Episode Ninety Two... Starting Over?
Mark walks up behind Danni who is busy cleaning
"Always loved that view!" her smiles looking at Danni's bum as she bends over cleaning a rail.
Danni smiles to herself and her heart skips a beat straightening up she composes herself forcing the smile from her face "Your back then!"
"Looks that way.... your looking good!" Mark winks at her
"Ass-hole! I look a mess!" she puts her hand up to her hair.
"You will always look beautiful to me" Mark smiles his sex on legs smile.
I hate this man Danni tells herself "The kids said they had a good half term break with you, Berri said you even found time to take them out a couple of times?" the sarcasm is tangible in her words.
Mark chooses to ignore it... as he often did when they were married. " I missed them and it was nice to spend some time with them"
"Without me you mean?" Danni's insecurity's showing through.
"Yeah!" Mark shuffles his feet a little "It was nice for the kids to not have to listen to us snipping at each other!"
"Thanks! It's been good here with you gone too!" Danni fires back.
Holding up his hands Mark shakes his head "OK, look I did not come to fight with you... just to tell you I'm back and find out when I can see Berri and Ricky?"
" I would never stop you seeing them whenever you want! So when did you get back?" she asks also trying to get things back on an even keel.
"This morning, I went down to the beach... top up my tan" then he adds with a grin "You want to see my tan, there are no lines"
This time Danni can't help but laugh out loud "Been there done that! No, thanks I think I'll pass!"
"God your so sexy when you laugh... you know Mrs Edwards you have the dirtiest laugh I have ever heard!" Mark chuckles.
Danni tries to keep a straight face "Shut up!"
"So can I take the kids out for dinner?.... if that's OK with you, give you time to finish off here?" Mark asks.
"Sure they should be back soon and I sure need to get on if I'm ever to get this place open!" Danni nods "I'm surprised you did not see them at the beach?"
Mark's mouth twitches at the side with a hint of a grin "I was up the other end, on the 'nature beach' how do you think I stay looking this good?"
"God your VAIN! I....." Danni starts to say just as two children explode from the lift and with a single shout of "DAD!!!!" they make a b-line for Mark.
He picks them both up and spins them around "So my little monsters have you been good?"
Lots of giggles and they both look over to their mother who answers for them "Most of the time... I guess?"
"OK, so then I will take you both to dinner, where do you want to go?"
Berri shouts "Pizza House!"
While Ricky jumps up and down " Burger Bar! Burger Bar! Burger Bar!"
"OK, so it's the Pizza Bar or the Burger House?" Mark asks.
The children are in fits of excited giggles "Daddy your soooooo silly!" Berri tells him.
"I aim to please! So which one is the closest?" Mark looks at Berri and then his eye catches Danni who standing to one side is watching her families shenanigans. The children are never this animated around her.... only Mark could give them the smiles they had now she thought. But then she only felt truly alive when he was around too! A small almost inaudible sigh leaves her feeling sad.
Mark.... he who see and hears everything looks at her a little puzzled "You, OK?"
"Yes....Yes, I'm fine! Just a lot of work getting things ready that's all!" she smiles at him.
"OK, so this is how it's going to be... I'm going to take the kids out for dinner then we are going to get some extras for mum. We are going to come back here after dinner and collect mum, then I'm going to take you all home and mum's going to have her dinner while I get Ricky ready for bed. THEN I'll go home and mum can get some shut eye!" Mark instructs them.
The two children give out a cheer but Danni shakes her head "That sounds good but this place has to be ready in ten days and I still have sooooo much to do! If you could just drop the kids off at home after dinner that would be grate!"
Both of the children's faces full and a slight frown comes over Mark's face. "So what time are you thinking of finishing up tonight I'll come pick up up?"
"No, it's fine.... it will be late! I can drive myself home, it's not that far!" Danni's whole body aches she would just love to go home with them, a night chilling would be so very nice!
Mark hesitates but knows Danni well enough to know what fights to pick and when to leave it.... now is time to go have dinner!
So turning to the children "Dinner! Tonight it's Pizza ...."
"OH! That's so not fare!!!" Ricky pouts and stamps his little feet.
"NEXT time it will be burgers... but not for tantrum throwers....." Mark picks him up and puts him on his shoulders "Go call the lift Berri"
Then turning to Danni "see you later...love you!"
Danni was just about to rebuff him but thinks better of it and smiling to herself turned back to her cleaning.
After dinner Mark collects a Pizza for Danni anyway and stops off at the Mall. Most of the lights are now turned out just the security light remain on. Berri introduces her father to the night guard and he issue's Mark with a pass so he can get in and out of the mall.
