Let's tie up all the loose ends…

26. New Beginnings

"Well, that was quite a show."

Evin and Thorn jumped in surprise at the voice. She nearly dropped the baby, but Evin was able to catch her at the last moment.

Lady Alanna stepped out from behind a tree. And behind her stood several of knights and Riders.

"The bandits are trussed up and ready to get thrown into jail. We came here to help after we realized you two were gone. But I see now that you didn't need any."

Evin shook his head. "Actually, Thorn nearly died."

"Oh?" Alanna's gaze flickered with concern.

"Actually, Evin." Thorn said in a light tone. "I did die."

Evin turned to her and raised his eyebrow. "Am I going to have to start shaking you again?"

She laughed.

Alanna cleared her throat. "All right, just to make sure I'm not going crazy, was that your staff that was …talking earlier?"

"Yes, it was."

Alanna glanced at the baby in Thorn's arms. "And this is your sister's baby?"


"And your sister is dead?"


"Your staff…killed her?"


Alanna shook her head. "Maybe I will go crazy after all."

Evin laughed. "You can't be any crazier than you already are."

Alanna chuckled. "Well, let's go back to camp. I've had enough excitement for one day."


Evin and Thorn rode beside each other on the way back to Corus.

"It's a good thing that I'm second-in-command and not just any Rider." Evin said with an after thought.

"Why's that?" Thorn asked, adjust her arms around the baby.

"Because. Riders are supposed to be single."

"You won't lose your job, will you?" She asked, concerned. Evin did love his job.

"I told you. I'm too valuable for them to fire yet." Evin laughed. Then he grew sly. "Have you seen Miri and Brecc?"

She smiled. "Yes, I did. But I thought you just said that Riders are supposed to be single?"

Evin grinned. "Well, it's nothing concrete. They told me that they would go through the relationship slowly, one step at a time."

"I'm glad."

"What will you do once we get back to Corus?" he suddenly asked, looking serious.

Alanna had invited her to make a new life with the rest of them back at Corus. She had assured her that all of her criminal charges, if she had any, were now voided. She would be welcomed at Corus, Alanna had said. But…

"If you don't want to go live at Corus, we can always go somewhere else."

Thorn blinked. "You would leave your job?" she asked in surprise.

"There are always other jobs. But there isn't any other woman." Evin said with a shrug. "Sure, I would miss being a Rider, but I would understand why you don't want to stay at Corus." Evin smiled reassuringly at her. "Thorn, I don't want you to feel like you are being used as a weapon again. Ever. If that's what you're worried about, we can go elsewhere."

She sighed. "Am I that easy to read?"

Evin laughed. "Only to those who love you."

"I am afraid of that." she admitted. "But I realize now, that my view of what a weapon is is too cynical. In my view, knights and Riders are weapons. People to be used to fulfill the wants of the king, whether they're good or bad. But that's where my view is wrong. Knights and Riders. They do what they do because they like it. They're honored to serve the king. Look at you, you love being a Rider. And you aren't bitter about being a weapon. I think it's time for my view on weapons to change." She smiled at Evin. "Don't start looking for a new job yet. We're going to Corus."

"Are you sure this is what you want?"

She hesitated. "Completely? No. But as long as you're there, I'm sure I can handle it."

Evin nodded and gave her a mischievous look. "You're very lucky to have me around." He huffed out his shoulders and gave her his most haughty look.

She chuckled. "Arrogant pig."

"Snappish vixen."

"Conceited narcissist."

Evin gave her a wounded look, and then they both laughed.

He suddenly leaned over toward her, glancing down at the sleeping baby. They had only had her for a day and he already adored her.

"If you're not careful, Evin, I'm going to start thinking that you like me only for the baby." she teased.

Evin gave her a sly look. "Oh? Well, I'm going to have to work on that." He started to reach for her.

"Evin! Not here!" Thorn pulled away from him, embarrassed.

Evin laughed when he saw her red cheeks. "So much for liking you only for the baby."

She made a face and then held out the baby for him to hold.

"What will you name her?" he asked as he took the baby into his arms.

"Delora." She blinked. Where had that come from? She shook her head. Well, perhaps this baby will have better luck with the name than I had.

Evin glanced up at her and smiled his wonderful smile. "Perfect."

And it was.

The End.

A.N.- Wow, I cannot believe it. My fic is over. I actually finished it. Miracles do happen. Now I want every single one of you (yes, I'm talking specifically to you, person who reads but never reviews) to leave me a review now that I've finished the fic. (Hey, I can dream, can't I?)

Thank you everybody for reading this fic, and thanks to those who reviewed. Because of you and all your support, I was able to finish this fanfic. You made this possible.

I hope everyone enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

I have a new fic gradually forming in my mind. But I still need to work out a few kinks and reread several TP books to make sure I have the info correct. It will be completely different from this one, with a different setting, main characters, and etc.

Here's a little summary I was able to conjure up from what I have already formed in my mind (but none of it is concrete, it could change later, as I write it):

Tortall and the rest of the continent has been disastrously into desert. People now live in tribes and wander throughout the endless desert. The gods are weakening and as less people believe in them, their power grows ever weaker. During one magic-filled night, the gods gather and put all their powers together to form: the Timeweaver. And the fate of the world will then rest on her shoulders and her ability to change the past…

Dramatic, wasn't it. *smile* tell me what you think and leave me a comment about the new fic when you review.

Oh and if I do decide to write this fic, I'll still have to work out its problems and etc., so don't expect the first chapter of it to appear tomorrow. I will need time to make the fic more than a bunch of jumbled words.

Thanks again for reading.