“One more bite.”
“I’m full, Mamma.”
“Just this last bite.”
“Fine..” He said and opened his mouth allowing me to feed him.
“You nervous buddy?” It was Ace’s match day and the kid can barely eat anything nor can he sit still even for a second.
“Yes.” He mumbled and I hugged him to me.
“You got this, Little One. You’ll do good today. Even if your team doesn’t win it’s fine. It’s not about winning. It’s about trying and learning. So just do your best and the rest let God handle, okay?” I said though the match wasn’t really a huge match and was just a small thing arranged by the school where only the participant’s parents and few teachers are going to witness the game. And let’s not forget that’s it’s between four year old kids.
“Yes, Mamma. So you and Daddy won’t be upset with me if I don’t win?”
“Of course not, Baby. We know you will do your maximum and that’s all we need. So don’t feel pressured.” I said kissing his forehead.
“Ace, you ready to go?” Xavier yelled from the living room.
“Yes, Daddy.” Ace said and I picked him up and began walking to where Xavier was waiting.
“Come on, Champ. Let’s get going.” Xavier said picking Ace from me. Both of us were pampering him a lot on his special day.
“Both of you will be there when the game starts won’t you?” Ace asked looking at both of us.
“Of course, Baby. We’ll be there for sure.” I assured.
“I will be there too though my Grandson didn’t ask for me to.” Dad said with a fake pout.
“My son knew that which is why he didn’t waste his breath by inviting you.” Xavier said making me twist his ear.
“Don’t be rude.”
“Woman, that hurts. Leave my ear.” He groaned out making Dad and Ace laugh. Xavier then went to drop off Ace at his school and returned back home for us to go to office.
Around half past 3 Xavier, Dad and I reached Ace’s school as their game begins at 4. There were few parents and staffs already present.
“All the best, Baby. Show them what you got.” I said kissing his forehead and cheek. After receiving good lucks from his Dad and Granddad Ace went to his teammates.
Ten minutes later Ace scores the first goal and I struggled to contain my happiness and stopped myself from cheering too loud afraid I might offend the other participants and their parents. Ace looked at us with a grin and I passed him a flying kiss which he adorably returned.
Within an hour the game was over and to my happiness it was my baby’s team who won for four points in which the last point too was gained by my boy. He ran to us and jumped to my arms and I twirled him around.
“I won, Mamma. I won.”
“Yes you did.” I said kissing his cheek.
“Daddy, Grandpa, did you see that? Did you see the final goal?” He asked excitedly.
“Yes, we did, Son. You were amazing.” Xavier said and kissed his forehead.
“We’re proud of you, champ.” Dad said and ruffled Ace’s hair. I saw a boy from his opponent team coming towards us and placed Ace down.
“Congrats, Ace.” He said with an honest smile.
“Thanks, you played really well too. We should practice together next time.” Ace said making me pleased that he was not boasting his win to his opponent.
“We’ll see. Thanks anyways. I’ll see you tomorrow. Bye.” The boy said and ran away with a final wave.
“Let’s go home.” Dad said and we agreed.
“Son, you know your school break is coming soon. So your Mamma and I was thinking about taking a trip to Florida as treat for your win. What do you say?” Xavier asked that night.
“Yes yes yes! Thank you, Daddy. Thank you, Mamma. I love you both.” He said jumping up and down.
“Love you too, Baby.” I said kissing his cheek.
“What about Grandpa? Won’t he come with us?”
“That old man refuses. He apparently wants us to have a family time and is making excuses.” Xavier said sighing.
“Son, the real reason is I can’t stand your stinky self. If I come with you to Florida I’ll have to be with you always and I might be unconscious the whole time.” Dad teased again with the stinky jokes.
“You are the one who always stinks not me.” Xavier spat back.
“Guys..” Ace called for their attention.
“I just wanted to remind you that I’m the kid of this house not both of you.”
“Exactly.” I supported. It was however very funny to see Xavier joking and bickering like this father. It seemed to me the bickering runs in the family from father to son.
“Come on, Ace. Let’s go sleep. Let the father and son bicker all night.” I said and walked to our room with Ace after saying goodnight.
“Why?” I asked turning to my right to look at him. His placed his small hand on my cheek and patted it.
“For coming into our life.” He whispered making me hug him tighter to me.
“I should be the one thank you for that, Baby. You make me so happy.” I said cupping his face.
“What is going on here? My son is yet again stealing my woman, huh?” Xavier asked and laid beside Ace wrapping his arm around us.
