Written by: TVM (firstname.lastname@example.org) & CJ Ames (email@example.com)
"No, tonight I'm picking out my own clothes" Zoe had said firmly early in the day when Mandy had offered to help her pick out something for tonight's double date with Brian and Wylan. The very thought sorta of worried her, knowing Zoe's less than developed sense of fashion. Saying hi to Cori first she made her way into the kitchen and spotted Lily, who greeted her with a smile as always. "Hey, is Zoe ready?"
"Said she'd be down in a minute" Lily said as Mandy took her by now familar place at the counter.
"You're not helping her pick her outfit?" Lily asked as Mandy nodded.
"Nope, tonight Zoe insisted on picking out her own clothes" Mandy said. "I hope she looks ok, her hair sure looks great. Katie put it in corn rows."
"I saw that" Lily said, "She looked so much different, not like my little girl anymore."
"She's not" Mandy said gently. "She's growing up before our eyes."
"Ok, cover your eyes, please?" Zoe asked before coming into the kitchen and peaking to make sure both did as she moved in front of them and said, "Ok, open, do you think I look ok?"
"Damn, girl you rockin that outfit" Mandy said as she stood and smiled as Zoe beamed a smile from ear to ear now. "You look incredible, you're gonna kill Brian tonight."
"I hope so, boy is fine" Zoe said as her and Mandy both laughed and then realized where they where. "Sorry Mom."
"Don't sorry yourself, I saw his picture in the year book and boy if I was your age we'd be fighting over him" Lily said as Mandy and Zoe both started laughing. "You look so great Zoe."
"Thanks mom" Zoe said as she could feel her confidence soar yet again as she saw the approving smile of her best friend and mother. She had thought long and hard about what she wanted to compliment her new hairdo. She first picked out a rather child-like skirt, a light blue jean skirt with a trim around the bottom emblazoned with horses, but fixing that problem by literally and boldly tearing off the horse design on the bottom. Zoe had to admit it certainly changed the look of it, her next idea, was a simple white t-shirt she'd worn a hundred times. Only this time she tied one side into a knot, which lifted it a bit and let it show just a bit of her flat stomach. Her favorite cowboy boots and of course that awesome new leather jacket that Mandy bought her.
"Keep an eye on her?" Lily asked Mandy a few minutes as her and Zoe left.
"I always do" Mandy said as she smiled and went running across the lawn and grabbed Zoe from behind as both started to giggle.
"You know you look so nice tonight" Zoe said with a smile. "I just didn't wanna say anything in front of my mom."
"And why?" Mandy asked as she looked at Zoe from the other side of the car.
"Didn't want her to know who I really wanted to be with" Zoe said as she stuck out her tongue.
"OK, then so where to, no Brian and Wylan tonight huh?" Mandy asked with a challenging expression.
"Shut up and drive" Zoe said as both laughed. Mandy pulled out as she tried to get her fit of giggles under control, knowing she'd gotten Zoe good that time and looking forward to the night ahead for some reason. Feeling like this was the beginning of something new and the end of something else. A feeling that confused her to no end as she turned down Wylan's street and stopped in front of his apartment. Seeing him, she smiled, noticing he was as handsome as ever in a casual sport jacket and jeans. Even though, she felt herself feel almost numb, the thrill of a date that she usually felt was not there, she wanted it to be. The butterflies, the knots, the shaky hands, none of it, she noticed as she took a deep breath and smiled sweetly as Zoe opened her door.
"Ladies, looking ever so lovely tonight, both of you" He said with a smile as he climbed into the backseat.
"Lookin nice yourself" Zoe said with a sweet smile that was not lost on Wylan.
"I was gonna say that you know?" Mandy asked as she looked back at Wylan, "You do look nice."
"Well, Zoe's only flirting, coming from you it counts" He said as Mandy blushed.
