Chapter 3.42 Unwanted Attention

“I just want to say thanks again for bringing me out.”

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Juniper smiled at Lukas as she said this. The two of them had spend the day together, mostly just to know each other better and because he wanted her to feel slightly more involved when it comes to decorating the nursery and buying things for the baby. That and the two of them got manicures in a very open place (he made sure to check it out and check it was safe before they went there).

“It’s okay, I really enjoy spending time with you Jen.” Lukas smiled back at her, the two of them sitting down at the table.

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“I like spending time with you too.” She smiled in return. “I especially needed it today. Nick took the girls to an ice skating rink for a daddy daughters day, and between that making me feel slightly nervous and nesting instincts…” Shaking her head at herself, she smiled slightly sheepishly. “I guess I’m just glad to get out of the house, and I know the girls are too.” Because it was getting closer to her due date, she mostly wanted to stay at home and so did Nick, meaning that Roisin and Lainey had to suffer and couldn’t do many fun things.

“I feel kind of the same way, happy to get out of the house. I wanted to get a few last minute things for the baby, I know what you’re about to say and don’t.” He warned, teasingly.

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“I’m not going to say anything, especially nothing about you already spoiling the baby before it’s even born.” Joking, Juniper grinned at him. Even though she’d never admit it, it made her happy to think that the baby was going to get everything he or she wanted and more.

“You’re starting to sound like my husband now.” He accused jokingly and then stood. “What do you want me to get for you?”

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“Probably just a hot chocolate, something to keep me warm and make sure my hands don’t fall off.” She laughed a little. It was always so cold in the city during winter months, but she kind of liked it. “And that cake in particular has been calling out to me.”

“Do you want the normal hot chocolate or the one with all the cream and marshmallows and stuff?” He asked.

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Shrugging, she grinned. “That depends.”

“On?”

“On whether you think me giving you a child in the next week-ish is worth splashing out and getting me the fancy one.” Grinning at him, she responded cheekily.

Giving a single laugh, he grinned back at her. “Alright, the special one it is then.”

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As Lukas went to get their orders, Juniper found herself having a moment of peace. She couldn’t really remember the last time she wasn’t talking to someone or had someone around. Nick was watching the girls which was nice for her. Even though she loved them both indescribably, she needed time away sometimes. That and she liked spending time with Lukas. He was really nice, and she knew both he and Anthony would be good with the baby. It made her happy to know that her baby was going to good people.

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She had a feeling that the two of them were getting suspicious of her; thinking that she found out the gender without them as she kept picking out pink things whenever they asked if she wanted to find things for the baby (Anthony was the one who pointed it out), it wasn’t her fault she had seen them with a daughter.

She didn’t quite know how to feel at that thought: she was having a girl. She preferred not to think about it too deeply.

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As the door opened, she looked up instinctively and felt herself go cold at what she saw. It was a kind of sudden coldness, also feeling an inability to move as to what she saw.

Daniel.

With another woman, one who seemed similar to herself.

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As she locked eyes with him from across the cafe, she saw him look her up and down, a displeased look on his face.

Without thinking about it, her arm went over her bump, almost defensively as she returned by glaring at him. If she was in any other state, she’d go over and confront him and the new girl he was with, but at this moment, she took advantage of the power of her glare, feeling slightly confident in the fact that she didn’t do as he suggested, and that she could make two deserving people happy with the choice that she made, rather than keep someone like him happy.

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Juniper noticed out of the corner of her eyes that his new trophy was looking between her and him, but she kept the glare at Daniel, and simply raised an eyebrow at him. Her expression was telling him to leave and not look back, and she was proud of herself as he snarled at her and left.

She felt proud that she got her way, without causing a massive scene.

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Lukas saw Jennifer glaring at some random man by the door, some guy and a woman about half his age. He couldn’t help but wonder what was going on, mostly because of the very intense glare she was giving him. After it was seemingly over he sat down with their drinks and her muffin. “Who was that guy?” He asked, curious. Whoever it was, she must have some beef with him.

“You saw that?” She asked, slightly worried. She didn’t want him getting the wrong impression, that even though she was nice (well as nice as she usually was) with them that she was secretly a bitch.

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“I only saw because I was paying attention to you, no one else was paying too close attention I don’t think.” He assured her before following up with. “Do you know him from somewhere?” As he took a drink, part of him was intrigued to what she was going to say.

“I guess you could say that I know him from somewhere.” She mumbled and then clarified. “He’s the baby’s dad.”

Choking slightly on his drink, Lukas wasn’t expecting that answer. “What? S-So he’s the guy…” Trailing off, he put his drink back down on the table.

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“Yep.” Juniper answered, sighing slightly. “He’s the guy who gave me a cheque and pushed me towards getting an abortion.” She put rather bluntly, shaking her head slightly. “I’ve not seen him since I first told him. I guess it’s just… I dunno.” She changed the ending of that sentence part way, not wanting to have a teary feelings session in the middle of a cafe.

“Hey.” Noticing that she seemed close to tears, he put his hand over hers in a comforting manner. “You shouldn’t let someone like him get to you. He’s just one guy, one insignificant guy who doesn’t know a good thing when he’s got one. You’re funny, smart, pretty, selfless, you’ve got great nails.” He joked with the last one, and was happy to get a laugh out of her. “For every guy like him, there’s a different guy, one who’ll be there for you.”

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Narrowing her eyes at him, she asked. “Are we doing this again?”

“Doing what?” Lukas asked innocently, drinking some of his coffee.

“This thing you’ve got with me and Nick.” She pointed out.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Shrugging innocently, he then grinned at her.

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“Yes you do, I swear, you’re the worst. I swear, it’s like the moment you met the two of us and found out we weren’t dating you’ve been dropping so many hints.” She laughed and then shook her head. “There’s nothing going on between us, I’m kind of preoccupied with the fallout from my last breakup anyway.”

“You say that now but I give it a year.” He gave his prediction, and continued with. “I wasn’t at first, I kinda thought he was playing for our team if you get what I mean, but then I saw the looks.”

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“What looks?” She asked him, drinking some of her hot chocolate.

“See, you don’t see it because you take part in it. The way he looks at you and the way you look back at him… You can’t honestly tell me that nothing’s going on there.”

“Lukas, sweetie, I know this may be hard for you to hear but nothing is going on. Nothing.” She assured him, smiling slightly as she did so. “We’re just friends.”

“Okay, okay.” He agreed verbally, but he knew that there was something more between them, even if she refused to admit it.

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“I’m home.” Juniper called as she walked back into the flat, she figured Nick was probably back by now with the girls.

“Mommy!” Roisin squealed, running up to Juniper and hugging her, somewhat throwing Juniper’s balance slightly.

“Careful sweetie.” She mumbled, taking a step back to regain her balance. “Did you have fun today with Daddy?” She asked, smiling as she did so.

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Roisin shrugged, clearly not the biggest fan of ice skating. “Okay I guess.”

“I really like it.” Lainey informed her, coming from the living room with Nick following her. “Really really. Go again?” She asked, looking between both Juniper and Nick.

“Maybe once the baby’s here, like I said.” Nick reminded her, smiling at Juniper as he saw her. She couldn’t help but wonder what Lukas meant by the way he looks at her, he looks at her like how a normal person does.

“I’d love to ice skate with you Lain, but after the baby’s born, okay? That’s a promise.” Juniper smiled at her, and she meant it. It seemed like Lainey really enjoyed her time ice skating.

“Okay, promise.” Lainey grinned in response, and with that she and Roisin went off to go play in the living room.

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“So how was your day out with Lukas?” Nick asked as the two of them were alone.

“Good, good. We got our nails done.” She grinned, and sat down at the dining table. “You wouldn’t mind doing dinner tonight, would you? I know it’s my turn but my feet are killing me and I really want a nap.” She pouted, hoping he’d agree to cook dinner as she kicked off the shoes she was wearing.

“Yeah, sure that’s-” he stopped himself, and narrowed his eyes at her. “Are those my shoes?” He asked, wondering why she wore them. She was quite a few sizes smaller than him.

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“Hmm? Oh, yeah. The only shoes which fit comfortably that are mine are my sandals and flip flops, and I’d rather not lose my feet by wearing those out in the snow.” She laughed slightly. “It’s cool, right?”

“Yeah, it’s cool. I’m just surprised they fit, that’s all.”

“If it protects your manhood, they’re still way too big but I’ve got swollen pregnant lady feet so…” she knocked her feet together, as if to add emphasis. “Better to be too big than too small and tight. Did the girls both enjoy ice skating?”

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“I’m not sure if Roisin was too big of a fan of it, but Lainey loved it.” He smiled, and then continued with. “I think next time we go, I might ask about getting lessons for her if she enjoys it this much.” He answered. It made him happy to see Lainey so happy doing something, and it seemed pretty clear that at the moment she loved ice skating.

There was a silence between them, only short as Juniper confessed. “So, I saw Daniel today. He was with another woman.”

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“Daniel? As in that Daniel?” Nick asked, his eyes narrowed at the subject.

Juniper nodded, frowning as she did so. “Daniel as in baby daddy Daniel, yeah.” Sighing heavily, she mumbled. “Nothing bad came from it, we just had a mini-stare down which I won as he left, but I just can’t stop thinking about it.”

“Do you want to talk more about it?” He asked, frowning slightly. The times she did talk fully about Daniel or the baby lately, she’d get so far and then stop and say ‘I dunno’ and change the subject.

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“I guess it just made me think about what I meant to him, that’s all.” She mumbled, looking away. “I mean, I’m going through all this, and he just finds another woman, almost the exact same as me. I suppose the only bright side is that him sowing his seed everywhere means more children for adoptive couples, but it just makes me feel kinda used.”

“Not that I’m trying to get you riled up or anything, but is that really what bothered you most?” Nick had known her for a long time now, and knew that surely this couldn’t be the thing most bothering her about seeing Daniel again.

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“I don’t know what you want me to say, Nick. Do you want me to say that I wished that he shoved the other girl to the side, came over to me, proclaimed his love for me and then me, him, Roisin and the baby live together happily ever after? Because that’s not what I want. What I do want is for him to have some kind of moral decency and to, I don’t know, just not leave me out in the loop like this.” She spoke a bit louder, tears threatening to spill.

“June, I…” Nick started but soon trailed off. He wanted to say sorry for asking too much, but at the same time he knew it would be beneficial to talk about it (hopefully).

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“I don’t want to talk about this any more. It’s been a long day and I’m tired.” She mumbled, and then asked. “Can you help me up? I just want some time alone.” He took her hand as she outstretched it, and she got up with his assistance.

“I’ll let you know when dinner’s ready, alright? Don’t expect anything too spectacular.” He joked about himself, trying to lighten the atmosphere, but it didn’t work as she went into her room without saying anything more.

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As she got back to her room, she felt her phone buzz. Checking it, she saw it was a text from Daniel.

“Hey, I’m sorry about what happened today. Me and the girl you saw me with broke up.”

Narrowing her eyes, she wondered why he would bring that up. “Oh?”

“I thought it was inappropriate to date someone given the circumstances.”

“The circumstances are nothing to do with you anymore, you made that pretty clear about nine months ago.”

“That doesn’t mean I’ve stopped thinking about you.” When Juniper read that, she felt determined to not fall into his trap again, but she couldn’t help but be at least a little swayed.

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“If I’m being honest, I’ve not stopped thinking about you either. I guess it’s slightly more challenging in my condition though.”

“I’ve missed this, I’ve missed talking to you.”

“I’ve missed you.” She responded, and then closed the messaging app on her phone. What was she doing? The sensible part of her was telling her to stop, but a large part of her didn’t want to.

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AN:  I know what you’re thinking you’re probably thinking “Juniper????? The fuck???”

Also please ignore the many continuity errors at the start of this chapter   >.>   <.<

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Chapter 3.41 Orchestrated Symphony

Sighing, Juniper flicked through some of the adoption files.

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She hadn’t thought so many people wanted to adopt, especially not in the city. When she called the adoption agency, they had asked her what she would be looking for in adoptive parents and all she could think of was a married couple, but that had a few hundred results so she had to refine it down.

She had tried to whittle it down as far as she could, giving more wanted features (such as financially stable and one parent being willing to give up work when the baby’s still young) but there was still a lot. It was starting to panic her because part of her felt like she was running out of time, even though there was months still to go.

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“You’re still up? It’s like two in the morning. I think you should be going to bed soon.” Nick asked, walking into the living room. “All the files will still be here in the morning.”

“Can’t sleep. I tried but I just kept thinking about stuff.” She excused, opening another file as she mumbled. “I didn’t realise so many people wanted a baby.”

“I know, and it’s not like you’re being vague anymore either.” Sitting down next to her, he glanced too at all the files. “What have you put down for again?” He asked, knowing that she had gone really specific about the kind of couple she wanted now.

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“A wealthy couple in a house with at least two stories who have been married or in a civil partnership for over five years, non smokers, no other children, experience with children though and who have a family pet. One of the parents must have a respectable career and the other must be willing to give up or greatly minimise their job for the baby, I don’t want to give him or her away just for a nanny to raise them.” She clarified that last point. “As well as that,  I want them to live in a wealthy area with a good range of schools nearby and also for the parents to have trustworthy family members, meaning family members with no criminal records whatsoever, in the local vicinity. As well as that, being relatively close to here, but not too close. Just so it won’t take hours and hours to meet them but also so they’re far away enough so it’s not awkward.”

