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Chapter 45 – An Unexpected Gift

When Cheyanne heard the commotion in the living room following the sound of a car parking and Moth’s flying leap off the bed, she couldn’t force herself to go back to sleep. She knew Jeff wouldn’t be around for several hours and Billy hadn’t managed the courage to even call since his drunken semi-fling with Austin. With those two eliminated, she could only assume that it was her fiancÚ at the door. She felt her heart flutter with excitement as she crawled out of bed, grasping her swollen abdomen as she hurried to the living room. It would have been just like when she arrived in Florida. He had told her there was a good possibility that he wouldn’t be able to pick her up, yet he had been there with open arms. He just liked to tease her as much as he loved to surprise her. He had just been avoiding her since Florida to make this arrival more passionate than ever. And she had missed him so terribly that she couldn’t wait as she saw Kevin and Austin standing in the doorway. “Is he here? My Tea is here, right? Telling me he had some silly luncheon when he knows he wants to be here with me--”

"What the Hell are you doing here?!" Austin erupted.

“Austin Leigh! Don’t be so mean! Just be happy that he came…. I missed him!” Cheyanne breathed in disbelief as Austin launched herself and Kevin outside. Picking up her pace, Cheyanne immediately followed suit, thinking that Austin was going to clobber her fiancÚ. Though, she was flabbergasted to find Nick on the porch steps with his bags, grinning gregariously. Only, whatever color had managed to spring to Cheyanne’s cheeks immediately drained and she felt sick. Almost as if she had been crushed under God’s foot. “Nicky?”

"You missed me?" Nick asked hopefully, his grin fading at Cheyanne's crestfallen expression. Kevin and Austin were glaring at him as though he'd just announced his intention of leaving the group and striking up a duo with Aaron or something. In truth, Moth seemed to be the only one remotely happy to see him, dancing around his ankles in hopes of being scooped up. Looking from face to face, he cleared his throat, uncomfortable. "Did I come at a bad time?"

Cheyanne attempted to clear the thump in her throat, swallowing hard on a painful sob that threatened to break. All her hope for Howie actually wanting to spend time with her had disintegrated in one hard blow, leaving her with nothing but a large hole in her heart. But, the look on Nick’s face caused her to force a pleased smile. She carefully stepped down to wrap her arms around his neck. “’Course I missed you, Nicky… I just didn’t think you were coming.”

"So you don't mind if I stay for a few days?" Nick questioned softly, holding her close. "I mean, I know someone's been a jackass, so I thought maybe I could cheer you up," he whispered in her ear, aware of Austin and Kevin continuing to glare at him.

“I’d really like it if you stayed,” Cheyanne agreed, tucking her chin against his shoulder as she rubbed her face with the back of her hand, suppressing a sniffle. She couldn’t believe that he had flown all the way to North Carolina just to cheer her up. She knew Austin would believe he had an ulterior motive, but he sounded so genuine. So Cheyanne gave him a light squeeze before pulling away.

"So… Where do I put my stuff?"

If looks could kill, Nick would have dropped dead simply from glancing at Austin. Arms folded tightly over her chest, she pursed her lips into a fine line, turning on her heel and stomping back into the house. "In here, Boobah," she ground out.

“Thanks Austin,” Nick complied with a hint of manners, smiling toward Cheyanne as he let her go in first, Moth staying at his heels in order to familiarize himself with the new man’s scent. He then stepped inside the cozy home, whistling at all the pictures of the girls displayed neatly on the walls. He inhaled the soft scent of lingering vanilla, immediately flashing another smile toward Austin and Cheyanne. “This place is really beautiful. It’s definitely D’s loss if he just wants to mope around alone at his house. I have no problem taking his place.”

“Nicky… Howie’s going to a luncheon during the break for his foundation,” Cheyanne corrected softly as Austin pulled Kevin toward her to whisper harshly into his ear.

"A luncheon? Foundation? What the Hell?" Nick made a face of complete disbelief. "He told me this morning that he was going down to Florida to just chill…"

“To chill…” Cheyanne repeated in confusion, wrinkling her nose with distaste. She immediately shook her head to disregard Nick’s comment, turning toward Kevin for confirmation. Though, the seriousness of the men’s faces caused her heart to crack as her breath quickened. “Kevvy, tell him that Howie’s working on the Lupus Foundation this weekend… That’s why he couldn’t come see me. He wanted to see me, but he had to get stuff for the cruise outlined…”

"That no good lying pissfucker," Austin spat furiously, gripping Kevin's arm tightly. "I am going to kill him."

"Princess--" Kevin began, cutting off immediately when Austin's nails dug into his skin.

"You mean he lied to you?" Nick asked Cheyanne, touching her arm gently. "Chey, Sweetheart--"

“Please don’t touch me,” Cheyanne commanded softly, wrenching away from Nick’s touch. She shook her head furiously as the others tried to speak to her. But she didn’t want to hear it. She felt violently ill at the very suggestion that Howie had lied. The engagement ring felt cheap on her finger as Howie’s meaningless words washed over her mind. She just didn’t understand why. Why he had merely gone home instead of coming to visit with her.
She wondered if he had someone else at home. Someone who wasn’t desolately pregnant. And that thought made her gag. Cupping a hand over her mouth, she choked back a sob, not wanting to break down in front of company. “I need to use the restroom… Excuse me…”

Nick started after her. "Chey--"

"Don't you think you've caused enough problems?" Austin hissed hatefully as she followed Cheyanne down the hall. She should have known Nick would cause nothing but trouble. Howie as well. She knew she should never have let Cheyanne fall for the sweet, sensitive man that had all but bewitched her at the campground. "Chey-Chey," she called softly, wincing when the bathroom door slammed in her face. "Baby girl… C'mon… Talk to me."

“I’d like to take a piss in peace,” Cheyanne called from the confines of the bathroom, locking the door for privacy. Her voice was strangled with pain, which was obvious despite the muffled nature of the thick wooden door. And, then everyone heard the sobs finally breaking. Raw and painful.

“Why’d you come here? Just to fuck with Angel?” Kevin growled toward Nick, pushing him somewhat sharply against the shoulder to emphasis his point, watching Austin slump against the door in attempts to coax Cheyanne out, who refused to speak. “Because if you did, you succeeded! And if I have to drive that little girl to the hospital to deliver her child tonight, you better pray that the ambulance can get here in record speed to pick up your bloody body.”

"No! Honest, Kev, I came here to cheer her up!" Nick cried, backing away. He felt a tremor of fear, knowing that Kevin wouldn't think twice about fulfilling his promise. "I had no idea she'd take it so bad. Besides, how the fuck was I supposed to know that the troll lied to her?!" Feeling the sofa against the backs of his legs, he cleared his throat, meeting the older man in the eye. "I take it by the look on your face when I laid all his shit to bear that you already knew?"

“You’re such a smartass,” Kevin snarled, scratching his head furiously with both hands as if it would stimulate a brilliant idea. “But I wasn’t planning on telling her unless she asked. Not blurting it out like you seem to do with every private conversation you ever get hold of. ‘Cause I knew it’d send her right into fucking labor…”

"And keeping the truth from her wouldn't?!" Nick cried, eyes wide. Almost immediately, he was falling back against the couch, doing a lopsided somersault onto the floor from the force of Kevin's fist. Groaning painfully, he struggled to sit up, rubbing his neck. "Jesus Christ, I nearly broke my neck…"

“Call the airport and get a flight back to Florida, immediately,” Kevin seethed with disgust, resisting the urge to lay a foot inside Nick’s gut while he was on the floor. Instead, he turned to go back the hallway, gingerly pulling the frantic Austin into his arms. She was pleading with Cheyanne to open the door, tears of anger and fear cross his red cheeks. Sighing, Kevin pressed several kisses to the top of his lover’s head. “Princess, she’ll be okay in there… Let’s go get some air…”

Nick intelligently flopped back to the floor when he heard Austin's muttered expletives, glancing up to see Kevin half leading, half dragging her outside. His neck throbbed with each beat of his heart, and when he heard the muffled sobs of Cheyanne, he found the strength to pull himself to his feet. Having been the bearer of such bad news, he knew he had to right things… Somehow. Wincing with each step down the hall, he paused at the bathroom door. "Chey," he called, tapping gently.

