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Unspoken - 8. The DS Incident

Sorry for the wait! Author’s notes after the chapter!

Nicolo and I stood inside the gaming section of the electronics store, looking around nonplussed at what were were searching for. This was one area we were both absolutely useless in.

We had just taken in an eleven year old foster boy in late March by the name of Bryce Easton Everard, and his first birthday with us was coming up on May 25th. Two weeks away. When we’d moved him in, we’d had his room decorated in colors he’d liked, and we’d gone out and gotten some nice, but not overly expensive, furniture to match. Clothes, shoes, school supplies, toiletries, bathroom supplies, and all sorts of small everyday things were purchased. We’d intentionally held off on entertainment things, so we would have something to gift him for his first birthday with us. We’d picked up a new set of Clue and Monopoly, and for the first time got Life, and we were planning on taking him swimsuit shopping so we could take him to the waterpark on his birthday, but we really wanted to get him a video game console. Problem was we didn’t know which one to get. Thus, our conundrum.

There were three to choose from, and as busy as the mall was, despite it being a weekday before school let out, this location of Blabbager’s Electronics Etc felt... empty.

I looked to my right, and up, tapping Nicolo on the arm. He looked down to me, and spoke plainly “che cazzo dovremmo prendere?”

I lifted my hands in response and spelled out ‘N F C.’

We were both startled from our vexation by a voice behind us.

“Anything I can help you find?”

We turned to see someone clearly just out of their teens, wearing a vest with the store logo on it, smiling hopefully at us. I know that they don’t work on commission, but they treat their employees well; this store is where we come for our electronic gear, and this is the store I came to for the HiFiMan headphones I got Nicolo for our fifth anniversary. Incensed that I’d spent so much on an anniversary gift, he stole my Miata and brought it here to upgrade the audio system. Just the thought of him driving that tiny- ass car still gives me fits of the giggles.

We’d been coming here for years, so both help from an employee and a younger one at that gave hope that we wouldn’t be too long in the deciding.

We weren’t, gladly. After maybe five minutes of explanations about the differences in the game systems, we’d decided on a Nintendo DS, which could be used in the living room, and when we were out, or even just in Bryce’s room. A Mario game, a Pokemon game, and a Zelda game were also purchased, though if he liked none of them we’d be willing to buy different games.

So we left with a decently sized bag, confident that we’d made the right decision. The timing was right, as well, as when we got back home, I hopped out of Nicolo’s Cherokee and right into my Miata to go pick Bryce up from school. We didn’t smother him, but we wanted there to be no doubt that we cared.

He climbed into the car with a slight smile, and a shy “Hi, Alex.” Before pulling out, I pointed to him, and held up my hand, thumb and forefinger in a circle, my other three fingers held up and spread.

He nodded. “School was okay.” Without another word, he turned and leant against the window, gazing out of the car. I didn’t feel rebuffed in the slightest. Bryce was painfully shy and ridiculously quiet, as a result of the ill-treatment his birth parents inflicted on him. Getting him to open up and talk with us would take time, we knew, and we’d just started seeing a therapist for him to deal with the abuse. He would get better with time and love.

Getting back home, again, we trundled into the house, and Bryce went up to his room to change, before we’d go out to get his hair cut. He’d not gotten a haircut since before he was removed from his parent’s house, which was two months before we’d gotten him. His therapist had said it was a good sign that he’d asked to get a haircut instead of waiting until one of us mentioned it.

Our hairdresser was in the same mall that the electronics store was in, so it was almost deja vu pulling up in Nicolo’s Cherokee. Nicolo led the way, with Bryce and I following, we were able to find a spot pretty close to the door nearest the salon. I dropped to the side, to take a seat just inside, as Nicolo led Bryce to Justin, our own preferred hairdresser. He knew exactly how long to cut my wolf’s tail, and he always managed to make Nicolo’s thick hair cooperate. We came once a month, as we were both a bit vain about our hair. Nicolo introduced Bryce as out new foster-son, and I could see Bryce’s eyes light up a bit at the appellation. Nicolo further told Bryce, whose pale brown hair was inches below his collar by this point, he could do his hair any way he chose. Bryce nodded an “okay,” and I could hear disbelief in his voice, but Nicolo just smiled to him, and made his way over to sit by my side, and wait.

