It had been a couple of months since that night by the pool, when Pete almost... He didn’t even like to think about it. He was glad Vegas was recovering well — he had recently been released from the IV, but was still confined to the bedroom and prohibited to do a lot of things. Pete was so glad he was well now. He loved Vegas.
They didn’t start their relationship in the healthiest way, but they were improving — especially in communication. (If they were a bit kinky in their sexy endeavors no one had any say in it. Although they couldn’t do more than cuddle for now.)
So, they were in love, and they were improving.
That was what Pete was reflecting about as he walked out of the Main Mansion to go to a convenience store nearby to buy some snacks. Vegas was napping, and Macau was with him just in case he woke up soon, so he wouldn’t wake up alone. Vegas was not dealing well with that yet.
Pete left the building and turned the corner. He took his time looking for what he wanted, but stayed there for less than 20 minutes.
When he walked back to the mansion, Pete heard a ruckus.
“WHAT IS IT? ARGH!”
He recognized Tankhun’s voice and rushed over to him, who was being held by Arm and Pol. They were surrounded by other bodyguards.
“What is going on?” He asked.
“Pete? PETE!” Tankhun screamed and pushed Arm and Pol away to throw himself in Pete’s arms. “What is that? Is that a b-bomb?”
“What?!” Pete widened his eyes and looked at what the group of bodyguards was looking at.
It was a box. No, it was a basket, Pete realized as he looked better at it. He dislodged Tankhun from his chest and handed him back to Arm and Pol, walking closer to the basket.
“Pete! Don’t go there!” Tankhun screamed. “Arm, do something!”
At that moment, a sound came from — apparently — nowhere. It was a loud crying sound. Tankhun screeched, jumping into Pol’s arms, and nearly knocking them both over. Pete tipped his head — ignoring the others — and followed the sound toward the box. Tankhun’s screams of his name were louder than the crying sound.
When he looked inside the basket, Pete’s jaw dropped. He kneeled beside it and stretched one hand inside, pulling a letter out. It was addressed to Vegas, which made Pete’s insides tremble. He knew he shouldn’t open it. He should take it and the content of the basket to Vegas and let him read it first. But Pete opened the letter before he could consciously stop himself.
He didn’t realize he was holding his breath as he scanned what was written there until he let it out in a gasp after finishing it.
Pete shuddered and looked back at what was inside the basket. The crying sound surrounded him. He folded the letter again and put it in his pocket.
The guards and Tankhun had quieted for now. But Pete knew it wouldn’t last as he moved to take something out of the basket.
He took it in his arms and stood up, turning toward Tankhun and the guards.
Pete saw some of them gasp, others’ jaws just dropped. Tankhun screamed and fainted, being supported immediately by Arm and Pol.
“Is that a” Arm started.
“BABY?!” Pol finished over him.
Pete nodded and walked toward the door of the mansion.
“Where are you going?” Arm asked, astonished.
“The baby is too young to stay outside.” Pete said, keeping his back to his friends. “And there is a letter addressed to Vegas.”
He walked inside without looking back.
Everyone who crossed Pete’s path inside the mansion looked at him like he had grown a second head — or like he was carrying a crying baby inside. Pete ignored all of them. He focused on his destiny and on trying to comfort the baby.
By the time he reached the door to his bedroom with Vegas, the baby had stopped crying out loud, but his lips were still trembling.
Pete was going to open the door when it was opened from the inside by Macau.
“Oh, Pete! Big Bro wanted me to search for you because you weren’t picking up your-” Macau said quickly before he stopped as he looked down. “Why are you holding a baby?”
“Baby? What baby?” Came Vegas’ voice from inside.
“Let me in, Macau. And stay.” Pete said as he passed a curious Macau. “Close the door.”
Vegas’ eyes widened at the sight in front of him and he tried to sit straighter. Macau ran to help him.
Pete balanced the baby in one arm and put the bag from the convenience store on the side table, sitting on the corner of the bed after. He picked the letter from his pocket and extended it to Vegas.
Vegas opened the letter and Macau glued himself to him to read over his shoulder.
Pete let them read it while he continued lulling the baby.
“Hang in there, okay? I’ll soon see to it that you have what you need to be comfortable.” He murmured.
“Our little brother?” Macau whispered incredulously after he finished reading.
“If whoever wrote this letter is telling the truth.” Vegas was skeptical.
Pete raised his head and looked at his boyfriend.
“I think we can ask the doctors here to conduct a DNA test between you. I’ll take the baby to be checked out and ask about it.”
Vegas squinted his eyes. Pete didn’t want to- No. He couldn’t be entertaining the thought of-
“The baby needs to be taken care of.” Pete interrupted him. “I brought him directly here, but he is probably hungry and in need of a diaper change. I’ll take care of it, don’t worry.” He stood up and walked to the door, looking back at the brothers still static. “Please, stay with Vegas, Macau.”
