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Part 2

The second day of your Disney family vacation is spent at Hollywood Studios seeing show after show, and riding ride after ride. You will forever remember the look on Ryanne’s face when she stepped into the Beauty and the Beast show wearing Belle’s famous yellow ball gown. Or Brad’s squeal of delight at the Muppet show.

Somehow Hollywood Studios seems less hectic than the Magic Kingdom had been. It’s less running around and more about the five of you spending time together as a family. You’re infinitely grateful that both your guys had taken your warning to heart. There was nothing noteworthy about any of their clothing. They were wearing their hats, and keeping a low profile. Every once in a while the group of you would get a quick double take, and a few brave souls ventured over for an autograph but it was all manageable.

You collectively decide to save the rides for later in the afternoon, glad for your guide. It gives you time to walk and enjoy yourselves, to take pictures and eat ice cream.

Around 1pm the group of you head back to the hotel for lunch. Ryan orders a pizza, while you get Brad into the bathtub. He is covered in melted chocolate ice cream. By the time you’ve got him scrubbed down he’s grumpy and hungry. You lift him out of the tub and wrap him in a fluffy towel.

“Want cheese pizza or pepperoni?” you ask him, drying his curly hair with a smaller towel. He sticks his thumb in his mouth and pouts. He looks so much like Ryan in that moment that your chest tightens in response. He sighs like the little drama prince he is, and lets himself go limp against your chest, head on your shoulder.

“’peroni,” he mumbles, one hand going into your lose hair. “An jooce,” he says slowly.

“I’m sure Daddy made sure there would be juice. You want to go check? I bet he’d let you eat in his lap again. Since you were so good this morning.” He straightens up a little, eyes widening with delight. You will never get over how much he loves Michael. Just like Ryanne loves Ryan best of all, Bradley loves Michael best. You sort of think it’s only fair.

“Cathy!” Ryan’s voice calls down the hall. “Food’s here!” That’s all it takes and Bradley is tearing across the bathroom and out the cracked open door. You let out a shocked laugh, watching his little naked butt slip out the door, bare feet slapping on hardwood.

“No running!” you call standing up. A small moment of dizziness has you reaching for the bathroom counter, but it passes quickly. You take a deep breath and feel absolutely fine. You lay Brad’s damp towel across the wet splashes on the floor to soak up the excess water, and then scoop up his clean underwear and shorts from the shelf over the toilet. You have a toddler to wrangle into clothes.

Lunch is loud and fun, and boisterous. Brad eats his slice of pizza and cup of apple juice from his favorite spot, in Michael’s lap, one big hand steadying his tiny body as he balances across Michael’s left thigh. Ryanne sits on the bench seat, next to you. Ryan has changed her out of her dress and back into her pajamas from the night before. Which you’re overwhelmingly grateful for as soon as the first glop of gooey cheese hits her lap.

“Sorry,” she says scooping it up with her fingers and holding it up. You laugh grabbing a napkin. You take it from her wiping the sauce clean of her leg and her fingers. “Are we going back to Hollywood later?” Ryanne asks, going back to her pizza. She sticks a piece of crust on your plate, and pulls a slice of pepperoni off her slice to stick in her mouth.

“Yes, we have a few more shows to do and there’s the rides still left to be ridden,” you explain, pulling her long hair back off her shoulders and out of her face. She nods.

“What about tomorrow?” she asks. It’s Ryan who answers.

“Tomorrow we get to go back to the Magic Kingdom,” he explains. She nods smiling widely around her pepperoni slice.

“Are you having fun, baby?” Michael asks, wiping at Brad’s face. You smile at your son, who is now reclined against his Daddy’s chest and sound asleep, his mouth hanging open, and rimmed with red sauce.

“Yes, Daddy. This is the bestest trip ever. Can we come back next year?” she asks, kicking her feet under the table. You meet Ryan’s eyes and grin.

“We’ll have to see, hon,” you tell her. “Next year you might want to go somewhere different. Maybe next year we can go to Disneyland instead,” you suggest. Her eyes get really wide then.

“Are there different rides there?” she asks excitedly.

“Of course there are!” Ryan says. “But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We still have a lot to see here in Florida. We can talk about next year later. Now the real question,” he pauses for dramatic affect. “Are you going to ride Tower of Terror with your Papi? I think I’ll need someone to hold my hand.” She lets out a laugh.

“Of course, Papi! I’ll always hold your hand!” she says, wiggling in her chair. “Bestest vacation ever!” she announces again.