“And there’s still this many?” He asked, looking at all the files around them.

She nodded in response. “These are only some of them, some of the older ones on the system.”

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She stayed quiet for a while before mumbling. “Am I doing the right thing? Sometimes I feel like I am but sometimes… I dunno. I told some of my friends from work and they didn’t get why I was going through all the trouble if I’m not actually going to keep it.”

“I guess that’s something you’ve got to think about. It’s going to be difficult no matter what you choose, it’s just whether or not another baby is a good idea right now.” Nick mumbled, glancing over at her. “I mean, keeping it would mean either Lainey and I moving out so you’ve got my room, or all of us finding a new place, and then I don’t know. It’s not going to be easy either way, it’s just what’s best for you and the baby. Personally, I think you’re doing the right thing. I don’t want my opinion to sway your feelings because it’s not my choice to make, but I can tell that you don’t really want another baby right now.”

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She smiled slightly at him. “Thanks, I think I needed to hear that.” Sighing heavily, she then grumbled. “My friends at work think it’s weird because, well, I’m not sixteen and I already have one child and I could if I really wanted to, keep it and manage.” Looking at the floor, she then mumbled to herself. “I don’t think I’m being selfish, despite what they think. They probably think I’m doing it because I’m selfish, but I’m doing it because I know he or she or whatever pronoun it wants to go by will be happier with someone who can properly look after them and who have their lives thought out better than I do. I mean, the only stable thing I’ve had since moving here is you, and I know it’ll have both of us who’ll love it if we do keep it, but you’re right. I don’t want another baby and I know even though you’d be more than willing to, it’s not fair on you. I know I’d be able to love him or her, but so would other people. And, honest to honest, I know you get paid a fair amount but I make peanuts and I don’t want us to be worrying about money and stuff, and I know you’d be willing to pitch in money-wise, but if I’ve got to ask you for money all the time… I just think this is the best option; giving the baby to parents who can actually manage a kid right now.”

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“You shouldn’t pay too much attention to what your coworkers say.” Sighing slightly, he mumbled. “I think it’s probably best to go to bed soon, look over some of these in the morning.” He stood up, knocking one of the files off of the sofa.

“Careful, I want to keep these neat.” She chided him, picking up the contents of the fallen folder, and standing up again as she looked it over. Reading what was written, she tilted her head and smiled slightly as she read the file.

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“What’s that smile about?” He asked, curious as to what was on the piece of paper.

“I think I’ve found a couple I like.” She mumbled, handing him the piece of paper which outlined the family who wanted to adopt

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“Anthony and Lukas, hmm?” He hummed, reading it over.

“They’ve been in a civil partnership for ten years, four of those years they’ve been married for. Anthony is a lawyer and Lukas works in the media and is willing to go part time if they get picked. Neither of them smoke, and they don’t have another child, but they have fostered before. They have a dog called Pebbles and they’re open to an open adoption.” Juniper smiled, reciting what it said.

“They’ve also been on the records for quite a while.” Nick mumbled, pointing out the only negative thing there.

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“That might not be their fault, you never know. People can be arseholes.” Juniper defended them. In all honesty, she had started to picture how her baby would fit in with them, and she thinks that the baby would like them. She liked them.

“If you want, we can phone up the agency tomorrow and ask to meet with them, but don’t become set on them because you never know what they might be like.” Nick pointed out, rather warily as he looked over it again. They seemed like good people, but he didn’t want her getting her hopes up if they weren’t who she was expecting.

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“They live on the other side of the bridge, right?” Nick asked, starting up the car. When Juniper called the agency at a more reasonable hour, they managed to get a meeting with the couple at their place pretty quickly. Roisin and Lainey were being watched by Sarah (they knew what the two of them could be like in new places: either over excited or upset by the unfamiliar place, and either reaction wasn’t the best attitude for this kind of trip).

Nodding, Juniper grinned. The larger, more expensive, houses were on the other side of the bridge. “I told you they seemed good.” Gasping slightly, she then asked. “Do you think they live near any celebrities?”

“I know what you’re thinking, and no we’re not touring around trying to spot celebrities doing ordinary things.” Nick grumbled, starting the car. “We’re going to focus on meeting them, and who they are as people and not get swayed by a pretty house or fancy jobs or celebrities nearby or anything.”

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“Do you think she’ll like us?”

“Why wouldn’t she? We’re good people, educated good people with a lot to offer.”

“I know but what if she gets put off by us for the same reason a few others did?”

“Then we’ll just have to keep trying.”

“I know but-“

“It’ll be fine. We’ll just be ourselves and hope for the best. I have a good feeling about this time anyway.”

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“I feel kinda weird ringing the doorbell, I mean, I don’t know them.” Juniper mumbled, hesitating before ringing the doorbell. Rolling his eyes in response, Nick had no such anxiety and just pressed it. “Well, that solved that.” She mumbled, glancing at him and raising an eyebrow.

“If you’re going to be willing to give them your kid, you’ve got to at least learn to ring the doorbell.” He pointed out, giving her a look in response to which she just rolled her eyes.”That and it’s pissing it down. I’m not going to stand out here and wait for you to get the courage to ring a damn doorbell.”

“I’m nervous, okay? This is the first time meeting them and if they aren’t right then it’s back to the drawing board when it comes to couples who want to adopt. And it’s not like I can keep putting it off because there’s a pretty strict time limit on this issue.” She pointed out, and then shushed him when she heard people coming to the door.

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Juniper wasn’t all too sure what to expect when the couple opened the door. She expected… Well. She didn’t know at all. She had no idea. All she knew was what she had read about them. She hadn’t seen a picture or anything.

“Hi, it’s nice to meet you. I’m Lukas and my husband Anthony is somewhere inside. You’re Jennifer, right?” The man who answered the door both was and wasn’t what she was expecting. She was expecting to see someone of a similar age to Nick, and expected him to be well dressed, but she didn’t picture him like this. Both she and Nick stepped inside the house as he opened the door wider for the two of them.

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“Yeah, I’m Jen and this is my friend Nick, he’s here for like moral support.” She explained as she smiled in return. She didn’t want to admit that Nick mostly came along just in case it was some elaborate set up to kill her and sell her organs on the black market (his theory, not hers). “Do you mind if I use your bathroom? I’ve been holding it in since like the bridge.” Smiling rather sheepishly, she hated the lack of service stations in Bridgeport (and Nick’s refusal to stop at them. She didn’t care if she had already stopped at three, she needed to stop at them to get food, and then the next one because the first one didn’t have the magazine in stock she liked, and then the third one was because they were advertising a really cool coffee shop with pretty awesome looking donuts, and a large drink and long car ride don’t mix well.).

“Sure, it’s upstairs and turn right. The second door on the left.” Lukas explained, smiling as he did so.

“Thanks.” And with that, she headed upstairs rather quickly.

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There was a short silence before Lukas asked rather nervously. “So, are you the child’s-“

“No, I’m not the dad.” Nick responded rather quickly, anticipating where the question was going. “The dad’s some hotshot business man, he owns a lot of the buildings around town and he was pretty much only using Jen as something pretty to show off, but then she got pregnant and things went south from there, south meaning cutting all ties from her and pretending like all this never happened.” Explaining the circumstances rather briefly, he then gave a small smile. “Luckily, she doesn’t seem all to beat up about everything. I’m not so sure how much she actually liked him, but she’s good at hiding how she’s feeling so.” He shrugged. “But still, I don’t think she’s too broken-hearted.”

“So, she wouldn’t mind if either me or my husband asked any questions about him?” Lukas asked, and then quickly followed up with. “Nothing personal, it’s just things so we know, you know?”

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“As long as you’re fine with her doing the same thing, but also get that there’s some things she might not want to talk about.” He stated clearly, not wanting Juniper to get upset even more by all this.

“Understood.” Lukas nodded as the two of them walked into the adjacent living room. “You’ll have to excuse if there are any pawprints anywhere, our dog likes bringing in the mud from outside.”

The photograph above the mantle had caught Nick’s eye, mostly because he recognised it as his own. In college, to make money, he ended up selling quite a lot of the photos he had taken, and some of them went for quite a lot, like the one on the mantle did. “It’s a nice picture.”

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“It’s one of the first pieces we bought.” It was a different male voice, presumably Lukas’ husband Anthony. “I’m Anthony, it’s nice to meet you.” He held his hand out for a handshake. Just by looking at him, it was pretty clear he was a lawyer. He had that aura about him – one where he seemed like a nice guy now but in a court room? Not the same story.

“I’m Nick, I’m Jen’s friend and roommate.” Shaking his hand in response, he gave a small smile. “So, anyway, about the picture, where’d you get it from?”

“We went to an auction at the university here, and when we saw this picture, we knew we wanted it, so we put a bid large enough so that no one else could get it.” Lukas explained, smiling as he did so. “We thought it looked good enough for a professional, not just some uni student. That being said though, they’re probably not a uni student anymore. I do hope they’re still doing something like that.”

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Nick stayed quiet at that, not quite wanting to announce that it was his work, mostly because he wasn’t doing that kind of photography anymore, but that kind of photography only just paid the bills .

“Sorry about that, oh, you must be Anthony.” Juniper noticed another person as she entered the living room. “I’m Jen, it’s nice to meet you.” She smiled, and couldn’t help but feel a similar feeling meeting him as to when she was with Sam. Maybe it was that whole power thing making her feel slightly nervous, but it was different, she knew that he worked with a lot of charities in his spare time and helped them fight for what was right. He was one of the good guys, unlike Sam.

“It’s nice to meet you also.” He smiled warmly at her, and then the four of them sat down in the living room.

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“Not gonna lie, I don’t really know how these things work.” Smiling rather sheepishly, Juniper confessed this. “Do we just ask questions and stuff? Because I’ve got quite a few I’ve been thinking of.”

“I think there’s a few things we’ve been thinking of too. You can ask what you want to, and then we’ll do ours?” Anthony suggested, smiling at her.

“Sure, that sounds good.” Grinning, Juniper agreed with them and then asked. “So, I know you stated in your application that one of you, specifically Lukas, would be willing to give up work to look after a baby full time, is that still the case? I’m asking because when I was little, I always had my dad around and I think it’s important to be bonding with your parents, and not random babysitters, you know?”

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“That’s still the case. I’d still be willing to give up work for a baby and only going back part time when the baby’s at school age.” He confirmed, nodding as he did so.

“Okay, and this is more of a medical one. There’s no hereditary issues or anything, right? And you both live healthy lives and stuff, right?” She asked, figuring that she’d want them to be around for her baby for a long time.

“Nothing of concern.” Anthony answered, and then mentioned. “While we’re on the topic of medical related things, if you do choose us, we’d be willing to pay for all baby related medical expenses. We were going to ask you something similar and I think it’d probably be best now. So,  anything medically to be aware of?”

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“I have kinda bad eyesight and I think that’s about it on my side. That, and the only other thing is that babies in my family tend to be born after the due date, but that’s about it.” It’s nothing that could be proven or anything, but she figured that was probably something hereditary. Roisin was late, Melody’s baby Chloe was late, and she could recall that Benji was late too, and she’s pretty sure that her dad mentioned at some point or another that she was late as well, so it seemed like a common theme. She decided against mentioning the whole psychic thing, mostly because they’ll probably think she’s lost it if she brought it up. “I don’t know much about the dad’s side.”

“When you say bad eyesight…” Lukas started, seeming rather concerned. “How bad?”

“Not that bad. I mean, I need to wear glasses or contacts full time, but it’s not that bad. I can still drive and stuff.” She clarified, and then took a moment before asking. “You also mentioned about possibly doing an open adoption, I was wondering if that would still be okay? I’m not talking overly open, I more mean things like on his or her birthday and near Christmas being able to see him or her.” She spoke in a small voice, not sure if having an open adoption would be a smart idea as it might just only cause her more heartbreak, but it’s what she wanted.

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“We’re still fine with it being open. Obviously there’s a limit to how open, coming over every day is too much obviously, but we’d be more than happy to send pictures and keep in as much contact as we find comfortable.” Anthony explained, smiling slightly as he did so.

“I think that’s understandable.” Juniper agreed, as she tried to remember all the other things she wanted to ask.

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“I really like them.” Juniper grinned as she and Nick were back in the car on the way home. They had been in silence for a while before she said this. “I think they’re sweet and I think the baby will be happy with them, and it seems like they will really care about him or her.”

“Yeah.” Nick answered shortly.

“Is everything alright? You’ve been acting weird since we left.” She pointed out, frowning at him.

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“It’s nothing.” He excused, not especially wanting to talk about it.

“It’s obviously not nothing. You can’t play that game with me.” Raising an eyebrow, she then asked. “What’s going on?”

Sighing heavily, he mumbled. “You saw that picture they had, right? That picture above the mantle.”

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“Yeah, it was pretty. It looked kinda similar to the things you take and edit, the editing it similar to your style.” She noted. Since seeing some of his work, she’s noticed that he has a specific way of editing things, and so did a lot of photographers, they all had their distinct style.

