Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Epilogue

Generally speaking, I don't like epilogues. If I'm being honest, they feel like cop-outs. I mean, just look at Harry Potter; the epilogue practically ruined the entire series. But I won't rant about that. I wasn't going to write this, because I didn't want it to take away from the themes and lessons of the story. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I knew exactly what the rest of their lives had in store for them, and you only had your imaginations. That, and I'm having a really hard time letting go of these two. After living and breathing with them for a year, they're more a part of me than any other characters. Goodbye is never an easy thing, but this time it is especially difficult. Bon voyage, mes favoris.

And for those asking about new projects, I'm taking a break from fanfic to concentrate on something different, but I do have a side project: SWK. I feel the need to promise you that it won't be nearly as good as this was, but it's something light and fun for when I need a break from the serious.



Soundtrack Song - Relient K, Give Until There’s Nothing Left

“That’s it. Keep coming. That’s good! Okay, pull back, nice and high. Now shoot!” Kris encouraged, giving direction to the hockey player in front of him. Kris stood in the crease in his full practice gear except for his helmet, coaching and directing as the other player reluctantly and slowly pulled his stick back and released an awkward, ineffective shot. The puck slid sluggishly in a direction vaguely toward the goal. However, Kris discreetly changed his body position, skated to the side, and kept his stick off the ice, allowing the puck to pass the goal line unimpeded. “You did it! You scored!”

“Yay!” Jo laughed from the bench, clapping and cheering proudly for the miniature hockey player. “Way to go, Lucas! You scored on Papa!”

Lucas merely held his hands above his head in a very basic goal celebration stance. He was only three, so he didn’t quite understand the nuances of the game or why getting the puck between the pipes was such a big deal; besides, he always scored when his father was in net.

It was an off-day, and the Letangs had stuck around after practice so Lucas could skate around with his dad. Hockey was something the whole family could bond over, even though Jo always watched from the bench and cheered without ever lacing up skates of her own. The only time Jo had stepped onto the ice was when Kris won the ultimate prize. But Lucas didn’t understand that he only got smooth skating genes from his father’s side, so he always tried to get his mother to join them—even though Jo had another, more important reason for staying off the ice. “Mommy. Skate!”

“I can’t, honey. Do you remember why?”

He nodded before turning his attention probably back to his father, but more than likely focusing solely on the puck. “Lil one.”

“Right, the little one.” Jo instinctively placed her hand over her bulging stomach. This bundle of joy had been a surprise, in contrast to the plans they had laid out for themselves.

While no one could argue that these two were in love deeper than the Marianas Trench, more than a few people had thought that they were too young to get married; however, they were old souls trapped in young bodies, and since they had lived the equivalent of a lifetime before they had met, they couldn’t wait to take that next step and fully commit themselves to one another. Their only prerequisite to getting married was Jo’s quest to obtain her degree. Both she and Kris wanted her to accomplish her big goal before moving onto that major undertaking of marriage.

Kris had been granted permission to miss practice on the day of Jo’s graduation from the University of California Santa Cruz—thank goodness there wasn’t a game that day—and he sat amongst thousands of family members and friends of other graduates to applaud as she crossed the stage and moved the tassel from the right side to the left. She could hear his whistle as she shook the Dean’s hand, and before she left the stage, she blew a kiss in his direction and shook her diploma over her head in celebration.

They went out for dinner and stayed overnight in Santa Cruz to celebrate her great accomplishment. That’s when Kris proposed. Two months later, Kris and Jo flew out with Marlene, Henrí, and Tubby to Hawaii, where they wed on the beach and honeymooned in their favorite spot on Earth. Everyone seemed a little surprised to see a big, black man give Jo away, but it worked for them.

Once they had reached that milestone, Jo and Kris had talked about what their next step was going to be. She had thought about pursuing a graduate degree at UCSC, until she saw that it was a five-year program that went all four quarters; it was a nonstop, demanding, strenuous schedule, considering it would seriously cut down on any time she could spend with her new husband. After they had mulled over the pros and cons and alternatives, they decided to start their family after spending a little time enjoying the married life. For a year, Jo enjoyed the fact that she was done with school, and she volunteered at the Lick Observatory as a tour guide. It wasn’t research, but it was still something she enjoyed doing.

