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I can hear excited voices outside my office. I smile because I know what's coming next. She tried to surprise me before but it failed when Nina couldn't keep quiet. He's getting so big. Spitting image of his father. Never see him enough.
Bella appeared in my doorway holding a pink bakery box in one hand and cradling Liam on her hip. Both had smiles, which I returned. "Hey, you two." Bella set Liam down and whispered something in his ear, then pointed to me saying, "Go tell daddy" with a secretive smirk on her lips.
I rolled my chair back and away from the desk making myself open to him. Liam wedged himself between my legs, resting his little elbows on the tops of my thighs and playing with the end of my tie. I ruffled his hair, "What's going on buddy?"
Bella came over too, opening the pink box on my desk and handing me a still warm peanut butter –chocolate chip cookie. I broke mine in half, giving one half to Liam. The crease in his brow made the kid look like he needed a smoke, but figured a cookie would be better. To my knowledge nothing was wrong, Bella would've told me if there was, but she seemed fine as well.
Liam took a bite of his cookie, he looked at Bella, then back to me. His cheeks were getting a little red but his shy smile was still there. "Daddy...what's a sibygn?"
Damn, I don't know.
Bella started laughing, which made Liam laugh too. I started laughing, but only because I was confused and felt like they were playing some kind of weird joke on me.
"I'm sorry, buddy, a what?"
Liam looked at Bella, who was now at my side. "What is it….sid…siddle…"
I was too confused. Bella helped Liam out, "Sib…"
Liam tried again, "Sib…b-b-b."
Bella lifted my left hand and point to my wedding band to show him. "What do we call this?"
"Right. So, it's sib…"
"Ring! Sib-ring daddy."
I mulled it over in my head, finally it clicked. "You mean sibling?"
"Yeah! Mommy said that."
Bella grabbed the pink box and brought it over to me. I picked up Liam and set him on my lap, he wrapped one arm around my neck. Bella tilted the box toward me, inside was a small round white frosted cake with red writing on it.
I was dumbstruck. My whole body slackened in my seat but my chest felt tight with pride. My eyes were glued to Bella's. Now, instead of the smirk from earlier she had a brilliant smile.
Maybe part of me expected this.
Almost a year ago there were back to back storms that nearly lasted two weeks straight. I was still sleeping on the couch in the office at the house, and Bella and Liam were upstairs. The thunder was pretty bad that night, so I decided to check on the two of them. Liam was amazingly sound asleep but when I passed Bella's room, I could see her bedroom light coming through the frame of the door. I poked my head in and there she was wide awake at 3 A.M. curled up on her bed. She needed to get some sleep so she could take care of Liam tomorrow. I needed to get some sleep since I had work, but I knew I wouldn't be able to if I knew she was up. She didn't have to say anything, her eyes said it for her. I turned out the light and crawled into bed, holding her close to me. We slept like that every night until the storms cleared out; even after too. It became a normal thing. After working and caring for a baby all day, neither of us made a deal about sleeping together, just as long as we got to sleep at all.
Things changed when Liam started walking. Stepping through the door one night after work, I saw toys strewn all over the floor of the entry way and living room. I could hear Bella and Liam in the kitchen. Liam shot out of the kitchen and into the living room, butt-naked giggling his head off. Bella was hot on his heels with a diaper in hand. She stopped when she saw me standing there.
"Did I just get streaked by my son?"
"He keeps taking his diaper off every chance he gets. I'm going to call your mother and ask if you did this as a child as well."
Each night, after a hectic day on both our ends, we just needed something that was just us. It started as just talking and winding down, but then more nights would pass and it lead to making out and touching, then further and further, until there was nothing between us.
I will admit that we started getting lazy more recently; a forgotten condom here and there, but I didn't really think much of it.
"Are you sure."
Bella swiped some frosting on the cake and onto Liam's finger for him to suck off.
"Doctor confirmed it today."
I took her hand pulling her closer, "I'm happy… really happy about this. Are you?"
She smiled sweetly, giving my hand a squeeze, "I'm really happy too."
Edward and Liam like to have their own quiet little conversations as we all lay in bed in the morning. They think I'm asleep but usually I'm not. They usually end up wrestling each other in bed anyway. I like to hear them whisper back and forth. Liam with jerkily crawl his way up the middle of our bed. He likes to use our bodies as tools to help him in his journey to the middle. He thinks he's being quiet and not waking us up, but he is. We don't really care though. He likes to pull on Edward's shirt that he wears to bed to pull him up to the pillows; then he'll knee me in the face for no reason just to turn over and face Edward. Neither Edward nor I have ever made it unscathed by our son.
