Chapter 32 - Flirting With Temptation
At first, Alyssa had thought that maybe after the short, steamy, make out session she'd shared with Nick, her curiosity would be satisfied and that would be the end of it. She quickly realized that she couldn't have been more wrong. It was like every time she closed her eyes, all she could think about was the way his lips had felt against hers and his fingertips on her skin. Just the mere thought of it made her heart pound rapidly in her chest. She'd had moments of temptation with Nick before, but never like this. Now it was more than just a strange curiosity. Maybe it was her hormones again, causing all of her senses to become more heightened. Or maybe it was the fact that Sean was over in Iraq and she was beginning to get lonely. Whatever the case, she found herself actually craving physical intimacy and of course Nick was the logical object of lust. As terrible as it seemed, Alyssa was beginning to let her hormones take over like some horny teenage boy.
It was horrible, but lately all she could think about was sex. Never being an extremely sexual person in the first place, Alyssa found this sudden change a little unsettling. Her pregnancy forums had assured her that pregnancy, especially in the second trimester, definitely could cause very erratic mood swings, and many women found themselves to become more aroused at this point. Quite a few women had left posts boasting that they were currently having some of the best sex of their lives, which of course only intrigued Alyssa more. Why did Sean have to be thousands of miles away right now? Now she understood what Teri's cousin had been talking about when she'd suggested that she hold on to that vibrator.
Isn't there some kind of technicality that if you and your partner are in different countries, it's okay to cheat? she found herself wondering. Once she realized how twisted her logic was, she mentally kicked herself. If that was the case, her and Nick probably never would've broken up. She had to admit that she felt a tiny bit of guilt over how hypocritical she was being. But I'm pregnant and my husband is ALLLL the way in Iraq, she argued. That should grant me a get out of jail free card in itself!
Nick must've been feeling the same intensity that she was because she noticed in the next week that his visits had definitely been limited. In fact, he'd only stopped in once or twice to check in on her and only stayed about five minutes. Pretty sad that he only have a five minute threshold before we wind up completely making out like teenagers, she shamefully thought to herself. Nick had claimed that he just had been busy at the studio. Kina's album was being released after Thanksgiving and they were working on putting together a promo tour for her, so he was wrapped up in that. Alyssa got the feeling though that he was using Kina as an excuse to put a little bit of a buffer between them in hopes that things would cool down between the two of them. Based on how she was feeling, Alyssa didn't see things cooling down between the two of them at all any time soon.
She did her best though to fight through her hormones and make the best of her situation. It did help a little bit that she had finally heard from Sean again. Not hearing from him for long periods of time only made her more tempted because it would start to feel as if he didn't even exist. She found herself needing those little reminders that he was still a part of her life.
One night during that next week after she'd woken up from another particularly graphically detailed dream about a certain blonde who remained nameless, she found her heart racing so fast that she found it almost impossible to go back to sleep. Knowing that she'd be exhausted at work the next day, she finally gave up on lying there with her eyes wide open, and grabbed her laptop, heading downstairs with it. She figured she may as well check her e-mail and see if there was any advice on any of the pregnancy forums about how to get herself to fall back asleep again.
She was surprised when after she powered up her laptop and AIM automatically loaded to hear the familiar sound of an IM popping up on her screen. Clicking on it she was surprised to see Sean's screen name.
USMarineSR4Life: Hey babe... What are you doing on so late? Isn't it like the middle of the night by you?
Almost relieved that she had something to distract her from any more impure thoughts about Nick, she immediately started typing a response.
MissLyssa1980: Yea... I couldn't sleep.
USMarineSR4Life: Is the baby kicking?
Alyssa's hand flew over to her stomach which was now still. The baby had been kicking earlier that night, but since she'd gone to bed, the baby had stopped and had been quiet. She's probably sleeping, Alyssa figured. Still though, not wanting to get into the real reason that she couldn't sleep, she bit her lip and just went with it.
MissLyssa1980: Yea... I think we definitely have a future dancer on our hands.
USMarineSR4Life: Nice... Wouldn't surprise me because it's probably in her genes.
For once Alyssa wasn't exactly sure what to say to her husband. There was nothing going on in her life that she felt comfortable sharing with him. Right now her biggest problem was her raging hormones and she wasn't about to confess all of that to Sean although it would be an interesting conversation.
