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Happy Bday, Kat! *HUGGLES* Sorry it's so late... ^^;


New

By kira

Author’s note: Thanks to my beta, Jen, for looking this over for me as well as coming up with a title.

For Kat with love… Happy late bday!



Bernhard lay in bed with Amber, his arm thrown lovingly around her as they drifted off to sleep. It felt good to have her home again and even though she was only gone for two days to have their baby, he had missed her terribly. Bernhard, or Bernd as everyone called him, was also glad Greta was upstairs, sleeping in his bed, despite the little pang of guilt her felt over it. She missed her girlfriend too and probably even more so than he did, since she had been away in Germany for most of Amber’s pregnancy, Skyping and calling whenever she could, but Bernd knew it was not the same. What really made him feel guilty was she knew he needed Amber more than she did at the moment. Bernd, knowing Amber’s preferences, happily shared her with any girl that caught her fancy and had even written it down in his diary-slash-journal when he was younger and signed it for her, keeping his promise through the years. What made Greta special in Bernd’s eyes was that she had no trouble accepting him as part of Amber’s life and put up with his issues just like everyone else. She also had no problem setting him straight whenever he needed it, since his family and friends, with the exception of his father and Amber, tended to dance around his problems and Bernd loved her for it.

Just when sleep had finally overtaken him, the baby woke up. Frederick wailed loudly in the stillness of the night and Bernd groaned when his son’s cries finally shook his sleep-fogged brain into wakefulness. Amber’s stirring also helped clear his head. “Stay, Amber,” he murmured softly. “I’ll go get him.” Kissing her shoulder, Bernd rolled over and threw back the blankets. He got up out of bed, while Amber sat up and turned on the nightlight, before making herself comfortable, while she waited for him to bring their newborn son to her. She watched as he made his way past her little menagerie and was glad she had talked him out of liberating Carmilla from “animal jail.” Dealing with a newborn was hard enough without adding a miniature pig to the mix. Thankfully her boyfriend and his brother helped her look after the ones that were here, while her twin brother looked after the rest at his place. Still, she could not help feeling a bit like she was abandoning them to their fate in favor of the baby. Nine months of sitting back and watching everyone else care for them, only increased her feelings of shirking her duties, despite Bernd’s assurances that that it was only a temporary thing the way a pregnant woman should avoid cleaning a cat’s litter box to keep her from catching anything that could harm the baby and that once he was big enough, Frederick could help her.

Bernd padded next door to the nursery, his eyes straining to see in the dark. Switching on the night light in the baby’s room, he hurried over to the crib. “Hey, little one,” he said softly in German as he carefully picked the baby up. “Sssh… Don’t cry, Fritzchen.”

The movement and soft rasp of his father’s voice briefly quieted Frederick down. He was hungry and even though he was held awkwardly, he turned his head, looking for the yummy warmth of his mother’s breast. Not finding it, along with being set down on the changing table, set off another round of wailing. Frederick was angry and he let his father know it, putting up a fuss while he was changed. He kept up his howling, while Bernd rewrapped him in his blanket, the closeness of being swaddled somewhat soothing, despite his empty belly. However, his hunger was overwhelming, and he continued crying even though he was being held a lot more to his liking this time, as well as being gently jiggled, something he normally found soothing, as Bernd carried him over to his mother, but it was not what he wanted. It was only when he smelled his mother’s scent as she guided her full, heavy breast to his mouth, that he quieted down a bit, letting out a few cries of protest, before latching on and getting down to the business of suckling.

“Hey, Fiete…” Amber said softly as she caressed his cheek with the back of her finger. He was perfect in her eyes, from the soft, downy strawberry blond hair and blue eyes, that she hoped would stay blue, to his chubby little fingers and toes, to his adorable little rosebud mouth. She frowned, her attention momentarily diverted from her son when she felt the dip in the bed as Bernd got back in. He snuggled up to her and she leaned her head on his as they watched their son.

Frederick gave a cry of protest when she removed her breast from his mouth, and bringing him to her shoulder, she burped him. He grew quiet when his father chuckled, the soft raspiness of his voice so different from his mother’s more dulcet tones. A brief feeling of weightlessness as he switched to his mother’s other breast, and Frederick forgot them both in favor of suckling. His little belly was getting full as sleep was beginning to overtake him. Eyelids growing heavy, Frederick suckled, even though he had emptied his mother’s breast. He did not even bother to protest when she removed it from his mouth. Frederick was warm, dry, and full, and content to just lie there in his mother’s arms as he drifted off to sleep. His parents, however, decided that he needed to be back in his crib. After his mother burped him, he was handed back to his father for the short walk to the nursery and his crib. He protested softly as Bernd did not hold him with the same sense of security that his mother did, but he was too sleepy to give more than a token cry. Besides, he was beginning to like the sound of his father’s voice, although the deep rumblings of his uncles and grandfather scared him. By the time his father laid him down in his crib, Frederick was asleep.

Bernd watched his son sleep for a few minutes. Kissing his fingertips, he lightly brushed them against Frederick’s cheek. “Gute Nacht,” he murmured, “Süße Träume, meine liebschen.” Bernd stifled a yawn and turned to go. As he passed the dresser with the night light on it, he turned it off, before heading back to his room. Once there, he climbed back into bed with Amber. They snuggled together, quickly falling back asleep. Bernd felt like he had just fallen back into a deep slumber, when he heard Frederick crying again. “Verdammt!” he swore softly when saw the time. What had felt like five minutes had actually been about two hours. Rolling onto to his side, he shook Amber awake.

