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The Princes of Ravenwood Halloween Special

Updated: Nov 7, 2021



Darius

I have a new appreciation for Mr. Kinney. I should probably swing by Ravenwood or send him a card, something. Because damn the level of patience it takes to deal with ninth graders. Though I think I have it worse than he did or does if he’s still teaching. A prime example of why teaching is worse for me has just surrounded my desk.


I internalize a heavy sigh, hoping this headache would just disappear. And I don’t just mean the actual headache in my head. No, the headache I want to disappear is the five girls currently giggling lined up along the front of my desk. “Hi, Mr. Frost,” one tittered. I stopped myself from rolling my eyes before looking up for the quizzes I was grading.

“Can I help you, ladies? Did you not understand the assignment?” I questioned, glancing between the girls’ faces. Standing almost in a pattern so the shortest yet the ring leader of their quintet was in the middle. Miranda Myers was around my wife’s height, but that’s the only thing she has in common with my sweetheart.


Miranda reminded me of Jane Burns in all the worst ways. Same blonde hair and haughty attitude that you expect of a queen bee. And Miranda was the queen bee of ninth grade. She’s barely fifteen and constantly pushes the dress code regarding the length of her skirts and how much cleavage she shows by not keeping her uniform shirt buttoned up.


I’m pretty sure I’m the only male teacher who’s actually given her detention and reported her to the principal for the violations. Otherwise, it’s female teachers reporting her. I don’t know if it’s because the other male teachers don’t care, like the skin she’s showing, or don’t feel it’s their place as men to speak out. Personally, I’m going to treat every student the same. A boy violates a school policy, including dress code, I speak up.

“Well, a little,” Miranda batted her fake eyelashes at me, thinking those blue eyes would do a damn thing for me. “I was hoping maybe you could go over it with us… or just me before the dance,” she licked her lips. I’m guessing she’s trying to be sexy, but it’s just coming off as desperate and super creepy.

“Miranda, Jennifer, Kelsey, Liberty, and Connie. I made this very clear at the start of the school year. I have set office hours where I am willing to help struggling students one hour after school is dismissed on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It is Friday, I do not have office hours. If you want, there is a signup…,” I gestured to a tablet I put up by the whiteboard. “Form on the tablet to schedule a time during my office hours. The schedule is limited to fifteen-minute intervals and usually fills up quickly,” I explained.

The girls pouted, her cronies looking to Miranda for guidance. “Oh well, we’ll do that. But we will see you tonight. You’re chaperoning the Halloween dance, right?” Miranda smiled like her plans hadn’t changed, just deviated. “No. I am not chaperoning the dance,” I shook my head and sighed in gratitude at the chime of my phone. “Excuse me,” I held a finger up as I took out my phone.


Elijah: Dude, get home! Did Donny from shop class finish the baby Yoda pod? Cause if not, you’re carrying Ryū.

Darius: I just need to get some students out of my class, then swing by shop class. Don said he had it ready. Don’t worry. I wouldn’t let our sour puss down.

Riko: Can you also stop by the store? We need more diapers and baby wipes.

Darius: You got it, sweetheart. Can’t wait to see you in your Padme costume. ;)

Riko: Thank you. I love you.

Darius: I know.

Forrest: *eye roll emoji*

Elijah: *cheese emoji*

Darius: *middle finger emoji*

Riko: Boys, behave. Just hurry home, Darius. The kids are getting anxious to go trick or treating.

Darius: I’ll be home soon. Love you and the kids.

I could hear the girls getting huffy as their shoes tapped in annoyance at my ignoring them. I sighed, putting my phone away. “Sorry about that. Wife texting. We need more diapers for our newborn, and otherwise, I need to hurry home so we can take all four kids trick or treating,” I smiled.

It was a genuine smile because I always smile when talking about Riko and the kids. They are my everything. I could talk about them for hours. “W...wife?” Jennifer gulped. “Baby?” Kelsey blinked. “Four?” Liberty questioned. “Yes. We’re celebrating our fifth anniversary next month,” I sighed softly, touching my white gold wedding band. “And you already have four kids?” Connie blinked.


