Hello all, I'm back with an upate! It's the last chapter folks, can I get an "awwww..." please? ;) Before I start the chapter I have a warning for underaged members. This chapter contains some mature actions so to speak. Okay a lot of mature actions. This is the edited version however, I toned it down considerably for this website. However, it's still a tad, or maybe a LOT too spicy for young readers. Consider youselves warned before you start reading. If and when you want the unedited version, feel free to drop me a PM with your email address and after I verified your age, I will send it to you.

Are you ready for the end result of Adrienne's little trick? Here we go. This is...

The Grand Finale

A little bit later, Clarisse found herself in the corner of the soft couch in the living room. Her nerves were still very much present but under the pretense of being lost in the movie, she could work her way around it.

Joseph sat next to her, not quite touching but close enough for her to feel his warmth, to smell his cologne. It was surreal to be there with him. In one way they were completely separated from the rest of the castle, and at the same time she felt as if she was the guest in a live talk show, watched by millions of people.

The movie Joseph had picked out for them, or rather the one that Adrienne had watched the night before, was light and easy. Thank god for that, she had enough trouble concentrating as it was.

"See, this is what I don't understand," she suddenly said, reaching out to the popcorn bowl on the table before them. Joseph had found a half open bag in the cabinet. "Men are so easy."

He leaned his head towards her, his eyes not leaving the screen. "Excuse me?"

She pointed at the screen, holding a single piece of popcorn. "That woman has been in love with that dark haired guy for over, what, a decade? And he never gave her the time of day. Now they meet up in that bar, after the grand make-over her so called friend gave her, and he goes home with her without even knowing who she is."

He chuckled. "Romantic, isn't it?"

She gasped. "That's not romantic, Joseph! He's merely using her to get over his feelings for…what's her name."

He frowned. "His wife?"

"No, the other one."

"His mistress?"

She shook her head. "That annoying blonde girl he was crying about 10 minutes ago."

"Ah, the ex-lover." He chuckled at the memory.

"Yes. Either way, he's just taking this woman home because he needs to…because he wants to…." She trailed off, shaking her head in disbelief.

"What?" He grinned now.


"Have sex?" He said it casually, but his words caused an explosion in her stomach. She had started this discussion, but this was not the direction she intended it to go. Not the direction she could handle anyway.

She coughed, placing the popcorn bowl further away. "Your words, not mine. But it does prove my point, so thank you. This popcorn is disgusting, by the way."

He hit the remote; this was too interesting to let go. "So you're saying that men are easier when it comes to having sex than women?"

"Do we really have to talk about this?"

He shrugged. "Well we can talk about the movie, but it sucks."

She couldn't help but laugh. "It does."

He cleared his throat. "So, men are easier?"

Now she couldn't suppress a nervous smile. He refused to let it go, so she inhaled deeply. "Not necessarily easier, but yes, they are different. Women need to feel an emotional connection. While men, they just go for it when the mood is right."

He shook his head, gazing at her from the side. "Do you really believe that?"

"I don't just believe it, I know it."


She blushed slightly, and shook her head dismissively. "Never mind. Please press 'play' – I want to see how it ends."

He held the remote out of reach. "Well, I happen to know a few women who 'go for it' too – this is not exclusively male behavior."

She raised her index finger and snatched the remote away from him. The movie started to play again. "Maybe some women do that, I suppose. I'm just saying that most women need to have romantic feelings for the man they're about to…"

"Sleep with."

"Yes." More blood had rushed to her cheeks but she refused to give in. Quickly she took another sip of her wine to hide her nerves.

He frowned. "Too bad you can't go out, to visit a bar or something. If you could see what's out there, how people behave nowadays..."

She stared openly at him now, there was that word again. "Why do I have to get 'out' to know what's happening out there? Sexual morals may have changed over time, but the difference between men and women is as much psychological as it is biological. That will never change."

"So romance isn't a factor for men?"

She shook her head as if to make him stop. "Don't put words in my mouth."

"Well you don't like the popcorn, so…"

She chuckled against her will but she could no longer face him. "Joseph, it doesn't really matter."

"To me it does matter."

Silence fell. She shifted in her seat as nerves started to run freely in her stomach. She stared at the television again, trying to focus on the story that was being told. It was of no use. Joseph gently took the remote from her hand and stopped the movie; the screen turned to black. She froze in her seat, and her gaze remained on the television.

His hoarse sounding voice floated towards her. "Clarisse…"


"Look at me."

