tagBDSMThe Twelve Vitali Ch. 30

The Twelve Vitali Ch. 30


Authors note: Hello everyone. Thank you everyone for the positive feedback and comments they continue to mean the world to me and have brightened my days. Thank you once again to Paul who continues to be my second set of eyes. ~ellie.

"What sort of mother could I possibly be?" Cat said desolately. She sat with David, talking quietly on the edge of the front porch overlooking the ocean, enjoying having her brother to herself, if only for a few minutes.

Ricco had moved quickly after Cat's break down the morning after receiving the letters from her grandfather, and after a brief conversation with Matteo, they had left the city for the house on the hill. They had left the staff to pack and follow them to the country. Both Matteo and Ricco had been attentive, appearing to have left their work in the city and relaxing with her as if the three of them were on holiday. They spent two days alone, with only the discreet household staff and the small initial security team with them. The weekend, though, brought many visitors, including David and his girlfriend.

"You raised me, and I turned out okay," David said honestly.

"I think that has more to do with Frankie and the football club rather than anything I did. You were hanging out with Ned's cronies before Frankie came along," Cat said sadly, admitting that any success David had now was not due to her influence.

"You don't think I would have done all that in the beginning if you didn't make me?" he asked incredulously. "You came to every training night, every game, even when you had to work a double to get the time off to come! You don't think I realised how important it was to me for you to do that? You don't think I realised all the sacrifices you made to make it happen?"

"I just showed up, David. You put in the effort, and Frankie made it possible for you," Cat sighed. "That wasn't me, it was all you."

"You're wrong, you made it possible!" he sighed and held up his hand. "I'm not going to argue about it with you, just trust me, I know you are going to be the best mother ever, because you already are. On top of that, you and I both have a very clear picture of what a bad mother looks like, and I know you would never do that to your own child."

"I'm pregnant," she blurted, knowing that David was talking, as she always had, in the far away someday kind of way.

"Wow, you didn't waste any time!" David looked at her in astonishment. "That's awesome; I'm gonna be an uncle for real! I suddenly have all these new in-laws, but being an uncle, that's gonna be awesome! I promise I will be there for him and teach him how to play footy! It's gonna be great!" David said enthusiastically, giving his sister a tight hug. "You are going to be the most awesome mother, because I'm going to be around to make sure! Whatever you need I'm gonna do it, not just for the kid, but for you! I'm surprised Matt hasn't been handing out cigars to everyone in sight!" David chuckled.

"It's early days; we were just going to wait for a little before making the announcement. You know, to be sure about it," Cat admitted.

"Be sure about what? It's too late now, Cat!" He looked at her aghast. "You couldn't just get rid of it because you're scared! For fuck's sake, you wouldn't, would you?" He asked in horror, surprising her. "Just because our parents were fuck ups doesn't mean we will be! And look at the man you married, he's a great guy, perfect father material! Your kids are not going to want for anything, especially love, if I have anything to do with it!"

"I'm not worried about Matt, or anyone in this huge family, it's me. What if I can't do it? What if this baby comes and I don't love it enough, or can't feed it, or..." she stopped herself from voicing her concern that, like her mother, she would hate her children enough to ignore them and let them starve or fend for themselves.

"Then we get you the help you need to get over it. No one ever did that for our mother. No one cared enough, I guess. She cared more about her next fix than fixing her problems or us. You aren't like that, and I know Matt would never let you or a child of his suffer like that!" David said with absolute conviction. "You're not her, Cat, you were never like her. You made sure I had what I needed every time before worrying about yourself. There is no need to be scared, trust me, you are nothing like her."

Cat burst into tears again, her anxiety ebbed slowly under the onslaught of her brother's words, and he held her tightly again. David hadn't expected the tears, and he wondered if he had been too quick in dismissing her fears. He'd been a shit to her in the past, and just when he believed he had got himself together enough to help her out, the Vitali's had come along and swept her up in their powerful family. He didn't want to let her down now.

