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It had been a long time since they had done anything couple relate and they most certainly he never taken part in any kind of trivia. It sounded like it could be a lot of fun but she also didn't know whether it was something that James would be interested in doing. They would have to bring Mason along and he would likely fall asleep in his stroller because they couldn't leave him with anyone at night but that was fine, hebwould much prefer to have him with them anyway if they decided that they wanted to go.
Lexia chuckled a little at Maryanne's comment and then looked towards Chad. She didn't know why he made her feel uncomfortable but he did and he was glad that James was close to her because there was something about the way that he looked at her that she didn't like. She was probably imagining it though. She wondered whether they were here because Chad had cheated or something. He certainly seemed like the type who would become a serial cheater and he cleared thought that he was good looking enough that any woman would look to him. For Lexia, his arrogance was too much and she hadn't even so much as looked at about her man since James had come into her life. She loved him deeply.
[B "It does sound like a lot of fun and it sounds better than us sitting in our suite all night. I think we should go. It'll be nice."
James was just as curious about this. It could be fun though and he knew he wanted them to start doing more [I couple] things. Depending on where the two were from maybe they could become their friends, or Lexia and James would have to start going out more and meeting new people. They couldn’t seclude themselves to the house much longer.
“It’s real fun, mostly the younger couples considering it’s a bit later in the night,” Maryanne said with a wink. “They serve the best drinks, complimentary of course. I think they’re doing seafood tonight,” she said.
“Yeah so basically each couple is a team, or some people band together.” Chad said. He’d looked toward Lexia just briefly. SH was a beautiful girl, more of. A girl next door vibe which wasn’t terrible. She seemed shy, though Chad couldn’t tell if that was her personality, or if it had something to do with her husband, who was very strong and intimidating, almost as though saying, just by showing, and making it clear that he was Lexia’s husband. Of course, James was a bit threatened. The guy was handsome, but was he Lexia’s type? “There are different categories, think kind of like Jeopardy you know? But stuff average people usually know.”
“There’s usually a grand prize, money, or an extra stay at the resort,” she said with a shrug. “You guys have to come; it’s going to be so much fun!”
James looked to Lexia; he knew they had planned to pick up Mason. “It’s up to you babe?” He suggested.
Lexia couldn't imagine coming somewhere like this around a wedding anniversary and in truth, as Maryanne said, it was somewhat ironic that they would be here during such a time. Lexia watched for a moment as the women shed her cover up to climb into the pool. She was absolutely gorgeous and she had a figure to die for. Lexia was glad she hadn't climbed out of the pool to have to stand next to her. There would be no comparison.
Lexia picked up the glass of champagne, only taking a small sip since she was still breastfeeding Mason. It wouldn't be long before he was ready to transition onto food but for now she intended on making sure her milk was safe for him to drink. She glanced to James who was drinking his out of good manner because she knew how much he hated it and honestly she found it quite comical that they had agreed to share something neither one of them enjoyed.
When she heard that this was their second time here she couldn't help but look to James again, hoping that he wouldn't take this as a sign that it wouldn't work or that they were wasting their time. In her eyes their morning had presented a massive breakthrough in their communication issues as a couple and they had made some really good progress.
She smiled when he came over and muzzled her neck and she chuckled a little bit. [B "Couples trivia. What's that? It sounds like it could be either super fun or super frustrating."]
“Well ironically our third year wedding anniversary, some celebration, right?” Maryanne said with a roll of her eyes. She pulled her hair into. A high ponytail and removed the sheer covering before getting into the pool, placing her glass on the tiled flooring. Jams gathered their drinks and walked over placing them on the tile before getting in next to Lexia.
“Oh, three years is still impressive, congratulations.” James said as he raised his glass in cheer. He took just a small sip, not really much one for champagne, so he figured this would along smoothly. Still, it felt weird drinking after just the few hours of sobriety.
“I guess you can say that,” Chad said with a chuckle. “This is our second time here.” He told them. James was shocked by that and he wondered then, what kept them still going if they’d already been to therapy twice in three years. It also made James curious as to whether or not this would work. Would all their work melt away and become useless? He didn’t want to believe they would be like Maryanne and Chad, but then again James didn’t know their story.