It took her a few long seconds to respond to his request. His dark eyes blazed into hers and slowly he reached out, taking her trembling hand in his. "Just for the record - my feelings for you are very real and very deep. And very..," he smiled softly, "…romantic."

She managed to smile through her nerves, but her smile disappeared when she felt his soft lips on her hand. Butterflies whirled in her tummy likes leaves in an autumn storm. "I know that," she whispered.

"I wonder if you really do know it." He placed more kisses on her hand, his lips so soft and tender. Then he looked up, meeting her gaze, his voice taking on a sudden urgency. "Do you realize how insanely in love I am with you? My darling, if you hadn't answered my love, it wouldn't have kept me from loving you or wanting to be with you. Romance is a factor, a big factor for me. I don't want you to think that way about men. About me."

She didn't answer, as she stared into his comforting, familiar eyes. They seemed darker somehow. In his eyes she read his promise, his commitment to her, the commitment that she both feared and longed for so passionately.

"Can I ask you something?" she asked softly. "When did you know…I mean, when did it start?"

He smiled. "Are you asking me how long I've been in love with you?"

A blush drew across her cheeks again, and she nodded quietly.

He inhaled purposely through his nose, sighing deeply. "I have asked myself that question about a 1000 times. Truth is, I don't really know. One day you were just…in here." He brought her hand to his chest.

A warm glowing feeling emerged in her heart and spread through her veins. "It's a nice place to be in," she said.

"See how romantic men can be?" he said jokingly, to which she chuckled softly.

"Very romantic," she whispered. For just a few seconds longer she stared into his warm, loving eyes. Her body was pushed into a higher gear through its own volition. Her heart started to pound, warning her, preparing her to run away. But the second she decided not to run, an enticing feeling emerged in her stomach and teasingly traveled lower. Wetting her lips, she slid her trembling hand away from his chest, up to his face. She framed his cheek, feeling his stubble tickling her skin.

"Clarisse…" he whispered. He covered her hand with his own. Then, slowly, he brought her hand around his neck. Unable to remove her gaze from his, she instinctively raised her other hand to his face as well. He slowly leaned forward, and whispered into her ear, "Do you know what I'm going to do?"

A wave of lust made her dizzy, and she breathed deeply to slow her pounding heart. He ignited feelings in her that she never thought possible. Around him, she was simply a woman in love with a man; a woman of soul, a woman of passion. For the life of her, she could not say a word. In stead, she just blinked up into his dark, burning eyes. She heard the slight catch of his breath and felt a shiver tighten the broad shoulders beneath her hands.

She recognized that look and knew how to respond. Right before her eyes fell shut, she heard his low murmur. "I'm going to thank Adrienne."

And then he kissed her, first slowly, tentatively, but within seconds his mouth opened over hers, his tongue delving inside her. He was too eager and too impatient to be gentle. They had already started this seduction in a most subtle way, in all the times they had kissed before: when she had kissed him in the garden, when he had kissed her in her office, and later on in the screening room. Their very first date, when his hands started to drift across her body for the very first time, holding her like he was holding her now. It had been heaven, god help him it was still heaven…but oh he wanted more. So much more.

Clarisse shifted her weight just a little so she came to lean against him just a little more, smiling faintly when he hungrily pulled her even closer. They had taught each other to want the other, to be hungry for a kiss, a touch; steadily and knowingly building their need.

She was entirely lost in his arms, lost in the sweetness of his mouth. His tongue slid inside her mouth again, warm and demanding, as if desperately searching for something he had been looking for. And she wanted to be found by him. She opened further, encouraging his exploration; surrendering to the incredible passion rising within her. For each moment he drew her closer, something sweet and burning built deep inside her and she clung closer to him helplessly.

His hands traveled across her back, no longer soft and tender, but eager and possessive. And then his hand slid lower, down her blouse, even lower to the edge of her skirt, then finally he touched her silk covered leg. For just a second she stilled in his arms but then he caught the shiver inside her, the shiver that told him he was doing the right thing, that he was right where she wanted him to be. A deep groan escaped him as he pulled her knee a little towards him and caught a glimpse of her thigh.

There was something edgy about him; something dark and unknowable, that had attracted her to him since the moment they had been introduced to one another. He was open and giving, tender and sincere – and yet there was some kind of mystery in those dark eyes, a mystery she suspected no woman would ever fully understand That edge of danger made being with him even more intense, even more addictive. His hand had blessedly slid to her thigh and was now stroking and caressing her skin; a touch so intimate and stimulating that she gasped for air.

