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“What was that about?” Addie demanded as she followed Emma into her bedroom.

“Nothing.” Emma said sharply.

“That’s bullshit.” she replied. “Something just happened and I want to know what.”

Emma slumped down on her bed and covered her face with a pillow. Addie heard her mumbling and yanked the pillow away.

“Say it without covering your face.”

“Nick told Lauren I was just living here to watch his house while he was away.”

“What?!?” Addie yelled. “He did not say that!”

“He did too. And he told her she was right about me.”

Addie sat there for a minute. Nick really seemed to care for Emma and he had bent over backwards to help her. He didn’t seem like the kind of person to take advantage of the situation.

“Maybe you didn’t hear him right.”

“I heard him clear enough. I’m not deaf!” Emma snapped.

“I didn’t say you were but there has to be some kind of explanation for the comment.”

“Yeah, he’s a jerk.” Emma started to cry.

Addie sighed. “He’s not Emma. There has to be some reason he said that.”

“Do you know what happened before you and Howie got here?” Emma asked through her tears. “He almost kissed me today.”

“That’s good right?” Addie asked.

“Not if he was doing it because he was looking for something to do and someone to do it with!”

Addie put her arm around her friend as Emma burst into tears. This had to be some kind of misunderstanding.


Nick thumped his head against the table as Howie stared at him.

“What’d you do this time Nick?”

“I opened my big mouth and didn’t make sure the door was shut.” he muttered.

“Did you really say that about Emma?”


Howie looked as though he wanted to smack him.

“But it’s not what I meant.”

“It’s seems pretty clear. If you didn’t mean it that way, what exactly did you mean?”

“Lauren made some comment about her being a groupie who was just living with me so she could watch my house.”


“I agreed.”


“I was being sarcastic Howie, I didn’t really mean it. Lauren was getting under my skin and I just snapped.”

Howie looked at his younger brother and sighed. “Do you think before you speak?”

“Apparently not.” Nick murmured. “I really fucked up huh?”

“Ya think? You have some major damage control to do. Emma really likes you and I’m pretty sure you just made a big mess.”

“I know, she’s pissed.” Nick said quietly and paused for a minute. “You know I almost kissed her before you guys got here.”

Howie whistled. “Well you may have killed any chance of that EVER happening.”

Nick was going to reply when Addie came back into the kitchen. She walked up to Nick and stuck her finger in his face.

“You had better be as big an idiot as I think you are!” she said loudly. “My best friend is down there bawling her eyes out because she thought you cared about her. I tried to explain that it must be some kind of mistake. For your sake, it better be the king of misunderstandings. Fix it now!”

Addie grabbed Howie’s hand and stormed off towards the door leaving Nick sitting there. She was right; he needed to clear this up before it got any worse. He stood up and headed down to Emma’s room.