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Parasitic Love - 34. Epilogue - Happy

For better or worse, it's done! I finished it! No more Parasitic Love!

 

Hope this epilogue isn't too corny for, ya 😂

Epilogue - Happy

Connor carried the last backpack out to the van and stuck it in the back. They were going to Disneyland in a few short hours. It had been Julie's idea. She's bought all the tickets. But still, it was Connor who was up before dawn, packing the last minute necessities such as snacks, juice for the kids, water for the adults, sunscreen, and blankets, blankets, blankets.

He pulled out the checklist M and the drone had made the night before and ran down the items, making sure he had everything.

He did.

He went through the garage and living room and found his way to the coffee machine in the kitchen. He'd started a pot maybe thirty minutes ago when he'd decided to load up the van. He poured a hot cup and carried it back to the living room.

He turned the news on, volume low because the rest of family was still asleep down the hall. He sat in his favorite chair and sipped his coffee while he watched.

He wasn't a fan of being up so early, but he did like his quiet times. The kids were great and he loved them dearly, but he'd also grown to appreciate the brief times he got away from them. Kids were loud. They had no understanding of inside voices…

Connor finished his coffee and set the cup aside. He put his feet up on the recliner and tried to pay attention to the news story on the renovation of the strip mall downtown. He felt his eyelids closing however, and before he knew it, he was fast asleep.

"Daddy!"

"Umph!"

A 45-lb toddler fell in his lap, narrowly avoiding his nutsack. Liam looked into Connor's dazed, sleepy eyes with a matching blue set of his own.

Just as M had predicted, Liam had Connor's blue eyes and M's blond hair. He had a really nice tan now, too, because he'd been spending so much time outside, running around with the neighbor boy.

"Are you awake?" Liam asked. "Because we're going to Disneyland today!"

"I'm awake," Connor said unconvincingly, blinking a few times in an attempt to wake up further.

Liam pouted and Connor tried again.

"I'm awake." He sat up and grabbed the boy around the waist. He picked him up and blew a raspberry on his little belly.

Liam screamed with laughter. "Daddy, daddy! Stop!"

Connor set the kid on the floor and Liam ran giggling off to his room.

"Get dressed!" Connor called after him. "You aren't wearing the puppy pj's to Disneyland."

"Aww," Liam groaned from the other room.

Connor smirked as he got up and grabbed his cup. He shuffled into the kitchen for another cuppa.

As he came into the room, he spotted his husband making pancakes and eggs at the stove. His precious drone was circling the room overhead. She was putting dishes away with the matter beam they'd invented.

Mother was excellent at putting dishes away and folding clothes. She was also their virtual assistant. She compiled grocery lists, did Google searches on any kid related question they had, and she also gave Connor his morning commute before work, not that he needed it. He had a regular GPS in the van.

Either way, M's little AI mother figure had its uses. Connor never regretted them fixing her.

"Mmm." Connor came up behind M and slipped his arms around his waist. He was pregnant again, and Connor rubbed his little bump lovingly. "Smells good."

M smiled. "Morning sleepyhead. Did you get everything packed?"

"Yeah," Connor said. "I checked the list like a million times. I got everything."

"Thanks sweetie." M turned in Connor's arms and kissed him passionately. Connor hugged him close and held the back of his head tenderly. His other hand traveled downwards and M giggled as Connor boldly grabbed and squeezed his asscheek.

"M?" the drone began in her cool, mechanical voice. Connor and M drew apart awkwardly. "You might want to add one more item to your list. I read an article when I was booting up this morning. They're predicting an increase in the mosquito activity for the next few days. They're coming inland with the storm that's supposed to hit Sunday night."

M smiled fondly. "I'll throw some bug spray in my pack before we go." Then he casually turned back to the pancakes.

Connor glared at the pesky drone. She was always helpful, but she was also frequently in the habit of interrupting them when things got hot. Like normal, he tried to ignore it." Babe, you're working too hard. I stayed up to help with breakfast," he said, coming to look over the food M had cooking.

"Looks like you didn't make it," M joked.

Connor scratched the back of his neck. "Yeah."

"If you really want to help, you could get the baby up."

Connor shrugged. "Alright."

"And there's more coffee. Get some more if you'd like."

Connor grumbled under his breath, but took M's suggestion. He grabbed another cup of caffeine and shuffled out of the kitchen, kissing M on the cheek as he went and ducking out of the drone's way as she swooped by with a stack of clean plates.

He walked down the hall and into the third bedroom. It was small, but it big enough for the crib, changing table, and a few toys.

Laney stood up in her crib when Connor opened the door. "Morning sweet pea," he said to her.

Laney answered with a huge grin that showed off her four new teeth. All of them up front.

Little Laney had just turned one. She had curly blond hair and hazel eyes. She was beautiful and was always smiling and cheerful. Everyone loved her. She was a joy.

Connor set his coffee aside and picked Laney up. He talked cheerfully to her about their upcoming day at the amusement park as he changed her and got her into some Minnie Mouse overalls and little pink shoes.

"Go find daddy in the kitchen," he said when he was done. He set Laney down on her feet and after a brief look over her shoulder and a beaming smile, the little girl took off at a wobbly pace down the hallway.

Connor smiled after her. She'd started walking a month ago. 11 months. He was so proud of his little daughter.

He went into Liam's room next. He shook his head as he looked around at the mess.

Liam stood in the middle of the room, pulling a blue Monsters Inc t-shirt over his head. The shorts he had on and the covered sandals were good, too, but it looked like the boy had gone through his whole closet to find the right outfit.

"Is this OK?"

"Yes," Connor said. "But let's pick up all your other clothes before we finish. It looks like a tornado came through here."

Liam rolled his eyes, but he picked up the jeans on the floor, folding them sloppily.

"In the drawer where they belong," Connor directed as he shook out Liam's nice button down shirt and slipped it onto its hanger.

They made quick work of the clothes and went out to the kitchen together for breakfast.

Laney was already in her high chair with a half-sized pancake on her tray. Connor sat Liam in his chair in the middle and then sat at the head of the table.

"When are we going to Disneyland?" Liam asked as M made up their plates across the room.

"Maybe an hour after breakfast," M said.

"An hour?" Liam grabbed his cup of juice as the drone set it in front of him. She flew by Laney next and deposited a sippy cup with milk on her tray.

"I've got to get a shower before we go," M continued from the counter. "And your father still has to get dressed. Look at him, he's still in zombie mode."

"I know," Liam agreed. "I think he left his coffee in my bedroom."

Connor glanced around the table before realizing he was missing his coffee. He growled and got up to go find it.

He found the cup in Liam's room. It was still warm and he stopped to take a few sips. He could hear Liam and Laney laughing from the kitchen and the sound made him smile.

The past four years had been the happiest of Connor's life. Adjusting to a new baby and a husband hadn't been nearly as difficult as he'd imagined.

They'd started off living at Julie's house, raising the baby with her help. Jamie and Nathan had their little girl the very day M had Liam, but Alex had been almost two months premature. They'd kept her in the hospital for a long time; Connor couldn't remember how long though.

So, Liam had been the only grandkid for awhile. He'd been smothered in love and attention by Julie. M had learned a lot of parenting tips from her and Connor and Julie had bonded over the baby, becoming closer than ever. It had been a pretty comfortable arrangement.

A couple weeks after Liam was born, Connor decided to seriously look into getting his CDL. He took a job in the meantime though, loss prevention at a large chain department store.

He'd hated it. The work was boring and stressful, but the pay was alright. Connor had muscled through it for a couple months until he'd saved up enough to put himself through truck driving school. He'd signed up for night classes and had never looked back.

