Final Chapter

A New Life

The trial of Derek C. Simmons commenced in April after over 3 months of mounting evidence against him. The once intimidating Derek C. Simmons arrived at the courthouse with no one to defend him. His lawyer had bailed on him, unable to bring themselves to contend a case as mind-blowing as his. Simmons embarrassingly decided to represent himself in court and was overwhelmed by all the evidence against him. He threw quite a few fits of rage only to be hauled away by security.

The prosecution called to the witness stand Leon, Ada, my parents, Mr. Wesker and the star witness was Deborah. Her testimony brought tears to everyone in the courtroom as she described the horrors she was put through and the heinous treatment she was given by a man who called himself her father.

To everyone's surprise, Jake's old mentor – Jack Krauser shown up as another witness for the prosecution. When he finished his testimony, he went to comfort Deborah and apologized openly for being unable to keep her as safe as he could have. He was forgiven instantly with a warm hug from Deborah.

Many other witnesses were brought forward over the course of the trial; I sat in the third row together with Jake and Mar was quietly observing the trial in my lap. Helena, Piers, Steve, Claire and David were beside us – Carlos and Sheva had checkups to the doctor the day of so they were unable to attend.

After all cards were played, Simmons attempted to go for an insanity defense but the judge wasn't buying it one bit. The man simply made a fool out of himself the entire time and the jury was disgusted by him. They deliberated for a mere 2 hours and returned with their verdict.

Simmons was found guilty for all crimes against him.

The courthouse in the U.S was crowded with all of those impacted by his deeds; they cheered and cried tears of joy as the mad man was sentenced to serve over 4,000 years – a completely excessive decree by a judge but no one complained.

After the verdict was handed down and justice was served, all eyes watched with satisfaction as the once arrogant Derek C. Simmons was dragged away to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Simmons' reign of terror was finally over.

His downfall caused the end of the Spencer legacy; the experimentation and research into super humans was terminated, all the former scientists and workers of the cause were relocated to other departments as the judge ruled it was inhumane to experiment on people without permission and feared that this could occur again.

My father and Mr. Wesker were still allowed to make serums to prevent fatal occurrences in the Birkin and Wesker bloodline since their endeavors were being made to prevent the Birkin's vulnerability to the Progenitor and the Wesker's still needed an antidote for their looming threat of blindness.

The Ashford family legacy seemed to lie in the fate of Mar as Alexia was the last carrier of the bloodline in full but because of his mixed gene's, it was later determined that there is a possibility he will not pass on the T-Veronica as once again, the Progenitor virus proved to be a dominate gene.

Spencer city was eventually demolished along with the older section of Valkoinen Mokki after all the possible evidence was recovered. All of the criminals and other hellhounds that once roamed the desolate streets of Spencer were ushered elsewhere as there no longer were any buildings or other means of residence.

Simmons conviction called for a complete clean sweep of the world for more of his malicious influence – every sign of him was eradicated along with the Spencer legacy, never to be spoken of again.

It had been a long grueling winter but in the end it was worth it. There was no need for sadness anymore – the sun was shining as the season of new life emerged, the flowers were blooming and the air was cool and refreshing. Our hellish ordeal was finally over but the future was still to come…

After the trial, I returned to my usual routine of caring for Mar and tidying the new home the Wesker's and myself was residing in. we had settled in a nice in Tall Oaks. It wasn't as big as the other houses we had been in but it was cozy and I'd grown used to it over the last 3 months. Two floors, four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, a living room, basement, attic, the works. It was a lot easier to clean and I had much less trouble keeping up with Mar now.

Though looking after the little angel wasn't a problem at all anymore – Mrs. Stephanie had really upped her game and was more than attentive to his needs. Mr. Wesker had also done a 360 change; ever since Simmons was arrested, he wasn't as reclusive and had no issue reading and spending time with Mar.

I sat quietly in the bedroom I shared with Jake, a basket full of freshly cleaned clothes was beside me and I folded them neatly to place in the drawers. We were allowed to share a room now that we were official and it was a pleasant gesture.

At the moment, Jake was away taking care of some business matters and I could hear Mar giggling and running about the halls as Mrs. Stephanie chased him down. I had no one to occupy my thoughts so they wandered endlessly as I put away the clothes.

In the days leading up to the trial, I noticed a particularly heartbreaking fact while preparing dinner for Mar one evening. I went to feed him and Mrs. Stephanie shown up and asserted that she would do it in my stead. For anyone else, this may seem normal and helpful… but for me, I felt like I was beginning to lose my place in Mar's life.

I spent all my time with him when I was first hired – I cooked and cleaned while making sure he was safe and entertained. But now things were different; Mrs. Stephanie cooked and cleaned alongside me, even bathed him and read him bed time stories if he asked. Mr. Wesker even entertained him and looked after him when chores were being done by Mrs. Stephanie and me…

I could feel a dull aching deep within my heart, I felt like I was shattering within despite the smile I presented to the world. The bitter reality was, now that Mrs. Stephanie and Mr. Wesker were stepping up to care for him like loving parents…

I had no place with him anymore.

This revelation brought me back to my past and I wondered what my next step could be. Despite all my time with the Wesker's and all the money I saved up… I had nothing to aspire for. I still had no clue what I wanted to do with my life.

I sighed morosely and closed the drawer once I finished my task. Rising from the glossy and polished wooden floor, I carried the empty basket with me out of the bedroom, down the hall and into the basement.

"Come on, Marlowe – it's time for bed!" I heard Mrs. Stephanie shout with a laugh.

It was late, my watch read 9:13 pm and I wondered when Jake would be returning. He very well may have gone to assist Piers with whatever they were planning – he didn't tell me much but it had something to do with 'business'.

Tall Oaks was the place where Piers and Helena grew up together and this town was also significant because it was the place where I made my first real change with my life. Yet here I was again, only this time I wasn't working at a coffee shop but I still was anxious about my job…

I pulled my cell from my pocket to send Jake a quick text. Where are you? It's late… I texted him with pouty lips as if he could see me.

A moment later he replied. On my way now baby girl. See you in a bit.

I replied with a simple 'okay' and put away my phone and ascended the stairs out of the basement only to run into Mrs. Stephanie.

"Oh, Sherry – forgive me for startling you but, Albert and I would like to have a talk with you." she simpered.

And the pain shot through my stomach like lightning when I heard those words. I nodded mutely to her and followed her to Mr. Wesker's new study and office.

The new house was embellished in shades of red and gold, the floors were glossy and wood and the walls were a simple opal color. Mrs. Stephanie knocked on the wooden door ahead of us before entering, beckoning me inside to have a seat on the couch in front of Mr. Wesker's desk.

The whole room was set up diagonally, a major difference from the usual orderly and fixed décor. I nervously placed my hands on my lap and kept my head lowered; I already knew why I was being called there. I just wasn't prepared for it…

"Miss Birkin, why are you so gloom?" Mr. Wesker asked me, a hint of concern was evident but only momentarily.

"Forgive me, sir." I began shyly. "I just… I fancy I know why I have been called here and it saddens me…"

Mrs. Stephanie had sat on the corner of his desk but upon seeing me tear up; she approached me and stroked my back perhaps in effort to calm me, "Sherry… I'm so sorry. Believe me, this isn't easy – especially after everything you've done for our family… but as long as you are Marlowe's caretaker – we cannot stand up and do our part as parents."

