Saturday, December 19, 2015

Chapter 129-Muddied Waters

I quietly watched as Marcus put on his pants, keeping his back to me. Things were at a strange place for us. That night I went to his room to shower, I was shocked when he walked in. He didn’t say anything, but he didn’t have to. I knew exactly what his intention was the moment the door opened. I could have said no, and I probably should have but I didn’t.  The rest of the weekend was spent with him doing his best to not be alone with me. He could barely look at me, and we didn’t talk about that night. He’d had an itch that needed to be scratched and I was convenient.

When he showed up at my house a week later to drop off the quads, he didn’t leave right away. He stayed, talk to Finley until she left for her date, played with the babies and still we didn’t talk about that night. Once they were down for the night, he again didn’t say a word and again I didn’t refuse him. Afterwards he left. No kiss, no see you later, he just said he had to go and he did. From there it snowballed to random late night visits. It was always the same. We didn’t talk, it was just the act, and he always left when we were done. I was left feeling used and dirty, but each time he showed up at my backdoor I let him in.

“Why don’t you stay tonight?” I asked quietly.

Marcus picked his shirt up off the floor, putting it on after casting a quick glance over his shoulder at me. He sat and started to put his shoes on, still not giving me an answer to my question. I leaned over to pick up my discarded robe, trying hard not to let the tears fall while he was still here. When had I lost all self-respect? I’d allowed myself to become nothing more than some shameful late night booty call. The sex wasn’t the same. It was intense and demanding. I was both turned on and a little scared by his domineering ways, but at the same time it lacked the intimacy we used to have. No kissing, very little eye contact, there was no emotion behind it. At least not from him.

One of the babies started to cry.

“I’ll check on them.”
Continue Reading: "Chapter 129-Muddied Waters"

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Chapter 128-A Long Day

“This has got to be the fanciest place I’ve ever been in!” Zana exclaimed as we walked through the ornate double doors of the hotel. “First, flying first class and now this. Man, Fin your family knows how to travel. The most we ever did was take a crap ass RV trip one time.”

She and Finley had been going nonstop sense we boarded the plane. They were excited for this trip. Both girls were looking forward to finding an apartment during the down time from the parent’s weekend events at Finley’s school. The flight for me hadn’t been nearly as exciting. Spending five hours sitting next to Marcus on the plane was tense. We barely spoke to each other and what we did talk about revolved around the plan of action for the weekend.

“Hello and welcome to Hotel Verde, how can I help you today?” the friendly receptionist asked.

Digging through my purse, I pulled out my ID and credit card. “Um, yes. Reservation for Amari Smith.”

The woman took my items, then busied herself with looking up my reservation. Finley pulled Zana off to go explore some large fountain that sat in the middle of the entry.

“Ah, yes. I see you are booked for our two bedroom, penthouse suite. You’ll…”

“What?” I asked interrupting the woman.

“I thought you said you booked three rooms,” Marcus stated, giving me an accusatory look.

“I did.”

The receptionist was busy typing away. “Um, well yes ma’am, your reservation was changed a few days after you made the original one. It shows you called in requesting the upgrade.”

“You changed it?” Marcus asked. I could hear the bite in his tone and it took me a moment not to snap back at him.

I looked over at Finley who was nervously watching us. “No, I didn’t, but I have a feeling I know who did.”

Marcus turned to look over at Finley, shaking his head. “Right. Well,” he said turning his attention back to the receptionist. “There’s been a slight mistake, we actually need to keep the original reservation.”

“We’re booked, sir. A few of the colleges are having parent weekend, plus there’s a convention in town.”

“We can try another hotel.”

“I have a feeling they’d all be book too,” he replied. “We’ll take the room,” he said, turning back to the woman.

Marcus walked off to go talk to Finley while I finished up at the desk. A few minutes later we headed up the elevator.

“Sorry Mom,” Finley mumbled.

When we arrived at our room, the girls excitedly ran out straight to the balcony.
Continue Reading: "Chapter 128-A Long Day"

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Chapter 127-One Day At a Time

“So Mom did you go bankrupt or something?” Dax asked as he pulled the hand truck loaded with boxes into the house.

Dunham and Aric followed behind him carrying a few more. The girls were all working on setting up the cribs since the nursery was the first room I wanted put together.

“No, sweetie. Why?”

