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The Princes of Ravenwood Christmas Special



Forrest

In our family, there are only three traditions. The big holiday party at Frost manor has been a tradition since well the estate was built. But it was primarily a big deal in Hazel Frost’s day. It’s a big deal with the whole family and the influential people that run in the Frost social circle.


Eye Roll! I could care less about rubbing elbows with politicians, lawyers, movie stars, and business owners of fortune 500 companies. They are not my style. And not really my brothers’ style either. We’ve been lucky the last few years to decline the invite because we have little ones. Before the kids, we didn’t get much choice but always ducked out early with Riko.


The last time we went was the party the year we got married. We left after I decked Brant Jones for pinching Riko’s ass and asking if she’d like to give him a turn or if she only did foursomes because he knew two other guys that would be down. Dad had to deal with Brant and his dickhead father.


Fucker is so lucky he didn’t get hit by more than just me. My brothers were livid when they found out why we were going home. Riko was just as pissed and upset. The Jones family has been banned from any Frost event.


Dad pulled social status rank, and Jones got blacklisted, so when his reelection came around, no one wanted to touch him. They all knew that he tried to defend his son’s behavior when he sexually harassed a Mrs. Frost at the holiday party.


It’s not often that my dad throws our family name around. So I’m happy to know that when it counts, he will. Crazy that when certain members of this family say the right words, lives can be ruined. Even Emma helped. She put Jones on blast on all her social media, and damn, are her fans brutal.


The second tradition is something my parents started when we were little. That is going to the light-up event at the waterfront park. Given it’s where we took Riko for our 1st Christmas together and proposed to her, the place holds a special place to us as a family.


We will be doing that next weekend with some friends and family. But today, we are heading out to do my favorite tradition. This is a Nikolaidis tradition that dates back generations to before our great great great grandparents moved from Greece. Today we are cutting down our own tree.


We had loaded up into our van and were on the road for a Christmas tree farm. It had taken us thirty minutes to get four kids into snowsuits and into their car seats. You’d think it wouldn’t take that long with the four of us. But it seemed once we got everyone ready to load up, one of the kids would need the potty.


Having four kids under four is an adventure. Ryū could care less about what was going on. But the girls and Hikari were excited. They remember doing this before. Darius was driving, Riko in the front seat next to him, while Elijah and I were in the back with the kids. I was in the middle row with the boys while Elijah was in the back with our girls.


I was busy making funny faces at Ryū to amuse him during the drive. “Can we get a super big one?” Hikari questioned. “How big?” I asked, crossing my eyes, getting what I’m calling a smile from my baby boy. “This big.” Hikari stretched his arms as high as his blue snowsuit would let him.


God, I love our kids. They are too cute. “Sure, bud. I think we can manage that.” I grinned, rubbing his batman knit cap. Behind me, I could hear the girls chattering with excitement about how they wanted hot chocolate and cookies when we arrived.


Almost an hour later, we were unloading, getting the occasional weird look from others. I remind myself that unless someone says something to us, I should just ignore them. I know I can’t mouth off at strangers in front of the kids. Darius put the baby carrier on his chest, taking Ryū from me, getting him strapped in.


“Girls staying with us!” Riko shouted as the girls raced ahead of us, throwing snow in the air. The girls were giggling and not listening. “I’ve got them,” I assured her as I rushed forward. “ROAR!” I scooped the girls up in my arms and pretended to gnaw at their faces.


“Krampus Otōsan likes to eat naughty children.” I gruffly rumbled, gnawing at Saki’s cheek. Saki and Akio were giggling and kicking their legs. “That tickles Otōsan.” They laughed in unison. My heart squeezed a little because I love them so much, and I now understood how my parents and Riko feel when my brothers and I talk in unison. It’s so damn cute.


Once everyone had caught up, we went to find the concession stand. While Riko and Darius kept the kids entertained at a table, Elijah and I balanced drink carriers of hot chocolate and bags of sugar cookies decorated with various holiday themes.


“Alright, hot chocolate and cookies, then potty, and then we find this year’s tree.” I outlined setting out the drinks. Saki rushed to grab hers, but I quickly grabbed it before she could spill the hot beverage. “Whoa there, Princess. Wait till we put them in your sippy.” I smiled softly at her pout.


Elijah chuckled as he put out the three sippy cups. “We know you want your hot chocolate, Saki. And you’ll have it.” He promised, carefully transferring the contents of the small paper cup into her pink sparkly sippy with her name on it.


“But I’m Akio.” Saki huffed, pointing to the purple cup she knows is her sister’s. Riko sighed, rolling her eyes while my brothers and I all laughed. “Not funny.” Saki pouted even more dramatically.


