"Your hands," Kel pointed out as Neal simply blinked at her. He looked, saw they were not entirely clean, and released a sound that was a cross between an anguished cry and wail. Back into the infirmary he went.

Kel sighed, shaking her head exasperatedly at his hurry. She was glad that she had no one to meet, and she could take her time if she wanted to. But then, Neal would probably have her head. Nudging Hoshi into a walk, she rode by her people. They waved goodbye, but quickly returned to their work. New Hope had to keep them warm and safe for the winter.

Kel! Kel!" She turned around to see Neal waving his arms at her frantically, his horse almost galloping. Her sparrows was with him, leading the way. "Kel, I have news. Someone's coming!"

Kel was confused. "What do you mean someone's coming? Nobody is supposed come while I'm on leave." She wondered who it could be, considering the sparrows were causing a loud commotion. "Sparrows, report."

The sparrows flew to her. Kel followed their actions carefully. "Old …friend?" She whispered, her eyes worried. Who would come here without notice? "When?" She asked briskly. Ten sparrows separated themselves from the group. "In ten minutes?" Kel paled. "Ok, we will meet them at the bridge. Neal lead the way."

Neal and Kel prodded their mounts into a brisk trot, anxiety leading them to hurry.

By the time they reach the bridge, they could see a vague figure hiding in the shadows. Kel, disturbed at the anonymity, gets off Hoshi and walks slowly forward. She gasps as she sees who it is.

Cleon, who she had barely seen since their last meeting, had grown to look even more rugged and older than when she had last seen him. Kel felt a tingle in her heart. Oh no, she thought. I'm falling for him all over again. I can't, he's probably married already. She could barely lift her eyes to meet his, but when she did, she knew she would never regret it.

"Kel, my engagement to Ermelian of Aminar was cancelled." Cleon speaking in hoarse voice. "I was wondering…if you have found anyone yet?"

"I..I.. actually…no." Kel whispered. She knew she was making a fool of herself. She cursed herself for being so scared. She was never like this when she fought, or when she almost died, so what was so different?

Cleon interrupted her thoughts. "Will you marry me then, Opal of Happiness?" he asked in a strained whisper.

This was what she had waited for. Kel ran into his waiting arms, as happy as any girl can be, even a lady knight. They held each other closely. "I missed you!" They each said simultaneously. Kel's breath caught. She stared into Cleon's eyes. Both leaned in for a kiss. Kel almost melted into Cleon's arms.

In the background, a certain young man was watching the scene contentedly. "Should I tell them I also have a special person to meet?" Neal said slyly. The once quiet sparrows attacked him at once. "Hey, I was kidding! No need to fuss!"

Reasons why I rewrote the ending:

When I finally finished reading Protector of the Small: Lady Knight, the ending was a bit disappointing- wait, scratch that, very disappointing. I felt that it did not really conclude Kel's life, and it was just too far away from the actual point of the series. It was somewhat vague, and too focused on everybody else than on Kel, the main character of the whole story. The ending went from the seer child predicting, to saying goodbye to the people of New Hope, then to Neal hurrying Kel because he wanted to meet his fiancé. There was just too much going on. It seemed like Kel was just thrown in there.

The new ending you could say, is rather unorthodox, because I'm introducing a character that was pretty much as good as dead, considering his minor part in this story. Cleon, who was a pretty big character in previous tales, was eliminated here, because he was supposedly getting married to earn money. Well, I couldn't help feeling sorry for the guy, and Kel (who seriously needed a personal life), and brought him back into the ending, in a most dramatic moment. I was pleased with myself, and I felt happy for the couple, because I know in my heart that Cleon should not marry Ermelian, and Kel should not spend her life alone.

Also, if your wondering why love struck Neal was the character with the last word, I added him because he saved us from a sappy moment, and contributed a splash of humour at the same time. As the saying goes, "It should always end with laughter."

This was written for a book report and I liked it so much that I thought it should be shared with you. Hope you liked it too!