I shook my head as I dried the dishes. "No is no, now go up to your room."
"But mommy The-."
"No!," I yelled. "Just because it's a cartoon does not mean it's for children, and it's way past your bedtime. Look at your sister, she's been asleep since eight. Now do as I say, and go up to your room!."
He sat down on the wooden floor and crossed his little arms. "I'm not going to bed."
"Noah," I warned. But I knew it was no use, he wouldn't listen. The only person he ever listened to was his father, why didn't that surprise me?
Noah was only five years old, almost six, and I knew that raising children wouldn't be easy. But sometimes I felt I needed a break, he was very stubborn and very hot-headed, and I was always so worn out.
Every night he'd refuse to go to sleep, and beg me to let him stay up and watch The Simpsons. Nothing I ever said to him worked, he'd just continue to beg until the only option I had left was to wait for Paul to come home from his night-shift and have him warn his son — which wasn't possible tonight since he was away on a business trip.
"Mommy please!," Noah begged yet again.
Sighing, I abandoned the wet dishes and bent down to pick him up, resting him on my hip. "How about I give you milk and a cookie?."
He smiled brightly at that, his two front teeth missing. "I like cookies."
"But you have to promise me that you'll go to bed afterwards okay?."
"I pwomise," he told me in his tiny voice before I walked around to the table and set him down on a chair.
Over the past five years, Noah grew more and more like his father in looks. People were always complimenting him, which sometimes gave Paul a big head— since he looked just like that when he was a child.
On the other hand, his sister Ayita —who'd just turned four— looked just like me.
She was the cutest little girl, with a bright smile and long, soft, wavy, brown hair. Her and Noah were completely different in looks, you wouldn't even know they were related. Sam and Emily had found that fascinating.
Not to mention they had completely different personalities too: while Noah was full of life, talkative and sensitive; Ayita was obedient, quiet and strong-willed. They were both opposites, but still the most wonderful children I could ever ask for.
"Did you have fun with Kyle today?," I asked Noah as he nibbled on his cookie.
La Push was still home to me, and there were times when all I wanted to do was move back to our old house there. It was safe now, no more bloodthirsty vampires lurking in the woods to worry us. The whole pack was free to move on with their lives and live like normal, except for a Quil and a few others— they wouldn't be giving up phasing anytime soon.
I'd take the kids over to Emily and Sam's, and let them play with their children. Noah and Kyle were the best of friends, though they did have moments where they'd end up fighting. But that was to be expected.
"Yes." He nodded, his chin-length hair bobbing. "We played catch and I winned."
I chuckled at his grammatical mistake. "You won did you?."
"Yes, and he was angwy with me."
"Aw, well next time you'll let him win won't you?."
He shook his head. "No, I want to win. I'm the best."
"But he's your friend Noah," I reasoned, hoping it'd get through to him. "Did you show him what Santa brought you?."
Noah proceeded to tell me all about Kyle's new toys and the other things they did earlier today. Apparently Emily had made them chocolate cupcakes and they were 'delisus'— his way of saying delicious, which I found incredibly adorable.
Halfway through his cup of milk, he started nodding off so I quickly picked him up and took him to bed.
"Mommy," he mumbled, half-asleep as I tucked him in. "I love you and daddy."
"We love you too honey." I smiled, pressing a kiss to his forehead, tears blurring my vision. "Sweet dreams."
Once I was sure Noah was asleep, I slipped out of his room and took a peek into Ayita's to make sure she was okay. Smiling over at her adorable sleeping-form, I closed the door over and made my way back downstairs to watch some TV— something I was deprived of these days.
As I scrolled through the channels, I thought about how things had worked out for us.
Moving to Seattle had been very good; our neighbors were friendly, shopping wasn't too far away and Paul impressed his boss so much that he had practically taken over the place. I was thrilled for him, and the money was great, but I missed him terribly when he had to travel.
