SUBMIT (BOOK 2, DSD SERIES)

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Chapter 23

I walk out of my room, crutches between my arms as Roxie walks beside me. Well more like skips, every now and again she’d bark enthusiastically while snipping at my legs playfully.

I chuckle at her playful mood and use my foot to tickle her tummy as she stands on her hind legs. She topples to the floor before rolling onto her back while trying to push away my foot.

I laugh as she covers her nozzle and whines. “It’s okay baby Mommy will stop.”

I pull away my foot and she rolls over jumping to her paws. She rubs against my legs as I walk and I giggle, the feel of her fur tickling me.

“I see you’ve found her.”

I look up from Roxie distracted by the sound. We’re now in the kitchen and in front of me there are three beautiful women staring back at me.

Cheverlie sits farthest from me, stuffing her face with bacon and eggs. She’s in a ash-washed jeans shorts and a ′IDAF′ T-shirt that clings against her generous bust. Lexi’s around the stove stir the scrambled eggs, she’s in a blue robe that covers her black Star Wars T-shirt and dark blue yoga pants.

The aroma of the food hints my nostrils and my stomach growls. I chuckle before looking down at my bigger, more prominent stomach. I guess my babies are hungry.

“Come take a seat,” Shanice’s voice calls out and I look up at her.

Shanice is the closest one to me, sipping on a cup of what I’m presuming to be coffee. She wears a loose, black crop top that covers her torso but leaves a little peak-a-boo cleavage. High-waist, mauve pants cover her long, toned legs and black strapped up slippers lie beside the stool that her bare feet are swinging from.

I make my way over to a stool before sitting. I look over to my left, my eyes looking over the young woman beside me.

“You cut your hair,” I say as I look at Shanice’s pixie cut hair. The back has been dyed black while the front is red with streaks of golden brown. “And dyed it.”

“Yeah,” she says running her red nails through her hair. “Do you like it?”

She looks at me expectantly and I smile before nodding. “It looks totally badass–”

“See I told you,” Lexi says as she scrapes the scrambled eggs onto a plate. “It looks beautiful. Right Chev?”

“Yeah totally,” Chev grumbles as she continues to stuff her face.

Shan smiles at our complements, a blush making its way to her cheeks. “Thanks guys, I got it in Atlanta when Dimi brought me there for working purposes.”

“Okay. So what did Dimitri have to say about it?” I ask digging into the plate that Lexi had not too long ago pushed towards me. Roxie runs out of the kitchen into the hall and I watch as her little tail wags away.

“Well...” Shan starts. “I didn’t just plainly show him my new look... I gave him a show.”

We all stare at her intrigued by her answer. This sounds interesting.

“I’m listening.” Lexi, Chev and I say in sync and Shan chuckles as our attention floats to her.

Lexi leans onto the counter, chin in hands– ensuring her tummy is a good distance from the edge, I turn on the stool to face Shan who straightens up to tell her tale while Chev just lies on the counter, head resting on her hand.

“Okay, so the day I cut and dyed my hair Dimitri was out working. I was freaking out. What would he think? What if he didn’t like it? I needed to break it to him gently so he wouldn’t freak out or get mad. So I decided to appeal to his human nature–" she says wiggling her eyebrows. “I hit up a Cosplay shop in Atlanta called Play and bought something to entice him.”

“Ugh, stop speaking clothed. It’s just us girls here,” Chev says with a roll of her eyes.

“You need to be a little clothed yourself Chev. If you were we wouldn’t have caught you dry humping a certain person on his car in the streets." Lexi teases and Chev huffs.

“Wait what?” Shan say looking between Lexi and Chev. “I want dets.”

“Nope finish your story first,” I say as I pull at her arm with a pout.

“Fine,” she says with a sigh. “But y’all will spill on Chev’s street show.”

I nod whilst Lexi chuckles and Chev tries to glare holes in both Lexi and I’s heads.

“So... I chose a sexy robber outfit to match my badass hair and waited for him to come back. When he did he was so tired, tense and aching for some release. I played my part well cornering him on his way to the bedroom and ended up being the one up against the wall. He pulled off my black tom and I swore time stopped when he saw my hair.” She says pausing for suspense.

“I was freaking out. I mean it’s my hair, yes but I didn’t know what he’d think and I didn’t want to participate in a petty argument about my hair. I was going to push him away and explain until I felt his hand. He ran his hand through my hair gripping it and pulling back to expose my face to him. I remembered his eyes smothering with lust and affection, he was kissing my neck – leaving marks and telling me time and time again how he loved the new look... but... and I quote, “I was a naughty girl for not consulting papí about it.“...” Shan shivers as she says that and we smile as we see that look of total admiration in her eyes.

Well, well, well... Papí Dimitri.

“Let’s just say girls when he was done punishing this naughty girl she could barely move her legs. She was under bed arrest and man did he Hit. All. The. Right. Spots! He had her speaking in tongues. Something between Spanish, French and Italian and trust me most of it was incoherent.” We all burst out laughing as she says that and thrust her hips suggestively as she places emphasis on the ′hit all the right spots′ part.

