Chapter 16

It was late in the afternoon when Auggie made his way out of his office to go check on Bella at her desk as she’d been rather quiet through the day. Granted, he’d been completely submerged in emails and answering phone calls from operatives needing things, but he hadn’t heard from her much. It was probably his own fault, he had worked through lunch.

His laser cane told him that there was someone sitting at Bella’s desk and he leaned against it. “Do I need to call 911 or are you still breathing?”

Bella smiled as she turned to face him. She hadn’t been able to do much of anything and just sat there for the last hour, listening and staring at her desk. “I’m still kicking. How are you holding up now that we’re back?”

Auggie shrugged. “I put all my stuff in a box and stuffed it underneath my desk, in case I get fired.”

“Yeah,” she sighed. “I’m not sure what’s going on after psych’s report. They were fishing for something, but what I don’t know. She had asked what my plan was in five years, if I had one. I said I had lots of plans.”

“Yeah, like visiting all the Six Flags parks next,” Auggie grinned.

“Well, I was thinking more like flowers at that moment,” she hinted.

“The shrink noticed your ring. She asked me how long it took me to ask you. I replied that it took me 30 seconds this morning to ask you for coffee.”

She couldn’t help but to laugh at that. “Well, it’s still ours for the most part at least. Won’t be much longer. How much longer do you think we’ll have to wait because I really just want to go home now.”

“I don’t know. I do know that I’m itching to have some steak and maybe a beer or three…”

“The Tavern sounds like a great idea. Maybe a bottle of Patron could be added to the list.”

“Yeah, but that will be polished off, we both know it, and we’ll be hungover on our second day back at the job. Great impression.” He stuck up his thumb.

“Well we might not even be back tomorrow so they can go fuck themselves,” Bella pointed out. “We’re playing the waiting game right now.”

“Not for long, I can hear Joan’s footsteps,” Auggie grinned. “Unemployment, here we come!”

“Auggie, Bella. My office,” Joan said sharply, concern on her face as she looked at them before turning back, her hand gripping a folder tightly.

“Yep, we’re definitely in trouble,” Auggie sighed as he pushed himself off Bella’s desk and waited for her to take him.

Bella frowned as she reached out for his hand. “She had a manila folder in her hand and it was pretty thick. If it was termination, I think it would just be the papers for us to sign and security with her.”

“Oh great, she’s going to tell us our biggest mistakes,” he said cheerfully. “Haven’t heard those in a while.”

“At least we keep our jobs. Just pray we don’t get transferred.”

“Close the door,” Joan said curtly when they had walked into her office and Auggie obliged. “There are several things we need to discuss and the main thing being that I’m very very angry with the both of you for not allowing Bella to be checked out by our doctors after Forks.”

Bella started to object at that. “I was seen by a doctor. I didn’t see the point of having to go through that again.”

“If an operative gets drugged during an op, there is the initial medical exam, and then a follow up a week later, and another one a month later, just to be safe. We like our operatives healthy,” Joan countered. “Sit down.”

She looked over at Auggie and pulled him to a chair before sitting herself. “I am healthy. I’m fine, Joan. I haven’t felt better. If this is about the shrink, then she can take her report and shove it.”

“We’ll get to that later. Speaking of the shrink, she understands that you’ve been through quite the ordeal and aren’t ready to return to full duty. She wants to have you working half days and at your desk at that. Now, I know you. You will only cause trouble if I implement this so you can come to work and we’ll see if we can find you something to do, even if it’s just picking up Arthur’s dry cleaning.”

“What about my NOC?” Bella questioned.

“Your NOC hasn’t been compromised, so if you’d like to work at the Smithsonian to make your NOC a more established one, then you can do that, it’s your call,” Joan smiled at her. “Dr. Beene also requested that you would go to therapy, but I find that optional, mainly due to the conversation I had with Auggie after you stormed out to get your blood drawn.”

Bella narrowed her eyes questioningly between them, silently demanding an explanation from her. “Excuse me?”