His boss had been in charge for so long that he decided to let Paul take his place, and of course there were the pros and cons to that. The pros were that Paul no longer had to repair vehicles, instead he made sure his co-workers were doing things right and did lots of paperwork. The cons were that whenever his boss wanted to look at new equipment, or wanted to open up a new branch, he'd have Paul go with him.
So this year, Paul missed out on Christmas. It was six days ago, and we all missed him badly. The kids were always asking for him, and they'd cry for two whole nights when he'd leave. However, he was coming back tonight. Eleven pm to be exact.
"Fay," a voice whispered, causing my eyes to flutter open.
I must've fallen asleep…
I didn't get to finish my sentence as he pulled me up off the sofa and into a bone-crushing hug. "I've missed you so much honey."
Wrapping my legs around his waist, I pulled back slightly to hold his face in my hands. "I've missed you more."
"At least you had our babies to keep you company." He pressed his forehead to mine. "I was all alone, for a whole week."
"And you missed Christmas."
"I know… I'm so sorry about that."
"Next time, I'm locking you up in our room and I'm not letting you out," I joked, mindlessly running my fingers through his shoulder-length raven hair. "I promise."
"You promise me many things my love, but I can promise you something tonight," he told me, tilting his head to the side, giving me a look— a look he knew melted me inside out. "I'll celebrate the New Year with you in an hour, and I'll do anything you want me to do. Think of it as making up for missing Christmas."
Blushing, I sunk my head down onto his broad shoulder. "I think a nice message would be good, I'm so worn out."
He scoffed, running his hands up and down my back affectionately. "That's it? I'm practically giving myself to you for the night, I'll do anything."
"I know, but we're not alone anymore, it's not like we can have a karaoke night… or anything." My fingers continued to comb through his hair, and just like that, an idea came to me. "Actually there is something I'd like to do to you."
"Oh really?," he asked huskily, lowering his voice so that only I could hear the words that spilled from his mouth. "I thought you've done everything."
Squeezing my thighs around his waist, I chuckled darkly to myself as I stared up at him innocently. "But there is one thing I haven't tried."
He gulped, heartbeat racing against my palm. "And what is that?."
"You have to let me do it." I giggled.
His dark eyes glazed over as they stared down into mine. "Anything, I promise."
Leaning up, I pressed my lips to his ear. "I'm going to curl your hair."
"No!." he gasped, pushing me off him, back down onto the sofa. "No way."
I slumped back against the cushions. "You promised Paul."
"I promised I'd do anything you wanted, not anything you wanted to do to me."
After all these years of living with him, I could read him like a book and I knew wholeheartedly that he'd sit down at my dressing-table and let me do as I pleased with his silky locks. There was hardly ever a time he refused me, so tonight wouldn't be any different.
Besides, it'd take me a while to get his hair the way I wanted, so that meant I could spend time with him in the very early hours of the morning— something we hardly did anymore due to work and waking up early to take care of the children.
"Stop it Paul, you promised me anything. It'll be my New Years gift to you," I joked.
Shrugging out of his leather jacket, he dropped it next to me. "After my shower, okay?."
"I'll be waiting."
Two hours later and three accidental burns to Paul's neck and shoulders— yes he still insisted on walking around shirtless— his hair was prettier than mine on our wedding day. Long ringlets running down his back, giving him a very unique look.
One look in the mirror and he'd almost lost it, and as punishment, tickled me until I was screaming the house down. Luckily for us, Noah hadn't woken up but a certain little girl had been disturbed.
"Paul!," I hissed as he slipped into bed. "You're an absolute disgrace! Waking up the children."
"No I didn't…," he trailed off as the bedroom door creaked open. "Uh oh."
She walked in on her tiny feet, dressed in her favorite pink pajamas. Her long wavy hair was now an unruly mess and as always, she had taken her yellow blanket with her. "Mommy."
"Aw honey, I'm sorry." I scooped her up in my arms and carried her over to the bed. "Your daddy was being naughty."
Her tired eyes widened at that and she snapped her head to the side, staring right at her father… but for some reason she wasn't excited to see him. "Mommy why?."
