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Lexia was not in the living room. The guest room of course was empty, soon to be turned into a nursery now that his mother in law was gone. He figured his wife was upstairs with their son, hoping she was asleep. James just didn’t know if he could face her. He hated himself and he was upset that the affair had led to this. Not only had he cheated on Lexia, but now he was permanently tied to his ex-mistress by a child. Some part of him was happy and James wasn’t blaming the innocent unborn for his mistakes. He just hoped that they could somehow make this work together – all three of them. Running his hands through his hair, he finished his last drink before washing out the glass and wandering upstairs.
James opened the already ajar door, smiling at seeing Lexia asleep in bed with their son. Almost as though he expected her to have packed up her things and abandon him. He had no need to worry though knowing Lexia loved him, but would she be already was expected to attend an appointment with Gianna in a few short weeks and he just hoped it didn’t happen to fall on the same day that was required for Mason’s first checkup since being born. He had placed his bag gently on the floor, walking toward his wife, their son cradled against her bare chest. He kissed their foreheads gently, not wanting to wake either of them up. James headed for the shower, glad to let the water pound down on him and help ease any tension from the drive and from dealing with the whole dna testing. All washed and dried off, he headed toward the bed, slowly getting under the covers, his arm loosely draped over Lexia’s stomach. He couldn’t help but watch her, his heart swelling with love as he watched his family. They would get through this, Lexia had promised and though he had doubts, he still had some faith that their love was strong enough to withstand this. James soon drifted off to sleep then.
Their time apart was hard. She had found it difficult when he left the first time while she had been pregnant but for so many reasons this was harder. She had a child and a restaurant to take care of and she was finding it very exhausting. She was grateful that the restaurant was busy because it meant that it was getting off to a successful start but running the creche and checking on the customers while she also tried to take care of her son was daunting. She didn't like being apart from Mason for too long, only able to manage an hour at most since she was still relatively new to motherhood. Lexia imagined that it would get easier over time but that seemed so far in the future.
At least she could go home from work knowing that today was the day James would be returning. A few days had felt like weeks and she knew that Mason was confused by the absence of his father's voice. It was late when she got home but James wasn't home yet. She wanted to stay awake to greet him but she was yawning and barely able to function due to the lack of sleep and the shifts she had put in at the restaurant.
Lexia made her way upstairs and placed Mason on the bed while she stripped on her clothes, no care to worry about putting on anything else in return. She climbed into bed and pulled Mason close as he quickly latched on to her for a feed. Luckily she managed to stay awake long enough to feed him and make sure that he was alright and he quickly fell asleep in her arms. She would leave him there. She kissed his head and smiled and very quickly fell asleep with him in her arms.
James had fallen asleep with his wife then, proper satisfied to end such a successful night in a really peaceful manner. The following days ended much the same, but there were some days during that first week that James was losing his temper quite a bit. The first week of course was the most craziest and he knew that it wouldn’t all go as smooth as that first night had. Though, he knew he had to just keep his head and Lexia was helping out as well which was more than he could ask for. His mother in law was spending her time taking care of their son when they were at work. He knew it probably made things tougher for Lexia, but she would get the whole weekend to spend with their son. James had finished getting dressed then, throwing on a sweater and some jeans a pair of sneakers to complete the look. He ran his hand through his hair then, all set with his bag at the front door downstairs. It had been weeks since he last saw Gianna and their conversations had been minimal. Mostly asking about the restaurant and of course scheduling the appointment for the test. He was nervous and to make it even more nerve-racking, he would be taking the drive with his mother in law.
