8.41 Our Own Little Kingdom

Because the Holmes’ was away from the house the majority of the previous day, they were just now discovering the future addition to the household as they gathered at the table for their last meal together.

“Oh! You guys aren’t wasting any time, are you,” Alayna said.

“Nope! You got to strike while the iron is hot,” Brady said.

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“Brady! The children,” Alayna warned.

“Congratulations again, y’all,” Roland said. “I’m going to have to make adjustments in our plans then.”

“We have plans,” Alayna asked.

“Yeah…how does our baby affect your plans, Roland,” Brady asked.

“Well…I’m very proud to announce that I finally got that big promotion I was working toward! I’m the new vice president!”

“Roland!! That is such wonderful news,” Alayna exclaimed. “Congratulations, baby!”

“Yes, congrats, Roland,” Viviana said.

“That’s big news! So, what about these plans,” Brady asked.

“Well, with the nice bonus, and all the money I saved living rent free here, I’m taking us all on vacation!”

“What? That’s awesome, man,” Brady shouted.

“Ahhhh, so this was your plan the whole time, eh,” Alayna asked. “And here I thought you were bluffing.”

“Never doubt your man, baby! Anyway, I had everything booked for Monday, but we’ll have to wait a few days now. I’m sure you guys don’t wanna have a baby in the woods, right?”

“You got that right,” Viviana said.

“Viv…the baby is due tomorrow. What if we had it’s birthday a little early? We could leave on Tuesday night.”

“Well…I suppose a few hours wouldn’t hurt,” Viviana said.

“Do you think that will be ok, baby? You won’t lose your deposit or anything, would you,” Alayna asked.

“I’m sure it will be fine. Don’t worry about it. We’ll leave after I get off work on Tuesday then.”

Alayna cleared the dishes from the table while Brady and Roland talked about Granite Falls.

“Mommy, are they leaving today,” Julian asked.

“Yes, dear.”

“Are they gonna come back sometime?”

“They better.”

“Hey, Anthony! When you come back, you can be my shipmate!”

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“Julian…remember what we talked about…sharing?”

Everyone finished dinner, and then it was time to say goodbye…at least for the next three days.

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“Take care of yourself, man. It’s been good here,” Roland said.

“We’ll come by and see the house as soon as we can.”

“Do that!”

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“I’ll miss you, Uncle Brady!”

“I’ll miss you too, Ant. You come here anytime and play with Julian, ok? Then maybe when you get bigger, we can workout together.”

“Ok!”

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“Take care, nephew. If you weren’t so lazy, I’d invite you over to workout!”

“Yeah, that’s too much work.”

“Take care of your mom for me, all right?”

“I always do!”

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“Aww, Brady! I think I might cry!”

“Don’t cry, sis!”

“I won’t”

“I’ll miss you the most.”

“You better miss me the most!”

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“Hey…don’t run yourself ragged trying to take care of everything. Let the boys and Roland help you!”

“Oh, Brady–”

“I’m serious. I know the house will be smaller and you’ll have fewer people to look after, but make sure you’re taking care of yourself, ok?”

“My voice of reason. Ok. I will try to do better about delegating.”

“That’s all I ask. I love you!”

“I love you too, Brady!”

They all went and said goodbye to Viviana and Julian, and then they were on their way to Parkshore.

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“Here we are, guys! Home sweet home…Holmes,” Alayna joked.

“Mama…I think you should stick to painting,” Devan said.

“Boy, hush! ANYWAY…how about the grand tour, huh?”

They all filed inside after Alayna as she began her guided tour.

“To the right, you have the downstairs bathroom, and if you would all follow me to the left, you’ll see our beautiful living room! I love the contrast of the dark and light colors. Really makes them pop!”

They all looked at her like she had three heads.

“Mommy? Why is the TV so high,” Anthony asked.

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“Oh! Wow…I never noticed that. We’ll get your dad and brother to bring it down.”

“Me? Why do I have to do it,” Devan asked.

“Seriously? There’s only the four of us now. You’re gonna start helping out. All of you. Moving on!”

They got up and went through to the dining room.

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“I love this room. The colors are great, and it’s cozy yet elegant!”

“It’s nice,” Roland said. “A little girly, but nice!”

“Ummm…who declined their opportunity to speak up in the design decisions?”

“[sigh] I did.”

“Moving on!”

They filed out the patio door in the back of the dining room to the backyard.

