Pictures, Nurseries, and try not to burn the chicken.(private)
Meegan sat curled around Rachyl as the hammock moved in a gentle swing, powered by Rachyl's foot. Rachyl flipped through the seven photos in her hand over and over, while Meegan rubbed circles across her newly expanded belly. Rachyl's baby bump was more and more noticeable each day and Meegan loved the feel of it in her hands. The pictures were a bizarre sepia tint and showed mostly squashed faces. They were the stills from the 3D sonogram they had done earlier in the day.
Their two best friends were coming over for dinner and they planned to announce the amazing findings of that sonogram, as well as finalize some things for Nyra's painting in the nursery now that they knew the most important detail. That brought the dinner menu to her mind, on her counter sat enough salad makings to feed an army battalion, large nearly perfect portabella mushrooms, ready to go into a marinade identical to the one the four breasts of well trimmed free range organic chicken were currently soaking in. Winter squashes sat cut and seeded and covered in plastic until it was time to put them on the grill. All in all it would be a lovely dinner. Plus Meegan had a stash of Jersey cranberries hidden in the crisper drawer for Rachyl's dessert.
Grinning to herself she placed a soft kiss on her lover's cheek, and settled her head to look at the faces of their babies.
"Do you know what time it is?"
The caresses of her lover on her belly was almost driving her to sensual distraction but for the fresh mental knowledge of the pictures she kept flipping through to stare and absorb. Meegan asked the time; Rachyl looked over the blonde's head towards the shadow of the sun behind the house. "My guess would be nearly five. We've been out here since lunch. No wonder I think I have to pee. Did you tell them not to bring anything? You know Connie wouldn't listen, even if you did."
"Do you want the raspberry sorbet or the lemon tarts for dessert?"
She called out, knowing that Rachyl would hear her...where ever she was.
"Do you want the raspberry sorbet or tarts?" She heard Meegan's yell through the house. "Tarts!" She giggled as she pulled her pants up, closed the lid and flushed. Chanting to herself, "Tart, tart tart!" which she was enjoying entirely too much she entered the kitchen with a sudden craving for something unfruity. Reaching to the intercom by the pantry she toggled the buttom for the master bedroom. "Sweetie, did we get my beef jerky shipment yet? I'm craving something chewy and unfruity."
Rachyl's cravings had been so erratic over the past month (including craving pot roast for Christmas dinner as opposed to the more traditional turkey, beef jerky of random flavors, fruit rollups, pomegranate juice, pumpkin seeds and even dry white toast) that Meegan ran herself nearly ragged attempting to fill them all. Alright, not really ragged, but it was very sweet how attentive she was being.
She let the button go and moved back to the mirror. The brush had made a halo of her hair. She'd had it cut a full six inches at the spa and it had already regained an inch of that. She had absolutely hated the shorter length for about a week, and then it became more convient to style and care for. She as going tomorrow to have the inch re-removed. She tamed the mass with a inch and half bamboo head band, and went into the bedroom she was going to be doing the grilling out on the deck, and so she decided the white with black polka dot silk shirt she was wearing wouldn't survive the night. Which meant she had to change from the black linen pants as well. She quickly removed her clothes and pulled out a pair of black pants and a black fitted Talking Heads t-shirt.
She pulled on her top and had the pants on and was doing up the zipper when the door bell rang.
Gnawing on a butterknife-length of the brownish-orange meat, Rachyl returned the boxcutter to its home. She grinned at the label stuck on the top edge of the inside of the drawer: "Various tools." She'd gone on a labelling binge after she couldn't find some of their takeout menus and labelled most of the drawers in the kitchen, shelves in the pantry, and cubby-holes in the library.
She climbed the stairs to their bedroom and paused for a moment in the hall, peering into the room that would become their childrens'. Various boxes sat in one corner: playpen, stroller, clothes, diapers, all covered with a heavy plastic sheet to protect them from paint and dust. Stepping across into the master bedroom hallway she swallowed the remainder of her treat and sealed the bag, satisfied - for the moment - with the one morsel. Rounding the corner, she watched as Meegan pulled on her top. "I'm not going to get changed," she stated almost defiantly, completely comfortable in the pale blue button-down long sleeved shirt and loose swishy-pants she was wearing. "But you can get the door, I gotta pee again."
