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Hey guys and welcome back! ^-^ Sorry for the delay between chapters :/ It's been a busy couple of weeks for me between school and homework and work >.< Not to mention I was suffering from some serious writer's block (thus why this chapter isn't really up to my usual standards :c Sorry about that). Anyway, sorry once again and I hope you can forgive me and enjoy!

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"Isn't it gorgeous?" Taylor squealed, holding out her hand so that the diamond ring enthroned on her left hand caught the light. Dylan admired it and forced a smile.
"It is," she agreed. And it was, no exaggeration there. In fact, she had been the one to help Malachi pick it out, not that it had been much of a challenge. Between it's blue-ish diamond and silver band, it fit Taylor all too well. Its startling beauty was the deciding factor. Dylan hadn't had to point out a single other ring after that. Malachi had made his decision.
And Dylan was happy for her friend, really, she was. She knew that Taylor and Malachi were happy together, and, after having dated for three years now, it was about time that they got married.
The reason she had to force her smile was due to an entire different emotion: jealousy. The green eyed monster was certainly rearing its ugly head and Dylan hated it. Looking at her best friend's engagement ring, her thoughts couldn't help but travel to Ali. They had been dating as long as Taylor and Malachi had--nearly three years--and he had yet to show any signs of wanting to get married.
No, that was a lie and Dylan knew it. Ali wanted to marry her, it was no secret. In fact, a little under a year ago, he had proposed to her. But Dylan hadn't been ready yet. She'd panicked and rejected him. At the time, it had felt like the right decision. She loved him and she knew marriage was in their future together, but right then? The idea had terrified her.
Ali had insisted he'd understood, but it was a hit to his ego, and Dylan had felt horrible about it. She'd spent the next while getting over her fears, and she was soon ready for marriage. Now there was no doubt in her mind, no fear. Yet he hadn't asked since then.
It was frustrating.

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Her thoughts were interrupted by Malachi entering the room and sitting next to Taylor. His arm wrapped around her protectively and she snuggled into him. Seeing them like this, so in love, so adorable together, made it easier for Dylan to forget about her jealousy for a moment and feel genuinely happy for them.
"I did a pretty good job at picking it out, huh?" he asked, shooting Dylan a quick wink, which she promptly replied with an eye roll.
"Sure you did."
Taylor just laughed. If she had any idea what their exchange meant, she didn't show it. "Now we've got to get to work at planning a wedding," she said, grinning ear to ear at the prospect of it. "I'm thinking big and elaborate."
Malachi raised his eyebrows. "Really? I was thinking small and simple. Preferably sooner rather than later?" he suggested. Ever so subtly, his eyes strayed down to Taylor's stomach.
Yes, many things had changed in those three years, including, not only Taylor and Malachi's engagement, but also their pregnancy. Among that had been many promotions, Ali's proposal and Dylan's rejection, and, not to be forgotten, a new little member to Dylan's house.

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No, not a baby--Dylan definitely wasn't ready for that yet--but a little puppy that Ali had brought home for her one day. They'd named her Echo and, the way they doted over that dog, Taylor and Malachi would often joke that she was their first child.
Speaking of Taylor and Malachi, the pair were still playfully debating over the wedding they were planning, seeming to have forgotten about Dylan's presence all together.
"But I want something big," Taylor said, giving her fiancee her best puppy dog eyes. "I want a big poofy dress and all of my closest friends there and cake. Definitely cake."
Of course the pout was enough to convince Malachi and he grinned, shaking his head at her. "Okay, fine, a big wedding it is."
***

