In April, Lonnie asked the entire wedding party to joined them on their last trip back home before the wedding weekend because she wanted to make sure everything was going to go perfect on her day. Ben tried to get out of going back home tired of leaving Mal behind; even when Jay asked the girl to joined the group, she declined. "I'm sorry, but on weekends I just want to stay home and rest. Also, we already clean the guest room, and I'm going to start decorating it for the baby."
Ben wanted to be part of that, so they agreed that Mal would just sketch the landscape she planned to paint on the wall. He didn't feel comfortable with her getting into a ladder to paint without him being there in case she needed help. Still, Ben continued to talk to Jay, trying to get his friend to back him up on staying in New York, but his friend just pushed the subject of Mal joined them more. "Look, I get it she is not part of the wedding party, but I'm sure you are not going to let her out of your side for a second. So, just talk to Mal and tell her to come and problem solve."
"Jay, she is six months pregnant, the last thing she wants is to be in a car for four hours and then walked around checking the vendors and the places for the wedding. I don't blame her, I love you guys, and I agreed to be there for both of you through this entire wedding, but we have been checking on this things monthly for a year now?" Jay looked annoyed, and Ben knew that he was not going to get out of this trip, so he just stopped talking and went on his way, telling his friend to forget about their conversation. A couple of minutes later he received a long text for Lonnie telling him how important it was for everyone in the wedding party to attend that trip. He couldn't help himself and rolled his eyes at the text and didn't answer; he just wanted this to end.
When he made it home that night after ignoring texts and calls from Lonnie, Ben found Mal seating on their couch eating and smiled at the fact that he was in his happy place now. Walking into the apartment, he made his way towards her, and after kissing her hello, he sat down and said hello to her belly. "So, I receive some weird texts from Lonnie today. Why exactly are you threating her wedding day?"
Ben looked at Mal, ready to defend himself of Lonnie's accusations, and saw how the girl was trying not to laughed and relaxed. "She is getting annoying with this wedding. Why don't people just get married like we did?
Mal shrugged and told Ben that Lonnie was nervous, which was normal; it was an important moment in her life. "You need to stop being difficult. The wedding is in four weeks, and she is going to get more stress, so she doesn't need the best man saying he doesn't feel like going to the rehearsals."
Ben tried to argue but ended up staying quiet and just laid his head over Mal's belly, closing his eyes, trying to hear his kid. Suddenly he felt a kick, and he moved his head immediately looking at Mal, who seemed as shock as he was by what happened. Putting his hand gently over her stomach, the boy waited to see if it happened again, and to their joy, the baby kicked again, making both of them celebrate. Sure, Mal was enjoying the moment a little less with every repeat, but still having a proof that their kid was "interacting" with them was enough for her to smile.
Ben sent a cute pic of Mal and him pointing to where the last kick happened to a chat they had with Azis, Evie, Carrie, and Luke explaining what happened. They started talking with their friends until Mal decided that she wanted to cuddle, so Ben said goodbye to the group, asking them if they wanted to come to the apartment the next day to enjoy some time together. They all agreed, and Mal was excited to have them around, she honestly was tired most of the time, and she missed hanging out with her friends. She also wanted to enlist some of them to help her start planning the room to surprise Ben.
The next night Mal arrived at the apartment early and prepared some sweets for her friends. Her back started to hurt, so she went on to sit before beginning with the food, and that's where Ben and Luke came to found her. "Hey, we are cooking, don't worry about it."
Luke said when Mal told them that she was resting and went on to the kitchen while Ben went to kiss her and her belly, asking the girl about her day. They talked for a couple of minutes before joining Luke at the kitchen; Mal sat down on one of the benches while the boys cooked dinner, enjoying having Luke telling her stories about his travels. Soon the rest of the group made it, and her family surrounded Mal, sure they weren't related, but she thought as everyone there as her family, and she was glad to know that their kid was going to have these fantastic people in their life.