Cat had decided she wasn't going to tell David about the mysterious grandfather, at least not until they had done some investigations of their own and proved it to be true. The fact they probably didn't have the same father weighed heavily on her when he spoke of their parents, and made her cry all the more. She hated crying, but she found since the abduction that was all she seemed to do lately when in serious conversations. Maybe she did need to confide in Isaiah and find out if the sudden constant teariness was really caused by her messed up hormones.

Now that she had told David, she felt a little better about the pregnancy. While he had dismissed her concerns, he hadn't dismissed the memory of the woman that made her question her own ability to parent, and had validated those feelings. She hadn't told Matteo or Ricco of her fears. They had their own issues where their mother was concerned, she knew, and didn't want to burden them with her dark thoughts.

It was David's girlfriend, Tracey, that eventually found them still sitting on the front porch and interrupted the siblings. The house on the hill teamed with people. Knox and Hugh, along with the security team and household staff, had taken up residence in the guest's rooms on the first floor. The house was, Cat realised, far too small for the family with their extra responsibilities, just as Matteo had said. She considered once again if the proposition of creating a whole new house, rather than renovating and adding onto the house, was a better idea.

The house was already immense, in her opinion, or at least she had always thought of it that way before coming here with the addition of several family members and their ever-growing staff and security. She looked out over the rolling sea and sighed. If they built anywhere else, they would never have this view. The view she loved and so inspired her. The view that was the main reason she had wanted to keep the house instead of letting Matteo sell or demolish it because of his memories of Nik being here.

Arturo and Logan had arrived on the Saturday with some of her art supplies, as well as the building plans for the house as it was now, and she had smiled. The supplies and plans the two younger men brought with them were just what she needed to truly consider the enormity of the task they were about to undertake. Now she just had to find a way to get the men that she loved to give her a little alone time to think without worrying that she would fall to pieces again.

She had known that, although he never looked at it in front of her, Matteo's phone constantly buzzed in his pocket, and she was sure Ricco's was the same, though his didn't buzz so obviously. She felt bad that she was keeping them from their work and their family, but each time she tried to reassure them that she was happy and content to watch a movie or go horse riding with Bradbury while they worked they had shaken their heads and offered to do those things with her themselves. They exhausted her each evening, even without the red room and all the equipment it contained. She slept deeply enough each night that she didn't know how late they had both stayed up going through the messages and emails they had received that day and talking in late night conferences. She knew they were relying on the other men of their family to follow up on all the investigations required following the revelations in the files her grandfather had sent them.

Saturday had also brought Lucca, who had chafed at being left behind until Zachary had cleared him to travel. Isaiah had come with him to ensure he would rest his leg and not overdo anything after his head injury. The house took on a party atmosphere, and all Cat's plans for having some alone time went out of the window as she greeted guests and was forced to be sociable. She was glad to see David arrive and have their conversation about parenthood. Each time she saw him she wished she could spend more time with him. They had always been so close, so dependent on each other, and now it was as if a great chasm was widening between them that she couldn't stop.

"Here you are," Matteo said. "The food's ready, come and eat something," he said, gently approaching where she sat with David and Tracy.

"Great," David grinned. He came to his feet, taking Tracy's hand as if to walk away without another word, but stopped. "Tell him what you told me, Cat. He deserves to know. You didn't create that on your own, remember." With that, he walked away.

"Tell me what?" Matteo asked, walking forward. He truly liked Cat's brother, and knew he always spoke his mind without beating around the bush, regardless of the consequences to himself, and he could see that Cat was not exactly happy with what he had just said.

"I don't think I could ever get tired of this view," she sighed. "This was the main reason I wanted to keep the house, now I'm wondering if it's even going to be possible to renovate enough to make it work for your huge family."

"Our huge family," he rebuked mildly. "You're the reason Ricco and I are in the position we are. You are the heart of our family. Without you, Ricco and I could never be the men we are destined to become."

"No pressure?" she gave him a crooked smile.

"None what-so-ever," Matteo grinned and wrapped his arms around her. "I just want you to be happy, Cat. Lately, with everything else going on, you seem to be smiling less, and I would do anything to see you happy and smiling again. Tell me what David meant, please."

