We tried to get back to a normal life. Tried to. Nick's memory, after he'd ht his head, hadn't really returned much and for him, a 'normal life' was different, and however much I wanted him to be back to his old self, he couldn't seem to let go of that. He didn't know Forestwatch and didn't feel much connection with it. Nick preferred New York. Matt wanted to stay in Forestwatch or Stonehaven, he was having the time of his life on summer holidays, so we agreed to leave him for a week with Elena while we went into the city to wait for Ana to show up.
It'd made it hard- he didn't know how to change nappies, struggled with the triplets, and with feeding. We'd eventually ended up staying in the apartment in New York. Antonio helped me out, working from home a little longer, as Nick spent more time out and about rediscovering his city. I didn't like it much, I had to admit, I felt a bit jealous as he went out to bars and nightclubs. The only reassurance I had about it was that, even if women had scents on him, he never slept with them or kissed them. This was just something I had to deal with while he recovered.
Antonio wasn't pleased by that either. But Nick's memory remained fixed on thirty, even if his body didn't, like he didn't want to give this up.
But he tried. He played with the kids, adored them, and always came home, rolling into bed on top of me, Nick's adrenaline saved all night for one person only. This part of it I never minded, the thrill of that sudden waking, lips pressing hard on mine in the darkness, clothes being slid off even as he tried to tease me, the swell of sweat and other women ignored and forgotten as I reclaimed him over and over. Keeping quiet was a problem- all three toddlers slept in the room with us- but maybe they didn't mind. They never seemed to wake, in fact, they were more likely to wake during the night if Nick wasn't around.
Another night, the night before Ana flew in, and it ended up being myself and Antonio in the spare room, making the two single beds with fresh sheets, his annoyance with Nick reaching an all time high. Nick hadn't wanted to work either, which was a problem when he had a job in Antonio's company, and I'd ended up trying to fill in for him from home. With triplets. It didn't work.
“Sorry.” Antonio muttered as he caught me staring at the clock, one in the morning, the two of us exhausted and flopped on the couch. Bedroom ready here for her, food pre-cooked for tomorrow as I'd be too busy to do it, and Nick still out somewhere. “He tended to be a little less ...”
“I know. He wasn't responsible anyway.” I shrugged it off, yawning, flopping onto a cushion there. He tended to get this way anyway, with money, with food, with spoiling us, and I was too tired to care anyway. “Not your fault.”
“He'll have to go back to Forestwatch in a few days for the triplet's birthday. I'll tie him up if he doesn't go.” Antonio smiled somewhat, rubbing his forehead. “My son isn't missing his kid's second birthday.”
“I'll hold you to that. I don't have a party planned.”
“We do. Jungle themed.” Antonio reassured me. “The sad thing is, I was just as bad as he was when I had him at that age. Now I can't stop thinking ...how idiotic he's being. And he's doing exactly what I used to do. Run out, be reckless, forget that he's got kids to care for.”
“You were?” I opened my eyes to gaze at the older man. “You treat the triplets like an expert.”
“It's different being the grandparent.” He replied. Tugged one of my feet up, throwing the shoe over, rubbing my feet. Another intimate thing that humans might have found odd, maybe, but for us ...it was normal. A relief for me too. “I was just a single father then with a little kid I had no idea how to raise, my freedom gone before I was twenty, and I had to lea-” He cut off, lips tightening slightly, eyes drifting away from me. “It wasn't easy doing it alone. I just wanted to... do what Nick's doing. Ignore him. He reminded me of his mother too much.”
“Did you hire a nanny?”
Antonio shook his head. “We were in our family home. No humans allowed. It was all pack raising him.”