Meh. Decided to double post so that this story is officially over. LOL. There was no point in holding out since it was already written and all. Just had to touch it up by doing research to find out birthdays, criminal punishments and such. Again, thanks so much for the support on this one. Hope you've all enjoyed reading it as much as I've enjoyed writing it! This chapter/epilogue/whatever is fluffy and lighthearted. Seemed like a good way to end an otherwise mostly broody fic :-)
In Nevada, kidnapping was a charge that potentially carried a life sentence all on its own. Combined with the charge of aggravated assault and the fact that he was so confident he wouldn't be convicted that he'd merely used a public defender, Andrew's chances of retaining his freedom were already not very good. Andrew had called in his friend and partner, Albert to testify on his behalf. He was supposed to help provide reasonable doubt to the truthfulness of the claims by saying that Andrew was nonviolent. He even went so far as to try to say that this uncharacteristic behavior was caused by the love of his life leaving him high and dry. The defense claimed that Stephanie and Hunter's actions and impending parenthood had caused Andrew to snap, feeling like they had the life that should have been his. This approach was unsuccessful because it opened the door for the prosecution to bring Andrew's character history into question. It turned out that just 8 years prior Andrew had been convicted of attempting to kidnap another woman. She pepper sprayed him and called the police immediately. Andrew took a plea bargain consisting of a fine, community service and the act going on record as an infraction. The offense wouldn't show up unless a deep level background search was performed. The false police report he'd filed alleging that Hunter had abused Stephanie also came into play. Given his history and the fact he'd almost harmed an innocent child, his sentence ended up being life with the possibility of parole after 35 years.
Six years later
Some things had stayed the same. Stephanie and Hunter's marriage was still as strong as it had been the day Jack was born. Their son's health continued to be good and he suffered no ill effects from his slightly premature arrival.
But, some things had changed.
Hunter had returned to the ring full-time when Jack was four months old. Hunter would fly home on Friday mornings and then fly to wherever Raw was being held on Sunday night. After Jack's first birthday, Stephanie decided that he was now old enough to travel somewhat extensively. She and Jack would fly to where Hunter was to attend Smackdown on Thursday. They would stay until Sunday afternoon and fly back to Greenwich so that Stephanie could go to work Monday morning. This allowed the family to spend an extra day together.
When Stephanie was six months pregnant with the twins, they went back to the default visiting plan of Hunter flying down for the weekend. Once the newest additions to their family were born, Hunter retired from in-ring work for the most part. He was now more or less a talent scout for the WWE Corporate office. They worked together, but rather indirectly. It was his job to find people that were potentially talented. Then, he passed them over to her department and she decided what the terms of the contract, if any, would be. His position required more travel than hers did, but it was certainly less hectic than what they'd previously been subjected to.
Marissa and Shane now had two kids. A four year old boy named Declan James and a two year old girl named Jennifer Kennedy. They were adorable and had the physical traits of their parents split right down the middle.
Kevin had found a great woman and ended up remarrying. They had a baby girl on the way.
Shawn and his wife Rebecca had two kids. Cameron was now 8 and Cheyenne was almost 4.
Jack idolized his father, grandfather, uncle and adoptive uncles. All of whom would be in attendance with their families today. He liked watching old clips of them in the ring and was so proud to be close to them all. Hunter and Stephanie were determined to not force their son into the business and allowed him to try just about anything he wanted. So far, he really loved to play baseball and soccer. And he was considering taking up karate.
Stephanie and Hunter's house would be overrun by children of all ages and sizes in just a couple of hours. Jack's sixth birthday was in two days and the twins turned four on the previous day. Needless to say, they would be bombarded with kids that were on their way to preschool and first grade.
In general, the latter part of the summer and beginning of the fall tended to be filled with parties and gifts since Marissa's birthday was in the beginning of July, Hunter's was at the end of July, the kids' were in the beginning of August, Vince's was in late August, Stephanie's was in late September and Linda's was in the beginning of October.
The woman of the house was in the kitchen putting the various types of seasoned meat into the refrigerator. Hunter was out picking up the huge sheet cake for the kids' party. It officially started in three hours and when it did, her husband would make a start to cooking the burgers, chicken, fish and hot dogs. "Jackson!" Stephanie yelled in the direction of the living room. "Get the twins and come in here."
"Okay, Mommy," his adorable voice replied obediently before she heard his footsteps scurry up the stairs.
Stephanie smiled at his tone. Whenever they used his full first name, he knew they meant business. And when she'd last seen him, he'd been glued to the large television in the living room playing video games. She and Hunter had made breakfast right before he ran out to get the cake. He'd yelled out that it was ready, as he exited the house. But his kids were all too busy enjoying whatever it was they were doing to care about food apparently.
This time, she heard multiple feet come bounding in her direction.
"We in trouble?" Two of her little people asked in perfect unison.
Stephanie turned around to look at her daughters. Hunter liked to joke that when the twins were older and out with their mother, the three of them would look like triplets. Karmina Reece and Kaycee Samantha Helmsley both had perfect copies of Stephanie's eyes, nose, cheekbones, ears and chin. The dimpled cheeks was a contribution that both parents had made to their looks. Hunter found it remarkable that there was not one, but two spitting images of his wife running around. If it wasn't for their wavy, light brown hair he and everyone else would think that Stephanie somehow managed to make the girls all by herself.
