Christmas Encounter with a Duke

Extended Epilogue

Five Years Later. . .


“It’s Christmas again. . .”

Rory pinched Rose’s chin gently and pulled her in for a kiss. He trapped her mouth in his and pulled her even closer to his body. Rose melted in his hands, and she let a moan slip. Slowly, they broke away from each other’s embrace and held gazes as they caressed each other.

“I love you, Rose McAllister,” Rory whispered. “There is something about the Christmas season. When I smell these familiar scents, I think of you and how much I love you.”

“Rory, I feel the exact same way too,” Rose said, placing her head on his shoulders. “There is no place else I want to be other than in your arms.”

“Papa, I can’t open it,” Simon whined.

Rose reluctantly slipped away from Rory’s embrace so he could help their first-born son open his Christmas present. She sipped her wine as she gazed out of the window of the Faringdon House. Lord Henry and Amelia had married three years ago and moved to France. Apparently, he hadn’t been joking when he said the manor was hers.

Lord Henry had gifted it to the couple, and Rose and Rory had decided three years ago to come to the manor every Christmas as a tradition.

“Mother, can you help me open my present,” Mary, their second daughter asked.

“Of course, my darling.”

Rose sat on the floor with Rory as they struggled to unwrap the gifts for their little ones. Simon and Mary both took after Rory in appearance. They both had his thick blonde hair and bright blue eyes. He taunted her about it from time to time, bragging that the children loved him more, hence the reason they looked so much like him. Rose laughed about it, but deep down, she hoped their third child would have her features so she could rub it in Rory’s face.

“Rose,” Rory called her quietly.

“Yes, Rory?”

 “What do you want for Christmas?”

Rose bit her lower lip. She moved over to Rory’s side and leaned in to whisper in his ear.

“Another baby.”

Rory chuckled. “Let me guess, one who looks like you?”

“Yes.” She giggled.

“But what are you going to do if our third child looks like me?”

“She won’t.”

Rory squinted his eyes. “How are you sure it’s a she?”

“It will be,” Rose said. “I have a feeling about it. Simon, do you want another baby sister?”

Simon nodded excitedly. “Yes, Mama. One that lets me play with her toys. Mary doesn’t let me play with her toys.”

“And Mary, do you want a baby sister?”

Mary nodded too. “I could have tea parties with her.”

Rose giggled and turned to Rory. “You see?”

“Fine. It’s settled then,” Rory said. He placed a peck on Rose’s cheek and stroked her hair. “You know, I never thought it was possible to fall in love with you more than I already did five years ago. But every year, I prove myself wrong. What have you done to me, Rose McAllister?”

Rose smiled and leaned in. She planted a kiss on Rory’s lips and caressed his cheek. “What have you done to me, Rory McAllister?”

They hugged each other and listened to the beating of their hearts. Rose had known, five years ago, that being with Rory was right. It felt right, and five years later, it felt even better.

The dear man was everything she had ever wanted.

Their talks were long, and when they danced in each other’s arms, it could go on for hours. Rory had truly been sent to her by fate. She often looked back on that day in the forest when he had lain propped up against the tree, his face twisted in pain. The day when they met. It all still felt like a dream. Every day was exciting, and they still had forever together to look forward to.

“Should we go travelling again?” Rory asked. “Is there anywhere you want to go?”

“There is, but we can’t leave the children or take them along on such long trips,” Rose said.

“We could start somewhere close, and we won’t take Simon and Mary. They could stay with their grandmother. Or we could travel to France to see your father.”

Rose gasped. “That’s a good idea. There are still plenty of places in France that we haven’t visited.”

“It’s settled, then.”

Rose giggled again and wrapped her arms around Rory’s neck.

“I love you, Rory. Now, and forever.”

I hope you enjoyed “Christmas Encounter with a Duke”.  I would love to know your opinion!