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Growing Up

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51 Re: Growing Up on Sat 27 Oct 2012, 10:45 pm

Jo blushed. “I’m sorry I am such a burden.”

“You are not a burden, you have some problems but you are not a burden.” Liam wrapped his arm around her and was glad that she did not flinch. Jo closed one button “I need to bring Jill to bed she fell asleep. Is that okay?”

“Of course.” Liam smiled at her he was slowly getting used to it that Jo kept asking for permission to do things.
Jo got up from the bed and carried Jill carefully to her nursery. She turned on the nightlight and gave the animal mobile Liam had made for Jill a little push, kissed Jill again and then went over to Jane who was sleeping since an hour. When she came back into her and Liam’s bedroom she knew she had to finish pumping off the milk, Jill didn’t drink a lot from her left breast and she didn’t touch the right one at all. Even when Liam had fixed the pump she still felt very uncomfortable doing the pumping. Liam was reading a book sitting on the bed, when he suddenly looked up and worried by the look Jo had on her face.

“Jo, what is wrong?” He asked concerned.

Jo had to think a moment and remember herself that she had two babies, that she had checked on both of them and that both were fine before she could answer. “The girls are okay.”

It didn’t answer Liam’s question but he let her sit down comfortable and was surprised when she searched in closeness. Jo had the pump in her hand and set it on her breast, but when she started the pumping no milk came, the suction hurt her. Silent tears were running down her cheeks. She tried to adjust the pump on her breast but nothing helped and after a few minutes her silent tears turned into heavy sobbing.

“Liam please help me.”

Liam looked up from his book -in which he hadn’t read since Jo was leaning against him- at Jo. Before he answered he wrapped his arm around her. “Of course.” He took the pump and suddenly realized that he was about to touch Jo’s breast. And now that he saw her breasts he had to admit how beautiful they were. He had to take a very deep breath before he could place the pump on her breast. He started pumping but suddenly noticed that Jo was still sobbing and trying to make herself stop by biting on her lower lip.

“Whoa Jo, are you okay?” Liam looked now really worried at her. “You don’t have to pump milk we can feed them formula and if you don’t want this then I find a wet nurse.”

“No-o.” Jo sobbed. “It just hurts.”

Liam leaned over to the other side of the bed and picked up the instruction for the breast pump.

“It should not hurt. Maybe the pressure is to strong. Let me try something.” Liam placed that pump back on Jo’s breast, this time he gently cupped her breast with his other hand and pressed the handle down very slowly, Jo turned a little but in that her head was resting comfortable on his chest. He could smell her freshly washed hair, and feel her warm body not to mention every breath she took. It was a wonderful feeling of being so close again and even when Jo was still scared Liam would ever hurt her again as he did a little while ago right here in this moment she was so in love with her husband. “I’m sorry that I can’t give you want you need right now.”

Liam kissed Jo on the top of her head. “You are giving me everything I need!”

Jo nodded but they both knew that she not yet could feel his words in her heart. “Liam?”

“Yes?”

“I am incredibly sorry that I am not pretty anymore.”

“Oh Jo, you are the most beautiful girl I know!” Liam whispered, while he gently cover her right breast and started pumping the left one.

“But my boobs are hanging and my stomach is all fluffy and I have stretch marks.” Jo cried. Liam was thinking about Jo for a while now and he noticed something Jo was a lot better when she was well rested, but in the morning just after waking up or at night when she was tired Jo was more likely to cry and be sorry for everything happening on the world. And right now Jo was so tired, she hadn’t slept when Liam went into his lab to do some work. Not to get away from Jo just to get some work done on one of his gadgets, which was not the point right now. Right now Jo was really tired and it made her upset. Liam kissed Jo again and didn’t say a while anything until he finished pumping both sides empty. He got up to put the breast milk into ice cube cases and freeze it. When he came back into the bedroom Jo was holding a book pressed against her chest. He was carrying his guitar and sat down at the bottom of the bed. “I wrote this for you. Just listen, okay? I mean really listen!” Liam smiled encouraging at Jo and she nodded and wiped her tears away. Liam picked up his guitar and put the piece of papers and started playing and singing. Words he truly meant.


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52 Re: Growing Up on Sun 28 Oct 2012, 2:44 pm

He could see the change in her face. New tears were forming in her eyes, but this time it wasn’t tears of sadness. When he finished the song, she just put her arms around him and hid her face in his shoulder. “I love you so much”, she whispered.

“And I meant every word of it.” He put the guitar aside so that he could hold her better. For a while they just sat there, and Liam felt so much closer to her than he had in a long time, but then she got up. “Where are you going?”

“I have something for you”, she mumbled and got something out that was in some sort of box. “I wanted to give it to you earlier but I was too scared. But today…you’ve been so kind to me, and ou helped me so much. I think it’s the right time now…” She handed him the box, and when Liam opened it he took out the book that was in the box. He opened it and his eyes widened as he saw a professional picture of Jo taken, nude. As in ‘no –clothes-at-all-nude’. It was a photo album, and as he looked at the next pages he realised that this whole album consisted of similar pictures like that. This was so much better than any Playboy in the world! He looked up and noticed how much Jo blushed.

“Don’t worry, nobody saw me like that. Well, Lorelai did. She was the one who took the pictures. It was shortly after I found out that I was pregnant, and I wanted to have memories of how my body looked like before it would be ruined completely, and I wanted you to have it.”

He had a damn hard time looking away from those pictures and even a harder time controlling his trousers. “That is…eh…wow…that’s…”

“You like it?” Jo’s cheeks were flushed when she looked shyly at him. “I’m sorry my body doesn’t look like this anymore…”

“Do I like it? It’s freaking awesome! And your body is beautiful, it was back then, it was when you still carried those two little midgets around, and it is now. In fact it’s so beautiful that I can hardly think of anything else…ehm…but not that you feel pressured or anything! I learned my lesson, don’t worry!” He leaned forward and kissed her on the cheek. “Thank you so much, Yvaine.”

Two days later, on the other side of Oxford, Ricky was impatiently waiting for Alfie to come home. It was finally here. His exam results. They had come this morning with the mail and Ricky hadn’t dared to open the envelope yet. It was just lying there, waiting to be opened, but Ricky was way too nervous to open it, he needed moral support- although his boyfriend wasn’t particularly the kind of guy people called for moral support, but still, he needed him. If he had passed everything, that would mean Ricky would graduate with a full Master Degree with Honours, but if he had failed just one exam, he would have to do it all over again, and he had worked so hard for this degree the past years, it would crush him if he wouldn’t have gotten through.
Ricky looked at his watch. Alfie said he would be home by five, and now it was ten minutes past five. Ricky carefully stretched out his arm and picked up the envelope again, but he immediately put it back, he just could not open it. Then he finally heard the door opening.

“Bloody children, and bloody mothers of little children”, Alfie said when he entered the room. “There’s this little girl all dressed in some glittery pink tutu-costume shit, and I so can’t stand little girls, and that brat comes up to me and asks me if she can sit on my lap. Why the hell would this little girl ask some random stranger to sit on his lap? That’s not paedophile-creepy at all! Anyway, I asked her why the bloody hell she wants to sit on my lap, and unless she’s eighteen and wants to give me a lap dance I don’t have any intention of letting her sit on my lap. Of course, her freakishly short mother who looked like some hyperventilating gnome or midget or any other short woodland creature freaked out and started to hysterically scream around. Well, I ignored her, I knew she would shut up eventually and…why are looking like that?” Alfie had finally noticed that something was up.

“The results are here.”

“Don’t tell me I’m the father”, Alfie said jokingly. “It wasn’t me, must have been some other guy.”

“No, my exam results!”

He rolled his eyes. “I know that. You’ve been talking about those results for the past three weeks.”

“I’m sorry, I’m just…I’m so nervous, I’m totally freaking out!”

“And?”

“And what?”

“How did you do? Did you pass?”

“I don’t know yet! I didn’t dare to open the envelope.” Ricky looked from the envelope to his boyfriend. “Would you mind…um…could you open it for me?”

Alfie raised his eyebrows. “I know you’re a weak little baby penguin, but I thought you would be at least able to open an envelope by yourself”, he said teasingly.

“Of course I can open it by myself, but I’m too nervous, so that’s why I’m asking you.”

“After I opened it, can I use the paper with the results to blow my nose with?”

“Alfie, please be serious! I’m really freaking out here!”

“Okay, okay, relax.” He took the envelope and turned to Ricky. “You’re ready?”



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53 Re: Growing Up on Sun 28 Oct 2012, 7:44 pm

“No!” Ricky was sitting at kitchen table, pale like a sheet. Alfie didn’t really understand why he was so nervous but he didn’t like to see him like this. Alfie wrapped his arms around Ricky and kissed his neck gently.

“Whatever those results say you are still my Lizzie.” He whispered, and grinned when he made Ricky actually cry not because he was mean but because of the Lizzie bit.

“Okay let’s see Dear Mister Rick Butcher, blah blah we are delighted to tell you blah blah blah. You got your degree with full honours.” Alfie read out loud still having his arm around Ricky, who was silent for a moment until he jumped up and down screaming of happiness. “I’ve got it! I’ve done it!”

“I didn’t expect anything else from you. Here.” Alfie handed him another envelope. Ricky didn’t stop jumping while he opened it. In his hands he help two tickets and a travel plan, to Australia, New Zealand, and many places in Asia.

“What is this?” Ricky stopped jumping and looked confused at Alfie.

“Your graduation present. I thought we do some travelling. We are leaving in two days.” Alfie said going into the living room to pour himself a whiskey.

“What? You mean you and me on a holiday where no one knows you?”

“Yup, you better pack a bottle of aloe because trust me we will have lots of sex!” Alfie grinned as he pulled his boyfriend closer and unzipped his trousers. “And we start right now. I hired someone to pack our bags so you don’t need to do anything, except let me fuck you.”

Ricky was shivering of joy when Alfie’s hand touched the right spots.

“You serious?”

“Am I ever joking about work?”

Ricky only shook his head, when Alfie pushed him into the armchair to make hot sweet love to him.