They both knew that they wanted a son—and had already had the name picked out years prior—and they were lucky enough to conceive and carry a full-term, healthy baby boy on their first try. They were enjoying their new family and hadn’t mentioned the idea of having any other kids until Jo recognized the tell-tale symptoms, which she had experienced when she was carrying Lucas, a few years later. She had called Kris at practice, confessing her inkling and asking that he stop by at the drugstore on the way home so they could confirm it. Two months later, an ultrasound revealed that they’d be the parents of a baby girl in the not-too-distant future.

Kris smiled at the sweet simplicity of the moment: his wife, with child, watching on as he taught his son the game he loved. As far as he was concerned, things couldn’t get better. “One more time, bud,” he said, digging the puck out of the net and skating into the slot. He put the puck right in front of his Lucas and then glided backward into the blue paint. “Same thing, keep the puck on your stick and aim for the net.”

“Just try your best, baby,” Jo cooed, wanting to cheer on the little player without overwhelming him with expectation at such a young age. They had agreed that they wanted to instill a love of the game in him first, whether or not he’d strive to play professionally later in life. There’d be a lot of pressure on him if he wanted to play, but they didn’t want to be the source of that. Kris and Jo had agreed, once they had decided to start their family, that their home would be a safe place, full of comfort and acceptance and peace for everyone—something that their individual homes had not always been.

Lucas shot the puck, and again Kris let it by him. He skated out of the crease and into the slot, where he picked up his son and tossed him carefully over his shoulder, carrying him off the ice as he skated toward the bench. Mocking incredulity, Kris grunted, “I can’t believe it, scored on again!”

Jo chuckled as she watched their shenanigans. “I hate to break it to you, Papa, but I think you’re a minus thirty-seven now. You’re getting smoked out there.”

“We’ve got a boy with the golden touch. Every shot is a goal.”

“Looks like we’re gonna have a power forward on our hands. Such a big boy,” Jo laughed, taking Lucas from Kris and raising him high in the air. He was big for his age, at least three inches taller and a solid ten pounds heavier than the other boys in his peer group—in fact, he was often mistaken for a kindergartener rather than a preschooler. It was a struggle for Jo to keep him up in the air for long, before her arms got tired and she had to set him down on the ground.

“Forward? I don’t think so,” Kris scoffed, stepping off the ice and toward the players’ bench. He stated his following words with unmistakable certainty and a nod of his head. “He’s following in his father’s footsteps. Defenseman.”

“But that goal! It was a beauty! He’s got such offensive instincts. And everyone knows that hockey players only play defense when they’re no good at scoring goals.”

What?! No good at scoring goals? What?” Kris stammered, accepting Jo’s bait. He knew she was teasing him, because he was in his prime as a fully developed player. He had proven himself as not only a scoring threat—having tallied at least fifty points in his past three seasons—but also as the league’s top defenseman as the Norris Trophy recipient last year. Plus, Kris wasn’t just a consistent, talented defenseman for his team; he was in his second season as captain of the Sharks, having had his contract renewed for an additional four years. Still, he grabbed a hold of her and enveloped her body, gently of course, and pinched and tickled her sides to make her squeal. “You take that back!”

She yelped again and giggled, gasping for air as she cried out, “Okay, okay! I take it back!”

He relented his hold and kissed her cheek. “All right, let’s go.” Kris took Jo’s hand in his right and moved to take his son’s with his left, but he turned to find Lucas had taken to the ice again. “Lucas! It’s time to hit the showers, bud.”

“No!” he whined, continuing to skate around the net as he dug out the puck.

Jo sighed. “He is his father’s son,” she cracked, casting an amused glance at her husband. Then she called out across the ice to her petulant three-year-old. “Come on, we’re done skating for today.” He ignored her as he continued to skate. This was not an unfamiliar scene for their family, and Jo knew they were up for a battle. “Lucas James Letang! Hockey time is over. Let’s get ready to leave so we can go home and eat lunch.”

