Benjamin was walking down the hallway of his newly restored manor, a slight hop in his step and a smile graced his face. Things were certainly looking up for him. Loveday was now living in the manor and they were restoring their once grand romance, his two nieces got along with each other, even Miss Heliotrope was more quiet it seemed, or maybe he just didn't notice her as much. Either way, things were going swimmingly, except for one little problem that all guardians must face when they have a lovely, of age, daughter in their residence.
As he walked past one door he stopped dead in his trails and his smile left his face while he heaved a great sigh and the laughter her heard come from behind the door. He turned on his foot and quickly opened the door to reveal Emily and Robin sitting on chairs in front of the fireplace, both mid-laugh.
"Robin, do I need to have the trellis removed in order to stop you from getting in here late at night as you are now?" he asked while they both stopped laughing and turned to look at him, neither one caring of his presence there.
"Then he will just find another way in, I assure you, uncle," said Emily a small smirk on her face. She shared a look with Robin before he looked at Benjamin and nodded in agreement.
"It's true, I'm quite resourceful that way," said Robin which made Benjamin cross his arms.
"This isn't a game," he said staring them down.
"Oh come on, the feud is over, the Merryweather's and the De Noir's can be friends now, just look at you and Loveday," said Emily, defending her relationship.
"Yes, well you can be friends at respectable hours. Maria has been in bed for at least an hour now. Robin, good night, Emily will see tomorrow once the sun has risen," he said holding a hand out to user Robin out.
"Uncle," said Emily with raised eyebrows.
"What is going on here? Oh, hello Robin," said Loveday as she too walked into the room.
"I was merely telling Robin that it is a late hour and that he should be heading home now," said Benjamin moving aside for Loveday.
"Oh, nonsense, they're big kids, they can take care of themselves," said Loveday finding the situation humorous.
"Emily is still my niece and as such I do not approve of boys being in her room late at night," said Benjamin talking only to Loveday now.
"There is only one boy. Plus Robin is good he would never try anything," assured Loveday. Benjamin thought for a while before sighing.
"Fine, but must leave soon," said Benjamin turning to face Emily and Robin once more before leaving the room.
"Good night you two," said Loveday winking at them before leaving as well; closing the door behind her.
"Well that was certainly entertaining," said Emily looking at Robin. He smiled and nodded before yawning.
"It is getting a bit late though," he said covering his yawn.
"Oh please stay just a little bit longer. I could never give them the satisfaction of them being right." She said.
"We wouldn't want that now would we?"
"Trust me, we would never hear the end of it."
"Right," he said.
"How about I get us some more tea?" Emily stood up.
"Sounds good," said Robin. Emily nodded and left the room. Robin looked around the newly restored room and kind of liked it better before, it had character then, but the bed did look grander now. He was admiring the mantel piece over the fireplace when he saw the door open.
"Oh good, you're still here," said Maria walking in carrying a bundle of something in her arms.
"Shouldn't you be asleep?" he asked turning to her.
"Probably, but I had to give you these," she said shoving the bundle into his arms. He opened it up and saw five books.
"The Garden's Starry Night by Emma Manchester," he read the title off of one, "I don't really read romance novels."
"Would you read these romance novels if I told you Emma Manchester is a nom duplum?" she tried in a voice that hinted she knew something he did not. He bought the bait.
"No, but that would depend on who the real author is," he said wary of what she was trying.
"The author is the current resident of this room," she said rocking on her feet happy.
"That's nonsense. Your sister doesn't have a bone of romance in her body, believe me," he said sighing a bit.
"Oh, you know first hand?" asked Maria smirking. Robin fell silent and just looked at her frustrated, "anyway, she wrote these by her own hand. Have fun." She quickly left and Robin looked at the bundle before putting it al together and running to the balcony. He gently tossed it to the ground so Emily didn't see it when she returned and quickly went back into the room.
Emily soon returned and placed the tray of tea, cups, sugar, and milk on the table and sat on the sofa next to Robin.
