Chapter Sixty One - Brax POV
The week had gone quickly, mostly we spent it getting back into routine after the tour, our scan and then getting the house sorted for today. Charlie had been really nervous, but for once I had a good feeling that things were finally going to start looking up for us. We had our parents coming for dinner tonight, and my cutie was so excited to share the scan photos with her mum.
Much of the day had been tidying the house and Charlie was cooking dinner, even though I was happy to have something catered so she didn't exhaust herself. Charlie insisted she wanted to cook and I knew better than to argue with her, because I never won.
I had set the dining room and then heading into the kitchen to take over from her. I knew she would want to get washed and tidied up before everyone arrived. "Right, so where do you want me?"
Without turning to face me, and not missing a beat, she replied "On your knees."
"Yes ma'am." I grabbed her hips as I said it and pulled her into me.
"No, no, no, no . . . . we don't have the time. I was just mucking around, Brax."
"You can't do that to a man Charlie, that's not cool. It causes blue balls, you know that right?"
"I don't think that is something you have ever had to complain about Mister." Unfortunately I had to agree and I asked again what she needed me to do to help. "Watch the food babe, so it doesn't burn."
"Agh baby, you do remember what my fridge and freezer used to look like before you moved in, right?"
"Shit! That's true. Frozen meals and off milk. . . . You know what, I am just going to turn it down low. All you need to do is turn the lamb in the oven in about half an hour and the same with the baked potatoes alright? The rest I can do when I get back." I opened the door to the oven and had a peak in. Immediately the aroma of the roast filed my nostrils and I was in heaven.
"Fuck me! What is that smell? Damn, that's good."
"It's mint sauce babe. I soaked the roast lamb in it first before putting it in the oven."
When I started picking at it she was quick to slap my fingers out. "Can I wife you?"
"Sure." Charlie gave me a quick kiss and ran upstairs to get ready. Making myself useful I tidied up the kitchen ready so she wouldn't have to when she got back and stocked the dishwasher, putting the used dishes through a cycle ready.
I was sitting in the lounge watching the football when she came back down and I couldn't help but smile like an idiot when I saw her. "What?" She looked down checking her outfit.
"I can see your bump, it's so cute! Come here please."
"Brax! It's barely noticeable. Are you going to be like this for the next six months?" When I said yes, more than likely she was fast to add. "I am moving out then."
"Hey! You take that back!" I raced at Charlie and grabbed her, pulling her to me before she could sneak off back to the kitchen. I reached down with both my hands and started softly stroking her little bump. I felt her hands come down over the top of mine, and I looked deeply into her eyes. "Seeing you carrying my child is like nothing I could ever explain, because it is everything. I don't ever want to miss a step of this alright? I wish there were enough words to describe how much you and peanut mean to me." When Charlie said she loved me, I was quick to say I loved her more. Not to be outdone we both said I love you most before smiling. When I saw her nose scrunch up I leaned down and kissed her pink lips all too briefly, before bending down to kiss my little peanut, safely cocooned in her mother's belly. Just as I was covering her stomach in kisses we heard the door go and I stood up. "I'll get it baby."
"Ok batman." I started to head to the door, and I felt her slap my ass, turning on her and pointing my finger. "Don't you start!"
"I haven't started, that was just a warm up."
"Tease!" I raced up the stairs, taking two at a time as I got to the front door and opened it to see Richard and Carole.
"Hello, my darling." Carole hugged me tightly as I said hello back, highlighting how good it was to see her again. "You too darling. You are looking well?"
"We finally caught up on sleep, it definitely helped. Hi Richard, I am Braxton."
I extended my hand to Charlie's father as I introduced myself, having yet to formally meet him, other than on the phone. He was a powerful man, you could tell by his mannerism and demeanour. A towering 6 foot 3, he was only a fraction taller than I, a white full beard showing his age which I would guess to be late fifties, early sixties. "Hello Braxton, thank you for inviting me into your home."
Nodding politely at each other, we shook as I turned to invite them in. "Please, come on through. Charlie is downstairs."
They stepped in and I watched Richard taking it all in, since it was his first time at our home. "This is a very nice house you and my daughter have, Braxton."
"Thank you, we love it." I heard Carole whisper that she already told him that, and Richard acknowledged his wife was right. He half smiled at me, and I knew the trial all too well when it came to the Bancroft ladies. I led them downstairs to where Charlie was. "Cutie, your parents are here."
"Coming." We stood in a bit of awkward silence waiting for Charlie to come and join us.
"Pixie, there you are! Come here." I watched Carole and Charlie hug as Carole stepped back to have a good look at her daughter. "You look beautiful, Pixie!"
"Thanks mum, I missed you."
"I missed you too baby, so much."
Charlie turned to see her father standing near me, looking just as awkward as she felt. "Hi dad."
"Hi Charlie, thank you for inviting me." A small grin crept across his face and I saw some of her anxiety wash away as she smiled back.
"Thanks for coming." I watched as she walked over to her dad and gave him a quick hug. I was so proud of her, I knew that was a huge step for her given everything they had been through. I was even more pleased for Charlie, when Richard hugged her back.
"You look good."
