Disclaimer: I don't own anything. Stephenie Meyer owns it all. I am merely having fun with her characters.
A/N…Soundtrack for the chapter:
The Best Day by Taylor Swift
Sunday August 24, 2031: Age 47
The last twenty years had been very kind to us. I was blissfully happy with the life that Edward and I had built together with our children.
As I watched Edward and Char make their way upstairs to the study, I reflected back to the last time I saw them deep in conversation like that.
It was the day of her "wedding" to J.J. My husband and my daughter still do not know that I overheard their conversation that day. It was a private moment between the two of them, but I could not resist eavesdropping because it just made me love them both even more than I already did.
"Are you sure you want to do this? I can sneak you out right now and no one would even know you were missing until we were in the next state with the way I drive," Edward begged Charley.
I heard her tinkling laughter. "Dad! Stop…we're already married. You can't fight fate…you told me that, remember? J.J. and I are meant to be…just like you and mom."
"I'm not ready for you to be someone's wife yet," he said. I could hear the pout in his voice because I knew my husband. "I still need you to be my baby girl."
"Aw, Daddy…I'll always be your baby girl. Nothing will ever change that. You've always told me that too. I really need you to be supportive here. I want to do this with your blessing. I love J.J. Dad. He's my soul mate…he jumps, I jump. But you're my dad and I love you so much."
"Oh Charley Renee, I love you too angel."
That day warmed my heart. The truth was I actually had no clue what Charley was about to tell Edward. A part of me just felt like she might be pregnant.
Whatever it was, I knew it was big for her and she was scared about it because she always went to Edward with news like that first. He was always her rock. I guess most moms would be jealous of that, but I wasn't because that was the kind of relationship I had with Matty.
I still remember the day he came home and told us about his impending fatherhood. I was terrified…for all of us.
"Mom, Dad…Matt needs to talk to you. We need to have a family meeting," Charley told us seriously.
Our youngest child was mild mannered, geeky and always stayed out of trouble. For the life of me, I could not imagine anything he could have possibly done wrong.
Charley sat down on the couch with Matt beside her as they held hands. They motioned for Edward and I to sit opposite them on the coffee table in front of them.
We sat down and Matt immediately started crying. I noticed that our daughter had tears in her eyes too as she squeezed his hand and gently nudged him with her shoulder. "Go on, Matty-Mo."
"Mom…Mom…I'm so fucking scared."
This really worried me because Matthew never used foul language in his life. "What is it Matthew?" Edward asked from beside me.
"You know that party at Zack's house?"
I looked at my husband and then back to our son as we both nodded. We let him go to that party because he made straight A's and always stayed out of trouble. He had never been to a party before and Zack was his best friend. His parents were supposed to be there and it was going to be a small get together so we did not see any harm in it.
Matt started describing how the party actually was.
"Zack's parents were out of town that weekend. The rest of us told our parents that they would be there so we could go. Zack's older brother got a couple of kegs for us and I had more beer than I should have."
I was furious and as soon as we finished our conversation, Zack's parents were getting a phone call from me. My little Matty-Mo would never be allowed at Zack's house ever again. This was ridiculous!
Tears were pouring faster from Matthew's eyes as Charley encouraged him again. "Keep going, Matt."
"Fuck! This is so hard. I don't know how to tell you guys this…you're going to be so disappointed…you're going to hate me!"
Edward spoke before I could, "Matthew, there is nothing you could ever do to make us hate you. We love you, son, unconditionally."
His voice was so low I was sure I had heard him wrong when the next words left his mouth.
"I had sex that night…and the girl…she's p..pregnant...it's…mine," he stuttered.
I turned to my husband for support because I had no idea what to do. But when I looked at him he had the same look of shock on his face that I was sure I had on mine. There were also tears pooling in his eyes. It took a lot to make that man cry.
I did not realize I was crying until I felt the wetness hitting my hands. I moved from my seat on the coffee table and sat on the opposite side of Matt before grasping his free hand in mine.
"Matthew, are you sure?"
