Chapter 11 – Happily Ever After

Friday – Day Five of 12 weeks apart

Elizabeth set down her plate containing two scrambled eggs and a piece of toast on the table and went back to the kitchen counter for her cup of coffee.

"I'm going to move back to the row house today. I don't want the women in town to start gossiping again and Jack has to go out of town for the night so he won't be there," she explained to Abigail as the two women sat down for breakfast.

"What about when he comes back tomorrow?"

"He'll sleep at the jail at nights and sneak back home in the mornings. Or he'll sleep in his bedroom and I'll sleep in mine. We did it for ten weeks. We can do it for another eleven and a half."

"You did it for ten weeks when neither one of you was willing to admit that you loved each other," Abigail reminded her with raised eyebrows as she stopped buttering her toast and looked at Elizabeth.

"Since then, you've admitted your love and you've kissed. Quite a bit from what people in town have noticed. It seems that despite your concern for spreading chicken pox, you two have been discovered kissing in the Saloon, the jail house, the alley beside the mercantile, the livery, and by the pond. And that's just in less than a week."

"We'll be fine. For goodness sakes, I'm a grown woman. I can control myself", Elizabeth replied dismissively. And least I hope I can.


Thirty minutes later, Elizabeth raised herself slightly up on the toes of her shoes and gave Jack a quick peck on the cheek. They were standing in front of the jail next to his horse which already had Jack's Mountie-issued saddlebag and sleeping roll secured to it.

"Be careful when you're out there."

"I will. I promise. I'll be back late tomorrow if the weather holds up. Otherwise, it may be another day"

"I'll miss you."

Jack grinned. "That's what I'm hoping for. Absence makes the heart grow fonder."

Elizabeth raised her eyebrows and gave him a sideways and challenging look. "On second thought, I may not even think about you. Out of sight. Out of mind."

"We'll see about that", he responded with an interesting smile as he mounted his horse.


Once Elizabeth, who had made a decision to avoid thinking about Jack while he was out of town, had taken attendance for the day, she stood in the front of the room of round tables and smiled encouragingly at her students.

"Class, it's time for your reports. As you know, you were each supposed to pick an animal, bird, or other creature and present on it. I know that we don't have a lot of books yet. I was hoping that my shipment of encyclopedias would have arrived by now but I hope you were able to talk to people in the community who could give you some helpful information. Steven, would you please go first?"

The young red-headed boy stood up from his chair and began speaking to the class.

"I picked wolves. They're carnivores and similar to dogs in many ways. They howl to communicate. They are very smart. When a male and a female meet each other, they form a pack and find a place to settle down and raise their cubs. They mate for life. Mountie Jack says that's important."

"You spoke to Mountie Jack about this?" Elizabeth asked in surprise.

"He knows a lot about animals", the boy replied with a nod.

"Yes, Bobby?" Elizabeth asked when she noticed a six-year old boy at the table across the room raise his hand.

"What's mate mean?"

Steven, proud of his research with the town's constable, spoke up before Elizabeth could answer. "That means they stay together like a husband and wife. Mountie Jack says that when a male wolf falls in love with a female wolf, it's forever. Just like when a husband falls in love with his wife. Like him and Mrs. Thornton."

"I'm glad to see that Mountie Jack has so much information to offer", Elizabeth said with a hint of sarcasm.

"I asked Mountie Jack about my animal too", Elsa offered. "Can I go next?"

When Elizabeth nodded, the eleven-year old girl stood and held up a mass of wooden sticks, glued together and heaped onto a small board, for the class to see.

"My animal is the beaver. It also mates for life and is known to be very loyal to its mate. They can live happily together for decades. Together they make a home after they dam up a stream. . . Is it okay that I said dam, Mrs. Thornton?"

"Yes, it's fine, Elsa. It's spelled differently than the bad word", Elizabeth replied with a grin. "Go on."

"This is what their home looks like. It's called a lodge", the girl said as she walked around the room showing off her structure. "They have a room for drying off after the beavers enter from underwater."

"How many bedrooms do they have?" one of the students asked as he looked at the dam replica.

"Just one. Mountie Jack says they only need one bedroom 'cuz they love each other. Just like a husband and wife only need one bedroom. Mount Jack says it's silly for them to each have their own bedroom."

"Mountie Jack says that, does he? He's just full of facts and opinions," Elizabeth mumbled.

"You can sit down now, Elsa."

