A/N: Hello all! I know this has been a long time coming, but it is finally here! This is the last chapter in this story. It was a sad chapter for me to write because I had so much fun with these boys. Hope you enjoy!
How we had gotten to this point, I would never know. In a few short months, we went from a confirmed bachelor and a virgin to two men in love. More than that, he wanted commitment, which was something he had always shied away from in the past. Being with me brought his cold heart back to life and now he wanted to have it all with me. How we would manage forever was something that remained to be seen. For right now we were right where I wanted us to be. We were in a happy and beautiful place, and that place was in each other's arms.
Five years later…..
"Edward! Edward! Are you almost ready? We're going to be late!" Jasper yelled up the stairs.
"Almost ready, babe. We just need to get our shoes on, that's all," I answered, slipping Justin's shoes on his feet. Justin cooed and smiled as I fixed his socks and smoothed down his hair. Picking him up, I propped him on my shoulder and made my way down the stairs.
"Finally!" Jasper exclaimed. "What on earth took so long?"
"I can't help it if our little boy is a drama queen. He kept kicking off his shoes, and he peed through his onesie, and…" Jasper interrupted me before I could continue.
"Okay, okay! I get the idea," Jasper said, laughing. "I guess I got the easy part of the deal by packing the diaper bag, huh?"
"You got that right. Everything all set?" I asked, switching Justin to my other hip. At three months he was a hefty 13 lbs. Jasper brought the car seat over and I proceeded to buckle Justin in.
"It is, yes. The bag is packed. Emmett called and said everything is ready for the reception, and Ted has everything ready for the church," Jasper replied, shooing me out the door and locking it behind me.
"Are Emmett and Teddy all ready for their big day?" I questioned as I snapped Justin's car seat into the base.
"They are, but Emmett said that Ted is nervous as hell!" Jasper chuckled, starting the car.
"Well, I can't blame him. It's not everyday they get to be godparents to the son of the King of Liberty Avenue, you know?" Winking at Jasper, I blew him a kiss.
"Oh, is that so?" he snapped snidely, ignoring my kiss.
"You know it, Jasper," I joked.
Jasper grabbed me by my tie and pulled my face closer to his. "Those days are long gone, big boy, and you know that, right?"
"They've been gone since the day I met you, baby," I murmured, kissing him deeply.
"Hmmm, I know that, I just want to make sure that you do, too," he whispered against my lips before kissing me again.
Pulling back, I looked him in the eyes. "Do you still doubt me after all this time?"
Smiling, he kissed me one last time before driving the car down the driveway. "I have absolutely no doubts whatsoever, Edward. None at all."
"Good. Now let's get to the church and get our son christened."
The ceremony went beautifully, as expected. Teddy was shaking like a leaf, so Emmett held Justin during the actual baptism. When it was all over and we had taken our share of pictures, I turned towards the back and saw someone standing in the shadows.
Motioning to Jasper that I was heading to the back of the church, I made my way down the aisle. As I neared the church doors, the figure slipped out of the shadows and revealed itself, stopping me in my tracks.
"Mom?" I choked out. What the fuck was she doing here? I hadn't seen or spoken to my mother since my father's funeral three years ago.
"It's true, then, isn't it?" she asked shakily.
"What's true? What are you doing here?" How the hell did she end up here? What was going on?
"My neighbor told me you had gotten married and had a child, that you were having the christening here in our old church. I didn't believe her, so I had to come to see for myself." She wrung her hands nervously.
"See for yourself? What do you care what I do? You disowned me a long time ago," I rasped out angrily.
"That's because you were gay, Edward, and that's against God. But since you've seen the light and gotten married and had a child, obviously you found your way back to God." She was beaming in her self-righteousness.
"Are you kidding me? I'm still gay, mom. That hasn't changed." This was turning into a fucking nightmare.
"But, you got married….." she stammered out.
'Yes, I married my lover, Jasper. You remember him from dad's funeral? Gay marriage is legal in this state now you know," I stated rudely.
