The End!!!

Well everyone… this is it! The Epilogue post was the end of my book! I’ve finally finished it. One year and seven months after I started my manuscript, I’ve finally finished. 580 pages, 508 followers, and 405 blog posts. :)

I literally cannot believe that I’m finished. I actually finished the book about a week ago and I’m still in shock. Anyway… I’ll be taking a three month break from my book, and then come November I’ll start the editing process. I’ll update this blog every now and then, letting you know how the editing and then the publishing process goes. And I’ll definitely let you know if I get signed on with an agent or publisher.

 

Anyway… I hope you all enjoyed my story. I’m glad to be finished and now I’m really looking forward to editing. :)

 

Love Always,

Lisa Marie Meier M__

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Epilogue

Applethorne:

“Well Applethorne,” Queen Lorelei says. “Your pet turned out to be quite the entertainment.”

            The Seelie Queen is lounging back on a pile of cushions in her favorite resting place under an ancient, sweeping willow. I’m standing beside her, happy as I’ve ever been in my entire existence. This is the first time that I’ve been called to entertain my Queen and I’m positively rapturous.

            Lorelei swirls her blackberry wine in its bone cup and takes a languorous sip. She sighs in pleasure and seems to melt into her pillows.

            “You may speak your thoughts, Applethorne.” Lorelei says, looking me in the eyes.

            “My lady,” I say, breathily, lowering my head in respect. “It pleases me that you repaired the seals within all four of the Vessels. Your kindness and generosity knows no bounds, your highness.”

            Lorelei laughs, her voice cruel.

            “Why! What makes you think I healed them at all?” she says, smiling. It’s a chilling expression; cruel and horrible on her beautiful face.

            “My lady?” I ask. My queen laughs again, delighted at my obvious confusion.

            “I did not heal them at all! I simply removed the Vessel Souls from three of the Vessels and placed them all within one single Vessel, behind a very poorly made seal.”

            I am astounded.

            “Who?” I ask, my voice barely a whisper. I can’t help but think of my pet. Her face, beautiful despite the scars. Her arching into my touch. Her groans of pleasure. Those final few kisses I stole before letting her go forever.

The Queen is grinning at me, showing her teeth and her black tongue. Her teeth are all pointed. Her incisors are longer than that of a human and they cut into her lower lip. She licks away the blood, relishing the hot tang on her tongue.

            “Do you wish that the unfortunate Vessel is not your pet?” she asks. “I know you still care for the girl. No matter what airs you try to accommodate.” Lorelei is still smiling. Smirking.

            “No matter.” She says, waving her hand in a dismissive gesture. She puts down her cup of wine beside her.

            “You will find out soon enough.” Lorelei’s smile changes. She gives me a coy, seductive sneer. She arches sensually on her cushions, stretching her arms above her head.

            “The seal will break within a year. Then, we will amuse ourselves watching the Vessel fall prey to the rage and bloodlust.” I feel my body grow cold. Sara…

            “Now,” she says, waving her hand again. “Enough of this talk.”

            My Queen stretches her legs, her skirt riding high on her thighs. She arches her neck back, angling her face toward me and orders,

            “Come here and give me a kiss.”

            Leaning forward, I do as my Queen commands.

 

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Chapter Fourteen: Part Twelve

“Yes please!” I hug her back hard and bury my nose in her hair, inhaling her clean smell. We’re alright. I’ve done it. The kingdom is mine. Emma will be adopted as my little sister and I’ll keep her safe.

I pull her away from me and place her on her feet in front of me, straightening her hair and her dress. I stand and hold my hand out.

“Let’s get this coronation started, shall we?”

Sara:

The roar of the crowd is loud and approving. The King, our Ayers, stands tall and proud, the simple crown glittering on his brow. Emma stands beside him, smiling shyly and holding tight to his hand.

I’m standing on Ayers’ other side, Kails on my hip, with Caden standing next to me. We’ve been presented to the room as the King’s closet friends and confidants, and are receiving everyone’s approval.

Our journey is over and I feel slightly lost. What am I going to do now? This is always where the stories end. There’s never an after, after the happily ever after. So what happens now?

Then Caden is taking my hand in his. I look up at him and he’s smiling down at me with his soft warm smile he reserves just for me.

A feeling rushes through me. It feels like relief… like coming home. Reassured for the moment, I give his hand a firm squeeze, and I smile.