Justin got him in a chair, and caped up, before presenting him with a style book. They chatted at a low volume as they flipped through, but by the end, a decision wasn’t made. Justin produced another book, and went through that, before pulling out a third. None seemed to give Bryce and idea of what he wanted. I saw him glance at me sideways, when I happened to look up from my phone, before motioning Justin to lean closer. He whispered in Justin’s ear, and I saw Justin glance my way too, before he smiled widely and nodded. All three books were returned from whence they came, and Justin set up what he’d need on the vanity. I saw a clipper with no guide comb on it next to a pair of scissors, some hair clips, and... a hair tie? I glanced up at Nicolo, who had his head tilted back and leaning against the glass window, eyes closed. I tapped him on the shoulder, and he glanced at me. I nodded towards Bryce, and by this point we could see that Justin has clipped his hair up just like he did mine. I got a questioning glance from Nicolo, and he flicked my tail, whispering “gli starebbe bene, penso.” I nodded in agreement, and he went back to relaxing. My phone went into my pocket, so I could watch Justin work.

He always chattered with Nicolo more than he did with anyone else, I think to make up for not being able to chat with me. We actually somewhat counted on Justin to chat with Bryce, see if he could make any headway at bringing him out of his shell. They talked at too low a volume for me to hear, but I could see that Bryce was conversing with Justin. I was surprised to see that he was smiling more honestly than most times he’d smiled since we took him in. Oh some of them were honest, like when we told him we wanted him, and when we showed him his room, and when we got back from buying him clothes, but most of his smiles were apprehensive, strained, faked, incomplete, or a combination thereof. Seeing him smile openly was quite a sight. As was watching someone else get a wolf’s tail as a haircut. Seeing it on yourself and seeing it on someone else was quite different. I was... touched, that Bryce would choose the same hairstyle as me. This was possibly the first indication that he liked me as much as we professed to like him. We don’t really talk, per se, as he only just started learning Sign. My eyes watered a bit, I had to admit.

Justin was quick, and after he was done, taught Bryce how to use a razor, and walked/taught him through shaving his head around the longer hair that made up the tail. I resolved that we would stop somewhere to get a good razor and a cream or gel afterwards so he could shave every day if he wanted to, like I did. As Justin was giving him a shampoo and a rinse, I tapped Nicolo again, so he could see Bryce’s hair finished before Bryce saw us. Toweling the hair dry, applying a small mount of leave-in conditioner, and a small amount of scalp cream, the same brand I use, incidentally, Justin tied the tail back, and handed the boy a hand mirror so he could see. He looked so adorable like that, and a quick look sideways confirmed to me that Nicolo agreed. Bryce was cute. His skin had a different hue, darker than my own pale skin, but with his hair like that he looked a bit like me. His eyes were a darker green, a hazel, compared to my lighter green, and my hair was a much lighter shade of brown, bordering on a light light reddish blonde, but he still looked a bit like me. I was flattered.

I looked up to Nicolo, pushing with my eyes that he would understand, and he looked to me, and I could see that he did. “Domani chiamo Ariana.”

Ariana was his only sibling in the US, and being a lawyer, would be able to find one for us in our state. Within the span of a haircut, our decision to foster Bryce just became a decision to adopt the boy.

Handing back the mirror, Bryce stood up, but when he turned back to see us looking at him, his smile shifted from one of happiness to one of apprehension. Justin laid his hands on his shoulders, and led him over to us. Nicolo remained seated, but I stood up, smiling as they approached.

“Well, I dunno about you two, but I think he looks great.”

