A number of readers of remarked to me that they wish Weekend Agreement had an epilogue. They wanted a glimpse of Daniel and Charlotte in the future. Originally, there was one, but for a variety of reasons, we made the editorial decision to exclude it. By Popular Request, I'm posting it here. Enjoy!
Ten months later Daniel pried open his eyes to find Charlotte sitting on top of him. Her hair was tied in a lazy top knot and she wore his discarded tuxedo shirt. Minus the studs of course. They’d been lost hours ago.
“We made Laurie Esposito’s column,” she announced.
Spying the newspaper section in her hand, he frowned. “We’re keeping track of society page mentions now?”
“Only mentions like this one.” She cleared her throat and read, “Also present, Daniel Moretti and his wife, Charlotte, recently back from their honeymoon in Southern France where the pair traced the journey of Daniel’s aviatrix ancestor.”
She arched her brow. “You told them about Aunt Esther?”
“It’s only fitting, don’t you think? After all, she did bring us together. ”
“That she did. By the way, have I told you lately how much I love that word?”
“Which one? Together?”
“Mmmm,” he replied, arching his back in a languid stretch that ended in an upward thrust of his hips. It was one of his favorite words too. “You’re okay without having a fancy ceremony?”
“If I’d wanted one, I’d have said so. As it is, I thought our wedding was absolutely perfect.” She gave him a saucy smile. “The honeymoon was pretty good too.”
“Who says it’s over?” Tucking his hand around the nape of her neck, he pulled her forward for a kiss – one she returned with ardor. When finished, he wrapped her in his arms and held her tight. His heart was so full he was surprised it could race as fast as it did. Who knew a person could feel this much happiness in one lifetime.
They married on the beach, a small intimate ceremony to which no one named Ferncliff was invited. Charlotte’s brother flew in from California to give her away while Judy stood as Maid of Honor. Took awhile, but Daniel had finally won the English professor’s favor, thanks in large part to the smile permanently planted on his face.
“You look like a perpetually lovesick puppy,” she’d told him one evening. “I have the overwhelming urge to paper train you.”
Daniel had replied by asking how many animal metaphors she actually had for him. After all, in only a few months he’d gone from a shark to puppy. “Worry when I get to gnat,” she told him. That’s when he knew she would become his friend as well as Charlotte’s.
The woman in his arms sighed. “I’m so glad you listened to Esther.”
Esther, his heart. He was grateful for whatever knocked common sense in his head. Far as he was concerned, his life began the day Charlotte Doherty walked into his life. “I love you,” he whispered in return. Words he never dreamed he’d say to anyone.
“I love you too. Which reminds me….”
Charlotte sat up and for the first time, he realized along with the newspaper, she’d brought along a second paper and pen. She smoothed out the single sheet, which had become crumpled in the sheets. “While you were lazing in bed, I drew up a contract. To lay down a few terms for our marriage.”
“Like a prenuptial agreement? Aren’t you a little late?” He’d gladly give her anything and everything.
Playfully she stuck out her tongue at him. “More like a postnuptial agreement. Do you want to hear my terms?”
“Depends. Do any of them involve me removing that shirt you’re wearing?”
“Later.” She squared her shoulders and started reading. “Term number one. No more fake ancestors. I think you’ve purchased every antique portrait in
“Four. I’ve bought four. Esther needed company. Besides, since when do you have a problem with having a legacy?”
“Because if fill the house with paintings, there won’t be room for baby pictures.” Her eyes brimmed with love. “And our children are the only legacy I care about anymore.”
Our children. The notion unleashed a whole new type of emotion. He pictured
pregnant with their child. A little girl with eyes of perfect green he
could spoil rotten. Or a son. Oh Lord, thinking about a family took his
breath away. “Agreed.” Charlotte
Eager to start their family right now, he started to slip the shirt from her shoulders.
“No more portraits. What else?”
“Well, there’s really only one other item.”
Good, because he was going tired of talking. Not when he could be holding her. “My darling Professor, by now you should know there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for you or give you. What is it you desire? The Hope Diamond?” This time when he moved to tug her shirt off, she didn’t protest. “The moon?”
She smiled and nestled into his waiting embrace. “Eternity.”
“Eternity,” she repeated. “You sign this contract and you agree to be mine and only mine. Forever.”
“I see. And what do I get in return for giving you forever?”
“You get loved beyond your wildest imagination.”
He answered her by rolling her on to her back. “You drive a hard bargain, Professor, but I think I can meet those terms.”
And kissing her deeply, he began showing her just how easy forever would be to give.