“Oh my God, they’ve gotten so big already,” she said, leaning over the desk and waving at the twins with her long, colorful nails. “They’re so adorable, like little angels.”
I laughed. “That’s not the word I’d use to describe them.”
“I’ll totally take them off your hands. Just say the word,” she joked.
“Don’t tempt me!”
Chuckling, she picked up the phone. “I’ll call Naomi, tell her you’re—
“Actually,” I cut in, “I wanna surprise her.”
She gave me a knowing smile. “Sure thing. You remember the way?”
I nodded, thanked her, let the kids say goodbye, then we headed for the inbound elevator that led to the main offices.
We’d barely stepped off when Saeed, who happened to be in conversation with the receptionist on Naomi’s floor, spotted us and practically pounced.
“You never said you were coming!” He was just as theatrical as ever; just as well-groomed, and smelled fantastic, as always. “Come and give Uncle Saeed a hug.” This he aimed at the twins, who happily rushed into his arms, and he scooped them both up. They’d gotten too big for me to hold them both at the same time, but he was still able.
“It’s been too long, girl,” he said, cutting me an accusatory look while the kids played in his manicured mane, messing up what likely took an hour to get right. He didn’t seem to mind.
“I know, I’m a terrible person. I’ve had my hands full… as you can clearly see.”
The birth of the twins meant the death of my social life, pretty much. I hadn’t been out with friends in over six months. And although I made a whole thing about no longer having freedom, my protestations were always disingenuous. Truth was, I loved it this way. I loved that I’d built this wonderful, beautiful home filled with love and people who wanted and needed me there. Home was the only place I wanted to be in my spare time; and my wife was the only friend I wanted to be with.
Something Brit said came to mind then, making me laugh. “Jesus, Daiquiri, you do remember that there are other people in the world besides Naomi and the twins, right?”
Sometimes it was easy to forget that.
“Did Naomi know you were coming?”
There was something in his tone, and when I looked at him, something in his eyes — acrimony? — that gave me pause. Although all traces of the Glacier Queen had evaporated upon marrying me, I knew Naomi was still a real hard ass with her subordinates. Some things would never change. I just prayed she hadn’t been too diabolical.
“Oh no, what’s happened? Is she in a bad mood?”
He hesitated, probably trying to choose his words carefully. Then said, “She’s stressed. Been like that all morning. Everyone’s on edge.”
I nodded knowingly. “The Neder Eats account?” That thing was more trouble than it was worth.