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Milli gave herself a final look over and a spritz if perfume to match the look. She gave a small smile before heading downstairs and seeing Bradley dressed similar to the sort of attire that Nathan wore and she kissed his cheek, careful not to leave a smudge of lipstick behind as she looked to see Evelyn enjoying some fruit in a high chair. Her eyes finally rested on Nathan and she smiled softly.
“Well, look at you.” She said softly, Nathan still managed to take her breath away and she wrapped her arms around him.
“You look great.” She murmured, looking him over. He looked tired and Milli felt a pang of guilt at leaving him with everything today and she sighed softly. He had done great today and she really did feel so proud of him after everything he had been through and he had come out somehow more wonderful than ever before. How had she lost sight of that?
“How’d I get so lucky?” She asked him quietly, her eyes trailing over him. Neither of them were the same as when they met but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Nathan got the kids settled. Milli was soon getting ready with Nadia and he eventually sent Violet and Elsa to their mother’s room to join the ladies in getting ready. His mother wasn’t feeling that much up to it, but at least he got her out of the room. She wanted to be a part of the festivities, though had cuddled under her blanket to show she was going to be a bit tamer with it came to the part behavior.
Nathan and Bradley headed upstairs where they washed up while his mother took care of Evelyn. It was a lot of work and Nathan was struggling some to keep up and make sure dinner wasn’t going to burn, but eventually he was able to get them all settled. He dressed Eve in a cute pair of black tights with a white dress and a gold heart on the front. Her hair was getting a bit longer, now able to fit into two curly ponytails. Bradley by now was used to dressing himself and Nathan enjoyed seeing his style develop and change over the last few months. Not one for stuffy wear, much like his father, Bradley dressed in a black sweater and a pair of light brown pants – a very neutral fancy look. He’d refused shoes though, his socks having little elephants on theme which demonstrated his youth.
Nathan was wiped out by then, but still put some effort into getting ready, He changed into a pair of black slats and a cream-colored dress shirt, combing through his curls to pull them into a sleek ponytail. He had been debating whether to cut his hair as the strands were getting longer. He’d headed downstairs then. Evelyn didn’t want to leave his side and Bradley was taking advantage of the tv before the guests arrived which would be soon. The little girl followed him around the kitchen until he got her settled with some small pieces of fruit in her highchair.
Milli smiled to Nathan,
“I wouldn’t have it any other way.” She said softly to him before returning his kiss and looking up as she heard Evelyn crying and she watched Nathan, nodding to him as she got to her feet. She headed up for a shower, taking her time to make sure she was groomed and she wrapped a robe around herself before heading into the bedroom and blow drying her hair, smoothing it down a little. She sat at one of the desks and organised her makeup as she applied some. She figured New Year’s Eve was an amazing time of year so why not go all out.
Milli decided on gold eyeshadow to match the gold hinge on the dress before adding some eyeliner, smiling a little as she picked up her makeup bag and knocked on Nadia’s door, leaving the makeup bag with her so she could use some of her colours just in case.
Milli settles for a darker lip, changing into the dress and smoothing it down as she left her hair down as well. Most shoots and events she always had her hair up and twisted intricately. It was nice to just leave it down for a while. Milli eyed her reflection and gave a few final touch ups with perfume and such.
“Two against one? I hardly think that’s fair; you’re supposed to be on my side.” He told Milli with a fake pout. He made himself a cup of tea as well, enjoying being with Milli after a busy day. Bradley was full of energy and the time they spent together he learned he could be chatting your head off. Nathan didn’t mind though; these were moments that he wished he could have had with his father. His sister stuck her tongue out at him and had headed toward the bathroom.
“It was enjoyable; Bradley made you a little wooden house, it’s upstairs.” He chuckled. “Don’t tell him I told you, it was supposed to be a surprise.” He kissed Milli’s forehead. He had missed her, but he was glad to know that she was enjoying herself with Nadia. The two didn’t get to see each other that often, but their bond was growing. “How was shopping?”
