THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO READ THIS!
For someone like Jacen, who had most of his family, the Stone's annual-mid-summer cookout was something overwhelming. But his very pregnant – almost six months along – wife begged like a little girl for him to take her to her parents' house in May and he agreed just to make her happy.
As the baby's due date came close, Jacen became frantic about everything that had to do with the baby and Darla. He was constantly amazing Darla with the lengths he would go to make sure both she and the baby were fine... Darla was especially touched by the little crib Jacen had made for their baby, he had actually done it all by himself. It was a tradition among the Bears, Jacen said he was just following it but it meant so much to Darla.
The Stone's annual-mid-summer-cookout was in full blow. Since Mrs. Stone had expressed her wish to meet Jared, he was there too. For him, it seemed, it was natural to mingle among all those strangers, but for the most part he had decided to tag along with Marcus, since both of them had the same mental age – around twelve which was actually Marcus' age – they had bonded rather quickly.
At the current time, Marcus and Jared were playing Sabbac on the floor of the main living room; people were roaming around with their drinks and making polite conversation. Jacen was hearing Max Stone and Adam discuss the new borders policy that would be applying as soon as all the roads opened after the storms season. With the new gained stability between the Wolf Lands and the Black Woods, they were trying to get people to think of the two kingdoms as one.
Then Darla came in from the kitchen where she had been helping her mother to get everything ready for the cookout to begin. She was carrying a big piece of pie.
She went over to Jacen and took a seat next to him, she looked beautiful if huge, but she was very proud of her growing stomach. Through all her pregnancy, with the morning sickness and dizziness and weird cravings, she always made sure to assure Jacen that she was very happy of being carrying his child. She knew that Jacen was happy, thrilled with the idea of his own flesh and blood growing inside the woman he loved so much, but he was also very afraid, the death of his own mother too fresh in his mind.
"Weren't you helping your mother?" Jacen asked wrapping an arm around his wife, who just leaned into him naturally.
"I was, but she said I'm not helping if I keep eating everything," she said smiling, "But I said I was hungry and she gave me pie." She declared happily, waving her plate.
"Hey!" Max Stone snapped, "Your mother never wants to give me pie before the meal,"
"She said you would say that too, Dad, and she told me to tell you that if and when you were ready to get pregnant she would give you all the pie you liked." Marcus, Adam and Jared started to laugh, Darla just smiled some more and Jacen looked as if he was having a hard time trying not to laugh.
"Your mother!" Max exclaimed getting to his feet and going off to the kitchen. A few moments later there was a loud shriek.
"NO!" shrieked Jared.
"I just lost my horse," Jared cried, looking like he was in great emotional distress. Who knew he was so attached to his old horse?
Darla, without moving out of her husband embrace, went, "Marcus, what's what Dad always tells you about betting?"
"Not with the family." He retorted tiredly. "You can keep your horse, Jared." Marcus added, he really didn't mind about giving the horse back. "Come, I'll show you the way to get pie around here."
"I thought I had to get pregnant for that," Jared said, amused.
"Well, you could try that but there is an easier way," Marcus said, putting on his little angel face. "Now, just remember to put the same face you did when you thought you had lost your horse, ok?"
Sure enough, less than five minutes later Jared and Marcus came back with slices of pie, following them was a very annoyed and pie-less Max Stone. "Marcus," he said in a booming voice, "Help me get the tables out."
Marcus didn't even flinched, "Nuh uh, Pie comes first!"
"I'll help," Jacen said.
"Uh, I'll get the table clothes," Darla said once she had finished her pie.
"God, why do I always forget that mom puts the table clothes in the high shelf!" I murmured while trying to reach for the stuff in the high shelf. When I finally managed to pull at the cloth, I lost my balance and I found myself stumbling backwards. I would have fallen, but I felt that someone caught me. "Thanks." I said, turning around.
"You're very welcome," Hector said looking at me; I knew he was staying at my parent's; Dad loves him as a son and wouldn't want him to live alone so, of course, he took him in.
"Hi, Hector," I said trying to keep my voice cool.
"Nice to see you, Darla," he answered, he was studying my face, "You know, I always thought you would look real pretty being pregnant."
"Thanks, I guess."
There was this overwhelming silence, neither of us spoke but we weren't sure if we should leave either, finally Hector said: "I apologize for what happened last time, but I won't ask you to forgive me, I don't think I deserve it."
"Hector..." I said softly, I wanted to forgive him, mostly because this Hector actually sounded like my friend and not like the hell-vent-hearted person who had fought with me all those months ago.
"I just want you to know that you and your child can count with my loyalty. For my honor I swear it."
I felt as if lightning had just struck, I know that for Hector, more than wealth or love, his honor is what mattered the most. "You know that loyalty to me and my baby means loyalty to its father."
"I know," Hector sighed tiredly, "Just don't make me say it." Then, in this surprisingly brother-like gesture, he reached up and cupped my face with both his strong hands, and then he kissed my forehead. Then Hector let go of my face, and turned around to go in the opposite direction of the hallway.
Hector was about to disappear around the corner of the hallway when I heard Jacen's footsteps coming closer. It's a trademark of my kind, we can hear like wolves.
"Are you alright?" Jacen asked, "Do you feel dizzy? Or sick?" He spoke in a blur. "What took you so long?"
"I'm ok," I answered softly, and just then Jacen caught a glimpse of Hector's retreating back.
"Did he say something to you? Are you ok?" he asked, getting angry just at the thought of Hector saying something hurtful to me.
"I'm fine, Jacen," I repeated, this time I smiled; Jacen calmed down and reached out to place his hand over my stomach, caressing it softly.
"I'm sorry if I over reacted, but you and our baby are everything to me, and I..."
It happened just then. Mom had told me about this, and I thought I knew what was going to feel like, but I had no idea. When my baby kicked for the very first time it was just under Jacen's hand. Jacen jumped about a mille or two.
"Was that what I think it was?" Jacen asked when he felt another little kick.
"I guess baby knows when its daddy is around," I said smiling. Ok, I know that everyone is betting is going to be a boy, but I want to keep to suspense a little bit, that's why I always say 'it' instead of 'he'.
Ten Years later
Dean and Jesse Sharade lay asleep, they had been waiting for their baby sister to be born but sleep had gotten the best of them.
Darla and Jacen were sitting in bed, holding their newest creation, a baby girl. The past few months had been trying, especially on Jacen. Even though Darla had gone through two pregnancies and come out with perfect health, Jacen was nervous about the third one. Thirds weren't charmed in his family, but Darla had been right, everything had turned out just fine.
As Darla was feeding her, the baby opened her eyes. "Look who got Daddy's eyes." She said to the baby.
"We need to give her a name," Jacen said.
"You name her, since I named the boys." Dean and Jesse who looked so much like their father but who had Darla's grey eyes.
"Bryanna," He says. "I really want to get away from the D's and M's" (M's because all the males in Darla's family have name with an M), "And I really don't want to go near the J's"
"Bryanna it is,"
Bryanna Sharade sounds kind of pretty. It suits her.
There might or not might be a story about Bryanna and Xavier Montell, Hector's son.