The next morning went by peacefully. No night terrors for Lexi,
and a full nights rest for the both of them. They went through
their morning routine, and headed to work. Elaine wasn't at her
desk today, and Lexi wondered if she was okay. At lunch, Lexi
went to the break room, since Elaine wasn't there for their usual
lunch run, and she didn't have lunch planned with Eileen. Lexi
decided to head to the break room, and text Tristan;
"Is your mom okay?" Lexi asked
"Of course, she just takes her birthday off every year." Tristan replied.
"You didn't tell me it was her birthday! I need to do something for her." Lexi replied.
"She doesn't like many people to know, although taking off the same day every year…You'd think people would figure it out." Tristan replied
"We are seeing her tonight, yes?" She asked
"Oh yes, she'll be delighted to see you especially. You've really grown on my mother. She loves you almost as much as I do. <3" He sent.
Lexi smiled brightly, as she took a sigh of relief. She was happy to know that Elaine was well.
"I love her almost as much as I love you." Lexi replied.
"Glad to hear it, now get back to work Ms. Thomas…Just because your boss isn't there doesn't mean you can slack off on the job =P" He sent
"I'm on break, Mr. Bates…And, even if I was just slacking off, what would you do about it?" She asked.
"Oh, don't tempt me… ;)" He replied. Lexi giggled quietly to herself, and put her phone into her pocket.
"Oh young love, it's too cute." One of the girls spoke as Lexi
looked up. Lexi blushed, it was obvious that she was referring to
"No need to be embarrassed Lexi, we all were like that…At first." Morgan spoke softly.
Morgan was the oldest woman in the building, and with the
sharpest wit. Her hair was light brown, obviously dyed that
color. Her skin was slightly tanned, and her body in perfect
shape. She could pass for someone in their late 30's, when she
was actually pushing 70. She was petite and always dressed over
the top. Today's ensemble consisted of a long sleeved leopard
print cardigan, black high heels, black poncho pants, and a white
tank top underneath the cardigan. Her hair was stuck in the late
1970's, early 1980's. Lexi smiled softly, and soon rose from her
seat in the break room.
"Awe, we didn't scare you off, did we?" Morgan asked.
"No no, I'm just going to do some running while I'm on break." Lexi smiled, as she exited the break room. Lexi grabbed her coat, and headed out the building. She still had 45 minutes to kill. She decided this would be an opportune time to see her mother. It's been a few days, and sometimes it is nice to go home and see how everyone is. Lexi got into her car, and made the short drive to her mother's house. As she drove, she smiled at the memories that flashed of her and Elaine driving home every night. She parked the car in the driveway, and walked up the steps. The porch, along with the entire house still needed work done on it, but Lexi didn't bother to mention it. She knows that they cannot afford it, and would surely disregard her offer to help pay for it. She opened the front door, just as she would any other time.
"Honey, I'm home." Lexi called out jokingly.
"Lexi?" Her mother called out.
"No, they call me Ishmael." She joked again, and smiled brightly as she traced her mother's voice into the kitchen where she found her mother and Angel sitting at the small breakfast table.
"What are you doing here?" Angel asked.
"What are you doing out of your coffin?" Lexi joked.
"Someone's in a spicy mood today." Her mother laughed
"Not spicy, just in a good mood." She smiled, as she lit a cigarette, and walked to the dining room to grab another chair to join them. After she brought the chair, she poured herself a glass of water, and joined them at the table.
"What brings you over, it's not a weekend?" Her mother asked as she finished her cigarette, and proceeded to light another.
"I just felt like stopping by is over, sheesh…I move out, and it's like I'm not allowed to be here…" Lexi said softly.
"Nonsense, you know you're always welcome…It's just odd seeing you, without Tristan on a weekday…Oh no, is something wrong with Tristan?" Her mother asked.
"No no, Tristan is well…Everything is great mom, I couldn't be happier." Lexi smiled, as she took a hit off of her cigarette.
"That's good." She smiled, and looked up at the clock. "Shouldn't you be at work?" She asked again as she took a sip of her coffee.
"I'm on lunch; I'll be heading back in an half an hour." Lexi answered, and took a sip of water.
"Have you eaten?" Her mother asked, as she stood up and headed towards the fridge.
"No, but I'm not hungry." Lexi replied.
"Lexi…" Her mother said softly.
