I’ve been getting up early the past few days, waiting for the mail to come so I could get it before Isaiah could. My Uncle Gareth told me he was sending me the paperwork that finalized the adoption of August and I needed to get it and hide it somewhere so Isaiah would never find it and question it, knowing then that I had lied about everything I told him. My uncle and I planned on waiting a long while before doing this, August being under his and Aunt Nina’s name to avoid suspicion from the detective that I had anything to do with Jody’s disappearance, or her being pregnant, and now with that time passed, six years after August was born, August was finally under my name and I was now officially his guardian.
As I stood anxiously outside, waiting impatiently for the postal worker, I was trying to think of a good spot where I could hide this paper trail of lies. I needed to put it somewhere where Isaiah would never randomly come across it.. I didn’t even want the damn thing in the house so I could avoid that risk completely.. Maybe I could put it in the guesthouse somewhere? We hardly ever go in there.. No, never mind.. With my luck, or lack thereof, he’d go in there for a random, stupid reason and come across it.. I don’t want it in there, either, but.. Where could I put it?
“Waiting outside again, huh?” The postal carrier spoke and I gave a fake smile.
“Yeah, I’m waiting for something important to come,” I replied and she nodded, looking through her bag and she collected everything that belonged to us.
“Well, here’s your stuff,” she said with a smile, handing me the mail and I took it quickly, looking through the stack immediately, “I hope whatever you’re looking for came in today. Have a good one, Mr. Dubois.”
“Yeah.. Thanks,” I answered, not bothering to really pay attention to her anymore as I continued through the stack and finally, the last letter in the pile was the one I was looking for.. The one from my Uncle.
Isaiah was always used to getting the mail in the morning, so I put everything else back into the mailbox for him to get later and so that he wouldn’t question why I had purposely woken up so early to get it myself, wanting to avoid talking about this letter as much as I could. I shut the mailbox door and with a shaky hand, I folded up the letter quickly and shoved it into my front sweat pant pocket, not wanting to risk walking inside with it in my hand just in case Isaiah had gotten up already.
As I made my way back into the house, I continued to try and come up with a good hiding spot, still not wanting to hide it in the house at all, so I walked down the hallway that led to our room, stepping in slowly and trying to be as quiet as possible so I wouldn’t wake Isaiah. I noticed a decorative box in the corner of the room, something unimportant and I grabbed it, removing the contents within it and leaving the room just as quietly as I had come in.
After grabbing the box, I went outside to the backyard, finally deciding that burying it was my best option. I walked over to the corner of the house, kneeling down and I opened the envelope after taking it out of my pocket, seeing August’s real birth certificate with my Aunt and Uncle’s name on it, as well as the finalized paperwork that proved August was in my care now and I was his adoptive father. I quickly put the papers back into the envelope, then into the box I had grabbed and dug a hole roughly a foot deep next to the flower bush, putting it into the hole and hastily putting the dirt back over it, making it look as if there had never been a hole there, nor that anyone tampered with the yard.
I stood to my feet and went back inside the house, going into our bedroom and seeing that Isaiah was still sleeping, then walking to our bathroom and shutting the door quietly behind me. I went straight for the sink and washed all the evidence of dirt off my hands and from under my fingernails, making sure to clean the sink, as well, of any specs of dirt I could’ve left behind. I let out a relived sigh as I shut the faucet off, finally able to forget about all of this and able to go about my mornings like normal again without needing to wake up purposefully just to hide the truth from Isaiah.. But, I still couldn’t rest as easily as I thought I could after successfully hiding the paper trail..
After I dried my hands, my nerves were still acting up and when I looked at my hands, I noticed they were trembling and I clenched them into fists to try and get them to stop. I’ve been so anxious waiting for that letter from my uncle that even after I had safely hid it and could forget about it, something still stuck with me.. Well, truthfully, I’ve been restless a lot ever since Cybal gave birth to Isaiah and I’s second baby, which was roughly a year and a half ago, and it’s been a little stressful keeping up with August and his little brothers.. That, and I’ve been barely getting any sleep, anyhow, but it wasn’t all the kids’ fault, there were just some nights that I couldn’t sleep and anxiety kept me awake, or I’d have a bad dream where when I woke up, I wouldn’t be able to close my eyes again.. Maybe on my next day off I can finally sleep in and try to rest my guilty conscience so I didn’t look and feel so bad.
I was actually pretty excited to get up today because it’s Sunday, my day off of work, plus, I get to spend it with my whole family because it was Oliver’s birthday. He’s twenty seven today and I’ve arranged for Kat, James, and their daughter Parker to come over and spend the day with us. Oliver has a physical therapy appointment today which meant he’d be gone for a couple hours with his patient, but by the time he’d get home, everyone would be here waiting for him. I wish he didn’t have to work on his birthday, but I suppose it was a good thing since it allowed me to plan some things for him without him knowing.. I’ve noticed he’s been acting a little distant and restless lately, but I hoped today he’d be able to take it easy and be able to relax a little after his work was all done.
