Author's – So this is actually the very last chapter.

Chapter 31 – Epilogue

SUBURB OF EDGE – Ten Years Later

Dinner was cooking in the crockpot, so while I had the chance, I reclined on the sofa with my feet up and watched my favorite program on TV.

About halfway through the show, I heard the back door open and close. Cloud was home. "Tifa?"

"I'm in here."

Cloud walked into the den and approached the sofa. After I lowered the foot rest, he dropped down to his knees in front of me, lifted my top to uncover my pregnant belly and planted a gentle kiss there. "Hey, baby," he murmured against my skin. Then he lifted himself up to kiss me.

This was what he did every single day since I started to show. He had done the same thing when I was pregnant with Raine, our first child, four years ago.

"Feeling better today?" he asked before kissing me again.

"Much better."

"So having Marlene here is a good thing, right?"

I bit my lower lip. "Well…"

"What's wrong?"

"I have to tell you something, but I don't want you to get upset."

"I'll decide if I should be mad or not."

"I kinda caught her and Denzel kissing outside this morning."

"What?!" He jumped to his feet and started pacing. "I can't believe this. They haven't seen each other for months and just one day and they're all over each other?"

"They weren't all over each other. It was just a kiss."

"Yeah, you try telling that to Barret when he finds out. He'll rip Denzel's arm out and beat him with it. If I don't do it first."

I struggled to my feet and stopped him from pacing. "Honey, she's sixteen. She's old enough to experience a kiss."

"Yeah, but Denzel's eighteen and he should know better. Where is he now?"

"He's at work. He should be home in another half hour."

Cloud frowned. "I'll have a talk with him. You're in charge of talking to Marlene."

"I already had a chat with her."

"What'd she say?"

"She said Denzel asked her out."

Cloud grimaced. "Can't he wait two more years until she's eighteen? He can mess around with other girls until then."

I gave Cloud a reprimanding look before kissing him. "Go wash up before dinner."


We both turned to see our four year old daughter rush up.

Cloud caught her in his arms and lifted her up. "How's my little munchkin?" He wrapped his arms around her as she tightened her arms around his neck.

"Can we get a puppy?" Raine asked out of the blue.

Cloud's eyes shifted to me and he rolled them. "Not yet. We don't want to give mommy more work to do."

Raine pulled away to look him in the face. "But I'll take care of him. I promise."

"No, what I want you to do is promise me you'll never kiss a boy until you're thirty."

She gave him a funny look.

"Never mind. We'll talk later about the puppy." He put her down.

"Yay!!" She ran off.

When we were alone again, I wrapped my arms around Cloud. "Thirty? Did you forget I was only fifteen when you kissed me for the first time?"

"Yeah, and I also remember my raging hormones at that age. I'm never letting Raine out of my sight." He kissed me and then leaned toward my belly. "Hey, you in there. You better be a boy. I can't handle anymore girls."

I giggled and watched Cloud walk out of the den. I went out through the patio door to join Marlene who was sitting on the swing set in the backyard, watching Raine play with two of the kids from next door.

Her eyes came up when I approached. "Did…did you tell Cloud?"

I sat down in the swing beside her. "Yes."

"Was he mad?"

"Alittle bit."

"Please tell him not to get mad at Denzel."

"He won't. Besides, your father's the one you have to worry about."

"Cloud will tell him, right?"

"No, Cloud won't tell him. If you want Barret to know then I think the best way to handle it is to have Denzel ask his permission."

"He'll say no."

I gave her a reassuring smile. "Barret loves Denzel like a son. I think he'll be upset at first, but then he'll remember that Denzel is a good boy and would never hurt you."

"I love him, Tifa. We've known each other since we were little, just like you and Cloud."

I nodded.

"Tell me how it all started," she asked, sounding genuinely interested.

My smile widened as I thought about that first day. "I was only six when Cloud and his mother moved into the neighborhood from across town. At first I thought he was strange looking, with his wild, spiky blonde hair sticking out in every direction…"

I was happy to retell my story to Marlene. Afterall, throughout all the trials Cloud and I had faced in our lives, there wasn't a single moment, good or bad, that I regretted any of our time together.

The End

Well, that's it. This story is finally finished. Hope you enjoyed it.

As usual, I want to thank everyone that's read it and reviewed it. Your comments definitely kept me motivated and made me laugh.

My next project will be "Break Me Down: Redemption". It'll be awhile though before I post the first chapter because I've got some time off of work and I need to tackle some remodeling projects at home. Wish me luck laying down ceramic tile in the bathrooms. D:

I've updated my profile page with all of my upcoming stories. Let me know what you think.