Deeper Than The Night Epilogue
Eight years later
Kara and her brother, Steve, exchanged smiles as Gail crossed the stage to accept her diploma.
’’Hard to believe she's all grown up, isn't it?’’ Steve remarked.
Kara nodded. It didn't seem possible her little sister was graduating from high school. In the fall, Gail was going to college to study anthropology, parapsychology, and astronomy.
Hard as it was to think of Gail as a young woman, it was even harder to believe that her brother, Steve, had finally shaken the wanderlust out of his system and settled down. He had gotten married three years ago to a lovely girl he'd met in South America, and they were expecting their first child in December.
Kara glanced down the row of seats. All the people she loved best were here tonight. There were tears in Nana's eyes as Gail accepted her diploma;Elsie Zimmermann was beaming with pride.
Looking farther down the row, she saw Alex. He was sitting in the aisle seat, looking as handsome as ever.
He met her gaze and winked at her. I love you.
She felt a smile tug at her lips. And I love you.
It still amazed her that she was married to such an incredible man. So much had happened in the last eight years. His books, now written under his own name, were consistently on the top of the New York Times Best Seller list. Their family was growing.
She smiled at her three children. They were all beautiful, all perfect, from their firstborn son, Alexander, now seven, to their youngest daughter, age two.
Kara rested her hand on her swollen belly. Their fourth child was due in another seven weeks. Their son was hoping for another boy to even things out.
All Alex's fears had been groundless. Alexander hadbeen born with a minimum of pain and fuss, as had their two daughters, Lena and Katy Jay. The only hint of their alien heritage was the pale brown stripe that darkened their spines. The doctors had said it was nothing to worry about, just a peculiar sort of birthmark that would no doubt fade in time.
As for herself, she had suffered no ill effects from receiving Alexander's blood. Quite the opposite. In the last eight years, she hadn't aged at all. As for their children, they had all been blessed with remarkable good health. None of them had been sick a day in their lives. Alex had told her that ErAdonian children grew to maturity normally, and then theaging process slowed. It remained to be seen what long-term effect their union would have on their children.
She knew they would have to leave Moulton Bay soon, before people began to wonder why the Claybournes didn't seem to get any older. It would be hard to leave this place, but she really didn't mind. As much as she loved Alex's house, it was, after all, just a house. He was her home, her life, and she would willingly follow him across the country, or across the world.
The graduation ended and she stood up, applauding with every one else.
And then Alex was beside her, one armsliding around her shoulders, his dark eyes warm with love as he placed a hand over her abdomen. ’’You feelin'okay?’’
’’Fine. Are you ready to go home?’’
’’Whenever you are.’’
’’Just let me give Gail her present. She's going to an all-night party with Cherise and Stephanie.’’
Alex nodded, and then winked at her. ’’Steve and Maria said they'd watch the kids for us.’’
He patted her stomach gently, felt his child give a lusty kick. ’’I decided if I wanted to spend any time alone with you, I'd better do it soon,’’ he said, kissing her on the cheek, ’’so I've planned a little party of my own. And you're the guest of honor.’’
’’Let's go, then,’’ Kara said, grinning up at him. ’’I'm starting to feel hungry.’’
Alex laughed softly as he bent to kiss her again. ’’Me, too, natayah,’’ he whispered huskily. ’’And after I've satisfied your hunger, we'll get something to eat.’’