A.N: I am so sorry everyone! It was not my intention to update so late, but I was teaching for a few weeks so I was (and actually am still) VERY busy! But I've taken some time aside to complete this story. Even though I don't really want it to end!

The song Clarisse is playing is called "Every Time We Touch" the slow version by Cascada. I fully recommend you listen to it as you read, but it HAS to be the SLOW version. Ok? Ok. (I think it is otherwise known as the 'candlelight mix' or something).

So here is the last chapter of my favourite fanfic so far (and probably EVER! And please give me a review! Please?!)…

Chapter 29:

"Would you honor me with a dance, Ma'am?"

Clarisse looked up, her smile dazzling as her crystal blue eyes sparkled in the bright lights of the ballroom. Love, devotion, and complete joy were all that could be seen in her eyes.

"You don't even need to ask," Clarisse smiled, taking the outstretched hand as she stood, her pale blue dress sparkling.

"Tell me your dreams," he whispered, his breath tickling her ear.

Clarisse smiled as she thought it over, her body swaying to the music and snuggled close to her partner. Her hand was clasped tightly in his, as he pressed it to his lips. Her other arm was wrapped loosely around his neck, where she rubbed smooth circles into his skin.

"That we will remain like this forever; right where we are now," Clarisse whispered back, her fingers tightening around his.

"What? Dancing by ourselves in an empty ballroom with all the mess of a recent party?"

"Joseph, do not tease me", Clarisse admonished her husband.

Joseph laughed richly, pulling Clarisse even tighter to his body. He loved the feel of holding her so much that he actually understood her dream – he never wanted to let her go.

"I wouldn't dream of teasing you, mi amore", Joseph whispered in her ear, feeling her shiver as his breath tickled her once more.

"You better not or I will be forced to fire you", Clarisse grumbled, giving him a sharp warning glare.

"I am no longer working for you, Ma'am, unless you class marriage as a job," Joseph said, trying hard to keep his face straight.

"With you, sometimes it feels like it", Clarisse murmured cheekily.

"Well, I class marriage to you as an honor", Joseph said proudly, lifting his chin in defiance.

"Do you now?" Clarisse asked, her eye-brow rose in amusement.

"Yes", Joseph replied, taking on a very serious stance similar to that of a diplomat, his expression straight.

Joseph tried hard not to crack his façade as Clarisse snorted most inappropriately at his childish antics.

He did not last long however, as his expression soon cracked into a wide grin, before he swooped down and planted a large kiss upon his wife's lips.

"Joseph! Please try and restrain yourself when we are in public", Clarisse admonished him; again.

"But we are not in public, dear, we are in our cozy little home", Joseph swept his arm out to indicate the vast palace.

"Well, please try to be a little more subtle in your affection when out of our quarters", Clarisse commanded.

"Do you practice those phrases in front of a mirror? You're no fun at all", Joseph grinned, rubbing his nose against hers.

"Oh! Gracious! Every time you do that, Joseph, I have an inappropriate urge to giggle".

"My, how most un-queen like of you, Your Majesty", Joseph teased, feigning shock.

"Oh do stop!" Clarisse demanded, clearly trying to smother her smile with a look of annoyance as she pulled out of his arms and stepped back.

"Are you trying to glare at me, Clarisse? Or are you choking? To be honest I can't tell", Joseph asked, his head tilted as he tried to analyze her expression.

Clarisse huffed in a most un-dignified way before turning on her heel, clearly intent on leaving the room.

"Ok, ok, I'm sorry. Come back here and enjoy one of the only moments we've had to ourselves in a long time", Joseph soothed her, taking a gentle hold of her arm to turn her back into his arms.

Joseph wrapped his arms back around Clarisse, chuckling softly at her pouting glare as she leaned forward to rest her head upon his chest. They both sighed deeply in unison before swaying softly to the beat of their joined hearts.

"You know, Joseph, sometimes I wonder where I would be without you", Clarisse murmured quietly into his chest.

"No doubt skulking around the palace shadows, jumping out to bark orders at poor Charlotte", Joseph murmured, breathing in her scent as he buried his face in her hair; boy was he glad she was only wearing a tiara and not a full blown crown.

"I'm serious, Joseph, I honestly don't know how I would have survived these past few years without you. I think I would have crashed and burned a long time ago had it not been for your constant support and then later, love", Clarisse spoke earnestly, her words reaching down to his heart.

"You need to have more faith in yourself, mi amore", Joseph murmured, suddenly feeling slightly choked up at her heartfelt confession.

"I do, Joseph, or at least, I do now. But you had to show me first", Clarisse said honestly, lifting her head to meet Joseph's warm eyes.

"Ah my dear Clarisse, you really are wonderful", Joseph breathed, before running his rough hand down the side of her smooth, soft face.

Clarisse just smiled brightly, her love for him shining in her crystal eyes.

"Only for you, my knight", Clarisse whispered as she gently pressed her lips to his, before resting her head upon his chest again.

Joseph's mind began to wander as he reveled in the warmth of their embrace. He remembered back a few days when he had returned from a week away from the palace, as well as away from his Clarisse.

He had so far managed to enter the palace without notice; his car parked discretely around the corner from the palace garage. He had told no one that he would be returning a day early, especially not his lovely Clarisse.