“He mentioned that over the last two months, you’ve been talking and working things out together without the interference of a therapist, but by all means, if you think you should see one…”

“Pass. What else do you have for us that the good doctor will only piss us off more about?”

“At this time, she finds you too vulnerable for missions overseas, hence the half work days and stuff, but other than that, she thinks that you’re right where you belong. You’re a great agent, and I am more than willing to give you all the time you need to deal with this.”

Bella didn’t know what to say to that exactly. Only nodded uncomfortably. At least they didn’t have to worry about her leaving any time soon, but that didn’t mean Auggie wouldn’t receive such an assignment.

“And Auggie… well, it’s the usual, isn’t it? She requested therapy. Something that’s been told to you before and you didn’t do it, not even after your accident.”

“Because I don’t believe in therapy, I’m fine.”

“And still, you are going to be chained to that desk of yours until the end of time. You’re not a field agent, Auggie.”

“You keep saying that and you break your own word.”

Joan sighed and nodded. “Yeah, I do… but I intend to keep my word for a couple of months at least. You’re not going anywhere.”

“You’re not firing me?”

“Now why would I do that to the best tech we have?” Joan smiled warmly. “I think that if I’d let you go that we’ll have a riot on our hands. You’re free to leave for greener pastures, of course, but I wouldn’t want that for you.”

“Why a couple months?” Bella asked, catching her words.

“Because by then he usually gets cabin fever and I throw him a bone,” Joan smiled at her. “You need a permanent handler. Do you have anyone specific in mind? Would you like Jai back as your handler?”

“Jai is fine. It doesn’t matter as long as I trust the person,” she shrugged. “I trust him, and Auggie.”

“I figured you’d say that. Thing is, Jai is doing great with Annie. He goes with her on missions, sees what she’s doing and coaches her there. I wouldn’t want him to have to divide his attention between you and her.”

Bella swallowed as she realized where this was going. “Okay, so you’re making Auggie mine, but if neither of us are allowed to go anywhere and we’re both grounded…Where does that put us, or rather me as an agent?”

“I’m not going to lie. Dr. Beene deems the both of you unfit for work due to various issues, but I managed to persuade her not to write that down officially. Because I know you both. You’re a great team, you always have been, and even though it’s against company policy, I want the two of you to continue to work together. You balance each other out,” she said with some hesitation. “And you will need to continue to find and maintain that balance.”

“Yeah, this really doesn’t sound good. I know I’ll still have my tech duties and all, and that she’ll be at the Smithsonian, but what are you getting at, Joan? Did the bloodwork come back and something’s wrong?”

Joan looked between them as she picked up the folder, opening it to take out the papers. “Nothing is wrong,” she started. “Just some surprising results. I’ll let you take a look first, Bella.”

Taking the paper from her, Bella read the details skeptically before she got to where she realized what Joan was trying to say, but not say. Jumping from her seat, she shook her head in denial. “This is wrong. There has to be a screw up.”

Joan handed her another paper. “They redid the test, and again,” she said, pulling out yet another paper. “There wasn’t a screw up.”

“But I can’t be…” she denied. “Not unless I went to the damn doctor to remove my -” she argued, blinking as she turned to stare at Auggie.

“You were at a doctor for days. Sedated,” Joan pointed out.

“Wait, what’s going on?” Auggie blinked. “What are you two talking about?”

Bella crumbled the papers in her hands and covered her mouth as she walked over to the window to digest the new information. “I was fucking violated, that’s what,” she muttered. “Not like what you feared, but still. Is that bastard dead?”

“Yeah, we found him with several stab wounds to the chest, one entry had nicked his aorta. He bled out in the room,” Joan said calmly. “Look, I know this is a lot to digest, but…”

“What is going on?” Auggie demanded.

“Carlisle removed my IUD and I’m pregnant,” Bella answered in a whisper, turning her head just enough for her voice to carry to him.

He blinked at that, not knowing what to say. “I know you said that you weren’t violated like that but it better be mine.”

