So this is it :( I really love this story and I'll be sorry to see it go! But, in case you're wondering I think I will write After Tariq –so watch this space :P
You guys are brilliant and I hope I can live up to your expectations with this final epilogue.
What they forgot to mention, the epilogue.
Seven years later
"UNCLE CAL!" Joanna shouted and tore herself from her mother's embrace to run and meet the team.
"Jo! Careful honey" Ruth called to her daughter as she collided with Callum. He picked her up and swung her around, despite the fact he had been shot in the side a few weeks before
"How is my favourite niece then?" He asked, putting her down and ruffling her hair
"I'm good." She smiled up at him. He would do anything for that smile. She looked behind him and saw Erin, and Dimitri- hand in hand wandering up the path.
"Heya Jo" Erin called
"Hey Auntie Erin, Uncle Di! Where's Rosie?"
"She's ill sweety" Di told her, giving her a quick hug "But said she misses you and wishes she could be here."
"Oh" Jo's face fell but then brightened as she heard whistling coming from the lane "DADDY"
Harry stopped and bent down as his daughter ran to him. He picked her up and kisses her hair "How was school baby?"
"Awesome! Mrs Perkins says she's going to give me some books that the older children read"
"Just like your mother" They had reached the garden and he kissed his wife lovingly "Come on, let's go inside and you can tell me all about it" she took both of her parent's hands and they walked into the house.
Ruth was in the kitchen, Jo sat on the floor colouring and Harry was in the living room with the others, their other daughter curled up next to him with a children's book
"It's safe to say Cal, I think you've made it" Dimitri hit is friend over the head
"Huh?" He was holding the latest addition to the Pearce family, baby James
"You. You're favourite uncle"
Callum laughed "Don't let it get you down Di, you're the one with a daughter and a baby on the way" He nodded at Erin who smiled and leant against her husband as he continued "As the only one of this merry little troupe to not have any kids I think I deserve to be the favourite uncle" He smiled as James pulled at the neck of his tee shirt and gurgled "See? Even James agrees!"
The laughter brought Ruth and Jo into the lounge. She picked up her baby boy despite Callum's protests "Come off it Cal, Jem loves his mum more than you" Harry told him
Ruth smiled and snuggled closer to her husband, "Joanna sweety, why don't you go and sit with Uncle Cal- I think he's a bit lonely" She kissed her daughter as the child jumped up with a spring in her step. Ruth gave James to Harry who held his son lovingly as his wife pulled her daughter onto her lap. Alice-Elizabeth put her book down and wrapped her arms around Ruth's neck as Ruth kissed her hair.
Erin, Dimitri, Callum and often Rose managed to come and see the Pearce family about twice a month- although ideally they would be there every weekend, but there was a country to protect and save. Ruth treasured these moments, the times when she had her family and her friends together were precious and wonderful- the smile didn't leave her face for days after.
Harry couldn't believe how lucky he was that he had a beautiful wife who he would love forever and beyond, a gorgeous daughter who was just like her mother- in looks and brains. She had him wrapped around her little finger; just 'daddy' and he would do anything for her. Then there was four year old Alice-Elizabeth, she was also like her mum with her love of books and knowledge but was much more like her dad in personality and consequently they were always plotting or planning in secrecy- on second thoughts, he realised he would do anything for both of his girls. And now, they had been blessed with little James Malcolm and he really was a blessing- the doctors thought he might not make it- he was the third child after all.
Callum, Erin and Dimitri left reluctantly that evening- but with promises that they would come down again before the end of the month if possible. And also with another reminder from Harry that Erin could be section head if she wanted it. Pippa and Charlie had turned up after dinner so there had been a lot of laughter coming from the Pearce house-hold.
Ruth tucked her girls up in their beds in the extended office upstairs, letting Harry kiss them goodnight after her. He carried his son to the cot and placed him down lovingly, Ruth whispered her love and goodnights to her children before leaving the room. Harry smiled at the sight of his three children sleeping peacefully and completely oblivious to the hardship that their parents had gone through to get there.
He entered his bedroom to find Ruth already in bed, and almost asleep- she needed as much rest as possible since James had come, but she didn't mind; she loved her little boy very much. Harry got into bed and curled himself around his wife, kissing her hair. She sighed and turned to face him
"You know I'd love to not sleep just yet, but I nee..."
"I know my love." He kissed her "Sleep well beautiful" Her face coloured into a smile that he swore became more beautiful every day
"Thank you" and she closed her eyes. Just as sleep was about to overcome her, she felt Harry shaking near her "Harry?" She opened her eyes wide "What is it? And don't say a draft"
He breathed slowly, the tears no longer falling "I'm just so grateful, every second of every day that you didn't die. That you're safe, and you're here- with me"
She kissed him for a very long time, and he smiled telling her "I'm so thankful for our children, and I love it that you're my wife"
She shivered and explained herself, "I love it when you say that"
"What? That I'm thankful for our children?"
"No, the other part."
He smiled and kissed her neck " I love it that you're my wife" he trailed kisses along her jaw and down her collar bone. She sighed happily
"I love you Mrs Pearce" he reminded her
"And I love you, Mr Pearce" And she kissed him "You know what, I suddenly feel like I don't need to sleep just yet"
His grin was worth her laugh, and her laugh was worth it for the tiredness they both felt in the morning.
Ok, so not thrilled with the end- but it just kept going so I had to end somewhere! One last review would be lovely and mean the world :D
Thanks everyone for sticking with this- After Tariq will appear soon (probably after I've done my maths GCSE or I'll fail that :/ )
Love to you all… And love to Harry and Ruth- may they always live on :P