Getting to Me

Chapter Twenty-Two

“Baby, wake up,” Zacky’s breath whispered huskily into Mandy’s ear the next morning, causing her to stir from her sleep. She rolled over so that she was facing him, and slowly cracked open her eyes to look up at him, a soft smile on her face when she saw that he appeared to have been awake for awhile.

“What time is it?” She asked him quietly, unable to see her alarm clock from around Zacky’s body. He chuckled and brushed some hair off of her face before leaning in and pressing his lips to the corner of hers before laying his head down again.

“Time to go open your presents,” he told her with a soft smile. “But I have something I want you to open now. I can’t wait anymore,” he told her excitedly. He turned and reached into her nightstand, making her give him a strange look as he pulled a Christmas present out of the drawer. It was a smallish box, and her heart skipped a beat when he handed it to her. He watched with an amused smirk as she looked at the box.

“Baby, what is it?” She asked him. She didn’t know what to think, because she hadn’t seen this coming. She knew that she and Zacky were comfortable in their relationship, but she didn’t know if they were ready to take the next step. He chuckled quietly and shook his head, supporting his head with his hand while he watched her.

“Open it and find out,” he told her with a grin. Mandy sighed, though the smile was still on her face as she slowly pulled the green bow loose from the box before she started to pull the wrapping paper off. She felt her heart beat even more erratically when she saw that it was a rectangular, black velvet box, and she met his eyes again.

Her fingers were shaking when she opened the lid of the box, and she gasped loudly when she saw what was sitting inside the soft protective padding. It was a necklace; nothing fancy, but it was absolutely beautiful. There were two entwined hearts on the chain, with a green gem encrusted where the hearts met at the top. She looked up at him, and then wrapped her arms tightly around his neck, completely speechless. It was the most beautiful thing she’d ever gotten, and one of the most romantic.

“I take it you like it,” he chuckled as he pulled it out of the box a few minutes later. Mandy couldn’t get the grin off of her face as she pulled her hair out of the way, and he put the necklace on for her. He pressed his lips to the nape of her neck softly before turning her around so that she was facing him. “Merry Christmas, Mandy,” he whispered before pressing his lips to hers. This time, Mandy wasn’t going to let him get away with making it a small kiss. She smirked when she grabbed his shoulders and deepened the kiss, and he groaned into her mouth when she shifted her body so that she was straddling him. “Baby, what about your parents? We told them we wouldn’t,” he told her when she broke the kiss. She thought about his words for a minute, and then gave him a small smile as she nodded.

“We said we wouldn’t wake Kenna up,” she grinned before moving her lips against his neck. “And I’m sure that she’s awake by now,” she continued before sucking on a sensitive spot, making him gasp.

The moment felt right to both of them, but he didn’t want to upset her parents. He knew that, no matter how accepting of their relationship Suzy and Brian Sr. were, they wouldn’t be happy if he and Mandy had sex in her bedroom while everyone else was still in the house. He grabbed her hips and pulled her a little away from him so he could breathe properly, and smiled at her as he pressed his lips to hers.

“We’ve waited this long, Mandy. We can wait for a little longer, right?” He asked her softly as he pushed her hair out of her eyes. She nodded, biting her bottom lip because she thought she’d done the wrong thing. He quickly reassured her by pressing his lips to her temple softly. “Baby, trust me, I want this just as much as you do. But I don’t want to make your parents feel uncomfortable,” he murmured against her skin.

Mandy smiled at him. He might have the badboy look, but he was definitely a man with a heart of gold. He was thinking about the way other people would feel instead of about his own wants, and that was something she had to respect in a man. She dropped her hands from his shoulders to his waist, and leaned in to rest her head against his chest, hugging him tightly.

“Yeah,” she whispered, pressing her lips to his neck one more time before she shifted to stand up. Zacky stood with her, and caught her off guard by wrapping his arms around her waist. “Zacky, what are you doing?” She asked with an amused smirk as he hugged her.

