Fifty Shades of Healing Together
Epilogue Part 2
10 Years Later
"Absolutely not Teddy, you are ten years old, ask me again in four or five years and I will say yes, but not now. You are too young."
"Fine" Teddy pouts and storms off. I look at his retrieving figure and sigh. Lately Teddy has become quite a challenge. He is a lot like Christian and I secretly enjoy it to see Christian deal with someone who is as stubborn as he is. Sadly, today I am the mean parent. Apparently, one of Teddy's friends is allowed to drive the car of his parents on their property and now Teddy wants to drive, too. We had this discussion all morning and my answer has remained no, causing my son to try to argue with me.
It's not that I don't want him to do fun things, but he wanted to drive around our property in Christian's R8 and even I have trouble handling that car, so there is no way I allow my 10-year-old son behind the wheel. Now he is probably in his room sulking and waiting for Christian to come home. Teddy knows that he will get the same answer from his father, but that doesn't stop him from trying it.
Two years ago Christian took back the role as CEO of his company. Ros' girlfriend Gwen was diagnosed with a brain tumor and there was nothing the doctors could do to help her. Her last wish was to become a mother, everyone told her that it was a very high risk to go through with a pregnancy, but it was what she wanted so she and Ros found a donor to help them and 11 months later she gave birth to a beautiful girl they named Destiny Hope. Sadly, because Gwen couldn't take any medication during her pregnancy the tumor grew so fast that she passed away only 10 weeks after her daughter was born.
Ever since then Ros has changed her life completely. She has stopped smoking and is all about living healthy now. She stopped working and moved into a nice home not to far from us where she lives with Destiny. I now call her one of my best friends, she stops by quite often and we all do what ever we can to help her. Especially when Gwen's parents tried to gain custody of Destiny. They had never approved of the life their daughter had chosen and they did not want Ros to raise their granddaughter. But with the help of Carrick Ros was able to gain full custody of Destiny. Her grandparents have visitations rights, but so far they only came to see her two times. After all they have put Ros through while she was still mourning the loss of the love of her life I'd say it's for the best that they don't show up often.
With Christian back at GEH I had to step back from some of the charity work I was doing at the time, but Christian's work comes first. He has so many people working for him all over the world, that I took a step back gladly. And I still have the Rose Foundation.
Shortly after Teddy and Rachel were born I decided that I needed to do something about the Lambert money. At first Christian had Welch investigate to find out if there were any living relatives of Frank Lambert. After months of investigations the only living relative turned out to be a guy named Nick Porter, who was back then and still is serving prison time for killing his girlfriend. He won't be released for another 25 years and by then he will be well in his nineties.
So giving him the money was not an option and giving it to my mother even less so. In the end I came up with the idea of the Rose Foundation. I've put all the money except for what I saved for my siblings in it and by now it helps thirty different charities all over the world. I have a great team that does most of the work and I also jump in when ever I have the time, but for most parts I am just taking care of my family.
With 7 kids there is always a lot going on around the house and we had to hire more security now that they are older. Each kid is allowed to have two hobbies outside of school and driving them all would have been nearly impossible to schedule for me. Especially because the ballet classes Ariana, Rachel and Phoebe are taking are at the same time as the soccer practice for Teddy, Jacob, Gracie and Trina. Now we have two more female CPO's and three more male CPO's. And because I don't want my kids to feel like they can't protect themselves they are all enrolled in a self-defense class for kids. I know with the security my kids are a lot more protected than other kids, but I still want my children to know how to handle a dangerous situation.
"Ana?" I look up to find Maria standing in the doorway to the living room.
"Mr. Grey is on the phone. He couldn't reach your cell phone." Darn, I forgot to charge it yet again. Rolling my eyes at myself I take the phone from her and flop down on the sofa.
"Hey babe, sorry I forgot to charge my phone."
"It's okay, I just wanted to tell you that I can come home early today, I called my parents and Ray, they'll come over later. It's nice outside I thought we could have a BBQ."
"Yes, sounds great. Oh and by the way Teddy is in his room sulking yet again."
"He asked me if he can drive your R8 in the driveway and I told him that there is no way he can drive it."
"What? Are you kidding me, why would he even ask?"