Mandy took a long moment to smile at him and willed herself to melt under his charming smile, but it simply wasn't happening no matter how hard she tried. If she couldn't melt in Wylan's smile, like she had in the past with other guys, what did that say about her. Zoe touched her hand to get her attention and with a teasing smile their eyes met and suddenly, like life breathing into her, it was there. The butterflies, the knots, the nervousness, those old familar feelings that at this moment were so comforting to her frazzled mind. But why was it she had to have Zoe smile at her to feel them? Praying for an instant she could feel the same thing for Wylan she looked back again and saw him give her a knowing as she laughed and shook her head as she pulled away. Convincing herself in that moment that she had felt those feelings for him. A comforting thought. Stopping next at Brian's as he came out in what looked like a half slapped together outfit. Not exactly putting his best effort forward was he? Mandy asked herself.
"Zoe you look nice" He said in a charming voice as he climbed into the back.
"Brian Switzer this is Wylan Keller" Mandy said as they shook hands.
"Mandy you look great tonight" Brian said as he gave her a knowing smile in the rear-view mirror. Mandy felt her skin crawl at that moment and suddenly had a weird feeling about this night as she pulled away and they headed to get something to eat.
"He's cute huh?" Zoe asked as she leaned over a few minutes later as Brian and Wylan got out first and started acting like old friends it seemed as they laughed and traded punches in the parking lot.
"I think he made eyes at me" Mandy said as Zoe gave her a strange look.
"He did?" She asked as a worried look came to her face.
"Yeh I got a weird feeling about this Zoe" Mandy said and fearing in that moment that Zoe would get mad. Thinking Mandy was purposely trying to ruin her date with Brian.
"I trust your feelings" Zoe said as she touched Mandy's hand and smiled and there they were again Mandy thought, in a panic moment, those feelings that she had felt earlier. Forcing them to go away she half-smiled and got out as Zoe met her at the front of the car and said, "If you keep feeling like that let me know, ok?"
"Yeh I will" Mandy said as she took Zoe's hand and pulled her along, Zoe joining Brian as he tried to put his arm around her and her pushing him off as he laughed and opened the door for himself and leaving Zoe standing at the door with a confused look.
"Let me" Wylan said sweetly as he held the door for both of them. "This is how a gentleman acts."
"Yes it is" Mandy said with an approving smile. "Thank you for being a nice guy."
"Think it'll get me anywhere?" Wylan asked with a devious smile as Mandy blushed and noticed Zoe had disappeared inside.
"Bad boy" Mandy said as Wylan smiled and kissed her cheek. "And I'm not as easy as Zoe is."
"You are so pretty" He said as he took her hand. "Think maybe we can find give minutes for you and me tonight?"
"I'd liked to hangout with you as friends sometime" Mandy said and couldn't believe she had said that as if there was no chance of them being more than that. "I mean if things don't workout, tonight. God I'm stupid."
"I don't think so" He said as he opened the other door and held it as she smiled and gladly accepted the offer as she went ahead. Mandy knew Zoe was getting lost in Brian's eyes as she came in and saw her giggling as he apparently tried to fight him off, playfully. "Am I the only one thinks that looks weird?"
"No, I wish you were" Mandy said as that weird feeling returned and she pulled Zoe out of the booth and said, "You too get a room and you set with me."
"Why?" Zoe mouthed with her back to Brian as Mandy gave her a signal with her eyes and said, "I'm getting that feeling."
"Move over jerk" Wylan said as he and Brian wrestled and laughed like old friends.
"Let's go miss money bags order up some grub" Brian said as Mandy gave him a dirty look and breathed a deep breath before turning and motioning for the waitress to come over. Wylan rose and pulled out Mandy's chair as Zoe hoped Brian would but he seemed to be lost in reliving some great basketball moment with his pretend shooting. Seeing this Wylan pulled out Zoe's chair too as she sat beside Brian and Wylan sat beside Mandy.
"Can I help you?" The Waitress with the name tag reading, Sherri, asked.
"Yeh we'll have whatever she's paying for" Brian laughed as he bounced around in his seat and Mandy felt like kicking him under the table and saw Zoe's face fall a little bit. "Come on Mandy we know you loaded, I'll have the lobster."