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54 Re: Growing Up on Mon 29 Oct 2012, 6:44 pm

It was mid-July when Liam was outside with his daughters. Jo was sleeping because the past nights had been tough on both of them since Jill cried her little heart out and only got quiet when someone came into the room. Liam actually was even more tired because he didn’t want Jo to get up every time, so he was the one getting up at night and singing the babies to sleep when they cried. Jane only woke up now and then and cried a bit but immediately got quiet when he came into the room. Jill, however, needed more time to calm down and she cried a lot more during the night than her sister. The past week Jill had cried so much that Liam considered sleeping in her room, but on the other hand he didn’t want to leave Jo alone. When the girls cried, he got out his guitar and sang You are my Sunshine, which immediately calmed both of them down. They pretty much stopped crying the second he started with singing, and both of them stared at him with their big eyes.
Liam sat on a bench outside, getting some of the sunshine, while the girls were peacefully lying in their strollers. He closed his eyes for a bit but tried not to doze off since he didn’t want to leave the girls unwatched. After about an hour he went back inside because it was napping time for them, so he carefully put them back in their nurseries and kissed them gently on their heads, then he walked into his and Jo’s bedroom to check on his wife. To his surprise she wasn’t sleeping anymore, she sat on the bed, her back turned towards him.

“Hey, there”, Liam said, and Jo flinched. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you. The girls are sleeping right now, I think they enjoyed the fresh air.”

Jo turned around very slowly and he could immediately tell that something was wrong.
“That sounds nice”, she said quietly.

“Jo, what’s wrong?”

She didn’t answer at first, but then she got up slowly, walked towards him and handed him a book.

“Is that another…ehm…picture book?”

She shook her head. “It’s…it’s a journal. I kept it during the months that I was pregnant. I never planned on letting you read it, but now…I just want to get better again, the way I used to, and I think my only chance of getting better is when I give you an insight into what is really going on with me. Well, I’m not so sure myself, to be honest, but at least…in this journal…you’ll see…” She looked down. “Maybe you’ll understand the way I feel better after you read it, and maybe it will be easier to help me. I hope so…I don’t know…” She looked up and took a deep breath, then she handed him the journal and he took it carefully off her hands. “Please don’t judge me”, she whispered.

“I won’t”, he said with a sincere voice. “And I really appreciate that you’re sharing this with me.”

She nodded quietly and then walked to the door.

“Where are you going?”, he asked.

“I don’t…um…I don’t want to be in the same room when you’re reading it. I hope that’s okay for you?

“Sure, no problem.”

“I’ll be in the living room.” She looked at him a last time, then she left him alone in their bedroom. Liam sat down on the bed and started reading.
He left the room a while later, shocked, confused, a bit helpless, but also a bit more knowingly. This journal sure as hell was a lot to digest, and it was not only the fact that Jo had confessed that she didn’t like giving blowjobs- which was a pity, because she did such a great job and Liam really thought she liked it. And now? He was pretty sure he would never get a blowjob from her again. But there were things that disturbed him much more. Jo had been right; this journal gave him the chance to understand her better, but it also shocked him to see how much she struggled inside, and had struggled during the months that she was pregnant.
When he walked into the living room, Jo was curled up on the couch behind a book. She immediately looked up, wondering what he would say and what he had thought while he was reading her journal. Liam opened his mouth to say something, but he couldn’t. There were a thousand things running through his head, but he just couldn’t say anything. Instead, he sat down next to her, pulled her into a hug and closed his eyes for a moment so that he could feel nothing but her arms.


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55 Re: Growing Up on Mon 29 Oct 2012, 10:00 pm

Jo was scared because Liam didn’t say anything for a while. “Liam are you okay?”

“Yes, I’m fine.” Liam held her as close as possible. “Everything is okay. And don’t worry about your journal, it does help me a lot.”

“Good.” Jo mumbled. Liam and Jo talked while the girls were napping until Jill woke up screaming again. Jo sighed and went to get her.
Liam had told Jo that Ricky had called and that he had graduated with honours and that he Alfie were travelling. Jo sat back down on the couch with Jill in her arms, she opened her shirt. “Do you think something is wrong with Jill because she is always crying?”

“No she just is having trouble sleeping.” Liam said while he watched Jo feed Jill.

“I’m not sure if I should start teaching when the term starts. At least not right away.” Jo whispered.

“Sure if you want to.” Liam tried not to sound too excited, since he wasn’t ready for her to teach again.

Somehow August arrived without anyone noticing the time pass, it was insanely early in the morning not even six when Jo woke up. Liam was still asleep but Jo sneaked out of bed into Jane’s room. “Hey angel what are you doing up?”

Jane just looked at her mom. “Come here let’s feed you my little Angel, and afterwards we get my little Monkey.” Jo fed her oldest daughter and afterwards she went to get Jill. It was weird to sit with her little Angel and Monkey in the living room. She was widely smiling at her little girls. “You know my little munchkins you daddy is the best daddy you can wish for. He loves you very much, a long time ago he wrote this book down for me and now I want to share the stories in it with you.” The sun was shining through the skylight right on Jo and the girls, all windows were wide open and you could hear the birds loud and clear. It was a peaceful moment, and Jo felt so happy.


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56 Re: Growing Up on Wed 31 Oct 2012, 12:12 pm

Liam woke up not because he usually got up around this time or because the birds had started to be loud outside, but because he felt that something was missing. He sat up and saw that Jo wasn’t there anymore, which was really strange since it was way too early for her to be up, and he hadn’t heard any of the girls cry, because that could have been a reason for her to get up, but there was no crying this morning.
Liam got up and walked out of the bedroom. That same moment he heard muffled voices coming from the living room, which was even weirder. He didn’t immediately go into the living room, he stayed in the hallway first and peaked carefully though the door.
What he then saw made his heart almost stop. There she was, the girl he loved more than anything, with his two little angels. And she smiled. Jo actually smiled. For other people that would have been a normal sight, a mother with her two daughters together, but in this case it was something special. It was the first time that Jo had taken both of the girls alone to spend some time with them, and she seemed so happy, and she was so beautiful.

“You know my little munchkins your daddy is the best daddy you can wish for. He loves you very much, a long time ago he wrote this book down for me and now I want to share the stories in it with you”, Jo said, referring to the book he had given her for a Christmas present a few years ago. The book that contained all the stories his mother had told him when he was little.
And Jo called the babies ‘munchkins’. Liam held his breath for a moment after she said it. He never told her that Catherine had called him munchkin when he was little, munchkin and babyface were the nicknames his mother always called him.
He stood there for a moment, listening to Jo who started telling the first story in the book to their daughters. She finally was the mother he always knew she would be, this loving and caring person. Even during the time where Jo didn’t even understand that she had two children and was always talking about one, he knew that the Jo he loved so much was not gone, and that she would come back and be a wonderful mother, just as wonderful as his mother had been to him. She would be for the girls what Catherine had been for him, only that he would make sure that Jo would get to see her daughters grow up and became adults, something Catherine never got to see.
Jane had noticed her dad, because her face was turned to the door and she suddenly stretched her tiny little arm out. Liam obviously couldn’t hide much longer since his Princess had spotted him, and now Jo turned around as well to see what had caught Jane’s attention.

“Hey…” He smiled and sat down next to his three girls, planting gently a kiss on Jo’s head, then he stroked the rosy cheeks of his daughters. He wondered what on earth he had done to deserve such a beautiful family. He looked from the twins to his wife. “Thanks”, he said quietly. “For coming back to me. To us.”


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57 Re: Growing Up on Thu 01 Nov 2012, 6:37 pm

Jo snuggled into Liam’s arms. “I know. And I am so sorry that I caused you so much trouble.”

“You never caused me any trouble.” Liam whispered, he really liked holding Jo so close. Jill had fallen asleep again while Jane was starring around. “I don’t wanna ruin the moment but where does that suddenly come from?”

Jo looked uncomfortable away. “Don’t laugh okay? But I had a nightmare. I dreamed I woke up and you weren't in the bed next to me, I had the feeling that it was a special day so I thought you were making me a special breakfast, but you weren't in the kitchen either. So I suddenly thought of the girls and for some reason I didn’t had to remind myself that I have two girls- but when I came into the nurseries all the things of the girls were gone and on the floor were the divorce papers I had signed months ago. You had signed them and more you wrote a letter telling me that I am not a mother so you took the girls and you would raise them alone. It is better to have just a bad dad than an insane mother. I was terrified in the dream so terrified that I woke up. I saw you asleep next to me, which was a huge relieve. But I had to see the girls. I sneaked out of bed and into the nurseries, Jane was already awake just looking at the mobile you had made her. Liam I want to be a better mom, I will try my best to be a better mom.”

“I would never laugh about this, and I will never ever take the girls from you! I promise you this. I will never take your girls!” Liam whispered into Jo’s hair. He felt her shiver and just wanted her to feel safe in his arms. He let go of her a little bit to make sure she didn’t feel trapped in his arms, but to his surprise she just pressed herself tighter against his chest. “You will be a wonderful mom you just needed a little time.”

Jo nodded slightly. “I’m sorry I made you tell me over and over again how the girls were born.”

“Don’t worry about it, I like remembering it. Can you remember it now?” Liam moved closer to the twins just in case Jane would decide to roll herself around, he didn’t want her to fall from the couch. And Jill was an active sleeper so he had to watch her too.

Jo moved Jane a little further back and Jill away from the edge before she answered. “I think so. It is still a little blurry but I think remember that you showed me Jane and she was so perfect and then I felt the contractions start again and then a second gush of amniotic fluid came out and then there was Jill, they took her away because she was blue and didn’t breathe properly. I remember telling you to go with them and then I’m still not sure what happened I think I was too exhausted and lost consciousness.” Jo knew why she lost consciousness but she wasn’t ready to tell Liam.

Liam took a deep breath and then went with not mentioning that he knew what happened. “Yes that sounds about right.” He was quiet for a little while, just enjoying to hold Jo so close. He had missed that a lot.

“I think we have to fix Jill’s sleeping pattern.” Jo mumbled.

“Yeah.” Liam looked at his sleeping daughter. He knew they all needed their sleep and so far Jill was keeping her parents awake, luckily Jane had deep sleep.

