The day of the party was here and the house was buzzing with excitement. Not only was it a pool party but it was a sort of going away party for Claudio too. Clara was ecstatic, Claudio kept a promise for the first time in a long time. It made her heart warm seeing how Cullen and Genevieve were running around helping with preparations for the party. Cullen was actually being civil with his Dad for once!
As she was mixing the lemonade she felt a small kick in her stomach. Clara smiled down at her growing belly. She loved children, she always had. More kids meant more people to love and cherish for the rest of your life.
As the guests started to trickle in the old gang was back together again, with a little extra.
Yusun put her hand on the small of her back and stretched,
“We should have just said this was a baby shower for god's sake! Three of us are pregnant and I know I’m about to pop!”
Clara and Seiko burst into a fit of giggles,
“Your waddling is pretty funny Yusun. By the looks of it are you expecting more than one?”
Yusun rolled her eyes,
“Let’s pray I’m not or Zak will have a heart attack! My parents insisted we stay with them so they could spend more time with the new babies but I think it’s just because they’re both scared of being alone.”
Seiko shook her head,
“I don’t think it’s that. It’s because she knows I don’t want to have kids so she’s going to cling on to yours.”
Yusun threw her hands in the air,
“Well thanks for that!”
While the girls were catching up Margot had a little puppy dog following her around,
“So..when’re you gonna have the baby?”
“I don’t know sweetheart. Are you excited to have a cousin?”
Cullen looked down nervously,
“I’m not sure...I like my sister and my friends but what if I don’t like my cousin?”
Margot cupped his face in her hand and smiled,
“Family is family Cullen, you might not like the baby at first but when they grow up, who knows? This little baby might be all you have.”
Genevieve couldn’t be having a better time at the party! She’d had lemonade, ice-cream, and met all her Aunts and Uncles for the first time! It was awesome! She eventually managed to gather everyone around the new slip n’ slide but insisted she go first “to make sure it works”.
“Did you see that Uncle Coheed! Bet you can’t do any sick moves like that!”
“Don’t tempt me little girl! I will totally wreck you with my sick slip n’ slide moves!”
While everyone was enjoying the slip n’ slide all the pregnant woman, Margot, Yusun, and Clara, had to stay on the sidelines so they decided to keep Harley company while she was grilling up dinner.
Clara placed her hands gently on Margot’s stomach,
“How are you taking your first pregnancy?”
Margot sighed and rubbed the sides of her stomach,
“It’s rough I gotta tell you. Especially being this big! I wasn’t sure how I was going to shave my legs so I could put on a bathing suit!”
Clara started to laugh but stopped abruptly when she winced from a pain in her stomach. The pain had her doubled over and Margot grasp her shoulders,
“Clara?! Clara are you okay?!”
Clara nodded her head stiffly as she stood upright again,
“Fine, fine. I think it was just the baby kicking me in the wrong place again.”
Margot became very worried for Clara so she rushed to go get Claudio and tell him what had happened.
“Clara...did it happen again?”
“Yes. But I told you not to worry! I’m fine, the baby just kicked me in a wrong place!”
Claudio walked up and pressed his forehead against hers as he placed his hand on her stomach,
“You’ll tell me if something is wrong okay? I can’t lose you or this baby…”
Clara kissed his nose,
“Yes mon amour I promise.”
Clara looked around suddenly, searching for someone.
“Oh I think him and Genevieve went inside to play some chess or something. I’ll go get them for dinner if you want?”
“No, no I’ve got it. You go help mère set up the table.”
- 10 Minutes Earlier -
Cullen was walking with Genevieve to the chess table. She swore that she could beat him at a game but he’d been playing longer so he knew it wouldn’t be fair to her. Maybe he’d let her win?
Just as they passed the front door Cullen saw a man knocking and peeking in through the glass.
“He must be someone late for the party, one of Dad’s friends probably. Set up the game Genevieve and I’ll let him in.”
As he opened the door the neatly dressed man let himself in and observed his surroundings with a strong air of disgust.
“Um..if you’re here for my Dad he’s outside helping Grandma prepare dinner.”
The man stared down at Cullen with piercing blue eyes,
“Who are you child?”
Cullen gave him a weird look,
“My name is Cullen Belle, don’t you work for my Dad?”
The man scoffed and rolled his eyes,
“Me? Work for someone else? Please.”
As he looked around he brushed off his coat,
“Is there perhaps a woman named Clara Bledstone that resides here?”
“That’s my Mom! If you don’t work for my Dad then how do you know-”
Clara walked into the hallway and saw Genevieve and Cullen playing chess together and an unfamiliar figure watching them with his back turned.
“Excuse me sir, can I help you?”
The man turned around and eyed Clara with disdain,
“It’s been that long that you don’t even remember your own father, Clara?”
Clara’s stomach plummeted and she felt faint. How did he find her? Why did he even chase after her? There’s no reason for him to be here! So many questions were running through her head at once.
“Well I dare say you do look faint. I’m guessing it’s from the child you’re carrying.”
Mr.Bledstone lowered his voice to a venomous growl,
“It looks like you’ve already popped out quite a few for this wretched, low class family.”
Clara stared at her father in fear. She couldn’t move, she couldn’t talk, it was just like when she was a little girl.
Mr.Bledstone straightened his coat out and was halfway out the front door when he turned around to his daughter,
“I’ve come here to get what is rightfully mine ma poupée. I’ll be in touch.”