“It was mine. It was one I did way back in university, in my third year.” He pointed out, and mumbled. “I dunno, I guess seeing it kinda got to me today. It made me think about when I used to take pictures of whatever I wanted to and I’d edit them and sell them, and how I’ve not done that in ages. I usually take pictures for things, like people will ask me to get specific pictures for travel guides or for adverts or whatever.” Sighing again, he spoke quietly. “I guess I just kinda feel like a sellout, not really doing it because I love it, but more because it earns more.”

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“Why don’t you do it more often?” She asked, looking over at him. “Taking pictures for the sake of taking them I mean.”

“In what time?” He asked rather bluntly. “I’ve got other stuff I need to do June. There’s Roisin and Lainey to look after while you’re at college-” He started but was cut off.

“Yeah, but I’m stopping this year soon and joining back again in September. Because they aren’t really capable of giving so much time off before and after having the baby, I’ve been told I’ll need to repeat the year next year, so I’ve essentially got from about next month to the next academic year off.” She pointed out. She found it rather unfair, but at the same time, if she was missing so many lessons and classes and assignments, then it kinda makes sense that she’d have to repeat the year. At least it means that she’ll be able to relax a lot more than what she thought she would be able to. It was hard on her feet standing up for so long at college anyway, let alone when pregnant.

Smiling slightly in response, he muttered. “I’ll think about it.”

______________________________

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

that’s all

just screaming

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

why is that one spelt wrong but the first one isn’t?

google chrome what you been smokin’?

I could use this space to talk about all the stuff I’ve done recently, but nah

If you wanna know about my personal life at least take me out to dinner first 😉 or just seem intrigued in the comments idk whatever

♪I just wanna be part of your syyyymphonnnnyyyyyyyy symphooonnnnyyyyyyyyyyyyyy♪

you’re welcome

So some of the stuff I have done recently, gosh where do I start? I went to Auschwitz about a month ago and that was an eye opener. I went with this project thing that school had a link with. It’s a very haunting place to be, both in the museum and the actual place. I think I expected it to be in black and white with fog on the ground and hear distant train sounds, but it was a sunny day in Poland, no fog, all in colour, no trains. It’s just weird to think about what had happened and how it all happened in that place. It was massive too. Like, if you were stood in the middle, you couldn’t see the end of the fence to the left nor to the right, and you couldn’t see the chambers really either (mostly because they were destroyed to hide the evidence late in the war).

I think what stood out most was little things in the museum. There was a pair of nice red shoes, and someone probably brought them figuring in case they ever went out, not knowing what would happen. As well as that, there were videos before the war of people in their villages and I was just stood in that room, watching all the happy people who soon became victims of the world’s greatest tragedy, crying my eyes out at how unjust it was.

I think the scariest thing was that there was a book with names in of all the victims, and me being me I tried to find my last name (I have a very unusual last name. Never met anyone with it who isn’t related to me) and I saw someone in there with my last name (I’m Jewish on one side of my family so it’s not like it’s completely random) and I think it just threw me off because, well, y’know.

I think it’s something everyone needs to see, definitely, especially the museum place in Auschwitz I, mostly because it humanised the experience. Hearing that 6 million Jewish people got murdered is sad, but you can’t picture it. If you imagine one person having a pair of pretty shoes taken off from them and then being sent unknowingly to their death, having all their hair shaved off and then burned… It becomes more human I think and I think that’s what’s important. Move away from the statistics.

Chapter 3.40 Rip off the Plaster

Today Lainey had an interview at a primary school.

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Juniper had promised Nick that she would join him going, but she just couldn’t get out of bed. She knew it was important to him, which made her feel more guilty, but she just couldn’t bring herself to get up.

It wasn’t a laziness thing, it was more of a ‘if I lift my head I will puke’ thing. She was just waiting a bit for this sickness to pass, and then she’d be fine and dandy and ready to go. She didn’t even understand why it was required, then again, it was a pretty nice school (nicer than some of the others in the city)

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Unfortunately, she had been feeling this way since she woke up, and she woke up quite a while ago. Even though she felt crap, she still wanted to be there for Nick because he’s been freaking out about what school he wanted Lainey to go to for a while. She didn’t want to flake on him, but she just felt so awful.
As she sat up, the room began to spin while she felt the increased urge to vomit yet again. Maybe this was going to be harder than she anticipated. Part of her wanted to blame the nausea on her new hair colour, but she knew sicknesses didn’t work that way.

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Nick, meanwhile, had been ready for about twenty minutes before Juniper was. Part of it was nerves, but he also wanted to make sure that they were early, and they had discussed what exactly they were going to say (it wasn’t like he was planning on either of them lying, but just highlighting the better looking things). When he saw her though, he gave her a concerned look. “Hey, are you feeling alright? You don’t look all too good.”

“Gee, thanks.” Giving him a look, she grumbled. “I just feel a bit off today, I’ll be fine.”

 

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Sceptically, he asked. “Are you sure?”

Rolling her eyes, she assured him. “I can promise you, I am perfectly-” Juniper stopped abruptly, gagging as she felt the need to throw up. She felt Nick guide her towards the sink and hold back her hair as she leaned over it. At that point, the urge seemed to go and she mumbled. “It’s gone, I’m fine, perfectly fine.”

 

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“Based on the fact you nearly just threw up, I don’t think you’re fine.” He let go of her and moved away slightly. “Even though I would like you with me today, you wouldn’t be too much help by accidentally throwing up on the headmaster’s shoes or something.” Unless they could convince them that she was dying, but that wouldn’t really be all too ideal because it was a difficult thing to commit to, and Lainey (possibly Roisin too) might be there for the next seven years. That’s a pretty big commitment.

Staying quiet for a moment, Juniper then mumbled. “I just don’t want you to feel like I’m ditching you.”

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“You’re hardly ditching me. I’ll be fine on my own, it might work in my favour: heroic single dad balancing a kid and work and setting back gender norms.” Grinning, Nick then asked. “Do you want me to see if Sarah can watch Roisin for the next hour or so? Or at least while I’m gone?”

Hesitating for a moment, Juniper tried to remember if Sarah was busy, she didn’t want to impose on her, but then again she watched Joe on Sunday so it was only fair. Nodding, she mumbled. “Please. Tell her that she owes me.” Smirking slightly, she leaned against the counter, liking how cold it was.

“I will, now go to bed.” He instructed, giving her a look.

“I am, I am. Don’t get your panties in a twist.” She mumbled, going back to her bedroom.

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“You know,” It was a vision of Juniper and Nick in the future, watching three kids playing. She had visions when she slept often, but most were of other people or didn’t make sense. Two of the kids playing she could identify as Roisin and Lainey, but the third one she didn’t know. Was the third one theirs? Surely the third girl must be theirs, based on other visions she’s seen about herself and Nick, and based on the fact that she looks like the two of them. “I wouldn’t mind trying for another one.” She spoke gently as the two of them were mostly focused on watching their kids.

“Are you sure? I mean, I’d love to have another, but are you sure?” Asking tentatively, Nick’s attention focused on her. Juniper wasn’t sure at this moment in time why he seemed concerned for her as she mentioned the topic of more kids. “I know you found it hard last time because of the time before.”

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Nodding, she then smiled. “You know that I want a big family, like my own. What happened was a long time ago, and I know I did the right thing: it was just hormones messing with me.” She excused, laughing lightly. Her voice turned serious again as she stated “I really want another.” She grinned.

Grinning also, Nick commented. “Another baby… Maybe this time you’ll be right about us having a boy.” Teasing her about it, he then kissed her softly as she cuddled up to him.

“Shut up. I had so many visions about her being a boy though, I was almost certain!”

 

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Sometimes, Juniper wondered if her visions reflected what she was thinking about, because they seemed to sometimes. For example, she saw a vision about her and Nick discussing having another baby, and babies were on her mind a lot.

In all honesty, she recognised a lot of the symptoms she has been feeling recently, and she wanted to convince herself otherwise (just symptoms of PMS, that’s all) but PMS symptoms are usually followed by mother nature’s monthly visits, and let’s just say she felt like mother nature was ignoring her because she hadn’t visited in a while.

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Even though she wanted a big family, she didn’t want another baby now. In all honesty, she couldn’t think of anything worse. She knew how Daniel felt about kids, and she knew that it was more likely than unlikely that he wouldn’t want to have a baby with her (or with anyone for that matter). Which was why she didn’t want to take a pregnancy test, and was why she didn’t want to see what she was about almost certain she would see.

That little, pink plus sign was the last thing she wanted to see

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She kept shaking the test, as if that would make it go away, but it stayed resiliently, seemingly getting stronger the more she tried to make it go away.

Groaning audibly, she buried her head in her hands as she sat down on the floor. She didn’t want another baby, at least not now. Two kids under the age of five by different dads wasn’t exactly on her bucket list nor life plan. At this moment in time, she wished that she had either waited until Nick was home or did it earlier because she really wanted to talk to someone right now. She then remembered that Sarah was in, and figured that Sarah would be alright to talk (that and she was her best friend, and she figured another woman would be best to talk to this about).

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Sarah was rather confused to see Jennifer by her door, and instinctively let her in, she could tell that she had either been crying or was very close to crying. “Jen? Are you alright? Nick dropped Roisin off here and said you weren’t feeling all that great.” Glancing over at the two toddlers, she was partly surprised neither of them noticed Jennifer come in. Then again, Joe’s not left those blocks alone since they got them.

“I’m pregnant.” Juniper said quickly, knowing that she didn’t exactly ask but she wanted to tell someone, and it was best to rip the plaster off, right?

Sarah watched her for a moment, trying to work out how exactly to react and how she’d want her to react. Seeing how upset she seemed, she went over and hugged her best friend. “Oh sweetie. It’ll be okay.”

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“I-I don’t w-want another b-baby.” Juniper stammered out, hugging Sarah tightly as she cried. “I don’t want one, I really don’t want one. I’m not in the right place to have one. I’m twenty freaking three, I don’t want two kids already, by different dads and both under five. I don’t even know how Daniel’s going to react to this.”

“You know you’ll always have me and Nick here to support you.” Sarah broke away slightly to look at Jennifer when she said this. “You know that both of us are here and will support you the whole way.” Staying quiet for a moment, she asked. “Am I the first person you told?”

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Juniper nodded. “I’m pretty sure the end of the test is still wet.” Laughing slightly, she dried her eyes. “I figured you’d probably be the easiest one to tell and I really wanted to talk to someone straight away.” Sighing heavily, she mumbled. “I don’t know what to do.”

“Well, I’m flattered you told me first.” Sarah grinned, her voice momentarily dropping it’s seriousness before she continued. “I think you take some time, collect your thoughts and then tell Daniel, in a public place. I’ll watch Roisin for you for as long as you need, and remember no matter what, you’re not alone. I mean, I can look after the girls as long as you need me to, with payback of course.” Smirking slightly at the end in a joking manner, Sarah tried her hardest to keep Jennifer’s mood up.

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Smiling half-heartedly, Juniper then sighed. “I know he’s back in town for today, and we’ve got a lunch date today. I guess it’s kind of a now or never deal because he’s going away again tomorrow for quite a while.”

“How long for? I mean, if it’s just one or two weeks you can wait, see a doctor, get it confirmed-” Sarah started, suspecting something bad because of the face Juniper was pulling.

“He’s going away for about three months on a long transfer. I mean, he can come home at the weekends but I doubt it.” She mumbled, wincing slightly.

“Oh…” Sarah frowned. “I guess it kinda can’t wait.”

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Juniper had arrived at where they were meeting before he did. She had to think of how to tell him. Whether she would rip the plaster off or let it soak for a while and peel away. Her mind wandered off to think about why this is such a difficult conversation. Babies are good things, happy occasions! It’s just all the uncertainty and changes that come with babies. She had no clue how to even start; Daniel was a lot older than her, so it’s likely that he didn’t have any kids by choice. Thinking about that worried Juniper, but she had no idea what else she could do. She had to tell him and she had to face his reaction.

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Grinning as she saw him (albeit unintentionally nervously), she stood and they hugged when he was close enough. “I’ve missed you.” Smiling up at him, she hoped the uneasy facial expression wasn’t traceable.

“I’ve missed you too. It’s a shame you couldn’t come with me, but I suppose you have other obligations.” Even if it wasn’t intended, she saw him sneer slightly. Obviously, the ‘other obligations’ referred to Roisin.

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“Right.” Juniper answered as the two of them sat down, knowing that this was going to be harder than she anticipated. In that moment, she was tempted not to tell him and just to have the baby in secret, but maybe he would be different if he had his own? “There’s actually something I needed to tell you.” She started, figuring to just rip the plaster off.

Giving her a confused look, he prompted her to continue. “Go on…”

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“This really isn’t easy to say, I mean, I only found out about this earlier today, but…” she paused unintentionally, finding it almost hard to say this time around. “I’m pregnant.”

Daniel stayed quiet for a long time, longer than what anyone who was pleased or even shocked should. Obviously, this panicked Juniper. “Right, okay. And you know for sure?”

