The chess of my life

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Chapter 9 - Dominic

Sat in the office with Nathan Reid, I knew the man was distracted. “Am I keeping you?” I asked him. “oh sorry no your fine.” He said. he signed something. I did as well. He explained more of it and then looked at the time. “Are you meant to be somewhere?” I asked. if he was he could tell me. “sorry its nothing important.” He said. “Can you give me a miniute sorry.” He said. he reached for his call button to ring his PA. I knew that he put his work first, he was an impressive man. I looked at the pictures on his table. Pictures of his kids smiling. He had it all. Money, Looks, a happy home and family he adored. I looked at them all. A woman in a wedding dress with a much younger version of him looked up at the camera. Two girls in matching dresses with them, one blonde one strawberry blonde. “Can you ring Madeliene and inform her I will be later than I said. that I expect the kids on there best behaviour as we will be having a guest.” He said. “We can sign the rest of these later if you want to prehabs come back to work after dinner.” I said looking at about 500 more pages we had to go through. To be honest I could do with a meal. “Would you like to come for dinner and I can sign more when the kids are in bed. Its my night to put them to bed and my kids are very.” He started. He seemed to have to think of the right word. “like there mother.” He went with, a weak smile at the photo. “I have to say Nathan I havent seen this side of you.” I said. I had known him to leave the office earlier than I would like but it was only two days a week and it wasn’t like I was his boss, I was his partner. Once this was all sorted. “Yes dinner would be lovely. I would love to meet your wife and family.” I told him. “oh I thought you knew.” Nathan said frozen. “Knew what?” I asked. “My wife passed away almost 3 years ago.” He said. “Oh I am sorry I didn’t.” I told him. God the man had done all this as a single dad? “I’m sorry for your loss.” I said. “Thankyou.” He said. I’d heard bits and pieces about his family and I realised he rarely mentioned his wife. I looked at another picture on the desk. “I would love to come dinner.” I said. “Can you inform Madeleine there will be two guests.” Nathan said into the speaker. “Yes Mr Reid.” She said. We went back to work. I told him I would come to his I just had to drop off a few bits of work at my own office and pick up more bits for him to sign and we separated.

When I got to Nathans address I admit I was even more impressed. I knew the man was a billionaire. He made my millions look like a night out. But until I saw his huge house I don’t think I had really thought much about his money. He seemed so down to earth. I went up to his doorbell and rung. I expected staff to open the door. Not the man himself and with such a friendly smile. He greeted me like we were old friends not new business partners. But then he was only 4 years older than me. he was an extremely impressive man. I greeted him. he then showed me through to the lounge. Pictures of his kids were on the wall. He seemed very proud of them. “are your boobs real?” I heard a voice ask as we walked into the dining room. “Gregory apoligise right now.” Nathan said so firmly. “im sorry your boobs aren’t real.” The boy said. I looked at him, he must be about 10 and he was talking to a young blonde who was sat next to him. I would hazard her boobs were not real. “Gregory please go to your room and think about what you just said. I shall be up to talk to you in 10 miniutes.” Nathan said firmly. “Fine.” The boy said then he walked past his father. There was something going on there that I missed, some anger and I don’t think it was my presense on his dads evening that was anyoying him. “Sorry about that Eliza I don’t know what got into him.” Nathan apoligised to the woman, in the shortest dress she could possibley be in and yet still covered. “Eliza really?” one of the others at the table scoffed. “Ethan.” Nathan said firmly. Ah daddy has a new girlfriend? “Dominic please sit next to Avery there.” Nathan told me indicating a chair. I looked at the girl next to me. she looked around 16. “Dominic these are my children and my girlfriend.” Nathan said calmly. Ah that’s who the blonde was. I looked around at his children. That’s when I saw the girl from the other week in the hotel. Fuck! No I was seeing things, but her fucking tattoos were the same! “Nice to meet you all.” I said trying not to overact at the girl. No way had I slept with my business partners child! “I will go see where Rosie is with dinner.” She said not looking at anyone. She knew who I was just as I knew who she was. “Maddie.” Nathan said sounding worried, he didn’t sound cross or anyoyed or like he knew he just sounded overall worried. “Don’t go see to Greg I will.” He told her. “alright.” She said and left. “So Avery.” The woman said to the really little one who looked like she wanted to go play rather than be sat at the table looking