She glanced at the clock, it was only a little bit after noon. Chaine wouldn't be home from work for another three hours. She and Chaine had planned to spend some alone time without the kids, and Kona had volunteered to watch them. Kei had planned to do more research into a last name that kept popping up, Wolfren.
That idea was toast, and now she had time to kill, and no idea what to kill it with. She slumped on the couch in the living room. She could watch tv, but tv really wasn't her thing. She liked to move about too much. Then she remembered that Chaine had an old record collection and record player in his attic. She could listen to some old records.
Once the music was playing, Kei found she couldn't sit still. She just had to dance, the Smustle! Oh yeah--she still had it. Her and Ethan had totally rocked the dance floor at their Prom with their epic moves!
When Chaine made it home from work, he found her still dancing the Smustle, a big grin on her face. "Oh no!" he groaned. "Don't tell me you like the Smustle."
"It's Epic!" Kei told him, her face was flushed and her eyes sparkled. "Come on Chaine, dance with me!"
"Dancing is not for me." Chaine declined. "Ethan loved to dance, I hated it. I didn't even go to my Prom."
"Oh, that is so sad!" Kei said, as she twirled around the room, dancing circles around Chaine.
Chaine stopped her dancing with a kiss. "Let me show you something."
Kei followed him downstairs, and into his bedroom. He led her to his old wardrobe. "In here?" she asked him dubiously, peering into the wardrobe.
"I have some ideas I came up with while at work that I wanted to share with you." He grinned as he kissed her and pulled her into the wardrobe.
A while later, they emerged from the wardrobe, both of them adjusting their clothing. "Shouldn't your mind be on work while you are working?"
Chaine kissed her. "Are you complaining?"
"By no means!" Kei blushed. "But really, Chaine, the things you think of!"
Chaine winked at her. "I'm going to take bath. Care to join me?"
Kei lightly punched his arm. "Not this time."
Chaine shrugged. "Your loss." He kissed her, and ambled towards the bathroom.
Kei went into the living room, and turned the television on. Her energy level was not where it should be, she was getting soft from the lack of proper exercise. At least that is what she hoped it was, what she feared it was, that was another story. She put one of her exercise tapes in that she had brought over from her house and started to do a workout, intent on firming her muscles up a bit more.
A wave of nausea hit Kei hard. She stopped what she was doing as her stomach roiled. She barged through the bathroom door as she made a beeline for the toilet. Chaine was startled by her sudden appearance and he winced at the sound of her puking violently into the toilet.
He got out of the bathtub. "Kei, are you okay?"
She leaned her head on the toilet. "I have this awful feeling I am pregnant again. We weren't careful enough the other day! I'm so tired all of the time, and this nausea." she groaned as she puked again. "This nausea is going to kill me."
Chaine sat on the floor next to her, and handed her a hand towel. She leaned up against him. "I'm sorry you feel so sick. Would it be so bad, being pregnant with my baby?" he said hesitantly. "I know I am not Ethan."
Kei cut him off, "Chaine, we already established that. This has nothing to do with Ethan, and everything to do with my paranoia about dying in childbirth."
Chaine looked at her confused. "Why would you think you would die in childbirth?"
"If we're going to have this conversation, could you put some clothes on please? You're quite distracting, and while I am feeling nauseous, I am not blind!"
Chaine grinned at her, but did as she asked. He picked her up and carried her to the couch in the living room. "There, now you are more comfy. Tell me why you fear childbirth? Obviously you have gone through it before."
Kei smiled sadly. "Yeah, and Ethan was there to help me every step of the way. He knew all about my mother you see. My mother, she died when I was really young, she died while giving birth to the twins, Lani and Kale. It absolutely devastated me. I have had this irrational fear that I will die the way she did. And that my kids will grow up without a mother like I did."
Chaine was silent for a moment. "So, what do you want to do about this baby?"
"Do?" Kei looked at him quizzically. "Chaine Szlachta! If you think for one moment, that I am getting rid of this baby then you are..."
Chaine kissed her. "Well, if I did, you have disabused me of the idea." He hesitated a moment before saying quietly, "I want to marry you Kei."
Kei leaned against Chaine and sighed. "One day at a time Chaine. I'm trying to wrap my head around the fact that I am pregnant again, I'm not quite ready for marriage. Give me some time."