“Well I didn’t voluntarily sleep with any of them,” she snapped. Covering her face, she let out a groan. “Fuck! Isn’t there a test or something to make sure that it isn’t one of theirs? If it is, I don’t want this… Auggie…”

“You two have nothing to worry about,” Joan said as she steered Auggie in the direction of Bella so he could hold her. “We pulled some strings, this is why we had you wait for a little bit longer so the test could be finished. These days there’s a test where you can detect an unborn baby’s DNA in the mother’s blood.”

“Spare the details,” Bella sighed as she wrapped her arms around Auggie.

“You’re about ten weeks along and you’re both the parents of the little nugget growing inside of you. All Cullen did was to remove your IUD. The doctor who examined you probably gave you some antibiotics which would cancel out any lingering hormones created by the IUD.”

“It’s ours?” Auggie asked, but it was mostly a statement. “Wow.”

“You two have a lot to discuss, and I’ll gladly give you a few days to digest this and talk about it, if you like,” Joan smiled at them.

Bella nodded absently as she started to lift her head. “Can we go now?” she asked as she looked around in a daze.

“Sure. I’ll drive the two of you home, if you want. You’re not driving.”

“Tavern. Auggie’s drinking for the both of us it seems,” she muttered in response.

“Yeah, it’s steak night,” Auggie said with a shrug.

“Fine, I’ll drop you off at the Tavern,” Joan said with a slight chuckle, never ceasing to be amazed by how the two of them handled life changing news.


Sitting at their table, Bella ordered another round of shots and set them both in front of Auggie as soon as the waitress dropped them off at the table. She pouted as she stared at the shot glasses, having started to come around during dinner.

“We’re engaged, and we’re going to have a baby,” she said for probably the twentieth time during the meal. “I can’t have a freaking drop of alcohol. Do you know how much this part is sucking for me right now?”

“Kiss me and have a little taste. At this rate, you’re going to have to roll me home,” Auggie said, knocking over an empty glass. “God, I hope that one was empty.”

“You’re drinking for three from now on. Get used to it,” she joked.

“Not unless you want my liver to survive your pregnancy.”

“Then find me some alcohol that I can drink.”

“Alcohol free beer.”

Bella gagged at his response. “That shit is vile. Have you ever tried that yourself? Gross!”

“I find it tastier than lukewarm beer if I had to choose.”

“Lukewarm beer is still wet when you got nothing else and it’s a hot fucking day. I’m pregnant Auggie!” she whined. “What am I going to tell my dad?!”

“Hey dad, your wish is coming true. Not only are you getting a son-in-law, you’re also getting a grandchild! And no! They’re not related in any way, he asked me before we found out!”

“Oh and he probably knocked me up in your bathtub,” she smiled.

“Ohhhh, better not say that!” Auggie snorted as he downed another shot of vodka. “Yep, you’re definitely have to roll me home. Call your dad. Now I want to know what he’ll say.”

“When we get home, I will. He’ll probably start screaming and cheering considering the conspiracy he set in place from the beginning. Do you want to have a rush wedding now or wait until after?”

“We wouldn’t marry in a rush, we do it with careful planning. It’s up to you if you want to be pregnant while we marry or not. Hell, even if it’s just us signing a paper would be fine.”

Bella stabbed her steak and looked around in thought. “We also have to find someplace larger eventually. The loft won’t contain three for very long.”

“Especially if the baby is ready for his or her own room… damn, I love my loft.”

“Learning to move around blind again is going to suck. My knees are going to be bruised to hell again,” she complained.

“You want to raise our baby while blindfolded?”

Bella raised an eyebrow. “Why would our living arrangements change? I could pull it off if need be but I didn’t get as far as I did out there if we I didn’t have that experience. But think of it this way. In the long run, when he or she is older, they won’t have it so easy sneaking around when both parents use all their senses to their max capabilities.”

“True,” Auggie said with a nod and took his other shotglass before attacking his steak again. “We’ll have to read up on blind parenting, maybe take a few classes here and there. And learning to navigate in a new situation isn’t that hard. If we keep the same sort of layout for our next home, it won’t be that difficult.”