"Why what?," I asked, walking over to Paul's side of the bed.
She pointed. "Why daddy like you?."
At that, both Paul and I exchanged a glance before bursting out into laughter. We had totally forgotten about his girly hairstyle, and we were stupid enough not to understand why our daughter was confused.
"Aw I missed you honey, come here," he said, smiling as I handed her to him. "Your mommy thought I was a girl, and she played with my hair. She's crazy."
She gasped. "Mommy cwazy?."
"Yes." He nodded. "Very, very crazy."
Father and daughter exchanged hugs and spoke for a while as I headed into the bathroom to change into my white sweatpants and matching white sweater. The room still smelt of Paul's muskiness and aftershave, and I realized how much I'd really missed him.
A week was nothing to some people, but an eternity to me.
By the time I made it back into the bedroom, Ayita was no longer there. Paul explained to me that she'd fallen asleep in his arms and that he'd carried her back to her room, much to my surprise. He'd usually let the kids stay with us.
"I just wanted to cuddle with my wife tonight, if that's okay," he whispered against my ear as I lay down, pressing himself into my back. "I love you so much Fay."
Gazing up at him from over my shoulder, I could see how his eyes had grown misty with lust. "Paul," I whimpered with sudden need. "I want you."
Then I was on my back, and he was on top of me, our bodies molded together as his warm hands ran down my arms. Gone were the days he'd hover over me, afraid I'd be crushed under his weight— he knew things wouldn't get that far.
Lowering his lips to mine, he kissed me with an urgency and need that always occurred whenever he'd been away for long. My lips burned under the pressure, and I knew that they'd be swollen for quite a while afterwards. But I didn't care, I loved this man and I'd take anything he offered.
Tangling my fingers in his now-curly hair, I moved my abused lips against his as a fire started up in my tummy and spread throughout my body. His natural, manly scent doing things to my mind, driving me over the edge.
My legs found their way around his waist, in hopes of bringing us closer. Always closer… I needed closer…
Breaking the kiss, he stared deep into my eyes. "Tell me you love me," he panted, giving me time to breathe. "I need to hear it."
Over the years, I'd learned that Paul was insecure when it came to love; when he was younger, he'd felt unloved by his parents because they never paid any attention to him and he hardly saw them during the weekdays, coming home from school to an empty home. So now that he finally had a wife and children that loved him, he sometimes found it hard to believe.
We'd had many conversations about it, and although he hated how badly his childhood effected him, he couldn't change his ways instantly. He needed time, and I was willing to give him all the time in the world.
I'd always let him know how much I loved him, no matter what.
"I love you Paul," I said softly, untangling a hand from his silky hair and bringing it down to rest upon his heaving chest, directly over his hammering heart. "Forever and always."
"I've waited a week for you to say that," he breathed, warm breath tickling my face. "It's just not the same on the phone."
Sliding my hand up over his chest, I rested it on his flushed cheek. "I'll never fall out of love with you Paul, don't ever doubt that."
"And I'll always be yours," he replied, before pressing his soft lips to mine, kissing me softly.
Loving me for the rest of the night, very, very slowly.
The next morning as I was preparing breakfast for the children, Paul handed me a letter.
"Who's it from?," I asked, taking a seat at the kitchen table. "I recognize the handwriting, but… I can't… I don't remember who."
Giving me a sweet smile, he leaned down to peck me on the lips. "Life's full of surprises."
"Do you know who it is?."
He pulled away, backing out of the kitchen with a twinkle in his eye. "I'm going to check on our babies."
"Paul! Come back here!," I called after him, but chuckled to myself and tore the envelope open anyway.
Never had I once thought that I'd be hearing from this particular person again. It had been way too long.
Five years to be precise— as sad as that was.
How are you? It's been a long time.
I'm sorry this has taken me years to write- literally. I've just been so busy over here in Berlin, although that's not really a good enough excuse. I guess I'm just terrified of telling you the real reason why I haven't been in touch, but you're still the only friend who truly understands me, so you deserve to know every detail of my story before we meet again.
