Phoenix Wright and Maya Fey-Wright
December 24, 2029
She had set his heart aflutter when he’d initially seen her, picturesque regal elegance personified, in her majestic purple robes for her Master’s Ceremony. He’d thought he was the luckiest man alive at the premiere instant he’d witnessed that ethereal angel, swathed in white silk and satin, floating towards him down the aisle. Had felt a matchless inner flame ignite within him when she’d shed her acolyte robes, allowing him the privilege of seeing what lay beneath, for the very first time… and every single time ever since.
But he’d also seen her sweaty-faced and dusty as they’d cleaned out the attic together. Had been endeared by the speckled, colorful splatters on her face as she perched herself on the metal-rung contraption alongside him while he applied the primer, with her roller in hand, giggling about her victory, this time, in their proverbial battle… because she was indeed using a ladder for those harder to reach areas!
Regardless of whether she was dressed to the nines, or slightly grubby from doing household chores by his side, it didn’t matter to him.
Because she would always remain an absolute goddess in his eternally besotted eyes.
Presently, having completed his part of the cozy couple task of cutting up vegetables, he was able to now lean against the doorway and silently study his domestic partner, who was clad in baggy sweatpants and his oversized tank-top, with her long obsidian mane pulled atop her head in a messy bun.
Despite being in loose, shapeless clothing which did her petite, curvy frame zero justice, her porcelain visage free of any artifice, and now nearing her third decade, she’d somehow remained the same timeless, natural beauty who’d captured his heart over a decade ago, and still continued to take his breath away.
His object of affection had no inkling of his silent, admiring appraisal, as she was too preoccupied at the moment fussing with whatever heavenly aromatic creations she’d been conjuring up in the kitchen for that night’s meal.
However, the legal legend had no interest in food. The only thing he craved against his lips right now was her.
Maya Fey Wright.
It’d been nearly a year of wedded bliss, and yet Phoenix Wright still couldn’t keep his hands off his spouse, who was so lost in whatever she was whirling in the large ceramic bowl on the counter that she didn’t even notice his presence as he stealthily crept up behind her.
Maya felt the warm breath from his lips even before they tenderly brushed her neck. His long fingers ran through her hair, freeing the silky tresses from their topknot so they tumbled free and fell down, past her hips, in an inky waterfall as the kisses become harder and more urgent. One large, masculine hand slid around to her abdomen and pulled her back against his firm, sandalwood-scented body while his kisses trailed onto her shoulders and in her hair as she melted against him.
Jacob Marley’s Ghost! Dinner is never going to be done if my insatiable husband keeps this up, as he’s already done twice this afternoon! Clearly, the newlywed euphoria hasn’t worn off for him either!
Maya closed her eyes as Phoenix’s muscular arms wrapped around her slender waist from behind while he leaned down and brushed his lips against the side of her neck, breathing in her familiar, intoxicating scent. She let out a soft, blissful sigh and leaned back instinctively to bask in his presence.
“What’s cookin’, good-lookin’?” He murmured as he nuzzled against her ear. “Something in here smells absolutely sumptuous and divine…no wait, it’s you!”
Even though she knew there was barely a quarter-hour left to prepare for their Christmas Eve dinner guests, as always, Maya’s insides craved her husband’s touch. Even after over ten years of reveling in it, she never ceased craving it. As soon as Phoenix’s moist, plump lips imprinted on her neck, she lost all rational thought – and was just consumed at the thought of the two of them showing their ever-growing love for each other. Even after all this time, she was still amazed at how one mere touch of his lips could hitch her breath.
“You need to stop distracting me like this, Nick, or I’ll never get dinner done in time!” She twittered, nonetheless halting her whisking and tipping her head back for a kiss. An overall tingling sensation overcame her the instant his lips touched hers. “That’s homemade rolls and rosemary stuffing you’re smelling and you know it, you big dork!”
“I’m your dork,” he growled, tightening his grip on her and deepening the kiss. “If the sight of my gorgeous wife wearing my hand-me-downs and getting all flushed in front of the stove gets my chestnuts roasting as though on an open fire, then so be it.”
“Nick…” she moaned, reluctantly breaking the embrace as she futilely made a lackluster attempt to pull free and get back to her task. “The guests are going to be over soon and I have yet to whip these potatoes and change into my Christmas dress…”
A gentle breeze from the window rustled her satiny locks, and the subtle vanilla perfume drifted in the air, warming his blood. It was beyond intoxicating, and flooding each one of his senses, making him mindless to anything else. Despite her half-hearted protest, and undaunted by her words, Phoenix continued planting kisses down the side and back of her neck, a wave of pure pleasure running through his entire body as he did so. As he kissed his way gently up towards lips that tasted of cherry sweetness, the scenery disappeared, and he found himself entirely lost in the moment.
“Maya…” His breath was hot against her skin. “Saint Nick not only sees you when you’re sleeping and knows when you’re awake, but he also knows that you’ve been more naughty than nice this year…”
Somewhere in the recesses of their minds, they heard it, the gruff clearing of a throat that seemed so very far away. And then harsh reality struck, and Maya jerked violently from his arms as if he had thrust her away as a well-known voice tittered girlishly from the doorway of the kitchen, breaking up the sensual interlude.
“Get a room, you two!”
The defense attorney and Kurain Master immediately leaped apart like a couple of guilty teenagers as their eyes fell upon the visibly amused Pearl Fey and her British beau, both shaking their heads in mock disapproval.
“You’d think now that you’re legally Special Someones, you could actually be trusted to behave yourselves for 20 minutes while we left you alone!”
Maya felt her cheeks reddening at the spirit medium’s playful reprimand, even though the pretty 19-year-old’s mischievously twinkling orbs belied the seriousness of her lecture on parental decorum, while Not-So-Saint Nick awkwardly scratched the back of his head at having been busted by their eldest daughter in the act of trying to slide down his wife’s chimney…for the third time that day!
“Best simmer down that boiling over pot, of yours, Mr. Wright! Otherwise, you’re going to have an overcooked dinner and some very grumbly, underfed guests!”
Luke Triton flashed a cheeky grin as he set down the suppertime bottles of wine Maya had sent Layton’s former apprentice and his girlfriend to go fetch.
“One bottle of red, one bottle of white, just as requested. I do hope my choices are pleasing – selections were quite slim as it’s Christmas Eve. Luckily, Pearl and I got there right before the store closed.”
“I’m sure whatever you picked will be fine, Luke,” Maya assured him. “Thanks again for offering to run that errand for me. The professor truly did a standup job of making you a gentleman!”
