The Things That You Do

90: Sometimes, Things Just Happen

Gently closing the oven door, Alexa pressed the start button on the timer before she padded towards the kitchen table, taking a seat beside it. She had been at it for a while, with Zachary’s first birthday having arrived, she had been keen to get a start on preparing things for the small party that she and Lionel planned to throw for the little boy, and she was pleased that things were almost ready, even if they did still have a little while before people started to arrive. She wanted everything to be in place before their families and friends showed up. Sparing a brief glance towards the clock, she relaxed into her seat slightly before she allowed her eyes to close, her hand gently rubbing against her bump as she felt a few light kicks.

“Is she moving again?”

Alexa, who’d been enjoying the quiet, flinched a little at the sound of Lionel’s voice before blinked her eyes open, settling them on where he stood in the doorway, a soft smile playing at the corner of his mouth. “She’s been kicking for most of the morning” she mused “But it’s nothing I’ve not been through before. Zach never stopped kicking when I was pregnant with him” she added, gently nudging the seat beside her backwards.

Lionel, who’d moved to take the seat she had offered to him, flashed her a small smile before he leant forwards, gently resting his palm against her bump, marveling a little at the feel of the soft kicks which knocked against it.

Alexa watched him for a moment, admiring the soft expression which had settled on his features, before she gently lifted her hand, settling it on top of his. “Where’s Zach?” she murmured, gently knotting their fingers together.

“He’s taking a nap” Lionel replied “I thought it would be best to get him settled down for a little while before people start showing up. The last thing I wanted was for him to be grumpy whilst people are here to make a fuss of him” he added as he lifted his head, offering Alexa a light smile.

“It’s probably not the worst idea” Alexa replied “He does tend to get grumpy when he’s tired. It’s something he clearly inherited from you” she added, an impish smile on her lips.

Lionel scoffed playfully, but didn’t say anything, instead returning his stare towards her stomach. “I can’t quite believe that he’s a year old” he murmured quietly “I mean, I know he is, I remember the day he came along very clearly, but the idea that that was twelve months ago?” he breathed.

Alexa, who’d moved to prop her feet up in his lap, smiled a little at the tone of awe in his voice before she reached her hand out, recapturing his which had taken up its familiar spot against her bump. “I know what you mean” she mused “It doesn’t feel like it was a year ago that he came along, but it won’t be too much longer before we’re back in a hospital room again, waiting on this little one to come along” she added warmly, her eyes following the line of his stare down towards her stomach.

Lionel looked up at her. “I can’t wait” he fussed warmly, a goofy smile on his face.

Alexa giggled warmly before the sound of Zachary’s snuffles emanated away from the baby monitor which sat in the pocket of Lionel’s shorts, something which caused her to push herself up to her feet. “I should go and get him” she mused.

Lionel nodded. “I’ve got to get going anyway” he mused “My madre’s already texted me twice, telling me how excited she is to see the birthday boy, and if I keep her waiting for too much longer, she’s going to complain about it for the rest of the day” he added with a playful roll of his eyes.

Alexa let out another soft laugh before she leant towards him, pressing a brief kiss against his cheek before she stepped out of the room. Lionel smiled after her for a few moments before he shook his head, wordlessly fussing about how much had changed for them in a year.

“This is where you’re hiding”

Alexa, who’d been quietly sipping on the glass of water that she had poured for herself, smirked a little at the sound of Marco’s voice before she shifted across the couch slightly, making room for him beside her. It had been a busy afternoon, with both her and Lionel’s families and a few friends around to celebrate Zachary’s first birthday, the house had been a hive of activity, and whilst Alexa was thrilled that people were so excited to share in celebrating Zachary’s birthday with them, she had been keen to get a moment to herself, something which had led to her ducking back into the house whilst the party continued outside.

“You’re hardly one to talk” Alexa quipped “I mean, you came inside for a reason, and I doubt that it was just to check up on me” she added.

Marco, who’d plopped into the seat at her side, shrugged. “Leo is asking after you” he quipped “But mostly, I wanted a second away from party. I love my children, but they’re very excited and I need a second to catch my breath before we start the next round of hide and seek” he added, allowing his head to rest back against the couch.

Alexa snorted playfully. “You’re getting old, Marco” she quipped.

Marco rolled his eyes, but didn’t sit up, something which made Alexa laugh softly. “What are you doing in here?” he posed “I mean, I thought you’d be outside. It’s Zach’s big day after all. Are you not enjoying yourself?” he added, turning his head to look at her.

“Of course I am” Alexa replied “I think me and Leo did a good job of planning a party” she added.

“You did” Marco quipped “But it still doesn’t answer my question. Why are you hiding out in here, Alexa?” he posed.

