Stuck In Fire 2 - Justin Bieber

Justin is finally reunited with Katie.. and that's awesome. I don't know what to write, 'cause i haven't read the story o.o IT'S NOT MIIIINE. I JUST POST IT TO READ IT :P

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44. 44

BPOV

I think I love this wall the most. It began with one small picture but how it's grown. My eyes always catch that first shot…Justin and Katie on the boat that first time we went fishing, Justin wearing Ben's worn out old man's fishing hat…and Katie with the ridiculous yellow smiling fish hat on her head. Justin was smiling with true joy…but Katie…not so much. She looks like she's about to kill me and that always makes me laugh, even now.

I think that was our first real day as a family. Sure, we had lived under the same roof for awhile before that day…but this was the first day we truly ENJOYED each other…just the three of us.

And I love it when I move my eyes to the right…and right there is a little bigger sized picture of Charlie and Justin's faces, their profiles side by side as they fish together…and the red dawn light is coloring their skin so beautifully. I remember feeling tears in my eyes when I clicked that one. Of course, they're both wearing different old man fishing hats filled with lures and hooks. Two fathers…the two men I love most in all the world.

I tip my eyes down a bit and there is Katie, fourteen years old, her mouth open wide as she stands in Charlie's boat, both her hands on her fishing pole as she yanks a decent sized trout from the lake…look how cool the drops and splashes of water are just frozen in midair all around her…and that wild red hair of hers…curls everywhere…suspended forever here. So beautiful.

I get tired of fish shots so I let my eyes dart upwards, near the top of the wall. I can't stop the smile that spreads across my face when I see the picture of Justin in church, all dressed in a suit, smirking at Katie as she kneels beside him, her hands flat together, pointed to heaven…showing him how to do it properly. She was still so little then. So innocent, despite all she'd been through before that.

That reminds me of something so my eyes go searching for the shot of Justin with his black sunglasses on, back when he had lost his sight for a short time, right after the death of Raven, James, and Kevin. There were bandages over each eye underneath, and he always wore the sunglasses so Katie and I wouldn't get too upset, as if we would forget about his injury and think he was just going through a "I'm trying to be cool" or "I don't want to be recognized by my public" phase.

This was the only picture I could take of him during that time…but it was important. Justin is clinging onto Katie, and it almost looks like he is crushing her in his intense embrace. But she is smiling, and her eyes are closed, as if she is with the best person on earth (and she is)…there is a little cake with one candle lit on it on the table next to them…Katie made it for Justin, saying he deserved another birthday, one better than the real one he'd had that year. She said the one candle was for only one wish: for Daddy to see again. That's all she wanted, she'd told him.

Justin was the one who asked me to take the picture. And then there's the one right next to it…all three of us are there, wearing black sunglasses, and pulling them down our noses to reveal the top halves of our pupils…Justin is smiling. Justin can see in this picture! We had just gotten home from the hospital, where Justin officially regained his sight for the first time in six weeks. The bandages came off and after he'd blinked a few times…the most dazzling smile moved across his lips…he could see us, he'd announced! It took us ten minutes of crying and hugging, the three of us, before the doctor could get Justin to sit back down so he could check on some other things.

That was a great day that still makes me quiver inside when I think of it.

I wish I had some pictures of Justin's bravery during those weeks. The blindness didn't stop him from anything. He still took care of Dancer…he kept going to work at the stables…he refused to stop living his life because his eyes had gone dark. It wasn't always pretty, him insisting on trying to do all he had done before…but he never gave up. The horses sure had a wonderful time with blind Justin in those weeks. Psycho and Temper especially delighted in their revenge on the unseeing stable man.

By the time he had regained his vision, he was pretty expert on doing everything blind anyway. The doctors were never sure he would get his sight back…they did all they could do…and said it was in God's hands from then on. Justin didn't hold out a lot of hope that God would help him out. It took a lot of arguing from me and Katie, reminding him of all the times God helped him in his life. But he was still unconvinced and that hurt us to see him with so little faith.

I can still hear his voice, full of emotion, cracking with tears, when he saw Katie and I for the first time since…he told me later that night, in bed, that the only thing that scared the Hell out of him was never seeing my eyes again. Or my blush. Or his daughter grow into a woman.

"Thank you, God, for not taking that away from me.", he'd wept in my arms that night right before I made sweet and furious love to him. That's when I believe he decided to give God another chance…and we went to church that next Sunday together.

The memories of all that filled my eyes with tears again, even now…so I had to look away…and that's where I found Katie behind the wheel of her car, rolling her eyes as Justin sits in the passenger seat, his mouth open, in the middle of a lecture or a lesson…I can't figure out which.

His fingers are pointed out, as if he's looking out through the windshield at real cars…but I'm pretty sure he didn't let that car move for a whole week before he actually let her turn the key in the ignition.

I laughed out loud and glanced to the picture next to this one…and there goes Katie's little yellow car down the road…and Justin is chasing it…both hands around his mouth as he shouts "BE CAREFUL KATIE!", I can still hear him scream, with love, not anger.

