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Chapter 24

Chapter 24

I always dreamed that my family and Shayla's family would attend our baby shower. I never imagined that my family was not going to be here. I always saw my nieces and nephews on both sides running around, trying to open presents that weren't theirs. But because we're clear across the world and I'm on a world tour, that dream has been shattered. If I'm able to convince Shayla later in life, we'll have one more kid and be able to celebrate with them with our families the right way. But that's somewhere far into the future.

The baby shower we're having for the twins is still unique no matter what. Shayla and I told or had someone else tell members of the crew that we were hosting our baby shower in the Philippines. It was only befitting that we did it there because Asia has always been one of my favorite places to travel to. Plus, the architecture in Manila is merely phenomenal. I want the first baby shower I ever host to be remarkable. I mean... who can say they had their baby shower in Manila?

"Shayla, you look so beautiful!" Peggy gushed over my wife, who was now twenty-eight weeks pregnant. With only ten weeks left, she already looks like she's about to pop. For the occasion, she chose to wear a green dress that didn't leave too much to the imagination when it came to her cleavage. Still, you can't really blame her when her body is getting ready to nurse two babies. I was basic for the event, wearing an all-black military jacket with a green band to match and black slacks with a white undershirt. I was mostly hosting this event for Shayla, but also because all the attention should be on my wife, who looks like she's going to bust any day now.

"Thank you!" Shayla beamed. The cool thing about being on a world tour right now is that we can get baby stuff from different countries. Not only did Shayla and I go shopping in Australia, but also in Manila almost as soon as we landed here. And judging by all the gifts, we've got a nice supply of diapers from both Australia and the Philippines.

"Alright, everyone!" I clapped to get everyone's attention. "We're gonna play 'Guess the Bump Size.' I'll be going around with ribbon. You can't touch her belly! You just have to tell me when to stop. I'll cut it, and then we'll measure to see if you're right or not. If you're right, we've got a nice prize from Australia for you."

Shayla and I walked around the room, taking everyone's guesses only to find that more than half of them guessed wrong. In fact, the only one who was even remotely close was Freddie, but he went over just a little bit. My phone vibrated in my pocket, signaling that someone was calling me. I know exactly who that "someone" is. The only person I made sure not to invite: Shana. I ignored the vibration as I wrapped up for the next game.

"Okay, I've got a little game of my own." Shayla went in a bag to retrieve several jars of baby food. "But I want the men to play it. You ready, baby?" She smiled at me, wiggling her eyebrows.

"Wait," I laughed. "Are you about to make me eat baby food?"

"We're gonna blindfold you, and you have to guess what it is."

"Aww..." All the men in the room groaned.

"And ladies, it isn't gonna be easy either because this baby food is from Australia and the Phillippines." She laughed. "So, y'all go ahead and grab a partner, blindfold them, and Ima hand out the baby food." Shayla licked her lips and grinned as she picked up a red blindfold.

I smirked. "You know if we were alone, there'd be no way you'd be able to put that blindfold on me." My eyes stayed right on her breasts before she wrapped the blindfold around my eyes.

"Is that so?"

"Next time, this blindfold is going on you."

"Mmmhm." She laughed before kissing me. "Y'all ready, ladies?" I listened closely as she handed them their jars. My phone vibrated again. I need to turn it off. What does Shana want? She wasn't invited. Big woop! Did she really expect to be invited to my baby shower? She's lucky I even allowed her to attend the "Ghosts" premiere after all the stunts she's pulled. "Ready, baby?" Shayla asked me.

"Yup." I nodded and opened my mouth to get ready. And before I knew it, I was already tasting whatever the heck was in my mouth. The hell is this?! She was right. Being in a foreign country made these ten times harder than what it should have been. I gagged a little. "Pears?"

"Nope." She laughed.

"This isn't fair." I protested.

"It's fair. Trust me."

"It's sweet, so it's gotta be some type of fruit."

"That's correct."

"What is it? Pomegranate?"

"Nope!" She laughed again.

"Damn, girl. What is it?" The entire room erupted in laughter at my comment. Foreign baby food is one thousand percent more different than Americans.

Shayla got herself together after laughing so hard. "It's Durian and Papaya's."

I scoffed. "Now, how was I supposed to guess that?"

"Uh... we guessed it." I ripped my blindfold off my head to see Courtney and Brad raise their hands.


"I like Durian." Brad shrugged.

