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Chapter 10: Epilogue
By: Emmett POV by courthale and Bella POV by Crash Hale
"Come on, guys! We gotta get going. They start at 6." I called out to the girls. Emma skipped up next to me with a big smile. I leaned down and kissed her forehead softly.
"How do you feel, Pops?" She rocked on her heels as she asked the question. I chuckled and shrugged.
"Why?" I shrugged on my jacket as the other two walked out of their rooms.
"Bellaaaaaa," she said her name in a sing-songy voice. I laughed, shaking my head and walked towards the door.
"Come on, troops. To the car!" I commanded and pointed towards the Jeep.
"Let's go, guys. The ceremony starts in about 5 minutes," I said and guided them out onto the field where all the other teams had gathered. I smiled and shook some of the other coaches' hands.
It was a ceremony to signify the end of the season. Everyone got a trophy, something about good sportsmanship or whatever. I smiled as my little girl held the team's 1st place trophy along with some of her teammates.
I looked over at Luca and chuckled softly. The kid won MVP of the season. He was a great player and had an even better attitude about the game. He was going to be on my baseball team too. I couldn't wait.
"WHOOT! GO LUCA!" I looked over to the source of the voice and my grin turned into a smirk. Bella winked at me as she waved. I nodded towards her and put a hand to my chest.
It had become something we did when we were far away or couldn't talk. She was being coy and I was showing her all the love I felt for her in the simple movement. She owned my heart. I never stopped loving Rosalie. That was never the issue for me. My heart just grew. It grew for two very important special people who meant the world to me.
"DAD!" I turned and saw Emma standing there with a big smile. Her pigtails were hanging down past her shoulders and her jersey was bright blue. It really brought out my little girls eyes. "Pizza?" she said, giving me those puppy dog eyes. I looked to her right to see Luca.
Now I had two of them to give me those big eyes.
"Fine!" I laughed and they jumped up and down telling everyone we were going out for pizza. I looked over to where Bella had stood and found nothing.
I suddenly felt two small arms wrap around me waist. I looked down at my side to see her looking up at me, her brown eyes deep and expressive.
"Hey, baby," I said and leaned down, kissing her gently.
"Hey, Em," she said back softly, licking her lips as I pulled back. I groaned and my arms tightened around her slightly. She blushed and bit her bottom lip gently, not really helping my situation at all.
"Time to go."
Six Months Later
"I'm going to be late," I groaned and looked at my watch. Bella's hand came over to rest on the top of my thigh and she smiled sweetly.
"We'll get there on time. It's fine, baby. Don't be worried." I smiled at her comforting words and nodded. My eyes looked in the rearview mirror. Amanda was reading a book as usual. Luca and Emma were laughing as they played a video game together.
I smiled even wider at the sight of them all getting along so well.
"Babe?" I turned to look at Bella. Her hair was down in loose waves and I just wanted nothing more than to run my fingers through it.
"Yeah?" I asked and turned into the Junior High parking lot. I had been here already, dropping Violet off over an hour ago. I couldn't believe it took an hour to line up a bunch of eighth graders.
"I love you," she said simply but with so much emotion. I turned to look at her as I parked and smiled, my dimples showing for her. Her eyes twinkled as she looked at me.
"I love you too."
"Let's go! I wanna get this done and go home. I can't believe they have graduations for 8th graders. That makes your high school one not as special. It's like junior prom. What the fu-"
I put my hand over Emma's mouth as we entered the junior high's gym and leaned down to whisper, "No F word in public. Please." She nodded against my hand and I let go.
"Fudge is that about?" she finished and smiled up at me.
"Better." Bella winked and smiled at her. Her hand went into mine and we laced our fingers as we looked for seats.
Five Years Later
"Get out here!" I cringed as I heard Emmett yelling from the hallway suddenly. "I said NOW!"
I dropped the dough I was kneading as I heard both Emma and Luca arguing with him and saying it was nothing.
"Living room," Emmett instructed seriously.
I sighed and washed my hands quickly, coming into the living room just as Emma and Luca took seats next to each other on the couch.
"Pops! Come on, this is so embarrassing!" Emma huffed dramatically.
I smiled to myself, but tried fighting it off by biting on my lip. They were obviously in trouble about something. Again.
"Dad, I'm sorry, it was just …" Luca tried saying.
"Did I tell you to speak?" Emmett interrupted.
