Kensington, Echo, Dexter, Bella.
The quadsss are sooo cuteee ahh
Joshie, Amy and Blake <3
Aria locked the door to her car and leaned against it. Danielle's wedding had not been what she expected. She was still reeling from the entire thing and was desperate to get her mind off of everything for a night.
When she had been invited to a party with Ariel, she agreed quickly.
She scrolled through her texts, Ariel hadn't responded to where she was at yet. She scrolled past the influx of messages from Ariana, Mila, Willow, Danielle.
She froze when Carter's name popped up. He hadn't responded to a single one of her texts since she didn't kiss him.
She knew, deep down, that maybe she could have. She had kissed him before.
It was just that now, it would be different to her somehow. He wasn't just some random guy that she was going to use as a challenge dad; He was her best friend.
She opened a new message, and stared at it blankly.
Biting her lip, with a sigh, she exited out of it. He hadn't replied to her anytime before, why would he do it now?
Ariel's red hair passed her car and she called out to her, a small smile on her face.
"Ariiiaaaa, I'm late. I'm sorry."
Aria shrugged, pulling her into a hug.
"It's okay. I missed you! It's been a really long time it feels like. Are you ready to have some fun?"
Ariel smirked and nodded, heading towards the front door.
The atmosphere was like a drug and it pulled both of them right in.
When Ariel disappeared upstairs with her next challenge father, Aria grabbed a bottle of vodka and poured it straight into a red solo cup, heading down the hall, vaguely wondering if she knew anyone here.
"You must not remember me."
Aria turned, vague recognition of the voice in her head, but not one hundred percent sure she knew it.
The face she caught sight of, surprised her.
The cup in her hand slipped out of her grasp, splattering the walls with the translucent liquid. She thanked herself quietly for a moment for not making a mixed drink, which would have just made a bigger mess.
She stuttered, not really knowing what to say. This wasn't someone she had expected to EVER see again. Let alone in her own town.
Aria's mind slipped a little into the past as she thought about those few weeks. That summer wasn't one of the proudest of her life. Of course she remembered Jason, how could she not. She had spent every moment with him when Carter left. They hadn't all been good moments.. Or respectable ones.
Not to mention, she left him in a heartbeat when she had an out to a new town. Twinbrook was literally a microscopic three months of her life.
Three months which, within, she had spent every moment inebriated.. In some random place she shouldn't be at barely 19 years old.
She had told herself over and over back then that Carter meant nothing to her and when he left that it didn't matter. Those three months she had spent in Twinbrook were really the only hint that it had, in fact, done so.
"You don't seem to have changed much," He said, his eyes on the cup rolling towards the opposite wall. Aria was suddenly a little self concious, biting the tip of her nail and sucking her alcohol tainted breath into her throat.
He glanced back up at her, his eyes tracing her face. "Except your hair. The black looks good. Different, but good."
Aria bent down, picking the cup up off of the floor and placing it on a near by table, avoiding his gaze. She nervously touched the dyed locks that spilled around her face. It had been months since Bluejay had suggested she dye it. The pink never returned and neither did the blonde. She wondered if it ever would.
"Don't you, like, hate me or something?" She mumbled, anxiousness settling somewhere in the middle of her chest.
He raised an eyebrow. "Hate you? Why would I hate you?"
Aria shrugged, finally looking up at him. "Because I left Twinbrook, and you, without a second thought. I basically dropped you like Carter dropped me."
"I'm not a girl, and we weren't even together. Why would I be mad at you for that? Sometimes people leave. It's just what happens."
He smiled a little.
"A goodbye would have been nice though."
She returned the smile, relieved.
"I'm sorry. I know that. I kind of just took what diginity I had left and ran away."
Jason nodded. Then he gestured toward the entrance behind her.
"Do you want to maybe get out of here? I'm sure we could find somewhere quieter to catch up."
Aria bit her lip, thinking for a second. This couldn't turn out too badly. Jason was a good guy, he just liked to party.
