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“Sure, I’ll get them home and settled to bed after some food. Take your time.” Milli said to Nathan as she kissed his cheek and smiled softly.
“I’ll wait up.” She remarked with a playful giggle. As a woman, she appreciated seeing Nathan so done up and handsome, she appreciated it as a woman and as his wife. She looked to Bradley and smiled,
“Come on, sweetheart, let’s get you home for some toast and bed.” She murmured as she took his hand. She looked to Evelyn who fussed a little at being taken from her father and she smoothed her slightly as she headed out and got into the transport home.
Once inside, she got Bradley some toast and Evelyn some yogurt, both of them struggling to keep their eyes open. Milli settled them into bed and made sure they were both relaxed and comfortable. She was careful to undo her necklace and set it away carefully as she undid her earrings and she sighed out contently. She put some tea on and changed into some comfortable clothes with nice undergarments, figuring that the kids were asleep and the night had been successful.
She sat on the couch and took a drink of tea, careful to listen in case either of the kids got up. They seemed settled and she looked to Nathan’s studio, smiling a little to herself.
“All thanks to you,” he told Milli with a smile, kissing her gently. He played a little with the diamonds along her neck. It was small token of his love for her, something that he could use to show how he cared. Though nothing could ever fully encompass how he felt for his wife. Bradley was happy to have something to snack on and the apples won him over for the mean time. Nathan was glad to see that he enjoyed the spot like, well at least that he wasn’t taken aback by it. Of course, considering how protective Milli and him were over their children, the press was eating up the chance of getting pictures of the children during Nathan’s speech. Evelyn was growing impatient but had calmed some when he gave her attention. What few words she knew she certainly babbled on happily. Though once the interview was over, she was all over Milli with tears starting, starving and tired.
“I’ve still got some people to talk to. You guys should go home, Bradley looks like he’s waiting to bit someone soon,” he told Milli with a smile. He didn’t want the kids up late and he suspected Milli had to be tired too as she had done most of the work in making sure the day went by smoothly. “I shouldn’t be long,” he promised her. Nathan kissed Evelyn, which calmed her down nicely. He was glad that they were all there together. “You’ll be alright yes?” he asked her.
With the final investors he talked to, he figured that they would be set. Not to mention he had talked to Sharon about teaching and a director was one of the finest universities had dropped by, very interested in Nathan and helping him reach that goal.
Milli watched Saiorse and nodded before looking to Nathan. She looked to Sharon and smiled a little, watching Nathan as he gave his speech and she was so proud of him. She waited until he was finished and he looked so wonderful standing with their daughter in his arms and she leaned in kissed his lips. She looked to Bradley and smiled softly.
“Hungry?” She asked him and watched him nod. She knew that the posh food wasn’t quite what little boys liked to eat and she rummaged in her purse, prepared for this as she handed him a bag of apple slices and kissed his forehead. These events could be long and she had no doubt she would head home with the kids before Nathan was finished up and she didn’t mind. She looked to Nathan again,
“I’m so proud of you, Nate.” She murmured softly. His third exhibit in a year and a half, that was such a beautiful achievement.
“You’ve done amazing.” She said to him and smiled. The press of course wanted to run stories and Nathan was going to be the talk of art community and she couldn’t be prouder but it did unsettle her what Nulia had said but she wasn’t going to let it show. This was his night and nothing was going to spoil it.
Julia couldn’t stop the look of shock crossing her face then at Milli’s statement but hid it with a smile. It was true, no matter how rich or famous Julia was – it would always remain true that Nathan had chosen Milli. While Julia wanted to play queen bee, she would forever be reminded of the fact that there was no competition between the two, as Milli had won. Nathan had arrived in what seemed like perfect timing. He kissed Milli on the lips then, taking the eager Evelyn out of her arms. He looked to the two women then, offering a kind smile – it was as weird vibe going on, but no yelling or hitting surprisingly as he knew Julia’s style. He tried to not treat the situation so hostile even though it was a bit weird to be near Saoirse again. He watched as she blushed in his presence and yet had trouble meeting his eyes.
“Really great work,” she said to Nathan.
“Thanks Saoirse.” He looked up at Julia, though the smile on hr face let him know that she was here to be seen and heard, but certainly not on behalf of Nathan.
“Well, you have improved,” she told him before giving Milli one last glare and turning on her heel. It was the [I easiest] conversation the lot of them had and that was saying something certainly. Bradley had returned with Michael and he could tell the young boy was hungry and not a fan of the tartar or little finger sandwiches.
