Getting to Me

Chapter Twenty-Five

It had been a week and a half since Mandy and Zacky had moved out on their own, and she didn’t think things could be going any better. She enjoyed the freedom that being on their own gave them, even if she sometimes missed the closeness that she’d had with her parents back at their farm. She liked being able to let Zacky kiss her whenever he wanted, wherever he wanted. She liked being able to stay up late with him, and she liked being able to sleep in with him in the mornings. But perhaps most of all, she liked being with him, on their own.

“I didn’t know you were awake yet,” Zacky’s voice said from the door of their bedroom, causing her to smile softly as she looked towards him. He gave her a small pout, causing her to giggle, and then he walked into the bedroom before he sat down on the side of the bed next to her.

“I just woke up,” she murmured when he leaned down to press his lips to hers. He grinned and then nodded as he kissed the corner of her mouth, and then moved his lips down her neck, causing her to squirm closer to him and hold onto his shoulders.

“I’ve got breakfast made downstairs,” he told her with a small smile, kissing her neck again before pulling his head up so that he could look at her. “God only knows if its edible,” he joked lightly before moving off of the mattress. Mandy groaned as he pulled her out of the bed, and then pulled him in for a tight hug as she rested her head on his chest.

“I’m sure it’ll be fine, baby,” she reassured him quietly as he threaded their fingers together. She had never eaten food that Zacky had prepared for them before, but if it was anywhere nearly as good as he was to her, then it would taste amazing. She knew that it was a cliché way of looking at things, but she didn’t care. Her entire romance with Zacky had been cliché, and she doubted it was ever going to change. She and Zacky were simply that kind of couple, and she enjoyed it. She wouldn’t rather have anyone else as her boyfriend.

He walked with her down to the dining room and then pulled her chair out for her before returning to the kitchen. She wrinkled her nose slightly when she realized that the air smelled like smoke, but she didn’t say anything to him as he put a plate of pancakes and bacon in front of her. The bacon looked decent, but she couldn’t help but giggle at the charred edges of the pancakes. She looked up to see his cheeks flushing red, and then leaned up to peck his lips softly.

“Baby, it looks fine. I’m sure it’s going to taste great,” she murmured, hugging his center before telling him to sit down so that he could eat too. He didn’t look convinced as he set his own plate down, but he couldn’t help but smile at her. He loved how supportive she was of him all the time, even when it came to his cooking. He knew it didn’t look like anything Suzy would have put on the table, but he had wanted to surprise her with something romantic. It was something he’d seen done in one of the chick flicks she liked so much, and he’d decided to make some for her.

Though the food tasted somewhat burnt, Mandy ate it all, and then grinned at him as she watched him pick through his own food. “What’s wrong?” She asked him quietly, scooting her chair closer to him. He sighed as he looked up, his eyes somewhat apologetic and a little bit disappointed.

“I just wanted to make you a nice breakfast and it tasted like shit,” he sighed, touching his hand to hers carefully. “I’m sorry.”

“Baby, it was fine,” she reassured him. “I wouldn’t have eaten if it didn’t taste good to me. Don’t get upset about it. You’ve probably never cooked before,” she murmured. Zacky studied her face for several minutes, and then shrugged, still disappointed in himself. He kept thinking of the boyfriend in the movie they’d watched, and the more he thought about it, the more he realized that he and Mandy were two different people from two different worlds, even if they had fallen in love somehow.

“It was not fine, Mandy. You don’t have to pretend like it was. I know I’m not perfect, but you don’t have to push it in my face,” he groaned. Mandy sighed, wondering where his negativity was coming from, and she shook her head as she pressed her lips softly to the corner of his mouth again.

“I don’t want you to be perfect,” she told him. “I just want you to be you.”

She had a feeling that he wasn’t going to let it go, and she was right when he slid his chair back from her so that she wasn’t kissing him anymore. He stood up before she could move closer, and then shook his head as he made his way out of the kitchen, not saying another word. She groaned, letting her head fall back as she thought about what had just happened.

It was obvious to her that he had started an argument, even if she wasn’t quite sure why. She loved him, and she didn’t want him feeling bad about the breakfast. It might not have been the best food she’d ever eaten, but for the simple fact that he had made it for her, it was some of the best food.

She heard a car pull out of the driveway, and looked out of the kitchen window soon enough to see Zacky driving away with the Suburban, making her frown. She had no idea where he would want to go, especially this early in the day. It almost worried her, but she knew that he wouldn’t do anything stupid and irrational, and she knew that when he calmed down from whatever it was that had upset him, he’d come home again.


Zacky didn’t even know why he’d let the pancakes upset him this morning. He had known when he’d started cooking them for her that he wasn’t all that great at cooking, but he had convinced herself that she wouldn’t mind and that she’d still be happy. And even if she had proven him right on that—she had eaten them with a smile on her face, after all—he still couldn’t help but feel as though he’d somehow let her down.

Mandy was amazing in his eyes. If there were such thing as angels, he honestly believed she was one of them. She could always put a smile on someone’s face, and when she loved you, she let you know it in all the little ways that most modern couples seemed to have forgotten about. Mandy made him want to be a better person, and she had transformed him from some rough-around-the-edges city boy into a softhearted country boy. It made him realize how much he had been missing in life when all he’d been interested in were one-night-stands and casual flings, and he was truly grateful that she had somehow found her way into his life.

Zacky, on the other hand, didn’t feel as if he was good enough for Mandy. In a way, he had never felt like he was good enough for her. While her skin was white and flawless, his was covered in colorful tattoos that would make getting a job here in Golden Valley difficult. He wanted to be able to support Mandy; hell, he wanted to marry her someday. But how could he do that if he couldn’t get a job? Leaving was out of the question. He could tell just by looking into her wide, chocolate-brown eyes that she loved this area more than anything else. He wasn’t going to be the one to take her away from that.

He felt bad for having left her at the farm alone without letting her know that he was leaving. He had no doubts that she already realized that he’d left, but that didn’t make him feel any better. He knew that couples got into fights, and that he and Mandy would have more of them in the future together. But that didn’t stop him from feeling like shit over leaving. He felt horrible about it, and he wanted nothing more than to go back to the ranch and tell her how much he loved her; envelope her in his arms and whisper I’m sorry so many times that she’d never want to hear those words again.

But first, he thought to himself, he needed to find something to show her physically how sorry he was. He wanted to make sure she realized how bad he felt, and what better way to do that than to get her some flowers? So with that thought in mind, he turned the car in the direction of town, and started thinking about what kind of flowers he might get her.