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“He definitely is a talker,” James said with a chuckled. He was already tired, removing his pants and sitting on the bed. He looked down at Mason’s smiling face as Lexia played with him. “I do miss her,” he told her with a chuckle. He’d gotten a few messages and pictures from Gianna, but for the most part she had tried to let him enjoy his weekend with Lexia. He guessed she was getting serious about getting over him as she mentioned she was going on another date with the same guy she ,mentioned to earlier in that week. “Maybe we can have like a little dinner when we get back with Gianna and her . . partner?” It was a bit odd to consider having his ex-mistress for dinner with her new boyfriend, but this weekend had taught him that they needed to start getting over the little things and paying attention to the big stuff. That was what mattered.
If they could act cordial around one another then this co-parenting thing would get even more easier. He wanted them to start spending more time together and going out and building these memories with their family. “I mean just a suggestion. I don’t think I can be away from her for another minute.” He was glad they’d had decided to bring Mason along. He kissed his son on the forehead before laying back, Chad had gotten some hits in and he was starting to feel them at his moment.
“What do you think?” He suggested. He liked the idea of them going out with friends. He was saddened it didn’t work out with Chad and Maryanne. Maybe they needed to start going out on more dates to clubs and bars like they used to.
Once they had packed their things they went out to the car and they both knew it was too far for them to drive back home and imagine it was clear that James hadbt drank too much, they wouldn't risk driving that far and couldn't with him being so tired and with Mason starting to wake up. She knew that she was going to be in for a long night then.
They made their way to hotel and James go a room and helped her unload the car. While Mason was awake, he wasn't fussing too much which she was relieved about because it meant that James could get some sleep at least. He would be driving them home tomorrow and he would need all the sleep he could get if he was going to drive them home safely.
On e they got to their room she settled Mason down on the bed. There was no point unpacking their things so she just pulled out some things to chance Mason into and for her to wear to bed. She watching as the little boy squirmed on the bed and she chuckled as he started to babble to himself.
[B "He always has so much to say doesn't he?"] She tickled his belly which got a smile form him and she was filled with so much love. [B "He'a just so handsome isn't he?"] She said looking up at James. [B "I bet you can't wait to see Delilah!']
He didn’t like the idea of using the sexual assault as a bargaining tool and could only hope that it wouldn’t come down to that. Chad had to know that they weren’t that rich and unless he just wanted to be petty, there wouldn’t really be anything he could get out of the couple that would satisfy him financially James was sure. He kissed Lexia back, feeling bad that he hadn’t seen the signs an hadn’t been there to protect her against Chad’s disgusting advances. He could only be happy that things hadn’t progressed further. Once everything was packed up, they were escorted out and to their car. He would say, that things had gone well enough at least while they were there, and he didn’t regret deciding to come.
Mason was already waking up as they were parking the car and James knew it would be hard to get him back to sleep. It was a trip back and he was too tired to drive. He figured they could spend a night at a hotel and leave in the morning. Despite what happened, James was glad to know that they had worked on keeping their marriage strong and intact. It would take some work, but a lot of what they learned they could take with them.
James did feel bad about Maryanne and could only hope this had been a sign to her to ditch Chad and move on. He was never going to treat her right and one day he would find himself in a lot of trouble with a woman, if he tried the same thing, he’d done to Lexia.
Pulling up to the hotel, he went to check in, of course getting a strange look considering his appearance. Once he had the key to the room, he came out to help Lexia gather their things to bring into the hotel.
It was clear that James didnt abt her to have hidden this from him. Knowing meant that he could make sure Lexia was never put in thsy situation again, especially since they had been planning to spend time together after this retreat. He might have crossed the line again and maybe gone even further and then what? James was right, it was a good thing that she had told him because they could avoid this happening again in the future.
When the police came she was extremely apologetic and the manager of the retreat seemed angry until she explained why the fight had broke out in the first place. She didnt like the fact that someone had been subject to sexual assault and nor was she happy that there had been a violent outbreak. In the end, James wasn't arrested but both couples were asked to leave to retreat and she felt so guilty for Maryanne.
As they were escorted back to their room they were asked to pack up their things. She looked up at James and shook her head. [B "You don't need to apologise. It's done now honey and you were protecting me."] She zipped up her suitcase and went to help James, kissing him as she did. [B "Don't worry about it. Look, if he threatens with a lawyer, then I'll press charges for sexual assault and I'm sure he won't like having his name dragged through the mud."
James had calmed down at least by this point, but that wasn’t to say that he wouldn’t get into another scuffle with Chad if he saw him. It was good that thy were ins separate rooms. He felt Lexia’s gentle kiss on her cheek. He looked over at Mason who was sleeping peacefully in his stroller. James sighed and tossed the ice pack to the sides. He looked to Lexia, taking her hand in his own hushing her.
