All right! By popular demand, an epilogue to Covert Cooperation...

To all those wonderful, wonderful people who have sent me all those nice reviews, y'all are the best...this is for
you :)

Of course, we all know that I own...umm...nothing...disclaimers apply...(Dude, if I owned these characters, etc. I
wouldn't be a poor, penniless, financially inept.....)


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"Are the guests coming soon?" The woman, heavily pregnant, asked her husband.

"Very soon, my sweet." The man looked adoringly at his wife. Never had she seemed more beautiful. She sat on
her favorite overstuffed armchair in their parlor, wearing a white maternity dress. Her tranquil blue eyes glowed
with love, and she turned to her husband.

"Do you think we're up to the challenge?" She asked, gesturing her swollen belly. He gave her one of those warm,
heartbreaking smiles of his, and took her slender hand in his larger one.

"My love, we've been through so much together. I think that, after Demando, we can handle anything." He bent
and kissed the top of her head.

Serena smiled contently, "I love you so much Darien, do you know that?"

"I love you too." They were interrupted by the sound of the door opening. A group of ten people, five men and
five women, came in. Two of the group, a lovely blue-haired woman wearing a tasteful ice-blue chiffon blouse and
a silvery chiffon skirt, and a smiling, tall, green-eyed young man wearing gray slacks and a white linen shirt, gave
the father and mother-to-be friendly hugs.

Serena and Darien surveyed the rest of the group. They had met Mina and Kevin, as well as Luna and Artemis, in
the case with Demando. Mina was looking radiant in a fuzzy yellow sweater and cream-colored silk slacks, a huge
smile on her pretty face. She was clinging to Kevin's arm, very tightly, as could be seen by the slightly strained
look he had on HIS face. Kevin wore a pale blue shirt and dark gray slacks that brought out his stormy eyes. By
them stood a pair that Serena and Darien had never seen before. A striking, raven-haired woman wearing a cherry
red tank top and black leather pants. Raye, if they remembered correctly. And next to her, stealing very, VERY
appreciative glances at her every now and then, a tall, sandy-haired young man with laughing blue eyes, wearing
a white shirt and black slacks. The agent that Demando mistook Anila for. James. Another woman, this one really
very tall, with auburn curls and green eyes, her statuesque frame swathed in an emerald sheath dress, Lita. By
her side, another very tall individual, a man with dark brown hair cascading down his back, his blue eyes full of
abstract wisdom. He wore a white shirt and khakis. Nick. Then, Luna, resplendent in a black dress shot with gold
threads that hugged her curves, and Artemis, dressed in impeccable white that matched his hair. Artemis spoke,

"Thank you so much on behalf of all of us for inviting us over for Christmas."

Darien smiled at the other man. "We're honored that all of you could come here. And Amy, Zack, we still cannot
thank you enough."

"Don't mention it." Amy smiled. Serena saw something that made her smile widen.

"Amy, you're still wearing your wedding ring." She said gleefully. Amy was spared a reply when, at that moment,
Anila, Meredith, Skylar, Yen, Thane and Soren made their entrance.

~ ~ ~

After a truly outstanding meal, all of them went to the huge family room to talk and reminisce. Raye was retelling
a story about one of her past missions with great spirit:

"Yeah, and the crazy little ditz actually started CRYING because I grabbed her hair to move her out of the line of
fire! Gosh, would she rather get a few split ends or would she rather get a hole in her chest? But after I kicked
the ass of the guy behind us and threatened to do the same to her if she wouldn't shut up, she did, and it was all
for her own good, too. And she kept her mouth shut til after I dispatched baddie humber 1, who'd been shooting
at us. Then, after we were out of danger, she started whining again! I swear, had I known that she was such an
airhead, I would have just left her to the assassin! You'd think that...." Raye broke off when Mina gave an excited
squeal and pointed up at the ceiling.

"Look! Amy and Zack, you're sitting under mistletoe!" Suddenly, all eyes were focused on those two. Zack took a
glance at the ceiling, then winked at everyone in the room before engulfing the slender young woman next to him
in a tight embrace and capturing her lips with his in a deep, thorough kiss. She returned his kiss, threading her
fingers through his dark gold hair, both of them oblivious to the hoots and hollering around them.

A few long moments later, they broke apart, and everyone applauded. Zack bent his head and whispered in Amy's
ear, "This is an awfully nice way to spend Christmas. You and I, together." Amy nodded, agreeing wholly with his
statement. He took her hand in his, and fiddled with her rigged ring. "We should spend more Christmases like this."

Amy smiled up at him. "I'd like that. I'd like that very much."

Some time during that night, the fake diamond ring got exchanged for a real one. One that did not emit various
different types of light, perhaps, but stood for so much more. The others did not notice the change, but Amy and
Zack shared a secret smile. It was a merry Christmas indeed.

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