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“Sullivan thanks for all of your help these past few months. Now that this is wrapped up, you are free to go back to New York.” Peterson said to a tired looking Lucky as he rounded her desk.

“Are you serious?” Lucky asked, hoping that Peterson wasn’t going to surprise her like he had the other few times he told her she could go home.

“Yes, this time I really mean it.” Peterson said and patted her back. “Good work Sullivan.” With that, he left Lucky to herself. The first thing she did was pull up Delta Airlines' website and book a flight back to New York the next day.

She drove home as fast as she could and began packing up her bags. About half way through, she heard her cell phone vibrating on her night stand and started praying that it wasn’t Peterson. Looking at the name, she smiled and saw that it was Lily.

“So I hear you get to leave huh?” Lily said with a sad tone tipping her voice.

“Yeah, I get to go back to New York, back to Nick, back to my life there. Boy am I glad.” Lucky said as she folded a couple pairs of underwear and tucked them away safely.

“Well, you know, it’s been good having you home these past few months. How do you think Nick is going to respond to you going home? Have you told him yet?” Lily asked her friend.

“No, I haven’t told him yet, I think I am just going to surprise him. At least if I just go, he won’t be able to tell me no. We haven’t really been staying in touch as often as we did in the beginning, but I guess that’s to be expected. I mean, I’m sure he’s busy with the album and everything, you know?” Lucky said, feeling unsure of Nick’s response to her return.

“He hasn’t moved on Lucky.” Lily said, reassuring her friend. “Trust me; I would feel it for you if he had.”

“Thanks Lil. Listen, I have to get back to packing, but I’d really like to see you before I leave, especially with tomorrow being Christmas and all.” Lucky looked over at the clock and saw that it was only 6:30. “Come over by 8:00 and I’ll make dinner and you can help me finish packing.”

“Sounds great, and I have something for you!” Lily said in a sing-song voice. She laughed at her comment and hung up the phone.

About 45 minutes later, the doorbell rang Lily was standing at Lucky’s apartment door holding a large wrapped box. She smiled and handed the box to Lucky and hugged her before walking into the apartment. “Hmm! Smells good in here!”

“Thanks, I just whipped up some chicken and veggies. I hope that’s what you’re hungry for.” Lucky said and looked over to where all of her packed bags lay waiting to be taken back to New York. “You know, Lil, I am really going to miss getting to hang out with you again.”

“Aw, Luck, don’t go getting all sentimental on me. Besides, as soon as you see Nick, your thoughts of me are going to be gone.” Lily said and laughed, grabbing herself a plate and filling it with food. “So what’s to drink around here? Please tell me you have some form of alcohol.”

Lucky laughed and grabbed her wine glasses, pouring them each a full glass of red wine. “To Christmas and hoping Nick still loves me.” Lucky accidentally slipped.

“WHAT?! He loves you? How do you know that?” Lily asked and sat down on Lucky’s couch, turning on the TV and cutting her food.

Over the course of dinner, Lucky admitted Nick’s drunken night to Lily and ironically, the two of them got pretty blasted off of the wine. Giggling wildly, Lucky heard her cell phone ring. “It had better not be that damned Peterson. I swear, if I have to stay here, I’m going to quit.” Lucky said, slurring her words. To her surprise the name flashing on the Caller ID was Nick’s.

“Hey Nicky! I was just thinking about you,” Luck said a little loudly.

“Um, hey, Lucky? What’s up? Are you ok?” Nick asked tentatively.

“Yeah, I’m great! Hey, it’s almost Christmas! Merry Christmas!” Lucky said and started laughing uncontrollably.

“Yeah, Merry Christmas to you too. I was actually just calling you to say that. But it sounds like you’re busy, so I’ll let you go. I’ll talk to you later.” Nick said sullenly and hung up.

“He hung … up on me! Oh well, I’ll see his fine ass tomorrow and make him feel ALLLLL better, if you know what I mean.” Lucky grinned and she and Lily returned to the task of emptying their bottle of wine.

Meanwhile, in New York, Nick sat staring at his phone and couldn’t believe the phone call he had just experienced. What the hell was Lucky’s problem? Or for that matter, what the hell was his? She seemed to be getting along just fine without him, why was he still dwelling on the thought of her return? Looking at the clock and seeing that it was well past midnight, he decided to head off to bed. Little did he know that a restless night of Lucky filled dreams was ahead of him.



