Zachary & Ciara Ch. 02


"Thinking about what you've done?" Ciara asked.

"Yes," Zachary admitted.

"Me, too," Ciara said a look of understanding on her face. "Spent most of the week thinking about it and not believing I did it."

"Sounds as if we both lost our minds, doesn't it?" Zachary said.

"Just a little," Ciara replied chuckling, "but it feels good not be crazy alone."

"What's your favorite color?" Zachary asked suddenly changing the subject.

"Red," Ciara replied. "What's yours?"

"Blue," Zachary replied. "Now we know something about each other."

"You're crazy," Ciara said laughing.

"We're ready to go," Aaron said pushing Emilee's wheelchair towards the front door.

"I'm ready too," Ciara said picking up a carryon bag and a suitcase.

"I'll take that," Zach said taking the suitcase from her hand.

Ciara, Emilee, Zachary and his friends were crossing the lobby heading for the hotel entrance, when they bumped into Brie, Ciara's sister.

Ciara had been looking for Brie during the week she stayed in the hotel to tell her about her marriage to Zachary, but she was never available when Ciara tried to contact her, so she wasn't able to tell her about Zach.

"Hello, Mr. Collins," Brie said wondering what her sister and her niece were doing with her new boss. "Is there a problem?" she asked looking at Ciara and Emilee.

"No, Ms. Walker," Zachary said. "I'm just taking my new family home to meet my family in London."

Brie was so shocked by what she heard all the air left her lungs and words failed her.

"When?" she asked when she could breathe again.

"A week ago," Ciara said.

"We have to leave for the airport, Ciara," Zachary said. "We're going to miss our flight, if we don't hurry."

"I'll talk to you when we get back," Ciara told her sister as she and her group headed out of the hotel. Leaving Brie standing in the lobby with her mouth opened and a stunned look on her face.

Watching as her, sister left with her boss, who had just told her, he was her new brother-in-law.


Ciara and Emilee were quite a sight when they arrived at the airport. An African-American woman and little girl with five white men in tow. People stared at them all probably wondering what the five handsome men were doing with the plain-Jane and the cute little girl.

They had no problems when they arrived at the airport because both Ciara and Zach had called the airport to make sure arrangements had been made so that Emilee's first experience at the airport would be a good one.

They were met at the sidewalk when they arrived at the airport by airport employees that assisted them in getting Emilee out of the limo, through airport security and on to the plane.

Because, Emilee was in a wheelchair, they were the first, first-class passengers to board the plane.

They were all sitting together. Ciara and Emilee sat together both holding each other's hands.

Zachary and Aaron were in the seats across from them, Alexander and Gideon were in the seats in front from them, and Colin sat in the seat behind them.

Ciara sat in the window seat because Emilee wanted to be able to talk to Zachary. Across the aisle Aaron had the window seat and Zach sat in the aisle seat. He wanted to be able to comfort Ciara and Emilee if they became nervous about the flight.

He looked over as the plane began moving down the runway. Ciara was holding Emilee's hand. Emilee's eyes were closed tight.

"Don't forget what I told you to do if you become afraid," Ciara whispered to her daughter.

"I didn't," Emilee said wrapping her hand around a necklace she wore around her neck. "I'm holding on to my good luck fairy."

"That's good baby," Ciara said.

Zach wished, he could ease both their fears, but knowing that the situation didn't allow it and doing what he could he reached out and took hold of Emilee's hand.

Emilee opened her eyes, looked down and saw that Zach was holding her hand. She turned, looked at him, and smiled.

"Thank you," Ciara said.

"I can't have my friend be afraid and not comfort her, can I?" Zach said.

Seeing that Ciara was also nervous, Colin put his hand over the top of her seat offering it for her to hold. Ciara seeing the hand reached up and took it into hers. They rode that way as the plane taxied down the runway.

Zach raised an eyebrow when Ciara took hold of Colin's hand. For some reason he didn't like her holding his friend's hand. He wanted to be the one to comfort her.

