When I wake up, the movie has ended. Beth is no longer on the couch, but Kenna is, scrolling on her phone.
"Man, you talk in your sleep more and more every time," she chuckles when she notices I'm awake. "Good dreams?"
I can't quite remember what I was dreaming about, but it must have been something funny, seeing Kenna's grin.
"Shut it," I groan, rubbing sleep from my eyes. "Where's your kid?"
Kenna chuckles, pulling the pillow out from underneath my head. "Baby daddy took her for a bath. Puked again."
My back and neck hurt a little from the uncomfortable position I was in, and cracks can be heard when I stretch. "Where's everyone else?"
"Luce and Brie were outside last time I checked. Matt went to take a nap, said something about a headache. Eschieve and Beth are playing a game in the conservatory," she sums it up. "I saw the boys come closer to the house like fifteen minutes ago, but then they seemed to get distracted. Are you on cooking duty tonight?" reamy tom
More groaning as I stretch. "Sure am. What time is it?"
"Six thirty. Probably time to start cooking," she ruffles my hair. "I'm starving."
"Can't a girl just wake up from her nap for more than two seconds before she's sent into the kitchen?" I sit up straight, feeling Kenna's feet in my back, pushing me off of the couch.
"Nope," full-force, I can feel her pushing me, and I decide to get up in stead.
"Fine, remind me to treat you like this when you're on any kind of duty, too," I chuck a pillow in her direction, which she carefully dodges.
"I'm a mum, I've got a crying baby to do that for me," she fires back, then points at the bottle of wine on the floor. "Should probably put that back in the fridge."
      I'm stirring my pots, one with a creamy tomato sauce with prawns, the other with pasta, as my designated cooking playlist plays in the kitchen. I'm sipping some of the red wine that also goes in the sauce as the smell of cream, tomato, garlic, onion and red wine fill the room.
I can hear Beth and Eschieve laughing from here, my little sister throwing French words around in every sentence. She's a quick learner, which is why I'm glad she has decided to go to uni and study history. She refused my financial help at first, but we've made a deal where I help pay her tuition, as long as I don't tell anyone about it. It's the Middleton pride, too stubborn to let anyone know you can't do it alone.
Tom has sat down on one of the barstools, the baby phone in front of him to check on his sleeping daughter. Every once in a while he compliments my cooking, and then continues watching the football on his phone.
Matt has come stumbling out of his bedroom a few minutes ago, and is now taking a shower before dinner.
"Where's the boys?" Tom questions, looking around. "I haven't seen them in a while."
"Brie came in like, around the time I started cooking. Not sure where he is right now. As for Luce... I haven't seen him, either. He probably just needed some alone time. He's a very sociable person, but he needs to unwind from time to time."
Tom nods. "Tell me about it. No matter how much I love spending time with my wife and child, I need to be totally alone sometimes. I don't know, just... me and my thoughts. Besides, Lucien isn't really used to this, now is he? Sure, you guys live together, but he travels. Can't be every day he's in a house with a bunch of others, including a baby."
I take a little spoon and taste the sauce before adding a little bit more pepper, nodding. "We hadn't seen each other in over a month before the trip. I guess it's quite the change."
"How has it been? Being away from each other for so long? Call me boring, but I can't imagine loving someone so much and then having to miss them all the time."
"It's been... weird. I miss him a lot, especially knowing he was in France for parts of it. A big chunk of his life is still back there, and it makes me feel like... well, like part of mine should be to. Which is why...," I put the spoon down, doubting whether or not I should bring this up. "Well, we've been talking about going halfsies. Spend a few months a year in France, get a little place there. It'd be good for the both of us."
Just as I'm explaining it, Lucien walks in. There's an expression on his face I can't quite place, and I watch him put some ice cubes into his glass before pouring a layer of whiskey in.
I wonder if it's because I'm sharing this thing with Tom, without even having talked about it in detail with him. Maybe he's just tired from all of the social interactions he's been having, or he's got a lingering headache.
When our eyes meet, he shows me a smile that doesn't really convince me, but I shake it off.
"Would you be a dear," I smile at Tom, "and get the girls to set the table? Dinner's going to be ready in five minutes."
He leaves the room, leaving me with just Lucien. He's leaned against the counter and looks lost in thought.
"You okay, love?" I ask him, turning the fire down a little. "Something on your mind?"
He shakes his head, a small sigh escaping. "Nothing.. nothing. Just a little tired. Dinner smells lovely."
"We can make it an early night tonight," I smile, reaching a hand out to grab his. "And if anything is bothering, you can tell me, you know that right?"
He smiles. "I know, I will. Penny for your thoughts and all."

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