Author's Note: Here are the last two chapters. THANK YOU so much everyone who read and especially everyone who reviewed! Please continue to do so... even if a lot of time has past I would love to know what people think :) I am retiring from Fanfic (for a while anyway). I need to catch up on my reading. I hope you all enjoy the ending, chapters 29 & 30:

CHAPTER 29: QUEEN MIA

"Can I tell you a story?", Joseph asked his wife, as they walked hand

in hand through the palace gardens, gardens which used to be hers.

"I would love that. Does it have a happy ending?", She asked with a smile.

"Of course. It's about us!"

"Well, then do tell!"

"Well", he said, as they sat on a bench in the rose garden, "You see.

You never realized it, I assume, but quite often over the years...

I've taken to watching you"

"Well of course you have!", Clarisse said with a laugh, "You were my

body guard and the head of my security team"

"Yes, but I am not referring to while I was on duty. This had nothing

to do with my profession"

"Oh, yes. Well, I know about that too"

"You knew?", he asked in surprise.

"Well, of course darling. Those five years that we were secretly

together were rather difficult weren't they? The stolen kisses when no

one was looking, the masking of our feelings when we were not alone...

which was almost always, the way we watched each other discreetly from

across the room..."

"Yes, but that is not what I am referring to my love"

"Oh, so you are referring to before that?"

"Yes"

"Well, I think we both knew there was something there, even before

Rupert's death"

"From day one we knew that. From the very first look on the evening of

your birthday ball", he remembered fondly, kissing her hand.

"Yes", she said with a smile, remembering that night.

"Did you know that I watched you though? Way back then?"

"Then? At the beginning?"

"Over twenty years ago"

"I didn't realize. I mean the attraction was obvious, but I never thought..."

"Oh yes, I loved watching you! It was my favorite hobby, still is. Not

that I would ever have infringed on moments that I felt you wanted to

be alone. I always respected your privacy. Although I realize

watching you without your knowledge, is in some respects, a violation

of your privacy. I simply could not help myself. I watched you as you

took a walk, worked in your garden, ate a sandwich in the kitchen...

Do you, ah, mind that I did that?"

"Oh, well if it were anyone else, I think I would have to say yes, but

not you darling. Not even way back then"

"You were so beautiful, so charming, even doing the simplest things"

"Were? You say it as if my beauty is past tense", she said, teasing him.

"Are!", he correcting himself, "You are, and always have been, a very

beautiful woman Clarisse", he said, before kissing her. Her lips still

on his, she looked around discreetly, before opening her mouth for

him. She knew he loved it when she let him take these kind of

liberties in public places.

"Hmm. How much time do we have before the wedding?", he asked with

hungry eyes, after a few moments.

"Not much", Clarisse said, shooting down what she knew he was

thinking, "And I will not have you walking our granddaughter down the

isle looking completely disheveled, from a spontaneous roll in the

hay, Sir"

"But, you make it sound so appealing!", he said, wrapping his arms around her.

"Later my love. Now, tell me the story"

"Ah, yes. Well, I guess I had been working here about five years or

so. You were taking a walk in the garden and I was watching you from

one of the balconies. You had been smelling the roses, one by one.

Then you came to one that was wilting I suppose, because you removed

all the petals. You held them in your hands and inhaled their

fragrance and then you seemed to, caress them on your face, as if you

were washing your face with the soft petals. After a few moments you

walked over to the fountain and released them into it's stream"

"Then what? I don't remember any of that"

"Then, I think you went inside"

"So that's it?"

"Yes. What, you don't like my story?", he asked, teasing her.

"No, no. It's a lovely story darling. It's just... Well, it is fairly

obvious when you tell that, that you are in love with me. I'm not sure

anyone else would find we smelling some rose petals and releasing them

into the fountain, all that interesting, but I love that you remember

that!"

"Yes. Well, perhaps it is more a memory, then a story, but it was at

that moment I knew"

"That you loved me?", she asked sweetly, cupping his cheek.

"No, I already knew that, but at that moment I knew that someday we

would be together. I knew I would do whatever it took, wait as long as

I had to. That I would make the sacrifices necessary, whatever they

were"

"Oh Joseph! You are right, that is a lovely story... With a very happy

ending!", she said kissing him passionately.

They separated when they heard someone clearing their throat.

"I'm sorry, but it is time", a very pregnant Charlotte informed them.

"Thank you Charlotte", Clarisse said standing, and walking over to her

niece, "Make sure you get some rest today my darling. We don't want

that baby coming too soon. You still have another six weeks"

"Yes. I will take it easy", Charlotte said reassuring her Aunt and

former queen, before they all moved inside for the grand event.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

"What a wedding!", Clarisse said, falling into bed that night.

"What a reception!", Joseph said, putting his hand to his head, he had

quite a bit to drink.

"She looked so beautiful and so happy today Joseph"

"She certainly did!"

"Do you think she is truly happy darling?"

"Yes, I think so. I wouldn't have let her marry him if that weren't the case"

"You are very protective of her. You always have been. Do you know

that I love that about you?", she said, smiling over from her pillow

to his. Pillow talk was one of her favorite parts of their relationship.

"One of many things I assume", he said, as he slid over to her side of

the bed and gently turned her, in order to rub her back.

"Indeed", she said, enjoying the attention.

"Do you think about Philippe today?", he asked suddenly. He knew her

deceased son must have been on her mind today.

"Of course", she responded quietly, "I thought of him frequently"

"He should have been the one to walk her down the isle"

"You did a lovely job giving her away"

"Thank you, but I think you know that is not what I meant"

"What would you like me to say?", she asked softly, "He is gone"

"I know. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to..."

"It's alright"

"I just want to make sure that you are not burying your grief. It took

us a long time to figure out how to get you to open up. I just don't

want us to loose that"

"I know. I don't want to loose that either"

"I also never want you to suffer alone. It's okay to hurt. I am here. I

want to comfort you. Always"

"I appreciate that darling. I really do", she said turning towards

him, "If I need to talk, I will come to you. I promise"

"Okay", he said with a little smile.

"Sometimes there are just no words. I'm sure you can understand that"

"Certainly"

"My son's daughter got married today and he wasn't here to see it. She

will have children soon, I am sure. He won't be here for that either.

