Lunch went well, and was surprisingly fun. Rachel acted like her normal, bubbly self, and Nick sent warm smiles my way the whole afternoon. After lunch, Rachel brought me back to the hotel to quickly grab my bag, and say goodbye to Nick. I didn’t want to leave, in fact, I wanted to stay here instead of at home, and go home to bring my things back here until I went back to San Diego. I just wanted to spend time with Nick, and get to know him, his hobbies, and his habits. But my parents would freak out to the max if I stayed at a hotel for a week, instead of at their place, so I could save money.
I snuck out to see Nick, mostly during the night time, so we could walk around, get a drink, and torture each other some more. When we weren’t spending time together, we were always communicating by phone call or text message. I was scheduled to fly back to San Diego on a sunny, Saturday afternoon, and the night before, Nick texted me, saying he wanted to hang out in his room at the hotel on our last night in town. He excited me all the time, but this time, the excitement escalated further. Is he going to make things official? I pondered the thought. Or is he just calling me over to tease me some more? I’m so close to caving that if he teases me, I might not be able to stop myself. He’s so damn irresistible, and he knows it…
I smiled to myself as I read the message, quickly responding and then hugging my knees to my chest as I curled into the corner of the couch. Rachel looked at me and wriggled her eyebrows at me- she must have already known why I was smiling. My parents were reading the paper and watching the news, all of us just sitting together, spending time together before dinner. Mom made a wonderful Italian meal, and of course, was a little emotional. I held her hand and squeezed, sending my love through a smile and a simple gesture. She swiped at her eyes, and we all grabbed our silverware and dug in to our meals.
I took my time getting ready, and told my parents that I was going to meet up with a couple girls from high school for drinks, so they at least knew I was gone and so they wouldn’t panic again. “Just remember, baby-” Mom started.
“To call if I’m not coming home.” I finished her sentence, smiling. “Got it, Mama. Love you, I’ll call if anything changes.” I kissed her on the cheek quickly, and rushed out the door and driveway, speeding to the hotel. When I arrived, I smiled and waved at the front desk clerk, who gestured for me to come up to the desk.
“Are you Diana Malley?” He questioned. I nodded slowly, waiting for him to continue. He gulped nervously. “Miss Malley, I was instructed to tell you that Nicholas Smith is unavailable right now, and is not to be disturbed.” I squinted, confused.
“That’s impossible, he just texted me less than an hour ago and told me to meet him in his room.” The alarm in my gut was going off. What if I’m too early? Did I misread his message?
“I’m very sorry, Miss Malley, but I was just informed no more than five minutes ago.”
“You can call me Diana,” I replied shortly. He crossed his arms and took a step back from the desk. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to come off as rude, I’m just confused, I suppose. You’re not to blame. If that’s what Nick said, I can just go home-” I was interrupted by the shrill ring of the hotel phone. He looked to the phone and back at me. “Go ahead, I’ll wait in the lobby,” I said quietly. I turned and took a seat in the chair nearest to the door, in case I needed to leave quietly and without being noticed. I heard the familiar sound of Nick’s laughter, and when I looked up, I saw him laughing and smiling with another girl. She was beautiful and intimidating, with shiny, platinum hair, the perfect body and tan, and bright green eyes that stared through you. When I saw her, I realized that this is exactly why I sat by the door. Get out, get out now without being seen or heard! I screamed at myself.
I wasn’t very graceful or quiet as I stood and ran out the door. My heels clicked against the tile as I flailed through the revolving door, the front desk employee calling behind me. My eyes burned with tears and wetted my face as I ran towards the car. Good job, Di. Look what you’ve gotten yourself into this time. I called Rachel on the car speaker, sniffling and swiping furiously at my nose and eyes. The phone rang and rang, but she didn’t answer. “Shit!” I hollered, pounding the steering wheel. I pulled over into the parking lot of the swimming pool in my neighborhood and turned off the car, allowing myself to cry. When I finally thought I was done, my phone lit up and began ringing, and our picture together took up the screen. Bastard, I’ll show him what’s what around here!
I declined the call, and the next five that came in. He blasted my phone with text messages.
Where are you?
I’m waiting for you
Please call me
I deleted them all, ignoring them, and continued to decline his phone calls. A call from a random number popped up, and I ignored that one too. I’m not dumb, Nicholas, and I’m not going to fall for your shit any longer. I wiped up my eyes and my running mascara, and drove myself back home. My parents were in bed and the house was dark, indicating that the parents were fast asleep and Rachel had long ago snuck out. At least I can think, and not face anyone right now. The phone calls finally stopped, and I received one last text before caving in and calling him.
It’s not what it looks like!
