“You look beautiful.” Steve looked at Fiona with his heart in his eyes. She had never looked lovelier.
“So do you.” Fiona looked up at Steve. He was tall, slim and as elegantly dressed as ever. “Or handsome.”
“Handsome is better.” Steve took a breath. “It’s been a crazy few years.”
Fiona nodded. “I can’t remember what it was like before I met Kadogan. Now I’m used to werewolves and vampires and all sorts that I had written off as fiction.”
“I know. And you’re married to someone who has elfen blood running through their veins. I could become elfen at any time.” Steve squeezed her hand.
“I’m happy now.” Fiona said. “There’s no need to change.”
Steve held her close. “Adele is happily married to Callum.”
Fiona smiled. “It was amazing. The police were called four times, and none of it was for the werewolves. Half the family got barred from every supermarket in York and some of them are going to paying off the fines for diverting the National Grid for years.”
“Ian is happily married to Jeanette.” Steve said, gently stroking Fiona’s face.
“And the baby is doing fine.” Fiona said. “Though I feel sorry for the poor girl. Ian is going to be a very protective father.”
“Lady Freydis married Martin.” Steve said. “And Dave and Luke are still finding drunk elfen in all sorts of places.”
“She seems really happy.” Fiona said. “And so does he. There is a sort of glow over them, when they aren’t causing trouble at the White Hart.”
“There are hundreds of skeletal hands disguised as cats roaming York and catching rodents.” Steve said. “This is causing a few problems with pet gerbils and hamsters, but it’s mainly a good thing.”
“And Darren and Jasmine have adopted two for the vicarage.” Fiona said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t settle down next.”
“An exorcist and a werewolf?” Steve said. He shrugged. “It could be worse.”
“And I think that Mrs Tuesday may be having some sort of affair with Eorl Brand.” Fiona said. “Of course, no-one has got the nerve to ask.”
“Jack would,” Steve said, “But he’s too busy getting into trouble. Did you know he got into the electronics at York Races and nearly caused havoc. Dave caught him just in time.”
“I wonder what will happen with Dave and Elaine.” Steve said. “I hope they will be happy.”
“That’s up to them.” Fiona said. “Just the same as our happiness is up to us.”
“We’ve got the White Hart which is thriving.” Steve said with some satisfaction. “And the new shop on the outskirts of Leeds should be just as successful.”
“Second hand household wares from the house clearances of non-normals.” Fiona shook her head. “And second hand magical goods. I’m still not sure about that bit.”
“It will work.” Steve said. “Though I think we’ll see a lot of counterfeit stuff coming through in the next few years.”
Fiona smiled up at him. “And we’ll deal with it. Just as we have dealt with everything else.”
Kadogan rushed in. “Everyone is waiting for you!”
Steve looked at his love. “Are you ready?”
Fiona smiled up at him. “Always.”
In deference to Steve’s heritage, they walked into a corner of the faerie realm. A soft summer breeze blew over them as they walked underneath great stands of trees and boughs of cherry blossom. The benches were full of friends and loved ones, and a sigh went up as Fiona, in a simple but elegant white dress, walked arm in arm with Steve, to where Darren was waiting to bless their marriage and renew their vows. And for one, gentle, singing heartbeat, all was well.
I originally started the stories of the White Hart to see if using a blog format for a novel would work. That was back in January 2017. Since then there have been 71 instalments and I have had fun writing all of them. I’ve loved the characters and the setting, and I’ve enjoyed the stories that flowed from them. Sometimes I have started writing a story just to find out what was happening next.
All good things come to an end. I’ve realised that while a blog is great for ongoing soaps and serials, it’s no good for a novel, which is where I would like to concentrate. The last few months have been tough for me, and finding the time to write more Tales from the White Hart has been incredibly difficult. The complicated cast of characters demand and deserve more time and attention from me than I can give them. The last few weeks have been particularly difficult to find writing time, so I made the decision I am making this brief chapter the last entry in Tales from the White Hart, at least for now.
I have plans for novels which feature many of the characters, and I will be continuing to write regular flash fiction on my writing blog ‘Always Another Chapter’. I hope you will be able to keep reading and enjoying.
Over the next few weeks I will be sorting out this blog, playing around with some of the pages and the order of things and making it easier to go back and dip into your favourite chapters. I may even try and get it out as an ebook somewhere. Tales from the White Hart have always been free to read online, and I while I don’t know if I can afford to keep this site going permanently, it’s going to be here for a few months more at least.
The most wonderful part about this fantastic journey has been the company of those who have joined along the way. The comments, support and kindness that you incredible people have shown has been amazing, and I don’t think that I have any way to thank you enough. Your encouragement made these stories possible. Thank you.