“I hear him too,” she said sleepily. “I can get up and go get him.” Amber yawned. As willing as she was to get up and got get her son, she was still half a sleep and her body felt leaden, and she could barely move in her exhaustion. She had had two days of it in the hospital, but it still took a lot to get used to.

“No, I said I would.” Bernd kissed her cheek, before rolling back and out of bed. He ran a hand through his sleep tousled pink hair as he shuffled back over to the nursery. Bernd repeated his earlier actions, before bringing his son over to his girlfriend in what was to become a familiar nighttime routine for the three of them until Frederick decided he was old enough to sleep through the night. Crawling back into bed, Bernd leaned on Amber and watched Frederick suckle. He was dead tired since he had not slept well while she was in hospital, and the soft sounds the baby made while he nursed combined with Amber’s equally soft crooning, soon had him nodding off.

“Bernd honey, wake up,” Amber said as she rolled her shoulder.

“What? What?” Bernd’s eyes flew open as he shifted upright to look around him. “What’s the matter, Amber?” he said, his words slurred and heavy with sleep.

“Please don’t sleep on me.”

“Uh… sure…” Bernd smiled sleepily at her. Yawning, he stretched, before settling back against the headboard. “Is Fritz ready to go back to his crib?”

“Yeah, but I’ll take him. I don’t want you sleepwalking and dropping him,” she said dryly. Amber was dead tired too and not looking forward to a day full of interrupted sleep and baby tending while her boyfriend slept in. Holding Frederick carefully in one arm, she threw the blankets back and gingerly got out of bed. She was still sore from the birth and her raging hormones combined with a lack of sleep left her feeling cranky and irritable. “Don’t you dare go to sleep without me, Bernd,” she said as she left their bedroom.

“I won’t,” he called out to her retreating form. As tempting as it was to sink back into the enveloping softness of their bed, Bernd knew better. He had no desire to be woken up and told to go back to his own room. He had hoped that now that Frederick was born, Amber would let him move permanently into her room, but Amber liked the flexibility of being able to sleep with Bernd or Greta as the mood hit her, so he was forced to maintain a room of his own. Besides, his father had only to look at his grandson to know that Amber, whom he had come to think of as a daughter, was sleeping with him, so there was no real use in keeping up the pretense. At twenty four, he was an adult now and not the kid Wolfgang used to lecture about getting her pregnant while they were still in school. Plus as tempting as it was to switch places with Greta, who was currently occupying his bed, in order to get a good night’s sleep, Bernd found he would much rather stay where he was.

Amber was back before he knew it and the two of them looked at each other and sighed. “You know it’s going to be like this until he decides to sleep through the night,” she said.

“I know,” he replied. The corner of his mouth tugging upwards in a grin, he added, “Think of it this way, you could have had twins, then we’d never get any sleep.”

Amber looked at him and shook her head. “Shut up and go to sleep.”

“I love you too, Amber.”

Too tired to reply, she snuggled up next to him and was asleep before she knew it. Two hours later, Amber could have sworn she had just fallen asleep, when she felt Bernd move. Groaning softly, it took her a minute or two before the reason why brought her quickly to wakefulness. Sitting up, she noticed the room seemed a bit lighter as she fluffed up the pillows behind her. A quick glance at the clock confirmed her suspicions. It was five-thirty in the morning, her precious little Fiete had given them both an extra half hour before he woke up, demanding to be fed and changed. As she lay back against the pillow, Amber wondered what was taking them so long. Just as she was about to get up and go see, Bernd came in with the baby.

“I’m sorry,” he said, reading her expression, “He woke up stinky.”

Amber laughed. “Baby poop doesn’t stink until they’re older.” She held out her arms for Frederick.

“Well, I didn’t think you’d like it if I said he shit himself.” He smirked.

She did not know if it was lack of sleep, the look on his face or what, but she found it rather funny. “There’s going to be plenty more dirty diapers where that came from,” she chuckled as she nursed their son.

Bernd crawled back into bed. “Don’t remind me,” he said dryly.

Amber, careful not to disturb Frederick, leaned toward Bernd, kissing his cheek. “Hey, I’m proud of you, most men wouldn’t touch a dirty diaper with a ten foot pole.”

“Yeah?”

“I know you’ve seen your father do it with Didi, but trust me, they wouldn’t.”

“Go me,” he said as he tried, rather unsuccessfully, to stifle a yawn. “You know if you used that breast pump you insisted on getting, Vati could help me with a bottle and then you could get some sleep.”

“I know, sweetie, but Fiete is just…” Amber shifted him to her other breast, after burping him, “He’s just too new. I mean I carried him around for nine months and he depended on me for everything, and I just can’t give that up right now.” She smiled at him. “But I do appreciate the offer and if makes you feel any better, how about I take you up on it when he starts teething and is a whiney, cranky mess?”

Bernd laughed. “I’ll be back at work by then, so unfortunately, you’ll be on your own, unless Vati’ll help you.”

“Well, it was worth a shot. How about when he’s a bit bigger, I let you take over the night feedings, before you go back to work?”

“Okay… I don’t think Vati was that hands on when I was little cuz Mutti was still alive, but he had no choice with Didi and he didn’t do so bad with him either.” Bernd reached out to stroke Frederick’s cheek with the back of his finger.

“Nope.” But Didi missed out on having a mom… she thought. I guess that’s why he became my baby… She leaned against her boyfriend. He certainly was more fun than a doll and you at the time… “He’s finished,” she said.

Bernd got up out of bed and walked around to her side of it. “Think we’ll have another one?”

