Rae of Light

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Epilogue

“Mama!”

I scowled at the young, redheaded hellion that ran into the kitchen with muddy shoes. “How many times I have to tell you, Isaac, to put the shoes outside so they wouldn’t dirty the entire house?”

My eight-year-old boy had the dignity to blush. “Sorry,” he said sheepishly, greenish-blue eyes like his father’s looking at me guilelessly and sweetly that I wanted to show him off like I often did whenever I met Isy and Jez, my best friends. “But, mama! Gwen said - “

At the same moment into the room entered a frizzly-black-haired girl with muddy-brown eyes, who was my ten-year-old daughter. “Oh, come on, Isaac,” she rolled her eyes at her younger brother. “Mama doesn’t have time for your stupidity.”

“Gwen,” I warned. “Don’t call your brother stupid. And now,” I looked at Isaac. “What exactly did Gwen say?”

“She called me stupid again!” Isaac’s face was scrunched in anger. “Tell her I’m not stupid!”

“You’re so loud,” said a fourteen-year-old teenage-boy that looked at us all with indifferent blue eyes and tousled black hair. Chance was, by far, the one who resembled his father the most. He was as handsome and soon-to-be hottie as his father and I was proud of the young man he was going to become. But he still had a lot to learn. “Stop being melodramatic, Is,” he said, ruffling his brother’s red hair. “And you, Gwenny, should chill out.”

Gwen flushed and put her tongue out at him to try and hide her shame. It was a thing I’d used to do when I was her age.

“Sit down, kids,” I told them, “food’s ready.”

“But papa isn’t here,” Isaac protested as he took his favorite seat anyway. Gwen sat right next to him and started annoying him. Gwen liked annoying Isaac for a mysterious reason while Chance liked to annoy everyone.

“He’s going to be late tonight,” I said, and pointed at Chance, who still stood. “Go sit with your siblings, brat.”

He rolled his eyes but leaned down to kiss me. Only fourteen, and he already towered over me. He was certainly going after his father. “Love you, mom,” he said like he always did and even though it was the millionth time he or the others called me ‘mom’ or ‘mama’, I felt all warm inside.

When my three hellions were seated I gave them all the pasta I loved making. It took a few courses at Julian, the Preston mansion’s chef, until I got enough cooking skills an now I almost excelled at it. I was still learning, of course, when I had the time and didn’t work.

“So tell me how was school today,” I looked at Gwen, who was always the one who was most willing to talk.

“Fine,” she said, shoving a fork full of pasta into her mouth. “I hanged out with Zoe and Weston.” Weston, I knew was Danger’s and Jez’s youngest child. He was at the same age as Gwen and liked her. Really liked her. Though Gwen was still very young and childish and uncaring about boys and love and stuff like that.

“Have you seen Beth today?” I asked her.

“Nah,” Gwen shook her head. “Beth hangs around with the older kids like Bray and Shaw.” Beth was twelve and was the daughter of Ryder and Irie. Shaw and Bray were Danger’s and Jez’s fifteen-year-old twins who seemed to treat Beth like their own sister, seeing as they didn’t really have any. They had only Weston and Owen, their eldest brother who was supposed to turn nineteen next month.

“What about about you, Is?” I turned to Isaac.

He shrugged. “Same,” he said. “Thatcher called Lena ugly and Lena went crying to the toilet.”

“Thatcher is a kid after my own heart,” Chance grinned such a Gunner-grin it made me smile in return.

“Don’t encourage him,” I warned with a smile. Thatcher was Ryder’s and Irie’s younger boy, at the same age as my Isaac. He also worshipped Chance and wished to be just like him when he grew up.

“Yeah, calling a girl ugly is ungentlemanly,” Isaac humphed and I stifled a chuckle. My boy was really a softie. But loved him that way.

“Poor Lena, though,” Gwen shuddered. “I wouldn’t want to be called ugly. It’s nasty.”

“But you, unlike Lena, can stand up for yourself,” Chance looked at her, lips twitching. “Ugly.”

Gwen’s face reddened with anger and I decided it was time to butt in. “Enough, you three,” I scolded. “Now eat before it gets cold.”

The three grumbled but did as told. When they all finished I brought out the dessert that I knew they all really liked; Julian’s special cheesecake. In a matter of minutes the cake was completely gone and my three children were stuffed.

Then it was time for getting Isaac and Gwen to bed. It took me a while to get Isaac into the shower – he had a trauma of water, unfortunately, after Thatcher tried to drown him three years ago – but finally managed to get him to shower. Afterwards I lay the two to sleep and told Chance, who was now in his room chatting with his hellion friends, that I wanted him in bed not later then tell. After he grumbled, “Yes mom,” I let myself into the living room and plastered myself on the soft sofa. I opened the TV and just lost myself in some stupid show, waiting for my husband to return home from work.

After a couple of hours, I found myself lying half-asleep on the sofa as the entrance door opened. A few moments later I felt a rough, warm, big hand caressing my hair and soft, familiar lips pressing against my temple. I wanted to open my eyes and kiss my husband properly but I was too tired. Instead, my man lifted me off the sofa princess-like and carried me upstairs, to our bedroom. He laid me on the bed, kissed my forehead and murmured, “I’ll be right back.”

I knew he was just going to kiss the kids, but I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. After a few minutes I barely heard the door closing and the lock setting in place – fortunately, after Isaac and Gwen grew up enough, they stopped crawling into our beds when they had bad dreams – and now, it was out private time.

A kiss on my lips made me open my eyes reluctantly to see sea-eyes watching me. “Hello, beautiful,” Gunner murmured and pressed his lips agains to mine. Even after fifteen years of marriage, and being together for twenty-six years in total , I couldn’t get enough of him. Whenever he kissed me, it felt like the first time. Whenever we had sex, it was just as fantastic as always, made me feel as great, as cherished, by the man I loved.

Gunner didn’t spend time. My clothes found their way to the floor. His weren’t too far behind, and then there was a naked Gunner above me. I was no longer tired, just eager for him to do what I wanted him to do the most. Without waiting, he pushed inside of me, making me moan as quietly as I could. After all, our kids were just a few feet away.

“I love you,” he whispered in my ear. “I love you so much.”

It was a ritual; whenever he came home, whether it was early or late, he told me he loved me. And I always said it back, like now. “I love you too, so fuck me already.”

He chuckled his sexy chuckle and did as ordered, shoving inside of me and making me almost come. Our loving was as precious, as great as ever. I let Gunner fill me, inside my body and soul, and when we both came, it made me feel the luckiest woman in the world.

We were lying in bed in each other’s arms afterwards. He kissed the spot next to my heart, where I’d once been shot. He kissed my cheeks, my forehead, my nose, every place in my face. I kissed him back, threading my fingers through the mane of his hair, that still managed to stay on his head, even now that he was fifty-one. Ryder, younger than him by a few year, had already started losing hair, but not my Gunner. His hair only now started having a very few white hairs.

As always, I fell asleep in the arms of the man I loved the most, feeling safe and elated to have my kids sleeping not so further away, and having my husband here. Life couldn’t get better.

Even in my wildest dreams, I wouldn’t have though I would get to have a family with Andrew Gunner Murray. But here I was, Rae Marie Murray, and my family was soundly sleeping around me, making me feel more at home than anywhere else.

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