I pulled the car in to our drive and stopped at the end. The house had outdone itself, the pine trees had been replaced by large oaks and while everyone was out of the house, it had changed from a two-story castle to three and added a turret. Everything had been edged in multi-colored lights. I started laughing.
“Ben.” I said as I nudged him so he’d stop checking on the boys in the back seat. “Look.”
Ben turned around and his eyes went wide. “I guess no one’s home then.”
I snickered and took my foot off the brake pedal. The car moved forward and we made our way down the drive and went right in to the garage after pushing the button. Ben and I got out of the car. I went to the backdoor and before I could reach in for Alphonse, he was already up and in my arms. I smiled down at him.
“It’s okay, luv. You’re home now.” I said and tucked him under the cloak with me.
I’d have to do something soon about his clothing situation soon. I looked over the car at Ben, who had Logan. He grinned at me and I shook my head, smiling at him. I started toward the house with Alphonse and Ben caught up with me, taking my hand in his.
“You still sure?” Ben asked.
“We’re home. I’m sure. Now let’s go in.” I said and gave his hand a tug.
I gave Ben my keys so he could open up the door for myself and Alphonse, Logan had wrapped himself around Ben and hung on. As soon as we got inside, Logan took off, chirruping and flying through the house.
“Well, it looks like someone is happy to be home.” I said with a smile.
I walked in with Alphonse and Ben helped me take off my cloak. I tried to set Alphonse down, but he clung to my neck tightly. There was no way Alphie was going to let go of me yet.
“My darling, I have to make dinner, it’s my turn so you have to sit down. Would you like to sit down in the kitchen with me, where you can see?”
Alphonse nodded and finally let go when I pulled out a stool for him to sit at the table. Alphonse climbed on to the stool and sat, staring at me.
“I wish I could hear him.” I said to Ben softly.
“You will.” Ben said.
“Dinner ideas?” I said, wanting to change the subject. It hurt not hearing Logan or Alphonse.
“Pancakes?” Ben said.
“Is that coming from your or Alphie?” I asked as I opened the fridge.
“Me. He wants waffles. I can’t trust a kid who likes waffles better.”
“I knew I liked him.” I said as I winked at Alphonse. “Waffles it is.”
“You wound me, woman.” Ben said, dragging the words out in to a whine.
Alphonse giggled and I looked over at him and smiled.
“What should we have with the waffles? Berries? Bananas? Lots of syrup?”
“Alphonse wants Bananas and syrup. I want the berries in that sauce you make.”
“All right, but I need a favor from you.”
“Anything.” Ben said.
“I need you to go find Mark and Miles so they know what’s for dinner. You’ll also need to tell them about Alphie.” I said.
“What about my translating?” Ben asked.
Well well just have to deal until-” I was cut off by the backdoor opening and Mark walking in, stomping his boots off.
“You would not believe the amount of epic sh- ah, crap that is going on out there.” Mark said. He got a good look at Alphonse and then at me and Ben. “Did I miss something?”
I smiled over at Mark. “This is Alphonse.”
Mark looked at me, then back at Ben again, his mouth opening and closing like a big fish. Alphonse giggled at Mark. I looked over at Ben.
“He says Mark looks like on of the fish from the tank at the hospital.”
I laughed. “I thought the same thing, Poppet.”
“Hospital? But you- I mean, how could you- you’ve only been seeing each other for six months!”
I burst out laughing. “Mark! We’re adopting him. I didn’t give birth that fast!”
Ben started laughing and scooped up Alphonse, setting him on his lap. “This little one hatched a month before Logan. He needed parents. We’re adopting him.”
Mark looked at all of us. “You people are crazy.”
“Ben take Alphonse in to the Great Hall with Logan.” I said as I went over to Mark and led him to the table.
Mark dropped his bags and sat down as Ben and Alphonse left the room.
“There’s something out there, causing this much havoc and you want to adopt a child? Ben almost died!”
“I know better than anyone how it feels to lose someone, but life doesn’t stop going on just because they’re dead. Ben and I made the decision together,” I said. “we’re going to try to keep living our lives, Mark. Even with all this mess going on. Alphonse needs a family. We just happen to be building one.”
“Yes, but what about if one of you dies? What’s going to happen then?”
“I imagine that either one of us will find a way to keep living, even if it’s just for the kids at first.” I said. I placed my hands over his. “You’re over thinking things. It’s over for now. Let’s just take the quiet as it comes and hope that it stays that way for a good long while.”
“I want to accept that. I do, but I can’t help thinking that the two of you have made a huge mistake.” Mark said as he looked down at my hands.
“If it is a mistake, then it’s our mistake and you can blame us for it later. For now, I’m going to make waffles for my family. That includes you, if you’re interested.” I said as I got up from the table.
Mark shook his head and picked up his things. “I’m going up to shower. Don’t hold dinner for me.”
I watched him walk out and sighed. That hadn’t gone well and I made a note to sit down with him and Ben later to air everything out between the three of us. I was pulling out my stand mixer when Miles came bounding through the door, covered in snow and looking furious. I put my hands on my hips and frowned at him.
“My kitchen is not a place for an abominable snow beast. Go back outside and brush yourself off.”
“But I have news!” Miles said as he shed his outerwear and plopped down on to the stool that Mark had just vacated.
“What kind of news?” I asked because he was clearly not going to listen to me.
“They found a trace of magic left at the site that could lead them back to whomever is doing all the nasty business in town!”
That got my attention away from the waffles. “Go on.”
“That it, that’s all I’ve got.” Miles said.
I sighed. “You didn’t get any information from Eric?”
“No and he told me to tell you to keep your nose out of it.” Miles said.
I laughed. “That sounds like him.”
“The FBI was there too, including that man.” Miles said.
“Come off it, I know you’re still attracted to him.”
“Attracted, yes. In love? No. The jackass broke my heart.” Miles pouted.
I shook my head. “As it happens, I have news too.”
“Yeah. You’re an Uncle.” I said.
I watched the emotions play across his face.
“You’re pregnant? Already?” Miles asked and then let out a whoop, picking me up and spinning me around.
“No you great loon! Let me go.” I said, laughing.
“Then how am I an Uncle?” Miles looked perplexed.
I snickered. “Ben and I are adopting a little boy from the hospital. He’s in the Great Hall with Ben and Logan now.”
Miles set me down and looked at my face. “You’re serious?”
“Yes. His name is Alphonse.”
“Who saddled the kid with that name?” Miles said with a wrinkle to his nose.
“He chose it. We’re not saying at word, understand? He likes it and that’s that.” I said firmly.
“Can I call him Alphie?”
“We already do. Go say hi.” I said as I started pulling out the ingredients for the waffles. I turned around and he was gone.
Shaking my head, I started making the batter on auto-pilot, letting my mind drift. I made up lists of things Alphonse would need that he didn’t have and sighed.
“What’s up, habibi?” Ben asked as he came back in to the room.
“Alphie. I’m going to need to go shopping tomorrow with him. You too, if you feel up to it.” I said as I finished up the batter and set it back in to the fridge to chill.
“He’s going to need quite a lot of stuff, isn’t he?”
“Including a better coat than the one he has now. It’s too thin.” I said as I stepped in to his arms.
“A lot to take in.” Ben said.
“Yeah; but we can handle it, can’t we?”
“We can handle anything.” Ben said.
I really hoped that was true.