“What are you doing in here? It’s Sunday,” Tarron said.
“Since when do we take Sundays off?” I barked back at him.
“Still no babies?” Taylor asked.
Grant chuckled. “That’s an affirmative.”
He leaned down and kissed her before demanding another round as he spotted his mate while she worked on her bench press.
“I thought we banned public displays of affection on missions,” I grumbled feeling sexually frustrated. I sure wasn’t getting any of my own at home these days. At this point I wasn’t even sure how that would physically work. Vada’s stomach was enormous growing our two babies inside.
It made my head spin just thinking about it.
“This isn’t a mission,” Grant argued.
At this point if it got me out of the house, I would declare it a mission.
I loved my mate, but she was getting a little psychotic lately.
“How’s Vada?” Jake asked.
I grumbled and started knocking on the railing of the treadmill I was running on.
“That good?” Tarron teased.
“Just wait. Your turn’s coming. You’ll see,” I warned him knowing his mate was also pregnant but not as far along.
He just grinned. “Can’t wait.”
“Sure, you say that now, but you’ll be singing a different tune when she decides your home must be decontaminated of every spec of dust from floor to ceiling. She was vacuuming and dusting the attic yesterday. I had to get out of there. She’s driving me insane.”
Taylor finished her rep and then sat up laughing. “So she started nesting?”
“No. There’s no nest, just this cleaning obsession. If she wanted help building a nest, then fine. That would be way easier, or we could just use mine here.”
I had two perfectly good nests in the woods behind the Lodge in San Marco, CA home of Westin Pack, the largest wolf shifter pack in the world which also housed the special ops teams of Westin Force.. Vada loved my nests so I didn’t get why everyone thought she would want to build her own.
The others all started to snicker and then laugh out loud.
“What?” I growled.
“Not like a gorilla nest, Silas. More like human nesting. That’s what they call this period of a pregnancy when a woman begins obsessively cleaning and putting things in order, like preparing a nest for her babies to come home to,” Taylor explained.
I stared at her. “So there isn’t going to be an actual nest?”
“I highly doubt it. I think this is more of a human trait than gorilla.”
“What the hell? Why didn’t someone explain this clearer sooner? I’ve been collecting supplies for the nest for weeks now. What am I going to do with all that shit now?”
Taylor’s lips disappeared as she pursed them trying not to laugh.
“Go ahead, laugh it up,” I told her. “It’s not like any of you are experts on babies.”
The only two amongst us that had any experience at all with kids were Baine and Ben, the two not currently present as they were home with their children celebrating Father’s Day. As leader of Bravo company, I had a certain reputation, but even I wasn’t a big enough asshole to require them to come in for a Sunday workout on Father’s Day.
Actually, I hadn’t required it of any of them this weekend, yet here they were anyway. I looked around the room. Taylor and Grant had switched positions so she was now spotting him on the bench. Tarron was on the row machine. Jake was running next to me on the treadmill, while Painter sat quietly in the corner on a stationary bike.
Painter was my brother in the truest sense of the word. We’d done everything together in life up until this point.
He might have found his mate before me, but I hadn’t been that far behind.
Now that I was diving headfirst into unknown territory about to become the father of twins, I kept waiting for an announcement that his mate, Emma, was pregnant too.
I didn’t want to go through this alone.
In truth, I was terrified of being a father. It wasn’t like I’d had the best role model for the job.
How did this even happen?
Someone up there must have a seriously sick sense of humor to decide that I would make even a half-assed decent dad.
I’d never even been around kids much. I didn’t know what to do with a baby, let alone two.
Lord knew I was trying.
From the second we discovered Vada was pregnant we’d been reading up on every pregnancy and parenting handbook on the market. Still, I clearly didn’t understand some of it and time was running out.
Vada was due in just three weeks, but Micah, the Pack physician had warned us that it wasn’t uncommon for twins to arrive early.
I hadn’t slept in days now. Every time Vada twitched in her sleep or got up to pee, which was dozens of times each night, I would jolt awake on full alert as if an aerial attack was incoming.
We’d had two false alarms already this week and I worried that in my paranoia I was needlessly waking Micah and feared that he’d end up worthless and exhausted when it really mattered.
Still, I couldn’t stop myself from freaking out every single time.
I was an alpha, a leader amongst my team. I was the guy who sees a problem and fixes it. I was the man with a plan, and I was so out of my element with this it was insane.
