“I’m on Yellow’s team!” Cheered Clementine, enthusiastically.
“Whatever then, I can take both of you losers!” Salem shouted in reply.
Yellow initiated the first snowball throw.
“Great throw, Lo!” Clementine smiled, as over-sized hat drooped down, covering her eyes.
The excitement of pummeling her brother and best friend with snowballs without getting in trouble was enough to make Salem forget about her hatred for the outdoors.
It wasn’t long before my kids and Clementine were asking Brandt and I for something else, as if taking them to the park to play in the snow wasn’t enough!
“Mom, can we go to Monkey’s sleepover? She invited us!” Yellow asked.
“And I suppose you want to go to?” Brandt asked Clementine.
She jumped up and down excitedly “Yes!”
“You letting yours go?” Brandt asked.
“Dorothy’s been a bitch lately, I don’t know if I want Clem there.” He said.
“Awh Daddy, please! Yellow will keep me safe! Won’t you Lo-Lo?” Clementine said, holding Yellow’s arm. I could practically feel Salem rolling her eyes.
“Uhh… Yeah, of course Clementine….” Yellow said.
“Only if you two lovebirds don’t try anything fishy..”
“You guys can go, be good.” I said.
Without being able to finish my sentence, all the of the children were off and running.
“Give Dorothy some hell!” Brandt shouted.
I had nothing else to do, so Brandt and I bought some hot chocolate from the local concession stand, and sat back down to enjoy it.
“Looks like it’s just us two now…” He said.
“Cool it, man!” I said. “I already explained what happens if Seymour and I don’t work things out.”
“I know, I know, no funny business.” He chuckled. “You did see his simbook status though, right?”
“Mhm, Kizzie told me all about it.” I sighed.
He was referring to Seymour’s Simbook status update that read; “Guess I’m free now ;)”
“I’m trying not to think about that right now.” I added.
“Right. Have you ever made an igloo?” He asked, out of the blue.
“An igloo? No. Seymour has though, but I wasn’t allowed in. He said it was a ‘no girls allowed’ fort.” I laughed.
“We should make an igloo, you and me.”
“We can invite the kids. Shit, we can bring Seymour too, totally innocent.”
“Okay, that sound like fun!” I said, taking a sip of hot chocolate.
Brandt threw his head back, bellowing in laughter.
“Your nose!” He laughed.
“What?! What are you laughing at?!” I whined.
Brandt rubbed his palm across his face. “Ah hell, you’re too damn cute to take…” He mumbled.
“Let me get that for you..” He said, scooting intensely close, wiping the whipped cream off my nose.
The scent of his cologne made my stomach swarm with butterflies, as I completely froze.
Unexpectedly, he put his thumb in his mouth and licked the whip cream off, while looking into my eyes, suggestively. He really knew what he was doing!
After finishing our beverages, he put his body close to mine, looking into my eyes once more.
“I really think we should go make that igloo now.” He said.
I blushed and bit my finger like a giddy teenager.
“Come, on! Let’s just hang out, as friends. Totally innocent.” He smiled.
He put his arms around me, and pulled me in close.
“One last time…” He whispered into my ear, sending shivers up my body.
“Okay.” I whispered back.
A couple of weeks had gone by, and my mother agreed to keeping her boat at the dock for a while, so the kids could go to school.
When Salem and Yellow got home, Salem went right for the fridge to fetch a tub of ice cream, while Yellow had something important to talk to me about.
“Mom…” He began. “I brought a friend over, and I didn’t know if that was okay with you, so he’s waiting outside for your permission. I couldn’t just leave him!”
“He means his smelly hobo friend he picked up off the streets.”
“Not hobo, homeless, young lady!” Morgana interrupted.
“Sorry. He means his smelly homeless friend, that he picked up off the street.” Salem corrected herself.
“You spoke to a stranger, Yellow?” I asked concernedly.
“Mom! He’s cold and hungry. Please just meet him? He’s great at playing the blues on the guitar!”
I sighed heavily, knowing I couldn’t tell him no. “Okay, I’ll meet him.”
“Mom, Grandma, this is Cricket!” Yellow said.
“Lovely home you have here!” He complimented. “I’m sorry if I’m imposing, I-“
“Mom, he has nowhere to go for Christmas, maybe he could spend it with us?”
“Honey, I’d love for Cricket to spend Christmas with us, but I don’t think there will be enough room on this boat, he might feel crowded.”
“You must be fucking high!” Salem shouted out of the blue, shoving her ice cream off the table.
Morgana and Yellow gasped loudly.
“Excuse me, young lady? What did you just say?”
“You heard me. What do you mean, ‘on this boat’?’ She shouted. “We are not having Christmas here. We’re having it at home, with Grandma Morgana, Dad, the other idiots, Clementine, and Clementine’s dad. Just like always. We’re NOT changing things just because you and dad don’t know how to be adults!”
“Don’t you EVER speak to me like that again, young lady. I am your mother, and I do NOT take orders from you, nor will I ever. Do you hear me?”
