Nick and I sat in the bar until midnight, just sharing stories and laughing together. Even though we had only met that same day, it felt like he had been a friend of mine for years. When the waitress came back around after we each had a couple drinks, we were pretty tipsy, and ready to walk around the nearby park to continue our conversation. “Are we doing the tabs together or separate?” Asked the waitress, and before I could speak up, Nick insisted on paying for both, despite my protest.
“Fine,” I whined, “but now I have to make you dinner or take you out to pay you back!” I was feeling very flirty, and very tipsy. It had been a while since I last drank, and even then, I was a lightweight, and didn’t take much to get me completely drunk. When I offered dinner or taking him out, he winked at me, and flirted right back.
“Well, I guess that means we’re going to see each other again, huh?” I giggled at his response. “I sure hope we see each other again, but for now, you’re going on a walk with me, miss Di.” He smiled and grabbed my hand, keeping me near him so little tipsy me didn’t go wandering off anywhere. We wandered around together, hand in hand, for about an hour before I started getting tired and ready for bed. “Hey,” he whispered from behind me, “come stay with me tonight. I don’t want you to drive home like this, and I don’t want you leaving just yet.” The hairs on the back of my neck stood up, and I started to feel hot. Is he coming on to me? Do I want this?
“Are you coming on to me, mister?” I flirted. My words were starting to slur, and I couldn’t tell if it was because of the alcohol or because I was exhausted. It had been a long day, but I was totally down to spend the night with Nick, no matter what we did.
He laughed softly as he sat down on the park bench, pulling me on to his lap. “Only if that’s what you want, Di,” he whispered, “but if you don’t, I completely understand, and I’m okay with whatever.” He pulled my hand to his lips and kissed it softly. I nodded and pulled his face to mine, finally giving in to my instincts that screamed, Kiss him, you idiot! I surprised both of us; Nick’s body stiffened for a split second before giving in and wrapping his arms around my waist, pulling me closer to his warm body. I gasped as his lips brushed down my neck, just as a flashlight found us.
“Hey! You can’t do that here, there are rooms available across the street!” Nick and I both giggled and grabbed our things quickly, running hand in hand across the street to the hotel. When we got back to the room, we both flopped down on the bed, staring at the ceiling, trying to catch our breath in between fits of laughter. Nick then turned on his side to face me, propping himself up on his elbow. He smiled lazily at me, reaching for my hand. I laced my fingers with his, praying he couldn’t feel how hot my hands felt from his touch. I wriggled, moving closer to him, draping his arm across my stomach. This time, he closed the distance between us and kissed me gently, then relaxed and allowed me to curl up next to him. He reached over and turned off the lamp, and covered both of us with the soft, puffy blanket provided by the hotel.
“Hey, Di?” Nick whispered.
“Yeah?” I answered. I was waiting for him to roll on top of me again, but was surprised by his answer to me.
“I actually just want to sleep tonight,” he sighed, “I don’t want to be a one night stand for you, I’d like to take you out again for a real date.”
My eyes widened, and it was my turn to turn and face him, using a pillow to prop me up. “Are you serious? I thought this was only temporary for you, Nick,” I took a deep breath. His hand cupped my cheek gently, and he allowed silence to hang between us for a few minutes. As I sighed and flopped back down, Nick draped his arm across my stomach and pulled me close to him, allowing me to feel the bare skin on his warm chest.
“It was, Di. It really was, until I met you.” He paused. “But, like I told you before, I want to explore the city with you, except now it’s more than that. I want to travel the world with you, I want you to be able to follow your dreams of being an author and travel the world with me, too. Even if we just start as friends, but something in me is telling me not to let you get away. You’re one of the good ones, Di, and I can’t just let you go.” He kissed my forehead before turning over, leaving me alone with my thoughts for the next few hours.
When I woke up, Nick was gone. His things were all still there, but he was gone, with no note, no text, no voicemail. Startled, I jumped out of bed, slid my shoes on quickly and was fumbling for my keys and phone when he walked back in the door. He had two plates of breakfast, and two small bottles of orange juice. I breathed a sigh of relief, as he stopped when he saw I had my shoes on. “Where were you going? Trying to sneak out on me?” He joked. I laughed nervously as he set down the two plates at the small table and pulled out a chair for me. I sat down and when he sat across the table from me again, I felt better. My initial thought when I woke up was that he left, he had something to do and that I was overstaying my welcome.