"Jacob, why don't you go next?"

The nine-year old boy stood and held up a piece of paper with a pencil and crayon rendering of an animal for the class to see.

"I picked the red fox because I think they are really pretty and I've seen them a lot. They are called omnivores because they eat anything. Male red foxes hunt for the family and bring the food home to their den. After they all eat, the male likes to play with their pups. Mountie Jack says he sees them playing and roughhousing sometimes when he's on his rounds. He says that the male is a good mate and father because just like with humans, the male should provide for the family and play with the children when he comes home from work. I asked if he's going to do that when he and Miss Thatcher . . . I mean Mrs. Thornton . . . have babies and he said yes."

"Did all of you talk to Mountie Jack about animals?" Elizabeth asked in alarm.

"I didn't" ,Trisha volunteered happily.

"Why don't you go next, Trisha?" Elizabeth instructed. At least Jack didn't get to all of them!

The thirteen-year old stood up, smoothed out her cotton dress, and began speaking.

"I picked the Black widow spider. The female has an hourglass figure, which is what all ladies want. The female spider doesn't get along with its family and it leaves home as soon as it can. After it picks a husband, and gets what it wants from him, it eats him. Just gobbles him up. Sometimes people mistake the trapdoor spider for the black widow spider. I asked Mountie Jack –"

"Trisha, you said that you didn't talk to Mountie Jack", Elizabeth interrupted.

"No, Mrs. Thornton. You asked if I talked to him about animals. I didn't. I talked to him about spiders", the girl answered innocently. "Spiders aren't animals. You taught us that."

Elizabeth shook her head in defeat as Trisha began talking again.

"I asked Mountie Jack how you can tell a black widow from a nice spider and he said that he can always tell. It takes experience but you also have to trust your instinct. He said he can tell a venomous 'man-user' . . . that's what he called it . . .from a nice female who wouldn't hurt him. He said that was important for me to put in my report. That's there's no 'doubt'. He said that specifically. That there's 'no doubt' that he knows when a female is not a black widow."

Trisha, proud of her report, sat down and waited expectantly for Elizabeth to compliment her.

Elizabeth gave a sad sigh of surrender and rang the bell on her desk. "Class dismissed."

"But it's only nine o'clock in the morning!" several of the children yelled out.

"Fine. Recess. Go outside and run around like wild creatures", she said with a dismissive wave of her hand before she sunk her head onto her desk.


"He used my own students against me!" Elizabeth complained hours later as she and Abigail set the cloth napkins which they had just folded into neat squares onto the Café tables in anticipation of the dinner crowd. "Without them even knowing it!"

Abigail smiled as she set down the last of her stack of napkins and walked over to the sideboard. She picked up a handful of silverware and began moving from table to table, placing a knife and fork in front of each chair. "He is a very persistent man."

"He managed to make his presence known in my day even when he's not in town. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, he said! He knew exactly what he was doing!"

"He's persistent and smart."

"I came to Coal Valley as a strong independent woman with a plan. Now look at me! I can't think straight. He's turned my life into chaos!"

Abigail's chuckled. "Chaos? Is that what they call it in Hamilton. From where I come from they call it frustrated love."


Elizabeth gently closed her journal and put it on the unfamiliar nightstand next to her. As she adjusted the wick and extinguished the flame of the kerosene lamp, she spoke softly, no more than a whisper. "Good night, Jack. Wherever you are. I love you."

With her head against the pillow in his bed, she breathed in the scent from the pillowcase. His scent. Leftover from the night before.

Tomorrow, when Jack was back home, she'd sleep alone in her own bed. But for tonight, she'd sleep as close to him as possible.

Five days down. Two months, three weeks, and two days to go.

Come home to me soon, you rascal. You were right. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.


Saturday – Day Six of 12 weeks apart

Elizabeth had spent a good portion of the afternoon preparing dinner. While she had waited for the bread dough to rise, she had chopped celery, carrots, onions and potatoes until she thought she'd never want to chop another vegetable.

And then she saw the rabbit.

With her face screwed up in disgust, she had followed Abigail's verbal directions and coated each piece of the animal in flour and then browned them in the heavy iron skillet. After putting everything into the pot with water and spices, she took a slug of the wine before pouring a cup of the liquid into the mixture.

Five hours later, Jack had pushed back his empty bowl, taken a sip of wine from his glass, and declared for the second time that evening that it had been a delicious meal.

