AN: Hi guys, thank you so much for reviewing my work and giving me constructive criticism! You've been really helpful. Based on your suggestions, I have some editing I need to do on the last few chapters, but while I'm doing those edits here is the final chapter! It's a bit of a short one. Please see what you think and, as always, your suggestions and critique are gratefully accepted =]


Chapter Six

Much to Steph's amusement, Nick was arrested about the same time as they were making love for the third time that night, she later found out. After he'd burned out his new car in Bristol, to throw the loan sharks off the scent, he got the train into London and made his way to Heathrow. His intention was to get the diamond necklace and bring it back to sell off. He didn't want to sell it, but it was his only hope. But as he was on the plane, he thought that maybe it would just be easier to hide out in New Zealand for a while. He'd never wanted to go before but it was millions of miles away, they'd never find him there. That stupid Steph, taking the bloody necklace with her. Stupid Laura, the mistress, constantly requesting money for her expensive clothes and plastic nails and hair extensions and her shoe collection. Stupid him for getting in this mess in the first place. He'd always been responsible with his finances but at the first taste of excess cash, the greed got too much. The luxury life had appealed to him more than he had realised.

Steph went to see him in his cell at the police station, and the sight of him shocked her. He was pale and weak, curled in a corner like a little boy. His face lit up when he saw her and she felt a rush of nostalgia. She pulled herself together. This was the man that had betrayed her, had deliberately hurt her. He tried to hold her hand but she moved away.

"I do love you," He said simply. His eyes were blank and hollow. He knew he would get sentenced, knew he would go to jail for the assault, at least.

Steph sighed. "Oh Nick. You don't cheat on the one you love. You don't lie and steal. You don't hurt them." She said. "But it's ok. I was beginning to realise I didn't love you that much anymore. And I've found someone new now."

Outside, Matthew was waiting for her in his Audi. He got out and gave her a hug and she leaned into his arms gratefully. He kissed the tip of her nose.

"Ok?"

"Ok." She smiled. He opened the door for her and she stepped into the car. She laughed at the irony: she had found the thing Nick had been striving for - money, happiness, success, love – without even trying. She didn't love Matthew because he was rich. She loved him because he was caring and genuine, hard working and dedicated. She found it funny how both Nick and Matthew had crossed the world for her – Nick, to hurt her and Matthew, to save her. She loved Matthew because he was thoughtful and considerate, and went beyond the call of duty for her. It helped that he was also undeniably attractive and incredible in bed. Love had struck them like a thunderbolt, and it felt amazing.

"Ready?"

"Yep!" Steph leaned over and kissed Matthew's mouth as he pulled away and took the road to the motorway.

London looked beautiful at night. It always did; despite being a sprawling city, the lights seemed so magical when they shimmered. Steph sat cross legged by the window, allegedly sorting through the paper work but, in reality, she was gazing out the window and trying to work out her life. It seemed too difficult to detangle everything that had happened, so she let it linger in her mind that some sort of miracle had bought Matthew to her. He bought a cup of tea over to her and sat down beside her, hand on her thigh. They had a lot to organise, but next winter Steph was moving to Wellington with Matthew and starting afresh there. Steph's parents were staying in Cardiff, but they had enjoyed their brief stay out there and were looking forward to many holidays in the sun. Steph hadn't seen the house yet, but she trusted Matthew when he said it was beautiful. He had some builders doing it up now, so it would be perfect for them when they arrived. Until then, they were staying in the pent-house apartment in London. Matthew had loved it too much to part with, in the end. He was busy painting the room again in colours that were more homely. She loved the designer look but it wasn't comfortable, and that's what she needed now. He had started painting a small corner of the bedroom yellow, too, and was decorating it for their baby. Steph was three weeks pregnant and they were looking forward to starting a family together. The pent house would be a perfect start to their family life, and then the move to New Zealand would complete them. Matthew and Steph were both happier there - free and calm, with the slower pace of life and outstanding beauty surrounding them. They would get married in New Zealand, too. Steph had been searching on the internet for the perfect location for their wedding and her mother was helping her plan it. Steph had had to sell the diamond necklace but Matthew had bought her a beautiful diamond engagement ring and it symbolised so much more than the necklace ever would. Everything had happened so quickly, as all the best things do. Only months ago, she had come back from New Zealand to a terrible web of betrayal and lies. And now she was the happiest woman alive.

Lucky her.


The End.

Thank you so much for reading!