Getting to Me

Chapter Four

“Brian, don’t you dare. Let them sleep,”

“Mom, he’s my best friend, and he’s sleeping on top of my sister! That’s so…wrong!” Brian argued with his mother as she glared at him. Brian had walked into the living room a few minutes before only to see that Zacky was sleeping on top of his sister, his weight seemingly not bothering Mandy as they slept. He had no idea how Mandy had ended up downstairs last night, considering she’d been asleep in her bed before he’d gone to sleep. Not that he had checked or anything.

“Brian, she’s nineteen. You need to let her grow up sometime, sweetie,” Suzy said to her eldest son, giving him a frown. “Leave them be. If I recall right, you dated one of her friends last year and she didn’t try to stop that.”

“That’s different,” Brian scoffed, though he decided he’d let them sleep for now. He’d just make sure he talked to Zacky later on and tell him not to let him see something like this again. Zacky was a good friend of his, but dating his sister was crossing the line. It would be a cold day in hell before Brian let something like that happen. Zacky wasn’t good enough for Mandy, no matter how good of a friend he was.

“Bullshit,” Suzy frowned at him. “It’s the same thing, and you know it is. Just leave it be, Brian. Let them make their own decisions. Besides, who said anything about the two of them dating?”

“I know Zacky, Mom,” Brian muttered as he grabbed a piece of bread that his mother had gotten out of the breadbox for him. He didn’t put any butter on it since the only butter was outside and frozen. The power was still out, and it was probably going to stay like that for a few days.

Brian moved to sit at the table, watching Zacky and Mandy sleeping from his spot with a scowl on his face before he eventually decided he didn’t want to be in the room anymore and watch the two of them. He didn’t even want to know what they were doing on the floor, especially since Zacky slept on the couch. It was another question he’d ask his friend later, after he’d woken up.

“Where are you going?” Suzy asked as he walked into the entryway and began getting dressed in the heavy clothing he’d need to do work outside.

“To check on the horses,” he grunted, pulling on a pair of heavy boots. It was already two hours after Mandy normally went out there to check on them, and they were bound to be hungry. Not to mention, he wanted to keep a close eye on her pregnant mare, Sheba. Mandy didn’t think the foal was coming soon, but it was always best to play it safe when it came to the livestock giving birth.

“Alright,” Suzy sighed before walking back into the kitchen and closing the entryway door quietly. When she walked back into the dining room to grab Brian’s plate from the table, she saw Mandy beginning to stir, and shook her head with a small smile as she walked into the bedroom she shared with her husband, closing it so that the two of them would have at least a few moments of privacy to figure out whatever it is they needed to get sorted out.

-x-

The first thing that Mandy noticed as she woke up was that something heavy was lying on top of her. The second thing that Mandy noticed as she woke up was that said heavy object was breathing on her neck. And the third thing that Mandy noticed as she woke up, her brown eyes cracking open so that she could see what was lying on top of her, was that the heavy, breathing object was none other than Zacky.

“Uh…” she whispered, her breathing too constricted to speak any louder than that as she struggled to get one of her hands loose. After several moments, she had wormed her arm from underneath of his chest, and shook his shoulder lightly. He snorted and muttered something that Mandy couldn’t understand, and she groaned as she tried to push him off of her instead of trying to wake him up.

“Zacky, wake up,” she muttered quietly, trying to shrug him off of her and then rolling her eyes when, instead of rolling off of her, he rolled onto his side and pulled her up against him, his face still in her neck, his breathing still warming her skin. Mandy had to admit that it wasn’t exactly a bad feeling, but she really didn’t feel like explaining to anyone why she was sleeping with Zacky next to her on the living room floor.

She was at a loss at how to wake him up. His arms had somehow snaked themselves around her waist, holding her in a position so that she couldn’t exactly push herself away from him. She struggled in his hold, not wanting to hurt him or even wake him up at this point, but rather, just wanting to get out of his hold before anyone walked in and saw their compromising position.

“Zack!” She hissed in his ear, turning herself around in his arms so that she was facing him instead of being held with her back to his chest. She pressed her hands against his chest, and pushed lightly before resulting to putting her hands on his cheeks. His eyes fluttered open, and when he saw Mandy’s brown eyes staring back at him in slight annoyance, he became fully awake rather quickly as he let go of her immediately, a few choice words falling out of his mouth as he blushed several shades of red.

“Shit, Mandy, I’m sorry,” he started, scooting so that he was a safe distance away from her. Mandy chuckled and shook her head, letting the blanket fall from around her shoulders and standing up as she looked at him, moving to take a seat on the couch he had apparently fallen off of the night before.

“Zacky, it’s fine,” she laughed. “I just didn’t want Brian or my Dad or someone to walk in and see,” she explained, before she heard the front door slam open. She looked over to see Brian walking into the house and blushed. If she hadn’t gotten Zacky to wake up when she had, Brian would have seen, and then they’d both be in deep shit.

“What the hell did you think you were doing, Baker?” Brian’s voice asked from the dining room as he sat down in the chair and glared angrily over at them. “And what were you doing downstairs last night, Mandy?”