“What can I say? My wife is hot,” I chuckled, smiling. I took my phone out and turned it to them. My wallpaper was a picture of Riko and the kids at the hospital after Ryū was born. Riko doesn’t like the photo, but I think she looks fucking gorgeous. It was the day after Ryū was born, so she’d at least gotten a chance to clean up but was still in a hospital gown and looked a little tired. Despite how tired she was, her smile was so bright and genuine.


She held Ryū in her arms, swaddled in a soft green baby blanket with his name stitched into the edge and a knit cap that matched on his head. He was so adorable with his grumpy face wanting to just sleep. Hikari was standing to Riko’s left, smiling this big grin that reminds me so much of Elijah it’s not funny, sporting a blue tee that said ‘Big Brother’ in black on the chest.


Saki stood on Riko’s right, a devious glint to her eyes, wearing a purple tee that said ‘Big Sis 1’. And sitting at Riko’s feet was Aiko Saki’s identical twin with that same devious glint in her eyes wearing the same purple tee, but instead, it said ‘Big Sis 2’. We realized later the girls had messed with Forrest’s phone, and he had to take it to the store to get it fixed.


The girls all leaned closer to look. “Oh wow. Um, you have a lovely family,” Liberty commented. “Thanks. They are my world. Which speaking of my world, if you girls don’t have any pressing issues, I need to go,” I said, getting up pocketing my phone. Again the girls looked at Miranda. Miranda looked like she’d just had the wind knocked out of her.

I sighed as I gathered my things into my messenger bag. “Look, girls, it’s well, I would say flattering, but honestly, it isn’t. I get it. I’m the youngest male teacher on staff and having crushes on teachers is relatively normal. But you need to understand even if I was single, nothing would happen. I’m sure each of you is a great girl, but you’re kids. So maybe try less to get my attention and focus more on boys your age, or if you don’t like ninth-grade boys try one of your upperclassmen. And only signup for extra help if you really need it. Don’t waste your time or mine,” I explained.


They all were frowning, looking like I kicked their puppy. I don’t care. This crush needed to be nipped in the bud now at the start of the year. I want nothing to do with anyone that’s not Riko, and they should understand that. I’ve already had this conversation with a couple of the single women who saw me as fresh meat. Maybe if I was Elijah, I’d have been more kind in my delivery, but honestly, for me, that was letting them down gently.


“Have a good weekend, girls. Enjoy the dance,” I waved, leaving the classroom. I hurried to shop class and sighed in relief as I saw Don Walker, the middle-aged, balding shop teacher, was still there. “Hey, Don. Sorry, I’m late,” I greeted. “No worries. I’m guessing your fan club held you up,” he teased. I rolled my eyes.

“Unfortunately. But I let the girls down. Made sure they know I’m married with kids, and nothing is changing that. Which speaking of kids. Did you finish that Yoda pod from the old pram I brought?” I asked. “Poor guy. The curse of being handsome. Almost makes me glad I never was,” Don chuckled. “Got it right here. And I want to see pictures of Ryū in it wearing his costume,” he said, pushing the stroller out.


He’d used the base frame but changed the pram shape to recreate the baby Yoda pod in the Mandalorian show. “Dude! That is amazing! Ryū is too little to know how remarkable his first Halloween is, but his brother and sisters will be totally jealous. My brother Forrest is going to get such a kick out of this thing. He’s a total Star Wars nerd, and why we are even going with that as this year’s theme,” I sighed, running my hand over the pod.

It was perfect. Even the inside was perfect and looked very comfy. Ryū was going to probably spend the whole time snoozing away in this. “Not sure why you let your brother pick your family’s costume theme,” Don shook his head. No one really knew that my brothers and I share a wife. Never really knew how to approach the subject. Also didn’t feel super comfortable explaining.


