Monday, 27 March 2017

The Miskin Legacy - Generation Five, Part Six: Mama Tiger, Papa Bear

"Oh God, I f*****g hate this..."

As Roxy looked at her swollen stomach in Mac's bedroom mirror, she let out a bitter groan. The last eight-and-a-half months hadn't exactly been a walk in the park for her. First, there had been all the weird cravings and morning sickness - which had the least appropriate name in the world, as it seemed to occur at every hour of the day. Then came the mood swings, which had made her fluctuate from giggling girl to hell-bringing harridan in a matter of seconds. And, worst of all, her hard-earned slender, athletic frame had ballooned into a puffy, pudgy trainwreck - sending her self-esteem crashing into the ground.

Still... at least it would be over soon.

As he was passing the doorway, Mac heard his dear friend muttering various curses as a long-endured ache began to flare up in her back once again. After a moment's hesitation, he decided he'd better go in and check on things - just to make sure Roxy was OK. (She was carrying his baby, after all.)

It alarmed him greatly, therefore, to realise that this tough, no-nonsense detective was now on the verge of tears.

"What's wrong?" he asked.

"Jesus, Mac, just look at me!" Roxy snapped back. "I haven't slept right in days! I can hardly eat anything without hurling it all back up! I have aches in every possible place you can have them! And to top it all off, I'm plumper than a prize pig!"

"What, you think your belly's big?" Mac chuckled. "You should see mine! Doctor reckons it's quads."

Roxy had to giggle at that.

"Well... all right," she said, calming down slightly. "I suppose I'll drop the weight, in time. Still, I'd feel a lot more attractive if I didn't have all these hideous stretch marks."

"Oh... is that what they're called?" Mac said, intrigued. "I thought those were your stripes."

Roxy turned to him - her mood a mixture of puzzled and irritated.

"'Stripes'?" she asked.

"Yeah," Mac replied, taking hold of Roxy's hands. "Your tiger stripes. Because that's what you're going to be soon, right? A fierce, brave tiger mama - strong and tough. Only a man with a death wish would mess with you."

Roxy blushed, touched by Mac's poetic compliment.

"'Tiger mama'... I like that. Just like the one on my belly. Only that's all stretched out now, too."

"Nah," Mac told her. "It's not stretched... it's grown. It got bigger so it could protect our precious baby. Just like its mama will."

Stepping forward, Mac wrapped his arms around Roxy's waist - bringing his hands to rest on her baby bump.


"You really are beautiful, you know," he told her lovingly. "Look, I know this pregnancy hasn't been easy for you, but... I really do appreciate what you're doing for me. And just think - a few weeks more, and our little one will be here. Everything you've been through will have been worth it. I promise."

Before the month was out, Roxy would be severely questioning Mac's statement.

"Ow! OOWW! Oh, sweet Jesus, ow!"

It was a Monday morning, and although she herself was now on maternity leave, Roxy had gone into Mac's room to make sure he was up for work. He had a terrible habit of snoozing the alarm clock so many times in a row that he damn near woke up in the afternoon instead. As she had approached the bed to rouse him, Roxy had suddenly felt a flood of water rushing out from between her legs, swiftly followed by pain coursing through her mid-section.

The baby was coming.

Half an hour later, Roxy found herself lying on Mac's bed: legs spread and her bottom half stripped, with a blanket covering her for modesty. As the mother-to-be groaned and gasped, Mac stood by her side and held her hand, doing his utmost to keep her calm - and desperately hiding his own panic in the process.

"Roxy," he told her, "I think this baby is well on the way. I'm going to call for a doctor."

"No!" Roxy wailed. "No, Mac! No doctors! Please!"

"But, Roxy - "

"I don't want a doctor here!"

Mac didn't know what to do. His father was at work, and his mother was out shopping. The only person in the house - apart from Roxy - was himself. 

"All right," he said, realising what the only possible course of action was. "I guess I'll have to deliver the baby myself. Just... just let me call my father for help, OK?"

"Mac - "

"I need help here, Rox. This isn't exactly my line of expertise."

Roxy sighed.

"All right. Phone your dad. But please - hurry."

Mac whipped his phone out of his pocket, and hastily dialled his father's number.

Over at the hospital, Milo was on his morning coffee break. Upon seeing his son's name flashing up on his phone screen, he put his drink to one side and took the call right away.

"Hello, son. What's up?"

The response he got was rushed and frantic.

"Dad - it's Roxy. She's having the baby, but she doesn't want a doctor, and Mum's not here, and I - I have to..."

"Whoa, whoa, Mac - calm down. It's OK. Stay on the line. I'll tell you what you need to do."

