Author's note: And so, we come to the end. The future beckons, and the past is left behind, but always remembered. And there are times when one must live for the moment.

Epilogue

The door opened to laughter as Kevin carried Tara through and headed for the bedroom.

"Will you stop it?", she cried out laughing, "We aren't even married and you're already trying to play house!"

"Hey!", he said, "You started it! You were the one who suggested moving in together!"

"I so did not, Kevin Guberman! I said I would likely spend most of the time over here, not move in!"

"That's not the way you made it sound!"

She yelped as he plopped her down on the bed, roiling over with laughter again as he landed right beside her.

"I did not make it sound that way, you goof!" she said haltingly through the giggling, "I just said that with us going to pre-med classes together, it would be easier if I was able to work out of your apartment because it was actually closer to the classes! I only meant to keep a few things here so I wouldn't constantly have to go back to the dorm room!"

"You mean to keep a few things here and most of it in your dorm room so I can avoid a date with your father and his chain saw."

"Hey, he's not that bad and you know it! He and I spent a lot of time talking over the summer and we were really open about things. He knows how much I love you."

"And I love you."

"You better!", she riposted.

She giggled as he leaned over and kissed her lightly. In the dim light from the lamp on the end table, he gazed into those electric blue eyes of hers, and he could not help but continue to be amazed at his good fortune, to have landed the girl of his dreams.

Tara was thinking much the same, grateful for her incredible luck. They were on their own now, going to college. She knew they would be close and she would spend most of her time with him, but she still felt she should formally stay on campus, so she had moved into the dorm and had a roommate. Even though her parents completely trusted Kevin, they felt much happier with that arrangement. But it sure looked like she may not get to know her roommate very well...

Before they arrived at Dartmouth to begin classes, Kevin and Tara had a long talk with her parents. They had carefully prepared themselves to tell them about coming here to begin their college careers, both now aimed at a career in medicine. Kevin knew this involved the fact that not only were they going to be going to college together, but also to medical school together. He knew he had to explain that it would be difficult to get into the same medical school that way except under one circumstance, and that was if they were married. For Kevin, it was not a question of if, but when, and although he had not yet discussed it with her, Tara had been completely sure they would find some way to go to medical school together. For married couples, the match for medical school allowed for those situations, as long as both candidates were acceptable to the school on their own respective merits. However, during the long talk with her parents, Kevin wasn't able to tell them that just yet. He hadn't asked Tara to marry him yet.

Kevin had this in mind soon after the day they spoke with them and Tara told them she intended to be a physician and that she had been accepted to Dartmouth. Nobody else, except their friends, knew about it, so the next people who had to be told were both sets of parents. They had discussed it, and decided to tell her parents first. It was one evening when Kevin came over for dinner. When they finished eating, they announced their plans. Both Mark and Jill were taken a little unawares because she had applied to Dartmouth without telling them. She had meant to be a surprise, and it turned out they were very pleased to hear it. They agreed with her decision and were happy she had been accepted, although they questioned her closely to make sure that was want she wanted and was not just following Kevin's lead, but he assured them that he had no hand in this, that this was something she really wanted to do. With her grades she had been able to get a scholarship. But her father reassured her that even without that, he would find a way to pay for her college if it was needed, and even medical school if necessary. No mention of their relationship was made at the time, and this concerned Jill a bit, but she let it go, sure the kids would figure that out on their own in good time.

She had no need to worry. Later on, Kevin managed to get Mark and Jill alone, and he had asked them formally for Tara's hand and for their blessing. Jill broke down and cried, hugging him dearly as Mark grinned and clapped him on the back. They were more than happy to give it. That's when he explained about the match system and how it would allow married couples to go to school together.

After nightfall, Kevin asked Tara to set up the chess board out in the front yard under the old oak tree, just like her grandfather had done. There was a nearby street light that actually gave enough illumination to let them see the board quite well, and they played a game there. Tara won the game rather handily and frowned at him, seeing he was definitely off from his usual playing prowess. He replied he was distracted that night for good reason.

He got down on one knee, pulled out a small box, and presented an engagement ring to her, asking her to marry him. Tara was stunned, thinking he was going to wait until they were well into college, but she accepted without hesitation, crying and kissing him as she did. He placed the ring on her finger and then they both went back into the house so she could show her parents. They discussed arrangements for the wedding and after Kevin finally explained the match system to Tara and how it would help them, they planned for it to be sometime in their junior year so that they would be eligible. That meant that Johns Hopkins might be less likely a choice, but Kevin thought, 'Heck, Stanford or Harvard will do, as long as Tara's with me.'

