Disclaimer: None of it is mine except for the plot. lol
AN: I'm sorry guys that I haven't updated in a really long time. I've just been so busy, and I've been writing so much for everyone else that I've hit a writer's block. I want to thank you guys for the wonderful reviews and for hanging in there with this story.
"But it is my fault. I left it out. If I had just put it away, then they would be here."
"No Zee…it wasn't your fault. Had you put it away, your parents still would have died, just by other means." Zenon was confused by this.
"What do you mean? I don't understand. They would be alive if I put it back."
"No Zee…they wouldn't. A wise person once told me in a time of my own crisis, that we all have a certain amount of time in this life…that when we have lived that amount of time, we die. Whether it be from illness, a crime, an accident, a car accident, when our time comes for us to die, we will. Nothing can change that. So what happened to your parents wasn't your fault. It was just their time to go."
"You know what Zoa…maybe you're just gullible. Maybe this wise person really isn't as wise as you think. You don't even know what you're talking about! You're biggest crisis is what gel to use for your hair." Zenon spat with venom. She wanted him to hurt. She wanted him to feel a little of what she felt. What she didn't know was how much she actually had hurt her friend with this comment. But Proto Zoa, being a loyal friend, knew deep down that his Zenon would never really mean those things.
"Zenon, you're hurting, you're in pain…I get that. But don't say those things to me…not now." He said it in such a way that Zenon, while still fuming with anger, had felt a twinge of regret run through her. She had always known that he held something back from her, and apparently, she had hit a nerve. She just tried to compose herself the best she could and stood up from the couch that they had been occupying. As she strode towards the door, she turned around slightly and called over her shoulder to a faintly confused Proto Zoa. "I don't want to talk about this anymore. I just want to go down to the stable and visit my horse." She started again, expecting Proto Zoa to be following her, but when she turned back around, she could see that he obviously thought that she wanted to be alone. In all actuality, that was the last thing she wanted. She called out to him one last time. "Well are you coming or not Zoa?" At that, he immediately bolted from the couch and was at her side. "She can't hate me if she is still calling me Zoa" was the only thought running through his head.
Zoa walked alongside of Zenon as she made her way out of the house and toward the stable on the grounds. He knew that she hadn't been there in some time and quite a few surprises awaited her. As they exited the house, the main paddock quickly came into view. Zoa watched Zenon's face in anticipation for the look of surprise that would soon be upon it. He was not left disappointed. Zenon looked dumbstruck as she stared at the new stable. "It looks like an exact replica of the one where we got Anastasia from." Zenon thought as she quickened her pace to enter the new building.
"I wanted it to be a surprise for your next visit Zee. I knew how much we both enjoyed that trip when I bought you Anastasia, so I thought why not recreate a bit of it." Zenon just turned and smiled at him. Not one of those strained smiles, but a thousand watt Zenon smile that just made his day. He lived for those smiles. He was thrilled that if just for a moment her mind was off of her parents.
"So is Anastasia in the same stall?" asked Zenon clearly anxious to see her horse.
"Well Zee about that…see…it's just that…well…I mean to say…" Zoa was stalling for time and she knew it. She quickly started down the long aisle looking for Anastasia. "Oh God…please let Anastasia be alright. Please…I can't take anymore." Zenon thought to herself as she skidded to a stop when she saw Anastasia. She found that Anastasia was moved into a much larger stall than before, but other than that, nothing seemed amiss. She turned to Zoa with a quizzical look, as if to ask him what she was missing. Zoa simply smiled at her as he slowly walked up to her.
"Anastasia…come here girl." Zoa called out to the horse with a grin plastered to his face. Anastasia turned and came toward the familiar voice. When Anastasia turned she revealed a beautiful foal that looked nearly identical to her mother. Zenon just looked in shock between the foal and Zoa. She broke out in another one of her trademark smiles and gave Zoa the biggest hug of her life.
"When were you going to tell me about all of this?"
"I wanted to surprise you with it. I wasn't sure if I wanted to get involved with breeding. It would take a lot of time, but I already had hired Hendrix and his wife from when I bought Anastasia to help, so I figure between the three of us we could handle it." Zoa was so thrilled that she liked her surprise. He never imagined that it would be happening under these circumstances though.
"So I take it from the black streak on her face that Wesley was the Stallion involved in your little surprise?" queried Zenon.