“Because I’m pretty sure you could afford movers instead of breaking child labor laws by making us do all the heavy lifting,” he answered while dramatically wiping sweat from his brow. His siblings all laughed before agreeing.

“Well, since I have thirteen children, nine of which are eighteen or over, I see no reason why I should spend money when I have free labor,” I replied giving him a kiss on the cheek before shoving him out the door to get more boxes.

I had planned on hiring movers, but Elton and Edson had offered to help and that snowballed in having all the kids helping out. Finley had gone with Marcus to help him with the quads while I got things settled here. Since our last fight, Marcus and I barely spoke. We managed to be civil for Finley’s graduation festivities. We were both supposed to go with her to find her an apartment in Bridgeport, that trip was coming up in a week and I’d tried to back out of it, but Finley was insistent on the fact she wanted both of our inputs. Marcus and I had been separated for nearly two months now and it still hurt like hell when he’d come to pick up or drop off the babies. An entire weekend with him was going to be a struggle, but I was going to do it make Finley happy.

“Hey Mom,” Bynni called out. “Do you want the cribs arranged any special way?”

I smiled when I saw her walk out to the hall. My one child that swore off children was expecting her first child. TK had moved from the performing side of things into producing so he didn’t travel as much. I remember laughing when she told me she hoped she didn’t end up with a kid like her. They’d just found out the baby was a boy, and she was relieved. I didn’t have it in my heart to tell her boys could be just as troublesome. I’d let her find that out on her own.

“No, not really. I guess two on one wall, two on the other, and the changing table against the back,” I answered, walking towards her.

Ignoring her shirt, I ran my hand across her expanding belly. I missed my babies and was eager to get things situated so they could come home. Work had already been done in their room, but there was more to do in the rest of the house and I didn’t want them here while that went on. It would be noisy and messy so Marcus was keeping them until all the redecorating was completed.
Continue Reading: "Chapter 127-One Day At a Time"

Monday, July 20, 2015

4 years ago today...

Four years ago today @11:46 AM Kiss of a Vampire had it's very first post. It started out as a simple baby challenge, a way to test the waters on my ability to write a sim story. The writing was rough, the picture taking was cringe-worthy, but the support was great! The writing and picture taking has improved (I hope) and the support and love for this story has grown in a way I never imagined!

Amari and her family have faced many difficulties, but they've never had to do it alone. Even when she's annoyed some of you so much, that you were ready to teleport into the game and slap some sense into her, she's thankful you never abandoned her. As am I!

As you know, I've been working on Amari's new house. Well I got it all decorated finally. It took a while, but I think she and the quads will be very happy there. Finley too when she comes home from college to visit.

Continue Reading: "4 years ago today..."

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Sneak Peek!

I'm working on the next update, I promise I am!!! It's summer so that means my kiddies are home with me. I love them dearly, but they are attention suckers at times and we already know my focus is scattered at best. With them home it's even worse. LOL Anyway, I have started the next update, I just need to find the time, and brain power to finish writing it. 

Until then wanted to give you guys a sneak peek at Amari's new house. It's a game house, it came with Generations. It's the Kid Friendly, Mother Approved house. 


 It's still a work in progress. So far I've only redone the main living area consisting of a new foyer area and an open concept living/dining area.



View as you walk into living room

Other living room views

Dining area


Continue Reading: "Sneak Peek! "

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Chapter 126-Dirty Laundry

Seeing that sign in the front yard made everything real. After Amari told me she wanted to sell, the next day she called out a realtor and we signed the paperwork. We didn’t talk much about it, but we didn’t talk much about anything since she’d gotten home. I’d shut her out and after our fight, so she stopped trying to get in. Being near Amari hurt and I turned that pain into anger fully directed at her. Nearly every comment I’d made to her seemed to inflict pain.

I wasn’t trying to, or at least I didn’t believe I was trying to be so spiteful towards her, but deep down I wanted her to hurt like I hurt. She took it. She didn’t try to fight back or defend herself, she just took it. She’d given up on us, threw away what we could have had. I hated what she’d done to us. I hated her choices and her actions that led us down this path, and as angry as I was at her, I hated that she made me want to hurt her like that. I loved that woman, and after being reunited again, I thought it was our destiny to be together forever after all the forces that tried to keep us apart failed.

