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Time flies when you’re happy Ariana began to realise. Her baby was no longer a baby. She was now a cheerful little girl who loved swinging on monkey bars and telling jokes to bring a smile people’s faces. Ariana felt blessed to have such a sweetheart like Adrienne for a daughter.

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Although Adrienne took after Ariana in a lot of ways there was no escaping how much she looked like her father Don. Even though Ray had been in her life since she was a baby and she already called him Dad, she knew he wasn’t her real father. One day she started asking questions about her real dad. “Why isn’t he around Mum? Where is he? What’s his name?”

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Ariana wasn’t prepared to get those questions as yet. But it was only natural for Adrienne to wonder about Don since all the other kids at her school came from nuclear homes with both parents. “Well, you see darling his name is Don Lothario and well… he… you see… before you were born… um…” Ariana stumbled trying to come up with the best way to tell her an age-appropriate version of the truth. “…you see he wasn’t ready to be a father so he went away.” Ariana felt like slapping herself once the words came out but to her surprise, Adrienne simply said, “Okay” and then skipped off to play. She was too young to understand it all. Ariana was grateful for that but she was aware that follow-up questions from her daughter at a later date were inevitable so she had to get her answers prepared.

Ariana and Ray’s relationship was still going strong. She had never been so happy in a relationship before.

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“How did I get to be such a lucky man?” Ray asked as he looked into her eyes.

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“I’m the lucky one,” Ariana responded. She certainly did feel like she was the lucky one. Apart from being a good father figure to Adrienne, Ray was also an incredible boyfriend who was always doting on Ariana. He always took her to such nice places. That night they had a date at the recently opened Solar Flare lounge.

“This is such a nice place Ray. What’s the occasion?”

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“It’s a special night for us.” He said.

“How so?”

He paused for a moment and then said, “Because I get to see my girl looking gorgeous in that gold dress of hers. The moment I saw that outfit I knew I had to take you somewhere where you can wear it.”

Ariana smiled at his compliment. He was always complimenting her and he always noticed the little things.

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They danced for hours to live music and enjoyed the overpriced cocktails. Ray wasn’t much of a dancer and his moves were a little out of rhythm but he didn’t let that hold him back.

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When the band took a break Ray and Ariana took a seat and Ariana started to give Ray a massage. “What’s that for?” he asked.

“You threw your hands up a little too high just now and I heard you wince. I’m sure your shoulder must be hurting.”

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“Thanks. It does hurt. I love you Ariana.”

“I love you too Ray.”

Later that night Ray dropped Ariana to her home. “I had a lot of fun tonight,” he said to her as he caressed her cheek.

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“Me too, I wish you could spend the night but Adrienne…” Ariana wasn’t able to make any additions to the house as yet so since Adrienne became a child they shared the double bed which meant that hers and Ray’s bedroom activities came to a halt.

“I know but it’s ok. If everything goes according to plan we’ll soon get to spend every night together.”

“If what goes to plan?” Ariana asked and then she watched as Ray dropped to his knees pulling out a ring from his jacket pocket.

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“Ariana Sloane I love you more than I ever thought was possible. You are my soul mate and I’ve known since the very beginning that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?”

Ariana didn’t hesitate at all. “Of course! Yes! Yes, Ray I’ll marry you!”

Ray slid the ring on her finger and she took a few seconds to admire it. “It’s so beautiful! I can’t believe we’re engaged!” she enthused excitedly.

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“I can’t wait to make you my wife!” He exclaimed as he swooped her into his arms. “I’m sorry it took me so long to propose. I wanted to get you the perfect ring.”

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“The ring is beautiful and I love it but you didn’t have to worry about it so much. I didn’t need a ring. I just want you. I love you so much Ray!” Ariana gushed.

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After their engagement Ray sold his house and moved in with Ariana and Adrienne bringing 20,000 simoleons to the household which was just enough to expand Ariana’s tiny studio-style house into a three bedroom cottage.

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Adrienne had a tough time adjusting to sleeping in her own bed but she soon came around to the idea of having her own room. Ariana also enjoyed having her own room to share with Ray, and with Adrienne’s bedroom on the other side of the house, she felt more relaxed being intimate with her fiancé.

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But with the newfound privacy that Ariana and Ray indulged in soon came an unexpected but joyous surprise. Ariana was pregnant!

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