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Author's Chapter Notes:
Alyssa and Nick are alone at last. More memories from the past come back to haunt Alyssa.
Chapter 40

"I thought that they were never going to leave," Nick groaned as he closed the door behind Tricia and AJ in relief.

Alyssa couldn't help, but to be amused by Nick's obvious attempts at hinting that his friends should leave. Getting up from her seat on the couch and crossing across the room, she wrapped her arms around his waist. "That's not very nice to say about your friends," she teased with a playful smile.

"Well, is it wrong that I've been waiting all day to get you alone?" he asked, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear.

"We're alone now," she pointed out.

"Good point." His hand drifted down towards her chin and slowly guided her mouth towards his. Alyssa closed her eyes and savored the taste of his kiss, losing herself in the moment. She hardly noticed herself being lifted up, until her feet were no longer touching the ground.

"Nick!" she squealed with a giggle as he scooped her up in his arms heading in the direction of the stairs.

They got about halfway up the stairs before Alyssa realized that she couldn’t resist the urge to play just a little dumb. “Are you going to give me that tour of the upstairs now?” she innocently asked.

Nick’s expression lifted up into a cheesy grin. “There’s only one stop on this tour.” Was it Alyssa’s imagination or did he try to wiggle his eyebrows too?
Alyssa rolled her eyes as he set her back on her feet on the top of the landing. “You’re lucky you’re cute Carter because not very many men can pull off a line like that and get away with it.”

He shrugged. “I guess being irresistible has its advantages.” Before Alyssa could respond to that remark, his lips were on hers again in a heated kiss. Without breaking the embrace, he kicked open the door to what she assumed was his bedroom and pulled her inside.

Alyssa’s eyes quickly adjusted to the large dimly lit room. Curiosity over the place where Nick slept at night was pouring over her, but under the circumstances she really wasn’t all that interested in exploring the room. They headed right towards the king sized bed, collapsing on top of it in a tangle of limbs. Alyssa sighed in contentment, feeling the soft mattress beneath her back. The bed was so large that she easily estimated that she could probably roll over at least three times without falling off the edge.

“I wasn’t kidding when I said I’ve been waiting all day to get you alone,” Nick breathed as he pulled her sweater up over her head. “All I could think about was you and how you still owe me from last night.”

Alyssa smirked, feeling practically radiant from his confession. In a way, she’d been feeling exactly the same, only she was just better at hiding her emotions. She herself was a little shocked by how badly she wanted him. You would think that they hadn’t had sex together in weeks, when it had only been the night before last. How did we manage all those weeks apart while he was over in Europe? she wondered. Maybe the secret had been that they hadn’t been near each other, whereas they’d been spending every minute of the past few days with each other.

“Well, just think… We’re finally completely alone and we don’t have to worry about anyone else except ourselves.” Her hands wandered underneath the material of his shirt, her fingertips stroking his skin. “No neighbors in my apartment to overhear us… No fans hanging outside hotel room doors… No parents down the hall… And no annoying little sisters… Sounds pretty perfect to me.”

“Mmm… You’re right,” he agreed, raising up his arms, to help her remove the shirt from his body. “We can finally be as loud as we want.”

A giggle escaped from her lips. “How long does it take you to come up with this stuff?” she teased.

Nick pretended to look hurt. “What? You think that by now I don’t know enough about what to do to make your toes go numb? Maybe I should give you a demonstration.”

Alyssa felt her body go limp as his mouth zeroed in on a sensitive spot near her earlobe. Involuntarily, a moan escaped from her throat as she shivered. Damn him for being right. He really did know just what to do to produce a reaction from her.

Even though the room was dark, she could still barely make out the satisfied grin on Nick’s face. “Yepp. I still got just the right touch,” he bragged.

Ignoring his gloating, she shifted her position so that they were both lying together side by side. Hooking her thumbs inside the top of his jeans, she pulled him closer to her where her lips sought out his. “Okay Nick…” she admitted between kisses. “So, you proved your point. Now why don’t we drop the cheesy lines, okay?”

He just nodded as her fingertips began to play with the button on his jeans while her mouth tugged against his lips. “God Lyssa…” he groaned, while she worked them down his legs. I’m loving this more aggressive side of her, he thought to himself as his hands appreciatively traced along her curves.

His fingertips tangled themselves into her lush curls as he pulled her on top of him. Wasting no time, he fumbled with her jeans, anxious to feel her body against him. He reached his hands around her back to unclasp her bra and practically ripped it away from her body. Another satisfied groan escaped his mouth as Alyssa’s hips grinded up against his. Judging from the wetness he could already feel through the thin, black lacy boy shorts she was wearing, Nick got the impression that he wasn’t the only one who had spent the day anxiously waiting the first moment that they could be alone. Already he was finding it difficult to hold himself back.