Amber gave him a “you must be kidding me” look as she handed him their sleeping son. “Can we survive this one first, before we start planning another one?”

“Yeah… but he’s so cute and you’re such a good mom, Amber.”

“Thanks. And you’re going to be a great dad too, Bernd, so let’s work out the bugs with this one first, okay?” Amber smiled.

“Okay.” He smirked. “But aren’t you afraid he’ll grow up to be as messed up as I am?”

“Well, I’m the oldest and I didn’t turn out that badly.”

“No, you didn’t…”

Her expression softened. “Bernd, you know that’s not your fault, nor was it Vati’s. It was just something unforeseen that happened and what did I tell you about dwelling on it?”

“That you’d kick my ass if I did.”

“Exactly. Now go put Fiete in his crib and get that ass of yours back here.”

“Jawohl!” Bernd grinned as he clicked his bare heels together, before padding softly to the nursery and back. Crawling into bed, they snuggled together. “I’m sorry if I upset you, Amber.”

“You didn’t, Sweetie. It’s just that my hormones are out of whack, so if I’m more cranky than usual, you know why.” She kissed him. “And that’s why I need you to be strong for the two of us, Bernd.”

“I know…”

“You’ve been doing really good and it’s okay to feel a bit anxious; this is new for me too. And don’t wait until it gets bad; tell me, or Vati, or better yet, tell Greta.”

He laughed. “How about I call the therapist?”

“Yeah, that too and now that that’s settled, let’s try and get some sleep before he wakes up again.”

“Hell yeah!” he said as he helped Amber roll over and face away from him. Putting his arm around her, Bernd spooned in behind her. Comforted by each other’s presence, they both fell into a deep exhausted sleep.

A couple of hours later, Wolfgang was in the basement, putting in a load of laundry, when he heard his grandson crying. He chuckled softly as his son was so gun-ho yesterday about being a good father and taking care of the baby. He finished putting the load, when he noticed that Frederick was still crying and that neither parent had made a move to go get him. Sighing softly, he left the laundry basket on the dryer and walked into the nursery. “Was machst du?” he said softly as he picked up his grandson in much the same manner he used to talk to his sons when they were babies. His late wife had always found it amusing that he never failed to ask his children what they were doing when it was plainly obvious they were simply doing what a baby does; crying to get an adult’s attention. “Sssh…” He rocked the baby. “Are you hungry and did Mutti und Vati forget about you?” Wolfgang said as he took him over to the changing table. “Let’s check that diaper first before we go wake them up and tell them what idiots they are,” he chuckled. Laying Frederick down, he grabbed a diaper and changed the baby. “Your Opa may be old, but he has done this enough times to know how to do it,” he said, running a one-sided conversation, while Frederick howled. Once Wolfgang had him swaddled again, Frederick felt a bit better, but he was still hungry and her let his grandfather know it. “Sssh… Kleine, I know, I know… You’re hungry, but there’s nothing I can do about that except wake your parents, so let’s go do that.”

Walking over to his parents’ room, he opened the door, without knocking, and walked in, Frederick howling in displeasure at being denied his breakfast. A few seconds later, two sleepy heads popped up, one pink haired the other a faded turquoise, as two sets of eyes stared bleary-eyed back at them.

“Vati..?” Bernd yawned as he got up out of bed. “Why’d you wake Fritz up?” he asked as he padded over to them, while Amber got ready to feed him.

“Fritzchen woke himself up. You mean to tell me, you two didn’t hear him crying?”

Nein…” Bernd took his son from him. “Sssh… Mutti’s here, Fritzchen.” He handed the baby to his girlfriend. Walking back over to his father, Bernd ushered him out of the room. “Danke…

“Thanks? Bernd, you can’t let him cry like that, he’ll get sick.”

“Sorry, Vati,” Bernd said. He felt like he was five years old again and his father was scolding him for getting into mischief, even though he was now a father himself.

“Sorry doesn’t feed the dog, Bernd. If you two can’t hear him, then sleep with the door open.”

“We heard him just fine the other couple of times he woke up.”

“Well, then if you wanted to sleep in, then you should have told someone. Greta and I are more than happy to help, and you need to get some formula by the way so we can. I’m up early and I can check on him after I throw in a load of laundry. Luigi can give him a bottle too while I make breakfast, or Didi if Greta’s not here to help.”

“Yes, Vati.” Bernd ran a hand through his pink hair.

Wolfgang opened his mouth to say more and sighed instead. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have butted in and treated you like a little boy, but please, Bernd, if you two need help, don’t be afraid to ask. We’re all family here, okay?” They stared awkwardly at each other.

Bernd looked away and back. “Ja… and thanks, Vati.”

“You’re welcome. I’m going to go make breakfast now. Why don’t you and Amber come up after you put Fritzchen down for his nap?”

“Nap? Vati, all he does is eat, sleep, and shit.”

Wolfgang laughed. “So did you when you were that age, my boy.”

Bernd laughed too.

“And watch your language, Bernd; you don’t the baby’s first word to be ‘Scheiße,’ now do you?”

“No…” Bernd grinned. “I’ll see you in a few, Vati.”

“Okay,” Wolfgang said as they turned and went their separate ways. He was glad he had stocked up on bacon as he was going to make Amber’s favorite breakfast to welcome her home. As he climbed the stairs, Wolfgang wondered if she would like pancakes with them, or if he should just make eggs and toast. He puttered around the kitchen while he figured out the menu. Wolfgang was busy frying bacon when Greta walked in.

