25| epilogue - happily ever after
"Alright kids, line up." Drew commands as our four kids stood in a line. I shake my head at the sight and giggle. Drew's head snaps in my direction. "Love, stop it. They won't take me seriously!" he whines. I just shake my head.
Drew moves toward our oldest Gracie, (I officially adopted her three years ago the day before my wedding day) who's now eleven-years-old and looks more like Gretchen now than she did four years ago. Her brown hair has now lightened to a dirty blonde, her blue eyes still as crystal clear as her daddy's. Drew hands Gracie a yellow bag with the words Suprise On it before moving to our second eldest Lizzie who is now four-and-a-half-years-old. (Claire and Westley signed their rights rights her to Drew and I when she was five-months-old) She has long beautiful blonde curls and the same green orbs that we both take from Westley. Drew hands her a bag like Gracie's only this one's green with the phrase Baby He then moves to the twins DJ, which stands for Drew Junior and Drake who are three-years-old. They both take after Drew, with their big crystal blue orbs and dark brown hair. "and finally for you two..." he hands them both blue backpacks with red bows on them and the words on board!
All four children then headed out the door. I turn to look at Drew seeing as he forgot someone. She begins tugging at his joggers and he looks down. "Dada..." she giggles out and Drew grins and bends down to lift her up. Heaven is one-years-old and looks identical to me. She has chestnut brown curls with the faintest touching of red and big green eyes.
He plants a kiss on her cheek before handing her over to me. I place her on my hip. "You need help...?" Drew shakes his head "No love, go ahead and get the kids in the car and I'll gather everything we need up." I nod and he leans down placing a kiss on my cheek. Heaven frowns before copying her daddy and plopping a big wet kiss on my other cheek before giggling and clapping her hands. I chuckle and kiss her on her little chubby cheek before making my way outside to see Gracie helping the twins into their booster seats. I grin and climb into the van to place Heaven in her car seat beside Lizzie who's already buckled in her princess booster seat.
Once all the kids are secured I head to the front and get in the passenger seat. Drew comes out of the house arms loaded, he makes his way to the very back of the van and places it all inside before getting in the drivers seat and starting the ignition.
He drives out of our driveway and thirty minutes later we arrive at my parents house. Gracie is the first to get out with Heaven in her arms, followed by Lizzie, and the twins. Gracie hands Heaven to me before she runs into the house followed by the other three kids.
I walk to Drew's side and he wraps an arm around my waist as we make our way inside the house and into the kitchen where my mother is already spoiling the children with sweets. Heaven whines and reaches out calling for her papa.
Quinn smiles and comes over taking heaven from my arms. "How's my little angel?" he asks making her goggle and place slobbery kisses on his face.
I look around the house and smile. The doorbell rings and Drew goes to open the door. In comes Jenna and her husband along with Draya and her fiancee, followed by the triplets: Alex, Andrew, Amy and their spouses and kids.
Now the whole family is here.
Drew moves back to my side and pulls me into him. Looking down in my eyes he grins. "You ready?" I nod.
"Kids, it's time."
All the kids grab their bags and place them where everyone can see them. Confusion crosses everyone's face as they look at Drew and I.
Not able to contain his excitement Drew states proudly "I'm going to be a father again!"
Cheers sound and congratulations are thrown out.
I look around me at my family and can't help the tears that scratch behind my eyes. At the age of twenty-two my life is complete. I know most people will say I'm too young, that I haven't had time to experience life but... They are wrong.
I have five wonderful kids and one on the way. I have a wonderful husband who loves and cherishes me and our family. I have two years of online college left before I finally have my bachelors degree in creative writing. I couldn't ask for anything else.
Life is perfect.
Better than perfect.
I can't stop the grin that splits over my face as I stare around me. I never thought I would be this happy or content.
I'm the luckiest man on earth.
I have three sweet beautiful daughters
Two handsome sons.
A surprise on the way.
A gorgeous, caring wife...
I have it all.
I have the perfect life.
At the age of thirty-three I have everything I could ever ask or want for.
"You okay, babe?" I gaze down at my pregnant wife. "I'm better then okay. I'm wonderful." she grins, her beautiful eyes sparkling with happiness.
"Yes, Gracie?" I ask looking at her.
She climbs into my lap and lays her head on my shoulder. "What's wrong honey?"
"Nothing." she mumbles, "just wondering do you think... Mom, my real mom ever thinks about me?"
I sigh and say truthfully "I don't know sweetheart, but I do know one thing she's missing out on not being with you. Because you are amazing. Anyone would be lucky to have a daughter like you."
She looks at me tears glistening in her eyes and I know exactly what she needs. But it seems I'm not the only one who knows because Neveah enters Gracie's room and comes and sits on the bed, moving so her back is against the headboard. She pats the spot beside her and Gracie moves from my lap and over beside Neveah, and places her head on her chest. Neveah wraps her arms around Gracie and looks at me "Can you go read to Lizzie? DJ and Drake are already sound asleep and so is Heaven."
I nod and after placing a kiss on both of their heads make my way toward Lizzie's room next door.
"Hey princess." I say entering, Lizzie looks up at me with her blue pools and grins. "are you reading to me tonight daddy?" I bob my head. "Yep, so what are we reading about tonight?"
"Wait, " I hold my hand up and rub my chin with the other in a thinking gesture. "let me guess, Cinderella...?" Lizzie giggles and nods. "Yay, daddy."
I chuckle and move toward her sitting beside her on her princess bed. She curls into my side and I begin reading, getting halfway through the story before light snores filter from her parted lips.
After putting the book up and tucking her in I kiss her forehead. "Goodnight beautiful, daddy loves you."
Even though Lizzie isn't my blood daughter she's my daughter. And I love her just as much as Gracie, Heaven and the boys.
I was so excited when Claire and Westley signed their rights over Lizzie to Neveah and I. Lizzie was five-months-old. But even before we had official custody of her she was living with us.
Westley and Claire kept her for three weeks before begging us to take her that they couldn't stand the crying.
Me and Neveah we're more then happy to take Lizzie in.
I check on my twins and baby girl before heading toward mine and Neveah's room, stripping down to my briefs and getting in bed. Few minutes later and Neveah comes in and strips down to her panties before grabbing one of my shirts and slipping it over her body before crawling in beside me. I hug her to my body. "Is Gracie alright?"
"Yeah, she just worries that I'm going to quit loving her like Gretchen. She's afraid I'm going to up and walk away." I can hear the pain in her voice as she speaks.
Mine and Gretchen's divorce was finalized a month after she signed the papers. Once it was finalized she disappeared from our lives. It's been four years since we last heard from her. She hasn't called to check on Gracie at all. And the way Gretchen just up and left and hadn't tried contacting Gracie has left Gracie with anxiety. She's terrified to be apart from me or Neveah for long periods of times. But she's mostly terrified Neveah is going to leave her like Gretchen. Gracie is very close to Neveah, they have a bond that is unbreakable but that fear is still in the back of Gracie's mind.
And I know it hurts Neveah knowing that.
I sigh "Hopefully soon she'll realize you aren't going anywhere. You're stuck with us for life."
"And I wouldn't want it any other way." Neveah murmurs kissing my lips.
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