"I'm not starving myself, I'm just not hungry." Lexi replied
"You're losing weight…You look great…I just worry…" Her mother said softly, as she started to tear up. Lexi sighed, and smiled a small smile.
"I know, but don't worry…I can assure you that I do still eat, and that I'm okay." She said as she got up, and walked over to her mom who was standing against the fridge. "You should be sitting; you don't want your foot to go bad again, do you?" Lexi asked. Lexi's mother's condition remained the same. Althought she could walk better, she wasn't to be standing around for prolonged periods of time.
"I can't sit forever, Lexi." Her mother smiled, and walked around the kitchen some more. "Do you at least want some tea?" She asked.
"Sure, but I can get it mom, I'm a big girl now." Lexi smirked, and walked over to the kitchen cupboard, and found herself some tea. She put the water on the stove, and waited for the kittle to whistle. Angel excused herself to the upstairs to grab some clothing, and to do whatever else it is Angel does upstairs. Lexi returned the chair to the dining room, and sat across from her mother was sitting at the small table.
"So, what else is going on?" Lexi asked
"Same shit, different day." Her mother replied, as she sat back down.
"Where's your husband?" Lexi asked
"Your father…." Her mother started to speak.
"Yet to be determined…" Lexi interrupted. Her mother laughed, and continued
"Your determined father is at work." Her mother replied.
"There's no way…" Lexi smirked, as the tea kittle screamed. She got up, and retrieved her cup out of the cupboard, placed the tea bag in, and poured the hot water in. She grabbed the low cal sweetener, and put in a few spoons. She sat back down across from her mother, and took a sip. "You want some?" She asked, knowing the answer would be no.
"No, I got my coffee." She smirked, and took a sip, "How's the life of Alexia Bates?" She asked
"I'm not quite Alexia Bates, just yet Mrs. Thomas, I'm still a Thomas." She smiled, and took another sip.
"When are you two going to be married?" She asked
"We will give you our answer on Thanksgiving." Lexi smirked, and thought back to her and Tristan.
"Thanksgiving? You're making an old woman like me wait until Thanksgiving? I could not be around…" Her mother said softly.
"Oh hush, you'll be around, it's only two weeks away." She smirked, as she finished her cigarette, and put it on in the ashtray. Her mother smirked, and continued to observe Lexi.
"You look happy." Her mother said happily.
"I am happy mom, I've never been happier." Lexi confessed, as she took another sip of tea.
"It's about time." Her mother smiled brightly, as she lit another cigarette.
They continued to chat for a few moments, as Lexi slowly would look up at the clock. She didn't want to be late heading back to work. She took once last look, and she had ten minutes until she was due to be back.
"As much as I'd love to stay, I must return to work." Lexi said softly, as she took her empty cup to the sink. Her mother nodded, and stood up. They walked to the front door, and they hugged.
"I love you, Lexi." Her mother said softly.
"I love you too mom, I'll see ya sometime soon." Lexi smiled, and soon she was out the door.
Lexi was back at work; she clocked in and walked back to her desk. A new pile of paperwork had formed. At least I have something to do. Lexi thought to herself, as she started to sort through the large stack, and began working. The clock was slow today, perhaps because she wanted to be home, or away from work. But, Lexi struggled through. She didn't get many calls, hence the stagnation of the work day. Finally, it was close to time to clean up, and Lexi got slammed with a few last minute calls. Luckily for Lexi, she was able to manage flawlessly. I really need to thank Elaine for being such a good teacher. She thought to herself as she was shutting down her computer and straightening up her desk.
"Have a good night, Thomas." Mr. McHale spoke
"You too, sir." Lexi smiled, as she walked away from her desk, and clocked out. Lexi grabbed her coat, and practically raced for the door.
"Welcome home, Ms. Thomas." Tristan greeted her at their front
"Thank you, Mr. Bates…How was your day?" She asked, as she hung her coat up on the coat rack.
"Slow, I just wanted to be home." Tristan confessed
"Likewise, the office really is a different atmosphere without Elaine." Lexi said softly, as she headed towards the kitchen.
"I'm starting to think you are marrying me for my mother." Tristan joked.
"Damn, you caught me!" Lexi said, as she placed her hand on her forehead, and pretended to faint.
"You're in an awful cheery mood today." Tristan smirked, as he walked over to her.
"Indeed, I'm just happy." Lexi smiled softly.
