My Three Sons
By Thomas Mc

Chapter 4 : Paul

November 2042

Emily headed straight to her apartment from the airport. Devin and Daniel were there waiting for her as she came in the door. She dropped her bags by the door and they both ran up to embrace her as she was enveloped in Devin's love, and Daniel's love reflected through his father.

"Have a present for you . . ." Daniel told her stumbling slightly over his recently acquired lisp as he dragged her over to the low table before the sofa. He just managed to rescue the large piece of paper from Thomas who had pulled himself up onto his feet using that table and had been reaching for the colorful drawing.

Grinning big enough to display his brand new fangs, Daniel proudly presented Emily with the drawing he had done of her holding baby Thomas. It was surprisingly good considering it was done by a four year old. In the last year he had exhibited a surprising talent for artistic expression, very much like his mother had at that age. Both parents had been quick to encourage his talent.

Emily praised the picture then gushed over the fact that he had gotten his fangs. Daniel was quite proud of his fangs and tended to show them off to anyone that would pay attention. He had been frustrated the first couple of days at the way they interfered with his speech but Devin had assured him that he would eventually get used to them and his lisp would fade away.

Emily had been invited to take part in the Thanksgiving Day parade that year and she had taken the whole week off so that she could spend the rest of the holiday with her family.

That night Emily mentioned to Devin that for the next week, she would be at her most fertile. Devin's response was to do his best to make the most of the situation, despite the multiple interruptions by Daniel and Thomas. Every chance they got that week Devin and Emily worked diligently on their own very special project.

~ x x x x x ~

It was around lunch time on Monday, the last day of her Thanksgiving holiday, and Emily nodded to the office workers that were coming off the special elevator as she got on. A short time later she was on the half empty top floor. Devin was anxiously waiting as she entered his office and set the bag she was carrying down on a small cleared space on his desk. He rubbed his hands together in anticipation. "Did you get the stuff?"

"Yes, I got it." Emily rolled her eyes as she shook her head. "I don't know why I indulge this nasty addiction of yours."

"Quit stalling woman," He responded, his eyes glinted with anticipation, "I need it now."

Emily reached into the bag and pulled out a bacon, cheddar, and bar-b-que burger, with onion rings and placed them into his eager hands. He opened the burger wrappings with a contented sigh and Emily giggled at his reaction. "How you manage to generate enough energy for sex on this stuff is beyond me."

"I've always got energy for that." He responded then took a big bite.

"For the life of me I don't know where you developed this predilection for junk fast food." She remarked as she glanced around then pulled out an identical burger for herself. "At least I can count on Oscar and his helpers to feed you well when I'm not here to indulge you."

"You're the one that introduced me to this particular vice." He reminded her.

"Don't remind me." She looked down, ruefully, at her own messy sandwich. "If getting pregnant doesn't ruin my figure, this stuff eventually will."

"Not with your metabolism." He shot back.

Linda poked her head into the office. "Emily, you are a baaaad influence on my boy." Then she laughed. "I'm heading to lunch, you two behave." Then she was gone.

~ x x x x x ~

Once again it was Winterfest and Emily suspected that she was pregnant again. They hadn't announced it yet but she and Devin were in particularly good moods. Out on the dance floor Emily's mother was dancing with Jacob and her father was dancing with Linda. Daniel was over by the games playing with the younger children. His lisp had nearly disappeared and he would still proudly show off his fangs if asked. Peter and Cherry's son, David, who had inherited his mother's fiery red hair color, had just noticed his fangs starting to come in a couple of days ago, and was eagerly questioning Daniel about what it was like.

Thomas was in a playpen near by with William's Karen and little Catherine, Peter and Cherry's second child. They were all getting plenty of attention from the young teenage girls.

The biggest topic of conversation in the groups around the dance floor was, the young man in the beast costume that had been shot by a tranquilizer dart in the park on Halloween. The creature hunting craze in the park showed no sign of going away anytime soon. Emily was particularly annoyed by it because she wanted to go for midnight strolls in the park with Devin and her children. That was unfortunately not an option under the current conditions. Even the more remote places like Battery Park had a few hunters roaming through them.

Out on the dance floor, during a slow waltz, Emily spotted Vincent and Catherine on the dance floor. She watched wistfully as those two glided by in each other's arms. They were both in their late eighties and still active and in love. Emily wondered if she and Devin would be doing that well when they reached that age. If they reached that age.

That night most of the children slept in the main children's dormitories while their parents partied late. Emily's parents were spending the night 'Below' in a guest chamber.

Emily and Devin were in one of the four resort chambers. They had ended up talking about possible children's names. Neither of them had any preferences for boys names. Emily suggested her mother's name as a possibility if they had a daughter. After several possibilities were bandied about, they settled on Paul as their choice, mostly because they both liked the name.

Devin's hand began wandering over her body as he nibbled at her ear. "Now that we have names for him or her, maybe we should work on insuring that there will be a child available to take one of those names. Just in case you haven't caught yet." He leaned in and kissed her as her passions began to grow in response to his passions and his actions. If she wasn't already pregnant she would be. Soon they were one, body and soul, as the bond opened up all the way.

