Interlude: Too Late

Mark closed his eyes, breathing in the unique scent of newborn baby. A small smile came to his lips as he pulled away, looking down at the infant he held in his arms. He hadn’t held a baby so small since Hazel was born, nearly twenty-four years ago. And now she had a baby of her own. Where had the time gone?

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His grandson wriggled gently in his arms, blinking up at him with his big blue eyes. He was only a few weeks old, but little Zayne already had the entire family wrapped around his little finger – and his grandfather was no exception.

He’s perfect. Mark thought happily.

He returned the wriggling baby back to his bassinet just in time to hear the opening of the nursery door.

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“Hey, dad.” Hazel smiled. “Sorry to interrupt… Lucas says dinner’s gonna be ready in a few minutes.” Her eyes flicked down at her son and her smile grew. “And this little guy will be wanting his dinner soon too.”

Mark returned his daughter’s smile. He could take a hint – He knew she’d want a bit of privacy. “Alright, I’ll head down. Though I’m wondering whether or not I should prepare myself… You said Lucas did the cooking, right?” He teased.

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Hazel laughed brightly. “He did! He’s been so good about it, ever since he got home. I don’t think I’ve lifted a finger in the kitchen in a month.”

Mark was relieved to hear that his daughter was being taken care of – though with Lucas as his son-in-law, he knew he had nothing to worry about. Florian and Lucas had timed their latest tour so that they returned just in time for Zayne’s birth. And from the sound of it, Lucas had been waiting on Hazel hand-and-foot ever since.

“So no need to have the Poison Control center on speed dial?” Mark asked with a small laugh. “I mean, you seem to have survived so far…”

“Dad, please. You’ve eaten my cooking and lived to tell the tale. You’ll be fine.” She rolled her eyes, but kept her smile.

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“Fair enough… I’ll go see if the chef needs some help.” He gave his daughter one last smile, then headed downstairs to join his son-in-law.

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Lucas was standing by the stove, stirring a large pot of sauce as his father-in-law entered the room “Hey, Mark.” He smiled.

“Smells pretty good in here…” The older man drew closer to the stove, intrigued.

“Thanks! But we’ll see… Hopefully it tastes as good as it smells… I mean, I made this for Hazel last week and she said it was pretty good.” Lucas shrugged.

Mark’s voice was teasing. “Well, now that I’m living here in Windenburg, maybe you two should start inviting me for dinner more often!”

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“Shhh! Keep it down or Hazel might hear!” Lucas scolded playfully. “She’s already threatening to invite Onkel Stefan and Grandpa Josh for dinner next week.”

Mark’s smile flickered for a moment. “Oh… Your family’s visiting, then?” Mark tried to keep his voice as casual as he could.

His son-in-law nodded as he transferred the hot food to a serving platter. “They’re flying in tomorrow, I think. We’re so excited for them to finally meet Zayne.” He beamed.

Mark nodded. “So… just your uncle and grandfather? They aren’t bringing… the kids or anything?” Mark knew that his tone of voice would give him away instantly.

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And sure enough, the smile vanished from Lucas’ face. “I know what you’re trying to ask.” He sighed. “And no… She’s not coming. You know she never does.”

The older man’s face fell. He dropped his cheerful façade almost instantly.

“How is she?” Mark’s voice was very small. “Is she… okay?”

10-13-16_9-05-26-pm

It was the first time he’d mentioned Jocelyne to her brother since well before the wedding. And that was already over a year ago. Mark winced inwardly at the thought. The memories of that night still pained him, and brought back so much guilt and shame. It had been months before he’d even been able to face Hazel and Lucas again, let alone mention Jocelyne.

But he still thought of her, still wondered about her, every single day.

Lucas simply shrugged at Mark’s question, his discomfort apparent on his face. “I guess she’s fine?” He said uncertainly. “I mean, it’s not like she talks to me. The most interaction we have these days is ‘liking’ each other’s posts on Facebook.” There was a sudden bitter edge to his voice as he spoke.

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Mark knew he’d hit a sore spot – Hazel had told her father all about Lucas’ countless attempts to contact his sister and apologize. Dozens of emails and letters, all left unanswered. Phone calls sent straight to voicemail. Conversations Jocelyne practically ran from during the rare moments he saw her face-to-face.

