14

Who’s Your Daddy?

Some time had passed since that fateful day I had been drawn to Jasper like a moth to a flame. Being as fertile as I am, I had, of course, gotten pregnant. The big question was whose baby was I carrying — Christopher’s or Jasper’s? I put aside the thought for the moment as I opened the mailbox and saw envelopes for Molly and Megan with Charles’ return address. Today was their birthday and, sweet man that he is, Charles had sent them birthday cards.

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As luck would have it, their birthday fell on Leisure Day. I wanted to throw Molly and Megan a small party, but almost everyone I called already had plans. Charles was especially sorry he couldn’t be there for his chicklets, explaining that his family was coming into town for his annual Leisure Day party. Christopher was the only one who was able to join us. Molly and Megan were young enough that it didn’t bother them anyway.

I had bought birthday cakes for each of the twins and set them out on the dining room table. In keeping with our tradition, Molly, the eldest by a couple of minutes, blew out her candles first, with the help of Kylie. Kendra thought it was hysterical. She always seems to laugh at the most inappropriate times.

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When Molly aged up, she became a Snob. Molly also Loves the Heat, is Brave and has Star Quality.

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Christopher arrived a little late and I was surprised to see him standing in the kitchen when I turned around. “Hi, Jill. I hope you don’t mind — I came around back when I heard someone in the pool. Lucas was kind enough to let me in the back door.”

“Christopher, I’m so glad you could come.”

“I think Lucas had the right idea. It’s a scorcher out there today. Do you mind if I take a dip and cool off?”

“Not at all. I’ll meet you out back later.”

“Sounds good.”

Before we even got to Megan’s cake, Kendra abruptly turned around and said, “I’m bored. I’ll be outside.”

Hmmph. Someone’s in a mood. Well, at least we won’t have to put up with her laughing at Megan, too.

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Kevin picked up Megan, saying, “Where’s the birthday girl? Come help me blow out the candles, Meg.” Megan pursed her little lips and blew out her candles. Well, Kevin blew them out for her, but that’s our little secret.

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When Megan aged up, she became a Loner. Meg is also Disciplined, a bit Eccentric and a Light Sleeper.

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When the festivities were over, I skipped the cake and went out back to join Christopher in the pool. We swam for a bit, then relaxed on the lounge chairs. It was Leisure Day, after all. Christopher said he was in the mood to play the piano, and I told him I had a keyboard upstairs in the office that he was welcome to use. “I’ll be up in a few minutes. You go ahead.”

Once I was alone on the patio, I called Jared.

“Jared, hi. It’s Jill.”

“Jill, it’s good to hear from you. What’s up?”

“I find myself in a bit of a quandary. You see, I’m pregnant.”

“Ah… and you’re not sure who the father is … Jasper or the other man you mentioned being with earlier that day.”

“Exactly. I knew you’d understand my dilemma.”

“Jill, you’d know if you were having Jasper’s baby. Have you had any strange cravings for plasma?”

“Yuck. No, thank goodness.”

“Hey now, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.” Jasper groaned sensuously, “I’m sure you’re delicious.”

A shiver ran up my spine at Jared’s double entendre. “OK then, so thanks for clearing that up for me.”

“You had doubts? Jill, honey, if you taste half as good as you smell … mmm ….”

I could almost see Jared smirking at me, the little flirt. “No, not … that, for helping me figure out that the baby isn’t Jasper’s.”

“Ha ha ha. Oh, that! No problem. You would’ve noticed other symptoms as well. All your senses would be heightened … smell, taste, hearing, sight … your libido especially.”

Embarrassed, I responded, “Good to know. I really should be going now. Thanks again, Jared.”

“Call me anytime, Jill. To talk, or … whatever.” We said our goodbyes, and I ended the call.

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My mind was still racing from my heated conversation with Jared when my phone rang. Seeing the caller ID made me smile.

“Jameson?”

“Hi, Jill. Yes, it’s me. I’m calling to thank you for all the wonderful pictures you’ve been sending me of Logan and Lucas. I’ve been missing them like crazy ever since you moved to Lucky Palms.”

