Before long, Alexis' phone chimed at her, indicating a new text from Kate.
'I'm cooking dinner tonight (spaghetti and meatballs) and there's enough for your girls. Food is served at six.'
Alexis chuckled at Kate's description of Alexandra and Rosamund. If only she knew...
"What is it?" Alexandra asked.
"Do you like spaghetti and meatballs?"
"Definitely, and so does Rosa."
"Excellent. Kate's just informed me that she's making that for dinner tonight, and that she'd like to have you and Rosamund join us. Her wording also implied that she isn't going to take no for answer."
"Well, you've met most of my family, so it's time I've met yours properly now. Tell Kate that we're excited to come."
Alexis typed back a quick answer. 'They're coming, don't worry. See you soon, and don't let Gram bake the garlic bread again.'
Kate's response was lightning quick. 'We learned our lesson after last time, so don't you worry ;)'
"What time does Kate want us there?"
"Six." Alexis checked her phone. "It's five-thirty on the nose right now."
Surprised that the afternoon had flown by, Alexandra got up to extract Rosamund from the ball pit. Rosamund wasn't thrilled to leave, but once she found out where they were going, she was all too happy to cooperate.
Upon arriving at the loft, they were all damp to varying degrees, on account of the rain that had started coming down. Martha fussed over Alexandra and Rosamund while Alexis retreated to her bedroom to change outfits.
Once she was dry and dressed in a new sweater, skirt and leggings ensemble, she sat down on her bed for a minute, just to think.
She grinned at the sight of her girlfriend approaching her from the doorway.
"Hey, you. Where's Rosa?"
"Downstairs, enjoying the attention being showered on her by your parents and grandmother. You look cute."
Alexis blushed and smoothed out a wrinkle out of her green sweater. "Thanks."
Alexandra gave her a peck on the cheek and knelt on the floor between between Alexis' legs, resting her elbows on Alexis' thighs to keep herself level.
"What are you doing?" Alexis giggled.
"Looking at my beautiful girlfriend," The other woman responded cheekily as she slid Alexis' top garment back into the redhead's hands. "And getting ready to talk to our baby."
Leaning forward, she peppered Alexis' bare skin with gentle kisses in between whispered words.
"Hi, baby girl. I'm your other mama, Allie, and I just want to let you know that I love you so much already. You didn't grow in my tummy, but you definitely grew next to my heart."
Alexandra laid her head gently on the bump and gently traced figure eights on it as she started thinking about how her heart was already filling up with love for the baby growing inside Alexis. Never did she expect to be able to love another child the way she loved Rosamund, but this little one was showing her that it was possible.
Alexis was in heaven because Alexandra was proving to her that it was possible to be in a romantic relationship where she didn't have to question the other person's true motives, or live in fear that she wasn't good enough and would one day be thrown to the curb like a piece of trash.
The moment was ruined when Rosamund walked in. "Mama?"
Alexandra pulled away from Alexis and turned to her daughter. "Hi, baby!"
"Not you!" Rosamund giggled and then ran over to Alexis, hugging her around the leg. "You!"
Alexis felt her heart rise into her throat, so she pulled Rosamund up onto the bed with her.
"Did you just call me mama?"
"Yeah, 'cause you love me!" She gave Alexis' belly a delicate pat. "And 'cause this my sissy!"
Rosamund leaned into Alexis' side and hugged her. Alexis did her best not to turn into sobbing mess.
"Do you like having two mamas?"
Alexis turned to Alexandra, who was almost as dumbstruck as she was. "What do you think?"
"Looks like we've got our own little family."
How I wish I could home with them tonight, Alexis thought.
"Rosa, sweet pea, what are you doing?"
The little girl had pulled away and was now giving Alexis' midriff gentle nudges.
"Not movin'..." She pouted and crossed her arms. "Auntie Bellamy's baby kicks me!"
Alexis raised her eyes at Alexandra. "Bellamy is also pregnant? When is she due?"
"In two weeks. She's crazy because she's determined to work up until her due date, but at least she's a bank teller. Nothing too dangerous there."
"And her baby kicks Rosa?"
"Milagros kicks anyone who gets too close to her and Bellamy, but she seems to really like Rosa."
Now that Alexis had a better understanding, she turned back to the toddler. "Sweet pea, the baby that's in my tummy isn't even big enough to move around like Milagros does. It'll be awhile before that happens, but I promise that you and mama will know when that happens."
Cheered by this, Rosamund got on her knees to frame Alexis' face with her little hands.
"Time to eat now!"
"Then what are we waiting for? Let's go!"
All throughout dinner, Alexis and Alexandra did their best to maintain their composure, because as much as they wanted to tell Alexis' family that they were an official couple now, they still needed to introduce Alexis to the rest of the Ryan clan first.
That wasn't to say that the Ryan girls weren't enjoying their time in at the Castle loft because they got along with everyone very well.
Even after dinner, when she watched Alexis play Candy Land with Rosamund, she just knew that Alexis was her one-and-done. She could easily imagine this time next year, too, watching them play the same game while she sat with the baby, singing her to sleep. The idea sent butterflies into Alexandra's heart.
