Six Years Later


"Hello sir, how many?" The hostess asks.

"There will be four adults and four children. We need three booster seats, please," I tell her politely.

"Do you have a preference for indoor or outdoor dining?"

"Can we please have a table outside?"

She nods, grabbing menus and crayons for the kids. Jazz is holding Sal while Miles stands beside him lightly swinging his hand in Jazz's free one.

"Where's Dyl?"

"You were taking too long," Jazz says, tilting his head in the direction of the ledge of the outdoor seating area where Dylan is sitting.

"Daddy?" Sal's sweet little voice asked.

"Yeah, baby?" I smile at my youngest.

Salinger Rose Cullen, much like her sister and her mother, owned me. She had to be the sweetest soul I'd ever met. Dylan was gutsy and a straight shooter at seven years old, mostly she had the heart of a New Yorker, but Sal was full of innocence and wonder.

Bella's pregnancy with her was a total one-eighty from her pregnancy with Dylan. She was very much planned due to a lot of negotiating on my part. Bella at the time was more at peace with everything, Dyl was also a little older and with less toddling, which seemed to make things less stressful for us.

The only thing Bella was nervous about was postpartum, which she had none after Sal got here. I think with Dylan, she worried a lot about messing her up somehow but once we had Sal she slowly stopped questioning everything. Her newfound confidence came out of nowhere, I would never question it, because I saw what kind of mother she was on a daily basis.

She loved our girls with her entire being, I saw it when she wrangled them for school in the mornings and when she'd cuddle them before bed.

Marriage and parenthood was a balancing act for both of us. We took turns with the girls so we each had some time to ourselves during the week, whether it was yoga for her or the gym for me or she had a spa day with Rose or I had a night out with Jazz, we made time for ourselves.

Sal breaks me out of my thoughts when she places her little hand on my shoulder. "Uncle Jazz says Dilly is a pain in his side," she tattles, her hazel eyes sparkling.

I snort, giving Jazz a playful glare. "Mind following the hostess, while I wrangle that one?" I ask, pointing at my pouty kid.

"I suppose so," he says dramatically, looking over his shades at his son and my girl.

Both kids giggle.

I tug at Sal's messy auburn curls as I pass.

Dylan is kicking at the sidewalk with the toe of her Converse. This kid was always filled with piss and vinegar.

"Dyl," I say to her.


"Want to try that again?"

"Dad," she groans.

"If you have the attitude when your mom gets here with Aunt Rose and Gus, she'll take you home, and you know how much your mother loves brunch," I say knowing Bell likes the tradition and the laziness of a good Sunday brunch.

"Why didn't she let me go help with Gus?"

"Because sometimes you rile him up and it's easier if your mom goes help Aunt Rose alone," I point out.

Ever since she was old enough to understand Gus was a little different from the rest of us, Dylan would do anything to include him. She was just as protective of him when he started going to her school.

August will be the only child Rose and Em have, but my sister likes to say that she was meant to be his mother. When Gus was a year and a half she worried about him, noticing he wasn't as social or outgoing as Dylan and Miles. Miles was only three months younger than Gus and was walking and talking up a storm. Her pediatrician assured her he was only slightly delayed.

It was when he was three and still not talking, that Rose and Em took him to a specialist and they diagnosed him with an autism spectrum disorder. For a time, we all thought he'd be non-verbal, but with therapy, he's just as chatty as Em is.

The kids have really been helpful with including their cousin and always having his back. Dylan was definitely one of his champions but got pissed when she was left out of helping with him. So when her mom was gone when she woke up this morning I had the pleasure of dealing with her passive-aggressive nature for most of the morning.

I catch my wife and Rose walking toward us. They were both in summer dresses, designer bags on their shoulders. Rose still looks like Rose but after a recent haircut, Bella's hair was now to her shoulders. Out of the eighteen years, I've known her, she seems to go through these phases where her beauty evolves. It's one of the things that has always drawn me to her.

Rose is smirking at me while Bella is frowning, Dylan turns to see what I'm looking at and gets up running to Gus. She's hugging him fiercely knowing he responds well to firm touch.

Gus's blonde curls are cropped short to his head, he hates when his hair hangs in his eyes. He's tall for his age and has a stocky build like Em, so with as tiny as Dylan is for her age, she was dwarfed by him in their hug.

I stand as Bella wraps her arms around my waist. "I'm going to assume she gave you a run for your money?"

"Me, never… Now Jazz she tested," I teased.

"Red," I heard below us.

I peek down seeing my nephew who called me by his favorite color. Ed and Red sounded pretty close to him and I think my hair was another reason he called me it.

I pick him up, holding him tight, Rose shoots us a soft smile.

"We eat, Red?" he asks.

"Yeah, I think Uncle Jazz probably ordered you some bacon and red eggs, bud," I tell Gus.

