Well, this is it, the very last chapter. It feels good to have it done, though I'm going to miss these two characters.

Originally, the story ended after Chapter 9, but since there were some important things they didn't say and do in that chapter, I thought it would make a better resolution to give a hint of where I think their lives are headed.

Enjoy!


Epilogue: Crazy Faith

One night some weeks later…

"Oh, I wish we knew exactly what we will be facing, then we could be properly prepared." Jaheira exclaimed for the third time. It was the night before their battle with Melissan—the final battle—and Jaheira and Dani were having a last minute discussion of tactics.

"Jaheira, believe me, I know you like to be 'properly prepared'." Dani said patiently. "But the problem is that we don't know what Melissan will throw at us, and we have no way to find out. Since she will have much of Bhaal's power at her disposal, we can probably expect demons, but Anomen certainly knows how to prepare for them. Other than that, we can only ready ourselves as we would for any battle with a very powerful spellcaster. The gods know we've had enough of them lately." Dani said wearily. "You, Anomen and Imoen know what spells to memorize. As for Kelsey," Dani smiled, "he'll do his own thing, as usual. We're as ready as we can be."

"How is Kelsey?" Jaheira asked quietly.

"Oh, when he thinks I'm not watching he gets this horrible stricken look on his face. When he knows I am watching, he replaces the stricken look with a ghastly grin that's supposed to be comforting." She sighed. "He's scared he's going to lose me, and I'd like nothing more than to assure him that he won't. But I can't, because I have no idea what will happen tomorrow, or what choices, if any, I'll have." Dani said bleakly.

Jaheira put an arm around her. "Dani, you know we will all be there for you tomorrow, and there for Kelsey afterward, if need be."

Dani returned the hug. "I know, Jaheira, and that helps. I would hate to face this alone."

Dani noticed that Jaheira's eyes had drifted toward the spot where Anomen was arranging their bedrolls for the night. He must have felt her gaze, because he looked up, smiled, and winked at his lover.

To Dani's surprise, rather than smiling in return, Jaheira heaved a sigh and looked away.

Dani considered her speculatively for a moment. Finally, she turned to Jaheira and said. "There is one important thing you could do for me before tomorrow, Jaheira."

Startled out of her thoughts, Jaheira replied, "Oh, of course, Dani, whatever you need."

"Talk to Anomen, Jaheira, and tell him you love him." At Jaheira's surprised look, she continued. "You haven't told him, have you?"

Jaheira looked chagrined and sighed again. "No, I've thought of it many times, but never quite got up the nerve to do so."

Dani caught Jaheira's eyes. "So what's the problem? Are you unsure of your heart, or his?"

"Neither…both, oh, I don't know! I…I care about him so much, but I don't love him the same way I loved Khalid."

Dani gazed at her, a concerned expression on her face. "That is a problem. After all, Anomen is so much like Khalid."

"What are you talking about?" Jaheira asked sharply. "Anomen is nothing at all like Khalid! Khalid was gentle and even-tempered and dependable, whereas I never know from one day to the next what Anomen will do, except that I know that it is sure to be aggravating. And yet, he is so dear to me, and I find I do not want to imagine a future without him in my life…" She would have continued, but she noticed a small smile creeping over Dani's face.

She looked at Dani for a long moment and flushed. "Ah. Therefore, I should not expect to love Anomen in the same way I loved Khalid." Jaheira gave Dani a wry smile. "You are very annoying when you are right."

Dani laughed. "I learned from a master. So…unless you're going to claim that you don't love him, which, by the way, I won't believe for a moment, that leaves us with the same question: why haven't you told him?"

Jaheira glanced over toward Anomen, her face softening when she saw that he was sitting quietly, eyes closed, deep in his evening prayers. Her eyes glinted with tears and she asked quietly, "What if he doesn't feel the same way?"

Dani rolled her eyes. "Jaheira, I've seen the way he looks at you, the way he lights up whenever you're around. Even with everything that is going on, he is happier now than any time since I've known him. And if you haven't noticed, I think you're the only one—Imoen was just mentioning the other day how much he has changed since they met in Spellhold."

She put an arm around Jaheira and regarded her thoughtfully. "Besides, though you were extremely vague on the details, didn't you tell me that early on in your relationship you hurt him rather badly and that he took a chance by trusting you again? Perhaps it is time for you to return the favor by taking a chance and telling him your feelings."

"Please, Jaheira—whatever happens tomorrow, I want my friends to have at least a chance for happiness. Promise me you'll talk to him. I don't think you'll regret it if you do, and I know you will regret it if you don't speak and something happens to either of you tomorrow."