“I read in this one book that if we let her scream and walk in every hour and tell her that we are here, that she is okay and we love her that with time she should stop.” Suddenly Jo sat up at looked shy at Liam.” I mean um we don’t have to do that.” She was a lot better but still worried what Liam thought about her opinion.

Liam planted a kiss on Jo’s lips. “That sounds like a good idea. We should let Jane sleep in the living room so she gets enough sleep. We’ll try it tonight.”

“The book said it might take a few nights.” Jo mumbled unsure.

“That’s okay we’ll take turns. Hey how about some breakfast?”

“Oh that would be lovely.”

“Okay I’ll take Jane and you put Jill into the bassinet.” Liam kissed Jo once more on the forehead, got up and took Jane in the kitchen. He sat her into her highchair and gave her a piece of a brown flour bun. She started munching on it right away. It was their morning routine and she liked to be with daddy. Liam had put on the kettle when Jo came with Jill in her bassinet.

“Any ideas for breakfast? Oh is she allowed to eat bun? What if she chokes?” Jo looked worried.

“Relax she is fine she is more eating it like a lollipop. And yes I thought I make waffles.” Liam answered while he gave her a cup of tea.

“You know how to make waffles?” Jo looked impressed at him.

“Yup I do.” Liam grinned cheeky at her which made Jo giggle. It was a giggle she hadn’t done in months, it was free and truly happy. Jo looked at Liam and wondered how on earth she deserved a husband like Liam. “Um Liam you know that in the journal I wrote during I was pregnant with the little munchkins that thought for a little while you didn’t want to stay but saw it as your duty since we are married and I want you to be happy all the time. So I wanted to let you go, you know realize you from your duties. So I wanted to be the one divorcing you so no one thought you would have left me, but um I never went through with that thought.” Jo saw a minor panic rise in Liam’s eyes so she quickly continued. “Can we rip the divorce papers? I hate that it is still hanging over our head. I never ever want to leave you, unless you want to go…” Jo looked worried at Liam. “It’s just I love you so much Liam! And I don’t know what I would have done without you. I mean you always thought that you will be a horrible dad and now look at you, you are a wonderful dad! And I know we had a tough time but we made it through right?”


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58 Re: Growing Up on Fri 02 Nov 2012, 3:32 pm

Liam was very quiet for a moment, but then a wide grin appeared on his face, his cheeky-little-boy grin that he hadn’t lost as he grew older, that was something he would probably always have, even when he was old and grey and wrinkly.
“Get those stupid papers.”

Jo nodded, and while she was getting the papers he got something else which he was hiding behind his back by the time she returned.
She held up the papers and ripped them apart, so many times that all that was left were tiny little pieces which she immediately dumped in the bin. Liam put his arm around her and kissed her on the cheek, then he pulled out a little rectangular box from behind his back and handed it to his wife. She looked surprised at him.
“What’s this?”

“You’ll have to look for yourself. I got it shorty before the twins’ birth but so far there hadn’t been the right opportunity to give it to you, but now it’s the right moment.”

Jo opened it carefully and looked at a necklace with a golden star.

“I saw it in a store downtown”, Liam said. “And I had to think of you, because you’re my Yvaine and it just had to belong to you, I knew that from the moment I saw it. Do you like it?”

Jo looked up to him with shining doe eyes. “Do I like it? I love it!” She hugged him tightly, almost like a little child who didn’t want to let go off his mother.

“You know, everyone thinks the sun is so bright…”, Liam mumbled while he touched Jo’s soft hair. “Well, it is bright for our eyes, after all, there are a lot of protons in the sun’s core that collide with so much speed that they stick together and form a helium nucleus and-“ He paused for a moment because Jo’s confused face reminded him that he was not in science class, so he quickly cleared his throat. “Anyway, what I wanted to say…In our eyes the sun is incredibly bright, due to the energy that is formed inside this helium nucleus, but what people don’t realise it that every star you see up there is actually much brighter than the sun. In fact, there are even stars that are about 600,000 times brighter than the sun, can you imagine that?”

“Ehm…no…” Jo still seemed a bit confused because she wasn’t quite sure where this was heading.

“One of the brightest stars is the Alpha Centauri, but you know what? Even this star is nothing compared to my Yvaine.” Liam smiled, then he took the necklace and put it around Jo’s neck. “And you know that even the brightest stars have their moments when they don’t shine that much, mainly because they are covered by heavy clouds, but those moments will go away and they can never take the star’s light away, because it’s always there, even in bad times. I know you had bad moments the past weeks, so did I, but you’re the brightest of them all, you know? And there are no bad moments that will ever change the fact that you’re my Yvaine, the brightest of them all.”


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59 Re: Growing Up on Fri 02 Nov 2012, 4:42 pm

Jo looked still confused at him. “Um thank you?” She mumbled, not sure what he just had said. When suddenly the phone rang and started Jill that she woke up and cried. Liam went to pick her up. “Shhhh cupcake everything is okay it’s just the phone.”

While Jo went to answer the phone, noticing that it was a very unchristian hour to call it was just after six in the morning. “Hello?”

“Good morning am I speaking to Miss Williams?” Jo recognized the voice of her mother’s lady’s maid right away, and she was not all at surprised that she asked for her with her maiden name.

“Yes speaking.”

“Lady Elizabeth Williams asks to talk to your Miss Ladyship.” Jo sighed this was so stupid and she missed not at all to be a part of this world of titles.

“Sure I can talk to my mother.” Liam rolled his eyes while he was the still quietly crying Jill and put the waffle batter in the now hot waffles iron.

“Josephine is that you?” Elizabeth asked, for a moment Jo wanted to answer ‘No mother it is the Holy Ghost’ but instead she answered.

“Yes mother? It is early to call. Is everything alright?”

“It is not early you should rise with the sun. I expect you and… the boy to see for lunch today at one o’clock at the club. I expect him to be dressed decent!” Elizabeth didn’t asked them to come she ordered them to be somewhere at a certain time.

“Mother I have two children I can’t just decide in the morning to go out.”

“I am aware that you have ‘two’ children, that is a shame. You have a nanny don’t you? She will watch the brat that’s what you pay her for! I see you and the boy at one.” Elizabeth said strictly and hung up, not even waiting for a reply. Jo hung up the phone and took several deep breaths but that still didn’t help when she turned around she was the one crying. “Mother wants to see you and me for lunch. She doesn’t want the girls to come along. Liam? She called them brats and that it is a shame that there are two!” Jo was so upset about this short phone call. “Why is she so mean? How can she expect me to leave the munchkins at home with Betty, not that I don’t trust Betty but I can’t just leave them.”


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60 Re: Growing Up on Sat 03 Nov 2012, 2:26 pm

“It’s okay”, Liam said while wrapping his arms around her. Actually, it was anything but okay because someone just insulted his little girls, and he couldn’t feel anything but a desire to kill the person who said something bad about his girls, even if it was Lady Elizabeth herself. He didn’t mind if Elizabeth kept insulting him, he was really used to it and had grown immune against it, but he hated it when she was mean to Jo, and it drove him crazy when she said something bad about his babies. It was almost freaky how protective he was about his little Princess and Cupcake. He could totally understand now why Catherine had protected him like a cheetah protected her cub. This feeling just came naturally.
“You know your mother, she has a hard time saying nice things, and she isn’t happy about the girls because she isn’t happy about their father, so she has a particularly hard time getting used to them, but don’t take it personally.” Liam smiled encouragingly at Jo. “And well…I guess at fancy places people don’t want to see babies, so it makes sense that she doesn’t want you to bring them along, and you’re not a bad mother if you leave them with Betty for a few hours once in a while, it’s not like you’re doing it all the time. I know you want to be with them all the time, but that’s why we hired a nanny, remember? So that she can help us now and then when we need her, like today.”

“But what if they need us? What if they cry…and Jill…and Jane is always…and…”

“It’s okay, they’re babies, they cry, but you’re not abandoning them”, he said calmly. “They will be fine Jo, believe me.” Of course he wasn’t totally happy about leaving his girls alone, but he knew they could trust Betty, she was one of the most reliable people he ever met and on top fantastic with children, so it would be fine and knew they didn’t have to worry, but Jo always worried about everything, so he wasn’t surprised that she was a little freaked out. “You trust Betty, don’t you?”

“It’s not that I don’t trust her, it’s just…what if there’s an emergency?”

“How big is the chance that there will be an emergency in those few hours that we’re away?”

“I don’t know…there’s always something that can happen and-“

“Jo.” Liam pressed his finger on her lip. “It’s okay. They will be fine. And you can call Betty sometime in between to check, okay?”

She took a deep breath and then nodded. “I guess…”

“Good girl.” He kissed her forehead. “Now…do I have to dress up for this…thing? You know how much I hate suits…”

“I’m afraid so.”

“Oh no!”

“So no cartoon jumpers”, Jo said. “And no shirts with inappropriate texts on them, because you have a few of those…”

“What about a cowboy costume? Or dressed as Stalin, after all, he and your mother would make a lovely couple…”

“Liam! That’s still my mother you’re talking about.”

“Sorry, I wasn’t serious…well, not that much.”

She took a deep breath. “Just put on something nice to avoid as much criticism as possible, because if you turn up in your normal clothes she won’t shut up at all, and it’s only for a few hours anyway.”

Liam rolled his eyes. “I don’t want to go. Can’t you go alone? I’ll stay here and have a wonderful time with the girls and I make sure they’re fine and I’ll tell them about you so that they know how awesome their mummy is.”

Jo smiled. “That sounds sweet, but she specifically asked for both of us to come, and can you imagine how she will react when you don’t turn up?”

“As if she would miss me”, he said sarcastically.

“I know.” She took his hand. “But it will be fine.” Now she was the one who had to calm him down.

Liam sighed. “Why is your mother so difficult? Everytime I meet her I feel like I’m a criminal in a courtroom who is cross-examined by a freakishly aggressive lawyer, that’s how nervous she makes me.”

Now she kissed him on the forehead. “We’ll make it together, okay?”

“Yeah, I guess…”


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61 Re: Growing Up on Sat 03 Nov 2012, 6:09 pm

Betty had made sure the young parents felt safe enough to leave their daughters behind, Jo had pumped off just before they would leave so she would have a little bit time before she would start leaking. They were driving the Jaguar Liam got a long time ago from Colin, and as usual Jo was driving.

