Hi everyone, I hope you are all having a fantastic day. Pictures to go with the chapter are on my blog. Please see the author's note at the end.
One last time, Stephenie Meyer may own it all, but I sure am glad she shares them all with us.
Storybook endings, fairy tales coming true
Deep down inside we want to believe they still do
In our secretest heart, it's our favorite part of the story
Let's just admit we all want to make it too
Ever ever after
If we just don't get it our own way
Ever ever after
It may only be a wish away
Start a new fashion, wear your heart on your sleeve
Sometimes you reach what's real just by making believe
There is joy to be claimed in this world
You even might wind up being glad to be you
Ever ever after
Though the world will tell you it's not smart
Ever ever after
The world can be yours if you let your heart
Believe in ever after
No wonder your heart feels it's flying
Your head feels it's spinning
Each happy ending's a brand new beginning
Let yourself be enchanted, you just might break through
To ever ever after
Forever could even start today
Ever ever after
Maybe it's just one wish away
Your ever ever after
(I've been dreaming of a true love's kiss)
Oh, for ever ever after
Ever Ever After by Carrie Underwood
Easter Sunday 2017
I was standing at the kitchen sink peeling eggs to make potato salad for Easter dinner with our family. Hearing loud giggles coming from the other room, I peeked into the family room to check on the kids as they watched cartoons. They were waiting as patiently as they could for everyone else to get here and to take part in the annual Easter Egg Hunt we had started a few years ago. I had a house full with six kids to look after, having my and Edward's four kids plus my two nieces, Natalie, my brother's daughter who was now seven, and Taylor, Jasper and Alice's five year old daughter, who had spent the night to color eggs with the twins. When I had first agreed to the sleepover, Edward was supposed to be here to help but had gotten tied up with work. As soon as I had realized he wasn't going to be here, I almost called it off. But since Jasper was going to be gone too, Alice offered to stay and help when she brought Taylor over. We were both relieved when it went surprisingly well.
Smiling to myself, I watched the girls lost in their own little world and thought about all the changes that had taken place over the last six years. Sometimes it was hard to believe that Edward and I had just celebrated our sixth anniversary. Other times it seemed as though we had been married forever. Our schedules were often crazy now that we had four kids, but we both seemed to thrive over the everyday demands that life threw at us. Whether we were running one of the kids to dance class or music lessons or we were stressing over something at work. No matter if we were having a lazy weekend relaxing at home, or feeling as though time was flying by or creeping at a snail's pace. Sure we had ups and downs and had some arguments along the way like any married couple does. But what remained constant was that we were still madly in love with one another and we were incredibly happy. As far as I was concerned that was all that mattered.
Learning to be parents of twins had come with double the trouble as Jasper often teased Edward and me about. That is until Alice was pregnant back to back years with their two kids. Even if it had been double the work it also came with double the rewards. One of the big pluses had been the fact that they always had someone to play with and even today still had the connection and closeness they had as babies. They still shared a room and we still sometimes found them sleeping together. Both girls had my brown eyes, even though the delivery nurse I'd had thought they'd be green, and for the most part my hair color. Their long brown locks had just a hint of Edward's reddish color to it, making it a very pretty unique hue of auburnish-brown. Edward said it was like chocolate with a swirl of caramel. Sophia and Lexi both loved to sing and dance and they both liked a lot of the same things, like clothes, toys, books and at their current age of five and a half, they both loved school. Edward and I often wondered if their love of school would last through middle and high school and prayed they never pulled the pranks you hear about twins doing—the ones where they switch places and try to fool their teachers or others around them. They had tried it at home on Edward and me once and had just about fooled us until we sat down for dinner that night and the girls picked up their forks to eat. Their pouts had been adorable when they realized they had given themselves away.