"What are you doing way over here?"
Kate had come over to join Alexandra after noticing that she'd drifted away. The younger woman rejoined reality to see that she'd wandered over to one of the picture windows overlooking the street below where most of the sidewalk inhabitants we're walking with open umbrellas, on account of the steady rain from overhead.
Alexandra had been thinking about a future with Alexis for the umpteenth time, and Kate seemed to be reading her mind.
"If you ever break Alexis' heart, she has a number of people who will have her back, including a medical examiner and my whole precinct, which your brother is also part of."
"Alexis and the baby are both too important to me to dream of ever hurting."
"Good to know." Kate smiled and then glanced out the window, making note of the lightning forks in the distance. "According to Rick, who got it from a weather radar, there's a massive rainstorm coming in and blackouts are to be expected. We insist that you and Rosamund stay the night with us here."
Alexandra turned back to Kate. "Oh, we couldn't impose..."
"You wouldn't be. There's more than enough room for all of us, and-"
The sky suddenly opened up and sheets of rain came pouring down. This was followed by a tremendous thunder clap.
The lights went out, too, and Kate just raised her eyebrows at Alexandra.
"Okay, okay." The blond capitulated. "We'll st-"
"Allie, will you come over here?"
Alexis was beckoning to her, so Alexandra hurried over to see that Rosamund was in Alexis' arms, trembling.
"She wanted me to hold her," Alexis explained. "And now she's holding fast like a baby koala."
"How are you doing, Rosa?" Alexandra asked her daughter. "It's pretty noisy outside, huh?"
Rosamund tightened her hold on Alexis. "Yeah..."
"Remember what I said is going on in the clouds when the sky gets this way?"
"That's right - the elephants that live in the sky circus are having some fun!"
A particularly loud boom rumbled, shaking the windows ever so slightly. Rosamund let out another frightened squeak, so Alexis touched her forehead to the toddler's.
"You're okay, baby. Mama's here, I'm here. I'm here."
Rosamund finally relaxed and yawned as she kissed Alexis' cheek. "Love you, mama."
"Right back at you."
She was rewarded by Rosamund relaxing slightly.
Proud of herself and still in awe that she'd become a mother to the precious little girl in her arms, she turned to Alexandra.
"What's the time?"
Alexandra checked. "Seven forty-five, almost Rosa's bedtime."
"How about we go up to my room and make a blanket fort, or something? You two should stay the night because of the rain and the power outage."
"Kate's already told us that we're staying, actually, so we're set. Are there any flashlights or camping lanterns we can use?"
Fifteen minutes later, after acquiring some lanterns and extra blankets, the girls had set up a very nice blanket fort in Alexis' bedroom, with Rosamund dressed in an oversized t-shirt of Alexis' and making herself comfortable in a blanket nest. Alexandra had also borrowed some of Alexis' clothes to use later on for pajamas, but Alexis, just wanting to feel comfortable now, had changed into a tank top and boxer shorts that showed off her assets a little bit.
"What are you looking at me like that for, Allie?" She asked self-consciously. "Do I look like a dork?"
"Not in the least." Allie advanced a little closer and undid Alexis' ponytail so she could run her fingers through the long red tresses. "You look so beautiful, and very kissable."
"What do you mean by th- oh, my God... Keep going..."
To demonstrate her words, Alexandra had kissed Alexis on the mouth and then continued downward to the neck and shoulder areas. Alexis arched her to give Alexandra more access, especially when she got down to the tops of her breasts. Although the kisses were the feeling of bliss, Alexis willed herself to pull away first.
"Allie, I just enjoyed that as much as you did, but our daughter is over in the fort, waiting for us."
Alexandra smirked. "You said 'our daughter' just now."
"Well, she is ours, just as much as this one is."
Alexis held Alexandra's hand to her baby bump, which was giving itself away against the tight fabric of her tank top. Alexandra kissed her way back up Alexis' lips.
"Next time do this, I promise we'll be Rosamund-free."
"We better be. Now let's go check on her."
Rosamund was more than halfway asleep and didn't seem to care too much about the storm anymore. When her mothers laid on either side of her, she blew them sleepy kisses and giggled.
Alexandra pulled a blanket over the little one while Alexis gave her a soothing back rub.
"We're here, baby girl. We're here."
"Wha' 'bout sissy?" She yawned.
"Sissy's here, too." Alexis reassured her. "Our whole family is."
Rosamund gave a grin identical to her mother's and repositioned herself so that her tiny torso was flush against Alexis' own torso.
"Love my sissy..."
"And she loves you, too. So much."
Rosamund just nodded and was out like a light. Alexis looked over at Alexandra.
"Is this what it feels like to be a mom?"
Alexandra nodded. "This is just some of it. You'll have a lifetime to learn the rest. I'm still- Alexis?"
Lulled to sleep by the sound of Rosamund's breathing, Alexis was also out cold in a heartbeat but had wrapped an arm around Rosamund to keep her close.
Alexandra didn't fall asleep for ages, only because this time, she was wondering what kind of ring style Alexis liked.