Here it is. What you've all been waiting for. Part 2 of the epilogue and the final chapter of Double Infinity. It's incredibly hard for me to wrap around the fact that I've been writing this Ezria story for more than a year. I thought it was only supposed to be ten or something like that. All of my readers' interest on me continuing is what kept me writing it. And I had no idea it'd cone to being such a success As of right now, this storyline has brought in 881 reviews and if you add all the words together, it is the longest fanfic on this archive. That's an amazing accomplishment to have made in a year because I honestly never imagined I'd make it this far.
I'm gonna save the rest of my author's note until the end of part 2. Thank you so much for reading!
Rain drizzled slowly down the bedroom window, the drops sliding smoothly against the glass behind the closed curtain. Ezra leaned against the window sill, his eyes squeezed shut and his head resting against his forearm. His bottom lip quivered and he didn't bother to make it stop.
"Ezra?" He slowly turned back to his bed where Aria lied with her eyes squinted, only making out his silhouette against the lights from the street foggily dimming the curtains, "Are you alright?"
He shook his head and hung his head between his shoulders, "I don't know." He sat on the edge of the bed and she clasped his hand tightly, giving it comforting squeezes as he took a deep breath and replied, his voice hardly above a murmur, "Where did the time go, Aria? It seems like only yesterday when I was holding her for the first time in the hospital. Not even that. I remember the day when you told me that you were pregnant with her so clearly in my mind." Ezra ran the fingertips of his free hand through his hair, the curls flopping against others as he did so, "I don't know if I'm okay with this. She joins another family tomorrow morning. She's only nineteen. She is She's only going to be a sophomore in college this fall."
"Come here." She whispered and he obliged, crawling to his side of the mattress and wrapping one arm snugly around his wife. Aria turned to face him and with her free hand that wasn't clasping his, she stroked his cheek, smiling as her skin met his, the familiar pattern almost a religion to her, "Ezra, I know she's young. I know she's going into a world that she can't even imagine. But she thinks she's in love with this boy and she is determined to follow her feelings." They leaned their foreheads together as she continued, "She's stubborn just like her father."
This caused a chuckle to go through him and his boyish smile made a small appearance, pulling tightly at the corners of his tender pink lips, "I suppose she is." He sighed, "I just don't want seeing my baby girl getting hurt."
"Xavier has made it very clear that he's not going to hurt her. He truly wouldn't be that stupid, especially when she has you and the boys to protect her." She stroked his cheek again, laying her head on his bare toned chest, "We knew this day was coming, right?"
Tears sprung up in the corners of his indigo eyes, but he wouldn't let them slide down his cheeks, "But why does it have to be so soon?"
"Ezra, look at me." Ezra opened his blue eyes only to be drowned in a deep burning puddle of hazel depths, "We're not losing Kenzie tomorrow. We're letting her grow up. We're letting her spread her wings and fly out into the real world for the first time. They've been dating for three years after all. It's not like she's marrying a kid we don't like. We love Xavier." She shook her head, her grin only growing wider by each passing second, "All of this sounds very familiar, now doesn't it? It's Déjà vu for when I was nineteen."
He nodded, running his thumb from her cheek to behind her ear, sweeping a few loose locks of hair as he did so, "I've been thinking lately; did we set a good enough example for her to follow? We got married the July after you graduated from high school and she's getting married the July one year after she graduated. They're going to Rome for their honeymoon. They're going to live in Rosewood while they both take classes at Hollis. Then after their senior year, they're moving up here to New York." He shook his head in puzzlement, "Is Kenzie following in our footsteps?"
Aria shrugged and cuddled closer to him, her breath resting on different places of his skin, "In some ways, yes, she is. She is following her instincts to marry who she believes is the love of her life. She has made it very clear that she's not going to change her mind about him, no matter what her parents say." She giggled, causing her husband to look at her with narrowed eyes filled with surprise, "She reminds me of us a lot. She has the same determination as I did when I was her age. I knew that we were meant to be and she feels the same about Xavier."
Ezra sighed but nodded, "If you say so."
"Ezra, I'm always right. Don't try and argue with that."
He nodded, "Of course you are." A hint of his boyish smile twitched at the corners of his lips, "Aria, you know the kids are all out of the house and it's just the two of us here tonight. You know what that means, right?" He raised one of his eyebrows teasingly, his fingers playing with the hem of her nightgown.
She rolled her eyes and shrugged, a sexual smile crossing her face, "I guess I do…."
"Good, because I've wanted to play on the Xbox all night while Andrew was gone since I never get to play anymore. Can I call the first controller? We both know how much I love to be in control….." He laughed, shaking his head and then his mouth swooped up against Aria's, his hands slowly moving up underneath her nightgown, pressing her body to him. His heart began to hammer against his chest as she played with the waistband of his pajamas.
He was aching for her more than anything, to have her closer than any other woman has ever been with him. To have her moaning his name inside of his mouth as they made love to one another, her hands all over his back, nails ripping through the surface his skin…...Even the thought of it made his stomach soar with butterflies as it always did when he thought of being completely intimate with her in every way humanly possible.