“Happy-” I started when I awoke, though I hesitated when I noticed his spot on the bed was empty, “..Birthday..” I continued with a sigh, hating that more and more lately I’ve been seeing his side of the bed absent of life and warmth when I’d wake up.
I listened to the baby monitor for a moment, though when I didn’t hear anything, I knew he wasn’t in the baby’s room and I got out of bed, ready to go looking for him, but once I was about to leave the bedroom, I heard the bathroom door open and I saw Oliver coming out.
A smile came to my lips, “Hey, there you are,” I expressed happily.
I walked over to him and as I looked to his face, my smile slowly dropped and without my glasses, I hadn’t noticed how bad he looked from across the room, but when I got close enough to him, I noticed right away.
“Oliver, you don’t look so good.. Are you okay?” I asked, reaching up to caress my thumb over his cheek and his body seemed to be there, but his soul seemed drained.
“Yeah, I’m okay.. Just tired,” he replied, giving me a weak smirk and I pulled him into a hug, wrapping my arms around his neck.
Oliver returned the hug wholeheartedly, wrapping his arms around my waist and pulling me close to him, though I could really tell how tired he was when he let his body slouch and it seemed as if it was a little difficult to carry his own weight.
“Maybe you should sleep more..? I want you to be well rested for today,” I said with a slight worry to my tone.
“Why..? What’s special today?” He asked with little interest and I pulled away from him a little to look at his face, feeling him pull his sleepy chin off my shoulder and he looked back at me.
“Are you serious?” I asked and he made a face as if he still had no idea what I was talking about, “It’s your birthday, Oliver,” I said with a soft chuckle and he didn’t seem to believe me.
“No it’s not, it’s not until next week,” he argued and I smiled.
“Uhm, noooo.. It’s today,” I confirmed and he still seemed confused.
“..Really?” He needed more confirmation and I nodded.
“Yup. Happy Birthday, babe,” I said with another soft laugh and he shook his head in, what I assumed, was disappointment in himself for being so careless.
“Wow.. I’m sorry, I’ve just been completely out of it lately and so tired.. I must’ve lost track of my days,” he answered.
“It’s all right, you’re with the kids more than I am and I know three of them can be exhausting, you just need more sleep. Why don’t you go back to bed? I’ll turn the baby monitor off, maybe go to the park with the kids or something, allow you to get some proper rest without any distractions. Your appointment with your patient isn’t until one in the afternoon, so that gives you about six more hours of sleep,” I expressed.
“Are you sure? I know August can get ready by himself now, but I should at least help you with Luca and Niko,” he offered.
“No, don’t worry about it, I got it. Just get back into bed and sleep as long as you’d like, you deserve a little time off from always having to keep up with them,” I encouraged and he smiled, letting me take his hand and I brought him back over to our bed.
I watched as Oliver lie back down and I sat down next to him, “Before you go back to sleep, do you want breakfast in bed or anything? I can put a candle in a muffin for now until I get you a cake,” I asked and he chuckled.
“No, I’m okay.. Thank you..”
“Of course, anything for you,” I answered, “Get some rest, okay? Let me know if you need anything at all and I’ll get it for you. Or, if you need anything else from me, I can definitely do it for you,” I implied, moving my hand down his side towards his hip and he raised his eyebrow in intrigue, though before he could answer, we both heard Niko start whining through the baby monitor and he was beginning to wake up.
“Perfect timing,” Oliver joked and I chuckled.
“I’ll wake you up before your appointment,” I acknowledged and he nodded with a weak, tried smile. I bent down to kiss his lips before standing up and I shut off the baby monitor for him so he could sleep without any distractions, leaving the side of the bed and before I left to go get the boys ready for the day, I changed out of my pajamas and into a comfortable Sunday outfit.
Compared to living in Oregon, down here in Cali, Oliver has less patients, therefore less appointments, however, he made a lot more money from them rather than from the ones he had up north. It was mostly because of the area that we lived in, it being much nicer than where we used to live, so without busying himself with tons of different appointments to make what he used to, he makes a little more doing a lot less now.. It also gave him a lot more time with the kids and I knew that it was exhausting work, but I also knew that he loved being home with them. I wished that I could be home a lot more, but, I still had the same schedule I did from when we lived up north. However, today was a Sunday and that’s the one day I never worked at the bar, giving me plenty of time to spend with my husband and my children.. I always, always looked forward to Sunday’s.
When I came upstairs, I went to August’s room first, knocking on the door and he replied without me needing to say anything, “I’m awake!” He called out and I smiled.
“All right, big guy,” I answered, leaving him be and going to Luca and Niko’s room next.
I stepped in and noticed Luca sitting up in his crib and he smiled when he saw me.
“Hey, good morning, bud. Did Niko wake you up?” I asked and he nodded, letting Niko whine for just a moment longer without me tending to him while I let Luca out of his crib. His full name was Luca Sukai Dubois, his middle name meaning ‘sky’ in Japanese for his bright and clear blue eyes that matched the color of mine.