“Is your dad coming too?” Liam asked as he took Jo’s left hand and kissed it. He was so glad that he had her back smiling and just a little nervous to leave her babies –she kept talking about both, like in two-

“I’m not sure but it didn’t sound like it.” Jo said while she was concentrating on the road.

“It would be nice if he would be there, he always puts a leash on your mother.”

“Liam!”

“What? He does. Do you remember that your dad was at the hospital?” Liam looked curious at Jo.

“Um not really. Who else was there?”

“Well Ricky and Alfie had been there even though when Alfie was waiting in the hall, and Lorelai was there too. And as I said your dad.” Liam kept looking at Jo to see her reaction.

“I can’t remember that but I remember that I was exhausted and really happy.” Jo whispered embarrassed. Liam leaned over to her and kissed her on the cheek “That’s okay, you just had given birth to two beautiful babies. And Ricky sent a postcard from Thailand. He seems to have a lot of fun with Alfie in their trip. They should be coming back soon. He is dying to see the girls again.”

“I know they all want to see them. I just worry to expose them to so many people. What if they get scared?” Jo was just parking the car.

“That what we are for.” Liam wrapped his arm around her as they walked into the club.

“May I help you Sir?” The valet asked as it was standard ignoring Jo a little bit.

“Yes we are here to meet Lady Elizabeth Williams for lunch.” Liam answered.

“Very well Mr Williams…”

“O’Doherty!” Liam said dryly. As usual Elizabeth has noted that he had taken Jo’s name. It was not the fact that for nothing he would have taken Jo’s name or that he would have minded if she would like to keep her name but the way Elizabeth pushed the name on him

“I’m sorry Sir?”

“The name is not Williams, it is O’Doherty.” Liam looked stern at the valet.

“Oh I’m sorry for that Mr O’Doherty. Lady Elizabeth is in a private room, please follow me.” The valet bowed and went to show them to the private room.

“You are late! Where have you been?” Elizabeth said sternly.

“I’m sorry mother, I had to feed the girls before we go.” Jo said apologetic. She gently shook her mother’s hand and sat down. Liam kissed the hand Elizabeth held to him.

“You should have gotten a wet nurse. It is a hassle that you have to feed.” Elizabeth was on her best mean behaviours.

“It is very nice to see you too, where is father?” Jo ignored the mean comments of her mother and put her hands on Liam’s knee.

“He is in Manchester but he will be back on Friday. Let’s make this meeting short shall we? I cannot stand this suit you are very boy.”

Liam looked down at himself, he was not wearing a tie but a white shirt with black trousers and a black jacket and his Mickey Mouse boxers were not visible.

“It is about time that you represent your daughters to the society. I took the liberty of preparing a representing tea. On Friday at the cottage we will have a garden party on which we represent your children. I still think you should have given away one, it is a tragedy that you got two.”

“Mother!” Jo looked angry her Elizabeth.

“Fine, keep them both. I still think you have to present them to society. It is time and I expect you all four to be there dressed well mannered. No excuses.” Elizabeth got up and a servant came right away to help her into her coat, for Elizabeth the meeting was over.

“Mother you can’t just go what if we have another thing on Friday?” Jo asked.

“Then you will change your plans. I ordered a dress for you and the girls, I expect you to wear them. And I want you to set a date for the Christening of the girls it is about time, they need a suitable godparent.” Elizabeth let Liam and Jo alone in the private room without a second look.

“Okay that was just weird, even for my mother.” Jo looked confused at Liam.


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62 Re: Growing Up on Sun 04 Nov 2012, 9:36 pm

“They need to be presented to society?” Liam looked confused at her. “Seriously? They are babies! They are no eligible brides that need to be presented in front of suitable men.”

She took a deep breath. “I know, it’s stupid…”

“It’s totally stupid. I feel like we’re back in the 19th century and have to prepare some debutant thing for them.”

“This is Oxford, Liam, and Oxford is very conservative and old-school. I just hate that mother pushes those things on us without even asking.”

“And what is this thing about christening?”

“Well…that point I kind of get”, Jo said. “It doesn’t mean that they have to grow up super religious, but christening is…ehm…kind of an important part. I think it’s just very normal to let your children get baptised, and that doesn’t mean that they’re going to be freaky church people afterwards.”

Liam looked a bit sceptical. “But what if your mother forces us to raise them religious? I sure as hell refuse to do that, I’m sorry, but I’m out.”

“Don’t worry, she will not have a saying whether we raise the girls religious or not. I mean, she will always criticise whatever we choose for them, but she can’t make decisions for us.”

“I’m not so sure about that…”, Liam mumbled. “It’s your mother we’re talking about.”

Jo shook her head. “No, we won’t let her go through with all her crazy plans for the girls.”

“But we still have to do go that party?”

“I’m afraid so.” Jo took his hand. “I really, really appreciate that you do all those things with me. I know you’ve never been comfortable with the society I come from but you still endure all those things and I’m really grateful for that.”

“Well, I do it for you. And the girls.”

“And we all love you for that.” Jo smiled. “So, any idea about a possible godparent?”

Liam was quiet for a moment. He didn’t have a godparent, so he didn’t really know what the deal about godparents was, but he wanted someone who he knew would protect them if something happened. Someone who could beat the crap out of whoever dared to harm his little girls. Someone like…
“Dick.”

Jo raised an eyebrow. “Dick?”

“Dick.”

“Dick??”

“Yes.” Liam nodded. “Think about it, if there will ever be someone who comes to close to the girls or is a threat, he can totally protect them.”

“Yes, by killing someone.”

“He doesn’t always kill, he often just…um…scares them…And besides, they’re tiny now, but when they’re teenagers he can scare the hell out of every guy so that they never even think about dating one of those guys and always stay innocent little girls.” Liam grinned widely. “No boys, I like that idea…”

Jo just stared at him. “You’re really serious about this?”

“Yepp.” Liam nodded again. “He protected me with his life, many times in fact. He’s the closest thing the girls would get to a bodyguard.” He didn’t mention that this would mean that he had a reason to see his old friend more often, which he really was looking forward to. And just the thought of never having to worry about guys getting too close to his precious angels made him grin.


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63 Re: Growing Up on Mon 05 Nov 2012, 8:47 pm

Jo smiled. “I like the idea.”

“You do?” Liam looked surprised at Jo.

“Yes I do. I stayed with him for a while too, remember?” Jo smiled shy at him

“Yeah I kind of forgot that, I just can’t picture you and him in the same flat. Okay so is one godparent enough for the girls?”

“Yes I think so. These sandwiches are really good.”

“I hope you mother paid for it.” Liam grinned. They had some more tea and food before Liam asked the question that was burning on his mind for a while now. “Jo may I ask you a question?”

Jo looked up at Liam. “Um sure, you don’t have to ask if you can ask a question.”

“I was just wondering, um in your journal you gave me to read I read something that… it made me wonder and have more questions. You don’t like giving me blowjobs? But you do them so awesome!” Liam knew that this conversation would be weird and it would scare her.

“Um Liam, I…” Jo broke off and looked shy on the table. Before Liam could say anything else she took the small bell from the table and rang it.

“Yes Miss, is everything alright?” The waitress asked.

“Yes did my mother pay for this?”

“Yes Miss.”

“Good, that means you can wrap it all up and we take it with us. We wait at the door for it.” Jo said while she got up and Liam looked a little confused at her.

“Not here, please.” Jo pleaded, Liam nodded he wanted to take her hand but he wasn’t sure how she would take him touching her. It didn’t take them long to be back in the Jaguar, but Jo did no attempted to drive home, which was king of odd.

“Jo?”

“Promise not to laugh!”

“I promise! And I promise you also something else. We just talk nothing more> I told you that you have all time you need until I will touch you again. I swear!” Liam said honestly.

“It’s not that I don’t like giving you blowjob, it’s just that um… it’s not fair that I give you a blowjob but you do not the same.”

“What? You want me to do cunnilingus?” Liam looked surprised at Jo.

“Um… yes? I mean if you don’t mind or think it is too weird or…” Jo mumbled embarrassed.

“What? No I don’t think it weird. I would love to. So now that we are talking about it, any other positions or fantasies you would like to tell me about it?” Liam grinned but stopped when he saw how shy and intimidated Jo looked. “I promise I will listen to everything and won’t judge you, and don’t forget we are already going to hell so nothing bad can happen.”

Liam made Jo smile a little.

“How about I start? I love your boobs, seriously I don’t understand men that are not into boobs. I love touching kissing and just playing with them. And I think you do amazing blowjobs, and I don’t mind quickies like on our wedding day. And I really like it when you are bossy and direct the action.” Liam grinned cheeky, he had a hard time not to show too much that this talk really turned him on.

“You do?” Jo asked shy, she didn’t need to look twice to see what was going on in Liam’s pants and it scared her, a lot.

“Oh yes!”

“Okay. But I don’t wanna be too bossy that you think I overdo it.”

“No way you can be too bossy. So what do you like?”

Jo had to take several deep breaths and she just starred at the steering wheel in front of her when she started to tell him in a low whisper. “I like when we do it on the kitchen table, or at other people’s places. I like when we roleplay, like I could be the naughty student while you are the headmaster that has to punish me, or I could be a nun and you are the priest of the nunnery. I love it when you touch me. I like to do it under the shower or in the bathtub. Liam?”

“Yes?”

“I know you like to do it from behind.”

“Yes?” Liam knew that it was more than asking him.

“I don’t want you ever to um involve my anus! Ricky told me about it and… it freaks me out. Your… um you know doesn’t belong in there.”

Liam starred at Jo for a while. “Ricky suggested you a sex position? Why?”

“We talked about it. He gave me a few ideas. Like I could cut a hole into my knickers and that way we can be in public and you can finger me or we can even have a quicky without getting undressed.”

Wait a second… Ricky told you about the anus thing? With whom did he… Oh. My. God! Jo I so don’t want to think about this.”

“I’m sorry! How about I masturbate and you give me the direction what to do.”

“That sounds a lot better.”

“Or I blindfold you and lead you to a spot in the flat.”

“That sounds so hot!” Liam whispered.

“Also how about I watch you masturbate?” Jo whispered now barely hearable.