Despite their many likenesses they also had a few differences. Lexi was more vocal and outgoing and active, where as Sophia was more quiet and reserved. She wasn't shy or timid, but just a very calm and content little girl. And despite being identical twins, if you knew them well, you could tell them apart easily. Sophia was just about an inch or two taller than Lexi and Lexi's face was just a little rounder than Sophia's. Then there was the big giveaway which was Sophia was left handed and Lexi was right handed. Although right now it was easy for everyone given the fact Lexi was missing one of her front teeth. However with Sophia's being loose already, that wouldn't last for long.
By the time the girls were turning three we had felt like we had gained enough of a breather and a handle on things to get pregnant again. After only one month of trying, I was pregnant and on October third of 2014, Zoey Grace had been born. She was a spitting image of Edward, including having his hair and eye color, though luckily she didn't have his crazy hair colics. Her hair might be the same color as his, but it had my texture and hung in soft waves like mine did. Zoey not only looked like her daddy, she was also very much a daddy's girl. She had been extremely upset at bedtime last night when he hadn't made it home in time to tuck her in like she had thought he would and I knew it broke his heart just as much as it did hers.
Looking around the room once more before I headed back to the kitchen, I took in the sight of the five girls lying around the family room in various relaxed positions as they continued to giggle over whatever insane thing it was that SpongeBob was doing now. Brady was sound asleep upstairs in his room and I was surprised to find that even Zoey was lounging around watching TV with the other girls. She was normally not one to sit around and watch TV, preferring to be up and about playing with something most of the time. It wasn't like she was a hyperactive child, she was just one to always be doing something and was very good at keeping herself entertained even at her young age. But given the fact she hadn't slept well last night, I surmised she was still tired. I wouldn't be surprised if the older girls were a bit tired as well. They had spent the rest of the evening after coloring the eggs, scoping out the back yard, trying to figure out where they thought we'd hide the eggs.
Edward, Jasper, and three of the eight guys that now worked for them had been gone since Wednesday. The business had boomed after they had landed a few big name accounts. One had been doing all the alarm and security camera work for a regionally known retail company and the other had been when one of the Seattle Mariners had hired them to do his new home. The business had been doing really well before, but once word began to spread about these larger accounts they had remained busy and had to hire more men to help keep up with the demands. For this most recent big job they had flown down to California to install a state of the art home security system for some up and coming actor in Hollywood who had just bought a huge estate there. Apparently one of Edward and Jasper's long time client's wife was the makeup artist for one of the film studios and had recommended their company to the actor. They were all supposed to have been home last night, but their flight got delayed due to a severe storm system that was lingering in the LA area, and hadn't gotten in until nearly five this morning. Which was why at nearly eleven in the morning Edward was still sleeping.
As I turned and made my way back into the kitchen I heard a soft whimper coming from the baby monitor on the kitchen table and new that Brady would be waking up soon. While Edward and I loved our three girls with all our hearts, we both had a soft spot for the little surprise that had come into our lives. Last year we had talked about the possibility of having one more baby and getting pregnant this year, once Zoey was three and in preschool this fall. However, apparently it wasn't meant for us to wait. The following month my monthly visitor never came and we discovered we were already pregnant. Then six weeks ago we welcomed our son Brady Charles into the family. We weren't sure what color his eyes were going to be yet and despite his hair color looking as though it was going to be similar to that of the twin's, it was already a certainty that it was going to behave like Edward's. The poor little guy had little tufts of it sticking up in every direction.
Brady had all of us wrapped around his little finger already. Especially Zoey. The twins loved their baby brother and were happy to help out with him whenever asked. But having been through having a new sibling born, it didn't faze them in the slightest. However at first Zoey had been worried that she wouldn't be daddy's baby anymore and at first had wanted us to send him back. All it took though was Edward spending some special alone time with her and explaining to her that he still loved her just as much and that she was his baby girl, and Brady was the baby boy, and she jumped right in and became just as attached to her brother. Now we couldn't get her to not help us with him. Edward and I truly believed that if we'd let her she'd tote him around in her doll stroller and pretend he was one of her dolls too.