USMarineSR4Life: So Ian heard from Kim today.
USMarineSR4Life: Yea... He told me that Kim told him that the two of you had a big fight last week. What happened?
Alyssa sighed. It would figure that Kim wouldn't waste any time telling Ian who would tell Sean. The two women hadn't talked since their showdown in the park leaving Callie to be the middleman between the two of them. She did owe Sean an explanation though.
MissLyssa1980: It was really stupid. She's pissed because I decided that I wasn't going to breast feed the baby. She kept trying to preach to me all the reasons I should and then when I tried to give her my reasons for not wanting to, she shot them all down and basically said I was being selfish. She thinks I'm already an unfit mother because I'm depriving my daughter of breast milk. *rolls eyes*
USMarineSR4Life: Well, it is supposed to be healthier right? Maybe you should think a little harder about it.
Alyssa could immediately feel her blood begin to boil. Was Sean actually taking Kim's side in this? And really in the end it wasn't his decision. He wasn't the one sacrificing his body. Her short temper immediately took over.
MissLyssa1980: I've made my decision. It's my body and I choose not to. I don't understand what the big deal is? I know it's healthier, but why am I criticized for my personal choice? Kim has no right to act all high and mighty with me. If I can handle a classroom full of elementary schoolers I should have no problem handling a baby. She can take her breast pump and shove it up her ass for all I care.
USMarineSR4Life: That's harsh Lyss. Don't you think you're being just a little unreasonable here?
MissLyssa1980: Me? Unreasonable? Hello! I'm pregnant! I'm supposed to be unreasonable! What's her excuse? Honestly I've just had with her judgmental bullshit. Who the hell does she think she is to give me parenting advice?
USMarineSR4Life: Ian is one of my best friends. And Kim is his wife. Can't the two of you just get along?
MissLyssa1980: She fucking told me that I wasn't going to be a good mother! And you think I should just forgive her for that? Are you serious? Whose side are you on here?
USMarineSR4Life: I have to take sides now? That's real mature Lyss.
MissLyssa1980: Now I'm immature? Nice Sean. Tell your friend to have his wife apologize to me. Then maybe we can talk about getting along.
Without having the patience to continue the argument any longer, she closed the IM and signed off AIM. She couldn't believe the nerve of him! Taking Kim's side over hers? What was that all about? "Fucking men," she cursed as she shut down her laptop. Now she was pissed and the adrenaline shooting through her body made her feel even more awake. From the looks of it she wasn't getting any sleep that night.
By Friday, she was still pissed at Sean. She hated to leave things on such a sour note, especially when she knew what danger he was in. They should've been making every second count just in case it was their last, instead of wasting time fighting. But she was stubborn by nature and being pregnant made her even more so. Her pride made it impossible for her to let herself be the first to crumble and beg for forgiveness.
Of course not getting enough sleep had made her cranky and overtired and by Friday afternoon when she'd arrived home she'd pretty much had it. She needed to sit back and relax this weekend. She vowed to make it a point to do something special to indulge herself.
As she was walking in the door from work, her cell phone began to ring. Digging it out of her bag she stared at the screen and her heart actually did a little leap. It was Nick. He hadn't called her in a few days and she had begun to wonder if perhaps maybe she had been too forward the week before when she'd kissed him. At the time he seemed to enjoy it, but maybe she'd freaked him out? She wondered what he wanted.
"Hey stranger," she answered. "Where've you been?"
Nick just laughed on his end of the line. "I told you I've been busy doing label stuff. Kina's album is dropping and I just want to make sure that it's a success and people take her seriously."
"Spending time with another woman?" she joked. "I think I'm getting jealous." Her flirting even surprised herself a little.
"Believe me, it's strictly business." There was that low throaty laugh again. Damn, he sounded sexy. "Also Shayla's kind of been demanding my attention lately."
Just at the mention of Shayla's name, Alyssa's entire mood had just been killed. "Oh? Is that a good thing or a bad thing?"
"She's just being extra clingy for some reason. I don't know... I'll never figure that woman out. But I'm free from her this weekend. She's in New York covering some big film festival or something. She wanted me to go with her, but I just have way too much work to do with Kina back here," he innocently replied.
Alyssa laughed lightly. "Yea sure Carter... You just wanted an excuse to stay back here and take me out tonight." After she said it she froze when she realized how forward and completely unlike her it had come out. "I mean, you don't have to. I just didn't have such a great week and I'm dying to get out of here."
