As promised, here is the seventh part of this story. Just one more part to go. And the kickass banner below is made by the wonderfully talented and awesome Ilka/xxhoney89 . Thank you SO MUCH, Ilka! One more chapter left in this story and then I have no idea what will come out of me next. Definitely more crossovers and hopefully, my Lovestoned muse will start working again.
It all happens so quickly. One minute, Lexie is talking and Mark looks like he wants to kill someone, every muscle in his body tight, his jaw clenched, his eyes dark with fury and then Mark is laughing, making Lexie frown with confusion.
He shakes his head slightly. “Are you serious? He said all of that? Really?”
Lexie feels her chest tighten and she takes a step back from him. “When have I ever lied to you?” She asks him softly, looking away from him, his questions hurting her more than she would have ever thought.
Mark instantly realizes his mistake and he instantly stops laughing, the smile wiping completely from his face. “Lexie. I didn’t-”
She takes a deep breath, straightening her back, pushing her shoulders back. “Just forget it,” she says, looking at him again, not even trying to mask the hurt in her eyes at his obvious doubt of what she says. She can’t look at him for too long though and she looks down at the carpeted floor. “I suppose it’s good that this has happened. Better late than never.”
“What?” Mark asks while wishing that it was physically possible for him to literally kick his own ass for his stupidity.
“That when it comes to my word or the word of your friend, the friend wins,” she shrugs, trying to play it off as casually as possible.
Mark exhales a heavy breath. “Come on, Lex. I didn’t…” He reaches out to take one of her hands in his but she steps back, something that is like a square kick in his chest. He can’t remember the last time Lexie has pulled away from him when he reaches out for her and he doesn’t like that one bit. “I just can’t believe Neil would say those things.”
She nods. “Right. I made it all up.”
“I didn’t mean that you made it up. I just… I can’t believe it. Whenever we talk, he always asks how you are and what a good woman you are…” he trails off and a sudden look of clarity sparks across his face. “Motherfucker.”
“Mark,” Lexie instantly admonishes, so used to having little ears around, listening.
Mark smirks, shaking his head in disbelief. “Jesus, Lex. He likes you.”
Lexie blinks at him. “He likes me?” She echoes and almost lifts her hand to his forehead to see if he has a fever. “What are we? Twelve? We make fun of the girls we like? Why doesn’t he just pull my pigtails?”
“Neil and I have the emotional maturity of fifteen-year-old boys. He’s being so mean because he is attracted to you but you’re married to me and he doesn’t know how else to deal with it,” Mark explains as Lexie continues to stare at him with disbelief.
“I think you’re completely wrong, Mark. He’s…” she swallows. “He is a complete asshole who has never been nice to me whenever you’re not around.”
“And when I am around?”
Lexie shrugs. “He ignores me.”
She stared at him for a moment and then shakes her head slightly. “Men don’t make any sense whatsoever.”
Mark smirks but he grows solemn again. This time, when he reaches out to touch her, Lexie lets him and he allows himself to relax a fraction of a bit. He slides one hand onto her cheek and the other onto her hip, closing the space between them, standing so close to her, she has to tilt her head up to look at him.
“You tell me the sky is purple and I believe you,” he tells her quietly. “I believe everything you say. You have never lied to me and I have never doubted you. And it wasn’t me not believing you right now. It was me not believing that Neil said those things to you. No one talks to you like that if I have any say on the matter.”
“He makes me uncomfortable,” Lexie admits, almost embarrassed that she can’t handle a man like Neil without running to her husband. “Really uncomfortable.”
“Don’t worry. I’m going to have a little talk with him when no one else is around,” Mark reassures her, his hand sliding down from her cheek to the side of her neck, his thumb brushing across her jawline.
“Why aren’t you angry? If this was any other guy, you would already be in there, throwing punches,” Lexie points out to him as if he has forgotten his usual reaction.
“Because for once, I know that you absolutely despise the guy,” he says.
Lexie frowns though. “So any other guy who you’ve threatened, you think that I have feelings for them?”