“Damn papí De’ Santos is hitting it right,” Chev says as she pinches Shan’s reddening cheeks. “She has that thoroughly fucked look on her face even now.”

“That she does,” Lexi agrees smiling affectionately at us girls like a loving mother.

Roxie chooses then to skip back into the room with a raggedy rasta doll in her mouth. She rubs her head on Shan’s foot catching her attention and she bends to take up Roxie placing her in her lap.

“She has warmed up to you,” I point out and Shan smiles with a nod.

“She’s been with us for the last month or so. I guess she finally trusts me now. The first couple weeks she was so gloomy, it was sad,” Shan states and I frown. I had caused that. “But she finally started to warm up to us, especially Dimitri. They were almost inseparable. I swore she was trying to steal my husband.”

We chuckle at that but stop to stare at Shan wide eyed when her words sink in.

"Husband?” We ask in shock.

“Yeah, Dimitri and I are married. Have been for the last year,” Shan admits with a blush.

“What?” I ask.

“When?” I hear Chev mutter. “And why are we just hearing about this?”

“Well it never really came up in any conversation...”

“Because Christina’s birthday was the first time we saw him,” Chev interrupts.

“Actually he has been at the diner almost every day you just didn’t see him,” Shan points out. “He always sat in my section every morning and evening. He loves to check up on me and ensure I’m safe.”

“Well that was unexpected,” I say as I eat my breakfast. “Let me guess Chris knew?”

She nods. “Yes but it wasn’t his place to tell.”

“That dude knows everything,” Chev points out.

“He just has that warm persona so you feel safe telling him your secrets,” I point out and Shan nods in agreement.

“I guess he does,” shrugs Chev as she walks over the sink to wash her plate.

“So where did you guys get married?” Lexi pipes up.

“On a Ferry in Italy,” Shanice replies with a small smile as she reminisces.

“¡Qué romantica!” I coo as I finish my breakfast.

“Yes it was, he was and still is,” Shanice says proudly and we girls grin at our love-struck friend. “So what happened at Chev’s street show?"

Lexi’s eyes light up as Shan asks that and she turns to me. I grin at her and we relay a secret message while Chev groans.

“I think you’re going to need your camera for this,” Lexi tells Shan and she wastes no time in retrieving it and putting it on us; whilst Chev protests.

“Well hello ladies and gents I’m your host for today Lexilicious,” Lexi says with a flirty smile looking into the camera.

“And I’m your other host Tasty Christy,” I say and Shan turns the camera towards me. “Today we’re going to be giving a nail biting rundown of what happened at Chev’s Street Show."

“Oh yes we are.” Lexi confirms grinning as Chev glares at us. “It was a sunny day.”

“Exactly what you’d expect from a day in August,” I pipe in with a grin.

“Tasty Christy and I were walking down the street.”

“We’d just finished shopping. I was talking animatedly with Lexilicious when from the corner of my eyes it saw it!”

“Saw what my dear friend?!” Lexi asks faking surprise.

“A car.”

“A car?” She asks confused.

“Yes a car and slammed against that car was a ... girl!”

“A girl?”

“And slammed against that girl was... a guy!” I shout gesturing to Chev. “He was flushed against her! Her body pressed so hard against the car that they’d almost became one!”

We continue to tease Chev, giving Shan a colourful description of what took place yesterday. We compare Edward and Chev’s groping to that of mating monkeys and their sounds similar to a fornicating felines. By the time we’re through Shan is lying on the floor laughing her ass off and Chev is looking at us probably killing us a thousand times over in her head in a million different ways.

I shake Lexi’s hand with a pleased smile. I chuckle at Chev’s expression before taking a sip of cup of tea Lexi had placed in front of me with my breakfast.

I make up my face at the taste before looking at Lexi expectantly. What the hell is in my cup?

She looks my way with a cheeky smile after noticing the disgust on my face and says. “Remember Chrissie no caffeine for my baby, only organic tea.”

My eyes widen as I remember the day I had said that to her after finding out about her baby. She winks before taking out a bottle of water from the fridge and walking out the room.

“Pay back’s a bitch,” she says teasingly. “–and so is life.”

****

“Try this.”

“And this!”

“Oh this too!”

I open my arms catching dresses as they are thrown my way. I place each on the seat beside me as each one of the girls throw something they think will fit me.

“Lexi,” Chev calls as she grabs a purple dress. “I think this will look cute on you.”

Lexi walks over wearing a sleeveless top that reads PREGNANT AF and black jeans that show her now broader hips and plumper ass. She looks at the dress and nods animatedly, her ponytail jumping.

“I like it,” she smiles at Chev before going into the changing room.

“Alright. Shan help Chrissie in and out of those clothes,” Chev instructs as she continues to look through racks. “I’ll keep looking for dresses.”