Sure enough, there I was on Christmas morning, awkwardly squeezed between my husband and whatever Brandt was to me at the time.
Seymour was quiet for the most part. Other than some brief communication at the beginning of our Christmas gathering regarding the kids, he didn’t speak to me throughout the whole thing.
Honestly, Brandt really was the one who kept me going. Every time I began to feel down, he’d pick up on it and subtly nudge my leg or hip with his elbow, easing the tension a little bit.
One thing I knew for certain was, that it was crucial that our children saw Seymour and I together. I wanted them to know that just because we’re having some issues, doesn’t mean that we can’t get along and sit together.
Seymour’s sisters had recently just returned from their trip from Al Simhara, which explains Gwendolyn’s new look. She believes that she is the reincarnated Cleopatra, herself.
The girls wanted to know why there was a strange man sleeping on the couch, so I decided this was the perfect time to fill them in on some things they missed while they were gone, concerning my marriage.
At first, they actually understood where I was coming from, and they both said they’d probably do the same, but when I added that the family magic was at stake, they quickly changed their tune.
“GET IT FIXED.”
To lighten the mood a little bit, I called everyone to open presents!
One by one, everyone took turns opening gifts, which was definitely a breath of fresh air.
I opened my first gift, and decided upon seeing it, that I’d just leave that one in the box… It was a very risque set of lingerie, labeled ‘from: Clementine’.
I somehow find it hard to believe Clementine picked that out.
The rest of the evening was full of chatter and excitement as the pile of gifts got smaller and smaller.
When I got the chance, I took Brandt aside, and explained that this was the perfect opportunity to make things right with Seymour.
Brandt hesitated at first, but he knew how important it was, so he asked Seymour to have a word with him alone.
“What do you want?”
“I want to make things right again, dude. I’m sorry about everything.”
“Seriously man. Even though you two were pretty much done, I knew it was wrong.. I tried to say no, I really did, but I’m just a man. What do you expect?”
“It was just a heat of the moment thing. She was just so… damn. You should have seen her. She had this see-through-“
“OKAY. No need to apologize anymore, I get it.”
“Yes. I don’t blame you, I know that I asked for this. You just didn’t have to be such a prick about it.”
“I know, I’m sorry. And I’m sorry about the time with the igloo too…”
Later that evening, it was pretty apparent that Brandt was ready to make things like they used to be again.
“EWW! Don’t ever do that again, dude!” Seymour shouted.
“…Oh don’t act like you didn’t love it!”
When the energy began to settle down, Seymour finally decided to speak to me.
“Can we talk outside?”
“About?” I asked.
“Yeah okay, make it quick.”
Seymour trailed behind me, out the door.
“Well I just want to start out by saying, I never meant to hurt you. What I did was not okay, I know.”
“But I can honestly say, that it isn’t what you think.” He continued. “She wanted someone to let her know how Clementine is doing, and keep her updated, without Brandt knowing.”
“Why you?” I asked.
“I see Clementine on a regular basis, since she’s friends with the kids. Everyday pretty much. She knew you wouldn’t do it for her.” He explained.
“Oh? And she knew you did? Why did you anyway? She signed her rights over to Brandt, there’s no reason she needs to know anything about Clementine. Do you have feelings for her still?
“No! Absolutely not. I did it because I’m a parent and if I was in the same situation, I’d want someone to help me out too. She signed her rights away because it was the best thing to do for Clementine. She wanted to know how Clementine was doing, but she didn’t want Clementine to be aware. That’s why she asked for my help, and that’s why I helped her.”
“Ah…” I said, honestly unimpressed.
“But it’s done now. I told her to find someone else to help, you and the kids are way more important to me. All I want is to do my best to fix things, Kirsten.”
“Because of our magic, right?” I asked.
“No. I’m not worried about losing our magic. This family has always been strong. I know if any one of us were left weak, we could fight through it. I want to do this for our family, but mostly you. I miss you, honey.” He cried.
“Kirsten listen, I know we’ve been through this before. But I’m willing to do anything to fix it. Whatever happened between you and Brandt, we can pretend it never happened if you forgive me, or at least agree to work through it. I was saving up money for a new car, but I want to use it for a special trip. Just you and me, and the sea. What do you say?”
“Like on a boat?”
“Yes. We can talk everything out on that trip, and work through everything. I’ll even take a truth enchantment, so I can’t lie. Please, Kirsten, I don’t want to lose you. I can’t handle that.”
“Okay, okay. We can try to work it out. No promises though.” I said, as he breathed with relief.
“Thank you, baby! You won’t regret this, and I’ll fix everything I promise.” He said.
“And I… never got the chance to tell you how beautiful you are. I tried so hard not stare at you all day.” He said.
Finally, I felt a warmness within my heart, that I’ve been missing from him for so long. I was finally reminded about why I fell for Seymour Darling in the first place.
He grabbed my hand and gently squeezed it. “Can I just kiss you?”
I looked up at him and smiled, “Of course.” I nodded.