“I don’t know about that one. I think I would feel weird if you watch me.”

“Okay.”

Liam leaned closer to her and kissed her on the cheek. “Don’t be like that. I don’t want an obedient little wifey that does everything I tell you! I told you I like you bossy when it comes to sex and if you want we can try it but it might just be too weird for me okay?”

Jo nodded.”I know, I will try to speak up more often. Liam?”

“Yes?”

Jo sighed. “I know this makes not a lot of sense but I do miss being intimate with you but I’m just scared that it feels different, not just for me. I don’t want you to be dissatisfied because my private parts are different. I know my boobs are different and my stomach is all floppy and I have stretchmarks.”

“And I love your body with every floppiness and stretchmark.” Liam kissed Jo again.

“That is sweet, I um don’t feel the same about my own body.”

“You will again. I know it.”

“Ricky said the same. It’s been so long that I have seen him, it was before the girls were born. Do you think he is coming to the presenting party.”

“He better does I have it kick him for talking about sex with you, I hope you haven’t told him anything about me.”

“Um only that I really like your size.” Jo blushed majorly.


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64 Re: Growing Up on Tue 06 Nov 2012, 6:05 pm

It was the day that Jill and Jane would be ‘presented to society’, which Liam still thought one of the most ridiculous things that his mother-in-law had ever suggested. As if anybody here cared about this crap. Well, apparently people in this weird town did, Jo explained to him that it was something people in the high society did with their newborn children, but that still didn’t change the fact that Liam thought it absolutely ridiculous. On top of that Elizabeth had sent them stupid dresses that not only drowned the girls because they were too small for it, but there were ruffles and ribbons all over them and Liam was very tempted to rip at least five of those stupid ribbons off from those dresses. While he put the dress on Jill she made a face and started nagging, she obviously didn’t like it. Jane, on the other hand, just looked at him quietly why he put that dress on her, she didn’t seem to have a problem with that. He was already dressed in a suit- one that Jo had picked out to make sure her mother wouldn’t start complaining about his clothes again. Jo had to wear a dress that Elizabeth had sent with the dresses for the twins, and it was also way over the top. Liam didn’t like those fancy dresses on her. Yes, everyone else here was so excited to see her all dolled up and fancy, but for him it was intimidating and he actually felt a bit uncomfortable around her when she was so extremely dolled up. If she had at least short hair it would balance the look, but right now she once again looked like someone who he could never live up to.
“You’re ready?”, Liam asked while he picked up Jill who still looked very unhappy in her ruffled dress.
Jo nodded and took Jane – and that huge bag that she had stuffed with at least a million things, from nappies, to cloths, to clothes, to blankets…you name it! Just for the girls.
Liam quickly took the bag from her so that she wouldn’t have to carry both Jane and this humongous bag.
“I’m so tempted to dress up as Spiderman and the girls as Catwoman or something like that. I bet your mother would go crazy.”

“Oh yes, she would. And I wouldn’t be happy to see you dressing up the girls in a black leather costume, that sounds out the wrong message.”

“I know, I know.”
They left Waterfall Downs together with Betty. They had asked her if she could accompany them because they were sure they would probably need her help now and then when it got too busy. A bit later they arrived at Jo’s parents’ cottage. When Liam saw all the fancy cars in front of the cottage he sighed. “Oh joy…Who the hell did she invite? The entire town?”

“Well, only the good part of it. You don’t honestly think she would invite the middle class, not to mention the lower class.”

“So she invited all the douchebags Oxford has to offer?” Liam raised his eyebrows. “Now that’s just fantastic.”

“Save your enthusiasm for the moment when you meet all those nice people.”

Liam sighed and got out of the car. He could tell that Jo was insecure because she hadn’t been among so many people in a long time and she also worried that it would be too much for the girls. Betty took Jill while Liam carried the bag, but he quickly bent over to kiss Jo to make sure she knew that he was there for her. They were led in by a maid but before Liam had the chance to say anything to Jo, Elizabeth showed up, looking at the young family as if she had bitten into a lemon.
“Your hair, Josephine. Did you not go to the hairdresser this morning? It looks like you didn’t use a brush at all.”

“Mother, I-“

“And the children…” Her eyes were fixed on the girls now. Of course she ignored Liam again. “Who dressed them? They look like a blind man put the dresses on them!”
Liam didn’t bother to reply. Well, he didn’t have the chance anyway because Elizabeth continued talking again.
“The children will be taken over to the salon…” She scrutinised Betty, obviously not that happy to see her. “Yes, they will be taken to the salon, and I do hope you don’t spend all your time with them, Josephine, I expect you to make conversations with our guests.”

“Wait…what? You want me to leave my daughters alone?” Jo looked almost angry at her mother.

“No, but you should also be polite and make conversation with other people, and you can’t do that when you’re always occupied with the children. It’s rude if you ignore the guests. Among the guests are very important people, Josephine. Both Lady Eleanor Jackson and Lady Charlotte Jackson came, so try to behave.”

“But-“

“Don’t argue with me, Josephine. Now bring the children into the salon.”

Jo looked helplessly to Liam, but Betty smiled encouragingly. “I’ll keep an eye on them too, Miss Jo, don’t worry. I will help you with as much as I can.”

“I’ll quickly get something to drink”, Liam said while he put the bag down. “I’ll be right back”, he turned to Jo. “Don’t freak out, okay? I’ll hurry up, so no need to have a nervous breakdown, and Betty is with you if you need something, oaky?”
Jo nodded, not completely confident, but she trusted Liam and hoped he wouldn’t suddenly flee from the party and leave her alone.
He turned around to see where he could find something to drink, but all he saw was a crowd of women in pastel-coloured dresses, wearing weird hats and pearl necklaces, but then he spotted Alfie among those women, who didn’t hide his annoyance at all while the ladies kept chatting with him. Liam was actually really happy to see him, for the last weeks he didn’t see anything but the babies and his wife, and as much as he loved his family, he really needed guy talk now and then. The past weeks he had barely seen anything but his three girls, and sometimes he had moments where he just wanted to get out, just for a day, not longer, and talk about something else besides nappies, breast pumps and strollers. He was still young, most guys his age didn’t have to think about those things for a long time. He was actually so happy to finally have his buddy back that he started grinning from ear to ear, and Alfie seemed equally happy, although he didn’t grin as goofily as Liam did, but he pushed one of the women out of the way so he could give his friend a proper hug.
“Little Man, finally a sane person among those freaks!”

Liam grinned and looked up to Alfie. “What the hell are you doing here? This is a baby party, so no naked chicks and no pole dancing.”

“That’s a shame. No, the combined forces of my mother and grandmother dragged me here. Well, and I knew Ricky would be here and I have to make sure that he doesn’t run into either of those horrible women.”

“Do I sense some protective instinct going on here?” Liam couldn’t hold back a grin.

“Oh, shut up, you little Irish dwarf!”

“And you got some sun, didn’t you?”

“Yeah, I did. Ricky, however, looks like I either lost him somewhere in Alaska or Iceland, or like I locked him up in a basement. I know he’s very pale, but I thought that has mainly to do with the fact that he never got out of England so far, but the closest he got to a tan was a sunburn right on the first day, and after that he was hiding like a paranoid person from the sun and never left without three tons of sunscreen.”

Liam chuckled. “Oh, I have the exact same problem.”

“But you’re Irish, you’re supposed to have a crappy skin like that. Last time I checked, Ricky wasn’t Irish.” Alfie grabbed a glass of champagne that one of the waiters was carrying. “Hey, you’ve got anything stronger? I’m stuck with a group of women here who make me want to become asexual, that’s how turned off I am at the moment, and then you’re seriously offering me champagne?”

The waiter looked scared at him. “That…that…Mrs Williams ordered us to…to”

Alfie rolled his eyes. “Whatever! And find a speech therapist to fix that annoying stutter.” He ushered him away and then turned back to Liam. “And I finally get how you managed to knock up your wife right during your honeymoon. Thank God Ricky isn’t a girl, he would be pregnant with octuplets by now. There’s just something about being on holidays…you have three times more sex than you do at home, and trust me, we have a lot of sex at home, so can you imagine how much-“

“Thank you! I totally don’t want to imagine this!”, Liam interrupted him quickly. “And yes, I know what you’re talking about, Jo and I were…really active during our holidays.”

“So you found your life’s fulfilling now in the wonderful role of a father?”, Alfie asked teasingly.

“It’s not that bad, really”, Liam said. “I mean, yeah, I didn’t get much sleep and I barely have time with Jo alone, but I love them, I really do.”

Alfie just nodded, not that he could slightly understand what he meant, it was more a ‘I’m really sorry for you, you poor son of a bitch’-nod. “By the way, you do know that Gray is here, right?”

Liam’s expression immediately changed. “Um…what?!”

“I think your lovely mother-in-law invited him.”

“What the fuck?” Liam took a deep breath. Oh yes, this party was going to be fun…


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65 Re: Growing Up on Tue 06 Nov 2012, 8:48 pm

Meanwhile Jo and Betty went into the salon with Elizabeth.

“Mother you have a throne?”

“Well the girl has to sit somewhere.” Elizabeth answered, she tried to take Jane from Jo, since she was not crying like Jill.

“Don’t you dare to take my daughter!” Jo snapped. Elizabeth looked surprised at Jo.

“Excuse me?” Elizabeth asked.

Jo took a deep breath, but when she tried to answer no words left her mouth so Betty took the liberty to speak what Jo thought. “Lady Williams, Missis Jo has two children and there is just one throne.”

“I was hoping you could just present the quiet one?”

“Mother!”

“Fine, I let the servants carry in the second throne.” Elizabeth didn’t like the idea of having two children to present.

“No mother the girls will not sit on a throne. They could fall down. I will let them sit in their rockers.” Jo looked determined at her mother.

“You are awfully difficult. I need to get some fresh air.” Elizabeth left Betty and Jo alone with the girls. Jo sighed.

“I’m sorry.”

“No need to apologize, your mother is as silly as Mr O’Doherty said…”

“Jo! Sweetheart where are my little angels?” Colin shouted from the door. “Oh no darling it is a low afternoon, don’t leave the little ones in here. Oh you must be Betty, hello I am the grandfather.” Colin hugged his daughter tightly. “You look wonderful despite the horrible dress.”