I feel like I have made my peace with loosing him, but on

milestones... It just hits me in the face"

"I'm so sorry baby"

"I love you for taking care of me, and I love you for wanting to

share my grief. The truth of the matter, however, is that I do not

wish to dwell on what will never be, when there are so many people

around me whom I love and whom love me. I do get sad. It is sad. He is

gone. I will always honor his memory. We all will. I will always miss him

and I will always have my moments when it all just feels like too big a loss,

but I know, deep down, that he would never want me to suffer"

"Of course he wouldn't, but we both know you will"

"That goes without saying, and when it does all become too much, and

we both know it does at times. I know that you will be there, but I

can handle it today. I am okay. It was a joyous day. A wonderful day. I

am trying to focus on that"

"As you should. You are very wise. As long as you realize that I am

your resident teddy bear", he said with a smile, trying to lighten the

mood. He had wanted to comfort her, but felt like he might have

unintentionally caused her more stress.

"I certainly do know that", she said with a little laugh.

"Now, what do you say we do something really naughty?"

Her face lit up at his remark, "Why whatever did you have in mind Mr.

Delgado?", she said as she ran a finger down his chest.

"Great, big... ice cream sundaes!"

"What! Oh, I thought you were going to say something else", she said

with a pretend pout.

"Hey, we can always do both. I just thought you were tired"

"I'm rather glad you came to that conclusion. To be truthful, I'm

exhausted. Sundaes sound wonderful though! How would we get them?"

"Easy! We'll just sneak down to the kitchen and make them"

"Oh, I don't know! It's late and we are guests. This is no longer our

residence!"

"You know what, you think too much!", he said with a smile, giving her

chest a little poke, "And... your a chicken"

"Oh really? I'm a... You have been spending too much time with Mia"

"Yes, you heard me... a chicken!"

"Fine!", she said, poking his chest in return, "We're doing it, but if

we get caught I am going to blame it all on you!"

"Like you wouldn't do that anyway", he said teasingly, as he got out of bed.

She put her robe on and followed him to the door, "Try to be quiet",

she whispered, as she squeezed in front of him, so he could wrap his

arms around her waist.

They tiptoed out of their room, past rooms of their friends and

family, whom were visiting for the royal wedding. They overheard some rather

funny things and had to cover each other's mouths, to keep from

laughing out load and being caught. As they passed Lily's room they

overheard her singing along to some music, rather off key. As they

passed Helen and Mia's step-father's room they heard them having a

little spat over a woman he had danced with at the party. She had

thought the woman was flirting with him and he maintained that she was not.

"I saw that woman", Clarisse whispered to Joseph, "she was definitely flirting!"

"Good thing it hadn't been me", he whispered back.

"Lucky for her, yes. I find that people generally do not like my wrath"

"I know I don't!", he replied in a hushed tone.

As they passed Charlotte and Shades room they could hear Shades

talking baby talk, likely to Charlotte's belly, which he had been

doing all evening. This caused them to giggle again, and hush each

other once more. Right when they were getting to the main hall, they

passed the last room, which they knew was occupied by Nanny and

Wilkes. Without trying to listen, they heard some rather unmistakable

noises.

"Are they...", Clarisse whispered to him. Joseph had such a priceless

expression on his face, as he nodded, that Clarisse busted out

laughing, and he couldn't help but do the same. He grabbed her hand,

after a moment, and they ran down the main hall towards the stairs. He

didn't want to get caught and not get to have his dessert or some fun

with his wife. He also didn't wish to disturb them, although they

probably had.

"This is fun isn't it?", he asked her, out of breath from running.

"Yes", she giggled, "Life certainly has changed since the days I called this

palace home! How nice to laugh and have fun now and again!"

"Indeed"

"Do you think they heard us though?", Clarisse asked, as they walked down the stairs.

"Yes", he replied.

"Do you think they will know it was us?"

"Probably, you have a very distinct laugh my dear"

"Oh, dear!"

"Don't worry about it. They probably just shrugged it off and

continued their, ah, business"

"Their business, eh?", she chuckled, as he pulled out a chair at the

table for her, having finally arrived in the kitchen, "It sounded like

she was getting a pretty good deal"

"Well, good for them", he said as he took out the ice cream and

toppings, "Although, I have to say I can't imagine anyone having

better, ah..."

"Mergers?", she asked with a cheeky grin.

"Good one baby! Yes, I can't imagine anyone having better mergers then

us. Do you want fudge?"

"Yes, a truck load please"

"Nuts and cherries?"

"Oh yes!"

"Whipped cream?"

"Of course!"

"That's my girl! Who would have figured that I would marry the love of

my life, who also happened to like her ice cream exactly how I like

mine"

"Not exactly, I do hope you are using chocolate ice cream on mine"

"Yes, chocolate for you and vanilla for me"

"Good boy!"

He brought their ice cream over and sat next to her. They both looked

at each other wide eyed as they took the first bite.

"Mmm, this is so wonderful!"

"I know. I have the best ideas!", he said, his mouth slightly full.

"Yes, you do", she said, taking another bite. A rather big one at that.

Just then, a maid came into the kitchen and exclaimed, "Oh! Your

majesty, Queen Clarisse and Sir Joseph! I am so sorry to disturb you!"

"Tosh, you didn't disturb us at all", Clarisse said kindly, "Would you

care for some ice cream? There is some on the counter"

"Oh, no. Thank you! I just came down to make sure the kitchen was all

cleaned up before I got to bed. I generally do that at around this

hour. Check to make sure the kitchen is clean, that is, around this

time, but I will come back later", the maid said nervously, certain

she was interrupting a private moment.

"Oh, we will clean up when we are done. Really", Joseph assured her.

"Yes, please don't let us keep you from your rest. We will tidy up

when we are through", Clarisse added.

"Well, alright. If you are sure your majesty. Thank you!"

"Certainly"

The maid bowed and was gone.

"You do realize that tomorrow everyone will be talking about how we

were caught pigging out on ice cream at midnight", Joseph said, as he

took a bite of his creamy concoction.

"Yes, and that we were in our night clothes and taking enormous bites,

which were rather undignified", Clarisse added as she took another big

bite.

"We've had worse said about us", he said laughing, just a bit at

first, but when your throaty laughter combined with his, he suddenly

found it hysterical. They both laughed so hard then, that they nearly

fell off their chairs.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

As the family lined up to say goodbye to Mia and Nick, they all

realized what a bittersweet moment this was. Lily and her mother would

stay in Genovia for a few more weeks. She had already said her

goodbyes to Pierre and Kay, whom had returned to their respective

European homes. Mario and Katie, Fred and Leota, Mouse and Peggy had

all left as well, and while she had grown rather fond of all of them,

it was not as hard as saying goodbye to the people she loved most. Mia

would stay in Genovia know. She was married. She was the queen! Being

queen went little time for other things, of course, and so she wasn't

really sure when she would be able to venture to the United States for

a visit.