"Brian could you please stop that?" Zoe asked finally as Brian looked at her.
"Sorry, not like it's not true" Brian said. "I wouldn't mind being on her arm with all that money at my disposal."
"Excuse me?" Zoe asked as Wylan rolled his eyes and took a hold of Mandy's arm to keep her from going after him.
"Cool your jets pretty lady, I'm all yours I'm just kidding" Brian said charmingly. "You're really pretty you know that?"
"I am?" Zoe asked in shock as Mandy breathed a sigh of relief.
"Yeh really pretty" He commented as Mandy found herself watching his every move for the next few minutes and making sure he wasn't giving her the eye anymore. To her utter relieve, he actually now seemed to be acting like a nice guy and Zoe was melting under his attention, which Mandy thought was good and bad. The good was that he actually seemed to be enjoying Zoe's company, and the bad was...she still had this feeling of something being not right.
"Was one great meal" Wylan said a few long minutes later as Zoe and Brian continued to flirt now non-stop. "Mandy..."
"What?" Mandy asked as she finally looked at him again and saw he was giving her a pained expression.
"How about paying me some attention?" He asked as she breathed deep and said, "Sorry."
"Thank you for such a great date" He said with a smirk as she blushed and smacked his arm gently. "But, seriously, this meal was great, thank you."
"You are very welcome" She said. "Such a nice guy, how come no one has grabbed you yet?"
"Maybe I was waiting for you?" He asked as she rolled her eyes and smiled.
"Yeh I'm sure" She said, "Wanna walk on out?"
"Come on you two lovebirds" Wylan said to Zoe and Brian who had settled into a nice rhythm Zoe noticed.
"Instead of driving all the way down to the lake, why don't we just take a walk in the park?" Wylan suggested as all agreed and they made their way across the road as Mandy noticed Brian and Zoe falling behind as her and Wylan laughed.
"We'll catch up to you" Brian said to them as he tried slipping his arm around Zoe again and she pushed him away.
"Stop it, ok?" Zoe asked, "I don't feel comfortable doing that yet."
"Why not?" He asked, "You been giving me eyes all night and I know you like me."
"Ok so what if I did smile at you?" Zoe asked. "That don't mean I want you all over me."
"Right" He said as he touched her face and she felt herself slow in the moment as his arm then slipped around her shoulder, "See this isn't so bad."
"Please quit" She asked as she slipped away from him again and took a step back. "I already asked you once to quit."
"Are we ready to leave kindegarten yet?" He asked in a babies voice as he laughed and Zoe felt her blood run hot.
"I'm not a fuckin baby" Zoe said as she walked off and felt him come after her.
"It was a joke Zo Zo" He said.
"My name is not Zo Zo, it's Zoe" She said and tried to control her anger as she looked ahead at Mandy who was seemingly getting lost in Wylan's smile. Zoe wished at the moment that she was with Wylan or at least a guy who wasn't such a jerk or even just her and Mandy.
"Damn, you're touchy, remind me again why you asked me out?" He asked.
"Because I heard you liked me" She said.
"Yeh, cause I heard you and Mandy was knocking the boots and I'd love to get in on that" He said as Zoe's lip dropped.
"Are you serious?" She asked in shock.
"What I heard and I told my buddy I'd love to get with you, if you like girls too" He said with a knowing smile.
"Me and Mandy are only friends, I don't like....well, I like guys" Zoe said with a small stammer. "We just played it up to give those gossip whores something to drool about."
"Ok, sure Zoe" Brian said, "Look I like girls who like girls it's not a big deal if you like her more than me as long as I can get some."
"You are unbelievable" Zoe said as she now was on the verge of losing her temper.
"So you like to hear me play guitar huh?" Wylan asked as he and Mandy took a seat on the swing set a few feet out of eye shot from Zoe and Brian.
"Runs all over me" Mandy said, "Maybe you should have brought it tonight."
"Maybe I'm not interested in moving that fast" He said.
