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James closed his eyes with her hand against his jaw. He smiled. He was a fool to think that he could go through life without having Lexia in his life. He brushed his hands against her back. It warmed him to know that she hadn’t stopped loving him and how much she had kissed him during their small break. They talked through their problems and maybe it was easier after having some space. That night of the argument Janes wasn’t in the right place and he never wanted Lexia to see him like that again. It was scary to know that he could’ve really hurt her, the woman that he loved. Lexia’s lips had found him once more and he couldn’t help but move in more with the kiss, his hands firm on her hips as he drew her ontop of him. James leaned up, pressing his body against Lexia’s. Eventually he had to come up for air, pulling away some to breathe, going in for small pecks and chewing on her lips.
“That bad?” He teased though he just as much couldn’t keep his hands off her; grinding ever so close. His lips had trailed against her neck then.
There was no stopping him from that point, though he had taken his time, hands carefully exploring her as though it was for the first time. James couldn’t held the soft groan he made against her ear, no longer bared by clothing, looking into those soft eyes and falling into the pattern of their lovemaking. Time had passed by and with one single gasp he held onto her tight, soon pulling from have her lay at his sides, his lips kissing the soft skin, salty from working up a sweat.
“I think I missed you more,” he breathed out, still coming down from the euphoria of climax. He closed his eyes tight, kissing Lexia’s ear. “There’s no one I could ever imagine being with.” He told her sincerely then as he could feel himself drifting then to sleep.
Lexia was glad that James seemed to agree with her. It didn't exactly make a whole lot of sense to try and get him into a new routine of sleeping in his own room just before they were going away because it would take that little but longer to make the routine stick, especially since they would be breaking that with the retreat. She nodded and smiled towards him as she watched James tuck their son in with some blankets and her eyes remained on him as he shed his clothes. It had been a while since they had shared a room and it had been equally as long that they had been intimate with each other.
Those nerves peaked again when he climbed into bed next to her but he seemed to hesitate initially but eventually gave in, drawing her closer to him for a kiss as she felt his hand caress the exposed skin on her lower back. Lexia sighed into the kiss and brought a hand up to rest on his jaw. [B "I missed you too James."] And she meant it. The last month or so had not been what she wanted at all. She wished that she could have gone back in time and changed things but the fact of the matter was, he couldn't. Perhaps they would come out of this stronger for trying to keep their marriage together at the most difficult part. She kissed him once more to show him that she really meant it, that she really had missed him.
James had placed Mason in the crib then and bundled him under the covers. “Well I guess yeah, he’s getting much bigger and sleeping more through the night,” James said. He shed his shirt then, pants following until in his shorts. He headed over to the bed and got under the covers then, hands behind his forehead as he watched Lexia.” Well it’s in two weeks. If we’re bringing him along, guess it’s a matter of taking that step when we get home.”James has every intention of making sure that this retreat worked out and they’d be back to normal to remain normal upon returning. That would fortunately be just enough time for him to get the restaurant all set for him being gone.
He bit down gently on his lip as he watched Lexia. It had been a while since they were alone together in their bedroom. Often he had tried his hardest not to be in her way. He’d wake early to shower or grab some clothes, but for the most part had been asleep on the couch. He reached his arms lit for Lexia, drawing her in for a kiss as his hands risked softly against her lower back. “I missed you,” he admitted to her.
Lexia felt the butterflies in her stomach awaken more with each and every kiss. That is how she knew that she loved him. Even now, she still got those butterflies and she truly hoped they would never go away. She smiled after their kiss and nodded as his suggestion before making her way upstairs. It was a strange feeling, to feel nervous about sharing a bed with the man she was married to but she supposed that this was like their relationship starting over again.
When she got upstairs, she changed into some pyjamas and climbed into bed. Her nerves multiplied as she waited for him and she chuckled to herself when she recalled the last time she felt like this was when they first had sex together. She ran her hand over her face and shook her head and composed herself when she heard footsteps.
