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Lexia hasn’t heard James come home, always so wrapped up in her art when she took the time to paint things. She wanted their home to be perfect but most of all, she wanted their son to have the perfect nursery so she had spent more time perfecting this room over any other. She knew that there would only be another day or so worth of work left in here and she was quiet sad that her little project would be coming to an end but as she was getting closer to her due date, she had no doubt that was probably a good thing.
She felt James before she heard him, a smile tugged at her lips as his hands joined hers on her stomach. It was getting hard for him to get his arms around her now but he always found a way. The rest of her pregnancy had gone really well. Her low blood pressure was managed well and they ensure to keep things as stress free as possible. Of course there were times when things with the restaurant would get a little intense but it was nothing she couldn’t handle.
[b “Hey you!”] She said with a smile as she chuckled at the feel of his breath against her ear and then she turned to share in a kiss with her husband. [b “Did you get the license sorted out?”]
The next few months were hectic – hell they were crazy. Helping Lexia’s mother move out of her old home was crazy enough and even moving her into their first home was even more work. There was a lot to do and get taken care of and James was happy to find that Gianna had seemingly gotten over her feelings for him and was able to take up the first restaurant no problem. Though lately she had been messaging him more frequently in which James just tried his hardest not to think too much into it.
The restaurant was coming along well – Lexia had taken lead on the decorating which was a big help. She had taken care of their home, the daycare center – leaving James with much more time to focus on the restaurant and make sure everything was getting done in a timely matter. This was important to him, as this was a risk that they were taking, though James felt more comfortable knowing his wife was there to support him through it. Even while pregnant Lexia was still making an effort to help, her belly swollen with his child and just shy of giving birth any moment.
James had just come from a stressful meeting with his business manager, finally figuring out the debacle about a liquor license and the restaurant so close to where children would be. Everything was getting settled though and James knew he grand opening would be a smash, especially considering the article that had been written about him and his first restaurant was doing well.
He had entered their home, the smell of paint not new as Lexia had been up to home renovation since they closed on the property and was trying to stay busy. He found her in the nursery of course, talking to her belly as she had done so often since she started showing predominantly. James walked over to his wife, hands wrapping around her and running over her stomach.
“That makes two of us,” he whispered against her ear before kissing her. James was battling with telling Lexia he would be gone for two days and honestly he didn’t want to leave, but Gianna needed him for an event. She was so close to delivery – he hated the idea of not being near hr.
It was a crazy few months. There was still some things that they needed to do but they were almost there. The last 4 and a half months were testing but Lexia and James has managed to pull through it all. Since they didn’t have to sell anything in order to make their purchase of the home with the restaurant annexed to it, their offer was accepted and they were moving quickly and as they promised each other, their focus was to get the house ready so that they didn’t have to worry when the baby arrived. The home was decorated to a nice standard already so all they had to do was bring some of their furniture over, which was easy enough since her mother had her own furniture anyway and she wanted to make her new home her own. She had easily accepted their offer for her to rent their house and their relationship was so much better now. The only room that needed work when they moved in was the nursery so they focused on getting the furniture they needed and Lexia had focused on painting some animals and things on the walls to make it a nicer room for a child.
Once their home was sorted it was time to move on to the restaurant, having been given some funding in order to set up the day care centre for the staff. There was a nice area set up that was separate from the restaurant and Lexia put herself through some training so that she could run that side of the restaurant as well as helping with the general running of the restaurant. It was an exciting time and it only showed that Lexia and James’ relationship was stronger than ever.
With two weeks left to go until her due date, she had started to slow down a little with the work, the restaurant almost ready to open up in the next day or so. She had taken to painting so murals on the wall to add some character and she was focused on that entirely. When Lexia was being creative she usually lost herself quickly and she was stood with her paintbrush as her heavily pregnant stomach was almost stopping her from getting close enough for her to paint a little section. [b “You really don’t want me painting this do you? Always getting in the way.”] She chuckled as she placed a hand on her stomach, smiling happily.
“I understand that,” he said with a shake of his head. “I’m just trying to account for any mishaps – building and plans don’t always just go the way you think they will.” James said with a shake of his head. Five months. The thought made his stomach turn just a bit. He couldn’t believe that he would be a father in such a short time. This – everything they were planning and doing now for their child would lead to a perfect future and James and Lexia would make sure of it. His son was the only one other than his wife that mattered.
“I guess I’m just nervous,” he finally admitted to his wife as he took her hand as they headed out of the diner. “Five months seems so soon,” he finished as he swallowed thickly. He got into the car then and buckled up before starting up the vehicle. “I can’t believe I’ll b. a father – we’ll be parents in five months.” James began driving toward her mother’s placed. He knew he would have to call Gianna, the plans he had wasn’t something he could just say over text and even more so he would have to have a staff meeting telling of his plans.