After dinner, they talk until Mal felt asleep, then Ben moved her to the room, and soon the group said their goodbyes. The next day he went to work and found Lonnie and Jay sitting in his office, taking a deep breath he walked in and said hello. The girl went on the offensive, telling him how inconsiderate he was being not going to the trip that weekend when she ended her rant; Ben said to her that he was going and asked her if there was anything else she wanted to say. That startled the girl who went on to tell him once again the time they needed him to be ready and then said her goodbyes. Ben started reading a stack of papers that was on his desk until he noticed that Jay was still there. The boy looked at his friend and asked him if he needed anything from him, and Jay shook his head. "I just wanted to say I'm sorry. I understand that this constant traveling is annoying you because it's taking you away from Mal."
Ben felt guilty at that point; Mal was right; he wasn't making the best of the situation. He assured Jay that he understood the importance of that trip and not to worry. Days flew by, and soon enough, the boy was making his way to Boston with his friends and the rest of the wedding party. That day they went on, and the boy noticed how the bridesmaids were planning an outing for everyone that night, and the thought of that made Ben cringe. He started noticing Liza trying to get closer to him in the last couple of trips, and even though he assure himself that it was only in his mind, the boy didn't want to spend more time with the girl than necessary.
Azis, who came on the trip this time, told Ben not to overthink the situation and that at least they would have each other to talk too. Both boys joined the rest of the party that night and went to have a great time, except for a couple of awkward moments were Liza tried to get closer to Ben. When they finally called it at night, Liza insisted on Ben walking her to her room as a "rehearsal" of them walking into the ceremony. So with Azis walking with them, the couple made their way to her room, the second Ben said his goodbye Liza took her chance and made a move to kiss him. The boy noticing this turned his head quickly successfully, avoiding her advances, Azis, on the other hand, told the girl that she needed to get into her room because they were leaving. Liza seemed startled, but the boys didn't give her a chance to say anything more and went on their way.
"I told you she was acting weird. I don't know how I'm going to tell Mal about this and Lonnie. I don't want to walk with Liza or have any contact with her." Ben continued to ramble while Azis nodded, waiting for his friend to say everything that was in his mind. When Ben finally stopped talking, Azis told him that he should calm down, he didn't do anything wrong, so there was not going to be any issues with Mal.
"You should share what happened with Lonnie and Jay, so they know why you are going to keep your distance from Liza. After this weekend we are not supposed to see them until the week of the wedding, and then Mal is going to be here with you. I'm here this weekend, and I'll be here with you, and she won't be able to try anything. Now let's g back to our rooms and if you want you can call Mal tomorrow and talk to her. It is 2 am, and she must be sleeping. There is no need to wake her up to tell her any of this, ok?" Ben nodded and went back to his room but find it hard to sleep, thinking of any scenario where he sent a wrong message to the girl that made her believe that her advances were going to be welcome.
At six, he couldn't take it anymore and call Mal, and after apologizing for waking her up, he went on to share with her what happened with Liza. Mal was shocked about what Ben was sharing with her; she felt anger taking over but did her best to calm down and not to take it out on Ben. After they hang up, Mal called Evie and Carrie and asked the girls to spend some time with her, and soon, she was opening up to them about what happened. "I can't believe that girl. Liza saw me with him when we first went back to Boston, and she knows I'm pregnant. Maybe that's it; she thinks that because I'm ugly now she can make her move, and Ben is going to go for her."
Mal's friends were startled by the girl's comment and told her that she was wrong about herself. Carrie assured her that she wasn't ugly if there was a change; it was that she glowed more now that she was carrying a child. Mal rolled her eyes at the comment, but Evie took over the conversation telling her that she was always honest with her. "So you should realize that if I thought this was true, I would say something to you. Also, if you think you are ugly, can you explained why Ben is always telling you how beautiful you are, and even now, he kept trying to be alone with you all the time."
The girl blushed a little at the memories of the boy that was proof that he find her as attractive that day as he did the first day he saw her. The boy always told her how he was more beautiful with each passing day. The rest of the day was spent with the three girls talking and starting to decorate the room of the baby, Mal went online and started looking at furniture. Luke came later, and after Mal had a lengthy conversation with Ben, the boy agreed that they could start painting the room without him there. Soon the friends were putting up stencils and decorating the room except for one wall where the girl was planning to paint a mural.
