Disclaimer: I don't own anything except for the things you don't recognize! Song credit to We the Kings
This is the last chapter. I have to say that I am glad it is over. In the past few months I've had no drive for this story but I knew I had to finish it. Luckily last night the effects of my pain killers and this cold I have strangely gave me the inspiration to finish this story for good. I know this wasn't my best story, but I think that's because I don't enjoy writing about this scenario anymore. I doubt that I will have any other stories posted any time soon since it is so close to the end of the school year.
Thank you so much to the people that have stuck around to read this story and to those of you who have reviewed. You guys are the only reason I didn't abandon this story : )
"I wanna be the picture on your wall,
I wanna chase you around until we fall,
I wanna be the one you write about,
I wanna be the one who never let you down,
But right now I feel like I am losing control, losing control
Hey hey hey hey, my head is spinning cause of you
Hey hey hey hey, you've no clue what you do
You're the storm, let it rain
You've got eyes like a hurricane
Hey hey hey hey you've no clue what you do to me."
What You Do To Me
It was yet another rainy day in La Push; the perfect day to clean the house. Of course that was not what I ended up doing. After about ten minutes of dusting the bookshelf extensively I found an old album, an album that I hadn't looked at in quite a while.
It was one of those huge picture albums; wide, with a thick binding and sticky pages that allowed you to place the pictures in wherever you wanted. This kind of album had always been the album of choice for my Mom and the preference had passed down to me as well. It certainly wasn't as neat and organized as scrapbooking, but when had my life ever been those two things?
The cover creaked as I opened the album, revealing the first picture. It was a large picture that took up most of the page, with only three words and a date near the bottom. I smiled down at the image of myself and my husband of twenty five years and was lost in my memories…
A beautiful day for a wedding was what my Mother had announced that morning after she waltzed into the room Cady and I had shared on my last night as a single woman. Of course it hadn't been a traditional girl's night with little Harry in the crib next to the bed, but it was perfect for the two of us.
"Are you two just going to laze away in bed or start getting ready?" Mom asked impatiently before she gently picked Harry up out of the crib with her special smile reserved specifically for her first grandchild.
"The wedding isn't for another four hours, Mom." Cady sighed.
"Yes, well…with hair, makeup, actually getting dressed, and pictures that time sure does fly." Mom argued while she gently cradled Harry to her chest.
Cady and I exchanged a well placed eye roll. There was no use fighting her; we'd gone through this once before on Cady's wedding day and now it was my turn. We'd let her run the show for the next four hours, but once the actual ceremony began it was all about Hunter and I.
I smiled at the thought of my future husband. By this time tomorrow I would be a married woman. My smile grew even bigger at that thought and all the other 'thoughts' that came along with it.
It had taken us a while to make it to this point, mostly due to my hesitation. My childhood and experiences with my Father had taken a toll on me. Hunter understood and didn't dare propose to me until we had dated for a while. He probably would have waited longer if we weren't so eager to adopt Grace.
"Are you done daydreaming?" Cady asked with a knowing smile.
I simply smiled back and continued to smile through my Mom's antics until I was finally walking down the aisle towards Hunter. He was smiling back at me and eagerly grasped my hands in his when I finally reached his side. A spared a glance to where Grace sat in Roxy's lap in the front row and blew a kiss before I turned back to Hunter.
"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today…"
After I had passed through the three pages of wedding pictures I finally came across the first picture of us on our honeymoon. Hunter had surprised me and taken me to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He had never been before, but after I had filled him in on years of trips to the UP, he decided it was something he wanted to experience for himself with a true Michiganian.
The picture was of the two of us at the beach in St. Ignace, the Mackinaw Bridge rising up behind us against the blue sky. The two of us were smiling at the camera, his arm wrapped around my waist and my head against his shoulder. Underneath the picture I simply had written: Mr. and Mrs. Richards.
Hunter shivered as a gust of wind hit us as the man who had taken our picture walked back towards his waiting family. I chuckled at his discomfort and made a show of snuggling into my windbreaker. I had warned him that Michigan weather changed in an instant, especially in the UP. Earlier today it had been sunny and in the seventies and now it was overcast and in the fifties.
"Don't say I didn't warn you." I laughed as I ran a finger across the goose flesh on his forearms.
"You could warm me up." Hunter grinned and wrapped his arms around me tightly.
I giggled at that, yes I actually giggled, and looked up at him flirtatiously, "Or we could go back to our hotel room."
"And you can warm me up there."
We had missed Grace while away on our honeymoon but as soon as we returned we had signed all the papers that made Grace legally ours. And just like that I was officially a Mom without the discomfort of childbearing and delivering. It wasn't a hard adjustment at all; we'd been living as a family for a while now and nothing changed besides our legal status.
