Near You Always
A Son Is Given
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“That’s my grandbaby!” Hank Summers cheered amidst the hundreds clapping in the high school gymnasium, as Connor walked across the makeshift stage.


“There he is!” Dawn squeeled, whistling with her fingers in her mouth. Beside her Tom was applauding loudly, with their daughter on his hip. “Aidan, get up,” Dawn whacked the boy next to her playfully. “Your brother’s graduating.”


Aidan, at eleven, couldn’t care less that his brother had made it through high school and was on his way to Stanford - he wasn’t done yet – still he rose dutifully and applauded with the rest of the family.


“There he goes! Mommy he’s going away,” cried three year old Michelle, near tears as her brother didn’t come to sit with the family.


“Duh, stupid!” Kristen, 5, rolled her eyes. Michelle was such a baby some times. “It’s his graduation. He hasta sit up there.”


“Mom, please, stop having kids,” groaned Kelly, their sanest sibling. Buffy and Angel exchanged wry grins.


“Some day,” Angel promised, reaching over to rub number six, still hidden under his mother’s flat stomach. Buffy shot him a warning glance.


He’d been human for twelve years, and she’d been pregnant or at home with a toddler for each of those years. Six was more than enough in her opinion. Of course, once six grew old enough for them to consider another, she’d be in her forties and conception would be harder, anyway.


As her husband’s arm slid around her waist, Buffy realized she’d be carrying Angel’s children as long as she could. He was an Irish Catholic, and she – she was a mother.




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