Nathan’s eyes looked down at Milli’s hands, playing with his own. It was a small bit of contact, one that some may find insignificant, but for Nathan it meant a lot. He placed his mug down and drew her in, his arms wrapped around her waist. “It’s bn quite a year hasn’t it?” He said with a smile, leaning into kiss Milli. The moment lasted for a while before Nathan heard Evelyn crying, which soon had Bradley and the girls calling for assistance. He figured Eve got too bold with hanging with the big kids. He held Milli tight to him, groaning a little as he peeled himself away from Milli.
“I’ll take care of it – you go get ready.” He said with a smile, kissing Milli’s cheek. “Okay, what’s going on?” Nathan asked as he entered the living room, picking up a sniffling Evelyn and laid her head on his chest. He managed to get everyone settled and calm. Nathan couldn’t believe how he had grown through this time, as a father especially.
Milli looked to Nathan as he drew her in and she smiled as she kissed his lips softly. She broke off and giggled,
“She’s right, it’s a surprise.” She said playfully and made some tea and coffee up as she sat with her tea and looked to the kids together and she sighed out softly. They had all made it through a year and that was wonderful, all of their children were healthy and they’d all had their own fair share of heartbreak and hardships but it was nice for them to be all sitting here.
Milli finished her tea and let Nadia go for a shower first as she looked to Nathan, smiling softly to him.
“How was your quiet morning?” She asked him, shifting to sit next to him, resting her head on his shoulder and smiling softly as they watched Evelyn and Bradley. She knew these sort of events mist have been hard for him with his sobriety but he was doing so well and sometimes she did wish they could have a drink together as a couple but it wasn’t worth losing him over again.
She pressed a kiss to his cheek and relaxed in his company, enjoying the moment with him as she played lazily with his fingers. Their year could have turned out so different, and sometimes she didn’t ever see an end in sight and all she wanted was Nathan by her side always and their children.
Nathan and Bradley had gotten everything cleaned up, toys put away and the table set. He tried to make more space by moving the placement of the couches considering that there would be a few extra people who were going to be showing up, mostly Nadia’s friends and coworkers. Nathan didn’t mind. Despite his lack of decent social interactions during these situations, he wanted to have a good time and he felt like Milli and him should interact more with others outside of work. He was happy to see Nadia and Milli getting along and it was a bit disappointing that they didn’t love closer to each other.
Banners had been set with streamers and balloons – Bradley having a great time overseeing the latter. He made him a sandwich to relax in front of the tv while he had started to prep dinner. Nathan by this time would been a few drinks in and he knew he was distracting himself. Holidays were the toughest times for him. He thought about Christmas – how easy it would have ben to ask Derek for a sip of his flask.
He was glad for the distraction of the girls arriving. His nieces had rushed in, happy to spend time with Bradley. “Hey,” he said, Nathan feeling a bit needy and drawing Milli to him for a proper kiss. “What’d you get?” He asked as he pulled away, Milli continuing to get the kettle ready.
“It’s a surprise,” Nadia said with a glare. Nathan rolled his eyes, drying his hands off and making sure the timer was set. He didn’t know how he would react with Derek there as he hadn’t exactly gotten over what he did to his sister.
Milli smiled to Nadia, she knew that Bradley could be a handful and she had no doubts that high school would be the toughest time for the poor boy, as it was for many.
"He dotes on Evelyn, I just hope it isn't too bad." Milli was prepared for the worst but she wasn't sure if she could ever truly prepare for such situations. Then again, they had gotten through so much so it was only right they got through Bradley and high school. It was a way off though.
Milli finished up and Evelyn seemed much happier now, clapping her hands and giggling as Milli paid and they all headed back. Milli figured her and Nadia could use Nadia's room for hair and makeup. Milli stepped inside and smiled,
"Hey, look at you two, this place looks great!" She said with a smile as she looked around. Everything seemed okay and Milli was glad Bradley seemed to have been behaving himself.
Milli figured she would go for a shower soon and start getting ready but a cup of tea was in order and she looked to Nadia,
"I'll put the kettle on." She said and kissed Nathan's cheek.
