"Mum, please let me go to the party tonight!" Leah begs, hands knotted together over the counter as she attempts to pull off her 'puppy-dog-eyes'.
"Leah, I know I should have checked that you came home the other night, but that didn't mean you could just not come home. I saw you drop off your bag before leaving again the same night. I'm not having you sneaking around at night when I don't know where you are." I explain, finishing up on the dishes and wiping my hands with the tea-towel.
"I promise I'll be back tonight, it's just I have to be there by 6pm," she whines, circling me in order to snatch a chunk of chocolate from the fridge.
"Tell me the address."
She rolls her eyes. "It's in Picadilly somewhere, okay?"
Silence floods the kitchen before I hold up my hands. "Fine, go."
"Thank you!" She cheers, bounding up to her room. She has her Father's way of making me agree to everything. And talking about Carter, he seems to be making his way downstairs in smart trousers and a loose shirt. Where's he going?
"Work is killing me right now," he mentions, squeezing my shoulders from behind.
I wait for the rest of it.
"I have to go to a meeting tonight."
I sigh. "I'll save the lasagna for tomorrow night then? I really wish you'd stop going to 'meetings' for work. I swear all you're really doing is meeting up with colleagues for a laugh and a beer."
"I can guarantee you I'm not."
He squeezes my shoulders again from behind, meaning he can't see the glare on my face. Tying his shoe laces and shoving his wallet in his pocket, he heads out. Leah is in tow behind him.
What is with them both going out so much? They both seem wrapped up in a different world, leaving Ben and I to share the old one. Fed up with all this, I put the bad thoughts behind me and head upstairs to find Ben. If they're going to be out all evening, we might as well make the most of our time here and do something together for once.
I knock on his door, and open it to find a beaming smile from my charming son.