I'll be taking a semi-break from all of my stories in the sense that I will not be posting regularly but spaced out as I did with ATEOTB when I had writer's block for this. Recently, I've just been busy and overwhelmed and emotional, I'm taking a break from studying as I have to pre-read for my last year of university which had to be cut down from 4 years due to the current situation, I'm taking a break from writing but not entirely as I will be writing new chapters, just keeping them in a box for a little while so I can make sure I never let it be too long without a chapter as I'm used to updating every day. I need some 'me' time so to speak but there won't ever be a long break as I do have pre-written chapters. Thanks, guys, you're amazing and I hope you enjoy the next chapter. PS: you'll see this exact message on the other fics :) x
"One birthday boy dressed for his party," Bash announces, handing Robin over to Kenna before grabbing his car keys. "Francis said they'll be here in five and I've got to collect the cake because someone doesn't do home deliveries."
Kenna laughs, shifting Robin to her hip as she arranges the paper food plates. "Sorry, they just did the cutest cakes, I couldn't resist!" She replies, accepting a quick kiss as Bash also presses a kiss on Robin's forehead. "Oh, can you get some wine for the adults? Catherine said she wasn't coming if red wine wasn't guaranteed. So did most of the women in your family, actually. You're raised by an alcoholic and surrounded by them."
Bash snorts, backing towards the door. "I'll find something," he promises. "Love you."
"We love you too," Kenna says, looking down at Robin. "Don't we, Sweetrobin?"
The front door closes and Kenna puts Robin in the high chair before continuing to fix up the dining table for the kids. Anne, James and Rose are coming along with Leeza's new son that she had last month with her husband Philip. Greer and Leith are coming with their little ones too.
"Mama," Robin drawls.
"I'm coming sweetie," Kenna says, fixing the Paw Patrol toys around as well as the Disney princesses for the girls or whoever wants them.
Robin has been calling them by 'mama' and 'dada' and they were pleased to know that their little one is quite advanced for his age. He started crawling early but he is quite lazy when it comes to walking and he does like to test his parents by pulling himself up chairs and crawling onto them.
She turns to her son with a smile, lifting up a tiara and crown. "Should I put them out or not?"
Robin nods. "Yesh," he says and she grins happily as she puts the items down and grabs some more. "Mama."
"I know, I'll get you out in a second but you'll ruin everything if I let you out sooner," she tells him.
The doorbell rings and she heads to the door to let Francis, Mary and the kids in, Francis crouched a little to help Rose walk inside.
"Has been for a week or so now," Francis tells her.
"I have videos and pictures to show you!" Mary gushes as the kids hurry into the dining room.
"Uh... Aunt Kenna?"
Kenna frowns a little at Anne's tone and heads back into the dining room to see that Robin's got his hands on the confetti and it's everywhere. On the floor, on his highchair desk, his hair and clothes, the table...
Mary tuts. "Well, you've got a little rascal on your hands," she laughs. "I'll help you."
They manage to have a new use for the confetti, placing them sporadically under the party plates and hats and by the time they are done, Bash returns with the birthday cake, Paw Patrol themed, and makes sure to keep it out of Robin's sight.
Then the guests start arriving, starting with the mums from the playgroup with their babies and partners.
"Wine is being offered, ladies," Kenna says before spotting her family enter with gifts. "Hey!"
"We thought we wouldn't get here in time," her mother says, hugging her first as she goes over to give Robin's gift to Bash, allowing Kenna to hug the others.
She kneels down to see her nieces and nephew, Sarah, Mia and Isaiah. "Hey, there are some toys on the table in the other room you can play with. Aunt Claude is there to give you each one toy."
They gasp and hurry with Isaiah toddling after his older sisters. Even Douglas's sons hurry after their cousins and she laughs, offering their parents a drink since they will be staying at a hotel.
"Bash will drop you all of after, if you want," she says as she leads them into the living space to greet other people.
A couple of hours, they cut the cake for Robin and allow him a small slice which he mushes with his hands and wipes it all over his face and birthday clothes. It makes his mother sigh and his father laugh but they share a loving glance and both kiss their son's sweet-tasting cheeks.
"Thank you," Kenna mouths at her husband and she doesn't even know what for.
For blessing her a child? For loving her? For being her husband? For being there for her even on her worst day?
He kisses her forehead and rests a hand on her hip as everyone enjoys the party and they enjoy their son's first year of life.
That night, after clearing up and putting the birthday boy down, Bash and Kenna head to bed. It's past eleven and Kenna yawns against Bash's chest, drawing circles on his bare skin.
"We should have another one," she whispers into the dark.
Bash raises his brows. "I thought you said two years?"
"I have been thinking about it. Especially when I'm in such a good place right now and well, Robin's growing up already, it won't be long until he starts walking," she mumbles. "Then he's walking to university and to marriage and-"
"He's just turned one," her husband says, laughing.
Kenna smiles, pressing a kiss on his breastbone. "Anyway, I'm ready for us to have another one. If you still want that, of course?"
Bash bites his bottom lip, running his finger along her arm. "Are you sure we can handle two babies, building a house from scratch and your job?"
"Yeah," she says softly, leaning up to look at him. "Unless you don't want to?"
Bash sighs softly, running his fingers through her hair before he smiles. "I'd love to try for another baby."
Kenna grins and shuffles so she's on top of him, pressing a long and deep kiss onto his mouth. She grins against him, both of them moaning and before she can take her top off, the baby monitor goes off and they turn to it.
"He'll fall right back asleep," Bash says, bringing her head down for another kiss. "Sleep therapy remember?"