It was interesting in a sense that he was gaining one child and his second restaurant would almost seem like another baby. Leaving his original restaurant was scary and he hated to admit it, but the faith Lexia had in him was enough to keep the male going and let him know that what he was doing would work out in their best interest. They had finally reached her mother’s house then, ready to finish helping his mother in law move out and James was glad to see Lexia’s father was nowhere in sight.
“I don’t want you lifting a thing,” he said knowing his wife as helpful as she was. He leaned over to kiss her. “I know I’m being a bit dramatic, but I love you. Out of everything Lexia you, my family means everything to me.”
Lexia wanted James to know just how much she loved him and how serious she was about making his business successful with him. Having one restaurant was just the first step in achieving something that could be chain of restaurants in a few years time. James was getting a lot of attention and he certainly knew what he was doing when it came to food. His menu was impeccable and the food he produced was just as good. In Lexia's mind more people needed to discover the talent that James had for food.
Although Lexia had been planning this for some time, she had kept it to herself because she wasn't sure of how he would have reacted to this if she bought it up a couple of months ago. He had been distant and snapped a lot and she was worried that he would assume she was trying to control things so she had kept this to herself in case there was a time that came when it would be appropriate to talk to him about it. Of course this was a risk and it would cost a lot of money and if it didn't work out they would lose a lot of money, but she also wanted to be the kind of person that wasn't scared to take risks to make something for her family. Lexia wanted to show their son that hard work could pay off and would bring great things.
[b “We have time to plan it out. In fact, we have 5 months.”] Lexia smiled as she placed her hand on her stomach and listened to him suggest that Gianna would be able to take over things at the first restaurant for a while so that they got everything sorted. [b “Are you forgetting that this restaurant comes with a home?”] She chuckled a little and smiled. [b “We can rent an apartment until everything is finalised and then move in to the house first and get everything ready for when the baby arrives and then focus on the restaurant. I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be open before our boy gets here.”]
James wasn’t that surprised that Lexia had taken time to plan this, but he knew she kept it a secret probably waiting for the right moment to bring it up to him. It did make him sad a bit to know that he hadn’t been paying that much attention to his wife until recently. She wanted to be with him, not stuck at home cooped up with a baby as she already had been during her pregnancy. James was coming home late nights and she didn’t want to come second to his restaurant, neither their son once he was born.
“I don’t want you to be alone during that time either,” he told her with all sense of sincerity. James had tried to control Lexia, too worried about the baby and not wanting anything to risk the child being born. However, it was selfish of him to keep Lexia in the house and he knew she hated it.
They both had finished their meal at that point, James definitely full and now excited with the thought of what was in store for their future. Though this was definitely a major risk that they were going to take. It did worry him some, taking this risk – but Lexia would be there at his side. What could go wrong from there?
“Well we will definitely have to plan this out, I might have to take the next few days off. I’ll have Gianna take over for a bit, we need to see what’s in our budget – a good apartment for now close to the location. I suppose, once everything is finalized we can get a second home?” James had given his card to the waitress as she returned with the check. Once the card had been returned, he stood up then ready to take on another challenge; helping his mother in law move out. A lot was changing in their relationship and when their child was born they would be thrown into even more adventures.
Lexia was nervous that she had perhaps taken things too far and perhaps seemed a little controlling, especially when the restaurant was supposed to be his thing and not hers. However, he had said to her only minutes ago that if they were to do this, they were doing it together and she would be his right hand rather than someone who waited at home for him to come home from work. For a moment their food was forgotten and they were completely focused on this idea for their future.
She was forced to look up at him then as he tried to encourage her not to be so down on her idea. [b “A while...since I found out I was pregnant. I just...I wanted to find a solution. I don’t want to be home alone with a baby all day, waiting for you to come home. I don’t want you or him to miss out because of your long hours.”] Lexia started to continue with her breakfast, following suit with James who had also started to eat his breakfast. They both needed to make sure they had the energy to make it through the day of packing and moving things.
Suddenly James was on board and making suggestions himself. She didn’t want to sell their home, she wanted to get a second mortgage and she knew that would be something they could afford if they rented out their property and when he mentioned her mother, it was a perfect solution really. [b “That’s a brilliant idea. We can get started before I start waddling because I’m too big.”] She chuckled as she took the final bite of food before washing it down with some orange juice. Lexia was excited about this prospect.
