A/N:This is bittersweet at its very best. I will not say goodbye, my friends, but will offer you a sincere fare-well. This is not the end... It is just another beginning.
Tenshi means "angel"
Itoshii means "beloved"
Sai-ai means "dearest" or "beloved"
Yes, there's a reason for the first bit. If you'll recall, Aiko was the Foot who tortured Sierra and died by Leonardo's blade.
And now, on to what you have been waiting for. The happy... beginning.
The Lord will keep you from all harm. He will watch over your life. The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
-David, Psalm 121:7,8
Epilogue -Happy Beginnings-
Masaru stared into the tiny dark eyes peering out at him from the blanket. The eyes… They were Kasumi's eyes. A pang of pain and rage made him want to shake the child, to destroy the seed of his hated rival, but those eyes… He'd loved her once. He'd loved her, but she had chosen the other and the proof lay in his arms, staring up at him through familiar eyes.
She had named the child Isamu, hoping to bestow the boy with the courage he would need to rise through the ranks of the Foot, to establish his place in the clan.
If only she had the courage to live without him. I could have shown Kasumi a life truly worth having. The life she deserved. The life Aiko could never offer her. Now, it is too late. She is gone by her own hand and I am left holding her child… Aiko's child.
Shaking his head with frustration, Masaru laid the child on his own bed. The boy turned his head to look around, his dark eyes wide, but still no sound came from him. He looked curious, interested, but not afraid of the man who'd taken him from his dead mother's breast.
"Your father died in battle," Masaru told him. "And your mother, foolish woman, thought she could not live without him. She tried to take you with her, but she has not succeeded." He leaned closer to touch the shallow cut on the boy's neck. It had stopped bleeding some time ago.
In her final weakness, Kasumi had not cut deeply enough to sever the artery and the child had lived, though her own lifeblood leaked out over the floor of their quarters.
"Now what am I to do with you? Brat of my hated enemy, and the woman I once loved?" Masaru's fist clenched at his side. "I should kill you and be done with it," he whispered. "No one would know if I finished what your mother began." He leaned over the bed, his fingers stretching toward the boy. The child, sensing movement, turned to look at him once more, his eyes wide and curious. Kasumi's eyes.
Masaru turned away and stalked away from the bed a few paces. Finally he took a deep breath, letting it out slowly.
"I will not stain my honor with the blood of an infant," he muttered. "Akio did not deserve her. His brat will have no better life than he could've given you if he'd lived, but for your mother's sake, you will will not die."
Powering up a computer at his desk, Masaru did some quick searching through the files. As Karai's second-in-command, he had access to Saki Coorp.'s business records.
"Ahh," he murmured, examining a record. "This will be… quite suitable."
Making a notation in the records, he powered down the computer and turned to the infant, now sleeping soundly on the bed.
"First, Isamu, I will go and notify the maintenance staff of your mother's unfortunate passing. And then, I will deliver you to your new… home."
With a small, cold smile, Masaru left the babe asleep on the bed and swept out of his quarters. It seemed poetic justice that Aiko's son would be raised in an orphanage, never knowing his father.
Leonard watched Raphael pace across the farmhouse floor, tugging at his collar. Raph eyed his brother with something close to envy.
"Fearless, ya know dat t'ing makes ya look like a pansy, don'tcha?"
Leonardo smiled, unperturbed. "My hakama's a lot more comfortable than that tux, Raph," he responded. "Relax. You and Ann have been engaged for almost a year."
"Yeah well, it took you almost eight months to pop the question ta Sierra," Raph shot back. "Geez, Fearless, what were ya waitin' for?"
"I had to be sure, Raph," said Leo softly.
"Sure she wasn't leavin'? She never left yer side all da time ya were recoverin'. It was pitiful, Leo, you hobblin' aroun' da Lair like an ol' man, wit' Sierra practically glued ta yer shell. She even stayed after Gene an' Marjory lef' town an' went up North."
"I had to be sure she'd say 'yes'." Leonardo smiled, but he couldn't quite hide the shadow of pain. I had to be sure I was strong enough for her.
"Leo, have ya seen da way she looks at ya?"
Leonardo felt his cheeks getting warm. "Yeah…"
Raphael guffawed. "An' yer jus' as bad. Geez you two're like a couple o' teenagers."
Leonardo's blush deepened. "Well we haven't been together that long," he said.