Alexa spared him a glance before she shook her head, offering him a small smile. “I’m not hiding” she replied “I just needed a break. It might have escaped your notice, but I am carrying around your neice and it does take a lot out of me. I’m pretty far along now” she added.

Marco spared her a dubious look, something which made Alexa roll her eyes before she shook her head. “I might also be avoiding my future mother-in-law” she mumbled.

Marco lifted an eyebrow. “Why?” he posed.

“Because she keeps asking me about wedding plans and I don’t really know what to tell her” Alexa replied “We had a lot in place, before we found out about the baby, we’d planned a lot of it, but we agreed to postpone the date until after the baby’s born and that was the last we said about it. We’re getting to it, once the baby’s arrived, it’s something I know me and Leo will talk about, but right now? There’s not too much to say” she explained.

It wasn’t something they’d talked a lot about, with Alexa’s pregnancy progressing, almost all of her and Lionel’s focus had been set on preparing for the new arrival, and it meant that they’d made very little progress when it came to planning their wedding, something Alexa knew would change once the baby had arrived, even if they did take a few more months to get things in order. She had very little doubt that she and Lionel would wait around for too long after their daughter arrived to make it up the aisle.

Marco looked at her for a moment before he shook his head, offering her a grin. “You should probably just tell her that” he quipped “I mean, she might be a little upset, but I am sure she won’t hold too much of a grudge. You are going to be pushing her newest grandbaby into the world in a couple of months” he pointed out with a brief glance down towards her bump.

Alexa followed the line of his stare before she shook her head. “I think she hoped we’d be married before the end of the year” she mumbled.

Marco smirked. “Did I ever tell you why Isabel’s padre doesn’t like me?” he quipped “He wanted me to propose to her before we even started to think about children, but then she fell pregnant with the twins after we’d been dating for almost seven months. I don’t think he’s ever forgiven me for it” he joked.

Alexa merely looked at him, something which made Marco chuckle before he shifted his arm, rubbing her shoulder reassuringly. “Sometimes, things just happen” he quipped “I mean, I don’t imagine that you and Leo planned to get pregnant again so soon after Zach, but you’re thrilled that you are, aren’t you?” he posed.

Alexa nodded, a fond smile pulling at the corner of her mouth. “Of course I am” she mused.

Marco returned her smile warmly. “You’ll get there, Alexa” he mused “You and Leo, neither one of you is going anywhere, and you’ll get to getting married in your own time. Everyone else will merely have to suck it up” he added.

Alexa laughed gently before the distant sound of Ariana and Adrian’s voices filled the air, something which caused Marco to heave out a sigh before he pushed himself up to his feet. “I should get back” he quipped.

“Can I ask you something before you do?” Alexa asked.

Marco arched an eyebrow, a little caught off guard by her request, before he nodded. “Of course” he replied.

Alexa looked at him for a second before she shook her head, a shy smile pulling at the corner of her mouth. “I’ve already spoken to mama” she mused “I mean, it was before we found out about the baby, and we decided to put the date back, but I imagine her answer is likely to be the same...”

“Does this have a point?” Marco interjected, offering her a grin.

Alexa blinked a couple of times, surprised by his interruption, before she breathed out a soft laugh. “I was wondering if you’d like to walk me down the aisle” she breathed out.

Marco’s expression softened. “What?” he posed.

“I asked mama” Alexa mused “But she said that she was more than happy to be the mother of the bride. She suggested that I ask you” she added.

“Me?” Marco squeaked.

Alexa nodded. “You’re my big brother” she quipped with a nonchalant shrug “And I’d love it if you did it, but if you don’t want to...”

“I want to” Marco interrupted “Of course I want to” he added, a grin splitting over his features.

Alexa mirrored his smile. “I’m glad” she enthused.

Marco let out a soft awed laugh before he stepped towards her, wrapping her in a tight hug. “I’m going to write the best speech” he quipped.

Alexa merely hugged him back tightly for a few seconds before the sound of someone clearing their throat reached her ears, causing her to peel away from Marco and look towards the doorway, her blue eyes settling on Lionel who stood a little away from them. “I’m sorry for interrupting” he quipped “But we’re going to sing happy birthday to Zach and I thought his mama ought to be there. Are you coming back?” he asked.

Alexa nodded before she stepped across the room, taking the hand that Lionel had offered out towards her. Knotting their fingers together, she followed him through the house before they stepped out onto the patio, gathering around the birthday cake which had been placed on the table. Offering his hand a light squeeze, she gently reached her arm out to take Zachary from Madeline before she rested him on her hip, smiling as a chorus of happy birthday filled the air. Allowing the song to end, she grinned as a few pictures were snapped before she helped the little boy blow out his candle, wordlessly hoping that the next year was as good as that one had been.