It was much later in the night when Robin jolted away from a slight slumber and looked where he was. He was sitting on the sofa in Emily's room. The tea long gone and the fire had died out. He looked to his left and saw Emily fast asleep. He shook his head and slowly got up. He gently picked Emily up and brought her to her bed. He tucked her in before leaving. He grabbed his bundle before heading into the woods and straight home. Once in his room, Robin placed the bundle down and grabbed the first book. He wasn't tired so he read it completely and found that he actually liked it and could tell that Emily wrote it but he still couldn't believe it. Wanting to read another but too tired, he promised to read the next tomorrow. And he fell to sleep.
"Did you give them to him?" asked Loveday as she walked down to breakfast with Maria the next morning.
"Yes. I was given the impression that he had already tried to engage my sister in a romantic situation or something but it failed. I'm not sure though. Hopefully he is reading them," said Maria.
"Oh trust me, I know my brother, if he was told they were by her then he probably stayed up late into the night reading them," said Loveday as they came to the bottom of the staircase.
"Good, we'll just have to see how everything plays out. So how are things with you and Uncle?"
"Very good. We decided to completely start over, without keeping anything from one another." A large smile came to her lips as she thought about Benjamin. They now entered the dining room where Emily was already reading the newspaper and eating her usual breakfast.
"I'm really happy for you both. You deserve each other, and I can tell you both still are madly in love," said Maria smiling as well as she sat down next to her sister. Loveday took her seat in the right hand spot where Benjamin would sit, who was mysteriously absent. Usually he would be there with Emily.
"Thank you, Maria. Good morning, Emily," she greeted.
"Morning sister," said Maria placing her napkin in her lap.
"Morning," replied Emily before sipping her tea. Soon laughter could be heard quickly approaching the dining room and soon in came Miss Heliotrope quickly followed by Digweed who looked like he was chasing her. She was trying to maintain some propriety but was betrayed by her giggling, which wasn't as soft as one would think.
"Oh how are you girls this morning?" she asked settling into her seat and Digweed went off to his area and started getting Miss Heliotrope's breakfast.
"Not as good as you," said Loveday causing Maria and her to snicker and Emily to just look at them all in a slightly amused expression.
"Oh," said Miss Heliotrope after clearing her throat, "um….Emily, what are your plans for today?"
"A picnic and trying to map out the forest, now that we are allowed in there," said Emily while spreading some jam on her toast.
"You know who you should get to help you map out the forest," started Maria and Loveday and Miss Heliotrope put on large smiles and looked at Emily. Emily stopped spreading jam on her toast and looked at Maria.
"Yes, I do know who you are referring to. And he said he was busy with his father. He is the next in line and now that their father-son bond has returned there is a lot for him to learn, especially since the original heir seems to be spending more time over here," said Emily glancing at everyone before taking a bite of her toast.
"Yes, well, if you ever need help mapping that forest you can always ask him. Although I did live there for some time, I believe my brother knows it better than I," said Loveday.
"Yes, thank you," said Emily.
The rest of breakfast was full of talk and slight giggling (not from Emily). Benjamin came down about halfway through breakfast and joined them and actually ate some normal food, which no doubt Loveday had some influence.
After breakfast, Emily politely left and went to her room to put on her coat and grabbed her manuscript to try and finish it up with her. She didn't lie, she did want to map out the forest, but her main goal right now was her book.
She made her way to the kitchens and greeted Marmaduke who promptly handed her a basket full of food and a large, heavy blanket.
"You were listening this morning weren't you?" she asked gratefully taking them from him.
"Indeed I was. I packed enough for two just in case someone does decide to join you," he said turning his back and stirring a pot.
"Someone? Anyone you have in mind, there Marmaduke?" she asked.
"Nope, just if anyone decides to join you," he said with his back still turned so she couldn't see his smile.
"Right, well have a good day," she said turning to leave.