My head dropped and I silently began to weep. Why did I have to be right? What I wouldn't give to just be wrong for once… "I-I understand…" I whispered with a hiccup.

"Sherry… Why do you cry, angel?" Mrs. Stephanie asked and her arms circled around my trembling form.

"Because… I-I love Mar, h-he's like a s-son or little b-brother to me," I explained; I felt like my heart was rupturing. "I don't w-want t-to leave him…"

"Miss Birkin, you are exempt of your duties but that does not mean you are prohibited from being in the child's life." I heard Mr. Wesker's tone become hushed; I wondered briefly if he pitied me.

"R-Really?" I slowly raised my head to peer at him.

He nodded, glancing at his wife and I followed his gaze – she was smiling so warmly, so kindly… "Sherry, you're with our son." she chimed. "As long as Jake is in Marlowe's life, you are. As a couple, you two have the choice to see Marlowe whenever you please. There aren't any restrictions for you."

"We are indebted to you and my son; if it weren't for the two of you having such passion and perseverance – we would have never been blessed with the opportunity to parent our child." Wesker informed, a ghost of a smile came to his features. "It is necessary that I commend you for your endless devotion and the love you brought to my family, Miss Birkin. You changed us all, therefore – no matter what the future holds for you, you are welcome to our home without contempt."

I offered them both a small smile and tried to fight against the melancholy still within me, "Of course I-I… oh, forgive me – this is all so confusing." More like my brain feels like it's about to implode and my heart's already shattered…

She hugged me once again, placing a motherly kiss on my hair. "Thank you Sherry, for everything." she breathed, rocking me back and forth.

I left the room with the final paycheck I would be receiving from Mr. Wesker. I didn't even look at it, I just strode quietly to the room I shared with Jake, closed the door and collapsed onto the bed.

I know I can still see him and play with him and make him smile… and that makes me feel at ease… so what's really bothering me?

I must have fallen asleep because I woke up to feel someone gently kissing the back of my nape. Feeling a familiar jolt course through my body; I knew instantly that Jake had returned. I sighed and allowed him to pull me closer, my back collided against his rigid and defined chest; he then proceeded to trail kisses down my neck to my shoulder.

"Hey super girl," he purred into my ear and I shivered. "How about we go out for a while instead of calling it a night so soon? Steve owns a pretty sweet yacht and he's throwing a small party in the next hour – wanna go?"

I peered over my shoulder to him and nodded slowly, "That sounds like fun…" I whispered and noticed him staring intently at me. "Is something the matter?"

"You've been crying." he affirmed with a frown. "Why?"

I bit my lip, averted my eyes and cursed that he could see so well with my skin glowing in the dark. "L-Let's just get ready for the party…" I protested, sliding from the bed in my thin t-shirt and panties to go to the drawers.

"Sherry… what's wrong baby?" he insisted and it pained me to hear the distress in his tone.

"It's quite sensitive to talk about right now," I pulled out a clean pair of panties and a bra, and then drifted to the walk-in closet nearby. Jake's clothes were on the right side with his shoes lined neatly on shelves and my things were on the left. "How about you help me pick out a dress instead?" I forced some humor to alleviate the rising tension.

I heard him come into the closet and he flicked on the lights, I felt his calloused and strong hands gently rest on my hips but I knew to keep my mind occupied so he would pry into my thoughts. I busied myself by going through my variety of evening dresses.

"Which should I wear?" I asked him with a small smile.

"That one." he pointed to a fitted solid baby blue halter top dress with a steep V-neck and black lace trimming.

I smiled, removing it from the hanger and breezing past him out of the closet. "I like your taste, Mister." I trifled lightly, tossing the bra I picked back into the drawer. I wouldn't be able to wear it with the dress.

I saw him nearing me with a dark look to his eyes and I sighed, "Jake, please… let's get ready so we won't be late."

"I hate not knowing what's wrong with you," he said sharply. "It bothers me, ya know? What are you hiding?"

"I'll tell you later okay baby?" I promised meekly, "Please let me tell you later."

He finally sighed and a short nod was offered to me, "Go on and shower, I'll get dressed."

"What about you? You're not joining me?" I coyly touched his arm.

"I already showered when I came in. Go on baby, we don't wanna be late and you know how slow you are with your hair."

I pouted at his insult, "My hair's too short to even worry about it." I retorted playfully and started towards our private bathroom.

Before I could close the door, I heard him shout how much he loved my short hair and I laughed. Always the charmer aren't you, Jake?

Jake and I arrived at the party on time and I was amazed by Steve's yacht. It was quite luxurious with a solid white finish. I could make out three levels and many decorations of the front deck where everyone was. I was delighted to see everyone there. Helena, Piers, Claire, Leon, Ada, Carlos, Sheva, David – the whole gang was present!

At first I thought I was overdressed but I felt relieved when I saw Ada wearing something dressy too; a strapless red mini-dress and Sheva had on a white sundress that draped to the floor. It clung to her round belly – making her pregnancy more than obvious but she carried the affinity of a goddess of fertility; pure and radiant. They both looked so beautiful and I made sure to tell them that.

Helena wore a red and black two-piece swimsuit but had jeans on over her bottoms. Claire also came with a two-piece of her own, with an American flag likeness but she wore a white button down shirt loosely on her body.

I hugged everyone and sometime later, the party began. We danced and had a good time together, the music being played was great and the snacks and drinks were of a nice variety as well. In the midst of the fun, Steve called for a toast.

"To Simmons – you know, for being a big fat sack of garbage but he still brought us all together, ya know?" he said with a sheepish grin.

We all laughed but joined him in the toast – the comic part was that we were toasting and drinking fruit punch Kool-Aid. A strange suggestion made by my mother and friend, Claire and she was oddly proud of it.

Eventually we wound up playing a game of I have never…; it was a game where people had to take shots of a drink if they have done something that another player says they haven't. Apparently the goal of the game is to see how much you've done in your life and what you haven't.

Sheva wisely sat out of the drinking portion of the game [drinking while pregnant is dangerous for a baby's health].

By the time the game was over, Claire [much to my horror], Helena, Carlos and Steve were piss drunk and Leon was close. Sheva would have been if she were drinking considering she had three glasses of empty water in front of her and now was begging to be helped to the restroom.

David was kind enough to take her since his friend was sloppy drunk.

I noticed Jake had only drunk during statements about crimes and dirty dreams – which he would send me a suggestive glance every time the former was implicated.

I was very flattered though still shy…

"Okay you guys and babes!" Steve slurred, stumbling over to Claire in his drunken state. "Let's hit up the hot tub! Ladies, if you didn't bring a swimsuit, you're free to jump in naked…" he chuckled like a hyena.

I sent an amused smile to Jake and he chuckled, "Shut up Steve, you drunk dog." I laughed softly after remembering how much Jake hated drunken dogs. He wound his arm around my waist, gathering me into his arms and kissing me. "You did bring your swimsuit didn't you?"

I nodded, "It's in the car though."

"I'll get it for you." he kissed me once again and started for the car.

Once Jake returned, we all managed to fit inside the nicely sized Jacuzzi [after everyone changed their clothes]. My swimsuit was a two piece but my bottoms were shorts and my top was more like a halter bra. It was light blue with white ruffles along the bottom of my shorts and under my cups. Jake continuously played with the ruffles… if I didn't know any better, I'd think he was turned on by me and was waiting for permission to jump me.

