Over the next couple days, the family trickled in and out to meet the Sheridan twins and prepare for the new Pruett baby.
“Mackinzie! It’s been a long time. So nice to see you. Let me introduce you to my lovely daughters.”
“Thank you, Giancarlo!”
“This is Cadence Marie, and you have Melody Christina!”
“Woooow,” she whispered. “They’re soo tiny!”
“They are awesome.”
“To be honest…I’ve never held a baby before!”
“No! I’m still single. My sister is still single. I wasn’t here when Lance or even Kolby were babies. The last time I was around a baby was when I was a child!”
“Well…you’re a beautiful girl…I’m sure there’s some lucky guy out there…you still have time!”
Mackinzie laughed heartily.
“Boy please! I am NOT as young as you think I am!”
“You’re not? Man! You Pruett women sure age nicely!”
“I was almost in middle school when Bianca was born.”
“Wow! Well ain’t that something? You look great, Mackinzie! I feel like I need to call you Ms. Pruett or ma’am or something now!”
“PLEASE don’t do that,” she laughed.
“So…if you don’t mind me asking…how come you never settled down?”
“I don’t know! I guess I just never prioritized it. Maybe I thought it was too late for me. When I was young, I just wanted to have fun. Me and my sister thought we would take over the world with one of our evil schemes. I never gave marriage or children a thought. But then my parents got old. When my dad died, I had to take care of mother. She got worse after that. And then when she finally died, it was just the two of us left, I look around and I’m well into my adult years with nothing to show for it! My birthday will be in a few days, and I’ll be an elder. A spinster!”
“Don’t say that! We live in a modern world now. You don’t have to have children these days. Being single is in now.”
“Really, Giancarlo,” she said sarcastically.
“Sorry. That’s all I could come up with.”
“You’re a funny man. My little cousin is lucky to have you.”
“I’m going to be selfish on this one. I’m luckier!”
The next morning, the women of the house were excited for their own reasons.
“This is a big week for us, huh,” Bianca said.
“Definitely! I can’t wait to meet my new child tomorrow!”
“And I can’t wait to see my big girls this afternoon! I wish I could be here for their birthdays, but this project keeps falling behind! I’m afraid I’ll get fired if I take time off.”
“It’s ok. Giancarlo will be here. And you know he’ll have a blast with them.”
Bianca briefly considered feeling her out concerning Giancarlo, but she decided against it. Amira was very pregnant, emotional, and hormonal, and–besides–there hadn’t been an incident in months. Maybe Giancarlo was seeing things. Or maybe Amira really was just being affected by crazy pregnancy hormones. She supposed she would never know.
The women went to work, and the men went on with their house work. Shortly after lunch, Cadence’s bassinet began to sparkle and dance, and out popped a beautiful little girl who was the perfect mixture of both parents with her mother’s face and eyes and her father’s nose and mouth and brown hair. She also inherited her mother’s cheerfulness.
Just as she was going to the dresser to pick out an outfit, Melody jumped out of her bassinet. She was another perfect combination with her father’s face and nose and eyes, her mother’s mouth, and black hair. She has an appetite for books.
Here they are with the outfits they picked out for themselves.
The twins just happened to have their birthdays just before nap time, and they were both quite exhausted. Giancarlo showed them to their rooms and tucked them into bed. Cadence took Kolby’s old room, and Melody is in the old guest bedroom downstairs. He figured the Sheridan kids could sleep downtairs, and the Pruetts can be upstairs together.
“So much for our honeymoon suite,” he thought.
He laughed to himself as he watched Melody sleep. He thought it was ironic that his daughter now sleeps in the room she was conceived in. He went outside to practice and kill sometime before the girls woke up. And when they did…they were all the way live!
They raced outside to listen and dance to their father’s music.
Then they were off to the jungle gym where they spent the rest of the afternoon.
“Ahoy down there,” Cadence yelled.
“Ay ay, cap’n,” Melody replied.
“Hoist the flag and sail to the sea monster’s cave!”
Their pirate adventure went well into the evening. When Lance got home, he wanted to play chess with Brandon, but he pirate adventure looked more fun. At last! He had other children to play with at home.
“Can I go play with them, daddy?”
“Of course. Have fun! And don’t get eaten by any sea monsters!”
“Arrrr,” Melody growled, “Who do ye be? Are ye a pirate or a sea monster,” she asked Lance.
“I’m a pirate,” he said innocently.
“Arrrr! Ok! Swab the deck!”
Just as Lance began to mop the floor, the ship began to experience some turbulence. Cadence, Melody, and Lance started running around the ship lowering the flag, tying down their cargo, and whatever they could to save their ship. But the turbulence prevailed.
“Captain! Is it a storm,” Lance asked.
“Arrrr, it be a sea monster,” Melody yelled.
They loaded the cannons and blasted the sea monster into smithereens, and the ship and their cargo was saved. Shortly after the pirate adventure, Amira arrived home. Lance ran into the house to tell her all about it.
“Mommy! Mommy! I was a pirate and we had to save the ship from the sea monster and it was soo much fun!”
“That’s nice, dear. Do you want to feel the baby?”
“Of course! Put your hand right here.”
Brandon was passing by and witnessed this sweet exchange between his wife and son. He was soo grateful for his little family.
“I’d like to feel my baby too,” he flirted.
“Brandon! Lance is right here!”
“So? Let him see how a husband should never stop wooing his wife,” he said and planted a sloppy, wet, kiss on her lips and walked away.
Asia came back by for the twins’ birthday.
“Hi Auntie Asia!”
