Disclaimer: We own nothing. Stephenie Meyer owns the characters in this story. We are just bending them to our will and having some fun with them.
"Daaaaddy!" I heard the voice of one of my children yell from the backyard.
I sighed and pinched the bridge of my nose. "We have only been home for thirty minutes! What could they have gotten into now?" I asked aloud to no one in particular. I was standing in the kitchen with my beautiful wife and now she was laughing at me.
Bella looked up from the cake she was frosting and smirked. "Don't ask me impregnating monster. You created them, I just carried them," Bella quipped as she continued to work on the cake.
When Bella was pregnant with our youngest, Alice had made the astute comment that I was an 'impregnating monster' which turned into a philosophical discussion between Emmett and Jasper as to whether I was more like Dr. Frankenstein or the Wolf Man on a full moon. Bella decided to get involved in the discussion by saying I was neither. She insisted that I was more like a vampire because according to her, while conceiving our final bundle of joy, I liked to bite.
I growled at her and decided to answer my child. "I'm coming," I yelled out the back door.
We had tried for a son.
Really, we did.
But alas, JJ was going to be the only boy in the Cullen family.
In our efforts, Bella and I were blessed with not one or two, even three or four, but seven daughters.
I was going to have to build seven towers now instead of one.
Walking out the back door, I discovered which one of my lovely daughters was calling me. It was our fourth girl, Cassandra Carlisle, or Cass as we called her. She was being held prisoner by her uncle Jasper. He had her dangling upside down over his shoulder, spinning around in circles. My Cass was squealing with delight as she screamed, "Faster! Faster!" She was now ten years old. Where did the time go?
After RoAnn was born, Bella immediately got pregnant with daughter number two. From the ultrasounds, we really thought we were having a son. However, when the time came, out popped, Katherine Renee. I liked to call her Kat and it caught on with everyone else. She was now twelve going on thirty.
Just like the first sex embargo, as soon as it was lifted, Bella was pregnant again. This time it was with Charlotte Esme. Our little Charlie as we liked to call her. My little Charlie is now eleven.
Our fourth daughter came just as quickly as the third. Bella and I decided we had both earned a break after four consecutive children in four consecutive years.
Four consecutive years of pregnancy hormones turning my wife into a sex fiend.
Four years of midnight feedings, diaper patrol, and three o'clock in the morning craving runs.
We had definitely earned a break.
Bella went on the pill as soon as possible after Charlie entered the world. We were both happy about this at the time. Luckily for me, it was not the pregnancy hormones alone that made my wife like sex.
She was naturally insatiable. During our baby-making break, our sex life did not slow down one bit. We made time to ravish each other as much as possible. Anytime…anywhere…just like always with my beautiful Bella. Whenever the need for one another hit…we were going at it.
A few late pills on a family vacation resulted in the Christmas Eve delivery of our double troubles that we named Whitney Grace and Abigail Nicole. They came three years after Charlie. My adorable but mischievous little twin girls were now seven.
The twins were something else entirely. They always finished each other's sentences and used what RoAnn liked to call the "freaky pixie twin thing." Much like Alice always having a 'feeling' about things, so did Whit and Abby…especially when it was something involving one another. They also took after their aunt Alice in stature. They were incredibly tiny and pixie like, much to my sister's delight. They were identical twins with the exception that Whit had one brown eye and one green eye. All the rest of our girls to that point had my green eyes, including Abby.
I loved all of my girls with my entire being but I wanted one of them to look just like Bella so much. However, all of my girls so far had looked just like me. Green eyes and bronze hair.
That was until a year later when our youngest and last chance at a son was born.
Laura Marie Cullen was the spitting image of her mother with her chocolate eyes and mahogany hair. She was now six. That little miss was the reason that her older sister was being spun like a top by their goofy uncle. Everyone was gathering here today to celebrate little Laura Cullen graduating from kindergarten.
"Daddy! Sa…sav…SAVE ME!" Cass giggled as Jasper stopped spinning her and took off towards the tire swing.