That was a big moment for him…a rare second in time that he had to let her go a little. A licensed driver…going out to celebrate with her friends. He didn't like it…but he opened his fingers and let her float up out of his grip that morning. It was a rough day for ME, let me tell ya. Everytime a car engine went by, Justin jumped up and ran to the window to look.

It's nice when you're a parent and you can look backwards, almost making your growing daughter a little girl once again. I did just that now, proudly looking over Katie's section of Karate pictures. So many tournaments…ribbons…articles in this area. I love this newspaper article, here, showing Katie holding her trophy. The headline is so big and it says, "Bieber Wins Championship for the Third Year!"

It's strange. After all Katie went through that day with Kevin and Justin in the fight upon the glass…I was so worried that she'd be scarred forever. That she'd always be afraid. But she amazed us all. She had Peter teaching her every move he'd ever known and a lot he'd never done before. Peter began training her, not just teaching her here and there. Katie always wanted more. More lessons. More moves. I think she was determined not to be the weak little child anymore. I think we all knew we'd never have to fight for our very lives ever again…but Katie still never wanted to be unprepared for that possibility. I will never forget her voice the way she sounded so adult…like a warrior or a soldier almost when she told me, "No one will ever get that close to hurting MY family again."

I love the pictures where Peter and Tao are in them with her. Yes, Tao also trained and went to every class that Katie did. He also won awards in some of the tournaments. Together, Katie and Tao were a very dangerous couple, even as teenagers. It was no easy trick keeping Justin under control during those tournaments, either, you'd better believe. He wanted the blood of every kid in the competition who dared try and oppose his daughter. Once, a kid kicked Katie in the face and I almost fell down the bleachers holding onto Justin's leg as he raced down there. It took me, Peter, and a couple of the judges to hold Justin back from the fifteen year old kid!

Over here are Katie's and Tao's prom pictures. Tao had become a little hunk over the years, I had to admit, although I could never say those worlds aloud. Katie AND Justin would BOTH murder me. His long black hair was like silk, very neatly cascading over his white tuxedo and his eyes have always been so soulful and filled with something magical. Something deep and sometimes a little sad…but wise.

And Katie looks so beautiful in these, her hair all up, glitter sprayed in…her makeup, flawless and not too heavy. Her fingernails done in a French manicure, just like mine were that night, since I had done an Alice that day and taken her to the best places in town and out of town to have it all done. That dress, a gorgeous black and white silk masterpiece, was the easiest of all. Justin had sent away to New York for it. He chose it himself. It was just exactly what Katie had wanted. I guess he has some Alice in himself as well. Well…he was always great at picking out the perfect outfit and matching shoes. He had dressed me up…many, many times.

Nothing was too good for his little girl…and yet he didn't spoil her into a brat. I still don't know how he did THAT.

And then my eyes caught the pictures of Katie helping Justin in the stables with Dancer. Ah, that's how. There are pictures of Katie riding all kinds of horses through the years around here…but my favorites are the ones of her and Justin riding Dancer. I turned around to look at the best one, Justin on Dancer alone, and Dancer upon two hooves, no longer sickly or scarred…no longer hobbled or restrained. She's healthy…perfect…and beautiful…and the smile on Justin's face….damn.

And over here…look at this…Justin is helping Dancer deliver her first foal. He's wearing his glasses…God, he looks sexy in glasses! And he's so fully concentrating on what he's doing.

Wearing his white veterinarian coat…Dr. Bieber is truly amazing when you watch him work.

I touched my fingers to his framed diploma over here…and have to close my eyes, recalling all those nights Justin had to study and go to school…I have a lot of those pictures in photo albums…for years every time you saw Justin, there was a book in his hand or on the table in front of him. He amazed me with his dedication to learning…he never let it get too hard for him. He would even fail sometimes here and there…a test…an exam…but then he'd come back ten times as determined to kill that next examination! And he did! Justin graduated second in his class. Those pictures are over this way…I think Justin in a black silk cap and gown are insanely sexy, don't you? I had my way with him in it that night once Katie fell asleep.

There's Bob, me, and Justin at his graduation. Katie took this shot. Bob looks so proud…but not as proud as I do…I'm kissing his cheek so hard…my arms wrapped around him…and Justin looks so young…so hopeful…as if he has everything.

He got his dream that day. He became a doctor. A veterinarian.

Speaking of dreams coming true…my eyes go to the center of the wall to my right as they do every day…and I see myself in my white wedding gown…a simple white lace piece…with my groom in black tuxedo…complete with the black cowboy hat, so sexy almost covering his green sparkling eyes.

The sun is setting behind us over the edges of the cliff we found together, where we had spent my birthday and a few other blissful nights. That's where we took our vows in front of the world. I love the pictures of the whole wedding party over to the left, here.

Justin wanted red for the bridesmaids' gowns…and Alice, Rose, Jenna, Kerri, and Melody all looked so great in that color. Justin called them "the red line" and I already knew what that meant. He said this time he's on the right side of the line and he never intended to cross over it again.

And look at the guys in their tuxes! Jasper, Emmett, Marcus, Peter, Josh and Bob all look so handsome! It wasn't easy getting Marcus to wear the black cowboy hat like all the rest of the guys, either. But he finally caved in. There's another picture of us all where Marcus is smiling and fake gold teeth are shining…glowing! Justin laughed his ass off and took the teeth away so we could re-shoot…but he had to keep copies of that first picture. The two of them are sick in a cute, adolescent kind of way. And still are.