He'd started driving across the country when Liam was one. The position wasn't a good fit, though. The pay was amazing, and Connor was able to get them the small three bedroom that they had today. He was never home though. And M was unhappy being with the baby all day by himself, sometimes for weeks on end.

After a year of it, Connor had switched to regional driving. He took a paycut, but M was overjoyed when he started coming home every night. It was worth it and M was pregnant again within the year. Connor wasn't even upset when he told him.

They were expecting their third now. Another girl. Connor had plans to move Laney into Liam's room now that she was sleeping through the night. The new baby would get all of Laney's hand-me-down furniture and toys and clothes. They'd learned from the first baby not to buy new things for their young children. They outgrew everything so fast, it wasn't worth it…

He went back to the kitchen to eat his breakfast. The kids made faces at each other and laughed all through the meal, but Connor was in a different world entirely. He was looking forward to the future, to all the craziness his little family would cause. He smiled into his last bite of pancake. He couldn't believe he was going to be 30-years-old this year… Now that was craziness…

When his plate was clean, M stood up and took it away. He squeezed Connor's shoulder as he went past, taking it to the sink. The drone jumped on the dirty dishes immediately.

After he ate, Connor went out to their little back yard and put a leash on the dog. Jack was getting old, but he still jumped up, excited to see Connor. He was looking forward to his walk and the bowl of dog food that came after.

"We've got to keep it short, boy," Connor said to his old friend as they went out the gate at the back fence. "I've still gotta jump in the shower and throw something on."

Jack looked up at him sympathetically.

Connor lead the dog down two blocks and then circled around to make a loop. Maybe 10 minutes in, Jack stopped to do his business and Connor praised him profusely. He hustled them back to the house, filled Jack's food and water bowls and then rubbed him affectionately behind the ear.

"See you tonight, buddy," he said.

Five minutes later, Connor met M in the shower.

Liam was in front of the TV, "babysitting" the baby while the adults got ready to go. Laney was in her playpen with the drone hovering nearby. She was safe. The little girl was distracted by her pile of stuffed animals anyway.

"Hey," M said in a sexy voice as Connor climbed into the shower stall.

"Are you ready for this?" Connor asked, reaching around M for the bar of soap. "Liam's got enough energy all on his own. Alex is pretty wild too. Add them together and… Well, it's going to be a long day."

M laughed. He was soaping up his hair. The scent of peaches wafted through the air as warm water flowed between Connor's legs.

"We'll get through it," M said confidently. "Three adults on two kids… We have them outnumbered."

Connor hoped M was right.

They finished up in the shower and got dressed in cool clothes across the hall in the master. The drone said it would be 90 plus degrees today. Everyone was getting slathered in sunscreen before they entered the park.

They got the baby's bag packed and checked it three times over. They made sure Liam had gone to the restroom. M put the drone on her charger. Then, Connor packed up the stroller while M strapped the baby in her car seat. Liam hopped in the back and Connor buckled him in.

"Everyone ready?" Connor asked rhetorically as he got behind the wheel.

"I think so," M said, sliding in beside him. He had a fanny pack strapped to his waist, under the baby bump. He had a neon yellow visor on over his soft blond locks.

Connor smiled at him. "You look really cute."

M chuckled. "Is that supposed to be a joke?"

"Not at all." Connor hit the garage opener and he backed the van down the driveway. "I'm being completely serious. I wish you would have that baby already so I could put another one in there."

M laughed. "You are joking."

"Stop. I'm dead serious."

They drove slowly through the neighborhood. It was still early, but there were always kids running around, riding their bikes and skateboards.

They lived in a lower income neighborhood. It was the best they could afford on a single paycheck, but it wasn't bad or anything. There were lots of trees and grass for the kids to play on. Most of the houses were ranch style with neat, maintained lawns. There was also a park at the end of the block that Liam loved.

They were passing the park now, but Liam had eyes for nothing but Disneyland. They had to drive across town first though. They were missing half the group still.

They were going to Julie's. She didn't live in the big house on the bay anymore, though. After Connor, M and, Liam had moved out, Nathan and Jamie were right behind them.

Nathan worked at a call center, go figure. He was a pretty decent telemarketer. Apparently, he was one of the best sales people on the team and he brought home commissions regularly.

Jamie was moonlighting as a waitress four nights during the week. Her main thing though, was school. She was almost done with her degree, too. She was studying to be an RN.

They had an apartment 10 minutes from Connor's place. It was kind of a hole in the wall, but they were proud of it, and they were moving up.

Anyway, Julie had suddenly found herself in an empty nest. A pricy one. She'd downsized and got a fancy little two bedroom condo on the beach instead.

They pulled into grandma's little driveway when they arrived at the condo. Instead of getting out, Connor honked. There was no point unloading the kids just to load them all back up again.

After a few moments, Julie came out of the house, a beach bag over one shoulder, a fanny pack at her waist, and a little girl hanging off her free arm.

Connor laughed under his breath. "She's got the fanny pack, too," he said.

"She's the one who gave it to me," M said.

"Well, that explains it." Connor pressed the button for the back door as Julie got closer to the van. It slid open smoothly.

"That is so neat," Julie commented. "Good morning everyone."

"Hi grandma," Liam said, then to his cousin: "Hey Alex."

Alex beamed as she climbed into the back seat of the van. She sat next to Liam and waited for Julie to buckle her in.

Nathan’s and Jamie's daughter was a little doll. She had her dark hair in a short, sassy bob and her big brown eyes were to die for. They were fully capable of melting a full grown man's heart."I've been thinking about it," she said in her soft, childish voice. "I want to go on that teacup ride first."

"No, I want to ride on the train," Liam said immediately. "My friend Devon told me it's the best."

The two cousins bickered back and forth as Julie got Alex situated. She got in the last row of seats once she was secure, and leaned over the middle row to kiss and say hello to baby Laney.

"Hello little lambchop," Julie cooed.

"Everyone buckled?" Connor called back into the van. He smirked at M. Their crazy day was just beginning.

"Hold on a minute!" Julie yelled from the back. She tossed her beach bag into the back and then got buckled into her seat. "Good to go!"

Connor snorted and backed the van into the street. "Next stop, Disneyland!"

The kids shouted with excitement. Laney yelled along with the kids, happy to be surrounded by all the excitement.

"Why couldn't Jamie and Nathan come?" M asked as they drove towards the on ramp. The GPS on the dash said this was the fastest route.

"Nathan couldn't get out off work," Julie said. "And Jamie has school. She's so dedicated, she'd never skip class."

M pouted. "I want to go to school, too. It sounds like fun."

"It's not just fun, it's supposed to get you a good job," Connor said.

"I think I want to be a nurse too," M said. "I want to help people."

Connor smiled. "As soon as you stop having babies, maybe you can find the time to take a class or two."

M hit him in the arm. "I can have babies and go to school."

Connor rolled his eyes. "Good luck. Why do you think Jamie stopped at one? Because she wanted to get her schooling out of the way before they try for another. They're smart. We're stuck in our house now. We live pretty much paycheck to paycheck. If you want to go to school so you can get a job, then by all means, go for it. "

"I can babysit any day of the week," Julie spoke up from the back. "I'd be willing to help out with the fees, too," she said. "I offered to help Connor, but he wanted to do everything on his own. I help Jamie with her schooling."

M smiled snottily at Connor. "I think I'll look into it."

Forty minutes later, they were pulling into the huge entrance of Disneyland.

The kids were screaming their heads off.

"Quiet down, you two," Julie clucked at the children. "Connor's trying to find a space to park. Why don't we put some sunscreen on so we can go straight into the park."

