Chapter Twenty Five.

AJ arrived at his home hours later. He hadn’t counted on taking so long to drive from Nick’s place. Then again, he hadn’t exactly counted on needing to drive around aimlessly to clear his head.

When San had told him Amanda was going to be waiting for him, he immediately thought it was going to be a ‘hook, line, sinker’ thing, but as he climbed into his car, bid his friends farewell, and drove through the streets, he began to think of the other, seemingly worse, possibilities that could arise once he arrived. The more he thought about it, the more nervous he got. As his nervousness overcame him, he began to reconsider heading home to begin with.

“You’re being stupid, McLean,” he muttered to himself then. “Get your ass home.”

Making a final U-Turn, he directed his vehicle toward his house, and the bad, nagging thoughts returned.

What if she was waiting, bags in hand, only to say goodbye?

What if she decided against waiting altogether, and he came home to an empty house?

What if there was absolutely nothing he could do anymore?

The ‘what if’ scenarios never ceased as he drove through the crowded streets, nervous about getting home. He didn’t know what he’d do if she wans’t there... or on her way out.

Then again, he didn’t know what he’d do if she had no intention of leaving.

At least he knew he’d be happy.

“Whatever happens,” he sighed, “At least I’ll know I tried my damndest.”

******

Amanda paced the floor of AJ’s living room incessantly, her eyes darting from one corner of the room to the other, studying everything she had already committed to memory about this place. She didn’t want to forget how things looked right then; the way the sun glinted and gleamed against the furniture, the crystal, the television. The way the wind blew gently through the curtains. The way her heart was skipping every other beat as she fought to take at least one decent breath.

To say she was nervous was a complete understatement. Scared? That was kid stuff. What she felt at that moment had no name; all she knew was that she didn’t enjoy the feeling.

She had no speech prepared; she didn’t even know if her voice was going to cooperate this afternoon, either. She had no clue whatsoever about how he’d react, or if he’d react at all. She wans’t prepared for a fight, wasn’t prepared for silence, wasn’t prepared for anything. She wasn’t sure she’d survive long enough to speak her mind; she had a bad history with caving under pressure and passing out.

However, she mused as she heard his car pull into the driveway, sometimes it was just best to go with what you have. Or don’t have, for that matter.

At that precise moment, all she had was her faith.

Her faith... and her love.

That had to be enough. It just had to.

Her heart all but leaped into her throat as the front door opened and AJ walked in, stopping in his tracks the second he saw her.

Their gazes locked, and Amanda swallowed hard, trying to calm her nerves, control her breathing.

Whatever happened from here on out was in the hands of fate.

******

He watched her as her gaze kept darting to the telephone. He’d been watching her from the other side of the room for the last fifteen minutes, anticipating her next move; one he was certain would come at any moment.

As expected, the love of his life gave in and made a mad dash to the phone. Being two steps ahead of her, however, Nick made it in time to snatch the reciever away before she could get her hands on it.

“Nick!” she whined, making him smile in the process. “I need to call her!”

“No you don’t,” he shook his head, putting the phone back down as he took her hands in his. “You need to let them figure this out on their own.”

“I just wanna know what’s going on over there,” she pouted. “I wanna know who’s killing who.”

“We’ll watch the eleven o’clock news,” he offered, not resisting her pout and brushing his lips gently against hers.

Her arms snaked around his neck, pulling him closer to her. “I guess we can wait,” she whispered against his lips. “We’ve got tons of time to kill though,” she added, tilting her head to the side, planting small kisses along his jawline.

“What a coincidence. Killing time is our specialty,” Nick grinned, scooping her up into his arms in one swift motion, laughing at her shriek of surprise as he carried her up the stairs.

[chapter list | chapter twenty six]