Aria was the descendant of one such ancient royal family. She was a princess of a long gone monarchy and the object of a cult whose loyalty ran deep. A few days after Dale left Egypt to return to Alissa, Aria walked through the entrance into the temple. The under-priestesses bowed to her as she entered.
Rehema saw from the princess’ expression that she was very angry.
Then she went to her computer and researched until she found his current address. She also located a webpage for Alissa’s television show. It showed a recent picture of Alissa heavily pregnant. Aria was furious. Alissa was carrying Dale’s child! She quickly left her home and went to the temple.
That evening, Dale arranged for Cara and Shawn to spend the night with Leslie and George, and Sharlee spent the night with Isabel. He wanted to be alone with Alissa when he talked with her. Alissa came home from the station. She was surprised to find that Dale had picked up dinner for the two of them from one of their favorite restaurants and the children weren’t home.
“Oh, what a nice surprise! I was just thinking today that we need some time alone before the baby comes.” The baby was due in less than four weeks. “It’s been awhile since we had our date night.”
During dinner, they didn’t talk very much, and Dale wouldn’t meet Alissa’s eyes. When Alissa started to clear the table, Dale said, “Leave them. I’ll get them later. I need to talk with you, Alissa.” He seemed very upset, and Alissa was nervous about what he had to tell her.
“Hi, I’m Aria Massri.”
Alissa immediately recognized her name. She hadn’t expected her to be so lovely. She thought that Aria was very beautiful and exotic. She moved aside and allowed her to enter the house.
“Aria, I wasn’t expecting you tonight. I told you that I’d call you.”
Dale answered. “Yes, I’ll call you.”
Alissa felt tears of relief sliding down her cheeks. Dale led her to the sofa in the livingroom.
He continued their conversation. “No, Sweetheart, I’m never going to leave you again. I’m sorry if that’s what you thought, but I wanted to tell you about Aria’s pregnancy. I just found out about it today. She says that it’s my baby and the baby is due in a few weeks.”
“How could that be Dale? You said that you had stopped seeing her before you left Egypt.”
Dale put his face against his palms. Then he said, “I did, but one night just before I saw you on television, Aria came to my apartment. I didn’t see the need to tell you about it because it was just one night, and it didn’t mean anything. I was feeling very low that night and hopeless that I would never see you again. She said that she knew that it didn’t mean that we were back together, but that she was feeling lonely. I’m ashamed to admit that I slept with her one last time. I told her afterwards that it had been a mistake, and I didn’t want to see her again. She went ballistic and said that I was just using her.”
“Yes, there is a chance that it is mine. Of course, I’m going to make sure that we get a paternity test to prove it.”
Alissa sat there silently, feeling stunned. Dale was having a baby with another woman. It hurt, even though she knew that she didn’t have the right to feel that way when she herself was pregnant with Alex’s baby.
Alissa managed to say yes. “It’s just that it hurts. I know that I don’t have the right to feel this way, but it does hurt.”
“You have the right to feel anyway that you feel.”
“What do you mean?”
“It’s not child support that she’s after. She’s after you, Dale!”
Alissa believed Dale, but she still felt great anxiety.
Throughout the following week, Aria kept making excuses not to get a paternity test. She finally told Dale that it would have to wait until after the baby was born. Dale and Alissa decided that until they knew for sure that the baby was Dale’s they didn’t want the children to know about it.
Alissa didn’t want to get to know her better, but if Dale was the father of Aria’s baby, then she knew she had no choice. There was no way that Dale would not want to be a part of his child’s life. She definitely wouldn’t try to prevent that.
Talking with people was Alissa’s job as an interviewer. She usually had no problems carrying on a conversation with anyone, but with Aria she could find nothing to say. She just could not relax in Aria’s company. She was so uncomfortable.
“Thank you Aria! You didn’t have to do this. It’s very sweet of you!”
Alissa responded. “Oh yeah! My energy will just suddenly whoosh away. I can’t wait until she’s born.”
“I can’t wait until Dale’s little girl is born either.”
“You’re having a girl?”
“Yes, I guess Dale will have four girls!”
Alissa said, “Yes I guess it will be four girls.”
Aria left, and Alissa rearmed the alarm. Lately she had become very conscientious about ensuring that it was on.
She thought about Aria. Although obviously pregnant, Aria still had slim hips and she was still gorgeous. How could Dale not find Aria the more attractive. Alissa sighed deeply. There was nothing that she could do to change it. At least not until after the baby was born.
She tried to reach Sammi and Lala, but they were both working. She knew that Miki probably was also, but she decided to leave a message for her to call her back anyway. She was surprised when Crystal answered Miki’s cellphone.
“Crystal, what are you doing home? I thought you were still on campus.”
“I packed up early. I was going to call and tell you. That job that I interviewed for came through! I am so excited! I start in two weeks.”
“No, the baby’s fine.”
They talked for a few more minutes and then Alissa hung up. Crystal decided to go to Mesa Valley and visit with Alissa before her new job started. She knew that something was wrong despite what Alissa had told her. She booked a flight for the next morning.