Unfortunately the loud shout wakes up Brad who starts to cry.

“Crap,” Mike mutters, turning Bard around in his lap to hug him tightly. “It’s ok, little man,” he says, rubbing a hand against Brad’s bare back. “It’s ok, come lay down with Daddy,” Mike offers, wiping at the tears rolling down Brad’s face. He stands up, hiking Brad up higher, and heading off toward the bedroom. Ryanne turns toward you, her eyes filling with tears.

“I didn’t mean to wake him up, Mommy! I didn’t mean to make him cry!” she says with a hiccup. You slide closer, curling your arm around her.

“I know you didn’t. It’s ok. He’ll be fine. He was just startled,” you stroke a hand through her hair and let her sniffle against your shoulder. “Why don’t we let Daddy and Brad take a nap? He’ll feel better if he gets some sleep. Help me put the pizza away,” you say trying to distract her.

It’s an hour or two later that you head back to Hollywood Studios, Ryanne in her Sleeping Beauty dress, and camera in tow. There’s still so much left to see.

You loved HS, but you’re glad to head back to Magic Kingdom for Day three. That you start the day off by having breakfast with the Princesses is just an added bonus. You get a lot of great pictures of Ryanne in her Rapunzel dress posing with all the princesses, an ecstatic smile on her face. And one of Brad, blushing at the attention Snow White is giving him.

The family spends the day in Liberty Square, in Frontierland, on Main Street USA. You meet Mickey, go on a Riverboat ride, visit Haunted Mansion, and rock out at the Country Bear Jamboree.

By then you’re feeling a little Magic Kingdom’d out. And you head back to the hotel for a nap and some food.

By then Brad’s tired and a little whiney, so you stay at the hotel with him, while Ryan and Mike head off with Ryanne, dressed as a very pretty Mulan, to go hit a few of their favorite places for a second time without you and the baby slowing them down. You end up putting him in his swimsuit and going to lay by the pool with him stretched out next to you to get some sun. He falls asleep stretched across your lap.

Mike and Ryan are late getting back to the hotel, by the time they do, Ryanne is practically sleep walking, and you’re already curled up in bed with Brad reading a book. Ryanne takes one look at you curled up with her brother and runs off with renewed energy to get her PJs on. She’s back a minute later, her hair still piled up onto of her head and dragging her stuffed dolphin. She doesn’t even ask before crawling into bed on your other side. And you’re too comfortable and sleepy to argue with her. You fall asleep before Ryan and Mike can both climb in with you and the kids, the room still bright with lamp light.

Day four of your Florida vacation is the day of your actual anniversary. To shake things up a bit you take the kids the Animal Kingdom. It’s a full day of rides, and education, seeing the animals, and going on safari. Midway through the day, Ryan changes Ryanne out of her Pocahontas dress and into her Snow White gown. You eat lunch at the park, before going to see Finding Nemo the Musical, and leaving early. Ryan takes control of your rented car and heads for the beach. When you protest Michael directs your attention to the bag in the back of the car filled with towels, suits, and other beach necessities.

You laugh when you get there. They’ve rented a beach cabana. You change yourself and the kids into swim attire, and step outside to find a beach chair with a big umbrella, and a waiter standing there with a large tropical drink on a tray waiting in its shade.

You stretch out on the chair, tide creeping closer and closer to your feet while Ryan and Mike take turns with the kids, and sitting beside you in the second chair.

“Good anniversary so far?” Mike asks. You pull the sunglasses off your face as the sun sets behind you, watching Brad and Ryan build a sand castle, while Ryanne gathers sticks to build the wall around the moat. You grin.

“It’s been perfect. You guys are getting so much nookie tonight,” you tease. He grins at you, wiggling his eyebrows. “You packed Ryan’s present, right?” you ask. He nods.

“Yes, in the bottom of my bag,” he grabs a sip of your drink, before laying back in his chair, all sprawled limbs, and smooth muscle. You turn toward him in your chair, rolling onto your side, and flinging an arm across his tummy, glad the chairs are so close. He scoots closer to you.

“He’s going to love it,” you say quietly. Michael nods.

“A custom Hugo Boss watch with his name done in emeralds and yellow diamonds across the face. He better love it,” Mike teases. You don’t tell him how you and Ryan had gotten him a matching one, with his name done in rubies and sapphires. Won’t they both be surprised when they open presents later that night?

You’re trying not to think about what they might have gotten you. You can’t think of anything you could possibly want.

