Author's Note: I really am very, very sorry for how long this final chapter took. Thank you so much for your patience with the story. Cate.
Olivia watches Alex sleep from a chair by the window, and so far she hasn't heard any complaints from Alex. Alex is curled up in bed, the sun streaming down on her on this winter afternoon. She looks so amazingly beautiful, especially now that the happiness has returned to her face. A white kitten, Viv, is snuggled close to Alex. Viv was short for Vivre, "to live" in French, and the adorable closeness to "Liv". Olivia gave her to Alex, knowing she would help cheer Alex up.
While watching the two of them sleep so peacefully, Olivia can imagine a future. A future that seemed impossible now seems like it could be tomorrow. A proposal… bended knee ring and all. A smile and a yes. All the guys in tuxes, even a playfully pissed Munch. A kiss that stops her heart for a second. Her arms around Alex every night, whispering, "You're so beautiful Alex. I love you… Love you always." And even though it's the millionth time she's said it, she means it every bit as much as the first time.
Her hand gripped tight, she murmurs, "I love you Alex, you can do it. Breathe." Her arms around an exhausted but happy Alex as she holds their newborn baby. A "wow" whispered when the baby smiles. Olivia kissing Alex and their daughter as their daughter as they put her to bed. Alex smiling as their daughter says her first word, " 'livia". Alex suppressing a laugh in a parent-teacher conference about their daughter cross-examining her teacher. Olivia whispering "You're so beautiful Alex. I love you… Love you always," on their 15th anniversary just like she has every night for 15 years.
Olivia can't help the smile and the tear on her face. She knows that everyday will be a fight for that future. And everyday she'll have to protect Alex, and yet let her be. And they will have to fight together against the darkness that they can't escape completely. But fight she will; because she knows no matter what, it's worth it. Because she loves Alex and Alex loves her. Always.