The EndTwenty-Three Years Later
Tara Rose Gibbs took a deep breath and straightened her veil as she studied her face in the mirror. Nerves were normal on a woman’s wedding day and Tara cherished all things normal as they were so very rare in her life.
A soft knock at the door had her turning and a broad smile stretched her mouth. Her father, the most normal thing about her life, slipped through the door, scowl firmly in place. She stepped forward and let him wrap her up in a hug, just like he always did. He wasn’t happy about this, not at all. But David Jethro DiNozzo was truly a credit to his parents, even if he was a year or so younger than she, and Zee Zee Katherine McGee was a cheerful, quirky woman, the apple of her father’s eye, and Tara loved them.
“It’ll be okay, Daddy,” she said quietly, squeezing him a little.
He pulled back, scowl never shifting. “You’re not supposed to get married. You’re supposed to stay my little girl forever.”
And Tara smiled because that was just like her father. “Oh, I’ll always be your little girl, even if I had to grow up, too.”
He nodded, even as his scowl deepened. “Well, you’ve got five minutes to change your mind. We can absolutely find you a quick, quiet escape route, if you want.”
She laughed and shook her head. “No, no. They’re the ones, Daddy. They’re going to make me happy. Now, just give me a minute and I’ll be ready.”
He wandered out the door muttering that the little*mumble mumble* had better make his little girl and his favorite niece happy or…
Tara snorted before turning to look in the mirror one last time. She smiled at the familiar face that was standing behind her, barely visible even to her gifted eye. “Hey, Mom.”
Her mother lifted a hand in greeting, her face the same as it had been when she herself had been twenty-three. She traced a hand down the side of Tara’s face, skin never actually touching but a slight chill causing Tara to shiver. She placed that hand over her heart, then disappeared.
Tara drew in a deep breath, fighting back tears. Her mother’s specter rarely visited her but Tara was unsurprised that today would be one of the few days she did. Suddenly, every flower in the room opened up and their sweet smell filled the air.
Tara laughed. “Yeah, Mom, I love you, too.”
Then she turned and went to marry the man and woman of her dreams, much to her father’s discomfort and her mother’s delight.
Lived Happily Ever AfterAuthor's Note:
Yes, I know who I
think is the father but I'm choosing to let you read whatever you want to into that particular plot point. Just remember: Tara Rose has dark auburn hair and brown eyes.