Jaheira paled. "Dani, you do not fight fair."

Dani smiled. "I learned that from a master, too."

Jaheira squared her shoulders. "All right, Dani, I promise. I will speak to him tonight."

Dani hugged Jaheira and kissed her cheek. "Good. Now, since we both have someone eagerly awaiting us…"


The pocket plane quieted as the group settled in for the night. The mood was tense and expectant, with only the soft murmur of voices breaking the silence.

In the corner of the garden room that Jaheira and Anomen had claimed for themselves, Anomen had finished his prayers and noticed that Jaheira was distractedly reorganizing her pack for what he was certain was the fourth time. He slipped behind her and put his arms around her. "You are very quiet tonight, my lady. Are you concerned about tomorrow's battle?"

"No…well, yes, of course I'm concerned! Tomorrow we face Melissan and there's no guarantee any of us will live through it. And even if the rest of us survive, what will it cost Dani? What will become of her?"

Anomen held her tighter and replied. "I know, Jaheira. It is humbling indeed when the gods themselves are at a loss to predict what lies ahead of us. But at least we will be there to help her face whatever comes."

Jaheira turned to face him. "Actually, Anomen," she began hesitantly, " I wanted to talk to you about another matter. If…if we both survive tomorrow's battle, we will need to decide what comes next for us. But first, there is something I must tell you."

"What is it, Jaheira? Is something wrong?" Anomen asked, concern in his voice.

"No, no, Anomen. Nothing is wrong." Jaheira waved impatiently. "Oh, just let me have my say!"

Anomen arched an eyebrow in surprise. "Of course, my lady, pray continue!"

Jaheira took a deep breath to steady herself, and looked him in the eyes. "Before we face tomorrow, and whatever awaits us afterward, I need you to know that…that I love you, Anomen."

"Oh." Anomen responded calmly. "Good." He leaned down to kiss Jaheira, but she pushed him away.

"Good?" Jaheira exclaimed. "I open my heart to you and all you can say is good?"

Anomen looked at her quizzically. "Thank you?"

"Anomen!" Jaheira cried in exasperation.

Anomen grinned and embraced her tightly. "Jaheira, my dear, would you prefer that I name the exact day and hour that I realized how much I love you?"

"Yes, that would be nice, Jaheira replied, a little crossly. By this time, she knew from the look in his eyes that he had been teasing her, and as was the case all too often, she had taken the bait.

Anomen laughed and held her close. "I am sorry, my lady, I should not have teased you so. It's just that you looked so worried, as if you doubted your place in my heart." He shook his head in wonderment. "That is one thing you need never do."

"Now what was I saying?" Anomen continued. "Ah, yes, when I realized that I loved you. Do you remember the night I came to your room drunken and morose because I was missing Moira? How I stayed with you through the night for the first time?" Anomen continued.

"Of course I remember." Jaheira replied. "It was the next morning when we decided to tell the others about us."

"Aye, that morning. I awoke next to you and watched you sleep for a time. You were so beautiful that it made my heart ache. As I watched you, I remembered that the night before in my drunken state, you were the one person I wanted to see, the one person I wanted to go to in my grief. I remembered too how you didn't hesitate to take me in, take care of me, and comfort me."

"Oh, Anomen, nothing I did was so remarkable! I would have done same for any friend in need." Anomen gave her an inquiring look. Jaheira recalled some of the events of that evening and reddened. "Well, not all of it, of course. Still..."

Anomen kissed her hand. "Remarkable or not, that was when I realized that you had stolen my heart," He caught her gaze and gave her a look of such surpassing tenderness that all her doubts fled, "my lady...my love." This time, when he leaned close to Jaheira for to kiss her, she did not push him away.

When Anomen released her, Jaheira leaned against his chest with a sigh of contentment. "Anomen, once again you have managed to infuriate me, make me laugh, and astonish me with your tenderness, all within a few minutes time. I still don't know what possessed me to proposition you that first night, but with every day that passes I am more grateful that I did so." She reached up and gently touched his cheek. "I do love you so."

Jaheira pulled away from him a little and looked him in the eyes. "But Anomen, that was so long ago—why didn't you say something?"

"You said yourself that you weren't ready for it. I didn't want you to feel that you had to declare something you were not comfortable saying of your own accord."

"Didn't it bother you that I hadn't told you that I loved you?" Jaheira asked curiously.

