A/N: I'm home!! I'm sorry for making you wait two extra days. And, yes, this is the last chapter!! (reaches for the tissue box) I'm going to need this before the chapter's over. Can you believe that this is actually the shortest chapter in the entire fic? I was surprised too. Well...(sniff)...enjoy the last chappie...(sniff) I need a tissue...
For Lao Who Mai: I'm so sorry I couldn't post this on Sunday! I feel so bad. Looks like we'll both have to wait. Hopefully I'll hear from you in two weeks.
Epilogue: To Pierce a Heart
"Hit the dirt!"
The servant took a flying leap and landed face down on the ground. A few other servants yelped and ran away—as if their lives depended on it. Only one person was capable of this level of terror . . .
Eirika groaned. "Am I really that bad?"
Innes chuckled and repositioned her hands on the bow. "You're fine—for a beginner. Now, hold it up level to your eyes." He lifted her arms and tilted her head toward the bow.
But Eirika sighed and lowered her arms. She rested the weapon on her hip and turned to her gray eyed king. "Innes, why are you teaching me how to shoot a bow?"
There was amusement at her frustration in his eyes. "I believe that if anyone is to know how to fight, they should know how to fight with a variety of weapons."
"And you do, I presume?" She asked with an irritated scowl.
He's just Prince Perfect. Does he really expect me to learn how to use all of these weapons?!
A smug smile crossed his features. "Well, I do." He saw her scowl and quickly added: "However, I find that only the bow truly suits me. Anyway, back to your lesson. Now, set your anchoring point."
She was silent and didn't move.
"You . . . do know what that is . . . right?"
"Uh . . . I, um, forgot." She laughed shallowly, abashed.
Innes sighed. "No matter, I'll show you again." He picked up his practice bow. "Your left hand grips here, on the handle of the bow. You take a three fingered hold on the string with your right hand. Two fingers below the arrow's knock—the notch at the end of the arrow shaft where it attaches to the string—and one finger above it."
He demonstrated the hand holds. Eirika copied him.
He nodded his approval. "Now, turn your body sideways to the target. Your left shoulder should be aligned with it. When you raise your bow, your left arm should point to the target."
She did as he directed and glanced over at Innes to see him nod again. She beamed inwardly. She'd only shot a few bolts before the servants had begun to panic every time she raised the bow. Was she really that bad? At first she had passed it off as the servants being wary since she was a beginner. Now, she wondered if she'd had the holds right. Two arrows had killed a few creative landscaping animals in a nearby garden . . . which was behind them. Another arrow had almost hit one of the servants who changed the targets. An arrow had flown out into the shooting range and had mysteriously disappeared. The list went on . . .
"Now, pull back on the string and bring it level with your eye. Do you see the knot of leather on the string? That's called your kisser button. That should touch the corner of your mouth. This stance is your anchoring point." Innes lowered the bow and stepped toward her. "Let's see your anchoring stance."
He circled around her like a vulture. She watched him warily out of her peripheral vision and wondered when he'd go in for the kill. Eirika was thankful that she didn't have an arrow loaded. She was so nervous she surely would have accidentally shot him when he passed in front of her.
. . . She didn't even want to think about that.
"Your bow is wavering."
"Huh?" She shook her head as if to clear her thoughts.
He gestured to where the arrowhead would have been had the bow been loaded. And, indeed, the bow was wavering slightly.
"Does that mean I don't have a steady hand?" She asked, half disappointed and half hopeful.
She loved spending this time almost alone with Innes, but Eirika wasn't exactly thrilled with her new training routine. Four different types of weapons to use, study, and train with. At least he hadn't added the Trinity of Magic; he had admitted earlier that even magic was out of his league.
"No, it just means you have to change your grip." Innes told her. "Relax your left hand, don't curl your fingers around the bow. That should help stabilize it." He pried her fingers from the handle of the weapon.
"Oh. Okay. Um . . . what next?"
"Next you close your left eye and look down the sight. Line it up with the bulls-eye and when you feel you're ready, you release." Innes explained. He loaded a bolt onto the rest and demonstrated. The arrow hit the target with a solid thunk . . . and it hit the bulls-eye.
Eirika sighed, wishing she could someday hit a bulls-eye. Maybe in her dreams. "Okay, here goes."
