I own no one but my own people.
A/N Wow… Three stories later and you guys are still reading and loving this beloved series. This is by far the most emotional story I think I will ever write on here. I didn't even want to write out the planning because I knew this was the end of it. I have written other stories, other OCs, but there's something about Max and Lila that I just… I can't describe it. Oh Christ, I'm tearing up already and I haven't even written any content yet. But, and I know this is going to sound stupid coming from a fanfic writer, it's almost like they're real people to me. I don't feel this way about the canon characters but Max and even more so with Lila, to me… it's like I feel like I'm about to lose two very important people in my life, even though they're just characters in a story, a fan fiction story at that. Wow that sounds beyond nerdy on so many levels… But anyway, I really, really, really hope you enjoy this story as much as I know I'll enjoy writing it. If you haven't read the first three, I don't think you'll understand this one… at all… So it would behoove you to go and read the first three installments conveniently located in my profile. They're pretty awesome… IMO of course… And I wasn't actually supposed to have this up until after the first of the year but I just started writing and couldn't stop so six hours later, here is the finished first chapter.
So, without further ado, please enjoy the last installment in the Meet the Cabot series :) And just to give you a little time line, here's everyone ages since it's skipping almost 13 years since the last one.
Lily 12, turning 13 in four days.
October 13th, Theodore Roosevelt Middle School, 12:32 PM, Manhattan
Lily Benson stood in the end of the line at her school's lunch line, looking down at the white linoleum tiles, playing with a strand of hair that had fallen out of her pony tail.
She heard several other students from her class come behind her, and she looked down even more if it was possible, trying to make herself invisible to her classmates eyes, praying they would just completely ignore her today.
Her prayers went unanswered.
"Hey, Andrea, want to hear what my father and I did this weekend?" the young girl, Britney O'Halloren, the girl who had made it her job to make sure Lily's life as miserable as possible, began with a smirk, and Lily felt a hot blush coming on as she shuffled forward, wondering why on earth it wasn't going any faster.
"What, Britney?" Andrea Casper, Britney's right hand woman, asked as she played right along with Britney's improvised cruelty.
"We went to go see that new vampire movie. God, I am like, so lucky to have a father. I feel so bad for the freaks that don't have one."
"You know what's even worse than not even having a father?" Andrea asked, her voice getting louder and Lily felt her cheeks flush hotter. "Someone with two fags for mothers…"
"Oh god I know!" Britney replied louder, getting several students around them to chuckle as they moved forward in the line. "Just imagine being raised by two queers. God that person must be a total and complete freak, just like her faggot parents."
The laughter from the students grew louder, and Lily tasted the coppery taste of blood as she bit her bottom lip to keep the tears from coming.
"Don't cry!" Lily screamed at herself desperately trying to ignore the jibes made at her expense. "They're just jealous of me! That's why they're making fun of me!"
Even in her head Lily knew the words Alex had spoken to her so long ago were completely and utterly false.
"Hey, Andrea," Britney continued in faux wonderment, "I wonder if that freak that was raised by dykes actually even likes boys, or if she's gonna grow up to be a faggot just like her mother's?"
"Well I know!" one boy, Jason Skaggs, behind Andrea called out, "I would never even consider liking or dating a girl raised by dykes because she's probably a dyke herself!"
Lily took several shallow deep breaths as she listened to her crush of three years insult and degrade her, feeling the tears well up in her eyes.
"Me too!" another boy joined in, and the line erupted in laughter again. "Who would ever like a faggot anyway unless you were a fagot yourself?"
Lily hastily wiped the tears that had begun to fall, hoping it went unnoticed.
"Aww!" Britney called out loudly in mock sincerity. "Lily lesbo is crying! What's wrong, Lily lesbo? Don't like the way we're talking about your faggot mothers?"
Lily ignored the question as she finally got up to the food.
"Could I have the chicken with potatoes please, ma'am?" Lily asked her voice barely loud enough for the cafeteria worker to hear, but loud enough for Britney to hear.