Macau just nodded, and they watched Pete leave. After a minute or two, Macau looked at his brother.
“It is probably true, right? I know Pa slept around with women.”
Vegas looked at his little brother, who had seen so much already when he should have been protected. Vegas had failed in doing that.
“Stop, Big Brother.” Macau put a hand on his shoulder and shook his head. “I know you’re blaming yourself for whatever, but you always took care of me. So stop that train of thought.”
He was going to say more, but there was a knock on the door and then Porsche put his head inside. Vegas looked at him.
“What is it?” He asked.
“Can we come in?” Porsche asked and opened a smile.
So Kinn was with him. Vegas’ relationship with his cousin was... Not exactly good. They had talked after everything that had happened and apologies had come around at some point, but they weren’t exactly friends yet. At least, it was what Vegas thought. But Pete and Porsche were friends. And Kinn supported Vegas and Macau staying in the mansion, and in close contact with the family and the business — if they wanted it. His cousin had even said they would work out something for Vegas to do after he recovered fully.
Porsche came in and Kinn followed him. Kinn fidgeted for a minute while Porsche waited for him to talk, a hand on his waist, both standing close to the door.
“Sit.” Vegas said just as Kinn opened his mouth, which made him close it again and look around.
He sat on the sofa in the corner of the room, and Porsche sat in its arm, taking one of Kinn’s hands in his.
“Tankhun came to me, freaked out.” Kinn started. “He said there was a baby abandoned at our door and Pete brought the baby here.”
“The letter says the baby is father’s son.” Vegas said. He didn’t have a reason to hide it. “Pete took him to the doctor to be checked up.”
“Does it say anything about the mother?” Kinn asked, preoccupied.
“She is in prison. Apparently, my father didn’t help free her, especially after she told him about the baby. She gave up parental rights to him as a punishment, or so the letter says. The baby was handed to her mother after she stopped breastfeeding him and that was the person who left the baby here.”
“Did she, the grandmother,” Porsche clarified. “say why she didn’t deliver him personally?”
“She didn’t want to be in touch with any of us.” Vegas said flatly.
The door opened and Pete was back with the baby. He saw Porsche and Kinn and nodded to them. He sat on his side of the bed and leaned against the headboard, sighing.
“The baby is healthy. I asked a nurse to go out and buy him basic necessities.”
“That was fast.” Vegas said.
“They just checked his vitals.” Pete smiled a little.
“Why are we calling him ‘the baby’?” Porsche asked.
“He doesn’t have a name.” Macau said, looking from the letter he was re-reading to the baby in Pete’s arms and back. “It says here she only fed him while she was obligated by the medical staff in prison. He is four months old. Complete today.”
“Which means the baby was handed to the grandmother today and she left him here. Thus I was quick at the doctor.” Pete said and Vegas heard the anger in his voice.
They both had Dad Issues , but Pete’s grandma was precious to him, so he was probably comparing her with this woman who abandoned a baby so young to his luck.
“He could be dea-” Pete cleared his throat to stop himself from saying that word and continued. “Tankhun thought the basket he was in was a bomb. If he hadn’t started crying and I wasn’t there, he would probably still be outside or something else could have happened.”
Oh, yes, Pete was furious. Vegas was sure of it. But the baby was calm in his arms, looking around with big round eyes. Pete’s arms were really comfortable. Vegas could understand the baby.
A few minutes passed in silence.
“What are your plans, then?” Kinn asked.
Pete raised his eyes to Kinn, then he looked at Vegas.
“I have no idea. We haven't talked yet.” He said in a low tone, downcasting his eyes.
Vegas looked at Pete, then at the baby — who apparently was getting sleepy by the way he was blinking slowly —, then he looked at Macau, sat by his side, holding the letter and looking at the baby with soft eyes.
“We will do a DNA test to confirm if he is our brother.” Vegas decided then, raising Pete’s head with a finger on his chin to look at his eyes and smile at him. “And I want to do some research on this woman. Maybe ask around the Minor Mansion if anyone knows of her.” He said after a pause and looked at Kinn.
“We can arrange that. I will ask Arm to start the research online. And Porsche can go to the Minor Mansion. You’re still not cleared by the doctors.” Kinn concluded, apologetic.
“I can help with the guards, the ones who worked closer to Pa liked me.” Macau suggested.
“I’ll keep an eye on Macau.” Porsche was quick to say before Vegas could protest.
“That might be good.” Pete said and Vegas finally nodded.
At that moment, a knock on the door stopped their talk, and Porsche — who was closer — stood up and opened it. It was the nurse with the baby's necessities. Pete thanked her and she helped him with changing the baby and preparing a baby bottle for him.
Kinn and Porsche took the opportunity to leave and go arrange the details for the research.