Liam moaned, but Alex nodded and unbuckled her seatbelt. She hopped in the back with grandma and held her arms out as she waited for Julie to get the sun protectant out of the back.

Julie made quick work of the kids so when Connor finally found a decent place to park, it was only a matter of getting the baby in her stroller and grabbing their bags.

The kids ran ahead towards the entrance. They were still arguing about the best rides.

"Here's everyone's tickets," Julie said. She pulled an envelope out of the beach bag. "Hold onto them, Connor."

Connor pocketed the tickets and sighed. He looked up at the large amusement park spread out before them.

He'd never been to an amusement park before. This was everyone's first time except for Julie. Apparently, she'd taken Nathan a million times in the past.

Secretly, Connor was glad Nathan hadn't been able to come. Connor had vacation days. He had a nice benefits package at work. Screw Nathan and his company's policy of 'mandatory attendance'. Everyone needed personal days now and then, what kind of bullshit policy was that?

They got to the entrance and spent the next fifteen minutes weaving through lines to get in. As they approached the end of the line, Connor crouched down to the kid's level and looked meaningfully from Liam to Alex.

"When we get inside, let's go on the first ride we see? How about that?"

Liam nodded. "OK," he said easily. The waiting must be getting to him. He was squirming with impatience. He wasn't up for a fight anymore.

Alex shrugged. "I don't care."

Connor rolled his eyes. He patted both kids on their shoulders and stood up to adult height once more.

It was going to be one of those days.

***

"Merry Christmas!" Hannah said when Connor opened the door.

He stepped out on the front porch and engulfed her in a bear hug. He'd missed Hannah a lot more than he'd realized.

Hannah hugged him back. She laughed breathlessly. "How long has it been?"

"A couple years," Connor said. "You were here right after Laney was born."

They finally broke apart. Hannah's eyes were misty. She blinked and looked away, wiping at her eyes covertly.

"How old is she now?"

"Laney? Laney is four," Connor said. Then he filled her in on the other kids, too, just in case she wanted to know. "Liam is seven and Lily just turned two."

"And M is pregnant… Again?"

"Mmhmm," Connor pressed his lips together, trying not to ruin the surprise with his goofy grin. "Guess what?"

"Oh, let me in already," Hannah complained. She pushed past Connor and into the front hall. "Wow," she said, looking around. "Nice place."

Connor smiled. They'd just painted the front hall after Thanksgiving. It was a lovely warm yellow.

Since M had gotten his associates in nursing, he'd started working part-time while he finished his bachelor's. They were making good money now, and they'd gotten a bigger place when M fell pregnant for the fourth time.

Connor started to shut the door behind Hannah, but he paused . He looked down the driveway. There was a black Jeep sitting at the end. Connor thought he saw someone in the driver's seat.

"Where's Bradley?"

"She'll be up in a minute. She's finishing your Christmas card," Hannah said with a dramatic eye roll. "Talk about last minute."

Connor snorted and shut the door. "Want some wine?"

"Sure. We're not going anywhere tonight?" Hannah asked. "Are we?"

"Probably not," Connor said. "The kids wanted us to driveby the big houses with the fancy Christmas lights tonight, but we should get them to bed early. It's Christmas Eve." He wagged his eyebrows and smiled.

Hannah drew back and gave Connor an odd look. She peered at him closely. "Connor Flynn? You hate Christmas."

Connor laughed. "Not anymore. Didn't you see our Christmas card?"

"Yeah!" Hannah cried. "That's why I'm here! I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Mopey Connor, huge grin on his face, surrounded by a bunch of happy little kids and a beaming husband… It looked too good to be true."

"Well, its true. I'm happy," Connor said. "We're all pretty happy. Life is good."

Hannah gaped at him.

"Cmon." Connor gestured for Hannah to follow him into the living room. "Let him pour you some alcohol."

Hannah followed him and sat down in front of the fireplace.

"Wow, Connor, it looks like your doing really well for yourself," she said as she looked around.

There was a small bar in the corner of the room. It was all locked up for the sake of the kids, but Connor had the keys. He unlocked the bottom shelf and took his favorite red wine from the top.

"I'm just a truck driver," he joked. "And M isn't even an RN yet."

"Yeah, but your house is beautiful."

"Four beds, two and a half baths, a finished basement," Connor bragged. "Yeah, it's not bad."

He brought two glasses of wine to the couch. He set them on the coffee table in front of the fireplace and sat next to his old college friend.

The living room had fancy hardwood floors and a marble fireplace. There was a big screen TV over the mantel and they had a decent sound system set up around the room. The furniture was leather. Their big bookcase was crammed full of M's medical books.

They'd set up a huge 7 foot tree this year, and it was decorated impeccably with white lights and gold ornaments. The amount of presents underneath was overwhelming, but just the same, the huge pile made Connor very proud. He'd never had a Christmas like this before… His kids were spoiled rotten.

He'd gotten a better paying position at a different company maybe a year ago. They'd moved into this place not long after.

He was still driving trucks. He liked it. He didn't have to deal with people, he jammed to his music all day and cruised down the highway in peace. It was relaxing most of the time.

M was super busy most of the time now between school and work… He'd ended up doing surprisingly well his first year. He'd done even better his second. Connor had his fingers crossed he would get in the RN program this spring. M's GPA was good, he had recommendations from teachers, and everyone at work loved him. Connor was sure he'd get in.

Meanwhile, Julie was saving them an arm and a leg in babysitting by coming to their house everyday to watch the kids. Her place was starting to get a little small for Connor's brood.

But anyway, the kids loved grandma and Julie treasured every minute she go with the kids. She was a very good babysitter.

Hannah sipped her wine. "I'm still teaching."

"How's that going?"

"My place isn't this big," Hannah laughed. "But it's very rewarding. "

"I have a big house because I have three kids, a fourth on the way," Connor said bluntly. "Julie cosigned with us."

Hannah took a bigger gulp of her wine. Connor joined her and took a healthy swig of his alcohol.

Suddenly, the doorbell rang rapidly a few times in a row.

Hannah stood up. "That's Bradley."

Connor sat back and drank his wine while he waited for the girls to return. He heard muttering in the hall and finally, Bradley appeared in the doorway, Hannah at her side.

"Connor," Bradley nodded politely. She had a couple bags in each hand. Overnight stuff, Connor guessed. He wondered where his damned Christmas card was…

"Nice to see you, Bradley. Would you like a glass, too?" he asked instead.

Hannah had carried hers into the front hall. She took a nervous swallow and giggled. "It's good," she said. "You should have some."

"I'm more of a beer girl, but… When in Rome, I suppose," Bradley said with a shrug.

Connor took that as a yes. He got up to refill his glass and get another for Bradley.

"You can set your bags down for now. Sit down. Relax," Connor said. He was already feeling a bit light headed from the wine. He drank from his glass as he traipsed across the room with Bradley's. He held it out to her and finally, Bradley set bet bags to the side in the hall then took the glass.

They all came into the living room and sat around the fire. Connor stared into the flames as he drained his second glass of wine. He felt nice… warm…

"How was your trip to Orlando?" he asked after a brief pause.

"Fine," Hannah said. "My mom's new condo was flooded though. She was absolutely furious and we all ended up staying in a hotel."

"Sounds… fun?"

Bradley chuckled. "It was a disaster. It's a miracle we'd already told her we were coming here for Christmas. It was a relief to get out of there."

"Beth was being her normal pleasant self?" Connor sneered.

"No," Hannah said sadly, completely missing Connor's sarcasm. "She's been miserable since she moved down here. She wants to come home."

