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Lexia had never felt so anxious in her life. Gianna could easily tear apart everything they had tried to build as a family. She had a feeling she wouldn't be reasonable about any of this. Gianna wouldn't think about the fact that James already had a son to be a father too. Lexia placed her order with the waiter and glanced towards Gianna for a moment before Mason started to mumble to himself. She smiled down at him and kissed his head. She needed to keep herself together and focus on him. She glanced towards James once before Gianna cleared her throat to indicate that she was ready to lay out her terms.
When everything was explained Lexia was completely speechless. She looked to James and then to Gianna. [B "You are serious?"] Lexia did not like this one bit. She knew what her game plan was. She hoped that the more time James spent away from Lexia and Mason, the more likely he would be to stray from her again. [B "James..."] She needed to know what he thought about this because she wasn't sure that she could accept James being around from them twice a week and [I staying] here.
Gianna could tell that Lexia was a bit turned off and she felt an inkling of sorrow, especially seeing her with their son. Them sitting so close together and rubbing it in her face how much they were a couple – a married couple. She tried not to show how jealous she was. She cleared her throat then, deciding what she wanted from the menu and of course it was easy – she had been running the kitchen all this time since James left. She couldn’t believe he didn’t see how committed she was to his restaurant and how much more he would be committed to him if he allowed her.
She took a sip of her water then before clearing her throat. James was worried about what she was going to say. He himself took a sip of water to quench his dry throat, looking at Lexia from the corner of his eye then. He was trying to watch her actions, see how she reacted.
“Very well,” Gianna said as she leaned back, her hands pressed against her stomach then. “I want visitation at your place only on the weekends, the restaurant gets busier than and I need to get back into the game.” James sighed out then. So far so good. “I’m okay with you being around our daughter Lexia [I though] I do not want her to refer to you as mom.” James shifted in his seat then. “I want you James to be here twice a week and I want you staying in my guest room. I don’t want our daughter being bounced around and I can only surmise that Lexia’s mother is not a fan of me. I’m willing to evade child support, but I want you to be willing to put in. Holidays –“
James was still distracted by the notion of him staying in the same house as Gianna. That would not go over very well with his wife.
“I am willing to spend them with you guys, [I if] my mother can attend as well.” James sighed out, it didn’t seem too crazy but there were some things that could cause trouble if not handled correctly.
Of course when Lexia said that she was ready she meant dressed. She wasn't ready to go at all. In fact, she had no idea how she was supposed to face Gianna but she would somehow find the strength within her to do so. Soon enough Kames was ready too and they went down to the car and she allowed James to strap him in while she went to talk to her mother quickly.
[I "Lexia...what are you doing?"]
[B "We are going to meet with Gianna and fig..."]
[I "No! I mean why are you still with him? He cheated and he's having a [b baby] with the woman! He will do it again! Men who cheat don't know how to stop."]
Lexia shook her head and kissed her cheek. [B "I don't believe that. Look Mom, I got to go but we'll talk later."] With that she made her way out to the car and the three embarked upon their journey to the restaurant which of course was busy when they arrived. They were sat quickly and they were not alone for long. A heavily pregnant Gianna came towards the table and Lexia averted her eyes for a moment. Seeing her made it seem more real.
[B "You go first."]
The rest of their evening went by as suspected, quiet and uneventful – the tension in the air so thick. They’d watched to though James was not really paying attention. They both had their chance holding their son, usually when one left the room for something. Night soon fell and the both of them were ready to retire for the night just as Mason had after his feeding, which meant the young boy was ready for sleep. In bed, James turned on his side, his back to lexia. They hadn’t really talked much after earlier and he didn’t know exactly where they stood. He wasn’t sure if Lexia wanted to continue this relationship or if tomorrow’s meeting with Gianna would serve as a decision maker.
Hours flew by though and he couldn’t not be close to Lexia. He had not given up and though he was beating himself up pretty badly for what he had done, he just couldn’t believe that their relationship would end. Their marriage was not going to end in divorce. He turned then, drawing his sleeping wife in for a cuddle, lips forming a lazy kiss just behind her ear. He loved Lexia and Mason with all his heart.
He awoke soon, Lexia must have gotten up before him as when he awoke she was already showered and dressed, getting Mason ready in a new outfit.
He wiped at his eyes then, yesterday feeling like a nightmare. However it was of course no dream, the meeting they were to have with Gianna certainly proved it. After a quick shower and putting on a casual outfit, he grabbed Mason’s bag and began out of the bedroom. Lexia has mentioned they were ready, but were they? Anything could happen.