“Princess, you can’t fool us. We know you’re Saki. The dimple on your left cheek gives you away.” I teased, poking her cheek. Her lips twitched into a smile as that dimple came through. That dimple she got from her namesake, a dimple that she knows will melt her Ojīchan every time.


This isn’t the first time Saki or Akio have tried to pull this trick. They seem to forget who their daddies are. We pulled that plenty of times. One person we have never been able to fool is our wife. So how the girls could think their mom, who can tell the three of us apart, would get her twin daughters mixed up is beyond me.


“Told you it wouldn’t work.” Hikari rolled his eyes, taking a big bite of his cookie. “No one asked you. You don’t know which of us is which.” Akio stuck her tongue out at her big brother. Hikari made a face back, sticking his tongue out, pieces of partially chewed cookie on his tongue.


“Hikari. Put your tongue in your mouth. No one wants to see your partially chewed food.” Riko scolded. Hikari quickly put his tongue back and pouted, lowering his head. “Sowwie, mommy.”


Riko sighed as he gave her the sad puppy eyes. “Let’s finish our cookies and find our tree.” She suggested. The kids eagerly devoured their cookies and hot chocolate.


Have you ever tried to help three toddlers out of snowsuits to use the bathroom? It’s not easy. Add in getting a two-month-old out of his to change his diaper and his entire outfit. Yay, diaper blowouts. Heavy parental sarcasm there.


After thirty minutes of dealing with the potty break, we searched for a tree. As we looked over different trees, judging their height and how full they were, something felt off. I stopped and did a headcount. “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven….” My heart rate spiked. “Akio!” I exclaimed as I saw our youngest daughter was not with us.


“AKIO!?” I shouted. “Forrest?” Riko turned to look at me. Then I saw her eyes doing what I had just done, counting heads. “AKIO!?” Riko shouted, cupping her hands around her mouth turning in a circle. Soon Darius and Elijah were also calling out her name. Hikari and Saki joined us, shouting for their sister.


“DADDY! OTŌSAN! BAMPÁS! MOMMY!” I could faintly hear her calling out. Following the sound of her voice, we found her. I sighed, tilting my head up to see the purple snowsuit in the branches of a tree.


“Akio? Why are you in the tree?” Elijah questioned. “I wanted to see if I could get a better view. And I found the perfect tree, but… I can’t get down!”Akio started to cry. “It’s okay, baby. We will get you down.” Riko called up. “I’ll get here.” I sighed, starting to climb the tree.


“Sir! Sir, please don’t climb the trees!” a worker called out when I was halfway up the damn thing. “He’s not doing it for fun.” Darius scoffed. “Our daughter climbed it and can’t get down,” Riko explained, pointing up at Akio. “How did a kid that little get so high?” the worker blinked.


“She has a knack for trouble. Gets it from her father.” Riko shrugged. “Love you too, beautiful!” I called down with a laugh as I finally reached Akio. “Come here, you mischievous elf.” I sighed, extending my arm out to her. “OTŌSAN!” Akio shouted, jumping at me.


I grunted because she did not need to jump. “I’ve got you. Just hold on.” I sighed, now making my way back down with one arm. “My hero.” Akio grinned and put a sloppy kiss on my cheek as I passed her to Riko.


“Akio… never scare us like that again.” Riko hugged her tightly. To say we were relieved to have found her would be an understatement. “I’ll try.” Was the best Akio offered before scrambling down. “Now come on! I found the perfect tree.” she waved her little hands for us to follow.


And my girl was right. It was the perfect tree. A seven-foot Fraser Fir that was nice and full all the way around now stands in our living room with more ornaments covering the lower two feet than the upper five because, well, kids.


I snapped a picture as Darius climbed a step ladder and helped Ryū put the star on the top to complete the look. His little face lit up with wide eyes when Elijah turned the lights on, and the tree glowed. This is going to be a great Christmas. I feel it.


Elijah

I have loved going to the waterfront for the light-up event since I was a kid. I loved it even more, when we started bringing Riko with us. Even if we got looks and people whispered about us.


Those whispers didn’t get better after we started having kids. But I will never let the opinions of others impede my enjoyment of the event.


As I was unloading the van, I felt arms wrap around me and literally lift me off the ground in a bear hug. “Hey, cousin!” Clay greeted, squeezing me harder.


I rolled my eyes because this is just how my cousin is. He wants a reaction to indicate that he’s stronger than me. Which okay, he is.


Like his father, Clay works hard in the construction company and has won some bodybuilding competitions. But I’m not going to give him the satisfaction of knowing he’s stronger than me. “Put my Bampás down,” Saki glared up at Clay and kicked him in the ankle.