Lucas staunchly repeated himself, content to spend hours upon hours on the slippery surface; as far as he was concerned, practice had only started. “No!”

“Yes, mister! If you can’t learn to behave when we visit Papa at practices, then we’ll just have to stop coming,” she warned, crossing her arms over her chest and tapping her foot. They had already been there for over an hour after Kris’s official practice had ended, and although she would always enjoy watching her two men play, she was cold and tired. And easily irritable, too, but since she was eight months pregnant, she felt she had every right to be.

Kris pouted and wrapped an arm around his wife, rubbing her arm soothingly. “Aww, Joey, don’t say that. I mean, can you blame him for wanting to stay? I was just like him. He just wants to play the game.”

“And I just want to go home. Will you please go get him?”

He looked at her with a pained expression; Kris hated to be the bad guy. If Kris had his way, he would never force Lucas to go to bed when he wanted to stay up and play or make him eat his vegetables or any other necessary evil of parenthood. Lucas was a sweet kid with an easy smile and usually a good temperament, but he would not be happy to be taken off the ice, and Kris knew that—and he wanted to avoid the fit that he was bound to throw. “Maybe we can just let him play for a few more minutes.”

“Part of being a good parent—and a good father—comes from being stern. You’re not being cruel or mean to him. When we tell him to do something and he doesn’t listen, we need to put our foot down and not cave to him. He’s three. You’re twenty-eight. You’re a big, professional hockey player, who checks guys on a regular basis. You can’t be bullied by a toddler.”

When Kris didn’t make a move to head out there, Jo added, “I would go out there if I could, Kris, but you know that ice and I don’t mix well, and I don’t want to fall—”

“No, it’s okay,” he said, assuring his wife. He sighed, though, none too pleased to have to effect this tantrum, but he couldn’t have his very pregnant wife slipping and sliding out there in the rink. “I’ll handle it. I’ll get him.”

Kris took a few long strides toward his son in the crease. Lucas saw him coming and immediately started crying as he slunk down to the ice, like if he wasn’t on his feet then they couldn’t make him leave. Kris’s head hung low, but he tried to make it sound positive. “Come on, bud. Hockey players stick to a routine. Practice is over, so now we change and go home.”

That did not console Lucas, who only wanted to continue to knock the puck around on the ice. He could entertain himself for hours that way, and even though his parents brought him down to play at least once a week, he couldn’t get enough of it. He howled and wailed, “No, Papa, no. Stay.”

He sighed, hating every moment of it as he tucked his kicking and thrashing son under his arm and skated back toward the bench. Jo reached out to touch Kris, wanting to reassure him, but Kris shook his head and kept going straight into the dressing room. The remaining guys were merely lingering after their showers. Kris deposited Lucas on the bench seat next to his stall and then pulled his own practice jersey over his head.

Jo followed behind and took her place in front of Lucas to help him out of his equipment. She slowly knelt and began to unlace his skates—they were always the first thing she removed, because he was an energetic, fidgety kid who couldn’t sit still for a second, and the last thing she wanted was for him to accidentally hurt himself or her with his sharp skates. Once they were off, she took off his helmet and cupped his chin. His cries were echoing off the walls, and she wanted them to stop. “Hey, you. Stop with these alligator tears, okay?”

“Alligator tears?” Logan asked, puzzled by her maternal terminology.

She explained, “Can’t you see? He’s not really crying. He’s pretending, just pitching a fit because he doesn’t want to quit playing.” Lucas continued to be uncooperative as Jo began to take off his tiny Sharks uniform and pads. Kris was already stripped down and heading toward the showers. He wasn’t trying to ignore the situation or pawn their difficult son off on Jo; instead, he was trying to hurry so they could get home. No one likes to see or hear a temper tantrum. “Stand up, Lucas.”

He was losing steam and stood up without much of a fight so his mother could get his hockey pants off. She got him changed into regular clothes by the time Kris was showered and dressed. Now Lucas was rubbing his eyes, obviously tired from expending so much energy skating around and then acting out. Kris slung his son’s hockey equipment over his shoulder and then picked his son up to carry him out to the car. Jo’s belly was so big that she had trouble carrying her son around on her hip anymore, let alone for long distances.

