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Lexia could see that he wasn't taking things seriously by the lazy smile upon his face and she could see that things were not going to end well with regards to this conversation. He didn't want to face up to anything and he was keeping things from her, that much she knew. Lexia knew this behaviour all too well and she wasn't going to ignore it this time. If it was an affair or something else, she would not pretend that it wasn't happening.
[B "What does it matter? James! I...[I we] almost lost you in a car accident and you act so carelessly. Do you just not care about us at all? You would be so willing to risk your life and never see us again?"] He snapped at her again and she took a step back.
[B "I wouldn't know anything about your day! You don't talk to me! You won't let me in. This isn't a marriage anymore. It's like you just tolerate me because I'm the mother of your son. You have no love, no respect at all do you?"] She felt the tears sting her eyes and she turned from him.
James looked down at her with a lazy smile, though he could see Lexia was more than serious and she was upset – he’d only seen anger in her a few times, but she always remained clam compared to when he would lash out. She was frustrated though and he could tell by how tight her voice was as she spoke with him. Later . . .Later . . .Later. . . Yeah James had a habit of trying to take on everything on his own and though things were falling apart, he’d try his hardest to make it seem like he could patch it together so easily by himself. Any questioning made him think distrust and he knew Lexia trusted him – still he thought of himself as a failure and in turn feared that she saw him that way too. It was traditional thinking, the man to be the breadwinner and handling everything – but James’ life had always been about him figuring things out for himself and when it came to his family, he wanted to prove that he could be the provider that Lexia and Mason and even his daughter needed. He was failing though, despite trying so hard and it was embarrassing for him.
“What’s it matter? I’m here aren’t I?” He asked in frustration. Though of course James had been close to losing his life in that car crash and here he was recklessly driving while drunk when he had two children to think of – a wife to think of. Lexia seemed so distant, disgusted almost and it did upset him. “Look I told you I’ll take care of the cards okay> I’m not going to be fucking lectured after the day I’ve had.” He said dismissively, voice raising and hands running through his hair in an attempt to alleviate stress.
There was something about the way that James spoke that told her he was hiding something from her. She recognised the look in his eye and the way he couldn't look at her directly. It was the same as when he was having the affair. Her mother had warned her that he would do it again, that he would cheat once more and that she shouldn't give him another chance but she loved him and they both agreed to make things work between them but he was drinking again and seemingly lying...
When he came towards her she could smell the alcohol on his breath and as he missed her lazily she could taste it. She just looked at him for a moment, watching him sway and slur on his words. [B "It's always later with you. Avoiding the important things because they are too hard for you to face."] She sighed and gently placed her hands on top of his on her waist and pulled them from around her as delicately as she could.
[B "Were you drinking at work? Did you drive home after having a drink?"]
James tried to keep himself calm, knowing that if Mason woke up that it would only make things more chaotic. “The account?” He asked her. He knew Lexia was his wife and keeping stuff from her would make her suspicious, but James was too damn proud and stubborn to admit that they were losing money day by day. The restaurant was sucking them dry. They had only managed because the first restaurant was doing well – but even that business was declining as it was hard for him to be there and even Gianna rarely had time to assist as she was still dealing with the birth of Delilah.
“It’s nothing,” he said as he sat up, waving his hand. “I just got some cards mixed up – I’ll sort it out.” He couldn’t look her in the eye, ashamed of himself for lying but he didn’t want Lexia worrying about this. He wanted her focus to be on their son. He stood then, walking toward her. He gave her a smile, arms loosely wrapping around her. “I’ll figure it out okay?” He leaned in for a kiss.
In actuality he didn’t know what he was going to do – their credit cards were tapped and while he had managed to pay them off, they wouldn’t increase their limit. If things got worse, they could lose their home and the restaurant. “I don’t want to talk about this right now Lexia.” He was drunk, slurring his words and only pulling her closer. He wanted to pretend like their world didn’t have the potential to break apart completely. He also had no clue that Gianna was serious about raising hell. If she couldn’t have James then she wanted his money, no more pennies and dimes and certainly no more declined cards.
Lexia was sure she had heard raised voices before she walked into the room. Perhaps he had been in the phone to Gianna or something. He barely even talked about her which made things really difficult for her to understand. She didn't know what he was thinking or feeling because he completely shut her out and it but to know that he didn't trust her enough to lean on her. Either that pr he was having an affair again and that was something she didn't want to think about or when accuse him of.