“Mamma is mine.” Ace states with a small growl making me laugh.
“No, she is not.” Xavier said picked Ace up and laid him on other side of the bed away from me and he hid my face on his chest.
“Nooo, Mamma is mine, meany, Daddy.” Ace said and jumped over Xavier and laid on my chest.
This would never stop..
“Stop it, both of you.” I mumbled ruffling their hair. I pinched Ace’s nose when I saw him stick his tongue out at Xavier and he scrunched his nose adorably.
“Goodnight.” Xavier said tugging us closer to him and soon all of us fell asleep.
The next day though it was weekend I had to meet up with a client at the nearby cafe to discuss about the design I had made for her shop. Xavier had dropped me off and promised to pick me up after I’m done.
“I can’t wait to see my shop to look like that.” Claire gushed happily. She was lovely lady in her forties and talked about anything and everything with great enthusiasm.
“We’ll be starting the work soon and within few months it will be done.” I assured her.
“Angel.” Xavier called walking towards us.
“I’m sorry, I thought you would be done with the meeting by now.”
“Oh, it’s okay. We’re almost done anyways. Are you Eva’s husband?” Claire asked gesturing Xavier to sit down.
“Not yet. I’m her boyfriend, Xavier. It’s nice to meet you.” Xavier said sitting beside me.
“It’s nice to meet you too, dear. I’m Claire.” She said smiling to which Xavier gave a gentle nod.
“Damn, the parking lot of here is so freaking small.” Dad said appearing out of nowhere.
“Good to know, Dad.” Xavier said while making Dad notice of Claire’s presence through his eyes. Dad stared at Claire for a whole minute without speaking a word and did not seem to hear Xavier clear his throat to gain Dad’s attention. I looked at Claire to see if she is uncomfortable but thankfully she wasn’t and seemed to be looking back at Dad.
“Dad?” I called discreetly poking his hand which brought him out of his world.
“I’m sorry, what were you saying, dear?” He asked while looking one last time at Claire before turning to us.
“Well, why don’t you both have something from here and we can get something for Ace as well while I finish my discussion with Claire?” I asked hiding my smile.
“Uh, Okay.” He agreed and looked around the table for a place to sit. Since Xavier was already sitting beside me, Dad had to sit on the chair beside Claire.
“I’m Arthur Whilson.” Dad introduced to Claire nervously making me and Xavier look at each other in shock. From the short period of time I have known him, Dad is a goof ball and he is never short of things to say and is always confident in the manner he speaks. So to see him act nervous was really surprising.
“I’m Claire.” She said shaking hands with him and he placed a kiss on her knuckles.
“That’s a beautiful name.” He states while I saw him gazing at her left hand probably to look for a wedding ring and saw him smile upon seeing none.
“Is he trying to flirt? Eww.” Xavier whispered in my ears making me glare at him.
The waiter came to take order again and Xavier let out sigh of relief as it temporarily put a stop to Dad’s flirting.
“Are you Eva’s or Xavier’s father?”
“I’m Xavier’s father but the moment I met Eva I considered her as my own daughter.” Dad said sincerely.
“Dad..” I called laughing remembering our first encounter and he too laughed knowing what I was thinking.
“And what about you? Do you have any kids?” Dad asked making me nervous.
“Dad, I don-′
“It’s okay, Eva.” Claire ensured before turning to Dad.
“No, I don’t. I can’t have kids.” She said with a soft smile. Claire is a very talkative person with people who she likes and we had gotten very close to each other through our meetings so she had talked to me about her inability to have kids and how it became one among the many reason for her being single.
“Here is your order.” The waiter appeared again, I thanked internally for making it quick.
I felt Xavier pinch my thigh and he then discretely pointed to my phone. I picked it up to notice a text from him.
‘Never saw Dad staring at woman like this before. Kind of creepy though. He is interested in her, I guess. Happy to know he has a romantic born in him.’
‘Let’s not get our hopes high, Xavier. We don’t know what God has planned. Will you be okay with Dad dating though if that were to happen?’
‘The old man deserves someone to love and cherish like I have got you.’
I looked at him to see him smile and interlinked our hand under the table. Looking ahead I saw Dad and Claire chatting away. I knew once Claire got comfortable she would let out her talkative nature. Dad was listening to whatever she was saying intently and looked completely smitten by her. Only few days ago had I asked Dad about dating and I prayed to God to help him find someone to love and take care of. Even if that someone is not Claire as long as he gets a woman who would love him with whole heart I’ll be happy because I know Dad deserves it.