[B "Mason should be sleeping in his own room soon. He doesn't really need to share our room anymore. I think it will help us too. When is this retreat? Maybe after then we start putting him in the nursery?"]
James smiled and kissed Leia again, gently rolling his forehead against hers. He was glad to find that Lexia was willing to trust him still and love him. He pressed his hands against her face and kissed her again, chuckling as he watched Lexia, smiling as though her request was even really needed. He missed Lexia and he hated the idea that they weren’t sleeping with one another. James let his hands drop to rest along her waist “I’ll always love you,” James said.
“So, how about you head upstairs, I’ll uh get Mason for you,” James said with a smile. He was a bit nervous honestly which was funny and strange to think considering that he was married to Lexia and it shouldn’t be stressful to be sleeping with your own wife. Though, truthfully it was like they were when they first started dating. They would be getting to know one another again and try to really come to terms to the bad parts of their marriage and how to get through them in a healthy manner.
James gathered Mason together then, thankfully he was asleep, and he was sleeping a bit more throughout the night. James thought of the man his son would be, he wanted to make good on his promise to raise Mason to be better than him. He headed upstairs eventually to meet Lexia in their room. He smiled when he saw her, and it felt nice once more to be welcomed. He’d hated those nights of sleeping alone on the couch away from Lexia and his son.
Lexia was filled with love as she watched Mason with James. This was all she ever wanted and when she saw them together like that she forgot everything that had become a problem over the last few months. She sighed and she stood when James did, watching him place Mason down and before long he was walking towards her and she felt this familiar butterflies in her stomach as he neared her. It was obvious her feelings hadn't gone anywhere.
His hand came to her hair and brushed it out if the way and she found herself melting into his kiss as he kissed her deeply enough to awaken all the feelings she had tried to push aside. She out her arms around him and stepped closer, wanting to take the moment as it was. Lexia pulled away after a moment and then allowed her head to rest in his forehead.
[B "I do love you James. I'll always love you."] She smiled and placed another gentle kiss on his lips. [B "Can we...go back to sharing a room?"[
He watched as Mason managed to wiggle himself over and it did make him overwhelmingly happy to see how he was growing. Mason had managed to get to him, his hands struggling to grasp James’ large hand that as offered. He watched as those tiny fingers wrapped tightly around just a few of his own and chuckled as he drew Mason into his lap. He pressed a kiss to his forehead, watching as the young boy smiled, a bit tuckered out and nuzzled close with a yawn.
“If that’s what you want then sure,” he told Lexia with a smile. James was tired of all the arguing. He didn’t want to make it seem like this relationship was to go his way or no way at all. He cared about Lexia and Mason – his family and he didn’t want to lose them. Things were in a way working with Gianna and Delilah and if Gianna was really dating again, maybe she had gotten over James. Now he could focus on his relationship and improving it. The life he saw with him and Lexia was a forever fairytale and he was dedicated to making sure that happened.
He came to a stand to place Mason in his napper before walking over to Lexia. “This will all get better,” he said, willing it into the world. He smiled, looking into those beautiful light eyes. His hands brushed the hair out of her face as he kissed her deeply. He couldn’t lose Lexia, James would do whatever it took to keep her with him. He was fortunate to have had her stay with him for this long as he worked his way through being a man and being a father, but he had always known since they first met that she was the one for him.
Lexia was not opposed to the idea of a retreat at all. If anything she was very surprised that he would even suggest something like that considering how much he tended to avoid talking about anything. He would hardly ever talk to her, so to suggest a retreat where they would be expected to do just that was not something she ever expected.
Her eyes wondered down the Mason crawling around when he made several noises of frustration about not being able to get off his back but James corrected him and she smiled as he easily Mason made James happy. She looked back up and James when he started to talk again, this time of the restaurant and how well it seemed to be doing. He was right to suggest that this restaurant always did well and she would be lying if she didn't hold some guilt about the second restaurant and its failure. She had been the one to suggest the venture in the first place and she had been the who had researched everything and made the move happen. Lexia felt responsible for that and how it had ultimately led to James being as stressed as he was.