bored. “Im Tamsin.” She said. “Oh sorry.” She said. “I best go see to Gregory. Be polite.” Nathan said firmly after looking at the clock. The girl next to me gave the older boy a look. I would hazard they were twins. Or at least very close in age. “So Tamsin your dad was telling me you like disney.” She said. “yeah dads promised we can go to Disneyland this thanksgiving. Hes promised.” She said. “Oh.” The woman said. that was when the eldest came in with a Hispanic old woman. She tried to help the woman but she was given a look and sat in her seat that the woman indicated. She rolled her eyes at the woman. “So Avery your dad was telling me you’re a cheerleader. I was a cheerleader when I was in school too.” The woman said to the girl next to me. “how long ago was that? 5 years.” One of the younger boys said. I realised he looked exactly like the one who got sent upstairs, two sets of twins? “Derek.” The strawberry blonde said firmly. Suddenly I realised which kids she was raising. I looked at the youngest she would have been a baby when her mom passed. Had she taken over as the mom of the family? “sorry.” Derek said. “How old are you?” the youngest asked so innocently. I think I knew what I was experenising now. Daddy had brought his girlfriend home for the first time. “Tamsin.” The strawberry blonde said. Maddie wasn’t it? “no that’s fine. There just curious.” The blonde said. “im 28.” She said. “So your 12 years older than me and Ethan and only 5 years older than Maddie?” the girl next to me asked. Yeah I couldn’t imagine what was going through these kids minds. But what the hell was Nathan thinking dating a girl 5 years older than his child. “um.” The woman said. “so your young enough to be our big sister.” Avery started. “Avery.” Maddie said firmly, but she was looking at her plate not the girl. “I don’t think we were introduced.” The blonde said directed at the strawberry blonde. That was when Nathan came back in, perfect timing stop the fireworks even though it was entertaining. “Im sorry.” The young boy said. “its okay.” The blonde said. the boy took his seat again. Maddie kept looking at her plate as though it was the most interesting thing in her world. The blonde asked the boy next to her what his favioute subject as school was. “science.” He said. “Why science?” I had to ask him interested. The boy seemed to actually think his answer through. “I like to know how things work.” He told me. smart boy. “Least he didn’t say he likes to watch things blowup.” The oldest boy mumbled. “that too.” Greg said with a smile. I had actually heard interesting tails about things getting blownup around here. They all ate calmly. Then when dinner was over, the two oldest stood to clear everyones empty plates without being asked. “I didn’t realise you had such polite children.” The blonde said. “Neither did I.” Nathan said watching his eldest children suspicious. “Maddie said if we didn’t behave we wouldn’t be allowed pizza mcdonolds and icecream for 2 months.” One of the little ones said. “Oliva you weren’t meant to tell daddy.” The youngest said. bribery to make the kids behave when meeting dads new girlfriend? “im going to help with the plates.” Maddie mummbled getting up she had barely looked up from her plate the whole meal. She disappeared. “So you work with daddy?” One of the little ones asked me. “in a way yes.” I said to her. she looked about 6. “Are you really smart too?” She asked me. “I like to think so.” I told her. “I want to be as smart as daddy when I grow up.” she told me. Aww that’s rather cute. “Whats your favioute subject at school?” I asked her interested. “Math.” She told me. smart kid. “And what are you learning currently at school?” I asked her. “the class are learning there time tables. But I learnt them years ago. My teacher put me on grade 5 math and its enjoyable but it doesn’t stretch me enough so shes hoping to move me onto grade 7 next month. But she wants to talk to daddy about it first.” She told me. I admit I looked at her. “Grade 7 math and your only in what grade?” I asked her. “Grade 1.” She told me. “Wow that is extremely impressive.” I told her. “daddy says I take after mommy grandad and Maddie because I love numbers.” She said to me. “It must be amazing to know your grandad was famous.” The blonde said to the little girl. “Richard Prescott was an amazing man.” I said, shit now I knew why Maddie used Prescott rather than Reid, when she was doing her math her grandfathers name would of given her a bit of an advantage. I never got to meet the man but I have to say he expired me greatly. “Excuse me I am just going to see where the 3 of them have got to. Then I will go take the little ones to bed. It’s a school night and I can tell there tired.” Nathan said. he got up and went off. “So are you into science and math?” the woman asked the baby next to her. “I just need to learn my 8 and 12 times tables and practise my diversion. But im not on algebra yet.” She told the woman. “your how old?” she asked her. “im almost 4.” She said proudly. “Your 