I loved her. I’ve only ever loved Amari, even when she left me behind after her sister’s death, I still loved her. I don’t know if I knew how to live without loving her, but I was going to have to figure it out.

Getting out of the car, I took a deep breath and put my game face on. It was strange walking up to the door as a visitor. This was our home, the place we were going to raise our family and grow old together. This house held so much promise. We’d renewed our wedding vows in the backyard, she’d recommitted to me, to us and I really thought we had a chance. His interference, her love of him, it chipped away at what I now know to have been a shaky foundation until it collapsed.

When I approached the front door, I started to unlock it, but stopped. This wasn’t my home anymore, I’d moved out two weeks ago, I couldn’t just walk in like I still belonged here. I rang the bell.

“Here mom, I think she’s hungry.” I heard Amari say.

“I’ll get it.” Finley called out. “Daddy!” she said throwing her arms around my neck.

“Hey kiddo.”  It was hard to believe she was graduating in a few days. “Interesting choice of color,” I said picking up a lock of her hair.

“What do you mean interesting? It’s my natural color.”

“That’s why it’s interesting. I don’t think I’ve seen that since you were little,” I joked.

Finley playfully hit my arm before turning to head back into the house. The sounds of talking and the cooing of the babies greeted me as I followed.

“Marcus, how nice to see you,” Kathy said walking over to give me a hug. “I want you to meet Adrian.”
Continue Reading: "Chapter 126-Dirty Laundry"

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Liebster Award

So today is my special day. :D I was nominated twice for this award. First by Mischief for As Life Goes, my going solo legacy, and secondly for this story by who I now know to be a lurker and Mulo fan ShakespearesSunshyne. Thank you Sunshyne for the kind words you wrote about this story in its nomination. I am deeply honored to know that my sometimes crazy, and overactive imagination brings entertainment to my fellow simmers!!!
 ***edit as I was finishing up this post, I got notified that Sweetnightingale also nominated Kiss. Thank you!**
**another edit. itsjulie also nominated Kiss.**  Thank you again for the love!

The Liebster Award is given by bloggers to bloggers, to promote the blogging sites we love and support.

Accepting the nomination comes with these conditions:
1. Post the award on your blog.
2. Thank the blogger who presented the award and link back to their blog.
3. Nominate 5-11 bloggers whom you feel deserve this award and have fewer than or equal to 3,000 followers.
4. Answer 11 questions posted by the nominator, and ask your nominees 11 questions.

My nominations:

Code Name Danger by Daijah
The Forsaken by Valpre
Torres Legacy by Taina
Fate Always Loses Hold by Mel
The Ouroboros Legacy by Misty
Zhippidy's Custom Poses for Sims 3 by Zhippidy (she has a story too, but sadly it's not been updated in a while so I'm nominating her pose blog instead.)
Painswater Point by Luckygirl

**Questions from Sunshyne***
1.) What got you hooked on The Sims franchise?

My daughter bought Sims Life Stories off Ebay and played it. She encouraged me to play and that was my first introduction to sims. From there we bought S2 and a few expansion packs and a month or so later S3 came out.

2.) What is your essential CC site? It can offer mods or clothing, or that one piece of CC you can't play without and can be made by you or someone else.

Um...there are so many. One thing I can't really do with out are the mods by Nraas they are a must have! After that it would be pose player by cmomoney and all the pose makers out there!! The list is wayyy too long for me to list them all, but if you're out there, just know I thank you for sharing your work with the community!!! Same with all the clothes, hair, etc that I use (seriously I use a helluva lot of CC in my game LOL).

3.) How do you find your CC?

Well if I'm being adventurous I'll google what I'm looking for and see what I can find. When I'm being lazy (95% of the time) I ask my friend DJ if she knows what I'm looking for and 9 times out of 10 she'll know what I need and where to find it. Other times, if I'm reading a story and see something I've not seen before I'll ask the author about it.

4.) Where were you when the idea for your story first come to you? What was going on?

Um...for Kiss I was talking with my daughter and nephew about sims in general debating if I wanted to start a story. As we chatted the idea started forming in my head and I wrote it out. (interesting fact I hand wrote the first 68 chapters of Kiss) For Fiendish, I was actually in bed going to sleep with that idea hit me (and others after that).

5.) Where do you stand in the Oxford Comma debate?