She smiled warmly at her mini-me's. "No, you're not in trouble. But you three need to eat something before your party."
Karmina was older than her sister by two minutes and had the surname of her husband's favorite foster parents as a middle name. She whacked her older brother on the arm. "Stupid head!" She accused.
"No hitting each other or name-calling, Karm," Stephanie chastised lightly before pointing a finger at the kitchen table, indicating that they were all to sit down. She wasn't going to bother saying any more than that. Jack often had a habit of purposely making his sisters think that they were in trouble when they weren't. He just loved to bother and annoy them because he was the only boy. He didn't count his father seeing as he was a grown man and completely wrapped around his little sisters' fingers.
As she moved to take a seat at the table with her kids, she ruffled Jack's hair. He laughed and swatted her hand away. "Stop Mommy," he complained, pushing the long, medium-brown curls out of his currently green eyes. Stephanie and Hunter liked to describe them as 'the world' because when they were in the process of changing colors, there was blue, green and brown present all at once. Blue was usually on the edges, surrounding the hazel. Their description of his eyes was appropriate because Jack meant the world to them. He had Hunter's ears, curly hair and eye shape and Stephanie's nose, chin and most of her hair color. When his mother leaned down to kiss his cheek, his dimples made an appearance as he smiled. He truly was a mama's boy, but he also worshipped the ground his father walked on. "Is Daddy gonna be back to fix my hair?" He asked.
Stephanie smirked at her son. He definitely got his impatience from her husband. At least that's what she told herself. She was known to get quite antsy when she really wanted something, too. "I could do it for you, you know," she offered. But, she knew her son would decline. For some reason he would only let Hunter touch his hair. It was probably some strange male-bonding thing. Or maybe he worried that she would give him pigtails or twists like she did with his sisters.
Jack immediately stopped eating and covered his head with both hands as if his mother were trying to attack him. "No!" He exclaimed. "Only Daddy does it."
A low snicker made its way past her lips as she shook her head and forked a piece of pancake. "Your Dad just went a few minutes away. He'll be back in time." All Hunter did to the boy's hair usually was wet it and slick it back into a naturally curly ponytail. Maybe her son's admiration for his father made him only trust Hunter to be able to recreate his signature styles or something.
Kaycee flicked her wavy ponytail over her little shoulder and scrunched her nose up at her brother. "Weirdo," was all she said.
"Sam," Stephanie addressed her youngest child by part of her middle name – which happened to be the first name of Hunter's favorite foster mother. When she widened her blue eyes before pouting, Stephanie knew the little girl sensed she was about to be reprimanded. She arched a brow and asked, "What did I say about name calling?"
"Sorry," Kaycee apologized softly.
Jack couldn't help himself. He pointed and grinned before sticking his tongue out.
"Leave your sisters alone, Jackson Nicholas."
Jack instantly started to sulk. His mom wasn't fooling around. He continued to eat his breakfast and ignored the urge to tease his sisters some more. It was his favorite past time. They were just such easy targets.
They all heard the rumble of Hunter's truck entering the garage. After finding out that they were expecting twins, he'd given up the red Mercedes sedan and purchased a dark gold Mercedes Benz M-Class SUV. The vehicle was rated as one of the safest SUV's and also had the capacity to tow a good amount and go off-road. Stephanie had gotten rid of her BMW sedan for a black Acura RDX SUV. Aside from its safety, it was known for its great handling and ability to navigate city streets. It wasn't suited for going off-road or towing. But given the fact that her husband's truck was, she didn't find it necessary to have those features.
Hunter's current project was trying to get Stephanie to entertain the idea of having another baby. Since twins must have obviously run on his unknown side of the family, she was worried about ending up with another two kids or more. And Jack would probably have a conniption if he ended up with another pair of sisters. Currently, she was on the pill to stop that from happening.
It took her husband a little longer than usual to come in the house, but she inwardly smiled as she ignored her anxious children. They had no idea they would be having a gigantic cake at their party. They thought there would only be food, ice cream, a bounce house and fun in the pool. Hunter was putting the dessert in the cooler in the garage.
"Hey," he greeted his family with a smile as he walked into the kitchen.
"Daddy!" The three kids exclaimed all at once.
Hunter smiled as he moved in the direction of the last seat at the kitchen table. He never got tired of hearing their enthused greetings. He loved them infinitely and just the use of that word had the capability to turn him to complete mush. He spoiled the hell out of them and didn't care what anybody had to say about it. His children were wonderful and he had no qualms about letting them know that.
Stephanie cleared her throat and coughed loudly from the other end of the table. "Hi, Daddy," she told him with a wink as she beckoned him over by crooking her finger.
Hunter grinned mischievously and abandoned the task of pulling his chair out. He wandered over to his wife and leaned down to kiss her awaiting lips passionately. For those few moments, they forgot the kids were there. After years of seeing their parents embrace, they didn't have it in them to be disgusted. They were pleased that their Mom and Dad were together and happy, unlike some of their friends' parents.
They broke apart and gazed at each other lovingly. Hunter never got tired of Stephanie's way of greeting him, either.