Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters used in this story. Stephenie Meyer owns them all (lucky). I am just having some fun and gathering entertainment from them. I also do NOT own the name Social Distortion. In addition, I do not own the name, Dr. Greene. I had a reader point out that Dr. Greene was a cancer doctor on ER. I did not know this. I have never watched that show. I also do not own Songs Like This by Carrie Underwood and I realize that Toni, Xander and Edward did not really write it.
A/N…I cannot tell you how SORRY I am for leaving you hanging. It was never my intention. See bottom for more. Enjoy the chapter!
Songs for this Chapter:
Songs Like This by Carrie Underwood: http://www(dot)youtube(dot)com/watch?v=gPESM4Uk1GA
The last twenty-two years had been amazing. I could never have fathomed that my life would be as fulfilling as it was.
Edward was finally at peace after he learned that he was truly never responsible for his mother's death. Not that he ever was…but in his mind…he now knew for sure that he was not a murderer as he had previously thought.
It was as if the last big weight had been lifted from his shoulders. After that moment, emo, self-destructive Edward was gone forever. No one was more thrilled about that than I was.
The fire that destroyed New Moon Tavern opened a new chapter in our lives.
Charlie had enough money being married to Tanya. They joked about her being his sugar mama but they were both okay with that.
Charlie gave all of the insurance money from the tavern to Rose, Jasper and me.
Rose used her share to open the garage that she and Emmett had always dreamed about owning. They called it New Moon Auto Repair in honor of the tavern that had been such a huge part of all of our lives.
Their garage was very successful and allowed them the treatments necessary for them to get pregnant finally. It was discovered right after they started trying that Rose would have trouble conceiving. They did not get to do it the old-fashioned way but Emmett Alan Cullen, Jr. finally made his way into the world in November of 2013. He was now almost eighteen years old and the spitting image of his mother.
We called him EJ so he would not be confused with his father. He had the same loud boisterous personality as Emmett and we all loved him dearly.
Jasper used his share of the insurance money to finish school and open up his psychiatric practice that we always knew he would. Most of the time, he understood everyone better than we did ourselves. He also used a little of the money to become a silent investor in Alice's fashion boutique.
Jasper and Alice never had children. They always said that they were happiest being Auntie Ali and Uncle Jazz. I think somewhere deep inside…they saw everything Rose and Em went through to get EJ here, everything Edward and I went through with Toni…, and they were too afraid to try.
As for Edward and I…well we had the best idea of all for our share of the money. With some help from Carlisle and Tanya, we started The Cullen Musical Institute. It was a school for children gifted in the area of musical talent.
Edward went back to school and got a degree in education. He discovered that he loved teaching so much that was currently the music teacher at the elementary school where I worked. Yes, I finally got my classroom.
I had been teaching third grade at Forks Elementary for the last nineteen years.
Children came to our music school on the weeknights and weekends.
Enrollment in our music classes was currently at an all-time high…due to recent events over the last year.
Remember how my dad, James and Alex tried to get me to go and be some big singing sensation but I knew that it was not for me?
Apparently…it suited my little Antonia very well!
She was currently topping the country charts with hit after hit from her first album that was released about six months ago.
Xander was her writing partner. They wrote all of Toni's songs as well as a few for some other young, up and coming country stars. Xander struck out independently from time to time and wrote some songs for other artists as well.
J.R. was a talent manager and his two biggest clients were none other than Xander and Toni Cullen. We were all about keeping it in the family.
Today my daughter was going on a very prestigious talk show. Toni would be performing one of her songs on Talk to Me with Crystal Meyers. She was today's version of Oprah and had been a hit for the last fifteen years.
After the talk show, she and J.R. would be heading to the CMA awards where my baby girl was up for Best New Country Artist. J.R. always traveled with her when possible. He was a big brother through and through.
I heard someone clear their throat. I was shaken from my thoughts and looked up from the coffee up I was currently staring at intently.
"Penny for your thoughts, Mom?" Xander asked me as he joined me at the kitchen table.
I leaned towards him and ruffled his hair.
He pulled away. "Mom, seriously? I'm twenty-two! Don't you think I'm kind of old for that?"
I shrugged, "You know you'll always be my baby!"