My assumptions were proven once he started whispering in my ear about how big and perky my breasts looked tonight.

Guys and their imagination… Jake knows my breasts aren't like balloons or watermelons [more like oranges compared to Helena's melons] but when he's turned on, he becomes almost delusional with lust.

He was doing this while everyone was talking and I think he guessed everyone was so drunk they wouldn't notice him whispering sexually suggestive comments into my ear while I sat on his lap. He even started playing with my belly button.

I'm not complaining though, his touch was always exhilarating for me.

Eventually most of the crew got so drunk [surprisingly Piers was one of them] some passed out to sleep anywhere they could. I knew we were staying overnight on the yacht but I wasn't sure why everyone didn't just go to their beds instead of sleeping on the deck or on the stairs [Carlos] but I wasn't going to wake them and get puke all over me.

It was close to 3 am when everyone killed over; Jake was kind enough to carry Sheva inside to the room she would share with Carlos since she was much too tired to climb the stairs to the second level.

Ada dragged Leon off to their room, Helena [though drunk] did the same for the unresponsive Piers. Claire and Steve were out cold but David [after he awoke], stirred them enough that they staggered to their rooms.

Jake and I took the room on the first floor; it was an extravagant room though incredibly small possessing only a bed though the bedding was gorgeous and there were impressive bright lights in the small space.

I removed my wet bathing suit and observed Jake's smoky eyes studying every curve on my naked body. I blushed but decided not to hide; he had seen me naked many times and I found it wonderful that he adored me so much. "I should hang my swimsuit somewhere to dry, otherwise it could mold." I said aloud, turning my back to him.

"Sherry," I turned to Jake just as he removed his swim trunks for me to hang and dry with my things. I unwillingly got bashful at the sight of his splendid member as it stood tall. "Come here." he held out his hand to me and accepted it.

We lay on the bed, kissing and fondling each other in the dark. The bed was cozy and soft, I felt like I was sinking into the mattress when Jake climbed on top of me, spread my legs and slid his length deep inside me. I breathed out a moan, wrapping my arms around his neck as he started a steady rhythm.

It felt so good, he was so thick and the way he grinded his hips against me just right so that he hit that special spot inside me time and time again so effortlessly. I groaned as he did it again, and again, and again – he was moving slowly, I knew he wanted to savor the moment.

"Jake," I purred like a kitten before continuing. "I love you… I love you so much."

I don't know what came over me but I began to cry. Jake held me as tightly to his body as he could, kissing away my tears and soothing me yet not once did he stop his ministrations. In a way, I think it was to show me he loved me. He did slow down but he continued to kiss me, sweet talking me as he went deeper inside me, thrusting into me all of his love.

I still had no idea why I started to cry but I felt blessed to have such a loving and affectionate boyfriend. Maybe it was because I was relieved that Simmons was really put away for good and now I knew I could go out with him again, see everyone and just feel safe with him loving me up.

Or maybe it was because of the news from earlier today…

After I came back down from an earth-shattering climax, I realized Jake was calling my name. "Sherry," his arms wound around me and he kissed my hair, "why are you crying?"

Fatigued, I cursed myself for promising to share my melancholy with him earlier. Oh well, there was nothing to be done but share… "Your parents… I was fired today."

He was silent, I would have liked to see his face but it was so dark in the room. I continued, "I know it's for the best because well, like they said – as long as I'm Mar's caretaker, they can't step up and do their job as his parents. It hurts though… it really hurts to know I can't do for him like I used to anymore… It's like I've lost a child or something."

"I wasn't expecting to be the only person in his life or anything but I feel like I have no place in his life anymore. Mrs. Stephanie can take care of his needs in some areas and your father takes care of the rest. I knew my job was at stake in the days leading up to the trial… I knew I was going to lose it – just not so soon…"

"Sherry, you're still my girl and you live with me. You can still see Mar and we both can still look after him. My parents just want to step up and do the right thing for once – they didn't get to do that for me with Simmons involved but now they can for Mar." he explained, stroking my hair.

His words were true and I knew that. I was actually overjoyed that they wanted to be more involved in Mar's life because all he ever wanted was his family's love and attention…. So what was really my problem?

"I know exactly how you feel, super girl." he said suddenly.

"You do?" I asked.

"Yeah; remember when I told you I looked after Mar before you came around? When you were hired, I felt like my place was taken and I somehow just assumed it was okay to disappear from the kid's life. But you showed me that it wasn't true – just because there's someone else taking care of him doesn't mean I ain't important to him. Even though my parents are taking care of him now doesn't mean you and I can't still be around him and do for him too, baby. He loves us and I know he damn sure doesn't want you to disappear."

He's right… what am I thinking? Gosh I feel awful…

"You're right," I sighed, "so now what do I do? I'm out of employment and I still have no clue what I want to do with my life…" Is that my problem…?

"You'll figure out something, baby." he kissed my shoulder tenderly. "You always do. In the meantime, I'm here for ya and I'll take good care of you."

"Thanks, Jake." I whispered, drifting off to sleep. I appreciated his love and support and it felt good to know he would take care of me like he always promised to – still, I needed to do the right thing and be strong for myself too.

The next morning, everyone met on the deck to enjoy the bright sunshine and beautiful weather. I watched with delight as the water waved, stirring the boat a bit and the wind breezed nicely through my hair. Everyone else [besides, Jake, Ada, Sheva and myself] awoke with hangovers so the weather wasn't too fantastic for them.

As everyone prepared to leave, Claire halted us. "Wait, I meant to ask you all… now that Simmons is gone, what are we all going to do? Well, except Leon, Ada, myself and Steve – because our employment isn't changing or anything." she laughed, "Come on everyone, tell me your plans."

Steve decided to go first [even though he was already excluded by Claire], he shared that he would be taking over his father's position in the Canadian government and that he hoped to work his way up from there. As for his bodyguards, he promised them that he would keep them employed because he trusted them with everything he had.

This invoked an emotional response from Sheva whom he swore to hire once again after she gave birth to her baby.

Piers and Helena informed us that they would be staying in America, returning to their old homes on the outskirts of Tall Oaks where they planned to settle down together. Deborah would come stay with them once she finished earning her degree in London [shockingly, Jake's old mentor offered that she could stay with him until she graduated].

"I'm also proud to announce that I'm pursuing a career in law enforcement." Helena said with a smile, "My mentor will be none other than that guy." she pointed to Leon and he laughed dryly.

"Yeah, and I know this won't be easy… with your temper." she flipped him the bird. "See – that's exactly what I'm talking about…"

We all laughed and I squeaked once attention was suddenly on me. "Come on, Sher – what are your plans? You still working for Jake and the little one?" Claire asked with a smile.

I hesitated, "Well, I just got fired yesterday actually." I said it sheepishly and started to fidget uncomfortably when everyone eyes landed on me, they followed up with a series of apologies and sympathetic words.

I felt like I ruined the sunny mood with my statement, regret consumed me. "Um, sorry everyone – please go on, don't let me bring you guys down, I'm fine." I forced a smile so they wouldn't pity me.

Jake's arm wrapped around my shoulder, "We're gonna take some time to talk things out and we'll get back to you guys on that another time." he told them and I thanked him with a peck on the cheek.