I snickered at my little girl coming to my rescue. “You gonna make me, pipsqueak?” Clay playfully taunted. I know he was being playful because, again, like Uncle Apollo, he’s a total mush when it comes to kids.


“Well, duh,” Saki rolled her eyes and held up her little mitten-covered hands, trying to form fists.


“I’d put our cousin down. Saki looks like she means business,” Reese laughed as she approached us. Clay dropped me and held his hands up in surrender.


“Please, mercy Princess Saki,” he pretended to beg. “In the spirit of Christmas. You are forgiven,” Saki scoffed, lowering her fists before running to tackle Reese at her legs.


“Reese!” she squealed. “Hey, kiddo,” Reese chuckled, scooping her up into her arms. “I think you could have taken my brother easily,” she smiled. “Mhm,” Saki nodded. “Show me those muscles,” Clay gestured with his head.


Saki flexed her arm under her pink snowsuit. “Grrr,” Saki growled. “Oh dang, girl. Alright, don’t hurt me,” Clay smiled. “Need some help, Elijah?” He nodded to me.


“Yeah, sure. Let’s put those muscles to work,” I nodded, shoving Ryū’s playpen into his arms. “You brought a playpen? You act like anyone’s going to be willing to set Ryū down,” Clay chuckled as he shifted it to hold with one arm.


“You never know,” I shrugged as I then handed him the four diaper bags. Yes, we travel with multiple. Each kid gets their own, and we keep snacks, backup clothes, blankets, and toys in them. Only Ryū’s actually has diapers in it. “Damn, you are always over-prepared,” Clay grunted.


“When you have kids, you’ll realize it’s always better to have to be overprepared,” I warned, grabbing the picnic baskets.


“That would require Clay finding a woman willing to put up with him,” Reese scoffed. “I wouldn’t be talking, sis. How’s Trevor?” Clay questioned.


“Saki… let’s go find everyone else,” I suggested as I slowly put space between myself and Clay. I want out of the blast radius. If looks could kill, Clay would be dead.


“Good idea…” Saki nodded, getting out of Reese’s arms. We had just barely gotten away before I heard the sound of a fist connecting with a face.


I winced with some level of sympathy. But Clay dug his own grave there. We all know that Trevor turned out to be trash, and Reese broke up with him only a few days ago. Bad form to throw that in her face.


“Here are the diaper bags,” Reese smiled, setting them down. “Dumbass will be along shortly with the playpen,” she rolled her eyes.


“Oh, thank god. Ryū is hungry. Can you get his bottle for me?” Riko sighed. “Of course. Can I feed him?” Reese asked as she dug out the bottle warmer from his bag.


“Sure,” Riko smiled as she transferred Ryū over. Reese smiled as she gently held Ryū and gave him his bottle. To many, my cousin is a monster. They call her an Amazonian.


She intimidates every man she meets and has since she was twelve. That intimidation factor has worked in her favor in court since she joined the family law firm.


“Hey, guys,” Collin waved as he walked over to our group, arm around his wife, Cassidy. “Cass!” Riko grinned and rushed to hug her best friend.


“Hey, everyone. Sorry, we’re late. There was something we almost forgot to bring,” Cassidy greeted, hugging Riko back.


“Collin’s brain?” Justin laughed as he and Ben joined us. “Burn,” I gave him a high five. “Hilarious guys,” Collin rolled his eyes. “That would imply he ever had one,” Cassidy scoffed. “I love you too, babe,” Collin feigned offense.


“Anyway,” Cassidy rolled her eyes. “We had an announcement to make,” Cassidy’s expression went serious. “What’s going on?” Riko frowned.


“Well, I’m sorry to tell you that the end of the world is coming. The antichrist will be born in June,” Cassidy sighed with a completely straight face.


I furrowed my brow because I wasn’t sure what she was on about. Riko’s eyes, however, lit up. “YOUR PREGNANT!!” she squealed and hugged Cassidy.


“Congratulations. To both of you. Oh, that’s so wonderful. Your baby will grow up with Ryū,” Riko was smiling. “That’s the silver lining. Though lord help the world when they get older,” Cassidy laughed but nodded.


I looked for my brothers to call them over and saw them making snowmen with the girls. I furrowed my brow and looked for Hikari.


I sighed when I saw him with other kids not far from my brothers. However, my relief was short-lived as Hikari hit a boy and shoved him. “Shut up! You are a bad person!” Hikari was shouting.


My brothers, Riko, and I were all rushing over. However, the mother of the boy ours shoved got their first and grabbed Hikari by the arm.


“You should keep your hands to yourself, you little brat,” she harshly spoke. “Get your hands off my son, now,” Riko demanded, forcing the woman away from Hikari, picking him up.


