Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Chapter 76: A Normal Life

Hours before the night's show,  Nico and Randall do a sound check, leaving Jacklyn behind in their hotel. In honor of their album's name, Pink Hell, Randall has decorated his kit with pink flames, and Jacklyn has added pink streaks to her hair, but Nico drew the line at playing a pink guitar.

"You're the Eye-talian."

Nico looks up from adjusting his pedals at the speaker, the long drawl in his voice reminding him that they're in Texas today. They've been touring for months, and it's easy to forget where you are. "I'm an Italian," he answers, somewhat irritably, and gets back to fiddling with his stomp boxes, making sure everything is perfect for the show later.

"You gonna make an honest woman of my daughter?" the Texan continues.

Nico looks up again, this time really seeing the man. Dwayne Austen is a celebrity, and even though Nico is not a real fan of the country genre, he knows his work, and his face. But the last pictures he's seen were of a younger man, and it takes a few moments to recognize the country star in the man standing in front of him.

"Well?" Dwayne insists, stepping onto the stage.

"That's really none of your business," Nico says, laughing inwardly at the thought of an old fashioned American shotgun wedding. In his case, though, it's the bride who remains reluctant to walk down that aisle, Nico has always been ready to 'make her an honest woman'.

"My daughter--"

"Does what she wants," Nico cuts him off. The closer he gets, the stronger the smell of whiskey on his breath. Jacklyn wasn't kidding when she told him her father had a serious drinking problem.

"I have a right to see my granddaughter," Dwayne says truculantly.

Nico sighs, "Look, I have work to do here. I'll talk to Jacklyn. That's all I can do for you."

Dwayne seems to accept that, as he moves off the stage, turning around once to call out, "You treat my baby right, you hear?"

Nico shakes his head sadly. "Better than you," he mutters.

The tour couldn't be put off forever, but Jacklyn and Nico didn't want to leave Trillare behind to be raised by strangers. Randall wasn't eager to leave Stacey home alone with their newborn, Philip, either, and that created the perfect solution. Stacey was hired as the official nanny of the tour, so both couples could bring their babies along.

"This will probably get harder when the kids get older," Stacey muses as they sit for a moment, the infants tucked into their cribs and sleeping, "They'll need tutors when they're school grew up like this, didn't you, Jack? Was it hard? Did you ever wish you just had a normal life?"

Jacklyn remembers living from hotel to hotel, every day a new city, a new set of walls to look at. Home was a place you'd only visit a few weeks out of the year. "I wished for a lot of things, Stacey," Jacklyn says, "But I couldn't even imagine what a 'normal life' was supposed to look like."

"I had a normal life," Stacey giggles, "I hated it. But I worry about raising our kids this way, you know? But you came out of it okay..."

"Well, no worse than anyone else, I guess," Jacklyn says.

With the babies asleep, Jacklyn leaves them to Stacey's supervision and goes back to her own room to rest before the show. As she undresses before the mirror, she stops to give her body a thorough examination. Are her tits lower than they used to be? she wonders, worrying about the toll having a baby has taken on her body.

She takes her breasts in her hands, lifting them to where she's sure they used to stand. Definitely sagging, she sighs.

"You need some help with that?" Nico asks, walking in on her.

"Oh, hey," she laughs, embarrassed to be caught like this, "I was just..."

"Feeling yourself up? Yeah, I saw that," Nico laughs, stepping behind her and pulling her back so her ass rest against his crotch, "Do you mind if I join you? Or I'll just sit over there and watch you play with yourself."

"I wasn't playing with myself," she laughs, "Do my tits look okay to you?"

"I don't know," he answers, reaching around to cup one of her beasts in his hands, at the same time grinding his pelvis against her. "Well, that still works," he whispers as she feels him get hard behind her. "Your tits are more than okay, baby," he murmurs against her neck.

 "Nico," she sighs, getting as turned on as he is.

He undresses and carries her over to the bed.

"Whatever you're worried about, don't," he whispers, kissing her breasts as she wraps her legs around him, "I love you. That's forever."

"We're going to have to start being more careful," she sighs as she collapses down onto his chest, "Or we'll end up with another baby." She's tried the pill and subdermal implants, but the hormones give her terrible mood swings, so they've had to rely on other methods of birth control, but condoms or a diaphragm only work when you actually use them before having sex, and remembering to take care of that is something neither she or Nico have the presence of mind for.

"Would that be so terrible?" Nico asks, "I'm not saying we should be trying for another baby. But if it happens..."

"Things are crazy enough with just one baby," she says.

"I'd like to be married before becoming a father again, anyway." he says quietly. Jacklyn stays quiet, avoiding this conversation again. He's worked hard to prove himself to her, always lets her know where he is when they aren't together, and when they are, his attention is always hers as he tries to earn his way back into her trust. Maybe she's worried that once she says 'I do' things will change, he'll take her for granted. That's what she tells herself when the doubts creep in that make her shy away from the commitment he's asked of her. But deep down, she's knows it's not him she's afraid of, it's herself.

"I met your father today," Nico says, only remembering his encounter with Dwayne after they've showered and started getting dressed.

"Why didn't you tell me before?" she asks.

"I was going to tell you as soon as soon as I got in. But I got distracted," Nico laughs, "He wants to meet Trill."

"Was he drunk?" she asks bitterly.

"He'd been drinking," Nico answers.

"You can't seriously want him near our daughter."

"That's not up to me, Jack. He's your father. I'm just relaying the message."

"That bastard," she says, grinding her teeth, "He knows I won't let him near me or Trill, so he's trying to use you as a go between."

