Foto bij 577. - Lucien

In the days to follow, we are bit by bit coming to terms with what's actually happening. There is still fear, and uncertainty and a constant nagging voice wondering if this is a good idea or not, but slowly but surely there is also excitement, curiosity. Most of all there is love. My heart surges skywards whenever I look at Emma. It reminds me of the future we are facing together, shining so bright that we can't see what it entails yet - but bright nonetheless. I'll catch her staring at me with a soft smile, like I'm the best thing she's seen in all her life; a look different from the way it was a couple of months ago. Something has definitely shifted in our relationship. No wonder, of course, with a baby on the way, but it still took some adjusting.
The day of my departure is quickly approaching, which we're both dreading. It was bad enough when it was just the two of us, but now the thought of leaving makes me pysically nauseous. Luckily the day isn't there yet. We're still not spending this evening together: Emma is going to tell Kenna, and I'm going to tell Matthew - we originally planned to do it over the dinner we had this weekend, but this felt more personal. I catch myself being excited to tell him, despite the ever lingering fear. I need a person to hype me up over this, to be thrilled for me. Jacques response was less than ideal and even though I was prepared for that, it hurt me still. The support from both Nancy and Reginald is amazing, but not quite the same. They're Emma's family, not mine.
I almost blurt it out the moment I step over the doorstep. He's looking at me with a wide grin, Thai food and beer already waiting for us at the coffee table.
"Second time in a week, are you sure Emma is not getting jealous?" He teases as he toasts his can to mine.
"She's spending the evening with Kenna, so I highly doubt it." I smirk. "Besides, I have some time to make up for, after disappearing for six weeks. Again."
"Such is the life of a content creator." He shrugs, two chopsticks full of noodles halfway to his mouth. "I'm off to Japan for two weeks after your birthday. Nearly on your birthday, but I managed to shift the dates."
"Much appreciated." Truth be told, I keep forgetting that my birthday is coming close. There's so much going on that a party is honestly the last thing on my mind. But it's part of keeping up pretences; Emma and I agreed that we're going to keep the news from the public for quite some time. We don't need a surplus of reporters, paparazzi or fans running up to us on the street.
I'm sitting on the news, trying to find an opening for it. I don't think Matthew has any idea that I'm just about ready to explode, because he just chats like he normally does. We've both gone through a can and a half of beer and one Portal-puzzle when he proves me wrong.
"So are you just going to keep pretending you don't have anything to tell me, or are you actually going to say it at some point?"
"You knew?"
"Of course I did." He snorts. "You're a good liar, Lucifer, but not when you're trying to hide something that excites you. What's up?"
I put my controller aside, suddenly feeling nervous. Matthew assesses me with slightly raised brows, also noticing the sudden shift in me. "Well damn, mate, you'd think you're about to tell me you're cutting me out of your life to spend all your waking hours with Emma."
"No!" I laugh nervously, shaking my head. "Sorry, it's just... Not your everyday news. Though I suppose it does entail me being able to spend even less time with you once we get there."
His eyes narrow. "Get where? Who's replacing me?"
"I would hope a baby, but since Emma literally described it as 'growing extra limbs' I'm half-expecting a mutant."
I wait for the quarter to drop, which doesn't take very long; his blue eyes widen, and his mouth falls open. "Emma's pregnant?"
I can't help the grin that spreads on my face, though God knows I try by biting down on my lower lip, and I nod. "Going on ten weeks now. She found out the day before I got back."
"That's... amazing! Wow, man, congratulations!" He laughs, but then his expressions turns to worried. "I suppose? I mean, this wasn't planned, was it? You kept shutting down the baby talk..."
"Not planned." I confirm after another swig of beer. "Absolutely fucking not, but now that it's happened..." I shake my head with a smile. "You should have seen Emma's face. Completely panicked, but already in love. There was no question."
From the way his eyes flick over my face I know he realises that there's much more to it than 'there was no question'. "I am stunned to silence, man. I can't believe it. Lucien du Castellon, a father." His grin spreads even wider. "I'm so winning this bet now, I'll change my wager -"
"Ah, sorry." I smirk. "I've been over this with Emma. No more changes allowed as of today. It'd give you or Kenna an unfair advantage, and we don't want that. Just down to luck now, mate." Or the slip of paper Tom added just a couple of days ago, after supposedly having had a change of heart after seeing how much fun the others were having.
"Fine, fine. I don't even remember what date I gave, honestly. Guess we'll find out! Anyway: how are you feeling under all of this? Beccause you and I both know you've gotten exceptionally good at preteding you are excited."
"You just see right through me, don't you?"
"I do. Now fess up."
"Well, I'm..." I consider lying for a very brief second. There's no use in lying to Matthew, though. For now he might be too kind to call me out on it, but he knows. And that means he'd bring it up sooner or later. "Terrified doesn't even cut it, really. I've been freaking out since she told me. There's still a part of me that thinks we shouldn't do this, that this is the worst idea we've had since breaking up."
"But?"
"But... You should have seen her, Matz. There was no way I was going to ask her to not do this. It would have wrecked her, I'd never forgive myself."
"And this isn't going to wreck you?"
How much more wrecked can I possibly get? I shake my head. "I do want it. I really, really do. But that doesn't mean that the whole thing doesn't scare me half to death. It's not like I have a decent fatherly example to follow, do I?"

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