Already, the constant barrage of rain came to a stop as the pitter-pattering ceased from the tops of the tent. All the girls eventually sought its shelter at one point or another and were inside rearranging all of the camping gear, each sprawling out on their individual sleeping bags passing the time by. Astrid was nose deep in a fashion magazine, all while Calli meticulously organized her belongings, and Po had nothing better to do besides wonder how her best friend, Cleo, was doing since she had left the tents just moments ago.
Ever since they had taken shelter within the tent, Cleo seemed to be more irritable than normal. Sure, she was still in a good mood, but since Po knew her so well it was easy to tell when there was something on her mind.
Po stepped outside, refreshed from the recent rainstorm, yet still bothered by the high humidity that hung in the air. She wasn’t very comfortable being outdoors. Maybe it was because of how dirty it was, the surroundings completely different from her pampered lifestyle she was spoiled by.
In front of her, beside the soggy campfire pit, was Cleo, her gaze lost in the ashes.
“Cleo, everything alright?” Po asked, her voice tenderly speaking.
Without removing her attention and being more present Cleo simply responded, “Yeah.”
Of course she had things on her mind. The past few years had been crazy, for sure, and there were times she could control her confusion and lost emotions, but then there were some moments she couldn’t help but feel lost and afraid with the constant barrage of life.
Po lingered in silence until she gained enough courage to sit down beside her. She wasn’t oblivious to what Cleo was going through, and while some of it made sense, there was still a lot of things she hadn’t experienced first-hand which made it hard to relate, let alone give advice.
She had also grown up in a broken home and could relate to all the tension that comes from a family unit like that. They had known each other from middle school and had been friends for as long as they could remember. Better yet, they never kept secrets from each other, so to see Cleo holding back was hard for her to watch.
“You know what…” Cleo said matter-of-factly, a fake smile spread across her face. “I’ve just been a little flustered lately. And sometimes I wonder why it bothers me so much…” She shook her head. “It’s just…”
“What is it?”
Cleo snorted. “It’s just… You know… Never mind. I just…” She bit her bottom lip, her mind racing in what to say. “I remember… When I younger…”
“I remember the first time that I met Lionel and found out that he was my half-brother and I was so excited at first…! It’s like I finally had this instant friend who knew me… And as glad as I was to have gained that relationship… I was jealous. I was upset that my father was spending more and more time with him rather than me, and same with my mom. No offense to Jeff, but ever since they’ve been together we have a different relationship now… I just… feel awful that I feel that way.”
Po shrugged casually. “It’s normal.”
“How?” Cleo huffed. “I feel like a horrible human being! With all the changes the past few years it just makes me… angry! And now…” She stood up, her hands clenched into fists and paced back and forth before walking off in a emotional hurry. “I need to be alone for a minute.”
“Cleo!” Po called after her, but it didn’t make a difference. Cleo disappeared along the dirt path and out of view. Unsure of what was on her mind, she stayed put. Surely after a moment to collect herself she would return to normal and maybe, just maybe, will be able to admit what was really on her mind.
“I feel like we need to clear the air between us.” Gwen folded her arms across her chest, defending herself from the uncontrollable emotions that wrestled within her. Every part of her wanted to be mad at him, to yell even, but it was hard to mask all the old feelings she had for him. The love she once held, the comfort she felt being around him, the butterflies that fluttered in her gut.
“I agree,” he sighed in relief. “I just want to fix what we had.”
“Fix?” she guffawed at the very thought. “What do you think I meant? I have no reason to trust you anymore. What makes you think that things can be fixed now?”
“I miss… everything that I lost… I knew it was wrong to ask you for redemption after we seperated, but… I’ve tried hard to change. Is it something that I can earn?”
Gwen shook her head in disbelief. “Unbelievable… You think you can say those nice words and win my heart back?! You hurt me- over and over!” She pushed at him angrily, but couldn’t topple him. “You abandoned me!” She pushed again. “You abandoned the girls!” Again and again she pushed, her voice cracking. “I don’t want you! You can’t win me with words!”
His mood softened, witnessing her hurt as she unleashed it in every shove and every breath as she shouted at him everything he had done wrong in the relationship. He took her wrists in his strong grasp, holding her anger back, her eyes crying as she faced him. “Oh, Gwen. I know there is nothing I can say that can make you feel any better. I understand that… But I just want to ask if there is anything I can do. You want me to take the kids more? Done. You want me to sign divorce papers?… I will. Pick a number and I’ll pay it to you. Just… I want to fix our relationship. Even if what you want is to be friends… I’ll live with that. I just can’t push you out of my life as if none of it mattered, as if we don’t have anything tying us together.”