It was too much too handle. With one quick movement he moved her onto his lap, feeling her hesitate for just a second, before surrendering to his caresses even more. He could barely breathe, sliding his hands to her perfect roundness. Her kisses drowned him; she was rough, then soft, hungry and eager, then devastatingly sweet.

"Oh god, Clarisse…" he breathed. There was only so much he could take. She was leaning against him and his hands hungrily roamed over her back. Her shallow intakes of breath were music to his ears as his hands slid underneath her jacket. And then it happened naturally; he shifted a little and lifted her off the couch just an inch, using his weight to move her off of his lap and onto her back. Immediately her trembling hands moved to his shoulders; possessively bringing him with her as she laid back. They could hardly balance there on the small sofa but somehow they managed, still kissing, grasping, panting.

The pleasure he brought to her was indescribable. The sensation in the deepest corners of her body was indefinable. She only knew she didn't want him to stop; not this time…not ever. They had already waited long enough to love each other. With trembling fingers she tugged his shirt up out of his pants, exposing his skin for her eager explorations. Her fingers slid excitedly underneath the fabric, tracing his spine. In response, his tongue delved deeper inside her mouth and she moaned in desperation. No longer could she take it. This was it; this was the moment of ultimate surrender. It was time.

"Joseph…" she panted. "Darling," she whispered as his mouth continued its assault. "Please, Joseph…stop…"

Immediately he stopped, blinking and disoriented. He placed his hands near her face, lifting himself up. "What is it?"

She smiled faintly at him, trying to control her trembling voice. "We can't do this here…"

It was like his heart sank into his shoes and he pulled away, panting still, staring at her in bewilderment and disbelief. "What?"

She couldn't smother a giggle at his failed attempt to hide his disappointment. Quickly she sat up straight too and kissed him. "I just think the bedroom would be more comfortable," she whispered against his lips.

His heart practically jumped out of his chest, realizing her intentions. For the life of him, he could not respond. He could only nod.

Their eyes were only inches away from each other and Clarisse held her breath; the realization what they were about to do hit her with full force. "I just…I need a moment," she said softly. "I will be right back."

She tried to free herself from him, but his grasp on her tightened. "Are you all right?" he asked, a worried undertone evident in his voice.

"I'm more than all right," she whispered, moving away from him. "One moment."

When the bathroom door closed behind her, she immediately moved toward the mirror. Her reflection stared back at her, and she held her breath at the sight. Her hair was a mess, her lips were swollen somehow, and her cheeks as flushed as if she had run a few miles. Her eyes seemed to be larger and darker than usual, a strange sight. Somehow she didn't know this woman in the mirror, and yet she wanted to get to know her better so desperately.

Automatically, her hands straightened her wrinkled clothes and then she realized the stupidity in that. Continuing to stare at her own reflection, she took off her cashmere jacket with trembling fingers, revealing the sheer, white satin blouse underneath.

"Honestly, Clarisse…calm down" she whispered to herself, combing her hair back in a failed attempt to gain more self confidence. Suddenly she noticed the half open bag of toiletries on the shelf behind her – Adrienne's, she realized. Turning around, she grabbed the small bag and moved back to the mirror, studying the contents. Quickly she applied a little powder to her nose and cheeks and, smelling the bottle before she used it, quickly sprayed a spritz of perfume behind her ears. Then she paused, shaking her head. "Oh, what are you doing?"

Closing her eyes, she inhaled deeply to slow down her heart rate. Heaven help her, was she truly doing this? Was she really about to sleep with Joseph? Delicious butterflies and sharp stings of nerves fought a battle in her stomach, testing her resolve. But why was she so nervous? It wasn't as if this was her first time consummating a relationship. Although it did bring back memories.

She paused for a moment, remembering. She had stood in front of another bathroom mirror under similar circumstances once before, so many years ago. Her new husband had been waiting for her then, just as Joseph was waiting for her now. She had been nervous then, too; yet it was a different kind of nervous. Back then it was the fear of the unknown; the added pressure of an arranged marriage, one with incredibly high stakes for both of them; the need to make it work not only for themselves, but for the sake of the country as well. God, how young and unsure they had been.

She opened her eyes again, breathing out slowly through her mouth. She and Rupert had hardly known each other then. Somehow they had managed to overcome the awkwardness of the intimate moments they shared in the early months of their marriage; they had grown to love each other and had learned to please each other. They had built a life and a family together; a wonderful life. The physical aspect of their marriage had been warm and gentle, and had remained so until the end. Theirs had been a relationship based on mutual respect and trust; they were in it together. Friends forever more. But as much as she had treasured that warm tenderness in her life, she knew that the feelings she and Joseph shared were very different.