My gorilla was on edge. All I wanted was to protect my mate.
The thought of her in pain delivering our babies was killing me. Would I resent them for it?
Vada was the most important person in my entire life. Could I really sit there and support her the way she asked of me through delivery?
I tended to overreact a bit when I knew Vada was in danger or something was harming her. Would I respond that way to our kids? I wasn’t sure and until they arrived, I had no way of knowing how I was going to react to the little ankle biters.
I could run headfirst into a burning building, jump out of a plane, or take a bullet to protect my team. I wasn’t used to feeling fear. In my line of work that got a person killed.
I wasn’t scared of anything… except these babies.
Vada hadn’t exactly had much time with little ones either, but she at least had a nurturing nature. I knew motherhood would come naturally to her. There was no doubt in my mind. The logistics of it all were going to be a bit of a challenge, but once she had that down she was going to be an amazing mother to our infants.
Babysitting for others had proven to be counterproductive. Babies and kids were hard—period
We’d tried watching Micah’s little girl as well as Ben’s triplets. The more there were, the more horrifying it became. How the hell was I going to survive two of them at once?
My phone rang and made my heart stop.
I looked down and saw it was only Baine.
“What?” I barked when I answered.
“Nope, no babies yet,” he yelled to someone, most likely his mate, Olivia, who was also pregnant with their second child.
I swear there must have been something in the water around here. It felt like everyone around me was having babies. Maybe that should have been helpful, like others could relate, but mine were twins and hearing about even more impending rugrats around this place just stressed me out even more.
“Come on man. I have a pool going and I need those babies born today,” Baine whispered into the phone.
“Stop cheating,” his mate yelled back.
I snorted and rolled my eyes. “She’s not due for three more weeks. Why the hell would you place your bet on today? You deserve to lose and stop wishing my kids come early. They’ll get here when they damn well please.” The later the better, I thought, but didn’t add. “Besides, it’s not like there’s anything I can do to speed that along.”
“Of course there is. Sex for starters. Go have wild monkey sex with your mate.”
Short of her riding me like a cowboy or putting her on all fours there wasn’t much I could do about that. I’d certainly tried to get as creative as possible for as long as possible. At this time even those options were trying. Her belly was so big that it was just a blaring reminder and then I would start thinking about things I’d read in the books to help prepare me for birth and let’s just say certain necessary parts weren’t quite functioning right when I’d think of those videos we’d watched of actual births.
Right now, I wasn’t even certain I’d ever be able to look at my mate the same again.
Not to mention the very real fear caused by every visit for the last two weeks of hearing Micah say, “The babies are dropping a little lower and starting to settle into the canal.” I’d get visions of whacking one of them in the head every time I even thought about touching my mate.
Those kids were already major cock-blockers.
Would it get better or worse when they actually arrived?
“That’s not happening,” I told Baine simply.
“How about spicy foods? You love spicy food.”
“I hate spicy food and you know it.”
“Spaghetti. Don’t laugh, I hear it helps.”
“I’m jotting these down to remind you later when Olivia is about to explode a human the size of a watermelon out of her…”
“Ahhh. Enough. Fine, I get it. And don’t talk about my mate like that.”
I increased the speed on the treadmill to run even faster. I needed to burn off some of this frustration because in truth, I still wanted Vada. I craved her. We had always been very generous lovers and I didn’t want that to stop. I could barely tolerate the pause we were currently in.
Another call was buzzing in. I pulled the phone away from my ear and looked down.
My heart dropped. Vada!
“Gotta go,” I yelled a little louder than necessary to Baine and disconnected his call as I turned off the treadmill without even a cooldown.
“Honey? Are you okay?” I answered in a frantic.
“Um, I need you, like right now,” she said.
“I’m on my way.” I disconnected and then just stood there in shock. “Oh my God. It’s time! I’ve gotta go,” I mindlessly told the others as I ran out in my gym clothes.
“Good luck!” they yelled at my retreating back as I ran down the hall, up the stairs, and out to the parking lot.
I sped the entire way home and was half crazed with worry when I practically broke my front door down to get to my mate.
“Okay, just how we practiced. I’ll start the bath just in case. How close are the contractions? Shit! I forgot to call Micah.”
“What are you talking about?” she asked sounding a little too calm.
I stopped and stared at her. She was standing there naked, but she didn’t look like she was in pain.
