AN: The final Chapter to our story is here. i hope you enjoy this chapter as much as you did the other 41.
Ethan's brown eyes stared at Embry as he attempted to make him smile with funny faces and weird noises. Ethan managed to maintain a straight face. He didn't appear to be entertained or even amused by Emby's antics but he watched him carefully, like he was trying figure out what creature he was looking at. Even as I gave him his sippy cup, his little eyes stayed on Embry, remaining neutral as he had his apple juice. He had Charlie's eyes but it didn't disrupt how much he looked like Jacob. We were sitting in the living room helping Angela bring her stuff in, or we were supposed to be anyway. Jacob seemed to be the only one who even touched a box after the first ten minutes. At least I had an excuse. I had a baby to watch. Ethan was about eighteen months old and looked even more like Jacob everyday. His the picture of the three of us on his first birthday revealed just how much of his features Jacob dominated. Leah couldn't bare to look at him. We could all see the shame in her face and in her eyes when she saw him, an exact copy of Jacob. In some ways I didn't blame her for what had happened, I knew that she was only looking out for her cousin, or thought she was. Still though, my idea of her would never be the same. I was stuck with the feeling that she didn't like me and I was sort of uncomfortable having her around my child. I also still felt like she deserved to feel the guilt she felt whenever she saw that he was a miniature Jacob through and through.
"Thanks for the help," Jacob huffed at Embry as he set down the last box on top of the dining room table. "You know, I have no idea why I'm doing all the work when it's your girlfriend moving in."
"Because you're a sweetheart," Angela beamed as she skipped merrily into the living room, her living room too now. Then she pointed at Embry. "And he's a lazy ass."
Embry's head snapped up abruptly. "Aww, c'mon, baby, you don't mean that. I love you." Embry made his way to Angela and tried to grab her ass, not even having the decency to remember that there were other people, an infant included, in the room. She gave him a hard smack and he yelped. "Ow!"
She nodded. "You're still a lazy ass."
Ethan looked up at me with what I imagined was disapproval on his little face. He'd gotten so big from the time I first held him and time had flown by so quickly. He was now stumbling about, he was eating on solids and he even had random words that he could say: mama, dada, Gella (for Angela), Umby (for Embry) and suppy (his sippy cup) and quite a number of other words. His favourite thing to say ,though, was 'toddleloo', which he picked up from a kiddie's puppet video Charlie had sent for him. After that, 'Bye bye' never did catch on with him. The rest his vocabulary was whatever syllable popped into his head at the time but he seemed confident in what he was trying to say. He could wave goodbye and blow kisses (however his shyness had that one was reserved for me and Jacob). As Angela and Embry continued bickering, he looked at me as if to ask, 'Mama, why in the world would you choose these people to be my god parents?' His face was almost serious, his mouth pucker as he drank from his cup. Don't judge me, I thought. You'd be surprised how capable Angela and Embry were when they needed to be. I knew Ethan would be in good hands with them.
When Jacob came to sit with us on the sofa, putting an arm around us, Ethan's round face lit up and he decided that he wasn't hungry any more, immediately rejecting his sippy cup. With a little cry of dada, he reached his stubby baby arms out for his father and I didn't hesitate to hand him over. Watching Jacob with Ethan was one of my favourite things. It reminded me how lucky I was to have them in my life, even if they'd sort of just fell into my lap out of the blue. I watched as Ethan's chubby little hand played with Jacob's fingers and how he giggled every time Jacob tapped one finger lightly on his nose. He had Jacob's smile, even though his mouth was similar to mine and despite the fact that he only had tiny little teeth. He knew who we were to him. I was his mother and Jacob was his dad. We were a family.
Charlie adored Ethan. He was excited that he got to play a part in his features. He'd said that he'd take him fishing every chance he got from the moment he was old enough to head out into the water. I didn't doubt for a second that he would. Billy was even more excited about Ethan, but more that he'd finally have a grandson. For a long time, just talking about Ethan made his eyes water with tears. He'd pulled me aside one day to personally thank me. To actually thank me.
"Bella, you have no idea what you've done for us. Especially me." I'd had no idea what he was going on about but I just nodded to be polite. "I know I'm getting old and I don't have much time. There was a time I thought I'd never see Jacob settle down. I never worried about the girls. Rebecca's got a family in Hawaii and Rachael has Paul. After Sarah passed, it hit Jacob the hardest. He was just a kid. I wanted to at least know that Jacob would have someone when I was gone. And you've given him not only a partner, you've given him a child as well, which is more than I could have ever hoped for. Now an old man can rest easy knowing his only son has a family to take care of him." To say that I had been an emotional mess after that speech would have been an under statement. I didn't know how Billy had felt before and it was the saddest, most emotional moment ever. I didn't know what he meant when he said a grandchild was more than he could have hoped for. Had Jacob not wanted children? Either way, it didn't matter because Ethan was here now and Jacob loved him to pieces. I promised Billy that'd look after Jacob and Ethan and that I was more than proud to give our little boy his name.
