Hello again. I don't have much to say today, so I'll just cut right to the chase. I don't own the Kane Chronicles.

Z

I

A

Sadie had taken all the initiates to the mall to buy Christmas presents, and left Carter and I to get the Christmas tree and decorate the house.

"Ugh." Carter groaned, pulling the giant Christmas tree off of Freak's boat. "Why did we have to pick the one tree that is 50 feet in diameter and weighs like a thousand tons?" He complained.

"Stop whining and get you and the tree in here. I'm freezing!" I called holding the roof door open for Carter.

"Gee, no thanks or anything? I feel so loved!" Carter joked. I rolled my eyes as he clambered through the door with the tree.

"Careful down the stairs." I told him.

"I know I know…" Somewhere between the first and second I know, Carter lost his grip on the tree and it went sailing down the stairs.

"Oh my gods!" I screeched.

"Whoops." Carter said, wincing. The Christmas tree bounced down the stairs and landed at the bottom with a satisfying crash. Carter and I stared at it for a second, then at each other, and then both broke down laughing.

Carter wrapped his arms around me and kissed my neck. "I love your laugh." He whispered in my ear. I placed my hand on his cheek and kissed him lovingly.

"I love you." I whispered back. Suddenly, I felt the baby kick. "Oh!" I yelped.

"What is it?" Carter asked, concerned.

"The baby kicked me!" I said excitedly.

"Really?" he asked. He knelt down and placed his hand on my belly.

"Right here." I said, guiding his hand to the place I had felt the kick. We stood in silence for a minute, then the baby kicked Carter's hand.

"I felt it!" Carter exclaimed, standing up and pulling me into a kiss, which was a bit difficult with my enlarged belly. The baby kicked him again. "Ouch! Hey watch it, I am your dad." He told the baby. I laughed at him and snuggled into his shoulder. He rubbed my back and kissed my neck. I could have stood there forever in Carter's arms, but I had a feeling I was forgetting something.

"The tree!" I exclaimed, pulling away.

"Oops." Carter said, then turned and ran down the stairs to the fallen tree. I followed behind him. By the time I got down, Carter had already gotten the tree in the stand and was plumping (Is that a word?) the branches out.

I sighed. We had a lot of decorating to do. Carter went to fetch the decorations from the upstairs closet well I began the layout of the room. I also put on some Christmas music to pass the time.

We decorated the Great room, the Library,the training room, and the patio with red, white, and green ribbons, lights, some wreaths, some holly, and even a little mistletoe here and there. We also placed a wreath on every door in the house. Finally we decorated the tree, which Carter and I had named Gordo since it was so fat. As I was putting the popcorn string on, Carter proposed something to me.

"Hey Z?" Carter asked.

"Yes?"

"Well, I was just thinking. I mean, there are a lot of initiates this year. And the house is getting pretty crowded. Plus with the baby, we will probably both want more quiet time, which is hard to get with fifty people. So I was thinking…" I was certainly listening now. "Maybe we should move out."

I stared at him. "What?"

"The leader of the 25th Nome contacted me, and he needs help recruiting." I was speechless. "Zia?" Carter asked.

"The 25th Nome is…"

"California. LA to be precise." Carter finished.

"I…" I couldn't make out any words.

"I already went house scouting and found a really great one in a safe area. It's pueblo style." Carter told me.

"What?"

"You know, like white concrete walls, the red tube like roof? Sort of like that. It has five bedrooms, 4 and a half bathrooms, a large kitchen, living room dining room, and even an outdoor patio and a big backyard."

"You went house scouting without me? How long did the leader of the 25th contact you?" I asked, becoming frustrated. Carter was silent. "Well?" I prodded, coming down from the ladder to the tree.

"Five months." Carter admitted.

"Five months? Carter!" My voice rose. "Why didn't you tell me earlier?"

"Because, you're pregnant." He said, as if it explained everything.

"Oh, so because I am pregnant means that you don't have to tell me anything?"

"No! It's just that, well, you can get…" He trailed off.

"What? I can get what?"

"A little… well… emotional."

"Emotional? Emotion… Ugh." I said, furious. I headed towards the stairs.

"Zia where are you going?"

"Away from you!" I shot back.

"Zia…"

"Don't. I replied, storming up the steps and into our room. I slammed the door.

S

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D

I

E

When we returned home from Christmas shopping, the place looked great. Carter and Zia did a great job. The trainees and I couldn't stop oohing and aahing. Suddenly, I heard a door slam upstairs, and then someone stomping down the stairs. This can't be good.

Zia and Carter appeared at the bottom of the stairs. They were obviously in a fight.

"Zia…" Carter began.

"No! I don't want to hear it." Zia grabbed her coat and shoes and slipped them on.

"Where are you going?" Carter asked.

"You don't tell me anything, why should I tell you anything?" Zia replied hotly.

"Z…"

"Carter, I don't want to hear it." Zia opened the door to leave, but Carter grabbed her arm. Zia shook him off. "Don't touch me." She said in a tone that sent shivers down my spine.

"But Zia, I…" Zia gave Carter such a death glare, he was immediately silenced. She walked out the door and slammed it behind her. Carter ran his hands through his curls, something he only does when he is frustrated. I stared at him, and so did all the initiates. He looked up, realizing all eyes were on him, blushed, and ran upstairs. Jaz came over to me.