“I know you don’t but… seeing a guy talk with you, it drives me crazy because I know what they’re thinking. I know what they want from you and it doesn’t matter that I know you love me and would never be with any other man. It’s just… actually seeing it is what makes me crazy.”
“But with Neil…”
“But with Neil, you so openly dislike him, I can actually see that I have nothing to worry about.”
Lexie is quiet and stares at him for a moment before shaking her head slightly. “I changed my mind. You don’t make any sense whatsoever,” she says and he smirks.
She leans back and Mark stands in front of her, so close, their hips brush together and he places his hands on the wall behind her on either side of her head, boxing her in. Their eyes remain locked together and Lexie lifts a hand to touch his cheek, her fingers sifting through the scruffiness of his beard.
“You’re mine, Lexie,” he tells her, his voice low, almost sending a shiver down her spine at both the heaviness of his words and the dark intensity in his eyes.
She nods. “Always have been. Always will be,” she whispers and he smiles slightly.
“So that’s all he said?” Mark asks, moving his head closer to hers. “He offered to help me find someone else and he thinks you’re hot as hell?” Lexie glances away, not able to look at him, and he feels a tightness in his gut, knowing Lexie well enough to know that she is keeping something from him. “Tell me. What else did he say?”
She shakes her head, resting her hands on his chest. “You are not angry right now and actually, let’s keep you that way.”
“What did he say?” He asks, his voice growing harder.
Lexie sighs. “He says you like tight girls.” She feels her face begin to flush. “And he wondered how tight I was because I’ve had three kids.”
“What?” He stares at her and pushing himself off of the wall, he keeps staring at her.
It is as if Lexie blinks and then he is gone, down the hallway and disappearing back into the ballroom. She rushes after him though she knows that stopping him is impossible. Although she feels the tiniest bit of satisfaction that Mark is going to deal with Neil like the way she actually wants him to, she still doesn’t want this to play out in front of every other doctor at the conference – all of whom know Mark.
Lexie catches up with him and grabs his arm, managing to drag him back into the hallway. “Mark, you are not going to cause a scene in there,” she tells him firmly.
“After he said that, how can I not punch him?” Mark crosses his arms over his chest.
She shakes her head, looking at him. “I think you are bi-polar today. Just a few seconds ago, you were fine with him saying things to me.”
“Not things like that,” he practically growls. “It’s different when he says he should find me some other girl because… come on. That’s never going to happen. But when he’s talking about you like…” he is so angry, he can’t even seem to complete a comprehensive sentence. “He should never even be thinking about you like that.”
Lexie can’t help it. She stands on her toes and linking her fingers behind his neck, she presses her lips to his in a firm kiss. She sometimes does this in an attempt at distracting him, especially when he is furious and is about to use his fists to express himself on some guy. And though Lexie could care less about Neil, she really doesn’t like seeing her husband punch someone.
Mark instantly escalates the kiss, one hand tangling in her hair, the other grasping her hips, and he kisses her as hard as he can, his beard scratching against her skin, his lips nearly bruising hers. Lexie can’t help but moan into his mouth over the ferocity of this kiss and he hauls her body against his, his arms binding around her, keeping her pressed as tightly to him as possible.
He kisses her until there is no more air in her lungs, until she can no longer breathe, but Mark won’t stop. He kisses her over and over again and all she can do is cling to him and let him do what he has to until he is calm enough to think rationally.
It still amazes Lexie that even after all of this time of being together, Mark’s kisses can still make her heart flutter and her knees shake. Each kiss with him always reminds her of their first kiss in his hotel room all of those years earlier, when he told her that he was the bad one and then grabbing her head, he kissed her as if he was a man starving. No one had ever kissed her like that. Mark had kissed her as if his entire survival depended upon her and from that moment on, Lexie was completely addicted to him. After her first kiss with Mark, she knew already that she would never kiss another man. The desire to had been completely erased from her.
He finally pulls away, though he seems to do so reluctantly. “I’ll be right back,” he tells her and then leaving her standing there, gasping breathlessly, Mark turns and disappears into the ballroom.