“I’ve not yet been to the doctors but I’m about pretty sure. I took a test this morning and it was positive.” In a quiet voice, Juniper mumbled this. He was staying oddly calm and composed during this discussion.

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Sighing, he then spoke. “Look, Jen. You’re a great girl, I love how smart and pretty you are, and you’re also unique in your own way, but the whole family life, you understand it’s not for me. I could possibly handle a step-child but my own?” He shook his head while looking down, and then as he took her hand, he looked back at her. “I think we both know the right thing you should do.”

Without him needing so say it, she knew what he was implying. He wanted her to get rid of it. Shaking her head softly, she mumbled. “That’s not what I want to do though.” Even though she didn’t really want to keep it, she didn’t want to get rid of it either.

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With narrowed eyes, he demanded “Why?”

“Because I don’t want to. I-I can’t.” It wasn’t much of an argument, but she knew nothing he said would change her mind.

His hand moved away from hers as his previously somewhat nice composure was a thing of the past.”Jennifer, don’t be unreasonable here. We’re both very different people with very different wants. The lifestyle I have isn’t cut out for a child to tag along.” He then got a cheque book out of his wallet and wrote her one. “Money’s not an issue, especially with something like this. You’re smart enough to know what you should do with this.”

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“I’m not getting rid of it. I refuse to.” Speaking in a low voice, she pushed the cheque back over to him.

Snarling, he knew what she was doing. Conniving women not unlike the one sat before him have been pulling these tricks for a long time now. “In that case, prepare for a long paternity battle, and consider this our last conversation without lawyers present.” He stood, ready to go. Before he did however, he slid the cheque back over to her. “Unless, you make the right choice.”

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As Juniper sat alone in the coffee shop, she realised something: she shouldn’t be having a baby. She really shouldn’t be. This wasn’t fair. There were so many people out there in stable relationships who can’t have kids, and here she was pregnant and wishing this was all just some bad dream. She really didn’t want to have another baby. Did that make her a terrible person for having the opportunity so many people wanted, and she was there wishing it away?

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Back home at the flat, Juniper went back into her bedroom to think. She was almost certain that she didn’t want to keep it, but at the same time, she didn’t want to get rid of it that way either. All this and she knew she still had to tell Nick what had happened (she knew she should tell him soon as it’s likely that he’d pick up on her symptoms, especially since he had seen them with Elle when she was pregnant).

A large part of her didn’t want to tell him, and just pretend that everything was the same as always.

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That wasn’t feasible though. Even though he wasn’t the best at noticing things, he’d notice her gaining a lot of weight very quickly and then losing it and a baby appearing. Getting out her phone, she texted him to ask if he could get Roisin from Sarah’s flat. It was a selfish request based on the fact she was next door, but Juniper just wanted some alone time to process everything that has happened. It seemed to be sinking in more now than it did. She was going to be a single parent of two kids under the age of five.

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She heard the sound of the front door opening and closing, and the two girls talking loudly with each other. It was pretty clear by the celebratory tones that Nick thought Lainey had a good chance of going to the school he wanted her to go to; at least he was happy. Curling deeper into her bed, she tried to block out what had happened today. She wanted to pretend that everything was fine but it wasn’t. She could think of so many reasons why she didn’t really want another baby, and so many reasons why it wouldn’t be a good idea.

Hearing a gentle knock on her bedroom door, she then heard it open as Nick came in. “Is everything alright?”

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She sat up, and the hardest thing in that moment was to not cry. Shaking her head, she answered. “No, everything’s not okay. Far from okay.” Her voice wavered slightly as she spoke, trying her hardest to not break down and sob.

Sitting down next to her, he asked. “Do you want to talk about it? I know I’ve not got that long until I have to go out for a shoot but… I can still talk for the meantime.” Giving her a reassuring smile, he hated it whenever she was sad. Mostly because she was rarely the kind of person to get sad. She got angry rather than sad.

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“Daniel broke up with me.” She spoke quietly as she felt his arm go around her.

“You know I never liked him, I thought you could do better.” He knew she already knew this. Her relationship with Daniel kind of creeped him out if he thought about it for too long.

“He broke up with me because I’m pregnant.” Ripping the plaster off again, hopefully for the last time, she didn’t make eye contact with him at this point, knowing if she did then she would burst into tears. What Daniel said still hurt, and a large part of her was worried Nick would react negatively to it too. It seemed unlikely, but she thought it was unlikely for Daniel to react the way he did too.

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“You’re pregnant?” He asked, making sure he heard correctly. At her nod, he then asked. “Are you sure?”

“I took a test this morning and it was positive, so I’m pretty sure.” Wiping her eyes out of instinct, she could feel a few tears escaping and didn’t want to make it obvious that she was crying. She hated crying.

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“So what exactly did Daniel say?” Nick thought that possibly Daniel may have said something which Juniper could have taken the wrong way.

“Basically, I told him, he asked me if I was sure, I said yes, he said he didn’t want kids of his own, step-children were alright but not biological ones. I said I didn’t want to get rid of it, he then asked me why and said that if I needed the money to get rid of it then that was no issue and gave me a cheque and pointed out that he didn’t have the lifestyle for a baby to tag along. I said that didn’t change my mind, and then he said stuff about paternity lawsuits and probably trying to prove it wasn’t his, or told me I could make the right choice and get rid of it.” Looking away, it became increasingly more difficult not to cry. She didn’t want to cry. It felt like she was crying a lot in front of him lately and she didn’t especially like that.

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“Don’t listen to what he said. There isn’t a right or wrong choice, it all depends on what you want to do.” He tried to reassure her, but wasn’t really sure what to say. What could he say? Agree that’s a shitty thing to do? Yeah, but that’s not really helping.

“I don’t know what I want to do though.” And with that, the waterworks started. “I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know. What I do know is that I’m a widow with one, soon two, children under the age of five, and I’m not even twenty five yet! I’m gonna be lonely and all alone and die alone and right now I really want Chinese take out but the one near here is crap and the good one is ages away.” Weeping, she tried to wipe away her tears, but more came as she wiped them away.

“You’re not going to be alone.”

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“Huh?” Looking back at him, she asked.

“I said, you’re not going to be alone. I know I’m not first choice, but I’ll be here for you.” Smiling reassuringly at her, he knew by going through it with Elle that pregnancy wasn’t easy, and even less so with two toddlers running around. Most importantly though, he didn’t want her to feel alone. “Anything you want or need, you’ll be able to count on me for.”

Smiling back at him, she hugged him tightly, burying her face into him slightly. “Thank you. You know it means a lot to me.” Her eyes glanced at the clock, and she let him go. “You’ve got to go soon, you’ve got a shoot in about half an hour.”

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“I can probably cancel or rain check if you need me to.” He suggested, tilting his head slightly.

Shaking her head no, Juniper responded. “I could actually kinda do with some time alone, process it a bit more.” She watched as he stood up. “Have a bit more time to think, you know?”

“If you need me though…” Speaking as he began to edge out of her room. “I’ll keep my phone on me.”

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 Juniper finished had just the story she was reading to Roisin and Lainey to get them to fall asleep and left their room. Even though she loved the two of them with all her heart, she knew that she couldn’t handle another baby right now, and it wouldn’t be a wise idea to have another at this moment in time. Three children, not to mention one being quite a lot younger than the other two, sharing a room wasn’t fair and there wasn’t any other rooms in the flat. So, if she was going to keep it, that would probably mean moving to a larger place and she wasn’t sure if she wanted to leave her little flat.

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Usually the afternoon photoshoots lasted past their usual dinner time, and usually Nick would pick up takeout for the two of them (while Roisin and Lainey still had regular dinner at the usual time).

Today was no exception, and she waited for him to come home. It had been a good thing that he had gone to the shoot, because she had the time to think about it logically and had come to a rational solution.

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She was waiting in the kitchen when he came back, and the two shared a smile. “Are the girls in bed?” He asked as he came in, placing the takeout down on the table.

“Yeah, they had their story about ten minutes ago.” Juniper smiled, and walked over to the takeout. “What have we got?” She asked, starting to rummage through the bag.

“I got us Chinese. The shoot was kinda close to the good one, and I felt like a bit of a prick for leaving you here so…” He shrugged, and then continued with.”I couldn’t remember what you liked, so I got a few things. Take your pick, apart from number 74, that one’s mine and I am not willing to give it up.” There was a slight warning tone in his voice at the end of the sentence.

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“I remember when I was pregnant with Roisin, in the last few months, I had a constant craving for Chinese food. I actually became really close friends with the older couple who owned the only one in Glendalough, so much so I got Sam to reduce their rent on their place for them. They were really nice, they’d ask me about the baby often and asked Mia about me when she went in for me. They even taught me how to make spring rolls and taught me how they make their sweet and sour sauce.” Juniper recalled, smiling as she did so as they sat watching TV after dinner. “I could never make either as nice as them though.”

“I can’t really remember Elle having too many cravings. She had really bad morning sickness though, I remember that.” Nick mumbled. He was happy that she seemed happier than what she was earlier that day. “Have you thought more about what you want to do?”

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Juniper nodded, and explained herself first. “I have. I know this might seem selfish or mean or what have you, but I really don’t want another baby. I-I don’t want another right now. That’s all there is to it. There’s no where to put it, I don’t want one and I know it won’t be the best life it could have with me, and I know it would have more opportunities and a more fulfilling life with other people, so I’ve pretty much decided on adoption.” She mumbled, not making eye contact. She didn’t want him to sway her decision by saying something. “I know people think it’s selfish, and others might not get it, but it’s what I want to do and what I think is smartest to do. I mean, I’m twenty freaking three, I’ve not got a great job, I probably can’t afford another baby, I’m still trying to finish school and I’m not in a stable relationship, especially not anymore, . Now isn’t the best time for a baby, but I don’t want to get rid of it just like that. There are a lot of smart and educated people out there, doctors, lawyers, dentists, scientists who have everything a baby would want and need, but not a baby. I honestly think it’s the best option for me.”

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Nick stayed quiet for a while, not so sure how to react. He hadn’t anticipated her saying that. “So, you’ve thought about this quite a lot?” He asked, and then continued with. “Whatever happens, I’ll always be there to support you in helping you choose and going with you to meet them.”

Looking at him, she grinned. “I’m really happy you understand. I think this is the best thing for me at this moment in time.”

______________________________

AN: I feel like people are gonna be low-key pissed off because I’m essentially baby teasing, but now isn’t a good time for Junie to be having more kids, and she doesn’t want more kids. (this kid was unintended anyway, turn off autonomous risky woohoo, or at least put the chance of pregnancy to a low value). I had a much meaner way of dealing with oopsy baby but I decided this was the less mean option.

If anything, oopsy baby gave me an earlier out for Juniper’s and Daniel’s relationship so there’s that, I guess.

Sunshine Blogger Award

Do I really need to post an inspirational picture? Ah, I’m gonna post one of a cat instead, or a meme.

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It’s a cat meme. You’re welcome.

 

So, I thought I had been nominated for this before, and I checked and there wasn’t a post, but it turns out I have been nominated and I’m just a dick.

Sorry xD

Uhh, so I’ve been nominated by Becky, Owly, Annie and this douchebag (just kidding Carys I love you even if you don’t love me ;-;)

Jeez, first of all thank you so much ❤ but idk who I’m going to nominate now xD all y’all gon’ get nominated again 😛

 

Okay so I have to post rules now, right? Right, let’s copy and paste them from someone

1. Thank the person who nominated you and add a link to their blog.
2. Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
3. Nominate 11 bloggers and add their links.
4. Notify the bloggers you included.
5. Keep the rules in your post.

🙂

So, let’s get this shebang started

Carys the SNP lover’s questions:

1.What or who inspired you to start writing SimLit?

Uhhhhh… I don’t know really? I can tell you what inspired my tumblr stuff but the Matthews? Mate it was like 3 years ago I can’t remember

2. What’s your favourite animal?

Cats ^-^

3. Do you have a favourite trope in writing?

I like the happy ending cliche, I dunno, I just like how everything ends nicely, y’know?

4. Do you have a least favourite trope/cliche in writing?

Right, I hate that one where you know the girl ends up in an awkward situation like going to a club or a party with a guy she hates but also loves and she has to get pretty and wear some skanky but also pretty dress and oh she’s so awkward and hates makeup but oh she looks so pretty with it on and her hair’s curled and even though she looks like a tart the guy is blown away and blech. (let’s ignore the fact that I did this cliche)

5. Do you write other stories outside of sims?

Not really tbh. I want to but I just don’t have the time.

6. Do you play any other computer/console games?

Danganronpa (obviously. I’m currently waiting for more to be released onto Steam) and I went through a Stardew Valley phase and I’ve completed Alice: Madness Returns, but that’s about it.

7. How long have you been writing using the sims games?

3 years this past December

8. Do you have a favourite story line in the legacy/story you’re working on?

Uhhhhh, don’t make me choose >.< I guess if I had to narrow it down, last generation I liked the whole Alyssa cheating for the second time scenario, and this generation (this is going to make me sound sick and twisted) but I liked Juniper’s relationship with Sam and writing that, and the repercussions of it.I dunno, they were just dramatic to write and I guess with the latter, I liked seeing Juniper turn from this weak little housewife to this badass single mom doing everything on her own and body checking and sassing most people in her way.

