“Oh it’s just you Bastian,” Avery yawned as she entered the nursery, “I thought she was fussing again.” She slumped tiredly into the chair next to the crib.
“You should try to get some more sleep. You have school in a few hours young lady,” Bastian scolded.
Bastian, Gabe’s great-grandfather, had stuck around to watch over his family after his death instead of moving on. Now he was her mom’s self-proclaimed partner in her private investigation business Mostly Ghostly.
Avery vaguely remembered meeting him at the park with her sisters when she was a little girl. It had still been a shock when her family was living with Gabe’s family while the new house was being built and she saw him again. If her sisters still saw him they did a great job of pretending he wasn’t there.
The stern look on his face brought her out of her musings and with a shake of her head she stood up and headed for the door.
“I’m awake now and I won’t be able to fall back to sleep. I have some extra credit work I can do,” she huffed as she gave Isadora one last look before leaving the room.
After Avery left Bastian turned his attention back to his great-great-granddaughter. Her parents were impulsive teenagers. But he thought they were doing a wonderful job juggling an infant, high school and in Gabe’s case a part time job.
The door opened and he turned expecting to see Avery again fussing over her daughter. This time it was the other worry wart. Amira gave Isadora an anxious glance before her gaze landed on him.
“Don’t you have another house to haunt?” she laughed.
Although he was tethered to the house where his grave stood Bastian had learned he could move around if he put his mind to it. Lately his mind was focused on that baby.
At the sound of her voice Isadora opened her eyes and searched out her grandmother’s face.
“In some ways I don’t feel old enough to be a granny but in others I feel so old,” she sighed as she picked up Isadora.
Bastian shrugged. “It all worked out for the best, and you can’t tell me you’d give up that rugrat.”
Amira shook her head and sighed, “before I died all I could think of was the legacy that I would be continuing. I was engaged young. He was a nice boy I suppose but I had chosen him for all the wrong reasons. I just worry that Avery is making the same mistakes that I almost made all those years ago.”
Bastian began to respond but Amira hushed him. She’d heard heavy footfalls in the hallway and knew who it was before Gabe came in.
“Is it feeding time?” he asked as he rubbed the sleep from his eyes.
Amira didn’t bother telling him she could handle the baby. Her new son-in-law was stubborn on his best day. He would insist on caring for his daughter himself even if he was ready to pass out from exhaustion. She silently handed him the baby and with a nod at Bastian left him to it.
Bastian proudly watched his great-grandson care for his daughter. Who knew when he’d left him that note all those years ago with Amira’s address that this was how things would turn out?
Gabe sat down at the table with his books feeling the usual relief that came when they arrived home from school every day. Being married with a kid in high school seemed to have put a spot light on him and Avery that they would rather not have. They just wanted to be left alone. He had wanted to drop out but all the parents were a united front against that idea.
He cracked open the textbook and stared down at the equations, waiting. He didn’t have to wait long. Like clockwork the door opened. He hid his grin and wondered to himself what the excuse would be today?
“Is Isadora teething? Because I think Sascha might be.”
Ah. It was teething today. Doing his best to keep a straight face Gabe looked up at Keegan, “she has some teeth so I guess so,” he replied.
Keegan nodded and focused on the textbook on the table.
“So what is it today?” he asked sounding hopeful.
“Trig,” Gabe grunted looking down at the page again to hide his smile.
“Oh yea? Trig can be tricky. I could help,” Keegan said as he moved closer looking like an eager puppy dog.
“Sure Keegan. Thanks,” Gabe muttered. As they were finishing up he looked over at the older man. There were 9 years between them but having pregnant wives and having babies born only days apart had bonded them in a way time couldn’t touch. He was grateful for Keegan’s friendship.
“So Keegan why aren’t you home worrying over your own wife and daughter instead of here with me?” Gabe laughed.
Keegan laughed too, “they’re fine, Mariela said I hover too much. She told me to go find something to do.”
“What about work?” Gabe asked.
The moment the words came out of his mouth he wished he could take them back. He didn’t understand why being a software developer put his friend in such moods. The clouding over of Keegan’s face told the tale better than anything else.
“My job,” Keegan cleared his throat and looked sadly out the window as he continued, “it’s not challenging.”
Looking uncomfortable Keegan started to head for the door. Shit. I really screwed up this time.
Thinking quickly he threw his wife under the bus, “hey Keegan before you leave I think Avery might need some help with her Calc. homework.”
Amazed at how quickly the expression on Keegan’s face changed, Gabe called Avery into the room and told her Keegan would help with her homework. She gave him a confused look but didn’t question him.
Just then there was a knock at the door and his dad’s head peeked in, “we still watching the game with Vaughn?” Gabe nodded. He didn’t bother asking Keegan if he was going to watch. That man didn’t know a thing about sports.
It had taken some convincing to get Amira and Vaughn to put the main living room outside when they were planning the new house but it was worth it to Gabe. Watching sports and being in the great outdoors surrounded by friends and family was perfect.
I’ve been working on this chapter for about two weeks now. It’s my first real try at dialogue. I want to thank CitizenErased14, Marialein, CathyTea, Pollyanna2 and lisabee2 for all their help as I wrote and re-wrote this. I’ve actually changed a few parts since the last time I had someone look it over. Screenshotting was a bit frustrating, especially when for some reason Gabe couldn’t hold the baby to feed her. I ended up having to move her to the middle of the room.
Since there’s so much text describing different things I didn’t put as many pictures into this chapter as I usually do. I’d love to know if it’s not enough or seems okay?
The Marx’s new legacy house was built especially for them by the wonderful builder Equuest! Check out their builds on the Sim Creates blog.