Hi, Sam! Ooh, big happenings in this chapter!
I'm still really liking the way you've been writing Lexi's inner monologue. The snark and the dry, deadpan humor crack me up. Again and again, she delivers the great mental two-liners in this chapter. To wit: I wish I'd been there to see the introductions. I'm also glad I wasn't.
Annie seems to be working her way into the fold quite nicely. Even though her children are much younger than Kieron, she seems to be able to manage him with a minimum of trouble. The dynamic there reminds me of a few situations I've seen where a kid who had a not-so-good mother suddenly comes face to face with a lady who does the job right. They're at a disadvantage, really, not knowing how to respond.
It was fun to see everyone spring the baby shower on Lexi. Setting up for the engagement party was a great cover story.
I thought the night sky mobile was a brilliant idea. You took a fairly common muggle device and really turned it up in a magical way. You've mentioned in past chapters that Kieron is a very smart, powerful wizard. I think you mentioned something similar at some point about Hugo, too. In this chapter, it came out very strongly. Lexi seemed almost fearful of it. I really started to wonder what's up with that. Is there some subplot here that never quite made it into the limelight?
It was nice to see Hugo and Emmett reconcile, although I'm not entirely sure if we knew that they were having a tiff. The speech Emmett give sot Hugo was heart-warming, at any rate.
I like the theme of baby steps for Daphne and Kieron. Also, to a lesser extent, Daphne and Lexi. Your explanation of why Lexi never took things quite as hard as Kieron did made perfect sense. And letting the two of them go through a very gradual process seemed much more believable to me than some big, gushy moment.
And then there's the cliffhanger! Well, maybe not so much of a cliffhanger because, after all, we knew that she was going to have a baby sooner or later. But it's coming very early, or so it seems. Our twins came about four weeks early, so I can totally relate to the sense of panic and powerlessness. Also the tunnel vision and the way the rest of the world just sort of fades out of focus.
OK, so before I totally lose myself in flashbacks, I saw some things that might be typos:
My turn turns into a frown and he understands. -- Not sure what you meant to say here, but I'm betting this wasn't it. :p
Nicky's family come in groups as we're talking and laughing and opening presents, bringing their own as well, both for my and for the guys, and my corner of the living room become a little cluttered. -- both for me and for the guys?
And I appreciate it as long as I know it wasn't her trying too hard to be excepted into the family. -- accepted into the family
"He found it in a draw in his room when he was bringing back spare clothes for when he stays over the other day," -- drawer in his room
I reluctantly does as he says and go back to my seat, alone now because both Erik and Hugo are gone. -- do as he says
"Lexi, what is it?" Kieron demands, holding my by the shoulders. -- holding me by the shoulders
The next chapter should be a doozy! I'll be back soon...