"Well", Joe said, shaking Nick's hand, before moving in to hug Mia,

"This is it, Queen Amelia. I am so proud of you, my girl!"

"Oh Joe! I am going to miss you so much!"

"You can't possibly miss us that much", Clarisse said as she gave Nick

a little embrace and smile, before moving in to merge herself into the

hug between her husband and granddaughter, "We will be back in two

weeks, when the house is ready!"

"I know, but... I don't know. I will just miss you"

"Well, I think I can understand that. I will miss you too my beautiful

girl! Now, the next few weeks will be very stressful for you. If you

have any questions, which I am sure Nick can help you with too, but if

you do by chance think you may benefit from my years as queen. Please

call, any time, day or night. I don't ever want you to feel alone, not

that Nick isn't going to take good care of you. You are a Renaldi

woman, however, and we tend to take on a bit too much sometimes. Not

to mention that asking for help is not always our strong suits. I just

want you to know that I am here!"

"I know Grandma! I love you so much and I am sure I will call on you

and your expertise. In fact, I can guarantee it. Thank you, thank you,

thank you! For everything"

"You are always welcome, my love. You are going to be a wonderful

queen!", Clarisse said, as the embraced her one last time.

"We will see you in a couple of weeks", Joe said, taking his wife's

hand and moving back so that the others may say goodbye.

"Oh, Charlotte! How will I get by without you?", Mia said, embracing her cousin.

"What are we? Chopped liver ?", Shades, who was holding Eloise up on

his shoulders, asked teasingly.

"We will miss you all!", Nick contributed.

"We certainly will", Mia added, as she hugged Shades and lent up to

give Eloise a kiss, before returning to Charlotte, "I know things are

going to be crazy for you for a while, but please say you will visit

when things die down"

"Of course Mia! You couldn't keep us away. Genovia will always be a

special place for us"

"I know", she said putting her hand on Charlotte's tummy, "I want to

hear, the minute you go into labor. Understand?"

"Of course!"

"I will try to make it out to see the baby. I promise! I will try my

best to be there"

"Oh Mia, thank you. I will understand if you are unable to though. You

will meet him or her soon. That is my promise"

"I love you Charlotte"

"I love you too. Good luck! You are going to be great"

"Thanks Charlie!"

Nanny stepped up to say goodbye then, as Wilkes shook Nick's hand.

"Mia, oh... look at you!"

"Aunt Nan! You know I think I will miss you the most!", Mia said as a

tear slipped down her cheek.

"Oh, now love", Nanny said embracing her, "I know it is 'ard. We 'ave

grown very close 'aven't we?"

"Yes, and unlike Grandma and Joe, and Charlotte and Shades, you don't

have roots here. I don't know when I will see you again!"

"Oh Mia! We will visit, for sure, sure, sure and you will visit us as well"

"Yes, in our new home", Wilkes added, "We close on it next month"

"I can't wait to see it!", Mia said to them both.

"I, can't wait to come back 'ere and see you in full swing as the

Queen of Genovia! I am so, so, so proud of you for listening to what

was in your 'eart, and I will forever be grateful to you for

encouraging me to listen to what was in mine, as well. You know if it

were not for you, I am not sure Wilkes and I would 'ave gotten

together. It was you that 'elped me talk to 'im that first time!"

"It was also her, who made up an elaborate tale to get us to be alone

in that cafe, that first night. That was a pivotal point for us. Nanny

is right, I owe you a great deal, it seems", Wilkes added with a

smile, placing an arm casually around his wife's waist.

"It was also 'er who helped me get ready for our first date and gave

me a little pep talk before'and"

"Don't forget me walking in on your first kiss... and whatever else

you two were doing", Mia pointed out.

"I told you! Nothing else 'appened!", Nanny said, playfully smacking

Mia's arm, as everyone laughed.

"We never did get that detailed explanation we were promised, did we?

Well, that will be a story for the ride home I guess", Joe teased.

"Think again!", Wilkes said, with a laugh.

"I do have a vested interest in this relationship. Since I had a hand

in it's conception from the very beginning. So, you take good care of

her Wilkes", Mia said, as she gave Wilkes a little hug and kiss on the

cheek.

"I intend to do just that!", Wilkes said, smiling at Mia and then over

to his wife.

"Hey, why did Wilkes get a kiss?", Shades teased.

"You are very sensitive today aren't you?", Charlotte asked him, as

everyone chucked.

"Wilkes was my instructor, and a very good one at that! Besides, he is

adorable!", Mia said giving him another kiss on the cheek, this time

making him blush a bit.

"Alright, alright. 'ands off!", Nanny teased, as she pulled him away

and the others laughed once more.

"I'm so glad you got the girl", Mia said to him, sincerely.

"Me too", Wilkes said, wrapping his arms around Nanny from behind her

and pressing his cheek lightly against hers, " And we promise to visit

every chance we get"

"We pinkie promise, promise, promise!", Nanny added, as she linked her

finger with Mia's, before she and Wilkes joined the others.

"Okay then. I guess we are off", Charlotte said, as she came over and

embraced Mia one last time, Nanny and Clarisse joined in, as well as

Eloise and Joe. Wilkes, Nick and Shades hung back for a moment, but

ultimately joined the group hug as well.

After they had all broke apart and tearfully said goodbye once more,

the gang from New York climbed into their waiting limo and left the

new bride and new queen, to her new life with her husband and HER

country.

Eloise instantly fell asleep on Shade's lap, on the rear seat of the

limo. Charlotte stretched out on a bench, which ran along one side of

the car, her pregnancy catching up with her. Nanny and Wilkes sat on

one end of the opposite bench, as Clarisse and Joe sat on the other

end. All was quiet for a few moments, as Charlotte and Shades rested

their eyes, Nanny and Wilkes looked out the window, and Clarisse and

Joe simply sat huddled together, happy that their granddaughter was

finally queen and happily married as well.

"So, did you enjoy your ice cream last night?", Nanny asked the other

couple after a few moments. Wilkes let out a chuckle at this.

"We did", Joe replied, "Sometimes you have got to have a little fun,

you know what I mean?"

"I heard that you guys were tip toeing around the palace last night",

Shades added, "Is there an interesting story here?"

Charlotte opened one eye and looked at Clarisse and Joe, before

closing it and turning on her side. She didn't want to know.

"Not really. We just got hungry for some ice cream and decided to

sneak down and make sundaes", Clarisse replied.

"I heard you were in your slip", Nanny said with a laugh.

