Selene couldn't keep the butterflies down in her stomach as she stepped out onto the porch of her apartment to soak in the early morning sun. In fact she was so excited that she'd been up since dawn, a rarity for the notoriously late sleeper. Today she was going home.
The last four months had been a whirlwind for her. She'd performed a double wedding, which was the only way to resolve Hadassah and Micaela fighting over her for maid of honor, in a beautiful ceremony in the snow with the sun shining down, something Selene may or may not have orchestrated.
Then there was the coronation in what was the most beautiful ceremony she'd ever witnessed. They'd done it on the steps of the palace with most of the kingdom in attendance, including Tamar, the redheaded twins, Deborah, the crown-bearer, Ruth and Boaz, Micah, and the rest of their friends.
Selene had beamed with pride as she placed the silver circlet with a sapphire crescent on Hadassah's head and handed Nathaniel the Sword of Kalashon. They'd decided Hadassah would wear the crown and Nathaniel the sword because, as Hadassah had put it, she was "a girl and girls like shiny things."
Of course it hadn't been all fun and games. There was still a kingdom reorganize. Thanks to Jericho, the army had stood down right after he'd left the palace but it still took some convincing to get them all into the fold. A couple of nobles decided they wanted to try and take advantage of the apparent power vacuum. Nathaniel and Hadassah, with Selene's aide, had quickly convinced them that the power vacuum wasn't nearly as large as they supposed.
Then there was the war in the south to patch up. It took nearly a week to get a messenger to the commanders of both sides informing them of the switch. Surprisingly, the Kalashonians were quite content to pledge their allegiance to the new regime. There were the Aradians to deal with, who were close to declaring war on Delphi. It took all of Micaela's diplomatic talents to convince them how dumb that would be.
No one had seen anything of either Jericho or Athalia since the battle. Jericho was remembered awkwardly as a traitor and a hero and no one missed Athalia. Micaela was slightly disappointed she didn't get a chance to end Athalia once and for all.
But all in all, life had returned to normal it was time for her to go home.
"You're up early," Selene turned at the sound of Nathaniel's voice behind her.
Nathaniel and Hadassah joined her at the edge of the balcony looking out over Jermelek. The king was wearing a simple yet rich, long dark blue tunic that reached his knees made of a velvety material and tied around the waist with a simple leather belt. On his left hip was the Sword of Kalashon. The queen was similarly clad, although her shirt was tighter fitting and a dark green and she had her crown around her head. It was nice to see the twins not dressed to kill, literally.
"Yeah, well I couldn't sleep," Selene smiled at them.
"Ready to go home?" Hadassah guessed.
"You could say that," Selene nodded energetically. "How's Micaela doing?"
"Up and down," Nathaniel allowed a small smile. "The morning sickness is driving her insane."
"I'm just glad you guys have an heir for us," Hadassah sighed in relief. "I was worried her time of the year had passed and that would've driven Joseph and I insane."
"We were blessed, that's for sure," Nathaniel admitted. "Sorry that means we can't come with you."
"It's okay," Selene shrugged. "You'll make it out to see Kaiser Fredrick at some point. I'm certain he'd love to see his grandchild."
They lapsed into a peaceful silence, enjoying the clean morning air.
"You know, I owe you an apology," Nathaniel broke the silence.
"You do?" Selene looked quizzical. "About what? Being verbally abusive?"
"No, you needed that," Nathaniel chuckled lightly. "I remember once upon a time I told you that happy endings were a myth. It seems I was wrong. After all, we won out, we got the castle, and I got the girl," he swept his hand around. "So it looks like you were right after all."
Selene chewed her lip as she thought back to that conversation that seemed like a lifetime ago. So much had happened since then. She'd made new friends and lost friends. They'd freed Kalashon but it certainly didn't come free.
"You also told me that everything has a price," Selene finally spoke. "We may have made it here, but there was a terrible price. We lost a lot of good people along the way, so you were right about that."
"I guess but still if this isn't a happy ending, I don't know what is," Nathaniel replied.
"Sah, you once told me that you didn't believe in happy endings because there really is no end," she said. "We've come to the end of this adventure but something tells me this isn't the end of the adventures."
"You're smarter than you look," Hadassah gave her a lopsided grin.
Selene took the backhanded compliment with a light laugh and they again stared out over the valley and city that was just waking up, simply enjoying each other's company for the last time for a long time. On a whim, Selene looked down to find a small yellow flower peeking up through the cracks of the balcony. Curious, Selene plucked it and held up in front of her as she considered her life.
There were so many questions ahead of her. What was going to happen with her and Andrew? Were the twins going to rebuild the Empire? How were she and the others going to train the new Navi?
Yes, this adventure had come to a close, Selene decided as she studied the flower, but this was not the end of the adventures.