A/N: Epilogue time ! This was so so hard to write - I don't want it to end :( I've had so much fun writing this story, and I hope the epilogue ties everything together, in a humorous way, of course. Hope you like it!
Thank you to everyone who voted for the name of a restaurant if Bella opened one. You will soon find out which the winner was. Thank you to all of you who entered names!
Disclaimer: S Meyer owns Twilight. I just borrowed the characters :)
"Rachel!" I called, playfully swatting her with the dish towel I had in my hands. "Stop flirting; there are tables that need your attention," I teased.
She spun from her stance leaning over the counter to face me, her mouth forming an 'o' and a faint blush falling over her features.
"Mom!" She exclaimed, before quickly storming off into the back.
I heard Leah chuckling behind me. "You had to embarrass the poor girl like that?"
"She'll get over it," I laughed.
"My, my, when did you become such a stickler?" She teased.
"Since the girl starting giving me gray hair. I mean, seriously, Leah! She's barely fourteen years old, does she need to flirt like that?"
"You know Bella, I'm kind of offended," she said with a smile on her face.
"And why is that?"
"Well, she was flirting with my Sammy. Do you not want us to be in-laws?" Leah joked with feigned hurt.
"Yeah, like I would want my daughter to marry into your crazy family." I bent down to make sure the shelves were stocked before standing back up with a stretch.
I walked back through the swinging door that separated the front counter from the kitchen, and Leah followed. This wasn't unusual –Friday afternoons were usually spent like this. A lot has changed since twenty years ago, but a lot stayed the same. The whole gang always crowded together in the Wolves' Den, literally.
I had grown my restaurant out of nothing. After a few years of culinary school, interning, and working for the pros, the little idea of opening a restaurant turned into a really big project. Construction went on for a few months, while everyone around me – the pack, my parents, Billy – all advertised and left me with high expectations to fulfill.
Wolves' Den was the diner, cafè, restaurant, and bakery located conveniently between Forks and La Push. What can I say- I had a hard time picking one theme. It was a casual, family place, which was always full of my family. It was hard to get rid of them, not that I ever tried.
It's been about five years that I've been on my own, running my own business. Of course, I can't take all the credit; I have wonderful people behind me who are the best support system I could ask for. Jake and I focused on our educations and our relationship while I commuted to Peninsula College and he finished high school. I studied hard and practiced a lot, which the pack was grateful for, since they were always my taste-testers.
It was Jacob who always pushed me to open my own restaurant. After getting a few years of experience under my belt, I decided that's what I would do. I took some time off when Jacob and I welcomed our two beautiful daughters into the world, but after that, all of my restaurant plans went into motion.
"Mom, Becka's in the way. She's just sitting there reading, again," Rachel sighed. I rolled my eyes. My two daughters may look related, but their personalities were from different worlds. My oldest daughter, Rebecca, at fifteen, is everything I was at fifteen. She has my light skin with my wavy hair, except it's the color of Jacob's. She's more on the reserved side, except when she's around her family. Her passion is reading -she's devoured my entire collection of classics twice already, and has lately been dabbling in writing some of her own stuff.
But Rachel inherited almost everything from Jacob. Besides inheriting his shiny black hair, in the form of long straight locks, his dark eyes, his knack for reading people, and his fierce loyalty and protectiveness towards her family, she also has his sense of humor –meaning she finds everything funny. She's outgoing and will be blunt and straightforward with you like nobody's business. Usually I am surprised at the things that come out of her mouth. And she is completely infatuated with Leah's oldest son, Sammy.
The girls grew up in this restaurant; they were about six and five, respectively, when it opened. When they were old enough, they helped out by waiting tables to earn some cash. Not that they ever wanted for anything. Hell, they probably had more money saved up than Jacob and I. And for that, I blame him.
Jake has a soft spot for his daughters like no other. One pout from either of them and he puts the world at their feet. I can't exactly blame him; in fact, I find it kind of endearing that he can't say no.
Rebecca sighed and closed her book, tucking it away on one of the shelves as Leah and I entered the kitchen.
"You know," Leah continued, "if I recall correctly, you were fourteen when you had your first kiss."
Both of the girls' eyes widened as they looked at me in shock.
I threw my hands in the air. "Thanks, Lee."
"No way," Rachel said.
"Hey, now don't get any ideas," I told her. "It was a dare!" I reminded Leah.
She shrugged. "A kiss is a kiss, Bella."
"Okay," I said, exasperated. "We're getting ready to close shop for the night. Leah, make yourself useful and pull out the decorations you brought. Girls, just finish up your last tables, please."