I smiled as I turned the page to Grace's favorite picture. It was easy to see why; it was absolutely adorable. At two years old she was able to grasp the fact that something was happening and it was easy to see that she was really excited about that something. In fact she liked to share it with everyone, even random people that passed by in the store.
"Hey Roxy." I smiled as I greeted the red head.
Roxy looked up from where she was examining something on her son, Tobin's, face. When she saw Grace and I walk through her screen door she smiled and held out a free arm for Grace.
"How's my favorite niece today?" she asked as she hugged my little girl.
Roxy chuckled, "Tobin has a little scratch on his face from playing a little too roughly with his puppy. Aunt Roxy is going to have to have a nice long talk with your Uncle Paul about that."
"Uh oh." I laughed.
Roxy had been less than pleased when Paul had brought home an adorable chocolate lab puppy for Tobin's first birthday. Hershey was a well behaved dog, but while he was still a puppy he had a tendency to play a little too roughly with Tobin.
Almost as if he knew we were talking about him Hershey darted into the room and started to circle around Grace excitedly. The toddler started to giggle uncontrollably which then caused her baby cousin to start babbling to his Mother.
"I want puppy, Momma!" Grace declared as she bent down and stroked Hershey's velvety ears carefully.
"Actually Mommy has something much better than a puppy." I stated.
Roxy turned to me with round eyes, "Are you?"
"Pregnant?" I filled in for her. "Yes, I am."
"Have you told Hunter?!" She asked eagerly as she wrapped me in a one armed hug.
"No, I just told my sister before we came over here." I replied. "And then once I tell Hunter tonight we can explain it to Grace."
Roxy smiled, "I'm so happy for you, Sadie. Congratulations."
Once dinner had been eaten and Grace had been put to bed after two bed time stories and a long drawn out hug from her Daddy, the two of us finally had some time to ourselves. I smiled at Hunter as I grabbed his hand and led him into our bedroom.
"You look awfully pleased with yourself." Hunter commented as he played with the hem of my shirt.
"I've got something to tell you."
He sighed, "Don't tell me you want to get Grace a puppy."
"What's better than a puppy for a little girl? A pony?"
I rolled my eyes, "No, you doofo. I'm pregnant."
We stared at each other for a minute before Hunter's face broke out into a brilliant smile and he wrapped me up tightly in his arms.
"When?" He asked.
"In seven months."
He finally released me only to pull me in again, only this time his lips descended down onto mine. When the two of us finally pulled apart we were breathless.
"I love you, Sadie."
"I love you too."
The picture in question was of little Grace with her ear pressed against my burgeoning belly, my smiling face turned towards my husband who stood on the other side of the camera. A month after that picture was taken I gave birth to twin boys, just as I thought I always would. We found out early on that I was having twins and we spent the next eight months getting ready for them. The boys arrived a month early just as Cady and I had, but were perfectly healthy for as small as they were.
After about a month it became clear to all of us that they were identical. Cady and Seth had laughed hysterically at me, Mom had given me a reassuring kiss on the forehead, Roxy and Paul had just smiled, and Hunter simply looked back and forth between our boys.
The next picture was of the two of them, taken on their first birthday. By that time it was painfully obvious just how identical they were, but already they had distinctive personalities.
"Where are my birthday boys?" Mom asked as she entered the boy's rooms with Grace on her heels.
I had just finished dressing the two of them in little vests sets, not identical ones thank you very much, and turned towards my Mom with both of them in my arms. It was a little difficult to hold them both at the same time now given the fact that they were pretty big boys, so I was thankful when she reached out and took one of them into her arms.
"Now let me guess…this has to be Alex."
I smiled and looked down at the real Alex in my arms, "Nope, that's Nathan."
"How can you tell?" She asked skeptically.
I rolled my eyes, "First of all, I'm their mother. Secondly, Nathan has a freckle at the tip of his nose and thirdly Alex is the smiley one. Even Grace can tell them apart, Mom."
"You don't have to mean about it." She pouted.
The picture was of the five of us; Hunter, Grace, the boys, and I. It was taken in the living room. Hunter and I sat side by side with a boy in each of our arms and Grace was clinging on to her Dad's other side.
"Mom, what are you doing?"
I looked up from the picture of the five of us and into my daughter's eyes. I beckoned her to join me on the couch and flipped the next few pages until I came across another, newer, picture of me with a large belly.
"That was you." I smiled at my youngest.
"So that's what you've been in here doing; getting nostalgic." She smirked as she turned the next page to see herself reflected back to her on the page. Of course she was only a few hours old on the page. She was cradled in my arms as all the other kids crowded around the bed trying to see their new baby sister.
"What should we name her?" I asked my three older children, looking forward to and dreading their answers at the same time. Hunter and I had never discussed names throughout the whole pregnancy, mostly due to the fact that we didn't want to know what we were having. The whole pregnancy was a surprise actually, but a good done at that.