Macau watched the nurse closely, paying attention to her explanation of how to care for the baby. He wanted to help as much as he could.
Pete asked her to let the doctor know they would be doing the DNA test and she left to arrange it.
“If...” Macau started and stopped, unsure.
Pete was with the baby back in his arms, feeding him, but raised his eyes to the boy.
“What is it, Macau?”
Macau really liked Pete. He was caring, soft, and funny. And he brought the best in Vegas out, aside from making him happy. Macau always wanted his big brother to be happy. He focused on Pete and went on after a few minutes gathering courage.
“If he really is our brother, we will take care of him, right?”
Pete wanted to say yes, but he bit his tongue because it wasn’t his brother to start with, and he couldn’t impose on Vegas to raise a baby. He was already crossing the line with the decision of taking the baby inside and holding onto him like he was doing now. And that thought made him look back at the baby, who had finished his bottle, so Pete raised him to his shoulder to make him burp.
Unintentionally, in that position, the baby was pretty much eye-to-eye with Vegas and the man stared at the young child for a while.
“I don’t know, Macau.” He finally answered his brother. “I’m not cut out to be a father.”
“Says who?” Macau was suddenly indignant. “Because I think I’m doing okay so far.”
“What do you mean?” Vegas was confused.
Pete opened a little smile.
“You’ve been raising me for most of my life, it is what I mean.” Macau crossed his arms, huffing.
“Pa didn’t love me.” His little brother interrupted him. “He didn’t love any of us that much. I know that. He cared much more about status and power than us. You love me, take care of me, and protect me. You’re more of a father than he ever was.”
Vegas was left speechless. Pete looked at him over the baby’s head and saw that his eyes were wet and he was blinking fast to hide it. He knew that Vegas thought little of himself, it was good that Macau threw his feelings in his face like that.
Pete waited but a few minutes passed and Vegas didn’t say anything.
“We shouldn’t decide on anything right now.” He decided to say. “It’s an overwhelming situation. But I’ll take care of the baby while we wait for the test and the investigation.”
Vegas looked at him and just nodded. He was really overwhelmed and needed time to process what was happening.
Another knock on the door brought the nurse back, accompanied by the doctor. They collected material for the test and the doctor took the chance to check up on Vegas.
“Do not exert yourself.” The doctor said as he left after clearing Vegas from bedroom rest.
“At least now I can walk around the mansion.” Vegas said sarcastically.
“This is good, Big Bro.”
“Macau is right. Just earlier today you were complaining about being stuck in here.” Pete chided him. “We can go to the garden later.” He said as he put the sleeping baby in the middle of the bed. “But for now we will rest for a while and Macau will do his homework.”
“More rest?” Vegas complained.
“Homework?” Macau whined.
“Yes. I am tired after all this commotion.” Pete said to Vegas and then turned to Macau. “And you have school tomorrow.”
Macau pouted but left to his bedroom to do what Pete said. And Vegas sighed, slumping in the bed again. The baby moved a little between them, and he observed him while Pete got more comfortable and closed his eyes.
Hours later, around sunset, they went to the garden. Vegas had to sit down as soon as they arrived there, realizing he was weaker than he thought.
“You will feel better and stronger soon, don’t worry, Vegas.” Pete comforted him, sitting by his side with the baby in his arms.
The baby was awake and trying to grab a necklace Pete was wearing. Vegas observed him as he recovered his breath.
“Where will he sleep tonight?” He decided to ask. Pete tipped his head at Vegas. “I’m afraid of hurting him. We could squish him.”
“Oh! Hm... I was thinking about that too. I thought of going to the mall to see if I can find a portable crib and buy a few clothes for him. We only have formula and diapers.” Pete mused. “He can’t stay in the same change of clothes. It’s unhealthy.”
“Will you take him with you?” Vegas raised an eyebrow.
“That would be counterproductive and dangerous, Love. We don’t have paperwork to prove we can have him with us.”
“Oh, yeah. You’re right.” Vegas tilted his head. “Who will take care of him, then? Even if I could hold him, I don’t know what to do.”
“I’ll ask a nurse.” Pete looked Vegas in the eyes. “Vegas.”
“Am I forcing you?” He asked quietly.
“Yeah... To take the baby in.” Pete said and looked down.
“No, no!” Pete's squinted eyes made Vegas backtrack. He knew him better than himself. “A little. But you're right! The baby needs care and protection. And he is not at fault because of who his parents were.” He rushed to say. “Macau is right too. If he is our little brother we should take care of him.”
“And if he isn't?” Pete asked.
“Then I don't know yet.” Vegas was sincere. “I still don’t think I can be a good father.”
“That is fair.” Pete said. “I understand.”
