I be all finished making observations in the observatory, for I have finished the first scene of this chapter. It only took four hundred words last night and nine hundred words this morning, but I’m finished. Good times, I tell you.
Also, this is a section that I have to refine in my mind just a little. I knew there was going to be an exchange of some kind, but I wasn’t quite certain what it would be. Then, once I started getting ideas about their discussion of the holiday out of the way, I realized that much of the talk would likely revolve around family. And unlike Kerry, Annie has some family . . .
(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)
“Yes, well—” She pulled her head back revealing a huge smile. “One day you’ll visit for the holiday. One day soon. I promise.”
“One day.” He wanted to get away from talking about himself and wanted to hear more about the person he considered the most important in the world. “Did your parents get everything finalized for Yule?”
She nodded twice. “Yes, they did. They rented a private room at a hotel in Sofia. Everyone’s going to be there: my aunt, my cousins, and all my grandparents and great-grandparents.”
“Wow.” One of the letters Annie sent over the summer told Kerry of her immediate family: her grandparents, great-grandparent, and even a few great-great-grandparents. Of the three generations that preceded her, only her fraternal grandfather was no longer with them, having died in 1997 while serving with the Protectors. She told him this was one of the advantages of growing up in a family of witches: everyone lived so long that it was possible to grow up meeting four or five generations of family. “That’s a lot of people.”
“Quite a few, but we haven’t had a family gathering like this since my tenth birthday.”
He knew about the party, because they’d shared a dream that night: it was in that dream that Annie told Kerry she was a witch. “Why did you have such a big party for your tenth?”
“It was my first birthday with double-digits; no more single digit ages. My parents wanted it to be a special day.” Her smile carried a hint of sadness. “Won’t have many gatherings like that any more, since I won’t have any birthday’s at home any longer.”
“Not necessarily.” His fingers glided over the arm of her jacket. “Next year your birthday is on a Friday, and the next year it’s on a Saturday. Maybe . . .” Kerry lightly pressed his fingers against her exposed cheek. “If you ask real nice, maybe the headmistress will let you go home for a party.”
Her mood lightened instantly. “That would be fantastic. Two years from now?” Her eyes turned upwards towards her brows as she thought. “We’d start our D Levels then.”
“Yes, we would.”
“I wonder if the headmistress would allow me to take a guest?” She jutted her head forward and kissed Kerry. “By that time it would be a good time to have all my family meet you.”
“Ahumm . . .” The prospect of meeting Annie’s extended family filled him with a spot of dread. “Two years from now, huh?”
“Yes.” Her grin grew wider. “Give you plenty of time to ready yourself—”
“To meet everyone?”
Her tone grew introspective. “You are going to be a unique addition to our family, my love.”
“What do you mean?
It’s one thing for your girlfriend to say, “It’s probably time you meet my family,” because that’s an indication that you’re becoming part of their family. In Annie’s case, however, there are four or five generations still alive, and nearly all of them could kill Kerry, or at least turn him into a newt. And now we know that her father’s dad is gone, having died, one might say, in the line of duty for The Foundation. Just so you know, because I know, Annie’s grandfather never saw her parents marry, as Annie’s folks didn’t marry until a year after her grandfather’s death.
Still, a lot of family to go through, and it sounds like Annie’s setting up Kerry for something. And that would be . . ?
“Well . . .” Annie snuggled into her soul mate. “For one, you’ll be the first non-Bulgarian in five generations. I’ve a few ancestors on my father’s side who are from Romania—that’s where I get my Romani blood—but my maternal great-great-great grandmother was from Turkey, and she’s the last from outside Bulgaria. And you won’t just be the first non-Bulgaria, but the first non-European.
“Also, there hasn’t been anyone on either side of my family for six generations who came in as first generation Aware : the last was a grandfathers on my father’s side. While you’ve had witches in your family, there’s still enough generational separation that you’re thought of as coming from a Normal family.
“But lastly, and probably most important, I’m the last of the Kirilovis for my father’s line. My grandfather and great-grandfather both had brothers, so the line continues there, but from my father’s side, no: he had a sister and I’m an only child. When my aunt married she took her husband’s family name, and when I marry . . .” She found Kerry’s hand and held it tight. “I choose to take his family name.”
Kerry lay in a state that hovered between shocked and dismayed. “Gonna have a lot working against me, ain’t I?”
“No. It sounds like I’m putting pressure on you, but my family knows me: they know I’m my own girl.” Annie’s smile lightened the mood. “I choose my own loves and who I’ll marry. They know what will happen if they try to intervene.”
