Ordinary (Exceptional Book 3) (21 page)

BOOK: Ordinary (Exceptional Book 3)
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EPILOGUE

[ONE YEAR LATER]

 

 

The helicopter circled over the lake, preparing it’s landing in top of the UC building.

The United Country.

It was the name that Luke, Ally, the General, and the other elected leaders had come up with for their healing country. In the Old World, they had been called the United States of America. There were no states left now. They were a United Country, working toward peace and unity together.

The UC building was one of three main hubs in the country, for now. The leaders took turns meeting in different places every three months, updating each other on how the new programs in their cities or towns were coming along, and making sure that they were all on the same page.

The helicopter landed with a gentle bump and the pilot turned the engine off. Ally climbed down onto the roof, stretching her back and her good leg. Her fake leg, or the “new” leg, now felt almost as good as the old one. She didn’t have any sensations in it, but she could walk and run and climb like anyone else.

She knew that Luke would be waiting down in his office for her. She had spent two weeks in Zone D, visiting with the General and Max. It was good to see them but it was even better to be back.

Before heading downstairs, Ally walked to the edge of the roof and looked out over the City. It was a brisk afternoon, and she wrapped her arms around her chest. In the distance she could make out the lake, which was looking better and better each month. The groups that had moved into the new housing in the warehouse district had taken it upon themselves to revitalize the lake and bring it back to life.

Though she couldn’t see well from up here, she knew that the streets below were filled with Exceptionals and Ordinarys alike, all going to work or to school. The transition had been easier in the cities, but there were still issues to work out. The children in the ORC were still having trouble adjusting to their new lives, and Marnie and Evan worked tirelessly with them. After receiving permission from the General for Evan to be given leave from his duties as a Sergeant in Zone D, they both moved into the ORC and adopted the children as their own, with the help of a few other volunteers.

Stosh had moved permanently to Champaign. At first Ally thought he would pick up and move to Hope Town but he seemed hesitant to move so far from the only family and friends he had left. He said he couldn’t picture himself living in the City, but Ally knew that it reminded him of Sabine. Also, their settlement was all but abandoned. Heath had been welcome to the idea and appointed Stosh as head of relations with the City. His Exceptional abilities were also helpful around the town. He was currently overseeing the construction of a functioning road between Champaign and here. He had also recently began to see Willow, who had also remained in Champaign. It was weird for Ally to see at first but they made each other happy. It was good to see Stosh happy.

Stosh also traveled around the country off and on with Ally this past year, helping to spread the word about their efforts to unify the country and create a better life for Exceptionals and Ordinarys alike. Sometimes Luke would come along, and sometimes Ally would just have Guards, and the efforts had been positive for the most part.

Rogues seemed to be eradicated, so far.

It was everything Ally had hoped for and more. She still felt like she was dreaming at times, and sometimes closed her eyes and counted to ten, expecting to wake up finding that she was back in the settlement. Or even back in the ORC, in a drug induced sleep full of wild dreams.

But every time she reopened her eyes, things were the same.

She had done it, with the help of her friends and family.

She had brought change.

“I wish you were here to see this, Sabine,” she said.

She and Stosh had returned to Hope Town to take Joey home, and had taken a proper headstone for Sabine. They had decided to keep her body there, as a reminder of the cause for which she had died, and they vowed to visit her each year.

Ally sighed and headed inside, using her keycard to gain access to the private elevator. The ride was short and the doors slid open with a
ding
. She was barely through the doors when strong arms wrapped around her and lifted her into the air. She laughed and wrapped her arms around Luke’s neck.

“Welcome home,” he breathed into her hair.

“Glad to be home,” she said.

She leaned back and kissed him, holding her lips on his for a few extra seconds.

“I missed you,” they both said at the same time.

“Are you ready for tonight?” he asked. “You were cutting it a little close.”

She grinned. “I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”

“Did Max come back with you?” he asked.

She shook her head. “He decided to stay in Zone D. They are close to coming to good terms with the remaining Rebels. He didn’t feel like he could leave.”

Luke nodded in understanding. “Stosh and Willow arrived this afternoon and are meeting us there. Marnie and Evan, too.”

“And your mom?” she asked.

“She’ll be there,” he said. “It was hard to get her to agree to leave her garden, but she’s coming.”

