I lay back against the lounge chair as Nolan snoozed on my chest for the past fifteen minutes. Bella had the huge-ass beach umbrella set up so if the kids wanted to nap, or if she or I needed a break, we could go under it and not fry in the sun's rays.
I looked over and watched my wife building an elaborate sandcastle with Liv and Connor. The kids moved around her while she kneeled in the sand. To be honest, her black bikini was sexy as fuck; the slope of her stomach where our third son was growing just added to how hot she was.
I had knocked her up again five months ago. She'd said she wanted to try for a girl; we ended up finding out last month that we were having another boy. We're not complaining, though, because the two we already have are pretty great.
Connor had always been this reserved little guy and Nolan was our rowdy one. Now, at three, he was into a lot more. I had to chase him down the beach, which was the only way to tire him out enough to take a nap. The kid hated naps otherwise.
"Are you drifting off, babe?" Bella asked, taking a seat next to me.
"I'm starting to." I lifted one of my closed eyes to peek at her. "How are you feeling?"
"Stop," she said with a grin. "He's kicking up a storm. I think he like the beach."
"Think about it; next summer, we'll have three of these knuckleheads to wrangle."
"I love the sound of that, actually."
"Hmm," I hummed in agreement.
We fell into a nice silence until we heard the buzzing of Bella's phone. "Alice is feeding Ava and they'll be down."
"Is he coming?"
"No, Jasper is staying at your parents' house with your dad."
That douche who everyone calls my brother had flown off when Bella, Alice and I had come to the decision that Olivia should live with us for a while. Alice thought it would be best due to all the stress of having a newborn in the house. We were all pretty sure Jasper couldn't handle it and something would set him off, so the three of us worked together.
I loved my sister-in-law. Over the years, she had gone above and beyond to always put Olivia's well-being first. This time, she gave Liv to us. When baby Ava was born, Olivia was hesitant about wanting to see her but as we sat in the waiting room, I explained to her how Ava would need her help.
Jasper sat through my whole spiel and had to leave toward the end. I had come to an understanding a long time ago that I had failed him. He was my little brother and I should have done a lot of things for him. Bella, though, had made me realize that I'd done all that I could. He hasn't spoken to me since the day Olivia had come to live with us.
"Is Ma coming down?"
"She is, and they said Rose and Em have just got off the ferry."
"They're staying with us?"
"Your sister demanded it," she informed me, rolling her eyes.
Nolan started to shift and Bella got up and carefully kneeled beside us. "I want to put more sunblock on him."
"Better do it while he's unconscious," I snorted.
"He did give me an awful fight earlier," she sighed.
"The kid is wicked stubborn," I added, with a chuckle.
She shook her head and started to apply the sunscreen to his face, back and shoulders. Then she started on me. "Hay!" I said.
"You need it," she said firmly. "We're pale and we burn just as easily as the boys. You also get clingy when you're burnt."
"You do, now stop," she dismissed me, placing a kiss on my chest before lathering me up with sunscreen.
"Connor, Liv…come here, kiddos," Bella called, as both kids ran over.
"Aunt Bella, we just put that stuff on," Liv protested.
"Over an hour ago," Bella reminded. "We were in the water so it's best to reapply."
Just as Olivia was going to respond, I stepped in. "Hay, no lip," I warned, arching my brow.
She huffed but gave Bella her arm. Bella rolled her eyes and went to work on getting the kids sun protected.
"Thank you, Mommy," Connor said politely.
This kid's personality was what I believed to be every good thing from me and Bella. He was very well-mannered and behaved. I tried to keep up with both boys and their interests because they liked so many different things. On Saturdays after my football games in the park, I would take Connor to the museum or one of the libraries near us. He was like a sponge; he absorbed everything, constantly learning new things to tell me.
"You are quite welcome, baby," she responded, with a huge grin.
Connor ran back over to Olivia and they resumed building their castle. "I love vacations, gorgeous," I yawned.
"I know you do," she said, leaning down to kiss my head. "I'm going to get the food for the grill, watch the kids?"
"I got them," I agreed, sitting up so I wouldn't fall back into a light snooze.
As she was getting ready, Nolan decided he wanted to wake up. "Daddy, I wanna play," he said, sliding off me and tugging on my hand.
"Wanna build a castle with Liv and Connor?"
"No, football!" he bellowed.
"Of course," I said dryly.
I noticed Ma and Alice coming around from the side of the house. They both had those cover-up thingies that Bella wore sometimes. Ava waved excitedly at me, babbling up a storm.
"Yes Av, Uncle Eddie sees you," Al cooed to her seven-month-old daughter.
Nolan groaned, shaking his head. This had been his thing lately, he wasn't exactly a clingy child, but he wasn't a fan of Bella and me holding or playing with other babies. This would probably be a problem when he meets his new brother.
"Ava, Daddy doesn't wanna hold you," he mumbled, smacking her hand away.
"Hay," I hollered, pulling back. "What did your Ma tell you about that?"
"Hitting's not nice."
"What did you just do?"
"I didn't hit," he argued in his scratchy Bostonian kid voice.
Bella had been on me for months about taming back my accent. This kid was starting to sound all "southie" and she was afraid they wouldn't let him into the private school Connor was just enrolled in. They'd think he was too much of a hooligan. She told me I could control it. When I asked how was I supposed to do that, she reminded me that when we traveled, I was able to hold back, like when we vacationed out in Cali or on our honeymoon in Ireland. I make my "ta" sounds into the correct enunciation "to". I think she's crazy, but she pointed out that when I pursued her, I definitely sounded differently. Whatever, I don't have an accent. I sound normal.
"Hey, guys," Bella smiled, setting all the food up by the grill.
