Chapter Eight

Wind woke while it was still raining, and gazed at Zac, amazed at how angelic he looked while asleep. It was eight now, they’d have to be up for eight-thirty. She marveled at the feeling of being in his arms like that, how wonderful it felt to her. She knew she’d been cold earlier, but noticed the covers up to her chin and smiled faintly. What a sweetheart. Wind suddenly yawned deeply and snuggled herself as close to Zac as she was going to get, feeling a deep attachment to him for some odd reason. Zac sighed deeply in his sleep, then opened his eyes slowly and looked at her, forgetting momentarily how she got there.
“Hey,” he mumbled softly into her hair. “I’m not a teddy bear here…I do have lungs that you’re squeezing…”
Wind loosened her grip on him immediately and looked up.
“Teddy bear…I like that, man…maybe I should call you that from now on.”
Zac blushed.
“Don’t even think about it, or I’ll call you something corny like sweet pea.”

“There ain’t no cure for the summertime bluees…” “Thank you and goodnight! You guys rock!”
“We’ll be back! Definitely!”

Wind tapped her fingers on her knee impatiently. She grabbed Taylor the minute he came backstage and pulled him off to the side.
“Tay, look, I have to tell you something about Sarah.”
Taylor helped himself to the towel hanging over Wind’s shoulder and patted the sweat off his face and neck.
Wind sighed and looked right at him, right into his eyes, the one way she knew she could make him see she was telling the truth. She’d picked that up from Sarah, the only good thing she’d learned from the brat since the day she stepped into the car with her. As long as you had eye contact with Taylor, you had his attention and there was nothing he could do about it.
“It’s…she’s throwing you, Taylor. She’s going to hurt you really badly. I’ve known her longer than you have and she’s not the princess you think she is. She’s a rotten, spoiled brat from hell whose only intention is to get your screwed over. She’s…she’s gonna tell you she’s pregnant, Tay, I know she is. Take my word for it. And she’s not, Aries can vouch for me on this one.”
Taylor stared at her.
“What? Are you out of your damn mind?”
Wind nodded.
“Right. That’s right. I’m out of my damn mind. Don’t you see I don’t want you to get hurt? Just please listen to me…please? If she says it, then trust me I’m telling the truth!”
Taylor looked disgusted.
“Right, Sarah’s going to try to make me think she’s pregnant. You’re psycho Wind, you know that? Absolutely fucking psycho.”
He pushed away from her and went to find something to eat. Wind stared at her hands.
“FUCK!” she kicked the wall, leaving a black mark where her sandal’s sole scraped on the white plaster, and sank to the floor. This was so evil. She brainwashed him, Wind decided. Sarah fucking brainwashed him.

Zac looked around the back area for Wind before everyone decided to pack up, completely unaware that she was on the other side of the wall. He walked around a bit, looking for her, until he came around the other side of the wall and saw her, sitting against the wall staring at the ceiling.
“Not having a good night?”
Wind shook her head.
“It’s in God’s good humour what happens next, Zac. I told Taylor and he thinks I’m psychotic.”
Zac sighed.
“Come on, you look horrible. Haven’t you been eating lately?”
Wind shook her head.
“By the time everyone’s done pushing and shoving and eating, I’m not hungry anymore.”
Zac picked her up, hitched her up a little, and looked at her in the affectionate way that had been coined a trademark of his since she came.
“Then I’m taking you back on that bus, we’re going back to the hotel, and you’re going to get dinner with me and then get a good night’s sleep. I’m not sending you home at the end of the summer twenty pounds lighter with a hefty set of baggage under your eyes.”
Wind nodded a little, but before she or Zac could manage to say anything else, she’d nuzzled her face into his shoulder and fallen asleep.

“Alright. Now. What’s wrong, Wind?”
Zac sat down and handed her a plate of re-heated vegetarian pizza. (Believe me! It's the very best kind of pizza! Microwave-reheated veggie pizza from Little Caesar's!)
“I’m just tired, Zac, I’m sorry.”
He sighed and motioned for her to put the plate down, then pulled her so that she was sitting with her back to him on the couch.
“You’re tense,” he stated. “Sit up a little, hon.”
She sat up and felt his hands start to gently massage her shoulders.
“Oh Gods that feels good,” she mumbled. Zac grinned.
“I know, doesn’t it? Relax, Wind, relax. I can’t do squat for your shoulders if you’re sitting there tighter than a damned stretched rubber band.”
Wind’s shoulders sagged a little and she felt her eyelids getting heavy. It was so soothing, this massage…
“How are we going to get this through Taylor’s head, Zac?”
Zac sighed, the rubbed a tight spot near her neck.
“I haven’t the slightest idea, honey, to tell you the honest truth.”
They were both silent for a minute, gazing out the window at the stars, and wondering what to do about everything. The silence seemed to bind them, to bring them to each other in their minds, and Zac stopped massaging Wind’s shoulders. Wind lay back in his arms, and before either had time to think about it, they were fast asleep on the couch, dreaming of things they were sure would never happen but were awfully nice to think about.

"Now, you come in on Thursday morning, six thirty at the Homuth arena, I'll give you a whistle and a stopwatch, and you can keep time. But you can't drool on the ice, even if Adam's there, 'cuz it'll freeze and the ice'll get bumpy and let's just say if Adam busts his leg, neither you nor he will be happy."

- Mr. Frame

Chapter Seven
Chapter Nine