"Wait until you see her. She's adorable. So tiny and pink and cute," Delilah said, practically oozing excitement. "Just like you were when you were little," she added, tapping a finger against her young son's nose.
Leo, at the grand old age of eighteen months, wrinkled his nose at the tap his mother gave him, laughing his familiar little giggle. "Mamamama babbby?"
"A little girl baby," she told her son, turning her smile on her husband. "Next time, we are having a girl," she declared as if they had a choice about it.
"There's going to be a next time?" Kit asked teasingly, hoisting Leo higher on his hip as they passed across the little gap between their house and the Hadleys'. "I still think we should have some kind of communal sitting room built right here so we don't have to go outside in the winter to say hello."
"Of course, there's going to be a next time!" Delilah insisted. "As soon as you teach the little man how to use the potty." She hooked an arm through his, even as he balanced the toddler against his hip. "Perhaps we should build a covered walkway between our house and theirs," she suggested.
"Some kind of verandah, maybe," he mused thoughtfully. "I bet I could find someone who could make it convertible for summer and winter." His eyes went distant, trying to imagine what that might look like, even as Delilah drew him up onto the porch to the door.
"I bet you could," she said, confident her husband could do anything he put his mind to. "We will have to set some ground rules though. We do not want to intrude on each other's privacy," she pointed out, as she rapped her knuckles on the door to announce their arrival.
"Well, obviously," he agreed. "Like any room in any house, if the door's closed, knock first. Like this." He took Leo's little fist in his and knocked on the door as well, making the little boy cackle happily.
"I just did that!" she pointed out, giggling, unable to get angry at either of her men, the big one or the little one. They were both just too cute.
"Coming!" a voice called from inside the house.
"Sounds like Uncle Dorian is coming to tickle you!" she said, wiggling her fingers in Leo's sides.
The toddler crowed delightedly at his mother's tickles, squirming in Kit's arms as his father laughed. "If you're not careful, I am going to drop him on your head."
Delilah gasped in feigned shock. "You would never!" she said, giving Kit a playful whack on the arm. "Dorian! If you do not open this door soon, I am going to ... Oh!" She trailed off, one hand raised as if she was about to knock again, when the door opened in front of them.
"Oh, what a surprise! It's Lilah ... again," Dorian teased, looking a little tired, but happy.
"She's very worried about your privacy," Kit informed his friend over the top of Delilah's head, flashing Dorian a grin. He remembered only too well what that weariness felt like.
"I'm sure she is," Dorian remarked with a hint of sarcasm that was completely lost on Delilah.
"Can I help it if Kit and Leo want to see the little princess?" she said, pushing her way past Dorian into the house.
"Because this visit is all about us," Kit commented, letting Dorian step back before he followed his wife inside. He grinned at his friend. "How are you enjoying being wrapped around the finger of something smaller than your cat?"
"Are you talking about Delilah or the 'little princess'?" Dorian countered with a grin. He and Kit had always enjoyed teasing her, and that hadn't changed when she'd gotten married.
Delilah didn't seem to mind though, ignoring the men as she made a beeline for Seren and the baby in the living room. "There she is! How is my little angel?"
The redhead looked up from where she was sitting by the window, the little bundle wrapped in a patchwork blanket cuddled close in her arms. "Your little angel, huh?" Seren asked with a tired grin. "And here I thought you had one already."
"Yes, of course! Since I can't be an aunt, I am going to be her godmother, whether you say so or not," Delilah insisted with a cheeky grin.
"We haven't even asked you yet!" Dorian said, laughing as he led Kit and Leo into the room.
"We all knew it was a foregone conclusion," Kit pointed out, winking over at Seren. He wouldn't crowd the new mom, prepared to keep Dorian company in another room if necessary so there weren't too many people cooing over the new baby. "What's her name, by the way?" he added, glancing at Dorian. "Lilah hasn't said."
Dorian didn't seem to mind. Kit and Delilah were their best friends, after all, and he knew they'd want to get a good look at the baby. In Delilah's case, several good looks. "We are thinking about calling her Asha Maris," he replied, hoping no one's feelings were hurt by that.
"Asha for your brother?" Kit asked, impressed by the choice of name to reflect that connection. Left to him, the poor girl might have ended up being called Nevilla.
"That's adorable," Delilah remarked. "And Maris for Marissa, I assume. You're going to have to have another so you can name one after Emrys," she added with a cheeky grin, as she reached to rescue her husband from Leo - or vice versa. "Would you like to see the baby, baby?"
"Emrys and Demi will have to wait their turn," Seren said with a tired smile, shifting a little to let baby Asha's face be seen more easily as Leo went happily into his mother's arms.