“How’d your first day go? The usual? Ours was a bit of a wreck,” he said as he looked to Lexia. It was a bit traumatic, but James knew that it needed to be don and h was actually glad to get some of the hardest issues out of the way. He swam over to Lexia, nuzzling her neck from behind.
“The first day usually is the hardest, overtime you start bringing up the little things that bug you and by then they seem so incredibly silly.” Maryanne said. “Hey, they’re having this couple trivia game going on tonight. You guys should definitely sign up!”
Lexia was glad that they would have some time together as adults she couldn't even remember the last time that they had time together like this.it was certainly before she had given birth to Mason, perhaps even before she was even pregnant the first time. The pool was nice and honestly couldn't wait to just relax after such an emotional morning. They needed this just as much as they needed the therapy and the talking.
When they chose their seats, Lexia pulled her dress off and folded it up neatly and placed it under her bag and then she dipped herself into the pool, enjoying the feeling of the water. She turned to see James looking at his phone but he literally just checked it and then dipped into the pool next to her. She smiled as she watched him dip under the water and come back up. She hadn't noticed that a couple had been walking towards them until she heard them.
Lexia was surprised that the couple wanted to share their champagne with them but she didn't see why that would be a problem. Lexia wasn't completely comfortable climbing out of the pool though so she waved and smiled up at them from the pool. [B "It's nice to meet you both. We would love to share your champagne. Are you celebrating something?"]
“We did better than expected,” James said to Lexia as he kissed her cheek. He could see that flicker of sadness in her eyes having to leave Mason behind. They both would eventually learn to get through it, especially considering it seemed Mason was doing well on his own which was a good sign. They eventually made it to the pool area. It was kind of in between an indoor and outdoor pool. The windows had been opened to allow for natural sunlight to come through, he figured during the winter or when it rained, it was a heated indoor pool. James led them to some unoccupied seats, placing his towel and phone on the chair. He checked his messages briefly, though hadn’t responded. He had told his staff he would be unavailable, and he was putting his faith in them that they could take care of his restaurant.
James shed his shirt then, heading over to the pool. It was the perfect temperature for the mildly warm day. If the sun hadn’t been out, it would’ve been a bit chilly. He dipped down, coming back up with darkened and wet strands of his hair. Some people had left, to which it was only Lexia and the other couple, who was walking over with drinks.
“Hey, I don’t mean to bother, but do you guys want to split this bottle of champagne with us? We figured, we both don’t want to go too crazy, much easier to share.” The blonde smiled then, blushing before extending her hand out. “I’m so sorry, that was rude of me not to introduce myself. My name is Maryanne, this is my husband Chad,” she said as she pointed toward the dark haired male that sat beside her. They were both attractive and James wouldn’t had doubted if they were models or actors as they looked very familiar.
James had gotten out of the pool then. “Hey nice to meet you guys, I’m James, this is my wife Lexia.”
Lexia was glad to know that Mason was going well in daycare because it meant that she didn't have to feel so bad about using daycare when they got back home, not that they needed to, nor could they afford to really. She had gone back to making her jewellery from home and she worked around taking care of Mason, using his nap times and his early bed time as moments for her to work and James still worked late so she usually had a solid four hours to work on her jewellery most nights. Being back in their home town certainly helped since she didn't have to try and build her clientele once more.
Lexia smiled up at James when he saw how Mason reacted to his kiss. There was no doubt in her mind that James loved the young boy very much and she knew that this must be hard for him because it meant he was away from Delilah. Maybe later she would suggest video calling Gianna so he could see her at least. She allowed James to take him after giving him a kiss and a cuddle herself, only to watch his mood change when he was put back down. It was enough to make her feel guilty but James dealt with the situation well.
[B "I'm ready."] She said as she took his hand and told Mason they would be back before he knew it, even though he couldn't understand her. When they walked away she felt guilty but she knew that she had to start adapting.
Together they left the room and began toward the daycare to which he could tell that Lexia really was excited to reach. He could understand her reaction, it wasn’t easy to have to deal with leaving Mason after so many months of watching over him and carrying him, the attachment and bond was very strong. He was glad to see that there were no tears at least as they arrived at the daycare. Other children were milling about and playing on the ground, Mason eagerly looking up at his parents and smiling once Lexia had a hold of him. James was glad to hear he was coping well. He thought about the days to which he would grow up and find his own hobbies in middle school and highschool, eventually college if that was the route he chose to go. He kissed Mason’s cheek then, smiling at the young boy who eagerly placed his hand against James’ cheek.