When Kris was holding his son, it became evident how much they looked alike. Sure, he looked a little like Jo, too; he had her plump lips with the distinct Cupid’s bow, and his eyes were more of hazel like hers than a chocolate brown like Kris’s. But Lucas had his nose and brow and face shape, and the long, thick, brown hair that Kris was famous for. It fell into his eyes as he glanced sleepily around the room, his head on his father’s shoulder and his thumb in his mouth. Jo brushed that hair out of his face and tried to pull his hand away from his mouth, but Lucas shrieked so she let it go. Now that he was cranky, everything was doomed to be a production.

They lived pretty close to the Shark Tank, so Lucas didn’t have a chance to fall asleep during the ride home. Since he was so close to drifting off, Jo decided that they would give him a bath later and feed him now before he fell asleep. Jo quickly threw together a few grilled cheese sandwiches and then cut up some carrot sticks and apple slices for her special men. She poured some milk into a sippy cup for Lucas and served them at the table in the kitchen before she pulled the jar of pickles out of the fridge and picked a few slices out to munch on. When she was pregnant with Lucas, Jo craved sweet and salty constantly, and she often indulged in chocolate-covered pretzels. This time around, and oddly enough, she wanted sour, and pickles sated that craving wonderfully.

“Don’t you think you should eat something more... substantial?” Kris said carefully around the food in his mouth, not wanting to upset Jo. When she was experiencing morning sickness and he would encourage her to eat, Jo would get emotional; it wasn’t that she didn’t want to eat, and she already felt bad enough that she was sick, and with her raging hormones, she would just cry and cry about it and worry that her baby wasn’t getting enough nutrition. And once her cravings kicked in, Jo was just relieved that she wanted to eat again. Even though Kris wasn’t meaning to criticize, that’s how Jo’s pregnant mind interpreted it.

“I will. I made a sandwich for myself. I just... I want pickles with it.” Jo held onto a dill pickle slice and sucked on it, savoring the tangy vinegar taste. Then she popped the whole thing in her mouth and licked her fingers.

Kris replied soothingly, “I just wanna make sure. Pregnancy, that’s all you. I can’t really do anything, so I just want to make sure that you’re taken care of.”

“Don’t worry, babe. I’m taking care of myself. And I’m taking care of the little one, too,” she said smoothly, giving her tummy a pat. Ever since she had become aware of this pregnancy, she referred to the new baby lovingly as the little one. Jo was a confident mother. It wasn’t something that was necessarily easy, but she did have a maternal instinct that came naturally. She was especially sure of herself now that this was the second time around.

“Of course you are. You’re a good mother.” He stood up from the table, having quickly finished his meal, and kissed Jo’s flavorful lips.

“And you’re a great father. You’d be an even better father if you would carry him up and put him to bed for his nap.” Jo yawned and covered her mouth with the back of her hand. “I think I need one, too, actually.”

They both looked at Lucas, whose head was bobbing as he struggled to stay awake. He hadn’t finished his lunch, but he wouldn’t when he was so tired. He’d had an exciting morning, waking up early to watch his father practice with his team before getting to go out on the ice with him and play. The fit he’d thrown had drained him.

“All right. I’ll see you upstairs then,” he replied, giving her another peck like he wouldn’t see her for hours. Kris scooped up Lucas from his booster seat and took him up to his room to tuck him in for his nap.

Jo cleaned up the kitchen quickly, putting away the lunch her son didn’t eat. She opened up her now lukewarm grilled cheese, piled pickles on it to make the sandwich palatable, and ate it quickly. Once she was finished, Jo dragged herself up the stairs and wished that she could make Kris carry her and put her to bed like he had done for their son. She padded into the bathroom, pulled her hair back into a sloppy ponytail, brushed her teeth, and then headed into the master bedroom, where Kris was sitting on the bed in just his boxers. He was still as cut and fit as he was when they first met; after six years, he looked as good as ever.