Nodding her head, Shan walks over to me grabbing a few dresses before helping me into the changing room.

She helps me out of my off-the-shoulder grey top that says ‘TODAY’S GOAL– Keeping the little humans alive’ and my black Knickers before placing a pink form fitting dress on my body.

I step out with Shan’s help and all eyes drift to me. Lexi stands beside me in a purple dress with a fitted, shallow V neck cut. It flows mid-thigh and fits her body beautifully highlight each curve as she moves.

“You look hot Lexi,” I coo and she blush before blowing me a kiss.

“That’s her dress but I don’t like that one on you,” Chev pipes in as she texts on her cell phone. “Next dress.”

Shan shrugs before helping me back into the changing room and Lexi frowns at the dress. “She’s right try something a little more loose.”

A few hours later after having the girls help me in and out of dresses we leave the store with numerous bags.

What is all of this for? I have no idea they refuse to tell me or even give me a hint.

“Come on guys,” I whine as Shan helps me into the car. “Why are we doing all this?”

Shan shakes her head with a small smile before closing the door in my face.

“Rude!” I say as she slips into the passenger seat.

Lexi and Chev are putting the bags in the trunk and they seem to be taking an eternity. I look back to see them conversing rapidly and I raise a brow in suspicion.

These girls are up to something.

A few minutes later they enter the car, Lexi slipping in beside me. I look at her analysing her and she stale-faces me.

“Nope I ain’t talking,” she says and Chev chuckles before pulling out of the drive way onto the road.

Minutes later I find myself at Vini’s fighting the stylist as he manhandles my hair with his brushes and combs.

“Awoh!” I cry out as he combs the knotted ends of my hair.

"Scusa cara," he says before pulling the brush through my hair once more. He grabs my hair with his fist and uses a scrunchy to catch it atop my head.

He grabs a curling iron and starts to curl my wild vanilla–chocolate hair after securing the scrunchy in place. I look over at Lexi who’s getting a hairdo as well and Vini scowls me before forcing me to look in the mirror straight ahead.

"Tieni la testa ferma," he hisses.

I roll my eyes looking into the mirror as he rants. I spot Shan who’s looking at me with a smile and I raise a brow at the camera in her hands questioningly. She blushes before snapping a pic of me in the mirror and I stick my tongue out at her. She returns the gesture and Vini looks at us with a shake of his head. We giggle at his irritated look.

What seems like hours later Vini’s finally done with my hair and I’m allowed to move. As I stand I notice that my ass had fallen asleep, I groan at the numbness before making my way to the couch and after resting my crutches against the wall I attempt to lie on it. Keyword: attempt.

“No, no, no!” I hear Vini yell and I pause. “I just did your hair, don’t you dare...lie on it!”

“But I’m tired.” I protest as a yawn escapes my lips. “Being pregnant isn’t easy you know.”

“No I wouldn’t know because I don’t have a vagina!” He says heatedly and I chuckle at the way he pronounced the word ‘vagina’.

“Did you just say bahina?” Chev asks between laughter as a stylist places finishing touches on her hair. “Wrong end bro.”

Vini glares at Chev –who puts up her hands in surrender whilst laughing – before returning his gaze to me. “Up!”

“I’m tired,” I say placing emphasis on each word.

“Chair. That way you won’t mess up your hair.”

“Look at you, you’re running on rhymes today, Vini.” Chev pipes in and Vini says something frantically in Italian that causes Shan to bark out in laughter.

“That’s so unfair I don’t even understand what you just said!” Chev pouts before rolling her eyes and returning her gaze to the phone in her hand.

Vini stands before me, hands on hips. I look at him with a stink eye and he stares me down. I huff in defeat making my way to a chair with his help. I sit there looking at the grin on his face and I feel the urge to slap it off.

“Happy?”

“Very,” he replies tucking a strand of hair behind my ear and walking away.

I scoff before relaxing in the chair, spinning it left to right as I look at my reflection. My hair is cornrowed to the top of my head where a ponytail with luscious, vibrant curls lie and small, curly strands frame my face bouncing as I turn my head. It’s simple yet beautiful. Vini really does have some magical hands.

“This looks beautiful,” I say as I look at the pattern of neat, small and large cornrows in my hair.

“I did it cara. What did you expect?” Vini shrugs as he runs a comb through a blonde’s hair.

I roll my eyes at the boastful stylist before turning to face the girls. “So is anyone going to tell me what’s going on?”

Chev looks up from her phone, whilst Lexi turns with a dress in her hands and Shan moves the camera from her face to stare at me.

“Well,” Shan starts. “Obviously we are taking you out.”

“Really? Could have fooled me,” I say sarcastically. “Where to?”

Lexi stifles a laugh and Shan huffs.

“Oh that’s the surprise, our dear Izzy.” Chev sings before rising from her chair and stretching her arms.

