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The Only Exception

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The third week of March, specifically the eighteenth.

Such a day marks the beginning of a journey that would eventually evolve into one that would determine the fate of the world. And yet, the root of it started so simple and innocent, as a fundamental stepping stone for the foundation of a long-lasting friendship for a certain pair. And along with that came the responsibility for the two to them to make it a priority to do what they could to commemorate the forging of their bonds. Time passed, a few years in the making, and with no plans to settle down quite yet, the distance between them gradually expanded.

Determined to keep the swordsman in her life, Estelle planned ahead, excusing herself from her royal duties and arranged meetings with the other Council members to book a fleeting ship that would sail during the afternoon, from Nor Harbor to Capua Tori, and cross through the woodlands and bypassing Heliord in order to reach the city where her dear friend and their guild currently resides—the Den of Guilds, Dahngrest.

Humming to herself, the princess scurried to the entrance of the garrison and lifting her arm, proceeded to knock on the surface of the door with her knuckles. She retreated a few steps back, smiling brightly as the door in front of her opened to reveal one of her best friends.

“Judith!” She greeted with a friendly wave.

The female Krityan’s eyes grew in size before quickly diverting to a natural degree. “Oh, Estelle!” She began with a surprisingly high-pitched voice, which was accompanied by a delightful grin. “What a pleasant surprise to see you here!”

“It’s great to see you too, Judith,” Estelle expressed, smiling sweetly, “Do you know if Yuri is around?”

At the mention of her other friend, the Krityan smiled. Tipping her head to the side, she frowned, then shook her head. “…No, I don’t think so,” She replied back, “Do you need him with something?”

Estelle nodded. “It’s March 18th,” As she said those words, she raised the wooden basket while gripping tight of the handle with both hands. “Due to our busy schedules, we sort of missed the previous year. I was hoping to make it up to him by surprising him with the things he liked,” And presented the basket toward her friend. “What do you think? Too much?”

The Krityan lowered her gaze to take a quick peek at the contents of the basket and chuckled. Placing a hand underneath her chin, she slightly raised her chin to glance at the princess and said, “You’re so thoughtful, Estelle,”

The princess turned crimson. “Oh, it’s nothing…” She murmured, quickly turning her head elsewhere to avoid eye contact. “I just hope that he likes it,”

Judith smiled. “Don’t doubt yourself,” She told her friend, planting a hand on her shoulder and squeezed it for reassurance. “I’m certain that he’ll love it, especially since it’s coming from you,”

Ignoring the burning sensation on her cheeks, Estelle bowed her head. “Thank you,”

Judith nodded. “Come, come,” She ushered, taking a step back and gripping the doorknob, pulled the door a bit wider for her friend to enter. “Make yourself at home,”

Adhering her words, Estelle walked inside and as she took her first few steps inside the garrison, she couldn’t help but marvel at the fully-refurbished lounge room. “This is amazing,” She commented, twirling around as she absorbed her surroundings. “The last time I was here, the whole place was empty…”

“Thanks to our growing reputation, we’ve saved enough Gald to purchase these items,” Judith explained to her, closing the door and joining her in the middle of the lounge area. “It was quite the bargain too. Most of the furniture you see was either donated or given to us as gifts from our previous clients, including the President from Fortune’s Market,” She directs a finger to the nearby barrels and added, “The ones that look a bit out of the ordinary came from Headquarters,”

“I’m guessing Raven was somewhat involved?” Estelle wondered, and when her friend nodded in response, all she could do was shake her head. Once more, she inspected the environment. What was originally an abandoned warehouse, it was quite a miracle for it to magically transform into a guild base.

“Karol made sure that the place mirrored a home,” Judith went on, “Thanks to his suggestion, I’m always eager to come back after finishing a guild quest,”

“You finally have a home now, Judith,” Estelle congratulated her, stepping in to give her a warm embrace. “I’m so happy for you!”

With a smile, the female Krityan slid her arms around her friend’s thin waist to return the gesture. “Thank you, Estelle,” She replied, pecking her on the cheek before shortly breaking away. Suddenly, she clapped her hands together and cried aloud, “Oh! I almost forgot!”

Blinking, Estelle frowned. “What’s wrong?”

“Let me bring you upstairs,” Judith pressed on, reaching out to take her friend’s wrist as she led the way. Approaching the staircase, she took the first steps to ascend upward.

Estelle sheepishly grinned, quite surprised by how unusually cheerful the latter was. Even so, she went along with the flow, completely unaware of what was in store for her.


