A conversation with my sisters the other day reminded me of a Jilliel (Jill/Adriel) short story I wrote nearly three years ago (is it crazy that Jan. 2016 is nearly three years ago or what?) that gives them something of a happy ending. I hadn't thought about this short story in quite awhile, but I quite enjoyed it when I dug it back up and read it to my sisters. It's not 100% canon because I don't really want Jill to never see her family again and I haven't figured out how that all works, but it's pretty canon. A canon ship anyway. ;) Enjoy!
Mild spoilers for The Crossways and Crannig Castle
straightened up from hoeing the garden. He had to admit a sense of pride in
this little plot of land that was his own. He felt a joy at seeing the little
sprouts of green poking up through the mounds of dirt. In all his years of
growing up, he never would have dreamed that he would one day enjoy the work
that was the rue of his years. What a change ten years of freedom had wrought
you like some water?” Rae came across the grassy field between the cottage and
the house, an earthen pitcher in her hands. She barely contained the usual
spring in her step in an effort to deliver the pitcher unspilt. “It’s fresh
from the well.”
you, Rae.” He took the filled dipper she held out to him and drank deeply. He
cast a glance back at his youngest sister. She rocked back and forth excitedly
on her feet. “What is it?”
though her eyes sparkled. “Ariella and Connor are coming to dinner, and so are
Jaysen and Julee.”
He cocked an
eyebrow at her. “What about Jacob?”
A blush suffused
her cheeks. “He is.”
Jacob was an
apprentice glassmaker who had come to Crannig Castle for his apprenticeship
nearly a year ago. He and Rae had taken to each other quite soon after their
meeting. It was strange to think of his baby sister being at an age where she
was eligible for suitors, but after all, she was sixteen.
Adriel wiped the
last drops of water from his face and handed the dipper back to Rae. “You know
She smiled shyly.
“I know. But I’m still young yet. You’re practically an old bachelor. When are
you going to be married? I need some more nieces and nephews.”
He looked away
into the distance, studying the rolling hills as he decided how to answer. “One
of these days. It has to be the exact right girl. I don’t think I’ve seen her
around here yet.” He turned back to his sister, who now wore a pensive
“I suppose you’re
right. Don’t take too much more time out here. Mom will want you cleaned up
before the others arrive.”
Adriel smiled as
he watched Rae return to the house. Those long months of separation when he
could do nothing to protect her still haunted him, as did the circumstances
surrounding her rescue, but she seemed no worse for it. She was still the
sweet, innocent spirit she had been in those days, now matured into a young
woman. He was not sure how much he could say for himself on that score. He had
matured much since the days of the Time Captives, put much guilt behind him, but
he never seemed to be able to move past all that had happened. The events of
those days still clung to him as if they were yesterday, more so as time went
on rather than less.
He mopped his
sweaty brow and returned to hoeing the weeds.
eldest, a lad of six, clapped gleefully as Adriel’s mother produced a large
chocolate cake from the cupboard.
“Only a small
piece, William,” Jaysen warned.
“But we’re at
Grandma’s house.” The little boy turned puppy dog eyes to his grandmother.
Alaina, Ariella’s seven year old eldest reproved her young cousin. “Your daddy
said a small one.”
Adriel smiled at
the children’s exchange, but his gaze wandered out the window of the snug
little cottage. The sun was just beginning to sink behind the trees, sending
streaks of orange and pink across the sky. Rae had taught him to see the beauty
in Creation, his faith had allowed him to embrace and enjoy it. Yet something
always seemed missing, as if someone
ought to be there to enjoy it with him, someone who could not be there.
He hardly noticed
when Nola set a slice of cake down in front of him. A figure had appeared just
on this side of the trees, and he felt strangely drawn to it. “Excuse me.” He
pushed back his chair and exited the cottage, nearly entirely oblivious to the
astonished glances his family sent his way.
The figure was a
slender, girlish figure, traversing the distance between her and the cottage.
