Status: Completed

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Chapter Three

Sarah’s P.O.V

I sat in Taylor’s den, my right foot on a cushion and an ice pack across my ankle that was slowly beginning to swell. I stared down at my abandoned heels as if they were the main reason I was currently a little bit broken. I sighed and closed my eyes, leaning my head back against the couch, my fingers tightening a little around the now cold mug of coffee in my hands.

After Matt had brought me in here, Taylor had appeared and looked at my ankle before instructing Matt to get some ice and a cup of coffee. That was twenty minutes ago and since then they had pretty much left me on my own, coming in only to check my ankle and to give me another two cups of coffee to replace the ones that I had let go cold.

I didn’t even like coffee.

I sighed before turning my head to look at the door as it inched open, the sounds of merriment filtering in from the party before disappearing just as quick after Zacky had closed the door behind him. I turned my gaze away from him and looked down at my lap as I heard him walk over to me, clearing his throat a couple of times before sitting on the arm of the couch by my feet.

"I brought you some water and some orange juice," he explained and I slowly looked up to see him holding out a glass of orange juice and a bottle of water. "Seeing as you hate coffee, I thought you would rather sober up with these."

I couldn't stop the small smile from drifting across my lips and heard him chuckle quietly before he moved once more, popping the juice on the coffee table and taking the mug from my hands, replacing it with the bottle of water that he had already loosened the cap for me.

"Thank you," I murmured, removing the cap and taking a long drink of water.

I let out a breath as I put the cap back on, letting my attention drift to the label of the bottle as Zacky settled down on the edge of the coffee table.

"Why'd you run from me?"

I shrugged, not really knowing what to say. I couldn't exactly go 'oh...that...well I had just realised that I have feelings for you that go beyond the realms of friendship and I freaked out'. I didn't think that was going to go down well at all.

"Who's your new friend?"

I glanced at Zacky and saw the way he shrugged. "Cousin of Matt's aunt's or niece or...I don't know. Only met her tonight."

I nodded but remained quiet, my gaze going back to the label of the bottle, peeling little strips off and letting them fall onto my lap.

"Sarah," Zacky all but breathed my name before appearing beside me, sitting his butt on the floor so he could look at me. "What's wrong? Why did you run from me?"

I shook my head and felt tears begin to prick the backs of my eyes. Yesterday life was so simple. I was in a loving relationship. I thought I was well on my way to getting engaged. And my best friend was just my best friend. But relationship turned out to be not so loving. The idea of an engagement turned to shit and I couldn't look at my best friend without wanting to cry.

"Where's Ryan?"

The sudden change of subject startled me, though it made sense. Zacky would always ask me another question about something else entirely if I was refusing to talk to him about something else. He knew that the more he got me to talk, the more likely it was for me to open up to him about whatever it was that he actually wanted to talk about.

"I'm hoping, by now, he's been hit by a bus."

Zacky's eyes widened at that, though I also saw the ghost of a smile twitch at the corners of his lips. To his credit, he didn't actually smile.


"Because he's been cheating on me for god knows how long and I was too blind to see it. I was too stupid to see what a bastard he was even though you all kept telling me he was, that he wasn't good enough for me. Shit, you always said he would just end up hurting me," I rambled, blinking and letting my tears finally fall. "God, I'm such a fool."

I dropped the bottle to my lap and covered my face with my hands as I began to cry again, wishing that I could turn back time to the point that Ryan and I crossed paths. Wishing I had turned left instead of right and had missed him entirely. Wishing that this heartache would just go away.

My hands were slowly peeled away from my face and I looked at Zacky, seeing the concerned look on his face but also the anger in his eyes. I shook my head even as he pushed himself to his feet and sat down on the edge of the couch so he could bundle me up in his arms.

This is what I needed when I walked in to the house earlier. I had just needed Zacky. I had just needed my best friend to wrap his arms around me and hold me as I cried. I needed him to just be there.

"How about," Zacky murmured against the side of my head before pulling back just enough to look down at me. "We put in Muppet's Christmas Carol?"

I swallowed as I looked at Zacky, frowning a little. "Don't you want to get back to the party?"