"Ah, so there was more too it. There always is with you two, isn't

there!", Shades teased.

"I was not in my slip! ...Well, I was, but I had a robe on over it!"

"It had come undone though", Joseph added.

"What?", Clarisse asked.

"Your robe. It came untied when we were running down the hall towards

the stairs"

"Well, why didn't you tell me Joseph?", Clarisse asked, slapping his arm.

"I figured you knew! Besides, it was a nice view!", Joe said, as the

other men chuckled.

"Oh! really!", Clarisse scolded him.

"No, seriously I thought you knew"

"Well, I didn't. What a pretty picture that must have been for the maid!"

Everyone laughed then, at the mental picture that was forming in all

of their minds. After a moment, Clarisse had to laugh too. It was

rather funny.

"Why were you running though? I thought you were supposed to be tip

toeing along?", Shades asked.

Nanny and Wilkes diverted their eyes. They suspected that they knew

why the other couple had been sprinting away from the corridor of

guest suites.

"Well, we ah, heard something", Joe said, trying not to laugh.

"You got spooked?", Charlotte asked, somewhat listening, with her eyes closed.

"No, I wouldn't say that", Joe said, smiling.

"I'm confused. What did you hear that would cause you to run? Oh,

wait. I think I know", Shades said, as Nanny and Wilkes looked in his

direction.

"I heard them too", Shades said casually, as he looked out the window,

"I never would have thought I would here that from them. I mean not

like that!"

Nanny and Wilkes' eyes shot open wide.

"I know", Charlotte said, her eyes still closed, "They were so heated!

I thought at one point I should go in there and brake it up"

Nanny looked down at the floor then.

"Before someone got hurt?", Joe asked with a smile, as Nanny closed

her eyes in embarrassment.

Wilkes, noticing his wife's embarrassment, took her hand.

"Oh, no I didn't think that!", Charlotte said, "All the same. I am not

used to hearing a seemingly reserved couple, not that she is always

reserved, but you know what I mean... I am not used to hearing a

reserved couple be so, so... aggressive"

Clarisse and Joe couldn't take it any more, they started laughing,

before Clarisse looked at Nanny's face. She looked so humiliated, "Oh

Nanny, I am so sorry!", she said sincerely, as she nudged Joseph to

stop him as well.

Joe looked at Nanny then, and realized she had not found any of this

amusing, "I'm very sorry", he said to both Nanny and Wilkes, "We never

intended too..."

"Why are you apologizing to them?", Shades asked, interrupting, "What

do they have to do with Helen and Mia's step-father's argument last

night?"

Silence fell as the older adults realized their younger counter parts

had been referring to something completely different. Nanny breathed a

sigh of relief.

"Well", Wilkes finally said to Shades, "We had a little argument

ourselves last night, it was my fault, and I suppose we thought it was

us that you were referring to"

"You had an argument?", Charlotte asked, "but you two never argue"

"Aoww, Charlotte. Everyone argues from time to time Love, but don't

worry. We worked it out", Nanny said, as she placed her hand on

Wilke's knee, grateful for his quick thinking and his selflessness.

"Yes, just a little spat", Wilkes fibbed.

"So, everything is fine then?", Clarisse asked them, hoping they

wouldn't be too angry with her and Joseph for their childish behavior.

"Better then fine", Nanny said sincerely, not being able to stay angry

with her sister, "This was a 'appy event, we all love each other, and

we are one big 'appy family"

"As it should be!", Wilkes said, smiling at everyone. He was grateful

for this family, even when, like most families, they embarrassed each

other and did foolish things.

"I'm glad", Joe said before everyone was silent again.

Charlotte and Shades both drifted off to sleep, after a few moments,

having stayed up late talking about the baby. They figured there was

something the others weren't telling them, but since everything seemed

fine now, they let it go.

"Besides", Nanny said after a while, "I am not the one who was caught

by a maid, at midnight, eating ice cream in her underwear!"

Clarisse tossed something in Nanny's direction then, as the four of

them cracked up laughing.

TO BE CONTINUED

CHAPTER 30: A FAMILY AFFAIR

"Hurry Wilkes!", Nanny called behind her, as she raced through the

halls of the hospital. She and Wilkes, Clarisse and Joe had all been

at lunch, when they had received the call that Charlotte had gone into

labor. Shades had informed them that the contractions had been coming

quickly and Charlotte was already settled in the maternity ward. As

Nanny reached the elevator, she hesitated. It had just opened, but the

others were too far down the hall to make it.

"Go ahead darling. We will catch the next one", Wilkes called to her,

a bit out of breath, seeing the tortured expression on her face.

"Thank you Love!", She called as she boarded the elevator, just before

the doors closed.

"Thank God!", Clarisse said, slowing her pace a bit, "I am excited

too, but these shoes were not designed for sprinting!"

"Nanny can move awfully fast for a woman her age", Joe commented to Wilkes.

"She certainly can", Wilkes said with a little smile, as he hit the

button for the elevator. The three boarded and made their way to the

maternity ward, where they found Nanny talking to a nurse at the

nurse's station.

"What's the latest?", Wilkes asked her, as she finished with the

nurse. Clarisse and Joe took a seat while they waited.

"She is close to being ready to push, push, push! The nurse went to tell Scott we

are 'ere. The doctor will be with 'er shortly. It seems 'e is

delivering another baby at the moment"

"I see", Wilkes said, placing his hand on his wife's back, "Perhaps

you would like to sit while we wait", he said gesturing to the seat

next to the Joe.

"No, no, no. I could not possibly sit right now, but you go a'ead

Love", she said as she paced back and forth.

"Well, can I get you something while we wait? Coffee, tea, water?",

Wilkes offered, seeing his wife was rather tense.

"No, thank you. I am fine. Please sit. Eloise will be 'ere soon.

She's with Bill and Rachel now. You'll need your energy for when she

gets 'ere. Especially if Bill and Rachel leave and I go into "labor

and delivery" with Shades and Charlotte"

Wilkes thought about the daunting task of being the soul person in

charge of Eloise. He loved the child as if she were his own

grandchild, but she could be rather exhausting. He decided to sit

after all.

Joe leaned over and whispered in his ear, "Don't worry. We'll help

with Eloise", to which Wilkes nodded thankfully.

"Kay is on 'er way too, but a flight from Paris will take a long, long, long while",

Nanny said, "You don't mind looking after Eloise, do you Love ?",

Nanny asked, sensing Wilkes' uncertainly.