I jabbed at his name in my phone, taking a deep breath. He answered on the first ring. “Jesus, Di, are you seriously giving up on me that easily?” He paused. I was stubborn, and was not going to speak a word until he explained what happened. “She’s a friend, Diana. We dated in the past and she heard I was in town, and wanted to come say hello before I left with you tomorrow.” He let uncomfortable silence hang between us, until finally, I was forced to break the silence.
“Forget it, Nick. I don’t want you to come back to San Diego with me,” I swallowed, willing the lump in my throat to disappear. “I know we’re on the same plane, but I don’t want you to come with me. Do what you will in San Diego, it’s just not going to be with me.”
“Are you kidding me, Nicholas?” I shrieked. He stopped, allowing me to scream at him. “She looks like she stepped out of a damn magazine, you two have history, and you didn’t want to be disturbed while she said hi to you? You’ve got to be fucking kidding me!” I stopped as my voice caught.
“I’m coming to get you. We need to talk about this in person, right now. You need to talk to me.” He pleaded.
“There’s nothing I have to say, Nick.” I replied coldly.
“Then listen, Diana!” He yelled. “Please, I want to see you. And if we’re not going to your home together anymore, I at least want to see you one last time.”
I wanted to see him, and under all of my pride, I wanted to hear what he had to say. There had to be an explanation, right? “I’ll text you the address.” I blurted quickly, ending the call. He picked me up within ten minutes, in a spacious, silver SUV that was rented for his time in my hometown. I crawled into the backseat, keeping my face down, absentmindedly scrolling through my phone. He said nothing as he pulled the car away, driving us back to the hotel. Neither of us spoke the entire drive there, and he didn’t turn on the radio either. We’re both insanely stubborn, and neither of us wanted to be the one to crack first. He sighed as he turned off the car, and jumped out quickly to hold the door open on my side. I nodded silently, refusing to meet his gaze. He shut the door and locked the car as I walked away, stalking behind me. All the way into the hotel, he was silent and furrowed his eyebrows, clearly thinking of something. He used the key to let us in, and once the door shut behind him, before I had a chance to sit down, his lips collided with mine roughly, him holding my waist.
I melted into him, remembering his familiar touch, desperately wanting to curl up into him and forget everything that happened in the past couple of hours. I pulled away from him and took one step back. “I’ll listen, Nick. I do owe you that.”
He took a deep breath before launching into his story. He sat down on the bed and patted the space next to him, and I sat quickly, crossing my legs, giving him my full attention. “Her name is Ashley,” he started, voice shaky. “She told me that she heard I was in town, and that she needed to come by and speak with me in private, and to make sure we weren’t disturbed. I knew exactly what she was up to, since she does this to me every single time, but this time, I have you. I told her we can’t do it anymore, that I’m seeing someone, and initially, she didn’t believe me.” He took a deep breath. “She was only here for a few minutes, but when I refused to do anything with her, she got upset and tried saying that she was pregnant with my child.” As I gasped, he held up his hand, signaling that he wasn’t done talking. “It was impossible that she was having my child, as we haven’t been intimate together for a while now, and if she were truly pregnant, she would be about ready to give birth, or have the child with her. She lied, and when I told her that if she’s pregnant that it isn’t mine, she laughed at me, when I escorted her out. That’s when she must have seen you, because she grew flirty and touchy; it grossed me out. I wanted nothing to do with her, and I still don’t, because I have someone way better.” He sighed again, meeting my gaze. “That is, if you’ll still have me.”
Without speaking, I crawled into his lap, and kissed him deeply. He smiled through our kiss, and pulled me closer to him. He deepened the kiss, brushing my hair back from my neck, then kissing softly from my lips down to my collarbone. He kissed so lightly, he caused me to shiver and curl up into him even more. Nick turned us around and let me lay back on the bed as he shifted on top of me. He brushed some loose hairs behind my ear, our eyes locked. “Of course I’ll still have you,” I whispered, “After how well things have gone, seeing you with her made me jealous and think that I had lost something great, and that’s why it hurt so much.” He nodded and looked down, before meeting my eyes again.
“As long as you’ll have me, I’ll stay,” he agreed, “Be with me, Diana. I’ve never felt so intensely about someone until I met you, and I don’t want this feeling to go away.” He kissed me softly. “Truly be with me, all of me.”
I nodded and pulled his lips into mine again, wrapping my hands around his neck, pulling him all the way in to me. I rubbed my hands on his back, feeling his soft skin, working my way to his stomach, then his chest. He shivered with desire as I worked my hands around to his stomach, rubbing under his shirt. Nick sat up and pulled his shirt off, then worked on tugging mine off as well. He leaned down and kissed me softly again. “Is this okay with you?” He whispered as his forehead rested against mine. I nodded, allowing him to take control, and allowing him to make love to me for the first time.