“Oh, of course, he’s with you,” The woman scoffed. Great, we will have one of these situations on our hands. “Hikari, what happened?” I asked. “He shoved my son. You saw it,” The woman answered.


“Is your name Hikari? No, I didn’t think so. So don’t speak till spoken to,” Darius glared at the woman. Her mouth fell open.


“H…how dare you. No wonder that boy has anger issues,” She snorted.


“Our son doesn’t have anger issues. He’s never hit anyone before. So shut up while we find out what happened,” Forrest snorted.


“It’s okay, Hikari. Tell us what happened,” Riko gently encouraged. “We were all playing. And then he….” Hikari pointed to the little boy who was now crocodile tears crying in the snow.

“Called our family freaks because I have three daddies. And called mommy a bad word. So I hit him and told him to shut up and that he’s a bad person,” Hikari confused.


I could see Forrest and Darius getting angry. “A bad word? Is it a bad word you’ve heard us say?” I asked. Hikari shook his head. “Is it a bad word that Granny Yūri might say?” I asked. Hikari nodded. And well, that told me it was awful.


“It’s what my mommy called her, so it’s true. Not my fault, your mommy a slut,” the boy shouted, getting to his feet.


“The hell? You talk that way in front of your kid? You teach him words like that?” Darius was starting to lose it.


“And who are you to pass judgment on our family? You don’t know anything about us,” Forrest growled.


“I know she’s here with several children, and I’ve heard them call each of you daddy. That’s enough to know your mail order bride is a slut,” the woman scoffed.


“Joanie Walker, should you be calling other people names?” a new voice spoke up. The woman… Joanie apparently went wide-eyed and mouth open as Don Hunter joined us.


“D…Donald Hunter,” Joanie’s eyes narrowed with hate. “You know the old saying, those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. And the religious one about letting he who is without sin throw the first stone. I suggest you back off, my friends,” Don folded his arms.


“You know them?” Joanie wrinkled her nose. “You know this woman?” Darius questioned.


“This is the Frost family,” Don stated, putting emphasis on our name. I saw the fear in Joanie’s eyes. “Yes, that Frost family. So move along and mind your own business,” Don waved a hand.


“That was impressive,” Reese commented as I realized she had walked over. Joanie narrowed her eyes, picked her kid up, and walked away in a huff.


“What’s our family name got to do with anything?” I questioned. “Thanks… and you are?” Don didn’t even acknowledge my question. His eyes were focused on Reese.


Reese arched an eyebrow, an interested eyebrow, at Don. “Reese Nikolaidis, the boys’ cousin. And you?” she smirked, looking him over.


His baldness wasn’t evident with the knit cap on, and under the heavy winter coat, neither was his slightly heavier body. “Don Hunter. I work with Darius at the school,” Don smiled up at her.


“Darius didn’t mention having a gorgeous cousin in the area,” Don added. “Um, Don…” Darius started to speak.


“I only recently moved to this area. I was living in the Bronx before this. Plus, as far as my cousins are concerned, the only gorgeous woman in the world is their wife,” Reese shrugged.


“Don. Reese,” Forrest tried to interrupt. They were ignoring us. “Come on. Leave them be. We’re here to enjoy the festivities with the kids,” Riko nodded her head for us to follow her.


We obeyed with furrowed brows, though we kept glancing back at our cousin and Don. “Who’s that talking to my sister?” Clay asked, raising his arms one at a time as the girls squealed with delight as they clung to his biceps.


“My friend and coworker Don Hunter. He’s the shop teacher that made the Yoda pod for Ryū’s Halloween costume,” Darius explained. “Huh. Weird,”


Clay furrowed his brow, having a similar expression as we watched Reese giggling. Our badass could crush a man’s skull with her hands if she wanted to; cousin was giggling like some dainty woman.


“This is weird,” Darius frowned. “Very weird,” Clay nodded. “Leave them alone. You know if you say something wrong, Reese will kick all your butts,” Riko wagged a finger at us.


“You’re right. Besides, we are here to have fun as a family,” I smiled and kissed her before taking Hikari from her. “Come on, bud, you can build a snowman with me,” I smiled.


Despite the strangeness of Don and Reese being flirty, the rest of the event was fun. The kids had a great time, and we ended up with plenty of pictures of happy memories we will get to look back on for years to come.


Darius

My brothers and I are still reeling from how things went at the trellis lighting event. I mean, yes, the fact our sweet Hikari pushed another kid was jarring. And that kid’s mother… Joanie Walker was a piece of work. But all of that faded as the event progressed. All for the unlikely flirting between Reese and Don.


