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Chapter 9 Babies and Family Drama

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  • "I hope you guys enjoyed your dinner and have a nice night."
  • Jessi stirred awake from her nap when she heard the soft beep signaling the last part of another announcement from the pilot.  Were they approaching the airport in Los Angeles?
  • She blinked at the blurry beige shapes before her and glimpsed the time on her phone.
  • 8:10PM.
  • Nope. Few more hours to go.
  • They'd been up in the air before six. Nice. She'd been napping for two hours straight. Good enough to recharge her.
  • Refreshed and a little hungry, she sat up and muffled a yawn.  It got rid of her airplane ears.  Her left ear popped, relieving some pain.  Her grogginess almost made her forget about her headache, but at least her skull no longer felt like it was going to split in half.
  • She needed lots of rest tonight.  Then she would have to buy some food for the next couple of days.  There was a small fridge in her new apartment but not much cooking utensils.  She needed pots and pans, too.
  • Mental note: do some shopping tomorrow after research.
  • Yup. She had to do some research on the TV show.  All she knew was that it had supernatural, horror, and some comedic and romance themes.  There were lots of online photos and videos of the cast on set and in certain episodes, but not enough references for her.
  • She had to talk to Zach or Daniella on the phone tomorrow. Zach should have some time to properly brief her about her new duties and daily responsibilities as part of Road to Valhalla's makeup and styling team.
  • Jessi took a deep breath and covered her mouth to hold back a giggle.  The excitement almost consumed her thoughts now, but the new job also intimidated her to some degree. Anxiety-triggering like she'd imagined.  She had to prepare herself mentally and physically.
  • It would involve long hours on set and lots of people to work with and impress. She didn't even know the names of the other cast and the production team.  Nor did she have a clue about the list of personalities she would have to deal with on a daily basis. Maybe Zach could fill her in tomorrow. Help her prep for her new role.
  • Jessi stared at the dimmed cabin lights, recalling the pilot's hushed announcement.  A plate filled with lasagna and some garlic bread sat on the vacant seat beside her.  Jessi sat back in her seat and rubbed the stupor out of her tired eyes.
  • The big lights from today's long shoot left her eyes stinging.  Maybe she needed to wear her eyeglasses more often now if she was going to be working at long shoots every single day.  She glanced down at her thick coat.
  • The private jet was spacious and cold, but her layers of clothes were keeping her from icing over, thankfully.  She let her gaze roam around.  There were bodyguards behind them and one was sitting close to the plane's cockpit.
  • Were they carrying loaded guns?  Did they carry  automatic weapons every day?  Did Enzo pay for all of their salaries?
  • Perhaps.  She didn't ask Kel, but seeing as Enzo was a busy, full-fledged businessman most likely traveling all over the world on a regular basis, Jessi imagined having security personnel around him 24/7 was the norm.  Did they even take commercial flights?  Probably not.
  • "No. Can't tell them yet."
  • It was Kel's voice. Jessi stared at the back of Kel's seat.  It was only a few feet away from hers.  Kel sounded like she was sniveling.  Crying again? Why?
  • There was about two inches of space between Kel and Enzo's seats.  He stroked her forearm while Kel mumbled something about her training schedule, and then her last phone conversation with her mom.
  • Jessi recalled her saying her family resided in New York.  Schenectady, to be specific.  Jessi suddenly missed her mom.  She should text her parents an update.  They could be awake, still.
  • She unlocked her phone and texted her mom.  The message would be automatically sent once they neared the landing strip in the LA airport, once cell reception returned.  "Mom, got big news. Look up Road to Valhalla. Gonna be working for the makeup team. Promo shoot with the cast this Wed!!! x"
  • She smiled to herself, recalling Zach's texts.  He seemed to trust her enough and probably saw her fitting for the job, despite her being a rookie in the TV and makeup industry.
  • "Fine. Not now."  Enzo sighed twice after a brief, awkward silence.
  • "We can't just..." Kel broke off, her voice sounding pinched.  "I barely got past the passing grades last week. And they all expect we'll just do better this quarter." Her voice wavered. "I can't just back out now."
  • "Yeah. I get it,"  Enzo murmured in reply. The two seemed to be talking about something serious, but Enzo sounded much calmer, perhaps trying to calm his girlfriend down.  "Hey. I know, it's stressing you out. That's why I want you there. Just us. Unwind a little."