Aria seductively moved her lips to his ear, whispering slowly, making his want settle deep within him, "Twenty years of doing this and it never gets old." Her breath stung the skin of his neck and he couldn't take it any longer. He wanted her.
Ezra flipped both of them over, looking into the depths of her eyes, which shone the lust he was feeling, "Well, one more time shouldn't hurt then." With that, he helped her remove her nightgown, where she lied bare underneath the satin fabric. He pressed gentle kisses along her neck and collarbone, careful not to leave any hickies as they had to play host and hostess at a wedding the next day. His hands caressed her thighs, twining her legs around his waist so she straddled him, pressing against his aching abdomen.
He felt her fingers twine in his dark brown curls, pressing him closer to her naked body, her other hand guiding his pajamas down to sit lower his hips as she stroked the inside of his upper leg, teasing him. He moaned in pleasure and continued to tenderly kiss her torso, pulling the sheets away from their half-naked bodies, removing any possible barrier that could be between them.
Ezra pulled away for a moment, gazing down at his beautiful wife, lustful eyes reflecting his. He reached up his free hand, gently tucking a piece of loose brunette hair away from her sweaty forehead. He leaned down and pressed a firm kiss to it, his breathing labored as he murmured softly against the clammy skin, "I love you so much."
She moved her face to be level with his, her fingers tracing out the patterns of his cheeks as their mouths were almost grazing, "I love you, too, Ezra. More than what I can ever put into words." And with that, no more words were spoken between them as their lips smashed together in a fiery kiss.
The rain continued to pour outside and claps of thunder rushed quickly after lightning as it lit up the New York sky, but the couple ignored it. They continued to kiss and moan and murmur one another's names. Their only concern was being there at that moment.
Nothing was more than them being together at that second, with nothing between them and every wall torn down.
Nothing at all.
By the time that Aria awoke the next morning, it was already seven. She sighed as she rolled out from underneath Ezra's arm that was encasing her to his body and sat on the mattress for a moment, rubbing her eyes tiredly. She looked over her shoulder at her sleeping husband, who was out like a light as he was not even laughing as he usually does when he's asleep. Well, the precious night had been tiring for the both of them….
His face wore very few signs of his age, which was barely standing at forty-two. Sure, there were a few worry lines here and there, but that was normal, especially for being a father of four teenagers. A few gray hairs were beginning to spring up in the waves of his curly dark brown hair, but other than that, he still looked like that goofy twenty-five year old she married twenty years ago.
Aria reached over and stroked his cheek softly with her index finger, her face soft with love and affection that she had for the man she loved. She wondered if her daughter looked at Xavier the same way as she did Ezra. She knew that the two of them were head over heels in love with one another, but sometimes that isn't enough.
She shook the thought from her mind as soon as it popped up. She knew that it was wrong to think even a thing because that's what her parents had tried to convince her before she married Ezra at eighteen. The last thing she wanted was to put Kenzie through the same thing she was. Everyone had tried to dissuade her from wedding Ezra and here they were: married for twenty years, four children, and utmost happiness in their lives. Maybe she and Ezra were wrong about their daughter marrying so young. After all, they did the same in 2012.
Aria slipped on some underwear, a bra, and a pair of Ezra's pajamas and night shirt that lied on the floor beside the bed and silently left the bedroom, closing the door behind her. She wanted Ezra to get as enough rest as possible. He was taking this marriage thing harder than anyone else. She understood why: they've always had a stronger relationship than the father/daughter bond Aria had with her own dad. Kenzie has had Ezra wrapped around her finger since the day she was born and her getting married today must seem like he's losing his little girl. When he'd first found out that she was engaged, nothing went down well. At first, as most fathers tend to do when his daughter comes home saying she's going to get married as a teenager, he thought Kenzie was pregnant. Then once Xavier was rushed out of the house after getting popped in the mouth and in the eye where Ezra punched him, Kenzie calmed him down and explained everything.
Five weeks earlier
Xavier glanced over at McKenzie, who gave him an encouraging nod and a squeeze of the hand, and he took a deep breath as he looked up at his girlfriend's parents with genuine fear in his eyes, especially from the glare that Ezra was shooting him for sitting so close to his daughter, "Me and Kenzie have something to tell you."
Aria nudged Ezra to relax but as soon he heard those words come out of the young man's mouth, his face went pain and the veins in his arms started to pop, "Then talk already."
"Ezra…" Aria said to him, a tint of warning in her voice.
Xavier looked taken aback at Ezra's quick reaction, but he shook it off in a minute's time, "I love your daughter more than anything else in the world and I wanted to tell you two before anyone else." With one last glance at Kenzie, he took a deep breath and looked at Ezra straight in the eyes, "Kenzie and I are getting married in July."
Aria felt as though the wind was just knocked out of her. She knew that these two would eventually want to get married, but not so soon! She glanced at her husband sitting beside her and saw his face grow paler and paler as the time ticked on. At first, she feared that he'd forgotten how to breathe or that he was having a heart attack. She inhaled a deep breath and locked gazes with her daughter, "Is this true?"