“Think nothing of it. You know I’m always happy to help out.”
The English lad had thoughtfully placed the Pinot Grigio into the freezer so it would at least be quickly chilled before dinner and was expertly transferring the contents of the Merlot bottle into a crystal wine decanter. Maya shot him a grateful smile.
“You’re such a gem, but I am so sorry for making the two of you run around on what’s probably the busiest day of the year when everything is also closing early!” She apologized humbly. “I was so sure I had everything prepared for tonight’s feast! I still can’t believe I forgot the wine, of all things!”
“Neither can I…” Phoenix murmured thoughtfully in the background, stroking his chin in contemplation as he scrutinized his wife. “It’s really not like you to be so forgetful, my love.”
“Thanks for rubbing it in, Old Man! It’s not like I haven’t had my hands full with a million other things to take care of as we host a dinner party for our closest friends!”
Maya glared at him, then turned back to Luke and Pearl.
“The Edgeworths love their vino. Miles has always been a connoisseur, and Franziska would’ve whipped me to death if I’d served us a dry dinner. She always claims nothing makes one reach for the bottle more than having kids – especially year-old twin babies! Of course, she also claims it’s a free pass to indulge in spirits during the holiday season because then it simply looks like it’s just in the name of festive spirits!”
In a small frenzy, the petite Kurain Master spun around to face the counter yet again and let out a small gasp of dismay as she saw the clock on the stove.
“Jiminy Cricket! We’ve only got 10 minutes before the Perfect Prosecutors and the Gumshoes arrive! And you know Edgy is always punctual to a fault! He’ll be here at 6:30 sharp! Let’s hustle!”
Maya frantically resumed whipping her neglected potatoes and began barking out commands to her husband.
“Nick – did you make sure the holiday decorations were put up and the lights were lit up on our Christmas tree?”
“Yes dear,” Phoenix drawled, his lips twitching slightly as he tried to mask his amusement at how adorable his normally playful and fun-loving wife could be when she went into Little Miss Bossy Pants mode. “Right away dear.”
“Also, did you get out the good china and sterling silver flatware the Gumshoes and the Edgeworths gave us for our wedding like I asked you to earlier?”
“Yes, dear.” Phoenix nodded with this sham solemnity at his little firecracker’s abrupt turnabout from delectable seductress to drill sergeant, even though his indigo eyes were dancing with mirth while Luke and Pearl barely stifled a snicker.
“Additionally, did you ensure all the cutlery was gleamingly polished and you got all those hard-to-reach spots in between the fork tines as well?” Maya’s orbs turned into slits. “And for Kris Kringle’s sake, stop saying yes dear as though you’re some kinda long-suffering, hen-pecked Stepford Husband!”
“Yes, Chief!” Phoenix jibed, giving a mock salute and pretending not to notice his wife’s scathing look at being referenced by the same title he’d long ago bequeathed his former employer. “Heh, heh. Just kidding, my love! It just seemed to me as if you were channeling your inner Mia there for a moment – whenever she would get in a stressed-out tizzy, she’d start ordering me about like a drill sergeant, much like you are right now!”
“You do recall that with my training completed in the Kingdom of Khura’in last year, I can now channel on command, right, Mr. Funny Man?” Maya’s eyes narrowed even more dangerously at her husband. “And I can certainly resurrect people much scarier than my dearly departed big sister – like Genghis Khan!”
The spiky-haired man’s smile faded slightly as he studied his wife’s flushed cheeks and overly brightened eyes.
“Relax, Maya,” Phoenix urged gently. “I know we’re a tiny bit behind schedule and it’s been largely my fault for ah…distracting you.”
He coughed slightly as Luke and Pearl exchanged a knowing smirk.
“But please don’t stress so much. You’ve certainly cooked up enough food for an army, including a ton of appetizers for our guests to nibble at in case dinner gets served slightly late. The Gumshoes and the Edgeworths are family. They love us, and they’re certainly not going to criticize if you’re slightly delayed in serving the main meal.”
“It’s because they’re family that this is so important to me, Nick! Don’t you get it?”
Unexpected tears of frustration sprung to Maya’s eyes.
“They’ve always been so good to us, up until now, they have been the ones hosting all the holiday events! This is our first Christmas as a married couple and our first time hosting Christmas Eve dinner! It’s imperative that everything’s on par with the feasts we’ve enjoyed at the Gumshoe’s and the Edgeworth’s places all these years! It’s what they deserve!”
“Well, to be fair, I don’t think Aunt Franziska actually does the cooking, Mystic Maya,” Pearl offered hesitantly, looking slightly concerned as she saw the color heightening in the hostess’s fair cheeks. “I think their butler, Hendricks, is also the chef since Uncle Miles once let it slip that his wife’s not the greatest cook…”
“Pearly, enough with the semantics! Just help Nick set the table!” Maya ordered peevishly, her scowl darkening. “Luke, go program a Christmas song playlist for when the company arrives! My non-tech-savvy husband never did figure out how to use properly utilize that damn stereo!”
Wisely, the zoologist was already bolting from the room, obviously not wishing to be around his future mother-in-law when she was in this state, with the chastened Phoenix in hot pursuit.
With great trepidation, Pearl bit her thumb while eyeing Maya anxiously.
“Let’s finalize the headcount, Mystic Maya. Mila and Gregory are still in their infant seats, so obviously, they don’t need to have a place set for them alongside Uncle Miles and Aunt Franziska.”
Kurain’s second-in-command began ticking off on her fingers.
“So the Edgeworths just take two seats. Uncle Gumshoe, Aunt Maggey, little Jeff, and Gordy, make six…plus us four…that’s ten. What about Miss Ema and Mr. Klavier?”
“We’ll see them tomorrow at their engagement/Christmas party, and they’re dining at Lana and Jake’s tonight,” Maya dismissed, waving her hand. “It’s a good thing I love Miss Scientifically Speaking so much! My poor, squashed toes have had to endure my husband’s two left feet these last few weeks while we’ve attempted to learn swing dancing for this Roaring 20’s Shindig of theirs!”
She let out a comical groan and rolled her eyes.
“Although, I suppose I should pick my battles pertaining to my choice of a legal genius life partner! Phoenix Wright: sexy as hell…check. Pretty much-undefeated courtroom champion… check. The voice of an angel when he sings…check…but consequently dances with the grace of an elephant in a tutu… check, check and double-check!”
Pearl shuffled her feet uncomfortably, unsure of how to respond to such atypical harshness being utilized to describe the alleged shortcomings of her father. She tactfully opted to change the subject.