“I know, Jameson. I hoped all the pictures would help. Logan looks so much like you, it’s uncanny.”

“You think so?”

“I do. And I hope our sons both grow up to be loving, sensitive men like their father. You really are a sweetheart, Jameson.”

“Thanks, Jill. You know, every now and then, I still think of you and what might’ve been. But I’ve taken your advice and started dating again.”

“I’m glad to hear that, Jameson. You’ll make some lucky woman an amazing husband. I’m sorry I have to cut this short, but we have company. Take good care of yourself, Jameson.”

“You, too, Jill. Bye.”

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With a sense of relief at finally knowing who fathered the baby(ies) I was carrying, I went upstairs to see Christopher. He’s such an accomplished musician; it’s always a joy to hear him play.

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When he finished the song he was playing, I said, “Christopher, I have some news I want to share with you.”

He got up and approached me. “I’m all ears, Jill.”

“We’re going to have a baby, Christopher.”

“You’re pregnant? Jill, that’s fantastic!”

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Staring at my tiny baby bump, Christopher’s hand immediately reached out to rub my belly.

“You thought I was just putting on weight, didn’t you?”

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Christopher looked up at me and said, “I wasn’t thinking that, and even if you were, it would make no difference to me.”

“Good answer,” I snickered.

“I’m going to head downstairs and clean up now that the party’s over. Why don’t you stay up here and play for a while? I don’t mind.”

“Sounds good.”

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I walked into the kitchen to put away the leftover cake and could hear bits and pieces of Kevin and Kylie’s conversation. Kylie sounded pretty upset at what Kevin was saying to her. I heard Kevin say Kendra’s name, and Kylie raised her voice and said, “She did what?” Kevin said quietly, “Shh. Lower your voice.”

Something tells me I don’t want to know what they’re talking about.

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A little while later, Kylie and Kendra are sitting on the couch watching TV. Again, I can only hear parts of their conversation without making it obvious that I’m eavesdropping. Kylie says, “Kevin told me he saw you earlier with….”

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“What the hell were you thinking?” asked Kylie.

“I was wondering what it would feel like to kiss him. So, I did.”

What? Who’d she kiss? Figures I’d miss the most important part of the conversation.

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“He’s a pretty good kisser, for an old guy.”

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“… is gonna be so pissed at you. I can’t even look at you.”

“I don’t see what the big deal is. I just kissed him. I didn’t screw him.”

“Ugh. Enough already.”

So, Kendra’s been kissing an older man? Clearly, Kylie isn’t happy about it. Is the guy married or something? No way. Kendra’s a good girl. She can be highly inappropriate, but deep down I know my daughter wouldn’t stoop that low. Maybe I’ll never know.

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Time passed and my baby bump continued to grow. Eventually, it was time for the triplets to move out on their own. When it came time to say goodbye, Kevin insisted on saying goodbye to his unborn sibling(s). Anyone else might’ve looked silly waving to a baby bump, but it came naturally to my quirky son.

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Then the rest of me got a hug from my sweet boy. Kevin reminds me so much of his father Garret that it’s bittersweet seeing him all grown up and leaving the nest. “Kevin, sweetie, I hope you achieve your dreams of becoming an astronaut. And take good care of Abrielle. She’s a keeper.”

“Thanks, Mom. Absolutely.”

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Kendra got up and hugged me next. “Be good and work hard, young lady. I’m sure you’ll make a fine surgeon one day.”

“Thanks, Mom.”

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Finally, Kylie gave me a big hug as Molly said goodbye to Kevin. “I hope you kick butt in martial arts, Kylie. And do your best to keep your sister in line … if you can.”

“Thanks, Mom. Speaking of Kendra, there’s something I think you should know.”

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“What is it?”

Kylie filled in the blanks on the conversations I had overheard between her and Kevin and then Kendra. I was dumbstruck. Kendra had kissed Christopher out on the patio while I was only steps away inside the house?