Um....yeah okay then. LOL I didn't know there was a debate about this, not sure what it is, and I'm having a lazy moment so not googling. Sorry.

6.) If you could try one of the foods in the sims game, which food would you choose?

Lobster Thermidor

 7.) Do you have an all-time favorite sim?

All time favorite??? Damn...that's hard. My bad guys have a special place in my heart for some reason so that would be Mulo and Seth. Yes I know that's two, but really I can't narrow it down. Don't get me wrong I love my heroes as well, but I feel like I have to protect my 'hated' characters I guess. LOL

8.) What is one thing you can do in TheSims (1,2,3,4) that you have yet to try? If you've tried it all (Geez, I'm jealous) what is your favorite thing to do with your sims?

Man...good question. With my going solo legacy I'm attempting to try all aspects of the game (S3) that I've not done since I'd stopped playing for a while and just did shots for my stories. With each new EP, I 'tested' out the new features briefly, but haven't really explored them all. I guess the most untouched would surround any and all things having to do with Into The Future.

My favorite thing to do, another good question. I liked to have variety to my game play so I didn't get bored. I guess it would be playing with the toddlers. No matter what, I always eventually have kids and I like teaching the tots their skills.

9.) How do you deal with writer's block?

**This will be a cheat since I answered it once already. LOL answer is the same:** With a lot of cussing, followed by whining (thanks DJ for always listening to me) followed by more cussing. LOL If I'm blocked on a sim story, sometimes I'll just play for fun to get back to the basics of the game and out of my head for a while. It works sometimes, other times my mind will obsess over whatever I'm stuck on, unable to move past it until I figure out the glitch.

10.) Have you ever based a character off of someone you know? If so, does this person know you based a character on them? Why or Why not? And if not, why?

Yes, my friend DJ. At the end of Fiendish, Calida's shrink Dr. Carr is her simself. Yes she knows I based the character off of her. She's not a shrink or anything, but I did use her simself to fill that role.

11.) What do you draw inspiration from?

Life really. There are always things going on in the world that I think could be used for material in a fictional setting. TV, movies, music, my family and friends. Nothing is off limits really. 

**Questions from Sweetnightingale**
1. How did you get into writing and what was/is your biggest inspiration?

I wrote some when I was younger, a few stories here and there but with life and kids, that all stopped. Kiss renewed my love of writing and although some of the earlier chapters are pretty rough, I still love seeing how much I've improved over the years. My biggest inspiration? Hard to say really, I pull inspiration from all things.

2. How long have you been writing?

I'm just gonna go with when I started sim writing and that's headed towards 4 years now.

3. How long have you been playing Sims and what got you into it?

I've been playing since 2010. My daughter bought Sims LifeStories off Ebay and she told me I should try playing, that I might enjoy it, and well here I am today.

4. If you could have one of your Sims as a best friend, who would it be and why?

I think it would be Macy from Fiendish. She was a fun character and stuck up for those she loved no matter what.

5. Who is your favorite Sim and why?

**This is a cheat since I answered it before although I'm adding on the 'why'** From Kiss it's Aric, Amari's first born child. I just love him even though he's not a main MAIN character. **He's a great kid and always takes care of his mother and the the rest of his family without a second thought. He's loyal and has a quiet strength about him.** From Fiendish, it was Seth, even with all his crazy, possessive, murderous ways. **He was who he was and gave no excuses for it.** From my legacy...well that's hard. I love Davis. His character was fun to write and he was just a great guy then Grace came along and her story with Jonas put them in the top spot. Even though Jonas isn't 'my' character, I loved him so much I brought him back to life and I'm so happy Vuneca let me. :) **They both suffered in the past and together they helped each other heal and found love again.**

6. Do you ever dream about Sims? If so, tell us about one of your Sims related dreams.

Well normally it's when I'm stuck on something or get an idea for a scene for one of my stories. Some of those make it into the stories, while others don't.

7. What is the very first Sims story you've written and the very first one you've read?

The first one I wrote is Kiss. The first one I read has been long discontinued, it was a baby challenge and I no longer remember the name of it. :( (bad memory) It was only on the forums, not a blog.

