A/N Voilà, the last chapter of The Elder. I hope you enjoyed; leave a review, if you please!

Disclaimer: Not mine, etc.


Dorcas rolled over on her bed and opened her eyes slowly. Her hair was strewn across her pillow, and a faint, tingling feeling, maybe a smile, rested on her lips. She reached her bare arm over the bed and was surprised when she felt no one next to her. "Timothy?" she whispered, sitting up while pulling the sheets to her chest. She fell back into bed almost immediately, as getting up so briskly had caused the blood to rush to her head.

Dorcas felt something on her shoulder. She picked it off delicately with her fingertips and found it to be small yellow flower. "A cowslip," she whispered, smiling. She pulled herself into a seated position again and found the bed to be strewn with the yellow flowers. She laughed until she felt giddy.

As she put on a light dress, she noticed a note on Timothy's pillow. "Follow the flowers," it read. It was then that Dorcas noticed the path of flowers leading out of the room. She fingered the ring on her finger as she followed the path barefooted.

"Of course!" she cried when she saw him under the elder. "Timothy!" she called out, running towards him. He picked her up and kissed her soundly as he whirled her about. "You weren't there when I woke," Dorcas said as she pouted slightly.

"I am sorry; I had to make sure all the servants had been dismissed for the day and I had to have a quick discussion with the constable," Timothy said.

"And why were you dismissing the servants for the day?" Dorcas asked, tracing his cheekbones with a finger.

"To make up for the fact that we must spend the night and day after our wedding at the Midwinter estate," Timothy said, catching Dorcas's hand and placing a kiss in it. He sat, pulling Dorcas down with him. "Did you like the flowers?" he asked.

"They were perfect," Dorcas replied, picking a flower stem and poking him with it. "You, Sir Timothy, have put much too much thought into this," Dorcas proclaimed. "It would seem as if you knew I would accept your proposal."

"Well, it was quite obvious, is it not?"

"Pray tell, why is that?"

"I love you, you love me, two and three make five," Timothy said nonchalantly. Dorcas laughed as she threw her arms around her neck and kissed him. Timothy kissed her back eagerly, and soon his kisses were exploring her neck, and her earlobe—

"Timothy, not here, where everyone can see!" Dorcas cried, swatting at his face.

"No servants, remember?" Timothy pointed out in a low voice.

"But still…" Dorcas said, trying to remember why she was putting up a fight as Timothy trailed kisses down her neck. She gave up within a few minutes, and she smiled. "I love you, Timothy," she murmured into his ear.

"And I love you, Dorcas Lane," Timothy whispered. He kissed her ear ever so gently and Dorcas smiled again.

Dorcas awoke with a cry. She lay in bed, frozen until the pictures finally made sense in her mind. She wept and wept; she knew it would never be, it could never be! And it was her decision that had decided as much. She didn't know hoe Timothy was feeling, but he was married now, and not to her. And it pained her. She had brought this upon herself, and now she had to bear it.

"I do not care about society! She may hang!" The words rang in her ears and she hated them. Unfortunately, society could not hang; it was the reason she was where she was, and it was the reason Timothy was where he was. And she couldn't change it. Timothy was wrong; there were things stronger than love, and as much as she despised the thought, she had to accept it. She had to accept it or live in constant pain. She chose the former.

A/N Thank you to those of you who stuck through it the whole way. A review would be much appreciated! Danke. ~ the shattered star