It was bedlam when I returned to the family room, John Ray and Grant were there. Grant had bubs and was talking to him softly, he looked so tiny in his arms. I sat at the table with Conner.
"Did you get much work done up there?"
"Yes, it's amazing, their sound department is top-notch and they loved my theme music. I have to write some different words to it and the offshoot songs won't be hard. Can we ring Mary now?"
"Conner it's too early, let her sleep God knows what she’s been going through the past twenty-four hours."
"Okay, the least we say the better don't you think, she might forget we have him?"
I looked at his hopeful eyes and nodded my agreement.
John fed us, and the baby was put to rest in our room again.
"Ray, have you still got those plans for the renovation?"
"Yes Conner, they are still in my office."
"We had better look at them again, I think we are going to need another bedroom," he said.
"Con please," I said softly as my heart sank, he's getting way ahead of himself.
"Sorry Brent, I'm just thinking we need some more room anyway."
"We sort of do, but not yet, and what plans Ray?"
"We had plans to join the three cottages together, on the one title just before you arrived Brent. Then, when Teddy arrived it was shelved completely."
"What do you mean, join the three?"
"Before you arrived we had moved out with all our stuff and Conner was going to follow us. While we were in temporary housing we were going to renovate and merge the three properties. That was shelved when you arrived, so we moved back. the third one is the one next door; we own that too." He grinned at me.
"Oh, so you didn't mind giving up your cozy house for something much larger?" I looked around my cozy family room and it warmed me so much, so many wonderful memories.
"Not at all son, it will eventually be Cons yours and Teds, in the end, we were going to add a second story with a staircase and a sort large parent’s retreat, it made this house bigger, and all three more twentieth century. There was to be a central kitchen that we all use with a butler’s pantry or chef's kitchen in our part of it. We can completely close it off if we want."
"Oh." I thought it would be a good idea, the houses are already joined they were just going to open them up.
"Can I see them sometime?"
"Of course son, I'll bring them home later on. Back then it was about updating the three properties, and we had received an approximate valuation on the finished house, it would have quadruple the price if we renovated them. The front facades would have stayed the same, we didn’t want to fool with the history of the cottages, but from the front, you wouldn't be able to see the new buildings."
"Getting ahead of yourself are you Brent?" Conner smiled at me.
"No, I just wanted to look, that's all." I was secretly jumping up and down inside, Jack will get his private room and Teds will be bigger because he's the older brother. I nearly fainted from all the plans I had in my brain and dropped my head thumping it on the table.
"What's wrong Brent?"
"Too much going on Con, my brain is working overtime, and the tension in my body was unreal. Why the hell doesn’t she ring?"
"That's why they call you the boss, baby, you get it done and she will ring when she's got some news." he laughed.
Teddy was ready for school and armed with heaps of information to tell his mates, we made sure he understood Jack was only here temporarily, like having a couple of sleepovers."
Con had to do the drop off with John, and I sat in our bedroom with Jack, until I went to sleep. He woke me with one of his special concerts, my shorts were down around my ankles and Con was licking the inside of my legs. I moaned as I reached the point of no return, and I drowned in his beautiful eyes while he made love to me.
"I love you, Brent, so much."
"Me too you Con, with all my heart."
"Did Mary ring?" I started laughing.
"Nope, keep going."
We watched our new border sleep peacefully. I was playing with Cons hair he was playing with my nipples. Another round was in the air until bubs decided it was time to eat again. He was stirring so we dressed, he moaned so I went to prepare a bottle.
Conner carried him out and was talking to him on the way about his delicious milk. I don't think bub was listening, he was doing a lot of talking of his own. His fist was in his mouth when I got to him and he was hungry. I burped him halfway through, then Conner had a go at feeding him. I had got my baby training when I worked in the nursery for a couple of months at the hospital, but Con has no idea. I showed him what to do and he picked it up easy, he's a natural father.
