First, there was meeting his family, which actually went extremely well.
They had all met at a resteraunt in town, and everyone had gotten on very well.
Angel had actually met Elisa before, during Elisa’s college days. She had done a photshoot at the college Elisa attended, and Elisa was part of the group that was showing her around.
Bob, Nick’s father, was interested in Elisa’s career, and admired her for the job she did. He liked that Elisa had her own career, and didn’t expect to live off of Nick.
Even Jane was civil to Elisa, asking about her goals in life. Elisa let it be known and that she was content in her job now.
“What about marriage?” Jane asked.
“I don’t know, Ms. Jane. I’ve been engaged, and obviously, that didn’t work out. Marriage is something I’d like but I don’t know when.”
Elisa shook her head.
“Not possible with me, unless I adopt.”
Jane looked at her with apologies in her eyes.
“I’m so sorry. I won’t pry,” she said, much to Nick’s surprise.
All in all, her meeting his family was successful. Aaron liked her sense of humor, and even BJ admired the way she handled Nick when he and Aaron got too loud.
Bob took Nick aside after dinner.
“She’s a good woman, Nick. And if your mother can warm up to her, I’d say she’s worth keeping around.”
“I know, Dad.”
“I know shit’s been hard since we lost your sister. But I am proud of you, son. You’ve come a long way from where you started.”
Nick swallowed a lump in his throat as he hugged his dad.
“Marry that girl,” his dad said as he walked away.
Nick called Brian up a few days later.
“Hey, how did you know when it was time to ask Leighanne to marry you?” Nick asked him as soon as he answered.
“Well, hello to you, too, asshole. And please don’t tell me you’re going to propose, because even I have to draw a line somewhere.”
“Not right now, but the thought’s there,” Nick said
“Honestly? You’ll just…know. It’s not something you plan, or any of that. It’s one of those moments that spring up on you, and there’s no preparing for it.”
“So not now?”
“Hell no. If you have to ask, it’s not time yet. You haven’t even known her for a year.”
“True. Just my dad said ‘marry that girl’, and he hadn’t even said that about Maureen.”
“Oh we all know she’s the one for you, there’s no denying that. You just don’t want to ruin it by rushing stuff.”
“No problem. You still taking her to Georgia for her birthday?”
“Yep. I have the tickets already reserved.”
“Good. Stop on by when you’re here. We can celebrate our birthdays together, Elisa and me.”
“Yeah that sounds nice. We’ll do that.”
“Alright. Anything else?”
“Yeah, Valentine’s Day. What the hell do I do again?”
“Nick, you’re hopeless,” Brian said, exasperated.
On Valentine’s Day, Nick picked Elisa up at her house. She looked stunning in a deep blue low cut dress.
“So, I guess it’s pointless to ask where we’re going?” she asked.
“We’re going to Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant, The Fat Cow. We’ll take it from there,” Nick said, kissing her deeply.
An hour later, Nick showed up to the restaurant, which had photographers here and there.
“Nick! Is this your new girlfriend?”
“Are the rumors of you going on tour in Europe true?”
“When’s the next album coming out?”
Nick smiled at Elisa, who sighed and shrugged.
“It was bound to happen,” she said, smiling.
“Ready to give them a show?” he asked, raising an eyebrow.
Elisa nodded, and Nick kissed her lightly.
“Yes, this is my new girlfriend. I’m happy, she’s happy, and we’re enjoying our time together,” he told the reporters. He then escorted Elisa into the restaurant, where the host showed them to their table.
“Order whatever you want,” Nick said, after ordering two teas for them.
“Um, this is definitely not what I had in mind when I thought of a Gordon Ramsey restaurant,” she said happily as she ordered a steak. Nick ordered the same, and the food was out immediately.
“Oh my God, this is so good,” she said, taking a bite.
“Better than sex?” he asked, an evil sparkle in his eyes.
“Almost,” she said.
“We’ll see,” he said, giving her one of her favorite heated gazes, which made her melt inside.