"Um… Why did she move down here in the first place?"

Hannah huffed. "After she fell at home and broke her hip, she decided she needed to be in a 'senior community'," Hannah used her fingers to form quotes around the word. "She thought coming down to sunny Florida would ease the transition. It's been a complete horror show."

Connor quirked an eyebrow.

"We were with friends on Thanksgiving," Hannah started. "Mom must have called me 50 times, complaining about the criminal maintenance men sneaking around the condo. You know, they all want to take her angel figurines."

Connor laughed.

"Shut up," Hannah glared at him. "It's been this way since she moved over the summer. Every couple days she calls to complain about something new."

"What's she complaining about? Find a different condo."

Hannah shook her head. "I swear. She's been bent out of shape ever since I came out and started dating Bradley openly," she scowled. "I think mom wants attention."

Connor didn't know what to say. "Sorry," he said lamely.

Hannah finished her wine and got up to pour herself another. Connor watched her fumble with the expensive wine glass, but finally, she smoothly poured herself a cup.

"So," Connor turned back to Bradley. She sat in Connor's favorite recliner, catty corner to the couch. "What are you doing with your days? Working?"

"Of course," Bradley cautiously tried her wine. It seemed to meet her satisfaction because she continued to nurse it now and again. "I work for myself now," she said. "After my bad experience with a corrupt police force, I felt the need to mete out my own brand of justice."

"Oh?" That sounded interesting…

"I'm a P.I." Bradley said.

Connor stared at her. "A what?"

"A private investigator," she clarified, glaring at Connor a bit. "Most of the cases that come my way involve cheating spouses, but every once and awhile, I get a good one."

"Oh yeah?"

"Just last month, I helped solve a missing person case," Bradley said. "We found him. Alive and well," she grinned. "Actually, it was another cheating spouse thing, too, because the guy went missing when he ran off to be with his secret lover."

Connor snorted.

"It was an interesting case," she said defensively.

"Well, hey! Are you guys on vacation until school starts?" Connor asked. "That's not until after New Years."

"No," Hannah said from the bar. She drank her wine slowly, lifting it deliberately from the bar and setting it firmly back down again. She looked drunk already. "We have tickets back home for the day after tomorrow."

"We were supposed to go back to Beth's place after we do Christmas morning here," Bradley said, making a face.

"It's not fancy or anything, but we put an air mattress in the nursery upstairs," Connor said. "The crib's in there and a rocking chair, but there's plenty of room for you guys."

"There's no way I'm going back to Beth's if I don't have to," Bradley said darkly.

Hannah finished her second glass.

The three of them worked on getting drunk for the next hour. Once the wine was gone, Connor liquored up the jug of eggnog they had in the fridge. The kids didn't like it. They wanted chocolate milk instead. Nobody was going to miss the sad jug of eggnog.

They were drinking shots of liquored-up eggnog when M, Julie, and the kids came in the door.

Liam immediately ran up to his room, but Laney stuck around, hanging onto Grandma Julie's legs as she peered into the living room at the two strangers. Lily was fully capable of walking, but she was on M's hip, enjoying a free ride. She was oblivious to Connor's guests.

"Connor, sweetie, there's groceries out in the van, can you grab them," M said as he pulled Lily off his hip and started to take off her little hat and coat. It wasn't freezing outside, but M was cautious about their young ones catching colds.

Julie took Laney's hand and brought the little girl into the living room. "Hannah, Bradley," Julie said warmly. "Merry Christmas. It's been a long time."

"That's what I said to Connor," Hannah said. She got up, swaying a bit to the left. She walked unsteadily across the room and wrapped Julie in a hug. "You're awesome, Julie. I miss you."

Connor laughed. He forgot what a lightweight Hannah was.

Bradley came to Hannah's rescue. She smiled apologetically at Julie and then put her arm around her girlfriend. She carefully drew Hannah away and back to the couch. She sat beside her and now all three of them shared the space.

"Enjoying a little eggnog, I see," Julie said with a little smile. She glanced at the bar, at the jug of eggnog with the bottle of rum beside it.

Connor stood up to attend to the groceries outside. He stopped to ruffle Laney's messy blond hair. She pushed him away with a laugh.

"So sorry, mom," Connor sneered. "It's Christmas. I didn't know I had to be on my bestest behavior. I've been good all year long."

Julie rolled her eyes at him. "Your father loved to drink on the holidays. They were his excuse to get extra booze."

"Are you trying to guilt me now?" Connor laughed, because he so wasn't guilty. His kids lived in a mansion, he'd grown up in the shittiest trailer in South Dakota. Marshall was a terrible excuse for a father and a man… Connor was confident in himself and his ability to parent. He was doing pretty well in his opinion. No one was going to tell him differently.

"No, Connor, I'm not." Julie reached up and stroked his cheek. "I don't honestly know why I said that. Go get the groceries, dear."

Connor raised his chin. He had nothing to be ashamed of and he knew it. He walked past his mother and went out to grab M's groceries.

"I'm never going grocery shopping on Christmas Eve. Ever again," M was saying as Connor dragged the twelve bags of groceries into the kitchen.

Lily was in her high chair, waiting for her afternoon snack. "Daddy!" she said when she saw Connor.

M turned around from the sink. "Ugh! I can't stand all these dishes! Can I turn Mother on now? Please?"

"I don't think it's wise," Connor said, setting the bags on the counter top. "It's alien technology."

M pouted. "I hate dishes."

Connor came up behind the blond. He was aging nicely. He had a streak or two of gray in his hair, probably from the stress of three kids, school, and 25 hours of work each week. But he was still vibrantly blond. His eyes were as green as emeralds. And he'd kept his shape.

Connor was amazed every time he did it, but after the kids were born, he almost immediately snapped back to his normal weight, no stretch marks, no sagging gut. He was slim and tight and his ass was just as delicious as always.

He hugged M tightly from behind. He rocked him side to side.

"There were so many people at the store," M said. "It was crazy. If Julie hadn't been there, I would have lost all the kids in a heartbeat."

Connor laughed. "Sorry baby."

"It's not your fault. I don't know what I was thinking," he said harshly. "We're feeding all these extra people tonight and tomorrow and we barely had enough in the fridge to feed ourselves."

Connor hugged him tighter. "The holidays are stressful. There's nothing to worry about now, though. You got all the food and everyone's home and safe. Hannah and Bradley made it. Mom's here. Jamie and Nathan will be by for breakfast in the morning. Everything's fine."

"And I've got a mountain of food to make," M whined.

"Oh my God, mom's going help you," Connor pointed out. "She already volunteered. And good luck keeping Hannah out of the kitchen! She loves to help."

M sobbed. He ducked his head into the sink.

Connor rubbed his back. Behind him, Lily calmly sang The Itsy Bitsy Spider from her high chair. She played with her stubby fingers, watching them closely and the way they moved.

"Let me go get some help," Connor said quickly. He darted out of the room.

"So, where are all you girls coming from?" Bradley asked Julie as Connor hurried into the room.

Laney was gone and Julie sat on the couch with a glass of eggnog. Bradley was back in the armchair and Hannah was watching the conversation with wide eyes, obviously very drunk and probably unable to cook, too.

"Last minute grocery shopping," Julie said, raising her eyes to the heavens. "I haven't seen a crowd like than since I worked retail during Black Friday."

Bradley smiled. "It's the holidays. They always make people a little crazy."

"I agree," Julie said. She drank some eggnog and gasped. "My, it's a little heavy on the rum."

Connor burst into the room, unable to listen to the inane chatter while M fell apart in the next room.