Nadia blushed as she looked to Milli. She was glad to know that she still had style and Milli only furthered the thought and belief that she had made a great decision. “You really think so?” She asked as she turn dot look at herself in the mirror. It felt nice just having girl time and Nadia was actually sad at the thought of knowing that it was just for a weekend. She wished they lived closer to one another. As her family helped her through this difficult time, it was becoming clear how important it was to be surrounded by loved ones. Soon they were at the register checking out, Nadia paying for their outfits.
“Nathan is going to love you in that dress,” she said. They still had much time before the party, but Nadia found herself so excited at having a little girls night. Getting together and drinking while getting ready made her feel young again.
They’d settled in the parlor, enjoying their treat. The girls were relieved to have been rewarded for their patience and being good while thy ewer out. They could be a handful. “I don’t know how you do it,” she said with a smile and shake of her head. “I can imagine Bradly will be a handful when he’s older, Nathan was – well you know.” She shrugged, leaving the words unsaid. She could only hope that Bradley’s teen years wouldn’t be as chaotic ads Nathan’s and he wouldn’t have to deal with therapy and medication. He seemed better though and she could only thank Milli for that – getting Nathan through this tough time She’d been surprised he was dealing with sobriety so well.
Nathan and Bradley were very much enjoying themselves. They’d finish construction of the replica cottage before finally heading inside of the home. Nathan placed the little wooden house on the table, prepping something for lunch. His mother was still in bed which worried Nathan as she hadn’t looked so good and not much energy to eat.
“Don’t worry about me,” she said. She was just tired she tried to excuse. Once bundling her up after helping her drink some water, he left the room. Bradley had put a smile on his face, and he did his best to relax and think the best. Tomorrow was the beginning of a new year; it was no time for negative thoughts. “C’mon we should start setting up,” he said then in regards to getting the house together.
Milli looked over when she saw Nadia and grinned,
“Wow!” She said, “Where have you been hiding all this? You look stunning Nadia! I’ve seen catwalk models that would kill to look good in that!” Milli said and she was being honest. If Derek didn’t realise what a total idiot he had been to leave her in the first place then there was something wrong with the man.
“That will absolutely turn heads tonight!” She beamed and looked to the girls. Evelyn was taking a nap in the stroller, officially over the shopping trip and Milli didn’t seem to mind fully.
Milli smiled at her,
“I vote you should absolutely get that and I can help with makeup and stuff. You should definitely try a wave in your hair tonight.” She said and it felt nice to just have girl talk for the first time in a while. She decided to get the black and gold dress, looking to Evelyn as she scowled on waking up. She giggled a little,
“We’ll share an ice cream and the ice cream is definitely my treat!” She remarked as she looked to Evelyn and then Nadia and the girls. She followed them down to parkour, tucking the bags in the pram and she supposed it was a good perk to having the stroller with them.
She settled at a seat in the parlour and figured they were in no massive rush to get home given it was still early for now. She helped Evelyn with her ice cream and the toddler seemed to enjoy it as she smacked her lips and Milli was careful to clean her mouth and face.
“Seems like they grow up far too quickly. Bradley will be in high school before we know it, your two will be dancing up a storm on Broadway no doubt.” Milli said to Nadia.
Nadia looked down at the garment I her hands. She was a bit skeptical as it was something different, but she figured that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. It was cute and causal, but the plunging neckline did make it a bit more daring and she knew that it was bound to catch Derek’s eye. She nibbled on her bottom lip in thought, adding it to her pile. She turned her attention back to Milli. “Really, I thought that was just talk.” She closed her eyes and shook her head. “Sorry, it’s – you know everyone reads all that garbage media and I’m a part of that group.” It was a stupid way of thinking, but it was interesting to know that celebrities too suffered from the same problems as the everyday person. “Well, you never know what life will bring,” she said with a smile. Both of her pregnancies had to some degree been unplanned, but both her and Derek loved their daughters more than life. She couldn’t imagine the pain that would come with really wanting a baby and having a hard time conceiving.