So did she though, right?
Finally, she assented.
"There's a bar down the street,"
She watched him walk towards the door, sending a quick text to Ariel, explaining where she had gone. Hopefully she wouldn't be too upset.
"He even tried to kiss me," Aria finished, ordering another shot.
Jason took the one that was in front of him, not even reacting to the burn that the Everclear no doubtedly had.
"You keep talking about Carter. You still aren't over all of that?"
Aria looked up from the remainder of her drink in surprise.
"I... There's nothing to be over. He was nothing more then my friend.. Is."
She took the shot the bartender passed her and barely tasted it, rushing forward with her words.
"Even if there was, it would be next to impossible because he moved here."
"So now he has followed you instead of running away, that's a change."
Aria felt defensive for a moment; Then she realized that he had a point. All he knew was how Aria was when she was in Twinbrook. Frankly, she had been the epitome of a mess. Jason saw her drink herself into blackouts and everything else that she should have been smart enough not to do.
"I don't really think he left for a unfathomable reason. I just think that.. He should have at least told me he was leaving."
Jason tilted his head.
"It's weird to see you admit something you tried so hard to hide. I also find it odd that you still feel the same way, I would have thought you would have let it go by now. Doesn't seem to be the case with you. Must be bigger then I thought."
Aria's eyes widened.
"I think you're getting the wrong idea here."
"I'm just telling you what I have observed just from being with you for a few hours. I honestly don't know why you don't just tell him that you have feelings for him."
Aria choked on her drink, sputtering into the palm of her hand. She finally cleared her airway and looked at him, bleary-eyed.
"I don't have feelings for him. I don't have anything for him. Except maybe annoyance. He's an overbearing, overprotective fool. "
Jason stared at her, a glint of amusement in his eyes.
"You really don't have any idea how you sound to everyone else, do you?"
Aria grimaced. She rolled the glass back and forth between her palms, the liquid swishing back and forth and the condensation puckering the skin where it touched her.
"I guess everyone seems to think there is something else there, when there is clearly NOT."
His sigh was soft and the shot glass clinked as it hit the polished wood of the bar.
"You're gonna see what everyone else sees someday. By then it might be too late."
That statement hit Aria with more force then she could ever have expected. The thought of it being too late with Carter was a funny sentiment to make. She never considered actually being with him. The only thing was, she had never considered him being with someone else.
Had she ever really seen him with a girl for longer then a month? Rebecca was the only one who came to mind, and even she was less then a few months. There was that three year span he was in college. She didn't know what could have happened then.
However, he had never mentioned a single girlfriend when he spoke of that time.
Aria fumbled to control her thoughts and search for a new topic. Anything to bring the heat away from the conversation's directional turn.
"You should come back to my place with me."
She blurted, her head spinning off of its axis. She tried to pull her thoughts back in and collect them in any way possible. Distractions were the easiet way.
His expression slowly pulled together in understanding and he stood, holding a hand out towards her. She took it and he placed a hand on the small of her back, leaning to whipser in her ear:
"That feeling is never going to go away no matter how hard you fight it."
Another day on repeat, waking up in bed, alcohol from the night before still faintly on her tongue and a feeling of discontent in her stomach. The fact that she was sick of her challenge rang so completely true it was becoming undeniable.
She could finish. Would. She was close. 26 babies away from her ending. Her supposed happily ever after that seemed no where in sight.
Aria rolled over, propping herself up on one elbow, staring out at the beautiful star dotted sky that covered Riverview. She knew the sun would be up in less then an hour and the triplets would be up, shouting their little brains off.
As if on cue, a cry came from the nursery...
She rolled onto her stomach, exiting the bed.
Jason had gone home, back to Twinbrook.
The things he had said the night before seemed to be stuck in Aria's mind. He was such a level-headed person in general that those words coming from him seemed.. so genuine.
Aria groaned, throwing on a tank top and going to the nursery to attend to the triplets. Like she hadn't already been questioning things, Jason had just made things worse.