He was a little sad, but he understood Vegas. He knew about Vegas’ feelings regarding his father and how he thought he was too much like him. Although Pete and Macau disagreed, that was something Vegas needed to work on by himself — Pete and Macau could only reassure him to some extent. They fell silent and stayed like that for a while, quietly together. It was something they grew to appreciate.
Macau found them back in their room, around an hour later. Pete had just called a nurse over and was settling the sleeping baby in the middle of the bed. Vegas was on the sofa, observing them with a book in his hands.
“What are you doing?” The teenager asked.
“I am going to the mall to buy baby stuff.” Pete answered.
“Is Big Brother going to take care of him?” Macau’s eyes widened.
“No.” Vegas rolled his eyes. “I can’t. A nurse is coming.”
“Vegas, you can learn!” Macau sighed.
Vegas’ jaw dropped, astonished and a little angered by such an implication. Pete chuckled.
“It’s not that.” He explained. “He is not cleared to lift weight, so he can’t even hold a baby.”
“Oh! It makes sense.” Macau deadpanned then, making Vegas roll his eyes again. “Can I go with you, Pete?”
“Hm? Yeah, sure.”
The nurse arrived at that moment. Pete said he had changed the baby and that he had just fallen asleep. Pete looked around thinking of something else to say.
“Go.” Vegas said softly. “Before it gets too late.”
Pete went to kiss him on the lips, then he left with Macau.
They took a car from the garage and a bodyguard with them. It was normal for when Macau left the mansion, and they could probably use the help to carry whatever they bought.
“Do you want to go somewhere, Macau?” Pete asked when they arrived.
“Hm? No. I want to help you.”
“Oh!” Pete chuckled. “You’re taking this well, Macau.”
“I guess.” The boy shrugged. “I didn’t think a lot about how having a baby at home will change things, but if he is our brother he is family. Family takes care of family.” Macau mused. “And I think it will help Vegas get better too, right?” He whispered.
“What do you mean?” Pete looked at him attentively.
“It will be something to put his energy on. Taking care of the baby. He will direct his attention to it because that is how my brother is. And it maybe will help him leave the past behind.”
“Oh.” That boy had seen so much. Pete worried about him. “Maybe, Macau.” He answered and put a hand on his shoulder. “Maybe the baby will help all of us.”
“Yeah.” Macau sighed.
“Macau.” Pete made him stop and look at him. “Even if we keep the baby we won’t let you aside, okay? You matter a lot to me, and you mean the world to Vegas. I know it. And the baby will love and care about you just as much as we do, you know? Because he will know that you’re the best person out there! The best big brother!”
Macau’s eyes widened. He gulped and hugged Pete.
Only now, in the parking lot of a shopping mall, Pete realized how much Macau was probably hurting too. He hugged him tightly and passed a hand soothingly in his hair.
“You can talk to me about whatever you want, whatever you need, okay? I’m here for you too, Macau. Not only for Vegas.”
He felt the boy nod in his neck and gave him time to absorb all he said and to calm himself.
They went back to the mansion around two hours later. Vegas was watching the nurse feed the baby from up close when Pete and Macau entered the room, arms full of bags. A bodyguard followed them carrying the portable crib.
Macau put his bags down and quietly sat on the floor, putting his head in Vegas’ lap and hugging his legs. Vegas looked at him, putting a hand on his head, and up to Pete with questioning eyes. Pete mouthed that he would explain later.
“Did the baby give too much work?” He asked the nurse — to distract all of them from Macau.
“No.” She answered. “He seems like a quiet baby.”
“Good.” Pete chuckled. “Hopefully he will let us sleep tonight.”
The nurse covered a laugh and nodded.
Pete took the time she spent feeding the baby to start unpacking all they had bought. Macau got up after a few minutes and helped him with the crib, getting it ready for the baby to sleep in. Vegas was looking at the small things all over their bed with curiosity.
“I’ll send all the clothes to the laundry because it all needs to be washed before he uses it.” Pete said to no one in particular.
“Can I help with anything?” Vegas asked.
“Check all of them for tags and take off all the ones you find, Babe.”
The nurse finished putting the baby to burp and Pete received him from her, thanking her for the help. She even took the new bottles and pacifiers with her to leave in the kitchen on her way out.
“Where are the pre-washed sheets we bought, Macau?” Pete asked, looking around the mess in the room.
“I’m already putting them here.” The teenager answered.
“Ah, thanks.” Pete smiled at him. “I’m glad you had the idea to ask about it.”
“I heard two ladies talking about it.” Macau said shyly and shrugged.
“And if you hadn’t heard them, I would be going nuts about washing these sheets before using them.” Pete joked, making Macau finally smile. “Do you want to hold him, Macau?” Pete suddenly asked.
“What?” The teenager straightened his posture and looked at his brother-in-law with wide eyes.
“Do you want to hold the baby?” Pete repeated.
