Currently dying with food poisoning, but I promised myself I would post this last night before my body decided to revolt.

Beta'd by Brie and kitchmill.

Longer author note at the bottom. Enjoy the chapter first! xx

Chapter Twenty-Two

Confession #22: That moment we were all together for the first time was one I would never forget...and neither would Caleb.

Following their first bottle feedings, the girls grasped on to what they needed to do with gusto. One bottle became two, and it wasn't long before they were eating like champs. It seemed like once they figured out how to suckle, they quickly hit every milestone required to come home, the last being the car seat test.

At just over five pounds apiece, Libby and Katie were ready to come home. It was a feat that seemed so unlikely forty-five days ago. They were dressed for the cool Los Angeles night even though the amount of time they would be spending outside was minimal.

Talk about a covert operation; we'd even hired a car and driver to get them home undisturbed. We snuck them out just after two o'clock early Friday morning. Charlie and Renee had stayed the night at our place so coffee girl and I could bring the girls home together. We were all ready to be together again, but not before thanking all the support staff at the hospital.

Bella, in all her thoughtfulness, put together gift baskets for all of the nurses who had helped look after our girls. She included spa gift certificates, hand painted coffee mugs with an assortment of coffees, teas, gourmet hot cocoa mixes, and a personalized card with each gift. She really wanted the nurses to know how much we appreciated their dedication to their jobs. I couldn't be more proud to call her my wife.

Coffee girl sat in the last row of the black suburban while I climbed in next to the driver. At the late hour it was a pretty quick ride, and we soon found ourselves walking into the house with the girls for the first time.

I felt every bit of stress exit my body simply because we were all home together for once.

"Let me see my grandbabies," Renee whispered, shocking me because I'd never seen her that quiet.

Charlie chuckled. "Boy, I ain't ever seen you so dumbfounded."

"I, uh, I...yeah. Wow, I didn't think Renee had a different volume other than loud."

Charlie laughed again, but then leaned in close and said, "I've always wondered that myself."

"I'm going to go and see if they need any help putting the girls to bed, and hit the hay myself. See you in the morning, Charlie."

He clapped me on the shoulder. "Night, son."


It was nice to be bonding with my father-in-law...even if he did still carry a gun for a living.


We only had to get up twice during the early morning hours with the girls since being in the hospital put them on a steady schedule already. We knew it wasn't guaranteed to stay that way, but it was nice for now, even if it was an adjustment for me. Since I'd been at home most nights with Caleb and he was sleeping through the night it was strange waking up at odd hours again. I could deal though...especially since coffee girl was around to make me her delicious café au laits again. She really did spoil me.

After Caleb had breakfast on our first morning home together as one, we sat him in between his sisters on a chair to get their first picture together. Caleb hadn't been allowed in the NICU, so he hadn't officially met them yet.

Caleb seemed stunned and began glancing between the girls. He looked to his left, then to his right, and then back again. He glanced up at me with a look on his face that screamed, 'What the heck? Why are there two of them and why do they look alike?' and I couldn't help but laugh loudly. My laugh scared Libby, who began crying, so Bella scooped her up and comforted her. Caleb just went back to staring at Katie, a look of wonder on his face.

"Can you give the baby kisses, Caleb?" I asked.

Caleb looked to be deep in thought for a moment but then turned to Katie and planted a big, open-mouthed kiss right on her forehead. It was the cutest thing we had witnessed, and everyone awed as we continued snapping picture after picture.

"You're such a good brother already. You'll always look out for your little sisters. Keep the other boys in line, right?"

Even though he was still a baby himself, and lord knew I wasn't expecting an answer, I saw the understanding in his eyes when he realized he wasn't going to be the only little person in the house anymore. Those girls were there to stay, and like his mother, he seemed to just plan on rolling with it. Thank goodness for that, since I knew we still had the toddler years ahead of us.

I scooped Caleb up and Charlie took Katie. Bella and Renee were in the kitchen preparing bottles for the girls before they went back down for another nap. That was something I wouldn't mind either, but until Caleb crashed, I couldn't.

So instead, I blew raspberries all over his chubby neck, making him laugh that cute baby giggle I never seemed to get enough of. I hovered over him on the floor, continuing our little game until he was red-faced and smiling like a loon.

We all hung out in the living room while the girls ate. Caleb crawled over to the ottoman we had instead of a coffee table now since the edges were softer and pulled himself up. He'd been doing that for a while—pulling himself up and using whatever he grabbed ahold of to walk.

Wanting to see what he would do, I called out to him. "Caleb, want your ball?"

I held the red orb out when he turned to me. We weren't that far apart, so he reached for it, but I still held it just out of his grasp. He let go of the ottoman, wobbling a bit, but slowly took a step toward me.

One step turned into two, and two turned into three before he lost his balance and plopped down on his butt and crawled the remainder of the way to the ball.

To say I was stunned would have been an understatement. I looked up at coffee girl. "You saw that, right?"

She nodded her head, a tear running down her cheek as she passed Libby off to her mother and then joined us on the floor. We both wanted to see if Caleb would walk again...and he did.

He slowly became more surefooted, practically prancing back and forth between our exuberant faces. We continued to praise him and take short videos on our phones to share with the rest of our family; even if I wasn't speaking to my parents at the moment, I wouldn't deny them the opportunity to see my little man in action.