Luca sighed now too, looking down, "No, sorry." I watched him glance sideways at Emma as she did the same, the two exchanging one of their looks. I was happy that the two of them seemed to become the best of friends as the years went on.
Emmett and I married a couple of years ago, and we had all become one big, loud family. I was surprised how well it all worked out, even though we had our rough patches. It was all worth it.
Luca started calling Emmett his dad while Emmett and I were still only dating, and although the girls didn't call me their mom, as I'd never ask them to considering they'd once had one, they still treated me with respect and listened. I loved them as my own, knowing the man I loved made them.
"That's fucking right, sticking your tongue down my daughters throat. You're damn lucky you're your mother's son, you know that? She'd be upset if I beat your ass right now, and I swear I'm this fucking close."
"Excuse me?" I asked, amused more than angry, knowing Emmett was just running his mouth and would never seriously hurt his son. Yes, his son, Emmett had officially signed adoption papers soon after the wedding two years ago. The two both wanted it and came to me about it together. I agreed, in happy tears.
Emmett spun around to face me and threw his arms out, "They're making out, Bella! Making out! Our daughter and son! He was practically dry humping her!"
"Dad!" Emma yelled, shocked.
"Do not talk right now," Emmett warned in a low voice as he didn't so much as even turn to look at her.
I looked from Emma, to Luca, to Emmett. "Wait. What happened?"
"Ew, he was not dry humping me, Pops. Gross!" Emma yelled.
"I said, be quiet, the both of you!"
I covered my face for a second, not used to Emmett being the angry type. He'd usually laugh about them two getting into trouble and simply explain what they did was wrong. But he'd clearly lost his cool over this one. Big time.
He was going red, his hands shaking in fury.
"Baby," I said understandingly, coming to stand next to him and looking at the kids.
"You two are dating?" I asked with a smile, even though I knew it wasn't a good idea considering they lived a room away from each other and were hardly even thirteen yet.
"No!" they both yelled in union.
Emma sighed, cursing under her breath before Emmett told her to watch her mouth.
"We just kissed, no big deal, promise, Ma. We're sorry, we just wanted to see what it's like..." Luca explained, hardly making eye contact with me.
Emma made a loud aggravated sound, crossing her arms over her chest and huffing again just as the front door swung open and Violet entered on her cell phone, followed by Amanda.
Amanda had been at the library and Violet picked her up on her way home from a friend's house. I knew it was the boyfriend she was afraid to tell Emmett about. She and I talked about that stuff and I was glad to listen, giving her advice when I could and trying to help ease Emmett's worries about his girls. God knows her getting her license and let alone a car was a nightmare because of him. He was way over protective, but it's not like I didn't understand.
He and I were a team. He was the one that freaked out over his girls growing up and I was the one that tried to keep the peace and help him understand, having been a teenaged girl myself at one point. On the other hand he and Luca got along great, for the most part; there was a lot of male bonding shared between the two.
I guess it was the same with him and Luca as it was with me and the girls. I worried over Luca and Emmett usually kept his cool, trying to explain to me it was a guy thing. I got the girl stuff and he got the guy stuff. We met in the middle.
"What'd they do now?" Amanda asked with a sweet smile, placing her books down.
"Basically, your brother and sister have decided to experiment with each other, physically."
Emma and Luca yelled, saying he was grossing them out and it wasn't like that and Amanda suddenly stood shocked at the news.
"Wait. What? Oh, this is priceless. I gotta call you back. Something awesome just happened," Violet said into her phone. "Yeah, I'll call you back soon. Bye." She hung up and threw her stuff down, looking from Luca to Emma, smiling brightly.
"So you two are like together? Ha!"
"Oh, fucker! Pops, did you have to tell her?! She'll use this against me forever!" Emma almost cried out, tears extremely close to spilling.
Violet laughed and I shook myself out of it. "Okay, whoa, whoa, everyone calm down." I took a deep breath, "Violet, don't do this to them, it's not fair your father just said those things. We're still not sure what's going on."
Emmett looked at me like I was betraying him, and I placed my hand on his shoulder softly, "Em, come on baby, they said it was just a kiss. Don't overreact."
"Fine, you deal with them! This is beyond me. Violet, Mandy, go do homework or something."
"Daddy, noooo, please, please let me stay and listen. Oh god, please?" Violet begged and whined.
"Young lady," he warned.
"I never get to do anything fun!" she complained, stomping off.
