Chapter 9

Nick-

"Oh my God, Nick!"

"Is he okay?"

"I don't know. He's not answering."

"Oh, God."

"I shouldn't have let him go by himself."

I whimpered annoyed at those damn voices speaking above my ear; I wanna sleep people! Can't you see I have a terrible headache?

"Nick, can you hear me?"

"Stop screaming, God!" I grouched trying to open my eyes and eventually I saw Steve hovering over me.

"Well, actually, nobody is screaming, it's the alcohol." He smirked and I whined hurtfully getting up.

"Is he up?" I heard another voice asking as I got out of the car to be met with Zac on his clutches, "What the hell dude?!"

Before I even get the chance to reply or find a come-back, I was tackled into a hug that pushed my body back against the car, taken aback, I did nothing as she wrapped her arms around me tightly and the smell she's wearing invaded my nose; I know that smell very well though.

"Oh, my God, are you okay?" she pulled back and cupped my face protectively and I still was too stunned to utter a reply, "You scared the hell out of us!" Miley finally pulled away and hit my shoulder.

Steve let out a laugh, "You scared the guy, Miles."

"I think he has a concussion." Zac uttered analyzing my state.

I finally came back to my senses, "What are you doing here?" I addressed all three of them.

Once again Steve burst out laughing, "Saving your ass of course."

"Dude, you made an accident, remember?" Zac asked as if talking to a child.

"Of course, I do." I said holding my head and closing my eyes trying to control the headache as I looked back in my car for my stuff.

"Are you sure? It could really be a concussion."

I shot him a glare, "Don't you think you're making a lot of assumptions about me lately?"

He chuckled and rolled his eyes as I grabbed my phone and was looking for anything else I've left in there, "Oh no, don't tell me that's what got you so drunk."

"What is it?" Steve asked half concerned and half wanting to join the fun.

"He's mad because I said he can never fall in-"

"I'm not mad, okay? Let's just go, my head is about to explode." I cut him off; I don't need him mentioning anything about falling in love, especially not in front of Steve and Miley. I walked towards Steve's car waiting for them to follow me. It was then that I realized it was so early in the morning, which means I only slept for maybe a little over an hour? I guess Zac called Steve and the formed that cute little search party immediately.

"Jeez, are you still PMSing?" Zac said as they followed my steps to the car. And of course, Zac sat in the passenger seat due to his broken leg which left no one other than Miley to be sharing the back seat with me, great!

"So, he was this grumpy?" Steve asked Zac as he got behind the wheel.

"Yeah, pretty much."

"What's wrong with you, Nicky?" Steve asked looking at me through the mirror as he drove, "Bad mood, driving out of town and drinking heavily, if I didn't know any better I'd say it's a broken heart." He attempted to joke as I rolled my eyes looking out the window and I could feel Miley's eyes burning through my cheek from beside me.

"Exactly what I said," Zac exclaimed, "See Nick? I'm not the only one who thinks you don't fall in love."

Oh shit, they really think they're being funny!

I huffed, "Nothing is wrong, Steve, it's just me going out and drinking, it's not like it's the first time! Can we now stop talking? I am really tired."

"Fine, fine. I'll have someone get your car and fix it, it's not badly damaged anyway." Steve told me.

"Yeah… thanks."

We fell into much needed silence until Zac decided to break it,

"I think we've been wrong, Steve. He looks in love." He whispered.

"Oh my God, you realize I can hear you right?" I snapped; this was too much for me, I know they are taking it lightly and it's not the first time people make these kinds of remarks about me, and I used to take it as a compliment, however, now is really not a good time for such jokes anymore.

He laughed along with Steve, "Seriously, this is not funny! And, no, you were right, you are all always are, Nick doesn't fall in love, okay? And for the last time, no there's nothing wrong with me, but, I really, really am tired."

"Dammit, Nick, can you be a little nicer?" Miley put in for the first time, "We have been looking for you for no less than an hour when we didn't even know your whereabouts."

