Sera attempted to stretch her achy back, but to no avail. She couldn’t help but smile though. Her back wouldn’t hurt for much longer, she thought. The baby would be here any day now.
Everything was ready. They’d added a second floor to the meditation retreat, creating a small apartment for their new family. She and Lorcan figured it would make sense for them to simply move there since they were spending the majority of their time at the retreat anyway. They hoped the new living arrangement would make things as smooth as possible when the little one arrived.
“I thought you’d left already,” Sera’s husband emerged from the house.
“I meant to,” she laughed. “But I’m slower and slower every day.”
“You mean more and more beautiful every day.” Lorcan corrected her smoothly, placing his hand on her baby bump. “I love to see how our little boy’s growing.”
“You’re too good to me. If it wasn’t for you, I would have gone insane by now.” She gave him a grateful smile. “I do really have to go now.”
“Don’t keep your siblings waiting on my account.” Lorcan replied. “I need to get ready for the next yoga class anyway.”
“Don’t let Destiny gawk at you too much.” Sera giggled. “I’ll see you later!”
Lorcan chuckled softly. He glanced over his shoulder briefly before returning back into the house. The sight of his heavily pregnant wife headed for the park filled him with warmth.
He barely ever woke up angry these days, but on the off days he did, all he had to do was remind himself of the charmed life he’d been given.
Sera spotted the new wishing well immediately. The others were already there.
“Hi guys!” She waved at them from the distance. “Sorry I’m late! I’m sure I’ll be more mobile once I’m not basically a giant walking balloon…”
“Don’t worry, I’ve been there,” Carly laughed. “And you haven’t missed much.”
“Look at you!” Hallie exclaimed. “When was it that you were due again?”
“I’d say any minute.” Vito said with a laugh, giving Sera a quick nod.
“I’m sure I can spare a few minutes,” Sera smirked. She turned her attention to the newest addition to the park.
“So, this is it, huh?” Sera looked the well up and down. “Pretty grand, I’ve got to say.”
“It’s definitely not subtle.” Carly agreed. “I still can’t believe we were able to get one of these for our little town. I wasn’t even entirely sure they really existed…”
“Even though it was your husband that got the thing sorted?” Hallie was amused.
“If something can be found, Ralph will find it, you’ve got to give him that.” Carly shook her head. “In totally legitimate ways, he assures me.”
“I’m sure it’s fine.” Vito told her firmly. “So anyway, who should do the honours and make the first wish?” He swiftly changed the subject.
“Do you guys think it actually works?” Hallie asked. “I figured it was mainly symbolic…”
Sera glanced at the stone face above the well with a thoughtful smile. “Of course it’s symbolic… but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.”
“Are you gonna give it a go?” Vito asked her.
Sera’s hand instinctively gravitated to her belly. She gave it a gentle stroke. “Hmm, I don’t know… I can’t think of anything to wish for. I already have everything I could ask for. Well, I will do, once little Silas is born.” She smiled.
“Silas McCoy.” Hallie said, seemingly lost in thought. She paused briefly before continuing. “I’ve been thinking lately… this well, it’s our last contribution to the legacy, isn’t it?”
Carly nodded. “Time to let the offspring take over, isn’t it? And of course, the children from your orphanage.”
Hallie looked at them uncertainly. “Yes, but… it’s different now, isn’t it? I mean, remember when Pauline sat us down to have the heir talk, back when we were teenagers?”
“I try not to,” Sera laughed awkwardly. “Wasn’t one of my best moments…”
“You weren’t as graceful as you are now then, no.” Hallie let out a soft laugh. “But you weren’t wrong when you questioned it. I was never a Bloomer. It came to my mind so many times over the years, before I figured out how to contribute to the legacy in my own way.”
“Hallie… This is ancient history!” Sera objected. “Please tell me you don’t believe I still think like that! I’m not even a Bloomer myself anymore!”
“That’s exactly my point.” Hallie looked around. “Your son will have Lorcan’s last name. Aslan never took Vito’s. And all of Carly’s kids are called after Ralph. So when you’re talking about the new generation taking over… Haven’t you guys ever thought about it?”
Vito’s face grew serious. He sighed. “I’ve thought about it a lot. I’ve just… never said it out loud. Because it would make it sound like we failed. But you’re right, Hallie. The three of us here are the last three Bloomers Newcrest will know. After all these generations.”
They stood in silence for a moment.
Carly was the first one to speak up.