"Well, one of his friends is allowed to drive on his parent's property and he wanted to do it, too. I told he not to ask me again before he is at least 14 or 15 and he stormed off to his room, where he is now waiting for you to come home, so he can ask you."
"Yeah, no way in hell I'll let him drive the R8. I like my kids healthy and alive. Anything else that I need to know?"
"No, Ariana is in the pool with Elijah. I have Wellens outside watching them and the rest of the girls and Jacob are upstairs helping him to build the model kit Elliot gave him for his birthday, so far there is no screaming and no one came running into my arms in tears, so I guess all is going well."
"Good, man I can't wait for next week. Two weeks baby, just us" he says and I sigh.
"I can't wait either, I miss our island."
"Me too, so I have to go, I'll be home in an hour. I love you."
"I love you, too." I hang up and smile. Next week Christian and I will go to our island. Two weeks, just us. For the last couple of years Christian and I decided that each year we would go on vacation alone for two weeks. It's just our way to make sure that we have enough time as a couple and not just as parents. It's so easy with seven kids and Christian's work to let our relationship as a couple slide. So we make sure to have our annual vacations and date nights.
So far it works perfectly for us and still to this day I feel like I am falling in love with
my husband every day anew. Of course, sometimes we have small arguments, but other than that I would even go so far as to say that we have the perfect marriage.
There was one time though, where I thought he would never talk to me again. Man, even now I feel tremendously stupid and selfish. It had taken me nearly six months to bounce back to my pre-pregnancy weight after the quints were born, but my belly was ruined. The skin looked like an inflated balloon and no amount of workout could fix it. I was so disgusted by it that I didn't even allow Christian to see my belly and made sure I was always wearing one of those belly wraps and to lock the bathroom door when I was taking a shower or bath.
Christian was really annoyed with me at that point, but I was still not willing to let him see my stomach. I was convinced that he would be repulsed by it. So, I decided to get a tummy tuck. I got the appointment, talked to the doctor and waited until a couple of days before the date to tell Christian, knowing that he wouldn't like me undergoing surgery.
So, I went into his study, told him what I wanted to do and he told me no. We started to argue and he demanded to see my belly. In the end I gave in showed him and his reaction was to stare open-mouthed and wide-eyed for a moment, which was enough for me to run from his study crying.
Christian followed me but I refused to talk to him, which in turn drove him insane and the next day we ended up screaming at each other and not talking until I had the tummy tuck. In hindsight, I should have waited. I mean what was I thinking to get a surgery like that done with two toddlers and five babies? I was in pain for weeks and ended up hating the scar almost as much as the way my belly looked before. Now it's good, my belly looks normal and the scar has faded so much I barely notice it, but one thing is for sure, I wouldn't do it again.
Not that I would ever consider to try for another baby. Sure, sometimes I get baby fever when I see someone with a new-born baby, but then I remind myself of everything Christian and I had to go through especially with the quints and I am blissfully happy that my family is complete.
"MOMMYYYYYYYYYYYY!" I hear Jacob yell from upstairs and wince. Oh boy, I should have know that my kids being quiet for a change can't be a good sign. So, I hurry up the stairs and find him in tears at the top of the stairs.
"What is wrong, sweetheart?" I ask and pull him into my arms.
"They ruined it" he sniffs.
"Your model kit?" I ask and he nods. "Come on, lets see what happened." I take his hand in mine and we go into his room. On the floor is the model plane broken in half and for some reason there is pink glitter all over his carpet and the girls are still arguing.
"Girls, hey! What happened in here?" I have to raise my voice to get their attention and Phoebe speaks up first.
"We wanted to make the plane look pretty Mommy, and Jacob wouldn't let us, then he and Trina started to pull on it until it broke in half and the glitter fell to the floor."
"He broke it Mommy, I just wanted to put the glitter on it" Trina pipes up immediately.
"Well darling, have you thought about the fact that your brother didn't want pink glitter on his plane?"
"But we wanted it to be pretty mommy. Jacob wanted to wait for uncle Elliot to help him draw flames on it, but pink glitter is so much nicer" Trina explains and I sigh.
"Look Trina, this was Jacob's birthday present, not yours. If he told you he doesn't want the glitter on it then you should have respected his wishes. Now, I want all of girls to clean this mess up. Go and ask Maria to give you a hand vacuum cleaner and I will check the room in 20 minutes."
