The guys had all arrived Morgan’s house before nine pm.
And as promised, PJ came prepared with new cartoon movies the kids had never seen before and Daniel had packed none sugary snacks and drinks that would sustain the kids for the length of the movie.
Unable to understand the magnanimity behind their dads’ action, the children were ecstatic and didn’t question it. In fact, the dads noticed that they behaved themselves without being told, it was as though they had an unspoken consensus to behave well so as not to interrupt their good fortune at watching a late night movie.
They had giggled where necessary and the dads had had no option but to join them in watching the movie while having their adult conversation in low tones. The children finally slept at a few minutes past twelve midnight, the longest they’d ever stayed awake.
On his two year anniversary of marriage to Alero, Morgan had finally decided to make their abode a home, instead of the decoy it had once been.
Before Alero left jail, Morgan had been living undercover with their daughter, Ruth. The house had been purposely left to look abandoned, with tall grasses, peeling paint and a front yard gate that hung precariously on its hinges. It had left any would be attackers confused, because nobody believed anybody would live there.
Now, that gate had been replaced with a taller, solid one, the fences were higher, the house had been renovated and painted. And their home was more of a fort with hidden security cameras, than what Slay had built for his own family.
PJ and Daniel never teased them about the high security in their houses, they understood that due to their line of work and the things they’d experienced, they felt better protecting their family with a home that was almost impenetrable.
It was also the reason behind Morgan teaching his kids self defense; the dads had not figured out how that particular activity would work, but they had a free time prelude to that event as by eight am the kids were still asleep.
The guys conversed in muted tones as they were quite okay with the children sleeping in, but Slay’s phone sliced through the semi silence when it rang and he picked the call immediately.
“Sweetheart!” he whisper yelled into the phone, his heart thumping and hoping the kids hadn’t been disturbed. “Why are you calling?” he asked with a frown but glad that she’d called.
“I was designated to call and check how you guys were holding up with the kids,” she explained, her voice a husky pleasure in his ears.
“Designated?” he asked, his eyes catching that of the other guys as they raised their brows questioningly.
“We all wanted to call…even late last night, but Cecil wouldn’t allow it,” she confided in an extremely lowered voice, presumably so that the others wouldn’t hear and Slay grinned widely that their women were missing them despite this whole situation being their fault.
“Well, tell the girls not to worry, we are fine. Everything is top notch around here,” he gloated, his tone carrying a bit of pride in it and that same pride was visible on the guys’ faces.
“What about the kids? I don’t hear any screams in the background,” she asked worriedly.
“They are still asleep,” he reported smugly, especially when he heard her surprise.
“Asleep? How is that possible, it’s…a few minutes to nine?”
“It’s our secret, baby, you girls will have to work really hard to get it,” he chuckled as she huffed mock angrily, said a snobbish ‘whatever’ and ended the call.
The guys laughed as Slay told them what the call was about.
“I wonder what Cecil has them doing,” Morgan thought aloud and looked up when his uncle walked in, “Good morning, Sir,” he greeted.
The chorus of greeting came from the other three guys too and Ebong nodded in reply, rubbing his eyes as though he’ d just woken up, instead of having been listening to their quiet conversations until Cecil had been mentioned.
“I’m still not used to waking this late,” he commented in a croak as he went into Morgan’s kitchen to get an un-chilled bottle of water.
“We should probably plan breakfast before the hellions wake,” Daniel pointed out, thinking like his wife; he was mentally proud of himself, it was as though Wana was whispering to him then, her habit of planning was certainly rubbing off him.
“True,” Morgan concurred, getting to his feet and moving to the large kitchen, “We should defrost what we need…”
“Is there an appliance for that?” PJ asked with a frown as he followed Morgan into the kitchen.
“You’re hopeless,” Morgan joked, “Defrosting simply involves pulling out the food from the fridge and leaving it on the counter to defrost.”
PJ scoffed, “I use a microwave for that, it’s faster,” he boasted and fixed Morgan with a smug stare.
“But it isn’t here,” Daniel pointed out.
“It’s in my car,” he smirked.
“You brought your microwave all the way,” Slay commented in obvious shock.
“I’m not a kitchen master, but I can use the microwave like a pro. As DJ packed frozen food for me and my girls, of course I’m going with my microwave,” he concluded. “It’s not as if I had to pay separate transport for it,” he muttered when the guys stared at him speechlessly.
“You did well, bro,” Daniel said, patting his shoulder and nodding.
“Of course,” Morgan added after a while, “It’ll make everything faster.”
“Yeah,” Slay agreed. “But before you go for the microwave, we should find out what we have and choose what would be for breakfast.”
“I can bet a grand that the women coordinated their cooking,” Daniel said.
The guys chuckled as Morgan opened his deep freezer, cold smoke escaping the interior, “Of course they did,” they chorused.
Ebong grudgingly stood and moved towards the kitchen, since the conversation about Cecil had apparently died before it started, disappointing him greatly, as he’d been hoping to hear what the boys thought of his woman, there was nothing else to do but join them.
He also silently acknowledged that he had to learn from the boys he had brought up because, God willing, he might be having a child of his own. The thought warmed his belly and equally filled him with dread.
Honestly, he knew nothing about babies; he’d only been able to succeed with Slay and Morgan because they’d already been teenagers when he’d been forced to be responsible for them.
