Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Mirror of Dreams - Epilogue
Hi all! So back when I posted the last chapter of Mirror of Dreams, I stated on my facebook that it was the end; that I had an epilogue written, but that I felt it was missing something. I knew what I felt was missing, but waited a while to write it in case I changed my mind. Today, I realized that I felt the same, and so wrote the part I felt was missing. Thus, everything after Andrew and Kaitlynn's declaration of love is newly written today, and is what was in the back of my mind. I hope this makes the story have a sense of closure :-)
After I had finished moving in with Andrew, I tried again to explain to him that I was part of a whole other world. He still didn't quite believe me, assuming that I was seriously loyal to my LARPing. I chuckled and kissed him.
He didn't have much time to help me unpack and set up our house before he had to start filming his TV show. This meant that he often worked late, and sometimes he even had to spend the night in his trailer. But he always came home whenever he could.
This actually worked in my favor because – as I had once asked Bruce for the power – I actually did skip through as much time in my original world as possible. I had a clock and my cellphone placed in front of my mirror there so that I could check on it from the mirror in my Royal Bedroom. If I got a call from Andrew or if it was getting close to the time that he planned to come home, I'd return. If I couldn't return right away, I'd disconnect the mirrors, which would in essence stop time at that point for me to return to later.
At the moment, I was currently sitting on the cushy bench in front of my mirror in my Royal Bedroom. I faced away from it as the maids worked on my hair. I'd just come from a bath, so I was naked except for a towel wrapped around my hips to catch the water as it dripped from my hair so that it wouldn't ruin the cushion I sat on.
My maids knew they had plenty of time to fuss over my hair because I had more or less nothing to do at all that day until a party in my honor began later on. They planned to try out as many styles on me as possible until I fell in love with one of them. Of course, they peppered their pampering with frequent kisses.
I hummed softly, thoroughly enjoying their touch and the fact that I was now almost four months along in my pregnancy. This meant I was over the queasiness and starting to get hungry. Not at this exact moment, but in general.
Soon, I would start showing, and then I would either have to fully convince Andrew of the truth, or I would have to remain here until after I'd given birth. Not to mentioned stopped bleeding! A large part of me hoped that Andrew would want to share in my experience even a little, happy that it wasn't going to affect his life. We would wait to have our kids as long as he wanted.
After one particularly deep kiss, my maid looked up and shrieked in terror. I looked around to see what she was so afraid of. In my mirror, Andrew stood watching us with a confused expression. A glance at the clock showed me that he was home early.
Happy, I gestured for my maids to stand aside. Getting to my feet, I walked over and kissed my mirror. After that, I turned to face Andrew with a joyous grin.
“I'm so happy to see you! What are you doing home so soon?” I asked after I'd kissed him.
He pointed to the mirror, trying but failing to say something. I looked over my shoulder and noticed that my maids were talking to each other as they watched us, only it looked like they were a TV show being played at five times the normal speed. I waved my hand at the mirror and broke the connection so that neither mirror showed the other world.
“Wh-wh-wh-what the?!” Andrew finally managed to stutter.
“Oh, that's just my other world,” I informed him cheerfully. “You know, the one where I'm the Queen and I fight with swords and have magic.”
“B-b-but that's role-playing!” He protested, looking as if all the blood had drained from his face.
“Baby...” I purred, holding his face so that he had to stop staring at my mirror and look at me. “I hate to be in a rush, but I don't really have a lot of time to explain all this now. I have to be back in about five hours, which means I can only stay here for an hour at the most.”
He tilted his head in confusion but didn't say anything. I kissed him again, and then hugged him for a few long moments. When he felt a bit calmer, I tried again.
“Andrew, my love, why are you home early? Do you want to go out for dinner?” I asked, trying to be positive because he had once told me that coming home early likely meant that he was fired or the show had been canceled.
“Uh... Uh... Oh! Right! I have great news!” He informed me when he finally managed to drag his thoughts away from my mirror world. He kissed me and then grinned at me. “We're going to be filming an episode on location in Hawaii! I came home to pack. It won't be an actual honeymoon, but it can be like a mini pre honeymoon before we get the time to have one for real!”