I groaned, "And I appreciate that, I really do, I just happen to have this horrible headache, it's called a hangover if you're not familiar with it."

"No, I'm well aware of what a hangover with, but you are being unreasonable, they're just joking, they're worried."

"Well, they shouldn't, nobody should be worried." I took a deep breath and said through slightly gritted teeth, "I am fine."

"Fine, Nick, and you're right, you asked us to stop but we didn't, sorry." Steve said offering a reassuring smile letting me know no one is going to make any more jokes about my love life, well, at least for the meantime, and that was enough.

"Thank you."

The rest of the right was silent, however the uncomfortable kind. We dropped Zac off first and then continued home; I really didn't wanna go there, I have been running away from this place for the past few days, and now, I'm forced to get inside, it just doesn't feel right being here, not now, not when I have a very fresh memory of the last night I spent in this house, and not when this memory keeps nagging me leaving a bittersweet feeling in my stomach.

I knew that eventually, I'll have to get back here and deal with it, but I wasn't ready. Anyway, I was too tired to think of another option or a lie to get me away, it may be uncomfortable but I need to sleep for now.

Once inside the warmth of my room, I took off my clothes looking for clean ones to sleep in, I put on a comfy pajama pants and was looking for a t-shirt when the door knocked and Miley entered.

"Oh," she muttered when she saw me half-naked as I grabbed a shirt and quickly put it on, "I – uh, I just came to bring you these." She said extending her hands with a glass of water and painkillers.

I nodded accepting them, "Thanks." I sat on the edge of the bed and gulped down the painkillers putting the glass on my nightstand.

"Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine."

She nodded, "Oh, I'm sorry about earlier."

"Yeah, me too."

"Okay then, you probably wanna rest, so… I'll go." She said holding the door knob and I nodded, we shared one last look before she turned around and left.

That was awkward, why was it awkward? Why did she seem like she doesn't wanna go? Why did she come with Zac and Steve? Why and how was she wearing my perfume and not hers?!

I looked over by my mirror and sure enough this certain bottle was standing out away from the others. What the hell is this about? I don't know, but, what I do know is that I shouldn't be thinking too much into anything, it's nothing, and even if it's not, it should be.

So, no more thinking about my uncle's wife and her- NO, ugh, I need to sleep.

XxXx

Life is really full of ups and downs, and with each you find yourself facing a test, can you handle the ups and still be a good man? Or can you face your downs without losing it all? The point is, you'll always find yourself facing yourself, that if you have reached your inner peace, you'll find yourself following your desires, you'll find yourself sacrificing something for someone else, and you'll find yourself totally being selfish with all the people you forgot you care about, the thing is, you have to catch yourself doing anything, and then figure out wither you're happy about that? Or do you need to change it and do whatever feels right for you.

Well, I know I did that a lot lately, and actually took the same decision numerous times, but now, I'm really fighting myself to do the right thing and that being that Miley is totally off limits and that I need to move on.

I have been the one suffering lately, and it is just enough. I just want my life back and it's not a lot to ask.

So, I am getting my life back.

"God, I can't wait to see the look on their faces."

"Yeah, they will be shocked." I chuckled as we got out of my car getting hit with the cold breeze, "Come on." I led the way over to the front door, "Ready?"

"Hell, yeah!" Nicole exclaimed enthusiastically. Nicole was an old girlfriend of mine, her father is actually friends with Steve, so we have known each other for a long time, Nicole and I had a rocky relationship, we were always on-again off-again, we argued a lot, but when we made up, it was the best… so, it was one of those interesting relationships. But when we ended things, it ended badly, so bad that Nicole left the stats and went to Germany, yeah, I drove the girl across the world! Remember how I always say I've only been in love once? Well, it obviously wasn't with Nicole.

But, now, she's back, she's been here for two weeks and we ran into each other a couple of nights ago, and somehow, our past was just water under the bridge, we talked and we apologized and we ended up kissing.

And today, I decided to invite her over for dinner, which I think is already being served right now.