“How did you sleep?” He asked politely, interrupting my mental babble. Relieved, I finished chewing the bite of eggs and gulped down some orange juice before replying.
“I slept well, thanks,” I didn’t look up from my plate. I felt my face grow hot again. I know he said he would start with being friends, just to be polite and not to freak me out, but the desperate part of me wanted him to just date me and take all of me. The complete truth was, something about him clicked for me too, and the thought of going back home without him already worried me, as I didn’t know when I would see him again.
“Are you okay, Diana?” Nick asked nervously. He reached across the table and rested his hand over mine, giving a gentle squeeze. “You look like you’re ready to bolt as soon as I turn around, and it’s okay, I understand. I did move things a little fast and-”
“Nick, I’m okay,” I smiled, and squeezed his hand back. Seeing his lazy smile creep back, I instantly felt much better. “I was actually just trying to calm down, I thought before you got back this morning with breakfast that you had actually bailed on me for the day.” I smiled again before taking a bite of my toast.
“So, about last night-”
“Nick,” I cut him off. I wanted him to know how I felt about it. “It’s okay. To be honest, something about you clicked with me too, but I don’t know what it is just yet.” I paused for a breath. “I’m glad you told me how you felt, because you didn’t scare me away, you actually attracted me to you more. I don’t want you to go either, Nick,” I pleaded, “But you know that I live in San Diego, right? Aren’t you living somewhere else?”
He sucked in a breath, never taking his eyes from mine. “Technically, I’m traveling for fun right now. My parents are from North Carolina, and that’s where most of my things are, but when you go back to San Diego-”
“Will you go with me?” I blurted before he could finish his sentence. His eyes widened as a smile took over his face. He stood up and picked me up, spinning me around in his arms, completely happy. He stopped and put me down, looking me in the eyes, hesitating before leaning down and kissing me gently. Nick’s kisses always ignited a fire in me, a fire I wanted to burn forever. Too soon, he ended the kiss and pulled me into his arms for a hug, resting his head on top of mine. He kissed my head one last time before locking himself in the bathroom for a shower.
I glanced down and noticed my phone was charging on the side table next to the bed. At least he remembers to charge a phone, I thought thankfully. It was put on silent, and when I looked at my missed notifications, I understood why. I had five texts and seven missed calls, one from Rachel, two from Dad, and four from Mom. I am in some deep shit, I scolded myself, even if I am moved out of the house, I never miss Mom’s calls without calling her back right away; she probably thinks I’m dead or abducted or something! Shit!
My stomach sank as I called Mom and the phone rang and rang. On the last ring, she finally answered, sounding worried instead of scolding me as I had expected. “Diana, baby, where are you?” She fretted. “You didn’t come home last night and never called anyone, we’re worried! Do you need a ride?” She babbled on about how I should at least call her if I’m going to stay out, if I need money for a cab or something, the list goes on. I completely zoned out when Nick walked out of the steamy bathroom in only a towel that wrapped around his waist, showing off his tanned chest and arms.
“Hey, Mom? I don’t need a ride home, but I’ll be home sometime this afternoon. I have to go, but I will call you if something changes, okay?” I felt myself flush as I turned away from Nick, so I wouldn’t be distracted again if Mom needed to talk about anything else. His warm hands rubbed my shoulders as I said goodbye and hung up the phone, until I squirmed and scooted back into him, purring like a kitten. His soft laugh was followed by cold air when he took his hands off of me and wandered back to the bathroom to change. I bounded off the bed and across the room, and launched myself into the bathroom with him before he could close the door. “You think you’re real smooth, huh?” I taunted, “Trying to get me excited while talking to my Mom? Nick, what the hell!” I laughed.