All his food had to be red at the moment and we all got pretty creative with how to make that happen. Eggs were easy, we just had scrambled eggs smothered in ketchup. His food couldn't be touching but it was okay if it was disguised.

I sat between Gus and Sal once we all were seated at the table. Bell sits across from me, I feel her foot running up my calf. We play this flirty game while the waitress takes the orders for those of us who were just seated.

Jazz had already ordered our drinks and Gus' food. Our waitress and another girl make two trips to bring all our food out when it's ready.

"So what are mom and dad going to do on their night out?" Rose asks me.

"We're going to a restaurant opening," I say, taking a sip of my beer.

The girls and Miles were having a sleepover at Rose's while Jazz and I took our spouses to a new restaurant we invested in. It was very far and few between that we all had a night out together. Bell and I were the only people Gus would let watch him without losing it, so we mostly took turns.

Rose and Em never complained about their situation because they loved their son more than anything else. They gave up on the lifestyle they were once accustomed to for Gus to be comfortable, both were willing to give up their careers to be full-time caregivers to him. Em was the one who took two years off work to be with Gus until he got into school.

He went to the same private school Dylan and Miles went to and Sal would be joining them next year. The school was equipped to deal with special needs students so Rose and Em were on board with enrolling him with his cousins.

"Aunt Rosie?" Sal asks.

"Yeah, toots?" Rose says leaning forward so Sal knows she had her full attention.

"Can we watch movies tonight?" she asks but glances at Bella.

"What kind of movies do you have in mind?" Rose asks carefully, noticing Bell's reaction.

I want to laugh because we both know what she's going to say. Though she was pretty girly, Sal was all about Marvel movies. Bella lies saying she hates the constant replays of anything Marvel but I catch her checking out America's ass when Captain America is on screen.

"Avengers," she grins.

"Sal, we watched End Game last night," Dylan groans.

"My, my, how the brunch conversations have changed," Jazz mumbles, sipping his beer.

Bella laughs at his comment.

"Daddy, can you cut my burrito up, please?" Miles asks Jazz.

When Jazz and Ali started the surrogacy process they both donated and didn't want to know who the biological father was. They were both Miles' fathers, but the kid was a clone of Jazz. His hair was snow-white blonde thanks to the summer sun, his curls were up in a man bun like Jazz's they were two peas in a pod.

They currently have a surrogate who is five months pregnant, this time around Ali donated so they both biologically had one child and they used the same egg donor so their kids would still be siblings by blood.

"Dilly more red," Gus tells Dylan.

I notice her kneeling in her seat reaching across the table with the ketchup bottle in hand squirting more ketchup on his eggs. Rose laughs gently pulling Dylan and the bottle away.

"I think that's enough red, guys," she says, closing the bottle and moves it closer to her. "But thanks for helping out Dyl."

Dylan nods, going back to her veggie omelet.

I go to take a bite of my French toast catching Bella staring at me.

"What?" I smile.

She shakes her head but I feel her foot run up my leg again, she turns her attention to Dylan running her fingers through her messy curls. Dyl asks for a bite of Bell's crepes.

I watched them together for a bit. Dylan is her mother made over with my sister's ferocity, her mannerisms come from both too. I look at Sal who mirrors my features and personality, she throws her head back in laughter at Jazz and his antics while he helps her cut up the rest of her French toast.

These were the pinch-me moments that made me feel really grateful for how far we all have come. Most of us were in our late thirties and I liked feeling settled, mine and Bella's life with our girls was chaotic but it was something I'd never change. I loved the daily madness.

I'm hanging out the window smoking the joint Jazz gave me earlier, I feel her hand on my shoulder. I exhale before sticking my head back inside. Bella's smiling at me taking the joint from my fingers.

She leans past me as my hand finds her ribs, I watch her close her eyes as she inhales deeply before she slowly exhales. I brush my thumb right under her breast while she takes another hit.

She's in a black silk slip dress with no bra on and if I was to wager a guess no panties either. Her hair is in a low bun. She startles me with the joint to my lips.

"If you keep looking at me like that we're going to miss dinner," she teases.

"How am I looking at you?" I ask with a smirk, taking the joint from her to take another drag.

She smiles, placing a hand on both my shoulders. "Like you want to fuck me," she says in my ear.

I curl my arm around her waist pulling her into me.

The girls had been at Rose's place for a couple of hours now, we weren't even home an hour when I pressed her up against the window fucking her slowly.

We lived in the same building but when we learned she was pregnant with Sal we agreed that we needed more space, lucky for us two lofts had gone up for sale in our building around that same time. We immediately took the one with the terrace.

The girls needed space when we were in the city, which was most of the time since Dylan started school. I hoped we were doing the right thing raising them here, the older our parents got, Bell and I discussed the possibility of moving back to Washington. It was really more a passing thought as of late.