Once Mason was all buckled into the car seat, he got into the car, waiting for Lexia to be ready before driving off. Conversation was light, James occasionally reaching his hand out to grip Lexia’s or caress her thigh. He didn’t want to lose the connection they had even if for the moment it was pretty mild. The restaurant was busy and everyone was glad to see him, but confused on how to act when they saw his wife and their son.
They reached a table, ordering drinks while waiting for Gianna. It wasn’t that long before she came into the restaurant, staff raising brows at her and especially after she began to head to the table he and Lexia sat with their baby. James saw that she rolled her eyes, clearly no intention of being friends with Lexia. Her stomach was huge and James was nearly quick to help her into her seat but stopped himself. He didn’t want to start this off on the wrong foot and knew he had to treat them both equally for the time being.
“Nice to see you two,” Gianna said with a smile. She was eyeing the menu then. “Do you guys want me to go first or you? Gianna asked, knowing already the outline of her custody rules.
The rest of the evening was quiet. They tried to relax and forget about the argument they had and the fact that her mother would wait for Lexia to be alone before she tried to talk her out of staying in a marriage with James. She never would understand just how devoted Lexia was regardless of how hurt she had been by him in the process. He had made a mistake and she was trying to forgive him for it and she was trying to give him the chance to make up for it.
The next morning she got up and dressed, knowing that in a couple of hours she would have to come face to face with Gianna and hear her out. They were taking Mason to the restaurant with them since he was in a routine now and it didn't make sense to take him out of it for one day to accommodate Gianna. He would need feeding about thirty minutes into the meeting.
Once she was ready she focused in getting Mason ready and text her mother to let her know that whe would talk to her later but she had things to take care of first. She needed to know where she stood with Gianna before she could even begin to explain anything to her.
[B "James, we are both ready."
“If that’s what you want to do that’s fine,” James said to her then. It was worth a try, but he couldn’t imagine why Lexia would want to bother going out or being in the mood for a date with all that had happened. He sighed out then, her forehead resting against his own. James didn’t want to accept that things wouldn’t get easier, he had hope not to manifest that type of thought, but it appeared that way and even Lexia felt that way. Mason was fast asleep for the meantime at least. Staying out of her mother’s presence for the meantime seemed like it would do them some good. He just knew that this was something she would hold over his head. Shame, as they had just gotten so close or as close as they could.
“I’m going to get us something to eat, if you’d like.” James said then. He was ashamed to be honest; he couldn’t face her at all. It was enough to disappoint her by being in the affair, but to disappoint Lexia once again. He felt like a failure. James needed a moment just to himself, hoping that making something to eat would distract him well enough and help get his mind right.
He was not expecting to meet his mother in law in the kitchen. He had tried his hardest to avoid her as he heated up some leftover lasagna. Though he could feel her beady eyes stabbing into him.
“I can’t believe you would do that to Lexia James. My Lexia.” He sighed out, hands on the counter and head hung before finally turning to face her.
“She’s my Lexia too.” He said. “She’s my wife and I messed –“
“You did more than mess up James. Don’t you understand really what you’ve done? You fathered a child with someone outside of your marriage. How do you expect that to just be excused because you said sorry?” James didn’t know what to say then, his words not doing much as of late.
“I don’t know,” he admitted. “All I know is that I love Lexia, that much is true.” James finished heating the food, turning his back on his mother in law. Tomorrow seemed just as worrisome.
It was true that neither if them could predict what would happen when they met with Gianna the next day. Honestly, whe was more nervous about that then anything, mostly because she didn't want to be something that stood in the way of James and his child. What if he was told he had to choose between Lexia and his unborn daughter? He made her look at him then and she could no longer avoid his gaze. She needed to find faith and put it in him. Tomorrow they would find out for sure what Gianna's plans were.
Lexia sighed as he looked at his watch. [B "I'm sorry Jamed but I really don't feel like going out now. I feel like I need to get this meeting with Gianna out of the way before I can do anything."] She rested her forehead in his and sighed a little. [B "Can we just stay here and avoid Mom?"] She couldn't bring herself to face her either. She had no doubt that she would try and get her to leave James again.
Lexia glanced over at Mason and sighed. [B "I don't think things are going to get easier."
