Chapter 28 - Going to the Chapel
The day of Teri and Howie's wedding arrived in a blur and just from the way that Alyssa was nervously pacing the back of the church, it seemed as if she were the one getting married. In fact, even Teri appeared more calm and collected than she did at the moment as they waited for the ceremony to begin.
"How are you not nervous?" Alyssa asked her. "Hell, I'm already married and I'm nervous for you."
Teri just shrugged her shoulders innocently. "I'm just not. But then again..." she paused to smirk. "I'm not worried about any encounters with an old flame."
Alyssa rolled her eyes at her friend. "Thanks a lot by the way for switching it so that Nick and I are partners. For someone who didn't want any drama at her wedding you're certainly doing everything you possibly can to make it awkward."
"I just like to keep things interesting. You need to talk to him anyway, so this gives you a perfect opportunity. Besides I couldn't resist the urge to watch Shayla squirm having to watch you and Nick walk down the aisle together," she replied with a mischievous glimmer in her green eyes.
Alyssa sighed as her eyes traveled up towards the front of the church. Nick was already up there talking to Howie. As soon as the bridal party had arrived at the church, Nick had made a point of distancing himself from her and headed right up to the front of the alter with Howie. If he can barely be in the same room with me, how exactly does Teri expect us to walk down the aisle with each other like everything is fine? She definitely was not looking forward to this.
Not like it would be the first time they'd been paired up in a bridal party. Back when Kevin and Melanie had gotten married they'd been partners and ironically enough at the time they were also in two separate relationships. Nick had been married to Katie, and Alyssa had been casually dating, Dan, a friend of Tristan's. The wedding had been one of the first times they had seen each other since their bitter argument on the beach in the Bahamas after Alyssa rejected his proposal. It was scary how well the circumstances mirrored what was going on in the present.
There had been one big difference though. That night had been one of the most emotional ones of her entire life. The guilt stemming from that one night had plagued her in a way that could only be matched by the guilt that she felt over cheating on Sean with Nick. In a way that night was even harder for her to get over. Not only had it been just another example of how her attraction to Nick had interfered with her relationship with another man, but she also couldn't shake the feeling that because of her and Nick's selfishness, an innocent person had to pay...
Alyssa nervously shifted her weight as she approached the hotel room door. What am I doing? she asked herself as she tried to muster up the courage to knock. She knew that Nick had to still be awake because she could still make out a flood of light from the crack underneath the door. This was crazy!
After Kevin and Melanie's wedding had ended, she and Dan had headed back to their hotel room. Alyssa had decided to hop into the shower to wash all the styling products out of her hair. By the time she had gotten out, Dan had already fallen asleep waiting for her. She'd attempted to fall asleep beside him, but once she'd gotten into bed she became extremely restless. Her mind kept playing over the wedding that had just taken place. It had definitely been weird since this had been the first time she'd seen Nick since she'd found out about his marriage to Katie. The whole experience was made even weirder by the fact that her and Nick had been partnered up in the bridal party. They'd gotten through the awkward experience with overly polite attitudes making things seem forced at best. She knew that she didn't want things to be that way forever between the two of them. Granted, they hadn't worked out after all, and although it hurt like hell at first, they were both involved with other people. Why shouldn't they at least be able to act somewhat normal again around each other?
Finally realizing that she wasn't going to get any rest until she did something to clear the air with Nick for her own peace of mind, she'd thrown on her robe and headed across the hall to Nick's hotel room where she now stood. She told herself she'd just go to see if he was still up, but now that the light was on she had no excuse, not to knock.
Biting her lip, she raised her arm and softly rapped against the door. She could hear Nick's muffled reply from the inside of the room, and a few moments later he appeared at the door, his eyes wide in surprise to find her. Alyssa was almost just as shocked as the sight for him. His suit jacket had gone missing and his dress shirt was half untucked with the first couple of buttons undone. His tie still hung loosely around his neck and his blonde hair appeared to be sticking out in several different directions as if he'd been running his hand through it. As disheveled as he appeared, there was something that she found very sexy about the look.
"Alyssa?" he asked in a surprised voice. "What are you doing here?"
"I just wanted to stop by to talk," she shyly responded, her jaw trembling slightly. "Can I come in?"
"Uhh, sure..." Nick stepped back from the doorway allowing her to gain entrance to the room. Across the room she saw Nick's laptop set up on a table indicating that he was probably just surfing the internet when she had knocked.
"Where's Katie?" she asked as she entered the room. She'd vaguely noticed her leave the reception early. She thought that she'd seen Nick kiss her goodbye and put her into a black town car, but she couldn't really be certain of the exact details.
"She's heading back to Tampa tonight," he explained. "Her best friend from Sweden is flying in tomorrow morning, so she wanted to be there to welcome her. She insisted that I stay and enjoy the wedding though and fly back tomorrow with everyone else."
"Oh I see."
