Author’s Note: This is a smaller update, but I figure you guys would enjoy it ^^ Not a whole lot happens, so sorry if anyone is bored XD Let me give a shoutout to Blamsart! I used at least one of their poses in this chapter and will be using many more later!
To: Baby Brother (970-541-1234)
Subject: Hey Uncle Alduin!
Ryu says: “Aren’t I cute, uncle Alduin? Mommy says that you had better come to visit me soon or you’re going to have a whole family reunion come down on your head. I wouldn’t make her mad. Mommy means it.”
Alduin stared at the picture of his nephew that his sister had just texted to him. He had to admit, even with him swaddled in blue like that, the kid was cute. Of course, he didn’t know the first thing about kids. In fact, as cute as the kid was, Alduin wondered how his sister handled something so fragile. He had to grin at the message, at least the first part. The second part had him gulping. He knew his sister meant that wholeheartedly and he had no doubt whatsoever that everyone would come, including the baby! A shudder passed over his frame and he grimaced. Taking his phone out, he sent a quick reply: He’s adorable, sis. He’s gonna be a real cutie. You don’t know how happy I am that the both of you are ok. He hit send.
Next thing he knew, his phone was ringing. He winced when he saw the caller ID. “Hey, Luna.”
“Don’t you ‘hey, Luna’ me!” Alduin gulped. He was used to his sister’s banter. What he wasn’t used to was hearing her voice crack like that.
“Oh, c’mon, Luna, you aren’t crying are you?”
“So what if I am? I have a right to cry. Are you ok?”
He thought about making light of it, as he normally would have, as he often did with Cali. But this was Luna. And if she was upset enough to be crying, he owed her more than that. “I’m alive, sis. Which I count as pretty ok.”
“Alduin…” she warned, sniffling.
The thought of Luna actually breaking down on the other end of the line had him panicking. “Luna, really. I’m fine. There’s some… residual pain, but I’m fine. I promise.”
“You better be,” she murmured, swallowing. He could hear her take a deep breath. “When are you coming home?”
“Thought about after the term is over.”
“You’re bringing, Cali right?”
Alduin chuckled. His sister didn’t have a subtle bone in her body and the innocent way in which she asked that had warning bells glaring in his head. “Yes, Cali will be coming with me,” he told her, tongue-in-cheek. He’d let Luna stew a bit. Except, he knew very well that she had no patience.
Luna growled over the phone. “Don’t get cute! I want the scoop on her little brother! You guys are an item, aren’t you? I want details!”
“Crimeny, Luna,” Alduin laughed. It was good to hear Luna’s voice, even when she was prying information out of him. “Yeah, you could say we’re an item. I promise, I’ll tell you all about it, ok? Promise.”
“I’ll hold ya to it. Just remember, don’t even think about trying to get out of visiting with your Cali. I guarantee if you try, you’ll have an invasion. Is that understood?”
Alduin rolled his eyes, rubbing his free hand on the back of his neck. “Yes, ma’am. We’ll be there. I’ll give you flight info later, alright?”
“You better.” Her heard her breath hitch. “And take care of yourself, Alduin. I mean it. I-I love you, little brother.”
“I love you, too, Luna. Take care of yourself and that little guy, ok? We’ll see each other soon.”
I had to wipe away the tears as I hung up my phone. I wanted my little boy. I couldn’t be sad when I was holding him. I opened the door, then stopped. I quietly closed the door. Tears stood in my eyes. “There ya go, little man,” my husband murmured, “all changed and fed. That’s my boy.”
As I watched the tableau, my throat constricted. Watching Roark hold our son, hearing the love in his voice brought home just what I had. My brother was safe, I’d get to see him in a few weeks. I had a husband who loved me and a beautiful little boy.
I must have made a noise… or maybe he could just sense me. Whatever it was, he turned around. He smiled. “Hey, look. There’s your Mama, Ryu. Isn’t she gorgeous?” Our son cooed in answer. Roark laughed. “See? He knows the way to a girl’s heart already.”
I sniffled. “I used to tell my brother roses did the trick.”