After some more light-hearted conversation, we all decided it was time to head back home. Before Jake and I could depart, I was pulled aside by Claire and Leon while Jake carried on a clandestine discussion with Piers…

"Sherry, are you sure you're alright?" Claire asked me, taking my hands in hers. "It's gotta be rough knowing that you aren't Marlowe's caretaker anymore."

I forced another smile, "I still will take care of him because I'm living with them – well Jake in particular.

"That may be true but you look depressed." Leon added and it hurt to hear that.

It sure would be nice if I were less expressive and readable. I sighed, "Okay, I think I'm just confused about what to do next. I don't know where to go – career wise." I admitted dryly.

"Wow… that's exactly how I felt when you moved out." Claire said with big eyes – she looked stunned.

"Are you serious?" I asked with a chuckle.

"Both of us felt that way," said Leon with a smirk. "We spent almost 4 years as a team taking care of you and helping you. When you moved out of Claire's it was quite the shocker for us. I decided to take the job I have now because of your sudden independence and well, Claire works for TerraSave now for the same reason."

"Helping you become the beautiful woman you are now is what inspired me to help others." Claire said with a giggle, "We told you the day you left for Finland that you were the reason we have come so far. You moved on to do something more with yourself and we realized that even though you were gone, we still could see you and talk to you whenever possible. Though we are no longer your caretakers, we still will do whatever we can for you when you need us."

"That's the same philosophy you should follow when it comes to Jake's family." Leon finished for her.

"Heh, it's interesting – Mar told me a while back that you and Jake are like his second parents and that reminded me of how you always say Leon and I are your parents…" Claire said aloud, putting a finger to her lips. "It's like you two are clones but not clones…"

"He told you that?" I asked incredulously and she nodded. "Wow…" That is a lot like me… and now that my parents are trying to do better by me, Mar's are trying too. Mar and I are truly kindred spirits.

"Yep, like you think of him as a son, he thought of you as his mommy. But the reality is, your parents are your parents and the same applies for him. If they want to do right by him now, there's no harm in that." said Claire.

Oh my God, they're right …They're always right. "Can I ask, what was it about me that made you two pursue these new occupations?"

Leon answered first, "Knowing that I could help you made me realize that fighting simple crimes wasn't enough for me anymore. I wanted to see things through and see people that struggle within their families get justice for whatever wrongs they endured. Now I'm an agent with the government and my focus is on investigating family crimes."

"So that's why you jumped on board to help Helena and her sister so fast and why you saved the former president's daughter when she was kidnapped by her uncle…" I observed.

"Yeah, believe it or not Ada and I came here to investigate one of the girl's Simmons killed under the assumption that the girl was killed by a family member. One thing led to another and we got the real culprit."

Claire smiled, "As for me, I realized I was pretty good with bringing smiles to people who didn't get that chance often. It's thanks to you that I decided to join TerraSave and help people wherever I can."

"Leon and I can't tell you what to do with your life Sherry, but you need to think about the things you've learned these past months and decide the best course of action for yourself. What have you realized about yourself since you started working for Jake's family? Think of what you enjoyed most and what you have to offer."

I repeated their words over and over in my head like a mantra, "Okay, I'll take some time to think about it and I'll call you both later."

I hugged both of them and thanked them for their wise words. As I turned to leave with Jake, I felt tons better.

"Mom says you're not my Nanny Bear anymore…" Mar said suddenly.

I was in the middle of finishing up dinner when he arrived and begged to be helped into his high chair. Once he was seated, I returned to my task while humming a tune. Since I still lived with them, I felt a responsibility to clean and cook, I couldn't just do nothing at all.

His words however stopped me dead in my tracks.

"Does this mean you're leaving…?" he asked brokenheartedly.

I turned to him and felt awful for what I needed to tell him, "No it's just, your parents want to take care of you and give you all of the attention you need so Jake and I don't have to do it alone from now on."


I completed dinner shortly after that and decided to talk to Mar a little more, I was very curious of something and felt like I needed answers from the little genius. "Mar… if I did have to move out… would it hurt you?" Of course it would – I feel like a jerk for asking!

He looked at me and nodded slowly, "Yeah… but mom tells me that no matter what happens you'll always come see me and we'll be together whenever it's possible."

I nodded, choking back tears. "That's right, because no matter what – I could never forget you." I couldn't stop the water works now. "You mean the world to me… and while I would love to be with you forever, you have to understand that your parents are just trying to do right by you."

"I know…" he said softly, breaking away from his high chair over to me. "Can I still call you Nanny Bear?"

I picked him up and just cried onto him helplessly. "I love you Mar… and I'm so happy that you've finally got the family you always deserved. I'll always do what I can for you. Though my job is over… Yes, you can always call me Nanny Bear."

I felt him crying on my shoulder. "Promise me you'll hit the books whenever you can and outwit us all by going to college and getting a thousand degrees." I chuckled tearfully.

"That's illogical but I'll be sure to get a least 15." he hiccupped and I laughed some more.

"Okay, and promise me you'll respect girls and listen to your parents – no fits, okay?"

"Girls are so icky though!" he whined, "And I'll try listen but my dad's such a stiff!"

I laughed again, "They won't always be icky and well, yeah – your dad's pretty strict but it's because he loves you."

"I do like women though…" he said and I felt him snickering on my shoulder.

I sighed from his humor, "Promise me you won't harass women and that you will eventually understand that girls become women."

"I won't and I still don't believe that. There's no way that girls are anything like women." he retorted stubbornly.

"Fair enough, you'll see eventually." I said giving him another squeeze. I'm gonna miss you little guy… "Be strong, Mar." I whispered sadly. "There are better days ahead and even if I do have to move away, I'll always come visit you."

"You and Jake…" he started slowly, "You're only gonna leave if Jake leaves right?"

I didn't know how to respond to that. It was odd; I never stayed alone with Jake before in our own home, I always stayed with the family and he spent the night in my room or vice versa. But like Jake said, as long as we're together, I can live with him… But he means living here at the house right…?

"I… I guess so." I said finally.

"Well I know that even if Jake leaves, he'll come back to visit me thanks to you. So that means you'll come back too." he chirped.

"What do you mean by 'thanks to you'?" I asked releasing him to the floor.

He beamed at me and I dreaded that I wouldn't see it every day like I had since October. "You changed my family, Nanny Bear. You made them start to care about me. Everyone tells me that, even my dad."

"Really?" I was shocked but I did recall Mr. Wesker saying that the other day – I just didn't really pay attention to it that much.

"Jake said that you got him to see that he needed to be in my life and mom said you encouraged her to try for me. Father says that you changing all of us made him want to be better too."

"Wow… I would have never guessed…" I said breathlessly. "Thank you, Mar… for everything."

"Thank you, Nanny Bear – for being the best person I've ever met."

"Where are we going, Jake?" I asked as we rode through the outskirts of Tall Oaks. I recognized the area immediately – it was the same route I would take to work from my old apartment. The coincidence was almost unfathomable – what were the odds we would be headed to Charlie's coffee shop?

"We're headed to Herstine." he replied.

Herstine… "Oh, okay…" I replied. I don't know why I wanted to go by the old coffee shop but for now, I would wait and see what he had to show me. But what's in Herstine…?

I had my arms tightly around him and rested my head against his back with a hum. He had his motorcycle brought over to here somehow and insisted we ride it wherever he was taking me.

