"'Merry X-Mas, Sister Dear'," Kelly read the hand-sketched greeting card her little sister had sent to her. Erin (who called herself Silver) was a freshman in high school now. Kelly and Brandon parents of four nine month old kids… Time sure flew by - and fast too.
"'Xmas'?" Brandon echoed. He was sitting on the floor struggling to wrap a particularly unwieldy package. With the dawn of Christmas morning mere hours away, he was feeling the time crunch.
"Yeah, she apparently thinks writing hyphens is cool in that not-trying-to-be-cool, cynical way of hers. Look, she even drew a lop-sided tree with pine needles falling off it all over the place." Kelly showed Brandon the front of the card.
"Charlie Brown's tree was not even that ugly."
Kelly laughed. "I should be insulted on my sister's behalf but this was her attempt to say 'Xmas' sucks and commercialism is taking over all of us."
"Whoa. You got all that just one weird sketch?"
"Yes. Plus she told me that much when we hung out last week with Mom."
"How is Jackie?"
"Good. Sober again. Which reminds me, our annual Chrismukkah family get-together is going to be completely non-alcoholic this year."
"Chrismukkah," Brandon scoffed but he was smiling. At least until the tape caught on another package and when he gave it a tug to free it, it took the wrapping with it. "Shit."
Kelly smiled and grasped his shoulders. "Okay, Brandon, you finish weeding through the pile of cards and I'll finish the wrapping."
"Good. Then maybe everything won't look like a five-year-old's messy art project."
"Now, Brandon, let's be fair here. Five year olds have done better wrapping," Kelly teased.
Brandon smirked at her. "Touché. But fine. Have at it. Let's see how perfect your wrapping skills are at three a.m. in the morning."
Kelly smiled. "Watch the master."
Brandon shook his head at her. "Awfully smug tonight, aren't we?"
"I can afford to be," Kelly said. She wrapped her arms around his broad shoulders and brushed her mouth against the column of his throat. She kissed the taut skin there briefly as he reached up and tangled his fingers in her shoulder-length golden locks. "I have everything I want right here in this house."
Brandon smiled. "I agree. I love this house. And not just because my parents are renting it out to us for pennies on the dollar … But because you're here and our kids are here. It's … everything."
Kelly nodded and kissed his neck again. Brandon smiled at her, twisting his head so their lips brushed in a tantalizing kiss. "Can we forget the wrapping and the Christmas cards for now?" Brandon asked.
Kelly smiled. "I take it you'd rather unwrap me."
Brandon's fingers moved to knot in the fabric of her nightie. "What do you think?"
Kelly smiled and reached for his hand. "Well, get up here. I want my present now."
Brandon got off the couch and immediately moved onto the sofa with Kelly. "How many euphemisms for early Christmas morning sex can we come up with?"
"Shhh. Just kiss me, Brandon."
"Mmm… Alright," he murmured as she reached for the hem of his tee-shirt, giving it a tug over his head. In no time, they were making love and it was amazing as it always was.
Y – Yolanda
It had taken a year but finally, David and Donna were getting their own miracle. Two days ago they had brought home a little girl named Yolanda, who was theirs for always. Today, Brandon, Kelly and their ever-active toddlers were coming to meet the newest member of their extended clan. Kelly felt oddly nervous. Some part of her wondered if Yolanda would like her and if she didn't, would that put distance somehow between her and David and Donna?
"Don't worry," Brandon said as he looked over at her in the passenger seat of their SUV. Sure enough, they had never gotten a mini-van for which Kelly was extremely thankful. "She's going to love you."
"How did you know what I was thinking about?" Kelly asked. "Never mind. You always know."
"I like to think I know you by now," Brandon said and Kelly nodded. Of course he did. He knew her and loved her better than anyone else in the whole world.
"We're here," Brandon announced two minutes later as they pulled up in front of the Silver beach house. They could hear the waves crashing on the sand as they all piled out of the car. Brandon held Zara and Suri's hands as Kelly guided Braedan and Sonny along. They quads walked very well by now but it was their tendency to run that made Kelly and Brandon nervous. They were protective parents; it was just how they were, and they both reasoned that it was better to be safe than sorry.
