A/N: If you made it this far, thank you for reading! I ended up finishing the story after my Humanities class ended, and had it typed up and sitting in my phone. So I spent all of the rainy Hurricane Harvey days typing it up to post here. I hope you enjoyed it! Please review and so on. XOXO
"Just what are you all doing?" Justine folded her arms, her weight resting on one leg as she stared at four different sets of eyes staring back at her.
"Does not look like nothing."
The four little heads exchanged glances before looking back at their mother in defeat. "We are waiting for Nikolay, papa, and Uncle Francis to come back."
Justine eyed her children before sighing. "Go wash up for dinner, I mean it this time. They will be back soon enough, and no funny business! I finally got your sister to sleep and I want her to stay that way." She tutted, pointing towards the stairs.
The boys sighed dramatically, getting to their feet.
Ad as if on cue, the door opened.
"We have returned!" Francis bellowed with a smile, arms wide as he expected to be tackled by the children.
The boys knocked the Frenchman over, all of them pestering him with questions he tried to answer one at a time and failed. Ivan easily stepped over them, their eldest son, Nikolay, following behind him quietly.
Justine greeted her first child, and the boy just a few days shy of thirteen, welcomed his mother's hug. His face buried into her bosom as he sighed.
"What is the matter?" She asked, stroking his ashen curls.
All of the boys had their father's ashen hair (color alone with their mother's thick and unruly curls), high cheekbones, defined nose, and on some days his personality. It was their daughter, who mirrored her mother.
"I could not catch anything, I could not kill anything… I failed mama." Came her son's muffled response.
Justine lifted his face, cupping his cheeks in her hands. "There, there. It is alright." She offered with a smile. "You have plenty of other times to try, and if you do not want you, that is alright too. No one is going to force you to do something you do not want to."
"I do not have to hunt again?" Light violet eyes stared up at her.
"Of course not." She planted a soft kiss to his cheek. "Now take your brothers upstairs and get washed up for dinner."
Nikolay smiled, lips curving over bright white teeth, before shuffling off to gather the younger boys. He was the oldest at thirteen, and then there was Alexander at eleven, Benjamin at ten, Abram at eight, and Elia at four. The only daughter, Rosalie (named after Justine's mother), was the youngest of the Braginski children at only a few months old.
Ivan watched as his wife conversed with Francis, the Frenchman cradling the slumbering infant close to his chest, while they talked quietly. Even now, all these years later, Justine was still so beautiful to him. He could just sit and stare at her, and wonder how lucky he was to have her. Time was kind to them. He had a wide he adored, children he loved dearly, and friends he could still tolerate. Ivan sighed, stepping further into his home to be greeted by his wife.
Ivan wrapped his arms around Justine from behind, burying his face into the crook of her neck. "I have returned," He murmured.
Justine chuckled, "Welcome home, love." She brushed fingers against his cheek. The skin was rough with stubble. He hadn't shaved that day. "I heard Nikki had a hard time."
Ivan sighed, "He worries me… he is more like his mother than he knows."
Justine huffed, her eyes giving an annoyed roll. "Oh please," She dismissed. She turned to face her husband, her smile kind. His ashen hair, with just the faintest hints of grey, were tussled from the night's wind. "Just do not force anything on him, alright? He is finding his own path, and you know he is sensitive."
Ivan hummed at the thought, rolling his stiff shoulders, before gesturing for the Frenchman to hand over his daughter. Francis pouted, giving the neatly wrapped bundle one last snuggle before passing her over to her father.
"Where are the boys?" Iva asked, giving his daughter's cheek a kiss. She was so small in his arms, much smaller than her brothers had been anyway.
Justine's last pregnancy and delivery had been extremely difficult, resulting in the babe being born early. It was by the grace of god that Ivan hadn't lost them both that night. And they were advised, after it was declared that the young baby and his wife would live, that they shouldn't attempt to have any more children. Ivan had the large family he had always wanted, complete with the birth of their only daughter.
"They are upstairs getting cleaned up. Is this everyone or should I make more plates?" Justine asked, with an arched brow. Her eyes shifted between the two men. They had a habit of inviting more company along with them.
"Just us," Ivan gave a low chuckle, a rumble in his throat.
The baby in his arms stirred, eyes opening to stare up at him.
"I am sorry," Ivan nuzzled her nose with his. "Papa did not mean to wake you."
Justine glared at him in distaste. "I just put her down, Vanya."
"My apologizes, dear. It was not my intention." Ivan hadn't taken his eyes off his daughter yet. "She just could not resist waking up and seeing her papa."
Justine opened her mouth to say something else, but was silenced with the rapid patter of their sons descending the staircase.
"Papa!" They yelled, tacking the large Russian.
Thankfully Ivan was used to such a greeting, and stood his ground as his sons proceeded to climb up on. He passed Rosalie over to her mother, so he could scoop the boys up.
"Guess what I did today papa!" Alexander demanded.
"Papa! Benjamin hit me today! He hit me and then stuffed me in the closet!" Abram rattled.
"I did not!" Benjamin gaped.
"Yes you did!" Abram grappled at Ivan's face. "He did papa! Do not listen to his lies! I was in that closet for so long I missed lunch! I could have starved to death! Ben was trying to kill me!"
"No I did not!" Benjamin defended. "We were playing hide and seek and because he is an idiot he got locked in the closet he willingly chose to hide in!"
Ivan managed to cast a downward glance to Elia, who tugged on his pant leg.
"Did you bring me back a rock?"
Ivan gave his youngest son a smile as he reached into his pocket and pulled forth a rock the size of a large acorn. His youngest son beamed up at him,
"Thanks papa!" he hugged him once before running back up the stairs. The child had a rather impressive collection thus far, composed of rocks from all over the world. Whenever Ivan left the house, he made it a point to search for one his son didn't have already to bring back for him.
"Alright, alright. Give papa some space, you all take uncle Francis and go sit at the table." Justine said over the commotion.
Alexander was effectively silence by the stern glare his mother gave him.
Ivan placed the boys back on the floor, and watched as they went to hang themselves off of Francis, dragging him into the dining area. Once they were alone, he grabbed Justine by the waist and pulled her close.
"I have missed you." His voice dropped to a whisper, lips pressing against the curve of her cheek.
"You were only gone for a little while," Justine blushed. She gasped as her husband pushed her up against the nearest wall.
"I am so very hungry, malen'kiy." He husked, voice laced with need.
"Oh no," Justine placed her hands against his firm chest.
"The doctor said to wait two months, I have waited three. I have waited long enough," Ivan breathed as he pressed his body against hers. "I need you now… tonight…"
Justine moved her hands downs her husband's torso slowly, hooking her fingers in his trousers. "You need me, love?" She purred, full breasts pressed flush against him.
"Do not tease me," Ivan hissed, hips swaying into her touch.
"Do not fret, love. I will take good care of you." Justine kissed him briefly, pulling his lips between her teeth before releasing him. "Now, if you will excuse me."
Ivan watched as Justine sashayed away from him, hips swaying. She spared him one, simple smile before disappearing into the kitchen. He groaned, following behind her. All these years later (and after six kids) and he still couldn't get enough of her. He would eat his dinner, spend time with his children and his dear friend, and once the house fell into its normal quiet calm, he would ravish her.
Yes, god had blessed him indeed.