Andrew walked out of his bedroom in the basement at that very moment, his stature cautious as he walked into the living room, "Is what true?" His young face was very confused, "What's going on?" He cast a glance at Ezra and worriedly asked, "Why does Dad look like he's about to pass out?"
It was Ezra who answered his son and everyone's eyes sprung to him as he drug out, his voice hardly audible, "Your sister just informed us that these two are getting married in July." His dark eyes were smoldering a deep sapphire indigo that sent a chill down Xavier's spine.
Andrew shook his head in puzzlement, "What?" He glanced at his older sister, "What is he talking about?"
"Xavier and I are getting married."
Finally, Ezra pushed himself up to his feet and Xavier jumped from his place on the loveseat where he'd sat just a second before beside McKenzie, their interlocked hands being torn apart, "Sir, please understand-"
He didn't have a chance to say anything more as Ezra's fist met his mouth and before he could recover from the blow, he received another to the eye. He collapsed against the wall, squeezing his good eye shut as he tried to shake it off. Why did he not wear a helmet? He had had a feeling that this was going to happen.
Kenzie pushed between them before Ezra could throw another punch, tears ripping through her chest, "Stop, Dad! Just stop and listen to us!"
"What did he do to you, Kenzie? I'll kill him! I swear I'll kill him with my bare hands!" He screeched, his eyes not leaving Xavier. They burned with a fury that Aria had never seen in the cobalt depths.
"Ezra! Please, take one minute listen to her!" Aria begged him, still unable to move. Her body was extremely numb to the circumstances that she was now in.
Andrew stepped in at that moment, deciding that someone had to stay calm and take control of the situation. The eighteen year old motioned to his sister's boyfriend, or now fiancé, "Xavier, let's go. I think it's best we leave the house." He guided the bleeding teenager outside, his hand tightly gripping his arm. Ezra watched them leave, his fists still clenched. For the first time in all of their years being together, Aria was genuinely afraid of her husband.
"Dad, you need to calm down." The nineteen year old pleaded loudly to her father as they heard the front door shut behind Xavier and Andrew, "You're overreacting."
"Calm down? Overreacting? McKenzie, you just told me and your mother that you're going to get married in five weeks. You're only nineteen, for God's sake. How do you want me to react?" He yelled at her, tendons pressing against the surface of his neck, looking as though they were going to burst through it, his face red with anger mixed with pain. This was the harshest he's ever been with her, "So, when did you find how that he got you pregnant? Because however long you've known, I'm going to punch and kick him that many more times."
"Ezra, please take a breath, slow down and relax." Aria spoke from her place on the sofa, her voice filled with anxiety as her husband's face grew bluer by the second, "We need to speak like adults. You freaking out and beating up a teenager isn't going to do you or anybody any good in this situation." He shot a glance down at her and something about the mysterious twinkle in her eyes sent a wave crashing down on him and he plopped beside her, his face in his hands. She rubbed his back comfortingly in an effort to lower his adrenaline, "Kenzie, why now?"
"Well, first of all, I'm not pregnant. I'm not stupid. I know how to use-" With a warning look shot from her mother as she felt Ezra tense up again, Kenzie didn't finish her sentence and she just inhaled another deep breath, "I'm not pregnant, okay?"
Ezra picked up his head again and there were tear stains on his scarlet cheeks and his eyes were a sapphire ocean in the middle of a hurricane, "You're not lying to me are you? Because if you are, I swear-"
"Daddy," Aria watched as he melted at the phrase, more tears springing up from his eyes underneath his dark brown curls, "I've never lied to you about anything before. Why would I start now?"
He took a deep breath, "Okay, sweet pea." His voice was rough as he continued, "Like your mother asked, "Why now? Why are you getting married now? You only just finished up your first year at Columbia. You've only just begun to live on your own." This wasn't true, since she lived with Xavier and her two best friends in a three bedroom apartment just two blocks away, but he knew she knew what he meant, "Why get married so early?"
"Why not get married now? Mom and you always said to follow my heart and right now, he has it by a leash, Daddy." She smiled, her lips wobbling as she whispered, "I love him."
He squeezed his eyes shut and placed his face in his hands again. A choked sob slipped through his body. Kenzie moved across the room to sit beside him, laying her head on her shoulder, wrapping her arms around his shaking frame, "Daddy, you're never going to lose me. I'm always going to be your little girl." She locked eyes with her mother, "Nothing and no one is ever going to change that."
A knock on the door shook Aria from the flashback which she'd had in the middle of making coffee and she went to the door, looking through the peephole. It was Star. She opened the front door and smiled at her old friend before wrapping her up in a warm and welcoming hug, "Hey, Star. Thanks for coming all the way up here from New Orleans."
Star had been transferred to Louisiana after a great job offer as an associate dean three years before that had hopped up after Ezra suggested her for the job to a friend of Byron's. She was thrilled to have the new opportunity and moved to New Orleans in a heartbeat; almost immediately after receiving the offer. She met a colleague there that she was head over heels for. They'd been going steady for two and a half years now. Whenever she and Aria spoke on the phone, she never stopped talking about Michael.