Katie was my maid of honor. Who else could I entrust that post to? Charlie was Justin's best man. He said that if not for my father, he would've never had me with him on the plane when he came to Casper. We would've never had this beautiful life…our second chance.

And Ben and Angela…they both led me down the aisle together, one on each side of me…bringing me to the man that had first married their only daughter. I'll never know what side of heaven those two came from…but I'm forever grateful for them. Charlie was still the one to take me from them, though….he kissed my hand with so much love…and put my hand into Justin's…and he is the one who said "I do" when the priest asked who gives this woman. It was even more emotional for me because Charlie was on both his legs for the first time that day. He was practicing for weeks before with the prosthetic leg, but wouldn't let me see until he was standing there, smiling and waiting for me. It was a small miracle that my make up wasn't all run down my face by the time I got to Justin. And Charlie even danced with me that night at the reception to "Butterfly Kisses."

And I laughed when I turned to Justin and he was standing there, watching us, crying himself as he danced with his little girl. God, I'm going to have to make sure a lot of tissue is around when Katie finally gets married!

I love this picture, here, of Justin and me at our tree, under the 'Justin and Selena' carving he made, we're carving the words, 'Mr. And Mrs. Bieber'. And Justin is biting his bottom lip as he carves…man!

We still go there all the time. It's our place. It will always be. I would love our bodies to be there someday, after we're gone. Or maybe Katie can spread our ashes there on our cliff. I would love that.

We didn't get married right away after the deaths of Kevin, James, and Raven. Justin made us all wait until he was "worthy of me". It happened after the trial, after he became a vet…after I really became Dr. Selena…I waited years…and it was so worth the wait.

I always take a minute to look over the articles we framed and programs from all of Katie's school plays. She pursued her acting dream BIG TIME all through high school, getting marvelous reviews on her performances. She always made us cry, Justin and I, at every play she did. She went from doing small parts…to getting the lead. She took our breath away with some of the roles she played.

Justin was convinced she was going to leave us one day to go to Hollywood and join the ranks of Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro. We knew her talent was great but still Justin was tortured by the thought of her in that life. What would it do to her? Her soul, her heart…he had lived among people like those sharks out there for a long time…he loathed the thought of Katie out there swimming in the same waters as they.

And I'm not sure what happened but…just like that…Katie decided she didn't want to be famous…she didn't want to be a star. She loved acting…but she shrank away from the notion of that life all on her own.

Katie graduated high school in white, the school's color, since ghosts were so celebrated here in this town. The high school's football team was even called the Casper Ghosts. It was perfect…with her long red hair…she looked amazing and so bright…Justin didn't even hide it when he wept that day. Every moment he got to see Katie have was a dream come true for Justin. I think he had once convinced himself that he'd never get to be there for all her moments.

And Tao, once a boy who couldn't even speak English…was the Valedictorian! He skipped GRADES in high school because he was so advanced! (But I personally think he just wanted to be in classes with Katie and graduate with her.)

He spoke so intelligently and with such passion…he was even FUNNY in his speech! And he thanked Justin for being his teacher…and his friend when he was a kid. He thanked his parents, Jenna and Marcus, for his whole life. He spoke about all the love they'd showed him…and he talked about how beautiful it was that a white woman, an African American man, and a Chinese boy could all come together as a family…he wished the whole world could be like his parents, he'd said…then there would be no problems between the races.

Right over here next to Marcus' and Jenna's wedding pictures with Justin as his best man, are the framed pictures of Marcus and Tao smiling, holding his adoption papers to the camera. Justin took these pictures.

Jenna waited until Tao was ready to ask her to be his mother…and the next year, he did…and she was added to the papers officially.

It seems that Jenna had learned some important things about waiting until being invited…about not forcing her way in…about waiting until one's heart is ready to accept her inside it. I wonder who taught her that.

Peter did wonders for Jenna…and for Justin and I too…along with many, many others. He became one of the top and busiest psychiatrists in the region again.

And I'm not one to stare at my own pictures but I do love looking at these to the left.

Peter and I are holding a plaque – a sign that would grace the door of our office – the one that's at Peter's house, reading: Dr. Peter Facinelli and Dr. Selena Bieber and we're wearing huge Mad Hatter Hats…and over both of our hats is one big sign stuck to them that says, 'PARTNERS!'

Justin wrote that sign and took these shots. He used up five rolls of film on us that day…and every inch of my office was photographed…and yes, my Doctor Selena sign is on my office door and will ALWAYS be, just as Justin's doctor sign that I made for him is on his office door. Justin wanted his office to be at our house. He hated being far away from home.

My eyes glaze over as I catch the pictures of Ben and Angela dancing at their 30th wedding anniversary party…and next to that, there's the article that reads, "Ice Cream, You Scream Celebrates Tenth Anniversary"

Also here is the Jimmy Chan menu that Justin first saw and fell in love with…right next to a picture of Marcus all dressed up opening his second restaurant, not that he needed to. Jimmy Chan's was where Marcus could be found, always, cooking up some new creation, cursing like a sailor every second of the way, of course.