Guten Morgen, Old Man,” she said, her thick German accent reminding him of home. Greta walked over to the cabinet and took out a coffee mug. Closing the door, she walked over to the coffee maker and poured herself a cup.

Guten Morgen.” He removed the strips of crispy bacon, putting them on a plate lined with paper towels. Wolfgang added more to the pan. “You sleep well?” he asked her in German.

Ja. I wonder how they slept,” she said as she walked over to stand near him. Leaning against the counter, she stole a piece of bacon from the plate.

“Not too well, and I’m a bit worried about Fritzchen.”

“What happened?”

“They overslept this morning and it was a good thing I was down there, doing the laundry, or else he’d still be crying.” Wolfgang put more bacon on the plate.

“Did you tell them to move his crib in their room?”

Wolfgang’s cheeks heated up. “Nein…”

“You didn’t yell at them, did you, Old Man?”

“Nein.” He frowned.

She snorted at the look on his face. “You must have ‘spoken’ to one of them… and since Amber’s not up here, rioting, you yelled at Bernd.” She giggled. “Maybe he needs to sleep in his own bed tonight.”

“Maybe, but then how’s he going to learn to be responsible if he does?”

Greta laughed. “Maybe you should’ve got them a puppy.” At his look, she added, “It’d be a lot easier housebreaking it than getting Bernd straightened out.”

“He’s come a long way in four years, Greta.” Wolfgang offered her another piece of bacon, before putting the plate in the warming drawer. Taking a dozen eggs from the fridge, he cracked them into a bowl, adding some milk, before whisking the mixture with a fork.

“I know and it’s amazing how well he’s done, but now he’s responsible for more than just himself.”

“True,” Wolfgang poured the eggs into the frying pan, mixing it with a spatula, “But you’d be surprised what one can do when the time comes.”

She snorted. “It’s a good thing we’re here to help them.”

Ja…” He scraped the scrambled eggs onto a platter. After wiping the frying pan clean with a paper towel, Wolfgang set to work, making pancakes, while Greta chatted with him and drank her coffee. The delicious smells wafted down to basement, thanks to the open door in the kitchen.

Amber sighed softly. While Bernd washed up in the small powder room, she nursed their son. Frederick suckled hungrily and she realized as annoying as it was for Wolfgang to wake them up like he did, it was probably a good thing he had. Her breasts had been full and a bit sore from the delayed feeding and it worried her that neither one of them had heard the baby crying. Looking around the room, she wondered if they should move the crib in there, until he slept through the night, but she also lamented the lack of space. Part of her menagerie had been relocated in her room, not that she minded, but Vlad the hedgehog’s cage and, Lestat the blue tongued skink’s and Draco the desert tortoise’s tanks dominated the one wall. Luckily Countess Balthory had been moved upstairs to Wolfgang’s study, of all places, but both seem fine with it. Amber was glad Bernd adored Claudia, so she was now living in his room, but there times when she worried about him spoiling the little chinchilla with too many treats. She wondered if she could talk her brother into taking care of any of them, or Bernd’s brother Didi. Lost in thought while she mentally reset her priorities, Amber never heard Bernd return.

“Shit!” he swore.

“What?”

“I’ve gotta go muck out Blitzkrieg’s and Louis’ stalls and from the smell of things, Vati’s got some breakfast made up there.” Sighing softly at missing out on it, he leaned over and kissed the top of her head, brushing his fingertips against Frederick’s cheek as he straightened. “I’m gonna miss it, but I need to get dressed and go cuz their stalls aren’t gonna clean themselves. You gonna be okay with Fritzchen?”

“I’ll be fine, Bernd, go. I mean he’s almost done, and then I’ll put him in the crib and go have breakfast.” She looked up and smiled. “Besides, you know Vati always saves some for you.”

“Yeah, still it’d be nice to sit and have breakfast with the family”

Guten Morgen,” Greta said from where she stood just outside their room.

“Morning,” Amber said.

“Morning… I’d better get going; I’m late as it is.” Bernd stepped past her. A few minutes later, they heard the sound of his footsteps bounding up the stairs.

“Was muchst du?” Greta said.

“What does it look like I’m doing?”

“Burping a baby?”

They giggled.

“It’s good to have you home,” Greta said.

“Yeah… It’s good to be home.”

“Can I?” Greta held out her hands for the baby. Amber carefully handed him over to her and she kisses the sleeping baby’s forehead. “He’s adorable.”

“Yeah…” Amber smiled as she adjusted her nursing bra and pulled down the baggy t-shirt she was wearing.

“That’s cuz he looks like you.” Greta grinned.

Amber rolled her eyes. “Actually, he looks more like Bernd did when he was born, except he’s got more hair.”

Greta snorted in amusement, before her expression softened. “Seriously, he’s beautiful.”

“You ever think about having one of your own?”

“Yeah, and then I ask myself if I’m crazy. No, I’ll just be the doting… aunty?” Greta said as she rocked the baby.

“If you want to be,” Amber said. “Or his second mommy.”

Greta nodded. “So bunny-boy was just a donor?”

Amber shook her head. “I don’t know what he is, truthfully. We love each other, always have and always will. I know if I didn’t love him, he wouldn’t be Fiete’s father.”

“But if he was a girl with a penis he’d be perfect, hunh?”

“Greta, Bernd is a girl with a penis.” Amber gave her a knowing smile and Greta laughed. “Just ask my brother, he’ll tell you.”

“And he should know, hunh?”

“Yup, cuz he’s one too.”

“You’re terrible, but that’s why I love you.” Greta got up. “I think he’s asleep, so why don’t you get dressed and come have breakfast, we can play later.”