Mason was asleep in his mother’s arms. He looked down at him then, feeling incredibly upset to find that his words seemed to be failing to instill any sense of confidence in her. He didn’t want to believe that she was right and didn’t want to put this thought into the universe in fear that it would actually manifest into truth. He knew though that Gianna wasn’t the only one to blame. James hadn’t been exactly tough when it came to her. He was very lenient and more so because he hoped it would mean less of a chance that she would try to come between Lexia and him by using their daughter an excuse. He sighed out, elbows propped on his knees as his hands ran through his hair. This was beginning to wear down on him and he knew that this was only the beginning.
“I would hope she doesn’t do that,” James said then. Very well if he went against her, Gianna could file for sole custody when the child was born. He shivered at the thought. “Look we just need to make a plan, set boundaries.” He told Lexia as he met her eyes again, or at least he tried to, though he couldn’t stare into her tear stained eyes for too long without becoming upset himself. “I promise I’m trying to make this work. Just have faith in me?” He asked her as he kissed her lips, tipping her chin up to look her in the eyes. His heart sank seeing her upset like that. His thumb grazed over her cheek. “Let’s not get crazy until tomorrow alright. We don’t need to upset ourselves anymore.” James checked his watch then. “Look, it’s not too late and I know your mother probably hates me, but maybe she can watch Mason. I really want this night to be about us Lexia.”
It was easy enough for him to ask her not to blame herself but she did every day. If she had just waited for him to come home and hemo move the boxes...if she had just been that little but more careful and their daughter would still be here. Maybe the guilt she carried about that would always be with her and she wouldn't be able to shift it...maybe it was what she deserved.
Mason had fallen asleep in her arms then and she looked down at his perfect angelic face, kissing him softly before putting him back into his cot. She sighed as she made her way back to the bed. James was talking again now and Lexia looked st him as his promised to never let her down. How could he promise that when he had commitments to another child, another woman?
[B "I don't know how we are supposed to move forward. You are promising something that you can not promise. Gianna will take up a lot of your time and so will your daughter. You can't suggest that there won't be a clash like there was tonight."] Lexia wiped at her eyes and continued. [B "What if, when we meet tomorrow she decides I can't be a part of this? Have you thought about that?"
James had never been so candid or open when it came to Lexia losing the baby. The loss of his daughter affected his mental health greatly. All those years he had gone against Lexia’s wanting to go to counselling and he had shut her out. Part of him hated himself for being upset with her about losing the baby. He was selfish then, as though he were the only one who lost a child. Lexia lost her daughter too and now to have Gianna pregnant with a girl of course was devastating to the woman.
He could hear the pain in her voice and he wanted so badly to go back in time and change things. He wanted things – their life to be the same as it used to be. They were supposed to have a happily ever after. They hadn’t been married very long and now there was the chance that they couldn’t move past this. James knew that Lexia was right about Gianna. She was going to try to suck up as much of his time or make his life more difficult which would put a tremendous strain on their relationship.
“Hey,” James said in a low voice then, holding her hand then. “You can’t blame yourself.” He hated that she was beating herself up over something that was just out of her control. “We can always try again. We have our son to think about though. It’s up to us to remain strong for him Lexia.” James said. He sighed out and ran his hands over his face. “I love you and I promised I would do my best to be the man you married. I just want you to trust that I won’t let you down again. I hate to see you this way.” What would be her response then? Was Lexia tired of the idea of having to share her husband? Would she want to end things?
Lexia held on to Mason as though he might disappear as easily as their first child had and even though it was entirely irrational because she knew he wasn't going anywhere she still did it. She kissed his head as the sobs came heavy until James sat on the bed next to her and pulled one of her hands away to hold on to it. She looked him in the eye hearing his own voice break and soon enough he was drawing her un as closely as possible with her having Mason in her arms. It didn't even matter that he was wiping away her tears because more would come.
This was honestly the first time that James had opened up about the loss of their daughter and she was surprised about that. [B "I miss her too. God I miss her..."] It was strange to think how much she missed someone they had never been given the luxury of meeting. [B "Everything is going to change James. She is going to get what she wants, I can feel it."] She sighed and looked down at their son. [B "I just wish we could go back...that I never fell down those god damn stairs and then everything would be as it should be."
James knew that Lexia was upset about everything, but he hadn’t really taken into account that Lexia was more upset because she was thinking about the daughter they lost. She tried to distract herself by changing Mason. James closed the door of the bedroom then and walked closer, Lexia turning with tears in her eyes, Mason comfortably nuzzling close to her – no longer bothered after his changing. His hands ran through his hair then and he sighed out. Bringing this up was hard and this was the reasoning behind his wild lash outs they’d had before things kind of smoothed over after the affair. James didn’t know what to do. He himself hadn’t really gotten closure from losing their child and even more and it wasn’t something the two really talked about. He held Lexia those first few weeks and they shared tears, but soon James felt like a wedge had grown between them and maybe that had been his fault.
