A Groom for the Silent Bride – Extended Epilogue

The golden rays of the morning sun painted the horizon with strokes of pink and orange as Lone Ridge came to life. It was a crisp, clear day, one that promised the kind of warmth and light that makes the soul yearn for the outdoors. The Thornton family was already making the most of it, their laughter echoing across the fields that now thrived under Sam’s careful management.

On the porch of the newly expanded Thornton home, Lizzie, looking radiant and no longer burdened by her large belly, sat watching her daughter Victoria play. Lizzie’s second child, a robust and cheerful boy named Benjamin, lay cooing in a handmade cradle beside her. The morning was peaceful, and the scene was a far cry from the hardships they had once endured.

Sam, wearing a wide-brimmed hat to shield his face from the sun, was showing little Victoria how to plant seeds in the garden they had started together. The little girl, her hair tied back with a ribbon that matched the bright blue of her eyes, followed her father’s instructions meticulously.

“Make sure you give them some space, darling,” Sam instructed gently, his voice a comforting rumble. “Each seed needs room to grow, just like people.”

Victoria nodded seriously and dug another small hole with her tiny spade, her movements mimicking her father’s with impressive accuracy. “Like this, Papa?” she asked, looking up at him for approval.

“Just like that, sweetheart,” Sam said, his face breaking into a wide smile. He stood up and stretched, his eyes catching Lizzie’s as she watched them from the porch. Their gaze held a conversation of their own—a silent testament to the deep bond and shared joy in their growing family.

“Why don’t you go help Mama with Benny while I finish up here?” Sam suggested, wiping his brow with the back of his hand.

Victoria trotted towards Lizzie, eager to be of use. Lizzie opened her arms to her daughter, the warmth in her smile reaching her bright green eyes. “Did you help Papa a lot?” she signed to Victoria, who nodded enthusiastically.

“I planted lots of seeds! I’m going to water them every day,” Victoria signed back with the concentration of a solemn promise.

“That’s wonderful, darling. You’re going to be a great help this summer,” Lizzie signed, her heart swelling with pride. She shifted Benjamin in her arms, offering him to Victoria. “Would you like to hold your brother?”

With a serious nod, Victoria carefully sat next to her mother and held out her arms. Lizzie gently placed the infant in the crook of Victoria’s elbow, guiding her hands to support him properly. The baby gurgled happily, his tiny hands reaching out to his sister.

“Mama, he’s so little,” Victoria signed, her eyes wide with wonder.

“He is, but he’ll grow strong like you and Papa,” Lizzie responded, her fingers moving with practiced ease.

Sam joined them, sitting beside Lizzie on the porch steps. He draped an arm around her shoulders, pulling her close. The morning felt full of new beginnings and the promise of peaceful days.

“How’s our little farmer?” Sam teased, brushing a kiss on Victoria’s head and then on Lizzie’s forehead.

“She’s a natural,” Lizzie signed back.

“Looks like you could use a drink,” Sam noted, observing the sun climbing higher. “I’ll fetch us some lemonade.”

As Sam headed inside, Lizzie’s gaze followed him, filled with a love and gratitude that deepened with each passing day. Turning back to her children, she adjusted Benjamin in Victoria’s hold, ensuring he was comfortable.

“Today, we should make a special dinner to celebrate the new garden, don’t you think?” Lizzie signed to Victoria, who beamed at the suggestion.

“Yes! Can we have apple pie too?” Victoria’s small hands fumbled slightly with the excitement.

“We can,” Lizzie confirmed with a laugh, her heart light. “And maybe after dinner, we can all take a walk down to the creek. It’s such a lovely day.”

Victoria clapped her hands, her joy infectious, causing Benjamin to wiggle and coo in his sister’s arms. Lizzie watched her children, her life, feeling a profound sense of contentment. They had weathered great storms to come to this moment of peace, and as she looked towards the fields beyond, where the land stretched wide and fertile under the care of the family she loved, she knew this was exactly where they were meant to be.

Sam returned with a tray carrying glasses filled with lemonade, the ice clinking cheerfully against the sides. “Here we are, the best lemonade in Lone Ridge,” he announced, setting the tray down.

They each took a glass, even Victoria, who handled hers with both hands. Raising his glass, Sam smiled at his family. “To new beginnings,” he toasted, the morning light catching in his eyes.

“To new beginnings,” Lizzie echoed, and even little Benjamin seemed to agree as he babbled excitedly, reaching for the lemonade in his mother’s glass.

They drank, and the sweet, cool liquid was refreshing against the heat that the day promised. It was a simple moment, yet it held the weight of all they had achieved and all the hope they harbored for the future. In the warmth of the sun and the company of each other, the Thornton family found their joy multiplied, their bonds strengthened, and their hearts at home at last.

Later that afternoon, the Thorntons and the extended family gathered around the newly finished dining table that Sam had crafted himself. The air was filled with the savory scent of roasted chicken and fresh bread, the fruits of Lizzie’s and Abigail’s labor in the kitchen. Outside, the fields stretched lazily in the sun, a testament to the hard work and love poured into the land.