"I am happy, honestly. I couldn't be happier. I married the man I love, and I have the love of his best man and brother as well. We are planning our future here, together, as well as a family of our own. You and Ricco never fail to make sure I know how much you both love me. How could I be anything but happy?" Cat asked.

"That's precisely what I'm asking," he chuckled, trying to make the conversation lighter. "You know we can be a little thick sometimes. You can't be subtle if you want something; you have to hit us over the head with it!"

"What's for dinner?" she asked, abruptly changing the subject. "I'm suddenly starving. Will you still love me when I am as big as a house?" she asked, smiling.

"Even more," he grinned. "I'm very excited about it, to tell you the truth. When we redesign, do you think we should give the nursery an ocean view?"

"The nursery," she mused. "There is so much to think about with this house. I think I might be in over my head!"

"That's why we have professionals to help us. You can trust Logan to bring it all together. He knows what he's doing," Matteo assured her. He'd said all of these things over the last two days, but he felt the need to say them again. "Tell me," he said seriously, not letting her put him off again. "David obviously thinks I need to know something you told him, and I have to wonder what you could tell him that you felt you couldn't tell me," Matteo said sadly. "Didn't we agree to tell each other everything? To be honest about everything?"

"We did," Cat agreed, as her insides cringed with the sadness in his voice. She turned to look back out at the view. "I'm scared," she whispered softly so that it was barely audible to Matteo. If he was surprised, he didn't show it.

"You are safe here," he stood behind her, wrapping his hands around her waist and drawing her back against him. He couldn't blame her for being scared, with all of the dramatic events that had plagued them since she agreed to be his. If he was surprised about anything, it was that she had finally admitted it. She had seemed undaunted by everything the family had thrown at her time and time again, and, if he was honest, she only seemed to grow stronger and more confident with each test of her will.

"No, you don't understand," Cat said in an impossibly quiet voice. "I'm scared of this," she took his hands and placed them over her belly.

"The baby?" he asked. Now he was surprised. This was the one bright spark of good news they had received recently, despite how they had found out about it.

"What if I'm like my mother and have no maternal instinct? What if the baby is born and I feel nothing? What if I can't do it?" she asked, her eyes filling with tears again.

"Are you planning on becoming a drug addict in the near future?" he asked, furrowing his brow and watching her turn to look up at him. "The drugs made her that way, you know that," he said patiently. "You and David are perfectly healthy, which means she wasn't an addict when she had either of you. I would bet she wasn't always the way you knew her. Your fate is in your own hands, Cat. I would hope that no matter what happened you wouldn't turn to drugs or alcohol, but would turn to me if life got too overwhelming. Your mother didn't have the luxury, if the letters are true. Your father died when you were a baby, leaving her alone."

"My grandmother was there," Cat said, considering what he was saying.

"Would you be equally as happy with Theresa's support instead of mine or Ricco's?" he countered. "The comparison you are making isn't fair. Your life is nothing like your mother's. This child is going to have more parents to love it, more uncles, more aunts and more cousins than it will be able to count. Trust me, this child will have the best mother in the world, because you won't repeat the mistakes of the past, just as Ricco and I won't repeat the mistakes of our parents."

"How can you be so sure?" she blinked a wayward tear to her cheek.

"Because I love you, and I won't let you down. Not now, not ever, and if anything ever happened to me, Ricco would be there. Maybe if your mother were surrounded by people who loved her, she wouldn't have become an addict or treated you and David the way she did. Love conquers all, as they say," Matteo smiled and kissed her lightly. "This little one will be the luckiest kid in the world, because he has us, all three of us, to make sure he will have the best life possible."

"What's up?" Ricco asked, coming through the front door onto the porch. "Everyone is starting to worry about you."

"The enormity of impending parenthood is starting to hit home," Matteo said softly.

"Terrifying, isn't it," Ricco agreed. "Still, we can't do any worse than our parents did, and we have each other to make sure that doesn't happen." He said simply, as if he had given it a great deal of thought. "Let's face it, it wouldn't take much to be better than either of our mothers, and we've all turned out okay. So how hard can it be?" He chuckled. "Together, we can do anything."