“Ranch style?” she suggested. “One level, big yard, maybe? I know we are comfortable where we are now, but waiting until later – would be harder for me.”

“Joan’s got us riding desks for the foreseeable future, at least we’ll have something to do,” he said with a grin. “If we move now, we’ll also have the advantage of knowing our surroundings better.”

Bella reached over and stole a forkful of his potatoes and sighed. “So – we’re going to start looking for a new place? Any particular wants you have?”

“One level, two bedrooms… that’s it, really.”

“Raise you to three for when my dad comes into town. He’s going to want to stay with us.”

“Yes, and we’ll put a bunk bed in that room,” Auggie agreed. “Show him how impossible it is to sleep on one as an adult.”

“You’re talking about the bunks in Bella’s old bedroom?” Jai’s voice sounded from behind him. “You’re right. They should not be slept on by any adult.”

“Hey! Look! It’s golden boy!” Auggie greeted him jovially. “How are you doing?”

“Is he drunk?”

“Getting there,” Auggie nodded.

“How have you guys been?” Auggie could hear a chair being moved and Jai sitting down. “Did you really have to send me plush toys from every Disney park?”

Bella smiled as she watched her fiance happily and nodded. “We weren’t going around without sending something to everyone. Did you miss us?”

“Of course I did. Life is less fun without one of you to make my life harder,” Jai smirked. “Oh, I’m sorry for disturbing your dinner.”

“Don’t worry, the steak still tastes great,” Auggie said as he popped another piece in his mouth.

“Yeah. It’s fine. It’s actually probably a good idea you showed up. You willing to give us a ride home when you’re done with your visit? Joan has dropped us off here so my car is still at the office,” she sighed as she stirred the melting ice and lemon around in her glass of water.

“Why did Joan drop you off? Is that water? That’s so unlike you.”

Bella rolled her eyes, anticipating the inquisition about to come on so she looked up for the waitress and signalled for another round. She wasn’t about to answer until she had the shot glasses sitting in front of the guys and set hers in front of Jai. Smiling, she simply waited.

“I only have one, now, right?” Auggie said as he felt around with his hand.

“Yes, dear,” she answered. “Jai’s picking up the slack for you for the rest of the night I just decided.”

“Awesome. Because if Jai’s back, then Annie’s back and we’ll just call her for a ride. Clever thinking,” he said with a nod and raised his glass. “Bottoms up, Wilcox.”

Jai eyed the two of them with a little fear. “Why do I have the feeling I need to be afraid?” he asked, pausing as he brought the shot to his lips. Smiling, he canted his head. “Unless this is a celebration? Congratulations in order? Not quite the rock I arranged for our engagement, Bella.”

Auggie threw the shot back and almost slammed the glass back on the table. “We will not speak of that again unless your face wants to meet my fist.”

Bella reached over and grabbed his hand to calm him down. “Jai. Don’t ever talk about that case and things about it again. Yes, we’re engaged but this isn’t quite the celebration dinner like you’re thinking. More like the mourning of an era.”

“The mourning of being free and able to bed anyone you want? I’ll say,” he said with a snort.

“No. I was never like that and you know that. You’re such a dickhead, Jai.”

“You’re extremely dickish, Jai. Relax, we only got back from our vacation, we need to rebuild the dick-tolerance barrier again,” Auggie remarked as he rubbed Bella’s hand with his thumb before retracting his hand and finished eating his plate.

He finished his shot and looked to Bella’s glass of water again. “You without a beer or tequila isn’t normal. You pregnant or something?”

She sat back in her seat, a scowl on her face as she wasn’t pleased about her drinking options herself. “I am pretty limited, aren’t I?”

“Again, congratulations?” He said carefully.

“Yeah,” she hesitated, glancing up him. “We weren’t sure until Joan confirmed everything, that the tests said it was Auggie’s considering – recent events. But, we’re grounded and we’re going to accept it.”

“Are you okay?” He asked as he took the other shot. “I mean, you look fine, but if I were you, I’d be freaking out but you’re both so calm.”

“I’m drunk.” Auggie remarked. “But I’m fine.”