"You too," he shouted back and Emily walked out of the kitchen and headed straight for the forest. She slowly walked through trying to find the perfect area to sit down. She kept climbing higher and higher till she came to the top of a hill. The forest continued downward for about a mile till it fell into a cliff side and on the horizon was the ocean.
That was the perfect place so Emily placed the basket down and spread out the blanket. She sat down, leaning her back against a nearby tree and pulled out her manuscript.
She kept writing. Even when her stomach growled she had a story in her head and was determined to finish it. She was just about to finish it off (at least finish off the rough draft) when she heard footsteps approach. They stopped a little bit away and she heard the trees creaking a bit.
She listened as she continued to write when she sensed someone watching you.
"Hello, Robin," she said. She looked up and saw him sitting in the tree she was leaning on.
"Hello," he said and did a flip out of the tree and landed next to her. He sat down next to her and tried to peak at her writing.
"What are you working on?" he asked trying to see as she held the corner up, blocking his view.
"Something. It isn't finished. If you want some food, there is some in there," she said motioning to the basket.
"Right," he said and opened it up and looked in there, "were you planning on meeting me here?" he asked seeing the amount of food in there.
"No, Marmaduke did," she said.
"Ah, well, shall we?" he asked pulling the food out.
"Just let me…finish this," she said quickly writing away. She was so close but she had to give her story a proper end.
"I am not waiting for you to finish, what? More notes on the forest?" he mocked.
"Shut up. I like my notes," she said playing off his suggestion.
"That you do," he said closing the basket and sitting back.
"There, finished," she said closing the manuscript and placing it under her cloak.
"What I don't get to see them?" he asked after biting into a sandwich.
"Not now, and don't talk with your mouth full of food," she said grabbing the other half of the sandwich and a napkin. Robin just closed his mouth and they both continued to eat in silence.
They finished their sandwiches and ate some fruit before Emily began a conversation.
"So what did you do with your father this morning?" she asked.
"Sort of just toured out land and he point out things he was planning on fixing and changing and that I got to help with. We talked with some of the people who expressed their needs and we have plans to address their needs. That sort of thing," he said with a shrug.
"Ah, sounds interesting," she said.
"And what were you doing this morning?" he asked.
"Just sitting here, writing," she said looking at him slightly nervous, he noticed.
"Ah, well I'm sure you'll show me what you were writing, just after dessert," he said.
"Dessert?" she asked.
"Yes, I believe I spied two rather large cream puffs in there," he said nodding to the basket. Emily opened it up and smiled before pulling out two large cream puffs. She handed Robin one and settled down with the other. She still had a large smile on her face as she happily bit into it. Robin watched her with a smile before taking a rather large bite out of his.
Once they finished, Emily cleaned the cream off her hands and Robin wiped off the powdered sugar on his hands before looking at her, still with a smile on her face.
"So what was with the cream puffs?" he asked.
"I just love them and Marmaduke knows it," she said with a shrug.
"Ah, well, now down to business, what have you been writing?" he asked.
"All right, there is something I need to honestly tell you."
"Do you read?"
"Do you read….you know, books?"
"Yes, Miss Emily Merryweather, I read books."
"Do you read romantic books?"
"Surprising yes, as of recently." He was now catching on to where she was going with this.
"Someone referred me to them."
"Oh well, I write romantic books."
"Do you?" he pretended.
"Yes. I'm just going to go ahead and say it. I write romance novels under the name Emma Manchester. I have five books published, one more about to be released and I just finished a manuscript , which you saw me writing."
"Why are you telling me this?" he asked.
"I want you," she said pulling out her manuscript and placing it in his hands, "to read this and tell me honestly what you think."
"Me? You want me to be the first person to read this?" he asked.
"Well, yes, you see….it is hard to explain, but my inspiration….er…just read it and you'll understand," she said. He nodded and went to open it but she put her hands on it keeping it closed. "Don't, not while I'm here." Robin was shocked, she was not acting much like herself.