"Hey, everyone!" Britney called out, "Lily lesbo is getting the chicken and potatoes! Don't get that unless you're a dyke like her!"
Lily took a shuddering breath as there was another fit of laughter, muttering a soft 'thank you, ma'am," when the worker handing her the tray, looking at her with the upmost sympathy as Lily moved down a few inches.
"I want the roast beef and green beans now," Britney ordered the worker as she flipped her long blonde hair behind her head.
"All out, sorry," the worker said a bit snippily, "you're gonna have to have the chicken and potatoes."
Britney scoffed and glowered at the worker who piled Britney's tray with the food moments ago Britney had deemed uneatable.
She looked behind her and saw Andrea look at Britney's tray in confusion before looking up at Britney herself, cocking one perfectly manicured eye brow in confusion.
But Britney, who had been in that situation before, simply scoffed before resorting to her stand by jibe. "Well fine then! I mean it's not the food that makes you a queer, it's the parents. And we all know my parents are completely normal. Too bad that ugly dyke can't say the same!"
There was another loud laugh from the students who all forget about the food warning issued moments ago before Britney continued down the line.
Lily felt the tears well in her eyes as she quickly grabbed her apple and milk, not even bothering picking up a dessert, wanting nothing more than to move to the solitude of her lunch table in the back of her cafeteria.
She handed the two dollars to the worker taking the cash, quickly grabbing the 3 quarters in change and stuffing them in her pocket and exited to the dining area as quick as she could.
Lily's breathing had began to slow some, knowing she was about to get away from those jerks for the next 45 minutes, and unable to hide the smile that came from being alone, not being tormented or teased for almost a full hour. It was heaven on earth to the young girl.
As Lily sat down at her usual table, she cast her eyes around the lunchroom, every one of them filled except hers.
She watched as Britney and Andrea, laughing merrily, sat down at their usual table, every seat and then some filled with people who never looked upset or who were crying who were always smiling and joking with their friends.
Lily closed her eyes and for one brief moment; she pictured herself in Britney's shoes. One of the most popular girls in their grade, had a million friends, everyone wanting to be you or be friends with you, student body president, involved in almost every club, great at gym, great grades, and above all; she and her parents were completely normal.
Lily opened her eyes and as she looked around her empty lunch table, she was brought back to reality with a thud.
She was not Britney O'Halloren, popular girl extraordinaire. She was Lily Benson; light brown, almost blonde hair with light brown eyes, did okay in gym but was always picked last for the teams, with not a friend in the world. She had been in band up until this year, first seat trumpet, was selected for Jazz Ensemble in sixth grade, but even that had lost the joy it had once brought her.
The other members of the band weren't her friends, and they had ignored her most of the time unless they had to play with her, and even then all they talked to her about was the music or on the rare occasion told her congratulations after a great performance. They had ignored her instead of teased her, made her feel invisible instead of horrible. But on the first rehearsal of seventh grade, when several of her band mates had refused to take second seat because they didn't want to sit 'next to the dyke', she had quit that day. The band teacher had tried scolding the students, threatened to get them kicked off the band, but Lily had just volunteered to quit instead. 'No use everyone else suffering' she thought to herself every time she walked by the practice room.
When confronted by her parents about why she was gave up something she had loved doing since third grade, she lied and told them that she just lost interest in it and that she was taking art instead of band. And now her instrument, a gift Lily had gotten at the beginning of last year which had cost her parents almost a thousand dollars, sat at the top of her closet collecting dust.
But what killed Lily was she knew she could be popular if she were normal. She knew she was pretty, not drop dead beautiful, but she was certainly pretty enough to not have it affect her popularity status. She was tall for her age, but she didn't tower over the girls in her classroom. She was thin and in shape, something she really couldn't say was the case for half the girls in her grade. Her light brown hair was straight and had natural blonde toned highlights, and she had nice light brown, almost honey colored, eyes that were perfectly straight and had a nice round, shape, and only had to wear glasses when reading, but she never bothered to read in school anyway so she was hardly faced with that type of embarrassment.
