“So I’ll see you in a few days?”
My best friend, Ayden, nods his head assuredly. He’s been working on a top-secret project for a while now— a complete solar oven that he predicts will change how the world creates energy. I immediately signed on as an investor because he is brilliant and innovative—best friend status.
“We have a fantastic presentation set up. I can’t wait for you to experience it. And, erm, of course, there are some other things I would like to speak with you about.” Ayden’s ridiculously handsome face winces. I always knew there would be a woman who would knock his royal ass over.
I sit back in my chair and grin like a bandit. “Why, whatever would we need to talk about, Your Majesty?” I smile at him, full of teeth and wink.
He narrows his eyes and grunts. “Shut up, arsehole.” I burst out laughing. “I can’t wait to tell you I told you so in person. My plane lands in London around five o’clock. Dinner, yes?” He nods and salutes before signing off. I click off my video chat and swivel to the credenza behind me. The top is covered with pictures of my wife and children— a love letter to the loves of my life. There are snapshots of all four of us snuggled together, some of just our two boys and one giant one of us on our wedding day. It was taken just as MacKenna told me she was pregnant with Erik. My head is buried in her neck, and she is wearing the most beautiful smile—one made up of sugared happiness and realized dreams. I could stare at her forever.
I hear a commotion outside my office door and the unmistakable sound of my son’s laugh. The door bangs open, and my wife comes barreling in, both babies in tow. She plants Erik’s car seat onto the couch as Zay ambles over to me, arms outstretched.
I lift him in my arms, chuckling at his outfit. “Am I in some sort of trouble? Why is a StormTrooper in my office?” I tickle his belly and kiss him all over his clone of a face. “Miss you, Day-ee.”
My face splits into a massive smile before I see the look on Kenna’s face. Uh oh. My wife is still standing by the sitting area, hands propped on her supple hips, a glare on her face. I quickly recount if I did anything crazy before leaving the house this morning but come up empty. “Baby?”
She scoffs and stalks to the edge of my desk. “Don’t you ‘baby’ me, you, you…sexy beast! I can’t believe you did this to me!” She slaps her small hand on the walnut finish, and Xavier copies her with a slight snap.
“I knew this was going to happen. I mean, I told you again and again. And yeah, maybe I didn’t put up that much of a fight, but STILL! This is all your fault!”
I put Zay down carefully, handing him my cell phone to keep him busy. He immediately starts pressing buttons and sits down next to his brother. I slowly walk up to MacKenna with my hands up in supplication.
“What are you talking about, little monster?” I reach for her and gently tug her close to me. She floats along with some resistance, but I still get her in my arms.
“You know!” She huffs, sparks popping out of her amber eyes.
“Did I leave the top off of the toothpaste again?”
Another huff. “No.”
“Did I eat too many of your caramel cookies?” Mrs. Elin makes her a private batch every month or so, and she is a rabid non-sharer.
“You’d better not have!” Her voice goes up an octave, and she raises onto her toes to point in my face. I nip her fingertip.
“Did I scuff your Jordans?” Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that if I even come close to a pair of my wife’s prized possessions, she will retaliate in a rather unpleasant manner.
“No! You know what you did!”
I lean in and nibble on her cheek and nose. “I have no clue, but tell me so that I can fix it.” I kiss her pouting mouth and wait.
She scoffs but kisses me back. “MacKenna?”
“I’m pregnant, you giant fool! I realized this morning that I hadn’t had my cycle in months and took a test as a joke. And lo and behold, I’m baking another Grant boy in the oven!” Her raspy voice gets louder with each word as I burst out laughing. “This isn’t funny, Nicholas! We have two boys under two—and another on the way. So what are we going to do?”
I lift her petite body and settle her on the couch near our children. Erik is asleep, but Zay is intently pushing the buttons on my phone. I can hear someone’s voice on the other end but don’t give a flying fuck whom he may have called. All I care about right this second is my wife.
“First of all— thank you. Thank you for gifting me another piece of you to love and cherish. You wake up daily and make my life worth living—all three of you do. I never thought I could be so happy, and I owe it all to you.” Her panting breaths quiet down as she snuggles closer to my heart.
“Second, we will do what we do best; hold our babies close and love each other. I know three little ones are a lot, but we have help and can hire more if needed. I will do whatever you need me to do and will be right next to you. You aren’t alone, MacKenna: I’m their parent too. And I am not concerned—you are an amazing mama, and I just follow your lead.”
“And lastly— this one could be a girl. A tiny miniature of you, who will wrap me around her finger and boss her big brothers around. That would be heaven, you know.”
She’s silent but then sighs deeply. She sits up and stares at our kids with a soft smile. “I’m sorry, Nick. I think I just panicked for a minute. I know we said five kids, but jeez, this is fast. But at the same time, it feels like I just had Xavier yesterday. And now he’s talking and feeding himself. Where does the time go? Oh— and it’s a boy. I know it.” She nudges me with her elbow, looking into my eyes; how I love this woman.
“I think we should start thinking about a new house. I love the penthouse, but I cannot imagine having to track three Nick Grants. We need a bigger place.” I shudder quietly in agreement. Right now, things are super calm because the boys are small. But in a few years…fuck. Yeah, we need a bigger place.
“I’ll have Millie call our real estate agent right away. I’m sure we can find something near Dad and Uncle Charles. Of course, we will keep the penthouse, but I agree, the boys will need a backyard and more room.” I peek at my sons and lean down, kissing my wife deeply. I cup her head, twining my fingers through her dark wavy hair.
“If it’s a boy, do I get to pick out the name?” She snorts.
“Hell no. I already have the name picked out— trust me.”
“Do I even want to know?” I wouldn’t put it past Kenna to name the baby Godzilla.
A slow smile stretches across her face. Her sweet freckles twinkle at me, and I can’t help but smile back. “Let’s just say I hope the baby has a good poker face.”
© 2021 JM Blake