CHAPTER 35

7 years later

"Positive." Quinn sang as she emerged from the en suite bathroom. She placed the pregnancy test down on the dark wood dresser and sat next to Luke on their bed. The bedspread was a colourful pattern. He hadn't chosen it, something that bright never would have occurred to him, but it did look nice. Luke looked up at her, smiling broadly. He hadn't wanted to get his hopes up beforehand, in case the test came back negative.

Now though, with the positive pregnancy test right in front of him,he allowed his face to show his joy. This was perfect. Before he could let himself get too excited he had to ask the required question.

"You're sure?" He asked, wrapping an arm around Quinn's shoulders. She was still in a blue sweatshirt and shorts, though they were supposed to leave for the palace soon. Her hair, back to its natural color of dark brown, was falling in waves around her head. Luke had already changed into a pair of dark pants and a blue polo shirt about an hour ago.

"Of course I'm sure. I wasn't wrong last time was I?" Quinn challenged.

"No you weren't." Luke agreed. She was right, two years ago when Quinn had told him she was pregnant with their first child Luke hadn't been sure. He couldn't comprehend how something so small could detect if someone was pregnant or not. Quinn had told him he was being ridiculous. In the end though, despite her numerous protests that it was unnecessary, she did concede to getting the bloodwork done from the palace doctor to confirm the results. Of course the pregnancy test had been correct and his one-year-old son Garnet was currently playing with a new toy he had gotten for his birthday.

"See. You need to trust me more." Quinn teased bringing her face close to Luke's. Her hair fell from behind her ears, creating a curtain around the two of them. She pressed her forehead against his, looking into his eyes.

"I wasn't doubting you. I was doubting the manufacturing company." Luke pointed out as he tucked her hair back for her. Quinn smiled, grateful for the small act. Luke loved when she smiled because of things like this. Small, insignificant things that they learned made eachother happy over their seven years of marriage.

"Fair point." Quinn said considering his words. "It's all going according to the plan."

"It is." Luke nodded. Luke hadn't exactly understood Quinn's overarching need to always have a neat and orderly plan, but he hadn't argued. The plan in question was fairly simple: They wanted three kids, two years apart. Garnet had been born exactly a year ago. Say what you will, Quinn knew what she was doing when it came to following instructions.

"Where is Garnet anyway?" Quinn asked as she rolled onto her stomach.

"Playing with the present Faye sent him." Luke told her. "Don't tell Faye I said this, but I think he likes the box more than he does the train."

Quinn rolled her eyes. "Of course he does. He has plenty of toys, there was no need for him to get piles of presents for his birthday. What is he even going to do with all of them?"

"Probably lose them. all"

"Don't say that!" Quinn exclaimed, though she knew that he was completely correct. Garnet had a problem with throwing things all over the house, and Luke had tripped over them more times than he could count. More often though, someone kicked them out of the way, ending with the toys scattered under couches and tables.

"Why didn't you tell Faye not to send the present then? Let alone Sydney, Esme, and Lucy." Luke asked her.

"I didn't realize that they all had sent him gifts till the presents all arrived in the mail. What was I supposed to do? Send them back." Quinn groaned, closing her eyes. "I actually considered it for a moment, but that would have been rude."

"Never stopped you before." Luke said referring to the time that Quinn had sent back a rack full of clothing that some designer had sent her. He had created a sustainable sportswear line, somehow making leggings out of water bottles or something equally ridiculous. How plastic became cloth was beyond him, but Quinn had been delighted by the prospect of a new eco-friendly line. So, for the first time ever she attend a fashion show.

Unfortunately, the designer had been so flattered that he sent over multiples of every piece for Quinn. Needless to say, she was not happy. That was what led to the clothes being sent back to him. Not only that, she demanded that the clothes be donated to other people across the country. Luckily, that story had never made the papers, only the news of a giveaway endorsed by Princess Quinn Fraser-Schreave. It had been the talk of the nation for a good few weeks, everyone clamoring to win. The brand had still remained insanely popular for something literally made out trash. By the way Quinn shook her head, Luke could tell that she was thinking of that too.

"I still don't regret that. I made some young women very happy that day." Quinn said, her face free of guilt or embarrassment.

"Of course you don't. Do you regret anything?"

Quinn smirked at him, "I think we both know the answer to that."

"I guess we do."

"I only gave Garnet Faye's present so far. Now that you mention it, I might donate the rest of his gifts. He doesn't need them, and with Christmas coming up there are people who could use it more than he could.' Quinn paused considering her own words. "Yeah. That's probably the best plan. I think I'll call that organization later."