“Um, what about Larry and Iris?”
“Since your big sister is pregnant with baby number three and ready to pop any day now, she and her husband are on standby with the hospital. Plus, the ever-considerate Iris didn’t want to risk ruining my festivities in case her water broke,” Maya grumbled, with what only could be described as a hint of uncharacteristic envy. “Sheesh, those couple of Butz keep multiplying like bunnies, huh? I mean, they only got hitched three years ago, and Ivanna and Harry are only ten months apart! The woman isn’t even giving her uterus a chance to cool off!”
Pearl’s eyes widened in disbelief at such unexpected rancor and was rendered speechless. Luckily for her, Maya was already counting off the rest of the list.
“Athena and Apollo are having dinner at Simon and Adrian’s tonight, but the Greek God couple shall be here tomorrow, along with Trucy. Our favorite magician had a sold-out Las Vegas show today, but she’s going to catch the first flight at the crack of dawn tomorrow so so she can open gifts with us Christmas morning.”
Maya expelled an exasperated breath.
“Don’t get me wrong; I’m not begrudging your sister for being a roaring success in her career, but I sure could have used an extra set of hands tonight. Plus, we haven’t seen her in ages!”
All of a sudden, as though she hadn’t just sounded as crusty as day-old bread, Maya stopped her grousing, clasped her hands to her chest, and flashed her stupefied daughter a winsome smile.
“All in all, that makes 10 of us at the table tonight, Pearly! Be a doll and get cracking on that place setting, please? Hey – could you make some place cards while you’re at it? I need to hurry and get changed now. Oh, and could you also put the stuffing, rolls, and cranberry sauce into the serving dishes I’ve laid out?”
“Sure thing…but what about the turkey, Mystic Maya?” Pearl asked timidly, casting a worried glance at the oven. “It’s starting to smell like it might be done…”
“I’ve got that gobbler under control, so that’s one thing you needn’t worry about, Pearly!” Maya trilled. “I’m sure Big Bird will be fine with some extra bake time and is the last thing we’re going to take out of the oven!”
She was already prancing off towards the bedroom.
“Be right back…oh, I think I hear the doorbell! Could you or Luke answer that please? I have no idea where that husband of mine scampered off to!”
He’s obviously terrified and gone into hiding! Pearl thought frantically. Honestly, I wish I could do the same! If I didn’t know better, I’d swear I was dealing with Dahlia Hawthorne right about now!
“One last thing… do you think you could fold the linen napkins into those beautiful swans like they had at our wedding?” Maya called from down the hall. “You’re so good at those things, Pearly!”
Pearl blinked, remaining frozen in place as her frazzled mind attempted to register the near half dozen tasks she’d just been assigned in the last two minutes! She also wondered just how she was going to accomplish the impossible feat of completing all this both in time and to the satisfaction of the suddenly unrecognizable, body-snatched Maya, whose festive spirit was suddenly making even the pre-transformed Ebenezer Scrooge appear to have a halo!
Is there such thing as Xmas-Zilla? The spirit medium pondered wildly. Also, I wonder if it’s too late for me to channel an exorcist? I think when that woman’s head inevitably starts spinning, this will become something that’s even beyond Mystic Mia to handle!
In spite of Pearl’s suggestion, the turkey still hadn’t been taken out of the oven by the time the Gumshoe family, along with Franziska and Edgeworth, had been seated at the artfully prepped, swan-napkin adorned table Pearl had recruited both Phoenix and Luke to assist her with.
All the side dishes had been laid out, the goblets were filled, the wine was flowing freely, and the contented guests were amicably chatting with their host and Feyt while nibbling at hors d’oeuvres by the time the spruced and freshened up hostess finally emerged.
In spite of her contrary disposition earlier, Maya was an utter vision in her festive red sweater dress and was relieved things seemed to be going smoothly with the company, who’d already been there for a quarter of an hour.
“There you are, pal!” Gumshoe rose from his chair and greeted the hostess with a warm embrace. “Merry Christmas!”
“Merry Christmas Gumshoe and gang!” Maya returned the hug and beamed sunnily at her guests. “Sorry for the delay!”
“Think nothing of it, Maya. We have been tided over quite well with this excellent wine,” Franziska answered, as fetching as ever in a turquoise sheath, despite the tired smile she flashed her friend. “I finally got the twins to sleep on the drive over here, and hence, am rewarding my endeavors with a second glass!”
“Do you think Mila and Gregory will wake up anytime soon?” Maya asked hopefully. “I haven’t seen them since Thanksgiving at your place! They’re so precious!”
“Not if luck is on my side, as I am praying they sleep throughout the whole evening!” The German sounded skeptical but hopeful. “I consider it propitious if I get four hours sleep a night since they both have been so colicky lately.”
“You are lucky, Franziska!” Maya sighed wistfully. “They’re both so beautiful – and they’re…twins! Talk about your double blessing!”
“Feel free to babysit them any time!” Franziska laughed. “They are our blessed little handfuls, believe me! If I did not know any better, I could swear that they were conspiring to drive us mad! Not only were they simultaneously teething a few months back, but now both are having nightly fussing spells!”
“I’ll take them off your hands any time! You have no idea what I’d give to be able to complain about being kept up at night by something besides my husband’s snoring!”
Maya had spoken with more than vehemence than she’d intended, as all nine sets of eyes turned to gawk at her in surprise. Feeling her cheeks warming lightly, she cleared her throat.
“Anyway, I’m being a bad hostess! Allow me to go bring out the main course! I hope you’re all hungry!”
“Always!” 9-year-old Gordy Gumshoe joked, rubbing his stomach. “After all, Aunt Maya, I’m a growing boy!”
“Me too!” Piped up 3-year-old Jeff, who like his big brother, was another miniature version of his father.
“Thankfully, our sons inherited my metabolism, even though they got their father’s appetite!” The fortuitously slender Maggey giggled. “Otherwise they’d both be growing horizontally, instead of merely vertically!”
“Any man with a hearty appetite is definitely one after my own heart!” Declared Maya, whose own multiple stomachs were legendary. “Let me just duck into the kitchen and grab that bird out of the oven so we can all dig right in!”
Dig right in? Pearl bit her thumb nervously but didn’t dare speak, lest another mood swing occurs. Aren’t you supposed to let the turkey cool off for at least 20 minutes?
“Did you need a hand, Maya?” Edgeworth offered gallantly, already rising from his seat.
“No thanks, Miles! That’s what husbands are for!” Maya was already hauling Phoenix up by the arm before dashing out of the dining room. “It’s a 26 pounder Nick! Let’s go flex those objection pointer muscles of yours!”