She struggled against his strength before having the time to take a breath and submit to his restraint. All she wanted to do was to hit him, to hurt him enough to feel the pain that she felt burning within her… But what would that accomplish? It wouldn’t take her pain away, and that is all that mattered.
“I want you to hurt as much as I have.” Gwen sobbed. “It all hurts, Paolo!”
“I know…” He lifted up her chin, just enough to meet eye to eye one last time. “Let me take some of it, little by little.”
Paolo leaned in slowly to not surprise her any more than he wanted to, and placed a kiss near the corner of her lips savoring the way she felt against his lips, the scent of her as he breathed in, the salty taste of her skin. He pulled away, knowing that what he had done was something he had longed for since he had left. For all he knew this would be the beginning of an end he just wasn’t ready for. His future depended on the decisions of Gwen and that part terrified him of losing what he truly wanted. Her.
Lingering a little longer than he had expected, the concept of time barely recognizable between the two of them, hoping he could experience this moment a thousand times over. Gwen stood there in shock, unsure of what to do, her mind numb of all the complaints she had, her lips buzzing with electricity from the corner that had touched Paolo.
Instinctually, her lips shuddered, along with other places, and met along with his, each pressing against each other, unmoving as their warm breaths hit each other. Pulling away just enough to take a deep breath to dive back in she kissed him again, their lips moving in sync as if it was their first encounter. Is this almost love?
“So much for going camping for our birthday,” Astrid sulked, her feet dragging along the muddy clearing that was beginning to pool with rainwater. The muggy air lingered heavily at the campsite and all she wanted to do was to go back home and call this adventure a bust. Plus, it didn’t do any favors to her neatly styled hair that was beginning to frizz from all of the humidity.
Many of the girls groaned from the dismal weather, all shifting in thought if they should turn around now and go home. But Cleo giggled as she let her umbrella fall back slightly and expose herself to the small drizzle that fell from the treetops. “Oh, I love the rain! Isn’t it beautiful?”
She threw her arm back and leaned up towards the sky, feeling the water shower on her. Spring was one of her favorite seasons with the May showers and the colorful flowers that would color the landscape.
All the girls groaned in annoyance, even more so when they heard the chipper mood of Cleo as she tossed her umbrella on the ground and happily let the rain fall upon her, her clothes absorbing the water as they began to cling to her skin. This didn’t make them any more excited, but rather made them want to go home more. They didn’t want to go camping when it was pouring like this. They couldn’t start a campfire and tell stories around it, or go on a hike without the risk of falling in the mud… All that was happening was they were getting wet, even under their umbrellas, and they smelt like the word: damp. Gross.
Cleo spun around feeling the sun poke through the clouds, feeling the warmth of it’s rays on her along with the cooling rain. This was perfect for playing in and made her think back to her childhood days in which she was always found playing outside. “C’mon, guys! Have some fun!”
She jumped in a collecting pool of water that was laced with mud, its dirty contents splashing in every direction, the other girls looking on at her in a mix of disgust and a lack of interest to engage in getting dirty. All except for Calliope, or Calli as they all called her these days, who tossed her umbrella aside, knelt down near the muddy ground and collected a handful of wet dirt in her hands. Her hair began to mat against her face, but it was too late to worry about any of that.
“Hey, Cleo! Catch!” She called out as she launched the mud into the air and in her direction. It flew off course from a terrible throw and grazed beside Po, a friend that Cleo had brought along with her, catching her off guard with a sharp gasp, her feet loosing its grip in the slick mud as she avoided the flying messy mass. With a fall she landed in the mud, the wet dirt clinging to her white dress and lining her hands and legs that had made contact with it.
“Oh, no!” Po griped, her voice laced with annoyance, her eyes darting up and taking notice that all of the girls had their attention on her, their hands covering their mouths in a shocked surprise.
“Po!” Astrid gasped quickly, horrified at how messy she now was. “Are you okay?” She took a few steps near her, an instinct to help her up taking a hold of her, but held back once she remembered how messy she was.
“I’m fine,” Po said between gritted teeth as she stood up, her face falling as she looked down at her dress that was now laced with mud.