When I invited Don to meet up with us at the event, I never would have guessed he’d hit it off with Reese in a million years. He’s certainly not her usual type. I’m not putting him down or anything. Don’s a great guy.


I’ve never seen Reese even look twice at a guy who couldn’t at least stand a chance in an arm-wrestling match against her. Reese just came out of a bad breakup where the insecurities of lesser men once again got in the way. I don’t want Don to be a rebound.


I just don’t know how to broach the subject with him or with Reese. It’s made the last few days at work really weird when I run into him. I decided today I should just clear the air. Tonight is the faculty Christmas party, and he’s basically one of the few people I’m friends with on staff.


So during lunch, I dropped down into a chair at the table Don was already sitting at. He had a stack of books next to his brown paper bag. I furrowed my brow tilting my head to look at the spines.


“The Legal Analyst by Ward Farnsworth? Law 101: Everything You Need to Know About The American Legal System by Jay Feinman? The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin? The Gentleman’s Book of Etiquette and Manual of Politeness by Cecil B. Hartley?” I read the titles then looked at the book in his hands.


“Etiquette for Dummies? Don, what’s going on?” I questioned because, seriously, none of this made sense. “I’m expanding my horizons. What’s it look like, Darius.” Don scoffed. Book in one hand, he brought his sandwich to his mouth with the other.


“Right…. But why? I mean, most of those are books my dad made me and my brothers read back when he thought he could make us go to law school.” I frowned while taking out my bento box. Riko may be back to work, but she still manages to pack me a lunch. I love this woman.


I grinned as I took a Santa hat cupcake. “Score. My brother is awesome.” Yes, I’m excited that Elijah gave me one of the holiday cupcakes he was making. The benefits from having a pastry chef as a brother.


“Elijah gave you a cupcake?” Don arched an eyebrow peeking over his book. “Yeah. He made gingerbread cupcakes with Santa hats last night for Hikari’s preschool party. Want to split it?” I offered. I could see he was tempted. “I.. no, I shouldn’t. Need to be more mindful of what I eat.” he shook his head.


“Don, what’s going on? You’re reading law and etiquette books and now turning down half a cupcake?” I questioned, digging into chicken teriyaki with my chopsticks. I can’t help smiling, thinking about the first meal I shared with Riko at Ravenwood. Of how she fed me from her lunch and withheld a bite to find out which Frost I was.


“Ugh. You spaced out again. You’re thinking about Riko.” Don sighed. I blinked and started laughing. “Sorry, man. It’s just this….” I gestured to my bento box. “Is a lot like the first lunch Riko and I shared when we were in high school.” I smiled.


“You are so in love with that woman it’s almost nauseating. But… I can get it now.” Don sighed, turning his attention back to the book. There was something about his tone. “So I’m going to just be the bull in a china shop here and get to the point. Is this… all this?” I gestured to the books. “Because of my cousin?” I asked.


Don lowered his head, trying to hide in the book. But I could see the blush on the top of his bald head. “Don… I don’t want you to take this wrong. But Reese…” I sighed, trying to think of how to say this.


“I can guess what you want to say. Reese is too good for me. A goddess like her, a living breather superwoman, is so far out of a guy like me’s league it’s not even funny.” Don sighed, putting the book down. I frowned at how he put himself down.


“That’s not it. It’s just Reese recently went through a bad breakup. She’s had a hard time with guys because, well, she’s a Nikolidais.” I sighed. “I know about her ex Trevor. I know about the guys before him too. Worthless little shits if they aren’t secure enough to be with a woman taller and stronger than them.” Don snorted.


“I mean, I won’t disagree with that. There’s been a few guys we assisted Clay in beating the shit out of for how they treat her. We know it’s not easy. Our mom is built the same as Reese. It takes a real man to date a Nikolidais woman.” I sighed.


“And I’m not one of those?” Don furrowed his brow. “What no? I’m not saying that. Don, you’re a great guy. You’re one of the few people I call a friend. I just worry about both of you. And then seeing these books… I have to worry you are trying to change yourself because you think she’d want you to.” I sighed.


Don sighed. “It… it’s not Reese. It’s just… she invited me to this big party at some Frost Estate next weekend. She told me it’s a black-tie affair. I looked it up cause fuck your family is well known. And what I found is this is a big to do. Movie stars, politicians, high power lawyers, millionaires, and basically the social elite go to this party.” Don ran a hand over his face.


“It can be intimidating. I haven’t gone in years. Love having kids; they make a great excuse. But man, you don’t need to do all this shit. If Reese invited you, she didn’t expect you to do more than show up, wear a suit, and be at her side.” I assured him.