I finished the potato salad and had just set the bowl in the refrigerator when I felt the hum of energy course through me like it always did whenever Edward was near. I turned my head and sure enough he was standing in the doorway watching me. "Good, morning sleepy head," I said to him as I moved to the sink to wash my hands so I could properly greet him without getting food on him. Before I could finish though, he had come up behind me and placed his hands on my hips.
Nuzzling his face in my hair, his arms slipped around my waist pulling me against him. Taking in a deep breath, he whispered against my neck, "God I missed you." His voice was husky from having just woken up, but there was also a touch of want, need and longing in there too. We had both missed each other tremendously while he was gone this past week for work.
"I missed you too," I said softly as I relaxed against him and leaned my head back on his chest. I had been so tired from the activities with the kids last night, taking care of a newborn, and then being up a few times with Zoey, that I had barely woken up when he had crawled into bed this morning.
Having missed being in his arms over the past few days, I turned my head giving him better access to the area of my neck he was currently caressing with his lips. As his administrations continued a soft moan escaped from me and I found myself instantly being spun in his arms and his mouth on mine in a searing and demanding kiss. Before I knew it I was perched on the countertop with Edward standing between my legs, pressing his very ready and eager body into mine.
I briefly thought about pushing him away, since the kids were just a couple of rooms away, but the four days he had been gone had dragged on as if they were four months. Even after six years of marriage and four kids, we still had a very difficult time being away from each other for any kind of extended period of time. Fortunately it didn't happen often. Realizing how quickly we were both getting worked up, I finally summoned the strength to pull away from his kiss. It wasn't an easy feat to do.
"Edward," I panted as I tried to catch my breath. "One of the kids could come walking in any minute."
Resting his forehead against mine with his hands cupped firmly around my ass, holding my body against his, he said, "It's been too long since I've kissed you like that and far too long since we've been able to get carried away. I need to make love to you, Sweetness."
"I know. I need you too. Just a little while longer and we'll have the house all to ourselves."
Moving his mouth back to where it had been on my neck, he grumbled, "Thank God Dr. Cooper gave you the all clear on Friday." I could feel him smile against my skin and knew that he was anticipating some quality alone time for us. Over the years our desire for one another hadn't lessened at all and we had both been looking forward to my six week checkup and the go ahead to resume intimate activities from my doctor. However him being out of town on the day I got the permission to do so had been a disappointment to us both. It was simply a bad coincidence, but neither one of us liked it.
Edward groaned in his frustration and I completely understood what he was feeling. The last few months had been hard on both of us. I'd gone into premature labor twice with Brady and as a result Dr. Cooper had forbidden sex the last two months of the pregnancy. This meant it had been nearly fourteen weeks since Edward and I had made love. I had helped him out in other ways as much as I could, but we both agreed that it just wasn't the same as making love.
"Tonight we can begin to make up for all the missed time," I said to him as I took in his appearance. His skin had a warm sun kissed glow to it. Not only had they installed an alarm system on the house for the client in California, but they had done the entire grounds of the estate which meant Edward had spent a good deal of time outside working in the sun. The images my mind created of him shirtless, dripping with sweat in the sun while working outside combined with his freshly showered scent didn't help the need to wait at all.
"Mmm," he purred dragging his lips and his teeth lightly down the side of my neck and across my shoulder sending sparks surging through me all the way to my toes. Thank goodness I was sitting on the counter, because my legs were so shaky from the sensations he was stirring in me that they would surely collapse if I were still standing. "Sweetness, it's gonna take a lot longer than just one night to make up for all that time. Can't we just send the kids off with our parents now and get started?"
His hand snaked up the back of the t-shirt I had on and moved around to cup my breast, making it very difficult to deny him what he wanted. "No," I told him and laughed, trying to shake off the guilt I felt when I saw the sad pathetic pout he had on his face. Damn I wanted him too. We had never gone this long without making love and I was looking forward to it just as much as he was.
