“Ow,” I muttered as the zipper chafed against my skin. “Are you trying to make it so I can never have kids again?” Lucky glared at me as her fingers pinched my foreskin as she tried to work her hair out.
“Just hold still, will you?” Her voice was brusque and she fiddled around some more before finally detangling her hair and sitting back. She looked at me with a wry smile before sliding back over to her own seat. “Sorry about that.” She made a face and I nodded as I stuffed my battered member back into my pants gingerly. “Do you want to try again?”
“Maybe not right now.” I shook my head and smiled at her weakly. “Maybe now we can go home and think of ways to distract ourselves from this incident.”
“I guess we can invite Robin over.” Lucky started hopefully and I shook my head again.
“Noah needs to sort this out by himself. If we get involved, someone is going to blame us. I don’t want us to get caught up in any drama.”
“There is no drama.”
“Trust me – if we get involved, there’s going to be drama.” I gave her a warning look. “And we have our own problems to deal with.”
“What problems?” She frowned at me as she pulled on her top.
“Well, the wedding, getting ready for the babies, deciding what you’re going to do about school.”
“I didn’t know you considered the wedding and our babies problems.”
I closed my eyes and counted to ten. It’s pregnancy brain, it’s pregnancy brain. Don’t react. I repeated over to myself a number of times before I reached over and grabbed her hand. “I love you, Lucky.”
“Uh huh.” She pursed her lips and then let out a small sigh. “Sorry, I think I just need to go home and sleep.”
“Are you tired?” I asked slightly worried that our attempt to have sex in the car had been too much for her.
“A little bit.” She nodded. “Sorry, but I just want to go back to the house and relax. Maybe we can discuss everything else tomorrow.
“Ok.” I nodded and gave her a long meaningful look. I stared at her face and at her body in wonder and my heart beat quickly as I realized how blessed I was to have her in my life.
“Okay, Skylar, we have to be quiet.” I put my fingers to my mouth as the little girl in front of me giggled at the mess we were making in the kitchen. “We don’t want to wake Aunty Lucky up.”
“I know, Uncle Zane.” She giggled again. “But you look so funny.”
“What?” I made a stern face at her. “I could never look funny.”
“You have flour all over your nose.” She walked towards me and tried to reach up to brush it away for me. Her small little arms didn’t reach, so I lifted her up so she could do the job.
“I got all the flour.” She smiled as she finished wiping my nose off and smiled into my eyes. “You have big blue eyes, like me.” She said earnestly and I nodded at her.
“Yes, I do.”
“But Noah has green eyes.” She looked at me, considering. “How comes he has green eyes and you have blue eyes?”
“We just got different features from our parents.” I smiled as I put her down.
“Do you look like your mom or your dad?” She played with the cake batter we had made, and added more chocolate chips.
“I’m not sure.” I attempted another smile at her, but this time it didn’t spread to my eyes.
“My mom was beautiful,” she continued, not noticing the effect her question had had on me. “My daddy used to tell me all the time. She was so beautiful that Cinderella was jealous of her.”
“Well, I guess we know where you got your beauty from.” I grabbed up the bag of Nestle chocolate chips before she could pour any more in the bowl, and pulled out some muffin pans.
“Do you think I look like Noah?” She looked up at me with wide eyes.
“Like Noah?” My heart stopped and I paused as I waited for her to continue. Please God, don’t let her ask me the difficult questions. I do not want to mess this up.
“I know he’s not my real dad, but sometimes people start to look like their loved ones. I saw it on TV.”
“You did?” I knew I sounded like an idiot, but I had no idea what to say.
“Yeah, it was on Disney.” She nodded eagerly. “There were a bunch of dogs that looked like their owners.”
“Oh, you mean dogs.” I nodded, suddenly understanding. “I heard that as well. That dogs start to look like their owners.” I thought for a moment, and then continued. “I’m not sure that means you will end up looking like Noah, though, no matter how much you love each other. But there’s nothing wrong with that. It won’t affect how much you love each other. And trust me, you’re lucky that you’re not going to end up looking like Noah.” I laughed, and Skylar giggled before taking my hand in hers.
“You’re funny, Uncle Zane.”
“Please tell me again when Lucky is up.” I joked, but I wasn’t sure that she understood.
“You’re going to be a good dad.”
“Do you think so?” I asked, touched by her words. She nodded at me with big, wide, happy eyes and squeezed my hand.
“If Noah wasn’t my new daddy, I would have chosen you.” Her words were simple and short, but her honesty and trust melted every last worry and concern I had about being a father. I could do this. I could be a good dad. I didn’t have to worry. It was weird how the fear had crept in so slowly. I hadn’t even told Lucky about the deep worries I had about having to love and look after two babies. I was scared she would judge me or think I was a bad person. And it wasn’t as if I didn’t want the babies, it was more that I was worried that my heart couldn’t fit in two more people. I was worried that I couldn’t love them as much as I loved Lucky. I was scared that I would f**k them up and ruin their lives, and that I would have no clue what I was doing. But Skylar had erased all of those fears with eleven words.
“You know I’m always here for you, Skylar.” I reached down and hugged her close to me.
“Hey, hey, what’s going on?” Noah sauntered into the room and his eyes widened as he surveyed the mess around us. “Did a bomb go off in here?”
“No, Noah,” Skylar giggled and ran over to him. “We’re making cookies for Lucky for when she wakes up.”
“What about me?” Noah joked. “Don’t I get any cookies as well?”
“You don’t need cookies.” She shook her head.
“Who’ve you been talking to?” He grinned and rubbed the top of her head. “I was going to offer to help you both tidy up if I was going to get some of the cookies, but I guess not.”