"You're just on time." Madame Lillian beamed as soon as she spotted me and I smirked watching her smile fade away as her eyes lingered on Nicole behind me as we were hand in hand.

"Nick, you're early t- woah!"

"What the-"

"Frankie!" Madame Lillian scolded him before he gets to curse.

"Look who's back." I said casually throwing my ar around her shoulder.

"Surprise." She said.

"Oh my God, Nicole." Ariana was the first to snap out of it and came over to hug her.

"I missed you."

"Yeah, me too."

"Hey, kid." Steve ruffled her hair.

"I'm not a kid anymore, Steve." She rolled her eyes.

"Ah, you'll always be to me." He stated, "Come on, sit down."

We sat around the table,

"Oh, sorry, where are my manners! Nicole, you haven't met my wife Miley, and Miley this is Nicole, she actually the longest relationship of Nick."

"Yay." Nicole faked, "Nice to meet you, and I guess congratulations." She chuckled.

"Thanks, nice to meet you too." It was the first time I look at Miley since I arrived tonight, and I shouldn't have; because she was beautiful, she wasn't wearing makeup, she had her hair in a side braid, and she was wearing a white oversized blouse which she tucked in black skinny pants, and yet, she looked beautiful.

But, beautiful wasn't all, she was also quiet, I wonder what happened, not that it's any of my business anyway.

"So, how did this happen?" Steve asked.

"Uh, we just met and sorted things out." I shrugged.

"Just like that?" Ariana asked and laughed not believing, "Nick, you drove the girl out of the entire country."

"What?" Miley asked confused.

"They were a cute couple, but they were both so stubborn, they fought a lot and eventually they broke up and Nicole left." Steve explained as Miley looked between me and Nicole with amusement? Why was she amused?

"Nice one Nicholas." She smirked.

I rolled my eyes, "It's not as bad as they make it sound."

"You're right." Nicole agreed, "It's worse."

"Come on!" I complained against their laughter.

"So, what is this? I mean you obviously you made peace, but what are you?" Steve asked and suddenly all eyes were off the plates and on us.

We shared a look and shrugged, "We… we're testing the waters."

"Yeah, I guess."

"Cool." Frankie commented.

"Careful though. If this one ends badly I'm afraid you'll have to contact NASA, Nicole, you know for trips to Mars."

"Ha ha, very funny." I rolled my eyes as they all laughed again… except for Miley.

We all finished dinner and were sitting in the living for dessert, they were glad to catch up with Nicole, she was basically part of the family, even before we got together, and seeing what happened, I kinda took her away from them, even though they stayed in touch, but I guess it wasn't the same. But not so much long after, Ariana and Frankie were sent by Madame Lillian to 'bed' because it's a school night. I don't know what makes her think that we actually slept when she did that.

"So, how did you guys make up?" Miley asked holding her cheese cake in one hand and a glass of white wine in the other.

"We uh, met by chance, talked and honestly the flame was undeniably still there and the more we talked the more it was obvious and before we know it we…" she shrugged with a chuckle.

"What? Did it?" she gave a laugh, more like a snort as I looked at her with a raised eyebrow.

"Miley…" Steve said and gave Nicole an apologetic look.

"What? She's not a stranger, is she?"

"It's okay, Steve." Nicole shrugged it off playing it cool, "And no, we didn't. Not yet." She nudged me as I laughed awkwardly suddenly paying attention to Miley's response to all of this.

"You guys are…" Steve shook his head but laughed, Steve was cool and everything but when it came to intimate stuff in relationships he wasn't a big fan of opening up about it like this.

"Excuse him; you must know that he is not really… fun." Miley addressed Nicole taking a sip from her glass as I narrowed my eyes.

"Miley!" Steve warned as she rolled her eyes.

"Right… quiet." She said pretending to zip her mouth shut.

"Are you guys fighting again?" I asked.

"No, it's not a fight…"

"Who are you kidding, Steve? Of course we are." Miley said getting up to refill her glass but she came back with the bottle.

"Do you think that's a good time?" Steve said in a soft wise voice.

"Please, don't talk to me like that, Steve."

