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Dinner got pretty quiet after Nick had suggested he and Emma try to find some place where they could both stay. Howie was surprised Nick was taking his advice, Addie was hoping her friend would say yes and Emma was completely uncomfortable. The ride home was even quieter and when they arrived, Howie and Addie took off for the house and left their friends in the truck.

Nick and Emma sat in silence for a few minutes and then Emma turned to look at him.

“Are you crazy?”


“Are you nuts?”


“We cannot live together Nick.”

“You don’t have to call it that. We’re just living in the same place.”

“Oh yeah, cuz there’s really a difference. Can you imagine the fallout if someone realized where you were staying and posted that you were living with a woman? Lauren would be heartbroken.”

“She’d have to deal with it. It’s not like she cares about my feelings.”

“So that’s what this is.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Did you suggest moving into the same house because it made sense like you said or because you want to get back at Lauren for hurting you?”

“Maybe it started like that, but the more I think about it, the idea makes sense.”

“No part of this makes sense Nick.”

“Yes it does. You need somewhere to stay, a place of your own. You can’t stay with Addie forever.”

“I know, that’s why I am already looking.”

“And how is that going?”

Emma stayed silent and Nick nodded.

“See. You told me this morning that you needed a house so you could keep Della but you couldn’t afford one on your own. This is the solution.”

“This is not a solution Nick, it’s a scandal waiting to happen.”

“No it’s not. Besides, I am going to be travelling with Howie for work. I wouldn’t even be there all the time.”

“But you’d be there at some point.”

“Yeah but not all the time.”

“It doesn’t matter Nick. Some of the time is just as bad as all the time in this case.”

“Think about it Emma. This is really the only good solution.”

“Uh-uh. This is a mess not a solution. I can’t live with you. I’ll find something.”

“No you won’t.”

“Excuse me?” asked a stunned Emma.

“You’re not going to find the perfect place without me.”

“I don’t need a “perfect place” Nick. I just need a place.”

“I can get us the place you really want.”

“You’re kidding me right? Are you seriously trying to make me say yes by promising me what you know I want but can’t have? That’s low Nick.”

Nick sighed. “I’m sorry Em. I don’t mean it that way. I know you love that house and we both need some place to stay. You want to keep Della and I don’t feel like being by myself all the time. That house is the solution to both of our problems.”

Emma leaned her head back on the headrest and closed her eyes. She knew that logistically Nick had a point. It would solve both their problems. However there were some major issues with that solution. There was no way she could afford to live there and she did not want to be the cause of more problems between Nick and Lauren.

“No Nick.” Emma finally said after a few minutes. “I can’t afford to stay there and I am not going to get in the middle of you and Lauren. I’ll find somewhere else to stay.”

She climbed out of the truck and walked up to the house. Nick was tempted to follow her and plead his case but he didn’t. Maybe if he gave her some time to think about it, she’d change her mind.