“Giving you a real good morning hug,” he explained with a goofy smirk. “Hugging and making out in bed don’t count,” he chuckled. Mandy rolled her eyes, but nodded as she leaned in to him. He held her for several minutes before letting her go, and she walked over to her closet to get dressed. She didn’t need to walk into the bathroom anymore, because Zacky would politely turn around when she was getting dressed instead of watching her like most men would. He got dressed as well, and within a few minutes, the two of them were walking hand in hand down to the living room, where the rest of the family was already gathered.

“Good morning, sunshines,” Brian Sr. said from the couch with a smirk as he wrapped an arm around Suzy, who smiled over at them.

“There are presents under the tree for you two, why don’t you open them?” She suggested with a smile. Zacky and Mandy nodded as they walked over to the tree, and started opening the presents that had been gotten for them.

The rest of the day went by amazingly well. Zacky had had family get-togethers at Christmas time before, but none of his family holidays had been half as warm as the Haner holidays were. Even Brent, who quite obviously hadn’t wanted to be here, seemed to be in an excellent mood, and he and Brian were getting along well. Everyone was friendly and chatty with everyone, and everyone commented on the necklace that Zacky had gotten for Mandy.

Mandy stayed in Zacky’s arms the entire day, moving only to go to the bathroom, and then eat Christmas dinner when it came time for that. The meal itself was huge, as the one the day before had been, and both Zacky and Mandy left the table too full to even think about dessert yet. They relaxed in the living room with the rest of her family, her head leaning casually on his shoulder and his arm draped around her waist.

A few hours later, Mandy decided that she was going to go check in Sheba and the foal, and Zacky said he wanted to come with her. He was excited about seeing how the baby animal was doing, especially since he’d seen its birth. They got dressed in the entry like always, and then walked out to the barn hand in hand. They walked down to Sheba’s stall, and Mandy let out a small squeal of happiness when she saw the foal standing on its awkward legs, .

“I didn’t know they could do that so soon after birth,” Zacky said in a voice full of wonder as he looked in the stall. Mandy chuckled softly and nodded as she looked at the animal. It was a beautiful black bay color, with a white blaze like its mother’s on his nose. He had white socks on three of his ankles, and a small white patch on his withers.

“Yeah,” she told him as she wrapped her arms around him. She leaned up to press her lips on his neck, and then hugged him. “I’m glad you’re interested in this. Most guys don’t think it’s interesting,” she said softly. He chuckled as they looked at the foal. It made a small whinny, and she giggled when it started nudging its nose around Sheba’s underbelly to find her teat.

“I think it’s interesting if it’s something important to you,” he muttered into her hair as they watched the animal. A few minutes later, he turned her to face him, his eyes not wavering off of hers. The amount of love she saw there in his eyes nearly made her knees buckle, and he grinned when she pressed her lips up against his.

“I love you,” she whispered. It was the perfect moment to say the words, and his heart burst with feelings he hadn’t felt before falling in love with Mandy as he pushed some hair out of her eyes.

“I love you too,” he reassured her as he hugged her tightly. Sheba nudged her nose against Mandy’s shoulder, and he let out a hearty laugh. “And apparently, so does your horse.”

Mandy smiled as she nodded, holding on to Zack. Right now, she had everything she had ever wanted in life. She had an amazing family who loved her, she had the perfect life on a ranch, which was where she’d always loved living. And beyond that, she had a man who loved her. She had a man who could stop the world for her, and for Mandy, that was the best Christmas present in the world.
♠ ♠ ♠
Coming Soon:
Break Your Heart - Matt Sanders one-shot.

A Shot at A Soulmate - A full-length co-write between myself and hurricane eyes. centering around all of the guys.

Touch Me - The second in the Three's Company series, featuring M. Shadows and Zacky Vengeance.

New One-Shots
Holy - Feat. Matt Sanders
What Happens In Vegas - The first in the Three's Company series, featuring M. Shadows and Synyster Gates.