"Like what? I did nothing."

"No, you always talk to me like you're talking to a child, and I'm not." She snapped then sighed looking back at us and plastered on a smile, "Sorry, I'm so sorry; I didn't mean to make it awkward for you guys. You're right, Steve, now is definitely not the time."

"It's fine, things happen." Nicole said awkwardly.

"So back at you guys." Steve said turning the subject around.

"Yeah, you look cute together, do you know that?" Miley said looking between us with a little more excitement than she should, "And also the names, Nick, Nicole, it's like she's the female version of you, Nick. It's almost like it's meant to be, right?"

"Whoa, whoa… meant to be?" I stopped her, "We're just seeing where it goes."

"That's really just it? Oh, my bad, I just thought… never mind." She gave an awkward laugh.

"You thought what?" Nicole asked.

"Nothing, it's stupid."

"No, tell me, what did you think?" I insisted and she again I saw a flicker of amusement pass through her eyes but then she looked at me a meaning look,

"It's just… when Zac said you're in love, I assumed you met someone new, you know… but then you came home with her tonight and then it clicked, I thought you're in love with an old flame." She shrugged innocently at the end. Maybe Steve and Nicole didn't notice, but I so noticed the look behind the innocent face, I just didn't get it.

"In love?" Nicole asked me with knitted eyebrows.

"It's nothing, Zac doesn't know what he's talking about." I told her but she didn't look convinced.

"Don't worry, Nicole, we were just teasing him." Steve put in, "Miley just got it wrong, right, Miles?"

"Yeah, yeah, of course I did. I'm clumsy like that." She laughed and Nicole nodded with a smile,

"Alright, lover boy, I need to go now, anyway."

"Are you sure? Can't you stay for a bit?"

"No, I have plans in the morning."

"Alright, I'll drive you."

"Wait, I'm going to the office anyway, you have her all to yourself, let me catch up with the girl." Steve offered putting his arm around her shoulder and giving her a kiss on the forehead.

"What? Stealing my girlfriend now?"

"So what if I did? I'm better looking than you anyway."

"Careful, Steve, Nick doesn't joke with paybacks, you still his girlfriend, and he'd steal your wife." Nicole joked along. Ha, ironic!

"Ah, well, if it means I catch up with you, so be it." Steve played along as they both laughed. "So, anyway, let's get going." He said and gave Miley a peck on the lips, "I'll be late tonight, don't wait up, and we'll talk tomorrow, okay?"

She just nodded.

I kissed Nicole and told her I'd call her and they left together.

"Well, he just gave us his blessing; you could have me if you want." Miley said in mock seduction as I turned to look at her unimpressed. She rolled her eyes, "It's a joke, Nick."

"You're damn right, it is." I frowned.

"What's wrong with you?"

"No, what's wrong with you?"

"What do you mean?"

I grabbed her arm and entered the office closing the door to have some privacy,

"What was that Miley? You can't keep picking at girls I bring home every time you have a problem with your husband."

"I told you how I feel about that."

"Random girls, Miley. This is my girlfriend here."

"Girlfriend? Come on, Nick, you just met her." She said sarcastically.

"Reconnected. We just reconnected." I corrected.

"Still. Doesn't count." She shrugged and I raised my eyebrows at her as she rolled her eyes, "You didn't have a solid relationship and you just met again after years. That sounds random to me, Nick."

"Wow, seems like you have put much thought into this. What is it to you anyway?"

"To me? Nothing." She laughed, "I'm just looking out for everyone."

"Keep telling yourself that,"

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Whatever, Miley, just keep your ass out of my life."

"I think we agreed to keep it out, Nick." She joked.

"I'm serious, okay?"

"What's wrong with you? I thought we were friends."

"Friends don't try to control their friends' love life, do they?"

"I'm just giving you advice, Nick, like you do with me; I'm not trying to control anything"

"What advice? All I heard the whole night is you making her feel unwelcomed."

"She wasn't."

"She's my girlfriend, Miley, and she's a family friend, one that we have all known and loved before you even came into the picture."

