Roots & Gerunds Bonus Epilogue

One Year Later

The crisp chill of October settled over the mountain town, the trees surrounding Cassandra’s cabin in the woods turning bright shades of oranges, yellows, and reds that reminded her of amber.

She missed her home in the city, but while it’d been plenty of space for her and her cat, it wasn’t nearly enough room for her and her three men. Especially not men like Merlin, who took up entire rooms with his boisterousness, Nick, whose many experiments needed their own lab space, or Isaac, who himself had shelves and shelves of books. So, shortly after fate had brought them together, she’d offered her home in the city to Lindsey, and they’d relocated to the cabin that was more beautiful than it had any right to be… and that looked so much more like the homes of the other witch families.

It was Halloween, a full year after Rasputin’s trick on them all—an elaborate ruse that involved faking his death—and their anniversary. Cassandra had taken a deep breath and given Lindsay free rein to host a holiday event at the shop, and with their home deep in the woods, they wouldn’t be getting any visitors.

Still, Nick and Merlin had made a small bonfire for the four of them, and Isaac had taken it upon himself to set up seating. Dead leaves crunched under Cassandra’s feet as she approached it, the smoky scent and heat of the fire overwhelming her senses.

“This is beautiful,” she said as she sat into one of the folding chairs.

Isaac handed her a drink—apple cider, heated in a pot balanced on one edge of the flames—and smiled at her as Nick poked the fire with a stick in effort to keep it lively.

Merlin was the first to speak. “You’re beautiful.”

A small smile spread across Cassandra’s face. A full year of this—more than this, really, as was to be expected with three soulmates—and somehow his thick flattery still made her feel all fluttery.

Nick, finally pleased with his work on the fire, stood to walk to the chair next to Cassandra, and settled in. Isaac handed him a mug of steaming cider, too, and Nick took a sip of it before speaking.

“I don’t suppose you’ve had any Visions lately?”

“Very funny,” Cassandra responded.

The truth was that she’d been getting a lot better at having Visions intentionally, but she had been trying to keep them to herself until she better understood… well, everything about them.

“Our girl is being far too humble,” Merlin chimed in. “She’s just not quite ready to admit it yet.”

Cassandra waved him off. “I have been practicing,” she said sheepishly. “I suppose I could attempt to do a reading for the future? For us?”

“See, I told you!” Merlin said, slapping his leg. “And that sounds splendid, my dear.”

Cassandra took a second to look at Nick and Isaac, who were smiling at her and giving an encouraging nod at her in turn, so she focused on the fire. She watched the flames flickering, letting the dance of orange pull her into a trance. It took only seconds; she really was getting better at this.

The men watched her, her expression first going blank, her eyes large and glassy, and then, still in trance, she smiled, and a tear fell from her eye.

“What is it?” Nick asked, softly. Not that he expected her to hear him. Not while she was in trance.

When she answered, her voice was soft, too. Almost a whisper. Still, it surprised both Nick and Isaac. (Merlin wasn’t surprised by much.) “We’re…”

“What is it?” Isaac repeated Nick’s question, but louder, more urgently.

“We’re to have a baby this year,” she said, finally. “Well, one year from now. To be born on Halloween.”

The End

In the mood for another Why Choose? Check out Confessions of a Muse!

Selene only knows three things: She’s in New York City, she’s a muse, and her destiny is to save the world.

When a muse finds herself in The Big Apple with no name, no history, and a mission, she’s determined to break into the thriving arts scene. Telling lies and falling in love along the way, she digs herself into a hole even she can’t magic her way out of.

Meanwhile, this manipulator finds herself falling right into someone’s plan, and it’s not just the artists whose visions she’s bringing to life. But with no memory of her own, can she figure out who’s causing chaos in New York before it’s destroyed and before her men can find stardom?

MFMM || Medium Heat