I nodded, and Nicolo chuckled, “Yes, it looks really good! Better than the mop it was before!”

Bryce still looked nervous. His hands were clasped in front of him, and he wouldn’t meet either of our gazes. “Is...” he whispered, “is it okay that I picked this, A-Alex?”

I moved slowly, reaching out a hand to gently lift his chin. He reluctantly locked eyes with me. I nodded enthusiastically. I held up my left hand to my face, thumb sticking out, first two fingers extended to my chin but the ring and pinkie closed, and pulled my pointer and ring finger down. ‘Cute.’ A small but genuine smile broke free, and I pulled him into a hug, short and soft, but a hug nonetheless.

After pulling back, I paid Justin, with a hefty tip, as Nicolo led Bryce out of the salon. We had one more stop here in the mall before heading home, the swim shop. It was more than just swimming gear they sold, being the largest aquatic store in the city, but more than seventy percent of their floorspace was given towards swimsuits, nearly half of that competitive suits.

A hand on Bryce’s shoulder to lead him through the now-larger crowd, Nicolo exclaimed that since he now knew a bit how I felt, perhaps Bryce would like to see how it felt to be so tall? All Bryce had time to say was “hey, what?” before Nicolo grabbed him by the waist, and hefted him up onto his shoulders. Bryce yelped, and his hands flew to Nicolo’s hair, pulling at it probably as hard as he could. Nicolo let out a strangled cry of pain, and shifted his hands to cover Bryce’s, gently prying them from his hair, and moving them to his thighs, where he held them down to avoid more hair-pulling.

I doubled over, clutching at my stomach and heaved laughter, a slight noise the only audible evidence of it. Nicolo, having heard the noise before, turned to give me a pained glare. I struggled myself upright and under control, forcing my hands to say ‘that’s what you get for surprising him.’

“I’m sorry Nicolo I didn’t-“

“It is okay, piccolo!” Nicolo interrupted. “It is my fault for not giving you warning. I am unhurt. How is the view from up there?”

Bryce looked around wide-eyed, careful not to shift his balance. “I feel so tall! Is this how you see everything?”

“Yes,” Nicolo laughed. It really was quite a view from his shoulders. Being only five-two, I’d always wondered what it would be like to be taller. It wasn’t until Nicolo and I got together that I felt really comfortable with anyone outside my family to ask for a shoulder-ride. No one in my family is over six feet, so Nicolo being another half a foot taller was a hell of a difference.

My thoughts were interrupted by a whispered “Nicolo?” from Bryce.

“Yes, Bryce?”

“What does ‘piccolo’ mean?”

“Piccolo is Italiano for ‘little one.’ It is a pet name I would use for you, much like ‘midge,’ a pet name I use for Alex.”

I gently kicked at his shin, so as not to knock him down.

“Oh, okay” was all Bryce said. He would have to learn Sign, and he was, but we’d agreed that Nicolo wouldn’t teach him Italian either until he asked for it, or he’s learned Sign well enough to be considered fluent in it.

The rest of the journey through the mall to The Life Aquatic was spent in silence. Bryce remained on Nicolo’s shoulders the whole while, which wasn’t that long in the grand scheme of things. The boy was pulled down and set back on his feet before we entered, and Nicolo stopped to ask what sort of swimsuit he wanted.

“The board shorts are over there, the bathing suits there,” he pointed to all the different sections, “the jammers and tights for racing over there, and the brief and bikinis are over there.”

Bryce kicked at the floor shyly. “What do you two wear?”

“Alex was a competitive swimmer in his youth, and I grew up in Italy. We both wear briefs and bikinis. It is not common outside of sports here in America, though. Do you want to look at the briefs?”

Bryce nodded, blushing. “I wanna wear what you two wear,” he whispered, again. We would have to bring that up with his therapist. It wasn’t a subject we’d broached yet, but I imagine his lack of volume came from always being berated into silence. While he seemed comfortable enough with us to try to imitate, he wasn’t confident enough to speak louder. We would fix that. Nicolo could be as boisterous as anyone, and Bryce would learn to be as well.

