When she had first met Jessica and her children, Joy had a suspicion about the children's paternity. She'd seen a family resemblance in Bryce's face, but she was surprised when her uncle Bruce had stepped forward as the twins' father.
Although he had been a bachelor his entire life and had never had children of his own, until now, Bruce had been around children his entire life. As a child and young teen he lived with his sister Layla and her family. He and his sister Grace (Joy's mother) often helped care for Layla's children (Suzanna and Jesse) when they were young. After Grace married and started her own family he lived with them. Joy had lived in the same household as Uncle Bruce almost her entire life.
Joy had a way with kids. She knew how to relate to them.
Bruce found it frustrating that he didn't have the knack for it that Joy did.
But after watching her example and following her lead on how to relate to the children, they were starting to break the ice.
He hoped he was up to the challenge of raising two young children who had just gone through the trauma of losing their mother prematurely.
What child wouldn't want a puppy to love?
As much as they had both wanted a puppy, the children were too busy playing tag to notice when the new pet arrived, but for Joy, it was love at first sight.
With everything else going on, Joy hadn't forgotten about her other love, Alon.
They tried to make time together, but it was hard to find privacy in the busy house.
And when they did, she was just too tired to make much of their time together.
Alon was very understanding. "We've waited this long to be together. I don't mind even if it means waiting for our wedding night . . . which will be soon, won't it?"
Joy had hoped so, but now she wasn't so sure. She hadn't even thought about the wedding, since Jessica died. Right now making sure the kids were settled and doing well was the first thing on her mind. She hoped Alon didn't feel neglected because of it.
Bruce could sense Joy's sadness and one evening they had a talk about what was bothering her.
"Don't put your life on hold, because of us. Life can take a funny turn and you never know what can happen. You may miss your chance . . . Anyway, don't worry about us. The children and I will be fine. Don't forget to do what is right for you."
The next day, Joy invited Felicity over to discuss wedding plans and to catch up. They hadn't seen as much of each other since Joy left university and they missed seeing each other so often.
In addition to wedding planning, Joy had big news. She'd been offered the chance to host her own local television show. She just had to come up with a proposal for the show's content. She had so many ideas flowing through her mind, it was hard to pick just one subject to focus on.
"I think finishing school early was the right thing to do. What can I learn from a book or a class room about acting and the entertainment business that I can't learn by getting out there and doing it," she reasoned. "How are your classes going?"
"Good. I think I'm going to keep going after my master's is finished. I just want to see it all the way through."
"How are things going with your love life? Have you and Davis made up yet?"
"We're co-existing," Felicity replied. "I know you want us to get back together, but I'm not sure that we ever will. I really don't need a guy who is going to play games. I thought he was more mature than that."
Though they lived apart, Joy and Felicity still maintained their close connection as twins. "Let's see what we have in the kitchen for dinner."
After dinner was bedtime and even though he had his own room, Bryce seemed to prefer sleeping on the couch.
As Bruce was tucking the children in, Felicity came up to him to say goodbye and he offered the same advice to her that he had for Joy. Life is short, don't let it pass you by.