Disclaimer: Rook and his amigos belong to Paul Stewart & co. I think the other peeps belong to me.
A/N: This is the sequel to "A Very Long Engagement" It's kinda long but I enjoyed writing it. It might actually be one of my favorite pieces. Not that that's saying much! Happy reading!
Rook Barwater's days always started the same way. He awoke before the sun, dressed quickly in his Freeglade Lancer uniform, and jogged out three miles to the Ironwood Stands. Then he groomed and saddled up Klinchix, his prowlgrin. During the day he supervised the training of recruits, led his Lancers in forays, and went through mountains of paperwork. As soon as the sun vanished he jogged back towards the Lufwood Tower, showered before dinner, and proceeded to the dining hall to enjoy a well-earned rest with his friends.
Such was the busy life of the Captain of the Freeglade Lancers.
Rook was so busy that he sometimes wondered how Rastan felt. They had been lovers for two years before their engagement three years ago. He was now twenty-seven years old and he could see his life stretched behind him. He and Rastan had agreed when they first met that they would take their time in getting married so that they could both pursue their busy lives.
Now he felt himself change. Rook Barkwater, once one of the most restless being in the Freeglades, longed for stability. He wanted to marry Rastan and live with her forever. He wanted to spend more time with his friends Xanth, Magda, and Felix. But most of all, he wanted children.
Rook, who had once sought change in all aspects of his life, now yearned for stability.
"Hello everybody," said Rook, sitting down at the table next to Rastan. He kissed her tenderly and turned to Xanth, Magda, and Felix. They smiled back at him and resumed their conversation.
Magda and Xanth had been happily married for two years and Magda was now expecting her first child. They were both older than Rook but he couldn't help but feeling jealous of the family that they were already building.
He turned to Rastan, who was watching with a slight frown. Rook smiled and she smiled too and leaned against him. He hugged her against him, and they sat in silence, both reflecting on their own thoughts.
An hour later under the velvety darkness of the stars, Rook broached the topic with Rastan.
"Rastan…when do you want to get married?" he asked nervously.
She looked surprised for a moment and then grinned broadly. "Oh Rook!" she laughed, "I've been wanting to ask you the same question for a week!"
"Really? Well, then when!" gasped Rook, elated.
"As soon as possible, darling," said Rastan, throwing herself on him. "Whenever you want to, I'm willing. I've been ready and willing for almost a year."
"Wait," said Rook, gently disentangling himself from Rastan's hug. "There's something I have to ask you first. Would you…have children with me?"
Rastan blushed to the roots of her dark hair. "Oh, Rook," she whispered, "that would be more than I could ever hope for."
Rook, too overcome to speak, seized her and kissed her in an endless passion.