Lecia’s idea wasn’t farfetched and it was true that most of his staff did have children. Working in the restaurant business definitely meant long hours especially if you wanted to succeed. If they did this then that would give him more opportunity to see his family and not miss out on seeing his children. Of course though, that would mean he would have to reconfigure any designs, change his hours – it would be a lot of work, but it would also give Jams opportunity to try something different and be able to have Lexia’s hand in it.
He squeezed her hand then, noticing she was shutting down some and shying away from her idea. “Hey,” he said to her seriously, “It’s not silly. I think it’s a great idea, the hardest part is actually making it all happen,” he said with a smile. “How long have you been thinking about this?” He asked her then. Lexia surely had to have been thinking about this for a while to come up with an idea like this. He pulled back to start eating breakfast. This was a lot to take in but he didn’t think it was a bad idea necessarily. James figured it would give them both ample time together, though something like that wasn’t very easy to get passed. It would take money and lots and lots of time, which was why James didn’t mind as it would mean spending more time with his wife.
“Maybe your mother can keep up our house while she gets herself together,” he started as he bit into a piece of bacon. “We can take some time to ourselves, check out the location and start working on getting this all set and ready. We can get that vacation we want?” If they were going to do this, James wanted them to get a jump on it. Once the baby came it would be hard to get things done. Of course he would have to confirm with Gianna that she could handle the restaurant while he was away.
Lexia knew that it was too much to ask the man not to worry about her cramping. Any small change in the way she felt made him worry but she had just slept in an awkward position and caused a cramp in her back. She squeezed his hand gently and indicated towards the phone to make him look at it and when he had a minute to inspect she watched his face carefully. There was every chance that he would hate the idea of living around his work but the smile on his face was telling her different.
It was a lot, she knew that but she hoped that he would be willing to take a look at it. She was smiling as he talked about having her as his second hand. She just hoped that he wasn’t doing so, thinking that he had to pacify her in any way. Rather than answering him directly she smiled and continued to talk about some of her ideas. [b “I thought we could set up a day care centre there so you can offer that as part of employee benefits. You know there are so many people who struggle to fit work around family and at least if we had that there...people don’t have to struggle so much or be away from their children.”]
Lexia looked at their hands and sighed a little. [b “I don’t know...maybe it’s a silly idea but...I want this to work for us.”]
James chuckled then. “Surprise or secret, doesn’t matter. What matters is you telling me what is going on in your mind.” James said with a chuckle. He watched his wife take the phone out and raised a brow at her then. Though he did worry about her when she mentioned that she was cramping.
“What do you mean not to worry?” He asked with a raised brow as he leaned across the table, his hand reaching out for the woman. James was distracted then, by what she had said. She knew he was the type to worry, though he stopped himself from freaking out and just listened to his wife then. He looked at the location she was showing him on the small screen. A restaurant attached to a living residence for him> A way he could control the new restaurant and how the building was going and yet wouldn’t have to worry about being away from his family for long periods of time. “Lexia,” he started as he looked up at her. He was shocked to find that the woman had put so much energy into not only finding a place, but also something that would fit into their lives. “This is a lot,” he told her with a smile. “Lexia – that – I would need you as first hand then, working with me. It would make things easier, you have an eye for design.” James was getting ahead of himself at that point, though he definitely believed that having Lexia at his side would be the best way to get through this next step of their life.
“Is this really what you want for us?” He asked his wife as he took her hand then, ignoring their breakfast freshly delivered at that point. “I don’t want you to do this just because I want it. I want this to be [I our] legacy,” he told her then, leaning down to kiss her hand.
Lexia knew that James wouldn’t be able to hold out for long. He wasn’t exactly the patient type when it came to Lexia, especially when she had been so vague about what it was she wanted to show him. As soon as the waitress left their table he was asking about it and she couldn’t help but laugh a little. [b “I said I had something to show you, I never said anything about a surprise.”] She sipped her own water and shook her head in jest when he asked if she was having twins. Before she could speak the waitress returned with their food and left the two alone quickly.
Lexia didn’t hesitate to tuck in but then she couldn’t leave him hanging much longer. [b “You know me. I’m not very good at secrets or surprises so don’t think this is something major or something I’ve been planning for a long time because it’s not.”] She smiled as she took her phone out. [b “I woke up with cramps last night...just about an hour or so and it’s nothing to worry about before you say anything.”] Lexia tapped on her phone and brought up the website she had been looking at.