I gulped hard allowing myself a moment to really look at her. I was suddenly hard as a rock. It had been too damn long.
Just a little bit longer, I reminded myself.
“You said it was time for the babies.”
“No, I said I needed you.”
She crossed the room and wrapped her arms around my neck pulling me to her for a kiss.
Her belly was so big even that was awkward.
“Silas, I need you.”
I could smell her arousal and suddenly realized what she was saying. It only made me grow even more uncomfortable.
“Vada, we talked about this. It can’t be good for the babies and now according to Baine it could trigger labor.”
“These kids are close enough to eviction that I don’t even care. Please.”
Never in my life would I have believed I’d come to a point where my mate had to beg me to make love to her.
“We don’t have to have sex. Just help me. Baby B bounces on my diaphragm if I even try to bend over. I just need you.”
I nodded reluctantly.
“I’ve got you, mate.”
The relief on her face nearly killed me. She’d told me before that it was okay to touch her, but I’d been too stubborn and freaked out to listen.
I looked around the bedroom and scowled. “You already cleaned every inch of this place.”
She giggled. “And I’ll clean it again.”
She laid back on the bed with her legs hanging over the edge.
I grinned. I hadn’t even considered this position.
Grabbing some pillows, I lifted her and placed them under her hips before I began to gently stroke her.
“Oh. Ahhh,” she practically purred at my touch. “Yes, Silas. Yes!”
She was so wet and ready. She was building faster than I meant to let it. As she started to crest, I pushed all thoughts and fears aside, and pushed myself into her. Mid-orgasm she was so tight, and it had been so long I thought I just might pass out from the sheer pleasure of it all.
I didn’t wait for her to come down before finding a fast and furious pace that I knew would please us both.
I’d missed my mate so much. This felt like I was coming home.
I poured all my love and frustration into her. I knew just what she needed because I needed it too.
Things escalated quickly, until I couldn’t hold out any longer, but I stayed with her until her body was tightening once more.
Elated, I collapsed over her engorged stomach and tried to kiss her. I tried not to get flustered when it physically wasn’t possible. Instead, I cleaned us both up and laid down beside her so I could properly kiss and hold my mate.
“Thank you,” she said, still a little breathless. “I know you’ve been worried, but I really needed that.”
I grunted my approval. “So did I,” I admitted.
“Do you have to go back to work today?”
I shook my head. “No, I think I’m done for the day. It was really only an optional workout.”
“You’ve been getting in a lot of workouts lately.”
“Only because I haven’t been working out at home,” I said sliding a finger along her breast to make my point.
“Don’t blame me for that one.”
I groaned. “I know.”
“It wasn’t so bad, right?” she asked hopefully.
I shook my head and kissed her again. “It was perfect.”
“And see, nothing happened. We’re all here in one piece, but now I’m starving. I think I’m going to make a fruit salad. Do you want any?”
“Are you putting pickles in it again.”
She’d been eating some strange combinations with this pregnancy, and I truly hoped it passed when the babies were born.
“If you’d just try it, you’d see how good it is.”
“Wouldn’t want to take that experience away from you or the babies.”
I followed her to the kitchen as she hummed a tune while chopping fruit.
I was tired and ready for a nap. Normally Vada would indulge in that too after our love making, but she seemed wide awake and content. That restless edge she’d had for the last few days even seemed to have dissipated just a bit.
“I think I’m going to lay down for a few minutes.”
She nodded and sort of dismissed me as if she was a hundred miles away lost in her own world.
I hadn’t even made it back to the bedroom when I heard her starting to clean again.
I laid down and closed my eyes feeling more relaxed and at peace than I had in a long time. I knew then that I shouldn’t have ignored my mate or our needs for so long. Babies or not, she was mine and I still very much needed her in every way imaginable.
It had felt like I had just closed my eyes when I heard a scream from the other side of the house.
I jumped out of bed on full alert surprised when I noted more than two hours had passed.
“Vada!” I yelled grabbing my gun from the nightstand drawer and checking it before moving through the house in search of my mate. “Vada!”
I cleared each room as I went looking for any possible threats.
She moaned again as I finally found her in the laundry room on her hands and knees in the middle of a puddle of water as she scrubbed the floor.
She looked up at me with wide eyes.
“What are you doing down there?”
I put the gun on top of the washer and dropped to my knees to check on her.
“I was just cleaning the floor. It’s the last room needing to be thoroughly cleaned. But, Silas, I think my water broke.”