“Maybe, but I don’t want to make a fool of myself in front of all those people. Reese is so fucking smart. She’s one of those high-power lawyers, kicking ass and taking names at your family’s firm. While I’m just a shop teacher. What if I meet her parents? They’ll take one look at me and pass judgment, and then if I say something stupid.” Don frowned.


“One, you won’t meet my uncle. Uncle Apollo hasn’t attended one of the parties since he divorced my Aunt Sophia. If you meet Aunt Sophia… run.” I laughed. “Not helping.” Don narrowed his eyes. I sighed. “Aunt Sophia is a grade-A elitist bitch. So seriously, don’t pay her an ounce of attention. Reese won’t care, need, or desire her mother’s approval.” I assured him.


“Thanks. Doesn’t make me less worried I’ll screw up.” Don sighed. I smiled and patted his shoulder, putting the whole cupcake in front of him. “Ginger is brain food, and a sugar boost can’t really do you much harm if you plan to read all that boring shit.” I teased, gathering my things. “See you at the Christmas party.” I waved, leaving him in the teachers’ lounge with his books.


My brothers were astonished that Reese invited Don to the Frost holiday party. Even Riko was a little surprised. She was primarily happy for Reese. “Don’s a good man. Reese has dated the pretty boys from the good families that check the generic boxes. It’s about time she went outside that box her mother made.” Riko sighed as we arrived at the hotel we had the facility party at.


“I just don’t want to see Don or Reese get hurt. And you’ve met Aunt Sophia. She’s not going to go easy on them.” I frowned, hurrying around the car to open her door. “To take a page from my grandmother’s book, Sophia Frost can go fuck herself.” Riko snorted as she slipped elegantly out of the car.


Fuck I have the most beautiful wife. Her dark hair in a braided flower updo shows off her slender neck accented by the gold necklace we gave her after Ryū was born, the pendant being a flower with each of the kids’ birthstones as a petal.


The pendant just drew my eyes to her cleavage of her v-neck of the a-line gold and champagne ombre sequin cocktail dress. “Have I told you how incredibly sexy you are when you swear?” I smirked, leaning down, stealing a kiss as we entered the party room. Riko softly laughed against my lips as she returned the kiss.


“Ahem.” Someone cleared their throat. Regrettably, we pulled away, and I found myself facing one of the women in the English department, Maria Santiago. Since day one, she’s tried to flirt with me and never seemed to acknowledge or maybe care that I wear a wedding ring.


“Are we in your way, Maria?” I arched a brow keeping my arm around Riko’s waist. “Just wanted to say hi. I didn’t realize you were bringing a date.” Maria forced a polite smile. “Why wouldn’t he bring his wife to a social event?” Riko arched an eyebrow.


Maria’s eyes went comically wide. “W..wife? You mean you are married?” She looked at me like I’d somehow misled her. “Yeah. I wear a wedding ring.” I held my left hand up to show my ring.


“I don’t exactly hide it. Maria, meet the love of my life, mother of all four of my children, my wife, Riko. Riko, this is Maria Santiago. She teaches tenth grade English.” I introduced.


Riko politely held back a laugh. “Nice to meet you.” Riko nodded. “You.. you too. Four kids? You… look…” Maria was struggling for words. “My cousin looks hot.” Reese chimed in, walking in behind us. Maria tilted her head up to look at Reese, and I think she just pissed herself.


“Cousin?” Maria questioned. “Hey, Reese.” I smiled, looking over my shoulder. “Hey, Don.” I nodded as I saw Don step into the room, putting his arm around Reese. He’s shorter than her, and some might find that difference weird. Not met since I grew up seeing my mom tower over my dad.


“Reese is my cousin, so therefore Riko’s cousin.” I shrugged. “Exactly. So, why don’t you go mingle with men not wearing wedding rings, skank.” Reese waved a dismissive hand, her tone as haughty as any Frost. Maria visibly gulped as she slowly backed away before hurrying across the ballroom to whisper to some other single women.


Riko and I both burst into laughter. “That was a little mean.” Riko sighed, trying to stop her laughter. “Like I care. Bitch needs to learn that a wedding ring means something.” Reese snorted.


“But to use the Frost voice.” I shook my head. “Probably won’t be the last time I use it here.” Reese sighed as we walked to the refreshments.


I knew people were watching us. Looking at her in her red one-shoulder, empire waist dress with a high slit up the side. My cousin is a looker; no one can ever deny that.


She’s just intimidating because of her size, making her stand out. What makes her stand out more is she’s on Don’s arm. No one probably has seen Don with a woman at these events.


“Ignore them. People are just jealous they could never look as good as you. And then know you could kick their ass.” Don winked, handing Reese a cup.


“Thanks. And you’re right. I think the only person in this place who could hold their own against me is Darius.” Reese laughed softly.


