The following day, everyone left in the morning and Julie stayed home. She just felt like spending the day doing absolutely nothing. She got dressed in her favorite sweatpants and a short shirt and settled down to watch TV, enjoying the peace and quiet.

Meanwhile, Nick and Brian went to the studio to record their parts of a new song. Once they were done, Brian wanted to go straight home but Nick had one last stop to make.
"Where are we going?" asked Brian when Nick missed the exit for their house on the highway.
"I want to stop by this flower shop and buy some flowers for Julie." Said Nick his eyes looking for the right exit.
"You've got it bad man." Said Brian laughing. "But I'm happy for you."
"Yeah, well, Julie's different, I can't explain it, she just makes me so happy." Said Nick getting a goofy smile on his face.
"That's a good thing, most people search for that person their entire lives and wind up not finding him or her, but you did."
"Well, it's more like she found me. If she would've never told me that she loved me, I probably would not have had the guts to act upon my own feelings." Said Nick.
"Wait, back up a minute, when did Julie tell you that she loves you??" asked Brian after hearing what Nick had said.
"Oh, that slipped out, you weren't supposed to know." Said Nick realizing that he had just blurted out what he and Julie agreed to keep between themselves.
"Well, I heard something now, so spill." Said Brian crossing his arms and waiting for Nick to continue.
"The same day that Julie was acting weird during the movie, I went up to her room later to ask her what was going on. She wouldn't tell me and we sort of got into a fight, and then she just blurted it out, out of nowhere." Said Nick, regretting that he said something about it in the first place.
"Oh, so then you know that she's in love with you." Concluded Brian.
"Yeah. And…don't breathe a word of what I'm about to tell you to anyone…but I think I'm falling in love with her too."
"That's wonderful!" exclaimed Brian. "When are you going to tell her?"
"I don't know, I'm waiting for the perfect moment." Said Nick. He saw the exit he was looking for and got off the highway.
"Well, I'm sure it will come soon enough." Said Brian. They drove for a few more minutes and then stopped at a shop with lots and lots of flowers in front of it. Nick stood trying to decide which flowers to get for nearly twenty minutes when Brian finally told him to get the classic dozen red roses. Nick picked out the most beautiful bouquet and paid for it.
They were almost home when they stopped at a red light. They could already see their house. But there was an unfamiliar car parked in the driveway and a guy around Brian's age was getting out of it. Nick parked the car across the street and Brian was about to get out when Nick stopped him.
"Wait a second, I'd like to know what that guy's doing at our house." Said Nick looking across the street at the guy who was now walking up to the door and ringing the doorbell. Seconds later, Nick saw Julie open the door and then her face lit up with a huge smile when she saw the guy. She threw her arms around him and gave him a big hug, and then he spun her around. After that, Julie and the guy disappeared inside the house and closed the door.
Nick was fuming as he got out of the car.
"I can't believe this!!! And I thought that I was falling in love with HER! What a waste of my time and money!" yelled Nick taking the roses and throwing them into a nearby garbage can out of frustration.
"Now, Nick, hold on, you don't know who that guy was." Started Brian trying to calm his friend down.
"I saw all I needed to know. So this is why she wanted to stay home ALL ALONE today! I can't believe I trusted her!" Nick then turned and ran in the direction opposite of the house. Brian got out of the car quickly but was too late, Nick was already way ahead of him.
"Nick wait! You don't know what happened!" he called after him, but Nick was too far away to hear Brian. Brian then took a deep breath and went into the house. Julie and the guy were sitting on the couch talking. They looked up when they heard Brian come in.
"Hey Brian, where's Nick? I thought you two left together." Said Julie not seeing Nick with Brian.
"Yeah, Nick went to…um…get something." Said Brian not knowing how to explain Nick's absence.
"Okay. Oh, where are my manners?" said Julie laughing. "Brian, this is my cousin Todd." She said gesturing towards the guy on the couch.
"Nice to meet you Todd, wait a minute, did you say COUSIN?" exclaimed Brian.
"Well, yeah. I haven't seen this guy in three years and all of a sudden he just shows up at my doorstep without warning." Said Julie laughing. "Why, who did you think he was?" she added.
"Um, well, I, uh." Stuttered Brian.
"Brian, what's going on?" asked Julie her face expression getting serious.
"Well, I think you better go find Nick." Said Brian.
"Why?" asked Julie carefully.
"He kind of saw you hugging Todd and well, let's just say the thought that Todd was your cousin didn't even enter Nick's mind." Explained Brian.
"Are you serious??" exclaimed Julie.
"I'm afraid so." Said Brian apologetically.
"Wait, but why did Nick run off instead of confronting me?" asked Julie.