"Mom," he called. "M needs help in the kitchen. He's having a melt down."

"Another one?" Julie sighed, but she put her drink down and stood up determinedly. "It must be the pregnancy hormones. His emotions are all over the place."

She left the room and Connor rubbed his temples to dispel the headache he already felt coming on. He went to sit in the space his mother had vacated and grabbed her drink.

"Everything OK?" Bradley asked.

"M's freaking out about dinner," Connor said, knocking back the eggnog. He thought it tasted alright…

"I could help out," Bradley offered. "I help Hannah in the kitchen sometimes. I can follow directions."

"The kitchen's through the hall," Connor said. "You can't miss it."

Bradley finished the last of her drink and took the empty cup into the kitchen with her.

Connor was suddenly alone with Hannah. She slumped in her seat and turned to stare into his eyes.

"I'd help too if I didn't feel so off," she said. She threw her hair around and giggled. "I think I drank too much."

"Maybe I should get you some water," Connor said.

"Mmm," Hannah fell against the throw pillow and slowly, her eyes shut. "I think I'll take a quick nap, actually."

Connor snorted. "Wow. You've been here an hour and your already passing out drunk."

Hannah flipped him off casually. She didn't even bother to open her eyes.

Connor left her too it. Dinner wasn't even started yet. Hannah had a couple hours to sleep it off.

He left the room, looking for something to do before dinner. He stayed away from the kitchen. He had faith the girls would cheer M up and get Lily fed. He went upstairs instead, thinking he'd check on Liam and Laney.

The kids were in Liam's room. They were playing his Wii on the small TV they'd installed on the desk. Liam sat on the edge of his bed and Laney was in the swivel chair, sitting Indian style.

"You guys alright?" Connor asked. He leaned against the door jamb and watched the split screen action on the TV screen.

"Yeah. Who are those people downstairs?" Liam asked.

"I guess we didn't tell you," Connor rubbed his forehead. He really needed to get some aspirin for this headache… "Those are old friends of mine. The blonde woman is a friend from college and the other lady is her girlfriend."

"You went to college?" Liam asked. He looked away from his game for a second, shocked by the news. The lesbian thing went right over the kids' heads though.

"Just for a year or two," Connor said. "I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life."

"Do you like driving trucks?" Laney asked curiously.

"Sure," Connor said.

He watched the kids team up on Mario for awhile. Eventually, they asked if he wanted to play.

"Maybe later," Connor said. "I'm going down to check on dinner and then we should probably be getting ready to eat soon."

"Aww," Laney pouted.

Connor looked critically at the two children. "I'll come up to help you," he said, thinking he needed to run a brush through both their fly-away hair. "You're wearing those nice outfits daddy left out for you, though."

"I hate wearing bow ties," Liam complained. "They make my neck itchy."

Connor ignored the comment. He left the doorway and went down to see if M and the girls had made any progress.

Julie was whipping potatoes with the electric beater. M cooked green beans with bacon on the stove and Bradley was doing dishes at the sink.

Connor smelled the turkey in the oven and saw a pot of gravy simmering on the back burner. There were biscuits on cookie sheets, waiting to be baked. The honey baked ham from the store was sliced and ready to be served… It looked like everything was turning out alright.

"Smells good, guys," Connor said to announce his presence.

"Connor." M left the stove and hurried over. He got up on his tip-toes and kissed Connor sweetly on the lips. "I'm sorry I was losing it earlier… The hormones," he said, rolling his eyes.

"They're so much more intense this time," Connor said, brushing some of M's hair out of his face. He kissed M's soft cheek just because.

M winked at him. "I wonder why," he said suggestively.

Connor rubbed his belly. It wasn't big yet, but Connor had a feeling it'd be his biggest baby bump yet.

"Oh!" M said suddenly. "I don't know how I missed it, but there was a letter in the mailbox." M pulled away and went to the small table in the corner the kids ate breakfast at. They kept a bin on the table for unopened mail, too. M pulled an envelope out and handed it over.

"Oh shit," Connor muttered, looking at the address. It'd been forwarded from the old house, but what really struck Connor's interest was the sender.

It was from Marcus. And he was living in California now, if the postage was to be believed.

"Its from Marcus," he said as he opened it up.

Inside, there was a short letter contained in a Christmas card. There was a handful of pictures, too. He looked at the pictures first.

Marcus was in a few of them. He looked the same. Happy, physically in shape, and still rocking the fro. The pictures featured a little mixed girl with braids though. Marcus' daughter.

Connor had only seen her a handful of times before work and life in general had gotten in the way. He and Marcus had fallen out of touch.

He glanced at the Christmas card. It was nothing special. Some glittering snowflakes behind a generic seasons greeting. He checked out the letter instead.

It's been a few years, but I haven't forgotten about you, brother. How are you and the family doing? Still driving trucks? How many kids do you have now? 20? I'm joking, man. I hope your doing okay.

Things got crazy for awhile there and I think we fell out of touch in the middle of it. Me and Rosie broke up. She was too controlling, man. I couldn't take it.

I got custody of Nicki and broke the lease on my apartment. We're living out in Cali with my brother now. I got another job landscaping. It pays alright. I'm also seeing a couple different girls at the moment, so don't worry about me. Things are looking up and me and Nicki are doing good.

If you ever want to come out and visit, hit me up. Oh and you should write me back. I can't remember the last time I sent a letter in the damned mail, don't leave me hanging.

Marcus

Connor smirked. "He broke up with Rosie."

"Oh no," M said.

"He's living in California with his daughter. Look." He showed off the pictures.

"Cute," M said. "We should send him some of our kids."

"Probably will. He wants me to write him back."

M took the top photo, the one where Marcus and his daughter were sitting on the steps in front of a house. He stuck it on the fridge under a magnet.

"Now you won't forget," he said with a smile.

"Hey, can you check on Hannah?" Bradley called from the sink. "I think dinner will be ready soon."

"Yeah," Connor said. "I'm going to change and get the kids in their nice outfits. Where's Lily?"

"In the back," M said. "I put her in the pack and play."

Connor nodded. "I'll get her cleaned up, too."

M kissed him. "Thanks sweetheart."

Connor left the good smells in the kitchen and went to the bonus room behind the garage. They kept a bunch of toys in here, there was a little table strewn with art supplies and the baby's pack in play and her walker were housed in here as well.

Lily stood up in the pack in play. "Daddy, I pooped."

Connor chuckled and scooped the little girl out of the the playpen. "Oh no. Well, let's go get you changed."

He made a quick detour to the living room first.

Connor found Hannah snoring soundly on the couch. He felt like a dick doing it, but he plugged her nose.

Hannah sat up with a start, snorting as her airway was obstructed by Connor's rude fingers.

"Hey!" she batted Connor's hand away.

"You alright?" Connor asked, amused. "You passed out for awhile there."

Hannah glared at him.

"Hi," Lily said suddenly, shyly. "I'm Lily."

Hannah turned her gaze to the little girl on Connor's hip. She was Connor's little clone. She had inky black hair down to her chin and gray, serious eyes. She was brazen and outspoken; at times she had an incredible temper. Connor thought she was adorable.

"Hi honey," Hannah said, her voice softening dramatically. "Are you looking forward to Santa's visit tonight? He's going to leave you even more presents."

Lily smiled. "I'm getting a lot of presents," she said. "I get the most."

Hannah laughed. "That must be because you're a good girl."

Lily laughed evilly. Or maybe it just sounded evil because Connor knew the truth.

"I've got to get the kids ready for dinner. Are you OK on your own?" Connor asked. "Bradley's in the kitchen. She's worried about you. Maybe you should check in with her."

