And so my mad rush to finish this story comes to an end with this, the final chapter. I leave with you my final wish that you will enjoy it.
Sarah woke up in a bed for the first time in days. For a moment she didn't realize where she was, it wasn't her room, it wasn't a friend's house. And then she remembered Taetrus taking her in his arms and offering her a place to stay.
She'd come home with him that night in a state of shock. It was morning now though, and her mind was racing with the implications. She knew Taetrus well enough to know nothing bad would happen to her while she was there. It did bother her on some level that he would now be caring for her completely. She had no job, no way to support herself, and all she'd be doing would be living off his paycheck.
She glanced down at the clothes she was wearing, a large man's shirt and a pair of boxers that Taetrus had sworn had never been worn. Apparently he'd gotten the clothes from a friend of his. This same friend had offered to buy her a wardrobe, but Taetrus had disregarded the offer. Something about how his friend had strange ideas, or something like that. Instead, Taetrus had promised to take her shopping as soon as he could. For now though, she was faced with changing back into her old clothes, freshly washed. They weren't exactly thrilling to put on, so long without being washed properly had permanently altered them.
"Taetrus?" Sarah called as she opened the door to the rest of the house. "You there?"
One look into the main part of the apartment let her know just why he had chosen not to wake her up that morning.
"Happy Birthday Sarah!" He called from the kitchen. "I've made you breakfast!"
And a more perfect looking breakfast she'd never before seen. It looked like it came right out of a commercial. There were pancakes with smiling faces drawn on them with syrup, banana slices serving as the eyes, a bowl of peaches next to what Sarah assumed was her plate, and bacon piled on the side. She sat down, staring at him in wonder as he brought over a plate of food for himself.
"How did you make all this?" Sarah asked. "It looks amazing!"
"I can only hope it tastes as good as it looks. I looked up typical human breakfasts on the net, then the recipes for them. It's difficult to cook when you aren't able to taste it took make sure it's right."
Sarah let out a giggle and dug in. It was indeed as delicious as it looked, and she babbled about it to him for a while. When she was finally done and just sitting there her mind turned back to serious subjects.
"Taetrus, I'm extremely thankful for this, but it just because my parents. . . my parents are. . ."
"On a shuttle and should be getting here any day now," Taetrus commented, a stubborn look on his face as if he was just waiting for her to challenge him.
"Right, well," she was a little thrown off by his sticking to his offer yesterday. "I don't want to just a free loader. I want to-"
"It can wait until tomorrow Sarah. It's still time to celebrate."
"Taetrus, I . . . ok. Let's party."
It was his turn to laugh as he pulled her from her chair and led her to the chairs from which they could watch a vid he'd rented.
"How did you know this was my favorite?!"
"I took a peak at your Univbook and your Spaceface," he replied quietly. "They didn't have any thoughts on your favorite breakfast foods, but you talked a lot about your favorite movies."
"Taetrus, has anyone told you you're brilliant lately?"
In a couple of hours, once the movie was done he instructed her to close her eyes until he said she could look. Sarah was surprisingly tempted to cheat, but she kept her eyes closed until he spoke again.
"Happy Birthday Sarah."
There were two small cakes on the coffee table in front of her, next to what could only be a present wrapped in Blasto covered wrapping paper.
"Hope you don't mind the paper," Taetrus offered. "It was all I had left from John's birthday and I forgot to buy any more when I went out shopping."
"You didn't have to do all this," Sarah said, smiling up at him.
"I wanted to," he replied, something unfamiliar to Sarah in his voice. "Now open up your presents."
The first one was a red sweater that looked very comfy.
"I thought you'd look nice in red."
His voice was gruff, and it didn't take her long to realize it was the exact shade of red that his facial tattoo was. Sarah chose not to comment, since nothing she could say would express just how much she realized it meant to him. Instead she just reached up to hug him while he messed with her hair.
"It's perfect, I love it," she whispered.
Sarah hadn't felt this safe in a long time, and she knew that tonight she would, just like she had the previous night, not be awoken by nightmares. Taetrus would, as he had ever since they'd met, take care of her.
It's a little shorter, but I hope you enjoyed it all the same. I wanted to give you a peak into their lives together. Which, when I get back after my eighteen months, is more of what I'll be giving you. Finally, thanks for all of your reviews, they've made my day, and I would love to continue to get them. I won't be able to reply, but just know that I am extremely grateful. And so this is Kayla, signing off!