The way he snapped at her startled her a little. He had been drinking even more and now she was beginning to regret that she had left him on his own with Mason. She sighed out and tried to keep herself calm, not wanting to shout at each other. Lexia didn't want Mason growing up in a household that was toxic, parents arguing with each other all the time.
[B "Please don't shout. Mason needs as much sleep as he can get."] She said keeping her voice calm. [B "What is going on with our account? Why is it declining?"] She asked, still calm. She wondered if Gianna was perhaps taking advantage of them. They already paid for her house and everything she needed for the baby.
Mason was asleep peacefully and James was finding it hard to actually rest considering the many thoughts running through his mind. It was made even worse when he saw the notification for a decline pop up. He cursed then, knowing that this was something Lexia would bring to his attention. She hadn’t called or texted though and all he could hope was that she had at least enough on her own card or cash to pay for the medicine. Knowing Lexia and as much as she loved their son, she would do whatever it took to get the money. He was further than alerted by a phone call from Gianna. Though hesitant to answer, he did.
“What the fuck is going on?” James sat up then, placing the phone tight against his ear in fear of her loud voice disrupting the [I small] sense of peace.
“Well hello to you too.” He grumbled, looking over his shoulder to find Mason still asleep. He headed to his personal dresser, moving aside his clothing which hid his bottle of whiskey. He took a quick swig.
“Don’t play smart with me James. I just tried to buy dampers and formula and the card was declined. Do you know how embarrassing that is? I thought we had an agreement. Do I have to take you to court?”
“No, no no – look its just a small hiccup okay? Some filing area. I’ll take care of it.”
“Right, I’m sure must have something to do with that big house Lexia has you paying for.” This was an argument that they had before. Gianna still having her head in the clouds that Lexia’s life was supposed to be hers. He sighed out and took another swig before putting the bottle back in his drawer.
“Look I’m not in the mood to talk about this.”
“Right because you’re probably drunk off your ass like usual. Shape up or things get nasty.” Gianna spat into the phone before hanging up. James sighed out in frustration, sitting on the bed to lay back. His head was swimming and it didn’t help to hear Lexia as she entered ‘James we need to talk’.
“About what? Because Lexia, I’m not really in the mood to talk. I’ve been fucking talking all day!”
When she saw him hang his head she pulled her hand away and looked him over. He looked exhausted and stressed and she wished that she could do something to offer him relief but the fact of the matter was she couldn’t really do anything for him at this moment in time. He had gone into himself and refused to talk to her when he was like this and she was unsure of what was going on with him.
She took the keys and nodded. Now was probably the best time to go since Mason was actually sleeping. [b “Alright. I won’t be long.”] Lexia sighed and made her way out to the car and made the run to the pharmacy. She tried to be as quick as possible but there was a bit of a wait at the pharmacy and it put her on edge a little. She wanted to be home with Mason, especially when James was a little drunk. God she hoped that he wasn’t drinking now.
When she was called forward she tried to pay for the prescription with the card to their joint account, the one that they had also given Gianna a card to, only to be told it was declined. [b “Oh, that’s strange. No problem. I will pay cash.”]
Once she got what she needed she made it home and made her way upstairs and found Mason sleeping and she placed the medicine on the bedside table intending on giving it to him when he woke up. [b “James we need to talk.”]
Had she texted him? He hadn’t known, in a sense avoiding his phone all day as it was news after news to which all seemed so bad. Still, here Lexia was trying to make his life much easier. It was wrong of him to suggest she wasn’t trying as hard as he was. Of course with Mason being sick, it would have been stressful for her to get him calm enough to get to the pharmacy and back. Mason had calmed down from Lexia’s gentle rocking, gently placed into his basket where he began to fall asleep. She for the most part had shrunk away from him, her touch then being a surprise to the male. James hung his head then.
“I’m sorry okay? Just a real long day.” He didn’t mean to get so angry, but he was stressed and liquor both seemed to alleviate the situation and yet also make it worse. James relinquished his keys to her. “I’ll watch Mason and you go, please?” He suggested. He was beginning to feel the effect of the liquor more than which had made him a bit more rested. He needed to just lie down. Walking pass her he was careful picking up Mason, who wriggled before burying against his chest. He was warm which made James frown. His little boy with Lexia, their miracle child who was so precious. James had made a promise before he was born that he would be a good husband and father. He never wanted his son to go without like him. He could only hope that he wouldn’t break such a promise.