She hadn't changed much. Her skin was darker from being in the Deep South and her curly hair was still styled in that unusual natural afro, though it was a bit longer now. She wore the same square-rimmed glasses, "Hey, Aria. It was my pleasure." Her voice rung with a slight Southern tang, "I know I'm a bit early, but Michael knew if I didn't get up at five this morning, I would be late for the ceremony, so here I am!"
"Michael came all the way from Louisiana?"
Star shook her head with a slight blush to her cheeks at even the thought of her boyfriend of more than two years, "He had some conference thing in Atlanta he had to attend. But he sends his blessings to your family and to Xavier's." She sighed and rolled her eyes, "He made me set an alarm on my phone so then I'd wake up on time."
"That's horrible. Here come in." The cool air of the July morning washed into the house, promising another beautiful summer day. The boys were going to be miserable in their suits and ties. She wouldn't be surprised if they changed into shorts for the reception immediately after family photos were taken. She wouldn't want to be in the thick suede fabric in a hundred degree weather either.
Star stepped inside the house and shook her head again as she looked around, "Some things never change do they?" She laughed and pointed at a photo on the mantel the day that she'd left for her new job three years before and they'd taken a photo together; her, Ezra, and Aria with all the kids. Ashton had had braces and Riley had broken his arm from playing football. Andrew's hair was a mess and Kenzie had Ezra in a choke hold. Only Aria and Star looked halfway normal with warm smiles in the direction of the camera, "I remember the day we took that. Man, those kids are awesome. They always have been. Where are they, anyways? Have the twins been able to stay out of trouble lately?"
"Well, since school is out, I haven't gotten any phone calls. They're both at baseball practice right now. Andrew is spending some much needed time with his girlfriend before she takes off for college in the fall."
"She went to a bachelorette party with her two best friends, Agus and Emily, last night."
"Wait, did you say that Andrew has a girlfriend?" She asked with a shocked tone to her voice, her brown eyes as large as saucers, "Since when?"
Aria laughed and shrugged, "Him and Julia have been friends since they were ten when she moved to the city from Long Island. When he turned seventeen, he finally decided to stop being a chicken and ask her out. Turns out, she's had a crush on him since they first met. She was just waiting for him to make the first move." She drummed her fingers against the counter, "She leaves for UCLA in just a few weeks and he's going to the Art Institute here in the city. They're going to try and make the long distance thing work." She paused before continuing a moment later, "If I'd gotten a scholarship in California while Ezra stayed behind, I don't think I would've been able to take it. I know Andrew loves Julia and vice versa. They'll make it work."
Star sighed again, shaking her head, "Young love can make it through anything if both people are committed. Even if they are thousands of miles away from one another." She looked at her friend up and down, her eyes narrowing at her appearance, "What's with the outfit? Are you modeling guy clothes now or something?"
"Well, I was too lazy to get dressed this early so I'm just wearing some of Ezra's clothes."
Her husband's voice sounded from the hallway, "So that's where my pajamas went! Aria, I swear, you're a little thief when it comes to my clothes." He walked into the kitchen with a pair of shorts and a tank shirt, "I thought I heard an annoying voice coming from my kitchen and then I realized that it must be Star." Though his voice had a teasing tone, it was filled with warmth and friendliness. Aria smiled as she watched the two former colleagues exchange a hug. They may constantly nag each other and get one another's last nerve, but to her that just meant that they were best friends.
They pulled away and Star waved the air in front of her face, her nose wrinkled, "Dang, Fitzy. You need to go and take a shower. Are you going to walk your daughter down the aisle smelling like that?"
Ezra shrugged with a wink in Aria's direction, causing her to giggle, "I thought you enjoyed this cologne I'm wearing. Guess what it's called. It's called 'I Just Got Up and I Smell, So Who the Hell Cares?' Interesting name, isn't it?"
"Wow, I'm laughing on the inside. You're so hilarious. I'm dying here." Star shoved his shoulder playfully, brown eyes twinkling, "So, Aria told me that today is like the end of your life. How're you going to cope when Kenzie is off on her honeymoon tonight?"
He groaned and Aria rubbed the top of his hand as she said, "Well, we're going to go a on trip with the boys down to Rosewood for a couple of weeks, so that should distract him away from it for a little while. The cabin is finally ready for us to spend some time in. Then once Kenzie gets back, she'll join us for a week. We want to get as much time together as we can before the school year starts. Soon it'll just be me and Ezra up in the house."
"Well, you've got a while yet for the twins don't you? They're not going to be graduating for a five more years." Star pointed out.
Ezra chuckled, "Dear God that's a long time to go. Why aren't they eighteen yet?"
His friend laughed along with him, "Once they're off to college, you'll regret saying that." She paused with a smile before saying, "I don't feel any sympathy for you, but for them, I've got loads of it. Haven't you already screwed up their heads enough?"
Aria placed three cups of coffee on the counter, one for each of them, "Riley has always been the more outgoing one out of the two. Ashton isn't going to leave the city if we don't. He's too much of a momma's boy. He's like Andrew that way."