The warmth of her breath tickled his neck as her lips strayed from his mouth. Mischievously, her tongue flicked against his earlobe eliciting a low growl from him. I’m not gong to last another minute if she keeps this up, he realized before flipping them over again. It was time to give her a taste of her own medicine. Pinning down her shoulders, his mouth traveled down over her breasts, stopping to tug on her puckered nipples. Alyssa’s back involuntarily arched in response, the frustration in her voice evident.

Nick shot her a cocky grin. “Told you I knew how to make you scream.”

Under any other circumstances, Alyssa probably would’ve argued with him and insisted that she was far from “screaming” but this time she just bit her tongue. “Why do you always have to get the last word in?” she breathily asked.

“Because I’m always right,” he insisted, continuing his descent on her body. His lips came to a halt when he reached her navel, not being able to resist spending a few moments to play with the shiny, jeweled barbell. Her body shivered underneath his, her hands clenched tightly around his shoulders, while his hand drifted downwards fingering the lacy edge of her boy shorts. Just by the way her hips pressed up against his, Nick could tell that she was begging for more.

Sliding his hand over just a little bit, he teasingly rubbed his fingertips up against her, causing a moan to escape her lips. He glanced up at her expression, her eyes closed and her lips slightly parted a look of obvious enjoyment on her face. Grinning devilishly, his hand slipped underneath the thin material. Alyssa gasped at the sensation of his fingers against her and her eyebrows rose in surprise as she felt a long finger slide inside her.

“Mmm…” she groaned, biting down on her lip, as her body automatically responded to his touch. Already she could feel a rush of heat flowing down her body as his fingers pumped faster against her. Once he lowered his mouth to the spot where her tattoo barely peeked out from her boy shorts and his tongue traced over the outline of it, she felt her release unexpectedly consume her. With a loud cry, her body shuddered as she came.

She lay still for a moment catching her breath, before wriggling her boy shorts down her legs, her body still trembling and her face still flushed. Judging by the pained expression on Nick’s face, Alyssa could tell that his patience was wearing thin. “Roll over…” she instructed him as she pulled off his boxers.

Nick did as he was told; staring up at her looking a bit shocked at her boldness. Swinging her leg over his, so that she was straddling him, she leaned down to capture his lips in one last sweltering kiss before sinking down onto him. They both moaned, relief flooding through their bodies before either one of them began to move. When it seemed like neither one of them could take it anymore, Alyssa finally began to rotate her hips, pressing her hands against his chest. His hands dug into her sides, guiding her against him as their pace began to quicken. It had been a long time since Alyssa had tried this position and she was relieved to find that her body instantly remembered how to respond.

As the heat between their bodies increased, she tilted her body slightly forward, so that she was hitting just the right angle. She could hear Nick breathing just as heavily as her and just by the way that his grip on her tightened she knew that he had to be close. Adding just a little more pressure to her movements she dug her nails into his shoulders.

“Lyss…” he groaned between gritted teeth. “I can’t…”

“It’s okay,” she cut him off breathlessly. “I’m right behind you.”

Her body was already beginning to quake when she felt his release underneath her. Moments later, she reached her peak loudly crying out his name before collapsing on top of him.

She buried her head against his damp chest for a moment, fighting to catch her breath, her skin still feeling as if it were on fire. She tried to formulate a rational thought inside her brain, but found that she was too wound up to think clearly.

“So?” Nick’s voice interrupted her thoughts. “Are your toes numb?”

“D-definitely,” she stuttered, surprised she was even capable of speaking more than one syllable at this point. “That was just… wow… It’s never been like that before.”

He chuckled at her obvious loss of words. “Very eloquently put there.”

Alyssa just rolled her eyes at him. “Okay to be more specific it was amazing, ok?”

“And just think… This is only the beginning. You still have quite a few more days out here in LA,” Nick pointed out, looking very satisfied with himself.

She grinned up at him. “Yea I know… I love-“ She froze for a moment, realizing that she’d caught herself just in time. Was she really about to tell him that she loved him just then? By now you should know better that impulsive declarations of love are never a good thing. Remember the last time you blurted your feelings out to him? she criticized herself. It only freaked Nick out and gave him just the motivation that he needed to cheat on you. She had to admit it was pretty tempting to let those three words slip out, but it was all in a moment of passion. He probably wouldn’t even take it seriously. Her mind frantically raced for a way to pull her foot out of her mouth until finally something popped into her head. “I love LA!” she exclaimed. Okay, it wasn’t the most ideal thing to say just then, but it was the best that she could do.