"What was that all about?" she asked.

"I don't know. But I am going to find out. You go look for Zia, I'll talk to Carter."

"Good idea." Jaz agreed, and ran out the door to find Zia. Meanwhile, I went to go check up on my idiot of a brother to see what he did this time. I knocked on the door to his and Zia's room, a habit I had learned to have ever since what happened the first time I entered their room without knocking.

"I'm changing." Carter said, obviously lying.

"It's Sadie." I said. Silence. I opened the door and found Carter sitting in the lounge chair in the corner of the room, head in his hands. When he looked up, his eyes were puffy. Carter… crying. This must be really serious. I sat on the corner of Zia an Carter's bed, facing my brother.

"What's up?" I asked him. He sighed, but remained silent. "You can tell me Carter. I am your sister after all."

"I can't." He replied. "Not until I fix everything with Zia."

"I can help." I told him.

"Not this time, Sades." He replied, looking me dead in the eye. "I'll figure things out."

I stared at him for a second, trying to communicate with him telepathically, like we did in the old days, but he shut his conscience off to me. I sighed. "Alright. But if you need any help…"

"You'll be the first to know." He said, smiling.

"Good." I said, standing up. "Are you sure you don't…"

"No."

"OK OK, I am gone. I was never here. Just a mirage. Nothing more." Carter rolled his eyes.

"Bye."

"Bye." I left the room and began walking downstairs. Something was definitely wrong.

J

A

Z

I found Zia on the roof, crying, petting Freak. I ran over to her, sat down, and rubbed her back to comfort her. Her breathing hitched and she tried to calm herself down.

"Zia? You want to tell me what's wrong?" I asked. She took a deep breath.

"He didn't tell me."

"Didn't tell you what?" As soon as I asked, she broke down crying again.

In between sniffles, I made out the words: didn't tell… moving… pueblo… California. I had no idea what she was talking about. The door to the roof opened and Sadie walked through. She mouthed the words 'what's wrong?' I shrugged my shoulders.

Zia was finally starting to calm down a bit, and then she explained, "Carter wants us to move to LA."

"WHAT!" Sadie and I said in unison.

"The leader of the 25th Nome contacted him and offered him a job, and by the way Carter described our new house, I am assuming he accepted the offer."

"You guys can't move!" Sadie exclaimed. "We need you two! Ho is going to teach your trainees?" Thinking of that, Zia broke down and cried again.

"Nice going." I told Sadie. But she was too enveloped in the fact that her brother and her best friend could be moving across the country.

"Unbelievable." Sadie murmured, pacing. Suddenly, the roof door opened again, and Carter came through.

"What the heck do you think you are doing?" Sadie yelled at him. "Moving to California? Why don't you just go to China instead, huh? Same difference! In fact, why don't you just rip my heart out as well while you Are at it, huh. It will produce the same feeling. Sensing that this was not the right time to bombard Carter with hate mail, I began dragging Sadie away.

"Jaz, what are you doing? I am talking to Carter."

"Let him talk with Zia first." I explained.

"I don't want to talk with him." Zia's sadness had dissipated the moment Carter walked in and transformed into pure anger.

"Zia please, you have to listen to me." Sadie and I left, leaving Carter and Zia to work things out.

I sat Sadie down on the couch and plopped down next to her, exhausted.

"They can't move." Sadie blubbered, tears forming at the end of her eyes.

"Everything will work out for the best." I comforted. She nodded.

I hoped that my words of comfort weren't lies, but that things really would work out for the best.

C

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R

Three weeks after I dropped the bad news bomb, Zia and I had packed up all our stuff and were on our way to the Golden State.

Our house was beautiful, just as it was when I had first seen it. Zia thought so too. The moment we stepped out of the moving truck, she stared at it in awe. The outside was white concrete walls and red tube tile roof (pueblo style) and glass sliding doors, except the front and back doors, with were wood pained with a with a skinny stained glass window positioned on the side of the door.

The inside was almost the same, with pure white walls and shiny wooden floors. The house was gorgeous. Zia and I used the unpacking spell the put everything in it's place. Then collapsed on the bed and fell into a deep sleep. In the morning, we went to go buy more things to make the house look more homey; rugs, lamps, blinds, curtains, cool furniture, and food for the kitchen. When I returned from picking out a cool lounge chair for the guest bedroom, Zia was in the paints section.

"What are you doing?" I asked her.

"Picking a color." She replied.

"For what?"

"The baby's room."

"But… we don't know if it's a boy or a girl yet."

"I know, that is what I am picking a neutral color. What do you think of evergreen forest green?"

"I think… we should wait two more weeks until the baby is and let it decide." I joked.

"Very funny. Ooh! What about ice cream cake yellow?" she asked.

"Alright. Come on." I told her, easing the paint sample out of her hands.

"But…" she counteracted.

"No buts. It's time to get ourselves out of the home improvement store."

"But they are so pretty!"

"I know, hon. Let's go." Luckily, we got out before she had a chance to see the baby room styles section. Oh. My wife.

Ta da. Sorry if that sucked. I was really tired when I wrote it. Plus, it's really long. At least I think it is. Next chapter will definitely be the birth. I promise. So… you know the drill, peace love and treasure troves. –magicalunicorn000