Zacky shrugged as he pulled away from me, standing up and making his way over to Matt and Taylor's DVD shelves, plucking out a DVD and then going over to the TV.

"You can't stand up at the moment," he pointed out, turning back to face me once he had put the DVD in, grinning as he dropped the case to the coffee table and then walked back over to me. "And what is a Christmas party without my favourite elf?"

I couldn't stop myself from giggling as Zacky sat down heavily beside me, peering over his shoulder to look at me and then my leg and then back at me. I could all but hear the cogs whirring in his head before he suddenly sprung into action. I watched quietly as he leant forward and pulled the coffee table closer to us and then grabbed a couple of cushions off of the other sofa. He popped them on the edge of the coffee table and then took a hold of my leg gently, spinning me around so I was facing the TV. He rested my ankle on top of the cushions, frowning to himself as he adjusted the table, pulling it a little closer, his eyes moving from me to the table to me and back again.

I smiled as I watched him make sure that I was comfortable before he finally sat down beside me again, grinning as he grabbed the remote again and wrapped an arm around my shoulders, pulling me closer to him.

"This is where I need to be," he told me as he pressed play. "This is where I want to be."

--- | ---

I gasped as pain shot up my leg, my eyes popping open as I took a deep breath in an attempt to lessen the pain. I frowned as I sat up, realising that I had been asleep and snuggled somewhat up against Zacky. I looked at him to see that he was still asleep and I couldn't help but smile as I watched him for a moment before moving my gaze to the TV and seeing that the film was still playing.

"The world has got a smile today, the world has got a glow. There's no such thing as strangers when a stranger says 'hello'. And everyone is family, we're having so much fun. After all, there's only one more sleep 'til Christmas."

I frowned as I looked down at my watch, thinking that we couldn't have been asleep for very long. The last bit of the film I remembered was the rats cleaning up for Christmas...which was the beginning of this song.

The film must have restarted, I thought as I saw that it was now three in the morning. I moved my gaze over to my ankle and sighed quietly. I must have moved in my sleep, putting some weight on it, and that's what must have prompted my rather painful wake up call. I carefully took a hold of my leg just below my knee and lifted my foot off the coffee table, gingerly placing my foot on the ground but making sure I didn't put any actual weight on it. I leant down and looked at my ankle, seeing how red and purple my skin and gone. I had a feeling I should let Lyndsey have a look at it. She'd probably tell me to go to the hospital. Hell, she'd probably pack me in the car herself to make sure I went. But that was not how I wanted to spend any of my free time before Christmas.

I shook my head as I realised that I wouldn't be spending any of the Christmas period how I thought I would be. And as I thought that I felt my jaw begin to tighten, my chest began to feel heavy and as I closed my eyes, my tears began to fall.

"Shit," I whimpered as I covered my face with my hands, feeling my shoulders shake as I tried my hardest to be quiet.

I felt the couch move slightly and not a second later I felt a hand slide up my back.


I shook my head as I carried on crying, squeezing my eyes shut even as Zacky tugged me closer to him.

" to me," he demanded, his voice soft and quiet as he tucked his fingers around the top of my left arm and he tried to coax me to turn to look at him.

"It hurts, Zack," I stuttered out as I leant forward enough to rest my elbows on my knees, hoping that he knew I wasn't talking about my ankle.

"I know," he muttered, shuffling closer to me and pressing his lips to my shoulder. "I know it does."

I let out a long breath as I tried to calm down, dropping my hands down as I finally stopped crying quite so hard. Zacky brought up a hand and tucked some of my hair behind my ear and I looked at him, seeing the way he frowned as he saw the tears falling down my cheeks. He brushed some of them away before pulling me closer to him, taking hold of my waist and gently pulling me on to his lap, being careful that he didn't nudge my ankle at all as he made sure it was resting on the sofa beside us.

"Ryan's a fucking idiot if he doesn't realise how great you are. If he doesn't realise that you are the best anyone could ever dream of having," Zacky told me, his voice slightly muffled against the side of my head. "He never deserved you, Sarah. He never fucking deserved you."