9.Do you listen to music while you write?

Yeah because I have a very low attention span

10.What book has most impacted you in the last couple of years, and why?

Sadly, I’ve not read any really impacting books lately, but I did read Lungs by Duncan McMillan as part of my theatre studies coursework (but then I didn’t get to do that one >.<) which I really liked. It definitely made me think a lot more about things to do with the environment.

11.Do you have any writing rituals?

Uh, yeah. First I pray to the almighty God of the underworld before I sacrifice 20 virgins to him and he gives me the power to write mediocrely  (no I don’t)

 

Annie’s Questions!:

1. If you could travel anywhere in the world right this instant, where would that be?

New York or London, lets go shopping

2. Has anything awesome or potentially life-changing ever happened to you because you started playing The Sims? Maybe you met a great friend or you found out about something cool while checking out Sims stuff on the internet?

I’ve met a lot of nice people and have discovered cool games and also met a Scottish SNP fuckboy (I couldn’t swear on her blog because idk if she likes swears on her blog but my blog my rules). That and I think the most awesome thing is that I can express myself and write and do that openly, that’s awesome enough as it is ^-^

3. Name one thing that is on your computer desk right now that should not be there.

Uhh, I don’t have one so I guess it’s existence shouldn’t be there right now

4. Mountains, sea or city?

City

5. If you could have any career from The Sims 3 in real life, which one would you choose?

I like the idea of the scientist career and how you can just go into the building and be like “let me be a scientist!” and that’s an okay thing to do. I think I want the general concept of how careers work rather than any specific career. Just walk in and be like “can I be this please lol hire me”

6. What is your biggest reason for sticking to TS3 instead of moving on to TS4? Toddlers, open neighborhoods, aesthetics or something completely different?

First it was toddlers and now they’ve added toddlers, and I think that was my most reason, but now it’s more because the novelty has worn off and I think doing something on TS4 would distract me from this and yeah

7. Is there any particular skill you are trying to learn at the moment? If not, what is something you’d love to be able to do?

I’d love to be able to dance or figure skate alas I am not graceful enough. Also drawing, question 9 reminded me of that.
8. Coffee, tea, or cocoa?

Coffee. I like mocha’s specifically. I hate tea because it’s just weird icky water, and hot chocolate’s nice but I like it made with milk and that’s bad for skin so… Yeah. Whittard’s white hot chocolate though ugh omg ❤ – ❤
9. Do you have a favourite (visual) artist?

I don’t really tbh, mostly because I’ve not properly looked into it. I used to go on Deviantart a lot but then I just get jealous because I want to be good at drawing but I’m not
10. If you could pick any time period to live in, which one would it be?

I’d say the 1950’s/60’s purely just for the clothing. I want that to come back in style: floaty skirts and blouses and petticoats ❤ so pretty

11. Which other games do you play besides The Sims? Or, lacking that, what do you like to do in your spare time besides playing TS?

Youtube videos are a plus, and also makeup. I’m a massive makeup hoarder. I’ve got probably 40+ lipsticks alone. I have a thing with lipsticks, okay? Don’t judge me please.

Owly’s Questions!

1. If you were a sim, what would your five traits be?

Cat person, socially awkward, rebellious, loner and snob
2. What book has had the biggest impact on you, and why?

I don’t know ;-; I still don’t know ;-; I’m gonna say Lungs because it’s the only one I can properly remember.
3. What keeps you up at night?

Ahaha, a lot of things.
4. If you’re not a tattoo person, what is the one thing that you would possibly get tattooed on your body (if you were forced to)? If you do like/have tattoos, what is the one style of tattoo you hate the most?

I really want a dream catcher on the back of my right shoulder blade with feathers floating down across my back and forming a cluster on my left hip.

5. What’s your favorite marine animal?

Okay, so I’ve just discovered that Vaquitas are a thing and there are only 30 of them left! 30! Guys we need to save them! They’re so cute and we can’t let another animal go extinct.
6. What tv series or movie could you watch over and over again?

I think probably Grease or Hairspray. I know basically all the words to all of the songs from both and I love it.
7. You’re in charge of coming up with an obscure animal mascot for a sports team. What is it?

Uhhhhhh……… CATS?! I don’t know don’t give me so much responsibility ;-;
8. What’s your favorite joke?

Uh, I don’t know, I think my life is a pretty good joke.
9. What’s your favorite kind of weather?

I like it when it’s hot but breezy. I also like the rain but only when I’m not in it lol
10. In a cage fight match to the death, who would win: Fred Flintstone or George Jetson?

*shrugs* I dunno. Only one way to find out.

11. What’s one “rule” (not a grammar or style rule) that you follow while writing?

Well, like in showbiz, always leave them wanting more. I guess that’s why I love using cliffhangers the way I do.

Becky’s Questions!:

1. What is your favorite bird, if you can only choose from birds you have seen near your place of residence?

Pidgeons. I’m weirdly affected by them in a good way. I think they’re kinda cute even if my friend calls them “flying rats”
2. Three of the worst movies ever. Movies you actually watched, all the way through. Poor you.

Bridesmaids. That movie was shit and it relied too heavily on slapstick humour. Meet The Fockers as well, I just don’t like silly humour, I like witty humour not “hahaha they said poop and he’s drunk and was embarrassing hahaha” humour.
3. How about some movies that were so bad, you couldn’t finish watching them?

Twilight, duh. There was also Sweet Charity, which is a shame because I think I would have loved it but it just took too long to get running, you know? Like those movies where it takes ages to get started and you get bored.
4. You’re writing a buddy cop movie. What do you name your two main protagonists?

Elle Penbrooke and Malachi Reed? Idk I just came up with random names there

5. Did you see a cartoon as a child that scarred you because it broke the animation age ghetto? If so, what was it?

Yes. Watership Down. I still haven’t watched it since I was like about 7 (I had just gotten my own rabbits too and it terrified me)
6. What are your three most favorite starship designs?

*frets* this is the point where they realise I’m just smart and aren’t a real nerd. Uh… I liked this one (Carys and Owly don’t watch the video, it’s from DR and is kinda spoilery)
7. Psychic twins. Dead horse trope, or you just can’t get enough of how cute it is?

Uhhh, cute? *smiles nervously*
8. Five computer games you thought were fun, aside from Sims?

Stardew Valley
Alice Madness Returns
Danganronpa
Danganronpa 2 (I’m running out of games don’t judge)
Goat Simulator?
9. Are you in love with any Non-PC games? Regardless of replay value, let’s hear some of your favorites!

I loved Harvest Moon when I was younger, I absolutely adored it. It’s kind of endless (although there is an end point of finding all the spirits/making a lot of money/getting married and having a kid)
10. Daffy Duck, or Donald Duck? Why?

Donald because I was raised on Disney
11. That one glitch you had in Sims 3 that you love telling people about. What happened?

I think the glitch where a fire almost burned down the Matthews’ old house was pretty entertaining.

 

I don’t think really know who to nominate, mostly because so many people have already been nominated. If you read this, or if you read my legacy or my tumblr (or both!) then you’re nominated because you’re awesome for supporting me, and if you can put through reading my stuff then you deserve an award. So, here’s my questions for anyone and everyone reading this:

 

1.) Last video game you played (besides sims) is now your life. How fucked up are you?

2.) How old are you? I’m just being nosy rn

3.) Is there a TV show you love but you know it’s trash but love it because it’s trash? I have one, don’t worry.

4.) You’re driving along a road, and notice a car in flames with two people inside. You’re shocked by the scene, and realise that you have enough time to save one of the people in there. To your horror, one of the people is your dad and the other is a cancer specialist on the verge of a breakthrough (no one knows what, only they know). Who do you save?

5.) Dog person or cat person?

6.) Who’s your favourite character you created?

7.) Who’s your favourite character that you didn’t create?

8.) Would you rather never have chocolate again or never be kissed again?

9.) Idk what’s your favourite colour?

10.) If you had the chance to go back and change one event, but it could drastically alter your life (better or for worse) would you do it?

11.) 1000 degree hot knife videos; what’s your opinion on them?

 

 

Chapter 3.39 I Just Want to Make You Happy

There was the muffled sound of June’s phone vibrating against the sofa.

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Giving the phone a weird look, Nick wondered who it was texting June. Usually, the only people who texted her were himself (if he was late coming back from work), or one of her classmates asking her if there were any assignments due. He could rule out a classmate because it was eight in the morning on a Saturday, and most of her classmates were likely still in bed being as though they were teenagers. So, that only left himself, and he was pretty sure he didn’t accidentally butt text her.

Picking up her phone, he could only see the contact name and the words ‘text message’ below it. The text was from someone called Daniel, and Nick could only wonder who that was. He could vaguely remember her mentioning something about a term long teacher called Daniel, but surely it wasn’t her teacher texting her, was it? It may have been a while ago, but back when he had teachers, none of them had his number, or at least not for school purposes.. Glancing down the corridor, he smirked to himself as he figured out a way to find out who Daniel was.

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“Hey June, who’s Daniel?” Starting with that, he held her phone in the hand further away from her. “I wouldn’t usually ask, but he’s been sending a few pictures and I wanna know what they are.”

“What are you doing with my phone? And he’s no one.” Voice filled with hostility, Juniper approached him and held out her hand expectantly. “Give me back my phone.”

“Nah, I’m curio- Oh.” Nick pretended to unlock the phone and look at the pretend picture message before looking at Jennifer with a shocked expression. “Oh wow, someone’s confident. I can see why you like him, pretty big. Not the biggest though.” He gave her a smirk at that statement.

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“Give me my phone!” Juniper scrambled to get her phone back, unintentionally clambering on top of him in her feat to get it back from him. Despite the fact she hadn’t seen whatever pictures based on the angle Nick was holding the phone at, she had a pretty good idea of the kind of pictures they were. “And don’t look at them! That’s none of your business!”

“Black and white pictures, how artsy. Didn’t know you were into that Junie.” Smirking at her, he kept the phone away from her, wanting her to suffer a little bit longer for not telling him about her boyfriend. Not that he was especially bothered about her dating, he just liked being in the know though.”If he needs any pointers on better shots, I could put my uni degree to a little more use. Tell him that angling from above, like lighting from above, makes things seem thinner, not quite the effect wanted here.” Finally, he gave her phone back to her.

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Snatching her phone back, Juniper glared at him. On her phone however, it was still locked and as she entered her password, it was a text from him saying “Okay, are we still on for today?”. He was bluffing the whole time.

Smirking triumphantly, Nick knew that she fell for it. “So, who’s Daniel?”

“You’re such an ass.”

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“I already know that, I asked who Daniel was.” Still basking in the glory of his small victory, Nick was grinning at her. “Is he your boyfriend?” Nudging her with his foot he continued to tease her about it. “Does little Junie have a boyfriend?”

“Quit it.” She glared at him, not liking the way he was teasing her. “And for your information, yes I do. We’ve been dating for a few months now.” Answering shortly as she responded to the text, she didn’t really want to tell Nick anything. It felt like she was with one of her older brothers with the amount he was making fun of her for this.

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“Where did you meet him then? Would I approve of him?” Grinning, he asked these questions. It was fun to be nosy.

“It doesn’t matter to both of them.” Answering very ‘matter of fact’-ly, she gave him a look as she put her phone back into her pocket.

“He’s the same Daniel as the one who used to teach you, isn’t he?” Nick asked, already knowing the answer to the question. “The one who owns a crap load of buildings in town and who could fill a pool with money?”

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Staying quiet for a while, Juniper responded quietly and nonchalantly with “Maybe” as she refused to elaborate further. “And no one owns that much money, not in cash anyway

Smirking, he started to tease her about it again. “Well, look who’s got themselves a sugar daddy.”

“He’s not a sugar daddy. It’s not like that.” Juniper quickly excused, glaring at him. Daniel wasn’t her sugar daddy, it wasn’t weird like that.

“Oh, of course not. He’s just exceedingly wealthy and happens to be old enough to be your dad, totally not a sugar daddy, what was I thinking?” Sarcastically, he made his point to her.

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“He’s not a sugar daddy. How is he one? Yeah, he’s older and rich, but that doesn’t mean that he’s a sugar daddy. And the age thing isn’t an issue because most of the people I’m friend with are older than I am because I don’t have anything in common with people my age. Besides, aren’t you technically old enough to be my dad too?” Juniper pointed out, making the statement before she did the maths. In all honesty, she couldn’t exactly remember the age difference between herself and Nick.

Giving her a puzzled look, he pointed out. “I’m nine years older than you June.”

Staying quiet, she then grumbled “don’t judge people, Nick. It’s not very nice” before cracking a small smile, and making an excuse. “Maths was never my strong point, okay? Don’t expect me to be great at on the spot subtracting.”

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“Hey, I’m happy for you, getting an older, rich guy. I think you should tell him that you’ve developed a passion for photography, and tell him that you need to have a top of the range DSLR camera, and then give it to me.” He suggested, keeping a straight face as he did so. “Mine favourite one is acting up a bit but they’re crazy expensive to get a new one.”

“You’ll just have to get a sugar daddy for yourself.” Giving him a sad smile, Juniper shrugged slightly. “Or make do with the camera being all crappy.”