 

The minute they walked inside Yuri’s bedroom, a loud buzz erupted.

“What…was that?” Estelle asked, glancing at her friend who smiled and withdrew the small electronic device dangling from her ankle.

“That’s Karol calling,” Judith answered, holding out her beeper to show it to her. “Probably another client requesting our assistance,” As she hurriedly raced back to the door, she stopped in her tracks, and looked back with a sorrowful expression. “Sorry about this, Estelle,”

The princess smiled. “No worries,” She assured her friend, “Good luck,”

Judith grinned in return. “Thank you,” She said before quickly adding in, “And if you’re hungry, head downstairs and on your left, there’s a jointed kitchen and dining room. Feel free to take some of the leftover mabo curry,”

Estelle giggled. “Will do,”

Bidding farewell, the female Krityan left, though not before closing the door shut.

Finally, Estelle released the breath she’d been holding in. “Alone again…” She muttered to herself. Turning around, she took the time to inspect the new environment.

She smiled as she noticed the display of swords and axes hanging on the right side of the wall, along with the familiar shelves and piles of untouched books on its surface. Compared to Yuri’s room back in the Lower Quarter, this one was far spacious and more room to wander about. The bed that she remembered Yuri previously owned was no more and was replaced with a bigger one, along with a comforter and underneath the legs were heaps of blankets, pillows, and a doggy bowl for Repede. She sluggishly walked over to the dresser and placed her basket there before wandering over to plop herself on top of the mattress on the bed. Leaning back, she sighed in content as the welcoming embrace of the comforter somehow loosened the tensions on her shoulders.

Smiling, she took the opportunity to roll around the bed, unconsciously sniffing a familiar scent from the nearby pillow—the same scent reminding her so much of a certain swordsman.

“Yuri…” She said softly, closing her eyes as an image of her dear friend emerged from the back of her mind. A wave of warmth surged through her, especially in a certain area between her legs. Rubbing them together, she breathed heavily, extending one of her arms above her head to seize the pillow. Peering up, she was surprised to discover that it was a leftover clothing—his signature black tunic.

Swallowing her saliva thickly, she carefully lifted the tunic and brought it close to her nose.

With the smell of lavender and sweat intermingling her nostrils, Estelle felt her senses begin to heighten. Once more, images of the swordsman resurfaced, of him looking at her with a fixed gaze and of another smirking in satisfaction from dealing the finishing blow of their targeted monster, with trails of sweat leaking down from his temple, chin and dripping further down to his half-exposed chest.

Estelle’s breathing quickened, and before she knew it, she found her hands clumsily roaming to the lower part of her body and lightly touching the sides of her black stockings. Wanting to feel more, she quickly discarded her gloves and hurriedly removed the outer shell of her white and pink dress, then proceeded to kick off her boots and other article of clothing, until there was nothing else to remove except for her matching pair of lacy, silk bra and underwear with the black tunic covering her naked abdomen.

Her thinking process, albeit tainted with longing and the desire to satisfy herself, was easily triumphed by her urge to want to see him again, to be with him again, and listen to his familiar baritone voice fill her ears with assurance and encouragement, was enough to make her feel certain, to be certain that whatever she was doing was alright.

Drawing a sharp breath, she gripped the dark tunic and brought it close to her nose again.

At the same time, she allowed her other hand to wander further down and start touching there. “Yuri…” She muttered again, breathing rapidly as she lightly traced her sole finger around the fabric of her underwear, forming a circle multiple times across the small, sensitive part of her private. She felt incredibly self-conscious with what she was doing. Her half-lidded eyes turned to the other side of the room, where she caught sight of herself on the mirror, suddenly feeling incredibly self-conscious with what she was doing.

And yet, she couldn’t stop.

She didn’t want to stop.

Estelle tightened her grip and closed her eyes shut, heaving a long sigh as she mentally prepared herself to insert a finger inside. Recalling another memory of Yuri smiling, she slowly spread her legs apart and without warning, pushed her finger in.