"Did I have anything to do with this?" He asked
"You always do, Tristan." She smiled, as she embraced him, and breathed in his cologne. Tristan smiled, and held onto his fiancé. "What's on the agenda tonight, Mr. Bates?" Lexi asked.
"Well, we're having dinner with my parents, for mom's birthday…Then, who knows?" Tristan smiled.
"I need to get her a gift." Lexi said softly, still in Tristan's arms.
"You honestly don't have to buy her anything…But, I'll join you if you insist." Tristan smiled.
"I do insist, and besides, I want your opinion on my gift for her anyway. You do know her best." Lexi smiled, as she released herself from his loving embrace.
"Fair enough, but I'm sure you'll find something that's perfect. Just as you are." Tristan smirked, and kissed her forehead.
"You give me too much credit." She smiled, and walked over to the fridge to retrieve a bottle of water.
"You don't give yourself enough credit." Tristan said softly, and held up his hand. Lexi tossed him a bottle of water, and he caught it.
"Nice catch." Lexi giggled.
"Thanks, I've been working out." Tristan joked, as he took a drink.
"I went and saw my mother today." Lexi said as she sat down at the small kitchen table.
"How is she?" He asked
"Convinced that she isn't going to make it to Thanksgiving." Lexi joked.
"Well, she's gonna have to deal with it." Tristan smirked. Lexi nodded, "Well, after your water…Want to head out?" Tristan asked.
"Sure, unless you have something you need to do before that?" Lexi asked.
"Nope, cause the thing I want to attend to will not be able to concentrate until she has bought a gift for my mother." Tristan winked.
"I'm starting to think you're marrying me for the sex." Lexi joked.
"Well, that's part of it." Tristan smiled, and sat down across from her.
"Oh? And what is the other part?" Lexi asked with a giggle.
"All of you, especially this..." He paused, as he pointed to Lexi's heart. "Aside from your good looks, you have a heart of pure gold." He smiled. Lexi grabbed his hand, before he could move it. She held onto it, and smiled brightly as she looked him deep in the eyes.
"You're truly one of a kind, Mr. Bates." She smiled, and held his hand to her face.
"You are freezing, Ms. Thomas. Is it that cold outside?" He asked. Lexi shook her head.
"Did you eat today?" He asked.
"Why does everyone always gotta ask?" Lexi asked.
"Who else asked?" Tristan asked.
"My mother, she's convinced that I have stopped eating." Lexi confessed.
"She worries; she's a good mother…" Tristan smiled.
"Indeed, she has her moments." Lexi smirked.
"Well, are you ready?" He asked. Lexi nodded, she could tell he wanted to get the shopping over with to just spend time with her. She didn't argue, she wanted that too. Tristan went and retrieved their coats, and soon both Lexi and Tristan were out the door.
Tristan took Lexi to the mall. He figured she'd have better luck
out there than just a small store. Lexi raced down the mall
floor, and she stopped in at True Blue. Just to see if Chad was
working. Sure enough, Chad was at the front of the store.
"Hello darling." Lexi said happily.
"Hello dear, what in the world are you doing out here?" Chad asked, as he saw Tristan slowly walking in behind her.
"Shopping for Elaine's birthday is all." Lexi smiled.
"Hello Chad." Tristan smiled.
"Hey Tristan, I see our girl has got you running around like a crazed maniac." Chad smirked.
"Always." Tristan smirked.
"Hey pumpkin." Jessica said happily, as she joined the little triangle.
"Hey Jessica, how are you dear?" Lexi asked.
"Good, it's very slow today." Jessica confessed.
"I feel it, it was very slow for me too today." Lexi said. Jessica looked up at Tristan, and was soon paralyzed by his appearance.
"Oh, Jessica this is my Tristan, Tristan this is Jessica." Lexi introduced them
"Nice to meet you, Jessica." Tristan said softly. Jessica smiled,
"Likewise, well I gotta get back there and finish the dressing room stuff." Jessica said softly, as she started to walk back towards the back of the store.
"OMG girl! He's quite the catch! Good for you pumpkin!" Jessica sent to Lexi.
"Thanks, hun!" Lexi replied, with a smile on her face.
"Texting a secret lover?" Tristan joked.
"No no, just Jessica." Lexi smirked.
"Strange…" Tristan said softly.
