Late one night after a week or so in her new home, Jennie woke late in the night to a violent wave of nausea. She was gripped by a sudden fear as she hugged the toilet bowl. She'd never been sick like this. Earlier that day she'd been experimenting with new herbal combinations. Had she found one that shouldn't be mixed? She tried to keep calm and crawled back into bed. First thing in the morning, she'd talk to Mae. As an earth witch, Mae would surely have some idea what was wrong with her.
Mae pulled open her front door and studied Jennie's frantic face. It was a little early for a social call. "Jennie? What's wrong?" The girl was a little pale. "Come on in." Mae settled her friend onto her comfy couch and examined her. Her face broke out in a small smile. "Well, Jennie. This is unexpected."
Jennie stood, looking a little confused. "What is it?"
Mae stood as well and rested her hand on her friend's belly, a bright grin on her face. "It seems there's a little seedling in there." She saw Jennie's blank look and laughed. "Honey, you're pregnant."
Jennie's smile was nervous and a little strained. "Really?"
Mae caught the strain in her voice and her smile softened. There's a story here. Sit down. I'll get us each a pint of ice cream and you can tell me all about it. It'll help." The pair curled up on the couch and Jennie told her of her time in University and of Derrik who captured her heart, wrapped it around his fingers and then shattered it. Mae let her rest her head on her shoulder and petted her hair gently. "You're not alone, Jennie. You have an entire community who'll take care of you and help you through this. I promise you. We're all here. We look after our own."
Jennie got her morning sickness (can it be called morning sickness when it's pretty much constant?) under control with the help of some tea blend recipes from Mae. She was pretty lucky actually. With the nausea under control her first trimester was going rather well. There wasn't much pain to speak of, yet, and she could still continue with work. The community was doing a good job making sure she was well loved. Mae called often and often visited. Even her boss, Sullivan Woodward, started to reach out to her.
He invited her out to a movie and after challenged her to a shoot out at the basketball court behind the school. Jennie beat him 2-1. Not too bad for a pregnant woman. Ever the generous loser, he paid for dinner at the bistro. Curled up in bed that night, Jennie had a small suspicion that he had let her win.
Soon enough, she got so big that work thought it was best to give her some time off. "Don't worry." Sullivan said, reading the unhappiness on her face. "You'll be back before you notice. You need some time for yourself right now. I'm not going to have half the women in the town coming down on my head because I let you work till you went into labor."
With so much free time on her hands, Jennie didnt know what to do with herself. She looked at the blank walls in her living room and grinned. It was time to break out the spray-paint.
Sadly Mae didn't approve much of that particular activity for a woman whose due date was a week or so away. After a gentle scolding about being a responsible parent, she dragged her friend off to the town rec center. Maybe some arcade games would turn this young witch's mind back to babies.
Well if she was here she might as well win a toy for the baby. A toy rabbit was always a sure bet.
After a nice soup and salad lunch, Mae turned to Jennie. "You studied Fine Arts, right? Can you sketch a picture of me? I think there's still plenty of light." She grinned. "I'll pose for you and everything."
The pair moved themselves out of the line of foot-traffic and Mae struck a dramatic pose. Jennie sank to the ground in a flood of giggles and pulled out her sketchbook. It was only a quick rough sketch. Jennie didn't want Mae holding that pose any longer than necessary. A few people were already starting to stare.
"Well? What do you think?" Jennie asked, displaying her finished sketch with a smile.
"Oh its amazing!" Mae said, overjoyed. She then sat a hand on her hip and gave her friend a look. "You didn't use the pose at all."
Jennie giggled. "Oh course not. I have standards. It was funny though."
It was 2 am. Why was she up at 2 am?
After many hours of labor, the squirmy little Devin came into the world. But he had a surprise with him. He wasnt alone.
Somehow in the whirlwind of feeding, dipper changes and cuddles, she must have managed to find some sleep. She had survived for the triplets' birthday.