Tonight we were throwing a surprise anniversary party for my parents and Leah's parents. Their anniversaries were within a month of each other, although the years were different, but Leah and I decided it would be fun to collaborate and throw them a big party. I told my parents that I was hosting a fundraiser event for the girls' school at the restaurant, and they should bring along Harry and Sue, since their grandsons attending the school as well. They bought it, no questions asked.
I was cleaning up in the kitchen when I heard Rebecca squeal.
Leah, who was sitting on the counter in the kitchen popping appetizers into her mouth, leaned her head toward the doorway. "Your lover's here," she announced.
"Thanks," I laughed before swatting her off the counter. "How many times have I told you not to sit there? And stop eating all the food!"
She shrugged and walked out of the kitchen with a plate of appetizers. That would have to do for now; if I brought them all out now, there would be no food left for when the guests of honor arrived.
I heard the whole gang in the dining area. Leah and Sam, with their three sons: Sammy, Colin, and Brady. Leah got pregnant a few years after she and Sam married, with gave us Sammy. After my Rebecca was born, Leah and I both got knocked up again within a few months of each other, thus Rachel, 14, and Colin, 13. Four years later and she popped out another one, Brady. We always teased each other because she had all sons and I had all daughters.
Jared and Kim tied the knot eventually, a handful of years after Jake and I did. Paul was more of a loner, but he dated here and there. Claire went away to school once she graduated, so we passed Quil around to keep him company while he moped almost every day for four years. We still tease him about that, although he'll deny it to his last breath. They got married in a small, simple ceremony right on first beach, and now even had a young son, Benjamin. Sometimes it was hard to tell the age different between Quil and his son, since they pretty much acted the same.
Poor Seth – Leah intimidated the hell out of any girl that went near him, even now. Embry spent a few years at school studying architecture, but he couldn't stay away for long. He was engaged to his girlfriend Sarah, and he had a beautiful daughter Charlotte.
We had a pretty awesome family, if I'd say so myself.
"Hey beautiful," a familiar voice said from behind me.
"Hey," I said without turning around. I had to finish wiping down the counters, pull some food out of the oven, some out of the fridge, get out plates and silverware, and put the finishing touches on desserts, not to mention the main attraction, the cake.
Two warm arms wrapped around my waist and Jake's lips descended on my neck. I loved when he came up behind me and did that – it was one of those things that will never get old.
He twisted me in his arms so that I was facing him. I gave him a quick peck on the lips before attempting to move out of his arms and continue working.
"Why are you holed away in the kitchen?" He asked. "Everyone's here."
"Exactly. Everyone's here and I still have a lot to do, so if you'll just-"
Jake chuckled. "Relax, Bells. Don't stress yourself out." I sighed and let my body relax into his. "What do we have left to do? I'm here to help."
"I have to put out the dishes and silverware and set up the food table outside," I started.
"Done," he stated. I raised an eyebrow. "It's not like we don't know where anything is, baby. That's finished. What else?"
"The tables have to be arranged and all the decorations have to be put up. I told Leah to do that, but-"
"She did it. Check. Next?"
I frowned. "Well, I have to take out all the food and get that ready."
Jake let go of me and swiftly picked up an oven mit. Carefully he pulled out trays of food that were in the oven and gently placed them on the island in the kitchen. While he did that, I got out everything else we would need and placed it on the counter.
"There," he said, surveying our work with pride. "All done. Now, all that's left is for you to get dressed. You have. . ." he glanced at the clock behind him, "ten minutes until Charlie and Renee will be here with Sue and Harry."
For the first time, I noticed that Jacob was already dressed. I half expected him to show up in his greasy work clothes that I was so used to seeing him in when he was done with work at the auto shop, where he worked with Jared, Paul, and Quil.
"You're dressed," I pointed out.
He nodded. "Yeah, I told you we were closing up early so the guys and I could get home to clean up. Come on." He tugged at my hand and led me into my small office tucked away in the back of the restaurant.
My office was small, but big enough to fit an efficient sized desk and filing cabinets. Leah was the one who used it mostly; she helped me out with the business side of things – placing ingredient orders, making up menus, payroll, and things like that. Which meant the office wasn't as tidy as I would have liked.
I found my dress and shoes hanging on the back of the door that Leah had picked up at my house for me. I saw the girls' outfits were gone; they must have changed already, too. I was really behind.
Jake softly took the hanger out of my hand and hung it back up while kicking the door swiftly shut. I looked at him with a confused expression.
He shrugged before putting an arm around my waist and pulling me to him. "I missed you," he said.
I was surprised for a moment when he placed his lips on mine sweetly. "I missed you, too," I said when he pulled away.