Adriel hastened towards her. Strange though it was, he had never dreamed of
ever being so anxious to meet an unidentified young woman, he could not prevent
himself from closing the distance between them as quickly as he could.
When her features
became clear, his heart leaped in his chest. She was older, but still
said your cottage was north of the castle…” But she got no further for they had
at last closed the gap between them and he had enveloped her in his arms.
This was what had
always been missing. This was why he could so rarely get the Time Captives out
of his mind. This was why no other girl had ever caught his fancy. This girl in
his arms, this was right. This was how it was supposed to be. This was where
He looked down
into the smiling, upturned face that had imprinted itself so irrevocably on his
memory so many years ago. “However are you here? You really are here, aren’t
“I am. It was the
strangest thing. I was bringing a box of Joey’s old things up to the attic, he
still won’t keep his things tidy, and some writing appeared in the old place on
the wall where it had ten years ago. It said:
“‘You left your
heart in Calhortz and now you must return,
If you forever
stay here, you will forever yearn.
The chance you
have been given, to make your dreams come true,
Now return to
Calhortz, to the one who waits for you.’
“I wrote a note
to my family telling them what had happened and where I had gone. I don’t know
if I’ll ever see them again, but I knew I had to go through the portal when it
opened. What it said was true: I did leave my heart here…and I left it with
in Jill’s eyes. Adriel couldn’t tell if they were happy or sad, he suspected a
bit of both.
He cleared his
throat, but his voice still came out husky when he spoke. “I couldn’t say it
when I was fourteen, but I have to say it now. I love you, Jill. I think I’ve
loved you ever since that first trip on the Andaron.
And I’ve missed you so much these last ten years. I hate that you left your
family behind, but I’m more than grateful that God provided a way for you to
return. You’re my first friend, and still my best friend. And…it may be too
soon to ask it, but…Jill, will you marry me?”
Her smile grew
even bigger at his words. “Yes, Adriel. Of course I will.”
His mother had
insisted they wait a few months, get reacquainted with one another, give Adriel
time to establish his own farm, but finally the day was here. The day upon
which they would become man and wife.
In the absence of
any members of Jill’s family, King Joseph himself had agreed to do the honors
of giving her away. It was not every common farmer who had the royal family at
his small outdoor country wedding, but it did not seem a bit unusual to Adriel,
nor did it matter to him. The only thing on his mind today was Jill.
breathed as she came to meet him on Joseph’s arm. She was just so beautiful. She
was, to him, perfection. This first friend of his, the one who as a young girl
had led him to Christ, the one who had been so kind to him at his worst…in
moments, she would be his wife.
They spoke their
wedding vows deep from the heart. Always would he protect and cherish her. He
had more of a duty to her than he ever had towards Rae, and he would never fail
as long as there was life left in his body.
minister spoke the words he had been longing to hear since Jill’s return: “You
may now kiss the bride.”
his new wife into his arms and kissed her. When he pulled away, he could see
that she was smiling.
together under the cloudless blue sky, creating new memories that outshone the
wonderful dances at the Christmas victory celebration at the close of the war,
though cherished the memory of those dances had been. Those had been tainted
with the foreboding of departure, these were anointed with the knowledge that
never again would they have to be apart.
reception drew to a close. Adriel took her hand and led her around his mother’s
“I have a
surprise for you.”
“What sort of
“You’ll see in a
minute.” He took great delight in echoing the words she had used in preparing
him to reunite with his family.
But now they were
in sight of Twyla, the dragon that had saved his skin so many times, the
faithful dragon that would now bear them away to their own home. “I haven’t
taken you up yet,” Adriel said. “I wanted this to be your first time.”
Adriel. I can’t wait.”
He lifted her up
onto Twyla’s back, then climbed up behind her. He kissed her again before
directing Twyla to begin her flight.
They rose up
above the cottage, into the sight of their friends and family. Loud cheers
hailed them. Jill and Adriel waved to their guests, just before Twyla swooped
away to carry them to their new home.