Calli’s hand covered her face in the initial shock, but it didn’t take long for the stiffled laughter to follow. “I’m so sorry!”
“Don’t say it if you don’t mean it,” Po shot her a sharp glance as she tried to wipe off the stains.
“I do, Po!” Calli replied quickly, no longer finding the situation funny. “I am sorry.”
Astrid walked by as she put the umbrella away. “I’m going in the tent. I am already soaked…”
“Agreed.” Po growled as she stormed towards the tent, her feet splashing in the nid beneath her. “I hate rain!,” she exclaimed as she reclused into the tent, followed by Astrid.
Cleo and Calli shrugged at each other for a moment before they continued to play in the rain.
Once the girls had finally left the house to go on their camping trip Gwen couldn’t help but to feel insurmountably uncomfortable. Not only was the deafening silence enough to drive anyone to the edge of insanity, but sitting across from Paolo didn’t make matters any better. She sat there awkwardly as he slightly shifted, his gaze unable to meet hers.
It was the first time they had spent time together in a confined space in a couple years, unable to get past their differences. What started out originally as tension turned into fighting as the chasm in their relationship began to grow. But every love has a breaking point and they had reached that several times over before they decided to go their own ways. The nights of Paolo sleeping on the couch turned into him slamming the door after an argument and renting a room at the local motel.
The girls, being old enough to understand what was going on, were more than flexible when it came to visiting their father, but as for Gwen, she was done bending over backwards for someone who had thrown in the towel. Ever since that they she had vowed that she would be on to bigger and better things, but in reality… nothing had ever changed.
She was still the same person she was, no further in her life than she was before. Still at a dead-end job trying to make it from one paycheck to the next, raising two beautiful girls and mourning the loss of the one she hadn’t seen for 14 years… She was still the same broken woman who was unable to let others in her life.
“Thank you,” Gwen said flatly, unsure of how to speak to him. It had been so long that it felt like he was a different person completely, yet the same.
Paolo looked towards her as if he had been expecting her to say the first words, setting the tone of the conversation. “Hmm?”
“For coming to the girls birthday party.”
He shrugged, no words escaping his lips for a moment. He couldn’t think about the girls right now, not when there was an invisible mess between the two of them, something he wished would just resolve itself. But even after years of being apart there was still a heavy burden of guilt that weighed itself upon his shoulders. “How have you been?”
Her face twisted in confusion by the question, catching her off-guard. Her eyes fell to her lap where her hands fidgeted. How as she supposed to react? Bitter and resentful, or eager to forgive the wrong-doings they both had committed? She huffed, “Paolo, what do you-?”
“I’m sorry!” He spat quickly, interrupting her mid-sentence rant.
Paolo looked away, unable to face her again as he spoke his truths. “In the past few years I’ve… made a lot of mistakes. I’ve hurt the family, I hurt myself and… I hurt you. It’s taken me a long time to figure out all that I had done and a lot of soul searching.”
“Good.” Gwen’s eyes narrowed, all of the anger rising within her, his apology awakening dormant feelings. “You finally realize the hurt you’ve caused. It’s too late. I don’t think there is anything to resolve anymore.”
She watched as several emotions crossed his face before he leaned towards her, his fingers pulling some hair from across her face. “I know… And I think that is what hurts the most.” In a brief moment her walls fell down, crumbling at her feet, as she caught a glimpse of the sorrow in his eyes before he broke their momentary connection and got up from the couch. “Thanks for inviting me in.”
Heartstrings snapped within Gwen’s chest as she watched him walk away. As mad as she really wanted to be, there was another part of her that was hurt by the finality of how he spoke and how convinced he was that it really was over. It was, or had been… What did she want?
“Paolo.” she cringed as she spoke her name. “Hold on… Don’t leave yet.”
He turned, his eyes tearing up slightly.
“I think… We should talk.”
As I’ve been writing the story I’ve always tried to get different perspectives into many of the Sims’ lives because they all have so much going on. And to be honest, I can’t cover it all because there is just so much to write about and I only have so much patience making the poses, haha. Plus, another problem I have been finding I have is the kids. They just keep aging up! In my game settings I have the lifespan on long, but even with the story I find that it just isn’t enough time to make the story and cover all that I want to since I have to make the story in-between everyone’s careers, mood fits and during the right time of day. So between every episode I create, it takes up to two Sim days just to get the right amount of pictures that captures what I want to create.
