The Real Epilogue
Three months later
“I must confess,” Thomasine said. “’Twas a call too close for my comfort. I thought my son was to perish right before my eyes.”
“Nonsense,” Faustine said. “I assure you, I had control of the situation entirely.”
“Mmm.” Thomasine turned to Arnald. “Dear boy, what a blessing you are to your sweet maman,” she said, accepting the fluted glass of champagne from her nephew. She dropped into a second chair Faustine had so generously conjured.
“Oui, quite the dear,” Faustine agreed, pinching his cheek before snagging her own glass. Thomasine noticed her sister did not bother rising from her chair at all since he’d so conveniently leaned forward.
“Yes, quite,” Arnald agreed jerking his head. “However, I have a feeling my shortened life span is under consideration as we speak.”
“Nonsense,” Thomasine said.
“He is curious how the two of you managed to keep the fact that you are twins such a secret,” Arnald told them.
“And how, pray tell, did you manage that one, Darling?”
“I’m afraid he is not quite finished with the conversation as of yet. I shall have to avoid him for a time.”
“A not so difficult feat, I should think, with a new wife and all.” Thomasine sipped her wine, thoughtfully, eyes reflecting the sparkling bubbles. “Just think! Soon I shall have grandchildren. Oh, the thought.”
Faustine frowned, jealousy marring her delicate brow, before lifting narrowed eyes to Arnald.
“I suspect I should be going…uh…before I am…uh… missed,” he said quickly, backing to the door.
“Oui. Perhaps you should,” Faustine said. Thomasine smiled as Faustine’s eyes remained focused on his hasty exit. “Who do you suppose I should set him up with, darling?”
“You know your powers do not allow you to force love, Sister dear.”
“Alas, I do know,” Faustine snapped. “But I can certainly entertain the possibility by throwing irresistible women in his path.” A petulant pout touched her lips.
“Did not Cinderella break your little magic stick by stepping on it?”
“Oui. I managed an adhesive to piece it back together,” she said absently. “It works almost perfectly.”
“Almost?” Thomasine squeaked, appalled. “Mayhap, we should leave the young ones to find their own way, Faustine.”
“Perhaps,” she murmured. “More champagne, dear?”
“S‘il vous plait.” Thomasine held out her glass.
With a quick flick of her repaired wand, the bubbly spilled over the tops of their flutes, along with their soft giggles.