Windenburg Cameron Jr. Residence Brendan & Natalie 27, Declan 2 years
Walking home from work, Brendan couldn’t help but smile knowing in a few minutes he would be in the comfort of their cozy home again. Today had been one of the few occasions he had to be physically present at the San Myshuno University to give lectures and attend a faculty meeting. Most of the time he was able to work from home, like Natalie had today.
As soon as he had parked their car and was on the ferry setting over to the car-free island outside of mainland Windenburg, the wind in his hair and the soft spray of the water in his face, he felt the anticipation of getting back home to his little family rise. Even as a teen he had always known that he would be happiest living the quiet family life, contrary to his five year older sister Anastasia who had dreams of fortune, adventure and fame and a solid tendency for drama all their lives.
The walk to his home from the ferry docks was short and as soon as he approached the front door he could hear Loki’s exited barks, soon joined in by Grimm’s meowing and Declan appearing in the window, his pudgy little hands on the glass. It made Brendan chuckle, knowing that Natalie was always after Declan to not touch the glass but between the toddler hands and wet dog and cat noses she was fighting a losing battle.
He had now unlocked the door and the Cameron welcome committee received him with licks, barks, Declan’s excited babbling and Grimm pushing against his legs.
“Okay crew, let’s go see your mom, okay?”
Brendan tousled Loki’s and Grimm’s fur briefly while kissing the toddler’s cheek, who began to babble to him through his pacifier as he took his daddy’s hand and walked with him to the kitchen to see mommy.
“Good evening beautiful! Smells amazing in here.”
“Good. You are home. We have to talk.”
“Uh oh. What did I do now … or not do that I should have?”
“Nothing. Come with me. Just leave Declan, he’ll be fine. He’s a big boy now.” she told him into their kiss hello.
“I am a big boy!” Declan parroted proudly.
Natalie took Brendan’s hand and pulled him along with her, up the stairs and into their bedroom, where she closed the door behind them, then exhaled.
“Umm … even on the off chance to sound like my dad now, this is unexpected but definitely not unwelcome.” Brendan smirked, wondering what she wanted to show him. Impromptu after-work quickies with the toddler and both pets roaming free wasn’t Natty’s style.
“No Brendan. This is bad. I think. Maybe not. Not sure. I couldn’t believe it either but … just see for yourself.”
She pointed at their dresser, Brendan’s eyes grew wide as he stepped closer to find a good dozen or so pregnancy tests spread across.
“Positive? ALL of these?!”
“Wow. I thought we had decided …” Brendan mumbled surprised.
“We had. The only thing I can think of for an explanation is that last family barbecue at Everett Heights.”
“Yeah. The only time we didn’t double up protection, since it was kinda … a ‘the mood struck us’ thing. Well, the good news is, that I thought my belly was getting big because your mom was teaching me to cook certain things. Then the Board Meeting, the Investor Meetings and I seriously totally didn’t even notice my period didn’t come at all. Pregnancy never even crossed my mind until yesterday, so today I got some tests and now it’s the only thing I can think of. Brenny, now what?”
“I don’t know what to say. Give me a second here to process. I mean, we definitely have the room, we designed and built this home to accommodate two kids anyway, we can afford it … just … we finally hammered into everyone’s heads – including our own – that Declan will be an only child. Now all bets are off again.”
“I know. I had two almost-fights with my parents because they wouldn’t back off about us having at least two kids. Finally got them to understand, and now here I am eating crow. Are you mad at me now?”
“What? No, of course not! Why would I be mad about this. Baby, we did this together, so if I were mad, it would have to be at myself. And no, it’s just a very unexpected surprise. We are so reliable and such planners, us ending up with an unplanned pregnancy is just a bit of a shock. And also: I love you, Natty.”
“Oh man, Brenny. I still haven’t fully wrapped my head around all this. All our plans are out the window, that job I was eyeing which would require me to travel sometimes, now a no-go ….”
“Natty, we got this. Family always trumps careers. We’ll figure it out, like I said, we’re planners and we will come up with an awesome plan and everything will be okay.”
“Just not looking forward to telling everybody. I can already see their faces, especially my mom and dad’s, you know the ‘I told you so’ and ‘I knew it’. Lovely. And I can already hear your dad’s jokes … urgh.”
Brendan started laughing, as he pulled Natty into an embrace, kissed her.
“Well, remember those shirts mom and dad gave to all of us, the ones that read ‘Cameron Cursed‘ on it? Declan was planned, but now we finally earned those shirts. Welcome to the Cameron Curse part, Natty.”