But Marcus was no longer an outsider. He was a big part of the community. He coached the high school football team! He donated money to the schools every year. He started a big brother program in Casper! He taught a cooking class twice a week! People loved and respected him…and they didn't ask him to change a thing about himself. His foul mouth was something everyone thought was funny…except when he went to church, of course.

Oh, and over here is a very important picture and article that graced the front page of the New York Times awhile ago.

"NOT GUILTY", the headline simply reads. There is a picture of Justin and I beneath it, hugging each other, crying happy tears after his verdict was read in court. A second later, we were covered by Ben and Angela.

Getting through the trial was long and hard…Justin on the stand, answering the prosecutor's invading questions…I ached for him as he sat there for days telling his entire story to the jury while people sketched him from the front row…while reporters scribbled every detail of his past life the moment the words came out of his mouth. I was so afraid he would break.

But Justin didn't crumble. He stayed strong. He was truthful and the jury saw that. They believed him. Thank God.

The scariest part about the end of that whole ordeal was Victoria's father, a huge mobster very like John Gotti, came walking up to us right there in the courtroom. He chilled my blood but Justin stood his ground and didn't waver in the least. He pushed me behind him and waited, not even blinking as the man came up to him.

And he said to Justin, with a smile, "You don't have to be scared, kid. You're not worth the time it would take me to whack you. Victoria's toys never interested me and never will."

At first I was insulted and almost tore the guy's head off but then he put his hands up and said, "Hey, no offense. I'm just telling you…live your life. You'll get no trouble from ME."

And we never saw him again. We heard rumors later that he even put the word out that anyone who harmed us would pay for it with HIM. Weird.

I later heard he was being laughed at, that Victoria's thing with having male sex slaves was a source of embarrassment to her father and his associates. I think that if he did hurt Justin, it would've made him look more ridiculous to all of them, as if he really cared about his daughter's "pets". And in the end, I don't think he cared at all for either Victoria OR James, even as children. Which probably explains a lot about how they went after Justin and I - looking for love.

And those useless marshals – they showed up at the hospital that day after the town had rescued us…angry that they hadn't even known where we were or what was happening that day! Justin told them off brilliantly right there from his bed, as his eyes were being bandaged up, saying he didn't need them and that he had all the protection he ever needed right here. They wanted to relocate us but Justin told them to fuck themselves. I couldn't have said it any better myself.

"We're home and we're staying right here.", he had said with all the strength in his heart, and Katie and I were so thrilled. We couldn't have agreed with him more.

After the trial, when we returned to Casper, we knew we had a lot of explaining to do to people…apologies to make and truths to tell…we worried a lot of what they would say to us…would they want us back in Casper? Would they reject us like those people had burned out the whores way back then?

We needn't have worried so much. These pictures over here say it all. When we got off the plane, the very first thing we saw was this giant banner, and big red letters saying, 'WELCOME HOME Bieber FAMILY!'

Marcus and Peter were holding that banner and the whole town was standing around them, clapping for us and waiting their turn to embrace us and say, "welcome back." I cried in loud sobs when Peter hugged Justin and used his real name for the first time, saying, "We missed you, Justin." And then he hugged Katie and I into the same embrace and said, "You too, Selena….and Katie."

The whole article is framed here…Marcus, Peter and Bob are standing at a podium, talking to the town – this was while we were in New York going through the trial. These three were the ones…who had told the whole story to the rest of the town…they told our stories and our sides to things…before they were done they had the whole town thinking we were some sort of heroes or something…we didn't really want THAT…we just wanted to come home. And be ourselves.

And they let us. And we never had to use the names Anthony Masen or Marie Brown again…although Bob still loved calling Justin "ANT" all the time. His little red ant, he would say.

I love the headline here, to the right, in the Casper Chronicle. It reads, simply: BieberS FINALLY COME HOME!

I wasn't a Bieber yet, at the time, but I was included in that….they all already considered me a Bieber. I loved that.

These other pictures over here are some of Justin's favorites. This tiny little white colt's name is Tiny Dancer. She's Dancer's first baby boy, the one Justin was delivering over on the other wall, there. Psycho is the father, and that was a fun day when Justin found that out for sure. Let's just say…I was afraid for Psycho when Justin went charging off to the stables that morning.

Tiny Dancer is just something else! Justin will always have that special bond with Dancer, but when he's around Tiny Dancer, he becomes that little kid I love again. Tiny Dancer plays with Justin and also with Katie and me like we're horses, too. Justin once got down on all fours and put a carrot in his mouth and he and Tiny Dancer had a tug of war with it! He's an innocent little horse and not afraid of anything…he is almost too trusting to everyone…and he's even managed to calm his Dad, Psycho down a lot.

He's all the things Dancer would've been…if she hadn't been so hurt and abused in her lifetime…and in a way, it was like Dancer was reborn…and was given a fresh chance in her son. Justin makes sure that Tiny Dancer never wants for anything…and is never afraid of anything…he's loved, just as his mother is loved…and Justin swore to me that nothing would ever harm any of these horses as long as he had breath in his body.