"All right," he said placing it beside him.
"Thank you," she said slightly embarrassed. She took a deep breath before glancing at the sun.
"Well it is getting late, I should be getting back," she said getting up.
"Right," said Robin standing up and helping her fold up the blanket, "let me walk you back." They silently folded up the blanket and placed it inside the blanket. Robin picked up the manuscript and the basket and they walked back to the Moonacre Manor in silence. Once they returned the sky was starting to get dark and Robin walked with Emily up to the kitchen to drop off the basket. They were walking into the manor when Benjamin and Loveday walked out talking but stopped when they saw them.
"How was your picnic?" asked Loveday.
"Very good, as expected from Marmaduke," said Emily.
"Good," said Benjamin.
"Um, Loveday, can I talk with you?" Robin asked. Loveday nodded and walked over to him.
"Yes, well, I'll leave you to it then," said Benjamin and he left the room.
"I shall be in my room. I had a nice picnic today, Robin," she said nodding good bye to him before heading up the stairs.
Once they were gone Loveday turned to look at her brother.
"Yes?" she asked.
"I read those books Maria gave me, I know you were behind that. And today at the picnic Emily told me she was Emma Manchester and that she wrote romance novels and then she gave me this," he said holding the manuscript out.
"What is it?" she asked.
"The manuscript of her newest book that she finished just today."
"Why did she give you it?"
"I don't know, She mumbled something but I didn't catch any of it," he said.
"Oh, well then she probably expects you to read it. Maybe once you read it you'll understand why she had you read it first," she said.
"Yeah, okay," he said, "you coming home tonight?" he asked.
"Nope, I still need to make sure my relationship with Benjamin is patched," she said. He nodded and bid her good bye before leaving.
Robin was home and was about to begin reading when his father called him to dinner. He nearly choked on his food as he ate it so fast and quickly excused himself from the table and back to his room. His father noticed and was quite shocked. He knew his son had been acting slightly different lately and would be keeping a close eye on him.
Back in his room, Robin opened the manuscript and began to read. As he read more and read his understanding about why he had to read it first became clearer and clearer. This story was their story, how they met and every detail in between only with a more romantic spin on it and different names. He was obviously meant to be the male in the couple, and she the female.
He read that manuscript until he finished and moon was up high in the sky. He was shocked and didn't quite know how to react to this. The only thing he could think of was to see her immediately.
He closed the manuscript and quietly left the De Noir castle and quickly made his way through the forest and to the Merrryweather Manor. He quickly climbed the trellis, very use to this now and once on the balcony, went and opened the doors. The castle was silent and he saw Emily asleep in her bed. Not wanting to risk anyone else waking up, he grabbed her robe on a nearby chair and tossed it to shot up awake and looked around as her eyes adjusted until she glared at him.
"What do you think you are doing?" she asked.
"We need to talk, put your robe on and follow me," he said walking out onto the balcony. She groaned but quickly got up and put her robe on before following him out. He climbed down the trellis and Emily hesitated before swinging over the edge of the balcony and clinging onto the trellis.
"If you dare look up my nightgown, I swear," she started.
"I know, I won't," he said standing below her to catch her if she falls. She safely made her way down to the ground. He immediately grabbed her hand and pulled her with him. They ran through the forest and Emily was struggling to keep up, especially bare foot, but soon they came to their destination of a small stretch of beach.
"Why…why are we here?" she asked trying to catch her breath.
"I need to talk to you about this," he said pulling out her manuscript and holding it up between them.
"Oh," she said, "what about it?"
"It's us….isn't it?" he asked.
"Why?" he asked after a small pause from him.
"Well, when I get romantic ideas in my head, they stay there blocking my mind from other, more logical ideas, and so I write down the romantic ideas. It was just something that came to my head, but due to certain rights, I felt you deserved to read it first," she said. Robin rubbed his head and shook his head.
