Sarah stood sighing in the corner of the girls' room, watching her sister cling to the window with dark, lonely eyes, watching for no one and hoping someone would come all the same. She twisted a wet cloth over in her hands, trying to think of something to say. The house was very still, even with the girls and both of Mary's parents sitting in the next room over. Sarah drew a deep breath and stepped forward.

"Are you ready yet?"

"Ready for what," Mary quietly answered. She had stopped snapping and acting mad. Her strange situation had settled into a dull serenity.

"Mother and I will be taking you to Elizabeth," Sarah continued. "She'll watch after you."

"I don't want to go until I see Joseph."

"He won't come!" Sarah cried, and Mary turned, startled. Sarah was the quiet sister, the cool-headed one. Still, Mary had an idea of how fond Sarah was of her betrothed. She had tried to discourage it lovingly, but finally, it had burst. "Don't you see?" Sarah continued, stepping forward. "He's going to dismiss you! He doesn't want your child!"

"He said he would come!" Mary stated, tears pouring from her swollen eyes. "Joseph would never go back on his word."

"You're twice a fool," Sarah muttered under her breath, throwing the door open. Her parents and sisters looked up, all waiting for Mary to leave. "She's going," Sarah practically growled. "She's ready." Dinah nodded rather soberly and stood, disappearing inside the room to help Mary gather her things. The quiet settled in again before Naomi squealed, pointing to the door. Joseph was here.

"Come in," Mary's father greeted with a slow smile, giving him a hearty handshake. Joseph seemed too awake, rather cheerful for coming to send Mary away, as what her family had predicted and found the logical reason. He only looked to each of their worried faces before seeing Mary and Dinah step into the main room of the home. Mary looked shocked and relieved at the same time. Now, the awkward pause came again.

"Are…you leaving?" Joseph asked, seeing the small satchel Dinah carried. Mary shyly nodded, wiping under her eyes and fixing the wrap above her dark brown curls.

"She will be at her cousin's home, Elizabeth," Dinah explained, almost hurrying Mary along. Joseph reached out, pulling something from his own purse.

"Wait, please?" Mary paused, looking to her mother for help. Joseph produced a small dove, like one that would be sold in the market for poor offerings, a full-sized but young bird. Her eyes nearly regained that lost light so characteristic of them. Her family was a little stunned. He was too old for small gifts. Mary, however, was delighted.

"He is beautiful," she sighed, extending both careful hands to take him. "But…why?"

"I…I had a dream," he said quietly, and although everyone could hear, Mary was the only one who understand what he really said. "A dream about hope, and…doves." A small smile came over her.

"Mary, we must go," Dinah whispered.

"Joseph," Mary's father interrupted, taking his attention away. "I wanted to speak with you about the wedding."

"I believe it should be after the baby is delivered," Joseph finished rather sternly. Her sisters, who were all that was left, swallowed their shock before running after Mary to tell her the news. Mary's father seemed rather pleased.

"Then you…you are willing to…"

"I have a strong faith that everything will work out," Joseph reassured, smiling in a wise sort of way.

"Yes," her father agreed. "You…you have a strong faith…in something."

Dinah gave her daughter one final hug before sending her with wishes to her cousin, Elizabeth. Elizabeth was always sort of a mentor to young Mary, having watched over her like a second mother and always being there when everyone else had turned away. She came out to the road to greet her cousin, and laughed when Mary showed her Joseph's gift. "How strange to give a dove," she muttered, taking Mary's arm. Suddenly, she stopped, wincing.

"Is something wrong, Elizabeth?" Mary asked.

"I…I have a pain…"

"But are you all right?" Elizabeth smiled, nodding.

"Tell me what news you have."

Mary smiled and told her everything.

Not sure if this is the end or not…I didn't mean to take it any further, but there we go!