Vet watched Richard walk towards the triplets with a small smile on his face. He had been hoping for a reaction of caring from the smaller man, but the expression of wonder and instant caring was more than he could have ever hoped for. Looking over at his aunt, a tall robust woman with black hair that fell to her waist, ample bosom and dancing green eyes, the two of them shared a look. He knew that she would be cornering him to ask about Richard sooner or later, and he would be ready for her, but not at that moment. He stepped forward to stand beside Richard where he stood before the triplets.
"Let me introduce you. This is Amy, Curt, and..." he looked over at Richard, who stood staring at the triplets, his eyes fastened on the baby boy who was still awake, wanting to see his reaction when he said his name, "Richard Jr. We call him RJ though." He saw Richard's eyes widen and his mouth drop open in shock before he turned to slowly look at him.
"AL named one of her babies after me?" the smaller man whispered, his eyes filling with tears that he quickly blinked away. Vet merely smiled and nodded his head.
"Why?" Richard asked looking back at the babies again.
Vet shrugged before responding, "I reckon it's because you were a friend of hers, or because, as she said, you were the reason she was at that store where she met Cameron and she wouldn't have 'em if it weren't for you." Mandy had never explained what she meant by that and Vet had never asked, but he was curious about it and wanted to know. He saw Richard smile softly at the memory and quirked an eyebrow.
"AL and I had gone to this party, gotten really drunk and stumbled back to our apartment in Brooklyn. I got really sick and we didn't have any ginger ale in the house. I begged and cried for her to go get me some, I'd never been that sick from drinking before. Well, she went and she met Cameron at the store, he came back with her and after they gave me the ginger ale and some aspirin, they went back to her room and they fu-" Richard stopped talking abruptly, his face flaming red as he sheepishly grinned at Vet. Vet chuckled, he could understand what happened even if Richard hadn't continued. Cameron was a wolf shifter, just like Mandy, so they both understood about mating and the mating heat. Even though Vet felt it, like an itch that could never be scratched, a throbbing erection that would never be satisfied, Richard was a human who didn't know about wolf shifters or mates and Vet knew he had to tread lightly. It sucked...well, nothing was sucking at that point..but it was really bad. Giving himself a mental shake Vet turned towards his aunt and her mate.
"Richard this is my aunt Tricia and her mate, her husband David," Vet introduced them, nodding at David, a large bear of a man, his size was practically overwhelming, but that was probably because David was a bear shifter, his shaggy brown hair coupled with his hairy face and body gave him the look of a bear posing as a human, but Vet knew he was a teddy bear. "Auntie, David, this here is Richard. Mandy's best friend, the babies' new guardian and my-" he merely lifted his eyebrows, hoping that they would catch on to what he wasn't saying. When they both nodded he knew they understood and when Richard turned to look at him with surprise and confusion in his eyes, he finished his statement, "My co-parent and hopefully new friend as well." Richard smiled sweetly at him before shaking hands with Tricia and David.
"It's very nice to meet you," Richard stated before turning back to the babies. "Vet, I think if we're going to go, we should go now," he said almost apologetically.
"Yeah, we kinda figured, so we already got all your stuff packed up and ready to go. We'll do the check-out for you. You kids go ahead and get going to the airport," Tricia said with another sweet smile at Richard. Vet was surprised, he was certain she was going to corner him to interrogate him about his new mate, but she was just letting them go? Not just letting, encouraging them to go? Damn near pushing them out of the room. What was with her? Nodding his head at his aunt, making a mental note to call her later, Vet reached out to grab the carriers for two of the babies. He smiled as Richard picked up the last carrier that held his namesake before walking over to pick up some of the bags on the floor. He stood nibbling on his bottom lip, seeming to be in deep concentration.
"What'cha thinkin' 'bout over there?" Vet asked, his Southern drawl becoming more pronounced as he felt himself growing aroused. This was not the best time for it, he was holding two babies for heaven's sake!
"How the hell are we supposed to get all of this shit downstairs?" Richard asked in exasperation. He sounded so adorable and flustered that Vet and his aunt and uncle all laughed. Vet gestured for Richard to go ahead of him.
"We make a couple of trips, but don't worry, when we get to the airport, we'll add your 'shit' and then it'll really be interesting," he ignored Richard's glare as he chuckled and led the smaller man over to the elevators. He couldn't help feeling as if he were forgetting something and he continuously looked behind him, but seeing nothing, he shrugged and entered the elevator behind his mate.
Richard sighed as he sat down in the waiting area of Terminal 41 in the LaGuardia Airport in Newark, NJ. He was exhausted! It took them an hour and a half to get through security because of all of the baby carriers, then Curt woke up screaming, which woke up Amy and set off her own brand of screaming. It had taken him and Vet thirty minutes to calm them down and while the babies were still awake, they were now happily sucking on their pacifiers and kicking their legs in happiness.