Kenna nods and kissing him again as Robin cries himself back to sleep. She pulls away with a sigh of relief. "God, I love you," she breathes out before kissing her husband some more as he flips them over and almost rips her shirt off up and over her head.
Before they can get further, Robin starts whining again and they freeze, hoping he'd go back to sleep but then his whines become full-on crying and he's calling for them.
"I'll get him," Kenna mumbles, retrieving her shirt and slipping out of bed. "And we said we want another."
Bash laughs and shoos her out, Kenna heading across the hall to bring their son into her arms with a soft kiss on his head.
"Did you have a nightmare, my baby?"
He nods as if he understands what she's asking and snuggles into her chest.
"Okay, you can sleep with Papa and Mama tonight since it's still your birthday," she says before heading back across the hall to find Bash reaching his hands out for Robin.
"Come to Daddy, buddy," Bash tells the baby, kissing his forehead. "You can sleep between us, okay?"
He tucks Robin in between them and Kenna gets in on her side, turning to lay on her side as her fingers draw circles on Robin.
"He's so cute," Bash gushes, staring intently into Robin's curious and wet green eyes. "Daddy's boy, hmm?"
"Now, I need a Mama's girl," Kenna tells them. "Do you want to be a big brother, Robin?"
Robin nods and his parents share a grin before the three of them fall asleep, Kenna's hand securely in her husband's across their son.
Kenna's eyes snap open and she shivers, tears stinging her eyes. She feels Bash brushing her hair back and she covers her face, feeling Robin shuffle to lay on her chest.
"Are you okay?" Bash asks softly.
Kenna swallows hard. "I've hadn't had a nightmare in ages," she whispers. "I don't know how it..."
"Want to talk about it?" He asks carefully.
Kenna shakes her head, wrapping her arms around Robin. "Let's get you to your own bed, shall we?" She says, looking at her phone to see that it is three in the morning.
When she returns after spending thirty minutes to pet Robin back to sleep, She gets back in bed and turns to Bash. She's shaking now and she reaches out for him and he quickly brings her to his side, resting her head against his chest as she sighs in relief, clutching at his side.
"It was horrible," she breathes out.
"You were whimpering."
Kenna bites her lip. "I had a dream you weren't there and... I couldn't cope. W-With Robin and I lost it," she says. "I don't know where you were but... you weren't there and-"
She's cut off by Bash's phone ringing and he grabs it, pressing a long kiss on his wife's forehead before answering it with a soft, "Hello?"
"S-Sebastian? It's Louise..."
"Louise," Bash whispers, his wife looking up at him in surprise. "H-Hello."
"Uh, first, I sent Robert Henri something for his birthday in the mail," she says tightly, sniffling. "I-I chose it with Maman. She was happy to see him the day before and..."
Bash frowns, his heart leaping. "Louise?"
"She passed away, Sebastian. In her sleep, an hour ago," Louise croaks out before letting out a sob. "It was peaceful."
Bash takes a sharp intake of breath and leans his head back. "Thank you for letting me know."
"I know I should have waited until the morning but I wanted to prepare you because we're going to-to the..." She sobs some more and Bash closes his eyes. "We're going to see her."
"Alright. Pick me up and we'll go together," he says, strained. "Night."
"Yeah," Louise mumbles before hanging up.
Kenna cups Bash's cheek when he doesn't look at her. "What is it?"
He opens his eyes and tears fall down his cheeks. "My mother died an hour ago."
"Oh, Bash," Kenna breathes out, hugging him tightly as he squeezes her for comfort. "I'm so sorry..."
The funeral is small, Francis, Henry and even Catherine attend out of support and although that displeases Louise, Francoise and their father, they keep shut about it for Bash.
Across the cemetery, Bash spots his older brother and his wife nervously getting out of their car and he sighs, squeezing Kenna's hand when she notices too. It's a difficult day for all of them.
"Diane's son, Sebastian, would like to say some things about her," the vicar says before Bash turns to his mother's sleek, black, shiny coffin. It's an outdoor service, his mother like the outdoors, he got his love for it from her and his father but she was a free spirit, the Queen of the Forest. When she was a good mother.
"Diane was a complicated woman. Sh-She loved hard and..." Hated just as hard. "She loved her children..." He watches as his half-brother, Matthew, and his wife take seats at the back. "She loved life... She was special and I'm grateful for the time we had together that was wonderful and pure. Like when she met her grandson for the first time. She cried, I cried, my son cried..." Everyone laughs a little. "But it was lovely and she was a natural at being a grandmother even if she wasn't the best mother in the world." He turns back to the coffin and sighs. "Sleep well, Maman."
He takes his seat and Kenna grabs his hands in hers, pressing kisses on them as the vicar continues to speak.
At the wake, Francis announces that he has to get back home to help Mary with the kids but he doesn't leave before bringing his brother into a tight hug with is seen by his other brother.
"Love you," Francis whispers into his ear.
"Love you too," Bash replies, before they let go and Francis leaves with his mother.
Henry stays, conversing with Diane's brother and Diane's ex-husband and he raises his glass at Bash's way. "You good," he mouths as Bash nods before talking to the other men.
Bash turns to Matthew. "I should talk to him."
Kenna shrugs. "Do it at your own pace."
"Thanks for being here."
"Always," she says, kissing him softly and watching as he heads to his half-brother. She sees them shake hands before they grab drinks together and settle into a cordial conversation which ends up in them laughing and promising to catch up properly, somewhere that isn't the funeral of their estranged mother.
Kenna smiles, he's already healing, her perfect husband.