She was on the much wealthier side of the student body that had come from old money dating back to the early nineteen hundreds, so it wasn't any of those typical problems holding her back. She wasn't a brainiac; she was actually just scraping by in D's in all of her classes, so it wasn't her grades that slowed her down either, of course she had been making straight B's and A's in all of her classes up until fifth grade, but that had stopped when she had stopped trying to impress people with her grades.
Yes she had been a 'band geek' but everyone had to sign up for some kind of liberal arts after school special rather it be choir, band, drama, or art. So to hear someone was in the band just means they couldn't or didn't want to sing, act, or draw; just like those in the other groups couldn't or didn't want to play an instrument.
But she had no one and nobody, thanks to her parents. She knew that if her parents had been born right, she would be as popular as any other fortunate girl. If her parents had just decided to be straight instead of gay then maybe Britney would be inviting her to her house on weekends to spend the night, Andrea would be calling her every night updating her on the rumor mills, and Jason Skaggs would actually be nice to her instead of torment her day in and day out. Maybe he would even be her boyfriend by now…
Lily took a shuddering breath and had to bite her bottom lip as she began to eat as slow as she could, trying to make the 45 minutes of silence last as long as she possibly could.
October 13th, Hilton Hotel, Room 632, 12:32 PM, Albany NY
"Alex Cabot… Loyal Republican… Or something even more sinister?"
"The new commercials on!" Chris Kempton shouted loudly as he paused the TV in front of him with the remote, gaining the attention of everyone in the suite and making the usually loud and buzzing room go completely and utterly silent.
Alex ran out form the back of the room, holding three heavy binders in her arms, her clearly tired blue eyes wide with astonishment as she looked at the shot of her picture in black and white, and even she had to admit it made her look somewhat evil.
"Play it, play it," Alex prompted her campaign manager as she put down the binders next to the chair beside him and kneeled down next to the man who had been by her side for the past year and a half.
Chris nodded and pressed play on the remote and everyone watched their rival's latest attempt to sabotage Alex.
"Alex Cabot," the dark and almost sinister voice over continued as it showed a picture of Alex, still in black and white, looking particularly angry while in a courtroom presuming yelling at the person on the stand. "Manhattans newest Senior DA promises to be tough on crime, yet she let one of Manhattan's most dangerous criminal who murdered and raped five innocent women spend only a year in prison…"
"My hands were tied!" Alex shouted as if the TV could hear her. "He wouldn't tell me where he was hiding the victim's five year old daughter!"
Chris shushed her and Alex watched, now practically seething at the half true accusations, as her rivals commercial continued.
"Alex Cabot promises to be there for the working man, yet she voted NO on a bill that would increase welfare benefits to single working mothers…"
"That bill would have increased it by less than one percent and it would have taken away ten percent of the money from education benefits!" Alex hissed angrily.
"Can we watch this in peace or are we gonna have to keep pausing it so you can tell us what everyone in this room already knows?" Chris asked dryly as he looked down at her, his eyes shining with a bit of annoyance.
Alex sighed heavily as she looked up at him. "Fine," she growled. "But if it mentions I don't have all that much experience, I'm out…"
Chris rolled his eyes but nodded none the less as he pushed play once more.
"Alex Cabot says she's the face of 'new New York'-."
"I told you that catch phrase was stupid," Alex muttered but Chris ignored her outburst this time.
"But since she's never even held a political position above Senior DA, don't you think she's a little too 'new' to run the state of New York?"
"Oh come on!" Alex shouted angrily. "That's a not even a fact, that's just an opinion!"
The commercial changed from Alex's angry black and white picture to a colored picture of the man running against her.
