Chapter Sixty Four

Start from the beginning

I faltered in my step when I reached the end of the hallway.
My house was busier than I'd thought it was this morning!
Nobody had noticed me yet, so I took the chance to observe the scene.
Codie was sitting on the lounge room floor, trying to get Knox to crawl towards him - the Baby just laid on the floor on his stomach in a star fish position, staring at his Father.
Brodie and Dale we're sitting in their high chair's, Noah feeding one of them some form of breakfast goop and Jax feeding the other.
Mum cradled Luka and did the 'Mum Dance', swaying from side to aide and patting my eldest Baby's bum.
"Good Morning everyone!"
I greeted them all, making my way forward.
Most head's turned my way.
Luka wriggled in Mum's arms, trying to get down.
She ceased the 'soothing dance' and leaned down to set him onto the floor.
Luka's exclamation of 'Mummy' was distorted because his dummy was in his mouth and he was still trying to talk.
He threw his arms into the air and ran towards me.
"Hi my Baby!"
I greeted him, bending down to scoop him up for a cuddle.
"What's Daddy gonna say when he see's that dummy?"
I whispered to my eldest Baby.
Eyes widening comically, Luka yanked the dark blue dummy out of his mouth and threw it.
Laughter erupted from everybody in my house.
And then a Baby cry, instantly echoed by another, effortlessly overlapped the laughter.
Luka gasped, twisting in my arms to look for his Brother's.
"You gonna feed that poor Kid, Jax?"
Mum asked, tone teasing.
"Oh yeah!"
Seeming to remember the task he'd been doing, Jax snatched up a small, plastic spoon and dipped it into the bowl.
"Here ya go, Dale."
Noah crooned, sliding the end of a spoon into the other Baby's awaiting mouth.
Luka shouted, bouncing on my hip and managing to give me a surprise kick in the belly.
Wincing, I gripped the Toddler's ankle to still his leg.
Luka's shout was now undeniably impatient.
"Everything okay, Blayze?"
Mum asked, a slight frown marring her brow.
I turned around to find Blayze standing at the end of the hallway, his phone in one hand, his gaze glued to the screen and his expression not the least bit impressed.
Uh oh...
I prompted.
Luka chimed in, his blue eyes sparkling.
"Blayze what's up?"
Jax asked, half twisting around in his chair.
Finally my Husband looked up from his phone, his brow in a slight frown and his lips pressed into a tight line.
"Daddy mad..."
Luka whispered.
Ordinarily, I'd have laughed.
But clearly something was wrong.
"What's up?"
I asked, adjusting Luka's weight on my hip.
Jeez this Kid's getting heavy!
Blayze turned his gaze to me and a flicker of something like guilt flashed in his eyes before he turned his gaze to scan our house.
"There's wind and rain in the South."
He explained, sliding his phone into the right back pocket of his jeans.
"The bureau has forecasted the wind strength as gale force and the rain as heavy by tomorrow. There's no Ferries going to Kangaroo Island."
It felt like a bucket of ice cold water had just been dumped over my head.
Noah whispered.
"Holy shit."
Codie muttered.
The words's were finally sinking in...
Our Honeymoon was cancelled!
Blayze clenched his jaw, then shook his head.
"All refund's have been issued."
Cold and bitter disappointment washed right through me.
Our Honeymoon was off!