8. Where do your story ideas come from?

The darkened, twisted corners of my mind. LOL Really that's it, at the oddest times I'll get hit with what I think could be a cool story idea. Sometimes I'll even write out the first chapter or two then they sit and go nowhere. :(

9. If you were stranded on a deserted island, say, the Isle of the Midnight Sun, what Sim would you want to be stranded with and why?

Just don't think I can narrow it to just 1 and the why, well...let's just say my simself has a harem of men for a reason. LOL

10. What are some other interests you have besides Sims and writing Sims stories?

I have one book out and I'm working on a second. Other than writing, I have my kiddies that keep me busy. In my down time, I do like to read and watch TV.

11. If you could live in any Sims world, which one would it be and why?

Lucky Palms. My in-laws live in AZ and I love it there. I know, crazy, it's the desert, but I do. :)

**Questions from itsjulie**

 1.  If you were stranded on a desert island with one of the sim characters from your story - which one would you like it to be?

Good question. And one I find hard to answer. I have so many that could be good for various 'reasons' LOL. Um thinking practical instead of mind in the gutter I'd say Amari. She's a survior and with as many people in her life that love her, I know one hell of a search party would be sent out so we'd be rescued. :)

2.  How long have you been playing the sims for and what got you started?

Um, I've been playing sims since 2010/2011. My daughter is what got me started. She asked for a game, Sims Life stories and after that it snowballed into what you see today.

3.  What other hobbies do you have outside of simming, blogging and writing.

I like to read. That's about it. My life is pretty basic and my kiddies take up a lot of my free time.

4.  What is your favourite sim trait and why?

I never thought about a favorite trait. I'm not sure I have one.

5.  Do you think there is an age limit to when you should be playing sims, or an age when it is not acceptable anymore?

Nope, not at all. It's a game and it's fun. You have grown people that love their gaming systems and the age on that doesn't seem to have a limit so why should sims.

6.  Where do you get the inspiration from for your writing?

Kinda all over. I can watch TV or hear a song and an idea will pop.

7.  What do you love most about the Sims game.  What keeps you playing it?

The possibilities. There really isn't any limit to what you can do in sims, storywise.

8.  How seriously do you take your writing?  Is it just for fun or would you like to make a living out of it one day?

Well one of my stories I turned into a book. It was my Fiendish story which started it's life as a sim story but now it's out for the whole world to read. Um, even so I still do it for fun. I mean I have to enjoy it otherwise it becomes a chore and that's no fun.

9.  Which are your favourite world, expansion pack and premade sim?

Favorite world: Lucky Palms expansion pack: generations, and premade sim: don't have one. I rarely play with the premades.

10.  Five sim traits that describe you.

Good sense of humor, nurturing, hot-headed, Eco-friendly, and friendly.

11.  Tell me a random fact about yourself.

I used to have an ice cream tattoo that said lick me. LOL

My questions for the nominees

1. How would you achieve world peace? (yes I'm laughing as I type that LOL)
2. Vanilla game or CC user? Why?
3. Do you prefer to make your own sims for your stories or use sims made by friends?
4. Do you ever think you'll stop writing sim stories, or playing the game?
5. Have you ever had your story veer off course from what you originally planned?
6. If you were a sim, what would be your traits?
7. What is your favorite sims EP?
8. What is your least favorite EP?
9. If you were stranded on an island, what (or who) would you want with you?
10. How long do you spend writing or rewriting a chapter before you publish it?
11. What is the 1 store set that EA created that you can't do without?

Continue Reading: "Liebster Award"

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Chapter 125-Elephant In The Room

I spent the night curled up in Marcus’ office after he’d walked out. I sat in his office feeling the same empty, all-consuming ache that I’d had when he was missing. I sat there on the floor for hours until the sounds of life coming from above made their way into my consciousness. I pulled myself up off the floor and slowly made my way upstairs. I heard Finley in the kitchen along with the cooing of one of the babies. I quickly darted upstairs to clean myself up before she saw me. As I got to the top of the stairs, Marcus was coming out of the nursery.

Our eyes met briefly. I wanted to say something. Hoped maybe he’d speak, but instead there was silence. I turned and headed into our room, closing the door quietly behind me. Leaning against the door, I listened and waited. Waited to see if he’d come knock even though I knew he wouldn’t. Marcus was very clear last night. It was over with us and the sounds of his footsteps on the stairs reminded me of that.

