So, where are we now?
Will, once he got used to judging distance with his eyes again, took a teaching position at a near-by college. He was going to find a place of his own but I asked him to stay with us- at least for awhile. The brownstone is huge and rent is horrible in the city. I expect that he’ll be looking for a home of his own fairly soon, though. He’s met a wonderful girl, a fellow teacher, and they’ve been seeing each other long enough for me to think that they’re serious.
Maggie’s family is staying with us as well. I couldn’t do without Maggie. Her sons, George and Devin, are both in training. George is going to be a policeman and Devin is training for the fire department. As he points out, it will be more fun putting them out than lighting them. Both of them still have a lot of fighting instinct in them so it’s good that they’re pointing it in the right direction now.
Liam, on the other hand, has turned his back on violence… that being the only way to make peace with his wife… and has taken over managing the greenhouse for me. In his spare time, he’s a handy-man for hire. I think he and Maggie will be taking a second honeymoon soon.
Rose’s father did not have to stay in witness protection for very long. The raid on the warehouse broke up the Dead Rabbits gang and between his testimony and hers, they’re going to be in prison for a very long time. I testified as well but I think it was just corroboration, they could have cinched it without me.
It’s a good thing Liam has taken over the greenhouse for me, too. Rose had an idea for after we finish our degrees, provided I can pass Will’s class. She wants to open a bookshop with coffee, tea and soup for all her homeless friends. I’m thinking that the empty warehouse would be a good place. It’s not too far from home and with all that space, maybe we can have a dormitory in the back for people to sleep when it’s really cold outside.
We’re still in the planning stages on that and we won’t be able to get it off the ground until after college. And hopefully after the wedding- Rose has agreed to marry me but not until we’ve graduated and then she just wants something nice and small and quiet. I’m trying to point out to her that once we get the shop open, we won’t have time for even that- I hope she’s listening.
I don’t see anything of my father. He was furious when I enrolled at the university and actually called me to order me to withdraw. I refused and pointed out to him that there are a lot of Mallorys and as long as he did not tell anyone that we were related, no one would guess.
We do see Madame Verdi very occasionally. She has dropped by for tea a couple of times and she and Maggie get on so well that I accused them of being sisters. This was met by two identical stares and silence. You know what? If they are sisters, I don’t want to know.
As for me, the scars vanished but the thorn tattoo remains… and I never did get my hair back. Not even my eyebrows… although the lack of eyebrows is a small inconvenience considering that I don’t have to shave either. I don’t hide and, while I do get stares from people who don’t know me, it doesn’t bother me. I’m comfortable in my skin now and as long as it suits Rose, I’m well pleased.