chapter 24.

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With everything in me, I hold back from telling Lexie about the fact that Colin and I have already put in an application to foster her long-term. I so desperately want to, but I don't want to get her hopes up just for it to not get approved.

There's still months left of waiting and it's killing me knowing that it all might be for nothing.

"Do you want to pick the movie?" I offer. "Sure," she smiles, taking the remote from me. After opening Disney+, she turns her attention back to me. "Can I pick anything?"
"Anything that's not wildly inappropriate for your age" I chuckle. "Yay," she smiles, going onto the search bar as she begins to type up Jojo Rabbit.

"Seriously missy, out of all the movies in the world," I roll my eyes playfully. "Your fault for letting me choose anything," she shrugs. I shake my head before leaning across the couch and tickling her stomach. Lexie bursts out into a fit of laughter as she tries to wriggle away.

"Stop," she giggles, hitting my hands. I listen and pull away. "I love you, cheeky," I say. "I love you too," she smiles, before throwing herself into my arms and resting her head on my chest, her eyes focused on the tv. "As much as I love your cuddles, you gotta eat, so sit up," I order, patting her back firmly.

"No," she mumbles.

"Sorry I didn't mean that," she adds quickly, sitting up properly. I frown at the sudden fear in her voice. "Lexie, you alright?"
"Mhm. Sorry for telling you 'no'," she apologises, avoiding any eye contact with me. "Honey, you don't have to be sorry. You're allowed to say 'no'. I just want you to eat something, that's all," I assure her gently.

She lets out an obvious deep breath before picking her bowl up from the coffee table in front of us. "Sorry," she mumbles again. "Lexie, you don't have to be sorry. I promise you."
"Okay," she nods hesitantly, turning her attention to me and smiling every so slightly. "Now, eat up," I pat her shoulder and press play on the movie.

Over the next ten minutes I eat my lasagna and watch as Lexie has hesitantly only taken a few bites.

"Lexie?" I ask. "Yeah?" She looks to me. "Are you alright? Do you not like lasagna?" I question softly. "I'm okay. Just...does this have eggs in it?"

My eyes widen immediately. "Oh shit! I'm so sorry! I completely forgot," I admit, taking the bowl from her. "Why did you eat it, bubba? You should've said something," I tell her. "Sorry, I didn't want to seem rude," she admits shyly, "plus, I only ate the meat part, not the pasta."

"You're allergic to eggs. You're not being rude by saying you can't eat it," I coo. "Let's get you something else, yeah?"
"It's okay, I'm not that hungry," she shrugs. "Lexie, you've gotta something, sweetheart. You've not had anything since you had your salad at lunch time, am I right?"
"I had some blueberries," she mumbles. "That's not enough, baby. You need a proper meal," I tell her, standing up from the couch and holding out my hand for her to take.

She nods defeatedly, taking my hand and following me into the kitchen. "What do you feel like?" I ask. "I don't know."
"Helpful," I joke. Although I'm not sure she knows I'm joking after I hear a "sorry" mumbled from her. "I was only playing, don't be sorry," I smile.

"We have some leftover butter chicken from last night?" I offer to which she nods. I take it out of the fridge and put it into a bowl before heating it up in the microwave. "Are you okay today?" I ask, leaning over the counter. Lexie nods. "Just tired."

"We can watch a movie another night, or even tomorrow morning?" I say, hoping that she'd listen to me because she looks exhausted. "I really want to tonight, I'm just so tired," she admits as her eyes become glassy.

"Oh my sweet girl," I coo, walking over to her and wrapping my eyes securely around her. She begins to cry hysterically into my shoulder as I run my fingers through her hair.

When the microwave starts beeping she pulls away and wipes her eyes. "I'm sorry," she hiccups. "I'm going to ban you from saying that word soon," I giggle, using the pads of my thumbs to wipe under her eyes. "Let me get your dinner out the microwave and you can go eat in bed." 

After helping a very exhausted Lexie up the stairs and into what I pretty much call her bedroom, she crawled into bed as I handed her the bowl. "How about we watch a tv show whilst you eat? What's your favourite show?"
"Probably Brooklyn Nine-Nine," she admits.

I turn on the show and smile as Lexie laughs at the jokes whilst she eats her dinner. Once she's done she puts the bowl on her nightstand and rests her head in my lap.

Within five minutes, she's fast asleep and snoring.

"Goodnight, Lex," I whisper, bending over to kiss her forehead before quietly shuffling out of her bed and switching of the tv and lights.


"Rose, let her have a lay in." The sound of Scarlett's voice echos from down the hallway. "But it's ten o'clock, it's so late," Rose whines, the sound of her little footsteps running closer to the half open door of the guest bedroom. "She's tired baby, let her sleep."

With my eyes still closed, I hear the bedroom door being swung open just before the weight of another body jumps onto the bed. "Lexie, wake up!" She yells excitedly. "Rose!" Scarlett whisper-yells in return.

I slowly open my eyes to see Rose sitting in front of me, rocking herself back and forth with a smile on her face. "You're awake!" She enthuses, throwing herself on top of my body. "Morning Rose," I speak tiredly, seeing Scarlett leaning against the doorframe with a smile on her face.

"I'm sorry, I tried to get her to stop but she's a really fast runner," she chuckles. "It's okay," I say with a small smile. "Mommy made egg-free pancakes and I poured you some juice and do you want to watch Frozen with me?"
"Honey, let her wake up."
"I can't hear you," Rose holds her hands over her ears and shakes her head.

I let out a small giggle as Rose starts giggling too.

accidentally uploaded this chapter half finished yesterday so if you read it pretend you didn't 👍🏼

also Lexie and I 🤝🏼 crying because we're tired

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