Secrets Kept, Lies Told
Secrets Kept, Lies Told
Alexa looked at the
clock and then around at her room. It was clean, finally, and she
was nearly ready. She glanced back at the note, at the scrawled cursive.
She couldn't put her finger on it, but there was something off about that
note. She shrugged it off and looked at the clock again. 'Seven-thirty,
I might want to leave now,' she said. She grabbed her coat and pulled
it on, glancing around one more time. She grabbed Nick's present
at the last second and hurried out the hotel door and to the elevator.
Nick glanced around
the room once more and smiled, satisfied that it was finally clean.
He knew it wouldn't be much longer, but he wasn't hopeful. He glanced
over at Brian and then at the mirror in front of him. "What do you
think, B-Rok?" He asked, straightening the jacket in the mirror.
Brian looked up from
his magazine and nodded. "Pretty spiffy, Kaos," he said, standing
up and walking over to him.
"Oh, God, please don't
let anything happen tonight that will remind me of that nickname," Nick
said to himself.
"Relax, Nick, it won't.
That was a long time ago, you're over that accident-prone stage," Brian
said, chuckling and helping him fix his tie.
"I know, but still," Nick
said, tugging at the tie. He felt like it was choking him.
"I'm afraid, Brian, I mean, what if something bad happens and she dumps
me? I wouldn't be able to handle that," he said.
"Nick, calm down.
That won't happen, get that idea out of your head. You'll meet her
there and you'll both have a good time." Brian stepped back from
Nick and nodded, satisfied. "You're ready, bro," he said.
Nick gulped and looked
in the mirror. He couldn't really focus on the person staring back
at him, it didn't look like him.
"Nick, you might want
to go, you have ten minutes," Brian said, holding out Nick's overcoat.
Nick nodded and took
the coat silently, pulling it on and shoving Alexa's present into the pocket
as an afterthought. He walked nervously to the door and turned to
see his best friend smiling at him. He smiled back nervously.
"I think I'm ready," he said.
Brian chuckled and
practically shoved Nick out of the room. "Go, Frack, or you'll be
late," he said. Brian closed the door and Nick gulped again.
He walked down the hall to the elevator and pressed down. 'Its now
or never, Nick,' he said to himself as the doors opened. He rode
down and hailed a cab outside. During the short ride to the restaurant,
he thought about what Howie and Brian had told him. 'She doesn't
know about Tavern on the Green she's never heard of it not her handwriting
a very good forgery,' it
was all swimming through his head.
He shook his head and paid the driver as he pulled up to the restaurant.
He got out and walked inside, being met by the host.
"Can I help you sir?"
"Yes, I have reservations
tonight," Nick said, pulling off his gloves and brushing off his coat.
A light snow was falling, just like it did a month ago when they were there.
"Ah, Carter, party
of two? Right this way, sir, the lady just arrived," he said, leading
Nick to the back of the restaurant.
Nick raised his eyebrows
and followed the host, pulling off his coat as he walked. He froze
as the host walked to the sectioned off table and said something to the
person already sitting there. Nick gulped again as Alexa stood up
and turned to him. He gasped, she was breathtaking.
"Hi, Nick," she said
quietly. She smoothed down her dress and smiled lightly. Her
dress was green velvet, with a low neck held up by spaghetti straps, no
back, and a tight floor length skirt with a slit on the side. It
hugged her every curve, making Nick's mind reel.
Nick snapped back into
reality and walked over to Alexa, taking her hand and kissing it lightly.
Alexa blushed and he led her back to the table. He helped her sit
and sat across from her.
"Your waiter will be
by momentarily, sir," the host said, bowing. He walked away from
the table and Nick smiled at Alexa.
"Well, this certainly
is a surprise," he said.
"Isn't it though?"
Alexa asked, taking a sip of water from her glass. "You didn't plan this,
did you?" She asked.
Nick shook his head.
"Nope, I thought you did, but Brian and Howie proved me wrong," he said
"You're right, neither
of you did, I did," AJ said, walking over to their table.
"AJ," Alexa started.
Nick grabbed her hand and squeezed it, telling her to give him a chance.
"I tried every way
I could think of to apologize to the two of you, and finally, I got this
idea. What better way to show that I like the fact that you two are
together than have you two spend the night together?" AJ asked hypothetically.