“Surprise?” I say confused. “Guys, I don’t th–”

“Nope, not another word,” Vini pipes in and my eyes move to his muscular form. “If these girls want to surprise you let them! Enjoy the mysteries of life cara."

“Thank you Vini,” Chev says to the stylist who nods his head as he tends to his client.

Why am I the one being ganged upon? This is so unfair.

“Okay,” Chev says clapping her hands together – knocking me out of my thoughts – as she makes her way towards my area looking at my face attentively. “Shan honey, I’m going to need your help.”

Shan gets up from her chair in the corner of the room and makes her way towards us upon hearing Chev’s words; her camera around her neck.

“Grab my make-up kit,” Chev instructs as she grabs my chair and spins me towards the mirror.

“No offense Chev but I don’t think you’re make-up would fit my complexion.” I pipe in as she places the bag on the counter before me.

“Hush child,” she scowls as she pulls out her brushes, concealer, foundation and other make-up things. “I have everything for you right here, just let me take care of you. You won’t believe it’s you when I’m through.”

She takes a napkin and pats my face and I brood as they start to paint my face.

“That’s what I’m afraid of.”

****

The engine dies as Chev pulls the car to a stop. The sound of cars in the background alert my ears and I sigh. The wind blows through the windows and I welcome the coolness in this heat.

“Guys can I take this off yet?” I say pulling at the blindfold over my eyes.

Someone slaps my hand and I yelp. I rub my hand soothingly while frowning. “Why did you hit me?”

“Nope,” Is all I hear before the car doors are opened and I’m being moved from the car.

Rude.

They have been refusing to tell me why I needed to be blindfolded. I’ve been like this since Vini’s and they won’t take it off until we are at the place my surprise is. It’s a secret, they say.

A secret that they share with each other but leave me out off!

The girls help me to stand before giving me my crutches and I thank them. Soon I feel hands soothing crushes in my dress and a whisper in my ear tell-tales the owner of those hands.

“You’re welcome,” Lexi says and I nod as she kisses my cheek.

The dress the girls had chosen for me is a red, knee length dress. It has a high neckline with protruding shoulders and the sleeves extended to my elbows. The stomach area has small ruffles that makes my bloated stomach look smaller and a ribbon lies below my full breasts. To match this outfit I wear a black shoe on my uninjured foot and minimum jewellery.

The asphalt crunches under our feet as we make our way forward and I try to decipher once more, using my ears, where I am.

“Guys I don’t like being like this,” I complain.

“Oh really. Yet when you’re like this with Johnattan you don’t mind,” Lexi teases. “Is it uncomfortable because we aren’t giving you pleasure?”

“Watch your step,” Chev advises as they lead me through an enclosed space. I touch the frame and I figure it’s a threshold. A door.

They continue to move me forward and I try to feel for some clues but my hands feel nothing.

“Well, these are different circumstances. And you know I do it for a good reason,” I reply.

Soon my ass touches a chair and I feel around touching each girl to ensure they are there.

“Well so do we,” Chev pipes from behind me. “Now are you ready for your surprise?”

I nod. “As ready as I’ll ever be.”

“Okay girls, we remove the blindfold on three,” I hear murmurs of agreement and shuffling before they start to count.

“One,” Chev starts.

“Two,” Shan sings.

There’s a pause and I hold out my hands to touch someone. My hand touches a bloated stomach and I know it’s Lexi.

“We’re still here,” she reassures me and I nod.

“So let’s continue... Two and a quarter,” Lexi teases.

“Two and a third,” Chev chuckles.

“Two and a half,” Shan giggles.

I huff in annoyance. “Stop bull shiting me and remove the blindfold!” I pout while crossing my arms and I hear laughing before a click.

I stretch my lips in a thin line and Shan chuckles before snapping another picture.

“Guys...”

“Three!” Lexi shouts and the blindfold is ripped from around my eyes.

I look at the sight before me and my heart thuds.

I am not prepared for what I see at all.

“Surprise!” They all yell and I choke up as I stare at the faces in front of me.

Dimitri, Edward, Chris, Shan, Lexi and now Chev as she makes her way towards the group.

“Oh my god!” I say in utter shock. “Guys!”

The girls giggle at the expression on my face with a sly smile.

Shan walks over to Dimitri who kisses her forehead before pulling her to his side whilst Chev walks over to Eddie who throws his arm over her shoulder. He pecks her cheek in greeting and she rolls her eyes before looking back at me.

Shan and Chev are in matching dresses. The dress they had both chosen is seashell with a sweetheart bust with mesh on top and no sleeves. It flows down to their knees and the top is covered with crystal gems.

Each girl however, wears different accessories. Shan’s three inches pumps are black and her jewellery gold and black; while Chev’s accessories consists of a pair of silver heels and silver jewellery.

Shan’s hair remains the same as this morning, but Chev’s hair is cornrowed in two with gold braids thanks to Vini’s stylist.

They look beautiful especially Lexi who stands beside Chris in her purple dress and her hair is now straightened and in a high ponytail.