He threw back his head and laughed fully. “I wasn’t even trying, that was supposed to be relaxing, not exciting,” he smirked, “unless someone’s been easily excitable, that’s the only thing that makes sense in my mind!” He winked at me as I groaned and rolled my eyes. The truth is I was excited, he made me feel that way, and he definitely gives me butterflies. I just didn’t want to rest until we were completely together, past this flirtatious, teasing stage. I wanted to be with Nick, all the way, and in a real relationship. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a relationship that lasted and was worthwhile, not with some loser I brought home from the bar. My parents never met those guys, as most of them stayed in San Diego, and they would never, ever approve. But none of them were Nick. Sure, we met yesterday morning, but something about him, other than his alluring, stormy eyes, drew me to him. I stared at Nick’s face, down to his lips, and until he ran a finger over my lips, I didn’t realize I was biting it. “You know,” he growled lowly, “I’m having a hard time resisting you when you do this.” His eyes were locked on mine, strong.
“So don’t,” I whispered, “Don’t resist if you don’t want to.” His lips collided with mine at last, finally putting me out of my misery. His strong hands pushed me into him, lingering on the small of my back. I wrapped my arms around his neck tightly, and he picked me up and held me tight, so I wouldn’t fall. I raked my fingers through his blonde locks before balling my fists and hanging on. He carried me out of the steamy sauna of a bathroom and laid me on the bed, hovering over me as he brushed kisses down my neck. He paused to let out a cute giggle that clearly meant trouble.
“I meant what I said, Di. I’m not going to be a one night stand- or a one day stand guy for you,” he teased. “I’m gonna make it tough for you, you’ll be begging for me by the end of the week.” He smirked, cocky and victorious. Oh, it’s not over yet, boy… I laughed to myself.
“It’s okay, Nick, I understand,” I said sweetly, “But I hope you don’t think I’ll be the only one begging, if at all!” I giggled as I tugged on my tank top, pulling it over my head. This left me in only my short, black athletic shorts and a lacy black bra. His smirk faded, and I took note of his hungry gaze as I walked to the bathroom, swaying my hips the whole way. I leaned against the door frame, one hand on my hip. “You know, baby, it’s not too late to just take back the bet you just made, and make it a whole lot easier on yourself,” I cooed. He’s totally going to crack first, as long as I keep this up!
Nick shook himself out of the trance, and the smirk returned as quickly as it faded. “Oh, silly girl,” he sighed, “You’re gonna have to do better than that to get me to cave!” He called the last part after me as I shut the door to the bathroom, and lost myself in the hot water and steamy shower. The whole time, I thought about Nick and going back to San Diego at the end of this week, and then my thoughts wandered to what I would tell my parents, and how I was going to gush all of this to Rachel without being caught. Rachel would be easy to please, so long as I didn’t leave out any details, but there was one thing I refused to tell anyone until I knew for sure how well Nick and I would work out, and that was the fact that he was going to come back to San Diego with me, and stay with me. For how long? Who knows for sure. Maybe permanently, and it’s not like I would mind sharing a bed with him for a while anyway.
I quickly dressed and ran a brush through my hair, and was in the middle of braiding it when my phone rang again, and Rachel’s face popped up on the screen. “Hey, Rach, what’s-”
“If you don’t spill the beans about the super cutie in the picture with you on your phone, I just might die!” She gushed. “I’ve been dying to hear the news all night and you never came home! That doesn’t mean what I think it means does it?” She squealed. I immediately took her off speaker and shut myself in the bathroom again.
“Rachel, give me a chance to respond, please!” I urged. It took her maybe half of a second to settle down. “Perfect, thank you. I’m not going to discuss this on the phone but-”
“Oh, yes you are! Spill it right now!” She cut me off.
“Rachel!” I snapped. Quiet again. “Chill out, would you? I was going to tell you to come meet me at the hotel and we can grab lunch, and I’ll tell you everything.”
