“Don’t yell Nick. There is nothing I can do.”
“Yes there is! You can put your foot down and explain that you haven’t seen your boyfriend in months! It’s your business, you can take a break!”
“No I can’t. This is an important sponsor and I need to spend some time with them to work on a deal.”
“How about spending time with me? Do I have to start sponsoring you so that I can get a little time with you?”
“That’s a low blow Nick.”
He took a deep breath and tried to control himself. “I’m sorry Lauren but I haven’t seen you in 3 months. I want some time with you.”
“You’ll get it. You just need to wait a couple weeks.”
“A couple of weeks? I thought it would be a couple of days!”
“I have to fly to Texas and take care of the basics and then fly to Florida to finish the rest. You of all people should know how important my job is.”
“I know it’s important but I thought our relationship was too!”
“Look Nick, it is what it is. I need to do this and then I’ll take some time off and we’ll go away somewhere. Is that ok?”
“Do I get a choice?” Nick asked bitterly.
“No you don’t.”
“Then I guess it’s just fine.”
“I love you and I’ll see you soon.”
Nick hung up the phone without telling Lauren that he loved her. Maybe it was childish but he was hurting and wanted to strike back. He hoped it would upset her. He made his way back to the table and took his seat next to Emma.
“I think you just found some company for the next few weeks!”
Howie and Nick offered to bring the girls home so Emma and Addie said goodbye to Brian, Kevin and AJ at the restaurant.
“I’m glad we got to hang out again.” Emma said as she hugged AJ.
“Me too Feisty. I’m gonna have to bring Ro next time. I think you and her would get along great.”
“I’d love to meet her and that beautiful little baby girl of yours.”
“I never thought I could love someone that much.” he said with an ear to ear grin. “I’m pretty biased, but she’s amazing.”
“I bet she is.”
Emma hugged Brian and Kevin and climbed into the passenger seat of the SUV while Nick took the driver’s seat. Addie and Howie finished saying goodbye and climbed into the backseat.
“Thanks for driving us home.” Emma said to the guys.
“No problem.” Nick responded.
It was a pretty quiet ride to Addie’s house where they dropped Addie and Howie off. The four said their goodbyes and Nick drove Emma to her house.
“Where are you going after this?” Emma asked.
“Probably back to the hotel. I called and thankfully they had an available room.”
“I’m really sorry that Lauren wasn’t able to make it out.”
“Doesn’t really matter. I probably won’t see her for weeks now so I’ll find some stuff to do while I’m here.” Nick said, pulling into Emma’s driveway.
“You’re welcome to come hang out here anytime you want. I’m usually home by 4 and I’m pretty much a homebody on the weekends.”
“I don’t want to bother you. I can find things to do.”
“It’s not a bother. In fact, I was planning on going down to the Cape tomorrow and spending some time down by the canal.”
“Yeah. There is a long canal separating us from the Cape. You have to take bridges to cross it but there are lots of bike paths and walking trails on the banks. I like to go there on Saturdays in the fall. It’s still nice weather and the foliage is beautiful.”
“So why don’t you come with me?”
“I wouldn’t want to be a third wheel. Your boyfriend probably wants to spend some time with you.”
Emma chuckled. “Yeah right. I do this stuff by myself. He’s not an outdoorsy kind of guy. They don’t have PlayStations located on any of the trails.”
Nick burst in laughter. “That would be pretty cool.”
“I don’t think so. I hate those things. I wish they’d never been invented.”
“C’mon, they’re not that bad.”
“Oh yes they are, and trust me, you don’t want to debate this issue with me.”
Nick held up his hands. “Nope, you’re right, I don’t. I’m gonna be quiet right now.”
“Good.” Emma said with a smile. “Now will you come with me tomorrow?”
“I guess so.”
“Jeez, don’t sound so excited.” Emma teased, elbowing him.
Nick smiled. “I would love to go with you. Was that better?”
“Definitely. I usually go around 10. Is that ok with you?”
“I’ll be here.”
“Ok, I’ll see you in the morning. Don’t be late!” she said and wagged her finger at him.
“I won’t be.”
Nick watched as Emma closed the door, walked up to the front porch and turned to wave at him. If he had to spend the next few weeks out here, it wouldn’t be so bad to make some friends.