“How about you, Charity and the kids come over to ours for tea? Liv and Vinny are going out with Noah and his boyfriend and Gabby and her girlfriend,” Robert asked.
“Yea, Johnny and Moses could play with Seb, and it would be nice to take a night off of cooking for the family,” Vanessa said.
“Great, it’s nice having other families like us here in the village. I promise no business with Charity this time,” Robert said.
“It never stops being strange that you and Charity are the same person,” Vanessa said.
“Another coffee?” Robert asked.
“Go on, I don't have to cook tonight,” Vanessa said.
Robert got up to get the coffee. Robert was happy that he was comfortable in his skin and that he had friends who were raising a similar type of family.
“Come on, Aaron, everything has to be perfect for tonight,” Robert said, stressing.
“It’s just family dinner, with our kids and Charity and Vanessa’s kids. Nothing to stress over,” Aaron said.
Aaron came from behind Robert and put his arms around him. He kissed him on the cheek as he hugged him from behind.
“It’ll all work out. Us Dingles know how to have a good time,” Aaron said.
“Yea, you are the master of having fun,” Robert joked and kissed Aaron.
Robert put the lasagna in the oven and felt calmer.
“Dada, Daddy?” Annie said as she toddled over to them.
Aaron picked up Annie and kissed her cheek. He never thought he would have a family. That he would accept who he was and have a family and a husband. He was lucky to have a husband who loved him and two beautiful children he loved more than anything.
The doorbell rang, and Robert ran to get the door, his nerves returning. Robert opened the door and saw Moses and Johnny standing in front and Vanessa and Charity holding hands standing behind the boys.
“Thank you for coming,” Robert said.
“Thank you for having us,” Vanessa said.
Vanessa handed them a bottle of wine. Robert went into the kitchen to put the bottle down.
Moses and Johnny ran to Seb and decided to play with his toys. So the three children played together.
Robert led Charity and Vanessa to the living room. The couple sat on the love seat. Aaron and Robert sat on the other sofa. Annie is in Aaron’s lap, looking over at the visitors.
“The boys look like they are having fun,” Vanessa said.
“So, what's on the menu?” Charity asked.
“Lasagna, my mum’s special recipe,” Robert said. “What’s Sarah up to? It would have been nice to see my niece.”
“She went out to the cinema with her friends. But, then felt that she was too old to come to tea with us,” Charity said.
“We have wine and crackers in the meantime,” Robert said.
Robert brought the platter over and brought the wine and cheese and crackers that were the appetisers.
“We are thinking of doing another pride event this year since last year was such a success,” Vanessa said.
“Great, babe, I’ll make my signature cocktails. Then, maybe you and I can get reacquainted with the cellar,” Charity said, winking.
“I can make my mum’s special cupcakes. I never thought I would go to pride. I never thought I would get to a place where I accepted myself and had a husband. But pride was fun, and it’s nice to show the world that our family and yours are just like any other family,” Robert said.
“I know it took me until I was forty to accept that I was a lesbian, but here I am with a beautiful wife and children and grandchildren who are my own,” Vanessa said.
“I hated myself when I thought I was gay, but no, I can't imagine my life without my husband and my children. Pride was nice. I love showing others that I am proud of who I am. Homophobes can get stuffed,” Aaron said.
“I love beautiful vets and especially Ness. I love my tiny blonde rocket woman,” Charity said and kissed Vanessa.
Vanessa blushed and looked at CHarity with love in her eyes.
Robert turned to look at Aaron and kissed him. He looked him in the eyes and showed him all his love.
“Daddy, daddy, we are hungry,” Seb ran over with Moses and Johnny.
“Tea should be ready any moment. You can help me take it out of the oven if you want,” Robert said.
Robert stood up, and Seb followed him into the kitchen. Moses and Johnny were curious and stood and watched as Robert opened the oven and took out the lasagna.
“Tea is ready,” Seb said.
Seb sat down at his spot at the table and had Moses and Johnny sit next to him. Vanessa and Charity sat next to each other, opposite of Robert and Aaron.
Robert served the food to everyone.
“Yummy,” Seb said.
“It's good,” Moses and Johnny said.
“This is very delicious, thank you,” Vanessa said.
Robert brought the bottle of wine that CHarity and Vanessa brought for them. He opened it and poured some into each of the adults' glasses. Next, he poured some grape juice into the children’s cups.
“This is an excellent wine,” Aaron said.
“I brought one of our finest bottles from the pub. I’m surprised your mum doesn't give you this wine more often,” Charity said.
“We want more children, so we are all about saving where we can,” Robert said.
Aaron was feeding Annie the food. However, she was more interested in playing with the food than eating it. Aaron smiled happily at Annie and looked at her.
“Wow, you want more children?” Vanessa asked.
“Yea, a whole football team of children. We love the two that we have so far, but more children would make us happier. I thought all I needed was money and a beautiful wife and the big house to be happy, but it turns out the love of a man and children and a home that is ours is enough and exactly what I always really wanted,” Robert said.
“I, too, thought that having all the money in the world and living in the big house would make me happy. But finding that this woman loves me and agreed to marry me and have a family with me, I’ve never been happier in my life,” Charity said.
“Mummy, Mama, can we go play with Seb’s toys?” Moses asked.
“Yea, daddy and dadda?” Seb asked.
“Wash your hands first, and then you can show them your toys in the backyard,” Aaron said.
The boys ran outside to go play with Seb’s toys.
“More food or wine, anyone?” Robert asked.
“No, thank you, I’m full,” Vanessa said.
“We have Ice Cream for pudding. We can have it outside. It's a nice day today,” Aaron said.
Aaron took Annie out of her high chair and washed her. She loved getting dirty when they ate, but that's what was expected from a toddler.
Robert led them to the backyard. They had a football set with goals that the boys were playing with. They had some of Annie’s toys outside, too, and they put Annie on her play mat, and she played with her toys.
Robert served the ice cream and watched as the boys came, took ice cream, and ran back to the football game.
“It’s good to take advantage of warm days when we have them here,” Robert said.
“This ice cream is delicious,” Vanessa said.
“Maybe we should take you on. We do miss Vic at the pub,” Charity said.
“It comes from our mum, and she taught me. Vic was young when she died, but we taught her how to cook,” Robert said, remembering his childhood.
“Too bad they don't teach us Dingles how to cook,” Charity joked.
Aaron knew that he and Charity were disasters in the kitchen and were thankful that their spouses were such talented cooks.
“We should do this more often. It's fun having tea like this,” Robert said.
“I agree, and maybe sometimes we can mix business with the teas,” CHarity said.
“Your on,” Robert said.
Robert and Charity shook hands, and Aaron and Vanessa smiled at their spouses' antics revelling in the similarities between the two.
“We should get going and get the boys to bed,” Vanessa said.
“Yea, Seb and this little miss need to sleep too,” Aaron said, looking at Annie and tickling her.
Charity and Vanessa stood up in sync and moved to gather the boys. Charity kissed Vanessa and looked into her eyes. Thankful that she had her in her life. Johnny and Moses ran towards them, and the family left.
“It’s been fun. We’ll see you soon,” Vanessa said as they left.
Aaron and Robert closed the door and called Seb in to have a bath and go to bed.
“Its been nice Mr Sugden Dingle,” Aaron said.
Aaron put his arms around Robert’s waist and kissed him. Aaron smiled into the kiss, and he and Robert enjoyed their time, just lost in the moment. In a minute, they would put their children to sleep, and after that, they could have some adult activities.
“I love you, Mr Sgden Dingle,” Robert said.
Today had been perfect, but every day with Aaron was a perfect day in Robert's eyes.