It was slow, but we managed to get to the Meeting Hall before the sun set. Roan used the railing to get up the stairs and we went into the Meeting Hall. Both elders were waiting for us. Arlan hugged me tightly as Elder Donne got to his feet, pale.
"You saved my life," he said in a weak voice.
"Sit," Roan said. "You need to rest."
"How did you figure it out?" he asked.
For the next half hour, we told him everything. He was utterly disgusted when we told him what the demon was making me do. He apologized again and again for its actions but I assured him it was okay.
"It wasn't your fault," I said.
"I was resting," he frowned, staring at the table. "It was before my meeting with Elder Arlan. I had a nightmare. There was a demon hovering over me and, beside it, Lethan. It consumed me. After that, I was in a black void, unable to move. I was in immense pain. Then, suddenly, I was on the forest floor missing part of my arm."
"I'm sorry," I sighed, shaking my head. "It was the only thing I could think of to do that would still spare your life."
He smiled. "Worry not, child. I am grateful you spared me."
"So what now?" Roan asked.
"Well, we continue on," Elder Donne said. "I have much to atone for, though."
"It wasn't your fault, Elder Donne," Roan said firmly.
"I know but I also know much damage was done to poor Lillian." I looked away, not bothering to deny it. It was true. "So, my first order of business is to tell you that you do not have to marry if you do not wish to."
I looked at Roan. He was frowning at the table. I bit my lower lip and he stood. I watched him but he didn't leave. Instead, he went around the table and knelt beside me. He took both of my hands in his and kissed them.
"I don't care anymore," he said, looking into my eyes. "I don't care about politics. I don't care about war. I don't care about demons or pleasing our races." He touched my cheek. "I care about you, Lillian Greentree, and nothing else. Marry me, please I don't want to live without you."
Tears fell down my face.
"Yes," I whispered. "Of course I will."
He beamed and I knelt in front of him, kissing him. We hugged each other tightly.
"I love you," we said in unison and he laughed.
"So, the wedding is still on?" Elder Arlan asked, smiling at us.
I put my head on Roan's shoulder.
"Yes," I said with a yawn. "But, for now, can we rest together, please?"
"Yes," Elder Donne said immediately. "You have earned more than that."
We walked together down to my hut. As we walked, elves and vampires both applauded. We waved but didn't stop to talk. I just wanted to be with Roan and nowhere else. The two beds were still in my hut but I pushed them together to make one big bed.
We climbed in and Roan opened his arms.
"Come cuddle with your cat," he said tiredly, smiling, and I giggled.
Two weeks later, our wedding was held at sundown. The seamstress at the palace had made a dress for me of varying shades of green. It was gorgeous. For Roan, she went with the vampire colors. He offered to do green, too, but I insisted on it. He had already changed our bedchambers to green and gold.
That night, we made love like we never had before.
We had built two shrines in our bedchambers: One for Adelpha and one for Caricus.
After many meetings and debates with both elders, Roan and I made a bold move. A month after our wedding, we knelt in front of each other's altars, holding hands. I communed with Caricus, and Roan with Adelpha.
To our surprise, they welcomed us.
You are one now, Caricus said. I am part of your life now that Roan petitioned for it just as Adelpha is part of his. You may commune with both or just one of us. You have done your world a great service and you have my blessing.
Our races were getting along well. There were several disputes but they were settled quickly. Eventually, Roan and I would become the king and queen but I could wait. All I cared about was that I had my husband and we were living in a peace our races had never known.
Meanwhile, Lethan had been banished to the south and no one had heard from him.
And Elder Donne met with all of us in the Meeting Hall. He pointed to the treaty and had Elder Arlan hold one half. I frowned and gasped as Elder Donne tore it in half.
"You may cross to the elven realm whenever you want, Lillian Greentree," he said and I couldn't resist it.
I hugged him tightly.
Two years later, I became pregnant again which surprised us both. We were certain that the death of our first child would leave me barren. But we were wrong. No one quite knew what to expect of our child but that wasn't important yet. What was important was now.
Now I sit in Roan's office as he sits at his desk, panicking while reading about pregnancy in both elves and vampires. His parents are helping the people with the disputes, and I am filling this journal to the very end. Perhaps, when it is born, my child will start one, too.
Only Adelpha and Caricus know, though. After all they have done for my husband and I, though, I am fine with waiting and trusting them.