Hannah nodded.

Connor left the girl to her own devices. He changed the baby first and got her in her red Christmas dress. He brushed her hair, even as Lily pulled away from the comb and made faces.

"There," Connor said. "Now, don't mess up your dress. Go sit with Liam and Laney for a minute."

Lily tottled off to Liam's room and Connor went to get changed.

In the next 40 minutes, Connor got himself spiffied up, then took care of his oldest daughter and his son. They got dressed on their own, but Connor fixed their hair for them. He put Laney's blond hair in pigtails and neatly combed Liam's down. He put the boy's tie on and helped Laney buckle her shiny Mary Jane shoes.

Lily watched the proceedings from Liam's bed. She played absently with one of Liam's stuffed animals. One of the Puppy Dog Pals. He was still into that.

Finally, finally, they all went down for dinner. Good timing too, because Julie and Bradley were setting up the table. M had ducked into the half bath off the front hall to tidy up. Hannah sat at the table, looking a bit sleepy, but definitely not as sloshed as before.

Connor got the kids seated and then sat across from Hannah. "Hungry?"

"I don't know," Hannah moaned.

Connor snorted.

Dinner went smoothly. The kids were polite and sat patiently until they were excused. The adults stayed at the table talking and putting off the dishes.

Connor and Bradley eventually got on the dishes and everyone else moved into the living room.

"So, how are things with you and Hannah?" Connor asked as they finished up. They were putting stuff away now. M's fear that he'd be overwhelmed by food and dishes had been completely unfounded. Everything was clean and put away.

"She won't admit it, but holy shit, things have been great," Bradley said with a huge grin. "Definitely, don't tell her I mentioned it, but we've been talking about making it official. Getting married."

"Wow, congrats," Connor patted Bradley on the back. "If you have a ceremony, invite us."

"Will do," Bradley beamed. "She's also talking about kids. She's so jealous of your beautiful babies. She wants one of her own."

Connor laughed. "Maybe M could be a surrogate."

"Shut up. She was looking into adoption, but a friend of ours is offering to donate sperm. I think she should go that route. I think it would be an amazing experience for her, being pregnant."

Connor's eyes widened and he choked back a laugh. "Who the hell donates sperm?"

"Lots of people," Bradley said. "Haven't you heard of a sperm bank?"

"Good luck with that," Connor laughed.

When they finished cleaning up, they joined the rest of the family in the living room. There was a Christmas movie on and Connor and Bradley settled in to watch the shit show.

Connor may not be a Christmas Grinch anymore, but he still hated Hallmark.

It started to get late and M and the kids made a plate of cookies for Santa and then Julie and M took them upstairs for bed.

"You guys can stay up as long as you want, but we're probably going to hit the hay real soon," Connor said to his guests. "Mind if I show you to your room?"

Bradley nodded and Hannah cheered. "I'm exhausted," she said. "And grossly stuffed. I want to lay down now."

"I wouldn't mind a shower," Bradley said.

"Cmon upstairs," Connor said. As he passed, he grabbed the girls' bags in the hallway and carried them up to the nursery.

Connor set the girls up on the air mattress. He got some towels and a washcloth for Bradley and showed her to the bathroom.

"Goodnight," he said as he left her in the bathroom. "Sleep tight."

"Merry Christmas, Connor ," Bradley said and Connor shut the door for her.

Connor found M in the bedroom, getting ready for bed.

"Mmm, don't put that on," Connor commented as he stretched out on the bed. M was putting a big t-shirt on, covering his body almost completely.

M giggled. "What do you want instead?"

"Nothing," Connor said. "Come to bed naked."

M bit his lip and glanced towards the door. "We'll have to be quiet," he said.

"Of course."

M pulled the t-shirt off and then stepped out of his tight little briefs.

He came to the bed naked, his soft penis jigging as he walked.

Connor grasped his cock and pulled him closer for a kiss. M gasped and climbed up on the bed. He straddled Connor's thighs.

Connor pushed up against his body, melting into the passionate kiss, tasting M's sweet lips and tongue. He grabbed his ass and kneaded it warmly in his hands.

They both got hard in a matter of minutes. Connor struggled to get undressed with M on top of him, but he got his cock out and his shirt pulled up.

M, his eyes half lidded and sexy, spat in his hand and reached behind himself to finger his hole. Connor got his cock wet too, and stroked his needy flesh as he watched M's face contort with pleasure.

Finally, M reached for Connor's wet cock and Connor let him take over. The blond guided the head of his cock to his puckered asshole. He pushed it in and then slowly, sat down on the hard length.

He sighed in pleasure and removed his hand. He twisted in Connor's lap a bit, making Connor's eyes roll up in his head at the delicious sensation, then he rose up on his knees, exposing half of Connor's cock to the cool air of the room. Connor moaned in protest.

M plunged down again, his asshole swallowing Connor's erection with ease. The warm, clenching muscles inside his body squeezed Connor lovingly. He reached up and grabbed on to M's hips.

The blond rode Connor's dick for close to an hour. They both had crazy high staminas now. Between the kids, and the cock blocking drone, they managed to spend a lot of time in bed together. They had to do it other places sometimes, too, not just the bed. But the bed was usually a good place to start.

Connor thrust his tongue into M's hot mouth and groaned into the kiss. He loved fucking M. He loved his beautiful body. The sweet little baby bump wasn't a big deal anymore, either. Connor actually thought it was kind of sexy. M carried his babies well…

He reached for M's straining cock and jerked him off expertly. He knew everything M liked when it came to his penis.

"Come for me baby, I want to feel you come on my dick," Connor said deeply. He licked M's throat and sucked his ear.

M gasped for breath. He was sweating like crazy, his legs were working double time. He fucked Connor's cock at a blinding speed. Their skin slapped together and their strained pants filled the room. M tossed his head back as Connor played with the head of his leaking cock. He made a weird gurgling sound and ground his ass down on Connor's dick. He was pressing it against his prostate, Connor could tell because his cock began twitching like crazy in his hand.

Suddenly, there was a sharp knock on the door. M paused suddenly and Connor's cock burned with the need to come.

"Shh!" M hissed.

"Guys? You're being kind of loud. We can all hear you out here." It was Julie… Ugh.

"Ok. Sorry," Connor said awkwardly.

"Sorry! Goodnight!" M called.

Connor heard his mother shuffle away. She was sleeping in Liam's room, on the trundle bed. Connor couldn't believe they'd just been caught in the act.

His cock was still hard though. And M winked at him and started moving again.

Silently, they worked back up to the peak. Connor knew he was going to take the plunge any minute now. M was purposefully clenching his anal muscles and it was really hitting Connor in a good spot. He drove his hips up from below and nailed M deep, sliding his cock shaft against M's prostate repeatedly.

M gasped and then covered his mouth. He yelped into his hand as he came, his cock shooting ropes of come across Connor's sweat-slicked chest.

Connor let go and came right after M. He moaned deep in his throat and filled M's body with potent sperm. Connor pressed his hand against M's belly as he rode the receding waves of his orgasm. He seemed to be addicted to knocking M up. He had to remind himself the blond was already pregnant. Really, really pregnant this time.

M fell onto Connor's chest, squishing his hand. Connor pulled it out from under M and slipped it's around his back now. He hugged M tightly.

"Love you," he said in M's ear.

"Love you too," M kissed him lazily on the side of the mouth then he let his head slump onto Connor's chest. "Merry Christmas." His breathing evened out and Connor held him as he slept.

***

Hannah had been right of course, there were more presents under the tree in the morning.

