Ta-dum! The long-awaited epilogue!! Hope everyone's excited as I am – because this means it's truly the end. Sad as it is, I think you'll like this last installment of "My Angel".
I just want to say thanks to all those people who just simply clicked on a 'review' button. It really made my day – it encouraged me and I simply loved every minute reading them. Thanks!
Also, I've recently edited/revised the whole story, and not only is it new and improved, it's also easier to read. For anyone who wants to read it again...the plot's pretty much the same but there are enhancements!
Usual disclaimer apply.
Enjoy for the last time...
Serena was giddy with laughter. The expressions on her best friend's faces had been priceless.
Amy had shown a rare exhibition of squeals and hugs, nearly suffocating Serena with her unknown strength, a goofy smile on both of their glowing faces.
Raye only gaped, eyes wide.
A grin spread slowly across Serena's face as she remembered Raye's disbelief, who had then mumbled a 'congratulations' and walked with daze straight into a pole.
Overall, Serena couldn't be happier. Who knew love could bring such a rosy glow to her cheeks? She felt like a giggling teenager who just had her first kiss. Oh, and what a kiss Darien Shields had. She licked her lips appreciatively, savoring the sensation. The man definitely knew how to kiss.
But, there was always a downhill.
She had yet to tell her parents. Or more exactly, her dad.
Darien practically skipped all the way to Serena's house. And couldn't stop the grin from spreading across his face. He knew it was foolish, he had known Serena for ages, what on earth could have brought the change in him now?
And couldn't help smiling wider. Maybe Andrew was right, he was completely smitten over her.
Andrew only had a knowing look in his face when he had told him. He smiled in that cocky way and gave him a one-arm hug.
Approaching the grand brick house, he slowed his pace down. Already, he could smell the sumptuous and succulent aroma wafting in the air. Ahhh...he sighed with bliss. Mrs. Chalice was cooking roast chicken, his favorite.
But when he knocked, his nerves all a bundle. How many times had he knocked on the same wooden door? And when was he ever nervous? He shook his thoughts away, cleared the demons, knowing very well why Serena had wanted him over dinner.
He had seen Mr. Chalice's shot gun before. And swallowed painfully when he had also seen the fanatical gleam in the older man's eyes when he had held it. Darien shivered at the thought, and knocked again.
"Darien! Hi!" Serena greeted him cheerfully and kissed his cheek.
He raised an eyebrow at her. "You haven't told him yet."
She chuckled nervously, "How did you know?"
"You kissed me and I'm still alive."
"Don't be silly, Daddy can't shoot at you just for kissing me."
"Oh really?" A memory of Serena's former boyfriend flashed through his mind.
"Well, he won't aim for kill anyway."
"That comforts me so much." He retorted sarcastically.
They both laughed, and strolled into the lounge room, hand in hand.
"Daddy, Darien's here." She informed him brightly.
The slightly overweight man turned his attention away from the TV and said, "Oh good, I wanted to ask a question on –" Mr. Chalice's broke off suddenly, soon after realizing his daughter hand in hand with a boy.
"Hi Mr. Chalice," Darien spoke smoothly, worry hidden by his calm demeanor.
"What on earth!" Mr. Chalice's normally charming face turned a ripe red, as dark scarlet patches appeared on his cheeks.
"SERENA CHALICE! WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH–"
"Everyone, dinner's ready," Mrs. Chalice cheery voice called out to them.
Serena hastily dragged Darien towards the dining room, not missing the "We'll continue this later, dear" from Mr. Chalice.
"Darien, how nice to see you. How has everything been?" The joyful smile of Mrs. Chalice soothed some nerves away for Darien.
"Good thanks. Dinner smells great Mrs. Chalice." He replied warmly, as he chose the seat furthest from the boiling rage of Mr. Chalice.
"Serena, we need to talk! When have you started dating this –"
"Dear, surely we can finish dinner first?" Although the tone was mild, there was a steely undertone to Mrs. Chalice's voice.