I’d hurt him. I’d hurt him so deeply and I had been blind to it. What happened to me? When did I become this person? This selfish, self-absorbed bitch capable of causing so much pain and heartache to the best man I’ve ever known? Pushing off the door, I slowly made my way to the bathroom. My eyes were red and puffy from spending most of the night crying. I grabbed a wash cloth and ran it under the cold water before pressing it to my face.

These next few weeks were going to be hard, but unavoidable. I’d tried to push him away once, to save him from me and he’d insisted on staying. Now he was running when I wanted to keep him and as much as it hurt, I had to let him go. That’s how I could start to make up for the wrongs I’d done to Marcus. He wanted free of me, so he’d get his freedom. Once I pulled myself together, I followed the sound of voices and found everyone in the living room.

“Hey Mrs. Smith,” Zana greeted. She and Finley were playing with two of the babies. I glanced over at Marcus who was taking a crying Graham from the swing.

“Hey Zana, dear. How are you today?” I asked hoping my face didn’t show how I was feeling.

Marcus looked in my direction briefly before making some comment about Graham needing a fresh diaper then quickly leaving the room. The dance had begun.

During the day Marcus and I interacted only when necessary. We’d care for the babies, handled Finley’s end of the year things and tried our best to function as a family unit. At night we’d go our separate ways.

I hated being in our room so I’d obsessively clean things that didn’t need cleaning or I’d sit out by the pool. Other nights, I’d fall asleep on the couch or go for long walks. Marcus stayed in the boys’ old room. Some nights I’d hear him working out or doing whatever down in his office.
Continue Reading: "Chapter 125-Elephant In The Room"

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Chapter 124-What Now?

I knocked lightly on the door before entering Ceula’s hospital room. Ashley was sitting on the bed telling her mother about her day at school and Trey sat beside the bed holding Ceula’s hand. Their family, our family, was complete again. It had been three days since we’d gotten her back. She didn’t remember a lot of what happened just that she’d been taken after she dropped Ashley off from school. Marisol apparently had kept her compelled most of the time because she said her memory was fuzzy on a lot of things. She was extremely dehydrated, had low iron, and of course blood loss, the only bright spot, if you could call it that, was that those newbies of Marisol didn’t use Ceula for anything more than a feeding source.

“Hey Grammy,” Ashley said smiling at me.

“Hi sweetheart,” I replied walking over to give both her and Ceula kisses.

Trey got up to bring a second chair over. “They’re releasing her tomorrow,” he informed me.

“Yes and I’m ready to go home and sleep in my own bed.”

On the surface Ceula seemed to be recovering okay, but I still worried. Ashley had stayed nights with us because Trey didn’t want to leave her side. He’d told me she’d been having nightmares, but when she’d wake she’d have forgotten them that quickly. That was troubling news to hear. Carter was going to run more tests on her. He’d already done a CT that showed nothing. He suspected that whatever was causing her nightmares then instant memory loss was related to her time with Marisol. Considering Mulo had already messed with her head before, anything Marisol could have done might have conflicted and caused some damage we couldn’t see. We were all nervous about her memories of David coming back. Marcus regained his memories of his previous life and he wasn’t compromised like she is now. I was supposed to protect her and I failed. For a second time, I allowed her to fall into the hands of a monster.

“I’m sure the hospital is ready to kick you out to stop the constant flow of visitors to your room,” I joked, pushing away those upsetting thoughts. She gave me a weak smile in return.

All of the family had converged on the hospital once Mulo and I returned. Since then, there was someone here, other than Trey, every day. I leaned forward to smooth her bangs to the side. She was looking better. There were still dark circles under her eyes and bruising showing on her face and around her neck from the repeated biting. Her arms were the same way and it broke my heart to see her like that. It reminded me of finding her after David had worked her over so badly. The anger I had at Marisol for putting her through this made me wish I could kill her all over again. She needed to suffer, to know the pain and terror she’d inflicted on me and my children. Knowing that Ceula still had a long road to recovery made me think Marisol got off to easy by me killing her so quickly.

I stayed and talked to them for a while longer until the nurse walked in with her discharge papers.

“I love you kiddo.”

“Love you too Mom,” she replied, hugging me tighter. “And none of this is your fault,” she whispered in my ear. I pulled back and looked at her. “I know you’re blaming yourself, but you shouldn’t.”

