“I’d rather be a little weird than all boring.”― Rebecca McKinsey
DEL SOL VALLEY THE ELYSIUM Home of Chase & Hailey, Colton & Maddie (all 24 years)
Her face changed to disappointed, accompanied with a deep sigh, then suddenly, out of nowhere, hands grabbed her from behind, causing her to drop the pregnancy test wand she was holding, while she was twirled around to face her husband Chase, who was smiling, but had a certain expression on his face after briefly glancing at the test now laying on the floor, making her smile apologetically.
“I know. I know … and by the way, I hate that you don’t have a mirror image. Just not fair! Sneaky man, you! You are gonna give me a heart attack one day.”
“Right, because even after knowing me for nine, almost ten years now, a number of which we spent living together since college, you are still not used to me not having a mirror image, so just blame the mean, sneaky vampire for distracting from you doing something you are not supposed to be doing in the first place. In other words: BUSTED! Baby, why are you looking at another one of those things? How many more do you have stashed in this house? I thought I got them all during my last purge. Seriously Patches, you are worse than an addict. We had talks and I thought we agreed.”
“We did. Do. I just … felt … different and thought can’t hurt to check. Could have been …”
“But baby, it DOES hurt you to check, which then hurts me, because I don’t like seeing you sad and hurting. You know what the doctors said. We are incredibly lucky that your tumor was nothing, they fixed most of the scar tissue, you have a good chance of eventually being able to become pregnant, but that is way down the road and for now you need to chill out and heal. Hiding the condoms is not ALWAYS gonna work, Patches. Yeah, the dumb man did figure it out, eventually. I was too much lost in the moment last time, but if this is the result, I am seriously not gonna go there again until I have protection, especially since you cannot be on birth control for a while. Patches, you are still supposed to be recovering from surgery and take it easy. We are both not ready for anything more, not yet. Okay?”
“But Chase, I am mostly recovered. The scar is almost all healed, you can barely see it anymore. And you mean IF we conceive.”
“No, I meant what I said. WHEN we conceive. You know the doctors said it would be harder for us, but it is possible, even though we face a much higher chance of possible complications, especially if we do not listen to their advice. So, we are going to listen to them, I am going to make you. Honestly babe, I am about to cut you off from all nookie if you don’t change your attitude, you are borderline obsessed. Besides, whenever we get naughty, I want to be making love to my beautiful wife, not just be a sperm donor. How do you think it makes me feel when right afterwards you run in here to take tests? I feel used.” Chase smirked at her, kissing her while pretending to cry, making her giggle, swatting at him.
“Oh, jeeze Gump, boo-hoo! I have never done that, not one single time! Wouldn’t make sense anyway, a pregnancy wouldn’t register so soon after sex. Takes weeks longer than that. This test I just took wasn’t because of last night. This was for the time we didn’t use protection a few weeks ago. Like I said I felt different and thought, this might be my body changing … guess not.”
Smiling, Chase tilted his head, looking at her, making her blush.
“Okay, okay, Chase. I am sorry. This was the last test. For real this time. Promise.” she giggled at him.
“You also promised me that you won’t do any secret drugstore runs OR send Maddie for tests. Or anybody else. I am so close to doing full pat downs on anyone entering this house now, checking them for pregnancy tests. I just might. They all will think I am crazy. Do you want to be married to a crazy person?”
“You’re a celebrity and also a vampire, you are supposed to act strange sometimes. It’s not crazy, it’s called eccentric then.” Hailey giggled.
“Yeah, right. Anyway, Patches. No more secret agenda. From now on, when you make love to your eccentric husband, that is all we are doing, and with proper protection, okay? If one day, after the doctors said it’s okay to let our guard down, we end up knocked up, then it is gonna be a sweet surprise. We are not gonna be that obsessed couple taking tests after every romp in the sheets. We let it happen naturally, without pressure. That is what we agreed on. Copy that?”
“Okay. Fine. All natural now. No more testing.”
Chase kissed her, then both went downstairs, where Hailey joined Maddie in the kitchen to prepare a dinner for the girls, while Chase joined Colton by the TV.
Sitting down with a groan, rubbing his temples, Colton chuckled.