As he helped Elizabeth clean up the last of the dishes, she noticed him stifle a yawn.

"You must be tired from your traveling."

"Just a little. The hard ground wasn't as conducive to sleeping as a bed mattress. I'm going to head over to the jail if you don't mind. I hate to eat and run, but I am pretty exhausted."

Elizabeth tried to hide the disappointment from her face. "I understand. It's no problem. I've got a good book to read anyway."

"Hey, is everything okay? You're not mad that I'm leaving are you?"

"No, I'm not mad."

"Then what's wrong? I know something's going on in the head of yours."

"I just wish we had more time to spend together."

"It was pretty nice when we lived together", he admitted with a smile.

"Let me go get you a better pillow. Yours here is much softer than that cheap one at the jail", Elizabeth offered as she turned and started up the staircase.

"I think if I were seen walking down the street with a pillow it would kind of defeat the purpose of me pretending that we're happily married and sleeping together. Don't worry. I'm fine with the jailhouse bed. I'll fall asleep quick enough."

Jack took his leather jacket, which was worn and faded from sun and rain, off the hook on the wall and slipped his arms into the sleeves. He stopped halfway through buttoning the third button and glanced at Elizabeth who was standing at the bottom of the staircase watching him.

"Are you sure you're okay?"

"I'm fine."

"Talk to me."

Elizabeth hadn't meant to bother Jack with her thoughts, especially when he was so tired, but the words came out before she could stop.

"I love you and all that time that I thought that we were married, we didn't have sex. And then when I knew we weren't married but I wanted so desperately to be married to you and to experience being with you, we had sex. And now I can't stop thinking about it even though I know we shouldn't do it if we're not married."

Jack smiled and raised his eyebrows at her. "Is that an invitation?"

Instead of smiling back, she frowned sadly. "It's not just that.. . . I want to be married to you and do things like before. I want to fall asleep on the couch with you. And have dinner at our table every night. And play cards in the evening. And make breakfast for you. I miss being your wife."

Jack crossed the room and moved his finger along her cheek, gently picking up a single tear as it fell from one of her eyes.

"I will marry you any second of the day. I promise. You say the word and we are married."

"We can't", she grumbled. "We have to wait. If we get married before my birthday, you might one day think that I tricked you. By sleeping with you first. Making you feel pressured to hurry up and marry me. Oh, by the way, I'm not pregnant", she added.

Jack ran his fingers through her hair and spoke softly at first and then with a hint of humor.

"I would never think you tried to trick me or pressure me. Never. I know you love me. And you know I love you. You may have seduced me with your soft skin. And lured me into yours arms with your beguiling smile. And captivated me with your incredible personality. And mesmerized me with your warm lips, but you never tricked me or pressured me to fall in love with you."

"That's quite a vocabulary you have there", she teased through her watery eyes.

"I have to keep up with my intelligent wife-to-be."

Jack wrapped his strong arms around her quivering body, holding her comfortably and letting her calm her breathing before she spoke again.

"The whole trust fund leaves such a bad taste in my mouth. It reminds me of how stupid I was when I moved here. How I was planning on using you. How I wasn't respectful of our friendship and your feelings. I want all that gone."

"If you want to wait, we'll wait. Until after your birthday. I will try my darndest not to tempt you and tease you until then. No matter how adorable you are. I promise. But the very next day after your birthday, you're going to be my bride."

Jack's voice was so full of love and sincerity that Elizabeth wanted to stay snuggled up against him all night.

"You are the most wonderful honorable man I have ever met. How did I get so lucky?"

"I think it had something to do with you coming to Coal Valley determined to marry some schmuck and I found myself volunteering."

Elizabeth kept her head leaning against his chest but took her hand and lightly slapped him on the arm.

"And somehow, I ended up falling hopelessly, utterly, desperately in love with you", he said in a low voice as he nuzzled her neck.

Elizabeth didn't respond but closed her eyes in contentment and gratefully allowed Jack to continue to nestle his mouth in small spot between her neck and her shoulder.

"Now, if you are not planning on marrying me in the next five minutes, I am going to have to say good night."

"Oh, Jack", she lamented as he gently disentangled himself from her.

"If I don't leave now, you're going to lose all respect for me when I let you take me to bed", he said with a soft chuckle. "And I'm going to lose all respect for myself because I'm going to wish you had done it sooner."