Less than two minutes later, Lexie flinches as she hears a great crash of breaking glassware from the other side of the door.
“What was that?” Sadie calls out from upstairs upon hearing the distinct sound of something breaking from the living room below.
“Nothing!” Ally and Sam answer simultaneously in matching innocent tones.
With a sigh, Sadie pulls herself from the bed and begins heading downstairs, wondering where Jeremy went. He should know better than to leave any of the Sloan children unattended. Owen has left a little bit ago, having been paged from the hospital, and the rain is still pouring outside. Sadie is almost tempted to send the three children outside anyway. Maybe they will have fun playing in the rain and mud and will be tired enough to sleep that night. Maybe they’ll sleep clear until Mark and Lexie come and pick them up tomorrow afternoon. Sadie can dream at least.
“You are such a dumb ass,” Ally hisses at her younger brother as they kneel on the floor of the living room, trying to gather all of the broken pieces of the shattered tea cup as quickly as possible.
“Don’t call me a dumb ass,” Sam hisses back before leaning over and pushing her.
Ally glares at him, pushing him back. “Don’t say that word.”
“You say it.”
“I’m older than you. I always will be older than you, too,” Ally replies almost snottily.
“I hate you,” Sam mumbles to himself but Ally hears and she goes completely still. Sam notices and lifting his head, he sees that she is staring at him.
She shakes her head slightly. “Don’t ever say that, Sam.”
“What happened in here?” Sadie suddenly asks, appearing in the doorway and Ally and Sam’s head both whip around to look at her. “And where is your Uncle Jeremy? And Ellie? What is going on?”
She is feeling exhausted despite her forty-five minute nap and she is just so tired of things breaking and things being completely out of control. She wants the peace and the quiet and the order back in her house, and life, and Jeremy is out of his mind if he thinks that this weekend was going to convince her to have children of their own. Some people are just meant to have kids and Sadie now knows that she is definitely not one of them.
She now understands why Meredith was freaking out when Derek wanted to have a baby. You are so used to your life being one particular way and then a child comes and nothing is the same. Everything changes. Sadie loves Lexie. Lexie is the closest, best friend she has ever had – even more so than Meredith ever was – and there isn’t anything Sadie wouldn’t do for Lexie. But this, she is never doing this again. She refuses to have her entire life come to a screeching halt because of children – godchildren or not.
“We’re sorry, Aunt Sadie,” Ally says, standing up, holding pieces of the broken teacup in her hands. “We were-”
Sadie sighs. “What is wrong with you kids? I know you don’t go and break everything your mom and dad own in your house so why are you doing that here? Why are you being such brats?”
“It was an accident-” Ally tries to say but Sadie shakes her head, interrupting her.
“I really don’t care, Ally. Not anymore,” she says. “Just go upstairs to your room and… I don’t know. Just go.”
She holds out her hands and Ally and Sam both guiltily place the pieces of the broken cup in her palms. They hang their heads and Sadie watches as they trudge up the stairs. She feels a slight pang of guilt for having lost her patience with them but at the moment, she is just too tired to care.
“Where were you?” Sadie asks when Jeremy enters the living room again, Ellie trailing behind him.
He looks at the broken cup in her hands and then at his wife’s face. “Ellie had to go to the bathroom but there wasn’t any toilet paper left so I went into the basement to get her some. What happened?”
Sadie sighs. “Ellie, can you go upstairs to your room with your brother and sister? And take Dodger with you,” she adds.
The girl goes without argument or response, waking Dodger up, who is sleeping on the armchair, as she passes him and the dog hops down to follow her as she leaves the living room and heads up the stairs, leaving Jeremy and Sadie alone.
“What happened?” He asks again.
“I have had these teacups for almost twelve years…” Sadie says, looking down at the broken shards of the one in her hands. She shakes her head. “You’re in charge of them from now on. From this moment until Mark and Lexie come tomorrow, they are all yours.”
With that, she walks past him and goes into the kitchen and Jeremy sighs heavily, rubbing the back of his neck. He checks the floor to make sure that all of the pieces of the cup are gone before following the same path the kids have taken and go upstairs, pausing in the hallway outside the partially closed door of their guest room.