"Look at ya, lass," Ma cooed, hurrying over to her.
Now Ma had an accent.
"She's just wearing her suit?" Alice asked incredulously.
"Bella's body temperature is different from ours, she said she was having hot flashes," I whispered, rolling my eyes.
"I was always cold when I was pregnant with Ava. She's still tiny everywhere but her belly," she grumbled, as she set up camp in my lounger.
"Daddy, I wanna play football!"
"We'll play later, I have to make the food. You and Ava can play in the sand… or not," I finished, watching Alice set up this beach pack-and-play shit.
"I not sitting in that," he said.
Bella's hand rubbed my back and I smiled down at her. "Ma, I not going in there! That's for babies," Nolan repeated.
"That's for Ava, Nolan," Bella explained.
He nodded, but still made a face. "I might take him upstairs before I start the food."
"Someone definitely didn't get their N-A-P in," she agreed, spelling it out loud.
I sat with Nolan in the glider mom had bought us when Connor was born. This thing was huge and Bella and I loved it when we came here for vacations. I glanced down at my sleeping son, letting out a sigh. This is what I lived for, my boys and my wife. The night I almost lost Bella felt like a blur and we had come so far. We've experienced so much already in our life together.
"Emmett and your sister are here," Bella announced quietly from the doorway.
I noticed she had a cover-up on now. "The food."
"Emmett and your mom are grilling. I think your dad is coming down too," she explained, moving closer to us.
"He's mad, Liv wanted to stay with us. He wants her to move back…"
"What does Al say?"
"She misses her, but sees how well Olivia is doing with us. She said she wants to check out Brighton."
"Jazz will never go for putting her into a private school," I snorted.
"Alice wants the best for Olivia and I understand her side."
"You saw the attitude she's getting. Not to keep Jasper's kid from him, but kids throw 'I hate you' and 'you're ruining my life' around. He won't be able not to take those things personally," I admitted.
Olivia was a good kid, but she was heading into her teenage years. She reminded me a lot of Rosie at that age. My sister was this little Queen Bee who walked around with an attitude up until she met Emmett. Now, she was this well-put-together type-A woman. Emmett was a respected figure in their community in Tennessee and she was on the committees for charity balls. My little sister went from being a southie yank to a southern belle.
Bella stared at me before sitting on the arm of the chair. She leaned down, kissing my cheek. "You're a great father and an all-around amazing person," she whispered.
"You make me an all-around amazing person," I murmured, catching her lips again with mine.
"Ugh, even with a kid between the two of ya'all you're still at it," Rosie groaned from the doorway. I could also hear the slight southern twang to her voice.
"My house, my wife," I told her, shrugging.
I stood up carefully, laying Nolan down and kissing his head. When this kid was out, he was out completely.
I turned, taking in Rosie's blonde curls and tan skin. She was wearing white shorts and a navy polo; I could guarantee Emmett was matching her in almost the same outfit. Again, she was so type-A that everything had to match. Her iced engagement and wedding band set gleamed off her finger.
She gave me a face, but her hug told me how much she missed me. Once she let go, she crouched down near Nolan. She kissed his cheeks and peeked up at Bella.
"I need to come home more. I miss that they're not babies anymore," Rosie confessed quietly.
"You're coming back when Camden arrives, right?" I asked.
"I wouldn't miss it," she scoffed.
"When you gonna give me a niece or nephew, huh?"
"When I'm ready," she huffed, sticking her tongue out at me. "I'm too young."
I kept my mouth shut because one, Bella was giving me the look; and two, I wanted to say she was about the same age as Bella when we had Connor.
"Your husband better not be burning my food," I warned, switching subjects.
"My hubby is king of the grill!" She snorted at her joke.
The three of us walked out of the room. Bella snagged the baby monitor so we would know when Nolan decided to wake up.
"We have some back-up tonight," I whispered to Bella as Rosie walked in front of us.
"I already talked to her about it," she informed me with a coy smile.
As we stepped out onto the back deck, Emmett nodded a greeting my way. I was right; dude was wearing white cargos and an identical navy polo to my sister's. I still felt awkward with him at times, but I knew he loved my sister and treated her like a queen.
What caught my attention next really threw me for a loop. Jasper was sitting with the kids. Connor was on his lap, talking away, and Olivia was on the other side of them, trying to ignore him. His eyes stayed on her though.
I had my arm loosely hanging around Bella and noticed Dad playing with Ava. "He decided he wanted to come after all," Ma explained.
"Hmm," I mused.
That was the thing I knew. He had been different since Ava had been born. Though he chose to ignore me most of the time, I watched him with his youngest child. He was careful every time he held her. He'd whisper when he spoke to her and was very gentle. It was an experience he never had with Olivia and I think that's where her jealousy and spite toward him came from.
"Guys, time to chow down!" Emmett called, earning everyone's attention.
Bella went upstairs to get Nolan, and my entire family sat around the table. We all started to dig in as Bella sat beside me, getting the boys' plates ready. She smiled up at me and I gave her a quick kiss.
I had my two restaurants, a huge house and, at the end of the day, I came home to my wife and children. In this reality, I had everything I could ever want. I thank God every day that I had Bella by my side and that he let me keep her. She gave me this life to love and cherish.
A/N: This is the end of Bostonward and his Bellerina. Huge thanks to all of you who have read and reviewed this fic. Your kind words and opinions keep me going. This chapter was beta'd by Mauigirl60 and is definitely better with her help!
I am writing a continuation of my one-shot Santa's Kiss called Which Brings Me to You. I noticed some have been asking me what's next and that's about it. I do have a few other fics started, but I'm not sure which one to post… We'll see though.