These were the thoughts that went through his mind as he looked into those eyes full of the color of the sky. He thought briefly about the future, career, marriage, children...

"What're you thinking about, my valiant chess knight?", she said coyly.

Seeing he had been preoccupied, Kevin smiled, "Sorry about that, my queen, just musing over how we got to where we are, and about the future."

"Like what?"

A thought entered his mind.

"Tara, if we have children, I want to name our son, if you think it's okay."

She stared at him, a little surprised, "Gee, Kev, aren't you getting a little ahead of yourself?"

"Maybe. But we are engaged, so I don't think that's too unreasonable."

"Yeah. Okay, but the name thing. That depends. What did you have in mind?"

"James Mallory Guberman."

She gasped softly, then she reached up and pulled him back down, tenderly kissing him.

When he came up for air again, he said, "I take it that's a yes?"

"You better believe it!", she said softly, smiling widely and then kissing him again long and passionately.

She lay back down slowly, savoring the feel of his lips on hers as she gazed at him.

"I guess the only question left then,", she said, "is when."

"Yeah, we have to finish college, then medical school."

"So long?", she said achingly.

"I know.", he said in resignation.

"But other couples in medical school don't have to wait so long."

Thinking it over, he smiled at her, "You know, Tara, you're right. We don't have to wait that long. We can find a way to do it all."

"Good.", she said, "Because I've been thinking."

"Yes...?"

"I want to get married this spring. I don't want to wait."

He looked deep in her eyes, seeing how strongly she felt about this. He smiled again and kissed her once more.

"Whenever you want to get married, Tara. I'll be there. You just tell me where and when. As far as I'm concerned, I'm married to you already. I'm here with you, going to Dartmouth, then into medicine. If this isn't heaven, I'm at least already living the honeymoon."

She giggled, the huge smile filling her face.

"My chess knight.", she sighed, "Always thinking of me."

"Chess knight, huh? Wasn't I supposed to turn into your king?"

Her eyes softened, "Mmmmm, that's certainly a possibility."

She pushed him over on his back, kissing him fiercely. When she rose up again, the look in her eyes was positively feral. Her right hand reached up and undid the first button of her blouse.

Kevin's mouth opened slightly as he searched her face closely.

"You did say.", she said, "We would see."

Kevin blinked at her, still surprised, "Are you sure?"

"I've never been more sure of anything in my life.", she said seriously.

"Uh, what about... ...you know."

She bent down and gently kissed his cheek, brushing her lips against his skin momentarily before facing him again, her lips less than an inch from his, and she whispered, "Your mother has already taken care of that."

Kevin's eyes opened wide at that, "Really? Wow!"

She kissed him on the neck and looked into his eyes once more, saying, "You see, my valiant knight has to advance to the eighth rank to be promoted."

Kevin slowly grinned, "Oh! So are you playing Queen's Gambit now?"

"And if I accept it, do you think the time is right?", she asked softly.

He looked at her intensely as he put his arms around her and pulled her in closer.

"Pawn to queen four.", he said, gently giving her a quick kiss.

She purred and responded, "Pawn to queen four.", then kissed him more fiercely, even quicker, waiting for his answer.

"Pawn to queen bishop four."

Another quick yet passionate kiss.

"Ohhhhh! Now I've got you, Guberman! Pawn takes pawn!", she responded, straddling him fully and lowering her body directly on top of his, now kissing him more ravenously and taking the initiative for several moments before he suddenly raised up and turned her over onto her back. She squealed in surprise but laughed contentedly as he lay on top of her, her arms and legs tightening around him.

Then she knew he really would transform into her king this night as he softly spoke the last word to complete the gambit his queen had accepted, and she didn't mind the result in the least as he descended passionately onto her lips yet again.

"Checkmate."

THE END

My sincerest appreciation and thanks go out to Campy for his kind indulgence of letting me use the storyline he created and taking it further along. To all of those who have read, I thank you very much for taking the time to enjoy my work. For those who have reviewed as well, I also give my sincerest appreciation and thanks for their support and comments as they often help me review and improve my writing. There is more of the Resolution universe coming, and I hope to be able to present it soon on the web site.