Luckily if Nick thought that her sudden obsession with LA was a little strange, he didn’t show it. He just wrapped his arms around her tighter and pulled her body closer to his. “You know what I love?” he asked, in a husky voice near her ear.
Me? she guessed. It was a nice daydream, but not very realistic, especially coming from Nick, but she could hope right? “What?”

“I love it when you’re like all aggressive and in control like you were tonight. It’s really hot,” he confessed. “I mean not that it’s not usually, but it’s a side of you that doesn’t really come out all that often and I don’t think you realize how sexy it really is.”

Alyssa’s cheeks reddened. It wasn’t a declaration of love, but coming from Nick she figured that it was close enough. “So, you’re saying that you want me to be bolder?”

“Yea, something like that. Confidence is a huge turn on as well. Sometimes I feel like you’re holding back a little. You don’t have to do that.”

“All right,” she agreed, nestling her head in the crook of his arm. Hearing Nick yawn beside her, she gazed up at him. “Tired?”

Nick nodded. “Yea… I think it’s all this bouncing back and forth between time zones. It’s still pretty early, but I’m exhausted.”

“So am I.” Her face broke into a grin. “And this bed is so comfortable that I’m sure I’ll have no problem falling asleep tonight.”

“Yea too bad I’m never home long enough to actually do much sleeping in it,” he explained as he closed his eyes. “Goodnight Lyss.”

“Night,” she echoed back, planting a kiss on his cheek before shutting her own eyes. Although Nick’s bed was very comfortable, Alyssa found herself having much more difficulty falling asleep than she’d anticipated. Her mind seemed too jumbled with the events of the past few days and what lay ahead until New Years. Her eyes opened again and fell upon Nick sleeping beside her. Just like on the plane ride out to LA she watched him for a moment, taking in his peacefulness. She had to admit that so far their new beginning seemed to be off to a great start.

But then again with Nick I feel like I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop. It seemed as if every time it finally seemed as if they actually had it all together, something would come along to destroy the illusion. That’s not going to happen this time, she argued. Things are different now. We’re different now. Not just two stupid kids trying to rush our futures.
Her mind flashed back to the memory of her and Nick’s trip to the Bahamas that she had been remembering while on the plane this afternoon. That had just been another perfect example of how volatile their relationship had been. One moment he had been asking her to marry him and the next she was heading on a plane back home… by herself.


Somehow I just don’t think this is exactly how a bride is supposed to feel on her wedding day, Alyssa thought to herself as she applied one last sweep of her mascara. She’d hardly even gotten used to the idea of being engaged and less than 24 hours later she was supposed to be getting married? It boggled her mind how absurd the situation was. What was she thinking last night when she’d agreed to go through with Nick’s scheme?

Her eyes wandered down towards the glittering rock on her left hand as she reached for her curling iron, which had just finished heating up.
This is the deal bummer about eloping, she realized as she burnt her finger trying to wrap a section of hair around the thick barrel. She cursed pressing her finger to her mouth. She’d never been great at doing hair and would’ve much preferred to have a professional do it for her. Or even her own mother who had been a hairdresser in her earlier years. Mom… she thought sadly, for the first really noticing what an impact her absence had on her. In the wedding of her dreams, Alyssa had always pictured her mother beside her, helping her to get ready the morning of the ceremony. She’d also pictured Megan as her maid of honor looking absolutely stunning and Stephanie as a bridesmaid complaining about having to wear something so girly. There’d be a church filled with her friends and relatives and a white stretch limo to ride to the lavish reception afterwards…

Reality slapped her in the face as she glanced at her image in the mirror. Instead of the flowing white princess gown, she’d always imagined her wedding dress to look like, she was wearing a simple white cotton sundress. She’d done the best she could with her makeup and she was currently still struggling with the curling iron to get her hair into even looking curls. In comparison to what she had envisioned herself to look like in her head, she looked pretty pathetic. With only half an hour before she was supposed to meet Nick out on the beach, she was feeling hopeless that she’d ever be able to make herself presentable.

Her mind drifted to how her family and friends would react to the news of her and Nick’s surprise wedding. She knew they’d be disappointed that they hadn’t been there and hurt that the two of them had went behind everyone’s back.
My parents will probably already start counting fingers assuming that this is a shotgun wedding and I’m pregnant, she thought with a smirk. Her mind tried to rationalize that what she was doing was actually benefiting her family in the long run. With three girls in the family, I’m doing my parents a favor by eloping. That’s one less wedding they’ll have to worry about.

