Children of Starlight, part 3 episode 10 of “The Starlight Trilogy” by Thea Washington
The character “the Rock Star” is based on Adam Lambert.
The videos in Part 3 feature Adam Lambert, Queen, Depeche Mode and Savage Garden.
Chapter 19 – OK, NOW
On the other side of the country Angel and Lover had lucked out. They were doubly blessed. They found twin sisters who were each willing to surrogate a baby. If successful, the two children would be first cousins on their mothers’ side and the biological children of their fathers, one of Angel and the other of Lover.
Being a twin himself, Lover was all for it.
There were no guarantees the AI would work, not even the first few attempts. But the women cleared every test, including having healthy, happy children of their own. If they wanted, Angel and Lover could even plan for their children to have half-siblings; that was a decision for down the road. First things first. They’d had to do some things themselves, pass their own tests for various and sundry reasons, give their own family health histories as much as they knew. Everything had checked out for all four. It all seemed pre-destined.
“Are you nervous?”
“No. Yeah. Aren’t you? We’re making babies today.”
“Well, we aren’t actually making babies,” Lover said. “We’re just giving them what’s needed to make babies.”
“I still don’t see why we couldn’t just do this at home and bring it in,” said Angel. “We coulda sterilized something and done that. We passed all the tests.” He was being thoughtful and ridiculous at the same time. “It would have been a lot more fun, too.”
“No, we couldn’t. They still needed that last screening to make sure everything’s right with our sperm. You’re not carrying anything I don’t know about, are you?”
“If I am, you’d have known about it a long time ago. You know,” he added, “it’s something that we haven’t slept with anyone else since the day we met. There’s something weird about that.”
“I don’t think it’s weird. I like it. It’s reassuring, actually. It’s our own form of safe sex.” Lover was his usual optimistic self, well, mostly optimistic.
Angel wasn’t going to let this go by without having a little fun.
“Yeah, I guess you could say that. Of course, there are all those people on the tours that I like surprising, kissing some stranger every now and then. If not for that, I guess you’d be right.” Angel gave Lover one of those out-the-side-of-his-head looks.
“Keep your eyes on the road,” retorted Lover. “And stop trying to rile me.”
Angel acquiesced to Lover’s request. For the moment, anyway.
“Hey.” Lover knew Angel was nervous because he wouldn’t shut up. He decided to be understanding. That’s what husbands do. Sometimes. If the planets are aligned correctly.
“Hey what, babe?”
“Have you thought about names yet?”
Lover couldn’t believe it. He’d known Angel was nervous, but this was nervous at a whole new level. Maybe that’s what being pregnant did to him.
“No, sweetie, I, uh, hadn’t thought that far ahead. Why? Have you?”
“No, not really. It just seems like naming a child is an important thing. Maybe I should write a song about it.”
“If you think that will help, maybe you should. In fact, maybe you should start thinking about the lyrics right now, while you’re supposed to be driving.” See, this was why he wouldn’t let Angel drive the plane.
Angel caught the hint of snarkiness in Lover’s suggestion.
“Ha ha ha you so funny,” he said. “But if we were to change drivers, then I could start working on ‘em. I could call it ‘Who Are You?’ Whadaya think of that for a title?”
“I think you should pull into this parking lot and park the car. We’re here.” It was a fact for which Lover was unusually grateful.
“Oh, one more thing,” said Angel.
“What, my love?” asked Lover.
“Did you bring the magazines?”
Lover hadn’t. “Just sit there and think of England, OK?”
Angel needn’t have worried. The clinic was prepared for anybody who came through the door. Special rooms were set up for the samples to be “supplied” and no, Angel and Lover could not be in the same room at the same time. They’d found that out at their first appointment.
“Oh, well,” Lover had said. “It never hurts to ask.”
Indeed, they were blessed. Angel’s baby was made almost immediately, the implantation successful on the first try. Lover had a couple of false starts, saddening everyone involved and that possibly went all the way back to his father’s drug use. But the third try proved to be the charm. By the time both twin sisters were pregnant, it was clear that the two children would arrive about 7 months apart if everything went according to plan.
“You know, that might be a good thing,” Angel said, trying to soothe Lover’s disappointment after the second, failed try. “Look at it this way. When yours does get here we’ll already have some experience under our belt.”
Lover was not consoled. “I already have some experience. I don’t need any more. You’re the one who won’t know what he’s doing. Plus, do you realize this means almost a year of at least one baby under the age of six months?”
Angel obviously hadn’t thought about that. And didn’t know what to think about it.
So, just like when they needed to learn how to cook, Lover signed them up for a class.
Because of his recording, interviews, performances and appearances on television and radio shows, Angel missed a few of the class’s sessions. Lover noticed that they seemed to be the ones that dealt with diapers and colic and throw-up. He always seemed available for the play and cuddling and developmental ones. Angel swore on Starlight’s name that it was all coincidental. Lover could have sworn he heard an ethereal “Ha!” when Angel tried to get over with that one.
