A/N I haven't been good at updating anything. Not just this one. but all of them.
Mark had been under the impression that he had thrown away all of the previous copies of the letter. Apparently he hadn't done that and Lexie was holding the first letter he had written in a desperate attempt to get the words out and onto paper. God of course he wanted to marry her. Of course he wanted to spend his life with her. Of course he wanted to raise children with her. Mark would never admit it but seeing Dr. Wyatt was helping him. Dr. Wyatt was helping him far more than his shrink in New York had.
"Lex, I'm not going anywhere. I still want to marry you on November first if you'll still have me." Mark murmured into her soft brown hair.
"Of course I'll still have you."Lexie whispered as she rested her hand on his chest.
"Good because I'd hate to cancel a wedding after you have threatened Meredith with hideous dresses." Mark teased lightly. He knew that they would have to have a serious talk but right now he was finding it easier to crack jokes with his fiancée.
"What…Why didn't you tell me?"Lexie whispered. She understood keeping unimportant secrets from your fiancée but something like this she should have been told. The man she loved had been violated from preschool age. Lexie still could hardly believe what she had learned that day. She was pretty sure that the surprise party that she had been setting up for Mark was not going to happen. She suspected Mark would come home and just zone out on the couch while watching a basketball game.
"I…I guess I was ashamed. I know it wasn't my fault but I didn't want anyone else to carry this burden." Mark told her hesitantly.
"It's only a burden if you let it be a burden. Now I'm not saying forget about it, because I know something like this can't be truly forgotten, but I'm begging you to learn how to deal with it. Please do this for us and for our kids." Lexie told him. She was hoping that getting him to talk about it was the right thing to do. She didn't know because she had never encountered something like this before. They didn't have kids yet but they both wanted them and Lexie didn't want to bring the kids into a world in which their father was afraid to touch them for fear that it would incite some inappropriate behavior inherited by his mother.
"I can't tell you about…about what she did to me. It makes me sick, remembering things that we did. And knowing that my father has known since I was about five makes me even madder." Mark admitted as he looked at Lexie. God he was glad that she had found out. He wasn't sure if she would push him for details, but he hoped she wouldn't.
"I wouldn't ask. I couldn't imagine hearing about things that someone did to the man I love."Lexie murmured.
Mark felt relaxed around her. The most relaxed he had felt all day and he was relieved that the crumpled letter that she was holding was not the one that he had decided to read to her. Her raspberry vanilla scent was comforting to him in the midst of everything that had happened on that day.
"Read this." Mark told her as he pulled the newest letter out of his pocket. That letter said things much better than Mark could ever hope to say verbally. Lexie let go of him and with trembling fingers she took the letter from his hands and unfolded it.
I don't have regrets. I have always lived my life with no regrets and I make no apologies for it. After I put that ring on your finger I developed my first real regret since I was a child. I regretted not telling you something I should have told you a long time ago. You know that my childhood was nothing like yours. You had parents who loved you and protected you and were always there for you. I had a father who never gave a damn about me and a mother who touched me for nine years.
I carried a lot of guilt as an adult for not doing more to stop it when I was a kid. I was pretty angry at my mother for a very long time and a part of that anger will never truly go away. When I met you, I realized that I wanted to stop being so angry. When I told you that you were the one who put me back together I meant that in more ways than one. I was broken for a very long time and meeting you, falling in love with you made me whole again. Something I hadn't been since before I was three.
More than anything, I want to make you happy for the rest of our lives together. I don't want to face this world without you at my side. I don't want my mother to take something else from me. Believe in me, believe in us. I love you so very much and I cannot wait to be your husband.
Tears were streaming down Lexie's face when she finished reading that letter. She went right back into Mark's embrace and did her best to stop the tears that were pouring down her face. She couldn't imagine feeling angry throughout her entire life and she was so happy that her love had helped Mark so much. After reading that letter, nothing had changed for her. She still wanted to marry Mark and have kids with him. Those words that he had written were both beautiful and heartbreaking and her heart ached for that three year old who had his innocence stolen from him by his mother.