"He was too upset I guess." Said Brian shrugging his shoulders.
"Um Julie? Did I come at a bad time or something?" spoke up Todd.
"No, Todd, you didn't don't worry. It's just that a guy that I recently started to date saw me and you hugging and well, you can figure out yourself which conclusion he came to." Said Julie turning to her cousin.
"Oh, I get it. So, shouldn't you go find him?" he asked.
"Are you sure you don't mind if I leave?" asked Julie.
"No, it's ok, go ahead. I wouldn't want to be the cause of a ruined relationship." Said Todd kindly.
"You know, you were always one of those nice guys, I see you haven't changed a bit." Said Julie smiling.
"Yeah, I know, so go find him!" he urged. Julie gave her cousin a quick hug and asked Brian which direction Nick ran off in. Brian told her that Nick ran off in the direction opposite of the house, but that's all he knew. Julie knew that she would have hard time finding Nick but she was determined to find him, so, she came out of the house and went searching for Nick.
She was walking around for over two hours and there was still no sign of Nick anywhere. Julie was tired and decided that she'll talk to Nick when he gets home, since he had to go there eventually. She decided to go back to the house through the backyard. She was walking towards the house when she saw Nick sitting on a lawn chair in the backyard.
"So there you are!" she exclaimed. "I've been looking for you for over two hours all over this neighborhood!" Nick remained silent.
"Oh, so you're not talking to me huh?" asked Julie, but once again, all she got was silence.
"Don't you want to know who that guy was?" asked Julie in an attempt to get Nick to say something.
"No." said Nick coldly.
"Oh, so you came to a conclusion all by yourself and you think that you're right?" asked Julie getting annoyed because Nick was acting this way.
"Yes." Said Nick; once again, his voice was cold.
"You don't want an explanation?"
"NO I DON'T!" exploded Nick. "You know, I can't believe that I liked you so much! The minute we started to go out and I started to really have strong feelings for you, you go ahead and invite another guy over!!!!"
"Excuse me??" exclaimed Julie. "You don't trust me one bit do you?"
"Not after this I don't. I can't believe that I thought that I was falling in love with you!" Julie stood shocked by what she had just heard.
"You thought that you were falling in love with me?" she asked quietly.
"Yeah, but I was wrong, the only thing I feel for you now is loathing." Said Nick and with that he went into the house and slammed the door behind him. Julie just stood in the backyard not knowing what do to. Minutes later, Brian ran out of the house with Todd behind him.
"Julie, what happened? We heard yelling." Asked Brian coming closer.
"I tried to tell Nick what really happened but he didn't want to listen. He said that he couldn't believe that he thought that he was falling in love with me and that now the only thing he feels now for me is hate." Said Julie her eyes filling with tears.
"Oh, Julie, I am so sorry. This is all my fault." Said Todd wrapping his cousin in a hug.
"No Todd, none of this is your fault. I'm glad you came here to see me, it gave me a chance to see how much Nick really trusts me, which I'm beginning to see is none at all." Said Julie then she wriggled out of Todd's arms and ran into the house crying.
"Oh man, this is one big mess." Said Todd sitting down on a nearby lawn chair.
"No kidding." Said Brian. "And if you'll excuse me, I'm going to straighten out a certain best friend of mine." With that, Brian went into the house to look for Nick. He found him in his room listening to his CD player.
"Nick, we gotta talk." Said Brian turning off Nick's CD player and pulling the headphones off his head.
"I don't feel like talking." Said Nick turning away from Brian.
"Too bad, cause once you hear what I've got to say, you're going to feel worse than you've ever felt in your entire life." Said Brian sharply.
"Fine, I'm listening."
"Ok, first of all, how could you act like such a jerk?" asked Brian slapping Nick's arm.
"OW! Watch it, I have a bruise there!" cried Nick rubbing his arm.
"I know." Said Brian his face showing no signs of remorse. "And second of all, why didn't you let Julie explain?"
"There's nothing to explain, we leave, she invites another guy over whom she hugged right there on the doorstep. I don't even want to know what they did once they went inside the house." Said Nick grumpily.
"Well, I'll tell you what they did, they talked." Said Brian.
"Yeah right, sure they did."
"Nick, will ya listen to me??" asked Brian standing in front of Nick's face. "That guy's name is Todd and he's Julie's COUSIN!!" he yelled. Nick didn't say anything for a moment while what he had heard sunk in. Then his face paled when he realized what a total asshole he had been.
"Cousin?" asked Nick weakly.
"Yes, cousin." Confirmed Brian.
"Oh man, what have I done?" said Nick burying his head in his hands.

chapter 6 chapter 8