"And the child?" she whispered in a confused voice.
"Jasper's friend Daphne carried the baby for us. He's my biological son, but both of us are raising him," I explained, though I owed her no explanation. She lost that right a long time ago.
"Oh, I've made a terrible mistake. I must leave right now." She froze at the sound of Jasper's voice.
"Edward? Is everything okay?" he asked, making his way down the aisle. Jasper came up to us holding Justin in his arms. As my mom was turning to leave, she caught sight of Justin and froze.
"Oh my, Edward, he looks just like you as a baby!" she exclaimed. I could see the internal debate going on inside of her by the look on her face. She kept looking from me to Jasper to Justin. Finally, something in her just gave way.
"May I hold him?" Reaching her arms out, she turned to Jasper and me for an answer.
Looking at Jasper, I shrugged letting him know that whatever he decided was fine with me. "Jasper, this is my mother, Esme Cullen. I don't know if you remember her from my dad's funeral. Mom, this is my husband, Jasper Whitlock."
Jasper held out his hand and waited as my mother debated whether or not to shake it. She gave in, lowering her arms to shake his hand.
"It's very nice to see you again," Jasper said.
"Yes, well, it's a little bit of a shock for me," she whispered.
"Do you still want to hold your grandson?" I asked.
"May I?" Jasper nodded and handed Justin over to her.
My mother pulled Justin close, wrapping her arms around him and snuggling her face into his neck. Taking a deep breath, she let out a laugh. "Oh dear, I've forgotten how wonderful babies smell."
"Sorry," Jasper exclaimed, "I just changed him and.."
"No, dear, not that. He really does smell wonderful," she sighed out handing Justin back to Jasper.
Jasper took Justin back and, after shooting me a look, made his way back up the aisle to the front of the church. My mom's eyes followed his departure.
"Mom?" I whispered, waiting for her to look at me. As she turned, I could swear she had tears in her eyes.
"I'm sorry, Edward, it was wrong of me to come here uninvited. I thought that maybe you finally saw the light and repented and I was so happy about that, but I can see that I was wrong, so very wrong," she murmured, shaking her head.
"You have a lot of nerve!" I snarled at her. "To come here, on my son's christening day, to condemn me? Look around. Mom, we are in a church, your church. That's your priest up there. He's the one who christened my son. He might not recognize or accept my marriage, but he accepts my son. Why can't you when he's your own flesh and blood?" My anger deflated by the end of my rant leaving me feeling empty and tired. "Just go, okay?"
"No, Edward, you have me all wrong," she said earnestly. "I wasn't attacking you, or your son, I was berating myself about how wrong I've been about all of this."
Looking up at her, I could see the seriousness in her eyes and the way she held herself. "What do you mean?" I asked, my voice shaking. Could I dare hope that she was coming around?
"What I mean, Edward, is that I've been a bitter woman for most of my life, and it's driven away everyone I've ever loved. I can't change the past, it's too late for that. What I can do is change the future."
"And what does that mean, exactly?"
"It means that I screwed up with you, Edward, and I can't take that back. After seeing your son, my grandson, it's dawned on me how innocent you were and how you really didn't deserve to be treated the way your father and I treated you. My life was miserable and unhappy, and I blamed you for it and treated you accordingly. Your son doesn't deserve that kind of treatment from me. If it's okay with you, I'd like the chance to redeem myself, and make up for all the mistakes I've made in my life."
"It's going to take more than an 'I'm sorry' to make up for all the things you put me through in life, and all the things you've said to me in my life," I snapped out angrily.
"Believe me, Edward, I know that it's going to take a lot of work for you to ever trust me again, and that's okay. I deserve that. Just say that you will give me the chance to atone for my sins, and be a part of your life again," she begged.
"I don't know, Mom, this is coming out of nowhere and I'm just not prepared to deal with it today. Plus, I'd really need to talk to Jasper about this especially with Justin being involved," I explained.