"You didn't even ask my opinion." Luke complained. "You're right though. He'll forget about them in less then a day."

"He will. What was it called again? Gifts for Greats?" Quinn asked, already making a note on her phone for herself.

"That's the one in Angeles."

"I thought so. I hope they're not mad at me." Quinn said, thinking about his former selected's possible reactions.

"You don't have to tell them. I wouldn't." Luke suggested.

Quinn shrugged. "I don't, but that just feels wrong. Besides, they'll understand. Or maybe they won't. They'll get over it soon enough either way."

"That's awfully pessimistic."

"No it's not. I'm just being realistic."

"Alright, alright. Tell me, how's Faye doing?" Luke asked. Quinn still kept in touch with most of the girls from his selection, but Faye was more than that. She was Quinn's best friend. Luke couldn't exactly seek out this information himself, he thought it was a bit weird to specifically try to find out what his ex-girlfriends were up to. He could never bring himself to google their names, though if an article about them popped up on his news spotlight, that was another story. Quinn however, was more than happy to supply him with the information she learned from them. Last he heard,the group chat that had been set up during hangman in the women's room all those years ago was still in use.

He hadn't pictured that the women would all continue to be friends. To be quite frank, he thought they all hated - or at least moderately disliked - each other. Quinn had explained that it was just the tensions from the competition. It made sense sure, but Luke didn't understand how these ladies could go from being competitors to being good friends.

"She's good. She moved into a new house last week, apparently she wanted something more secluded. Can't say I blame her. It's been seven years and the lawsuit with her father is still in the news every once in a while." Quinn bit her lip.

"I saw the article in The Angeles Times last week." Luke said. "Pretty horrible."

"Yeah. I can't believe she didn't tell me. I had to find out from you."

"You say that like it's a bad thing."

Quinn smiled. "I like my sources to be a little more credible."

"I'm plenty credible!" Luke protested.

"You told me that the Russian government was trying new sodas. The guy you were on the phone with said training new soldiers." Quinn explained patiently.

"In my defense, he had a really heavy accent. Anyway, I get that Faye didn't want to tell you. It was probably humiliating for her. Let alone that it was happening while she was in the midst of a selection…" Luke's voice trailed off.

Quinn nodded, "Her father got a life sentence right?" She asked.

"Yeah." Luke confirmed. The trial had been brutal. Luke didn't have to actually say anything, but the entire courtroom was swarming with journalists. It was documented within an inch of its life. Not to mention the fact that Farrah herself had shown up. Usually when the crown files something like this they send a representative, not the Queen.

Quinn shook her head, "It was horrible. Oh! I talked to Sable recently. Her and Esme's gift looks nice, I almost feel bad donating it." She said, changing the topic. "Almost." Quinn and Sable had made up soon after his selection had ended. They had hated each other during the process, but in the end Quinn decided to be the bigger person and apologize. Granted, it was with Luke standing next to her after about a month of encouragement that they should overcome their petty differences, but still. It had been forced on both ends, but it was better than Luke had hoped for when he put the idea in Quinn's head.

"I still can't believe that Esme and Sable are married. I did not see that one coming." Luke was still in disbelief from finding out about that through Quinn. From what she had told him, Esme was at college in Waverly when they reconnected. Apparently, Esme Had gotten drunk at one of Sable's family's bars and they ended up sleeping together. One thing led to another and now they were happily married.

"You're not the only one. It came out of left field." Quinn laughed to herself. "I spent more time with them than you did, and never once did it dawn on me that they would end up together."

Luke nodded in agreement. "I just find it so funny. They bonded over sharing the same guy for a few months."

"Don't say that." Quinn reminded him. She never liked to reminisce that her old selection friends might have married Luke instead of her.

"Sorry." Luke apologized. "How's Sydney doing?"

Quinn shrugged, "She's Sydney. Her first book got published, she's sending us a signed copy."

"What's it about?" Luke asked, deciding if he would take the time to read the book. As much as he wanted to support her, reading was boring.

"She wouldn't tell me over the phone. And you will be reading it." Quinn added, narrowing her eyes at him. She was well aware of Luke's distaste towards books in general. He read some of them sure, but it was always torture to try and get through all those pages. Too much effort, too little enjoyment.

"Only for you." Luke promised. He kissed her lightly to prove his point. Even after seven years of marriage, the feeling of her lips pressed against his still sent butterflies to his stomach. It was a sensation that never got old.