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Giving her a disapproving look to show that wasn’t the answer he wanted, Nick grumbled something which was inaudible.

“Anyway,” Juniper started, changing the subject “I’m out for the day so you’re in charge of the girls until I get back.”

“Wow, thank you for leaving me in charge of two kids, one of which is my own.” He pointed out, giving her a look. She could be like that sometimes, a little too overbearing.

“Enough of the attitude please.” Scolding him lightly, she then walked away as there was a knock on the door.

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Grinning, Juniper answered the door and greeted Daniel.”Hey, I thought I was meeting you downstairs?” She asked, wondering why he was up here.

“We were meeting there, but you were running a bit late. I just wanted to make sure you hadn’t forgotten or anything.” He excused, smiling at her as he did so. Looking past her as he heard footsteps, he gave a chin jut of acknowledgement.”Hey.”

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“‘Sup.” Nick copied the action with slightly narrowed eyes. Something he noticed about Daniel was that he was a lot like Juniper’s first husband. Blonde, rich and in a position of power. Was that her type? Funny how her type seemed to consist of three things he wasn’t. Hm. “So, you’re Daniel, huh?”

Nodding, Daniel then assumed. “And you’re Nick?” Asking rhetorically, he already knew the answer.

“Yep.” Answering simply, the two men looked each other up and down as if they were scoping out the other.

“Well, this has been nice.” Juniper interrupted the stand off before either of them felt the need to primitively mark their territory. Turning her attention to Daniel, she then smiled. “I’ll be less than five minutes, would you mind waiting outside?” She asked sweetly, and kissed him on the cheek as the door closed.

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Turning her attention to Nick, she demanded angrily (but in a whisper). “What the hell was that?”

“What was what?” Nick asked innocently, tilting his head slightly.

“I’m talking about that whole dominance thing that was just going on.” Sighing heavily, she then grumbled. “You were basically ten seconds away from manspreading and peeing everywhere to mark your dominance.”

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“I don’t like him Jen. I don’t trust him.” Using her fake name, he was well aware that Daniel could be eavesdropping, accidentally or intentionally.  Despite only having seen him for a maximum of a minute, Nick made his impressions clear. Unsure of whether to say the next bit, he made up his mind to tell her, for her sake. “He seems a lot like your first husband, and I don’t want you getting hurt.”

“He is nothing like him.” With a bit of bark in her voice, Juniper glared at him. “They’re nothing alike, where’d you even get that impression?”

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“They’re both blonde, rich, in a high place of power and both seem like arseholes.” Raising an eyebrow, he then asked. “Am I wrong?”

“He’s not an arsehole and neither was-” lowering her voice slightly for the one word, Juniper was cautious in case Daniel could hear them “Sam. So shut up. I’m a big girl, I know what I’m doing.” And with that, she left the flat. How dare he even suggest that! Daniel and Sam were nothing alike! Nothing! Chalk and cheese, couldn’t be more different!

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Not that she paid attention to what Nick said or anything, but there were quite a few similarities between Sam and Daniel. Rich, blonde, in a position of power. It seemed almost like it was a habit now for her to go for those type of guys. Hopefully, it wasn’t a vice.

“Is everything okay?” Noticing that she’s been rather quiet, Daniel asked rather cautiously. “You know you can tell me if something’s on your mind.”

Shaking her head slightly, Juniper then smiled. “I’m fine, just thinking about aimless things. I guess I’m just a bit tired today as well.” Laughing lightly, she decided against telling him that she was now realising that he was rather similar to he first husband, only quite a bit older. It wasn’t like it was a lie though, she’s been feeling so tired and just generally worn out over the past few days (that and her boobs really hurt too, but that was kinda irrelevant right now).

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“You know, it’s a shame you’re not coming with me on Sunday. I know I’d be in business meetings for most of the time, but it’d still be a nice two weeks, just you and me. I’m going to be lonely all on my own y’know.” He mentioned, frowning slightly as he did so. It wasn’t like she wasn’t tempted, she was. Laying on the beach with pretty, scantily clad cabana boys tending to her every need. Drinks for Miss Jennifer, fans for Miss Jennifer, no pants for Miss Jennifer (what? She was in a relationship, didn’t mean she couldn’t still be appreciative of pretty cabana boy anatomy)… But she couldn’t. She had Roisin to think about, and she’d rather sacrifice pretty, naked cabana boys in the sunshine than let someone else look after her daughter.

“You know I can’t.” She frowned in return, feeling slightly bad. But Roisin was priority, no ifs and no buts (and sadly, no pretty cabana boy bums).

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“You could just ask someone to look after Roisin.” He pointed out, and then added. “I just want to make you happy-“

She was about to retaliate, but that last sentence…

It got to her.

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Sam used to say things like that, always turning things to seem beneficial for her. “I just want to make you happy Juniper.” In that moment, it felt as if the last three years never happened. As if their relationship hadn’t ended, and she hadn’t moved to Bridgeport, and she hadn’t accidentally killed him. Even though it was Daniel talking and Sam wasn’t alive anymore, all she could see and hear was Sam. In that moment, she felt like her nineteen year old self, the one who gave up everything for him.

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Daniel gave Juniper a confused look. Since he suggested leaving Roisin with someone, Juniper had this weird expression on her face and had gotten paler. Was she sick? “You sure you’re alright?”

“I… I uhm…” Juniper trailed off, not knowing what to say. History was repeating itself in the worst way possible: she was repeating the same mistakes she made about five years ago. Marrying on impulse, not listening to advice, missing opportunities. The possibility of being a desolate housewife using makeup as a disguise for the hurt and suffering. Laughing it off, nervously, she excused. “Yeah, I’m fine. Fine. I-I think I might need to go back though, I think I left my um…” She tried to think of an excuse, with lame results. “Roisin, on, I’ve gotta, bye. I uhm, yeah, bye.” It was a good thing there were so many taxis in the city, she managed to get the next one that was passing them by.

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 On the way back home, she had some time to think. Think about why she left Daniel so abruptly on the street. It made her feel unbelievably guilty. After having a while to think about it, she realised that history may not necessarily be repeating itself.

She couldn’t quite put her finger on it, but part of her knew that her relationship with Daniel be as bad as her marriage. It wasn’t like it could get worse, but in that moment, despite all which had happened, she felt oddly optimistic.

______________________________

AN: Wow, Juniper’s finally noticed that Daniel’s (forgot his name then lol) a bit like Sam. 10/10 observation skills.

I was gonna have a nasty vision in here too, but then I thought about how June’d react, and I feel like she wouldn’t have reacted the same way, or the vision might have tipped it over the edge or something, so I changed it!

So, in case you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, I’ve been pretty busy with school and killing teenagers on tumblr so uh, yeah, fun stuff.

Also can we have a moment to celebrate Yuri on Ice and love how gay it is? IT’S SO GAY AND I LOVE IT AHHHHHHHHH

Chapter 3.38 Interlude: Christmas Special

“What do we think, trusty assistant? More sprinkles?”

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“More sprinkles.” Roisin decided, adding more sprinkles to the cookies she and her mommy had made today, making a mess as she did so. Her version of adding sprinkles was getting a handful, closing her eyes and dropping them in the direction of the cookies. She couldn’t really remember Christmas being a thing, but now it is and she’s excited! She could remember a bit about someone giving her presents for being good, and that’s why Roisin always behaved herself. She wanted all the presents! All of them!

Grinning, Juniper marvelled at the cookies she had made, with Roisin’s help of course. It was weird that this was technically the first Christmas she and Roisin would spend with Nick and Lainey. The first Christmas, Juniper and Nick didn’t know each other well enough, the second one he was with Elle and they were currently on the third year knowing each other, and yet, their first Christmas together, and their first holiday as an actual couple.

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However, he didn’t really seem to be in too much of the Christmas spirit. She didn’t understand why however. What wasn’t there to love about Christmas? Almost as if on queue, she saw him leave the office, Lainey following him. She was often content with watching him whenever he had editing to do.

“I was wondering what you two were doing.” He had heard Roisin yell something about sprinkles and got curious

Lainey looked at the cookies and then to her mommy. “Can I have one?”

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“‘fraid not, Lainey. We’ve got to save these ones for tonight. We can make some more though it you want any.” Juniper offered.

“Why?” Lainey asked, pulling a face. Why did they have to save them for later? That’s not fair.

“For Father Christmas.” Juniper bent down to her height, smiling. “We’ve got to leave him something just in case he gets tired or hungry when delivering presents.”

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Tilting her head, Lainey asked. “Who?” Who was he? Why did he get her cookies and she didn’t? That’s not fair.

Interrupting by laughing, Nick explained. “No one Lain, Mommy’s just being silly. There’s going to be presents under the tree from us tomorrow, some from Auntie Katie and the ones your Auntie Belle sent to you. That’s all. We’ll probably have the cookies later.” Nick gave Juniper a look, and she gave him one in return as she stood. There was an awkward silence as he waited for her to agree, and she waited for him to mention Father Christmas.

“How about you and Roisin talk about what toys you think you’ve got in your room while me and Daddy talk.” Juniper suggested, breaking the rather awkward silence. Roisin and Lainey were oblivious to it though as they rushed off to open their presents.

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“Okay,  what was up with that?” Juniper asked as soon as the girls were out of earshot. She wasn’t exactly happy that they were opening presents now, it felt like cheating, but that was beside the point.

“What was up with what? Not wanting to lie to my daughter?” Nick asked innocently, giving her a look in return.

“It’s Father Christmas, it’s hardly like we’re neglecting to tell her she’s adopted or something. All kids know about him, it makes Christmas more magical.” Juniper reasoned, raising an eyebrow at him. Yeah, it was technically a lie, but it was one all kids believed.

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“More magical until they realise that it isn’t really all it’s cracked up to be.” Raising an eyebrow in return, he then shook his head. “Whatever. I’m not changing my mind, I don’t want her knowing about some magic fat guy that gives kids presents.” Making that clear, he then sighed. “I’ve got work to do, I’ll be in the office for most of the afternoon.” Mumbling this, he went into what used to be his bedroom to work.

“Okay.” Juniper mumbled in return, after he had left. The thing was that she didn’t understand why he was this way about the winter holidays. He’s been rotten about it since the middle of November when a few places started to get in the Christmas mood.

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It wouldn’t bother her as much if she knew why he got that way over it, but she didn’t. Was he the same way when he spent the holidays with Elle, or was it just with her? Was that something to do with it? It made her upset because this was their first big holiday together, as more than friends, and it feels like she’s the only one putting in any effort.

Was it because of her?

No. That was stupid.

But still, it hurt to think that he was possibly doing this as an act of sabotage or something.

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“What’s a Father Christmas?” Lainey asked Roisin. Even though Roisin was so much younger than she was, and wasn’t even at school yet, she supposed that she might know some things about Christmas.

“Presents!” Roisin exclaimed, grinning as she did so. “He gives presents to good girls and boys.”

“Oh.” Lainey mumbled, frowning slightly. Would he not give her presents because she didn’t know who he was? “Stranger.”

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Shaking her head vigorously, Roisin denied the fact that Father Christmas was a stranger. Sure, she hadn’t met him but only mommies and daddies got to meet him. “Nuh uh. Mommy knows him. She tells him what we want.”

“How does it get here?” Lainey asked, ever more intrigued. She cant remember their mommy going off to meet him. Why weren’t she and Roisin invited in that case? And their Daddy said that they weren’t getting presents from him. Did Mommy and Father Christmas have a fallout?

Roisin shrugged. “Dunno.” And she didn’t. Her knowledge on Father Christmas was shaky. She only knew that Mommy makes most of it happen. Her mommy’s cool like that.

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“How does Mommy know him?” Lainey then followed up, tilting her head. Were they friends? Best friends? Sarah was Mommy’s best friend. Was Sarah Father Christmas? This was too confusing for Lainey to handle.

“Dunno.” Roisin shrugged again, not being all too much help. “Dunno what shop he goes to either.”

“Maybe the big one Daddy takes us to?” Lainey suggested. That toy shop was the best place ever. She wanted to live there and work there and own there when she was older.

Gasping, Roisin nodded enthusiastically. “Gotta be it!”

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Juniper was a bit ashamed to say that it was after dinner when she had worked out what exactly it was that Nick hated about the holidays. She could recall him telling her a few weeks after they had first met, which was near the holidays too, and he was just as grumpy about it then.

After finding out what it was, it made sense that he was acting this way. She hadn’t spoken to him since earlier in the afternoon. She met him out on the balcony, which is where he went after finishing what he was working on. “I know you said you weren’t hungry, but there’s some food on the side if you want it later.” She offered.

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“Thanks.” He answered shortly as he was sat down at the table outside, absently fiddling with the pack of cigarettes on the table. “You mind if I take one?”

Nodding, she then asked. “Thought you said you didn’t do it?” She didn’t used to either, but since the incident, she found that it helps slightly, as if it seemed to magically take away the stress from what had happened.

“Not usually, but around this time I do. I’m alright with it though, I don’t really get the addiction to them.” He spoke while managing to hold one in his mouth as he looked for a lighter.