Aaron feeling Zach becoming tense all of the sudden turned and looked in the direction that Zach was looking.

"He's only helping Ciara," Aaron said.

"I know," Zach said, 'but I still don't like it,' Zach added mentally.

Zach turned away mentally telling himself that he would be glad when their plane landed.

When the plane leveled off Zach looked across the aisle to see if Ciara was still holding Colin's hand. He fought to keep the smile off his face when he saw that Ciara had relinquished the hold she had on Colin's hand.


Their flight was non-stop making it a long, tiring first flight for both Ciara and Emilee. By the time they reached Heathrow it was evening and Emilee was having a hard time keeping her eyes opened. Ciara told her to take a nap, but she refused, saying she didn't want to miss any part of the plane ride.

But, by the time they had reached their destination Emilee had lost the battle and sleep had won.

When their plane landed Zach reached over and eased Emilee out of her seat and cradled her in his arms, then he, Ciara and the rest of their motley crew made their way off the plane.

Just as they did in Atlanta, people were staring at them as they made their way through the airport. Zach spotted his mother and Abigail waiting for them.

Abigail was the first to spot them, tapping Zach's mother on the shoulder and pointing in their direction. She and Zach's mother headed in towards them.

"Who is that with him?" Abigail asked noting the black woman by Zach's side and the little girl with both legs in casts Zach was holding in his arms who appeared to be asleep.

"I don't know," his mother said searching the airport to see if she could pick out her new daughter-in-law. "I want to get a look at the woman, he's gone and married."

"I think the woman with him is your new daughter-in-law," Abigail said as she watched the black woman standing next to Zach slip her arm around Zach's arm.

"What're you talking about," Zach's mother asked as she looked at the scene Abigail was looking at.

"Oh, my god," she said as Zach passed the little girl over to his friend Aaron and grabbed the hand of the pretty black woman as he spotted her and Abigail and headed in their direction.

"I don't believe he did this to me," Abigail said fighting back tears as she thought of the reactions of her family, friends and the questions they would ask when they found out Zachary was not only married to someone else, but he'd married a black woman. "He has to be joking," Abigail said as Zach and the woman walked up to her and Zachary's mother.

"It's going to be alright," Zachary whispered to Ciara when he felt her tense when she noticed the way his mother and Abigail were looking at her. He smiled when he felt her a little as they reached his mother and Abigail. "Good evening mother," Zachary said tightening his hold on Ciara's hand.

"Good evening, Zachary," his mother replied never taking eyes off the woman whose hand her son was holding. "Who have we here?"

"I would like for you to meet my wife, Ciara Walker-Collins," Zachary said putting an arm around Ciara's shoulders. Ciara I would like for you to meet my mother Emily Collins."

Ciara looked at Zach's mother and saw what she knew had to be the prime example of British etiquette and elegance. Emily Collins, Zach's sixty-eight year old, five feet five inches tall, one hundred fifty pounds mother. Her face was expertly done up showing just a hint of wrinkles. Her cold grey eyes stared suspiciously at Ciara, her clothing screamed designer, expensive and tailor-made. Her grey hair was beautifully coifed. Emily Collins looked at the woman her son just introduced as his wife, her eyes assessing everything about her, surprised that the woman was giving her the same look.

"Hello," she said being the first to speak.

"Hello," Ciara replied waiting for Zach's mother to continue the conversation because she knew that meeting her and finding out, she was married to her son had to be a shock and a surprised.

"Mommy, I'm hungry," Emilee said letting everyone know that she was awake.

"Okay, baby," Ciara said walking over to Emilee, who was still being held by Aaron. "We'll get you something to eat as soon as we leave the airport. I want you to meet Zach's... I mean Zachary's mother Emily Collins, Mrs. Collins, I would like for you to meet my daughter Emilee."

"Hello, Mrs. Collins," Emilee said extending her hand out the way her mother taught her to do when meeting someone new.

