Rocking my daughter in my arms, I smile softly at her. Everything about her is perfect. Her nose and eyes remind me of Eros’s when he was a child, while her cheeks are as rosy as mine. I dressed her in a little pink dinosaur onesie to match her brother’s blue one. Her chest is rising and falling at a slow rhythm, indicating sleep. Finally.
I walk her over to her crib, gently laying her down. As soon as she is settled, I lean my back against the wall. Sliding down it, I let out a long breath. Although quite busy, the first day with the twins has been easier than I thought it would be. Eros and I haven’t had a moment to ourselves, but I don’t mind. It is nice to have the family we have always dreamed of.
Eros enters our room with Alexander passed out on his shoulder. He looks down at me before placing our son in his crib. It makes my heart flutter watching him. My husband. How far we have come. He holds his hand out to me.
“Come here, Aren,” he whispers.
I blink slowly, pushing myself up from the ground tiredly. “Hi, Lykos.”
Eros loops his arms under my legs, lifting me. He nuzzles my neck affectionately before whispering, “Time to put you to bed, too.”
“But the twins presents.” I giggle, his nose tickling my neck.
“Stay right here,” he says, carrying me to the bed. He tucks me under the covers before exiting our room. For the next few minutes, Eros brings in all the various presents from the baby shower. He stacks them beside me, and I smile at him. He treats me too well. I struggle to get out of bed.
“Let me help you!” I say, but he only pushes me back down.
“Aren, behave,” he says before putting the first present on my lap. “Open.”
“I have been behaving.” I pout, opening the first gift. Eros snickers, leaning forward to kiss me, but I cover my lips.
He groans. “Open it, Aren. I’m excited to see what horrible gifts our family gave to the babies.”
I roll my eyes, looking down at the tag. “This one is from Erebus.”
“If it’s a thing of bacon, we’re returning it,” he says, rolling his eyes. I laugh, opening the poorly wrapped present. Inside, there are two baby raptor costumes. They are a little too big for the twins now, but I know Eros will get his use of them when they grow into the outfits.
“Do you still want to return it?” I ask.
“Look at the little feet!” Eros exclaims excitedly. He picks up one of the costumes, making the feet kick back and forth while making a roaring sound. How Eros has yet to be a father surprises me.
“We should put it on them when they wake up. They can terrorize the family.” I giggle, kissing him.
“They’re too little for them right now,” Eros says, roaring again. “Little raptors.”
I pout. “Then we will wait for next year.”
“We’ll dress them up and then make Attie and E babysit.” He smiles at me.
“I like this plan. They need some team bonding exercises,” I say, leaning on Eros.
He nods, kissing my nose. “I would love to see them trying to chase them down in little raptor costumes.”
“Do you think we can set up cameras in their house?” I ask.
He blinks. “I’m a little offended that you think I haven’t already hacked the cameras there.”
“Lykos!” I scold. “How often do you spy on them?!”
“Enough to know they banged after the shower.” Eros smirks wickedly at me. I smack him hard. “Ow! It’s not my fault!”
“Oh, so I assume that you just stumbled across them banging while spying on them?” I say sarcastically.
He gapes at me. “They did it on the counter! I didn’t hack the cameras in the bedroom! I thought the kitchen was a safe bet!”
Honestly, my husband knows better. After all the places we….I shake my head. “Lykos!”
“Presents!” he exclaims, putting another one on my lap. Oh no, baby, we aren’t changing the subject that easily.
“No sex for another week!” I exclaim. We haven’t had intercourse in a few months, not since I become uncomfortable with my weight. I know this threat will get to him.
“We’ll see about that, Aren.” Eros smirks. Dang it.
I look down at the present on my lap, reading the tag. “This one is from your sister.”
“Oh?” Eros says, pulling me closer to him.
I open the blue and white wrapped present, revealing two Project Revolt onesies. “Look!”
“We’ll have to take pictures of the babies in them and send them to Tia,” he says, kissing my head.
“I like that idea,” I say, kissing him. Eros rubs my back before picking up another gift and handing it to me. I look at the tag.
“From Amphitrite. The note says, ‘Place this in the cribs with the babies, and the sound of the ocean should help them sleep through the night.’” Unwrapping the gift, I see two conch shells, and I run my fingers over the bumpy texture. Eros takes them and walks over to the twins’ cribs. He places one in each crib before walking back over and getting under the covers with me. Another gift is placed on my lap, and I smile.
“One from Terpsichore,” I say. “Did you see her at the party?”
