Gabrielle turned a smiling, tear-filled look on Chase and Tavia and the others in the room. "When I first met Lucan, he told me he was just a warrior, not an emissary for his race. Later on, when Dragos was doing his worst, Lucan worried that he didn't think there was any hope for what the future might hold." She glanced down lovingly at her three-month-old son, who nestled snugly against her in a peaceful sleep, tiny pink fist tucked under his chin. "I've never been more proud to be his mate than I am right now."

"This was Lucan's true destiny," Tegan said, the forbidding Gen One looking out at his leader, his friend, with respectful, admiring eyes. "It's always been in him to lead, to be the one clearing the way toward a better future. It's what he's done from the very beginning. He honors his race well."

"You all do," Elise added, beaming up at her mate while their baby boy took in the room with wide, inquisitive eyes the same lavender shade as his mother's.

Everyone nodded or smiled in response, no doubt every heart full with pride - and hope - for the future they were seeing forged in this hall tonight.

But Lucan's words of warning were true.

Although Tavia had awakened six months ago healed and stronger than ever through the love she shared with Chase, the rest of the world still bore deep wounds from the violence and terror that Dragos had unleashed on it.

There would be much to do in the months and years to come. There was still mistrust between mankind and the Breed. Pockets of unrest and violence still existed on both sides.

With the help of Andreas Reichen, Mathias Rowan, and the dozens of Enforcement Agents who'd come together in the fight to end the bloodshed, the Order had swept the cities clean of all Rogue violence. Together they'd also eradicated Dragos's remaining lieutenants and their known accomplices. But there was no telling if his seeds of dissent had taken root in secret elsewhere.

With the top ranks of the Enforcement Agency neutered and its membership in shambles, it was the Order that had taken charge of enforcing all Breed law now.

There was much left to be done, many questions yet to be resolved, but things were off to a good start.

There was hope.

Tavia felt it as she met the earnest, caring faces of her Breedmate friends gathered around her. She felt it when she looked at the warriors, standing so firm and courageously behind Lucan's resolute lead, all of them prepared to embark on this new, uncharted way of life. A new world to be formed and shared by all, human and Breed alike.

Most of all, she felt hope bloom inside her, warm and abiding, when she looked up into Chase's steady blue eyes and felt his love moving through her ... growing inside her.

Love that would take physical form when their twins were born in the spring.

Tavia felt joy, and as her gaze held her mate's now, she felt a perfect peace swell to fill her.

They'd found love in each other and an eternal bond that transcended the one that linked them through their blood.

She and Chase had both, finally, found home.


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