“Lizzie, this meal is divine,” Martin complimented, his voice warm with appreciation. He had developed a robust appetite, his days now spent tending to his own smaller piece of land, a gift from Sam and Lizzie for the years of loyalty and love he had given them.

Lizzie beamed at Martin’s praise, signing her thanks as Abigail helped translate for those still learning sign language. “I couldn’t have done it without Abigail. She’s the one who managed to wrangle the apple pie out of the oven just as it reached perfection.”

Abigail, seated beside her husband Gordon, who had taken to farm life with surprising ease, chuckled. “It was a team effort. Besides, I couldn’t let you do all the work, not with the little one keeping you up at nights.”

The conversation flowed easily, laughter peppering the air as stories of the day’s activities and plans for the future were shared. Victoria, sitting proudly between her parents, was eager to contribute, her small hands moving animatedly as she described her gardening exploits.

“And then Papa said I planted the seeds perfectly!” she signed, her face lit up with excitement.

Sam nodded, his pride in his daughter evident. “She’s got a green thumb, just like her mother.”

As the meal wound down, the sun began to dip towards the horizon, casting long shadows across the porch where they had earlier sat. Sam suggested they all head to the creek as planned, a perfect spot to relax after a hearty meal.

The family agreed enthusiastically, and soon they were making their way across the fields, the adults walking slowly to accommodate the little legs of Victoria and Stevie, who was determined to keep up with his slightly older cousin. Lizzie carried Benjamin snugly against her chest, a light blanket draped over him to shield him from the cooling air.

The creek was a favorite spot for the family, its waters clear and gentle, the banks shaded by tall, whispering trees. They spread out blankets and the children immediately set about throwing small stones into the water, delighting in the soft plops and ripples they created.

Gordon, who had grown more reflective since moving closer to family, watched the children play. “It’s moments like these I never want to forget,” he murmured to Sam, who had settled next to him on the grass.

Sam nodded, his gaze affectionate as he watched Lizzie laughing with Abigail. “We’ve been through so much, but it led us here. I wouldn’t change a thing.”

“Nor would I,” Gordon agreed. “It’s more than just surviving now. It’s about thriving, about building something lasting for them,” he gestured towards Stevie and Victoria.

As the sky turned a deeper shade of gold, Lizzie joined Sam, her hand finding his as she sat down beside him. Benjamin, now asleep, was cradled in her arms, a picture of peace.

“Do you remember when we first talked about the future?” Lizzie asked Sam, her voice soft.

Sam chuckled, squeezing her hand gently. “I remember. I wasn’t sure how you’d feel about all my plans.”

Lizzie smiled, leaning her head against his shoulder. “You were planning our future before we’d even decided on us.”

“It was always going to be us, Lizzie. Even then, I knew,” Sam confessed, his eyes tinged with emotion.

The conversation paused as they both took in the scene before them—their family, safe and content, the troubles of the past now just shadows compared to the light of their present.

“Look at them,” Lizzie signed, her eyes bright with tears of happiness. “Our family.”

Sam followed her gaze, his heart full. “Our family,” he repeated, his voice firm with resolve and gratitude.

As the sun set completely, leaving a sky streaked with pink and purple, the family gathered closer, sharing stories and making plans. The children, tired from their play, settled into the laps of their parents, their eyelids heavy.

Gordon stood up, clearing his throat slightly. “I think I speak for everyone when I say that today was perfect. Lizzie, Sam, thank you for bringing us all together. For making a home that extends beyond walls, into the very fields and creek of this place.”

“Toasts were made, glasses raised, and as the stars began to twinkle in the clear night sky, the Thorntons and their loved ones felt a profound sense of belonging. In the heart of Lone Ridge, they had found more than a home—they had discovered a deep, enduring bond that would carry them through whatever the future might hold.

And in that moment, as the laughter and conversation continued under the starlit sky, Lizzie knew beyond a doubt that they had truly found their forever place. A place where past hardships were stepping stones to present joy, and where the future was as bright as the stars overhead. Here, in the embrace of family and the land they loved, was everything they had ever hoped for—and more.

THE END


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7 thoughts on “A Groom for the Silent Bride – Extended Epilogue”

  1. Greetings, dear readers! I trust you relished the blissful conclusion of Lizzie and Sam’s love story. Let’s reminisce together—what was the most heartwarming moment in their romantic journey? Share your thoughts with me, for I cherish your input! ♥️📚

  2. I thought that Abigail’s son was named Bennie so why would Lizzie name her son Benjamin? Bennie isn’t mentioned in the epilogue; what happened to him? Stevie is older than Victoria, but that isn’t the way it is presented in the epilogue. Did you write the epilogue years after the book? The discrepancies are confusing. I did like the book but wish I had skipped the epilogue.

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I appreciate your feedback on the discrepancies in the epilogue. I’ll certainly take note of these points for future editions.

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