Getting to Me

Chapter Thirty-Six

Zack smiled as he helped Mandy walk into Brian and Michelle’s home in Fargo. She was still a little shaky on her feet, and she was more than a little bit anxious during the drive to Fargo from Bismarck. Her brother had driven, and he’d driven much slower than she would have expected him to. She was thankful for that, because she knew that if he’d been driving faster on the ice, she probably would have had a panic attack.

“Baby, are you okay?” Zack asked softly as he pushed his hand back through her hair before he kissed her lips softly, helping her walk up the stairs. He didn’t want her falling and getting hurt at all. He already felt responsible for what had happened; he felt guilty that he’d nearly killed her, and it was something that was hard for him to forgive himself for. She smiled up at him and nodded before squeezing his hand lightly.

“I’m fine, Zack,” she told him before she kissed his lips. “I’m not fragile, you know. I’ve handled hospital visits before,” she murmured while he opened the door. He gave her a small smile and then nodded as they walked inside, stomping off the snow from their boots at the door before they made their way inside.

“Why don’t you guys go downstairs and rest for awhile, and Michelle and I will make some dinner? You can watch Olivia,” Brian said with a small smile as he looked at his sister and friend. He could tell that they were both exhausted, even though neither of them had driven at all since the car accident.

“That sounds like a good plan to me,” Zack said with a small smile before he pressed his lips against her forehead again. “Do you feel up to that?”

She nodded and then carefully took her niece from Michelle and carried her downstairs, sitting down on the couch that was in the small living room that Brian and Michelle had since set up since they’d moved into the place. Zack watched as Mandy bounced the baby girl up and down on her leg.

He could see her doing that with their children as well. He definitely wanted to marry her; he wanted to ask her to be his wife, and he wanted to plan something. He had an idea of what he wanted to do, but he knew that it was going to take a little bit of help from both Michelle and Brian, as well as Brian Sr. and her mother. He wanted to make sure everything went completely perfectly for Mandy. She deserved it, especially after what he had done to her.

“Babe, you’re doing it now,” he heard her mutter as she lightly touched his shoulder, pulling Zacky out of his thoughts. He looked over at her and blinked for a few moments before he smiled, seeing the little girl looking up at him.

“Doing what?”

“Zoning out,” she added lightly. “You were staring off into space, like you were in another world. What were you thinking about?”

Zack shook his head, giving her a small grin before he leaned closer so he could brush his lips across hers. He didn’t want to give her any insight on what he was planning for the two of them. He brushed his lips across her mouth and then carefully let his finger touch the baby’s.

“You’ll find out soon,” he murmured, wanting to make sure that she didn’t have any clue. She gave him a suspicious look, but finally nodded before she leaned back against the couch, handing Olivia over to Zacky.

“Do you ever think you’re going to want a family?” She asked him out of the blue. It was a surprise to him, and he couldn’t believe that she had actually asked him. “I mean, I’m not saying I want one right now or anything, but—”

“Yeah, I’ve thought about it,” he cut her off, putting a huge grin on his face. “I’ve thought a lot about it, actually. I think that I would definitely want kids, especially with a woman like you,” he murmured, leaning in to brush his lips across her forehead.

“Really?” She asked him. He nodded, and then grabbed her hand, holding Olivia carefully with his other hand as he turned to look at Mandy.

“Yeah,” he reassured her. “I’ve definitely thought about having a family with you, when you’re ready. It’s funny, because I never thought about it before you came along,” he murmured softly, almost as an afterthought before he brushed his lips across her hand as he brought it to his mouth.

Mandy smiled and looked down at the floor, unsure of what to think. She knew that she’d want a family with Zacky someday as well. He was an amazing man, and she was lucky that he’d come into her life. He was much better than other men that she had dated in the past, and she couldn’t help but feel as though he was the person she was supposed to end up with for the rest of her life.

Neither one of them said anything else as they sat there, both of them looking at the sleeping infant in Zacky’s arms. They were both amazed at how such a little baby could be so carefully cradled in Zacky’s tattooed arms. Finally, Brian came downstairs and told them that dinner was ready, and took his daughter up to her room so that she could sleep in her crib.

Zack and Mandy walked back up to the dining room, hand in hand. Michelle and Brian both smiled, happy to see that the two were in a healthy relationship. It was definitely something that had been a long time coming for both of them. Brian had been hesitant at the start of their relationship, since he’d known the kind of man that Zacky was. And he’d never liked his sister’s choice in men, so she’d figured that the two of them were a disaster waiting to happen, though he was happy to see that that hadn’t happened. Both of them were as smitten as two people could be, and that was something he’d never be upset about, even if it was his best friend and his sister.

“So, are you two glad to finally be out of that hospital or what?” Brian teased them as they all sat down, Brian starting to dish food onto his plate before he started to pass it around so that everyone else could eat as well.

“I am,” Mandy said quickly, a grin on her face. The hospital had always been her least favorite place to be, because it meant that she wasn’t on the back of a horse. She knew that she wouldn’t be doing any horseback riding or heavy lifting at the farm for awhile now, but she was still feeling relieved to be out of the hospital.

“We’re glad you’re both out, too,” Michelle said. “We were both so worried about you.”

Mandy smiled, looking over at Michelle. She was glad about the fact that she’d gotten to know Michelle better over the last few months. She hadn’t liked the woman at first, since she’d been somewhat pushy with her older brother, but she could definitely understand it now, and she was happy for the fact that they got along now.

“So, Zack, there’s a little rumor going on around the family,” Brian cleared as he sat up straighter, meeting Zacky’s eyes. The green-eyed man froze, not knowing how Brian knew what he was up to, but not wanting his girlfriend’s elder sister to say anything.

“What rumor?” Mandy asked through scrunched eyebrows.

Both Brian and Zack looked at her before Zacky shook his head carefully, not wanting her to know just yet. Brian sighed and pushed his hand back through his hair before he looked at Zack, clearing his throat.

“I want to let you know that I think it’s a good idea,” he told Zack carefully before a smile formed on his lips. “I think it’ll work. Just make sure you’re careful not to screw it up, or I’ll be pissed off.”

Zack knew what the warning under those words was, and he respected it. He knew that Brian wanted his sister to be safe and protected, and he couldn’t agree any more. He wanted Brian and Michelle, and Mandy’s entire family to know that he would never do anything to hurt her. He loved her, and now it was time to prove just how much he did love her. Now, he wanted to ask her to marry him. He just had to get everything set up. It wouldn’t be an easy task, and he knew that it would take a lot of planning as well as a lot of courage, but it was something he knew he needed to do. His heart had grown to be one with Mandy’s, and he wanted her as his wife.
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I have two new one-shots, if anyone is interested. They're called Imperfect and New Experiences.

I also have a new full-length Brian Haner, Jr. story. It's called Girl Like You, and I'm excited about it. ^_^

There are four chapters left of this story.