Her oldest son walked out of his basement bedroom at that moment, much to her surprise, especially since she'd thought he was at Julia's for the night. He wearing an outfit almost identical to his father's; t-shirt and shorts, "I heard that. I'm not a baby anymore, Mom." His blue eyes were soft with affection as he gazed at his mother, "I'll always be your little boy though. No matter where I go and who I'm with, you'll always be my mommy." He glanced at Ezra, "Dad, I know you didn't take my Xbox controller again. The walls are thin enough to hear everything going on up stairs." His nose wrinkled and he shivered as he continued, "And when I say everything, I mean everything."
Aria adjusted Ezra's tie as he took deep, shallow breaths in the summer heat. Of course, there has to be another wedding that he had to wear a tux in when the weather was blistering hot. Plus, he was already nervous enough. He was about to see his daughter be married and something about that just set thorns deep within every part of his body. His stomach churned and for a moment, he thought he was going to be sick.
He glanced down at Aria, who was dressed in a strapless pale green summer dress, her dark brunette hair draping over her shoulders. White feather earrings hung from her ears and a light breeze washed beneath the waterfall of hair, causing Ezra to moan. He remembered the day they were married as though it was yesterday. And yet, at the age of thirty-six, she looked almost identical to what she looked like in 2012 when they'd said their vows.
She caught him staring and rolled her eyes before pressing a firm kiss to his pursed lips. They leaned their foreheads together as she whispered, "Today's the big day."
"It feels like we just said that on the day she was born." He sighed and closed his eyes, squeezing them shut, remembering the day as if it were yesterday. From he'd found Aria in the bathroom with a broken water to when he'd held his firstborn child, only daughter, and his lovable little sweet pea for the first time.
Nineteen years and six months earlier
He adjusted his infant daughter in his arms, careful not to wake her. McKenzie Angel Fitz was born on January 8th 2013 at 8:03 AM, weighing out to be about four pounds and one ounce. She was a carbon copy of her mother and had the same rich, soft, Italian skin, dark brown hair, though it curls in it, just like Ezra. Ezra was tied around her tiny finger the moment he laid eyes on her.
Aria blinked sleepily over at him, just coming over the anesthesia from her surgery after the birth of her daughter, but still had the same soft smile on her face, "Is anyone else going to be able to hold our daughter, Ezra or are you just hogging her?"
He smirked at her, "Aria, she's my baby girl. What do you expect?" But he gently passed his daughter to Spencer, whose own baby belly is starting to show. Toby loomed protectively over her, his hands caressing her waist as they cooed at the baby girl as she slept snuggly in her arms.
Ezra smiled as he lied down beside Aria on the big hospital bed and Snoopy, who had been sleeping at her feet, hops into his lap, wagging his tail. He patted the puppy's head. The moment Snoopy saw McKenzie, he laid on the floor on his back, kicking up his back legs excitedly, which both Ezra and Aria took as a good sign, knowing that their six month old beagle puppy wasn't going to eat their infant daughter, "Snoops, you have a little one to look after now. You think you can handle that?" The beagle looked at him and gave a little yip.
Isaac was in the corner nearest to the door, arms crossed across his chest, a smile on his face and Ezra looked over at him, "Dad, you haven't said much. Do you want to hold her?"
His father shook his head, jaw clenching, "I'll have plenty of chances kiddo. She sure is a pretty baby, though."
Daniel took McKenzie from Spencer and cooed at her, his long bangs falling over his dark blue eyes, "Hey, Kenzie, me and your Uncle Mike are going to teach you how to play every sport known to man." He looked up to see Hanna glaring at him, "What?"
She held up a finger, "Shut up, Danny. McKenzie is going to be a fashion diva, not a sport lunatic."
Ella laughed, "You two have plenty of time to argue about that. She's only a few hours old."
Byron gazed at Aria, a wide grin on his face, "How you feeling, sweetheart? You've been through a lot today."
She smiled at her father, "Tired, but overwhelmingly happy. I'm so happy to be a Mommy; I can't explain it in words."
Her dad laughed, "And Ezra, do you think any of your chest hair will grow back? I mean, Aria was grabbing onto your shirt pretty damn hard."
Ezra chuckled, "It's worth it, though." He leaned down to kiss his wife's hair, "Very much worth it."
Daniel looked up from the baby in his arms, "She has your eyes, Ez. Or should I say Dad's eyes?" He grins over at his father, "So, Gramps, how's your wife, or fiancée, or whatever in the hell you call her?"
"She's fine and back at home in Virginia. She didn't feel right about coming." He glanced at Aria, "I really am sorry about that. About what happened at Hilton Head?"
Aria looked over at him, "I forgive you, Isaac. Don't worry about it." He nodded, not meeting her eyes, biting his bottom lip, rubbing the back of his neck. Aria giggled and glanced over at Ezra, "So that's where you get it from." He shrugged and chuckled, pressing his lips into her hair again.
McKenzie began to whine and cry, so everyone surrounded her, trying to figure out what's wrong. Aria extended her arms, "Come on. Give her to her Mommy." Danny gently placed the infant in Aria's arms, "Hey, baby girl, no need to cry now. Mommy and Daddy are here. And Snoops is here, too." At mention, Snoopy licked McKenzie's dark brown curly hair, "Snoopy is our puppy and when you're old enough, you're going to help me and Daddy take care of him."