"Thanks dad, I feel good."
"And congratulations to you both. This is from your mother and I, for both the engagement and the baby."
I said thank you to them both, as did Charlie before adding "You didn't need to get us anything. You being here is enough."
I gave Carole a quick kiss on the cheek, and shook Richard's hand again. Charlie opened it and we saw a prepaid package for interior designers to come in and do the nursery for us. It was valid for twelve months so it gave us time to find out what we were having before deciding what we wanted to do. I looked up at them both and exclaimed "This is too much."
"Please, we insist." Charlie and I looked at each other before turning back to Richard as we both said we didn't know what to say. "Thank you will be sufficient."
"Thank you Richard, and thank you Carole." I wrapped my arm around Charlie's waist as I thanked them.
"Thanks mum and dad, truly this means so much to us both." Carole hugged Charlie again and kissed her softly on the forehead.
"Could I get either of you a drink? Come and sit down, please make yourself at home." I ushered them through.
"Thank you, we bought this for dinner also. I wasn't sure which you and your parents preferred, or what meal was on the menus so we bought one of each."
Charlie and I both smiled as he handed over a bottle of white, red and rose wine. "That's great Richard, Thank you."
"Yeah great for you, not so much for me."
"They can wait until you can enjoy them too." When Charlie said to tell Chester next time he runs out, Carole asked how he had been. "Still crazy." And Charlie quickly added still nuts. The door went again and I knew it was my parents, so I excused myself and raced back upstairs to let them in. "Hi Mum, Hi dad."
I hugged them both and gave mum a kiss before letting them in. "Now where is that beautiful girl? You know I am only here to see her."
I chuckled at my mother. "Is that right, mum?"
"I have a lot to thank her for. Ever since she took you off my hands, I constantly have a fridge full of food."
"And I can find a beer when I want one."
"So you want in on it also Dad?" I laughed with my parents as we headed downstairs and found Carole, Richard and Charlie sitting in the rumpus room.
"There she is." When Charlie heard my mum's voice she quickly got up and headed over to give her a kiss. Just like I do, mum noticed her cute little bump and made a beeline for it, as Dad leaned over mum to give Charlie a quick kiss on the cheek and congratulate us. "Congratulations Sweetheart. I am so happy for you both."
"Thank you, we're very excited, aren't we babe?" Charlie looked up at me and I wrapped my arm around her smiling back.
"Everything is perfect." She scrunched her nose at me again and I couldn't help but kiss it softly as she wrapped her arm around me.
"How about you all take a seat at the table and I will start to dish up?"
"How about Carole and I help you darling? Then we can hear the bits we want to know without the men complaining?" When Carole agreed with my mum and said she would bring the wine Charlie and I both chuckled. "It's like we have telepathy, Carole."
The girls headed off into the kitchen as my father, Richard and I headed into the dining. "This is a very impressive home, Braxton. It's quite deceiving from the front, isn't it?"
I explained to Richard that was what we loved about it also. "It affords us the privacy we wanted and makes it easier if we need to work from home. We are having one of the rooms down here converted into a studio with sound proofing and insulation so once the baby arrives, I can be here to help Charlie more."
"That's very good of you Braxton, thank you for looking after my daughter."
Before I could answer Richard, Dad spoke up. "I think I should be the one thanking your daughter. I often wondered if this boy here would ever grow up. I am proud of what they have achieved together."
"I agree Karl, I have to say Braxton, you have impressed me a lot. I see you two complement each other well." I looked at Richard when he said that as it took me by genuine surprise. When I saw his face though, I knew he meant every word with all sincerity.
"Thank you Richard, I hope you know how much that means to not just myself, but Charlie."
The girls came back through shortly with everything and Charlie puts it in the middle of the table while I carve the meat for everyone. Before we ate, we raised a toast, which my dad spoke first. "Congratulations to you both on your engagement we look forward to you both having a loving and happy life together, the same as Maggie and I have been afforded." I smiled as I saw him reach over and take mum's hand in his.
"And congratulations on your first child together, may you enjoy the love and comfort of finally having a home that a child brings." When I saw Carole look over at Richard and smile, I knew I was ok to trust he was being genuine and sincere in his intentions towards Charlie and I. We all tapped our glasses and Charlie looked sideways at me as she sipped her lemonade.
I kissed her softly and whispered "I promise, just one babe."
"Until Chester gets here. Yes Batman, I heard you on the phone this morning in the bathroom planning for the boys to come over after dinner. You know just in case you needed to cut loose." She smirked at me and winked as I said lucky I wasn't trying to hide it.
We started eating and spent the time catching up with our parents. It was surreal sitting here, after everything that had happened, I never thought I would see the day all four parents would be sitting here with us celebrating our baby and pending wedding. If I had any doubt though as to the sincerity it was all squashed when we saw our parent's faces as Charlie showed them the scan photos.
Charlie sat back in her chair and we watched our parents looking and discussing the photos. I wrapped my arm around her shoulders and looked down to see a tear falling down her cheek. I took my thumb and wiped it for her. "Happy tears, baby?"
She nodded softly to me. "Happy tears, batman." I whispered to her reminding her of my love as we took comfort in this special moment.