Three Years Later. . .

Rhys impatiently waited for the plane to land. After tying up his new projects and dumping the rest on Oliver's very capable hands, he hied off to the airport to get his alluring wife. He just wished that his wife would not be so charming to her colleagues—the male ones in particular. They thought that just because she smiled at them and talked to them to oblivion about the newest proteins discovered did not mean that she was in love with them. She was just being her lovable self. Just because she did not changed her name into Templeton did not mean that she was not married. He always had her bring a copy her marriage certificate and ring—just in case some dunderhead did not get it through their dense skulls.

When he saw her familiar dark head, he immediately rushed to her and kissed her. Yep, he missed her lips and warmth.

"How are you?" She asked him, a wide grin on her face. She filled out nicely and there was an extra brightness in her eyes.

This year, she was finally coming home. His wife got herself fired from the office and applied for an overseas post-graduate program these past years. He had already sold his apartment and had one of his properties renovated for the two of them. He could not wait to surprise her and baptize their new king-sized bed.

Pen was exasperated. The faculty was looking at their professor, her, with respect and morbid fascination. She was the current topic since she spent her years under renowned scientists and still chose to teach at the university. Besides, it was not every day that one of their professors was wooed and protected with such dedication by a husband. Who always received a variation of flowers and e-mails every day? The last man who tried to be nice almost went home in tears because of her possessive cantankerous husband. Rhys Templeton had the subtlety of a mammoth.

Even her students would not let her up. Half thought her husband was a pitiable creature while the other half had that calf-eyed gaze on her.

When she launched this topic to his parents, the consensus was: "I don't want to be caught in the crossfire." Then Edith whispered something insidiously to Pen. "Why don't you give him a little Templeton to spoil?"

Pen wanted to reply, You are just asking for a grandchild, Edith. However, a little version of Rhys had its merits.

Edith had good blackmail material, Pen thought.

Rhys just sealed another deal when he was called by his mother to have dinner in their house. Though he was the demon boss, the only person he visibly softened was his wife. He grinned when he saw Pen sitting on the bed. She was reading something. A wide smile graced her face. He went and adjusted himself next to her side. Did three years just passed? Her features were the same, that pert nose, those dark eyes and that thick hair but it was more than that. She was the woman who was turning him into knots but it was as if he was always seeing her with more clarity or in a different light. Before he could catalogue the changes on this woman, his eyes unconsciously began to trace her lips and it was then he realized that she was speaking and to him. He turned his attention to her words but was already lost on him when Pen beamed at him. Too caught up with her smile, he realized too late that he was staring at her like an addle-pated idiot.


Her voice shook off the momentary shock of seeing her. He managed to school his features to indifference.

"Pen." He took the seat beside her. His mother did not bat an eyelash at his position. Before he could study her, his eyes zeroed on the album on her lap.

His baby pictures. His stages of developmental shame—from his naked ass to his mother's attempts at cross-dressing him, dearly wanting a daughter after a boy.

Damn! No wonder he got such a warm welcome!

Another Five Years Later. . .

Rhys might have the subtlety of a mammoth but he had the memory of an elephant. He would not allow himself to forget that a certain editor once had filthy intentions towards his wife. It was Friday and he could have the weekends too with his wife. That certain editor could spend his time with his four-year-old son instead of wasting it on women with loose morals.

He wanted Pen all to himself. His son was so much like him—underhanded and too attached to Pen. He smiled as he informed his secretary that he would be leaving early.

Tyrone Templeton did not want his mummy spending too much time with Daddy. Daddy is a big man. He did not need Mummy like he needed her. He liked her hugging him and then ruffling his hair when they were alone. She knew when to cuddle him or just let him be. He liked that she was letting him see part of her work.

Daddy did not have to be so mean, always teasing him about being a big boy, not needing his mummy. He liked being cuddled by his mummy but not being ridiculed by the stinky old man. Besides, Mummy treated him like an adult.

However, as he waited for his mummy to come fetch him from school, he saw Daddy, looking so imposing. He scowled at the females who swooned at the sight of the stinky old man. He might look cool but he knew his daddy had another agenda.

Oh Mummy, Daddy was way ahead of you this time.

He grabbed Rhys' hand and they walked towards the car.

"What do you want, Dad?"

"We're going to eat ice cream and then watch movies."

He was instantly suspicious. He had an inkling of his daddy's MO. He could only count the number of times his mummy slept beside him. It would have been higher if Daddy did not intervene.

"No dinner?" He tried to sound hopeful. What was his daddy thinking? He was not that gullible. He might be young but he was not born yesterday. Besides, he was the smartest in the class.

"A light dinner but with lots of sweets." The stinky old man pinched his cheeks but he endured it.

"Mummy banned them."

"Mummy's not here."

"I'm calling Mummy." He felt secure at the thought.

"But I saw a stash of chocolate in your lunch box." He glared at his daddy and proceeded to strap himself inside the car. The stinky old man knew his stuff.

Rhys was in the middle of kissing Pen when the doorbell rang. He ignored it and proceeded to devour his wife. Unfortunately, the high screeching notes were insistent. He glared at Pen to stay put as he went to dismiss the bugger.

Disgruntled, Rhys went to answer the door and found Tyrone, the little tyrant and an unapologetic Dylan at their door in the middle of the night. The little tyrant had worked himself into an old-fashioned tantrum evidenced by the red puffy eyes and an irritated adult.

"I told you to keep the bugger busy." He turned to Giles coldly.

"I tried but he's not my kid." Giles shrugged. "He wanted his mother."

When Pen decided to come down, she quickly rushed to Tyrone. The little tyrant acted so innocent and hugged his mother. His son gave him a superior look and switched to the injured party when Pen turned to him. His son was indeed learning fast using the genes he had passed to him with such skill. Those smooth round cheeks, curly dark hair and bright brown eyes had the women in his family succumbing to the tyrant's charm.

When Pen deposited Tyrone to his bed, she could only roll her eyes as the two glared at each other. Tyrone accused his Rhys of blackmail while the latter accused him of cheating. They were so alike.

"Ty, since, you ate lots of sweets without telling me, I'm letting you sleep with Daddy tonight." She narrowed her eyes as he opened his mouth for another tantrum. She turned to her husband, "Since you have lots of time, you can fetch him from school starting next week since you two are bent on hiding things from me."

Tyrone's eyes went round. His mummy would let that stinky man near him? He let his lips quiver a little. His grandmas were susceptible to this little tactic. His mummy stared at him and smiled at him. He let out a sigh of relief when she carried him. He grinned at his daddy triumphantly before he snuggled into Mummy's warmth. He breathe in her homey scent until his lids were too heavy with sleep. Just before he fell asleep, he felt large hands ruffling his hair and someone kissing his forehead.

When Tyrone woke up the next day, he was alone in his room. When he rushed towards his parents' bedroom, the door was locked.

That stinky old man!