She selected an arrow, knocked it like Innes had showed her, set an anchoring point she hoped was decent, and line up the sight with the bulls-eye. She saw the sight sway and tried to steady her hold. She heard Innes's voice advising her to breathe.
Oh, right. Breathe. She'd almost forgotten to. Better yet, remembering to breathe solved the problem. She was able to focus, to steady, to aim.
Oh, please let this at least hit the target.
Eirika let the bolt fly. And, light above, did it fly. It skimmed above the target, through a bush, and over the far castle wall. Innes let out a low whistle of amazement.
"Wow. I don't think I've ever shot one that far." Astonishment colored his voice.
"But . . . I didn't hit the target." She pointed out with a frown.
"There's always next time." Innes said simply, stepping closer.
"There is that." She agreed dispassionately.
She noted the change in tone in his voice and looked up at him, her frown still in place. "Yes, Innes?"
He leaned in and kissed her soundly. She blinked in surprise, but soon melted into the embrace of lips. There was a rush of warmth much like an ocean wave sweeping up the shore. And the smile that was on her face when he pulled away was much like the sun reflecting off the crystal blue water.
"There," He looked utterly satisfied with himself.
She blinked again. "What?"
"Your frown is gone." He stated simply.
"Oh. Is that the cause for such a sweet gesture?" She was trying to act nonchalant, neither smiling nor frowning to see what he would do next.
"Yes," He answered. "You shouldn't frown. Your face wasn't meant to frown. A smile accentuates your face very nicely; it intensifies your natural beauty." As he spoke, he took the bow from her, setting it on the ground, and wrapped his arms around her lovingly.
Eirika leaned into his embrace. "I'm so glad you think so." She reached up to place a small kiss at the corner of his mouth.
He looked down at her with dark, pensive eyes. "Are you sure your brother is okay with this . . . with us?"
She smiled to herself. "You're really worried about that, aren't you?"
"Yes, and that is perfectly reasonable."
"It's just my brother."
"Yes, your brother." He shook his head. "I can handle the King of Renais, but not your brother."
She frowned a little. "What's so bad about my brother?"
"One, he's a reckless, thick headed imbecile when it comes to you." Innes began.
"And you aren't?"
". . ."
"Well, you are. Especially when it comes to my safety." She said resentfully.
He held her tightly. "Can you blame me for wanting to protect my love?"
My love. She felt like the sun had settled in her chest and taken up permanent residence. Eirika rested her head against his shoulder. She closed her eyes contentedly as Innes's fingers trailed through her hair.
"Not only that, but we are rivals."
He was getting desperate; he was using their rivalry as a crutch. But she was also curious about one thing . . .
"Why is that?"
There was momentary silence as the focus of discussion was directed elsewhere. "Why is what?"
She tilted her head to look at him. "Why are you and Ephraim rivals? For as long as I can remember you two have had this silly rivalry between you. I think the both of you could be wonderful friends only if you resolved whatever caused this aversion."
Innes was quiet, brooding on the subject more than what Eirika thought was necessary. "Very well, I'll tell you our little history. First of all, this rivalry isn't as 'silly' as you think it is. Second, it may be resolving sooner than you think."
"Why don't we sit down? I can tell this will take awhile." Eirika twisted out of his arms to take his hand.
"Well, it can't take too long; I still have to find money to fix the damage I've done on the construction sites." Innes said, inadvertently reminding the both of them of that night.
The fallen assassins and Karlen's body had been buried in a cemetery on the outskirts of Frelia. There hadn't been any form of ceremony for them. Only Innes, Eirika, and a few of Karlen's closest workers came to watch the burial. No words had been said. Eirika thought that this kind of burial was the saddest; the silence moaned its sorrow. The public had been given an edited version of the night's happenings, but wild rumors flew through the air nevertheless. It unnerved Eirika how close some of them were to the truth.
She pushed back the solemn thoughts and tugged him away from the shooting range. "Then make it short. I want to know what started all of this."
She led him over to the benches that adorned the nearby garden. They passed a carefully sculpted bush that took on the shape of a deer with an arrow protruding from its head—one of Eirika's failed shots. She grimaced and pulled the offending object from the plant. Innes smirked, but didn't say anything. They settled on the bench, their fingers still intertwined.
She looked at him expectantly.