“That's awesome!” I cheered as I threw my arms around him. “I can't wait!”
“We're asked to only bring the basic necessities,” Andrew informed me insistently, as if afraid that I might insist on bringing everything we owned.
“Travel light, got it!” I exclaimed with a grin. To prove that I took him seriously, I pulled out a small, carry on sized bag, and stuffed it with my favorite red bikini, a pair of yoga pants with matching cami, and a sarong. I'd add things like my phone just before we left. “Done!”
He looked my bag over from where he was busy packing his own bag, and then smirked at me. “I think you might need at least one dress!”
I giggled. “No problem! I'll be right back.”
Walking over to my mirror, I kissed it and then reassured my maids that everything was all right. They spent a few more hours finishing my hair – using a combination of braids and curls that looked oh so good on me. Then they dressed me up in a new creation by Lady Leeza. This one had been covered generously in tiny jewels – probably crystals – that flashed almost blindingly.
The party was wonderful! People were finally learning how to dance and enjoy themselves. The musicians made far less mistakes than before. I had a great time! Near the end, Nathan took me into his arms to whirl me around the dance floor.
“When is Ian coming back?” He wondered, and then blushed lightly. “I was thinking that maybe we could, uh...”
I bit my lip and grinned at his suggestion. “Oh Gods! Now I want to hunt him down and drag him back here!”
Nathan rolled his eyes at me and snorted dryly.
“Unfortunately, he asked for me to let him have some time to himself, and I gave my word, so he won't be back until he calls me and asks to come back,” I explained.
“That's too bad,” Nathan murmured, and then leaned to whisper in my ear. “But maybe we should go to bed anyway.”
I groaned in a combination of temptation and frustration. “I'm sorry, I promised my other husband that I'd hurry back and spend some time with him.”
Seeing a look of protest on Nathan's face, I cut him off. “But I promise that I plan to be here for a long time when I get back. Probably the rest of my pregnancy... Therefore, you'll get me all to yourself for months!”
He grinned at me. “I look forward to it.”
Excusing myself from the party – it was winding down anyway – I returned to my room hand in hand with Nathan. Once there, I rummaged through my closet until I found a knee-length blue dress that I loved, and a calf-length green dress that might possibly be the most modest one that Lady Leeza had ever made me, provided that the light didn't hit it just right.
Kissing Nathan, I was powerfully tempted to stay with him for the rest of the night at the very least, but I resisted. “I'll miss you!” I promised. “See you in a few days. Not sure how long it'll be...”
“I'll see you when you return...” he murmured, obviously not eager to see me go, but trying to smile for me anyway.
After kissing my mirror, I turned around and held up my dresses for Andrew. “So... which one do you like better?”
“Whoa!” Andrew exclaimed. “How did you do that?! You, like... vanished! And then a second later, you're back in an exquisite evening gown with your hair looking fantastic! And I say that as a straight man,” he muttered the last bit.
“Magic...” I stated with a patient smile. “More importantly, which dress do you like better, the green one or the blue one?”
“Uh... both?” He stated, looking them over. “The blue one looks a bit daring... But hey, if you can't walk around practically naked on a beach in Hawaii, then where can you?!” He then looked over the sparkly dress I wore again. “More importantly, what are you wearing?! I love it! That looks perfect for attending a premier!”
“I thought so too!” I replied with a grin.
“Our flight leaves in the morning,” Andrew informed me huskily. “How would you like to spend the rest of the evening in bed with me?”
“That sounds heavenly!” I agreed with a blissful sigh. But before I let him pull me into bed with him, I stopped him. “I have something important to ask you...”
He intuitively understood that it was about my other world. He looked over at my mirror again. He bit his lip slightly as he thought.
“You're a Queen over there, right? That means that you have responsibilities and stuff...” he murmured. “Although I still can't believe that it's real!”
I nodded in response to his first two statements, and then smirked softly. Then I half frowned as I looked down. How he reacted to this could change our entire lives!