He nodded and I pulled his head into my chest to comfort him as I did when he was little. He sobbed into me and let it all out. I looked over him and saw Charley crying. Edward then moved from his spot and sat on the other side of Char and we were all quickly enveloped into his strong arms as much as possible.
"It's going to be okay. We can do this…we'll figure it out…together…we're a family and that's what families do," he said.
Things were difficult but we made our way through it. The day that Drew was born was another hard day. That day, he was set to be given up for adoption. Matty never left Kate's side during the labor and we were very proud of him.
After the baby was born, Matt came to find Edward and I in the waiting room. He collapsed into the chair next to me and sobbed into my arms.
"I can't do it Mom…please don't make me. He's beautiful and he's perfect and he's a part of me. Please don't make me give him up. I want to do this…he's not going to understand. He will think I didn't love him or he did something wrong. I don't want that for him. I know I can do this…if you'll help me. Please help me. I need you…oh God I can't do this."
I looked at Edward and with that one look, we knew what we would do for our son and our grandson…anything.
After all was said and done, Drew was a permanent fixture in our lives and we wouldn't have it any other way. Bad timing or not, that little boy was a blessing to us all.
"How's it going Aunt Bella?" J.J. asked as he sat down beside me.
"Awesome, J.J. How are things with you and my daughter?" I could not stop smiling. I was hoping he would let something slip about what Char was discussing with her father right now.
He smirked at me and held up his hands defensively. "Oh no! I am not telling you Char's big news until she has talked to Uncle Edward."
"Wait…Char's big news? It's not news for the both of you?"
"Shit…I mean fu…I mean darn it…I've already said too much! I'm going to go into the kitchen for a drink. See ya!"
With that, the little chicken shit fled from the couch.
Drew climbed onto my lap and giggled, "I still love you Nana."
That kid always put a smile on my face.
One by one, the rest of our family arrived and Edward and Charley still had not come back downstairs. Drew scampered off to find out what his dad was up to while Rose and Alice joined me on the couch.
I had not been talking with the girls very long when I saw Edward and Charley finally return from the study. He had his arms wrapped around our daughter and they were both smiling.
My husband broke away from Char and walked towards me. He was smirking as he pulled me up from the couch, sat down and then pulled me onto his lap.
He pressed his lips to my ear and whispered, "Boy your mother's intuition needs some work my love."
I turned and looked at him in shock. "What? She's not pregnant?"
The rest of our family started filing into the living room. "Who's pregnant?" Emmett screeched.
"Charley," I said but before I could finish my daughter interrupted.
"Excuse me?" She yelled while J.J. exclaimed, "WHAT?"
"Everyone calm down! Bella thought Charley's big news was that she is pregnant…but she's not," Edward said calmly.
"Well damn it, I was looking forward to another grandbaby," I pouted.
"Sorry, Mom. I am not even close to being ready to be a mom yet."
J.J. let out the breath he had been holding. "Thank God, I am so not ready to be a dad yet."
We all laughed at him.
"Well since I am already kind of on the spot…before Matty and I give Mom and Dad their present…I do have some news to share with you guys."
"Well?" Dad asked impatiently.
"The station is giving me my shot! And of course I had to share it with my dad first because I am terrified and needed him to give me one of his famous pep talks, "she said happily.
"Really? You are seriously going to get to direct?" I asked excitedly. She nodded and I could not stop smiling.
Everyone was cheering and congratulating her as she calmed down and told us how this came about. Apparently, one of the regular directors at the station came down with a nasty stomach bug and passed out while they were on the air. My brilliant baby girl stepped up to the plate and showed them what she was made of on the spot.
This was big news in Charley's world and I turned towards my beaming husband and whispered, "I love you. She's strong and determined because of you."
"No way, love. She gets that strength and determination from her mother. She gets her good looks and charm from her dad."
I playfully swatted his shoulder before we shared a brief kiss with one another.
"So…how about we get to this anniversary present that we put together for our parents?" Matt asked.
"Oooh! Present!" I squealed as Edward's arms tightened around me.
"Since when do you get so excited about gifts, Bells?" Emmett asked from across the room.
"Since they are from my precious children, Em…that's when!"
Matt had a DVD case in his hand and he opened it to remove the DVD.