“Hows my little man, huh?” I asked.
“Good,” he answered, bringing his cheek to my lips and I pecked him for a long moment before setting him on the ground.
“I’ll get you dressed in a second, okay? Play with your toys while I get your baby brother.”
I watched as Luca went straight for his block set, smiling towards him, then making my way over to Nikolai’s crib, seeing him crying with tightly shut eyes and I picked him up into my arms.
“My goodness, calm down, little bug,” I spoke softly, bouncing him gently on my shoulder and just from the contact I gave him, his crying started to subside and after I gave him his pacifier, he cooed soft, quiet baby mumbles and it warmed my heart in indescribable ways.
Niko’s full name was Nikolai Mizu Dubois, and much like Luca’s middle name being Japanese, so was Niko’s, Mizu meaning ‘water’ and it was for his deep blue eyes that were more that obviously from Oliver. Every day I spent with my little boys were the best days of my life and finally, after waiting what seemed like forever, I had the family I always wanted with Oliver. It truly was a dream come true for me.
After changing Niko into a clean diaper and clothes, I then got Luca dressed, all while still holding Niko in my arms, which was always quite the difficult task since Luca was so active and always loved running around and away from me. I was finally successful at getting him to stay still so I could dress him after about five tries and as we left their room, holding Niko with my one hand and holding Luca’s hand with the other, August came out of his room by himself, already dressed and ready and I smiled at the sight of him. He was such a smart, well behaved little boy and I enjoyed how independent he was already at his young age of six.
“You look sharp, Augie. Did you want to look good for Daddy’s birthday?” I asked and he nodded.
“Yeah. Did I do good?” He asked and I nodded.
“You did, don’t worry. I’m sure Daddy will appreciate it, too. He’s really tired this morning, though, so we won’t see him much until a little later. You’ll need to help me keep these two quiet so he can rest, think you can do that?” I asked and he smiled.
“Yup, I can help!”
“Good. Thanks, buddy,” I replied, all of us walking to the stairs and August went first, telling him to be careful and to hold the railing and I helped Luca down the stairs by holding tightly to his hand, taking one step at a time with both feet on each step just like he did, and eventually, we made it downstairs together.
I brought them all to the kitchen for breakfast and put Luca into his high chair, giving him his food first and as a bottle warmed for Niko, I made eggs and bacon for August and myself. Getting them all dressed and ready for the day was always the hardest part, but it got easier as the morning went on with a little help from the morning kid shows on the kitchen television to help distract them. I contemplated making an extra plate for Oliver, but seeing as he had said ‘no’ to breakfast earlier, as well as not wanting to wake him if he was already asleep, I decided against it and I went about the morning trying to focus on the kids instead of the exhausted, overwhelmed birthday boy.
After breakfast with the boys, I spent the rest of the morning outside with them in the backyard, August and Luca playing in the sandbox, or playing hide and seek, or playing tag together while I spent the whole time sitting in a lounge chair under the shade with Nikolai in my arms. I loved sitting out here now more than ever since I had something to watch and occupy myself with rather than just sitting out here alone and only being able to wish for what I had now.. Even sitting out here with Oliver was a little, well, I don’t want to say boring, but a little uneventful, or maybe just a little too relaxing without the boys to watch.. Oliver relaxed and let the songs of the birds and the sound of the ocean be his muse while I sat out here and longingly waited to fill the yard with noise and laughter from more kids. Now, every day I needed to convince myself that this wasn’t a dream, that this all was actually real and that this all was really happening. Everything that I wanted was right in front of me, and what made me happier was that we still weren’t done making more additions to the family.
Niko was only a year and a half old and the best choice between each pregnancy was to wait between eighteen to twenty-four months, so we had a few more months to go until Cybal could get pregnant again, but I was still completely ready for her to be. I wanted all of this, and still so, so much more.. I just couldn’t get enough of it as I watched August and Luca playing together while also staring adoringly at Niko looking right back up at me with freckled cheeks and these big, beautiful blue eyes that reminded me of the love of my life.. What’s better than looking into your child’s eyes and seeing everything you fell in love with in the first place inside of them? I was so proud of how far we had come, especially for how much Oliver, himself, had come, and I was excited for so much more with him.
Around noon, an hour before Oliver’s appointment with his patient, I brought the boys inside and opened our bedroom door, letting Luca and August run in and August helped Luca onto the bed with Oliver, then climbed up himself, which Oliver then wake up and he smiled instantly at the sight of our boys.
“Happy Birthday!” August expressed happily as he sat on the bed.
“Happy Bertday, Daddy,” Luca then followed August’s lead.
“Aw, thanks, you two,” he answered, tousling Luca’s hair and his eyes then met mine, his expression softening as he then looked to our littlest in my arms.
I approached the bed on Oliver’s side and he welcomed Niko into his arms as I handed him off.