He gently ran his hands through the young boys light locks of hair. Before placing him down James made sure to give him a hug and kiss. He wanted them to plan more family vacations if possible, especially as Mason began to grow older. Kissing him again goodbye. He could see the slight bit of confusion in Mason’s face and noticed he was about to cry. James’ heart broke some. He bent down to hand Mason his favorite tow, kissing him and calming him down, promising they’d be back soon. He calmed down eventually and turned to Lexia. “Ready?” He asked.
He couldn’t wait to get into the pool.
Lexia started to put some things into a bag when James took it upon himself to come towards her and placed a kiss on her cheek, complimenting her but in a teasing way. She chuckled a little and shook her head. [B "You are being a good student."] She said, with an amused tone and was thankful that he mentioned checking in on Mason because she was missing him. [B "I'd like that, yes! I miss his little face already."]
She packed up everything she needed and then took his hand again, making their way to the daycare unit so that they could see Mason, although she had every intention of leaving home there so that they could enjoy their afternoon together because they very rarely got time alone together.
When they got there they were led straight to him. Lexia lit up at the sight of him and she picked him up off the floor to give him a cuddle. [B "Has he been good?']
[I "He has been an angel. He is enjoying spending some time with the other children."] She was happy to hear that. [I "Are you picking him up already?"]
[B "No we are just checking up on his. We are going swimming but we will pick him up later if that's okay?"]
[I "Of course! A healthy marriage is a healthy family. Take all the time you need."]
Lexia was right, they had to make it right. They had to keep this marriage together because neither of them could see what good would come out of breaking their family apart. He was glad Christopher agreed it was a good idea and didn’t want to push them further than what they found comfortable. James eagerly accepted Lexia’s hand. Sometime absorbing the sun and just relaxing certainly sounded like just what he needed. Together they headed to the room. James had changed into some pool shorts and a shirt. He’d watched Lexia in a different way. She was every bit of beautiful, even after the pregnancy. He walked over to her and planted a kiss on her cheek as he held her from the back.
“You look sexy,” he said, and it was a bit of a tease, but he did take their counselling lesson very seriously and wanted to make it a habit of actually trying to follow through with everything. “Did you want to stop by and check on Mason first?” He suggested. He wondered how their son was getting along with being in the daycare. He knew that it was unusual for them to be apart for this long. He actually missed Mason though, James was starting to realize even more how much time he dedicated to the restaurant and how it was hard evenly splitting his time between the two women and children. He knew cooking was his passion, but maybe he had to take a step back and see where he could apply such skill to something that would allow him more time with Lexia. Sure, he couldn’t make her a priority, but she was his wife before Gianna and that carried a lot of weight.
He made sure they had their towels and sunblock before heading to leave.
Lexia couldn’t deny that talking about these things had helped. At least now they both knew how the other felt and that was the starting blocks to fixing the problems but she sure as hell didn’t think that she could handle more of this talking right now. It was emotionally draining, and she needed a break from it, and she knew that James would too. He had never dealt well with talking about his emotions and this was perhaps more than he had done throughout the entirety of their marriage.
She looked up at him when his hand came to rest upon her cheek, followed by a kiss and an apology and then she shook her head. [b “I’m still with you because I love you and I thought things would get better. I still believe they can. That’s why we are here right? James, I have never felt about anyone the way I feel about you. I’m nothing without you and I can’t take Mason away from his father. We [I have] to make this work.”]
Christopher came back in the room then, just as James asked Lexia if she wanted to go for a swim. [i “That’s a good idea. This retreat is just as much about reconnecting than it is the therapy. I bet with your son around it’s been a while since you two had any time alone right?”] The last time they had tried to go on a date, it had been ruined by the fact that Gianna’s appointment had run over. Lexia nodded. [I “Then go enjoy the pool. It’s a beautiful day.”]
[b “Thank you.”] She said as she took James’ hand before making their way back to the room to change into some swimwear, putting on a dress over the top so she didn’t walk through the complex in a bikini.