Saoirse had turned to face Milli, her gentle grab for attention as she handed her a card. It was unusual to find those who were genuinely nice in this industry, but sometimes you had to fake it to make it right? Saoirse had heard a lot about Milli from Julia, and it didn’t seem like much if any of it had been true.
“Thanks,” she said softly. “I – just thanks.” Saoirse had placed the card in her bag, walking off then to mingle amongst the big pool of people to which her career depended on. How had Milli done it?
“Everything alright?” He asked Milli, not believing for a second that Julia was pleasant at all.
“Nathan,” Sharon called, tapping her watch. He smiled at Milli.
“This is it,” he said as he took her hand. The speech wasn’t that long, Nathan a man of beautiful words, but certainly not a fan of speaking in front of a crowd. He’d done well though, greatly improving. He knew it had everything to do with Milli. The new year was just around the corner and soon they’d have time to themselves.
Milli watched Julia as she spoke. She didn’t say anything incorrect and she swallowed slightly. The hair, the eyes... She wanted to tell her she was wrong, tell her she was out of line but she couldn’t, because everything she said was right and there was something distinctly unsettling about Julia and Saiorse having the same experience with her husband. Milli watched Julia and Saiorse, perhaps not blaming Saiorse as much as Julia.
“You’re right.” She said to Julia, she hadn’t come all this way with Nathan to let Julia get to her.
“But he did some tho different with me.” She remarked and eyed Julia over.
“He married me.” She said and looked to Saiorse, giving her a polite nod before hearing Evelyn calling for her father and she turned to see Nathan. She gave him a smile,
“Hey.” She greeted and looked to Nathan before looking back to Julia and Saiorse,
“They were just admiring your work.” She said, half daring Julia to say anything to the contrary.
She felt bad for Saiorse and she caught the woman by the arm, handing Evelyn to Nathan,
“Be careful with Julia. Here, this is my agent.” She said as she rummaged through her purse,
“She’ll get you amazing gigs, alright? Don’t be in Julia’s shadow forever.” She murmured and handed her the card with a small smile. Saiorse was young and Julia seemed to enjoy picking on the young and new lambs that came up. Milli had wasted so much time in her shadow and probably missed out on opportunities because of it.
“Lovely name,” she said as she reached out to grab the little girl’s hand, surprised when she pulled away and snuggled close to her mother instead. Julia tried not to show her disappointment. She offered a smile instead. Saoirse had played with he clutch she held in her hands, admittedly uncomfortable. “Well,” Julia started. “Saoirse was telling me about how sad she was about Nathan not doing the Chanel contract anymore. She really thought they hit it off.” Of course, Saoirse was having a hard time speaking up. Julia was an important role model in the fashion industry and being on her good side could mean big things for her career. She didn’t want to be on the other side when it came to Julia, who many had dubbed a ruthless dragon in the industry, willing to throw fire in anyone’s direction who dared cross her. “She just wanted to know that there was no bad blood, since – well everyone seems to think you told him to step back?”
Saoirse had opened her mouth as though to go against what had been said. It was a bit scary, yet not shocking at all to find that Julia had twisted Saoirse’s words, intimidating the young girl into staying quit. As far as Julia knew, you stayed on top of everyone below you was weak and easily able to control.
“Well actually I just –“ Julia gave Saoirse a look to which she seemed to rethink whether she wanted to say anything at all.
“I know how hard it can be, Nathan surrounded by so many beautiful women. We all know how [I close] he tends to get with his subjects. He comes in with those dark bedroom eyes, plays with your hair – Saoirse let me know he made her feel [I very comfortable],” she said as she looked to Milli, of course not forgiving her for taking Nathan away from her. Nathan was soon to give his speech for the closing. Michael and Bradley already coming back from the bathroom. Evelyn squirmed some once seeing Nathan, affectionately calling out for him.
“Because it’s true.” Milli responded to Nathan as he was stolen away by Sharon and she smiled a little. Of course she expected that people would want to speak with him and chat about deals and she didn’t mind at all. She watched as Bradley went off with Michael and smiled a little. Michael adored the kids and Milli trusted him completely with them. She looked to Julia and Saiorse as they came over and Milli eyed her.
“Congratulations on your engagement.” She said to her. Her big ring didn’t bother her, the ring Nathan had given her was all she ever wanted and it meant more than something expensive.
Milli eyed the two females and felt a little outnumbered,
“Evelyn.” She said as Evelyn watched the two new women. She looked to Saiorse and Milli nodded.
“Nice to see you again.” She greeted as she did her best not to look completely intimidated. She could take Julia on by herself but not when she had back up. She had to be careful, there was press around and this was Nathan’s gig.