She cried out again as she held her stomach.
“Contractions?” I asked.
She nodded with tears pricking her eyes.
“They’re coming fast and strong.”
I helped her to her feet but within three minutes she stopped again and held her stomach.
Her whole body tensed.
“Breathe through it, sweetheart. In, in, out. Slowly. Control your breathing. In, in, out,” I kept repeating
She started doing it, just as we had practiced.
“Good girl. Would you like the bed or a hot bath?” I asked feeling remarkably calm in the moment.
More often than not adrenaline did that to me. Others panicked, but it calmed me instead. We had practiced and studied for this moment for months. I knew what I needed to do.
“Bath,” she said. “Maybe it will help take the edge off.”
“I’m going to call Micah and Lucy then get that bath started.”
I eased her down into the chair in our bedroom. I hated leaving her but there was no place to put her until the bath was drawn.
We had one of those large garden tubs. She was already naked choosing not to dress after our earlier rendezvous. I couldn’t help but wonder if that had triggered all of this.
I turned on the spigot. Once I was comfortable with the water temperature, I left to check on Vada and find my phone.
“I’m so sorry about this babe.”
“Baine warned me that having sex could trigger contractions. If I had known it was going to put you in labor…”
“Silas Granger, you take that back right this second,” she demanded.
I stared at her like she was crazy.
“You are not going to blame yourself for this. Our babies are coming whether we’re ready for them or not. Our days were already numbered and there is no way you can know for certain that caused this. I’m thirty-seven weeks pregnant with twins. Lucy says it’s a miracle they stayed put this time.”
Her jaw clenched and I knew another contraction was coming on.
I clicked the stopwatch feature of my watch to start.
“Keep breathing, baby. In, in, out.”
I watched her closely as I fished my phone out of my pants on the floor and dialed Micah’s number.
“It’s father’s day Silas, my first father’s day might I remind you. Tell me you are not calling me on another false alarm.”
“Vada’s water broke.” I looked down at my watch. “Her contractions are about a minute long and coming every three minutes. Good job, sweetie,” I told her as she finished the last contraction.
“You are remarkably calm,” Micah noted.
I might have freaked out on him the first couple of times I feared she was going into labor.
“This is it, man,” I told him.
He sighed. “Lucy and I are on the way.”
I hung up and then ran to check on the tub. Seeing it was full, I turned off the water and went back to the bedroom to help Vada up and into the bathroom.
We had to stop in the doorway to let another contraction pass.
“You’re doing great.”
I carefully helped her the rest of the way and settled her into the tub.
“What can I get you? Water?”
She nodded but her teeth were clenched again.
“Be right back. Just keep breathing.”
I made sure the front door was unlocked, shot off a text to Painter letting him know Vada was in labor and I would be unavailable even for emergencies. I knew Painter would alert the team as well as my boss, Patrick O’Connell, who would see to it that his boss, Kyle Westin, was notified as well.
A great benefit to working at Westin Force was the focus on family first. Kyle Westin, founder of the Force and Alpha of Westin Pack believed strongly in family. He encouraged time off for paternity leave, with pay. No more than three dozen times in the last month had he reminded me that my team was prepared to function without me.
I hated believing that, but I knew it was true.
As my number two, and the brother I never had, I knew without a doubt that he was capable of holding down the fort in my absence. I didn’t like it, but I trusted him to do the job and do it well. I also secretly prayed that things at work would stay calm for the next few months.
Since we took down the Raglan, life had become almost boring around here.
It was perfect timing though for these two little lives to enter the world, a world where they didn’t have to worry about being snatched up and taken away by the boogiemen who called themselves the Raglan.
I could sleep a little better at night knowing they were no longer a threat to my family.
I walked back into the bathroom. Vada was breathing through another contraction. I waited for her to finish and then had her sip on some water while I fussed over her.
“Micah and Lucy are on the way.”
She looked up at me with fear in her eyes that had my gorilla on edge and pressing to take control.
She looked down and I saw a bit of blood tainting the water. Her legs were spread wide, and I stumbled back a bit as I realized what I was looking at.
“Now? But they’re on their way.”
“I don’t think this one’s going to wait for them.”
“Okay, okay. Just keep breathing,” I told her, or maybe I was trying to tell myself that instead. “Everything’s going to be fine. I didn’t watch and study all of those birthing videos to get to this mission unprepared.”