4 and already doing your timestable?” the blonde asked the little girl. The little boy next to me started talking Edwin Hubble. What amazing kids. “Yeah I like math.” The little girl said. “Don’t you?” one of the boys asked her. “um no not really. Im not very good at it, I didn’t really need it after I left highschool.” She said. “So you didn’t go college?” one of the boys said, he sounded disgusted. “no.” she said. “what are you dumb? Ive been doing college math for a month in my freetime it isn’t hard.” Greg said. now that wasn’t a sentence I thought would come out a ten year old. It was also when his father came back in the room. Poor kid couldn’t get a break without being caught. “Greg what have we talked about calling people dumb.” Nathan said firmly. “that its not polite to tell them.” 4 children said at once. I had to stop my chuckle. The one who had been told off decided to try dig himself out the hole with his dad, actually making it deeper I thought. Explaining how everyone was dumb in there own way. “I think prehabs I should ring you a taxi home Eliza and put the little ones to bed.” Nathan said. “then when the kids are in bed we can get some work done Dominic.” He said to me worried. Possibly worried how the meal went. To be honest I thought his kids seemed highly interesting. If I hadn’t slept with his oldest I wouldn’t feel awkward, I think I could even get behind them not liking there dads girlfriend. I would think gold digger myself if she even spoke to me. but maybe that’s what Nathan was interested in. but then remembering the picture of his wife I wasn’t so sure. “that’s fine, I am enjoying talking Edwin Hubble with.” I started, oh which twin was I talking to. “I’m Derek.” Derek said. “Derek.” I said. “I don’t think ive actually been told your names and which ones which sorry.” I apoligised to the boy. “oh sorry Dominic, I thought I had.” Nathan said. “Tamsin is the youngest. Then Oliva.” He said pointing the youngest two out. his little ones that looked shattered bless them. “Girls why don’t you say goodnight and go get changed and clean your teeth I will be up to read to you in a miniute.” Nathan said. “okay.” Oliva said, she took her little sisters hand and they left. That was quick. They really wanted mcdonolds. “then we have the twins Derek and Greg. As you can possibly tell there dangerous.” Nathan said with a teasing smile to his boy twins. “We aren’t that bad dad.” Derek said rolling his eyes. “I heard you set the shed on fire this summer building a rocket.” I told the boy. “it wasn’t our fault. I told Ethan that a rocket inside wasn’t a good idea. But he said he wasn’t watching us outside in the rain so we either built it in the shed or not at all.” Greg said. “snitch.” The older boy said. so he was Ethan. “is this true?” Maddie asked the older boy. “Yeah.” He said. “where was i?” she asked confused. “having a fight with Avery about how she wasn’t allowed out the house in what she was wearing as it was yours.” Greg said shrugging. The two girls looked at each other and shrugged, they obviously had this fight a lot. I couldn’t imagine Nathan letting his eldest out in what she wore either. I could imagine him allowing the tattoos. “Then we have the twins Avery and Ethan.” He said. yep so the eldest two were twins. “Do twins run in your family?” the blonde asked sounding worried. “my wifes family yes.” Nathan said. Wife as if still married as if not over. “oh.” She said. I thought that was clear enough he wasn’t over his wife. Maddie and the older boy looked at each other. I watched her. She made sure she didn’t get my eyes. Nathan hadn’t introduced her at all. “Now I should go see to the little ones.” Nathan said, completely ignoring his eldest to his girlfriend. “Do you know what tonights book is?” he asked. “I think its Enid Blyton tonight. But we are on the last chapter of the winnie the pooh book.” Maddie said. “and I promised to read journey to the river sea next.” She told him. “alright, this will be fun. Boys not much longer if you want to read.” Nathan said to the twins. “alright dad.” Derek said. Nathan went to give his girlfriend a kiss and the twins obvious decided they wanted out. “I will book your taxi.” Nathan said to his girlfriend. “night.” Derek said and run off. “Night too.” Greg said he was about to leave but Maddie decided she had to say something. “clean your teeth and make sure you put your socks in the basket because its your room clean tomorrow and I would rather not have Rosie die.” “alright night.” Greg told her and he left. “I wont be long Dominic.” Nathan assured me. “that’s fine.” I told him. actually feeling guilty on interrupting family time. “Would you like a coffee whilst you wait?” Maddie asked us. “its fine I will go see where that Taxi is.” The blonde told her. “Would you like a coffee?” she asked me actually having to look at me. she blushed when she did. Hell sweetheart ive seen you naked. Ive been inside you, nows a bit late to be blushing around me. “Not currently im fine with my water thankyou.” I told