"Boy, we didn't have all this trouble with Teddy." He winked at me, it made me feel a special love for my big son.
My phone rang, I looked at Conner then answered it. Di was screaming down the phone, she wanted to come up and see Jack and won't take no for an answer. So within fifteen minutes she and the kids were at our front door. She swooped Jack into her arms and Conner took little Brent. I was happy to see my niece Hope and she gave me the biggest kiss on the lips while I cuddled her.
"He's gorgeous, where did you find him, is he a permanent baby or just a lend. Brent, please don't forget Teddy in all of this, he may get jealous." That hit me like a brick, why would I forget my beautiful son, he's the number one man of this family.
"Teddy won't be forgotten Di, he's our oldest son and much loved, as you well know."
"Just saying Brent, some parents spoil the baby and forget the others. Its a reminder that’s all." She smiled.
I knew where she was coming from I have felt the backlash of feeling second best in the family, and its never going to happen to our Teddy that’s for sure.
"Look, he smiled at me." Di gushed.
"No!" Conner moved to her side.
"Look, Conner, he's got some wind but its a beautiful smile isn't it?"
"It sure is, give me a go." He held his arms out Di ignored him.
I went to answer the door; I guess its more family to see little Jack.
"Hi Brent, can I come in?"
I stood there not wanting to hear what she was going to tell us, and I wanted her to go away and stay there.
"Oh sorry, I wasn’t expecting you that's all, please come in." I stood back and she swept past me down the hallway to the family room.
"Thank you, a coffee would be lovely too." She looked at me.
I put the kettle on, but I was nearly fainting with want, I wanted to know her news but I was also terrified.
She sat in the easy chair and smiled as she looked at Jack.
"Has Jack been behaving himself?"
"Yes, he's the perfect baby Mary, any news?" Conner said.
"I have some news for you, but first I want an honest answer from you both."
"What, just tell us?" I almost screamed she gave me a sour look.
"Well, if it were possible would you be prepared to foster him long term, with the possibility of adoption in the future?" I dropped her cup it shattered on the floor, then I fell sideways to the table, my hand rescued me from falling flat on my face.
"Brent!" Conner yelled, he rushed over to me and I straightened up and stared at him, like mine his tears were streaming down his cheeks, and I grabbed him tightly and never wanted to let go of him. The tension was leaving my body as we sobbed into one another’s necks.
"I will take that as a yes boy's, now can we sign some papers please, and where’s my coffee?"
She broke our moment and we started laughing. I knew it would take ages for us both to settle down and completely relax.
"Coffee number two coming up, and that will be a yes," I yelled out as I kissed Conner again.
I took the cup over to her and handed the tissues to Di, she was as happy as we were, her mummy emotions were hitting her hard.
"What do we have to do?" Conner was onto it.
"Okay, his mum has passed on, he was being looked after by a neighbor in the flats at the end of the street. She dumped him because she has to work some days and thought we would look out for him. She came back to get him late last night but I ignored her lame excuses. She did let it slip she will miss the child endowment she was collecting. But understood she couldn’t keep him forever. Between you and me she's a lady that likes to earn her money in sordid ways." She winked at us.
"There’s no other family, our investigations on that was done this morning. So he's been made a ward of the state and he needs a loving family."
"Car wreck Brent, a month ago."
"His real name?"
"You see, this is where it gets very weird Brent, you said Jack was Conner's favorite name. Is it your favorite Conner?"
"Yes Mary, I’ve always liked that name, but I don’t know why."
"Well his birth name is Jackson Taylor, weird isn’t it?"
"I knew he was a Jack the moment I saw him; I knew Con," I said through tears and stared at my husband. I took my son off Di and cuddled and kissed him, then welcomed him into our small family. Conner sniffed along with Di and Hope wanted a nurse.
"Just sign the paperwork boys and I will get the ball rolling, my Victorian supervisor Hildy will see that he stays with you. She knows your history and has mighty powerful people in her books. She said you weren't to worry one bit."