"Santa came!" Liam yelled in excitement.

"Liam! Look at that one? Who's the big one for?" Laney pointed to a huge box that had showed up in the night.

Liam climbed over the piles of presents to check the name on the label. "It's for you," he said, unable to keep the jealousy from his tone. "It's from Santa."

Laney jumped up and down excitedly.

"Alright, calm down. Are we going to start opening these or what?" Connor asked.

Liam and Laney were all smiles. Liam sat down and pulled a gift into his lap. "It's for me! From daddy M and daddy C! Thank you!"

M smiled from across the room. He was filming with his phone.

Connor helped the kids make their way through their presents. Both kids started by opening matching new tablets loaded with games. Connor said he'd get them charged up, and then let them go a little wild. They were super excited picking through the mountain of gifts.

Laney's huge present was a Barbie doll house she'd wanted all year. She fawned over it adoringly. After that, she opened some new Barbies, a few outfits for them to share, and a little Barbie car for them to ride in.

Liam got two Nerf guns, night vision goggles, light-up heelie skates, and a remote helicopter that flew. He immediately put the skates on and ran outside to try them. Julie ran after him, muttering about helmets and knee pads.

Connor had to open most of Lily's presents for her, but she seemed excited by the new light up toys, the taking, singing bear, and the kid-sized piano.

The adults got presents too, of course. Julie got a new handbag from M and some expensive lotion. Connor had got her new pajamas and slippers. There was a gift card to Bed Bath and Beyond too though, in the pocket of the pj's. He hadn't known what to get her.

Hannah got a big gift bag from the whole family. She started crying as she pulled out the tissue paper. M had ordered her a personalized tote bag for her school things. There was a brand new Kindle inside, personalized pencils, so Hannah could loan them out to students and hopefully get them back. Pens, paper, tape, crayons and markers, and a whole bunch of other school supplies she could use. There was a fancy #1 teacher mug and a Starbucks gift card, too.

Bradley got a gift bag from everyone, too. She'd gotten fancy leather gloves and a messenger bag for her bike, bullet proof sunglasses, a tactical knife, and a nice Smith and Wesson watch.

"Wow," she said, seemingly overwhelmed. "Thanks everyone. We didn't get you anything special."

She pulled out an envelope and handed it over.

"Oh! Mine's still in the car," Hannah cried. She jumped up and ran for the front door.

Connor opened the envelope as Hannah rushed outside. It was a funny Christmas card with an elf on the front. There were a couple of different gift cards inside. Three of them were for restaurants, but one was for a local store.

"I wasn't sure what kind of places you liked, but everyone eats, right?" Bradley laughed awkwardly. "They're like $50 each."

"Thanks," Connor smiled. "Merry Christmas."

"Merry Christmas," Bradley smiled back.

Hannah came bursting back into the room, two boxes stacked on top of each other. She had four gift bags on her wrist, too. "I've got something for everyone!"

M got a fancy air fryer for the kitchen. Connor got one of those robotic vacuum cleaners. The Roomba.

"You know, since you hate cleaning so much," Hannah giggled.

"Oh right, thanks. This is cool," Connor said.

Liam got color changing slime that he immediately took out to play with. Laney got a tiny play tea set she adored. And Lily got a monkey plushie, soft and cuddly. The little girl grabbed it up and examined the curly tail.

Julie got a gardening set.

In the middle of opening the presents, Nathan and Jamie came in the front, Alex trailing behind them.

"Time to get this party started!" Nathan called into the house obnoxiously. "I'm here. Everyone can calm down. I know you missed me."

M and Julie laughed, but Connor rolled his eyes. "Shut up before I take your present back to the store."

"Cmon, bro, you know you missed me." Nathan came over for a hug. Connor indulged him.

A round of hugs and kisses went around. Coats came off and presents were exchanged.

"A grill kit?" Nathan asked.

"For the new grill you got. Cmon, you haven't tried out your deck yet?" Connor sneered.

"Haven't had the time," Nathan said casually. He smoothed his short hair back. Nathan had cleaned up his appearance over the years. Today, he was in a nice button down, slacks, and a tie. This was his normal attire. No more baggy jeans and sideways hats. "The new title of manager comes with crazy hours, but what can I say, I'm loving the paycheck."

"Well, I'll have to come over and show you how to use it," Connor said.

"How are you guys holding up, anyway?" M asked. "I hear Nathan has to go into work at 10 at night sometimes."

"Oh, it's alright," Jamie said. "I have my normal hours at the hospital. I'm always home by 6. Alex is in school now, so she's busy until 2. We have this awesome neighbor, too, with three little girls. She watches Alex after school until I can pick her up."

"I can't believe you have a stranger watching my granddaughter," Julie said with a shake of her head.

"What are we supposed to do then? You're always watching Connor's clan. We had to figure something else out," Jamie said harshly. "No offense, guys," she said to M and Connor.

Connor gaped at her. "Ouch."

M snorted with amusement. "I guess you haven't told everyone the news yet?"

"I haven't had a chance," Connor said.

"What news?" Nathan asked. "Is breakfast canceled?"

"No." M glared at him. "As soon as I get some volunteers, we can start in the kitchen."

"Who's helping?" Nathan asked loudly, looking around the room. The kids were playing with their new stuff by the tree. They didn't even look up. Julie sat in the armchair with the baby in her lap.

"I'll help," she said wearily.

"Me too," Jamie spoke up.

"I can probably help out," Hannah said. "I'm feeling a lot better."

Bradley smirked. "I got the dishes."

"So, what's the news," Nathan asked. "You got everyone's attention."

M bit his lip. He couldn't contain his smile though. "So, we just had our first ultrasound last week," he said. "To find out the sex."

The kids looked up from their toys, hearing something about the new baby… They hadn't heard the news yet either. Connor and M had wanted to surprise everyone

"What's it going to be? Another girl?" Nathan asked with an eye roll. "I'm sick to death of all the girly shit. Pink everywhere…"

"No," Connor said. "It's a boy actually."

Julie cheered and Jamie poked a finger at Nathan and laughed.

"Whatever," Nathan shrugged.

"Not just one boy," Connor continued. "We're having two."

"Twins!" M squealed. "Isn't this the coolest!"

Liam perked up. "I get two new brothers? Yes!" He stood up and did a little dance. "The boys will finally outnumber the girls," he said excitedly.

Alex looked at Laney. "Don't worry," she whispered. "They'll be cute at first."

Laney shrugged.

"You've got to be kidding me," Nathan gasped out finally, drowning out the children's conversation. "Two more? Are you insane?"

"It's not like we planned it," Connor laughed. "And we're not throwing them out because they came in a pair. That wouldn't be fair."

Julie let out a deep breath. "Whew. Five children. Under one roof." She looked overwhelmed. "You two definitely have your work cut out for you."

"Are you abandoning us now?" Connor asked with a chuckle.

Julie hugged Lily tight. "As much as I'd like to, I'd love even more being a part of it," she said, even as she continued to play the exhausted card. "When are you two going to start wrapping it up, though?"

Nathan broke into a rude bout of laughter. Connor flipped him off.

"OK, I think it's time to start breakfast," Jamie said. She pinched Nathan's ear as she got up and the dumbass yelped in pain.

"Leave me alone. I wasn't doing anything," he complained. "Shit. My ear!"

"Quiet down and be nice to your brother," Jamie said. "

"Do I have to?"

"Yes. It's Christmas."

Breakfast was delicious. The meal was a whole affair, though. There was so much talking across the table, Connor could barely hear himself think let alone concentrate on a single conversation.