“Anything I can help you ladies with?” She asked as Evelyn buried into Milli’s neck, shyly.
Milli wasn’t sure what the two wanted or why they were here. She knew Julia was here for the attention and the press but she didn’t see her fiancé anywhere. She was careful and glanced around, hoping Michael would come and save her while Nathan was busy attending to deals and such.
“You always say that,” Nathan said to Milli as he kissed her cheek. He was enjoying himself and things were going smoothly. Michael eventually popped up with his boyfriend to which Bradley eagerly hugged him. It had been some time since the two hung out, but Michael was doing well and making a name for himself; having small roles in shows and a blossoming reality tv experience. There had already been talk of him getting his own tv show. Evelyn and Bradley brought lots of attention upon themselves and to Nathan you couldn’t tell him that they weren’t the perfect family unit. Nathan knew that eventually he would be called to give his brief speech as always. His hands were shoved into his pockets and while he didn’t [I need] a drink something told him he [I should] have one, almost as though it were a part of the whole gig.
It seemed Saoirse and Julia’s discussion had something to do with him dropping out of the contract, which of course was news that would reach Julia who too was in the fashion industry. There had been the rumor of the start of an affair that Milli had ended quickly and of course, the spun tale of the wife threatened by any beautiful women, not painting Milli in the best light. Though if anyone brought this to his attention, he would quickly dismiss it – despite the slight bits of truth that lied in the statement.
Eventually it was time to give his speech, one which of course wasn’t prepared as usual; though he made clear that he could do nothing without the faith of his wife and children. Just a year ago Nathan was a fresh face on the scene, a lady’s man with a bit of a temper; the sultry artist with the off the wall outbursts. Now, he stood with his wife by his side. Sharon wanted to steal him away from a brief meeting with an investor. Though Nathan had made it clear to Sharon that with his trip coming up, he wasn’t planning on working. He kissed Milli’s cheek before departing, nuzzling Evelyn’s nose to which he received a loving gentle smack in the face.
It was then that Julia and Saoirse walked over, Saoirse a bit more timid. Bradley was off with Michael who’d escorted him to the bathroom.
“Well well, Emilia – you look stunning, love the piece,” she motioned as she brushed across her neck, clearly showing off the large engagement ring she wore. ”And this must be your little one.” Of course there was all that drama surrounding Nathan and Julia when it came to the loss of their child and Julia seemed to be carrying that with her by the slight look she gave Milli. “You’ve met Saoirse haven’t you?”
Milli stepped out of the car, looking to Nathan as she could tell he was still so nervous. She let him do his interviews and she held Bradley’s hand in her own. Evelyn seemed utterly dazed by all the lights and sounds, clapping her hands together in Milli’s arms. Milli glanced up when she saw Saiorse and Julia together, doing her best to avoid it although she wasn’t sure if they were there to cause trouble or not. She was happy enough to stick at Nathan’s side for photos, which the press seemed to love given they looked like a perfect family unit.
“Hey, come on let’s go see dad’s pictures.” Milli said to Bradley as she stepped inside the exhibit. Bradley was doing great and Milli looked to Nathan, figuring it was best not to mention anything about Julia and Saiorse right then.
“These are fabulous.” She said to Nathan quietly as Evelyn stared around and she giggled at the little girls reaction. It was so sweet to have the whole family here and soon enough they would be setting off for Egypt for some much needed time together. Milli couldn’t wait and she looked to Nathan, fixing a stray hair that had come loose from his bun. It was still surreal to her that this was their life.
Milli looked to the paintings Nathan had done and they all looked so beautiful. Her eyes flickered from painting to painting and she smiled a little. She was so proud of Nathan, so proud of everything he had accomplished and how beautiful everything had turned out for him. He was talented and so precise with his art, it was such a beautiful way to present Nathan.
Nathan was excited for his exhibit. Family being a prime theme for him this year, paintings of Milli and his kids, portraits he’d taken – and of course his own which he had finally finished. Though it had been tough to stare into his own eyes for quite some time. with Milli helping with the kids while on break from filming, he was able to finish the piece finally. Though some small part of him didn’t want to show it, finding the portrait too raw. As an artist though wasn’t that what he should want for his audience? The year was winding down and soon it would be new hears which was just a week before their planned trip to Egypt. Nathan was excited about the trip and he couldn’t wait to spend time with Milli in the kids in a place that he and Milli had discussed plenty of times before.