“Thanks for the vote of confidence, cousin.” I smiled. “You kids have fun. I’m going to dance with my wife.” I winked, tugging Riko’s hand to the dance floor. I know people are watching us. I don’t care. I have the most beautiful woman with me, and I’m going to enjoy a night out with just the two of us.


Tonight we’ll go home, make sure the kids are in bed. If my brothers are still awake and Riko has the energy, we can have some naked adult time to end the night. God, I hope she’s got the energy for that.


Even if we have to be stealthy about it. Seeing her in this dress and having her pressed close as we dance has my mind rolling in the gutter.


Riko

Growing up as a military brat, I didn’t have too many holiday traditions. Unlike my husbands, who every year growing up knew they would go cut down a tree, and they’d go to the trellis lights event. We moved enough that it was hard to maintain traditions. But there was one that even after mom died, we kept alive. Cookies.


I don’t have a lot of memories of my mom, but I do remember that every Christmas eve, no matter where in the world we were, she’d have me in the kitchen with her to bake cookies for Santa.


Cranberry white chocolate and walnut jam thumbprint cookies were my mom’s go-to. I think because we could get the ingredients no matter where we lived.


And since having our kids, I get to share that tradition. So right now, our kitchen is abuzz with activity. Elijah and I are working with Hikari, Saki, and Akio to make cookies. Darius is holding Ryū while Forrest is taking pictures.


As an early gift, my dad ordered little aprons for the kids with their names embroidered. They look adorable, standing on chairs at the kitchen table in their little aprons, trying to concentrate. The table was a complete disaster, but at least this time, it was supposed to be.


Elijah has both girls stirring the ingredients for each of the two cookies. They were both concentrating so hard, and just like Forrest does, they had their little tongue sticking out at the side.


Hikari was laser-focused as he measured ingredients. Elijah showed him how to use a butter knife to brush excess dry ingredients from the measuring cups to get the exact measurement.


I wonder if he will take after Elijah and want to go into baking or cooking. It’s still far too early to ponder what our kids will grow up to be. Because they can be whatever they want. We won’t try and lead them down any set career goal. My husband know what that kind of pressure can do to a kid.


“Okay. The cookies are almost ready to go in the oven. Just need to do one last thing. Kids, wash your hands really well.” I called them to attention and pointed to the sink. “Line up cookie elves.” Darius waved them over as he moved to the sink with Ryū.


Honestly, Ryū could be in his swing at this point. He’s fast asleep against Darius’s chest, his little mouth just slightly open as he drools on Darius’s ‘Feliz Navi Dad’ Christmas sweater. The sight of him with Ryū and helping the older kids wash their hands makes my heart, and other areas, flutter.


I don’t fully understand it, but it melts my heart and my panties when I see any of them with the kids. Either way, I’m hoping tonight, after the kids are in bed and we’ve gotten their Santa gifts under the tree, we can have sex. Yes, we had sex just last week after Darius’s work party, but Christmas eve sex is also a tradition, one just for us.


“You done undressing my brother?” Forrest whispered into my ear. I instantly blushed at being called out for staring at Darius. He snickered, licking my earlobe. “It’s okay. You think it’s hot when we are in dad mode. We think it’s hot when you are doing mom stuff too.” He assured me.


I sighed, rolling my eyes. I’m well aware of how they feel about me doing ‘mom stuff’ or breastfeeding. “Just keep your naughty thoughts for tonight. We have a special gift for you.” Forrest teased, leaving me with that naughty promise as he stepped away to take pictures of the kids as the girls splashed each other in the sink while washing up.


I sighed and turned back to the table to help Elijah clean up and be ready to make the thumbprints. I glanced up, feeling eyes on me, and saw Elijah watching me with dark eyes.


“You look distracted, Elijah.” I arched an eyebrow as I wiped the table. “You’re bent over, and I can see down the front of your top. Of course, I’m distracted.” Elijah smirked.


I rolled my eyes and quickly fixed my top. Elijah pouted but was laughing behind that pout. “So much for the show.” He snapped his fingers. I chuckled and sighed.


My husbands are something else. I love them. Soon the kids had returned, and we helped them press their thumbs into the walnut cookies then spooned raspberry jam into the indents.


“Good job, everyone. Santa is going to love your cookies.” I assured the kids as I got them cleaned up while Elijah put the cookies in the oven.


“I’m looking forward to eating mommy’s cookies,” Darius smirked, giving me a wink. I pressed my lips together, trying, unsuccessfully, not to blush.


“Are you okay, mommy? You’re all red.” Hikari asked, putting his little hand to my forehead. “You aren’t sick, are you?” Saki questioned. “You can’t be sick on Christmas.” Akio pouted.