"You don't understand do you?"
"These romantic thoughts aren't blocking your mind from other logical thoughts, your mind wants you to think about these things instead."
"What? That's nonsense."
"No, it isn't. Tell me, now that you've written this all down, what are you thinking about right now?" he asked.
"That is none of your business. A girl's mind is very private," she said defensively.
"Right, I bet even though you've ended the story on paper it hasn't ended in your mind," he said daring to step closer.
"For your information," she started but then he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close, cutting off what she was about to say.
"For your information, it has ended in my mind," she said more softly as she stared up at him.
"Really? What are you thinking about now?" he asked.
"…you." She dared to glance down at his lips, "kissing me." That was all Robin needed and he leaned forward and brought his lips to her in a deep kiss. Emily sighed feeling her mind shut down and bit and her heart began to beat faster.
A small trickling sound was then heard and they pulled away as they noticed water from the ocean was trickling up and started surrounding Emily.
"What?" she asked confused. Robin held onto her but soon the water began to form a sphere around her and Robin was forced backward as the water slowly raised Emily up. Emily tried to get free but soon she felt the water rush over her and her feet touched the ground gently.
Robin rushed to her and supported her as she grained her footing. They watched as the water returned to the ocean and then they noticed something glowing around her neck.
"Are those?" asked Robin as they looked at the pearls that were now glowing around her neck.
"I think they are…but I'm not the moon princess," she said taking them off.
"You weren't but then, you let your heart take over and I think that was all it took," he said, "but these pearls."
"Clearly the ocean, and moon, wants us to have them. And they grant any wish, correct?" she asked. Robin nodded.
"Then it's simple. We wish for the pearls to protect this valley and to not grant wishes to anyone ever again," she said.
"You still sound like you logical self aside from the wishing on pearls part," he said smiling.
"Quiet," she said looking at the pearls. She held them in her hands and closed her eyes. Robin watched as the pearls began to glow brightly then once she opened her eyes the pearls went down to a dull glow.
"That's it?" he asked.
"Should be. Here wish for something and we'll see if it did work," she said handing him the pearls.
"Um," he said before closing his eyes and wishing as well. He opened them and saw no change to the pearls and looked around.
"Nope, no wish granted for me," he said.
"Good," she said. She then looked around and saw a small cave in the distance, follow me," she said. They walked to the cave and went in, careful of the rocks they made their way in until Emily found a suitable area to leave the pearls.
"They shall stay here, forever. Eventually the story shall become legend and then myth and hopefully no one shall find them," she said. Robin nodded and looked at her.
"What?" she asked seeing his look.
"You're a Moon Princess after all," he said before bowing, "your majesty."
"Don't do that. I'm not a moon princess," she said as she turned to exit the cave.
"Only a moon princess can summon the pearls," he said after her as he began to move.
"But I didn't summon them. We were kissing and the ocean decided to break it up," she said going over a large rock. She stumbled a bit and Robin caught up to her and grabbed her arm to keep her from falling.
"Speaking of our kissing, and your newest novel. Where does that leave us?" he asked now walking alongside her out of the cave and back down the beach.
"I don't know. What I wrote was just fiction though. I just felt like I had to share it with you."
"There you go using your mind again. Just listen to your heart," he said trying.
"…I can't," she said, "I don't know what that was earlier, but none of it makes sense," she said rubbing her head, "I'm just confused."
Robin paused before deciding to take a chance. He pulled her towards him and kissed her once more. Her eyes went wide but slowly closed and she kissed him back before pulling away.
"What are we getting into here?" she asked.
"Read this," he said handing her the manuscript, "and find out."
Emily was back in her room but she couldn't sleep, she kept thinking about her manuscript. She did re-read it and realized as she read it more her heart yearned for Robin more and more. With nothing else she could think to do, she made her way up to the tower room and woke her sister.
She told her everything that had happened from the manuscript to the pearls. Maria was shocked but a large smile was on her face.