She swallowed as her hand slid to her chest; her fingers inching under the neckline of her blouse. And now she was here, about to share that most intimate of connections with another man. A man she had chosen for herself; a love she had discovered on her own, as much as she had tried to look the other way. A man she wanted more than any other. She trusted Joseph, god how she trusted him. It wasn't just the safety he offered or the comfort he provided. It wasn't the look of his toned body, his handsome face with that delicious half-smile. Or those dark, smouldering, slightly lazy eyes of his that promised a woman paradise if given half the chance. No, it was how he made her feel. Complete. Wanted. And what stood out mostly this evening: desired.

She shivered and her fingers slowly opened the top button of her blouse, revealing a hint of the lace on her bra and the ample cleavage underneath. The effect was an immediate shift in her appearance from business to pleasure. Her legs weakened underneath her, just thinking of his hands and mouth on her body. This was the ultimate moment, this was what they had been building towards and she was ready, oh she was ready to take the final step with him. For the very first time, she had made a decision based on emotion and pure and raw instinct.

"Please god," she whispered as she dabbed a little perfume in her decolletage. "Don't make me regret this."

Joseph inhaled deeply and studied his surroundings without being able to think clearly. He had first dimmed the lights, then decided to shut them off completely, then turned them on again. Finally he had decided to leave one small light on in the bedroom, creating a soft romantic ambiance. Adrienne had already put away all her personal belongings and the bed was freshly made that same day. There was nothing more to do.

So he waited. First sitting on the bed, then standing up. He had stood in front of the window, peeking through the closed curtains. As often as he had imagined this moment, this was so unexpected that he wished he had more time to prepare. He wanted everything to be perfect. But heaven have mercy, it was happening. He finally had the chance to show her just how much he loved her.

He had been thinking of her so often, in all the years he had known and loved her. Just thinking about her made places low in his belly spasm. Made his skin tingle and his vision blurry. Made his breathing come short, sharp and irregular. All those lonely and dark nights in his secluded bedroom had been bearable, because he could think of her.

But now, standing in the bedroom of the guest quarters of the Genovian Palace overlooking the ocean – so wild, strong, and uncontrolled – he felt intensely alive and vital. Every nerve ending was loaded with electricity. His body and soul were yearning for her…for Clarisse. He had never been more ready in his life. Drawing a deep breath, he heard the bathroom door open behind him.


He turned toward her, his eyes meeting hers; and in that moment he knew his world would be forever changed. Clarisse leaned against the doorpost, smiling shyly as she continued to meet his gaze. She had removed her jacket, but was still in her blouse and skirt. Barefoot, she stood with one perfectly pedicured foot leaning on the other. She was more than just beautiful; he knew that. How many times over the years had he witnessed how longingly men had looked at her. How her delicate features and elegant manner made men turn their heads; made them wonder what it would be like to touch those feminine curves, to stroke that creamy skin. Without her realizing it, her every gesture, every turn, was an invitation for men to gaze at her. And that's what he did now. He gazed at her. And, after loving her for so many years, it was to him that she was offering herself.

She stood waiting for him. Calmly. Seductively. So sensual. So sexual.

He inhaled sharply, took one slow step forward and then he hurried towards her as if she would vaporize in smoke if he waited any longer. A helpless sigh escaped her and she moved too, meeting him halfway.

Warm lips, sensual and driven, caught hers as they kissed each other so hard and so long that they finally lost their balance and tumbled onto the bed. The power of her own desire wasn't surprising to her anymore; she was completely lost to the want and need he awoke in her. Never had she felt like this before; her hunger for him so insatiable, so helpless and so urgent.

Desperately she tried to get control of her shivering body. She tried to let go of the nerves that shot through her; kissing him was familiar, that part she knew. But now she was flat on her back with him half on top of her and his lips had left hers; now he had discovered the sensitive area of her neck and chest. She turned her head in a silent invitation to him to continue and he took it, sliding down a sensual path with his tongue. Eyes falling shut, she stroked his back with one hand; her other hand on the back of his neck, encouraging him to continue his caresses. Delicious sharp tingles filled her tummy and shot lower, making her breathing even more uncontrolled. God she was losing her self control. Restlessly she pulled one leg up, then let it fall again.