"I know…but come on Mom! I am going to be a married man tomorrow! You can't keep ruffling my hair, pinching my cheeks and doing all of that mom stuff. Please can you treat me like a man?"
I felt the tears coming and knew I would not be able to stop them. I did not want Xander to feel guilty for upsetting me. He was right…I still treated all three of my babies…like children. I could not help it.
I held back the sniffle and said in as strong of a voice I could muster, "Of course, swee…I mean…Xander. I'm sorry. I'm going to go call your aunt and make sure that they are on their way over here. The talk show will be starting soon and we don't want to miss your sister."
I stood from the chair I was in and Xander tried to stop me. "Mom, I didn't mean to upset you. Please don't leave angry. I'm just stressed with the wedding and all. I'm really nervous."
I cupped his cheek in my hand and said, "You are going to be a handsome groom, a wonderful husband and one day an amazing father. Kim is very lucky to have found you. There is nothing to be nervous about."
I gently kissed his forehead and left to go to the den and call Rose. Everyone was coming here to watch Toni on the show.
I could not believe that my Xander was getting married tomorrow. He and Kim met their senior year of high school. Her father had passed away suddenly and her mother was originally from Port Angeles. She wanted to be close to her family but not right on top of them so she and Kim settled in Forks.
He really could not have found a better girl to marry. She was very sweet and I loved her as if she were one of my own.
We had grown close with her over the years and she asked Edward to walk her down the aisle since she did not have her father here to do it. With tears in his eyes, Edward said yes and that he would be honored to give her away to our son.
J.R. was to be Xander's best man with EJ as his groomsman. Kim's mom was going to be her maid of honor with Toni as her bridesmaid.
They were going to be married at the Cullen Mansion and it would be a rather large affair…a typical Cullen style gathering. They never did anything small.
A knock on the door to the den broke me from my thoughts before I was able to actually call Rose.
"Love, are you alright?" Edward asked softly.
"Yes, of course, why?"
"Xander is under the impression that he hurt your feelings. Is that true?"
How long had I been up here lost in my thoughts?
Edward had enough time to wake up and go downstairs to discuss what our son and I had just talked about. I must have been up here longer than I thought.
"Not really…okay a little. I'm just emotional with the wedding and everything. You know how I get."
He walked over to where I was sitting in the chair at his desk and motioned for me to stand. I complied and he sat down pulling me into his lap.
"Bells, you know he didn't mean to hurt your feelings. He's getting married tomorrow and he's nervous."
"I know this, Edward. I really do. I promise, I am fine. I just don't like to be reminded that my babies don't need me anymore."
Before Edward could answer, I heard the gentle voice of our son. "Is that what you think, Mom? That we don't need you anymore. Mom, we always need you! Who is going to help me teach my kids our Sunday morning tradition of making breakfast for all the knuckleheads in our family? Who is going to help me control myself when my genes from Dad kick in with my little girl I hope to have one day? Who is going to take my side when Kim tells me I am being unreasonable? Who else is going to love me unconditionally like no other will? Mama, I always need you!"
I jumped from Edward's lap and pulled my son into the tightest most forceful hug I think I had ever given him.
"You always know just what your old mom needs to hear baby boy."
I heard Edward chuckle from behind us. "You should have let her stew for a bit and get over it. Now you're going to have to put up with the hair ruffling and the affectionate Mom endearments forever."
Xander shrugged and flashed his sheepish grin that resembled his father's so much. "Oh well, such is life I suppose. I wouldn't trade it for the world. You know I'm a Mama's boy."
That was the complete truth.
One would think that Xander and J.R. would be oddly close since they were twins. They were close all right, all three of our kids were.
However, Toni and Jasper Ross were two peas in a pod. Toni was a total daddy's girl and J.R. was a daddy's boy. However, my Xander…total mama's boy.
Toni and J.R. were always up to some sort of shenanigan and getting into plenty of trouble together.
Whenever we got a call from the school for one of our offspring being in trouble…it was always one of them.
They took after their father more than I cared to admit while Xander was quiet, reserved and stayed out of trouble…just like me.
He was the only one of my children who was still a virgin…saving himself for marriage like his mother did.