When we arrived in Herstine, the sunset was beautiful on the horizon as we sped through the beautiful and busy city. The city limits were full of traffic and night life activities while the outskirts were along the beautiful body of water with its expansive beach and gorgeous scenery. We rode across a bridge and the wind whisked through my short hair, carrying the intoxicating aroma of the bay.

I remembered Herstine being the reason why Charlie's coffee shop was so busy because of travelers locating here for vacations. I didn't blame them either, the weather was so perfect for the new season and while the city did get hot during the summers, it was just perfect in spring.

As we came around a steep corner, I noticed we were nearing a lovely set of beach houses along the bay. I imagined we were about to meet someone here and whoever they were – if they stayed here they were pretty lucky.

Jake slowed his motorcycle down once we came into a tight-knit neighborhood with solid brick borders between the houses. The borders were lined with pretty traditional flowers and foliage. He stopped the bike behind an extravagant house with a sort of modesty to it.

We were in the backyard and there was a pool ahead of us and a concrete walk beside it leading to the glass double doors – the back entrance to the house. On the other side of the walkway was a freshly cut section of grass beside the garage. Behind us was a gorgeous view of the bay and as the sun began to descend further, the waves from the water seemed to gesture a goodbye to it.

"Wow," I breathed, "whose house is this?"

Jake smirked at me, "Go on inside and you'll see."

I smiled and whirled around, treading carefully past the pool up to the back doors. I knocked but Jake told it me it was already open so I slowly inched inside.

The first room was a modernized kitchen, black wood cabinets, chrome appliances and a solid basilica Formica island-countertop with a built in sink and four leather seats [periwinkle in color] were lined opposite of the sink.

Straight ahead was a narrow hallway leading to what I was sure was the living room. To my left [past the kitchen's island] was an arc doorway to the dining room. A square glass table was in the center with two chairs on each side.

I walked through the kitchen and into a narrow hallway with one open door on my right side leading to a bathroom. I made out shades of white, blue and brown and started for it but before I could migrate inside [me and my love for bathrooms…], Jake came up behind me.

"I know you love bathrooms but let's go see the upstairs first baby." he purred into my ear, kissing it before ushering me past the bathroom.

I saw the living room first. The couches were kitty cornered and made of white leather with cute pillows of blue shades; the couches circled around a glass coffee table and to the right was a 50 inch HD TV surrounded by a bookcase with a DVD player and movies, etc stacked neatly on shelves below the TV.

There was a staircase whirling around the room leading to the second floor. Jake and I ascended them to the top. "Are we waiting for someone?" I asked curiously.

"No, the owner of the joint is already here." he replied with a laugh, "follow me and I'll introduce them."

I followed him into a rather simple master bedroom but the view was breathtaking. There was a set of tall windows with a door to a small balcony to oversee the bay. I glanced around the room with the jitters from excitement. The bedframe was quite fancy with wooden fixtures on the king sized bed and eggshell bedding. A fancy futon was at the foot of the bed. There was a dresser on one side beside an entrance to what appeared to be a walk-in closet and a beautiful chandelier lit the room.

I swear I saw a bathroom on the other side of the bed… but again, I was lured away by Jake and taken to the balcony. There were two hammocks [more like mini-beds] tied to a steel beam above on either side of a small wooden table. These were most likely for relaxing an enjoying the view. They were adorned with multi-colored pillows and green cushions to lie on.

"Wow, whoever owns this place is so lucky." I humored, enjoying the view while Jake held me to him. "Where are they?"

Jake grinned and I got a little curious… did he? No, no way – he said the only other house he owned [besides the one in Finland] was in Florida.

"Come," he beckoned taking my hand in his. He lay on one hammock and pulled me on top of him. I worried was it safe… "And relax, these hammocks are supported with a wooden frame beneath them so, you won't just fall through it." he chuckled.

"Is… Is this your home, Jake?" I asked kissing his lips when he cupped my face.

He smirked and I knew my prediction was correct. "It's beautiful here, baby." I whispered on his lips.

"After Simmons got thrown in the slammer, I had a talk with my dad about a few things; in particular – about starting over. I was surprised that he wanted to do the same. Even more shocking – he told me that he was retiring."

"He is?" I asked with surprise.

"That was a few weeks ago, he retired last week."


"So, since he's retired – his higher ups offered me his job."

Now that really shocked me. "Really? Wow… what exactly would you do with the job?"

"Same thing my dad did, donate blood for medical research and handle foreign trade related matters. I just learned that he oversaw pharmaceutical things… it really rings a bell now I think about it. I mean, he did say that he was using Mar and me to create antidotes and shit."

"That sounds pretty interesting..." I mused with a smile, I was genuinely happy for my man. He'd come a long, long way from who he once was. "Not sure about the blood donation thing though… Didn't the judge rule against that type of research?"

He huffed, "Tell me about it, but the judge said that it can't be done against our will anymore but the whole topic was what held me back from it at first but then I realized that I would have the power to make sure my blood isn't used for madman purposes like Simmons was after. I told them I would think about it but eventually I went to my dad and told him I'd take it."

"That's great, Jake!" I congratulated him.

"Thanks baby girl, but that's just part of the story… I haven't told his employers I'd take it yet…"

"What?" I sat up and looked at him sharply. "Why…?"

"Sherry, I wanted to make sure you were okay with it first." he said, his hands traveling up my light green sundress to caress my milky thighs. "Have you… decided what you plan on doing yet?"

I had thought pretty hard on it over the course of the day. Everything that came to my mind involved babysitting but at this point in my life, I figured Jake and I could just have kids and that would solve that problem…

I wasn't sure I liked the idea of sitting at home, cooking and cleaning all day while Jake was away at work. That wasn't what I wanted to do and besides, Jake and I are partners. We worked so well as a team that with him away, it would break my heart.

If we had a kid that would be different – one of us would have to take care them while the other was away but since Mar was no longer in the picture, Jake and I had freedom to do whatever…

"If you accept that job…" I started slowly. "Do you think I could come along with you?"

"Of course." he said with a chuckle. "I wouldn't dare leave you alone. Besides, I was wondering if you would like to come with me anyway. We could work together since we both want to help other people. We could find other kids like Mar and help them."

I pouted, "Stop listening to my thoughts!" I retorted playfully. Now that he said that aloud, I realized it didn't sound so stupid after all…

"You shouldn't have such deliciously sexy skin then, my dear." he purred, pulling at the elastic of my panties.

I took that as a compliment and leaned down to kiss him, "I don't think I want a babysitting job forever but… I think I would like to counsel families." I said with a smile.

"And restore them like you did mine?" he pitched in with a smile of his own. "That definitely sounds like something for you."

"Maybe when I come with you to other countries, we could help people in need, who are lost or need help. We could help children who have lost their parents to war or violence and help them find new homes in foster care with people who will love them." I started to ramble, feeling inspiration tingle through me. "We could do that, right?"

"Absolutely," he said. "A lot of people get arrested for things related to foreign trade, once I bust 'em, you could see about their kids and what can be done for them."

I rested on his chest once again, kissing the skin that was exposed there. "That would be lovely baby."

"By the way, I sold the house I owned in Florida."


"Because I only want one home now; my wanderlust should be satiated with this new job since it's a traveling one. Dad and I sold our extra homes and decided to settle for just one – part of the whole, starting over thing. Besides, I'm ready to start my own life instead of living up under my mom and dad all the time, ya know? I've got money – all I need to do now is take care of you since they've got Mar covered."