After a shower, he changed into a suit, fretting at his hair before getting it into something a bit more presentable and tamer looking. He’d changed into a dark colored suit, an emerald colored handkerchief stuck into his breast pocket to coordinate with Milli’s dress. Nathan had checked his watch to find they were still on time, but nerves was getting to him. It was his third exhibit in a year and a half, and he was still nervous.
He managed to calm down upon seeing Bradley, who nearly looked like a mini version of him. He was excited to go to a fancy party, which is what he called the exhibit. There wouldn’t be many if any kids there and he could only hope that wouldn’t be trouble. Though he couldn’t foresee Bradley or Evelyn making too big of a scene, at least he could hope. Nathan kissed Milli’s cheek in return, the necklace he bought her wrapped around her neck and it looked just as good as he imagined. The transportation was on its way then and as it pulled up Nathan happily took Eve into his arms.
“Really?’ He playfully asked Milli, as Bradley was already tugging on her hand. Together they arrived in the very expensive and sleek new black car, Sharon always thinking of every detail obviously, making sure a carseat was available. Together they soon headed to the city to which his exhibit was being held in a much bigger venue for once: a sign that things seemed to be going well.
They’d pulled up to the building amongst the sea of cars, people filling into the building, more than he thought at least. Nathan could feel his hands starting to sweat. Together they got out, pictures flashing and of course Nathan was famous, but Milli’s career was skyrocketing. Together they entered inside after some brief talking with the journalists and bloggers. Of course Nathan had no clue that Saoirse had arrived, dressed in a burgundy dress with a high split on the side, her hair pulled back into a bun to reflect those piercing cheekbones. She stood with Julia, the two talking before making brief eye contact, Julia whispering then into Saoirse’s ear as they eyed Milli.
Milli wrapped here arms around Nathan and returned his kiss as they cuddled together under the covers, she nuzzled his neck and kissed his exposed skin there. She sighed out softly and knew this had been rough on him but she didn’t blame him at all. The kids could be a real handful.
The night of the exhibition came around and Milli was dressed in a gorgeous emerald green gown as she fixed up Bradley’s cute little bow tie and his hair.
“You look like a proper little gentleman.” She said to him as she kissed his cheek and eyed him over. If the kids got restless then she would take them both home but she knew Evelyn would likely be amazed at all the colours and the people. Milli looked to Evelyn who was wearing a cute little dress and thankfully her infection seemed to have cleared up for the most part. She had dark hair like Nathan’s and her eyes were mismatched, like Milli’s. She smiled a little at the two of them,
“Best behaviour tonight, yeah?” She said and got to her feet as she fixed one of her earrings and of course patched up the necklace Nathan had gotten her for Christmas around her neck.
Milli gave a soft smile as she rang up their transport for tonight, Sharon of course making sure they would travel in style for such an event. She looked to Nathan and pressed a kiss to his cheek, careful not to leave a lipstick mark behind.
“Transport will be here soon.” She said to him, excited to see his latest pieces and she looked to the kids, Evelyn was babbling away as she hoisted herself up to balance on the couch and Milli giggled softly.
“Right then, missus.” She said as she lifted the girl, who immediately reached out for Nathan instead, squirming and Milli tutted a little,
“I thought kids weren’t supposed to have favourites.” She remarked playfully.
“Daddy!” Evelyn demanded and Milli looked completely taken aback, looking to Nathan.
Nathan looked over his shoulder, Milli laid back on the bed and staring at the ceiling. “And you aren’t?” he asked her. Apparently they both had a hard time seeing what the other saw. Milli was beautiful and talented and she brightened up the room whenever she entered. Nathan could understand somewhat then what Milli was going through. It was something he knew that he couldn’t fix himself and neither could she. He laid beside Milli then, propped up by his elbow, his free hand reaching forward to stroke her hair and brush it out of her face. “I haven’t been very kind these past few days,” he said to her then with a sigh. “I’m sorry,” Nathan admitted leaning in to kiss her. Nathan had to accept that there wasn’t really a solution to this problem, but them continuing to love one another and showing that as best as possible. They both should have come to know by now that they had to continue being open with one another – no matter if they felt like it was silly or could hurt the other person.
He gave a playful grunt, kissing Milli before laying his forehead against hers gently. “No one will ever make me feel the way you make me feel Milli.” He promised her. Nathan hovered over her then, looking into her eyes. “The minute I looked into your eyes.” He whispered. Nathan could feel a yawn coming on and knew he definitely needed sleep. He’d gotten under the covers. “I love you Milli,” he told her sincerely. “And you and the kids. Everything I do is for you, I can admit I’ve been a bit selfish and these couple of days have really kicked me in the ass.” He chuckled then, cuddling up to her.
