It was a bright sunny day and Keagan was lying back on his elbows staring out at the ocean. The weather was warm with very little breeze and was the perfect day to sit on the beach and celebrate. The Raydon family had gathered to celebrate Nikkita and Raylia’s first birthday and since their mother, Oralia, insisted that they not make a big deal out of it the family decided on having a small family bar-be-que on the beach.
Nikkita and Raylia were the first girls born to the Raydon clan and the first Hunters born with hair color other than white. They looked very much like their mother which drove their father, Niko, insane. He had already equipped the house with motion sensors and a state of the art security system for when they became old enough to date. The whole thing became a giant joke amongst the family considering it would be years before that happened.
Keagan loved his nieces and spent any free time he had with them. He even offered to babysit more often then not just so he could spend time with them. Oralia often lectured him about going out with his other brothers, Markus and Kai, so that he’d be able to find a nice woman to settle down with and have his own kids but for now Keagan was content with the way things were.
Keagan was startled out of his thoughts when he was attacked by a couple of four year old monsters. “Gotcha Uncle Keagan,” they yelled in unison.
Keagan laughed and rolled with Alexander and Xavier tucked in his arms. “You two are getting pretty good at sneaking up on people,” he said complimenting them.
Alexander and Xavier were twin boys that belonged to one of Keagan’s other brothers, Lucian and his wife Ella who was now in her second pregnancy with baby number three as it were. The boys had spent the last year in Hunter’s training, which was the custom for all Hunter males. Schooling began at three for boys and if the girls wanted to go to school for training their training began at five. To date, there were very few Hunter females in training.
“Yep,” Xander said, “we’re going to be great Hunters just like you and all the men in our family.”
“That’s right,” Xavier continued, “Then we’ll be saving all the pretty girls!”
Keagan couldn’t contain his laughter, “Is that what you think we do Xavier? Save pretty girls?”
“Yep, just look at Aunt Oralia. Uncle Niko saved her!” Xavier pointed out.
Keagan laughed. “Hey Niko! Did you know that our sole purpose as Hunters was to save pretty girls like Oralia?”
Niko laughed and hugged Oralia to his side, “Works for me!”
Everyone laughed. Keagan shook his head, “Food ready yet?”
“It’ll be done in a minute,” Lucian said, “best get your plate ready.”
After they ate, Oralia, Ella and Aminay sat around and played with the children while Sebastien, Markus, Keagan, Niko, Lucian and Kai played a three on three game of volleyball.
Aminay stood and picked up Nikkita, “Let’s take the kids in the water.”
Oralia stood up and grabbed Raylia, “You don’t think it’ll be too cold for them?”
Aminay shook her head, “No, it should be fine. Sebastien and I used to bring the boys here all the time when they were younger. It never seemed to bother them.”
“Nothing seems to bother them,” Ella giggled.
“Well, except for us,” Oralia said grinning.
Aminay smiled and called over her shoulder to the men, “We’re going in the water for a bit.”
All the men stopped and turned to look at Aminay as if she spoken a foreign language. “By yourself?” Sebastien asked.
“No dearest, Ella and Oralia will be with me,” she said teasingly.
Sebastien’s mouth formed a grim line, “Perhaps we should come with you.”
“Don’t be ridiculous Sebastien! I’m sure the three of us are more than capable of handling my grandchildren without your assistance,” she scolded.
“If you need anything just call us Mother, “Niko said trying to soothe the situation.
“At least someone remembered that I raised five boys already,” she grumbled under her breath. Ella and Oralia laughed.
Taking Alexander and Xavier by the hands, all three women waded into the ocean. They’d only been in a few minutes when Nikkita started wailing as if someone had placed her in a vat of boiling water. Niko immediately stopped what he was doing and ran into the water taking Nikkita from his mother, “There, there princess daddy’s here.” And just like that she was quiet.
“How is it that you’re the only one that can do that with her?” Aminay asked bewildered.
Niko grinned, “She’s daddy’s girl.”
Niko waded further into the water and Nikkita started whimpering again. Niko wrapped his arms around her little body and said, “It’s alright Nikki, daddy won’t let you fall.” Nikki whimpered once more before resting her head on Niko’s shoulder where she stayed completely content.
Lucian followed Niko into the water and picked up Xander on the way tossing him up into the air and catching him. Xander squealed in delight, “Again daddy again!”
“Lucian Raydon, don’t you drop him!” Ella warned.
Xavier looked up at Markus as he approached and lifted his little arms, “Uncle Markus!”
Markus swept Xavier up into his arms and tossed him high up into the air and chuckled when Ella started screaming bloody murder. After a few minutes, Markus, Lucian, Keagan and Kai began tossing the boys back and forth between them. Rather than torturing herself, Ella turned her back on them and started talking to Oralia and Aminay.
Sebastien approached Oralia and relieved her of Raylia kissing her on the cheek, “How’s grandpa’s girl?” Raylia simply laughed in response.
With the men entertaining the children, Oralia turned to Ella, “So… when do you find out what you’re having?”
Ella rubbed her barely there baby bump, “We still have a couple weeks yet.”
“What are you hoping for?” Oralia asked.
“Honestly, I’d love a girl but I’d be happy with another boy. I know Lucian wouldn’t mind another boy,” she said smiling.
Aminay grinned, “I’m sure he wouldn’t but it’s about time we start leveling out the playing field. There is way too much testosterone in this family. Not that I’d trade away any of them but more females would be nice.”
“Well, I can tell you that Niko’s hoping for a boy next time around,” Oralia said.
“Are you going to start trying again soon?” Ella asked.
“Heavens no!” Oralia said horrified.
Both Ella and Aminay laughed.
“Maybe when the girls are little older like out of diapers older,” Oralia admitted.
“What’s happening with diapers?” Niko asked interrupting their conversation.
“Ella asked when I’d be ready to try for more kids and I told her when the girls are out of diapers,” Oralia replied.
Niko grinned and kissed her shoulder, “At least we can practice till then.”
“You’re horrible!” Oralia said teasingly.
“Yes but you love me!”
Oralia smiled, “That I do.”
A sharp whistle drew the group’s attention to Sebastien. “Everyone out of the water now!” he yelled. “We’ve got incoming!”
It took only seconds for the ocean to empty. Niko stood with Nikki still wrapped in one arm while the other was protectively encasing Oralia’s waist. Ella stood behind Lucian with her hands resting on his waist wanting to protect her belly. Sebastien held Raylia with one arm and had a hold of Aminay’s hand with the other keeping her slightly to the rear of him. Kai flanked Lucian holding Xavier while Markus stood on the other side of Oralia holding Alexander. Keagan stood out in front of everyone with his arms crossed. They all stared out at the ocean as whatever was jumping in and out of the water came straight for them.