Mark alights from the lift alone having sent Berri back to look after Ricky who is sleeping soundly in the car. Mark still finds it amazing that the boy can fall asleep anywhere.'Those were the days' he thinks to himself.
The store looks different at night almost eerie when no one is around and then he can see the lights are on in the department furthest away. "Danni?" he calls but there's no answer.
His heart flutters and beats a little faster as he strides out heading towards the light.
"DANNI? are you here?" he calls a little louder.
When he reaches the end department he notes it looks like a children's area 'funny Danni never said she was going to be selling kids wear.... but then why should she? FOOL!'
Then he spots her slumped on the floor duster still in her hand.
He rushes to her calling her name and fulling to his knees beside her.
Just then she begins to stir "Hi, back already? God! I must have dropped off?.... What time is it?" Danni sits up and wipes a hand across her tired face.
"It's a little after nine... you frightened me! Don't do that again!" Mark is so relived but comes across as cross.
"Sorry? don't lose your temper with me! I don't need to put up with it any more ... remember! We are divorced!" she's to tired to say any more.
"I'm not... I'm sorry... I did not mean.... Look I was just worried, now come on... HOME!" Mark demands.
Danni thinks of all she still needs to do but Mark is right (for once) she can't go on and she needs to be fresh for tomorrow as she will be interviewing all day! "OK, I'll get my bag!"
Mark is a little surprised that she gave in so quickly... she MUST be tired?
They drive home in silence... well I say home it was once Mark's home it's still Danni's home and the children'. But only for another couple of weeks then they will be moving to The Priors, to be closer to the children's new school and the store. As to Mark, well he was of no fixed abode at the moment... if he was honest he was hoping Danni would let him stay for a couple of days (weeks) but she was in such a funny mood he did not know how to broach the subject?
Once he has parked the car in the drive he goes around and removes the still sleeping Ricky from his car seat while Berri hops out and unlocks the door "Come on mum, you sit down and eat while I run you a bath!" Berri instructs her mother.
'When did she grow up?' Mark wonders as he enters with Ricky. "What do you want me to do?" Mark asks Danni gesturing with Ricky.
"Ahmm, I think put him straight to bed he can have his bath in the morning" Danni tells Mark kissing Ricky on the forehead.
Opening the pizza box the smell of Pepperoni wafts up and dances around her nostrils. Mark knows she loved Pepperoni and her tummy starts to rumble, she did not realise how hungry she was and soon she was tucking in.
A few minutes later Berri came back down "Baths ready, you can finish that while you soak... I'll get you a drink. What do you want Tea, coffee, wine or something else?"
Mark enters the room behind her and laughs "Hark and you!"
Berri turns "What?"
Mark backs out of the room still laughing "Nothing... I say nothing!"
"Tea will be fine sweetheart" Danni heads upstairs still eating a slice of pizza.
"Do you want a drink dad?" Berry calls from the kitchen.
"Tea will be fine for me too sweetie" Mark goes back into the living room and sits on the sofa... same sofa they brought when they moved to this house... boy if this sofa could talk... but then again maybe not!
A few minutes later Berri comes in with his tea "Should I leave mum's here or take it up to her?"
"I'll take it up" Mark jumps up taking the cup and saucer from Berri.
"I could take it dad... I'm going up to bed now anyway!" Berri gives her father and odd look almost as if she could read his mind....which she could!
But by then Mark was almost at the top of the stairs and without knocking enters the bathroom.
"What the....?" Danni sits up making a grab for a towel.
"Tea! There's nothing there I've not seen... or kissed... before!" Mark's voice goes a little husky.
"Well, it's better that you don't look if your..... your going to react like that!" she tells him nodding towards his mid section!
Mark crosses his legs and does have the conscience to look a little embarrassed.
"OK, I'll go downstairs and drink my tea like the wonderful guy that I be!" Mark winks and closes the door behind him singing as he goes
" If I said you had a beautiful body would you hold it against me......"
Danni almost chokes on her last bite of pizza but she smiles broadly.
When Danni finally comes down Mark is fast asleep on the sofa.
Going back upstairs she fetches a blanket from the airing cupboard returning she gently lays it over him.
Then Danni returns up stairs to her bed
and soon she is sound asleep.
As soon as she's gone Mark opens his eyes and smiles ....after a few minutes he turns the TV on quietly and then he goes in search of the biscuit tin humming to himself. At this moment he makes up his mind 'This is his family, Danni is his wife and he will get them back!'
To be continued....