“You didn’t do anything wrong. I’m glad you told me.” Who knows what would have happened had he left her alone with Chad? If he was the kind of guy not to take no for an answer, then who’s to tell how much nerve he would have to further assault Lexia. What he did was just as much a crime as James attacking him. Though James’ hits had really had Chad looking bad. Not to mention Chad was wealthy and had connections, James was a bit nervous then on how this would turn out for him. They were just getting back on their feet as far as finances and he didn’t want to have to pay out.
It didn’t take long for the cops to show up with Karen who was the founder. She looked incredibly disappointed and even more so worried after James explained what happened. It was all for not unfortunately, as they were to leave the retreat and it appeared Chad refused to press charges, but it was expected for them to be hearing from his lawyer.
James felt bad that this was how the retreat ended. They were escorted by security to their room to gather their things. He sighed out; they were to leave the next morning anyways. This was going to disrupt Mason’s sleeping he knew.
“I’m sorry Lexia,” he had told her as he gathered his clothes into his bag. He hated how he let his temper get the best of him, he could’ve handled the situation much better.
It was no use. James wasn't listening to her and she wanted strong enough to pull him away from Chad. She had seen him like this before and she knew that he could be violent at times but he had never been that way with her besides the time he grabbed her wrists but that was in the past and they had moved passed it. Lexia certainly wasn't scared of James and his behaviour now wouldn't change that. She loved everything about him and she would not let one violent outburst change that, especially when it was about outburst in her defence.
Eventually two security guards pulled them apart and Lexia's heart was beating fast. Everything happened so quickly from that point on as they moved to another room to get cleaned up and she knew that the cops had been called and she was worried about what that meant for James. He could very likely be arrested for assault.
She went to get Mason from the daycare center since the night was over and she made her way back to James and sat down next to him. Luckily Masom was asleep in his stroller after being tired out by playing at daycare. [B "Are you alright?"] She asked him as she checked out the bruises on his face and lifted the ice to check his knuckles. She sighed and kissed his cheek gently. [B "I shouldn't have said anything."]
Of course, when he lost his temper, it was hard to control James. He’d come from a hostile background and Lexia knew this. She knew about his past arrests before he started culinary school and got cleaned up and of course she’d been there when his drinking was out of control, getting into fights at bars; James had a history. For the most part he was able to control it, at least he hadn’t gotten into any physical fights in quite a while. To be honest, it felt good to be able to punch something and he didn’t feel bad about the fact Chad was the victim.
Of course, there were gasps of shock from the residents and while Lexia tried her hardest to get her husband off of Chad, it took two security guards to finally get him of. Both men were bleeding, though James had done quit some damage to Chad and cuts on his fists certainly proved that. They were separated and everyone was soon told to go back to their rooms except for the two couples who were forced to head inside where the founder of the retreat would come talk to them with the cops.
James had gotten cleaned up, though blood stained his clothing. He’d a busted lip, which was already swollen and bright red. He adjusted the ice pack on his knuckles to the opposite hands. He’d hoped that Lexia wasn’t upset with him for letting things turn physical.
Lexia didn't like that he automatically assumed that she had a problem with Maryanne. It was a sign that perhaps he thought that she hadn't gotten over her trust issues but she really had. She learned alot about him this week and she learned alot about herself and she knew that they were going to be okay. For now she could see the look on his face and she watched as he tried to digest what she had just told him. She held expected him to shout at her and she held her breath as he held a finger up to her. Lexia had no idea what was coming next and she had to brave herself for it.
She was about to respond but before she could say anything he was making his way over to Chad and Lexia stood up and followed. She was surprised at how he was handling this but she was pissed that Chad accused her of coming on to him. She was very much in love with her husband and she didn't have any intention at all of looking elsewhere for attention.
[B "That's not true and you know it."] Why would she even tell James if she had come in to him? It didn't make sense. However it seemed that James no longer had any intention of staying calm and the teonatarted fighting and when James got angry he got very aggressive. Lexia lurched forward, placing her hand on James' arm, trying to pull it down. [B "Baby, please...stop."]
Lexia could be quiet, but she was great conversation and usually so warm and welcoming. He wondered if maybe she was sick. He turned the chair to look at her and could see her flushed cheeks, drinking a sip of wine as though it might help her say clearly whatever was bugging her. James wondered then if maybe it was something he did. He had been doing so well the last couple of days and they’d been getting long better than the last two months. They went to counselling sessions, talked to one another and made love every night, until they’d fallen asleep. Sometimes until the early morning which was the case today and they’d barely made it to their last counselling session. The both of them had entered, giggling like two highs coolers who’d been making out before class.
