So after they get together and kiss and talk about how much they love each other... blah, blah, blah... because this is a series, this is how AJ and I chose to end the book--just to give the reader a little taste of what is to come--taken from Eternity:
After I had cooled my heels for a considerable while outside I was finally allowed in. I’d almost lost my nerve a few times, but then every instance I began to change my mind, my brother’s worried face would come to the forefront again and I just knew without a shadow of a doubt that I had to do this.
Laurelia was right, I would never be happy unless I knew my brother was okay. Not now, not after all we’d been through, I couldn’t let him go and face a world like that on his own. A world that might ultimately lead him to kill himself; I knew Aurelius would never make it through a life like that.
“You wanted to see me?” Father asked as he motioned into his office.
“Yes.” I took a deep breath and gazed vacantly at the beautifully decorated room, while settling down into the plush chair that was offered . God moved around to sit in the chair next to me, swiveling his around to face mine. His eyes searched through me for a minute or so, before he nodded his head and let out a sigh.
“I was afraid of this. Are you sure you really want to go this route?”
“Yes. I have to take his place. I realize that by working my way up the chain of command as I did—changing my destiny, and becoming a general, I’ve also ruined things for my brother. I can’t do that to him. I can’t. I have to go back and be the man I was meant to become, or he will face my trials and die.”
Father’s brow creased and he pursed his lips while he looked me over, his head shaking a little in confusion. “You’re a greater man than I gave you credit for, Petrus.” He brought his fingers up to stroke his short beard and continued, “Do you have any idea what people would do for the life you’ve been granted with General Laurelia? Many men would give their souls to be with her. Look at Soren, he went mad in his attempts to woo her, and yet you—you own her heart and are willing to walk away.”
“No.” I held my rising anger in check, barely. The sensation was raw and confusing, particularly in God’s presence. “You completely misunderstand the situation then, Father. I love her with everything I have. There is no one—no one, I would rather be with—and this is by far the hardest thing that I’ve ever had to do. The only way I could do it, is with her blessing. Had it not been for her assurance that everything will work out, I would never propose to leave her side for a single moment.”
God too was angry—I didn’t see it coming until he slammed his hand upon the arm of his chair. “And what of Laurelia? What of her? Have you not thought of what this could do to her? You saw Lucifer’s reaction towards her. How could you leave her unprotected like that? What if he claimed her life before you proved yourself worthy of joining her side again? If you take on this life with your brother, you will be living on two very separate continents, it’s not even guaranteed you two will ever meet. ” He stood up. “Perhaps, my son, you do not love her as you believe you do.”
Until that moment, I didn’t realize how close to Laurelia he truly was—how could he not be close? Her whole strength and unwavering devotion and faith to him would make any father proud, but one who truly knew her worth would be over the moon.
“Father,” I tried to maintain some decorum and a level of respect for the man in front of me, “I love her. There is nothing at all that I wouldn’t do for that woman. My life did not begin until I met her, there was no purpose and never will be again if anything were to happen to her. My reason for coming here, was not just to propose I be given my old life back—but to ask that you also allow me to endure all of Laurelia’s trials. Anything Satan wishes to send her way, divert to me. Give them all to me, until I can be there to hold her and support her as I need to—until I can find my way back to her. I will find her.”
“Great Heavens,” God mumbled as he sat back down. “Petrus, do you have any idea what it is you’ve proposed to take on for yourself? Any idea what your life would become? You know the life that awaits you—the life that would kill Aurelius, and now you intend to take on all the trials of the one woman Lucifer has pledged to target, as well? Are you completely out of your mind?”
I remained standing, my jaw tightening. “I don’t care—I-I cannot leave her to him unprotected and I cannot shirk my duty towards my brother. What would you have me do? Until I can be with her, this is the only way. Give them to me; all of their pain and suffering—make it mine—all of it.”
“Petrus, no!” God shook his head. “No man could withstand what you propose and live, it’s too risky.” He got up and moved over to the desk, walking behind it—in a dismissive gesture. “You’re too important now to the end of the world, we can’t risk losing you.”
I slammed my hand upon the desk to get his attention. “Better me than her!”
“You can’t do it!”
“Yes, I can! If anyone can it’s me. You know this. Think Father; think what I have accomplished already. I, the only man in all of heaven to do so—you must let me do this! You must.” I leaned forward searching his eyes. “Besides, if I don’t take on her trials, Laurelia will have it no other way; she’s determined that I help my brother. You know how she is—there will be no convincing her otherwise—and I can’t live knowing she’ll be attacked by Satan as she will be—I need your reassurance, and I need it now, that she will have as perfect a life as you can give her until I can find her again.”
Father met my stare straight on, but I didn’t flinch, allowing him to see to the true depth of my character.
“Does she know?” he asked quietly.
“No.” I closed my eyes, running my hand over my face. “No, and she’d annihilate me if she did. This will only work if I have your permission now, and a promise that she will never know what it is I’ve done in exchange for her protection.”
Father nodded his head slowly his hand reaching out to clasp my elbow.
“But you must understand, my son, I do not bargain with my children often and I only do so in this manner with you now, because I think of the love between your sweet Mother and I, and how your words echo some of my own. What man wouldn’t wish to protect his love as you are? It is done. It will all happen as you wish.”
I let out a sigh of relief and bowed as low as I could, sealing my fate forever.
“Thank you. I promise that you will not regret this.”
He looked at me with great sadness.
“I already do, my son; I only hope that I do not grow to regret it even more deeply.”