Chapter Five

Wind sat on the couch in the hotel listening to people scream at each other in the next room, Diana and Walker’s room.
“Young lady,” Walker started at Sarah, “We let you come because Taylor begged us to, and because you’re Aries’ friend, so we had you on careful terms. You only had one chance. Believe me, missy, you’re losing that. You pull one more stunt like this and you’re on the next plane home. And both Wind and Aries will still be here. You can’t just give someone else Wind’s ticket! And you especially CANNOT give someone else her backstage pass! That almost cost Wind her trip here, and she could’ve gotten stuck at the Hartford Civic Center! You have a very SLIM chance of making it to the end of this tour, Sarah. And don’t even think about saying anything. Just go back to your room and stay there until tomorrow morning.”

Wind smiled faintly. She couldn’t help but smirk, she was still mad at the fiasco she’d had with the security guard. Taylor was at the little fridge across the room looking for some root beer and Zac was in his room, listening to a CD. Isaac and Aries had disappeared somewhere to get a drink. Wind stood up and was halfway behind Taylor to find out if there was any Mountain Dew in that bottomless little fridge when the door slammed open. Zac opened his door a crack and stuck his head out, watching to see what was about to happen. Sarah came in the room in such a fury Taylor froze, still bent over and watching Sarah with huge eyes. Sarah looked at Wind and just … exploded.
Wind stopped from looking for Mountain Dew and stared at Sarah. “What the hell have I done wrong now?”
Sarah’s eyes flamed.
“Because you had to go and make a scene when I brought Laura backstage with me, and now if I so much as swear once while I’m here I’m going home without you, you stupid brat!”
Taylor watched the expressions on Wind’s face change, and he knew Zac was doing the same. Her bottom lip had begun to tremble furiously, and both of the brothers knew that she was going to cry really soon. “You are such a self-righteous little freak! I can’t believe you’re blaming this on me!”
Sarah didn’t give her a chance to say anything else.
“Shut up. Just shut the FUCK UP. Wind, you ruined this whole thing for me and I can’t believe I invited you in the first place. Nobody likes you. You’re just a sad, sorry, ugly little bitch and if you get anywhere near me in the next twelve hours I’ll kick your ass.”
Sarah then proceeded to rage into her room, and both Zac and Taylor remained silent to see how Wind was going to react. They glanced at each other over her head and exchanged a look. Wind felt her throat squeeze up and put her hand on the back of the couch to keep herself from sliding down to a heap in the floor. She burst into tears and flew into the bathroom, slamming the door behind her. Zac’s face crumpled angrily and he came out into the main room. He flung Sarah’s door open.
“Fuck you, Sarah. I hope you burn in hell.” He slammed the door and then proceeded to go to the bathroom door. Taylor watched Zac rap on the bathroom door softly with the backs of his knuckles.
He could hear her almost silent sobs, but got no answer. “Come on, Wind, let me in.”
“Why,” came her response, “So you can insult and deflate me too?”
Zac’s brow crinkled. This wasn’t good. “Please, Wind? I don’t want to insult you.”
“Oh, I don’t see why you wouldn’t,” she replied.
“And what is that supposed to mean?” Zac’s tone had an underlying hint of sarcasm; he knew what it meant, but he asked it anyway. There was s choking sound, and she suddenly ceased her weeping.
“Because everyone here does hate me. Why not you too? I’m surprised my parents haven’t called to yell at me yet.”
Zac sighed.
“Wind, we can talk about this. Please let me in…I don’t like talking through doors.”
Wind snorted.
“You sidestepped that. You do hate me, don’t you?”
“I most certainly do not.”
“Yeah, right. Nobody cares about boring old Wind. Hell, you should’ve left me at the Civic Center.”
Zac banged his forehead against the door and stared at the suddenly intensified wood grain of the door itself.
“You are NOT boring, and people do care about you.”
“Right. Avie adores me. Great. I’ll spend the rest of my trip here with a six-year-old.”
“Not just Avie…”
“Then who? Who could possibly give a flying fuck about me?”
“I…uh…I do, Wind. I care about you. A lot.”
She didn’t respond to that. Instead, the lock turned; Zac’s invitation to come in. He slipped in and locked the door again, and the minute the lock had turned once more, Taylor pounced on the door with a drinking glass and a notepad.

Wind was sitting on the counter with her knees curled up to her chest, hugging her shins to herself. Her cheeks were tearstained, and she looked like she wasn’t quite done crying yet. Zac pulled himself up on the counter next to her, shoving aside Sarah’s obscure bottles of makeup and Aries’ boxes of oddly flavoured condoms. Chocolate, he noticed, was big…chocolate and … watermelon. Ewwy. He shoved himself over beside Wind and put his hand on her shoulder.
“Wind…don’t hurt yourself like this. Sarah is a bitch and you know it.”
Wind took one look at him and the tears began to roll again.
“But she’s been my best friend for a freaking year now…and no one else ever liked me like she did…” she buried her face in her hands once more and started to sob again. Zac couldn’t take it anymore, if he had to watch her ache so badly once more he was going to kill himself. He pulled her into his lap and wrapped his arms around her. “Hush, Wind…shhhh…please don’t cry, Wind, please…this isn’t worth so much pain…”
Wind herself hadn’t really wanted to cry into someone’s shoulder, but now that she sat curled up in his arms like that she realized it was exactly what she needed. She really did need it…after so much being pushed away, so much being ignored; this was just it…to be held. Wind wrapped her arms around Zac’s neck and pressed her cheek into his shoulder, still crying and feeling her throat begin to close up from sobbing.
“I know this isn’t worth so much pain, but it’s so awful, Zac…please…I don’t care what you do…just make her quit…”
Zac closed his eyes and held her closer.
“I promise I’ll make it better,” he whispered into her hair. “I promise.”

It took quite awhile afterwards to hush Wind, and when she was silent, when she rested leaning against him, and when Taylor was nearly asleep sitting next to the bathroom door, Zac looked up. Wind had spread herself out over the counter, with her legs stretched out over the sink, and shifted herself until she looked ready to fall asleep. Zac suddenly moved around and held her in a more comfortable way for him. Wind looked up at the ceiling, and contemplated why she had disliked being cradled like a small child until now, now that that’s what Zac was doing. He took her still bruised and tearstained face into his hands and stroked a few stray hairs out of her eyes for her. Wind, still silent, slowly sat up and gently pushed his arms away. She looked down sheepishly.
“I’m sorry, Zac…”
He shook his head and smiled warmly.
“Don’t be. I totally understand what you’re going through.” He paused, then sat up properly. “Here,” he started. “Why don’t we get out of here, and I’ll treat you to something downtown?”
Wind looked up shyly and smiled a little.
“Okay,” she mumbled. “Sure.”
Before she opened the door, though, Wind turned and looked at him. “Zac…I have to tell you this…and I’m going to quote a song for it…”
He raised an eyebrow.
She looked down.
“You have my heart now, so don’t hurt me, okay?”

", Dorito Dorito Dorito...come on, I won't hurt you...I promiiiiiise..."

- Genesis

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