"Hello," Zachary's mother said shaking the little girl's hand.

"We have the same name," Emilee said.

"Yes, we do," Zach's mother said.

"I bet I spell my name different from yours," Emilee said.

"I don't think so," Zach's mother said. "Emily can only be spelled one way."

"My mother spells my name a special way because I'm a special little girl," Emilee said. "Want me to spell it for you?"

"You can spell it for her later," Ciara said. "We need to get you something to eat."

"Let her spell it," said the young woman standing next to Zach's mother. "I want to hear how she spells it."

"Go, ahead baby," Ciara said her eyes trained on the woman. "Spell your name for everyone.

"E-m-i-l-e-e," said proudly spelling her name.

"Your mother's right," Zach said pushing Emilee's wheelchair over to Aaron helping him place her into it and making sure she was comfortable. "that is a special way of spelling your name for a very special little girl."

"My name is Abigail Stapleton," Abigail said when it looked as if no one was going to introduce her to Zach's new wife and step-daughter, extending her hand out to Ciara. "I'm a friend of Zachary's."

"She's a friend of the family," Zach corrected.

"I was about to become more than a friend of the family," Abigail said snidely looking at Zach.

"Nice to meet you, Abigail," Ciara said shaking Abigail's hand.

"You have a southern accent," Abigail remarked. "Are you from the southern part of the United States?"

"I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia," Ciara replied.

"What's wrong with the girl?" Zach's mother asked.

"My legs are broke," Emilee said before anyone else could answer.

"We're not going to talk about my step-daughter's condition here," Zachary said placing his hand on top of Emilee's. "We've just come off an exhausting flight, so we're going to go home, rest and we'll talk to you later mother."

Emily could tell from the tone of her son's voice that he was angry with her.

"Does that mean I won't see you at all today?" she asked her son.

"Not today," Zachary said. "I want to make sure Ciara and Emilee are settled."

Everyone made their way to the limo that would take Zach and his family home. As they approached Emilee called to Ciara.


Ciara went to her daughter.

"Yes, baby," Ciara said.

Emilee crooked her finger signaling to her mother that she wanted her to come closer. Ciara leaned over so that Emilee could whisper in her ear.

"Everything is going to be alright," Ciara said to Emilee her tone comforting.

Emilee shook her head no.

"What's wrong?" Zach asked.

Ciara stood on tip toes and whispered what Emilee told her in Zach's ear.

"Your mother's right," Zach kneeling down and speaking to her, "everything is going to be fine. Nothing's going to happen. I promise."

Emilee once again shook her head no, frowned and began to cry.

"What's wrong with the child?" Zach's mother asked.

"She doesn't want to get into the limo," Ciara said.

"Why not?" Zach's mother asked.

"She thinks that if we get into the car something bad will happen," Zach said.

"How would she know that?" Abigail asked.

"Come on Emilee," Ciara said ignoring Abigail's question. "Nothing is going to happen."

"I don't want to get into the car momma," Emilee said crying harder.

"How about if we ride with you?" Gideon said.

Emilee shook her head no once again.

"Just put the child in the car," Zach's mother said. "We don't have time for this."

Ciara was about to rip her new mother-in-law a new one when Zach stepped in."

"We'll handle this mother," he said his tone telling to his mother to but out. "You don't have to ride in the car if you don't want to. We'll take a different car home. Alright?"

Emilee nodded her head up and down, wiped her eyes and stopped crying.

"I'll take the car home," Zach's mother said. "I'm not going to let the money we paid for the car to take us home go to waste."

"No!" Emilee screamed.

Hearing Emilee scream Zach's mother stopped where she stood, just as she did a car careening out of control came out of nowhere and smashed into the limo Zach, Ciara, Emilee, Zach's mother and Abigail would've been riding in.

Everyone looked over at the crumpled limo, with a big dent in the middle where the other car had T-boned it.

Then they all turned and looked at Ciara and Emilee, wondering how the little girl knew.

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