“This is not funny,” Kyle says in a strict voice.
“It’s funny from where I am standing,” Ava comments.
“Yeah, pretty funny from here too,” Magda laughs.
“Stop teasing him,” I say. “If you stop laughing when Devon does that, he wouldn’t do it so much.”
Ava and Magda laugh even harder and Devon manages to get all of his food on Kyle and giggle really happy with himself.
“Finish up, brother!” Kyle orders.
“No,” Rage simply says.
“Baby?” Iris asks.
“I’ll do as fast as I can.”
I look at my brother-in-law and admire his concentration. This place has turned into a circus, Ava and Magda are constantly making fun of Kyle, Devon crawls all over the place and Iris pops every other minute to spoil her nephew. And still Rage is super focused on the tatt he is hitting on my arm: a Valkyrie astride a horse and on her extended arm a falcon.
“Man, all that SEAL training and you can’t handle a baby,” Magda points out.
“Do you want to try?”
“Nope, just fine watching you and Ava struggle with yours. Soon, Chiara will add to the show.”
“Thank God, Ariadne loves Daddy so much and prefers working on cars than dolls. I couldn’t handle dolls.”
“Dolls? You got her a custom-made shooting range!” I protest.
I shake my head. I fear that Ariadne will grow to be the most fearsome of all the Valkyries and Riders alike. I wonder how Devon will grow to be.
A sudden wave of bliss washes over me. I have a future ahead of me. I have my studies to finish, I have a wedding to plan. And most of all I have so much to look forward to. A life, a family with Kyle and Devon, with my sister close, with friends.
“Tamie, a little help?” Kyle looks up at me with half eaten fruit on his face.
“Devon,” I get my son’s attention. “I do not like it when you play with your food. I want you to finish up and then we can go to the beach.”
First he pouts and I bite my inner lip to keep from smiling at his cute face. He really knows our buttons so well. And deep down I don’t mind spoiling him a little. But right now I need to save Kyle. Having a baby really takes a toll on his OCD but he manages. Shows how much he loves this child.
Devon then gets more serious and I am this close to go over and hug him. But when he hears the word “beach”, he turns to his father and opens his mouth willingly.
“Are you sure this is not actually your child?” Kyle jokes and feeds Devon. “Never seen anyone more enthusiastic about the beach before.”
I smile and let go in Rage’s care. I lean into the chair and look upon Kyle with Devon. I can’t help but smile. I have never seen anything more precious than the two most important men in my life smiling at each other.
“Hence the beach wedding,” Magda smiles. “saves me the trouble of finding the right shoes.”
“Speaking of weddings,” Ava starts.
“Not that thing again!” Magda raises her arms in the air. “I told you a thousand times. I don’t know when and if Runner and I will go down the aisle. Lay off!”
“Yeah, I really don’t give a sh-” Ava looks at Devon and stops herself. “I couldn’t care less. But there is another wedding coming up.”
“You’ll find out tomorrow at the day off,” Ava says enigmatically.
Tomorrow is going to be really special. We have prepared a grand party for Tanya that is fully recovered and will be back. DJ, drinks and over the top decoration to celebrate her good health. Could she be the one?
Kyle has told me how he gave Logan to Derek. The eccentric millionaire must hold Tanya dear if he was willing to go to all that trouble to get his hands on the man that hurt Tanya. And I have seen him at the hospital. Good for you, Tanya! I smile once more.
“Done for the day,” Rage announces and covers the half-finished design.
He goes to dispose of his gloves right next to where Kyle is cleaning Devon that finished eating. My son looks at Rage and extends both his arms to him. I have never seen the Hellhound more dumb-stricken than right now. Everyone pauses.
Devon smiles and babbles joyfully at Rage and moves his arms. He grabs Rage’s wrist and we all hold our breath. Only Devon seems to be oblivious of the fact he is trying to get a dangerous man to play.
“I think he wants you to hold him,” Kyle says cautiously. “It’s fine I can-”
Kyle never finishes his sentence. Rage puts both hands under Devon’s armpits and lifts him up. He is holding him away from his body and regards him seriously but Devon seems to enjoy himself and kicks his feet enthusiastically in the air.
Iris goes closer and wraps her arm around Rage’s waist. Rage is still looking at the baby that smiles and talks in his own language.
“Hold him closer,” Iris says. “Do you want me to show you?”
Rage says nothing just brings Devon closer and makes him sit on his one arm. The terrifying man and a cute baby. They look at each other and Devon plays with Rage’s golden beard and laughs loudly. As for Rage, his look is deep and serious but his hold is gentle around his nephew. After a few minutes, he gives Devon back to Kyle, grabs Iris by the waist and guides her out of the parlor.
“Where are they going?”
“I think Devon is going to have a cousin soon!” Magda shakes her head.
I smile at the thought and go up to Kyle.
“You OK, kitten?”
“I have never been better,” I sink into his embrace while Devon wraps his little arms around both our necks.
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