With Jude back in the house as of yesterday morning, Ben and I figured that we could finally relax. We were so very wrong. This is how our Valentine’s day went and believe me, it’s a doozy of a day.
I woke up to the sounds of my beloved Fiance telling our son Logan to stop sniffing the dog’s butt. Logan thought this was hilarious and came running in to the bedroom with Alphonse, laughing hysterically and babbling. All in all, it was a bad way to wake up, just unusual.
Alphie stayed by my side today, he was practically stuck there. I spent the day trying to maneuver around him and when I was finally close to losing my temper, scooped him up and hauled him upstairs with me for a nap. Not even Sabina was helpful when it came to figuring out why he was acting that way. I gave up trying to figure it out while Ben was at work.
Having Jude back in the house is a godsend. She’s thrilled about the baby and insists on helping me plan the wedding. I even caught her upstairs in the nursery today moving furniture around and singing to herself. I can’t even get mad at her about it because everything she was moving is stuff I have wanted to move for weeks.
“A little more to the left with that photo, please.”
Jude jumped and turned around. “Don’t scare me like that!”
I laughed. “Sorry, Mom.”
Jude smiled at me and started to tear up. “Oh honey, I’m so happy you’ve started calling me that.”
I walked in to the room and hugged her hard. “I’m happy I can say that and not feel awkward about it.”
“Well, there’s no awkward between us dear,” she said as she patted my hand.
“No, no there isn’t,” I said. “if you insist on moving things though, I’m going to show you were I’d like them. Ben won’t let me move anything anymore.”
Jude laughed at the frustrated look on my face and I stuck my tongue out at her.
“It’s first time Dad, honey. If you have another child, he’ll be past most of this. Just let it ride out, but not too much. You’ve still got to maintain your independence.”
I nodded at her and we went about re-arranging the baby’s room.
“I’d like this room in yellow, please,” I said to the house as we left later.
“I can never get over how the house listens so well to you,” Jude said.
“I respect the house. The house respects me. Saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ makes life a hell of a lot easier and I am all for that,” I said as I hooked my arm through hers and we walked back downstairs.
“I can get behind that, actually.”
We hit the bottom of the stairs just as Logan streaked by naked, followed by Miles who was chasing him while wearing just a pair of pants and shouting at him.
“Damn it, Logan! Put these back on! I don’t care if dragon day is tomorrow!”
I started laughing and had to sit down on the stairs. Jude joined me and we sat there, propping each other up when Sabina came in to the hall.
“Why does Miles insist the child wear clothes?” she asked.
“Well, we don’t have the kind of hair you do, so he’ll get really cold soon. Probably get sick too,” I replied through the link.
“Oh, but why are you laughing?”
“Because it was a funny situation. A little absurd.”
The unicorn shook her head and stared at me. “Makes no sense, the way you humans wear clothing, but if he must then why doesn’t he wear them?”
“Because dragon day is tomorrow and he’s excited. He misses his other form.”
“He’s a changling?” her voice sounded a little alarmed.
“No, no. He’s a were-dragon. He changes in to a dragon for one night during the full moon.”
“We don’t know why. He just always has. Ben and Alphonse, too.”
“Strange,” she said.
“Yes, very strange.”
Jude was looking between both of us as we talked through the connection and finally spoke.
“Okay, watching the two of you stare at each other is creepy, even if I do know you’re having a conversation through that connection of yours.”
I laughed and Sabina nickered.
“Sabina was saying it was strange how Ben and the boys change once a month and Logan’s behavior.”
“Well, for a unicorn she’s got a sound head. It is strange, but we live with it anyway.”
“Welcome to Blueville, where everyone is strange and it doesn’t matter- hey can I have that cupcake?”
That set both Sabine and Jude off with the laughing and nickering. I grinned at both of them. Alphonse came out into the hallway and crawled in to my lap, tucking his head under my chin. I covered his face in kisses until he started giggling too. Miles came in to the hallway with a wiggling Logan, who was hanging upside down over Miles’s shoulder.
