Okay folks this is it, the last chapter, hope you enjoyed it, I know i had a blast writing it, thanks for all the reviews!
Kimi smiled at Mark, she had been home a few weeks, even though he was back at work, he had came to visit on his days off. He was bouncing both babies in his arms, talking baby talk, actually he was quite cute. "You look good holding Will and Ruby, you need to get a few of your own."
Mark looked at Kimi and made a face. "No thanks, I like all yours just fine, but thats because their exceptional, and I can give em back when I'm tired of them."
Kimi laughed and stood up and Mark handed her Ruby. "You know they are cute as hell." He said.
Kimi smiled and kissed Ruby, everything would be perfect, Jeff was home, he was enjoying being a daddy, and not just to Ruby and Will, he had really fallen into the roll of being a stay at home dad, with all the kids.
He had the older kids out now, they had drove down to a local playground for the afternoon.
Mark sat down holding the boy cradled in his arms. "So you got one week before you take the kids to their new home?"
He saw Kimi actually wince, he knew she was going to grieve over the kids when they were gone. "Yeah, Dakota and Ozee like the Ehawee 's, but they don't want to live there and Taki and Mato just try to be brave little soldiers, they don't say much of anything about it, we have done everything we could to make the adjustment smooth, but I just don't know Mark." She said laying a sleeping Ruby down in the extra cradles they kept in the living room.
Mark knew that Kimi wanted to keep the kids and Jeff did to, they just didn't think they could handle it, with Jeff gone so much and maybe they were right, but it didn't make them feel any better, or Mark either he loved the kids. "You know I would help you, all I could."
Kimi smiled. "I know Mark and its means a lot to me you would offer, but you have a demanding career and a life of your own you have to live, Jeff and I cant ask people to put their life on hold to help us raise our kids, its not fair, if we cant do it on our own, then we cant do it."
Mark understood where she was coming from, but he just felt so helpless, he looked down at the sleeping baby and smiled, he just prayed Jeff would change his mind, he knew that Kimi would keep the kids in a heartbeat if Jeff would back down from sending them away, Kimi was trying to be a good wife and not cross Jeff, they had made the decision together and she wouldn't back down from it.
Jeff looked at his wife feeding Will. "You sure tying to breastfeed two babies is not too much for you?"
Kimi smiled up at Jeff. "No, I want too, besides it much easing than getting up in the middle of the night and heating up bottles." She said easing the sleepy baby off her breast.
Jeff took Will and put him on his should rubbing his little back till he burped. He held him for a few minutes just smiling at his beautiful son and then got up and put him in the crib, they had set up in the bedroom beside his sleeping twin.
Jeff got back in the bed and pulled Kimi next to him. "It was nice of Mark to come down on his days off."
Kimi nodded. "He's a sweetheart, and he wanted to spend some time with the kids."
Jeff knew Mark wanted to see the kids before they had to leave, he felt like shit about the whole situation, but his hands were tied.
"He has to leave in the morning. I told him you would drive him to the airport."
Jeff nodded, but his mind was on the kids, they were so subdued lately, even Ozee hadn't gotten in trouble in two weeks, they were too quite.
Jeff looked own at Kimi who had fallen asleep, why didn't she raise hell with him, refuse to send them back, she had put the whole decision on him, with no arguments, he sighed, Life was not fair.
The kids all descended on Mark before he left. "Leksi, I love you." Mato said hugging him tight.
Mark wanted to cry, next week the kids would be gone from his life and he didn't like it one bit. "I love you too Boy." He said gruffly.
He picked Taki up hugging. "You be a good boy."
Taki nodded and wrapped his arms around Mark's neck. "You're the best Uncle in the world, Leksi."
Ozee stood beside Mark and looked up at the big man. "I go wif you."
Mark picked the small boy up and hugged him. "I wish you could little man."
Jeff and Kim watched both with a urge to cry, the big man getting emotional was about to do both of them in.
Mark set Ozee down and swung the ting girl in his arms. "I love ya Princess."
Dakota placed a kiss on his cheek. "I lub you Leksi"
Mark hugged her tight and set her down and left quickly.
Kimi shook her head as Jeff followed. One of the babies started crying and all of the kids rushed over to the cradles to see which one it was, the only thing that made them happy these days were the babies.
