***And here we are...at the end. I like to thank all the little people that have read this atrocity. Just kidding! No really I appreciate all those that have stuck through and even reviewed. I mean what would be the point of posting if you guys weren't out there? Hmm is that rhetorical or deep? I think I lost even myself. It's been fun writing this story even though at the last chapter it took me forever to get back into the swing. If you thought it sucked it's probably because it did.

You'll have to be on the lookout because I'm going to write another story soon enough. No ideas yet confirmed but there are a few lurking around. I'll admit...*sigh*...I tried to write a fanfic while I was working on this story. It was posted before I even started on the last chapter so you can't blame that for it.

Here is the happy ending everyone wants, and I have to give. Or I could make them both want out of their marriage leaving it open for a sequel. Eww!!! Then they could date other people and their children could be rebellious when in actuality they're just hurting because they know their parents should be together. Then they have to come back together when their son gets hurt. Hmm...okay so here is the finale. Hope you enjoy.***

Arden rolled over and reached out expecting a warm body to be there to pull back into his arms. Instead all his fingers found was a cold sheet. It made him groan out loud and squeeze his eyes shut even tighter. Torrance has been getting up before the crack of dawn lately for another man.

The bastard gives her nothing as she yearns for so much for him. Arden watches as she looks at him closely waiting for any signs that there is something there for her. He hates how hurt she looks after he leaves without a hug or a kiss. All he gives is a sometimes subtle wave and then he is off again into the world of money.

Jackson doesn't deserve her love nor patience and especially not the acknowledgment from his children. He hates how Riley looks at him with his own eyes awaiting love just like her mother does. Breckin is a bit better than the lot of female women under the roof. He knows exactly what Torrance yearns for from that man but isn't aware of what he had put his mother through. The children are ignorant to it.

"He's not coming," she whispered when she felt a hand on her shoulder. Lifting her head she looked up at her husband and forced a small smile. He mirrored the weak one and took a seat next to her on the curb outside of their home.

She doesn't need Jackson Benferd, and she doesn't need his money either. It's a shame though that she has to deal with them both regardless of Arden's wants and grumblings. She'll always be known as 'The Benferd Heir' and have daddy's fortune in her name. Thankfully she doesn't need any of that. What she needs is his love and affection but gets that elsewhere. Her family.

Arden gave her everything she has ever wanted. Being the successful architect that he is he's made a substantial amount of money on his own, not that it mattered. He even designed the expansive house that they all live in. Most importantly, though, he's given her an extension of their family. Two, now teenage, children.

Breckin came first and then Riley. Both seem more like their father, but they are definitely their mother's children. None were graced with their mother's red hair which Arden had been thankful for. He didn't want a man to become obsessed and infatuated over his daughter like he had her mother. Red is a consuming color. Breck looks almost entirely like his father did in his teenage years. The only difference would have to be his grey eyes. It's frightening for Arden to be looking at himself again to have him be looking back with his wife's eyes. Riley doesn't look much Torrance either. She is beautiful, of course, but has Arden's thick hair and has the smirk and facial features down to a precision.

"He's an idiot, you know? You're not the one missing out. He is." She bit down on her lip and nodded. This is something she knows she has to accept. True she hasn't wanted to, but she has people in her life that really do love her. She has a beautiful family that she would do anything for. Who thought it would have all started with a little agreement?

"Let's not talk about this okay?" He sighed deeply showing her he wasn't about to allow her to push it away but nodded. Standing up she was pulled into her husband's arms.

"I love you," she murmured against his chest. He tightened his arms around her and dropped his face into her hair. Same small petite redhead he had fallen in love with when he was a teenager.

"I love you more," he replied back in her sweet smelling hair. It made her laugh lightly her body relaxing.

"Oh you think so do you?"

"Nope. There is no thinking involved. I know I love you more."

"Arden," she said softly and raised her head to look up at him.

He looks the same as she sees him everyday. He's grown older and has matured into a brilliant, successful, and absolutely gorgeous man. His hair has lost some of the rich color but it's still thick and always messy. Although his body is older it's still amazing to look at it and hers alone to touch. In all of this time he has never once shown interested in any other woman. He was always completely faithful as she was him.

"I'm sorry."

"Sorry?" he echoed with a look of bewilderment on his face. Is she apologizing to him for loving him? The thought made a cold chill run up his spine.

"I've been difficult and even a bit distant lately."

"Oh," he said feeling lighter again. "It's not your fault. I know what you're going through. It's hard when you want someone to love you and they don't."

"But I always did. I was just...cautious." He chuckled and kissed her button nose.

"More like frightened out of your mind. And to think I actually took a bullet for you," he teased. She rolled her eyes back dramatically. He likes to relive the story with his children. It always makes him out to be the hero, and she's the mere helpless damsel in distress.