"That's it?" Emmett questioned.
"Shut it, Em," my husband commanded.
Matt handed the DVD to his sister and she placed it into the DVD player while she began speaking.
"Uncle Emmett, our mom taught us that the best gifts are those that are homemade and from the heart. Well, Mom…Dad…this gift is something Matty and I have been working on for a while, it is homemade and it is from our hearts. The two of you have seen your share of problems and difficulties over the years...but you have taught Matty and I that if you work as a team…as one family unit…no matter how big or small that unit is…you can overcome anything.
"You guys have taught us just about everything in life worth knowing and we love you so very much because of it. Now, this took some configuring to put together because Matty and I had to email and send stuff through the regular mail back and forth to get it right. This is for you Mom and Dad."
Edward and I were both a crying mess and Charley had not even pressed play yet.
I recognized the song playing immediately as pictures were showcased across the television screen, one after another. The song was The Best Day by Taylor Swift.
This song was completely fitting for our life with our children.
Matty and Char had timed the pictures perfectly to the words of the song.
The first pictures were from the pumpkin patch when Charley was five and Matty was two. The scarecrow scared Char so badly that she dropped the pumpkin in her hands. After that, she promptly ran straight to Edward demanding that he pick her up.
There were pictures thrown in there that were taken the day that Matty was bullied by some boys who were supposed to be his friends in school. He was thirteen and these boys had him so upset he never wanted to go to school again.
I put him in the car and we just drove until we wound up in Seattle almost four hours later. We talked about everything that had happened. After deciding to spend the night, we had dinner and went to see a movie. There were some fighting scenes in the movie that we saw and he asked about taking up karate.
I thought that would be good for him and signed him up the next day after we got back to Forks. He knew that violence did not solve anything but I wanted him to be able to stand up for himself if the bullies ever turned their verbal abuse into anything physical.
All through the DVD, there were pictures of our life together with these amazing beings that we created…Matthew and Charley.
There were even pictures of our lives since Drew had come along in there as well. It was the best gift we had ever gotten and we told them so once it was over. There was not a dry eye in our house.
The day started winding down and turned into night as people started to leave. I wanted Edward to enjoying being with our children so J.J. and I took the kitchen clean up duty.
When we finished cleaning the kitchen, we walked into the living room where we had left Edward and the kids playing video games. The scene before me still made my heart skip a beat.
On our biggest couch in there, Edward was pressed up in the corner with Charley curled into his side fast asleep. But what was even cuter was the fact that leaning over curled into her was her brother with Drew on his lap, and then sleeping soundly on his side was Chloe.
I turned to J.J. and saw him smiling beside me. "Is there something I need to know about your sister and my son?"
He grinned and said, "They are pretty smitten with each other…that's all I know."
We laughed and joined our family. I leaned into my husband and kissed his forehead. "Hey, baby," he said softly.
"Do you guys have room for two more?" I asked him with a smile.
"Always," he said as he pulled me down onto his lap where I snuggled close. J.J. did not want to bother Charley and Matthew so he wedged his way down on the end between the edge of the couch and his sister.
It was a tight fit yet perfect at the same time.
All of us were pulled close together in warmth and in love.
Against all odds, no matter how much we warred with each other in the past, Edward and I had made it…and that was worth all the pain that we had to suffer in the past.
Everything we had been through brought us to this moment in time and I would not have traded that for anything in the world.
A/N…Just a couple of things.
I am really sad to be clicking complete on these two and I am so sorry that it has taken me this long to get this out to you guys. I have no excuse other than real life has just been kicking my ass with major family drama towards the end of this story and it all got away from me.
I don't think I am going to be doing any outtakes for this story after all. I just feel that this E & B have run their course and I've said all I have to say for them.
I have another story idea that will not leave me alone and I have already started writing it. I will begin posting once I get further in…so make sure you have me on author alert if you want to read any of my future projects.
Thank you so much to my beta dolphin62598 for being fabulous and fast and to my pre-reader teacher1209 for all of her support as well.
Thank you to everyone who has read and reviewed this story. All of my readers are very important to me and I you will be seeing more from me again soon. Until then….