And believe it or not, all the kids have finally grown… and so have the adults. I don’t know if you all have noticed, but Marcus has been an elder for quite a while (a few episodes) and Daisy did, too (However, I made a stunt double to complete the rest of the story). And now I’m wondering what to do, because my teenagers, are all staggered in age. Since the youngest have all aged, it leaves Cleo with 26 more days and I’m beginning to panic. It makes me wonder if I can get all of her teenage years written down in that time, along with the others. But I guess that isn’t that important. I still haven’t decided if I wanted to do a Generation Two project. If I did I would all-but-abandon the first generation characters and solely work on the second. Meaning it would be covering Kestrel, Calliope, Astrid, Cleo and Lionel and their relationships. It is so close until the end of this generation, so I should probably make up my mind.
The first time that his mother dropped him off it didn’t bother him… Neither did the other handful of times, always distracted by the newfound relationship he had developed for his father and the easy conversations that flowed between them. However, it didn’t mask the subtle itch within him knowing his mom wasn’t there, and the thoughts that really ate at him was that she was seeing another guy.
It wasn’t that Kolby was in the picture, he was a nice guy and all, but rather it was the looks his mother gave him that made it clear it wasn’t a friendship, but something much, much more. The witty banter they exchanged laced with flirty undertones and the way their hands longed for the other as they would briefly caress one another in a manner that one in a committed relationship would. It was all there and now that it was clear that there was no way his mother was going to be with Marcus, it broke his heart, the emotions pulling the strings in his chest.
Lionel escaped to his room and threw himself on his bed, only to curl up, his knees to his chest, as he cried his frustrations into his mattress. The picture was becoming clearer and clearer and he didn’t like it. Why couldn’t he have a family like his friends’? You know the ones, with the mother, a father and the several siblings? This whole time he had hoped that it would be his mother and father together in the end and everything would wrap up as they would in any happily-ever-after, but the more he thought about it, the more it felt like it would be an impossibility.
Just outside the doorway, Cleo peeked in sheepishly, “Lionel… Are you… okay?” She didn’t know what else to say as she stood awkwardly there, and didn’t know if there was anything she could do to comfort him. Slowly, she walked to the bed and sat on the end, waiting for his sobs to slow.
The moments passed slowly as his frame-shaking cries lessened, his chest shuddering involuntarily as he leaned up, wiping his tear stained face with the back of his sleeve. It was one thing to be seen crying, and it was another to do it in front of a girl such as Cleo.
With his back still towards her, she tried to best to say something, anything to break the awkward tension in the room. “I don’t know why you’re upset, but if you want to talk about it I’m here… And maybe I’m not the one you want to talk to, which is fine. I know we haven’t gotten to know each other very well, but I hope that in the future we can be… you know, brother and sister… Do you want me to go?”
Hesitantly he shook his head before turning towards her, his eyes puffy and red, and leaned on her shoulder, each forced breath of his rocking her. At first she was surprised that he was comfortable enough to cry so openly with her nearby, but also that he wanted her there, too.
“Why are you so sad?” Cleo asked, hoping to draw an answer out of him so they could discuss it. Something had to really be on his mind to really upset him like this.
Lionel took a few deep breaths to calm his body so he could speak. “My mom…” His voice shook uncontrollably, but he pushed through it to say what he needed to. “I wanted to be to with Dad, but… she wants to be with Kolby instead. It’s just not fair…!”
His words struck a chord in her that she could understand and she raised her arms around him and held him back. Cleo knew what he must have been going through. Sure, she didn’t have a reaction as strong as his, since she was so little, but, secretly, she wanted her parents to be together, too.
“I know how you feel.”
“There were points in my life that I wanted my parents to be together, too. It didn’t work out, but now that my Mom found Jeff I don’t worry about it anymore.”
“Why is that?”
She spoke softly against his shoulder, a twinkle in her eye as she thought of the relationship that her mother had with him. “Because my Mom fell in love the right way and is happy. That’s all I want for her. Plus, I get two amazing dads, and one day I hope to have two amazing moms.”
Lionel held onto her, his breath calming to a regular rhythm as he thought of it differently. Maybe it wasn’t meant for Marcus and his mother, Daisy, to be together. Perhaps it would be better if he had two dads, too. But, what he was also thinking… was that Cleo was a pretty good sister.
Say goodbye to little Cleo. With her being the eldest of all the children, she is the first to age up, her being roughly 2 or 3 years older than Lionel. At this point in the story she is about 12, Lionel being 10. It’s crazy how fast the time flies between all of them.