[B "I think it sounds like a good idea. I just don't want to leave Mason with my Mom. She lives so far away now and I don't want to drag her all the way here. We can take him with us."] She smiled a little and noticed that Mason and crawled his way over to her and was trying to climb up her lap. She reached down and picked him up to place a kiss upon his cheek. [B "Well done my handsome boy. Go back to Daddy."] She said softly as she placed him in the floor facing James and the boy started to crawl happily.
“Well I mean, I’m sure your mom can watch him or – I mean we can bring him. We can work something out,” James suggested. “I just thought it would be best for us to get out you know?” James had hopes that they could rally revamp this marriage and get back to how they were if not better. He watched Mason crawling around, sometimes rolling over and trying his hardest to get back to a crawling position. James at that point had gently rolled the man over onto his stomach before bringing him in close. He smiled at the young boy, he had Lexia’s eyes which he was happy about – so calm and endearing.
“I mean this restaurant has always done well. Gianna is expecting to go back to work soon, but Daniel has really taken to being manager. I’d do anything for our marriage,” Jams said then. “I think we – I’ve been running from a lot of problems and I think our mistake initially was just getting over everything hat happened without actually getting to the bottom of it.” His affair and the baby, James felt like Lexia was taking it too well and he knew that his anger wasn’t helping but sometimes he just wanted more of a reaction out of Lexia.
Him keeping the news of the financial destruction from her wasn’t because he was all about being this big bad wolf, but he also knew that Lexia would only try to make the situation seem like it wasn’t as bad as it was. Je knew she had to have some kind of resentment toward him when it came his affair and the child born from it.
This felt this a huge relief. Although it was clear things were not going to be the same instantly, this would take some time to repair but their marriage was worth so much more than letting it fall apart. She loved him more than she loved anything or anyone else aside from their son and in fact, she loved him more for giving her a son.
For now she allowed herself to be held by him, tears stinging her eyes as he kept apologising to her. After a while he pulled back and kissed her, something else that had been missing from their relationship for some time. All she knew now, was that they were going to work on things. Their marriage was worth working on and she was sure that things would get better.
James offered to clean up the kitchen and she took Mason and Delilah in the living room to play together until Gianna picked her up. James joined them after that, playing with his son who was crawling around so much more these days.
She was surprised to hear the next words coming out of his mouth. [B "A counselling retreat? What would we do with Mason?" Can you afford to take the time off work?"]
James held Lexia close to him then, his arms tightening around her body as though she would disappear. He hated to think that it came down to this ultimately, but he would have rather they go through this now than to be stubborn and to keep hiding from one another. Tiptoeing around each other, not saying anything and sleeping away from one another: James hated it. His lips kissed at Lexia’s cheeks, the salt from her tears resting on his lips before being licked away as he rocked her gently.
“I don’t want to lose you. I will be here - I’ll always be here,” James promised as he buried his nose into Lexia’s neck. He missed holding her this close and dammit it felt so weird being so vulnerable and yet he wouldn’t allow himself to pull back. He had to be vulnerable with Lexia. If James couldn’t be honest with his own wife, then what was the purpose of being married?
“I’m so sorry,” he said to her then with a sigh as he pulled away and kissed her lips. “I’m so so sorry,” he told her as he held her close to him. It would be a long road to recovery for their marriage, but James was willing to do whatever it would take, and he was not one to easily give up when it came to Lexia.
Night soon came and he took the initiative to clean up. Delilah had been picked up by Gianna and Mason was crawling around, he was gaining more independence. James wanted to make good on his promise of going to counseling though ad had even reached out to his friend for some advice.
“So,” he told Lexia as he played with his son in the living room, “there’s a counseling retreat if you want to go? It’s a week only and Gianna seems to be okay with it.”
