I know everyone is super busy lately but thank you so much to those who are able to read this story for me and let me know what you think. I love reading the comments. It makes me so happy to get them and I am glad you are enjoying this sequel because I am definitely loving writing it.
Mark wasn’t an idiot. He had been with Lexie long enough to know that something besides the disaster this wedding day was turning out to be was bothering her. He had no idea what it could be though and a stone settled in his gut as he thought that he was the thing that was bothering her. Maybe she was regretting letting him back into the house. Maybe she was thinking of asking him to leave again.
After Derek finished his beer, he left to go back to his place and get ready for a wedding that was still up in the air of actually happening or not and making sure that Ally was keeping herself occupied with her dollhouse, Mark got up from the couch and went into the kitchen, leaning in the doorjamb and watching as Lexie fixed sandwiches for everyone.
It was second nature to her now having made sandwiches for everyone over the past few years. Lettuce and mayo on Mark’s, mayo for Sadie but not lettuce, and lettuce for Owen but no mayo. Mark preferred Swiss, Sadie liked cheddar and Owen always wanted American cheese. Her fingers moved now without thinking as she prepared them all, her mind clearly a thousand miles away that day as Sadie sat at the counter across from her, sipping on a bottle of water and spinning a quarter.
“I can do the classic heads-tails and make my decision that way,” Sadie suggested.
Lexie gave her a weary look. “The rest of your life shouldn’t be depended on heads or tails, Sadie.”
“Lexie, even if I do get married today, odds are, it won’t be for the rest of my life. Do you know what the divorce rate in this world is nowadays?”
“That’s a positive outlook to have on your marriage,” Lexie said with a sigh.
Sadie shrugged. “It isn’t about happily-ever-after, Lexie. It doesn’t exist for most people.” She took another sip of water, glancing at Mark before back at Lexie. “Just look at you two. You two love each other like mad and you’re barely hanging on by a thread nowadays.”
“Sadie!” Lexie admonished quietly.
“We’re hanging on just fine,” Mark said, his body stiffening.
Sadie didn’t look convinced though. “If that was true, Lexie wouldn’t be terrified of telling you-”
“Sadie, go and make sure that Owen is okay,” Lexie interrupted, giving Sadie a sharp, warning look and Mark frowned, looking back and forth between them, having no idea what was going on and he hated that because if he didn’t know then he couldn’t be in control and as Mark Sloan, he was always supposed to be in control.
Sadie stared at her for another moment before sighing heavily and leaving the kitchen, taking her bottle of water but leaving the quarter behind on the countertop. The instant she was gone, Mark focused his eyes on Lexie and her half-ass attempt at pretending to appear busy as she began putting things away in the refrigerator.
“What exactly are you terrified of telling me?” He asked, his arms crossed over his chest, his body still stiff and tense.
A thought – fleeting but terrifying nonetheless – entered his head and for some reason, he imagined Lexie turning towards him and telling him that she had met someone else. She would tell him that with their marital problems lately, she had met so and so and she was able to talk to this douche bag about her thoughts and feelings and before she knew it, she had fallen in love with this guy and out of love with Mark and she wanted a divorce and it would be best if he moved out again-
“I don’t know what Sadie is talking about,” Lexie answered, breaking through Mark’s rambling thoughts.
“Bullshit you don’t,” Mark snorted incredulously.
Lexie closed the refrigerator, both doors adorned with more family photographs and drawings that Ally had colored, and closed her eyes for a moment, her fingers still encircled around the door’s handle. She felt exhausted all of a sudden even though she had gotten a good night’s sleep the night before. Ever since Mark had moved back in and they were sharing a bed again, Lexie was able to sleep so much better at night now.
But this day, this never ending day, was already taking its toll on her and adding on top of that was the new pregnancy and all she wanted to do was crawl back into bed and sleep for a few hours.
Today was not the day she had to tell Mark about the new baby they would have in seven more months. There was already too much going on and when it came to Mark and anything that had to do with a baby, Lexie was understandably cautious. He had been happy the first time she had told him that she was pregnant with Ally but after she was born, it turned into a whole other story and Lexie didn’t want to go through any of that again.