"Connie! Nyra!" A hug was given with each name and she pulled the door open all the way. "Come in! Come in! Rachyl will be right down, the babies mashed her bladder again."
She gave a wink to the two women and shut the door behind them. She helped them off with their coats and hung them on the pegs by the door.
Despite assurances she carried a canvas bag with goodies inside. A casserole dish contained a still warm side dish that contained Christmas Limas, chestnuts and shredded brussel sprouts. It was such a hearty dish with a dash of sweetness and an almost potato-y texture from the beans. Plus it was so pretty because of the red swirl colors. Atop that was a tupperware container with a batch of cupcakes. They were Boston vs. Brooklyn Cream Pie Cupcakes from her latest cookbook, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. Yesterday she and Connie had split one upon completion of making them and they were perfect, fluffy golden cake hiding a creamy filling and topped with a thick chocolate ganache. Nyra hoped Meegan and Rachyl like them.
The door opened to reveal Meegan and the hug was returned warmly. Extracting herself from her coat was a slight juggling trick between her backpack and the bag she got snarled up twice but managed to hand over the blasted thing soon enough. Smiling and laughing at their friend as they exchanged pleasantries.
"Thank you so much for having us! How is Rachyl doing besides the need to tinkle constantly?"
She'd worn her cashmere coat again. It had caused no end of embarassment when Nyra had informed her oh-so-sweetly that cashmere was made out of goat fur... But that it was 'okay because they weren't killed for it.' It still struck Connie as ironic in a way, in the differences between them and their view on 'lower life forms.' Among other things. She was glad she'd chosen something somewhat similar to Nyra; they'd dressed seperately for a change and the giggles created when Connie walked out wearing her gentle pink belted tunic with a white babydoll underneath and blue jeans were infectious and fun.
An itch on the back of her calf just wouldn't go away, even with the mental scratching of the telekinetic push, so Connie raised one of her sneakered feet to scratch with the laces just as Meegan opened the door. Nearly falling over as she tried to step forward, she stepped inside and waited as Meegan took Nyra's coat, then handed over her own. Hugs exchanged, admonishing glances given and shrugged off when the guestly gifts were given, Connie merely stayed silent as Nyra inquired after Rachyl's health. "I bet she's still pregnant," she quipped.
Down the stairs she descended slowly; suddenly an awake and alert Dill arrived from downstairs to meet her midway, turned around and escorted her down the stairs. "They're my daughters too, and I'm going to protect them," he seemed to say sometimes. "Still, yes, for another four months." she responded to Connie's quip with a grin.
"Hello Connie, Nyra," she said, giving air kisses to both while standing on her tippytoes. "I see you listened about as well as our d... arling children will, once they get older." Oops. Almost.
"Come on into the kitchen I have wine to air and mushrooms to marinate."
She smiled and led the way to the kitchen. "Nyra, what kind of wine goes with grilled portabellas?"
Following Meegan along to the kitchen she explained what was in each container and what each needed. She could smell the marinade and thought the grilled mushrooms sounded fabulous.
"I am so not the one to ask, though maybe Connie has an idea on that. The bottom container is in need of a quick visit to the oven, just to reheat it in case it cooled any. The top one is cupcakes and they can sit out for about an hour or stay in the fridge until we are ready to gobble them up."
Just being in the Meegan and Rachyl's home always made Nyra feel good. It was a warm place full of love and hope for the future. She leaned against the counter and smiled.
"Anything I can do to help?"
She glanced at Nyra as if to say, 'Are you actually going to drink?' but then squinted for a moment. Perhaps Meegan had meant 'what if Connie and I wanted wine, what should we have?' She wasn't too sure, but decided her question was valid anyway.
She beamed and pulled a blush from the wine cooler. "Well since red doesn't go with chicken and it sounds like white won't go with the mushrooms, we'll go with a blush."