Cat looked startled for a moment, then laughed softly with him. David had been right to force her to talk to them, she did feel better, and she felt far less reluctance to talk to Isaiah about her pregnancy now.


In the middle of the night, Cat was woken by a soft shake from Matteo, who sat on the edge of the bed fully dressed. She blinked into the dim light from the hallway that seeped through the crack in the bedroom door.

"What's going on?" she asked groggily.

"Ricco and I have to go back to the city with Isaiah. Maryanne is in labour, it will probably be a while, Knox will bring you into the city in the morning. It's important that we are there to support Cobi. More so Ricco and Isaiah," Matteo explained.

"It's important Matt is there too," Ricco said softly. "This is the first of the next generation of our table, so we need to welcome him into the world properly."

"Give me a minute, I will come with you," Cat whispered, struggling to get up.

"Sleep now, it will be hours yet. Knox will bring you and Logan up tomorrow when it's closer to the actual birth," Matteo assured her. He had argued with Ricco about taking her with them tonight, but he had lost that argument when Isaiah weighed in on her behalf. Cat had talked to Isaiah about her pregnancy and the rollercoaster of emotions she seemed to be on. He had admitted he would have been surprised if she wasn't on a roller coaster with everything going on in her life, and prescribed more rest, which he was happy to enforce that tonight.

"It will only take me a minute to grab some clothes, I feel fine. I'm awake now!" Cat said anxiously.

"Doctors orders," Ricco said gently, seeing Matteo about to give in and let her travel with them. "You need proper rest, beautiful. Please, sleep, Knox will bring you into the city in the morning. We will call when it looks close to the birth."

"Sleep, Kitten," Matteo whispered, leaning forward to kiss her and move her back down to the bed. "We need you to start thinking about our baby and rest properly. Sleep, we will see you in a few hours."

"I'm pregnant, not injured or sick," she protested softly.

"Sleep, beautiful," Ricco said, leaning down to kiss her as Matteo moved away. "It will ease my mind knowing you are here and safe and looking after yourself."

"Okay," she sighed. "Call me, though, I don't want to get there too late for everything."

"We will," they said almost in unison, and left the room, closing the door and plunging Cat back into darkness.

Her thoughts went to the life growing inside her. David's words had eased her fears, and, she had to admit, talking with Isaiah had made the pregnancy seem more real, despite feeling no different physically. She rolled onto her back and placed her hands on her belly. Theresa was wonderful, and Cat thought of her as a mother-figure, but she wished she had someone, anyone in her own family to ask how they felt, if the pregnancies were worry-free and what their labours had been like. She wished she knew her family's medical history. What if there were syndromes or disorders in her DNA that the child could inherit? How would she or the doctors know what to check for? There was so much that could go wrong.

There was possibly one person who could tell her stories that would relate to her. Her grandfather, if he truly was her grandfather. It occurred to her that she had never spoken to Bradbury about that one strange comment on the last night of the Gathering. He had said she reminded him of someone and had stared at her as if trying to place where he knew her from. Had he known the woman in the photo? she wondered. Could he possibly know her grandfather and how to contact him? The thought made her anxious for the sun to rise so she could ask him.

Her mind wondered about the man who had written her the letter, and the words rolled in her mind. Apologetic and kind, the man had seemed upset by the discovery of her existence, and she wondered how he couldn't have known that his son had a child, or at least got her mother pregnant. She tried to remember what her grandmother had told her about her father, but the memory kept sliding away. Had he been alive when she was born? She couldn't even remember if her grandmother had told her how he had died. Her mother had barely spoken to her, so she knew no information had come from her.

At some point Cat had fallen asleep again, her dreams filled with strange men in suits and large country manors, like seen in turn of the century movies. It was a cosy and warm place, and she felt content there. The dream morphed into a more modern house, and the men in suits became the men she loved. As she came to wakefulness, she smiled. Determined to use her time alone this morning to her advantage, she got up and went to shower and dress for the day, checking the clock and seeing that it was almost seven.

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