She giggled. “This isn’t a mission, Silas.”
“If you want me to hold it together long enough to deliver our first child, then it’s a mission.”
On a mission I was often cold and hard, disconnected from everything around me. I needed just a bit of that edge here now. I couldn’t think of Vada as my mate or this as my kid. I had a mother in labor and dammit, I was the only one here to help.
I remembered my sniper, Ben Shay, had to deliver his kids via c-section. I said a quick prayer that it wouldn’t come to that now.
First, I laid out fresh baby blankets and the surgical scissors I had on hand to cut the umbilical cord. Then I got into the tub by Vada’s feet hoping that this image of my baby coming out of my favorite place on Earth wasn’t going to ruin me forever.
With a deep breath I started assessing the situation more clinically.
“Do you feel like you need to push?”
“Yes,” she practically screamed.
“Okay then. On this next contraction, go ahead and push, sweetheart. I’m here and I won’t let you down, neither of you.”
She stared at me with hope and relief evident on her beautiful face.
With the next contraction she pushed, and I could see the baby’s head.
“Relax. On the next one, I need you to push with everything you’ve got. You’re so close, honey. I can see our baby.”
This time she gripped the side of the tub hard and pushed down. Sweat was drenching her hair and making it stick to her face.
“Keep pushing,” I said. “Just a little more.”
Suddenly a squirming little bundle came popping out of her. It wasn’t gross or horrific like I’d imagined. It was beautiful.
I swooped the baby up from the water and he immediately started to scream.
Tears of joy pricked my eyes.
“We have a son!”
I laid him on Vada’s chest as she cried. Carefully I secured the cord and made the cut before grabbing one of the blankets and wiping the baby off. Using a fresh blanket, I took my son and bundled him in just like I’d practiced.
Vada groaned. “They’re starting again already.”
I felt helpless on what to do now. I had a newborn in my arms and my mate was building up to deliver his sibling. I hadn’t brought the bassinets or anything in with me.
“I’m sorry. I’ll be right back.”
I got out of the bath with my son in my arms and ran for the nursery not even caring about the water I was dripping all over the floor.
Just as I reached the hallway, the front door flew open, and Micah and Lucy walked in.
They stopped and their jaws dropped.
“She already had the babies?” Lucy asked.
“Just one. He’s perfect. I was about to grab the bassinet. She’s already in labor with the next.”
Lucy reached for my son taking him from me arms. “I’ll check him over. You go and tend to Vada,” Lucy barked at her mate.
Micah took off for the bedroom.
I just stood there. Was I supposed to go back to Vada or stay with my child? Ten minutes ago that question would have been a simple one. My mate was without a doubt the most important person in the world to me, but with one little breath of life, that suddenly changed and now it felt like my heart was being ripped in two.
“He’ll be fine, Silas. Go and be with your mate. She needs you right now. I’m just going to give him a little checkup and then I’ll be right in there too.”
Still, I couldn’t bring myself to move until I heard Vada cry out in pain.
I growled in frustration.
“Okay,” I finally conceded running down the hallway.
Micah had gotten Vada out of the tub and was helping her to the bed. I quickly grabbed the thick blanket we had agreed to dispose of afterwards and laid it out.
“She wanted a water birth,” I tried to protest.
Micah shot me a look I didn’t like as he quietly settled Vada down. She had tears streaming down her face.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
Lucy came back in with my son all clean and freshly bundled lying in a bassinet.
“We have a breech,” Micah told Lucy.
Lucy immediately turned to me. “Deep breaths and stay calm, Silas. We know what we’re doing, and we discussed this already, remember? This isn’t uncommon for multiples.”
I nodded feeling numb and helpless. Suddenly fear and anger roared up within me. I started grunting.
“Get him out of here,” Vada said, no doubt sensing my heightening aggression.
I thought I was going to throw up.
I vaguely heard my front door open and people starting to gather in my living room. Nothing around me felt real. I was just waiting to wake up from this nightmare.
“Take the baby and wait in the other room,” Lucy said, calmly shoving me just enough to get me moving.
I took a deep breath and tried to calm down, but I was shaking all over.
“I need to be here for Vada,” I protested.
Lucy stood firm. “Your gorilla is starting to freak out. You need to calm the hell down. I’m not risking my mate because you’re being stubborn. Get out and let us do our job. I promise you everything will be okay.”
