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Laying a photo album open on the coffee table, Mary Parker sat down on the sofa beside Howie and picked up her mug of cocoa. Watching as Brian and Howie leaned towards the album, she sipped her drink slowly, surveying their oddly familiar faces. Hannah had sent her out to buy the group's entire back catalogue the day she found out who Nick really was, too distraught to leave the house herself. During Hannah's pregnancy, Mary had flicked through the album inserts a hundred times - the names, the faces and the thank-you messages were seared into her brain. Though she had never met them, Brian and Howie felt like old friends.
"This is Jack?" Brian asked, pointing to a photo of a child asleep on a picnic blanket.
Mary leaned forward and Howie pulled the album towards her.
"That's Jack," she replied, setting her mug down carefully. "I took that at Central Park on his first birthday."
Turning the page carefully, Howie's eyes came to rest on another picture of Jack, this time in the arms of a blonde woman.
"And this is..."
"Hannah," Mary finished for him. "Right before they left to visit Nick in Florida."
Brian and Howie were silent, taking in the images. Hannah didn't look anything like Brian had expected her to - nothing like Nick's usual conquests. Sure, she was tall and blonde but the camera had captured a quiet togetherness, even as she prepared for the trip to Florida.
"Mrs Parker?" he asked, turning to look at her. "It's really important that we find Nick. If you have any idea where they might be..."
Mary stood and picked up her mug. She knew Hannah wanted Nick to spend as much time with Jack as possible - she wouldn't want visitors. She also knew people didn't fly across the country in the middle of the night if it wasn't important.
"They're staying in a cottage out in Long Island Sound," she said, reaching for Howie's mug. "They rented a car and drove out there this afternoon. I've got the address somewhere."
Brian looked at Howie as Mary left the room.
"You want to go tonight?" he asked.
Howie looked at his watch.
"It's almost midnight, Brian. I'm too tired to drive all the way out there," he replied, leaning back in his seat. "It's been a long day."
"You slept on the plane, D."
"I know. But what are we going to achieve by racing out there now? We'll go first thing tomorrow. He's not going to make things any worse before then."
Brian sighed as he closed the photo album and pushed it away.
"I hope you're right."

Nick pushed the bedroom door open slowly, cringing as the hinges let out a familiar squeak. Hannah lay on the unmade bed, her arm folded beneath her head and her hair spilling over the pillow. Moonlight shone through the open window and shadows danced on the walls as the curtains moved in the breeze.
"Hannah?" Nick asked, stepping into the room. "It's freezing in here. You're going to get sick."
When no reply came, Nick crossed the room and pulled the window closed.
"Mind if I sit down?" he asked.
Again, Hannah was silent and Nick sighed as he sat on the edge of the bed.
"Hannah... We need to talk about this. I can't sleep."
"You can't sleep? We need to talk about this because you can't sleep? What about me, Nick? What about what I need? What about Cassie? Your wife?"
Nick turned towards her.
"She's not going to be my wife anymore, Hannah..."
"And you think that makes it okay?" Hannah asked as she sat up. "Have you thought about what this means for anybody other than yourself?"
Confused, Nick frowned as he tucked his leg beneath him, sitting sideways on the bed.
"Of course I have," he replied carefully. "It means we can be a family, Hannah."
"It means we wrecked your marriage, Nick. Me and Jack... Cassie will be heartbroken right now because of me and Jack. Do you have any idea how that makes me feel?"
"Babe, none of this is your fault..."
"Don't call me that."
Nick sighed again.
"None of this is your fault, Hannah," he corrected.
"I think Cassie's going to disagree with you on that one," Hannah replied, reaching for a hair tie on the nightstand.
Nick watched as she pulled her hair into a loose ponytail and leaned back against the wall. Even in the middle of the night - her face pale and tearstained, her hair refusing to be tamed - she took his breath away. His stomach knotted and his palms beginning to sweat, he moved closer to her on the bed.
“I know I’ve made a mess of this,” he said quietly. “I know I’ve let a lot of people down and I’ve hurt everyone I love. I’ve never been more sorry, Hannah. But I want to make it right. I need you to give me a chance to fix this.”
Hannah looked down at her hands. Giving Nick a chance to fix his mistakes would mean making herself vulnerable again. And now she had Jack to worry about, too - if he got hurt because of a decision she made, she would never forgive herself.
Nick waited. The fact that she was thinking about it at all must count for something.
Pulling at a loose thread on her bandage, Hannah’s mind wandered. She remembered everything about falling in love with Nick - she remembered how the world around her had seemed blurred, as if everything moved in slow motion. How love songs had stopped being cheesy, becoming instead brilliant snippets of truth. How he had held her as they danced in the dark of her living room, oblivious to the snow falling outside and the world moving on without them. She remembered their first kiss, their first night together, the first time he told her he loved her. His promise to love her until the day he died. She remembered the smell of his skin, the feel of his hands, the soft warmth of his lips.
Nick was staring at her when she lifted her eyes to look at him and Hannah’s stomach turned. Reaching for her hand, Nick moved closer still.
“I know you loved me, Hannah. And I think you still do. Let me fix this - I can make it right,” he said quietly. “Let me fix it.”
Searching Nick's eyes for any sign of deception, Hannah found nothing. Against her better judgement, she leaned into him and the world fell away.