"Tosh, tosh, tosh. I am happy to do it! I am more or less her grandfather after

all, and I will have help. Don't give it another thought my darling"

"Thank you Willy!", she said as she bent down and gave him a little kiss.

"We are lucky we were in from Genovia this week to visit Mario", Joe

said to Nanny, "Speaking of Genovia, I spoke with Mia, while you and

Wilkes were getting the car. She will be coming on Genovia One, as

soon as she can. She should be here sometime tonight. Isn't that

nice?"

"Good, good, good", Nanny said as she continued to pace, no longer able to

listen to anything anyone said.

"Shades!", Joe said standing and clapping the young man on the back,

as he entered the waiting area, "How is it going?"

"Good, she...", Shades started, but Nanny interrupted him.

"Is Charlotte okay? Is she in pain, pain, pain? Is the baby alright? When will the

doctor check 'er again?", Nanny asked Shades, who looked a bit

overwhelmed.

"She's fine. Not too much pain. The baby is doing great. They have the

heart monitor going and everything is fine. The doctor will be in

soon. You and I should get in our scrubs mom. So we are ready", Shades

said to Nanny.

"Yes, yes, yes. Of course!", Nanny said as she followed Shades.

"We'll be right back", Shades said, as they left with a nurse to get

their scrubs on. Charlotte had asked Nanny to be in the delivery room

when the baby was born, which, of course, Nanny was immensely pleased

about. After they left, Eloise arrived with Bill and Rachel. Eloise was a

bundle of excitement as she bounced first on Rachel's lap and then on

Wilkes'.

"Isn't it divine Grampy? We are going to have a new baby! Do you

think it will be a girl? I do hope it's a girl! A boy is good too

though. Oh, I just can not sit still! I want that baby here now, now,

now!"

"I know sweetheart, but it won't be long now", Wilkes told Eloise, as

Nanny and Shades returned.

"Eloise!", Shades said, embracing his step-daughter, "You must be very

excited! The baby will be here very soon!"

"I am very, very, very excited Papa! Why are you and Granny dressed funny?"

"Because me and Granny are going to help Mama in the delivery room and

we have to wear these special clothes, so that we don't get any germs

on mama or the baby", Shades explained. Eloise nodded, excepting his

explanation.

Nanny went over and kissed the little girl's forehead, who gave her a

big smile, "I love you Granny!"

"I love you too Pet, for sure, sure, sure!", Nanny said to Eloise,

who was happy in Shades embrace.

Nanny then moved over to Wilkes, "And 'ow do I look in my scrubs

Grampy?", she asked playfully, trying to relax.

"Very fetching", he said with a laugh.

The doctor arrived then. He had just checked on Charlotte and she was

ready to push. It was time. He asked for Shades and Nanny to follow

him.

"It's time!", Shades said to Eloise, before releasing her and thanking

Bill and Rachel, for having watched her.

"The next time you see me, we will have a new grandbaby!", Nanny said

to Wilkes excitedly.

He stood and gave her a little kiss, "I can't wait! You are going to

be brilliant! Give Charlotte my love"

"I will Love", Nanny said to Wilkes, as she and Shades departed.

"Good luck my boy!", Joe called to Shades, who smiled at him and gave

a thumbs up.

"Tell Charlotte we love her!", Clarisse called, Nanny and Shades

nodded before rounding the corner.

"Well, now all we have to do is wait!", Joe said.

"I think we will take off now", Bill said, "Please give us a call when

the baby is born"

"Of course! Thank you for your kindness", Wilkes said to the young couple.

"Our pleasure!", Rachel said. They said goodbye to Eloise, and were off.

"I think I will get us some coffee", Joe said to Clarisse and Wilkes,

"and some coffee milk for you Eloise?", he asked, as the child nodded.

She was busy coloring in her coloring book, to Wilkes' relief.

"Tea for me please, if possible. Thank you darling", Clarisse said, as

Joe departed.

"You know, it's funny", Wilkes said to Clarisse, "I feel as if I am

waiting on my own grandchild!"

"You are waiting on YOUR grandchild Wilkes! That is very clear to me",

Clarisse said, patting him on the arm.

Wilkes nodded, blinking back his tears. He began to think of Nanny and

Charlotte in the delivery room. He hoped everything would go well.

Nanny was so stressed. He was looking forward to the relief that would

come when the baby was safely delivered.

"Grampy, I'm bored, bored, bored!", Eloise announced, braking his

train of thought.

"Can we ride on the elevators? Or go down to the coffee shop and get

cookies? Or go see if we can get a balloon at the gift shop? Or..."

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Four hours later, Shades came back into the waiting area with a big

smile on his face. Eloise was asleep on Clarisse's lap, having done

her rounds with Wilkes earlier, whom was rather exhausted himself.

They had a big bouquet of flowers, as well as a bouquet of balloons

for Charlotte and the baby, which they had gotten while in the gift

shop. Wilkes also bought a small bouquet for Nanny, a little gift for

the birth of her grandchild.

Wilkes, Joe and Clarisse looked at Shades expectantly.

"It's a boy!", he said, "and baby and mommy are doing great"

"Ah!", Joe said standing and giving Shades a big hug, "Congratulations my boy!"

"Yes, congratulations Scott!", Clarisse said, unable to move, as

Eloise was still asleep on her.

"It's, it's a boy?", Wilkes asked as he came over and gave Shades a hug.

"Yes! He is a very handsome little guy", Shades said, with tears in

his eyes, after embracing Wilkes.

"I'm sure he is!", Clarisse said with a smile.

"Has Nanny been able to hold the baby? She must have been so excited!

Oh, and Charlotte too of course! You said she was doing fine. I hope

she didn't have too much pain", Wilkes replied.

"Mom and I both held the baby, very briefly and of course Charlotte

did as well. They took the baby for all the usual checks, he should be

back in about half an hour. Charlotte is just getting fixed up now.

She was a trooper! It looked very painful, but she didn't make much of

a fuss"

"That's Charlotte!", Clarisse and Joe said together, with a little laugh.

"When do we get to see mommy and baby?", Clarisse asked.

"Maybe a half hour? I had better get back, but I will come and get you

guys when Charlie is ready, and the baby has returned from his tests,

okay?"

"Sounds good Shades", Joe said, "We'll just keep Eloise asleep until

you get back"

"Yeah, let her sleep. I'll see you guys soon", Shades said as he went to leave.

"Wait, wait", Joe said, as he retrieved the cigars from his pocket,

"Here you are Daddy", he said handing one to Shades.

"Aw, thanks Joe!", Shades said taking it and slipping it in his pocket.