She didn’t answer him, not that he actually expected she would. In fact, at the sound of his voice, a harder sob broke through a muffled series of unidentifiable noises. He couldn’t even imagine what she was doing inside, but it worried him. Especially as the sobs grew softer, almost as if she was strangling herself.

Looking around helplessly, Nick stuffed one hand into his pocket, digging around uselessly. Pulling out a pen, he looked at it for a few seconds, trying to remember when he had put a pen in his pocket… Shrugging, he hurriedly shook the doorknob, twisting the outside button of the lock with the pen. "Come on, you no-good piece of second-rate shit," he muttered, wanting to shout with relief when the knob twisted easily in his hand, the door swinging open before him. Peering in, he saw Cheyanne curled on the floor before the toilet, her head resting against the closed seat. "Chey?"

The sound of Nick’s voice, no matter how soft he had tried to make it, startled the younger woman greatly. She had never expected the door to be opened without her permission, causing her heart to leap into her chest. Gasping, she fell back in shock, knocking her head against the cabinet of the sink. It seemed to echo in the somewhat larger bathroom, causing Nick to wince. She immediately cursed sharply with pain, ducking her head to clasp both hands where it was throbbing. But it didn’t stop her soft sobs as she shook her head to rid the pain. “Nicky, I want to be left alone.”

"You're hurting," Nick pointed out, already on his knees beside her. "Let me see," he murmured, reaching to pull her hands away from her head.

“I’m not lucky enough to get a concussion,” Cheyanne sniffled, though she complied with Nick’s movements. Meekly, she rested her hands in her lap as Nick tilted her head forward, undoing her pigtail braids in order to look at her scalp.

"I totally fucked this trip up," Nick muttered, easing his fingers through her soft hair to check for swelling. "I was supposed to come and make you feel better and what happens? You're lying in a heap on the bathroom door trying to bang your brains out…"

“I ain’t trying to bang my brains out,” Cheyanne muttered like a stubborn child, swallowing the tears that were starting to form into squeaky hiccups. “If anything, I’d rather take you to my bedroom and bang your brains out…”

Nick's fingers stilled their gentle movements, his eyes widening slightly at her statement. Clearing the lump from his throat, he let his lips slide into a teasing smirk. "Is that an invitation?"

“Damn near close,” Cheyanne promised with a soft laugh that cut with a sharp hiccup, causing Nick to chuckle. Relaxing, she finally allowed her eyes to open, immediately noticing a few drops of blood staining the creamy peach flesh of her thigh. Furrowing her brows in confusion, she tilted her head upward to notice the gash in Nick’s lip and she gasped, leaning to see the large bruise starting the streak across his jaw line with a bit of swelling. “My God, what happened, Nicky?”

"Oh, that. Nothing," Nick explained with a shrug, running his fingers through her golden curls. "Some pissfuck decided to use me as a punching bag, simply because he didn't have the nuts to tell you that Howie was lying…"

“I… I don’t want to talk about that,” Cheyanne answered, cupping Nick’s face in her hands to examine the damage. She immediately bit down on her bottom lip as he winced, shaking her head in disbelief. Fumbling slightly to stand, she reached to grasp Nick’s hands after locating her intricate first aid kit. “C’mon, I have to take care of you.”

"So… You're taking me to your bedroom?" he questioned hopefully, letting her lead him down the hallway. "I don't want Austin to come in and chase me around the chicken coop with a gun… Not that I even saw a chicken coop… Or a gun… Yet. Why are you looking at me like I'm the world's biggest idiot?"

“Because I don’t understand what y’all’s morbid fascination is with this chicken coop and a gun…” Cheyanne sighed with bewilderment, motioning for Nick to sit at the kitchen table. Setting the first aid kit down, she moved to the freezer to get out an ice pack and fished in the drawer for a cloth. Wrapping it, she moved to sit beside Nick, angling her chair so she was close and facing him. She pushed away all her hurt from Howie, burying it deep as she fished around in her perfectly aligned and coordinated first aid kit, pulling out the necessary items to clean Nick’s lip. Working on making Nick felt better made her feel better in turn, even as she tried to hide her hiccups, blushing faintly as each surfaced with a loud squeak.

"Y'know… Even though it kills me to see you crying, you're awfully cute when you get the hiccups," Nick observed, shrinking back when she moved to place something on his lip. "Is that gonna burn?"

“If I tell you it’s gonna burn, then you ain’t gonna let me use it. But, if I tell you it ain’t gonna burn, then you’re still going to think it’s burning psychologically. So, let me do it right quick,” Cheyanne announced after another hiccup, her accent thickening as Nick glanced at her skeptically. She innocently shrugged her shoulders, dapping the soaked cotton ball onto his bottom lip. Though, Nick looked as if she had poked him with a hot iron, almost leaping out of his seat with a startled scream of pain. Wincing, Cheyanne caught his face in her hands, immediately standing so she could blow softly against his bottom lip to soothe the pain.

"It hurts it hurts it hurts it hurts," Nick moaned, gripping the edge of the table tightly, even as the touch of her fingers and the nearness of her body made him long to touch her.

Cheyanne smiled softly at Nick’s prolonged mantra of pain, finding it adorable the way he squeezed his eyes shut and wrinkled his forehead and nose in spite. He acted as if she were actually killing him, though the medicine was tucked away and she was still blowing cold air against his bottom lip. And she continued to do so till he slowly relaxed, unclenching his hands from the table. She waited for his eyes to flutter open, revealing the darkest ocean waters, and she smiled. “You are such a big baby, Nicky.”

"It still hurts," he pouted, gazing up at her, his eyes pleading. "Make it stop hurting, Sweetheart?"

“How am I supposed to make it stop hurting?” Cheyanne questioned softly, reaching for the ice pack to make sure it was securely wrapped before gingerly applying it to his jaw. She held it there for him, still maintaining a soft smile of encouragement.

"Maybe a little kiss?"

“Wouldn’t that hurt it worse?”

"I know you'll be gentle…"

“I think you might have too much faith in me,” Cheyanne sighed, grasping his hand to make him hold the ice pack. She looked as if she were just going to leave him for a moment, but instead she stooped. Without rationalizing her actions, she pressed her lips to his bottom lip. It was a soft, sweet, and gentle kiss, her long eyelashes even fluttering against his face to give his heart a race.

Moaning softly, Nick dropped the ice pack before placing his hands on her hips. He tried to hold her close as she lifted her head. "Whoa," he whispered, lightheaded from all the sensations running through him. Flicking his tongue over his tingling lip, he winced slightly.

“Are you okay?” Cheyanne instantly questioned, gently resting a hand against his forehead to tilt his head back. She examined his pupils in the light, assuming his reactions were because of some unnoticed brain injury. Her forehead wrinkled slightly with worry as she looked him over, rubbing his forehead with her thumb. “Nicky?”