He headed downstairs then, his son in his mother in law’s arms. Becoming a grandmother had certainly softened her up. He had reached for Mason then, playing with his fist before nuzzling him in close. He kissed his cheek then, he was going to hate being away from him. Working long hours at the restaurant took a lot away from his time, every moment mattered. Lexia was right and he knew that traffic would reach its peak. Handing over his son, he kissed Lexia then, his hand on her hip and while in front of her mother, he was not ashamed of how much passion was inside the kiss. It would just be a weekend and he was heading to the appointment as soon as he dropped his mother in law off at the house. He pulled away from his wife then, pressing his forehead against hers and his caressing her cheek. “I’ll be back before you know it. I love you,” he told her, hoping she trusted him being away with Gianna. One last peck given before he wa son his way.
[center [b _]]
The weekend away from Lexia had been terrible. He tried to busy himself with work which was easy considering how busy it had been. The hardest thing was working with Gianna who was definitely larger since he last saw her and he knew eventually she would be going on her maternity leave. That was another obstacle they would have to go through as he needed someone he trusted with skill and experience running his kitchen. He feared that would mean more time bouncing between the two restaurants.
He was nervous during the appointment, trying to make small talk with Gianna before he gave the same that was needed. Two days, [I two days] waiting to find out if he was the father.
He was on his way back home when he got the news and it was the kind of news that made the male sit in his car in the driveway of his home. He wanted the homecoming to be special and warm and now he had to find a way to tell Lexia that he was the father of Gianna’s child.
Sighing out then, knowing that he couldn’t sit there forever. He got out, grabbed his bag and headed for front door. He’d entered then, dropping his bag by door. “Lexia?” he called out then, wondering if she was sleep. He headed into the kitchen then, quick to pour a few shots of liquor – anything to get away from this nagging guilty feeling.
Hearing him make such noises drove her crazy. She wished that she could turn over and melt into one of his tempting kisses that often led to a night of love making but she had to exert a sense of self control, knowing that she couldn't be with him intimately yet. She would be lying if she said she wasn't worried about sending him to Gianna for the weekend, knowing that haven't been able to have sex. He could find out the child was his and then one thing could lead to another and he could easily fall into her arms once more. She supposed she just had to trust that he wouldn't do that.
[b "Don't you worry about me."]
A few more successful days at the restaurant passed and the weekend arrived. Lexia would be taking care of Mason and keeping an eye on things at the restaurant while his second chef ran the kitchen for a few days. At the moment though, they were at home and James' bag was next to the door and her mother was fussing her, worried about her being left alone for the first time.
[b "Honestly Mom, it's okay. James has two businesses and he needs to go back and help out this weekend. Besides, it means I get all of Mason's attention."] She chuckled and kissed her cheek. [b "You are going to hit traffic if you dont leave soon."]
James smiled against her neck at how she reacted to his kiss, the small moan that escaped through her lips as he kissed the spot he knew she loved and was ultimately responsible for what led to them getting pregnant in the first place. Feeling her hand gripping his was just as satisfying as having his wife in his arms pressed against him. He didn’t doubt that Lexia had faith in him and he knew he had to be more confident. Lexia was the only one to see a side of him that was so vulnerable, usually domineering and confident when in the kitchen. Though if you couldn’t be vulnerable with your own wife, someone who you loved and promised to love forever, then who could you trust to show that less than confident side? He knew that this didn’t diminish him in her eyes. He was still every bit of the man that she had fallen for and married and though he had a minor slip up, James was going to try to remain that man. “I guess I just need to be reminded every now and then,” he admitted to her. “I just don’t want it to be placed on the backburner for too long.” He knew she was more than willing to put him and their son first and she didn’t really mind, but James didn’t want everything to just be about them.
However he was sure whenever she was ready that she knew he would be there at her side. He had her back and wanted her to know much the same as she had supported him, he would support her. “Well whenever you are ready, I’m ready. I’m sure Mason is going to be very proud of his parents when he gets older.” Knowing he had to leave Lexia and his son for the weekend to see Gianna dawned on him then and he held her closer then, growling some in frustration against her ear. He missed being this close with Lexia, the intimate moments and was glad to find Mason had given it to them. Though having this privacy definitely was tempting. He knew he would have to get this weekend out of the way. Once he knew if Gianna’s child was his or not, he didn’t have to think of it again.
