“You’re back!” Amelia threw her arms over Bailey. “I’ve missed you SO much! It’s so terrible in doll form, I just wanted to play with you!”
“It’s only been a few days,” Bailey yawned. She stretched her arms over her head. “Besides, I had fun in Egypt.”
“Fun?” Amelia frowned. “You had fun while I was locked up here?”
“It wasn’t like that.” Bailey shook her head. “I had fun but it wasn’t because I wasn’t with you.”
“You had fun with him, didn’t you?” Amelia lowered her eyes.
“Why do you hate Ethan so much?” Bailey asked. “My daddy loves him, so I know that he’s a good guy.”
“I don’t hate him,” Amelia clarified. “I just don’t like that he’s trying to keep us apart.”
“He’s not,” Bailey defended. “He’s actually pretty cool. He bought me this cool polaroid camera. Look, it takes pictures instantly.”
“Don’t take pictures of me!” Amelia said angrily. “I hope you know what you’re doing.”
“He’s my stepdad,” Bailey said finally. “This is his house. You’re staying here too, you know?”
Amelia remained silent. She was supposed to be Bailey’s best friend and everyone else was getting in the way. Especially Ethan.
A few days had passed since the Grays returned from their trip to Egypt. Apparently, Jordan had taken the weekend of absence to propose to Lynette. She of course said yes. Unbeknownst to the boys, Lynette and Jordan had plans of their own.
“Apollo…” Lynette bit her lip nervously.
“What is it?” Apollo asked as he slid another dish into the dishwasher.
“I’m moving in with Jordan,” Lynette said. “He proposed to me and we want to take our relationship to the next level.”
“Lyn, you know that I want you to be happy and that I support you in anything that you choose to do but what about the kids?” Apollo asked.
“I’ll leave the decision up to them. If they want to stay with Jordan and I than they are more than welcome but if they choose to stay with you, I won’t be upset,” Lynette said.
“They don’t even know Jordan.” Apollo frowned. “They’ve only met like once or twice.”
“Jordan is a good guy and I wouldn’t bring the kids into any volatile situation. It’s a dream of his to have kids of his own, so he’ll be great with the triplets.” Noticing the worry on Apollos face, Lynette slowly approached him. “The kids will be in good hands. They can never replace you or Ethan. You guys will always be their fathers.”
“Come on Apollo, you can’t lay in bed all day long.” Ethan stood above Apollo who had been curled up on the bed.
“I’m tired,” Apollo mumbled. “I just want to sleep.”
“You’ve been up here sleeping all morning, it’s almost noon, get up.” Ethan leaned over and shook his husband.
Apollo groaned. “Leave me alone.”
Ethan climbed onto the bed and hugged Apollo tightly. “Everything will be okay.”
“I can’t believe that they left. Not even Scarlett chose me, and we’re so close,” Apollo sobbed.
“Hey now, Lynette is their mother. Think about how you feel about your mom. You don’t ever wanna leave your mother, right?” Ethan soothingly rubbed Apollo’s back.
“I know, but it just hurts…I won’t see them everyday anymore.” Apollo cuddled up closer to Ethan who held him tightly.
“They’ll be fine. It doesn’t mean that they don’t love you. You’ll see them on the weekends.” Ethan kissed the back of Apollo’s head while they laid there. “You’re still the best damn father out there.”
“Why do you like it here so much?” Scarlett asked Night. Another weekend had rolled by and the kids had been visiting the Gray household.
“Ethan doesn’t really like us, but he doesn’t act like you or your siblings aren’t normal because you talk to us,” Night confided. “Jordan doesn’t think that we’re real.”
“He just doesn’t understand,” Scarlett said. “Things are going to be a bit different for awhile but you can get used to it. I didn’t want to choose between mommy and daddy either, but I couldn’t leave Ken and Bailey.”
“Don’t let him take me away from you,” Night warned. “You must always believe in me!”