Angel was up for wearing the “pregnancy belly” and wore it for a couple of extra days, even out to shop and run errands. Once he even wore it for a talk-show interview. The women who’d always made up a large percentage of his fan base loved him even more when they saw that. He’d always been known for his graciousness and now his empathy for pregnant women was winning him new fans just for his courage.
Of course the tabloids had a field day with it and some of the comments weren’t very nice. Starlight made sure those who made those “not nice” comments suddenly found themselves tripping up stairs whenever they went in a door or from one floor to the next. (Indio had to speak with her about that. Humans are not toys.)
But most of it went well. When the two men walked into Lover’s firm wearing their bellies, it wasn’t long ‘til the good-hearted laughter stopped and the applause began.
Meanwhile the house was coming along, not without its occasional problems. Anyone who’d ever had any remodeling done, or solar energy or plumbing or air conditioning upgrades, sympathized. Eventually, though, it was ready to be occupied, all the inspections completed and certifications issued two days before the movers were scheduled. It was last minute, yes, but getting all that quickly and well-done was what friends were for, right? To schedule and complete the things that really needed to get done? Both of the men now saw the advantages of having had those million and a half guests at the wedding. Everyone of them knew “somebody” who could do the job and do it right.
Chapter 20 – MORE PREPARATIONS
All the tests along Angel’s pregnancy indicated a healthy baby was on the way. When asked if they wanted to know the baby’s gender, First Surrogate left it up to them. One or both of them accompanied her to every appointment and she knew that, like everything else about Angel and Lover, there would be lots of discussion before she’d get an answer, an answer they knew she knew already. They’d even refused to look at the sonograms.
“But don’t you want it to be a surprise?” asked Lover. “Either way, you’re gonna be amazed by it.”
“That’s just it,” Angel answered. “It’s not an ‘it’. It’s a person. It’s a girl or a boy. It’s not an ‘it’. And I wanna know what ‘it’ is so we can stop calling it ‘it’. Besides, I wanna name it before it’s born.”
Lover decided not to point out the number of times Angel had just said “it.”
“OK, so we’re gonna find out, right? Since you’re the biological father, you’re gonna pick up the phone right now and call her and tell her we want to know, right?”
Lover counted the seconds before he heard what he’d been expecting.
Lover just nodded. “OK, what? You’re not sure? You’re scared? You’re not ready? You need chocolate coconut water? Some fresh juices? What?”
Angel turned to his T, an unexpectedly somber look on his face.
“I’m a father. No matter what the gender is, I’m somebody’s father.” He paused, looking at Lover.
“You know all those talks we’ve had about what it’ll be like to have a child? All those pregnancy-group discussions? They were all, I don’t know, just something ‘out there’ that I knew was gonna happen but…”
“But what, babe?”
“But from now on, for the rest of my life, there’s gonna be somebody who needs me. I mean, who’ll really be depending on me. It’s like, remember when we started talking again after, um … ”
Lover nodded. “Yes, after you threw the chair and went into therapy for all those months and did all that hard work? And then you realized you’d always depended on me to make things right when you messed up or ran away from ‘us’ because you were scared?”
“Yeah,” said Angel, sadly. “I was so unfair to you, putting you in that position. I knew I could mess up because you’d always be there to clean up my mess. You always understood, you always took me back. I don’t think I really understood until right this minute just how much that took, how much you’ve always loved me.”
Lover smiled and walked over to his Angel, taking him in his arms and holding him tightly.
“You are going to be a wonderful father. Don’t you ever doubt that.”
So Angel called and said, yes, they wanted to know. The sweet voice on the other end of the call told him. After he thanked her, more times than a few, he turned to Lover. The look on his face was a combination of wonder and surprise and Joy … surrounding an allowable core of terror. Lover finally had to ask him, “What?” And again. “What?”
He could barely hear Angel’s answer.
“It’s a boy.” He stood there, shaking his head as if he himself were newly-born into the world.
“I have a son,” he said. Then, looking at Lover he said, “We have a son.”
No matter how they tried to keep the secret (and, in all honesty, they didn’t try very hard), of course the news got out. The Rock Star was going to have a son. Just like after the announcement of the engayment, congratulations and now gifts for the baby began arriving months before the due date. The nursery began to take shape.
Lover didn’t care that the child was biologically Angel’s and not his; he absolutely refused to have baby clothes made of leather and lace. Well, maybe the lace wasn’t so bad, at least for the first few days. After that, Son would be swaddled and dressed like any other son. Maybe a zebra-print or leopard-spotted blankie here or there. And little tiny fingerless leather gloves. And booties to match. Maybe.
Angel acquiesced. And then went into the studio and recorded a set of lullabyes taught him by Starlight.
Tomorrow in “Children” – A baby of light and a plan of darkness are born