Though of course if the child was his, it would mean that he would have to figure a way to navigate what time he had already split with work and his wife. Another child could have any type of impact on his family and marriage.
There was nothing Lexia loved more than being in James' arms. There was so much comfort and safety offered within them that she was sure she could never give him up. In this rare peaceful moment she enjoyed his presence and allowed herself to get as close to him as possible as he nuzzled into her neck and kissed her in the spot that he knew was her weakness, a soft moan escaping her as her eyes closed and committed the feel of him to her memory.
[b "It was the right thing to do and it will prove to be the best decision for all of us in a few months time when it starts to regulate a little more. I will stick by you through anything. I thought you would know that by now."] She said with a smoked as she squeezed his hand reassuringly. She was surprised that he asked about her job then, unsure if she would even have time to make jewelry along side raising their son and helping to run the creche in the restaurant.
[b "Oh I don't know baby. I've not even thought about that. I'm just going to focus on us and our son for a while."]
James stared at his wife, smiling at his son as Lexia announced his arrival. Lexia stood before him then, her hand soft against his face. He pressed into her embrace, much the same as the kiss she placed on his lips. He was just as proud of her, able to help him out even throughout her pregnancy and still after she was here to help out her husband. Having them here was more than he could ask for. “I missed you both,” he told her with a smile, kissing her once more. Being back in the kitchen, his element was all that he could ask for, but he knew that getting busier meant there were going to be those long hours and nights, nights when he would come home late and fall straight to sleep and early mornings. He had faith though and with them being so close, he was sure it would all work out. His main concern was the success of his relationship and family and of course the success for this restaurant. He could only hope that things would go just as he needed them to.
They had headed back home shortly after, Mason easily falling asleep which was more than he could ask for when it came to ending a great night. Especially considering the young child was still not sleeping throughout the night. This was actually teaching James way more patience than he was known to have. He’d changed, very happy with finally being off his feet. His ankle was hurting, to which he took a pain pill, but he was proud of himself for managing to get through the night with the injury. He’d changed into just his shorts, getting under the covers and quick to draw Lexia close.
“I did miss it,” he said with a smile. He kissed her neck then, snuggling his nose into the crook of her neck, delivering another kiss. “Thanks for sticking with me on my choice to open another. When are you thinking of getting back into work?” He asked her. Lexia had her own promising career and he didn’t want everything to just be about the restaurant.
After stealing a few moments with James she returned back to the restaurant and helped finish up service, knowing that James needed to concentrate on running the kitchen and being in there would just serve as a distraction which he didn’t needed. When the kitchen was closed James came to the front of house and as soon as he came out of the kitchen the guests clapped happily, giving James the reception he deserved and then he made his way around to all of their guest while Lexia encouraged the waiting staff to get cleaning up behind the bar and emptying the tables of everything.
Once the restaurant was almost empty she made her way in the daycare and spent a little bit of time with Mason, getting him changed and cuddling him after she sent her mother back to their home and thanked her for all of her help. Soon enough it was just the two of them with Joshua in the other room or at least he had been before he came in to great them. Lexia smiles and looked to Mason. [b “There he is! Look it’s Daddy.”] She said excitedly as she stood up and handed him to James. [b He’s missed you.”] She said as she ran a hand over his cheek and then kissed James lovingly. [b “We are both so very proud of you.”]
After a while the two head home and made their way to bed, Mason dropping off quickly leaving his parents to enjoy some alone time. [b “I can tell how much you missed that.”] She said as she undressed and climbed into bed.
He kissed her again. James was glad to hear golden reception according to Lexia and he just hoped the buzz wouldn’t die down. The first few months of a restaurant was crucial. James needed to build a reputation with the locals and he had to learn to adapt, especially with it being in a different town than his previous one. His menu had even changed and he was still refining it, but for the most part he was happy with it and Lexia seemed to be happy with how things were working out as well.