[b “This is a premises with a license for a restaurant...but it’s not just a premises...”] She smiled and handed the phone over, knowing that he would notice quickly that the restaurant was an annex to a house. [b “You don’t have to be away from your family if your work is on the doorstep.”]=
James smiled at is wife as they were led to their booth, taking a seat across from her at the table. James rolled his tongue in his mouth then, ordering for both of them their favorite pancake meal, hoping he had recalled Lexia’s favorite from when they had came here so long ago for the first time. James sipped from his water then, smiling at his wife as the waitress too their order and disappeared. He looked to his wife then. “So what is this surprise?” He asked her with a smile as he took another sip of his water.
He knew Lexia wasn’t the one to surprise him with a gift unless it was his birthday or their anniversary from when they dated – nothing just random. He wondered what she had planned or at least what was something she wanted to keep a secret for so long before telling him. Lexia wasn’t that great at secrets too, so he figured whatever she had planned was something exciting.
He leaned back then, watching his wife and wondering what she had going on under her sleeve. “Don’t tell me it’s twins,” he jested about their child, leaning in to take her hand in his. He loved Lexia with every fiber, he wondered just what she would bring to the table that would be more exciting than having her as his wife.
The waitress returned soon with their meals, one of the perks of the diner being their turnaround time. He was staring, the morning festivities with his wife definitely making James hungry and sore – mostly hungry. He couldn’t really think of what Lexia would say that would warrant such secrecy between them. Though she didn’t look worried or nervous, for the first time he found it hard to really read his wife’s expression.
Lexia smiled mischievously when they walked towards the car, knowing that she had peaked his interest when she said she had something to show him. She kept smirking to herself as she climbed into the car and when they were on the road she turned to look at him, seeing that he was clearly curious. [b “Well it’s definitely too dangerous to show you while we are driving so you will at least have to wait until we have a seat at the diner. We’ll get settled and order our food and then I will show you.”] Lexia enjoyed that she was being vague in that moment, wanting him to be curious and wonder what she could have to show him.
She was impressed that he remembered the way without needed to tap it into his phone and soon enough they were pulling into the parking lot and she couldn’t wait to have something to eat in the one place she really missed about this town. It used to be her weekend regular when she lived her. James quickly moved around the car to help her out and she leaned into him as they walked inside and were quickly led to a table.
[b “Oh I know it was.”] She chuckled a little and scrunched up her nose playfully at his lips behind her ear. [b “I’ll let you order for me since you already know what I want.”]
James knew that Lexia wasn’t the type of girl where money impressed her and he learned that the day that she had taken him to het breakfast at the homely little pancake house. Of course he had spent a bunch on her for dinner and after that breakfast he realized that Lexia was a very down to earth woman. He loved that about her, her good nature personality being something that James would always love about her.
James wasn’t that good at remembering some things, but first with Lexia definitely came easy. He smiled at her then, her compliment definitely making a smile cover his face as he leaned in to return her kiss. He made sure he had everything before taking her hand and being led out of the hotel room. James reached the jeep with his wife then, opening the door for her.
“Something to show me?” He asked her with a smile, wondering what exactly the woman had planned for him. He got into the car himself and buckled up, starting the car then as he began for the diner. He surprised how e had managed to actually remember the way back to the restaurant once he was on the road. ‘Am I going to have to wait until we’re eating for you to tell me what you’ve got up your sleeve?” James asked with a smile.
They had eventually pulled up to the eatery where he parked and made sure to park a bit close to the entrance so it would be easier. James got out and walked over to the passenger side to help Lexia out of the jeep. James held her by the waist as he led them toward the entrance where once inside he asked the hostess for a table. The smell of syrup and bacon hung in the air. “Definitely a good choice, again,” he said with a smile. “You definitely made me work up an appetite,” he said kissing her behind the ear as they were led to their table.
Lexia remembered that night like it happened the day before. She remembered how she had felt so nervous trying to get herself ready and how she was so meticulous about her hair and make up that day. Lexia has wanted to impress him and he had wanted the same thing, as evident by the ridiculously expensive restaurant he had taken her to. Of course he didn’t need that, in fact it was him alone that had managed to charm her back to his place. Lexia wasn’t usually the type to sleep with someone on the first date but she was already head over heels for him and she had wanted to share herself with him. The next morning she had taken him to a diner that was more her pace, mostly to show him that he didn’t need to worry about expensive restaurants. She had even dressed down to prove that they could have more than that.
A smile found her lips when he relayed the name of the diner. [b “You remembered!”] She said with a smile quite happy that the important details stayed with him. [b “I can’t wait for him to be here with us.”] With that, she got herself dressed and looked towards James when he was done. [b “You look very handsome.”] She said as she kissed him and took his hand to lead him out of the hotel and towards their car, knowing that they couldn’t walk it from here.
[b “I want to show you something over breakfast.”]
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