I admired him so much.
J.R. had been having sex since he was sixteen. He went to his father and Edward gave him condoms and told him to be safe.
I was extremely pissed that their talk was that simple. He gave him no direction or anything…just "here are some condoms son, don't knock anyone up."
Unfortunately, J.R. really has a lot of his father in him. He has taken somewhat after his father's old womanizing ways. As far as I know, he is not quite as bad as Edward was…but he has a long way to go before he will be settling down material.
I love both of my sons equally nonetheless. I am confident that his behavior is something he will grow out of…after all…his father did. All it took was the love of a good woman.
Perhaps it would be that way for J.R. as well.
I still remember when Toni lost her virginity and when Edward found out that his little girl was no longer a virgin. He was enraged to say the least. We did not intend to tell him but Toni's temper got the best of her and it slipped out when we least expected.
Antonia had come to me and explained that after her senior prom, she planned on giving her virginity to her boyfriend of a year and a half, Tommy Jacobs. Toni was a cheerleader and Tommy was the captain of the football team. It was all very clichéd.
Toni was eighteen years old and I had to help her with this huge decision. I was her mother and she was coming to me for help.
She had been on the pill since she was seventeen to help with her periods. Her father was not happy about that but Charlie set him straight with that one. Charlie had to do the same thing for me. He was not happy about it but he did it anyway because he knew it was for my health.
I discussed this in depth with Toni making sure she did not want to wait for marriage. I explained what a huge step this was for a woman.
She told me that she was ready and she loved Tommy with all her heart. She also said that he was a virgin as well and they wanted to express that love to each other in the most intimate way.
How could I not support her in that beautiful dream?
I helped her get the perfect dress, jewelry, undergarments, and we had a mani-pedi day. It was great mother daughter bonding.
I had resolved myself with the fact that I intended to stay up all night in case she needed me for whatever reason.
I was really glad that I did.
About two in the morning on her prom night, I received a tearful phone call from my angel.
She was sobbing and begging me to come to the hotel where they were staying for prom and pick her up immediately.
She sounded so scared and alone.
When I got there, we ended up renting another room and spending the night, just the two of us. I could not take her home in the condition that she was. Edward would be suspicious and we did not want him to know about this. He would lose his mind and probably kill Tommy.
Apparently, Tommy never loved my Toni. He only wanted sex from her and when he got it, he treated her like garbage.
She said it was not gentle lovemaking like she thought it would be and at that moment she had a very skewed idea of what sex really was.
She hated sex and men.
After they finally consummated their relationship, Tommy got up, redressed himself and told her they were finished.
She went downstairs to where the prom was still going on in the hotel ballroom and saw him with some other girl pressed against the wall practically fucking right there.
It was then that a few of his friends came up to her and made fun of her for letting him take her innocence. They informed her that Tommy had spread it all around the locker room how he was going to 'pop the virginal Toni Cullen at prom'.
They also proceeded to tell her how he was in no way a virgin before her. They said he had been doing half of the cheerleading squad behind her back the whole time they were together because she would not put out for him.
I was seeing red by this point in her story.
I let her cry herself to sleep in my arms and then I went to call Edward. I explained to him that Toni and Tommy had broken up and gave him as little of the details as was possible. I told him that I was spending the night with her at the hotel and he told me he would see me tomorrow.
When we woke up the next morning, we stuffed ourselves with as much fatty breakfast food as we could find on the room service menu.
We headed home and when we got there, Edward was there with the twins ready to question the hell out of Toni about everything that happened the night before.
They wanted to know how badly they were going to have to hurt Tommy Jacobs.
Toni was pissed.
She was tired of her overprotective father and brothers always getting into her business. She was a young woman now and wanted to be treated as such.
One thing my daughter always had was her father's ability to quiet a room with her bluntness.
Toni yelled at the three of them, "I don't need you fighting my battles for me! I am fucking eighteen years old and it is high time the three of you treated me that way! I can take care of myself!"
J.R. replied, "Toni, you are our innocent baby sister and guys will take advantage of you!"
"And then I will fucking kill them," Edward added.
"Too late Dad! I'm not so innocent anymore!"
The room was silent.
You could have heard a pin drop.