By the time Ben made his way back to New York, the room was close to done, and even though he was sad not to be a part of it, he loved how beautiful it looked. Mal decided then that she was going to involve Ben into the mural, and soon enough, both of them agreed that they were going to paint a kingdom full of funny characters. That was their after-work activity for the next few weeks until both of them were happy with the results. Finally, their apartment was ready for their baby to come, and the couple wished that time would fly by so they could all be together.
On the week of Lonnie's and Jay's wedding, Ben went on to joined the wedding party making Luke and Carrie promised that they would take good care of Mal on their journey to Boston. Once again, Ben, as the best men, was expected to be there a couple of days before the ceremony, and this time Evie was joining Azis so she could supervise everyone's wardrobe. Mal and his friends were going to arrive the night before the wedding so both girls wouldn't miss any workdays and also because she was starting to feel uneasy about attending the wedding.
Finally, when it was time to board the flight to Boston, Mal shared with her friends her reservations, and the couple assured her that everything was going to be okay.
Ben was unable to meet them at the airport due to the rehearsal dinner; he hoped that Mal would join him, but the girl went straight to their room and laid down. The boy went to meet her after dinner and noticed how uncomfortable she looked and asked her if she was feeling ill. After she assured him that she was feeling fine, the boy pressed on and asked her what was going on.
"Everything is fine, and that scares me. I know it is dumb, but we haven't had any issues for so long that I can't believe that things are going to stay this way." Ben looked at her for the longest time and then slowly nodded.
"I understand. I think we didn't have the most uncomplicated relationship, but in the end, life doesn't have to be drama fill. The only thing that matters is that we are stronger together. We have a beautiful proof of that, and the three of us are going to be happy together." Mal smiled at her husband and went on to hug him. That night they went to sleep looking forward to the wedding to end so they could go back to their apartment and enjoy their time without Ben traveling.
The next day they went on to have a quick breakfast before joining the rest of the group for the preparation and photos. Mal, Carrie, and Luke decided that they were going to have a little walk around the venue before the chaos started to relax. In the middle of their walk, Mal felt like someone was watching her. When Mal turned around, she was shocked to see her mom standing there with her arms crossed and a sneered on her face. It took a second for Luke and Carrie to stand beside her and tell the girl that they should walk away; however, Mal didn't want to run away.
She was going to be a mother, and she decided that she was not going to let her mother made her like a scared kid. With that in mind, Mal walked towards her mother, who smiled devilishly at her, ready to attack the girl. The second Mal stood in front of her Maleficient went on to mocked her. "Well, I heard that you got pregnant from the Auradon kid. So you finally trick him into having a kid so you can get his money, you are not as dumb as I thought you were. Although you should be scared, he is going to leave you now that you are uglier than usual mark my words."
"You are wrong. I'm sorry my dad left you, although I understand why he did it. "At that moment, Maleficient slap Mal across the face, and Luke made a move to put himself in front of the woman. Mal stopped him and putting her hand on the cheek she looked straight into her mother's eyes and told her that this was the last time she was ever going to hit her. Maleficient raised her hand again, but this time Mal took hold of her hand, stopping her. At that moment, the woman tried to fight Mal without success, and soon enough, the girl let her go maintaining her eyes on Maleficient.
"Do you think you are better than me now, Mal? Trust me, you are nothing, and I'll make sure you never forget that." Before Mal could say anything, Belle's voice came from behind the woman, shocking them.
"If you ever threaten Mal, Ben, or our grandkid, we will destroy you. You can quote me on that Maleficient. Now I'm sure that nobody invited you to the wedding, and I can assure you that no invitation from any social event will be issued to you in the future." Maleficient turned with her face completely white and tried without success to convince Belle and Adam that they were wrong and that Mal was trying to discredit her in their eyes. The couple rolled their eyes at her and repeated their request for her to leave the premises. Before the woman finished leaving, she turned ready to shout the last threat to her daughter; however, Adam cut her off, yelling at her to leave that moment or he was going to throw her out.
