For Omega Gail, meeting his fated mates, Alpha Lucien and Beta Cyrus, wasn’t the happy event that it is for most shifters. Instead, in the months since their mating they’ve been stalked, attacked and now sued by Gail’s parents.
With the babies’ due date so close, will they be able to resolve everything before the happy day? Will they be able to start their new family life without the fear that has followed them for the past months?
The Baby Pact Trilogy
6 June 2017
Pages: 204 pages (estimated from ebook version)
Available in the Netherlands/Belgium:
Only through international stores
The sweltering May heat beats down on me as I grab a box from the car and try to hold it steady. My belly’s in the way and even though the box is quite light, it’s not easy to carry it up the path to the front door. The new house has a small front garden, a patch of grass with a white stone path running through it. It’s one house on a whole row of houses just like it. It’s very middle-class. But that was exactly what we were looking for. After everything is said and done, middle-class is exactly what we need for our future.
I step into the cool house and walk through the hallway to the living room, which is full of boxes stacked on top of each other. I place my box on the table, getting it out of the way of Cyrus and Lucien, as it holds fragile items like glasses and some plates. I stroll to the door at the back of the house, the double doors wide open and looking out over a good-sized back garden. Of course, it’s nothing like the space Lucien and Cyrus had at their old house, but that’s okay. It’s big enough for now.
The garden has a large patio and more grass. It’s surrounded by a light wooden fence that is high enough that people won’t be able to look into our garden. It’s nice to have a bit of privacy like that.
Two arms snake around me and a hard body pushes up against me. “What do you think?” Lucien rumbles against the back of my neck, his lips like butterflies on my skin.
I let out a sigh, breathing in the scent of freshly mowed grass and new paint. “It’s great. So much better than I expected.”
“Really?” Lucien tightens his arms around me. “Are you really happy to be moving here?”
“Yeah.” I can’t help but smile. “The neighbourhood, the house, it’s all… so much more than I expected.”
“Good. We did try our best.” He kisses the back of my neck and lets me go again. I’m both glad and disappointed to have him step away from me. It’s too hot for him to hold me like this, but at the same time, I love being in his arms.
For the past two weeks Cyrus and Lucien have been painting and cleaning this house. They didn’t let me anywhere near anything toxic, so they did it all on their own. To make it worse, I wasn’t even allowed to see it until this morning. We were all here when we bought the house, of course, but it was dull and a dump. But as soon as they started working here, they wouldn’t let me anywhere near it. And they didn’t even show me pictures. It wasn’t like I didn’t have enough things to do in the old house though, I had to pack up Cyrus and Lucien’s old rooms and the things I found… Yeah, they definitely lived there for a long time. I even found things from when they were still in college.
Al in all, it was slightly scary when we drove up this morning and they showed me the redecorated house for the first time. I shouldn’t have worried though. They went with some clean but bright colours and I think it looks amazing.
I step outside into the garden. Around the edge, right in front of the fence, someone planted rose bushes and I think some lavender. I can imagine that if they get a couple more months, or even a year or two, that it will look amazing here.
“Gail,” Cyrus calls from the doorway. “Time for lunch.”
I look up and Cyrus grins at me, his face a picture of pure joy.
I like this new house. I like it a lot. We can make many good and happy memories here and to top it off, it should be a lot easier to child-proof.
* * *
“Can you start unpacking?” Cyrus stands up from the table as he looks at me. “We may need to start doing that as soon as possible, because I don’t think we can fit all the boxes into the living room.”
“Yeah, yeah. You just bring the boxes to the rooms they should go in.” I stand up too, looking around for the box I just put into the kitchen, but it’s nowhere to be found.
“I put it in the living room, we couldn’t all fit around the table otherwise.” Lucien shrugs as he grabs the last slice of pizza. Yep, very healthy, pizza for lunch. But our cooking supplies are still in boxes and I don’t think any of us can be bothered to cook right now anyway.
I roll my eyes at him and Lucien smiles as he shakes his head.
“Sorry, just seemed easier.” He wolfs down the slice of pizza and reaches out for me, wrapping his arms around me as he puts his head on my belly.
The babies have become a lot more active in the last couple of weeks. I’m just over twenty-eight weeks along and I feel like I’ve swallowed a balloon, a very heavy balloon. My belly is turning lovely and round, but it has started to make things like lifting and doing some of the tasks around the house a lot more difficult. I don’t even want to think about what I’ll look like, or feel like, in another ten weeks.
Lucien laughs as he lets go of me again. “They moved. I could feel it.”