Over the next few minutes, Mac put his father on loudspeaker, and, as instructed, went to kneel at the end of the bed to check on Roxy's progress. It soon emerged that she was fully dilated, and ready to bring their baby into the world.

With his father's assistance, Mac prepared himself to deliver his first born. He made sure Roxy stayed calm, giving her clear instructions about when she should push, and when she should rest - constantly reassuring her, and praising her courage and strength.


The next twenty minutes felt like an eternity. Roxy experienced pain beyond all description, and Mac had no choice but to watch her suffer: he needed to stay focused on the imminent arrival. As the moment drew ever closer, Milo gave Mac some final guidance - which Mac immediately passed on to Roxy - and the exhausted woman put all of her remaining energy into one final push.

A loud cry pierced the air.

As Roxy slept, Mac seized his chance, and got a doctor to check on his newborn son - just to ensure that he was healthy. Thankfully, Milo was all too eager to meet his newest grandchild, and had rushed home from the hospital the moment he had heard the infant crying through his phone. Besides, checking the little one over offered several opportunities for cuddles and snuggles.


"He's fit as a fiddle," Milo told Mac proudly. "As well as being cute as a button."

Mac smiled.

"Thank goodness," he replied. "And I must agree with you. He's one handsome little boy, all right."

"Have you chosen a name for him yet?"

"Well, I - "

Before Mac could answer, Roxy turned and wriggled in her sleep.

"He's my son," she mumbled weakly. "I want to name him."

"But, Roxy," Mac began, "We've a tradition in this family. All boys' names must - "


"Excuse me?"

"Marcel Rhodes Miskin. That will be his name."

With those words, she rolled over, and nodded off once again. No-one could have blamed her. Having a baby was tiring work.

Mac sighed, relieved. The name began with an M. And more importantly - he liked it. Filled with joy, he approached his son's cradle, and scooped the newborn up into his arms, cuddling him close.

"Hello, Marcel," he said softly. "I'm very, very happy to meet you."

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The Miskin Legacy - Generation Five, Part Five: Promises and Passion


Within a few weeks, Mac was in perfect health, and able to return to work. The Chief decided to keep him off active assignments for a while - just to give him a chance to settle back into things slowly. Everyone in the station was glad to see him back, and he spent a great deal of his first day just talking to everyone and reassuring them he was all right.

That said, the two detectives weren't completely out of the woods yet. Time would tell if Roxy would be charged for shooting the kidnapper - unreasonable force, that sort of thing. However, when the culprit, Jared Mullin, had himself recovered from his injuries and was finally called to court - the night's events laid out before the jury - it was decided that Roxy had acted in self-defence. Mullin, by his own admission, had fired first: a potentially lethal shot at Roxy, which Mac had bravely taken on her behalf. In the court's view, therefore, Roxy's response was utterly justified.  An understandable action in the line of duty.

Mullin pleaded guilty to theft, kidnapping and attempted murder... and despite naming his fellow burglars as part of a plea bargain, he was sentenced to thirty years in prison. Justice had been done.

After his first day back at work, Mac headed home feeling happy, but rather worn out. As he stepped into the kitchen, he spotted two rather unusual things.

One, Roxy was already back.

Two, she was cooking something.

Roxy never cooked. Most of the time, Zara still made the family's meals, or else, Mac himself would don the chef's apron. Roxy, for the most part, lived off microwavable meals and takeaways. Yet, here she was, whipping up something in a frying pan - occasionally pausing and cussing violently as she scraped the sticking food up with a spatula.

Upon noticing Mac, she gestured towards the table.

"Oh, hi Mac. Take a seat. Dinner will be ready soon."

'Dinner?' Mac thought. 'Roxy made us dinner?'

Curious, he sat down at the table as requested. 

"Where's Mum and Dad?" he asked.

"They've gone to Miranda's for the evening," Roxy replied. "Poker night, or something. They won't be back until tomorrow."

After a few moments, Roxy plated up her food into two servings, and brought it over - passing one to Mac as she settled down with her own.

The meal, by far, was not the best that Mac had tasted. Eggs and bacon weren't exactly cordon-bleu cuisine. On top of that, the eggs were runny and the bacon was slightly burnt. However, he appreciated how hard Roxy must have worked to put together this unfortunately mediocre fare. Not wanting to hurt her feelings, he gritted his teeth, smiled, and did his best to savour the food slowly.

Perhaps some conversation would help distract him.

"I had a word with the doctors before I was discharged," he told Roxy.


"Yeah. About you and me having a baby."

"I see."

"There's this procedure they can do. Basically, they collect my sperm first, and then they - "

Roxy slammed her knife and fork down on the table sharply.

"Mac. Please. Not over dinner."

"Oh. Right. Sorry."

