"Has anyone seen Nick?" Kevin asked Brian when they were talking over some finger foods. Brian didn't answer right away, he kind of rolled his eyes.
"No idea. Why are you looking for him anyway? He's kinda ruining the party. Leighanne already complained about it." Brian replied with a shrug.
"Last time I checked, he was your best friend." Kevin said. Brian picked up a grape off of his plate and tossed it into his mouth. He didn't say much of anything besides mumbling that friends should support their friends' marriages.
Kevin shook his head at his cousin and began looking for Nick again. He finally found him in another room off the main reception hall, sitting by himself. He wiped his eyes quickly when he spotted Kevin walking in. The room was in disarray as if someone had thrown a fit.
“Nick, are you okay? I was wondering where you went off to.”
“Am I really a bad friend, Kevin?” Nick asked, his words slurring a little bit. He wasn’t very drunk but it was obvious he had something to drink. Kevin sat down next to him and he wiped his eyes to hide the fact that he’d been crying.
“No. I’m sure Brian doesn’t think you are either.”
“I don’t hate her, if that’s what he told you. He told you that, didn’t he?”
Kevin shrugged and didn’t say anything. He didn’t know how to answer that because Brian had told him in the past that he thought Nick hated his girlfriend but until now it hadn’t really come up in conversation.
“It’s like this, Kev. I don’t hate her, I don’t think she likes me. She doesn’t like us hanging out. She doesn’t try to talk to me or anything. I just feel like he rushed into this for whatever reason and I just had a bad feeling. So the other day we were talking and we had this huge fight. He thinks it’s because I wasn’t his best man, but it’s not that either. I...I don’t know what it is anymore.” Nick sighed, pouting. He went to drink out of the champagne glass he was holding but it was empty.
“Where did my drink go?”
Kevin had to stop himself from laughing.
“Let’s- here. Give me the glass. Let’s just take that and put it over here. Come on. We can get you some cake or something.” Kevin said. He took the empty glass from Nick and helped him up.
“I don’t want cake. I think I would just rather go back to the hotel room.” Nick told him with his head down. Kevin ended up getting him to at least have some cake and pose for some group pictures but even after Nick seemed upset. His expression said everything.
“Can you get there by yourself, or do you need me to help you?” Kevin asked. Nick didn’t look that drunk but he was wobbling so Kevin didn’t trust him on his own.
“I’m cool.” Nick assured him, although Kevin was not convinced. He led him back to his hotel room and helped him into bed.
“I’m gonna go back to the reception, if you are okay to be here by yourself.” Kevin said once Nick settled in.
“Kevin, I’m not- um….I’m not jealous of Brian.” Nick said suddenly.
Kevin sat down on the edge of the bed, listening. He knew that Nick wasn’t jealous but he figured Nick had reached some sort of epiphany while he was drinking earlier and maybe he just felt bad for behaving the way he was at the reception. Everyone knew Nick and Leighanne didn’t get along. This wasn’t a secret. It wasn’t for lack of trying. Nick tried to get along with her but for some reason his attempts to be friendly backfired. As a result, it put a strain on his friendship with Brian to the point where they were not as close anymore. It left Nick with a broken heart. Nick didn’t even have to tell anyone, anyone with a brain could see that something had changed between him and Brian.
“I don’t think anyone thinks that, kiddo. Just get some rest. You don’t feel well.” Kevin said softly as Nick smiled.
“Do you think I’ll ever be in love like Brian and his wife are, or like you and Kris are?”
“I mean-You’re still young. You got plenty of time, love isn’t something to rush into. Everyone feels it differently. I thought you didn’t want to get married or anything like that? That’s what you’ve told the press before.” Kevin pointed out.
“Do you want to be a dad, Kevin?” Nick asked.
“Someday, yes. Kristin and I haven’t really discussed it much because of how busy the group is, but one day I’d like to slow things down and have a family. I know children make you feel awkward, Nick. I know you’ve said you don’t want kids. Sorry if I’m making you uncomfortable.”
Nick sat up in bed, resting against the headboard and picking at the hem of his shirt.
“I did say that. The truth is, I dunno what I want. I guess sometimes I feel like I want to be like you guys but there’s times where I want to be on my own. I guess I’m still figuring things out. Besides, I don’t think I’m cut out to be a dad or father figure or anything like that, Kev. I think I just want to find someone that understands me and loves me for me. Kinda like you guys...or like I thought Brian did- but with boobs.”
“So you want a female version of Brian?” Kevin laughed, ruffling Nick’s hair as he laughed too.
“Don’t tell him I said that. He’ll get a complex. ” Nick blushed.
“Get some sleep, okay? No more drinking.” Kevin said, smiling as he headed for the door of the hotel room.
“Thanks, Kevin. I’m sorry for being a brat.”
“It’s okay, little man.”
Kevin smiled again and closed the door, heading back to the reception and hoping nobody had noticed that he and Nick left. He didn’t think anyone would, because Brian and Leighanne were dancing to some song blaring over the speakers. Everyone was having a good time. Kevin managed to enjoy himself as he settled in and danced with Kristin.
“Everything okay, sweetie?” Kristin asked when they were in the middle of a slow dance.
“Just thinking about Nick. He was kind of upset before.” Kevin explained, kissing her cheek as she put her head on his shoulder.
“I’m sure he’ll be fine. I’m glad you were there for him. You’re going to be a great dad someday.” Kristin said.
“You think so? I was hoping one day we could start a family, but I didn’t know if you’d be into that. We never really talked about having children before.”
“I know you have a busy schedule but we could work on it. I just see how you are with these guys, with Nick...and I can tell that being a dad is what you want. Being a parent is what I want too.”
The two of them leaned in and kissed each other gently, her arms around her husband’s neck.
“One day we will. I love you.” Kristin whispered.
“I love you.” Kevin said back. The two of them continued dancing, wondering when their turn would be.