Toni clasped her hand over her mouth when she realized what she had just said. But then she held her head up high and walked up to her room in silence.
Edward and the boys were completely dumbfounded.
Xander and J.R. stormed out of the house to go wherever it was that they went when they were mad and need to cool off for a bit.
Edward however chose that moment to scold me for allowing his daughter to get deflowered on prom night and not tell him about what was happening.
I tried to explain to him that he would have been unreasonable about the whole thing and he was not hearing it.
Shortly after our spat, he stormed out of the house as well.
I would not find out until later in the week what exactly all of my boys had gone and done once they left the house.
"Mom, where did you go?" Xander asked in a worried voice.
"Baby, are you all right?" Edward asked as he stood from the desk and came towards us.
He took me from Xander's arms and right into his.
"You know how I get lost in my thoughts," I told him as I smiled.
Xander rolled his eyes. "You were thinking about what we did to Tommy Jacobs weren't you?"
My eyes widened and I laughed at how accurate my son was. He and I were very in tune with one another and it had been this way his whole life.
"How did you know?" I asked in shock.
"Because I haven't seen that look on your face since you found out what we did!"
Edward rubbed the back of his neck nervously as we heard the doorbell ring downstairs. "Well looky there, saved by the bell. I've got it."
Edward sprinted from the den as fast as possible. Xander and I could not contain our laughter any longer.
"Mom, how long are you going to make Dad feel guilty about what he was a party to before you tell him what you and Aunt Rose did?"
I shrugged, "I have to have something over your father. Thanks for always keeping my secrets."
"Always, Mom…you know that."
He held up his pinky so we could pinky swear as we always had in the past.
Xander wrapped his arm around me and led me through the door. "Let's head downstairs and watch our little miracle shall we?"
"Yes, we shall."
My boy was growing up…as were all of my children.
I could not believe that all of our babies were now in their twenties…babies no more.
It had truly been an amazing life thus far and this was only the beginning. Xander was the first to marry but one day it would be J.R. and Toni's turn. Then, they would all start having babies of their own…making Edward and I…grandparents.
I could not wait.
I had been blessed with Bella and our children. The four of them completed me. I did not know how I lived before Bella came into my life. She was the air that I needed for breathing…my reason for getting up in the morning.
I had to leave the den before my wife started tearing into me yet again, about what the boys and I did to Tommy Jacobs. She always said that two wrongs did not make a right and revenge was not the answer…yadda…yadda…yadda.
The bottom line was that little bastard hurt my tiny angel and he had to fucking pay for it!
He needed to learn a lesson for hurting Antonia…besides the fact that if he did not learn it now…he might keep doing this type of thing to poor unsuspecting girls.
A part of me also wanted retribution against the twerp because of what I had done to Bella all those years ago.
I did not get a chance to open the front door to welcome our guests. They had already let themselves into our house.
My small sister wrapped her arms around my neck and hugged me tight. "Oh Edward! You and Bella must be so excited! I can hardly contain myself and I am just her aunt!"
Jasper and I chuckled at her enthusiasm.
Shortly after their arrival, everyone else got there. I sat down in the recliner with Bella perched on my lap.
We were going to watch the talk show this morning that was airing live and then we would all be watching the CMA awards together from here as well.
I started thinking back to when this all started. Toni had just had her heart broken by yet another asshole that would never be good enough for my angel.
Toni had only been living in her own apartment for six months. She was nineteen and very independent. As much as I hated it, I had to let my baby go.
She started college right after she graduated but she quit shortly after she began. At least she temporarily quit to work at the music institute with us and work on her music.
Toni felt that college was not for her right now.
Bella and I always made a point to support our children in whatever they wanted to do. We loved them for who they were and that was that.
J.R. had become very successful as a talent manager at a very young age. But that boy was so much like his father and a gifted charmer. His clients loved that about him.
Xander had a gift for writing music. He and Toni started playing around with writing songs at a young age but nothing had come of it…yet.
Anyway, she had been on her own for about six months and had been living with her boyfriend for the last two weeks.
One day I was on my way home from work thinking about all the dirty things I would be doing to my wife when I arrived, when my phone rang.
It was Antonia.