“Hello Daddy.” Jo hugged her dad tightly back and even when she was a young woman now, right in this moment she was really glad to be held by her dad.

“May I?” Colin offer to take Jill from Betty. Jo nodded and Betty handed him his granddaughter. “Betty I want you to enjoy this as much as you can, just stay close by in case Jo needs you.”

“Thank you Sir.” Betty smiled and went to find something to eat.

“So how have you been? Lorelai mentioned you are having a hard time adjusting to be a mommy?” Colin had also taken the huge bag from his daughter.

“Yes… it was difficult, but it is getting better every day a little bit more.” Jo smiled shyly. Jo and Colin went through the crowds to the food table to feed his daughter. She looked a little bit pale and tired. On the way outside into the garden they met many people and Jo got many envelopes for her two precious little darlings and everyone was delighted even when behind her back they talked about the genes of the poor Irish country boy came through and made Jo have children like a pauper. The more people were fake delighted in front of her the more Jo went quiet, Colin was watching her and he saw his wonderful girl was disappearing, hiding in her mind and he knew that only one person could get her out again. Unfortunately Colin couldn’t see Liam anywhere near.
Alfie came around without Liam he looked at the babies and starred for a while before he said. “Nice babies.”

Jo was surprised that he sounded not as sarcastic as usually.

“Have you seen Ricky?”

“No I don’t, do you know where Liam is?” Jo mumbled.

“Yes I did but he went looking for you, he said he wanted to bring you a cup of tea because you are tired. Not that I give a damn about that.” Alfie left Colin and Jo alone.

“Sweetheart I will go and have a look for Liam, are you okay for a little bit on your own?” Colin kissed Jo on the forehead.

“I think so, let me just sit down I can’t stand so long carrying them both.”

“Okay here is a chair and your bag is next to you on the floor.”

“Thanks.” Jill was a little bit fuzzy while Jane was in her usual half asleep state by this time of the day. Jo was still trying to see Liam in the crowd but she didn’t see him. Luckily she saw someone else. Henry and Edward came running to her and were bubbling. “We wanna see the babies, please.” In her little boy talk. Jo smiled.

“Where is your mommy?” Jo asked smiling.

“Here I am Josey and you look wonderful!” Lorelai hugged her little cousin and the two babies on Jo’s lap. “And I come prepared. Come here let’s go a little more aside and sit on the blanket I brought.”

“Can they sit on the floor?”

“Of course sweetie.” Lorelai smiled.

“Jo-ie?”

“Yes Edward?”

“Please baby me hold? I my hand clean. Promise.” Edward asked very proudly and looking like a true big brother. “I sit.”

“Um oh okay, but be careful okay?” Jo whispered. She helped Edward to hold Jane. Just as Elizabeth came over.

“Hello Aunt Elizabeth.” Lorelai asked as boldly as ever.

“Josephine Yvaine only the pauper and bagger sit on the floor. Get up this instance! You have to talk to the guest, after all you got presents for your Irish bastards!” Elizabeth didn’t wait and started pulling at her daughter. Jo escaped her tight grip and ran back to Lorelai.

“You can leave them with us, I promise she will be okay.” Lorelai kissed her on the cheek. “I’ll watched you when you were little and I’ve got two mischievous boys on my own.” Lorelai whispered. Jo nodded and went defeated with her mother, just as usually.

“Mami? Me Pipi. Me Pipi. Me Pipi. Quick!” Henry said jumping up and down from one leg on the other. Lorelai looked at her youngest son. “Really now?”
Henry nodded desperately.

“Oh boy.” Lorelai sighed. “I could need some help. Where is my husband when I need him?”

“Well I am not your husband, but how about the grandfather of those two wonderful angles?” Colin smiled at Lorelai and sat down on the blanket. “This is a wonderful idea. I want next year for my birthday a picnic.” Lorelai got up and went with her two sons to the bathroom, while Colin sat down next to his wonderful granddaughters. He could not get enough of them. “Graham Hart have you met those wonderful two young ladies? They got your Irish blood in their veins.” Colin beamed up at Graham holding Jill which finally stopped crying.


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66 Re: Growing Up on Wed 07 Nov 2012, 3:03 pm

Graham smiled just as proudly as Colin did. After all, they were his granddaughters too, although he was quite young to be a grandfather yet.
“Oh yes, I’ve seen them, but look how much they’ve grown in the past three months!” He sat down next to Colin and took Jane, who was half asleep. When he held her in his arm she opened her blue eyes and blinked at him, but then she closed them again. “And they do have the red hair…They are just perfect, aren’t they?”

Colin nodded. “I couldn’t agree more.”

Graham watched the sleeping Jane quietly for a moment. This was what it would have felt like if he had stayed with Catherine. He could have held Liam just the way he held his granddaughter now. His eyes wandered over to Jill who tried to grab Colin’s nose and he had to grin. No, that would have been Liam, definitely the active one.

“Excuse me?”, a shy voice behind the two men said and both looked up and saw Ricky. “I don’t mean to interrupt anything, but I wanted to say hello to those two pretty ladies and-“

“Hello, Ricky, good to see you!”, Colin said friendly and made room on the blanket. “Come here, sit with us. I barely see you since you and Jo graduated, how is work?”

Ricky sat down next to Colin and smiled shyly. “Work is going well, thank you, sir.”
Jill turned her little head towards him and giggled.
“Do you want to hold her?” Colin didn’t even let him answer, he could tell that Ricky totally wanted to hold the girls, so he carefully handed his granddaughter over to him. The young man looked like he was about to cry while little Jill was grinning widely at him. Ricky took her tiny little hand and kissed her forehead gently, trying really hard to keep it together, but he was a little bit overwhelmed by all the emotions while he was holding the little girl in his arm.
“I’m sorry, I just…she’s so beautiful, and her sister too, and Jo is such a wonderful mother and she so deserves this and…and I should just be quiet now…”

Colin and Graham smiled. “That’s all right”, Colin said. “We absolutely understand what you mean.”

Liam looked for Jo and found her among a group of women he had never seen before, they all looked pretty much like Elizabeth, the same hairstyle, outfits and, of course, the pearl necklace. That seemed to be the ultimate trend among the ladies of the upper class. Jo looked a bit pale but she made polite conversation, while at the same time being watched carefully by her mother. Liam didn’t care if he interrupted the conversation, he knew she needed him, she really didn’t look happy, so he just walked up to them, greeted them briefly and then put his arm around Jo, ignoring Elizabeth’s evil stare.
“How are you?”, Liam asked quietly after he waited for the ladies to finish their conversation with Jo. “Here, drink that.” He handed her a glass of lemonade.

“It’s just really stressful”, Jo mumbled, making sure her mother couldn’t hear them. “I don’t like that she always makes a big deal out of everything.”

“I know.” Liam kissed her on the cheek. He just noticed that she was wearing the star necklace that he had given recently. “Listen, when we get home you can take a hot bath, and I’ll make you tea and take care of the girls and you can go to bed early, I’ll take care of everything else. Just try to relax…” He brushed some of her lose hair out of her face. “And I’ll make sure nobody will bother you anymore.”

Alfie was still looking for Ricky. Not because he wanted to talk to him, he knew that it was kind of risky to be seen with him not only at a party like this but especially since both his mother and grandmother were here, so naturally he kept his distance, but he also needed to make sure that Ricky was okay. He knew that parties like this were not really Ricky’s comfort zone, and he hoped nobody said anything wrong to him.
Then he finally saw him, sitting next to Colin and Graham on the floor while holding one of the babies. Of course Ricky was where the babies were, why didn’t he think of that earlier? At least he was safe there…
Alfie didn’t notice that he was looking in his direction for so long. Just seeing how happy Ricky looked with this baby in his arm gave him a strange feeling, but it was one of the weirdly good kinds. Not that Alfie cared about the babies, but he cared about how happy Ricky looked, and for a moment he completely forgot that he was among other people.

“I hope for your own sake that you were staring at the children”, said a cold voice next to him. Alfie flinched and turned to his grandmother, who had watched him looking at Ricky.

Alfie tried to act like he didn’t know what she meant. “No, actually I was admiring Lord Williams’ good cheekbones”, he replied sarcastically, but Lady Eleanor Jackson didn’t show any emotion, she just glared suspiciously at her grandson.

“I’m watching you, Alfred.”

“Well, as fun as that sounds, you do know that’s considered stalking, right?” Geez, that woman had a face made of stone, there was not one tiny emotion on it.

“That seems to be necessary when it comes to you”, she said coldly, her eyes wandering back to the other boy who was talking with Lord Williams while he held one of the babies in his arm. “I never know what you’re up to, Alfred, but it’s usually no good.”

“Thank you, I take that as a compliment.”

“There you are!” Alfie’s mother showed up next to them, followed by two other ladies and Elizabeth. “I was just telling my dear friends about Cecilia’s wedding preparation and the plans for your wedding.”

“Excuse me?” Alfie looked annoyed at his mother and ignored the other ladies next to her.

“Oh, you know! Your grandmother and I are looking for a suitable wife, that’s no news for you…”

He rolled his eyes. There we go again…

“Whatever happened to that Russian girl, she was-“

“No!” Alfie didn’t even let her finish her sentence. Lady Charlotte shot him a warning glance, then she turned to her friends and her mother-in-law and continued talking about her daughter’s wedding that would be next spring, and then the subject ‘babies’ came up again- of course it had to come up. Alfie was about to turn away and flee when something they said stopped him.
“Now, Elizabeth, how are you coping with the fact that your own grandchildren are…let’s say…less sophisticated than they ought to be? It must be terrible to have people from the lower class weasel their way into a good family like yours and now you have Irish grandchildren! I mean, I could deal with Welch…but Irish!”

Alfie took a deep breath and turned back around to the group of ladies. “Oh, shut up, Mother, and pull that stick out of your ass, will you?”
All the women- especially his grandmother- held their breath in shock.

“Alfred Broderick Jackson, what in the world has gotten into you?” Lady Charlotte didn’t even try to hide her outrage.

