15 years later
Jasmine Abigail Stokes Tyler sat by her father's side, watching her two children eagerly dig under the Christmas Tree to find their presents. Seven year old Adam triumphantly held a large box over his head.
"I found one of mine!" he yelled and ran over to his dad, who was sitting on the other side of the floor video recording the event.
"I know this one is mine!" Sara's five year old voice piped up.
Nick laughed. "Are you sure? That could be for Adam."
"No silly, it has princesses. Adam doesn't like princesses he thinks they are sissy."
"No I said they were dumb," Adam added.
Jasmine wrapped an arm around her dad as he lifted his granddaughter into his lap. "I think princess are just fine." He told the little brunette. She had more of Sara's features than even Jasmine, though Adam looked more like his father. Jasmine said her son had Nick's eyes, but he was more inclined to belief that the boy had his ears.
Nick lived for moments where his family was together like this. These were memory making times.
The first few years after the court case had been scary for Nick, not because he was afraid of Grissom coming back, but because Jasmine was entering her teenage boy crazy phase. Luckily though, he had survived.
Jasmine had graduated with honors and attended a college close to home. Neither could stand the thought of being so far apart from each other. Senior year had brought both a graduation and a wedding. Jasmine Stokes had become Mrs. Peter Tyler. It was a good match and the new addition was a welcomed change.
Eventually, the children had come along and so Nick had retired and become live in babysitter. He loved every minute of being a grandfather.
"You spoil them too much," Jasmine told him at the mounting pile of unwrapped toys continued to grow.
"No more than I did with you, and you seemed to have turned out just fine," he teased.
Jasmine just shook her head and got up to get the cookies out of the oven. She smiled as she heard an 'oaf' followed by peals of laughter. This was what it meant to be a family. Never once in the past fifteen years had she regretted her decision to switch the results.
The young woman picked up the paper that had been randomly thrown into the kitchen during the earlier hype. A sharp bark echoed through the house again. She grinned and unwound the tightly wrapped print. They would defiantly be needing this.
She carefully placed several papers in the corner of the laundry room. However, a heading caught her eye. She slowly picked up the article.
Mr. Gilbert Grissom, acclaimed entomologist, was found dead in his apartment on Tuesday, of an apparent heart attack. A memorial service will be conducted this Friday at Our Lady Saint Mary's Church at ten in the morning. Mr. Grissom was preceded in death by his mother and father. No living survivors. Donations may be sent to American Heart Association.
Jasmine crumbled the paper in her hands, unwilling to let the man destroy her Christmas. He had never tried to contact her since that day. She'd called once shortly before her wedding. She hadn't known why, maybe out of guilt. As soon as he'd heard her say her name he'd disconnected the line. She'd never tried again.
Walking with a purpose, Jasmine strode into the living room, directly to the fireplace. In one swift motion she threw the offending paper into the flames, smiling with satisfaction as it vanished into ashes. Turning, she viewed the scene before her. Her husband was holding Adam, teaching him how to hold the camcorder. Sara was eagerly reaching for the yellow puppy that Nick was cradling.
Yes, this was her family and always would be.