Though neither of us adress it out of fear we'll jinx it, life seems to go smoothly after having had Emilia and Felix over.
We go to university whenever we need to, the work load taking my mind off of the urge that has grown inside of me to beg Lucien to put a baby inside of me.
The topic seems to keep getting dragged up, though, because articles have started floating around the internet about Lucien's so-called mystery woman he was spotted with at the abortion clinic. When Lucien told me about their plan I could hardly believe it, but apparently it has worked, because no one asks questions after news breaks that the woman was in fact Lucien's ex and dear friend, Liliana. The news dies down soon after, and it's pretty much forgotten by the time March rolls around.
I spend my free time balancing friends and family, combining it with some of the hobbies I've picked up as well as taking care of our pets.
Spring blossoms into warmer days, with March ending in days that can be spent almost entirely outside without a jacket. Lucien starts getting a tan quickly, my pale skin looking the exact same even after a weekend of lounging outside on our balcony.
On one of first sunny days in early April, we have Eschieve and Beth over for dinner. Eschieve has been travelling back and forth between Paris and Edinburgh, making Beth's studio appartment her second home.
The two are whispering under their breath as Lucien pours all four of us a glass of wine, something I try to ignore as long as I can.
Then, when dinner is served, the topic of Lucien's birthday is brought up by Eschieve.
With his birthday not being celebrated last year, for obvious reasons, people are expecting a lot from him to make up for it, though he hasn't told me much about the planning.
"We were just wondering..," Eschieve nudges Beth, who seems to be holding something back. "If we can bring plus ones."
Lucien, either blisfully unaware to the weird tension around the table or wilfully ignoring it, just nods. "Not everyone can, but I'll make an exception for some people... why?"
"Beth wanted to..." my sister shoots Eschieve a death glare, and if looks could kill there'd be one less du Castellon breathing right now.
"Are you planning on bringing a special someone?" Lucien teases as Beth blushes a dark red. "Do we know him?"
Beth looks at me, obviously confused. "You didn't tell him?"
I shake my head, now having two confused looks in my direction, of both Beth and Lucien. "It wasn't my information to share, now was it?"
"What am I missing?" Lucien asks, curiously yet confused. "Do I know him?"
"You...," Beth takes a deep breath in, biting her lip as I nod. "don't know... her."
"Alright, well, as long as she's cool," Lucien shrugs, taking a cigarette from his the packet in his pocket. "She's welcome."
"See, I told you there was nothing to be nervous about," Eschieve pokes Beth, "they're cool with it."
"Of course we're cool with it," I chuckle. "Beth, half the people we know identify as something other than straight. Hell, neither of us even identify as straight."
Lucien nods when Beth gives us both a slightly surprised stare. "Oh, yeah, no, no straight people at this table."
"Hey, keep me out of it," Eschieve mutters. "I'd say I'm pretty much straight. It's not for me."
"Don't knock it until you've tried it," I tease her, playing with Lucien's lighter in between my fingers.
"Oh, I've tried it," she smiles, a mischievious sparkle in her eye, shaking her head as she smiles down at the table.
"Yeah, it wasn't worth repeating...," Beth finishes her sentence, and now it's our turn to look surprised as both girls laugh.
"Okay, we had that one coming," I huff, "though that's more than I wanted to know, I guess. It almost feels wrong..."
Beth chuckles, as does Eschieve. "Which is why it wasn't worth repeating. At least one Middleton - du Castellon combination worked out, luckily."

We have had a lot to drink. I'm not drunk, far from it, but the room spins ever so slightly and there's a comfortable buzz going not only in my head, but throughout my entire body. Beth and Eschieve have gone home, and as we're loading the dishwasher and cleaning up the remainders of dinner and drinks, Lucien turns on one of my favourite playlists.
As Eric Clapton sings how wonderful I look tonight, Lucien takes my hand and pulls me into him, our chests meeting when he tilts my chin up to kiss me ever so gently.
"What's that for?" I smile when the contact breaks and Lucien smiles.
"Can a man not kiss his beautiful girlfriend just because he wants to?"
"He can," I answer, "and she loves it when he does so."
"Good," he kisses me softly once more. "Because I was planning on doing it much more often after this."
His fingers toy with the strap to my dress as I move into his touch. "So are you going to tell me about your birthday plans?"
He shakes his head, huffing a laugh. "That's what you're thinking about right now?"
"Let me explain," I smile, moving a gentle hand through his beard, suddenly realise that I might be a little more drunk than I thought I was, or maybe it's just the love soaring through my body. "I was thinking how badly I wanted to make love to you, and then I was thinking about how we should ditch those condoms and just make a baby, and then my mind went to how you're almost thirty, and how that's the perfect time to do so, if you believe in the perfect time, and then I thought of your birthday..."

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