Who am I kidding? she thought, finally realizing how ridiculous she was being. She could lie to herself all she wanted, but the truth was she’d wanted a big wedding ceremony with the fancy dress and the photographers and the flowers and the cake. She actually wanted the stress of planning a wedding. She wanted bridesmaids and a bridal shower and hell, an engagement party first and foremost.

If Nick really loves you as much as he says he does, he’ll understand, a little voice in her head said. She understood his rush to get married so that they could file for custody for the baby, but surely the fact that they were intending on getting married would be enough in a judges eyes. Taking a deep breath she knew what she had to do.

Half an hour later, Alyssa arrived at the spot on the beach that Nick had requested she meet him at. Still a distance away, she stopped for a moment to take in the scene. Nick was talking to a man who she assumed was some sort of justice of the peace. Instead of wearing at least a suit, he was wearing a pair of rolled up khakis and a loose white button down shirt. Definitely not what she had imagined which only solidified her decision.

Nick looked up as she approached them, his face contorting in a look of surprise. “Lyssa? Why aren’t you ready?” he asked, sounding confused to find her in a pair of denim shorts and a tight fitting t-shirt, her hair messily thrown up on the top of her head, and all of her makeup scrubbed away. “You better run back to the hotel and get dressed.”

“Nick, there’s something I need to tell you,” she firmly stated, twisting the engagement ring around her finger.

A worried look came over his face. Turning to the justice of the peace he asked, “Can we have a moment?”

The man nodded and Nick grabbed Alyssa by the arm and pulled her a few feet away, so that they were out of earshot. “What the fuck is this about?” Nick practically growled.

Alyssa’s stomach flip flopped at how upset Nick sounded. Somehow she had a feeling this wasn’t going to be as easy as she thought. “I’ve been thinking,” she started with a deep breath. “You know I love you very much, but-“

“But you don’t want to marry me right?” he cut her off. “Don’t you think this is something that you probably should have told me, I don’t know… yesterday?”

“I do want to marry you!” she insisted. “Just not today. Not here. Not now. I want a wedding where all our friends and family can attend. I want the kind of wedding that I’ve been dreaming about since I was four years old. And this… This isn’t it.”

Nick looked frustrated. “You agreed to this last night. Remember we said that we’d have a reception when we got back home for our friends and family.”

“It’s not the same Nick. It just doesn’t feel right to me.”

“Don’t do this to me Alyssa!” he begged. “Don’t make an ass out of me after everything I’ve done to make today special. You’re not going to embarrass me by backing out on me now. What am I supposed to say to this man?”

“That we changed our mind and decided to wait,” she explained through clenched teeth. Already she could feel herself beginning to get upset. “Why are you so obsessed with the fact that we have to get married right this minute? Can’t we just enjoy the fact that we’re engaged for a little bit. What’s the hurry?”

“If I remember correctly it was you who kept pushing me to fight Katie for custody of the baby,” he pointed out.

Alyssa looked puzzled. “And what does filing for custody have to do with us getting married?”

“I explained before. If we’re married then we look more stable to the judge which gives us an edge over Katie.”

“So, in other words you only want to marry me so that you can have custody of your illegitimate child?” Alyssa’s blood was boiling at this point as tears filled up her eyes. “And here I thought it was because you genuinely loved me and wanted to spend the rest of your life with me.”

“I do!” he insisted. “I wanted to marry you someday. Just now I have reason to move it up a little bit is all.”

She sighed. “Nick, I don’t think we’re as ready as you seem to think we are for marriage. Obviously we’re in two different places right now. So…” She paused to slip the ring off of her finger and placed it in his hand… “Let’s just call this whole thing off.”

Nick looked completely bewildered. “But what about the baby?”

“Is that all you care about? I’ll admit that there was a time where I wanted that baby just for the satisfaction of knowing I took something from Katie the same way she took you from me. I know… Pretty damn bitchy of me and not the most mature decision I’ve ever made,” she admitted. “But all of a sudden it just doesn’t seem all that important to me anymore.” Without another word she turned around and started walking away before the tears began to fall down her face.

“Alyssa! Come back!” she heard Nick’s voice pleading behind her. “Don’t walk away from me please!” She ignored him, knowing that they just needed some time apart to think things over.

Then he said the unthinkable. “You keep walking away like that and we’re through! I mean it this time!”

She stopped dead in her tracks, contemplating the decision he had placed upon her. She could go back to him, but could they really work out all of their many issues? Slowly turning around she saw the hopeful look in Nick’s eyes and it broke her heart to know what she was about to do.

“Sorry Nick. If you’re in such a hurry to get married and you want custody of your child so bad maybe you should give Katie a call.”