His hair was shorter than it used to be, with bangs long around his face but trimmed in the back. It still looked good on him, just more mature and grown up—befitting of a married, family man. His right arm was sporting ink now, too, with the name and birth date of his son written on his bicep. There was plenty of room to add the name and birth date of his soon-to-be-born daughter; that is, as soon as she was born, and as soon as they could pick out a name.

“You napping, too?” she asked, pulling her black sweater over her head to reveal her camisole.

He shrugged. “Dunno. I’m sore, so I think I might just lie down and rest a while. Is that okay with you?”

“More than okay,” she yawned in response. She stepped out of her maternity jeans and folded them before she threw them on the chair in the corner. Jo pulled a pair of Kris’s pajama bottoms out of the dresser and slid them on up to her hips, where she cinched the waist and tied a secure knot to keep them up. Nothing other than specially designed mom-wear was fitting over her belly at this point in the pregnancy, and Jo hated those clothes. Instead, she opted to fit into what she could, even though the pants had to hang low and the cami couldn’t stretch down over her stomach, leaving her baby belly exposed.

She examined herself in the mirror, and Kris moved off the bed and stepped behind her. He wrapped his arms around her and rubbed her stomach, kissing the back of her neck and her shoulders. “You’re so beautiful.”

“That’s sweet,” she moaned, reaching up to touch his hair as his lips worked on her skin. “I feel like a blimp.”

Jo could feel his lips curl into a smile as he replied, “But a beautiful blimp.”

“You smooth talker you.” She turned in his arms and placed a lingering kiss on his mouth. His hands roamed up her sides, gently brushing the sides of her breasts. “Take me to bed.”

“Yes, ma’am.” He grabbed her hand and led her to their big mattress, where they lay down together on their sides, facing each other. Kris carefully pulled Jo on top of him so she was straddling his hips. Then he reached up and pulled the elastic from her hair and released it so it flowed past her shoulders. “That’s it.”

“Seriously?” she sighed, wearing her best pout. “You’re going to make me do the work? I’m so tired, babe. You be on top.”

“But I’m sore from practice,” he returned with a smirk. “I remember when you used to demand to be on top.”

“I’m too big,” she whined, jutting her lip out even farther. “I can’t see what I’m doing over my belly, and it’s too awkward to move.” Jo leaned down over him and tried to kiss him, just to show him that with her protruding stomach, she didn’t have the mobility that she used to. Finally, she pulled out the trump card. “I’m carrying your child, Kristopher. I’m the mother of your children. You should be obliging me.”

“Okay, okay,” he laughed, allowing Jo to roll over onto her back. He couldn’t hover over her, so he stretched out beside her and kissed her slowly and thoroughly, taking his time before his tongue probed her mouth. “You taste like pickles and mint.”

“Eww,” she chuckled, stroking his arm. “Does that mean you don’t want to kiss me?”

“I always want to kiss you. It doesn’t matter what you taste like.”

Jo was about to ask him to continue with that when they heard a polite knock and a soft voice dampened by the closed door. “Mommy? Papa?”

They sighed synchronously; they had a kids-free policy about allowing Lucas to sleep in their bed at night, but they often napped together during the day on their giant, king-sized mattress. Kris peered down at Jo, waiting to see if she would grant her permission. After having to literally carry Lucas away from the rink, Kris wanted to allow him in to sleep with them rather than be forced to take him back to bed. There was only so much strict parenting he could handle in one day.

Jo sighed again and ran her fingers down his arm. “We always have tonight. It’s all right, let him in.”

Kris got up from the bed and opened the door to see Lucas rubbing his eyes with his left hand—he’d probably be a lefty, just like his dad—and clutching his stuffed shark with his right. It wasn’t an officially licensed Shark mascot, but Kris had bought it for him when he was first born and now Lucas couldn’t sleep without it. His hair was a knotted mess from tossing and turning in his lonely, big boy bed down the hall. Jo and Kris never locked their bedroom door, but they had taught Lucas the importance of knocking and asking for entrance before walking into Mommy and Papa’s room. That worked, except when he woke up from a nightmare.

“Hey, bud. You wanna nap with us?” Kris asked, not waiting for an answer. He stepped aside and let Lucas run and dive on the bed next to his mother.

