Katie’s pregnancy progressed well and without any issues. Everett made it a point to attend every single appointment with her, letting the other architects in his office step up to the plate, which would continue for a while after the birth, until a routine had been arranged. Currently both still worked the regular hours.
Even though Katie reminded him often that overtime was no longer approved by her or their unborn daughter.
Usually if they did stay later, it was only to set up some early morning meetings for the next day.
If they did work later, Rett would usually take her out to dinner, so no cooking was needed for either of them.
After the birth Katie would reduce her hours tremendously and do a fair share of work from home. The rest of the time watching the baby would be covered by family.
The two spent much time together trying to enjoy the pregnancy, since this would be the only one for them.
Romantic walks, many of them.
Interrupted by occasional unhealthy food options, while most of they time they tried their best to eat nutritious food to be picture book parents.
Everett had been a good boyfriend and later husband all along, and that only intensified with Katie’s pregnancy.
Neither of them forgot to be lovers and not just business partners or parents to be.
It was no secret to anybody, including their staff at EC Architects how much those two were in love.
Their anniversary came.
Since it was a weekend anyway they went to the GeekCon in downtown San Myshuno.
Afterwards for lunch and throw some hoops.
This is where it happened. Katie’s water broke. She had been feeling backaches, but the gaming, walking, good food and exercise had distracted her.
Off to the hospital in a rush, while the real pain set in.
They had to wait while the hospital staff summoned the doctor.
Despite being nervous and scared himself, Everett tried his utmost to remain calm and supportive.
At least for a while…
Then it happened fast.
Now they were parents.
Both secretly relieved, excited and hoping they would be good ones.
Welcome, sweet and beautiful and already much beloved
Everleigh Rose Cameron
One look into her beautiful eyes and Everett was in love.
Brianna had her baby, a beautiful healthy baby girl she and Deacon named Cailean. Her birth did not go too well, lasted many excruciating hours, so they firmed up their decision that the little girl would remain their only child.
Natalie was already pregnant again, as planned, with a baby girl this time. They would name her Isabelle. After that, those two were done having children as well. They wanted two all along and got their ideal scenario of a boy first, then a little girl. They wanted to be young parents too like Natty’s parents had been. Natty’s pregnancy progressed well and fairly easy, the birth was without complications.
Leaves Jake and Marty. Their wish seemed be to fulfilled as well. Kassi did test positive in a pregnancy test, and Jake and Marty saw her often, accompanied her to doctor visits, help financially and with day to day things. In return they got to witness their soon to be child grow.
Oddly, Kassi was way too attached to Jake for Marty’s taste and leaned on him more than necessary, causing issues between the two men. But after the birth normality should settle in again, as the gyn had been made aware of the special circumstances and the plan that the baby would stay with his/her father after the birth and be adopted by his husband, while the birthmother waved all rights. The not quite so legal parts had been omitted.
And they it happened. Marty had to miss the birth as he was at work, but Jake went to the hospital with Kassi and took home his son, Jordan Cameron. A healthy boy, the adoption formalities went over fairly smooth as well.
After initially frequent visits, suddenly the contact between Leonie, Liam and Maddie’s children was reduced to a bare minimum, then eventually she told them she was giving him another try and took back the divorce filing, moved back in with him.
Soon after the contact seized entirely, much to the disappointment of Leonie and Liam.
While both regretted her decision, they had their hands full with their own grandchildren and were too busy to dwell on it too much. And while both of them where still young and fit, they were both approaching their mid-fifties and running after toddlers took its toll, so some days a quiet empty home was just fine by them.
Just like today. They were about to curl up on the couch together and binge-watch a new series starring their daughter Natalie when they were rudely interrupted.
The intercom by the street rang, Leonie was first to answer.
“Mrs. Cameron, this is detective Woods and I have officer Young with me. We have something to discuss with you and your husband please.”
Surprised, Leonie buzzed them in, Liam had joined her now while they waited for the visitors’ car to make it up the driveway she told him who the visitors were.
They parked a dark, unmarked car with government license plate, got out, faces stiff and gloomy as typical for official visits.
Introductions were made. Everything was rigid, as this was never pleasant when the cops showed up at your house. Both Liam and Leonie were going through their children in their minds, hoping this was not about any of them.
Detective Woods and officer Young were shown into the living room where Detective Woods, who was the more talkative of the two, began, while leafing through his little notepad.
“Mr. and Mrs. Cameron, I am not going to dance around the subject for all our sakes. Are you familiar with Mrs. … ummm… oh, Madeline Mary Gleason?”
“Who?” Liam asked, when Leonie nudged him.
“Maddie! Yes, Detective we are. Is she okay?”
“I understand you are acquainted with her children, two 6 year old girls by the names of … ummm..” he looked at the younger officer who shrugged, so he started digging through his notepad again.
“Hope and Faith, yes, we know them, they all stayed with us for a while. Please, come to the point!” Leonie urged.
