Disclaimer: In part one.
AN: First off I need to say a huge thank you to sangreal_7. She encouraged me to finish this story when I was out of steam, fighting with my muse, and losing badly. This epilogue would not be what it is without her. Thanks, B.
Second, this chapter like the last couple of chapters is unbetaed. All mistakes are mine. I apologize if I've missed anything glaring.
Third, all the translations herein are courtesy of research from the Internet. I apologize profusely if they aren't correct, however I did spend extensive time translating back and forth to get it as close as possible.
Fourth, I came to love this story and am rather sad to see it come to an end, but it's time. Thank you to each of you who have come along for the journey. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I. Harlie
December 24, 2011 – early afternoon
Hospital – Klagenfurt
Klagenfurt, Carinthia, Austria
"Master Karl, Ihre Mutter ist tot. Bitte müssen Sie mit mir kommen. Die Behörden warten (Master Karl, your mutter is dead. Please you must come with me. The authorities are waiting,)," said the nurse, as she entered the hospital room.
"No! My real mom is coming for me. I asked der Weihnachtsmann for only one thing this year. If Mutter had to die then I asked for my other mother to come. She'll be here. Please," Karl begged. He was fighting tears, his voice was raspy and his words came out in choppy and broken German.
"Master Karl, genug. Sie müssen kommen. (Master Karl, enough. You must come.)" It was clear the nurse's patience had run its course.
Karl stood from his seat beside his mother's body, but didn't move beyond that. He seemed frozen, shocked, as he registered the presence entering the room behind the nurse.
"Verlassen Sie uns bitte (Leave us, please.)."
"Lauren! Ich meine Agenten Emily. Sie kamen!(Lauren! I mean Agent Emily. You came!)"
"Ja, Declan. Ich kam. Hatten Sie irgendwelche Zweifel? (Yes, Declan. I came. Did you have any doubt?)"
He shook his head, as words seemed to leave him again.
Emily closed the distance between them, and wrapped the now nearly eleven-year-old boy into her embrace.
"Wenn Sie hier sind, tut das bedeutet … (If you're here, does that mean…)"
"Yes, he's gone, too," Emily, replied in English.
Declan seemed uncertain at first, hesitating a couple of moments before he said, "So, we're free?"
"And, you'll be my mom?"
"Yes, Declan," Emily, repeated, her voice now choked by emotion also.
Christmas Eve - morning
Mt. Vernon, Virginia
Penelope felt the phone vibrate under her pillow, and had it in her hand, and was answering the call before it could give another shake. "Em? How'd it go," she whispered her question, mindful of Derek asleep beside her.
A smile spread across her face at the response she received. "We'll see you both tomorrow evening then. Can't wait to meet Declan."
Ending the call, Penelope laid the phone on her bedside table beside her glasses, and then she rolled toward Derek, kissing a trail up his bare chest toward his lips.
"Mmm…showing me a good morning, are you, Baby Girl?"
"Always, Hot Stuff," she murmured continuing with the kisses, interspersed now with light nips. "I know you don't mind."
"Not a bit," Derek answered, as he cupped his hands under her bottom, pushed her gently up his body so their lips were closer, and then kissed her.
It was some time later, while they were at last out of bed, and preparing breakfast that Penelope brought up the earlier phone call. "We're to have an honoured guest for dinner tomorrow."
"Santa and Holly?"
"No, but I wish I had thought to invite them."
Derek laughed. "How about you save hacking their account for the next time we need a miracle." He gave her nose a playful tap.
"I suppose. So guess already."
"Declan Doyle. Or should that be Declan Prentiss?"
"One and the same. I'm sure they'll figure it out. You earned a kiss for the right answer."
"As many as you want."
They both forgot anything more about cooking.
December 25, 2011
"Holly. Holly? Where are you, honey?"
"Nick, I'm in here." He heard coming from the direction of their bedroom. St. Nick hurried in that direction, already speaking of the evening's events, "It was perfection. Declan was crying over the loss of the only mother figure he's ever really had consistently just as Emily arrived at the hospital. Oh, Holly, you've never seen-"
Santa stopped mid sentence when he beheld the sight awaiting him. His wife of over two hundred years lay in their bed wearing nothing but a very naughty grin. Beside her on the bed lay a book that he could clearly see the embossed cover of: Fulfilled Dreams.
"My dear Holly, I see you have been busy. Thank you," he said, as he perched on the bed keeping his eyes focused on the book.
"You're welcome, Nick, but-" Holly closed the cover on the book he was now holding and had just started to flip through. "I have a request."
"Oh do you?" A twinkle was very evident in his eyes, as he locked gazes with her.
"Will you fulfill my Christmas wish now? Please Santa!"
"Ho, ho, ho. Oh, yes," Nick said, as he placed the book gently on a bedside table, then kicking off his boots joined his wife fully in their bed for some Christmas cheer of their own.
Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect. ~Oren Arnold