Groggily, Lucky looked up at her clock and saw that it read 8:24 am. “OH MY GOSH! I’m going to be SOOO late.” Lucky yelled to no one in particular. She sat up quickly in her bed and felt a pounding headache crawling into her skull. She closed her eyes and brought her hand to her forehead. She looked around her room and saw that it was in complete disarray from where she changed into her pajamas. She remembered Lily coming over and then drinking some wine. Oh shit. She had a hangover. And she was going to see Nick today. She got up quickly and took a quick shower. Already feeling a little better, she was reassured to see that the clock only read 8:47 am by the time she was out.

Her flight wasn’t leaving until 11:00, so she had about 45 minutes to get ready and get down to the O’Hare airport. She threw on her favorite pair of jeans and a white long sleeved shirt and layered it with a yellow polo. She put on her tan Uggs and pulled her hair up into a ponytail. Doing a little bit of makeup, she called the cab company to take her to the airport. The man helped her with her bags and she threw on her winter coat and headed to that airport.

She sat there waiting for her flight to be called and realized that she had to go to the bathroom. She looked at her watch and saw that it read 10:45 and thought to herself, “They’ll be boarding soon. But damn, I really have to pee.” She had already had 3 cups of coffee in an attempt to wake herself up; however, it didn’t help with the monstrous headache she was feeling.

She ran to the bathroom and to her surprise there was a line. She began tapping her foot in agitation and hoped that it would hurry the line along some. As soon as she had the opportunity to get into the stall, she hurried herself up and ran back to her terminal. They were doing their last call for boarding and Lucky got to her seat just in time for the flight attendants to call for seat belts. She breathed a sigh of relief, hoping that this was going to be an easy flight. Taking out her iPod and a magazine, she settled in for the flight.


“Alright man, well have a great Christmas with Leigh and Baylee. I hope he enjoys the mini motorcycle I bought him. Hopefully Leigh will let him ride it.” Nick laughed along with Brian.

“Yeah, thanks for calling Nick. I was glad to hear from you. I’ll pass the well wishes onto Leighanne and Bay. I’m sure they’ll be glad to hear from you too.” Brian said and the two men hung up the phone.

Nick sighed and sat down on his couch. “How pathetic am I?” He asked aloud, to no one in particular. He looked over at the curtain covered windows and thought about how much he and his life had changed since Lucky had left, four months earlier.

He had really cleaned up his act, in hopes that Lucky would return. He had taught himself to cook a few simple meals, and he really decreased his time going out. It just didn’t feel right anymore. He had been going to the gym and getting back in shape, his life finally felt like it was on the right path. But something was missing. And he knew that that something wasn’t just a something, but a someone: Lucky.

He looked at the clock and saw that it was nearing 5:30, his normal dinnertime. He felt a sudden urge to call Lucky again and wish her a real Merry Christmas, but decided against it. She could call him too; this didn’t have to be a one-way thing. He was so frustrated with the way their relationship was left floating in midair when she left him. He thought back to that day and her note frequently. Sure, they had kept in touch enough to not lose contact with each other, but a five minute phone call every three days or so wasn’t enough for Nick. He wished that he had been given the chance to tell her that he had started to fall in love with her before she left.

He went around the kitchen counter and pulled open a few cabinets and his refrigerator. He pulled out a pan and started to heat up the stove top. He found a hamburger patty and threw it on the heating pan. He also grabbed some lettuce, a tomato, and some ranch dressing. Tossing together a salad, he waited until his hamburger was done, then poured himself some milk and sat on his couch.

Turning on the television and finally settling on a football game, he started to eat his dinner in an aggravated peace. Paying close attention, he didn’t hear the door open until he heard a familiar voice, “I didn’t think you liked football much.”

He turned around and blinked his eyes a few times before realizing that his eyes were not deceiving him. Lucky was really standing in the foyer of his penthouse, taking off her coat and putting it on the hanger by the door. She walked closer to him and said, “Well, aren’t you at least going to wish me a Merry Christmas?”

“What are you doing here?” Nick asked and rose off of the couch.

“Not the welcome I was expecting, but at least it’s not the silent treatment.” Lucky said and attempted to smile. She took a few cautious steps closer to him and smiled wider. “I’m here because I’m home. Is that ok with you?”

“Why now? Why today? Why not earlier?” Nick asked, suddenly growing angry at her, in spite of the happiness his heart felt.