“Show off those legs then!” Nadia said with a giggle as they started to head toward the dressing rooms. She didn’t like the two dresses she had, a bit too plain for her and too professional. She wanted Derek to scream wow when he saw her. The jumpsuit had been something that Nadia wouldn’t have in her closet. It was tapered perfectly, hitting her ankle which meant with heels or flats, she didn’t have to worry about it dragging around. Breastfeeding had certainly an effect on her chest, but she wasn’t complaining. She let her hair down and looked into the mirror before stepping out. “Whatdya think?” The girls were over it by this point, lounging on the couches with no energy until Nadia promised ice cream if they sat up proper.
Milli followed Nadia around and eyed a few things. It was always difficult to choose outfits because when it was big events like awards or exhibitions, it was always gowns and suits. This was a lot more casual and she didn’t remember the last time things had been casual for her. She looked to Nadia as she eyed the jumpsuit,
“Now that is making a statement. You should try it on first.” Milli said and smiled a little, Milli hadn’t ever had siblings and it was a really lovely feeling to be around Nadia and shopping and doing what sisters did whilst the kids kept themselves amused. She looked to Evelyn and sighed softly.
“I uh,” She looked thoughtful. Evelyn had been premature, and they had tried so hard for her. But another baby sounded wonderful but she had to weigh out the risks that would entail.
“I have problems conceiving. I’m not against another baby, Bradley loves being an older brother and Nathan is an amazing father, really but I wouldn’t want to disappoint anyone.” She explained quietly as she eyed a rack and pulled out a sleek, black and gold dress, raising an eyebrow.
“You know, this is the first casual event I’ve had in a long while, I think Nathan has forgotten what my legs look like.” She said with a giggle as they headed to the changing rooms, Evelyn babbling in her pram happily. Milli stepped inside and eyed the dress as she slipped it on, it was a nice fit and was strapless and she had to admit she really liked it. She stepped out and smoothed it over as she eyed the mirror.
“Let’s see then.” She called to Nadia.
Nathan looked to Bradley as he watched them drive off. “Behave ourselves?” He repeated with a smirk toward Bradley. He watched as Bradley broke into a fit of giggles, the both of them heading back into the house. He figured Bradly had enough screen time and wanted them and figured that’d be easy enough for Bradley to get into. He thought it would be a nice project from the both of them. Nathan also wanted to talk more about school and with some hope, delve into his feelings about Charlotte. He didn’t know if Bradley didn’t care or if he was still upset of her leaving to talk about how he felt. Nathan suggested they make a little replica of the cottage, Milli would like that. They’d reached the first store, Nadia putting thee car and park. Once everyone was all out, she slung her purse over her shoulder, taking the girls hands as they crossed the parking lot.
“I was thinking maybe a dress. I don’t want to seem like I’m trying too hard you know?” She chuckled and rolled her eyes. “Even though I am.” She figured for the sake of her children she should give Derek a second chance. Nadia still loved him, and she believed in her heart that he loved her too. Maybe this was the wakeup call they both needed – she believed they both at some point had stopped trying in their relationship. Nadia had become bitter, drowning away in wine until nothing seemed wrong and Derek had decided to sleep with the woman, she paid to watch their children. She’d sacrificed a lot, but love wasn’t easy was it?
The girls were more than happy to get into shopping and while Nadia kept an eye on the little girls, they still took free reign of her being distracted by Milli. They played in between the racks, before finally exhausted taking a seat and playing with their iPad. Milli’s presence made a big difference in her life and she was happy to be able to have someone who could give her sound and unbias advice.
She pulled a hanger; it was midnight blue jumpsuit made of a beautiful; and soft nearly sheer glittery fabric. “Too much?” she asked. “And make sure you get something too! My treat, I won’t take no for an answer.” She told Milli as she began to pick up some more things. She playfully bopped Evelyn’s nose, the little girl giggling then. “Do you think you’re going to have another baby? If I know Nathan, he certainly is already planning for one,” Nadia said.