"It's okay, Edward, I understand. You should talk with Jasper as this concerns all three of you. Please say my goodbyes to him for me, I'm going to go pray for forgiveness right now," she promised.
"Mom, I'm sorry I can't give you the answers that you need right now, but there's just too much history there," I murmured, shaking my head.
"Do you think you will ever be able to forgive me?" she whispered.
After thinking for a minute, I nodded my head. "I think so, if not for me, then for Justin. It would be nice for him to have his grandparents in his life." Of course I wanted it, but there was so much hurt and damage there, that I couldn't just answer now. I needed to think, to talk to Jasper and see what he thought about it.
"Thank you, Edward. That's all I can ask for, and much more than I deserve," she responded.
Watching her walk away towards the confessionals, I was shocked to realize what an old woman my mother had become. Not in age, but in defeat. Her life had been a hard one, as had mine, but I was able to move on and find happiness and love thanks to Jasper and Justin. My mom never had that opportunity before, but maybe she would now.
Making my way up the aisle, I pulled Jasper into a hug. This right here was my world, Jasper and Justin, and I wasn't going to let anyone, or anything, get in the way of that ever.
The reception was a blast, as expected. All of our good friends were there, and it was so nice to be back in the city again. Not that I minded the thirty-minute drive in, but it was nice to spend time with people we hadn't seen for a while.
Ted and Emmett were making the rounds with Justin when I felt Jasper slide his arms around my waist and press himself up against my back.
"You okay, baby?" he asked while pressing soft kisses across the back of my neck.
"Hmm, I am now," I murmured as I pulled him in front of me and kissed him deeply.
Jasper's mouth was on mine, his lips sliding across my lips, his tongue forging into my mouth. It was warm and welcoming.
Takinng control of the kiss, I plundered Jasper's mouth in return, searching out all the unspoken words, promises, and sweet things that he knew were there.
Jasper pulled back giving me a searching look. "What's going on, Edward? Talk to me," he pleaded. His eyes were staring into mine, carrying nothing but love and concern.
"It's nothing, Jasper, really. I guess seeing my mother today really freaked me out more than I thought," I responded sadly.
"Well, I was wondering about that, how you felt about seeing her again. We didn't exactly leave off on good terms with her at your father's funeral," Jasper reminded me.
"Oh yeah, that's right. That wasn't all my fault, you know. If my sister hadn't insisted everyone say something nice about my father, it wouldn't have happened," I explained.
"You are right about that, and I'm glad it happened. It gave you a chance to express your feelings, Edward, a chance to let everything out. I was very proud of you that night," Jasper whispered to me.
"Thanks, Jasper. Expressing myself made me feel good, really good. Part of me felt bad about hurting my sister and my mother, but they deserved it. They spent so many years turning a blind eye to my father's abusive behavior towards me, that they needed to have it pointed out to them," I sighed.
"They did, Edward, and maybe it was a good thing. Look what happened with your mother today. Do you really think she would have done a turnaround like she did today if you didn't do what you did? Think about it. You opened up their eyes to things they kept sweeping under the carpet, you forced them to acknowledge some ugly truths about themselves and your father," Jasper stated.
"Guess you're right, Jasper. Enough of that though, let's get back to the important stuff. Where's Justin?" I inquired, looking around for our son.
"Daphne has him over at her table. I guess the grandparents wanted to see him. You do remember that she's taking him home tonight, right?" Jasper smirked at me knowingly.
"Yes, I vaguely remember something about that," I chuckled.
"Well, I was thinking. You remember how when we first met you used to give me lessons?"
"Of course I do! Those lessons are some of my favorite memories, can't forget about them," I said smiling at him.
"Good, because I want you to give me another lesson tonight while Justin is gone." A wicked glint shone in his eyes as he spoke.
"You know you don't need to entice me with ploys, Jasper. I'll give you anything you want, anytime you want." Didn't he know that by now?
