"Here you go, Nova," Crysta said, handing him a bowl of fruit and ice cream that was practically drenched in chocolate sauce. He gave her a bit of a smile.
"Thanks, Crysta," he said, taking the bowl from her and reaching for the spoon. He'd just had lunch a half hour ago, but he was hungry again and ice cream was his current craving. From the bottom of the stairs I could see pretty much all the decorations for this party that was going to happen soon. All sorts of pastel colors were draped over things and more were coming as last minute decorations were thrown up.
"Dessert before the party?" I asked, coming more fully into the room and kissing the top of his head softly. "You know... I heard there was going to be a lot of sweets at this party... I think, someone found out my little papillon has a sweet tooth..."
"Not nearly as bad as Olen," he replied before taking another bite of his ice cream. "And at least I'm putting fruit in it like you and Conner told me to," he added as he scooped up a cherry that had been almost completely covered with chocolate.
"Mmm, yes, well Blue and Olen fit together in that aspect," I said as I rubbed the back of his neck some. "I'm not quite as nutty about sweets as either of them... and I'm more than happy to give you my share of the ice cream."
"Good," he said, shifting to give me better access to his neck. "Because I'm sure I'll need more before this party is over," he said since he was already almost half done with what Crysta had brought him.
"Goodness, I hope not," Crysta said as she started putting out trays of cookies, fruit, and vegetables. "We plan to have plenty of food for you to snack on all afternoon. I got the easy trays. Blue is making the cake, sweets, finger sandwiches, and gods know what else... He's got Melanie working like a mad woman over in Father's kitchen." My mate laughed some.
"Well, it's all Aiden's fault," he said. "Fairie don't have large appetites normally. Even pregnant ones aren't as much of a glutton as his children are making me." Crysta laughed some at that.
"Well, you are eating for four, dear," she said. "And all babies require more food at this stage of pregnancy. It's just a sure sign that they're all so very healthy."
"Mmm, I'll need some serious dieting after all this to lose all of this extra weight," Nova muttered even as he scraped up another spoonful of ice cream. "I feel like a whale shark or something
"Don't worry about that, papillon," I whispered in his ear. "I have nine months of desire to work out as soon as you can handle it..." He chuckled some and pushed at my shoulder lightly.
"Pervert," he muttered, though I could tell he wasn't upset by it. "Where's the rest of your family?" As if on cue, a knock came at the door before said family starting coming in, all of them talking excitedly and carrying in presents wrapped in pretty baby themed paper.
"And they arrive," I said, going to help my cousin bring in all the food he'd made for this party. Nova smiled some, accepting all the greetings and congratulations that came his way from where he was sitting. It took a few minutes to get everyone and everything in the house, but once it was, it was quite crowded.
There was quite a lot of conversation and several games with party favours as I kept a full plate of snacks within easy reach of my mate. Once the cake was cut though, it was time for Nova to open all the gifts for the babies. Nova set his plate of food to the side as Kross took it upon himself to be the present deliverer and ran one large box over to where he was sitting. He gave my young cousin a smile and took the present from him. I knelt behind the couch so I could see what Nova was opening without being in the way. Crysta was sitting next to him with a trash bag for the paper and I could see Jade sitting off to the side with pen and paper in her hands for the thank you cards.
"Conner... I know you're a doctor... But when are you going to learn to write legibly?" I asked, glancing over at the red head.
"When you start getting Hides to wrap presents and write the tags on said presents," he replied dryly and my mate chuckled some.
"It's fine. It's not like we'll mistake who it's from," he said as he unwrapped the box and handed Crysta the wrapping paper. Conner, ever the practical one, had given us a rather large baby bath that went in the bottom of tubs. "Thank you, Conner, Hides," he said as he examined the picture on the front of the box.
"I dunno... I don't think I'll fit in that for my sponge baths..." I joked, moving my hand to the back of Nova's neck to rub it some.
"You're hilarious," he said, turning his head to give me a bland look. "A regular Johnny Carson." He put the box off to the side as Kross hurried over with another box from the large pile. This was going to take awhile.
"Hey, I try..." I said, glancing down at the tag to see it was from Zoe. "Mmm, Zoe's turn... I wonder what my darling little sister has hiding under the pretty green paper..." He hummed a bit as he unwrapped it. It turned out to be three almost matching teddy bears in different colours.
"Aww, they're adorable," he said, holding up the purple one so that I could see it better.
"Mmm, they are definitely cute," I said, smiling. "And perfect size for toting around when they get bigger... Thanks, Zoe."
