A/N: I’ve basically thanked everyone in the last A/N, so I’ll just do a general thank you with this. :)
THANK YOU! For everything, really. :)
I’ll be back in 2 weeks to continue with MKOP. Here’s the teaser. Hopefully, it doesn’t disappoint. I have lots of ideas for this one, but it’s kind of hard to plan since I don’t want to be repetitive with the events. Things need to be different for this one. ;)
Anyway, if you have my private number or my iMessage or my e-mail address, don’t hesitate to send me anything on those. I’ll probably just be baking or reading a book or something… maybe even go out of town for a couple of days. Idk. It depends. I’ll miss you guys… and I’ll miss Jackass as well. *sigh*
Elaine Berdine (Her eyes remind me so much of Jack’s.)
4 years later…
4 years, 2 kids, and 1 big move to Paris later… things were going smoothly between Jack and I; everything was going very well for our family. I recently inherited and became the CEO of all of my father’s companies, and Jack had just taken up another project from some big shot company for another advertisement shoot, and the twins really had fun torturing the unfortunate souls that they came across on their suite’s floor. Safe to say that everything was perfect.
Yes, we had twins— Elaine Berdinne and James Bennett Harries. To say that we were surprised to find out that we were having two angels instead of just one is an understatement. Jack fainted when the doctor told us that we were having Elaine and James. Good thing we were still in London back then and Finn lived just 15 minutes from hospital.
A wide smile made its way to my lips as I signed another contract. I set the marginally pricey pen down on my oak office table and stared fondly at the framed photograph directly in front of me. It was a picture of me, Jack, and the kids when we went to Florida for a vacation last year. We were all grinning and Jack had an arm wrapped around my shoulder as he had his other arm locked around Elaine. My left arm was wrapped around his waist and my other arm was wrapped around James. It was a very happy picture that spoke volumes of how good and peaceful things were in our family.
"Ma’am, monsieur Harries is here to see you." My personal assistant, Claudia, piped up from her the doorway. I nodded and just sat there waiting for my husband.
Loud laughter could be heard from the hall and I shook my head when he emerged with Elaine tucked under his right arm and James clinging tightly to his left leg. A professional camera hung around his neck and I got up off my seat and crossed the room towards them. “James, let go of your dad’s leg.”
"Maman (Mummy)…" James pouted up at me, making me narrow my eyes at him.
"James…" I raised an eyebrow at him and he pouted even more, clinging tighter to Jack’s leg.
"Come on, babe, let him have his fun. I don’t mind." Jack tried to coax me into letting James hang on to his leg.
Eventually, I sighed in defeat. “Fine.”
"Mummy, une glace. (ice cream)"
"After lunch, Elaine," I threw Jack a questioning glare as I crossed my arms over my chest. "You didn’t give her ice cream, did you?"
Jack shook his head, but it was evident on his face that he was a very bad liar. “No. I didn’t give them any ice cream.”
"Jack," I drawled in a chiding manner that made Jack pull a face at me, as if he was a child who’d been caught with his hand in the cookie jar. "Come on, we can have lunch here… unless you want to eat downstairs?"
"The restaurant downstairs sounds good. Besides, you know how these two eat…" Jack stated in a teasing manner, making the kids glare at him. Even at such a young age, they knew how to react to their dad giving them a jab or two, and that is how no one, not even Jack, can ever deny that they are my children. They knew how to give him hell, and they liked it. They could smell fear from a mile away… my little angels.
We walked out of my office and Jack laced his left hand with mine while balancing our children that clung to him. I smiled and looked down at James, “Come to mummy, James. Mummy will carry you.”
He beamed, an absolutely wonderful grin that would captivate women one day… just like his dad’s did me. “You look pretty today, maman (mummy).”
"How much did your dad give you?" I asked in a joking manner that made Jack curl his lips at me as he scowled, making me giggle at the silly expression on my husband’s face. I picked my son up and perched him on my hip, wrapping my arms around him to keep him from falling.
We boarded the elevator and a wide grin plastered itself to my face when I felt Jack slyly cup my derrière. We might have kids now, and we might have full-time jobs as well, but those things didn’t affect our romantic and physical relationship; not one bit— we were still as in love and as insatiable as ever.
"Penthouse suite later?" He asked noncommittally, pegging his gaze on me and squeezing one of my cheeks through the dress.
"I have a meeting at 3."
He checked the digital clock that was built in the control panel of the lift and smirked at me. I looked at it as well and found that it was only 11:30. “I’ll make it quick.”