"Hey sweetheart," I started but was interrupted by Toni's wailing.
I could hardly understand what she was saying because she was crying so hard. I told her I was on my way and headed straight to her apartment.
When I arrived, she was throwing Brian's belongings over the balcony of her apartment.
Trouble in paradise. Now her hysterical phone call made sense.
It was boy trouble.
She opened the door when I got up the stairs and threw herself into my arms. I moved her inside the apartment and cradled her on the couch as if she were still my baby while I let her cry.
"Shhh…Daddy's got you. What happened pumpkin?"
"I…ccc…came…home…early…to…ssssurprise…Brian…and he was fucking my best friend Jennifer! In our bed!"
That confession brought on a completely new round of sobs.
I removed one arm from around my daughter so that I could send a quick text to Bella telling her that I was going to be late.
Toni needed me.
I pulled her chin up from my chest to get her to look at me.
"Antonia Carlie Cullen, I want you to listen to me, sweetheart."
"You are not going to mope and lose yourself over this boy. I won't let you. If he could do something so heinous and awful to you…then he doesn't deserve you and you are better off without him."
"But Dad…this always happens! I always get hurt! Something must be wrong with me!"
"I don't ever want to hear you talk like that again, Antonia! There is nothing wrong with you. These boys are absolute fucking fools. When it is your time to fall in love…the right man will come along and it will happen. Until then…what have I always taught you?"
"Deal with the pain and heartache and then channel it into something productive."
"That's my girl."
She flashed me a brief smile letting me know she was ready to accept what I was going to tell her next.
"Now, we are going to get up off this couch. Then, you are going to go wash your face and get dressed up. We are going to go out to dinner, just the two of us. After that, we are going to go buy you a new bed! Once we have finished shopping, we are going to call Xander and the three of us will work on channeling some of that pain and anger…what do you say?"
"Sounds good, Daddy," she sniffled.
I kissed the top of her head and she pulled herself from the couch and my arms to go begin getting ready, as I had told her to do.
That started all of this.
When the three of us got back to her apartment that night, we wrote the song that would soon become the first hit of many on my little girl's best selling album.
My thoughts were broken by the squeal of my sister.
"It's time, it's time, it's time! The show is starting! Edward snap out of whatever daydream you are in and watch your daughter!"
I noticed Bella still sitting on my lap, smiling and waving her hand in front of my face.
"Earth to Edward!" She giggled.
"Hello, love. I'm fine. Just thinking."
She kissed me quickly on the lips in understanding.
"You've bought her amazing new album and you've gone to her concerts. Now here she is live performing the song that made it all happen. Here is Toni Cullen singing Songs Like This!" Crystal proudly announced.
There she was on the television screen. My little miracle baby. If my wife had not been stronger than me…she would not even be here. I would have had her aborted to selfishly save the love of my life.
Thank god it was truly always Bella's decision to make and not mine.
I heard Bella sniffle. This was a beautiful moment for our family…of course she was crying. However, I did not realize that I was crying too until I felt my wife wipe the tears from my cheeks.
"She looks amazing," Bella said in awe.
"She sure does," I agreed.
I turned my attention back to the screen as the familiar music started.
"Wanna find some boy, rip his heart right out! First man I see, gonna take him down. It ain't the Christian thing, to do they say. But someone, somewhere's gotta pay!"
"I can't believe you guys wrote a song about all the guys that have wronged Toni! That is so awesome! Do you think they are out there going, 'oh my god that song is about me'?" Rose wondered aloud.
"Probably so babe! They are probably thinking about how much they fucked up dicking over our little Toni! They could have been living the high life right now if they had not been such assholes!" Emmett added.
"It's all for the best, Em. I would not want my granddaughter with someone simply for their money," Charlie told him.
I nodded in agreement.
"Oh you mean…like how you are only with me for my money," Tanya asked him in a joking tone.
Charlie tried to whisper but we all heard him loud and clear as he said, "Come on sweetheart…that's not the reason I am with you…it's the sex!"
Rose, Jasper and Bella all let out a collective, "Ew!"
Everyone was laughing and watching Toni do her thing.