“Do you mind if I don’t play? I’m still sore.”

“Sure.” Humming softly, Greta carried Frederick back to the nursery. She carefully laid him in the crib. “Schlaf gut, Kleine, süße Träume.” Kissing her fingertips, she brushed them against his cheek, before leaving. “Amber?”


“I’m here, Greta.” Amber grabbed her clothes. As much as she wanted to lounge around in her pajamas all day, she figured she had better shower and get dressed for the day. Together they headed upstairs. “Morning, Vati,” Amber said they walked through the kitchen on her way upstairs.


“Good morning, Amber.” He took some plates down from the cabinet. “Got a minute?”


“Sure, what is it?”


“I’m sorry about-”

“It’s alright, Vati.” Amber hugged him. “I’ll be a few minutes late for breakfast. I want to shower.”

“It’s okay. Just come when you’re ready.” Wolfgang went back to getting what he needed to set the kitchen table. Since they tended to eat in shifts during the week, with dinner being the only meal they were all home for, it was easier to set kitchen table.

“We’ll see you in a bit, Old Man,” Greta said as the girls left the kitchen.

“‘Old Man’?” Amber shook her head. “I can’t believe you call him that and he lets you get away with it.”

“That’s cuz I’m a girl of many talents,” she smirked. “He’s let me call him that since I got back from Germany.”

“You mean since you slept with him.”

“Hey! It wasn’t like either of us set out to do that; it just happened. I told you I was in the kitchen looking for the coconut oil and he just happened to be there too. We got to talking and one thing led to another…” Greta shrugged. “He doesn’t care about the porn and he’s a bigger taste of home than Bernd or Didi are. It’s on my terms, so if I don’t want to anymore, he’s shit out of luck. Besides, he knows how I feel about you and he’s mature enough to take what he can get.”

“I know, but don’t hurt him.”

“I like the old geezer, Luigi on the other hand…” She shuddered.

“Yeah.” Amber climbed the stairs, Greta in tow.

“But enough of them. Let’s talk about how much I want to get you in the shower and soap you up,” Greta said. “I’ve been away from you for far too long and I just want a few precious moments without Bernd hovering over you like you’re going to break or something.”

“I know, but he means well. I’m actually surprised he’s left me alone so he can go clean Blitzkrieg’s stall and Louis’ too.”

“Well, if we’re lucky, he’ll stay and go riding afterwards.”

“I told you I don’t feel up to anything, and besides, I really can’t until I get the okay from the doctor.”

Reaching the top of the stairs, they walked down the hall to the bathroom.

“I know, but that doesn’t mean I have to stop helping you in the bath or lying in bed with you and cuddling.”

“I just wanted to be sure you know.”

“I know. Damn it! Who’s in here?” Amber groaned when she saw the closed bathroom door.

Greta knocked. “Hurry it up! Mutti needs to use the shower!”

“Greta!” Amber hissed.

The door opened revealing a sleepy Dieter. His hair, which he normally combed back, was sleep tousled and he stared at them bleary-eyed with a toothbrush in his mouth. He held up a finger, before disappearing back inside to finish brushing his teeth. Minutes later he opened the door again. “Morning.”

“Morning, Didi.”

“It’s all yours, Amber.”

“Danke,” she said as they passed each other.

Dieter stood there, shaking his head, while Greta followed her girlfriend, shutting the door behind them. He imagined what they would get up to in there, but before he let those thoughts get the better of him, he turned and went downstairs. He had a class at ten that morning and he liked to be on time. Besides, there would be time enough later for him to indulge in his fantasies and if he did not feel like waiting that long, he could always grab an early morning shower once the girls were finished. By the time he reached the kitchen, Dieter had succeeded in forgetting about the girls. Since he had a calculus that morning, he needed a clear head. He figured it was far better to think about numbers than sitting there at the breakfast table, while he and his father ignored his morning wood. If Uncle Luigi was there, Dieter did not want to think about the ribald comments and teasing he would get.

“You think he’s thinking about us?” Greta asked as she pulled the baggy t-shirt Amber wore to bed up and over her head with a bit of help from her girlfriend.

“What do you think?” Amber smirked.

“I bet he’s wishing he could see me do this…” Greta said. She cupped Amber’s breasts while her girlfriend reached behind herself to unhook her nursing bra. “Hmmm… they’re getting softer.”

“Yeah?” Amber said as they got her out of it.

“They still look the same, maybe a bit veinier, but not bad.” Greta pushed Amber’s pajama bottoms down past her hips.

Amber snorted in reply. “Anyway, let’s make this quick,” she said as her girlfriend helped her undress. Naked, she walked over to the shower. Turning on the taps, she waited until the water felt warm enough, before stepping inside.

Greta hurried to undress. Once she was naked, she stepped into the shower as well. “Hey! Quit hogging all the water!” she teased.

“But it feels so good.” Amber stood under the shower head, letting the water hit her back and shoulders. Reaching up, she ran her hands through her thick, curly hair. “I need to touch up my roots once Fiete gets big enough to leave for a couple of hours.”

“I can do it for you at home.”

“I know, but it’s such a pain at home and I want to be pampered at the salon.” Amber pulled her close.

“I can pamper you.”

Amber kissed her girlfriends’ forehead. “I know and believe me, you have since you got home, but I was thinking more like a girls’ day out or something.”

“Ooh! Are we going away for the weekend?”

“Not yet, Fiete’s still so new…” Amber frowned at the thought of leaving her son behind.

“Okay.”

“But think about it, I mean we can easily do that when Fiete’s six months old. It’s not like I’ll be away working anymore. And I’m sure by then; Bernd’ll be able to handle things on his own too.”

