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"Isaiah, have you seen Carter's pacifier?" I dig through the blankets in Carter's crib.

"Check in our bed!" He calls through the bathroom door.

Walking across the hall, from the nursery to our bedroom, I start checking around our bed.

The bathroom door swings open and Isaiah walks out with a towel wrapped around his waist. Water droplets drip from his hair and down his chest.


"What?" I blink, realizing he was saying something.

He smirks and takes a few steps toward me. "I'm I distracting you?" His hands come to rest on my waist and he wiggles his eyebrows as he leans closer. "I love this dress."

"Pacifier..." I'm mumble as his lips make contact with my neck. "Isaiah, Carter's right there."

"He's five months old." His lips travel from my neck to under my chin. "He won't remember."

"We're supposed to be leaving." I remind him pushing away. "And I still need to find Carter's pacifier."

"Like I was saying, I forgot I picked it up and put it in my pocket." He walks back into the bathroom and picks his jeans up off the floor. He reaches into the back pocket and pulls out Carter's favorite green pacifier.

"Awesome." I take it from him. "Thank you! Now, get dressed before we're late."

"I think I need another shower." He grumbles, pouting.

I walk over to where Carter is lying on his play-mat. "Hi my sweet boy!" I grin, picking my babbling baby up. "I love your outfit." He's in a blue onesie with red letters saying 'My first Fourth of July'.

"Ready?" Isaiah's dressed in jean shorts and a tight fitting t-shirt. He drags his fingers through his hair and my heart flutters as his gold wedding band shines in the light. "Carter," He reaches his arms out. "Let's get you into your car seat."

My heart clenches as I watch Isaiah blow a raspberry on Carter's cheek and laugh. These past few months have been perfect. Isaiah is the perfect husband and father.

After straightening my dress, I follow my two boys out of the house.

"You good?" Isaiah asks once I'm in the truck.

"Yep." I nod as he starts the truck. "Did you remember to grab Carter's stuffed frog?" Carter may not be able to talk yet, but he has a favorite stuffed animal. The frog Mia bought him never fails to make him smile.

"In the carseat with him."

"You are perfect!" I lean over the console and kiss his check. "I love you."

"That's all I get?" He smirks. "I deserve more for being so perfect."

"Maybe you'll get more later." I bite my lip as his pupils dilate.

"We'll continue this conversation later." His eyes burn into me and he parks the truck. "Because, I know if we're not inside the apartment in the next minute Mia is going to have a hissy."

This apartment may not have been the best but it definitely has the best view of the fireworks.

"Hey!" Mia grins when she opens the apartment door. "My baby!" She squeals taking Carter's carrier from Isaiah.

"Hey you two!" Autumn comes into the room, her hand resting on her stomach.

"Hi, oh my gosh." It's been awhile since I've seen Autumn. Her stomach has definitely grown.

"Yeah, Summer had a growth spurt." She laughs.


"Yeah, Johnathan really wanted to name her that." Autumn smiles softly.

"It's adorable."

"I know." Johnathan wraps his arms around his wife. He must have just gotten off of work since he's still in uniform.

Shouting is suddenly heard from the apartment across the hall. Mia sends a pained look to Johnathan, who in return, gives her a helpless one.

"You have no evidence Mia." Johnathan reminds his sister. "Xander always has an excuse. You need concrete evidence before I can do anything."

"You all better take your seats, the fireworks are about to start." She gives us all a forced smile.

Cameron has a pensive look on his face. Autumn looks worried and Johnathan looks defeated as the yelling gets louder.

Suddenly loud crackling sounds fill the air as flashes of yellow color the sky. Carter watches wide eyed as drool dribbles down his chin. Before I can say anything Isaiah grabs a burp cloth and wipes our son's chin.

The sound of fireworks is suddenly incredibly loud and has Carter screaming and a wide eyed Johnathan jumping to his feet.

"That wasn't a firework." Johnathan looks Isaiah in the eye, then Cameron.

Isaiah immediately hands me Carter. "Go wait in Mia's room." He says seriously and my heart stops. "Meghan, right now."

"Johnathan Evans, you are off duty!" Autumn shouts as Johnathan takes his gun from its holster.

"Go with Meghan, Autumn!" He nods at Mia. "You too.

Another gun shot goes off. "Now!" Johnathan screams.

"Momma!" An unfamiliar voice screeches from the other side of the apartment door. Everyone momentarily freezes before Cameron runs and opens the door.

Zoey stands there sobbing. Cameron yanks her up and she cries harder, struggling to get away from him.

Ignoring her tiny fist beating on his shoulders, he walks her into the apartment and silently hands her to Mia.

"Go hide now." He tells her and she nods, grabbing both me and Autumn.

A third gunshot has all three of our men running out of the apartment.

THE (official) END


It is *officially* the end of 'After Five Years'! Thank you all for taking the time to read this story!

A special thanks to kelkhashab123  and SusieReamsWrites !!! Your encouragement throughout this book has meant the world to me!


Update: make sure to check out the bonus chapters!!! And also Amelia and Cameron's spin-off!!!

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