He was acutely aware of Eirika staring at him, waiting for him to begin his tale. Frankly, this was something he had hoped he would take to the grave. It wasn't anything scandalous nor was it something that could mar his name. Really, it was something that was so petty, now, that it was rather embarrassing to recall. But, she wanted to know and he was the one who brought it up.
Innes stared at the ground, studying one of the garden stones with keen interest. "Well, it all started the day we met, but it didn't really begin until the day we told each other our, ah, crushes so to speak."
She quirked an eyebrow at him. "What? That doesn't make any sense—"
He held up a hand for silence. "Please, let me tell my story before you say anything. Otherwise, I might not be able to finish." He mumbled the last part under his breath.
"What did you say?" Apparently, she had heard anyway.
"Nothing. Let me begin."
She made herself comfortable on the wooden bench, crossing her legs and leaning against the metal arm. Eirika motioned with her hands for him to get on with it.
"I believe we were fourteen years of age when we first met. It was Tana's birthday celebration. My father was delighted that Fado's children could celebrate with us. I don't think I quite knew what I'd be getting myself into when I challenged Ephraim . . ."
"Fado! I'm so glad you could join us today! And are these charming young children yours?" Hayden asked as he shook hands with the King of Renais.
Fado smiled. "Yes, they are. This is Ephraim, my eldest, and his twin, Eirika, my jewel." The teal haired man rested a hand on each child's shoulder.
Ephraim inclined himself in a small bow. "Pleasure to meet you, King Hayden."
Eirika smiled shyly and gave a little curtsy. A tempest-gray eyed boy noticed how cute that small smile was. But he kept this to himself.
Hayden smiled warmly at the twins. "I'm delighted to meet you." He gestured to the tall, steel eyed boy beside him. "This is my eldest, Innes," He then motioned toward the bright eyed girl with deep violet hair. "And this is my daughter and the birthday girl, Tana."
Ephraim smiled at Tana and took her hand, bowing over it. "Happy Birthday, Princess Tana."
Eirika's smile was brighter and wider this time. "Happy Birthday, Princess Tana. I'm happy to be here."
Hayden chuckled at the mature greetings and clapped a hand on Fado's shoulder. "You've raised them well, friend. I don't believe I could ever make Innes and Tana behave that well."
Fado grinned. "They have their moments too."
"Go enjoy yourselves, children. The celebration will begin soon." Hayden said to them. "Now, Fado, there's something I've been meaning to discuss with you . . ."
Innes watched the adults walk down the hall and then turned to study the turquoise haired heir to the Renais throne. He was making small talk with Tana, obviously more relaxed now that the adults where away. Tana seemed to have taken an interest in the Renais children and was chattering away excitedly with them. Innes had yet to say anything. The Renais heir was of tall stature, only a few inches shorter than the tall and lanky Frelian heir. The boys were still filling into their adolescent bodies, but there was already an air of strength about them.
"You, Ephraim of Renais."
The blue-green eyed boy turned to Innes and immediately the atmosphere became a little tense. "Yes, Innes of Frelia?"
"I challenge you to an archery match on the shooting range."
The other boy looked taken aback at first and then shrugged. "All right. Lead the way."
And so began the rivalry. Innes was a master of the bow for his age; that match was an easy win. Ephraim handled the loss amiably, putting a hand out to congratulate Innes. But the stormy eyed prince was far from finished. Instead of accepting the handshake, he challenged Ephraim to duel with the spear. Innes wasn't so practiced in this area of fighting, but he figured he was decent. Ephraim, on the other hand, loved the spear. He used the weapon as if it were a natural extension of his arm. Innes was not the winner of that match. Again, Ephraim managed the situation good-naturedly. He didn't gloat, he stuck his hand out again. And, again, Innes refused. They moved onto jousting.
They had just begun to charge toward each other when Tana called them inside with her high-pitched voice. They didn't complete the charge and a winner couldn't be determined. They settled for a draw. It was only then that Innes accepted the handshake. Ephraim complimented Innes on his skills and Innes returned the gesture with compliments of his own. He couldn't see them as friends in the future; Innes could only think of the heir to the Renais throne as an adversary, a rival. So their tentative association, their cool familiarity, was kept as that for the rest of the day.
"I remember that day!" Eirika exclaimed. "Tana and I became friends that day. I had wondered what had happened to you two. You had just disappeared for most of the afternoon. Ephraim wouldn't say anything about it afterward." She was silent a moment and when she looked at him with her azure eyes, she said: "So you challenged him to three matches. Why did you do that?"