Amanda smiled at her sister and brother, "Don't worry guys, it will be alright," she told them as she followed Violet down the hall.
"Em, baby, sit down and relax before you give yourself a heart attack, I can't raise five kids alone," I told him, sighing and placing my hand over my growing belly. The baby was fussing from all the yelling and kicking the shit out of my bladder.
He looked down at my stomach, his expression slightly softening before he looked up at me again and then sat down on one of the sofa chairs.
"Now, no talking while I go to the bathroom. I'm going to pee myself if this kid kicks me in the bladder again. No talking, I mean it." I pointed at them.
"Yes, Ma," Luca said.
"Whatever," Emmett was his angry self again.
Emma just nodded, rolling her eyes at her father before giving him a death stare.
One Week Later
Esme, Sue, Leah, Violet, Amanda and I all sat around on the back deck while Edward worked the grill and everyone else played football down on the grass. It was my thirty-third birthday today and we were all celebrating it together.
Piper ran up the stairs and into my arms, hugging me and making me laugh as my heart swelled. Leah and Edward had amazing children, as did Emmett and I, we were all truly lucky to have such a loving big family. There were a total of fourteen of us all together and the party only grew when Jasper and Alice arrived with their three. Maryann and Piper went down to join playing, Jasper and Emmett helping the two along since they were so little.
I smiled, watching them all down there before zoning back into the conversation. Amanda was sitting next to me and put her head on my shoulder, listening along to the others talk. My heart swelled with love even more and I brought an arm around her, kissing the top of her head and asking if she was tired. I knew she was working hard in all her top classes at school.
"I'm good, don't worry so much about me."
"My job to, Mandy,"
"Foods ready!" Edward yelled, "Come get it guys!"
"I want a hug!" Emma rushed over, making me laugh as she ran up the stairs and hugged my other side. "Happy birthday, Bella." She kissed my cheek, wishing me a happy birthday for the third time today.
"Thank you, sweetheart, I love you so much," I told her, wrapping my other arm around her and kissing her cheek.
"What about me!" Violet pouted, making everyone laugh.
"Love you as well Vi, of course." I smiled at her.
"She loves me best anyway," Violet shrugged at her sisters and they just laughed. They knew I loved all four of them equally. Violet, Amanda, Luca and Emma, they were all my children in my heart.
I watched Emmett and Luca nudging each other as they made it up the steps last. The last week had been hard but we got through it and Emmett was finally convinced that the kiss was nothing. The two explained that it just wasn't that way between them, they were seriously just curious and they were happy to report that it was indeed gross, like kissing your sibling and they'd never do it again.
"Whoa, hey girls, give Bella some room, she's carrying your brother in there," Emmett said, winking at me. I smiled at him, the love in his eyes alone warming me from head to toe.
"How do you know it's a boy?" Esme asked, smiling at us lovingly. "You guys said you weren't going to find out on the ultrasound."
"'Cause the kama sutra position said it was a guaranteed deal if you're trying to make a boy," Emmett grinned and made me blush.
"Ewww!" Luca and Emma chimed together.
"My son, the gentleman." Carlisle shook his head with a smile.
"Bet you anything he makes another girl!" Edward laugh as everyone joined in.
I watched him as he watched me and just continued to smile. Amanda moved and told him to sit next to me. He did, giving me a kiss and placing a protective hand over our child, just as Emma got up too, leaving us to sit alone.
"Don't you worry kid, whatever you come out being... I'll still name you Stephan." I laughed and hit Emmett at the lame joke. He laughed too, "Nah, girl or boy, they'll still be daddy's angel," he whispered to me.
I snuggled in closer to him, enjoying his touch while I watched our family gathered around the backyard all talking and enjoying each other's company.
"But seriously, listen to your old man, your brother and I need another guy around the house. The ratio of girls to guys is way off," he joked.
"Oh come on, you and Luca got it under control, you're both man enough to make up for the lighter end of the ratio." I smiled, looking over at my son happily talking to his grandfather. I was so happy I got another chance with my dad, also giving Luca the wonderful relationship he shared with him.
Emmett kissed my temple and began talking to me again, "Just hope this one isn't as lively as the four we have already. I'm getting old, baby,"
I smiled and pulled back to look at him. He was forty but hardly looked it, becoming more handsome with each day. I shook my head. "We'll do it together. Considering how much it likes to kick, I doubt it will be easy sailing," I said just as it kicked outward and made Emmett laugh happily at the feel against his hand.