"Me neither I'm just a huge flirt" Mandy said and blushing. "My entire history with guys is me flirting, them trying something and me smacking their brains out."
"Well, to point out, our first date you made the move" Wylan said as Mandy smiled as she nodded her head.
"Yeh I know and that didn't turn out so well" She said, "I'm not getting that old feeling you know, of when you are into someone."
"Well you've spent most of the night with yours eyes on Brian and Zoe" He commented.
"If you're suggesting I like that creepy Brian Switzer, I'll so..." Mandy said.
"No" He said firmly. "I just think you've got something on your heart."
"Zoe" He said as her eyes went wide in shock.
"Wylan, no, we're friends" Mandy said as he smiled sweetly.
"Yeh you say that" Wylan said. "But you've paid her a lot more attention tonight than me."
"I'm keeping an eye on her, I promised her mom" Mandy said and trying to convince herself it was true.
"You know as well as I do Mandy, that you don't look at Zoe like that" Wylan commented. "She's never been a little girl in your eyes. She's always been more."
"Well yeah, I think the world of her, she's grown up so much since we started hanging out" Mandy said, "She's my world, I mean, look I'm not in love with her."
"She's stunning" Wylan commented, "I wonder if she'd go out with me?"
"I'm gonna kill you" Mandy said as she started wrestling with him as both laughed. "I'm your date and don't you forget that."
"I haven't, cause I been trying to get your attention like this all night" He said with a smile as Mandy felt her heart beat faster and finally there it was. That old familar feeling, a twinge, the slightest of it at that but it was there Mandy thought.
"Well it's not to bad being the object of your affection" Mandy said as she playfully ran her finger down his cheek. "You're so nice and sweet, I just like being with you."
"And when I see those amazing eyes, I feel like I'm rich" He said and she knew he meant it and wasn't just trying to get to her so he could get to her money.
"Want me to buy you a new car?" She asked as he laughed. "I will just keep smiling at me like that."
"I have no interest in your money Mandy" He said as he pulled her closer, "Tell me if I should stop."
"Not complaining so far" She said as he grinned at her.
"I can say, I feel a little different tonight" Mandy said, "Maybe you should try that kiss again."
"Get me some?" He asked as she kissed him impulsively and felt a flood of new emotions as her lips fell in a slow rhythm with his lips. Willing those emotions to take her over. But they simply didn't. She pulled away in frustration as he looked up at her confused.
"What is wrong with me?" She asked as her anger over took her suddenly and she began kicking at the bars on the swing set.
"Mandy, Mandy, calm down, it's ok" He said as he hugged her. "It's just not happening for you. It's no ones fault."
"Yes it is, I can't even kiss a guy without fucking it up" She said.
"Mandy, have you ever thought that maybe I'm just not the right guy?" He asked. "As much as I hate that."
"No I want you to be" She said as she put her head in her hands. "It's just so frustrating."
"Maybe you're in love with someone else" He said gently.
"I'm not fuckin in love with her" Mandy snapped.
"And how do you know I was referring to her?" He asked.
"Cause....I am so completely confused" Mandy said. "Why can't I just be into you, you are the nicest guy I've ever met and I swear I'm not just saying that."
"I know" He said as he hugged her. "I thought we were gonna be pretty good together."
"I hate this, I hate myself for not liking you" Mandy said.
"NO!" He said in a loud voice as she looked at him. "Do not go down that road. You do and you might not come back."
"Yeh" Mandy said softly as she took another deep breath and relaxed. "I get that."
"There is nothing wrong with you" He said, "You're confused, maybe it will sort out."
"Would you give me a another chance if I sorted this out?" She asked with honest eyes. "I mean after what we've already been through, we've sort of bonded."
"I think not" He said, "I think we're friends instead of whatever we could have been."
"You never know" She said, "You might kiss one more time and change my whole life."
"You are so gorgeous" He said, "I am so into you..."