“I-I don’t know how to do that.” He stuttered.
“It is not that hard. But only if you want.” Pete smiled.
“I...” Macau looked at the baby. “I want to.”
“Okay! Sit on the sofa.”
Macau sat down and Pete went to him, guiding him on how to place his arms. Pete calmed him, telling Macau the baby was strong enough to be held by an inexperienced person. Macau was tense but he was also having a good feeling about it. He looked at the baby and the baby blinked sleepily at him.
“Hi.” He whispered.
Pete smiled brightly. He took a few steps back and sat close to Vegas on the bed, starting to pile up all the clothes.
“What happened?” Vegas murmured in his ear.
Pete knew exactly what he was asking about.
“He needed a little reassurance that we love him and we are by his side, no matter what.”
Vegas looked at Makau, concern filling his eyes. Pete continued.
“Also, he thinks the baby will help you leave the past behind and get better. Maybe you can tell your brother you’re doing it for him. For yourself first, but for him too.”
“I will.” Vegas said softly.
Macau had been looking and whispering to the baby, but he looked up with his eyes as wide as a plate and murmured nervously.
Vegas nudged him and Pete went to Macau.
“What is it?”
“I think he slept in my arms!” Macau was astonished.
Pete checked and giggled quietly.
“He did! It must mean he felt safe with you, Macau! I’ll put him in the crib now.”
Pete carefully took the baby in his arms and put him in the crib in the corner of the room. Macau sagged on the sofa, seeming suddenly tired. He sighed loudly, but not very much. He didn’t want to wake the baby. Then Macau glanced at Vegas and Vegas called him over to the bed.
“Can you stay here while I take these to the laundry?” Pete asked after he settled the baby.
Macau nodded and Pete picked up the clothes, leaving the brothers alone.
“Come here, little brother.” Vegas leaned against the headboard and opened his arms to his brother.
Macau accepted the hug, laying down carefully in Vegas’ arms. His brother didn’t have stitches or any open wounds anymore, but he still needed to take it slow because of all the internal damage the doctor explained to Pete and Macau after his surgery, months ago.
“I’m fine! Relax.” Vegas said lightly. “I’m fine. You’re fine. We’re going to be fine.”
“Pete told you about our talk.” Macau said.
“I’m pretty sure he just summarized it.” Vegas chuckled. “But I’m glad he did.” He patted his brother’s hair. “We are together and I’m healing — not only physically. We are going to be fine, Macau.” Vegas kissed the top of his head. “We will stay together. I’ll take care of you. And you will help me out. And we both will have Pete by our side. Maybe the baby too.”
“I love you, Big Brother.” Macau said through a knot in his throat.
“I love you too, Little Brother.”
Both let the talk die down and silence surrounded them. They were together and getting better. They were healing.
Pete took his time at the laundry to give Vegas time to talk to Macau. They needed to pay attention to him too. He realized it today. Not that they were neglecting him, not at all. But Macau wasn’t close to his cousins, just like Vegas. He didn’t seem to have any good friends from school either. Pete would keep a closer eye on him from now on.
He went back to their room and found the brothers cuddling. Vegas saw him and put a finger on his lips, asking for Pete to be quiet. Pete peaked and noticed Macau was dozing off in Vegas’ arms. He nodded, smiling, and went to check on the baby. Since the baby was sleeping soundly, Pete decided to organize the other things they had bought, like a few toys and the diapers.
“Pete.” Vegas called him a while later.
Pete went to his side.
“I’ll wake Macau up to go to his bedroom.”
“No. Let him stay.” Pete kissed Vegas’ cheek. “The bed is big enough. I think he needs it after today.”
Pete just moved Macau a little, to make him more comfortable, and to open more space for himself. He checked the baby one more time before laying down to go to sleep.
The baby woke them up once at dawn. Vegas tried to get up in an automatic reaction, but Macau was sleeping on top of his arm. Pete put a hand over his and went to aid the baby. Macau didn’t even stir, but Vegas tried to sit higher in the bed to watch Pete.
Pete changed the baby and fed him a bottle of formula. He sat in the bed while doing it so Vegas could watch them. After the baby was back in the crib, the both of them went back to sleep too, waking up again at their usual time.
The baby was still asleep when Pete woke Macau up to go to school. The teenager whined but obeyed soon enough. Pete giggled at his whining and shook his head.
“Can we raise a teenager and a baby at the same time?” Vegas asked in a mocking tone after his brother left the room.
Pete looked at him and raised one eyebrow.
“I think we can do it. I dare to say you will rock it because you do a fine job with Macau already.” He said seriously.
“I mean it! Macau said it to you himself. Trust us!” Pete got close to Vegas and kissed him on the lips. “Try to see yourself how we see you and you will agree with us.” He said with their lips still touching.
