I played the role of the typical house wife. I cooked, cleaned, and cared for the children. Gift began to come in the mail from friends of mine, or workmates of Joels, sending congratulations of the new arrivals' fast approaching appearance.
I had lacked inspiration for my paintings of late, and so my business began to fail. I'd sell on my few pieces quickly, to bring any money I could into the house. They usually got less then half of what I normally ask, but I was in no good position to be picky.
Most of the time I left the store quite downcast, and depressed. I always imagined my work in a big gallery, or hung on the walls of the rich and famous. Not in a dingy consignment store, who had passed their prime before I was born. I hurt, but money was money, and that was something we just seemed to consantly need more of.
Amethyst has taken up a rather unexciting hobby, that most others her age has also picked up..watching TV. And lots of it. Sometimes she would put a movie on, but a lot of the time she would watch the news, or just anything else she could find to pass the time. I'm not sure why she enjoyed it, but who was I to deprive her of her fun?
But when she turned 9, we decided that we needed to do *something* to get her out of the house. We bought her a bike. Not a big one, nothing fancy, but a bike. She loved it, and we knew it was a good move. The TV bill went right down. We were wary at first, letting her out on it alone, as she was so young. We soon came to realize though that this was silly. It was a nice town, more or less, and as long as she rode around in the day time, there was always a neighborhood watch on to protect her. She mainly went to one place, every day. Only one place drew her back more then once..
Dusk's house. It was a pretty big place, plenty of room for him and the new arrival. Yep, they had a baby boy not to long ago now. They called our house wiht the news, and guess who picked up first.. that's right, Am.
"You had a what-now?"
His name is Damien. I think it's a very beautiful name, but when Dusk told Mom she just about died. Literally. All the blood rushed out of her face, and she didn't really speak for the rest of the day. I'm not sure why that name got her, but what ever reason she had, it must have been a good one.
Am was the first to decide on regular visits to her cousin. We all wanted to, of course, but work and my own kids sort of got in the way. We of course, visited the little guy sometimes, but not as often as we'd like. Amy took care of that. She was forever over at Dusk's house, playing with her little cousin, who by the way, is a right cutie!
The same hair mystery as Jet has, but definitely his Daddy's green eyes. Obviously dressed to his Daddy's taste as well. Typical, huh?
My other girls also found ways to pass the time. With dolls from their Grandma. Yea, Mom decided to treat them, and by golly has it worked a charm. I don't think we've heard as much as a peep out of either of them since! Sometimes, if you listen really, really carefully, you can hear Jet singing to her Doll as I do to her. It's beautiful, but she's so dreadfully shy it almost always ceases as anyone walks into the room.
So life continued on, until one day Joel brought home.. a surprise, shall we say? I can't really say that, as it was a person. A lady to be precise. As she walked up the drive with Joel, I can't say that I wasn't at all suspicious, but I needn't have been at all.
She walked in the door, and Joel just smiled at her, and planted a kiss on my cheek, saying that Jinx could explain the rest.
Well I greeted her in a true Dawn fashion, and gave her a quick friendly squeeze. She let out a slight laugh, and it rang through the house like bells. It reminded me of the twins' laugh, but somehow the pitch had a more mystical air about it.
She had a look of being .. out of place in our home. Not uncomfortable, but definitely out of place.
"I'm Dawn, Joel's wife" I beamed, hoping to set her at some sort of ease in the environment.
"I'm Jinx. Jinx Lightning. I'm Joel's work partner's sister." Her voice was also higher then mine, and had a way of calming you, while making the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. She had the slightest Transimvanian accent, obviously just caught from a relative, rather then living in the country itself.
"How can I help you, Jinx?" I asked pleasantly. Her name fit her laugh, and her voice. Magical.
"I heard that you paint, Ms Carmody? Is this rumor true?"
"It is, yes. I paint for a living, and please call me Dawn."
"I wonder, Ms..ah Dawn, if you could paint me a portrait? Of myself, that is?"
I was shocked. She was, very very beautiful. I looked her over quickly. Strong features, pale skin tones, and the electrifying, ice blue eyes. I was sure I could do her justice, with adequate time to work.
"I'd love to paint you! You'd have to spend some time around here, with me and the kids, but I'm sure I could make a painting you'd like very much in the end."
"I will pay you, Dawn, for your trouble."
I went to reject the offer, happy for some sort of work to do, not just waiting around for the baby to be born, but she interjected.
"Don't try to deny me! I have the funds ready, and I am not one to.. ah.. mooch thing off of people. Please, don't insult me with a refusal."
I just shook my head, and she beamed at me, showing a row of perfect teeth.
We spent much time together while I began her painting. She would stand and talk with me, as I sketched to the canvas the bold lines of her nose, and cheek bones, then the soft corners to her mouth, and eyes.
She was extremely fascinated with the growing life inside me. She was an only child, and never met anyone in my 'condition' before. She wondered at the growing size of my womb, and how I wasn't in constant agony. We spent a long time over coffee discussing the whole.. uh.. process. Needless to say Mom was outside, and Am was at school. She didn't need THAT conversation quite yet.
My days quickly filled with painting, and sketching. Joel was forced to step up and be a Father for once! He spent his time off in the nursery now, instead of on the computer. If he ever brought up the time I spent with Jinx, I would remind him of who brought her home, and that would soon shut him up.
Every day though, Jinx would leave either when the sun set, or when we finished our evening meal, depending on whether she had stayed to eat or not. And you can bet, that everyday, I went to bed exhausted.
Carrying around my own weight, plus a baby all day while concentrating on not messing up the painting? Not an easy task, especially with all the morning-but-actually-all-day sickness.
I'd go to bed each night, and fall fast asleep. I didn't even bother to look at Joel's new bedside picture..ughh..maybe in the morning..