But that was three years ago and anyone with one good eye could see that in the time that had passed, Mark had turned into an incredible father. He adored Ally with his whole heart and the three-year-old had him wrapped entirely around her finger. There wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for her. It had taken him years but he had finally gotten through most of the issues that had come to a head upon him becoming a father.
“Lex,” Mark said, fear and impatience clipped on the edges of his tone.
Lexie sighed softly and turned to face him, looking at him as he stood before her, his arms still crossed over his chest – his defensive stance – and his jaw clenched tightly. Yet, there was a brief flash of vulnerability in his eyes that he rarely exposed to anyone, including Lexie. She wasn’t sure why she was seeing it now but it shocked her to almost the point of her nearly taking a step back because of it.
“You tell me right now what is going on,” he said, his voice low – that tone being the one he used when he wanted to make interns cry but Lexie didn’t even bristle. “I’m not agreeing to a divorce-”
“Divorce?” Lexie echoed, her eyes widening slightly, her heart leaping into her throat. “Wh… where did that come from?”
“And I know we have problems but I don’t give a shit who this guy is-”
“Mark,” Lexie cut in, going to him, putting her hands on his arms. “What guy? I honestly have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Mark stared at her. “What are you talking about then?”
She lowered her eyes, trying to keep the wave of nausea that threatened to bubble up her throat before taking a deep breath and tilting her head back to look at him. He was still tense, as if bracing himself for an attack he was certain was coming.
Even in their worst of times, the dreaded d-word had never crossed her mind. Sadie was wrong but even if Lexie and Mark were hanging on by a thread, at least they were there, hanging on it together.
“I don’t want a divorce,” she whispered, her voice sounding strangled. “Do you-”
“What did I just say?” He said, cutting her off before she could even waste her breath and ask that ridiculous question. “What’s going on, Lex?”
She took a deep breath, trying to prepare herself, trying to get herself to anticipate any reaction or response he might have once she told him.
“Do you remember our fight about two months ago?” She plunged in.
Mark’s eyebrows furrowed together and slowly nodded. “Yeah, I remember. I also remember the couch,” he added and a slight smirk made its way across his face.
She took another deep breath. “About the couch…” She felt the rise of bile again in her throat and her stomach began rising and falling as if she was on some cursed rollercoaster that wouldn’t stop. She tucked strands of loose curls behind her ears, staring up at him, resting her hands on his forearms. “We’re going to have a baby.”
It was as if someone had hit the mute button and all sound dropped out. Ally could no longer be heard, giggling and talking quietly to herself as she played. The television fell silent. Even the gentle hum of the refrigerator motor running no longer made a sound.
Mark and Lexie stared at one another, motionless, and finally, Mark broke through the fog of thick shock surrounding his brain and he reached out, cupping her cheeks in his hands, keeping her head tilted up towards his, peeing her eyes locked with his.
“A baby? Really? Another one?” He breathed out.
Lexie captured her lower lip between her teeth and slowly nodded her head, trying to assess exactly what his reaction was. She couldn’t tell though and that terrified her.
“And it really was from that night on the couch?”
Again, she nodded. “I went to see Dr. Carroll… I am about nine weeks along now.”
“Why didn’t you tell me sooner?” He asked, his hands still gripping her cheeks. “How long have you known? Did Dr. Carroll say that everything looked alright so far?”
Lexie almost felt herself smile but she licked her dry lips with the tip of her tongue instead. “I’ve known for about three weeks now. Dr. Carroll says everything looks perfect so far and as for me not telling you…” she glanced away, not wanting to say.
She stepped back, breaking away from him, but before she could take another step back, he grabbed her hand, stopping her.
“I don’t want history to repeat itself,” she blurted.
“Lex-” Mark tried again but she shook her head and before she could stop herself, tears began brimming in her eyes. “Lexie, what,”
“Have you been watching Ally today?” She asked. “She is absolutely terrified of letting you out of her sight in case you leave again. She’s not a baby anymore, Mark. She knows when something is wrong and she knows when something isn’t right between us. At the church earlier, she asked me if I still loved you.”
Mark frowned. “What did you say?”
“What do you think I said? Of course I still love you,” Lexie said. “Love has never been our problem, Mark, because even when we are having our worst fights, I know that we still love one another.” She paused for a moment and then exhaled a great breath. “I don’t want to fight anymore. I don’t want you to come home and take your bad day out on me. I don’t want you to listen to anything Derek says. About you or me or us. When it comes to you, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”
“I don’t want to fight anymore either,” Mark said, clutching to her hand tighter.