I shook my head and swallowed as I wrapped my arms around my best friend, tucking my head just under his chin.

"I just wanted to be enough," I commented quietly as I tried to make sense of the mess of thoughts in my head. "I'm so fucking stupid. I thought I was getting a ring this Christmas. I thought I was going to be getting that moment, Ryan down on one knee and I thought that was what I wanted. I thought that was all I needed and then I saw him with...I saw her and I just...I was so angry. It wasn't until I told everyone else what happened that I felt anything other than anger. But I didn't feel heartbroken over us not being together anymore. I felt so stupid and that's what made me cry. That everyone else had seen him for who he was but I had been so blinded by my stupid fucking dream of a fairytale relationship that I made him into Prince Charming. I wasted so much time on him."

Zacky didn't say anything as he held me, his arms tight around me and reassuring me that he was there for me. Just like he always was. I closed my eyes as I took a deep breath, hooking my arms around my best friend as my tears began to slow down.

"You'll get your fairytale," Zacky promised me quietly.

I shrugged and brought a hand up to wipe away my remaining tears. "I don't know...I think that ship might have sailed."

"You'll get your fairytale," he insisted, the tone in his voice telling me not to argue.

I couldn't help but smile to myself, wondering what I had ever done to deserve him in my life. He was too good to me.

"Can I ask you a question?"

I brought my head back so I could look at Zacky and nodded. "Always."

Zacky smiled and brought a hand up, cupping the side of my jaw gently and rubbing my cheek with his thumb before letting his hand drop down as he took a breath.

"Why'd you run from me before?"

I froze for just a second as his question sunk in and then looked down as I shrugged.

"Sarah, come on," he practically whined. "Is it because you saw me with that girl?"

I swallowed and nodded, figuring I could be at least halfway truthful with him. Technically I did all but flee from him because I had seen him with that girl. The fact that I ran because I realised I had feelings for him wasn't the point. I would never have realised that if I hadn't seen Zacky with that girl. Therefore, logic tells me that I ran because I saw him with that girl.

I had a feeling that I was still just a little bit drunk.

"Just wasn't expecting the room to be occupied," I explained quietly, not moving my gaze from my lap.

"Not from the room," he muttered and took a deep breath. "When I had to chase you round the kitchen....why did you run from me?"

I shook my head as I felt tears begin to build up behind my eyes once more. "Exercise?"

He didn't reply, simply looked at me in a way that told him he didn't believe me. Not that I blamed him. When did I ever do anything for exercise? I swallowed as I wondered why I just didn't tell Zacky the truth. I always told Zacky the truth. The obvious reason being that if I told could change everything.

But something inside, a quiet voice nagging at the back of mind, told me that it was a risk I had to take.

I took a deep breath and swallowed once more before lifting my gaze to look at my best friend once more.

"I need to tell you something," I explained quietly, watching the way Zacky nodded slightly, his gaze flicking about my face as I spoke. "And you'll probably have questions but I can't answer any of them because I don't know how or why or when or anything...I just know."

Zacky's tongue flicked out against his bottom lip. "Okay...know what?"

"I have...I have..." I groaned and looked up at the ceiling for a second before taking yet another deep breath and deciding to just blurt out it. Quick like a band aid. "I have feelings for you and I don't know when they happened...I don't know how I didn't realise this before but when I saw you with that girl I just...that's why I ran. I ran because I was scared."

Zacky was silent after my admission and I closed my eyes, wishing he would say something...anything. But he didn't. And I was quick to realise that maybe the risk hadn't been worth it. Maybe I should have kept quiet and just let our relationship remain that of friends. Maybe I...

I felt his hands on my jaw and I went to look at him, to say something, but I couldn't. Not as he pressed his lips to mine, a jolt of electricity seeming to shoot through me as I kissed back, hoping that this was his way of telling me that he felt the same. I took a deep breath as we pulled apart, opening my eyes and looking at Zacky to find him grinning at me before he bit down on his bottom lip as his brow furrowed just a touch.

"What about Ryan?"

I swallowed and shook my head slightly. "What about him?"

"If you had feelings for me...why were you with him?"