Greta looked up at her. “Does this mean I need to get a normal job?”

“I think so.” Sorry, but I don’t think you can sit around, having sex with Vati, and playing with the baby, and call it a day…

“Scheiße!”

“I’m sure there’s something you can do.”

“Amber, all I know how to do is have sex and now that I’m too old to make movies there’s not much for me to do, and besides, I’m glad I’m retired from the business.”

“Twenty six isn’t old, Greta.”

“It is for porn. I used to feel like a grandmother next to all those eighteen year olds.” She took the soap and lathered it up, before putting it back. Placing her soapy hands on Amber’s shoulders, Greta moved them downwards, washing her. She paid special attention to her girlfriend’s breasts, massaging and teasing them.

Amber took Greta’s face in her hands, tilting it upwards so that she could kiss her. “I’m sorry; Greta, I really don’t feel like playing.”
“It’s okay, Liebschen,” Greta murmured. “I can always go harass the Old Man into something.”

Amber shook her head, sending little droplets of water flying. “You don’t have to wash my pussy,” she said as she grabbed her girlfriend’s hand. “I’m still bleeding and probably will be for the next month and a half.” She sighed. “I feel so gross.”

Greta snaked her hands around her. “Liebschen, it’s not like I’ve never had a period before.”

“I know, but this is different.”

“Amber, you’re still just as beautiful to me as you were before little Fiete.” Greta stood on her tiptoes and kissed her.

“Thanks, but I feel so fat and bloated and hormonal as hell.”

“You’re not fat, in fact, I bet when we go to the doctor on Monday for your first check up, you’ll see you’ve lost all the weight you gained.”

Amber looked at her like she did not believe her.

“Seriously.” Greta kissed her again. “Now lean over and let me wash your hair,” said and Amber laughed.

“I think I can do that myself. I’m not an invalid, just a new mom.”

“But I missed you and I want to pamper you.” Greta pouted. “And I wished I could’ve gotten out of that contract for that last film. It sucked being so far away from you, I feel like missed everything…”

Amber wrapped her arms around her girlfriend, holding her close. “It’s okay, Greta, you were there at the end, when I needed you the most.”

Greta’s mood lifted and she laughed. “Well, somebody had to be there to see to it that Bernd didn’t lose it and make you crazy too.” She giggled. “And also see to it you didn’t kill him, although, if you ask me, it would have been something midway between a mercy killing and justifiable homicide.”

“He wasn’t that bad.”

Greta snorted. “Keep telling yourself that.”

Amber rolled her eyes at her. “I think we should get out before we turn into prunes and Didi eats all the bacon.”

“Agreed.”

Amber quickly washed her hair while Greta washed herself. After rinsing off, the two of them shut off the water and got out of the shower. They dried each other off and got dressed. Amber had to admit she felt a lot better, being up out of bed and moving around. The shower did help her feel less gross too. When she thought about it, she remembered feeling much the same way when she first got her period. The only difference was nowadays Bernd was much less of an ass about it and she was grateful for that, considering all they went through to get to where they were now.

Once they were dressed, they made their way downstairs to the kitchen. “Morning, “ Amber said, feeling a bit more like her usual self as she sat down.

Gute Morgen,” Wolfgang said. Motioning for Greta to sit, he got up and poured them each a glass of orange juice. Bringing it to the table, he asked if any of them wanted coffee.

Bitte, Old Man,” Greta said and he poured her a cup.

“How’s the little guy doing?” Dieter asked between bites.

“Fiete is doing fine.” Amber chuckled. “So is Bernd.”

“Good,” Dieter replied. Like the rest of them, he worried about how his brother was taking to fatherhood, given his issues.

Greta snorted. “Danke,” she said to Wolfgang when he put a plate full of pancakes and bacon in front of her. Turning to Dieter, she said, “I wouldn’t worry; we’re all here to help, Amber, so it should take some of the pressure off him.”

Amber nodded. “The therapist has been good about letting him whenever he needs to, instead of waiting if it’s after hours.”

“Good,” Wolfgang said. He sat down and went back to eating his breakfast.

“Buongiorno!” Luigi said as he breezed into the kitchen, pausing just long enough to kiss the girls’ cheeks. Grabbing a plate off the counter, he walked over to the warming drawer. Opening it, he helped himself to some breakfast. “So how’s the little </i>bambino?</i>” he asked as he sat down.

While Amber proceeded to tell him, Bernd was hard at work in the stable, mucking it out. His horse, Blitzkrieg, was turned out into the paddock along with Amber’s pet miniature donkey, Louis. Pushing the wheelbarrow outside to the muck pile, he paused to watch the horse and donkey. The unlikely pair trotted around the paddock, Blitzkrieg coming as close to him as he could with the fence in the way. The horse whinnied at him and Bernd set the wheelbarrow down and walked over to him. “Hey, boy,” he said as he pulled off his work glove to rub his hand on the Friesian’s velvety soft muzzle. Blitzkrieg blew warm horsey breath in Bernd’s palm as he nibbled with his lips, looking for treats.

“I’m almost done; then I’ll get you something to eat while I brush you down.”

Louis brayed at him for attention.

“That goes for you too,” Bernd added as he reached through the bars of the fence to scratch between the miniature donkey’s ears. He sighed softly. “I promise I’ll be back later to go riding, but now I need to hurry. We brought Fritzchen home yesterday. I can’t wait until he’s big enough to meet you. As soon as he can sit up comfortably on his own, I’m going to take him riding. You’ll see it’s going to be awesome. Amber’ll probably kill me,” he laughed when Louis brayed in agreement, “but he’s got to get to know you guys. I’ll know he’ll love you as much as I do.”

