“She must be pretty persuasive.”

“She is very stubborn.”


“Like her brother, hmm?”

“Perhaps.”

Piper laughed. “There is no perhaps about it.”

“You are treading on thin ice here.”

“I like to live dangerously.” Her smile carried in the sound of her voice.

“I can tell.”

“How old was she when your sister found out about you?”

“Twelve. She was furious with her father. She called him a monster and refused to speak to him at all for an entire year after finding out about me.”


“Wow, she might even be more stubborn than you.”

“You think?” He had always enjoyed the fact that to Piper, he was just a guy she could joke with, not someone she was too in awe of to treat like a human.

“I’ll have to consider it.”

“She never told me about all that once I contacted them. She let me believe my mother told her of her own volition, which in a way, she had. Iola did not want me to hate our mother.”

“She also respected the distance you maintained. It’s pretty obvious she felt you had the right to set the terms for your relationships with your family.”

“Yes.” And he had always appreciated that.

“Are you okay?”

“Naturally.” A simple conversation with his mother and her husband wasn’t about to disconcert him. Although, maybe there hadn’t been anything simple about that phone call.

“You are the most amazing man, do you know that?” The warm approval in Piper’s voice washed over him.

“You’ve said something to that effect before.”

“Well, I mean it even more now,” she assured him.

“You are good for my ego, even if I do not understand why you are so impressed.”

“It took a lot to forgive your mom and her husband.”

“I forgave them a long time ago.” A man could not afford to expend the energy to maintain anger and hatred when he was building a new life for himself. “I simply did not trust them to be a positive part of my life. You have convinced me to give them a chance.”

“I love you, Zephyr.”

“Thank you.”

She laughed. “You are welcome. I still say it takes a big man to overlook the sins of the past and forge new relationships in the present.”

“I am glad you think so.” He liked looking heroic in her eyes.

“So, our families are all going to be there. Tell me you got the church booked.”

“Since we were flexible what day of the week we would be married, it was no problem. My secretary is booking your family’s flights even as we speak. They will all arrive over the weekend, which will give them time to take in some sights before our wedding blessing on Thursday evening. We will fly over to Greece with Neo and Cass on the company jet after their wedding on Sunday.”

“I’m still having trouble taking in the fact we’ll be married in just over two weeks. In Greece, just like I dreamed.”

“It is what you wanted.” And what he had wanted for himself as well.

“So you made it happen.”

“If a little unorthodox in my methods.”

They had discovered that having the actual wedding in Greece required a lot of paperwork that would extend the date for their ceremony further out than they wanted. Neo had suggested a civil ceremony in Seattle followed by a blessing in Greece, for their families to attend. When Piper agreed, Zephyr had insisted on coordinating both events immediately.

“I kind of like it this way. The legal ceremony is private, just for us, and our families get to share in the communal blessing.”

“As long as you are content so am I,” Zephyr responded.

“Just keep saying stuff like that.”

She was always so positive and it had only gotten better since they decided to get married. A man could be forgiven for being impressed with his own acumen in choosing such a woman to marry.

“How goes the great search for a dress?”

“Splendidly, thank you. I found the absolutely most perfect one ever online. The designer is shipping it to a downtown bridal shop in case any alterations are needed.”

“Good.”

“It’s going to cost more than the GNP of a small country.” He could tell she was striving to feel guilty and failing miserably. She must really love the dress.

“I do not care.” He wanted everything perfect for her and he was only grateful she did not want a huge event that would require months of planning. Months in which she could change her mind about marrying him.

Or, God forbid, lose the baby and destroy his chances of getting her to marry him at all.

“So you said.” She sighed happily. “Thank you.”

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