Mato smiled. "It's Ruby."
Kimi picked her up. "As soon as I feed her, you can hold her a few minutes."
The kids all smiled, Knowing Kimi would let each one hold her for a minute, of course she stay right on top of Ozee and Dakota, when they help her, but Mato and Taki had become little experts, they loved to help with Ruby and Will.
Taki ran and got a diaper for her. "Thank you Taki, you're a big help." She said as she fed Ruby.
Taki smiled. "Me and Mato, we can do a lot to help you with Ruby and Will." He said looking at Kimi.
He kept hoping they would notice what a big help he could be, and let them stay.
Kimi smiled gently at Taki, she knew he was trying to show her how much help they could be. "I know baby." It wasn't up to her, she would let them stay in a flat minute, she couldn't go against Jeff, they were in a marriage, if he thought it was too much, then she couldn't go against him.
She was torn into, but she had made vows to him and she wanted her marriage to work, if they were to keep the kids, Jeff had to come to that conclusion on his own, she wasn't angry with Jeff, he made lots of valid points, but sometimes, you just had to go with your heart and she hoped Jeff would realize that, if he didn't she would accept it, she wouldn't like it but she loved Jeff and trusted him to do the right thing, she knew his heart was in the right place and he loved the kids, he was trying to do the right thing for everyone.
Jeff lay on the floor in front of the TV, he smiled, Dakota was asleep on his chest. He patted her back and wrapped arm around her. Ozee lay beside him looking sleepy, but not asleep yet.
"Papa, can I have candy?"
Jeff smiled won at Ozee. "No little man, no candy, we're napping remember?"
Ozee poked out his lip, but didn't argue, Kimi was upstairs packing the kids stuff up, he should be helping her, but when Dakota had climbed up on him and fell asleep, he didn't have the heart to put her down, times like these he would never get back, at the moment this seemed a lot more important than packing the kids stuff up, it was a hour drive to The Ehawee's. He had time to lay here with them for a while. "Ozee I love you."
Ozee looked up at Jeff. "I love you."
Jeff closed his eyes, this was the hardest thing he ever had to do, Kimi wasn't going, she told him straight out she couldn't go with him, and he didn't push her.
Kimi packed the kids things up and did her best not to cry, Taki and Mato was in her room, just sitting there watching the babies sleep.
Kimi finished up, she would send the rest of their things from North Carolina through the mail. She walked over to her bedroom and bent down in front of the boys. "You guys know I love you, in my heart you're my sons."
Mato hugged Kimi. "We know Mama, we love you too."
Taki hugged Kimi tight. "Me and Jeff will visit all the time, when school is out, you can come visit us, I promise."
The boys nodded, but they both had tears in their eyes and so did Kimi, Jeff walked in the room Dakota in his arms. He handed her to Kimi. "I'll get the car packed up."
Kimi saw the look in Jeff's eyes, he was miserable. Mato and Taki walked over and both bent to kiss the babies, then they walked over to Jeff. "We'll help you Papa." Mato said.
Kimi sat down with Dakota on her lap. "Mama I no leb you, stay with Mama."
Kimi hugged the little girl. "We''ll come visit Dakota." Its the only consolation she could offer.
Dakota didn't cry, but looked so sad, Kimi took her over to look at the babies which drew a smile out of the girl.
Ozee wandered in and walked over leaning on Kimi's legs, he smiled at the babies. "Hey little man."
Ozee grinned. "Hey Mama, babies sleepy."
Kimi nodded. "Yeah, they are."
Kimi lifted Dakota and let her kiss Ruby and Will and then did the same for Ozee. Then she bent of front of the little ones. "I love both of you very much." She said pulling then in her arms.
Kimi figured she wouldn't make it through this, it hurt so bad.
Taki and Mato helped Jeff make several trips to the car to load their stuff. Jeff stopped after they were done. "Thanks boys."
They both nodded. "Papa can me and Taki still come with you this summer for a few weeks traveling?"
Jeff nodded. "I already talked to the Ehawee's, they said it was fine."
Mato nodded, he was trying to be brave, he wasn't going to cry like a big baby.
Taki looked up at Jeff, he wasn't crying but he looked like he wanted to. "You're my Papa, I'm not calling anyone else Papa." he said and ran back in the house.
