The Captive Epilogue

Ashlynne gazed down at her sleeping son, surely the most beautiful sight she had ever seen. His hair was midnight-black, his eyes were blue, though Chaney had told her they would probably change color later. Her son. What a miracle he was, and how she loved him! It was hard to believe he was already a year old.

She looked up at Falkon, who was standing on the other side of the baby's bed, her heart quickening when his gaze met hers. The last year and a half had been the happiest of her life. She had sent the servants away, and so far she hadn't hired any to take their place. It was her house now, and she wanted to be the one to take care of it. Though it was shamefully extravagant, they had bought new furniture, rugs and drapes, so that the house reflected their taste instead of Niklaus's. The house, which had once seemed so cold, was home now.

Falkon had suggested sending for Darf and Chaney's daughter, but the couple hadn't wanted to wait, and they had left for Trellis the day after they were freed from the mine. They had located their daughter and at Falkon's urging, Darf and Chaney had moved to Tierde. Chaney had been with Ashlynne when her son was born.

Falkon had taken over the running of the mine. He refused to use slaves;instead, he had hired a dozen men, torn down the huts, and built housing for the workers and their families.

Best of all, she'd had the old-fashioned wedding she had always dreamed of. Drade had been there, and Darf and Chaney.

There was peace in the galaxy at last. The Romarians had been defeated and a new Confederation of planets had been established.

Life, she thought, had never been better.

’’Happy, princess?’’

’’You know I am.’’ She frowned at him. ’’Are you ever going to stop calling me that?’’

Falkon came around the bed to stand beside her. He grinned as he put his arm around her shoulders and drew her close to his side. ’’No. It suits you.’’

He kissed her cheek. ’’Have I told you lately how much I love you?’’

’’Not since this morning.’’

’’I love you.’’ He drew her into his embrace and kissed her again.

’’And I love you,’’ she replied. ’’You've given me everything I've ever wanted.’’

’’Have l?’’

’’Well, almost everything.’’

’’Tell me what you want, sweetheart, and it's yours.’’

’’A daughter. I want a daughter.’’

’’It may take a little time, but I'll do my best.’’

Ashlynne smiled up at him as she took him by the hand and led him into their bedroom.

And nine months later, she had everything she had ever wanted.

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