"Sorry Cass, you're on your own, sweetheart," I hollered at her.
"Daddy, is uncle Jasper kidnapping Cass? Because I need her to help me make cookies for Aunt Rose's birfday." I chuckled at my little one. She was working with a speech therapist at school because she had trouble with her 'th' sounds. She had grabbed my hand and was staring up at me with her big doe eyes.
Everyone attended her graduation ceremony this afternoon and then we were meeting at our house for a party in honor of Laura. Rose and Emmett were stopping to get pizza for everyone. My little bean as I liked to call my youngest was still wearing her tiny, red graduation gown. She was so much like Bella with her quiet demeanor and love of books.
"Uncle Jazz could not handle Cass, Bean. Trust me, she's not going anywhere." I picked Laura up and tickled her as she giggled. She wrapped her tiny arms around my neck and nuzzled my cheek. "Love you Daddy."
"Love you too, Bean."
We headed into the living room where two of her cousins and her oldest sister were playing video games. My oldest baby girl was now thirteen years old. I dreaded the teenage years for my little RoAnn. She was and always would be my angel. She was already becoming boy crazy. I had my work cut out for me with that one.
"Come here Laura," JJ said as I plopped her down on the couch. JJ was the eldest of the cousins, now fourteen. He told me one day last week when he was playing football with all the men in the family that since he was the oldest he had to watch over and protect all of his female cousins. They were the closest thing to sisters he would ever have.
He also told me that if I needed help with the towers he was my guy. JJ was a great kid. He was quite responsible and a little shy. He was essentially…just like his father. He was turning out just fine.
JJ pulled Laura onto his lap and let her take over the controller as he, RoAnn, and Emily played the game.
Rose and Emmett had one more child after Emily. They had a daughter that they named Claire Christine. Both of their girls were just like them. Stubborn…strong-willed…and natural comedians. They kept Rose and Em on their toes. I called it karmic justice. Emily was now thirteen like RoAnn while Claire was the same age as Whit and Abby. That made for one hell of a trio, let me tell ya. Claire and the twins were always in some kind of trouble.
After Laura was born, Bella had her tubes tied, while I also had a vasectomy. We were finished with our baby making. It was time now to just enjoy the sex. We had come to terms with the fact that there were no sons in our future. I had my girls…all eight of them…couldn't forget the mother of my seven little angels. I could not have been happier.
Heading back into the kitchen, I spied Bella laughing at something Alice said as she finished frosting the cake.
Bella had her head thrown back in laughter and the frosting pipe she was using to write out 'Congratulations Laura' clenched tightly in her fists. The years had been good to us. We were only thirty-eight so we had many years in front of us still. Seven kids before I even hit forty…seven beautiful girls with my amazing Bella. Who would have thought?
Bella gets annoyed at what she calls my 'amazing physique.' Apparently, I still have the body of a twenty-five year old while according to her; she has tons of baby fat from carrying the offspring of the 'impregnating monster.' I argue with her about this constantly. I think that she is more beautiful and desirable than she was fourteen years ago. My wife has filled out around the edges a bit more and she has this glow about her all the time. Motherhood has done wonders to her, as if she were some ethereal mother earth wood nymph with soft curves and a maternal glow.
"Staring will not get the drinks out to the picnic table," Bella said to me.
I smirked as I grabbed a cooler from the kitchen island, pecked my gorgeous wife on the cheek and headed out back to the picnic tables.
I placed the cooler beside the picnic table that we were using to set all of the food on to make it easy for everyone to get a drink as they got their pizza.
I looked up and saw that the twins, Claire, Cass, Charlie and Kat were all outside playing in the yard. They were playing a game of tag. I laughed at all of the girls. They were being silly and they made me smile.
I felt warm, soft arms wrap around my waist from behind. I smelled the strawberry, freesia combo and new immediately that it was Bella.
"Oh, Michelle. I thought you would never get out here. Hurry and kiss me before my wife comes outside."