We still had the house in the Hamptons, Dylan preferred the city more than that house and she voiced it every time we went out there. This is also what made me question if raising them here was the right thing.

I stub out my joint against the brick of the building before sliding it into my pocket. I squeeze Bell's hips.

"You are correct, I do want to fuck you, but unfortunately, this is a work commitment and we need to go," I murmur in her ear.

She sighs playing with my dad's dog tags.

"We have all night," I remind her, kissing her once, twice.

She pouts but knows I'm good on my word.

You hear these stories about the sex dying out when marriage and kids happen, but I could say it wasn't like that for us. We were tired and busy but we made time for each other, though now we had to be diligent to sleep clothed and keep the door locked.

We made our first mistake of not doing either of those things when Dylan was three and she barreled into our room while Bella was riding me. Bell assured me that we hadn't scarred her but I was still worried about it.

She also liked to tease that it was like having a very needy roommate. I knew she and Rose over the years had run-ins with walking in on each other, but when Jazz and I were roommates we were discrete.

It was nights like tonight that I got to enjoy my wife. Our arguments are nothing like they were when we first started sleeping together, but Bella was known to hold a grudge even for the silliest or trivial things.

She knew me better than anyone and with that being said there wasn't any jealousy when women liked to throw themselves at me. My girl was confident in her skin and in our marriage to not let things like that bother her.

I'm another story, about six months into our marriage Jake didn't know we had gotten married and he flirted with her at one of my sister's dinner parties. When I was about to go tell him what's up, I saw Bella hold up her ring finger showing him her ring set. His eyes widened in surprise and he excused himself not too long after that.

Over time I learned that I should never doubt my wife.

I take her hand leading her to the door, she stops me grabbing one of my black blazers she brought out from the couch.

"I don't think I need that," I tell her, it's at least seventy degrees tonight.

"It's mine for the night," she says simply.

I laugh helping her into it.

Sam's waiting for us out front, once we get settled in the car I fell her hand on my thigh. When I don't react she starts cupping me through my pants.

"So it's going to be like that tonight?" I ask with a smirk.

She gives me one more squeeze before placing her hands in her lap.

Her smile is innocent but there isn't anything innocent about her.

I lean down taking her ear lobe between my teeth and tug, my hand finds its way into the jacket where I cup her breast she moans arching into my touch.

"We have all night," I whisper in her ear.

I can play the same game.

I brush her nipple through her dress once, twice, three times before I pull my hand away.

She grunts at me but I keep my hands to myself.

We're at the restaurant in fifteen minutes, Jazz is outside with Al. He takes one look at us before he's in hysterics.

"Has it been a fuck fest since the kiddos left?" he asks, chortling some more.

Ali has an amused and knowing smile but doesn't add to his husband's commentary.

The window fucking wasn't the only fucking we had since the girls went to my sisters', there was pre-shower fucking and during shower fucking too.

Jazz liked to say we were now worse than Rose and Em. He started saying this a few years ago after we came back from the 'bathroom', which we were actually in the stairwell at a gallery opening in midtown, and my other half looked freshly fucked.

Once we're seated and have a round of drinks going, Bella goes back to the game she started in the car.

Her grip on me is firm and I try to cover my reaction by taking a sip of my bourbon.

"Bells, you better not be giving him a handy over there," Jazz says with a mock glare before he turns to Ali. "Are we boring now because we don't behave like this?"

"Maybe they're starved because they have two kids?" Al says conspiringly.

I take Bella's hand in mine, rolling my eyes at the two sitting across from us. "You just wait," I tell them.

"Two can't be that different from one," Jazz scoffs.

"Think about it, there is an age difference, different schedules, and all that will be going on," I say knowingly.

"Stop," Bella says, slapping my chest. "Two is definitely an adjustment but you'll be fine, besides when you need a night alone Edward will babysit."

She's giving me an evil smile and I snort.

We continued our dinner with the same banter for the rest of the night. Once we're on our fourth round of drinks Bella is tipsy and handsy, which I'm down for, but know we need to move this back to our place.

Jazz teases when Bella starts sucking on my neck.

"We're going to go," I say, pulling my wife up.

"Bye guys," Bell calls over our shoulders.

"You are in rare form tonight," I laugh, tucking her under my arm.

"I'm horny," she sings blissfully buzzed.

"I'll take care of that," I promise.

"Oh I know you will," she purrs, dragging her fingers down my chest.

I kissed her nose before helping her into the car, knowing I would give her anything she wanted.

A/N: The End...

I want to thank everyone who has read and reviewed this fic and stuck with it. I enjoyed reading all your thoughts on these characters. Next up, I'm going to finish Long Roads and I have an idea for another fic after that. This fandom has seemed to change a lot since I started my hiatus a few years ago, I'm still trying to figure out if it's my vibe or not.

My last thank you is to CoppertopJ for editing and offering encouragement and support throughout this journey.

See you soon!