He stuck to his food and ignored everyone. He loved when M made sticky buns in the oven… Mmm.

Jamie and Nathan stuck around for a few hours, but left before dinner. Alex begged to stay the night, but Jamie convinced her to come home. Her new toys from that morning were still waiting under the tree.

The kids watched a movie while the adults dished up leftovers for dinner. They ate buffet style, and moved back to the living room to eat at the coffee table and watch TV.

Julie left after dinner.

The kids went to bed soon after that. Connor made sure they brushed their teeth and got in pj's while M laid Lily down in her pack in play for the night. Across the hall, Hannah and Bradley were getting ready for bed too. They had to be up early for their flight.

Once everyone was settled, Connor and M went to their room and shut the door.

"I never gave you your present," Connor said.

"Me neither," M said. "I was saving it until we were alone."

"I like the sound of that," Connor said, wagging his eyebrows.

M rolled his eyes and went to his set of drawers. He opened the top one and pulled out a small wrapped box.

"Wait," Connor said, feeling nervous all of a sudden. "Let me get yours first."

He went into the closet and pulled an envelope from under a old shoe box. When he came out, M sat on the bed, the little box waiting beside him.

Connor strode forward and handed M the envelope before he was forced to open the box." "Here," he said. "Merry Christmas."

M curiously took the plain envelope. He turned it over and popped open the flap with his thumb.

It wasn't another stupid Christmas card full of empty well wishes… two tickets were tucked inside.

"Check it out," Connor said as M pulled out the tickets and squinted at them. "I got us two tickets to a Caribbean Cruise!"

"A cruise?" M scratched his chin. "Oh! That commercial on TVtm. The hotel boat!"

Connor smirked. "Yeah, and they've got all sorts of things to do. It's a weeks vacation away from the kids, school, work."

"When do we go?"

"Next week," Connor said. "Before you go back to school. I already cleared it with mom. She's coming to stay with the kids and Jamie's coming by at night to help out."

M smiled a little. "I don't think we've been away from the kids in… forever."

"Trust me," Connor said. "We'll be having so much fun, you'll forget you miss them. Then we'll be home again and back to the routine," he promised. "Cmon, this is something just for us. I spent a lot of money on it."

M blinked. "You did?"

"I got a handsome Christmas bonus I never told you about," Connor said proudly. "As soon as they handed me the check, I knew what I was spending it on."

M kissed Connor softly. "Thank you," he said. "I'm looking forward to it."

Connor beamed, proud of himself. They probably would have a good time… Someone else was cooking all three meals a day, a maid would clean up after them, and there really were a lot of activities and different things to do along the way.

Connor was confident he'd be able to keep M's interest. They had a honeymoon suite too, with a jacuzzi. Connor couldn't wait to have M completely to himself.

Finally, M turned and picked up the little wrapped box. He took a deep breath and presented it to Connor.

"Open it."

Connor didn't know why he was so nervous. They'd exchanged gifts before.

The box gave Connor the willies though. It looked like it might be some gaudy piece of jewelry or something, like a ring.

His heart in his throat, Connor tore open the paper and opened the little box.

There was a ring inside. A cock ring.

Connor laughed. "What's this?"

"Mother helped me make it," M said softly, his cheeks turning a warm shade of pink. "It's a sperm inhibitor."

"A what?" Connor picked the cock ring up. It was made of a clear, stretchy material that would fit snuggly at the base of his erect cock.

"It may look simple, but it's a complicated device," M explained. "There's tiny microbeams under the surface. They essential kill the sperm as it's emitted."

"Kill my sperm?" Connor made a face. "That doesn't sound safe."

"Trust me. It's completely safe," M said. "It won't make you impotent. If you don't wear the ring, you can still get me pregnant. But if you do wear it, there's no chance."

Connor looked into M's eyes. "You don't want anymore of my babies?"

M bit his lip. "I thought maybe you didn't want anymore."

Connor laughed. "Why? I just got us a new house so the kids have more room. I clearly hate their guts. Besides, if I didn't want anymore kids, I'd a vasectomy."

"What's that?"

"Male birth control," Connor quickly explained. "But I'm not done with you yet. I like when you're pregnant."

M tried to hide it, but he was grinning. "So you don't feel trapped?"

"Trapped?" Connor made a face. "What? No. Who've you been talking to?"

"Jamie," M said under his breath.

"Well, don't listen to her," Connor hugged M close and kissed the top of his head. "I love you."

"I love you, too," M whispered.

"Then how about we have some more unprotected sex? We should practice for after the twins are born. We need to hit the double digits in the kid department before I'm 40."

M laughed and rolled out on the bed. He stretched his arms over his head and moaned sexily.

"Cmon," he said. "Fuck me."

Connor ripped his clothes off. He made a mental note to keep it down. He didn't want anymore perturbed guests at his door.

He knew as he pulled M's clothes off his body and climbed on top of him, though, that he was going to fail. M and Connor were used to making a bit of noise during sex. So much so, the kids were also used to them making sounds late at night. They slept through their parents fucking with ease.

"Fuck me, Connor. I love when you fill me up with your big dick," M said breathlessly. His eyes glittered with passion.

Connor captured M's mouth in a deep kiss. He caressed his body while he sucked his tongue.

He didn't think he'd ever get tired of touching M. Either way, he was sure he was going to love him forever.

M nipped his lip. He was ready. Connor reached for the lube in the bedside table and slicked his fat cock. It was rock hard from the kissing and the intimate touching. M spread his legs needily and Connor entered him without another second's hesitation.

A distant memory floated into Connor's awareness as they slowly moved together. He remembered a tiny, naked boy standing in the knee deep water behind his trailer.

Connor wrapped his arms around M and fucked his cock deep into his body. M moaned wantonly as Connor claimed him for himself and held the beautiful boy close to his heart. Connor promised to never let him go.

He remembered sitting with M on that old ratty couch he had. M was in a t-shirt that came down to his thighs and nothing else. They were trying to figure out his name…

Vulnerable, sexy, and desperate for love, somehow that tiny, clueless, naked boy Connor had found in the woods all those years ago had stolen his heart.

He made love to M for a long as he could last. The blond was in ecstasy and Connor watched the passion play out on his face.

Connor came suddenly and without warning. He was so busy staring at M, he hadn’t been paying attention to anything else.

He fucked M until he couldn’t anymore. Then he rolled off and pulled the blond into his arms. He kissed him and boldly grabbed his erection.

M moaned encouragingly and Connor played with his cock, kissed him, and held him lovingly until he orgasmed.

Once they were both satisfied, M fell onto his back, his face flushed and hot.

"Wow," he said.

Connor smirked up at the ceiling.

"I hope we didn't wake anyone up," M said.

"Well, we're done," Connor said. "They can go back to sleep now if we did."

M rolled his eyes and turned over on his side. "Goodnight, jerk. You've got to get up early and take the girls to the airport. I told them they didn't have to pay for an Uber."

"Oh man," Connor complained. "Can I pay for the Uber and sleep in?"

M elbowed him and Connor winced.

They fell silent and soon, Connor could hear his husband's breathing even into sleep patterns. He closed his eyes and listened to the gentle, steady sound.

It lulled him to sleep.


 

The End!!!

See you around guys! Maybe I'll post something else, who knows 😝

Copyright © 2017 mastershakeme; All Rights Reserved.
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Omfg! Twins!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm gonna miss these guys but you have them the perfect send-off. I went from wanting to kick Connor in the nuts in chapter one to finally liking him in this chapter!

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I have absolutely LOVED this story!!!!!!!!!!!!    plain and simple

so well wrote.  I missed it so much when you left it for awhile.   

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