She was planning to throw a party but a combination of exhaustion combined with no party guests being available made it quiet family affair. Or as quiet as it could be with three babies. All three of her little ones looked so much like her. It stole her breath, watching them gather round the little play table that had been a birthday gift from Sullivan.
Her girls were identical, each a little duplicate of her. She was not ashamed to admit that she kept their hair styled a little differently so she could more easily tell them apart. Both her girls seemed to be really wary of strangers or large crowds of people. Elsie was a little sweetheart, always willing to share her toys. Her Lori.... Lori was different. She seemed so withdrawn compared to her siblings and very sensitive. Any time Devin or Elsie got upset, little Lori would be cuddling her teddy for comfort. It worried Jennie a little, but there wasn't much she could do. Maybe her baby girl would grow out of it as she grew older.
Being a mother to three active toddlers was a trial. She took her naps whenever she could get them. Lori spent most of her time trapped in the play pen teaching herself to talk. There was still much Jennie would have to teach her but her youngest was pretty clever to learn some all on her own.
Elsie was often seen zooming around the house in the walker. The girl could barely stand on her own, but give her something to stabilize her and she was a world explorer.
Devin was the first to show any signs of power. Somehow he managed to make most of his toys vanish. The always came back but each time they disappeared in a puff of smoke her boy's eyes grew wide. But not once did he cry. Mae laughed the first time she saw a vanishing toy. "Your little witchlings are growing so fast." she grinned at Jennie's worried look. "Dont worry. Most witchlings grow out of teleporting by the time they're children."
It took an entire plate of cookies to bribe Mae into watching the terrible threesome for a while. She's gotten a commsion for a mural and she was not going to pass up an offer for money for anything in the world. three toddlers was expensive. Plus she missed playing with spraypaint. And if she could do it legally, all the better.
That should make the park nice for a while. If the rain doesn't wash it away first.
A week after the triplet's birthday, Jennie had an unexpected visitor show up in her back yard while she was painting in the dim light of early night, her babies already tucked into bed. Sullivan. He grinned at her as he strolled over. "I saw you out here as I was out taking a walk. I thought I'd come see how you're doing." he looked her over, still grinning. "I'm surprised you're still up. Shouldn't you be catching sleep whenever you can?"
Jennie giggled. "I'm sure I should. But I felt the need to paint. I've always been a little impulsive."
Sullivan chuckled a little. "I like a woman who's not afraid to act on her impulses." Jennie wasn't sure if it was the tone of his voice, the words themselves or his soft chuckle that made her insides tremble. She swooned a little and closed her eyes. She felt his hand on her cheek, turning her face back towards him. Her eyes opened again and met his. They stared into each other for a moment in silence. The Jennie acted on her own impulse as well as the look in his dark eyes. She passed the distance between them and kissed him softly, nothing more than a light touch of lips.
Sullivan's lips were soft and warm. He kissed her back and pulled her closer against him. Something inside her fluttered a little and Jennie stepped out of his embrace. No. She would not do this again. She was a mom now, not a stupid undergrad crushing on an upperclassmen. Sullivan watched her, a small hint of concern in his eyes.
Jennie let out the breath she didnt know she'd been holding in a deep sigh. "Sullivan.... you're my boss. We cant do this." She crossed her arms over her chest. "And I thought you were married?"
So this took me longer than I wanted. And if the writing style switches halfway through, please try to ignore it. I stopped halfway and didnt get back to it for a week and by then I lost the main story thread for a while. Also writing about babies is hard. Oh and for reference, my main inspiration for this story is The Modern Witch series by Debora Geary. I found the series while trying to think of a story and got hooked. So of course it's shaped much of my world.
Also. Of course I had to get triplets. Twin's I could've lived with. but no. It had to be triplets. At least I got one boy out of it. No idea why they turned out like clones of their mom. If not for Devin's eyes I'd wonder if something glitched, but those are definitely his dad's eyes. I guess we'll see how many generations it takes to kill Jennie's genetics.
Two outatkes that I wanted to share.
That's all for now. I'm going to try to update once a week from now one. I hope I can stick with that goal. Wish me luck!