Even more so, Mason was doing okay and he was glad all this madness wasn’t making the young boy go crazy. It did make James feel good to have his whole family in the restaurant. He was saddened some that his own family was out of his life – most of which because he never really knew them, but this was about the present. A present with his wife and son that would lead into the brightest of futures, especially what with the new restaurant.
Eventually it did begin to wind down after the last of desserts were sent in. James went out to see the guests out and of course thank them for coming before the restaurant was officially closed. He headed back to the kitchen to let his staff know how proud he was of them for managing to make it work on a busy grand opening but they certainly succeeded.
Eventually everyone was heading out and James was able to breathe in relief and relax for a moment. He took a seat at the bar, enjoying a glass of champagne as he figured Lexia was changing or feeding Mason. All set he headed toward the room catered for the daycare. It had come out great which he expected as he had placed Lexia in complete control of that portion.
He was exhausted though and couldn’t wait to get home. This was a great night, but he was worried about the weekend and wanted to soak up as much good feeling being with Lexia and Mason as possible.
Quinn could just tell that Hames was in his element when it came to being in the kitchen. This is exactly where he belonged and she was glad that they had managed to sort something out that allowed him to be in the kitchen whilst also looking after his family and spending time with them. She was more confident than ever that this would work and she was positive that they would face all of their problems together now.
Lexia looked around the kitchen at all his staff who were whistling at their closeness and she chuckled before James turned his head to kiss her. Even now he was still able to take her breath away with a kiss and she would have spent the rest of the night stood there kissing him if they didn’t have work to do.
[b “It’s looking great! Everyone is raving about the food and lots of people are leaving here happy so you are on for a winner. Honestly babe, you should be so proud of yourself, you’ve really pulled it out of the bag and the people here love you food. It’s starting to get a little quieter with the food orders but lots of the customers are sticking around for a drink at the bar. As for Mason, he’s been good as gold for Mom. He’s fast asleep now though although he will be awake in a few more hours demanding food I’m sure.”] She chuckled a little when he turned and pulled her towards him.
[b “Bed with you sounds amazing.”] She whispered back and kissed him passionately. [b “Just a couple more hours now.”]
James had made a brief speech at the front of the restaurant before he finally cut the ribbon that declared the restaurant was officially open. The beginning was spent introducing Lexia as his wife to people she hadn’t met before and of course he had to greet every table, making sure everyone was settled and of course making sure that the tables with the bloggers and the writers who wrote for food columns were taken care of. Eventually he had to leave Lexia and head toward the kitchen. James was definitely quick to temper in the kitchen and he was a perfectionist. This night was very important to him and he made that clear to all staff.
Orders started coming in soon, James overseeing and of course delegating which orders went out. Anything out of place or done incorrectly only riled him up and he was quick to raise his voice.
Not to mention he was fighting through the pain of his ankle and working with a bad wrist. Which made him a bit clumsy in the kitchen. He was still working through his injury when it came to cooking, but James somehow managed.
“Johnathan, you can’t be fucking serious!” He yelled in anger just as another steak had been burned by the male. He could tell the young man was a bit terrified of him and he calmed down some. He reminded him of James when he had first started and that partly being why he had offered to hire him despite his little experience. However this night was really important to him and everything had to go right. This was an investment and this was important to him and his family. Sighing out he gripped the male by the shoulders. “Think, alright? I need your head in the game.” The male nodded and James sent him to continue on the line. It was hot in the kitchen and he was exhausted, but it felt good to be working again. He missed being in the kitchen like this, the excitement that came with it. He sipped from a beer, definitely juiced up and at least it made it easy to ignore the nagging aches he had.