You might doze off there, with Michael’s arm around you, because you blink awake at the feel of Ryan sitting behind you on your chair. You look over at him. He’s tan and smiling, slightly wet and gritty with sand, but grinning. You smile at him, reaching for him with one hand. He takes it, squeezing your palm twice with his. You stretch lazily, and then come awake completely with a confused jerk.

“The kids?!” you ask. Michael’s arm squeezes around your middle. Ryan shakes his head.

“Kristen has them,” he nods to the edge of the water, and you sit up to look. There is Ryan’s sister jeans rolled up around her knees, running around in the surf with Brad clinging to her back, and Ryanne squealing with delight, sand shovel in one hand, bucket in the other chasing after her. You relax back into your chair.

“What’s Kristen doing here?” you ask rubbing at your eyes. Ryan looks over your shoulder to smile at Michael.

“She’s taking the kids tonight. So we can celebrate our anniversary together without anyone under the age of 18 interfering.” Ryan explains. Your eyes meet his and he’s squinting in the setting sun, freckles standing out starkly on his cheeks, and hazel blue eyes shining.

“What did you guys do?” you ask. Michael laughs.

“You’re not the only one who knows how to schedule and plan things out, Cathy,” he teases.

You kiss the kids goodbye and head up stairs to shower and change. Apparently you have a night out to get ready for. The boys leave you alone while you get ready, so as to not distract you. When you leave the bathroom with your hair and make-up done, the nicest dress you’d thought to pack on, you find them waiting on the end of the bed, about 30 seconds away from stripping naked right there and humping. You clear your throat and fight down a smile.

“Michael, dear, aren’t you supposed to be helping Ryan put more clothes on, not take them off?” you ask, pushing your earring back onto its post more securely, and walking past them to the closet to find your shoes. Michael looks up from he’s straddling Ryan’s hips, hands freezing in place where they’re tugging Ryan’s shirt tail free of his dress pants. Their mouths disengage with a wet sound that has you smiling into the darkness of your closet. You dig out your black heels, and turn around to find them both standing, three feet of space between them, hands patting down hair, and smoothing shirts.

You give them both an obvious once over just to make them laugh, while slipping on your shoes, then go to find your sexy purse where you’d stuffed it in a dresser drawer. You toss in a tube of lipstick and your cellphone and turn to them ready to go.

“Well?” you ask, spinning in place.

“Are you sure we can’t just barricade the door and stay in tonight?” Michael asks. You set your hands on your hips and glare, then turn to Ryan.

“Hit your horny husband for me. I don’t want to break a nail,” you order, watching with great delight as Ryan does just that, making Michael dart away from him. He snags you around the waist with one long arm on his way to the door.

“Spousal abuse!” he cries, hiding behind you. You lean back against him rolling your eyes and laughing.

“Yeah, sure, hide behind Cathy when she’s the one who ordered the smack!” Ryan replies, smile huge and real as he pulls on his suit jacket.

There’s a black stretch limousine waiting at the curb when you step outside the hotel. And you share a bottle of champagne in the back on the way to your destination. The restaurant you’re taken too is classy and intimate. The maître d’ meets the three of you by name, not batting an eyelash as he escorts you to a big round corner booth, one out of the way and quiet. You find yourself sliding around the table to the back curve, one of your guys on either side.

The waitress is prompt, polite, and very well trained. She answers all your questions quickly and with little effort, and your food is paired with an excellent wine, brought quickly, and served hot.

You’re relaxed and happy when it’s time to leave the restaurant. You’re a little tipsy, and the three of you have talked more in the past few hours than it feels like you’ve talked in weeks. It’s nice to relax back into your seat, Michael’s hand resting low on the small of your back, and one of Ryan’s resting high up on your thigh, to talk about music and movies, and more personal topics without wiping up spilled juice, or wrangling two bouncy kids.

By the time you’re sliding into the back of the limousine, you’re warm and flushed from alcohol and wandering hands. You’re tummy’s full, and you’ve got two different types of cheesecake bundled up in a to-go box for later.

You fling yourself up the side seat toward the driver’s rear window, and let yourself sprawl out there. Michael climbs in next, sliding his too tall body into the car and up beside yours, he pulls your right leg into his lap, right hand sliding up the inside of your thigh. You sigh, closing your eyes. The car rocks the tiniest bit as Ryan climbs in too, the door closing behind him. You hum, sliding down a little bit, and causing Michael’s hand to slide up higher.