“How’s the little bug doing?” He asked, both of us having the same nickname for him, just like how August was ‘big guy’, since he was the oldest, and Luca was ‘little man’, since he was right in the middle.
“Perfect,” I replied, sitting next to Oliver and joining them all on the bed.
“Cake, cake!” Luca chanted, hitting Oliver’s leg gently and Oliver and I laughed.
“Not now, Luca,” August said with a smile, disciplining Luca before Oliver or I could.
“August’s right.. Not until I get back from work, little man.. You, especially, don’t need any sugar right now..” Oliver replied and I chuckled.
“Did you sleep good?” I asked, noticing that the bags under his eyes were gone and the whites of his eyes weren’t as bloodshot as they were before.
“Yeah, actually.. I really needed that, thank you..” He answered and I smiled, glad to have been able to give him some much needed time alone to sleep and he leaned in to kiss me for his thanks.
“You’re welcome. We’ll wait here, go shower or whatever you need to do before your appointment,” I encouraged and he smiled and nodded, handing me back Niko and I held him as Oliver got up and went to the bathroom to shower and get ready.
When I heard the shower start and I knew Oliver couldn’t hear us talking, I went to the boys for advice, “So, what should we get for Daddy on his birthday?” I asked August and Luca, watching them think for a moment with wildly cocked eyebrows and open mouths, their eyes going around the room as they thought long and hard.
“A puppy!” Luca said excitedly and I laughed.
“Not what you want as a present, what does Daddy want?” I asked again and he seemed displeased by me not saying yes to a puppy.
“Pool toys!” Luca then suggested, “Daddy likes swimming,” he continued.
“True, he does, but he doesn’t need pool stuff, he’s already a really, really great swimmer.. Good idea, though, Luca.”
“What about sushi?” August then suggested.
“What a great idea, Daddy’s favorite food! We can definitely do that,” I replied and he smiled, proud of himself for thinking of a good idea and I was happy to have figured out dinner.
When Oliver was done showering and getting ready, he left for his appointment and I brought all the boys back upstairs, laying down Luca and Niko both for naps and August wanted to play in his room, so I took that time, while I had my hands free, to call James and ask him and Katalina to buy dinner on their way here and telling them I’d pay them back when they got here. I was extremely excited for Katalina to get here, especially, because she was bringing my present for Oliver that I was going to give him after the kids were in bed and we could be alone. I really, really hoped that he would like it.
Around three in the afternoon, an hour before Oliver was supposed to get home, James, Katalina and their daughter, Parker, who was around Luca’s age, arrived and I took the to-go bag full of sushi from James. I paid them back for grabbing dinner and we brought everything into the dining room, setting the bags down and Katalina set down a cake, something I had completely forgotten about to get Oliver, but even if I had remembered, there wasn’t any way for me to get to the store.. Taking three boys under the age of six, anywhere really, can be quite the nightmare.
“Oh, thank you so much for getting a cake, it completely slipped my mind,” I told Katalina and she smiled.
“You’re welcome. I figured something would get forgotten, you have three boys to worry about and we can’t have a birthday without a cake,” she replied and I nodded.
“Very true,” I answered, coming up to her and giving her a warm hug, then shaking James’ hand after, “How are you two? How’s the baby doing?” I asked, watching as both of their expressions softened and warmed and James wrapped his arm around Kat.
“She’s doing just fine, actually,” Kat said with confidence as she placed her hand over her growing tummy.
“She? You two wanted to know the sex?”
“Yup, another little girl,” James confirmed and I smiled adoringly.
“That’s great. How’s Parker taking it?”
“She’s not too thrilled with the idea of a little sister,” Katalina answered, then lowering her voice, “Which is why she’s being such a little brat lately,” she said quietly as Parker slept on James’ shoulder.
“Oh, I see. Well, that’s too bad,” I replied.
“Eh, what can you do?” James asked rhetorically, “Where are the little monsters of yours?” He asked with a playful grin and I laughed.
“August is upstairs playing in his room, Luca and Niko are napping,” I replied.
“I’m gunna go say ‘hey’ to the little dude,” James said and Katalina and I watched as he brought Parker with him upstairs to go see Augie.
I grabbed the cake from the table and looked to Katalina, motioning with my head for her to follow me and I set down the cake on the counter in the kitchen, then turning to face Katalina.
“Did you bring it?” I asked her with an eager tone and she smiled.
“Of course I did,” she replied, running to go look through her bag and she came back with a picture frame with a photo in it, handing it to me and I looked at it with an adoring smile on my lips.
“Thank you for doing this, he doesn’t have any pictures like this from when he was young so I thought it might be something he’d like to have,” I said as I admired the photo of Oliver’s mother holding him when he was a little boy.
“You’re welcome. My mom has a lot of my Aunt Hannah’s things in her attic, seeing as my dad doesn’t want to get rid of any of it, but has no room to put it anywhere. I went over to my mom’s and she found a couple photos, but I thought this one was the best,” she answered, stepping up next to me and admiring the photo with me.