  • "I didn't tell Mom." Kel sniffled. "Jill said they might pop by this week, with David and Meesha."
  • Before Jessi could look away and pretend she wasn't eavesdropping, Enzo shifted in his seat and leaned closer to Kel. "I'll talk to her." He kissed the side of her head and hugged her loosely while Kel tried to hold back her sobs.  "It's gonna be fine, love. Promise."
  • "I'm just so tired." Kel sniveled again and blew her nose on some wipes he handed her.  "I really miss Daddy."
  • "Wanna visit him this week?" Enzo stroked her arm. His voice sounded like a deep baritone, but he was using such a gentle tone on her.  Real soothing to the ears.
  • Jessi squinted and recalled a recent memory.  She'd binge-watched a lot of TV shows when she was hopelessly jobless months ago, and he actually sounded like Ian Somerhalder, but with a British accent.
  • The guy seemed nice, too.  A caring, thoughtful boyfriend to Kel from the looks of it.
  • "Yeah." Kel sniveled and wiped off her tears.
  • Most likely the pregnancy hormones making her emotional lately. Jessi kept still and listened.
  • "What about, the other one?" Enzo was close to whispering now.
  • "No." Kel turned to face him. A frown furrowed her dark brows and made her lips pout. "You joking?"
  • "No." He stared back at her. "Just heard that, the transplant didn't work. Maxim said Ilya's body rejected the second donor's liver. Niccolo was there at the hospital with him."
  • "Ugh." Kel hastily tied her hair into a messy bun, seeming irritated.
  • "He didn't tell you?"
  • "Why would I talk to him?" Kel wasn't looking at Enzo anymore and her tone was curt.
  • "Nothing. I just..." Enzo sighed shortly. "At least he didn't emotionally blackmail you, or something."  He kept stroking Kel's shoulder, comforting her, using a gentler tone. "Just another selfish asshole, but, he's still your flesh and blood. Yada yada yada..."
  • "You mean after 25 years of pretending I don't exist and after he almost got you and Cloe killed?" Kel scoffed loudly.
  • Killed?  Someone tried to murder him?  Her flesh and blood?  Holy cow.  Who were they talking about?
  • As the shock lessened, Jessi could only gawk and was rendered speechless at the surreal things she was hearing about.  The couple continued mumbling and almost whispering but her senses were just too alert.  Must be from the good enough rest she got from her nap.
  • To not seem absurdly intrusive, she shut her eyes and pretended to be napping still.  Their conversation was getting too personal and she shouldn't be hearing any of it.  It definitely piqued her interest and heightened her curiosity, though.
  • While Kel dried her tears off with the tissues, Enzo kissed her forehead long and hard, then let her rest her head on his shoulder.  "Did you take the test, love?"
  • "No."
  • "Alright," he muttered. "I'll get us a doctor's appointment after the meeting."
  • "Let me sleep in first." Kel moaned, sounding disappointed by his plan.
  • "Okay." Enzo chuckled.  Then seconds of silence.  "Thought of a name already."
  • "Name? For what?"
  • "Mackenzie."
  • "What?"
  • "Mykaela plus Lorenzio."  Enzo put his hand on his girlfriend's shoulder.
  • "You like Mackenzie?" Kel giggled.
  • "Unisex, and cute. No?"
  • Did he mean he already thought of a name for the baby?  He already knew Kel's pregnant?
  • Jessi smiled.  At least the two had made up, and were now starting a new chapter in their lives.  She closed her eyes.  While she felt happy for them, their serious conversation also made her realize she wasn't at all ready to start dating again.
  • Not yet.  Much less get married and raise a family of her own.  She wanted nothing but to focus on furthering her career.  Earn enough to pay for her finances.  Make her life better.  A lot better.
  • Only then would she be able to help her parents out, take care of them when they grew older, and then save up for her own future.  Buy her own house.  A new car.  Reach her goals before she hit 30.
  • Actually she would rather become a workaholic, career-obsessed old maid than end up as someone's housewife.  She had nothing against women who loved to take care of their family while running a house full of kids.   She thought those types of moms were great.  Incredibly selfless.
  • It just wasn't her dream.
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