“Please calm down,” Scarlett held Night’s hands. “I will never let anyone take you away from him. I love you too much.”
“What do you want to eat?” Apollo asked the kids.
“Cinnamon buns!” Ken said enthusiastically.
“Something dad can actually make, moron.” Bailey rolled her eyes.
“I’ll learn how to do it, so next weekend you can have some,” Apollo said. Turning to Ethan who had just walked into the room Apollo began to speak again. “Morning, babe. Can you go and get the mail?”
Ethan grunted a response and headed out the door, shocked at what he found. On the porch was a baby wrapped in a blue blanket, crying. Shocked, Ethan leaned over and held the crying baby. He rocked it slowly, lulling it into a peaceful slumber. Once the baby had quieted, he looked around to find who could have left the baby there.
“Ethan, why are you taking so-” Apollo stepped back, startled. “Where did you get that baby from?”
“I don’t know, he was just laying there, on the ground,” Ethan said. “I…”
“Relax boys, that baby, he’s a gift from Emit and I,” A familiar voice made it’s way into Apollo’s ears, causing him to whip around.
“Frost?” Apollo asked.
“Who’s Emit?” Ethan cut in.
“Hello to you too boys,” Frost rolled her eyes. “Emit is actually Apollo’s not so old grandfather. Long story, but he’s the time keeper of Oasis Landing. Funny story, in the future there’s something called genetic merging, in which you take dna from two people, no matter what the sex and they can genetically engineer a baby.”
“Is that what you did?” Apollo’s eyes widened. “Genetically engineer…does that mean, how is this baby even human?”
“It’s a tough concept for you to process so I won’t bore you with the scientific details. But this baby boy is indeed a human being and he will be healthy and strong growing up. There isn’t anything wrong with him, he was just born of two men. I’m sure you guys have been wanting another child, one with your shared DNA. I was able to distract Damian enough for Emit to get this done. For now, we won’t be able to help you any further until you choose the next heir, but we wanted to leave you with a gift. A token of our appreciation.”
“Thank you,” Ethan stammered, unable to hold in his emotions. Apollo looked over at his husband, a feeling of joy swelling up inside of him to see Ethan so happy.
“I’m guessing that this wasn’t coincidental timing,” Apollo said.
“You guys looked like you needed a little bundle of joy in your lives. I’ll never fully be able to pay my debt back to you Ethan, for saving my life back in Moonlight Falls…-” Ethan cut her off.
“This is everything I’ve ever wanted…” Ethan’s eyes were now welling with tears. “Thank you so much, we’re more than even…this is, I don’t know. I’m just so happy.”
“Good, then take care of him. You can’t actually tell people about how you got him though, he was adopted if anyone asks, okay?” Frost looked up at the boys. “So…any names for the little angel?”
“It’s all up to you,” Apollo smiled happily, looking at Ethan.
“How about…Alistair?” Ethan suggested.
“Very magical, I like it.” Apollo nodded in agreement. “I can’t stay long of course, I’m not really the most acceptable looking person, plus you know how risky it is to keep the portal open for too long. Take care of Alistair and I look forward to seeing who you choose as heir Apollo, I know you’ll make the right decision.” And with that, Frost had left.
“Please let me hold him!” Scarlett begged.
“No, Ethan let me hold him!” Bailey cut in.
“Nuh-uh, he needs a big brother, and I’m the only boy,” Ken said, pushing the girls out of the way.
“Tell ya what.” Ethan turned around after he placed Alistair in the crib that he had to dig out of storage. “Alistair is going to stay in this room with you guys. Do you think you can handle it?”
“Yes!” The three chimed in together. Apollo was a bit worried about the idea, but Ethan had full faith in the children.
“Ok, I’m only two rooms away. Here is the phone, you call my number or send one of you over to my room and daddy and I will come over and see what’s wrong. Don’t take him out of the crib, alright? He’ll be sleeping the whole night.” Ethan leaned against the door frame, watching the children nod profusely.