~ x x x x x ~

January 2043

It was mid-January and Emily's pregnancy was no longer in doubt. Devin had twice caught a faint hint of a whisper of a sense of its presence. Teresa had tested her and confirmed it. After celebrating the confirmation, Emily called her parents to give them the news. Afterward they went 'Below' to share the news with Jacob and Linda.

Linda was grinning. "What, no dramatic announcement in Devin's office?"

Jacob laughed. "That's a good question. I thought it was a tradition with you two."

Emily giggled. "That's because this one was planned from the beginning. Devin knew as soon as I did. I have already warned my agent that I would probably be taking another hiatus this year and to only take assignments that are less than a month and a half ahead."

Emily looked over at Devin. "I suppose we could still do it tomorrow morning anyway. After all we wouldn't want to break tradition, now would we?" There was a definite gleam of amusement in her eyes. "Aside from Teresa and my parents we're the only ones that know, so far."

Devin chuckled. "Sounds fine by me." He took her hand. "I'll do my best to act surprised . . . Though that may be stretching my acting ability somewhat."

Linda also chuckled. "And I'll do my best to look surprised when you show up in the office tomorrow morning. Though it will be hard to keep a straight face when you step off that elevator."

~ x x x x x ~

Halfway through the morning, Emily barreled through the top floor bullpen and into Devin's office. Devin was sitting at his desk fighting hard to keep a straight face as he looked up at her.

Hands on his desk she leaned in, not even trying to hide it as the corners of his mouth started to twitch. "Just what is it with you and trouble?" She proclaimed loudly.

Manfully fighting down the urge to snicker Devin finally managed to get out, "Did I do something?" There was something in the mischievous stream he sensed running through her mind that alerted him that she was up to something beside just the announcement.

She raised her voice as she placed one knee on the edge of his desk top. "Darn right you did something, buster. I'm pregnant, again." This time she jumped over the desk as the cheers broke out in the bullpen. She collided with him as he stood up and he went over backwards. He landed on the floor with her on top and she kissed him very thoroughly.

As they both got up off the floor to a few cat calls and whistles she remarked still loudly. "That's what you get for making me pregnant." She lowered her voice to a near whisper. "And there's plenty more of that when I get you home tonight."

~ x x x x x ~

The next week Emily called her agent and told him that she would be taking most of the year off beginning the first of March to pursue other interests. When he asked, she told him that she planned to spend most of the time working on her art. She told him that she would be returning the first of next year. He asked her about the annual swimsuit pictures. She told him that she didn't think that she would be available for the swimsuit shoot this year.

The next morning her agent made the announcement and sent out the press release. That evening her agent called her back. "Emily, honey, I got a call from the publisher of that magazine and he asked if they could work a deal where they got the swimsuit shots before your vacation . . . That particular gig is a major moneymaker for you."

Emily thought a moment. "If you can work it in-between now and the end of February that's fine with me."

"You have three days free at the end of this month when you are in New Zealand. The time and setting will both be perfect."

She thought about it for a moment. It would mean delaying her flight back to New York, for the New York Tourist Bureau advertisement shoot, by a couple of days. But she would be starting a ten month break a month later. "OK, Marty, tell them I'll do it."

~ x x x x x ~

May 2043

The entire tunnel community was in a bit of an uproar. Little two-year-old Karen had disappeared and Daniel was also missing. They had both last been seen in the library, during the children's story time.

Devin was in the dining chamber and pacing in frustration, when he wasn't staring intently at the stack of maps on the table. Emily could feel her baby moving in response to her husband's agitation, it was one of the side effects of the bond he had with his children, as she stared worriedly at him.

"I know where Daniel is, but there are no known tunnels where he is." Devin pointed off towards the back wall of the dining chamber and slightly downward. "He's in that direction, about a hundred-and-sixty yards away, and he's feeling worried and a bit lost."

The baby kicked again and that brought her mind back to the bond between him and her unborn baby. "Use your link, Honey." Emily told him. "Let him know that you want him."

"I should have thought of that." Devin shook his head in chagrin. "I've been too busy trying to figure out how to get to him, when I should have been trying to get him to come to me."

Devin headed back to the library. Once there he concentrated on his older son, projecting the emotional message. For a while he sensed a stubborn resistance and continued worry from Daniel. Then suddenly he felt a surge of triumph from his son and the worry disappeared.

William entered the library at that point to see if Devin was having any luck.

After a minute Devin could sense his son getting closer. "He's coming back." After about ten minutes of moving in an almost random serpentine path, Devin sensed Daniel approaching from the direction of the library bookshelves and he could also sense little Karen with him. Daniel was radiating a self-satisfied sense of accomplishment. "He's got Karen with him."

Ten seconds later Daniel came from behind the book case, drawing a giggling Karen behind him. William and Devin each scooped their respective child up in a paroxysm of relief.

Emily was the first to speak. "Daniel what happened to you and Karen?"

"I saw Karen over by the book shelves. A minute later I looked back and she was gone, you know how she likes to wander. I could feel her somewhere behind the bookshelf so I went back there to get her. When I got behind the shelves I found a narrow crack in the wall. There were a lota twisty tunnels, all over the place, back there and it took me a while to find her." Daniel looked into his father's eyes. "They aughta do something about that hole before someone gets lost."