“It really is a nice one. This is my first time seeing Oliver’s mother,” I pointed out and she seemed surprised.
“Really? I would’ve thought you’d have seen a picture of her a long time ago or something,” she pointed out and I shook my head.
“Nope, this is a first. He never really ever talks about her, I don’t know anything about her at all. She’s completely gorgeous, though, you can really tell that he’s her son,” I complimented.
“Yeah, she was really pretty, ’til she was murdered an all,” she spoke casually and I felt my heart drop.
My eyes widened and I looked to Katalina, “I’m sorry.. What..?” I asked and Katalina made a face as if she was in trouble.
“Shit.. Oliver never told you, did he?” She asked and I shook my head, “Fuck.. Well, just act like I didn’t say anything. I’m sure there’s a reason why Oliver never told you. He hates when people look down on him, he probably never told you because he didn’t want you to feel sorry for him,” she continued and I sighed heavily, looking at the picture again and now completely regretting this present.
“..Is this a terrible idea now? I don’t want to make him sad on his birthday, nor do I want him to be reminded of what happened..”
“No, it’s a good idea. He’ll like to have it,” she answered.
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah, positive. He’ll appreciate it and the trouble you went through to get it for him,” she replied and I was only slightly relieved.
“..What did happen?” I asked, curious now what had happened to his mother. The first time I ever met Oliver, one of the first things he told me was that his mother was dead and he hadn’t seen his father in fourteen years, but after that, even as our relationship progressed and even to this day, he never talked about his mother again.
“I probably shouldn’t be telling you this, but I just can’t believe he never did tell you, by now at least.. It kind of sucks for me to talk about, too, but.. Oliver’s dad was always working, like, always working, and I guess Oliver’s mom eventually grew tired of it and started seeing someone else behind his back,” Katalina hesitated, but then continued, “She was seeing my dad, actually..” She continued and my eyes widened again.
“Her own husband’s brother?” I asked and she nodded, “Wow.. Talk about how to start a sibling rivalry,” I said in disappointment, “So, Camilla is..?”
“My Aunt Hannah’s and my dad’s daughter, Oliver’s and my half sister,” she answered and I sighed.
“Yeah, pretty fucked up.. Apparently Oliver’s dad caught them in the act at his moms bakery that she owned, and for some reason he already had a gun with him. He shot her right here,” Katalina pointed upwards underneath her chin, “Then he shot his brother three times. Once in the right hand, once in the right shoulder, then once in the left knee.. Luckily, he let my dad live, but not without giving him some things to help him remember what ruined their bond,” she finished and the more she explained, the more heartbroken I was for Oliver.
“..Wait, Oliver’s Dad killed her?” I asked with more shock and she rolled her eyes, but only at herself, not me.
“Fuuuck, I just keep spilling more and more, don’t I?” She asked rhetorically, “Yeah.. Oliver’s dad did it.. That’s why he left the family, I don’t think he could face Oliver after what he had done, taking away his and Camilla’s mom like that,” she continued and just thinking about all of this was causing me to get a little depressed, but I was also a little confused.. Oliver said that he had reunited with his father a couple of years ago and he said everything worked out, but I just couldn’t understand how he could forgive his father for doing something as serious as killing his mother. I didn’t believe anyone deserved to die like that, but then again, my opinion didn’t matter in this situation. However Oliver and his father figured things out between them was exactly that, between them.
“Poor Oliver,” I said with remorse oozing out of every pore, but Katalina hit my arm and I looked at her in confusion, “What?”
“Hey, drop that shit right now. He can’t know that you know, and he especially can’t know that I told you.. He’d be so upset with me if he knew I said anything and he’d never talk to me again,” she said with worry.
“I know, I know. Of course, I won’t say anything, but how the hell am I going to give this to him without worry written all over my face as I anticipate a reaction? We can read one another pretty damn well and he’ll know somethings wrong the moment I let my face change,” I said, worry already beginning to build up even though I still had a ton of time before I would give this picture to him.
“Then don’t you dare let it,” she threatened and I grew intimidated by her.
“You’re right, I can’t.. I won’t..”
“Good. Listen, stop thinking about it and go about your day completely normal, just like you always do. Nothing has changed. Just give him the picture with a pretty little smile on your face and let him react however he wants to, understand?” She made clear and I nodded in agreement.
“Shit, I think he’s here.. I heard a car door in the driveway,” Katalina announced and we both looked, confirming that Oliver was here when we both saw him walking up to the front door.
“Just stall him or something, I’m gunna go hide this in the bedroom really quick,” I replied and she nodded, walking towards the door as I left the kitchen and went to our bedroom. I shut the door behind me and looked around the room quickly, trying to pick out a spot where he wouldn’t have any reason to look there until I was able to give this to him and I ultimately picked to hide it under my pillow.
