Another few weeks had gone by and Michaela couldn't help but notice how Sully had been right when he'd said to her that in time, she would be able to think of good things.

The wedding was getting closer and while she was nervous about a lot of things, she also looked forward to it. Dorothy, along with some of the other women, had started on her dress and Michaela was very pleased with how it was coming along.

There were things that worried her though, like the fact that her mother hadn't responded to her letter in which she'd asked her to come to the wedding. She knew that her mother wasn't as fond of Sully as she had been of David and that she disapproved with her decision to marry him, but it still hurt. She didn't want Sully to be bothered by that so she hadn't told him about it. After all, he had his own share of worries about Cloud Dancing.

Her thoughts were interrupted by a firm knock on the door of the clinic. 'Come in,' she immediately called.

She was surprised to see Hank, his hand covered with a bloody towel. 'Hank! What happened?' 'I cut my hand with a broken glass, that's what happened,' he answered dryly. 'Can you fix it or not?' 'Certainly, come on in and sit on the examination table.'

He did as she'd said and when she started looking for some suture thread, he asked her, his eyebrows raised: 'So, how are the wedding preparations coming along?' Trying not to act surprised about his question, she responded: 'Things are developing quite nicely, thank you.' 'Figured as much,' he mumbled. 'The wedding of the doc from Boston must be perfect,' he added with a touch of sarcasm.

Deciding not to respond to his remark but to concentrate on the task at hand, she removed the bloody cloth and started cleaning the wound. He winced slightly, but he didn't move. She carefully stitched the cut and wrapped a bandage around Hank's hand.

'Thanks,' he said, almost whispered, as if he knew that his earlier remark had upset her. She swallowed hard en tried to prevent herself from crying. He cleared his throat and his unusual moment of weakness passed. 'How much do I owe you?' She shook her head, indicating that he didn't have to give her anything.

When he was gone, she sat behind her desk, buried her head in her hands and cried.

The kids had gone to bed right after supper, so he and Michaela had done the dishes and now he was waiting for her on the porch to drink a cup of tea.

He was worried about her, she seemed depressed and didn't want to talk to him. Things had gone so well these last few weeks and he'd started to believe that everything would be fine again real soon, but tonight she'd been distant and quiet.

He heard the door open and looked up. Michaela sat down next to him and handed him one of the cups she was holding. 'Thanks,' he said simply, while taking hold of her free hand. She smiled softly when he kissed the engagement ring on her finger and pulled their joined hands in his lap.

He gently approached the subject on both of their minds: 'Do you want to tell me what's been bothering you?' She swallowed hard and tears filled her eyes. Sully quickly placed his cup of tea next to him and wrapped his arms around her. 'It's okay,' he whispered, hugging her close against him. He could feel her tears wetting his shirt.

'Mother doesn't want me to marry you,' she started, but he sensed that there was more, so he didn't interrupt her, but rubbed her back instead.

'And then Hank…,' her tears prevented her from saying anything else and Sully felt himself becoming angry with the barkeeper for upsetting his heartsong, but decided not to show it, because he didn't want to frighten her.

'Hank said something about… about how our wedding must be perfect, but… his remark made me realize that… that it could never be perfect anymore, because of… of him,' she blurted, her words accompanied by hiccups and sobs.

Sully felt like his heart was broken into two pieces and he realized how close they were connected after three years of courting. Her joy had made him happy and now, her sadness was his sadness.

'Darling,' he began, using a word that he hadn't used since he'd lost Abigail, 'I'm glad you told me what was on your mind, because things seem bigger when you keep them to yourself. I understand it hurts you when your ma won't come to our wedding, but you have to admit that in their eyes, I'm not the most suitable husband for you.'

'But I want them to know how much I love you!' she cried in frustration. He pulled back from their hug. 'I know how much. And they'll know in time,' he spoke gently.

He wiped her tears away before continuing: 'And about Hank, he's just jealous of us and doesn't know what happened to you. And there's no reason why our wedding day can't be perfect, is there?' His eyebrows rose when he spoke the last two words.

She shifted uncomfortably and he could see her cheeks colour. He wanted to speak with her openly about the subject, but he knew that it would only add to her discomfort. 'Don't worry about it, I already told you that. Things are going to work out, trust me.'

Placing two fingers under her chin, he forced her to look at him. She nodded bravely and then said: 'I must be a horrible fiancée to you. All I do is cry and worry. I haven't even asked you about Cloud Dancing yet and…'

Not wanting her to add him to her list of worries, he quickly interrupted her: 'I'll go look for him next week, if that's alright with you.' 'Yes, of course, you must do whatever is in your power to have him at our wedding.' He nodded in silent agreement and drank his cup of tea.

When it was time for him to leave, he stood up. She followed his example and he placed his hand around her waist to pull her closer to him. Their lips touched and the sweet and loving kiss made them both weak in the knees. It was the first passionate kiss that they'd shared since the attack and it brightened Sully's heart.

I'm so sorry, because it's been like forever since I've updated. I've just been very busy and out of inspiration. I'll have a holiday this week, so I hope I'll have time to update another chapter.

Thank you for the positive reactions, they keep me going!