"An' tonight's the big night, huh, Bro?" teased Raphael.
Leo shot his brother a dark look. "Grow up, Raph."
"Oh, come on, Leo. You two've really waited eight months?"
Leonardo nodded and Raphael guffawed, clapping his brother on the shell.
"Dis is a time ta celebrate. I dunno how ya did it, Bro. I couldn't keep my hands offa Annie for eight days."
"It wasn't easy," said Leonardo fervently.
Raphael laughed. "Easy there, Tiger," he teased. "Ya gotta get through the wedding."
Leonardo shook his head. It meant a lot to Sierra to wait. She's worth waiting for, he thought. But I'm glad the day is finally here. Still… How'm I gonna get through this?
Fear and longing warred in his heart, as it had every day since he'd woken up in Don's lab, with a ebony-haired woman sitting in a computer chair beside his bed, her head resting against his arm. He'd been afraid to move, for fear of waking her, for fear she was a dream who would disappear if he woke up. Then she lifted her head, her green eyes flickering open.
Leonardo… from her, his name sounded so beautiful tears stung his eyes. And then, she'd smiled at him and even the respirator didn't make breathing any easier.
A familiar squawk from the living room had both turtles turning.
"Skylar," said Raph. "Ya t'ink she's ok?"
Leonardo smirked at how his brother's hands twitched, as if he'd pick the baby up from the next room.
"Splinter and Gene are out there. I'm sure she's fine."
"Yeah." Raph grinned. "Splintah's lovin' dis grandfather t'ing."
"I don't remember 'im bein' so soft wit' us when we were little," remarked Raph.
"Well, he's not the only one responsible for Skylar. When he had us it was just him," said Leo seriously.
Leo frowned. "You know he did his best."
"I know, Leo," growled his brother.
Understanding dawned. "Raph… It wasn't Splinter's fault." Leonardo put his hand on Raphael's bicep. "You know that, right?"
"I jus' don't like t'inkin' we coulda lost ya," muttered Raphael.
"It wasn't Sensei's fault. I wasn't in my right mind."
"Dat's another t'ing. Ya never did tell us what happened out there, Leo." Raphael's amber eyes burned into his brother's face. "Ya went out inta da woods, an' when Gene an' da girls brought ya back… You've changed, Leo. What happened out there?"
Leonardo hesitated. He'd spent a lot of time talking to Sierra and Splinter and reading the book Gene had given him, coming to understand just Who the Voice was, but he hadn't been able to talk to his brothers about the experience. "I found... my honor."
"Listen, Raph, I'll tell you all about it, I really will." Suddenly, Leo knew he could tell them. He was ready to share what he'd discovered that day, but a glance at the clock had his heart speeding up. "It's almost time. Let's get through the wedding and stuff, then you and me will sit down and I'll tell you everything, I promise. Ok?"
Raphael stepped forward, his gaze burning. He leaned close to Leonardo. Leo had to fight the urge to back away.
"Umm, personal space, bro," he said with a weak laugh.
"Don't you evah so much as t'ink about doin' somet'in like dat again, Fearless," said Raphael fiercely. "Or I swear I'll beat da shell outta ya myself."
"You got it, Bro," said Leonardo seriously. "I give you my word of honor."
Raph nodded sharply, stepping back. "Come on. Let's go get married."
Leo grinned. "Yeah. Let's do this."
Sierra adjusted the sleeve of the pale blue kimono she wore nervously. Her ebony curls had been swept up into a neat bun. Austin bustled around behind her, tucking in stray curls, but they were unraveling faster than she could repair her handiwork.
"Oh… it's no use, Sierra. Your hair just isn't made for the traditional Japanese look," said Austin.
"Can't we try some hairspray, Austin? I really wanted this to be a special day for Leo," fretted the woman.
"It is a special day, for both of you," Ann spoke up. She twitched the flowing white silk of her skirt up in order to move over to Sierra. She reached up, adjusting the obi gently and gave the other woman a smile. "You look great, Sierra. Austin, why don't we just let some of the curls fall out, like this…" She picked a few stray strands and arranged them so they hung loose, framing Sierra's cheeks.
"Are you girls nearly ready in here?" Marjory Spencer bustled into the room. She caught sight of Sierra and stopped short, her hand flying to her mouth. "Oh… Oh, you girls look so lovely!"