“Hey, Ollie! Happy Birthday!” Katalina called out louder than she needed to and I assumed she was trying to let me know that he was in the house now. After shoving the frame under my pillow, I heard footsteps outside in the hallway, then the doorknob turn and I looked up, seeing Oliver open the door and I tried to make it look like I was making the bed.
“Hey, uh.. How was you appointment?” I asked, finishing fixing up the blanket and I turned to face him.
“It was okay.. You’re choosing now to make the bed when we have guests?” He questioned and I was frozen for a moment.
“Uh.. Yes?” I said more as a question than I intended and he chuckled.
“Okay.. Well, I promise not to go snooping around for my present, even though I know exactly where it is now,” he called my obvious bluff with a grin and I laughed softly.
“You got me. I’ll give it to you later when everyone’s gone and the kids are asleep,” I answered and by the expression he had given me, as well as his cheeks turning a light shade of pink, he took my words in a different way, “It’s an actual object, not just me being a pervert,” I added and he chuckled again.
“Well, I guess I wouldn’t mind both, if both were an option,” he implied and I raised a rather aroused brow, stepping up to him and wrapping my arms around his neck.
I spoke quietly near his lips, my gaze bouncing between them and his eyes, “Mmm.. Let’s close the door real quick. I wouldn’t mind giving you a little present now,” I suggested, catching the door with the tip of my foot and I shut it before I leaned in to kiss him. I felt his arms slowly wrapping around my waist, pulling me against him more and I deepened the kiss as I push back against him, pushing him gently up against one of the walls in our room and he let out a soft moan when his back connected with it.
“Hey, guys! Are we eating dinner, or what?” Katalina called out from the dining area and Oliver and I both reluctantly ended our kiss, though to keep him wanting me, I lifted my leg between his knees and grazed his excitement, hearing a soft hiss of an inhale through his teeth and I grinned as he looked at me.
“So unfair..” He pointed out and I snickered.
“Think you can wait until tonight?”
“It’ll be extremely difficult,” he answered.
“It’ll be well worth it, I promise,” I replied, leaning in to kiss him briefly before pulling away, “Come on, help me get the boys. The dinner we got for you was their idea,” I continued, taking his hand and I led him out of the room and towards the dining room back where Katalina was.
James had brought Parker back downstairs and August and her helped Katalina get dinner all set up at the dining table, then Oliver and I each grabbed Luca and Niko and brought them downstairs, as well. August got his own chair next to Parker who sat on Katalina’s lap, James then next to her while Luca sat in his high chair between him and Oliver, and I held Nikolai as he still continued to try and wake up a little more from his nap. The room was buzzing with conversations and laughter and although I didn’t contribute all that much, which wasn’t really like me at all, I simply enjoyed sitting back and admiring everything that I had. How far we had all come still amazed me and we all finally had little families of our own. I was proud of James for finally confessing his love to Katalina and even though she was playing hard to get, or whatever it was she was doing, I was happy that she had finally come around and saw what an amazing guy James was. Now they were married and had a little girl of their own with a second on the way. I was so excited and happy for them.
I then glanced towards Oliver, each bright smile he gave being contagious and I always felt my lips curling up to a smirk whenever I saw him so happy or every time he laughed with his smile stretching from ear to ear. I couldn’t help it. We had been through so much together and the fact that he was happy now after everything that this poor man has been through made my heart soar and the only thing I wanted in life was to give him more and more of that happiness. He deserved nothing less than that.
However, when I started to think about what he had been through, especially after what Katalina had told me, I couldn’t help but let my expression fall and the more I looked at him, the more I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him.. But, when I felt a sharp kick in my shin from Katalina kicking me under the table, those thoughts were replaced by pain.
“Ow,” I let out softly and I looked up to Katalina, her eyes screaming ‘stop fucking thinking about it!’ and I made a face as if to apologize to her without using words.
“You okay?” Oliver asked and I looked to him, a smile instantly on my lips and I nodded.
“Yeah, I’m great,” I replied and he smiled back.
“You’ve barely eaten anything, are you not hungry?” He then asked and I hadn’t even really payed attention to the food at all.
“No, no, I just wanted everyone else to eat first, that’s all.”
“Well, I don’t know about you guys, but I am completely full,” James added.
“Same here,” Katalina tossed in.
“Yeah, me too.. The rest is yours,” Oliver offered and I nodded in thanks with a smile on my lips.
After everyone was done eating, including myself, August hopped down carefully from his chair and came over to Oliver and I, “Can I go upstairs and play?” He asked, though I looked towards Oliver to give August an answer, seeing as it was his birthday and whatever he wanted today, that’s how it went.
“Sure, big guy.. Take Parker and Luca with you, okay?”
“Okay,” he answered, Katalina letting Parker down from her lap and Oliver picked up Luca from his high chair, setting him down on the ground.
“Help them up the stairs, and be careful,” I instructed towards August and he nodded, walking behind Luca and Parker and escorting them upstairs with him to play.
