“Theo, I don’t know about getting the bed-and-breakfast open soon, with the amount of people we have here, I think you are already up and running, albeit not being paid.”
After the events of the day I could have done with a hot bath and an early night with a good book, and yes, I said book. However, I had come home to find my best friend on my best sofa where she promptly soaked it in amniotic fluid before birthing her triplet cubs. She never did do things by halves. Right now, I had the new mom, daughter, two sons, and a brand-new overprotective alpha werewolf father in my living room; my adoptive mother, and my daughter in the kitchen; and my sister and her boyfriend had disappeared upstairs, most likely to do things I didn’t want to visualise.
“Yes, indeed. I think this week I will finalise all my plans for the bed-and-breakfast to get it open as soon as possible. That way the rooms will hopefully be full to capacity, and will therefore prevent half of our family and friends in Withernsea from turning up here every five seconds.”
“If it’s okay with you, Theo, I will go to your office to order a new sofa. Once Kim and Darius finally leave, if you could use that special vampire speed to whizz my now ruined sofa off to the tip, I’ll steam the carpet.”
I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to sit in my living room again without the harrowing image of my best friend's vajajay hurtling into my mind. I’d come to expect the unexpected with Kim, but on this occasion she had surpassed herself. It was only the fact that I now had three new babies I could cuddle that meant I’d forgive her for ruining my best sofa. With Charlene’s rapid growth I’d not been able to enjoy much of the baby stage, so with any luck if I could get past the new father I’d be able to have lots of baby cuddles.
The kitchen door opened and my adoptive mum walked through into the hallway. “I’m going to make my way home now, Shelley, as your dad has just called to tell me he’s cooked dinner. I should’ve threatened him with divorce 15 years ago. He said again how he wants to get to know all of you better, but given he has only recently threatened to out all supernaturals, he understands it will take you a while to trust him. So in the meantime he's leaving it for me to pave the way.”
She wasn’t kidding. It was going to take more than one message through my mother to believe Mark Linley had suddenly changed his ways. Right now, I had other priorities.
As she stood in the doorway, Debbie turned back to me, “Say goodbye to Polly for me. It was a shame her headache came on like that. I hope Drake is looking after her properly. Anyway, I’ll be off. After tea, I have all my selfies with Simon Cowell to show the neighbours.”
Thank God the photos would just appear to have been taken in an elaborate building and that the water didn't show on photos. Closing the door behind her, I let out a large sigh. I decided I needed a large cup of Jax’s coffee before I did anything else. Even ordering the new sofa would have to wait while I sat at my kitchen table and took five. Charlie was already sitting there. She took one look at my face, jumped up, and switched the kettle on while getting the coffee and a mug out of the cupboard.
“It was a bit selfish of Auntie Polly to disappear upstairs with Drake. It’s not like any of us believed she truly had a headache. We all know she's gone upstairs to shag his brains out.”
“Charlie! Watch your language.”
“Oh come on, Mum. You need to have a word with her. It’s not fair leaving us to have to put up with Debbie.” She finished making me a coffee and placed it in front of me at the table. “I’m going up to my room now. It’s been a long day, and I need to ring Alyssa to see what’s going down with her and the barista.”
There was a roar from the living room. The door rattled on its hinges and an angry alpha male thundered into the kitchen.
“Charlie, what’s this about someone going down on my sister?” He looked ready to rip off heads.
“Darius, that’s not what she said. Charlie is going to ring Alyssa to see what’s going down with her and Bartholomew, the barista.” I was going to get a headache if I rolled my eyes any more today.
A tumultuous growl rattled the kitchen windows.
“Mum, I don’t think that’s helping.” She looked at Darius. “Don’t worry, nothing is going on between them. Alyssa just has a girl crush, like a teen thing. Anyway, once she knows she has a new niece and two nephews, she should be far too busy for boys.”
With this, Darius visibly relaxed. His shoulders dropped away from his ears and he let out a large exhale. “Sorry, some kind of biological protection mode seems to have set in making me some kind of supercharged alpha. I apologise if I have broken even more furniture or doors.”
“I’ll get you a coffee, Darius.” Charlie said.
“Forget that.” Theo told her, coming into the kitchen. “Darius, let me get you a beer to celebrate and wet the babies heads.”
“So I push three babies out of my hooha and he gets alcohol? Get back in here, Darius Wild, this instant.” Kim's voice echoed off the walls.
“Looks like I’m going to have to wait. Raincheck, though?”
“Sure.” Theo replied.
“Yeah, raincheck until the kids have left home, mate. No way are you leaving me at home with three screaming children while you go out on the piss. That’s my job.” Kim hollered through the open door of the living room. “Now, when you’ve all finished, do you think someone could bring me a coffee? Also, Shelley, I know your clothes are on the large size for me, but do you have something I could wear, only I’m sitting here in a damp dress with a towel between my legs.”
She’d get ‘clothes on the large size’. For that she could wear my unicorn onesie, the cow. The supposed horn on its head looked like a penis gone wrong. That was the problem with random internet purchases. Things didn’t always look the same as on the photos when they arrived.
I excused Charlie from making the drinks and let her escape to her room. Darius went back in to Kim, taking his mobile phone from his pocket ready to ring his family to tell them about the new arrivals. He reassured me that shortly he, Kim, and the babies would be on their way back home and that we wouldn’t be getting the entire Hogsthorpe pack arriving at the door at any moment.
I closed my eyes for a time while I sat in the kitchen. I inhaled the wonderful aroma of the coffee and tasted a delicious mouthful.
“Are you bringing me some clothes or leaving me to freeze to death? You just enjoy a drink after your hard day schmoozing with Mr Cowell. It’s not like I want to get in my own bed or anything.”
For the love of God. I’d spent the day smoothing out the politics of the sea and dealing with a hysterical sister, and now I was dealing with my belligerent bestie. All I’d wanted was one damn coffee in peace. I ran upstairs and got the onesie out and brought it down. I burst into the living room, and once I could see she wasn’t holding any of the newborns, I threw it at her. “There are some pants, a few sanitary pads you are lucky I found because I don’t have any of that any more being undead, and this nice cosy onesie.”
She gave me a look that would have killed the Grim Reaper himself.
“I hope you get a hearty satisfaction from watching your best friend, who is exhausted from birthing three babies, dress in this heinous outfit. This is how the pack will greet me when I get home.” She dressed in it and pulled up the hood. I could see Darius was struggling to keep a straight face. “It is actually extremely comfortable.” She tipped her chin at me. “I may adopt onesies as my new daily attire.”
“Or you could just stay as a wolf with all your fur…” Darius looked at her perplexed.
“I’d rather not. I’ve spent the best part of my life shaving and waxing hair off and then suddenly I’m supposed to deal with it being everywhere. I’ll stick mainly to my human form and these terribly crass but amazingly comfortable all in ones. And look, it has a zipper all the way down the front for easy access to the milking station for the cubs.”
She picked up one of the babies. “Come on, Beiber. Let’s get you, Taylor, and Buble home.”
She looked at our dropped mouths. “God, you’re all just suckers. As if I’d call my children that.”
Shit. I’d lost the sweepstakes we’d held in the coffee shop. Just for a moment there, the prize had been within reach.