her. tempted to ask if she had a mojito make sure she knew I knew who she was now. “So Ethan your father was telling me you’ve started thinking about colleges.” I said to the eldest boy instead. “Yeah but its still along way off. I aint going early or anything. I might be .interelgectually ready. But im not socialiy ready.” Ethan said. “That sounds like you’ve given it serious thought.” I said, it really did. “im leaning towards Harvard, but it’s a bit far.” Ethan said. “also theres no way Avery would get in.” Ethan said. “thanks a lot Eth.” Avery moaned. “it’s the truth Ave.” He said. “I am sure your equaly as smart your father said how he had your phone blocked but you managed to hack it back on.” I said, hey we both wanted to know how shed done it so we could stop that. “um yeah.” Avery said. “I have homework so I should go do that.” Avery said. “alright sweetheart.” Maddie said to her. “Night.” She said. “Night.” Ethan said and they both left. When they had the blonde decided to talk. “So am I the first girl your dads brought home?” “yes.” Maddie said truthfully. “None of them like you.” She said. you don’t say its not obvious, she looked at her nails as if they were the most important thing to her. “So Maddison isn’t it?” The blonde asked. “Madeline.” Maddie corrected. “oh sorry I swear Nathan said you were Maddison with the picture on his desk.” The blonde said, and I realised something then. Maddie was the little strawberry blonde in a matching dress on the wedding day. “it might have been a picture of Addison not me if she was blonde.” Maddie said. “oh yeah maybe.” The blonde said. “Am I your dads first solid girlfriend?” the blonde asked her. “um.” Maddie said. “Well I know im not that much older than you, but we can get on girl to girl cant we?” the blonde asked her. “Uh.” Maddie said. god the girl possibly thought she couldn’t get a break today. “I think your taxi is here. I should go buzz it in.” Maddie said and run off. I had to ask the gold digger something, because hell it was anyoying me. The age difference between Maddie and myself had made me leave her alone in that hotel room, even though id already enjoyed her body and hell I knew it was wrong of me knowing who she was now. I still would do it. But she was to young for me, same as this woman was for Nathan. “Do you not belive it is an unsutible relationship when your boyfriends eldest is only 5 years younger than you.” I said to her. it wasn’t a question. “I am sure Nathan has thought about our age gap.” The blonde told me. that was when Maddie came back in. “your taxi is here.” She said. “thankyou. Maybe next time I come we can have some girl time and get to know each other.” The blonde said. “um.” Maddie said the blonde air kissed both her cheeks like they were friends and then walked out. Maddie stood there looking confused. Maddie watched her go. she looked relieved and then she obviously realised we were alone and looked worried. “Miss Presscot.” I said calmly as I could. It wasn’t her fault, I doubt she ever thought she would see me again. Same as I thought. But I couldn’t have her daddy getting cross. “Can we just pretend this and well all of it never happened.” She asked me weakly. I could get behind that. “Madeliene Reid.” I said, I could agree to that. “Actully my last name is prescott.” She said. “Your dad.” I started to tell her, her dad needed never know because it wasn’t ever happening again. “Nathan aint my dad.” She told me. What? “Hes not?” I asked her. Was that why he kept trying to faze over her? “he’s my brother in law.” She told me. “you’re his wifes little sister?” I asked her, but she looked a bit like Nathan. So she was Nicolas Prescots daughter? “yeah.” She said “Oh.” I said. trying to remember what I knew about Nicolas Prescott. “we don’t have to tell him.” she told me. “tell him what?” I asked, hoping she got the hint. “Precisily.” She said well that was sorted. “So Madeline Prescott.” I said. “I take it you’re the youngest daughter of Nicolas Prescot.” I said now I knew where id read her name! hell her math skills the other day as well! “yeah my dad.” She said. “im sorry for the loss he was an impressive man I never got to meet him but his work.” I started, then I had to go into her dads work, I wasn’t just trying to fill the silence that man had expired me. She just stood there listening to me talk. “Sorry you possibly don’t want to hear this.” I said realising she possibly always had people talking about her father to her. “my dad was an impressive man.” She told me with a smile. “I hear your quiet impressive yourself Madeline.” I said thoughtful. “Didn’t you solve.” I started. “yeah.” She said with a weak smile obviously not wanting to talk about it. “I had help from my dad and sister it was a group effort.” She told me, not wanting to take credit. “that is still extremely impressive.” I told her. “So currently your raising your sisters and brother in laws children?” I asked, realising that’s what she was up to. Nathan was allowing that? “currently and then next year