Things hadn’t been running so smoothly in the Gray household. Leia and Lorie had always been in sync. There was a time when they’d do anything for each other. Now, they couldn’t even bear looking at one another. Lorie had been extremely upset over the entire lawyer situation. She of course was warranted in her wanting to protect the family she fought so hard to have. No matter how many times Leia assured her that Apollo and Noah would not be harmed in anyway, Lorie was still angry. Her true feelings had come out one day when she had remarked something along the lines of hating Leia for preventing them from having a dad and also for having to do unmentionable things to protect her little sister. Leia hadn’t any idea what her sister was saying and was shocked that she’d put such accusations on her own sister. Leia pleaded with Lorie but the orange haired beauty finally had enough. She gave Leia an ultimatum, her and the guaranteed safety of their family with the lawyer or financial security and no sister. Leia declared that it was her family and she knew what was best for them. Paying $100,000 wasn’t what was best for them. Leia hated the split that this stupid case had caused. Why did it have to be dug up? It was finally getting to the point where nobody had remembered it happened at all…
Despite Lorie’s untimely departure, the Gray family had been growing strong. Noah had quickly cooled off after finally sitting down with Leia. They had a talk about their futures and both decided that money was nothing in the way of providing a good future for Apollo. But, this lawyer was indeed trying to capitalize on Noah’s desperation and they would find somebody who actually had their best interest in mind. Noah had told this to Lorie personally, but the damage was already done. Lorie was furious at everyone in the Gray household (except for Apollo of course). Noah, with some convincing from his mother, had decided to forgive Caleb. They were brothers after all and nothing was Caleb’s fault or intention.
On this particular day, it was Caleb’s thirtieth birthday. He hadn’t felt right leaving his brother in turmoil after all of the trouble he unintentionally caused by just being there. Caleb had taken a full break from his music career until everything would be sorted out. On his birthday, Caleb wanted to visit the summer festival. Apparently, nobody did it like Sunlit Tides. Noah had been called to perform an emergency surgery and unfortunately couldn’t make it. Daisy and Cyrus both had work in the morning but were taking half days and would meet up with them later. Leia called a babysitter to watch Apollo as she would be the one accompanying Caleb. The two had grown incredibly close. Caleb was Leia’s support system. While Noah was filling out paperwork or spending nights at the hospital, Leia would confide her fears in Caleb. He had a way of calming Leia down. Apollo absolutely loved Caleb. His face lit up when he saw his uncle coming in the room to sing him a nursery rhyme.
“I’m glad that you’re in such a good mood on your birthday. I wish your brother was here to see this,” Leia commented.
Caleb cracked a smile. “How can I not smile on a day like this? It’s sunny out. I’m blessed to be able to actually spend my birthday doing something that I want today. I’m not doing some interview or filling out monotonous paperwork. I’m here with my family.”
“I’m really sorry that it’s just me. I know you probably wanted to spend your birthday with everyone…” Leia started.
“What are you talking about? You didn’t think that when I finally grew up to a mature adult that I wouldn’t invite my parents and brother did you?”
“Wait…they’re here?” Leia felt her stomach turn. She was going to be sick. Noah’s parents were here and Noah wasn’t. This wasn’t how she pictured meeting the founders of the Gray family as she knew it. Athena Gray, Noah, Caleb and Daisy spoke so highly of her. Leia didn’t think she was ready to meet her. What if she didn’t like her? Athena, Levi and Kayden had been absent for most of the time that Leia had known Noah, yet they still had an unbreakable bond. Noah and his mother talked almost every day.
“I don’t think she arrived yet. Her flight got moved to today. Oh wait! There she is. Mom! Over here!” Caleb called out.
“No!” Leia cried out. “I’m not ready yet!”
“Relax. She’ll love you.” Caleb grinned.
“Oh Caleb, you get handsomer and handsomer each and every time I see you. I usually turn on the TV when I miss you, but you seem to be flying under the radar. Is this because of that case with Noah?” She frowned. “I know he didn’t do it. He was always a smart boy. Why would he burn down anyone’s building?”
“I know for a fact that Noah is innocent. But, I don’t want to discuss the case anymore. It’s my birthday and I’ve got the family together so I want to be happy. Oh hey! This is Noah’s wife, Leia.”
Athena turned from Caleb and began to study Leia. She had been so focused on her son’s presence that she didn’t recognize anything around him. That was how Leia felt sometimes looking at Apollo and she wondered if she’d still feel that way when he was a full-fledged adult. “Leia! It’s so nice to finally meet you!” She outstretched her hand and shook Leia’s graciously. “I am so happy that my son found you. He’s done nothing but praise you. I remember on your wedding day, he had called me right before the ceremony. I mean, obviously to tell me about everything that had happened but also to tell me that he was so nervous that he’d mess up and somehow lose you before you two were even promised to each other.”
“Really?” Leia felt her heart swell. She had felt the exact same way about Noah. He had accepted her imperfections. He didn’t care that she loved playing video games or that she used to spend most of her time on her smartphone blogging. None of it mattered to him. He loved her. He gave her the family that she had always wanted and more. “It is an honor to meet you Mrs. Gray. Daisy, Noah and Caleb are all incredible people. You’ve raised them to be so well-mannered and caring. It makes me so happy just thinking about being able to be a part of your legacy.”