Quinn giggled when they pulled away. "I'm proud of her. She's been teaching english for a while but writing a book is a big milestone."

"Couldn't be me." Luke joked.

"Maybe I should write a book." Quinn mused, pursing her lips.

"I'm sure it would be a great book. I would definitely read that one."

"You bet you would. I doubt it would be a great book though. I've never really written anything before in my life, unless you count a few speeches for some events. I wonder if I would be any good at it. Writing seems so...so difficult." Quinn said. Oh come on. If Quinn really wanted to, of course she could write a book. She had a long history of accomplishing anything she put her mind to.

"I'm sure it would be great." Luke promised quickly.

"Maybe. We'll see. Okay, who's left…?"

"Uh, Ophelia, Lucy, Laena, um, LJ I think…" Luke supplied counting them off on his fingers as he spoke.

"Yeah, that's all of then. Oh! I actually talked to Amethyst too, but I doubt you want to hear about her." Quinn was well aware of Luke's distaste towards Amethyst. She had been relaying the story of the two of them's doomed date to the Crystalline Gardens as Luke and Quinn waited for the car to pick them up after dinner there. The dinner had been more of an apology towards the owner, but the food was still good.

"No, I don't." Luke confirmed.

"Let's see...Lucy started working at the national aquarium, Laena is pregnant with her second kid, I probably should go to her baby shower, LJ is still in veterinary school. I can't believe how long that process is. And Ophelia is working as a music teacher." Quinn emphasized the last words.

Luke winced slightly. "I was worried she might decide that she wanted to be a singer. Which wouldn't be a problem if she filled out the paperwork."

Quinn sighed. "I don't think it's that bad. I mean, I was shocked when you told me, but I don't think she was wrong in doing that. You know that." She said pointedly.

"Agree to disagree." Luke said diplomatically. He'd been down this road with Quinn too many times to count and he didn't feel like a repeat of it on his son's birthday.

"Whatever." Quinn shook her head, clearing her thoughts. Thank God that was over. They could all move on from the awkward Ophelia conversation. "I should probably go get ready. We're supposed to be there around noon. I swear, if your sister got him another present…"

"Let's be honest here, she probably did."

'I know." Quinn paused for a moment. "Do you think it's going to be a boy or girl?" She asked, placing a hand on her stomach.

Luke shrugged. "I don't know. A girl I guess."

"You don't seem that confident in yourself."

"Is there really any way of knowing?" Luke asked.

Quinn raised an eyebrow. "Yes. It's called an ultrasound."

"Right. I knew that. When can you have it done again?" Luke asked furrowing his brow. "I forgot from last time."

"Eighteen weeks probably." Quinn told him. "Now, I really need to go get changed. Can you get Garnet into his winter coat?"

"Of course." Luke promised. Quinn opened her closet, rifling through it to find a dress for today. Luke turned and headed towards the room next to his and Quinn's. The room was painted a cheery yellow, light curtains covering the windows. Toys were strewn around the room, an organized disaster.

"Hey buddy." Luke said going over to his son. Garnet was sitting on the ground, a remote controlled train to the left of him. In his hands however, was the box that the train came with. Quinn was right. He seemed to be enjoying the colorful piece of cardboard more than the actual present.

"Dadda." Garnet said. It was one of the few words he knew. The other two being Mama and up. Garnet's dark hair was more his mother then Luke, but he still resembled him in the eyes. They looked alike, even if the hair was more than a few shades off.

"Are you ready to go to the palace?" Luke asked. Garnet nodded. Of course he didn't know what Luke was saying, or even what half the words meant. He just liked to nod at whatever anyone said. It was a new skill of his, along with waving and sticking his tongue out.

"Let's get you into your coat. You're going to see your aunt and uncle today. And your cousin. Do you remember her name?" Luke asked, though he knew the answer to the question.

Garet only shook his head in response, taking a wobbling step towards Luke. Luke caught him before he fell, picking Garnet up and pressing him against his shoulder. "It's Carolynn. Can you say thay? Carolynn." Luke repeated.

"Ale-in." Garnet said slowly.

Ah well. Close enough. "Yes. Ale-in."

A/N: Well, this is the epilogue. So, I guess we really reached the end of this story. The cold bitter end. The no going back end. Yeah. I don't really have a lot to say in this author's note. The sequel is coming, I just need to finish up some planning for it (Face claims are the bane of my existence. Not to mention pinterest boards. Yuck.) I did actually finish the form earlier, so that's...something. Stay tuned. I can finally put the completed mark next to this story and I cannot say how happy I was about that. My first completed story. Yay.