“What?” He looked at her concerned as they entered the room. She dropped her things on the floor and stepped in the direction of this bed.
“I hate that this comes up.” She said, looking at him as he waited for her to explain more, still sweaty and looking gorgeous for it as usual.
“John emailed me.” She said carefully, eyeing him for his reaction.
She nodded. “I guess ignoring him really, really isn’t working.”
“What did he say?” He asked, curious and frustrated.
She was quiet for a second, thinking about all of it. “A lot of stuff actually.”
“What? Like what?”
She rolled her eyes, “I hate that this comes up. I hate that he emails and then I talk about it. I hate thinking about him. I hate that he gives me a reason to think about him.” She sighed. He looked at her as he came closer and she could tell he hated it too. “He said what he usually says - let me know when you’re back, i miss you, thought of you because of some random thing…” She explained, “But then he also said he’s still in love with me.”
His face turned, his eyes got cooler and he furrowed his eyebrows.
“I’m honestly not sure what to do about it. But I know for sure I need it to be done with… again… for super real.” She turned her body into his direction more as he reached out to touch her arm. “Because it keeps … interrupting.”
His hand snaked around her waist, pulling her into him. “He doesn’t love you… not really. Not like I do.”
“I know.” She said quietly as she wrapped her arm around his neck.
His face moved in closer to hers and his hand inched under her top.
“More importantly..." Her eyes met his and her body tingled, "I’m not in love with him. I’m in love with you.” She said as his lips grazed hers while she spoke before sinking into a deep kiss once she finished.
The kissing continued and they both forgot about John and everything else for the rest of the night.
Having fallen asleep prematurely, the curtains in Nick’s hotel room had remained open all night. As soon as the sun came up the next morning, they were awake and relaxing in bed together kissing and plotting how to spend the day. Nick marveled at the span of time they had without any commitments: one full day and until two o’clock the following day.
“That’s so much time.”
She smiled against his lips as his hand slid further up her side over her skin, .
“What do you want to do with it?”
She smirked as he nuzzled his face into her neck.
“Some more of this.” He said, “And whatever you want.”
“I like your ideas so far.”
“And order fancy room service for dinner again.”
“So basically never leave this room?”
“Not unless we have to. Like if there is an emergency evacuation.”
“Oh you don’t want to see me in my big floppy hat?”
“No I like your face and I like being able to see it perfectly.” He explained, “Plus she said she wouldn’t make you wear hats anymore.”
“I know. Lucky me.” She smiled as she pushed her hand through his hair gently.
“I’m so glad you’re here.” He whispered as he leaned in to kiss her again.
“Me too. So… Florida?” She asked as his mouth moved along the line of her jaw.
“You still coming with me?” he mumbled.
“I have a pool.”
She smiled, “I know you do.”
“I know you like that.”
She shrugged, “it’s such a luxury.”
“We can go on my boat.”
“I like that.”
“What else do you want to do?”
It doesn’t matter. “It’ll just be fun to see where you live. To see Nick at home.” She mused. “I guess I should cancel that other flight…”
“Jen can fix it tomorrow.”
“I promise you’ll like it.” he leaned away from her, “My Florida.”
“I have no doubt.”
He smiled and pushed some hair over her shoulder. She leaned in to kiss him again as someone began knocking at his door.
“Ignore that.” He whispered against her lips and she nodded in agreement but the knocking persisted.
“Well, it’s something but…”
“It’s nothing important.” He said quietly as he slid his hand across her stomach under her shirt. “Just keep ignoring it. it’s my day off.”
She nodded as she moved comfortably under him and his spell, letting him put his hands and lips wherever he wanted, trying to ignore the knocking.
“Are you sure you don’t want to check the door?” She finally asked.
He hung his head above her and sighed in frustration.
“They aren’t giving up.”
“I see that.”
“It’s okay, go check.”
He sighed heavily and slowly made his way out of the bed and to the door. She snuggled deeper into the warmth he left behind and waited patiently for him to return.
But what she heard next terrified her.
“I knew you had two days off and I came to visit!” Jane’s voice traveled into the room and ignited an unrecognizable and jarring fear in the pit of Coll’s stomach.
“It’s been so long since I’ve seen you and I wanted to come and see the show and spend some time with you.” She explained. “You don’t call…”
For a moment she was frozen, unable to move before finally getting out of bed as quickly and quietly as she could. She grabbed as much evidence of her presence as she could reach without being seen and escaped to the bathroom where she closed the door gently behind her.
She stood as still as possible in the dark and just waited for something to happen.
“I’m glad they are booking you nice rooms…My own room is alright. A little small, even for Europe.”
“Mom, I-“ Nick nervously tried to redirect her but failed as she walked past him into the suite.
“Nice handbag.” She commented flatly as her eyes fell on Coll’s bag, perched on the desk in Nick’s suite.
“Oh, that’s…” Shit. “Coll’s…” Nick looked around the empty room surprised to discover Coll had mostly disappeared from the scene and was impressed. “She must have left it here last night. We were hanging out.”
Jane looked at him closely, “I didn’t realize Coll could afford a bag like that.”
Nick shrugged, unsure how to respond.
“If she’s around I would love to see her.”
“Sure, yeah, she’s… in her room.”
“Well, tell me how everything else is going? I saw that it’s over with Mandy.”
He shrugged again as Jane looked around the room. “Mandy needed to do her own thing.”
“Never liked her much, honestly.”
“She was actually really great about everything.”
Coll breathed in deeply and quietly as she listened. Still need to find out what happened there.
Jane’s eye caught the handbag again and she stared at it for a moment. “Why don’t you get dressed and meet me downstairs?” She said.
“See if Colleen would join us.” Jane smiled a bit too widely and turned quickly to leave. “See you in ten.”
Nick watched Jane leave and continued staring at the back of the door for several seconds after she was gone. What the fuck?
Finally, he turned to walk to the bathroom door where he pushed it open gently to find Coll standing there at full attention, her eyes wide with her hands over her mouth.
The look on his face was one of pain and annoyance.
“I wasn’t sure what to do so I hid.” Coll said quickly as her hands moved to the sides of her face.
“Why is she here?” He asked, frustration evident in his voice.
“Do you think she could tell? That I was here?” Coll asked nervously.
“She is up to something.” He said plainly.
“Do you think she will suspect anything is going on? With us?”
“She shouldn’t have come here.”
They were having two different conversations and simultaneously, no conversation at all.
“I mean, is she going to tell my mom? I haven’t even had a chance to tell anyone … I don’t even actually know what I’m telling them. Do they still talk? I honestly don’t-”
“She should have told me she was coming.”
Coll paused and snapped back to attention. The look on his face was scaring her. “Jen must have known.”
His eyes locked on hers. “Jen must have known.” He repeated, the accuracy of her statement settling in. “Jen must have known.”
Coll hung on the door frame as she watched him begin to pace the room. “Nick.”
“I just can’t figure out why she came here now. We will be back in the states soon. Why did she come all the way here now?”
Feeling self conscious and also silly for it at the same time, she bit her bottom lip into her mouth. She didn’t know the current status of their relationship but he had made enough comments … and the way he looked right now told her it wasn’t good.
“Maybe she genuinely just wanted to see you.”