Disclaimer: I do not own any of the original Mediator characters. I only own the ones I create.

AN: Thank you to all of you who read After Math! I love you guys! Thank you also to everyone who suggested a name for Suze's baby sister. I loved all of the names so much that it was difficult to choose. In the end I had to choose one though, but I tried to work every other suggestion into the mix somehow, sorry in advance if I missed your name! Oh, and please don't take anything Suze says as a personal slam against the name you suggested, that is Suze speaking not me! Anyway, as a treat to open my sequel, I decided to make this chapter slightly longer than the other ones. Please review! Enjoy!

Chapter One

"This is the life."

"Uh, huh," I agreed, closing my eyes.

"Honestly girl, I don't know how you stand it."

"You said that last time."

"And it's still true!"

I turned and looked at one of my best friends, Gina. She had flown in from New York to spend the summer with me and had just arrived the day before. It was a Saturday morning and we were laying on one of the best spots along Carmel's beach. Unfortunately, I had to work during the week. Yup, the good ole Ackerman house rule, either get a job or summer school. Oh well, at least I would still have the evenings and weekends to hang out with Gina. That is, the evenings I wasn't going out on…

"Hey girl," Gina perched her sunglasses atop her head, "I'm parched."

"You go, you know where it is."

Gina snorted, "It's not like we're going to lose our spot."

I gave Gina a small glare and lay back down. She playfully kicked sand on me and started the trek up to the convenience store for a refreshment. Before she could even reach the stairs, two of my stepbrothers were at her side. I rolled my eyes, not wanting to watch Dopey and Sleepy make fools of themselves.

With a small smile, I turned to my other side and stared at our fellow companion and reason Gina was certain we wouldn't lose our spots.

Without looking up from his book, he said, "What is it, querida?"

"Just looking."

"At what?"


Jesse finally turned towards me only to raise his eyebrow and give me a look that clearly stated "Thank you Captain Obvious."

"I like watching you read," I shrugged. It was true. I really started to appreciate everything Jesse did once he was alive again. But then, last winter after I had been kidnapped by Kelly and thought I would never see him again…everything he did seemed even more special now.

"I love watching you do everything," Jesse smiled as he used a bookmark to keep his place before leaning over and giving me a tender kiss.

And okay, I'll admit. I melted. I mean, who wouldn't?

"Yo," we were interrupted by someone plopping down on the other side of Jesse.

I sighed and sat up, "What, Adam?"

He shrugged, "Just felt like saying 'yo' so I did."

I threw him a dirty glare and was just about to lay down when I saw Dopey walking by looking pathetically dejected. Serves him right, I mean, what could he have been thinking? Gina didn't like him as much last time, did he think that adding another layer of beefiness (gag) to his body would make her prefer him this time around. Give me a break. Gina had always had a thing for older guys, college guys to be exact. And well, Sleepy was in college now. So, yeah. The only thing Gina preferred over a college guy was a Latino guy. But Jesse was all mine and Gina would totally respect my space and my property…if you could call Jesse my property that is. Which I guess he wouldn't be property but, oh well.

I practically cackled with delight at seeing Dopey put down by Gina, seeing as he had been nothing but a nuisance to me the past few weeks. I mean, with the new baby, none of us were getting any sleep, but that didn't give him any right to be incredibly jerky to anyone who dared break the silence when the baby was asleep. So I played a little soft Josh Groban in my room, what did it matter to him? Josh Groban's voice happens to be very soothing, so I don't see what his problem was.

Oh yeah, about the baby. Congrats are in order to Suze Simon, big sister. Yup, that's right. Three weeks ago my mom gave birth to a baby girl. Finally, some more estrogen to balance out the enormous amount of testosterone in that house. Even though I'm not that good with kids, I really like my baby sister. She is the cutest thing ever and she learned quickly who the good people are in the house. She cannot stand to have Dopey hold her, probably because he has to be conned into doing it. I'm serious, Andy has to pay him like fifteen bucks an hour to babysit where I will do it for free. Anyway, she adores me and David, who I am desperately trying to call David and not Doc. I don't think he minds the name Doc, but I would feel better if I called him by his real name. Sleepy she is indifferent to, which is understandable. And of course she likes Mom and Andy.

You're probably wondering by now what her name is. It was a great debate in the house over what her name would be and each of us were required to come up with a name, much to the boys' dismay.

Andy liked the name Jasmine, a name I absolutely love, but really, when you put it with Ackerman, you get two names that sound almost the same, Jasmine Ackerman (for it is pronounced more Ackermen that Ackerman). My mom like the name Emily, which we thought was a sweet name, but then Andy's sister (I know right, who knew Andy had a sister!) had to go and name her kid Emily. Jesse tried to be of use and suggested Amelia. But for some reason, Mom and Andy decided not to use the same letter for the first and last name. Hello! Who did the think lived in that house? Suze Simon and Andy Ackerman maybe? Anyway, this was the same reason that David's suggestion of Alexandria was rejected. For a while, it was down to Jake's suggestion of Melinda and Brad's suggestion of Jamie (see, I can use their real names! Ha!) and no one could really make up their mind. Then, someone realized that I hadn't suggested a name. That someone was David, who never lets anything get past him.

Anyway, my first name was Suze Jr. which caused my mom to roll her eyes and give me a look of "you have to be kidding me." So then I told them I was joking and said, "What about McKenzie?"

And that was that. My baby sister is named McKenzie.

It was probably lack of sleep that caused Dopey to walk dejectedly over to his towel and plop. I was under the distinct impression that he went to sleep almost immediately and wouldn't be sorry for him when he woke up with really bad sunburn from staying in one position to long in the sun. Although, I may be sorry when that sunburn makes him crabby and irritable…but at least I'll get to call him a fat lobster. That would be fun.

"What do you find so amusing, Suze?" CeeCee asked without looking up from her book. She was safely under the protection of an umbrella, as always.

"Dopey," I replied as I rolled over onto my stomach.

She glanced up from her book, "What's gotten into him?"


"Ah…I see," Adam began as CeeCee and I exchanged knowing glances. "The poor young gentleman," this issued a very unlady like snort from me, "erm…poor young male specimen?"

"Don't," CeeCee sighed, "that makes him sound appealing."

Jesse looked back and forth, slightly confuse by this exchange, but highly amuzed.

"I can't just say man."

"Because he isn't one," I interjected.

"Then what should I call him oh fair maidens?"

I looked at CeeCee and grinned, "You should call him 'poor young creature who treats his stepsister abominably ill.'"

"What kind of a name is that?"

"Oh, I've been reading Jane Austen lately, so I guess the old language is kind of stuck in my head." The reason I was reading those was to learn a little about the world Jesse was brought up in. Okay, so I know he wasn't brought up in England, but they were so much more fun to read than the western books.

"Whatever, so the 'poor young creature who treats his stepsister abominably ill' has fallen for fair Gina, but alas Gina does not return said…creature's affections. This unrequited love has turned him to the demeaning task of laying in the sun a-"

I cut him off, "And turning into a fat lobster." CeeCee and I dissolved into giggles as Jesse and Adam sighed about how they would never understand females.