War and Peace: Chapter three. Happily ever after.

" Mummy, was she as beautiful as you?" Ruth asked again.

" Sorry, sweetheart, yes, she was far more beautiful than me."

" And did the Prince come and make everything better?" Robin asked, sleepily sucking his thumb. Karen smiled up at Jack as he came in through the door.

" Yes, the Prince came riding in and, with a wave of his magic sword, he banished all the Princess's demons and made her smile again."

" And they married and lived happily ever after?" Ruth pressed.

"Yes, they did marry." Jack answered.

"And lived happily ever after?"

" Yes, they lived happily ever after. Now come on, kiss your mummy goodnight and off to bed".

The twins both wound their arms around Karen's neck and kissed her before Jack lifted them both up and carried them to bed.

When Jack returned he held out his hand to Karen and helped her out of the chair. Together they walked outside and stood gazing up at the starlit sky. Jack put his arm around her and she rested her cheek against his shoulder.

"Did the Prince chase away the demons and is it happily ever after?"

" Oh, yes," Karen purred.

Yes, Jack had chased away her demons. Not with a magic sword but with the constancy of his love, Carefully he had courted Karen, moving gently, reinforcing her batter confidence, showing her she was someone worthy of love. He helped her to see it wasn't her fault her parents were that way they were it was theirs. He helped her to love herself just as she was and she learned to love him. Oh, the war wasn't won in a day or a week or even a year and there were more than a few skirmishes but with the birth of Robin and Ruth peace had reigned at last. The overwhelming love she felt for her children swept away all her doubts. At last she knew what love really was and that she had more than enough love for all of them.

Jack placed his hand on her heavily pregnant stomach.

"Twins again?"

" Yes, love, Trent says he's sure. Isn't it great! I can't wait."

"Six children in nine years, I'm amazed." Jack mused. " You are amazing."

"I couldn't be happier," Karen smiled placing her hand over his. " And I hope we have twins the next time too."

Jack laughed and kissed her as they turned and went back indoors.