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Handing him hers, she sat down opposite, taking one for herself and lighting it. “You should be happier about this holiday, after all, it’s Saint Nick, right?” Grinning lightly, she noticed as he rolled his eyes at her. “Same name as you.”

“Ha. Ha. Ha.” He grumbled,  lacking enthusiasm.

“It’s ho, ho, ho, but you’re new at this so…” Juniper shrugged slightly, taking a long drag from her cigarette. “Remember when we first met, and it was near the holidays, and you told me then that you didn’t celebrate Christmas?” Asking out of curiosity, she looked over at him.

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“So, what are you doing for the holidays?” She could remember it was the first one she had spent since Sam’s death, so it was her first Christmas where it was just her and Roisin. A large part of her then wanted to see if he was spending it with anyone, mostly because she didn’t want to be alone. The only issue was that they weren’t exactly close enough for that.

“I think just going over to my sister’s place. We’re not that much fun, we don’t really celebrate it anymore.”

“What about your parents?” She could recall asking, innocently, not knowing how he would answer next.

“Dead. My dad died around this time quite a few years ago, and my mom died about six months after.”

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“Yeah, I made you feel awkward as hell.” Smirking slightly, he could remember that. “What about it?” Part of him was preoccupied, trying to blow rings in the smoke. He managed to do a few successfully.

“Well, it helped me worked out why you hate the holidays: it reminds you of when your dad died.” She spoke rather cautiously, not wanting to upset him.

Stubbing out his cigarette, Nick stayed quiet for a while before sighing and answering with. “Yeah.”

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“You want to talk about it or…?” Stubbing out hers also, she looked at him as she asked this.

“I don’t know what you want me to say.” Looking away, he spoke quietly. “Talking about it won’t exactly make me love Christmas again.”

“Well, we’ve known each other for over three years now. Can I at least know what exactly happened?” Juniper asked, tilting her head slightly. “I mean, it’s obviously effected you by making you hate Christmas to the point where you don’t even want the girls to know who Father Christmas is.”

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“There’s not a whole lot to say about it June. It was Christmas Eve, about this time of day. I was twenty five? I think? Yeah, twenty five. Me and Elle were at my parents house because we were spending Christmas with her family. Christmas was always a huge thing at home. I remember finding it lame when I was a teenager, because it was kinda lame. A lot of people were scared of my parents because of the kind of people they seemed to be, but I swear, if they saw my mom singing along to basically every Christmas song known to man or my dad in his Christmas jumper, well, I doubt they’d find our family as intimidating.” Smirking as he said this, it was one of those things he knew he’d always remember.

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“They always used to kinda hate Elle’s family because they were basically the opposite, the kind that would order Chinese food instead of cooking something. It was the usual, same old Christmas. Me, Elle, Katie and her family at my parents house. They’d always bug me and Elle about grandkids and my mom would always ask Elle if she was sure when she asked for wine or whatever boozy drink we were having. My mom, Elle and Katie were in the dining room, and it was just me, my dad and I think my nephew was in the living room with us? I can’t remember. He kept flitting between spending time with my mom and sister in the kitchen, and me and dad in the living room. My dad was doing the usual asking about grandkids and trying to pass off that it was mom who was telling him to ask and not pressure but ‘plant the seed’ as she used to say. He was on about that, talking about how having me and Katie was the best thing he’s done.”

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“He went kinda quiet after that, and I thought he was just thinking or something. But when I looked over, he was holding his chest, kind of like gripping at it, and he looked like he was in a lot of pain. I panicked and went over to him, calling in my mom, Katie and Elle because I didn’t know what to do. My dad fell forwards and my mom was crying and Katie was panicking. Elle was the only one who had her head screwed on straight and called an ambulance. They tried to restart his heart, doing the weird thing with the defibrillator but it didn’t work. My dad died of a heart attack on Christmas Eve. Needless to say, I didn’t really feel like celebrating the next day. I guess that’s why I hate it, because no matter what, it’ll always be a reminder that my dad died, and it’ll always be the anniversary of his death.”

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Juniper stayed quiet for quite a while before she finally spoke. “Even though that happened though, you still remember the good things.” She pointed out softly, giving him a small smile. Even though something bad happened, something awful, it didn’t mean that it had to ruin Christmas.

Looking at her for a long time, it was clear that he was trying to think of a rebuttal, but he agreed. “Yeah, I do.”

“And surely, you’d want Roisin and Lainey to have the same good memories about Christmas.” She concluded, watching him as she did so. She wasn’t so sure how he’d react, especially after she added. “And, even though I never got to meet him, I know your dad wouldn’t want to see you being this way at Christmas.”

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Sighing heavily, Nick grumbled. “You know, I hate it when you’re right.”

Smiling in return, Juniper then suggested. “How about we tell two special girls who Father Christmas actually is, or is that still a terrible lie which they should never know about.”

Giving a slight smile in return, he raised an eyebrow at the suggestion. “I suppose we could tell them worse lies than that.”

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The two of them went back inside, took off their coats and made sure the balcony door was securely closed. Roisin and Lainey were sat in the living room, watching the movie about the two sisters and one’s an ice queen and the other’s not an ice queen but she is a princess(neither of them really paid attention to the movie whenever it was on, based on the fact they had both seen it too many times to count, but it did amuse her when he would absently sing the songs from it, without even realising what he was singing).

“I’ll help you out if you need it, I know that memory can get worse with old age.” Juniper teased him, grinning as she did so.

“Please, I knew the guy. I went to school with him.” He had found that if he joined in agreeing that he was old, it made her shut up about it.

“It’s not fun when you join in.”

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Sitting down in between the two,  Nick asked. “Can I join in?”

Lainey grinned at him, and cuddled up to him as he sat down next to Roisin and herself. “Yeah!”

“How does Mommy know Christmas?” Roisin asked, and Nick assumed she meant Father Christmas.

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“Well, it’s a bit of a long story…” Nick started, and looked as Juniper sat down with them as he began to tell Roisin and Lainey all about Father Christmas, and how he can deliver presents to good boys and girls all around the world, and how all his elves help him make the presents, and the reindeer that drive the sleigh, including a bit about Rudolph and why Rudolph’s so special. The two girls were hanging on his every word, amazed by the story and how presents can be delivered everywhere in just one night.

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After telling them about Father Christmas, both Roisin and Lainey were determined to stay up all night and meet him. However, they didn’t even make it to the end of the movie before falling asleep curled up to their parents.

“Should we turn off the TV and put them in bed?” Juniper whispered, trying not to move as it could wake Roisin who was cuddled up to her.

“Shh, I wanna see how it ends.” Nick shushed her, giving her a look.

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“We’ve seen it so much that the DVD jumps, you know how it ends. Elsa unfreezes Ana and saves the town.” She gave him the same look in return.

“Jeez, spoilers much?” Trying not to laugh, he grinned at her. Staying quiet for a moment, he wrapped his free arm around her. “Thanks for letting me talk about what happened to my dad. I guess I needed to think about it more in perspective. I mean, it was awful what happened, but I feel like he’d hate me if I ruined our first Christmas by being all brooding about it.”

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“Brooding? You mean pouty, right?” Teasing, she grinned at him. “But I’m glad you didn’t want to ruin our first Christmas by being broody.”

“Brooding, it’s how good looking guys pout.” He clarified, grinning back at her. “Besides, we’ll have a lot of other Christmases together to ruin.”

“You think we’re going to have a lot more Christmases together?” She asked, this peaking her interest.

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“Yeah, I think so. Do you think so?” He asked, raising an eyebrow.

“You know that I already know the answer.” She pointed out, grinning at him. “But, yeah, I think we will.”

“That’s good to hear. It’d be too awkward if this was our first and last. We know too much about each other.” He reasoned, and then added. “That and you’ve seen me cry before and that’s awkward enough as it is, I don’t need you telling other people out of break up spite.”

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Blinking, Juniper shook her head. “Glad to know this is convenient for you.”

“You know I love you though so it’s more than convenient.” He fiddled with a bit of her hair absently as he said this.

“I love you too.” And even though it wasn’t even Christmas yet, Juniper knew this was going to be a good one.

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AN: N’aw, how sweet.

Don’t worry, usual dramatic, dark and relatively depressing stuff will continue soon 😉

I know it’s been like a jillion years since I last posted an update, and I’m sorry, but does Christmas fluff make up for it? I think it does.

Useless information, but I can picture Juniper and Nick dueting ‘Love is an Open Door’ from Frozen, but not intentionally. Like, accidentally and then going full out because they’re just embarrassing.

Chapter 3.37 The Juniper Buckingham Revival

“Or, you probably know me better as Juniper Buckingham.”

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There was a pregnant pause as both Juniper and Nick stayed quiet at this. Giving her a look, Nick narrowed his eyes at her before shaking his head and laughing. “Okay, I’ve got to give you credit. You almost had me there believing that you actually were her. You’ve got tomorrow off again, right? We could make it a day trip thing or some-” He was cut off by her interrupting him.

“Nick. I’m not joking. I am Juniper Buckingham.” Her voice was still shaking as she spoke, not aware that it would go like this.

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Giving her a disapproving look, Nick grumbled. “If I didn’t believe you the first time, I’m not going to believe you the second time. Quit being so immature.”

“You don’t believe me?” Why would she lie about something so serious like this? “What about this?” She switched the TV back on as it was on the news, still talking about her. She paused it just as her picture was up, explaining how people thought that she had killed her husband. “Believe me now?”

His eyes widened as he glances between the image and the woman stood before him. There was no mistaking that the image and she were the same person.

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“You…” Speechless was an understatement. Suddenly being told that his flatmate of over a year (give or take) was a murderer who had faked her own death and had been lying to him this entire time… Needless to say it was a lot to take in. “You-” He repeated, unable to fully process what he’s been told.

“Look, it’s more complicated than you think.” Juniper tried, knowing fully that it wouldn’t be easy to convince him of much.Compared to this, telling him that she was a psychic was almost no big deal.

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“Complicated? How is it complicated? You killed your husband Jen! I mean, June, I mean.” His voice was a harsh but he kept it low, and he was getting confused over what to call her. She was supposed to be Jen, but that wasn’t her name. “Whoever the hell you are, there’s nothing complicated about murder.”

“If you were in my situation you’d understand why. You might not condone it, but you’d get why I did it.” Again, she tried to make him at least try and see it her way, or possibly even ask more about it so she could explain herself.

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“I don’t care. Not only did you kill someone, you’ve hid it for so long and faked your own death and your daughter’s just so you wouldn’t get caught because you’re too much of a coward to admit that you’ve done wrong.” Shaking his head slightly as he spoke, he became more angered by what she’s done the longer he thought about it. “You’re a monster!”

“Nick, I…” Juniper started and then trailed off. What he said hurt her feelings, but it wasn’t unjust. She had been weaving a web of lies ever since Sam died, and she had been going along with it as if it didn’t hurt anyone else. As she stood still and watched, he went into the girls’ room and got Lainey, walking back out with her a moment later.

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“Don’t.” He didn’t care what she had to say, because it didn’t matter. People like that didn’t matter. “I don’t want to hear it.” And with that he left, the door slamming shut behind him.

Juniper stood there in silence, contemplating what had happened. At this moment in time, she wasn’t sure what exactly to do. Her head said to pack her things, move city and pretend like this never happened before he had a chance to act properly on what she had told him, but her heart was telling her that he wouldn’t call the police, and that she would be fine.

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One of the worst things about this was the knowledge that Sam was right when she had spoken to him. As snippets of his words rung and ricocheted in her mind, she found that covering her ears only projected it.

“Whatever happens with that, Juniper, you should know that it’s futile. You can’t just pretend it never happened; that you never killed me.”, “He’ll think your a psychopath, and he’ll call the police and have you arrested.” “You’ll never seen Roisin again, and she’ll likely go to one of my family members who’ll raise her the right way, to be like us.”

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“When he asks why you don’t sleep properly at night, or when you eventually contradict yourself”. “Even if you refuse to show it all the time, there isn’t a single moment when you don’t feel guilty.”

Being haunted by memories was the last thing Juniper needed at this moment, but despite him being gone for so long, Sam still managed to haunt her and hurt her emotionally and mentally, even if he couldn’t do it physically anymore.

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She needed to think, and fast. Obviously, he’ll be calling the police on her, that’s what any sane person would do. Making sure that people would believe her is mandatory, and this time she had to cover up her tracks without the help of her parents.

If she packed what she needed and took Roisin and what Roisin needed, she could go to Daniel and lie about what had happened. She could lie and say that she was falsely accused of being someone who she wasn’t, as the person who she is accused of being is dead. Daniel’s rich, he could afford a good lawyer and get her off the hook with money to spare. Juniper knew he would do it; he doesn’t like Nick anyway despite the two never meeting, and Nick having no clue about Daniel.

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“I’m not really sure what you want me to say.” Nick’s younger sister, Katie, mumbled as she watched him. “I mean, I always knew there was something off about her. Even though I’ve only met her briefly, there was still something. Not a psychopathic murdering you when you sleep way, but in a something’s not quite right way.”

