Disclaimer: Marcelo, Aiden, and possibly half of Rusty are my creation. Stephanie Shaw da Silva and Sancho are Kris's. Angel and Raven are of Dylan's creation.
Rating: Before the couple gets to the bedroom, certainly PG. After they get there, it's for adults only. Stephanie's language is as authentic as someone who didn't create her can get.
For Kris, an excellent RP partner.
by Bev McIntyre
The peaceful quiet of an afternoon in a very specific penthouse in Manhattan was broken by quiet, little grunts. The grunter was a little boy with a white, stuffed animal under one armpit. He tried to keep his fuzzy companion in place while pushing and arranging his father's legs on the couch.
Marcelo cracked open an eye to see his son with his ever-present white bamf doll trying to make him more comfortable. “Thought you were supposed to be napping, menino.”
Big, brown eyes turned from his determined task to his father. “You're gunna fall offa the couch.”
Marcelo drew in a long breath as he opened both his eyes more fully. So much for an afternoon nap. He used his arms to pull himself into a seated position. “Nah, that won't happen unless my butt starts hanging off.”
His son dutifully looked over at his father's posterior. It looked to be safely ensconced on the couch, but his eyes narrowed in suspicion. “It's not fallen off yet...”
Marcelo couldn't help the laugh that escaped as he gathered the boy onto his lap. “Yes, my butt is still connected to me. Mami will be very glad.”
His son settled easily into his father's embrace. “Your butt's an important part of you. Mami said so.” He paused in his sage advice giving. “Even if it doesn't light up.”
“Sounds like Mami.” He paused just as dramatically as his son. “And you, pirilampo.”
“Maybe a little,” Marcelo confirmed with a knowing nod. “Since you noticed, you get to be Papai's little assistant. I'm supposed to be doing exercises.”
“Hmm.” The boy tapped his chin thoughtfully and tilted his head up a little at his inquiry. “In the pool?”
"Mami isn't here to keep an eye on me.” Or more accurately, keep an eye on their son, The Splash King. “So, it'll have to be in the gym.”
“Can Li'l Miss Angel help?” He held the white bamf right under Marcelo's nose. It smelled slightly of glue, hand soap, and some of Stephanie's perfume.
“Don't see why not,” Marcelo answered as he gently pushed the stuffed doll away from his face. “How about you and Li'l Miss Angel go see if the gym's ready?” He gave his son a light pat on the back. Which was all the motivation the young boy needed to hop down and go racing toward the in-home gym.
Marcelo carefully swung his legs off the couch and reached for the wheelchair next to him. He grimaced a little as he moved from couch to wheelchair. He let out a long sigh after he settled into the seat. He brushed his hand over his bald head before unlocking the brakes. He started rolling before regrets took the hint to start piling on him. He wheeled into the gym to find his son spinning in the center of the large room with his arms spread wide. The yodeling at the ceiling was an odd touch.
Marcelo chuckled at the display as he moved over to a pair of parallel bars set up near where his son was spinning like a top. He was just about to pull himself up to try walking between the bars when he heard the front door open. He paused in mid-lift when he heard more than one person's footsteps.
“Any handsome men home?”
Marcelo settled back into his chair at the sound of Stephanie's voice. Though his grip on the arms of the chair approached white-knuckled as he had flashes of recent events that put him into a wheelchair. That did not stop his son from yelling 'Mami's home!' and race out of the room. Marcelo's cry to stop his son got caught in his throat. Common sense put in it was very likely it was Stephanie herself returning home. The low murmur of greeting sounded like one of her teammates.
He heaved another sigh to clear the momentary panic out. When he finally managed to wheel himself into the hallway, he almost rolled right into Stephanie carrying their son on her hip.
“There's Papai. Just the number one handsome man I was looking for,” Stephanie said brightly. At the far end of the hall, Sancho stalked the visitor that had arrived with Stephanie.
“I'm number two,” their son announced proudly as he held up two fingers. His reward was a kiss on top his head from his mother. Marcelo bit his lower lip to keep from making a comment about his son and number twos.
“Querida. Aiden,” Marcelo greeted once he mastered his bathroom humor. Then he had to blink when the tall blond man behind Stephanie grew two fuzzy heads. It took Marcelo a minute to realize Aiden's twins were riding on their father's back.
Stephanie turned slightly to keep an eye on Sancho, whom Marcelo realized was probably stalking the twins' tails. “I got off work early today,” she started explaining, “and set up a playdate for our son with Aiden and Angel's twins. The Blaires are going to make a day of it. If that's all right with you, mi amor.”
Marcelo hummed like he was giving the idea serious thought.
“Pleeeeeease, Papai. I wanna go play with Raven and Rusty.” His son batted his eyes at Marcelo.
“We're going to a park,” Aiden explained. “I'll grill some food. We'll have him home by bedtime.”
“Pleeeeease, Mr. da Silva,” both twins begged simultaneously from their father's back.
“Well...” It seemed everyone but Stephanie was waiting in anticipation of his say-so. “... he can go. Just leave the bamf here so she's safe and clean.”