Five years ago, when I first arrived in Germany, I had been an emotional wreck. You should've seen me Fay, I'd lost so much weight my parents thought I was suffering from anorexia. For a full year, I couldn't get to sleep, no matter what I tried. And I started to close in on myself, which resulted in me not speaking to anyone- not even my parents.
They were worried, so worried that I started to worry about myself. Seeing the state I was in, they decided to give me a year off, no college, no work. I sat in my room all day, thinking of him- Jared. My heart was broken, no not even broken, shattered. Life didn't seem worth living anymore without him.
On my first two weeks I'd call him, but we never spoke, just cried, the only thing we'd whisper was 'I love you' before putting the phone down. I came to realize that calling him was only making me feel worse, I guess it was because there was nothing we could do about the situation. It's not like I could've bought a ticket home to him, that wouldn't have worked out, as much as I was tempted to.
So on my fourth month in the ancient flat we were staying in, I got really sick. My parents and I thought it was to do with my emotional state, and they almost dragged me out the door to see a psychiatrist. Almost.
It wasn't until my sixth month that I noticed how my tummy had swelled, and I knew then that all the throwing up I had been doing wasn't because of my shattered heart, it was because I was pregnant.
How? You ask. I really have no idea, Jared and I always made sure we used protection. Always. But I guess faith had other plans for us, and somehow he had impregnated me, much to my complete shock and happiness.
I was so happy that a product of our love was growing inside of me that I had written him a long letter; I told him how much I loved him, how I missed him terribly and that the reason I was writing to him was because if I called him, I'd definitely break down into sobs with the news he was going to receive.
Then something stopped me from mailing him the letter, I don't know what it was exactly but I realized that if I told him about my pregnancy, there was still nothing we could do to be together again. I knew that he'd do everything in his power to take me back to La Push, that he'd throw away all his plans for college and instead, work all day and night just so he could save up enough money to rent us a place.
And I didn't want that for him.
Jared didn't deserve that kind of life, he deserved so much better. I wanted him to thrive, to graduate from college and university, and become the man he always wanted to be. Then in the future, when the time was right, we'd be together again, and nothing would stand in our way.
So I never told him about our beautiful daughter Lola- who is now four years old and very much resembles her father's mother- Until two months ago.
I'd cut off all contact with him after I'd given birth, but eight weeks ago he begged my parents to put me on the phone, and so we spoke.
Everything just rushed from my lips like the tears from my eyes, and I apologized over and over again to him, begging for his forgiveness. And you know what he said to me Fay? 'I understand'.
That was it, he didn't get angry or upset.
He was broken-hearted though, he cried and asked me so many questions about his daughter. He was just so wonderful to me, like he always was.
So that's my story my dear friend, and by the time you get this, I'll be packing my bags to leave for Seattle. Jared has a home waiting for me in La Push, just like I've always dreamed of.
I'll see you very soon.
Although her touching letter had brought me to tears, I smiled as I realized something.
We were all finally, coming full circle.
A/N: I honestly cannot believe that it's over, seriously. Time flies.
I'd like to apologize for keeping you all waiting for over a month, I was very busy updating my other story and I was quite terrified of typing up this chapter— endings make me nervous.
So I hope you guys liked it, not much happened but that was how I wanted it to be, or else the story would've just gone on forever.
Paul and Fay only have two children in this epilogue, but in earlier chapters they spoke about wanting four, so let's just say their family will expand in the future.
Also, Ayita is a Native American name, it means worker. I thought it was pretty.
The letter from Kim was an idea that popped into my head a while ago and I thought it'd be good to close the story. Hope enough was explained in her letter.
If you guys have any questions, let me know, I promise I'll reply.
Thank you all so very much for sticking with me throughout the whole story, it's been a pleasure writing for you guys and I couldn't have done it without all your support. Thank you.
Happy New Year to you all! And I hope you (to those of you who celebrate it) all had a wonderful Christmas.