Dad reluctantly said goodbye to her when it was time for her to leave and then Xavier and I decided to roast him with questions.
“So?” Dad asked.
“When are you going to begin with Claire’s shop?” Xavier asked me making me almost laugh at what he is trying to do.
“Next week.” I said and saw Dad nodding to himself.
“So you are going to be very busy with work again. Claire is so lucky she gets to spend so much time with you while your poor boyfriend have to wait.”
“She is a better company than you anyways.” I joked making him glare at me.
“Where is this shop of hers?” Dad asked suddenly.
“Why do you want to know that, Dad?” Xavier questioned raising his eyebrow at him.
“Just because..you know I could drive and visit Eva there and pick her up, you know?” Dad made up an excuse.
“I’m here for that, Dad. You don’t have bother with that.” Xavier waved off.
“It’s not a bother..”
“Eva, what do you think of David?” Xavier asked randomly.
“David?” I asked wondering who the heck he is. Xavier winked his eyes at me and mouthed me to play along with it.
“Oh yeah, David. He is good guy. Very hardworking and loyal.”
“Hmm. Why don’t we introduce Claire to David? Maybe they could get to know each other and maybe-′
“Don’t you dare.” Dad snapped at Xavier.
“Ohh, Okay. I think Dad is not so fond of David.” Xavier said coolly as if Dad glaring at his did not affect him at all.
“How about Stephen?” I asked.
“Stephen? No.” Xavier replied immediately and I frowned at this. What is wrong with my imaginary Stephen?
“Both of you just ask what you what to know rather than beating around the bush.” Dad said having enough of us.
“What is there to ask you? Nothing.” Xavier said shrugging.
“Okay.” Dad said turning his head away from us.
“Claire and David still deserves a chance though.” Xavier taunts and Dad snapped almost immediately.
“To hell with David. I’m interested in her, okay? Is that what you wanted to hear?” He literally yelled glaring at Xavier.
“Yep. And all the best. But I’m sorry to say this, Dad, you really suck at flirting.”
“He does not. Dad, don’t listen to him. He is the one who knows nothing about wooing a woman properly. All he know is to be a caveman.” I said in Dad’s defence.
“But you are with me, aren’t you?” Xavier asked kissing my cheek.
“So what now?” I asked Dad ignoring Xavier’s comment while I feel myself blush.
“I got her number. So yeah, I’ll be talking to her.”
“Wait, when did that happen?” Xavier asked confused and Dad just smirked at him.
“I have feeling that she thinks I have a wife already.”
“Just say you don’t have one and then put a ring on her finger.” Xavier said nonchalantly and I hit his head with my palm at his comment.
“How did you even ended up with him, Eva?” Dad asked honestly confused and I laughed at his comment.
“I wonder that every time.” I replied letting out a sigh.
“Why does every conversation ends up with me being the abused one?” Xavier groaned out and I couldn’t help but hug him for his cuteness.
“Group hu-′ Dad began to say.
“Don’t you dare.” Xavier interrupted Dad quickly pulling away from the hug.
“Ace fell asleep in the couch while watching TV.” Chris, Xavier’s new help said seeing me look around for Ace once we had reached home. I smiled at him and then went to see Ace who as said was asleep and carried him upstairs to our room.
“He should start sleeping in his own bed again.” Xavier said when I placed Ace on the bed.
“Why should he? He is fine sleeping here.” I said narrowing my eyes at my boyfriend.
“How else will I spend some alone time with my beautiful girlfriend? He is fine sleeping in his room too.” Xavier said wrapping his arms around my waist, pulling me closer to him.
“I spend a lot of alone time with you. We have to spend time with our son too.” I said frowning.
“We do spend time with him, Angel. He has to learn to be independent and not to be scared. There might be times when we are not with him to help him out with his problems or to cuddle him to sleep. He have learn to do things by himself.” He said with seriousness after pecking my lips.
“He is only four now, Xavier. You are making a big deal out of nothing. And just so you know my baby is not scared, he is capable of facing things by himself if the situation arises. Making him sleep in his room won’t do much. And moreover, Xavier, when he grows a bit older he himself would wish to have his own space and would no longer let us cuddle him so let us please cherish the short while we have.”
“That is true. But I don’t want him to grow up so fast. Time is flying by so fast.” He said looking softly at sleeping Ace.
“He is turning five soon.” I said sighing while placing my head on his chest.