Katalina, James, Oliver and I sat in the dining room for a long while talking, but once it reached around eight at night, we called the birthday celebration quits since Katalina was a little tired and wanted to take Parker to bed soon. James ran upstairs really quick to grab Parker so they could leave and we wished them goodnight, Oliver giving me Niko to hold as I let him say goodbye to his cousin that was practically his sister, as well as his ‘brother-in-law’, and they left after both giving Oliver long, strong hugs and telling me goodbye, too, and Kat couldn’t resist showering our little bug Nikolai with kisses before finally leaving, as well.
After they left, Oliver looked to me and stepped up to me, too, looking at Niko and he smiled, “I’ll get the boys to bed, I want to.. I’ll be back downstairs soon.. Then I’m all yours,” he said with a warm smile and I gave an excited expression, nodded happily and I kissed Niko’s cheek before handing him to Oliver and I watched as he left the foyer to head upstairs to wish our boys goodnight. Although I wanted to come along and do the same, I looked at the dining table and knew I needed to clean up before going to the bedroom, so I cleaned while I waited for Oliver.
I cleared off the dining area and brought everything to the sink in the kitchen to wash, putting away any leftovers, as well. After washing everything and putting the plates and what-not away, I looked to the island counter top and noticed we never filled his cake with candles and he never made a wish.. We never came back into the kitchen.
Instead of putting it away in the fridge for tomorrow or for leftovers, I left it out, beginning to stack it with candles and I lit them just in time to hear him coming back downstairs and I looked towards the doorway to the kitchen, seeing him standing there with the most beautiful smile.
“They all in bed?” I implied towards our three boys and he nodded, “Good.. Come make a wish, cute-stuff,” I implied and he chuckled with a wide smile, coming into the kitchen and he stepped up to his birthday cake full of candles.
“I wish that-”
“No, no, you can’t say it out loud without blowing them out first, or it won’t come true. Don’t you know that?” I stopped him and he smiled more, letting him have a short, silent moment to himself and he then blew them all out with one gentle gust of exhaled air and without spoiling me on what he had wished for, “Think it’ll come true?” I asked.
“I hope so..” He implied, watching as his eyes traveled over me and my heart started to race a little. I absolutely adored when he was openly flirty, or openly wanting me and it made me shake with excitement when I knew that I was the only one he wanted, even wished for. However, before I gave him the love that I more than obviously knew he wanted, I wanted to give my present to him that I hid under my pillow.
“Come with me,” I invited, extending my hand to him for him to take and he took it without hesitation, letting me guide him to our bedroom and I shut the door behind us.
“Sit down,” I instructed next, locking our bedroom door, for whatever reason, and stepping over to the bed he sat on. I joined him on it, reaching under my pillow and I looked at the picture again before handing it to him, not bothering to hide the fact that it was a photo in a frame, but I knew the real surprise would be the picture, itself.
God dammit, I was so nervous as I stared at the picture, knowing he still couldn’t see it, but just staring at it made me rethink if I should give it to him or not, even though I was holding it no more than a foot away from him.
“Are you.. Going to give me my gift, or not..?” He joked somewhat and I finally just decided to do what Katalina said.. Just give it to him and let him react to it however he felt he needed to.
“Uh, yeah, sorry.. Here,” I expressed, finally handing it off towards Oliver and he took it from my hands with an appreciative smile on his lips, though when he looked down at it, his cute smile disappeared almost instantly. I couldn’t look at him anymore, letting my gaze meet the floor and I waited for any sign from him telling me that he liked it or loved it or hated it.
Shit.. It’s been about fifteen seconds of complete silence so far and I still had no idea what he was thinking..
Thirty more seconds passed, and yes, I was counting.. It was literally painful to sit here in the silence with him as my stomach turned into knots.
“I, uhm.. I just thought you’d like a picture like that. Forgive me if you hate it, I just knew nothing about your mother besides the fact that you miss her, so, I thought giving you a picture of her and yourself would be a nice thing to have, that’s all,” I explained myself after the grueling and painful silence that filled the room for far, far too long. He hasn’t said anything for an entire minute now and I still hadn’t even looked up at him, still a little ashamed of myself for giving it to him because of what Katalina had told me about his mother earlier, but once I finally looked up at Oliver, his expression was exactly what I had feared.
Oliver’s cheeks were completely wet and glistening with tears, his lips parted just slightly, his eyes refusing to break away from the framed image and immediately, my heart fell into my stomach and I reached for him, rubbing the back of his neck with my thumb.
“I’m sorry, I-” I stopped, hating to see him crying on his birthday, but even more-so hating that I was the one that made him do it. It was all my fault.
Oliver set down the picture frame on the floor and his hands came up to his face, hiding his expression as he sobbed softly within the palms of his hands and I moved as close as I could to him, wrapping my arms around him and holding him tightly.
“I’m sorry, Oliver.. I wanted to make you happy, not make you sad,” I didn’t think I could apologize enough in this situation.