I felt Bella dig her fingers into my side as she pinched me…hard. "Ow!" I yelped.
"Serves you right, Mr. Cullen. See if you get any later tonight you jerk!" She had a playful tone in her voice so I knew she was humoring me.
"Fine…I'll just have to call Michelle."
She huffed and pulled her arms away from me before turning to go back into the house. I pulled her back to me forcefully and whispered into her ear, "Get back here, Mrs. Cullen. If you think anyone else besides you can satisfy my urges…you are sorely mistaken." I heard her breath hitch. "By the way woman, you are sooo putting out tonight. You cannot resist me."
Bella spun around in my arms and wrapped hers around my neck. She stood up on her tippy toes and started to say something when we heard screams coming from behind us.
Those screams scared the hell out of me. They were coming from my daughter, Charlie. Edward broke away from me and ran to her faster than I had ever seen him move in our entire lives.
The way he rushed to his daughter to see what happened…it warmed me all throughout my body. I was right behind him. When we reached all the girls, they said that Charlie had tripped and fallen. Unfortunately, a few of my girls…had my balance problems.
She landed on the concrete walkway that lead up to the back door. Edward said he didn't think it was bad enough to need stitches. But, he was going to get his dad to look at it for sure. He never took any chances when it came to his girls.
I knew Charlie was okay now so I could totally oogle my husband. It was such a turn-on to watch him fawn over his little girl and take care of her. Luckily, Carlisle and Esme arrived shortly after the incident. Carlisle confirmed Edward's assessment. She did not need stitches. He cleaned up his granddaughter's cut but when it came time for the bandage…she would only allow Edward to do it. "No, I only want Dad to put it on! He always does it the right way!"
Our stubborn eleven-year old was adamant about this. She did not need as many bandages these days but the girls always preferred their daddy to take care of them in their time of need and no one else would ever do.
Yes, I had ended up with seven daddy's girls. My husband definitely had his work cut out for him. He was so protective of all seven of them. He also had a different and special bond with each of our daughters. They all had seven very different personalities.
Our girls did not always get along with one another. Edward was the one who had to play peacemaker. Lord help him when they all become teenagers.
I felt an arm loop through mine. "Is she alright, Mom?"
"Yeah, she's fine Ro." I had taken to calling RoAnn, Ro. "Daddy needs to do his bandage trick to make Charlie all better."
My little Roseanna rolled her eyes, something she was doing frequently lately and said, "Oh my god…when is she going to grow up? She is eleven years old and she still wants Dad to do the bandage trick?" That is what the girls called it over the years because they claimed that it was Daddy's magic hands and kisses that took the pain away like a magician full of tricks making things disappear.
I looked down at my daughter and smirked, "Seriously Roseanna? Do you want to go there?"
She shook her head no quickly and wrapped her arms around my waist, hugging me. She knew exactly what I meant. It was just last week…in this same backyard…where she had fallen and skinned her arm while jump roping too close to the concrete. She too, insisted on her father doing the bandage trick to soothe her injury…at thirteen years old.
Edward's voice pulled me from my thoughts. "Okay Charlie, you ready?"
Charlie nodded at her dad. She still had tears streaming down her face. Edward leaned in, kissed each one of her eyelids, her nose, each cheek, her forehead, before finally rubbing the area around the cut gently without hurting and finally placed the bandage on her knee. He then placed one final kiss over the bandaged area. This was the kiss that was supposed to actually do the healing. This was one of his many rituals that he had with all of our girls.
It had been an amazing fourteen years, watching Edward as a father. It made me kind of sad that we decided to stop. However, seven was enough for us. Seven was plenty.
We heard Emmett's booming voice and all the girls swarmed him. They loved their Uncle Emmett. All except Charlie. Edward was helping her up from where she had been lying while he bandaged her knee.
"You alright sweetheart?" She nodded into his chest as he wrapped his arms around her.