After they ate, Nick drove on an ocean-side highway until he found a picnic area that was deserted. There was a full moon tonight, and the ocean was calm. Nick led Elisa to a bench that overlooked the sea.
“What would you say to a good old fashioned high school make out session?” he whispered in her head, stroking the back of her neck.
“I wouldn’t say no,” she said back, before his mouth captured hers.
Elisa lost herself in his kisses. He knew how to melt her insides with one look, but when his lips were on hers, her insides turned into mush. She loved what he did to her, and she wanted more. She always wanted more with him.
He broke the kiss with ragged breath.
“Let’s go home,” he said.
Elisa nodded, and he led her to the car.
All the way back to his house, she pondered his words. He didn’t say “let’s head to my place” or “my house”, he said “let’s go home”, as if it were her house too.
She didn’t know if Nick realized what he’d said, and she definitely wasn’t going to bring it up.
Nick pulled into his driveway and led Elisa inside.
“I love you,” he said, unzipping her dress slowly, feeling the skin that was revealed. Elisa unbuttoned his shirt and sighed, loving the way his muscles tensed under her touch.
Nick had a way of making every time they made love feel like the first time, and tonight was no different. He sat on his couch with her standing in front of him, feeling up her body as he undressed her. He pulled her down onto his lap and ran his long fingers down her back.
“I need to get a condom,” he whispered.
“No you don’t. I’m on birth control, you know, just in case, and I trust you,” she said, looking him in the eyes.
Nick raised an eyebrow as he gave her a sexy smile.
Nick groaned and pushed her panties to the side. Undoing his pants, he rammed into her, feeling her fully for the first time.
She rode him slowly, moaning as he hit all the right spots. He ran his hands across her hips and legs, and murmured her name as they reached their peaks together.
Elisa collapsed on top of him, out of breath. Nick held her close to him as he caught his own breath.
“That felt so good,” she whispered.
“Yeah, it did,” he said, stroking her back. Picking her up, he carried her to his bed, already ready for round 2.
Tonight was a switch. Now Elisa couldn’t sleep as Nick slept peacefully next to her.
Getting up, she took one of his hoodies and walked outside onto his patio. The sounds of the ocean were relaxing to her as she lost herself to her thoughts.
She couldn’t shake the comment Nick had said to her at the picnic area. It sparked something in her. She wanted to be here, she wanted to call this place her home.
Which was crazy! They’d only been dating a few months, and he was about to go away for two months. It was way too soon to be wanting this, yet, here she was, wanting it and wanting it badly.
Nick woke up to see that Elisa wasn’t in bed. He looked out the window and saw her sitting on the patio, with her knees up to her chest.
Throwing some sweats and a tank top on, he walked out to her.
“What’s on your mind?” he asked, sitting next to her.
“Too much,” she admitted.
“Well, tell me.”
“You made a comment at the beach earlier. Something I’m sure meant nothing but it’s been in my mind since you said it, and it’s driving me nuts.”
“Did I hurt your feelings by it?”
“No! Oh, no no no. It just sparked an idea and now it won’t leave me alone.”
“Well, what did I say?”
“You said ‘let’s go home’,” she said. “Not ‘let’s go to my house’.”
Nick chewed his lip as he thought.
“Damn. Talk about a Freudian slip,” he finally said.
“You know, when you say something you’re thinking without realizing what you’ve said.”
“So…what have you been thinking?”
Nick smiled, embarrassed.
“That I want to be with you for the rest of my life. Yet I’m wanting to take it slow, and not rush into anything.”
“This is your home, though. Whenever you want to stay here, my door is open. Home, to me, is wherever you’re at,” he said, touching her face tenderly.
“You mean that?” she asked him.
He nodded, and leaned over to kiss her.
“Is that all?” he asked her.
Nick took her hand.
“Then come back to bed with me, babe,” he said softly.
He led her back in and they both fell asleep peacefully.