So there you have it, the epilogue of this story, I really didn't want it to end, that is partly why it took so long to write it. I love these characters, so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you all for taking this journey with me and for all your help, support and encouragement, I love you all, 'group hug!'
To my beta, my Lady Seif, thank you so much honey, you know how much you mean to me xxx
I sat back in my tattoo chair and stretched my aching back, I had been sat here for the last six hours to get this tattoo finished for my client. I didn't do that much tattooing anymore, I only had two or three appointments each week and none of them usually lasted this long. I had four kids to take care of, well, five if I include Edward and I wanted to be at home more, to take care of my family. My life had changed so much, I had gone from having nothing and being lonely and unlovable to being very wealthy, being surrounded by family and loved unconditionally.
"Hey Buttercup." Edward said coming up behind me and massaging my stiff shoulders. "I'll finish this up for you, go home and I'll be there soon." He said kissing the top of my head, I lifted my face up to kiss him. "I'm thinking, a long soak in the tub, candles and a bottle of wine, sound good?"
"Mmmm that sounds amazing." I agreed, kissing him again.
As I walked the few hundred yards back home, I thought about the life I had here. Eclipse had been almost unknown until a few years ago when Dad was invited onto that TV show 'Ink Master,' as a guest judge. That was followed by a feature in Inked magazine, Dad was wearing the T-shirt that I had given him before he left, it said. 'I have a tattooed daughter, just like a normal daughter except much cooler and yes she gave me this shirt.'
Dad volunteered Edward and Jasper onto the show as contestants, when it was a doubles competition. They wiped the floor with the competition of course, winning the show easily. That resulted in another huge feature in Inked magazine, I'm not going to lie, watching your husband on TV is weird, but man, my guy is seriously hot. Other contestants asked Edward about his own ink, seeing the pride on his face when he told them that his wife did most of them. Made me smile as much as he was, then some ass called Hunter asked him if I was hot, to which he replied, 'a) extremely and b) you do know who my father-in-law is right?' Since they had done the show, to no ones surprise at all, really, our female clientele has gone up by roughly two hundred percent.
Now we not only couldn't do walk-ins anymore, but we were booked a year ahead, it was crazy. We were booked so far ahead that we were actually refusing to take new clients on at the moment so that our regulars could get work finished. Though I have to say, that it wasn't worth the weeks I had to live without Edward here, whilst he was away at the competition. Those were very hard times and in the end, Ice and I had to take the kids away for a while because we couldn't stand being home without our men.
Ice and Jazz have three children, Noah, Noel and Summer, they are completely manic, just like their mother, like three Tasmanian devils. My children are very calm in comparison, although they are all more than capable of being little devils themselves at times. At the time Jazz and Edward were away, I was pregnant with Tariel, so obviously Mom, Grams and Esme came with us on holiday. Six kids at our beach house in St Lucia was more than Ice and I could handle alone. Although we do normally try and spend time with the kids at the beach house at least twice a year.
Dad and Edward still have their crazy competitive thing going on, only now it has escalated to car racing. They have had a racing track built behind the stables and they are constantly out there racing each other. Personally I think it is far more dangerous, especially as now practically every so called adult male in the family is taking part in these races. Edward has been begging me to let him test out my new Bugatti Veyron super sport, I still haven't told him that I have tested it out myself. It's magical! My family will bust a nut if they find out that I have been on the race track, especially if they knew that I had beaten all of their lap times.
I walked into the house to find Jared standing by the kitchen island with a glass of whiskey in one hand and Lucinda wrapping a bandage around the other hand. Alistair was sitting at the island with the biggest grin on his face as my eight year old daughter sat sticking band aids on his face. Alistair and Jared had spent the last few months building the kids the most deluxe and elaborate tree house I have ever seen.
"What's happened?" I asked.
"He had an argument with a hammer and lost again." Lucinda said, doing her best not to smile.
I shook my head, "what's that? The tenth time this month?" I asked.
"I was distracted." Jared said with a shrug of his shoulders.
"Let me guess... said distraction wouldn't be about five foot six, brunette and named Kim by any chance?" I asked.
Lucinda turned away hiding her smile, Alistair just snorted and Jared bless him, blushed. Kim was a new nurse that was working at the clinic, she had only been working there for a few weeks. We were all well aware that Jared was besotted with her, he just hadn't had the courage to ask her out yet.
