ED. NOTE: Please understand that after the creation of Chapter 22 ("The Beginning"), my co-writer, Celia Stanton, and I divorced, both personally and professionally. However, since so many people have asked what happened to the Benson-Cabot clan after Peter's death, I have decided to answer the question. Some of this is what Celia and I imagined together; some of it is of my own creation.

Alex and Olivia did, indeed, live happily ever after once Peter was out of their lives. They vacillated on the issue of children for a time, but the responsibility of baby-sitting their nieces and nephew turned out to be enough, and they stuck to cats after that.

In the year 2030, Alex and Olivia still live in the house on Long Island. Both women retired a while ago...then promptly realized they were bored to tears. Now, Olivia volunteers as a counselor for rape and abuse victims, and Alex works harder than ever as a pro bono lawyer for the ACLU, Lambda Legal and various other organizations. She was one of a team of lawyers who won the first unequivocal victory in the U.S. Supreme Court giving gays the right to marry nationwide. Ultimately, though, she and Olivia decided not to take the plunge, choosing instead to keep the domestic partnership papers they'd signed years before in the borough of Manhattan. Emma lamented not being able to throw them a huge wedding and promised retribution on their twentieth anniversary.
Emma's Christmas parties keep getting bigger and better, as she cuts back on her work schedule to spend more time with her grandchildren. (She still can't believe she's a grandmother already and constantly pretends to bitch at Connor and Anna for aging her needlessly.) She tries to convince Amy every year that they need to rent a ballroom at the Waldorf-Astoria, but Amy has yet to give in. They still share late-night sushi and make their kids groan by kissing in public. If they groan load enough, Emma threatens to use tongue.

Victoria died a few years after Peter did. Emma said she died of a broken heart. Alex smacked her. Olivia said it's impossible to die from a broken heart when you don't have a heart. Alex smacked her, too. Kirsten, Caroline's daughter, still comes to visit once in a while, but she refuses to talk about her mother. The only reminder of Peter is that when it rains, Emma's leg throbs. She pops a Percocet and calls her sisters, demanding that they come entertain her, to take her mind off the pain. Because it's Emma, of course, they do.

Connor decided to pursue law enforcement as a career and ended up in the NYPD, in the cyber crimes unit. His teammates still tease him about his aunts' influence, going so far as to call him "Benson, Junior". (He won't admit it, but he hopes it's true, as he's working toward a gold shield himself.) His affection for both his aunts was clear when he brought home his first serious girlfriend, a tall, outspoken, brunette lawyer. Naomi fit right in to the Cabot insanity, and now, so do their twin boys, Alexander and Benjamin.

Anna surprised everyone by following in Emma's footsteps. She'd always been interested in art and when it came time for college, she chose an art degree. She's not an architect, but she inherited (via osmosis, according to Emma) her adoptive mother's love of color and style, and now she makes her living as an interior designer for the hippest New York clubs and businesses. She married a very nice—but quiet—man who gets teased at every family function because he can't seem to get a word in edgewise. Believing that one good turn deserves another, Anna and her husband (who was himself adopted), fostered 16 kids in a span of five years and ended up adopting 5 others, who were a sibling group in imminent danger of being split up. They acquire new foster kids every year and still keep in touch with most of the children who've moved on, which only adds to the craziness at Cabot parties, since everyone is invited. Emma, of course, loves the noise.

And Olivia Grace, the smallest Cabot by far, turned out to be nothing like what anyone had expected. She had dark brown hair that waved and curled exactly like her Aunt Alex's, and big brown eyes which, despite their color, could not have been more like her mother's and aunt's. Lily was a happy child, but inclined to periods of deep introspection. Even as a little girl, she would sometimes squirrel away in her room and not come out for hours. When she did, she would be quiet and serious. As her mothers eventually came to understand, she could read the layers beneath what they said and did and was trying to process it as best she could. She gravitated toward a degree in psychology, which pleased Amy to no end, but after graduation, Lily realized where her passion truly lay. Her first novel was published when she was 23; it was titled "Born Into Darkness" and chronicled her family's twisted history.