“Stories never really end...even if the books like to pretend they do. Stories always go on. They don't end on the last page, any more than they begin on the first page.” - Cornelia Funke
Working off this principle, I decided to write up a little 'after the curtain closed' scene. This one is from the same universe as Kingdom Come. It takes place a few months after the end of the book.
"This is good."
Abby looked up from her plate to smile at her dad. "Caught it myself."
Alfred stared at her for a moment, as if trying to decide if she was being serious. When her smile widened, he glanced at Edric.
"She still goes hunting with you?"
Edric shook his head. "Only trapping for the past few months."
Alfred's gaze returned to her and dropped to her rounded belly. "Right."
Abby grinned at his expression. "I can't do anymore hunting until the munchkin comes."
Loreet looked up from her plate. "Of course," she said, as if the mental image of a pregnant woman setting traps in the forest was not odd at all.
Abby smirked at her dad. Even after spending several days a month at the palace in Ghadrik, he was not completely comfortable with how Abby chose to spend her recreation time.
"My huntress," Edric murmured.
She glanced at him and their eyes met. His Caribbean blue gaze swept over her face and landed on her belly. When his eyes met hers again they were heated. Abby returned the look, until Loreet cleared her throat. They broke away from each other like guilty teenagers.
The rest of the meal past with comfortable conversation and soon her father was taking his leave. Abby walked him to the portal outside the palace. Her loyal guards and friends, Limek and Konani, hovered near the door to give them privacy.
"This was…good. Thanks for having me, Bebe."
Abby smiled. "You know you're always welcome. See you in two weeks?"
"Yes. You sure you want me to bring your brothers?"
Abby smiled at his expression and leaned in to hug him. Her belly, five months pregnant, was round enough to push out the front of her shirt and place a small gap between them.
John pulled back to hold her at arm's length. "Alright, then."
His eyes dropped to her midsection and he smiled. "Take care of that kid of yours."
Abby stood back and watched until he stepped through the portal and vanished from view. When she turned back to the palace, her guards were gone and Edric was standing with his arms crossed watching her. His lips curved into a smile, as he pushed away from the wall.
He prowled toward her and she took a moment to sweep him with her gaze. The midnight black hair, high cheekbones, and strong build were as attractive to her as they had been the moment she met him. She had given herself a hard time then, tried to tell herself he should not be as distracting as he was.
But he was. Still. Abby adjusted her stance and gave him an encouraging smile. His eyes turned molten. He stopped just inches from her, close enough for her to feel his breath on her lips. She tipped her head back and brushed her mouth over his teasingly.
"Did you want something, Your Highness?"
His eyelids dropped to half mast, eyes fastened on hers. "If I did?"
Abby pressed her lips against his for just a moment, too quickly to be satisfying for either of them.
"Depends what it is, Your Highness." She nipped his bottom lip and he let out a shaky breath.
Abby pressed herself against him. "Sounds like a plan." She squealed when he swung her into his arms.
He kissed along her jaw as he carried her into the palace, holding her close to his body. The workers they passed hid smiles and pretended not to hear her giggling.
When they reached the second floor, Edric nudged open the bedroom door with his hip and kicked it closed.
"Now what?" he whispered against her neck.
Abby grinned. "I'm going to take advantage of you."
He growled playfully and set her on her feet by the bed. "I am at your mercy, my love."
He bumped his nose against hers, before kissing her deeply. Abby let out a soft sigh.
Things has been difficult in the beginning, but she would go through it all again. To be with him. She said as much to Edric and he pulled back to look in her eyes.
"Nothing would have kept me from you. You are…everything."
She could not say it often enough, but she murmured, "I love you."
He smiled. "And I love you."
Thanks for reading! If you would like to read an excerpt from Kingdom Come, click here.