Claire (who'd become quite the talker since I'd last seen her) had been more than facinated with Ethan. I had put him down for a nap at Rachael's place one day when she rested her arms on the edge bed and watched him for the longest time. She then looked at me with curiosity in her eyes and said, "Is Ethan a boy baby, Ms Bella?"
I smiled. "Yes, Claire, Ethan's a boy."
"Oh," she said and went back to watching him. There were two silent minutes and then she looked back at me. "Are you sure?"
And I just had to laugh. "Yes, I'm sure."
Another bout of silence before she asked,"Well, how come he doesn't look different? He looks the same as Hanna-Louise."
That cauht me off guard. What a weird question. I hoped this wasn't leading to a 'girls have this and boys have that' talk. So I settled for, "Why would he be different?"
She placed her chin on her arms, watching the baby as he slept. "Adam from kindergarden says that boys and girls are different and they look different," she began to explain. "I know it's true, too. Big people like you and Uncle Jay (she never got of the habit of calling him Jay) are different, old people like Sue and Harry are different and even little people like me and Adam are different." Then she turned to me with a troubled face. "But now I'm confused." I didn't even know she was old enough to know what confused meant. Where did she learn to speak so much? "It's my first time seeing a boy baby and he looks the same as Hanna-Louise, even though she's a girl baby. How come?"
Doing my best not to laugh, I explained to Claire that boys and girls look the same when they are born but grow differently so they look more different the more they grow " Like how Uncle Jay and me look more different than you Michael look different. When Hanna-Louise and Ethan get bigger, they'll also start to look different." She nodded thoughtfully for a second and seemed to find my answer acceptable. She suddenly skipped off to tell Quil that she now knew why "boy babies and girl babies looked a lot the same."
Anothering to be thankful for, Jane wasn't running around the streets screaming my name any more. Officer Benson (Alec Benson, who turned out to be her brother) had reported that they'd found her hding in her closet. Apparently, she thought the CIA was after her and that I was an under cover agent out to get her. She'd stopped taking her medication because she'd convinced herself that her psychologist was trying to poison her and the PPD/ Bipolar disorder got the better of her. She was now in a mental hospital near her home town. In some ways, I felt bad. It could be that she wasn't naturally a bitch but her brain kept telling her to be. And weren't mental disorders usually cause by childhood trauma? For all we knew, Jane could have had a seriously crap childhood and it turned her into a mental mess. But as long as my family was okay and Jane couldn't hurt anyone any more, including herself, I guess all was right in my world.
"Hey, Bella have you seen the view from here!" Angela squealed, snapping my out of my thoughts as she stood looking out from the balcony just outside the glass doors. With once last smile at Ethan playing with Jacob, I got up and went to join Angela. I was hit by a cool breeze that almost smelled like the ocean, but that might have been my imagination. She was right, the view of L.A was beautiful, all sunshine and tan bodies, even as winter approached. I never would have thought that this is how my life would turn out. Angela puts her arm around my waist and I put mine around her shoulder. "Look at us," she beamed. "Two young girls with completely new lives."
"Totally new," I agreed.
"Famous boyfriends, you have a kid, I have a new job and now here we are, The City of Angel's. Suits me, don't you think? Angela in Los Angeles!"
"I don't think they're prepared for you," I told her and we laughed together. It had been Angela's idea, about a few months ago, that we move to L.A. She'd said that she and Embry were getting pretty serious and that she'd started looking for jobs already. At first I wasn't sure if I wanted to. I thought it might be too complicated. Already, we'd been fighting off the paparazzi, all trying to get a picture of Ethan. It had been hectic they day we'd been discharged from the hospital to find camera men all over the place. Eric had had the great idea (for once) that they could all form a wall around me. Never passing up a chance to play celebrity bodyguard, Eric and Ben walked in front of us as we made our way to Jacob's car (convieniently and approproately being a black SUV with tinted windows), Jabob had his arm around me and Ethan, and Quil was on my other side. With four relatively tall men surrounding us, all they could see of Ethan was a glimpse of a duck themed baby blanket. Of course, Eric had been more excited to have appeared in People magazine. Angela had convinced me that it would be better in L.A. and Jacob and Embry agreed with her. "Paparazzi's not all that bad. Definitely not as bad a people make it seem. Besides, Jake's not famous enough to maintain the hype. Who wants a picture of him when there's more famous people around? They'll be focused on me again in no time . . ." After a bit of convincing, I decided that maybe it would be good to move. Jake and I waited for our lease to expire and we moved last month. Angela had said that she'd wait for me so that we could move together. Aro begged us to stay but Angela's enthusiasm was contageous and I couldn't change my mind. But after years working for Aro, I wasn't easy to make the decision to leave. I was gonna miss working there and all the drama we used to have. I wanted to stay at home a while with Ethan before I started looking for a job. I was way too attacthed to get a nanny or send him to day care just yet. Jake could go back to making movies, though he'd promised to spend most of his time at home. He didn't have to. I knew he loved his work.
