The one bright spot in her life with Mortimer… Bella kissed the forehead of a sleeping Alexander as she laid him into the crib in the large closet re-purposed nursery in her parents’ home. She had just put Cassandra in her old toddler bed. The little girl rocked back and forth, clutching her ankles, babbling nonsense words in a sing-song way. Bella’s heart ached as she heard the sound of her daughter’s voice. She couldn’t bear to look at either of their faces again. Their whole world was about to change, and she hated her part in it.
Five weeks and six days ago, she spent the most incredible night with a man from Xenosa, the Sims’ enemy home world. She did not care that he had alien DNA rushing through his being. She did not care that being with him infinitely complicated her life. She did not care that he was the relative of the queens who ordered countless abductions of Sims and other aliens. She did not care that he was from the race that was determined to achieve immortality at all costs, even at the expense of Sim lives. He had abandoned the call of his job in favor of his principles. She loved this man more than she ever thought she could love anyone. She cared for him more than the father of her daughter, and loved him more than the father of her son. She would do anything to be with him.
Bella knew she was taking an incredible risk. She could lose everything. With the help of her attorney, she had opened an account off-planet, an account that now held the means for making her future happen. She would need all these untraceable resources because something was about to change, and she couldn’t have anyone tracking her. Mortimer had asked her to meet him in Sunset Valley tomorrow. He had made his request almost six weeks ago to the day. And yet she wouldn’t be traveling to Califorsimia, and she would be giving him what he requested, and then some. She would be leaving Alexander… and Cassandra in his care.
As she stepped into the doorway and clicked off the light, Bella glanced back at the fruit of her unions one more time. Was it worth it? She was betting everything on an alien, an alien she desperately loved, and she felt it was worth the risk, but as she looked at her son gently breathing in his crib and her daughter cooing to self-soothe on her bed, she couldn’t help but feel torn. She was leaving them behind. She knew she couldn’t take them with her. Not if she was to live the life she really wanted. It wasn’t fair to them to stay. It wasn’t fair to them to leave. She had to be true to the calling of her heart.
After today, Mortimer would know they were no longer married. She had signed all the papers Lee Butterworth had given her. As soon as Mortimer signed the lines as well, their marriage would be dissolved. Returning to Pleasantview, Bella made certain her other children were safe with her parents and brother. They would be loved. Of that she was certain. Of everything else…
“I’m doing this for you,” she whispered, as she walked down the stairs of her parents’ home for the final time, and instinctively patted her abdomen. “…little one.”