LIV.
At Last

It took a year of planning, of invitations, of arrangements and madness to get the wedding around. Mary had helped as much as she was able, but to tell the truth, she found the whole process maddening and…

Well, she wasn't sure about the whole thing.

The only thing she was sure about was that she loved Edward and if this was what he wanted, it what it took to be with him without reservation, well, then this was what he was going to do. She loved him and that was what she kept in mind. She had to repeat it to herself so many times throughout the whole process. Dresses, makeup, flowers, guests, invitations, the church, there was so much to do. It was maddening and she knew this was the last she had of it. She missed the simple vows she had taken with Daniel on the sea. She hadn't even had to bother with changing her last name. Sure, she should have stopped gong by Mary Read back then, but she had already become famous as Mary Read. Mary Wordsworth just didn't have the same ring to it.

She supposed there wasn't much of a point if wondering if the Kenway name had a good ring on her's. She was no longer on the sea, she would be a housewife…or at least on the surface she would be. Underneath, she would still be an Assassin, though not out in the field. That was an agreement between her and Edward, he wasn't going to be out in the field much either though now. He had taken a liking to learning about the First Civilization, as much as he possibly could. He was going to become a scholar of sorts, but she preferred that.

"Are you ready, Mary?" She turned to the woman behind her. She was the wife of some associate of Edward's. She had been one of the women who helped Mary get into her dress, who had helped do Mary's hair and makeup. She took a deep breath and then sighed.

"As ready as I can be." She said simply.

They helped her up from where she was sitting, as it was hard for her to move in the damn shoes they made her way. How she missed her boots. She'd be lucky if her feet weren't bleeding by the end of the day.

Everything happened in a blur after that. She had not been handed off by anyone to Edward, though. She had no one to hand her off. Besides that, she was no virgin and she was not a prize to be bought, won or given away. She walked herself down the aisle, because Edward waited at the end for her. He was smiling broadly, no cleanly shaved at all. She couldn't help but smile at that, he was well dressed, but he was still the man she had fallen in love with. Sure, maybe he had finally adapted to speaking like a man of higher privileges, but that was a small oversight. And even so, there was still a rift between him and his neighbors, as he was a former pirate and they all knew it.

They didn't trust him and they knew of her again so now they trusted him even less.

But Mary Read didn't care and she stood through the boring ceremony, fighting yawns and trying to keep from laughing at the knowing smirks that Edward threw her way. She could see he was bored with it too. It was just so…silly that a person had to go through all of this to get married. Of course, their union was out of love and most unions were out of convenience or for money or power. But Mary loved Edward and that was why she stood there and fought a yawn until the man declared that they were married.

There was a small after-party, where they talked to Edward's business partners and friends. That didn't last long because they had to go to the real celebration and that was at a den nearby. Before they did though, Edward caught Tessa's father, with Tessa sulking nearby.

"I hope there are no hard feelings" Edward said, Mary on his arm. She glanced at Tess who gave her a glare. She was having hard feelings, but Mary couldn't blame her. Mary had sort of swooped Edward out from under her.

"Tessa is a little hard-hearted on the matter, but she said you had spoken of Mary once or twice before." The older man shrugged and sipped at the drink in his hand. "Quite frankly, if this is the Mary I think it is, I'm not surprised you married her. You're a wild one Edward. My daughter is probably too tame for you" The man slapped Edward's shoulder and laughed. Tessa's face went red and she stormed away.

"Eh…Thank you sir" Edward cleared his throat and rolled his shoulder.

"Really, Edward, I have taken no offense and don't let Tessa fool you, she has many suitors. Perhaps you were her favorite, but…she's young yet. Perhaps I should step in" He sighed at that thought and Mary kept silent. Despite Edward not caring that she was outspoken, most men found an outspoken wife to be odd and something they disliked.

They didn't linger much longer, making their excuses, collecting Jennifer and then making their escape in a carriage. They found themselves at the actual after-party and Mary changed out of the wedding dress, trading the formal thing for a more comfortable skirt (as Edward asked she remain in one just for one day) and boots that didn't make her feet ache so and joined Edward who had also changed into less formal clothes.

Here their friends, new and old, were there to celebrate their wedding. It was also a goodbye party of sorts. Even though Edward and Mary had been planning on just having her move into his home and going about life as usual, but the Assassins had insisted they take trip together, have a little bit of a vacation without Jenny there. Jenny would be watched by another Assassin, though Rose would also be there to watch over her.

Edward and Mary moved from group to group, talking to everyone and Mary felt very at ease. At one point she broke away from Edward who was talking about the First Civilization with a few other Assassins who specialized in the field of study. She saw one of them was Miko who had become a frequent visitor in the Kenway house of late. Mary wasn't much interested in their talk and moved away to get a drink. She had just grabbed a glass from a servant when she felt a hand tap her shoulder. She turned and then smiled broadly at the man behind her.