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“A pool too? That’s what I’m talking about,” Roland said.

He recently took up swimming as a way to reduce stress and stay fit.

“I like the backyard, mommy” Anthony said sweetly.

“I’m glad, honey! Ok, everybody back in.”

“They went through the dining room across a short hallway into the kitchen.

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“I like this whole industrial look, but I think it’s a little plain. Definitely needs some color. I’ll work on that after vacation.”

“Now, baby, I know this is our house, but you don’t have to do all this work yourself now. Why don’t you just hire someone?”

“We’ll see.”

Roland shook his head at his wife’s unwillingness to give up the reigns sometimes.

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That definitely has to go. This place desperately needs real art as you’ll see. Enough of the kitchen. Let’s go.”

They walked down that short hallway and made a pit stop in the office.

“Please have a seat, m’lord. On behalf of your colleagues, I’d like to present you with this token of their gratitude for thine loyalty and contributions. I give you the Executron Executive Desk Throne.”

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“I was wondering where this was! Man…this is NICE!”

“Can I sit in your chair, dad,” Devan asked.

“No!”

“This is your father’s office and not the place for you boys to be playing, ok?

“Yes, ma’am,” they said.

“Ok. Let’s go upstairs.”

Their first stop was the stair landing hallway.

“I call this the creative zone!”

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“This is cool, mama! All this stuff came with the house,” Devan asked.

Alayna laughed. She loved how although he was growing up fast, he was still just a child still learning about the world.

“Nothing ‘comes with’ a house, Devan. We’re paying for all this ‘stuff.'”

“Ummm…baby? What’s through these doors? Is it what I think it is?”

“It is. Let’s go in there next.”

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“Oh yes! This will do, baby! This will do!”

“I’m glad you like it.”

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“Mommy and daddy’s room is cooooool,” Anthony shouted.

“For real! This room is dope!”

“Dope? What does that even mean,” Alayna asked.

“It means it’s really awesome, mama.”

“Ugh, public school. We send them to get smarter and they come back talking crazy. Let’s go through the bathroom.”

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“You weren’t kidding when you said the master suite was sick!”

“Don’t doubt your lady, baby,” she retorted.

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“What’s this room,” Devan asked.

“I don’t know! It looks like it was supposed to be a sauna or something. Maybe it never got finished. Ok, let’s move on.”

They exited the bathroom and went to the adjacent room.

“This is the guest room, fellas.”

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Roland sat on the bed and briefly contemplated his life. If someone would have told a younger Roland that he would one day be married to the girl of his dreams, have two good kids, and own a fabulous house, he wouldn’t have believed them.

“This bathroom is what’s called Jack and Jill. It’s shared by two rooms, so let’s walk through to the other room.”

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“This is my room,” Anthony shouted.

“Yes, son! Do you like it?”

“Yeah!”

“I’m glad.”

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Anthony sat down to enjoy his new room, and Roland watched him enjoy it from across the room. It gave him great pleasure to see his sons happy.

“Mama…if this is Ant’s room, and the other room is a guest room, where do I sleep?”

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“Oh! We didn’t tell you? I’m so sorry. The government comes and takes boys away when they turn 16. They’ll be here in about an hour. I thought you knew.”

“Mama! Quit playing!”

“Who says I’m playing?”

“Mama, stop playing! Where is my room?”

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“Follow me, everyone!”

They followed Alayna into the hallway and down the stairs. Once they reached the bottom of the stairs, they found a second set of stairs next to it going down to a basement.”

“You got me in the basement, mama,” he said with a little attitude.

“Patience, young Padawan.”

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“Tada!”

“No way! Are you for real??”

“Now, now…before you get all excited, this whole basement isn’t yours. I’m sure your dad will make it a man cave–”

“You know I will!”

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“There’s a gym down here, not that you’ll ever use it.

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“And your bathroom is there.

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“And your bedroom right here.”

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“I gotta say, baby…our room is tight, but I think I might be a little jealous of this!”

“I figured we could give him a little privacy because he’s growing up. Can we trust you down here all by yourself in your own little kingdom, Dev?”

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“Of course, mama! I won’t bring too many girls down here.”

“Devan!”

“I’m playing!”

“You better be!”

“You know what would make this even more dope?”

“What’s that,” she asked flatly.

“Cut a hole in the ceiling so you can send food down to me! Then I wouldn’t have to leave!”

Alayna looked at Roland and said, “That’s your son.”

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