Sweetheart found herself busier than she’d ever been. Raising two babies wasn’t easy, and the twins were always everywhere, even if you thought they’d finally gone to sleep. She finally figured out that as long as you expected them to be there, you could focus on work without too much trouble.
Sammy was more curious than outright mischevious, and a little quieter still than his sister. He could be easily distracted, which was a blessing and a curse all at once. Still, he was a sweet little boy, and loved his mother and sister. He also got along wonderfully with Simeon, when they were able to see him.
Eliza was always full of energy, and always crept into Sweetheart’s room to wake her up once she was awake. She was bubbly, energetic, and filled their house with laughter. It was Eliza who had Sweetheart running around after her, and Eliza who got into the paints, and Eliza who had sung the same song for an hour at the top of her lungs.
Sweetheart loved them both dearly, of course. She had been watching them grow and change with some amazement, and she was happy that they got along well, too.
As for the other parts of her life, well…the neighbours still talked, but she didn’t mind that so much any more. Besides, it would have been hard to deny the truth of the rumours when both of her children looked so much like Geoffrey, who she hadn’t heard from still.
But that didn’t matter. She had Simeon now, who always called even when he was in the Realm for his studies. It was good to be able to rely on a partner, for once. It was even better when you were expecting your next child.
Simeon had been ecstatic, hugging her and excitedly talking about baby names. He wanted old-fashioned ones, of course. Probably because of his own, but she’d actually rather liked the name Arabella. Besides, it was easy to shorten it. They’d made lists together, but he’d been called back to the Realm again, as he usually was. With the old Sage retiring this year, there was lots to be done in the school of magic he was in, and all of them were taking care of things. He’d been very reluctant to go, but Sweetheart had urged him that he should.
“The next Sage will probably thank you,” she’d said, with a smile. “Who knows, you might be able to spend more time with me once this is all over.”
“I hope so. They still won’t say who the next Sage is going to be, and everyone’s going spare over it.” He sighed, deeply. “Sootie, I wish I could be here more. I feel like I’m missing out on too much.”
“I can handle things here, I promise.” She’d kissed his cheek. “It’ll be worth it in the end.”
She thought back on that conversation as she dug out some weeds with a trowel. She couldn’t help but think back on it with worry, although she had reassured him. The Realm was unpredictable, and she hadn’t seen him now for a good long while. She could only hope things would be better once the new Sage was announced.
It’ll be okay. It has to be.