Well, this is the last chapter! Thankyou to all those who reviewed in the other chapters!
"Clarisse, can you hear me?" Joseph asked.
Clarisse opened her eyes. "Yes darling." She whispered.
"Oh thank goodness!" Joseph breathed a sigh of relief.
"Can you get up?" He asked. Praying she hadn't been badly hurt, although her already large bruise was looking horribly painful, and bigger and darker than before.
"Yes, I think so." She said, and Joseph reached out his hand to help her up.
When she was finally standing, Joseph could see the pain in her eyes. He lifted his hand to her cheek, but quickly drew it back when she flinched at his touch.
It killed him to see her in pain. So he brought her over to the couch and kissed her passionately, and as gently as he could.
Clarisse kissed him back. In his arms, all the pain and fear she was feeling seemed to disappear. All she could think about was being with Joseph again.
"I'm sorry I wasn't there to protect you yesterday." Joseph said as he put his arm around her.
Clarisse leaned in to him. "It isn't your fault. It's mine, for not letting you come with Mia and I when you wanted too." She said quietly.
Clarisse inhaled sharply, remembering her granddaughter. "Mia! How is she? Where is she? Is she okay?"
Joseph took her shaking hands in his own. "She's fine, darling. She's at the palace, worried sick." Tenderly, he brushed a lock of her silky, golden hair behind her ear.
"About me?" Clarisse asked, concerned. She didn't like to think of the poor girl worrying for her sake.
Joseph nodded. "Yes, she's been crying, almost all night. She'll be so happy to know you're safe."
"Oh dear. Poor Mia. I can't wait to see her." Clarisse said.
She looked at Joseph. She was finally free of the nightmare. "Joseph?" She asked.
"Yes my love?" He asked back.
"Take me home."
"Of course." He said, and escorted her back to the limo. On the way out they saw Arthur and Doug being put in a police car. Joseph felt Clarisse shake slightly as she watched them, so he held her tighter.
Once they were inside the limo, Clarisse kissed Joseph and hugged him. She laid her head on his chest sleepily. He held her closely, and she fell asleep in his arms for about a minute, before they arrived at the palace. When she entered the palace, the first thing she saw was Mia running down the stairs as fast as she could. Followed by Charlotte, Lily, and Nicholas. Clarisse opened her arms and caught Mia in a long hug.
"Oh grandma I missed you so much! Thank goodness you're okay!" The new queen cried.
"Oh Mia, dear, I missed you too. And I'm fine, really." Clarisse said.
Mia looked at the extremely noticeable bruise on her grandmother's face. "Oh my god! What happened? Are you sure you're okay?"
"Well, I was hit a few times…but I'm fine now." She couldn't help but see Nicholas blush in embarrassment.
"I apologize for my uncle's cruel behaviour. I don't know what he was thinking!" Nicholas said angrily. "How I wish I could get my hands on him!"
"Now Nicholas, I wouldn't get involved if I were you. Leave it alone and you'll be fine." Joseph said calmly. "And don't worry. Your uncle is taken care of. He is being sent to a prison in a different country. A very strict one if I might add. It will be far worse punishment than what either of us could do."
Nicholas nodded in agreement.
Clarisse looked over at Charlotte, who had been quiet the whole time. She was beaming through tears.
"Hello Charlotte." Clarisse said smiling.
"Your majesty," Charlotte said. "I'm so glad you're alright.
Clarisse walked over and hugged her. Charlotte hugged her back. "I missed you…Clarisse." Charlotte whispered. "I missed you too Charlotte." Clarisse whispered back.
Then she stepped back, and walked over to Joseph. She leaned against him, feeling so tired that she couldn't hold herself up any longer.
"I think I'll take her upstairs." Joseph said to the others. They nodded and went back to what they were doing.
Joseph helped her up the stairs to their suite, which seemed to take forever. When they finally got to the suite, Clarisse had a quick, hot bath to help relax, while Joseph had the lady's maids bring up some tea and medicines to help her cheek.
They lay down on the bed and Joseph gently put the medicine her cheek.
Clarisse held back from yelling in pain, but couldn't help but flinch. She squeezed Joseph's arm as hard as she could. Finally the stinging went away, and her cheek felt a little better.
Joseph kissed Clarisse before putting the medicines on the table beside the bed, and then lay down closely beside her. He wrapped his arms around her waist tightly, pulling her closer.
Clarisse closed her eyes and sighed. Silently she snuggled closer to him, and felt so relaxed for the first time since the "incident".
"I'm so lucky to have you as my husband, for someone who loves me as much as I know you do. And that you are always going to be there to protect me."
"I'm lucky to have you as my wife!" Joseph said. "I never thought I would get this lucky. I must have done something good."
Clarisse smiled at that. He always knew just what to say.
"And don't you worry." He continued. "I will always be there to protect you."
"I love you" Clarisse said in an almost whisper.
"I love you too."
Within seconds, Clarisse had fallen into a deep sleep in Joseph's arms. She was home at last.
I hope you enjoyed this fanfic! It's my first one. Please review!!