Knowing Howie would kill him if word of this ever slipped out, not to mention Austin and Kevin's possible reactions, Nick's lips slanted into a small smile, his long fingers gently rubbing the bit of exposed skin between her tank top and the jean shorts she wore. "It still hurts… D'ya think you could give it just one more kiss?" he requested softly, sucking in a breath when she stepped closer.

“You’re going to get us in trouble,” she warned softly. A coy smile graced her lips as she leaned down to kiss him once more. What was the harm? It wasn’t as if Howie cared to entice her. He had long forgotten about her touches and kisses. She just wanted some kind of affection. Just to make her feel wanted again. And she was nursing Nick’s hurts. No doubt his lip was painful and it was a small request. Only, this kiss was slower and more concentrated. For a moment she brought his lip into her mouth for another tender kiss, releasing him so their lips were just inches apart. He tasted different than Howie. A citrus splash compared to Howie’s spicy cinnamon.

"Me? I'm a complete innocent," Nick whispered, breathless from her gentle ministrations. "But… Sweetheart, I think we did it wrong."

"Wrong?" Cheyanne questioned in confusion, arching one brow.

"Yeah…" Keeping his hold on her hips, Nick stood, his eyes never leaving hers as she stepped back. Staring up at him with wide-eyed innocence. Reckless, not caring that Kevin and Austin could burst in at any second, he brought one hand to her cheek for a gentle caress, his thumb brushing the lightly flushed skin. He felt a swell of pride, knowing he was the one who had brought it about. "There's more to a kiss than just lips to lips, Sweetheart," he murmured softly, wondering why his fingers trembled at her soft gasp.

“I don’t understand,” Cheyanne answered in mystification, shivering at the hold he had on her. She could feel the warmth of his fingers against the skin of her hip, not to mention the tickling sensation his thumb provided against her cheek. Whatever portion of her head that throbbed from hitting the cabinet was long gone. Instead, she was mesmerized by the darkness of his deep blue eyes and the way he pursued her. Even if she had willed herself to move, she couldn’t.

Howie must have been a fool, Nick decided, letting his hand fall to her throat, his fingers lightly stroking the soft skin. Lowering his head, he pressed the softest of kisses to her forehead, drawing in a deep breath when her hands landed on his chest. The curve of her stomach pressing against him, he let his lips trail to her temple, pushing her hair aside so he could whisper in her ear. "There is a certain line one follows when it comes to a kiss. Forehead, temple… Cheek… Jaw line… Curve of neck…" As he named the places, Nick placed soft kisses to each, his lips a mere flutter against her sweet skin. His hands moved to cup her face, holding his head back so he could look into her eyes. "Then, after each place has been kissed, one can move to the lips…"

“Is this what you had in mind from the start when you wanted to come cheer me up?” Cheyanne mused, biting down on her bottom lip with a flitter of nervousness. She wasn’t entirely sure as to what she was getting herself into, but knew she couldn’t pull away. He was offering what she needed – comfort and security. So many nights she lay awake, terrified as the cramping consumed her. And the whisper of kisses he provided, calmed her considerably. The hiccups vanished. Olivia lulled into slumber. Just him and his beautiful blue eyes.

"No… Not exactly," Nick whispered, leaning closer until he could feel the warmth of her breath against his lips. "But, if this is working…" Sweeping his lips over hers in the barest of kisses, he felt her tremble; saw her eyelids close. "No… Please, keep your eyes open, Sweetheart. That makes it all the better," he assured her, his tongue darting over his lips. He could taste her lip gloss still, and longed to taste more.

“Y’know… We shouldn’t…” Cheyanne could hardly form the proper sentence as she kept her dark sapphire eyes locked with his. She could practically inhale his essence from the closeness of their bodies, drinking him in completely. Everything seemed to come rushing back from New York. The way his finger traced to her inner thigh, his pleading with her to continue nursing his knee before…

"I'll stop if you want me to," Nick murmured. His body tingled at each place her body touched, craving more. But he couldn't… Despite his desire for her, he knew he couldn't force her to do something she wasn't ready for. Especially with the blatant emblem of Howie's hold on her twinkling in the sunlight that shone through the open window. Slowly, he slid one hand along her arm, twining his fingers with hers. Heart racing, he brought his lips down over hers, unable to resist any longer the sweet temptation before him. Making sure to keep eye contact with her, he eased his arm around her waist, drawing her body closer to his, hoping she wouldn't stop him.

Cheyanne was blown away by the softness of Nick’s lips against hers. She didn’t know what she had first expected, considering how drastically he had changed as their friendship bloomed. But she loved the way he coaxed her into kissing back with just the edges of his lips turning upward into a pleased smile. With Howie she had always been made to initiate the kisses and sometimes it felt good to know that someone wanted to just kiss her instead. They were just so different. Howie always moving to find her lips first, affectionately teasing her and loving her. And Nick was so reckless and exciting, his kisses filled with a hungry passion she couldn’t even begin to analyze. She had to shiver again when she realized how close he kept her body close as he watched her reactions. His dark ocean eyes were lit brilliantly with the golden sun, illuminating his handsomeness as her heart actually fluttered. He had caught her at such a weak moment and now she wasn’t sure she wanted to let go.

"Chey," Nick moaned softly into her mouth, his tongue teasing the tip of hers. "I--"

"I swear to God, if he doesn't shape up, he'll be out on his fat ass quicker than you can spit!" Austin exclaimed from the front porch, causing Cheyanne to tense immediately in Nick's arms.

Feeling as though ice water had been dumped into his veins, Nick let her go, his head spinning, knees weak from her soft return of his kiss. Their eyes locked for one long, impregnable moment before she hurried down the hallway, her bedroom door shutting softly just as the front door flew open. Tensing himself for the battle from Hell, Nick sank into the kitchen chair, stooping to retrieve the ice pack with shaky hands.

What the fuck was he going to do now?



Austin glanced up from her concentrated knitting with a smirk as she watched Nick shrieking with disbelief at Cheyanne’s tactics of playing Nascar Thunder 2005. Instead of running the track forward, she turned her car around, racing backward in order to crash and wreck Nick’s car. He was less than thrilled with the proposition, attempting to reach for Cheyanne’s controller to turn her around. She was curled on their large recliner with Nick at her feet and it would have been easy to just yank the controller away. But, he continued to let her keep her controller away with a feisty giggle of delight, her coy smile seeming to light the room. It was the first time she had smiled since coming back from Florida and Howie had shattered her heart. Austin was just surprised to find that Nick was the one illuminating the smiles. Something about him had charmed Cheyanne into pleasantness. She was so happy. And it seemed hard for Austin to stay mad at him when he was bringing Cheyanne such joy. Kevin seemed to agree as he rested his head in Austin’s lap, unable to read his novel because he was mesmerized by her and amused by Cheyanne’s giggles as Nick continued to whine.

“That’s what you get for driving Jeff Gordon’s car!” Cheyanne mocked sweetly, reaching down to press some of his buttons in order to make him crash again.

"DAMNIT, SWEETHEART! My pit crew sucks ass at repairing damage!" Nick cried, leaning his head back to show her a playful pout. Holding his controller out of reach, he reached over, lightly tickling behind her knee. He felt so at ease with her, loved making her giggle and smile. It had been a pleasant surprise when, shortly after Austin and Kevin's untimely reentry, she had appeared from her bedroom, all smiles and soft giggles. He'd expected her to avoid him as though he had an incurable deadly disease, but she'd asked him if she could play a game with him, explaining she knew he had his system with him. Now, surrounded by their favorite snacks, he was enjoying himself immensely.

“Actually, they suck Gordon’s--”

“Cheyanne Grace!” Kevin and Austin barked loudly.