“If this is about Maryanne, there’s nothing going on I promise Lexia.” He said. He wondered if maybe it had been because he seemed to be getting along well with Maryanne. Was she worried that he had stepped out on their marriage with her? He could only hope not, and James hoped that Lexia certainly believed him then despite his past. Though as Lexia continued talking, he was starting to realize this had everything to do with Chad. James put his finger up for Lexia to give him a minute. He opened and closed his eyes then, looking to Chad before turning to Lexia. “He touched you?” He asked, incredibly baffled that he would be so bold to do something like that, especially having he nerve to smile and joke in his face.
James didn’t need to hear a response from Lexia. He’d very quickly came to a stand and walked over to Chad, calm surprisingly or at least it didn’t look like he had any bad intentions.
He and Chad had engaged in conversation, Chad of course denying what he’d done before admitting that Lexia came on to him and while Maryanne was trying to get her own answers. James had no more patience and after a few shoves between the males, a blown out fist fight soon followed and James wasn’t particularly holding back.
It was true that Lexia was unsually quiet but she really didn't know how else to be. If she said something she could he the reason that Maryanne and Chad didn't get through this retreat as a couple but she knew that she deserved better and Lexia didn't deserve to be touched unwarranted by anyone. She wouldn't even look at him as they are dinner, not wanting to make eye contact with the man who had ran his hand up her thigh even after she asked him to stop.
They had talked about getting together with the couple but now they didn't feel right. Chad had crossed a line with her and she didn't want to spend anymore time with him. It was sad really because she could see how much James got on with the couple and it wasn't very often that he allowed himself to make friends and she was rather impressed that he decided to let his guard down and try. She knew that his guard would go right back up again when he found out what Chad did.
Lexia barely contributed to any conversation besides and occasional nod and smile when it was necessary but she did start to ease off a little bit when Maryanne took Chad away from the table to dance. Lexia took a sip of her wine and then looked towards James. She didn't want to keep this from him and she certainly didn't want to spend any more time with Chad.
[B "When you were getting food...Chad ran his hand up my leg. I asked him to stop and he didn't, he just pushed it further and..." she sighed, wondering if he would blame her. [B "Can we go back to our room?"]
James sat beside Lexia. Things seemed a bit weird, but he figured maybe Lexia was just tired. He kissed her cheek before moving on and eating. “So,” James said. “You know since you guys don’t live too far, we were thinking about maybe just getting together every now and then.” James suggested as he looked to Lexia. He was enjoying the idea of hanging out and him and Maryanne seemed to get along. Not to mention she had some good ideas when it came to business. He figured they we reenjoying themselves and what they learned at the retreat didn’t have to be the only thing they took away. They could also bring with them friendship.
“That sounds like a good idea, we’ve got a lovely lake house – jacuzzi as well.” Chad said with a chuckle. Maryanne rolled her eyes.
“It is beautiful,” she commented as she took a sip of her wine. “Beautiful kitchen too!” James chuckled.
“You’ve already sold me on the idea.” It was strange that he had managed to come out of his shell, but James realized that was a problem of his and maybe that was why he had an issue with sharing things with Lexia. He had learned that he had to be more open and not afraid to let people in or ask for help; especially not from his wife.
The night was coming to an end. It was their last night at the retreat and James wanted them to enjoy themselves and have a good time. With that came tossing back a few drinks, but once he felt that familiar tingling, he knew to slow down. He’s settled for water then, looking to Lexia who had been unusually quiet. “You alright?” he asked, genuinely concerned then. Lexia wasn’t usually like this and she had been happy the pass few days. Maryanne had convinced Chad to dance with her along with the other couples, leaving the two alone at their table.
Lexia hadn't exactly met anyone like Chad before. He made her feel uncomfortable and it was clear to her that he didn't understand boundaries. He had cheated on his wife. Of course she knew that James had cheated on Lexia but that was completely different and she knew for certain that was behind them and he would never do that again. Chad, however, seemed to repeat the same mistakes with different women and he was even going as far as flirting with women while he was on a retreat in an attempt to fix their marriage. She thought that Maryanne deserved better and his actions now only confirmed that she did.
Lexia bit down on her lip as Chad spoke. She didn't know what to do with herself in that moment, feeling completely uncomfortable. [b "No as a matter of fact I don't. I love my husband and he loves me equally. I already know what he was thinking because we've spent the week talking about it and working through our problems. I asked you to get your hands off me."] Instead, he started to move his hand further up her thigh and the only thing stopping her from standing and backing away from him was the fact that he retracted his hand when he saw Maryanne and James come back.
