Four years earlier…

Amy Rainey walked through the front door of her "perfect" home. She had a broad smile on her face, as she returned from a weekend with Ted – a weekend that she thought was a secret from Mort. They had gone to Amish country to shop for antiques. Originally, Amy asked Mort to go with her, but he acted strangely and turned her down. She made sure that she held no telltale signs of her affair before retuning home.

She walked into the kitchen and set her purse down on the table – it was then that she noticed the large, and very empty, Jack Daniels bottle on the counter.

"Shit," she said to herself. "I hope he's sleeping it off already." She walked to Mort's office, but he wasn't there. She sighed. "Sleeping…I'd better not complain." Cautiously, she made her way upstairs. Mort never laid a hand on Amy while intoxicated, but he was known to occasionally break things or destroy any paperwork within his reach.

The bedroom door was cracked open a bit and Amy peeked inside – Mort wasn't sleeping. She pushed the door open the rest of the way and saw Chico sitting on the bed, his clouded eyes seemed almost sad. She looked to her left and saw an open suitcase filled with Mort's clothes.

"Mort?" she called, worry in her voice.

Mort walked out from their bathroom, a bag of toiletries in hand. "What?"

"What are you doing?"

"I think it's fairly obvious that I'm packing," he said, his voice cold.

"You're drunk," Amy said accusingly.

Mort shook his head. "I'm acting pretty sober, don't you think?"

"I saw the bottle, Mort."

Without looking at his wife, he replied, "I dumped the shit down the sink." Amy was genuinely shocked. "I decided that I need to straighten some things out, Amy, drinking is one of them."

"Oh?"

"I don't like feeling upset – drinking like that makes me upset." He opened a drawer and grabbed a few more shirts, throwing them into the suitcase.

"O.K., so you're sober. Why are you packing?"

"Forgot to mention that part, did I?" Mort began to rummage in the bottom of the closet for his shoes. "Well, you see, Amy, years ago, I made a vow to you – believe it or not, you made a few yourself." Amy's eyes widened. Mort looked up and glared at her. "I know, Amy."

Amy forced a smile. "You know what, Mort?"

Mort groaned. "I know about your affair!" Amy stepped back, tears in her eyes. "Do you think I'm brainless? Did you think that I wouldn't find out?"

"Mort, I…"

"No, Amy, I don't want to hear a word out of your mouth. I'm tired of wasting my life with you."

"Wasting?"

"You keep telling me that I'm not here for you! Well maybe that's because every time I've tried to touch you since we lost the baby, you've turned over and pretended to be asleep! Why can Ted touch you?"

Amy leaned against the doorway, tears now flowing down her face. "You…you write all the time…you…"

"How do you think I paid for this house? Writing is my job, Amy, and since I've nothing else to do…"

"I…" Amy couldn't find the words, or maybe she didn't want to. Mort knew now, she didn't have to hide it from him.

Mort's voice softened. "I loved you and gave you everything. I've tried with you and you still don't think it's enough. You went to another man – maybe he'll have better luck with you…he seems to be having it already." Amy slapped Mort's face. It stung, but he didn't flinch. "I had the papers drawn up last week. I signed them and they're living room."

"Just like that?" Amy asked softly.

"Thank God for prenups, huh?" Mort shut his suitcase. "I'm sending for the rest of my things. Enjoy the house."

"Where are you going to go? The cabin?"

"Me…living alone in the woods…in a house I used to share with you…not the healthiest thing to do, is it?" Mort walked toward the door. "Don't worry about where I'm going, Amy. Believe me, I won't be giving another thought to you." He put down the suitcase and walked back in the room. Amy expected an apology, but instead, Mort gave Chico a final pet on the head. He then left, walking out of Amy's life forever.

***

Present Day…

"Daddy!" Julia toddles toward Mort in the lush backyard. He smiles and picks her up, hugging her. He kisses the top of her head before taking her inside.

Mort walks through the sliding door into the kitchen, where Alex is making dinner. "Excuse me, ma'am, but I found the sweetest little girl in your back yard."

"Is that so?" Alex laughs.

Mort laughs in return, then quickly turns a bit more serious. "Baby, are you sure it's O.K. to be on your feet as much as you are?"

Alex smiles at Mort, her hand on her swollen stomach. "I have done this before you know," she says playfully.

"I know," Mort says sweetly. "I wasn't here for that one though. I'm new at this, remember?"

She walks to him and kisses him sweetly. "Can you do me a favor?"

"Will you sit for a minute?"

"O.K." Alex sits in the chair across from Mort. "I ran out of milk," she says, giving him puppy dog eyes.

"You should save that look for when you really need it," he teases. He looks at Julia, who is still in his arms. "Wanna go for a ride with Daddy?" Julia doesn't fully understand the question, but giggles at Mort. "I'll take that as a yes." Mort gets up and kisses the top of Alex's head. "Rest a few minutes?"

She smiles. "Promise."

Mort leaves the house through the front door, closing it gently behind him. The brass doorknocker held big bold letters that say "Rainey."

This is my beautiful house. That is my beautiful wife. This is the life I was meant for…

~The End~

***

Author's Note: Well, there you have it – a happy ending. I couldn't not have a happy ending, Mort deserved it. Thanks for all of the support – can I get one last review? Pretty please? 

I've gotten several questions about this ending and that it doesn't really make sense.  Here's my explanation: "They had gone to Amish country to shop for antiques. Originally, Amy asked Mort to go with her, but he acted strangely and turned her down."  What this means?  Mort never bought Shooter's hat.  Shooter never tried to take over his life.  Mort knew about Amy and Ted and went about his reaction in a much different way – leaving Amy.  Through fate, or whatever you want to call it, he still met Alex after Tristan's passing.  Their lives pretty much went the same way – minus Shooter's involvement.  I hope that clears things up for everyone.