Sierra shook her head, smoothing her hands nervously over the kimono. Ann let out a gusty sigh. She grabbed Sierra by the arm and led her to the full-length mirror April had brought from home.
"Look at yourself, Sierra. You look great. Leonardo is going to pass out when he sees you."
"Good grief, I hope not," muttered Austin. "We've got enough to do keeping Bev on her feet."
"She'll be fine as soon as that baby is born," said Ann. "Remember how sick you were, Austin?"
"Ugh, don't remind me. I thought I'd never stop throwing up."
"And now you never stop running," said Marjory with a smile. "Skylar's a handful."
"Just like her dad," answered Austin.
"What's going on in here? Are you girls ready yet? Gene says they're starting in twenty minutes, whether you're out there or not." April came into the room grinning, wearing a blue kimono, but without the kanji that decorated Sierra's. She gasped. "Austin! You're not even dressed yet!"
"Well, I've been busy with Sierra's hair and Ann's dress…" the woman muttered.
Sierra slipped toward the door. The room suddenly seemed crowded and airless. She moved through the living room. Hearing a faint squawk from the bedroom, she smiled.
Austin is busy, she thought. In the bedroom, a bundle stirred in the small portable crib that had taken Michelangelo and his brothers nearly two hours to set up. Sierra crossed the room and scooped up the baby.
"Hey there, Skylar Raine," she whispered, ticking the tiny green chin. The baby looked up at her with Austin's hazel eyes. She was already wearing the tiny blue kimono. "Are you ready to help your Uncle Leo and me get married?" asked Sierra, smiling. "Uncle Usagi is outside. I know he can't wait to see you in your pretty dress."
She looks so much like her dad, but with her mom's eyes and hair, thought Sierra. I wonder if Beverly's baby will be the same. She is so different from Hayley at this age, but still so beautiful.
She smoothed a gentle hand over Skylar's silky brown peach-fuzz hair, her fingers finding the soft spot on the back of her neck where it met her small shell. She caressed it gently.
"You are gorgeous," she whispered. The baby smiled, gurgling contentedly.
"You're so good with her."
The voice had Sierra spinning, startled. "Leo!" She felt breathless with his dark eyes on her. "You're not supposed to see me before the wedding," she scolded, turning to lay the baby back in the crib. Skylar kicked, squirming comfortably on the mattress.
Leo smiled. "I know, but I wanted to check on Skylar. I didn't know she already had her aunt tenshi to look after her."
"Oh, Leo," Sierra smiled, a flush creeping up her cheeks. Leo crossed the room. Sierra watched, her heart beating a little faster. His muscles were defined clearly through the silk hakama and the blue rippled as he moved as if he were wearing water. He wrapped one arm around her shoulders, drawing her near, and reached to tickle his niece's chin, drawing a happy gurgle from the baby.
"You're going to be an amazing father someday," said Sierra without thinking.
Brown eyes stared into hers, shocked. "…Father?"
"Well, I mean… if you… wanted kids." Sierra felt cold and hot at the same time. Why would he want kids? He's already got such a big family to look after…
He stared. "You… you would want… I mean…"
Sierra saw his throat move as he swallowed.
"Leo, it's ok," she said gently. "If you don't want children, I understand."
"Sierra… I just never thought… I mean, you would… consider it?"
"Leonardo." Sierra looked up, meeting his eyes. "I never thought I'd have a chance to be this happy. To… to have a second chance at being a mother…" Tears slid down her cheeks and she ducked her head to hide them.
Leonardo's hand cupped her chin, lifting her face. His dark eyes stared into hers.
"Sierra, I know you loved Hayley," he said quietly.
"I do love her, I always will," said Sierra softly.
"Having another baby won't replace her," said Leo gently. "She'll always be your firstborn."
"Yes. But, Leo, we could… if you're willing… we could try."
"Oh Sierra…" His arms came around her, crushing. The shyness, the timidity of the past eight months was gone. He held her close to his plastron as if he'd never let her go. Sierra clung to him, burying her face in his neck. Tears flowed down her face, wetting his skin and mingling with his own.