“I’m so sorry, babe.. It’s your birthday and I made you cry, I’m such a piece of shit. I’m so sorry,” I continued to apologize, hearing his sobbing breaking my heart more and more as he continued without saying anything back to me, but I was at least glad that he hadn’t pushed me away from him.. That meant something good, right?
“I-I..” He tried to speak, though he then suddenly wrapped his arms around me tightly and I could feel his tears drenching my shoulder, “T-Thank you,” he forced through his tears and those words made me instantly come out of my rather remorseful and depressing state. For a second there, I thought he hated me, I thought I had given him the worst possible gift that I could and I even hated myself, but I was so, so happy to have been wrong. It still broke my heart that I had made him cry, but at least they were happy tears.
“You’re more than welcome, my love,” I replied, feeling him hold me tighter, “I was so worried you wouldn’t like it, or that you’d hate me for it, but I’m so glad that that wasn’t the case,” I continued and he pulled away from me, watching as he looked up at me as I wiped his face with my thumb to try and clear away his tears.
“I could never hate you.. Not ever.. Could you?” He asked and I gave a warm smile, his tears and his words making me want to cry, too, but I managed to keep myself from doing so.
“Never. I love you far too much, Oliver, no one could ever make me as happy as you do,” I replied, seeing him smile through his emotional state and I pulled him gently towards me, connecting our lips and his were slick and salty from the tears he had shed. As much as I loved and adored seeing him so happy to the point where I could bring him to tears, I felt his bottom lip beginning to tremble again and I knew he wasn’t done crying yet, but why?
I pulled my lips away from his and he pulled away from me completely and abruptly, watching as he faced forward and I grew concerned, “Oliver? Are you okay?” I asked with worry, watching as he hung his head as his tears continued and I touched his back in comfort.
“I-I, uhm.. I can’t do this anymore.. I don’t feel right about this..” He replied and I grew confused and nervous.
“..What’s that mean?”
“You’re so, so good to me and I’m such a terrible person.. I don’t feel right about this anymore, because I can’t keep pretending to be something I’m not.. I can’t live with it, you don’t deserve this.. I don’t deserve you,” he continued and I removed my hand from his back, my brows furrowing in both suspicion as well as concern.
I could feel my heart constricting in my chest, “Where is this coming from? ..Do you.. Not love me anymore?” I asked and he looked to me immediately, grabbing my hand.
“No, of course I do.. I love you so much that every time I think about you, my heart still beats out of my chest and my stomach turns into knots and I just.. I love you too much to keep lying to you,” he replied and I snatched my hand out from his, “Isaiah, please, let me explain before you get mad at me-”
“What is it this time? Seeing someone else? Get someone else pregnant and not tell me?” I brought up the past, a shitty thing to do, but I couldn’t help it.
“No, of course not!”
“Did you even go to your appointment today? Or were you with someone else?”
“N-No.. No, I would never cheat on you!”
“Then just spit it out! Because I don’t want to waste any time dancing around the entire subject like you like to do,” I warned, “I fucking hate liars, you know this. I’ve told you to never lie to me again and yet, after all of this, you tell me that you’ve been lying to me about something, and from what I’m guessing, you’ve been keeping it a secret for a while, right? So just say it!” I continued and tears still fell down his cheeks as he looked at me.
“God dammit, Oliver, that puppy dog face won’t work right now,” I expressed angrily after the cat seemed to have caught his tongue, standing to my feet and I paced around the room a little before facing him again, trying my best to keep calm so I could hear him out, though it was proving to be quite difficult.
“You’d better tell me or I swear to God, I’ll go straight upstairs, grab the three of them and leave right now,” I threatened to grab the kids and leave and he threw his hands up, alarmed at the fact.
“No! No.. Please, don’t..” He begged and I could feel my body heating up with anger.
“You have ten seconds, Oliver, and don’t take that time to just think of more lies,” I warned.
“Okay! Okay, I- I lied about what happened with Jody and August.. And my uncle.. I lied about all of it,” he admitted, tears still steadily falling down his cheeks and I stood there stunned and without any words to give back. He’s been holding this in for over six years.. Six long, difficult, faking-happy years and I felt myself at a complete loss. I thought he was doing good, I thought we were over him keeping things from me and I thought there was nothing in the entire world he felt like he needed to hide anymore, but apparently I was still wrong about him.
| Next Chapter |
I don’t think I’ve posted August’s stats yet, so I’ll post them here with Luca and Niko’s.
August Bryce Dubois
Current Age: Child (6)
Traits: Insane, Disciplined, No Sense of Humor
Food: Potato and Truffle Torte
Music: Beach Party
Luca Sukai Dubois
Current Age: Toddler (3 1/4)
Traits: Insane, Athletic
Music: Island Life
Nikolai Mizu Dubois
Current Age: Toddler (Almost 2)
Traits: Insane, Good
Food: Grilled Salmon