Producer: As a special we wanted to highlight a wonderful couple from the series and ask a series of questions and see exactly how they are doing as well as how they have reacted to being on this set.
So to begin we have Britta here with us that has been here since the beginning of this legacy. Britta, how are you?
Britta: I’m good. Great, actually.
Producer: From that smile I can tell it says a lot. Since you’ve been on this legacy, how has your reaction been? Is this where you would have been today if it wasn’t for the cameras?
Britta: You know… It’s hard to answer that question. I never expected myself to be on the legacy as much as I have. In the beginning it was in support of Gwen, who has always been my best friend, and then it kinda evolved from there… But to be honest… I love where I am today.
Producer: So, I take it you have been in several relationships prior to the one you are now. Care to talk on that?
Britta: Relationships… Hmm. I guess you are right. There have been a few. When this all started I was originally with Jonah… but I guess it didn’t matter how much I tried to make it work it was all about my sacrifice and… I don’t think I was ready to part from where I was with Gwen.
Then there was Marcus. He was… is a great guy, but we were both each other’s rebounds. It could have possibly worked, but he’s still in love. Daisy’s his person, I guess… And then there was Jeff… and he’s my person now. As crazy as it is to think that he’s the person that wants to be with me… I love being with him. He’s my person now… We’re married.
Producer: Sounds like a rollercoaster experience and I just have to say, we are all excited that you are with Jeff. We weren’t able to be there for the wedding. Do you have anything to say about it?
Britta: You know… We wanted it to be a very private experience between the two of us. We had to get out of here and have some alone time away from the cameras. It has been very nice to just be ourselves and… We think we’ll take some extra time away for an extended honeymoon, if you know what I mean.
Producer: It sounds like you have everything worked out for your foreseeable future. Thank you, Britta, for speaking with us. Now how about we turn our attention to Jeff, her husband, to see if he has anything he would like to impart to us. Jeff?
Jeff: Hi. I’m happy to be here.
Producer: As we have previous talked about with Britta, how has your experience been on this legacy?
Jeff: It’s been kinda incredible, actually. I was very nervous at first when I was first introduced in the story, hence why Britta and I kept our relationship a secret for as long as we did, but I guess we weren’t sneaky enough and you caught up with us. *laughs*
Other than that, I have tried to pretend that the camera isn’t there. I like Britta to stay my top priority all of the time.
Producer: Now how about your secret wedding? We didn’t know you were sneaking off to tie the knot until you were already gone. Why?
Jeff: It was a mutual decision between the two of us to have some alone time. Do I regret it? No. Would I do it again? Absolutely, yes! It has been the best week of my life running away with this girl. We’ll be gone a little bit longer, and I’m surprised you finally caught up with us, but I’m going to have to say… After this interview that we finish our getaway… alone.
Producer: You both sound so happy and I know you would appreciate if we wrapped this up-
Producer: We wish you the best and we hope you both get back safely.
Jeff: You’ll see us again. Don’t you worry…. Britta? You ready to go? C’mon, let’s go take a swim.
I thought I would try something different with this episode. Hope you like, but I can assure the rest ’til the end are going to be as usual. 🙂
Beep, beep, beep. The emptiness of the room was filled with the obnoxious annoyances of the alarm as it chimed from the floor. Beep, beep, beep.
Fumblingly, Daisy reached her arm off the edge of the bed and felt for her phone, the piercing sounds causing her head to split in two in a raging headache. Everything that her hand felt across sent a strange urgency through her as she knew she wasn’t at home. Everything felt foreign and out of place, even with her eyes clenched shut from the residing pain that lingered behind her eyes.
With a pained groan she pulled the phone on the bed, propping herself up on her arms to turn off the alarm, her eyes squinting at first to take in her surroundings. Was she really still at Marcus’? And if so… where was he? Besides her, the bed was empty. What time was it anyways?
Pushing past the uncomfortable headache she looked at her phone. 11:25 am.
She must have been tired… and extremely drunk to not remember that she stayed here. It wasn’t like her to have an empty recollection… But what bothered her most was how he reacted. Was it her that decided to stay the night here, or was it Marcus that helped her get to bed?
Her cheeks flushed beneath her cool skin as she attempted to sit up, her stomach growing nauseous with her sudden movements.
