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Nick was driving Trina back to her place after she spent the night.  He told her what AJ assumed about the two of them and she laughed.  Nick felt a little hurt at her laughing over the idea of them sleeping together.  He couldn’t say it hadn’t crossed his mind but Trina seemed to be more interested in a friend more than anything.

“Yah, that would be crazy. It’s obvious we weren’t meant for each other,” He laughed and held up the wrist with the timer on it.

Trina shrugged at his comment.  Then he remembered from their first night out together she said she didn’t really believe in the timers.  Then why did she still have one? 

“Did you ever tell me why you still had a timer if you didn’t believe in them?” He asked again, smiling so she could see he was only after friendly conversation.

“I’ve heard the scars they leave when they are removed are ghastly.  I’d rather have something on my wrist then walk around with the scars.  I know it sounds vain.  How about you? Yours isn’t counting down anything, why don’t you get yours removed?”  She asked, a little trace of venom in her voice.  She probably didn’t appreciate him asking.

Nick had thought about this often.  He should get it removed, it was the cause of too many issues for him lately.  People might look at him differently if he didn’t have a timer versus his timer simply not counting down.   But if he did, he’d have the scars too and then there would be a whole new can of worms for people to pester him about.   Honestly, he was afraid to get it removed.  What if he never met the one because he removed it?

“Same reason, I guess,” he said.  It wasn’t an all out lie, it was only part of the reason.

They sat silent for a few more minutes, unsure where to go with the conversation.  Finally, uncomfortable with the silence, Nick started to talk about anything.

“Did I tell you about what happened to Howie? It would be sort of funny if I didn’t consider him like a brother to me. “ 

Trina nodded.  “He’s the one that got drunk and implanted one night? And recently found out that his girlfriend did the same thing?  Why do they care about it? It’s just a number, if they really love each other they should be together.”

“She wasn’t accepting his proposals, he loved her and wanted to prove they were meant to be.” Nick defended his friend.

“Backfired big time,” Trina added.  “I don’t think it wasn’t a romantic gesture, Murphy’s law is all.”

Nick silently agreed.  He hated to see Howie in such pain over losing Anna.  He’d always thought they were a great couple and envied what they had, hoping to one day have the same thing.  Turns out, the relationship was full of holes that were kept hidden until recently.

He turned into her apartment parking lot and began to, slowly, drive to her apartment building.

“Shit!” She exclaimed loudly.  “What the hell is he doing here?”  She questioned practically jumping out of the car and running towards her apartment. 

Parking quickly as he could, Nick jumped out and followed her inside.   He would never have been able to find her apartment,  having been there only one other time, if she hadn’t left the door open. Her screams echoing through the complex.

“What the hell are you doing here? You moved out!” she yelled.  Nick knew from how she reacted in the car that her ex-boyfriend was here.  The man who she’d run into the night before causing her not to want to go home, was now in her home.  

“Babe, I miss you.” He could hear a male voice pleading. 

“You left me, remember? After proclaiming your indifference to your timer, it didn’t matter to you, you turn around and leave me when you zero out!”  she yelled back.

Nick wandered calmly through the apartment finding the feuding duo in the bedroom, the ex still lying in bed.   He stood in the doorway, ready to help Trina if she needed it. Right now she appeared to have everything under control.

“You need to leave!” She threw his clothes to him and turned to leave. Seeing Nick in the doorway, she let him wrap his arms around her and steer her out of the room.

“Who the hell is that?” The male voice called out after them.  Shortly later, the shirtless man made his appearance in the living room.

“Dude, calm down, I’m just a friend.” Nick offered the angered male.  Hearing the claim of friendship seemed to calm him a bit and he turned his attention back to Trina.

“It was a mistake Trina, I never should have left you,” he took Trina’s hand and held it to his heart. “You are my everything.  I love you.”  He moved in closer, in what Nick assumed was an attempt to kiss her. She shoved him away.  Nick smirked to himself.

“What about your ‘one’?”  She asked, indifference on her face.

The man shrugged, “She wants to meet you.”

Trina pulled her hand away and slapped his face.  “I am not going to join in some twisted fantasy of yours. Get out, and give me your damn key.” She held her hand out to him waiting for the key.  He shrugged smugly and put the key in her palm. 

“Your loss,” He made a kissy noise at her and turned to leave, stopping to face Nick.  “She’s a fantastic fuck!” he shot his thumb towards Trina.  Before he could stop himself, Nick’s fist collided with the man’s face.  The later grasping his nose in pain as he left the apartment.

“Ow,” Nick grabbed his fist.  Seconds later Trina was handing him a cloth with a bag of ice wrapped inside. 

“You didn’t have to do that.  He’s an ass.” 

“Well, I couldn’t help it.” He chuckled and covered his fist with the ice.

They sat next to each other on the couch, Nick covering his fist with the ice, Trina running her fingers through his hair.  “Thank you,” She mumbled.

“Trina, I can’t believe that was the asshole you were upset about leaving when we first met.”

“Yah, well he changed.  He really was a nice guy when we first met. We got implanted together.  We had the same thoughts your friend Howie had.  We wanted to show how committed we were to each other.  When our timers didn’t sync, well he changed.  I stuck it out with him, hoping it was just a phase.”  She shrugged. 

Nick wrapped his arm around her shoulder and pulled him close to her.  “Just because timers don’t match is no reason to turn into the world’s biggest chump.”  He kissed the top of her head.  She turned her face towards his, kissing his jaw line, resting on his lips. 

Nick was the one to pull away, “Trina, not that I didn’t enjoy that kiss, but you just had a confrontation with your ex.  You probably aren’t thinking straight.” 

She nodded.  “I’m sorry.” 

“Don’t apologize, I liked it.  If something more is to be between us, I want it to happen when my fist isn’t throbbing from punching your ex-boyfriend.”  He pulled her close, holding her as she let out a few sobs. 

Wiping her eyes she stood and faced him.  “I am going to make sure he didn’t take anything.  You can find your way out?”  She asked, giving him no time to answer, she was already in her bedroom with the door closed. 

Nick put the bag of ice in the sink and sighed as he walked out the door.  His drive home was solemn.  He wanted to do something to cheer her up, she needed to be cheered up.  Smiling to himself, he thought of the perfect idea. She was going to love it.