The conversation went flat right there and Alyssa figured that it would probably be best just to cut right to the chase and get down to the reason she dropped by the first place. "Look Nick... I really wanted to stop by because I know things were pretty weird and stuff between us tonight and I don't want it to be like that. I think enough time has passed for us to accept that things didn't work out between us. I mean now you and Katie are married and expecting a child together pretty soon and I've been seeing Dan... I just want us to be able to be friends. You've obviously had a huge impact on my life and we've shared some great memories. I don't regret any of it. I guess it just wasn't meant to be with us. So, yea... Friends?"
Nick stood there appearing a little taken back by her speech. "Of course we can be friends Lyss. I think it's only inevitable that we're going to bump into each other from time to time. We're just in two totally different places in life right now. I mean not to downplay anything going on in your life, but I'm about to come a father. It just wouldn't have worked with us. It wouldn't have been fair to you to have to take responsibility for my mistake, especially when you're still so young."
Alyssa rolled her eyes a little bit. "Not like you're that much older. There's only like what? Six months between us?"
"Still... It's one thing for me to take responsibility because I got myself into this mess. You shouldn't have to pay for my stupid decisions is all I'm saying," he clarified.
"Well, as long as you're happy with Katie." Alyssa narrowed her eyes at him in a serious glance. "You are happy with her, right?"
"As happy as I can be I guess." Was it just her or did he not sound completely convincing? "And you're happy with Dan, right?"
"He's a nice guy. Very sweet," was all that she could think of to reply.
"Then I guess we're cool then. As least as cool as we can be."
"Yea... I'm glad we got a chance to have this talk. I know it sounds stupid, but I felt like I couldn't fall asleep tonight until I got this cleared up with you. Lame, right?"
Nick shook his head in disagreement. "Not at all. I'm glad we had this talk too. It had to happen sooner or later, so better sooner than later."
"Yea... Well, now that I got that off my chest I guess I'll let you go to bed or whatever." She stood there a little uncomfortably for a moment or two before deciding to give him an awkward hug. "I'll see you tomorrow morning."
"Yea... See you." Again, Alyssa wasn't sure if it was her imagination or not, but his hands seemed to linger at her waist as he reluctantly broke the embrace and he seemed to pull her in just a little tighter than necessary.
Alyssa shrugged out of his grasp and turned towards the door. "Goodnight Nick," she called over her shoulder.
She almost made it to the door when she felt his hand clamp down on her arm. "Alyssa, wait," he begged. She whirled around and the minute she did she knew she'd just made a huge mistake. His blue eyes appeared stormy and intense as she felt them take in her appearance. The short purple kimono robe she was wearing wasn't very heavy and she knew that her skin still smelled fresh from her shower. All of a sudden she felt very self conscious. "Don't go just yet," he continued his voice low and husky.
At that moment Alyssa knew that the right thing to do would be to drop his hand and just run, but she was frozen. She continued to stay rooted to her spot on the floor as he stepped closer to her and stroked her hair with the palm of his hand. His hands lingered down to her chin and she willingly let him tilt her head upwards to meet his awaiting lips.
As soon as their mouths connected, Alyssa instantly could feel a major difference between Nick's kiss and the way that Dan usually kissed her. Sometimes kissing Dan could almost feel like kissing a brother. There just wasn't really much of a spark there. But Nick was an entirely different story. From the moment his lips touched hers, Alyssa felt a chill over her body. Her mind went blank and her body took over, her hands instinctively snaking up to the back of his neck as the kiss deepened.
Her fingernails dragged lightly against the base of his neck while she felt her back being pressed against the wall behind her. Their kisses were becoming increasingly more intense by the moment and Alyssa knew that there was absolutely no turning back now, especially after Nick's hands found their way to the belt of her robe, his fingers eagerly playing with the knot that kept it closed. She made no attempt to stop him and within moments he'd gotten it open and was pushing the silky material off of her shoulders, revealing the black camisole tank top with pink trim and matching boy shorts that she'd had on underneath. This must look like to him like it was so planned, but it really wasn't, she thought to herself with a smirk.
His lips wandered down to her neck and it wasn't long before she became completely oblivious to the fact that her current boyfriend was asleep across the hall while she was in the midst of a very heavy make out session with her ex. She was past the point of thinking. Her body was simply on autopilot. They continued to kiss each other hungrily, their hands freely roaming each others bodies. The thin material of her clothing did little to shield her from the heat of his touch and she moaned against his lips when she felt his thumb brush across her breast.
Secretly she had to admit that since she and Nick had parted ways after their trip to the Bahamas, she'd had this fantasy about them hooking up again, and now that it was actually happening Alyssa couldn't help but to think that this was all too good to be true. Wanting to take advantage of the opportunity while it lasted, Alyssa grew bolder and broke away from his lips for a moment, an enticing smirk on her lips. She wedged herself away from the wall and playfully tugged on the bottom of his tie, pulling him slightly towards the direction of the bed...