"Yo! Rosie and I need help with all these darn pizzas! We have enough to feed Bella and Edward's army of princesses. Let's get to it!"
"You ready to go help bring pizzas out here, Char?" Edward asked her.
"Okay, Daddy." I could almost see his heart melt when she said that. She hadn't called him 'Daddy' very much since she turned ten. RoAnn, Kat, Charlie and Cass had all stopped calling Edward 'Daddy' and me 'Mommy.' They felt they were too old for that. We were now 'Mom and Dad.'
Unless…they got hurt...or were sad…then Edward was 'Daddy' again. Daddy always made everything better.
Charlie ran off to help with the pizzas like nothing had happened in the past thirty minutes. Edward wrapped his arm around my shoulder and pulled me into his side as we walked to the front of the house. "What are you smiling at?" He asked me with a playful grin.
He knew how it affected me to watch him with the girls. I swear I was in a constant state of arousal with him. I look up at him and laughed, "Like you didn't already know that you are totally getting laid tonight!"
"Alright, good times…later," he smirked.
When we reached the front, all the troops were loading up pizzas from Em and Rose's car, carrying them to the backyard.
I noticed that there was a moving van next door. "Come on, Edward let's go meet the new neighbors. I've been dying to see who was going to buy the Johnson's house. I hope it's actually someone with kids this time."
I pulled my husband behind me. Well, more like drug him behind me. He did not want to go.
The two adults appeared to be a bit older than we were. "Hello! I'm Bella Cullen, this is my husband Edward. We live right next door."
The woman smiled and held out her hand. I took it in mine and shook it. "I'm Lily Black. This is my husband, Billy. It's so nice to meet you!"
"You too! I think you will be happy here. This is a great neighborhood to raise a family….do you have kids?"
"Yes, they are around here somewhere," Billy answered as he and Edward were shaking hands.
I noticed a boy who looked to be about seven or eight with his head buried in a video game. Then, I saw a girl sitting on the front porch who appeared to be about eleven with her head buried in a book.
"That's Paul and Emily. They are our niece and nephew. My brother and his wife…were killed in a car accident a few months ago. We took them in. We thought we should move and start over. A change of scenery, you know?" Lily said.
"I think it will be great for them," Edward responded before I had a chance to say anything.
"I agree. We have seven daughters. They will keep them busy."
"Wow! Seven girls?" Lily asked. She and Billy both looked shocked.
"Do you have any other children or is it just your niece and nephew?" Edward asked them.
"No, we have a son…Jacob. He is around here somewhere," Billy laughed. "He's always disappearing."
We laughed with him and then I asked, "How old is he?"
"Oh, he will be fourteen in about a month."
The look on Edward's face was priceless. He looked as if someone had just told him his dog had died.
"Why don't you go get Paul and Emily, find Jacob, and come join us at our place for pizza? You can get to know our family who are certain to be around a lot. Plus, it will allow us to get to know each other and our kids to mingle. We are celebrating our youngest daughter graduating from kindergarten today."
"We wouldn't want to intrude," Lily answer.
Edward relaxed a little and said, "No intrusion at all. Please join us."
"Alright, if you are sure," Billy said as he went to gather Paul and Emily. "We'll find Jake and be right there."
Edward and I nodded and headed into the backyard. "Almost fourteen? Fourteen? We cannot have a fourteen-year old boy living next door Bella. We just can't! RoAnn is thirteen and she is all about the boys right now. I won't stand for it. We are moving."
I turned on my husband and cradled his face in my hands roughly, "Listen to me Edward Anthony Cullen! We are not moving anywhere! What happens will happen. Our daughters have grown up in this house and I will not change that because of a boy! You will learn to deal. Besides, he probably won't be Ro's type anyway, so calm down. Sheesh!"
We started walking to the backyard again. When we got back there, we were both stopped dead in our tracks.
All of our family was talking and mingling. But it was our eldest daughter that caught our attention. Over by the fence, she was talking to and making googly eyes at a very tall, dark-skinned, black-haired, quite attractive young man.