“You know, you can also feel it with your hands.” I step back so Lucien won’t just keep moving his hands all over me. Because as soon as he starts, the rest of the world disappears for him. It’s endearing and annoying at the same time.
“I’ll help you unpack.” Lucien’s Daddy comes over and takes my arm. “Let these crazy men take care of the other things.” As we leave the kitchen, he picks up a box and then points at the stairs. “Let’s go to the baby room.”
I don’t recognise the box he holds, but to be honest, I’ve packed so many boxes these last weeks that I may simply have forgotten it—pregnancy brain and all that stuff. I hold the railing as I walk up the stairs. On the next floor are three bedrooms, a bathroom and a laundry room. Big enough for the three and later five of us. The kids won’t even have to keep sharing a room if they don’t want to. And before that, we can have a good room to store things, or to practice some hobby, whatever is easier. The stairs spiral up to another floor, but the attic is just one big room under the sloped roof—not very interesting, and with the heat from the last couple of days… I’m pretty sure I don’t want to go up there.
I open the door on my right. The room is bright, light. The walls are covered in pastel wallpaper and the floor is covered in a light parquet. There isn’t much else in here yet, apart from a dresser that we’ve taken from the old house. It will also double as a changing table. Though, looking at it now, I barely recognise it as the same dark wooden dresser that they hid in the extra room upstairs. They’ve painted it white and attached new handles. It looks great. We decided on pastel colours for the baby room—we’ll probably repaint it anyway as they get older, but for now, pastel is more inviting. The idea for the room is to have it a bit romantic-classic instead of the stark modern designs that seem to be popular in the baby catalogues at the moment.
Daddy puts the box on the dresser and looks at me expectantly.
“You want me to open that now?” I walk over and run my hand over the white box. Now that I look at it more closely, I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen it before.
“Yes. I’d say to get the other two men, but I’m pretty sure that Dad has a different present for them.” He grins. I frown at him. We’ve told them that they’re not to spoil the babies, that we’ll take care of things ourselves, but I’m pretty sure that we’re going to fight this spoiling thing for the rest of our kids’ lives.
“You didn’t have to.” I eye the pristine white box, getting curious about what is actually in it.
“I wanted to. I didn’t get you anything outrageous, just a few things that you’ll find useful.” He nods towards the box.
I sigh and pull a knife from my pocket. I slice through the tape at the top and open the flaps. The first thing I see is white fabric. I put the knife away again and take the fabric out. They’re large pieces of white cloth—if I remember correctly, these are cloth diapers. “Thanks?”
“They’ll become indispensable when the little ones are here. As burp cloths, hats, bibs, anything where you need a piece of fabric that is easy to clean. You don’t realise it now, but you’ll need them.”
I laugh. “I’ll take your word for that.” I put the cloth diapers aside and the next thing in the box are two tiny bodysuits, one pale yellow and one pale green. “Thanks, these are adorable.” I hold them up, side by side. They’re simple, but at the same time very cute, and so, so small. I keep forgetting that people come in this size, that inside me are two little ones who are even smaller than this.
“I thought it better to go with neutral colours, seemed most appropriate. But I didn’t want to go with white. Seemed too… clinical.”
“Makes sense.” I put them aside and pull out two sets of pants, the same colours as the bodysuits. Then, at the bottom of the box, nearly disappearing in the white against white, I see two pairs of baby shoes. My breath catches and a tear starts to slide down my cheek as I pick them up.
They’re adorable and tiny. I don’t know what it is about the shoes that didn’t trigger the tears for me with the other clothes. But the tiny shoes—as I hold them in my hand, they fit perfectly into my palm.
“Thank you.” I choke on the word and Daddy wraps his arms around me.
“You’re welcome.” He holds me and rubs his hand up and down my back. “I thought that you’d need a few items to put in the dresser, start to complete this room.”
“I feel so silly, crying and all.” I wipe at my cheeks, my eyes still on the little shoes.
Daddy touches my cheek and I look up at him, His eyes are watery too. “It’s the hormones, blame it on the hormones.” He winks and I nod.
This is insane. There is just so much that is going on, and on top of that the hormones—it makes it all a bit too much sometimes. I stand up and open one of the drawers of the dresser. I put the clothes and the cloth diapers in it, but keep the little shoes. Those I put on the dresser, right at the back, waiting for our babies to come home.
When they come home, when there will be five people in this house instead of three. It’s all still so surreal. I smile and touch the shoes before I turn to Daddy. “Thank you.”