"Sierra…" Leo's voice was husky. She lifted her head, and his mouth descended on hers. She met the kiss eagerly, her hand coming up to cup his neck, to pull him closer. His arms felt strong and firm around her. She could feel his hands clearly against her back through the silk kimono and suddenly the thin material was entirely too bulky. She wanted him, all of him. It was sweet torture to feel his mouth against her own, exploring, burning, yet being denied the feel of him against her bare skin. A leathery hand came up, brushing her neck, sliding under the collar of the kimono…
"What on earth? Where have you two been?" Marjory Spencer's voice broke the couple apart. Sierra felt flushed and at the same time chilled by the loss of Leonardo's touch. Her emotions had her reeling.
Where did that come from? We've kissed before, but nothing like that. I guess I was worried for nothing. He not only loves me, he wants me as well.
Leonardo reached out, taking her hand in his own. A thrill of electricity ran up her arm from the contact and she smiled, feeling content and secure. Her doubts about their ability to come together physically had melted under the heat of that kiss.
"It's time," said Marjory, scolding, though a smile crossed her features. "Honestly. I thought we'd have to keep an eye on Raphael and Ann, but here I find you two sneaking off. Let's go and get you legal before giving little Skylar any more cousins, shall we?"
Sierra shook her head, flushing. "Marj," she muttered. "You're the Pastor's wife, remember?"
"The good Lord invented sex, Sierra, Dear," said Marjory blandly. "He told Adam and Eve to go forth, be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. Sounds to me like He thinks it's a great idea. But let's do get His blessing on this marriage first, ok?"
Leonardo stared, and Sierra burst out laughing.
"What am I getting myself into?" muttered Leonardo.
Sierra squeezed his hand, working to stifle her giggles. "It's ok, I'll protect you," she said softly.
Leo's arm came around her shoulder, catching her close. He lowered his mouth to hers once more, capturing her in a deep kiss. This time Marjory didn't comment, only turned to the crib and picked Skylar up.
"Don't be too long," she said softly before carrying the baby out of the room.
Leonardo broke off the kiss and stared into her eyes. "I'll do the protecting around here," he said softly.
Sierra smiled and nodded. She reached up to trace a finger along his collarbone, drawing a gasp and a shiver from her intended. "As long as you always do all you can to come home safely to me," she said softly.
His skin moved under her fingers as he swallowed.
"I promise," he whispered. "Always."
Gene was waiting under the arbor the boys carved for Donatello's wedding. It had been re-painted and freshly varnished. The roses climbing up the sides had been painted in bold shades of blue and red, mingling and climbing up the sides. A single carved rose at the top of the arbor was a delicate shade of yellow. Sierra felt a lump in her throat when she saw it.
I painted it for Hayley, Leonardo had explained when he showed it to her. So she'd be a part of your special day. Sierra hadn't been able to speak, had just thrown her arms around his neck, weeping, but she knew he understood.
Leonardo went ahead down the narrow corridor between the rows of folded chairs, as dignified and confident as could be, though Sierra could see the faint tremor in his hands. He joined Usagi and Donatello at the altar. Don smiled broadly and even Usagi gave Leonardo a small bow and said something in his soft voice Sierra couldn't quite catch, making Leo flush and smile.
Next, Raphael followed his brother, his black tux off-setting his dark green skin and giving him a dangerous look. Sierra smiled, seeing him surreptitiously tug at the jacket again. She knew the tux wouldn't last long after the ceremony. Casey Jones waited at the altar for his friend, and Michelangelo flanked his other side, grinning widely.
The girls followed, Austin in her pale blue kimono carrying Skylar as the flower-girl. Beverly followed a bit awkwardly in her red bridesmaid's dress, followed by Angel in a red dress. Finally came April in her kimono and it was time.
Splinter came up between Ann and Sierra so quietly she startled when the rat touched her hand.
"Daughters," he said quietly. "The time has come."
Sierra dared give his velveted fingers a gentle squeeze. Ebony eyes flickered up to meet her gaze and he gave her a smile. Together, they walked down the aisle to where the boys were waiting.
Three weeks later…
Sierra lay cuddled against Leonardo's side, her arm resting across his plastron, her head against his shoulder. She turned her head into the hollow above his collar bone, nuzzling his neck. He shifted, stretching his free arm over his head and rolling toward her, bringing his arm down to curl around her shoulders.
"Good morning, tenshi," he whispered. Sierra shivered with delight as his hand found the small of her back, caressing in small circles through her thin slip of a nightgown.
"Good morning," she answered, lifting her head to smile into his eyes. "Itoshii."
Leo's eyes went wide. "You've been practicing."