Lexia had gone then and he headed upstairs. Mason fussed some, but for the most part James was able to prevent him from wailing which he was grateful for. He took a shower when he finally fell asleep, changing into a pair of shorts and getting into the bed. [I What am I going to do?] he thought to himself, ands covering his face before falling at his sides. He knew that stressing further about it would only increase the throbbing in his head. He got under the covers then, waiting for Lexia to get back.
Lexia could see the stress upon his face and she could also tell that he had been drinking. Then he raised his voice which made her take a step back from him as she cradled Mason to her chest as if to shield him from the raised voice. [B "I...I text you at lunch time but you didn't reply."] She said, trying hard not to allow this to fall into an argument but it was hard when Jamesnwas getting so agitated at her for something she couldn't control. It had been like this for some weeks now and she was scared that everything she had tried to hold together was breaking.
They were in financial difficulty, she knew that. She knew that having Gianna in their lives with a baby put a financial strain on them but of course she didn't know how deep the problems went because James didn't tell her.
Lexia frowned as he looked at his phone, still holding Mason close and rocking him gently. He was starting to fall asleep which would offer her some relief. She placed him down in his basket and watched him wriggle for a moment before he settled then looked back up at James when he grabbed at his keys and snapped at her.
[B "I couldn't go out with him like this."] She then placed her hand on top if his and shook her head. [B "You've been drinking. You're not driving like this."]
James sighed out. Lexia entered the kitchen then with Mason who had cried himself out, but clearly still in distress. He worried about how sick Mason had been, but with all the stress from work and Gianna – James’ patience had been running low.
“Jesus Lexia. You waited all day to tell me that? I just got home and you –“ He slammed the glass on the table.
He hadn’t meant to raise his voice and dint want to keep yelling in fear Mason would become upset and he only just seemed to have calmed down. His fever had been rising though and if stress wasn’t enough, James was beginning to be afraid that this was something serious, despite what the doctor’s had said. His phone went off then, a text from Gianna that the card he had given her had been declined. She was upset then – though James knew she was more so bitter that he hadn’t fed into her advances.
He had refused to tell Lexia, the way her touch lingered when he would grab hold of their daughter or how she would barely be in clothing when he arrived. Gianna and his affair had started at his weakest moment and yet he was trying so hard not to let himself fall back into that habit knowing that it was just going to do more harm no matter how good it felt.
He hadn’t bothered to even think about what Lexia was going through. She was stuck at home watching Mason all alone, doing as much on her end as she could that would be helpful. He sighed out and ran his hands through his hair. More medicine, more money out of his pocket. He grabbed his keys off the counter, “We have two cars for a reason Lex.” He muttered.
Lexia tried her hardest every day. She tried to accept Delilah and Gianna and she tried not to let her mind wonder. Of course she was worried about all the time they spent together, know long that the two had an affair before. Surely there had to be a part of James that still wanted Gianna? Although she forced herself to think more positively; that James would never go there again but lately their relationship was suffering and she could only assume that part of the reasoning was to do with all the time her spent with Gianna. He had acted cold towards her when he had the affair and he seemed to be repeating that now. Maybe he was...
It didn’t help anyone that Mason was sick. The pure stress of trying to run a restaurant whilst looking after a sick child and a child who didn’t even live with them was hard. Mason was crying again and Lexia was worrying more about him. The doctor had told her that he just had a fever, that he would be fine in a few days but his temperature seemed to be getting worse.
[b “It’s okay baby. Mommy’s here.”] She said as she held him close and bounced him gently. She heard the door then and went downstairs to find James who was in the kitchen. [b “Thank God you are home. He needs some more meds. Can you please go out and pick them up?”]
James hadn’t expected Gianna or her mother to act any differently, though he had some small sense of hope. Lexia was taking more than well though, he just wanted to be sure that she was doing this for the right reasons and not sacrificing more than she had already. Though he feared the possibility of ever losing her. After the affair and nearly losing Lexia and their son after the affair was learned of, James realized just how important his marriage was. He was a lucky man to have the chance to salvage it. He leaned in to give her a kiss. “I don’t deserve you.” He said with a shake of his head. “But I’m glad you love me still.”
