Hey guys, sorry about the month long disappearance. I went on vacation - we drove to canada - and then came home with a cold. Then I started tennis practice (with my cold) and was super sore cuz I'm so out of shape. Anyhow, heres another chapter. Hoping to get another one up tonight yet.


Chapter Sixty-Nine

Ivy Abernathy's POV

*One Month Later*

"Everything is packed up and in the car," Alex tells me as I buckle Michael into his car seat. The entire family is getting ready to go on our vacation to District Four. The trip is happening a month later than was originally planned, but Effie and Haymitch really wanted the entire family to come and Hunter needed to stay in the hospital longer than was originally thought. But now Hunter is six pounds and eleven ounces, and our vacation is on.

I was completely shocked when Alex came home from his parents' house and told me the news. I knew that Haymitch used to drink – a lot – but I didn't think it was bad enough to cause the extensive liver damage that he's suffering from now. Alex was really torn up over it. I've rarely ever seen my husband cry, let alone held him while he cried.

"Are you sure you're okay?" I ask my husband as we work together to get our children ready for the eight hour car ride to District Four.

"No," Alex tells me, "but this vacation will be good for all of us. All the kids will get the chance to be with my dad before . . . before, well, you know." I cross the living room and wrap Alex in a hug. We stay like that for a few minutes, arms wrapped around each other, breathing synchronized. We break apart and, without another word, Alex goes back to getting the kids ready. I know this is hard for him so I don't push him to talk about it. If I know Alex, he'll come to me when he's ready to talk.

Once the triplets are ready, Alex and I load them into the car, along with Alexis. We decided to rent a bigger SUV because Effie and Haymitch will be riding with us to District Four. So, when we're all settled into the car, we go and pick Haymitch and Effie up from their condo. Alex loads their luggage into the trunk and I move to the far back of the SUV so that Haymitch and Effie will be more comfortable.

I can't help but feel sad as I watch Alex and Haymitch interact on the drive. Haymitch has always had the best stories and he always tells them so well. It's hard not to feel sad when you're watching someone live out their last few weeks. He has his good days and his bad, but it's always evident that Haymitch doesn't have much time left. His skin and eyes are jaundice (A/N: Jaundice is just basically a yellowish discoloration on the skin/whites of the eyes.). I can tell that he's weak and tired; more signs of advanced liver failure. No, he doesn't have a lot of time left. I just hope that the rest of his time with us is a happy time.

Phoenix Mellark's POV

"How are you doing back there, babe?" I ask Harper, looking at her and our three kids in the rearview mirror.

"We're all doing fine," She replies, gently running her fingers through our newborn son's little wisps of brown hair. Our twin, two year old daughters, Hailey and Hadley, are entrancingly watching cartoons on the small TVs strapped to the back of the middle seats' headrests. Harper and baby Hunter are in the middle row of seats in our SUV.

Hunter, although still very small, has already proven that he's a strong little man. Harper and I were terrified while he was still in the NICU. Our son's life was literally hanging in some sort of scary limbo where all we could do is wait. After a couple of weeks, Hunter was finally taken off of the breathing machine and could breathe all on his own. That was a huge milestone. Then, when he was able to eat on his own and didn't need his feeding tube anymore, we almost had a party in the hospital waiting area.

I will never forget the day Hunter smiled at me for the first time. I was only two weeks ago, but it's already one of my most favorite memories. I was holding him, cradling him in my arms as I told him stories about the crazy family he'd been born in, when his little lips turned upward for the first time. That was when I knew that Hunter was going to be just as crazy as the rest of us.

"I love you, all of you, so much." I tell my wife, glancing back at her through the rearview mirror.

"And we all love you so much," Harper replies, a beautiful smile on her lips.

Lilac Hemlock's POV

"Oh, god, I feel like I'm going to throw up," I tell my husband from the back seat as we drive down the freeway.

"Please not in the car," Liam pleads. "I did just get it cleaned for this trip."

"I can't help it if I feel car sick. I am in my first trimester of pregnancy." I say, rubbing my stomach.

"You'll be okay," my husband, Ash Hemlock, tells me. Being stuck in the back middle seat of a five-seat car for an eight hour road trip really sucks, especially when you're pregnant.

"When do we get to trade spots?" I ask Ash.

"Oh, I don't know, when we get around to it," He replies. He obviously does not want to be stuck back here either. But, I do think that he'd trade being uncomfortable back here for being stuck on the couch for the next two weeks.

"Well, then I guess you won't mind sleeping on the couch," I tell him, shifting myself as I try to find a more comfortable position.

Alexander Abernathy's POV

"How are you feeling?" I ask my dad while we wait for everyone to finish up at the rest stop. We're about halfway to District Four and it's just past one o'clock in the afternoon.

"I'm okay," he replies, giving me one of his signature smirks.

"No really, how are you feeling?" I press.

"I feel a little weak and tired, but I'll be alright." He says.

"No you won't," I tell him, and then instantly regret it. "Sorry," I mumble.

"It's okay. I understand if you're still upset with me," Dad replies.

"But I don't to spend the rest of our time together being angry with you. I love you," I tell him.

"And I love you, too." He says. "I know you can't imagine your life without me, but it will go on once I'm gone"

"Yeah, but it's going to suck." I tell him.

"It will for a while, but you'll move on. Your life will go on. And I will be watching every second of it, I promise."

"You really mean that?"

"Of course I do. I can't wait to see what kind of mischief those triplets of yours get into. After the hell you put me through as a kid, I deserve that kind of amusement."


Well, what did you think? Let me know in your reviews! Thanks for reading, everyone!