For those that want to, keep you're eyes open for my next story. It should be up within the next couple of weeks once I figure out where the story line will be going. Just to let you all know :)
This is officially the last chapter! Sad day. I hope it lived up to yal's expectations and according to some of the reviews lately, the story has. Thank you all so much again! You're amazing!
Christmas, 7 ½ years after L.A.
"MOM! DAD! WAKE UP!"
Clary groaned into Jace's chest, curling into him more when Emily jumped on their bed. The middle schooler was way too happy for Christmas. It made since, she was still a kid after all but sometimes, Clary wished that her adopted daughter would just sleep in.
Jace rolled his head towards his biological daughter, glancing at the clock as well. He groaned. "Emily, honey, it's six in the morning."
"But Daaaaaaaad. It's Christmas! James is awake already, so we're waiting on you. Now, get up!"
Clary smiled at the mention of James. A year after Jace had moved to Atlanta to play for the new MLS team, he proposed. They had been completely together for almost two years when Clary said yes. It was even cute how he had it set up too. He got Emily involved, his mother, even Jon helped out. Isabelle and Magnus were part of the photography. It was a night that Clary couldn't have imagined being more perfect.
It wasn't long after their wedding that they found out they were pregnant. Jace had never been so excited, and to Clary's relief, Emily was ecstatic. After arrangements were made, she had started to live with Clary and Jace again, much to Henry's sadness. But Henry and Charlotte had ended up adopted two twins after Emily chose to live with her father. It seemed to work out pretty well. She still kept in contact with them all the time.
Emily jumped on Jace's chest, giving him her best evil gaze. "Dad, if you don't wake up, I will tell James that Santa isn't real. I'm not scared to do it."
Jace shook his head, obviously not giving in. After the failure, Emily turned to Clary. The blonde girl put on the sweetest smile she could and stuck out her bottom lip. She was always different with Clary, turning on the charm that Jace taught her instead of the force she used with her dad. "Please, mommy? Please, please, please, please, please, please–"
"Okay," Clary chuckled. "Give us ten minutes. Make sure your brother is dressed and ready. And no spilling the beans about Santa." Emily cheered and jumped off the bed, running out of Clary and Jace's bedroom. "AND NO PRESENTS BETTER BE OPEN BEFORE WE GET OUT THERE!"
"Ugh, fine!" Emily yelled back from down the hall. "I'll try to keep my hands to myself!"
Jace chuckled and turned, pulling Clary into his chest as he smiled down at her, their foreheads pressing together. "You know her so well."
"She's just like her father," Clary shot back, leaning to give him a quick kiss. It turned from a simple kiss to a heated one within seconds. Jace rolled until Clary was straddling him, her red hair, still long and wavy, falling down around them like a curtain. He cupped her cheeks, holding her to him.
After a few minutes, they knew that they couldn't let it continue. Even after all these years, they still craved each other, and it's one of the things Clary loved. It wasn't always, but when they wanted to be close, it was intense. There wasn't a dull moment about it.
She had to pull back though. "Emily will kill us if she walks in on this."
Jace chuckled and nodded. "Remember last time?"
"Oh my god," Clary laughed, standing from the bed and walking towards the closet. "She just stared as we kissed. And then, being your daughter, she huffs, puts one hand on her hips, and says, 'Mom, Dad, there's a time and place for everything. This is not one of them.' I mean, what kind of child says that? She's supposed to be discussed, not sarcastic and annoyed."
Jace chuckled, standing from the bed when Clary tossed him his black jeans and a white t-shirt. "She's my daughter. What can I say?"
Clary rolled her eyes. "I shouldn't expect anything less. She's going to be handful when she starts dating. Our lives will be over."
After about fifteen minutes, Clary made her way to James' room to finish getting him ready while Jace took Emily to kitchen to make breakfast.
It was still mind-blowing to Clary that she had a child. Not just Emily, because being a mother wasn't the hardest part. It's the fact that James was her blood. It wasn't that she didn't love Emily, because she did. Emily was her daughter, end of story. But James was always different.
He sat in his bed, only his pants on. His body was so small compared to his father's. His head of hair looked like Jace's, curly and full, but had the red and blond mixed in, showing a strawberry blonde color. The freckles decorated his face across his tanned skin, and his eyes were a perfect mix of Jace and Clary – a little green with golden specs mixed in.
In his hands was an envelope. Clary smiled at him before sitting next to him, running her hands through his hair curls. "Merry Christmas, sweetheart. Are you ready?"