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The wedding arrived sooner than Dylan had expected it to. Very little happened in those months leading up to it, with the exception of a never ending list of things to plan to make sure Taylor had her special day.
In the end, the couple had managed to compromise on the wedding. While the ceremony would be large and exactly what Taylor had dreamed of, Malachi managed to keep the guest list small, inviting only their closest friends. That meant that they would be able to save money on food and such – assuming Taylor didn’t eat everything they had ordered all on her own. By this point in time, her stomach was huge, and it looked as though she were ready to burst at any moment.
Fortunately, her due date wasn’t for another three weeks, so bursting was rather unlikely.
Now Dylan and Taylor stood side by side, checking their hair and make-up and dresses in the mirror – well, Taylor was. Dylan, as usual, didn’t care much for her appearance, and was instead spending her time assuring Taylor that, yes, she looked beautiful and no, nothing would go wrong.
“You sure?” Taylor asked, tucking one last strand of hair back into place and doing a quick spin in front of the mirror.
Dylan wasn’t even sure what she was supposed to be sure about as she’d long since resorted to just nodding and smiling and patting Taylor’s arm comfortingly. “Absolutely,” she replied anyway.
Taylor grinned. “Thanks Dyllie, you’re awesome.”
“Don’t call me that.”
But Taylor was barely listening. She’d poked her head out the door and was looking at the small group of people come to watch them get married, her grin transforming into a pout. “I wish Malachi had let me invite more people.”
“If it was up to you, you’d invite the whole valley.” It was true too. Taylor loved attention, and she loved people. Even though she didn’t actually have a lot of close friends in the small town, she was always looking to change that.
“Damn right.” Her smile returned again and she quickly shut the door as Malachi walked past. Taylor was also superstitious, and believed strongly that her husband-to-be was not allowed to see her before the wedding.
Dylan just rolled her eyes and made an attempt at smoothing down the ruffles of her dress. She didn’t know how Taylor could do this – the dresses, the food, the planning, the stress. Actually, Dylan wasn’t even sure how she’d managed to get through helping to plan the wedding.
It’s one thing to plan a wedding. It’s another thing altogether when you’ve got to deal with Bridezilla and her pregnancy hormones. More than once, she had to cling to the edge of her chair to keep from running for the hills when Taylor had another breakdown, and force a comforting smile while muttering, “It’s okay, Tay.”
It was at that point that Dylan decided when she got married, she wanted it to be a small affair, with very few guests, if any.
And no poofy wedding dresses. Absolutely none.
Although, glancing down at her still bare ring finger, it was going to be a long time until that happened.
“Dylan, did you hear me?” Taylor’s voice broke into her thoughts, and Dylan became aware of the fact that her friend was holding her arm and dragging her out of the room. “It’s time to get into position!”
“Sorry,” Dylan muttered, allowing Taylor to drag her into her place. A few seconds later, the echo of the music starting filled the small building and Dylan could see Taylor shuffle her feet excitedly beside her. “Ready?”
Taylor nodded. “Absolutely.”
***

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The ceremony was short but sweet, fitting for the couple. Afterwards, they cut the cake, and everyone ate a piece – or three, in Taylor’s case. “I’m eating for two!” she had protested – and then Taylor and Malachi shared their first dance together, to a song Dylan didn’t recognize. Not that that was much of a surprise. She’d always had a very different music taste from Malachi.
After that, everyone crowded onto the dance floor to enjoy the music as well. After congratulating Malachi and Taylor for the billionth time that night, Dylan began to search for Ali. Unfortunately for her, instead of Ali, she found Junior. Immediately she tensed up and turned to walk away. What was he doing here? He shouldn't be here...
Dylan hadn't seen Junior since she'd rejected him all those years ago. Last she'd heard, he'd quit his job at the theatre and then, nothing. It was like he'd fallen off the face of the earth. But now he was here, and she didn't want to talk to him.
Maybe he hadn't seen her?

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That hope was quickly dashed when Dylan felt a hand on her arm. It took her a moment to grasp that this was Junior touching her. He wasn't gentle or awkward, instead he grabbed her arm roughly, almost painfully. "Dylan?" he asked. No, it was more of a demand if anything.
"What?" Her voice came out sharp. She never spoke to Junior that way -- usually it would make him jump and apologize a thousand times over-- but he seemed so strange, so different. She couldn't help it.
But for once Junior didn't seem to get upset at her tone. In fact, he smiled. "It's been a while."
Why did she feel so uncomfortable around him? Like she should run?

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"Yeah, it had been. I've actually gotta--" She was cut short by Junior's fingers brushing her cheek. Instinctively she jerked back and held out her hands to stop him. "What're you doing?"
"Remember when I told you I loved you?"
Dylan looked around, hoping Ali was somewhere nearby to save her. No such luck. It looked like he was over at the buffet table, chatting with Malachi and eating some more cake. "Yeah..."
"I still love you." Junior smiled again, but it wasn't the same smile Dylan was so used to. There was something off about it. It left her feeling unsettled and wondering if she ran would she be able to get to Ali before Junior caught her.
She shook her head at herself. Why was she thinking about that? He was her best friend at one point. He wouldn't hurt her, at least not physically. "Listen, I really don't want to deal with this right now. I have to go."
She turned to walk away, but first Junior's grip tightened on her arm and she winced in pain. "What's wrong with you?" she asked sharply, turning to face him. The movement was so sudden that Junior started and released his grip.
"I came back for you, Dylan. She said that we could be together now. That you'd love me."
"You're speaking nonsense, Junior. Who is 'she'?"
Junior just shook his head violently, ignoring the question. "She said that you'd love me now. You love me now, don't you?" With that he grabbed for her again, only for her to shove him away.
"Junior, stop it. I have a boyfriend now."
A look of pure hurt crossed his face and for a moment he looked like the old Junior again, like he was going to cry. "What?"
"I have a boyfriend now. I don't like you that way, okay?"
Like magic, the hurt transformed into fury and once again Junior grabbed her arm. "No!" he yelled, so loud that the people around them turned to look. "You can't love him! You have to love me! She promised!" He sounded like a child throwing a temper tantrum, but he didn't seem to notice.
And, unlike a child, he was genuinely scary when he was like this. Dylan freed her arm for the last time and, not knowing what else to do, she turned on her heel and walked away as fast as she could towards Ali. He was far enough away that he hadn't heard the commotion.
She glanced over her shoulder briefly to see Junior had vanished, before she greeted Ali and pulled him out onto the dance floor just as the fast song that had been playing turned to a slower one. She was shaken by what had happened with Junior, but she didn't want to talk about it, she just wanted to forget about it, and this was the best way to do so.

