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The Legacy: Epilgoue

HANNAH

August

Sabrina and Tucker stop by about a half hour before Garrett and I are supposed to leave for the doctor’s office. I’m having an ultrasound this morning and not looking forward to it. I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to being treated like a sunken ship with lost pirate treasure aboard.

“What are you guys doing here?” Garrett asks in surprise, but he looks happy to see them. Especially when he notices Jamie at Sabrina’s side. “Gumdrop! Ahh! I missed you!”

He scoops up the redheaded toddler, and she flings her arms around his neck. “Hiiiii!” she exclaims happily. “Hiiiii!”

I stifle a laugh. This kid is so damned adorable.

“We’re heading out pretty soon.” I glance at Sabrina, who looks stunning as always in a yellow sundress that sets off her summer tan. She’s got a pair of dark sunglasses atop her head, and an oversized beach bag over her shoulder.

“Don’t worry, we only have a minute. We’re on our way to the pool,” Tucker explains. Which explains his striped swim trunks and flip-flops. I notice that his gray T-shirt is stained with something that looks pink and sticky.

Sabrina catches my gaze and snorts. “The princess demanded a strawberry creamsicle on the way here and then decided she didn’t like it and threw it at Daddy. I told him it wasn’t a good idea.”

I also notice Tucker’s holding a very large gift bag. “What’s that?” I ask curiously.

“Jamie picked out a gift for you guys,” he says.

“For your baby!!!” the toddler tells us, beaming.

Garrett narrows his eyes. “Jamie picked it out, huh?”

Sabrina and Tucker nod. Either they’re telling the truth, or they’re the most phenomenal actors on the planet.

“Can we come inside, or should we melt away on your front porch?” Tucker’s Texas drawl kicks in as he flashes his good ol’ boy smile.

“Come in,” I say grudgingly.

We walk inside and go to the kitchen, where Garrett sets Jamie on her feet. Then he and I stare at the gift bag that Tuck sets on the marble island. The only saving grace is there’s no way it can be that horrible doll. First of all, it’s far too large for Alexander. And secondly, Sabrina swore she and Tuck gave him a burial at sea.

“Open it!” Jamie shouts. And keeps shouting. “Open it! Open it! OPEN IT!”

“Sweet Jesus,” Garrett murmurs, “is this what we’re in for?”

“Indoor voices, princess,” chides Tuck.

Sabrina grins. “You should probably open it before she has an aneurysm.”

“All right. Yeah.” I grab a pair of scissors and snip the piece of tape holding the gift bag together. “You guys didn’t have to do this, but thank you.”

“Really nice of you,” Garrett agrees.

“Thank Jamie,” Tuck says easily.

I reach inside, my hand emerging with a box that looks about large enough to house a basketball. An identical one remains in the bag, but Sabrina says I should do one at a time.

Suspicion gnaws at me as I cut through more tape to open the box. I don’t trust them. I’m not sure why, but I just don’t. Something about this entire thing feels very, very off—

“A dolly!!” Jamie shrieks when the contents of the box are revealed. “A dolly for your baby, Auntie ’Annah!”

I withdraw my hand as if I’d just burned it on a hot stove.

My betrayed gaze flies to Tucker and Sabrina, who smile innocently before nodding toward their daughter.

“Jamie saw this adorable little guy in Tuck’s suitcase when we got back from St. Barth’s,” Sabrina chirps.

“Can you believe he floated right back to shore like he couldn’t bear to part with us?” Tuck pipes up.

“It’s like he knew exactly where he belonged.” Sabrina nods. “At first we were going to let Jamie keep him—”

I glare. Because, bullshit. They’d never let their precious child have prolonged contact with a doll housing the spirit of Willie the Gold Rush corpse. Never.

“—but when we told her Auntie Hannah and Uncle Garrett were going to have a baby, she decided she couldn’t possibly be selfish and deprive the new baby of this joyous gift. Right, little one?”

“Right!” Jamie smiles. “Do you like him?”

I stare at Alexander’s smirking red mouth, dread filling my gut.

Then, pasting on a big fake smile, I address the little girl. “I love it,” I tell Jamie. While beside me, Garrett mouths “You’re dead” to Jamie’s parents. He slashes his finger across his neck.

“Oh wait, but there’s more!” Tucker is loving every second of this nightmare.

He lifts the second box out of the bag, and my stomach does a queasy somersault that has nothing to do with my pregnancy and everything to do with whatever new horror we’re about to experience.

Sabrina offers an evil smile. “Last year Tuck and I did some research on Alexander’s history and discovered that he was part of a lot.”

