Chapter 2

It turned out that three years could go by in a blink of an eye. So much had happened in such a short time. Lucia was accepted by her new citizens right away and she, in return, loved and admired their spirit and passion. She also loves Avalor for many other reasons. She loves the mountains, waterfalls, and the harbor that surrounded her new home. She loves the noble Jaquins' passion for music. She also adores Avalor's chocolate which she considers to be one of the best treats that she's ever had. However, the thing that she loved the most is that there was something magical about it. It was like she was meant to be here.

However, not everything was perfect. Raul's father had passed away a year and half ago. He had been a serious and practical man who commanded respect from his people. Still, while he rarely showed it, he had a soft heart deep down, especially for his family. It had been a great loss for Avalor. It also meant that Raul had to become king and that they couldn't spend as much time together as they did before. Sure, they both helped with running the kingdom before Raul's father passed away, but they both had found plenty of free time to spend with each other. They would dance in the ballroom, play music and sing in either the music room or drawing room, go out in the water near the harbor in a rowboat, and hike up in the mountains where they explored nature and often had picnics there.

Those days were almost gone. They both had more responsibilities now. Raul now spends much of his time taking care of the kingdom, while Lucia is busy organizing festivals for the citizens, overseeing the castle, and giving advice to Raul when he needs it. They both also participate equally in royal events outside of Avalor and welcome important guests when they come to Avalor.

Their new roles weren't the only thing that had changed. Despite being miles away from each other, Lucia kept in close contact with her family through letters and occasionally visited her former kingdom for holidays and birthdays. Five months after her wedding, Maria found herself a suitor. When she first met Eduardo, Lucia didn't have a high opinion of the man. He was often arrogant and boastful. It was a mystery to her as to how the sweet-natured Maria ever fell in love with him.

When they finally found the time to be alone, Lucia had finally asked her about what she saw in the man. Her answer had been somewhat surprising.

"We all have flaws Lucia. Some are just more noticeable than others. Even I'm no saint. Why, when I was a child, I used to sneak books in my room and secretly read them past my bedtime. Also, remember how when I was eight and you were six, I convinced you that we should sneak into the kitchen and eat the Tres Leches that mama had made for a party? We both got a huge stomachache and Mama and papa figured that was punishment enough.

You ask me why I love Eduardo. It's because I'm not just focusing on all the negative. He doesn't allow most people to see this side of him, but deep down he is a sweetheart. He often gives me flowers, he admires and respect my knowledge, and he usually does the right thing in the end. In fact, I kind of think of him secretly being Romeo deep down."

"Romeo! You mean from "Romeo and Juliet!?" Lucia exclaimed.

Maria shrugged "Why not?"

Lucia still didn't quite understand how Maria could compare Eduardo to Romeo, but she now saw that this wasn't just a crush. She was truly in love. She accepted Raul with welcoming arms. There is no reason she couldn't do the same.

She took Maria's hands and told her "Please forgive me, hermana. I just want you to be happy."

Maria smiled, "There is nothing to be sorry about. You had an opinion and you were voicing it. I get why you thought the way you did. Although, I do have to admit that it's kind of funny that you're the protective hermana here. I thought I was the older one."

The two sisters had laughed after that.

That was two years and five months ago. Lucia has since paid closer attention to Eduardo. She still thought Maria could had found someone better, but she also had to admit that Maria was right that there were good qualities about him. He truly seems to love Maria and he is courteous to his new family. If Maria is happy, then that is all that matters. That is why when they got married last year, not only did she give him her blessing; she also accepted him as her new brother in law.

Lucia was thinking about all the changes this evening as she sat in the drawing room knitting. Raul had missed dinner that night due to a last-minute meeting with the council members. Normally, she would have been disappointed since dinner and evenings are when they spend time together. Today, she didn't mind. It allowed her to collect her thoughts.

Suddenly the door opened, and a tired-looking Raul came in. "Good evening querida. I'm sorry about missing dinner."

"Oh, I understand querido. Duty calls." Lucia said.

Raul sat on the couch across from her rocking chair. "So how was it?"

Lucia hadn't been feeling well the past few weeks. She insisted that it was probably a strange illness and that it would soon pass, but Raul was concerned and last night he finally convinced her to go to the nurse in the morning. Lucia only agreed to go to make Raul stop worrying. After the visit to the nurse's office, she spent most of the day in the drawing room knitting, only coming out for dinner.

"Oh. It was just as I told you. A strange illness that will soon pass." Lucia said.

"I'm surprised to see you knitting." Raul said. "You hate needlework."

It was true. Lucia had never cared for needlework. Even though she knew that it was important, she had no interest in it. It was boring to her. But Mama had insisted that there would be a time she and Maria would need it and had personally taught them several different types of needlework.

Lucia just shrugged. "Just had a weird urge to do it for a change. So how was the meeting?"

Raul still looked worried, but he decided to not press her. "All you need to know is that it was torture and I couldn't wait to get out to be with you. Nothing to be worried about though." He said.

"That is good." Lucia said. "You know, I was doing some thinking today. It is funny how one event can change so much and that it can lead to something bigger. It can either lead to something amazing or it can lead to disaster."

"Life is full of mysteries." Raul said. "It's what makes life interesting and tests us."

Lucia looked down on her work. "Finished," she thought. She got up and sat next to Raul on the couch and showed him the item. "Well, what would you think if I told you that we have a new journey on our hands?"

It was a baby blanket.

Raul looked up to her with wide eyes. "Yo…you mean…?"

For the first time since morning, she had a huge smile on her face. "Sí, mi amor."

Before she knew it, Raul had his arms around her tightly and was kissing her everywhere on her face. She smiled as she hugged him back.

Both knew what the other was thinking.

We're going to be parents.