"He never has been one to talk a lot. If he says more than five or six words to you at a time it means you're special." Tim took a big bite of eggs before continuing. "Zach's always been a little moody and had some anger issues." he said winking. Samantha smiled sadly.

"Has he always acted like the weight of the world is on his shoulders?" she asked. Tim frowned and shook his head.

"No. That's new but I'm hoping you can help him with that." he admitted.

"What exactly has he told you about me?" she asked curiously.

"Not a whole lot honestly." Tim replied taking a drink of coffee. "But knowing Zach the way I do I can tell he's in love with you and you seem to return his feelings. As long as you make him happy I'll do what I have to, to look out for you. Even fight a guy who I know without a doubt could kick my ass."

"Thank you for that." Samantha said.

"No problem." he replied. They finished their meal in relative silence and walked back out into the sun. Still there was no sign of Zachary.

"He should have been here by now." Samantha said with a hint of fear in her voice. Tim agreed but didn't want to worry her more.

"Zachary has his cart parked behind the stables. Why don't we go ahead and get some supplies for the house and then we'll head that way. I'm sure we'll meet him on the way." Samantha nodded and walked to the store as Tim went to get his horse and the cart.

She made a list with the storekeeper of all the things that she needed. Flour, meal, eggs, milk and other essentials. Then she walked over to pick out some fabric for the curtains. She became lost in thought looking at the different colors and patterns. She didn't hear the footsteps approaching her and suddenly two strong arms wrapped around her waist from behind.

Samantha screamed and stomped her foot down as hard as she could on her attackers foot and pulled herself out of his arms.

"Samantha, what the hell are you doing?" Zachary demanded standing gingerly on his throbbing foot. Samantha gasped as she turned around and saw him. She bit her lip and wrung her hands nervously.

"I'm so sorry, Zachary! Are you okay?"

"No, I think you broke it." he complained with a teasing smile. She didn't see him smile though because she was too busy trying to lift his pant leg and take his boot off. He laughed and grabbed her arm, pulling her up to her feet.

"Samantha, I'm fine." he insisted. "I've been shot, stabbed and nearly clawed to death by a mountain lion. I think I'll live through being stomped by your tiny foot."

"What took you so long to come for me?" she asked accusingly.  He looked down at the fabrics.

"Sorry. I went up to their graves. I guess I lost track of time." Samantha laid her hand on his arm.

"You didn't have to go through that alone." He picked up a white satin fabric.

"I like this one." he said matter-of-factly.

"I'm making curtains, Zachary. I can't use that fabric because they would be stained and ruined within a month."

"I wasn't talking about curtains. You do still want to be my wife don't you?" Samantha flushed with delight and hugged him.

"Of course I do." she exclaimed. "But making a dress would take a while and well I was hoping we'd get married a little sooner." she admitted. He smiled happily and pulled her closer.

"You were huh?" he asked. They looked into each others eyes and to them they were the only two in the room. Zachary leaned down to kiss her and their moment was interrupted by the sound of a throat clearing.

They looked toward the noise and saw Tim watching them with amusement.

"What the hell are you doing with my future wife?" he demanded with a twinkle in his mischievous blue eyes. Zachary gripped Samantha's waist tightly as he glared at Tim.

"What exactly is he talking about?" he asked. Tim started laughing and walked up to the sleepy store keep to order his own supplies.

"Calm down, boy." Samantha teased as she returned to looking at the fabrics. "We ran into James this morning and when I told him my future husband didn't want me working in the saloon he thought I was talking about Tim." Zachary nodded and held up a red and white checked fabric.

"I like this one for the curtains." he said. Samantha looked at it and nodded.

"That's pretty. It will work." she agreed.

"So what did James have to say?" he asked as they walked up and joined Tim at the counter.

"Nothing important." she replied quickly. Too quickly Zachary thought.


"He wasn't very happy." she admitted under his no nonsense gaze. "But Tim took care of it." Zachary raised a brow and looked at Tim for any sign of a weapon but didn't see one.

"Not everyone has to get violent to solve a problem." Tim said smugly. "Some of us are so good we can bluff our way out of things."

"My way is more fun." Zachary said with a smile as he handed the store keep the money for everything.

"Oh hush." Samantha scolded. "Violence is never fun." Zachary laughed and she slapped him.

"Quit laughing at me." she exclaimed. Tim smiled and nodded.

"Yep you're perfect for each other. What a violent pair you make." he said. Samantha threw her hands up in the air with an exasperated laugh and walked out the door.

She went and got her mare from the stables while Zachary and Tim loaded their supplies in the cart.

"You think we got enough food?" Tim asked when she returned.

"No. We need to get some corn and vegetables planted before it's too late. You guys need to do some hunting so we can make some warm furs for this winter and put some meat in the smokehouse. We need some cattle, pigs and chickens as well." The two men looked at each other in disbelief.

"See that's why I'll never settle down. You two aren't even married yet and she's already got you a honey do list made out." Tim said jumping on his horse. Samantha grinned sheepishly and played with her mares blond mane.

"I'm sorry. I suppose that may have come out bossy." she said.

"Everything you said is true." Zachary said getting into the cart.

"Besides you're cute when you're bossy." Tim added. Zachary snapped the reins and put the cart in motion and Samantha knew it was no accident when he swung wide and Tim had to quickly sidestep his horse to get out of the way.

"You son of a bitch." Tim said as he tried to calm the nervous beast. But Zachary was already on his way down the road. Tim finally got his horse calm and started after him and Samantha followed.

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