He smiled and nodded, staring at the envelope. "I am. I can't wait. I want to be the one to give it to Daddy."
"I know," she said, kissing the top of his head. "But you have to get dressed first."
He jumped up with a beaming smile on his face. Clary helped him get his shirt on, brush his teeth, and by the end of it, the five year old was ready. He stood in front of Clary and did a three-sixty. "Good?"
Clary nodded and grabbed his hand. "Good. Let's go."
Emily was sitting on the counter, kicking her feet against the cabinets when the pair walked into the living room. She glanced at the envelope in James' hand, gave him a wink, and jumped off the counter. With a nod from Clary, she grabbed her brother and took him towards the Christmas tree, hiding the envelope within the branches.
"So," Clary said when she walked over to Jace who was mixing the pancake batter. "Merry Christmas."
He smiled. "Merry Christmas. Do you know what time everyone will be here?"
"Simon and Isabelle should be here with Calum and Ashton after breakfast. And Celine called a few days ago while you were at training, she and Stephen will be here around noon. As for Alec and Magnus, well, depends on when they can separate themselves to get out of bed."
Jace chuckled at that. "Those two are like sex addicts–"
"Shh," Clary hissed. "Not in front of the kids," she said, gesturing to the two who were separating the presents into groups at the moment. "Besides, they just got married, give them a break. Or did you forget about how we were right after our wedding?"
Jace chuckled and nodded. "What about your brother and parents?"
"Why don't we focus on one thing at a time? They'll get here when they get here," she smiled. He arched an eyebrow at her carefully before she grabbed the bowl, putting it down and reaching for Jace's hands. "Come with me."
He followed silently without question. She pulled him towards the couch and told him to sit, taking his hands in hers. She kissed him quickly while the kids weren't looking. It was obvious Jace was so confused as he looked at the kids, back to Clary, back to the kids, before giving her a 'what is going on' look.
She chuckled. "James. Go ahead."
The little boy squealed as he jumped up and grabbed the envelope off the tree. Jace watched with a funny look on his face as James hopped in his father's lap, handing Jace the letter.
Emily jumped to sit on Clary's lap, trying to get the best view as Jace slowly took the envelope in his hands. It felt like an eternity as Emily gave Clary a knowing look, a huge smile on the girl's face.
"Why do I feel like I'm the only one out of the loop?" Jace asked with a chuckle when he reached inside to pull out a piece of paper.
James was practically bouncing off his dad's knee with excitement. Emily was the same, but Clary was still. She wanted to see Jace's face when he realized the words, when it hit him. His face when from confused, to eyes wide, to lost, to realization, and he looked at her with those golden eyes she loved so much. And she saw it in his eyes. He was overjoyed.
"You're pregnant?" Jace squealed, pulling Clary towards him.
The kids ended up getting stuck between the wife and the husband, complaining about the lack of air in their lungs. Emily tried to push her dad off but he just held on tighter, holding his family until James was about to wet himself with laughter.
"I can't believe it," Jace said. "I can't believe you're pregnant. How far along? You haven't even gotten sick yet."
"It's about a two weeks. Not enough to really do anything yet. I've was a late bloomer when it comes to the morning sickness with James, so it makes sense with this one. "
"You're pregnant," he repeated. His smile broke out into something that looked like the sun was shining. "I love you."
She smiled and leaned forward, planting a huge kiss on Jace's waiting lips. "I love you more."
"PRESENT TIME!" James yelled, racing Emily to the presents that were hidden under the tree. Jace and Clary just chuckled at their children. Looks like breakfast was going to have to wait.
By midafternoon, everyone was together. Calum, Ashton, James, Emily, and Jonathan Jr. (also known as J.J.) were running around outside in the snow. After playing, and failing at kickball with a new soccer ball that James got, they started to play with the new nerf guns or other toys they had gotten, even making snowballs and forts to battle with. Simon had gone with them. He claimed that he wanted to just make sure they were okay, but everyone knew that his nerdy, childish side wanted to shoot people with nerf guns and hit people with snow balls. He can't fool anybody.
Jocelyn and Luke, now married and living happily in the same house that Clary had grown up in, were sitting on the couch, talking to Alec and Magnus who had eventually made it out to the house. Jace had spotted a few scratches down Alec's back at one point when he was trying on the shirts that he got. But Jace didn't say anything. He knew better than to tease him around the kids. That would have to wait for a later date.