“Come get under the covers,” Jo encouraged, struggling to lift her hips and simultaneously reach down to pull the comforter down. “I feel like a beached whale.” Kris chuckled and helped her before crawling in beside her on her right, while Lucas stretched out on his back on her left. Kris and Jo spooned so they were both facing their son as he quickly dozed back to sleep. The kid could sleep like a rock.

“I can’t believe it’s only a few weeks away,” Kris said with a smile. “I can’t wait to meet my daughter.”

“I’m worried about it,” Jo confessed reluctantly.

“What? Why? Are you scared I won’t be there? Coach promised to scratch me for the away game the day before your due date so I wouldn’t miss it because of traveling.”

“Oh no, it’s not that. I’m a little anxious about the delivery, but I’m more relaxed with it than I was with Lucas because now I’ve done it before. But I mean, this time it’s going to be hard with a new baby and already having Lucas. I’m worried he won’t get any attention because there will be times when you have to travel, and it’ll be just me and two kids, a toddler and a newborn in constant need of attention. I’ll be so tired, and, well, it’s just going to be so much harder this time around.”

Kris hugged his wife tightly and kissed her ear. “We can get you help for when I’m not home. I know you don’t like the idea of strangers coming into the house, so no nannies, but... I could ask my mom to come down for a while. As long as you like, until you get settled or until the season’s over.” The Sharks were already guaranteed a spot in the playoffs in the western conference, and now they were gunning for that number one spot. They were striving for the Cup again, which would be the team’s third—and Kris’s fourth.

Jo’s voice was unsure as she asked, “Do you think she’d mind?”

“Mind? Of course not,” he laughed. “You know she’d love the opportunity to spend more time with Lucas and to get to know the little one.”

“Then I think maybe you should ask her to come down—but only if she’ll come down after the little one’s born, though. I don’t want someone else in the house when I’m nesting. You know I get... particular.”

“Yeah, I remember,” he replied, thinking about the way Jo had freaked if even one thing had been moved as they approached Lucas’s due date. He’d wanted to do nice things for Jo when she was so close to giving birth, but if he cooked, then he never put anything back in the right place. And if he cleaned, he never was thorough enough. While Jo and Marlene now had a good in-law relationship, pregnant Jo wasn’t always easy to get along with. “I’ll ask, but I’m sure she’ll agree. Does that make you feel better?”

“Yes, babe. Thank you.”

Kris reached across Jo and smoothed the hair off Lucas’s forehead before he placed his hand back on Jo’s belly. He whispered in her ear, “So I was thinking. I’d really like a French name for the little one.”

She grinned and closed her eyes. “While Lucas isn’t named after Luc, he’s named in honor of him. I don’t think you get to choose the name this time around.”

“That’s not fair. I didn’t ask for that name. It was your suggestion, in fact. And besides, his middle name is James. I’d say that was a compromise.”

“I just figured—”

“I’m just saying that a French name, or a French-sounding name at least, would be nice. It’s a suggestion, nothing more.”

“Why?” Jo asked, keeping her voice low as her son slept.

“Isn’t it obvious? I’m from Montréal. I mean, I speak French. I want my kids to know where they come from.”

“We’ve gone to visit your family. You speak French to Lucas when I’m not around, and to the little one, too. She kicks like crazy when you do that. They know.” She paused. “And your name isn’t even French.”

“I know, but it’s different when you’re living in Québéc. Everyone knows you’re French-Canadian up there.”

“Did you have something in mind?” she asked, lacing her fingers with his on her stomach. Jo had told Kris at the beginning of the naming process that she got to make all the final decisions, because she was the one putting in all the work of carrying the baby. But she hadn’t yet found a name that she especially liked or they could agree upon. She was starting to worry that she’d deliver the baby and still not have something picked out.

“I had an idea, but I know that this is important to you that you pick one.”

“It’s okay, Kris. Tell me.”

He quietly suggested, “Angelique.”

Jo smiled broadly, her eyes still closed. She squeezed Kris’s hand and tried to repeat it, but it didn’t come out quite as poetically as it did when Kris pronounced it in his deep, accented voice. It made her giggle. “Can I call her Angie?”