We were both pulled from our lust induced haze when we heard Brady fussing through the baby monitor. I moved to hop down from the counter but before I could move past Edward, he stopped me. "Finish what you were doing. I'll go get him."
"Ok." Then after a quick peck on the lips he was off up the steps to tend to our son.
I went back to cleaning up my mess from making the potato salad and found myself feeling a bit flushed while anticipating my and Edward's alone time tonight. Two years ago my brother had taken a new position at Seattle Grace and had moved here. With my brother and me both now living here in the city, my parents purchased a condo here so that they could come and spend time with us and their grandchildren without feeling as though they were imposing on either my brother's or my household. Because Edward and I hadn't really been able to celebrate our anniversary this year since I had just given birth to Brady a few weeks before it, my parents were going to take Brady home with them overnight tonight and Carlisle and Esme were taking our three girls home with them. Then tomorrow Carlisle and Esme were taking the girls to The Ringling Bros. Circus along with Alice, Jasper and their two kids.
I shook my head at myself thinking how we were acting like sex starved teens and then laughed again when I remembered how my co-worker Stacy had described Edward and I in the exact same manner when she had seen me at the hospital for my six week checkup this past Friday. She was much more than just my co-worker. She had become a close friend and was very much aware of how the complications I'd had during my pregnancy with Brady had affected my and Edward's intimacy.
After the twins had been born, I'd seen exactly how demanding life as the mother of twins was even with the amount of helping hands I had. Because of those demands, I had resigned permanently from my position with the Bureau. The jobs of working in the FBI as well as the one of a mother of two were incredibly demanding ones. I didn't want either my professional or personal life to suffer because of sacrifices made to accommodate one or the other. When it came down to it, it had been an easy decision—my children came first.
Shortly after the girls turned a year old, Carlisle came to me with a proposition to work in the hospital's social services department. The director of the department wanted to go part time to accommodate her growing family's demands and was looking for someone to help fill in the gap. She basically wanted a co-director to share her duties and responsibilities with, each of us only working part time. At first I was a bit hesitant. I had grown to love my time at home as a fulltime wife and mother. However when Carlisle informed me that the hospital had an onsite daycare facility where I could take the girls to work with me, and peek in on them as often as I wanted, the idea began to grow on me.
I met with Stacy and found out exactly what my job would entail and the hours she would need me. Afterwards, I went home and discussed the pros and cons with Edward. The next day I called Stacy and after negotiating a couple of things, I took the job. Now having been there for almost five years, Stacy and I had become close friends.
"Here he is mommy," Edward said as he strolled back into the kitchen and over to me with our son in his arms. It was a mesmerizing sight seeing him with our baby in his arms. "He's freshly changed and very hungry. Do you want to breast feed him or want me to give him a bottle?"
I leaned down and kissed Brady softly on his chubby little cheek. "Would you mind feeding him? I still need to shower before everyone gets here."
"Nope. You go do what you need to and I'll feed him and hang with the kids."
"Thanks. Love you," I said as I gave him and Brady a quick kiss.
"Love you too."
I was about halfway up the stairs when I heard Zoey squealing, "Daddy," and Edward's excited reply to her, "Love-bug." It warmed my heart hearing them and the twins soon joining in as they too realized their daddy was home. He was an amazing father just like I knew he would be.
A few hours later Edward and I were sitting in our living room surrounded by our families as we waited for Emmett and Rose to arrive. Edward, my father, his father, my brother and Jasper were all engrossed in the playoff hockey game that was on the television. Zoey was fast asleep on her daddy's lap as she sucked on her thumb. Mitchell was on Jasper's lap trying to understand the ins and outs of hockey that Jasper and the other guys were telling to him. My and Edward's moms were cooing over their new grandson while Brady slept completely oblivious, and Alice, Jane and I were just chatting about random stuff going on in our lives.