One of his hands went to the back of my neck as he held me to him and kissed me again. He traced his tongue against my bottom lip and an involuntary whimper escaped from me.
He responded to that and his heated body ran flush with mine. He backed up a step and I was forced to move back with him until I felt my back against the office wall. He continued kissing me while one of his hands skillfully untied the strings that were holding my apron on. He slid a warm hand underneath my shirt and traced up and down the side of my stomach.
I fisted a hand in his hair and my hips pushed into his, moving against what my body was craving. He released me from the kiss to fulfill my lungs' demand for oxygen, but wasted no time in brushing my hair aside with his hand and finding the delicate skin of my neck, just underneath my jaw.
His lips and then his tongue caressed their way down to my shoulder and I shivered. Suddenly, his two hands cupped the back of my thighs and he brought them to lock around his waist.
I panted for air to gain my voice back. "I thought . . . I was supposed to be . . . getting dressed," I breathed.
I moaned when Jacob ground his hips harder into mine, and I could feel that he was just as turned on as I was.
"You are," he said. "I told you I was here to help."
I wasn't entirely following his train of thought. How is this helping?
"You have to take off your work clothes, don't you?" One of his arms held me securely around the waist as the other grabbed hold of the hem of my black tee-shirt and slid it up and over my head. He tossed it to the floor.
"I can definitely help you with that," he smirked. He attacked the button on my jeans until it finally cooperated and he tugged them off, setting me on the floor for a brief second so I could kick them the rest of the way off.
He took in my half-naked body with dark, heavy eyes and traced his hands up and down my thighs, venturing closer each time to the place that was begging for his touch.
I heard Leah's muffled voice through the door before it had time to register in my head that she sounded as if she was getting closer.
"Guys, where are you? The 'rents are almost here, they just-" She opened the door and froze for a moment before taking in our compromising position and slamming it shut. "Oops!"
My face flushed red with embarrassment and I pushed Jake off me as soon as the door was closed. He thought it was hilarious. I grumbled under my breath before snagging the dress off its hanger and pulling it haphazardly over my head before straightening it out over my body.
The dress was a simple, strapless black that fell to my knees. I slipped on wedge heels and swiped my hair up in a messy bun. I searched in one of the desk drawers while Jake adjusted himself. I kept my makeup minimal, as always, with just a touch of mascara, eyeliner and lip gloss.
"You look beautiful," Jake said.
I rolled my eyes at him.
"I'm complimenting you, Bella," he laughed, "you can at least be nice."
"Thank you," I smiled. He took my hand in his and led us out to the main dining area where the pack was all lounging.
The kids were at one table, my daughters talking with Leah's sons, and the younger kids like Benjamin and Charlotte tagging along. They were much like us when we were young, pretty much inseparable- where you found one, there were the others. Leah was sitting on Sam's lap, at a table with Paul, Jared, Kim, Quil, and Seth. Embry was peeking out the window looking for my parents' car. His girlfriend Sarah and Claire were making last minute adjustments to the décor. Jacob's father Billy was in attendance, along with Leah's cousin Emily and some of her extended family.
They noticed us emerging from the back. Sam whistled when we came out, and I couldn't look anyone in the eyes. No doubt Leah and her big mouth had told him what she walked in on.
The pack caught on and all began in cheers and applause, since they had all been waiting on us. Of course, Jake was booming with laughter.
"Finally! What took you so long?" Embry exclaimed, turning his attention away from the window.
I stammered, trying to come up with an answer, while Jake waggled his eyebrows, thinking I couldn't see. I smacked him on the arm.
"Jacob and Bella were busy making baby number three!" Leah shouted, breaking the pack into laughter and suggestive catcalls.
"Ew!" I heard Rebecca yell.
"Gross!" Rachel clasped her hands over her eyes.
Leah's timing had not gotten any better than twenty years ago, because she decided to yell that out just as our parents opened the door to the restaurant. Everyone grew silent.
"Um, surprise?" Quil choked out, trying to control his laughter.
Jake nudged me with his hip.
"Surprise!" We all yelled, not in unison at all, busting into complete and uncontrollable laughter.
Yep, that's my family.
FINAL A/N: And there you have it! Please please please leave reviews! I'd really LOVE to get your feedback on this chapter/ending. Favorite part/line? Questions? Suggestions?
Lastly, I MUST give a big THANK YOU to you readers, for sticking with me since the beginning. I've had a lot of fun writing this and I hope you've enjoyed it :)
Put me on author alert - I have a bunch of other ideas swimming around in my head that I'm sure will be coming soon :)