For a few minutes, there was only silence, aside from the clinking of forks and knives.
The table supported numerous dishes, but the tantalizing roasted chicken stood in the centre, with full magnificence. The other dishes paled slightly to its splendor, but were nonetheless scrumptious.
"This is delicious Mrs. Chalice," Darien was obviously enjoying the home-cooked meal, having temporarily forgotten of Mr. Chalice's temper.
"Daddy, weren't you going to ask Darien something?"
"What? Him?" Mr. Chalice earned a swift, painful kick under the table from Mrs. Chalice and he grimaced. "Oh yes, have you seen the news recently? Baseball's season started with a boom!..."
After dinner had been finished and cleared, everyone was full and content. Well, except one person.
"Well, Serena, when did you start dating Darien?" Mr. Chalice forced himself in what was a polite tone.
"Oh, only for a few weeks." She said nonchalantly.
"A FEW WEEKS? And you only told us NOW? Serenity Mary Chalice –" Mr. Chalice's rage was cut of by Irene's gentle voice.
"That's wonderful dear! I always knew Darien would be a good choice for you."
"WHAT? You've known all along? And you've never told me?" Mr. Chalice's face was positively purple by now, much to Serena's amusement.
Darien wasn't laughing, he looked faintly embarrassed and frightened – dark, brooding eyes constantly glancing at the shotgun above Mr. Chalice's head. It looked shining sparkling new.
"SERENA! If you –"
"But nothing dear," A hint of anger stirred in Mrs. Chalice's normally tranquil eyes. "Maybe we should leave them alone for some privacy." She stood up, glancing expectantly at her husband.
Mr. Chalice's jaw dropped. Could she not see his little baby had a boyfriend? One that he used to actually like?
"Well dear? Getting old already? Come on!" Mrs. Chalice forcefully dragged him and sent a cheery smile to the obviously distressed Darien and giggling Serena. "Have a good night Darien, it was nice having you."
"It was a wonderful dinner Mrs. Chalice, thanks you having me over." Darien allowed himself to smile at her, before he was met with the furious gaze of Mr. Chalice.
"Well, we'll be going upstairs now, have fun downstairs!" With a wink, Mrs. Chalice left, with Mr. Chalice reluctantly following.
"Come on Dar, let's go out to the porch swing." Serena held onto his hand and led him towards the garden.
"Whew, that was close. Did you see him edge closer and closer to the shot gun? I swear, my heart stopped beating for a second there!" Darien wiped imaginary sweat off his brow.
"It wasn't bad actually. He didn't even attempt to physically harm you!" Serena grinned as they sat on the porch swing together.
"I guess I'm now allowed to kiss you on his grounds, yes?" Darien grinned and stole a quick kiss.
"Mmm...I need another one to clarify things a little bit!" she giggled and Darien drew her closer, circling her with his arm so that her head rested against his shoulder.
"Well?" She tipped her head back and gazed deep in his eyes.
Darien gave her hair a tug then captured her mouth as she gasped. A quick thrill shivered throughout her body.
He gentled his touch. There was a twinge deep inside her, a soft rushing sound in her ears. His mouth was warm and his taste potent. It was a moment of sweet, mindless pleasure.
His mouth gentled on hers even as he took her deeper. Her hands crept up to his shoulders, her head tilted back so that he might take what he needed and bring her more of that soft, soft delight. Darien felt a quiet wave of contentment and simply let himself bask in it.
"I never get enough of you." Darien sighed and leant his forehead against hers.
It was time.
The words weren't easy for him now. He wondered why he had thought they would be.
He closed his eyes.
He felt foolish. And, he discovered, afraid. They had just begun to really fall in love – was marriage too soon? But he had been waiting practically his whole life for her – surely they were ready.
"Look darling, the stars are out." Serena murmured, looking up at the night sky. And they were –scattered twinkling smiles and diamonds against the velvet blanket of the midnight sky.
