Getting to Me

Chapter Thirteen

"Zacky, maybe we should pull over for the night," Mandy yawned four and a half hours later as she looked over to see Zacky's eyes straining to keep focus on the iced-over, blackened highway that stretched out in front of the vehicle for miles. They hadn't passed a car or a truck in the last hour and a half, and Mandy knew that that was because of the condition the roads were in and the late hour of the night. "We can drive the rest of the way tomorrow. It's no big deal. It's not like we have to be back at the ranch tomorrow, and I'd rather be safe than sorry."

Zacky licked his tongue over his bottom lip as he glanced over at Mandy from the driver's seat before returning full attention to the road. He could tell just by the tone of her voice that she was exhausted, and she hadn't been able to sleep comfortably in the small confines of the front passenger seat, even when she'd leaned her car seat back for a bit. He looked at the nearest road sign and saw that they were only about a half hour our of Bismarck, and he nodded at her words, turning the radio down a little bit.

"I think you're right," he told her, giving her a small smile while keeping his attention fixed on the road. "It's not that I'm tired, but my back is getting stiff and it's hard to keep your eyes focused in the darkness, y'know?"

"Yeah," she smiled at him, reaching over and grabbing his free hand over the consul. Zacky glanced over at her once again, catching her looking at him with a small smile on her own lips as she raised his arm up and pressed a small kiss to the outter part of his hand before moving her lips to the inside of his wrist, leaving a small kiss there as well. "I think you look cute when you're trying to concentrate though, for what it's worth," she grinned over at him airily, causing him to blush at her words.

"I've been called a lot of things before, Mandy, but cute isn't one of them," Zacky chuckled lightly as he rubbed his thumb along the inside of her palm. She wasn't going to admit it, but she felt the butterflies fluttering around in her stomach again, and he was only holding her hand. She hadn't ever felt like that with Roy, and she was glad that it was Zacky that was making her feel like this.

They didn't say anything else to one another in the vehicle as he drove in to Bismarck, pulling up in the nearest hotel, not even caring what the name of it was as he put the car in park, pulled the key from the ignition, and then got out. Mandy did the same, and they walked around to the back end of the Suburban to pull out a suitcase each out of the back end before he grabbed Mandy's hand and led her into the lobby of the hotel.

Zacky spoke with a few minutes with the manager of the hotel and then got them a room. It was on the second story of the building, and at the far end. Zacky held her hand the entire time they rode in the elevator and didn't let go until they were standing outside of the room. Mandy blushed when she stepped inside the small room and realized that it was only a one-bed room, but shrugged it off. She trusted Zacky, and she knew that he wasn't going to do anything stupid to her or take advantage of her.

"I asked if he had a two-bed room but they were all taken," Zacky murmured quietly as he closed the door and then walked over to her. Mandy gave him a small smile and nodded, thinking that it was a sweet gesture that he'd even checked for a room with two beds before going ahead and getting this one.

"It's fine," she replied softly as she put her suitcase down on the floor. "I'm going to go ahead and take a shower. I'll save some water for you," she said as she reached in to the suitcase and pulled out a pair of comfortable flannel pajamas. She knew they weren't exactly the sexiest things she could sleep in, but in a place like North Dakota when there was a blizzard raging outside and the temperatures were plunging below the -50 degree mark, she didn't give a damn what was sexy and what wasn't. It was practical, and that was all there was to it. Zacky nodded and just laid down on the bed, flipping on the TV and turning it to some random show. Mandy didn't stick around to see what he was watching while she walked into the small, closed off bathroom and locked the door behind her. The shower space was small, but it was enough to take a reasonable shower in as she lathered the complimentary shampoo and conditioner into her long, dark hair, making sure to wash it as well as she could since she hadn't taken a shower at Zacky's place. When she was done with that, she did a quick wash down of her body, and then exited the shower cubicle so there would be water for Zacky in case he wanted to take a shower as well. She slipped the flannel pajama top and bottoms onto her feet before pulling her socks on again as well, noting that her feet were freezing cold even with all the steam that was filling the small space. She turned the light off and left the door open so the steam would leave the room before walking over to the bed, still toweling her hair dry, and a small smile formed on her face when she saw Zacky laying on his side, no blankets covering him yet and his green eyes closed. He wasn't snoring, so Mandy didn't think he was asleep just yet, and she smirked as she dropped the damp towel on the floor at the foot of the bed before cuddling up next to Zacky, her knees knocking against his as she kissed the corner of his mouth softly, making him open his eyes and return the small smile.