The shrill sound of the telephone ringing woke Alyssa up from a deep sleep. She opened her eyes, confused for a second or two about her surroundings and then she remembered showing up at Nick's hotel room door earlier that night. She felt a surge of panic go through her as she saw the time on the digital alarm clock on the dresser. She definitely hadn't gone into Nick's room with the intention of them actually sleeping together, nor did she go in with the intention of spending the night. She must've dozed off after they'd had sex. Although it made her very satisfied to know that she'd in her own way gotten her revenge on Katie by sleeping with Nick, (karma was definitely a bitch the way it came back around) she also felt guilty for cheating on Dan. It wasn't very long into their relationship that Alyssa had come to the conclusion that she didn't exactly have very deep feelings for Dan. He was just a nice guy who seemed to worship the ground she walked on and she'd definitely taken advantage of that fact. Truth of the matter was that she had been a total bitch for stringing him along like she had. She hadn't been ready for another relationship, she just was searching for a replacement for Nick and she'd pretty much just confirmed that nobody could replace Nick in her heart.
She heard Nick grumbling besides her, still half asleep himself. "Who is calling the room so late?" He reached over to grab the phone sitting on the nightstand. "Hello?"
While Nick was on the phone, Alyssa took the opportunity to gather up her clothes and start getting dressed again. With a little luck she could get back into her hotel room and in bed with Dan without him even knowing she was ever gone. As she slipped her clothes back on though she could clearly hear Nick's side of the conversation. She frowned. She was unsure of who it was on the other end, but she could tell just by the look on Nick's face and the panic in his voice that it was serious.
"Ok... Yes... Where is she...? I'll be right there." He hung up the phone with a dazed expression on his face.
"What's wrong?" she asked sounding concerned. "Who was that on the phone?"
Nick looked up at her his brows knitted in worry and a mixture of some other emotion. Guilt maybe? "There was an accident... Katie..." His voice broke off not even being able to finish the sentence. "I need to get down to the hospital right away."
Even though he hadn't said it, Alyssa could tell just by the expression on his face that this was serious. And now she felt even guiltier about what her and Nick had just done. "Wait. I'll go with you," she offered.
"Earth to Alyssa! We're going to start in like another five minutes. Are you okay?" Teri asked in a concerned voice. "You kind of just zoned out on me there."
"Sorry about that," she apologized. "I was just got caught up in an old memory, I guess."
"An old memory about Nick?" she pressed.
"Yea... I was just thinking about Kevin's wedding. It's just weird how history repeats itself," Alyssa explained.
"What do you mean?"
Alyssa shrugged. "We were partnered up in the bridal party and it was when he was married to Katie. We hooked up." She laughed. "What a good little Catholic girl huh? I'm probably going to hell now."
Teri laughed. "If you're going to hell then I'll probably already be there. It'll be a party. Besides, I'm only Catholic in name and the only reason I'm getting married in a church because Howie's parents would be devastated if we didn't. Anyway you little minx you've been holding out on me! Where did you hook up with Nick at Kevin's wedding? In a confessional? That's totally hot."
Alyssa just gave Teri a bewildered look. "What are you talking about?"
"You said you hooked up with Nick at Kevin's wedding. Where did you guys do it? It had to be pretty scandalous if you're talking about going to hell for it. I want the details!"
Alyssa just burst out laughing. "Teri! We didn't do it at the church! Come on... This is me we're talking about. Talk about going to hell... I just meant that I'm going to hell for thinking about sex in church and now after this conversation I think I need to make confession although now I'll never be able to look at a confessional the same way again. We hooked up after the wedding. At the hotel. It's a long story. I won't bore you with the details. It was like eight or nine years ago."
"Oops..." Teri placed a hand over her mouth. "Wow that was embarrassing, but definitely makes to an interesting start to my wedding."
Before anyone could say anything further, Alyssa saw Nick finally heading towards the back of the church. They would have to probably start lining up any minute now. "Well, I guess this is it," she told her friend, giving her a quick hug. "Good luck and don't trip on your way down the aisle."
"Good luck to you too," Teri whispered as she stole a glance at Nick. "You may be needing it." She smirked not being able to resist one last jab. "The confessional is always avalible if you need to ‘talk.'"
"It's a good thing that we're in church, so I can't say what I really want to say to you right now," she joked. Taking a deep breath she smoothed her hands over her stomach and made her way bravely towards Nick. It was now or never and she figured it was up to her to break the ice.
"Hi," she greeted him with a small smile as she got into her place in line next to Nick. "Feels kind of like déjà vu, huh?"
Nick looked over at her and for a moment or two Alyssa was afraid that he'd just ignore her, but after a moments hesitation he decided to save face and be polite. "Yea... It does. So, you ready to do this again?"
"Yea I think so," she told him still smiling. In that moment she knew that things could probably only get better between them.