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“Are you sure you can’t fly out here?”

Emma laughed as Nick whined into the phone. “No, it’s New Year’s. You’re in LA and I’m on the Cape. I don’t think I’d make it on time.”

“This sucks.”

“None of the other guys brought anyone did they?”

“No, AJ, Kevin and Brian all have flights booked for tomorrow afternoon and Howie and I fly back tomorrow night.”

“See? You’re not the only lonely one.”

Emma heard the other guys’ voices through the phone. “Are you guys going on soon?”

“Yeah in a few minutes. I’m still mad you’re not here. I really don’t want to have to kiss McLean at midnight!”

“I heard that!” AJ yelled so loud that it made Emma cringe. “Who said I wanted to kiss your ugly mug?”

“Don’t listen to AJ sweetie, your mug is adorable.”

Nick laughed and shook his head. “I really miss you.”

“I miss you too but just think that tomorrow you’ll be coming home for a while. No more traveling until the tour starts.”

“I can’t wait to have some one on one time with you.”

“Me too.” Emma whispered. “We’re going to have to make up for all the time you’ll be missing.”

“Argh….why do I have to be out here again?”

“Because it’s your job and you love it.” Emma replied. “Don’t worry; I will be right here when you get back tomorrow.”

“You’d better be.”

“I will and I even bought a surprise for you.”

“That’s just wrong. I’m across the country from you and you’re teasing me like that. You’re in trouble when I get back there.”

“I hope so!” Emma said with a chuckle. “Go do your show and call me when you get back to the hotel.”

“Alright. Don’t fall asleep on me!”

“I won’t. Get going.”


“I’m wiped.” Kevin complained as they rode the elevator up to their rooms.

“I hear you. This getting older thing sucks.” AJ replied. “How did we manage to do all this stuff before?”

“We were young, in shape and completely crazy.” Nick said with a laugh.

Brian just chuckled and started down the hallway to his room. Kevin and Howie branched off into their rooms leaving Nick and AJ to make their way further down the hall. They made plans to have breakfast in the morning and said goodnight. Nick decided to take a shower before calling Emma back.

He was drying his hair twenty minutes later when he heard someone knock on the door. Figuring it was AJ, he smiled and yelled “I’m not changing my mind about kissing you McLean!” No one said anything so he got off the bed and started to unlock the door. His smile faded as soon as it opened.

“Hi Nick.”

“What are you doing here Lauren?”

“I was kind of hoping I could talk to you.”

“Look Lauren…”

“I just need a few minutes Nick, I promise, and I’ll leave. Can I please just talk to you?”

Nick wanted to say no but he felt bad for his ex. She looked like she’d been crying and it bothered him to see her so upset. He nodded and stepped aside so that she could come in. Sitting down in the only chair, Nick folded his hands and waited for Lauren to say something.

“I’m sorry.” Lauren whispered and looked Nick in the eyes. “I’m sorry for everything.”

“It’s done…”

“Please let me finish Nick.”

“Make it quick.”

“I’m sorry for everything I’ve done to you and to us. I’ve had a lot of time to think and I know I’m completely at fault for what happened to us. I spent way too much time taking care of my business that I forgot to take care of us. I let a really terrific man get away.”

Lauren’s eyes filled with tears and Nick handed her a tissue.

“I’m with someone Laur.”

“I know, she’s really pretty.”

“She’s important to me.”

“Do you love her?”

Nick was shocked by the question and didn’t really know how to answer it. Em meant the world to him but just like he’d told everyone else, he wasn’t ready to say that he loved her.

“I love you Nick. I want you to know that.”


“Please don’t tell me no Nick.” Lauren made her way over to him and knelt down next to him. “I love you and I’m still in love with you. We were together for four years and I know that at some point, we were happy. We can be that way again. I just need you to give us a chance.”

Nick stood up and walked away. “How can you ask me to give it another try? I’m with someone else.”

“Who you’re not sure you love.”

“I didn’t say that. We haven’t been together long enough for me to say I love her.”

“But you love me. I know you do. I can see it in your eyes Nick.”

“There’s nothing in my eyes.” Nick decided that the discussion had gone on too long. He crossed over to the door and started to unlock it. “I think it’s time for you to leave.”

Lauren nodded her head and headed for the door. Just as she was about to turn the handle, she spun around and kissed him gently. Snaking her arms around the back of his head, she increased the intensity. Ignoring the fact that his head was screaming no, his body gave in to the old feelings and he returned Lauren’s kiss. They stayed that way for a minute and then she pulled back.

“Just think about it ok.” Lauren said and slipped out the door.

Nick shut the door and banged his head against the wall. What did he just fucking do?