Chapter 21: Mason
ONE YEAR LATER
And of course, I was right. A few months after Noah came back, we were already talking about rings for all of us. We wanted a symbol of our forever, and both of us wanted to surprise Olivia with the proposal.
The morning Olivia came down to breakfast to find both of us on our knees with ring boxes in our hands, we discovered a proposal was not the only surprise of the day.
When we all went to the ultrasound together, we found out that we were going to have twins. Twins! Since then, Noah and I had been working on an addition to the cabin to make sure we had enough room for the kids- two adorable little angels that were approximately the size of a bowling pin now that Liv was about 38 weeks along.
Officially, Olivia and I were married in a private ceremony the day after the proposal and pregnancy announcement. Noah was a witness, but the vows that Olivia and I spoke were not only aimed at each other but at him. And when we got back home, Noah gave us his own vows. Noah and I each had a band with three stones on it, while Liv had the engagement ring with the giant princess cut rock and two bands that fit together perfectly on either side of it. While the ceremony and rings were all symbols and outward signs of our commitment to each other, we all knew that the words we spoke in private were commitment enough.
Olivia's bright laughter distracted me from reminiscing in the middle of the half-finished nursery, and I walked out to find her on the couch, feet in Noah's lap while he tickled them, saying he was only trying to give her a massage. I chuckled at their antics, my smile hurting my cheeks. Liv was gorgeous, even as large as the twins had gotten her. In fact, Noah and I thought it made her even more beautiful, and she had a hard time keeping up with us now even when we were being careful.
"Okay you two, that's enough. I've seen how your weird tickle fights end," the teasing, feminine voice said from the kitchen.
I turned with a laugh to face Vanessa. Imagine our surprise when the woman had turned up at our door just a couple months ago, the spitting image of Noah. A sister he never knew he had, who was just 10 months younger than him, had been trying to find her brother ever since her bitch of a mother had let it slip that Vanessa wasn't the only "accident" she'd made in her life.
Vanessa's story had broken all of our hearts, and the reunion between her and her brother was heartwarming. We welcomed her with open arms, and it turned out to be a blessing in disguise since she was more than willing to help with Olivia and the babies. She didn't even blink at the relationship between us three, and we all loved her like a sister.
"You heard her," I growled playfully, and Noah reluctantly stopped teasing Olivia. He began to actually massage her feet, and Olivia melted into the couch.
"How's it coming along in there?" Olivia nearly moaned the words out, and I had to take a few deep breaths before answering to make sure my cock stopped reacting to the sound. I saw Noah shift in his seat and knew he was dealing with the same problem.
"Good, I think you're really going to love it when it's done."
"Gah, I can't believe you won't even let me see."
"I told you, there's-"
"I know, I know. 'Too much in the room that could harm the babies if I breathed wrong.' It doesn't make it any less frustrating though," she grumbled, then whined when Noah hit a particularly sensitive spot.
"You were part of every planning step, so you know what it's going to look like," I said as I moved behind her to massage her shoulders. A sharp knock sounded on the door and covered the low moan that escaped her at my touch.
"Don't worry guys, I got it," Vanessa said and headed to the front door.
"Thanks sis," Noah said distractedly, his hands beginning to move higher up on Olivia's legs.
"No prob-" She said as she opened the door, but her words cut off on a breathless whoosh. I craned my neck to see who it was, but the door was blocking my view.
"Ciao, bellisima," a rumbling man's voice said from outside.
Noah was standing up in a split second, shoving the door open and shoulders vibrating with tension.
"What the fuck are you doing here?" He shoved Vanessa behind him despite her sputtering as he spoke. In the commotion, I was able to catch a glimpse of the man, and my heart stuttered. I'd only seen him a few times, and it had been years, but I would recognize Leonardo Ricci anywhere.
"I've come to ask for your help," he said in a casual voice as he peeked inside over Noah's shoulder, a knowing smile tilting his lips when he saw Mason and me. "That must be the reason you left Denver."
Noah and I growled with warning, both of us moving to block Olivia from his sight. I moved around the couch and stood in front of her, and I could feel her shifting to look anyway. Thankfully, Leonardo turned away from her and looked back at Noah before I lost my cool and made him do it.