"I don't think that you should be wrapping that up Luce, I think it would make more sense to send him to the clinic to have one of the nurses check it out." I suggested.
"You know, you are absolutely right Bella, Alistair take him over there now." Lucinda insisted, the color drained from Jared's face.
"It's fine, it was just a bump, there is no need to fuss." Jared tried to insist.
"Oh I insist." I said as I scooped Arwen into my arms to take her for her bath, giggling to myself after seeing the fear on his face. Honestly, for such a take charge, in control guy, it was almost hysterical that he was so shy where Kim was concerned.
I looked in on Seth, who was already asleep and kissed him, I couldn't believe that he is almost five already. Then I checked in on my babies, Lindl and Tariel, who were three and eleven months respectively. It seems only a few months since they were born, but they grow up so fast, which was another reason I wanted to be at home more. I didn't want to miss out on seeing them grow up, because it all just happens so fast. They are only babies for such a short time, I owed it to them to make sure that they have the best childhood that I can give them. Normally I would have been home to put them all to bed, I felt guilty that I hadn't done that today, though Friday was the one night of the week when Eclipse stayed open until late.
Honestly, my life was completely blessed, I had a gorgeous husband who went out of his way to worship me. I owed him everything and loved him more than life itself, unbelievably he felt that way about me too. I had four beautiful children, who were my whole world, it was an honor and a privilege to have them in my life. I had loving parents whom I adored along with my entire family, I had two best friends that also happened to be my Aunt and Uncle. I loved and received their unconditional love, love that I now understood, it didn't come at a price and it was given freely and without hesitation.
It wasn't too much later when Edward strolled into the house after work, oh boy, that man is so beyond gorgeous he should wear a warning label, 'liable to cause exploding ovaries.' He smiled that 'I so own you,' half smile when he saw me ogling him as always. Oh yes my mouth was hanging open, possibly even drool hanging from my lip, but hey, he is mine and his sexy ass still turns me on all the time.
None of my babies had slept very well the last few nights as they were all full of cold. By midnight Edward had been in to get Tariel and she was now sprawled across his chest. Not half an hour later Lindl came in clutching his teddy, well I say his teddy, it was actually my Umbreon, he had claimed it the moment he first saw it, he was rubbing his sore nose and climbed into bed with us. Within the hour Arwen and Seth were also in the bed with us, although Edward had to go to the kitchen and ice his family jewels after Seth kicked him in his sleep. I was still giggling when he came back into the bedroom fifteen minutes later.
"I don't know why you find this so funny, he could have done some serious damage, you do realize that we might not be able to have anymore children, right?" Edward said, completely serious.
"We are not having anymore, there is no room in our bed for anymore." I pointed out.
"We'll get a bigger bed, besides, now Tariel is eleven months it's about time we started cooking the next one." He said, still completely serious, as Arwen did her starfish impression and spread out even more so that Edward and I had even less room on the edges of the bed. Lindl almost headbutting me as he moved to lie length ways across the pillows.
"If they stayed this small, you might have had a valid point... can you imagine how big they'll be in another couple of years, when you turn around and say that five is an uneven number so lets have another one." I said.
He grinned at me. "And?"
"Okay, we can have more provided you are the one who gets pregnant and carries them for nine months." I suggested.
"If that were possible I would, but since you love me so much, you will have to do it for me." He said, grinning and reaching for me, he couldn't reach of course, not with four starfish between us.
"Oh, wait... since you started letting them come into our bed there hasn't been any night time procreating at all, so I guess we'll have to stop at four." I said grinning.
Without saying a word he slipped out of bed and came to my side, tugging me out of bed too. He threw me over his shoulder, as I struggled not to squeal and wake the kids, now that they were all sleeping. Edward carried me into the shower and turned it on, the water was freezing and instantly soaked through the t-shirt and panties I was wearing, along with his PJ bottoms.
"What the hell, are, you doing?" I managed to say between giggling fits.
"You have been neglected, it's my civic duty to service you." He said, sliding me down his body and moving my legs to wrap around his waist.
"We made love in the bath tub not four hours ago and it's now almost two in the morning." I pointed out.
