“Can you hold on one second?” I couldn’t hear a word they were saying with Vali crying like crazy. The second they replied sure, I shoved my phone in my pocket, going over to my daughter.
“Vali, can you quiet down?” I pleaded, “Mommy is on an important phone call.”
“Why?” Vali babbled, tilting her head. Why was her new favorite word. Every time Dani or I asked her to do something she replied with why.
“I need to hear what they’re saying,” I explained, hoping I could get through to her. Toddlers were so finicky.
“Come on, eat, Vali.” Eating usually gave us quiet for a little while – and sometimes that’s all you need. She just looked at me with her big green eyes and I couldn’t help but smile. Whenever she giggles or smiles it’s the cutest thing in the world.
“Okay, here comes the airplane,” I cooed, scooping up a big dollop of applesauce and waving the spoon around. She followed the spoon and giggled once it got to her mouth. I laid the spoon down and she picked it up, looking at it like it was the coolest thing in the world. Hopefully it keeps her quiet.
I pulled out my phone again, sitting back down. “Hey, sorry. Are you still there?”
“Well, what’s this about?”
The person on the other end sighed. “Well, someone’s here and wants to speak with you.”
“Who is it?”
I could barely make what she said before Valentina’s screams almost made me drop the phone. “One second,” I muttered into the phone hastily.
“What do you want, Valentina?” I was extremely tempted to scream at her but that wouldn’t help anything. She only replied with babbles that I could barely make out. I forgot… She can hardly tell me what she wants. She’s only one.
“Uppie, mommy,” I finally made out, and sighed, pulling her out of the high chair.
I always forgot to get her out, no matter how often it happened. She waddled off – probably to the playroom – and I pressed my phone back to my ear.
“Sorry… again. My daughter’s just being a little fussy today.”
“What was that?” Of course they probably weren’t listening anymore.
“Nothing. Um, continue.”
“Mayor Norley wants to speak with you.”
I raised my eyebrows, sucking my breath in. Hopefully nothing had happened where I had to go in because I was sure nobody could watch Vali on such short notice. Dani and I each worked from home one day of the week so Vali didn’t have to be sent to daycare all the time.
“Okay, put her on,” I replied.
“Adelaide?” I heard Mayor Norley ask.
“Yes, what is it?”
“There’s been a break in at the chateau.”
“And what about it? We’re not detectives.”
“I need to send someone over to address the situation. I know it’s your home day but since you’re trying to be the next mayor it seemed like you should go.”
“Can I go later today?” If I couldn’t go later then I’d have to tell her to send someone else and I really don’t want to do that.
“Sure. The reporters will be there all day since it’s the home of a top San Myshuno council candidate.”
With that settled, I glanced at the time and cursed under my breath. Lyric and I were supposed to be meeting at the park in 10 minutes.
“Vali, where are you?” I shouldn’t have let her waddle off, but too late now. Thank Watcher I found her in the playroom quickly and I rushed to get us both dressed and out.
We don’t get many chances to get together since we’re both so busy so when we get to meet it’s always great. The kids love it too, her son is always so excited to see Vali and it’s the cutest thing. Lyric and her husband adopted little Jayden after they were having trouble getting pregnant and Lyric says it was the best decision they ever made. It’s easy to see why. Jayden is such an adorable little guy and Valentina always loves playing with him.
“Hey, Adelaide,” Lyric’s husband, Jase, said. “Lyric just had to finish up a chess game with her dad. You know how much they get into chess.”
I nodded, and as he took his sunglasses off, my breath caught in my throat. “Um…you have beautiful eyes,” I stammered, instantly regretting it.
“What?” He looked back at me, confused. Shit.
“Sorry – pregnancy’s making my mind a little scrambled,” I managed to get out before quickly going over to my daughter. Holy shit, what did I just do? First of all, I’m fucking gay! I don’t even like men. This pregnancy had made my sex drive shoot through the roof, and I still wasn’t used to it. Dani and I weren’t the kind of people that were always trying to ‘do it’, but recently, I’d just been so damn horny, all the time. And stupidly, I hadn’t really talked to her about it just because of how unlike me it was… I was honestly pretty embarrassed about it – and now I’d just flirted with my best friend’s husband. He looked back over at me and I let out a small smile, instantly snapping my attention back to Valentina.
His eyes weren’t even that pretty. What the fuck had I seen a few seconds ago? Lyric showed up not that long after and – thank goodness – her husband stayed out of our conversation, playing with the kids instead.