"Come on, Bella," she said with a nudge in my side. "We have the good life."
"We do, don't we."
"I mean, we won't see each other at work everyday anymore but I'll always find a way to harass you and drag you to parties -"
"Hey, hey, hey! I'm a mother now. I can't be going off to parties!" And besides, I wasn't sure my body had been fully restored to it's former condition.
"Obviously, not those kind of parties. We are so over that. When you look out at the sky line," she waved her arm out in front of us as her voice turned into a motivational speaker "That right there is our future. The city is ours." The moment reminded me of our high school days when Angela had been desparate to leave Forks and get out into the world. She had managed to drag me into this dream of hers, of living in a fabulous city with fabulous people and fabulous boutiques. Her words, not mine. And now here we were; as she'd said, dating famous men and starting our lives in Los Angeles.
"You know, Ang," I sighed with affection, "throughout my life, you seem to have been the only constant."
"Proud to be. I can't imagine my life without you. If I moved to the moon, I'd drag you with me," and then she started singing California Girls by Katy Perry and bumping her hips side to side.
There in that moment, I knew that Angela and I were going to grow old together. We'd stuck together through our high school years, our college years and now our adult lives. We had moved cities and states together and had managed to get jobs together. There was no way we could separate now. Or ever. I should have known from that first day at Fork High School that I'd never be able to get rid of her and that I'd never ever want to.
Ethan finally fell asleep in his new crib, in his new nursery. I had been sad about leaving his old onwe behind bit Jacob said we could recreate it if I wanted. So we moved his crib into our room and made over this new room to look like the one we'd left behind. Jacob's old place wasn't exactly toddler-friendly and Ethan was staggering aroundevery chance he could get so we went and got a new place at Jacob's insistance. I'd come to notice that he'd had the habit of buying places willy-nilly. I made him promise that we wouldn't move again at least for another ten years and he'd agreed.
We watched Ethan sleep, still in awe of him as the first night we brought him home. He sucks on his bottom lip like I used to do as a child. Hopefully he'll grow out of it as quickly as I did. "I can't get over how perfect he is," Jacob whispered. He held me from behind and his chin rested on my shoulder as we watched over our baby.
"If you don't say so yourself," I laughed. "He looks exactly like you."
"He's perfect because he's half you," he said, kissing my cheek.
I turned around in his arms to face him and wrapped my arms around his neck. "Isn't it amazing? How that one night led up to all this? We literally bumped into each other and Bang! we have a family now."
"I would do it over and over again," he said with his charming smile. "I'd do anything over and over if it meant having you and Ethan." He pulled me close and kissed me passionately. I twisted my fingers in his hair and pressed myself to him. His hands slid down to my thighs and he lifted me so I could wrap my legs around his waist. Quietly leaving the nursery, he carried me to our room and laid me down on the bed. I ran my hands under his shirt and then pulled it off of him, tossing it aside. His hot lips on mine, his body is flat against mine. It's hard and smooth and lean lean muscle. It had been a while since I could be that close to him and, when I'd become mostly confident with my body, we took advantage of it. We made love as much as we could, making up for the months that he had been too gentle with me. I got wet easily and started pushing myself against the bulge in his sweat pants. He slid the strap of my night gown down my shoulder and kissed down my troat, palming at my left breast. I pushed his pants down as far as I could them and grinded against his erection. It felt so good to be with him properly, without him holding back on me. He tore my underwear off and pushed into me without the care hezld had when I was pregnant. He thrust into hard and quick as he held on to my hips. My body arch into his and my legs hold him to me as I gasp and moan quietly. I loved hearing groan in my ear and feeling his hot breath on me as he pushed and pulled me closer to climax. "Bella," sighed my name in my ear, moving his hips faster. He held my hips tighly as he brought us both to an orgasm and my body shook and trembled under his. I can't keep the air in my lungs and we both gasp as he collapsed beside me. He pulled me to him and I placed my cheek against his chest. We caught our breath in silence and enjoyed our closeness without words. I was tilting in and out of sleep when his lips are pressed to my forehead. "Marry me," he whispered.
"Is that your proposal?" I snorted sleepily. "Angela will be so disappointed."
"This is the Bella's-not-too-overdone proposal," he informed me and I listened to the rumble of his voice in his chest. "The way I know you'd prefer it. The Angela's-over-the-top proposal comes a little later."
"Oh," I grinned weakly with my eyes closed. "I like that."
"I know," he reminded me. "So marry me?" he asked again.
"Yes," I whispered and kissed him passionately. "Let's get married."
AN: Phelile! The Xhosa word for finished! I really enjoyed writing for you guys and I hope we can get together again on a new story. Like I said, there will be outtakes in the near future and between my other stories, so I hope to see you there. Toodleloo.