Lexia was not accusing him of anything, she was clearly letting him know that she wasn't going to trap him in a marriage if he didn't want her anymore. Although it seemed as though her words were not needed because he was very quick to tell her that he didn't want anyone else. She didn't want to doubt him and honestly when he spoke his truth she believed it. Lexia couldn't believe he would continue to lie to her so she accepted what he was saying to be true. He was finally being honest and telling her how he was truly feeling.
This was all Lexia had ever wanted, for him to open up to her and be honest about their relationship and the fact that he actually needed help. The emotion was all too much and she couldn't stop the tears from falling no matter how much she tried. She swallowed hard and held in to his hand a little tighter.
[B "James...."] A sigh escaped her and she felt truly exhausted, not even sure if there were any words that would be able to formulate a sentence good enough to explain how she felt. Instead, she moved towards him and wrapped her arms around him and it felt like a rush of oxygen, like she had been holding her breath until this very moment. [B "I can't lose you."]
“I don’t want anyone else but you, and our son.” James had said then. It was understandable that Lexia would have some doubts about James and his ability to remain faithful to their marriage, considering that the presence of Delilah was a reminder that they could never escape the facts of James’ infidelity. Still, he loved his wife and he had remained solely connected to her since ending things with Gianna. It was a herd pill to swallow, but he did have to spend some time with his old lover for the sake of the child they had.
“I know I don’t manage my feelings very well and just – everything got to be too much; a father of two kids and two restaurants and making sur you were happy. I -I just it all became overwhelming. But I know I was foolish not to come to you. You’re my wife and there were plenty of times I made an attempt to ask for help but my pride held me back,” James told Lexia then. He could tell she was fighting back tears. At this point they both were watery eyed, and it was the most vulnerable they both had been with one another at the same time since Lexia learning of his affair. He wasn’t that man anymore and while he had his faults, he was trying. He just couldn’t fathom or accept Lexia leaving his life though.
“Whatever it takes to keep this marriage going and to not see you in pain,” he said choking on his words. “I’ll do it Lexia.”
It was as though she could see the relief and the stress leave him when she said her words. Their eyes connected and she felt that familiar tug at her heart as she looked at him. She had never stopped loving him and she knew that she never would. He was the first man she had ever fallen in love with and wanted to fight for him but he needed to fight for her too because it was becoming exhausting feeling alone in this.
She sighed as he placed a kiss upon her hand. It had felt like forever since he had touched her in such a way and she had to close her eyes for a minute to commit the feeling to memory, as though she might never have that feeling again. After a moment she opened her eyes again, evidence of tears stinging her eyes as she did, but she didn't want to cry anymore.
[B "It's not about me being disappointed James, I'm worried that we are just going to keep going round in circles. I don't want you to say you want this marriage but because of Mason or something. It's not healthy for us to keep going if you want something or someone else."] She didn't know if he anger stemmed from the fact that Gianna was dating someone knew. It could very well have been jealously.
James was glad to hear that Lexia didn’t want a divorce. He sighed with relief when looking to her and meeting her eyes he fell in love with her all over again if that were at all even possible. James wanted to reach to take her hand, but still felt like the wounds of their fight was too raw and not yet healed.
“I’ll – I don’t know maybe we need counselling?” He suggested. “Or me?” he finished with a sad chuckle. “I know my drinking hasn’t helped and I’m trying to get a hold of it. I just don’t want you to give up on me. I know what we have is special and I really want us to make it work.” He was scared and nervous, but James did end up reaching out to take Lexia’s hand. His lips pressed against her knuckles. He could feel the cold of her ring then and even James hadn’t ever taken his off.
“I promise Lexia, just give me another chance. I won’t disappoint you again,” he said to her, eyes closed and holding her hand tightly. James had a family, he had to take better care of himself if he expected to be around as much as he wanted. His restaurant had failed, but it wasn’t the end and with Lexia at his side, he knew they could recrate the success with his first restaurant.
“And I miss sleeping with you,” he said with a smile. “I miss seeing you smile and hearing your laugh.” For the most part around him it was quiet, James would often sneak up on her when with Mason just to hear the tenderness in her voice.
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