He was quite persistent for the first couple of years, but his sister refused to budge. It wasn’t until after he’d finally given up on apologizing that Jocelyne had been convinced to accept his Facebook friend request. And after what had happened at the wedding… Well, Mark knew it was a huge setback to what little progress they’d made.

Still, he could not help himself… He needed to know more, if he could.  “Do you know if she’s still working at the restaurant?” Mark asked softly. “How are the babies doing?”

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Lucas sighed in frustration. “Y’know Mark, if you really want to know, you can pick up the phone and call her. Or send her an email. Or hell, even hop on a plane and go visit if you want. There’s nothing stopping you!” He cried. “Definitely not me or Hazel. We’ve talked about this…”

And it was true – They’d had this conversation more than once, long before the disastrous wedding last spring. It was the same conversation Lucas had been trying and failing to have with his sister for years.

It took some time for them to come around… especially his son-in-law. But at long last, Hazel and Lucas had apologized to Mark for the way they’d behaved when he and Jocelyne were together. They’d acknowledged their part of the blame in the breakup. They’d expressed regret at how they’d handled things. They’d promised not to interfere if Jocelyne and Mark ever tried to get back together.

It was an apology Mark gratefully accepted.

But he knew they’d never have to make good on their promise. Because he and Jocelyne would never be together again. It was too late.

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Mark shook his head. “You know I can’t do that. You know why I won’t.” It was another conversation they’d had too many times. “Especially not after… what happened.” He cleared his throat uncomfortably. It was the first time he’d referenced the night of the wedding in months.

How could he ever face Jocelyne again after what happened? What was he to her now, but a painful reminder of her past mistakes?

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He’d broken her heart. He’d rejected her not once, but twice. He’d been responsible for her breaking up with Elliot. He’d caused her so much pain.

Jocelyne had a life in Willow Creek now. Three beautiful babies. A job. A home. A future.

One he didn’t deserve to be a part of.

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Lucas sighed, calling Mark back to the present. “It’d be so much easier if you did…” He muttered. “Maybe she’d forgive me. Maybe she’d finally start talking to me again.”

Mark shook his head. “I don’t think it’s that simple.” He said softly. “You know Jocelyne… She’s a stubborn one.” For a moment, he almost laughed.

“She didn’t used to be.” Lucas’ voice was pained. “She was never like this before…”

“I know she wasn’t…” Mark shrugged helplessly. “But people change, Lucas.”

“Yeah… I know.”

His son-in-law was silent for a long time. Mark couldn’t help but wish he were able to see inside the young man’s head.

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At last, Lucas broke the silence, his demeanor so different than it had been a few moments before.

“Well, like I said, I don’t know much first-hand, but if you’re looking for an update on Joce…Clara told me she got promoted to assistant manager at the restaurant a few weeks ago.” He smiled softly. “And last night she posted this super cute video on Facebook. The babies are taking their first steps, I guess.”

“They’re walking?!” Mark cried excitedly, remembering how small and sweet the triplets had been at the wedding. Time really flies, doesn’t it?

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Lucas nodded, his smile widening. “Poor Joce… Those rugrats are gonna give her a run for her money. But I guess if anyone can handle it, she can.”

Though the young man smiled, Mark felt a strange sadness wash over him at the sight of Lucas’ face. He misses her so much… He realized. Just like me.

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Lucas retrieved his phone from his pocket, beckoning his father-in-law closer to him. “I can pull up the video… Do you wanna see?” He offered.

Mark nodded eagerly. “I’d love to.”

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58 Responses to Interlude: Too Late

  1. That’s cute how Luc and Mark are becoming a bit friendly now.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. EddieSims says:

    Awww crap you made me start liking Lucas again. LOL. I’m now pissed at Mark! Obviously, Mark has some issues because Lucas and Hazel gave him their blessing and he still didn’t go after our girl! He KNOWS how much she loves him. Even if she was dating Elliot at the time, Mark knew she would have kicked him to the curb to get back together with him. And after the wedding incident, he knew how much she was willing to give up for him and he still backed away. Dammit Mark what is wrong with you??? Lucas got to me when he said “it’d be so much easier if you did…maybe she’d start talking to be again.” Mark, if your reasons for breaking up with her and staying away was so she could get back close to her family then you’re screwing that up big time! The only person that can bring her back home to her family is you! So get over yourself and go get her!