"Oh Mary, what a wonderful day. I can't believe I'm witnessing it." Di started crying again.
"Well there was no option, and I had a feeling the boys would help us out. Now I have to go and sort his brother out. The prospects aren’t as good for him."
We stared at her disbelieving what we had just heard, my jaw dropped.
"What brother?" Conner finally asked quietly.
"His twin, Curtis, he was with another family yesterday. I only found out about him this morning."
"You want to separate them?" The complete disbelief in Cons voice was so sad.
"No, but one's enough for you to take on boys, two is going to be a nightmare for you both."
"Let us be the judge of that Mary, where is he?" I asked.
"At the other lady's house still, we have to have him picked up. I didn’t think you would want two of them." She placed a very wicked grin on her face and I screamed so loud Hope jumped and Con stood up and punched the air. He then danced me around the room.
Mary calmly took another sheet of paper out of her bag and passed it over.
"Better sign this one too then." She started crying herself, and Di handed her the tissues.
"Two, we got two Brent Two. Two babies two boys two sons we got two." His face was priceless as he repeated over and over again we had two sons.
"We have three sons Con." I reminded him, his face lifted and his smile got bigger.
"Three we have three sons, Brent we have three." He jumped up and down. I looked at Di and said.
"Better hurry up Di, you only have two still." I laughed at her face, and I'm sure Marty will be locked in their bedroom tonight and milked of all his unborn babies.
When we all calmed down, I made more coffee and Conner wanted to go get Curtis, but Mary wanted to talk a little more.
"Our district nurse will deliver him before dinner time boys, he was a bit unsettled last night, but I believe he's been sleeping today. We didn’t want to disturb him but he will be coming sometime within the next couple of hours."
"Where are we going to put them, Brent?"
"In our room for the time being just until they feel safe enough with us around."
"Hopefully Di will have finished our apartment and we can move into it and have these houses done."
"What houses?" Di said.
"These three houses made into one, four bedrooms for us and two for John and Ray. You will make it look extra special for us won't you Di?" That bit of sarcasm dripped off my bottom lip.
"You're giving me another job?"
"You bet your sweet life we are; we wouldn’t trust anyone else with our home."
"God I love you boys, and yes I will get your apartment finished first, and Brent?"
"Thank you, boss." She cracked up laughing.
We signed the paperwork and Mary left still clutching her tissues. She promised she would ring before Curtis arrives.
She told me as she left that she wanted to string the surprise out, but she was so happy for us inside we deserved the boys so much.
"Con can we make a quick trip up the street I need to buy more bottles and nappies."
"Di, can you babysit for half an hour please?"
"Of course I will, and I have plenty of new jumpsuits to give you too so don't buy any."
"Fantastic, I will pick them up tomorrow then."
"The reason I have them is that a certain person buys me stacks when my babies are born, most are still brand new." She stared at me.
"Sorry," I said.
Conner didn’t stop talking up to the shops. I knew where I wanted to go and luckily found a parking spot outside. We loaded up with nappies bottles and more formula, Conner was grabbing at anything until I put a stop to it.
"Con, we can do a proper shop tomorrow, let's just get the essentials for a few days just in case."
"Okay, just in case what?"
"In case we can't bear to be without them for two minutes Con, hurry up."
Carefully I maneuvered the car into the traffic and Conner was babbling on about something to do with three boys. He went very quiet and was sobbing into the sleeve of his t-shirt. It was all too much for him, so I parked outside our house and held him until it went away and he showed me his smile again. I understood because I wept with him.
"Dad, Daddy where are you?"
Di had to leave to feed the kids when we got back but she said she will return. Teddy came home with John, and Ray appeared with house plans in his hand.
"Teddy my beautiful son welcome home, your dads have been busy today, didn’t grandpa take you to the park? because I think your home early."
"No daddy, I wanted to see Jack, and see if he wants something I can do."