He pulled off my t-shirt and ripped off my panties then leaned me against the tile wall, he barely pushed down his PJ bottoms enough to release himself before he impaled me, his mouth hot and heavy on mine as the water got hotter. Though it could have been us heating the water, I wasn't sure as he thrusted into me in a slow deep rhythm that was just too good to complain about. He nuzzled my nipple before taking it into his mouth, this man had a seriously unhealthy addiction to my body when I was pregnant, I'm sure that was his plan. I wasn't on birth control and as I had completely stopped breast feeding last month, I knew I would be pregnant again soon, if I wasn't already...
"Hey, come back to me." Edward said.
"You were miles away, what's wrong?" He asked.
I sighed, "I still haven't had my period." I pointed out.
I rolled my eyes at him, "I could be pregnant again." I said a little exasperated.
He grinned and my chin fell to my chest, "hey, Babe, it's not that bad, just one more then we'll stop I promise." He coaxed, trying to lift my chin.
I let out a sob that I didn't even know was coming. "I'm already two dress sizes bigger than I used to be, I won't be able to lose the weight again and you will have to live with the bloated whale forever." I cried, so emotional, I am definitely either about to start my period or I'm pregnant again.
"You are the sexiest, most beautiful woman on the planet, you are also my wife and the mother of my children. I will always worship you and spend the rest of my life making love to you, you mean everything to me... besides, I like having more of you to hold on to." He said, smiling at me, trying to get me to smile too. I couldn't I was far too emotional, I slid down his body despite him trying to stop me and I sat on the shower floor and cried. The thought of having to go through childbirth again... I couldn't, I didn't want to be in that much pain again, I had had my fill of pain.
"Noooo, no! Baby no! Fuck! Bella I'm sorry, shit please Baby, no!" Edward sobbed as he scooped me into his arms and carried me out of the shower.
"Is everything okay, Daddy?" I heard Arwen say from the other side of the bathroom door but still I couldn't stop crying, it was like the dam had opened and there was no way to stem the flow.
"Everything's fine Angel, go back to bed please." Edward told her, his voice cracking as he sobbed into my wet hair, unable to quieten me.
"Do I have to go back to my own bed?" She asked, I could imagine her pout but it still wasn't enough to stop my sobs.
"Please Angel, I'll be there soon, okay."
"Is Mommy alright?" She asked worried.
"Mommy is not feeling well, but she's okay, don't worry Angel." Edward tried to assure her.
"Okay, don't be long Daddy."
"I won't Angel, I promise." He said, waiting to hear her go out of the bedroom door. "Bella, Baby, please stop crying, I'm sorry, I never thought. I... I." He struggled to say, as he carried me into the bedroom.
He quickly took the other three sleeping babies back to their own beds before he returned. I had managed to quieten, but I still couldn't speak, just the concept of more pain was too much. I pulled the towel that Edward had put around me tighter and curled up in a ball, that was how he found me when he returned to our bed. He pulled me into his arms and rocked us both.
Several times during the night Edward tried to get me to talk to him, but I just couldn't. How could I tell him that I didn't want another baby? I loved my kids as much as I loved him, but I didn't want to go through that again. I crawled out from under him early the next morning and went to the bathroom to shower and get the kids ready for another day. I can't even begin to explain the relief I felt when I discovered that I had started my period. I had felt so utterly sick at how I felt when I thought I might have been pregnant, I know that if I had been; I would have had the baby. That had never been a question I had to answer, I would never have terminated it, that was just something I wasn't capable of.
"Babe?" Edward said walking into our bathroom, the man had seen me poop on the table whilst giving birth. I felt no need to hide anything from him after that, so he doesn't think twice about walking in on me when I'm in the bathroom. "Hey, you ready to talk to me now?" He asked hesitantly.
"I'm sorry." I said simply, he looked at me and saw the tampons behind me. "I just can't go through it all again, not the pain." I said, feeling the emotion taking hold of me again.
"No, I'm the one that's sorry, Bella." He said, wrapping his arms around me. "I never once thought about how all this affected you, you deserve so much more than that, so I'm sorry. I promise I won't bring it up again, okay?"
"Okay." I said and he kissed me until our bed started to creak with the strain of little people jumping up and down on it.
I had just come back into the house after being at the stables with Arwen, Seth and Lindl. Edward walked into the kitchen with Tariel on his hip, he had a serious frown on his face.
"Can we have a word with you?" He asked me.
Lucinda looked up at me from where she was preparing lunch at the kitchen island, giving me a nervous look. "Come on kids, lets get you cleaned up whilst Mom and Dad have a grown up talk." She said.