After Maleficient left, both couples surrounded Mal asking the girl if she was ok, and to everyone's surprise, the girl nodded and told everyone that they needed to made their way to where the ceremony was going to take place. Carrie and Belle told Mal that they needed to stop in a bathroom to put some makeup on her cheek. Maleficient's hand left a small bruise on her cheek, and they needed to cover it up before they joined the celebration. In the bathroom, Mal shared with them that she felt a sense of ease now that she told Maleficient what she thought, and for once, she knew that no matter what happened from that moment on, the woman would never scare her again.
Soon they were making their way to their seat, and after a couple of minutes, the ceremony started. The wedding party walked in, and Mal smiled at Ben when the boy walked by, making a point to smiled at her when he passed by her side. The celebration was beautiful, and the girls found themselves tearing up a little when their friends promised each other unconditional love for the rest of their lives. At that moment, Mal and Ben stared at each other, quietly sharing the same vows once again. However, she noticed that Ben started to stared at her with a funny look and started to look upset, and Mal knew that he noticed her cheek. The girl gave him a silly look trying to distract him, but she could sense that Ben was deciding if he should walk to her leaving his post. Mal managed to signal the boy to calm down, and the boy nodded almost imperceptibly.
After the ceremony ended, Ben was about to make his way towards Mal when he remembered that as the best man, he needed to walk Liza out. Still, when he walked near Mal, he leaned, telling her that he wanted to know what happened just for the girl to nod quickly. Finally, at the reception, Ben found Mal and taking her hand, the couple made their way to a secluded place ready to talk. However, when they were going to talk, Liza appeared in front of them, looking nervous. Both of them turned, and Ben was ready to tell the girl to go away when tearing up a little she started to apologized to Mal and the boy for what happened with Ben. The girl went on to tell the couple how ashamed she was of her actions and how she knew that her actions were unforgivable.
Mal took pity on the girl and assured her that she was forgiven and that they wouldn't mention what happened to their friends, so there was no need for her to worry about what other people thought about the situation. It took the girl a couple of minutes to leave the couple alone, but the second Liza went away, the boy turned to Mal and asked her what happened to her cheek. Taking a deep breath, the girl shared with him the scene with her mother, and with each word, Ben got angrier. However, at the end of the story, Mal told him how strong she felt now and how she finally felt like Maleficient would never have the power to affect her again no matter what the woman did.
"I'm glad you feel like this, but I hate to know that she hurt you. I wished I was there to stop her." Mal assured Ben that she had enough backup, but even though her cheek wasn't in the best shape, she felt liberated. They joined the celebration soon after their talk and dance a little with their friends, and even though Mal felt exhausted, she decided to continue to enjoy the night with everyone. The next day the girl didn't feel well; sharp pains started to rise, making the couple panic and made their way to the emergency room. Minutes after they arrived, Mal's water, broke and an hour later, the couple welcomed their baby boy into the world.
It didn't take long for Mitchell Auradon to be surrounded by family and friends, even the newlyweds upon hearing the news of his early arrival canceled their trip and made their way back from the airport to meet him. Zohu, Mulan, and the rest of the family facetime and promised to make their way to Boston as soon as possible, but Mal assured her family that it would be better if they saw them in New York in a couple of days. Ben's favorite moment was when the nurses informed him that it was time for him to bond with his son, he took his shirt and delicately hug the boy to his chest near his heart and soon enough he found himself tearing up while promising the boy that he was always going to be there for him.
That night Ben found himself unable to sleep; he would stare at his wife and his son constantly. He was sad that Mal had to wake up every three hours to feed the baby because she looked exhausted, but at the same time, the boy noticed how love his son was. The first couple of months were rough, with little to no sleep the couple found themselves on edge until the feeding times started to grow apart. Still, they would always found each other welcoming every experience with Mitchell as it was the best moment of their lives, and in all honesty, it was. When the baby was close to celebrating his six months, their friends urged the couple to take a night off.