“And I need to know that after this baby is born, you are going to be here for me.”
He stared at her, his eyes growing blank, and he dropped her hand, lifting his own to rub the back of his neck. “Well, at least you don’t hold onto things for three years.”
“I haven’t held onto it for three years, Mark, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt any less if I do think about it. And it only makes sense for me to think about it now that I'm pregnant again,” Lexie argued back. She opened her mouth to say more but she decided against it and with a shake of her head and a heavy sigh, she walked past him and into the living room.
Mark didn’t let her get too far though before he grabbed her hand again, spinning her around to look at him.
“Mark-” she began to say but he grabbed her head and yanked her towards him, capturing her lips with his and silencing her with a passionate, almost brutal kiss.
He kissed her over and over again, his tongue pushing through the seam of her lips and making her moan softly, her hands weakly gripping the lapels of the suit jacket he still wore. One of his hands tangled in her hair while the other dropped down, wrapping around her waist, hauling her body as tightly to his as possible, not even a slip of air being able to come between them.
“I don’t want to fight,” he gasped against her lips, both gasping for air, their lungs burning with its desperate need, but still, they were reluctant to part their mouths. He rested his forehead against hers, their eyes locked together. “I want you, me, Ally and this baby to be a family.”
“We are a family,” Lexie whispered.
“And I want us to stay that way,” he said.
She nodded, closing her eyes briefly, feeling his warmth and his scent to swirl around her. “Are you happy?”
She could hear him smiling without having to see it with her own eyes.
“Are you kidding me? Having you tell me that you're pregnant is just as good as you telling me you love me or someone telling me that I'm a better surgeon than Derek.”
If Lexie had her eyes open, she would have rolled them.
“Lexie,” Mark said, all joking aside and she looked at him. “Don’t kick me out anymore. No matter how pissed off I make you. I will gladly sleep on the couch if you banish me there but I am never going back to that hotel room. Okay?”
Lexie felt a burst of euphoric happiness burst within her and she laughed softly, nodding her head, her arms sliding around his shoulders. She hugged him tightly, feeling his arms bind securely around her waist, hugging her so tightly in return, it was almost painful but she honestly could have cared less. Being crushed to death by Mark was the best kind of pain to ever experience.
“And don’t worry about Derek,” Mark murmured quietly.
“I can’t help it,” Lexie replied. “I really don’t like him. Not anymore.”
“I know but… he’s Derek.”
Lexie sighed, leaning back in his arms so she could look at him. “You’re like an addict when it comes to him, Mark. You know that, right?”
A smirk began to form at the corner of his mouth. “An addict, huh? Well, what do you suggest? A twelve-step program? Trust me, Lex. They don’t work.”
“How do you know?” She asked with a raised eyebrow.
“I was in one a few years back… for my addiction to a certain hot intern,” he smirked.
Lexie stared at him for a moment and he laughed slightly when her cheeks flushed with the realization that she was the hot intern.
“What were the twelve steps?” She asked curiously.
“It was really more of a one-step program. Don’t get naked with an intern.”
She laughed. “That worked. I sometimes think that you have seen me naked more times over the years than you have seen me wearing actual clothes.”
He stared at her for a moment and then shook his head. “Not seeing the problem with that one, Lex,” he said and she laughed again making him smile. “We’re really having another baby?”
She smiled, nodding. “We are really having another baby.”
His arms tightened just a bit more. “You have no idea what I want to do to you right now. Let’s just say it involves me on my knees and your dress over my head-”
“Mark!” She exclaimed quietly, her blush growing darker. “You are horrible.”
“Not at giving you an orgasm,” he smirked, leaning towards her, his lips brushing against hers. “I would say I’m pretty damn good at that.”
“You're Mark Sloan,” Lexie said, her eyes falling shut as she felt the scruff of his beard against her skin as he brushed his lips along the line of her jaw. “You're pretty damn good at everything.”
“Most things. Still trying to figure out the whole husband and father thing,” he said.
“Like I said,” she said, her breathing increasing as his palm brushed against the sides of her breasts. Through her dress, she could feel her nipples harden. “You're pretty damn good at everything.”