“What do you think I should do?” He asked. He had told her everything about Jennifer/Juniper and the situation, including his own personal suspicions. After retelling the story and having time to process it, he was more debating whether or not he should call the police. Gradually, he had been deciding against it, not only for her benefit but for Roisin’s. Even though he was angry at Juniper/Jennifer, Roisin hadn’t done anything wrong, and she didn’t deserve to suffer because of what her mom did.

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“Honestly? I think you should talk to her about it. If she was a psychopathic murderer, she would have killed you before you would have had the chance to leave.” Katie pointed out, and then continued with. “Like you told me, you were suspicious of the kind of guy her husband was to start with, now learning that she killed him… I feel like something weird was going on.” Then, speaking quieter, she added. “Not to mention the fact that she contacted you know who, presumably trying to cover up her tracks.”

“Mm.” Nick hummed in agreement, not adding much about the person Katie mentioned. “I guess I should probably go back soon and talk to her before she panics and runs off.” At that moment, he turned to go to where Lainey was but Katie stopped him as she got up.

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“I think Lainey should stay here while you talk to her.”

“You sure that’s alright?” He asked, feeling a little unsure about leaving Lainey.

“I’ve raised my own kids, haven’t I? I think I can take care of one more for a night.” Giving him a look, she also added. “And I’ve been doing this longer than you.”

“Alright, alright. Jeez.” Grinning slightly at her as he was about to leave, Nick tried to mentally prepare himself for the conversation he would have with Juniper back at the flat.

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At the flat, Juniper had sorted out most of the stuff she was going to take from the apartment. All that she needed to do was call Daniel and ask to stay with him. Easy. That was it. So why was it so hard? Knowing that if she did this, it would basically tie her to him forever. It was easy, just a phone call.

Before she managed to even dial the number, there was a knock at the door. With her heart rising to her throat, she peeked at who was at the door and saw it was Nick. “What do you want?” She asked through the door, not wanting to let him in. Why was he here? Was he going to brag about her getting arrested?

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“I’m doing this as a formality, I still have the key so I can enter. I want to talk to you about what you told me.” As he opened the door, Juniper backed up. Only when the door was closed did she speak.

“What? Have you come here to brag or something?” Frowning, she asked this as she kept her distance from him.

“I didn’t call the police.”

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Stepping back in shock, Juniper wasn’t sure what to say. “W-Why?” was the only word she managed to choke out amidst the surprise of him keeping her secret, for now.

“Because even though I don’t agree nor condone what you’ve done, it wouldn’t be fair on Roisin to grow up without either of her parents. At this moment in time, I didn’t do it for you, I did it for Roisin because she’s innocent in all this. I care about her in the same way I care about Lainey, and I would never do something like that to either of them.”

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Nodding, Juniper kept silent, not knowing entirely what to say.

“I want to know why you did it though.” Folding his arms, he made his intentions clear and didn’t give her the option about it. “I want to know everything.”

“Everything?” In a small voice, Juniper asked in response. Telling him everything would mean confessing what Sam did, and that was something she tried with all her strength to block out. Opening that wound up again voluntarily wasn’t exactly something Juniper wanted to do.

“Everything.”

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“So uhm…” Juniper started as they sat down in the living room. “You’re going to have to be a little bit patient with me at some points, because it isn’t exactly easy to say.” Speaking in a quiet voice, she refrained from looking over at him. “A lot of the things I’m going to talk about, no one else knew. Only Sam and I knew, and once I say them then you will too of course, but yeah. No one knows the full story of what had happened.”

Tilting his head, Nick watched her, waiting for her to say what happened. Maybe, it wasn’t as simple as he first thought.

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“Sam and I got married when I was nineteen, and he was just twenty. My parents were never huge fans of him, nor was I a huge fan of his dad and step-mom, his real mom died when he was little. My best friend at the time Mia was really against me dating him because his family had a track record of being murderers. After we got married, everything was fine. We lived in the Buckingham Mansion which is fucking huge, seriously. For the first month or two I kept getting lost in there. Like I’d go to the bathroom, forget how to get to the living room and I would end up calling him to ask where to go.” Smiling slightly at the memory, Juniper took a moment before continuing.

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“He had huge political ambitions, he was always the head of the debate team at school and was student body president, all that stuff. He began to run for mayor, and that was when I perfected my politician’s wife smile. During that time period, we had also decided to at least start trying for a baby, mostly because I kinda talked him into it. About half a year into our marriage, we had been trying for a long time and nothing, his dad had recently died and the stress of work was getting to him.” Taking a long pause before saying the next sentence, Juniper mumbled. “That was the time when he started being abusive.”

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“It started off small with him just calling me stupid if I made a mistake. Like if I burned something or forgot to do something, he would just call me an idiot or something. It then began to escalate to when he would get more physical, and he would shout at me, even if I didn’t know what I had done wrong. I would try and talk to him and he would just freeze me out or get angry at me for bothering him, and I couldn’t get upset around him because that would only make things worse.” It took a lot of power to not get upset at this moment, as all she wanted to do was cry. “He would tell me things like how he didn’t love me, and he would make me feel so worthless and pathetic, and I truly did believe it at that time.”

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“And no one knew?” Waiting until she had stopped talking for a moment, Nick asked this.

“No one knew. I didn’t let people know. I didn’t want people to know. I hid all the marks he left when he was physical with makeup, and I kept my happy smile on so that no one would expect anything. I wouldn’t let myself believe that my marriage was anything but perfect, so instead of getting help, I tried even harder to make it work when it just wouldn’t work, and even if I did want to leave, I couldn’t. I didn’t even have to try, he wouldn’t have allowed a divorce, and I didn’t want to anger him more by even trying to ask. I was so scared, I just wanted him to love me. Sometimes, he wouldn’t be as angry, and I could actually talk to him and it was as if nothing was broken, but then he would turn around and call me ugly, or question why he even married me.” Staying quiet for a moment, she then continued in a quieter voice with. “It was shortly after then which he won the election and became mayor. Mia was suspicious of what was going on after he broke my jaw-” She was interrupted at that moment.

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“He broke your jaw?” A knee jerk reaction, Nick asked this and then apologised for interrupting her. “Sorry.”

“Yeah, he did.” Tilting her head, she drew along a surgical scar mark on the bottom of her jaw. “Completely shattered it there and on the other side. Doctors said it was a miracle I could still talk properly once it was healed. Anyway, Mia was suspicious about everything, and I think she may have told my family too about what she thought was going on. It was about that time when my older sister came over to visit for the day, and it was then that I first found out about Roisin. I remember being so happy because finally I was going to have a baby boy or girl, and I thought maybe then he would be happy.”

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“My sister Melody on the other hand, wasn’t as happy. She tried to talk me into leaving Sam and told me that it would be alright if I did, and that all my family would support me and that it wasn’t too hard to do alone. She had Chloe on her own and she reassured me that it wasn’t too bad. I snapped at her and called her jealous and ignored her when she pointed out Sam’s ways. Later that day she turned up dead in my kitchen.” Voice wavering, it was still raw to think about how she only had one sister now. Through the years, she had learned that old scars never stop hurting.

Putting two and two together, he looked over at her. “Wait, your sister Melody Matthews is that Melody Matthews? The one who became editor of that magazine?” Nick asked, having heard of her sister, and the way she found murdered in her sister’s house. He could recall feeling sorry for the sister.

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Nodding, Juniper confirmed it. “Yeah, my sister was that Melody Matthews. Sam wasn’t as physically abusive during my pregnancy,but he was still verbally and emotionally abusive. He made comments about my weight gain and the amount I ate and stuff like that. It wasn’t my fault, I was pregnant, I couldn’t help it. Show me someone who’s full term and still a size six and I’ll show you a liar. He wasn’t around about a month before my due date because he had a business trip, so Mia moved in and helped me out a lot with everything. I feel like if I had just listened to Mia and accepted the knowledge that I didn’t need him and would be happier without him, then this whole story would’ve had a different ending, but I was stupid and I didn’t listen to her.”

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“Roisn was born shortly after and I had seen a vision about Mia getting killed. I told Mia that she couldn’t visit the mansion anymore because of it. I had told Mia that I was a psychic but she didn’t believe me. As she left, she was killed and found the same way as Melody was. It wasn’t much later that I was contacted by the ghost of Sam’s mom, and she told me that Sam had killed both Melody and Mia, and was planning to kill me so that all of my money would go to Roisin and he would raise her into another Buckingham psychopath, and I looked in the study, where their plan was down in writing according to her, to see if it was true or not. When I saw it was true, I also saw the gun that was in there. Sam entered, we had an argument, and that was when I shot him by accident. I was aiming it, and he tried to grab it off me which was when my finger pulled the trigger, and I shot him.” Juniper then concluded with. “The rest, you know. I moved to Bridgeport, got that sleaze to register my death, and told everyone my name was Jennifer Matthews.”

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Nick stayed quiet for quite a long time, not so sure what to say. He was expecting something bad, but not like that. Moving over to her, he spoke in a low voice. “Thank you for telling me, it must have been hard to say that. Remember that no real man would make his wife feel that crap about herself, nor would he ever lay a hand on her in that way.”

Upon hearing that, Juniper finally let herself cry over everything that had happened. Holding onto him tightly as she sobbed, she felt the comfort of his arms going back around her.Even though it was hard to say, it felt like a weight had been lifted from her shoulders. Being able to finally share her burden with someone she could trust made her feel more free, and knowing that she finally managed to tell someone the full story of what happened…

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Finally letting go, Juniper then mumbled. “There’s still something I’m curious about: how did you know that sleaze who helped me changed my name?”

Nick sighed slightly as she asked that, his hand still half lingering near her as she drew away. “It’s a long story, Juniper.” He said her name cautiously, it seeming foreign to call her that. “It feels so weird calling you that.”

“Longer story than mine?” She asked, smiling slightly as she wiped away her tears with the back of her hand. “You’re going to have to get used to it.”

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“I suppose if you can tell me that, I can at least tell you this. My family were high up in the drug cartel here, not quite the big bosses but high enough to make an impact. My sister and I weren’t involved with it, just my parents so we lost connection with the criminals when my parents died about ten years ago, but other cartels still knew who Katie and I were when our parents were actively involved in it. One of our biggest rivals went after Katie when she was about thirteen, I was about seventeen at that point, and she wound up in a lot of trouble. She didn’t tell any of us until she kinda had to. She got the same sleaze as you got to help her out and fake her death so the rival cartel wouldn’t find her.”

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“Keeping in mind that she was only still young and naive, and the rest of my family and I didn’t even know. Because she didn’t have any money to offer, she offered the other thing he likes.”

Juniper gave him a puzzled look. “I thought you said your sister was about thirteen?”

“Yeah, she was.” Speaking through gritted teeth, he then sighed heavily and continued with. “She kept it a secret for a hell of a long time, in a dark way, it’s almost rather impressive. I was convinced that she had a boyfriend or something, I used to tease her about it a lot. Not like in a mean way though, in an older brother way.”

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“I’ve got two older brothers, trust me, I know how you’re all jerks.” She then continued to ask. “How did you find out about it then?”

“Basically, I’m not so sure how to put it, but you know when I said that my eldest nephew was twelve? He’s not, he’s fourteen now.” He mentioned, and then after seeing Juniper try to work out the maths in her head, he decided to put her out of her arithmetic misery. “Katie had him when she was fifteen.”

Narrowing her eyes, she asked. “Are you implying what I think you are?”

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Nodding, he mumbled. “Yeah. That sleaze is my nephew’s dad. When I saw him here and talking with you that way, I just saw history starting to repeat itself. Granted, you’re older than Katie was and you’re more mature than she was, but I don’t know. I didn’t want the same thing or something similar to happen to you.”

Juniper stayed quiet for a short while, and then in a low voice spoke after what felt like an eternity. “Can I make a suggestion?”

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“Go ahead.”

“We don’t talk about the things we spoke about tonight, especially not in public. We won’t talk about mine especially for my protection and because they’re both hard things to talk about.”

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“I’ll still call you Jen when we’re out in public, and we’ll keep each other’s secret as if they’re our own.” He added onto her suggestion, looking over at her as he did so. “I’m sorry about what I called you earlier.”

“I understand. It’s not everyday you learn something like that. If I were in your shoes, I would’ve been the same way.” Giving him a small smile, she then realised that Nick knew more about her than her family did. They really did know everything about each other now.

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AN: And that’s that. He now knows that she killed her husband.

I wouldn’t say he approves of it, definitely not, nor does he condone it, but he understands why she did it. I feel like it’s one of those things they now know about each other, but it’s unlikely for it to be brought up again. I think he had enough clues to know that something was weird in her first marriage, and I think, as weird as it may sound, he does believe that if she was a psychopath, she prolly would’ve killed him by now, or attacked him after she told him that, so I feel like he kinda put two and two together and figured that it wasn’t a kill out of blood lust and it was a kill out of self defence.

I liked going back through the sweet pictures of Juniper and Sam, especially the first memory picture from when they were teens. So cute ^-^ And then it turned rather dark which wasn’t as sweet. I do feel bad for Juniper, but it’s always darkest before the dawn, and she’s happier now and has found a friend she can really trust (and this one won’t get murdered by her husband), and even though she’s still supposedly laying low, she feels more free than before.

I feel like I’ve dressed everyone in the same stuff this chapter lmao. It wasn’t intentional, I swear!