Quincy and Daniella were sitting on their bed, spending just a few minutes together after work. Quincy had already changed out of his work clothes to get more comfortable. Daniella was wearing one of her everyday outfits. She’d always been comfortable with her waist cinched and heels on.
“How was your day beautiful?” asked Quincy.
“Not bad,” said Daniella. “I’ve been a Regular Contributor for a while now, so not much surprises me anymore. I’m ready for my next promotion.”
“I’m sure it will happen before you know it,” said Quincy. “But when it finally does happen, are you still sure you want to be a writer instead of a journalist?”
“Yeah, I’m sure,” said Daniella. “With triplets, I can’t justify getting dragged out of the house at all times of the day and night to hunt stories.”
“Well, you know, we can–” began Quincy, but he was interrupted by the sounds of three little voices screaming out, “Mama!”
“Why don’t they ever scream for me?” asked Quincy with a laugh.
“I’ll happily hand over the Most Screamed For title if you’d like,” said Daniella. “You see why I can’t be a journalist? Come on, let’s see what they want.”
It turned out the toddlers were just hungry. They slept late for their afternoon naps, and their babysitter didn’t want to feed them a late lunch and ruin their dinner. As a result, they were really hungry and wanted dinner now.
Daniella decided to make a dinner they could all enjoy: grilled cheese. Quincy chased down the toddlers one by one and loaded them into their high chairs.
Quincy continued his conversation with Daniella while she cooked, “like I was saying before, if we had more help at home, you could pursue being a journalist.”
Quincy finally had all three toddlers situated. He sat down himself to stay out of the way until the sandwiches were done.
“I hear you,” said Daniella, “and if you’re heading where I think you’re heading, we don’t need to be anywhere but here in this beautiful little house. I’ll be just as happy being a writer as I would being a journalist.”
Daniella flipped the sandwich, making sure it was properly golden brown on both sides.
After the sandwiches were done, Quincy stood up to help and they brought plates of food to Henry, Hailey, and Hannah. The triplets were babbling loudly to each other, still in a good mood despite being hungry.
“My mom had this house built for us,” said Quincy, “so she may not even be open to us leaving it. But if we lived with them like we originally planned, we’d have so much help.”
“I think we’re doing okay thus far,” said Daniella. “Henry, stop trying to hit your sister!”
Daniella and Quincy grabbed plates for themselves as well. Daniella couldn’t help but smile, she hadn’t made grilled cheese for dinner since she and Luca first moved to Windenburg. That felt like a lifetime ago. Now she had a family of her own to cook for. And Luca has Elizabeth to cook for him, not that Mrs. Holloway ever actually cooked.
Quincy took a bite of his sandwich, and said, “I know we’re doing okay now, but that tiny bedroom the triplets share won’t work when they’re teens, and will barely work when they age up to children–Henry, no!” His attention was suddenly drawn by his only son unceremoniously dumping his grilled cheese sandwich on the floor.
“I’ll grab another one for him,” said Daniella. “And let’s just clean up that mess later in case more mess is made before dinner is over. We’ll figure out what to do about the bedroom situation when we get there, okay? I’d rather talk about something else… Like Robyn’s pregnancy…”
“It’s so crazy to even think about,” said Quincy. “My parents are freaking out. I’m freaking out! I mean, that could’ve been us when we were her age, we just got lucky, so I guess I understand. But my mom wanted so much more for us than to end up teen parents like them.”
“I can imagine everyone is so disappointed in her, and worried for her,” said Daniella. “She’s a strong girl though. If anyone can handle this, she can. So, has she said who the father is?” Quincy shook his head no. Daniella was about to ask another question when the uneaten sandwich on her son’s high chair caught her attention. “Henry, don’t you want your sandwich? See how your sister Hannah is already halfway done with hers?”
“She refuses to say,” said Quincy one he had Daniella’s attention again, “which is as worrying as the fact that she’s pregnant. I just wish I knew who it was.” The sound of crying toddlers overtook the conversation. “Okay, okay, Hailey and Henry, what’s wrong?” asked Quincy. “You want to get down from the high chairs? Hailey you can get down, but Henry, you have to eat your sandwich.”
“I have a suspicion of who it might be,” said Daniella, not missing a beat in the conversation as she stood to help Hailey escape confinement. “And my suspicion would not make you happy. But it would explain why she doesn’t want to tell us who it is.”
Daniella lifted Hailey from her high chair. “Okay, Hailey, down you go. Henry, please eat that sandwich before it gets cold. Hannah, you want to get down? No? Okay, you can stay at the table with us for a while.”
“Just rip off the band aid,” said Quincy, “tell me who you think it could be. Does she have a boyfriend we don’t know about?” The concern about who fathered his sister’s baby kept the glutton from being the first one to finish his food.
“No,” said Daniella, “but she’s had a crush on our friend Baby forever. And the last few times I’ve seen them together, it just seems like there’s more there there, you know? And he’s literally the only guy I’ve ever see her pay attention to that she wasn’t related to.”
“That would be so crazy,” said Quincy, “and weird, like weirder than Hugo hooking up with Ms. Butler weird. Plum, can you believe half our group of friends from high school already have toddlers?”
Henry was making more and more noise from his high chair, making it clear to his parents that he was more interested in roaming free than finishing dinner. Quincy tried to hold firm, but folded quickly. ” No, Henry, you cannot get down until you eat! Okay, fine, you win.”
“Pushover,” said Daniella with a laugh. “I’ll get him, you get Hannah.”
“If it is Baby’s baby,” said Quincy, “that should be pretty clear as soon as it’s born. Those Branhams have strong genes, they all look alike. But what would that mean for his marriage with Lesley?”
“I don’t know,” said Daniella. “but let’s not even think about that until we know for sure. I could be wrong. I hope I’m wrong.”
“Me too,” said Quincy. “But speaking of marriage, have you given any more thought to setting a date for us?”
“Ummm,” said Daniella, “I have. I talked to Luca and he finally has me convinced that you’re right that we shouldn’t wait until the kids age up. And he has me convinced that I should invite my father. He even offered to let us do it at their house, but I’m not getting married at the same wedding arch he and Elizabeth used.”
“Their house isn’t large enough anyway,” said Quincy. “The guest list is going to be huge. With our families here, your father, my grandparents, mom and Luca’s club and their families, plus our high school friends and co-workers? We’ll need to have it at the Von Haunt Estate, Myshuno Meadows, or The Wedding Lounge.”
“You’re right. I guess I’ll go some time next week to look at the venues and pick one,” said Daniella. “If we’re going to do this before the triplets’ birthday, I better get planning.”
“You should take my mother with you,” said Quincy, “she loves these type of things.”
“I’ll think about it,” said Daniella.
“Hey, I think there’s a chance we’ll get to bed at a reasonable hour tonight,” said Quincy.
“I think you’re right,” said Daniella, “especially since Henry ate his second sandwich after all.”
“Anything else you want to talk about?”
“Nope,” said Quincy. “Let’s just all say goodnight.”