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Discoveries by Tasha

This is the second in the Dividing series, the others may be found at:
Dividing of The Ways
Disclosures

 

Epilogue

Joe sent the word round quite rapidly, but just to be sure the Watchers found that they were following some very well behaved Immortals for the next few days. It was only the next Friday that the first of the bunch decided she wanted a little privacy and Madi gave her shadow the slip quite easily. She did, however, have a very good reason: Adam had asked her to dinner, and it would not do for anyone to see a Watcher having a meal with an Immortal. If the relationship turned into anything but a quiet friendship the complications would pile up, but that had never stopped Methos before.

The attention was dying down: the extra personnel had been reassigned from the twins and the uneasy vagueness of the truce was reinstating itself. Normality was slowly seeping back into the area, if anywhere that had Immortals in numbers could ever be said to be normal.

Karina's father took the news of her relationship with Chris quite well considering, and although it caused a partial rift in the family, he did not try and forbid it. He was a man who knew his daughter very well, and he also knew love when he heard it. There would be no more family chats about Watcher business while Kari was at home, but she was her own person and she had never given her allegiance to the organisation. Her mother had cried on the phone, but they'd sorted things out.

Everything else carried on just as it had been: the dojo, the relationships, only one person seemed to be acting a little strange. Beren was beginning to think she was paranoid, by the end of the week, but Richie appeared to be keeping secrets from her. They told each other just about everything and when it looked as if he was sneaking around behind her back she became a little worried. Every time she even tried to bring up the subject over the days after the Quickening he changed the subject and steered their conversation in another direction. When a taxi turned up to take her home on the Friday instead of her lover she made up her mind to pin him down and find out exactly what was going on as soon as she saw him.

The door slammed loudly behind her when she finally charged inside and she was so worked up that it took her a few moments to realise that there were four things waiting for her on the coffee table. The piece of furniture had been moved into the centre of the room and all the anger drained out of her as she saw what was there. The first object was a single rose in a small glass vase: it's petals were a deep, blood red, almost black in the centre and she could smell it's perfume from where she stood. The second article was a large, plain white box, sealed with a blue ribbon, and the on top was an envelope with her name on it in Richie's careful handwriting. The last gift was a small box, also gift wrapped, but her eyes fell on the other paper container first.

She walked forward slowly and picked up the card gently. It wasn't sealed, only folded inwards and she pulled the lip open carefully, taking out the contents with skilful fingers. It was a single piece of stationary, rimmed in gold with hand crafted gothic lettering to form the message. As she read a little smile played across her mouth and she bit back the urge to cry.

"It would give Mr Richard Ryan the greatest pleasure if Miss Berengaria Danworth would accept these tokens of his love and affection, and meet him for dinner this evening. A carriage will call at seven o'clock if the Lady would do him the honour of consenting to this invitation."

It took her several seconds to wrestle with the expertly tied bow on the box, but after a brief struggle she carefully pulled off the lid. Her breath caught in her throat as she pulled the tissue paper off what was inside, and revealed the most sumptuous black velvet. Nothing would have stopped her pulling the dress out of the box, and her eyes glowed as she took in the long elegant gown, the cost of which she didn't even want to contemplate. Reluctantly she lowered the garment back into it's container and reached for the other package. The paper came off in one swift movement and revealed a small black box which she opened with a shaking hand. The earrings were drop sapphires, and the small card in the lid was inscribed: To match your eyes. Beren just sat down and stared at them for a few minutes. Then she looked at her watch: it was five thirty and even though she had plenty of time, panic set in.

The carriage turned out to be a limo and after that the young English woman gave up trying to calculate what this evening must be costing. The velvet dress clung to her figure with heart stopping closeness and as the chauffeur helped her out of the car at the restaurant she looked absolutely stunning. She'd found yet another two gifts waiting for her in the bedroom when she'd gone in to change, and the black shoes and wrap finished off the outfit in style. More than one head turned as the uniformed doorman held the portal for her and the Maitre-d' walked up to her. She'd piled her long curls into a sophisticated swirl on the top of her head, and her makeup was perfection.

"Miss Danworth," the member of staff greeted as if she'd been going to the restaurant for years, "welcome to Chez Louis. Please, let me take your wrap."

It was a figure of speech, because the moment the words left the man's mouth another member of staff was helping her to remove the outdoor garment.

"Your table is this way," he lead her into the dinning room, and from there she needed no help.

As she walked through the door, Richie stood up from where he had been waiting, and Beren's heart almost stopped. The young Immortal looked timeless as he sported the current style for Edwardian jackets and modern accessories. He'd chosen a black frock coat with a high collared shirt and white cravat, the severity of which was overcome by the red and gold waistcoat, almost renaissance in style. Her eyes took in everything from the stylish black, buttoned boots, over the sharply pressed grey trousers and upwards. There was something about him, a poise, maybe the way he stood, and it spoke to her. To say that she was impressed was the understatement to end all, and after a moments shock she literally beamed at him. The concierge didn't even bother to try and keep up, as somehow the young woman covered the distance between herself and her beau in less than five seconds whilst remaining undeniably graceful. Any British reserve had been put away for the evening and without another thought Beren threw her arms around her lover and kissed him with all the passion she could muster.

"You liked the dress then," he said sweetly when she finally let him breath.

The lip sealer had been a good idea, otherwise the small smudge of gloss on Richie's mouth would have been spread all over his face.

"Liked," was the reply he received from his partner, "you wonderful man, I love everything, I love you, I think you're the most fantastic person on the face of the planet."

The maitre d' stood back inconspicuously, but when they'd been standing there, staring into each other's eyes for a good five minutes he did manage a gentle clearing of the throat. Richie spun into action with a broad grin and pushed the chair in as his love sat down.

"Why?" Beren asked finally, once they were both seated with menus in their hands. "Why tonight?"

"Aren't I allowed to spoil you once in a while?" was the charming and evasive reply.

There was curiosity bright in her eyes, and his innocent look didn't fool her at all. There were idea's running through the young Immortal's mind and his lover could read them all too well. Just for a moment he looked as if he was going to continue to avoid her question, but eventually he smiled. He put down his menu, reached over to her with his left hand and took hold of her slim fingers, rubbing them gently, almost shyly. He was working up to something, and the emotion in his eyes was very nearly afraid: he seemed very unsure. It was so unlike Richie that it caused Beren momentary concern and she cast the wine list aside. She barely noticed that his other hand had dived into one of his pockets, and she was surprised when he produced another box. Her breath caught in her throat as she saw the small container and she had no idea what to think as he pushed his chair back and stood up. He came round the side of the table, and with a little flourish went down on one knee, deep love in his eyes.

"Will you marry me?" he asked very quietly and flicked open the ring box with unconscious precision.

No sound would leave Beren's lips, she opened her mouth, but nothing came out. She stared into his eyes, the same small smile playing across her features as had done when she'd opened the gifts. Somewhere inside she had known, a deep down place that had guessed, and the love she held in her heart blossomed to fill her entire being.

"Yes," she said in no more than a whisper, "yes, my love."

She really didn't remember how the diamond and sapphire ring found it's way onto her finger, or how they both stood, all she remembered afterwards was the embrace, and the kiss. They had gained the attention of all the other diners in the room, and when they finally parted they received a resounding round of applause. Richie smiled at Beren and she clung to him, almost shaking.

"I love you," the Immortal said, his voice thick with emotion.

"Forever," his lover returned.

The End