Choosing breakfast for the guys wasn’t a hardship since the women, maintaining the color coding had -packed frozen food for their family using their colors.
The men were aware of the color coding; Slay had the blue fridge containers and he knew to serve his boys food in plates of the same hue. The same went for Morgan who had the purple, Daniel had the red and PJ had the lemon.
The women had labeled each of the fridge containers with breakfast, lunch and dinner. So, all the men had to do was pick their color of fridge containers labeled breakfast and opened them.
They didn’t say anything to themselves, but the prevalent feeling that Ebong saw on their eyes was fierce love for their women. He was sure breakfast would be a sumptuous affair.
Cecil had welcomed the women with bowls of creamy ice cream that got Wana screaming in joy and moaning when she took her first bite.
The women had hugged her in gratitude and the night had progressed quite smoothly until Wana wondered aloud how their husbands were faring with the kids at a few minutes to twelve midnight.
From there, the night would have delved into a disastrous affair because the women then begun siting different negative characteristics their children possessed that their dads might not be able to deal with.
And Wana was of the opinion that they call the men and find out. In fact, the look on Alero’s face would have resulted in her wanting to rush home that night if Morgan so much had mentioned some sort of difficulty.
Cecil had quietly offered to go get their phones where she’d helped them plug to charge; but instead of returning with the phones, she came back with the announcement that she had locked the room containing their phones and that they’d not get to call their husbands until morning.
“You ladies will enjoy this night off whether you like it or not,” she had declared sternly to the shock of the women.
“What if they really, really need us?” Debbie had almost sounded like her four year old daughter.
“Then Usen will call me to get in touch…”
“Who’s Usen?” Wana had frowned.
Cecil choked on her mistake. She was the only person that referred to Usen by his first name. Her eyes widened and met that of Eddy, who wasn’t any help, she raised her eyebrows knowingly and said nothing.
“Err…Ebong, I meant…seriously, you came out here to relax and if this was a bad idea, I know none of you would have readily accepted it, jumping for joy,” she had said, pinning them all with an accusing look.
“True,” Alero had commented under her breath but audible enough to be heard.
“Yeah, we wanted them to have a feel of caring for the children single handedly,” Debbie joined.
“But we ended up making the experience comfortable by planning and preparing all their meals for the day,” Eddy had scoffed sarcastically, causing the ladies to laugh.
They had fallen asleep conversing about their husbands and their antics.
Cecil had given them the choice of sleeping in different rooms or pulling the mattresses to the large sitting room and having the full experience of a sleepover; they had accepted the full experience.
When the loud blending sound rented the building from the kitchen, the women were instantly awake…well, except Alero whose pregnancy was slowly advancing, Wana had to shake her awake.
The women had stumbled into the kitchen to find Cecil blending what she called a health drink and declaring the women had to exercise that morning before getting the drink.
So, while Wana argued that an exercise wasn’t an extreme necessity, Eddy was designated to call and check how the men were faring.
Cecil was currently putting a jug of the green looking health drink in the fridge when Eddy returned with the shocking news that their kids were still asleep.
“By this time?!” both Debbie and Alero exclaimed at once, their shocks were palpable.
Wana moved forward worriedly, “That’s strange. They wouldn’t have drugged them, would they?” she asked.
“That’s a bit extreme,” Cecil commented from across the room and the other women nodded while turning to stare at Wana who currently looked guilty.
“Oh my God, Wana, did you drug your child?!” Debbie exclaimed in shock.
“It was only once!” she cried and looked perturbed. “I was so tired after I’d just opened my boutique, you recall the sheer amount of work I had to put in everyday, before finally finding the perfect employee…anyway, Tony just wouldn’t go to sleep. So I gave him a bit of cough syrup, he was asleep in thirty minutes and woke late in the morning,” she concluded.
“How old was he then?” Cecil asked with interest.
“A year and a half,” Wana replied.
“You could have given me this solution when Abel wouldn’t sleep if it wasn’t midnight,” Alero accused, yawning and trying to look sternly at Wana.
The picture she made reduced the women into laughter and Cecil used that moment to herd them to her exercise room. It was just an empty room that Cecil had placed five soft mats, with one in front of the four.
It was a simple set up, she expected the women to follow whatever she did.
“You know we are pregnant, right?” Wana asked again, trying to get out of the exercise.
“So?” Alero scoffed, walking by and choosing a mat close to the window.
“I know, I won’t be too hard on you, the exercise is more like simple stretches,” Cecil said and took position.
Eddy walked in then, having changed into yoga pants and a t-shirt, same as Alero and Cecil, “You should change,” she said to Debbie and Wana and proceeded to choose a mat.
Twenty minutes later, Wana dropped her legs and breathed heavily while facing the ceiling on her back, “I can’t do it,” she cried, refusing to look at Alero and Eddy who were doing the so called simple stretches easily, she could only attribute that ease to their husbands.
“I think for the first time in my life, I’m entirely agreeing with Wana on this one,” Debbie panted from her spot close to the door.
The laughter that followed ended the exercise session and Cecil herded the women to the health drink she’d prepared. After much grumbling, they ingested the green drink and were told to bath and dress up and be ready to spend the whole day out.
Cheers went up in the kitchen and Cecil shook her head ruefully, she loved being with these women, but sometimes, she felt like she was dealing with teenagers instead of grown married women, with careers and children.
DUCT SEASON 4 continues
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