It's finally here! The final chapter of this wonderful odyessy and adventure! I would like to thank everyone who has read this story, enjoyed it, reviewed it, and been the reason for keeping me writing.

But before you get to disheartened by the end, there is an epilogue still to come, although when, I don't know.

Love her, protect her

Today was the day, he thought. Three months had passed since they first sent tongues wagging by spending most of one evening together. Will couldn't wait any longer. Stories of the Governor's ailing health, (he had collapsed at a party, and had been rarely seen in public since) were spreading like wildfire through the town, and Will was desperate to gain one last favor from him, before the rumors were proven true.

Sitting at the small desk in his room, he pulled a sheet of paper before him, and began writing. Given his last visit to the Governor's private library had been almost a disaster from Will's point of view (although he still remembered clearly the elder man's amused expression as he gave Will his blessing to pursue Elizabeth), Will didn't want to face the same excruciating level of embarrassment.

Before he knew it, Will had written four pages detailing the love he felt for Elizabeth, and his desire to make her his wife. After signing his name, Will stared at the four sheets of paper, before throwing them in the fire grate.

"Pathetic." He said to himself.

It wasn't the fact that he had written four pages, but the fact that he was intending to present these four pages to the Governor.

"Governor Swann will not allow a man to marry Elizabeth who isn't even capable of conversing without the aide of a note-sheet." He said to the balls of scrunched up paper.

Summoning his man, Will began to prepare himself for the day, but in the same way he would a party. He took a bath, dressed in not his finest clothes, but his finest day clothes, attempted to eat some breakfast, but found his stomach was once again churning out butterflies that he could barely keep down a bite of toast, steadied himself, and left the house.

"Don't forget to be articulate!" He heard his mother shouting from her bedroom window. As if he needed reminding of his last meeting with the governor.

After what felt like hours, he arrived at the Swann mansion, and was shown into the back parlor, where the Governor was staring out the windows.

"Governor Swann." Will greeted the ailing man, who immediately left the comfort of the small sofa and crossed to the windows.

"When I feel that my study has become too stuffy I come back here. I don't like my daughters using this room, although Elizabeth certainly found she was quite capable of sneaking in when she was younger." He was looking at one of the small table-legs, where a child had obviously painted. "Its funny how there was a time when I was furious with her, but in recent times, I can't look anywhere else."

Will swallowed. The Governor paused. Will hoped he could use this break to begin his completely unpracticed speech.

"Sir I," He began, before he was cut off.

"You've come to ask me for permission to marry Elizabeth, haven't you?" The Governor finished a sentence Will was going to say later. But now, he had to be honest.

"Yes, I have." Will responded.

The ailing Governor turned around to face the young man. "I'm surprised you haven't come sooner."

"Sir?" Will was confused. Three months he felt had been an adequate time for he and Elizabeth to publicly build up an acquaintance for which marriage could only follow.

"I watch you two, every time you are together. You are not at all like other couples. You both look at each other as though you are on completely equal terms, as though you have been married for years. I see you look at her with nothing but love in your eyes, and I see the same from her. I see you converse so closely; I see you disappear from the room together, arm in arm, neither pulling away. I see you when the night ends as you bid each other goodnight. What you both have is something that few of us ever do find, but spend our lifetimes searching.

"I never had that relationship with my late wife. I often felt that she viewed me as pompous and perhaps even arrogant. I am by no means saying that I didn't love my wife; because I shall tell you right now that her death rocked me completely. I am simply saying that even those of us who love each other, there is always something about the other person we want to change.

"But you and Elizabeth, well, is there anything you want about her to change?" The elder man asked.

Will was so completely surprised by the speed of ending of the Governor's speech that he took longer to respond than necessary. But seeing as how the ball of conversation was now in his court, Will was going to waste no time in reciting his speech for Elizabeth's father.

"Sir, I have loved Elizabeth from almost the first time I met her; one morning in the rain. Since that moment, the time I have spent with her I have discovered a young woman who is vibrant and fiery, and who is passionate, sweet, loving and true. Her nature of rebelliousness I can not argue with, for it keeps those around her on her toes. I believe that she loves deepest those around her, and that I can complete her, in the same way that I feel she completes me."

Will finished and watched the elder man who held a small smile on his face. The Governor, who had been facing Will throughout, now turned away and sat back down on the small sofa he had been residing when Will arrived.

"Come, William. What I wish to say to you I do not wish to say to thin air." He held up a hand and beckoned Will to approach.

Will stepped deeper into the room, around the sofa the Governor was sitting on, and taking a seat on the sofa opposite.

"I have no intention of hearing about your love for my youngest daughter, because I do not need to be sold on it. When the time existed that I believed you to be of poor sort, I did not know your character. That time, thankfully, has passed. Since then, I have observed you closely. When you first visited me and asked permission to court Elizabeth, I knew that it would likely end in marriage, but I wanted to be certain that what happened to your mother would not happen to my daughter."

Will swallowed.

"You are very lucky that I had a little to do with your father. Despite the obviousness of his love for Adelaide Price, his character was not as true as yours. His eyes would often light up at the prospect of freedom on the seas, treasure, riches and piracy." He paused observing Will. "Suffice to say that in those four ideas, you remained nonchalant."

He paused, holding a hand to his chest for a few moments, his composure changing.

"Sir, should I call for someone?" Will asked after a beat.

The governor stopped, rolled his shoulders quickly, before looking back to Will. "There is no need; the pain is only fleeting.

"William, I would like for this meeting to end now, and for you to promise me one thing."

Will nodded. "Yes sir, anything."

"I want you to marry my dear Elizabeth, love her, protect her and look after her for the rest of your life." He took Will's hand in his as he spoke, and didn't release him until Will agreed.

As the Governor watched the young man leave he sighed to himself; that was one of the finest men in all of his acquaintance. He was not a soldier or a sailor, or even a man of politics, but he was a man with loyalty, character and distinction, and that was the type of man he wished all of his daughters could have married.

He relaxed back into his chair, enjoying the feel of the soft cotton, wood and leather, and waited for news of his youngest daughter's engagement to emerge.


Remember to Review!