I will start working at my brother in laws company.” She told me truthfully. Was that what she actually wanted. “That is impressive but.” I started, mine would challenge her more, but did I want this girl in my building? Wasn’t that just to tempting. “but?” she asked me. but if you were only a few years older. “but do you not feel you would be more chaleneged at another company. One that leans more to your skills?” I asked her. Nathans company was amazing don’t get me wrong, but he was scientific based rather than mathematical. “Well the partner company Nathan took over a few months ago is still technically part of his work now and yeah a lot of the work in there does interest me.” she admitted. “what do you know of my own?” I asked her. she again started explaining my company to me, from her college days. She seemed to enjoy the conversation. Little genius. “Sorry it took me so long.” Nathan said coming into the room. “That’s fine Nathan, I was having a very interesting conversation debating the theory.” I started. Nathan smiled at Maddie and myself. “Are you trying to steal Maddie Dominic?” he asked. “I was explaining that with her quilifications that other options are avalible to her.” I admitted, with her masters in mathematics. “What do you think Maddie?” Nathan asked her. “Did the girls settle?” she asked worried. “Tamsins in your bed she said shes waiting for you.” He admitted. “night then.” Maddie said with a smile. “I will leave you to work.” She told us. “Remember I’m going out Saturday with Maria to look at dresses Nathan, so I need you to.” She started to tell Nathan. “I know.” He assured her, like he had it all under control. “Night. It was nice meeting you.” Maddie told me. she didn’t make eye contact. Hell shed been fine before Nathan came back. “you too Miss Prescott.” I said to her. Maddie left. “Sorry about this evening Dom, the kids are all very head strong they all take after their mother.” Nathan told me, Nathan I’ve been in a business meeting with you, head strong describes you I had to laugh. “they all seem extremely bright. Was I here to make them behave with the new girlfriend?” I asked him. “was it obvious?” he asked laughing friendly. “A bit. Sorry it didn’t work.” I told him. “Actually, that was my kids on their best behaviour.” He admitted. “I’m surprised they didn’t try blow up her seat. I warned them this time I was bringing her home.” He admitted. “didn’t you last time?” I asked having to laugh. “no and it was a disaster. Avery almost set the house on fire. Maddie actually walked out saying they were my kids I deal with the mess.” He admitted. “she seems extremely smart.” I went with. “she has her moments.” He said with almost a proud smile. “So she graduated college?” I had to ask. “She has her masters she was meant to be doing another 4 years and technically would have 2 years left at college if she did.” He said. “but she didn’t?” I asked. “Jessica got sick and the girls kept me out there decision, but Jess didn’t want a nanny raising our kids. The amount of nannys we went through before Maddie finished her masters. I agree it wouldn’t of been good for the kids.” He admitted. “Maddie moved back in and shes been my life saver for the past 4 years.” He admitted. “Shes another of my kids, ive been apart of her life since the day she was born and I couldn’t imagine how id cope without her.” He pointed at a picture on the wall of a baby in his hands tiny little thing. Then another picture of two little girls at the wedding with arms around each other and the bride and Nathan behind them. “She and Addie will always be two of my babys.” He said smiling at the picture. “And Addie what does she do?” I asked. “She passed away when they were 7.” He said looking at the picture suddenly looking sad. 7 got it the reason the tattoos were 7 it wasn’t to do with math it was a bit of respect for her sister. “Twins?” I asked realising the girls did look the same age, although the blonde was bigger. “Yeah twins really run through Jesses family.” He said with a sad smile. “Sorry.” I said not knowing what else to say. “it was a long time ago.” He said with a weak smile. 16 years ago, I thought thinking of Maddie’s age. “Sign here please.” I said to him, he signed. “Your son is thinking of Harvard?” I asked. “I know, but I doubt he will go without Avery, although trying to explain to the twins they don’t have to be together all the time is impossible. Youd think they would want independence from each other.” He said. “But they both know they have to go college.” He said. “As long as they all do something that makes them happy I don’t mind.” He said. “Although we have a rule about big red buttons.” He said. I laughed, I signed another piece of paper. We got back to work on the business. “Bed.” Nathan said without looking up. “Daddy theres a monster under my bed.” A little voice said. “Is there really are you sure there isn’t one in the bed?” he asked. “Can I have a drink?” she asked. “Bed Oliva.” Nathan said. She went back up the stairs. A door opened and