Things Are About To Get Noisy!
Winter, Year 6
Alexander is 56, Erica is 55, Magnus is 54, Marie is 50, Jared is 28, Andrea is 27, Riccardo is 25, Lucia is 22, Aaron is 22, Elliott is 21, Zoe is 20 and Emilio is 18
Andrea stretched a little as she finished the ironing. She was due to give birth to hers and Jared’s twins any day now and everything felt like it was an effort. Even little tasks took more of her energy than they previously had and she was permanently tired.
With the winter season having arrived, she was still determined to tidy the garden as much as possible before the twins were due. With Jared working extra hours for extra money, she was feeling the strain.
Hopefully, the twins would arrive sooner rather than later.
Riccardo and Lucia were enjoying spending a bit more time together. There was still a little tension between them because in spite of everything they’d said, Lucia still hadn’t properly met Riccardo’s family. She loved the time they spent together but she really wanted to start feeling like a part of the family.
Their trip to the Romance festival wasn’t really what she’d hoped for.
The evening didn’t go as well as he’d have liked either, as Lucia left early to get back to Britechester.
Miserably, Riccardo wandered over to the art stalls. He tried his luck at haggling for lower prices until he realised the seller was his friend, Elliott. He hadn’t seen Elliott for a while and felt guilty for trying to cheat his friend.
It definitely wasn’t his week.
He spotted the relationship guru standing around and, on a mad whim, decided to talk to him about his relationship with Lucia. Everything had been so up and down lately and he didn’t really know where he stood with her.
Oddly, right when Riccardo was expecting to hear the worst news, the gentleman informed him he felt the relationship would last. Riccardo raised his eyebrows in disbelief but decided the guy must know better. It gave him a little hope, if nothing else.
The following morning, he followed through on an idea he’d had for a while; modelling. Jared had suggested it as a joke a while ago but only now did he decided to follow through. If it brought in a little extra money for him, it’d be helpful. Especially as he’d be moving out in the not-so-distant future.
The first person Riccardo told about his new job was Jared.
“Well, I took your advice. I sent the pictures to that modelling agency and they’ve added me to their books!”
“Ricky, that’s fantastic!” Jared hugged his brother. “Well done you!”
“Thanks.” Riccardo smiled. “At least I can start putting money aside properly now, especially as I’ll be moving out soon.”
“Yeah, about that.” Jared replied. “Any idea what you’re doing yet?”
Riccardo shrugged. “I think probably see if I can get somewhere with Rohan in the summer. He’s due to finish at Uni then and he’s keen on moving out from his grandparents’ place.”
Riccardo returned to his room to start browsing for flats. It never hurt to think ahead. He glanced across his desk at the photo of him and Lucia, taken shortly after they started dating. She was another reason he was doing this; if their relationship really was meant to last the ages, then he wanted to do it properly. He never felt quite right bringing her back to his brother’s place but at least if he and Rohan shared, it wouldn’t be so bad.
Suddenly, he heard a commotion downstairs. Andrea had gone into labour!
Andrea and Jared arrived at the hospital. Much to their relief, the doctor delivering the babies was none other than their old friend, Dr Vatore. Simon had known both of them for years and was as excited as they were for their new additions.
They trusted Simon completely when he announced she required a C-section for the safe delivery of the twins. Jared was apprehensive; he didn’t like feeling helpless as Andrea delivered the babies.
The first few days were going to hectic with two new babies in the house. Jared had a couple of work projects to finish up while Andrea was still in hospital, so he grabbed a large cup of coffee and set off for the lab.
All the time he worked, his mind drifted towards the new additions to his family. As he wrapped up the project, he changed clothes and set out into the desert and stared in delighted disbelief into the distance. The waters of the lake looked calm and inviting as he pondered the miracle of birth and life.
Several days passed before Andrea was tentatively up and about. The snow was falling thick and fast but she had a good reason to be up. They were planning to invite the family over later that day to meet the babies.
Riccardo had invited Lucia over so she could meet his family properly, too. After hearing that guru at the festival decree his relationship was one to last, Riccardo was fired up and determined to make sure that was true. This was the first step in what he hoped would be a beautiful future.
Jared took to the kitchen to get some food ready for his and Andrea’s families. He was a little nervous, given how hostile his father had been towards Andrea in the past. Was it too much to hope his father would be more civil now he was a grandfather?
Andrea’s family were the first to arrive. Erica disapproved slightly of Andrea being up and about so soon and Andrea began to feel tired again. Thankfully, her family were very excited about the new babies.
Eventually, the De Luca’s arrived to meet the new arrivals. Jared and Andrea brought the babies downstairs to meet their relatives.
“They’re beautiful!” Erica gasped. “So which one is which?”
Andrea beamed. “This is Sienna and that’s Bellarosa with Jared.”
“They’re gorgeous,” Marie agreed. “What beautiful girls!”
Every attempt Lucia made at conversation with Magnus had ended in failure; he was far too busy telling Jared how to be a good parent. Even Erica could hardly believe what she was hearing.
Tired of hearing such nonsense, Erica stood up and, with permission from the new parents, picked up Bellarosa to give her a cuddle and settle her. Mangus’ rantings had been upsetting the babies.
Beside her, Emilio was introducing himself to his other niece.
“Well hey there, little one! It’s me, your Uncle Emilio. Who’s a pretty girl then, eh?” He picked her up and smiled. “Aren’t they lovely,” he said to Erica, who nodded and smiled in return.
Riccardo and Lucia had escaped outside to avoid the hostility.
“I’m really sorry about Padre,” Riccardo began. “I know he’s been rude before but I still can’t believe how he’s completely ignoring you.”
“Ricky, it’s okay.” Lucia said. She sighed. “You did try and warn me but I didn’t listen. I’m sorry I gave you so much hassle about meeting your family; I do see now why you were reluctant.”
They stood together in silence for a few moments, the soft strains of music from the house drifting faintly through the air.
“Care to dance, Miss Collazo?” Riccardo asked.
“Why Mr De Luca, I’d be delighted.” She grinned and took his hand.
Silently, they swayed together to the music inside.
Back inside, tensions were still rising among the De Luca side of the family. Jared and Zoe had ended up in an argument, culminating in Jared suddenly claiming that Zoe’s impending marriage to Rohan would be doomed to fail.
Even Jared was surprised by his own lack of tact.
The family needed a couple of days to recover from the events of the get together. In the meantime, Andrea had a checkup with the doctor, who was very pleased with how she was doing.
Now was the time to start getting used to having two new arrivals in the house!