I licked my lips as I shrugged, looking down at my lap. "I didn't know I had feelings for you...I guess, I just..." I let out a breath and looked at Zacky. "We've always been close, like really close. The amount of times when we were younger that people thought we were together was just ridiculous and I guess I should have realised then that maybe there was something there but, for whatever reason, I would just brush peoples comments away. We've always flirted and we've always been quite touchy feely, hugging and holding hands, that I never thought anything of it because we were always like that. And I guess I just...I don't know...I..."

I watched as Zacky's hand covered mine, squeezing gently and making me look at him.

"I get it," he voiced with a slight tilt of his head.

"How do you get it when I don't?"

Zacky chuckled and brought his other hand up to brush some of my hair away from my face.

"Did you love him?"

"I did," I admitted with a shrug. "I mean, I thought I did. I was so sure that he was what I wanted and now I...God, I'm such a mess. I'm so confused."

"You're not a mess..."

"I am," I shot out, gesturing to myself and down to my ankle. "I mean...what is wrong with me? I just wasted a couple of years of my life with some arsehole. I've got these feelings for my best friend and I don't know what to do with them or what they mean. My ankle is fucking killing me and I've been crying, which means my makeup is probably halfway down my face..."

I was rambling, I knew I was rambling, and I knew I shouldn't care what my makeup was doing but it was like the straw that broke the camel's back. For some reason, the fact that my makeup was probably smudged was just tipping me over the edge and I started to cry again. Zacky wrapped me up in his arms and brought me closer to him, tightening his grip around me as he held me, rocking us gently as he waited for me to calm down.

"I have had feelings for you for...a while," he told me, muttering his words against my forehead. "I don't know why or when or how either. I just know that they are there. Seeing you with Ryan these last couple of years has been the hardest thing I've had to do but you seemed so happy so I kept quiet. I want you Sarah, all of you."

I raised my head, wanting this too, but I knew it wasn't the right time to start this.

"I want you too, Zack, I do but," I started and took a deep breath. "I can't start something with you right now. I just can't. I'm so confused. I thought I loved Ryan. I was so sure of my feelings for him. I can't just jump into something with you. I need to sort through what happened with Ryan. I need to know that the feelings I have for you are real. That this is real."

Zacky nodded and brought his hand up to gently wipe away my tears. "I'll wait."

"I can't ask you to..."

"You're not asking me to," he cut me off, rubbing his thumb against my bottom lip. "I am telling you that I will wait. I have waited for years to be with you, I can wait a little longer. Fuck, I'd wait for an eternity if it meant that one day you'd be mine."

I couldn't not smile at what he had said, even if the eternity thing didn't exactly make sense.

"Can I just say something else though?"

I nodded as I readjusted how I was sitting, carefully moving my injured ankle as I settled down on Zacky's lap a little comfier, my legs still slung across his lap but my butt was closer to him now, letting me snuggle against him more.

"This is real. What I feel for you, what you feel for's real," he assured me, pressing his lips to my forehead gently.

I smiled as I tipped my head back, getting myself a smile from Zacky before he bridged the gap between us and pressed his lips to mine once more. I kissed back, bringing a hand up to cup the side of his jaw as the kiss deepened. I giggled quietly as Zacky moved from under me, laying me down and settling beside me as we carried on kissing, both of us knowing that this wasn't going anywhere further than a frustrating teenage make out session. Tomorrow I would have to start sorting through my feelings. Tomorrow I would have to start moving on from Ryan. Tomorrow, I had a feeling, was going to be a pretty good day.

In fact, I had a feeling that next year was going to be a pretty good year.

So maybe this Christmas hadn't been completely ruined. It may not have been turning out the way I expected it to but it was starting to live up to expectations. I mean Christmas is the most wonderful time of year after all.
♠ ♠ ♠
Title Credit:

And it's done :)

Hope you enjoyed it and that you all have a lovely Christmas!! Just a few more days until SANTA IS COMING!!! I don't care that I am almost the big 3-0, I am still excited like a 5 year old!! Ha ha!!

Comments, musings, general jubilations?? x