“I’m giving him my shots since, obviously, I can’t drink anymore now. I’m scared, for obvious reasons, but there’s no point in losing it completely now. Believe me, I did enough of that at the office until I started getting this one plastered here.”

“Wow,” Jai said impressed. “I can’t believe you two have to grow up now.”

“Fuck off! We’re going to buy land and make it Neverland!”

“Oh yeah, there’s enough time to actually build a house from scratch!” Auggie agreed with a big smile on his face. “Recreate the loft on solid ground and extra bedrooms!”

Jai just shook his head at their antics. “You both are just crazy. I can’t believe that you two are actually bringing a kid into the world together. May God save us all. But in all seriousness, congratulations you two.”

“We’re not crazy, we’re simply going with the flow. Can’t stop this boat…” Auggie shook his head and got to his feet, somewhat unsteadily. “I need to find the bathroom,” he said as he unraveled his cane.

“Want me to help you?” Jai asked, coming to his feet with Bella as he was ready to catch him.

“Oh, don’t worry about me, I’m drunk, not blind,” he said as he scratched his head. “That’s not right. Oh, never start drinking on an empty stomach kids.”

Bella snorted. “Auggie. Maybe we should really call it a night now. Let Jai help you while I pay the bill. I don’t need to have you with a concussion with everything since this is my doing already.”

“Yes. Better idea,” he said, finding Jai’s arm and held on tightly. “To the car, Jeeves!”

Jai sighed as he nodded to Bella while she patted him on the back on her way to their waitress. It only took her a few minutes before she met the guys out front and slid into the backseat. “Thanks for this.”

“No problem. Did Joan give you a few days to have this settle in? Because otherwise I’ll call in for you guys tomorrow because he’ll be useless.”

“She did. Otherwise we would have gone straight home. Believe me with everything that happened and we learned today, it could have been much worse and I’m grateful for what it is now.”

Jai nodded as he started the car and drove off. “If you two need anything, you know where to find me, right? I’m happy to help out anyway that I can.”

“Sure, sure,” she murmured as she leaned forward to find Auggie already nodding out. “Let’s start with dragging this one upstairs when we get back. He’s going to be dead weight and last thing I need is a strained back.”

“I’m not sleeping,” Auggie muttered as he put his head against the window. “I can walk myself upstairs.”

“Sure you can, Auggie,” Jai smiled as he turned a corner.

Bella rolled her eyes. “Yeah well I only screwed myself by having you drink so much. I hope you have a miracle hangover cure for tomorrow.”

“The best,” Auggie smiled. “Fried eggs with bacon, ham and sausage and tomato juice. Oh man, that egg sounds so good… and I didn’t drink that much, did I?”

“Maybe you need some MJ. You sound like you could use some the way you’re rambling. Sounds like you got a case of munchies. And yes, I made you drink that much because I couldn’t participate.”

“Aren’t you grateful, Jai?” Auggie said as he tapped him on his arm. “Aren’t you grateful that I can hold my liquor very well?”

Jai looked over at him. “Uh, yeah buddy. Great job. I’m just concerned about what else she’ll make you do in the future.”

“Well, not sex. I’m too drunk for that. Obviously.”

“Asshole,” Bella muttered. “Besides, it’s already too late for that. I’m knocked up. We have to call my dad to tell him the news when we get in, remember?”

“Oh fuck,” Auggie said as he reached for his watch and felt the time. “And it’s not late! It’s only 9pm! Bella, what are we doing to ourselves?”

“Converting. Becoming what we feared.”

“Adults,” Jai smirked as he stopped the car in front of Auggie’s building.

“Shut up asshole.”

“I should buy you two some walkers now,” he said teasingly.

“I should have poked holes in those condoms I bought you,” she retorted.

“And they’re still unused.”

“Dude! You have to get laid!” Auggie said as he opened the car door, the night air hitting him in the face once again. “Ugh. Not good.”

Bella got out with him and took one look at his face. “Hey, if you’re going to puke, give me fair warning. So far I’ve been lucky not to have experienced any kind of morning sickness and I’m not in any rush to start puking myself now.”

