What Doesn't Kill You

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Epilogue

FIVE YEARS LATER

Scout walked out onto the stage, the heat of the spotlight on her face before she dropped into a bow.

“Thank you!”

She straightened up and shot a smile at the audience before heading off the stage. As she made her way out into the lobby of the theatre she met with parents and audience members who were thanking her. She stopped to chat to a few of them before she saw her small group of supporters waving at her.

“Hey baby,” Scout said. “How did I do?” She scooped a small boy into her arms and gave him a hug.

Tiernan was her pride and joy without a shadow of a doubt. He was meant to be a 50/50 split of Scout and Lucky but somewhere along the way T hadn’t gotten that memo. Instead, Scout saw Lucky in him in everything he did. Not only that but he looked the spitting image of his father.

“Good!” T told her. He hugged her around the neck and Scout cuddled him close.

Jim beamed. “You did amazing, sweetheart.”

“Thanks, Dad.”

He kissed her on the cheek and Ava came into view, grinning at Scout. “That was wonderful, Scout. The kids were amazing.”

Scout was glad they’d pulled it off. After having Tiernan she’d stay in Swansea. She wanted to give her son a place to grow up that was beautiful and where he could appreciate life away from the hustle and bustle of a big city. She couldn’t let go of dance though and with Lucky’s help she opened a studio to teach. It took some time to get it off the ground but now she taught 7-18 year olds and their summer show had apparently been a big hit.

“You did amazing, Becca… There she is! Have a good summer!” lucky was like a foghorn in the lobby, louder than everyone else. He was grinning from ear to ear as he came over to Scout, large bouquet of flowers in his hands. “Baby!” He strode towards them and gave her a kiss.

“Those are for me?” she asked, eyeing the flowers.

“Nope. For my other girlfriend,” Lucky teased. She gave him a bump with her hip and he went to kiss her again but she turned away. “Babe, you know you’re the only one for me.”

She turned around and kissed him and their son tried to pry them apart. “I better be,” Scout told him.

They all left to get into the cars and drove back to the house. Scout and Lucky had moved out of the flat a little over two years ago and finally bought a house. Everything had fallen into place even if it took a little longer than expected.

Their family piled into the house, heading straight out into the back garden where they can soak up the summer sun and Tiernan and Felicity could cause as much havoc as possible with minimal damage.

“Thanks for having us over,” Ava said. “You should be putting your feet up after today.”

Scout placed Lucky’s flowers into a vase of water. There isn’t a day that went by where she wasn’t reminded just how much he loved her. Things hadn’t always been smooth sailing but they’d gotten through everything together.

“It’s no trouble. You know we love having everyone over.”

“Maaaaaaam.” Tiernan tugged at her hand and she rolled her eyes at Ava before scooping up her son. Yet another way her resembled his Dad – the constant need for attention. Some day he was going to be a complete heart breaker but she wasn’t ready to think about that just yet. “Mam.” He put his hands on her cheeks and squeezed.

Scout pulled her face away. “What is it, T?”

“Dad wants to talk to you.” He pointed out towards the back garden and she resisted the urge to roll her eyes again.

“I’ll be there now,” Scout told him. She tried to put him down but he clung to her.

“Promise!”

“I promise, T. Go. I’ll be there now.”

He finally let her put him down before running off into the back garden.

“I’m so glad we had a girl,” Ava said, watching him go.

“Do you ever want to stop?”

“I love him but absolutely not.”

Ava and Scout walked out into the back garden where the family were lounging about. They made their way towards them and Lucky pushed himself out of his chair. It was strange to think that a few years ago Lucky would struggle to get himself up without help. He worked hard to get himself back to where he once was.

Scout narrowed her eyes a little as he grinned at her. “What do you want now that couldn’t wait?” she asked him.

“I wanted to get everyone together so I could congratulate you.”

Ava left Scout’s side and sat herself on Michael’s lap. Lucky held a glass out to Scout and she took it before he put and arm around her waist and pulled her in close.

“I wanted to congratulate you on one hell of a show, Scout,” he said. She felt herself flush red at the compliment. “I am so proud of you for building up the studio to where it is today.”

“Okay, enough of this. You must have sunstroke.” Scout tried to pull away but Lucky held her tighter.

“I don’t know how you do it all,” Lucky said to her quietly. He stomach felt fluttery and her heart rate picked up just like it always did when Lucky set his eyes on her like that. “You build the studio from scratch. Raised our boy –”

“You helped there.”

“And kept on top of everything I needed.”

The hospital had kept them busy over the years with regular check ups and appointments. Lucky hit his five years all clear two weeks ago and it felt like a weight off Scout’s chest knowing that he was healthy.

“To be honest, Scout, I’m not sure how I would have managed over the last few years without you.”

“You’d have fallen apart.”

“Don’t I know it.” He put down his glass and took hers from her and set it down as well. “T, pal!” Their son came running towards them and Lucky picked him up before whispering something in his ear.

“What are you two up to now?” Scout asked.

T nodded and Luck said, “So, a few weeks ago, T here asked why we all have different last names.” They’d debated a lot of Tiernan being Tiernan James and in the end they settled on Daniels-James because it meant they were all tied together somehow. “And I told T he could be a Daniels or a James if he wanted to be.”

“Of course you can, baby.” Scout suddenly felt a little panicked that Tiernan might have been bullied in school and that was why he asked.

“I want to be a James,” her son told her.

“Really, Lucky?” Scout asked. “You got to him before I did?”

“Hell yes, I did.” He put Tiernan on the ground and the little boy pulled something from his pocket with a little struggle before handing it to Lucky.

“Scout,” Lucky said. “I think I fell in love with you when I first saw you even if it took me an age to admit it.” Lucky slowly sank down to one knee and her eyes went wide.

“What are you doing?”

“I’ve wanted to do this for years but it never felt right. Then I got the all clear and Tiernan asked that question and… what would you say to becoming a James, Scout? Will you marry me?” Lucky opened the box in his hands to reveal an engagement ring.

The tears dripped down her face. They’d never discussed marriage. They were happy as they were and with a son they were already a family no matter what others thought. A piece of paper would make that no more official.

Looking at Lucky now, down on one knee and the way he looked at her… He was so far from the guy she had met five years ago who would have jumped into bed with anyone he fancied. Lachlan James was down on one knee in front of her asking to tie them together for the rest of their lives.

“Say yes,” Tiernan urged.

“Make him sweat,” Chris winked. “He took long enough to ask you.”

Tiernan was standing next to Lucky with big eyes and nodding his head.

“Yes,” Scout told him. “Yes. Yes. Yes.” She leaned down and kissed him hard on the lips. Lucky was back up on his feet and lifted her up off hers, making Scout laugh. Their family clapped and whistled and Scout thought she might be dreaming.

“Thank you,” Lucky said to her.

“You’re an idiot,” Scout told him.

Lucky place her back on her feet and took the ring out of the box. “Come here, sunshine.” He took her left hand and slid the ring onto her finger.

“It’s gorgeous, Lucky.”

“I love you, Scout.”

“I love you too.”

“And me!” Tiernan was jumping by his parents feet.

Lucky laughed and picked him up before kissing him on the cheek. “Of course, we love you.”

“We love you more than you could ever know.”

Scout couldn’t believe that all those years ago she thought her entire world had ended when she wound up back at home after her injury. She was heart broken on so many different levels and decided that she would work her way back to where she thought she needed to be.

She had no idea that life would have a completely different set of plans for her. Plans that she would never in a million years have laid out for herself.

After everything, she had ended up exactly where she needed to be.

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