"Of course…only the best for your horse my dear Zee, and of course the best would be my Stallion" replied Zoa with a cheeky grin. Zenon slapped his arm and they both broke out into laughter.
Upon hearing the noise, Hendrix walked into the stable to see what was going on. At first he only saw Proto Zoa, so he called out to him. "Proto Zoa, what exactly is so funny down there?" Zoa turned hearing his name, and that's when Hendrix saw Zenon. He jogged down the aisle to her and gave her a great big hug. "Zenon it's been way too long. How have you been?" At this a dark emotion flashed over Zenon's face as she turned toward Zoa. Zoa quickly jumped in to save Zenon from having to deal with the death any further for the day.
"Hendrix man…I can't believe you. Where's that wife of yours? I wouldn't think you would leave her alone at all this far along."
"I wouldn't, but Liz insists that she's not an invalid. You know how women are." He gave a pointed look in Zenon's direction.
"Hey that's not far…I haven't seen you in forever and you want to play that way. You never answered. Where is Liz?" asked Zenon.
"She's right behind you" came Hendrix voice with a slight laugh. He knew this was going to be a big surprise for Zenon. Zenon spun around and squealed with delight to see her friend, but for the second time that day, a dumbstruck look came across her face.
"What…how…when…I mean…why wasn't I told? Congratulations!"
"You men better tell her why she wasn't told I was pregnant because I've seen an angry Zenon, and if she is going to be angry at anyone, it's going to be you two" said Liz.
"Aww…come on Zenon don't be angry with us. We got kind of wrapped up with building the new stable and then Serenity was born and it just would have been hard for us to keep everything secret if we told you. A certain somebody was suppose to have you up sooner, and that way we could have told you. It's really all Proto Zoa's fault." Hendrix had a certain grin of self-satisfaction on his face at having placed the blame on his friend.
"Maybe, just maybe, I could understand all of that, but leave me ask just one question. Who is Serenity?" Zenon had a thoroughly confused look across her face as everyone broke out laughing.
"I guess in all the craziness that I forgot to tell you that I named the foal Serenity. I remember you mentioning that name before, so I thought it would be good. That's okay with you Zee right?" asked Zoa with a little trepidation in his voice.
"It's perfect…really it is." Zenon replied. All those present in the room seemed to notice a dark shadow descend upon Zenon after the mentioning of Serenity. As the men looked around feeling quite awkward in this situation, Liz broke the silence.
"Zee, why don't you and I go catch up and let the men get these horse cleaned up?" asked Liz.
Zenon looked like she was at a loss as to what to do. "I don't want to leave Zoa. I just need him with me right now, but I don't want to ignore Liz. I just don't know." Seemingly aware of her internal struggle, Zoa chimed in.
"You know Liz, that sounds like a great idea, but how about we just let that husband of yours do the cleaning?" came Zoa with a cheeky smile plastered all over his face.
"Hey man! No way! I'm not cleaning these horses all by myself. Plus I think you should just appease my wife…she is pregnant after all."
"Well, you know I would do that save the fact that you decided to blame the whole "Let's surprise Zenon with the pregnancy" thing on me. So the means you get to clean the horses while I spend my time with these pretty ladies over here."
"Hendrix, he does have a point, so as your "pregnant wife" as you like to refer to me as, you get to clean the horse" said Liz with a rather annoyed voice. Hendrix knew better than to fight with Liz at this point, so he smiled, gave her a peck on the cheek, and walked back down the hall to get the supplies to clean the horses. Liz turned toward Zenon and Proto Zoa and said, "Come on you two, I'll prepare us some lunch. It'll take Hendrix no time to clean the horse." She smiled and started to walk down toward the exit of the stable.
Zoa came and stood next to Zenon as she said her goodbyes to Serenity and Anastasia. She turned with one of her sad smiles and looked at Zoa. She took his hand, and they both headed off in the direction of Liz. One thought floated through Zenon's head, "So much has changed."
AN: I just again wanted to express how sorry I am for how long it has been since I've updated. This chapter took forever to write, and I'm still not sure I really like how it went. I have no idea when I'll be able to write again for this. I'm still trying though, so eventually, it will get finished. I've just been missing my inspiration, and life has been entirely too crazy.
Love & Peace