The Dog's bounded around the lawn that sprawled out in front of the porch steps, bordered by a horseshoe shaped stand of large Gum Tree's.
Excitement was evident on each Dog, the endless wagging of tails, sparkling eyes and wide Dpggy grin's.
Zuke had started the game once Luka had worked out how to run.
How, I wasn't even sure.
But my Kid and the pack of Dog's barrelled around the yard in a game of joy filled chase.
If Zuke started the game, he would bound up to Luka, touch the Toddler with a gentle tap of a paw, then he'd bounce off a few paces and once Luka gave chase, he'd run a few more steps.
If Luka started it, he'd gently touch the Dog, then take off running.
Zuke would chase, give him a paw tap and bounce off just out of the Toddler's reach.
How a Dog and a Boy figured out how to play tag was a mystery.
But they'd figured it out and Azlan had been the next to join in.
Then Bandit.
Then Zeus.
Zera was a little more choosy about if she'd participate or not.
Bandit, being about twice the height of any of the other Dog's, occasionally accidentally managed to knock Luka over.
Sometimes my Boy got a bit surprised and therefore upset about it and on those times, I watched poor Bandit nearly melt down in guilt.
Most of the time Luka just laughed and got himself back onto his feet.
"So... any plan's?"
Jax's question drew my attention off the grass.
I twisted to look towards the shiny glass windows of the front of the house and thinking of Bailey immediately sent an image of her crestfallen expression into my mind.
Of course when I'd read the e-mail I'd felt disappointed — still did now, an hour later.
But what was worse than shouldering my own dampened feelings was seeing how much it hurt Bailey.
I hated seeing her upset.
Always had.
If Jax thought I already had a Plan B, then my Cousin had another think coming.
Not only had everything been planned for Kangaroo Island, but we'd both wanted to go there.
Neither of us have ever been there, so to make it our honeymoon destination seemed perfect.
"Not a fucken clue."
I answered, turning my gaze back to watch my Son and the Dog's, make sure none of them got too carried away.
"But I'm gonna have to come up with something."
But how the fuck was I meant to come up with a replacement idea and fit it into the same week timeframe we had?
I didn't want to be the guy who didn't give his Bride her honeymoon.
I wouldn't do that to Bailey.
Codie scratched the back of his head, a thoughtful frown marring his brow.
The Dog's all became alert, every single one's attention snapped away from the game of chase and focused towards what was sort of, but not technically our driveway.
Zeus' ear's perked in the way that in the Am Staff breed, could mean generally two things, either they were excited, or they were ready to rock 'n roll.
Azlan stood beside Zeus, his body poised with the intuitive alertness of the impressive Working Dog that he was, his intent stare focused on what us Human's couldn't register yet.
Bandit and Zera perked up too, standing tall and looking ready for action, while still seeming to look curious.
Zuke glanced from the track, back to Luka who was looking between the watchful Dog's and the tree's, seeming confused and Bailey's Dog puffed out his chest, stood with his front legs slightly wide, shoulder's tense, lowered his head, staring towards the track and he took a few steps sideways to place himself protectively in front of Luka.
Although I knew that at the very least our three Dog's would go into bat, I listened to Zuke's warning and jogged down the porch steps, quickly striding across the grass to get to Luka.
My ear's registered the rumble of an engine and the crunch of tyres.
Zeus barked and Azlan followed suit.
Bandit threw his head back and let loose with a volley of bark's.
Luka turned around, gaze searching and started to run.
"Shut up Bandit."
Codie told his Dog.
"I gotcha mate."
Leaning down, I scooped my Kid up off the ground.
Eyes wide with an uncertainty that pierced my heart, my eldest Son twisted in my arms to point towards the track, then he spun back around and buried his face into the crook of my neck and shoulder.
This moment was a pinch of reality that reminded me that although our eldest Son seemed to be growing right before our very eyes, he was still young, impressionable and needed our protection.
The morning sun glinted off a windshield through the stand of tree's and Azlan gave a gruff woof, while Zeus growled.
"You gonna call off the bodyguard's, or scare the crap outta my band?"
Jax's teasing voice asked.
I whistled for the Dog's as the crunch of tyres and purr of the engine grew louder.
Azlan, Zeus and Zuke all flicked a glance at me and, knowing all three of them so well, I jerked my head towards the house.
I ordered.
Azlan cast a quick glance at the approaching vehicle, but in his typical form respected my command and turned to jog to the porch steps, then pop up onto the decking.
Zeus looked at me, then towards the approaching vehicle and remained in place, staring.
Zuke looked up at Luka and I, then turned his focus back to the track and laid down.
For fuck sake!
I warned.
My Dog gave me a scathing look which clearly said if he could, he'd be giving me the middle finger and he turned and walked slowly towards the house.
"Now, Zuke!"
I told the only remaining Dog.
Luka peeled himself off me and turned to look at Zuke.
"Isside Zook!"
He commanded, pointing towards the house with his right hand.
Bailey's Dog looked from me, to his little mate, shot a glance towards the now idling car and then turned to follow the other's.
"You want them literally inside, or...?"
Jax asked, standing at the top of the steps.
I shook my head.
"They're fine."
Jax cracked a smile and jogged down the steps to join Luka and I on the grass.
The car door's opened, then thudded closed out of sync and Luka twisted around in my arms to observe the action.
Jax greeted his band as they made their way over.
Luka shot my Cousin a questioning glance.

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