There it was. The truth of course that James had tried to skirt out, but Christopher had brought it to the surface and Lexi was not going to back down and let it go this time. James had abandoned her when she need him most and instead of being with his wife and taking the time together to get through the miscarriage, he went off and had an affair with Gianna and didn’t seem to feel anyway about it until it had come to light. Would he had told Lexia about the affair if he and Gianna had ended on better terms? Or would he had tried to keep it a secret. He wondered if then it would’ve have been just as hard for Lexia to hear that Gianna was pregnant with a little girl.
James looked down then in shame, Lexia’s voice kind of small as she expressed the disappointment in the fact that it seemed like James had given up on trying on their relationship and keeping the spark going. He couldn’t expect Lexia to take care of Mason and come up with all these fancy and spontaneous nights. He had to put in effort too. He reached his hand out to caress her cheek, leaning forward to kiss her lips. “I’m sorry. I’ve been a shit husband,” he said with sigh. He hadn’t realized things were this bad.
“I can’t believe you’re still with me.” He said and he meant it completely. Lexia had gone through a lot and James hadn’t been the best and he was realizing that he was the one that messing up their relationship. He promised to do everything in his power to make this right.
“You want to maybe go for a swim?” It was still a retreat after all, and James felt like they needed to relax after what had just happened.
Lexia frowned a little but when he started to talk of how things slowed down and she felt like he was putting the blame on her again but she did wonder whether he realised that was exactly what he was doing. Perhaps he thought he was simply explaining his side of things but she felt like she needed to tell him how she felt too because that was what this was all about after all.
[B "That's not fair! The carefree and wild disappearing had absolutely nothing to do with the miscarriage. You started staying a work more and avoiding me and...sleeping with her. That's why it disappeared. I was sad and I needed my husband to help me through that and then things would have returned to normal with time. I could see you slipped away and I didn't know if there was anything I could even do to get you back."]
Lexia looked up at him, seeing his own tears and she didn't have much to say to comfort him. She chuckled a little trying to allow him to lighten the mood. [B "How am I supposed to know? You never say anything anymore. You used to say things to me all the time. You used to surprise me...that doesn't happen anymore."
James sighed, “I didn’t mean it to come off that way – you’re just entirely different people. But Gianna has no dimensions t her, that’s her 24/7. You – you’re bold and sexy just when you want to be and that’s exciting. I guess, things just kind of slowed down with the miscarriage and then Mason and the restaurant and it just didn’t seem like how we used to be – carefree and wild and just I don’t know. I guess I didn’t expect it to interfere with us and change how I am. I guess I let the stress get to me and it was just convenient because she was there and often, she acted on it more than I did. “ James sighed out and drew their chairs closer to that they could be knee to knee. James looked into her yes, or at least attempted to. This was news for Lexia, and he could tell it was really affecting her.
“Look Lexia I love you. I was an idiot and I fully accept that what I did to you didn’t need to have a reason. Wrong is wrong.” He told her, his thumb caressed her wedding ring, hiss till on his finger, not once taking it off and no intent to anytime soon. “C’mon,” he said, trying to lighten the mood. “You think I don’t find you sexy?” He wiped his face then, trying to rid of the tears. Maybe they just needed to explore a little more and work more towards that intimate bond they used to have; date nights and making out just because, hugging each other and just being around and close to another. He had to stop working so hard and neglecting his family.
Lexia looked up briefly, watching Christopher leave the two alone. Perhaps James wasn't saying much because he was in the room and he needed more privacy to tell her how his truly felt or perhaps it was simply because he needed to check on the other couple, either way it didn't matter to her, she just wanted to know how James truly felt because they needed to talk about these things and they never did. Did he actually want to end their marriage and he brought her here so that he had a safe space to do so? To make it look like it was her fault? She couldn't think like that.
She looked to him when she heard him starting to talk and tried so hard not to imagine him with her. With each word he spoke she found the tears surfacing once more and she found it so difficult not to cry. This was him admitting that it was essentially her fault he had the affair and she wasn't sure she would be able to forgive herself so easily.
Lexia looked down at their hands and then looked back up at him with a sadness in her eyes. [B "But...Christopher...he said that you were looking for qualities I lack. That she's bold...and...sexy..."] she shook her head and tried her hardest not to fall apart. [B "I didn't realise that you felt that way."]
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