Driving Forces Epilogue

Epi
10 Years Later
EPOV

Life as Edward Cullen for the last ten years has been everything that I ever dreamed of having.
I have a successful career as a lawyer at Cullen Enterprises. I have Bella, my amazing wife, and mother to our kids.

Emma Cullen is strong-willed and has her aunt Rose’s sassy attitude that gets her into trouble more often than not. And she argues to win just like a daughter of two lawyers.

It wasn’t long after we married that we decided to open our homes to foster kids. They ranged from months old to almost aging out of the system, and we loved each and everyone with passion. I wanted them to feel loved and secure at least once because I knew how they felt when they came to us.

Even when Bella became pregnant with Jeremy, we continued fostering. We eventually adopted Jordan and Gianna. Jordan was twelve when he first came to live with us; he’s now seventeen. Giana was fifteen, and she is now eighteen, graduating this year.

They both have their issues, but they're our children just as much as Emma and Jeremy are. And they know it.

Alistair still holds a weekly group that I attend at least once a month. I would attend more frequently to help him with survivors, but with my job and Bella’s private practice plus all the kids, it leaves me with very little spare time.

Bella and I still see our counselors a couple times a year; moreso when she was pregnant because she was scared to death I would leave her if she didn’t carry to term. It was a rough few months, but they were worth it.

Sarah walks into my office chewing on her nails. “Uncle Edward.”

The most surprising development was Jake and Sam. About six years ago they moved in together. They have been incredibly happy since then. Together they take care of Sarah and her brother Quil. They even adopted a set of three-year-old twins last year.

We only really see them when Mom takes Quil and Sarah for the weekend and a couple of weeks during the summer. They really do seem happy.

Sarah tends to seek me out when she’s anxious. It's mostly when she’s in the city visiting us. I don’t think Sarah likes change all that much. I wonder how much damage Leah did when she was young that has impacted her.

“How can I help you, Sarah?”

“Can I just hang out here until uncle Sethy is done in the office? It's quieter here.”

I smile and nod my head and she takes her usual spot, pulling her tablet out.

Bella and her siblings share CEO duties of Cullen Enterprises since Dad retired three years ago, wanting to spend more time with his grandkids and traveling with Mom.

They hold a monthly meeting to keep everything squared away; it was the easiest way to keep things running smoothly with Bella not working in the offices of Cullen Enterprises. She now has a private practice where she only practices family law, mostly pro bono cases. She’s the happiest she’s been since the birth of Jeremy.

When we agreed that Emma and I would take the last name Cullen, I really thought there would be more raised eyebrows and some snarky comments. But there was nothing but acceptance; Charlie beamed and handed out bottles of scotch.

My phone rings, breaking me out of the thoughts in my head. I quickly answer it.

“Edward, Martha called. She says she needs an emergency placement of a five- and ten-year-old. Their situation is awful. Can you get out of work early and meet me at home in an hour?” Bella rushes out as the rustling on her side tells me that she is already heading home.

“Yes. I’ll have Stephan rescheduled everything and I’ll see you at home.”

I hang up and take Sarah to Seth and quickly make it home. Emma, Jeremy, Gianna, and Jordan are all in the living room waiting for me and Bella to give them the speech. Every time we take in new kids we have a family meeting, making sure we take everyone’s feelings into account and laying ground rules if they’re needed.

“How old are they?” Gianna asks.

Bella answers before I can. “They’re five and ten. They‘ve been removed from an extreme situation. We really need to be understanding and show them the Cullen love, okay?”

It isn’t long before Martha shows up with the kids. The five-year-old is a girl named Brandy, and her ten-year-old brother is named Tyler. Gianna, Jordan, and Emma quickly engross the kids in some activities as Martha fills us in on what they just came from.

I watch all the kids, and I hold my wife as we readjust our lives to accommodate our addition.
We make all the calls to counselors and to our families and the school, adding Brandy and Tyler to everything. No, we don’t know how long we’ll have them, but while we do we give them everything they need.

Everything that has happened to me has lead me here, and I really wouldn’t change it for a thing.
Emma

Gianna

Jeremy 

Jorden



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