There isn’t a sound coming from the room and that makes Jeremy slightly nervous. Peeking through the crack, he sees that all three Sloan children are on the bed. Ally is lying on her back, her head resting on Dodger, using the dog as a pillow, and she blinks up at the ceiling. Ellie is curled onto her side at the foot of the bed, having pulled her small ivory elephant from the front pouch of her hoodie, and she stares at it almost blankly as she walks it up and down the stripes of the bedspread. Sam is sitting up, a picture book open across his thighs but he isn’t looking down at it.
“Aunt Sadie hates us,” he says with a miserable frown on his face.
“No, she doesn’t,” Ally immediately disagrees. “She just doesn’t love us when we’re here. She’ll love us again when we’re gone.”
“I want to go home,” Ellie whispers so quietly, Jeremy almost doesn’t hear her but he can see her mouth moving.
Ally and Sam can hear her perfectly though. That is one thing Jeremy has noticed this weekend with the three kids. Between them, there is a deep connection, an understanding that they have even when fighting. And they always know what Ellie wants or needs or is thinking without her having to ever actually come out and say it. Ellie is the quietest kid Jeremy has ever come across and yet, her brother and sister always understand her – probably more sometimes than Mark and Lexie.
“Tomorrow, Ellie,” Ally says. “I promise.”
Jeremy knocks on the door, pushing it open and poking his head into the room. “Hey, guys. I think we’re going to do takeout tonight for dinner. Do you have a taste for anything?” He asks and is met with two silent heads shaking from Ally and Sam. Ellie doesn’t even acknowledge him. “We had pizza last night so maybe Chinese? Do you kids like Chinese?”
“Ellie loves water chestnuts,” Ally offers. “And Sam loves the sweet and sour chicken.” But that’s all she says and is quiet again.
“And what about you? What do you like?” Jeremy asks, sitting himself down on the edge of the bed. She only shrugs though, not answering. Jeremy sighs. “I know you kids have hated this weekend. I know you miss your parents-”
“We didn’t mean to break the cup,” Sam cuts in. “Honest. It was an accident.”
“I know that and your Aunt Sadie knows it too. She’s just upset right now because she loves those teacups,” Jeremy says. “You know she absolutely adores you three.”
“Yeah,” Ally says with a smirk that looks so much like Mark’s, Jeremy finds it slightly unsettling. “She adores us but she’s tired of us and doesn’t want to deal with us anymore. Isn’t that what she said? That you’re in charge of us now?”
Jeremy isn’t sure what to say to that and he rubs the back of his neck again. “Do you kids want to watch a movie or something?” Again, he is met with two shaking heads and one child who seems to care less if he is even there or not. He sighs, standing up. “I’ll order a little bit of everything from the menu for dinner.” He goes to the door but pauses. “Aunt Sadie and me will be downstairs if you kids need anything.”
It is almost six o’clock – nearly four hours since Sadie sent the children up to the bedroom – and the entire house has been unsettling quiet. Except for the occasional trip to the bathroom across the hall, the three children have stayed in their room. Sometimes, Sam can be heard talking as he reads from one of his picture storybooks to his sisters but other than that, it is quiet.
Sadie is curled up on the couch, waiting for one of the children to come down, hoping to apologize but for once, is too of a coward to go upstairs and face all three of them at the same time. She is watching a marathon of What Not to Wear on TLC, hers and Lexie’s favorite show, but she is distracted. She feels horrible for how she reacted. It was a teacup from England – a country she and Jeremy have gone to three times already since they have been married. It isn’t as if she is never going back. And it isn’t as if the teacups were antiques of any kind. They were just teacups belonging to a tea set that she bought at some random store in London.
She knows that the kids aren’t being exactly wild. They are just away from their parents and are staying with their favorite aunt who, before this weekend, usually let them do whatever they wanted.
Jeremy sits next to her on the couch, getting ready to order dinner, studying the paper takeout menu from their favorite Chinese restaurant, deciding what would be eaten and what would be a complete waste.