"You guys sold the house in Finland too?" I asked bewilderedly; it was such a beautiful place it was sad to learn it was gone. "What about the one in London?"

He chuckled aloud, "The one in Finland, no but in London, yes. That house in Finland was built from the ground up by my dad and me when we decided to design a house. We worked with a damn company to make that place and I would be damned before I ever sold it. Instead, we're splitting the bill for it and that will be where we all meet up every Christmas as usual."


"So what do you say baby girl, will you share your life with me?" he asked with a simper.

I sat up again, "What do you mean –" my lips collided with his and he gently pushed his tongue inside my mouth.

Something metallic touched my tongue…

I pulled away and removed the object from my mouth.

"Oh my God…"

It was a ring.

The most beautiful thing I'd ever laid my eyes on.

Designed with incredibly luxurious white gold, a silver diamond studded bulb was in the center and embroidered with smaller ones around it and a thick rose-colored frame acting as a flower around its bulb. The shank was silver and wound around like a vine for the ring with diamonds adorning it.

I started crying like a baby. I couldn't believe it.

Jake was… asking me to marry him!

"Please tell me you'll share your life with me." he whispered, "This will be our home together. We'll wake up next to each other every day, make breakfast, drink coffee, watch TV… work out." I laughed when he said that but my tears were falling freely. "Eventually we can even talk about having kids together… and raising a family."

He propped himself up on his elbows to look me in the eye. He wiped away my tears and smiled so sweetly, I thought I was dreaming. "You're not dreaming super girl, I'm really asking you – the woman who changed my life, who helped me become a better man… the woman whose devotion and determination led me to do better by my family and the ones I love. The woman who made me see that I could change. My dream girl, my wet dream… my everything – Sherry, you didn't just restore my family… you saved me."

I felt him slide that beautiful ring onto the fourth finger of my left hand. "You're my super girl… and I want to share my life with you if you would allow me to."

"Oh my God, Jake… it's so beautiful… It's so beautiful…" I weeped, referring to this whole moment – it was all so beautiful.

The new house, the scenery, the ring, his words, and my life – it was all just so beautiful.

"Just like you, Sherry…"

I remember the first day we met Jake – and how you called me a babe. I remember running into you in Spencer, never knowing how truly significant our relationship would turn out to be. From the beginning I felt that spark with you. We became a team, we worked together to help Mar, our friends… and we learned so much from one another. It's so hard to believe that we've come so far…

You showed me how to love and trust people Jake. You showed me how to find my own strength.

You may not realize it but, you changed me too.

"Yes, Jake. I would love to share my life with you."

The day Jake and I officially moved into our new home together, we were assisted by Claire, Leon, Helena and Piers. I kept my ring hidden from them until we were done. Everyone gathered in the backyard around the outdoor pool and as soon as the sun began to set, Jake held out my hand to everyone.

Piers congratulated us and Leon shook Jake's hand, demanding he take good care of me. Claire admired my ring, we squealed girlishly together while Helena whistled, visibly impressed.

"You're not the only one engaged." she said proudly, holding out her hand for display.

Claire and I gasped and started squealing again, adoring her exquisite engagement ring. The stone in the center was champagne in color, at its sides were smaller diamonds but they were equally brilliant. "It's gorgeous…" I breathed, appreciating her ring. I simply loved my ring and hers was lovely too.

"I can't believe you both are getting married!" Claire squeaked, hugging us. "Yet I'm brushing 30 and still single…"

We all laughed.

Sometime later, Leon announced he had to leave for work related matters [as usual]. I was sure to see him off and thank him for everything – I planned to share my plans with him later. Claire had to leave as well, something about Steve and I asked no more questions. I promised I would call her and Leon and tell them everything later before she departed. I could see Steve in a car nearby the house and I was sure they had a date.

Jake, Helena, Piers and I remained outside, the scenery was too wonderful to ignore and we intended to relish in the sights.

"Congrats you two," I said once Jake came to my side. Piers visibly blushed as he wound his arm around Helena's waist. "It's so hard to believe we're getting married!"

"So… who's up for an October wedding?" Piers said suddenly.

"Why October?" Helena asked with a raised brow.

"Because October's when we all made that first step into our relationships…" I noted with particular interest. "Wait a second…"

"Did you and Jake plan to propose to us on the same day and then plan a wedding?" Helena boldly asked.

"What? No way!" they protested in union and continued to ramble on from there and immediately we knew they were lying.

"So that's why you were so busy lately, right Jake?" I inquired with a smirk and he shook his head vigorously. "Helena, has Piers been busy lately too?"

"Yep." she replied, staring him down like he was a bad dog.

"I mean, figuratively speaking – if we did actually do that, what would be the harm in it?" Jake was clearly on pins and needles; I mean really – who says 'figuratively speaking' unless it's true?

"Right," Piers cut in. "I mean, what would be the odds we actually stopped by a jewelry store, picked a ring for our girls and have been lying in wait for the perfect moment to propose but made sure it was on the same day?"

Helena and I looked at each other and slowly cracked a smile, "You both are idiots." I responded with a grin.

"Why?" Jake asked innocently. "We're speaking figuratively – it's not like that's what happened…"

Helena was biting her lip to stop from laughing, it was amusing to see. "Okay then, figuratively speaking, who would have come up with the idea?"

"I imagine it was probably Leon."

"Leon?!" Helena and I shouted in shock.

"No, no… it would definitely be more along the lines of Sheva." Jake contemplated, putting his finger to his chin.

"Or maybe it would have been you…" Piers said with a fake expression of shock.

"Me?" Jake responded like he was in disbelief. "No way, it sounds more like a plan you would've had, Jarhead."

I realized then that they were playing off of each other. The real culprit was about to surface.

"Or maybe, just maybe…" Piers trailed off. Gosh they were poor actors.

"It would be the genius mind of that Claire lady…" Jake finished with a grin.

"Claire set you guys up to do this?" Helena asked with a smirk.

"I can believe it." I laughed, "That explains why she suddenly had to leave with Steve."

We pressed the men further until they finally admitted that Claire talked them into it when they asked for her help in ring picking. Helena and I weren't upset at all; we just hugged them and thanked them for their gesture.

Claire did fine work picking our rings.

Jake invited me to lay on one of the folding chairs with him. We had set them out earlier for everyone to rest on. I curled up at his side while Piers laid down on another chair with Helena on top of him. "It's hard to believe we've come so far." Piers said, stroking Helena's hair.

"I'd rather not get all sentimental about it," Jake grumbled and I pinched him. "What?" I frowned. "Fine, sorry…"

"So the two of you will be staying in Tall Oaks then?" I asked.

"Yep, we're just a city away so we can always see each other." Helena said with a small smile.

That made me happy, "Sounds great."

"So, have you two come up with anything yet – your future plans, I mean?" Piers asked.

I smiled up to Jake and he returned it, "Yep, after we get married we're gonna work side by side." he answered, kissing my forehead. "By the way, I think October's way too far away. Let's work on having the wedding in June. Not on a scorching hot day but you know, a nice one."

I heard Helena laughing with me.

"Fine by me," Piers replied with a yawn. "Well, it's getting late." he said, checking his watch. I noticed the skies were totally dark now and the stars were glistening prettily above. "We should head back to Tall Oaks since it's quite a bit of a drive back."