With his thinning white hair a bit fuller then what it was in real life, his light green eyes sparkling kindly and a huge smile on his slightly wrinkled face, sixty three year old Joseph Luciano walking with a smiling elderly woman down a back country road faded gently onto the screen and the music softened considerably.
"Joseph Luciano has over forty years of experience serving the state of New York. He promises to never back down from his decisions, and to serve the people who can make New York what it should be, what it ought to be. He promises not to serve the men and women with the deepest pockets, but the working men and women of this great state who have the least to give but who gives the most."
"What it should be and ought to be are the same things," Alex muttered bitterly.
"So this November vote Joseph Luciano for New York State Senator. A promise… you can count on. I'm Joseph Luciano and I approve this message of hope."
"What a crock of shit!" Alex shouted as she stood up from the floor. "That made him look like he's god damn Robin Hood and made me out to be the Sheriff of Nottingham!"
"He's a Democrat," Chris said with an eye roll as he stood up as well, running a hand through his neatly styled brown hair. "Did you really expect him to tell the truth?"
"It didn't give one redeeming fact about him except promises he doesn't intend to keep!"
"Alex, listen to me-." But before he could finish his thought three people all of a sudden came running up to her and pushed in front of him.
"Mrs. Cabot, Fox news is wondering when they can sit down with an interview for you."
"I told them I could get to them-."
"We just got in the CNN poll and you're behind by fifteen points! What's your comment on the matter, Mrs. Cabot?"
"That poll is just-."
"Mrs. Cabot, the rumors are still spreading that you and Olivia married just for the gay vote. It's all over the internet. Do you want to release a statement?"
"Mrs. Cabot, you need to release a press release in three days. What do you want to include in it?"
"Mrs. Cabot, that pink blouse you wore got you on US Weekly's worst dress list for last week, any comment on that?"
"Mrs. Cabot, what would you like for lunch?"
Alex let out a loud aggravated growl and without a single word she pushed through the crowds of people in her suite and grabbed the door handle and wrenched it open only to slam head first into someone.
Alex withheld a scream as she bounced off the person and fell to the floor. Alex groaned loudly as she felt a shooting pain up and down her leg.
"Are you okay?" the very familiar inquired softly.
Alex sighed and looked up at the person she had run into and couldn't even muster a grimace as she looked at her wife of fifteen years.
Olivia still looked just as beautiful to Alex as the day she had met the brunette detective. Her hair lost some of its luster and color but it was still soft and silky and Alex loved nothing more than running her fingers through it, not caring that every day she would find just one more gray hair.
The wrinkles on her face had grown more pronounced over the year but she was still amazingly beautiful and anyone could mistake her for a woman in her early fifties or even late forties instead of the 60 year old woman she really was and instead of her firm and tight size six body she had been when they met she had grown two sizes and her daily work outs came less and less frequently but she could still turn Alex on in a mere heart beat.
"Are you hurt?" Olivia asked as she held out a hand to help her up.
Alex gratefully took it and Olivia helped her off of the floor. "No I'm fine just a little stressed."
Olivia pulled her off of the carpeted floor and into her warm embrace.
Alex closed her eyes as she rested her head on Olivia's shoulder, the strength to even lift her arms to embrace her forgotten. "I miss you," Alex muttered in her ear.
"I miss you too," Olivia mumbled back as she pulled away from the embrace and. "You were supposed to come back to New York yesterday…
"I know," Alex groaned loudly, "but you don't know how busy I am up here. Plus I got a press conference in a few days, Luciano is still making commercials making me look like some horrid monster, the rumors about us are still flying over the internet-."
"Which ones?" Olivia said with a smirk that Alex glowered at. "The one where you only married me to try to get the gay vote, the one where neither of us is gay and I'm just Lily's straight and single nanny who's the victim of a poor publicity stunt done to try to get the gay vote, or, and this is my personal favorite, the one where you married me because I'm a man who got you pregnant on a one night stand then decided to have a sex change which somehow still ends up with you trying to get the gay vote?"