“Don, we’re friends, right?” I asked. “I want to think so. I mean, you’re one of the few staff members I talk to. And the only one I’d do a favor like this for,” he said, pointing to the pod. “Then, if I tell you something, you will keep it to yourself. Right?” I asked, folding my arms. “Yeah, sure. I’m no snitch or gossip. Don’t tell me something happened with one of those girls,” he wrinkled his nose.

“Oh god, no. Nothing like that. It’s just. I’m polyamorous. And no, that doesn’t mean I’m into dudes. Enough of my cousins asked that when we told our family about the relationship,” I sighed. “Okay, so then I’m confused. What’s that mean?” Don frowned. “My brothers and I are all with Riko. We have been since high school. Elijah is legally married to her, but Forrest and I married her in a vow exchange. So it’s not a matter of Forrest having a say in what my family does for a theme. It’s his family too,” I explained.


Don blinked and leaned against a work table to stay up. “Wow. Um. So you and your brothers share… Riko? And the kids?” his brow furrowed. “We are identical triplets. There’s no way to know who’s is who. And none of us care,” I shrugged. I wasn’t sure how he’d take it. Some people are cool about it, like our family and a select few friends from high school. But others freak out.


“Um, okay. Well, I guess whatever works for you all,” Don shrugged. “Thanks. We obviously don’t go around broadcasting it,” I nodded. “Got it. Well, go enjoy trick or treating with your family,” he rolled the stroller into my legs. I chuckled. “Thanks again, man. I owe you. You ever need something from me, I’ll help, or if it’s something one of my brothers is good at, I’ll get them on it,” I smiled, leaving with a wave.

Elijah

“You can handle this, Justin. I told you when I made you manager that I trust you. Your store has plenty of product and isn’t going to suddenly run out,” I sighed, pinching the bridge of my nose. Love Justin to death, he’s a good friend, but he gets in his head sometimes. Not sure how his husband Ben deals with him.


“Alright, if you’re sure,” Justin sighed. “And I am. Now I’m going to hang up. Darius should be home soon, and I need to finish getting into my costume,” I assured. “Alright. Well, may the force be with you,” Justin laughed. “And with you,” I chuckled, hanging up. “Justin still freaking out?” Forrest asked where he was sitting on the floor already in his costume, minus the Darth Vader helmet.


“Yep. Justin needs anxiety medication,” I sighed, walking over, leaning on the back of the sofa to watch the progress. Hikari was already racing around in his little Luke Skywalker costume, making swishing sounds as he swung his lightsaber. Ryū was in baby Yoda costume: green knitted booties, a brown knitted robe with matching diaper cover, a green long sleeve sleeper to keep him warm, and a green knitted cap to look like Yoda wears covered his dark locks.

He is so precious at only three weeks old. I can’t believe it’s already been three weeks since he came screaming into this world. And I mean screaming. Of the three deliveries, his was the most over the top. Hikari had taken his sweet time, and the twins were a c-section after Aiko got the cord wrapped around her neck. But Ryū came fast and hard.


Riko was suddenly hit with pain, and before we could get her to the hospital, she was in the backseat of my SUV giving birth while a freaked-out Forrest tried to help her through it. He was born a mile from the hospital. I had to get a new car because I couldn’t get the smell out, no matter how much I deep cleaned that back seat.


I think we were all happy he’s our last because we almost lost Riko from the hemorrhaging. We’re always thankful that we still have her and Ryū. I’m pretty sure my brothers and I would be shells only living to take care of the kids if we lost Riko. “I love you, little one,” I sighed, stroking Ryū’s soft cheek.


“Bampás!” Saki called out, wanting my attention as she hopped up next to me. “Hello, Princess,” I greeted, scooping her up into my arms. She was dressed as Princess Leia but from New Hope, so the white dress with hood. Riko had managed to get her to sit to let her put her dark locks into the two side buns. “Why aren’t you dressed yet?” she pouted.