"A little, at first. Then I realized that in all the ways that mattered, you were telling me every day that you loved me, even if you hadn't said the words. Would you have treated me any differently these last few weeks and months if you had told me that you loved me?"

Jaheira looked at him thoughtfully. "Well, no, but Anomen..."

"But…it does make me very happy to finally have you say the words I'd hoped to hear someday. Very happy." He embraced her and leaned down as if to kiss her again, but instead lifted her off her feet, spun around with her in his arms and cried loudly. "I love you, Jaheira!"

A surprised hush fell, and after a moment, Imoen's voice broke the silence, "Sheesh, tell us something we don't know!" as laughter filled the pocket plane.

Jaheira, suppressing her own urge to laugh only with the greatest difficulty, twisted in Anomen's embrace and whacked his arm in protest. "Anomen, you great idiot, you are making a spectacle of us! Let me go!"

Anomen grinned and released her, not the least bit contrite. "I think the others are past being astonished by anything we say or do, Jaheira. Besides, I'd say they are happy for us."

Jaheira gave him her most repressing look, which as usual had little effect. "You are being very frivolous, Anomen. Even if we both survive tomorrow's battle, we have some very important decisions to make—where to live, what to do—if, after this is over, Dani no longer needs us. I have long thought I'd like to find a grove of my own someday, and of course there's my work with the Harpers...Silvanus knows what they will think of you." She gave Anomen an appraising look and continued. "On second thought, I'm afraid I have all too good a notion of what they'll think of you."

Anomen pulled Jaheira close. "Jaheira, my love, it is absolutely necessary that we make all of those decisions tonight? As a matter of fact, I have also made some plans for us this evening, but there was very little decision-making or even talking involved." Jaheira rolled her eyes and Anomen grinned. "However, if it will ease your orderly mind, I will say that although I had never envisioned living in a druid grove, I will live there happily if you are there. I'm sure the Church or even Helm himself can find duties for me wherever we are."

"As for the Harpers, well, ever since your experience with that Athkatla group, I've thought they needed someone to insure that they don't take themselves quite so seriously. I think I will be good for them."

Jaheira snorted in amusement. "Somehow, I doubt they'll agree." She gazed up at him lovingly. "Although you've certainly been good for me. Anomen..." she began a little uncertainly, "Did you mean what you said about being happy wherever I choose to call home?"

She expected a teasing reply from him, but instead, he kissed her brow and with no hint of mockery, replied simply, "Jaheira, wherever you are is my home."

Jaheira threw her arms around his neck and pulled him close, and Anomen happily returned the embrace. She murmured in his ear, "I believe you said something about a plan for tonight?"

Anomen's face lit up. "Yes, indeed, my lady, I did, and I am most eager to tell you all about it. As luck would have it, I believe I have found the perfect spot in which to do so!" Anomen chuckled as he led her toward their bedrolls.

Anomen had arranged their bedding in a place that was partially concealed by some plants and rock formations, affording them with at least some privacy. Soon they were undressed and lying comfortably in each other's arms.

Jaheira looked up at Anomen and laughed. "I must be in love with you, for even though by now I've spent many nights in your arms, it makes me very happy to think that I could have many more like this."

"Like this?" Anomen asked intently, and drew her to him for a lingering kiss. "My lady, my nights—and days—are yours as long as the gods grant me breath."

"That will do." Jaheira smiled, and returned the kiss with enthusiasm.

THE END

Crazy Faith
by Mark Simos

I lit my love and watched it burn
Asking nothing in return
Except the lessons I will learn
By holding crazy faith

I've been touched by that bright fire
Down to the root of my desire
While the smoke it rises higher
On crazy faith

You're not asking if I love this man
I know you don't, you don't believe you can
Yet I've seen love open like a dancer's fan
It's crazy I know
But my faith says so, it tells me

Am I a fool for hanging on?
Would I be a fool to be long gone?
When is daylight going to dawn
On my crazy faith?

The questions will not let me sleep
Answers buried way too deep
At the bottom of a lover's leap
Made by crazy faith

You're not asking if I love this man
I know you don't, you don't believe you can
Yet I've seen love open like a dancer's fan
It's crazy I know, but my faith says so
It tells me

Love your losing, lose your love
Let the hawk fly from the glove
Then do not search the skies above
Search your crazy faith

Love is lightning, love is ice
It only strikes the lucky twice
Once, so you will know the price
And once for crazy faith

You're not asking if I love this man
I know you don't, you don't believe you can
Yet I've seen love open like a dancer's fan
It's crazy I know,
But my faith says so