"I do my best," she replied with a smile as Nova set the bears on top of the box for the baby bath so he could take the next present Kross brought over. It turned out to be a box full of clothes from James and Mikhail. Hardly a surprising gift in the least. I imagined James even designed the outfits.
I smiled to myself as I watched my mate unwrap all of the gifts, musical swings, a play pen, bottles, baby wash, more clothes, more toys, mobiles, lamps for the nursery, blankets, everything we could possibly need and plenty of it. Finally, it seemed like we'd gotten to the bottom of the pile, but Kross came over one more time and handed Nova four small boxes, each a different colour. Nova tilted his head some in confusion when there was no tag on the boxes, but opened them anyway. In each box there was a beaded bracelet that matched the colour of the box it was in and each bracelet had a short name on it that with 'N'.
"They're very lovely, Kross... but why are there four?" my mate asked, looking down at my cousin. A knowing smile slipped over his face and he put his hand on Nova's stomach.
"Kross..." I said, concerned by what he was implying here.
"They each need a bracelet... helps tell them apart," he whispered. Nova blinked down at my cousin for a moment before his eyes slid further down to his stomach.
"W-what? But... we've only ever seen three," he protested. Conner sighed and got up from where he was sitting to come over next to my mate.
"It's... possible that one of them could have hidden whenever we were looking..." he said softly. "I wasn't exactly counting legs and arms when I was making sure they were growing properly."
"Aiden," my mate said, need in his voice. I was around the couch in an instant, pulling him into my arms so he could sit on my lap.
"Sshh, papillon," I whispered, though I was feeling rather light headed. I was fighting not to faint again at the news since Nova needed me now. "It's just one more... Nothing's changed... We'll still be just fine..." He took several deep breaths to calm himself down.
"It's just... it's a shock..." he said, resting his head on my shoulder. I kissed his temple gently as I rubbed his back and shoulder to soothe him.
"Better now than in a couple weeks when Conner takes them out," I murmured. I could only imagine the sudden surprise and stress of finding out we had four when we'd been thinking we only had three. He nodded some.
"That's true," he agreed softly. He finally managed to calm down enough to look back at Kross. "Thank you for the bracelets, Kross. And telling us about out little hider..." He nodded, smiling proudly before bouncing back over to my uncles. His job for today was completed. Nova took another deep breath and rubbed his stomach some.
"I guess that explains why I've been eating like a whale..." he muttered. I smiled as I kissed his temple again.
"I'd say... more like a cow..." I murmured. "You know they have seven stomachs to fill? You've been dealing with five."
"Yeah, but cows are stupider than whales," he replied, leaning his head back against my shoulder. "And now I'm tired," he told me. I nodded and changed the positioning of my arms as I stood up with him.
"We'd like to thank you all for the wonderful party and gifts for our children, but the excitement has worn out our guest of honour," I said. "Jay, I'll call you tomorrow about figuring out a fourth set of baby furniture and the other things we'll need for our little surprise announcement."
"Of course, just get that boy to bed," Jay replied with a slight wave. Nova laughed slightly and shook his head at the flamboyant wolf. I nodded and carried my mate upstairs to our room where a lazy boy chair had been brought in for him to sleep in. Having so many growing babies in his stomach made it difficult for him to breath at night if he was lying down so he had to sleep in the recliner chair. The only real problem with it was that I couldn't sleep with him in the chair. He leaned back in the chair as far as he could and pulled the blanket that was there over him.
"I can't wait until I can be in bed again," he murmured as he closed his eyes. "Chairs are not designed to be slept in..." I leaned over to kiss his forehead and brush his hair back some from his face.
"I wish I could hold you..." I whispered. "But even as a wolf I'm too big to sleep with you in the chair..." Not that it would stop me from shifting and sleeping on the floor next to him. I refused to sleep in the bed alone when I wanted him in there with me. He smiled and brushed my hair back in return.
"I know... you've told me. About a hundred times," he reminded. "And once our babies come you'll be able to hold me as long as you want. I promise." I nodded and kissed him once more before stripping out of my clothes so that I could shift down to my lupine body.
"Sleep well, my beautiful little butterfly," I said softly before concentrating enough to shift.
"You too, love," he murmured as he rubbed my furry head and then attempted to comfortable enough to sleep. I rested my head on the arm of the chair as I watched him fall asleep. I could use my own nap, but I wanted to be sure he was resting first before I allowed myself to. I was beginning to understand why my Dad patrolled the house all the time. Instinct made him protective and I felt that itch myself. I wanted to protect Nova and our children, though I wasn't sure what from.