He leans over you, bracing himself with one hand between your waist and the seat back, the fingers of his right hand brushing a fraction of an inch closer to your center, and making your breath stutter out in a low moan. He presses his mouth to the base of your throat.

“I’m not fucking you in a limo,” he whispers, nose bumping the curve of your jaw, lips sucking wet kisses up the side of your neck and up behind your ear. The car gives a little jolt as it starts forward, and your body slides closer, his fingers unintentionally edging closer to the lace of your underwear. You wiggle, smiling teasingly.

“You sure about that?” you ask. He shakes his head, leaning down to press his mouth to the side of your chin, then down the length of his throat.

“Do I get an opinion?” Ryan asks. You blink your eyes open to focus on his face, where he’s sprawled out on the seat across from you. You watch him unbutton the top few buttons of his dress shirt, and loosen his tie, and your hips twitch up in Michael’s direction involuntarily, getting a laugh in response, his fingers clenching on your inner thigh.

“Always,” Michael says, “though I’m pretty sure whose side you’re going to be on this time.”

“You act like I’m always on Cathy’s side!” Ryan says, shedding his coat jacket. Michael rolls his eyes, giving Ryan a fond smile.

“You’re not always on Cathy’s side,” Michael admits. Ryan looks triumphant, until Michael continues. “You’re usually on your dick’s side!” Ryan’s shocked gasp has you fighting a hysterical laugh.

“Oh, honey, don’t look so offended,” you say, pushing yourself up, and shoving Michael’s hand off your thigh, you duck across the aisle, to kneel beside Ryan on the other seat, where’s he’s started to pout. You press against him, folding your arms around him. “Don’t pout. It’s good to know you love your dick as much as we do,” you tease. His forced frown breaks and before you can blink he’s dragged you into his lap, laughing as he pulls your mouth to his in a kiss. You sink against him, hands clenching on his shoulders as you grind down into his lap. You barely register Michael picking up the phone to talk to the driver asking him to take us on the scenic route around the city.

It takes you a better part of an hour to arrive back at the hotel,

You can only pray you don’t look as debauched as you probably do on your way through the hotel lobby. You only have to smack Michael’s hand off your ass once. You land an empty elevator for just the three of you, and you end up leaning against Ryan’s shoulder, feeling drowsy and relaxed as you let him support your weight. His arm wraps tight around your side, and you let your head rest on his shoulder.

Michael pulling out his wallet and retrieving a card has you blinking in surprise, and standing up straight. He slides the room card through the scanner on the wall of the elevator, before pressing the button for the penthouse. Your jaw drops in confusion.

“What are you doing?” you ask. Michael smiles at you sort of gleefully, and refuses to answer. When the elevator stops moving, he takes your hand and leads you down the hallway Ryan following close behind. There are only four doors off the hallway, and Michael leads you to the furthest one. “What did you guys do?” you ask as he unlocks the door and holds it open for you.

It’s like walking into a perfect movie moment. There’s a bucket of ice with a bottle of champagne, lit candles in glass votives and bouquets of flowers on every available surface. You venture further into the suite and it’s like a romantic dream come true. A fire crackles in the fireplace and rose petals trail from the living area to the bedroom. You pause in the doorway, feeling the breath go out of you. The bedroom looks like something out of a fairytale complete with gauzy curtains framing the bed and silky sheets.

You pause there, smiling in your shock. Ryan presses up behind you, pulling you backward into an embrace. You melt against him.

“You guys! You planned this whole day didn’t you? You sneaks!” you cry.

“Yeah well you planned this whole trip. And everyone deserves a little spoiling now and then,” Ryan explains. Michael appears then with three wrapped gifts.

“Presents now or presents later?” he asks. You make grabby hands and Ryan uses the arm around your waist to direct you to the couch. You push him down to sit beside Michael, and then you plop down in his lap, extending your legs over Michael’s thighs.

“Oldest first?” you suggest, plucking the appropriate box out of Michael’s hands and handing it to Ryan. He tears off the paper, and opens the box staring with delighted astonishment at the watch inside. He squints at you purposefully before pulling first you and then Michael into a kiss. You lean back and watch hands start to wander, and clear your throat with a laugh. They pull apart before sharing a hungry look that makes your stomach warm in anticipation. “Mikey’s turn,” you say. He picks up the box marked with an M, and rips into eagerly.

He looks confused when he sees the Hugo Boss box, and he cracks it open carefully. The laugh he lets out when he sees the watch makes you laugh too.

