So this is the last chapter! Sorry for such a long wait, and such a short chapter. You know how awful I am at ending my stories. I hope you can forgive me, and can still enjoy this chapter.
I have a couple new stories planned out, so I will get on that soon. In the meantime, please read and review. Thanks for all the support you have given me during this story, as well as over TWENTY COMMENTS! That means so much to me. I didn't expect it at all. Thank you.
Also, what else would you like me to write about? Do you have any suggestions? Please make sure to tell me. I would love more of your feedback and ideas!
On the next day, Aramis woke to a slight hangover, the memories from the other night and those bandits' ship coming back to him. He groaned, his hand running through his unruly locks. "Damn," he cursed, closing his eyes.
He still couldn't believe that this was real, that all this had really happened to him. And Anne. Even more guilt washed over him, his heart literally burning. He had felt lost in his life before, but it was nothing compared to this. He had let the love of his life, get hurt, and hadn't been able to save her. That was worth more pain than being shot over five times!
Aramis was barely able to force himself out of bed. He looked at himself through his mirror, eyeing the awful-looking scars that marred his body. As used to them as he was, he still looked at them with hatred, since they reminded him of his utter failure.
As he came down for morning muster, his body aching. He immediately ran into Athos, who practically shoved a letter in his face.
"Her Majesty would like to see you," he explained. "The letter just came in ten minutes ago. Here's the letter."
Aramis took it and opened it up. In perfect, beautiful handwriting it read:
I would really like to see you. Come to the Palace gardens as soon as you get this letter. I will be waiting.
The Musketeer smiled, pushing the piece of paper close to his chest. "Will you be able to continued without me?" he asked.
Athos nodded. "I'll be fine. You go on and talk to her. I have a feeling she needs you more than she knows."
"Thank you, Athos," the markman replied, his grin growing wider. "I will be back soon."
"Aren't you gonna say goodbye?" another familiar voice asked. "I'm hurt."
Turning around, Aramis smiled again, his eyes shining as Porthos walked over to him and hugged him tight. "I am sorry, my friend, I should have known better," he said, patting the bigger man's back. Once pulling away, he said," You know, I never thought of you as a emotional type."
Porthos, in turn, ruffled his best friend's hair. He grinned when he received a dirty look from the marksman. "Don't get used to it, brother, I'm just grateful that you're home."
Aramis nodded. "Me too," he replied. "I will see you soon, Porthos."
With that, he jumped on a horse and rode to the Palace, where he quickly and quietly made his way to the gardens, keeping his head only raised it when he heard shuffling, and at that time, he knew that it was Anne. He smiled, quickly making his way to her.
"Anne," he said softly, He looked around cautiously before taking her hand and squeezing it gently. "How are you?"
Without thinking, the Queen gently wrapped her arms around her lover, burying her head in his chest. "I have missed you," she whispered. "I was not sure if it was safe to call you, but after a couple of days, I realized that I needed to see you." She took a deep breath and looked up, feeling tears in her eyes. "Oh God, Aramis, I do not know how much longer I can do this for," she said.
Aramis immediately pulled her close. "Hey," he said, keeping his voice calm and low. "Everything will be alright. You will get through this. We will both get through this. I know how hard this is, but you are strong. You can do this, Anne. I know you can."
Anne shook her head. "I can't," she continued. "They keep haunting me."
"I know," Aramis replied. "I know that feeling all too well."
Looking up again, Anne sighed. "Walk with me," she finally said, taking his hand. "I need to clear my head."
For the next hour, the two of them walked through the garden, hand in hand. They talked, and they laughed, and they finally relaxed. When they got tired of walking, they sat down on a bench, holding onto each other.
"What would have happened to us if those bandits hadn't captured us?" Anne asked after a couple of minutes of pure silence.
Her Musketeer planted a quick kiss to her head, pulling her closer to himself. "Something else would have happened that caused both our lives to change," he said. "Changes are not something we can avoid."
Smirking weakly, Anne slapped Aramis' arm. "Since when did you get so … what's the word … smart?"
A chuckle erupted from Aramis' mouth; Anne liked the way his chest rumbled from the motion, how it somehow gave her this feeling of warmth, and safety. "It's a gift," she heard him say. "And what do you mean 'since when'?"
Now it was her turn to laugh. "You know what I mean.
"You know what I mean," she said. "And you really think so?"
"I know so, Anne," Aramis replied. "Everything happens for a reason. Maybe God has forced this burden upon us to try and get us to learn something. Something important. Maybe we will never know what it is, but…"
"Love," Anne suddenly interrupted.
"He wanted to teach us love," she explained. "He wanted to show us that no matter what, love will always prevail."
"Now who's the wise one?"
Anne scoffed. She leaned back against Aramis, taking his hand. "Thank you, Aramis," she finally said. "For everything. Without you, I probably would not even be here. Without you, I would never be able to get through this. You are my savior, and you don't know how much I love you for it."
Aramis smiled. "I think I may have an idea," he said, squeezing her again. "And do not worry, I will be there for you. Always. I will guard you with my life if I will need to, and I will do that with pride. You are my everything, Anne. You forever will be."
From that moment forward, the two of them sat in the gardens for what seemed like even more hours, finding comfort in being in each other's embraces.
And even with all the hardships they faced, and would face in the future, their love would always stay. It would always prevail. It would always keep them safe, and happy.