Kitchen Promises

By: Brooke Cumberland

“I will, don’t worry. Colin and Blakely don’t let me do much anyway.” I liked Colin. Good chef, good worker, and best of all, wasn’t into my girl. Last I heard from Molly, Blakely was trying to dig her nails into Colin, and he wasn’t pushing away.

“Good.” I smiled. “Well, I’m off to work. Don’t want to be much later, or the boss will ring my neck,” I joked.

She walked over and wrapped her arms around my neck. I kissed her lightly, and then knelt down to kiss her belly. “Be good for mommy.” I smiled. There had been a few instances where the smells of certain foods at work have made her sick and she’s had to leave early. I knew she hated it and wanted to do her part instead of having everyone else work extra hard to compensate for her.

“Yeah, you tell ’em, babe. Baby A is jammed up my ribcage.” She chuckled, but was serious. “And Baby B is somewhere in the other rib.”

“Well, soon enough, they’ll be here,” I reminded her. I stood back up and kissed her once more. “I’ll come down and visit you when I’m done at the office.”

“Okay. Love you,” she called as I began walking down the hallway.

“Love you three!”

As I walked down the hall to the staircase, I paused in front of the nursery. It wasn’t set up yet, but Molly was having a blast designing it. Michael insisted on being the decorator, making sure it was all set up and designed perfectly. I had no idea of all the small details that went into having a baby. I especially didn’t know how much work went into getting the nursery ready. I figured a crib, some clothes, and diapers. However, Michael informed me of how wrong I was.

We had looked at baby cribs and everything else we’d need—bassinets, swings, bouncers, changing tables, dressers, clothes, toys, diapers—the list seemed endless. There was still a lot left to plan and get ready, but as long as Molly was happy with it, I was happy.

Stella and Liam took the news amazing. I knew they would, but now that we were in the planning process, they were over the top excited. Violet agreed to let me have Liam twice a week and every other weekend now that she was living in Chicago with Stanley. I’d pick him up from school Mondays and Wednesdays. Then, I’d pick him up Saturday morning on my weekends. I loved having him in my life, regardless of the fact that I had to share him with his mother; I was just happy to be given a second chance at being his dad.

Having Liam in my life made me extra excited about the twins coming. I hadn’t known I even wanted to be a dad until the day I found out about Liam. When I heard about Violet’s secret, I was determined to have my son in my life. The visions of baseball games, movie nights, and birthday parties flooded my mind the entire year I searched for them. My dad and I didn’t have that kind of relationship; we never bonded like that. He was a good dad in that he provided for me and taught me what I know now, but I really felt that I missed that in my childhood. I was never going to let any of my children grow up with a dad like that. I wanted to give them everything they deserved and more.

* * *

I walked to my office feeling great. I loved that Molly was working just floors below me. Not that she needed to be watched, but if anything happened to her, I wouldn’t be far away.

“Your messages, Mr. Stagliano.” My assistant walked in and set a handful of notes down on my desk.

“Thank you, Carla.”

As I scanned through them, I saw an interesting one catch my eye. Stanley Webber. What did he want? I only spoke to him if it pertained to Liam, and usually, Violet would text or call me if it were important.

It was weird knowing Molly’s secret about Stanley. I knew she didn’t want to tell him or anyone else for that matter, but a part of me felt like she should. Perhaps it was because Stanley was a good man, and maybe I thought he deserved to know, but it was Molly’s decision, and I’d never force her to do anything she didn’t want to do. Stanley was good to Liam, so for now, that’s all that mattered.

I decided to ignore it for now and catch up on my emails. Things have been crazy busy lately, the holidays approaching soon and the restaurant expanding. I’d have to hire another chef to cover the expansion and another to cover Molly when she goes on maternity leave. If I had my way, she would stay home and never go back to work at all. But I knew it was important to her, so I never pushed the subject too much.

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