"I'm glad you find people speculating and lying about our love life so funny," Alex grumbled. "Meanwhile I've actually got a team of people trying to disprove them, I got Fox news, MSNBC, Dateline, CNN, and Bill O' Riley all wanting to do interviews at the same time, the CNN poll say's I'm behind that Italian dick by fifteen points, I'm on the worst dressed list, I gotta choose what I want for lunch, my hotel bill is due and I JUST have enough to cover it meaning I have no idea what I'm gonna use for food money for my entire staff or how the hell I'm gonna pay next month's rent, I am sick to death of living with 15 other people in a single suite, and if I hear 'Mrs. Cabot' one more time I'm gonna quack!"
Before Olivia could speak the door opened and someone stuck their head out. "Mrs. Cabot, I need your signatures on some documents."
"Why don't you go back inside, okay?" Olivia told the innocent staff worker seeing Alex's eyes widen to the size of saucer plates and her face turned an angry beet red.
The staff worker swallowed hard at Alex's look and nodded before she ducked back inside and shut the door behind her.
Olivia turned to Alex and wasn't all that surprised to see her hands in fists and her entire body shaking and tears appear in her eyes.
"Baby, you gotta calm down," Olivia told her softly as she wrapped her arms around her waist and brought her closer. "All of this stress is killing you…"
Alex sniffed and wiped the back of her hand across her face in an attempt to brush off the tears. "I just didn't expect it to be this hard. I'm breaking here, Liv. I don't want to do this anymore…"
"So don't," Olivia said quietly. "I know this is what you wanted all of your life, but your job is supposed to be something you love doing every day, not something you dread or hate doing or something that is gonna make you go crazy and shoot up an office building. Why don't we take a little vacation, okay?"
Olivia brought Alex in closer so that the two bodies were pressing up against one another. "Just you, me, and Lily. We can go to the Bahamas, lie on the white sandy beaches all day and get some of those ice cold fruity drinks with the little umbrellas in them. I mean you and me will get one, Lily will get a smoothie"
Alex closed her eyes and smiled lazily at Olivia's words. "Tell me more."
Olivia chuckled and kissed Alex softly on the lips. "After Lily's in bed, we can stroll down the beach for a little bit in the moonlight, just us two. Then we go back to our room…"
"And?" Alex moaned as Olivia's lips moved from her mouth to behind her ear, making the blonde weak in the knees.
"Then I lay you down on the soft king sized bed and start to take your clothes off incredibly slowly and I kiss you and run my tongue and hands over every square inch of your body and give you the most amazing pleasure you have ever experienced. Then we get up in the morning and do the same thing again day after day after day."
Alex groaned happily and shifted uncomfortably as she felt a warm wetness beginning to pool in between her legs. "That sounds beyond incredible… But I can't take a vacation like that when we're not even a month away from the election."
Olivia sighed and pulled her mouth away from Alex's skin to look at the blonde sadly. "I'm worried about you, Alex. You've lost weight, you look like death ran over twice, and I don't even want to think when the last time you got more than three hours of sleep was."
"September 23rd," Alex answered sadly. "And it was four hours…"
"And you haven't seen Lily in three weeks and I'm really worried about her too Alex. I think she's depressed. Not normal teenage depressed, but actually clinically depressed… She comes home from school and just goes into her room and listens to this music that makes me feel like I wanna kill myself.
She doesn't talk to anyone including me, she doesn't watch TV, she doesn't go online, she never talks on the phone, she isn't eating, and she's gonna be held back if she doesn't pick her grades up. She got three F's and two D's on her last report card. Plus…" Olivia looked down at the ground and shuffled uncomfortably. "We never spend any time together, Alex. I get that you're busy, I really do and I support you wanting to move up in the world, but we haven't even slept in the same bed for a month and I can't even remember the last time we had sex was."
"Olivia-,"Alex sighed sadly but Olivia interrupted her.