She put the baby in my arms and when my son started to squirm, my focus shifted. I wasn’t even aware that she was leading me away from my mate until she closed the door of the bedroom trapping me on the other side.
I stood there for a minute in shock before turning and slowly walking towards the voices in the living room.
Painter and Emma were already there.
“The babies were born already? How’s Vada?” Emma asked as she reached for my newborn son.
“What is it?” Painter asked.
“It’s a baby,” his mate told him.
“I know that, Emma. Is it a boy or a girl?”
“Boy,” I managed to say before sitting down on the couch and resting my face in my hands.
“What’s wrong?” Painter questioned.
I sighed trying desperately to calm myself.
“The other baby is breech. Lucy kicked me out so Micah can try to turn it.”
Vada yelled out in pain, and I jumped to my feet wringing my hands and pacing the room.
“She’s going to be fine,” Emma insisted.
“She has to be,” I said softy more to myself than her.
“I’m going to let the guys know,” Painter told me as he stepped outside to make the calls.
Within minutes my house was overflowing with people and concerns as my team and their families gathered around me in support. It was overwhelming to be surrounded by such love.
I wasn’t raised in a solid family environment. It was just me and Painter.
It warmed my heart to know my children would never know that empty world of my childhood.
Looking around the room and seeing my son being doted over by a dozen self-proclaimed aunts and uncles brought tears to my eyes.
“Let it out big guy,” Baine said when he noticed. “It’s okay to cry.”
I grunted and glared at him. “Never.”
“Look at that, Pops. You have a son. He’s beautiful.”
I had a son. It was so surreal that I was struggling to believe it was true.
“I’m so proud of you, man. Thanks for helping me win the pool today.”
“You haven’t won yet,” Olivia reminded him.
“All or nothing, Dad. They were your terms, remember?” his smart-mouthed daughter, Macie, reminded him.
“Whose side are you on, kid?”
“Rules are rules, and dem’s the rules,” she said with a shrug.
“What did you bet exactly?” I asked.
“Date plus babies’ sexes. I’m halfway there.”
“He’s rooting for pink this round,” Macie informed me.
Vada screamed down the hall and my gorilla roared in response. My whole body tensed, and I was instantly on alert.
Baine grabbed my shoulders and held me in place.
Grant and Ben joined him blocking my path to my mate while Taylor and Tarron moved into my peripheral vision.
I glanced around and found Jake on my six. They were surrounding me prepared to stop me from doing anything I might regret later.
Painter stepped up beside me and slapped me on the back. “She’s just doing her job in there. Don’t make me restrain you.”
I snorted even knowing that he was the one person in the room who could.
There was a knock on the door as Tarron walked over to answer it.
“Patrick’s here,” he yelled as Patrick O’Connell and his mate walked in.
Elise made a beeline for the baby as Patrick headed for me.
“How are you holding up?”
I could still hear Vada moaning in pain down the hall it was unbearable to stand there and do nothing.
“Feeling pretty damn helpless right about now,” I admitted.
“The second baby turned on them?” he asked, and I knew he’d already been briefed on what was happening, so I just nodded.
The bedroom door flew up and Lucy ran down the hall. The guys stepped aside to clear her a path to me.
“Is my mate okay? How’s the baby?”
“Come on,” she said grabbing my arm and pulling me down the hall.
“Is Vada alright, Lucy? Did something happen?”
She didn’t answer me, but inside my bedroom I saw that Vada was no longer on the bed.
“Where the hell is she?” I demanded.
“In here,” Micah yelled from the bathroom. “Next contraction and you need to push, Vada. Push with all you’ve got. I know you’re tired, but it’s almost over.”
I stopped and stared down at my mate in our tub preparing to deliver our next child and I was overcome with emotions.
“She said you did such a great job that you should be here to deliver the next,” Lucy said.
I had never bothered to dressed. Clothes had been the last thing on my mind, and no one had said a damn word about it. As she started to push, I didn’t hesitate as I jumped back into the tub with her.
“You got the baby to turn?” I asked feeling that mission calm taking control again.
“It should be good to go now. There’s a few possible concerns Lucy and I are watching for, but overall, it should be smooth sailing from here,” Micah assured me.
“Push, push, push, Vada,” Lucy cheered on the next contraction. “Okay, relax.”
She rubbed her shoulders as I reached for my mate’s hand. She looked beyond exhausted but determined. She smiled weakly up at me.