 

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Chapter Fourteen: Part Eleven

As for my uncle and his family, his wife and children, who were innocent, were sent off to live in my uncle’s estate he had before he became King. They’d been given a generous living and should be able to live comfortably if they’re careful.

My uncle is currently in the dungeons with the others who were responsible for the death of my family. They’re all waiting till after my coronation for sentencing.

Thinking of my coronation reminds me why I’m getting dressed in the first place. I turn to go check the mirror and find Emma standing in front of it already, admiring herself. She’s dressed beautifully in a deep blue dress trimmed with gold which offsets her pale skin beautifully. Her long hair is pulled back away from the face in intricate braids and then her hair cascades loose down her back.

I come up behind Emma and place my hands on her shoulders. Glancing quickly at myself, I find nothing amiss and so look back down into Emma’s face. She looks up at me, beaming her pleasure. She’s never worn anything so fine and she’s so happy to be able to see.

Her sudden sight is a bit of a struggle, however. She needs to learn to see. What’s dangerous and what’s not. She needs to learn depth perception and all those things. I’ve sent for a spellcaster from a neighboring kingdom who has experience curing the blind and training them to see.

“You’re beautiful.” I tell Emma, turning her around to face me. Her smile, if possible, grows ever wider.

“Will you come sit?” I ask, and she nods, taking my hand and following me over to the sitting area. I’m still staying in my childhood rooms for now; not quite up to moving into the King’s quarters.

Emma sits next to me and folds her hands in her lap, looking up at me expectantly. Abruptly the butterflies are back and I can’t help but swallow nervously.

“Emma, are you happy here?” I ask hesitantly.

“Oh yes!” she exclaims, nodding happily.

“And you know I love you.” I say, taking her small hand in my much larger one. She smiles brilliantly at me.

“I love you too!” she says warmly. I swallow again.

“How would you feel about staying here with me?” I ask. Emma looks a bit confused so I elaborate.

“Emma, I want to adopt you as my little sister. You’d stay here with me and be a princess, if you want.” I say. Emma looks stunned but then she’s in my arms and laughing.

 

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Chapter Fourteen: Part Ten

I can’t stop myself. A grin splits across my face and I’m charging across the clearing. Caden looks startled and has no time to respond before I’m on him. My arms are go around his chest and his come up around me and we’re falling and the berries go flying.

He’s lying awkwardly beneath me, the backpack off to one side, laughing. We’re both laughing and then I’m kissing him and he’s kissing me back and we’re laughing some more.

“My god you two are noisy.” A disgruntled Ayers says. Caden and I look over to find Ayers sitting upright, stretching his arms above his head and groaning. And then he freezes and looks back at the two of us and then he’s laughing and Caden and I laugh with him.

“Sara?” Emma’s voice comes. I push myself up until I’m on my knees so I can see her better. Emma is sitting up and she’s rubbing her eyes, frowning. Then her hands come down and she blinks rapidly.

“Sara?” her voice is slightly panicked. I stand and rush over, followed closely by Ayers and Caden. Emma’s eyes follow my progress. She looks up at me, a confused frown on her face, her eyes no longer cloudy but a pretty brown.

“Emma,” I breathe, dropping to my knees in front of her. “Can you see me?” Emma’s frown becomes more pronounced.

“I can see?” her voice quavers. Both Caden and Ayers drop to their knees on either side of me. Ayers reaches his hands forwards and places them gently on either side of Emma’s face, turning it so he can see directly into her eyes.

“Hello Emma.” He says with a warm smile, voice quavering with his unshed tears.

“I can see you!” Emma whispers, launching herself forward into Ayers’ waiting arms. He envelops her in a tight hug as the tears find their release.

Ayers:

My stomach is fluttering with butterflies and I can’t seem to stop my hand from shaking slightly as I buckle the decorative belt around my hips. That’s it. I’m dressed.

I sigh as I can’t help but think of all the work that needs to be done for the kingdom to bring it back to its former glory. All the laws that my uncle passed that need to be abolished, all the old laws he did away with that need to be brought back.

And then there’s Keeth. I’d sent a large section of the army off to apprehend him, only to find that the manor was empty of all but the servants. So Keeth is still on the loose but I’ve got wanted posters up everywhere. Every patrol in the Kingdom is looking for him and it’s only a matter of time before he’s found.