“So what do you think?” Shan suddenly asks as she hugs Dimitri’s waist.

My eyes drift around the diner and I cover my mouth suppressing a gasp.

I sit in the centre of the room on a throne and around me gender neutral colours decorate the walls. The booths are adorned with yellow, pink, blue and purple flowers, streamers and drapes. In the corner of the room where a larger booth lies are decorated boxes piled high on a yellow table cloth with blue streamers.

The other booth tables house food, pastries, drinks and other decorations. Above each table there are banners. My eyes water at the sight before me and my lips tremble as I read each banner.

The first banner is brown with the words ′Twice Blessed’ on it and each letter is printed onto pentagonal shaped paper; the second banner looks almost like crotchet and has various colours with the words ‘Baby mama’ on it - I think it’s easy to guess who bought that. I look at Chev who smiles knowingly.

The third banner is also brown and similar to the first but the words on this one are different. This banner reads ‘It’s twins!’ With a heart between it’s and twins. The last banner in the room is hung above the presents table and I grin as I read the flashy, gold words. Pregnant AF.

I look over at Lexi who winks at me and I chuckle as tears spill from my eyes.

“I love it,” I reply to Shan’s previous question as I wipe away stray tears.

I hear each girl coo and soon I’m being hushed and soothed as I erupt in joyful tears.

“I can’t believe you guys did this for me,” I say as I blow my nose on a hankie Shan handed me. “A surprise baby shower!” I cry out. “I love you guys so much.”

The girls chorus I love you-s to me and give me a group hug as the guys stand awkwardly to the side watching us.

“Don’t cry Izzy,” Shan says patting my cheeks with tissue.

“I can’t, I’m just so happy and these babies have me hormonal,” I reply as I hug Chev who is stooping beside me. “You girls are so sweet! I don’t deserve you guys.”

“Oh Chrissie,” Lexi says before sniffling. “Of course you do! We love you and wanted to grant you this gift of having a baby shower.”

“I know. But you didn’t have to,” I say as I start to sober up.

“Oh Izzy, we know that,” Chev says. “We wanted to. All of us.”

“Chris contributed his diner to house this celebration,” I look at Chris who in a white dress shirt, black pants and gents. He smiles at me with a flirty wink and I mouth Thank you.

"Eddie and Dimitri contributed their money and themselves to make all this a possibility,” the pride and affection in Chev’s voice is evident as she looks at Eddie and Lexi and I grin knowingly.

Edward and Dimitri are both in midnight blue dress shirts but Edward is wearing beige pants and light jewellery to match with Chev while Dimitri wears black pants to match Shan’s jewellery selection.

Guess it was a couple’s idea that the girls made the boys agree to.

“Thank you guys,” I say to the boys with a sniffle. “How can I ever repay you?”

They both chuckle and I raise a brow at the action.

“Don’t worry about that part. We’re getting our payment tonight,” Dimitri says and they both wink at their ladies who blush.

“Men.”

The sound of gravel crunching and a door opening alerts everyone of another presence and we all turn to look at the newcomer. In a black dress shirt, tight fitting pants and a pair of purple, light tinted shades a familiar male comes stepping into the place stealing the spotlight.

“I’m here!” Vini says as he walks in with a large, decorated box in his hands. “What did I miss-” he looks over at us girls and then at the guys. “She was cry wasn’t she?”

The guys nod simultaneously and Vini slowly walks towards them watching us girls as if at any moment we might pounce.

“How long have they been like this?” He whispers to Dimitri but we hear it anyway.

“Approximately twenty minutes,” Dimitri replies.

“Yikes, you unlucky souls. They must have been like mother birds watching over their little bloated egg.”

We all look at Vincent weirdly as he says this and he shrugs nonchalantly.

Chev clears her throat and Vini looks at her with a sheepish smile. “I’m sorry Mamma d’oca, continue.”

Dimitri sKnickers with Vini and I see Shan throw the both of them a glare; they shut up instantly causing the others to laugh.

After Vini’s arrival the celebrations start. Shan and Chev pulls out a decorated chair for Lexi placing beside my own. They sit her down saying she deserves to have a baby shower as well. Lexi tries to protest but they both walk away leaving her with me.

“Come Lexi relax,” I say as I hold her hand. “I don’t mind sharing this day with you. You’re my best friend after all. Just do as they say and have fun please.”

“Chrissie, I can’t,” Lexi protests and I place my finger on her lip hushing her.

“It is my baby shower wish to share this day with you so no complaining,” I say and she looks at he with a frown. “Please,” I say stretching out the word.

She rolls her eyes before agreeing and I smile rocking as Rockabye by Clean Bandits ft. Sean Paul fills the room. I look over at her wiggling my eyebrows, she tries to keep a straight face but fails and we both fall into laughter.

"So Rockabye baby, Rockabye!” Chev sings as she approaches us and I swear I see everyone flinch as her howls assaults our eardrums.