“I never said I was the most creative person. But I did manage to talk you both into getting the other the same present didn’t I?” you say. Michael shakes his head, kissing you and saying thanks before kissing Ryan.

“We totally have to wear these to Golden Goggles this year,” Michael says.

“And the Espy’s,” Ryan grins. You shake your head, reaching for your present.

“My turn!” you say, bouncing in excitement. Ryan groans, and you smack him in the shoulder for the implied insult. Michael hands you the gift, and they watch you eagerly tear off the paper.

It’s a jewelry box, the three you can be kind of predictable for your anniversary. This year is no different. You open the black velvet box, and find a ring inside. It’s beautiful, and colorful, more detailed than you usually prefer. But it only takes you a few seconds to realize what it is, and for your chest to seize with emotion.

“It’s a,” Ryan starts but you finish the sentence before he can.

“A mother’s ring,” you say, pulling it from the box to look at it more closely. There are three large stones in the center, representing, you realize the three of you. A bright white pearl for Michael, a peridot stone for Ryan, and an aquamarine for you. Your three birth stones. On one side, nestled between your aquamarine and Ryan’s peridot is a small topaz for Brad. And on the other, nestled between your stone and Mike’s pearl is a small peridot for Ryanne. It’s your family, all clustered together in yellow gold. “My Mom had one. My dad got it for her when I was born. This is beautiful. It’s perfect.” Michael takes it from you, and takes your right hand in his. He slides it up your middle finger to rest snuggly next to your commitment ring on your ring finger.

“Thank you,” you say, honestly touched. Ryan presses a kiss to the side of your face, and Michael pulls your hand up to his mouth, and kisses you on the knuckles. You slump against them, rubbing your thumb against the bottom curve of the ring. “Four years,” you whisper, tugging their arms further around you.

Michael smirks, tucking hair behind your ear, reaching around behind you to grip Ryan by the back of the neck.

“More like 8,” he says. Ryan laughs, his arm curling around you further.

“You guys are still happy right?” he asks. You shift, pressing your back into his body, and pulling his arms all the way around your waist. You grip them tight, and reach for Michael. He moves closer, shaking his head.

“How could we not be? Any of us?” he asks. You look over your shoulder at Ryan, and smile.

“I’ve never been happier than I am right now. Not once in my entire life,” you promise him. His hands clutch at your hips, and he presses his forehead into your shoulder. He pulls one hand away from your side to reach for Michael, and then the three of you start twisting into an intricate knot of limbs and progressively fewer clothes, until you’re all naked. Michael disappears for a minute and comes back with a plush comforter that he spreads out across the living room floor. It’s borderline cliché, but you don’t even care.

You’d be happy to report the next day, if it was anyone’s fucking business, that despite your ages, the three of you perform quite remarkably well. And by the time you rinse off in the shower and collapse into bed you’re sore in all sorts of places, and almost giddy with happiness. You’re also missing the kids more than you feel you can freely admit too without sounding like a crazy woman.

The next two days are spent relaxing and enjoying everything the Magic Kingdom has to offer. Ryanne enjoys the rest of her Princess dresses, you take more photos than you will ever be able to organize into coherent photo albums. Everyone gets a set of Mickey Ear and at least one stomach ache from too much sugar. You and Ryanne sneak off on the last afternoon to the Bibbidi’ Bobbidi Boutique for your Disney Princess Makeovers. You watch the parades, enjoy the fireworks displays, and spend more time shopping than your family accountant would probably like. You ignore the voice in the back of your head mentally preparing you for a lecture at the end of the month. And you finally leave Disneyworld exhausted but monumentally happy with how the trip went.

You spend another week in Florida, visiting with Ryan’s family before heading back home to Baltimore.

It’s two weeks later that you’ll discover the extra special souvenir you’d brought home from your trip, and it’s sort of fitting that this time it’s Michael who finds you shouting in the master bathroom, clutching the test in your fist and jumping up and down. The first time it had been Ryan, the second time you’d been home alone, and the last time it’s with Michael there. That’s sort of fitting all things considered.

The next year, when the three of you celebrate your anniversary you give Michael monogrammed golf gloves, Ryan a new pair of customized Gucci sunglasses, and you’re presented with another, updated, mother’s ring.

Three stones set in a triangle, with smaller stones placed nestled into each gap. With Michelle’s amethyst nestled between Ryan’s peridot and Michael’s pearl, it looks like a perfect circle. Your family completed at last.


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