"Here we go," Kelly said, taking a deep breath as Brandon leaned against the doorbell. In no time, Donna was throwing back the door and the most brilliant smile was on her face. She looked happier than Kelly had ever seen her and it made many of Kelly's insecurities melt away.
"Come in, come in," Donna said and held back the door so they could all go inside. The door shut after them and the quads were immediately taking off to play. There was a kid-sized ball pit and all manner of toys lumped in the middle of the living room. They were in heaven.
"So where's the guest of honor?" Brandon asked.
"Here she comes," Donna said and clapped her hands excitedly as David was leading a little girl only a bit bigger than the quads over to them. She was dressed in a gorgeous blue dress and her beautiful, dark, curly hair was hanging down her tiny shoulders.
"Oh, Don," Kelly said and hugged her friend. "Your daughter is beautiful."
A tear escaped Donna's eye. "I love that phrase. 'Your daughter'… My daughter. It's an amazing feeling!"
David led Yolanda to them and made the introductions. The room was crowded with people and Yolanda looked intimidated but eventually began to smile as everyone cooed over how cute she was.
Before long, Kelly, Brenda and Donna were sitting on the sofa together. Yolanda was sitting on Donna's lap, resting her head against Donna's chest.
"She's so sweet," Brenda said. She reached out and squeezed Donna's arm and that's when Kelly spotted a ring on her finger. Kelly beamed.
"Wow, Brenda, that's some bling!"
Donna's eyes widened. "Oh my gosh it is!" Donna enthused. "Ryan and you…?"
Brenda nodded. "Yes. He proposed last night actually. It was all very romantic and the way he looked at me… Well, how could I say no?"
"You're happy," Kelly said. It wasn't a question.
Brenda nodded. "Yes, very." They all noticed Yolanda eyeing Brenda's ring. Brenda smiled at her. "You want to see?"
Yolanda nodded and Brenda slipped the diamond off and set it in Yolanda's little hand. The girl smiled at Donna and she gave her an encouraging smile back. "Try it on, Mija," Donna said.
Yolanda slipped it on her thumb and it was very loose but she held up her hand, examining it with a smile. "Yo quiero," she said and giggled softly.
"I like it too," Brenda said.
Yolanda held out her hand to Kelly to show her. "Yo quiero tambien," Kelly said and when Yolanda realized Kelly could understand her native language, she broke out into little giggles and offered Kelly her free hand. Kelly squeezed it and smiled back. She then looked at her toddlers who were busy tearing up the room. She spotted Brandon talking to Ryan and she smiled at her husband. He winked back at her.
In that moment, she knew the truth. Her life had come full circle. She felt complete.
Z – Zoo
"Next stop, the zoo!" Brandon said as he piloted the SUV down the road. This was to be the quads first trip to the zoo. They were three now and it seemed the right time to take them.
''Zoooooo," Suri singsonged. Before long the others were joining it, alternately chanting and singing. "We're going to the zoooooo. The zoooooo!"
Kelly twisted in her seat to look at them. "My little rock stars!" she said.
They all smiled at her and went back to singing. The girls favored Brandon in looks and the boys had shocks of thick blonde hair like Kelly. Kelly and Brandon tried not to be too conceited but they thought their kids had to be the cutest kids ever.
Before long, they reached the zoo. David, Donna and a now-six year-old Yolanda were standing at the gate with Ryan and a pregnant Brenda who had her hand on her growing belly. She was only four months along but she was, naturally, having twins and she was carrying large.
Kelly and Brandon waved to them as the kids joined up with their friend Yolanda. They called her their "Prima" and she was teaching them Spanish words whenever she could. She was fluent in English now too.
Everyone was smiling as they paid for their tickets and pushed through the gates. They rented two toddler strollers for the quads and then headed to the first "exhibit" which was actually a snack cart. They all got churros and then walked on. Brandon pushed one stroller with his left hand and held Kelly's hand with his right one. They looked at each other and smiled. This was a good life. It was their life and they were together - happy with four energetic kids, and a ton of family members and friends.
Things had ended up the way they were always meant to.
Hot damn! It's done. It's done. Can I just dance now? Lol I love finishing fics, especially ones I've been working on for so long. I hope you liked it. I want to give a special shout-out to my most faithful readers and reviewers. You all seriously rock! Thanks for taking this journey with me. I promise that I will write Brandon/Kelly again someday! They will always have a large piece of my heart.