AN:- So, this is the final chapter… 4 seasons, 4 chapters!

I am sorry that it has taken me so long to update, I do have excuses but I won't bore you with them!

I didn't know how much stress I'd feel about taking on someone else's idea. I'm sure that lemacd has thought more than once that she would do something differently. I am very grateful to her for letting me run with it. Artistic license is a wonderful thing and it can be found in abundance in this chapter, from the fact that they are still living in Aigen after the honeymoon and also the tight timescales. But hey, I'm assuming that they were very productive on their honeymoon!

The italics and flashbacks are also back again I'm afraid!

Thank you for reading and reviewing, I am always hugely grateful to think that someone actually enjoys what I write and I very much appreciate it.

Rating and disclaimer as per previous chapter.

Autumn

"Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits."

Samuel Butler

"Close your eyes… and no peeping," Georg whispered, leading Maria by the hand to the attic door.

"I've been here a hundred times before, I think you forget just how many times you've sent me up to this dusty old place to bring something down for you," Maria sighed, wearily.

"Ah yes, my darling. I have indeed been rather lazy when it comes to trekking up here, but I assure you that you've never seen it quite like this." Georg threw open the attic door and instantly Maria felt the warmth that was streaming in from the large window, caress her face. Her eyes were still shut and Georg had to nudge her to encourage her to open them.

As she did so, she was blinded momentarily by the bright interior. The late Autumn sun bounced off the crisp white walls and she found herself feeling completely calm, surrounded by peace and tranquillity. The room was totally transformed.

Maria was aware of the fact that her husband had arranged for some of the furniture to be brought back down into the main house. Indeed, their suite looked much more like one that was inhabited by a married couple rather than a lonely old widower. So, she had been prepared for the fact that the attic would look much less cluttered than it had on her last visit, when she had been sent to find the delicate pearl necklace that had belonged to Georg's mother.

Although she had longed for the day to arrive, she was shocked by how nervous she actually was now that it was here. It had been a week since she had last seen Georg and she felt as if her heart was about to explode from her chest at the thought of finally seeing him again and becoming his wife.

She touched the pearl necklace that hung perfectly around her neck and she found that it brought her some peace. Perhaps Georg's mother was looking down on her that day giving her the courage she needed to become, Baroness von Trapp.

After what seemed like an eternity, the gates were opened and Maria ventured through them towards Liesl, who stood holding a pretty bouquet of flowers.

"It's time. Mother," Liesl whispered and Maria felt her heart overflow with love for the beautiful young girl that she felt privileged to call her daughter.

She felt as if she had glided down the aisle, drawn towards Georg who stood tall and handsome in his dress uniform with his sword by his side.

Oh, could this really be happening to her, she thought and then he reached out and took her hand…

Georg squeezed her hand lightly and Maria blinked to clear her eyes and look upon the room in full focus.

Not only had the clutter and furniture been removed but the room had undergone extensive repair. No longer was it a dank and musty room. It smelled of fresh flowers and the mountain breeze. The walls had been painted and the floorboards repaired and varnished. Sumptuous rugs covered the floor and new furniture was all around. Not just any furniture, it was all suitable for the children. Georg had created a space that was just for them. There were easels, bookcases brimming with books, a railway set for the boys, a dolls house, a puppet show and in the corner beside the large window was a piano and several musical instruments. The walls were adorned with what seemed like hundreds of photographs of the children with their Mother and sometimes their Father.

"I thought it was time that the children remembered how it used to be," Georg smiled.

"Oh, Georg," Maria gasped as her hand flew up to cover her mouth in astonishment. "How on earth… how did you manage… It's so beautiful now."

"Yes," Georg agreed, "I suppose it is and it is all because of you." He brought Maria's hand to his lips and kissed it delicately.

Maria considered her husband's twinkling blue eyes and felt blessed to be so loved by such a remarkable man. Georg slid behind her and wrapped his arms around his wife, his fingers slid down her slender arms coming to cover her own hands which rested on her stomach. He turned her gently so that she faced the corner that was cast in shadows.

"There is one more piece of furniture that needs to be brought down to our bedroom," he reached to the side, still holding Maria and pulled a crisp white sheet which fell to the ground revealing the most beautiful baby's cradle that Maria had ever seen.

"It has been in the family for longer than I can remember. All of my children have slept in this cradle," Georg caressed his wife's blossoming stomach as he peppered kisses on her neck. "I can't wait to welcome this precious little one into our family and place him..." Maria cleared her throat and raised an eyebrow at her husband, "or her… in the cradle," Georg chuckled as he pushed aside her flimsy blouse and exposed the silky-smooth skin of her shoulder. Almost every time they were alone they found it hard to keep their hands off each other.

They had arranged to marry quickly, which led to much gossip and speculation, which was given perhaps some foundation (for those who wanted there to have been a scandal) by the early announcement of Maria's pregnancy.

She was almost four months gone but appeared by her swollen stomach to be a little further along. It had come as little surprise to Maria as they had spent the best part of their honeymoon in their suite, barely venturing out of bed. It was something that Maria felt a little guilty about as she knew how expensive their trip to Paris had been. He had assured her however, with a mischievous glint in his eye, that the only scenery he had any desire to see was his new bride. There would be many more trips to Paris if she so wished.

Maria quickly learned that her husband was a gentle and generous lover, his mission was always to satisfy his new bride first and foremost. She was a quick learner though and soon knew in intricate detail every delicious, sensual part of her husband's body and she knew how to please him in ways he could only have dreamed about.

Maria's breath became ragged as Georg's warm, moist lips continued to tease and nip at the skin around her neck and shoulder.

"Georg, we really should go back down to the children. Max will be wondering where we've got to," she groaned.

"Max knows us well enough," Georg growled in a velvety timbre, "He won't be expecting us back for another hour at least."

Georg's fingers began to skim across her stomach and then back up her arms until he grasped her shoulders and turned her slowly to face him. He took her hands in his and brought them up, holding them tightly to his chest. As his forehead came to rest against Maria's and their rapid breaths mingled together, he whispered, quietly, "You are the most wonderful person in the world and I am the luckiest man. Never once did I believe that I could ever be this happy again."

"I don't think luck has anything to do with it. God always has a plan and this was his will for us," Maria smiled, softly.

"Then I shall always be thankful that God realised that you would make a disastrous Nun and he had to resort to Plan B," Georg laughed loudly and flinched as he felt Maria's hand flick sharply against his backside.

"Can we go back down, I'm getting a little tired now."

"Of course," Georg nodded, as he took Maria by the hand and led her from the attic.

Just before he closed the door, Maria turned to take one last glance into the remarkable room. A shaft of sunlight shone through the leaded window and came to rest upon a photograph of Agathe von Trapp, a baby in her arms, smiling lovingly at her other six children.

Maria now understood that God had made a terrible mistake by taking Agathe away from Georg and his children, but perhaps this was His way of putting things right and she swore that she would do everything in her power to make sure that Georg and the children would never want again for love and security, for the rest of their lives.

~x~

Thank you for staying with this and for all your generous reviews. I know this is a short chapter but I left it too long to complete it and I needed to get this finished. I hope it isn't too disappointing. As always, if you are able to leave a review I would be very grateful.

Thank you.