Ana shrugged, as if it wasn't a big deal. "Two boys and two girls. Then Micah gets a baby brother and I get a baby sister," she said, as though it was perfectly logical.
Rhys shot a questioning look over at Nat without saying a word.
Nat shrugged, smiling back at Rhys. She didn't mind if there was another pregnancy in her future, but she would hope to stop at four. "Of course, solnyshka, a baby brother is for both of you," she pointed out to Ana. "And so would a baby sister be."
"Da, Mama, but then I can share my room with my sister," Ana pointed out, clearly knowing the difference between boys and girls by now. While she was close to Amy and Morgan and Aly, it wasn't quite the same thing as having a little sister of her own. "And I can teach her things. And we can share secrets."
"Ah, I see." Nat's smile was just a little pained, remembering her own childhood with a twin sister who had shared everything with her right up to the point where she'd been forced to set in motion the events that had resulted in Natasha going to prison. She swallowed down that sense of bitterness, her smile relaxing for Ana's benefit. "That does make a little more sense now."
Of course, Ana knew nothing about that, nor was there any reason to suspect any of their children would turn out evil. Rhys knew about that and suspected from the look on Nat's face that she was remembering it. As for himself, his sister had been taken from him at birth, and he'd only been reunited with her a few years ago. He put down the potatoes, wiped his hands on a towel, and moved over between his two "favorite girls", one arm around each of them.
"We'll see what the future brings, okay? In the meantime, we should be grateful for what we have."
"Oh, I am very grateful for what I have," Nat assured him in a teasing tone. "I have two bouncing boys, a glorious girl, and some kind of beach ball growing inside me."
Ana giggled. "Papa isn't a boy. He's a man, and he doesn't bounce," she pointed out.
"Oh, really?" Rhys replied with a challenging grin. "Have you ever seen me on a trampoline?"
"Well, there goes that surprise," Nat muttered laughingly. The children were going to be delighted with the trampoline she had halfway bribed Gina and Joey into setting up in their Brooklyn garden for them while they were away.
"What?" Rhys said, trying to look innocent. "I didn't say anything!" he said, just a little too defensively.
Ana furrowed her little brows, as she looked between her parents. She might be a child, but she wasn't stupid. "You got us a ... What is a tramp'lean?" she asked, unfamiliar with the word.
Laughing, Nat leaned over and kissed the little girl's furrowed brow. "You will see when we get home," she said. "That way, it will stay a surprise."
"Okay, Mama!" the little girl replied, agreeably enough. Whatever the surprise was, she trusted her parents with it. "Can I play outside with Sasha and Cody?" she asked. Now that the meringue was finished, she was getting bored with cooking.
"Of course, solnyshka. Thank you for doing the meringue for me, it looks wonderful!" It didn't, and it needed more of a beating, but Nat was determined to make sure their children felt as though their contribution was always appreciated.
"You're welcome!" Ana replied, as Rhys picked her up and set her down on the floor. She paused a moment to hug her parents both around the legs before skipping out the door to play with the dogs.
"Okay, spill," Rhys said, turning back to Nat, once their daughter was out of earshot.
"What?" Nat blinked, confused by Rhys' unexpected demand for information. She picked up the bowl Ana had been using, automatically beating the contents until they started to thicken up properly.
"What was that all about? I had no idea Ana wants a little sister," he said, assuming their daughter had said something to her mother when he wasn't there.
"Neither did I," his wife admitted with a low laugh. "She asked me if next time we could have a little girl, and she wasn't letting me answer vaguely, so I suggested we ask the Lady if there are any more babies in the future for us."
"Next time?" Rhys echoed, blinking in surprise. "I didn't know there was gonna be a next time," he admitted, which seemed to be Nat's feeling, as well. If there was, the Lady hadn't mentioned it, but maybe she couldn't see everything.
"It is an intriguing thought, is it not?" She set the bowl down, turning to face him. "I would not mind having four little ones, Rhys. But four is enough, I think."
Rhys seemed lost in his thoughts for a moment, imagining what life might be like with four children, rather than three. He smiled as he blinked out of his thoughts and reached over to wipe a bit of meringue from her cheek, only to lick it off his finger. "You mean you don't want a half dozen?" he teased.
"With the dogs, that makes half a dozen." she pointed out, prodding his stomach affectionately. Her smile faded for a moment. "She was worried that we might not have enough love for her when the new baby is born, too."
"Oh, well, that's just silly," Rhys said, batting at her hand as she prodded his stomach, like he was the Pillsbury doughboy. He furrowed his brows at her, another question nagging at him. "But do you want another? I mean, you haven't even finished with this one yet!"
"We will see," she said practically. "Elaine might tell us to expect another, or she might not. Ana will likely forget that she wants a little sister at some point in the next two years, anyway."
"Well, I'm not getting any younger," he pointed out, though he'd heard that forty was the new thirty, or something like that. He frowned further. "I found a gray the other day," he complained.
Nat raised a brow. "Dusha moya, I have been finding grays in my hair since I was 24," she told him with a smile. "It is nothing to worry yourself about."
"There you go calling me a douche again," he said, a teasing smirk on his face. He wrapped his arms around her from behind, his hands settling against her bump, his lips brushing a kiss against her neck. "Gray or not, you're the prettiest girl I ever met," he flattered her. "Do you want me to talk to her?" he asked, coming back around to the subject of their daughter.