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Hahaha Lucas has matured quite a bit. Though some might think it’s too little too late at this point 😦 But I’m glad he’s earning some points from you haha

      As for Mark, I totally see where you’re coming from. But I think for him, a lot of it is shame. He’s hurt her so much and I think he’s ashamed to see her again, and thinks she won’t want him back after everything he’s done. I feel for the guy, though I totally see your points too.

      I think at this point it isn’t about their families anymore. It’s about him just believing that there’s no hope for them now 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  3. azzywoods says:

    Yes Mark, you were an asshole. Good thing you realised that.

    I feel bad for Lucas now…he seems to have matured so much and he is (and had been) behaving really awesomely. I really hope things between the twins get better and…yeah.

    So Jocelyne’s still in America? Is she ever coming back?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Mumei No says:

    It’ should very nice that with time, things are going okay, I like to see this time jumps for some reason, even thought they are kind in a “limbo situation” as isn’t gen 4 at all, but isn’t gen 5 either, I knew Lucas would miss her, it’s family after all,and I wonder where Elliot is, I mean, for a good father he left the kids pretty fast with Joce…maybe she kept two and he had one? That would work.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. witchazard says:

    Ooh! Luzel were good thanks for giving me a another nooboo to enjoy yay Zayne! Looks like gen 5 is going to have a lot of testosterone that’s going to be fun hehe! If all of Joce’s nooboos are boys then that would mean the only girl is River right I think. At this point I see Joce getting transferred or something but I guess will find out soon enough with two updates back to back! Has anyone mentioned how good you are at doing time skips that flow well! Because you doing a excellent job!

    Like

    • Technically, River and, her twin are a Generation 4 like Joyce and Lucas since Clara is J&Y’s aunt (so her kids are their first cousins) So that Zayne, Alex, Charlie, and Tony are all cousins once removed to River&Remus. ie River’s maternal grandparents are the great-grandparents of Joyce’s and Lucas’ kids.

      Like

  6. Spottydog714 says:

    *bundles everyone into a big group hug* Everyone’s getting along so wonderfully! The troublesome Rosebrooks are resolving their problems! And they communicated without fighting! Zayne might actually grow up normally 🙂

    I think you are secretly acquiring scoober diving gear and high-tech equipment to drag the SS Marklyne out from the bottom of the ocean. And I think Elliot is going to die soon.

    Gosh, I keep switching from it being Mark’s death or Elliot’s in the heading. I bet you’re laughing so hard right now, thinking ‘she doesn’t know…’ :p XD

    Heh, by the way, I forgot to tell you how much I enjoyed all the recent chapters.

    Liked by 3 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Everyone *except for Joce* is getting along wonderfully, yes 😛 Maturing and moving on is happening as the years go by.

      I like that you have some hope for the Marklyne, and I am really intrigued by your death theory! Haha

      Glad you’ve been enjoying these updates! ^_^

      Liked by 1 person

  7. CitizenErased14 says:

    I love that you’re still hopeful! ^_^

    And yes, Luc and Hazel are getting along with Mark again. They’ve made amends for being jerks when he was with Joce and he’s made amends for ruining their wedding. They aren’t holding Joce-style grudges 😛 which is good!

    We will actually see Clara in tomorrow’s chapter 😉 (no Florian, but he will be mentioned!)

    Like

  8. audreyfld says:

    This is good. But Mark’s wrong. It’s not too late. Not yet. But Jocelyn is hiding and protecting herself which is never a good thing. It only makes her a lonely and bitter person. I am sure she has been ignoring Luc because she never forgave him to start with and felt like he was still the reason Mark rejected her again and made her hurt Elliott, which was bound to happen at some point anyway, but not like it did. She knows she screwed up.

