When I got back to the apartment, I packed for the week. I was scared shitless and Luther came in while I sat on my bed, staring at the wall. He sat beside me and neither of us spoke for a while.
"If nothing else, it'll be fun," he said finally. "Vegas rocks. You'll see."
"What if she breaks up with me?" I croaked.
"Nah, I don't think she would. But when it comes down to it, you'll never know if you don't do it. Didn't you go bungee jumping once?" he asked and I nodded. "It's like that. You're standing there, looking down, and your anxiety is building up. So, you take a breath, and you go for it. The result: you pissed yourself but you had the time of your life."
I laughed. "Did you and Irene really go to the studio?"
"No; we just did a few turns around the block. I knew it wouldn't take long."
I yawned. "Tomorrow we have two appointments. It's going to suck not having Mirela but I guess someone called her last minute with a problem, too."
"I thought she took Saturdays off," he said and I nudged him.
"I thought we did, too," I said and he laughed.
"What are the appointments?"
"Baby's first and family Christmas cards," I said.
"Aw! Baby's first Christmas pictures! Those are the best."
I chuckled. "If you say so."
The baby's first Christmas was a nightmare. The bunny worked but the parents were the worst. I would start taking pictures and they'd change their minds at the last minute. I did my best to not go insane. I kept thinking about tomorrow and how great this week was going to be. There would definitely be a lot of pictures taken.
"Now she's crying again," the mother said, stomping her foot and glaring at me. "Shouldn't you be doing something about that!?"
I smiled. "I'm sorry. Your daughter is just so adorable I got distracted. Go ahead and stand where Luther put you and I'll take care of it."
She huffed. "You better."
I kept my smile fixed on my face and played with the bunny. The baby immediately giggled and I snapped pictures. We were starting to use the mounted camera for when we had troublesome babies since it was hard to hold a camera and keep a bunny moving at the same time. I propped it up behind me and it worked great with the clicker.
"How many solo shot poses do you want?" Luther asked the mom.
While she was telling him, the father walked over.
"Sorry about my wife," he said out of the corner of his mouth. "She's pregnant again and she was a crazy pregnant lady then, too."
I laughed genuinely. "Thanks but it's okay. I've dealt with crazy ladies plenty of times. Oh jeez." She was arguing with Luther now. "Something tells me we'll be here for a while."
He laughed. "Are you married?"
I shook my head. "I'm in a pretty serious relationship, though."
"Good Lord no," I said quickly. "Kids and I don't mix well."
"I disagree," he said. "You're doing an awesome job at getting Tui to calm down enough. Does your girlfriend want kids?"
"You know, I never even thought about that," I said with a frown. "She likes playing with the kids when she comes in to work with us but she's never said anything."
He clapped me on the back. "Sometimes their silence is the answer." I bit my lower lip as the mom kept arguing. "If you do, I hope she doesn't go insane like Maggie."
I laughed. "Perhaps we should go save Luther. He looks ready to implode."
"Okay, Maggie," her husband said, putting his hands on her shoulders. "Relax. It's just the hormones."
"Is not," she argued. "He said that Tui should sit on your lap first!"
"Is that all?" her husband said. "She can sit on your lap first, sweetie. I'm perfectly fine with that."
"Okay," Luther said. "Let's get those shots, then."
Luther and I went back to the edge while they got into position. Maggie put her arms around chubby little Tui with a huge grin on her face. After a few solo shots, her husband switched places and she sobbed as I did his solos.
"He's just so adorable with her!" she cried and Luther gave her a handful of tissues.
"Is there anything else you guys want to do?" I asked. "I'm sorry we don't have a Santa. We're going to get one for next year, though."
"It's okay," the husband said and shook our hands.
"I'll have them to you by Wednesday," I said.
"That's fast," he said, helping his wife put her coat on.
"I have a helper," I said with a smile.
He smiled back and winked. "Remember what I said, young man."
"I will," I said and watched them leave, frowning.
I got my usual camera out, still frowning, and Luther stared.
"What were you guys talking about while crazy lady harassed me?"
I laughed. "We were talking about Mirela," I answered and rubbed the back of my neck. "Hey, Lu, does she seem like the type to want kids?"
He stared at me with his mouth hanging open. "What the hell, man?"
I groaned, putting the strap around my neck so the camera could hang safely. I ran a hand through my hair.
"The guy was apologizing for his wife; apparently she's pregnant again." Luther snorted. "Anyway, he asked if I was married and I said no, I was in a serious relationship. Then he asked if we had or wanted kids. I said no but he kept talking about how a woman may say she doesn't want them or won't say anything at all when she really does." I huffed and sat in one of the director's chairs while we waited for our next group. "Stupid people and their stupid talk about stupid babies."
Luther laughed and sat in the other chair. "Focus on the trip first, yeah?"
I nodded. "Another Christmas shot," I said, looking at the paper. "The kids are 6 and 8, though, so they'll be easier to work with."
"Or not," we said in unison when the family walked in.
They were in matching Christmas sweaters. The father and son were wearing khakis and the mother and daughter were wearing beige skirts. The kids looked ready to mutiny. The son was pulling at the collar and the daughter had her arms crossed with an obnoxious pout on her face.
"Bring back the pregnant lady," Luther mumbled and I laughed.