"What?" Cheyanne feigned innocence with a coy smile.

"Dude, Kev… Just 'cause Gordon's your favorite driver doesn't mean you can’t--HOLY HELL YOU JUST WRECKED ME IN THE PITS! THIS IS WAR!"

Cheyanne squeaked with surprise as Nick clenched his controller, furiously hitting buttons to revive his player. Knowing he was determined to get her back, she straightened her posture, whirling her car in the correct direction. Poking her tongue out the corner of her mouth, she grinned with excitement as she accelerated down the track. “Gotta catch me first!”

"You little…" Nick trailed into a low grumble, eyes never leaving the screen as he concentrated on bettering her.

"Is he always this obsessive over his games?" Austin asked Kevin softly, reaching to rub his chest softly before returning to her knitting. She absolutely had to finish the blanket for Olivia, and soon. She was planning on starting scarves for Christmas presents, had already bought the yarn for them, just needed to find the time to get to work on them. Concentrating on the intricate stitches of the row, she became aware of Kevin's voice. Remembering she had asked a question, she jerked her head up. "What?"

“You are something else,” Kevin chuckled, turning so he could deliver a kiss to her stomach, knowing he’d probably be smacked for disturbing her knitting needles. Not that he minded that she was only acutely aware of her knitting at nothing else. In fact, he was perfectly at peace just laying his head in her lap, watching Nick and Cheyanne bicker playfully back and forth as she wrecked him several more times. If he closed his eyes, he could actually see Nick and Cheyanne as their children, huddled in the living room for a relaxing evening. His wife knitting… It was a beautiful image.

"Yeah, I know," Austin murmured distractedly, startled at Nick's sudden outburst over Cheyanne causing his car to flip. Glancing up, she saw the pleased gleam in her friend's eyes, the delicate flush to her cheeks that had been missing for so long. Nick seemed to make her so happy. He brought out her silly side, she realized as Cheyanne snatched the bag of Cheetos from Nick's hand, claiming Olivia wanted a snack. And Moth… Despite his general distaste for all males that he had come into contact, he was positively smitten with Nick. Stretched out at his side, his head resting against the man's leg with what could only be called a satisfied expression. "I'm glad he showed up," she whispered, setting aside her needles and yarn to devote her attention to Kevin.

“Wait…” Kevin gasped sharply, clasping his hands over his chest. “My heart… I think it’s stopped…”

"Oh, please," Austin scoffed, rolling her eyes dramatically. "Want some mouth-to-mouth?"

Kevin’s handsome face lit with pleasure as he reached up to clasp her face within his hands, releasing a loud whistle that startled Moth. “Now that’s what I’m talking about!”

“Mouth to mouth ain’t gonna do nothing for a stopped heart,” Cheyanne answered with an air of medical professionalism, though that instantly turned into a shriek of laughter when she crashed Nick before crossing the finish line for victory. “I got up under you! Got you loose! And put you into a wall!” Only, Nick wasn’t so happy as he grasped the Cheeto’s bag, flinging it at Kevin and Austin. And, before Cheyanne could make heads or tails of the situation, Nick was playfully tossing her to the floor for torture, though he was so delicate that she barely felt the fall. “Nicky! Wait! I was teasing!”

"You cheated!"

"Nuh uh!"

"Uh huh!" Straddling Cheyanne's legs in order to hold her to the floor, Nick propped his hands on either side of her head, giving her a grin that had been known to melt a few hearts. "You put your foot on my neck and tickled me with your toes to distract me!" Though he knew damn well it had just been the sensation of her skin against his. And having her lying beneath him, sapphire eyes twinkling with merriment, near breathless from laughter, was causing even more distractions. "What am I going to do with you?" he whispered.

“Can’t do much with me while I’m overly pregnant,” Cheyanne quipped with a cherubic smile, her cheeks flushed from the small amount of exertion. But she looked as if she wouldn’t rather be anywhere else but underneath his hold, coyly tugging on his t-shirt. “Guess you’ll just have to promise to love me forever, Nicky… And never play Nascar with me again.”

"I demand a rematch," Nick announced, leaning down to lightly kiss the tip of her nose. "And no cheating!"

“I didn’t cheat!” Cheyanne exclaimed, barely hearing the chiming phone amongst the background noise as Moth tried to wriggle between their bodies. “And I’m bored with that game! …Got any Resident Evil?”

"Yeah, it's in my bag… but that means I'd have to actually move, and I'm much too comfortable to--"

"Chey, do you want to talk to the pissfuck?" Austin questioned loudly, throwing the phone onto the coffee table.

Cheyanne pulled herself away from Nick’s mesmerizing ocean eyes when the phone clattered loudly to the coffee table, emphasizing that it was Howie on the other end. She tensed beneath Nick’s hold, just staring at it for the longest moment. She had been so distraught earlier. What he had done had cut her like a knife and all the emotions seemed to flood back two-fold. But she couldn’t be rude and just hang the phone up on him. Instead, she wanted to hear him apologize and say he was coming out immediately. That he couldn’t wait to hold her. “Nicky… Go get the game, please? And my one Pepsi for the day with crushed ice, please? Then we can get comfortable again and kill zombies? After I talk to Tea…”

Nick was about to argue, the words on the tip of his tongue that he'd rather she killed zombies and stayed comfortable with him. However, seeing the imploring look on her face, he gave her a gentle nod, letting his lips trail to her cheek before leaning back. "I put your favorite glass in the freezer so it would keep the ice longer," he informed her with a gallant grin, as though he had found the cure for the common cold. "And next time I come, I'm going to bring you one of those cups you put in the freezer that has the stuff on the inside that keeps your drink really cold, okay?"

Cheyanne was about to disagree with him, telling him she didn’t want anything, but the look on his face halted her words. She was sure that if she declined his gift, his heart might crumple. So she merely nodded with a quick smile, watching him run to get the items needed as if that would hurry her off the phone. Taking a deep breath, she reached to take the cordless, noticing that Kevin and Austin were intent on watching her instead of continuing to engage passionately on the couch. She immediately felt her stomach knot with tension as her uterus cramped, shielding her face from the older couple as she tucked the phone to her ear. “Hello?”

"Honey? How are you?" Howie asked. "…Did I hear Jeff?"

“I’m good,” Cheyanne promised, though it caused both Kevin and Austin to snort with skepticism. She winced at their sharpness, releasing another slow breath to calm the aches. “And, no, you didn’t hear Jeffie.”

"Billy, then? Has he finally wormed his way back into Kevin's good graces?" Howie asked with a laugh. "I can't talk long, I'm on the way to the… Luncheon," he finally said, as though struggling to remember where he had told her he would be.

“No, not Billy either,” Cheyanne answered somewhat solemnly, moving to climb back onto the recliner. Shifting the phone, she draped the blanket Austin had made years ago over her body, suddenly feeling cold. She rubbed her abdomen in a circular motion to calm Olivia, but nothing seemed to help as she squeezed her eyes shut. “Bet you’re excited for the Luncheon, huh? Lots of work, but also a good social event?”

"She's just letting him lie to her?" Austin whispered incredulously, moving to stand. Her sole intention was getting the phone from Cheyanne, telling Howie exactly where he could shove his, and holler for Nick to come cheer her up again.

"You bet… You wouldn't believe how much work I've had to do," Howie informed her.

“I bet it was really busy,” Cheyanne answered softly, glancing up to see Kevin wrapping his arms around Austin’s waist to keep her from wrangling the phone. Cheyanne curled herself into a tighter ball for protective purposes, chewing sadly on her bottom lip. “What will you do after the Luncheon?”