“She’s right,” Trey said. “I know I said some pretty mean things to you and I apologize for that. I was just so angry and scared…”

“Wait, you said mean things to my mom?” Ceula cut in.

“Ooh, Daddy’s in trouble,” Ashley giggled.

“No, he didn’t,” I answered. “He just needed to vent his frustrations,” I smiled over at my son-in-law.

I hated to think anything good came from Marisol’s time in my life, but I doubted I’d have the family I had now if not for her interference. Through all the horrible I’d endured, I was thankful for each of the children I had surrounding me.

When I walked into the house, I heard Finley and Marcus talking in the living room. I still had no idea where things stood with us. With Ceula being home, our focus had been on her. Making sure she was alright and helping to take care of Ashley. Marcus had been by my side being the great guy he always was, at least when people were around. At night, after everyone was in bed, he’d spend hours working out or be locked away in his office. I’d go to sleep alone and wake up alone.

“Thanks Daddy!” I heard Finley say excitedly before she darted up the stairs just as I was heading into the foyer.

I walked into the living room and saw Marcus cuddling with Gracie. “What was that all about?”

“She wanted to use the beach house to host her graduation party. Since it’s vacant right now I told her that was fine.”

“Oh.” In a few weeks, Finley would be graduating and then preparing to move cross country for school. That idea still saddened me, but I couldn’t hold her back. She was growing up and it was my job to support her no matter how scared I was to let her go.

“How’s Ceula?”

“Good,” I replied walking over to get Graham. “She was being discharged when I left.”

“That’s good,” he replied before heading upstairs.

The rest of the day was much like the others. We talked about things that only concerned the kids. Ceula called once she got home. Before dinner, Marcus and I went over to take her some food so she wouldn’t have to worry about cooking. We didn’t stay long because we didn’t want Finley too overwhelmed with the babies. After dinner we got the babies down for the night and Marcus headed downstairs.

I drew myself a bath and thought about how I wanted to broach the subject we’d been avoiding the last few days. Of all the visitors Ceula had gotten, Mulo hadn’t been one of them. He’d sent flowers and a teddy bear for Ashley, but I’d not seen or heard from him since he’d dropped us off at the hospital. Relaxing back in the tub, I tried to let the soothing lavender scent and warm water wash away my worries. My fingers traced the outline of my lips as I remembered the kiss we’d shared on his balcony.

Was that his way of saying goodbye? We’d talked about him leaving, giving me the space I needed for the sake of my marriage, but at times he’d been intent on fighting it. Mulo had finally become the man I’d wanted him to be years ago. Finally he seemed ready to commit, to put my needs ahead of his own for once. But it was too late. He knew that. That’s all that kiss was, his goodbye. It had to be. With everything going on I couldn’t ask him why.

“No! I don’t need the why. I can’t keep thinking about the what-ifs,” I said scolding myself for my wandering thoughts. I loved Mulo, there was no denying that, but I belonged with Marcus.

Pulling the drain on the tub, I stepped out and dressed quickly. Just like I couldn’t dwell on the what-ifs, I couldn’t keep living in the unknown. I loved Marcus and I knew I’d pushed his limits, but a part of me still believed or at least hoped there was still a way for us.

Marcus was sitting at his computer; pictures of houses were on the screen. “Are we moving?”

He exited out of the browser before turning to face me. “Just me.” His voice was devoid of any emotion like when we talked on the phone.

It was unsettling, how unnaturally calm he was these days. I missed the anger, at least then I knew he cared, that he was still invested, but now…it was like he’d checked out. A lump formed in my throat at that thought and I felt the sting in my eyes as I fought back the tears.

“We…were you going to tell me or…” my voice cracked as my emotions got the better of me.

Marcus got up from the chair and I hoped it was to comfort me, but instead he stood there, crossing his arms, unaffected. “Maybe we should talk about this later,” he said. He tried to keep that same calmness, but I detected a hint of waiver in his voice.

“When later?” I screamed at him. “Every conversation we’ve had since I got back as been superficial. So when, when will we have time to talk about you leaving me Marcus? On your way out the door?”

His jaw clenched as he fought to not be affected by my words. I could see he was still trying to remain detached to sever his feelings. He didn’t get to do it that way. I wasn’t perfect, in fact I was well aware of how much I’d fucked up, but I never imagined he’d make plans to leave me in such a way. To keep secrets and make plans without at least talking to me. I couldn’t believe he’d blindside me like this.

