Epilogue


Three years later

Daniel glanced up from his laptop as Betty walked in the door. "Wow, that went late," he said.

"I know, and I'm exhausted," she groaned as she sat down with him at the dining table and kicked off her shoes.

"Did you at least get the printing issues worked out?" he asked.

"Yes, thankfully," she replied. Betty placed her chin in her hand and closed her eyes for a minute. When she opened them she said, "Daniel, I think I need a break."

"Okay," he replied without looking up, "We can take a quick trip somewhere; maybe Prague, since we never made it there last year."

"No, I mean I think I'm going to quit the magazine."

This got his full attention. "What? You love your job."

She nodded her head as she sat up. "I do love it, but I don't know if I want to work this hard anymore. We're talking about having a baby, and I don't see how I can keep up these hours and be pregnant, much less take care of an infant."

"I get that," Daniel said, "and you know I'll support whatever decision you make; just don't do anything hasty. Maybe you can talk to Lindsey about getting a co-editor, to take some of the work off of you."

"Maybe," she agreed.


A few days later Daniel received an email from his mother requesting a video chat with him, Betty and Alexis that evening about urgent business. Betty met him at his office after hours, where he projected his mother and sister's faces onto the television in his office.

"Wilhelmina came to me this afternoon and resigned," Claire told them. "She wants to move away with Connor, and she's offered to sell us back her share of the company."

"Well, it will be great to get the company back within the family," Daniel said, "But who's going to run it? Alexis?"

"Don't look at me," Alexis answered. "I'm happy to split the cost of buying Wilhelmina out, but I don't want the job. I'm happy here. I have Marcel, who loves me as I am, and I have DJ, and I'm not willing to give that up."

"Fair enough," Claire replied. "Daniel?"

Betty looked over at Daniel, who hesitated a moment before saying, "Get the lawyers started on the contracts transferring ownership back to me and Alexis. The CFO can handle things until we have time to find some viable candidates for president and CEO. Mom, I can fly to New York in a couple of weeks and do the interviews with you and sign all the paperwork."

His mother looked as if she was about to say something, then stopped. Betty knew the unasked question. Finally Claire thanked Daniel for his offer to help with the arrangements. They all agreed to the terms and ended the chat.


As they were having dinner that evening, Betty asked, "Daniel, do you want to run Meade again?"

He looked surprised. "What do you mean? I don't see how we could possibly transfer the main operations of the company here. It would be a logistical nightmare."

"You didn't answer the question," Betty noted, "and I think it's because you do want to run the company."

"Our lives are here, Betty," was all he said.

"They don't have to be," she told him. "We could go back to New York."

Daniel stared at her for a moment before answering, "No. I couldn't ask you to give up your magazine."

"Why not; you gave up your magazine for me," she retorted. "Besides, I'm not even sure it's what I want anymore."

He laughed cynically. "I don't believe that."

Betty's voice rose a few octaves. "It's true! I've been thinking more about it since we talked the other night."

"Did my mother talk to you?" he asked suspiciously. "Are saying this because you think I want the job?"

"No, Daniel, Claire didn't talk to me," she insisted, "I'm telling you how I feel."

He sat back in his chair and let out a breath. "I'm not sure what to say here," he told her.

"Just tell me how you feel."

"Okay, I admit it!" he said. "I would like to run Meade again. But that doesn't mean I'm going to ask you to pick up the life we built here and move back to New York."

Betty reached out for his hand. "And yet you didn't bat an eyelash about moving your life here because I got my dream job."

Daniel smiled, shook his head and fiddled with her wedding band.

"Maybe it's a sign that I'm starting to feel this burned out right when Wilhelmina wants out of the company," she insisted, "Maybe it's time for us to go home."

"You're my home," he said softly. "We could talk to Lindsey about buying the rights to an American version of the magazine," he offered. "You could run it out of Meade."

"I guess," she said with a sigh. "Honestly, right now I just want some rest." She smiled and squeezed his hand, "I just want to get pregnant."

He squeezed back. "That, I can help you with."

Betty cut her eyes at him. "Don't try and change the subject. If you want the job, we should call your mother before she starts looking for other candidates."

"What about you?"

"There are plenty of magazines at Mode, Daniel," she replied sarcastically. "Maybe I can work as a consultant, taking stock of how each magazine is doing; that way I can have flexible hours. I can still work but not be as stressed."

"That's really not a bad idea," Daniel said, nodding his head in thought. He tilted his head as he looked at her and asked, "Are we really talking about doing this?"

"If it's what you want, yes," she answered.


Two months later

Betty and Daniel sat side-by-side on the bed in their new apartment in New York. Daniel twiddled his thumbs and tried not to look at his watch. Betty got up and began placing clothes from one of the many boxes in the room into the dresser.

"How can you unpack at a time like this?" he asked her, agitated.

"I have to do something to pass the time," she answered, equally agitated.

He got up and began pacing. "Is it just me, or is this the longest three minutes in history?"

"Like the Earth has stopped rotating," she agreed.

Finally the beeper on his phone sounded. He turned it off and they looked at each other. Then they both raced into the bathroom.

Betty grabbed the stick and Daniel peered over her shoulder. "What does it say?" he asked.

"Oh, my god," she said.

He placed a hand on her shoulder, "Hey, it's okay," he told her, "isn't it supposed to take something like six months? We have plenty of time."

"No, Daniel, it's positive," Betty replied, turning to face him. Her face lit up with a smile. "I'm pregnant." When he stared at her with his jaw wide open she repeated, "I'm pregnant!"

"Oh, my god!" he yelled.

"That's what I said!" she yelled back and threw her arms around him.

Daniel laughed and picked her up, then sat her feet on the floor and kissed her.

With their foreheads touching, Daniel smiled and said, "We're going to have a baby."

"You ready for this?" she asked.

"As long as I'm with you," he answered, "I'm ready for anything."

-end-