All Is Still In Casters Keep; Until The New Arrival Makes An Appearance At Last!
Autumn, Year 4
Caleb scowled at the hand he’d been dealt. He was certain Simon cheated at cards whenever they played but he’d yet to prove it. As much as he loved Simon, that smirk drove him to fury whenever they played a board game. It probably hadn’t been the best idea when he was already tense but it couldn’t be helped. When Simon had suggested it, Caleb had found he couldn’t say no.
Ignoring the sniggering from Cristina, Caleb let his focus slide for a moment and he found himself studying Simon slyly from beneath his eyelashes. From the moment he’d met Simon on his doorstep, he’d known there was something about the man. He stared at Simons hands, holding his own set of cards. So manly and strong.
“Caleb? It’s still your turn. Or are you going to surrender?” Simon’s voice snapped Caleb back to the game.
“Never,” he growled and refocused on his cards. It was going to be a long game.
Cristina left the boys and started the washing up. Her baby was due any time soon and she was beginning to feel uncomfortable.
“Oh Oreo,” she sighed as she ran the hot tap. “What am I going to do about all of this?”
Oreo sat on the bench beside her and watched the bubbles rise from the sink.
As she started washing the dishes, her mind wandered towards Daniel. She didn’t really know how she felt about him. At that moment, she never wanted to see him again after what had happened. For a woman who never wanted children, to be having a baby with a man she hardly knew was not an ideal situation. She knew it had taken two to tango (Simon, the resident doctor, had reminded her often enough) but still. It left her very confused about how she felt.
The following morning, Simon was feeling a bit out of sorts. He was on duty at the hospital and found himself feeling incredibly sad when he saw the children being admitted. As he x-rayed one of them, he got another longing for a child of his own.
It felt so unfair. Cristina didn’t want the baby she was carrying and Simon and Caleb both longed for a family.
When he got home from work, he sat down in the dining room with a drink and a book. It was his favourite way to relax after a long day at the hospital.
Suddenly, an idea came to him. He couldn’t believe he hadn’t thought of this earlier.
He heard Cristina coming down the stairs but decided not to mention his idea to her yet. He needed to talk to Caleb first.
Caleb was out in the garden quite early the following morning, raking leaves and enjoying the fresh air. It was one of those perfect autumn mornings; the sky was blue, the sun was shining. It was chilly but pleasant. It was easy work and allowed him to drift off into the realm of his thoughts. Simon had mentioned the night before that he’d wanted to sound him out on an idea but both had agreed to wait until later. Cristina was going over to Willow Creek to see her friend, Hollie, that afternoon, so they could talk freely then.
Cristina couldn’t bring herself to enjoy the tranquility of Glimmerbrook as much as she wanted to. Her discomfort was getting in the way and she couldn’t wait to get round to see her friend, Hollie.
It was strange. Of all the people to help her feel better, she’d never expected it to be Hollie. Aside from both expecting babies at the same time, they didn’t have much in common. Hollie was a dedicated teacher, wife and mother whereas Cristina was a secret spellcaster in training, semi-dating an actor and living with two vampires. Their lives couldn’t be further apart yet it was their mutual friendship with Andrea that had allowed them to connect time and time again in the last few years.
In spite of Jenna hanging around her mother, Cristina found the afternoon very enjoyable and strangely relaxing. Hollie was a very soothing influence and that meant an awful lot to Cristina at the moment.
“You wanted to talk to me?” Caleb said. They were finally alone and the chores were completed.
“Yeah.” Simon bit his lip. “Look, I haven’t mentioned this to Cristina yet. I wanted to see what you thought first.”
Caleb laughed. “Come one, just tell me!”
“Okay.” Taking a deep breath, Simon continued. “Cristina doesn’t want this baby, does she?” Caleb shook his head. “Well I thought; why don’t you and I raise the baby together?”
Caleb let out the breath he didn’t know he’d been holding. “Oh my god.”
“Think about it.” Simon reached out and took Caleb’s hands. “We both love children and want a family of our own. Cristina doesn’t even like children. Daniel doesn’t quite know how he feels but even then; he has his career to focus on. It’s perfect.”
“Oh my god.” Caleb repeated. “Oh Simon, I would love that so much!”
Simon grinned. “Let’s talk to Cristina later. But I think we know what she’ll say.”
“I think we do.” Caleb grinned. He put his arms around Simon and tugged him towards him. “Now I think you know what I’m about to do next.”
Later, they emerged from the leaf pile, grinning from ear to ear. Cristina was home and they were desperate to talk to her about Simon’s idea.
While Simon went inside to find Cristina, Caleb stared at the pond in the back garden. If Cristina said yes, it would be such a life changer for him and Simon.
After a while, Caleb went back inside himself and played with Oreo for a while. There was silence elsewhere in the castle.
The following morning, Simon went out for a run. Cristina had given a resounding yes to his idea the night before and he and Caleb had celebrated all night. They were going to be the main caregivers to the baby when she was born. Simon could hardly wait!
They didn’t have to wait long, either! Willow Clancy was born of the 26th day of Autumn, with several proud and excited parents awaiting her arrival!
Both Simon and Caleb had purchased gifts for baby Willow off of Plopsy. Cristina wasn’t particularly keen on them but she appreciated the gesture from the guys.
Then it was time for them to meet the baby.
Caleb was particularly taken with the beautiful baby. Simon enjoyed watching Caleb as he chatted happily to the tiny baby.
The boys were finally going to become the family they had always wanted to be!