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Just a little warning…there are a couple steamy screenshots in this chapter. Someone had a little fun with the WickedWhims mod! 😈Nothing too revealing though. It’s still PG-13 rated like the other chapters so it’s safe to read at work (maybe?). I never used mods before because I was afraid it would mess up my game, and I rarely ever use custom content too, but now I wish I discovered this mod earlier. Oh the possibilities….! 😊

Oh and there’s been a little time-jump between the last chapter and this one. You might notice from the first pic, baby Poppy is no longer a baby.

***

“Mama!” I hear a call from all the way in the foyer. It still amazes me how well she speaks for someone still so little. She must have realised I was in the kitchen because then I heard the pitter-patter of her favourite red shoes against the tile as she made her way to me.

She entered the kitchen and stood watching me crack eggs into a bowl. “Mama make breakfast?”

“No, Mama’s not making breakfast. You already had breakfast, remember?”

“Mama make cookies?” She was so perceptive. She already knew how much her Mama loved cooking and baking and which ingredients she used for what. “Close, I’m making cupcakes.”

“I wan cupcake!” She squealed in delight.

“I know you do but these aren’t for us. It’s for your sisters’ school fundraiser.” She eyed me curiously as she didn’t understand a word I said. Sometimes I forget I’m talking to a toddler with a limited vocabulary and understanding of the world around her. I guess it’s an easy thing to do when you hardly have anyone around for adult conversation. “Nevermind.”

“I wan Dada!”

With a sigh, I paused my mixing and turned to her. “Dada’s not here right now. Why don’t you go play with your toys?”

“No toy! Wanna play air-pwane!”

“I can play airplane with you sweetie.” I suggested but then she scrunched her face and shook her head. “I wan Dada.”

I want him too. “You sure you don’t want me?” I fake pouted. “You don’t like Mama’s airplane? Huh? Come here my little Poppy seed! I’ma show you how great Mama is at airplane!” She giggled in excited when she saw my wild antics.

I didn’t mind making a fool of myself if it meant keeping a smile on her face. She was the only one of my girls who I could still make gleefully happy with just my simple presence. I always have to try so hard with Nori and Olive now. They’re at that age where they want to be more independent which means they don’t need their mother as much as they did before.

Nori is still my little angel. She’s so responsible and so well-mannered. I never have to be worried about her. She plays quietly, she does her homework.

She’s even started taking piano lessons and I’m impressed by how good she is. Kinda reminds me of Lyra when she was younger except Nori doesn’t show off like Lyra used to. We try to encourage her to play at the school recitals but she’d rather play at home instead of playing in front an audience.

The complete opposite of Olive! I think Olive loves being the centre of attention. She’s constantly chatting, very opinionated and is always getting in trouble at school. But in spite of all that she gets good grades and the teachers love her outspokenness and how knowledgeable she is about a lot of things. She’s always reading and watching some docuseries on television becoming fixated on whatever topic she just learned. Like the time she wanted to be a knight because she watched a documentary on the War of the Snapdragons, she walked around for days threatening people with her imaginary sword.

“I can’t eat this Mom. It’s gross!”

“What’s wrong with it now?” I was a little defensive thinking she was about to whine about how she can’t eat it unless it has maple syrup on it. That was the height of her picky eating habits and it was annoying as hell for someone with my culinary training and refined palette to have to squirt maple syrup over a perfectly cooked seared sirloin steak just so she would eat it. Now that was disgusting!

“It’s bacon and eggs.” She pouted.

“So?”

“It…animal products! I can’t eat this stuff anymore. Not after what I saw on that movie. I can’t believe the way they treat those farm animals. It’s unethical!”

She’d been throwing that word around a lot ever since she first heard it. EVERYTHING she didn’t like was unethical. Homework was unethical. Chores were unethical. Now bacon and eggs are unethical! Well, that last part I could see her point. I watched that documentary with her and was horrified by some of the things I saw…that being said, afterwards I made grilled chicken for dinner and it was delicious.

I decided to give her a little leeway this time. It was my fault for not checking out that documentary she wanted to watch beforehand so I could learn to tolerate this new phase of not wanting animal products until it passed. “There’s some leftover cherry pie in the fridge if you want that instead.”

“Cherry pie? You’ll actually let me have cherry pie for breakfast?” She asked in disbelief.

“Sure. You need to eat something before school and I think we’re all out of cereal, peanut butter and hummus right now.” We were also out of milk. I made a mental note to make a trip to the grocery store soon. Things have been so hectic recently that I didn’t have the time.

“Thanks Mom!”

It was the first genuine smile from her in a few days ever since I’d punished her for not cleaning her bedroom. I looked at Nori who sat next to me eating her eggs and bacon without complaint. She was always without complaint. She never lets anything bother her, not even the unfairness of her sister getting to eat dessert for breakfast when she had to eat eggs which weren’t her favourite.

She was so mature in that way and I’m still hoping some more of her rubs off on Olive. They’re already so close in spite of their difference in personality and I’ll take that for now.

The house is so quiet when they go off to school and I’m left alone with Poppy. With her, I can occupy myself with whatever I want and not have to worry about her escaping through the front door or splashing around in the toilet. But not taking care of her means I’m left with very little activities to fill my day.

The Nookstone Café closed its doors just after Poppy’s first birthday and I’ve been a stay-at-home mother ever since. It was a hard decision to make but it had to be done. We just weren’t making the money we used to and it wasn’t profitable anymore. All that time I spent working with Chad kept me away from my own business so I wasn’t around to deal with certain issues. Then I went into early labour with Poppy and had to take more time away to recover. In the end, we were losing money and I would basically have to start paying for the business expenses out of my own pocket and I couldn’t afford that risk. I had my daughters and their futures to think about and I couldn’t afford to use any more of the family money just to let it bleed out for the sake of keeping my dream afloat.