Shan who’s wincing as Chev sings walks over to us and places a tiara on each of our heads. Chev follows after her with sashes and places them on both of us.

I look at my sash and I laugh at the words on it.

“Baby Mama #1,” I say with a giggle.

“Baby Mama #2,” Lexi says after reading hers as well. “Technically I was pregnant before Chrissie...”

Chev looks at us with a glare before switching the sashes. “Happy now?”

“Yeah,” I say as Lexi says. “Totally.”

They soon leave us to get the party going. Edward and Dimitri come over to us and we talk a bit before they asked us if we would like to dance. Dancing with Lexi is easier for Edward than it is for Dimitri to dance with me but he manages.

He places my feet on top of his - like Johnattan had and sways with me as H.O.L.Y by Florida Georgia Line plays. I chuckle as he slowly twirls me on my uninjured leg like a ballerina, he smiles at me before returning us to our previous position.

“I didn’t get to say it earlier but I wish you luck and blessings for the remainder of your pregnancy,” Dimitri says with his thick Italian accent.

“Thank you, Dimitri.” I reply with a smile and he nods.

“So, how’s the married life treating you?” I ask him and he stares at me like a deer caught in headlights.

“She told you,” he states but it sounds more like a question.

“Yes she did.” I say. “I am happy for you guys but let me warn you. If you hurt our girl we’ll take good care of you. And Lexi’s definition of taking care of someone consists of a glock and body bag. Are we clear Mr De’ Santos?”

He looks at me with a charming smile and I raise a brow. “Crystal.”

Now I smile. “Good, now go to Mrs De’ Santos and ask her to dance - after returning me to my seat of course.”

“Of course,” is all he says before returning this princess to her throne.

He then makes his way towards Shan who is busy sorting out the food and wraps his arms around her waist. She spins in his arms in surprise and ended up getting icing from her fingers onto his cheek. She blushes upon noticing what she had done. Dimitri chuckles before holding her hand and licks the icing off each one; his eyes never leaving her own. Shan smiles at him moving forward and licking the icing off his cheek before using her thumb to wipe away what she missed.

Soon he pulls her away to the dance floor as Perfect by Ed Sheeran blares through the speakers. Chev and Edward soon join them on the supposedly dancefloor. Chris is now dancing with Lexi who smiles as he says something to her.

“Want to dance cara?” Vini asks and I nod.

He picks me up and we make our way to the dancefloor. He places my feet on top of his as Dimitri had done and holds my waist as we sway to the voice of Ed Sheeran.

“How are you enjoying your day?” Vini whispers.

I look up at him and tighten my arms that are around his neck. “It’s beautiful they’re all so... I’ve never really had this at home.” I admit. “My family kind of resented me and my mom so it’s nice to have people that care so much.”

I look over Vini’s shoulder to watch my friends dance and I can’t help but smile at them.

They’ve done more for me than my own living family has. They took me in, took their time to plan this, they used their money to do all of this for me- out of love. These people who care for me even though I’ve only known them for months - excluding Lexi who I’ve known for years. They treat me like their own and they make me feel like I belong. Something I could never feel around my own family.

Shan and Chev squeal as their partners twirl them towards one another so that Edward is now dancing with Shan and Chev with Dimitri. Lexi throws her head back laughing at what Chris says and I watch as he smiles at her reaction before slowly twirling her.

I grab onto Vini’s shoulder as he picks me up bridal style and spins me. A series of giggles leave my lips and Vini chuckles at the sound. Slowly he places me on my feet and caressed my cheek.

He whispers ”Carpe diem" into my ear and instantly I understand the words.

“Seize the day.”

“That’s right cara,” his phones rings out in his pocket as he is about to say more and he curses.

Vini apologizes before cutting our dance short. He returns me to my throne before disappearing out the diner door. Alone once again.

I sigh playing with my fingers as my mind runs on a certain young man with a distinguishing scar on his cheek.

I wish he was here, right now. With me. I want nothing more than to be in his arms, having him caress my stomach as we celebrate this blessing that we’ve received. But, he can’t. He doesn’t know that I’m pregnant and I... I can’t even look him in the eyes.

“Aye, why the long face?”

I look up to find Chris hovering over me and I force a smile while shaking my head. “Nothing.”

He looks at me raising a bushy eyebrow while wiggling his moustache. “If you say so young lady.” I can tell he doesn’t believe me. “Now, Baby Mama #2 may I have this dance?”

I giggle before agreeing and soon we are on the dancing floor. We continue to dance for four more songs, switching partners until soon it is time to cut the cake.

Lexi and I stand behind the serving counter with two knives in our hands as everybody - including Vini - crowd us. Shan has her camera up recording us and we make funny faces at her causing everyone to laugh.

“Okay ladies,” Chev says as she moves to the front of the crowd. “Seeing as though neither of you wanted to find out your babies genders until birth we decided to do something a little different. A fortune cake.”