"Order whatever you want, it's covered. Merry Christmas, you two,
hopefully this will help you change your minds about my stubborn and childish
ass," he said, turning away.
"AJ," Alexa said.
He turned around and
Alexa stood up. She walked over to him and gave him a hug.
"Thank you," she whispered.
Nick could see the
tears form in AJ's eyes as he hugged his sister back. "My little
sister grew up when I wasn't there and I wanted her to be the little girl
I didn't see. I guess I tried a little too hard, huh?" AJ asked.
Alexa backed away from
him, wiping away tears. "You might say that, big brother," she said.
"You are forgiven, Alex, but don't pull anything like it again, then I
won't be so forgiving," she said sternly, wagging her finger at him.
AJ laughed and grabbed
her finger. "Stop acting like Mom, Aly, it's not good for you," he
said. He kissed her forehead and looked back at Nick, who was waiting
patiently. "Go on, he's waiting for you and I know the only thing
that's really on his mind is the free food," he said.
Alexa laughed and let
her brother go. Nick stood back up and helped her sit again.
"You know, I think that this is going to be a good night," she said, wiping
her face clean of tears.
Nick chuckled and handed
her a napkin. "Yeah, I think so too."
Alexa couldn't believe
that she was living this night. Everything was so perfect, she and
her brother had made up, she wasn't mad at him anymore, and he'd done the
perfect thing to make it up to her. The next thing that was perfect
was that Nick was actually dressed up and he looked so very nice.
The black suit he was wearing with a tie made him look years older and
it gave him a more sophisticated air about him. The last thing that
was perfect was that they were together, without having to have snuck around
back or kept any secrets. It was
like they finally could do what they wanted and when they wanted to, without
getting in trouble for it.
Alexa looked down at
her near-empty plate of fetticcini alfredo, then back up at Nick, who'd
just taken the last bite of his steak and angel hair pasta. "Well,
I'd say that was pretty good," she said.
Alexa, we just had food from a five star restaurant that takes forever
to get reservations for, especially on Christmas Eve, and it was only pretty
good?" Nick asked her.
"Relax, Nick, I was just kidding. I thought the food was excellent,
how was yours?"
"Eh, pretty good."
They both laughed and
Nick reached across the table for her hand. "You know what?"
"You are the most handsome
man I've ever seen in my life," she said.
Nick smiled and kissed
her hand. "And you are the most beautiful woman I've ever seen in
my life," he said quietly.
Alexa could only smile.
She felt so wonderful to be there with Nick, it was near indescribable.
"Oh, before I forget,"
Nick said, letting go of her hand. "I wanted to give you this," he
said, pulling a wide flat box out of his pocket.
"Nicky, you didn't
have to get me anything," Alexa said.
"But what would I have
done for Christmas, then? I wasn't just gonna say I love you, give
you a kiss, and expect you to accept that!"
"Well, its too late
for that. I want you to have this," Nick said, facing the box towards
her and slowly opening the top.
Alexa gasped and covered
her open mouth with her hand. She felt tears gather in her eyes and
looked at Nick. "Nick, that is so beautiful," she whispered.
Nick smiled and got
up, walking around the table to her. "Not nearly as beautiful as
you. Nothing could ever come near your beauty, but still people try
to make something that could compare," he said, taking the necklace out
of the box.
Alexa gasped as Nick
put the necklace on her. It was a diamond heart on a gold chain,
absolutely breathtaking. "Nick, I can't believe you got this for
me! I can't accept this, its too expensive," she said, trying to
"Yes, you can, and
you are. Don't worry about the price, that is no object. I
would spend every cent I had and it still wouldn't be enough for you,"
he said, kneeling next to her chair. He smiled as the violin music
from the main room floated in. "Would you care to dance?" He
asked, holding out his hand.
Alexa nearly cried,
but just nodded, not trusting her voice. Nick pulled her chair out
from the table and held out his hand for hers. He led her to the
empty space next to the table and took her in his arms, swaying her back
"Do you always have
to try to make me cry?" Alexa asked hoarsely.
"No, I just try to
make you happy," Nick said.
Alexa felt tears roll
down her cheeks and leaned her head on Nick's shoulder, listening to his
heartbeat as it beat with her own.