She yelped, her eyes widening as a wave of pleasure swept through her. She shivered, realizing how cold the room was and settled along with covering her quivering body with the tunic. Once that was done, she spread her legs a bit wider and continued. “M-more…” She moaned, throwing her head back as she removed her grip on the tunic to press it against one of her breasts. The feeling was too addicting, the sensation of ecstasy and the desire to feel his body against hers…everything around her was becoming a blur. But that didn’t stop her, and as more images of Yuri flooded her brain, the more it fueled her desire to keep going as she grinded herself against her fingers. “Yuri, please…”

Barely aware of her jerky movements, she tightly shut her eyes closed and imagined herself with him, together and alone, both naked and embracing one another…smacking their lips together, tongues twisting as they tried to control themselves from the desire of wanting to touch the other before eventually submitting to defeat and performing the act together.

She inserts another finger in, then another and another, her moans growing louder and her desire skyrocketing. All the while, she tossed and turned on the bed, pumping her fingers in and out again, and again, squeezing her left breast to add into the pleasure.

Biting her lip quite harshly, she moaned. She was so close, almost there, just a little more and then…

She yelled at the top of her lungs, her brain unable to comprehend the next few seconds of her excitement and pleasure—the explosion of her own cum erupting from her opening, her heavy breathing gradually transitioning back to the normal pace, with beads of sweat rolling freely down her forehead.

Feeling quite satisfied yet flushed, Estelle slowly removed her right hand, shining sticky and wet, coated in her own cum of slime. Before she could readjust herself to a proper sitting position, her ears suddenly picked up a familiar baritone voice.

“…Estelle?”

Her eyes shot wide open, raising her head in high alert. Seafoam and ebony clashed. Quickly, Estelle closed her legs together and once more, seized the black tunic next to her in an effort to cover her naked form.

“Y-Yuri!” She stammered with her face completely tomato red. “You’re back…” When she snuck a glance at him, she blushed harder when she noticed how he kept his eyes glued on her. In a swift motion, she turned her head to face the windows draped with curtains. Suddenly, her ears picked up the door closing and inhaled a deep breath when she heard his footsteps coming closer.

Biting her lower lip, the princess lowered her head, refusing to look at him. “I’m sorry,” She began, her voice cracking. “I-I didn’t know what came over…” Before she could finish her sentence, an unknown force gently seized hold of her wrist. Slowly, she looked over, her eyes widening when she realized that it was the swordsman who pulled her closer to his general direction, his expression passive as he carefully seated himself down next to her.

“Sorry I was late,” He spoke up, gaining her attention. “I left you hanging when we were supposed to spend some time together,”

Hearing this, Estelle shook her head. “No, it’s not your fault. I was also drowning in my duties, filling up the documentation and whatnot,” She explained, lowering her gaze. “So…don’t take all the blame,”

Yuri listened intently to her words, then looked over to the wrist he was holding onto, his sudden fixation on her wet, cum-filled hand. The corners of his lips quirked upwards. “Let me make it up to you,” And leaned down. “Let’s start by cleaning you up,”

Estelle flinched, her face turning a deeper shade of red as she watched the swordsman begin sucking on one of her wet fingers. “Wait, Yuri!” She proclaimed, only to have her breathing hitch when she felt his knee brushing along her exposed opening. She brought her other hand to close her mouth, though was shortly discarded by Yuri who looked back at her with an encouraging smile.

Estelle couldn’t process what was going on as she found herself getting pampered by the swordsman, who continued to diligently suck and consume the remaining cum on her hand with the use of his tongue, while his other hand busied itself rubbing the lower parts of her bare legs, and every now and then, played with her slit.

In a split second, with his touch on every sensitive nerve in her body, her brain electrified. She felt the same sensation wash over her, a jolt of excitement and passion releasing out from her. “AHH!” She cried aloud, arching her back slightly as her mind went momentarily blank. Collapsing back on the mattress, she breathed heavily, her half-lidded eyes wandering about to discover Yuri who stared at her with an impish smirk.

Once she collected herself, she puffed her cheeks. “You’re mean,”

“I know,” He agreed with her, then brought his hand that was recently filled with cum and with his gaze still fixated on her, began to lick it off one by one. “But you love me for that, right?”

Folding her arms over her naked chest, she rolled her eyes.

Finishing the last of her cum on his hand, Yuri burst into a fit of laughter. “Relax, I’m just pulling your leg,” He replied, scouting a bit closer to where she was sprawled on his bed and seizing the nearby sheet of the blanket, proceeded to wrap her naked body around it. Once the blanket draped over her form, he slyly snaked his arms around her waist and held her close, catching her off-guard. Placing his chin on the crook of her neck, he sighed in content as he inhaled her natural scent—flowers mixed with sweat. “Damn, I miss you,” And went on to peck light butterfly kisses on her shoulder.