“One of the things that happened over there is that I... Well... I'm carrying an Heir. You know? Like a future King or Queen. Possibly.” That actually depended on Bruce and who he felt was the right person to succeed me. “I can stay over there the entire time and you'll never even know I'm gone. But I was kind of hoping that you'd want to see me from time to time as I get bigger, like a kind of practice run for when we decide to have babies of our own.”
He stared at me silently for a long time, but I could tell that he was confused more than anything. “But wait... wouldn't your mom see your pregnant belly when you Skype? Wouldn't she think that this was my baby?”
I smiled softly at him. “You don't understand. I could be gone from here for months or even years, and come back to the moment I left.” I pointed at the mirror. “Just then? I was gone for several hours – got pampered by my maids, attended a party, almost spent the night – but I came back a second after I left. I could spend my entire pregnancy there and no one here would ever even know I had been gone...”
“Hmm...” Andrew murmured, his face puckered in thought. This seemed almost too much for him to wrap his head around.
“But you can also return whenever you want, and you want to know if I would be comfortable seeing you grow large with another man's child. A baby that I probably won't ever meet...”
I was impressed that he had taken this so well. He'd grasped the situation perfectly! I gave him a tiny hopeful smile.
He sighed and pulled me into a hug. “There's this whole other world that you've tried to share with me, and I didn't truly believe you. It's almost exactly like my TV show! I go to work and pretend to be a person in a slightly different reality from ours...”
By this, he was referring to TV Land, not an actual alternate universe like in Farscape or Sliders.
“I could come home and say something like: Today I got married to Shelly and she's secretly not pregnant even though she told me that she was so I'd marry her. You'd know that I was talking TV, but it's like a whole other life, right? If you came home and told me: Today I knighted someone and nearly fell over because the baby kicked so hard that it practically knocked me off my feet! I'd know you were talking about your other world, but anyone else could assume that you were working on a TV show too. It's kind of the same thing, right?” Andrew looked at me like he thought he might have just mumbled an utter mess.
I grinned at him, impressed even more. “It is kind of the same thing!”
He kissed me. “So just do whatever you were already doing. I'll share in your life as much as I can.” He frowned as a thought occurred to him. “If you're spending months or years over there at a time, wouldn't you eventually start to look older than me?”
“You'd be surprised!” I replied with a giggle. Now that the important stuff was taken care of, I pulled him into bed with me. “Just think, tomorrow, we get to go on a mini honeymoon!”
He chuckled and kissed me. “At times like this, I feel like the best thing I've ever done was marry you! You certainly know how to keep life interesting!”
“Aww,” I purred before kissing him again. At this very moment, I couldn't agree with him more. “I love you...”
“I love you too...”
“Bruce... I need to talk...” I informed him a bit nervously.
“I know,” he stated calmly. “I've watched you struggle to make a decision for months.”
I nodded and paced the temple in silence for a few moments. The dedicated High Priestess watched me, which caught my attention. This was not the same old woman I was used to. This was a different elderly woman – one who seemed a bit kinder by nature. I guess the other one had retired at some point over the years.
“Bruce...” I murmured. “I've been Queen now for over a 150 years. I've served my required century, and to be honest, I would be content to serve until I die!”
“Yes, you've been a good Queen; bringing about and maintaining peace,” Bruce assured me. “I would love to see you continue on.”
I nodded in understanding and then sighed impatiently. “However, I really feel like I must step down.”
Bruce seemed a little taken aback by my statement. “Why?”
I smiled softly. “I have obligations to my other world too, remember? When Chianna was born, I spent the majority of my time here. I wanted to spend every second with her and Nathan, and as a result, only 5 years have passed in my other world.”
I paused to smile a happy memory from this morning. “Andrew is finally ready to start a family!” After I announced this, I purposely looked up and into Bruce's eyes. I wanted him to see just how excited I was by this prospect. “I will finally be able to have the baby I have dreamed of my whole life! My mother and I will be able to dote on him or her and – and... Well, I'll have to spend the majority of my time there. Especially during my pregnancy.”
“I see,” Bruce murmured, but I don't think he fully grasped what I was getting at.
“So I've decided that I should step down as Queen,” I announced as if tearing a band-aid off. “After all, even if I only devoted just 5 or 6 years to my new child – just until school started – that would still be 25 to 30 years here. I really don't think it would be fair to Rolandia if the Queen only popped in for a day or so every couple of months.”