"Yes. Austin is helping me."
A wail rose from somewhere in the Lair, echoing and Leonardo groaned. "Sounds like Skylar's awake."
"No," said Sierra firmly. "That's Kouki."
"You can tell them apart?"
"It's a mom thing."
Leonardo smiled, resting his hand on her abdomen. Sierra looked up, feeling a familiar thrill of warmth at his touch. She was continually amazed at the way her body responded to his, as if they were made to fit together. Leo had been awkward at first, shy, and Sierra uncertain, but with nervous laughter and patience, they were learning.
"It's nice that Bev named him "hope", said Sierra softly. "It's such a beautiful name."
"Did you know Austin chose his name?" asked Leo softly, his hand moving, making it difficult for her to concentrate on the conversation.
"Bev told me. Austin said it was a gift to her and Donny. She says that Yoshi is his name by right, as the first male born to your brothers."
"Hamato Kouki Yoshi. Splinter was thrilled."
Sierra smiled, remembering the tears that stained the rat's dark fur the first time he held his grandson. She gasped as Leonardo's hand brushed against a sensitive place on her hip. His dark eyes met hers, intense.
"Sai-ai Leonardo," she whispered. "Don't you ever get tired?"
"Not of you," he answered, cupping his hand against her cheek and brushing her hair back.
The tender moment was shattered with a shout.
Mikey! Come get yer kid! She's chewin' on my sai!
Hamato Raphael, how many times have I told you to put those things away! Austin's answer echoed through the Lair, her voice high with fury.
Sierra buried her laughter against Leo's shoulder. His arms came around her, drawing her close, and she felt his chuckle rumble through his plastron.
"Welcome to the family," he whispered.
She lifted her head to kiss him again. "I wouldn't have it any other way."
A/N: And they lived happily ever after...
Or at least... the story went on. Because my dear readers, I have come to the conclusion through recent events in my own life, that there is no true happy ending save for the eternal one... and that is a happiness that doesn't end.
If we aim for the goal of the "happy ending"... the peace when the kids have moved out, that dream job we're working toward, whatever that may be, it's possible to miss out on the happy moments along the way. In striving for a happy ending, we may miss out on the real treasure, the time we have in the here and now.
Onward to the thanks... Thanking you all for your reviews is becoming a more daunting task! But I appreciate each and every one of you. You've made me laugh, brought me to tears, and at times have influenced the story itself, engaging in the process. No writer can ask for more.
It may interest you to know how I go about making this list. I go back to the reviews page and re-read them, chapter by chapter, listing the names in the order that they first reviewed. When a particular review jumps out at me, I mention what it was that caught my attention or made me laugh in the acknowledgments. Sometimes it's difficult to keep my thanks short! In some small way, I hope these acknowledgments give you back some of the joy you've shared with me.
This story in particular contained many small things which held a deeper meaning to me personally. Hayley's life, and death, in particular were part of the larger story of my own family. In this book I have shared more of myself with you and appreciated your interactions more than ever before. Thank you.
Thanks and cyber cookies go out to:
raphfreak, who has beta-read all four of the stories in this series, for reading, for plot bunnies, for silliness and laughter, and for calling me a "meanie-head", which is how I knew when a cliff was steep enough. heh
54 Viruses who also beta'd some of the books, helping me with grammar and commas and knowing when I was getting off track.
Melody Winters, FairDrea and DuckiePray who read bits here and there and reassured me about Leo's journey and who pushed me past my comfort zone to write things I might not otherwise have done.
There are others, some mentioned above and a few more who were not, who have been faithful friends, sending encouraging PMs and e-mails both through this series and through life events. Thank you. You mean more to me than you may ever know. Our influence over the internet may be limited, but friendship cannot be bound by geographical considerations or the limitations of the media. I have grown and changed through knowing you and for that, I am eternally grateful.
ChaozButterflytheory for a lovely review
Charisma B for guesses on what would happen next
HarmonyWinters for venturing into an unfamiliar fandom to read :)
xLannyx for wanting Leo to get married in the next chapter five chaps in. heh
Ramica For the time and effort she puts into supporting and promoting the Fandom through the Fan-Fic awards and her thoughtful, well-crafted reviews.
Named After Irony for telling Leo "it's about time"
54 Viruses for "If anything happens to Raph... to the anti-Ann shelter!" which made me ROFLOL
DuckiePray for inspiring me to try romance and for amazing the amazing fics she's written which invariably make me more emotional than I thought fiction could.