“Well, at least I’m here, right? Can’t we talk about this later?” Lucky asked and closed the gap between herself and Nick by wrapping her arms around him.

Nick pried her arms off of him and just looked at her blankly. “No. I can’t believe this. I can’t believe this at all.” Angrily, he stormed off to his room, with Lucky in tow. He got there before she did and he slammed his door, and then Lucky heard the distinct sound of him locking her out of his life.

She took in a deep breath and sighed, ready and willing to negotiate with him to at least unlock the door. “Nick, please open the door. How are we supposed to talk if you’re in there and I’m out here?”

“Maybe I don’t want to talk to you. Thanks for coming, really, but you can go back to Chicago now.” Nick said bitterly from the other side of the door.

“I’m back for you! I’m here! Merry Christmas!” Lucky tried pleading with him.

“No. Lucky, I can’t just let you walk back into my life just because you want to. Why did you leave in the first place?” Nick asked, torn with emotions.

“Didn’t you get my note? My dad lost his job and I needed to get back and help my family.” Lucky explained. “Surely, you can understand the meaning of family.”

“Yeah, but at least give me a few days with you before you just pack up your bags and leave. You know, we were supposed to go on our first DATE!” Nick yelled through the door.

“Listen Nick, I am not going to stand here and fight with you through this door. Either you grow up and open the damned door, or I’m just going to leave you alone.” Lucky said, and when she didn’t hear any movement from the inside of his room, she sighed and went to gather her bags.

She moved them into her room and slammed the door. Frustrated, she began unpacking her clothes to their familiar drawers and the closet. She looked at the picture on her dresser of her and Nick at the Charity Ball. The only picture they had together. That night was filled with mixed emotions. It was then that she realized that she wanted to be with Nick, but he was showing no signs of interest, so when Hunter came, she took what she could get. Little did he know that she thought of Nick every time they were together.

After about three hours of unpacking and trying to nap, Lucky heard Nick’s door open and a commotion in the living room. “Damnit, my burger is cold!” Lucky heard Nick bite out. She laughed to herself and then she heard the beeping of the microwave. He must have seen her bags missing because he suddenly started calling for her, in a desperate and panicked voice.

“Lucky! Lucky!” Nick called out for her. Lucky heard Nick searching all of the rooms and finally stopped at her door. Lucky decided to stay in bed until he knocked and without waiting for an answer, he opened the door. “Oh thank you God!”

“What? Did you really think that you locking me out would make me go home?” Lucky asked and laughed nervously. “Boy, this sure is a role reversal.” Lucky observed as Nick walked over to her bed and sat down on the corner.

“Lucky, there are some things I need to tell you.” Nick said seriously, ignoring her lighthearted quip. “First and foremost, you have to understand that just because you walked back in here, doesn’t mean it’s going to be like right before you left.”

“Oh, so I have to go back to the silent treatment and being ignored? I did it for the first 3 months I was here, I think I can handle it if necessary.” Lucky shot back, ready to meet Nick challenge for challenge.

“No, that’s not what I meant. I just, Lucky, I can’t go back to liking you. Your absence has changed a lot of things about me.” Nick said and hung his head.

“You look amazing Nick. I meant to tell you that, but we were kinda on yelling terms, not speaking terms.” Lucky said in all sincerity and laid back on her pillows.

“Can you please not do that? You look gorgeous and inviting sitting like that and I’m trying with all of my might to be mad at you right now.” Nick said and looked away from her.

“Nick, you don’t want to be mad at me. I’m sorry that I left so suddenly, it killed me having to do it. I didn’t want to leave you, especially knowing that we were supposed to be going on a date. That Friday night, I did nothing but mope. I wanted to call you, but then I knew that my heart would be dying if I did.” Lucky said and looked up at him through wet eyelashes.

Oh no. She had been crying. Just what Nick needed. He tried with all of his might to fight back the happiness in his heart, but when he saw her laying there in such a vulnerable state, he just couldn’t handle it anymore. He leaned down and filled up the spot next to her, lying down as well.

His hand rose involuntarily and began to play with her longer strands of hair. She smiled to herself at the tenderness of the moment and then looked over at Nick. He smiled at her and said, “Let’s go finish what I started. Dinner.” Lucky laughed and took Nick’s hand as he pulled her up from the bed.

They both went into the kitchen and Nick threw out his twice cooked hamburger. He looked around the kitchen just as Lucky pulled out a box of Kraft macaroni and cheese. She smiled and went to work making their Christmas dinner.