Roark laughed as he gently lowered Ryu back into his crib. After placing a gentle kiss on his son’s forehead, he went to me and picked me up in a bear hug, then found my lips with his.
I sniffled some more. “What’s this now?” he asked, putting me at arm’s length. “Baby, why are you crying?”
“M-must be hormones,” I murmured, looking away, “residual hormones.”
“Luna, baby, talk to me,” he murmured, putting a hand on my shoulders, holding me in place.
“I-I just got off the phone with Alduin. I knew he was ok, but… hearing his voice… I got weepy. I went to go cuddle Ryu and there you were with him. It just… made my heart melt.”
Roark smiled. His smile was soft and tender. And it never failed to make my heart turn over. He picked me up and carried me into our room. He just sat down on the edge of the bed, holding me close. He didn’t say anything, just held me close for a long moment.
I couldn’t help laughing, though. “Snic, you’re snoring, there girl,” I murmured, raising my head to look at the dog that had decided our bed was the perfect place to sleep.
Roark snickered. “Silly mutt.” He leaned over and ruffled the dog’s fur. Snic was one of Roark and Cyn’s dogs. She had a sister named Snac. I haven’t had much of a chance to introduce them. Both are pure bred collies.
Snic gave a groan and picked her head up. Yawning, she stood up and padded out. I imagine she was going to go find Ares. Snic and Snac were fitting in just fine around here. I had my suspicions. They were getting along really well. Snic had taken quite the shine to Ares and Snac adored Apollo.
Roark kissed me gently. “I love you.”
I linked my arms around his neck. “I love you, too. I love you so much.”
“I think you’ll feel better once you go take a shower, stand in the spray like you like to.”
I nodded. That was a good idea. I reluctantly got up and padded into the attached bath. After a good long shower, I wandered out. My husband lay on our bed, looking relaxed. He smiled at me and winked.
“You look comfortable.”
“Just waiting for my wife.” He stood up and followed me out into the hall. Then he grabbed my arm, spun me around and dipped me toward the floor, covering my lips with his.
Mom walked by. “If you two want some alone time, that’s perfectly fine with me. I’m going to go and spend a bit of time with my grandson.” She walked right into the nursery and shut the door. Roark and I laughed. Our son is quite the hit, as you can imagine.
His gram adores him. Gramps does, too. Soon as Dad gets home from the hospital, he makes a bee-line to the nursery to get a bit of time in with his grandson.
Of course, Pop and Nan dote on their first great-grandson something fierce, too.
Even his Aunt Cyn can’t resist him.
She was leery at first. “W-what if I drop him?” she asked fearfully. But Roark just laughed and he gently laid Ryu in her arms. Cyn looked down into his eyes and the wonder on her face was something to behold. “H-he’s so tiny,” she murmured. “And so cute.”
Between all the people in the house vying for his attention, it leaves Roark and I time to just be together. Even though it’s still winter, one of our favorite things to do every night is just to go out and sit in the snow, looking up at the stars.
It never ceases to amaze me the capacity for caring that my family has. I knew they’d welcome Roark and his sister into our family. And even knowing that, watching them handle her, even in one of her fragile states, is something else. She’s taken to watching the gardening channel with Nan just about every night.
Just this evening, they unveiled something they’d been working on. My great-grandmother had had quite the garden once upon a time. Pop and Dad has spent the last few days digging through the snow, taking the plants and then replanting them in the greenhouse they had built. Now, Cyn can care for these plants at all hours and not have to worry about weather or more importantly, the sun.
She was ecstatic. We have a hard time getting her out of the garden, now.
But she’s very happy. Even ventured to get a part time job at the Science Center here in town. It took a little convincing. She’d loved the job in Bridgeport, but she was still getting used to Monte Vista. It’s a good sign though.
Well, my suspicions were confirmed! It seems Snic is pregnant with a litter of pups.
Boy, is this house going to be a full one before too long… And I can’t wait. Before too much longer, Alduin will be home for a while, and I’ll get to actually meet his girl. Life is good right now.