“Very well, the point, Mrs. Cameron is … ahem .. there was an incident involving the Gleasons. An unfortunate one …”
“Oh my God… is Maddie all right? Oh gawd, the kids!”
“Mr. and Mrs. Cameron, how exactly do you know the Gleasons?”
“Ummm…” Leonie felt uncomfortable, so Liam jumped in.
“She is a good friend of our son’s. They have known each other for a long time. Why?”
“It would appear that the parents of the girls had some marital difficulties, Mrs. Gleason had filed for divorce. He husband most likely threatened her – and the children – so she returned to him. Alas, that did not help the situation after all. Mrs. Gleason and her parents have perished along with Mr. Gleason in what would appear to be a murder-suicide situation.”
Leonie jerked, eyes wide until she began sobbing uncontrollable.
Trying hard to keep is own composure, Liam – his face hard as carved in stone – asked
“The children?” as he swallowed hard.
“…were in school when it all happened. A neighbor had heard the commotion of the fighting and called us, but we did not make it in time to prevent the tragedy, but were able to shield the children from the terrible scene. They have been evaluated and while they are naturally very sad, they seem to not have been psychologically affected by this. The reason we are here, Mr. and Mrs. Cameron, is that in some notarized form of last will, Mrs. Gleason named you as guardians should something terrible happen. Evidently did she fear for her life for a while. While this is an admittedly unusual situation, unlike anything I have ever witness in my 34 years of service, CPS, a judge and of course my partner and I think this would be the best for the kids, given their familiarity with this home. If you are willing to take on such a responsibility, that is.”
“Yes, YES, yes, of course.” Leonie answered, looking at Liam who nodded approvingly.
Within days the girls were moved in, first on a temporary custody order, then on some sort of permanent guardianship.
The entire Cameron family was shocked, not only at the tragedy, but also at Liam and Leonie’s decision.
Everett was worst off than all, blaming himself for not realizing she needed more help. Luckily their growing daughter Everleigh Rose was more than capable of diverting his attention, as both he and Katie were busy doting on the little girl.
The next years flew by. The adults were busy with work, the children with growing. Hope and Faith were doing well, two healthy and happy 8 year-olds now. Liam and Leonie had adopted them outright as there was no living family for the children.
The babies had all grown into bouncing toddlers, all of them active and alert making them almost too much for even the hardcore kid fanatics that were Liam and Leonie. Five toddlers in various stages of development and two young children. Plus the avid chitter-chatter of their own four grown kids plus spouses who all got along well yet always seemed to have much to say to one another, and sometimes, reverted back to childlike behavior when at their childhood home.
All of the toddlers had dark hair. Cameron had dark green eyes nobody knew how he got them
His sister Isabelle deep blue ones like their dad
Cailean had inherited her mother and grandmother’s turquoise blue eyes and reddish hair, albeit darker.
Little Miss Everleigh Rose favored her dad, granddad and great-granddad by having the Cameron light green eyes and nearly black hair.
The youngest child, Jordan Cameron had brown hair and dark brown eyes, like his birth mother.
The families remained close knit and were always visiting one another when not busy with work. Natty had accepted film offers again, Rhys worked from home to be with the children when Natalie was in Del Sol Valley.
Their babies, Cameron and Isabelle, much like Everett and Natalie had been, were peas in a pod.
Here Natalie, Rhys, Cameron and Isabelle are over to wreck Brianna and Deacon’s home, evidently.
Everett and Katie spent much time outside with little Everleigh.
“Evey, don’t run off, baby!”
“Just come back.”
“Umm … whyyy?”
“Oh dear me. I’ll go get her.” Everett chased the little girl until he finally caught her, squealing for joy.
“If she is like this NOW, what are her teenage years going to be like!?” he joked, frowning.
He sat her back down as she was begging to go slide again, then sat down next to Katie on the bench.
“Teens? Let’s get through the terrible twos, threes, fours, … hahahaha”
Eventually it was getting darker and colder.
“Come on Little Leigh … time to go home and get din-din.”
Everett chased her through the various playground equipment then finally, all out of breath found her sitting on the bench when he heard giggling.
“You are lucky you are so adorable or you would get a spanking. Come on now. Home. Mommy is probably wondering what is taking us so long.”
“UP!” Everleigh damanded.
“No, you are a big girl and you can walk. Our house is right over there. Come on little lady.” Everett beckoned her with curled index finger.
“Daaaaaaaaady….? Up?” she pouted, while fluttering her eyelids up at her daddy.
“Oh good grief. I am in trouble. TROUBLE!” Everett sighed.
Not only did she inherit the Cameron looks, but evidently his father and grandfather’s charisma and charm to test the boundaries.
As he walked into the house with her in his arms, Katie turned around
“She is old enough to walk. You’ll be carrying her to her highschool graduation if you do not lay down rules now….”
Yep, he probably would … and love it. As long as he was the one carrying his little girl no boys would get the chance…