"I have to stop this," Zac commented taking a cigarette out of his pocket. He lit it and walked to the window. "I have to stop smoking."
"Then put it out," I urged.
"You're going to smell like tobacco when you stand at the altar," Isaac informed him.
"And even worse, you're going to taste like it," I put in.
Zac took a long drag from his cigarette, the smoke pouring from his nose as he exhaled. "You're right," he said smushing the cigarette into an ashtray. He brushed his hands together. "I just have to stop." He pulled open his jacket and took a pack from the inside pocket. He handed it to me. "Get rid of it." I dashed towards the garbage and threw it out. "These too." Zac handed me three lose cigarettes. "Wait." He rummaged through his pockets and pulled out a lighter, "and this."
"Oo," I said dumping the cigarettes into the trash can. I pocketed the lighter. Zac and Isaac were starring at me. "What?" I asked.
Zac shook his head. "You can take the man out of the pyro but you can't take the pyro out of the man."
"Hey!" I shot back. "I'm not a Pyromaniac."
"Oh please Taylor," Isaac said. "You used to put plastic toys in the oven and watch them burn. Remember my little green army men?" I cringed. "That's right," Isaac nodded. "I had them all set up for battle on my dresser and then they started disappearing, two by two. It took us awhile to realize who was stashing them."
"You always thought it was Zac!" I said with a laugh.
Isaac chuckled. "Mom used to check his mouth to make sure he wasn't eating them!" We both cracked up. Zac shook his head but he was smiling.
"How old were you, Zac?" I asked. "Like two?"
"I was one," Zac confirmed.
"I remember when Mom kept finding green plastic blobs in the oven," Isaac roared. "It took us awhile to realize you were cooking the things. And that one day when you were sitting in front of the oven when Mom came in the kitchen to bake brownies! You were completely in awe starring at the oven. Then you said, 'Look Mommy! They burn!'"
I started hysterically laughing. "They did!" I insisted. "They burned with pretty colors! And then they turned into pretty little blobs!"
Isaac sat down in a chair and started fanning his face with his hand to cease his laughter. "I can't breathe," he joked. I collapsed into the chair opposite him and tried to calm down. "Those were the days," I said finally.
"Yeah," Isaac agreed. He looked up at Zac. "Now it's time for us to go through that with our own kids."
"Scary isn't it?" I confronted him. "I mean to think that we are the ones keeping the kids from getting sick and we are the ones rescuing toys from the clutches of the little ones, not Mom and Dad."
"Yeah it is," Isaac agreed. "I wouldn't change that for the world."
"What about you, Zac?" Isaac asked him. "Are you and Nicole going to wait to have children? Are you going to have them at all?"
"That depends," Zac said, hesitating a little. "We haven't discussed it yet. We'll discuss it when the time comes. I'm not ready to talk about it yet and neither is she. We just want to be together that's all."
Isaac and I nodded. "You'll know when the time comes," I promised. "When you're ready you'll know."
There was a sharp knock at the door. "Boys?" My dad stuck his head in the room. "It's almost 11. Time to take your places." He started to close the door but then thought better of it. "One more thing, you might want to avoid a big gushy moment with your mother, Zac. She's a little emotional right now."
"Thanks for the warning, Dad," Zac grinned.
"No problem." He shut the door.
I stood and so did Isaac. I patted my brother on the shoulder and kept my hand on his arm. "It's show time, little brother."
Zac nodded nervously. "On your wedding day I spent most of my time thinking about my life," he confessed. "About how it was going to be so different. I was miserable, I didn't understand how you both could up and leave me, just like that. I remember everyone was bothering me that day, everyone was interrupting my thoughts. At the time Andy was pregnant with your twins, Isaac. The last person to interrupt me was you, Taylor. You came into the room and told me something I have never forgotten. You were about to take a huge step in your life and at that moment you showed me that you really did care about me. I analyzed my life that day and I came to the conclusion that change sucks but I had to deal. I knew that if you were happy I would be happy. Now I understand how a person can be so in love, just like you two were... and are. I don't know why this came to me just now... I guess I'm just really scared."
I nodded, not sure of how to address what he had told me. "You'll be fine," I said. "Just think of that gorgeous woman out there waiting to become Mrs. Zachary Hanson."
Zac nodded, a smile growing across his lips. "She is gorgeous, isn't she?"
"She is deserving to be with you, Zac. And that is something that not many people are."