"Are you sure this is a good idea?"
I turn to face my mate. "What are you talking about?"
"Getting everyone together for a fourth of July picnic. Is it a good idea?"
Shrugging I say, "It's a holiday sweetheart. We haven't had everyone gathered together since New Years. It'll be fun."
He crosses his arms and raises an eyebrow at me. "Fun you say? You do remember New Years right?"
I nod. "I do."
"Then you'll remember that the four of you together plus Famine's pranks resulted in a food fight that would rival a world war! It took me months to get the gravy stain off the ceiling!!"
"I know that but honey."
He points at me and says, "Don't you 'but honey' me! The four of you and explosives in the same vicinity is not a good plan!"
Stepping forward, I put my hands on his shoulders and begin rubbing his arms. "Honey..."
He looks up at me and says, "What?"
"Relax. It'll be fine. It's only a picnic. I'll make sure everyone is on their best behavior."
His gaze narrows. "How are you supposed to do that when you're just as bad?"
"Come on, I'm not that bad."
"Tell that to the washing machine."
"Hey, that has nothing to do with this."
He bites back a smile and says, "Oh really?"
"It wasn't my fault!"
"So, the washing machine ended up in a tree on its own then?"
I cross my arms and say, "It was War's idea. He wanted to see how far we could launch it."
Aiden pats my shoulder and says, "See? Point made. Let's just try to keep the damage to a minimum."
"We're parents now. We have to set a good example for our son."
"Babe, he's seven months old. He's not going to remember any of the shit we do until he's older. Besides, where's the fun in that?"
He sighs and says, "I give up. Our son is going to be a delinquent."
I pull him into a half hug and kiss his cheek. "Aww honey don't look so depressed. Not all delinquents are bad."
He runs his hands over his face and says, "I mated a maniac."
"Yes but I'm a loveable maniac."
He smiles and says, "Loveable indeed."
"Come on Leo we're going to be late!"
He makes his way down the stairs and says, "Keep your pants on I'm coming."
I lick my lips and say, "Are you sure you want me to keep them on?"
He lets out a growl and says, "Don't tempt me or we'll never make it to the picnic."
Suddenly, his expression changes and he says, "Maybe we should skip the picnic."
"Why? We haven't seen everyone at the same time since New Years."
He steps forward and puts his hands on my hips. "I don't like that you have to glamour yourself."
"It's only for a little while. I don't care if humans do know about paranormals. Male pregnancy isn't something they see every day and I refuse to put our little one at risk."
He strokes my cheek and says, "You're right. Come on, let's get going. We don't want to be late."
"Tao! Have you seen my pants? I could've sworn I laid them on the bed."
He steps out of the bathroom with only a towel wrapped around his hips. "Nope."
"You're lying to me aren't you?"
"Tao, where are my pants?"
He stalks across the room and says, "I'll tell you later. After I've had my way with you."
I lick my lips and say, "As much as I would love for you to have your way with me we'll be late for the family picnic if we don't hurry."
He pushes me back on the bed and says, "Then we'll be late."
"Mm sweetheart, I like the way you think."
"How's everything coming?"
Arariel looks at me and says, "Everything is ready. Jaharan went to get more ice. I'll fire up the grill when everyone gets here."
"Sounds good. I can't believe they left me in charge of setting this up."
Arariel puts his arm around my shoulders and kisses my cheek. "Don't worry about it. Everything looks great and we have a prime viewing spot for the fireworks. It'll be fun."
"If you say so."
He smiles and says, "I know so. Now let's finish patting out these burgers everyone will be arriving soon. Speaking of, I can see Death's white hair from here."
I turn around and sure enough, Death is strolling across the parking lot with my nephew strapped to his chest and Aiden at his side.
Leo and Famine arrive a few minutes later which leaves War and Tao unaccounted for.
Death looks around and says, "Anybody seen War? He's usually the punctual one. I'm surprised we beat him here."
Famine laughs and says, "Do you really have to ask? He probably decided an afternoon romp with Tao was worth being late for."
Appearing out of nowhere with Tao in tow War says, "How did you know?"
Causing everyone to at the picnic table to erupt into laughter including me.
Death says, "Well now that everyone has arrived let's get this party started."
With a wicked grin he snaps his fingers and War yowls and jumps up from his seat as firecrackers begin to go off in his back pocket. He shouts, "I'm going to get you for that you little bitch!" He snaps his fingers and a cannon type firework appears in his hand. Pointing it at Death he lights the fuse and says, "It's on now."
Aiden shakes his head and says, "And so, it has begun."