"Hmm... Well, you're in luck. I think I can probably squeeze you in for dinner between all this work I have to do," he flirted back.
"You're full of shit. You have nothing planned and you know it."
"Ok, you got me," Nick admitted. "But if you really want to do dinner let me know. I'm a single man this weekend, so I'll make us a reservation somewhere nice and classy."
"Really?" Alyssa asked. The offer was so tempting she found it hard to resist. "Well, a pregnant woman can't turn down food, so I guess I'm going to have to accept."
"Awesome. I'll make the reservation for like seven, so I'll pick you up at about a quarter after six. I just have one request though... Well, actually two. Wear something sexy and if I'm single this weekend, so are you."
Alyssa's mind immediately went into overdrive trying to interpret his last comment. She wasn't sure if Nick was just acting flirty because he was being Nick and only kidding around or if he was serious. His tone had been hard to decipher. You're probably making of it then what he actually intended, she told herself, again blaming her raging hormones for over thinking his words. The words had already been planted in her head though and it was going to be pretty hard for her to get rid of them. Almost feeling as if she was signing a deal with the devil she accepted his terms. "Done. I'll see you tonight."
It wasn't easy for a pregnant woman to look sexy at five months, but Alyssa thought she'd done as best as she could with what she had to work with. And judging from the way Nick's eyes widened when he first saw her appearance after he'd arrived to pick her up, she knew that her attempt had been successful. She'd decided on a black cocktail dress with gold chain link straps. A thick gold sequined band hung underneath her breasts creating an empire waist and the bottom off the dress flared out in loose ruffled layers, which did a fairly good job at disguising her baby bump. On her feet were a pair of low heeled, gold sandals and gold dangly earrings hung from her ears. Her hair hung in loose curls over her shoulders and her makeup was done in various shades of gold and bronze.
"You look amazing," Nick breathed in as soon as he set his eyes on her.
"Not too shabby for a pregnant woman, huh?" she asked with a smirk.
"Not at all..." It was very obvious that Nick's gaze was focused not on her face, but on the tops of her breasts that threatened to spill over the top of her dress.
"Hey Carter, I'm up here," she redirected his gaze back upwards with a little wave.
Nick's face flushed in embarrassment, looking as if he were a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar. "I know... I just uhh... never mind. Are you ready?"
Deciding to let him go on his wandering eyes she held out her arm to him. "Oh, I'm ready. Where are we headed?"
Nick linked arms with her and lead her out the front door and down her porch. "I made reservations for this place right outside of LA. It's pretty quiet and not one of those places where celebrities usually hang out although it is pretty high class. It's nice and intimate and there's definitely less of a chance of running into any paparazzi there."
"Oh, yea paparazzi would not be a good thing," she agreed. Her eyes lit up and she smiled once she saw that he'd taken the BMW for the night. She'd had some great memories from her last trip to LA to visit him connected to this car.
The ride to the restaurant went by pretty uneventfully with the two of them just making small talk the whole way. When they arrived at their destination, Alyssa was relieved to see that the place Nick had selected did seem a little more removed from the typical high class LA eateries that most celebrities tended to frequent, yet was still fancy. Nick had requested a table near the back to ensure them more privacy. Their section was almost empty which made her even more thankful. Even though they were just outside of LA you never could tell who was lurking around and she certainly didn't want to wind up with Nick in another tabloid.
After they'd sat down and taken a few minutes to peruse the menu and order their meals, Nick sat back and looked over across the table at her intently. "So, what happened?"
His question threw her for a loop. "What do you mean what happened?" she asked sounding confused.
"You said you had a rough week earlier. What's been going on?"
Alyssa felt her cheeks flush a little bit. It had been a rough week and he was part of the reason why it had been so rough. How could she tell him that she hadn't been able to get him and the kisses they had shared off her mind all week? Never mind the added bonus of her out of control hormones wrecking havoc over her thoughts. Yea, that would most certainly be awkward. She really didn't want to bring up her fight with Sean to him. For tonight she wanted to do nothing more than to momentarily forget that he was in the picture at all as cold as that sounded. She knew that she needed to give him some kind of answer, so she used the one subject that she knew was safe with him; her students. She shrugged her shoulders. "Just my kids at school have been off the wall lately. And it doesn't help that my patience is a little on the thin side being pregnant and all. I've been sort of a raging bitch to my students lately, but they've definitely been pushing buttons."