shut. Then another one opened then one opened and shut. Nathan sighed. “They all not going to sleep?” I questioned him. “no there just playing musical beds. They all wont wake me.” he said. We got more work done and the doors opened and shut again. Nathan looked at the time. I did as well, was it really 3am. “I should be getting a move home. We have a meeting at 10.” I said. “Your welcome to stay Dominic I have two spare bedrooms. If you don’t mind how noisy it gets in a few hours for the school run.” He said. I looked at my watch by the time I got home it would be 4am. “If it doesn’t put you out.” I said, instead I thought if I can sleep knowing I could easily climb into bed with your sister in law. I already knew what she felt like, I shouldn’t still want to taste her. A quick one night stand that was it. I never planned to see her again or learn her name. “They can get a bit loud in the morning.” Nathan told me. I followed him upstairs and he showed me a room at the end of the hall. He peaked in all the rooms. “no Oliva.” He said. he looked in another. “No Derek and Greg.” He sighed. “Where are they all?” I asked. he peaked in another. “6 out of 7.” He chuckled. “I think its safe to say my kids aren’t ready for me to date.” He sighed. “well I shall see you in the morning.” He said. “Please feel free to help yourself to breakifast and coffee in the morning. It can be a bit loud.” He warned me. “its fine I need to head out early. The louder they are the quicker I will wake.” I assured him. “I shall see you in the morning then.” He assured me. he walked to his room. i was tempted to peak in to what I took was Maddies room, but didn’t want to wake the kids. An image of her asleep in the hotel bed, her hair around her like a halo. Her body covered with the sheets. I could of spent longer, maybe if I had I wouldn’t want another taste. I went into the room and managed to eventually fall asleep. I didn’t wank off even though it was tempting.

The sound of laughing woke me up. I have to admit that was a lovely sound to wake to. It was followed by banging and the sound of loads of feet running around. I sighed and got myself re dressed in my suit. I am sure my PA had got her assistant to pick up my dry cleaning in the office. “Dad your cells ringing.” A voice yelled. I would go down for a coffee. As Nathan was up obviously and I didn’t want to keep him house bound im sure he had plans before our meeting later. I went down looking for the kitchen. I managed to find it. Fuck was she wearing that to give me a hardon? Maddie had her back to me, but her ass I know how it felt in my hands. Perfect was in a pair of tight shorts and just a top. She looked sexier in that outfit than some woman look in there underwear. She shouldn’t be allowed to wear that kind of outfit it was a sin to look that good and tempting when your untouchable. Her tattoos stood out the one on her shoulder blade I hadn’t noticed in the bed was nice. It was just the planets with a small rocket ship. A quote under it saying. ‘if you can dream it, you can do it.’ I cleared my throat as the youngest clocked me. “if your under 18 coffee is a no.” she told me without looking at me, not turning around and making herself a coffee. “I am a lot older than 18.” I told her. She froze, possibly thinking shit. I didn’t blame her, she possibly wouldn’t of walked around here in such a tempting outfit if she knew I was here. She turned to face me, and very weakly with a blush on her cheeks asked me. “did you want a coffee?” “yes please.” I told her because I honestly did. I took her in and she wasn’t wearing a bra her nipples were hard and so bloody tempting. “Auntie Maddie can I have pancakes.” A little voice asked, snapping both of us out of it. “when we get back.” Maddie assured her. she turned and poured me a coffee, then went to the fridge and pulled out lunchboxes and put them on a pile on the counter. “milk and sugar?” she asked me. “yes please. I said, she grabbed it out the fridge. Poured it into her own then mine. Then she took a sip of her coffee. “Can we go softplay?” the youngest asked her. “I thought you wanted to do the school run in pjs.” She said with a smile at the little one. No way is she leaving the house like that. She cant. Nathan surely wouldn’t let her. “I do but can we go softplay?” the youngest asked hopefully. “next week.” Maddie told her. “Auntie Maddie I cant find the school snake.” One of the twins said coming in the room. I must of misheard him or it must be a toy. “what school snake?” Maddie asked, she actually sounded like she was afraid to ask. “the one he brought home in his rucksack yesterday.” The twin said coming in the kitchen. Both dressed. “Is it big?” the little one asked. Maddie took another sip of her coffee, I don’t think she was functioning yet. “Not that big.” The twin who had lost the snake said. “are you sure you brought the snake home.” Maddie asked, she sounded like she was praying he was going to say no. “yeah I was going to set it loose in the dining room last night, but then