Justin is a cowboy…I still can't believe that happened! That New York city boy I once knew…he was so cool and confident…but now I know he's much more himself and happier in his own skin when he's cowboy Justin. Who knew?

Well…Charlie knew I guess. We found out he was the one who told the marshals they should take us somewhere fresh and sunny…somewhere in the country…someplace where there were horses. Turns out Charlie had some problems as a kid and was sent to a summer camp where he worked with horses…he had sent me there a couple summers and I had hated it…but it had done him a world of good – it had turned him around and he grew to be a Chief of Police. Thank you Daddy. It was a good idea.

Look at this picture…Kerri in her red graduation gown…a high school graduate! Justin is dressed in a suit and has his arm around her and her cheek is pressed up next to his. Kerri is holding the little angel with the map in her hand that she had made for us back when she returned home to her family. The lost angel…or should I say…the found one. Only now it's wearing a graduation cap, one that Justin had super glued on its head.

They both look so happy…Justin looks so proud! She invited all of us to her graduation and Justin couldn't pack fast enough to get there. We had all kept in touch since she came into our lives…lots of times she wrote long letters to Justin, pouring out her pain and sorrows along the way….and how proud I was when Justin got right to work, opening his once dreaded notebook to write back to her and share his knowledge and advice…never willing to let her drift back into that world he'd found her in.

Kerri was the first angel Justin saved…but not the last.

My eyes quickly find the pictures of the mansion rebuild. This one shot is of Justin, Ben, Bob, Jasper, Emmett, Peter and Marcus…all hammering beams…putting the empty whorehouse right again…every inch of it…we were all involved in that….everyone helped…me, Katie, Sharon, Jenna, Alice, Rosalie…Josh and all the kids in the college who wanted extra credit for anything….Donald Duck even painted and decorated!

There were times I thought Alice would kill him for taking over most of that job…but thankfully, she restrained herself and found that she was really great at things like hammering, drilling, and sawing! I have lots of those pictures in my photo albums, every one of them gold! I think that's when Alice and Jasper – and Emmett and Rosalie – really got to know each other again…and really bonded, during that rebuild. Every time I saw Alice, she was conveniently helping Jasper with something…and the same for Rosalie with Emmett. I guess there's no stopping love. Everyone gets a second chance.

Yes, the town of Casper gave us a wonderful gift when we returned from New York: the very special house we had discovered where we saw the last of Kevin, Raven and James. Bob had convinced the town to give us the whole house, as no one else really wanted it anyway.

Justin got right to work on it. He began alone, with Katie and I as his helpers…the next day Peter, Bob, and Marcus showed up, rolling up their sleeves and asking what they could do…then…little by little, people came to assist us in restoring the house to its former glory. A lot of people asked Justin what he planned to do with the place…would we live in it? Would he sell it? He would just grin and say, "You'll see."

And we did. I knew Justin would never want to live in this huge place, just him, Katie and I…mansions reminded him of his childhood: a lonely, fancy world. He wasn't the mansion type anymore and I was so relieved about that because neither am I. And I couldn't imagine myself CLEANING this whole place!

What he had in mind all along absolutely thrilled me…and when it was all finally finished, another article came out in the paper, declaring, "LOST ANGELS HOUSE FINISHED!"

And there was another line beneath that, a quote from Justin saying, "A PLACE AND A VOICE FOR THOSE NO ONE HEARS"

And there's a picture of Justin and I in front of the mansion, smiling, an arm around the other.

"Mom!", Katie was calling, and then remembered and quieted herself, whispering, "Mom?"

Very quietly, I answer, "Up here Katie."

I turn my head and there she is…so grown up, standing there…smiling at me.

"He asleep yet?" she asks, peeking at his little face as I keep rocking my hips left and right, dancing with my little man.

I nod to her silently, smiling down at his sweet, long eyelashes that are hiding those brilliant green eyes of his…loving how his full lips pucker and pout as he slips into his dream state…he is the very TWIN of his father. He turns into Justin more and more everyday…and none of us would change that. He's almost two now.

I look up and see a very large and pregnant picture of me…standing sideways and looking down with a smile on my face as Justin kneels at my feet, placing a very reverent and loving kiss on my exposed stomach, his long, slender fingers stroking the side of it with such care and tenderness…I get misty eyed all over again just remembering taking this picture…and I smile when I look at the shot of a teenage Katie holding Justin Jr. as an infant, a single, tiny little flame of copper hair standing right up from the top of his otherwise bald head….and Justin and I are on both sides of them, and we're holding a sign that says, "IT'S A BOY!"

There's another picture of Justin with the baby and all the guys. Bob, Marcus, Peter, Ben, Charlie, Jasper, Emmett…all of them have unlit cigars in their mouths. Goofballs.

Everyone's waiting for me downstairs. It's a pretty big night and I can't wait to start it.

I ask Katie for two more minutes and she nods and runs downstairs. Yes, we have a downstairs now. This is the house we began in…but it's a little bigger now. We made it into everything we'd dreamt of…we all made it together. Tanya's picture still watches over us…and she has taken great care of us all these years.

Whenever I walk up and down this hallway, and look at all these pictures, I realize that to an outsider, if they were here looking at all these stellar memories…it might seem that we had lived the perfect life…a life free of pain or problems.