Jane and Alice began chatting about something to do with some fashion magazine when I noticed how Nana had the girls all sitting at her feet listening intently to the story she was telling them. Nana had the twins and Natalie deeply enraptured with a story about a prince and princess who met on a beautiful tropical beach under a full moon. Nana's voice was very animated as she weaved a tale about how the prince had saved the princess from the evil knight who escaped the dungeon he had been banished to and how he tried to capture the princess by feeding her poisonous apples. I let out a snicker when I saw my nephew Landon who was now ten sitting next to them, pretending to be engrossed in his hand held video game, but I had seen him more than once pause and pay attention to what Nana was telling the girls.
"What?" Jane asked.
I pointed to Landon and the three of us were laughing quietly as they saw him pretending to not be listening too. It really was cute and I kind of felt a little bad for him in the awkward stage he was in. At ten he wasn't a little kid anymore, but he wasn't a teen yet and Jane had said he'd been struggling with that a little lately. But I knew her and my brother were great parents and they'd get him through it.
The doorbell rang, drawing all of our attention to it. Sitting closet to the door, Jasper jumped up to it. A few moments later, a glowing and very, very pregnant Rose followed by Emmett and Edward entered the room. I got up and hugged them both.
"How are you feeling?" I asked Rose while rubbing my hand across her very prominent belly.
"Ready for it to be over, but hanging in there. You know what its like," she replied with a smile and a playful hint of sarcasm.
"Yes, I do," I told her because I truly did. Rose was expecting twins any day now.
They were having fraternal twins, a boy and a girl, and had chosen the names Lucas and Lily for them. After trying and trying to get pregnant for a couple of years, Rose and Emmett had sought the help of a fertility specialist. They had found that Rose wasn't ovulating like she should and with the help of some fertility meds they were now about to become parents. She was nearly thirty-nine weeks pregnant and was scheduled to have labor induced on Friday if she hadn't gone into labor by then. Edward and I were both thrilled for them and couldn't wait to see Emmett and all his silliness take on the role of being a father. We were positive it would come with many comical moments and certainly some heartwarming ones too.
Knowing that everyone was now here, the kids all popped up and started to beg to have the egg hunt before we ate instead of after.
Having had the fun of dealing with all of them coloring the eggs last night, I told all the kids they had to ask Edward.
"Please, Daddy," Sophia and Lexi begged with their bottom lips sticking out and their eyes all sad.
I leaned over and whispered to Alice, "They are going to be deadly with that pout when they get older."
"Ya think?" Alice said with a giggle, causing myself and Jane to laugh with her.
"Come on, Uncle Edward," Natalie said joining in with the twins.
The three girls soon were joined by Mitchell and Taylor. Edward had all of them begging and he was sitting there trying to act as though he didn't hear a thing they were saying. But I could see the corners of his lips twitching and fighting off a smile. I knew that it was just a matter of seconds before he caved to them.
The only thing that was more entertaining than the scene playing out with the kids and Edward, was watching Landon roll his eyes at them but jump up like something bit him the second Edward gave the ok for them to do the egg hunt first.
The ruckus caused by the six kids bolting through the house and out the back door startled Zoey awake. She looked around dazed for a few seconds but then rubbed her eyes and smiled brightly at her daddy.
"Wanna go find some Easter eggs with Papa Charlie?" my dad asked Zoey as he held his hands out to her.
She nodded her head vigorously and reached out her small hands towards her grandfather.
Edward and I followed everyone outside to watch the kids. They were scattered all around the yard with their plastic baskets in their hands as they searched high and low for the eggs I had hidden after they had been in bed asleep last night.
I stopped at the deck rail and watched them. It was easy to tell when one of them had found an egg. They would either holler out that they had or you would see the grin spread across their faces saying it all.
Brady started to fuss again, causing Esme to bring him over to where Edward and I were watching the older kids. "I think someone wants to eat, Mommy," she said to me as she handed the squirming little guy to me. She kissed him on the head and told him she loved him and then I took him into the house to nurse.