"I mean we've been married for fifteen years, I get it, some of the spark goes out, but I don't want us to turn into one of those old couples who never even speak to one another much less do anything together rather it be in the bedroom or anywhere else. We almost got a divorce after… well you know," Olivia muttered, feeling tears well in her eyes just at the mere thought of it as did Alex and Alex had to bite her tongue to keep from lashing out at Olivia for even mentioning the thing they had promised they would never mention again.
"Because you wouldn't talk to me after it happened," Olivia continued after she took a moment to compose herself. "I can't go through that again, Alex. I almost lost you once during our marriage I'm not doing it again…"
Alex groaned loudly and ran a hand through her hair in annoyance. "I don't want that either. And trust me I miss you and Lily more than anything. But I can't in Albany and in New York at the same time. And even if I brought you and Lily up here I still wouldn't have any time for you because I'm basically got fifteen people living in this suite with me."
"So get out of the suite," Olivia suggested. "Get your staff cheaper single rooms and you get a room without all the noise and stress and people around you twenty four seven."
"And where would I find that?" Alex asked bitterly. "Even if I did get away from everyone in this hotel room, I'd still have to pay rent and live away from my family."
A sly slow smile grew on Olivia's face. "Not necessarily…"
October 13th, Lila and Max's house, 12:57 PM, Albany NY
"So this November vote Joseph Luciano for New York State Senator. A promise… you can count on. I'm Joseph Luciano and I approve this message of hope."
"Dear lord, who on earth does that man think he is telling those ludicrous lies about Alexandra?" Lila snapped angrily as she turned the channel hastily. "I mean really, anyone with half a brain could understand WHY she did all of those things she did! Politicians are so underhanded these days!"
"Your daughter is a politician," Max said with a smirk.
Lila scoffed and rolled her eyes to the ceiling. "I meant the Democrats, darling, not the Republicans… Anyway Alexandra has run a clean campaign, why can't he do the same?"
"She's told just as much dirt on Luciano as he's told on her," Max countered.
Lila gave him a narrow glower but he refused to back down from his statement. "And politicians are no more underhanded now then when I was running for the house."
"Well in any case," Lila began with a scoff as she turned her nose in the air in an aristocratic manner. "Luciano is nothing more than a-."
A loud beeping sound interrupted her followed by the smell of thick smoke.
"What on earth?" said Lila as she and Max got up from the couch and rushed towards the kitchen from where the sound and smell was coming from.
"Oh good heavens, Max!" Lila cried as they saw thick black smoke pouring out from one of the ovens.
Max ran forward and grabbed the fire extinguisher from the wall as well as a pot holder and gripped the ovens handle and yanked down the door.
"Whoa!" he shouted loudly as he jumped back away from the oven as thick black smoke and flames shot out from the depths of the oven.
He pulled the restraints off of the handle and pulled the trigger sending a spray of white foam in the oven, quickly dousing the flames and extinguishing the small fire.
Lila clutched her heart and clutched the wall for support. She looked like she had just survived an inferno.
She breathed heavily for a few moments before she cleared her throat and forced herself to straighten out. "James!" she shouted loudly. "Get down here right this instant!"
There was a bout of silence followed by footsteps coming from the upstairs, echoing in the large mansion.
Several seconds later James Fredrick, Max and Lila's butler for the past twenty seven years walked in. His gray hair was slicked back and the tux along with the apron he had been accustomed to wearing since the day he had started working there neatly pressed as usual.
"Yes, Mam?" he asked in confusion before he noticed the smoke still pouring out from the oven. "Good lord what happened in here?" he asked in astonishment as he went over and examined the inside of the black and charred oven.
"Whatever you put in the oven and forgot about nearly burnt the house down!" Lila snapped crossly. "All of us were lucky that Max was quick enough and quenched the inferno before it could do any serious damage!"
James turned to her and shook his head. "Mam, I assure you I had nothing cooking in the oven."
Lila scoffed in disbelief and crossed her arms in front of her chest. "You're the only other person living in the house so unless Max used the oven then-.