God, that is SO not the truth!

I can hear echoes of Justin in every room of this house, shouting at me…yelling as I'm yelling back at him.

"Maybe I'm just TOO STUPID to be a vet! And maybe I'm too stupid to be YOURS!", he had screamed once after flinging all his books off the table, after he had failed a very difficult test.

"You are NOT stupid, you just failed!", I can recall myself yelling back, "It's okay to fail sometimes, no one is asking you to be PERFECT!"

And a split second later, I remember my soft voice as I held him while he silently cried when I said, "Failing is important sometimes, you know. We learn a lot from our failures, too, not just our successes. If everyone always succeeded in everything, it would make life very dull. The important thing is…not to let it stop you. You keep trying. You get right back on the horse."

Justin has cried, screamed, and laughed many many times here in between these walls…just as much as I have….and Katie has. I can see and hear all the good times…and I sometimes recall the hard ones too, as I look into every room, especially late at night, when I'm checking on the baby. I can never sleep all the way through the night anymore. I always have to check the kids…even Katie.

Yes. In between all these oh so perfect pictures, there have been a lot of bumps in the road. Peter has been here with us, this is almost his second home, counseling us…getting in between us when we have it all out…and always he quietly slips out when we are finished, clinging to each other and making up as only we can.

Justin has learned to face his anger…to let it out and voice it…and not lose control over it. And I am still learning how to be a good mother…and wife…and friend. We aren't perfect at all, any of us. But we are getting better every day. We love each other and we never forget that, no matter what else happens. We know we're all lucky to have each other…and I'm so glad for that. Kevin, Victoria…Raven…are in our past now. They can never be totally forgotten but after years of hard work with Peter…they torture Justin…no more. He is truly free now. We all are.

And we made it through the teen years with Katie, which was a lot of fun…not.

You would never know it by Katie's high school graduation pictures, where all of us are wearing big goofy smiles on our faces, (including Ben and Angela) but Katie was a VERY difficult teenager. She was always a good kid deep down…never any huge problems like drugs or sex…but there were a lot of times when I seriously considered trading her in for a nice quiet beagle. She is a screamer, just like her Dad.

So many times Justin clutched at his hair in this house, doubting what a good father he is…asking me if he was doing the right thing. It's a miracle he's not bald now.

But Justin and I stuck together as parents, and we had lots of talks about how we wanted to raise her along the way. We argued a lot there, too, but we always found a compromise…we always found our way. And I think we've done a great job. Katie is a kind, sweet person. Smart, gentle, understanding…everyone loves her. But like her father she is also very stubborn too. Some days, they locked horns over some very big things (and other times, over some very little things)…and then I had to be the mediator. She is always trying to grow up and fly away…and Justin is always trying to keep her young and on the ground in his arms.

I feel very proud of all the work we've done behind the scenes, in between each of these pictures…we have all sweated and bled so we can make it as a family to the next framed picture, smiling like we don't have a care in the world. We have earned every one of these pictures, that's for sure.

And then my eyes fall on the picture of Justin, Katie and I staring at a burning notebook…the fucked up journal…this is the day Justin had worked so hard for…the day he let those twelve hours with Sir Kevin go forever. It wasn't just his moment…he shared it with us. He had read it all to us that day…Katie was old enough and she said she was ready to hear her father read it aloud, for the first and last time, before the flames ate it all away forever.

He had finally told Katie everything…when she was old enough…he didn't hold anything back from her…not after she'd heard all those things Kevin had said that day…and still never turned her back on him. We explained what we could at that time…but all the gory details of those six years that Justin spent with Victoria…would have to wait for later. Years and years later.

And when the time came, Justin faced it. He told her everything. He answered all her questions. And she cried…she rocked Justin in her arms as if he were the child and she the parent…we clung to each other…and we became even stronger after that. All Katie saw was his love for her…for him to sell himself like that to buy her a new life…and then she saw something more inside me…and she hugged me, saying that I saved her Dad's life…that I made her family whole again…and that only I could've.

Like I said, Katie is very special. And that's just one example of it.

It amazes me every time I look at these pictures…every time I think of what our life is now…that if I had followed all the rules, if I had been a good little girl and stayed in my place, stayed in Forks or stayed locked in my apartment in New York…I wouldn't have even KNOWN Justin Bieber. I wouldn't have a Katie…a Peter…a Marcus…a Bob…a Jasper or an Emmett…a Kerri…an Justin Jr.

We had colored outside the lines…I brought my yellows, greens and blues to Justin's reds, oranges and blacks…everyone we knew told us not to mix…told us it would be a sin to do so…that it would be wrong.

But we couldn't help ourselves. We did it anyway. Too attracted by each other's glow, we crashed together, right or wrong, and our colors bled into each other without forgiveness or apology.

Red burned into crimson…burgundy and cardinal…chestnut…coral…fuschia and maroon…ruby…terra cotta…sangria.

Yellow melted into amber…butterscotch…aureolin and morning mist…saffron and marigold.

I look at all the people in our lives…people we couldn't live without now…and I see all those mixed colors that ran together….the ones that almost never were, shouldn't have been, and never would have been if we hadn't broken a few rules. I see turquoise…I see sapphire…I see lilac…I see jade.