“Like how a fortune cookie can give you a prediction of what might happen in your future, this cake will give us a possible prediction of what gender your babies will be,” She further explains. “A third of this cake is blue meaning boy, another is pink meaning girl and the last third is purple meaning both. Whichever you cut is your future prediction understand?”

We nod with a smile and give the cake a little turn before getting ready to cut it.

“Wait,” Chev says stopping us. She turns to address the group. “What are the bets?”

Everyone starts to pull out money making bets and my mouth drops.

“Are you guys really betting on our babies?”

They all look at me before replying simultaneously “yes”. I look over at Lexi who shrugs.

“Hey Chev put down fifty on purple for Chrissie,” Lexi calls out. “I’ll pay when I get my purse out of the car.”

“Noted!” Chev replies.

“Really?” I ask and Lexi shrugs once more.

“Alright we are ready,” Chev states. “Let’s cut some cake.”

I look at the three layer circular cake with a smile. It is covered with candy bows and ties, socks and booties; and white icing.

“Ready?” I ask Lexi.

She nods. “Ready. After three.”

“One,” I start.

“Two.”

“Two and a quarter.”

“Two and a third.”

“Two and a half.”

“Just cut the damn cake!” Our friends yell and we chuckle.

“Three!” We yell before simultaneously cutting the cake.

“Blue,” Lexi announces and Edward and Vini cheer as Dimitri and the others sulk.

They all look at me probably hoping my selection could make them richer.

“Come on cara make me some money,” Vini says rubbing his hands together and I chuckle.

“My colour is...” They wait patiently; all eyes on me. “Well my colours are, Pink and Purple.”

A layer of pink and another layer of purple peek out at me and I smile. So my predictions are two girls, or maybe even a boy and girl.

“So because it’s a tie the money will be split equally between Shan, Chris, Lexi and I. Sorry boys,” Chev says as Dimitri, Vini and Edward sulk.

“Damn cara and here I thought you were my lucky charm.”

“At least I won the bet on what Lexi’s prediction would be,” Edward says trying to cheer himself up.

“That you did,” Chev says before pecking his cheek and handing him the money he’d won.

She hands the others their mula before announcing the next part of the evening.

“Now that that’s out of the way, let’s eat!”

****

“Oh my, this is so cute,” Lexi giggles as she opens her present.

In her hand she holds up a yellow, baby size, monkey suit that has the words ′MY MOMMA IS BAD AS FUDGE’ on it.

“Thanks Chev,” Lexi says as she places the item back into the box.

“Oh, there’s more,” Chev says as she leans onto Edward sipping her wine.

Lexi rummages through the box pulling out a Batamax from Big Hero Six stuff doll. She shakes it and the doll starts to talk. It repeats Batamax’s catchphrase and we girls coo at the cuteness.

“Again thank you,” Lexi says. “I’m sure he or she will love it.”

“No problem,” Chev smiles. “Next! These are from Shan and Dimitri.”

The said couple pushes two big boxes towards us and we look at them wide eyed.

“Hope you like them,” Shan says as she hugs Dimitri who places his hands on her hip.

We proceed to rip off the wrapping and the words ′Blake’s Baby Cotgreet us.

As we rip the wrapping off fully, we being to read the text on it. The text on the box says that the cot can sway on its own with batteries and when the baby has out grown the cot it can be transformed into a stroller or car seat.

This one neat crib.

“Thank you,” I say to the couple.

“This must have cost you a fortune,” Lexi adds.

“Nah, it was affordable,” Dimitri states as he sits taking his wife onto his lap. “And you’re welcome. It was all principessa’s idea.”

“Yeah, I saw them while in Atlanta and just hand to buy them for you guys,” Shan says leaning back on Dimitri.

“Well thank you both,” Lexi says.

“Yeah, thanks,” I smile.

“No problem,” they say in sync before wrapping their arms around each other.

“Now it’s my time!” Vini yells before walking up to us with his large box. “It’s for both of you not the babies though.”

“That’s okay,” we say in sync before ripping into the box.

We are greeted by two new Chanel bags which are filled with makeup, two gift bags filled with hair supplies and two Michael Kors wrist watches.

“Oh my fu-dging god!” Lexi screams. She runs to Vini and hugs him while chanting thank you.

“I know, I know!” He laughs before looking at me. ′Thank you’ I mouth and he winks in acknowledgement.

We continue to unpack presents and it’s nearly eight when we finish this task. They had all went out in presents they basically took care of the baby shopping for us with the amount of things they bought. I am thankful for everything though, they didn’t have to buy anything at all but they did it out of the love in their hearts and for that I am gracious.

“... So I’ve known Izzy for five months - give or take and I only have one thing to say. She’s an awesome person,” Chev says as she stands before us giving a toast. “She’s feisty at times and surprisingly can hold her own against me. And I know y’all know that’s saying something.”

We laugh and Chev smiles at me. “She’s not only feisty but she’s smart, beautiful, well-behaved and an awesome friend... Minus the fact that she hid her real identity from us.”