We led him through the racks, stopping at a fitting station, that had a measuring tape, and several signs indicating where to measure. It took but a moment for Bryce to hike up his shirt, while I measured. He was definitely smaller than we both liked, but we also didn’t want to make an issue of it. Clothes readjusted, we made our way to the 22 rack, and Bryce started looking through the various brands and styles there. He kept giving us surreptitious glances, and after a few minutes had not even pulled one off the rack. I made a great show of getting Nicolo’s attention, and suggesting that we get new suits for the summer ourselves. It made a good excuse to let him see what we actually wore, and hell I’d buy another five if I had my way. They both agreed, Bryce looking a bit relieved, and we headed over to the 36 rack, for Nicolo. He much preferred a Euro cut, 1cm to 1inch at the sides, which I preferred as well, but while I preferred funky colors and designs, more conservative colors - basic reds, blues, black and white - and solids worked better for his skin tone.

Nicolo thumbed through a few suits, before pulling out, to my shock and disgust, a burnt orange Tyr. I snatched it hurriedly out of his hand, shoving it back onto the rack. They both turned to me in surprise, and I started to sign, hands moving slowly as had become habit, and Nicolo translating so Bryce could learn, as also had become habit.

Love, if there is one color you should never wear, it is burnt orange. That shade is terrible for your skin tone. Normal orange is okay, but never a burnt orange.

Nicolo pulled it back off the rack, holding it against his arm.

“Eugh, you are correct, bello. A normal orange, then. What other colors do I already have?”

Red, black, white, navy blue, and forest green.’

“Mmmmmm,” he hummed, “I think I will also get a royal blue, yes?” He shifted further down the rack, pulling off a royal blue tanga. He held it in front of his crotch, a sultry smirk aimed at me. “Good, no?”

I was entirely distracted as Bryce asked about that style, images of Nicolo posing like a bodybuilder running through my head, going straight to my groin. I shivered in delight, deciding that I really needed some lovin’ tonight, and shook my head to clear my thoughts. It turned out they were both looking at me, Bryce in confusion, and Nicolo in satisfaction. I smiled back, signing ‘come, my turn.’

I led them through to the 26 section, riffling through the suits quickly but efficiently. I managed to find an orange zebra-stripe patterned Tyr suit to match the one Nicolo had picked; a neon green Arena; on a whim I also grabbed a solid burgundy Speedo; another solid white shiny Mizuno to match a solid black shiny Mizuno I already had; and lastly, to my pleasure, I managed to find a matching royal blue tanga. The four previous suits held in my left hand, I lifted the tanga in my right, leering at my man, pleased to see heat in his eyes. Oh yes, we would have some good fun that night. Bryce seemed not to notice our sexual staring, or rather he was probably too young to understand what it was about, and in a surprising move, grabbed me by a wrist and started pulling me back towards the 22 rack, Nicolo following with his deep laugh. Bryce spent very little time searching before pulling out a burgundy pair, and a deep brown, both solid. I raised and eyebrow to Nicolo.

“Is it okay if I get two pairs?” He looked hopeful, and after Nicolo getting two and me getting another five to add to my excessive collection, neither of us were about to tell the boy ‘no.’ So we left with nine new swimsuits in a bag.

I remembered something just outside the store, and I stopped to hand the bag to Nicolo, and then motioned to the smooth part of my scalp around the wolf tail. ‘I shave this every day. Do you want to as well? I would teach you and help until you were able to yourself.’

Bryce’s face lit up. “That would be great Alex!”

A quick stop in the shaving store got him a new four-bladed razor, and several sample sizes of shaving cream and gel, aftershaves, moisturizing creams, and lastly two mirrors that could be set on a vanity or hung in the shower. We would try each out and see what worked best. I ruffled his hair on the way out to the car, and he flushed and batted at my hand, climbing happily into the backseat, clutching the bag from the shave store to his chest like he was afraid it would get taken away from him.