"Take as much time as you need Kei. Just know, that on my end, I love you, and I want to marry you. Just say when."
"Grandpa, these chairs are horrible! When are we going to get new ones?" Layla complained.
"I suppose they do look a little rough now, don't they?"
"And mismatched." added Lani as she sat down at the table. "I hate these chairs too."
"They look fine to me." Kit mumbled, as he was stuffing food into his mouth.
Kona smiled at Kit. Kit looked a lot like his father, but Kona could see Kei's spirit within the boy. Ever since Kit was a baby, Kona knew there was something extra special about him. He didn't know what the future held for his grandson, but he was sure Kit was destined for great things.
Chaine began to spend even more time over at Kei's house. Half the time she was feeling miserable and would just lay on the couch with her eyes closed. Chaine would help Layla with her homework. He would have helped Kit, but Kit had inherited his father's genius abilities and was already way ahead of Chaine. After their homework was finished up, he would take them outside and play catch. Chaine loved playing catch, and he was excited at the thought that someday he would be able to play catch with his own child.
He never thought he would have kids, he would have said he wasn't interested in having children not all that long ago. But then Ethan asked that promise from him, to protect his family if anything should happen to him. Ethan died, and Kei and the kids had practically shown up on his doorstep. He had never meant to fall in love with Kei, she was Ethan's widow. Ethan was as close as a brother to him. And if Ethan had lived...Chaine dropped that train of thought. Ethan had died, that was all there was to it. He tried not to think too hard about how Kei felt about Ethan, versus how she felt about him. From everything that Ethan had told him, she hadn't balked at the thought of marrying Ethan. Chaine shut that thought down as well.
Chaine really loved the days when Kei was feeling good. She had a glow about her, and was the most beautiful girl he had ever met or seen. Pregnancy seemed to soften her, and she was more relaxed, and playful. When he asked her about it, she simply shrugged. "I have put everything else on hold for the moment, and I am just enjoying life."
When she started to really show, Chaine broached the subject of moving in with her. "Kei, I know you're not ready to get married. But what about if I moved in? I could be a lot more help if I lived here with you."
Chaine was shocked silent for a moment, he had been preparing for more of a fight. "Excellent!" he finally said. "I'll go pack my things, put a bunch of stuff in storage..." Within a couple of days, Chaine had all of his things in either storage, or already at the house. He was content, now he got to sleep with Kei every night, his arm across her with his hand resting lightly on her stomach. He loved to feel his child squirming around inside. "I don't know how you sleep, with him carrying on like that."
"Pure exhaustion." was Kei's response. While she no longer suffered with such debilitating nausea, she was extremely tired all of the time. Tired enough that she took some time off from work, she just didn't have the energy to cope with work.
Kit loves a good challenge. Layla likes to think she is the best at hopscotch, and she goes around bragging about it. She even puts Kit down when he declines to play a game of hopscotch with her. Layla is a poor winner.
But Kit has been secretly practicing while Layla does her homework with Chaine. He challenges her to a hopscotch duel, which Layla eagerly accepts. Kit easily wins the first time. The second time. The third time. The fourth time, Layla walks off. "I don't want to play anymore!" Layla is also a poor loser.
Kona has throughly checked out all of the venues that Moonlight Shores provides. He still has to make a living, and while he does an occasional show, most of his money is still earned through tips. He wasn't too impressed with any of them, until the new Rodeo Go Go opened up.
Kona was entranced! The place already housed lots of regulars, and he found they were good tippers as well.
He had never been to a cowboy style bar before. He wanted a cowboy hat of his own, in the worst way, but unfortunately none of the stores carried cowboy hats. He would have to order one through the catalog. He couldn't talk Crissy Rain, the Proprietor and owner of the bar, into letting him have the hat she let her customers use when they rode the bull. "I'm sorry Kona." she said regretfully. "I need that hat for the pictures I take. It's an extra ten bucks, and they get a picture of them riding the bull to take home and put on their walls."
So while Kona was on break, he would put the hat on, and try his luck at riding the bull. He discovered he was a natural, and it was great fun!
