A/N: I suck and not in a good way. Sorry for the delay. This is the FINAL chapter. Pure fluff. It has been fun writing this story and sharing it with you. I sincerely thank everyone that has read the story but I REALLY REALLY appreciate those of you who read and left reviews. Your commentary and support served as my motivation. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Writing and sharing your work can be very scary and you made it worthwhile.
Stephenie Meyer owns the Twilight universe and will go down in history as a bad ass chick.
Song for this chapter: In My Life by The Beatles
I stared through the scope of the gun I was holding and waited for my target to appear. There was infrared movement in the distance but I didn't have a clean shot.
I stood to a semi-crouched position and tried to move to the other side, so that my view wasn't obstructed. Suddenly I heard a pinging sound and felt the tap that followed. I'd been hit.
"Never turn your back on your enemy," A voice said behind me.
I looked up to see Carlisle with a big grin on his face. His grin quickly faded as a splatter of blue paint landed across his chest.
"Looks like you should be following your own advice," I laughed.
We were playing a final round of paint ball and had been eliminated. Obviously we were both a little rusty since it had been over half a decade since either of us used a gun.
I extended my body to a full standing position and realized Bella and Emmett were the only two players left. Carlisle and I went over to the sidelines with Jasper and Rosalie to clean up.
"Wow, two of the world's most deadly assassin's out of the game already?" Rose smirked at us.
"Whatever," I rolled my eyes.
"I would have taken the entire game if his wife hadn't defended his honor," Carlisle teased as he ran a towel over his face.
The four of us watched with rapt attention as Emmett and Bella stalked each other around the obstacle course.
"I'm not gonna have mercy on you just because you're a girl!" Emmett yelled at Bella.
"Likewise!" Bella laughed.
Emmett maneuvered through the maze until he was able to get behind Bella. The protective husband in me almost gave away his position but I kept my mouth shut. Emmett unfortunately celebrated a bit too early and she turned quickly when she heard him laugh under his breath. Her gun was already raised and before she completely turned around she had squeezed the trigger and hit him right in the middle of his chest.
"Fuuuck!" he yelled.
Bella ripped her goggles from her eyes and squealed as she ran over to me.
"Did you see that? We won!" she screeched as she threw herself at me. I braced myself for the impact and grabbed her around the waist.
She kissed me fiercely and leaned over to give Jasper a high five.
Emmett stomped over with a pout on his face. Rosalie stared at him and shook her head before she spun on her heels and went inside.
"We'll get them next time," Carlisle clapped him on the back as they followed Rosalie inside.
"That was so fucking hot!" I exclaimed as I spun Bella around and grabbed her ass.
"And that's my cue to leave," Jasper said leaving us alone.
"So you liked that?" she asked coyly as she threw her gun on top of the pile in the corner.
I unzipped her jumpsuit and kissed her neck. "Yes. Do you remember that first day we did assessment training and you hit all those targets?" I said against her neck.
"Mmm hmm," she moaned in reply.
"I had such a fucking hard-,"
We were interrupted by a squeal of laughter followed by "Mama! Da-da!"
"It's time to eat. Get washed up you two. No monkey business," Renee stood at the back door with our daughter, Carlie on her hip.
"Monkey, monkey!" Carlie repeated.
"To be continued," I whispered in Bella's ear. I stripped out of my stained jumpsuit and reached for Carlie's outstretched arms.
I kissed the top of her head and hugged her tightly. She grabbed my face and gave me a raspberry on my cheek. I extended my hand to Bella after she'd removed her jumpsuit and we walked inside together. I couldn't put into words how much the two of them meant to me. They were my life.
Bella had a difficult pregnancy and Carlie Elizabeth Masen was born six weeks prematurely. It was touch and go for a while and we almost lost her. But she had my blood and Bella's blood running through her veins- she was a fighter, a survivor and almost three years later she was healthy, smart, active and well adjusted.
Not only was she the center of our universe but also her "Grammy" Renee's. Bella's mother had packed up and left Forks to move to Seattle to be closer to Bella and Carlie (who was named after Bella's late father, Charlie) although I was certain she was pretty fond of me too.
We were at Carlisle and Esme's house celebrating their son, Adam's third birthday. He was almost seven months older than Carlie. Adam was quiet, introspective and very compassionate like Carlisle but he was the spitting image of Esme.
It had taken almost a year but Rosalie and Emmett had finally gotten custody of Lily and now she was four going on forty. Beautiful, smart and bossy just like her mother.
Carlie, Lily and Adam were pretty inseparable. After Bella's pregnancy experience we weren't exactly planning to have any more kids, so I was glad Carlie had Lily and Adam.
Pretty soon there would be two more kids added to our little tribe, Alice and Jasper were the last hold outs on the baby front. She was currently pregnant and looked like she was about to give birth at any minute. They were having twins!
"There you are! You're holding up the food! I've got two babies to feed!" Alice yelled rubbing her large stomach as we entered the great room.
Jasper took a seat next to her and kissed her stomach twice. She patted his head lovingly before she pushed him away.
"I need food. Go," she ordered.