“Brian, I told you to leave it alone,” Suzy’s voice said from the doorway of hers and Brian Sr.’s bedroom, fixing a stern glare at her son. “They weren’t hurting anyone, so just drop it.”

“I can explain,” Mandy sighed, looking over at her older brother. She wasn’t going to out Zacky as having been afraid of the dark the night before, but she knew she could twist it around so that Brian wouldn’t be mad at Zacky. “I got a little creeped out by the wind last night and came downstairs to get some cocoa. I forgot the power died, and I didn’t want to go back upstairs. So Zacky told me I could sleep on the floor by him. He fell on me, that’s all. It wasn’t anything fishy,” she explained. Zacky didn’t say anything to the contrary, and her mother smiled over at them before glaring back at Brian.

“See? Now apologize to them, Brian Elwin Haner, Jr.,” she said, crossing her arms over her chest. Brian thought about it for a few moments, and then decided that he might as well do what his mother said. If there was one thing no one in the family liked to do, it was to piss off their Mom.

“Sorry, man,” Brian sighed, still glaring over at his friend, letting him know that the apology wasn’t genuine even if he’d said the words. Suzy noticed, but didn’t say anything as she walked back into the bedroom, closing the door once again. Mandy stood up off of the couch and walked over to Brian, a small smile on her face as she wrapped her arms around her older brother’s neck to give him a hug.

“Next time I get scared, I promise I’ll sleep on your floor instead of down here, alright?” She asked him, hoping that he’d believe the lie even more, now. He smiled as she gave him a hug and nodded as he returned it, letting her go after a few minutes as she moved to walk upstairs to her bedroom to get changed into some actual clothes. She knew that Brian had bought it when she didn’t hear Zacky and Brian arguing through the small hole in the floor of her closet.

-x-

The rest of the day passed fairly quickly. McKenna had come down with a cold overnight, and she spent most of her day upstairs in her bedroom underneath of her blankets, trying to stay warm and not wanting to get anyone else sick. Brent and Brian had taken Zacky to go snowmobiling in a nearby pasture when they realized that the blizzard was over for the most part. Suzy had driven into town to get some more groceries since they were running low, and that left Mandy in the house to herself.

She was bored sitting around, and at about three o’clock, she decided to saddle up one of the horses and go on a quick trail ride. If not because she was bored, but because she wanted to exercise the horse. She was just walking into the barn when she heard someone run up behind her, and she smiled when she saw Zacky.

“Are you checking on that pregnant horse you were talking about in Dickinson the other day?” He asked her, his voice slightly curious as he looked at her. She smiled at him and shook her head before nodding her head towards the barn.

“I can, if you want to see how big their stomachs get, but other than that I was planning on going for a ride for an hour or so,” she told him. Zacky nodded, licking over his bottom lip, glad that he’d taken out the piercings before coming outside. The temperatures were frigid, and he had no idea why he’d decided it would be a good idea to go snowmobiling with Brian and Brent earlier on during the day.

Mandy led him down the wide aisle towards the back stall, where she’d put Sheba for the latter part of her pregnancy so that she’d have enough room to comfortably lay down when she went into labor. Zacky gasped when he saw how wide she was, and then looked at Mandy with a small smile.

“Can I…touch her? Or is she gonna like, bite me or something?” He asked her. Mandy laughed and shook her head, clucking her tongue for the horse. Sheba responded with a low nicker as she walked over to the stall door. Mandy grabbed Zacky’s wrist with her hand, and even through the gloves, she could have sworn she felt tingles on her skin as she touched him, lifting his hand and letting him rest it on top of her nose. He petted her lightly for a few minutes before the animal got bored of being near the door and backed away again, going to the corner of the stall.

“Have you ever ridden a horse before?” She asked him with a small smile as she walked over to one of the other stalls to saddle up a horse for herself. Zacky shook his head as he followed her.

“Other than at the circus when I was little, no,” he laughed. Mandy chuckled and then turned to face him, a friendly smile on her face.

“Would you like to go on a ride with me now?” She asked him. “It’s not that hard to learn how, and I promise I won’t let you get lost or fall off.”

Zacky thought about it for a moment, and then smiled. A horse ride with Mandy sounded nice. Besides, he told himself as she set about getting a second horse ready. He wouldn’t mind spending a little extra time with her. Just as friends of course, he told himself after he’d thought that as he leaned against the post, watching her saddle and bridle the two horses.

But suddenly, he realized that he was more interested in Mandy Haner than he’d previously thought he was. A small part of him wondered if Mandy was interested in him, too.
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This update is a day late, and I apologize for that. I woke up fairly late yesterday, and thought it was Monday until about eleven o'clock last night. I have the strangest blonde moments, I swear. XD Anyway, I have a few story reccommendations in this update. ^_^ The first is for my friend Jessica's upcoming story, Unbroken. It's going to be a Jimmy story, and I know she's super stoked to start writing, and it's going to be amazing. Also, I would like to reccommend Imagine The Rhythm of the War Drums by Scratch. It's an original, and it's kind of deep, but it's also an excellent story. Thanks for the comments and subscriptions. =)