Kerry is non-Bulgarian, doesn’t come from a family of witches, and is marrying the last of this particular Kirilovi Line. No pressure at all. The one thing that Annie has going for her is that everyone in her family knows if they try to interfere in Annie’s love life, they’ll probably get turned into a newt, though the more likely route is they’re someone aware that darling Annie–who has studied a certain death spell starting at age nine–would probably tell them “Fuck off or die,” and that’s the end of that. What Annie wants, Annie gets, and she gets the Ginger Hair Boy come hell or high water.
Don’t worry, though: she sees an upside to this all:
“Still—” He took a deep breath. “I’m such an outsider.”
“Not to me.”
“And the whole ‘Last of the Kirilovi” thing—that’s kinda heavy. It’s like I’m doing something wrong.”
“My love, look at me—” Annie waited until she had his complete attention. “You’re missing what’s important. While I may not be a Kirilovi after we marry, I’ll become something better: a first generation Malibey witch, just like you. I’ll become the first matriarch of our magical family, and I consider that far more important than losing my old family name.”
Annie doesn’t see losing her old family name as a loss, she sees gaining a new family name as a win, because then she becomes Queen Witch of her own family. And I wonder if it’ll be the same with Kerry: what Annie wants, Annie gets. It might be, because Annie’s about to lay down a little truth–
The sudden mood that came over Kerry vaporized and he smiled. “Humm . . . Clan Malibey. I like that.”
“We aren’t like that in our world.” She giggled. “We’re just like any other family that’s been around for a long time—”
“Only you do magic.”
“As do you, my dear. Here, I want to show you something—” Annie unzipped her winter jacket before taking his hand and slipping it under her sweater so it rested against her bare tummy. “Do you know what that is?”
He chuckled. “Your belly?”
“Yes, and something else—” Her voice dropped to a whisper. “Our children.”
Kerry froze for a moment, unsure of what to say next. In the last year there had been some discussion about their shared vision and what it meant, and he fully accepted, and welcomed, the fact that Annie would one day become his wife.
Now, however—he’d not given much thought to the other side of getting married, which was having children. The fact Annie and he existed was proof it happened, but until this moment it was something that happened to their parents—not to them . . .
Boom! There is it. First there’s love, then there’s marriage, and now Annie is letting Kerry know she’s got her eggs in storage simply waiting for the day when they can get their little family going.
When a girl, at age eight, writes down the name of the boy she knows she’s going to marry, and never changes that name, there’s also a pretty chance she’s thought about children as well. Probably has their names written down as well. But guys at that age? Nu, uh. Kerry’s thought about racing and holidays and holding hands and stuff of that nature, not . . . you know . . .
He slowly moved his fingers over her belly. “Kids, huh?”
Her eyebrows shot upwards as she smiled. “Yes.”
“I guess that would be something you’d think about. I mean, you will, um—”
“Carry them? Yes, I will. Of course, I’ll need some help getting pregnant—” She kissed the now deeply blushing Kerry before tenderly stroking his reddened cheek. “But when I do, I’ll carry our children happily and with great pride, my love.”
He turned his head and kissed her fingers. “So how many?”
“Oh . . . More than one, certainly. We won’t raise an only child like we were raised.” She finally unzipped his jacket so she touch him through his sweater. “We’ll have a wonderful family of witches.”
Kerry warmed his hand against Annie’s side. “But that’s for later—”
“Much later. I’m not ready to start a family tonight.”
Thanks for not wanting to start that family tonight, Annie! You got a night ahead of you–which they are going to spend together, you totally know this–and then the journey home for Yule. The fun thing to consider is at this rate, something tells me Kerry’s mom is going to have something else to bitch about, because they are certainly working their way towards another taking to from Nurse Coraline. At least they’ll be no getting prego on her watch . . .
Still, it’s nice to see that Annie can find something to get Kerry embarrassed, and it’s a nice way to show that Annie is so much mature than Kerry, because she’s thinking about being a mommy and raising her own brood of witches, and Kerry’s totally going all derpy face over the her statements. But he’s still there, and as he’d say, he’s not running. He’s bright enough to know that getting the girl witch for the long run means getting the kids that come with the girl witch. That’s the deal, dude: the magic doesn’t come without a little responsibility.
And given that they’ve both already faced death together, there’s nothing wrong about contemplating the creation of life and bringing a few tiny Malibey witches into the world.
Wonder who long before one of them starts talking about Team Chestnut Ginger?