Jai got out of the car and locked it before putting his arm around Auggie and held him up. “Come on, Big guy, let’s get you inside.”

“I can walk,” Auggie said as he let go of Jai and miraculously made it to the front door. “Thanks for taking us home, Jai.”

“Thanks, Jai,” Bella repeated as she made it to Auggie’s side, careful to keep an eye on him in case he did turn around with a problem. “We should make it up if he’s doing okay right now.”

“No problem, have a good night you two.”

“Night,” she called out as she started to lead themselves inside. She didn’t say anything else until they managed all the way into the loft and the door was closed securely behind them, letting out a sigh. “So…”

“You’re not getting laid tonight. Don’t even bother,” Auggie waved his hand. “We had some fun this morning,” he said as he walked to his coffee machine and started to make coffee. He needed to sober up some more if they were going to talk to Charlie.

Bella went to pulled herself up on a stool at the island to watch him. “I think it’s this pregnancy that’s driving that. I can’t help it… Coffee…”

“I think I remember Mark mentioning something about his wife having to cut down on caffeine when she was pregnant,” Auggie said as he switched on the coffee maker. “Maybe you should switch to hot chocolate. Your fancy machine has a setting for that too, right?”

“I like your dick attached to you. You like it attached to you?” she asked in response to his suggestions.

Auggie laughed. “I like it very much to be attached to me so I can make you scream for more when I put it inside of you.”

“See I like that suggestion,” she agreed. “But you already vetoed my getting any tonight.”

“For tonight, yes. You’re gorgeous but I doubt it’ll be performing tonight, besides, we have to call your father. Always such a turn off.”

“Speaking of which. Are you ready to get that over with?” Bella asked as she pulled out her cellphone and carefully set it on the countertop.

“At least wait until I have a coffee…” Auggie replied and then sighed. “No, now’s good. If we call any later than 9.30 he’ll freak out.”

She let out a breath and nodded to herself. “I’m going to also need to make an appointment with a doctor too. I’ll have to call around tomorrow,” she murmured as she pulled up her father’s caller profile and hit dial, putting it on speaker.

“So many things to do,” he said as he grabbed a mug and set it down for when the coffee would be ready.

Welcome home, Bells,” Charlie’s voice sounded from the phone.

“Hi Dad,” she greeted, though there was just a hinted lack of enthusiasm in her voice, despite attempting her normal cheerfulness. “How are things?”

Great if Auggie didn’t chicken out.”

“Hey!” Auggie whined. “I did not chicken out, okay?”

“He didn’t chicken out, but I was tempted to say no again,” she teased as she down at her hand with the ring. “I should have figured you would have been an accomplice in this.”

A loud cheer erupted from the phone, followed by laughing. “Congratulations! I’m so happy for you both!”

“Yeah, thanks,” Bella sighed as she tried to figure out how to come out with the next bit of news. “There’s something else…”

You’ve decided to give me grandchildren?”

We didn’t decide anything, Charlie. Someone else decided that for us, when I was incapable of making any for myself,” she snapped, still quite angry and the situation surrounding it a sore subject.

“We’re only keeping it because it’s been established that it’s ours and not theirs,” Auggie said as he poured himself a coffee after his coffee maker made the small noise that it was done. “The decision has been taken out of our hands, but it is welcome.”

Charlie was quiet on the other end of the phone for a long time. “So I’m not allowed to be happy about it?”

“You can be happy all you want. We’re, I’m, still having some issues in the acceptance department regarding the whole thing,” she admitted. “Like Auggie just said, if it wasn’t because they were able to confirm that it was definitely his, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. I wouldn’t want to go through with it. I couldn’t.”

“And she’s getting there, so you don’t have to worry about that. In fact she had me drinking her drinks for her at dinner,” he added after he took a slow sip of his drink. “Believe me, I’ll be feeling this one in the morning.”

Would you like me to come down?”

Bella smiled to herself. “It’s not necessary. We’re doing okay, adjusting. I have to find a doctor and then we’re going to start looking either for a realtor or a contractor, or both.”