"GET OFF ME ASSHOLE" Zoe screamed as Mandy's blood ran cold and she looked around in panic and almost passed out as she saw Brian gripping Zoe's arm and trying to get her too to kiss him apparently. "PLEASE STOP, YOU'RE HURTING ME."
"Come on Zoe, I'm on the basketball team, you know I got a rep to protect" He said as she broke away partially and felt him grab her arm and hold her as pain shot up her shoulder. "If you just give it a chance I think you'll like me."
"MANDY STOP!" Wylan screamed as Mandy went running at full speed down the path to Zoe's rescue he thought. Watching in shock as Mandy launched her body into Brian's body and knocking him down as Zoe escaped.
"WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU BITCH?" Brian asked as he pushed her off with brute force and got up to go after a by now crying Zoe. Mandy crashed to the ground and felt the wind leave her lungs as she coughed and watched, trying to get up, as he grabbed Zoe again and she smacked him as hard as she could. "FUCKIN LITTLE BABY, FUCK YOU DYKE. I'LL JUST TAKE WHAT I WANT."
"OWWWWWWWWWW HELP" Zoe screamed as he pushed her roughly to the ground and stalked after her as Wylan arrived on the seen and landed the stiffest punch Mandy had ever seen right to Brian's jaw. Brian staggered and threw up his fists for a moment before slumping to the ground as Mandy crawled on her knees and then staggering as she got to her feet to get to Zoe.
"ZOE!" She screamed as she reached her and saw tears coming down her face as she held her arm.
"He hurt you didn't he?" Mandy asked as she pulled her into her arms.
"My arm it's hurting" Zoe said through sobs as she leaned against Mandy and Wylan came over and helped both of them to their feet.
"Let me see Zo" Mandy said as she looked at her arm and saw that nothing appeared broken. But a bruise certainly seemed to be developing as she moved it around and whimpered as it hurt. "I think it's ok."
"Yeh I'm ok" Zoe said hugging Mandy tightly as Mandy hugged her back. "Thank you for..."
"Don't thank me" Mandy said as she touched her hands to Zoe's cheeks and saw her smile. Feeling the weight of the world lift off her shoulders as Zoe smiled at her, she leaned forward and kissed her softly on the lips. Shocked that she had done it, but feeling Zoe's hand on her jacket and seemingly holding her in place. Not wanting it to end Mandy thought, as their lips fell into a soft slow rhythm for a long moment. Mandy wrapping her arms tighter around Zoe. "Whoa."
"Yeh" Zoe said as she smiled and Mandy felt her heart race as she smiled too. "Talk about a plot twist."
"A good one though" Mandy said as Wylan cleared his throat and got their attention as both blushed.
"That certainly looked like you two liked it" He said with a smirk.
"Fuck you Wylan Keller" Mandy said as he laughed.
"I told you" He said to Mandy as Zoe wondered what exactly he had told her. Those thoughts being washed away when Brian got back to his feet and glared at Wylan.
"WHAT IN THE FUCK WAS THAT PUNCH FOR YOU ASSHOLE" He raged as Zoe jumped behind Mandy and hugged her.
"You try to rape a girl and I take it personally you piece of shit" Wylan said in a deadly serious tone. "You just about broke her arm."
"WELL I WOULDN'T HAVE HAD TO IF SHE WASN'T SUCH A TEASING WHORE" Brian screamed as Mandy started after him before she felt Zoe clutch on to her and say, "Please no, stay with me, I'm scared."
"You best walk away little boy" Wylan said as he motioned for Mandy and Zoe to leave. "Go on Mandy take her to the car. GOOOOOOO!"
"OH COME ON little baby Zoe, when I'm done beating his ass I'm gonna come and get me some of you and your slut girlfriend" He said as he glared at Wylan.
"Go after them I dare you" Wylan said as Brian swung wildly as Wylan ducked and landed a stiff shot to his stomach and then in a rage kicked him right between the legs. Brian screamed as he fell to the grass before Wylan punched him again. "YOU FUCKIN TOUCH HER AGAIN AND I SWEAR I'LL KILL YOU."