“Because Bampás had to handle some work stuff. But I’m going to get changed now. Why don’t you help Otōsan get Aiko ready,” I smiled, putting her back down. “Okay!” Saki grinned and rushed over to sit with Forrest and Aiko. Aiko was also Princess Leia, but she was dressed like her from Return of the Jedi in white pants, a khaki top, and a white vest. Forrest was presently trying to get her hair in the same style used in that movie.

“I’m back!” Darius exclaimed as he walked in the front door awkwardly carrying the pod stroller. “DADDY!” All three older kids shouted. Hikari and Saki rushed him, but Aiko wasn’t allowed. “Stay still and let Otōsan finish your hair, baby. Then you can attack daddy,” Forrest spoke through a mouth full of bobby pins. The shit we’ve had to learn as dads of two girls. Usually, Riko would have handled it, but she’s upstairs getting into her Padme costume.


“That looks awesome. Don does good work,” I whistled, looking at the pod. “Yeah, we owe him. Said he ever needs something we’re down,” Darius nodded, putting the stroller down to pick up Hikari and Saki. “Hey there, my little prince and princess. Where’s your sister?” he raised an eyebrow. “I’m over here, daddy! Otōsan says I can’t move till he finishes my hair,” Aiko pouted. “Ah well, that’s okay. I want to see the complete look,” Darius smiled, putting the kids down to go and gently kiss Ryū’s cheek. “Hi there, sweet boy,” he whispered.

“Forrest, you got them? Cause it looks like Elijah and I still need to get changed,” Darius asked as he put his stuff in the closet. “Yeah, go get dressed. We need to get pictures and then head out,” Forrest waved a dismissive hand. I shrugged and headed up to the third floor, where our rooms are. I poked my head into Riko’s room.


“Hot damn!” I whistled as she sat on the bed, her costume half on while pumping breast milk. She rolled her eyes, blushing. “Elijah. There is nothing hot about this. I feel like a dairy cow,” she pouted. I sighed, walking over to crouch in front of her. “Cupcake,” I smiled softly, cupping her cheek.

“Everything about you is hot, including pumping breast milk for our baby. I don’t say it in a deranged fetish way, but you take care of our baby. It’s awe-inspiring. We can’t do what you do. And this is the last baby you’ll ever have to pump milk for,” I smiled, giving her a soft kiss. Riko sighed, briefly returning the kiss. “You boys think too highly of me,” she shook her head.


I scoffed. “Riko, that’s not even possible. We love you. You are our Queen, our Goddess, our everything. You are the love of our lives and the mother of our children. If anything, we need to appreciate you more,” I smile, stroking my thumb across her cheek. “That is why next weekend we are watching all four kids, and you are going with Cassidy and Reese to a spa day and girls’ time. We will handle everything with the kids from wake up to bedtime,”


Her eyes went wide as she gasped. “Are you serious?” she questioned. “Of course. It’s all paid for. Cassidy and Reese are already on board,” I nodded. “Oh... I love you so much,” she grinned before kissing me deeply. “Ahem,” Darius coughed. “Do we all get kissed like that with you topless?” he smirked from the doorway.


Riko laughed, blushing. “Of course, you do. Elijah just told me I get to go have a spa day with the girls next weekend. Thank you so much. Since Ryū, I’ve felt… I don’t know. Not myself,” she frowned. “We noticed. And beyond that, we appreciate what you do for this family. We want you to always make time for yourself. You have three husbands. Use us. Abuse us. We are your servants and will do whatever you need,” Darius sighed.

“I’ll keep that in mind. You both need to get dressed, and I have to finish getting ready,” Riko shooed us. “Not till I get my kiss,” Darius grinned, crossing the room while I chuckled and moved aside. Riko didn’t get to protest or comment before my brother was kissing her. I ducked out of the room, letting them have their privacy, and changed into my Anakin costume.


Forrest

This theme was my idea, so it was on me to make sure we pulled it off. I furrowed my brow concentrating on getting Aiko’s hair just right. “Almost done, baby girl,” I assured her, getting the last pin in place. “Perfection! You are done, Princess Leia of the Rebel Alliance,” I grinned proudly at myself for getting her hair up.