    The fact that she isn’t pushing Luc away as much anymore is a good sign. Baby steps. I am sure she is lonely and misses her family. It sounds like she and Clara are still close. Maybe she will be the one to talk her into coming home. She does have Stefan and Josh but it’s not the same. Maybe Luc will let her know that Mark would not reject her again and is miserable without her just like she is without him. Luc and Jocelyn need to talk without all of the emotion getting in the way. Time is a great healer. I hope that Mark breaks down and calls her very soon before another substitute Mark finds his way into Jocelyns life. ❤

    I guess we have another time jump coming. Perhaps Jocelyn will move back because she is being promoted to open and run a restaurant overseas and we will see the triplets as children. Can't wait to see them but I still need Jocelyn to find her happy ever after and it will only ever be with Mark. The sooner the better. It will be even sweeter given all they have suffered to be together WHEN it happens. I am diving deep underwater to raise the Marklyn from the depths of the ocean. It's going to be so much better and stronger this time around. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      So true about Joce becoming bitter and lonely. It’s so sad 😦 And yes, she’s still never forgiven Luc, even after all this time. At least they interact a little on Facebook? It’s definitely something haha

      We will see what’s ahead for Joce, and whether any “substitute Marks” show up in her future! 😛

      Like

  9. Simslover163 says:

    Glad that Mark and Lucas are getting along better after the shenanigans at the wedding. The problems are done for now. Zayne is so cute! ^^ Let’s hope he’ll grow normally. If not, hire me as his babysitter and I’ll shield him from this nasty drama, if any were to occur. 😛

    Still on the Marklyne bailing water and fixing up the ship. I’ll be on duty on the SS Nuggy when there’s a chapter featuring them 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Things are definitely better now! And yes, Zayne is cute! (Well, all TS4 babies look the same, really XD But he’s still cute :P) I’ll have you on speed dial if things get messy and we need a babysitter hahaha

      Liked by 1 person

  10. theplumbob says:

    Nice to see these two getting along, though they both seem rather ball-less lol. Why are they both acting like Joce is a saint? There’s no reason why Luc should be begging or yearning for her forgiveness. They’re at the very least even. As for Mark, I do agree with him that it is too late, but more so because too much has happened in both of their lives in general rather than because he doesn’t deserve her or whatever. She’s no godsend, sheesh.

    Needless to say I’m not hoping for a Marklyn reunion lol!

    Liked by 2 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      I wouldn’t say either of them is acting like Joce is a saint.

      I think Luc just really wants to make amends and have his sister back in his life again. It hurts a lot that she continues to shut him out and he recognizes that he was part of the catalyst for her downward spiral. She’s not a saint in his eyes (he’s never gonna forget what happened at his wedding hahaha), he just wants his sister back. But he’s no longer begging for forgiveness. Don’t forget that his “begging” was about two years ago at this point, before the wedding. He doesn’t push his luck anymore with her. He just feels sad and wishes she’d come around.

      Mark is probably closer to seeing Joce as “saint-like” I guess, since he’s still hopelessly in love with her. But like with Luc, he sees himself as partially responsible for her ending up this way. He just misses her and worries about her.

      You’re probably in the minority of not hoping for a reunion haha. Let’s just say the likelihood of that happening is quite low right now anyway haha

      Like

    • I disagree that they’re even. He’s responsible for her losing the love of her life, she ruined his wedding. How is that even?

      Like

      • theplumbob says:

        Luc contributed to their breakup (he was definitely not the sole culprit there, ultimately it was Mark who gave up on the relationship no matter what Luc did or didn’t do), them regretted this and tried ro make amends. Joce has refused to hear him out, ruined his wedding and I don’t get the impression she ever apologised for it, since supposedly they haven’t talked simce them. They’ve both exhibited extremely bratty selfish behaviour over the past few years, considered their own relationship way more important then others and dismissed each others feelings. Yep, I’d say they’re even.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. sonniejj says:

    Damn it, you are tearing my heart to shreds with these chapters. And you’re also making me really, really worried that Mark and Joce will never fix things and that makes me sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. kaffepigen says:

    This is great, in a kind of bittersweet way :3 he still loves her and misses her so much! And he’s got their blessings to get back together with Jocelyne. But he’s not going to 😦 that saddens me. That he is so eager on news of her but won’t persue her. I can’t wait to find out more and see what makes her move back home. Would that be Marks influence? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Definitely bittersweet! That ending where they look at the video actually makes me a little emotional haha they both love her and miss her. 😦

      We will see if Joce comes home 🙂 and if she does, what would be the thing that makes her do it

      Liked by 1 person

      • shamanarza says:

        “What would be the thing that makes her do it?” Citizen says with a knowing smile. You’re killing someone, aren’t you.