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Ali wrapped his arms around her waist and she draped her own over his shoulders.
“You know, I can’t imagine Taylor is too happy with you right now,” Ali said to her over the music. He had a smile on his face, but Dylan just looked confused.
“Why?”
“Because it’s her special day, but you were by far the most beautiful.” He grinned and pushed a loose strand of hair out of her eyes. Dylan grinned.
“You’re so cheesy.”
“It’s true though.”
“Maybe not, but it was sweet regardless,” Dylan said, giving him a quick kiss before he could manage to protest anymore. After a few seconds, Ali pulled away ever so slightly, their foreheads still pressed together.
"Hey Dylan?" he said, quietly enough that no one else would be able to hear over the music, but loud enough for Dylan to hear.
"Yeah?"
But Ali didn't have the chance to reply before a sudden scream pierced the air. They both outside to see that the source of the sound was, shockingly, Taylor. She stood in the field, her hands clutching her stomach and her face contorted in pain. Beneath her feet, the grass was damp.

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"Oh, shit," Dylan whispered. Ali muttered something similar as the two rushed towards her and Malachi, who was of course being very little help since he was panicking. As Ali did his best to calm Malachi down, Dylan lead Taylor to the car, sure she was going to go deaf from Taylor's screams of pain directly into her ear.
***

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Dylan and Ali waited in the waiting room of the hospital throughout all of Taylor's labour. Many times Malachi insisted that they go home and get some rest, or at least get changed out of their formal clothes, but they refused.
"Gotta be here to make sure you don't pass out on poor Taylor," Ali had joked, winking at his friend.
Malachi had just rolled his eyes. "I'm sure I can handle it. I mean, I've dealt with dead bodies before, this can't be half as bad."
Ali had just laughed and sat down in a chair, watching Malachi walk in circles around the room uncountable times, much to the annoyance of the others waiting.

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By now it was the next day and both Ali and Dylan were exhausted. They sat snuggled together on a bench, looking half-asleep.
It wasn't until Malachi reappeared with a huge grin on his face that they both sat up straight and rubbed their eyes, suddenly wide awake.
"Guess what guys?"
"What's up?" Ali asked.
"I'm a dad!"

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And so he was. Taylor had given birth to a healthy baby boy that they named Sawyer.
"He's beautiful," Dylan whispered to her brother and best friend, now sister-in-law, as they peered into the crib at the tiny baby.
"I don't mean to brag, but yeah. He's amazing," Taylor said proudly. Her grin stretched ear to ear and she gave Malachi's hand a gentle squeeze. "We did good."
Malachi nodded in agreement and kissed her cheek.
Meanwhile Ali gently touched Dylan's arm and pulled her aside. "Dylan, there's something I want to ask you," he said. "I planned to say this somewhere more romantic, but we're here now so I might as well ask now."
Dylan bit her lip and waited for him to continue.

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"So, what I wanted to ask was..." Ali bent down on one knee and produced a beautiful ring from his jacket pocket. Dylan had seen this ring once before and yet she was still struck with the beauty of it, and this time she fully intended to accept it. "I'm not always the best with words, so I'll just put it like this. Dylan Angela Fallon, will you marry me?"

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Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
roxmorgirl
Oct. 6th, 2012 09:28 pm (UTC)
Awwwwwhh <3 I can't wait for them to get married, hooray <3
A baby!!! This is so exciting ^_^ Sawyer, how cute!!
And eek... Junior is scary! I'm very interested to know what's going on with all of that... yikes. :O
Great chapter! I didn't think it was bad at all! I really liked it :)
puppyluvver
Oct. 8th, 2012 03:46 pm (UTC)
Haha, yeah, I figured it was time for some babehs and fluff :p
You'll just have to wait and see ;)
I think I'm too hard on myself sometimes xD I wasn't too happy with it :p But as long as you guys like it I'm happy ^-^
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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