"Good night, sweet pea", he said with a smile as he opened the door and then walked out.


Elizabeth closed her journal and put it on Jack's nightstand. She adjusted the wick and extinguished the flame of the kerosene lamp. In the dark room, which was now lit only by the moonlight, she walked to the window. She was too far from the jailhouse to see it, but she knew Jack was safely there.

Unlike last night, she would sleep without worry tonight.


Sunday – Day Seven of 12 weeks apart

Abigail took her knife and made small cuts in the pale top crusts of the two pies on her counter. After putting the pies in the oven, she closed its heavy metal door and then turned to look at Jack. "How about lemonade?"

When Jack just nodded feebly, she moved to the icebox and took out a pitcher. Abigail waited to speak until after she had filled two glasses with the cool pale yellow liquid, and then handed one to Jack.

"So, let's recap this. First, she asked you to marry her for money but you said no. Then you offered to marry her but you really tricked her and had a fake ceremony. You moved in together and led everyone to believe that you were married. She loves you so she filed for a divorce. You love her so you told her that you weren't really married. You asked her to marry you, but she said no. She loves you so she won't marry you unless she gives up the chance at a trust fund.

Jack frowned as he got the distinct impression that Abigail was mocking him. "Yes, that's right."

"Basically, instead of her chasing you, you're now the one chasing her."

"What's your point?"

"I've never met a couple in love who managed to make such a mess of things. It's like you two are never on the same page. . . . Except of course that time you made your wishes."

Jack set down his glass on the tablecloth and looked curiously at Abigail. "What do you mean?"

"You told me that when you were in Montana, you wanted to be married and you did that thing with the pennies on the train tracks. Elizabeth said she had the same thoughts. She also yelled out that she wanted to be married to you for the right reasons when the train went by."

Jack stared at Abigail. "She never told me."


That night at the jailhouse, Jack closed his book on laws and regulations and put it on the nightstand next to him. As he adjusted the wick and extinguished the flame of the kerosene lamp, he spoke softly to himself, no more than a whisper. "Hopefully, this is the last night we sleep apart."


Monday – Day One of the Rest of their Lives

It took Jack several hours to get the answers he wanted. He had sent the first telegram and waited impatiently for a response. Pacing the floor of the mercantile for thirty minutes and moving out of the way of patrons as he looked towards the telegraph machine behind the counter. Listening for a response.

When he had finally heard the click-click sounds, Jack's heart started to race. The dots and dashes were telling him his future. And his past.

it was his past that most interested him at this point.

He tried to interpret the tiny machine's sounds but between his nerves and his minimum experience with Morse code, the sounds were coming across the wire too quickly for him to make sure his interpretation was accurate.

When Ned Yost finally handed him the translation, Jack grabbed the paper and read it without bothering to move away from the counter.

The response, which was five sentences in length, just led him to think of another question. Ignoring the customers trying to pay for their merchandise, Jack insisted that Ned send another wire, and he again waited impatiently for a reply.

As he left the mercantile, carrying the single sheet of paper with the second typed response from the attorney, Jack's mind went over possible problems. His initial hope was replaced by dismay the more he thought of the scene. When he reached the front porch of the jailhouse, he turned around and went back to the mercantile.

"Another telegram, Constable?" Ned Yost asked with a sigh when the bell rang above the door and he saw Jack walk in.

"One more. I'll write it down for you."


The clock on the wall and the running of feet down the street signified the end of the school day. With a pocketful of telegrams, Jack looked out the jailhouse window and saw Elizabeth, with several books in her hands, walk out of the Saloon and start down the street toward the Cafe.

He hurried out the door, letting it slam shut behind him, and called out to her. His voice stopping her in her tracks.

Elizabeth turned and waited for him to reach her.

"Can you stop by the house in about 20 minutes?"

"Jack, I don't think it's a good idea for us to be alone. I know I moved back in but now I'm having second thoughts. It's too tempting."

Jack rolled his eyes. "Is that all you think about? For goodness sakes, I just want to talk."

"Are you sure", she asked skeptically.

"That's all. I promise as a Mountie and a gentleman that I will not attempt to get frisky with you unless we are married. In fact, I will not so much as kiss you unless we are married."

"You won't even kiss me?!"

"Not so much as a kiss on the cheek unless we are married."

"Fine. I'll be over in 20 minutes."