“You can call her whatever you’d like.”

“Angelique,” she repeated. “Angelique Letang. I like that. But we need a middle name.”

“What about your maiden name? Angelique Anderson Letang.” He chuckled, shaking Jo as his chest heaved with laughter. “That’s a mouthful.”

“Well, we still have a few weeks to think about it,” Jo replied, snuggling against his body heat. It wasn’t long before she was sleeping and dreaming of the little one and the day she’d join her happy family.

13 comments:

  1. There really aren't words to describe how perfect an ending this is...

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  2. Oh god, Jay. This was so sweet.

    I know you don't like writing epilogues but we like to read them! And I really love to see how far characters have come, especially these two.

    Out of curiosity, are you writing a hockey-related story besides SWK or is it something completely different? I love reading everything you write so I'm going to be nosy :)

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  3. Yayayay they have babies!
    Aw, this made me so happy.

    Why not Angelique Tubby Letang? Rolls off the tongue so nicely...

    -Saf

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  4. Everything in this epilogue had me smiling. Her grad, the wedding, Tubby giving her away, the Norris Trophy, the cute son, the way they still bicker a little bit. It's all so nice and happy and adorable.

    Thanks Jay!

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  5. Ahhhh Jay, I liked it....I feel the same way about epilogues so I was a bit leery also but you did a great job with this. As I have said before you are getting better with each story. I am looking forward to the next. I like lite!

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  6. awwww they're too freaking adorable.
    sad their story is over, but i loved it while it lasted!

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  7. I can't even comprehend how adorable this is. I think of little Lucas looking like Kris with his little shark. It's so cute.

    Thanks for letting us see what you had in mind for the future of Jo and Kris.

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  8. That was PERFECTION. I'm going to miss this story way too much.

    Thank you for the epilogue!

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  9. BAHAHAHA angelique tubby
    i died
    but seriously, the most presh epilogue ever! <3
    so wonderful!
    lucas is an absolute doll!

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  10. Perfection. There was no better way to end this story. Congratulations on a job INCREDIBLY well done!

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  11. One of my favorite book/ movie is the Notebook; in part I’m sure because I get to know what happens up to the very end. So I'm a big fan of the Epilogue.

    I loved this one. They set goals and made their decisions together. At last they did learn to communicate and compromise. They are still so sweet and funny together.

    **“Forward? I don’t think so,” Kris scoffed,**

    **Finally, she pulled out the trump card. “I’m carrying your child, Kristopher. I’m the mother of your children. You should be obliging me.”**

    It’s adorable that Lucas calls Kris Papa but Jo Mommy.
    Funniest of all, Kris “I’ve got to be strong and do the right thing for the people I love even if it’s hard for both of us” Letang can’t stand to see his son upset. Imagine what he’ll be like with a daughter!

    Thank you Jay. Not just for the epilogue but for 140 chapters of exquisite storytelling. It didn’t take long before I quit thinking of Kris as a real person. He just became another character you created. That’s when it stopped being fanfic and became the little world of Jo and Kris. Sometimes they made me so mad I wanted to shake them and others so happy and proud I felt like applauding. You made me laugh and needless to say you made me cry. There are so many images you painted in my mind that I can still see months after you created them.
    But one I don’t think I will ever forget:
    ** All I could see in my mind’s eye was little, innocent Kris. Just a young, three-year-old boy with a crazy mop of dark brown hair to match his wide, brown eyes. Dressed in light blue, flannel, footie pajamas with little hockey sticks and pucks all over them.**

    Six months later I still feel like crying when I read it. Footed pajamas even without hockey sticks and pucks make be tear up!

    I can’t thank you enough for all the time and work you have spent on this. You really are an amazingly gifted writer. It’s been a wonderful rollercoaster ride, thanks for taking us along.

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  12. I enjoyed this very much,
    . Can you invite me to read A Sharp Contrast?

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    Replies
    1. Babs, thanks for the interest in A Sharp Contrast! Unfortunately, I've taken the story down. I have rewritten it as Play the Man and am selling it on Amazon.

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