“Caught the runaway, eh?”
“and with a little bit of luck, got him back in to his pants. Why’d you have to adopt a kid that hates clothes?” He complained.
I laughed. “You hated clothes too at his age, if I recall correctly.”
Miles thought about it for a second and shrugged.
“You have a point.”
I snickered and cuddled Alphie close. Logan spotted Jude and held out his arms. “Grandma!”
Jude laughed and took him from Miles. He settled in to her lap.
“Wanna tell me why you’re half-naked too?” I asked.
“Logan spilled his milk on my shirt. I stuffed it into the washer with his shirt and pants that caught the rest of it when the little Houdini escaped the laundry room and took off down the hall,” Miles said as he stared up the stairs to his room. “I’m going to change for my date with Denver.”
I nodded and waved my hand at him. “Have fun, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”
Miles leaned over the banister. “Then I wouldn’t have any fun, but would still manage to end up in jail.”
“Miles that was fifteen years ago and three thousand miles away,”
“You still ended up in jail that day.”
“Go away, Miles.”
He laughed and continued up the stairs. Jude was looking at me as I turned back to her to finish the conversation.
“Spring Break, 2001.”
“I didn’t say anything,” she said.
“No, but I still feel damn guilty anyway,” I said as I ducked my head and looked down at Alphie. He’d fallen asleep in my arms.
“I think it might be time for bed for him,” Jude said.
“Do either of you know if he had dinner?” I asked.
“No, but it doesn’t matter. He’s asleep, let him sleep.”
I couldn’t argue with that wisdom, so I hauled him upstairs. I knew Jude wouldn’t rat me out to Ben if I carried him. I looked over my shoulder and she was right behind me with Logan, who’d finally worn out his energy for the day and had fallen asleep in her arms. We got them upstairs and in to the bedroom they shared. There were more than enough rooms in the house for them to have their own, but they insisted on being together.
“Some day, they won’t want to be in the same room,” I said softly as we walked out and I closed the door behind us.
“You’ll be ready for that day. It’s not like it’ll come any time soon.”
“I know, but they’re my babies.”
Jude laughed. “I know that feeling all too well.”
I smiled over at her and was about to say something else when I heard the pounding on the door downstairs. I felt a wave of dread wash over me and curl around my throat.
“Trouble,” I said as I took off running. The feelings got stronger as I got to the hall.
Sabina was still at the bottom of the stairs and was prancing in place.
“Hurry! There’s trouble!” She practically screamed in to my head.
I got to the door just as the Sheriff opened the door and ran in. His eyes were wild and he was out of breath.
“The Twins are missing,” he said and then collapsed.
I couldn’t catch him in time, so he hit the floor with a loud thud. I flinched and bent down to turn him over.
“Jude call 911. Tell them he’s here and what happened. Tell them to send Lieutenant Jones and Captain Miller.”
Jude nodded and ran for the phone. I pulled out my cell phone from my pocket, it never leaves my side these days, and called Ben.
“Hello?” he answered.
“Eric is here. The Twins were kidnapped. Come home.”
“I’m on my way.”
There called ended and I tucked my phone back in to my pocket. I looked up at Jude who came back in to the room with the phone attached to her ear. She was telling the operator on the other end exactly what I told her to say.
“What is wrong, Marlowe?” Sabine asked.
“My nice and nephew are missing,” I said, thinking fast of a way to describe what the Twins were to me. “They’re the same age as Alphie.”
I looked up at Sabine then and spotted the flash of anger in her eyes.
“They hurt the herd?” she asked.
“Yes. Someone hurt the herd.”
“Then they just became my enemy too,” she said quietly as she looked down at the Sheriff.
At that moment, I never wanted to be on her bad side and I prayed that the police found the bastard who took the Twins before she did.