She looked at me for a few seconds with hurt washing all over her face, but God, was I angry! She doesn't get to act like this, she doesn't get to tell me what to do or who to date, and she doesn't get to even talk like this with me! She then maintained herself, "Well, whatever, I will be good with her, Nick, but just so you know, I don't think this is going anywhere."

"You don't get to be the judge of that, in fact you don't get to be anything regarding my relationships."

"You know what, Nick, you're such an ass." She said with tears forming in her eyes as she got ready to leave.

"If I didn't know any better, I'd say you're jealous." I called after her as she froze holding the doorknob.

"What if I am?" she turned around challengingly.

I have to say she caught me by surprise, I didn't expect such an answer, but, is she serious?!

"Unbelievable. You're unbelievable." I exclaimed pushing her out of my way and leaving up to my room locking the door behind me; how can she say that? How can she even think of it? No, she doesn't get to; it was just a moment of lust wasn't it? She can't do that to me, no, I won't let her. She can't run to me when she hits a rough patch with Steve, I'm not her escape, I'm not gonna be her stud, I won't let her use me.

Miley-

I wiped the steam of the mirror and to reveal my reflection in the mirror, I stared back at my red eyes and shook my head, I wiped more of the steam until I was face to face with my naked body in the full length bathroom mirror, I didn't like what I am seeing… for some reason this reflection didn't look like me. I covered my body with my hands in shame as tears began falling once again; I slowly slid to the floor balling up as I cried.

When did my life turn into this mess?

What happened? How and when did I become so unhappy?

Isn't this what I wanted and fought for? Marrying Steve was all I wanted, and now, I can't help but notice how everything is going wrong.

First off, I can't seem to be seeing eye to eye with him, at all. He said he's gonna show me how much I mean to him, and he is trying, I give him that, but, the more we try to get closer, somehow, it makes us even farther.

Last week, we had a fight because he wanted to take me on a date, but the problem was he wanted a usual a fancy dinner while I just wanted to go out and have fun, Steve tried to take my mind off of it nicely, and God, I just wanted to go out dancing or to the movies or to the fair… whatever, I just got bored of the stupid fancy dinners.

He's trying and I'm trying and there just seems to be a missing piece.

And it's no help that whenever we fight or merely disagree I find myself wanting an escape; a certain escape.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still extremely guilty of that night. I can't believe I did this, when I hated my mom for doing the same for my dad… but it's different, right? Mom was having an affair… what I did was just a… mistake.

Although, I always find my mind wandering back to this night, and remember the feelings of it, I know it's not right, and no matter how I let my thoughts and imagination make pictures of getting to kiss him again whenever I a upset –mainly with Steve- but, it can never happen again, and just the fact that I think so, makes me sick to my stomach.

Am I turning to my mother? Am I a bad person? Have I always been?

I don't know, and I'm tired of it. Maybe this was all a wrong idea, maybe I shouldn't have married Steve in the first place or ever came to this house. Sometimes, I think the right thing to do is to just leave, since it doesn't seem to be working out, but then I tell myself, I just need to try harder, I shouldn't just give up so easily.

"Mrs. Gray?" A knock was heard on the bathroom door, "Mr. Gray is on the phone, he says it's important."

"Coming." I wiped my tears, took a deep breath and tossed my face with cold water putting on a bathrobe before getting out, but she wasn't in my room. I left the room to find her in the hall, "Where's the phone?"

"He's talking to Mr. Gray. He asked about him when you were late." The newest maid who I still didn't learn the name of told me in her foreign accent.

"Nick?" I asked confused, "He's here? And up?"

"Yes, he's up long time."

That's weird; it was so early for Nick to be up, let alone being home for a change. So, seconds after almost having a breakdown regarding him, I have to face him, great!

"Fine, you can go." I dismissed her.

I took a deep breath and knocked on his door before entering to find him with his bare back facing me lowering the phone from his ear as he turned to face me.

"Oh, you just missed him." Obviously feeling the awkwardness, so, it wasn't just me then.