He looked at Aria, "You mean help me take care of him?"
She nodded, giggling, "You catch on quickly, Ezra." She twirled one of her daughter's curls around her index finger, just gazing at her.
Hanna chirped, "Let's get a picture of this beautiful moment! It'll be your first family portrait hanging in the apartment's living room!" She took out her cell phone and Aria and Ezra looked up with bright smiles. Just before she snapped the photo, McKenzie opened her wide dark blue eyes and flashes a little flirty smile.
"I miss Snoopy." Ezra said randomly. Their family beagle died just two years ago and though they've talked about getting another puppy, the family is just not emotionally ready yet After all, Snoopy had been in their lives for seventeen years. His companionship had been everything to them, especially since he'd been the first member of their family. They'd gotten him right after returning from their first honeymoon in Italy.
She nodded, "Well, we both decided, no matter how many times the boys beg, we're not going to get another puppy until next year. After all no one could ever replace out little Snoops." She finished her fidgeting with his tie and pushed his long curls out of the way of his eyes before giving him a small kiss on his pouting lips, "Try not to trip coming down the aisle, okay?"
"Very funny." He shot back as she skipped with a wide smile into the sanctuary where the ceremony was going to be held. He poked his head in and observed the place. Hanna and Caleb were there with their two children and Spencer sat near them with her new British husband and fellow doctor, Wren Kingston. Toby sat on her other side with their youngest daughter, Madeline. From what he could see, much to his amusement, Riley was trying to flirt with her while Ashton talked with Ella and Byron nearby. Ella tried to remove the hair from out of the way of her grandson's eyes, but he shied playfully away, a wide grin on his face.
On Kenzie's side, Maya and Emily exchanged small talk, much to his surprise. Last time he'd heard after Maya went off to teach music at NYADA, she'd moved on from her old girlfriend. Well, from their body language, it didn't look that way. Whatever was going on between them, he was happy of how happy they looked together.
His eyes roamed the large and colorful room and he smiled and waved at his nephew, Cole, who was sitting between Daniel and Lily. The twelve year old was bouncing up and down, floppy blonde hair in the way of his emerald green eyes. His brother and his wife had only ever had Cole, though he was far from being a spoiled brat. He called out, "Hi, Uncle Ezra!"
"Hey, little man." He flashed his boyish grin at his brother's son and then continued to check out the turn out for this beautiful summer day. He watched as Mike settled into a sitting position by Isaac and Sarah, with Maggie sitting nearby. Mike's wife Natasha stayed in Rosewood after their son got sick. Noel had shown up in her absence though, as he was Kenzie's adopted uncle and godfather.
The two men locked gazes and Ezra gave him a respectful nod. The hatchet had been buried years ago and they were now friends. They both loved Aria, but Noel just had to settle for only loving her as a friend since he wanted her to be happy and he knew that her being happy meant that she had to be with Ezra. And he would never forget how he'd defended her from Jason all those years ago in the bar.
One of Kenzie's best friends and bridesmaids came up behind him, breaking his trace of watching the crowd, her light russet skin shining in the reflections coming from the stained glass of the sanctuary. Her dark brown hair fell over her shoulders, covering her back where it was revealed from the backless peach bridesmaid dress. Her chocolate brown eyes sparkled with excitement. When she spoke, Ezra remembered that her parents had moved here to the states from Argentina when she was nine. Though she spoke English fluently, the Spanish accent on the edge of her voice was impossible not to notice, "She's almost ready for you in there, Mr. Fitz."
"Thank you, Agus." And as always, he pronounced her name wrong. He often forgot that the 'g' in her name was soft and not emphasized.
The nineteen year old rolled her eyes and shook her head as she politely corrected him, "Mr. Fitz, for the last time. Say it with a soft g."
Now he was just trying to annoy her as he flashed her his boyish grin, "A goose."
She smiled, making every effort not to giggle, "No, a soft g. Agus."
He teasingly replied, "Aren't I saying it right? A goose."
"You'll have to excuse my dad. He's an intelligent and a man who's traveled a lot, but he's never studied any other language besides English." He whipped around and as he saw his daughter standing there in her mother's wedding dress from all those years ago, tears sprung up in his eyes. She'd never looked so beautiful or so much like Aria.
She took a few strides toward him and straightened his tie, looking at him straight in the face with a flirty smile, "Dad, you're not going to be needing any tissues, now are you?"
He chuckled and kissed her forehead, "No, sweetheart. You look beautiful by the way."
"I look just like Mom when you two got married, don't I?" She pulled away and twirled around in her bridal gown, causing both Agus and her other friend, Emily to squeal and clap, "I know the dress is a bit out of style, but Mom said it'd fit alright. Plus, it's vintage and you can never go wrong with that."
"True." He smiled and took a deep breath as he twined his arm around hers, "Are you ready to do this?" Outside the waiting room the music began to play and the other girls were already filing out.