On the flip side, Michael’s career couldn’t be any better right now. He’s so in demand. His gallery showings get sold out and he gets commissioned to create work in other cities. Mayor Feng from San Myshuno commissioned him to assist in the creation of a mural to go on display in the Fashion district. He was so excited when he got that call because it was a huge deal. He’s worked so hard to have legitimate career in something he’s passionate about and I was so proud of him.

But I was also jealous.

Of course I’m not jealous of his accomplishments though that’s what he seems to think every time we argue. He thinks I’m jealous because he’s now the successful one and I’m the one stuck at home being a full time parent.

Yes, I’m not gonna lie, it does bother me a lot to no longer have a career or a business but I just…I miss him. He’s so busy all the time that he hardly has any left for me. He’ll come home and spend time with the girls but he’ll only have time for me when he wants something, usually sex.

He’s never been a selfish lover. He always meets my needs in that way and at first I liked how straight forward it would be. It was spontaneous the way he would join me in the shower for a quickie before breakfast.

I even liked how he would ravage me in the middle of the afternoon while Poppy was napping and Nori and Olive were playing outside or hanging out with Amiyah next door. It was way better when the kids weren’t around, that way I didn’t have to worry about them hearing us. I can get pretty loud if I’m not careful and Michael always knows what to do to drive me wild.

But when it’s over he’ll either get dressed and get to work or roll over and fall asleep without another word. He doesn’t even spoon me and whisper how much he loves me like he used to. Just wham bam thank you ma’am like it was just a means to an end, like all I was good for was just the sex. I end up sitting there until the girls come back home feeling used and lonely.

I guess the word neglected best describes how I feel.

We barely talk anymore because when he’s not working in the studio he’s at the gallery or meeting a client. It’s why I talk to Poppy so much even though I know she doesn’t understand much of what I’m saying. I go stir crazy being in the house all day so the least he can do is take 15 minutes out of his busy schedule to find out how I’m doing.

I literally jump at any opportunity to get out of the house. I practically live for ladies night at the Rattlesnake Bar and I don’t even like that place all that much. I only go because Lyra and Tatiana like hanging out there and on ladies’ night we get together for cocktails and girl chat.

It started just after my birthday and it quickly became a tradition. Too bad it’s only once a week. I’m not a big drinker but I usually end up getting wasted by the end of the night just by trying to take advantage of my freedom. They both tell me the same thing which is that I need to sit down with Michael and explain to him how I feel. I really want to do that but these days whenever I try to talk to him it’s never a good time.

“Hey, um, we need to talk. It’s important.” I announced.

“Is it about the girls?”

“No. They’re fine.”

“Then not right now.” He said barely looking away from his canvas. “I gotta finish this. We’ll talk later.”

“No.” I was determined. “We need to talk now.”

“Maia, I’m working right now. I don’t have time for this, okay. Can you just…close the door on your way out? I have to focus on this.”

I couldn’t believe he was shooing me out of the studio like that. I remember the days when he used to love having me in there with him. He used to call me his inspiration. Now I guess I’m just the annoying wife he wants out of the room. “See this, this is what we need to talk about!” Even though my voice raised a little to show my irritation he still kept painting, almost as if he was ignoring me. “Are you listening Michael?”

He didn’t answer, so I got even more pissed off. “Michael? Hello?”

“The fuck Maia! Seriously?” He yelled at me. “I’m trying to work here!”

My eyes burned a little from the tears that threatened to fall but I held them back. He was so angry and outbursts like these directed towards me and me alone were becoming too common lately. “I…I was just…I just want to talk. You don’t have to yell and curse at me like that!”

“You know I’m working!”

“I know but…”

“You know I’m on a fixed deadline. I have to complete this collection by the end of this week and I was finally on a roll and inspired and you’re interrupting me to…talk about what exactly?”

“You can’t even spare five minutes for me but I’m expected to just drop whatever I’m doing whenever you want?”

What? You…ugh…!” He grumbled. “Just what is it huh? Tell me.”

“Forget it.”

“Forget it?” He repeated, irritated. “So after you distract me from my work and set me back at least another hour you decide to just forget it?!”

“Yes, cause you’re being a jerk!”

“Well you’re being a bitch!”

Now I really wanted to cry but I somehow managed to keep it in until I left the room. I was so shocked he would call me that. I was always his baby, his love, or his queen, now I guess I’m a bitch!

It makes sense all things considered. He stopped being romantic a long time now. All those pet names are strictly reserved for the bedroom. It’s the only place where he doesn’t want me to go away. I must be too damn bitchy to deserve that kind of attention anymore.

That evening he came to the room and apologised. I really wanted to stay angry with him because he really hurt me bad but the moment I looked into his eyes I melted. “You still mad at me?” He asked.

YES! “No.”

“I’m sorry I snapped at you. I’m just…I’m so stressed out about this exhibit.” He sighed, shaking his head. “I need you so bad right now…” I could feel his desire for me pressed against my stomach as he held me close.

I let him grab my ass as he pulled me closer to the bed. I knew what he wanted so I gave it to him. If it’s the only way I get to spend any kind of time with my husband where he treats me like how he used to then I’ll take it.

I didn’t realise until then how desperate I was but I remained powerless to stop myself from giving in. I knew it wasn’t right but it was all I had. Our marriage, the kids, they were the only things I had right now – so I had to deal with it. At least I was happy.

I think…

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