"WYLAN STOP!" Mandy begged from a few feet away as she calmed Zoe down and said. "Stay right here, I'll be right back."
"GET OFF HIM" Mandy said in a rage as she pushed Wylan away and he went to check on Zoe. She grabbed Brian's hair and said into his ear in a devious and deadly serious tone. "You show up at school tommorrow or ever again or tell anyone, and I MEAN ANYONE, about this and I will have your whole family wiped off this planet. You don't know who you're fuckin with."
"Fuck you, I'm not afraid of you" He spat, before she screamed in his face. "DO YOU KNOW WHO THE GHOSTRIDERS ARE?"
"Huh?" He asked in a stunned voice. "You don't know them."
"Yeh, those bad mother fuckers" She said, "My dad, Chi-town Don, their leader."
"You are so full of shit" He said as he pushed her off and she kicked him in the stomach and said, "FUCK YOU. You'll see you little bitch."
"Amanda please stop" Zoe said in a pleading voice.
"Come on Mandy let's go" Wylan said as he pulled her towards the car and watched the immediate effect Zoe had on her as she moved into Mandy's field of vision.
"Please calm down for me" Zoe said with pleading eyes.
"OK Zo, I'm ok now" Mandy said as she hugged her.
"Let's just go, let scum bag find his own way home."
"You sure you ok?" Mandy asked as they pulled away a few minutes later.
"I'm better now" Zoe said as she pulled one of Mandy's hands into hers and laced their fingers. "Thank you."
"Thank Wylan too" Mandy said as Zoe turned and motioned for him to lean over the seat as she kissed his cheek.
"WOW" He said as he smiled.
"Thank you so much" Zoe said as she turned back around. Mandy squeezed her fingers into Zoe's as she drove toward's Wylan's house.
"We'll talk later ok?" Wylan said a few long minutes later as Mandy pulled up in front of his place, "Just get her home."
"Thanks" Mandy said as he got out and they pulled away a moment later.
"I don't wanna go home right now" Zoe said softly, "Can we please just go somewhere and hang out? Just for a few minutes? Please?"
"Zoe, you never have to beg for my time" Mandy said as she pulled off the main road and headed towards the lake. She noticed that Zoe's hand never left hers and seemed to be holding it tight for some reason. She turned once more and came up on the place they'd come the night they danced in the rain. The small grassy spot over looking Lake Michigan. Mandy pulled onto the side of the road and released Zoe's hand as she turned the car off and both got out. "Come here."
"What?" Zoe asked as she met Mandy in front of the car. Mandy slipped onto the front and sat down as she had Zoe turn and pulled her back against her. Wrapping her arms around Zoe tightly from behind and laying her chin on Zoe's shoulder.
"It is" Zoe said as she relaxed in Mandy's hug. Feeling so safe in her arms as she took a deep breath and let Mandy hold her.
"Tell me when to stop" Mandy said in a whisper. "Cause I'll never do anything you don't want."
"I know that" Zoe said, "But can I ask a question? I don't wanna hurt your feelings either."
"Ok?" Mandy asked as she feared Zoe was growing uncomfortable.
"You kissed me..." Zoe said softly as she turned in Mandy's arms, "What did that mean?"
"Zoe, I honestly don't know" Mandy said as Zoe smiled and touched her face. "I just got scared to death he was gonna hurt you and when you were ok, I just did what felt natural."
"Like the first time you kissed me?" Zoe asked with a teasing grin.
"Zoe you know that was different" Mandy said in a sweet voice. "That was...a special night and I just did it..."
"And you better not say you regret it" Zoe said as Mandy laughed.
"No, if you don't" Mandy said.
"No I don't" Zoe said. "And after tonight I just wanna be with you."
"You do?" Mandy asked.
"I've been groped and molested by two scumbags and I just don't wanna go through that again" Zoe said.
"Zo, listen, not all guys are like that" Mandy said. "You can't give up."
"But what about this" Zoe asked. "I like just being with you. Hanging out, or just cruisin around Chicago."