I followed Edward into the dining room where most of my family were sat. Not one of them looked happy, in fact Dad and Alistair looked rather angry. Then I saw the stat's printout from the racetrack and I knew what this was about. Jared gave me a quick shake of his head to let me know that he hadn't told on me.
"You do realize that the track electronics automatically register each car and the times and speeds every time its used, don't you?" Dad asked.
"Yes, I am aware." I tried for innocence but I could feel my face heating up.
"So imagine our surprise when we printed off the whole stats for the month and found that your Bugatti was on top of all the results." Edward said.
"That includes fastest speed." Jazz added, none to happy.
"What the hell, Bella?" Papa said, shaking his head at me.
"What the hell did you think you were doing?" Dad asked.
"Did you think for one second what it would do to us all if something had happened to you on that track?" Edward said angrily.
I sighed, I had been ready for this confrontation, it just happened sooner than I expected. "What is so different with it being the Bugatti? You don't seem to have a problem with any of the other cars results." I pointed out.
"You weren't driving the other cars, that's what is so different." Edward damn near yelled at me.
"So, let me get this straight, it was only dangerous and a risk because I was driving?" I asked them all.
"You know that's not what we meant." Alistair finally spoke up.
I looked at Jared and rolled my eyes, then sighed again. "When I have a problem with you all racing each other and being idiots, that's okay because you all took a weekend course on racing." I said.
"A course that you didn't take." Dad tried to point out.
I stood in front of them and folded my arms, Jared got up and came and stood behind me. "Please don't tell me that you are backing her up on this J?" Edward asked in surprise.
"Actually I am and not just because she happens to pay my wages! While you all took a two day driving course, Bella has been on a six week training course and is more qualified to race her car than all of you put together." Jared said, he raised his hand to stop them when they were all about to argue about my safety. "I always accompany Bella, she sticks to the strict race rules and she is a thousand time more careful than any of you. Granted, she is a mother, but looking at this from her point of view, her life is no more important than any of yours." Jared stated.
"It is to our kids." Edward argued, glaring at me. Making Tariel cry at the raised voices, she reached for me. "I can't believe you knew about this and didn't feel the need to tell us."
"I don't race against anyone, I just drive my car and I never take it faster than I can handle, so until you can all say the same, you have no argument." I told them all, turning my back on them and walking out to get Tariel her lunch.
"Bella, I don't want you driving that car, not on the track, it's too dangerous." Edward said following me out.
"Exactly Angel, none of us even knew you were out there, anything could have happened." Dad said from behind him.
"Fine, after lunch I will go out to the track, you can come with me if you want and observe, if after seeing me drive you still have a problem, then you can..." I wanted to say something rude, but I decided against it. "Write a letter of complaint." I suggested as I strapped Tariel into her chair and Lindl came to sit on my lap to eat his lunch. Honestly I'm in more danger when I go shopping with Ice, she drives her Porsche 911 like a road rage beast, I won't let her drive my kids anywhere she is that bad.
After lunch as promised I had the entire family sat in the bleachers, first time I took Edward out with me.
"Shit, Buttercup, you're a better driver than I am, I can't believe that I never realized that." Edward said. "Okay I concede that you can drive the fuck out of this thing, but please at least let us know when you are on the track in future. And for the love of god remind me never to compete against you."
I grinned as I came to a stop to let him out and Dad got in, so I did another lap. "Fuck Angel, you drive like a demon, I can't believe how well you handle this car. Just do me a favor and let me know when you are out here and please have just one race against Cullen, I'd love to see you wipe the smile off that smug little gits face just once." He said, I was laughing my head off by the time I came to a stop again.
Finally I had my life in order, everything was just how I needed it to be and I finally had that little bit of rebellion where I could let off steam and drive my super sexy car and not have to hide it. I did eventually give in and race against Edward, he sulked for two days after and I beat my own record. I cheered him up later when I did his tattoo that matched my own. It was the tree of the king from, 'The Return of the King,' covered in blossom with five leaves on it. Each of the leaves was a name, Arwen, Seth, Lindl and Tariel, but whereas on my arm the last one said Edward on it, on Edward's arm his had Isabella on it. Forever entwined, always together and perpetually family.
A/N So there you have it, I hope you had as much laughter and tears as I had writing it. I can't believe it's over :'( outtake of Garrett and Kate getting together coming soon. Thank you so much for reading. HUGGLES!