It wasn't long before Caleb became tired, so we put him and the girls down for a bit of rest. I wasn't tired anymore, too pumped up on my son's first steps to rest, so I helped coffee girl clean up around the house and then spent time talking with the in-laws. I'd hoped they might be able to help me figure out how to talk to my parents about how I had been feeling about the whole Alice debacle. I needed my voice heard, but I didn't want to come across rude or selfish in the process.

I knew Charlie's levelheadedness would come in handy, even if he was on my side anyway.

"I understand how you feel, but I also can imagine that your parents are feeling spread thin. They are being forced to take sides between their children, and I don't envy them for that." Charlie sighed.

"We only had Isabella, but if she had any brothers or sisters like yours, I would hope to God my focus would be one getting them the help they obviously need after the first incident and not the fourth or fifth like they have with Alice. But I can't fully put myself in their shoes as a result. Besides, I'm a cop. I want justice for the pain she has inflicted on my daughter. I'm glad the judge isn't being easy on her and that she will not only be spending time in jail but will be forced into treatment to figure out exactly what is causing her to act out."

I nodded, agreeing with his assessment of the situation. "I think I understand my parents more now that I am a parent as well. I've just reached the point where I can't sit back while they continue to turn a blind eye on Alice's actions."

"I don't think they're blinded by her anymore. The consequences of her choices have made them confront what I'm sure they feel is a major failure as a parent. The desire to protect your children and realize you've failed in some way is a hard pill to swallow."

I knew he was right, and I was done dealing with all the heavy conversations. I got up from the table and went to get a drink. I really needed one after that, and hey, it was five o'clock somewhere.

"I can see that. Thanks for the help. I really appreciate you and Renee for all you've done for us. It means the world to me that we all get along so well." I handed him a beer; I wasn't drinking alone. "Because I would hate to end up on your bad side."

Charlie chuckled. "Anytime, son. Anytime." He took a sip before continuing. "Now how about we go see if there are any sports on while our women are occupied."

I nodded and we headed down to my man cave.

Charlie was an awesome father-in-law.


That night, after we had all the kids bathed and in bed and Renee and Charlie had gone into their room, I decided it would be a perfect time to reconnect with my wife. After all, it had been many weeks since we'd shared a bed together.

I curled up behind coffee girl and, because I simply couldn't resist her, I got hard. I began grinding my cock against her plump little ass, trying to show her how much I missed and wanted her. Bella wasn't having it, though, and sprung out of bed like the house was on fire. To say I was stunned by her reaction would be understatement.

"Oh hell no!" exclaimed coffee girl as she turned and faced me, and I was positive I was sporting a stunned look at how fast she moved to get away from me. "You're not coming anywhere near my promised land until I've been back on the pill for a month. With our luck, you would knock me up with triplets and we'd be on our way to a set of Irish quads!"

I could see how serious she was, but laughter erupted from me and before I even attempted to gain control over myself, tears began pouring down my cheeks. My entire body ached from shaking, but it felt so good to finally be smiling and laughing again after the last couple of months of drama.

I couldn't help the cockiness that sprung forth once I had control of my giddiness. "What can I say? My swimmers really like your eggs!"

She scoffed at me then grabbed one of her pillows and clocked me upside the head. I was shocked, especially when she giggled and then did it again. It didn't hurt, but I could see coffee girl was feeling playful.

"Oh, it's on!" I jumped out of bed and proceeded to pummel her with my pillow.

Besides, what person in their right mind would turn down a pillow fight?

I was pretty sure we were being too loud, but it didn't stop us. Bella was shrieking and I was laughing; we were just a couple of big kids letting off some much needed steam.

"What the hell is going on in here?" Charlie shouted, causing me to drop my pillow and freeze. I was surprised he'd just let himself into our bedroom.

"Pillow fight!" coffee girl exclaimed before nailing me once more.

Her laughter was infectious, and she set me off when she ran over to her father and bopped him before running back over to me and hiding behind me. His stunned look was worse than mine; at least, that was what I assumed.

Charlie advanced on me. He still scared me, and because no matter how well I knew the man, I quickly scooped up coffee girl and planted her in front of me for protection.

"Hey!" She struggled to get loose, but I wasn't having that.

I turned Bella around to face me. "Don't 'hey' me, coffee girl. You do the crime, you do the time. Besides, we both know your dad would never pop you one like he would me."

Charlie smirked. "Don't be too sure." He reached down and picked up my discarded pillow and bopped Bella in the side of the head.

"No fair! Two against one!" she yelled as we continued acting like fools.

Our impromptu pillow fight ended when one of our girls began crying. We weren't at the point of being able to distinguish who was crying, so Coffee girl and I both dropped our pillows and raced to the girls' nursery, leaving an out of breath Charlie to recover.

Libby was our little noise maker. She'd made a mess of her diaper, so coffee girl quickly changed her and then sat down in the rocker and began singing to her to calm her back down again.

I checked on Katie, who was still sound asleep before plopping a kiss down on the top of Bella's head and going to check on Caleb. He was still sound asleep as well, but I couldn't resist kissing him as well. His adorable little snore made me smile.

I wondered if life could ever get better than this, but I doubted it ever would. Life with coffee girl was full of unexpected moments, unconditional love, and one big happy family.

Hey y'all, I am so sorry for the delay and I wish I could guarantee when updates will come from this point on, but I don't have anything else pre-written and cannot say when the drive to write will return. Even with the outline, I have nothing to give right now. I wish I did. So for now, keep HD on alert because then you will get a notification on when more comes.

Again, I'm sorry…I hate people who do what I'm doing, but I can't force words that are not true to my characters just for the sake of updates.

I still love you all. xx Dee