He always made sure to have an impressive pose for the camera. Crissy would shake her head at him. "You are crazy Kona." she would tell him. "But I also think you are hot. Maybe we could hook up?"
The first time she told him she thought he was hot, he blushed and stammered like a school kid with his first crush. He had hastily backed out of the bar and had run home. He had had no intentions of ever going back to that bar. But he had forgotten his gear and everything at the Cowboy bar. He would have to go back, at least long enough to retrieve his things. It took him three days to get up the courage to return to the Cowboy bar to get his stuff back.
Crissy was waiting for him. "Hello!" she practically purred. Kona had nervously stammered a hello back to her. "You came back for your stuff?" He had nodded, and held his hands out to retrieve his belongings. "Do I scare you Kona?" Crissy laughed. He liked her laugh.
"Maybe a little." he told her. "I, uh, I haven't, well, I haven't been with anyone since my wife died many years ago."
"That is so sweet!" Crissy, instead of handing his stuff to him, moved into his open arms instead. Kona was startled, he was expecting his work things, not this female. He was even more startled when she kissed him. He didn't know why, maybe because it had been so long, but he kissed her back.
Crissy kissed him even more passionately, and Kona responded. So when she led him upstairs to a photobooth, he followed her willingly. He had no idea the things that could be done in a photobooth, but the pictures were quite embarrassing!
And that is when his pseudo relationship with Crissy began. He didn't know what they had. He would perform his magic tricks, but when the bar was slow, Crissy would take him upstairs to the photobooth again. And again. Kona almost hated himself, he thought of his wife, how he and Kanani would never have done anything so, risque like having sex in a photobooth machine. He would swear he would never do it again when the guilt would overwhelm him. But everytime, when Crissy came up to him, with that hungry look, he followed her willingly.
He didn't know if this, whatever they had, would ever go further than what it was now. Just sex, a way to sate his body and hers. They never met outside of the bar, and Crissy never said she wanted to. The one time he tried to bring it up in conversation, she only said, "I like how things are right now, Kona."
So he had sex, multiple times, daily, in a photobooth, with a woman much younger than him. Kona was mortified by himself. He was a grandfather, not some young hormonally driven teen. Though he acted like a hormonally driven teen when he was around Crissy. He hoped that news of this, whatever it was, never reached the ears of his children or grandchildren. He hoped even more fervently, that he could put an end to it. Though so far, that last hope, was pretty slim.
Kei went into labor, and she started to immediately panic. She wished Ethan was here to hold her and tell her everything was going to be alright. She still misses Ethan, and yet she cares a great deal for Chaine. She hesitates to say love, it is not one of her favorite words. But Ethan had always had a way with words, a way to reach her, when no one else could. Not even Chaine, though he tries.
But this baby wanted out, and he did not give Kei much of a warning. Chaine was still blissfully sleeping in bed----
When she gave birth to their son, Rylan, in the upstairs hallway.
She carried Rylan into the nursery and carefully placed him into his crib. Then she felt more labor pains, and a few minutes later, she gave birth to their daughter Nira.
Kei was stunned. Another set of twins? Someone in heaven was laughing at her today. She had something to say to Mr. Sleepy as well.
She marched into her bedroom with a rolled up newspaper, and woke up Chaine in a hurry. "Don't ever!" she yelled, "Sleep while I am giving birth to your children! Children plural! Do you know what you have done?" she continued to yell hysterically as she thumped Chaine with the newspaper. "Twins! We have twins!"
Chaine grabbed the newspaper away from her. "Kei!" he tried to get her attention, but she was having none of it. He grabbed her wrists and pulled her in close to him. "Kei, would you calm down! Why are you so---" he thought about saying the word, crazy, but thought better of it, " upset?" he finished.
Kei broke into sobs. "I don't know!" she wailed.
Chaine held her as she sobbed, mystified. He was discovering that Kei was not the easiest person to live with, and he was jealous of Ethan's easy way with words. Chaine had no words for her.
Challenge notes---Half siblings complete. Kei owns 1 out of 3 businesses. She did have 2 while in Sunlit Tides, but I had the family sell them to help pay for the move to Moonlight Shores. She hasn't gone much further in her career yet---she is still about half way to Empress of Evil. The maternity leave is slowing her down. lol
Next: Chapter 18: Life's A Party