Milli raised an eyebrow, the nanny? Yikes. She couldn’t blame Nadia for being mad at that one, Milli would have been furious. She wasn’t sure getting back together for the sake of the kids was a good idea but she figured Nadia was using it as an excuse. She sighed out, maybe when they actually saw each other it would be different. Milli looked over to Nathan when he came out,
“I was going to pop back in.” She defended with a small smile as she felt his lips on hers.
“Don’t work too hard, and behave yourselves.” She said with an amused smile as she leaned down to hug Bradley tightly before getting into the car and looking thoughtful as they headed off. Nadia knew the best areas a lot better for shopping and Milli was content just to relax for a while as Evelyn babbled in the back seat.
“Well, we will make sure you look gorgeous and I’m sure everything will sort itself out.” They would need to talk and the ball was in Nadia’s court. Derek wanted her back and it was Nadia’s decision right then, she held all the cards. She stretched as they parked up.
“Alright, what are you thinking? Maybe a nice jumpsuit or dress?” Nadia’s has a great figure and Milli wanted her to show it off because why not? It probably wasn’t often that they got to dress up like this.
Nadia had changed into a sweater dress with tights underneath and a pair of sneakers. Her hair had been tied up in a ponytail. It was nice getting out and having someone to hang with. She had friends at work, but most were divorced and ready to party. That was a hard life for Nadia who had two kids. Not to mention she was completely over the clubbing aspect of her life – her twenties were fading away and while she was down for fun, she had slowly turned into the wine drinking book club mom. Maybe she had become too tame for Derek. Seeing him tonight made her nervous and she didn’t know what was to come of things.
“I did, he says he’s coming.” Nadia said. “I want to get back with him for the girl’s sake, but I don’t want him to think that I’m always going to wait around. I mean – she was our nanny for fucks sake.” Nadia closed the door so the girls couldn’t her, sighing out with red cheeks “Sorry, guess it still gets me mad,” she admitted.
By the time Nathan had come from checking on his mother, he found Bradley in the kitchen and the girls gone. He chuckled and looked toward Bradley, who was very much involved in his game. “Where are the girls?” He asked, slowly starting to gather everything to put away.
‘They’re going on a girl’s day,” Bradley said, sticking his tongue out. Nathan couldn’t help but chuckle, soon enough he’d to some degree start to lose that childhood innocence that made being friends with girls easy. Still, they were his family and Nathan knew from his own experience, you could have. a lot of fun with your cousins once you were older. They were growing, and there wasn’t anything the parents could do about it. After placing the dishes in the sink, Nathan headed outside to see the girls packing up the car.
“You were going to leave without so much as a goodbye?” He said with a raised brow, playful grin on his face. It would be different for him and Bradley to hang alone. Evelyn could be a handful and Nathan doted on her. He kissed Milli then. “Have fun,” he said. It was nice to see her back in action and going out, her healing after the accident going well. Nathan wasn’t happy about the Derek station, but he wasn’t his sister – he wasn’t a woman at ll. Hopefully Milli would be of sound advice.
Milli smiled to Nathan, his success was his own and she would never encroach on it. He had every right to be proud of himself after this year. She took Evelyn in her arms and smiled, stroking the girls dark hair and looking to Nadia,
“Of course, that sounds like a great idea.” She said and Bradley huffed and groaned,
“Maybe Bradley can stay here then.” She giggled, “Have a girls day out as long as he stays out of mischief.” She knew fine well Bradley would just want to stay on his games console.
“Sounds great. I’ll go out some clothes on and we can head in.” She was glad Nadia wanted to dress up and she was a gorgeous woman after all. Milli knew how easy it was to feel unattractive after a while and like you were unimportant. She figured she might get herself something nice to wear for tonight too, why not?
Milli got Evelyn changed and into something cute before changing into a pair of jeans and tying her hair back.
“I have some great makeup, half of it I don’t use so you can use it and keep it here.” She said to Nadia as she came downstairs, Evelyn in her arms. She helped get the car loaded up and strapped Evelyn in, glancing to Nadia,
“Did you speak with Derek?” She asked, putting on some kids music so the kids would be distracted in the back.
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