"Well he's in his basket, and he would love a cuddle from his gorgeous big brother. I think he missed you today."
"Yes of course really, but first can you give granddads their present?" I passed him a bright parcel.
"What is it, Dad?"
"A surprise." I looked at John who was quite ignorant as to what we were about to give him and Ray.
"Here grandpas, I don’t know what it is, but I think its a surprise." Teddy hopped up on the chair and watched John gingerly unwrap his parcel. Ten baby bottles and dummies fell out onto the table and he stared at me looking for an answer.
"What's this about?"
"We got Teddy a new brother today, and you both a new grandson. With your help, we are all going to raise them both."
"Oh, wonderful news sons, this is just wonderful, a miracle." John flopped down in a chair.
"Why so many?"
"Because there’s two of them, Curtis his twin will be arriving shortly." I grinned at them both then I pushed the tissue box over to them, because like us they were deliriously happy.
"What do you mean dad?"
"Well, my favorite son, we are keeping Jackson, and we are also getting his brother, his name is Curtis. So you have two new brothers to love and play with." He threw his hands around my neck and kissed me.
"Thank you, daddies, thank you, Jack, for our Curtis too, can I cuddle him now dads?" Conner took his hand and lead him over to where Jack was sleeping. I looked at the granddads and winked.
"I certainly have been busy since you both left, my pelvic area is aching," I screamed laughing.
"Not from birthing babies I bet Brent." He looked at Conner’s red face.
We celebrated until we exhausted ourselves, we fought over who would feed him but in the end, Johnny showed Ted how to do it. It was a, just in case lesson, if his daddies couldn't do it.
A lovely aboriginal woman called Hildy turned up at our door with a baby in her arms. I took him and invited her in for a coffee, but she said she had to get home because she was expecting friends from the country to call in. She said she will be in touch in a couple of weeks and she needs to meet that rock star that lives with me, then she winked.
Little Curtis was like his brother all pink and babyish, he seemed to sense Jack in the room and became unsettled so we placed both of them on the floor together. They immediately connected and they started talking their kind of talk continuously. We took it in turns to cuddle and kiss them, and by the time they both had dropped off for a nap, the house had become quiet, and dinner was ready. Teddy was having so much fun he forgot his TV programs, but I don't think he even realized it.
"I want you to help me with your little brothers Teddy, do you think you can do that for dad?" I asked him.
"I sure can daddy, what do you want me to do?"
"I want you to be the best big brother in the world, and I want you to show them how to play footy when they get bigger too."
"I can do that daddy, it will be fun."
"Good boy." I looked at Conner he had so much love in his eyes for his first son. I thought he was going to burst into song.
"You can show them how to sing Con." I burst out laughing.
After dinner, Ray got the plans out and we sat and looked at them. Ted was sitting on Conner's lap picking out the best room for him. Di and Marty, with the kids, turned up and she also started looking. She made some amazing suggestions on the layout, and Ray penciled them in, she had us all sorted in no time.
"Where do we start Ray?" It was getting on top of me.
"Are you going to move into the new apartment when it's done, sons?"
"Yes, you are coming with us aren’t you?" Conner said.
"We can do that, or go to a hotel, either one." He dropped his eyes.
"Stop it right now." Con was straight onto them.
"Whatever do you mean son?"
"There's plenty of room, four bedrooms, and a central kitchen, and your grandsons will miss you if you're not there. A bloody hotel, next you will be telling us you're moving to Spain to live."
"Can we?" John said with a smile on his face.
"No!' We three said including Ted who threw his arms around Ray's neck.
Marty was gobsmacked with the twins, and I didn’t have the heart to tell him he will have sore balls tomorrow.
The kids had to go home to bed, Di took photos of the plans and she will print them out when she gets time. She is going to be a godsend, and if she gets Adam on board, this place is going to be amazing.
"One last question my friends."
"Do you want a pool?"