"Javi! I didn't expect any of you would have time to make it here!"

"I was the only who came. I was already heading to England." He told her.

"Ah, what brings you this far north?"

"I was chasing a target who fled the New World." He explained. "My last target, as I am retiring now as my wife does not like me chasing Templars all over the world"

"Your wife?" She raised an eyebrow.

"I married last year. We've already had a child." He smiled. "A young son and he is going to grow into a fine Assassin someday" He paused, grabbing a drink for himself. "So, tell me, has this wedding been rushed because you…" He motioned at her stomach.

"No." She rolled her eyes. "Good Lord, no. I'm done with that"

"You won't have a child with him? You're still young enough"

"But with my history…Well I rather not test it. I nearly lost my life…" She let the sentence hang. He knew just as well as she did. He had been there, watching her rot away after her child died. If Edward had not shown up, helped draw her out of her shell….Well she doubted she'd be the woman she was now. She'd probably still be in a shell or maybe she would have found something or someone sooner or later…

"I still think you deserve at least one child. You never know until you try and you'll never know the joy that a young one brings…" He sighed, clearly thinking about his own family.

"I have a child, a step-child." She told him.

"Ah yes, Edward's child." He nodded. "Still, having your own child is a different story"

"I'm quite aware, Javi" Her voice came up a little short, her temper cutting. He took a step back, his eyes a little wary.

"I can see I have overstepped my boundaries. I think your husband is coming to find you. Another time Mrs. Kenway" He bowed and then stepped away, walking to speak with someone else. A moment later, she found Edward's arm around her waist.

"Was that Javi?"

"Yes"

"Did you ask him how everyone was doing?" He asked.

"No." She shook her head. "We…had a disagreement"

"You never really seemed to agree with that man" He chuckled gently, placing a kiss on the side of her forehead. "Well, come on then, there are plenty of other guests to take up our time"

And so they went along, talking to all of the guests, catching up with everyone who was there, having a good time. It was nice to see Javi though and Mary and Edward talked to him again, inquiring after the health of Ah Tabai and Ade, who were both mournful they could not be here for the wedding or at least the after party. Ah Tabai was still doing very well and though he was retired, he still mentored newer recruits. Ade had a bit of adventure himself but was seeking some peace for himself. Mary wished she could go and visit those two, see them one last time. She missed them both terribly.

Eventually they left to go on their trip. Jenny was left with their friend, in fact it was Miko, and Rose. They waved from the window of the carriage as they left. They had decided to go to France and visit the sights and just enjoy themselves. They'd only be gone for about two months, as there was also some research Edward wanted to conduct there. She smiled at Edward, her love, her husband.

"One last adventure then?" She asked him.

"Only a small one." He agreed. "I don't know if I could take much more than that"

"I agree" She laughed, leaning back against the cushioned seats. "I think we've both had enough adventure to last use several lifetimes"

"Perhaps that means our children will have peaceful lives" She didn't reply to his words, not wanting to have the same argument with him that she did with Javi. She just smiled and leaned in to distract him. It was better this way.


It all started when Jenny and Mary sat down for lunch. She was taking a break from her studies that day. Mary enjoyed spending time with Jenny and enjoyed talking to her. She was growing into a smart and independent young woman. Edward encouraged this and made sure she had a tutor that encouraged it too. Still, she hadn't the expected the budding young woman to ask the question she did. It came out of the blue and Mary hadn't even seen it coming.

"Mary" She started. She called her Mary at her own bidding. "Why haven't you ever visited your mother?"

"My mother?"

"Yes, her grave I mean"

Mary understood then that Jenny believed that her mother was gone. Jenny and Edward visited Caroline's grave once a year. She probably thought it strange that Mary didn't do the same for her own mother. She shifted uncomfortably in her seat. She looked at Jenny and then sighed, figuring it was better to just come out and tell the truth instead of dancing about the subject.

"Well…my mother is still alive"

"Then why haven't we visited her?" Her question was pure innocence.

"I…I don't agree much with her" She admitted.

"But shouldn't you visit her anyway?"

That gave Mary pause. She sighed, looking down. She knew that Jenny was right, she should visit her mother if only out of respect. She should visit her, but she didn't know how to go about it. Should she just drop by? Make an announcement? Perhaps it was something she should talk to Edward about…

"Ma'am?" It was Rose standing nearby, looking at her, concerned.

"Sorry. When is Edward due back?"

"Within in the hour ma'am. He said he'd only be gone until a little after lunch and that the rest of the day was to be free so he could spend time with you and young Miss Jennifer" Mary nodded at her words.

"I'm retiring to the study, Rose. Please come and get me when Edward returns home" Then she stood and walked away, leaving her food sitting on the table. She stayed in the study, trying to focus on other things. It seemed like it took a very long time for Edward to return home. Eventually she heard him walk into the study, the door shutting behind him.