I nodded, "What was it?"

He looked apologetically at me, "He was calling from the airport."

There it was again, the need to just find my way to his embrace and let him hug all the pain away. I closed my eyes focusing back to the main subject here, "How long will he be gone?"

"Two days. Three tops."

"Okay…" I shrugged actually not feeling quiet disappointed, I think I got immunity against needing Steve by my side and him not being there, it's not that I'm clingy, cause I'm definitely not, but it's the fact that we do need to work on our relationship but he never have the time.

"Are you okay?"

I looked up at him and nodded, "Yeah, fine." I took another deep breath, "Hey, Nick, listen," I said and turned closing the door behind me before facing him again, "I'm sorry about the other night, I really am."

It has been about two weeks since me and Nick last spoke, the night that he brought Nicole home, and I said sorry the next morning, but that was it, we kept a distance since then, and I don't really like it.

"You already apologized, Miley."

"I know, but… I want you to know that I really am sorry." I took a step forward and told him sincerely.

"It's fine, Miley, you were drunk."

"Yeah, I was, but that's no excuse. I was rude and… I said things… things I shouldn't have said." I bit my lip.

He opened his mouth to respond but nothing came out,

"Look, I know we…" I trailed off closing my eyes and shaking my head, I'm not sure it's a good idea to bring it up.

"Listen, nothing happened, okay? You can forget about it all." He said and I didn't know which incident he meant, "Nicole understands too." Now I do, so he chose to ignore the fact I obviously almost mentioned the night.

"But, it's not the same, Nick." I said sadly looking him in the eyes and for the first time in so long, we locked eyes.

"What?"

"We… we're not the same."

"What are you talking about? We're fine." He gave an awkward laugh lying through his teeth and I just gave him a look as he stopped and stared back at me, "Miley…"

"What? It's true, Nick, and I don't like it. I want us to be… close again."

"Close?"

"Yeah," I intentionally chose that word specifically, "like we used to be."

He closed his eyes and gulped and I stepped towards him and holding his biceps to feel his muscles and feeling him tense under my touch of his bare skin.

"Nick, I just miss you…" I said and he opened his eyes looking me down in the eyes for a moment and nodded.

"Yeah, me too." He gave a smile and stepped back detaching himself from my touch and sat on his bed. "We do need to spend more time together again, I guess with Nicole, and Steve being around more we didn't really have much time to hang out."

I knew what he was trying to do, and his little reminder didn't guilt me as he wished it would, for some reason as more time passed I found it hard to recall the guilt I felt right after that night, what I feel is more like shame, not really guilt, but even that could fade away as long as Nick stays under my sight, and with this being the longest talk we have since forever, it seems like all the guilt, shame and all those feelings just disappear.

I sat down beside him, "Nick," he didn't look so I pressed a finger on his cheek and pushed his face to face me and I saw the confusion and struggle in his eyes, and I rested my hand on his far shoulder with my fingers almost touching the back of his head. We were not so close, but also not far, just enough space for his to be able to count the freckles on my face and for me to admire the color of his eyes and his silky messy hair.

"What?"

"I really missed this." I gave him a smile and let my hand feel his shoulder to his arm up and down before resting right under his shoulder feeling him go through the process of tensing, flexing then resting, so I leant forward and planted a soft kiss on his cheek almost at his jaw line.

That's when he jumped back and up, "What are you doing?"

"Nick," I tried stepping closer.

"No!" He jumped another step back looking at me warningly.

"Nick, I just-"

"You just what, Miley? God!" He was furious is he washed his hands over his face. I then noticed that he had a slight boner and instantly blushed, "You should… you should go."

"Nick-"

"Dammit, Miley. Just… go." He didn't yell in fact he was almost pleading, so I gave him one last look and saw some emotion I couldn't name cross his eyes before nodding.

I turned away and left closing the door behind me and pressed my back to it.

I must be bipolar! What other explanation could there be? I was sobbing one minute in the bathroom about how awful of a person I am for cheating on my husband, and the next minute I'm seducing his nephew to do it again!