“We won’t let you down!” Ken said enthusiastically.
“Yes! I always wanted a real life baby, this is awesome!” Scarlett cheered.
Bailey looked up at Ethan. For a moment he could see a hint of wonder in her eyes, but she hopped into her bed. “Goodnight Ethan.”
The next morning, Apollo had been the one to check on Alistair and the children as Ethan cooked breakfast. He was a much better chef than Apollo was. Ken loved his cooking.
“Daddy.” Bailey tugged on the bottom of his shirt. “Do I have to go back home? I don’t want to. I wish that Scarlett, Ken and I could live with you.”
Apollo turned to face his daughter. “Is something happening at home?”
“No…” Bailey said hesitantly. “I just…I want to stay with the baby.”
“You can come back and stay with me whenever you want. I’ll be happy to have you here again,” Apollo said honestly.
“But…I can’t because I don’t want to leave Scarlett and Ken. They want to stay with mommy and Jordan,” Bailey said.
“Are you sure that everything is ok at home?” Apollo leaned to her level.
“Yes!” She said quickly. “Everything is good. I’m going to pack up.”
“Bailey,” Apollo said sternly. “Don’t lie to me.”
“I’m not!” Bailey said quickly, going over to her things. “I’m ok. I promise. I love you daddy.”
The next morning, Apollo had woken up extra early.
“Babe…what are you doing? It’s not even noon yet,” Ethan yawned.
“Weren’t you the one complaining when I tried sleeping the entire day?” Apollo asked.
“Yeah, but I didn’t think we’d be having this much fun after the kids left last night,” Ethan let a smirk play on his lips.
“Oh the joy of having no kids old enough to know about that stuff in the house,” Apollo chuckled.
“That is one plus,” Ethan agreed. “But I still miss the little buggers.”
“Me too,” Apollo agreed as he pulled his pants up.
“Are you going somewhere?” Ethan rubbed his eyes. “It’s like 6am.”
“I have a meeting with my agent today, remember? You’re going to have to take baby duty today.”
“I’ll be glad to, even though you look sexy as hell when you’re in dad mode.” Ethan smiled thinking about it. “But, I’ll manage.”
“Good, I’ll call you when I’m on my way home. Love you.” Apollo came bedside and kissed Ethan’s forehead.
“Love you too,” He chuckled as he pulled Apollo in for a passionate kiss.
Ethan was startled awake by the frantic ringing of the bell. Groaning, he rolled over to see the clock. 8am, ehh it was better than 6am. “Coming!” He shouted out the window as he quickly changed into his everyday outfit. The ringing had finally subsided, but something didn’t feel right. Ethan pulled the door open to see Bailey on the front porch, crying hysterically.
“Bailes?” Ethan asked. He kneeled by her seated figure and held her shoulders firmly. “What happened?”
“Is…is my daddy home?” She sniffled.
“Oh baby, I’m so sorry. He’s at a meeting…but I’m here. Tell me what happened. Please,” Ethan begged.
Bailey looked up at Ethan with a tear stained, puffy red face. “Jordan…” She sobbed harder at the mere utterance of his name. “He hit me.”
“He did what!?” Ethan was livid. He wanted to go over there right now and knock him out, but right now he had to be in dad mode while Apollo was away. He needed to be calm for Bailey. “Tell me what happened, from the beginning.”
“I..I was talking about Alistair and how much I love…how much I love my new baby brother.” Her chest heaved with each sob. “I don’t think…Jordan…liked that very much. He hit me…but Ken and Scarlett got to talk about Alistair and he didn’t hit them…he just..he told them not to talk about him…but he hit me.”
“Where?” Ethan demanded. “Where did he hit you?”
“Right here.” Bailey lifted her shirt to show a bruise that had formed a little above her waist. He hadn’t slapped her out of anger, he had to have really been aiming a punch to hit her there.
Angrily, Ethan grabbed Bailey’s hand. “Come inside. I’m calling a babysitter.”
