Author’s Note: Hi all! We’re finally back in the households of the Epstein family to finish out Round 8. Daniella is still a Holloway (Quincy still hasn’t proposed yet), but since she lives with Quincy, we’ll get most of her story in the Epstein chapters going forward.
Laurel learned the way to ward away vampires long before they even went to Forgotten Hollow to retrieve the garlic. Primitive or not, it was going to keep her friends and family safe.
After Carmen called to tell her the garlic was ready, she didn’t want to wait to get the garlic during her birthday party. She was pleased when Carmen said she could swing by one morning to drop off the harvest.
“I hope you don’t mind me swinging by this early in the morning,” said Carmen. “I happened to be in the neighborhood because I have a meeting over at The Futures Past Museum this morning.”
“It’s not a problem at all,” said Laurel, “Emilie and I were just enjoying the morning sun. Say hi to Ms. Butler Emilie.”
“Hi Miss Butlah! I’m Emilie,” said Emilie. “You here to play with me?”
“Oh, I wish honey,” said Carmen, “but I’m actually here to drop off a bunch of garlic to your mom. Do you know what that is?”
“No garlic! Play with me!”
“Emilie, don’t yell at our guest,” said Laurel. “She’s here because she brought Mommy an important gift. Where are your manners?”
“But… I want to play,” said Emilie.
“We will play,” said Laurel, “we just have to handle some adult business first.”
“Okay… Miss Butlah, we play later?”
“Carmen,” said Laurel through the closed teeth of a smile, “any chance you want to play now?”
“With this adorable cutie? Of course I do,” said Carmen. “Emilie would you like to play now?”
“Yes Miss Butlah, I want to play now!”
“And then we have adult business to attend to,” said Laurel, “you understand, right?”
“Yes mommy,” said Emilie,” I understand.”
“Well aren’t you smart,” said Carmen. “How old are you again?”
“I’m five on my birthday! Our party for me and mommy and daddy is really soon,” answered Emilie.
“Five, huh? Well I think that’s old enough to fly!!”
Emilie screamed in delight as Carmen swooped her up and over her back.
Carmen played with little Emilie, swinging her around, both laughing and thoroughly enjoying themselves.
Carmen: I can’t wait to do this with my baby boy Rodrigo. Toddlers are the best!
Laurel: I’m so glad I haven’t given Emilie breakfast yet, I would not want to clean it off the stones in the street.
Emilie: This! Is! So! Fun!
After playing with Emilie for a bit, Carmen put her down and the three of them headed into the kitchen. Carmen unloaded all the garlic onto the counters, and commented about how much she liked the counters.
“I’m actually thinking of redecorating,” said Laurel. “I know what you’re thinking. Decorating again? Well, what can I say, my interior designer called and said there are some great new cabinets out I simply must see. I don’t want to just throw these away though. Any chance we could send our contractor over and install them in your place?
“Wow, I’ll have to think about that,” said Carmen. “My kitchen is so much smaller than yours. But I’ll let you know. If I did take it, I would insist on paying you.”
“Nonsense,” said Laurel, “why would you pay for counters that have been thoroughly used by a family of 7?! No way I’m taking your money.”
“I can’t accept a renovated kitchen for free though. That would be crazy, like as crazy as Siobhan and Morgan Fyres suddenly getting along, you know them?”
Laurel chuckled but ignored Carmen’s question. “How about this? What if I commission two paintings from you as payment? That has to equal the cost of whatever you take from this kitchen.”
Carmen sighed, then said, “Well, yes, with the value my paintings are assigned these days, that would about do it. Okay, let me think about it. I’ve gotta head out though, so I’ll see both of you ladies at your birthday party.”
After Carmen left, Laurel turned to Emilie. “You ready for breakfast?”
“Break-fast! Break-fast! Can I have garlic for breakfast?”
Laurel laughed. “No Emilie, you cannot have garlic for breakfast.”
“Well then what’s for breakfast?”
“I haven’t decided yet,” said Laurel. “Aside from garlic, what else would you like?”
“No, no garlic.”
Emilie thought hard about what she wanted for breakfast.
Finally she landed on a decision. “Gummy bear pancakes?”
“Gummy bear pancakes it is,” said Laurel.
Emilie: Wow, she never lets me eat gummy bear pancakes. Okay, so all I have to do is ask for garlic and she will give me the best food instead.
Later that day, Quincy and Daniella were at the Epstein house. They’d spent so much of her pregnancy there, usually spending the night. Because Laurel was having a house built for them, they never settled in properly in the new house. Being in Quincy’s childhood home made so much more sense, if only for the amenities.
Daniella was in the kitchen looking for something to feed her belly when Quincy walked in.
“You know something Dani? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more beautiful woman. I think because there’s three babies in there, they’re giving you three times the glow.”
“You’re such a romantic,” said Daniella. “You’re also full of crap. I’m sure I look like how I feel, which is overloaded.”
“You do not, and I’ll thank you to stop talking about the mother of my children that way,” said Quincy.
He took Daniella in his arms and leaned her back for a kiss.
“If you’re so ‘overloaded,’ as you so eloquently put it, how am I able to dip you, hmm?”
“Because when we’re here, you spend all your time exercising, so you’re stronger!”
“I’m always strong! Here, let me show you. You want a backrub?”
“Yes! That would be great,” said Daniella.
After her backrub, Daniella went back in search of food. Quincy ran upstairs to get ready to go for a run, then joined her for lunch.
“So… I’m eating fruit to try and stay in shape while pregnant,” said Daniella, “and you’re eating apple pie? Right before you go for a run? Right in front of my face? With your abs looking at me all mockingly?”
“Babe, have you had my mom’s apple pie though?”
“You’re actually starting to look a bit peaky,” said Daniella, “you feeling okay?”
“I’m fine honey,” said Quincy.
He finished his pie then went out for his run.
Quincy: Okay, maybe she was right. I wonder if my mom will make me some tea.
To Be Continued…