Meanwhile, Celine, Isabelle, Clary, and Jonathan (along with his wife, Jasmine) were sitting at the table playing cards, talking about the kids and who was doing what. It was odd to think they were all parents now. The college days were over. They had their own lives, but they were all still together after all these years.
Jace felt Stephen's presence beside him at the bar in the kitchen. He looked up, finding his identical figured father standing next to him, looking over Jace's mother with adoring eyes. "You know, I'm glad this all worked out like this."
Jace raised an eyebrow. "What do you mean?"
"You and Clary, the kids, your mother and I. I'm glad we can all be together. I know that things haven't always been perfect, but they've been pretty damn close the past couple of years. I couldn't have asked for anything more."
Jace nodded. "I know what you mean."
"And I'm glad that you and I have been able to work things out." He clapped Jace on the back, giving him a small smile. "I know that it was rocky at first, but you are my son. The first time we met, I didn't expect you to handle it so well. But at least we can say that it's in the past. It doesn't stop the fact that I just wish I could've been there before."
"The past is the past," Jace basically repeated. "You're here now. Emily and James know what their real grandfather is like, and that's all I need."
"Speaking of grandfathers, I know he isn't technically the grandfather, but what about Michael? Is he coming today?"
Jace shook his head. "As always, he's off doing something somewhere. He doesn't really talk much to me anymore. He called about two weeks ago to say he'd be in Europe during Christmas."
"I'm sorry, son."
"Don't worry about it," Jace shrugged it off without a hint of hurt. "I have all I need. Michael may have been the man to raise me, but he raised me to be someone I didn't want to be. Clary was the one that really made who I am today, and the ties I have with her and my family are the only thing that matters. Even if I do miss Michael sometimes, it's not something that will kill me. Clary knows that he'll always be a part of my life, but that's where it ends. He's a part that had to stop."
Stephen nodded and smiled at me. "Well, you always have me. I'm not going anywhere. You know that, right?"
Jace nodded with a small smile at his wife. She had given him a questioning look when she noticed him and Stephen talking. It wasn't that they hated each other. It was the opposite. They really did like each other and had a lot of the same interests and their wives got along and it worked, but it was more an awkwardness, an uncomfortable feeling around one another. They didn't like it, but it lingered for some reason. Not meeting your dad until you're in your twenties will do that to a person.
Jace nodded after a few moments. "Of course I know that."
Stephen smiled. "I'm glad. Even after all these years, sometimes I feel like I'm not here enough for you."
"Don't think like that. I'm fine. You can't really do much to teach me when I'm already an adult."
"I know that," Stephen said with a bit of sadness. "But that doesn't mean I don't try. I never had kids of my own, so I never knew what it was like to raise one. But seeing you, at least I know my one kid did pretty well if you ask me."
"You only say that because I get you free tickets to the MLS games," Jace teased.
Stephen chuckled. "I mean, I would be lying if I said that wasn't a perk of your job."
"Good to know you use me for your own amusement and entertainment. Turns out, my wife does the same thing." He shot Clary a wink when she looked up again. She immediately blushed went back to the cards, causing the two men by the counter to chuckle.
"You have a way with her," Stephen observed. "Even now, you still cause her to blush with a single wink. It's incredible, really."
"She loves me," Jace beamed. "Sometimes I still can't believe it. I put her through hell back in the day, and she's still here."
"Celine was the same way. We Herondale boys have a way of stealing the hearts of women who will actually put up with us and our nonsense." Stephen chuckled as Jace nodded with a small smile. "I mean, did I ever tell you about the time I accidentally burnt our house down. I destroyed everything, including her prized guitars. She was furious with me and actually slapped me so hard I saw stars. It was about a year before you came into my life."
Jace's jaw dropped. "What? What happened?"
Stephen leaned against the counter, his eyes off in the distance like he was remembering. "Well, the story goes like this…"
Emily slid behind the barrier of the ice wall that she and J.J. had spent twenty minutes building. She was barely able to dodge a snowball from the Lewis side of the family. Uncle Simon, Calum, and Ashton were on one side behind a fort, while Emily, J.J., and James were on the other. Actually, with the age differences, it was more like Emily vs. Simon. The others were too young, only being the ages of three to five.
"J.J., make some more snowballs," Emily demanded, picking her head up. Simon was looking over the other fort, smiled when he saw her, and chucked a massive one towards her. She immediately ducked, J.J. giggling next to her.
