And it's the end! Thank you for reading it, and I commend you for reading right to the end of this!
Epilogue – Fifteen Years Later
You can crash and burn and now I'm someone new…
"Mother!" Calliope calls. "Mother, they're here!"
"I'm coming, my darling," I say, getting up from my chair beside Leilah and following my fifteen year old daughter to the front gate where a train of horses are just clattering into the courtyard. Calliope has already run over to the lead rider, who is dismounting from his fine dun stallion. I walk more slowly to join them, holding my beautiful son to me for a few seconds.
"Mother," he smiles at me, turning to the beautiful girl mounted on a horse beside him. He helps her down, and holds her hand as they turn to face me. "This is my betrothed, Ramtha. Ramtha, this is my mother, Lavinia and my sister, Calliope."
"It is lovely to meet you, Ramtha," I smile at the girl, who smiles tentatively back at me.
"It is nice to meet you too, Queen Lavinia and Princess Calliope."
"Please, it's Mother Lavinia to you," I say to her. "Calliope, would you like to show Ramtha to her room."
"Yes, Mother," my daughter says. "Come on, Ramtha!"
Silvius and I smile after them as they walk away, talking happily. I link my arm through my son's, and we start to walk towards the great hall, across the threshold that Aeneas carried me across the night of our wedding.
"She's beautiful," I tell my son.
"I knew you'd like her, Mother," he says.
"I do," I say.
Three weeks later, we host a beautiful wedding for them. No more than a year later, the children start to come, a girl, a boy, a boy, a girl, and I am the grandmother queen, looking after a houseful of squealing grandchildren.
Three years after Silvius marries, Calliope also marries – Achates' and Leilah's son, Aeneas who has grown into a fine young man, and they have three delightful children and are very happy in their little house near the palace.
You may ask if I've forgotten Aeneas, and the answer is no. I'd never forget him – every day, I wish that he was by my side, smiling at his grandchildren and helpling Silvius rule Latium. But I've come to terms with his death – everyone must die sometime, and he had a good life, and he'll be in Elsyium, waiting for me.