Unexpectedly, Rose said, "At least Edward taught Toni a productive way to channel all that anger towards her boyfriends. If she took after her mother or listened to her, she would be getting thrown in jail for keying cars and slashing tires!"
I felt Bella tense on my lap. I looked at her only to see her telling Rose to shut up with her eyes.
Alice tried to change the subject but I was not having it.
"What is that supposed to mean, Bells? What is Rose talking about?"
"Nothing…she knows nothing!" Bella said nervously.
"Rose, did I tell you how you're my favorite sister-in-law?" I said while batting my eyelashes at her.
"I'm your only sister-in-law, jackass!"
"Well someone better start talking!" I yelled.
I was not mad; I just wanted to know what she was talking about when she said that.
Suddenly, Jasper stood up from where he was sitting and said, "Okay, I can't take it anymore! I am horrible at keeping secrets and this one has been eating at me since it happened!"
Bella jumped up from my lap and ran to Jasper. "Jasper Swan don't you say a goddamn word! I will hurt you!"
She tackled him to the ground and tried to keep her hand over his mouth to quiet him. It was hilarious watching brother and sister wrestling around on the ground at their ages.
Finally, Jasper got his mouth free of Bella's hand and blurted out, "Bella found Brian's truck in the parking lot after you told her what happened. She slashed his tires, keyed the car and smashed in all of his windows. She was arrested and I had to go fucking bail her crazy ass out of jail! Woo, I feel so much better getting that off my chest."
I looked over at my son and noticed he had a look of shock on his face that matched mine.
"Well, well. You have some explaining to do, Isabella," I chuckled.
"I know! I'm sorry!" She said as she made her way back to my lap. Jasper stood and went back to where he was previously sitting with Alice.
"After all the crap you gave the boys and me for what we did to Tommy Jacobs! You turn around and do something to Brian out of revenge!"
"Oh she didn't just do it to Brian! She did it to Tommy Jacobs' car too! She just didn't get caught with that one," Jasper said.
"Jasper!" Rose, Alice and Bella all yelled at the same time.
Jasper had clasped his hand over his mouth not realizing at the time what exactly he had said. "I'm sorry! Once I started telling the truth, I just could not hold it in anymore!"
Emmett spoke up, "Okay so I have to know. What the fuck did you guys do to Tommy Jacobs, anyway? No one has ever told us this story!"
Bella cleared her throat, "Well, my sons and my husband thought it would be a good idea to get a little payback on the boy for what he did to Toni. They were all decked out in camouflage gear, face paint, ski masks, the whole nine yards. They went to his house and broke in! They took pictures of him sleeping and then photo shopped them to make it look like he was sleeping with another boy when they got home.
"But before they left the property, they toilet papered and egged his house…which his parents had to help clean up! After they finished creating their masterpieces, they broke into the school and put them up all over the building for everyone to see! It then spread throughout the town like wildfire that Tommy Jacobs was gay! They even said it was his jilted gay lover who toilet papered and egged his house."
"In our defense for your comment about the parents, they were not very nice people!" I told everyone.
"Yeah Mom, they were awful! Besides, no one fucks with my sister and gets away with it!"
"Alexander Charles! Language!" Bella scolded him.
"Yes ma'am," he told her.
I could hear Kim whisper in his ear, "I think it's hot when you cuss."
I so did not need to hear that.
I could still picture the tiny toddler running to his mom butt naked because he did not want to take a bath. I did not want to think about him having sex or even children of his own yet.
"So, Bella…you got a little revenge of your own on Tommy, did ya?" Emmett asked her while wiggling his eyebrows.
Bella put her head into her hands, "Yes! Okay I did it! I could not stand it! You weren't there! You did not see how broken she was! It was her first fucking time having sex and that little cretin ruined it for her!"
"Love, I'm not mad. I just want to know why you scolded us so when you were just going to turn around and do it yourself."
"Actually…she did it before you guys did what you did," Jasper said.
"Jasper! God, would you just shut up!" Bella yelled at him.
He put his hands up in surrender, "I'm sorry Bells, I just can't stop!"
"Wait…you did it before we did, Mom?"
"Mom! You grounded us!" Xander yelled but was also laughing.
"And you withheld sex from me!" I screeched.