By the time Lexia had entered he looked exhausted, but seeing her did put a smile on his face. He blushed then, the kitchen staff definitely giving a few whistles and for once seeing James in a bit of a softer light. He looked over his shoulder and kissed his wife then. “I love you too. How’s it looking out there? How’s Mason?” He asked, he hadn’t seen much of his son the whole night and he was missing him. He knew though the night was ending and they would be heading home soon. He turned and wrapped his arms around her then, bracing her out of the way of a waitress going through the doors with a platter of food. “I’m ready to get home and in bed,” he whispered with a smile as he looked down at her.
Lexia ran her hands over the dress, smoothing it down the parts that hitched up slightly. She could see her imperfections but in reality, if someone didn’t know her they wouldn’t even be able to tell she had a baby. James came forward then wrapping his arms around her and she smiled towards him using their reflection to do so as he traced his lips over her neck. She couldn’t help but chuckle at his words then. [b “Like anyone is going to look at me when we have this little bundle of joy. He’s going to be getting all the attention.”] She smiled as she looked towards their sleeping son. [b “And then there is you. You should be centre of attention tonight. You have achieved so much and I’m so proud of you.”] She turned to face him then, kissing him passionately and then smiled at his words. [b “And I’m lucky to have the chance of loving a man like you. You are amazing James. I wish you saw that more.”]
Lexia’s mother came to take Mason to the restaurant so the two could walk over themselves and when the time came the two walked over hand in hand. They had done a good job of advertising their restaurant and that was evident when the amount of people became visible. She was amazed really at the sheer volume of people and she knew that tonight would be busy and successful. She greeted those that they knew and welcomed those who she had not met before and before they could even blink their restaurant was open and every table was full, as well as having lots of people stood around eating canapés.
She hadn’t seen James properly for a few hours from that point on. He was busy in the kitchen making sure the service went smoothly and she was front of house, greeting customers and showing some of them around the crèche. Mason needed a feed at some point but I was so easy to take fifteen minutes out in the room designed for mother’s and children. This was perfect.
When things started to quieten down she went to the kitchen and found James, wrapping her around around him and placed a kiss on his shoulder. [b “I love you.”]
James smiled, proud of Lexia and all she was managing as he was trying his hardest not to lash out at any point in time, but still could be short with his wife from all the stress. Still they had someone managed to make it to this night, an important night and all his family would be there to watch. He had even invited his mother I law, who would be leaving that weekend along with James. He swallowed thickly at the thought of the DNA test, knowing that waiting for the results would be even more nerve wrecking. He was not going to think about that on this night though. Lexia would be at his side and is son and while they conversed with others during the opening, his mother in law could take care of Mason. He couldn’t have done this without his wife and he wanted to make it clear that they wouldn’t have had the restaurant without her.
He'd received lots of messages from his staff at his old restaurant, including Gianna who were sending their wishes, though their were some he invited who could attend the event. Gianna wouldn’t as she had an appointment and was quite tired. He didn’t know how he felt about it, but feared had she shown up it wouldn’t have looked too good and something could happen or be said, she was unpredictable and this pregnancy proved that.
James smiled at his wife’s compliment, taking the time to make sure they had everything needed for Mason while she continued to get ready. Mason was dressed very casually in an all black onesie and a pair of black leggings, no shoes but a beanie as it had been cold. Still he definitely looked handsome and his features were coming in more, even his hair was growing – strawberry blonde strands with little curls. He wouldn’t be surprised if eventually they reddened in color like his mother’s.
Lexia was all set then, eyeing herself in the full length mirror in their room. He walked over to her and placed his arms around her waist, his lips kissing her neck as he gave a small moan in satisfaction. “We look good together but remind me not to get upset if I see anyone looking at you for too long,” he teased. He buried his nose in his wife’s neck then, just a moment of peace which he was happy to take. “I know you hate when I say this but I’m so lucky to have been given a chance with a beauty like you.” He knew most woman took time getting back to their original selves if that and it was hard to fit working out in a schedule where the father worked crazy 16 plus hours a day. Yet, James didn’t want her to feel the pressure or need to rush. He loved her either way – there was no flaw about her that he didn’t find to be utmost perfect.