Estelle smiled, giggling as his kisses seemed to have an opposite effect on her. Even so, she repeated his gesture. “I miss you too, Yuri,” She expressed, closing her eyes as she softly hummed to herself.

They fell into silence for a few minutes, taking the moment to silently thank the heavens above them that after so long, they were finally reunited in each other’s embrace, simply appreciating the simplicity of life and the presence of their secret lover.

Aside from their friendship, their private life—specifically their sexual affairs were kept private and behind closed doors, away from the prying eyes of the Council, the Imperial Knights, and from their friends from discovering. It began when Estelle was suddenly informed by the members of the Council that once she became of age, she would be wed to another noble and be sent off, far away from Zaphias, and away from Yuri and her family. Empress or not, she was still viewed as a puppet in their eyes with their ulterior motives to remove her will to decide for herself.

With little to no options left, the princess approached the person she trusted the most, the same person whom she harbored feelings towards…the swordsman who brought such a major impact in her life, and even now, continues to shape her and encourage her in a positive light. To her surprise, he agreed, unaware that he, too felt the same way toward her. And so, on the eve of her twenty-first birthday, excusing herself from her party, escaping from under the statue and descended further until she reached the Lower Quarter, the princess eventually found herself in the arms of her beloved and with that, with their hands intertwined as they spoke of sweet nothings in the other’s ears and passionate kisses until ultimately losing their virginity to one another.

And that morning afterward, the two lovers negotiated, coming into an agreement that they would keep this a secret between them. This would continue to go on for a few more years, often times Yuri would be the one to recruit her for a journey together—simply for the two of them to spend more quality time together, and hence—the day of which they met, the eighteenth of March, was solidified in stone.

But as the years went and gone, the two of them became distant, to the point of how they barely saw one’s face for nearly two years.

And here they were—at long last, both in their mid-twenties, and secretly afraid as the uncertainty of the future of what relationship holds.

“I’ve got something for you,” Yuri suddenly brought up, catching her attention.

“You didn’t have to,” Estelle assured him in a soothing voice, leaning back to take a good look at her lover. Again, she reached out to caress his cheek fondly while her other hand went on to stroke his long, ink hair.

Yuri grinned cheekily. “I thought you’d say that,” And threw his hand inside one of the pockets of his dark pants before pulling out a small square-shaped box. “I’ve been meaning to give this to you for a while now, but because we’ve been so busy, well…” He stopped for a moment, looked up to lock eyes with the pink-haired woman and lengthened his grin. “Let’s see how you’ll react to it,” And presented it toward her.

Accepting the gift, the princess furrowed her eyebrows. She glanced at the swordsman who simply chuckled and urged her to open it. Inhaling a deep breath, she fixed her full attention on the small gift. Without warning, she took the lid of the square-shaped box and slowly unlatched it.

Her mouth partly opened, followed by a gasp.

“Oh my god…” was all she could say.

Yuri chuckled. “You like it?”

Estelle peered up, retaining her smile as she watched her lover slant his head to the side in a playful manner, waiting for her response to his gift. “It’s beautiful…” She admitted, her face flustered. And then a thought occurred to her, causing her to frown deeply. “But…”

Yuri raised a questionable eyebrow. “What’s wrong?”

She extended his hand to seize his, squeezing it fiercely. “I thought…we made an agreement that we liked where we are,” She explained with a worried look. “I remember how hesitated when we talked about marriage,” A pause. “What made you changed your mind?”

The swordsman pursed his lips. “Ever since I started getting intimate with you, I never wanted to do it with anyone else except you,” He began, gesturing to the space between them, “I enjoyed our time together. But with my load work and your duties on the line, I knew that in the end, this on-and-off, long-distance affair we kept having…it wasn’t going to work out. Then last year, when we couldn’t see each other, I was sent on a client’s request and almost got myself killed.”

Silence filled the room as Yuri tried to steady his breathing, closing his eyes shut as he brought his hand to his lower waist, an implication of where he had his heavy injury. He smiled when he felt something warm was placed on top of his, and a bright green glow emitted. Yuri clicked his tongue, tightening his grip on Estelle’s hand as she magically cast a healing spell to mend the remaining pain he held inside. From the corner of his eye, he noticed how glossy his lover’s eyes were as she gazed on him, and with a bitter smile, lifted his other hand to gently wipe away the tears that were threatening to spill from her cheeks.

