AN: Thank you, all of my loyal reader's, for reading and reviewing my Dark Rider story. I know it's been almost a month since I last updated the story. I've been very busy with work and school, but now I have finally finished the final and last chapter of the epic story Dark Rider. I've enjoyed all of your comments and I am so happy that all of you have chosen to read this story. Thank you so very much for you support and kind words. Now it is time to say goodbye to one of my favorite stories, The Dark Rider.

Final Chapter

"Please wait! I beg of you to wait." His voice called over the snowy linen ground. He treaded through the lightly fluffed path to catch up with the shadowy figure he knew well.

Sasha didn't want to turn around. She knew very well who it was. She kept going as if she didn't hear him in the distance. She walked along quickly through the court yard. Then she realized that she had reached the end. There were no other paths leading out anywhere. She was stuck. And it couldn't be at worse time either. Derek was in hot pursuit. He was closing in fast and she had no where to go.

"Please. I mean you no harm, please just listen to me." He coaxed as he drew nearer. His face was blushed from the cold chilling wind that blew through the air. The wind was all that was between them now. Sasha only looked at him. At first she didn't notice the warm drops running down her cheeks, until Derek pulled out a handkerchief, then she realized that she was crying.

Everything was so overwhelming. She finally avenged her family's purpose. She has broken through the darkness that held her at the throat. Now finally she could stop this masquerade and live normally again. Thats all she ever wanted anymore was a normal life. No more secrets, no more hiding. It all had ended here, this very night, all except one last thing. In order for it to finally be over, she had to remove her mask. This accursed mask was the purpose of her father's death and changed her childhood forever. She (at a young age) had to pick up where her father left off. Her Mother refused to have anything to do with the mask and it's mission. Her mother died soon after her father, from what seemed like a broken heart. Sasha was left alone at the age 17, old enough to take care of herself.

The mask had made her life interesting at best, but had ruined all hopes a normal childhood. Sasha regarded the mask and the mission with high respects and did it for the greater good of the people and her father. But now, everything had finally come to an end. It was time to say goodbye to The Dark Rider.

Derek held her as she wept, dampening the black mask on her face. "Let me help you." Derek said. His icy cold fingers reached up to the black mask on her face. Sasha quickly wrenched away in fear. "I'm sorry." Derek said with regret of his foolish act.

"Don't be sorry Derek. I only wish to do it myself. This mask has been my sole purpose for many years now. Taking it off is my honor, and mine alone. As much as I cherish my victories and good deeds, I also have my regrets, one of which is ever putting on this hideous veil." She said with a quivering voice.

"I understand now. Your tears are not of complete sadness, but of relief. I know not how it feels to hide from the world. I know nothing of the darkness and the betrayal of others. You have been through much, more then I will ever know."

"I am glad that I have you Derek. I can trust you, and you can trust me. Never before have I met someone with so much compassion for their family as you.

"Derek drew closer to Her. He put his arms around her as she sobbed. His embrace was warm and his eyes glowed green with sympathy.

"Tell me something Derek." She asked between sobs. "I wish to know, if you love Sasha. Or do you love me?" Sasha asked.

Derek Released her from his embrace back into the cold chilling air. His face turned to sadness. "I cannot love a woman who feels the need to hide from the world. If you hide from others, then I feel as if you will hide everything from me. I cannot say I do not love you, yet I can not say I do not love Sasha. It is a decision I wish I didn't have to make." Derek turned around as to not face The Dark Rider.

Sash looked away, dissatisfied with his answer. She looked down at her hands. Her hands were callas and rough, from all of her victories and hard work. She pulled them into fists and shook with rage. Then she quickly reached up to her face where the mask rested.

"No longer will this cursed mask haunt my mind. No longer will it taint my dreams at night. No longer will my family's deaths suffer in vain. No longer will I hide from anyone. No longer will it hinder my love for another."

Derek quickly turned back around. His face struck with sadness. Her words shook his core, as he watched on in awe as the mask slowly fell to the white ground. For what seemed like an eternity, they stood there. Derek kept his eyes on the mask that laid on the ground. He didn't dare look up. Sasha's tears streamed down her cold and tired face.

"Derek, see me now for what I truly am." Sasha said softly. Derek slowly looked up into her eyes. His heart skipped a beat, his breath drew faster, and his eyes welled up with tears. He quickly ran over to her and held her in his arms as they both sobbed.

"How I wished it was you!" He wept. "How I prayed and hoped it would be you." Was all he could say, as they stood there holding each other. Then they kissed. A kiss that seemed as it it would never end.

A few weeks later they were married. The wedding was spectacular. Derek decided to stay permanently in Arcadia and his sister returned to their home land Kalaya where she married and became a duchess.

Derek and Sasha Moved out of the dress shop, and opened an even larger one on the other side of the kingdom. Not but two years after they were wed, Sasha had a son, who they named Leonardo and a daughter who they named Sara.

As for The Mask of the Dark Rider, it remained beneath the floor boards of their new home. Awaiting it's next master, and it's new adventure.

"Mama. What is this?" Asked little Leonardo with a black mask in his hands.

Sasha who was sitting at the table with Derek, grinned at her green eyed son.

"That little Leo, is an old friend."

Leonardo smiled back and looked at the mask with a fiendish curiosity. "An old friend..." he repeated smiling at the mask.

AN: With love to all of my fans of this story. I bid you Adieu! Sincerely yours:


Savannah R. W.