She set it on the counter and pulled the corkscrew out of the drawer and set it next to it. That wine didn't need to breath for as long as the reds did. She moved to the opposite counter and poured the marinade over the mushrooms and pulled the chicken out of the fridge.
"Give me just a second to go light the grill and I'll be right back."
She went to the back door and smiled at her friends. "I'm so glad you guys could come."
She gave Rachyl the get them drinks look and stepped out into the chill. She squeaked, and reopened the door. "Shoes!" Meegan ran to the front hall, tucked her feet into clogs and then ran back down to the kitchen and out the back door.
Rachyl was in too good a mood to take affront at the sideways glance, the so-shocking directive Meegan silently gave her, and simply smiled. Then she giggled at Meegan's squeak and subsequent dash for podiatric warmth. "I offered to cook," she explained as she walked to the back door to watch Meegan light the grill, "but then, she wraps me up so tightly in blankets and jackets I'd look like Randy, that poor little kid from Christmas Story."
Sighing with affection for her lover and life-partner, Rachyl turned to the two women with a big smile and a clap of her hands. "Anyway, what do you ladies want? Tea? Water? Wine? Breast milk? Okay I'm kidding about that last one but I -really- want that pomegranate juice!" Rachyl exclaimed as she examined the silver-wrapped bottle Connie had brought.
Giving the accountant a sideways hug, she made kissy motions up into the air at the taller woman. "So what did you two end up doing for your New Year's? I really wish you could have come to the corporate party, maybe your presence might have breathed a little life into it for me."
Rachyl was being silly but that was fun as well, it was almost like they were just carefree youths enjoying an adult evening that was a new experience. The reference of being bundled up was lost on Nyra but she smiled anyways, its not like she ever got movie references, having so rarely watched TV.
"I would love water and juice myself. Pomegranate is my favorite, when mixed with green tea its so good. I found a small bottle of that at the grocery store last week, I don't think it made it home."
The mention of New Years had her smiling that secret smile. She and Connie had rung in January quite privately, enjoying a fabulous meal and intimate company. Going to a party would have been a very poor second to the lovely night they had shared.
"Sorry the party wasn't grand, Rachyl. We just stayed home and had a lovely quiet evening."
Connie caught the little smile Nyra smiled and immediately tried to push down the flare of arousal she felt in her, remembering their cavorting together for New Year's. Hoping Rachyl wouldn't detect the heat of her skin, she changed the subject. "Yes, so, when do you find out the sex? I mean, genders. Or will that be an announcement for the dinner table? I told Nyra it would be one boy one girl, but she's the romantic one saying it will be two girls. We never did decide on a 'bet payment', though, considering it really wasn't a bet."
She skirted around everyone and began to get the squash ready to go out on the grill in their little foil packets. She set those aside and went to chop veggies for the salad.
She did laugh at Connie's proclamation of their discussion of the gender of their twins. Trying to reach for Meegan's bottom as she leaned into the fridge Rachyl decided she'd rather sit instead of stand. She pulled one of the stools out of the island and clambered upon it. "It's funny, for the last year I'd heard of people making bets and little wagers over various other people's pregnancies - even made a few bucks off one that delivered the day before my birthday - but so far as I've heard, no one has been making such things for us. That is, not that anyone has been obvious or explicit about... Martha in HR would have told us, or at least asked us if we wanted to get in on it. What about you, Meegan? Hear anyone betting on our babies?"
"Well, I claim the healthy and happy block and am going to be expecting to win should there actually be a wager."
Really that was all that mattered in life, to be healthy and happy. Heck you could even be unhealthy so long as you were happy it was all good. Smiling at the ladies she simply enjoyed listening to the byplay going on around her. Meegan was chopping salad fixings from the looks of it. Nyra could even smell the faint hint of woodsmoke from the grill which made everything seem just perfect.
The pepper was quickly made into strips and dumped in a bowl to be replaced by a cucumber. "Rach, There are some new salad dressings on the third shelf of the fridge would you get them out so that Nyra can read the labels. I got a couple of organic ones that called out to me, plus the raspberry poppyseed you wanted."
cucumber circles were replaced by tear-drop cherry tomatoes in three different colors, and quickly halved and placed in their own bowl.