“Yay!” His son held Li'l Miss Angel up victoriously as Stephanie set him on the floor. He raced over to hug Marcelo before running off to go put his bamf in his bedroom.
The twins hopped down from Aiden's back, startling Sancho in mid-stalk. They didn't notice the cat scrambling in a different direction as they chased after their friend.
“I'd better go after them before they get distracted, and Angel gets stuck alone at the park.” Aiden gave the married couple an easy grin and trailed after the children.
Marcelo looked up at his wife. “You're home early.”
“I had a doctor's appointment,” she commented as she watched Aiden disappear around a corner.
“Isn't that my thing lately?” he asked no one in particular. He wheeled himself around to head back into the gym. If his wife frowned at the question, he didn't see it as he rolled back down the hallway. He heard her light footfalls follow him.
He went back to the parallel bars and locked the brakes again. He tried and succeeded to get his feet on the floor without using his hands.
“Your appointment's tomorrow,” she noted quietly from behind him.
“Mm. See if I can officially get out of the chair.” He reached up to grab the bars for extra support when he tried to get up.
“Do you need help?”
“Maybe. My assistant got more excited about a playdate.” He glanced over at her.
Stephanie checked over her shoulder. “Well, give me a few minutes.. I'll sub in as your assistant.”
She disappeared out the doorway to let Aiden and the kids out. Marcelo didn't wait to stand up. They had argued the night before, and what pride he had still stung. He understood now where she had been coming from, but last night her reminder that he shouldn't have been doing what he did to get hurt had rankled. Considering his battle with his own shame, the only surprise to him had been that it had been this long. But he was also the king of suppression compared to his passionate wife.
But in the present, he tried not to dwell on it and focus on getting on his feet. Though he was wobbly once he got upright. He grabbed the bars to steady himself. He glanced down and adjusted his stance to get more stable. Once he felt certain he wasn't going to fall over, he started to walk between the bars. He heard Stephanie re-enter the room. He was too busy being deliberate with every step to look her way.
“Looking good, mi amor. You'll be back to chasing our son soon.”
He nodded as the real test came: turning around. It was almost painfully slow with his small, careful steps. He lost track of where his wife was. Until he turned around and found her right there. It would have been startling has he not noticed she was missing her jacket and blouse. Marcelo blinked at the emerald green bra. “Well, now I'm motivated to do... something.”
“I was warm, and I'm an expert in knowing what motivates you best.” She smirked at him. Probably because he couldn't pull his eyes off her chest.
“While your breasts are great for holding and fondling, they aren't great for grabbing for support.”
“I do have other body parts for that.” She brought her hands up for him to grab for support. “Now, let go of the bars and walk with me.”
Marcelo hesitated. He knew she was more than fine with him leaning on her in all senses for support. She expected it him to. He just had a hard time looking like he was weak in front of her. Always had since he learned how she raised. Just in case something from back then still had a hold on her. A small crack that could make him lose her. It was always something that lurked in the dark recesses of his mind. Something left over from being a scared ten year old pinned under his mother's protective body.
“Marcelo,” she said quietly. No admonishment in her tone. “No matter whatever doubts you have, I love you and will be here. I chose you and will continue to for the rest of my life. I have never regretted a moment with you. I know the man you are.”
He took in a deep breath. Then he gently moved his hands from the bars to her forearms. He dragged his eyes up from her breasts to see a warm, yet self-satisfied smile. He guessed she was glad he still adored her breasts.
“Now, walk with me.” Stephanie started walking backwards.
Marcelo reflexively grabbed her forearms tighter. Then, a little wobbly, he took steps forward. He followed wherever his wife lead. She led him out from between the bars and took him on a slowly bending route around the gym.
“Looking good, mi amor.”
“I bet you say that to all the bald, gimpy-legged Brazilian men.”
As he got steadier with his movements, Stephanie lowered her arms so he could walk on his own. “No, I only say that to one magnificent man.”
“What did I do to deserve that one?”
“If you try to walk to the bedroom, I'll show and tell you.”
He raised his eyebrows. Their bedroom was on the opposite side of the penthouse. That was a long walk, but it felt good to be out of the chair.
“I'll follow with the chair, and you know I'll make it worth it.”
He didn't need much more motivation. If he could have ran, Marcelo would have. Instead, he angled himself toward the door. He waved to their personal chef as he walked by. He saw their chef do a double take and stop chopping vegetables as Marcelo passed. The Brazilian didn't stop to chat. His eyes were on the bedroom door on the far wall. He was starting to sweat a little, which bothered him. He was only walking; it shouldn't have been this hard.
Halfway there his steps got wobbly again. He knew Stephanie wasn't directly behind him at the moment because he could hear her quietly conferring with the chef. Marcelo steadied himself with some furniture. His knees started to protest with occasional shooting pain. He set his jaw and kept going forward. He almost made it to the doorway without needing to grab something to steady himself. He stumbled and grabbed the doorframe with a white-knuckled grip.
“I'm right here, mi amor,” Stephanie said from behind him. He had missed when she had stopped talking to the chef. “You've done wonderfully. You can settle back into the chair if you need to.” ( Adults Only Beyond This Point )