All of the kids started laughing as I tickled the twins. They seemed to accept my explanation for the time being, but the entire time we were in line, Davin stayed focused on the mom in that family. I wondered if she bore a resemblance to the mother he remembered. When that family had finally seen Santa and left, his mood lightened significantly, and we were able to get through the rest of our shopping trip without many other hiccups.

I took the kids back to my apartment for a hysterical, albeit messy, workshop on how to wrap presents and then it was time to take them back home. I switched around the order I decided to drop the kids off in so that I could chat with Ethan about what had happened with Davin.

“He asked you about their mother?” he said in complete shock. “Neither of them has ever mentioned her to me, not even once.”

“They’re probably afraid of what you’d say,” I told him. “Or that it would make you sad to remember.” I hugged him once I realized I’d bummed him out thinking he hadn’t done well for the boys. “You’re a wonderful dad, but you should talk to them about her, and make sure they know just how much you love them. I can only comfort them so much, the true assurance has to come from you.”

Ethan hugged me back. “Thank you.” I winced a little as Ethan squeezed the part of my back he’d most caused pleasurable pain to the night before. He looked down at me with a raised eyebrow. “Are you sure I wasn’t too rough with you last night?”

I shook my head. He hadn’t been. If anything, my back was sore because I kept him going like the energizer bunny. When it came to Ethan, I couldn’t get enough. “No, not at all, in fact…” I looked around to make sure the boys within eye or ear shot and then I leaned up to whisper into Ethan’s ear. “I’m going over to Lowe’s tonight. Ricky is going to Harrison’s for a sleepover with Trey. I’d love to have you there for a threesome.”

Ethan smiled devilishly at me. “Just try and keep me away.”

I gave him a kiss, trying not to get too feisty because we’d have all the time we’d need that night at Lowe’s, and I grabbed my things and prepared to leave. I was just barely out the door when I heard Ethan’s voice from the bedroom upstairs. “Boys, come here, I want to talk to you about something.” I quietly tiptoed my way upstairs and stood in the frame of Davin’s door, where Ethan had gathered both of the kids and was sitting on the bed with them on his lap. “Your mother was a wonderful woman. She was smart, and kind, and funny, and she looked a lot like both of you.”

“She was a twin too?” David asked.

Ethan smiled. “Kind of. You got your looks from her, which is why you’re both so cute.” He wiggled his fingers along their torsos, tickling them as he did so. “But sometimes, when two grownups stop loving each other, they start being really bad to one another. Your mommy and I, we weren’t getting along anymore, so she left because she loved you so much that she didn’t want you to have to deal with the hard stuff.” Davin started to cry, and I could even see a few tears welling up in Ethan’s eyes. David remained sober, but somber. It wasn’t a fun topic for any of them. “But the last thing she told me is that she wanted me to tell you both every single day that she loved you so much, and I haven’t done that because I was mad at her, so I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay, daddy,” David said, grabbing Ethan’s face sweetly and giving him a calm peck on the cheek. “We have a great daddy, so we’re okay.”

Even I couldn’t hold back my emotions. Being a single parent was hard; I had no idea how all of the guys did it, with or without a nanny.

Davin sniffled in. “Do you think we’ll ever have a mommy again, daddy?”

“It may take a little time…” Ethan looked up and his eyes locked in mine immediately. I wasn’t sure if he knew I was there the whole time, or if it was just something he sensed. My body fizzled as I took in the desperate, forlorn expression on Ethan’s face. We were crossing a bridge that neither of us had realized we’d gotten to. “…but I’m sure you will get another mommy again soon.”

15

Lowe

I’d just barely gotten my front door parted from its frame and Jordan was through it, and attached to Ethan. They locked in a passionate kiss, and Ethan was already sliding Jordan’s dress up her legs.

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