It had been a few days before Morand and Dixie met up again, this time at her favorite place in all of Harmony, the Butterfly Pavillion. It was a gorgeous day, as always, and Morand was extremely excited to see her.
The moment she arrived he pulled out a bouquet of roses in her favorite color and presented them to her.
"Oh, Morand," Dixie squealed, "they're beautiful!! Thank you!" Her eyes were bright and her skin glowed like he'd never seen it before. She simply radiated.
"I had such a great time the other day, it's all I've been able to think about," Morand told her.
Dixie smiled at him, "Yes, it's been on my mind quite a bit the last couple days as well. In fact, there's something I'd like to talk to you about," she said, with a slight hesitation in her voice.
He looked into her eyes, "you can talk to me about anything, Dee."
She turned away from him, not quite able to meet his eyes, "I just don't want you to be upset or feel any sense of obligation. I mean, I'd love for you to be involved, but understand if it's too much," she rambled.
Morand waited for her to finish before asking her, "Our night in the tent has come with a pricetag, hasn't it?"
"You're disappointed, aren't you?" she asked. Her biggest fear was that he wouldn't accept the child.
He paused a moment to reflect on his feelings. What exactly was he feeling? Anxiety, failure, excitement, pressure? While it certainly came unexpected, he realized that his feelings towards having another child weren't negative. Quite the opposite, actually.
"I'm thrilled, Dixie!"
The two kissed and hugged each other tightly. This was a chance for both of them to be a part of the child's life, whatever the future may bring - this child would have two parents who loved it.
Morand loved his son unconditionally, and he hoped that Cecil knew it, but there had always been a feeling that something was missing. It would be different this time. This child was being created out of a place of love and would feel that love from both parents.
A couple days later there was another large fire, this one was the worst Morand had faced yet.
He broke down the door and fought his way inside to find an unconscious woman buried under a pile of rubble where the ceiling had caved in. Seeing her still body lying there shocked Morand into realizing that life is incredibly short and fragile, you never know when it can be taken from you.
He knew he had to see Dixie, right away.
After the emergency, he cleaned himself up and met her at the park, sweeping up her growing body in his arms the moment he saw her.
"I'm so glad to see you," he whispered into her ear. "You look amazing."
"I'm glad to see you too, silly! What's going on, you sounded so panicked on the phone?" she asked as he refused to let her go.
Morand gazed into those beautiful eyes he'd come to love and said, "It's just this job and never knowing what's going to happen. I don't want to waste another moment or take anything for granted, ever again." He paused a moment, knowing what he wanted to say was probably the most important thing he'd said to anyone in his whole life.
He took a big breath, got down on one knee, and launched into his feelings headfirst, "I love you, Dixie Murray. I don't want to spend another day without you by my side. I want to raise our baby together, as a real family. If you'll have me, that is. Will you marry me?"
Dixie gasped in shock. "Morand!" She teased, "You're crazy! How could you just spring this on a poor pregnant woman like that?"
"I was hoping to surprise you into saying yes," he joked. "But my knee is getting sore, so, whadd'ya say?"
She looked at him, down on his knee, and knew without a doubt that she had somehow landed the greatest guy in the world.
"I say, yes. With all my heart!"
Morand jumped up and pulled her into an embrace.
Once again, his life was on the verge of a big change.
Title / Queensrÿche