He didn’t really help Lexia through the transition once he himself realized he couldn’t handle it. Instead all James focused on was putting his all into his work and of course eventually he started spending more time with Gianna and one thing led to another. As if the affair wasn’t enough to hurt Lexia, having a child with his mistress – a daughter at that – was enough to break her heart. James sat on the bed then, his hand reaching out for hers.
“Lexia,” he said with just as much hurt in his voice. He hated to see her like this. James other hand caressed her cheek then, wiping away her tears. “Hey, hey, hey.” James drew her in as close as possible with their son providing a bridge between them. “I love you. I know losing [I her] was hard.” James’ voice cracked then as he was trying to keep the tears back. “I know this hurts and I’m sorry. I – I don’t know if I could ever say it enough for everything to be the same as it used to,” he said then. “I miss our daughter every day,” he thought carefully about his words then. “But it’s not the end for us. We can get through this, have another child – this isn’t the end of the line for our marriage or our family.” He hated that their plans hadn’t gone as they both thought they would, but James knew that wasn’t the sole reason for the anger and how upset Lexia got. She felt like she was being pushed aside, something James had promised he wouldn’t do.
Lexia adjusted Mason in her arms and bounced him gently not wanting him to get too upset or frustrated by being awake and she certainly wouldn't have either of them raising their voices around him. [B "Shhh it's alright angel. You can go back to sleep."] She kissed his head and rocked him gently. She didn't know what else to say or do in that moment.
Everything [I had] been fine. She had forgiven him for the affair and that is why she thought she would have been able to accept the fact that she would have a daughter by him. She promised to stand by his side but it felt like she was already being forgotten. It wasn't long before Mason started to cry, ignoring the comforts of his mother now. This only made Lexia feel even more upset and she moved to the bed so that she could check if he needed changing.
Her hands were practically shaking as she undressed him and reached for the changing bag. Her vision was blurry through the tears but she tried to push past it for her son. It seemed that his discomfort was relieved by being changed and his crying came to a slow as she dressed him in something dry and lifted him to kiss his head. [B "My sweet angel, it's okay see. Mommy's got you."] She held him close and blinked back the tears before looking back to James.
[B "I don't know how to feel and I don't know how to tell you. She's giving you a daughter James..."] Her voice broke and she was completely unable to hold it back now. Sobs erupted from her. [B "Our daughter...she's..."]
Mason was starting to awake then and James had made a promise to Lexia as well as to himself that he would not raise his voice in front of his son and especially so not raising his voice at Lexia. He didn’t want his son to think that was how you talked to someone you loved and cared for and James had gotten better at it, but with how stressed he was – it was hard for him to control his emotions. Especially, since missing his date with Lexia hadn’t been intentional. Though that didn’t mean that it didn’t hurt her and there was nothing that James could do to change that.
Lexia’s mother left them then and James closed the bedroom door after entering. He had no intentions of letting her leave and especially not with his son. She wanted to get away he was sure, but if she didn’t want to be around him, James would prefer her safe and in the comfort of their own home and with her mother – even if she didn’t care for him.
“Lexia I want you to say what you’ve been thinking.” He said to her then, a bit softer than the tone he was using earlier. James kept his distance, not sure if she wanted him to be close to her after how he acted earlier. “You’ve been keeping these feelings from me. Why didn’t you just – I don’t understand why you never said anything.” James thought everything was [I fine]. Though he didn’t expect the pregnancy to go over easily, he thought and assumed that where they were in their relationship would make it easier for her to express her emotions.
“I don’t want to lose you,” he admitted. Mason started to cry then, James turning his eyes to his son. “Both of you. I promise, I will make it up to you.” he said then.
Lexia wasn't exactly walking out of him, she just needed space and being here right now felt toxic and she was finding it hard to breathe. It felt like she was having a panic attack and her chest was tight. This was all too much for her. She could see the disappointment on her mother's face and Mason started to stir in her arms. She had already promised herself that she would never argue in front of him because he deserved better.
[B "I don't know what more there is to say..."] Her voice was quiet, almost defeated as though she truly had nothing left within her. She had been trying so hard to put everything behind her and move on but knowing that tonight she came second to Gianna made her wonder how many more times she would come second.
Her mother looked to her for permission to leave, not wanting her to be upset and alone with him but she nodded and her mother eventually walked away although it was with much reluctance. [B "I can't just pretend like all of this isn't killing me."
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