“It just really pisses me off how you all talk about Liam. He’s a good guy, okay? Just because he doesn’t come from a bloody upper class family where people marry their own cousins in order to keep a pure line, which is totally disgusting, by the way, doesn’t give you the right to talk about him like that, and about other people like him as well, for that matter…” He had to think of Ricky who would never be ‘good enough’ in the eyes of Oxford’s high society.

“Charlotte, your son is completely out of control”, Lady Eleanor Jackson said. She used to blame everything on her daughter-in-law.

“Well, yeah, that’s true, and you know what, Grandmother? It’s better than having a stick up my ass like you all do. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll need to find a stick-free zone” Alfie didn’t even wait for any of the ladies to reply, and he successfully ignored his mother’s ‘You are not excused yet, young man!’, turned away from them and disappeared behind a group of older men who were talking about golf. He knew that would have consequences and his mother would probably call every day for the next week, but just seeing their baffled faces was absolutely worth it.


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67 Re: Growing Up on Wed 07 Nov 2012, 8:15 pm

Jo smiled and took the lemonade from Liam. “Thanks so much. I want to go back and find the girls.”

“Sure. Betty is watching them right?” Liam had wrapped his arm around her waist.

“No father told her to enjoy the party and then he and I went outside but then he had to go talk to a few guests and then Lor came with the boys so she is watching the girls.”

“Okay.” Liam grinned, he really liked to be with Jo even with all those guest here. But suddenly he noticed a change in her, it was as if she was disappearing again. “Jo? Are you okay?”

Jo didn’t answer but tears started to run down her cheek.

“Shit.” Liam knew that it was too much for Jo, they shouldn’t have come and just post the twins picture in the newspaper. “Jo?”

“I am so sorry, I mess up everything. I forgot the girls’ bottles at home. What will we feed them? I am so sorry Liam! I didn’t mean to do that I am so sorry.” Jo collapsed on the blanket next to the girls, Colin and Graham. She was heavily breathing and sobbing. Liam kneeled down behind her and wrapped his arms tightly around her. “Don’t worry I packed their bottles.”

Liam kissed her on the cheek until she stopped crying. “Really?”

“Yes, everything is fine. Don’t worry okay?” Liam whispered not at all carrying that his father and Colin where sitting just across the blanket.
Jo took several deep breaths and then turned to Liam and kissed him back. “Thank you Liam.”

“It’s okay that’s what I’m there for.”

Jo smiled took the two bottles out of the bag and went inside to heat them up. Colin waited until Jo was out of earshot. “Liam, I hope you know that I am very proud of you. I know it is not easy to have to be the strong one in the relationship. I know it is not easy but Jo will pull through it, she is so much more like her mother.” Colin smiled encouraging at Liam. “And just so you know when Jo was little she and I kept hiding from the society. We missed many parties together, and I will later talk to Elizabeth she has to stop driving Jo so crazy.”


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68 Re: Growing Up on Thu 08 Nov 2012, 2:00 pm

Liam smiled. “That would be a good idea. She doesn’t listen to me, so it’s good when you say something. And I know that Jo is stronger than she thinks she is. I mean, yes, there have been moments when she wasn’t as strong, but I know her over four years now, and in this time I’ve seen her more strong than weak. Different people show their strengths differently, I learned that over the years…”

Colin looked at his son-in-law, then to Graham who was still holding the sleeping Jane. “You have a smart son, and I’m not talking about his high IQ this time.” He winked at both father and son.

“Well, I guess it’s not always the IQ that matters after all”, Liam admitted, then he looked over to Ricky who was so focused on Jill that he seemed to have completely forgotten about everything around him. “You’re not going to steal her, are you?”
Ricky was so lost in thoughts that he didn’t react, so Liam playfully kicked his foot.

“Wh…what?” Ricky finally looked up. “Oh, hey Liam, I didn’t notice you…”

“Yeah, I can tell.” Liam grinned. “I can totally see that you’re thinking how you’re going to kidnap her.”

“Oh, you can read my mind now?”

“You better not kidnap her or you’ll get to know the real Irish side of me”, he said teasingly.

“Don’t worry, there’s no way I can take her own, not with-“ He realised that Colin and Graham were listening, so he had to be careful what to say in their presence. “Um, not with other people who might be less thrilled by the sight of babies…”

“What?” Colin let out a laugh. “Who cannot be thrilled by the sight of those beautiful girls?”

Ricky smiled awkwardly. “Ehm…yes, I might know someone…” He looked down to Jill, she was pulling at his shirt with her tiny hand and grinned mischievously. Seeing those girls made him happy and sad at the same time. Since he was little his greatest wish was to marry one day and have children, but he had to be realistic and knew that neither one of those things would ever happen to him. So he would definitely be happy for his best friend Jo, that she got to have all those wonderful things in life, she and Liam deserved this.

“There you are, darling!” Colin smiled at his daughter who just came back with the two bottles.

“Is Jane still sleeping?” Jo sat down between Graham and Liam, looking at her sleeping daughter.

“I think we can wake her up for the feeding”, Liam said.

“Here, Jill seems very hungry.” Ricky handed Jo her daughter carefully so that she could feed her.

“Thanks.” Jo smiled. “Oh, what happened to your arms?”

“Sunburn. Well, actually, many sunburns, but it looks half as bad now than it was.”

“Oh, poor you!” Jo looked from Ricky to her husband. “That’s a familiar issue to you, my Irish man.”

“True, the sun doesn’t like me that much.” He took over Jane who finally woke up. “Hello Princess.” Jane yawned and then stretched out her little hand, which Liam immediately took and kissed. It was so nice being left alone by Elizabeth for a while, but he was pretty sure she would show up any time soon and start complaining about their inappropriate behaviour. He was also looking out for Victor whom he hasn’t seen yet- luckily. But he needed to be aware, even though Victor was technically not much of a threat anymore, he still wanted him to stay away from his family.


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69 Re: Growing Up on Thu 08 Nov 2012, 9:19 pm

No one noticed that a man in his mid-twenties starring at the two babies in the arms of their parents. “I can’t believe you got her into bed, well no actually I’m not at all. After all she was the university slut. But I never thought that the result will be so ugly. Those bastards you made, look like bold wrinkly orange potatoes.” Victor snarled. Jo froze when she heard Victor’s voice.

“Mr Grey I don’t think that is the appropriated way of talking.” Colin said as he got up, just like Graham did. Ricky saw that Liam got made and took Jane from his arms. Jane had started crying she didn’t seem to like Victor at all. Jo looked rather shy at the ground, she didn’t know what to say to Victor. “How can you say such an awful thing?” She whispered.

“Well it is true those bagger should never have nailed you!”


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70 Re: Growing Up on Fri 09 Nov 2012, 2:45 pm

Okay, that was it! He didn’t care if Victor insulted him, but how dare he call Jo a slut and insult his daughters? Liam got up and pulled his sleeves back. He didn’t care if others were watching them and he certainly gave a damn if the proper ladies of Oxford would be shocked, all he wanted was to punch this asshole square in the face.

“Liam!” Graham held him back, but he tried to pull away from him, his eyes only fixed on Victor. “Liam, don’t do it.” His father grabbed his arm and made sure Liam wouldn’t just do something foolish, which he totally was about to do.

“Let go off me!”

“Liam, calm down. If you start a fight in front of all those people you’ll never get rid of a bad reputation.”

“Like I care!” Liam turned his head back to Victor who just grinned stupidly. “You bloody son of a bitch, I hope you get eaten by rats and rot in-“

“I’ll take it from here”, Colin interrupted him and turned towards Victor. “Mr Gray, I advise you to leave, otherwise I’ll have you be forced to go.”

Victor didn’t show much expression at all. “You did a mistake”, he said coldly. “You should have listened to your wife, I would have been better for your daughter than this kid from the street.”

“Oh, I don’t think so”, Colin replied equally cold and waited until Victor walked away.

Graham let finally go off Liam, now that Victor was out of sight.
“You have to let me do this!” Liam didn’t mean to shout at his father but he was pretty pissed that he didn’t get to break Victor’s jaw. “I’m not a child anymore, and when I want to protect my family then you have to let me.”

“I understand your intentions, but you’re a little hothead sometimes and it wouldn’t hurt if you would think before you do something”, Graham said calmly.

“Your father is right, Liam”, Colin said. “This is Oxford, you can’t just go up to people and punch them. Although I do appreciate that you want to protect my daughter.” He smiled, then sat back down to Jo who looked very shy. “Are you alright, darling?”
Jo nodded, although she didn’t look relaxed at all.
“Jo, I think your daughter needs to get changed.” Colin looked down at Jill who made a strange face.
Jo looked a bit confused and helpless at the same time.
“Jo, darling, do you understand?” Her father talked very calmly to her. “I think she needs new nappies.”

“Oh, yes…of course…” Jo got up carefully.

“Do you need help?”, Liam asked. He hated changing the nappies, even though Betty had explained it to him he still had no idea how it worked, but he didn’t want Jo to think that he left her on her own.

Jo smiled weakly. “Thanks, but I think I got it. I’ll be right back.”

“You sure?”

She nodded. “Just make sure nobody comes too close to little Princess.”

“Yes, I will.” Liam sat back down, next to Ricky who had managed to calm Jane down. She was no longer crying and just looked at him quietly.

“Thanks for making her stop crying”, Liam said while he stroke Jane’s soft cheek. “I know we have a nanny, but I think you’d be a great babysitter in case Jo and I want to go out now and then, which will probably not happen for another two years because Jo is way too paranoid to leave them alone, but just in case…”

Ricky grinned happily. “Oh, I would love to do that. Seriously, when you need help with the girls you can call me anytime.”

“Anytime?” Liam raised an eyebrow.

He nodded. “Anytime.”

“Okay, I’ll get back to that offer, just so you know.”

Ricky nodded excitedly. “Oh yes, please!”

“You…ehm…don’t think that…other people might be a tiny bit…annoyed by that?”

“Well, I guess I’ll just won’t tell other people about that offer”, Ricky said jokingly.


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71 Re: Growing Up on Fri 09 Nov 2012, 10:11 pm

Jo had changed Jill quickly and hurried back to Liam and the others. “Liam? Mother is looking for us and she seems angry.” Jo mumbled that just Liam could hear her as he hugged her.