“26 lbs?! Egad! That is enormous!” Luke whistled appreciatively. “It must have taken over a quarter day to cook, easy!”
About to follow his wife to the kitchen, the Ace Attorney halted mid-stride and whipped around as he goggled at the young man.
“Er, I wonder if I should be a trifle worried then?” Phoenix’s tone was laced with apprehension as he lowered his voice a notch so his suddenly temperamental wife wouldn’t hear him. “By a quarter day, ah… do you mean six hours?”
“I think my mum always said the general rule is 20 minutes per pound. Assuming it’s stuffed,” Luke explained. “If it’s not stuffed, you can get away with maybe 5 hours…um… you’ve turned awfully pale, Mr. Wright. Is something the matter?”
“I’m pretty sure Maya was defrosting that thing much later this morning, instead of the night before, or even early this morning,” Phoenix admitted sheepishly. “In fact, I’m quite certain she only put it in the oven a few hours past noon…”
“However could your normally astute wife have made such a grave culinary error, Wright?” Edgeworth asked pointedly, a knowing smirk on his face as his best friend’s cheeks reddened. “Could it be inferred that perhaps her hands got a little…full?”
The defense attorney’s face turned scarlet.
Gah! Shut up, Edgeworth! OK, fine, I have no objections to conceding I’m the one who lunged at Maya the first time and kept her from taking the gobbler out of the freezer earlier this morning! For the record though, it was my naughty little vixen who tackled me and decided she wanted me to stuff her stocking right on the kitchen floor the second time around! Consequently, we didn’t get that damn bird into the oven until 2:20…it’s 6:45 now…oh dear Lord…this is not good …
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!
The sudden shrill sound of the blaring smoke alarm filled the condominium, making all the dinner guests jump in their seats.
“That’s the smoke alarm!” Phoenix cried, rushing into the kitchen in time to see his wife hacking in front of the open oven door, with smoke billowing out of it in large streams.
“Gack!” He also began coughing from the fumes. “Maya! What the heck happened in here?”
“I guess I didn’t allow enough time for the turkey to thaw and when I poked it earlier, noted it was still frozen!”
Maya frantically waved a towel in front of the oven while holding up another in front of her face to stifle her wheezing over the fumes.
“Therefore, I figured it’d be OK to speed things along if I just cranked the oven to 500 degrees!”
“You did what?”
Phoenix felt as though his eyes were going to burn out of his skull as he grabbed the now completely charred bird out of the oven and placed it on top of the stove with a thump while Maya quickly attended to the smoke alarm to turn it off.
“Good grief, Maya! What were you thinking?!”
“I’m used to eating the tofu turkeys that my chef prepares in Kurain! Forgive me for not being a Big Bird culinary expert my very first time!” Maya retorted defensively as she turned on the overhead range fan to absorb the excess smoke, while her husband opened up a window to let out the rest of the dark clouds. “Um, is there a chance of salvaging any of it, Nick?”
Phoenix poked gingerly at the blackened heap in the pan, as though afraid to even touch it, then forcibly pushed a carving knife through and cringed at the results.
“Sorry, but this is a total case of Bye-Bye Birdy! The outside of the turkey is completely burnt, and the inside is still raw.”
Maya’s face completely fell, and she appeared to be blinking back tears, alarming him in the process.
“It’s not a big deal, my love!” He said quickly. “We can all just pig out on those fantastic side dishes you made so much of!”
“Our closest family friends came here for a proper Christmas dinner, Nick!” Maya sounded absolutely miserable. “But because your wife is an epic disaster and domestic failure who can’t do anything right, instead we’ll have to inform them, after years of gorging on sumptuous feasts at their homes, that tonight’s meal shall merely consist of: candied yams, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing and bread rolls…hold the turkey?!”
“You and Pearls are already accustomed to vegetarian holiday meals up in Kurain!” Phoenix shrugged helplessly as his wife’s shoulders only further drooped. “I’m sure the rest of us can manage just this once!”
“It’s not enough to fill them up!” Maya whined. “You heard the Gumshoe boys! They’re hungry!”
“Of course they’re hungry! They’re always hungry! That’s why they’re Gumshoe’s kids!”
Maya began to sniffle and his voice rose in desperation.
“How about we order Chinese? Those guys are open year-round!”
The hostess promptly burst into tears.
“Never mind then! Perhaps I could make some pancakes instead?’ Phoenix was officially panicking now, as most men tended to when confronted with a hysterically crying female in their midst. “Or I dunno…maybe we can order a pizza?!’
Maya let out an anguished wail which rivaled the previously earsplitting smoke alarm.
“My love, please calm down!” He begged, pulling her weeping form into his arms. “Everybody makes mistakes! It’s no big deal!”
“I – I can’t do anything right!” Maya sobbed into his shirt. “I just wanted everything to be so perfect tonight! I’ve tried so hard to be a good wife and hostess! And now look! I ruined everything!”
“Maya, it’s OK. Please don’t cry.” He attempted to stroke her hair to soothe her, but she only began to cry harder, her voice muffled against his shoulder.
“I not only can’t give my hard-working husband a simple meal from an oven; I- I can’t even get a bun in the oven!”
“Hold it!” He tilted her chin up and stared down at her tear-streaked face with loving concern. “Is that what this is all about? You’ve been trying so hard to be this perfect wife and hostess because you’re upset that we still haven’t gotten pregnant?”
“Iris spits out babies like a freaking factory!” Maya cried plaintively. “It seems like all she’s gotta do is just look at her husband’s penis and she gets pregnant! She’s my cousin and I love her and I hate myself for admitting it…but I’m so jealous! Everyone has kids except for us, Nick! It – it’s so unfair! Jake and Lana have two. The Gumshoes have two… Even the Edgeworths have two…I just want one!”
Her voice broke.
“I want a baby so badly…but I can’t seem to give you one! What’s wrong with me?! Did I put my body through too much strain last year when I was channeling Dhurke all that time?! Did the contortionist priest pull a muscle in my reproductive organs when he was inside my body and trying to put my leg over his head or something?!”
“Maya, stop being so hard on yourself!” Phoenix implored, his heart aching. “The doctor said it could take up to a year…”
“We’ve been married for almost a year, Nick! And I didn’t tell you this, but three months before the wedding, I actually went off the pill! We’ve actually been trying for longer than that now!”
Maya’s eyes were red and filled with despair.
“Neither one of us have living parents anymore. You and I have had so much taken away from us in our lives, and I’d so desperately yearned for us to finally get something back, you know? After all that you’ve done for me, I hoped I could at least give you the family you deserve!”