"And one for Grandpa", Joe said handing one to Wilkes.

"Very good, thank you Joe!", Wilkes said taking the Cigar.

"I suppose you have one for yourself as well?", Clarisse asked Joseph

with a grin.

"Of course! I have one for you and Nanny as well"

"I hope your joking! You don't really expect me too..."

"You would look incredibly sexy smoking a cigar", Joe said, interrupting her.

"Well, it is not going to happen all the same", she said with a slight

blush, "Now will you let the man get back to his wife, whom has just

given birth!"

"Of course! Sorry, Shades. Hey, before you go... What did you two name him?"

"I think I had better wait and let Charlotte tell you guys", he said

with a smile, "I'll see you soon"

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Forty- five minutes later, they made their way into Charlotte's room,

where Charlotte lay in bed, holding her newborn. Nanny sat beside her,

smiling at the others. Shades was carrying Eloise, who peered down at

her new baby brother. Joe and Clarisse stood back a bit, letting

Wilkes and Eloise have a chance to meet the baby first. Wilkes placed

down the flowers and balloons, while Shades placed Eloise down, so she

could get a closer look.

"He's so itty bitty!", Eloise exclaimed.

"Yes", Charlotte said with a laugh, "But all newborns are this small.

He is seven pounds, which is a healthy weight. If you sit in that

chair with Papa, you can hold him"

"I can!", Eloise exclaimed, as Charlotte nodded.

As Shades helped Eloise into the Chair, Wilkes went over to Charlotte

and gave her a kiss on the cheek, "Congratulations sweetheart", he

said, peeking briefly at the newborn.

"Thank you Wilkes", she said, as she lifted the baby to Shades who

would present him to a patiently waiting Eloise.

Wilkes then moved around the bed to Nanny, who beamed at him.

"Did you see 'im Willy? Itn't 'e beautiful?", Nanny asked Wilkes, as

she stood up and gave him a kiss.

"Yes, he certainly is! I will have a closer look of course, after

Eloise has her turn", he said, embracing his wife, before sitting in

the chair she had just vacated and pulling her gently down to sit in

his lap. He was still rather tired, "I'm sure you were a brilliant

coach!"

"Oh... Well. Charlotte did so, so, so good!", Nanny said, beaming at

her daughter.

"I'm sure she did", Wilkes said, tightening his grip on his wife's

waist. He had rather missed her these past five hours. It was summer

vacation and they had grown accustomed to not being apart much.

"Thanks mom, and thank you for sticking it out with me! I couldn't

have done it without you, and Shades of course!", Charlotte said, as

she smiled first at her mother, and then her husband, who was nestled

with Eloise on the other side of the room, holding the baby.

"It was a pleasure", Nanny said, as Charlotte turned and looked at her

once again, "A gift".

"I love you Mom", Charlotte said in reply.

"I love you too, my baby", Nanny said, before turning to Clarisse and

Joe, "Itn't 'e gorgeous?"

"Yes, very!", Joe said, as he and Clarisse gazed over Shades shoulder

at the baby.

"He has our eyes Nan", Clarisse pointed out.

"Charlotte, how are you feeling?", Wilkes asked.

"Oh, I'm fine Wilkes. Thank you. I'm just a little tired, but that's

to be expected I suppose. Would you like to hold your Grandson?"

"Oh, ah, well of course, but I don't want to steal him away from Eloise!"

"It's okay Grandpy! I want to snuggle Mama now anyhow"

Shades carefully let Eloise down, who gently climbed into bed next to

her mother, to cuddle her a bit. Shades then made his way over to

Wilkes and Nanny. Nanny got up, as Shades handed the baby to her. She

then handed her grandson to her husband. Wilkes carefully, perhaps

more carefully then necessary, took the baby from his wife. He looked

down at the child, who did, indeed, have Nanny's beautiful eyes. He

was a beautiful baby. Perfect it seemed. The child seemed to hold a

spell on Wilkes, which Nanny found extremely endearing.

"You know, I have never held a baby before", Wilkes said quietly.

Clarisse and Joseph smiled at each other and then at Wilkes, realizing

what a special gift this child was, not just for Nanny, but for him as

well.

"Aoww Love, I 'ad not realized! Well, you are doing a very good job!

'e must know you're 'is grandpa! Look 'ow content 'e is, just looking

at you. I know 'ow 'e feels. You 'ave a comforting way about you

Willy"

Wilkes smiled at her kind words, before returning his gaze to their

grandchild. Clarisse and Joe came over then, to look at the baby some

more. Wilkes offered to let someone else have a turn to hold him, but

neither Clarisse, nor Joe had the heart to take the baby from Wilkes

just yet.

"Do you want to know his name?", Charlotte asked everyone, although

Nanny and Shades already knew from earlier.

"Yes!", Clarisse said.

"Joseph Wilkes-Garrison Kutaway", Charlotte said with a smile.

Both Joe and Wilkes looked up in surprise.

"You named him after me?", Joe asked.

"Yes. You, Wilkes and Charlotte's late father, Gary. You've been like

a dad to me Joe, and Wilkes is also a very important part of this

family. Eloise whole heartedly considers you her grandfather. You will

be this child's grandfather as well. It just seemed right. We knew we

wanted all three names, we just decided that order had the nicest ring

to it"

"I don't know what to say", Joe said, "Thank you!"

"Yes, thank you. It is quite an honor!", Wilkes said, before handing baby

Joey to Nanny, to give him to Joseph. Wilkes hadn't really wanted to

let him go, but he also didn't want to be selfish.

"It is a beautiful name!", Nanny said looking down at her grandson

with a smile, before handing him to Joe.

"Oh, my! It's been a while since I've done this", Joe said, smiling

down at the child.

"All we need is another Joseph!", Clarisse said, smiling and cooing at the baby.

Everyone laughed, as they shared this special moment with their family.

"For you", Wilkes said, as he handed Nanny her bouquet.

She almost protested, but seeing the loving gaze he gave her, she

accepted them without a fuss, "Thank you Love! They are beautiful"

He kissed her sweetly, before they turned their attention back to baby

Joey, who was happily nestled between Clarisse and Joe.

The fact that Edgar's name was not even considered was not lost on

Nanny or Wilkes, but of course neither mentioned that. They were all

blissfully happy with this new child in their lives. Kay and Mia

arrived shortly after, to meet baby Joey. He was a very lucky baby

indeed.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

ONE MONTH LATER

"He is asleep", Wilkes said, as he stepped onto their little back deck

to sit with Nanny, who was laying on a padded patio bench reading her

book.