My ever so helpful husbands just laughed. “I’m fine, babies. Just warm from all the baking.” I assured them, kissing the top of their heads.


“Now go play and remember to be good. Santa’s watching.” I smiled. Their worries faded as they rushed to go play.


“You three are horrible.” I sighed lightly, hitting each of them in the arm. And they just laughed. “You love us for it.” Elijah smiled.


“And you’ll be more than just feeling warm and slightly blushing when we’re done with you tonight.” Forrest winked. “And we are all going to get our fill of your cookies.” Darius wiggled his eyebrows at me.


I was saved more embarrassment by Ryū fussing. Gently taking my baby from his daddy, I went to the living room and the rocking chair. It hasn’t been long since our trip, but I have managed three sessions with my therapist.


I can’t say I’m cured or anything. But I am doing better. I have fewer breakdowns. And I’ve noticed that even this tiny change has created a shift in Ryū too.


He’s been less fussy too. Like he knew all along that something was bothering me. If that’s the case, he’s undoubtedly like Darius with how observant he is.


Soon enough, we’d eaten our Chinese takeout because we don’t cook on Christmas Eve. That was a tradition dad started after mom died since he’s not the best cook.


Then we got the kids ready for bed. The kids were in their Christmas pajamas that Artemis and Shaw bought, making them look like little reindeer with their hoods.


We all gathered in the living room. The fire was going, all eight of our stockings hung on the mantle waiting for Santa.


The kids piled on our laps as Darius took out the hardcover copy of Dickens’ Christmas Carols from the shelf. We have read it since Hikari was a baby and too little to care.


Darius never gets to finish the book as the kids fall asleep before he’s done. Soon we are each carrying one of our kids to their bed.


I got Ryū because, well, he’s the tiniest. They look so sweet as they sleep peacefully in their beds. I love them so much.


“It’s almost like you can see the sugarplums floating above their heads.” Forrest sighed, wrapping an arm around me as I stood in the girls’ doorway, watching them sleep.


“I love them. I didn’t think I had this much love to give.” I sighed, leaning into him. “I knew you did. How else can you love us so perfectly and equally.” he hugged me tightly.


“Now, let’s go upstairs, Mrs. Frost. We have a Christmas eve tradition of opening our favorite present to fulfill.” He whispered, peppering my neck with hot kisses.


I clenched my jaw, not wanting to wake the kids by letting my moan escape. “Then take me to bed,” I whispered.


I had to cover my mouth so as not to let my laugh escape as Forrest suddenly had me over his shoulder, heading for the stairs. Elijah and Darius weren’t far behind, cookie crumbs on their sweaters.


“Santa already made his rounds?” I asked. “Mhm, now for the part where Santa kisses mommy.” Elijah winked as Darius shut my bedroom door.


Being quiet is not easy when my three husbands drive me mad with their touches. But we managed to not wake any of the kids. The four of us passed out in my king-size bed, too content to want to, let alone try to move.


“WAKE UP!” Three voices shouted as my bedroom door slammed open. The four of us startled awake, quickly making sure the blankets covered any body parts the kids shouldn’t see. “IT’S CHRISTMAS!” Hikari shouted.


“SANTA CAME!” Saki exclaimed, climbing on the bed. Forrest grunted as our daughter walked on him. “Ryū needs a new diaper. He stinks.” Akio held her nose with one hand, tugging at Elijah’s arm with the other.


“Okay. Okay. We’re getting up.” Elijah sighed. “You three need to go brush your teeth, then wait for us in the living room. No touching gifts.” Darius instructed.


“We’ll be down when we’re dressed, and Ryū is changed,” I assured them. With sequels of excitement, the three rushed out of the room.


“They certainly keep life interesting.” Forrest sighed as the first to get out of bed. “Like their fathers.” I teased, climbing out of bed. “And you love it.” Forrest teased, slapping my bare ass as I walked past to get clothes.


“Yes, I do.” I smiled, wiggling into my nursing nightgown. “I’ll get Ryū.” I waved a hand as I left my naked husbands to get dressed. If I didn’t go soon, I might be tempted to see if we could sneak some morning sex in too.


Downstairs our living room became a mess of torn wrapping paper, shrieks of delight, and toys as the kids enjoyed their Christmas. We’ll get it cleaned up and have everyone dressed to have Christmas dinner with Artemis and Shaw at their house. Unlike Thanksgiving, I didn’t protest when Artemis offered to make Christmas dinner at their home.


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Author Bryant
Author Bryant
Dec 16, 2021

I hope you enjoyed this Holiday special. I don't know if there will be others int he future. But you never know. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!

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