Little Seraphina was showered with attention growing up. Leo took all of his family leave and extra days off to spend time with his little princess.
And Pauline’s job was flexible enough to allow her to spend a lot of time with Seraphina anyway. Still, that didn’t mean she neglected her music; she’d play to her baby or jam with her aunt Yenn on any occasion she’d get.
As for Yenn, she was happy to babysit whenever necessary. She felt grateful for every day she’d get to spend with the youngest of the Bloomer clan.
Pauline’s support network allowed her to score yet another promotion. She’d never forget the first day she walked out the door off to play with the symphonic string orchestra for the first time.
Mainly because it was the last day she’d get to play with them for a while. When the familiar nausea hit her mid-performance, Pauline recognised it immediately.
The pregnancy test confirmed her suspicions, she and Leo had another family addition on the way. It seemed that she would need to put climbing the ladder in the music industry on hold for a bit longer.
“Just imagine, another nephew or niece on the way! I’m not grown up enough for that kind of responsibility,” Peyton joked as she finished her frappucino.
“I can hardly picture anything you couldn’t tackle,” Grady replied with confidence.
Peyton loved her dates with Grady. And not just because he complimented her, or because it was an excuse to leave the house with a screaming infant. Though the two definitely helped.
“You’re right, I am pretty awesome,” Peyton giggled.
“And modest!” Grady added with a smirk.
“Fine, you’re the awesome one,” Peyton stuck her tongue out. “So let’s do some awesoming together…”
“Seriously, though,” Peyton stopped laughing. “Who knew that when you randomly started complaining about fruitcake to me at Pauline’s wedding, it would lead to an epic romance?”
“It’s amazing what mutual hatred of fruitcake can achieve,” Grady nodded solemnly.
“You’re making an actual serious talk really difficult here…”
“I was kind of wondering if you’d like to live together.”
“Seriously?” Grady froze for a moment, but soon enough his boyish grin returned. “Yeah, that would be cool. I mean, imagine how much time to complain about fruitcake we’ll have if we see each other all the time? No opportunity wasted!”
“Sweet,” Peyton fake-cheered. “Finally our lives will be complete… But for real now, I know I kind of sprung that on you. It doesn’t have to be a huge deal. We’ll just be roomies. Nothing major…”
Grady pulled her closer; “That’s a shame. I was hoping it would be serious.”
Peyton’s eyes widened: “Well, if that’s what you want… I guess we can do that too. As long as we don’t neglect the fruitcake hatred.
“Obviously,” Grady nodded. “Gotta get our priorities straight. Now come here, we should take a picture of us as future roomies. It’s an important moment… for all fruitcake haters, that is.”
“Moving in together? Congratulations, what a huge step,” Leo smiled when Peyton told him the news.
“Medium-sized step,” Peyton corrected him. “Nothing huge, Mr ‘I proposed after a day of living together’…”
“Best decision I ever made,” Leo shrugged…
“But hey, whatever works for you and Grady. Have you told Pauline yet?”
“Err…” Peyton looked away nervously.
“You should go talk to her.”
“But… but… you’ve only just moved back in!” Pauline pouted when Peyton broke the news.
“You know me, a bird’s gotta fly,” Peyton laughed nervously.
“I get it, you and Grady need to move forward,” Pauline said. “I’m happy for you.”
“You do realise that your face could be used to illustrate the definition of pout, right?” Peyton attempted another joke. “Look, it’s not like I’m going back to Windenburg. I’ll just live a few streets down.”
“I know. I understand… I guess it’s just the pregnancy hormones making me all emotional,” Pauline smiled weakly.
“My point exactly,” Peyton gently touched Pauline’s pregnant belly.
“Your point? You mean that the pregnancy’s making me moody so you don’t want to live with me anymore?” Pauline sulked.
“Now you really are getting moody,” Peyton teased. “But no, that’s not what I was getting at. What I was trying to say was look at you; with another baby on the way. You guys are a family unit now. You don’t need me being in the way while you’re trying to raise your kids.”
“Peyton! You know you’re welcome here!”
“Of course I do. And believe me, I’ll make sure to invite myself over all the time,” Peyton winked. “But you guys need to live your life as a family. And I need to see if Grady and I have a future.”
“Don’t worry though. Your kids will always have aunt Peyton in their lives. And so will you.”