In the past few hours, they haven’t talked much to one another either, neither knowing quite what to say. Sadie had looked at this weekend as sort of a test for herself, to see if she could handle kids, to see if she could handle it if she and Jeremy had a baby. So far, it would seem that she is failing and she isn’t sure what to say to him about that.
“Knock, knock!” The front door opens and Lexie enters the house, stepping into the front hallway with Mark behind her. “Hello?”
“Lexie?” Sadie practically leaps from the couch, rushing towards them. “What…”
“Mark got into a fight with another doctor,” Lexie explains, wiping some of the water from her face from the rain that was still pouring outside. “We decided that it was best if we left a little early.”
Sadie looks at Mark and sees an ugly purple bruise on his left cheekbone before looking back at Lexie but just as she asks Lexie if she’s really there and this isn’t some horrible, yet at the same time, wonderful, hallucination, there is pounding on the stairs of three children and a dog sprinting down towards them.
“Mommy!” Ally exclaims, skipping over the bottom two steps and throwing herself against Lexie, knocking her back a step, her arms squeezing around Lexie tightly.
“Daddy!” Sam shouts and Mark grins, catching the boy in midair once he leaps from the stairs into his dad’s arms. “Never leave us again. Don’t go again. Never again. What happened to your face? Did you fight? Did you win? I bet you won. I told Uncle Owen that you’re the best!”
Mark smiles, hugging him tightly, silently noting that Sam is wearing the lamb hat on his head but he is also wearing pants so that seems to be an improvement since yesterday. God, had it only been yesterday since he and Lexie left them here? It feels like they had been gone for a week. He is certain everyone else feels that too.
“Mommy,” Sam says, leaning over in Mark’s arms, stretching out towards Lexie, and she laughs slightly as Mark passes him into her embrace, Lexie holding him and hugging him as Ally goes to Mark to greet him just as enthusiastically, Mark lifting her from under her arms and hoisting her up into his arms.
Dodger leaps around them excitedly, wagging his tail, wanting attention for himself, and Lexie crouches down to pet the dog, laughing when Dodger licks her face happily in greeting. When she looks up again, she sees Ellie standing on the bottom step, watching the chaos before her and Lexie can’t stop the tears from stinging her eyes.
“Hey, Ellie,” she says softly, carefully placing Sam back on his feet before going to her, her heart twisting painfully when she sees tears forming in Ellie’s own eyes. She manages to give her a small smile. “Hi, baby girl.”
Tears slowly trickle down Ellie’s cheeks and Lexie can’t stop from crying herself and she scoops Ellie up in her arms, hugging the girl tightly, feeling Ellie’s arms circle around Lexie’s neck tightly in return. Ellie rarely shows emotions like this and it breaks Lexie’s heart to feel the hot tears on the side of her neck.
“Oh, Ellie. It’s okay,” Lexie does her best to soothe her, rubbing a what she hopes is a comforting hand on her back. “Daddy and me are back now and we’re taking you back home just like you wanted.”
“Here, Ellie bean,” Mark says, gently taking Ellie into his arms and she buries her face in his shoulder, her body shaking with her tears. “It’s okay, El. Everything’s okay now,” he murmurs quietly, rubbing her back, but she won’t stop crying and Mark opens the front door and takes her out onto the front porch to try and calm her down.
“Mommy, did you bring us presents?” Sam asks, bouncing up and down excitedly.
“What are you doing back?” Ally asks, frowning.
“Your daddy and me wanted to come back early,” Lexie answers her first, smoothing a hand onto the back of Ally’s head and then looks at Sam, still bouncing at the prospect of a possible souvenir. “And were you good enough to warrant a present?”
Sam stops bouncing and frowns. “Huh?”
Lexie can’t help but smile. “Were you good? If you were, you get a present.” She turns and looks at both Sadie and Jeremy but Sadie notices that neither Ally or Sam will look at her. Instead, they look anywhere except at their aunt. “Well, what’s the verdict?” Lexie asks. “How were they?”