Soft mist wound its way out of the trees and across the estate's wide lawns. It rolled and moved seeming to coalesce into shapes before disappearing again into the general whiteness. Soft and beautiful, dancing around trees and shrubs, peeking around columns like lovers playing hide and go seek.

Somewhere in the mansion itself a window or two must have been left open. The mist wound through, a playful child running down beloved hallways that it knew so well. Past the conte's suite where he slept with his new young contessa curled up in his arms, a new generation waiting in the wings for those two to bring forth. Quickly now, on padded feet. Past Lina's suite, the poor dowager contessa who had taken a small vacation to her beloved resort to get away from all of the stress. The vacation was helping her attitude towards her new daughter-in-law. All of her friends were congratulating her on her son's capture of the only daughter and heiress of the Cale fortunes. His forays into American business and politics were now well assured. Past where Luisa was still awake, her head snapping up and looking around as if a visitor had stepped into her room unannounced. Her diary lay open on her desk where but a few pages before she was bemoaning the fact that her brother had married into a family of beauties, yet there was not one young woman in it that was of her own persuasion. This night she was excitedly writing about a young woman in the same dance company as Janna's cousin. Taylor had done a performance in Rome that they had attended and Luisa had been introduced to Rochelle there. One look had passed between the two women and it had nearly set the room ablaze. Luisa was now confiding to her diary all of the delights that having a limber graceful lover with incredible stamina could provide.

Down hallways and swirling into empty rooms. Finally the jewel room where for centuries a single necklace had said so much about the family's history and origins. If one were very tired and of a fanciful mind, one might have sworn that they had seen the mist change itself again, this time shaping itself into a lovely human hand, small and delicate, reaching out to touch the glass that covered the new arrival to the family. The twin that now rested on black velvet beside the original. Its journey had taken centuries, but it was finally where it had been meant to be after all those years.

Quickly now. Flying down the great marble steps and through the ballroom. No pause to admire the paintings of generations of di LiCossa family members. Quickly, quickly. And then out onto the wide expanse of lawn where the mist was delicately rolling across in swirls and loops.

Had the guard at the gatehouse been an imaginative man, he might have been able to see the shapes in the mist and been amused by them. Instead he sat there sullenly, reading a magazine, never seeing what a person with imagination might have. He might have looked up into the dense whiteness and perhaps been amused with a fanciful thought. He might have seen in the mist different shapes. And one of the shapes was definitely that of a woman crossing the yard, racing towards the woods. Where, if one were so of a mind to make up things, one might see in the fog a shape of a young man, and of course, he was smiling at her welcome. The two patches of fog joined, blending together, swirling about until there was no way to ever tell that there had been two separate patches to begin with. There was no mistaking the joy in the reunion and that peace had finally been made.

But then again, perhaps it was just the mist.



And that's all folks!!!

Well, except for the fifth and final X-6 that will be coming out in a few weeks. But, thank you to everyone who has hung in there along the way and reviewed. Many special thanks to Kat and Jasmine for all of the late nights listening to me trying to plot out chapters that weren't coming and ending up being late for class because I just needed them to spend just a minute looking over the chapter and making sure it didn't suck before I posted it.

And to answer the question before it's asked, expect the first chapter of J & J 8 to be released within the next week or so. Until then, farewell and enjoy the re-reads.