“Luckily, I wasn’t alone,” He continued, raising his voice in order for her to hear, “Karol, Judith, and Repede were all there with me. But at that point, I almost thought that I was gonna die right there. And you know how people say, before you die, your life flashes before you?” He bitterly smiled as he shook his head. “Actually…you think about the people you love, who made such an impact in your life, and who stuck by you until the end. While Karol attempted to cast healing spells on me, Judy trying to close up my wound with bandages, and Repede running off to find help, all I could do was just lie there and think about you. And I thought to myself, no, I can’t die now…not when I know that I was going to leave my friends and you behind…”

He rubbed his thumb over the surface of her hand and continued, “Even after the incident, all I kept thinking about was you. There were times when I wanted to visit you, but then I knew that if I did, I would’ve worried you. So, I kept holding myself back and started thinking about what might’ve happen…what would happen if one day, I asked you to be more than my friend and if I wanted more from this kind of relationship we’re having?” A low chuckle escaped his throat, “But then again, what if you reject me? Or maybe if you do accept, what happens if it doesn’t work out for us, you know? I held these feelings for so long, it got to the point that I wanted to hide from you. But now that you’re here, and presenting this promise ring to you, I want you to be the one to make the decision on our future,” Finally, he faced her and to his surprise, Estelle was covering her face as she sobbed.

His eyes softened. “Estelle,” He reached out to caress her cheek, cracked a smile as he leaned forward to press their foreheads together and said softly to her, “Whatever you say, I’ll respect it. Reject or accept me, lover or not, I just want you to know…that no matter what happens, I still wanna be a part of your life,” A pause. “You mean so much to me, Estelle, more than you know,”

Sniffing, Estelle lifted her chin to face him. “Yuri…” She murmured, the corners of her lips curving upwards. “I love you so much…” She expressed, startling him. “I wanted to build a future with you…and I’m so happy that you feel the same way,” She sniffed, struggling to keep her composure intact. “I wanted nothing more than to have you say those words to me…” As she lowered her chin, she giggled lightly as she snuck a glance at the ring inside the box, then back to her lover who beamed.

“So, that’s…” He began, only to stop midway and chuckled as he watched her shake her head a few times.

“It’s a yes,” Estelle confirmed to him, giggling, “Let’s make this work, together…” Removing her hand from his, she extended it forward. “To the road ahead?”

Yuri smirked, and nodded in delight. “To the road ahead,” He repeated her words, and without warning, quickly proceeded to remove the ring from the box and took her dominant right hand to carefully slide the promised ring on her ring finger. Pulling her hand closer, he lightly brushed his lips over her bare skin and kissed the shiny surface of the ring. Looking back up, he emitted a smile one more time before giving in, capturing her lips.

Estelle flinched for a second, though was quick to recover.

Tipping his head slightly, she gladly reciprocated, smiling through the kiss while her hands came up around his neck and hair. A few seconds later and the hunger to taste and feel increased. The anticipation to be together and become one in a way that's more than words, in a way that’s completely tangible crossed their minds of what was about to occur. Breaking their kiss, Estelle looked down and proceeded to untie his unkempt belt, tossing it carelessly to the side of the mattress and allowing her hands to brush along his exposed, toned chest. Yuri let out an exasperated breath, grinning in content as he swiftly removed his tunic to the floor and pushed his partner harder onto the bed.

Estelle squeaked as she felt herself sinking into the embrace of the mattress and yet, couldn’t help but release a burst of light-hearted laughter.

“I’ll be sure to give you a good time,” Yuri promised her, intertwining his hand with hers. “But be sure to let me know if I’m hurting you in any way,”

“I know you won’t,” Estelle affirmed, smiling brightly and never taking her eyes off of him. “That’s why I love you,” A pause. “Please…take all of me,”

Locking eyes and exchanging smiles, he captured his lips for the umpteenth time.

Tongues twisting, lips smacking a few times, they eventually broke off, with a strand of saliva between the two lovers as they submitted themselves to the pleasure.

Withdrawing back, Yuri carefully inspected his partner, gave her an impish smirk before diving back in to kiss her exposed jawline, descending further to her collarbone, and leaving more trails of butterfly kisses on the spaces between her valley of breasts.

“Ah!” Estelle panted, squirming. Forcing her eyes wide open, she mustered the remaining energy she had left to roam her hands all over his body, every scar along his skin, and every muscle she memorized by name.

More touches, more need and desire to become one.