"After? Oh… Polly and I have some promotional things to do, and tomorrow, we're… I think we're going for a photo shoot…"

"Sweetheart?" Nick called from the kitchen. "Do you want anything else while I'm in here?"

"Is that Nick?" Howie questioned softly. "What the Hell is he doing there?"

“Yeah, it’s Nicky,” Cheyanne answered as she shook her head to decline the offer, Austin immediately following with a request for Italian Ice for the youngest. She rolled her eyes playfully toward Austin, who merely shrugged. She then attempted to turn her attention back to Howie, her lips curving into a pleased smile at the thought of Nick visiting. “He just kind of showed up on our doorstep. He was too cute not to bring into the house, y’know?”

"And Kevin didn't throw him on his ass?"

"Not to mention he can make Chey smile like no other," Austin muttered towards Kevin, finally giving up on getting the phone. "Pretty Boy, if you ever lie to me like this, you know I'll kill you, right?"

“Do you think I’m stupid?” Kevin chuckled wryly, leaning up to kiss the back of her neck. “I’d never do such a thing, Princess. Not in a million years. Of course, I wouldn’t be stupid enough to let you slip away from my side.”

"Well I never said Howie was smart," Austin muttered bitterly.

"Honey? Are you still there? We're at the hotel now, I need to go make sure my speech is ready…"

“Yeah, I’m here…” Cheyanne trailed, exhaling a meek sigh as tears gathered once again. She figured he was probably at a hotel, but not with Pollyanna. Probably some buxom, platinum blonde who promised him the world, though he wouldn’t go much farther than the treasure between her legs. After all, he wouldn’t dare make love to Cheyanne. Then she had to wonder what he would consider it with another woman. Would it be making love to him? The thought was sickening as she choked down a gag.

Slipping from Kevin's grasp, Austin moved over to perch on the arm of the recliner, placing a gentle hand on Cheyanne's shoulder. Leaning over, she strained to hear Howie's next words.

"I'll talk to you soon, okay?"

"Before or after the two-bit whore he's with gets to her knees?" Austin questioned loudly, causing Cheyanne to flinch.

Cheyanne inhaled sharply. “Austi--”

"What did she say?" Howie questioned, his voice angry.

"He heard what I said," Austin muttered, reaching for the phone. "Say goodbye, Chey. It's obvious he's making you hurt, so just let him go off to do whatever he's doing. To think the pissfuck figured Pretty Boy wouldn't tell us there was no luncheon? And now he's calling and making you cry at just the sound of his voice? Probably feeding you even more lies in the process? Oh, Hell no."

Cheyanne felt as if the entire world had been pulled out from beneath her as Austin’s hand curved around the phone. She was nauseous at the fact that Austin had been so brazen, when she wasn’t about to stir trouble. What if he was doing something important and they just… “Austi, please--”

"Cheyanne, what the Hell is going on?" Howie demanded sharply in her ear.

"Princess," Kevin said as gently as he could, pulling her away from Cheyanne. "I think you need to go cool down again… Come on, show me La-La's nursery…"


"Are you ready to kill zombies, Sweetheart?" Nick questioned hopefully as he came back into the living room, bearing a small tray with Cheyanne's drink and Italian Ice. "I can't wait to see what fiendishly kick ass tricks you have up your sleeve for… Chey? Sweetheart? What is it?" he asked worriedly, immediately seeing the change in her from when he'd left her earlier. Setting the tray on the table, he gazed at her, brows knit in confusion.

“Nothing,” Cheyanne whispered meekly as she listened to Austin’s rampant curses down the hallway till the final slam of the door. Which wasn’t pleasant considering the sharp Spanish curses that were exploding in her ear. “Sweet Tea, please calm down, she didn’t mean--”

"Tell me later," Howie hissed. "Go kill zombies with Nicky," he said before disconnecting the call.

The crackling of the disconnected call sounded like a gunshot against Cheyanne’s ear. She flinched at the hateful venom that had exploded from her fiancÚ’s words, not knowing what to say. She couldn’t even face Nick as she dropped her hands into her lap, turning off the phone. Tears began their sad trail down her pale face as her shoulders slumped forward. “…He’s busy, y’know…”

"Chey," Nick murmured softly. He longed to comfort her, but was beat to it by Moth, who scrambled into the recliner with Cheyanne, wriggling beneath the blanket. Returning to his previous spot in front of her, Nick contented himself with gently rubbing the foot that peeked out from beneath the blanket. He felt her tremble, realized with a start she was crying when he heard a stifled sob. "Sweetheart… C'mon… Don't tell me I fixed you a Pepsi with crushed ice especially for you and you're not going to drink it," he teased gently in hopes of making her smile. "I had to slam that bag of ice against the floor for ten minutes before it was crushed enough!"

“Sorry for making you work so hard,” she apologized as Moth popped up from underneath the blanket, hurriedly attempting to lick the tears away from her face. But she turned her head and rested a hand against the puppy to keep him from jumping. How could he just hang up on her? What had she done that was so wrong?


Nick's words were cut off by a sudden thump from Austin's bedroom. Jerking his head up, he glanced down the hallway, as though expecting to see the couple flying through the door. Instead, a high pitched squeal filled the air, diverting Moth from his mission of kissing Cheyanne. Immediately he set off down the hallway, yapping loudly. Upon hearing Austin loudly declare for all the world to hear that Kevin's manhood was the biggest she had ever experienced, Nick looked back at Cheyanne, smiling slightly at her rueful expression. "If I didn't think they'd kill me, I'd whisk you off to a motel so you could have peace and quiet."

“They’re in love… What can I say?” Cheyanne replied, hiccupping sharply as she attempted to control her sobs once again. She felt so foolish for crying, immediately using the hem of her baggy t-shirt to dry her face. Not to mention hide her as Austin released a sharp scream and something clattered in the bedroom. Cheyanne assumed it would be all the pictures in the hanging shelf above Austin’s bed.

"The least they could do is--"

"Holy Hell! You trying to kill me?!" Austin screeched.

"Jesus Christ," Nick breathed in disbelief. Kneeling in front of the recliner, he reached for Cheyanne's hand. "Y'know… We could just write them a quick note, pack a few things and slip out without them ever knowing…"

“You would be slaughtered,” Cheyanne told him, glancing down the hallway to see Moth furiously scratching at Austin’s door and barking like a fiend. He obviously thought she was being hurt, though he had heard all those noises before. “Besides, you can barely hear them in my room and if you put music on, they’re completely drowned out. Besides, it’s late, guess we should save zombies for tomorrow?”

"Can we play the Badonkadonk song?" Nick questioned hopefully as he stood. Before she could answer him, he leaned over, lifting her into his arms and tucking her close to his chest. One hand splayed on her thigh, the other resting against her side, he tried not to think sexual thoughts as he carried her down the hallway. "You know what? I could get used to toting you around…"

“Toting me around?” she questioned with a soft sniffle, though her lips curved into a small smile at his suggestion. “What am I? A duffle bag?”

"My little duffel bag… And you hold very important cargo," he informed her, pushing her bedroom door open with his foot. Moth immediately rushed past him, leaping onto the bed with a yip of excitement, apparently knowing it was time for snuggles and sleep. "Can I carry you around? Forever? After all, you told me I'd love you forever, so it seems an even trade… And if I've always got you in my arms, how can I not love you?" Laying her down on the bed, he let his hand trail over her bare leg, glorying for a moment in the silky smoothness. Trying desperately not to allow himself further touches. Stepping back, he moved over to the stereo near the bed, reaching to look through her CDs.