"I love you."Lexie told him simply as tears shone in her chocolate brown eyes. Mark had doubted that her love would change after reading the letter but he was still relieved to hear her say it.
"I love you too." Mark reassured her as he brought his lips down onto hers. Lexie kissed him back lightly, not wanting to get into anything too steamy just yet. She still had questions.
"Your dad?" Lexie whispered. Mark had mentioned his father very briefly in the letter but Lexie wanted…no needed to know more about that relationship.
"He knew since I was five but he didn't take me and leave because he knew that with Mother's money, she would be able to hire the best attorneys in the state. Father wouldn't be able to do that. He knew he'd lose custody of me." Mark told Lexie matter-of-factly. Lexie's blood boiled. She couldn't believe that Mark's father had failed his son so blatantly. She knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Mark would never fail his child in the same way.
"Oh Mark."Lexie whispered. Mark's arms tightened around her small frame and he held her close. Lexie was such a tenderhearted woman and Mark knew that she felt so much empathy for him. She had never experienced the same thing but she still hurt and she hurt for him. Mark wondered how he had gotten so lucky as to have her as his fiancée.
"I threw him out of my office just minutes before you got here." Mark told her quietly. Lexie was surprised when Mark told her what he had done. She guessed that was the best idea because if she had met him she would have had a false idea of him.
"Why?" Lexie whispered. Though now as she was thinking about it, she knew why. Mark had just found out that his father had known for seven years about the abuse and he hadn't protected his son like he was supposed to.
"I couldn't look at the man who had known about all of this and done nothing." Mark told her. Looking at his father was like looking at an older version of himself and Mark hoped that he would never be that cowardly.
"Derek and his family knew didn't they?" Lexie asked. As Mark's best friend Derek would have known for awhile. Because the Shepherds were such a big part of Mark's life, Lexie doubted very much that they hadn't known about what was going on in the Sloan household at night. Mark nodded in confirmation as his slate colored eyes studied Lexie's face that had turned blotchy from all the tears.
"I told Derek when I was seven. I begged him not to tell anyone. I told his family when I was eight. His mother did everything right by notifying the cops but nothing came of it because I lied. I was scared and so I lied and said my mother never touched me." Mark told Lexie. He was speaking in a matter of fact voice because it was the most unemotional his voice could get and he couldn't let emotions get in the way.
"Don't blame yourself Mark. You were just a kid and this…God this was a grown up situation that you were put in at a horrible age." Lexie pleaded. She wanted so much to heal him and make the hurt go away but in her heart, Lexie knew that, that wouldn't happen. She also really wanted them to stop discussing this. She was already upset and she knew Mark was too. She could see that look in his eyes.
"Can we…go home?" Mark asked hesitantly. He needed to go home with his fiancée and just forget all about today and all the crap that had come with it.
"Yeah, as long as you promise me that you'll see a shrink."Lexie told him. Thankfully Mark had already decided to continue seeing Dr. Wyatt so it wasn't that big of a deal to agree to that.
"I'll do that. Anything for you Lex." Mark promised her before he tilted her chin with his thumb and kissed her soundly on the mouth. She was everything to him. He could lose everything else in the world as long as he had her. Lexie ruined the moment by giggling into the kiss. Pulling away, Mark looked at her amusedly. He had no idea what had caused her to giggle but he loved hearing it.
"Come on Lex. Let's go home." Mark told her, finally feeling like smiling. She just had this way of making even the worst days, one of the best days. He loved her for that. He envied her optimism and he wished he felt like that every day. Tugging on her hand, Mark pulled her out of his office. He wrapped his arm around her and the two of them headed to Mark's made a mental note to pick up her car tomorrow even though she didn't have to work. Right now, she wanted to be alone with Mark. He had had a rough day. The two of them had weathered another storm together and Lexie loved knowing that the two of them could get through anything.