Once inside, Ethan had been able to call Ambrose to come over. He had been filming for the bachelor only a few minutes away and the producers had let him call out for one day to help his brother in law out. “What’s happening?” Bailey asked, freaked out.
Ethan let out a deep breath. “We’re going over to see Jordan.”
“I don’t want to!” Bailey cried. “Don’t make me!”
“He’s not going to touch you, I promise. He’s going to pay for making my daughter cry.”
Finding Jordan was an easy task. He had been outside taking the trash when Ethan pulled up to his driveway. Ethan slammed the door as he got out of the car. “Hey!”
Jordan turned around to face the man. “Oh thank the watcher, you found my daughter. I was so worried.”
Bailey had been clutching the excess fabric of Ethan’s jeans tightly. “Don’t call her that. She isn’t your daughter. She’s my daughter.”
“Don’t make me laugh!” Jordan smirked. “Bailey is my child. Come to daddy.” He held his hand out but Bailey stayed where she was.
“Are you playing dumb, or are you really this stupid?” Ethan asked angrily. “Don’t ever lay a hand on MY daughter again. Or so help me, I’ll kill you with my own two hands.”
“Is that what this little trouble maker told you? I would never hit her,” Jordan defended. “She’s lying.”
“I’m not lying,” Bailey cried, clutching Ethan tighter. “He’s the bad guy.”
“Why would she lie to me? She wasn’t raised that way. Apollo and Lynette would never tolerate it.”
“Really?” Jordan laughed bitterly. “This girl is always causing trouble. She never does her chores, she skips out on doing her homework and better yet she’s always talking to the air.”
“That doesn’t give you the right to hit her. Especially over what, talking about her brother?”
“You give your children up so easily to Lynette and I and when we have them, you come over here and tell me how to discipline them?” Jordan said.
“Don’t change the subject.” Ethan grabbed Jordan’s shirt. “We gave the children the choice to live with who they wanted, and you treat them like this. Give me a real damn reason why you hit my daughter!”
“Because she disgusts me! Everything about you and your husband disgusts me!” Jordan said angrily. “Gay guys shouldn’t be allowed to get married, let alone have children! Of course I got angry over that little brat of yours. You have no reason to be corrupting a child with your ways! Ken and Scarlett, they’re savable, but this girl she’s too far gone. Everytime I see her I see your disgusting husband and well, how can I not hit her?”
Ethan had heard enough. Turning to Bailey slightly he began to instruct her. “Back up.” Bailey was frightened by the rigidness of Ethan and how serious he had become. She had never seen him like this. Obeying him, she stepped away from him.
Ethan had something much more violent in mind than simply punching this guy in the face. “First of all, Apollo and I are better parents then you will ever be. Second of all, you’ve got some nerve hitting my daughter for looking like my husband and not Lynette!”
“Wah, wah.” Jordan imitated crying. “My daughter this and my daughter that. Yeah yeah, you can have her. Nobody wants a rotten child like that in the house anyway.” Ethan could hear Bailey begin to cry. Angrier than ever, Ethan pulled out his wand and shot a fireball at Jordan. It wasn’t enough to hurt him, just enough to torch his clothes and scare the crap out of him. Shrieking, Jordan ran towards the house. “I’m calling the cops!”
“Shit,” Ethan mumbled, realizing he had showed his magic to someone other than Apollo. “Where are Ken and Scarlett?” Ethan asked Bailey.
“At school, Jordan drives them every morning.”
Nodding, Ethan grabbed her hand. “First, we need to get out of here before anybody finds out about what I just did.”
“What was that?” Bailey asked.
“MAgic,” Ethan said simply as he started the car. “You don’t have to worry about that guy anymore.”
“Because you’ll zap him with more magic?” Bailey asked.
“Mhmm,” Ethan said. “Don’t be scared. I don’t use magic often. Please don’t tell anyone about this.”
“Ok, I trust you,” Bailey said quietly. “Thanks.”