I sat down on the couch on the other side of Alice and Carlie scrambled out of my lap to also planted double kisses on her belly.
"Hi babies, huwwy up an get here, its Abam's birfday," she announced to Alice's stomach.
"I told them the same thing this morning!" Alice smiled as she pinched Carlie's cheek. Carlie giggled and ran off to join the other two musketeers.
"Not much longer," I smiled at Alice.
"I know! I am so over this pregnancy. This is insane. I know I will absolutely adore my children but I am never doing this again," she huffed as she fell back on the couch.
"You and Jasper are going to be amazing parents," I said sincerely.
She smiled and looked around the room. "We've got some great examples to follow,"
I followed Alice's gaze and noticed Esme and Renee chatting animatedly as they piled food on to the plates Carlisle and Jasper were holding.
I smiled when I thought about my family and how far we'd all come. Rosalie and Emmett had turned Eclipse into the number one gym in the city of Seattle and they were contemplating opening another location in a year or so.
Jasper and Carlisle were partners at JC Whitllen (a corny ass combination of their names). Their company provided technical security solutions for businesses. They specialized in everything from hacker proof software to perimeter alarms. Their business was also quite successful.
Alice had finished design school and she was doing pretty well with A. Whitlock Designs. She mainly did space planning and interior design for office spaces but had taken on some residential clients as well.
Bella, Esme and Renee had just started their own catering business and had their very first event in two weeks.
None of them needed the income from the business ventures, which made it even better because they were all doing something they loved. I was happy as shit that I had a little bit to do with that by giving them the money they all needed to get started.
I was pretty much the only slacker in the group. I hadn't really found anything that excited me more than Bella but I had no problem helping everyone else whenever they needed it. Sometimes I would help Emmett with some of the classes at Eclipse or I would haul network cables for JC Whitllen or pick up blue prints for Alice. I was sure I would be regulated to putting sprinkles on cupcakes or setting up tables for the catering business in the near future. But for the time being my main job was a stay at home dad. I couldn't imagine any job being as fulfilling as spending time with Carlie. Yeah, just like her mom she had me wrapped around her finger. I was totally her bitch.
"So, Carlisle how much did that set up out back cost?" Emmett asked as he stuffed his mouth full of pasta.
"You are not putting a paintball course in our backyard!" Rosalie yelled.
"Aw babe, why not? You were out there playing! It would be awesome," he whined.
Esme rolled her eyes. "Awesome until you can't get blue paint out of the grass or off the patio. Today was actually the goodbye party for the paintball course. It's going away," she gave Carlisle a stern look.
"Maybe we could look into buying one somewhere?" Emmett's eyes lit up.
"That sounds like an excellent idea," Carlisle agreed.
"Count me in!" Jasper echoed.
"Jasper Whitlock you will be too busy changing diapers to run around playing paintball all day!" Alice yelled. She pointed a breadstick at him for emphasis.
"It'll just be the weekend's sweetheart," he teased as we all laughed.
She shook her head. "Boys," she muttered under her breath as she continued to scarf down her food.
"What about you cupcake? You in? Or do we need to ask your boss?" Emmett grinned at me. "Carlie! Carlie, come here for a minute munchkin,"
Carlie bounded over to him with Adam and Lily on her heels.
"Can your daddy buy a paintball course with me and Uncle Jasper and Uncle Carlisle?" Emmett smiled.
Before Carlie could respond, Lily piped in. "Daddy you didn't ask me if you could buy one,"
I fell off the couch I was laughing so hard. Scenes like this had become the norm for us. At least once or twice a week we were congregated at someone's house just doing normal, family shit. This is what I remembered about my childhood, this is what I missed.
"You okay?" Bella sat down next to me on the floor and squeezed my thigh. I had apparently zoned out as the party continued around me.
"Huh, yeah, I'm good. More than good. Fucking great!" I smiled and kissed her cheek.
She smiled and eyed me for a second to assess whether or not I was telling the truth. She had the ability to almost read my mind. Sometimes it was good but most of the time it was scary as hell.
"I was just thinking about when I was a kid you know- my parents, doing normal stuff like this with family," I shrugged as I bumped her shoulder.
She smiled at me and kissed my lips softly.
"It's time to sing happy birthday!" Esme announced.
"Yay!" the kids exclaimed as they ran to the kitchen table.
Jasper hoisted Alice up from the couch and we all moved to the kitchen to sing. Esme started to light the candles when I noticed in addition to three single candles there were two numeric candles, a three and a two. When I looked down at the cake it read Happy Birthday Adam and Edward. Adam's birthday was actually Monday and mine had been on Thursday.
I looked up at Esme and Carlisle and shook my head.
"It was Adam's idea," Carlisle said.
I looked down at Adam and he was smiling up at me. I smiled back.
"Thanks for sharing your birthday cake with me," I ruffled his hair and he laughed.
After everyone finished singing, Adam grabbed my arm. "Let's make a wish,"
I closed my eyes and realized all my wishes had already come true. I just wished things would stay this way forever.
