"Oh, we have a new member in the family?! So cute! What's your name?" Xavier asked.
"My name is Betty. Nice to meet you all." Betty introduced herself and smiled at Xavier.
"I'm Xavier, baby girl and this guy here is Kai." Xavier beamed at her while Kai gave her a small, kind smile.
Betty's eyes surveyed the two men for a while before her gaze fell on Ezekiel Qin. She then turned and walked towards him and poked him gently on his leg to grab his attention.
"Uncle, what's your name?"
The man silently raised his eyes and looked at the girl before him.
"Hey, don't ignore a lady's question." Alex's voice was mocking.
"Ezekiel" was all he said before he looked down again, as if he was an unwilling participant.
Dinner seemed to be laid out and ready for them already so they all took their places around the table and started to eat the always scrumptious meal made by the kitchen staff.
Betty couldn't believe the amount of food that was laid out on the table. 'Holy moly! I have never seen this much food in my life! YUUUUUMMMMM!!!' was the thought that ran through her head. She was used to the food from the orphanage and while it wasn't fancy like this, it was certainly nutritious and still yummy. But the little foodie certainly wasn't going to let this opportunity pass by her!
Abi saw the millions of stars in the girl's eyes and she couldn't help but chuckle as she placed a heaped spoonful of food on Little Betty's plate. She definitely understood what she was feeling. This was, after all, how she also felt when she first got here. Knowing how much of a foodie this little girl was, she made sure to give her at least a small portion of every dish so that she could have a taste of all of the dishes, much to Little Betty's delight.
Dinner was much more lively than usual, with Xavier and Kai asking Little Betty a lot of questions, as if they had never spent time with a little child before, and Little Betty answered them all with her cheerful, bubbly, little voice surrounding them like a warm blanket.
Once they were finished with their meal, Abi and Little Betty patted their food babies with satisfaction. They looked at each other and as if some secret communication passed between them, they both laughed out loud while the men looked at them with curiosity. Abi just shook her head and offered no explanation.
After some time, they all rose and headed to the large living room. Alex and Abi sat next to each other on the largest couch while Little Betty, Xavier and Kai sat on the couch across them. Zeke, ever the outsider, sat on the furthest single chair from the rest.
"Do you have any toys or games here?" Little Betty piped up.
The two men immediately looked at Alex, as if they were about to ask him this question, but then they looked at each other and shook their head. 'What were they thinking? Of course he wouldn't have any kids toys or games in this house.'
"Sorry, Betty, but we don't have toys or games," Xavier said sadly.
"Oh ok… Do you have any paper? We could play rubbish ball. Do you know how to play rubbish ball?" Little Betty asked the two men, who just looked very confused.
"Rubbish ball? What kind of game is that?" Xavier asked.
"It's when you crumple pieces of paper into a ball and try to shoot them inside the rubbish bin!" Little Betty explained.
"Oh. That sounds like fun!" Xavier said while Kai just nodded. The two then went in search of paper and a rubbish bin. It didn't take them long to find the items needed for the game and so within minutes, the quiet house became very noisy as the three of them played their game. There were shrieks and claps and hoorays as it went on and Abi, who could never just sit and watch while kids played games, got up to join them.
Alex and Zeke stayed where they were as they looked on with boredom written on their faces. They definitely did not have any intention of joining in.
After some time, the game finally slowed down. It seemed like everyone was finally starting to run out of gas.
"Abigail, come over," Alex ordered and Abi immediately walked towards him. He pulled her beside him and whispered in her ear.
"It's time for your punishment, Abigail." he uttered and Abi swallowed. She thought that Alex would let her go tonight.
"But… Alex, B-betty is here."
"She looks like she is ready to go to sleep," he simply said. As Abi looked at the little girl who was rubbing her eyes and yawning, she knew he was right. "I'm sure one of the boys can handle putting her to bed," he then continued.
"O-okay," she agreed but Abi worriedly tugged Alex's shirt. "Alex, she needs someone to read a book to her for her to go to sleep," Abi said.
"Charles, get me a book, a pillow and a blanket," he ordered and after a while, Charles came back holding a pillow, a blanket and an old book of Grimm's fairy tales.
Alex took the book and walked towards the little girl. He squatted before her and said, "Little Betty, Abigail and I have an important matter to settle so one of these three will put to bed, okay?" Alex told her and the little girl looked at Abi before she just nodded.
He then showed the book to her. "Little Betty, you can choose one person to read this book to you," he told her and Little Betty just blinked. "Who will you choose?"
The moment they entered the dining room, three pairs of eyes greeted them and one didn't even bother to look up, as if he couldn't care less. Of course, the boisterous one was the first to say something.