“Good heavens, Melody! You remember me? Look at how big you are!”
“I remember you!”
“You’re going to be a very smart girl. I just know it!!”
Some kind of way Brandon ended up having dinner with the children. He didn’t mind though.
“So, what happened in school today, Lance?”
“This kid put some tape on the teacher’s chair, and when she got up her butt said kick me!”
They all thought it was hilarious an got a very good laugh. But then Brandon came to himself.
“Don’t tell your mother we laughed. That was a very mean thing to do.”
The next morning, Amira was beside herself with anxiety and excitement. She couldn’t decide whether she should stay home and wait or go to work. She decided to get up and go to work. She joined Giancarlo for breakfast as they hadn’t spoken in a while.
“Your girls are the most precious looking things! I bet you’re super proud.”
“You have no idea! So you’re going to work today? Maybe you should just stay here.”
“Yeah, I thought of that, but then I’d just be bored waiting on my water break not knowing when it will. It’ll be fine.”
She went to work, and within two hours she returned home.
“Amira! You’re back early.”
“I think we should go to the hospital!”
When they were leaving she found Lance outside with Beth.
“Have you just disowned me now? You don’t call or anything,” Beth asked.
“Not now, Beth!”
“OH,” she yelled when she turned around and saw her very pregnant daughter. “I see you two have been busy! No wonder you don’t call. Do you want me to come? What can I do?”
“Stay here with Lance!”
And they were off to the hospital.
“Soooo…kid, I’m your grandma!”
“My grandma? But you’re not old!”
“Ha! Bless you, kid! Ain’t it great!”
He thought Beth was very weird and went inside. Within a matter of hours, Brandon and Amira returned from the hospital.
“Glory be! Another healthy baby!”
“HA! Another healthy SON! Whoop whoop!”
“Congrats, bro,” Giancarlo yelled from the garden.
“Hi, Ms…I mean, Beth.”
“Congratulations, Brandon! I can’t wait to see this kid.”
“Guess what, Lance! You have a little brother!”
“YES!! Another boy in the house!”
“Why don’t you go inside and ask mommy if you can see him.”
“Mommy, can I see the baby?”
“He’s funny looking!”
“That’s not nice, Lance. Go tell grandma she can come in now.”
“What’s his name, mommy?”
“Hmmm…let’s see…how about…Allen! Allen Xavier Pruett.”
“That’s great great great grandpa’s name!”
“Sure is! Please, go get grandma.”
“Well, here he is. Allen Xavier Pruett.”
When Bianca arrived home that evening, Giancarlo quickly caught her before she got involved her work, dinner, the gym, or the girls.
“Hey, sweet thang. You know where a guy can have some fun around here?”
“Not now, sweetie. I just got home.”
“Is that what you think every time I flirt with you? Am I just a play thing to you,” he joked.
“What is it, Giancarlo?”
“Ok…yes, I’d like to shake the sheets with you, but at this very second. We need to get away! We’ve been in babyland and pregnancyland for a long time, and we need to find our way back to coupleland. We need to be with other adults and do what adults do. I’m taking you out. Go get dressed.”
“But, what about the girls?”
“They’ll be fine! They can feed themselves and are very good with toilets.”
“But, Brandon and Amira have a newborn! We shouldn’t dump our kids on them.”
“Bianca…I’ve got it covered. Everything will be fine. Please, go get dressed.”
She was experiencing what all mothers experience the first time they leave their children with someone. Giancarlo had been planning this evening all day, and there was no way he was going to take no for an answer. Bianca reluctantly changed into her new party clothes and left home with a bad case of mommy guilt. When they arrived at their destination, she saw that this was a pre-planned event.
It seemed that the entire extended family was there–even Tre and Rusty.
“[gasp]It’s Kolby!! I didn’t know he was trying to be a comedian.”
“Are you happy?”
“Of course I am!”
Kolby’s debut wasn’t that great, but Bianca was more excited to see him and her entire family.
“Thank you for bringing me here. I really needed this.”
“I always know what you need. And right now…you, my flower, need a rose!”
“Not nearly as beautiful as you.”
They danced and laughed and talked and had fun exactly how Giancarlo wanted. He didn’t want his wife to build up any more stress and gave her a much needed break. They both tuckered themselves out and decided to call it a night. They talked all the way home and outside the house before they went in.
“I had an amazing time, babe,” she said.
“I’m glad. You know…I never told you how much I love the way you’re doing your hair these days. It’s very becoming!”
“Awww! Thanks, sweetie! I thought about cutting it, but I couldn’t do it. So I just throw it back. It’s sooo much easier this way.”
“I bet. I also haven’t told you how amazing you look in your new dress. I always thought you were beautiful, even with the weight! But look at you! You’re SMOKING hot!! I can’t keep my eyes off you.”
“I didn’t do this for you, but that makes me feel so good about myself!”
“I’ve never understood why you always had low self-esteem. My hand to God, I have ALWAYS thought you were one of the most beautiful women I’d ever seen. Seriously.”
“Who’s the most beautiful?”
They both laughed.
“Do you know what happens to men who keep talking to me this way?”
“What happens to men who fill your head with all kinds of sweet awesomey goodness?”
“They get exactly what they want.”
“YES! It worked, folks!”
“Follow me into my chamber of love.”
“Seriously? You never thought about it? For someone as creative as you, you certainly have zero imagination,” she teased.
“Ok, boss lady. It would be really embarrassing if someone came out here….”
“GET IN HERE!”
“Whew! Now tell me that wasn’t fun,” she said.
“I am soooo in love with you right now!”