He traced the v-neck of her blouse with his index finger, slowly, teasingly, as if he was postponing opening a present. His heart jumped when he finally undid the first button he encountered, exposing more of the delicacy of her lingerie and her feminine curves underneath. Joseph let out a shuddering breath just looking at her. In his wildest dreams he couldn't have imagined what it would be like to see her like this; eyes half shut, her lips slightly parted, her breath rising and falling quickly. He took in her scent; it invited him closer and he couldn't do much else but surrender to its call.

For a moment Clarisse was torn by the maddening hunger for more, and the fear of losing control completely. She lost track of where all his hands and mouth roamed; all she knew was the jolts of passion that traveled from her chest to her lower tummy. "Oh god…" she breathed. She instinctively arched her back underneath him on the mattress, and he took the opportunity to push her blouse off her shoulders, slowly, carefully; finally removing it completely.

She tasted so good, so mind-blowingly sweet. Soft moans escaped her lips, a sound as arousing to him as nothing he had ever heard before. He could stay there forever, just tasting her, pleasing her, making her whimper. But suddenly Clarisse framed his face with both hands and pulled him up, forcing him to focus his attention on her mouth again. He stilled, slightly surprised at her perseverance, when she shifted her weight and rolled them both over, kissing him so deeply he could hardly breathe.

Her fingers trailed along his jaw while she dipped her tongue inside his mouth, and then she slid one hand to his chest. She had felt his torso before, back in the screening room, but laying with him now he seemed even more masculine, even more tempting. She moved her head lower to rain slow, lazy kisses on his jaw. She felt him sigh when her mouth reached his neck but she didn't stop tasting him. One hand still trailed across his chest but slowly slid lower, finally reaching his flat, toned stomach. Once again, her hand reached under the fabric of his shirt.

He struggled to breathe normally as he felt his abdominal muscles contract as a result of her touch. Her hand was insistent; determined to pull the fabric away from him. In a quick movement he sat up and helped her with her quest, pulling his shirt over his head. Within seconds her lips were back on his mouth, gently coaxing him to lay down again. She opened his lips with her tongue, so sexual, so full of heat. Aroused to a point he had never known, he felt her hands sliding down again, tracing his jaw, his neck, his cheek and then moving down farther to stroke his contracting stomach. Though his mind was begging her to continue, his hands moved on top of hers, stopping her.

Losing control, he was rougher than he intended to be as he rolled them back over; desperately needing to feel her beneath him once again. He could feel Clarisse trembling in his arms, or perhaps it was he who was trembling, he didn't know for certain. If even possible, his desire grew, the sexual tension becoming as thick as fog.

The rest of their clothes were removed in a matter of seconds and then finally she felt the warm skin of his entire body touching hers. She gasped at the contact, electricity sparked the air around them. Her body yearned for this man, for the most intimate touch he could provide. She had buried her desire for him for so long, but suddenly it seemed to be all that mattered.

Joseph had never known a time when he could not hold back. It had never mattered before how much he wanted to be with someone, or how attractive a woman was, his control had never been truly tested. But now, with Clarisse being the one whimpering underneath him, his own body trembled with need and he went where he wanted to be. Where he needed to be.

Her heart beat so fast she couldn't breathe normally. Sweet heavens, this was it, it was happening. Every fibre in her body shouted out to him, needed him. She wanted Joseph. She longed for his promise.

"Joseph…" Her voice, thick with passion, reached his ears, and he stilled.

There was one moment, one pause, one magnifying second in which he looked her straight in the eye. She saw it in his eyes, hidden beneath that wound up passion, his overwhelming desire for her, was concern and devotion. He was asking her permission; he needed to know that she was sure. She didn't have to say a word. She knew he saw the answer he was looking for in her eyes; which were filled with a love and desire that matched his own.

And then, all coherent thought fled for a long, long time.

As she felt him leave her body, her head fell back on the pillow, and she felt herself shaking all over. Tiny shocks of sharp, delicious, passionate feelings were still shooting through her body, but they gradually slowed down in pace and intensity. Her body was slowly coming down from the heights he had brought her to. The heights they had reached together.

As if they knew it would be a perfect fit, he opened his arms so she could place her head on his chest. She bathed in his warmth, inhaling his now familiar scent. And as they lay entwined, the sheets and blankets in a pile at their feet, they both lost sense of time. There was no awareness of where they were, of whatever repercussions they would have to face a few hours later. There were just together, still, quiet, seeking comfort in each other's arms.