 

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Chapter Fourteen: Part Nine

“Your turn, highness.” Lorelei taunts, stalking slowly over to me on all fours like a large feline. I’m frozen in fear.

Then she jolts forward and her face is mere inches from mine, her eyes wide and teeth bared. I jolt back in surprise, but I refuse to allow a single sound of fear to escape other than a surprised exhalation of air.

Then Lorelei is laughing, her demeanor changing from that of a predator to that of a playful faerie. She leans forward then, her eyes half lidded, mouth parted slightly, and then she’s kissing me.

The touch is cold and unpleasant. I keep my eyes open and my mouth firmly shut against her exploring tongue. She frowns in consternation, mouth still on mine, her eyes meeting mine. And then there’s the pain. The sensation of something breaking inside. My vision bleeds to black and I slip into oblivion.

Sara:

My eyes open and for just a split second, I don’t know why I’m looking up at the early morning sky through a light canopy of trees. For just a second, I don’t know where I am or why I’m here.

And then I realize and with that realization comes another. My vision is no longer obscured by the red haze. My gaze is clear and normal. My seal must have been repaired. Which means that Ayers won the crown and we’ve made the trip back to visit the Queen and she kept her promise.

I sit up and look around. I’m lying in the grass in a large glade. It’s completely empty aside from Ayers, Emma, and me. Caden is nowhere to be found.

I feel slightly panicked, not knowing where Caden is. I stand and then I notice that I’m not wearing a skirt; just leggings. Abruptly a blush erupts across my face and a deep sense of shame. I know it’s different here in the Kingdom but I still feel indecent.

I make my way over to check on Emma and frown at the state she’s in. She’s curled on her side in a patch of soft moss, fast asleep. Her hair is a wild mess and her clothing is mussed. Looking down I find that my clothing is fairly clean, but when I reach up I find my hair in a wild, tangled mess.

There’s a noise behind me and I whirl around, abruptly aware of my lack of weapon. Caden is standing at the edge of the clearing, an overfull backpack slung over one shoulder and a cloth full of berries held in his hands.

 

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Chapter Fourteen: Part Eight

“I need to break the old seal completely in order to do my work. Yet I couldn’t have an awoken Vessel running amok in my Court, could I? He’s merely asleep. No harm shall come to him from me.” Lorelei says.

I become conscious of her naked form again and avert my eyes, blushing fiercely. She obviously notices because she laughs gaily.

“You are most amusing, prince Ayers.” Lorelei says. I refuse to look up, frowning.

“Oh now don’t be that way!” Lorelei laughs. I refuse to acknowledge her and she sighs.

“Alright, give me the girl.” Lorelei demands. I look up, glaring fiercely and holding Emma closer to me. Emma clutches her arms tighter around my neck at the words.

“I need to break her seal and put her to sleep. I can’t very well do that if she’ so close to you. Your own inert magic could affect mine and my spells could go awry.” Lorelei explains. I sigh in response and lift my hands up under Emma’s arms, trying to pull her away from me.

“No!” she exclaims, horrified. “Ayers!” Emma is scared beyond imagining. I hug her fiercely for a moment, comforting her.

“She’s not going to hurt you, Emma. She’s going to help you.” I say soothingly. Emma is still shaking, still crying. But she sniffs hard and pulls back. I place my hands on her waist and turn her so she’s standing in front of me, facing the Queen.

“I’m going to take my hands back, Emma. But I’m right behind you.” I say. Emma’s back remains rigidly straight and her head held high. A flush of warmth goes through me at the sight of my brave girl.

“Oh, she’s blind. The poor thing.” Lorelei mocks, her lower lip pouting. I frown angrily up at her, wishing with all my heart I could cause this cruel creature pain. Lorelei leans down so her face is right beside Emma’s and sniffs deeply, pushing her angular nose into Emma’s dirty hair.

“I could just cook you up and eat you for supper,” Lorelei murmurs cruelly. I see Emma shiver in fear but before I can protest Lorelei is placing a firm kiss on Emma’s forehead, hands holding Emma’s face in place.

A moment passes and then Emma slumps as well, unconscious. Lorelei lowers her down, being unnaturally gentle. She remains crouching over Emma, heedless of her nakedness, brushing Emma’s dirty hair back from her face.

Abruptly Lorelei is looking up at me and I feel as if I’m prey, caught in the gaze of a most terrible huntress.

 

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