Lilliette for liking the theme of Leo's Angel
Cindy Silverwhip for... everything. hugs
BlackShuriken for calling me an "evil woman" which made me lol
Candelight for friendship, for amazing writing, for a gift fic which I will treasure always. Ki o tsukete kudasai, Imouto.
Kyraserin Marii for reading on a tiny little screen... for taking these fics with her into difficulty and for "Hello Darlin'", which will make me laugh out loud randomly for many years to come I am sure. Prayers are still going up for you.
sait4soreyes for thinking Sierra and Leo are "right", which is one of the kindest compliments on writing I've ever received.
Fantasyfan4ever for liking Leo's 'first impression'
Scribe of Turesa for making Bishop the turtles' friend... just not in THIS fic. ;)
TigerToa for offering to babysit the chibis and for a prophetic review to chapter 14 "Leo's gonna kill them..."
Melody Winters for chats, for amazing art, for being a good friend and a great person.
WebMistressGina for a rare but sincere compliment which I treasured: "I've seen improvements over the first one you posted" :) and for loving twists
Mew Sakura for thinking chibi-turtles are "cute like when Donny blushes"
mariarosa for "Leo's gotta crush! Leo's gotta crush..." and calling Bishop "a crazy mofo" LOL
xS. E. Raglandx for thinking LH is a "teddybear at heart" (which made him blush and stutter worse than Donny.) lol
Polaris'05 for making me crazy with cliffies of her own, for threatening Bishop with economics, for an ADD "shiny snow!" review that made me laugh, and for making it all the way to chapter 6 before she started screaming. LOL
xHitsulover for getting interested
Eistir for expanding my vocabulary! Tot morgen! and for "Leo, there is this river in Egypt..." LOL
NightwatchersUnknownGirl for excitement
AlyssaFelixa for trusting Leo to handle the dispatching of villains for her
The Happy Stalker Ball for a nice review
jadedolphin for laughing at Mikey's lame jokes and for wanting to drop-kick Bishop out of the story
April 101 for kissing Leo and freaking Raph out.
Eridani123 for hoping the baby will be ok
GodessHanyuu for loving sugar gliders and for very cute chibi-art (see the chapter 17 reviews for the link)
Viridis Lupus for threatening to personally beat up Bishop on Leo's behalf.
sabra jaguar for being on the other end of the wires, and for holding fast to faith in happy endings
Ellmarr for bad puns heh
AJ'sHellcat for liking "badass Gene"
Fyrefly for enjoying Sierra's artistic process, for a quote which will stay with me "you've got to use your words like a lance", and for smiling for a long time after reading Raph's proposal to Ann
FairDrea for threatening to steal Sierra off of Leo O.O ROFLMSOBO! Silly girl. hugs and for... comments not made. ;) (chapter 17... a certain title and worries about lightening...) LOL
brainfear for wanting more
wavespirit/TeenageMutantNinjaHamster for getting "addicted" and for forbidding Leo to kill himself
Westhaven18 for wanting longer chapters
Reepicheep22 for appreciating how Christianity was used in the story
Mewfem for a nice review
Whitewolf89 for saying it when I wouldn't: "happy endings, happy endings, happy endings"
lynzyb for wondering who was taken by Bishop in chap 26
Arcanum Callow for a nice review of chapter 29
MaiMai127 for noticing details
Casey for reading the series
Amicitia for a very nice review! Thank you.
Black Cat Angel for liking the romance
drunken lotus for a happy dance
sugar plum fairy for a nice review
If you have read this far, you deserve a prize. heh So here it is. The reason for the first bit of the epilogue is... there will be a sequel to this series. I'll announce it on my profile when I'm a bit further along. I've started writing it, but this will be an even bigger challenge, so it's going to take me a while.
Also, look for Dark Chocolate Turtles sometime in the future, a one-shot sequel. And I may, if time allows, have to write a Christmas one-shot leading into the larger sequel later on.
Once again, thank you for taking the time to read and to review. Thank you for engaging in this process, for being part of the support system which has rebuilt my confidence in my own ability as a writer and in a less-direct way may have contributed to a healing process in my marriage.
Remember, kindness is never wasted.
God go with you all as you journey.
Rejoicing in the day the Lord has made,