"Yeh me too" Mandy said, "Maybe for a while we could just spend some time together?"
"That was my idea" Zoe giggled. "We just seemed to...stomp well together."
"We do don't we?" Mandy asked with a smile.
"I think so" Zoe said, "I just feel so safe with you."
"You should" Mandy said, "We got Batman watching our back."
"Who the hell is this Batman and oh yeah, how about Chi-town Don?" Zoe asked as Mandy blushed and said, "Zoe, there's some things I let slip out tonight."
"Yeh?" Zoe asked.
"You didn't hear those names" Mandy said as both jumped when they heard a car come screeching to a halt. Jet black and very expensive looking Zoe noticed, moments later a guy with long black hair got out.
"You ok Mandy?" He asked as Zoe hugged Mandy tighter.
"Zoe it's ok I know him, this is Joey" Mandy said as she felt Zoe relax.
"He hurt you?" Joey asked.
"Hurt her arm some and threatened to rape both of us" Mandy said as Joey's eyes grew dark.
"Who are you?" Zoe asked as Joey's eyes went from dark with anger to light blue and very charming.
"My names, Joey, sweety" He said as he touched her cheek and Zoe noticed him wearing black gloves and for that matter, jeans, shoes and a shirt, all black. "I'm your dark angel."
"He's Batman" Mandy giggled as Joey gave her a warning look.
"Amanda" He said with a smile.
"Don't call me that" Mandy said.
"Mandy I was kidding" He said.
"I don't care, she's the only one who calls me Amanda" Mandy said as Zoe looked at her.
"Sorry" He said sweetly as he kissed her forehead, "Mandy."
"Thanks for checkin on us" Zoe said as Joey smiled.
"Nothing will happen to you two I promise" Joey said, "I got work to do, you get home ok?"
"Yeh, we just stompin'" Mandy said, "I'll be ok, I got your number, hint hint."
"Make sure lil Brian gets home ok" Joey said in a sinster voice as he got back into the car and sped off into the night like a demon.
"He was way cute" Zoe said as Mandy pushed her away playfully as Zoe laughed. "Think he's too old for me?"
"Shut up" Mandy said as she got up off the car and came towards her as Zoe laughed. "You are not funny."
"Are you jealous Amanda?" Zoe asked as Mandy marched after her playfully. "Huh? He was so hot."
"I'm gonna show you hot" Mandy said as Zoe ran a few feet and squealed as Mandy caught her in a hug. Tickling her for a second as Zoe tried to get lose and then suddenly, she felt Mandy kiss her neck softly and she relaxed and felt Mandy did it again.
"Whoa, Amanda, what are you doing?" Zoe asked as Mandy kissed her neck again and stopped with a grin.
"You want me to stop?" Mandy asked in her ear.
"I didn't say too" Zoe said with a giggle. "But it is kinda weird, you treat all your friends like this?"
"No" Mandy said as she released her and took her hand. "You wanna spend the night with me?"
"Amanda Gail McCree" Zoe said as she looked at her in mock horror.
"I mean spend the night at the Palace" Mandy said, "You don't have too."
"Be just me and you?" Zoe asked.
"Yeh it will" Mandy said, "I just wanna protect you tonight."
"Little ole me?" Zoe asked with a giggle as Mandy pulled her into a hug and said, "Let me hold you tonight, just keep you safe."
"You're serious aren't you?" Zoe asked as Mandy gave her the answer with her eyes. "You really care about me don't you?"
"Zoe, yes I do" Mandy said.
"I could so get used to being treated like this" Zoe said. "You know, being Amanda McCree's pick."
"No one else has ever thought it was a good thing" Mandy said with a half smile.
"I do" Zoe said as Mandy smiled.
"You have no idea how much I like hearing that" Mandy said as she moved closer.
"And why?" Zoe said with a teasing smile, knowing where this might lead but at that moment, wanting Mandy's attention on her so desperately.
