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Epilogue

She stared up at the rough wood, wondering when she would see the sky again. She had been in there for nearly a day and a half, with minimal food and water. I wish... She laughed at herself very quietly. She needed to stop playing this silly game with herself. There were so many things she wished. Too many. I wish I could stop thinking about what I wish. She laughed again, and continued along that track anyway.

I wish Clara, Eve, and Colin had not betrayed me. I wish I could be free. I wish I could have something to eat. I wish that my knight in shining armor, my prince would get me out of here. Although he is not much of a prince anymore.

A large bump in the road caused her to jolt sharply, hitting her head on the top of the narrow enclosure on the bottom of the wagon. Again. "Ow," she said, hardly louder than the sound of her breath whispering through her gritted teeth. She clenched the rough fabric at her sides. Its scratchiness against her smooth hands helped distract from the pain of the lumps and bumps on her head and the ever-present pain in her back.

She barely noticed when the cart stopped. Her heartbeat roared in her ears and throbbed throughout her head and other various wounds. She barely heard, "Darling...darling, we're here."

The false back of the supply wagon was removed, revealing the small pocket that Melanie had enfolded herself into. "Finally," she grumbled, but she was really in no place to complain. She was not the one who had lost her title as...oh, wait. Yes, she had. Well, she was not the one who had risked her life to save her loved one. Oh, wait. She did that too.

"You may look like you spent a few months in a haunted barn, but you are still beautiful," her prince Killian said.

"Do I look enough like your peasant wife to fool these villagers?" Melanie asked nervously.

He rubbed her back, loosening some of the knots that had formed during the long ride, skillfully avoiding the stubbornly-refusing-to-heal knife wound. "Yes," he said simply.

I fervently hope so. But if not...I will be ready.

Melanie took his proffered hand, and, smiling not-so-nicely, walked down the road, into a new place, a village aptly named Haven, where they would not be found for a very long time.

At least, that was the plan.

For now.

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