And that's the funny way I see our life, sometimes, when I walk this hall at 3:13 am when Eddie Jr. doesn't want to fall asleep…I see so many fascinating colors, as one life blends and intersects with another…and I feel sorry for people who are trapped in their little primary squares of red, blue, or green. People who will never know emerald…or scarlet…or indigo.

I shudder to think I was one of them once…I was afraid to look beyond my little world and know that there could be more…so much more.

And then this angel fell into my life…one who needed me as much as I needed him…and he took my hand and led me here. I would do it all again, even with all the pain and struggle we have known…it has been SO worth it all.

I could never return to a world of plain primary colors now, all the reds staying with the reds and the blues with the blues. It would be like being color blind. It would be a gray world, a pale, boring world. And for me, that would be even worse than death itself.

And now it's time to lay my son down into his crib, and I kiss him, softer than a feather would brush his cheek and I whisper, "I love you little Justin."

One thing is for sure. Anything or anyone who tries to hurt THIS Justin is gonna have one HELL of a fight on his hands! I read once a quote that said, "There is no bitch on earth like a mother defending her kids." That's goddamn right.

Justin Jr. gives a small twitch as I cover him up with his favorite plush blanket…a purple one with a happy elephant on the corner…and I hold my breath. He's asleep. Finally. And now I can tiptoe downstairs and join everyone. But first I'm taking the shortcut that will take me down to Dr. Bieber's office on the ground floor. I haven't seen the beautiful veterinarian all day and I miss him like crazy. That much about us hasn't changed much in the last ten years.

I tap a little knock on Dr. Bieber's door and hope there's no one else in there with him right now.

"Yes?", the deep voice is so velvety I feel my mouth fall open and he adds, "Come in."

And I open the door…hardly able to wait until I can feast my eyes on the very sexy doctor inside.

He is all alone so I close the door behind me and lock it, giving him the look that says he is in danger. He smirks back at me, lowering his adorable glasses and getting a better look at the face I was giving him.

Closing a thick book he was reading before I came in, he gave me his full attention.

"Hello.", he greeted as if he just met me for the first time…and he stood up, still wearing his light blue scrubs and white coat. He slowly walked up to me and asked, "Can I help you Miss?"

"I need a doctor.", I informed simply.

"Do you?", he smirked more, putting his hands in his pockets, "What seems to be the problem…I mean…where does it…hurt?"

And with that he towered over me…and his nose was so close to mine…I could smell his mint breath and wanted to taste it.

"Everywhere.", I answered, slowly sliding his glasses off, carefully folding the arms together, sounding as if I might whimper at any moment, and I peeked up at him from under my eyelashes…doing my innocent girl thing that he loves so much.

"Well I might be able to help you…", he said, looking me over more closely, "But maybe not…I only know how to care for animals."

And then there was my opening to make my move. I grabbed the back of his hair tightly and made him look down into my eyes and I almost growled out the words, "I AM….an animal."

That was all it took. We were kissing like teenagers and groping each other like we'd been apart for two years. We had to seize these chances when we could. With a two year old baby in the house, we didn't get much love making time in the night.

I moaned out loud as Justin roughly jerked my blouse apart at the buttons…and I almost laughed when he moaned and said, "Oh my GOD! That's a new bra! Fuck, it's hot! I loovvveeee black lace!"

"Shut up and tear it off me with your teeth.", I challenged as Justin laid me back on his examining table, burying his face into my half open shirt.

Just then, the little beep of the intercom sounded and both of us froze in place, as if we'd been caught doing something wrong.

Let me share a little secret with you. I hate the intercom.

"Dad!", Katie's voice said into the air, "I know what you two are doing in there. When are you coming out here? I want to see this!"

The intercom went off abruptly and Justin looked at me, grinning.

"She knows what we're doing in here?", Justin asked, "How does SHE know?"

"She's only 20 years old, she has no idea, don't worry.", I teased back, "But she's got a point. Everyone is probably waiting for us. We're being rude. Maybe we should go out there."

"No.", Justin darted back into my cleavage, "I wanna play doctor with YOU."

I squealed and laughed and curled my leg around his perfect little ass as his teeth made first contact with the cup of my bra. And I heard him growl…fuck! The older this man gets, the hotter he is. It's not fair.

After a minute or two, we did compose ourselves and ready each other to go into the living room where our public awaited. But God, it wasn't easy stopping.

The very first person we saw right outside Justin's office door was Emmett…and he was standing there, arms folded, smirking at us like the cat that swallowed the canary. I felt my cheeks get hot as Justin spoke up.

"What the hell are YOU smiling at?", Justin mocked irritation.

"You might want to wipe off the smudged lipstick, bro.", Emmett grabbed Justin's chin and turned his face to the left, revealing a little bit of my lip gloss.

Justin jerked away and wiped off his jaw where the offending makeup glistened while Emmett changed the subject.

"Where's Freddy?", he asked me now.

"His name is NOT Freddy, EMMETT!", I lowly grumbled, giving him my stern eyes, "Stop calling him that. And he's asleep. Where else would he be, doing his taxes or something?"

"I never get to see the little guy anymore!", Emmett complained as Jasper came up behind him, rolling his eyes.