Milli being around made things easier as far as watching over the kids. He was painting a little more, but had started spending more time with his kids. Bradley was growing into such an intelligent boy who was surprising Nathan every day. He was nervous once the night of his exhibit came up. They hadn’t really been out in the public for something like this before as a whole family and Nathan could only hope it wouldn’t be too much for the kids.
Milli looked up when Nathan came in and she wished she’d just gone to sleep to try and forget all this.
“I’m not-“ She sighed out as she flopped back on the bed, staring at the ceiling.
“I’m not insinuating anything, I’m just...” She didn’t know what she was anymore. She trusted Nathan, of course, she would f be here if she didn’t trust him. She lifted her eyes and looked to him.
“Nathan, I know you don’t see it.” She pulled herself up to sit as she managed to get a grasp on her words.
“You’re sweet, you’re passionate, you’re successful and you’ve always been handsome and beautiful.” She murmured, feeling like some weird cliche. Nathan maybe didn’t see it in himself, but Milli saw it and so did others. She trusted Nathan, but not anyone else around him.
“I don’t know what happened. I saw you fix Saiorse’s hair, and it just-“ She was going to sound like a jealous bitch no matter how this happened.
“It just took me back to when you first painted me...” she said softly, Nathan had fixed her hair in much the same way, then he had kissed her for the very first time in the heat of the moment and both of them had felt every ounce of love.
“When you did that to me... I knew I loved you and I guess I just got a little freaked out.” She didn’t know is Saiorse liked Nathan more than just an artist and it wouldn’t surprise her if the other woman did, she was beautiful and Nathan was successful and knew how to bring out the best in people.
Nathan knew what Milli was going to say before the words even came out of her mouth and she was right. The weird thing was that he didn’t know why he was upset. Saoirse was beautiful and fun, but he hadn’t grown some weird attachment to her within that short period of time. Nathan figured maybe it had something to do with it being at her request, almost like he had to choose between his passion and Milli and of course he would choose Milli, he would choose her every single time, but he would still at some point be unhappy. It was like attending those parties with July when he didn’t want to or Sharon having him talk to ten plus people a day when he barely had energy for one – a constant state of doing what he had to because it was his duty. As Milli’s husband, her feelings did matter, and it was right to end the contract. As an artist though, he was furious and as a man he was ashamed that he hadn’t maybe stuck to his guns. This wasn’t all on Milli, she had tried to stop him and yet he went through with things.
“Milli,” he started, but she was on. Roll and of course she was angry, masking it as well as she could; too good of an actress. Evelyn had started crying and Milli had passed him to tend to their children. He made himself. Cup of tea then, hoping it would settle his nerves. H didn’t head upstairs until he heard the pipes turn off from Milli’s shower. Nathan headed up to their bedroom then after checking in on the kids. Milli was sitting on the edge of the bed, the bedside lamps on.
“I don’t need to call her, and I find it a bit upsetting you insinuating that.” He turned his back to her then, gathering something to change into. He’d showered, but no matter how many times he changed his shirt, it needed up with a bit of drool and food. He changed quickly before walking toward the bed where he took a seat. He didn’t know what to say. “I just – I thought you knew me better Milli to which a girl like Saoirse wasn’t a threat. I mean –“ He rolled the words around in his mouth, trying to be careful how he phrased himself. “I don’t know, I can’t think.”
Milli watched Nathan and she looked stricken when he lashed out and she watched him, eyes tracing his features.
“You haven’t been painting.” She said to him quietly, she had noticed and she wondered if he missed painting Saiorse that much. She took a deep breath, biting her tongue before she said something cruel and unforgivable.
“You haven’t painted since Saoirse.” She murmured quietly and looked away, biting back the bitter sting that it seemed to give her. It only served to feed her suspicions that Nathan maybe had a tender spot for the other woman.
She took a moment as she out there dishes away in silence.
“You should-“ She cut off because she knew wordings was important here. Was she angry? Of course. Was she jealous? Completely.
“Call Saiorse. If it’s what will make you happy, then call her.” She murmured as she heard Evelyn crying and she was somewhat relieved.
“I’ll get her settled.” She mumbled as she lifted the girl and found the ear drops, heading upstairs as she settled Evelyn in her cot,
“I’m sorry sweetheart. It’s not forever.” She said as she gave her the medicine and something to drink before wrapping her in a blanket and bringing her through to listen in on storytime with Bradley.
She kissed Bradley’s forehead when he was asleep and settled Evelyn in her cot, carefully as the girl was asleep. She took off her clothes and went for a shower, changing into a long T-shirt and sitting on the edge of the bed.
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