        Hazel. Hazel is biting the dust, Joce steps in to be a mom to Zayne along with the triplets of her own. Mark and Joce get together and never tell ANY of the kids that Mark’s not the father of any of them. Wacky hijinks ensue.

        Liked by 1 person

        • azzywoods says:

          OMG

          Liked by 1 person

        • CitizenErased14 says:

          SO much wild speculation from everyone today. I love it! Hahaha 😛

          Like

          • shamanarza says:

            I’m amending my theory to include Luc dying too.

            All the drama you’ve pulled on us, but you’ve yet to do an untimely death. Everyone dies at a rope old age, surrounded by loving family. This is the perfect setup: the estranged twin who never got to say “I’m sorry to”. The orphan. The penitent and spurned lover. Even a mixed up family tree and the aforementioned wacky hijinks when your brother is also your great uncle?

            Liked by 1 person

  13. Jes2G says:

    #TeamBeard strikes again, eh? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Virtualee says:

    Lucas Lcas, Mark Mark — goodness so much eye candy and Joce is missing out hehe

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Nope, not getting sucked in. Why the hell did Mark reject her outright at the wedding without so much as a discussion then? Nope, I’m not buying it.

    Like

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Because she has three kids and he didn’t want to be a home-wrecker. Lucas and Hazel’s “blessing” was given before the babies came.

      Like

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Even without Elliot he didn’t want to make her move back for him and take the babies away from their father. I think if the babies weren’t in the picture it would have been very different

      Like

  16. SpurklyNinja says:

    Wow, a whole year already?! Well, yay, nooboo! Zayne ❤

    Good to see that these two are on better terms now. 🙂

    Couple of thoughts:
    -Joce is just kind of hiding out in America, right? No contact, no nothing. This never really goes well and just makes the person lonely and bitter. I wonder what the custody situation is and if she'll try to get into different relationships to replace the "hole" she feels without Mark…
    -I'm also under the impression that she didn't apologize for the whole wedding incident either.
    -At least Mark realizes how much he hurt Joce…
    -And FINALLY, Luc! You (and Hazel) apologized for trying to split Marklyne up, and you realized your mistakes! But, now, I feel bad that Joce hasn't reached out. :/

    -That header….. very interesting….

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Thanks for your comment, Ninja 😀 I’ll try to respond to your thoughts 🙂

      – Yes, Joce is essentially hiding out, though she does still talk to everyone in the family except Luc (and Mark, who isn’t family, but… yeah haha). She talks to Clara and Auggy and her parents/grandparents. But she avoids Lucas like the plague. I think at this point she’s stopped coming for Christmas too. :-/

      -We will learn in the next two chapters what the custody situation is like 🙂

      – I don’t think she ever apologized about the wedding, no (though in theory, she did apologize right after it happened? Hahaha she managed to get out an “I’m sorry” before Luc kicked her out, at least? But yeah. Not a real apology :-/

      – Yes, Mark knows he’s hurt Joce more than once. 😦

      – And yes, Luc and Hazel had a wakeup call maybe a year or so after Joce left? Right before the babies. But unfortunately it was kinda too late. And Joce is being so dang stubborn.

      – Everyone love speculating about that header! Hahahaha 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Mark is still adorable and he’s so good with his grandson! I really like how Lucas and Hazel have matured.

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Mark is definitely a great grandpa 😀 And Luc and Hazel have matured for sure. It took a while, but they’re getting there haha (And then there’s Joce… *sigh*)

      Like

  18. lisabeesims says:

    Sniff … sweet it’s very sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. raerei says:

    I love love love that we get to see Mark’s POV – especially after the wedding fiasco. And it’s really cute to see him and Luc being all buddy buddy, but I’m itching to see Joce again and how she’s taking things! What does her life look like?

    Liked by 1 person

  20. theceltygirly says:

    I don’t know what to think right now, so I’ll just keep reading.

    Liked by 1 person

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