“How’s this little one treating you?” Lyric asked, gesturing to my already huge baby bump.
“This pregnancy has been so different – in a good way. I swear I must be having a boy this time.”
Lyric giggled at that, going over to play with the kids. “Don’t believe those old wives’ tales.”
Vali always loves going out and meeting new people. It’s going to get her into trouble one of these days. Whenever we bring her to the park, she wanders off and ends up babbling to other kids or even adults. She isn’t scared of other grown-ups which Lyric is amazed at since Jayden won’t talk to any other adults – it took a while before he warmed up to me but Vali’s been his best friend since they met.
“How do you do it every day?” I asked.
“Take care of Jayden all day?”
Lyric raised her eyebrows like I had asked the dumbest question ever. “Um, I don’t know… I really enjoy it. Being a stay at home mom was what I planned to be whenever I had kids.”
I nodded slowly. “Oh.”
“What is it?”
“Don’t give me ‘nothing‘. What is it?”
I sighed, turning back to her. I decided to tell her the other thing weighing on my mind – the one that didn’t have to do with telling her man his eyes were beautiful. “It’s just – I feel like I’m a bad mom since I don’t want to spend all day with my daughter. Dani’s the one who’s always talking about working from home so she can be with Vali all the time… but I love working. I love Valentina, and I love being her mom – but I couldn’t take care of her all day, every day.” I looked back at her awkwardly, placing my hands on my bump.
“Some women aren’t as into raising kids. I mean, Raini doesn’t even want kids. You know? I’m sure it’ll get easier as Vali grows up but it’s not like you hate your daughter or anything, I can tell you’re really enjoying playing with her here.”
“I am. I love her, she’s my little girl. And I love spending time with her, it’s just the crying and screaming and not knowing how to calm her down that gets to me. It’s part of the job, but it’s hard. And then Dani comes along and Vali quiets down in two minutes… I’m just not good at all that.”
“Don’t give me that bullshit, Adelaide. You’re a great mom, a really good one. And maybe it doesn’t come naturally but you give it your all and that’s admirable.”
I opened my mouth to speak but the kids started crying and we rushed over to the other side of the playset.
“What?” I asked Vali, while Jayden stared angrily at her. She looked up at me innocently, and I raised my eyebrows.
“He not fun,” she pouted.
“He no slide with Vali,” she explained, pointing at herself.
“Slide scary,” Jayden wailed.
I looked back down to my daughter. “And what happened?”
“I made him go!” Vali answered, beaming proudly.
My eyes widened and I looked at Lyric worriedly. “I think Vali pushed him down.”
“Did she?” Lyric asked her son, who nodded.
“Valentina. You can’t make people do things they don’t want to do.”
“Uhm, because…” I sighed, thinking of the best way to say this to a toddler. “Cause it’s their choice. Like how when you get a cookie it’s your cookie, right?”
She nodded, staring up at me like I had all the answers.
“And you get to pick if you want sprinkles on your cookie or not. He gets to choose whether he wants to slide, ok?”
“Ok, mommy.” Vali blinked her big green eyes, already smiling again. The feeling that you get when you fix something for your child is amazing. If only I could do it more often.
“I’m sowwy,” Vali apologized.
He blinked at her, then grinned. “Okay. You wanna drive?”
Vali beamed, and the two of them went back to playing, the fight already forgotten. I wonder what world they’re dreaming up.
By the time I had gotten to the chateau around seven at night there was a substantial the smaller crowd then I’d seen on TV earlier. I made sure to tune in and see was going on while I watched Valentina so I’d have an idea of what was happening. I really need to stay on top of the news better because I had no idea who this guy was until today. The reporters that were still there must have been waiting for me to give Brindleton’s official statement. It was still pretty crazy, especially as we still didn’t have a good idea of what was going on.
“Do you think anyone’s in danger?”
“Honestly, no. Seeing as this person was able to get into the house, if they wanted to hurt someone, they would’ve.”
The reporters hung on my every word, probably trying to get something interesting for tomorrow’s news segment, but I had to disappoint them. We hadn’t really gotten any concrete information – after all, it’s only been a few hours – and I was heading home before long. How was I supposed to tell my wife that I flirted with someone else? I have to tell her, right?
A/N: Important! Guys, do you want me to keep with the 2-day a week (Wednesday & Saturday) schedule, with 1200 – 1600 word chapters, or would you rather have a 4-day a week schedule (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday) but with 600 – 1000 word chapters? For reference, this chapter was 1700 words 🙂