I Know I Was for a While

Epilogue: Her

Lightly pushing his fingers back through his hair, Lionel sat up a little in his seat, unable to pull his eyes away from the little bassinette which sat ahead of him, housing a tiny newborn who slept soundly except for the occasional snuffle or stir. He had been doing it for hours, with Camila having fallen asleep almost as soon as she’d given birth, he hadn’t had much else to do, but even if he had, he doubted he would have been able to stop staring. He was too in awe of the new arrival to do anything but sit and smile goofily.

They had tried for a while, after their first wedding anniversary had passed, they’d both agreed that the timing was right for them to try and give Sam and Oscar a younger brother or sister, but Camila’s pregnancy had still come as a surprise. After months of negative tests, it was something that both Lionel and Camila had almost given up on before they’d gotten the result that they were looking for.

Stretching his back slightly, he heard Camila stir a little in her bed, something which caused him to look up, another soft smile blooming across his features as he caught her eye. “Hi” he breathed quietly.

Camila, who’d moved to brush her hair back off of her face, smiled softly. “Hi” she mused.

“How are you feeling?” Lionel prodded.

Camila shrugged. “Like I pushed a baby out of me a few hours ago” she replied nonchalantly.

Lionel shook his head. “You did wonderfully” he quipped “I mean, could I have done with less of you yelling at me? Obviously, but...” he trailed off, offering her a boyish smile.

Camila rolled her eyes, but couldn’t stifle her smile, something which made Lionel smile gently before he shuffled out of his seat, moving to sit down on the bed beside her. “You were amazing. You always are” he mumbled, leaning over to press a kiss against her temple.

Camila wrapped an arm around him, offering him a small squeeze before she leant back, carefully turning onto her back. “Have you spoken to my mama?” she asked, disturbing the brief moment of silence which had passed between them.

Lionel, who’d been carefully tracing patterns against her side, looked up at the sound of her voice. “Hm?” he asked.

“My madre” Camila repeated “You’ve called her, haven’t you?” she asked.

Lionel nodded. “A couple of hours ago” he noted “She was less than impressed to be woken up for the second time, but she seemed to forgive me for the disturbance when I told her that you and baby were OK. She said that she’d be here as soon as possible with the boys” he added.

Camila nodded, a small smile tugging the corner of her mouth upwards. “How disappointed do you think they’ll be?” she asked.

Lionel laughed. “They really did want another brother” he quipped “But they’ll get over it. They’ll be great brothers to their little sister” he added, unable to stop the smile that itched to grow across his face at the word ‘sister’.

They had been surprised, much like when she had been pregnant with both Oscar and Sam, Camila hadn’t had any inklings as to whether they’d be having a son or daughter, but when Tessa, who they’d requested to have as their midwife for the third time, had revealed that they had welcomed a little girl, they’d both shed more than a few tears, excited by the idea of a little girl coming along to complete their little family.

Camila watched his face light up before she lifted her hand, gently pushing her fingertips back through his hair. “You’re all smitten” she breathed.

Lionel shrugged, trying, and failing, to direct her attention away from the blush which had started to creep across his cheeks. “We’ve made another beautiful baby, Mila” he quipped “How could I not be a little bit smitten by our beautiful daughter?” he asked.

Camila chewed on her lip for a moment, before she trailed her hand down towards the back of his neck, guiding him towards her slightly before the sound of the baby’s cries filled the air, something which made her smile softly, her nose lightly brushing against his. “Your little girl needs you” she teased gently.

Lionel looked down, once more trying, and failing, to hide his blushing cheeks, before he stood up, padding towards the end of the bed. Reaching the bassinette, he watched the little girl, awed by her for a few seconds, before he leant down, scooping her carefully into his arms. Smiling, he watched her fuss for a few seconds, before she fell quiet, something which caused him to glance towards Camila, his smile growing into a teasing smirk. “I’ve still got it” he quipped.

Camila, who’d been watching the two of them, shook her head before she patted the side of the bed, beckoning him closer. “Get over here” she mused “Mama wants to see our little princess” she added, grinning gently.

Lionel let out a soft laugh before he padded back towards the bed, retaking his seat on the side of it so that he could show off the little girl.