Kenzie's grip on him tightened and it gave him courage to walk her down the aisle in just a few moments as she murmured, "I can do anything, be anything, and jump into anything headfirst as long as I know you're beside me all the way through, Daddy." She rested her head on his shoulder for a moment.
He gave her temple one last kiss before they received the signal to start walking down the aisle. All the guests stood as they slowly began to drag their feet on the carpet and Ezra had to remember to breathe as he guided his one and only daughter down to Xavier. It was the few slowest moments of his entire life, especially when he locked eyes with Aria. She gave him two thumbs up as they passed her and very subtlety, their pinkies temporarily locked before he walked away, about to give his daughter to her long term boyfriend.
Xavier shook his hand and he leaned forward, murmuring underneath his breath, allowing only those two men to hear the message, "Take good care of her, son." His words dripped with meaning, allowing the young man to know if he breaks his daughter's heart, her father would gladly break Xavier's face and that meant it'd be way worse than a black eye and broken nose.
"I promise, sir." His almost son-in-law looked at him straight in the eyes and, for the first time, Ezra actually believed him. So, rather in an unhesitant fashion, he placed Kenzie's hands into his. He pressed a kiss to her cheek before going over to join Aria. As he sat, their hands twined together between their legs that were now rubbing together.
The preacher began to read scripture from the Bible and Ezra found himself looking at Aria as the old man recited verses of loyalty and marriage. And, with no surprise, their gazes locked and they exchanged smiles. He tightening his grip on his wife's hand and she squeezed back. She laid her head on his shoulder and Ezra leaned his against hers as they watched the ceremony continue. It felt like yesterday when they'd been standing in that exact spot; in the only church in Rosewood, up on the old wooden steps, as they said their vows.
He whispered softly so only Aria could hear, "Aria," His voice dropped even lower, "Ti amo."
She answered him with a smile shining on her radiant face, "Anch'io ti amo."
The wedding flooded into the reception just twenty minutes later at the Italian Bistro, where they'd rented out the entire Italian restaurant for the event. Aria watched from her chair as Xavier led McKenzie onto the dance floor for their first dance as a married couple. The happiness brimming on both of their young faces was unmistakable and the mother of four couldn't help but wipe a tear from her eyes as she watched them dance slowly to the music.
"Aria?" She looked up and saw Ezra's smiling face shining down at her. He jerked his head towards the dance floor, holding his hand out to her, "May I please have this dance?" His blue eyes shone deep love that he had for her.
She took his hand and he pulled her up to her feet. She kissed his cheek, "Of course you may."
"Shall we?" He led her onto the dance floor and took her into strong arms. As predicted, he'd changed into a pair of thin brown dress pants and the white dress shirt from underneath his tuxedo, with his tie still in place.
"Can you believe how much time has passed, Ar? It seems like yesterday when we met in the bar."
She picked her head up from his chest and looked at him in the eyes, her hazel orbs tearing up the slightest bit, "It seems like yesterday when you first asked me to dance at our wedding reception." They both laughed and nodded, watching as Xavier and Kenzie continued to dance around them. Andrew had already asked Julia, who was wearing a backless baby blue dress that flowed beautifully down her body, to dance with him and soon more and more guests poured onto the floor, dancing to the slow music.
Aria watched as Andrew pressed a gentle kiss to Julia's lips, his hands holding her close to him. She couldn't help but remember the day he graduated from high school this past June. He'd pulled Julia on stage with him and presented her with a promise ring by getting down on one knee. In his exact words, he promised that no matter how far they were from one another, his heart would be with her the entire time that they were apart. Of course, this had received a standing ovation from the crowd and it had only grown louder after they'd kissed passionately. That was probably the most romantic gesture Aria had ever seen and she couldn't be any prouder than to call Andrew her son.
After the song ended, she watched as Ezra weaved his way through the crowd to share a father-daughter dance with Kenzie. They laughed and hugged as they saw one another before beginning to dance to Kenzie's old bedtime lullaby and their love song, "Happiness" by the Fray. Aria smiled and watched as they twirled around the dance floor and the people on it. Ezra must have kissed Kenzie's forehead ten times and his wife knew that he was savoring the few moments he had alone with his little girl.
A deep voice whispered in her ear, "It's hard to believe, isn't it, Mom? Seeing Kenzie getting married?" The tone was unmistakable, even after all these years of saying goodbye to him. Aria knew exactly who this guy was. The boy who should be standing beside her and the rest of his family on the day of his older sister's wedding.
His breath stirred wisps of her hair, "Come outside for a moment. I can't stay for long. I just wanted to come long enough to where I could see you and the rest of my family. Especially to watch Kenzie look so happy with her new husband."
She made her way outside on the balcony and she turned to see him standing there. He was dressed in a tuxedo, his warm and friendly hazel eyes hidden underneath the mess of his curly light brown hair. He looked older, around the age of fourteen or fifteen. She still didn't understand the whole process of being able to see him, as he was just the image of a little boy the last time they saw each other, which was thirteen years before, but she didn't care. He was here and that's all that mattered.