Grace was nine and the boys already six! I could hardly believe it and yet here I was holding another one that would only grow up in a blink of an eye just as the rest of them had.
"Destiny." Grace sighed wistfully.
"Ew!" Alex and Nathan chorused and I had to agree with them. There was no way this child of mine was a 'Destiny'.
Grace stuck her tongue out at them and crossed her arms, "Fine, you two think of something then."
"Bob." Alex said eagerly.
Hunter laughed from his position in the chair next to my bed, "The baby is a girl, Alex, and Bob is a boy's name."
Alex crossed his little arms and turned to his brother expectantly. Nathan looked back and forth between Hunter and me and simply shrugged his shoulders as if to say 'don't look at me'.
Finally I had an idea, "Let's name her after your Mother."
Hunter smiled, "Really?"
"Margaret it is then."
"You guys were going to let them name me?!" Maggie cried out indignantly after I finished my little story. "Destiny? Bob?"
I laughed, "They were nine and six, cut them a break."
She quirked a brow at me, which reminded me very much of myself, "Yet again I have to ask why you were going to let them name me?"
"Well, we didn't obviously." I pointed out. "It was mostly a way to make them feel included. Your brothers had been the babies for six years; they were a little resistant to the idea of a baby there for a while. But they loved you once you were here."
I smiled at the thought of my twenty three year old sons; they would do anything for their baby sis, Maggie. Most of which annoyed the hell out of my seventeen year old daughter; like scaring away potential boyfriends; as if her Uncle and Father didn't do that enough.
"When are they supposed to get here anyway?" Maggie asked as I closed the photo album.
Today was our weekly family dinners which meant that my two always hungry boys would be coming home with loads of laundry to do. The two of them were both working in the city and sharing an apartment, an apartment that I had no desire to see anytime soon if I wanted to avoid a heart attack.
But today was also our first family dinner since Grace had gotten back on her honeymoon with her new husband, Luke. I knew that I was excited to see what they had brought back from Hawaii for us, and I could tell that Maggie was eager to talk to her big sis about her new love interest. Hopefully the boys didn't find out about that until after they'd gone back to the city.
"Mom! We're here!" Alex's voice yelled from the front of the house.
"Yeah and we brought laundry, hope you don't mind!" Nathan chimed in.
Maggie and I walked out of the living room and into the hallway where the two of them were kicking off their shoes.
"What is that smell?" Maggie asked her nose crinkled in disgust.
Alex grinned, "That baby sis is the smell of man!"
"Got that right, Alex." Nathan laughed as he waved his shoe in front of Maggie's face. Without missing a beat, Maggie simultaneously reached out and slapped both of her brother's on the arms before she stormed up the stairs and to her room.
"Ah, some things never change."
"It's good to be home." Alex finished with a nod to his brother.
"Is this any way to greet your Mother?"
"Of course not Mom!" They chorused before the two of them engulfed me in a big group hug.
"Hey let me in on that action!" Hunter laughed as he walked through the front door behind the boys. A second later Hunter had joined our hug fest and the four of us pulled away laughing.
"Start your laundry before Grace and Luke get here." Hunter ordered them before he slipped an arm around my waist and turned me to face him. I looked up into his eyes with a smile on my face; a smile that hadn't changed in twenty five years of marriage.
"I missed you today." He whispered seductively.
"I missed you more." I whispered back as I reached up on my tiptoes and pressed my lips against his.
"Oh jeez guys, get a room!"
The two of us pulled away to face our oldest child and our son in law, Luke who stood in the doorway with smiles on their faces and a few bags in hand.
"Happy to see me?" Grace asked slyly.
"Of course we are!" I beamed before I pulled the two of them into a big hug.
"We just got back from visiting the graveyard. We left them some flowers." Grace stated as her hand sought out the comfort of Luke's own. He grasped her hand firmly in his and smiled down at her briefly before they turned their attention back on the two of us.
We had made it a point to sit all four of the kids down separately once they were old enough to understand the circumstances of Grace's birth and adoption. We'd told Grace when she turned ten years old and she had handled it pretty well. After that it had become a tradition for her to take a weekly visit to the graveyard to visit her birth parents with either Hunter or I in tow. The other children had been accepting as well, while they understood that Grace was really their cousin that didn't stop them from treating her like their older sister. For that both Hunter and I were happy.
"What is that smell?" Luke asked suddenly.
The two of them left us to greet the other kids, leaving Hunter and I alone once again in the hallway. Hunter pulled me close again, his hands on my hips, as he stared down into my eyes.
"How happy would you say you are right now?" He asked; a question I hadn't heard him ask in quite a long time.
"I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am."
Hunter grinned, "Now that's what I was aiming for all those years ago."