Vegas leaned into him, but at that moment the baby cried and Pete left him to pick the child in his arms.
The rest of that day was mostly peaceful.
Arm found information about the baby’s mother online and it matched what was in the letter. Macau went to the Minor Mansion with Porsche after school. Vegas took another walk to the garden with Pete and the baby.
He felt better than the day before but was still too weak to do more than go to the garden, sit there for a while, and come back to their room.
The worst moment of the day was when Pete went to get something in another part of the mansion and the baby started crying as soon as he left. The baby was in the crib and Vegas wanted to pick him up but he didn’t know how to, and he knew his arms and torso wouldn’t take it well, probably, so he kneeled beside the crib and tried to calm the baby talking to him and waving a toy at him.
It worked to some extent, which made Vegas proud of himself. But he was relieved when Pete came back. After he picked the baby up, Vegas went back to the bed and looked at them.
“Can you teach me how to hold him?” He asked quietly.
Pete looked at Vegas, surprised, and slowly opened a soft smile, nodding.
“I probably shouldn’t let you hold him yet, I think he is quite heavy for you for now, but...” Pete winked. “We don’t need to tell the doctor.”
Vegas chuckled and nodded. He was completely up to disobedience.
“Support your back well on the headboard and put a pillow on your lap, it will help you support his weight.” Pete instructed and Vegas followed what he said.
He got close to the bed with the baby in his arms and guided Vegas just like he had done with Macau the day before.
“Yes, just like that.” Pete said after the baby was comfortably settled in Vegas’ arms.
Vegas was amazed and scared as he looked at the baby looking back at him. He didn’t remember the time Macau was a baby. He was a young child at that time. Now he was astonished by the sensation of a baby in his arms.
After a few minutes, Pete took the baby back. When Vegas relaxed his posture he realized he was sore and sighed.
“With time you will relax while holding him.” Pete said, reading him like an open book. “For today I think it’s enough.”
“Yeah.” Vegas agreed.
The sensation of the baby in his arms and his big bright eyes on him stayed with Vegas for the rest of the day.
The next two days passed pretty much like the day before. Vegas was slowly doing more things to strengthen himself. Macau was getting more comfortable at taking care of the baby — and more attached to him. Pete was a pro parent. At some point, when Vegas asked about it, he explained he used to help his grandma with babysitting other kids when he lived with her when he was young.
Arm and Porsche’s investigation didn’t find any false statements so far, so now they were just expecting the DNA test to come back.
Vegas took advantage of a moment Pete was at another part of the mansion with Porsche and the other bodyguards to ask Kinn for a favor.
“What is it, cousin?” Kinn asked as he entered the room.
“Shush.” Vegas pointed at the sleeping baby in the corner. “I want to get adoption papers ready.” He said.
Kinn’s eyes widened. He sat on the corner of the bed so he could speak in a low tone and be heard.
“I know we all believe in that letter now, but there is still a possibility he isn’t your brother.”
“I know. But even then. I want to adopt him with Pete.”
“Does Pete know we’re having this conversation?” Kinn asked, raising an eyebrow.
“You shouldn’t decide on it without talking to him first.” Kinn tried, but Vegas scowled at him.
“If you don’t want to help me, just say it, Kinn.”
“That is not what I meant, Vegas.” Kinn raised his hands in rendition. “I’ll help you. I’m just saying you shouldn’t decide on it on your own. Especially if you want Pete on the adoption papers too. You will be starting a family with him. You should decide on it together.”
Vegas opened his mouth to talk back, but he stopped before saying anything and thought about that. He knew Kinn was right in the end. As much as Vegas thought Pete wanted the baby and wanted to surprise him with the papers, he should ask to be sure of it. Vegas sighed, unhappy with what he would admit next.
“Okay. I’ll talk to him.”
“Did you just accept I’m right?” Kinn teased, smirking.
“I didn’t say anything of the sort.” Vegas crossed his arms and looked aside. “See what I need for the papers to be ready, okay?”
“Of course! I’ll get it done for you, cousin.” Kinn tapped him on the shoulder and left.
Just as he stepped outside, Pete came back. He greeted Kinn when they passed each other by the door, then looked at Vegas, who was obviously surprised to see him there.
“What’s up?” Pete asked.
“Nothing.” Vegas shrugged. “I thought you were going to stay longer with your friends.” He tried to distract the other.
“Vegas...” Pete sat in front of him. “What is it?”
Vegas tried to stay silent, but he couldn’t resist Pete’s scrutinizing eyes.
“I asked Kinn to prepare adoption papers for him. For us to adopt him.” He said in a breath and pointed at the crib with his chin.
Pete’s jaw dropped and he was left speechless.
“You don’t want to- I should’ve asked first. Kinn was right, I-”
“Vegas. Vegas, stop!” Pete held his hands, quieting him. “It’s not that. I’m just surprised. We don’t have the DNA results yet.”
