“Ashton,” Haven addressed, wearing a unicorn dress and headband. “I didn’t know you were going to pick us up.”
“I wanted to surprise you.”
“I love surprises.”
“How was your playdate?”
“It was super fun. Ashley has a crush on Haiden,” she teased.
He was sitting in the front seat. “What can I say? I got lots of girls wanting me.”
I began driving. “It’s a blessing and a curse to be irresistible like us.”
We fist bumped.
In the last six months, Haiden and I had truly turned a corner in our relationship. He was my buddy, following me around like a fucking shadow. We talked about everything, and Sage said I was his new hero. It wasn’t that hard of a role to fill. They both made it so easy. Sage often got jealous because they wanted to be with me more than they did her.
I was like a new shiny toy, and sometimes the twins fought for my attention.
I had been crashing at Sage’s house a lot. They stayed at my house as well. I’d turned one of the guest bedrooms into their room. Adding bunk beds and a bunch of their toys so they would always feel at home. At first, I’d sleep on the couch until the kids fell asleep, and then I’d sneak into Sage’s room or mine if we were at my place.
Until one morning, Sage had forgot to set her alarm, and we woke up to two little humans staring at us. Thank fuck we weren’t naked; she was just sleeping in my arms.
Haven asked if I was sick since I was sleeping in the same bed with Sage because it was what she did when they got sick. Sage didn’t lie. She explained to them that we were in a serious relationship and sometimes adults sleep in the same bed.
In my head, I was thinking we wouldn’t have to worry about me sneaking in or out anymore. I didn’t think we would get two more bed companions. We’d fall asleep together watching movies and eating popcorn. Sometimes Haven would sneak in the middle of the night, saying there were monsters under her bed. She’d plop right in between us, and I’d wake up with a swift kick to the face.
How the fuck did kids sleep like contortionists?
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous to ask them about marrying their mom, but the time had come, and I needed to grow some balls.
I made them a snack, and while they were eating at the kitchen island, I pulled the black ring box out of my pocket.
Setting it down in front of them, Haven narrowed her eyes at it.
“Did you get us a gift?”
“No… That’s for your mom.”
Haven wiped her mouth with the back of her hand and reached for it, opening the velvet box.
A three-carat princess cut diamond ring with a platinum band sparkled against the afternoon sun.
“Oh my goodness! It’s beautiful.”
“Ashton,” Haiden spoke, bringing my attention to him. “Is that a gift for my mom’s birthday tomorrow?”
“Something like that.”
“Oh ... Mama is going to love it. It’s so sparkly. Can I try it on please?”
“Sure, why not. Want to see what finger I want her to put it on?”
She eagerly nodded, still not picking up on what I was trying to convey. Sliding the diamond down her ring finger, I smiled when she cocked her adorable little head.
“But, Ashton, I thought this finger is for when you get married? That’s what mama says.”
I grinned, and she smiled wide.
“Haiden! Ashton wants to marry Mama! He wants to marry us! That means we will be a family forever, ever, and ever!”
I chuckled, “She still has to say yes.”
“Can I be the flower girl? I want my dress to be bright pink!”
“A bright pink dress for the flower girl it is.”
Haiden still hadn’t said a word, and I was beginning to worry. His face didn’t hold any expression either.
“What do you think about that, bud?”
“What does that mean? You wouldn’t go home?”
“My home would be where you are.”
“So you would live here?”
“We haven’t discussed that yet, but here or my house or we could buy another house.”
His eyes went from the ring to me. “Does that mean we’ll call you dad?”
I chose my words carefully. “You can call me whatever you want, Haiden.”
“Do you not want me to call you dad?”
Haven’s gaze shifted from him to me, then back to him again. “Yeah! I want to call you dad! Daddy O, Pops, Dowadidity daddy.”
I laughed, my nervousness at ease and subsiding. “What about you, Haiden?”
“If you marry my mom does that mean we’re your kids too?”
“You’d be my stepkids unless I adopted you.”
“Oh…” He thought about it for a second. “Do you want to adopt us and be our real dad?”
I smiled. “Man to man, I’d love to be your real dad.”