The rest of the day passed uneventfully; well, except for the passionate sex between myself and Nicolo, but that doesn’t really count. That happens regularly.

———

Two weeks passed, and we woke up on the morning of May the 25th. Bryce’s 12th birthday, and his first with us. We’d probably spent far too much on gifts, but Bryce hadn’t made enough friends yet to have a party, which was actually fine with us, as today would be extra-special for all three of us. We’d planned on a nice hearty breakfast, with a birthday cake following presents. Then we’d trundle off to the waterpark for most of the day. We hadn’t told him we were taking him there, yet, but he’d made mention of his classmates talking about it, and though he hadn’t specifically asked to go, hope was obvious in his voice whenever it came up. There was one gift that would wait until the end of the day. The biggest surprise for him, and hopefully the best gift of them all. That one was as much for us as it was for Bryce.

I gave sleepy Nicolo a good morning kiss, and rushed to the bathroom. Normally I would have breakfast going already by the time Bryce woke up, and we’d eat before showering, but the last two weeks or so have been different. I brushed my teeth, used the toilet, and washed my hands before trodding over to Bryce’s room. After brushing we would shave the scalp around our wolf’s tails together; by now he’s a dab hand at it, picking it up quite quick. He’s lucky enough to not need much gel to get a smooth shave, and a simpler cream for the shorn skin. I signed to him that he seemed to have things well in hand - really, he didn’t need help after the third day, and he had only nicked himself the once the first day - but he should still come to me if he had any questions or needed help. I did also recommend that he mount the mirrors in the shower, as the humidity from the steam helped keep things nice and soft. By this point an order had been made to pick up a good three months worth of blades, gel, and cream for Bryce. If he wanted to continue the wolf’s tail, we would order more, and set up an auto-order for six month’s worth. It was actually quite frightening that he was picking up Sign so fast. It took Nicolo the better part of a year to get even partly fluent.

After the gel was wiped clean, so he could shower, I ruffled his loose hair. He gave me a thanks, and a quick hug, before swiveling to start warming the shower. I caught a glance of him shucking his briefs in the mirror on the way out. It was odd that he was uncomfortable with some things, and seemingly careless about others. He never got dressed in the mornings until he was ready to leave the house. Oh he wore underwear, but nothing else.

Nicolo and I both preferred more revealing underwear in the form of jocks, thongs, string bikinis etc, so we’d switched from sleeping nude to sleeping in shorts, so that we wouldn’t be inappropriate in front of the boy.

After showering myself, I’d picked up Bryce on his own way out of his room, and bade him follow me so he could choose what he wanted for his birthday breakfast. Decisions made, he clambered up a stool at the island to wait for his food. I always set things up as I cooked, so food didn’t sit around cooling off as the table was set, so by the time Nicolo sleepily stumbled into the kitchen, the counter was set.

The fatigue radiated by my husband was vastly overshadowed by the barely restrained excitement flowing off Bryce. I managed to finish cooking a rather large helping of flinza, an eastern European style crepe I’d learned from one of Nicolo’s cousins who had lived in Poland, and quickly placed several different jellies, with a small - it had to be small or Bryce would drown his flinza - bowl of sugar.

“Mmmmm flinza, you don’t make this enough be-OUCH!” My arms were crossed as Nicolo gave me A Look for rapping his hand with the wooden fork I had used to roll the flinza. I gave him A Look right back. We both knew that he wouldn’t have eaten before the birthday boy, but Bryce didn’t know that. To our bemusement, Bryce just snickered to himself, reaching to move four of the rolled crepes to his plate, pulling the sugar and strawberry jelly closer as well. My the time he’d looked up from spreading jelly on two, and sugaring the other two, I was already seated and spreading blackberry jelly on my two crepes, while Nicolo was dripping cherry jelly on his. I found it amusing that we all liked our flinza different, considering how often Nicolo and I thieved each-other’s food.

