After everybody was dressed and decent again; Tina, Liz, Amanda and Lucy started preparing an early dinner. Grace had gone along to give Cassy a hand when she and Sam went upstairs to feed the babies. The guys hung around the kitchen for a short time; then when the girls refused their assistance; they decided to go to the sauna for a while.
Their light banter died down as soon as the heat relaxed and soothed their bodies. It was not necessary to say a word. Contentment hung in the room and clung to every surface as much as the soft mist did.
In the peaceful quiet Alex realized that this was the first time he and his brothers were all together and alone in a ling time; not one of the mates were present. “You guys did well.” His words were both quiet praise for their conduct as well as congratulations on the caliber of mates they had.
“Only because we had you to show us the way.” Dennis said seriously as he inclined his head towards his big brother.
“Yeah.” The others agreed. They did not need any words to convey their deep gratitude towards Alex; it was so much easier to use their bond to express their thanks; all their appreciation and gratefulness filled their joined minds. Eventually Brain could not keep quiet; he felt he had to speak up and say what everybody else was thinking.
“We are …” he used his hands because he did not have the words to describe what he actually meant. Shrugging he continued; “Everything we are; is a direct result of a sacrifice you made. You sacrificed your youth, so that you could bring us up. You sacrificed your free time so that we would not feel neglected; you gave up on opportunities so that you could keep us safe. Mostly you gave up on peace of mind so that we could also learn to stand on our own feet and you sacrificed your sanity so that we could realize our own potential.”
Brian’s words reminded Alex of that point in time just after Brain had shifted. At that time, Alex had not learnt how to keep his thoughts and feelings to himself yet; and so much of Alex’s sheer terror at the thought of something bad happening to his brothers had left Brain struggling to find balance in his mind.
Alex swallowed loudly. “Guys; I don’t know what to say …”
“Don’t.” Carter interrupted him. “We are the ones thanking you. And although we are glad that Dad is back in our lives; you are the one we think of as the ‘father’. You taught us by your example that it is right to consider others before ourselves. That we should take everything into consideration when making a decision. You made us who we are.”
“Absolutely man. I just don’t know how Conrad turned out the way he did; but we won’t hold that against you.”
Relieved laughter filled the air after the emotionally charged conversation and slowly the atmosphere lightened up and became lazy and relaxed once more.
“Man; does life get any better than this?” Ethan asked out loud a while later as he stretched his long legs in front of him. His brothers sighed in agreement, not needing to say a word.
“Maybe when our mates stop nagging us for babies it would be better.” It must have been ten minutes later when Derrick thought of something to add to Ethan’s earlier comment. “But only marginally.”
Brian smiled as the rest of his brothers laughed. That was not a problem he had, luckily. Sam had said that she wanted to be able to sleep through the night for at least a whole month before thinking about having another baby.
Ethan scoffed. “Lucy said she did not want to share me for a long while. Besides; she wants to wait; barely sixteen is way too young to be parents.”
“I hate to disagree with you. You do not know how profoundly happy it made me seeing my mate; my wife … holding our children. You have to remember that in the same way it is extremely important for us to claim and mate with that special woman in our lives; for them it is just as important to start producing the next generation. The drive to reproduce is written in their DNA; it is a part of them; so you will have to learn that to truly make them happy; you will have to give in to their desires in this matter.”
“Well; I have been lucky enough to convince Liz to wait until after we are married. I don’t know why; but she agreed.” Derrick shared his plan with his brothers. “And I am going to ask her to marry me soon; and I hope to set the date for about six months from now. That should keep her occupied for a while.”