Soon enough it was time to get on the way and with the restaurant of course being close, all they had to do was walk. James was blown away by the crowd, the people standing in line. He gripped Lexia’s hand extra tight then as she was his main source of support before they headed to the front to cut the bow and announce that the restaurant was officially open.
The day finally arrived. Today would be the day that they were opening the restaurant and she was beyond excited. There was no doubt that the food would speak for itself and they the restaurant would be a hit but she was concerned about whether the local community would get on board with the restaurant with the food being a little different and the prices being a little higher since he was offering fine dining. It would all work out though, she had faith in that.
What she was finding stressful was the fact that their son had seemed to have chosen today to have one of his worst tantrums to date and she was really struggling to get him to calm down and she was feeling rather useless, not really knowing what to do with him. [b “Please baby…please calm down. I don’t know how to help you. You are not hungry, you don’t need changing.”] Lexia looked towards James apologetically knowig that this wasn’t exactly helping his nerves. She kept moving around with him in her arms bouncing him gently before he [I finally] cried himself to sleep. Lexia sighed with relief, holding him close and kissing his head softly and when James came to her she looked towards him with a smile.
[b “You look sexy as hell.”] She said with a smile and leaned forward to place a kiss on his lips. [b “You look amazing babe, really professional.”] She placed Mason into the bassinet and then started to get herself ready. She had already managed to get her makeup down and her hair was in rollers so all she needed to do was slip on her dress and heels and then let down her hair which fell in pretty curls past her shoulders. She checked herself in the mirror, he figure starting to return to normal but she was still anxious about how she looked at times.
Of course she was being understanding and reasonable about the situation. Some part of him didn’t like the idea of having her by herself. He wanted his wife by his side and yet was comforted to know that she would stay with him. He wouldn’t have to worry about coming to an empty house – her belongings stripped and her son with her. That would’ve broke his heart, as if he didn’t deserve it as he had broken Lexia’s heart plenty of times he was sure. He leaned over to kiss her then, a deep and lingering kiss as his hand gently was placed at the base of her skull. “I love you so much you know that?” He said then with a smile and he meant every word.
[center [b _]]
The next few days were slightly busy, James enjoying his time with his wife and newborn until of course the grand opening day of the new restaurant arrived. There was quite the buzz and James knew quite a few popular bloggers and some newspapers would be attending to write reviews. He was nervous and he hoped that he could do his best and please everyone. He wanted to work hard and had even forced himself since the day of the picnic to stop with his crutch as it did slow him down some. That cake with a lot of pain and the pills helped only so much. Nights were a bit sleepless too as Mason had been fussy lately. It made James a little on edge but he reminded himself it wasn’t his son’s fault and it certainly wasn’t Lexia’s fault either.
He was also nervous because he would be driving with his mother in law the next day to go to their old city and visit Gianna. Having to take the test worried hi. As she was far along, he didn’t want to risk the child’s life. Though Gianna was certain all would be fine as she had all the faith in the world in her doctor. Leaving Mason and Lexia was even worse. At least he would have them at his side tonight. He had finished showering then, leaning against the dresser for support as he tried to regain stability. He’s grabbed his boxers and socks, taking to rewearing his ankle tightly. He was due for a follow up appointment and knew his doctor wouldn’t be pleased to hear he hadn’t exactly taken his request on resting and keeping his feet up. Mason was crying again and James was exhausted but also filled with a nervous entry for the night. He rested his head in his hands then? Lexia doing her best to quiet their son. Before finally there was silence.
He gave a small smile at the tot who had cried himself into one of his micro naps. James continued getting dressed then, putting on his chef’s shirt, running his hands through damp hair which had finally dried. The strands were getting longer and gelling them back was a must if he wanted to keep appearance. Lexia still had to get ready though. He stood in front of her then, his hand grazing Mason’s forehead, cheeks red from a nasty tantrum. A temper lime his dads no doubt.
“How’d I look?” He asked then.
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