A/N: The last chapter! I want to say thank you for everyone for putting up the wait and for getting me to write! I wasn't planning on publishing this and I'm not sure if I ever will, but this was a fun story I wrote for my friend's birthday and it took me a year to do it for you Amanda! I hoped you had liked this.
I have a new story that I'm posting after this called Angel on My Doorstep. It will be under the Young Adult category if anyone's interested. Now that story is a lot different from previous ones I've written, including Anonymous. I hope you guys check it out!
Chapter 14—Happily Ever After
"The lady and the gentleman married a few short months later. The gentleman's company did not fall as his investors decided to give him a second chance. And it became a success. Then after only a year of marriage, the happy couple had a son and a couple years later they had twin girls. At that time, there was another marriage between the lovely Victoria and smart Ethan. They had a girl. And…"
"And they all lived happily ever after!" the children cried out in a chorus.
The older man laughed. "Yes, they did. Now. It's off to bed all of you."
"Ah, Grandpa!" Monica pouted. "Please tell us how you proposed!"
"Now we had a deal. After the story you go to bed. You don't want your grandmother to get mad at me, now do you?"
The grandchildren mumbled but a soft voice interrupted. "Not if you tell them about your proposal."
Erik looked over his shoulder to find his wife leaning against the doorframe, a smile gracing her lips. "I do love how you tell it."
"Yeah! Yeah!" was the children's reply.
"All right. Well, our beautiful lady was feeling kind of sad. Ever since she left the terrible villain, she was missing her friends…"
For the first time in her life, everything was the way it should be. Amanda moved out of Andrea's and into Erik Williams's house (in her own room, of course!). She wanted to be away from her mother as soon as possible to live her newfound freedom.
She would go on expensive shopping trips and slumber parties with Vicki all the time. She loved spending time with her and they had grown close. Sometimes it was hard for Amanda to believe that this was happening. That this was her new life. There were times when Amanda would wake, thinking she would find herself back under Andrea's regime, but she would wake up in the wonderful hopeful lightness. The darkness no longer lurked within her or her thoughts. She was free.
But it did come with a price.
In her newfound life, Amanda had not spoken to her friends. She was constantly having fun with the people she loved that she did not take the time out of her day to think about them. She felt terrible that she did not think of them that much. Yet, those feelings would leave as soon as she felt them. Somehow, even though Amanda did not see them or talk to them, she could feel their presence. She could feel their happiness for her. They did not want her to think ill of herself for neglecting them. They wanted her to be happy.
"Penny for your thoughts?" murmured Erik as he wrapped his arms around her waist and dropped a kiss on top of her head.
"I miss my friends," Amanda admitted wistfully. "I haven't spoken to them in such a long time."
Erik smiled understandingly. "I'm sure they will forgive you. Have you tried?"
"A little but I can't get them to come."
"Maybe they want to give us a little privacy?"
"Perhaps." But Amanda wasn't convinced.
"They will come," he said. "I love you."
"I love you too."
"Come with me." He held out his hand. "The stars are out."
"You know how to distract me," she laughed.
Erik smirked as she encircled her arm with his. He led them out to the back of the house. It became a natural routine for them to gaze at the stars in the night before they went off to bed.
Amanda gasped as the back porch was surrounded by candles in the silvery moonlight. Erik watched her carefully as he led her to the center. She looked up at him, her eyes watering.
"Amanda, my whole life I had been a bitter man. I never had a reason to be happy or know what it feels like to be loved. And that all changed in a split second when I walked in that public library and I saw you. You changed me completely and irrevocably. If you would let me, I want to spend the rest of my life with you, giving you all the love and joy you have gave me. Amanda Scott, my Elizabeth Bennett, my Jane Eyre, my Emma Woodhouse, my Elinor Dashwood will you have me?"
She nodded her head quickly. "Yes!"
Erik reached in his pocket and pulled out a tiny black velvet box. Inside, was a soft pink diamond. Holding it delicately, he slipped it on her finger.
"I love you Mr. Williams," she said.
"And I you Miss Scott," he replied as he pulled her into a passionate kiss.
"Now it is time for bed," Amanda told the grandchildren.
There was little protest now that they were placated in the stories about their grandparents. They all washed up and put their pajamas on and were tucked into bed.
But it did take an hour.
"Kind of gives you flashbacks about our children," Amanda grinned.
"Yes, except this time there is more running around and I'm not as fast as I used to be."
"Oh you poor old man," she teased.
"I may not be able to catch up with the grandkids, but you are no problem," he teased back.
"I don't know. There's some fight left in these old bones." With a cheeky grin, Amanda started to run out to the backdoor.
Smiling from ear to ear, Erik took off after her. Already, she was standing out on the porch, her head looking off to the side her mouth moving.
"Ah, so who's our visitor at this late hour?" he asked.
"Lizzy. They heard you telling the story and we're reminiscing." She smiled at her friends. "You should head home if there's a storm coming."
"I will. It was good to see you again, my dear," Lizzy said. "Tell your husband I said good-bye."
"Good-bye Lizzy," Erik said and gave his wife a wink. "After thirty years, I've been able to see them like you do."
Lizzy beamed. "I told you he was a keeper."
"Bye Lizzy." Amanda shook her head and gazed at her husband. "I think that might be the last I see of her. She hasn't aged a bit. She's still young and beautiful."
"You're young and beautiful to me," Erik spoke quietly. "Will you care to dance with me Mrs. Williams?"
"Of course, Mr. Williams."
Hand in hand, they moved and twirled to the instrumental music in their heads. Their clothes melted away to the fashionable nineteenth-century styles and in their hearts they were there. For now and forever.