James was rolling up a snowball and handed it to her. And just as she turned to throw it, she heard Calum's giggle.
"Watch out," She yelled as Calum popped up and she rolled, just like her father taught her. Something that Jace always made sure of when Emily finally moved in with her father a few years ago was self-defense and how to agile. She was able to pop up just as James and J.J. were covered with snow and tossed the snowball at Calum, hitting him in the chest and knocking him into the snow.
She smirked but it dropped as soon as she realized she was unarmed and in the middle of the open space. The three who had been hit were now sitting by the porch, watching the action. Simon and Ashton both stood up from their barrier, smirking with a snowball in each hand.
"Give up, Emily," Simon demanded.
She lifted her hand and did the 'come here' gesture with her finger. "Bring it on, Uncle."
The four year old Ashton was too confused to realize what was actually going on. He just wanted to throw things and hit things, so he followed his father's lead as Simon stalked forward. But he didn't know one thing.
Emily had tucked a nerf pistol into the back of her pants. She took off running towards the woods in her backyard, dodging the snowballs that the pair was throwing.
"You can't run forever," Simon taunted.
She had her back up against the massive oak tree and reached behind her, pulling out the nerf pistol. Because of its size, she only had two shots. One for each of the remaining Lewis boys. She smirked. Her father would be proud.
"You going to come get me?" she called out.
Simon chuckled. "Ahh, the family is here to watch you lose."
She poked her head out to see that the whole family had emerged on the porch. James was being held by Jace now, and she smiled at the fact that Simon was about to get embarrassed right in front of Isabelle. This was the moment that Emily lived for. Embarrassing her Uncle gave her an amusing high that the eleven year old just loved.
Emily ducked back just as Simon threw his last snowball. It hit the tree and busted. Now was her chance.
"Sucker," she smirked as she turned, the nerf gun in her hand. She didn't hesitate before firing, hitting Simon right in the chest form the fifteen foot distance. Simon glared at her for a moment, realized what happened, and pointed towards the nerf bullet on the floor.
"You cheated," he claimed.
She shrugged. "The game was to not get hit. You never exactly explained what you could or couldn't get hit with."
"She's got a point," Jace called from the porch. Clary glared at him for butting in and he just held his hands up. "Just saying."
"Who asked for your input?" Simon yelled back, tempted to flick the man off. "Stay out of this, Jace!"
Ashton walked over to his father, pulling on Simon's leg. "Daddy, you're dead. You have to act dead."
"Daddy! It's part of the game."
Emily laughed and shrugged with one shoulder, showing a similar smirk that Jace had perfected over the years. "It's part of the game, Uncle Simon. You might want to go ahead and die now."
Simon glared at her, something he wasn't scared to do, before finally acting like he was actually shot. He groaned, grabbed at his chest, and fell back in the snow, eyes closed and moaning before pretending he was dead. Ashton clapped next to him, chuckling a little but frozen when Emily moved.
She walked forward, her foot coming down on Simon's chest in victory. "Ashton, isn't there something you need to say? Or would you rather I shoot you too?" She pointed the gun at him, giving him a casual wink.
The little boy shook his head quickly and raised his hands. "I surrender."
"That's my girl!" Jace yelled, fist in the air. "The winner! Suck it, Rat boy! " And that only resulted in two slaps in the back of his head – one from Clary and one from Isabelle.
With the kids and Simon playing in the snow, Jace started up a fire to warm them up before someone got sick. The six sat in a huddle by the fireplace, blankets and new clothes draped across their bodies after hot showers. Clary had made hot chocolate with Isabelle, but Jace made sure Isabelle didn't actually touch anything. So the rest of the adults sat in the living room on the couches, smiling and laughing.
They sat for a while before Alec and Magnus excused themselves. They claimed they had somewhere to be, so they all said their goodbyes. Next was Jonathan, his wife, and J.J., and then Jocelyn and Luke. Jace still smirked at the fact those two were married. He liked to tease Clary about the fact that he called that from the day he heard about the two and she didn't see it coming. After that argument and few more, Simon ended up pulling his family away, claiming he had to see his mother and sister before the night ends. Jace knew that he just wanted to get away from the trash talk since he lost at everything.
And then, after that, Celine and Stephen left, leaving the Herondales – Jace decided to change his name legally to Herondale instead of Wayland – all took to their pajamas and their bedrooms.