"I know that, Edward. It's just that all of the events of today brought back memories of how things used to be with us. These last few years have been so busy for us. We moved in together, got married, bought the house, had Justin, and I love all that, I do, and I wouldn't trade it for the world, but I want a little bit of the old us back, just for a little bit. Is that okay?"
"That is so okay, Jasper, it really is. And I know just the thing for us to do." I was nervous about what I was offering up, but it was time. Jasper and I had survived against all odds and if I couldn't let down my final barrier now, then I never would.
"What, Edward? What are you going to give me tonight?" Jasper questioned me excitedly.
"Me, Jasper, I'm going to give you me," I whispered, my throat closing up around my words.
"What? I don't understand, Edward. You gave yourself to me when we got married. What are you talking about now?" Jasper looked at me with a confused expression on his face.
"When we got married, I gave you my heart, and my spiritual self. Tonight, I want to give you my physical self. Jasper, I want you to make love to me tonight." There it was, my last defense, thrown out there.
"Huh? What? You want…. I mean… huh?" Jasper stammered out.
Laughing, I pulled him to me and kissed him deeply. "I love you so much, and I really want this. It's the last step in my total surrender to you," I promised.
"Edward, I don't know what to say," Jasper said.
"You don't have to do it if you don't want to, maybe you don't want to. It's okay, forget I said anything." Regret at my actions started to boil up in me and I tried to keep the hurt at his rejection off of my face. I thought Jasper would realize the importance of what I was offering him, but maybe not.
"No, Edward, no! Of course I want to do it. I'm just in shock because I know what a big deal this is for you and I am completely stunned by it. All of these years, we've always maintained our positions, top and bottom, and I love it that way. It never dawned on me that you would ever even consider this or want me to do it." Jasper kissed me deeply, while murmuring words of love and adoration against my mouth. "You can't even imagine how much this means to me."
"You guys want to get a room? Either that, or move to the middle of the room and give us a better view!" Daphne yelled from her table.
Pulling apart quickly, Jasper and I made our way over to her table to give Justin some goodbye kisses and hugs.
"Everything okay with you guys? You both looked kind of stunned," Daphne asked.
"All things are good, Daphne," Jasper replied while giving Justin one last kiss.
"Are you sure?" she insisted.
"Absolutely," I answered, wrapping my arm around Jasper and pulling him away from the table. "We are just in a hurry to go home and get busy!"
"Edward!" Jasper chided me. 'Stop embarrassing me, please."
"Sorry, baby, can't help myself," I apologized, while winking at Daphne behind his back.
"We'll call you in the morning, Daph. Give our baby lots of hugs and kisses, okay?" Jasper pleaded.
"No worries, Jasper," Daphne said consolingly. "But why are you guys in such a rush?"
Jasper and I exchanged a meaningful look. Turning to Daphne, I replied, "We need to get home because Jasper has one more lesson he needs to learn before Professor Cullen retires."
"Lesson? Oh, a lesson! I love those lessons, Edward, even though you and Jasper would never let me into class, not even to conceive Justin," Daphne pouted.
"Sorry, Daph, he's mine and after tonight, well let's just say that my education will be complete," Jasper teased her as we headed out the door.
"Can I at least know what the lesson is on?" she begged.
"Don't think so. It's a once in a lifetime lesson, and we are sworn to secrecy," I said solemnly.
"Goodbye!" Daphne hollered stamping her feet.
Jasper and I laughed as we made our way to the car. He was giddy with excitement, and I couldn't keep the smile off of my face. Who knew that knocking down the final wall of my defense would feel so good? If I had known, I might have done it earlier.
"Follow the yellow brick road, Edward," Jasper sang out as we got into the car.
"What are you on about?" I asked while snapping my seat belt on and starting the car.
"We need to follow the yellow brick road. It will take us to a place where we can experience our hearts desires, Edward, and that place is home."
As I sped off into the night, I realized that Jasper was right; home is where the heart is. With Jasper and Justin by my side, there was no other place I'd rather be.