Avery said that if I did she’d kill me.” He said. Now I got what Nathan said about last night being his kids behaving. “So Avery knew theres a snake loose in the house?” Maddie asked she sounded like she was trying her hardest not to react. “yeah it isn’t posionious.” The twin who had lost the snake said. there must be a way to tell them apart. “You brought a snake home in your rucksack and didn’t think it was important to tell me.” Maddie asked. “Well no because you would of.” The boy started. “Derek You have 10 miniutes find the snake!” Maddie said firmly. “Greg.” She said addressing the other twin. “find the snake?” he suggested. Maddie nodded. They both run off. “can I help?” the little one asked. “Yeah.” Maddie told her. “Does this happen every morning or only when you have guests?” I asked Maddie who looked at her coffee as if it held the answers to everything. “id like to claim only when we have guests.” She groined into her coffee. “Auntie Maddie do you know where my pink cardigan is.” Avery asked coming in the room. before I even took the girl in Maddie said so firmly “get changed now.” I looked at the girl, and I thought Maddies outfit was to much to leave the house. Well not enough. It was nothing to the 16 year olds, lack of clothes. “its fine auntie Mads it comes to my knee.” Avery said, like she thought Maddie was trying to stop something innocent. “in what world does that come to your knees?” Maddie asked. “it does.” Avery said, I didn’t look at her. I looked at Maddie who looked a step away from giving up. “see.” She was told. “Avery go get changed and Avery next time your told theres a snake in the house let me know.” Maddie said firmly. “oh shit they lost the snake?” Avery asked. “language.” Maddie groined. “I speak 8.” Avery told her. smartalic “Get changed.” Maddie told her firmly. “Fine.” Avery moaned and run off. “Are you going to make it to school?” I asked looking at my watch. “possibly not.” She said like she’d long ago given up. she went to the white board and wrote. ‘Rosie there is a snake loose in the house. Sorry.’ As if that didn’t need any more explanation. “Auntie Mads can we get going I have plans at school.” Ethan asked coming in the room. “Ethan lunch.” She told him indicating a lunch. “Theres a snake loose in the house?” Ethan asked looking at the sign he sounded interested but not like it wasn’t a possibity. “oh good someone else who didn’t know.” Maddie said. “So we aren’t going to make it to school on time?” Ethan asked her. “No Ethan we aren’t going to make it to school on time.” Maddie said taking another sip from her coffee. “Why cant I have a fucking normal family.” He moaned storming out the room. “Language.” Maddie yelled. “I speek 16.” He yelled back. well that’s impressive if he did. “I need a drink.” Maddie moaned into her coffee. It was a bit early to want that kind of drink that I suspected she wanted. “Where is Nathan whilst all this is going on?” I had to ask interested. Did he know about the loose snake and his daughters outfit and Maddies own as I got the feeling she was going out in it. “on the phone I think, he shouldn’t be to long.” She told me. “Auntie Maddie, look I just lost my tooth.” Oliva said running in the room. the first thing I noticed though was the blood. “how the hell.” Maddie asked taking her in. “I saw a snake and walked into the door but look my tooth.” The little girl said sounding so excited. “did you catch the snake?” Maddie asked so hopeful. “no why?” the little girl asked so innocently like a loose snake wasn’t important. Maddie lifted her onto the counter. “Where was the snake?” she asked. “The hallway.” The little girl said. Maddie went about the kitchen wetting some paper and putting it on the girls head. “Did the boys catch it?” Maddie asked hopeful. “No it was gone when I told them.” The girl said. I wanted to laugh so much drama and the day hadn’t even fully began. “Auntie Maddie.” The girl said so sweetly. “yes sweetpea?” Maddie asked suspicious. “Why is a carrot more orange than an orange?” the girl asked her so sweetly. Were they trying to see how far they could push before there aunt snapped. As I didn’t think it needed much more. “Sweetpea can you go change your top and tell everyone that if they want to make it school before Monday can they go to the car.” Maddie said, not answering the question. “okay but they havent found the snake.” The little girl told her. “I will find the snake with Rosie and Tamsin when I get home.” Maddie told her. “maybe the poolboy will come help. He didn’t seem to care about the last two.” The girl said so innocently. Maddie blushed though. “no he didn’t. go change your top and put your tooth under your pillow for the toothfairy.” Maddie said. “is the toothfairy real. Greg said its scientific imposible for a fairy to live in our teeth and even if fairys were real which he claims there not.” The girl started. “Oliva change your top.” Maddie told her. “Okay.” The girl said and run off. “Maddie shouldn’t you have set off ten miniutes ago?” Nathan said coming