She was safe. She was with Joseph. Her heart was slowing down, so was her breathing. Laying against him like this, in the warm tenderness of afterglow, was perhaps even more fulfilling than everything that had happened between them before. And suddenly it was too much. This night, the reality of this wonderful life-altering night, had finally caught up with her.

"Clarisse…" It was merely a whisper but she heard the concern in his voice. She shook her head quietly, snuggling even closer to the warm comfort of his body. It took her a few long seconds before she could speak past the tears choking her.

"I love you, Joseph."

She felt him stiffen, instantly alert, and for a moment he was silent, his body frozen. "My darling…"

To her horror, her throat closed under the weight of her emotions, and she closed her eyes in an attempt to stop the tears that she knew were coming. Yet they fought their way out, unable to be controlled.

Hot waves of concern shot through him and he tried to lift her cheek off his chest, searching her gaze. "My love…" When she hid her face in the safety of his chest, he felt her warm tears sliding across his skin. "Clarisse…"

She struggled to speak but her voice wouldn't let her. "I'm so in love with you. For all this time I didn't know...no I did know, but I didn't want to let it in."

"Darling, it's okay. You couldn't let it in."

She didn't seem to listen and finally she gazed up at him with big teary eyes. "And I keep asking myself if it's real. If we're really here." Her tender, shy smile warmed his heart. "Is it real, Joseph?"

He swallowed hard. How could he reassure when he had to remind himself every day he wasn't living in a dream. "Yes it's real. It's very real." He brought her even closer to his heart and kissed her hair, smelling her scent. He could feel each shuddering breath she took. "And I love you. I have always loved you, Clarisse. I always will."

Her arm curled around his waist as she buried herself in his embrace, warm and tender. Two hearts who loved and were being loved were beating as one. For this moment in time, the world made sense.

"Boss, there seems to be something wrong with the video feed," Jonathan Styles said to his supervisor, brows furrowed.

"Oh?" Shades pushed his chair back from the desk and opened his own connection with the main computer, studying the image closely. He adjusted the controls on the monitor in an attempt to see it more clearly.

Jonathan leaned over his shoulder. "Respectfully, sir, I already tried that. See how the picture is all fuzzy there? I've searched, but some of the footage from last night has been encrypted somehow. I can't make the image any clearer than that."

Shades nodded, studying the blurry images on the wall. "I see what you mean."

"If you want me to, I can ask the IT team to try to restore the damaged footage?"

Shades glanced quickly at his eager, young colleague, then returned his gaze calmly to his computer. "No, no...I don't think that will be necessary, it just seems to be a slight glitch in the system. Thank you, Styles. I've got it covered."

"But Sir, I could call them right now to..." Jonathan attempted to move towards the phone, but froze at the stern tone of his supervisor.

"I said I've got it covered, Styles. You can go now."

Jonathan took a step back, nodding politely. "Yes, sir."

Shades immediately regretted the sharpness of his tone. "I'll call them myself. It's just that the footage that appears to be fuzzy is from late last night. I was on duty myself. It seems to be a slow night, so I don't think we need to worry. I'll make sure that IT takes a look at the cameras that seem to be affected."

As the younger man left the security centre, Shades shook his head calmly and moved his gaze toward the screen once more. His fingers flew over the keyboard, typing his commands. A minute later, the blurry images on the screen sharpened until they were as crystal clear as ever. He watched as a woman with short dark, blonde hair quickly strolled through the hallways, her head slightly bent, and entered the Queen's chambers.

On a different screen, a similar image appeared in the east wing of the palace, walking towards the guest quarters. There, the other woman disappeared from sight.

Shades whistled through his teeth, before hitting a few more keys. He had seen this footage earlier, all right. Not quite as slow a night as he had led on.

"Now," Shades mumbled, reaching for his mouse. "Let's make sure this stays blurry, shall we?"

A few moments later, the screen turned black and all there was left was a peaceful silence. The man behind the computer smiled. It looked like things were starting to make sense around the palace.



I hope you like what I wrote - it's sure been quite a struggle at times! It took me almost a year to get this all out, and still I feel like I haven't said enough. There's just so much to say and think and feel when it comes to our favourite couple - I think I'll have to dream up my next story now. I'd like to thank the people around me who I bugged endlessly about details and storylines and chapters and cliffhangers and so on. You know who you are, I could not have done this without you. Thank you dear readers, for sticking by me and leaving me a review.

You don't know what those reviews mean to me, they truly make my day, my week, my month! They give a writer wings!

Until next time,

love Janet xxx