Please don't be Jacob…please don't be Jacob. Please be just some strange guy that does not live next door. Edward will flip if that is Jacob!
"Ah, there you are! Jake… climb the fence and head on over. The Cullens have been nice enough to invite us over for pizza," Lily said. Oh shit. It was her son, Jacob. "I see your daughter has already met our Jacob," she said smiling at Edward and me.
Not good…not good at all.
Jacob jumped over the fence that separated our yards and RoAnn practically drug him by the hand over to the picnic table to get food. They were laughing and smiling at one another.
"Fourteen? FOURTEEN? There is no way that kid is only fucking fourteen! Sixteen is more like it. We…are…moving!" My husband hissed into my ear.
"Edward! I seriously doubt his parents are going to lie about his age! Would you stop it?"
"I don't know, Bells. Look at how happy his parents seem that he is so smitten with MY RoAnn. I think it is a conspiracy. Yeah, they secretly knew that I would object if I knew Jacob's real age. So, they lied and told us he is going to be fourteen because that is closer to RoAnn's age. But in reality, he is going to actually be turning sixteen…maybe even seventeen. Yeah, that's it. That has to be right."
He looked frantic and crazed. I would have laughed at him if I thought he was joking. He was completely serious. His ideas were insane!
I grabbed him by the shoulders and used the sternest voice that I could muster. "Edward! STOP…IT…NOW! You are acting like a psycho! Please, let this be. You do not even know what is going to happen between them. None of us do! Let it go! We have guests and we are not going to be rude to them."
He relaxed a little as I kissed his lips gently. "You always know what to say, how to calm me down and relax me. How do you do it?"
"Years of practice," I told him.
He took my hand in his and we started to walk towards everyone. We then noticed Jacob pointing out that RoAnn had some pizza sauce on her face. The look in his eyes when he looked at my daughter and used his napkin to gently wipe her face…made me melt…and I was old enough to be that boy's mother.
I felt Edward's hand tighten around mine. "That is it! As soon as everyone is gone, JJ and I are starting on those towers!"
I rolled my eyes at my silly husband. "Edward. Knock it off! Besides, we were next door neighbors once…look how that turned out."
"JJ!" My husband yelled as he made his way over to our nephew.
I just shook my head and laughed. I could not contain the large smile on my face as I watched our family and friends around me. Edward and I had already been through a lot. I knew we would also have a lot in front of us since we were not even forty yet.
But, it was all worth it. In the end, we were still each other's everything.
I would not change a thing.
A/N…Well, that is it my friends. This is the last installment…ever…of The Next Door Neighbors. Perhaps, from time to time I might come back and do some outtake chapters…but pretty much this is the end. We have no plans for a sequel.
I am sorry it took so long to get this to you guys. Piratehannelore and I wrote this chapter several times and then erased and rewrote it. It was not coming out right. But, we finally got it the way that we wanted it.
Thank you to Piratehannelore for coming into this story and taking on the task of writing it with me after my first writing partner on this one bailed. Love you hard girl!
Thank you to keepingupwiththekids for being my fabulous beta and keeping me in line all the time. I love you my friend! You rock! Give her some love because I just sent this chapter to her a few hours ago and she already got it back to me so I could give it to you guys today. She is amazing!
I would also like to thank TypicalTwilightMom. She is the one who called Edward an 'impregnating monster' in a review. Piratehannelore and I loved it and it kind of stuck.
The chapters are still messed up on my account for this story…so most of my regular readers will not be able to review. But I hope you will either PM me, go to the thread over at Twilighted, or message me on Twitter and let me know what you thought of the epilogue.
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Make sure you have me on author alert. I have two stories that I am trying to finish up right now. They are called Brothers & Sisters and New Moon Tavern. Once I get those two finished, I have a ton of new story ideas coming your way…one at a time of course!
Thank you to everyone who read and supported this story. I love all of my readers and you are very special to me!
Talk to you again soon!