It didn’t take long for us to devour our food, and I motioned Bryce to go wait on the couch while we took care of dishes. Generally I cooked and Nicolo did the washing up, so it wasn’t uneven regarding responsibility, but we both elbowed in to knock them out faster.

Dishes done, we hopped down to the basement to bring up the wrapped gifts we’d gotten. There weren’t many, as we didn’t want to spoil the boy, but there were a decent amount. We piled them on the coffee table in front of him, and while we didn’t sing, we did wish him a very happy birthday. He was smiling tearily as he opened the first present. It happened that the first three were the board games, which he seemed excited to play with us, and it popped in my head that we should also teach him some card games. Nicolo shifted some of the presents around, so the next two were an iPod and a decent pair of headphones. Bryce’s face shifted a bit. He was still smiling, but there was unhappy resignation hidden behind a now-faked smile. Nicolo and I caught it, however, and shared a worried glance. We made sure to hand him the box that held the DS, so that opening the last few gifts, the games, wouldn’t give it away, but the Switch didn’t even get clear of the wrapping before things fell apart. Enough of the paper was torn to show most of the word “Nintendo” and “DS.” Bryce looked... emotionally dead, eyes wet and dripping. His hands clutched at the box, but not as if afraid it would be taken. Nicolo reached forward across the table towards him, but as soon as he saw his hand, Bryce jerked to his feet, the box falling to the table, and he was off like a shot. He made a great deal of noise jumping up the stairs, and there was a final slam of a door, presumably his bedroom.

We stared at each-other in shock. “Cosa è appena successo?” Nicolo whispered. The question went unanswered as a loud pain-filled wail pierced the quiet. We rushed up the stairs, forcing ourselves to slow down once we got to the door, and gently opened it. Unlocked, luckily. Nicolo could easily have broken it down, but that would have probably made things worse. There was no sign of Bryce in the room, until we heard sobbing emanating from under the bed. Peering underneath, we saw him curled up facing the wall by the head of the bed. It wasn’t hard, as it was a memory foam bed with a solid frame instead of having a foundation; we’d wanted him to be able to have storage underneath. Stepping closer to the head of the bed, the sobbing became silent, but looking again we could see him shaking. Nicolo reached under, to touch his shoulder, eliciting a shouted “GO AWAY.” Nicolo jerked back so fast he flopped over. I motioned him to wait outside the room, which he made obvious by his footfalls. I dropped to my stomach, and crawled under the bed myself. It seemed that even in this state Bryce was still able to differentiate between Nicolo and myself, as I didn’t get shouted at when I tapped a finger on his shoulder. It jerked, as if to throw me off, but no shouting. I reached forward again, this time lightly grasping, and made to roll him towards me. I looked at him, worry and concern in my eyes, and he locked his gaze with mine, fear and apprehension in his. “G-go a-away” he spoke haltingly. I shook my head. Creeping closer, I managed to maneuver myself so that I could pull him against me. Despite his fear he must have been craving some form of reassurance, as he let me, and after a minute or so, he clutched back, shivering. I let go with one arm, and shimmied my phone out of my pocket. I typed “talk to me, please” in the notes app, and showed it to the crying boy.

“You don’t want me,” he whispered. I raised an eyebrow, questioningly.

He shook his head, eyes shut, before speaking again. “Mom and dad always bought me music and video games when they wanted me to go away. You don’t really want me here.” He let me go and rolled away. I shot a text to Nicolo to go get the papers from his office, and went back to the notes app. I managed to coax Bryce to read another message, “will you let us show you something?” He didn’t respond. I tossed my phone out from under the bed, and pulled Bryce back against me. Slowly, ever slowly, I started pulling him out. It took twenty minutes. He remained silent but compliant the whole while. As I finally was able to hop to my knees, to lift him up, his crying had abated to sniffling, and he was wiping at his eyes. I lifted him up to sit on the bed, and as soon as I sat beside him, he clung to my side. I nodded to Nicolo, who had been waiting against a wall, who then slowly sat himself on Bryce’s other side.