He kissed my forehead, muttering that he loved me before Leah handed both Emmett and I each a plate of food. Emmett's overfilled of course.
"My sister-in-law's the fucking best!" Emmett said loudly.
"Language, old man! Children present!" Emma yelled from the other side of the deck.
I laughed and he shrugged, looking at the kids who weren't really paying us any attention.
18 Years Later
"Bella? Have you seen Lillie's little dress I bought while we were out yesterday?" I turned to see Amanda and smiled. She had grown up to be a beautiful, successful woman.
Her husband, Levi, was a director. They'd met on the set of one of her films. She writes screenplays and has gotten to the point where she produces many of them. They had a daughter named Lillian Katherine Bell. She was beautiful and perfect. Ten fingers. Ten toes. I was at the hospital the day she was born and held her as she cried.
The only thing positive about getting old is having grandkids.
"I saw the bag on the couch this morning. You might need to iron the dress though." Bella smiled from the table. Amanda kissed her cheek and went off to get her family ready for the day.
Bella sat in her chair with a cup of coffee, already in her clothes for the ceremony. She sighed as her finger ran over the brim.
"Our last one gone. Feels weird. I know we'll have the summer but… not the same." I sat beside her as she spoke and nodded slowly. "All of them don't need us anymore," she said with tears in her voice.
"Oh, baby," I chuckled and pulled her into my lap. She sniffled and rested her head on my shoulder. I buried my nose in her hair and breathed her in deeply. "They'll always need us. Whether it be for some emotional support and love or a little extra cash." She giggled at that and wrapped her arms around me.
We sat that way as the others hustled around us to get ready. No one bothered us but we did get a few sad smiles from them. Lillie eventually came in after she was dressed, took one look at us and climbed into my lap with her grandma.
Her small 5 year old arms held us both tight and she kissed us both on the forehead. She was so much like her mother it was scary. She took care of everyone and anything that needed it. She pulled back from us and had a smile on her perfect little face.
"Now, you both know I love you, right?" she said seriously. We both nodded and smiled at her serious voice.
"We do, baby girl," Bella whispered back to her and she nodded in satisfaction before continuing.
"Okay. Then you need to know that when this is over, we'll go for ice cream. Whenever I feel sad mommy and daddy take me to get some. It makes everything better. Even boo boos." Her smile was wide as she finished. We both laughed and nodded.
"How about we up you one and make it pizza and ice cream?" I said and ran my fingers through her soft brown curly hair. She nodded happily and almost knocked Bella off my lap as she hugged me tight around my neck.
"Thanks, Poppa," she said as she squeezed my neck harder. "I love you." She bounced off my lap before either of us could say anything.
"That one will be a handful," Bella laughed softly.
"She's just like her mom was around that age. She'll be amazing." I smiled at her retreating form then looked to my wife of 20 plus years. "You ready?" She shrugged noncommittally and I chuckled.
"I guess," she sighed and stood from my lap. I looked around to see if anyone was here and smirked as I smacked her ass. She jumped slightly and looked at me over her shoulder.
"Not yet." She bent over and whispered in my ear, totally fucking aware that her top would let me see down her shirt. "Later, baby. Promise." She kissed my lips softly but lingering and I could feel my body begin to react.
"Ew, Mom. Just… no." Luca was standing inside the kitchen with his hands over his eyes. I laughed at his gagging sound effects and rolled my eyes. I stood and wrapped an arm around Bella.
We were lucky to have all of our kids be so successful.
Our son, I still remember the day he and I talked about officially adopting him, was a writer like his older sister. But he wrote political pieces for well known magazines. He got to travel with some of the most established journalists and politicians.
But he was still our little boy.
"What?" he asked with a frown. I realized I'd drifted off in thought and smiled.
"Nothing. Is Chloe ready?" I asked. He smiled wide and nodded.
"Yeah. She's just looking for her shoes or something." He shook his head with a chuckle.
Chloe was a great girl. I was more than happy to hear that he had proposed to her a month ago. They had met on the campaign trail about a year ago. Her father is a senator for the great state of Oregon. She's working on getting her doctorate and will soon be a pediatrician. She's beautiful and smart and everything we could've asked for in a woman for him.
"Violet and Tim are meeting us there. They got in late and stayed at the motel instead of here so we'll catch them when we get there. We all set?" Bella looked around and smiled as all our kids stood in the living room ready to go.