He smiled seconds before kissing her, his lips molding to hers, their mouths fitting together perfectly and her fingers slid through his hair, arching her back slightly, pressing herself into him, feeling the beginnings of his arousal in his pants.
Charlie instantly began barking, leaping up from where he had been sleeping on the floor next to Ally and running into the front hallway.
Lexie and Mark parted reluctantly and she released a shaky sigh as he cupped her ass in both of his hands briefly.
“I have to go kill someone right now,” Mark informed her and she laughed slightly before he gave her one more quick kiss and went to go see who was at the door.
Lexie was so hot, she nearly began fanning herself with her hand. She couldn’t believe what, even after all these years, Mark kissing her could do to her. She looked down at her appearance and straightened her dress as best as she could, smoothing her hands down over it and then, looking at the ornamental mirror hanging on the wall on the wall behind the dining room table, she tried to fix her hair as best as she could though it was obvious – at least to her – that her husband had been running his hands through the once styled and curled locks.
“Mommy, look!” Ally exclaimed happily as Lexie entered the living room. Ally was still sitting on the floor in front of the television, playing with her dollhouse, except now, Owen had joined her, holding the plastic male doll that was supposed to be the father and looking absolutely confused with what he was to be doing with it. “Uncle Owen is playing with me!”
Lexie looked at the scene – her three-year-old and the war veteran and all around bad-ass trauma surgeon playing with a dollhouse together – and she nearly started laughing.
Owen, freshly shaved and looking a bit more put together than he had when they first arrived at the house, shot her a look. “Don’t say a word,” he warned but that set her off and Lexie couldn’t help but grin widely.
“Uncle Owen, you're the daddy. You have to sit here at the head of the table,” Ally instructed as she placed the other plastic dolls at the small table in the kitchen area of the dollhouse.
“Sadie!” Mark suddenly called out, standing at the open front door.
Curious, Lexie went to see who it was but she stopped short when she saw Alex standing there, already dressed in his black tuxedo and a look of absolute fury on his face.
“Alex…” she said and both Mark and Alex turned their heads to look at her. “Maybe you and Sadie should talk in the backyard. I don’t want Ally-”
“There’s nothing to talk about,” Alex interrupted. “Sadie is my fiancée and we are getting married today if I have to physically drag her down to the church myself.”
He took a step into the house but Mark stood in front of him. “I’d like to see you try and do that,” he said, his voice dropping an octave.
Looking at the two men was like looking into an old western movie and seeing two gunslingers facing one another at high noon. Lexie got a bad feeling in her stomach and she turned, looking back into the living room. Owen had sensed something was wrong because he stood up and then picked Ally up, putting her on her feet.
“Ally, baby, take Charlie into the backyard and stay out there for a little bit,” Lexie said, her voice calm, her smile serene though her insides were becoming a twisted snarl of nerves. “The grownups have some things we have to discuss.” She then looked at the Dalmatian, who was standing next to Mark, the dog’s body tense with attention as he stared at Alex. Lexie snapped her fingers at him. “Charlie, in the back. Go.”
For a moment, the dog didn’t move but when Lexie snapped her fingers again and pointed towards the back of the house, Charlie obediently turned and hugging her teddy bear to her chest, Ally followed. Standing where he was, Owen could look from the living room, past the dining room into the kitchen and when the back door opened then shut again, he looked at Lexie and nodded, signaling that Ally and Charlie were both outside now.
Lexie sighed in relief now that she didn’t have to worry about Ally witnessing something she probably shouldn’t at her young age – her father punching someone for one because the way Mark looked right now, that was exactly what it looked like he was about it do.
“Mark…” Lexie said quietly, soothingly, slipping a hand onto his very tense shoulder.
“She’s not marrying you,” Owen told Alex in a cold, hard voice, stepping into the front hall to join them.
Ignoring the two men, Alex looked at Lexie. “Where is she?”
“Upstairs in the bathroom,” Lexie answered. “I think she just needs a few more minutes. To think about things-”
“What the fuck does she need to think about? It’s our wedding day and we are getting married today!” Alex exclaimed.
And then, before Mark could stop him, Alex rushed past him and ran up the stairs to the second floor, trying to get to Sadie before Mark and Owen, who were on his heels, could stop him.