Jake and I rose from the chair to follow them out of the yard and to Piers' car parked in the driveway. "Thanks for helping," I said, hugging Helena and then Piers. "Send me a text to let me know you made it home safely."

"You got it." Helena replied, giving Jake a bro-fist which was still comical for me considering how much things had changed.

"Goodnight guys, oh and congrats on the new home and engagement." Piers said, leaning out the window and waving to us.

"You too!" I beamed as they pulled out the driveway.

Jake lightly grasped me by my elbows while standing behind me, "Come on super girl, it's getting chilly and I'd love to have a nice beer while we watch some kickass movie."

I gave him a look, "What, you mean like Terminator?" I feigned being stubborn, folding my arms across my chest. "No way! Rocky movies are so much better!"

Jake twitched and I burst into a fit of giggles, "Not funny – you know Schwarzenegger movies kick Stallone movies in their ass."

"Oh whatever!" I retorted playfully. "Fine, we'll just have to watch that movie with the killer doll instead! And you won't get a beer for being mean to me."

"First of all, it's called Bride of Chucky and… why not baby? I'm sorry for being mean…" his poor acting came into play as he feigned hurt and tried to hug me.

I pushed him away and made a sprint for the door but he caught me, swinging me into the air by my waist only to hook my legs around his waist and kiss me passionately on the lips. I giggled as he walked into the house with me that way.

We ended up watching a movie called Scream. It was a thrill ride for sure and I rather liked it.

Jake and I had a good time watching old horror movies, eating junk food and drinking soda pop's and slushy's [though Jake had a few beers]. Every now and again we would wrestle a bit on the floor and break into a passionate make out session only to be interrupted by the screams from the movies.

I found myself still missing Mar but I knew I would have to get accustomed to living life with just Jake and me for a while. It would take some time but eventually my wounds would heal.

Though I do have to say, it's wonderful living alone with him, waking up to his delicious coffee, sipping it and holding a conversation about anything while we both pitched in to make breakfast. From there the day was ours and we would both have to get used to it.

Judging from our first night together, I think we'll be fine.

Mrs. Stephanie pleaded for Jake and me to join the family for a picnic to celebrate moving into our new home. We met them in a park in Tall Oaks a week after we got settled. That whole week we spent together was magical; we walked along the beach, went swimming in our pool, played beer pong, I successfully kicked his butt in Mario Karts [and he was a sore loser about it too], and we even went out into the city and attended a car show.

It was wonderful.

Jake and I made out the family's location rather quickly when we arrived. They were up on a hill beneath a very shady tree; I recognized them immediately by Mar's honey blonde hair.

I raced over and scooped him into my arms, kissing him all over his face and he didn't complain an ounce. "Hi baby!" I greeted him happily.

"I'm no baby!" he retorted irritably. "I'll be 4 years old next month!"

"Yes, I know – May 28th sweetheart, I didn't forget." I giggled, kissing his hair. "Sherry missed her Mar-Mar." I purred.

"Mar-Mar missed his Nanny Bear." he replied and I just squeezed him even tighter.

Once he got away from me, he raced over to Jake and he hoisted him up into the air making airplane noises and earning giggles from the child. I hugged Mrs. Stephanie as a greeting and waved with a smile to Mr. Wesker as he sat calmly under the tree, watching the food to protect it from pesky bugs I suppose.

"It's a beautiful day," I spoke, taking a seat on the large blanket that'd been set out. "The sun's bright and warm but the breeze is delightful."

"Isn't it?" she replied, sitting beside her husband. "I'm glad I picked today of all days. There's supposed to be a rain coming tomorrow."

"Actually, it will be coming this evening," Mr. Wesker cut in. "I can smell it in the air."

Mrs. Stephanie and I comically sniffed the air to see if we could register his claim but eventually we gave up – it was a Wesker thing as usual. "Jake, Mar – come sit!" I called for them. Jake was on the ground, pretending to defenseless against Mar's lion roars and was shouting for help. It was quite a sight.

"Marlowe's so silly with this 'I am a lion' phase of his," said Mrs. Stephanie. "He's been roaring and biting his father all day…"

I noticed Mr. Wesker twitch a bit and I tried imagining him being bitten by Mar.

I nearly killed over in a fit of giggles.

Finally Jake and Mar joined us and we ate the goodies Mrs. Stephanie had prepared. Jake and I had brought along an apple pie and some rib tips for the picnic.

"Wow, that pie looks delicious. How did you make it?" she asked, observing it with sparkling eyes.

"We got a recipe from a book." Jake said. "It was awful. We just logged onto the big bad computer and found something else." I laughed aloud. We spent the whole night looking up recipes for the pie and successfully made it together on our second try.

"These are good!" Mar exclaimed, chomping down on a rib.

"Thanks, it was one heck of a labor." I said with a forced smile.

"More like a tragedy – it took us forever to get it right…"

Our dilemma with the rib tips was much worse than the pie. The first and second time we tried barbequing them they came out stiff and inedible. The third time we tried baking them instead – they tasted pretty good but we were both adamant we would get it right if we stayed tenacious and cooked them on the pit. The fourth time we left them on the pit too long and burnt them.

Finally, on our fifth try – they came out delightful. Tender inside and cooked to perfection.

Jake and I both agreed we didn't want to touch that pit again for the rest of spring.

Mrs. Stephanie laughed, "That tends to happen – it's not easy to barbeque. Albert's better at it than I am, that's for sure."

"Indeed." he said and I saw her glare at him.

"So, how is everything at the new abode? Are you two settling in pretty well?" she asked.

I smiled at Jake and he chuckled, "We're getting used to it slowly but surely. We don't have any problems being around each other because we have a blast together. No problems cleaning up or cooking either because she handles most of the cooking, but we both pitch in with cleaning up." Jake answered.

"Good to hear."

"Miss Birkin," I turned by attention to Mr. Wesker. "Your parents wanted me to give you their phone number so you may keep in contact."

Hearing that made me smile, "Okay, one second –" I dug into my purse for my cell and pulled it out, waiting for him to read the numbers to me. After I saved it into my contacts, I put my phone away. "Thank you, sir." I chirped.

"You needn't call me 'sir', Miss Birkin. I am your soon to be father in-law am I not?" I blinked, unsure how he knew. "Judging from that extravagant ring I've been observing since you arrived, I hope I am not incorrect."

"Oh my God…" Mrs. Stephanie gasped, taking my left hand and gazing dumbfounded at my ring. "I-I can't believe it!"

"Lemme' see!" said Mar, rushing over to stare at it with awe. "That's pretty, it matches the blush on your face!" he beamed.

I blushed and looked at Jake, "It's true, he proposed the day before we moved in together."

Mrs. Stephanie looked like she was about to cry, "Oh my God… I have a daughter in-law! My son's going to get married!" she reached over and hugged me so tight. "I never thought this day would come!"

"So you're getting married to Jake?" Mar asked me cutely and I just gushed inside before nodding to him. "Awesome! Can I be the ring boy?"

"I think you have to be five years old to do that, Marlowe." said Mrs. Stephanie but I shook my head.

"He's so brilliant, I imagine he's beyond five years old." I giggled, "Besides, he's gotten so much taller these past few months. And he's lost a lot of baby fat from his face…" I feigned sadness. "He's growing up too fast." I muttered.

