To Fear the Dawn: Chapter 4
“Guys,” Vidcund said to his brothers, leading Charity out to the kitchen. “This is our new nanny, Charity Davenport.” Charity, who was still holding little Orion, smiled shyly and cradled the toddler closer.
“I’ll say she is,” Lazlo said merrily, winking at Charity with such a mischievous expression on his face that she had to laugh. She set Orion down on the floor and shook Lazlo’s hand.
“Lazlo Curious,” he said. “Welcome to the family. Wait...what the hell is this?” he said with mock indignation, looking down at their clasped hands. “We’re not formal here...C’mere, you...” and he pulled her into a hug.
“Don’t mind him,” Pascal said, coming up behind them. “He’s always like that. I’m Pascal...the oldest. I try to keep these two in line, but you know...” he shrugged, smiling, and hugged Charity also. “Glad you’re with us. Oh, by the way...Orion is my son, and Xander and Xena belong to Vidcund. You probably can tell they’re...unusual...”
“Oh?” Charity said. “Well, if you mean the fact that they’re the most adorable children I’ve ever seen, then yes...they are very unusual in that way.”
Pascal laughed. “I take it the fact that they’re half alien doesn’t bother you.”
“Not in the least.”
“Perfect. When do you want to get started?”
“How about right now?” Charity answered, scooping Orion up and carrying him off for a bath before bed.
“She’s gorgeous.” Lazlo whispered to Pascal, watching Charity disappear into the bathroom with the toddler.
Pascal grinned. “So I take it you wouldn’t mind looking at that every day, eh? Mind you, I’m going to appreciate having her around myself.”
“Nothing wrong with a little eye candy getting the job done, know what I mean?” Lazlo joked. “Good call, Vid.” He slapped Vidcund on the back and sent him reeling.
“Yes, excellent decision,” Pascal said, stretching and heading toward his room. “But we’re definitely going to have to give her some time off, so she can get to know me...I mean...us..." he cleared his throat meaningfully, "...better.”
Lazlo grinned, shaking his head at that, then happened to glance at Vidcund. His middle brother had the most peculiar expression on his face.
“What’s up, Vid?” he asked him.
“Nothing.” Vidcund answered.
“You having second thoughts about Charity?”
“Of course not. I hired her, didn’t I?” There was just enough of an edge in his voice to make Lazlo look at him more closely.
“Do I sense that you have the hots for her?”
Vidcund looked away and didn’t say anything.
“You do, don’t you?” Lazlo laughed. “Well, it’s better than Vicki at least.”
Vidcund blushed for the second time in one night and went to his room to relax without answering. He couldn’t argue the fact, because it was true.
He sighed as he undressed and lay on his bed, staring up at the ceiling. Life wasn’t fair. He knew he didn’t stand a chance with Charity anyway. Not with his brothers in the house.
“Mr. Curious?” a soft voice came from the doorway.
Vidcund jumped and turned to see Charity silhouetted in the open doorframe. Damn, I should have remembered to close the door, he thought. Having a female in the house was going to take some getting used to.
“I’m sorry. I hope I’m not disturbing you,” she said timidly.
“It’s Vidcund. And no, of course you’re not disturbing me.” he said, standing up, hoping his recent thoughts didn’t show on his face...among other places.
“I just wanted to ask if you had any special routines that you do with the twins for bedtime? Anything I should know about?”
“Routines?” Vidcund asked blankly.
Charity giggled. “I take that as a no. Well, you know it’s never too soon to start. It helps them learn to sleep through the night, you know...”
“Oh. No, I didn’t.”
“You know,” Charity said, coming further into the room, “we could work on something for them together. It might help them transition to having a new person in the house more easily if we were both there at first.”
Vidcund looked at her and he could have sworn he heard a peal of thunder when their eyes met.
“I’d like that,” he said breathlessly, taking a step closer.
Pascal’s voice suddenly came from the hall. “Charity? Where...? Oh, there you are. I was wanting to show you to your room, if you’d like.”
Damn it, Pascal! Vidcund thought angrily, giving his brother a disparaging look. Pascal didn’t seem to notice.
“Oh...um. Yes, of course,” Charity said awkwardly, looking back at Vidcund as she left the room.
Vidcund lay back down on his bed as Charity walked with Pascal toward the room she would use.
Not fair, he thought. Not fair at all...
To Be Continued...