"Oh God. Am I ever going to hear the end of that one?"


She groaned loudly as a young woman climbed up the driveway. The blonde stopped when she saw the couple and smiled shyly at their public displaying of affection. She has no reason to be used to it since her own parents don't live together. The couple both smiled at her. They have known her since she had been in first grade.

"Morning Mr. and Mrs. Winters," she greeted.

"Andy," Torrance said softly still attached to her husband. "How many times do I have to tell you it's Torrance?"

"And Arden," he jumped in. She nodded.


"Honey why are you up and about so early?" Torrance didn't want to just come out and ask her why she was here so early in the morning.

"Because," a voice spoke up. "We have plans. Remember I said Andy and I were going camping?" Arden looked at his seventeen year old son and nearly shook his head. He didn't want to think about his son being alone for the weekend with little Adrian. Sure his son is a good kid, but still he's Arden's son.

"Oh," Torrance said seeming to be thinking and feeling the same as Arden had.

They had nothing to worry about though. Breckin was going through enough teenage angst to keep him occupied throughout the entire trip. Adrian has been his best friend since they were six. He's not about to wake her up during the night by slipping into her sleeping bag. Not that Adrian isn't sexually attractive. Breckin just respects her more than that and besides she's only his best friend.

He moved to them to say his goodbye. The things were already packed in his car. He leaned forward after his father released his mother and kissed her cheek. Torrance wrapped her arms around him squeezing her firstborn tightly. He then moved on to his father who both just gave each other a heads up nod.

"Bye. We'll be back Sunday night." Adrian went to follow Breck to the car when her hand was caught by Torrance. She turned to look at her but was caught up in a tight hug. It was unfamiliar but at the same time it felt nice. She gratefully returned it and then surprisingly got one as well from Arden.

"Be safe Andy," he said affectionally and they waved at the two teens.

Riley was gone as well so the house was all to themselves. It wasn't something that occurred often. True the kids go out a lot but people are always dropping in. Having a large family and friends coming out of the wood work can being tiring. Not to mention odd people and reporters dropping by asking what is new in Torrance's life. As if she needs it splashed across the front page!

Arden loved the thought of being alone with his wife. She seemed content with sleep but as he laid down beside her he had completely different thoughts. There is too many problems. Like the biggest being is she has on far too much clothing.

"Honey," he whispered nuzzling her neck. "It's too late to go back to sleep." She wrapped her arms over the ones he had around her and tried to ignore his breath steady on her neck.

"No it's not. The sun hasn't been up for that long."

"Torr you can't be serious. We're actually alone, and you want to sleep?!"

"Hmm," she muttered snuggling deeper into her pillow. "Sounds like a plan to me." He groaned and pulled himself away from her pouting. She laughed and turned so that she faced him. "Oh stop it!"

"But my wife doesn't want me." She moved closer so that she leaned over him. He almost reached out for her but remembered he was trying to be difficult.

"Do you want to know what you wife wants?" He nodded still wearing an adorable hurt puppy dog face. She lowered her head and pressed her lips to his ear.

"Do you really want to know Arden?" He felt so weak, dizzy, and vulnerable at the proximity of her. Even after all those years together she still turns him on. All he could manage was a nod.

"I want a baby," she whispered. He closed his eyes slowly. It wasn't that he didn't want another child. Actually she had just beat him to making the suggestion.

Quickly he grabbed onto her and flipped her over. With her on her back and him leaning over he smiled brightly at her. The relief on her face made him chuckle. It had just been another thing on her mind. He lowered his head and nibbled on her bottom lip for a while before he pulled back to speak to her.

"You read my thoughts honey." She smiled the smile he grew to desire. It was the one he would go out of his way to see. After all he did give her flowers and write a poem. Now those things are something that she doesn't go without. Still no matter how romantic and how many tears they make her cry they can never compare to the first.

"God, I love you," he breathed.

"I know. I love you too." She reached up and threading her fingers through his hair pulled his head down to hers. He kissed her tenderly wanting this to be something more than just a quick bang because they finally have some privacy.

"I thought you liked it naughty," she teased softly amazed at the tenderness he was showing her. He smiled down at her while he took the left hand that had the proof that she would always be his and laced their fingers together.

"Not naughty," he whispered.

"No?" she questioned.

"Fiery," he whispered lowering his mouth to hers again. "Fiery Winters," he corrected.

***And that my friends is truly the end. Oh man...I'm actually sad. I really liked Arden and Torrance. Maybe I should go there with the kids...well in their point of view thing. Then I'll be able to do Arden and Torr on the side. *Sigh* Okay you know the drill. You have to review...tell what you think about the side story. No don't! Crap I don't know what I want. It's late and I finished two chapters today. THANKS...Emberleigh.***