"He's gonna forget his uncle Em.", Emmett almost pouted, "I have a lot to teach the little booger about wrestling."

"Okay, I promise, if you eat all your vegetables tonight, you can play with him all afternoon tomorrow, how's that?", I compromised, "And you have to stop calling him Freddy! His name is Justin. Promise me!"

"Gotta go.", Emmett ducked away, almost knocking Jasper over in his wake…but he did manage to swipe half the food off Jasper's plate as he went anyway.

"Hey, you MONKEY, that's MINE!", Jasper groaned as he valiantly lost the struggle for his pizza, now holding only an empty plate.

Justin laughed and asked Jasper, "Where's the girls?"

"Rosalie is in the bathroom.", Jasper informed, "Alice will be here any second. She had a rough afternoon. It seems that Beth called Destiny fat."

Justin looked scared for a moment and asked, "Bloodshed?"

Jasper scoffed and said, "Not a chance. My baby has it all under control."

"Maybe I should talk to them.", Justin offered, as always when it came to the Lost Angels House.

"Not tonight.", Alice popped into the mix and curled her arms around Jasper's neck from behind, "It's all quiet and peaceful now. But maybe tomorrow you need to make an appearance, both of you, and put them straight yourselves."

"No problem.", Justin and I said at the same time and looked at each other, grinning.

Then, before I knew it, Justin was off. He darted into the living room into the sea of people hanging out there, and was on Tao's case again.

"Tao, nice to see you again.", Justin was right behind the sofa, looking down upon him and his daughter beside him. They were sitting there very innocently, their hands in their laps.

"Nice to see you again, too, Mr. Bieber.", he said with a smile, half turning towards Justin.

"Dad.", Katie gave a slight frown.

"Did you get something to eat?", Justin asked him very sweetly.

"Um…not yet.", Tao shook his head a little, looking confused by Justin.

"I'm taking him away now.", I said softly to Katie and her boyfriend, and put my hand in his, gently leading him away from the couch.

"Thanks Ma.", Katie smiled at us as we took a few steps away.

"Where's your Dad?", Justin asked Tao as we departed.

"He's re-fixing all the food in the kitchen.", Tao grinned, giving a little flick up with his eyebrows.

Justin was about to head into the kitchen when Peter came up to us and grabbed Justin by the arms, saying, "Justin, I changed my mind, you have to cut all the parts of me out of the video. I probably sucked anyway. I don't want to do anything to hurt the Lost Angels House, so…just erase all of me out."

"Shut up, man, you were great!", Justin said right away, "You've been doing this for months now, stop it! You'll see in a few minutes you were amazing. I don't want you erased out and besides, it's too late now. Just suck it up and be quiet during the parts when I'm talking."

And without missing a beat, Justin was back behind the sofa, now staring in between Tao and Katie as they shared a little kiss, Tao's hand softly moving over her long red hair.

"Hi Tao.", Justin smiled like the Cheshire cat staring at a helpless mouse. The kids pulled apart suddenly, Katie gasping and going, "DAD! Stop! I'm almost 21 years old!"

"Exactly.", Justin retorted, the pleasant look still on his face. I guess he's remembering ME when I was only 21 years old.

Actually, he was just teasing them. Tao had come to Justin and I a week ago and asked for Katie's hand in marriage. He said such wonderful things…he told us how deep his love for Katie was…and I got tears in my eyes just listening to him…it reminded me of all the feelings Justin and I first found together…and I was so happy for both of them. Tao had been part of our family forever…and no matter if he and Katie were best friends, or dating…deadly enemies…or "taking a break"…Tao was always included in Katie's life somewhere…and we had come to love him as much as she did…in a very different and platonic way of course.

Once Justin established that Katie wasn't pregnant, (and no, he didn't make her take a pregnancy test…YET)…he was glad to say yes…and he even hugged the kid! I was so proud of my Justin…he has come a long way in the Katie dating boys department. On Katie's first date, Justin was sitting in between them, holding the tub of popcorn at the movies.

Katie doesn't know it but tomorrow night, she'll be proposed to. Until then, Justin had a little more time to torment them.

I decided to take a little stroll around and be a good hostess, saying hello to everyone. I saw Jenna and Marcus in the kitchen. God I can't wait until Marcus finds out that Justin is going to be his family soon. All those curse words he loved to use are gonna come flying out of his mouth as if they never left.

I found Rosalie coming out of the bathroom…she's very pregnant so I made sure she found the buffet as fast as I could. I scolded Emmett for stealing Jasper's food and not making sure his wife and unborn baby were fed first.

Ben and Angela were sitting in front of the TV, watching a commercial and quietly talking to each other, patiently waiting for the show to start. Little did he know it's on DVD and won't start until we hit the PLAY button. I gave them big hugs and urged them to eat but they said they were too excited to think about food. I love how proud of Justin they always are.

Justin's parents weren't here…but Joseph and Katherine were. Katherine had her arms tightly wrapped around my husband as we speak right at this moment. He isn't struggling in the embrace, he is clinging onto her just as tight. She kisses him right on the lips and tries to fix his hair with her fingers…and then she realizes it's a lost cause and musses it even more. So cute.

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