"Hey," he said, reaching up and pushing some of her hair out of her face and tucking it behind her ear before letting his hand drop to her upper arm, resting it there for awhile. Mandy blushed at his gesture, but didn't say anything as she scooted closer to him. He grinned and caught on to what she was doing, and wrapped his arms around her before closing his eyes again, that same grin on his face. "Mmm, you're nice and warm from the shower," he joked lightly, his voice husky and his breath hot against the outter shell of her ear as he landed a soft kiss to the sensitive skin.

"Well, if you didn't have cold blood, you'd be nice and warm too," she kidded back, her hand softly stroking his back through the material of his t-shirt. He responded to her soft touch with a small, barely-there groan, and leaned his head back to look at her, his green eyes somewhat clouded over with something as he pressed his lips softly against hers.

"If you want, I'll sleep on the floor," he whispered to her, his hand moving down her body to come to a stop on her hip, resting there. His fingers scooted the material of her flannels up just enough so that a bit of her midriff was peeking through, and she blushed as he leaned in again to kiss her neck, causing a mewl of pleasure to leave her mouth.

"Why on earth would I make you do that when it's this cold outside?" She asked him, moving her hands to the upper part of his shoulders and pulling him so that he was hovering above him. "I think it's only practical that you share the bed, Zachary," she added, leaning her head up to press a chaste kiss to his lips. "We're both adults here. There's nothing wrong with sharing a bed with someone, is there?"

Zacky chuckled at her words as her lips continued pecking his softly before her hands reached up to touch his face, his cheeks cold against her palms as she held him there, her eyes searching out his as she attempted to deepen the kiss once again. He obliged, and opened his mouth to her, letting her tongue dip inside the dark orifice and taste him. Mandy noticed that, once again, he tasted of Marlboro cigarettes and whiskey, even though she had never seen him smoke a cigarette or take a drink of alcohol. She pushed that thought aside as he dominated the kiss quickly with his own tongue, exploring her mouth lazily and taking pleasure in knowing that she was allowing him to kiss her like this.

"Zacky," she breathed when he broke the kiss, moving his lips to the inner part of her neck and pressing a soft, wet kiss to the hollow of her throat before moving his mouth against her sensitive skin, the stubble that was scattered across his jaw and chin making her giggle and squirm underneath of him because of the tickling sensation it was causing. He smirked when he saw the effect he was having on her, and knew that he could easily convince her to have sex with him right here and now if he wanted to.

But for some reason, he wasn't going to take that route with Mandy. Not yet. He wanted to make sure they were in a committed relationship before anything like that happened with one another, and that she wouldnt' regret having something like that happen. Mandy noticed that his lips had stopped moving against her skin and she frowned as she pulled his head up to meet her lips in a more passionate, lust-filled kiss as she rolled them over and pinned his wrists to his side, grinning down at him as she sat on his pelvis. There was no mistaking the obvious arousal that pressed up against her, but she was in no hurry to get to sex tonight, either. Mandy had never been one to have sex with people she wasn't in love with, and while she wasn't naïve enough to think that she and Zacky were in love just yet, she was willing to bet that they could get to that point. She also knew that whatever they had with one another would only be made stronger if they waited, and so she scooted further up his stomach so that there was no friction between their lower halves as she kissed his lips softly again.

"You taste so good," Zacky said hoarsely up to her, reaching up with one of his released wrists to touch her face softly, his thumb rubbing up against her skin in a gentle caress as he propped himself up on his elbows and captured her lips in another heated kiss. "I could kiss you like this for...a long time," he told her in a quieter voice. He'd almost been about to say I could kiss you like this forever, but he knew that neither one of them was ready for that word just yet.

Mandy smirked and wrapped her hands around Zacky’s neck, letting one of her hands get lost in his mussed, black hair and threaded her fingers through the inky tendrils, loving the small groan that he made as she tugged lightly or pushed his head closer to her mouth while he kissed her again.

They kissed like that for at least an hour before Zacky finally felt the exhaustion that he had been feeling catching up to him again, and he pecked Mandy’s lips several times before rolling off of her again, laying his head down on the pillow and smiling when Mandy cuddled up against him.

“Goodnight, Zacky,” Mandy breathed against his chest as her arms snaked around his torso to pull her closer to him, her eyes drifting closed. She was asleep before he could reply with, ‘goodnight, Mandy,’ and for the first time in a long while, Mandy fell asleep feeling tender feelings of the romantic type bubbling throughout her entire body.