"Our daughter is the same way. She screams for a few minutes and then settles down happily as if nothing were ever wrong," Richard looked up at the voice speaking to him and realized that it was the short blonde from the elevator at the hotel earlier.
"Hi, nice to see you again," he smiled at the other man as he sat down across from him, holding out a picture towards him. Richard took the offered picture and smiled at the image. It was of the two men and two children, one a young boy of two or three with brown hair, hazel eyes and a shy smile, the young blonde man was holding a baby in his arms, the little girl grinning straight at the camera as if ready to take on the world.
"They are beautiful," he smiled. He watched as the other man's eyes softened as he took back the picture.
"Yes they are," he said with a happy smile, before looking back at him and offering his hand, "My name's Thorny, my husband's name is Jazz," he gestured at the larger man who was walking back with a large Vet, holding an awake Curt in his arms, and two bottles of Coke in his free hand.
"Nice to officially meet you. My name is Richard and this is Vernon, but everyone calls him Vet," Richard gestured to Vet who sat next to him, moving Curt's empty carrier to the floor, Amy, held in Richard's arms and RJ content to lay in his carrier next to Richard, playing with the lights on the ceiling.
"Do they call you Vet because you're a veterinarian?" Thorny asked with a shy smile, full of love at his husband Jazz when the other man handed him a bottle of juice.
"Naw, name's Vernon Tate, my baby sister, Mandy, couldn't say Vernon. One day I got in trouble and my mama said my whole name. Well Mandy tried to imitate her and said Vet instead. Name just kinda stuck I guess," Vet offered with a grin. Richard nodded, he'd heard the story from AL when they were in college when he'd asked how her brother had gotten the nickname as well. He smiled at the consideration that Jazz seemed to offer Thorny, the gentle care and his air of protectiveness, Richard wanted that for himself and hoped that one day he would find someone who wanted to care for him as much as he'd want to love them. Without warning, his eyes slid over to Vet, they hadn't talked about the kiss they'd shared in the park, he could only hope that it wasn't a fluke. Maybe the gorgeous cowboy could actually want him one day?
"...she told me later on that she had been thinking about admitting herself into one of those assisted living hospices, you know for like disabled people, because she felt like she was being a burden to her family and she didn't really have anyone to talk to. She said she was starting to become depressed. I didn't think anything of it, but she said she read a blog post of mine that inspired and uplifted her to not only accept where she was, who she'd become after this injury but to make her situation better. I wrote her back to thank her for thanking me and we've been talking ever since. She's a published author now and dedicated two of her book series to me and Jazz. We felt really honored, especially when she said she'd perform our wedding," Richard heard Thorny saying, before the small blonde blushed and ducked his head shyly.
"You'll have to excuse Thorny. He's not usually so talkative, he's actually the shy one, but if you ask him about Vee, or our kids, or our family and well, he just sort of lights up," Jazz replied with an indulgent smile at his partner before kissing the smaller man on his temple.
"Your friend Vee? The one you called on the phone? She said that to you?" Richard clarified.
Thorny nodded, "She's a disabled vet, was in the Army for a while. She encouraged me and Jazz to come to New York this weekend, said she had a good feeling. She even paid for our tickets, said it was her way of saying thank you," Richard watched as the blonde shrugged. "I don't think I really did anything, but she said I'd never really understand how special I was."
"Ain't that the truth," Jazz agreed with a grin and the two men shared a sweet kiss before breaking apart with a smile. Richard turned to Vet and the two men found themselves locked in a heated gaze. He couldn't understand his reaction to the cowboy, he wanted to drag him off to the nearest room, strip off all of their clothes and have him fuck him so hard he couldn't walk for the next week. An announcement over the PA system, snapped them out of their reverie and they both cleared their throats and smiled over at Thorny and Jazz who were standing up preparing to leave.
"I remember when Jazz and I used to get lost in each other's eyes like that," Thorny smiled happily.
"We still do honey. When you have a connection like us, a deep love like ours, that never goes away," Jazz reminded him, before with a wave and placing his hand on Thorny's lower back, he led the smaller man towards their plane.
"I want that," Richard sighed dreamily, not really speaking to Vet, but needing to put out the desire into the universe.
"I believe that you'll have that. In fact, I know you will," he heard Vet state, the Texan's deep voice caressing his body and leaving goosebumps and shivers of delight behind. Richard turned to look at the other man and although he couldn't be sure, he thought he could hear the unspoken end to his statement: I believe that you'll have that. In fact, I know you will...with me.
*That was a special chapter/part for Thorny, as a thank-you. I hope you saw what I was trying to tell you. If I could blush I would. LOL. Anyway, hope you all enjoyed. Next one will be up tomorrow!*