Would she accept his words of love when they had only been lovers for a short while?
Did he have any right to offer them?
Looking down, he saw her, ethereal and bathed in the moonlight. A halo, delicately forming on the center of her hair.
She as an angel.
Right or wrong, he couldn't go on without her.
"Dar?" Her smile became puzzled, "What is it?"
His gaze swept back to hers, dark, intense, and perhaps a little desperate.
He knelt one knee down on the ground gently, in the proper tradition, and took both of her hands. He gazed in her eyes, with love and tenderness.
She stared at him, half disbelief and half excitement.
"Serena, we've known each other for what, almost a decade? But it's only been the past couple of weeks that we've actually begun our journeys together, hand in hand. I ask of you, if we'll continue our journey together."
She opened her mouth, but he stopped her with one lone finger against her rosy lips.
"Let me finish before you say anything." He took a deep breath, his eyes, never wavering; his voice, never hesitant.
"Our love hasn't been one of those 'love at first sight' – we've had a friendship: strong and lasting in the past; and now we have a love: timeless and evermore; now I ask you, Serenity Mary Chalice, in marriage to be mine forever.
I can't promise you to never fight with you, after all, that's how our friendship began; I can't promise you I'll never hurt you – at least not intentionally, because love is meant to be tested. And although our love will be tested, it'll endure. It'll last."
He kissed her affectionately on the hand. "What I can promise you is to always be faithful. To always be true. I'll never stop loving you. Marry me?" His eyes were a stormy blue – filled with passion and love, anguish at the edges of fear.
Serena slowly slid her hands away from his. Looked away from him.
It was all so sudden.
"Darien, I always knew as a little girl, that there'd be only one – one man for me. One person to fill the loneliness when I'm down, one man to comfort me, one man to share with and one man to laugh with. But most of all, just one man to love, to cherish. Our two separate roads meet here. From now on, we walk on the same path." She lifted her teary blue eyes at his.
A loving glance. It was all he needed.
"I'm yours forever." She leant down to kiss him, but Darien gently stopped her.
"Wait." He reached inside his pocket, and pulled out a small, square box.
"You know I don't have a family, but I have a job, a good one. So I can support you "
"Darien, you know I wouldn't care if you were the poorest man on Earth!" Serena protested.
"I know. You'll love me no matter what. But, I don't have a family Serena, and although I don't have an old family heirloom ring to give you, I guess we'll have to start our own family history."
With that, he lifted the lid slowly. There on a dark field lay a pear-shaped diamond set in platinum. It sparkled quietly, its time to shine had rose.
"This will symbolize the future."
"Our future." A tear slipped down her cheeks.
A smile blossomed her cheeks. She threw herself at him and hugged Darien with all her strength. She laughed and cried at the same time. Happiness welled inside of her, ecstasy sang through her.
"Quick! Quick! Put the ring on me!" Like an excited schoolgirl, she hopped up and down.
"Of course!" Darien laughed, he had finally found his light.
The ring fit her perfectly.
"Wait!" Serena stopped, leapt out from the embrace. "What about kids?"
"Kids?" Darien said, confused.
"How many?" Serena demanded.
"Um, one or two?" Darien suggested.
"Five?!" Darien's eyebrows shot up.
"Fine. Three, with an option." Serena pouted.
"Anything you want, darling. Anything you want."
They sealed their fate with a kiss. A kiss full of eternal love that would cross all the boundaries of heaven and time.
Fate smiled wistfully above them and softly closed their book.
AN: If anyone read the story a second time, please tell me if you think this version's improved!
Well, I think this is truly the end. Thank you everyone for your support and reviews! I loved writing this story, it's been great.
On a happier note, I've already got a new idea for another story. But, it's a big change to this one. Maybe a high school story with Serena and Darien in it. What do you guys think? What do you want me to write? Another story similar to this one? Or something different?
Thanks again everyone for reading my story!