He snuck silently down one of the corridors, peeking into the main rooms he passed to see if he could figure out where Clarisse was situated. He figured out he was somewhere near the ballroom as he could hear someone playing the piano; it had been some time since he had used the back entrances.

Slipping through a side door to the ballroom, and peeking around the pillars, he strained to see who was seated at the piano as the music was soothingly familiar.

"Clarisse", Joseph whispered; the sound barely passing his lips.

She was seated at the piano, her hands moving gracefully over the keys as she gazed, unfocussed into the distance.

Joseph watched for a few moments before he noticed a tune start to emerge. Before he knew it, Clarisse had begun to sing the most beautiful song he had ever heard from her.

"I still hear your voice when you sleep next to me,

I still feel your touch in my dreams.

Forgive me my weakness, but I don't know why

Without you it's hard to survive.

'Cause every time we touch, I get this feeling,

And every time we kiss, I swear I could fly.

Can't you feel my heart beat fast; I want this to last,

Need you by my side.

'Cause every time we touch, I feel the static,

And every time we kiss, I reach for the sky.

Can't you feel my heart beat so; I can't let you go,

Want you in my life.

Your arms are my castle; your heart is my sky,

They wipe away tears that I cry.

The good and the bad times, we've been through them all.

You make me rise when I fall.

'Cause every time we touch, I get this feeling,

And every time we kiss, I swear I could fly.

Can't you feel my heart beat fast; I want this to last,

Need you by my side.

'Cause every time we touch, I feel the static,

And every time we kiss, I reach for the sky.

Can't you feel my heart beat so; I can't let you go,

Want you in my life.

Every time we touch, I get this feeling,

Every time we kiss, I swear I could fly.

Can't you feel my heart beat fast; I want this to last,

Need you by my side.

'Cause every time we touch, I feel the static,

And every time we kiss, I reach for the sky.

Can't you feel my heart beat so; I can't let you go,

Want you in my life".

As the music faded away, Joseph watched with a love filled heart as Clarisse sighed deeply, sitting back and placing her hands upon her knees. It took Joseph some time to move from his hiding spot, as Clarisse's voice had blown him away.

Joseph had crept out from his hiding spot until he was right behind Clarisse before leaning forward and kissing her atop her head. She had jumped up and wrapped him in a love filled embrace, much as she was at that very moment.

"Clarisse, have I ever told you that I love you?" Joseph asked, whispering in her ear.

"Yes, you have, but I still delight in hearing it", Clarisse smiled, running her hand down his face in an age old gesture of affection.

"But have I told you that I love you?" she asked.

"Many times, and in more than just words", Joseph smiled as he replied, tucking a stray strand of her golden tresses behind her ear.

They were leaning their foreheads together, gazing into the others eyes when the sound of a young child crying broke the silence.

"Ah, I was wondering when she would squawk", Joseph said affectionately, reaching around to hook something off the back of his belt.

Clarisse stepped back from his embrace and began walking up the grand staircase.

"I'm coming sweetheart", Joseph spoke quietly into the device he held gently in his hands, before following Clarisse.

"The baby monitor only goes one way, Joseph; she can't hear you", Clarisse chuckled, shaking her head.

"I can't help it", Joseph grinned, bounding up the stairs, two by two.

He stopped at the top, shifting from one foot to the other in his impatience in waiting for Clarisse.

"Go on ahead, Joseph, I am going to get out of this dress, first".

Joseph barely waited for Clarisse to finish what she was saying before he was off running down the hall to the nursery.

"Hush, little one, its ok, Great Granddaddy's here", Joseph soothed the child as he picked her up out of the crib in the darkened room.

"Hello there my little Isabel, my angel", Joseph murmured, holding the child close as he walked to the seat beside the vast window.

He sat down, cradling the child in his arms so she could look up into his face, and rocked her slowly. She began to calm down, watching him with large, blue eyes. Her cries died away until she was just hiccupping slightly, still watching him in the darkened room.

Joseph reached across and pulled the curtain back so they could look at the stars. He smiled down at Isabel, before holding her up close to his face, averting his gaze to the heavens.

"See all those wonderful stars up there? Aren't they amazing? So many beautiful sparkles in the sky to shine down on my wee angel", Joseph spoke softly, awe touching his voice.

"And do you know what else shines down?" Joseph asked the infant, his voice growing softer.

Joseph then bent closer and whispered in her ear, his eyes shining brightly, much the same as the stars behind him in the sky.

The light from the stars above continued to shine as Joseph whispered the secrets of the universe into Isabel's small ears, oblivious to Clarisse's fond gaze from the open door. Even when she had joined him, sitting close and leaning her head in close as well, kissing the child's head, Joseph continued to whisper.

And there they remained, in each others embrace, holding the small child between them; a life filled with love, hope, and much more ahead of her. And together they showed just what life could do in a person's life, as well as all the possibilities of the future.

Joseph no longer saw his life as not making a difference. All he had to do was look at his wife in his arms, look back over the life they had conquered together. Then look at the people he had touched at some stage with his words or experience; he had accomplished so much more than he ever thought possible. Life and death is clearly so much more than a pointless cycle – it is a gift each person is given; what we do with that gift is up to us.

And the last words heard, spoken on a quiet breath by a man shaped by a life of loss, suffering, pain, hope, joy and love.

"Everything has its time".

The End