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(Happy laughter in the living room (1)

On their return home, Cherry turned to Lily and said,"I don't feel like having any dinner. Please go ahead and just make some for Joe and Jackson, will you?"

Lily gave her a concerned look and said,"Oh no, my lady! You must eat something. What if you feel hungry at midnight and there's nothing to eat?" Lily knew that this wasn't unusual. She thought to herself that pregnant women feel hungry at random hours. But then, if Cherry felt hungry later, there would only be cold food. And in her condition, she should be having food that is freshly cooked and hot. Cold food could harm her and the baby.

Cherry understood Lily's concerns and agreed to eat a little. Although she had no appetite, she realised she had to eat something for the sake of the baby.

So Cherry turned to Lily and said,"Could you cook some porridge for me then? I don't feel like having anything else."

Lily was happy to hear that. She turned around and started walking towards the kitchen,"Hot porridge, coming right up my lady."

At the dinner table, Jackson immersed himself into lovingly feeding the porridge to Cherry. While Joe looked on, he noticed that his father had barely eaten a single bite, because he was so busy trying to make Cherry eat.

This made Joe very happy. It was nice to see his parents caring for each other so much. "Dad, you're amazing!" he said as he ate his food.

Cherry's heart burst with love and she blushed at Jackson's affection for her.

But composing herself, she put on a stern look and firmly told Joe,"No talking while eating, Joe. Finish your food."

"Okay got it, mom," Joe said. He immediately lowered his head and began eating.

Cherry saw that only a little porridge was left in her bowl, but Jackson's food lay untouched in his plate. He was so busy feeding her that he hadn't eaten.

Taking the bowl from him she said,"Okay that's enough. I'll eat the rest of it myself, you haven't eaten anything. Finish your food."

Jackson gave a small smile as Cherry took the bowl from him and started to eat her porridge. He pulled his plate closer and started eating.

Joe looked up and said plainly,"I am full now. Amy will be here any minute, so I'm going to go to my room upstairs." He got up and left, paying no heed to the startled expressions on his parents' faces.

As he left, Cherry said in a small voice,"I don't know what to do with him. Where are his manners? How can he leave like that!"

But Jackson was unaffected. "That's just how he is always." He continued eating, as if nothing had happened.

But Cherry wasn't ready to let it go. She turned to her husband and said,"We can't let him behave like this. We have to be strict with him, even after our second child is born." She said it with a tone of finality and firmness.

Still unperturbed, Jackson said,"I will agree with whatever you say, you know that. We'll do it your way."

Cherry smiled,"Now that's like a good husband."

After dinner, the couple snuggled in on the couch in their living room to watch some TV. Just then, the doorbell rang.

As Lily went to open the door, both Cherry and Jackson looked at the door.

"Must be Amy and Derek," shrugged Cherry as she straightened up.

"Yes, it could only be them. They're the only ones who come home at this hour," said Jackson, eyes still on the door.

Seeing Amy enter the house, Cherry excitedly rose to meet her.

She called out to her,"Amy! I'm so glad to see you."

Reciprocating the happiness, Amy replied,"Hi Cherry! How have you been?

Are you suffering from any morning sickness? How is your health?" Amy was happy to see Cherry.

The glowing mother-to-be looked at her husband lovingly and replied,"My morning sickness isn't that severe. And plus, with Jackson by my side, I think I can deal with whatever comes my way.

He had been such a good husband, keeping me company."

Suddenly, Derek intervened,"Cherry! Don't pay him so much praise. You're spoiling him." There was a hint of envy in his voice. He thought to himself, 'How come Amy never praises me in front of other people! Look at Cherry, singing praises about her husband.'

Amy never praises me in front of other people! Look at Cherry, singing praises about her husband.'

Cherry squinted at Derek playfully and asked,"What do you think? Am I praising him?" She started to laugh and cheekily asked,"Am I that difficult to understand or was I speaking in a different language Derek?" Seeing her smile, Jackson smiled too. He was happy to see her in such good spirits, laughing and cracking jokes.

Derek accepted defeat, as he exasperatedly looked at Cherry and said,"Well, never mind. There is no way I can win an argument with you, Cherry!" He looked at Jackson from the corner of his eye. There was no way he was going to upset Cherry while he was around. He feared his anger.

Jackson came over to Derek and gave him a friendly pat on his shoulder as he said,"You behave well today, Derek."

Derek replied with a straight face,"Of course, Jackson! Cherry is the queen. I know better than to displease her!"

While the four of them chatted, Lily came into the room with four glasses of water. It was nice to see them all so merry.

As she reached out to take her glass of water, Amy looked at Lily and said,"Thank you for taking such good care of Cherry during her pregnancy Lily. You're doing a fabulous job of it!" And there was complete truth in her words. Nobody could ever find faults with the humble and loving maid's behaviour ever.

Handing the glass to Amy, Lily replied,"Oh Miss Amy, you flatter me. Thank you for the kind words, but I like taking care of my lady. It is my duty to care for her and protect her."

"But still, thank you," said Amy as she drank some water.

Derek jokingly commented,"Jackson, where did you find such a dutiful servant? Help me find a loyal maid for my home too. It is so difficult nowadays to find someone trustworthy."

Jackson immediately replied,"Well, I am of little help here. Lily is like family to us and she intends to stay here with us and work. So don't you dare try and take her away from here Derek."

Takenn aback, Derek stammered a little, as he looked at Lily and asked,"You...

have you really... decided to serve them and stay here, Lily?"


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