“Yay!” Aiko jumped up, spinning to give me a hug before rushing to cash her sister and older brother. “You three just remember once mommy, daddy, and Bampás come down, we are going to take pictures to send to your grandparents and great grandparents, and then we will go trick or treating,” I called out as Ryū started to fuss.

I sighed, gently lifting him from his bassinet he’d been snoozing in. “Otōsan is here. I’ve got you, little man,” I cooed softly, bouncing him as I walked to the kitchen. He didn’t give a shit about a word I said. But really, what hungry three-week-old does? “I’ve got ya. I’m pretty sure there are bottles already warmed for you,” I assured my grumpy tyrant overlord.

I should just count myself lucky there is only one of him. Saki and Aiko had been hell to deal with if I was solo. Thinking of my trouble makers, it’s too quiet. “Saki Artemis, Aiko Lilith!” I called out as I balanced Ryū in one arm, getting a bottle from the warmer with the other.

I heard a crash and winced as my troublesome Princesses skidded into the kitchen. “Yes, Otōsan?” they asked all innocently. I narrowed my eyes at them. Ryū was silent as he happily made a glutton of himself on his bottle. “What did you two do?” I questioned. “Nothing,” they blinked, giving me bright smiles.


Oh, I love these girls. They are probably mine, given the trouble they get up to. “You two know that I have a built-in lie detector. So tell me the truth, and we can handle it,” I sighed. I got my answer before they could speak as Hikari came in crying, holding his broken lightsaber. “Otōsan! They broke my lightsaber,” he pouted. He’s a sensitive kid, totally Elijah’s. I sighed. “Girls, that wasn’t nice,” I scolded.


“He wouldn’t share,” they pouted in unison. “Leia gets guns, and Luke gets the lightsaber,” Hikari pointed out, getting some of the words wrong, but it made him all the cuter. “Your brother is right. The lightsaber is part of his costume, like your guns are part of yours. It’s a good thing I bought extra,” I sighed, heading to the hall closet.

I used my chin to hold the bottle for Ryū, so I had a free hand to open the closet. Hikari and the girls were right behind me, watching me curiously. “Need a hand, little brother?” Elijah chuckled, coming around the corner fixing the belt to his Anakin costume. “The girls broke Hikari’s lightsaber wanting to play with it. I got extra in the closet,” I explained.

“I got them. Finish feed Ryū. I need to get mine anyways,” Elijah nodded, taking over rummaging through the closet for lightsabers. “You got a lot of them,” Elijah commented, giving Hikari a replacement. “Yeah, cause I knew this would happen. There should be two in there that, if you turn them on, light up purple. Give them to the girls so they’ll leave Hikari and you alone,” I said, grabbing a burp cloth


The girls squealed in delight as Elijah handed them their own lightsabers. “Leia doesn’t get one,” Hikari pouted. “Don’t be such a purist. Leia was a Skywalker too, so she has the force,” I rolled my eyes, shifting Ryū to burp him. Hikari pouted, not happy that he didn’t have the only kid lightsaber. “Remember, this keeps them from breaking yours again,” Elijah smiled, scooping Hikari up and kissing his cheeks.


Looking at them side by side like this, you can see that even in his delicate, childlike features, Hikari will look like us but with Riko’s dark hair and eyes. I pity the girls when he starts school. Scratch that I pity Hikari when he starts school and all the girls chasing after him. The girls favor Riko the most, and I’m terrified for them to get older and grow into those looks. I might not go as far as Ryōta did, but I will do what I can to keep boys away from them.

“Is everyone ready?” Riko’s voice pulled me out of my worries about the future. I turned my head, and damn, my heart started to beat out of my chest, and I felt my breath lock up in my lungs. This woman is hands down the most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen. She’d chosen to dress up like Padme from Clone Wars in the golden with pink flower embroidered off-shoulder gown and the half updo style.