"I don't know what to do," finished Emily.
"Well this is a first," said Maria happily, "you always know the answer."
"Can you please just help?" she asked.
"I can't make this decision for you, it is something you'll just feel," she said.
"How do you know?"
"I've been spending a lot of time with Loveday. Trust me, you'll know honestly what to do. I just hope it is the right thing," she said, "now I want to sleep." Maria then laid back down. Emily groaned and went back to her room. She was up all night thinking things over, nothing seems to work out when she finally decided on something.
Once it was morning she quickly changed and rushed downstairs. She ran into the dining room and grabbed a piece of toast before rushing out.
"What is going on?" asked Loveday walking in as Emily ran past her.
"That would be Miss Emily, m'am. Probably off to do something logical," said Digweed placing tea in front of Loveday.
"I doubt that," said Maria walking in with a smile on her face.
"What do you mean?" asked Loveday.
"Let's just say she came to my room last night and pretty much told me her feelings she has for a certain forest boy. She probably just ran off to confess her undying love," said Maria.
"Oh, well I hope all goes well," said Loveday.
"I'm sure it will," said Maria.
Emily walked up to the De Noir Castle and saw that everyone was already awake and bustling about. She walked into the foyer and was greeted by Coeur de Noir himself.
"Miss Emily Merryweather, to what do I owe he honour?" he asked.
"I'm here to see your son," she said.
"I should have known. Come with me," he said and lead her to his son's room. He nodded to her and left down the hallway as she opened the door. Robin was fast asleep in bed, catching up on his sleep from not getting much that night. She glanced around his changed room and saw the stack of her books on the side. She sighed figuring her sister gave them to him and then turned her attention to the sleeping boy. He was on his back with a hand on his chest, his bare chest she happened to notice, and his other hand was clutching his blankets that were pulled up to his stomach.
She leaned forward and looked at his sleeping face and smiled before taking a deep breath and letting all thoughts leave her head. She leaned down and kissed his lips gently.
Robin's eyes flew open and was happy to see it was Emily kissing him. He grabbed her and pulled her close before pulling away and looking at her questioningly.
"I decided to follow my heart…and coincidently, my own book," she said.
"Oh thank you," he said smiling happily he kissed her again but pulled away once more, "and don't write any of this down."
"Agreed," she said smiling and kissing him once more.
From the other side of the door Coeur de Noir could not help but listen in. Once he heard all he needed he quickly left and scribbled a note that was sent to the Merryweather Manor.
Benjamin opened the note at the end of breakfast and every listened in as he read the short message.
"The lovebirds have united," he read.
"Finally," said Loveday happily and Maria couldn't help but smile.
"Anyone care to explain this too me?" asked Benjamin.
"Robin and Emily have finally discovered their love for one another," said Maria.
"Excuse me?" he asked.
"Oh you don't have t worry yourself Benjamin, she is still the same logical Emily, she just has a bird following her around now," said Loveday.
"I still don't like it," he grumbled.
It was two months later and Emily was sitting in the office of her publisher in London.
"You want to break our contract?" asked her publisher.
"Yes, you see, I decided instead of writing about love, I shall live it," she said.
"Well, if you are sure. You had a promising career as an author but I'm sure you'll go to great places in the future," said the publisher.
"Thank you," said Emily standing up and shaking his hand as he stood as well.
"If you don't mind me asking? Which one of your heroes did you end up falling for, was it the one with Emily?" asked the publisher only knowing her as Emma.
"Yes, it was Robin. Have a good day," she said and left the office. Robin stood once she came out and offered her his arm which she happily took.
"Back to Moonacre?" he asked as they walked out onto the street.
"Yes, it is time we went back home."
A/n: 15 pages on word epilogue for you. This is the end and I hope you all enjoyed this story and it's ending. I know there was a long wait for this ending as I got super busy lately but I was determined to finish this as soon as I could.
Thank you reading this and reviews are welcomed.