“I got dibs on the hammock!”
“Andy, that’s MY hammock. I want it.”
“Who asked you?” she replied, shooting Nick an amused glance. “I want it. It’s mine for the day.”
“Only ‘cause I love ya, And. Had you been someone else right now, I’d have knocked you right out of there.”
“Because you love me?” she laughed, “Or because I can kick your butt?”
“Oh, a little of this, a little of that,” he chuckled.
The duo looked up from their places on the grass in Nick’s backyard and saw AJ standing over them.
Andy’s eyebrows furrowed as she debated on whether to stay quiet or speak up and raise hell.
The latter won.
“What gives?” she asked AJ, sitting up in the hammock.
“What the hell are you doing here?” she asked, her voice raising.
“I can’t pay my brother a visit?”
“No,” she stated firmly. “Not when I’m here.”
“Excuse me, Queen Snob,” AJ scowled at her, “I failed to call in for an appointment. Forgive me?”
“Go to hell,” she shot back, lifting herself up off the hammock and heading indoors.
“What’s up, AJ?” Nick asked him, sighing heavily as he stared after Andy’s retreating form.
“I’d like to ask you the same thing, Nick. You’ve been avoiding me like crazy.”
“We’ve been busy. Work, you know. You were there.”
“I mean lately. On this mini vacation we’re in the middle of. I wanna set some things straight with you, and you won’t budge with this whole ‘AJ can go to hell’ thing.”
“I’m upset, J. Can’t you just let it be?”
“Well you’re gonna have to.”
“I’m not doing it,” AJ countered. “Nick, you know I didn’t mean to do something like that. You, of all people, should know that perfectly.”
“So what if I do?!” Nick shot back. “That doesn’t mean anything, AJ. Nothing, not even unrequited love, justifies what you did. Sure, I know you like to snoop, that’s a given. I was expecting that from you, anyway. What I didn’t believe though, was what you did afterward. That’s what I’m angry about.”
“And that’s what I didn’t mean to do!” AJ said, exhasperated. “You know that when two people get into a really big argument, things are said that normally wouldn’t be said! I said something I should never have even let on that I knew, and I know I ruined a lot of things between you three, and I am very sorry. If you can’t see that, and deal with it, then I guess I’m also sorry for losing your friendship, too.”
AJ turned and started walking away, not aware that Andy had heard the entire exchange from the patio door. When she saw Nick was not planning to call out and stop him, she took the initiative. She couldn’t let anything come between those two. Especially not her.
AJ whirled around at teh sound of her voice. Stunned, he answered, “What? You wanna fight too?”
She smirked. “Even when you should keep your big mouth shut, you don’t. I don’t want to fight, AJ.”
“That’s a first.”
“So’s this,” she began, walking over to him. “I’m sorry.”
“For what?” he asked, eyebrows raised in surprise. “You have nothing to be sorry for.”
“I do,” she admitted. “For being such a... well, bitch, to you since the beginning. I mean, i had my reasons in the beginning, but I should have let up when you were making an effort. I should’ve made an effort, too.”
“Well, don’t that beat all?” AJ mused, looking her in the eyes. “You’re serious about this?”
“Dead serious,” she nodded. “If not for me, then for you and Nick. For the sake of your friendship. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll end up having you as a friend, too.”
“That,” AJ chuckled. “Will be the day Lucifer himself needs ice skates. Apology accepted, so long as you accept mine.”
“Done deal,” she grinned.
“Now I’ve seen everything!”
The duo chuckled at Nick’s shocked expression.
“Everything, Nick?” Andy questioned.
“Yeah!” he exclaimed, laughing. “And I’m happy for it, too. Thanks, you guys.”
“Think nothing of it, my friend,” AJ grinned. “We did it for you.”
“Ehh, I dunno,” Nick smiled, “You two are gonna be really tight soon. I give you no more than two weeks.”
“We’ll see,” Andy told her friend, while she thought about the reaction Tommy was going to have when he learned of all this.
All hell was going to break loose, if she knew him as well as she thought.
[chapter list | chapter twenty one]