"And what about…?" Amanda asked and I interrupted her.
"Had to be there early. Already gone." I nodded towards the door and took Bella's hand in mine.
"Let's get to it. I want better seats than at Em and Luca's."
"What about Emma? Anyone speak to her today?" Bella asked as we were all getting into the cars in the driveway. She just wanted this to be perfect and for everyone to be together. We were. All the kids were here today.
"She just texted me," Luca told his mother, "They'll be there before us."
I smiled at Bella as I held her door open and she finally sat inside the car, all of us ready to go.
"Today is not a day of ends but a new beginning. As Orrin Hath said, "There is a good reason they call these ceremonies "commencement exercises." Graduation is not the end; it's the beginning."
"I know I can say that I'm happy to be able to share this day with all of you. We've worked hard for 13 years to get to this day and looking out at all your faces I know that we couldn't have done it without you.
"Forks is a small town but it's also a family. If someone is sick, then there's always someone there with soup to help you feel better. If someone is having a birthday then everyone knows to make it special with a card or a phone call.
"I'll end my speech with these words, without family there is no love. Without love, success means nothing. So, to all the people I love out there, you make all this worth it. Thank you."
We all stood and clapped as Illiana stepped down from the platform and back to her seat. She was blushing the whole time but never faltered. We all knew how nervous she was about her Valedictorian speech but she did amazingly.
Yes. I had another girl. I can't say I'm surprised. It's like my genes are just made to reproduce females.
Illianna was born to us over 18 years ago. She had a full head of dark hair and big blue eyes. She was and is perfect. She has her mom's smarts and good looks. The only thing she seems to get from me is her sense of humor.
I turned and looked at the aisle. Bella was at my side and all our kids followed after.
Violet went off to live her dream of becoming a model. She did just that. She married her high school sweetheart Tim a few years after they reconnected in L.A. He's a computer programmer and makes her happy. No one is good enough for my girls but he comes close.
Next to her was Emma. She rested her head on the massive shoulder of her boyfriend. He plays hockey for the Redwings. She's a personal trainer and they met through work. Seems to be all my kids meet their loved ones through their careers or school, I guess that's how it went. His name was Derrick and he honestly even scared me a little. He was fuckin' huge but is one of the warmest people I know. Lillie even calls him Uncle Bear like her teddy bear.
"Daddy!" Illianna smiled wide and wrapped her arms tight around me. I hugged her back and chuckled softly as we all stood in the driveway after the ceremony.
"Hey, sweetie. You did amazing." I pulled back to see her long time boyfriend standing behind her. He held out his hand to me.
"Coach." He smiled and we shook hands.
"Hey, Dom. How are you, kid?" He shrugged and wrapped an arm around Illianna's waist.
"Never better. No more getting my ass kicked on the field by Coach Cullen." Bella laughed at his comment as she came to stand beside me. She smiled at Illianna with her eyes getting misty.
"Oh dammit. I promised I wouldn't cry." She laughed through her tears and they both hugged each other tight.
"Love you, Mom," she whispered softly.
"I love you too, baby. I'm so proud of you." She pulled back and turned to all of us. "I'm proud of all of you. You're so amazing. I'm just a little sad that now you all are leaving me." I wiped the small tear that had fallen from her eyes. She smiled sadly at me. "I'm sorry. You know I hate getting emotional." She sighed and wrapped her arms around my waist.
"Actually, we kind of have a surprise for you guys." They all smiled back at us as Amanda spoke. "We know how much you miss Max. He lived a good life and when he died four years ago it made all of us sad, but we think that the house has gone long enough without a dog."
"So… we went to the animal shelter, the same one you got Max from and saved one." Emma smiled wide and winked at me to which I returned it with my own.
"His name is Junior. Because his name was, coincidentally, Max." Luca walked forward and smiled. He placed his hand on my shoulder as Violet appeared out of nowhere with a small puppy that looked almost exactly like my Max.
"Here you go, Daddy. We wanted to give you both something so you didn't feel like you had such an empty house. He's not trained but I figured you'd enjoy doing that since you did that with Max." She smiled and handed me the small dog. I laughed and shook my head.
"Wow. This is… so nice of you all. It's the perfect gift." I turned to Bella and smiled at her. She nodded and reached up, petting the dog's head.
"He's perfect," she whispered.
I turned and looked back at them all.
My guy. My girls.