Steph still owns them.
oscar519 and laurnorder are seriously more than a girl could ask for. Thank you for taking this on with me.
Thank you, RCH81 and rosellebec for all your support and for prereading this chapter! :)
Huge thanks to all of you for reading/rec'cing/reviewing/tweeting. Thank you for all your love, it means so much.
This is the last chapter!
I'll see you around!
Epilogue - Captivated
"So then Samantha invited Christopher to her party and completely ignored that I was standing next to him!" Reagan finished her story with a flourish and slammed her hands down on the seat of Edward's car.
Edward gazed out the window, unsure of what to say. Reagan was in her first year of high school and every week it was something different. It made him realize that he missed the days when Reagan's biggest problem was making it to dance on time or doing her spelling homework. He also didn't miss the dramatics of high school. At all.
"Daddy! Weren't you listening?" Reagan admonished him and he bit back a laugh.
"Sorry, baby girl. You know I'm not good with stuff like this!" he defended himself fruitlessly.
Reagan sighed and crossed her arms in front of her chest. "You're hopeless, Dad."
"You can talk to your mom about it when we get home," he grumbled, side-eying his daughter. Reagan smiled, knowing she'd hit a soft spot. Edward hated that he couldn't solve all her problems anymore.
A few moments later, he pulled his SUV into the driveway of a modest two-story home and his daughter practically flew out of the passenger seat. He grabbed her forgotten backpack and followed her into the house, immediately greeted by the sound of laughter.
He grinned and hung up her backpack by the door before following his children's voices.
"Stop it! I can't breathe!" Edward heard his son giggle from the living room. He found them on the couch, Reagan tickling her little brother relentlessly while he squirmed, a huge smile on his face.
"Alright, Rae. You know how upset your mom will be if he dies," Edward joked and helped Wren up from the confines of his sister's arms. Wren had been born within the first year of their marriage. He was the spitting image of Edward, right down to his bright green eyes, which was something Wren liked that he shared with his big sister.
Reagan sighed, but agreed before setting off to find Bella. It was an easy task – she simply followed the smell of dinner to the kitchen.
"There you are!" Bella turned away from the stove with a smile, baby Adam on her hip and a spoon in her free hand.
"What will I call Bella?" Reagan frowned and gently touched the black tie her father wore. Edward watched the war in his eight-year-old's eyes and felt his chest tighten. He knew this would happen – that she wouldn't want to upset Rosalie, but wanted to appease Bella as well. Of course it was all because of a name.
"You can call her whatever you want, baby. Bella doesn't care," Edward explained, kissing his daughter's forehead and meeting his new wife's eyes across the room.
"But she's like my mom, and if you have any more kids then they'll call her 'mom' and I'll feel left out!" she cried, her lower lip trembling. Edward tried not to laugh as he held his daughter closer.
"You two can talk about it, okay?" he suggested.
Reagan sighed. "Okay," she agreed before slipping off his lap and running to Bella. Edward watched his daughter tug Bella down to her level and whisper something in her ear. Bella smiled and nodded before hugging Reagan tightly.
Reagan scampered away in search of her Grandpa Charlie and Bella quickly made her way to Edward. He had a hard time focusing on anything but the way the pretty white material clung to her body.
"What did she ask you?" he asked, trying to focus on the conversation and not the unholy thoughts that were currently running through his head.
"If I would be her 'Mama'." Bella grinned and pulled her husband up and into her arms.
"Oh, really?" Edward returned her smile and kissed her quickly. "And?"
"I told her I would be honored."
"Hey, Mama," Reagan greeted her stepmother with a kiss on the cheek and then took the curly-headed baby from her. "Oh my gosh. He gets fatter every time I see him!" she laughed as she pretended to struggle with the infant.
"You just saw him four days ago," Wren said from behind her before settling himself at the kitchen table.
"Well, he seems fatter." She shrugged and stuck her tongue out at him. Wren frowned and looked up at his father. Edward just mussed his hair and then greeted his wife with a kiss. Reagan carried the baby out of the kitchen and they watched Wren follow, though a bit reluctantly, it was tough for him to be back in his big sister's shadow. Though it was typical "Wren Behavior" – that he was thankful for the first two days his sister was gone, then spent the other two wishing she were back and pretending to be miserable without her.
"He'll be fine," Bella told Edward, reaching up to smooth the lines of his face.
"I wasn't worried about him," Edward muttered and crossed his arms in front of his chest.
"What's wrong?" she asked, stepping to him and wrapping her arms around his neck.
"High school," he groaned, pressing his forehead to hers.
"We knew it would be difficult." Bella smiled and kissed him gently.
"But did we know it would be this difficult? She was never like this." Edward frowned.
"She's fourteen, Edward. She's growing up," Bella said with a shrug.
"I can't think about it. I can't think about parties and boys and how I'm going to have to kill my best friend's son one day," Edward ranted on, tugging at his hair. Bella stifled a laugh and handed him a cold beer.
"Go and enjoy her now – before you start murdering teenage boys everywhere." She pushed him out of the kitchen. He tugged on his tie and made his way through the house until he finally found them back in the living room. Adam was playing happily in his playpen, watching his siblings with wide brown eyes. Reagan had settled at the coffee table to color with Wren.
He kissed both of their heads and sat on the floor across from them. Edward listened while they talked and found himself smiling again, feeling less worried about his daughter growing up.
Reagan was a great big sister. She'd taken the job very seriously since they'd first found out Bella was pregnant. Never once had she complained or shown any amount of jealousy toward the boys. Of course, it helped that she was also a big sister by her mother, too. As close as Reagan and Bella had become, the same had never happened for Reagan and Emmett. They carried a mutual respect for each other, but it didn't go much further than that. Reagan loved her little sister, but she and Emmett never bonded much. It was something that always pained Rosalie, though she understood her daughter's reluctance. Gaining back Reagan's trust was something that she still had to work on.