Giving them one last pat, Bernd turned and hurried to get his chores down. He still needed to shower when he got back and eat breakfast as he was just as hungry as the horse and donkey without the luxury of being able to graze in the paddock. He smiled as he wondered if he got Amber pregnant while playing “horsey” in bed. He hoped so as he wanted his son to love horses and riding as much as he did. While Amber did on occasion go riding with him, she did not have the same passion for horses, although, she was just as fond of Blitzkrieg as he was, she prefered riding her “centaur” instead.

His chores finished, Bernd headed back to the house. He walked inside, when he reached it, shutting the door behind him. He took off his dirty boots and left them in the mud room, before entering the kitchen. “Hey, Vati.”

“Sit, my boy.” Wolfgang took his son’s breakfast from the warming drawer, setting in front of him. “Want some coffee?”

“Please,” Bernd said between bites.

Wolfgang set a coffee mug in front of him. “Sorry, I’m not staying.”

“I don’t stink that badly, Vati.”

His father chuckled. “It’s not that. I’m going into town later and I have a few things I need to do before I go.”

“Okay.” Bernd took a bit of his pancakes, washing it down with some coffee. “Where’s Amber?”

“She’s downstairs feeding Fritzchen.”

Bernd nodded. He ate his breakfast as quickly as he could without shoveling it in.

“Bernd, just put your plate in the sink, I’ll take care of it later.”

“Thanks, Vati.”

Wolfgang walked over to the fridge, opened it, and took out a bag of greens for the giant tegus Amber had named Countess Bathory. Bernd watched as he placed them in the giant tegus’ bowl along with a few slices of carrot. Putting the bag back into the fridge, Wolfgang closed it and took the bowl of greens to his study where the Countess now “held court.”


Bernd finished his breakfast, and getting up from the table, he put the dishes in the sink. Turning to leave, he saw the door leading to the basement. Deciding to go see how Amber and Fritz were doing before he went upstairs to shower, Bernd headed downstairs to the basement. A quick look in Amber’s room showed she wasn’t there. A couple more steps and he reached the nursery and froze, before panic kicked in and he rushed inside.


Amber sat in the rocker, her head lolled to the side, Fritz held loosely as he suckled. Bernd thought the unspeakable had happened and he was afraid to go near her. He backed out of the room and ran for the stairs. Standing at the bottom he called up, “VATI!! Damn it!! VATI!! COM’RE!!!”


Wolfgang, who had not heard the shouting at first, soon came running. He took the stairs as fast as he could, his heart pounding wildly in his chest. His son was a blubbering mess at the foot of the stairs, and as much as he wanted to deal with him, Wolfgang gave him a sympathetic glance, before heading into the nursery. “Amber…?” he said softly as he approached. When he got close enough, Wolfgang felt a sense of relief as he gently shook her awake. “Amber, wake up. You can’t sleep with the baby.” Hearing Greta come downstairs, he walked over to the doorway. “Relax, Bernd, she’s just asleep and Fritzchen is fine. Greta, can you wake her up?”


Nodding in reply, Greta got up to go deal with her girlfriend while, Wolfgang took care of his son.


Wolfgang hunkered down next to him. “Bernd, listen to me,” he said, “Amber is fine, she just fell asleep. The motion of the rocking chair probably did it. She’s fine, okay?”


Bernd clung to him and simply cried his heart out. All of his fears that he had repressed about Amber dying like his mother had, had all come bubbling up to the surface and he was finding it hard to get a hold of himself. While he was relieved Amber was alright, he just could not help himself.



“Bernhardt! You need to stop this now! Amber needs you to be strong,” Wolfgang said. “If you need to call the doctor, go call her. I will help Greta take care of her. Now go.”


“I’ll…I’ll… be okay too, Vati,” Bernd said. He pushed back from his father and wiped his face with his hands. “I was so scared, Vati.”


“I know, and when I saw you, I got a bit of a fright myself, but Amber’s young and strong and your Mutti was different. No one could have predicted her passing.” Wolfgang put his hand on his son’s shoulder. “Amber’s not your Mutti and don’t forget that.”


Bernd nodded. “I’ll call my therapist too, when this is over, okay, Vati?” He got to his feet along with his father.


While Wolfgang was doing his best to calm Bernd down, Greta was in the nursery, trying to wake Amber up. She shook her gently and when all she got for her trouble was Amber mumbling in her sleep, Greta kissed her cheek. “I know you’re tired, Liebschen, but you need to wake up before Fiete gets hurt.” When she took the baby from her, Amber woke up with a start.


“Greta?!”


“Relax, you feel asleep and gave your pet Poodle a heart attack.” She sighed as she lay the sleeping infant in his crib. “Vati too.”


“Yeah?” Amber looked upset.


“It’ll be okay…”


“You sure?” Amber tiredly got to her feet. She padded over to the crib where Fritz was sleeping and gently brushed her fingers against his cheek.


Greta shrugged. “I’m not sure, but I think Bernd is having a breakdown, Amber. You must have scared the shit out of him.”


“Damn… I’ve been trying so hard to reassure him everything’s going to be alright.”


