Chapter 12: 100 Years

Ten Years Later…

There are little people moving, she thought as she heard small feet scampering along the ceiling. She listened as they ran downstairs giggling. Leaning over she kissed her husband on the cheek before closing her eyes. The knob turned noisily.

"Shh! Mommy and daddy are sleeping Xander!" hissed a five year old, Gabrielle, to her twin. "We're supposed to be surprising them!"

"Don't tell me what to do Gaby!" Alexander snapped and let out a small cry when their nine year old brother Tristan hit and pushed him inside carrying Frances, their one year old sister.

Helena and Thom, who were three and seven, ignored their siblings and climbed into bed with their parents. Alexander and Gabrielle took cue and joined them, crawling in the small space between their mother and father. Tristan just shook his head and sat down with Frances on his lap. The only one missing was Samantha, the eldest who was ten and by far the most sensitive of them of all.

"Why aren't they moving?" Alexander whispered as he and Gabrielle poked their parents.

"They always know when we're in here." Gabrielle added.

Tristan looked at Thom and shook his head before nodding in the direction of their mother. Thom turned along with Helena who had been watching them and noticed their mother smiling and their father stirring. As he rolled over, he grabbed Gabrielle and tickled her as Alexander was pulled into a tight hug.

"I think we're going to need a bigger bed," said Norbert looking at all his children with pride. "Although, we're missing one."

"I think we needed a bigger bed three kids ago." Samantha replied as Norbert lifted Alexander off of her. She smiled at all the little people and held out her arms for Frances. "Why are you all up this early? It's not our birthdays and we're not dying."

Tristan smiled. "I was forced into the waking world by two individuals who wanted to surprise the two of you. However, it seems that these two individuals have forgotten the reason by waking us all up at this miserable hour."

"That's you coming out in him." Norbert looked at Samantha as he set aside the twins so he could hug Thom and Helena. "Alright so, what is 'the reason for waking us all up at this miserable hour' Alex and Gaby?"

"We wanted to say Happy…Annie…no…happy anni…happy…what's the word Gaby." Alexander said turning to Gaby who shrugged. "You were the one that told me stupid!"

"That doesn't mean I have to remember butthead!" Gabrielle retorted sticking her tongue out.

"Knock it off before both of you are sent to timeout. We do not call each other names. Do you understand me?" Samantha scolded, not turning her eyes away from the two until the nodded in understanding. "Besides there are better names to call someone."

"And I call them those names all the time but they haven't learned the finer art of insulting someone yet." Tristan said moving off the bed and hugging Samantha and Norbert before taking Frances. "Happy Anniversary mom and dad."

"That's it!" Alexander and Gabrielle yelled together attacking their parents again. "Happy Anniversary."

Helena followed suit and crawled off the bed, leaving the bedroom behind their siblings while Thom watched them with an odd expression. "I think something is wrong with Sam."

"What makes you say that Thom?" Samantha asked, pushing her braids out of her face. "Where is she?"

"She's in the kitchen making you breakfast with Uncle Ben and Uncle Nelson. She seems sad. Last night I heard her crying. It woke me up." Thom replied concerned.

"We'll talk to her Thom, don't worry. She's probably just nervous about her birthday party tomorrow." Norbert said reassuringly. "Why don't you tell her we want to see her when you get the chance?" Thom nodded and hugged them again before leaving their room.

Samantha sighed and looked at Norbert. "I was sensitive as a kid but not as sensitive as Sammie is. Do you think we did something wrong?"

"No, of course not sweetie. She's…she's just really in tune to other people's emotions and tries to make sure everyone is okay. She just cares about everyone a lot. As for last night, maybe she just had a nightmare."

As he said the words, they both knew he was wrong. Samantha leaned over and kissed his bullet wound and hugged him close. The day earlier, Sammie had been curious about how they met. When she realized that her parents were leaving parts out because they thought she was too young to understand, she asked them to tell her. Norbert did, much to Samantha's dismay and for the rest of the evening Sammie had been silent.

"I love you so much Norbert." Samantha whispered as his hand went to her stomach. She was five months pregnant with twins. "I'm getting too old to have anymore kids."

"Nonsense my love, you still owe me another child. Remember, I said I wanted at least nine kids and you said didn't want more than ten kids. Ergo we still have to have another one."

"I love how you say 'we have to have another one' when I'm the one pushing them out through my va—"

"You wanted to see me?" asked a quiet voice from the doorway. Samantha and Norbert turned to look at Sammie who was dressed in jeans and a tee shirt. "Am I in trouble?"

"No of course not baby, come here." Samantha said sitting up again and opening her arms. Sammie hugged her mother tightly and seemed to reluctantly let her go before latching on to her father. "We didn't mean to upset you or make you sad when we told you about our relationship before we had you or your siblings."

"I don't want you two to go away. I don't want you to die." Sammie said, bursting into tears against Norbert's chest. "Don't leave me. Please don't die."

"We can't stop death baby. You know that. If I could I would." Samantha said rubbing her daughter's back.

"Pastor Green told you that you don't have to be afraid of death when you die. You're saved Sammie. You're going to heaven when you die. If you were going to hell, it would be scary but you're not. You're not." Norbert added and hugged Sammie closer. "Okay?"

"Okay." Sammie whispered.

Samantha got up and walked to the bathroom. She returned with a damp washcloth. Gently, she drew Sammie away from her father and into her arms, wiping the tears from her face. "It's okay. You celebrate life and accept death."

"Yes ma'am." Sammie replied as her mother rocked her.

Samantha and Norbert shared a look over their daughter's head. Sammie eventually drew away from her mother. Norbert kissed her forehead and she smiled. Samantha watched as she climbed off the bed. She could tell Sammie was still thinking about death.

"Breakfast is ready."

"She got that from you." Norbert said as their door closed.

"I know. Sorry." Samantha apologized.

"Don't be. I love you."

"I love you too."

"Guess what."

"I don't know. What?"

He leaned over and kissed her. "We have the afternoon to ourselves."

"Really?" she drawled and rolled on top of him. "How did you manage to get everyone out of the house?"

"My parents and bribery."

She laughed. "Ahh. Well, I have an anniversary present for you too. Two actually."

"Ooh, I like that sound of that." He kissed her collarbone.

"One is that we have the evening to ourselves, courtesy of my parents."

"God bless them. I like that present, what else?"

"We're having triplets."

"I thought you were kind of big." he said at first before a huge grin swept across his face. "I'm good."

Samantha just shook her head at her husband and kissed him. She couldn't be happier. She was glad she married him on a whim and couldn't wait to grow old together with him and all of their children. She couldn't have asked for a better life.

The End