“Let me show you something, piccolo.” He held out the manila folder to Bryce, opening it up and setting it up on his lap. “The day after you got your haircut,” I ruffled at his loose hair, as he hadn’t tied it up today yet, “we called my sister Ariana in Texas. She put us in touch with a lawyer here in the city, and we got these papers in the mail two days ago. We had planned to take you to Waterworld today, and show you these papers as a final gift, but we think you need to see them now. Would you read the first page for me, piccolo. Please?”

Bryce gave me and then Nicolo questioning looks, before another sniffle and eye-wipe. Then he picked up the page, and started reading slowly, haltingly, getting faster as he read further down the page.

“Alex, Nicolo, and Bryce? Firstly, I want to offer my congratulations on your decision to adopt Bryce. The process is not fast, but you have nothing to worry about, I will see to that myself. The following packet is the application, already filled out based on the information you gave me. I took the liberty of filling in Bryce’s new name. If it needs to be changed, just call and I will reprint the pages that have his new name on it. I have highlighted where signatures and initials are required. The forms are simpler than they used to be, so it shouldn’t take too long. Please let me know if you find any errors. Sincerely, Joanna Ludlum. P.S. Bryce, this part is for you. Alex and Nicolo chose Bryce Alexander Bucello for your new name. If you dislike their choice, I know they will be happy to choose a different one with you. I can tell they love you a great deal, and you are lucky you have found each-other. If you want to talk, you also can call me.”

Bryce trailed off at the end of the letter. Nicolo took it from his hands, and put it and the folder aside. He placed a finger under the boy’s chin, lifting it to meet his eyes. “Bryce,” he choked out, “will you be our son? Will you call Alex ‘dad’ and me ‘papà?’”

“You...you want me?” Bryce looked over to me. I put an arm across his shoulders, nodding vehemently. “For ever?”

“Yes, for ever.”

“For ever and ever?”

“For ever and ever.”

“Yes. I want to be your son!” He twisted back and slammed himself against Nicolo, crying again and squeezing for all he was worth. We both took the hint and wrapped our arms around the boy. “Ti amiamo, figlio.”

It took over an hour before Bryce calmed back down again. When we finally split apart, I pulled back, and turned so I was sitting facing Bryce. He looked at me happy but confused, and I placed my left palm flat against the middle of his chest. His skin was still warm from exertion, and I could feel his heartbeat. I took his left hand in my right, and placed it flat against the center of my chest.

“D-dad?” He stuttered at the word. “I don’t understand.”

“Do you feel his heartbeat?”

Bryce nodded. “He is telling you ‘my heart beats for you.’ It is his way of saying he loves you.” I nodded.

“I love you too...dad! And I love you too, papà!”

We gave him another hug, and then coerced him into taking a short nap to calm down from the excitement, promising to take him to the waterpark another day.

The last thing we heard as we shut the door behind us was an exhausted “best birthday ever.”

Italian in this chapter:

Che cazzo dovremmo prendere - The fuck do we get

Gli starebbe bene, penso - It will look good, I think

Domani chiamo Ariana - tomorrow I will call Ariana
Cosa è appena successo- what just happened?

Ti amiamo, figlio - We love you, son

 

Yet another angsty and dramatic chapter in a story I’d originally intended to be lighthearted and hopefully a bit funny. Interesting how these things work out.

I’ve changed both jobs and shifts, and my husband stopped working because of his back. I’ve been writing this in snippets throughout, so no I promise it’s not abandoned!

Thanks for reading!

 

edit: I’m currently undecided on whether or not to do an “interlewd.” Feel free to provide your thoughts on the matter!

Copyright © 2021 Late to the party; All Rights Reserved.
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