While Jane was still sound asleep on the couch in the living room, the rest of the O’Doherty clan gathered in the kitchen to bake. Well, Liam didn’t actually bake because he was really bad with the oven, he and the oven never saw eye to eye, there was always a very strong tension between them, so he just avoided the oven as much as possible. He still joined his ladies in the kitchen for support and tried to be at least a little useful. Although Jill was so little, one could already see that she developed a passion for baking, which was crazy since she was only two years old, but she was more excited about baking than about anything else. Well, she did get majorly excited about her ‘boyfriend’ Fi, and she got excited about bathing and water as well but baking seemed to be her greatest passion yet. Obviously Jo did most of the baking since Jill was only two, after all, but as long as Jill was in the kitchen and helped Mummy with the baking, she was happy.
A little later, when the cookies were in the oven and they had to wait, they went back to the living room where Jane finally opened her eyes and looked sleepy at her family.
“Daddy.” She stretched her arms out, which she always did when she wanted her dad to hold her.
“Hey, Princess.” Liam sat down on the couch and pulled Jane on his lap. She was such a daddy’s girl. “Did you sleep well?”
She nodded, still sleepy. “Mummy, what’s that smell?”
“We baked cookies!”, Jill shouted excitedly. “Lots and lots of cookies!”
“They are in the oven right now, so that’s what you’re smelling”, Jo said while she sat down next to Liam and Jane, helping Jill on the couch. They had a cartoon running in the background, and while their daughters were occupied with the TV right now, Liam took Jo’s hand and squeezed it gently.
“You know I’m really proud of you, right?” His voice was low because he didn’t want the girls to be part of this conversation. “That you agreed to see a therapist and work things out only proves how strong you are.”
Jo looked a bit shy. “I’m not strong, Liam. I’m just doing what I have to do.”
He shook his head and chuckled. “You always underestimate your abilities so much. You are strong and I’m proud of what you’re doing. And I will never, ever think of you as crazy just because you see a therapist. I can’t repeat it enough; you are not your mother. Not a bit.”
Jo smiled, although there were still doubts in the back of her mind, wondering if one day she would become her mother. Maybe not now, but in many years… She was afraid of that.
“The cookies!”, Jill shouted when the alarm went off. “They are ready!” She jumped up and stormed into the kitchen. Her parents just laughed.
“Hold your horses, Cupcake”, Liam said, but everyone knew that little Miss Jill was just a bundle of energy. Meanwhile in Fowey
After they had dinner in the small kitchen
Nana said it was bedtime and everyone had to turn off their lights soon to get some rest. It was 8 o’clock. Freaking 8 o’clock! Alfie couldn’t remember the last time he was sent to bed that early. He couldn’t even remember a time when he was ever sent to bed. When he was little, his mother just let the nanny in charge and didn’t bother when her son went to bed, which was a bad idea, because Alfie ruled over every nanny, no matter how strict they were, the little Prince drove all of them insane to a point where they just gave up, so they never dared to send him to bed. Most nannies were actually quite scared of the young Lord Jackson, even when he still had all his baby teeth and rosy cheeks. So, Alfie was not used to anyone telling him when to go to bed.
“Okay.” Ricky nodded, ignoring Alfie’s shocked face.
Nana smiled widely. “You need to sleep a lot so you can stay healthy and grow.”
“I don’t need to grow anymore”, Alfie mumbled sarcastically, and at the same moment he felt Ricky kicking his foot under the table.
“Do you need anything before you go to bed?”, Nana asked.
“Actually, could I take a shower?”, Alfie asked. He felt dirty from the travelling and the rustic house and all the old ladies they met during their walk, who constantly touched him.
“Of course, love, the bathroom is upstairs.”
“You need to shower too, Ricky, don’t you?”, Alfie asked, obviously telling him to join him, and Ricky was very tempted to throw something at him, but then he cleared his throat.
“No, I will shower tomorrow.”
“But it was a very long day, Ricky…”
“I know that, Alfie, but I’m still not going to share the shower with you”, he replied through gritted teeth. “And besides, the shower is awfully small, you’ll see.”
“Fine.” Alfie got up, trying to look like he didn’t care. It wasn’t easy for him to adjust to all of this and not getting what he wanted. He had to accept that for the next days he couldn’t do all those things he normally did at home. While he was thinking of all the things that he couldn’t do- worst of all, not sleeping with Ricky-he entered the bathroom, where he actually had to duck in order to fit through the door and then he came across another surprise. The shower
That was a joke, right? How the fuck would he fit into this thing? It wasn’t even a shower, it was a super old fashioned bathtub that probably already existed four hundred years ago. There was no way he would fit into this thing.
“Great”, Alfie mumbled while he tried to work out how to turn on this thing. “Let the games begin.”