After we stuffed our faces with cake and more food, Adam opened his presents. That kid got so much shit it was unreal. But all of us adults went way overboard with the kids and I was sure it would be no different when Alice and Jasper's two came along.
As the party came to a close Alice and Jasper announced they were leaving but decided to share the names they had finally picked out for their babies. I just hoped like hell it wasn't something corny like 'Whitllen'.
"As you know, we're having a boy and a girl and I like the idea of keeping the first name with the letter J like Jasper, so our son's name will be Jonathan-," Alice started
"And our daughter will be Jaclyn," Jasper smiled so big I thought his face would split in two.
"We don't have middle names picked out yet," Alice rushed to add.
"I love it! Those are some beautiful names," Renee smiled as she hugged Alice. "And I know the children will be equally as beautiful,"
"Thank you. Now you know you're going to have to be a surrogate Grammy for the twins," Alice said seriously. She and Renee had grown close since she was Carlie's godmother and Renee was her grandmother.
"I'd be honored," Renee said sincerely.
After Jasper and Alice left, Emmett and Rosalie were the next to go.
"Dude, seriously, we'll talk about the paintball thing," Emmett whispered as he carried a sleeping Lily to the car.
"Have your people call my people," I teased.
Once we finished helping Esme restore order to their house, she loaded us up with food and cake to take home.
Bella noticed Renee fidgeting as we began to put on our jackets.
"Mom? Is everything okay? Do you need help with your jacket?" Bella raised an eyebrow. Renee had spent the night with us to watch Carlie while Bella and I went out on a date. She'd left her car at our place and rode to the party with us.
"Um- well, I kinda sorta have a date tonight," Renee muttered. "He's going to pick me up from here and bring me back to your house to get my car. It's just coffee and I've known him for a while, he owns the florist shop and -," Renee rambled on and on.
I laughed out loud at the irony of Renee, the mother trying to justify her date to Bella, the daughter. Bella glared at me and I covered my mouth with my hand.
"Who is this guy? Why haven't you ever mentioned him before?" Bella asked.
"Because I didn't want you to have that look on your face that you have right now," Renee accused.
"What look?" Bella asked innocently.
She knew what look her mother was referring to. It was the look of judgment and skepticism that screamed, so, you're going to abandon me for another man like Phil. Although I loved Bella more than life itself, she really needed to get therapy for some of her issues. Even though her mother was here and totally committed to being in her life, I think a part of her would always believe she'd leave her again.
Renee sighed and gently grabbed Bella's face.
"I love you and Carlie and Edward and everyone here. This is my life; this is where I want to be. No one will ever take me away from you again, sweetheart. But I am human and just like you have Edward sometimes I- you know it's nice to have someone to tell you you're pretty, to bring you flowers or hold your hand," Renee shrugged.
Bella held her head down and nodded.
"I know- I'm sorry. You're entitled to a life, Mom. So what's his name," Bella smiled and Renee giggled.
I took that as my cue to load my daughter and all of our stuff into the new, platinum Porsche Cayenne I bought myself as a birthday gift.
As we drove home, Carlie snored lightly in the back seat and Bella stared out the passenger window with a faint smile on her lips.
I gently grabbed her thigh.
"What are you thinking about?" I asked softly.
"Sometimes I wonder if this is just- all some big dream. I wonder if I'll wake up and be back in my small room in Forks and I've overslept and I'll walk downstairs to find my dad drinking coffee in the kitchen. Or maybe I'll wake up and I'll be in the bottom bunk of the bed at juvy still in a stupor or maybe I'll wake up to a blaring alarm in the co-ed pod of this secret government agency and I'll have to deal with this hot but moody assassin who makes my heart do crazy things every time he comes around," she sighed as she took a deep breath.
I smiled at her. "No, when you wake up you're going to be face to face with your husband who will be trying desperately to get in at least five minutes of sex before your daughter comes running into the room cockblocking him once again," I laughed.
So did Bella.
'Well, maybe we should try and take care of that tonight and just for the record five minutes is not enough time. So don't you know- be proud of that or anything," she laughed.
I grabbed her hand and kissed the wedding ring on her finger.
"I love you," I said simply.
"I love you too," she smiled.
In many ways, I felt much older than my thirty-two years. I'd been a lot of places, seen a lot of things and done a lot of things. But in some ways it was as if I had just started to live. Every day with Bella and Carlie was an adventure and there was so much that I was looking forward to doing, sharing and seeing with them now that I was finally free.
I was not only free from the constraints of The Organization but free from the constraints I'd placed on myself being afraid of failure and rejection. Being afraid of never being loved. It was ironic that the one thing I used to never be afraid of was the only thing that sometimes kept me up at night. The thought of death. I didn't want to leave this life anytime soon. I wanted to be here until I was wrinkled old man sitting on the porch with Bella watching our grandchildren run around the yard.
I wanted to experience every joy and pain life had to offer. When it was finally time for me to close my eyes and never open them again I wanted to go with a smile, remembering every step of my journey and how I found the love of my existence in the most unexpected of places. How my life had done a complete 360 and just how fucking lucky I had been.
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