At a glance Daisy noticed a handful of notifications that were lingering on her front screen. Many of them from Kolby. Her finger rested on the unread messages and she was taken to the inbox where they all read in succession.
10:45pm: Hey, Daisy. I had such a great time tonight. Just wanted to let you know that. Can’t wait for next time!
10:51pm: Hope you did, too. I mean, there is still that date that I won, right?
10:59pm: Just made it home and I haven’t heard from you. You all right?
1:45am: Since I haven’t heard from you I’m going back to the bar.
2:05am: Just made it here and they said you just left. Are you okay? Please text me back.
3:35am: I can’t sleep… Can’t help but worry about you… Maybe your phone is dead, in which case… I’m making a fool of myself. Just let me know you’re okay. Please.
An overwhelming sense of guilt washed over her. While she had been drinking herself into an oblivion, Kolby had been worried sick… Probably driving himself insane with worst case scenarios of her ending up in a ditch or worse. She readied her fingers to begin typing something on the small keypad, her mind thinking of what to reply back with.
11:27am: Hey… Sorry I didn’t respond last night. Had one too many drinks, I guess. I’m okay. Just woke up.
11:28 am: Thank the heavens. You had me worried. You feeling okay?
11:28am: Yeah, just really hungover. Other than that, fine.
11:30am: Okay. I’m glad that you’re doing okay. Just let me know if you need anything. I’ll be there if you call.
11:31am: Don’t worry. I’ll be fine. Hopefully, the next time I call it will be to take you up on that date. 🙂
11:32am: Oh, I’ll be there. See ya later, babe.
Daisy read over the text exchanges and wondered if continuing the relationship was the right call to make. Last night she had a great time with him. He was exciting to be with, fun, charming, and it was obvious they had a certain chemistry when they were together that was sexually attractive, but… Did that give her the right to turn on the green light for the relationship to start? Was it too soon to jump into a commitment?
She shook her head, trying to banish those thoughts from resurfacing. It was only a first date, she reminded herself. Besides, it was about time that she started having fun and being herself again. Marcus was officially her past. He shouldn’t have a part in what happiness she found in her future.
Walking down the kitchen she peered into the kitchen where Marcus was standing before the stove as the aroma of eggs filled the house.
“You’re awake.” He said in between stirs. “Making some breakfast if you’re hungry. Do breakfast burritos sound good?”
“I just have to ask,” a bitter annoyance lining her tone. “Why did I end up in your bed?”
“Ah,” he replied as he returned his attention towards the food that continued to cook on the stove-top. “You were in no condition to leave last night. So I let you take the bigger bed. Everything okay?”
“No everything’s not okay.” Daisy hissed in between her teeth. “I’m upset about what happened yesterday.”
“The date?” Marcus asked, confused by her reaction.
“No. Between you and me.”
“Oh.” He said, taken aback from her frustrated tone. “Okay. I get it. It won’t happen again. Besides, nothing happened so I don’t know why you are getting worked up over this…”
“Because it almost did… I just want to be clear that I want there to be nothing between us.”
Marcus nodded, his head hung a little lower. “Yeah. I get it.” It felt like Daisy had thrust a knife in his heart, every word she spoke twisting it a little more and more. It was hard enough that he liked her, but one thing that he knew was that time didn’t take the attraction away. To him Daisy would always be the one he would give his heart to every time. That didn’t matter if he had to wait another ten years… He knew he would always respect her wishes, but the heart wants what the heart wants. “Is that why you came back inebriated?”
Daisy’s face twisted in frustration. “It’s none of your business what I do on my own watch.”
He raised his hands defensively. “Okay, okay.”
“Mom!” Lionel raced into the kitchen, his arms open wide as he ran into hers. “I missed you last night!”
“Me, too, baby.” She held him close against her, calm now that she was holding her little boy who wasn’t so little anymore. “Did you have a fun time with Marcus?”
“Yeah, I did.” He smiled, a brightness in his eyes as he spoke. “We did a hundred piece puzzle together. He did the edges and I did everything else! We went to the park and then we stayed up watching a show and eating popcorn!”
“Oh, nice”, she smiled, mirroring his, but couldn’t help how much Marcus was spoiling him. Sure, he was the new parent, but it was only a matter of time that the novelty would wear off. “I’m glad you had a good time, but we got to leave.”
“But, Mom…” He complained. “Can’t we stay a little longer?”
“I don’t know…” Daisy sighed.
“How about after breakfast?” Marcus chimed in. “It’s ready if you want to go to the table.”