in the room. “Yes I should of.” Maddie said looking at her coffee like she wondered if she could drown in it. “Auntie Maddie. Oh hi dad.” One of the twin said coming in sounding way to innocent. I wanted to chuckle. “What have you done?” Nathan asked. “nothing. I cant find something. I can find it after school don’t worry auntie Maddie.” Derek said. “Okay tell everyone to get in the car.” Maddie said. the something was a live animal! “car!” the boy yelled. “not like that Derek.” Maddie moaned. Maddie finished her coffee and put it down. “are you doing the school run like that?” Nathan asked her. “Nathan.” She said. “let it go.” she told him, Nathan obviously did have a problem with her leaving the house like that. “your going to be extremely late.” He said instead looking at his watch but I could tell he wanted to say more. “Remember I wont be home Saturday at all and I think im going to spend the night at Marias.” Maddie told him. “alright, but remember you need to be home early Sunday morning as theres an event you all need to come to.” Nathan said. then he looked at the board. “theres a snake loose in the house?” Nathan asked interested. “Yeah apparently its not posionious.” Maddie said weakly grabbing the lunches. “it isn’t.” one of the twins said coming in the kitchen. “Greg car.” Maddie told him. “Alright Averys still in her room.” Greg said. “Bye.” Maddie said. “AVERY CAR NOW!” Maddie yelled leaving the room with the lunches. “im coming.” Avery yelled. “AVERY GET CHANGED!” Maddie yelled. I actually laughed I couldn’t help it. “its fine auntie Mads see it comes to my knee.” “You know what get out the house.” Maddie yelled. the door slammed. “I have to say Nathan your familys entertaining.” I told him. A little girl came in the room. “Wheres auntie Maddie?” Oliva asked. The front door opened Nathan went out with the little girl. “Theres 6 Maddie.” Nathan told her. “If the school rings the car broke down okay?” Maddie told him. then the door shut. Nathan came back in. he was laughing. “They are going to be very late surely.” I said looking at my watch. “I think Maddie gave up years ago on getting the kids to school on time. I don’t think the schools even expect them on time anymore.” Nathan said with a smile. “Are you not addressing the snake?” I asked him. “nope. I am just pretending its not an issue. I just have to hope its found.” Nathan said. I chuckled. “You have given up havent you?” I asked him. “I find with a family like mine, you have to go with the flow.” Nathan said. “you are raising geniuses by the sound of it.” I told him. “They all have there moments.” He assured me. “Math geniuses.” I said calmly. He smiled. “they take after Jess.” He admitted. “she must have been an amazing woman.” I said. “she was.” He assured me. “She was a stay at home mom?” I asked interested. “no she was a published writer and English proffoser at the university.” He told me. I looked at him. “with 6 kids?” I asked him. “She was part time at the university.” He admitted. I smiled. “you were together a long time?” I asked. “23 years.” He admitted with a smile. “Wow.” I said taken aback. “first love.” He admitted with a smile. “You must have been young.” I said thoughtful. “First day of freshman year she was in my first lesson and I think I knew from the first thing she said to me.” he said with a smile. “Really what did she say?” I asked. “that’s the worst science joke ive ever heard and belive me ive heard a lot.” He said with a smile. I had to smile at him, he was smiling. “She was this pretty blonde and I was this geeky tall science geek. I didn’t think she would even look at my twice but instead she told me a better science joke. We started by just being friends but we were dating before winter break. by spring break we were a couple and our parents were almost like life long friends.” He chuckled. “Jess and my mom got on like a house on fire.” Nathan said with a sad smile. “Are they still about?” I asked. “oh yes, mine are. Although they live in a retirement village now on the beachfront. I told the kids we can visit them when we go to Disney for thanksgiving.” He said. “You never thought about a nanny just to help out in the mornings?” I asked as he poured himself ceral after offering me some and a fake spider fell out. “ive offered. We have also tried a few times. But Maddie and Rosie claim they got it. I think its more a case that they were all tired this morning as normaly they all at least have breakifast.” Nathan said. i smiled at him. “Oh look a snake.” I said looking at the corner of the kitchen after hearing a noise. Nathan laughed and went and caught it. “I will be right back I got to put this in a tank.” He said. “you have a tank?” I asked him. “This isn’t the first time the kids have brought a live animal home. It wont be the last.” He said. I chuckled as he took it up. when he came down he just wrote. ‘Snake found in tank in twins room. We shall talk about it tomorrow.’ Then we both left his to go to work.

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