Lexis inhaled deeply and then smiled weakly towards James, knowing she couldn't really make up and excuse to leave early. [b "Thanks honey. This food looks good."]
Surprisingly, most of their conversation hadn’t revolved all the way around his restaurant. Once alone, Maryanne had taken to asking James personal questions about her own marriage. She had seen how well him, and Lexi were doing with their treatment and it gave her some faith that her marriage could work, but she also was worried that Chad wasn’t trying as hard and wouldn’t ever try for their marriage She was at a loss. She loved him, but he was unable to stay away from his philandering and adulterous ways as she already had caught him getting the number from the bartender that trivia night. James tried not to show his discomfort. He could understand why she was talking to him, they had all shared their reasoning for being at the retreat. Though that wasn’t to say that James found he was the right person to be giving her advice – yet who better than someone who had a wide who at one point had been in the same predicament.
“So, what do you think I should do” Maryanne asked him. James sighed as he held the two plates, looking over to the girl who was heartbroken and struggling to hold onto something that wasn’t there. He looked to her and he felt bad, wondering if this was what Lexia want through and even worse, how she went through it alone.
“Maryanne,” James said. “All I can say is some point love won’t be enough. I mean, some people just aren’t meant to be no matter how much they love one another.” Though with the frequency of Chad’s actions, it was clear that maybe he just didn’t love Maryanne and if she wanted happiness, she had to accept that fact and let go.
“Wow, there is some spice to you.” Chad said with a chuckle, leaning in closer, hands still gentle against her thigh under the table. “C’mon Lexia – you don’t want to fulfill the fantasy of someone else? Surely you wonder what went through your husband’s head all those times he was with the other women.” Fingers had spread then, inching up higher, though quickly pulling away as he could see James and Maryanne coming back. He winked at Lexia.
The retreat had gone really well. They aired everything they had to say to each other. It wasn't easier and there were plenty of tears along the way but along with those tears came a deeper connection on an emotional level. They sat for hours talking at night and then making love to each other. She was sure that they hadn't spent a night together without falling into some passion with each other since the trivia night. In between the therapy sessions they enjoyed time together as a family and she was even getting used to spending some time alone too. She was learning and Mason would be okay without them for a little while.
Honestly, Lexia was a little sad to learn that their time together here was coming to an end but she also had to remember that they had come here for permanent fixes and things would be so much better when they went home. It had all been worth it.
On their final night they had some kind on celebration evening and Lexia used the opportunity to get dressed up again. She wore a dressed this time. It was a navy blue lace dress that clung to her figure ever so slightly and it rested half way up her thigh. She had pulled her hair back into a braid and wore a bit of makeup and some nice jewelry and she was really enjoying her night even though she had chosen to spend it with Maryanne and Chad.
Lexia watched James go off with Maryanne and smiled to herself, knowing the woman had become quite interested in his restaurant. What was nice was the fact that she trusted him completely and she didn't feel anything other than happiness right then. That was until Chad opened his mouth and ran his hand over her leg. [B "I'd appreciate it if you kept your hands to yourself."]
“You were something else,” he told her with a breathless chuckle. Being with Lexia had never felt more exciting and all he could do was hold her warm body close to his, the perfect ending being to cuddle with his wife. His arms wrapped around her tight as he kissed her forehead. He was thinking a lot then, about all they had been through and how strong Lexia was – even stronger considering how she still stayed by his side. She had pushed him toward working on his own dreams and remained faithful that things would work out, even when they hadn’t. He wondered then if his pride hadn’t gotten in the way, would the restaurant have worked out with Lexia’s help. She had always been so good about those things – Afterall she had been with him every step of the way since opening his first restaurant. He closed his eyes, buryig his nose into Lexia’s neck.
Sleep came very easily. Getting away was nice and each day that they were ate the retreat, James could feel his relationship growing stronger and stronger. Hanging out with Maryanne and Chad was nice too and they had come to grow close to the couple. They were spending time at the pool, walks together and catching dinner and a drink very now and then.
It was soon the final night of the retreat. A big luau had been in the works. James and Lexia had made a lot of progress and though the ceremony would stay within the confines of the property, it meant a lot to him to know that they had made it through. Mason had been at the daycare, as the owners of the retreat wanted the couples to enjoy this small moment of freedom in enjoying how much they had accomplished.
“I’ll go make our plates,” James told Lexia with a kiss to her cheek. Maryanne joined him as she had become very interested in James’ restaurant and had a few connections regarding getting him into tv or print with his cooking if interested. Chad swiveled his drink in his cup before downing it, eyes landing on Lexia. “I hope James doesn’t leave this retreat with two married women,” he lamely joked, his leg gentle as it brushed against Lexia’s leg.
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