You will let me know if you need any help, don’t you sweetheart?”

“Of course. I’ll talk to you soon. Love you Dad,” she said.

Love you too sweetheart, I’ll make sure I have a travel bag ready for when you need me!”

Auggie grinned as Charlie disconnected the call. “That went better than expected.”

She let out a breath. “Yeah, it did. Do you want to get it all over with now and call your parents to let them know?”

“Can I actually call everyone and get this over with?” He asked as he took a sip of his coffee. “Because if I tell my parents, they’ll tell my brothers and they’ll be upset that I didn’t tell them first.”

“It’s your family. You know them best,” Bella said amused and slid off her stool. “Let’s do this. Call them. I’m just going to get myself a bottle of water.”

Sighing, he got his phone out of his pocket and double tapped it to wake it up. “Start conference call with family,” he said as he put it down on the counter. “Turn on speaker.”

Dialling group; family.”

“This ought to be interesting,” she murmured. “It’s been, what? Five, six years since I visited?”

“I think closer to seven,” he grinned as he waited for each of their family to connect.

Augusto!” Rich yelled through the phone.

Ah geez, Rich, inside voice, we’re all on here!” Mark scolded his brother.

Wait, even Sue?”

“Sue?” Bella asked. “Did someone get married?”

“Kelly. A boy named Sue,” Auggie grinned.

Oh shit, it’s the crazy chick, isn’t it?”

Richard, mind your language.”

Oh fuck, mom!”


“Hello, Mrs. Anderson,” Bella grinned, silently pleased that she had to do nothing to put the man in his place this time. “How are you?”

“Mom, you remember Bella, don’t you?” Auggie smiled widely.

Of course I do, Auggie. Hello Bella, so nice to hear your voice again.”

Why are you calling all of us, Auggie? Something happen again? Did you break something? Does your house need fixing?”

“Relax, Danny,” Auggie snorted. “Everything’s fine. Actually… it’s more than okay.”

“We just wanted to call to share some news and he felt it was best to include all of you at the same time,” Bella said.

Oh, this oughta be good!” Kelly grinned. “Hit us.”

“I asked Bella to marry me last week,” Auggie announced. “And yes, I asked her father’s permission first, so I did the right thing.”

“More like my Dad asked him when he was going to ask me before he even that the thought in his head,” she muttered. “Wasn’t that how you told me about that conversation?”

“Yes, but they don’t need to know that I’m easily persuaded to marry a hot girl,” Auggie smirked.

“You can’t tell that I’m hot. Maybe before you lost your eyes, but I could be all scarred up and ugly now,” she teased.

“It’s the inside that counts and you’re hot on the inside.”

Oh barf.”

Richard!” Auggie’s mom scolded him. “Oh, Auggie, that is fantastic news! I always knew you two would someday end up together!”

Mom is always the hopeless romantic, are you sure you want to get married, Auggie? I mean, having a ball and chain isn’t all that’s cracked up to be.” The sound of Mark getting smacked up the head could be heard. “I love you dear.”

I can come out and help with the wedding planning…”

“Oh, that’s not necessary!” Bella objected quickly. “We aren’t planning that for awhile. Um…”

“We found out today that Bella’s pregnant.”

Auggie, what the fuck!” most of his brothers responded.

“Hey!” Auggie objected. “Why can all of you have kids and you’re responding with what the fuck?”

Because you’re… well… kids need two sets of eyes?”

“Oh shut up,” Auggie rolled his eyes.

Rich added on, “And the fact that you’re reproducing with the crazy bitch? Marrying is one thing, duplicating…”

“Mom, are you okay? Say something?”

I… I am…” There was some sobbing. “My baby is having a baby!”

“Oh shit,” Bella winced as she settled back onto a stool next to him. “Um…Auggie, crying moms…”

“I know,” he put his arm around her and kissed the side of her head. “Mom, everything is going to be alright. You’re already a grandmother. It’ll work itself out.”