"Okay" all four girl answer with a pout and Jacob follows me into the hallway.
"How about we get you a new model plane this weekend?"
"But it's not the same and uncle Elliot promised to stop by and look at it when it is ready." he explains and I can already see fresh tears threatening to fall from his eyes.
"How about we call uncle Elliot and tell him what happened? I bet he will understand and come to see the new model plane, too."
"Promise?" he asks looking a little more hopeful now.
"Promise, now come on, we will call uncle Elliot and then while we wait for your sisters we can have a glass of milk and some of the cookies Mrs. Gail brought over for us earlier."
"Cool!" he says and hurries down the stairs.
"No running on the stairs, Jacob!" I call after him and roll my eyes. Seriously, there are sentences I say so often I should just tape them and replay them all the time. No running on the stairs would definitively make that list, along with 'if it is not yours then please give it back to your brother or sister', 'don't put so much on your plate if you are not going to eat it', 'no, we won't buy a puppy for each of you' and of course my personal favorite ' do your homework'. I have no idea how often I had to say this last sentence since the kids all started school, but sometimes even I cringe when I have to say it yet again.
Thank the Lord they are all good in school and for most parts they do their homework without Christian or I having to breathe down their necks, but especially Teddy and Gracie are lazy when it comes to their homework. One time I had a little argument with Christian when I found him doing Gracie's homework while she was lying on her bed playing with her Nintendo DS. She had managed to convince Christian that she wasn't feeling well, so he did it for her. Let's just say she wasn't too happy that I took her Nintendo DS from her and refused to give it back until she had done all of her homework herself. When it comes to the girls Christian just can't help himself and they know exactly that they have him wrapped around their fingers.
A little later Jacob's room is clean again and he is happy, because Elliot told him he would buy him a new model kit and that he would stop by this weekend so they could build it together. Now he is playing with Teddy, who is still ignoring me, but at least he is downstairs now playing X-box with Jacob while the girls are playing with Ace and Archer, Patrick's dog.
I miss my brother, but he lives in Singapore now. A year ago Christian opened an office of GEH there and because Patrick worked for GEH since he graduated from Harvard Christian asked him if he wanted to run the office in Singapore. At first I was shocked, but Patrick was over the moon and of course it is such a big opportunity for him that he just couldn't let it pass.
He and Nataly married three weeks before their move and now she is expecting their first child. I am so happy for them and I am looking forward to us visiting them once Nataly had the baby. I'm glad that they are married now. They ended their relationship when Patrick went to Harvard while Nataly studied at UCLA. They always stayed in contact and after college when they both moved back to Seattle they went out together a couple of times and started to date again. Patrick told me he always knew that she was the one for him and it was the same for her.
Jenny is happy too, she has married her boyfriend a couple of months ago and they are very happy. They don't want children, Jenny still has to take her medication and she is afraid that it would harm the baby if she would go through with a pregnancy. I know another reason why she doesn't want to have children is that she is afraid to turn out like our mother as a parent.
Our mother... her marriage didn't last. I guess after her new husband discovered what kind of person she truly is he couldn't get out of their marriage fast enough. She got a lot of money out of the divorce; but karma had different plans for her. Namely a 25-year-old toyboy named Juan who she thought was the love of her life, until he left her when she had no more money. She tried to convince me to give her money, but I told her it was her own fault that she was broke and she had to find her own way out of her dilemma. After that she never contacted me again, I know she is still alive and has married again, but not a rich guy like her last husband. As long as she stays out of my life, I don't care. If I have learned anything in my life than it is that you should always be thankful for the good things in your life and not feel pity for the bad things.
After all, if I want motherly advise I have Grace. She has become a mother to me, too and I feel blessed with the family I have. My mother made her own choices and if she believes that neglecting her children is what she needs to do in order to feel good about herself, so be it.
Some women are just not made to be a mother, while others have so much motherly love that they can give that love to children they didn't bring into this world, too. Like Gail. When Elijah was a year old Taylor took full custody of his daughter Sophie. Her mother is such a selfish person; one night Taylor got a call from Sophie who was crying that she was scared, because someone was in the house and she was alone at home. Needless to say that he called the police and drove over there right away. Thank God what Sophie heard was just a cat that got into the basement through an open window, but it turned out that her mother was going out every night leaving her alone and sometimes she would even stay away the entire weekend leaving Sophie on her own.