I love hearing Liam call for Edward, waking him up. I think Edward lets him say it so many times because he likes to hear it too. I know he's awake but Liam doesn't know that.
Liam use's what he thinks is his quiet voice when he calls for Edward.
Edward groans and rolls over. I can imagine Liam's face. He likes to get really close that he's literally breathing up your nose.
"Daddy," he says in his serious voice, "mommy's tummy is alive."
"Is it? How do you know?"
Liam's moving around jostles me but I try to keep my eyes closed even though I desperately want to look. I feel his little hand pull up my night shirt exposing my stomach.
I hear Edward laugh because he already knows, Liam however, is still amazed. I smile as I lay there, but then my face is covered by a huge hand. Edward's. He was watching, it just wasn't my stomach. The baby kicked, causing Liam to bounce in his spot. "See! See that daddy?"
"Yeah, I saw that."
He took his hand off my face and moved it down to my stomach to rest there. I cracked my eyes open to my two men. Liam was leaning back against Edward's chest, while Edward lay there on his side.
"Why's it do that?"
"The baby's saying hi. Say hi buddy."
Liam wiggled down to my stomach, placing a hand on my stomach and playing with the skin, making it stretch. He put his mouth right on my skin, like you would do if you were talking into an inflated balloon. I had to laugh. Had to.
All that could be heard was the wind as it rustled through the trees that encompassed our hide out and swished through the grass that surrounded us.
My hands were covering my mouth, trying to suppress my giggles and remain quiet and motionless in the tall golden grass where I lay ducked down on all fours and hidden like a predator waiting for its prey.
I looked left and saw Edward a bit further ahead- crouching and lithely crawling like an exotic cat ready to pounce; he was playfully glaring at me. Silently telling me to knock it off or he'd catch us. He turned back to his target, his eyes sharp and stalking like a hawk.
All that could be seen was a clump of bronzy-brown that just reached the tops of the grass, scurrying back and forth, excited from the anticipation of being caught.
He would get distracted every here and there, forgetting that he was playing a game. If we couldn't hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet, Edward would make cooing bird calls with his hands around his mouth from where he hid, simultaneously bringing our prey closer.
Distant giggles and screeches started back up, and could be heard over the muted sounds of grass being smashed down under palms and knees and Edward and I moved closer from our end of the field.
Ever since he started to run we've been playing this game, yet he's still so surprised every time. Edward waits until he's close enough, then it my turn to get him to turn away from Edward. From where I am, hidden five or six feet back, he has no idea how close Edward is to him. His little arms swipe at the grass to see better, but it doesn't help.
I lift my head up just a little bit over the grass and softly call his name, "Liaam…"ducking back down again. He spins around with a little gasp-giggle and heads my way, just barely brushing past his father completely unaware of his proximity to him.
When he's steps in line between Edward and myself that's when Edward pounces, his arms snap out and catch him around the tummy, as Liam shrieks and giggles louder, kicking his feet as Edward hoists him up. "I found you, little buddy!"
I rise and step towards them, "Daddy caught you, now Mommy's gonna tickle you!" I tickle as Edward holds a now squirming Liam as he smiles and laughs saying no, no! I stop when he starts losing his breathe from laughing. Edward puts him down and he rushes ahead of us only to stop and turn back.
"Mommy, spin me." He holds his hands up, eagerly waiting for me. I quickly try to debate whether I should or not but Edward has a speedy answer.
"I think mommy's tired buddy, maybe next time, okay?"
Liam's arms drop to his sides along with his smile. His face makes my heart drop too. I'm a little surprised Edward said no to his little boy, but I understand his concern. I take ahold of Edward's hand and look at him, "A few won't hurt anything." I can see it in his eyes that he's debating it. His eyes go from Liam, to me, back to Liam, then shrugs in defeat.
Liam hops up cheering, stretching out his arms again. I hold on to him, "Count to five with me, baby." Hopefully, the counting will get his mind off of how many less spins we do together. Because he's still just a short little boy I'm able to get his feet off the ground and spinning before I complete our first spin. He's too busy laughing to count with me, but he gets out numbers four and five at the last minute.
As we head back home with Liam leading the way, my arm is wrapped around Edward's waist and my head resting against his arm, Edward has his arm wrapped across my shoulders.
"Are you okay?"
I look up at him as we continue to walk, "Everything's fine. Everything will be fine."