“Seriously, I could have done without us becoming the proof to that rule. So, how are we gonna do this? Just tell everyone now, wait till three months or what?”
“Let’s at least go see the doctor first and have them confirm it. I kinda do wanna do something a little more funky than just tell people. Oh, and Natty – I am happy. This may be a shock, but at least it’s a true love child. Again.”
“Well, love and a little lust, Mr. Cameron. You sure were in some kind of mood – during a family BBQ, no less. I mean, who mentally arrives as ‘sex’ with toddlers and kids running and screaming, your dad teasing everyone, then singing silly songs with made up lyrics? So, to retain some self-respect, I vote for us leaving that bit out when we tell everyone.”
“Hey, until the doctor confirms timing, it may have well happened in Sulani. That waterfall my mom sent us to … that was all you, Mrs. Cameron! You just about raped me.”
“Raped you. Puh-lease! All I had to do was look at you a certain way and those clothes came right off, besides, can’t rape the willing, Mr. Cameron!”
“True. Okay, let’s get downstairs before Declan, Loki and Grimm dissemble the kitchen. And after all were fed and are sleeping, we’ll start planning and digging up that name list we made when we were expecting Declan.”
“Sounds good. And what probably happened by now is that our dinner – fish tacos, by the way – has been reduced to a vegetarian dish, with distinct cat face prints where there once was fish.”
“Ewww, that kitty, seriously! If he weren’t also so damn cute I swear I would have skinned that furball alive by now! I didn’t notice until I was in the middle of my first meeting that my notepad now has ragged edges all the way around. Retched cat! It’s like he spends all day planning his next coup for that extra adrenaline-boost. If those tacos look strange, we’re ordering pizza!”
Brindleton Bay Cunningham Family Clinic
“Well, guys, here he is … oops, so sorry! Spoiler alert I guess. I hope you weren’t trying to be surprised.” smirking, Chase winked at Brendan and Natalie.
“Very funny Chase. We both already told you that we wanted to know. So a boy, huh. You okay, babe?”
“I think so. Kinda wanted a girl for a while, like Claire, but after all the Ana-drama – sorry Chase. Never mind. I think I am actually pretty glad it’s another boy.” Natalie admitted.
“Yeah, sorry folks, we do not accept returns anyway. As a father to a daughter, let me tell you, you lucked out. Claire may be an angel at family visits, but trust me, there is a lot more fun to be had, and I mean that sarcastic. She’s only 6 and her meltdowns are already legendary.” Chase told her.
“No surprise there! I grew up with that kid’s mom. My poor mom back then. And poor me. Seriously, Chase, your wife and I have come a long way as siblings. No way lil Claire is ANYTHING like Ana was.” Brendan smirked.
“Nah, maybe not, she just doesn’t deal well with the word ‘no’. Other than that, the twins are my life. Well, let me be the first to congratulate you guys. Assume this is still confidential and Ana doesn’t know about it yet.” Chase told him, smiling.
“Not yet. Nobody does yet. But Sunday at the family dinner we’ll tell everyone. Natty’s parents and nephew will be there too this time, so it’s the perfect opportunity to drop this bomb. Can you sit on it until then?” Brendan said.
“Of course. Oh, and thanks for coming to me. Our small clinic can use the patronage and I feel truly honored you guys trust me with this. I’ll take excellent care of you, Natty!”
“I know you will Chase. And bonus, we got your cell number and know where you live once the due date gets closer … just sayin’. Imma gonna need you there.”
“I will move heaven and earth to deliver my little nephew-in-law. All looks great, have to wait for some tests to come back, but I’d put you right about around the 12-14 weeks mark already, Natty. Almost the second trimester. Only petite girls like you can get away hiding it that long. I know how life gets in the way, not really that surprised you missed it until now. But yeah, almost one third there already, girlie.”
Natalie and Brendan looked at each other.
“The tent!” they said almost simultaneously.
“Okay, well, I don’t know what that means and something tells me I don’t want to either, so let me walk you out to Heather at the front desk so we can get your next visit scheduled and everything set up. But again, congrats and I am truly excited for you both. Would a hug be okay?”
“Absolutely! Come here you!” Natty hugged Chase, and she seemed excited now too.
Brendan and Natalie decided to make the announcement a little more elaborate after all. They had photos taken, and during the family dinner Natalie shed her loose top, just like she had with Declan hiding her pregnancy then, while Brendan handed out the picture to everyone.