"Ahh, I see," Nick answered. "Whatever happened to that boy who hit you in the stomach a few weeks ago?"
"Carlos? Well, after that incident the principal had a meeting with his mother and pretty much told her what I'd been trying to tell her all along. That my classroom was not the right setting for him, and he would do better in an ED classroom. I guess he kind of put the scare in her that God forbid if I had been hurt or if something had happened to the baby they could be held liable, so she didn't put up much of a fight. He was transferred to another building in the district last week," she reported.
"So, your classroom should be a little quieter now, right?"
Alyssa shrugged. "You'd think so, but not really. Although Carlos was the most extreme I have a few other behavior problems in the class. There's one group of like three boys in particular. Just this week alone they threatened to beat up a student from another class on the playground and were caught throwing spitballs in the boy's bathroom. I've really had it with them and its not even Thanksgiving yet."
"Wow... And how old are these kids again?" Nick asked.
"Fourth grade, so nine or ten? Makes me kind of glad I'm not having a boy," she joked.
"Girls aren't always that much better. Sometimes they can get themselves into even more trouble."
"Yea... True. It's all in how they're brought up. Parents these days let their children get away with murder. If this one ever talks to an adult like some of my students do she can assure that I'll kick her ass in," Alyssa threatened as she patted her stomach. "I won't stand for disrespect."
Nick just smiled in her direction. He knew that Alyssa would make an excellent mother because although she came off as being very laidback and flexible she was also very no nonsense. He on the other hand, could see himself as being too much of a pushover to be much of a good father. He'd never really been very good at that tough love kind of thing that Kevin had tried to instill on him. Deciding to change the subject he bought up the topic that he knew Alyssa had been upset over the week before. "How are things with Kim? Did you guys ever get over the fight you two had last week?"
Just by the way Alyssa's eyes immediately darkened at the mention of her ex- friend's name, Nick knew the answer was no. "We're still not talking. We've been avoiding each other like the plague, and I don't intend on speaking to her again until she apologizes to me."
Nick just nodded his head. He knew from experience just how stubborn Alyssa could be, so he believed her. "Have you heard from Sean lately?" He really didn't want to bring him up, but he knew that it was the polite thing to do.
Alyssa reaction completely caught him off guard. A smirk grew across her lips. "Sean?" she asked almost as if she didn't know who he was talking about.
He furrowed his brow in confusion. Was he really so removed from her life that she could just forget him like that? "Uhh, yea... You know Sean... Your husband?"
Alyssa's grin only grew wider, her eyes twinkling with amusement. "But I don't have a husband. At least not for tonight anyway..." Her voice trailed off and Nick was shocked to find the burning hot feeling of her hand on his leg, under the table. Then he remembered what he'd said to her on the phone earlier. He hadn't completely been serious, but if that was the game she wanted to play he supposed that he could play along with it. He was scrambling to think of a flirty comeback, but before he could the waiter had arrived back at the table with their food.
Alyssa's hand dropped from its spot on his leg as soon as her plate was set down in front of her. As soon as the waiter walked away she turned the conversation around to him. "So, what have you been up to? How are things going on Kina's album?"
"Oh... uhh... they're going great," he uncomfortably responded as he began cutting up his food. Noticing that she seemed to be listening intently to his every word, he launched into a longer more detailed discussion about his plans for the album and promoting it. She seemed to be hanging onto his every word which only made Nick feel more distracted. He just hoped that he was making sense and not rambling. This was a strange position for him, especially with Alyssa. Typically in their relationship Nick had always felt like he had all the control. There really hadn't been many points where he'd felt the least bit intimidated by Alyssa, but tonight was completely different. Her behavior definitely seemed to be much more flirty and alluring than usual. It struck him as a little odd, but he wasn't questioning it. Even though he was talking about his plans for Kina's album all he was really thinking about was the heated make out session they'd had last week. As wrong as it was, he began to wonder if maybe they'd get the opportunity to continue what they'd started.