We ushered her out the front door laughing, of course, we want a pool according to Teddy.
The granddads stayed until late, then they wanted to sleep in Ted's bed. That would be okay with Teddy but it meant Con and I couldn't have a second round. It was decided that they could stay and with a lot of giggling Con and I managed a quick loving round of very quiet sex.
The boys slept through the night, I didn't know at what stage they were up to, but I sort of guessed they were happy to sleep through the night. I have to find a baby health center in the area to get them to check their progress. But for now, it will have to be Mary's nurse that will give us a hand.
Ted was up early, he crept into the bedroom and kissed his brothers good morning, then he had to do his dad's. The TV was on again and the babies were getting restless. I could hear them cooing to each other and arms were swinging in the air.
Rattles, toys, cribs, pram assorted baby stuff made it onto Conner's shopping list. The granddads had come in and had taken the boys down to give them some breakfast while Con and I showered.
"Alone at last." He leaned into me. I was soaping up his body and having a well overdue grope.
"Yes, this will be our quiet place from now on. How do you feel?"
"Well, if you're asking if I feel your hands making love to me, I feel awesome. But if you're asking me about having two extra sons, then I feel like the magic has entered my life once more, and it's well and truly wonderful."
"Well, would you mind if I entered you too?"
"Of course not." He chuckled and leaned into the tiled wall.
John was making breakfast as Ray showered in their place. I kissed my sons and they cooed and smiled at me, I think they feel safe again.
Conner took them out of their carry baskets and lay on the floor with them, Teddy wasn’t going to miss out as he hopped onto Cons stomach and rode him like a horse. Something I had only just done with Conner a half an hour ago.
"This house is going to be amazing John."
"Yes son, we will completely renovate ours and knock some walls down, the beauty is the bi-fold doors they can be left closed but when we all have family time, we can open them up. Your house will double inside, here you can see that your grand room makes up almost the entire ground floor, and your kitchen will be huge. One massive room with a bathroom and laundry. Upstairs is where the two extra bathrooms and four bedrooms will be. Ours will be smaller but we will gain two extra bedrooms’ upstairs for sleepovers and it will be opened up, hopefully, to let the light in." He smiled.
"There will be more than enough room for Conner to move the piano into here, and light will stream into the houses from the big shafts overhead."
"I can only imagine it, John, it all sounds great, and when Di gets her hands on it she will turn it into a palace."
"She will Brent we have a lot of confidence in her, as you know."
Conner moved over to the table as the food was being laid out. Ted stayed with his brothers and I watched him watch them. Now and then he would kiss them gently and in return, he would get a smile. It will be his brothers that decide to let him into their lives, and I was so proud of him I could burst.
Di came to visit just as John served us breakfast, she looked like she had been up all night. I guess Marty’s feeling all wrung out today she said he was still sleeping.
She pulled out her art book with her drawings with suggestions for the house in it. She had added bi-folds to separate the front room to the back, when not being used they retreated into the walls. The reason being if Con is playing, he won't disturb the rest of the house, he can close them up. The doors were all beveled glass with some colored accents, very art deco, and she had used that theme throughout the house with ceiling roses and cornices, even the air vents matched the theme. One thing that did amaze us all, she had floating mantle pieces that defied gravity in our and Rays family rooms, they were awesome. The staircase will be of the same era, because that is when the houses were built, in the twenties, and the bathrooms blew me away they were so good, and I loved the emerald green tiles.
With all her changes and doodles I had to go and say it.
"This is going to cost us a bomb." Conner looked at me and said.
"Not us baby, you’re the one paying for it." He smiled.
"Well, its time you opened your purse mother and bought your family a big present, don't you think?" I thought about it and agreed I would pay for it, then I started deleting all Di's hard work to save some money. I was only joking, and when I looked at their shocked faces I said with a big smile.
"It would be my fucking pleasure to pay for this, for my awesome family." He kissed me then went back to his eggs, I pushed the tissues over to Ray.