“Seems like perfect rationale, Nicky,” Cheyanne approved as Moth plopped impatiently down on her pillow, nipping at her t-shirt. He knew when she was ready for bed and when she was slacking. Rolling her eyes playfully at her puppy, she lightly smothered his face with her hand before slipping both beneath her baggy t-shirt. With ease she unclasped her bra, tossing it toward the half filled basket of dirty clothing. She then slipped off the bed for a moment, wiggling out of her jean shorts to reveal a simple pair of purple boy-cut shorts. Satisfied with her sleeping wardrobe and how significantly the noises had dissipated with her bedroom door shut, she moved to climb back into bed, unaware that Nick had been watching.

Dropping the CD he held, Nick bit down hard on his bottom lip as he bent to retrieve it, consciously tugging on the front of his sweatpants in an effort to camouflage his erection. When he straightened, he saw she was propped up against the pillows, one hand gently rubbing her stomach, the other raking through her hair in a move so innocent and unconscious he nearly moaned. Turning, he hurriedly put the CD into the stereo, paying no attention whatsoever to the title or artist as he hit play. "So… Which side do I get?" he murmured.

“Which side of what?” Cheyanne questioned in honest confusion, still hiccupping from her bout of earlier sobs. Not wanting to linger on her pain, she turned slightly to retrieve her vanilla scented lotion from her nightstand while placing her engagement ring into a small Precious Moments jewelry box so it wouldn’t be damaged or lost. She then turned again to squeeze some motion onto her hands, working it into her already silky skin, then doing her best to add some to her legs, though she could barely see over her rounded tummy.

"Of the bed," Nick explained, his eyes locked to the gentle movements of her hands. Flicking his tongue over his lips as he imagined the feel of her hands on him, he moved towards the bed, sitting on the edge, careful to place one hand in his lap in hopes of concealing his desire. "Want some help doing that?"

Cheyanne hesitated first at his request, not sure if it would be proper. But, seemingly like before, his dark ocean eyes pleaded with her to let him help. He was so nurturing and loving. Just wanting the best for her. Just wanting to be the best for her. And with Howie crushing her so miserably, she couldn’t deny the request, just wanting to feel adored for a mere moment. To know that perhaps she would come first in someone’s life. “I’d really like that, Nicky,” she complied, handing him the bottle of lotion as she leaned back against the pillows. She closed her eyes to concentrate on the music, smiling at the sound of Rascal Flatts. “I absolutely love this song.”

"What's the name of it?" Nick questioned softly, drizzling a generous amount of the lotion into his palm. Setting the bottle aside, he rubbed his palms together to warm the lotion before reaching for her ankle. Biting down hard on his tongue, he quelled the urge to moan as he gently rubbed the lotion into her skin, his fingers trailing to her calf muscle. Kneading the tension, he breathed in the soft vanilla aroma, knowing it would forever remind him of Cheyanne. Hands pausing at her knee, he looked up at her, longing to go further, but not wanting to overstep his bounds. He already knew he would be making a trip to the bathroom once she was asleep.

“Warm Vanilla Sugar…” Cheyanne trailed, until she realized how quiet it was with just the music in the background. Peeking her eyes opened, she noticed Nick was grinning at her. She blanked for a moment, hiccupping with a firm blush. “Oh! The song! I Melt…” she quickly corrected herself, folding her hands over her face with embarrassment. But, the movement of Nick’s hands against her soft skin lulled her. He was so delicate though his hands slightly roughened from years of playing the guitar. It was almost as if he were made of velvet, washing over her body like a warm caress. So moved by the sensations, she sang softly with the lyrics. “Don't know how you do it / I love the way I lose it, every time / What's even better / Is knowing that forever you're all mine / The closer you get, the more my body aches / One little stare from you is all it takes…”

Nick certainly understood the 'body aches' part. Sucking his bottom lip between his teeth, he moved closer, pulling her leg into his lap as his hands continued their ministrations upwards, sucking in a breath when she shifted, allowing him better access to her thigh. "God, Chey," he breathed, his arousal throbbing for relief. Reaching for the lotion, he kept his hand on her inner thigh, idly stroking the smooth skin there, unable to push the image of that particular space of skin sliding around his waist from his mind.

Cheyanne was shocked as Nick slid underneath her, laying her leg in his lap, but far more surprised at the shiver of excitement that raced down her spine when he stroked her thigh. Like when they were playing strip poker, her muscles naturally clenched at the feeling of his long, tapered fingers so close to her most intimate areas. Howie had never been so erotic nor manipulative with their play. And warmth naturally pooled in the pit of her stomach, tempting her to do the unthinkable. Carefully, she rotated her foot against his lap, merely feeling the softness of his body. That is, till she found his hardened erection. She offered a small gasp of surprise at first but couldn’t resist sliding her foot along its great length.

"Sweetheart," Nick practically whimpered, his hand instinctively trailing further up her thigh. His other hand moved to her foot, holding it against him. His fingers met the soft fabric of her boy shorts, running along the edge, imagining what lay beneath. Moving his hand to her other thigh, he unconsciously moaned loudly when she widened the gap between her legs. An open invitation, however unknowingly she may have offered it. Looking up, he caught sight of her hand resting on her stomach, her lips parted slightly in surprise. Before he lost himself in the sapphire depths of her eyes his gaze flickered over the fullness of her breasts, taking in the hardening nipples that pressed against the soft cotton of her t-shirt. "I--"

“Nicky…” Cheyanne interrupted with a soft whisper, tensing at the desperation that laced his voice. His fingers moving along the band of her panties caused her to arch, but the way he moaned sent shivers down her spine. She didn’t know what she was doing at first, drawing in a large breath to hold, expecting that she was hurting him, especially as his hand pressed her foot hard to his erection. She attempted to withdraw herself. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to--”

"Please don't tell me you're sorry," Nick whispered, shaking his head slightly. "I should be the one who's sorry… I really shouldn't be doing this…" Clearing his throat, he pulled his hands away from her, gasping when her hand caught his wrist. "Chey--"

“Wait,” Cheyanne murmured, tugging on his wrist in order to pull herself into a seated position. He leaned forward at her pull, but quickly straightened when she was upright, but she didn’t let him go far. Nervously, she moistened her bottom lip as she furiously tucked a few stray golden locks behind her ear, staring down at the large hand that she held. Her body was aching for him, just by the few mere caresses to her legs. He had been so wonderful to her. Actually flying out to North Carolina to make sure that she was going to be okay despite Howie’s cold-heartedness, not that he was part of her thoughts now. She wanted Nick and was damned to admit it. At least he cared for her. Or at least seemed to. More than Howie. “Nicky, I want to thank you… You’ve been so great to me…”

"Great? Sweetheart, I've been a complete jackass since the day I first laid eyes on you," Nick admitted, suddenly unnerved at her closeness. "If there was a way I could make it up to you, I would do it in a heartbeat…" he trailed softly, smiling slightly as Moth slid from his hiding place beneath Cheyanne's shirt, moving to curl on the pillow next to her with a huffy sigh. Glancing down, he shivered when her fingers lightly traced the back of his hand, noticing the missing ring. "Just let me go to the bathroom for a few minutes and take care of this little problem--"

“That’s disgusting,” Cheyanne interrupted, exhaling the breath she had been holding as she snuck a glance up to his dark ocean eyes. “Let me help you instead?”

Nick's eyes widened at her offer, his arousal throbbing for release. If he took her up on it, he knew it would take just a touch of her gentle hands before he exploded. "Um…" Licking his lips slowly, Nick tried to think of a reason to turn her down, though they all seemed stupid. So caught up, he wasn't prepared when Cheyanne pulled him down next to her, her hands gentle on his chest as she looked into his eyes. A lock of hair fell from behind her ear, grazing his cheek as she gave him a charming smile. "I'd be stupid to turn down that offer," he whispered, moving his hands to cup her face.