Feeling bold, Estelle slyly lowered her hand and buried it underneath his trousers, and as she playfully squeezed his private, erupted into a fit of giggles when she noticed him suddenly making a distorted face, and as she dared to repeat the same action a few times, how often he’d stop midway to throw his head back while fighting the urge to moan.

Cracking one eye open, he saw his lover give him a teasing grin and that alone was enough to arouse him even more.

“Playing dirty, aren’t you?” He commented, licking his lips as he eyed his fiancée who couldn’t seem to remove the smile on her face.

“I learned from the best,” Estelle replied back and leaned in to kiss his exposed shoulder.


 

Shortly after their first sexual intercourse in a long while, they didn’t hesitate to perform another…and then another, and another…possibly more times than they count. And yet, no matter how many they did or how many times they exclaimed each other’s names, the more certain they were with how much they truly valued the other’s presence.

Every kiss and every touch, every moan mingled with growing lust…all of it was theirs and theirs alone.

Their hands, squeezed firmly together, with a promised ring glittering on behalf of their consummation…and their blossoming future, they vowed to work together and to ensure that their time together would be everlasting.


 

Morning came filtering through the window, spreading the golden rays of light to the pair who held each other close underneath the sheets. Stirring from her sleep, Estelle slowly emerged out from the blanket, popping her head first to release a yawn.

Blinking her eyes a few times, she allowed her eyes to inspect her surroundings. When she realized where she was, a sigh of relief escaped from her. Motioning her head the other way, she was greeted with a beautiful sight of her lover resting next to her, peacefully asleep.

Giggling, she leaned over to give him a peck on the temple.

Once that was done, she carefully rose up from the bed, picked up a random piece of clothing from the floor and proceeded to throw her arm inside one at a time. Again, she yawned, smiling as she took the collar of the black tunic she was donning and sniffed it, sighing in content. As she gradually stood up from her feet, a strong force pulled her back, causing her to pause abruptly.

Turning around, she smiled when she saw her lover pop his head from under the sheets, his beautiful long hair splattered everywhere on the pillow as he fiercely stared at her with a sense of longing and fear deep in his ebony eyes—longing for more of her touch and as for fear…

“Don’t leave…” He said softly, refusing to let go of her. “Estelle…”

“I’m not going anywhere,” She told him with a sweet smile, and pressing their foreheads together, dipped a little downward to plant a soft kiss on his lips. She seized their dominant hands together where their promised rings sparkled under the brilliant morning glow. “I promise you that,” After one more kiss…and then another one, much to Estelle’s dismay and Yuri’s delight, the princess excused herself from their bedroom and ambled to the entrance, oblivious to her lover’s intense staring as she wore a part of his attire.

Alone, the dark-haired man sat upright, yawning loudly as he raked his messy, long hair. Moving his head to the right, he uttered a low curse as he quickly raised his arm high to shield himself from the sheer brightness of the sun. Regaining his vision, he looked around the master bedroom and smiled when he realized that they were in their home stationed in Halure. He slightly bent over to the side of the bed to take his trousers and pants. As he managed to get both of them on, his ears picked up the sound of a startled cry.

Shaking his head, he chuckled as he turned around to meet the pink-haired woman entering their bedroom, with their bundle of joy nestled in her arms. Walking forward, he approached them and made no hesitation to snake his arms around his wife’s waist.

Estelle sighed, leaning back against her husband’s bare chest as she looked back to their newborn daughter who continued to bawl aloud.

“Shhh, it’s okay, Eve,” She cooed the baby as she cradled her slightly, her eyes softening, “Mommy’s here…Daddy’s here…we’re both here,”

With a smile, Yuri reached out to gently stroke the soft spot on their baby’s head. “That’s right,” He affirmed, chuckling, “No need to worry, Eve,” And then glanced at the promised ring on his wife’s right hand, firmly squeezed together with his, which just so happens to be where his own ring was situated. “So long as we’re together, everything’s going to be alright,”

Estelle smiled, glanced at Genevieve, who eventually stopped crying and with her large green eyes, gazed intently at her smiling parents with pure innocence. Seconds later, the baby burst into a fit of laughter, opening her mouth to reveal a toothless smile.

Yuri and Estelle laughed in return, turned to each other one more time and shared a loving kiss.

The future they fought for, the future they longed for, and most importantly, the future they worked for—few years passed and after the many obstacles they’ve endured to be together, here it was, right here in front of them—the product of their love and possibly, many more to come.