“My love, we have a family. Pearls has been legally adopted and is my daughter every bit as much as Trucy is. And even though he’s over another country, I consider Albhi to be my foster son as much as you see him as yours! Heck, you have no idea how many people wished we would’ve adopted the little guy, even though he’s not an orphan!”
“I do love him like a son, Nick! And I love our girls, too! I just wish we could give them another sibling.”
“It will happen, my love. When the time is right.” He tenderly wiped away the tears from her cheeks with his thumb. “You have to believe that!”
“Hey Mommy, no crying allowed at Christmas time!” A recognizable voice chirped from behind them. “After all, it’s the most wonderful time of the year! Your loved ones are near, so have a good cheer!”
Maya spun around and met the sparkling blue eyes of Trucy Wright, who swooped down and gave her astonished mother a huge hug before producing a handkerchief, as if from thin air, and gently patting the spirit medium’s wet cheeks with them.
“Never fear, Magical Girl Trucy Wright is here!”
“Truce?!” The couple’s jaws dropped in unison.
“In the flesh!” The Troupe Gramarye superstar flashed her megawatt smile. “Surprise! I know you weren’t expecting me until tomorrow, but Dylan was eager to get back to LA to meet up with his family, who are visiting from Australia. He just couldn’t wait for tomorrow’s flight, so he drove like a bat out of hell after the show!”
The magician tipped her blue hat at her still gobsmacked parents.
“His older brother, Kyle, and his wife Rachel are visiting from Down Under for the holidays, and they’re all staying at their pal Jesse’s place in Bel Air. You remember Jess, don’t you, Daddy?”
Unfortunately, yes, though I’d rather soon forget! Phoenix opted not to voice his true thoughts on the unforgettable busboy from hell and chose to smilingly hug his daughter instead.
“This is the most wonderful Christmas surprise, baby girl. I’m so happy to see you that I won’t try to think about what kind of traffic violations Dylan must’ve committed in order to make the drive down from Vegas somehow be faster than a plane trip,” the blue attorney said wryly. “Instead, I’ll just ask if there’s any particular reason why your Outback boyfriend suddenly felt like being antisocial and didn’t want to come in to even say Merry Christmas to us?”
“Maybe he’s afraid of having you and the Chief Prosecutor both being in the same room since you made Miles run a criminal and background check on the poor kid a few years back, Nick!” Maya snickered. “I’m sure having the Police Chief here, to boot, was more than enough to send her spooked boyfriend running for the hills!”
“How many times do I have to tell you guys!” Trucy huffed with exasperation as she put her hands on her hips. “Dylan is not my boyfriend, he is simply my magical assistant! When Polly decided to stay behind in Khura’in last year, I had no idea barely a year later, he’d miss Athena so much that he’d come running back! And you both know how much Big Red hated the dangers associated with being my onstage helper!”
“Yup! She ran like the dickens every single time!” Phoenix chortled.
“Since Dylan lived in a country where a variety of poisonous and dangerous creatures were always trying to kill him – kangaroos are vicious, by the way, don’t let anybody tell you different! – he was the perfect candidate to fill my big brother’s shoes as my new assistant!”
“Sure, pal, he’s only your assistant!” Chuckled a deep voice from the kitchen doorway.
“Jeez, what is it with you guys making denial be more than a river in Egypt when it comes to things which everybody else seems to already know?” Maggey guffawed.
“I’m having a sense of déjà vu!” A cultured voice inserted laconically. “Why is it I feel I’ve heard similar infamously pointless protests before?”
“Phoenix Wright, I see you have trained your daughter to be every bit as foolish of a fool you were back in the day!”
“Just admit he’s your Special Someone, Sis! We’ve all known that for years!”
Phoenix Maya and Trucy looked up and saw Pearl flashing a teasing grin at her sister and standing before Luke, who was leaning his chin on her shoulder, with Gumshoe, Maggey, Edgeworth, and Franziska all standing behind them, all smiling smugly.
“Indeed!” The English lad quipped. “It would definitely be the first time in the Wright family that somebody fell in love with their assistant, wouldn’t it?”
“Enough dissection of my love life, people!” Trucy scowled. “I’ve been trying to comfort my distraught mother over her cuisine mishap, in case you haven’t noticed!”
“Of course we noticed!” Maggey snickered. “Although at our place, the smoke alarm generally only goes off when Dick is in the kitchen!”
“One year my mum was smoking the turkey and accidentally spilled wine into the charcoal pan, and ash went flying everywhere!” Luke offered, smiling sympathetically at Maya. “The turkey was fine, but the liquid in the pan was ruined — she couldn’t use it to make gravy! She used chicken stock instead and made the gravy without any drippings! That was the day I learned if you put in enough mushrooms, your gravy will always be a success!”
Everyone tittered slightly, and even Maya cracked a smile, but she still shook her head.
“I know you’re trying to make me feel better, but messed up gravy is hardly the same as ruining the main course, Luke.”
“Please don’t be upset, Maya,” Edgeworth said kindly. “Nobody is born a culinary chef. We’ve all had some sort of culinary calamity happened to us at some point! I remember when Franziska and I first got married. It was before I barred her from the kitchen entirely and just let Hendricks take free reign, which in hindsight, I should have done in the first place…”
“Miles Edgeworth!” Franziska was downright indignant as she shot daggers at her husband. “You are lucky it is Christmas Eve, ergo I did not bring my whip!”
“At ease, meine dame,” the prosecutor returned calmly. “For all intents and purposes, Wright is like the foolish brother I never had…”
“Objection!” Now it was Phoenix’s turn to be indignant. “I think I resent that remark, Edgeworth!”
“Hold it!” Edgeworth raised a hand. “Please, Wright! Being our children’s godfather does not allow you a free pass to interrupt one of the few times I need to play defense attorney with my wife.”
He turned back to the fuming silver-haired woman.
“As I was saying, Franziska, since Wright and I are lifelong friends and practically kinsmen, that would make Maya my sister-in-law by proxy, and therefore yours as well. The Wrights and their children are family, ergo, I’m attempting to offer comfort to our family. Do allow me this indulgence, however embarrassing it might be to you.”
“Fine then!” Franziska sulked, folding her arms over her chest. “Just don’t expect me to laugh!”
“Danke. You are most gracious, meine dame.” The debonair magenta-suited man bowed slightly, then turned to Maya. “On our first Thanksgiving as a married couple, as luck would have had it, Hendricks was in the Bahamas, so Franziska decided she could handle the daunting task of a turkey. Regrettably, despite extensive searching of the cavity, my wife could not find the giblets, so she assumed the store had already removed them from her.”