I sighed morosely. “It wouldn't be fair to anyone...”
Bruce looked sad and disappointed. “I understand.”
“But I have an idea, if you'll agree to it,” I added hopefully.
Bruce nodded to indicate that he was willing to listen. After I was done explaining, he had a wry smirk twisting his lips. A soft chuckle escaped him.
“I love it!”
I strode into the dining hall as regally as ever. I had just come from my visit to Bruce, and so I was dressed up as fabulously as I ever had been. With a joyous grin, I looked around my court. It was nearing dinner time, so everyone was here.
“You're looking happier than you have in quite some time,” Nathan remarked. His expression was guarded. Even though I hadn't talked to him at all about the possibility of stepping down – or even written about it in my journal – I think he knew it had been on my mind.
“It's about time you got back!” Chianna huffed almost petulantly. “I'm starving!”
She was a mystery to me. At about 150 years old, I would expect her to be a mature adult, but she still seemed like spoiled teenager. One who had been raised as a Princess at that.
Which wasn't to say that she was a horrible person, just that she was strong willed and a bit selfish. In many ways, she reminded me of Nathan when I'd first met him. I smiled at her, and then cast a lovey dovey glance at my wonderful husband.
“What's that you are carrying?” Nathan asked me, gesturing to indicate the scroll tucked in the tight hem over my left breast.
I pulled it free and held it up. “It's a message from God. Who wants to be the official messenger?”
Everyone except Chianna looked at each other seriously. A message from God was no light matter! Chianna – who had been exposed to my atheist views on more than one occasion – looked impatient and bored.
Lord Antony finally stood up and stepped forward. “It would be my honor,” he said with a formal bow.
I handed him the message with a kiss on his cheek. “Cheer up,” I whispered in his ear. “It's good news.”
He smiled at me as he kissed the hand he'd taken the message from. “Yes, my Queen.”
I settled myself in my usual chair as he reverently broke the divine seal on the scroll and rolled it open. He cleared his throat delicately and took a deep breath. He even cast a nervous glance at me before beginning.
“Our most beloved God – in his divine wisdom – has heard her Majesty's concerns and made an edict; witnessed by all of the Priestesses and his Holiness...”
Lord Antony gasped in surprise and clutched his heart as his eyes bulged and flew to me. “Your Majesty!”
“Keep reading,” I insisted with cheerful firmness.
He took a deeply fortifying breath. His voice shook slightly as he continued.
“In God's own words: I hereby accept the resignation of Queen Kaitlynn as the ruler of Rolandia and appoint Lord Nathan as King.”
There was a shocked silence punctuated by several soft gasps. No one could speak for a moment, not even Nathan – who looked a bit pale. In my mind, I heard the voice of our dearly departed Lady Sophia squeal: Oh Natey! I always knew you had the making of a King inside you!
Slowly, as people recovered, they looked to Nathan for his reaction. Even Chianna was silent in astonishment. She probably couldn't understand why I would resign since I'd told her that I wanted to be the Queen until I died. Even so, she understood that this was a huge moment for all of Rolandia.
Nathan finally found his voice, a hint of color returning to his face. “Wait... Me?!” He shook his head in confusion. “Why me?”
I smiled at him. “Because you have been by my side – more or less – for my entire reign. You know what it takes to rule a Kingdom in a time of peace because you've watched me do it. I happen to agree with God on this.”
Actually, he happened to agree with me, since this was my plan, but I wasn't going to tell Nathan that because then he'd think he had the option to refuse. I am certain that he would want to decline and pass the honor on to our daughter, but I felt that she wasn't quite mature enough to be Queen yet. Ironically, I didn't have to mention that to Bruce. He had already come to that conclusion on his own, and was concerned about having to choose between the members of the Royal Houses.
Nathan narrowed his eyes at me suspiciously. Other than Ian, he knew me better than anyone. “Wait. Why are you resigning?”
I sighed a bit sadly. “I'd prefer to tell you that in the privacy of our bedroom.”
