Summer had come to Sherwood and the forest burst with colourful life. The hedgerows filled with blush pink dog roses, swaying scarlet poppies, brambles covered in white blossoms, promising an abundance of fruit in autumn, intertwined by honeysuckle that smelled divine in the early evening air.

Zack smiled as he watched Mary-Anne laughing at the antics of the acrobatic nuthatch, his slate grey jacket, luscious peach chest and black eyestripe flashing as he hopped up and down the trunk of the oak tree, now flush with bright and fresh green leaves. Zack had never expected to be this happy. His parents had been killed in a car crash when he’d been very young and, with no other family members to care for him, he’d grown up in the foster care system. With interests that other children considered strange, he became a bit of a loner and stayed that way into adulthood.  That he could find someone like Mary-Anne, beautiful both inside and out, still astounded him. They were perfectly suited to one another, sharing the same interests, the same joy in the burgeoning forest that surrounded them at that moment.

He found her story quite incredible. That she had been so badly damaged by fire, but was now flawless, was miraculous. He hadn’t seen her as she had been, but had listened to her story in earnest and believed in the magic that had saved her from a life of loneliness and misery. Someone with a soul as beautiful as hers should never be alone.

They’d spent at least a little bit of everyday together since the springtime and Zack couldn’t imagine life without her now. Caught up in the moment he took her hand in his and towed her towards one of the benches, pulling her down to sit beside him. He looked into her lovely green eyes, flecked with hazel and rimmed with grey, unlike any he’d seen before.

“Mary-Anne,” he paused, biting his lip and suddenly very nervous. “I can’t imagine one day without you in my life. Please… marry me?” She gazed into his eyes and smiled.

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Fuji
Fuji (@fuji)
1 month ago

A very lovely moment in the lives of Mary-Anne and Zack, Carrie. I did miss the presence of Jax, though. I could imagine him barking happily when Zack popped the question.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
1 month ago

The super thrilling part of Zack and Mary-Anne’s life. So lovely. I can’t imagine their feelings at these moments in their lives. I can’t wait to read the next part.

Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse (@marianna-pieterse)
1 month ago

I think that because they both had difficult childhoods, they understand and complete each other. I’m looking forward to part 5!

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