Camila watched him sit down before she carefully reached her hand out, gently pushing the tips of her fingers back through the baby’s fine dark hair.

Lionel watched her before he dipped down, pressing soft kisses to both Camila and the baby’s heads. “I love you” he murmured.

“We love you too” Camila replied quietly.

Lionel smiled against her temple, relishing a few seconds of quiet, before the sound of the door swinging open reached his ears, causing him to pull back, watching as Oscar and Sam, quickly tailed by Lucille, strode into the room. “Papa!” Sam announced.

“Missed you, papa” Oscar followed up.

Lionel and Camila shared a look, something which made the argentine chuckle. “What about mama?” he asked, smirking a little as Camila playfully rolled her eyes. She had always adored how her three boys were together.

“Missed you, mama” Oscar noted.

Camila smiled gently. “I missed the two of you too, baby” she mused “You were good for nana?” she added, sparing a glance towards Lucille.

“Always are” Lucille mused “Now, where’s the new baby? Me and the boys are more than excited to meet him” she added.

Lionel shook his head. “Her” he corrected gently.

Lucille’s eyes widened. “Her?” she asked “I thought...you two seemed so sure that...” she trailed off.

Camila and Lionel shared a small smile before Camila shrugged gently. “We were wrong” she mused “But I don’t think either of us could be happier to be wrong. She’s...well, look at her” she gushed, her eyes a little tearful.

Lucille smiled gently before she leant over, marveling at the baby who stirred a little in Lionel’s arms, a yawn tumbling out of her tiny mouth.

“Papa, hugs” Sam announced, stretching his arms up.

Lionel smiled and carefully handed the newborn over to Camila before he dipped down, lifting Sam into his lap. “You too, Oscar” he quipped, capturing the attention of the older boy who stood a little away from him, hesitantly clutching onto Lucille’s leg. It wasn’t a surprise, whilst Sam had quickly warmed to the idea of another brother or sister, Oscar had been a little reluctant to accept the news, and it didn’t surprise Lionel that he was a little reluctant to meet the new arrival.

Oscar frowned a little, but complied, tugging himself up onto the bed beside his parents.

“We thought you might want to say hola” Lionel announced once they were all settled “This is your baby sister” he added, gently gesturing towards the baby in Camila’s arms.

Oscar furrowed his forehead. “Sister?” he asked.

“A little girl” Lionel confirmed.

“We know you wanted a brother” Camila added softly.

Oscar shook his head. “No baby” he mumbled.

Lionel sighed gently before he glanced at Camila who smiled at him comfortingly. “Maybe he doesn’t want to help choose her name” she quipped, shrugging her shoulders innocently.

Oscar tilted his head. “I help?” he asked.

Camila nodded. “We’ve got two names that me and papa like” she announced “And, if you want to, you and Sam can help choose which one we give to her. Does that sound like something you’d want to do, Oscar?” she encouraged.

Oscar seemed to think for a second before he nodded. “OK” he mumbled.

Camila smiled before she reached her hand up, pushing his dark hair off of his forehead. “You can choose between Thea” she mused “And Sienna. Which one do you like best, baby?” she asked gently.

Again Oscar thought for a few seconds, a serious frown on his face, before he nodded his head. “Thea” he announced.

“Sam?” Camila encouraged.

“Thea!” Sam announced with a wide smile.

Camila giggled before she nodded her head. “Thea it is” she agreed “Providing that that’s OK with papa” she added.

“Of course” Lionel agreed.

“Hugs!” Sam squeaked, reaching out towards Thea.

Lionel laughed gently before he leant over, carefully lifting Thea up before he settled her into Sam’s lap, helping the little boy hold her. Sam grinned and ducked forwards, pressing a careful kiss against Thea’s forehead. “Hugs, baba” he whispered.

Oscar watched his two siblings curiously before he leant a little closer, tentatively mimicking Sam’s actions. “Hola, Thea” he whispered quietly.

Lionel watched Oscar with a small smile before he caught Camila’s eye, something which made his smile widen a little before he looked back down at the children, awed by how far things had come for them.
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