I don't know what comes over me! It's like I'm there, he's there, then the rest of the world doesn't exist, I could deal with consequences later, which I am now… the problem is, no, I'm not feeling guilty!

Steve is a good an and everything and he definitely doesn't deserve this, but, I don't know… it's not like I'll do anything to hurt him… not again no, I know it's unfair, and besides I don't wanna turn into this person, but…

I don't know, I guess I wanted to recall the other good feelings about it, cause hell there were some good feelings there, however, I just went for it and Nick rejected me.

I don't know what that connection between us is, but there is one that keeps pulling us like magnet. Although he rejected me, I know he was just doing the right thing, and that's okay! As long as I know I still have this effect on him, I don't really need to go for anything more, right?

XxXx

I stood in front of the mirror checking my black spaghetti strapped dress, it showed some cleavage leaving it mostly to the imagination, it was a tight dress that ended mid-calf with an opening over the left leg that ended mid-thigh. I fixed my hair adding more volume to it, before deciding I'm content with how I look and left the door instantly my ears being hit with the sound of Ariana and Nicole laughing out loud and Nick protesting to whatever they were laughing and giggling about.

Remember when I said as long as I know I affect him I don't have to go further? Well, that wasn't true, the Nick-craze is back and with every strike it's like it's getting stronger and I get more in touch with it. So, when I heard the having fun downstairs, I couldn't help but interfere.

"Oh, you guys are here." I said as I made my entrance interrupting their laughter. "Hello, Nicole." I greeted the girl, I saw her a few times in the past two weeks and managed not to be a bitch with her.

"Oh, hi."

"You going somewhere?" Ariana raised an eyebrow.

"Yeah, I was invited to an anniversary party and I was bored since Steve is away, so I thought what the heck." I took a seat crossing my left leg over my right one.

"Whose party?" She asked again and I raised an eyebrow at her.

"A friend of mine." I said in a tone that told not ask more uncalled for questions. "Don't mind me; I'm just waiting for my ride."

"Actually, we were just going." Nicole said as she got up with Ariana.

"Where are you going?"

"Birthday party, I'm sure daddy told you." Ariana told me.

"No, he must have forgotten." But, of course I knew that, I then turned to Nick, "You're not going?" I also knew he wasn't.

"No," he said not bothering to explain, but I knew that he and the boyfriend of their friend didn't get along so he preferred not to go to this one. "I'll walk you guys out." He said and the three of them disappeared for a while before he came back alone, he stopped for a moment looked at me for no longer than a second and then hurried upstairs.

I waited for about ten minutes before following him to his room, and entered without knocking closing the door softly behind me and stayed by it. He was leaning a little resting his arms on the stand before his mirror as he stared at his reflection but turned looking at me when I entered.

"Looks like my ride isn't coming after all, it's better I don't go anyway."

"Why? You should have fun."

"No, I'm not that into it anymore, I was forcing myself anyway."

He took a better look of my appearance, "Sure you were." He mumbled standing straight.

I pushed my hair from my back to the side and gave him my back, "Would you unzip me?"

He gave a sigh but stepped forward and pulled the zipper down, "You know how old this is, right?"

I turned around to face him as he crossed his arms over his chest and looked down at me with no reaction. I knitted my eyebrows together, "What is?"

He gave a sarcastic chuckle, "Don't mind. Nothing."

I looked up at him and for the first time in front of him felt vulnerable, not like how I used to feel when dumbing my problems on him, no, but this time, I was vulnerable towards him, I wanted nothing but for him to wrap his arms around me, or to kiss my forehead, or to cup my face, anything of those things he always did and instantly made me feel alright… safe.

"Nick?"

"Yes, Miley?"

"I need you."

"For what?"

"Hold me."

"I… we can't."

I looked at him with hurt, "You can't hold me?"

"I can't do anything."

"Why is that?" I asked the hurt turning to irritation.

"Because!"

"Because what?" I challenged getting closer as I looked him in the eyes with a powerful look and he couldn't just look away.