“Well I for one don’t think we’ve failed.” She shrugged. “If anything, we’ve followed through with everything mom taught us that day when we had the talk. Each of us have helped make the town better, each of us have carried the legacy, regardless of what we’re called. Remember that exhibition Vito had a few years back, to honour the legacy?”
“This is our Newcrest.” Vito thought back on the exhibition’s name.
“Exactly.” Carly nodded eagerly. “As long as there are people who want to keep making the town better, nothing is lost. Bloomer is just a name. It doesn’t make a difference. McCoy, Leoni, Forrester… It’s all the same. This is our Newcrest.” She smiled broadly.
“You’re right,” Sera nodded. “The names don’t matter. Besides, Vito could always have another kid. Weren’t you voted Newcrest’s most eligible bachelor the other day?” She nudged her brother playfully.
“Very funny,” Vito shook his head with a laugh. “I don’t think I could handle another Aslan. You’ll see for yourself soon enough, Sera. Kids are a handful… I don’t know how Hallie copes with looking after seven of them at a time.”
“Sometimes I don’t know myself.” Hallie grinned. “But seriously though… I’m glad you guys feel that way. About the Bloomer thing.”
“You’ve never been less of an heir than we are.” Carly told her. “And what you’ve done for Newcrest was the best build of all.”
“I’d like to think that Newcrest will give the orphans a future, and they’ll then give a future to Newcrest.” Hallie smiled softly. She shook her head. “But enough of being cheesy. We’re talking like we’re ancient… So what about that wishing well?”
“Now that I think about it, I’m with Sera on this one.” Vito said. “I don’t really need to wish for anything. I’ve got an amazing son, a thriving photo studio, awesome sisters… plus, I also happen to be Newcrest’s most eligible bachelor.” He winked.
They all laughed.
“I feel the same,” Carly nodded. “Well, aside from the bachelor thing.” She giggled. “Our little family has been doing so great, and the store’s never been better either.”
“So you’ve made peace with Hope’s modelling plans?” Vito asked.
“Hope is not a force that can be stopped.” Carly said proudly. “She’s too much like her father. If travelling’s what she really wants… well, let’s hope Sadie and Graham will stay in Newcrest.” She smiled. “As long as Hope doesn’t forget where she came from, she’ll be fine.”
“I guess that leaves you Hals.” Vito looked at Hallie. “Are you gonna make a wish?”
“And break the little circle we have going? I don’t think so.” Hallie shook her head. “I guess we’re all boring, can’t think of a single good wish.”
“Hey, I think I’ve got one,” Sera raised her hand. Everyone’s heads turned towards her. “I’d like for this to become a regular occasion. Why don’t we make this an annual thing? Meet here by the wishing well every year and evaluate how things are? As heirs. As siblings. As friends.”
“I like that.” Hallie agreed.
“So do I.” Carly joined in.
“Me too.” Vito nodded. “But surely we don’t need to make a wish for that to happen. Let’s just all agree to do this every year.”
Vito gave the three women a warm smile. “I guess the four of us haven’t done all that poorly after all, huh?”
Sera slowly made her way up the stairs. “I’m home!” She called out.
“Did you have a good time with the others?” Lorcan greeted her.
“I did, yes!” She exclaimed. “It was one of those rare moments. Synchronicity.”
“Oh really?” Lorcan was intrigued. “I guess that’s why you’re glowing even more than usual these days.”
“You think? I feel particularly disgusting at the moment.” Sera laughed. “And Silas won’t stop moving…”
“Let me have a feel.” Lorcan felt the baby fidgeting. “He does seem rather excited in there.”
“Aagh!” A sharp cry escaped Sera’s lips. “Actually, I think he seems more excited to get out of there…”
“Oh! Wow… let me grab our things…”
Sera had often wondered if Lorcan would keep his cool when it came to this moment. She always joked he was sure to lose it. Now that it got to it, he seemed excited but calm. Damn his perfect ways, she thought. Did he not feel the panic that was flooding over her?
“Lorcan, wait!” She almost yelled. “What if… what if I’m a terrible mother? What if I say something awful to him? What if he grows to hate me…”
“Shhh.” Lorcan stopped in his tracks, wrapping Sera’s hand in his.
“He’ll love you, how could he not?” He looked into her eyes. “And I know you will be an amazing mother. Because you’re an amazing person. Don’t forget that.” He kissed her forehead. “Now, let’s not keep him waiting.”