“Mom, you look pissed, and I get it. But don’t shoot the messenger, OK? I just thought you deserved to know the truth. Kevin didn’t want to say anything because he didn’t want to hurt your feelings. But as a woman, I’d want to know. So, I figured you would, too.”

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“Thanks, I think,” I said as I gave Kendra a disgusted look.

“Mom, for the sake of the younger kids, please don’t make a scene. We’re leaving tonight.”

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As much as it pained me to push down the hurt I was feeling, Kylie was right. I wasn’t going to make a scene in front of the kiddos. I could hear Kevin on the phone with the real estate agent, letting her know that they’d be picking up the keys to their new home within half an hour.

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Minutes later, I watched as the triplets walked out to begin their adult lives and pursue their dreams.

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The next morning, as I walked out onto the patio, I heard Molly say, “Meg, Mommy’s belly is getting huge. I bet the baby’s coming soon. Do you think it’ll be a boy or a girl?”

After she finished chewing her bite of pancakes, Megan replied, “Who knows?”

“Well, if it’s a girl, I’m sure she won’t be as pretty as me,” Molly said, stuffing a big bite of pancakes in her mouth.

Megan just rolled her eyes at that. “Feel free to spend all day looking at yourself in the mirror, Molly. I’m fine here all by myself.”

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Molly had a point. I was about ready to pop. After the kids went to school, I relaxed on the couch and watched cartoons. For some strange reason, in the late stages of pregnancy, I usually get the urge to watch cartoons, or any kids’ shows for that matter. I found them fascinating.

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Yup. Molly called it all right. At least I was home when my water broke and contractions kicked in.

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Like a seasoned pro, I drove myself to the hospital and called Christopher as soon as I had arrived.  If there were a rewards program for the maternity wing, I would certainly be considered a frequent flyer.

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After I had cooled off about the Kendra incident, I had confronted Christopher and he told me that she had initiated the kiss. Admittedly, he didn’t push her away. I made it clear that we would no longer be anything but friends, and Christopher said he understood. I still wanted him there for the birth of our children, however. Heaven knows, if I’m giving birth to alien babies, I may very well need his help in raising them properly.

Christopher rushed to the hospital and remained at my side throughout labor and delivery.

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We were now the proud parents of triplets! Our firstborn was a boy, Nicholas, who resembles Christopher except for my blonde hair. Nicholas is Brave and a Heavy Sleeper.

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Noah, who was born next, had Christopher’s hair color as well as his skin tone. Noah is Evil and Loves the Outdoors.

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Our daughter, Natalie, has my skin tone and a hair color all her own. But, like her brothers, she has her Daddy’s eyes. Natalie is Perceptive and Loves the Outdoors.

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When I brought my babies home from the hospital, I spotted Molly up in the tree house. She loves to pretend she’s a princess waiting to be rescued by her handsome prince.

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With all the chaos that comes with bringing home three newborns, I almost missed prom night. Luckily, Logan and Lucas were pretty self-sufficient and had already made arrangements for tuxes and a limo. Neither of them were attending the dance with a date.

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When Logan got home from prom, he said he was exhausted and went right to bed.

Lucas came home a little later and was both tired and hungry. Like most teenage boys, Lucas’ stomach won the battle, and he quickly zapped up some tofu dogs for a late dinner before hitting the sack.

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The next morning, while Lucas was still sleeping, I asked Logan how he enjoyed the prom.

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“Well, prom was a mixed bag, Mom. On the plus side, I was named prom king.”

“Oh, Logan, that’s impressive, son!”

“I know, right? Thanks, Mom.”

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“So, if that was the good part of prom, what wasn’t so good?”

“The girl I have a crush on wouldn’t dance with me.”

“Oh, sweetie, I’m sorry. Do you want to talk about it?”

“No. I’m fine. Plenty of fish in the sea, right?”

“Indeed. All right then. How about your brother? Did he have a good time?”

“You’ll have to ask him yourself, Mom. It’s the bro code.”

I held in the urge to giggle. “Right. The bro code. I don’t know what I was thinking. I’ll ask him later.”

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