"Because I have the cutest best friend in the world" Mandy said as Zoe smiled. "Even without your Cowboy hat, you steal my heart."
"I still have half of your heart remember?" Zoe asked as she showed Mandy the necklace.
"Want the other half?" Mandy asked as her and Zoe giggled, but Zoe wondered if she was serious. Shaking those thoughts from her mind for the time being, she smiled knowingly at Mandy as her best friend moved a bit closer. Their eyes locked on the others.
"You act like you wanna do something, Amanda" Zoe said with a smile. "Do you?"
"Maybe I do" Mandy said as she touched a finger to Zoe's cheek and trailed it down slowly, "But you'd probably not want me too."
"Tell me what it is and let me decide" Zoe said.
"Right now..." Mandy said as she trailed the same finger down and let it slide across Zoe's bottom lip and playfully pulled it down before trailing it down under Zoe's chin.
"Yeh?" Zoe said as Mandy leaned in a bit and tested Zoe's reaction. Seeing her never changing smile, she started to go for it, but stopped and said, "...I wanna kiss my best friend in the world."
"Amanda Gail McCree, you're trying to seduce me" Zoe said as both giggled. "I know that invite to spend the night was a little odd."
"Does it scare you? Me kissing you?" Mandy asked with a teasing grin.
"A little, but I wouldn't stop you" Zoe said as Mandy's heart beat faster. "Truth be told I liked it when you kissed me earlier."
"But that was just out of pure emotion, this would be something different" Mandy said. "This would be because we both wanted too."
"Yeh, I know that" Zoe said with a shy smile.
"So you gonna kiss me back?" Mandy asked as she playfully and boldly leaned up and kissed Zoe's forehead. "Huh?"
"You missed" Zoe said as Mandy laughed and leaned in again and kissed her nose softly. "Missed again."
"Never did answer my question" Mandy said in a whisper. "Will you?"
"Will I what?" Zoe asked with a grin.
"If I kiss you, will you kiss me back?" Mandy asked as she leaned in ever so slowly. "Huh?"
"You won't know until you do it" Zoe said as she felt her heart race. She felt Mandy's finger on her chin and let the girl guide her as she leaned forward a bit and both hesitated for a moment as the ringing of Mandy's cell phone brought them both back to reality. "You have got to be kidding me."
"I know" Mandy said as Zoe reached her hand into Mandy's jacket and took her phone from the pocket and flipping it open a moment later.
"Amanda's phone" Zoe said as Mandy laughed.
"Where are you Zoe Manning it's almost 9:30, you best have a good excuse" Lily said as Zoe froze and Mandy saw the 'deer in the headlight' look on her face as she took the phone.
"Lily?" Mandy asked as Lily felt her heart beat slow. "I'm so sorry we lost track of time, she's with me ok?"
"Well that sure sets my mind at ease" Lily said.
"The cars been having trouble and I thought maybe Zoe could crash at my place tonight" Mandy said as Zoe smiled and hugged her. "Is that ok? I'll bring her home first thing in the morning."
"As long as she gets some rest for school" Lily said.
"Save me a cup in the mornin" Mandy asked, "We'll be by early."
"You got it" Lily said with a smile. "Is everything ok?"
"Zoe's fine" Mandy said with a smile as Zoe watched and listened, "I'm gonna hold her in my arms all night and make sure she's ok. Can I do that?"
"Mandy, one of these days" Lily said, "Goodnight, and tell Zoe the same."
"Night" Mandy said as she hung up and Zoe started laughing.
"I can't believe you told her that" Zoe said as Mandy smiled.
"Well, when I do that..." Mandy said as her hand touched Zoe's face, "...at least I was honest about by intentions tonight."
"This is true" Zoe said. "You're always honest with me."
"You so bring out the good in me" Mandy said with a smile. "I think Wylan might have been right."
"He said, I only had eyes for you" Mandy said as Zoe smiled and hugged her tighter. "Is that ok?"
"Yeh, that's way better than ok" Zoe said as she kissed Mandy's cheek. "I like being your pick..."