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Author's Chapter Notes:

This is the final chapter. This universe will continue when the kids are older. I need time to be ready for Nathan the teen, so I'll be taking a little time off before going on with this series. 


I was napping with Cosmo, since everyone else was out. Justin and I never made a big deal out of our birthdays, so I was okay with them being out for the morning. Justin will most likely bring home a cake and we’ll have dinner with the kids. He already told me that he wanted Gus and Jenny over tonight anyway. Fluffy and Cosmo seem to have an agreement that only one used me for a pillow at a time. I really preferred Cosmo over the giant that kicks me off the sofa anyway. I had gotten up to get a drink when my mom called and asked if I would help her hang up some curtains. I agreed and waited to see if she was going to say anything else, but as usual she thanked me and hung up. I went to change and go help her, leaving Justin a note so he would know where I went.

I pulled up to my mother’s house and found Gus kicking a ball around the front. He saw me and ran inside. Now I want to know why Gus is here, and why my mother seemed to need help with curtains that were already up on the windows. I almost ran for it, because I had a feeling that this birthday wasn’t going to be the way I normally spend them. I must have stood there too long because Nathan came out and grabbed my hand to drag me in.

“Daddy, Papa said to tell you ‘deal with it’.” He tells me.

I walked in and they yelled surprise. It was awkward at first, because everyone knows me and birthdays.

“She wanted you to have one that didn’t end the way the others did.” Lindsay whispers, kissing my cheek.

I looked at my mother, who never managed to throw a party that involved me without it becoming a nightmare, and gave in to what everyone wanted.

“I guess I’m going to the gym for the next year.” I joke, when the horror that is cake and a barbeque is spread out before me.

Justin at least saved me from a heart attack by making sure there weren’t enough candles to burn down the house on the cake. Mel handed me a plate with of ribs and chicken, saying that I need to get over the whole idea that I could live without an ounce of fat on my body. I told ‘love muffin’ that I didn’t need the muffin top she would get from the potato salad.

Each of the kids brought me a present that I’m sure Lindsay and Justin help them make. I opened them in order of when each of my kids gifted me with their entry into my life. Gus gave me a coupon book with things only Lindsay could think of, really, a coupon for hugs? I ripped that one out and handed it to Gus to get him started on all the girly things his mother thought I needed. Jenny gave me a rock, they called it a paperweight but you know it’s really just a rock. It would sit on my desk, only because Jenny gave it to me. Penny drew a storybook with me being the a king who takes care of his princess. It’s my role in life in her eyes, and she’s absolutely right. I really didn’t like the part where my princess marries the prince, but I have years to run off any asshole who thinks they get to touch my princess. Nathan handed me a box and there was just fear, because lately he’s been bringing live things in the house. I opened it to find it empty. I didn’t know what to think, it was decorated with all sorts of things, but other than that it was empty. I was hoping that nothing had gotten loose.

“Nathan, I’m thinkin ya need ta explain or he’ll think the gift’s not there.” Sue Ellen tells him.

“Um... it’s a box.” He tells me.

“It’s a nice box.” I tell him.

“Nathan, ya might need ta be tellin him why ya made it.” Jasper tells him.

“It’s spose to be for you to keep all my portant things. So you can open it and see all the great things I do.” He tells me, crawling in my lap. I kissed Nathan for making sure my present included him.

“It’s a great idea.” I tell him.

Emmett and Alex handed me a box with a Hawaiian shirt in it. I thanked them but wondered when I ever made them think I would wear it. Grant and Dan gave me a straw hat and really, where did they get this idea I would wear that? Lindsay and Mel gave me sandals that were dying to belong to anyone but me. My mother gave me snorkels and flippers, I was starting to see the theme, but what the hell? Ted and Blake handed me a box full of sunscreen and something the kids didn’t need to see. Ted managed to stop me from pulling out the dildo, which had been something we all gave Ted for years. Justin handed me an envelope with tickets for us and the kids to go to Hawaii during the summer.

“You refuse to go to the Magic Kingdom until the kids can ride on their own, so this was my compromise. I figured we could take the mom brigade to watch the kids while you and I have a few days kid free.” He whispers.

They brought the sugar overload to the table and I let my kids help me blow out the two candles, then made sure to let them eat it for me.

“It feels like my first time.” I tell Justin, when we were sitting outside watching the kids.

“Brian, we never threw them because you didn’t seem to want them. Your mother wanted it here to try to wipe out all the bad days here.” He tells me.

“Hopefully there won’t be anymore bad days in this house.” I tell him.

“You told me that we would only have best days, so far you’ve been right as usual.” He tells me.

After all the other things that happened, it couldn’t be anything but best days for us. I had a family and the man I wanted to spend every one of my days with. There wasn’t room for anything else. I have a feeling when the kids get older we’ll have days where I’ll wonder what I was thinking but then, why let it matter now.


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The End.
starlight is the author of 42 other stories.
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This story is part of the series, Stay With Me. The previous story in the series is Stay With Me.