Sure they had a nanny; they hire her after the third month to help them out during the day so Mal could go back to work. Although Mitchell spent his days in the office, they care that they build for him and now for other kids of their employees, near the couple. However, aside from that, the moment they were off work, they would take care of the baby themselves. They would invite friends over and have little get-togethers, but they never leave the baby behind to have date nights or going out alone. Evie and Azis made the couple promised that they wouldn't come home until midnight or later before sending them to have a date night alone.
At first, it felt weird for both of them to leave Mitchell behind, but deep down, they knew that it was healthy to have a night out with each other. Holding hands, they made their way out of the building, not sure where to go; their friends made them promised that they were going to have fun, but the couple had no idea what to do with the free time. After wandering for several minutes, Ben noticed the dinner from their first date and asked Mal if she wanted to go there, and she smiled at the idea. They order something and stayed silent, not knowing what to talk about aside from Mitchell, the realization that they hadn't talked about anything else in so long made them feel a little uneasy. Was the spark gone? No, that couldn't be it; both of them just needed to share more than their adoration for their son.
Ben stood up and moved to sit from across the booth to Mal's side, startling the girl a little. "I'm glad to be here with you. I remembered being here that first day and wishing that it never end, and now coming back here feels surreal. I love you so much, Mal."
After saying that, he leaned and gave her the sweetest kiss they had shared since the birth of Mitchell. Mal smile into the kiss as she felt butterflies in her stomach like the first time they kiss. The waitress clearing her throat ended the moment, and the couple blushed at how lost they were in the moment that they completely forgot where they were. Ben was moving to stand, but Mal put her hand on his leg, stopping him while asking him to stay there with her. They ate and talked about their past, and their day to day, little anecdotes and stories filled the air and made them realized that having time for them as a couple was something that they missed.
At midnight they made their way back to the apartment, holding each other until they opened the door and greeted their friends. Evie and Azis turned smiling at the couple noticing how happy they look and how in sync they seemed. Sure, Mal and Ben never seemed at odds with the other, but everyone could see that they weren't as affectionate with the other like they used too. Now standing in front of their friends, the couple looked entirely at ease, and once again, they couldn't help but hold the other. Evie asked them what they did for their date when Mitchell started crying, and Ben told Mal to talked to their friends while he went to check up on the baby.
By the time Ben came back, his friends were gone, and Mal was sitting on the sofa in her pajamas. The boy smiled and sat next to her taking her hand in his and kissing it. "He finally went back to sleep."
Mal smiled at Ben and leaned her head on his shoulder, enjoying his warmth, and the realization that her life was good. Their kid was growing up surrounded by love; their families enjoy spending time together, and tonight was proof that their love and attraction was as strong as ever. Ben turned on the tv and asked her if she wanted to watch something while opening Netflix, but Mal took the remote from his hand and turned the tv off. "Let's go to bed."
Mal took his hand, and together they made their way back to their room. Nine months later, they welcome a little girl into their growing family, but this time they managed to balance their time better. Cameron, their little girl, and Mitchell solidified their family, sure both of them thought they were going to have more children, but in the end, they decided that two were enough.
Evie and Azis got married a month after Cameron's birth, and their kid was born in the same year giving the little girl a cousin to play. Soon Lonnie got pregnant while Carrie and Luke decided that they were ready to take the next step, years went by, and more kids joined the group. The entire group went on regular vacations together with their kids, always struggling to find kid-friendly places but loving the challenge. One year they decided to have a holiday at Disneyworld, and Ben couldn't help but remember his little getaway with Mal in Paris. The second night in the resort, he asked Evie and Azis to take care of Mitchell and Cameron so he could take Mal on a date promising to do the same for them the next night.
That night the couple shared a beautiful kiss under the fireworks thankful for having each other and excited for the rest of their life.
Apology: Hi, I'm sorry this took so long, my mom was in the hospital for several weeks, and there was no way for me to update this. Neither my mind or my heart were able to focus on this chapter even though the majority of it was ready. I do hope you like the story. Thanks for reading.