This is something that my editor and I cooked up to have a bit of fun with the participants in my Yahoo! AWLL discussion group. Enjoy!
Chapter 85 - Epilogue
My wife and I walked down the familiar streets of Stockholm. In many ways, so little had changed since my first visit here as an exchange student, met by the lovely vision of the woman that would become my wife. That year that we lived together led directly to our marriage two years later, and my emigration from the US to Sweden.
"So, the last novel is out today?" Birgit asked.
"Yes, in fact, we're heading to the book store after lunch. I'm doing an author event and signing copies of _A Well Lived Life - The Wife_."
"I still can't believe you killed me off at the end of the first novel! And then had a long-term affair with my little sister!"
I chuckled, "She got a real kick out of that, though I did get some serious grief from her about the whole giving me her virginity by pretending to be you after I'd killed you off!"
"And eighty women? Seriously? Talk about a testosterone-driven fantasy! Like I would EVER have given you permission to have sex with Melanie, or anyone else for that matter!"
I smirked, "Once I decided that you had to die, I thought it would be fun to go on a fantasy rampage through every virgin I could find!"
"And your sister? That was just gross!"
"She actually laughed about it. It was just one more over-the-top thing I wrote. You know that in 30 years, other than those two times with Jennie, I've only ever been with you."
"I know. But it's not like you've missed out on, what did you call it in your book? Sexual nirvana?" she giggled.
"You have never failed to please me, Sweetheart."
"And THAT. You used MY pet name? For Bethany? Seriously?"
"Hey, once you were dead, all bets were off!"
"You wish! Seriously, that story is every teenage boy's wet dream. Of course, it couldn't have been published in America."
"No, not with the underage sex. Even the Swedish publisher was a bit concerned about it, but in the end, it's been a best seller."
"Those 'interludes' were kind of creepy," Birgit said.
"I know, but the fans really loved them. They added a nice touch. Especially the one where you sent Bethany back to me."
"That one actually wasn't so bad. What did she think of it?"
"She loved the story," I said. "She was so sure that I had killed her off at the end of 'Anala' that she was ecstatic when I sent her the draft of 'The Wife'. She was kind of pissed that I made her a nutcase, though."
"She's got a thriving psychology practice, and she's published dozens of papers on rape counseling and incest. I know she helped you with that aspect of the book."
"She's been a good friend since that dance she asked me to. She needed a male friend who wasn't going to be romantically interested in her, ever. I was safe because Melanie let everyone know I was off limits."
"Which is even funnier since you made HER the one to corrupt you!"
"She and Pete both got a kick out of that. He also loved the fact that I turned him from a Police Chief into an NIS Agent and US Marshal, and his wife from a Spanish teacher into a criminal defense lawyer."
"I find it funny that you made yourself a computer programmer and that never changed. When you came here and decided to study law, I was surprised."
"Computers are a hobby. You know that I developed the firm's website. But I love practicing international law."
"All that stuff with the Russians came from your friend in St. Petersburg, right?"
"Yeah. When he and I collaborated on that child custody case to send that little girl back to her mom, we got to talking and I integrated some of his family stories into mine."
"Including sleeping with his daughter!" Birgit chuckled. "What did he say about THAT?"
"It was fiction, Sweetheart! She thought it was amusing and wondered if I'd like to try it out for real!"
"You never told me about that!"
"Because I never seriously considered it. I was nearly 40 and she was fourteen. Despite my alter-ego enjoying deflowering young girls, I don't think that's a wise idea. And it wouldn't be, even if I wasn't married to you!"
"What did Kathy say about you being with her daughter?"
"We had a good laugh. A lot of the story about Kathy is true. She and I had quite a few heart-to-heart talks during my senior year since she was so close to Bethany."
"Do you know what happened to Jennifer?" she asked.
"No. When her family moved to Seattle we lost touch. Oh, there were a few letters, but then I moved here and even those stopped. I sometimes wonder what became of her. She had so many issues. I hope she found someone to help her and love her."
"Me too. Are the kids meeting us as the bookstore?"
"They are. Kristian and Kristina are coming straight from school."
"We're supposed to have dinner with my sister and her husband tonight at their place. Is that still on?"
"Yes. A few hours signing my name and we're out of there."
We walked hand-in-hand, then she turned her head pausing slightly to ask softly, "Have you had a 'Well-Lived Life'?"
"I have," I said. "From the moment I made love with you in my bed in Milford, every fantasy I had about my life has come true. All because I took the chance to talk to a cute, Swedish exchange student at Milford Junior High."
"So, where does the story go from where this book ends? Is there more?"
I looked at her, smiled, "I guess we'll have to see if the readers want more. Don't you think?"
She nodded and then stopped walking. She pulled me to her and hugged me.
"I love you, Steve Adams, always and forever."
"I love you too, Birgit Adams, always and forever."