Gumshoe was already sniggering. Franziska shot him a death glare.
“Well, the roasting went fine,” Edgeworth continued, his lips twitching as he fought back a smile. “But as we carved the bird, we found the overly-steamed giblets after-the-fact, and ended up with a plastic-flavored bird!”
The entire room cracked up at this anecdote, and eventually, even Franziska joined in, although nowhere near as loudly.
“I remember me and Dick’s first married Thanksgiving together,” Maggey reminisced. “The control panel on our oven started acting up before Thanksgiving, but I didn’t worry about it. On Thanksgiving Day, while the turkey was roasting in the oven, the panel started blinking and then shot up super high and the oven door locked shut. We had to kill the circuit breaker and wait until the oven cooled down to unlock it. Dinner was a little late that year!”
“They didn’t call my wife The Goddess of Misfortune for nuttin!” Gumshoe grinned down fondly down at his spouse.
“Hey! We’re starving!” Another voice piped up. “Isn’t the turkey ready yet?”
Somehow, little Gordy and Jeff had squeezed underneath their father’s arm and were now staring expectantly up at Phoenix and Maya.
“Right here, kiddies! Abracadabra!”
With a grand wave of her hand, Trucy reached into her magic panties, and before everyone’s astounded eyes, pulled out an enormous, perfectly basted, golden and mouthwatering turkey! Placing it onto the counter with a flourish, she winked at her open-mouthed parents and then grinned at the slack-jawed company before diving back into her signature prop, this time producing a carving knife, which she placed into her father’s hand.
“Care to do the honors, Daddy?”
“I’m not even going to ask how!” Luke gasped. “I’m just going to say … unbelievable.”
“Christmas is a time for both magic and miracles!” Trucy winked at her flummoxed future brother-in-law. “The next thing you should be saying is whether you want white or dark meat?”
“Trucy sure saved the day in the end!” Phoenix said happily, as he lay back in bed beside his wife, rubbing his full tummy. “That was quite a delicious gobbler dinner we had!”
It was nearly midnight now, and after a wonderful evening of delightful company and laughter, their guests had all left, and Trucy, Luke, and Pearl had retired to the guest rooms for the night.
“Although for the record, I’d like to point out that I would be perfectly happy with some sort of takeout to accompany your killer side dishes, my love!”
“I love that girl – my little lifesaver!” Maya acknowledged humbly. “She really helped pull a log out of the fire in the end! What an unanticipated turnabout! The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree Nick, that’s all I can say!”
“Did you enjoy dinner at all?” He regarded his wife with concern. “Normally, if anyone let you get away with it, you could probably put away a turkey by yourself! But tonight, you barely touched your food. It’s a great cause for concern when the chef won’t even eat her own cooking!”
“My appetite has been really weird lately,” Maya admitted, rubbing her stomach with a frown. “The food just tasted weird to me tonight, although it seemed like everybody else was enjoying it, so I guess that’s what really matters. Maybe I’m just tired.”
She looked remorsefully at her husband and dropped her gaze.
“Or maybe I’m just feeling guilty about acting like such a monster earlier this evening, and for the past few weeks. I don’t know what’s gotten into me!”
Phoenix looked at her strangely and arched a brow, but said nothing, so she hesitantly continued.
“Nevertheless, I think it’s time to finally tell you the number one thing I’m feeling guilty about, Nick.”
“Not the turkey again!” He groaned. “If the perfect Franziska Von Edgeworth can mess up a lousy bird, my wife is allowed to have a mishap as well!”
“No, Nick. It’s not just the gobbler.”
“What is it then?”
“I realize I was really overcompensating with dinner this year, and trying to make everything perfect because I figured if I couldn’t be Maya Wright-Fey, Ace Mommy, I thought, if nothing else, I could at least be the perfect wife and hostess, you know? I had blinders to literally everything else!”
Maya was flat out fidgeting now, her fingers restlessly plucking at the duvet.
“Nick… You know how I get tunnel vision when I’m focusing on something! It’s the same thing with my training. Not that it’s an excuse! I don’t know what’s wrong with my mind lately, but in my focused quest to try to take care of every single detail in preparation for our first milestone Christmas together…”
She faltered then and buried her head in her hands.
“I lost sight of the most important thing of all! I’m so ashamed!”
“Maya, what is it?” He gently tugged her hands away from her face, forcing her to look at him. “I never want the love of my life to be ashamed about a damn thing! At this point in our lives, you should be able to tell me anything!”
“I’m such a terrible wife!” Maya confessed dejectedly. “I was so busy shopping for everybody else, and trying to get the details together for tonight’s meal that I – I forgot about you! You, my husband, are the most important person in my life!”
I know we aren’t doing gifts until tomorrow morning, but it’s better I tell Nick now , rather than have him get a rude surprise when we’re all exchanging presents under the tree! Mystic Ami help me – I suck! I suckity suck! He’ll be so disappointed in me!
“Here’s me, making such a big deal out of it being our first married Christmas together, yet I forgot to get you a present! I’m so, so sorry Nick!”
She turned her head away in shame, unsure of what else to say as Phoenix remained dead silent, his face unreadable.
“Nick, please say something!” She begged. “I’ll make this up to you, I promise! I know we’re going to have dinner at Ema and Klavier’s tomorrow, but after that, on Boxing Day … I will make anything you want in that kitchen – anything at all!”
She swallowed the lump in her throat and then expelled the next words in a rush as inspiration hit her.
“And I will do anything you want, zero questions or hesitations … in this bedroom!”
Phoenix began to shake and buried his head in his pillow.
At first, Maya was so astounded by his reaction, she thought her husband’s shoulders were quaking from anger – or worse – sobs. However, after several moments had passed, and his body still shook while he remained face down, the concerned spirit medium leaned over and yanked the pillow from beneath him.
That was when she realized Phoenix was completely red-faced…from laughter!
“Phoenix Wright!” Maya gasped in outrage as she began hitting him over the head with her own pillow. “I know I just committed the mother of all marital screw-ups this Christmas, but I’m trying to make up for it with an offer that most sane men would never refuse, yet you’re actually laughing at me?!”
Tears were literally rolling down the defense attorney’s cheeks even as she continued to beat him over the head, so finally, in order to stop her, he dove towards her on the bed in a mini tackle until she was lying beneath him, still trying to swallow back his chuckles as he leaned over Maya and gazed down at her lovingly.
“Oh, my love!” The lawyer rasped. “You don’t understand! I feel so much better now!”