The babies played with little Brenten, and Hope was hovering trying to decide which one she loved the best, Benny won in the end and she and Ted sat on the sofa with him, as they fed him toast. I had printed off a photo of him with his brothers so he could show everyone at school, oh all right, I printed off a half dozen so they could show their parents too. He said he was going to give one to Mrs. Green also. John got him ready for school, and I went with them today. Conner was armed with bottles and baby wipes and Di stayed to supervise. I kissed my son goodbye and wished him a good school day, then he ran off to find his mates. I had to promise I would be at training this afternoon, and I will be too.
The house was quiet when I got in, Conner was asleep on the bed with the boys, he had tucked pillows around them while they napped. Ray was still sitting at the table looking over Di's drawings, he nodded at me and said.
"You know Brent these are good; she's spent a lot of time on these drawings. When you have time you should get them framed for the walls, just some history of when the house was started."
I looked again and thought yes, what a great idea but I wondered if they might clash with Conner’s Da Vinci and his little sunshine plaque.
"Are you happy with the plans Ray, or do you think you and John will need more rooms, I feel kind of guilty making you have the smaller bit."
"More than happy Brent, you have no idea how happy John and I are at the moment. We were ecstatic when you arrived, that feeling will never change. And then Teddy, and now the boys. It's just a house, but we want to make it a loving family home, for our own little family, much like you do." I hadn’t looked at it that way and felt the love, I leaned over and kissed him.
"What's going on here?" We heard John come through the back door.
"Just warming him up for you John, that's all." I smiled and made them coffee, because John had a fresh tray of his wonderful almond cookies in his hand, and I wasn’t going to miss out on them. Of course, Conner must have smelt them so he arrived all disheveled and swaggering like a peacock.
He grabbed two and made himself a drink.
"They still asleep?"
"Yes babe, they are awesome to watch, I can't take my eyes off them."
"Good, because..." I took both Ray and Johns's hands and continued.
"This family is going to rock it; we don't need the others as long as we have ourselves. In the next six months, we are going to love and cherish our sons and grandsons like no other family. I want to thank you three for taking me in, and giving me this wonderful opportunity to share in all this joy." I kissed each one's hand and went back to my biscuit as I pushed the tissues John's way.
"It was you that saved this family Brent, not us," Con whispered.
"What was that Con, I didn’t hear you?"
"It was you that bought life into this family, so I thank you too." He kissed my hand as I reached for the tissues.
"We need to buy some car seats Con."
"I've got Grant onto it, he will find the safest ones."
"Do you think we should buy a bigger car?"
"Not yet, let's wait until they are bigger." I nodded my agreement.
"I suppose we had better have a barbeque to welcome the boys, I know Jenny is excited to meet them." I had rung her last night she was over the moon.
"All organized for Sunday, it will coincide with Ted's play date."
"Okay, then there's nothing left for me to do except paying the bills." I laughed, when did I become the man of the house, I thought that was Cons job? I thought to myself.
Grant, Conner and his men were installing the baby carriers and I think they agreed the ones they bought were the safest.
My little ones were playing on the floor and were trying to roll onto their sides. I thought I heard giggling but I wasn't sure. I packed some traveling items for them and by three-thirty we were ready to follow the granddads to the park. They will pick Teddy up, and we will surprise him.
We had just sat down at the picnic table when Andy and Fran arrived with their boys, they were all over the babies and I was out of tissues for poor Andy. Maybe in the future, he will get another son.
Teddy and the grandfathers arrived and he kissed us and his brothers then he and his mates had to have a game of footy. All
I leaned over to Andy and said.
"You will babysit the boys when we go for our run won't you?" He gulped and I saw panic in his eyes.
"Well, you have done that before Andy when Shaun was a baby, surely you haven't forgotten already."
I saw a tear, then he adjusted himself and took a bun from Johns's basket.
"Of course I will." He smiled.