my mommy doesn’t love me?”
Leia glanced up in thought on how to answer that one and she saw Obi close enough to have heard the question. A question she heard that he had asked about Bailey when they were kids.
“Mommy loves you, Minerva,” Obi said, “She just doesn’t show it like most mommies do.”
“Ok,” Minerva said before running outside to join her cousin playing in the pool.
Obi walked to the couch and collapsed down. “Is it too much to ask of my wife to pay attention to her kids?”
“No. Have you?” Leia asked and followed him to the couch.
“I have. She says she will if she has time. But she knows that I know that she’ll never have time! I don’t know what it is. Things were fine before we got married and for a bit afterward. Then she got a new boss and everything changed. I don’t know anymore, sis. I hope Albus will help us. Give her a second chance at connecting with her children.”
“I’ve yet to see her go into the nursery. I’m not sure she remembers what skin color he has or what his name is. Obi, you need to have a chat with her. If she’s not going to be a good mother, you need to consider divorcing…”
“I’m not going to divorce Mindy, Leia.”
“So you’re going to let me be the mother to your children, Obi? I love them, I truly do. But I’m supposed to be their aunt. You weren’t around when Minerva first approached me. But she asked me how you and I met and fell in love. She thought I was her mommy.”
“I… I… well, no. But what am I supposed to do? I can’t force her to spend time with Minerva and Albus.”
“You need to go tell her that she needs to start acting like a mother or you’ll want a divorce.”
“But I love Mindy.”
“I seem to recall Mission telling me that our parents divorced because love wasn’t enough. And for goodness sake you can’t have forgotten that Dad loved Bailey even years after they divorced.”
“I’ll think about it. I should get working on my cases. But shit, I never wanted to hear that question again.”
“Take the afternoon off, Obi. If one or more of your clients call say you had a family emergency.”
And think about Obi did. He had a chat with Mindy and she agreed to step up more. And she did. But only enough for Obi to stop nagging her about it.
Soon, little Albus was a toddler. Mindy was pulling a fair number of late nights again. She was back to her old habit of not interacting with the kids again and Obi was pissed.
His phone vibrated while he was playing with Albus one afternoon. He looked at the phone and it said, “Work’s run late again. I’m sorry. We’re likely to go well into the night. Customer pushed the deadline up a lot. Don’t wait up.”
“Will Mindy be joining us for dinner!” Leia yelled.
“No. She’s working late again,” Obi said and felt an unwanted pang of jealousy towards his sister. Her relationship with Max was ideal. Sure, the pair argued, but all couples do and the pair rarely went to bed angry. Both of them showered their kids with love and attention and even gave some to their niece and nephew. Obi shook his head. It wasn’t Leia’s fault that Mindy doesn’t act like a mother should.
The next afternoon, Obi stepped into his room to find an outfit fit for a stake out. He saw his wife in there on the phone.
“Hey, baby, last night was amazing. When can you get away from your husband again?” a voice on the phone said.
“Now’s not a good time to talk. I’ll call you later,” Mindy hurriedly said and hung up the phone.
And that’s it for this chapter! Will Mindy have a good explanation or will this hurt their relationship even more? How will their kids find out/react? Find out in chapters to come.
Progress towards Obi’s Goals:
- Become Private Investigator – Achieved Chapter 2.19
- Complete 30 cases – Completed about 12 cases
- Snoop 10 locations
- Write 5 papers on findings
- Reach level ten of Private Investigator Career – He’s at level 5
- Go through 5 garbages and 5 mailboxes – Gone through 3 of each
Progress towards Leia’s Goals:
- Master Painting Skill – She’s at level 8
- Master Writing Skill – She’s at level 10 – Completed behind the scenes Chapter 3.8
- Paint 20 paintings – Painted 8 paintings
- Be friends with parents – Completed Chapter 3.7 behind the scenes.
- Get 5,000 in royalties (or sell 15,000 from paintings) – She’s got like $3271 in royalties
- Paint family pictures (spouse, kids, parents if alive)
- Join book club (if applicable) – Joined book club Chapter 3.10 behind the scenes
Progress towards Max’s goals:
- Join Film career (Plumbob Pictures Backlot, may need to place it) – Achieved behind the scenes Chapter 3.1
- Max writing
- Max charisma – Level 10 – Completed behind the scenes Chapter 3.8
- Become level 5 celebrity – 4 stars
- Have kid – Achieved Chapter 3.10 with the birth of Hermione
- Reach Level 10 of the Actor branch – Level 7 – Featured Actor
Progress toward’s LTW’s
- Obi Wan – Perfect Mind, Perfect Body: Level 10 Logic, Level 10 Athletic – Logic is at 5, Athletic is at 9
- Leia – Professional Author: Earn $4000 a week in royalties – currently earning $4000+ a week – Completed behind the scenes Chapter 3.8
- Maximus – Superstar Actor – Featured Actor – Level 7
James’ name comes from James Potter of the Harry Potter series. They are both related by blood to the main character. Leia is Luke’s sister, James is Harry’s father.
Albus’ name comes from Albus Dumbledore of the Harry Potter series. Both Obi Wan and Albus lost their lives in the fight against evil. And they’re both teachers.
Obi’s “pose” in the final picture is the Supernatural Fan idle. That gave a perfect timing to a phone call Mindy got.