Nick couldn't suppress a small chuckle as he slid the photograph into the plastic frame the next morning in his hotel room. As a sign of his gratitude for all that Kayla had done for him yesterday, he had gone out this morning and had gotten her a blue picture frame—her favorite color—and then he had bugged Lisa until she had found a picture of him and Kayla together. Now all he had to do was put it in the gift bag, write a little note to her, and leave it in front of her door. And he would finally be doing what Brian had been telling him to do...making some progress with her. He had actually been planning to get her flowers, but then he had decided that the picture would be more meaningful. Anyway, after this, she would hopefully get the idea that the had feelings other than just friendship for her. Because every attempt so far had gone straight to hell.
Nick grabbed the hotel pad of paper and pen and bit his lip in thought for a moment before he started to write.
I just wanted to say thanks for everything you did for me yesterday. I may have ben acting kind of...bitter...but I promise, you really helped me. And if you ever find yourself in a similar situation...you know who to call. Thanks again, babe.
Nick read over the note a couple of times before he smiled, signed his name, and tore the sheet off of the pad. Then he folded it, picked up the gift bag, stuck the note inside, and walked out the door.
Kayla looked up from approving pictures from a recent photo shoot when she heard three knocks on the door. Setting the printouts down on her bed, she got to her feet and went to answer it. However, when she opened the door, no one was there. Kayla glanced down at the floor, and her eyebrows shot up when she saw the small gift bag. She poked her head out and looked around to see if anyone was nearby, but the hall was empty. Kayla cautiously picked up the gift bag, and seeing, the paper inside, pulled it out and unfolded it. As she read the note, a sweet smile spread across her lips.
Nick was sitting in the front row of the venue with Lisa and waiting for band to finish warming up that afternoon when suddenly a body sat in his lap and two arms wrapped around his neck. A surprised Nick looked up and saw Kayla hugging him.
"Hey," she said when their eyes met.
"Hey...what's this for?" he asked hesitantly.
Kayla gave him another squeeze before letting go of his neck. "Thank you for the picture frame. I love it."
Nick smiled. "You're welcome."
"You shouldn't have gotten me anything," she chastened.
"Aw, it was nothing," he insisted.
Kayla got up from his lap and moved to the seat next to him. "Nicky, you know I'd be there for you no matter what," she reminded him.
"Aw, how sweet," Lisa remarked.
"Yeah, except she called me Nicky," Nick mumbled.
Kayla grinned. "Yeah, well, you know me."
Nick smiled to himself, letting himself slip a little as a warmth came into his eyes. "Yeah," he said softly.
"Well, listen, I'm on my way to hair and makeup so I have to go. I just wanted to say tell you thanks," she said. She gave him another hug.
Nick hugged back, forcing himself to keep disappointment from his face. "You're welcome. I'm glad you liked it."
"I do. Bye, I'll see you later," Kayla said with a little wave as she got to her feet. "Bye, Lisa."
"Bye," Lisa and Nick said in unison.
When she was gone and out of earshot, Nick immediately put a hand on his forehead. "Damn it," he muttered under his breath in frustration. He should have known that his attempt would work no better than all those other ones had.
"What's wrong?" Lisa asked when she heard him curse, looking at him strangely.
Remembering that she didn't know about his feelings for Kayla, Nick looked up at her again and made himself smile. "Nothing," he replied. "Absolutely nothing."