"Nah, that's just the Wesker blood." Jake cut in proudly. "We start getting tall pretty early."

I observed Mar's noticeably longer legs and the once stubby fingers he had were now slimming. When I held him now, he wasn't too heavy but he was getting there and his legs were so long now that he didn't have to reach far for me to pick him up.

"I think he would make a fine ring boy." I said.

On the way back home, I asked Jake to make a detour. It was time I showed him where I once worked. To my dismay, when we arrived at Charlie's coffee shop, it was hardly what it was seven months earlier. In fact, it wasn't a coffee shop at all anymore.

The shop was closed and not for the night either.

The doors were boarded up and the windows too. The shop's name was no longer present and the whole area seemed barren. The shop was done for, it was gone – I could still see a sign that said Going Out of Business.

It was hard to believe that a job I had for so long was suddenly closed and had gone out of business. I wondered why – sure, it had been 7 months since I was here but… what changed? Did my old boss go bankrupt?

It quite broke my heart.

I wondered where Cindy could be and if she was alright. I wished I had gotten her number or something but she and I met around the time I didn't understand how to build a friendship or be around others and truly enjoy it. If only I could ask what happened…

"Man, I'm sorry baby." Jake rubbed my back supportively. "You probably got a lot of memories from this place…"

"Yeah, and it's pretty scary to think if I had stayed behind that I could have been jobless." I said.

"But you've moved on now. And now you've got a certain future ahead of you."

I smiled, climbing back onto the bike with him. "You're right… let's go."

As we drove away, I kept glancing back at my old job. Memories flashed through my mind of times when I was alone – some of the memories were quite happy involving Cindy and I serving costumers together, laughing with Brad and sharing our hopes for the future.

Wherever Cindy was, I hoped she attained her dream of being a nurse. She deserved it.

Maybe, just maybe we'll meet again one day – but if we don't… I wish you nothing but good luck, Cindy. Thanks for the memories…

Jake and I married alongside Piers and Helena in early June. We had a gorgeous wedding by the beach and everyone showed up. The colors we picked were champagne and pink like the accents on our rings [much to the guys dismay] but we settled that white could also be a color since Helena wore a champagne wedding dress and Piers would have been stuck wearing pink.

My idiot husband was relentless with his teasing about it too.

Our wedding reception was at luxury hotel nearby where we would be staying before we left for our honeymoon in the Bahamas.

We spent an entire week soaking up the sun, wine tasting, dancing, and Piers and Jake even tried surfing. They were both great at it after some practice. Helena and I got to wear grass skirts and were taught how to salsa dance with our husbands. It was a magical honeymoon.

Did I mention I got no sleep the first three nights? I have no clue what got into Jake but his libido was out of this world…

On our way back home, I got a call from my parents just as we arrived back and were leaving the airport.

"Sherry, your mother and I would like you to know that if you ever need any help financially, we're willing to loan you however much you need and… it would be great if you could stop by from time to time."

Claire's words still rang true for me. Though I thought of her and Leon as my parents, the truth was that my real parents were still around and wanted to do better by me. It really couldn't hurt to let them in and actually participate in some family time together whenever they liked.

I smiled, Sure, let's start over. "I don't think I'll need any money but I will try and stop by whenever I'm free, father." I said chipper.

I heard a sigh of relief on the other end. "Thank you, Sherry… By the way, what exactly are you planning to do from this point?" my father asked from the other line.

"Travel." I replied with a big grin. "I'm traveling with my husband."

Who would have thought that my life would go from being a sad story to a sci-fi romance novel, but that's just what ended up happening.

I don't regret anything. My life is perfect just the way it is.

After we married, Jake and I started our new life together. He accepted the job that his father once had and I now travel alongside him. Claire pulled a few strings for me with TerraSave and got them to donate some extra hands to my cause of helping children without parents.

Here we are, four years down the line and my franchise is a success! Jake and I work as a team to help children, teens and people with health problems find assistance and support.

It was around our second year together that he and I decided to plan for kids. I guess that term was taken literally because I gave birth to twins in early October the following year. We named them Lars and Alisa and they are the most wonderful children I could have ever asked for.

If you're wondering if our kids are super beings well, they are but not in the way most would have assumed.

Lars has his father's strength but surprisingly he doesn't have the risk of blindness. It seems my genes eliminated his threat of blindness so his vision is perfect for life – but he doesn't regenerate.

Alisa takes after me but she has her father's lovely auburn hair. She regenerates and even has my glow. Because of Jake's genes – she doesn't have a weakness against Wesker blood and her healing abilities are limitless.

My babies are wonderful and they love picking on their father.

Speaking of their father, Jake's a fantastic one. He's attentive, fun, and responsible though he does let them get away with pranking me. In fact, he helps them prank me.

He's such a jerk.

Whenever we're in Herstine, we always make sure to invite Helena and Piers over so their daughter, Mai [quite pretty in my opinion – Mai Harper… I wonder where the name influence came from…] can play with our kids and of course Mar comes by whenever he pleases and sometimes he even comes along with us when Jake needs to relocate for work.

I still remain in contact with Claire and Leon daily – I even [believe it or not] have gotten well-adjusted to hearing from my real parents often; I even make a special trip to see them quite often. As for Mrs. Stephanie and Mr. Wesker, they are magnificent with Mar – never spoiling him but showering him with attention and support.

Every time I think back on the events of my life, I shimmy on the edge when labeling it. A hexagon of problems and sometimes a hexagon of miracles, the former is what I'm leaning towards lately.

I never would have imagined that I would be who I am now; a wife, a mother, a friend … a remedy – the last one is what Jake calls me.

He's always going on about how I'm A Remedy for Lonely Hearts and what not. Funny, I feel like people help me more than I help them but I guess it all goes back to that whole you never know what you're capable of until you try, argument.

I guess it's a beneficial thing or something; I help people, they help me. But in the end, I believe Jake's right about me…

I am A Remedy for Lonely Hearts.

And this has been my story.

A/N: That's all folks! *cries*

First of all, I want to thank everyone for their support and sticking with me to the end of this story. I started this in April and made it a goal of mine to finish it before I started back in college. I can't think of one story that I've ever really finished (except a short one) and I wanted to push myself and see this one through because I've never be tenacious enough to do so.

I have struggled often with this fic because I felt like it wasn't very good or something when I wasn't getting many reviews but then I realized I had to keep pushing because success takes practice.

Now that I've done this, I believe I can do more. Thank you all so much for reading this fic of mine!

Btw, Lars and Alisa are characters from Tekken (XD) I just love those two. I hope you all enjoyed this fic and if you have any questions or concerns feel free to PM or ask freely.

I have an idea for a new fic [I'll post the first chapter once I update Memoirs from the Garden again]. It's another AU fic but I'll try to start posting some semi-canon oneshots until I get around to fully developing the idea's I have for a semi-canon fic.

Here's a brief summary – tell me if you like it! :D


They are Tyrants; Immortals who have terrorized the human race for over 500 years under the rule of Albert Wesker. His half-breed son, Jake disappeared from the colony over a century ago only to resurface in Raccoon city – it is here that he protects mortals but at a lavish fee. Sherry Birkin, a young singing girl is his newest client; she is also the mayor's daughter.

I'm really excited about my next fic – it's gonna be incredibly good, trust me. XD

Thanks again everyone and remember to Read and Review!