He received a bewildered mocha-eyed glance in return.
“Don’t you ever feel ashamed or feel like you’re a terrible spouse, Maya!” Phoenix wiped his streaming eyes. “You and I – we’re two of a kind! In every way possible!”
“Do you mean to tell me…” Maya’s rigid shoulders finally began to relax. “That you forgot to get me a Christmas present, too?”
“Well, not exactly,” he conceded, rolling off of her and sitting up. “And definitely not on purpose! But just as much as you suffer from tunnel vision, I guess I do too. I knew this was our milestone first Christmas as newlyweds, so while you were putting all your efforts and energies into this dinner and family gift shopping, I’ve been putting my sole focus into this one special project – so much, that I consequently forgot to buy you a gift as well.”
“This project of yours was intended to be your gift to me?” She clasped her hands like an excited child and began bouncing on the bed with anticipation. “Give it to me! I can’t wait until tomorrow morning! I want it now!”
“Are you sure?” Phoenix asked doubtfully, already headed towards the large walk-in closet where he kept his old electronic keyboard from his piano playing days at The Borscht Bowl Club. “The whole point of this dedicated venture was so I could at least semi-publicly declare to you, in front of our kids and future son-in-law – who love me unconditionally and won’t judge or ridicule my subpar pianist’s skills – how much you mean to me.”
“Nick, I burnt our turkey and had a mini-breakdown about my despaired state over my fertility,” Maya said dryly. “Let’s just say I’m not in the mood to patiently await my much-needed pick me up eight hours from now, OK?”
Her dark orbs glittered with anticipation.
“Besides I can’t remember the last time I heard your beautiful singing voice, which you’ve historically used to mask your so-called second-rate piano playing skills. I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that this will be music played and lyrics sung in a Phoenix Wright personal concert?”
“You know me all too well,” he chuckled, setting up the stand and turning the keyboard on. “Although I’ve been working for the past month on this particular song – while never seeing some slight irony in my musical selection with tonight’s outcome! I hope that in this case, once again, my playing comes close to being as good as you seem to all think my singing is.”
“Tickle those ivories, Nick!” Maya giggled. “I’m ready whenever you are.”
“Here goes nothing…” Phoenix murmured, letting out a deep breath.
Then he began to play.
As she was a huge fan of Jim Brickman and Michelle Wright, the diviner recognized the song immediately. However, hearing her husband singing this particular song to her, on this night, of all nights, was something else entirely. It was called “The Greatest Gift of All.”
It’s not the flowers, wrapped in fancy paper
It’s not the ring, I wear around my finger
There’s nothing in all the world I need
When I have you here beside me, here beside me
The ballad was nowhere near done, but Maya could already feel the tears stinging her eyes. She’d nearly forgotten just how beautiful her husband’s singing voice was, making the poignant lyrics all the more impactful.
So you could give me wings to fly
And catch me if I fall
Or pull the stars down from the sky
So I could wish on them all
But I couldn’t ask for more
‘Cause your love is the greatest gift of all
I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you, Nick. The unshed ardent tears were burning behind her lids now. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out.
In your arms, I found a strength inside me
And in your eyes, there’s a light to guide me
I would be lost without you
And all that my heart could ever want has come true
You don’t love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear.
So you could give me wings to fly
And catch me if I fall
Or pull the stars down from the sky
So I could wish on them all
But I couldn’t ask for more
‘Cause your love is the greatest gift of all
And each and every single one of Nick’s songs will echo in my heart forever.
You could offer me the sun, the moon
And I would still believe
You gave me everything
When you gave your heart to me
A gift is pure when it is given from the heart to the right person at the right time and at the right place, and when we expect nothing in return. That’s what this man’s love has been for me. What it will always be for me.
But I couldn’t ask for more
‘Cause your love is the greatest gift of all
Maya hadn’t even realized she was now openly bawling until Phoenix finished the song, then came over and wrapped an arm around her waist, while tenderly brushing the flowing rivulets cascading down her cheeks with his free hand, a concerned expression on his face.
“Is this your way of raising an objection and letting me know my playing is still in much need of improvement?” He softly brushed his wife’s errant bangs out of her eyes, which resembled twin wells of liquid chocolate now. “I think as much as I’d love to say I moved my audience to tears, I never wanted it to be to this extent!”
“N-Nick!” She blubbered, burying her head against his chest, her voice shaking with emotion. “Oh, Nick!”
“Was it that you were simply conveying you didn’t care for my song choice?” Phoenix made a jocoserious attempt to cajole Maya from her perceived lachrymose state with his gentle teasing. “Or are you openly crying in fearful protest of my return to being a penniless, second-rate pianist by quitting my day job, which you think would be most ill-advised?”
“Nick you big dope! Stop it!” She let out a choked laugh even as she peered up into his face beseechingly. “You know that’s not it! It was the most beautiful, perfect song in the entire world!”
“Was it really?” Phoenix asked quietly. “You’re truly not upset with me for spending so much time attempting to do this that I didn’t get you a real Christmas gift?”
“How dare you ask me such a question?” Maya choked, punching him lightly on the shoulder. “You just don’t get it, do you? I’ve heard fancier words. I’ve beheld more gracious faces. I’ve been offered fine gifts of gold… But it all pales compared to you, Nick. You…you’re the real thing, the one who loves without measure and gives even when it would be prudent to keep more in reserve.”
Taking a deep, shuddering breath, she attempted to still give him a watery smile as she did so.
“In this carnival of life, you aren’t the carousel of painted horses or the Ferris wheel that spins, you are the rock beneath the frantic feet of the revelers. You’re my safe anchor who ensures I’m never going to get lost or drift away; even in the most ravaging storm you are my beacon of guidance and hope – the lighthouse that will always guide me home.”
“But if I’m so great, and the song was so great, then why are you still crying?” He struggled to understand. “I’m confused.”
“I freaking loved the heck out of that song!” She snuffled as two fresh teardrops fell. “I’m crying because I love you so damn much and you’re the best thing about me… and…and I don’t even know why I’m crying again now!”
“You’ve been crying and having emotional outbursts quite a bit lately,” he noted, a knowing smile playing on his lips. “I can’t help but wonder if it’s because you haven’t had your monthly visitor in about… 45 days or so?”
“What?!” Maya gaped at him as his words jolted her down to her very core. “What did you say?!”
“I’ve known you 12 years, my love,” Phoenix’s expression was tender. “I know your moods and variances in disposition almost as well as my own. It’s how I know to keep our freezer stocked with extra pints of ice cream by the second week of the month. But you haven’t even touched the last stash of chocolate-chip mint I got you. If anything, you’ve been more finicky with the foods you normally love…”
His sapphire eyes twinkled.