As I sat down in the rocking chair in his room, I noticed how quiet the house was with everyone outside. It didn't happen often so I decided to take advantage of the few minutes of peace. I closed my eyes and rested my head on the back of the rocker allowing myself a few minutes to relax as Brady nursed. Once Brady had finished eating, I placed him on my shoulder and sat their rocking him to sleep. I wasn't quite ready to give up the little bit of quiet time I was getting just yet.
I didn't know how much time had gone by, but I was just about to doze off when I heard Edward's velvety voice whispering in my ear. "Do you know how beautiful you look right now?"
As I opened my eyes and smiled up at him, I was met with his lips brushing against mine. "Hi," I whispered to him when he pulled away. He took Brady from me and laid him in his crib before walking back over to the chair and pulling me up out of it and into his arms.
"I love you," I murmured to him just before his mouth captured mine in a soft but demanding kiss that gave me a glimpse of what was to come tonight when we were finally able to make love again.
When he broke for air, he held me tightly in his arms. It was my favorite place to be. "I love you too, Sweetness, so much."
"How much?" I asked him. We often teased each other that I loved him more or he loved me more and so on.
This time instead of teasing me back he looked down at me, his eyes so full of love and adoration and said, "You want to know how much?"
"Mmm hmm," I said softly while nodding and then rising up on my toes and placing a soft kiss on his lips.
Holding me tighter with one arm and cupping my cheek with his other hand he gazed into my eyes as if he were looking straight into my heart and said, "No one's ever loved anyone as much as I love you."
"Forever," I whispered back to him.
"And ever and ever after," he whispered back before leaning in and kissing me again.
I knew he was right too. No matter what happened in our lives, our love would never fade.
Thank you to my two wonderful betas who are so much more than just betas to me. There are both dearly treasured friends as well.
Hope4more, its scary how well we know each other and how often it really seems as though we are reading each others minds. I guess it really shouldn't surprise us anymore huh? I can't thank you enough for all the help you have given me as we took E&B on yet another adventure. And yes I really am sorry I made you wait the entire story for them to have babies. Do you think they have enough now? ;)
My-Bella, my PIC, its probably a little scary the way we sneak into each other's heads too. It's been so great having you along with me this time. Not only have you helped me tremendously through this ride we took E&B on, you have taught me a lot too.(even if I still don't know where the hell to put all those damn commas) I know that I am a better writer for it.
Noelle_Seven, thank you for all the amazing pictures, manips and many color enhancements you've made for me and for helping me to be play psychologist to Bella and most of all, for being a great friend as well.
To you, all of my readers, I will never be able to thank you enough for all the love and support you have given to me and TLA over the course of the story. There were many times I thought you guys were going to rip my head off, chew it up and spit it back out at me, but you didn't. You just kept on with the amazing support you had given me all the other times. Whether it was through an amazing review, pimping me out to anyone and everyone, or just telling me "great chapter", I want you to know it was truly appreciated.
I don't have immediate plans to start another fic right away like I did last time. I do have a plot bunny dancing in my head, but I have to do some research and figure some things out before I can even begin to write it. So I wouldn't expect it before the end of the summer. However if you want to know when it's up, be sure to put me on author alert. I am sure once it gets close to time I will post something on my blog as can find the link on my profile page.
In the meantime all three of the authors above, My-Bella, Hope4more and Noelle_Seven, all have some amazing stories for you to read. I even got to help with a couple of them.
For the immediate future I will be adding a couple of chapters to my Valentine's Day one shot, My Forever Valentine, to tie up all the loose ends in it. So if you haven't read it yet, now's your chance. It will probably be a week or two before I update it. I also plan to do the outtake that I know many of you have been waiting for from The Game That Changed It All. I think it's finally time we let Baseballward have his day of honor and get inducted into the baseball hall of fame.
At this time I don't have any plans for any outtakes for TLA, but if there is something you'd like to see, let me know. And one last thing, TLA has been nominated for several awards over on The Sunflower Awards, if you'd like to you can vote
So please, one last time, let me know what ya thought.