"She just wanted to congratulate me on my success with you, is all dear." Lexi said.
"Oh, why didn't she just say that?" He asked
"Probably because she said you were hot." Chad joked.
"I heard that, Chad." Jessica said through their walkie-talkie.
"I know." Chad smirked.
"Well, as much as I'd love to stay here and chat, I gotta get gift buying, and you gotta get back to your oh so busy day." Lexi smirked.
"I'll see ya later, guys." Chad smiled, as he started making his walk around.
"Maybe you can find something in here? Most of your wardrobe is from here, correct?" Tristan smiled.
"Maybe I can." Lexi smiled, and started heading for the women's clothing section. Lexi shifted through racks of clothing like a pro. Chad has made her quite the shopper over the years. Lexi found a few sweaters that she liked, and hoped Elaine would too. "How about this one?" Lexi held up a light mint green v-neck sweater.
"I think she'll love that." Tristan smiled.
"Really?" Lexi asked with a smile.
"Indeed." Tristan nodded.
"One more thing and I promise I'm done." Lexi smirked.
"Take your time, dear." Tristan smiled, and watched her go to work. Lexi went up to check-out, and purchased the sweater. She and Tristan waved to Chad, as they were out of the store, and proceeded to the next. Lexi went to a small jewelry shop, and looked at some bracelets. Lexi found one that she really liked. It was small, and silver. It had all sorts of little charms on it, but the one charm in particular caught her eye. It was a birthstone charm; the color of the birthstone was Topaz, which Lexi was sure that was the stone for November. "What do you think?" She asked, as she showed Tristan.
"I think it's nice." Tristan answered.
"Would she like it?" Lexi asked. Tristan took the small charm bracelet out of her hand and observed it.
"Yes, I think she would." Tristan smiled.
"Great!" Lexi smiled, and quickly she went up to the cashier, and purchased the bracelet. Tristan's jaw nearly dropped, as the cashier asked for the money.
"One hundred dollars?" Tristan whispered.
"Yes, it's not for me…I'm okay with that." Lexi smiled, and handed over the money. The cashier smiled, and placed the small charm bracelet into the box, and handed it to Lexi.
"You're an enigma." Tristan said.
"How so?" Lexi asked, as they walked out of the small shop, and back into the Mall's main floor.
"You'll spend one hundred plus dollars on my mother, yet on yourself you spend damn near nothing?" Tristan asked. Lexi shrugged her shoulders, and continued to walk.
"Well, I guess it's a good thing we're getting married." Tristan smiled.
"Oh?" Lexi asked.
"Oh yeah, you're going to get things…Expensive things…Just because." Tristan smirked.
"No no, that's no necessary." Lexi smirked.
"It is." Tristan smiled, as he held onto Lexi's hand. Lexi sighed, and they stopped walking.
"You don't have to, Tristan. I want you, not money." Lexi confessed.
"I know, but…" Tristan paused. "You need to treat yourself too, Lexi." Tristan smiled, and brushed her hair away from her face.
"Being with you is all I want, whether you were rich or you lost everything today…You are my treat, you are my happy." Lexi smiled, and kissed him lightly on the lips. Tristan's heart melted, and he held onto her tightly. Lexi's eyes widened, as she was lost in his embrace.
"Not that I'm complaining, but what is this for?" She asked
"For you, being you…Lexi. You have no idea how much that means to me." Tristan smiled, and continued to hold onto her. People walked passed them, and glared their eyes at them. Neither Tristan nor Lexi cared. They were in love, and everyone in the world now knew it. They soon broke their embrace, and headed for the exit.
"But, you're still going to get things…Lexi." Tristan smirked.
"Whatever you say, Tristan. Whatever you say." Lexi smiled, as she held onto his hand lightly while they walked to his car.
They arrived back to their house, and quickly changed their clothes to look more formal. Lexi opted to wear a dark pink quarter length sleeved v neck with black dress pants, and her black flats, along with a silver neck less, and the matching bracelet. Her make-up was natural, and her hair was down. Tristan loved it when she let her wavy hair hug her face. Tristan wore a dark green button down, with black dress slacks, and black dress shoes.
"I'm sorry we didn't get us time today…" Lexi confessed
"The night is still young, my love. Don't worry…After the family event. You will be all mine." Tristan said with a small smile, as he went up to his attic, and retrieved some wrapping paper for Lexi's gifts.