“Mommy is so pretty,” The girls gushed in hushed voices as they looked at their mother star stuck. “Indeed,” I managed to speak. “I am not,” Riko blushed and rolled her eyes. I shifted Ryū in my arms and walked over to the bottom of the stairs. “You are always the most gorgeous woman in any room,” I smiled, leaning down kissing her. I love this woman. I want to do more than kiss this woman.


Ryū let out an indignant cry making us both aware he was between us. “Oh, my poor baby. Did mommy and Otōsan squish you? I’m sorry, my darling,” Riko cooed, taking him from me. “I can’t wait till he’s eight weeks old,” I sighed. Riko arched an eyebrow. I leaned close to whisper in her ear. “The weekend he’s eight weeks old, our parents can take the kids, and the four of us are going have some grown-up fun,” I whispered, kissing her ear lobe.


When I pulled back, I smirked, seeing her blushing. “F...Forrest,” she tried to sound indigent, but honestly, she sounded needy. And if she wasn’t still in the recovery period, I’d give her exactly what she needs. I winked and took the empty bottle to the kitchen, washing it and then putting it in the sanitizer. “Alright, everyone onto the porch for pictures!” Darius called out.

Riko

My husbands are something else. I can’t believe after all these years, they can still not only make me blush but that after four children, they get me so hot and bothered. First, Elijah and his sweet kisses, telling me about my upcoming spa day. Then Darius and his heated kisses, offering to take care of the pump and store the milk in the nursery’s mini-fridge. And now Forrest with his naughty promises after having fed our baby. Plus, I know he did Aiko’s hair which is just so sweet.


I love them so much. My husbands are excellent fathers. I still feel overwhelmed with four kids, but I’m glad I have my husbands. Them planning the spa day shows me that not only did they notice I was struggling these past few weeks but that they took the initiative to do something about it. And they are so good with our kids. It melts my heart every time I see them with the kids doing anything. As we all stepped out onto the porch, I couldn’t help but chuckle. We were quite the crew. Darius and Forrest both had their handsome faces hidden behind helmets. Only Elijah didn’t have to wear a helmet. They’d considered just being stormtroopers, but I vetoed the idea. I didn’t want them to dress up identical, especially not as clones, which is what stormtroopers started out as. “Don did an amazing job on the pod,” I commented as I carefully laid Ryū into the pod stroller and secured him in place.


“Yeah. I told Don we owe him one. I may have also told him about our family,” Darius said. This statement got all of our attention. We hadn’t really disclosed to many people our family dynamic. “Are you sure that’s safe?” Elijah asked. “Yeah. I trust him. He didn’t make a big deal of it. If anything, I think it cleared up some confusion on why my brothers and wife are so close,” Darius shrugged.


“Well, as long as you trust him,” I nodded, lifting his helmet enough to kiss him quickly. “Thanks, sweetheart,” Darius sighed. I didn’t need to see his eyes or the rest of his face to know he’s been worried about how we’d handle him telling people. “Yeah, we trust you, bro,” his brothers nodded. And like that is was settled.

I fixed the kid’s costumes and got everyone in place while Forrest set up a tripod with his phone. Darius was on one side with Ryū in his pod, starting to fall asleep. For as grumpy as he can get, you can count on him sleeping after a bottle. Elijah was holding Hikari in his arms. I scooped Saki into mine, standing between Darius and Elijah. Then, once he had the camera timer ready, Forrest rushed up, black cape flapping behind him, scooped up Aiko, and stood next to Elijah.


After a few family pictures, we did pictures of me with the kids, then each of the boys with them, and finally the kids. We did group pictures and individual. I know it may sound like a lot of pictures. But well, you trying to get four kids, okay three since Ryū was sleeping, to look at the camera. They are only slightly worse than getting my husbands to stand a certain way and look at the camera. Yes, we did pictures of my husbands together, the three of them with me, and then at their insistence, me with each of them.


