I had just placed the triplets into their new cribs when the doorbell rang. I made my way downstairs and opened the door to find an unfamiliar young woman standing there.
“Yes, may I help you?”
“Christy Quinn…we need to talk.” she stated very clearly.
My mouth dropped open slightly. I stood stunned momentarily. There was no mistaking that she had said my name. My real name. How did she know? What did she want? My head was spinning with questions. I was so thrown that I almost didn’t hear her repeat herself.
“Christy?” The woman repeated trying to regain my attention.
“I’m sorry, but you have the wrong person. My name is Charity.” I stated. I then tried to shut the front door.
It would have been too easy for the conversation to have ended there. The woman put her hand against the door and stopped it from closing completely.
“I’m not here to cause you any trouble, Christy.”
“I told you, my name is NOT Christy. Now please go away before I have to call the police.” I once again tried to push the door shut, but the woman was still trying to press it open. We struggled for a few moments before finally I managed to close it the rest of the way. With the door closed, I allowed myself to breath. I pressed my back to the door and closed my eyes, trying my best not to hyperventilate. What the hell was going on? How did she know me? Why was she so persistent to get inside? HE had sent her to finish the job didn’t he? Somehow he had found out and now…
My thoughts were interrupted by that woman’s voice on the other side of the door. “Christy…Charity…listen to me. We need to talk. I’m not here to hurt you, but if you don’t let me in then someone else might.”
I remained very quiet, trying not to move a muscle. I prayed that my silence would be enough to make her leave. My mouth may have been mute, but my head was screaming. Please go away! Just leave me alone. I want to live my life and raise my children in peace. What had I done to deserve this harassment? I didn’t deserve to have to live my life in this kind of fear.
I heard her say something on the other side. It was almost in a whisper. “Think of your children, Charity. If you don’t care enough to hear me out for your own safety, you need to think of your children. They are going to be home soon. Do you really want to do this in front of them?”
She was determined. I would give her that much. My children were my weakness. Their safety was what mattered more than anything to me. She knew this and was willing to use it against me. A low blow, but it got me to open the door. “You have five minutes, and if you even think about trying to kill me…”
She let out a soft chuckle, waving the notion off with her hand. “Don’t be ridiculous.”
The woman followed me inside and we took a seat in the living room. I didn’t take my eyes off her. Despite allowing her into my home, I didn’t trust her and if she insisted on being here, I was going to watch her like a hawk. After a few moments of silence, I finally spoke up. “So who are you? And how do you know about me? About the real me?”
“Where are my manners? I’m so sorry. My name is Ashley and it’s my job to know you.” The confusion must have been written all over my face because she continued. “When you were given your new identity, you were told that you would be watched and taken care of. That you would be protected from Edward.”
“I thought that was just a figure of speech. I assumed they meant we will check up on you from time to time and make sure you’re not dead. I never thought they literally meant someone would be watching me all of these years.”
“When you moved here, I had to pick up my family and move as well. It was my job to make sure that neither Edward nor any of his known associates followed us. After the first couple of years, I figured you were safe so I didn’t pay quite as much attention to you and let you live your own life. That was until you decided to continue your challenge. Foster mothers are often ignored by the public. You could have easily gotten by, raised your children, and gave a few additional children a good home in the process and no one would have given you a second glance. When you decided to continue your challenge, you began gaining attention towards yourself. You certainly have not made my job easy.”
Ashley paused momentarily before continuing. “I spent nights trying to keep people from learning your identity. Squashing rumors that a 100 baby challenge mother had come to town. Spreading a few rumors of my own trying to keep the locals believing that you were only a foster mother. I even went as far as having to bribe local journalists and buying pregnant pictures of you so they didn’t make it into the papers or on television. Then you had the vampire triplets. The very first vampires to be born here and there was nothing I could do to stop that from spreading…”
Ashley tosses a week old paper on the coffee table in front of me. There was my picture on the front page with the headline: “Local mom gives birth to monster babies”
“So you are here to tell me I have to stop doing my challenge. That I have to let Edward win.” I stated. My vision never leaving the headline of the article in front of me.
She smiled at me. “No dear. I am a mother myself and if someone tried to take my son away from me or forbid me from giving him any siblings in the future, I’d probably punch them square in the jaw. I am here because I want to keep you safe. I want to keep your children safe. And I want to help you continue your challenge, but if you are going to continue, we need to be smart about this. You can’t keep drawing the media’s attention onto yourself. Sooner or later, Edward or his men will find out you are here if your picture keeps popping up in the newspaper.”
Ashley went on to explain that I could no longer go out while I was pregnant. I could no longer go to the local hospital to have my children. I could no longer seek out men who I didn’t know to have children with – although I could still meet men suggested by my close trusted friends and use them as fathers. She thought the safest route would be for me to undergo IVF treatments instead. Ashley explained that before she was contacted to follow me around, she was a very successful baby doctor and had helped many women who normally weren’t able to have children get pregnant.
“So what do you say?” she asked.
A week has passed since that day, and I found that I was once again a bit paranoid after Ashley’s visit. I was worried that Edward might see my picture in that newspaper article and immediately tell who I was even through my disguise. Ashley’s was right about one thing though. I needed to be more careful – for my children’s sake as well as my own.