“Yes! Breakfast!” Lionel ran into the next room and nested on a chair.
“Fine… after breakfast.” She sat at the table hoping that time could pass quickly enough that they could go already.
Breakfast was finally served on their platters and as hungry as he was Lionel couldn’t help but look towards his parents and wonder why they weren’t together. It was obvious that they liked each other, but it didn’t make sense why his mother was so set on holding a grudge against Marcus. What had he done that was so unforgivable that she wasn’t going to be with him? Secretly, all he wanted was to have a complete family… But it looked like they were set on moving on separately.
The night was already proving to be more hassle than it was worth. With her keys confiscated from the bartender until she was sober, she knew that it was at least a miles walk to make it to Marcus’ house to get her son. She couldn’t just leave him there. At first, when she started along the empty sidewalks it proved easy, but as she neared the lit porch the pain in her legs pinched. With each step her feet blisters burned as her poor fitted heels rubbed against them. The soles of her feet sore from the distance she walked as the rest of her body was slumped in fatigue brought on not only from the late night, but also the amount of booze she had managed to consume before she was cut off.
Daisy climbed the steps, each inclined step straining her muscles in the effort of getting to the top. Her breath was shallow as she leaned up against the door to regain her strength and balance that seemed mediocre at best. The exhaustion caused her vision to sway, but she had made it this far and there was no reason to stop now.
Weakly she raised her clenched hand at the window pane and tapped it as hard as she could manage, the glass sounding in response. Over and over she repeated to knock hoping that it would call for a more urgent response. As strong as she thought she could be, her stomach was on a quicker time schedule of releasing its contents. Nothing sounded better than to sit, to relax her feet and her body that was running on alcoholic fumes.
The door opened, causing Daisy to lose her balance as she had previously held on wait against it. Standing before her was Marcus, better than ever, his muscular chest shirtless and chiseled. It was hard enough to keep her focus, but her eyes had a difficult time rising from his chest to his shocked, yet disappointed expression that was painted across his face.
“Daisy… Are you okay?” He managed to say in concern at her staggering form hanging on to his doorway.
“Yep… Yeah… Just… Help me down.” She managed to slur as her legs buckled beneath her. Marcus reached out for her and helped her down as gently as he could before she rested on the cool porch surface. “That’s better… Give me a second…”
He sat before her, his eyes meeting across from hers, no longer holding the annoyance he had before as he had stayed up the majority of the night waiting for her return. Now all he could feel was compassion towards her for the shape she had gotten herself in to. Did the date really go that bad for her to reek as strongly as she did of strong drinks? It was obvious that he wasn’t going to get anything tonight as she was too incoherent and scattered in her thoughts. What she needed now was a long nights sleep and a large breakfast burrito in the morning.
“You okay?” He asked, resisting the urge to reach out and caress her face, as strange as it was in this circumstance. Drunk or not, it was hard to resist a beautiful person such as her.
She nodded, her eyelids heavy across her vision, “Mmm…”.
Daisy leaned forward, losing her balance and colliding against him, her chin across his shoulder as the rest of her grew limp. He reached his arms around her to hold her in place so she wouldn’t fall.
“Daisy?” He asked, unsure if there was going to be a response. “Daisy…?”
There wasn’t any legible response beside her tired moans that escaped her lips as he adjusted her in his arms so he could better carry her some place other than leaving her on the doorstep.
His strong arms wrapped around her and cradled her against him, her head leaning against the crevice of his shoulder, her lips pursing in a slight smile before they drew apart, her breath becoming shallow and sleep-like. Marcus got to his feet and carefully navigated in the house to get her to a bed to sleep it off, with each step her arm and legs would dangle lifelessly.
Quietly he carried her to his room and rested her in the center of the queen sized bed. Never in his imagination did he ever thought that he would see her there again, but life always found a way to surprise him.
Daisy instinctively sprawled across the bed until she found a comfortable position. Marcus tossed a blanket across her to keep her warm, but couldn’t help from standing over her, his mind lost in his thoughts brought on by his protective side.
He just couldn’t understand why she had brought that upon her self tonight. This was so unlike her typical behavior that it was concerning. As he tried to shake it from his thoughts he knew that it was best to hear the truth from her in the morning to make sure that she was going to be okay before leaving with Lionel.
Leaving the room he got as comfortable as he could in the spare bedroom, but all the while he wished he could be next to her.