"Baby, I'm on your side, here," Nico says gently, "Don't let him get to you like that."

"I spent my whole childhood wanting him out of my life," she sighs, getting up to wrap herself in Nico's arms, "Why can't he just stay out?"


  1. It's so sad that Jacqueline doesn't have a relationship with her dad, even sadder that she can't keep him out of her life. I'm glad to see they're working things out with Nico.

    1. It is is sad to have bad relations with your parents. Jack decided at an early age to cut ties with hers, but he's trying to squeeze back in. And that will be hard for her.
      She is getting on well with Nico, but she has some serious issues to work out before she can really commit.

  2. Well it's one day at a time for those two. I understand her still having reservations and I'm glad he's not being too pushy with the whole marriage thing.

    Jackie comes with a lot of baggage. Having a strained relationship with her father seems to take a toll on her. :( I wouldn't trust him around my child either so I think she should trust her instincts.

    1. Nico is pretty much just doing his best to prove he can be a good husband by being there for her. Jack does have a lot a baggage and that's more of a hurdle for her than Nico's own behavior.

      Jacklyn worked hard enough to get her father out of her life, she really doesn't want her daughter exposed to him at all.

  3. Forgiving people isn't all it's claimed to be, Jac. Stay strong and keep the guy out of your life. I'm getting the vibe that he's poison.


    Now I'll address the author instead of one of her characters.

    Thanks for nailing my family's accent. ;D

    1. I totally am with you on that. The last thing Jack needs is that man coming back into her life.

      And, thanks, I was a little worried I couldn't get Texas right. I have family in South Carolina, so all my southern accent experience comes from that. And I know that Texas =/= S. Carolina, lol. But luckily I only had to do a few sentences and I'm not trying to write it phonetically, just trying to get enough to give the feel of the drawl.

    2. Haha. I thought for certain I'd told you about how I STILL manage to slip sometimes and say "you want some eye-talian ice?" xD

      To me, though, that was just how the word was pronounced. I never realized the i was supposed to be "ih" instead of "eye", until I moved here and my boyfriend made fun of me. I don't have a drawl most of the time, and people are surprised to learn I'm from Texas.

      He says I do slip into a drawl when I'm trying to soothe or otherwise sweet-talk someone. And since this freaks them out, it has pretty much the opposite effect. v.v

    3. I had to go all the way back to chapter 16 to see Stacey's old hairstyle, but I love the new one much more. She's adorable. The color is great too. <3

    4. He says I do slip into a drawl when I'm trying to soothe or otherwise sweet-talk someone. And since this freaks them out, it has pretty much the opposite effect.

      HAHA Becky <3 that's cute and funny! I bet it's sweet in Texas :P maybe you should make fun of him for not having the southern timbre when he speaks!

  4. Poor Jacklyn :( It's sad seeing the man she's supposed to love and respect treat her in that manner. He really needs to get his shit together if he wants to come near his grandchild. It's a very hard thing but if he really wanted to be sure his daughter was being treated well or wanted to see his grandbaby, he'd do it for them. Nico really is a sweetheart trying to win back her trust and affection but I had a giggle at:

    Nico shakes his head sadly. "Better than you," he mutters.

    As he seemed to have forgotten just how recently he broke that woman's heart and publicly humiliated her. I wouldn't call that better treatment in any fashion. His shit still stinks and he needs to remember that. If he wants to treat her better then he needs to be the man she needs ALL the time and not just to win her back. Like Jacklyn fears this is all for show and he'll change after those rings are in place. He really needs to step up his game and prove to her he is the ONLY man she'll ever need!

  5. LOL, the sad things is that despite the shit Nico put Jack through, he is better to her than her dad was. =(
    But you are right, Nico does still have a lot to make up for, and to prove himself.

  6. Despite Nico's previous actions, I am happy to see Jack and him working things out. I do think it's best that they take things slowly, and they are doing just that (thank goodness). I also agree with a previous poster (I'm too lazy to scroll apparently, even though I'm pretty sure it was you who said this lol) that Jack has a lot of things that she needs to work out before taking that next step (even though a child is pretty serious too, but ya' know - *details*).

    Also, I love Stacey's new 'do. She looks adorable. :D

    1. This is an entirely random fact - but I get the strangest CAPTCHA's on your blog. Just throwin' that out there.

    2. Hey, Giga!
      Jack does have a lot of issues that predate Nico's infidelity that make commitment difficult for her. She's been hanging in there, though, so maybe she'll be able to work it out someday.

      I get some really weird captcha's on Becky's blog, lol.

  7. I was wondering what happened to these two. I see they are rockin' the free world!

    Poor Jacklyn. Body issues, father issues, boyfriend issues. If I were Jacklyn, I'd keep the door shut on her dad until he proved it might be worth opening, and so far, it appears that isn't the case. I like how Nico handled the situation, not pressuring her into letting her dad back in. As my mom says, you can't help who you are related to, and if the relationship is unhealthy, it's best to cut it off.

    Nico, all you can do at this point is be on your best behavior. Don't do anything stupid, and let Jacklyn figure out what she wants.

    Random side note: Jacklyn has gorgeous eyes. I love the color.

    1. There are a few characters I've fallen behind on. Some because I need to think more about what happens next, some, I just need to build sets for to progress and I'm lazy about building, lol. And I've been really into Gavin and Rainier's stories lately so they get the most attention currently.

      Jack does have a lot of issues to deal with.

      I have to give credit for the eye color to aikea guinea, who made my default replacements. They are multicolored, and really give great dimension to eye colors.