Birthdays were soon upon us.
I made sure to take one final picture of the kids before they left the house forever. We discussed what they each wanted to do with their lives. Orion wanted to be the ‘Descendant of da Vinci’ as he called it, and had already been accepted at a really great art school in Riverview.
Damon was very adventurous and wanted to travel the world. Astro planned on traveling with Damon. He wanted to collect all of the finest wine and create a bottomless nectar cellar.
Sunny had always been very brave and even a little insane. She wanted to become a firefighter super hero.
When the household went from 13 down to 9, I found I had a lot more time on my hands. I focused my attention on the newest additions to the family. I had never had vampire babies before. It was incredible to watch their little minds work.
They were each so smart. The triplets even seemed to be more advanced than most of my genius-level children at this stage. I could place them in front of a new toy or in front of a book, and within seconds they would know exactly what they were supposed to do. It was amazing how smart they were.
Even the more difficult lessons – like learning to talk – seemed to come so easy for them. Although Lauryn seemed to have a bit more trouble than her other siblings.
Despite her difficult start, she still caught on to the concept quicker than a majority of my other children.
They were also very playful. I would catch them playing hide and seek or pretend all the time. I wouldn’t always know what they were pretending to be, but they certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves.
I have decided that I am going to be a business woman when I grow up. I know you are surprised. Not many kids my age are so ambitious, but I think I’m a natural born saleswoman. My twin brother and I opened our own baking business when we turned ten, and it has been very successful so far. Logan takes care of the baking while I handle the customers.
Ms. Dawn is one of our best customers. Every time we set up our stall, she stops by and buys something either for herself or for her husband. Most of the time she buys herself a sugar cookie. Logan always makes the comment that it’s because she’s so sweet.
We have other customers too. The triplet’s dad, Mr. Marine has stopped by before. I was just about to convince him to buy a few dozen blueberry muffins for his other kids, but then I started to smell something burning. I figured it was Logan burning the pie that he was cooking, but he hadn’t even placed it in the toy oven yet. When I turned around, Mr. Marine was gone.
When we aren’t focused on school or our business, we like to hang out like ordinary kids. Most of the time, we like to talk about our dad. Mom refuses to talk about him and is always changing the subject when we ask her questions about him. It’s okay though because we get to imagine what he was like.
“Lindsay, what do you think Dad does for a living?” Logan asked.
“Hmm, I always pictured him being a successful movie star.”
“Really?” Logan looked up hopeful.
I giggled. “I don’t know. Maybe he was an astronaut or a spy or something. Maybe that’s why mom never talks about him. Maybe she’s not allowed to talk about him.”
I met with Ashley a couple of months later when I had taught the triplets all of their basic life skills for my first IVF treatment. We flipped through a book of potential donors and one stood out to me the most. His name was Chase. He had gorgeous eyes and red/green hair. He was the perfect candidate.
The pregnancy passed by fairly quickly. Ashley was wonderful during my pregnancy. She would often stop by to check up on the baby and me. At first she just wanted to keep a close eye on my first pregnancy under her care. She told me that the odds of having multiples is higher with IVF, and since I already have given birth to so many twins in the past, she wanted to make sure the treatment didn’t double my normal amount of babies.
Turns out, there was nothing to worry about. No triplets or quadruplets this round. I was only carrying a single baby this time.
“Hey mom, some kids from school invited me to a party at the beach. Do you think I could go?” Chantelle asked as she rubbed my stomach.
“I don’t know, sweetie. It’s supposed to be really cloudy this afternoon, and besides the triplets birthday party is later. Don’t you want to be here to watch them grow up?”
Chantelle sighed. “I guess so.”
“That’s my girl. Maybe you can go to the beach with your friends next weekend.”
I spent the rest of the afternoon baking and decorating birthday cakes for the vampire triplets’ birthday. I called friends and family to invite them to the party.
Finally it was time for the party.
Ashley was able to make it to the party and she made sure to ask me how my pregnancy was going. My first adopted son, Julian was also able to attend. He was temporarily in town trying to find a local drummer to join the band he was in with Apollo. They had been getting offers to play at clubs in Bridgeport, but their usual drummer was sick with a cold.
Del was even able to make it to the party for his children. The vampire triplets were happy to see their dad, but Chantelle seemed to be a little worried that he might drink her blood or something. She kept a close eye on him the whole party.
I brought each of the triplets up to the birthday cake and watched them grow into children. Raising vampire children was going to be a new experience for me and I was certain it would prove to be a challenge, but I was ready for whatever trials they provided for me.
Not long after the party had ended, I felt the familiar pains of labor kick in. I was outside alone when the pain kicked in – or I thought I was alone. Lucas had snuck out of his room in the middle of the night to go fishing. I probably should have been angry at him, but I was a little busy trying to get this baby here safely.
I ended up giving birth to a beautiful baby girl.
Welcome Baby #69, Jade Quinn…
Sorry about the delay in posting this. I’ve had all the pictures done for a while now, but I just couldn’t quite get the wording the way I wanted it for the first part of the update. Hopefully it turned out alright in the end because I don’t think I could rewrite it again. I would like to thank Jade for suggesting that I use her name for one of Christy’s daughters. I would also like to thank Flightling for the use of Chase Veraine.