"We need to talk to you, sweetie," Bella said nervously while she watched Reagan lift a spoonful of chocolate ice cream to her mouth.
"About what?" Reagan eyed her father and stepmother warily. She'd gotten two new stepparents and news of a baby sister all within the past year, any conversation that started with those words put her on alert.
"Well, we just wanted to tell you that–"Edward started to speak.
"You're having a baby, aren't you?" Reagan interrupted with a frown.
"Um, yes?" Edward looked hopelessly at Bella for help. Bella sighed and moved to the seat next to Reagan.
"Yes, we're having a baby. Is that okay?" she asked, slipping her arm around Reagan's shoulders and pulling her close.
Reagan sighed. "Do I have a choice?"
Bella laughed quietly. "Not really, baby."
"Will you love it more than me? Since it'll be your baby?" Reagan asked, her deep green eyes imploring.
"Of course not!" Bella vowed, hugging her little girl tighter. "No one could ever take your place."
"Then I guess it's okay. Do you think you can have a boy? I'm already going to have a little sister, and I think it would be fun to have one of each."
"We'll try," Edward replied with a wink. Reagan giggled and went back to her ice cream, content for the time being.
"Lily says that 'cause you and her are sisters, she's my sister too. Is that true?" Wren asked, looking from Reagan to Edward. Edward sighed. He knew having the two of them in the same kindergarten class would eventually turn a weird corner. He could almost imagine all the backwoods ideas that Wren and Lily's teacher had about their families.
"Not quite, buddy," Reagan answered, stifling a laugh. Wren frowned again, then shrugged it off and continued coloring.
"Rae! Phone!" Bella called from the kitchen, ultimately ending their conversation. She jumped up from the floor and sprinted into the kitchen, then upstairs and slammed her bedroom door.
"Daddy, will you help me finish my picture?" Wren asked. Edward nodded and pulled his son into his lap. They colored quietly, and Edward couldn't help but think about the days when he would do the same thing with Reagan – coloring or reading for hours with her with no interruption.
They stayed like that until Bella called them for dinner. Edward lifted Adam from the playpen and sent Wren upstairs to get his sister. A few moments later he was back downstairs, his eyes wet with unshed tears.
"What's wrong?" Edward quickly knelt down and pulled his son to him.
"She – yelled – at me," he hiccupped and buried his face in his father's shirt. Edward sighed and looked up at Bella. She nodded and left the boys in the kitchen, gently touching Edward's shoulder on her way out.
Bella took the stairs quickly and tapped on Reagan's bedroom door.
"Dinner's ready," she called.
"I'm not hungry!" Reagan yelled back. Bella stifled her groan and opened the door to find Reagan sprawled out on her bed, holding a book in the air and reading.
"What's wrong, sweet girl?" Bella took the book from Reagan's hands and pulled her into a sitting position. Reagan shrugged and picked at her comforter.
"Nothing," she muttered.
"So you're just up here wallowing and making your brother cry for no good reason?" Bella asked.
"I made him cry?" Reagan looked up, her eyes worried.
Bella nodded. "Not that he'd ever let you see, of course. He's got to be tough, you know." Bella smiled and brushed Reagan's hair from her face. "So, tell me what's wrong."
"It's just – there's this girl at school that likes Christopher…" Reagan trailed off and Bella sighed.
"It's not that I like him that way, you know? He's my best friend. But this girl is just awful! And she always calls me Ree-gan, which is so not my name. She's just a jerk!" Reagan said and dramatically fell back onto her bed. Bella tried not to laugh, knowing that it would only upset her daughter more.
"Have you talked to Christopher?"
"Yes, but he doesn't care. He likes her too," Reagan explained before pulling a pillow over her head. Bella pulled the pillow away and tapped Reagan's nose.
"You two have been friends for a long time, I'm sure it will all work out. In the meantime, you should come have dinner with your family. They've missed you," Bella said, pulling Reagan up by the arms.
"Okay," Reagan sighed and stood up, smoothing her hair and then holding out her arms.
Bella quickly pulled her into a tight hug and kissed the top of her head.
"Don't say anything to your father about this," she whispered.
"Why not?" Reagan asked, confused, as she let Bella lead her downstairs.
"Let's just say he's being… protective."
Reagan giggled but agreed. They found the boys in the dining room, eating quietly while Adam banged happily on his high chair.
Reagan slipped into her seat next to Wren and quickly leaned over to kiss his cheek. He blushed and stared at his plate for a moment.
"Can I be excused?" he asked in a rush. Edward laughed but nodded. Wren gave his sister a fleeting hug before running out of the room.
The rest of dinner passed as it normally did, with no mention of school or boys. Edward was grateful for that, but even more so, he was grateful that his daughter was back. The half of the week he was without her was nearly excruciating, even with three other people in the house.
Bella knew it made him sad when Reagan was gone. And, if she were being honest, the whole house seemed a little gloomier without her presence. She still remembered the first day she met the two of them and exactly how she felt then. The feeling, if at all possible, had only multiplied over the years and she knew it was the same for Edward.
As they dinner finished and kids got ready for bed, Edward couldn't help but feel lighter having Reagan back under his roof. He and Bella did their nightly routine: crossing the hall, kissing children, and singing songs to get little (and big) ones to sleep. When they finally met at their bedroom door, hands intertwined and smiles on faces, he found himself hoping that their nights would always be like that - full of love and happiness.
He hoped that they would always be captivated by their family, their lives, and by each other.