"Good morning, Mrs. Harries, Mr. Harries," The receptionist at the restaurant greeted chirpily as Jack and I walked through the open doorway and into a the plush dining area located in the hotel. "Monsieur James, mademoiselle Elaine."
"Bonjour." The twins greeted casually— Elaine tucked under Jack’s arm like a rag doll and James clinging to me like a koala bear. He was wrinkling my pristinely ironed dress, but I couldn’t care less.
The receptionist gave us a polite nod and led us through the restaurant, to the table that we usually occupied when we ate here. Jack set Elaine down on one of the chairs and I set James down beside her before kissing Jack’s cheek as he pulled my chair out for me.
I sat down and he sat beside me, taking hold of my hand that was on the table and bringing it up to his lips for a kiss. He laced our fingers together and sent me a heartwarming smile. “I love you.”
"I love you, too." I answered softly, my gaze drifting from him to our twins who were focused on the little Hot Wheels car that James had pulled from his pocket. One thing I loved about the twins was the fact that they rarely bickered. They got along very well and James would often play tea party and dress-up with his sister despite his unwillingness to do it. He reminded me a lot of Christian, really.
As I gazed lovingly at mine and Jack’s children, I took the time to admire them. They had different shades of blonde hair, which they got from Jack— he and Finn had blonde hair as kids which darkened over time. Elaine had Jack’s eyes, and James had the trademark grey Ravensdale eyes… well, the trademark Leicester eyes. My dad’s Leicester side of the family all had grey eyes which I’d failed to inherit because I had my mother’s green eyes while Christian and Andrei had those age-old, piercing eyes. The twins looked somewhat alike, but not really at the same time since they ARE fraternal twins.
A server approached us and fixed the table napkins across our laps in singular movements that had me nodding in approval, then he handed all us a menu each and stood to the side as I let my eyes roam over the words on the page and settled for orrechiette with pancetta, peas, and fresh herbs as well as a glass of iced tea before turning to the kids and raising my eyebrows at them. “Have you two picked out what you’d like for lunch?”
"Spaghetti." They answered simultaneously, beaming up at me.
I smiled and nodded, “And what would you like to drink?”
"Pop." James piped up.
"Iced tea, mummy." Elaine answered chirpily.
"What about you, baby?"
"The grilled salmon sounds good, and pop as well." Jack answered, grinning at me. He then waved our server over and gave our orders, adding four orders of banana splits or dessert which the twins responded to by telling their dad that they loved him.
Shaking my head, I let my thoughts drift off once more…
Jack and I had really come a long way, haven’t we? I mean, we’ve been together for almost 8 years now, and in those 8 years, we’ve had our fair share of ups and downs… especially that time when I’d accused him of being a liar and intending to ruin my life… but we’d both matured; we worked through our problems, and now here we were… sitting at our regular table in one of the most prestigious hotel-restaurants in Paris like a normal, happy family.
Now that I think about it, it’s funny how just one single shift in our relationship early on could have taken all of this for me, but now I had it— to love, cherish, and enjoy. It was the touch of normalcy that I’d craved from my family, and Jack had given me that normalcy just by being with me. He’d completed me and made me feel— he made me fall for him and caught me when I let myself be caught by him…
"Penny for your thoughts?" My husband asked softly, squeezing my hand gently as he leaned towards me with his lips just inches from mine. It was too close and intimate for a public place, but propriety be damned. We owned the hotel and we could whatever we pleased.
I stretched my free hand out to him in a begging gesture and he quirked an eyebrow at me as if to say that I’d finally been touched in the head. I laughed lightly and waved my hand, “Where’s my penny?”
Jack rolled his eyes and fished around in one of his pockets before producing a penny and placing it in my palm. “Now will you tell me?”
I nodded. “Just how lucky I am. I have two wonderful kids, a loving husband, a stable job, a nice house in the city…” I lowered my voice, “…amazing sex every night. How I love my life. How I love you guys, and how grateful I am that you’ve given me normalcy. You’ve changed my life, Jackson Frayn Harries… and I would never give this life up for anything.”
Jack brought out laced hands up to his lips and pressed a kiss against the back of it, making me blush at the degree of intimacy that one little gesture held. “Je t’aime toujours. (I love you forever.)”
"Promets? (Promise?)" I whispered meekly.
"Je vous aimerai toujours, je le promets. (I will always love you, I promise it.)"