Innes, a little startled, stammered for a moment. "Well, uh, I . . . I guess I wanted to see where I stood with him."
Eirika quirked an eyebrow.
"Like in a hierarchy." He elaborated. "There has to be order. I wanted to see which level of hierarchy I stood with him. I wanted to know who would be dominate and who would be subordinate."
"And what did you find out?" There was a glimmer of amusement in her eyes, as if she already knew the answer.
Innes sighed, thinking this was pointless for the next part of his story was worse than the first. "Well . . . I found out that we stand together, in a sense. We are both dominate, as it should be when you're the heir to the throne. That's why our, ah, relationship is so competitive. It's like putting two male lions together in a cage. They both fight for dominance, but never get any farther than where they've started."
She nodded. "Makes sense. So, what about the other part of your story, the one where you tell each other who you love?"
He hid a wince. "You remembered that?"
"Of course! Any woman would!"
"Very well. The next part takes place a few years later at a hunting lodge on the border. I believe we were sixteen and both of our fathers wanted to take us on a 'real hunting experience.' But Ephraim and I just took it as another chance to compete."
"Are you really going to hunt with that?" Innes asked snidely with a nod at the javelin Ephraim was holding.
The Renais heir looked down at the spear. "Yes, I am. Do you have a problem with that, Innes?"
The gray eyed prince shrugged. "I won't be the one returning to the lodge with empty hands, so, no, I don't have a problem with that."
"Are you saying I won't bring anything back?" Ephraim asked heatedly.
"Perhaps." Innes answered shortly. "I just know that with a bow you can't go wrong."
"Maybe for you, but I'm content with my javelin." The slightly shorter boy said with a tone that ended all discussion for that particular topic.
Innes sneered and slung his quiver over his shoulder. "The one who comes back with the least amount of game must answer truthfully to any questions the winner asks."
Ephraim eyed him warily with his teal orbs. "How is the amount of game measured? Per animal or pounds?"
Innes smirked. "Per animal to make it easy. I don't want to waste the night arguing over an ounce this way or that with you."
The other youth nodded. "A wise decision."
"Why do you sound so surprised?"
"I just . . . didn't expect that, that's all."
Innes quickly strung his bow. "Well, learn to expect anything from me. I've already done so with you and so far you haven't surprised me once."
Ephraim scowled. "Now, why does that sound like an insult?"
Innes began to walk away. "Because it is." He said over his shoulder.
Both boys returned to the lodge only when visibility was too poor with which to hunt by. Hayden and Fado, having noticed the competitive streak in their sons, had wisely stayed at the lodge to swap hunting stories. They knew their sons would bring back enough game to feed an entire village. When the fathers had asked their sons if they would like company during their hunts, they both had quickly answered no. The two adults chuckled over the antics the boys put themselves through.
Once, while spending the weekend on the Frelian coast, they had challenged each other to see who could stand in the frigid waters the longest. Both of them had neared a shade of deathly blue before their fathers ordered them out. The only problem was they could no longer feel their legs and, therefore, could not move. Hayden and Fado had to fish them out of the water and carried them into the cottage where they were set by the fire. The result of their foolish contest was not only painfully numb limbs and a cold that lasted two weeks, but the punishment of joining their fathers in the monthly conference with the rulers of Magvel. The boys had been on such previous meetings and found them boring enough to die by. They had only survived this conference through staring contests.
When the sun had set, the two princes dragged their game back to the lodge. This took them an hour or so for the competition had gone straight to their heads. When, at last, they had their game lined up in neat rows, they stared at one another.
"So . . . how many?" Ephraim asked.
". . . Nine."
Innes's eyes narrowed and he counted Ephraim's row. Then he counted his row. And then he double checked, just to be sure. Finally, he said: "It appears we are tied."
"So . . . what now, genius?" The teal haired prince asked.
The Frelian heir scowled. "What makes you think I know everything?"
"Well . . ." Ephraim shrugged. "You made up the contest and you made up the rules. What do the rules say about a draw?"
Innes thought for a moment and then smiled. "We both answer truthfully to any questions asked tonight."
It was around the time to turn in for the night when the dreaded question was sprung.