Jace and Emily headed into James' room, helping the little boy into bed like they always did. Jace played his guitar, something he started to do a few years ago when his mother taught him. She was incredible and was a great teacher. It helped a lot since James was a noisy child, and the sound of music always calmed him. They had a feeling he would grow up to want to be a musician someday.
Once he was asleep, they walked towards Emily's. She was already tucked in, a book in her hands. She looked up as they entered and hugged her parents goodnight. And finally, after a long day, Jace was able to have Clary to himself.
When they got to their bedroom, Jace let her through first with a knowing smirk on his face. He closed and locked the door behind him, watching as she walked over to the bathroom and immediately started to take off her clothes. She seemed to know he was watching, and he leaned against the bathroom doorway and watched the show.
"So did you like the present?" she asked, holding her hand out. He slipped out of his jacket and his t-shirt, handing it to Clary, who immediately put it on. She liked sleeping in his stuff for some reason, and he wasn't about to complain.
He nodded though. "I can't believe you're pregnant again. We're going to have a baby girl. I can feel it."
"And if I want another boy?"
He shrugged. "Looks like you're going to be sorely disappointed."
Clary chuckled. "I don't really think the choice is ours, babe. We get what we get, and we don't pitch a fit. Remember?"
With a chuckle and a nod, he stepped forward and wrapped his arms around Clary. No words were spoken as she closed her eyes when his hands ghosted along her legs, past her panties, and under his t-shirt she wore, halting at her stomach.
It was always odd to him. His baby was growing inside of his wife. It was strange with Jessamine, and it's just as weird with Clary. Not that he wasn't happy, but the idea was just insane. It takes two, and Clary was willing to have another child with him.
His chin rested on her shoulder as her hands found their way into his curls. This was what he loved about her. The soft touches were his favorite. There were mornings that he would wake up to her tracing his skin with her fingertips. She was gentle like the artist that she was, but he loved all aspects where she could be rough and calm and relaxed and excited and he just loved her. After all these years, he still loved her.
In silence, Jace reached down after a few minutes and pulled Clary into his arms, bridal style. It was just like how they did on their wedding night. A night he would remember for the rest of his life.
Gently, he placed Clary on the bed, immediately hovering over her. The kiss that they shared was so full of love that it made Jace warm inside, like they almost always did. His wife's arms wrapped around his neck, pulling him down until he was pressing against her everywhere, a smile on his lips against her own.
"Merry Christmas," she whispered against him, leading her lips from his own to his neck and his collarbones, back up to his cheek before pressing her forehead to his. "I love you."
Jace groaned when he recognized the voice of Emily. Of all the timing in the world, his daughter's was far less than perfect. But neither adult actually wanted to move. Jace put his finger to his lips when he pulled back, smirking at Clary playfully.
"If we're quiet," he whispered. "She'll think we're asleep."
"I heard that," Emily said through the wall, banging on the door. "Stop whatever is happening. I want to talk to you guys about something. PLEASE!"
"Come on," Clary said with a smile. "I'll make it up to you later." She kissed him quickly one more time before pushing him off and walking towards the door. She unlocked it to find Emily standing there with her hands behind her back and a small, innocent smile on her face. "What is it, sweetheart?"
"I know that Christmas is almost over, but…"
Jace sighed from the bed. "What is it? Spit it out."
"Can I have a puppy?"
"You–" Jace groaned and wanted to pull his hair out. His daughter interrupted him and Clary to ask for a puppy at eleven at night? What goes on in that child's head? "Are you kidding me? Emily, go to bed."
He shot up in bed, glaring at his daughter. If anyone else would've seen this, they would've thought they were more like brother and sister than father and daughter. "Emily, get out of here and go to bed. We'll talk in the morning. And if you argue, I'm not afraid to stop you from going to England to see Uncle Henry and Aunt Charlotte next week. Understand?"
"But I–" She sighed in defeat and dropped her head. "All I wanted was a puppy. Jeez," she claimed as she walked off towards her room again." Someone is a little grumpy."
Clary closed the door and locked it with an amused smile on her face. She walked back over to Jace, crawling on the bed while he sulked in his annoyance. "You know, a puppy might not be a bad idea. Maybe it'll help tame whatever fire she has."
"Here's a good idea," Jace shot back as he grabbed her, pulling her under him again. Their lips collided heatedly this time, not the slow lingering like before. His hands grabbed at the shirt on Clary, and pulled it up slowly. "Don't you agree?"
Clary smirked and nodded. "Let's see what you're made of."