Elizabeth sat on the worn blue couch and looked expectantly at Jack, who was acting peculiar. Like he wanted to tell her something important but wasn't sure how to go about it. He kept smiling and running his hand nervously through his hair as he paced in front of her.

"Do you remember when we were in Montana at the train tracks in the sweet pea field?"

"Of course."

"Did you say your wish aloud?"

"I did. You said that's how wishes come true. I know it's just superstition but I did it anyway."

"What did you say when the train barreled past us?"

Elizabeth's forehead creased in puzzlement and she looked at Jack curiously. She certainly hadn't expected their conversation to be about that day. After leaving school, she had hurried back to Abigail's and freshened up before meeting Jack. As she had put on a dap of cologne at the nape of her neck, and brushed her hair, she had wondered what he wanted to see her about. Now that she was sitting on the couch with him a few feet away, she had no idea what he was thinking.

"Why?"

"Just tell me."

"That I loved you and wanted to be married to you for real reasons. For love, not money", she answered with a shrug.

Jack's face broke out in a grin. "I wished the same thing. I yelled it aloud."

"So did I." She returned his smile but she still had no idea why he was so happy about it. They had told each other that they loved each other more than a dozen times since then. What difference did it make that they had both said it in the field of sweet peas.

"Did you honestly want to be married to me at that moment and forever afterwards?"

"I did. Honestly."

"You hadn't had anything to drink that morning, had you?"

"Of course not! It was just after breakfast!"

"Next question, you don't have any mental problem that keeps you from making a competent decision, do you?"

"Jack, what is this all about?"

"Just answer the question."

Elizabeth raised her eyebrows at him but nevertheless answered. "No, I don't have any mental problems. I am totally competent to make any decision and I have always been competent."

"Did you or did you not declare your honest desire to be my wife when I declared my honest desire to be your husband?"

"I did."

"Did we hold ourselves out as husband and wife in Montana? At the hotel, and the carnival, and the train station?"

"You know we did. We told everyone in Bozeman that we were Mr. and Mrs. Thornton. Remember when we were dancing in the street and that rude ranch-hand with the ugly mustache tried to cut in. I said 'my husband does not take kindly to anyone but him dancing with his wife', and then I smiled at you and you twirled me around and we laughed. And you said, "I like my wife when she's a force to be reckoned with."

"And I told the hotel clerk we were married. And the man at the food stand when we ate the hot dogs. And you introduced me as your husband when we met that nice older couple that was selling sachets."

Elizabeth looked puzzled. "But Jack, we told everyone in Coal Valley that we were married. What difference does it make that we told people in Montana? So what that we wanted to be married and acted like we were married when we were in Bozeman?"

"Have you ever heard of a common-law marriage?"

"No. Is it something that common people do? I've heard of high society weddings if that helps."

Jack raised his eyebrows at Elizabeth. "No, that does not help. It's when two people get married without a clergyman or other official officiating the ceremony. There's not even a need for a license."

"How can they get married then?"

"There are three requirements. One, they are both competent to make decisions. Two, they both declare their honest desires to be married, and three, they hold themselves out to the public as husband and wife."

"And then what?"

Jack smiled broadly. "That's it. They're married. If they fulfill all three requirements, they're married."

"I don't understand", a perplexed Elizabeth asked as she looked up at Jack.

"Sixteen states in the United States recognize common-law marriages. Including Montana."

"Are you making this up?" she asked with her brows in a furrow.

"No. Look, here's the telegram. I sent a request to the prosecutor I met in Bozeman asking about it. He was a real nice guy and we talked a lot during the trial breaks. Remember, I introduced him to you at the Carnival. Anyway, I sent him a telegram asking about it and he replied back that Montana recognizes them. "

"We did all three things! We were competent and we declared our desires and we told people that we were married. "

"Then we're married." Jack's face was wide with a smile.

"But we didn't hear each other say it?" she countered with a frown.

An undiscouraged Jack continued to smile. "That doesn't matter. Apparently, the good people of Montana didn't think of a situation wherein the couple declaring their intentions would be separated by a speeding locomotive. Actually hearing the other person say that they want to be married is not a legal requirement," he explained as he handed her another telegram.

"But we didn't consummate the marriage in Montana?" she argued.

Jack chuckled and handed her a third telegram. "That's actually not a requirement either. I'm not quite sure what married people in Montana do but doing that is not a requirement for a valid marriage."

"Just how many telegrams did you get?!"