“You can have some, you can have some.” She squealed and I laughed as Noah picked her up and swung her around. “Put me down,” she giggled. “I’m going to get dizzy.”
“Are you going to let me have some cookies?”
“Yes, Noah,” she laughed as he finally set her back down on the floor.
“You can start with the dishes if you want.” I motioned to the sink, and Noah laughed and shook his head.
“I think not, bro. How’s about I finish the cookies, but on a baking sheet. You do know that cookies and cupcakes aren’t the same thing, right?” He nodded towards the muffin trays and I shrugged as I chuckled.
“Fine, fine. I’ll start the dishes.”
“Where’s Lucky?” he questioned as I turned on the faucets and started filling up the sink.
“She’s resting. She was a bit tired after our trip today.”
“Lots of shopping?”
“No, actually. No shopping.” I rolled my eyes. “And no sex.”
“Zane.” Noah’s eyes flashed at me as he nodded at Skylar, who was pulling out chocolate chips from the batter and eating them.
“Oops, sorry.” I made a face. “But yeah, anyways. We didn’t get much accomplished today.”
“Did you guys pick a date for the wedding?” He looked at me curiously and I shook my head.
“Nah.” I sighed. “I think it’s stressing her out.”
“That’s not good.”
“Yeah. I still think we should just got to Vegas and elope.”
“I doubt she thinks that’s romantic.” Noah rolled his eyes. “Sometimes I really wonder about you, bro.”
“What’s wrong with Vegas?”
“I’m not even going to go down this road with you.” Noah added some more flour to the mixture in the bowl. “Did you add any baking soda to this?”
“I guess that’s a no.” He laughed and went over to the cupboard.
“When did you become the culinary king?”
“When I went into hiding,” he laughed. “I can whip up all sorts of things now.”
“Then please do. I’m getting fed up of your pizza delivery surprises,” I joked, and started washing up the dishes. “Hey, do you think I should tell Lucky that we should wait to get married until after the babies come?” I asked seriously.
“Is that what she wants?”
“I don’t know. I don’t think so.” I bit my lower lip and thought. “I think she wanted us to be legally married when the babies were born, but I know planning the wedding is stressing her out.”
“So why don’t you plan it?”
“Plan it?” I looked at him, aghast. “You’re joking, right?”
“No. No, I’m not. Why can’t you plan it? Maybe even make it a romantic surprise.”
“How am I supposed to plan a wedding?” I shook my head and scrubbed the plates. “I have no idea what to do.”
“I’m sure you know as much as she does. Just think how sweet and romantic that would be.” Noah nodded to himself. “I think that Lucky would really appreciate you surprising her like that.”
“Do you really think so?” I looked at him thoughtfully. “It may help to take a lot of pressure off of her mind.”
“Yes, do it.” He laughed. “Trust me, you will win the fiancé of the year award.”
“I need to win something like that. Or at least be entered into the contest.” I gave him a wry grin. “Anyways, enough about me. How’s it going with Robin?”
“Ugh, I don’t want to talk about it.” He made a face at me. “Let’s just say I don’t think Skylar will be calling her ‘Mom’ anytime soon.”
“Oh, sorry.” I patted him on the back. “What about your mom?” I asked softly. Surprisingly, I held no ill will when I spoke about his mom anymore. Even in my mind, the bitterness and pain was no longer there. I think that because I knew my real mom loved me, it didn’t hurt me as much any more.
“No idea.” He shrugged and turned away. “Let’s get these cookies in the oven and finish tidying up before Lucky wakes up and kills us all.”
“That sounds like a plan,” I said, laughing. I went back to washing the dishes and looked back to see Noah placing the cookie dough on a baking sheet. I felt bad that he had no relationship with his mom; she was alive and well, and even though she was a bitch I knew that she loved him. He had waited his whole life to find her, and now they had no relationship because of me. I knew in my heart that I had to do something to mend their relationship.
“These are delicious.” Lucky licked the crumbs off of her lips and Skylar giggled as she munched on the freshly baked cookies.
“Me and Uncle Zane made them for you.”
“Don’t forget me,” Noah piped up and I gave him a look.
“You can’t let me have credit for anything, can you?” I joked and we both laughed.
“You guys are all spoiling me way too much.” Lucky giggled. “I’m not going to want to do anything once the babies are born.”
“Can I play with the babies once they are born?” Skylar looked at her hopefully.
“Yes, but we will have to be very careful.” Lucky rubbed her hair and Skylar cuddled into her. “Babies are very delicate.”
“Much like me.” I grinned and she looked over at me and we shared a smile. Lucky looked beautiful and rosy as she smiled up at me with light and shining eyes. My heart expanded with love and I decided then and there that I was going to plan the wedding. It would all be a surprise.
“Let’s play a game.” Skylar looked over at me excitedly. “I wanna play Monopoly.”
“You’re not playing anything but bedtime, young lady.” Noah shook his head and picked her up off of the couch.
“But I’m not tired!” She moaned and squealed at the same time as he tickled her.
“You have things to do tomorrow.” He started walking towards the stairs and then paused and looked back at Lucky and I. “I’m going to read Skylar a bedtime story and then have to pop out for a bit, do you guys mind watching her?”
“Not at all.” Lucky smiled back at him and I held in a sigh. I didn’t want to look after Skylar. I wanted to make sweet love to my fiancé, but I supposed I could wait until Noah got home. I certainly wasn’t going to risk Skylar walking in on our lovemaking and screaming out in fright as Lucky and I moaned and groaned in ecstasy.
“Great, thanks.” Noah smiled and turned and went up the stairs. “You guys rock.”