Not My Blessings

A young family soon discovers their twin children are not the blessing they thought they had received, but instead a true horror.

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6. Calm Before The Storm

   The night went by in a blur. There was much laughter and joy from the twins, excited to have their mother back. The sweet smell of homemade chicken soup wafted through the house, and Darrell was inseparable from Laura. Everything was back to normal, and it looked as though it would be a good Christmas. Late that night, after everyone had ate, the dishes were washed and dried, and the kitchen wiped clean of any spilled soup, Laura and Darrell carried their children up the stairs and into the bedroom they shared. After many kisses and good nights, they walked out into the hallway, slowly closing the door behind them.

   Darrell grabbed Laura's wrist softly and gently, letting his fingers trace down her satin skin. He led her down the hall to the master bedroom, closing the door silently behind her. Then he walked towards her and cradled her face into his strong hands, looking deep into her eyes and passing a thousand words with one look. He slowly let one hand drop down to her back, pulling her torso close against his. The other wound through her hair, coming to rest on her neck. 

   "How I've missed you, my darling Laura," he whispered into her ear, sending chills down her back. He kissed her briefly, his lips just barely brushing against hers, before darting away into the bathroom  Shocked, she stood there with her eyes closed, anticipating the kiss she had so graciously missed. Seeing it was not coming, she hesitantly opened her eyes as she heard the large bath begin to fill with water. The sweet scent of honey and lilac caught her nose, riding out from the bathroom on billowing clouds of steam. Excitement coursing through her, she quickly removed her clothing, leaving them at a pile in front of her bed and treading softly into the steamy bathroom, barefoot and longing for her husband.

   The next few days passed in a blur, with decorations and wrapping and presents filling every minute of every day. They had decided not to invite family, with Laura suggesting time alone would be beneficial for the newly untied family. Much excitement was felt in the every one, from the twins to Darrell to Laura. On Christmas Eve, they all sat gathered in the cozy living room. A warm fire crackled in the fireplace, and hot chocolate was in all four cups. Well, two mugs and two sippy cups, that is. The twins played beneath the glittering Christmas tree, counting and recounting their presents. Laura and Darrell shared the love seat, listening to light-hearted carols and completely worry free. All was well.

   They went to bed late and woke up early,  wanting to be awake and armed with cameras before the violent shredding of wrapper paper started. Sure enough, only moments later, the pitter patter of tiny feet echoed down the hall and down the stairs, both children sliding to a halt in front of the enormous pile of presents. The resounding shredding and ripping sound of wrapping paper and screams of delight and wonderment warmed Laura's heart, and she couldn't believe she had almost missed this. A tear rolled down her cheek as she thought of the last time she had felt this joy, and how her mother had slipped away only hours later. "Not now. Not again. Everything will be fine." After strengthening her resolve, she felt confident everything would go smoothly. How wrong she was.

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