I wince at that and Lexi pats my shoulder soothingly. I smile before looking down at the glass non- alcoholic champagne I hold in my hand.

“The point is that,” Shan cuts in as she stands beside Chev. “- regardless of the fact that she hid her identity from her we still fell in love with her as a person.”

Dimitri holds the camera recording them looking straight ahead at his wife.

“Through her we’ve also met Lexi. One badass momma,” Chev adds moving her hands about and again we laugh. “We hit off instantly, she’s the type of person that doesn’t take BS and keeps it real. She’s the yang to Izzy’s ying and one helluva best friend!”

“When we look at these two we know that without a doubt that they will be good mothers,” Shan says with a smile. Dimitri looks at her questioningly and she smiles reassuringly at him. “As Chev says they complete each other and I believe that together they can make the best mothers.”

“So raise your glasses,” Chev says.

“As we toast to these two ladies.” Shan states.

“Our fellow females.”

“Our future mothers,” Shan says with glossy eyes. A tear slips down her cheek and she wipes it away with a smile. “Oh damn now I’m crying.”

Chev chuckles before hugging her sideways and rubbing her arms. Shan laughs before drying her tears and Dimitri watches her like a hawk. Chev sniffles as well before continuing. “Our future mothers and our friends. We love you guys and we wish you all the best.”

“To Christina and Alexis!” Shan says before throwing back her drink.

“To Christina and Alexis!”

****

I make my way through the door with Lexi on my tail, she turns on the light and the first thing I see is a welcoming couch.

Home sweet home.

It is now to eleven and we are just making our way into the apartment. The night had continued with everyone going up and making speeches and then we hang out and talked until it got late. Edward and Chev had dropped Lexi and I home. They walked us to the elevator before leaving and wishing us a good night. Our presents are still at the diner, we had all decided to leave them there because it would be too hassling to move them tonight.

I yawn as I make my way to the couch. Slowly I sit after resting my crutches on the side of the couch. After locking the door Lexi makes her way towards me and sits beside me.

“That was tiring,” I say as I take a breather.

“Yes it was,” Lexi agrees, “but we had fun.”

“Totally.”

“Absolutely.”

We sit silently for a moment before turning to look at each other.

“I’m so lucky to have you as a best friend Lexi,” I admit.

“So am I,” she smiles before holding out her hand.

“Best friends for now,” she whispers.

I smile at her holding out my hand. “Best friends forever.”

“Through good times.”

“Through bad times.” I say as we raise our hands.

We high five each other as we say the last line. “And through the tantrums of that bitch call life.”

We giggle before falling into silence once more.

“Oh!” Lexi squeals. “I almost forgot I got you something. Be right back.”

She runs to her room and seconds later she returns with a small item wrapped in pink and blue wrapping paper. “Here you go.”

I take it from her with a smile and starts to unwrap it. Our sashes lie on the side of the couch where we had thrown them. They are beautiful but annoying.

As the wrapping disappears a small book with greets me and I look at it with a smile.

“It’s a Mother’s prayer book,” she says as I look at the peach and green coloured book.

“It has a prayer for everyday of the year. I just thought I’d make a good present for you. I remember you saying your mother had one so I -” I hug her before she can continue and she squeals in surprise.

“I love it! Thank you,” I whisper as tears well in my eyes. It’s just like Momma’s.

She runs her hands soothingly down my back and I smile through tears. “You’re welcome Chrissie.”

We decide to part ways after we notice the clock started to strike twelve. Lexi hugs me before making her way to her room and I whisper good night before venturing into my room. I sigh as I remember that we left Roxie at Shan’s with a pet sitter that Dimitri found. So that means I’m on my own tonight.

I sigh again before pushing my way into my room and my heart stops as I notice a tall, male silhouette at my window.

“Johnattan?” I ask as I move farther in the room but I receive no response, no conformation.

The silhouette moves closer to me and I try to make out his features in the dark. His broad shoulders almost hover over me and his dark hair glistens in the moonlight.

“Johnattan?” I try again to call again. He starts to open his mouth but before he can reply the lights flip on.

“Hey Chrissie do you-”

Lexi stops mid-sentence as I stare agape at the man before me.

He has dark hair, he’s tall but his green eyes and physical features tell-tale that this man is not Johnattan.

“Sam?” I ask bewildered. “What are you-”

A scream comes from behind me and I spin around to see Lexi lying on the ground unconscious.

“Lexi!” I scream in horror pushing myself onto the floor towards her. I turn her on her back with the little strength I have, before cupping her face.

My heart hammers in my chest. She fell on her stomach. Her baby.

Tears spill from my eyes as I call her name over and over again. I touch her stomach but my hands tremble as the worse things formulate in my mind. Shoes come into my field of vision and I look up from Lexi’s unconscious form to look at her assaulter.

My hazel eyes widen in shock and I swear my heart stops as I looks into his blue eyes.

What the fuck is he doing here?



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