Jeff just hung his head. "He'll be okay Papa, at least we will all be together, I'll take care of them. Mato said and walked back to the house.
Kimi stood at the door, her babies lined up, looking like little soldiers. Kimi bent to hug and kiss each one. "I love you guys, okay, Mato keep a good eye on Ozee, you know how he is, and remember Dakota likes to be read a story at bedtime, or she wont sleep." She said trying to think if there was anything else important.
Mato nodded. "We'll be fine Mama, don't worry."
Kimi had to blink hard to keep from crying, she couldn't break down in front of the kids, it would make it harder for them.
Kimi nodded and they turned and followed Jeff out to the car. Ozee turned back and ran to Kimi throwing his arms around her legs. "Mama I no go, please."
Kimi lifted the boy hugging him tight. "I love you baby."
Ozee looked at her with tears in his big brown eyes, she bit her lip and handed him to Jeff and turned and went in the house shutting the door, she sank to the floor and started bawling, her heart breaking.
She had prayed for the last month that Jeff would change his mind, but he didn't and now she just didn't know what to do with the emotions that overwhelmed her. What would she do without her kids, she felt like someone was stealing her children away. She loved Jeff but she wanted to shake him and scream at him, to wake up, that these children belonged with them.
Jeff drove down the highway, he had been sure Kim was going to tell him the kids weren't going anywhere, especially after Ozee had ran back to her, but she had just handed him the boy and went in the house, deep down he wanted her to throw a fit, and insist the kids stay, bur she hadn't, she had abided by his decision, it left him feeling helpless and mad, why did she just let him take the kids away, she was putting the decision on him fully and he didn't like it, he knew she didn't approve, he could see it in her eyes when she looked at him, but she didn't open her mouth to argue.
Jeff looked at Mato, who sat beside him so stoically, looking like a little man.
Then he looked in the rear view mirror, Dakota had her thumb in her mouth, she had stopped that after she first came to them, now she was at it again and she looked scared, he looked at Ozee and his heart lurched, he wasn't throwing a fit, he sat in his booster seat with fat tears coursing down his cheeks, not making a sound ,and Taki was wiping the tears from his own eyes trying not to cry.
Jeff wasn't sure how long he had been driving, he looked down at the clock, a half and hour, they weren't far now. Jeff's head pounded and he felt like throwing up, he should call Kimi, or Mark or Chayton and talk to them. Then he shook his head, this wasn't about any of them really, he knew all along Kimi would keep the kids if he agreed, this was all about him, he thought about how his life had changed in one short year.
Nobody could make decisions for him , he was grown now a married man with children, he had to make up his own mind about things.
Jeff pulled the car to the side of the road and turned it off. "Ozee come here."
The boy climbed out of his booster seat and climbed over the seat and into Jeff's lap.
Mato turned and was looking at Jeff wondering what was wrong. Jeff held the little boy close and wiped the tears from his eyes. "Thats my boy, stop crying son."
"Dakota , Taki get up here." He said.
Taki helped Dakota out of her car seat and they both climbed over the seat, Jeff smiled, he bet they made a site all of them crammed in the front seat.
"Guys, its not going to be easy, I work all the time, Kimi has the babies now, if you guys stay it will be crazy, I mean I'm hardly ever home, Kimi will be the one taking care of you all the time, you might not get as much attention as you need, I want you guys to have what you need, I don't want you to feel like we don't have enough time for you."
Mato and Taki looked at each other, was he saying what they thought he was saying.
"Papa we don't care we want to be with you and Mama, we're a family, we love you." Mato said.
"We love you guys too, You'll have to help Mama as much as you can, I mean we will all have to work together to make this work, you guys think we can make it work?"
He was met with a chorus of happy cheers and he smiled. "I have to call the Ehawee's, then me and Kimi need to set up a custody hearing with the tribal counsel."
Mato looked at Jeff. "You mean you want to adopt us?" He asked his eyes getting wide.
Jeff nodded. "Yes, You are my kids already, just took me a little time to figure that out." Ozee hugged Jeff. "Go home?"
Jeff tousled the boys unruly curls. "Yeah son we're going home."