She wiped her eyes and he shook his head, taking a step closer to her mother. Aria was finally able to see the way Mason truly resembled his father, though her eyes on him were unmistakable. The same loving twinkle were in the creamy hazel depths, "If you're going to cry, then…" His voice was teasing and warm, if not a bit choked up, as if he too was about to cry.
"I'm just happy to see you. It's been-"
"Thirteen years, I know." A charming boyish smile flashed across his young face and her heart began to race. It was identical to Ezra's, "I felt the pull down here and I was able to get the permission to. It wasn't a whim of mine either. I just sort of showed up." He shook his head, "I've never left you though. I've never left any of you. Ever since you said goodbye over a decade ago, I've been right there, even if you didn't know it."
"I still miss you every day, Mason. I miss you more than you will ever know." She stuttered out, tears spilling out from the corners of her eyes.
Mason didn't hesitate to wipe them away and pull her into a hug, "There's no need to cry, Mom. I'm right here and I'm not going anywhere." His voice dropped to a whisper, "I promise you that I'll never leave you." He smiled and chuckled, "You can't get rid of me that easily."
Soon Aria felt a light breeze and Mason's warmth was gone. She opened her eyes and her son was gone. But somehow, she still felt his presence and she looked up at the full moon that was steaming creamy white light onto the balcony and reflecting off the ocean water that sat beneath it. She leaned against the railing, taking in a deep breath from the warm summer air.
Two strong arms twined around her waist and lips kissed her neck, "Hey, beautiful." Who else would it be other than Ezra?
She turned her head to lock gazes with him, "Why, hello there." She pressed a firm kiss to his lips before turned back toward the ocean.
Ezra murmured to her, his grip on her tightening, pressing her closer to him, "Mason was here, wasn't he?"
Aria nodded, "Only for a minute or two. He said that he came today to see Kenzie get married." She sniffled a bit.
"I knew that it was him the moment I saw you walk away with him. At first, I couldn't tell who he was and then he looked over his shoulder and met my eyes. And I would know those eyes and light brown curls anywhere." He swallowed, "I'm glad he decided to crash the party. It only feels perfect when we have all of our children here."
"You're right." She leaned up and kissed the upper part of his rosy cheeks.
"Of course I am." He chuckled and turned her around lightly so then he could see her face and take her into his long arms. The music from inside was pouring through the open doors and they began to sway to the rhythm. It was a love song written and sung by the Grammy award winning country-pop trio Rascal Flatts, "Nothing Like This". It was one they used to listen to all the time in the old apartment in Rosewood.
"I realized tonight that Xavier really does love our little Kenzie." Ezra murmured, his lips kissing his wife's hair with each word that he said them, "The way he looked at her as I allowed him to dance with her again…it was like how I look at you."
She gazed at him, watching as his soft blue eyes grew tender, gentle, and affectionate, all in the caldron of the loving navy depths, "That look that you're giving me right now?"
He nodded, curls bouncing at the sides of his face as he so, "This exact look that I'm giving you right now."
No more words were spoken between them as they continued to sway to the lyrics and music of the song, Ezra's arms pressing gently around her waist and Aria's around his neck. Nothing could faze them at that moment. Their love for one another radiated warmly between them underneath the moonlight. Anyone with half a brain would be able to tell that these two were soulmates. From the time they to that very moment, everything had been a journey. Everything had been worth the fight, the tears, the broken hearts and the adventures. Because their love for another was stronger than what could ever pull apart.
Their love was infinity and beyond. Then beyond even that. To double infinity.
Their love was double infinity.
I am so emotionally attached to these characters that I am actually tearing up a bit while writing this author's note. I am sad to see the story end but I promise all of you that you haven't seen the last of me yet. There's still If I Knew Then and right now, I am outlining two fanfics that I will be co-writing with my good friend and fellow writer, Becca (AKA prettylittlesoprano). So be looking out for those. Then there is much more in the works. I'm a writer and what better way to share my ideas than here on this site with my fanfics?
I cannot thank any of my readers enough for being my rock for the past year with both the original story and the sequel. Though I can't put it into words (it'd take far too long for me to write all of it out!) I think all of you know how each and every one you have pushed me and challenged me to new heights. From simple ideas to story-changing ones, I have never taken any of them for granted. I'd like to personally thank a few of you.
.dreamers yet again for the title Double Infinity. I knew it was perfect the moment I saw it and thank you again for sharing it with me.
Then there is my Yoda, who I did base Star off of by the way. She actually gave me a lot of the storylines that I have run with in this sequel.
My twitter friends: Katrin, Julia, Agus, Becca, Emma, Abby, Rosalind, Lexi, Emily, Laura Ashley, Dani, Char, Luciana, Bethany, Clare, Paige, and Star. You guys never fail to boost my ego. Thank you for always nagging me to update and giving me words of encouragement since I made my account. I'm so grateful for all of you, you don't even know.
Thank you again so much and I hope you thoroughly enjoyed Part 2 of the epilogue. I've been outlining it I started writing the sequel. It was a challenge, but I pushed myself to write over 9000 words. Yes, applause. And by that I mean, don't forget to leave a review! Please with a shirtless Ian on top?
Double infinity amounts of love for every single one of you. THANK YOU AGAIN SO MUCH!