I grinned. “He’s perfect, and this one will be too. How about we meet our child now?”
She nodded and with the next contraction a beautiful baby girl was born. I caught her easily and hugged her to my chest. She wasn’t breathing though.
Just as I started to panic, Lucy snatched the baby from my arms, cleared her airways, and checked her over then wrapped her in a blanket before handing her back to me while the tiny thing screamed.
I held her towards her mother so Vada could snuggle her.
“You did it, babe. Our family’s complete. One little boy and one precious little girl.”
Vada kissed our daughter’s sweet face.
“Why don’t you go tell the others and we’ll get her cleaned up into bed so she can finally meet her babies,” Micah said.
I leaned down and kissed my mate. “I am so proud of you.”
She held the baby as I got out of the tub and then reluctantly passed her to me.
“We’ll be back shortly,” I promised.
I practically skipped down the hall. When I reached the living room, everyone went quiet and waited.
“It’s a girl!”
Cheers went up startling both of the babies. Maybe I should have fussed at everyone to be quiet, but the truth was, these guys were just going to have to get used to it because big families made noise.
“Yes! I was right! Winner takes all you losers!” Baine cheered as he danced around the room.
I tracked down Emma who was still protectively watching my son and stole him back.
“It’s time to meet Mommy,” I told them both.
“Congratulations,” Patrick said. “Elise and I are going to head out now. I’ll let the Pack know we have two new gorillas in town.”
The others begrudgingly left as well. It wasn’t like they had far to go. All of Bravo team lived within walking distance of each other.
“Nonna’s cooking a feast tonight for Tarron, so I’ll bring leftovers by this evening for you and Vada,” Susan said.
“We have a whole line up of meal deliveries headed your way. Don’t worry about a thing,” Shelby told me. “Anything you need at all, just let Ben or Painter know and I’ll handle it. Don’t be stubborn about this, Silas. I’m the mother of triplets. I remember those early days. Just remember you are not alone in this.” She kissed my cheek and took a peek at the babies squirming in my arms. “They’re beautiful.”
Everyone left except Painter and Emma.
“We’re just going to hang out here for a little while longer,” Painter said.
“I’ll make a snack. I’m sure Vada is going to be starving after this workout,” Emma offered.
I nodded feeling overwhelmed again.
“Hey,” Painter said when I turned to leave. “Shelby’s right, you know. It’s not just you and me against the world anymore. We have a true family now. I mean look at you. You’re a father.”
I took a deep breath and shook my head in denial.
“How the hell did this happen?”
Painter laughed as I left him to check on my mate.
This time Vada was tucked into bed with about a dozen pillows surrounding her. She was clean and wearing a nursing gown she insisted on buying.
“Hi. Want to meet our children?”
Tears streaked down her cheeks as she nodded happily.
I handed the boy to her first and then settled the girl in her other arm.
Lucy immediately interceded and walked Vada through how to nurse twins. We’d studied this too, of course, but the actuality was a little harder than books and videos made it appear.
At last Lucy stepped back in triumphant.
“Have you thought of names yet?” Micah asked.
I smiled down at Vada and nodded. We had chosen to be surprised so we had to come up with names for every possibility. We hadn’t shared our choices with anyone yet.
“Baby A is Sam,” Vada announced proudly. “And baby B is Lyla.”
“Sam and Lyla. They’re beautiful names. Just look at them. They’re perfect,” Lucy said.
I did look, really looked at my beautiful mate holding our children as they suckled on her breasts.
My heart nearly exploded in my chest as every fear and concern I’d had disappeared.
“They’re perfect.” I looked into Vada’s eyes. “You’re perfect. I’m so proud of you.”
I leaned in and kissed her. This time I loved having our babies between us. Our healthy, beautiful, perfect children.
Micah cleared his throat.
“Okay, so we are going to head out and salvage what’s left of the day. Vada, you did amazing. Lucy says the babies look great. I’ll swing by tomorrow and check on them. If you have any questions and problems, you know how to reach me.”
“Thanks Micah, Lucy. Thanks for everything.”
“Congratulations you guys.”
They started to leave and then Micah stopped and turned back to me.
“Happy Father’s Day.”
For a second, I thought my heart had stopped in my chest as my jaw hung slack.
Looking down at Vada and the kids, reality nearly crushed me.
I was a father.
And this was the start of the biggest and most important mission of my life.