It was a lovely warm evening, in late August. Baby Joey was a month

old now and Nanny insisted that Charlotte and Shades take a night for

themselves and leave the baby with her and Wilkes at their house.

Eloise was spending the week with Kay in Paris, before returning for

school.

"You are so good with 'im Love", Nanny said as he lifted her legs and

sat beside her, placing her legs on his lap.

"Oh, well. We are all good with him", Wilkes said modestly.

"Yes, but you and 'e 'ave a special, special, special bond! Don't think I 'aven't

noticed. It's very sweet Love!"

"Well, I am very fond of him"

"As 'e is of you! You're the only one 'e will stop crying for at

times, and every time you 'old Joey, 'e looks at you as if you two

'ave a big secret", she said with a little laugh, and then teasingly

asked, "Are you and our grandson keeping secrets from me?"

"Oh, never!", Wilkes said holding up his hands, "I promise you we

won't do that until he's a teenager"

"Oh, you!", Nanny said, as he laughed and leaned down to kiss her neck.

"Alright, you are forgiven", she said after a moment, "but only if you

keep doing that"

"I certainly will Mrs. Thompson", he said, as he moved to lay behind

her, their bodies spooned and intertwined to fit on the small piece of

furniture. He then continued giving her neck great attention. They had

been married for six months, but it still sent a joyful shiver down

her spine when he referred to her as Mrs. Thompson.

"Lovely", she said, her eyes closed, enjoying the moment.

"Indeed", he said, looking at her, "You know, I think part of why I

feel so close to baby Joey..."

"Yes sweet'eart?", Nanny encouraged, as she opened her eyes.

"Well, of course he is a wonderful child. He is just so good! Of course he's

my grandchild as well and so I would love him regardless, but I think part of

why we have that... connection, is those little eyes of his! It's this

wonderful reminder that he ultimately came from you. I see it in

Charlotte and Eloise too, but with Joey I got to see it from day one

and that made it rather magical I believe"

Nanny looked up at him, practically in tears, "You... are the most wonderful man!"

"No, I'm really not. I'm sure there are a whole lot of my staff on

summer vacation right now, who are rather dreading seeing me next

week! I am however, desperately in love with you", he said sincerely,

stroking her hair.

"That's even better", Nanny said, leaning up for a little kiss, "And

the feeling is mutual"

He linked his fingers with hers and smiled down at her, "Did you have

a nice summer?"

"Oh yes!", she said, closing her eyes again and snuggling up to him,

"First this 'ouse and then the baby! Not to mention all of the time we

were able to spend together. I will miss, miss, miss you next week!"

"Yes, I feel the same. Perhaps this will be my last year. Maybe it's

time to think of, you know, retiring"

"Retiring? Really?", she asked in surprise.

"Well, perhaps. We have close to a year to think about it, but I am at

an age where most do retire and we have this lovely house now and baby

Joey. Perhaps if I was retired, I could care for him part of the time.

I rather think I would enjoy that!"

"Just a Grandpa and 'is Grandson, eh?", Nanny said with a smile.

"Well, of course Charlotte would have to be alright with it, and naturally

you are always welcome in that equation! I just wasn't sure you would

be ready to retire. This is only your second year in and you seem to

enjoy it a great deal, but if you are ready to retire next year... I

certainly would be quite happy with that!"

"I do enjoy it sweet'eart. I really do! Of course being 'ome with you sounds

so, so, so wonderful... and our grandson! I suppose I will 'ave to

think about it"

"Of course, of course! Plenty of time! You just do whatever your heart

tells you and I will work around whatever you decide. If you decided

to keep working, I could have a lovely dinner waiting for you when you

got home each day. That would be lovely wouldn't it?"

"Yes, love. For sure, sure, sure! I wouldn't need for you to go to all

that trouble though"

"Tosh, tosh. I would enjoy it! We'll just wait and see how the school

year progresses I suppose"

"Yes. I think that is wise. Whatever you decide Love, I will support

you in your decision one 'undred percent"

"I knew you would", he said kissing her neck once again, "And of

course I will always stand behind your choices as well"

She smiled at him, just as baby Joey started to cry on the monitor.

"I'll go", they both said.

"Let's both go", Wilkes said, taking her hand.

"Oh, but then 'e will get used to it and we might spoil 'im Wilkes!"

"Just this once, besides, that's what Grandparents are for", he said

as they happily headed inside together.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Nanny and Wilkes had purchased their charming little bungalow in June.

They were able to find one about forty-five minutes north of the city.

They had looked at a lot of properties, but when they stepped into

this house, they knew it was the one. It had beautiful old woodwork

and built-in cabinets, but it had a lovely casual feel about it that

matched Nanny's personality perfectly. It had two bedrooms, one

upstairs, which encompassed the entire floor, and a smaller one down

stairs near the kitchen. The house had a beautiful old kitchen, which

was quite large for the size of the home. It had a lovely little

dining room and a cozy living room, as well as a mud room where Nanny

kept her plants. The yard was very large. It sprawled out back for

close to two acres. It wasn't a manicured garden, as Clarisse's was,

it was much more laid back. Wild flowers grew in bunches along a stony

path. Picket fencing ran along most of the spacious yard, and there

were numerous beautiful old trees. Wilkes had built a swing for the

grandchildren in one close to the house and hung a hammock in another

close by. The yard was filled with hummingbird feeders and bird baths

and of course several benches for them to stop and sit, as they went

for walks in the yard, but it was not a tacky display by any means. It

was a beautiful country oasis.

Way in the back of the property sat two rather large old trees, which

had began to grow together over time. When Nanny and Wilkes first saw

them, they said nothing, but joined hands. Knowing that they would buy

the house and that this would be their spot. The land around the trees

wasn't bad. Their were wild flowers in abundance and a whimsical old

well, sat close by. Their where several apple trees near by as well,

and a well kept little shed.

They decided to add some things, all the same, to make the spot even

more special for them. Wilkes had a large stone bunch delivered, which

was almost as good as Nanny's old sitting rock, and perhaps better for

her back at her age. He also built her a swing for their tree. They

put a lovely little picnic table near by, which they had found at an

Antique shop. Nanny planted rose bushes to one side and a garden of

vegetables on the other. They had a little Antique sink put in the

shed, perfect for washing fruits and veggies that they would pick and

eat. The plumbing alone for the sink had cost Wilkes a fortune, but

Nanny found the idea so charming, that he didn't care... and of course

had not let her know the cost. The best part of their special spot

however, was still the trees themselves. The symbolism in

their joining so beautifully to make one big tree, was not lost on

them. They hadn't told their family about their special spot at the new house,

not that they were trying to conceal it either. It was simply, just something

for them. They were sure it wouldn't be long before Eloise discovered

it, which was fine. It was still their place, and they didn't mind

sharing it now and again with their grandchildren. Nanny had made an

off handed comment to Wilkes, soon after they had completed their

spot, that some day she might get too old to trek back there, which

would sadden her. He took her comment to heart, and gave it some

thought. Later that day same day, he came up to her with a solution.