"Is something wrong?" Edward asked. He came straight over to her and she stood. He put his arms around her, pulling her close.

"Not exactly" She sighed and looked up at him. "Jenny was asking about my mother today"

"Oh" He frowned. "I can talk to her…"

"No…no…It's just, I think I should visit her" Mary glanced down. "I'd like you to come with me. I mean…you should meet her. We didn't even invite her to our wedding" Mary hadn't had the guts to invite her mother. She knew how she'd disapprove and if Mary had to have a wedding, she had at least wanted it to be a pleasant event.

"Alright. Not tomorrow but the next day I have a little time…"

"Are you alright with going with me?" She looked back up at him chewing on her cheek. He smiled softly.

"Of course I am. You're my wife now, Mary. One of the main concerns is making sure you're happy. If you need me to come with you, then that's all you have to say. We'll go together." He leaned down and gently kissed her. When he pulled away, she was smiling too.

"Thank you, Edward. I love you"

He chuckled softly. "I love you too"


They waited outside the door for someone to answer. It took a few moments but a servant pulled the door open and let them in, escorting them to the entertainment room. It was empty at the moment so the three of the sat. Jenny had insisted on coming too. Mary grabbed Edward's hand, squeezing it, biting at her cheek again, feeling terribly nervous.

After a few minutes, a woman walked into the room and sat on the chair across from them. She looked much older than Mary remembered. Then again, she had not seen her since she was eighteen or nineteen. Her dark hair was shot through with gray, so much so that it was more gray than black. Her face was lined with wrinkles and she dressed in black as if in mourning. She gave Mary a serious look, as if she did not know her.

"So after being home for so long, you finally see fit to come and visit your mother" She said at last. She took a deep breath. "You have changed very much since I last saw you. I thought you were dead."

"I'm well mother." She said with a small frown. "I haven't died yet"

"Oh but haven't you?" She snapped. "I heard about you, running around as a pirate with that….Rack or whatever his name was. You were taken to a Jamaican jail and left to rot." Her face was slightly red, her voice slightly louder with her anger. "Only, you weren't to rot, you were to hang but you couldn't because you were with a bastard child. What happened to that child, Mary? Is this her?" She motioned with an angry swipe at Jenny.

"Mother!" Mary snapped standing. "This is my step-daughter, Jenny. This is my husband, Edward"

"Oh-ho! Husband! Married again! That went so well for you last time Mary!" She could understand why her mother was so angry, but she didn't want her to spoil her joy at being married to Edward. "You never learn! You've never learned! I don't know where I went wrong with raising you. I thought I did so well, but you refuse to learn the lessons..."

"What haven't I learned, mother? That I deserve to be happy? Or that I won't ever be happy as long as you're in my life!" She didn't want to fight with her mother with Jenny here, but…This woman…

"I think you'd be better off if you were dead!" Her mother snapped and Mary was brought short. She just looked at her and suddenly she was a child again, looking up at her mother as her brother lay dead on the floor. She was a disappointment, that was she thought her mother thought of her. She couldn't find any words to say, she just stared at her mother whose face stayed angry and sour.

"Ma'am, if I may interrupt without sounding churlish, but that was uncalled for; your daughter is a wonderful, brave woman. I have never met a woman like her and never will again. She's a hero, she's a warrior and you should be proud of her" Edward had stood now too and he had an arm around her. She looked at her husband.

"I am proud of her, but I am also deeply ashamed" Her mother stood. "I think you should all leave"

"Nothing would please me more" Mary turned to walk away, but hesitated outside the room. "And mother? I do not wish to see you again. I do not want you around your grandchild"

She heard Edward and her mother gasp, but she hurried out of the familiar home. Edward and Jenny followed close behind. They caught her when she got outside. Edward stood, staring down at her, his arms crossed. His mouth was open as if he had something to say, but didn't quite know how to say it. Finally he took a deep breath.

"Is there something you're not telling me?"

"There was." She shrugged. "I'm fairly sure I'm pregnant. Thanks to you" She gave him a dry look, aware of Jenny standing right there. She looked overjoyed.

"I'm going to have a younger brother or sister?" She asked, her eyes bright.

"Perhaps" Mary said with a sigh. Edward looked shocked and then he hugged her close and then hugged Jenny too, a grin on his face. He was very clearly overjoyed at the news. Mary was hesitant. She was scared but she didn't want to ruin Edward's good mood. So she smiled with them and answered their questions. All the while a fear churned in her stomach, a fear born of her own failure. She looked at Edward again, his bright face and then to Jenny's as well. Maybe…just maybe things would be alright.


A/N: Sorry updates have been slowing. I've had alot going on and we are getting towards the end. Why not drag it out a little right? Hope you enjoyed it, see you next time guys.