After they had finished their meal, Mac got up to clear the plates - but Roxy stopped him, gently pushing down on his shoulders.

"No, no," she told him. "It's OK. I'll do it. You've just come home from hospital - I want you to rest."

"Oh... all right. Thanks, Roxy."

"To help you relax," Roxy added, "I've run a bath for you upstairs. I used piping-hot water, so it should just be at the right temperature now. Why don't you jump in, and I'll talk to you afterwards?"

Mac smiled, touched by her gesture.

"Well... a bath would be nice. OK then. I won't be too long."

"Nonsense. You take you time."

As Roxy got on with the washing-up, Mac headed upstairs. As he entered the bathroom, he saw that the bathtub was filled with bubbly froth... and even a few rose petals. They were certainly a nice touch.

Within seconds, Mac had stripped off his clothes and settled down into the warm, soothing water. Out of the corner of one eye, he saw that Roxy had left one of her mud face packs out on the counter. An innocent mistake, no doubt... but still, he'd always been curious about what they were like. 

Meh. What the hell.

After blissfully unwinding for fifteen minutes or so, Mac washed the mud off his face, dried himself off, and clad himself in his dressing gown and slippers before heading into the corridor.

Roxy was there waiting for him.

And Mac couldn't take his eyes off of her.

Roxy leaned against Mac's bedroom door, clad in sexy lingerie - a flirtatious look blazing brightly in her eyes. Mac stood before her, frozen to the spot - his heart pounding in his chest like a jackhammer, his own eyes like those of a rabbit caught in headlights. 

Seeing his stunned reaction, Roxy giggled girlishly.

"So... you like it, then?"

Mac swallowed nervously, and tried his absolute hardest to respond.

"I... I..."

It was no use. He'd been transformed from confident detective to a jabbering fool. Roxy stepped towards him, reaching out her arms to stroke his body playfully.

"I'm going to keep my promise, Mac," she said. "But I am not going to a hospital. No more operations, no more doctors. Not now. Not ever. If you and me are going to have a baby... we're going to do it the good old-fashioned way. And now's the perfect time."

With those words, she kissed him.

As she pulled away, Mac inhaled deeply - desperate to restore the breath that Roxy had just stolen from him. Meanwhile, Roxy took hold of his hands tenderly.

"There's just two things," she said. "First of all, you have to understand that this doesn't make us a couple. OK?"

Mac nodded.

"Second -  nothing is going to change between us. We're equals now, and we'll stay equal when the baby's here. Agreed?"

Mac nodded again.

"Very well," Roxy said. "The ball's in your court now, Mac. We can either go ahead with this, or we can - "

She was silenced suddenly as Mac threw his arms around her, pulling her forward into a deep and passionate kiss.




Early the next morning, Mac stirred in his sleep as sunlight shone into the room.

Last night had been the most amazing night of his life. Until then, any notions he'd had of Roxy "wanting" him, kissing him, making love to him, had been strictly confined to the realms of fantasy. Last night, however, his dreams had become reality. 

With Roxy firmly in the driver's seat, the pair had explored each other's bodies lovingly and tenderly, eventually resulting in an overwhelming bliss - a pleasure that Mac had never experienced before.

As he began to awaken, he smiled at the newly-made memories going through his head, and rolled over to embrace Roxy one more time. 

His hands, however, merely fell onto a empty spot.

Alarmed, Mac jolted awake, sitting bolt upright in bed. Roxy wasn't there beside him. In fact, she wasn't anywhere in the bedroom. His bliss replaced by a nervous unease, Mac pulled on his dressing gown and headed downstairs.

Eventually, he found Roxy in the living room - fully dressed, and lacing up her boots. When she noticed Mac come in, she greeted him casually.

"Morning, Mac. Come on, you'd better get dressed. We'll be late for work."

Mac was stunned. Was that it? After everything they'd experienced last night, all Roxy had to offer him now was some blasé comment? Didn't it mean anything to her? Didn't she care?

"Roxy?" he asked.


"Didn't you... well... enjoy last night?"

"Course I did. I just don't see any reason to make a big deal out of it, that's all."

As Mac contemplated this, Roxy's own words from the previous evening came back to him.

"Nothing is going to change between us."

Ah. That explained it. Roxy had agreed to give Mac a child - that was all. She wasn't interested in this becoming a regular thing. She'd made it very clear that, despite everything that had happened, and despite the ever-growing bond between them, she still had no interest whatsoever in the two of them being together. On top of that, last night hadn't exactly been her first time... although it had been his.

Then again: couple or not, at least Roxy was still here - still in Mac's life, with no intention of going anywhere.

And better still, a few weeks later... it became clear that she would be keeping her promise after all.