Nathan had a look of enlightenment cross his face. “Ah. That. You may as well say it in front of everyone since you'd only have to explain it to them later. Or worse, I'd have to!”
“If you're sure,” I murmured. He nodded. “Fine. I've decided that it's not right for me to remain Queen now that I'm going back home for a few years. Andrew's TV show has ended and he's contracted to do a few movies. Even so, the time is right for us to finally have a family of our own, and so I am going to devote my time to him, just as I have devoted most of the last 150 years to you.”
Nathan nodded in acceptance. He and I both knew that he was the greatest love of my life, but that didn't mean that Andrew meant nothing to me. He honestly did. He was the second greatest love of my life.
Well technically Chianna was the greatest love of my life, but that wasn't really relevant in this situation. She was a fully grown adult now, even if she didn't quite act like it yet. For possibly the first time ever, she was holding back her opinion. One look at her told me that she was more confused than anything at the moment.
“Fine,” Nathan replied after everyone had a moment to come to terms with this news. I think somewhere deep down, he had always expected this to happen eventually. “I accept and promise to rule this Kingdom in a way that will make you proud.”
I squealed happily and threw my arms around him so I could hold him tight and give him a passionate kiss. “I'm already so proud of you!”
A few days later, as many people from around the Kingdom as could fit in the palace were here for Nathan's coronation. He wore a regal outfit that looked a lot like what my father wore on his coronation day. I watched from afar as the maids prepared him.
When it came time for his portrait to be painted, he looked breathtaking! In my eyes, he was far more regal than I had ever been. He seemed to shine from an inner light.
I watched about an hour later as a loving and graceful Priestess placed the crown on his head and pronounced him King. The moment was strangely emotional for me. Far more emotional than my own coronation had been, but that was probably because I really thought I was dreaming at the time.
Unable to stop myself, I leapt up from where I was sitting in the first row next to Chianna and threw my arms around him the moment he turned to face the crowded throne room. I was practically sobbing tears of joy! Our lips sealed together for several long moments as the crowd roared and clapped in congratulations.
There was a feast and dancing, which was possibly the best part of the day. I naturally wore a gorgeously sheer dress. Nathan loved to stroke my body as we danced.
Eventually, we decided it was time to retire to our bedroom and continue the celebration in private. When we were done, Nathan fell into a deep and peaceful sleep. I slept on and off, but then simply watched him until the sun rose and his eyes opened.
“You're leaving, aren't you?” He asked before I could even say a word.
“Yes,” I confirmed, taking his hand in mine and squeezing it. “But I'll check up on you often through my mirror. If you ever need me for anything, simply leave a note in front of the mirror asking me to come and I will.”
“I love you,” he stated as he kissed my hand.
“I love you so much!” I assured him, leaning over to kiss his lips.
“Please go before the maids arrive. I don't want anyone watching me when you leave,” Nathan murmured. Even though me leaving was an ordinary occurrence by now, I am almost certain that he was going to cry this time once I was gone.
“It's not like you'll never see me again. I will be back from time to time,” I reminded him.
“But it won't be the same,” he said, sounding sad.
“I know,” I whispered, unable to think of anything else to say. Kissing him one last time – a beautiful kiss to remember – I stood up and went to my mirror.
He waved to me almost dismissively.
“Goodbye,” I murmured, waving to him in return.
“Bye,” he whispered, his voice sounding choked up.
Kissing my mirror, I turned to find Andrew waiting for me. He grinned at me for a moment before it faded in concern. “Something wrong?”
Without warning, I cried on his shoulder for a long time. When I was done, I felt much lighter. He simply held me and rubbed my back.
“I told Nathan that I was going to stay here with you for a long time so that we could finally start our own family. It was hard, but I know it was the right thing to do,” I explained, and then smiled at him as I held up something from the pocket of my robe. “But I brought a tea almost guaranteed to help us with that!”
Andrew remembered me telling him about that and grinned at me. “So... you want to drink some of that now, and then go to bed?”
I laughed softly. “I'd be delighted!”
Hand in hand and giggling like little kids, we raced to our bedroom. Very soon, our family would get a little bigger, but if I had learned anything after all these years, it was that these precious moments were always worth the wait!