“He’ll get over it.” She hugged her girlfriend. “He’s a lot tougher than everyone gives him credit for. If everyone would stop fussing over him and coddling him, he wouldn’t run around flailing like a damsel in distress all the time.” Greta held up a hand. “No seriously.” She softened her tone with a smile. “Amber, he only acts like a lost little boy, cuz you let him, but I don’t let him pull that nonsense with me. I know he’s got problems, but he also needs to man up and face them. Don’t worry, he said he told the therapist about it and she said as long as he feels it’s helping, I can keep setting him straight. You know I’d never do anything to hurt your Poodle. Now go to him, make sure he’s okay and then we all need to have a talk upstairs.”


Amber nodded. She hurried out of the nursery and over to Bernd. “Bernd…?”


“Amber…” Bernd slowly walked towards her, not that it mattered as she closed the distance between them. He clung to her like he never wanted to let go. However, he did let go after awhile and stepped back to smile shyly at her.


That tore at her heart. “I’m sorry, I scared you.” Amber reached up to cup his cheek.


Placing his hand over hers, he said, “It’s okay, I shouldn’t have over reacted.”


“Oh, sweetie…” Amber leaned in and kissed him, heedless of the sound of footsteps going up the stairs. Breaking it, she rested her forehead on his and smiled. “Come, let’s go upstairs and see what they want.”


“Fritz is okay?”


“Yeah, he’s sleeping. Come…” Amber gently led him away. They went upstairs and found Greta and Wolfgang waiting for them in the living room. Sitting down on the sofa together, Bernd leaned against her.


“Bernd, go upstairs and clean up,” Wolfgang said. His son was filthy from the stable and he was not happy about him dirtying the furniture, although it was the least of his worries.


“Okay, I’ll be right back.” Giving Amber a kiss on the cheek, Bernd got up to do as he was told. He returned about ten minutes later, smelling a lot better in clean clothes, his hair damp from the shower. He sat down next to his girlfriend again and they held hands, drawing strength from each other.


“Amber, Bernd,” Wolfgang began.


“Look,” Greta interrupted. “You’re both exhausted and that’s not good for either one of you. We think it would be much better for both of you, if you let us help. That means you either let us get some formula for Fiete or you use that breast pump you got, Amber, and make a few bottles for the fridge. You need your sleep, Liebschen. You do too, Bernd. You got up several times during the night, then got up early and went to go tend to your horse and Amber’s donkey. How much sleep do you think you got? Can’t be much as you look like you’re ready to drop and let’s not forget the two days when Amber was in the hospital and you barely slept.”


“Ummm…”


“I don’t know, Greta….” Amber said.


“I know he’s shiny and new, Amber, and if Fiete was mine, I’d want to do it all too, but I think you should take advantage of all the volunteer help you’ve got. Bernd’s trying, and he’s doing a great job too, but he’s even more exhausted than you are.”



Wolfgang nodded. “I can tell you from experience, that having a newborn is hard work and I know too how exhausting it is, as I’ve had to look after one all by myself. I was lucky, Didi was already sleeping through the night by then, but I also had a four year old who liked to get up with the chickens.” He smiled.


Bernd blushed at that.


“Your Onkel Luigi will also tell you how hard it is looking after die Kleinen. That’s why they moved in with us for awhile.”


Amber nodded. She had been part of Wolfgang’s brood when she was younger, even if it was on a part time basis, just like her twin brother James. The only difference being, she had managed to make that a permanent thing that lasted into adulthood. Thanks to Frederick, she was now joined to his family by blood. Unfortunately, she had spent most of her life fending for herself, even under Wolfgang’s care as she did not want to be a bother and have him send her away. “Vati?”


“Yeah?”


“You sure you don’t mind helping with the feedings?”


“Don’t be silly, Amber, of course I don’t mind. He’s my grandson.” Wolfgang smiled. “You want to sleep in, Greta and I can take over the eight-thirty feedings and the eleven-thirty too, if you’re really tired.”


She and Bernd exchanged glances. “Should we take them up on it?”


“I don’t know…” Bernd said softly “He still makes me feel like a lil kid.”


Amber could not help laughing. “Bernd, I think a part of you will always be a lil kid.” She kissed his cheek. “But that’s part of your charm.”


He blushed. “Yeah…”


“Okay, I’ll give you we could use some help, but can we try it out on a temporary basis? I think a few days will be fine, but I’ll work things out so that you can give him a bottle during the day and you too, Prissy,” Amber said, calling Bernd by her brother’s pet name for him.


“Now that’s settled, the Old Man and I are going to go into town and get some formula just in case, okay?”


“Will you be alright until we get back?” Wolfgang said.


“Yeah, I think we’ll be fine, Vati,” Bernd said. “Didi’s here and I’ll ask him to make sure we’re up when Fritz wakes up.”


“Good. Then we’ll see you later.”


“Yeah.”


“Bye, Vati, Greta. Have fun” Amber said as they watched them go.


“ Tschüß!” Greta called out.



“So now what?” Bernd said.


“I don’t know… You want to go back to bed?”


He stifled a yawn. “Sounds good to me. Why don’t you go downstairs and wait for me while I go tell Didi to make sure he’s got the monitor and to come and get us after five minutes if Fritz is still crying.” He got up to go.


Amber did so as well. Several minutes later, she was back in bed snuggling up with her boyfriend as they drifted off to sleep.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
vexed_wench
Nov. 4th, 2013 12:02 pm (UTC)
Nice job Kira.
kiramaru7
Nov. 4th, 2013 12:47 pm (UTC)
*blushes* Thanks, Vexed! <3
kattrip033
Nov. 5th, 2013 08:22 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Kira! I love it so much! <3
kiramaru7
Nov. 5th, 2013 11:24 pm (UTC)
You're welcome, Kat! I'm sooo glad you liked it!! *huggles*
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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