Jeff got out and put the little ones back in the car seat and booster. Dakota hugged him as he clicked her in. "Lub you Papa,"
He kissed the little girl. "I love you too angel."
Taki hugged Jeff fiercely and then climbed in the middle putting on his seat belt. When he got back in the front and his heart nearly broke when he found Mato with his face buried in his hands crying.
"Come here, my boy." He said pulling the child in his arms. "Its okay Mato, Papa loves you, you're my boy." He said stroking the boy's head. Mato clung to Jeff till his tears finally slowed down. "Sorry Papa, I don't mean to act like a baby."
"Shh now, its okay, its okay to show people how you feel Mato." He patted the boys back. "Now lets go home, so Mama can stop worrying her. Well surprise her."
Mato nodded and slid over buckling his car seat. "Mama will be happy."
Jeff smiled. "Yeah Very happy."
Kimi wiped her face trying to erase any trace of tears, she had fed Will and Ruby and they were in the wind up cradles in the living room, she heard the car pull up in the driveway and she tried to erase the unhappy look from her face.
She got up and stopped short, there was the slamming of three doors not just one, Kimi ran to the front door and threw it open.
"Mama, Mama ,Mama."
She smiled and caught Ozee and Dakota in her arms. "Oh my babies, I'm so happy to see you."
Taki and Mato was right behind and hugged her. "We're home Mama." Mato said grinning. Kimi looked at Jeff with a curious look.
"Mato take the kids in the kitchen and give them a snack." Jeff said.
Mato grinned and picked up Dakota. "Yes sir." He said.
Jeff smiled and pulled her in his arms. "Are you up for it?"
She hugged him and kissed him sweetly. "Of course, their our children."
Jeff smiled and held her close. "Sorry it took me so long to figure that out."
Kimi grinned and they walked in the house arm in arm. "Its okay, I always have faith in my handsome husband."
They stood looking at the twins. "You know its going to be nuts right?"
She nodded. "Its okay, we're a family." She looked up at him. "Thank you Sakima, you're the best husband a woman could ask for,"
The words washed over him and he smiled and bent to hug her. This was right where he belonged.
June, Bear Butte, Black Hill South Dakota
Jeff sat on the windy Peak of Bear Butte with both babies in his arms , the other kids sat beside him in a row.
He smiled Kimi looked beautiful with the wind whipping her hair around. She sat on her knees singing a song in Sioux, he knew just enough to follow the song, she was welcoming their children into the home of her ancestors.
Kimi finished the song and turned to face her family, in her fist was handful of the fresh earth. "Great Father, knower of all I welcome my children into the home from which my ancestors sprang forth, I ask you to welcome them also as I name my children for all to hear."
Kimi stuck her thumb in the rich soil and smeared it across Mato's forehead. "My first born Mato Hardy, he accepts the ways of his people."
"My second born Taki Hardy, he accepts the ways of his people." She said smearing the soil on his forehead. He grinned at her and Kimi smiled.
Ozee giggled as Kimi swiped the dirt on his forehead. " Ozee Hardy, My third born, accepts the ways of his people."
Dakota looked up at her mother and smiled. "My fourth born Child, fist born daughter, Dakota Hardy, accepts the ways of her people."
Kimi looked at the fat little three month olds kicking in their fathers arms. "My fifth born child Will Hardy." She said wiping the dirt on his forehead. "He accepts the ways of his people."
The boy squealed and waved his little hands and Jeff smiled down at his boy.
Kimi looked at her daughter who looked so like Jeff.
"My sixth born child, my second born daughter, Ruby Hardy, she accepts the ways of her people." She said wiping the dirt to her forehead.
The little girl looked at her with so serious eyes as if she understood.
Kimi looked at her husband and smiled. This ceremony was for the kids, but she figured she could always change tradition a bit. "My husband Sakima Hardy, I accept the ways of his people and he accepts the ways of mine, we will raise our children in love and wisdom of both." She said swiping a bit of dirt across his forehead.
Jeff smiled and leaned forward to press a kiss to her lips and Kimi melted as always.
She stood and faced the rising sun and sang a song of joy to the great spirit for his blessings on her. She smiled as the wind moved over her and she knew it was Sin giving her his blessing, she felt the kids beside her singing along and when Jeff handed her Ruby and put his arm around her, she knew that she had found her perfect match.