Deleted Scene: Terra’s Fate alternate ending

This scene was part of an alternate ending for Terra’s Fate. I ended up deciding to go in a different direction as it felt too shiny? I may like myself some romances, but no one could ever accuse me of being kind to my characters…

It felt good to be driving home, to be putting it all behind him. Jackson turned onto a dirt road, trees enveloping him on both sides. It set his mind at ease to be surrounded by nature. He didn’t know how all of this would affect his people. He imagined some would be traumatized. Others would be fine. He didn’t know how to handle any of it.

His mind flitted back to the battlefield, to the loud percussions of the artillery fire, to the smell of smoke and blood. It wasn’t entirely unfamiliar to him. He’d lived a hard life, lived through events that had made his stomach curdle. To him, this was nothing worse than what he’d experienced before.

But not all of his people had lived through such times, places, events. Would the government, the military, help them? He doubted it. They hadn’t even wanted to let them fight, even when their own lay injured and dying, they still hadn’t called their squads to fight. He shook his head, disgusted with humanity all over again.

He would take care of his own. Maybe there were some shifters who were experienced in Psychology. He would have to ask around, maybe organize a system for treatment. It would be relatively simple to set up those who needed counseling as temporary guests in other caravans. He nodded to himself, happy with his decision as he stopped the car.

Getting out, he smiled. Home. He grabbed his bag, and walked up the familiar path, picking up speed in his eagerness. Terra’s face popped into his mind, smiling, for him. How would she greet him? Would they even be here? They might still be at the caves. He didn’t know if they knew it was safe yet. His pace slowed, his excitement dimmed by the possibility.

He turned the corner, and there she was, Annie in tow. His face beamed. “Terra,” he said, his voice barely a whisper.

But she knew. Somehow, she knew. She turned to him, her face lighting up like a sunrise, and ran for him. A squeal lit the air as Annie registered his presence, and she came running too. 

Terra reached him first, hugging his across his middle, sealing herself to him, leaving no space between them. He sighed, his body relaxing into her warmth, her softness.

Annie latched onto his leg, wrapping him in a pincer grip that hurt for a moment. “Don’t ever do that again,” she said, her lower lip pouted out as she looked up at him.

He reached down and brushed his hand across her head. “Never, little one. Never again.” He turned to Terra, and his mouth opened, words spilling out. “Marry me?”

She paused, staring at him, the moment stretching out. He hadn’t thought about it, hadn’t planned it, but now his stomach twisted in knots, afraid of her reaction. 

“Nice try,” she said, smirking at him.

He frowned. Was that a yes or no?

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1 comment

  • Dave Forrest

    Good read, I enjoyed this alternate ending………….Thank you.

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