"Mam, YOU were the last one to use the oven," James interrupted. "You said you wanted to heat up some of the left over dinner as a snack."
"That's preposterous!" Lila said with a scoff. "I doubt I would have forgotten something in the oven long enough so that it burnt to a crisp!"
"Wait a moment, I forgot I was in here earlier and heated up myself up a little snack," Max said with a laugh. "Silly me."
"YOU did this Max?" asked Lila with a gasp. "Darling, you could have put us all in danger!"
"I know, and I'm so sorry, Lila, and to you too James," Max added as he turned to him and gave him a slightly pleading look with his eyes. "It must have just slipped my mind…"
James gave him a barely noticeable nod before he turned to Lila. "Now that you mention it, it WAS Mr. Cabot who was using the oven earlier. My sincere apologies, Mam."
Lila glowered at him and straightened out her shirt. "Well just remember to think next time before you accuse someone!"
"Of course, Mam."
With a hearty 'humph', Lila stormed back into the living room leaving the two men alone.
Max sighed heavily and pulled out a stool from the island and shook his head. "I don't know how much longer I can keep this up, James."
"Her memory's getting worse then, Sir?" James asked already knowing the answer.
Max nodded slowly. "Yesterday she asked me the same question three times in a row, and the day before that I caught her looking at Lily's picture and I swear, James, she looked like she was looking at a stranger instead of our granddaughter."
Max's voice began to break as he struggled to hold in tears. "I'm eighty five years old, James… When it starts getting really bad I know I won't be able to take care of her."
"You're more than wealthy enough to afford private care, Sir."
Max shook his head. "That's not the point… What kind of husband am I that I can't even take care of my own wife when she needs me the most? And what happens if I go before her? How do I know they won't start treating her with disrespect when there's no one around to look out for her?"
"She'll have me, Sir," James said with a kind smile. "I won't abandon either of you."
Max chuckled softly and clapped his old friend on the shoulder. "Thank you, James… that means a lot to me."
The two men smiled at one another before Max's cell rang.
He dug in his pants pocket and pulled out his cell before answering it and putting it to his ear.
"Max Cabot speaking," he told the person on the other line.
"Hi, Max, it's Olivia. How you doing?"
"I'm doing well," he lied, "How are you? How are Alex and Lily doing?"
There was a slight pause before Olivia answered. "Good. But anyway, I was calling because I needed a bit of a favor…"
"Is something wrong?"
"No, no, everything's fine. It's just that, as you probably know, Alex is under a lot of stress and pressure with the campaign and living in the hotel away from me and Lily is just adding to everything to everything, and…well… we talked about it and we were wondering if the three of us could come up and live there for a while?"
"You mean come up to Albany to stay? For how long?"
"Until election night... It's just all of this stress is killing her and the hotel situation is just adding more stress and I thought this way she could get some privacy if she needed and would be eating home cooked meals and she could at least be with her family."
"What about Lily? Doesn't she have school?"
"She could transfer up there," Olivia told him. "Then depending on which way the election goes she transfers back to New York or she transfers to another school in Albany."
"What about your work?"
"I could take three months off and still not even make a dent in my vacation time. Plus like I said, depending on which way the election goes I could get a new job up in Albany anyway."
Max thought about it for a moment before he nodded. "Of course we wouldn't mind, Olivia. We'd love to have the three of you."
He could hear the smile in Olivia's voice and couldn't help but chuckle. "Thank you, Max! Thank you so much! We'll be up there tomorrow, is that okay?"
"That's perfect. I'll tell Lila and see you all tomorrow. Give Lily and Alex my love."
"Of course. Again thanks so much, Max. You don't know the good this will do her."
Then with a tiny beep signifying Olivia had hung up the phone Max put his phone back in his pocket and turned towards James with a beaming smile.
"What happened, Sir? Is everything okay?"
"James," Max said with a chuckle. "Prepare to meet the Bensons…"