“We’ll throw a party for his birthday and invite people close to him.” He said and I hummed in reply.
“You are great mother, Eva. You should be proud as I am for you.” He said cupping my cheeks.
“And you are a great father.” I said honestly.
“Thank you.” He said and kissed me softly.
“I hope our next baby won’t be so much of a Mamma stealer like our first one.” He said sighing making me blush.
“Next baby?” I asked raising my eyebrows at him and he hummed in reply.
“Thinking so ahead, are we?” I asked pinching his cheek.
“A man can wish. But I know we have to take it slow and I’m fine with it.” He said honestly and I pressed another kiss on his lips.
“Daddy?” I heard Ace call sleepily after waking up from his nap.
“Yes, Son?” He asked turning his head towards the bed where Ace was, still not leaving me from his arms.
“Where’s Mommy?” Ace asked not seeing poor me trapped in his father’s arm.
“Uhm...I don’t know.” He replied covering my mouth with his palm to stop me from speaking. Xavier’s back was facing Ace and so he couldn’t see little me because of his father’s giant body.
“Daddy, are you sure?” Ace enquired now fully awake.
“Yes, Ace. She must be somewhere around the house though.” Xavier lied again having fun playing around with his son.
“Daddy, do you really think you can hide Mamma from me? I’m Ace Whilson, Daddy. Not some dumbo. And I can now clearly see Mamma’s fingers.” Ace said huffing and my attention went to my right hand which was initially placed on Xavier chest and was now clutching his arm when he suddenly covered my mouth with his hand.
Told him my son is smart, duh.
“Busted.” Xavier muttered.
“Release her now and surrender yourself.” Ace said in a warrior like voice making me laugh.
“I refuse, young warrior. This woman will be mine now.” Xavier said playing along with him.
“Heeya” Ace yelled out and jumped out of the bed onto Xavier’s back and I felt my heart beat faster at the thought of him falling. Xavier thankfully wrapped his hand under Ace preventing him from slipping down.
“Woah, buddy. Be careful.” Xavier said while Ace wrapped his arms around his neck from behind.
“You cannot kidnap my mother, release her now.” Ace said faking a threatening voice while one of his hand formed a fist with his thumb out and he did the kill motion against Xavier’s neck.
“I’m not scared of you, young warrior.” Xavier said mischievously.
“You guys are crazy.” I said chuckling and wrapped my arms around them engulfing Ace and kissing his nose.
“Crazy for you, Angel.” Xavier said pulling my cheek.
“Mamma, I’m hungry.” Ace said pouting.
“We brought you something from the cafe. It’s in the kitchen.” Xavier said bending down to place Ace down.
“Okay.” Ace said and decided to drag me with him to kitchen.
“Where are you taking her?”
“I’m saving my Mamma from you.” Ace said chuckling.
“Not possible, Son.” Xavier said picking me up bridal style.
These two smother me with too much affection.
Ace pouted and jumped up and down trying to reach to me.
“Xavier, stop being mean to him and put me down.” I said trying to get down. He thankfully listened and picked up Ace instead and carried him to kitchen all the while tickling him.
Xavier and I watched Ace eat while making small talks and it was then Dad came to kitchen to raid the refrigerator. I saw Xavier whisper something to Ace and wondered what was going on.
“Hmm?” Dad hummed in reply and began drinking the bottled juice.
“How is Claire doing?” He asked innocently and then Dad spluttered out the juice making Xavier laugh out aloud while I stared at him in shock.
“Are you okay, Dad?” I asked and he nodded in reply.
“Daddy told me to ask.” Ace said as soon as Dad turned to look at him.
“Traitor.” Xavier muttered and then gave Dad a cheeky smile.
“Oh, I have an urgent call to make, see you later.” Xavier said and literally ran out of the kitchen.
“.....and then he was too scared to go to sleep for a whole week.” Dad finished another one of Xavier’s childhood story making me and Ace laugh so much that tears started to form in our eyes.
“What’s going on here?” Xavier asked suspiciously appearing out of nowhere after disappearing for over an hour.
“Oh nothing, Son. I was just telling your girlfriend and son few of your sweet childhood moments.” Dad said shrugging.
“Dad!” Xavier called horrified.
“Oh, I have an urgent call to make, see you later.” Dad repeated Xavier’s words and walked away.
“So..” Xavier said embarrassed, rubbing the back of his neck. Ace and I looked at him and then at each and then once again began to laugh our ass off.
“Dad, you better run for your life!”