They were sitting in the lodge's spacious den, sitting by the fire on the hardwood floor. Innes had told Ephraim almost everything about himself. He was quite surprised in how interested Ephraim was about a casual day in Frelia—and what the heir to the Frelian throne had to do. Innes had told him all of his hunting tips and vice versa. They swapped favorites and even a dream or two. This night both had them wondering if there could possibly be a friendship beneath the rivalry. Unbeknownst to the other, both were thinking perhaps it was possible to end their hostility towards the other.
But then the final question tore the musings apart.
"Is there a girl you have affections for?"
Ephraim had asked the question and Innes had stiffened. The former looked at the latter with a puzzled expression concerning the other's reaction. Innes scowled and shot the same question back at him without answering.
The Renais prince blinked. "Well . . . err . . . yes, I do."
Innes nodded. "As do I."
"Well . . . who is she?"
The gray haired prince's expression hardened. "Who is yours?"
Ephraim seemed to pale a little. "Well . . . err . . . she—you first."
"Your sister." They said simultaneously.
Ephraim blinked. "What—what did you say?"
"What did you say?"
"I said: 'your sister.'" They said together again.
"You—you have feelings for my sister?!" Ephraim exclaimed in a soft tone.
"And, apparently, you do also for mine." Innes said flatly.
Ephraim confirmed it with a sharp nod and fidgeted. Innes's eyes hardened. Their previous ponderings of friendship were dashed on the rocks by a wave of contempt and grim conviction.
"Do you know what this means?" Innes asked him coldly.
Ephraim, unable to look at the steely eyes of the Frelian prince, only nodded. "I think I have an idea."
Innes stood and the fire's light cast shadows on his face that made him look all the more intimidating. "If we weren't rivals before, then we surely are now. Stay away from Tana, Renais cur."
Ephraim returned the cold look which made his eyes look like shards of blue-green ice. "The same goes for you, coldhearted Frelian bastard."
Innes, instead of correcting the bastard remark like he wanted to do, stalked off to his room.
"Wow." There was amazement in her voice. "You two fought over your affections for Tana and me?"
"Yes," Innes said grudgingly.
"I'm flattered." Eirika told him. "Maybe I shouldn't be as I was part of the cause for this void between you two, but I'm flattered."
Innes sighed and shook his head with irritation. "It feels so silly now, but we never forgot. That is, until now. We've grown older and had a kingdom handed to us, so I suppose our duties as our sister's keepers have slipped."
Eirika grinned and leaned against his shoulder. "I'll say. But I'm glad they did."
Innes slipped an arm around her shoulders. "I am too. I think—or, at least, I hope—Ephraim and I have come to some sort of silent agreement. We both want our sisters to be happy and they are happiest when they're with our rival. But, that won't keep us from being the overprotective brothers we are by nature."
"You know, I don't think I would have it any other way." She sighed and let her eyes shut, snuggling into his embrace.
It was serene in every sense of the word. The wind could be heard in the rustling of the trees and the birds were chirping their cheerful little songs from all around. Even a few butterflies could be seen visiting a flower here or there. The sunlight that filtered through the tree branches dappled the ground with intricate shadows and soft pools of light. Eirika's scent, one of jasmine and lilacs, filled his senses with every breeze that swept over them. He decided it was time.
"Eirika, I want to make a deal with you." He began.
"Oh? What's that?" She asked, tilting her head up to look at him.
Innes stared up at the trees around them. "If I can hit a bulls-eye on a target atop the far castle wall—the one you shot an arrow over this morning—from the shooting range, will you promise to be by my side until we pass from this world?"
She sat up a little, quirking a brown and frowning thoughtfully. "Innes?"
He looked down into her cerulean eyes. "If I can do that, will you promise to the woman who owns my heart?"
"Innes, what are you—"
"Will you promise to be the wonderful queen that I know you can be?"
She was facing him now, staring at him with something akin to shock and joy. "Innes," She whispered softly in a voice that made his heart beat a little faster. "Are you asking me to marry you?"
He grasped her hands. "Yes, Eirika, I am."
A slow smile crept its way onto her lips. "But you have to shoot a bulls-eye first?" There was astonishment in her voice, as if she couldn't believe what she was hearing.
"Yes. It's just another way to finalize things."
She gave him a wry grin. "Aren't my words enough?"
He studied her amused face. "Well . . . I'm not sure since you haven't answered my question."
"I have a better idea." She told him. "The best way to 'finalize things' is to shoot the bow together."