“I have been thinking and... I don’t care about it anymore.” Vegas looked down.
“You want to adopt him even if he isn’t your brother?” Pete asked and Vegas nodded. “And you want to adopt him with me?” Vegas nodded again. “We need to choose a name for him!” Pete got excited. “And we need to tell Macau!”
“Tell me what?” The teenager asked as he got in the room and heard his name.
All of them heard the baby move in the crib, and Macau went straight to him, picking him up. Macau turned to his brother and brother-in-law and smirked.
“What is it?”
Pete looked at Vegas and waited for him to say it.
“We decided to adopt the baby.” He said with an uncertain tone.
“Did the DNA test get out? Is he our little brother?” Macau got excited too and sat in the bed with them.
“The test isn’t out yet.” Vegas explained. “I asked Pete to adopt him with me regardless of the result.” He looked at his little brother with expectation. “What do you think?”
“That’s great! I already feel like he is part of our family! I have even-” Macau stopped and bit his bottom lip, looking at the baby.
“You have...” Pete asked.
“I thought of a name...” Macau said quietly.
“Really?” Vegas was surprised. “Which name do you suggest?”
“We both have names of places...” Macau stalled, but Vegas nodded, encouraging him. “I thought of options with the same idea... And the one I like the most is... Venice?”
“Venice?” Vegas repeated it.
“Venice.” Pete said, testing it. “I like it!” He smiled at the brothers.
“Venice.” Vegas said again. “I like it too.”
Pete picked the baby from Macau’s arms and raised him in the air, making little sounds with his tongue to make the baby smile.
“Venice?” He called. Vegas and Macau were paying attention to him. “Do you like it? Venice!” The baby smiled again. “I think you like it!” Pete hugged the baby.
“We have a name.” Vegas smiled largely. “Great idea, Macau!” He put his hand on his brother’s shoulder and squeezed it.
“You will be happy with us, Venice!” Macau said to the baby, who was trying to grab his necklace.
The little family spent the rest of the day together in Vegas and Pete’s room. They started to make plans for the future, and talked about what else they needed to buy now that Venice would be really theirs. Only a portable crib, some clothes, and a few toys wouldn’t be enough.
The next day, Vegas joined the whole family for breakfast for the first time since that fateful day. Kinn, Porsche, Tankhun, and Porchay were already at the table when he joined them with Pete, Macau, and Venice in Pete’s arms. They didn’t feel comfortable leaving Venice sleeping in the bedroom alone.
Tankhun looked at the baby with huge eyes. He guessed the baby was cute, but he had kept his distance ever since they found him at the front door.
Porchay’s eyes also widened. He had spent the last couple of days with his friends and didn’t even know they had a baby in the mansion.
“Good morning!” Pete greeted them and sat at the chair Vegas pulled for him.
“We are adopting Venice for good.” Vegas said bluntly.
“Venice?” Kinn asked, smiling.
“Yes. Macau chose his name.” Vegas said, putting his hand on his brother’s shoulder proudly.
“So you talked?”
“Obviously, Kinn.” Vegas snorted. “Did you do what I asked?”
“I did. The lawyers are taking care of it. If the test gets out positive it would help.”
“It will.” Pete said, sure of it. “But even if it doesn’t, we can do it, right?”
“Yes.” Kinn calmed him. “The lawyers will bring the papers as soon as they’re ready.”
“Thank you, Kinn.” Pete said.
Venice moved, waking up, and Tankhun — who was in front of Pete — pushed back on his chair.
“Is he going to cry?” He asked.
“No, Khun. He doesn’t cry much, actually.” Pete giggled. “That day Venice had a dirty diaper and was hungry. But Venice is really an angel.” He raised the baby and made raspberries in his tummy, making him laugh. “You will conquer Uncle Khun in no time, right, Venice?”
“Uncle?” Tankhun perked up at that, interested.
“Yes!” Pete put Venice to face the table. “That is Uncle Khun, Venice.”
Tankhun tilted his head in thought and Pete smiled sweetly at him. Vegas smirked. He couldn’t believe his oldest cousin would be bought with just that. No, Vegas could believe in it, actually. Especially after a minute or so, when Tankhun smiled back and waved to the baby.
After the initial shock, the meal was peaceful. The only bump in the road was Venice trying to grab everything that Pete held. But Macau finished his breakfast quickly and held the baby so Pete could eat, since Vegas only held him with support, for now, to not exert himself.
After breakfast, Pete asked a nurse to help with Venice while he went shopping again. He took Macau to school, although the teen wanted to skip it and go with him, and went to the mall.
He bought more clothes, shoes — not many, because Venice would grow fast, he knew it — sheets, towels, a baby monitor, a car seat, a stroller, and many more diapers. Pete had discussed with Vegas about buying a proper crib, but they decided the portable one would be enough since it had a good mattress.