They would buy a little golf cart, when the time came. They had new

ones that came in all different colors and even had roofs! She smiled

at his enthusiastic answer to their "some day" problem and agreed that

if the need ever arose, it was a very good idea. She had to admit, it

did give her comfort to know that they would always be able to enjoy

their little piece of the world, which she had already grew so fond

of.

On warm summer nights they laid on blankets and watched the stars, and

they had picnics out there whenever possible. She loved the spot. It

was everything she could have wished for, but soon after it was all

done, she came to a realization. She realized they didn't need a

special spot. Anywhere they were together, was special. Of course, she

never said this out load. She would never want to disappoint her

husband. Besides, it was a lovely place, that they enjoyed immensely.

Perhaps some day, she thought, in the far away future, their

grandchildren could go there, having heard the story, and have some

visual evidence of Wilkes and Nanny's immense love for each other.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Clarisse and Nanny sat on the patio of Clarisse and Joe's Connecticut

home, sipping their iced tea.

"Do you miss Genovia?", Nanny asked Clarisse. She had only been home

for a couple days.

"Oh, well I miss Amelia of course! It was a lovely summer, but I am

happy to be home. How are you enjoying your new home?"

"Aoww, I love, love, love it there! It was never the plan, but I think

we might move there full time when we retire. We would still be close

to the grandchildren and it is so much lovelier there, so much more

peace, peace, peaceful!"

"I'm sure the children will enjoy that too. Being able to run and play

in the fields. A child needs that kind of thing"

"Yes, I believe we will all make fond memories there"

"It's a lovely little place", Clarisse said genuinely, though it

wasn't her personal style, it was very charming.

"We both have lovely 'omes and lovely 'usbands now. Aren't we lucky?"

"Very!", Clarisse agreed, "Not to mention a new baby in the family!

Wilkes is awfully fond of baby Joey isn't he?"

"Oh Lord yes! Do you know, the other night when the baby slept at our

place, I woke up because I was sure I 'eard Joey crying. As I became

awake though, I realized 'e 'ad stopped. When I looked over, I noticed

Wilkes was no longer beside me. So I went into the second bedroom,

where Joey was sleeping, and there was Wilkes. Sitting in the rocking

chair with the baby, giving 'im a bottle and talking to 'im softly. It

was so sweet, I just couldn't interrupt. I went back to bed and never

even told Wilkes I 'ad seen them. 'e is such, such, such a wonderful man!

I am very lucky to 'ave 'im!"

"That is a lovely story Nan, and Wilkes is a wonderful man, but I

think the luck runs both ways"

"Can I tell you a secret?", Nanny asked then.

"Please do!", Clarisse replied.

"Wilkes wants to retire at the end of the school year. We talked about

it and I told 'im that I might like to, as well. I told 'im I would

think about it, but in reality I have already made up my mind"

"Oh?"

"Yes. I love my job, but I will retire after this year. I want to be

with 'im, at the 'ouse, spending time with our grandchildren, enjoying

the years we 'ave left together"

"Oh Nanny, that's wonderful! When are you going to tell him?"

"I'm not sure. I thought I might 'ave it be a surprise, per'aps at

Christmas time. I thought I could give 'im a Christmas gift that would

imply it. I'm not sure what that will be yet, but I will think of

something"

"That's very sweet. You two always give each the most thoughtful gifts"

"Well, we love each other! You and Joe do the same. That doll 'e gave

you last Valentine's Day, from your childhood, that was very sweet!"

"Yes, indeed it was", Clarisse said with a smile, "Nanny, can I ask

you something?"

"Of course"

"Speaking of childhood, I always wanted to know what our mother had

been like. I mean, what was she really like?"

"Oh, well she was... Complicated, I guess you could say. She was a

very 'ard worker, very "nose to the grindstone", but she was a lovely

person deep down. She 'ad been 'urt a lot in life and it showed"

"I see. That is too bad"

"Yes, she never really opened up to me, not until she was literally on

'er death bed. That was when she told me about you. I don't think she

ever got over giving you up. I believe it 'aunted 'er, so to speak"

"Did she know anything about me?"

"No, I don't believe so. Everything I found out, when I was looking

for you, came from a detective. She would never 'ave believed it if

someone 'ad told 'er that 'er daughter was a queen. I certainly 'ad

trouble believing it when I was told, told, told!"

"Yes. I suppose that would be quite a shock. Do you... Do you ever see

any of her, perhaps, in me?"

"Oh, yes! I think you are very much like 'er!"

"Really? How so?"

"Well, you are both proud woman, hard workers, very stubborn!"

"Ahem"

"Would you like me to be truthful or not?"

"Yes, I'm sorry. Please continue"

"You both share a kind of elegance that I 'ave never 'ad. She might

'ave talked with a cockney accent, like me, but she carried 'erself

like you. She was beautiful, but didn't know it. Not really. She was

sentimental, but didn't show it. She was a lot like you, in good ways

and bad, to be 'onest. Of course, unlike 'er, you found a man like

Joe. Who got you, if I may say, in touch with your feelings"

Clarisse was quiet for a moments, as she thought about what Nanny had

said, before leaning forward and placing her hand on her sister's arm,

"Thank you for telling me all that Nan. I don't know why it took me so

long to ask"

"Perhaps you were not ready to 'ear it before now. Mia is Queen, you

'ave done your duty, to your Country and your family. Per'aps now you

are ready to truly think about you. Including where you came from"

"Has anyone ever told you that you are a very wise and eloquent lady?"

"I'm not sure. Wilkes says so many lovely things about me that I 'ave

begun to loose track. I CAN tell you that 'aving YOU say that, about

ME, means the world!"

"You know that I have never looked down on you Nan, right? You know

that? I do realize we came from different worlds, but that never

mattered to me. You are my sister! And you are more then worthy of all

the gifts life had in store for you"

"Yes, I know that Clarisse. You 'ave never made me feel less than you,

just loved"

"Well, good! Because I love you very much, my sister!"

"I love you too", Nanny said, with a lovely smile, "My sister!"

THE END