Disclaimer: I own nothing except my own creations.
Grayson Ellis puffed as he pushed the double pram up the sudden slope in the shopping district.
He'd never really given this aspect of becoming a father much thought before, and as a father of twins there was a whole slew of transportation issues to deal with.
His wife's several shopping bags hooked onto the handles weren't exactly lightweight either.
Finally reaching a flat stretch, he stood upright, wincing inwardly at the flare of pain on his back – he wasn't so young these days – and summarily found himself face-to-face with his ex-wife.
"Lisa!" he exclaimed, not expecting to see her then and there. As he pressed his foot to the pram brake, his eyes looked down at the little blonde haired boy standing beside his first wife.
"This must be your son."
"Yes," replied the first Mrs Ellis and there was a slight awkwardness. Intent on throwing attention off the child she had denied Grayson several times over, she nodded to the pram.
"They must be yours."
Grayson nodded, sparing a glance to his warmly wrapped sleeping twins, both looking so small in the giant contraption that was the pram. "Angus and Bronte," he offered as his explanation.
"It wasn't like Tristan was available," he shot back with a little more pain that he'd expected to feel. It was clearly a sore point and he struggled to find his equilibrium once again.
Lisa was silent.
"Well, I'll..." "I've got to..." both said at the same time, seeking to break the tense standoff. Young Tristan clasped his mother's hand and looked between both adults wordlessly.
The newest arrival shattered the tension.
"I found some nipple pads that won't make my boobs look huger and Travis is going to love this comforter I found him." Jules pulled a velvet lined corner free of her bag. "It matches his college blue walls."
Her hand froze mid-air.
Jules stopped talking when she realised that Grayson was immobile, a fake smile plastered on his face, and had company. "Hi," she said smiling widely at the woman opposite her, extending her hand. "Jules Ellis."
The bells were going off in her head as the handshake ended and it's now that Jules recognises this woman. "You're Grayson's ex-wife," she blurted out.
Grayson could see that this conversation was a train wreck waiting to happen and wanted one of those old fashioned hooks to pull people off the stage. Releasing the pram brake, he shifted his children between both women.
Jules didn't look like she would "shall" anything, but Lisa was as thankfully uncomfortable as he in this, well, he wouldn't go so far as to call it an altercation, but rather a confrontation, and moved on.
"Good to see you."
There was an awkward shuffle as Lisa and Tristan attempted to pass them on the short width of pavement, Jules' large bag of velvet knocking all and the pram unable to move easily without hurting someone, but they finally managed it.
Jules handed her husband the bag.
"She's looking old don't you think?" asked Jules peppily. Grayson snorted as he took the newest bag from his wife and hooked it onto the pram.
"You're no spring chicken."
"Speak for yourself!" admonished the middle aged woman, planting her hands on her hips as she turned to face him full on.
Grayson struggled to keep his eyes off her.
"As much as I appreciate your attempt at a distraction, I think you should be seeking one for yourself," he said ambiguously, nodding his head in the vague direction of his clueless woman's upper half.
"Damn," complained Jules, cupping her swollen breasts and damp shirt as she openly looked downward. "I knew that salesperson was only looking for a commission."
He held his tongue.
Grayson followed his wife to the car as she continued to rant about the injustice. She was pulling out her phone – though it was even odds who she was calling, Ellie or Laurie – as he pushed the pram and then ...
... the first cry sounded.