Epilogue

Kaitlyn Jarred

I smooth out the wrinkle in my gown, breathing out as I smile at myself in the mirror. My silver dress sparkles with each movement I make, and I’m glad I chose it.
Tonight, is my father’s ball to celebrate another Congressional win for him. Despite what happened to me, people continued to respect my father and chose to reelect him. I cringed at the attack ads during the campaign, portraying the Nexis and my kidnapping as fake and a conspiracy. Nick always told me to not pay attention to them, but how could I not? People didn’t believe I had ever been in danger, instead that I was sitting nicely in my house pretending to have a deadly disease just to help my father look more ‘noble’.
As if anyone could’ve come up with such a complex plan.
“Other than Crystal,” I whisper to myself. I hope wherever she is now that she’s with Asim.
A knock sounds at my door and I tell the person to come in as I pluck a stray hair from my eyebrow. “You look great,” Amanda says, her own gown colored midnight blue with gold embellishments.
“You too,” I smile at her. She wraps her arm around mine and we leave the room together. It took awhile for me to get used to Amanda living with us, but she received a pardon for helping Nick find out where Nexis was keeping me. After her father was sent to prison, she had no where to go. I asked my parents and we offered her to stay with us, and she accepted.
“I can’t believe we graduate in two days,” Amanda says as we begin to descend the staircase. Nick and Oscar are waiting at the bottom, both dressed in tuxedos. They have their backs to us, but we can partially hear their conversation.
“Don’t be nervous,” Nick is murmuring to Oscar. “These parties are no big deal.”
“I know, I’ve just never accompanied anyone, ever,” Oscar whispers back and Amanda smiles softly beside me. I hadn’t expected the two of them to end up dating, but once Amanda dropped the bitchy act, my friends easily accepted her into our group, as they did with Nick. I clear my throat and Oscar turns, immediately blushing.
“You—you look beautiful, Mandi,” Oscar says, a nervous smile on his face. Amanda wraps a hand around his, kissing him on the cheek.
“And you look handsome,” she replies and they head out the door ahead of Nick and me.
Nick brushes a hand against my cheek, “Gorgeous.”
I smirk, “Hopefully you’re talking about me.”
Nick taps his chin with his finger as I fake scoff, stepping away from him. He pulls me back to his chest, laughing as I pout.
“Of course, I’m talking about you, Kat,” Nick flicks my lip and I smile despite myself. “Now, let’s go have some fun.” We exit the house and climb into the limo; Cabet holding the door for us.
We ride to the venue in silence, classical music softly playing from the speakers. Nick rubs my back lightly and I sigh from the heat of his hand, my eyes closing.
“Don’t fall asleep yet, darling,” Nick says, poking my side.
“I’m not,” I say, yawning. He chuckles and we climb from the limo when it stops. Reporters are held back by black velvet ropes and the shouting begins. I have to stop myself from snapping at a reporter when ‘What do you think about the people who say everything that happened to you is fake?’ is yelled at me. Nick tightens his grip on my hand as we walk toward the building. A group of young girls is screaming and holding autograph books out to us, so I feel I have to stop.
“Hello, who do you want me to make this out to?” I ask the girls. They stand there, starstruck, until the youngest girl pipes up and says four names. I write out their names and sign, before handing it to Nick. He still hesitates when this happens, due to him not used to greeting the public as a Duke.
“Will you sign it Duke Nickolas?” One of the girls asks and he chuckles, signing it the way she asked. They all sigh when he hands it back to them and it’s my turn to laugh as we walk away.
“They would steal you from me, if they could,” I tease and he smirks.
“Well they can’t, it’s you I want to be with.”
I scrunch up my nose at the cheesiness, but before I can retort, Dad comes up to me, a big smile on his face.
“Kaitlyn, Nickolas! You finally arrived,” Dad kisses my cheek and shakes hands with Nick. “Thank you for coming, the food is over there…” Dad pauses, pointing. “Oh, Senator Janis, thank you for coming!” And with that my father disappears again. I shake my head, smiling as I pull Nick to the food.
“Remember when we met at the gala,” Nick says, getting another plate to fill with food.
“I was so surprised to see you,” I say, biting into a strawberry. “Now that I know who you are, it makes much more sense.” Nick adverts his eyes from mine and I’m instantly worried, “What is it?”
“About that,” Nick sits his plate down, pulling out a chair for me and then himself. “I have to talk to you.”
“Now?” My stomach drops. “I thought we were doing okay. Did I do something wrong?” I breath faster as I wait for an answer.
“No, no,” Nick grasps my hands, looking into my eyes. “It’s not that.” I remove a hand from his, stuffing a crème puff into my mouth as I watch Nick struggle.
“I’m going back.”
“Wha?” I say, nearly choking on my crème puff. I swallow, a frown forming on my lips, “To Luxembourg?”
Nick sighs, messing with his cufflinks. My eyes drift to them and I smile sadly, seeing he’s wearing the Storm Trooper ones I bought for him for his birthday. He speaks up, “I haven’t had the heart to tell you.”
I shove a bacon-wrapped something into my mouth, trying to eat my emotions, “When are you leaving?”
“The day after graduation.”
“So, three days?” I clench my teeth. “You waited until three days before you’re leaving to tell me?”
“I’m sorry,” Nick brushes a crumb from my face and I sigh.
“What about us?” I whisper.
Nick smiles, “We can still make it work. It will be hard, but we can do it.”
After that, I’m swapped by people wanting to congratulate me for my father and ask me how I’m doing. A few people pry a little too much, asking about Crystal and what happened to her, and how it felt to almost die. I brush off their questions and turn my attention elsewhere. Nick stays at the edge of my sight, and each time I see him, my heart hurts.
I only just got him and now he’s leaving again.
I finish a conversation with another constituent and reach for another bacon ball. As I’m chewing a hand grasps my elbow from behind.
“Meet me outside the southeast corner of the building in three minutes,” a deep voice says to me. The hand leaves my arm and I turn, but the person isn’t there. I gulp in fear, before I realize it’s probably just a fan. I shake off my fear, locate the southeast part of the building and make my way over. Nick sees me walk away and tries to follow, but he’s then swamped with people. I slip out the door into the darkness, standing beneath a dim wall lamp.
“Hello?”
I am immediately shushed, and a man steps to the edge of the light. I squint my eyes as he reveals himself and I nod in satisfaction, even though I frown.
“I knew I saw you.”
“You got me,” Lucas holds his hands up, his face covered in stubble.
“What are you doing here? You’re supposed to be dead,” I say, glaring at him. “You let all of that happen to me. You should be in jail.”
“Nexis just paid me to pretend to die,” Lucas explains, crossing his arms.
“But what are you doing here now? I could just scream,” I raise an eyebrow and he rolls his eyes.
“Yes, but your curiosity wins every time.” I narrow my eyes but remain silent. He smirks and continues, “I’m here to tell you to let Nick go alone to Luxemburg.”
I frown again, “Why?”
Lucas sighs, rubbing the bridge of his nose, his eyes closed, “Just let him go alone, Kaitlyn.”
“Tell me why.”
Lucas’ eyes snap open and he steps close to me, his eyes staring into mine, “No. Just do as I say, Kaitlyn.” He steps back, turning around and strolling away from the light into the night. I grit my teeth and turn to go back inside when Lucas’ voice sounds from the darkness.
“Also, Nexis says hi.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A/N
OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
Anyone surprised?
Once again, thank you all for reading.
So I did leave this quite open for a sequel, but I'm not sure when or if I will start one. 
Signing off for the last time on Bodyguards,
XOXO
sborek

Complete story is in this collection!