She squealed in excitement, and was at the hotel within ten minutes. As soon as I sat down in the car, she assaulted me with question after question, the one that was repeated, “Where is he now? Can I meet him?” Did I want her to meet him? I mean, she could at least know who I’m seeing and staying with so if I decide to introduce him to Mom and Dad, she can help me calm the storm. But, until we’re more settled into a relationship and cozy in my apartment across the country, I don’t want to introduce him to anyone I know, especially my San Diego friends… maybe Rachel meeting him couldn’t hurt…
“Are you a robot, or is my sister in there somewhere?” She waved her hands in front of my eyes, startling me and bringing me back from my long train of thought.
“Sorry, I was trying to think, and it’s impossible with someone chattering at me constantly so I had to learn to tune them out.. Sorry babe. Nothing personal, you know I love ya!” She frowned at me. I sighed, then launched into the story of how Nick and I met, and what had happened between last night and this morning. She held her hand up to stop me after I got to the part where we’re teasing each other, to see who can cave first.
“Okay, first of all, you have got some serious game and you have to teach me your ways. Second of all,” she took a breath, and blurted, “How in the hell have you not slept with him yet? He’s gorgeous and totally into you, Di!” I nodded, laughing at her comments.
“You’re too young to play this game yet, maybe when you’re older, squirt.” I squeezed her hand. “And second, I already told you why we haven’t slept together yet. Did you not hear the part how he doesn’t want to be a one night stand guy for me, and he’s going to wait?”
“Yeah, but Di. How is he going to wait when he’s here and you live a country away?” I didn’t even get a chance to start the lie I was going to tell, because she already knew. “Oh, no WAY!” She screamed. “He’s totally going to live with you at your bachelorette pad in San Diego! That’s so romantic, ohmygod! Aw, Di!” She continued to babble this way, sighing dreamily of when she had the chance to be romantic this way with the guy that was lucky enough, and patient enough, to be with my baby sister. I felt my face burn, bright pink, and she quieted down again so I could finally speak.
“Rach, this is important, I need you to promise me you’re not going to tell Mom and Dad,” I pleaded, “At least, not yet. There will be a day I bring him home to meet everyone, but so soon, I don’t want to do that.”
“What, and scare the poor guy away? Definitely not!” Rachel agreed, as I breathed a sigh of relief. I felt the tension melt and my muscles relax, as I had been more worried than I realized that Rachel had spilled the beans, or that my parents bribed her and got her to confess. At least I know she has my back, she’s always known I have hers.
I looked around and realized that Rachel had only made it to the last row of the parking lot before we started talking, and she parked the car so she could give me her undivided attention. I didn’t even realize my surroundings until just now, when I looked in the rearview mirror and saw Nick walking towards the car. “Ohmygod,” I whispered under my breath.
“Ohmygod, Di! He’s coming!” She grabbed my arm, shaking it until I responded. “Di, what are you gonna do? Are you gonna introduce us? Can we all go to lunch? Please, Di! Please!” She begged.
“Alright, fine!” I reluctantly agreed. “But after lunch I need to come back for my things and head home before Mom has a total freak out.”
“Deal!” She agreed quickly, as Nick approached my window, and Rachel rolled it down for us. “Well, hello there!” She smiled. I turned to face Nick, smiling at him, hoping I could get him to come along for lunch.
“I saw you climb in a car that stayed in the parking lot, and figured I would come check to make sure everything is alright,” Nick said through a smile. He reached around me, offering Rachel a handshake. “Hey there, I’m Nick. You must be?”
“Rachel,” she squeaked while dropping his hand like a hot potato. She shook off her nerves and continued, “So, Di and I were about to go out for lunch, and we were just thinking about how it would be so nice if you went with us!”
“You know, I think that sounds great. Wherever you lovely ladies had decided to go is perfectly fine with me!” Nick agreed, and climbed in the backseat.
“Diana, be a good sister and keep Nick company back there, would you?” Rachel whined at me. My cheeks flushed and burned hot again. It’s going to be so hard to resist him… I nodded slowly, and quickly jumped into the back door, sliding into the seat right behind Rachel, without giving him a second glance. I looked out the window, then down at my knees, when I felt Nick’s pinky curl around mine, the smallest, sweetest way of holding hands without being obvious. I blushed and smiled, looking over at him, as his smile mirrored mine.
Oh man.. I’m in big trouble now.
TO BE CONTINUED…