She would never in a million years be with Carter. So she should just cut those thoughts out of her mind immediately.
(Please pretend these cribs contain babies. >.< My game hates me lately and aged them before this scene was being photographed.)
She pulled Blake out of his crib and snuggled him, pressing a kiss to his cheek and attacking him with the claw.
In all of the chaos of her love life, or lack thereof, more like sex life, she had been neglecting the children coming into her life and then moving out on their own. They were all around for such a short amount of time that she didn't have much time to get to know them.
Not to mention, her challenge was something she was supposed to love and to her, it was something that she felt had made her lose so much.
She placed the toddler on the ground, where he crawled over to the toy box, falling inside with a soft plop. She smiled a little to herself. Every single child that had come into her arms had been so incredible.
Seventy freaking four.
Time was flying.
She loved all of the babies, but that nagging feeling was right there on the tip of her psyche.
She was ready for it to be over.
Aria pulled her hair on top of her head and secured it with a few bobby pins. She washed her face and looked in the mirror. She had just found out she was pregnant. Baby 75 would be here in no time, putting her one step closer to the end of all of this.
She grabbed the keys to her car and stepped outside, locking the door behind her. Which was new. She never remembered to lock the stupid door. Until Carter had told her to.
She was supposed to be at Mila's hotel, to go look at houses, and she was already late.
A light rain had begun to fall, it was getting colder and colder lately.
It was almost Carter's birthday.
There's that fucking name in my head again, twice in ten minutes. What is wrong with you? Aria thought bitterly, pulling the hood of her sweater off of her ears. She never kept it up long, and she loved the rain.
As she descended the stairs of her porch, headlights pulled around the corner and she froze instantly. The vehicle approached her house and she squinted. But as it slowed down near her driveway and pulled to a stop at the curb, she knew who it was right away.
"You're polluting the O-Zone layer and wasting gas, Carter. Just go home."
He exited the car, dropping to the ground, and raised an eyebrow.
"I'm already here. That would make my trip useless. It would also make the damage I have done to the precious eco system meaningless."
She scowled at his joke.
"Why are you here? You can't answer my attempts to contact you, but you can just show up out of nowhere?"
He didn't answer, crossing her yard and stopping a few paces away, in the shelter of the outcropping of the porch.
"What? You're just staring at me. I have somewhere to be Carter so if you're just go-"
"You should have kissed me."
Aria's expression went from annoyed to soft in an instant. She ran the few thoughts that had been echoing around in the back of her head through the front and brought the biggest one to voice.
"Carter, what would it have changed? What would be different if I had let you kiss me?"
His eyes strayed to the grass, and he sighed.
"Things could be different Aria.."
She scoffed, crossing her arms over her chest.
Carter looked up at her, aggravated.
"They could and you know that."
"It's like you're saying that you're going to change things."
Carter lifted one shoulder in a half hearted shrug.
Aria's face fell. That was far from what she had anticipated to come from his mouth.
"Carter, where is all of this even coming from? Two months ago, I was nothing to you. This doesn't make any sense."
He shook his head.
"You've never been 'nothing' to me."
Aria felt an indeterminable feeling in the pit of her stomach. More then anything else, she didn't want to hear this. Knowing that he cared wasn't going to help her. It would just make things so much harder in the end.
He was too good for her. Too untainted and unblemished by this whirlwind she called her life.
She could never in a million years pull him into her world.
She refused to.
"Carter, I have to go."
She cut off his response with a wave, pushing past him to her car.
She turned the key and reversed out of her driveway, her eyes everywhere but on him. As soon as her car hit the street, they began spilling tears like they seemed to be doing pretty often lately.
She still couldn't deny, that in the middle of her chest, she knew she was making a mistake.
[Babies 75 and 76, Logan and Anna were born right after this, but MY GAME HATES ME and I didn't get to get a picture. Next time ;) ]
Joshie, Blake and Amy, children <3