He pretended to consider her idea. At this point he was willing to do anything for her to say yes. "Are you implying that you will stay with me for the rest of your life?"
She smiled and leaned closer. "I'm not implying, I'm saying yes."
She touched her lips to his and the warmth that cascaded from that action filled him. He was drowning. He was drowning and he didn't care because it was Eirika. It was always Eirika that caused him to drown. Often she made him drown in longing, in painful yearning without her knowing it. But now . . . Now he was drowning in something so much sweeter. His lungs began to ache as they always did, having been deprived of oxygen. But this time the cause for his suffocation was something entirely different. The torment that often accompanied these feelings was gone and replaced by something that linked with his heart in just the right way.
He was drowning in Eirika's love and he savored every moment of it.
The sun was setting, but anyone who looked long enough would be able to see an odd shape on top of the castle wall. It was a target. An archer's target to be more precise. An upright piece of wood wrapped in cloth with a few different colored circles painted on it. And, as one would expect, there was an arrow imbedded in the cloth wrapped wood. Just a single arrow placed expertly on the bulls-eye. Anyone who noticed this unusually placed target would never suspect that the arrow was shot by two people, not just one. Anyone who noticed this single arrow wouldn't realize its symbolism. They might admire the skill it took to shoot an arrow that far and that accurate. Or, they might admire the effects of the setting sun on the lone arrow. But anyone who noticed wouldn't stay around long enough to fully appreciate it.
As the sun set, the fading rays of light reached out and intertwined themselves with the arrow's feathers. The amber light embraced the feathers lovingly, sinking into the individual strands that made up the object, molding to it. The sun was setting and the arrow's feathers were ablaze with ocher light. The target was pierced; the flaming arrow protruding from it was proof enough, but another might say her heart was pierced long ago upon first seeing tempest-gray eyes.
A/N: And so ends the last chapter of The Arrow Pierced Heart. (sniff) Where are those darn tissues? First, I must say that I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey with my faithful readers and reviewers from the first chapter to the last. And I'm both sad and happy to say that this fic is finished. Next, I must thank my wonderful reviewers.
Lao Who Mai: My first reviewer. Thank. You. So. Much. I can't wait for you to return in two weeks and review this final chapter. I have enjoyed your three page reviews immensely. I will miss them dearly. You commented on nearly everything in chapter and helped me out in more ways than you can imagine.
The Lex and Terry Listener: My self-proclaimed biggest fan. Your enthusiasm for my chapters have always motivated me to write more and more. You were very accepting when it came to my hiatus and my recent vacation. You have reviewed on every chapter and that it probably the greatest gift anyone can give me. (I'm cheap, I know. ) Good luck on your own EirikaxInnes fic, I'll still review! Thank you so much!
ricco-the-penguin: Thanks for sticking around and reading this even though you don't know the fandom. You're two word reviews were motiviating and I'm flattered you've stayed with me 'til the end. Thanks a bunch!!
Raptorxd: Yo, Raptor! Where are you? Don't tell you're grounded again. That's just not acceptable anymore. You know, I wrote this fic for you. The least you can do is prevent yourself from being grounded. (evil-squint-of-DOOM!) Ah, I'm just kiddin' with ya. You were the one who opened my eyes to the EirikaxInnes pairing and I thank you for that. But I still like EirikaxSeth, so your influence hasn't completely overtaken me. Thanks for being there for me.
Tri17: You entered the picture in Chapter 3, but you've reviewed in just about every chapter after that. I loved your humor, especially when you commented on Ephraim punching Innes. I still laugh when I read that particular review. You've waited anxiously for me to return and now that I have, I'm waiting anxiously for you to review. Thanks.
The Blazing Blade: This must be a surprise. You're gone until August and when you return you will find that this fic is completed! I can't imagine how horrible it must be in electricity-free Musk-something-or-other. You pointed out to be how obscenely long my chapters are and it is because of you I've tried (very hard, may I add) to keep them short. I believe I failed on Chapter 6. Oops. I'll be looking forward to a review when you get back. Thanks a bunch!
Also, a thank you to Crimsy Mi-chan and TodgeWatherly. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!! I'm going to miss all of you! (Yes, even the readers who don't review!) Thank you for this wonderful experience and thank you for reading and reviewing. I can't express my gratitude enough.
And so, I, Twilight in my Eyes, conclude The Arrow Pierced Heart.