"Four. I wanted to make sure I was right before I said anything to you. The prosecutor is going to send me a letter, a copy of the law, and an affidavit attesting to the fact that he observed us holding ourselves out as a married couple. He said we shouldn't need it, but he'd send it anyway."

"But Jack, I've never heard of a common-law marriage. I don't think Canada even has them."

"Canada doesn't. But Montana does."

"But we live in Canada! We're Canadian! I don't want to move to Montana and live there. I mean, it was beautiful and I'm sure Americans are very nice. The people in Bozeman were wonderful. But Jack, you're a Mountie. They don't even have Mounties in Montana!"

Jack chuckled and handed her a slip of paper.

"We don't have to live in Montana. Which is the reason for this fourth telegram. I sent a telegram to an attorney friend in Ottawa. Canada recognizes all marriages that are legal in the jurisdiction in which they are established. And since our marriage was legally established in Montana, it is a legal marriage in Canada."

Elizabeth stood there staring at the four telegrams in her hand. She moved her eyes from one to the other. Re-reading each one in turn until Jack spoke again.

"We, my dear wife, are married. We have been married since Montana."

"We're married? Really truly married?"

"Since the moment, we first held ourselves out as husband and wife after competently declaring our desires in Bozeman."

"Married? Since Montana?" she mumbled in disbelief.

"Which means we were married when we made love. And we have been stupidly living apart for no reason."

! "We're really married?"

"You're not sorry, are you?"

Elizabeth face broke out in a broad smile and she jumped up from the couch. "How could I ever be sorry? I love you! You're my husband. My husband! I am Mrs. Jack Thornton! I'm your wife!"

Jack put his hands on her face and spoke in a low voice.

"And now I am going to take my wife upstairs and make love to her. And then, I'm going to push our beds together in one room because we are never ever again having two separate bedrooms. And tomorrow, we're going to make sure that the attorney in Hamilton stopped the divorce proceedings because we are never getting a divorce."

Before Elizabeth could answer, Jack's mouth was on hers. Leaving her to respond in a very nice and nonverbal way.


Tuesday – Day Two of the Rest of Their Lives

"I know it's after the fact by quite a bit of time and we're already married, but if you want me to get down on one knee to officially ask you, I will. But that would require you to get your naked body off of me. And then you'd be standing on the cold wood floor instead of snuggling in this nice warm bed with my legs wrapped around you."

They were lying under the patchwork quilt in Jack's single bed. The morning sun shone through the window of the simple room letting the couple know it was time to get on with their day but neither one planned on obeying nature's rule.

Elizabeth smiled. "Let's stay here. It's nice. I didn't need an official proposal. Or a wedding ceremony in front of a bunch of people. I just need you."

Jack bent down his head and kissed the top of hers, which was resting on his bare chest. He enjoyed feeling her weight on him as he ran a hand through her long messy hair.

"I know something else you don't need but you're going to get. Your trust fund. Despite your best intentions to avoid it, its going to be yours on your birthday.

Elizabeth traced her index finger along Jack's muscles, making small circles as she spoke. "I think we should use some to build a schoolhouse. And the rest we'll put aside until we need it one day."

"We won't need it. I can provide for us."

"I can help."

"You won't need to", a proud Jack countered.

Elizabeth smiled. "Would you agree that I am a good teacher with well educated students?"

"Of course."

"Would you agree that you are a good and knowledgeable constable?"

"Definitely."

"Well, in school, I learned from one of my well educated students, who learned from you that the best animals are those that work together as mates for life. Did you know that male and female beavers build their lodges together?"

Jack chuckled. "So, you're using my own words against me?"

"If I have to."

"Let me get this straight. . . you came to Coal Valley to get married before your birthday and to get your hands on your trust fund. And somehow, even though I was totally opposed to your plan, I ended up making it happen?"

"Yep."

"I'm starting to feel used."

Elizabeth couldn't help but smile at Jack's teasing statement. She raised up her face and looked him in the eye. "I'll just have to make that up to you", she said with a mischievous grin.

Jack leaned back his head into the pillow as Elizabeth began moving on his body.

Maybe her original plan to marry hadn't been so stupid after all, he thought with a smile.

The End

Thanks for reading, following, favoriting, and your reviews! Don't forget to check out my "Reversal of Fortune" for some laughs and my 12 Vignettes written under the name jellybean49 for some more romance and adventures.

I hope you enjoyed this story.