Pete deemed he was done shopping for the day and was walking to the parking lot with the last of his bags when something caught his eye in the window shop of a menswear store. He went in immediately and bought it without too much thought. Pete went home very satisfied.
At the mansion, Pete made Arm and Pol — who he met at the entrance — help him with all he had bought.
“Did you buy the whole mall?” Pol joked.
“You have no idea how much baby stuff they have. I only bought the basics of the basic.”
Arm and Pol laughed with Pete and helped him take everything inside his bedroom with Vegas.
The nurse was on the sofa while Vegas was in the bed waving a toy for Venice to try and grab. Pete thanked his friends and the nurse, and they left, leaving the family alone. Pete went to Vegas and kissed him in greeting. Then he organized everything he brought while telling his boyfriend about all his choices.
Pete had saved the surprise for last.
Before he could present it to Vegas, there was a knock on the door. Pete answered it and it was the doctor. Pete let him in, and went to Vegas’ side, picking up Venice, who was getting agitated.
“Excuse me. I have the DNA results.” The doctor said, straight to the point.
“What do they say?” Vegas asked, perking up.
The doctor started to talk with some medical terms, but Vegas wasn’t patient and told him to cut the crap.
“Both your markers and Mr. Macau’s markers match the baby’s in a percentage that confirms you are half-siblings.”
“Thank you, doctor.” Pete received the results from the man and walked him to the door.
He turned to Vegas and chuckled because he was already with a pillow in his lap and stretching his arms for Venice. Pete thought it was very cute. He put the baby in Vegas’ arms and decided that was the best moment to give him his gift. As he went to retrieve the bag, Pete heard Vegas talking to Venice.
“Welcome to our family, Venice. We are a little messed up but we will love you, that I can promise.” Pete felt emotional listening to that, it was endearing to see Vegas opening himself like that. “You’re my little brother, but I’ll take care of you like your father.” Vegas raised his eyes to Pete. “Together with Pete. We will be your Papas. Maybe Macau will want you to call him big brother?” Vegas wondered.
“He can decide on that later. We have time until Venice starts calling any of us.” He sat in front of them. “I have a surprise for you. Let me hold Venice.”
Pete took the baby from Vegas and he picked up the bag, taking a big box out of it. Vegas opened it and his mouth opened widely. He took two clothes out of the box. One in his size and one in baby size. There were two equal leather jackets. Vegas laughed.
“This is amazing, Babe!”
“The baby one isn’t made of leather, it just imitates it to be comfortable for him. It is still big for Venice, but I couldn’t resist bringing it to you when I saw it.” Pete smiled brightly.
“Thank you, Pete! I love it!” Vegas looked at Venice's jacket from closer, impressed by how similar it was to his own. “How do you think we will look matching?”
“Very cute! And awesome!” Pete chuckled at Vegas’ pout at being called cute. “We should let Kinn know about the test, so he can take it to the lawyers.”
“After Macau arrives from school.” Vegas said. “I want him to know first.”
“You’re right.” Pete kissed him.
Venice, being in the middle of them, slapped both their cheeks lightly, making Pete and Vegas separate, giggling.
“What? Your fathers can’t kiss?” Pete joked, lifting the baby and making faces at him.
“We already need to teach him manners?” Vegas whined jokingly. “I thought that would take more time to happen.” He laughed.
“Me too.” Pete laughed too. “Should we go to the garden now?” He changed subjects.
Vegas nodded and they went out.
Later, when Macau arrived, they showed him the DNA test and he was very happy about it. Macau was the one who took it to Kinn. When he went back to their room, Macau took Venice in his arms and sat with him on the sofa.
“Venice, I’ll be the best big brother for you. I am not perfect, but I’ll do my best! I’ll love you. And I’ll protect you. I’ll help you with whatever you need. I’ll always be there for you.” Macau was speaking, looking at the baby, very seriously. Pete and Vegas were endeared. “You can also tell me if Big Bro or Pete do something you don’t like. I’ll side with you.” He glanced at the other two and smirked. “Brothers must stick together.”
“Hey! I am your brother too!” Vegas feigned anger.
“But you’re Venice’s pa, that excludes you.” Macau teased.
“What?!” Vegas was indignant now.
Pete went and picked Venice from Macau.
“Kids...” He chided. “Venice, don’t be like them.” He said playfully and kissed the baby’s cheek, before turning him to hold Venice with his little back to his chest, so the baby could see what was in front of him. “Come on, let’s take another walk to the garden.”
Pete walked out of the room without looking back. Vegas and Macau picked a few things they knew Venice could need and followed them, bickering behind Pete. Pete shook his head and smiled, kissing the crown of Venice’s head. His family was going to be just fine.