“Thank you Sweetheart. I’m going to tell you what I told my children when they were finally eighteen. The Gray family name is very important to not only me and the people before me but to the future of humanity. Your father, he’s a time traveler, Emit Relevart, who had helped me immensely in finding out the truth about my family. He told me that the time line was beginning to blur. We had to do something or else Lunar Lakes would blow up entirely. In ten generations the Gray family has t prosper and keep not only Lunar Lakes alive but our values as well. You and Noah are doing a great job just living your life and instilling your child with the mindset that he needs to face the world. Thats the most important thing. Apollo is the future.”
Leia swallowed hard. This would all sound crazy to anyone else, but Leia had indeed been there when Noah was walking around without his memory. She was also there when he had gotten it back, bit by bit. Emit was her dad, and he told Noah the exact same thing about the timeline. Regardless, whether tasked or not to save the future, she’d still raise her child to be the best he could be and more. “Mrs. Gray. I promise I will not let you down.”
“Mom!” Another voice shrieked. “I didn’t know you were coming!”
“Sweetie, I missed enough of my children’s lives at this point. I will not miss anymore.”
“Hey now, we’re not the average family. Our lives are ten times more hectic than the rest, so you call everyday and that’s all that counts. The thought is there.” Caleb smiled brightly.
Athena smiled as well. “Is this little Apollo? Oh! My first grandchild. I’m so excited to finally meet you. I’m your grandma!”
“Gramma?” Apollo giggled as he tried to sound out words.
“Hey, where is everyone else?” Daisy asked.
“Your father and brother should be coming soon. I left them behind, they take so long getting ready, like girls. I was too excited to see everyone and meet my daughter and grandson. Your Uncle Elliot and Aunt Erin couldn’t make it because Elliot is really sick. He’s not getting any younger and he can’t leave his bed. Erin decided to stay home and watch over him but they wanted you to know, especially Elliot, he emphasized this, that they are both very proud of you two and your brother Noah.”
Leia watched the sadness form in Caleb’s eyes as she tried to understand his feelings.
“Do not worry. There is still some time left for you to spend with your Uncle Elliot. Everything is ok.”
“Gramma!” Apollo piped up again and began to play with her gray locks.
“He is absolutely precious. He has your eyes, but he looks just like Kayden otherwise.”
“I’m dying to meet Kayden. I need to see the resemblance up close!” Leia grinned.
Levi and Kayden had both made their appearance shortly after. Everyone had decided to enjoy the festivities. Caleb and Kayden had immediately went to the skating rink, avoiding the hot dog eating contest at all costs. Caleb still had an image to protect. Leia and Levi were sitting at a nearby picnic table just talking. Leia was so happy that Noah’s parents were so easy-going. Daisy watched as Cyrus walked into the park looking around. She had decided that it was now or never. She lead her mother over to a bewildered Cyrus was and let out a short breath.
“Hey babe. You’re looking gorgeous in that dress.” Cyrus kissed her on the forehead.
“Thank you.” She blushed.
“This is your husband, Cyrus? It’s very nice to meet you. I’m her mother, Athena.” Athena stuck out her hand and Cyrus graciously accepted it.
“Oh my- I didn’t mean to publicly display my affection! I didn’t know that her parents would be here!” Cyrus began to panic.
“Oh relax son. I may be old, but I was still born in the generation where PDA was totally acceptable.” Athena rolled her eyes.
“He’s too much of a gentleman mom. He wants your and dad’s approval. He’s trying.“
“Anyone who makes my daughter happy gets my approval automatically and I’m happy that my daughter met you Cyrus. She seems to be glowing. I’ve never seen her so happy.”
“Well, it’s not only that but…” Daisy began and then looked at Cyrus. She took a deep breath. “I’m pregnant.”
“What!?” Both Athena and Cyrus exclaimed.
Cyrus leaned in and hugged her. “This is great news. I’m going to be a father!” Daisy was shocked at his reaction. She was expecting him to get mad. Cyrus had been enjoying spending time with Apollo and honestly was getting jealous. He had started to want a child of his own.
“Do you know if it’s a boy or a girl?” Her mother asked.
“I haven’t been to a doctor yet, but I have this weird feeling that she’s going to be a girl. I have a name picked out and everything. Tasha Flint.”
“Tasha. I like that,” Cyrus beamed.
“Me too.” Athena smiled and hugged the couple.
“Kayden?” Leia asked sheepishly. The tall boy turned around and watched her. “Hi, I mean, you know I’m Noah’s wife. I just thought you might want to meet Apollo, your nephew. Everyone tells me he looks just like you. So, I wanted to meet the infamous Kayden Gray.”
“I don’t see a resemblance at all,” Kayden joked.
Apollo leaned over and began to tug at Kayden’s hair. “I’m so sorry,” Leia apologized. “He’s only just started doing that today. You all just have incredible hair I guess.”
“It’s alright,” Kayden sighed in annoyance. He wasn’t too fond of kids or hair pulling. “Wheres Noah?”
“Well the surgeon caught a stomach virus and had to call out sick today. Noah was the only one experienced enough to take over and perform his surgery.”
“That big shot.” Kayden grinned, his composure instantly changing. “Let him know that I think his kid is cute, alright?’
Leia grinned. “Definitely!” All in all, today had been a good day spent with the Gray family. Daisy announced her pregnancy and Athena had later blabbed it to everyone. Leia got a break from Apollo, as Levi, Athena and even Daisy were all over him. Daisy was reunited with her twin for one more outing. Most importantly Caleb had his birthday wish come true, to spend his birthday with his family. Though some people couldn’t make it, he knew he was still loved and that they were sending him their best wishes.