“Also, it could be why you’ve been such a frisky minx lately, and neither of us can keep our hands off each other…even more so than usual!”
“No, it…it can’t be?!” Her jaw dropped open. “I surely would have noticed if I were that late, wouldn’t I? I mean…how spacey can I be?! I – I’ve been using the ovulation test strips and did one this morning and got the good to go smiley face! I figured my body was giving you some sort of subliminally hormonal, come-hither signals to lure you and let you know I was ripe for mating and that was why we’ve been like cats in heat lately!”
Maya rushed out of the room, her heart pounding, and into the master bathroom, digging around in the wastebasket until she pulled up the test stick.
Then she realized that in her harried holiday preparing state…she’d failed to realize it hadn’t been a “smiley face” symbol at all.
It was a plus sign.
And it wasn’t a pink ovulation test in her hand at all, but a very different blue variety; the sole one which came with every box of ovulation test strips she’d used in the past, but had always come up a minus sign … up till now.
Maya couldn’t breathe. As much as she didn’t want to get her hopes up, there was no hiding the excited flush in her cheeks as she dashed back into the room to stand before her husband, who was sitting on the armchair by the window.
Phoenix’s stomach tightened at the sudden click of her heels, and shock expanded his orbs when she ran towards him, her eyes sparkling with excitement. Her mouth twitched with a smile as if a secret hovered behind those full, sensuous lips, and the tease of her proximity triggered his racing pulse till he thought he couldn’t breathe.
“What’s going on, Maya?” he asked, delighted by her sudden shift in demeanor but too scared to risk raising their hopes.
“Well Nick, apparently I have a Christmas gift for you after all,” she said with a mysterious smile. “Take a guess.”
“Guess?” His pulse slowed. “Is it…that?”
Maya bit her lip and then grinned outright. “I think so.”
He sat up straight in the chair, fingers gripped white on the arm.
“Are you serious?” His words tripped over his tongue, moving faster than the hammering of his heart.
Her laughter floated in the air like the sound of hope as she nodded.
“A silly oversight I made this morning coupled with your uncharacteristic fastidiousness regarding my cycle made me double-check the test I thought I took…and I’m so happy right now I think I died and went to heaven.”
Phoenix couldn’t help it – tears stung his eyes.
“I can’t believe it,” he whispered.
Her gaze was tender as she studied him, the wetness in her eyes matching his own.
“Neither can I,” she said softly. “But Trucy did say Christmas was a time for miracles, and you told me never to give up hope and that it would happen when the time was right…”
She put a hand to her chest and blinked back her tears as her limpid gaze met his.
“Phoenix Gryphon Wright…I – I think you’re going to be a father.”
He stared, disbelief stealing the air from his lungs. And then in a jolt of comprehension, it whooshed back in, flooding his body with such joy and emotion, he thought he would faint. In one frantic clip of his heart, he swallowed Maya up in his arms, lifting her off her feet and squeezing as if he would never let go, his deep, elated laughter rumbling against her hair.
“Maya Wright Fey, I could just kiss you!” He shouted jubilantly, and then all at once, his breathing stilled as he set her back down, suddenly aware of her body pressed against his, the burn of his hand on the small of her back as the life-changing news sunk in.
Their gazes met, and heat traveled his bloodstream like alcohol, drowning all inhibition he may have felt at rejoicing too soon until she went to a doctor. He saw the vulnerability in those wide, beautiful eyes, heard the tremulous breathing drifting from those soft, parted lips, and all reason fled from his brain, disarming all good intent. In a slow and careful motion, his hands cupped the sides of her face like a caress, his gaze fixed on her mouth before shifting to lose himself in her eyes. He feathered her lips with the pad of his thumb.
“Thank you, my love,” he whispered. “Thank you for giving me so much joy.”
His body seemed drugged with her. His eyelids weighted closed as he moved near like a man in a trance, compelled to graze his lips against hers. Upon touch, their shallow breathing became one as he nuzzled her mouth with his own. And then, in a ragged beat of his heart, she melted into him with a familiarity that destroyed all restraint. He clutched her body to his, deepening the kiss.
“God help me, Maya, I need to show just how happy you’ve made me; and how you’ve managed to make this the best Christmas of my entire life…”
The look in her eyes told Phoenix that he was on the right path as their lips met again in a passionate kiss.
A long time later, the spent, well-sated lawyer cradled his equally satiated wife’s nude form against his bare chest. Stroking her hair, he swallowed and spoke, but his voice was thick with emotion.
“I love you so much,” he whispered against her temple. “There are no words to describe how I feel knowing that our love has created life, which will be a part of us both. You’ve made me the happiest man in the whole world, Maya.”
His words made her heart skip a beat.
“I love you too, Nick. I hope it’s a boy.”
She raised a hand onto his finely chiseled cheek, basking in the beauteous visage of her husband, who undoubtedly was as handsome as his famous Japanese lawyer ancestor, Ryu, had been.
“A boy as handsome as his father, who we’ll name Roc, to carry on the tradition of Ace men with mythical creature names, along with your family name.”
“I’d be just as over the moon to have a daughter as beautiful as her mother.” He lovingly traced her face with his fingertips. “Who can carry on the mystical Fey genes and family name. We’ll name her Mia.”
He paused then and affected a more somber tone.
“I – I’m almost too scared to believe it’s true until a medical lab confirms it because we’ve both wanted this so bad, for so long…”
“I want you to believe it, Nick.” She pressed her lips against his and smiled reassuringly. “Because … I know our child is growing inside me. It’s not just the test and the late days…it’s just something instinctive I can sense now that I’ve tuned in to all the signs my body’s been trying to tell me.”
“But how can you be so sure, my love?” His eyes searched hers. “Why do you think it is so?”
“Because.” She smoothed that stubborn lock of midnight hair back from his forehead. “I want it so badly to be true, and you’ve always given me everything I wanted. I can’t beliee you wouldn’t do it, just one more time. Just once more, for this first Christmas as man and wife. This baby is our holiday miracle.”
“Then I’m going to trust that famous Fey instinct right along with you,” he whispered tenderly and tightened his arms around her as a lump of emotion swelled in his chest.
Maya pressed closer against him, cradled in his arms, not moving. She was willing it to be true; he knew it as surely as he knew that, somehow, it was.
His wife was carrying their child at last.
Phoenix Wright was finally going to be an Ace Daddy.
It was the greatest gift of all.