He smirks. “I saw her teaming up with Erebus.”
“I think Atë and Erebus were trying to make the other jealous.” I nod.
He raises a brow. “Explains why they finally stopped dancing around each other and banged.”
I burst out laughing before quickly covering my mouth, trying not to wake the twins.
“You are a worse trickster than me.” He snickers.
“What is that supposed to mean?” I ask, opening the gift.
“And who organized the teams?” he asks. Caught red-handed.
I whistle innocently before pulling out two pairs of ballet shoes. “Oh! How cute!”
“Are you putting Alex in ballet, too?” he asks, tilting his head.
“Of course! It really helps with strength and balance.” I nod, putting the shoes to the side.
He holds his hands up. “Hey, you’re his mother. You’re the boss.”
I kiss him. “I love you, Lykos.”
He growls into my lips. “Aren…you keep kissing me, and we won’t get through these.”
“I’m holding you to the no sex for another week.” I giggle, pulling away from him and picking up another present.
“Sure, Aren, sure.” He snickers.
I open the next present, which is wrapped in a brown paper bag. Seaweed is hanging from the ribbons, and I instantly know who it’s from. Poseidon. Unwrapping the gift, I pull out two mini tridents before looking at the note.
“Oh, look, Lykos! It says it will give them good weather while at the beach.” I smile.
He raises his brow, taking one of the tridents. “From the Wet Daddy himself.”
“Lykos!” I giggle.
“What?” He asks, twirling the trident as he does his arrows before hurling it at the wall where it impales itself. “I need a trident. Shit is epic.”
I place the other one on the ground before kissing him. “You’ll break something.”
“You already made me lock up my arrows.” He pouts.
“Yes, I did,” I say, picking up a card from Dionysos.
He frowns. “I still think they would be fine.”
I roll my eyes at him before opening the card. “A private cellar. Every year two barrels will be deposited, one for each child. Wine, Rum, and Bourbon in alternate years. Don’t open it right away.”
Eros looks down at the card, smiling. “I mean, they’ll be tricksters. A private cellar is a must.”
I sigh. “Not until they are older, right?”
“I’m not completely inept at being a father, you know.”
I nod. “Uh-huh.”
“Aren…” He frowns. “You don’t think I’m that bad at being a dad, do you?”
“No! Never Lykos,” I say, shaking my head. I press my lips against his, but he doesn’t kiss back. He only frowns into my kiss. “Lykos, I was only teasing you.”
He nods silently, picking up the next gift and placing it in my lap. I kiss him hard again, not enjoying the silence he is providing. “I mean it, Eros. You are the best father one could ask for.”
He smiles at me softly. “Open.”
Looking down at the tiny green box, I open it. Two sculpted wooden bird figures rest at the bottom of the box, and I pull out the note attached.
“From Artemis. ‘For the little ones, so they wake up every morning listening to the chirping of birds,’” I read before placing the box back down. I pick up the next one, reading the tag. “This one is from Selene to me.”
Eros scoots closer, watching me open the gift beautifully wrapped silver box. I pull out a perfectly carved Selenite shaped into a heart. My smile brightens as I run my fingers over the smooth surface. “Oh, I love it.”
“Beautiful,” Eros adds, trailing his fingers over the heart.
I place the gift on the table before looking up at Eros. “I am so happy that Artemis and Selene found each other. They seem so happy.”
“They do.” He nods. “Both were searching for total acceptance of self, and I think they’ve finally found it in each other.”
I smile softly, cuddling Eros before continuing on with the presents. One after another, we open the gifts. It must be close to midnight when we stop at the biggest one. Thanatos. He had some workers drop it off during the shower, and I have been excited to read his note. Standing from the bed, we walk over to the gift. It is a large, menacing looking crib. The entire thing is painted void black, and the wood itself looks uncomfortable to sleep on. I grab the note, reading it out loud for Eros.
“Dear Eros and Clio. Congratulations on this joyous event. I searched around Tartarus and found one of the old cribs we used to sleep in. The babies can sleep in there now! It’s for them! And this ensures you and the tiny muse sleep safely through the night! Love, Than. P.S. A ghost may or may not have taken up residence inside.” I fold up the note, looking back at the crib. “That is so kind of him.”
“They used to sleep in that?” Eros blinks at the crib, shuddering.
I tilt my head at it. “It isn’t…that bad?”
“You want the babies to sleep in a maybe haunted crib?” he asks.
“Maybe you can? To say we used it at least,” I say, and I smile at him, an evil plan forming in my mind.