"Because, Miley."

"Alright, don't hold me!" I said and put my hands on his shoulder, "Kiss me."

"Mi…"

"Yes?" I whispered getting closer an moved my hands down his shirt starting to unbutton it.

"What are you doing?"

"I am unbuttoning this."

"Miley, we can't do this. I can't."

"Why, Nick?"

"I have a girlfriend."

"Steve told me you weren't going exclusive." I told him as the last button became undone and I rested my arms on his shoulder once again.

"He shouldn't have."

I started massaging his shoulders removing the shirt bit by bit, "Well…"

"What about Steve?"

"What about him?"

"Why are you doing this?"

"Nick, it makes me crazy to see you with Nicole." I softly brushed my lips over his bare chest not quiet kissing yet.

"But, I like her."

I looked him in the eyes, "Yet, I don't see you stopping me." He looked back at me for a second before I crashed our lips together in a hungry kiss and he responded immediately, I pushed the shirt off of his shoulder, and suddenly he yanked himself away.

"Stop, stop."

"What, Nick?"

"Stop this, Miley, we fucking can't."

"You want to. I want to, then why not?"

"For everything! Do you really need me to list you the reasons?"

"Do please, I'm looking forward for a reason that could beat the fact that we both have something going on between us."

"For once we're both in relationships. Yours being married to my fucking uncle!"

"Yeah, that didn't stop us before, did it? You know why? Because what we have here is stronger!"

"Grow up, Miley!"

"So, that's all your reasons, Nick? Look me in the eyes and tell me that you don't feel the connection here, Nick."

"What about this for a reason: we can't possibly risk everything we've got for a moment of lust." He spat hurtfully.

"That's not what it is!"

"Those are your own words."

Oh! "Well…"

"Let it go, Miley. Seriously, drop it."

"I obviously don't think of us as a-"

"There's no us. And there never will be!"

"I mean-"

"Drop it, Miley!"

"I don't get it, Nick, you obviously want to."

"No, I don't."

"Yes, you do." At this point we were basically yelling at each other face to face challengingly with our faces so close.

"God, Miley, is it so hard to back off?"

"I don't know, you tell me, you try but you evidently suck at it."

"I don't fucking want you."

I stared at his furious eyes for a second before giving a nod, "Okay…" I turned around to leave but stopped at the door knob and turned back to him with forming tears, "You know what, no, it's not okay! I am standing here crossing all the lines that I never thought that I would –something you told me to do, you wanted me to be myself, to drop the mask, Nick, and I did and it's all because I know there's something here, I don't know what it is but it keeps me coming back to you…"

"No, you don't, you're just here because I stopped giving you the attention you loved getting from me, you're here looking for it, that's what brings you back."

"What are you-"

"I was there for you all along, I made you feel good when Steve wouldn't, maybe even safe, and I made you feel wanted, didn't I? I became your comfort when you were upset with your husband, and I would gladly continue being all those things for you, but it's turning into something wrong, Miley, something hurtful." He said and I could hear the pain in his voice, "It has been turning this corner ever since the dare night. And I can't keep going there." He said the last sentence with pain through gritted teeth.

"Going where?"

"Wherever, Miley. Point is, we can't. We should keep distance."

"No!"

"Miley-"

"No, Nick, I don't wanna keep distance."

"Miley, you're only in my fucking room because Steve is away! Because you don't have anything better to do. There is no connection, you just want attention!"

"What the hell? No, that's not true." I protested and he huffed, "Nick, we're not hurting anyone."

"Really?"

"They don't know! What you don't know won't hurt you."

"What about me? I know!"

"Why would this hurt you? You want-"

"It hurts, alright?"

"Why? It's not like I don't know you and all your schemes, Nick, you-"

"Because I love you, dammit!" he punched the wall.

What did he just say?


Surprise, surprise, the rat is out, right? What do you think this means? what will happen next?

And what do you think of the new story cover? If you're on mobile just change to browser mode to check it out and if you do, tell me what you think