ONCE IN A LIFETIME 4


SEVEN:


Ana wasn't really surprised to see Lance at her door that night. "You aren't supposed to be here until the end of the week. The judge said that--"

Lance held his hands up in a non-confrontational way. "We need to talk."

"Why so you can rub your victory in my face?" She bit back the tears and spat the words at him hoping that he'd see that she was in no mood to speak with him. She had finally gotten control of over the last few hours since the ruling. The last two days hadn't gone well. Her life had forever been changed by his actions and she wasn't sure she could ever forgive him for that.

"No," Lance said. He stepped forward. "Let me in Ana so we can talk."

"I think I've heard all you've had to say." Tears formed in her eyes and she took a shaky breath and looked at him seriously.

"Ana, I did this for you," he said softly stepping towards her. He reached out a hand to try to comfort her and she brushed it away.

"For me?" She pushed the door closed, but he caught it with his foot.

"Ana, I knew that the lawyer that you hired wasn't going to win. I know how you feel about Richard and I knew that I couldn't let him have those kids."

"But Lance it wasn't your place to do that. Those are--" She choked up with emotion. "Those are my kids and I don't want you to have them."

"You're not going to give them to me," he said.

"Of course I'm not going to give them to you."

"That wasn't a question Ana. I said that you aren't going to give them to me."

He leaned against the wall. "I don't want them…well I do--"

"If you didn't want them then why did you do all this?" she demanded.

"Ana I want those kids, I want them with all my heart, but I know that without you in the package that if I were to take them from you I'd break your heart."

"What?" She rubbed her face. "I'm confused."

"Will you let me in so I can explain?"

She watched him closely for a moment then opened the door and followed him into the living room.

"Are the kids here?" he asked.

"No, I left them with my mother." She explained then took a seat on the edge of the couch.

"Now…on with my plan."

"Plan?"

"Yeah. When you kicked me out before I went over to JC's and he explained about the situation. He said that your lawyer wasn't the best and that the whole group had wanted to help you out but you wouldn't let us. So I called up our lawyers and had them file a petition that said you weren't fit to be their parent--"

"I'm not fit?" she said angrily standing up from where she'd been sitting. "I'm their mother for God's sake. When have you ever seen me neglect those kids?"

Lance's voice caught in his throat when he saw the look on her face. It was the same look she'd had on her face earlier in court when the lawyers had been discussing that she was an unfit parent. At that point it had been ruled out that Richard wasn't even in the running for a say over those kids and to find Lance pulling the kids away from her had made a slightly happy time, extremely painful.

"Never," he said calmly swallowing back the urge to fall at her feel and beg for forgiveness. The lawyers had been right in what they'd done. They'd proved that Richard was horrible, something that Ana's hired lawyer hadn't done strongly enough. "Sit down Ana and let me finish."

He paced the room and waited until she sat down again.

"Now, my plan was that I would beat out the both of you. I knew the important thing was to cut off Richard."

"But you said all those awful things about me."

"I didn't mean them and I'm sorry." Lance frowned.

"How could you say all those things," she said.

"I had to. I knew though that if I won that I could make sure that you'd never be without our kids again."

"Our kids?" she asked. "They aren't yours."

"Well I'm hoping that they will be."

"I'm confused again. I don't get it." She got up and paced the room while Lance stepped out of her way and watched.

"Ana, look at me."

Ana kept pacing.

"Ana look at me dammnit!"

Ana turned at the sound of the vulgar language and the tone of his voice. Lance never usually raised his voice.

"Ana I want to marry you. Since the kids are technically mine they will now be considered ours."

"Marry you?" she asked sitting down again.

"I can’t marry you. Remember, I'm an unfit mother…" She rubbed her face tiredly.

"Please forgive me for that Ana, I know you still don't understand why I did what I did, but it was the only thing I could think of to keep those kids away from Richard." He sat down beside her. "I've never asked you for anything Ana, but I think it's time to cash in for my good behavior." Lance knelt in front of her, pulling out a ring box he presented it to her. "Ana, will you marry me?"


EPILOG


"Come on JJ," she grabbed him up in her arms and balanced both her and Olivia in her arms. "Daddy's going to be here soon." She stared out the window at the plane that had just landed and began to explain, "Remember that plane that Daddy took when he went away?"

They nodded.

"Well that plane out there is the one that is bringing him home."

"But that isn't the one that took him away."

"Well he's been gone for a while and there are a lot of airplanes to fly on so he took this one because the pilot told him that he was going to fly it back to Orlando and the pilot knew that we needed Daddy to be with us."

Ana held her breath for a moment thinking about the last year. It had been a struggle and at first she really had been angry with Lance, but soon she knew that they were meant to be together. He really had cared for her children and her, not only through his financial means, but also with his heart. It was a once in a lifetime situation. She had a great husband. He was by no means a super-dad type of father, but he tried his best to work with his schedule so that he was there for their first day of school and got to pick them up on their last day of kindergarten, something that she hadn't expected at all.

"Mommy?" JJ asked, "When's Daddy going to be here?"

"Is Daddy going to be home for a long time this time?" Olivia asked before she could answer.

Ana hated to hear Olivia speak about how she missed her father so much. A year ago the girl hadn't even had one, and now it seemed as if she couldn't live without him. Ana still couldn't believe that her children had a father. It had taken them a while to get used to the idea and it had only been in the last few months that they'd called him Daddy, but when the titled had been officially adopted by the twins, the family had been completed.

"He's coming off that plane right there," she said nodding to the plane that had just arrived in front of them. "And yes honey, Daddy's going to be home for a while." Ana stated knowing that two weeks in Olivia's life was practically a lifetime. The group was going to be on vacation for two weeks then going back on tour for the second leg of the world tour that had been going for almost eight months now.

"Good," Olivia said. "I don't like it when he goes away."

"Neither do I," Ana said biting back tears. There had been a few nights when Olivia had asked for her Daddy to read her a story and she'd cried when Ana had said that Daddy wasn't going to be home to read it to her.

When people started to emerge from the gate Ana let both the kids down. She watched from a distance as businessmen and vacationers stepped off their flight. Her heart rate sped up in anticipation of his return. It had been a full month this time and she'd hated every moment of it.

"Wait here ok?" she said as she watched the twins looking at the crowd.

"No, we want to go see Daddy." JJ stomped his foot and made his mad face, one that was totally overly dramatic for the situation, but put across a definite anger in him for being told what to do.

"He's coming out right now," Ana said. She glanced up again and hoped that she hadn't missed him.

She watched the crowd carefully; first seeing Justin and Joey come hobbling off the plane. They both looked exhausted, but somehow even half awake their excitement to be home couldn't be hidden. A few fans instantly mobbed them, but they took it in stride and posed and talked with the people.

JC came off the plane and watched Chris bounced past him practically screaming about how glad he was about being home.

She was watching Chris hug Dani and JC kiss Bobbie hello when JJ shouted, startling her.

"Daddy!" JJ started running towards the blonde haired figured that emerged from the gate.

She wanted to stop him from running around in the airport, but found herself grabbing Olivia up into her arms and rushing after him. She had tears in her eyes when she met up with her son and her husband. He was hugging JJ to him tightly so she leaned over her son's shoulder to kiss Lance hello. It had only been a few weeks, but the time apart had reinforced what she'd been feeling the whole time.

Lance had been sent to her for a reason and through some divine intervention they were going to be together forever because of their once in a lifetime meeting.

 


THE END


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