Its late when Gem finally gets home. Some things have changed, but deep down he’s still the same.
The same old immature, headstrong Gem. “What the hell is going on, dad? I got a letter from Trinity and something’s obviously wrong! Why didn’t you guys call me right away? I would have been home in hours instead of days! Is she all right?”
“We tried to call you.” Nico growls, obviously not too impressed by his son’s attitude. “And she’s perfectly fine. Just pregnant.”
Gem almost loses it. “You have got to be kidding me.”
Finally, Nico shows a tad bit of shame. “I’m not... she told Coral and me last night. We thought about calling your school in order to reach you but she didn’t want to distract you.”
“Thats not her call to make! Dammit Dad, aren’t you supposed to be the adult here? Didn’t you see her bringing a guy home? Didn’t you see her acting strange or uncomfortable?”
“I did but I thought she was just going through a phase... Oh Gem, I’m such a terrible father. I ignored you for looking like your mother when you were just a child, I put Coral before Trinity when I found out she was pregnant, and then when Trinity began acting so strong I just let her make her own decisions. I thought I was doing the right thing by giving you both your space but I barely know you two, and she didn’t even trust me with the news of her pregnancy until I had basically put it together myself! I just don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing, I obviously don’t know the first thing about raising children so how am I supposed to help her with her baby? How am I supposed to be a grandfather?”
“Calm down, dad. I can’t really blame you for everything... I mean, Trin and I just got used to keeping things to ourselves. I’m just... going to go talk to her, okay?”
“She said she didn’t want to talk about it.”
“She doesn’t want to talk to you.” Gem points out. “But I know she’ll talk to me.”
The nausea is the worst part, in Trinity’s opinion. Her small body is under constant strain from her growing belly, but she’s strong enough to handle it. It’s the nausea that leaves her feeling shaky and weak, weak enough to have broken down and notified her parents. Even then she hadn’t told them much, hadn’t confirmed who the father was (although she was sure they’d at least put two and two together), hadn’t even asked her mom for advice or support.
Gem isn’t her mom or dad, so when she sees him her mind tells her to let go and accept help, but she isn’t sure she wants to. So instead she begins the conversation. “I like your skin tone. Human now?”
“Human now.” He nods, smiling at her softly. “Happened three days in, almost gave my roommate a heart attack, poor guy, but I told him I took the vampire-be-gone formula to keep from wanting to feed during surgery and he felt better. Now tell me, how’s your time been while I was away? Anything happen?”
She silent for a long moment, studying his face curiously. “A... few things happened. Marise got her license.”
“You told me that.” He nods. “I got your letter, it really made my day thank you. What about Burton? Do I need to kick his ass?”
Trinity’s lower lip starts to quiver.
“I’m such an idiot!” She bursts out, breaking out in tears as Gem holds her close.
“You are no such thing.” He promises. “You’re brilliant and you know it. You’re just a teenager and you know full well I made my own share of bad decisions when I was your age.”
“You never got pregnant!”
“Well that might be a bit difficult considering I’m male, Trin.”
She chokes out a small laugh, her tears still soaking his shirt as he holds her close, slowly rocking her as if she were a child.
Finally, she speaks again. “He doesn’t even know I’m...”
“You haven’t told him? Why?”
“I don’t want him to hate me.”
Gem’s heart falls, finally understanding the real reason behind his sister’s distress. “Oh Trin...”
It isn’t long before she’s dozed off, and after placing her in his bed Gem steps into the hallway to make a call.
Sophie answers her cell after only two rings. “I thought you told me not to call you anymore.”
He ignores the bitterness in her voice. “Sophie this isn’t about us. Your little brother knocked Trinity up. According to her they broke up before she could tell him she was pregnant and now she’s too scared to tell him in case he’ll hate her.”
He ignores that too. “Stop it, Sophie. I need your help. You can hate me tomorrow.”
“I already hate you.” She growls before a male voice says something behind her. She responds to the voice before returning to her phone. “Fine. Meet up with me tomorrow and we can pick Burton up from his part time job together. He likes you so he’ll be happy to finally meet you. We can bring him to Trinity and she can tell him herself. Let’s hope he reacts better than you did.”
She hangs up before he can ask her about his daughter.
Sophie doesn’t want to meet him at either of their homes, instead citing the library as their meeting place. He heads over early, hoping to compose himself before facing her.
He does find someone there waiting, but it isn’t the girl he’s expecting and she catches him off guard.
Fawn Goodfellow has grown up well, her hair slightly shorter but face still overly serious. She smiles only slightly when she sees him, most likely just trying to make polite conversation.
He doesn’t let her brush past him. “I just got back from medical school! Um... I got an internship starting tomorrow. It’s nothing huge but, y’know, it’ll get me experience and as long as I don’t break down or kill someone with stupidity I’ll get a real job at the hospital shortly after and it’s pretty cool, y’know?”
He doesn’t understand why he’s talking like a teenager again, but it does make Fawn smile.
She decides to tell him about her own life since high school. No boyfriend, no kids, but her new books have sold enough to bring in a steady weekly income. Enough for her to be comfortable enough to move out on her own at least.
Gem doesn’t know when he’ll move out, might not be for a while now considering how he knows Trinity will be needing him. But that doesn’t stop him from asking Fawn to meet him for dinner tomorrow evening after his shift at the hospital.
Fawn knows Gem and Sophie broke up in high school. She doesn’t know about their short affair or what happen after, so she says yes with a shy smile.
Fawn finally leaves, and Gem heads outside to meet Sophie in the gardens. If looks could kill he’d be six feet under, and he knows full well she’d be in the right for it.
He feels disgusted by what he did to her. The way he reacted when she called to tell him about her pregnancy. He’d turned her away, said he’d pay child support but wanted nothing to do with either of them. He’d been so sure it was just another trick, or that the child wasn’t his but as the days passed he realized he’d been in the wrong, and by the time his daughter had been born it had been too late to salvage the mess he’d made of Sophie’s heart.
“How uh... how is she?”
“She’s beautiful.” Sophie sighs, face falling. Part of her had hoped Gem would ask, but now that he has she doesn’t want to talk. “I named her Topaz, I thought it would fit. She uh... she’s still really young but she’s so sweet. A total angel.”
“When can I see her?”
Sophie’s sad face disappears, returning to a look of disgust. “Never. You said you didn’t want anything to do with us so I’ll grant you that wish. Besides, I’m married now, I don’t need you or your child support and we’ll be just fine without you. Now shut up and lets go pick up my idiot brother. You’ve already ruined my life, so lets go ruin his now too.”
Gem and Sophie have a daughter named Topaz. She won't be counted in his total number of children since she won't be in the active family.