“It will be fine, beautiful. I think she should soon leave, you look tired.” Liam whispered back. Jo nodded and smiled shy at her dad, Ricky and Graham.

“I’m sorry this is a little bit too much for me.” Jo mumbled.

“Oh darling don’t worry about this.” Colin said gently, but Colin could not say more because his wife showed up looking like she bit into a lemon or maybe even two.

“Josephine Yvaine Williams what in three devils names do you think you are doing? Sitting like a common beggar on the ground you are a Williams! A Lady! I demand that you get up. We paid good money that you have manners and I expect you to use those now that you have two foreign look children it is bad enough that you got twins just like an old wash wife. I can’t believe what you did to the name Williams! You dishonoured your family get the bloody hell up this instance.” Elizabeth jangled hysterically.
Colin got up very calmly and kissed his daughter on the cheek. “Mr Butcher would you mind helping Jo and Liam to get the girls into the car, I think it is time that the O’Doherty’s go home after this day. Elizabeth I think it is time that you sit down and have a cup of your tea. Graham would you mind helping me to send those guests home?”

“No not at all Colin.” Graham squeezed in this weird manly way his shoulder and went to tell the caterers that they can start sending the guest home and Ricky helped a shaking Jo to pack the twins things and put the girls into their seats. Jo had a hard time to hold it together, but the gentle touches of Ricky at her hands and the smiled helped a little but the major help was Liam he was there and he was on her side he looked angry at Elizabeth that Colin was leading away from the young adults. He looked over his shoulder at Liam and nodded agreeing at his son-in-law.


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72 Re: Growing Up on Mon 12 Nov 2012, 6:21 pm

“I just can’t believe she would say those things to you”, he mumbled as he turned back to Jo. “I mean, yeah, I’m used to her calling me names and giving me this attitude, but you’re her daughter, how can she…after all these years I know her I still can’t believe that she would say those things to you.”

Jo didn’t say anything, she only bit her lip, hugged Ricky good-bye and got into the car. Liam took a deep breath. “What kind of mother…I just…I don’t get it…” He would never get it since he had come to learn the greatest of mothers, and the thought of a mother as cold and mean as Elizabeth was something that totally irritated him, no matter how long he already knew her and her weird freak-outs.

“I know what you mean”, Ricky said. “My mother would never do something like that either, but the mothers of the upper class can’t be compared to the mothers we know, they are just…it’s nothing we’ll ever get used to. Alfie’s mother is one of the scariest persons I’ve ever met, I can’t possibly imagine growing up with her as mother.”

“Yeah, I feel the same about Elizabeth.” Liam looked through the back windows to check if the girls were alright, but they seemed fine in their seats. “Anyway, thanks for your help. I really need to get out of here now, and I’ll take all my J’s with me.”

Ricky smiled. “No problem, take care.”

When Liam got into the car- this time he insisted on driving because he could tell that Jo wasn’t feeling well enough- Jo stared at her knees, still biting her lips.

“Jo, forget what your mother said. You know she talks crazy sometimes. Well, most of the time. Actually, always.”

“She said I brought dishonour to my family.”

Liam sighed. “First of all, what century are we living in? That sounds like we’re back in the Middle Ages! And secondly, if anyone brought dishonour to your family it was me, because after I entered the picture everything got messed up and there seems to be more tension between you and your mother now than it was before I met you, so she has no right to blame you for something I did.”

“There was always tension between us, but it took me sixteen years until I finally did something about it”, Jo whispered. “You’re not the reason for the tension, you only encouraged me to be the person that I always wanted to be but never dared to, and she hates me now for not being her little doll anymore.”

“She doesn’t hate you”, Liam said, a bit surprised how quickly that came out. After all, Elizabeth acted like an insane and incredibly insensitive person towards her daughter, and yet he knew, or he believed, that no mother could hate her child. “She obviously doesn’t know how to show her affection towards her, but she doesn’t hate you, and deep down you know that.”
That same moment Jill started making funny sounds that almost sounded like a hiccup, and Liam turned around to look at her. “You agree with me, Cupcake, don’t you?” He smiled briefly. “Anyway, let’s get out of here, I’m tired of people.”


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73 Re: Growing Up on Mon 12 Nov 2012, 9:48 pm

It was Monday morning and Jo felt Liam to get up and it scared her that she didn’t want him to get up. It was the first day of the new school year and Jo was still on maternity, she did help a little as headmistress but she did not really leave the flat yet.

“When is your first class?”

“You are already up?” Liam kissed gently.

“Yeah, kind of. Jane will be up soon.” Jo mumbled.

“And you know that I will bottle feed her.” Liam whispered back, he felt Jo snuggle close into his arm and nod.

“Are you excited for the new students and your classes?”

“Yes but not as much as to see you after class.”

Jo turned around and kissed him, but she made a funny face. “You know I think your beard is itchy it is not as much fun to kiss you as it used to be.” Suddenly Jo realized what she just said. “Um, I mean…” Jo sighed nervous and actually started shivering a little. “Not um… please don’t rip my clothes off me. You could like shave every day a little patch?”


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74 Re: Growing Up on Wed 14 Nov 2012, 7:29 pm

Liam tried really hard to hold back a goofy grin. He knew that she was not very confident at the moment so he had to be careful with everything he did around her, but at least they seemed to finally, finally, finally- after ages, eternities, centuries of waiting- move a tiny bit forward. Of course he was impatient. Of course it annoyed him a bit that she needed so much time because he had never heard of a case like hers before, a case where a woman freaked out about giving birth to her children and wouldn’t let anyone near her, but it didn’t really surprise him anymore since Jo had been a nervous, shy person from the start. It was just so frustrating because over the years he had gotten to see some other sides of hers as well, and now they were completely back at the start, she was even worse than she was as a virgin, and that was kind of annoying, but he had to accept that she would flinch every time he touched her. So the fact that she suggested to shave a little meant that she was finally, finally, finally trying to move on a bit, away from this ‘I’m-so-scared-please-don’t-touch-me’-act. It had really going on his nerves, but ever since he hurt her so much a few months ago he didn’t dare to say or do anything wrong. Sometimes he wondered if he was even allowed to sneeze in her presence or if that was already too much for her. Yes, he was stressed out, obviously. He had two babies- and Jill loved to cry her heart out in the middle of the night- and a wife who was sacred when he dared to make sudden movements, and on top of that the school just started, so yeah, he had a lot on his plate and he was actually looking forward to teaching classes because that meant he could get a little break from what was going on at home. He knew it sounded mean, but it was just really hard for him to put on a happy face while Jo was still scared of his touch. He was allowed to hug her and maybe kiss her- but please not too passionately, that would scare the hell out of her again- so he had to act so carefully around her, and he was just tired of it, plain tired. It wasn’t like this was going on for the past few weeks. No, this had been going on pretty much since she knew she was pregnant. And he was just so, so, so tired of it.

“You sure?”, he mumbled. “Honestly, I expected that I will soon have a beard that reaches down to the ground because I was pretty sure I had to wait that long.”

Jo looked a little offended. “I told you I needed time…”

Yeah, no kidding!
Liam took a deep breath. “Sorry, I don’t mean to be rude. I just…I’m really happy to hear that my beard bothers you, and I will happily shave it, but to be honest I don’t think you’re ready because you’re still scared. So maybe we just stop pretending that everything is back to normal and be more realistic.”
Okay, he sounded more negative than he had intended to, but he was just so tired of getting his hopes up and then being disappointed again.
“I’m sorry Jo, what I wanted to say is, you don’t have to push yourself to do something you don’t want to do.”

She was quiet for a moment. “I know that.”

“Okay, just making sure.” He kissed her quickly on the forehead. “Anyway, I have to go, my first class starts soon and I want to meet up with the teachers before everyone comes in. Take care of my girls, okay?”

Jo nodded, then he turned away from her, but before he left the flat he quickly went into the nurseries to check on his little angels. Jill was sleeping –well, yeah, she had been crying a lot during the night anyway- but Jane was awake, so he took her carefully out of her crib.
“I love you so much”, he said, not noticing that Jo was watching them. He kissed his daughter gently and put her back, then he left the flat.


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75 Re: Growing Up on Wed 14 Nov 2012, 8:48 pm

Jo started crying as soon Liam had left. He did not believe her that she wanted to have more from her husband. A real kiss would mean a lot to her he keeps kissing her forehead she misses to feel his lips on hers. Liam didn’t know that but Jo had given Betty the dya off, she wanted to be alone with her daughters. After some time she pulled herself together fed the girls and realized it was getting close to Liam’s lunch hour and she had a plan to make Liam believe that she wants him that she still loves him.
Jo took her girls downstairs in the buzzing kitchen.

“Excuse me, I was wondering if you could help me. I need some lunch for me and Liam alone. Can you help me?” Jo asked a little shy.

“Of course I will make you something special and you just tell me where the boy has to bring it to.”

“The library and would you mind getting the girls seats I can’t carry them down the stairs together.”

“Of course. You don’t worry about a thing I’ll organise you a nice lunch for you and Mr O’Doherty.” The cook smiled at his boss, he was surprised how insecure she was a lot like she had been during her teenager years.

“Thank you.” Jo smiled and took her girls into the library. On her way she slipped a note under Liam’s classroom door. Meet J3 in the library as soon your class is over Handsome. XXX Big J. Jo was sitting in the library on the picnic blanket waiting for Liam, she was really excited to be with Liam. She couldn’t wait to kiss Liam, it made her goofy grin while she was watching her sleeping daughters. The cook had made them a wonderful lunch including iced tea. Jo had made a few card, in case she got nervous and didn’t know how to say things like Kiss me. Hold me. Or similar things of course nothing too dirty Jane and Jill were with them. And then finally Liam came into the library and Jo jumped up, hugged him tightly and kissed him like she hadn’t done in a very long time. And man she had really missed tasting him. “I’ll love you so much, I just hope you can still love me a little bit even though I’m not as pretty as I used to be but I try to get in shape again.” Now that Jo was lying in Liam’s arms he could feel her body for the first time in a very long time again and since she had eating problems during the first months past the birth of the girls she nearly had her old figure back. Jo were just eating properly the past two or three weeks. “Liam say something, please.” Jo whispered pressing herself against him.


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