“Oh my God,” I moan.

“No,” Garrett says, holding up his hand as if that’ll achieve anything.

Tucker takes up the narrative. “This particular dollmaker designed ten dolls, each one custom-made but part of the series. We had an alert set if any other dolls in the lot came up for sale. And last week, one became available! I think they call that serendipity. Maybe. I’m not sure. But it’s wild, huh?”

Sabrina nods enthusiastically. “Wild.”

“So we said to Jamie, hey, what’s better than one doll for Auntie Hannah’s baby? And what did you say back, princess?”

“I said two!” Jamie dances around her father’s legs. This poor innocent child whose parents recruited her to do their malevolent bidding. They had to know that if Jamie wasn’t here right now, I’d be trying to shove Alexander in the garbage disposal.

“Two dolls are always better than one,” Tucker agrees, and then he pulls out a second porcelain nightmare and holds it up.

This one is a girl doll, with white-blonde curls that, oh God, look like they could be actual human hair. Her cheeks are like two red apples, her pink lips stretched in a macabre frozen smile. In a blue dress with a white sash and shiny red shoes like Alexander, she is creepy and awful and I want to punch Tucker in the face with her.

“Her name is Cassandra,” Sabrina says, grinning at my expression. “And don’t you worry, she comes with a verified biography. It’s in the box. Some fun reading for later.”

Tucker winks. “We don’t want to spoil it for you, but let’s just say while Alexander and Willie were traversing the California Trail, Cassandra here served as a wonderful companion for a child in a German insane asylum.”

“Yayyyyy!” Jamie starts clapping, clearly ignorant to what most of those words mean.

“Yay,” Garrett says weakly.

I glower at our supposed friends. “I’ll never forget this.”

“Wonderful!” Sabrina says, clapping too. “Hear that, little one? Auntie Hannah says she’s never going to forget this gift.”

I glance at Garrett and sigh. We need new friends.


Forty-five minutes later, we’re in the exam room, bickering about the fate of the two haunted dolls we left back at home. I vote we should burn them, but Garrett is too superstitious.

“I think we need to bring someone in to do some sort of exorcism before we burn anything,” he argues. “What if the dead kids’ spirits exit the dolls during the fire and then haunt the house itself?”

“Ahem.”

Our attention shifts to the door, where my doctor stands, eyeing us warily.

“Ignore everything you just heard,” I advise her.

“Snitches get stitches,” Garrett adds solemnly, and I promptly punch him in the arm.

“Ignore that too,” I say.

Chuckling, the doctor moves the ultrasound machine closer and squirts a bunch of cold gel on my belly. I’m still barely showing, but apparently that’s normal. Sabrina had warned me that with her pregnancy, she’d barely had a bump the first two trimesters, until at six months she’d suddenly ballooned. Not that I trust anything Sabrina James-Tucker says anymore.

“You ready?” the doc asks as Garrett squeezes my hand.

“Let her rip,” I answer, and she laughs at that.

Garrett kisses my knuckles, my engagement ring catching the light. Though I didn’t need it, he’d surprised me with a formal proposal a few weeks ago. Got down on one knee and everything. I never thought I’d be one of those pregnant brides waddling down the aisle, but here we are. Funny how life works out sometimes.

“What’s in the bag?” I ask, noticing a small plastic bag beside Garrett’s chair.

He grins. “Check this out. I saw it in a store window the other day.” With a flourish, he pulls out a tiny Bruins hockey jersey with GRAHAM on the back.

“It could still be too early to know the sex,” I remind him. “We don’t know it’s a boy.” Though he’s been convinced it is.

“It’s a unisex jersey,” he says smugly.

“I thought so,” the doctor says under her breath.

I look over, slightly alarmed. “What’s up?”

“I couldn’t be sure during your last visit because of the position of the fetus. However, it’s quite clear now.”

My pulse spikes.

“Something wrong?” Garrett asks, sitting forward as we both stare at the screen.

“Congratulations,” she announces with a grin. “You’re having twins.”

“Twins?” I echo stupidly.

“You serious, Doc?”

“Twins?” I say again. “Like two?”

“Two,” she confirms.

Garrett’s face collapses. “I only bought one jersey.”

“Can you tell the sexes?” I ask, squinting at the screen as if I can discern it myself.

“It’s still a bit early. From what I can see, though, yes, I believe we can tell. Would you like to know?”

My pulse spikes as I turn toward Garrett. Our gazes lock, and he nods. “Yes,” I tell the doctor. “We want to know.”

“You’re having a baby boy…and a baby girl.”


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