“Benny’s crying again,” Byron said.
“He’s always crying,” I said as I scooped him up from his crib. “Crying and pooping. And you’re not supposed to call him Benny. Bianca banned all nicknames, period.”
“She should’ve thought of that before giving him a name like Benedict, you know? Benny suits a baby better, I think. And I keep calling Leopold Leo too…”
“Bianca likes her fancy names, I guess.” And her fancy cribs. Lysander had been sad about returning the pink one, but Bianca had actually seemed happy about the two cribs her mom had gotten her as a wedding gift. I don’t know how that weird lady knew she was having twin boys, but I figured it was better not to ask. I tried not to talk to either of Byron’s parents alone, especially after seeing them almost have “man-woman relations” on a wedding buffet table.
Byron picked up Leo as I laid Benedict back down. “He likes it when I make this face.”
I snorted. “You’re lucky Bianca didn’t set any rules about weird faces. Yet.”
And then Bianca’s son erupted in a very Bianca-like wail in Byron’s arms. “I didn’t mean to make him cry…”
“He’s a baby. And he’s Bianca’s. Good luck ever shutting him up.”
“He’s Lysander’s too, though,” Byron said. He lowered his voice. “When do you think they had man-woman relations for the first time? And does a bride always pull up her dress and launch her babies into wedding cakes right after she says her vows? It was really lucky she insisted on seven cakes, even if she only had two babies.”
I really, really didn’t want to think about either question. At least I could answer one question, anyway. “Bianca and Lysander’s wedding was…really fucking weird,” I admitted. “Babies don’t usually go flying out of the bride and into the cake, honestly. Or even show up at the wedding at all.”
Most people didn’t have their weddings at strip clubs, either.
But hey, if it made Bianca happy…then it probably made Lysander happy too, though I wished he’d stop texting me every five seconds to check on his damn kids. If he was so worried about them, he should’ve brought them along on their honeymoon. But my brother deserved a couple weeks’ break. He’d have eighteen years of Benny and Leo–and a whole lifetime of Bianca.
And the twins weren’t too bad, once you got used to the smell. And the screams.
He tucked Leo into his crib, probably making another weird face at the same time. “Taking care of babies is kind of fun, right?”
“It’s okay,” I said as I fed Benny for what had to be the millionth time. “Maybe it’d be better with only one, though.”
“Penny. Do you think…we could have babies someday?”
“If you don’t wrap it up,” I muttered. And if Lysander hadn’t desperately needed towels to wipe the cake and blood off two newborn babies, Byron might’ve actually fucked me in a strip club closet at the wedding. (He really, really liked me in a butler outfit or whatever.)
“I want a son too,” Byron said eagerly. “Maybe more than one. Maybe seven, since Bianca says it’s a lucky number and all.”
“Byron. I am not having seven kids. Ever.”
“What if you had them all at the same time to get it over with?” he asked hopefully.
“I never want to see that much blood–or cake–ever again, thanks.” Benny was definitely a future vampire by the way he sucked and sucked and sucked on the bottle. But he was also kind of cute, in a squished pasty potato kind of way.
“Oh. …Five sons?”
“What’s wrong with a daughter?” I muttered. “Or two daughters?”
“Daughters aren’t very manly…”
“But would you be fine with daughters?”
“Penny. If they’re yours, I’ll love them the most. And I can name them all after my favorite female Henry Puffer characters.” He pressed a (lightly fanged) kiss to my cheek.
“One,” I said.
“You only get to name one after a Henry Puffer character. I get to name the other.” Save the other, more like. I whispered a silent apology to the poor, innocent daughter who’d be saddled with a name from her weird dad.
“Penny. So we can have babies?” He sounded like a kid at a Henry Puffer book signing.
“Maybe.” Far, far off in the future, hopefully, I thought as I watched the twins’ faces. They were probably secretly thinking about how to ramp up poop production. “But we have to actually have man-woman relations first.”
During the months before the wedding, there had been one thing after another preventing me and Byron from having any alone time. Between Bianca waffling over color schemes (she went with black and red, to absolutely nobody’s surprise), Lysander wanting help choosing names for the daughter that never was, and Byron’s parents in general (did they really think I didn’t notice the red light on the camera above their bed?)…we were lucky if we even got to second base.
“Man-woman relations…” Byron repeated, making it sound like some distant dream.
“Byron. We’re finally alone.” It was actually kind of a good thing that his mom didn’t really like babies–well, except for how she dodged her airborne grandsons at the wedding.
“But we’re not alone. Penny.” He jerked his chin toward the now-sleeping Bianca spawn. “Leo and Benny are here too…”
“Well, that’s why the bed has that privacy curtain, I guess.”
“Byron. Do you wanna fuck me or not?”
“I do. Penny. More than anything.”
It was kind of nice, having Bianca and Lysander far away somewhere. We could actually use the bed without worrying about one or both of them walking in one us. At this point, I was almost willing to give them a show worthy of “Bart and Cor’s Home Movies.”
“I love you.”
My breath caught. “You’re just saying that because you’re about to fuck me.” I knew he loved me, but…it was weird to hear him finally say it after all this time.
“That’s not true,” he protested, squeezing me harder in his arms. “I think…I think I loved you from the first night we met, you know?”
“Then you’re a giant weirdo.” At his crushed look, I added, “But that’s just one of the reasons I love you too. Byron.” I kissed him back.
His hand slid up my shirt. Usually it moved so fast that I couldn’t even see it, but this time, I felt it. Cold. But Byron could never really make me feel cold, not for long.
“Penny. I love the raccoon sounds you make.”
“The what?” I muttered. The “raccoon sounds” sounded more like a blender stuffed full of ice and aluminum foil on max power. “Byron, that’s the baby.” Leo, by the sound of it.
“Bianca and Lysander better bring us back a really nice fucking souvenir,” I said as I rolled away from Byron and out of bed. Was there even any souvenir in the world worth the price of dying a virgin?
Byron followed me to the screaming Bianca spawn. “You’ll make a really good mom, Penny.”
Benny apparently agreed, because he took that chance to destroy his diaper.
“Maybe,” I said again. “But you better be a good dad, too.”
But I already knew he would be, even before he tried to change Benny’s diaper. (It was a good effort, for someone with his level of hand-eye coordination.)
Even with the smell and the sounds and the virginity, I was happy.