"What could you possibly need my help with? I left everything behind in the city."
"Exactly. I need a safe place for my sister, and you've become an incredibly difficult person to find. I have no real connections to you, so no one would even begin to think to look here. And my sister can help out with your family's situation here."
"We already have help." I spoke up and Leonardo raised an eyebrow at me.
"I'm afraid I will need to borrow that help."
Noah, Vanessa and I all protested loudly at that, our voices ringing through the room. I thought I heard a small gasp behind me, but Leonardo spoke and distracted me.
"Here's the deal," Leonardo interrupted. "I know that Vanessa is your sister Noah, and I understand the absolute necessity of protecting her. I have a sister that I care about just as much as you do yours, and I promise that this arrangement is just as much for my sister's sake as it is for yours."
"What the hell does that mean?" Noah demanded.
"You may have learned a lot about your sister since you reunited, but I'm sure you don't know everything yet. Isn't that right, little Nessa?"
I looked over at Vanessa, who had paled considerably. Noah was also looking at her, confusion and worry filling his face. I heard Olivia breathing deeply behind me, and I turned to check on her.
"You okay baby?"
"Yeah," she said quietly. "Just having a few Braxton-Hicks contractions." She was rubbing her belly, and I so badly wanted to go and do it for her, but protecting her from Leonardo was more important. I nodded slowly in acknowledgement and turned back to the commotion near the door.
"Vanessa? What is he talking about?"
"Noah, it's nothing. I swear, I would never do anything to hurt you and your family."
"That doesn't tell me anything."
"I know." Vanessa shifted on her feet, looking between everyone before blowing out a breath. "Look, I can tell you later, but if Leo is saying I need to help him, then it's better to just let me go and ask questions later. His sister is great, and she'll be a big help around here while I'm gone."
"What the fuck Vanessa? You know his sister? And why did you call him Leo?"
A strangled groan sounded behind me, and I whipped around to face Olivia. Her face was dotted with perspiration, her hands pressing against her stomach and her face twisted in pain.
"Olivia?" Immediately I was next to her on the couch, running my hands all over her. Noah was there a split second later doing the same, and I began to blast questions at her.
"How long have you been having contractions?"
"Um, maybe and hour or two?"
"And how frequent have they been?"
"Well it wasn't very often at first, but..." Her face suddenly heated in something like embarrassment.
"What is it? You can tell us." Noah softly said the words and I nodded.
"I uh... I think my water just broke."
Noah and I froze in shock. "Holy fuck, we're having babies." I said the words as I looked at Noah and Olivia, and all three of us broke into huge smiles before Olivia grunted with another contraction.
"Oh shit, like right now. Shit, okay, I'll get the bags!" Noah jumped up and ran into his old room where we'd been keeping the go bags and anything else we'd need for the trip to the hospital that was in town. I helped Olivia up and turned towards the door, shocked to see Vanessa and Leonardo in a heated but quiet conversation. Leonardo threw his hands in the air and stomped out before Vanessa turned to me.
"I'm not going with him until the babies are born, but him and Eleonora are coming too. That's his sister. Obviously they won't be allowed in the room itself, but that way you all can meet her."
I just nodded, not wanting to think about that right now. We had to go, and we had to go now if we wanted to make it to the hospital before the babies decided it was time to get out whether we were ready or not.
Noah came back and we wrapped Liv's arms around us as we practically carried her out to the car between us. I could practically feel him worrying about the babies, Olivia, Vanessa, and what the hell we were going to do about everything else.
We got Olivia into the back seat and I sat with her to make sure she was doing alright and help as needed, and Noah began the drive. I noticed Vanessa jump into a black Mercedes with tinted windows that followed us, and then I focused on who needed me- my family.
"We've got this you guys," I said while I wiped Olivia's brow. "We'll figure everything else out, but right now we're about to get the two biggest blessings in our lives and that's all that matters. That, and I love you both so fucking much."
They echoed my sentiments, and as we made our way down the mountain to bring our babies into this world I knew that this was just the beginning for all of us.
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