“I was hoping you’d say yes,” Cheyanne actually purred with delight, trying not to giggle as Moth whined, stepping over Nick to move toward the end of the bed. He glanced forlornly at Cheyanne, and then hopped off the bed to circle in his puppy bed in order to lie down for the evening. Nick grinned at the puppy, knowing he would love him extra tomorrow morning. But, Cheyanne brought his attention back to her as she pulled his bottom lip into her mouth, nibbling affectionately at the opposite corner, away from his cut. She wanted to show her overwhelming gratitude for him and hope that he would reciprocate some kind of emotion for her. That she would know that a man could care. “What’s your pleasure?”

"Just… Anything," Nick breathed, certain he would die from the pleasure of her kiss. Letting his hands drop to the hem of her t-shirt, he tugged gently. "Taking this off might be a good start, though," he suggested softly, slanting his head so he could kiss her fully, stroking her tongue with his. Cheyanne's soft moan encouraged him, giving him the fuel to slide one hand beneath her shirt; he needed to feel her skin against his hand.

“Quid pro quo,” Cheyanne quoted with a husky delight, nipping the tip of his tongue before pulling back for a moment. She drew a heavy breath when she felt Nick’s hand flatten against the curve of her hip, slowly tracing the outline upward. She shivered with delight, hooking one leg around his as she gestured toward his t-shirt. She wanted that lost. Though, she grinned when she read the message it displayed – Spooning Leads to Forking. She leaned forward to capture his lips again, a whimper of delight muffling in her throat as she traced the outline of his pouty lips with the very tip of her tongue. “Remind me to steal that shirt, okay, Nicky?”

"Steal it? Hell, Sweetheart, it's yours," Nick whispered, leaning back long enough to peel it off. Tossing it aside, he returned to her kiss, easing her shirt over her stomach. Trailing the dark line from her navel down with his index finger, he felt her small shudder. Her nails lightly dragged over his shoulders, and he leaned back once more, lifting the t-shirt over her head. Teasing her lips with his teeth, he turned his head slightly, tracing the curve of her neck with his tongue. "God, Chey, you taste so sweet," he murmured against her collarbone, his hands sliding to cup her breasts.

“You feel like Heaven,” Cheyanne reciprocated with complete honesty as he turned her on the bed so he could straddle her legs once more. She had to laugh softly at his dominating nature while he acted as if he wanted to taste every inch of her flesh. She shivered with the wet, warmth of his tongue, giggling slightly at the tickling sensation of it against her neck. She liked the aggressive side of him, allowing Nick to take what he wanted, simply tracing her fingers along the inked footprints of his chest, mesmerized by the beauty of his body modification.

"Touch me," he breathed against her skin, inhaling the soft scent of her soap. "And these have to go, too," he added softly, indicating her boy shorts with a quick caress to her hip before returning to the fullness of her breasts. Kissing his way lower, he breathed softly against one nipple, his lips barely brushing it before turning to give her other nipple the same attention. "I want to feel all of you."

“Nicky,” Cheyanne whimpered with a shudder of ecstasy, trailing her hands from his chest, to his shoulders, to his neck, finally immersing her fingers through his lengthening blond locks. She held as tightly as she could without hurting him, taking a deep breath as she allowed her eyes to flutter close. The touch of his lips to her sensitive breasts, causing her nipples to pucker with arousal nearly sent her over the edge of endless paradise. His hot breath stroked her body as if it were another hand and she could barely surprise another whimper of pleading. “God, do what you want, just don’t let go…”

"I want to make love to you," Nick murmured, lifting his head to look into her eyes. "But I don't want to hurt you…"

“There are lots of ways to make love, Nicky, you just have to be creative,” Cheyanne purred softly, craning so she could offer him a melting kiss. Only, halfway through the kiss, she pushed him onto the soft mattress. Curling toward his side, making it slightly easier for her to gain access, she started her own trail of kisses. One to the forehead. Another to the cheek. Several suckles down the neck. Feathery kisses over his collar bone. Then, as she moved her mouth along his chest, her kisses grew harder and far more passionate. She even managed to nip at his flesh, smiling when he yelped quietly with excitement. Then, when she met the center of his pelvis, she offered the lightest kiss. A whisper of a kiss before sliding her hand underneath the band of his boxers, glancing upward to find his dark ocean eyes. “Will you consider this making love?”

Speechless at how Cheyanne had taken control of the situation, Nick could only nod. He held his breath as she kissed his skin again, one hand grasping the sheet as he reached to smooth her hair back. "Chey," he finally managed, releasing his breath in a rush.

“I’ll take that as a yes,” Cheyanne teased with a coy smile, kissing his chest once more before easing his sweatpants away from his body. She mouthed a soft thank you when he rose his hips to assist her, allowing his boxers to slide along as well. And, Cheyanne was astonished to see Nick’s firm erection rising to attention, proud and regale in its display. She must have looked surprised at his endowments, because Nick actually blushed as he reached for her. “Thor is just not a justified name for such a gift, Nicky,” Cheyanne explained, searching for his lips again as she trailed her fingers down the pit of his stomach, moving delicately along his length. Just playing.

"Fuck," Nick gasped, arching against her hand. Holy Hell, he was certain he would die from the pleasure of her gentle touch. "What… What would you like to call it?" he questioned softly, biting down on his bottom lip to hold in a whimper. Feeling her finger circle the tip of his member, he cried out, arching off the bed.

Cheyanne tilted her head with serious thought, causing her curls to fall over her shoulders like a shimmering shower of gold. At his cry, she released her torment on his erection, bringing the finger to her mouth for just a bit of a taste. Satisfied, she smiled. “Phobos. God of fear. Because after a woman has been with you, Nicky, she should be fearful that she’d never be truly happy ever again.”

"Chey… Please, Sweetheart," Nick panted, certain he would die if she didn't do something--anything--soon. She could call it Willy Wonka and he wouldn't complain.

Cheyanne’s coy nature sobered when Nick pleaded for her help, the throbbing member obviously far too painful to bear any more of her teasing. But, just him asking for her sent a shiver through her entire body. No one had ever asked for her like that. They had always taken or assumed or let her do the asking. It was nice to be needed. It healed the holes in her heart. She nodded with a tender smile, reaching down once more, but only to fully encompass him as best as she could manage with one hand. Slowly, she worked a steady rhythm, gliding up the shaft, encircling the head, and then moving back down. It was sweet and romantic, especially as she reached with her other hand to rub his chest. “Sorry, Nicky.”

Grasping her hand with his, Nick squeezed it gently, his body trembling slightly at her slow motions. "God, Chey," he whimpered, thrusting himself against her hand. "Please… Babe, I'm… Faster," he finally gasped. Longing to watch, he instead closed his eyes, pressing his head back against the pillow.

“Okay, Nicky,” she laughed softly, doing as he requested, intertwining their hands on his stomach. The motion of her hand fastened into a variety of speeds, causing his breaths to become labored with an anxious delight. The pleasure cast against his handsome face gave her a renewed burst of esteem, knowing that she was satisfying him like no other. That he wanted her. Hoping to calm him, she brought their hands to her lips, gently working kisses to his palm and then down to his wrist.