Meanwhile across the table, Alyssa's thoughts were along the same lines. She nodded her head and made the occasional comment as she picked at her food, but in reality she was having a hard time paying attention to what he was actually saying. She couldn't keep her eyes off of the way the dim lighting of the restaurant played shadows over his face and how cute he looked when he rambled. Then there was the way he licked his lips without even realizing that he was doing it. Her eyes lingered at the tie around his neck. She'd always found him in a tie to be extremely sexy and he'd taken to wearing them a lot lately. Part of this whole new preppy style he had going on that she just loved.
Both of them seemed to pick up on the definite change in the air and neither one of them knowing how to handle it, they continued to make awkward, polite conversation while they finished off their meals.
Nick felt almost relieved when the waiter finally approached them to clear away their plates. He couldn't wait to get out of there and see where the night led them next. "Can I interest you in any dessert or do you just want the check?" the waiter asked.
Nick opened his mouth to say ask for the check, but before he could get the words out Alyssa had already started to speak. "Actually a dessert menu would be nice." She gave Nick a small apologetic smile. "Sorry, but a pregnant woman cannot possibly turn down dessert."
"Of course," he told her, trying not to grit his teeth in impatience. "Order anything you want." He half wondered if maybe she was only doing this to watch him squirm a little. He then realized that he probably was being a little irrational. She was pregnant after all and she had always had a bit of a sweet tooth.
The waiter plopped a dessert menu that had been tucked underneath his arm in front of her. Alyssa's eyes scanned the list and then lit up about halfway down the page. "Ooh! They have dark chocolate mousse cake! That's what I want."
The waiter scribbled down Alyssa's order and turned towards Nick. "And for you?"
Nick just shook his head. "Nothing for me. I'm good."
"He can share with me," Alyssa ordered.
The waiter nodded and left. A few minutes later he reappeared with Alyssa's mousse cake which was topped with dark chocolate shavings and whipped cream and drizzled in chocolate sauce. "Oh my God, that looks almost too good to eat," she responded as the waiter set the plate down in front of her.
"It looks really fattening," Nick teased.
Alyssa just rolled her eyes at him. "Shut up. I'm pregnant. I'm allowed to eat fattening things. I'm eating for two." She dug her fork into the cake and closed her eyes as she savored the taste in her mouth. "Mmmm.... This cake is amazing! I think I just died and went to heaven."
He just laughed at the expression on her face. "It's just cake Alyssa. You don't need to have a chocogasm there."
Now it was Alyssa's turn to laugh. "A chocogasm?"
"Yea, you know... Like an orgasm over chocolate?"
"Ahh," she giggled. "Pretty clever there Carter. How long did it take you to think of that one?"
He shrugged his shoulders. "I don't know? Four minutes?"
"Well, I'll have you know that this cake might just be almost as good as sex. Maybe even better considering it's been awhile for me," she rambled. "You sure you don't want a taste?" She scooped up another forkful of cake and enticingly waved it in his direction. "You know you want it."
Who could resist that? He certainly couldn't, especially now that she'd tied in sex to it. He found himself wondering if perhaps she was really talking about more than just chocolate cake. It certainly almost sounded like it. "Fine. I'll have a piece," he finally gave in.
Instead of handing the fork over to him though, she scooted forward on her seat and held her fork out towards the direction of his mouth. Nick opened his lips and allowed her to feed him the piece of cake. Since his weight loss, he'd tried to avoid foods like this, but even he had to admit that it may just have been the best damn piece of chocolate mousse that he'd ever tasted. "It is good," he admitted, after he'd swallowed it down.
Alyssa grinned. "I told you so."
The two froze for a moment. Alyssa was still leaned across the table which gave Nick a more than generous view down the top of her dress. She was close enough for him to smell the sweet scent of her perfume drifting off of her skin and her lips looked full and inviting. Not being able to resist any longer, he leaned forward until his lips were fully pressed against hers. His hand wandered up to the side of her face, his fingertips tickling her earlobe. Alyssa made no move to back away. She moaned lightly and Nick took complete advantage of the moment to force his tongue into her mouth. The kiss deepened until they both felt so breathless that they needed to come up for air.
"You taste like chocolate," Nick told her as he pulled away, a smirk on her face.
Alyssa sat back against her seat looking almost stunned by the intensity of the kiss. All of a sudden she seemed to be in a big hurry to get out of there. "Maybe we should get the check now," she suggested.
Nick had no arguments there. He quickly spotted their waiter and flagged him over. Within a few short minutes, their bill was taken care of and the two of them were heading back out to the parking lot hand in hand.