Here is the second chapter, weekend got busy which is why I'm posting it now, I was going to make it the final chapter, but the end of this felt like a good spot to stop at, as well as a sort of set up for the next chapter which will indeed be the final chapter, I mean it this time,enjoy.

-Pessi . Rom

Thanks to: all who reviewed , favorited or followed me or this story , I appreciate and am glad y'all are enjoying my new girl fic/fics

Disclaimer: I own nothing but the names/personalities of the kiddies

Chapter 2: Holiday tension

"Alexa are you dressed?" Jess called to her daughter. Guest would be arriving soon for their holiday party.
Jess was nervous and she didn't know why. It could be the fact that Nick and her would be in the same room for over an hour, for the first time in four months.

"Yes, I'm wrapping Dad's present then I'll come down" Alexa yelled back.

"Good." Jess said then headed to the kitchen checking up on the Christmas cookies she had baked.

She hadn't noticed until after she'd put them in the oven that they were Nicks favorite.

Nick always had a way of sneaking into her thoughts. Which shouldn't be a surprise seeing how he'd managed to sneak into her heart fourteen years ago ,and stayed there. She let out a big sigh, just as Alexa walked into the room.

" You okay mom?" Alexa said walking over to her mother.

"Yeah sweetheart I'm fine. Do you want to help me set out the cookies?"

"Yep ." Alexa said .

Jess grabbed an oven mitt and towel and took a cookie tray out of the oven, while Alexa grabbed some cookie plates from the cupboard.

Jess pulled out a second tray, and after the cookies were cool enough, Alexa helped her transfer them to the plates.

As they set the cookies on the table filled with other home cooked snacks and treats, the doorbell rang signaling the arrival of their first guest.

"I'll get it!" Alexa said running to the door.

"Ask who it is before you open the door." Jess reminded her daughter.

"Who is it?!" Alexa said standing in front of the door.

"It's Winston and Gabby." Winston said.

Alexa smiled then opened the door to see her Uncle Winston and his six year old daughter Gabby. Winston's wife Laura was a doctor and couldn't make it to the party because she had to work.

"Merry Christmas! " Alexa said hugging her Uncle and saying hello to Gabby who was a little shy.

"Winston, you made it! Hello there Gabby would you like a cookie" Jess said walking over.

"Yes please." Gabby said with a small smile .

"Come along then." Jess said taking the little girls hand and leading her over to the table.

Alexa , accepted a few gifts from Winston and went to place them under the lavishly decorated Christmas tree, located in their salon. They always had secret Santa assigned for the party guest.

The Christmas tree was covered in dozens of store bought and homemade ornaments, as well as oscillating lights in every color, Jess had somehow outdone herself this year.

Alexa glanced at an ornament that was particularly special to her. The ornament was as old as she was. It contained pictures of her parents and hers that covered the surface of the circular ornament. Her favorite was the pose containing Nick and Jess starring lovingly into each others eyes, while a few months old Alexa sat between them.
She would do anything to have that happy family again, and tonight she was prepared to make that happen, because love like the one her parents had , couldn't just disappear.

With that thought she turned on her mothers iPod which started to broadcast Christmas music in the house.

Nick watches from his car as more guest entered the house , until four months ago, he'd shared with Jess.

He had been the first to arrive , but couldn't bring himself to go in. Looking at the clock and seeing that it looked like everyone else had arrived, he finally decided to go in.

Grabbing a bag containing a gift for Alexa as well as his secret Santa gift , he got out of his car and walked down the path leading to the front door.

Taking a deep breath and running his hand through his hair , he tentatively pressed the doorbell. He heard it ring, heard some yelling inside before hearing footsteps leading to the door.

"Merry Chris" Nick began to say , but the words left him as he became speechless once seeing who answered the door.

Jess was stirring a big pot of her famous hot chocolate while chatting with Cece when she heard the door bell ring.
"Alexa, can you get the door!" Jess yelled, but got no response.

"She's probably playing video games with Ben and Gabby"Cece said.

"Your probably right, I'll answer it, can you man the coco?" Jess said taking off her apron.

"Sure." Cece said as Jess walked out of the kitchen.

Jess walked over to the front door and peeked through the peep hole. She bit her lip when she saw Nick. He was looking very handsome in a casual suit, a bag of what she assumed was gifts in his hand.
She thought about how odd it was him being on the other side of the door, when just last year he had been in the kitchen 'helping' her bake the cookies.

She took a deep breath and opened the door, plastering a smile on her face.

"Merry Chris" Nick began but stopped and just stared at her.

"What? Do I have flour on my face" Jess said brushing hers hands on her face.

" No, Jess , you look look beautiful" Nick said taking in her appearance.

Jess had on simple yet beautiful red dress with green trim. Her curly hair was flowing against her shoulders and she had on a pair of black boots that warmed and showed off her legs nicely.

"Oh, um...thank you Nick." Jess said motioning for her estranged husband to enter the house.

"Daddy!" Alexa said suddenly appearing .

"Merry Christmas Lexi. These are for the secret Santa, and this is for you." Nick said hugging her then pulling out a wrapped present from the bag in his hand.

"Thank you Daddy." Alexa said.

" I 'll take those, everyone is in the living room." Jess said motioning to the bag Nick had.

"Thanks , Jess." Nick said handing Jess the bag.

He was determined to be polite and keep his anger in check during the party. Alexa looked forward to the holiday party every year and he wasn't going to ruin it for his little girl. It seemed Jess had the same thing in mind.

Jess watched Nick walk away with their daughter. She then walked over to the Christmas tree. A particular ornament caught her eye and a sad sigh left her lips.
" You ok Jess?" A voice said behind her. She turned to see Cece.

"Yeah , I'm fine." Jess said, with forced enthusiasm .

" Jess, what exactly happened?" Cece asked.

" What do you mean?" Jess asked.

" You know, with you and Nick?"
Cece said. She was shocked when Jess told her , they were separating.

She knew the couple had been having some issues, but she never expected Nick to move out. Or for this fight or whatever it was , to have lasted that long.

At first she thought Nick had done something , but Schmidt had told her that Nick always seemed so down . Nick didn't like to talk about his feelings, but he'd drunkenly admitted to Schmidt and Winston, during a guys night out , that something was broken between him and Jess and he'd do anything to fix it, to put his family back together.

" He said I looked beautiful, and I got butterflies Cece." Jess said.

"And that's a bad thing, why?" Cece asked.

"Because it makes me angry" Jess said.

"Why does it make you angry?"Cece said still not getting it.

"Because, I...we should get back to the party I'm being a horrible hostess." Jess said changing the subject and starting to walk away.

"Jess, wait, you should talk about this." Cece said.

" No Cece, I'm not talking about this, I'm going to rejoin my guest , pass out cookies, hot chocolate and eggnog. I'm gonna smile and make this party the best yet, for Alexa, nothing else matters." Jess said walking out of the room.

Cece shook her head, she'd tried. She wanted her best friend to be happy again , but this was Jess' marriage , she just hoped some how the two would be able to figure it out , not just for Alexa's sake, but for the pairs own happiness.

A/n:thanks for reading , please review it helps me grow as a writer, I'll try to post the last chapter by the end of the week or early weekend and look out for " Miller meets day" which I hope to post within the next few days.

-Pessi . Rom