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Leaf Me to Sleep

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The little girl’s projected thought prodded him and Damien gave a hum in his sleep.


He rolled over onto his side, feeling Mika shift closer to spoon him from behind, her arm curling around his ribs. She always did it when he half-woke her, hoping to help comfort him from his nightmares. It felt nice...


Now Damien’s eye cracked open. It was barely dawn. On a Saturday.

Dad! Dad!

Go back to sleep, Momo, he thought back at her, probably more firmly than he should have. His hand twined with Mika’s, holding it against his chest over his heart.

Come on, the leaves are falling!

And so am I, back asleep. He snuggled closer to his wife as his daughter gave a huff, blowing her copper bangs out of her green eyes.

Dad dad dad dad dad dad dad dad dad dad dad.

Momo! His thought was sharp enough to have him twitch in the bed. Now his eyes were wide open, a frown replacing the pleasant smile he’d had as he rolled back over into Mika’s embrace.

Come on, Dad! Not now…

What does the clock say? They’d gotten each of the triplets their own clock to hang on the walls of each of their bedrooms. Mamoru and Miharu’s rooms were half empty, the two boys taking turns having sleepovers with each other, but Momoko preferred to sleep on her own. No doubt her mind-reading powers needed the break from the intensity of her brothers’ thoughts.

Big stick two, little stick six. Numbers were easy for his children, all of them picking them and letters up quickly, to Damien’s pride.

And what does it mean?

Six-ten in the morning, she grudgingly replied. Through her thoughts, Damien could see the little stuffed white kitten on her lap as she toyed with it in the window seat of her room. She’d taken it from his shelf the first time she snuck into their bedroom and he was happy to let her keep it, seeing how much she loved it.

And what do we do on Saturdays?

Let mom and dad sleep in and have their time, she recited glumly.

That’s right. And he was going to enjoy their time together after the rough week of long hours Mika had. He worked at home with the kids, writing children’s books when he could, thanks to James’ grant from Anderson Toys but Mika still went to the office, working in the finance department. He missed her.

Dad, we could walk to K’s and surprise mom with coffee, Momo slyly suggested. Damien sighed. It was tempting.

The leaves are really, really pretty and crunchy now! Please please please please, please?

What about your brothers? He knew the boys were still asleep, they’d been up half the night goofing around, keeping him up.

I knew they were asleep, before. Damien felt her surge of jealousy. She wanted time alone with her dad.

His little girl, the youngest of the triplets, was a succubus taking after him as opposed to her brothers who took after Mika. The boys would be human warlocks, their powers already showing with purple flashes in their indigo eyes and inexplicable breezes toying with their black hair. Erik would have to start teaching them soon.

Damien was already teaching Momoko. He knew how hard it was to be a demon, let alone to be a mind reader. He knew how lonely you could feel, buried under everyone else’s thoughts, especially when none of them were about or for you.

Please, dad?

Alright, but...don’t tell your brothers, okay? He didn’t want them feeling bad that she could ask him like this. They weren’t allowed to knock on or open mom and dad’s bedroom door unless it was an absolute emergency.

Yes! I won’t, I promise. He could already hear her thoughts as she slid down off the window bench and ran for her dresser, thinking of what clothes she’d wear that day.

Damien hugged Mika close, nuzzling her hair, before whispering in his wife’s ear. “I’m taking Momo for a walk. The boys are still asleep.”

“Oh,” she murmured, not opening her eyes. “Okay.” She hugged him back, her embrace still rather boneless from sleep. “I love you.”

“I love you, too.” He slid from between the sheets, smiling gently down at her. His wife, his love, the mother of their three wonderful children. He’d never dreamed his life could be this wonderful.

Excited, Damien threw on his clothes quickly. His tender smile became a grin as he peeked out the window at the carpet of color on the grass below. The red, orange, yellow, and brown leaves were swirling in the early morning sunshine as the wind pulled them from the trees. It was one of his most favorite times of the year, too.

I knew it! Momo’s thought laughed in his mind.

You did, he admitted with his own chuckle, grabbing his jacket and quietly leaving Mika to sleep.