I rolled my eyes and put my blindfold back on. "This next one better not be difficult."

"Alright, alright. I've got a vegetable for you. This one is from Australia. Their food is pretty similar to ours, so you better get this, Michael."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah." I opened my mouth only for it to be invaded by the worst tasting concoction I've ever tasted in my life. "What is that?!" I stood up. "A baby is supposed to eat that?!"

"You are so dramatic!" Shayla laughed. "You better chill out before my water breaks. Sit down and try it again." I cautiously sat down and opened my mouth to receive another spoonful of abomination. I tried to get my gag reflex together as I tried to decipher whatever the hell violated my tastebuds.

"That's vegetables for sure. I just don't know what kind."

"You got the vegetables right. What else do you taste?"

"There's something else in there?!"

"Mmmhm." She laughed. "It's meat."

"Meat? You know I'm a vegetarian, babe, Seriously?"

"Except when it comes to KFC."

I sighed. "Is there chicken in here?"

"Mmmhm. And something else."

"Something else? No wonder this is the most repulsive chicken I've ever had. I give up. What is it? Because when the twins are born, we are not giving them this abomination."

"They actually like it. I've been taste testing."

"You're poisoning my children." I took the blindfold off and took the jar from here. "Macaroni, chicken, and vegetables. That's a disgusting combination."

Shayla laughed. "Did anyone guess both jars correctly?" Lo and behold, Brad and Courtney raised their hands. What does Brad do in his spare time? Eat baby food? "Michael's got a gift for y'all after we're done here."

"Now that that's over with..." I rolled my eyes, causing everyone to laugh. "We've got one last game before we open our gifts and take a group photo. It's called 'Baby Name Race.' We've already got Mike Jr. picked out and ready, but we need help for our little Princess. You've got sixty seconds to come up with as many girl names as you can. Whoever has the most wins and tells us their ideas." I passed around pencils and paper to everyone. "Y'all got it?" Everyone nodded, their minds already racing with ideas. "Shayla and I are going to keep the time." I handed Shayla the stopwatch. "On your mark, get set... Go!" Shayla pressed start, and the room went silent with everyone writing. I walked around to take a peek at some of the ideas. Rose popped up a couple of times as well as Heiress. Even Venus and Royalty. I knew my team was creative, but I didn't think they'd be this creative.

"Thirty seconds!" Shayla called out just as my phone vibrated a third time. This has got to stop. I told Shayla I'd be back and went out to the nearest restroom.

Taking my phone out of my pocket, I nearly hesitated to answer. Still, Shana can't continue to harass me like this.

"What's going on, Shana?" I answered. "It better be an emergency because I had to leave something important for this."

"Like your baby shower, you made sure not to invite me to?" She taunted. I opened my mouth to say something, but nothing came out. "You never let me congratulate you. You at least owe me that right considering you 'needed me so bad' while you were too busy fucking me and your wife. That one time I saw you and Shayla together was the only time I congratulated you. You completely ignored me. You didn't tell me she was pregnant, so I had to find out through the news! You couldn't even afford me a one-on-one opportunity to break the news? I've felt so horrible for what I've done, but you know what? I'm happy for you and Shayla. You really deserve this. Did you tell her?"

"Tell her what?"

"About us."

If I tell her that I didn't tell Shayla, she's going to find a way to tell Shayla herself. "Yes, I told her."

"Good." She huffed. "At least one of us doesn't have to feel guilty." She hung up. I looked at my phone. That's all she had to say? This woman is crazy. I hurried back to the baby shower to see Shayla standing by the gifts. I made my way over to her and rested my hand on the small of her back, fingers tracing the rise and fall of her backside.

"Are you okay, baby?" She asked me.

I nodded. "I'm fine."

"Who was that on the phone?"

There's no point in lying. We both know who it was. The only person on the entire team who isn't invited. "Shana. She apologized that she couldn't' attend. She said, congratulations."

"I still don't understand how she's the only person who couldn't make it." She shook her head. "She seems like she would have enjoyed celebrating with us." I nodded. I'm sure she would have. But when Shayla and Shana being in the same room together, it would have been a disaster.

"Can we get a photo of the happy parents before they open their gifts?" Kenny waved behind a professional camera. I pulled Shayla closer to me and smiled.

Ten weeks until the twins come. Less than five weeks until I'm off this drama rollercoaster of a tour. My life will finally go back to normal.

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