“Caught her with the hand in the baby meters again?” he guessed, grinning.
“Argh, you have no idea! I never paid a second thought to something like a pregnancy test all my life and now I am starting to downright hate them. Where does she keep finding those fucking things? Do we have a tree that grows them or something?”
“Who knows how she keeps conjuring them up. I swear it wasn’t me or Maddie smuggling them in for her. I am just glad that Mads and I both agree we’re not anywhere near ready to go into rug-rat production, not for MANY more years. But don’t worry, she’s giving me a different type of headache. Something happened in her brain last time we went to visit her parents, and ever since she has been on this ‘I am the last of the Barlows’ trip, you know she’s her parents’ only kid. So, last night, in bed, we were just about to get busy, when she suddenly slaps her cell phone on my eyeballs, with links about name changes pulled up. I just about pooped my Wiener! Dafuq is that all about? I am supposed be become a Barlow now? What the heck?”
Chase laughed, then pat his friend on the back.
“Hey, Colton Barlow. Has something. I like it.”
“You change your name then! I don’t wanna be Colton Barlow! Sounds like I am in a boy group! I have been Colton Vatore as long as I can remember. What the hell?”
“Well, she has been Madilyn Barlow all her life until one afternoon when she said ‘I do’ to you…. just sayin’ … what’s good for the goose ….”
“Yeah, but it’s different for girls … they know this is coming all their lives. Guys only think about that when they play on the same team. I never have, so I thought I’d always be Colton Vatore. Barlow sounds wrong. But she did make it very clear that if we ever reproduce, my ass is getting a new last name so the brat she’ll pop out will be a Barlow. Women. Seriously! And quit laughing! Would go change your name to Hanson?”
“Sure, if that would make Patches happy. I really don’t care and not like Camerons are in short supply. And honestly, if you were to change your name, at least that constant confusion about which distant limb of the Vatore tree your little family fell off would stop. Your dad already hated that part, since he hates his mother so much, I know you are not liking it and we both know your sister is gonna have a husband one day and take his name. But make sure Maddie and Patches don’t hear how you feel about all that. They will both skin you alive for being sexist. I know you are just a bigmouth, but they may not remember that.”
“Ah yeah? Well, how about you and I team up and put the proverbial guns to their heads about them getting turned? I remember that being something of relevance in the beginning of each of our relationships, but ever since the ball and chain went on, the topic changes instantly when that comes up. If they get to sweep that under the rug, I am sure there is room for that stupid name change under there too. Or Maddie can have me be her Mr. Barlow, but she is getting a new dental layout in return! How about them apples, huh?”
“Oh, Colton, let it rest. You know that is not something they should be forced into. If they don’t want to or are not ready yet, then we are gonna have to accept that. It’s not like they could forget about that vampire bit, with us always around them and most of their in-laws being vampires. We’re all still so fucking young, 24 years, we seriously have time. At least ten more years or so, before the issue becomes urgent, at least in my book.”
“Well, until that issue does make it back to the top of everyone’s agenda, Mads will have to accept that she and I will remain Mr. and Mrs. Vatore – and she better like it!”
“Sure. I have a feeling that she has her ways to make you reconsider that, Mr. BARLOW!” Chase laughed.
“Why don’t go and fuck yourself real good, Mr. HANSON!?” growled Colton at him, while flipping him the bird.
“What’s that all about? I don’t know how you got all that sand in your vajayjay, but I wasn’t told anything about changing MY name.” grinned Chase.
“If my wife makes me change mine, YOU are changing yours too! Out of solidarity for your best friend. So there!”
“Says who? Hailey may like being my Mrs. Cameron, what do you think about that, you poor grumpy Mr. Cole-y-Bear? Or shall I say, Mr. Barlow-bear, so you can get used to it?”
“You can get used to my fist permanently attached to your jaw and my boot attached to your rear, you jackass! Hailey needs to pick that up then with the other pea in her pod, since our girls are besties. Maybe she can talk some sense into my wife about all that! They speak the same language!”
Once Hailey and Maddie came over with their food, the mood lightened, there was a lot of laughter, kissing and snuggles and the boys’ gripes were long forgotten.