Taylor sat on a blanket, arms behind her as she braced herself with her palms, while watching the man she loved play with her daughter—their daughter, she corrected herself. The past month had been a dream, and even now her cheeks hurt from smiling so much.
Cory stood behind Meggie and pushed her on a swing. This was the same park where the terror had started. Taylor never thought her life would be so happy now when that day Meggie had almost been kidnapped still wrung Taylor’s heart with fear. If not for Cory…
Sighing, Taylor’s smile widened. That man surprised her at every turn—and made her completely happy.
Her father laughed as he stood in front of Meggie’s swing, pretending to grab her feet when she came his way, only to act like she bumped into him. Her father dramatically clutched his chest and stumbled backwards as if he’d been hurt, wearing a grin the whole time. Meggie’s laughter echoed through the park, bringing many gazes and smiles her way.
“Hey pretty lady,” Zack said as he plopped himself on the blanket beside Taylor.
Briefly, she tore her attention away from her daughter to smile at Zack, before returning her gaze on those she loved more than life itself. “Hi.”
“How have you been?”
Chucking, she shook her head. “Amazing as it sounds, I’ve been in heaven.”
Zack bumped her with his shoulder. “Yes, that’s obvious to anyone who looks at you. Happiness shines from your face like a beacon through a stormy night.”
“Well, it should. I finally have the family I’ve always wanted.”
“So when is the wedding?”
She sighed dreamily. “Next Friday.”
“Why doesn’t your father know?”
“I don’t want him knowing until that morning.” She looked back at Zack and pointed her finger at his face. “And if you tell, I’ll never talk to you again.”
He held his hands up in surrender. “Your father won’t hear it from me.”
Nodding, she looked back at Cory and her daughter. “I just know my father and he’ll want to throw me a big wedding. Cory and I don’t want one.”
“I think your dad just wants to walk you down the aisle.”
“He will…just in front of the justice of the peace with only a few friends and family in attendance.”
“Do you need any help with the preparations?”
She met his twinkling gaze. “Why? Are you offering to be my bride’s maid?”
Zack threw back his head and laughed heartily. “Hell no!” He winked. “But you’re like a sister to me, and I want to help any way I can.”
“All I ask is for you to keep it a secret.”
“Does Meggie know?”
She shook her head. “No, but only because she doesn’t know how to keep secrets. I know she’ll be happy. She calls Cory Daddy already. Cory loves it.”