He held me the entire night, closer than he had before. Nick’s strong arms felt safe and warm, and he fell asleep quickly as he held me. I was so insanely happy, I was unable to fall asleep. At first, he was spooning me, but I turned over to face him, so I was able to watch him sleep before I finally felt my heavy lids give in to exhaustion. I was glad I had sent my mom a text before going to the hotel again with Nick, because I fell asleep so quickly that the next morning, I half expected my phone to be full of missed calls and texts, but I found that I only had two. One was a good morning text from Mom, saying she made breakfast and to be home soon so I can get packed and to the airport on time. The second was from Rachel.
Get it, girl! Xoxo
I giggled when I saw it, trying not to wake the sleeping bear in bed next to me. He groaned and tightened his grip before kissing me on the cheek. “Good morning, beautiful,” he sighed happily. He was still definitely sleepy, but he also didn’t have nearly as much to do as I did. I didn’t want to do it, but I was going to have to sneak out and get home quickly, so I would hopefully make the flight. His eyes fluttered back open, looking at the clock, then at me, his tired, lazy smile making his way back to his face. I leaned in and kissed him.
“Nick, I need to get going, my parents are expecting me back home and-”
“It’s okay, Di. Give me five minutes to get up and dressed, and we can go.” He smiled back at me as he threw the covers off and stumbled to the bathroom. I threw on my clothes and ran a brush through my hair, trying to make sure I didn’t look guilty or like I was glowing. As soon as my parents saw the glow, they would know something happened, and I was totally past the stage about getting a safe sex talk. As I looked at myself in the mirror one last time, Nick appeared behind me, resting his hands on my shoulders and giving a gentle squeeze. “I can’t wait to go home with you again tonight, Miss Malley,” he drawled. “But for now, I have to meet your parents, don’t I?”
I felt awful, but my eyes widened and I went pale. “Oh, no, it’s okay,” I blurted, “You can meet them in another few months.” He looked disappointed and confused.
“I met Rachel the other day, which is your sister, right?” He paused. “If I’ve met your sister, is there a reason I shouldn’t also meet your parents? Even if you say we’re just friends?” He sounded hurt. I turned and faced him, resting my hands on his shoulders.
“Nick, it’s not about you, I promise,” I urged, “I want us to be together for a long time before bringing you back home. Besides, they will definitely know what happened here, and a couple of Southern parents give a terrifying safe sex speech.” I shuddered. “If it makes you feel any better, the last guy I brought home was when I was only fifteen, and the rest of them have been awful. And that guy didn’t last more than a week, and I want the next guy, mostly you, and I to be together for a lot longer. And I want us to be happy.” Nick’s trademark grin creeped back to his lips before pulling me in for a hug.
“I’m so glad to hear that, Di. Plus, thank you for saving me from the sex speech,” he chuckled, “My dad’s speech scarred me for the rest of my teenage years!” He laughed loudly, and grinned his full fledged smile. “What’s going on in that mind of yours, Miss Malley?” He mimicked a Southern accent again.
“Well, Mister Smith, I will say that if you keep up that sexy accent of yours, we’re gonna be in some big, nasty trouble here,” I drawled, giggling. He wriggled his eyebrows at me, then kissed me deeply. “I wish we could get into some more trouble, but I think we’ve had enough memories in this hotel,” I smiled. “I think we need to make some of our own memories in our own place, don’t you think?”
Nick beamed down at me, then laced his fingers through mine, nodding in agreement. We left the hotel behind, and he drove me home. He stayed out on the street until I was in the door, and waved, making sure I made it inside alright. I turned around and there stood my parents and my sister, all with knowing smirks and grins on their faces. “What, didn’t want to bring the guy in to meet your Pops?” My dad joked, as the three of them laughed. I felt my face burning hot pink again as I laughed with them.
“I mean, I could always call him back here, if that’s okay with you?”
“Of course it is, baby,” my mom reassured me, “If he makes you happy, as happy as the glow around you now, he’s already part of the family. He just needs to come inside and make it official!” My mom squeezed my arm lovingly, smiling. I bounded out the door and to the sidewalk, and sure enough, he was still sitting out there in the rental car. I walked up to the passenger’s side window, and knocked daintily.
“What’s up, sugar? You need a ride?” Nick smiled as he joked with me.
“No thanks, Mister, I have a man,” I giggled, “I have a man that needs to come inside to meet my Mama and Pops!” He smiled, eyes wide and surprised, but happy nonetheless. He immediately shut off the car and locked it, and laced his fingers through mine as I led him up the sidewalk to the front door.