What are you going to do now, Auggie? You’re gonna be getting married and have a kid on the way. That place you’re in is going to get small fast,” Danny said, coming back into the conversation.

“Well, as it happens, today is a big day of firsts and freaking out a little, but we’ve already decided to look for a new home to our liking or have one built. It all depends on if we can get what we want or not. Moving is definitely a priority, mainly because of making ourselves familiar with a new surrounding before the baby comes,” he replied. “I was thinking of calling a realtor tomorrow to see what our best options are.”

Dude, I’m a contractor.”

“Dude, you’re a busy man!”

Asshat, I know the ways to bring the costs down and do the job right. Call the realtor for the lot and when you get the location, let me know. We’ll get blueprints drawn up for what you’re looking for. I’m actually going to be in the area in three weeks for a conference so we can talk then. I’ll come down a couple days early.”

I know you don’t like us to help you out, Auggie, but this is an offer you can’t refuse.” Kelly laughed. “Take it.”

Auggie turned to Bella. “What do you think?”

“We would know we’d be getting the details of what we want. If we want to get something as close to here, this is the way to go. If he screws us over, we know where to hunt him down and cut off his balls,” she threatened.

This is the crazy bitch that broke mine and Mark’s balls, Dan.”

Awesome. I like her even more now.”

“Okay, sounds good then, Danny, thanks.”

Alright. I’ll call you when I know more about my trip details. Congrats you two, but I need to hit the hay. I have a meeting on site at the ass crack of dawn. Night!”

“Night, Danny.”

Auggie, your dad and I were meaning to visit you next month, shall we come over sooner?”

“Oh god, mom, no.” Auggie said quickly. “We’re fine and our job keeps us busy so I’m not even sure if we can be around to entertain you guys.”

“My schedule at the Smithsonian is definitely getting busier now that we’re back from our vacation,” Bella pointed out.

“Yeah, and even this morning, on our first day back, I had to completely reinstall one of the main security computers because some idiot fucked up, so yeah, we’re really busy,” Auggie added, nodding.

What they are trying to not say, is that they don’t want any parental visitors, Mom,” Mark shared, giggling as he attempted to stir some trouble. “Still celebrating that new engagement and all. Who knows what you might walk in on…”

Very well,” she sighed reluctantly. “Your dad and I shall spend our time in Hawaii, but we will visit, eventually. You’re not going to be able to keep us away forever.

And she’ll bring her little dog too!” Rich mimicked.

“Great, it’s about time I step on that yapping rodent,” Auggie remarked.

Bella pouted. “I always wanted a dog. Can we get a lab or something?”

“I thought you hated dogs. You’re always bitching about them when we’re at your dad’s.”

“No. I hated those mutts on the reservation. Especially Jacob and Paul,” she muttered and pinched him hard on his thigh.

“Ow! Well, I like dogs and labs are actually dogs. Mom has a rodent. Like… this naked, tiny little thing with big ears and a yap that can pierce your eardrums.”

Enough Auggie. You and your brothers got Princess for me for Christmas. You all had the choice to get something else, and I love him,” his mother chided.

“Princess?” Bella whispered, confused and disturbed. “I don’t know about how naming goes in your family and if you inherit her skills, but I’m so naming this child.”

“We made her believe that we got her a girl dog and she named it Princess. And by god, the stupid dog is being treated as one.”

“The dog has a weiner.”

“I couldn’t tell.”

“You were able to figure out your own to get me pregnant.”

“Of course, it’s attached to me,” Auggie grinned before addressing his family. “Love you all, talk to you later, bye!”

Bella huffed. “I could fix that…”

He disconnected the phone and kissed her passionately. “Let’s get to bed and see what this weiner can do…”

“I thought I wasn’t getting any tonight,” she reminded him as she pushed him back slightly with a smirk on her lips.

“I lied, sue me.” He turned around and put his other arm around her. “Unless you don’t want to, that’s totally fine.”

“Oh no. No, no. I wouldn’t dream of turning away your weiner,” she teased as she grabbed a handful of his shirt to start leading him to the bedroom.


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