Mrs. Mathias had moved out of the house and into a smaller apartment just after Ally had come home from the hospital. Just prior to that, she had started to garden again and came over several times a week to tend to the flowers and bushes that Ally would probably kill had she been left to care for them.

“Ok,” Ally said. “I need to go home and get ready.”

“See you there,” Luke said, shoving her back into the elevator.

The doors slid closed on his wink.

 

Ally chose to walk to the park tonight, following the same path Luke had taken when he had first brought her there. They hadn’t known each other then, not at all. Now Ally couldn’t imagine her life without him.

She lifted the bottom of her dress up as she crossed into the grass, not wanting to get it dirty. A fur shawl was draped across her shoulders, something Mrs. Mathias had pulled out of her closet of clothes from the Old World. Stosh met her at the edge of the park, a large grin on his face. She looked up at him, still taken aback when she saw the violet eyes rather than a green that matched her own.

“I never thought this day would come,” he said.

She spun the ring that adorned her finger. The one Luke had given her on a summer day at the lake.

“Me either,” she said. “Not with Luke.”

“Not at all,” he joked. “I mean, who would want to marry you.”

Ally dropped one side of her dress and punched his arm. “I’ll still pretend that I’m stronger than you.”

Stosh held out his arm and she took it.

“Ready?” he asked.
“Ready,” she said.

He lead her down the path and toward a flowered arbor. Luke stood underneath, his hands clasped together in front of his white suit. His mom stood to one side and Marnie and Evan to the other. Willow sat in a chair to the side, Oakley sitting in her lap, smiling and waving. There were many others that Ally wished could be here.

Max. Sabine. Her mom.

But if it had just been Luke and her, that would have been enough.

Luke met her under the arbor and took her arm from Stosh, linking his fingers through hers.

“Hi.”

She smiled. “Hey.”

He leaned forward and brushed his cheek against hers.

“Want to get married?”

She giggled and leaned back.

“Yes.”

They turned to face the man officiating their marriage. They would be following an outline of a wedding from the Old World, making vows to each other while surrounded by family and friends. Ally in a white dress and Luke in a suit. It was a symbolization of what they were fighting for, bringing back principals from the Old World, but also what they were keeping. An Exceptional and an Ordinary getting married.

Tonight she would call Luke her husband.

It was something that the Old World and New World had in common, something that brought them together. In all of the chaos and change, she was making a commitment to love Luke forever, and he was committing to love her as well. For all of the change to come and the hardships of being leaders, they would have each other, and together they would continue to better their country, for their City.

For themselves.

For their family and friends.

And for the small life growing inside of Ally.

Boy or girl.

Exceptional.

Their baby would be born into a family full of friendship and love. Their baby would be born into a world of change. Before Ally would have been terrified to bring a child into this world, but now she was excited. There was so much possibility.

There was
hope
.

 

 

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

 

 

 

Thank you first and foremost to my husband and to my three beautiful children. They put up with a less than perfect wife and mommy while I worked on this book, and still treated me with love and grace.

Thank you to my friends, who offered up their own free time to be beta readers and help with editing. Self-publishing has nothing to do with the SELF. It takes the hard work and teamwork of friends and family to pull it all together.

Thank you Alexis, Amber, Kristyn, Ashley, Heather, and Jen.

Thank you to my readers, who pushed me along this past year as I dealt with multiple health issues. Who were patient and kind and understanding. This series sums up five years of hard work.

It is hard to say goodbye, but I am excited for what is next.

 

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

 

 

Jess Petosa is a Philly girl transplanted to the middle of Amish Indiana.  She lives with her husband, three girls, and her miniature dachshund, Jake. Somewhere in between Kindergarten homework, soccer practice, dance class, swim lessons, and preschool drop-offs, she writes young adult fiction.  She is a wife and mother, and a photographer as well. You could say she likes to keep busy. This is the third book in the Exceptional series. The first and second book in the series are available for both Kindle, and will be available for print by Christmas.

 

Find Jess Petosa on Facebook! Look for updates at…

http://jesspetosa.blogspot.com

 

 

 
 
List of Work

by Jess Petosa

 

Exceptional Series

Exceptional

Rogue

Ordinary

 

Hampton Harbor

Forget Me

BOOK: Ordinary (Exceptional Book 3)
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