"Chey," Nick moaned loudly, holding his breath. "I don't want to… God, not yet," he whimpered, squeezing her hand tightly as he felt the wave of passion begin to swell. Longing only to pull her up over him, make love to her properly, he contented himself with stroking her cheek. The touch of her lips against his wrist caused him to shiver with delight. "Chey… Damn, baby, I'm so close," he breathed, opening his eyes to look down at her.

“Whenever you’re ready, go ahead,” Cheyanne answered softly, purring against his wrist before nibbling affectionately, hardening her grasp slightly on his shaft to increase the pleasure. She wanted him to be satisfied with her. To be able to reflect at not have any disconcertion about what had occurred between them. She wanted to know that that night he wanted only her.

"Chey," he whispered, reaching down to grasp her wrist. "C'mere…"

Cheyanne was bewildered when he started to pull. “But you haven’t--”

"I need to be inside you… Please, Sweetheart…"

“But--” Cheyanne was at a loss for words when she found herself straddling his hips, feeling his slick hardness between her warm thighs. Her innocent sapphire eyes grew wide in wonder as she glanced down at him with uncertainty. There was a waiver of fear that washed over her, shivering when he rested her hands on his chest.

"I'll be gentle," he promised softly.

“O-Okay,” Cheyanne agreed with a timid nod.

Sliding his hands over her body, Nick shivered deliciously, hooking his thumbs in the waistband of her boy shorts. Peeling them down her legs, he gave a hard moan when he felt her heat against him. "You're already wet?" he blurted, staring up at her with a playful smirk.

“You’re real observant, Nicky,” Cheyanne murmured with a hard blush lighting her cheeks, moving her eyes elsewhere.

Guiding the tip of his erection to her entrance, he placed one hand on her hip to steady her. Licking his lips, he pulled her down for a fervent kiss. "Go slow, Sweetheart," he whispered, nibbling at the corner of her mouth. "I want this to last…"

“You’re the one in control,” Cheyanne reminded him, searching for his mouth once more as he eased himself amongst her moist folds. A cry of surprise and slight hurt was drowned within Nick’s mouth as Cheyanne squeezed her eyes shut, unprepared for his cumbersome form. A burning tore through her lower half, though it left a tingling pleasure as she attempted to adjust, keeping her eyes closed so she could steady her breathing. Though, Nick left little time for that as he held her hips, showing her how to move against him. “Nicky--”

"You feel so good, Sweetheart," Nick assured her, his fingers digging into her skin as she enveloped his length. She fit him like a glove, and he didn't hold back the loud growl of satisfaction as she began to move.

“Oh, God, Nicky,” Cheyanne whimpered as she kept herself close to his body, wanting to take his cues before doing anything drastic. She had never made love like this before. Not to mention she had never before experiencing such a brilliant display of firecracker emotions. Each exploded brilliantly within her, flaming her body with a passion that she’d probably never be able to explain. She sought to find his mouth again, feeling her own passion start to build as he continued to hold her hips firmly, though she decided to rotate them in a slow circular motion.

"Go slow," he whispered, sliding one hand up her back. Tangling his fingers lightly in her hair, he held her mouth to his, trying his best to keep his body still as she rocked her hips against him. He felt her tighten around him, causing him to suck hard on her tongue, whimpering loudly. "Chey, I'm…"

“It’s okay,” Cheyanne promised softly within his mouth, already more satisfied than she had wanted to be. She had just expected to pleasure Nick, not to receive such a tender love. And, knowing that he was ready gave her the most fulfillment, especially as she reached to coax his tongue into her mouth. “Go ahead, Nicky…”

Wrapping his arms around her, Nick rolled her over gently, smirking against her lips when she gasped softly. "Not without you," he murmured, burying his face in her neck. His fingers trailed down her sides, lightly stroking her moist skin. "Together," he whispered, kissing his way lower as he began slow, steady thrusts. Capturing a nipple in his mouth, he suckled gently.

“Nicky,” Cheyanne gasped in shock, curving her arms around his back, her nails digging tightly against his flesh. She hadn’t been prepared to encompass his entire form, feeling him fill her entirely with each patient thrust, causing her to whimper with ecstasy. “God, Nicky, now…”

Sliding his hands lower, Nick held her legs around his waist, sitting up to gaze down at her as he continued his slow motions. "Chey…" he moaned, one hand trailing between them.

“Nicky, you’re driving me nuts,” Cheyanne drawled, tangling her hands within her golden curls with a mixture of joy and frustration

Bracing one hand next to her, Nick sought out the hard little nub, pressing his thumb against it. Her squeal of pleasure sent a thrill through him, and he quickened his thrusts, his eyes never leaving hers. Watching her alone was enough to nearly send him over the edge in ecstasy, but he held back, needing her to experience it as well.

“Nicky… I need…” Cheyanne could hardly form her words as her dark sapphire eyes pleaded for some kind of release, much like he had at the beginning of the night. She bit down hard on her bottom lip as her internal cup of rapture started to spill with overflow.

"Let it go, Sweetheart," he breathed, moving his thumb back and forth with each thrust. When her body tightened beneath him he plunged deeper, holding himself there as he listened to her soft cry of bliss. Leaning over her, he caught her lips in a fervent kiss, swallowing her cries as her legs pulled him closer. "Chey," he cried into her mouth, every muscle in his body tensing. With one final thrust, he pressed as deeply as he could, shuddering as he found release.

“Nicky,” she called, her voice barely above a whisper as she kept her eyes closed, tilting her head in order to kiss his sweaty face. He continued to remain inside her as he lay against her, wanting to feel every inch of her body. And, she offered him a tired smile, kissing the side of his face with great affection. “Do I need to call 9-1-1?”

"No," he panted, shifting slightly so his weight wasn't on her stomach. "I'm okay," he assured her, dropping a kiss on her damp shoulder. Inhaling deeply, he tried to calm his racing heartbeat, certain he wouldn't be able to walk for a long time. Feeling the slight twitch from her stomach against him, he smiled slightly, then jerked his head up. "You're okay, aren't you?"

“I’m more than okay,” Cheyanne promised with a meek nod, smiling at the childlike innocence that filled his eyes. Almost as if she were staring at a reflection of her own eyes. “But I’m a little gross… I think my private shower is calling my name…”

"Is it calling my name too?" he questioned with a smile, brushing his lips over hers.

“Can you walk? Because I don’t have my gait belt for nursing within reach…”

Chuckling, Nick gave her a deeper kiss before gently rolling to her side. "I might be walking like a newborn giraffe, but I think I can manage…"

“Maybe Moth’ll jump in with us?” Cheyanne suggested with a coy grin, the puppy already known for loving to take a shower with Cheyanne, standing in between her legs at it rained and he tried to attack each water droplet that pelted him.

"He gave up his favorite spot for me, so I think that would be okay… Remind me to go into town tomorrow and buy him some toys or something… Does he like old socks?" Nick asked, sitting up to look at Moth. Having heard his name, the puppy was stretching in his bed, quickly running to jump up on the bed. Scooping him up, Nick gave him a few tickles on the stomach, smirking when Moth playfully nipped his fingers.

“I don’t think you can buy old socks in town…” Cheyanne trailed thoughtfully, reaching for her scrunchie that she always kept on the post of her bed, tying her sweaty locks into a ponytail. She then stood to draw her robe over her body, moving toward her private bathroom to draw the shower.

"C'mon, Moth, time for tubby!" Nick exclaimed, laughing when the puppy leaped from his grasp to follow Cheyanne. He wasn't too far behind, though his gait was a bit slower and unsteady. Unconcerned about the fact he was completely naked, he leaned in the bathroom door to watch Cheyanne. "If I scrub your back, will you scrub mine?" he questioned, stepping inside and pushing the door shut.