“You told me you’d wait. When I called you, you promised me you’d wait. I thought…I thought we’d talk, that we’d fix this but you’re running away!”

“There’s nothing to fix Amari!” he screamed back at me. “What in the hell do you expect from me? I’ve been understanding, and tried and tried to wrap my head around you and him but I can’t and I fucking shouldn’t have to!”

The tears I’d tried to hold in broke loose as I was faced with his anger and frustration. Those feelings that he’d been trying to bury were still there under the surface and I’d managed to release them. I could take his anger better than his indifference, but as I looked at him I saw more than that. I knew this thing with Mulo wasn’t easy on Marcus, that it pained him, but looking at him I saw just how deeply it cut.

“You’re right,” I said, my own anger draining from me leaving only heartbreak in its place. “I know I have no right to ask this of you, but there’s been so much. Always! Just one thing after the next and…I have done wrong. I admit that…I…please Marcus,” I begged hoping that the part of him that still loved me would hear my sincerity.

The frown on his face softened as he ran his hands through his hair. He looked at me and just started shaking his head. “For once I agree with you,” he said and I was hopeful that I’d gotten through to him until he continued. “You don’t have a right to ask anything else of me.”

The finality of those words ripped my heart out and set it ablaze. I drew in a stuttered breath, fighting to not let the despair consume me. This was really it, the end of my marriage. I thought about the babies and how that would work. Having to see him still but not be with him. A sob escaped at the thought. I wouldn’t be able to do it.

Marcus started for the door. “You lied,” I whispered.

He stopped and turned back. “What?”

“You lied to me,” I said louder this time, some of the anger from before returning now. I wasn’t willing to give up on us as easily as he was. He fought his way back into my life, refusing to give up even when I pushed him away. I wasn’t going to let him walk away so easily now.

“What did I ever lie to you about?” he snapped.

“Third time’s a charm, sound familiar? When you asked me to marry you, you shot down my fears, you promised me it would be different this time. That you were different and that you had no plans of leaving me or our family ever again. YOU LIED!” I screamed poking him in the chest.

Marcus stared down at me. His brows drawn together in a deep V. His nostrils flaring out as he took deep breaths, fighting to not be drawn back in to this argument.

“You are different Marcus, because the man I knew would never give up so easily!”

A smile tugged at his lips and the fact that he was smiling scared me more than anything.

“Easy? What part of this has been easy exactly?” he asked, his voice returning to that calm indifference from before. “The part where my wife spent two months with the person I hate most in this world? Or the part where she tells me that she still loves him despite all the shit he’s done to her and our family? Was that the easy part Amari? No? Well, let’s continue to see if we can get to the easy part.” He got angrier as he spoke. All the feelings he'd been trying to keep to himself came bubbling to the surface.

“It has to be the part where my wife tells me she was close to fucking that man, but she managed not to, but not because of the vows she made or anything logical like that. Nope, it’s because fucking Mulo knew how bad it would be on you if he let you cross that line! Have I gotten to the fucking easy part yet Amari?” he yelled. “I have put up with you loving that...that man since our first marriage. You even went so far as to make vows to him during our wedding! So easy? No Amari, loving you has been the hardest goddamned thing I've ever done.”

Each word he spoke shook me to my core. Each angry syllable was like a choke-hold strangling me making it hard to breath. I shrank back, feeling ashamed to be in his presence as he unleashed his well-deserved tirade upon me. My god I was a horrible person! How could I have honestly expected him to stay? I was a fool. A selfish, blind fool. I could finally see things through Marcus' eyes. I looked at the man in front of me. Angry and broken. I’d done that to him. He was a good man. He loved me, he'd been willing to stand by me no matter what and I took that for granted. Tears pooled in the bottom of his eyes and I rushed forward needing, wanting to do something, anything to make it better.

To right the wrongs I’d done to him, but he pushed me away. My apology stuck in my throat, not that I thought it’d make a difference at his point. Eveyone has their limits and Marcus was well past his.

“I’ll stay until after Finley graduates. That’ll give us time to figure out a schedule.” My crying made it hard to speak so I just nodded my understanding.
Continue Reading: "Chapter 124-What Now?"