Poor Sophie was too scared to tell her Dad, because her mother had told her she would end up in state care if she would tell him about her mother being away all night. With the help of Carrick Taylor gained full custody of his daughter and Gail gave her the love of a mother that Sophie had never experienced before. She has turned 18 last month and will study at WSU. Much to her father's delight she has decided to become an attorney, and if there is one thing that I can say about Sophie Taylor than it is that once she has made up her mind about something, there is nothing that could stop her from achieving her goal.
I hope my children are going to find the career of their dreams, too. So far, Phoebe Trina and Gracie want to be actresses or singers one day, Teddy wants to be a professional soccer player, Jacob is totally into planes and wants to be a pilot one day and Ariana told us that when she is a grown up, she wants to marry Elijah and become a mommy. That freaked Christian out, because of course all he could think of is how babies are made and that he does not want to think about his daughter having sex one day. Funny enough, I would put all my money on Ariana taking over GEH one day.
Out of all our children she is the one who tries to negotiate her way out of everything and most of the time she has good points. I love to see her and Christian argue, it's like watching him argue with himself.
"Baby?" I look up from the kitchen counter where I am cutting some veggies for a salad and smile at Christian.
"Hi" I lean over the counter to kiss him and he smiles against my lips.
"Teddy still pouting?"
"Yup, he is giving me the silent treatment now, but at least he came down to play with Jacob, who by the way was really upset earlier on."
"The girls wanted to help him build his model plane, all went well until the girls wanted to put pink glitter on it. It ended in a pulling match and the plane broke in half. But it's all good now, Elliot is coming over this weekend to build a new one with him. No pink glitter this time."
"Well, I would be upset too, if you wanted to put pink glitter on Charlie Tango." he chuckles.
"Good for you that pink is not one of my favorite colors."
"Are the kids all in the family room?"
"No, the girls are outside by the treehouse, I have security watching them and Wellens is still watching Ariana and Elijah in the pool." I tell him and his brows furrow.
"Christian, come on, they are kids." I giggle.
"Yes, but they are getting older, do you think they have already made out?" he asks and I roll my eyes.
"Seriously Christian? Ariana is seven and Elijah is nine, they are not making out. Good grief, did you think about making out at that age, because I certainly didn't!"
"I guess not, well I go check on them and have a talk with Teddy." he says and I watch his fine ass disappear out of my view.
Hmm I can't wait for tonight after the kids are all sleeping and I have my man all to myself...
One week later
"Do you hear it?" I ask while I stretched out on a blanket next to Christian on our island.
"Exactly, there is nothing. No phones that are constantly ringing, no dings of a computer with incoming emails or kids yelling at each other." I sigh and take a sip of my cocktail.
"And there is no one watching, so I am treated to this very sexy sight" he smirks and lets his fingers slide over my exposed breasts. I catch his hand and kiss his palm, making him smile.
"Did you think our live would be like this, this perfect?" I ask and turn to my side so I can look at him.
"Baby, before I met you I didn't even believe that I would ever have a life like this. And then you came into my life and everything changed. I don't know how I got this lucky or what I did to deserve you, but all I know is that as long as I have you by side life will always be perfect." he says and I feel tears burn in my eyes.
"Then I guess our life will always be this perfect, because I am not going anywhere..."
I'm so sorry that it took me so long to get this last chapter posted, but every time I opened the document to write it all that came to me was a scene where Ana was attending the graduation ceremony of the quints wishing that Christian could be there with her, but he had died several years ago... I guess I don't need to explain why I didn't want to write that... but in the end this came to me and I could finally write the last part of FSOHT.
I want to thank all of you who read/reviewed/followed and favorited this story, it really means a lot to me and has made this a great experience. I will probably go back once I have a little time and fix all the typos and grammar mistake I've made especially in the early chapters and might add some one-shots. Though for now I need to concentrate on my other stories...
Again thank you all so much for sticking around and all the positive feedback you have given me for my first story :-)