"I know, I know! I was feeling guilty even though he deserved it. You guys had not found out about it so I took out my anger at myself on the three of you. I'm sorry. Forgive me?" She asked softly with a small smile.
Xander and I answered at the same time.
"Of course, love."
It was nice to know that I was not the only overprotective parent when it came to defending our children.
Xander spoke up again, "I'm confused though. Mom, if you were arrested when you destroyed Brian's truck…how come we never found out about it?"
Alice grinned evilly.
"All of the women in Brian's family happened to be fans of Alice Swan Originals. I hooked them all up with something from my spring line that year. His mother suddenly convinced her son to drop all charges because he deserved what happened to his truck for cheating on his girlfriend anyway."
Everyone roared with laughter.
Toni had finished her song and then they went right to commercial break. Now the show was back from the commercials.
"Toni, tell me, you wrote this song after a guy broke your heart? Or how did this come about?" Crystal asked her.
"Yes, Crystal. Something like that. It's really about more than one guy. I'm not the luckiest girl in the love department."
There were collective 'aw's' from the audience.
"It's alright. I have my family and that's all that matters to me. I know they will stand by me no matter what," Toni said.
The audience began clapping at her statement.
"Who wrote the song with you Toni?"
"That particular song was written by my brother Xander, my dad and me. All of my other songs are written by Xander and me."
"And your other brother is your talent manager. Is that correct?" Crystal asked.
"Yep, sure is. He's here with me now. He's my partner in crime," she giggled.
They turned the cameras backstage to J.R. and he waved to everyone. He mouthed, 'hi mom and dad'.
"Wow he's certainly a heartbreaker. Is he single Toni?"
"Yes," she laughed.
Crystal yelled out to the audience, "He's single ladies!"
"It sounds like you have a really talented family Toni."
"I do. We are all very close."
"Who would you say is your biggest supporter?"
She thought about it for a moment. I thought she was going to say her mother. I was wrong.
"My dad…hands down."
"Are you close with your father?"
"We are extremely close! My mom has always supported me too…but I don't know how to describe the connection I feel with my father. He just gets me in a way that no one else does."
"That is wonderful, Toni. Everyone should be as lucky to have a dad like that."
Toni nodded and I could tell she was not speaking because of the tears welling up in her eyes.
Back at ya baby girl. I'm right there with you.
That girl was my miracle.
You would think that I had my feelings hurt when Toni announced to the world that her dad was her biggest supporter.
However, it did not.
I was thrilled that my daughter and husband had the connection that they did.
I knew that Toni still loved me deeply so there were no ill feelings there at all. After her declaration, I could tell Edward was crying again.
I burrowed into his side and held him close.
"I love you," he whispered.
"I love you too. We did well with those three," I told him.
"We most certainly did," he replied.
I looked around at my family and felt truly blessed. Xander and Kim would be married tomorrow. Toni would be at the CMA awards with J.R. tonight before heading home for the wedding.
They would be jet lagged from their quick trip and cranky. But I knew my children. The three of them were close as could be and they could fight like no other.
However, when one of them needed the other, they would drop everything and run to their aid. No matter how miserable Toni and J.R. were from traveling, they would put on a happy face and enjoy Xander's day with him.
Those were my kiddos.
I loved every moment with them.
"Are you alright, baby?" Edward whispered into my ear.
"Better than alright, babe. I'm absolutely perfect."
"Yes, you are," he purred.
I was not perfect…but our life certainly was.
Who could ever have asked for anything more?
A/N…First off…thanks to dolphin62598 for getting this back to me so quickly! I tell you guys this every time but if you are not already reading her stories…then you are truly missing out on some amazing writing and great stories!
I never intended to leave you guys hanging for so long with this epilogue. I hope that you will still take the time to review it and let me know what you thought of it.
Before anyone asks, there will be no sequels to this. I have written everything that I felt these characters had to say.
I am working on finishing Brothers and Sisters as well as working on my next new story. I have almost two chapters written but I will not be posting until the story is mostly written so I do not need to make you wait a long time in between updates.
Thanks to all of you who have read and enjoyed this story! You reviews and thoughts have meant the world to me.
Chapter 42 of Brothers and Sisters should be posting shortly as well.