The following weeks had been tough, but Gianna and his daughter had been discharged and allowed to go home. As promised, James had gotten Gianna a two-bedroom apartment, not too far from them which made visiting her and Delilah easier. Though, things at the restaurant weren’t doing so well and as a condition of getting the apartment, Gianna required James to be financially responsible for them when they came for visits. He still tried to remain positive, but the worse had come when he received the bill that he was nearing two months behind on the rent for the restaurant.
It was nagging him and he had tried his hardest not to tell Lexia and just figure it out himself. The day couldn’t come to an end soon enough and James was more than happy to get off work and go home. Mason had been sick which had made it less than easy to get some proper sleep and though it wasn’t Lexia’s fault, James had taken his frustration out on her. He wasn’t surprised to be welcomed by the sound of cries as he entered the house. He sighed out, heading into the kitchen to make a drink, the only thing lately that seemed to put him at peace.
The woman didn't respond then and she was rather glad about the fact since she had nothing more to say to her, nor did she intend on arguing with her in the middle of the hospital. All the woman did was turn away and huff chidlishly while h gave Lexia the impression that when was just like Gianna in that respect, both woman believing that James belonged to Gianna.
Lexia held on to Mason tightly and made her way out to the parking lot with James in toe. When they got to the car she strapped Mason's carseat into the car and climbed into the passenger seat herself, glancing over at James as he spoke. She simply shook her head. [B "You don't have to apologise for her behaviour. We both expected some animosity from their side. I can handle it."]
Once they got back to the hotel she placed the carseat down on the floor since Mason had fallen asleep, she didn't feel the need to wake him up by pulling him out of there, especially since they would put him back in again once they checked out of the hotel.
Lexia was about to start packing up then but James reached out for her hand instead, stopping her from doing anything. He was worried, that much she could tell. [B "I've accepted what is happening James. You have a daughter now and we both decided to make this work after I learned of the affair with Gianna. A baby doesn't change that."]
James felt horrible for Lexia. He knew that this was an already bad situation and having to no be able to hide from it was worse. The child would be a constant reminder of his affair and Gianna’s mother was not making it any easier. He was glad to see that Lexia wasn’t going to let this slide though and she was doing a great job for standing up for herself. He didn’t want her to have to deal with this constantly. James knew that he too would have to deal with this – and it would be even worse with Lexia’s mother. With a humph, Gianna’s mother turned on her heel and headed to check on her daughter, not even bothering to give Lexia a response.
They’d exited the hospital then, James trying not to show how angry he was. He was upset about how Lexia had been treated and yet it wasn’t her that he should be angry with. He certainly didn’t want to be in a bad mood when they got to the house, he knew that would only further escalate a situation with her mother who would not be that happy coming from just knowing that her son in law had cheated on her daughter. “I’m sorry about that,” He said once they were all buckled in safely. He started the car then and started toward the hotel, since they needed to collect their things and work on checking out.
They’d reached the hotel then, James looking in the mirror to see his son who had dozed off peacefully. He reached his hand out for Lexia’s then. “Are you sure you’re alright with what’s going on? I feel like – I feel like you’ve sacrificed too much for me.” James admitted to her.
Lexia watched as Mason showed an interest in Delilah and she couldn't help but chuckle as he seemed to reach out for her although he ended up closing his fist around her hair instead which is gripped onto happily. Luckily he wasn't strong enough to really start pulling on it just yet, but she imagined there would be a time soon where she would have to be pulling his hand away from her hair.
Lexia looked up at James and smiled, ready to reply but instead she her the voice of Gianna's mother from behind them and she turned to look in her direction. James automatically went into a defensive mode and pulled her closer and when she was through spitting her venom her eyes were focused on her. She could hardly believe how cold the woman was acting towards her. Anyone would think that James was married to Gianna and Lexia was the other woman.
She gripped James' hand and squeezed it a little to discourage him from snapping at the woman, not wanting to cause a scene. She followed James and then stopped just in front of the woman. [B "For what it is worth, I've forgiven your daughter for almost breaking my family apart and I have welcomed her and Delilah into my family by being here."] She sighed and shook her head. [B "You stop looking at me as though she is James' wife and I am nothing."]
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