By now word had gone out that both children had been found and people began returning to the dining chamber for a late lunch. Word of Daniel's actions quickly spread and everyone wanted to praise Daniel for finding Karen. Emily and Devin were both very proud of Daniel and told him so. Oscar brought out a special extra treat from the kitchen for Daniel, as a reward.

~ x x x x x ~

August 2043

Emily's pregnancy had been smooth and totally uneventful but now it was three weeks past her due date. She was getting a bit worried and had gone to see Teresa.

"Don't worry, Emily." Teresa was telling her. "If he hasn't arrived by this weekend, we'll induce labor. The baby has already turned and is ready to come out whenever he finally gets the urge. Otherwise everything is just fine."

As she was helping Emily off the examining table, her water broke. Emily looked down in surprise as Teresa commented. "I guess he got the urge. Why don't you go change while I send a message to Devin."

By the time Emily had cleaned up, changed and returned to the infirmary, Devin was also arriving. Like the last time, labor went by quickly and Emily was happily holding her newest son while Devin proudly wrapped his arms around both of them. "Welcome to our family little one." Emily whispered to the infant.

~ x x x x x ~

Halloween 2043

The hunter situation in the park had faded away and the ban on going Above was lifted for the Central Park Halloween concert. Emily looked at Daniel and Thomas, looking adorable in their costumes. Thomas was in a Puss-n-Boots costume, no mask required. Daniel was dressed as the Phantom of the Opera, furry face completely hidden. Emily and Devin, as usual were dressed in their wedding outfits. Two month old Paul would be spending the evening in the main nursery. Several of the older tunnel denizens had volunteered to watch over the children that were too young to go Above with their parents.

William and Karen stopped by and Emily was entranced by Karen's big game hunter costume that Linda had given her. "I'm huntin' lions." Karen told her. William jokingly said that he was dressed as Broadway Leo, the name that the media had given to the Central Park Creature three years ago.

At that point Catherine and Vincent showed up dressed as a musketeer and a period French maiden. Though slowing down a bit with age they still remained active and were feeling up to going above for the Halloween concert in the park. William's sister, Clarissa, dressed as a pirate queen, was with them. A few minutes later, Charles and Elizabeth arrived, dressed in costumes from the ballroom scene in that old Disney Beauty and the Beast video. Their party now complete, they all headed above.

It was still about an hour before the Concert was to begin. Karen and William were wandering around the area playing hunter and lion. A park policeman had made Karen give up her toy gun so a handy stick had been pressed into service as a replacement.

Emily, Devin, Catherine and Vincent had taken position on a nearby park bench and had been talking about how the Halloween holiday was extra special to the four of them in different ways. They watched in amusement as little Karen stalked her father among the trees. Karen had hidden in a clump of bushes in the middle of an open area and William wandered warily into the clearing.

Devin caught a glimpse of a pretty young woman, standing near them, watching the antics of Karen and William and wondered who she was. Then his attention was drawn back to the clearing when Karen popped up, pointed her stick at William and shouted Bang. William reacted by staging a very dramatic death scene. Karen skipped up to her prone father sing about bagging a lion. A few seconds later, Clarissa came up to William and Karen to remind them that the Concert would begin soon. At the same time Charles and Elizabeth walked up and reminded the observers on the bench of the time.

While Emily accompanied them to where they would be sitting. Devin went after his sons. He found Daniel, Thomas and David chasing each other around the trees beside the band shell. The four of them soon joined the rest of their group.

Early in the concert, Devin spotted the same woman he had seen earlier. She was apparently at the concert with some other friends. He noticed that she was paying an inordinate amount of attention to other family members at the concert and Devin began wondering who she was and why her interest. Soon though the young woman's attention shifted to her friends.

~ x x x x x ~

True to her original announcement, Emily had spent a lot of her time off reproducing several of her drawings from her travels, as acrylic and watercolor paintings. Her first public appearance was over the thanksgiving holiday. Her agent helped her stage a one woman art show. Of the sixty-eight paintings she displayed, all but two, sold. The proceeds went to the children's wing of St. Vincent Hospital. The two unsold paintings, one of which was based on her drawing of the bombing in Rome, ended up hanging in the lobby of the Wells-Chandler building.

~ o ~

It was late when the art show finally closed down. Emily headed straight to her apartment where she found Devin watching over their sleeping children. With their arms around each other, they stood in the doorway to the boy's room, and gazed lovingly at the three sleeping leonine boys.

"My three sons." Emily smiled as she spoke quietly almost to herself.

"We are both truly blessed." Devin responded and hugged her a little tighter.

They turned and entered their own bedroom as she commented. "Tomorrow I start looking for a bigger apartment."

- x -

Hiatus 10 months / Mar – Dec / third son, Paul, born Aug 27, 2043


'Beauty and the Beast' and its characters are owned by Witt-Thomas Productions and Republic Pictures. No infringement on copyrights is intended. This story is presented merely for the enjoyment of fans. Original concepts and story elements may be used by other authors as long as appropriate credit is given.