I knew my dad, the boys’ parents, and grandparents, especially my grandparents, would love getting the pictures. And then we set off, leaving a big cauldron full of candy on the porch with a sign that said ‘Take a handful.’ We left our porch light on, and otherwise, our eight jack lanterns lined the stairs providing ambiance.

We were a big hit as we walked the neighborhood. Granted, our neighbors don’t know our family dynamic. They just think it’s me, husband, our kids, and his two brothers sort of Full House style. And that’s fine. I’m on good terms with the moms in the area. We have a moms group that meets a couple times a month at the playground. I see them at activities for the kids and things like that. But I’m not super close to any of them.

So I don’t ever discuss that I have three husbands. I don’t vent about them either. I save that for Cassidy and Reese. Though both make gagging noises when anything sexual is brought up. And I don’t blame them. Especially Reese since she is, after all, my husbands’ cousin. If I had cousins, I wouldn’t want to hear about their sex lives either.

The only downside to our neighbors thinking only Elijah is mine are all the single women who hit on Darius and Forrest. It pisses me off, and I have to try so hard to keep my jealousy in check. At least I trust my husbands and know they don’t give any of those women a time a day. Some of the single moms have whispered that they think Darius and Forrest are gay. Oh, if they only know how far from true that was.

“Oh, aren’t you all so cute,” Thinking of single women that hit on my husbands. I plastered a big smile on my face as we crossed paths with Delores Wright and her five-year-old son. Delores was in a pirate wench costume, and her son Danny was a pirate. “Thank you. This year Forrest decided our theme,” I smiled, gesturing to Darth Vader Forrest, who seemed to be trying to negotiate candy from Aiko.


“That’s so creative. My ex wouldn’t have even thought to do a whole theme. Elijah, you must be very accepting to let your brother decide how to dress your wife and kids,” she battered her eyes at him. “Which if Forrest is Darth Vader, that means. Darius, is that you under the Mandalorian helmet?” her voice taking on a flirty tone. “Yeah, that would be me,” Darius answered, bored and not paying attention as he shook a rattle at Ryū to keep him happy.

“Forrest is a creative guy and has amazing ideas,” Elijah shrugged. “Well, I just wanted to say hi. And Darius and Forrest, I’m having an adult Halloween at my house after my ex picks up my son. You’re more than welcome to join. There will be plenty of drinks and single ladies,” she winked. I can’t see their faces, but I know their body language. Both Darius and Forrest shuddered.


“Not interested. So you can remove us from your singles invite list for future reference,” Darius coldly stated, pushing Ryū’s pod stroller around her. “What he said. Have a good night, Danny. Killer pirate costume,” Forrest answered, his voice coming out in that deep Darth Vader voice. Aiko scoffed at Delores as she followed her dads. Hikari stuck out his tongue at her but waved at Danny as Elijah walked them around to catch up with his brothers.

“That was rude,” Delores scoffed. “Your brother-in-laws are rude,” she repeated. “They aren’t rude. Darius is just blunt and has no time to waste on anyone he’s not interested in. And they aren’t interested in you or any of your friends,” I shrugged, taking Saki’s hand to walk past. “Well, I never..,” Delores harrumphed. “And you never will,” Saki taunted, sticking her tongue out.

I chuckled, shaking my head. Oh Lord, help me, my children are exactly like their fathers… or worse, like my grandmother. I gave Saki the side-eye in concern. I don’t think I could handle it if she or Aiko or worse both grow up to have even half my grandmother’s tenacity. “Am I in trouble?” Saki pouted. “No, Princess. I’m proud of you. Always stand up for yourself and others you treasure,” I smiled.

I sighed as I looked ahead of me. Saki had caught up to everyone, and Darius had her in his arms as he pushed the stroller with one hand. Elijah was carrying Hikari while Forrest held Akio. Three of the most amazing men and fathers in the world, and they are all mine. How did I get this lucky? I’ll be sure to show them how much I love them and am grateful to have them after my recovery time ends.


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