Kayla took a deep breath as she stood alone in front of the mirror in the restroom. At first, when Kristy had brought up the idea of Nick having a thing for her, she had dismissed it as completely ridiculous. But now, after that dance, she was so sure anymore. The only other time she had danced like that with someone was that night at Melissa's party with Scott, and when the two of them had done it, they'd been getting ready to start making out. Even though she and Nick hadn't kissed, it had almost been at that level, with the way their bodies had been touching and the way he had been holding her and running his hand up her back. Kayla remembered that feeling she had gotten when he had pulled her close. At first she had mainly been surprised...but then when that had worn off, it had felt just plain good.
Kayla thought back to Kristy's words from before. That explanation did make a lot of sense...but then again, couldn't he have just gotten caught up in the moment? Brian had said that Nick needed a girlfriend. Maybe he had just been feeling lonely and had turned to her because she had happened to be there.
Kayla took another deep breath and turned to leave the restroom. That was probably what had happened. After all, what was the probability that Nick had liked her all along? Surely she would have noticed it by now.
By the time three more hours had passed—around two o'clock in the morning—everyone save Kayla, Leighanne, and the guys had left to catch the plane back to Boston. Actually, Howie and Kevin had already gone back to the hotel. Brian, Leighanne, and A.J. were talking in a booth in the back. Nick was helping with the clean up a little, and Kayla was sitting near him.
"Oh my God," she groaned.
Nick grinned. "You spent?"
"Yes," she said, putting her head down on the table. "But don't worry, I'll help you in a minute."
"You don't have to."
"Yeah, I do. You've done enough," Kayla argued.
"It's your birthday," Nick pointed out.
"Uh, actually, it hasn't been my birthday for two hours," she reminded him.
"Shhh," Nick said. "I'm trying to help you."
"And I'm trying to help you," she countered.
Nick stopped what he was doing. "Kayla, if you get up from that chair, I will just have to tickle you."
She picked her head up. "Oh, really?"
"Really. You wanna test me? Bring it on!" Nick challenged.
Giving him a defiant look, Kayla slammed her hands down on the table and stood up.
"Oh, you are sooo asking for it," Nick murmured. He grabbed her by the waist and started to tickle her, making her giggle so loudly, he got Brian, Leighanne, and A.J.'s attention.
"Get her, Nick!" Brian shouted.
"Nicky...let...go!" Kayla gasped through hysterical laughter.
Nick briefly stopped tickling her but did not let go. "Oh, you're calling me Nicky now? Not a good idea, babe!" he yelled, tickling her more.
"Nick, stop!" Kayla shrieked.
Nick finally let go of her. Grinning, she sat back down.
"Now you know better than to mess with me," Nick said confidently.
"Oh, please," Kayla said, rolling her eyes. "That was way too easy."
Nick looked at her dangerously. "Excuse me?"
Kayla's eyes widened. "I mean...oh shit!" she murmured. She scrambled up from her chair and ran away as Nick began to chase her around the restaurant.
Kayla squeezed her eyes shut and yawned as the limousine drove back towards the hotel. It was around two thirty in the morning, and she had been up since seven or eight.
"I can barely keep my eyes open," she mumbled, trying to keep from nodding off.
"We still have about twenty minutes," Nick said. "You wanna take a nap?"
"For twenty minutes?"
Nick nodded. "C'mere." He wrapped an arm around her shoulders and pulled her closer to him. She smiled and slid her arms around him too as she snuggled up against his body. Nick unconsciously slid his hand up to stroke her hair as she laid her head down on his shoulder. He heard her let out a sigh, and he smiled.
The car drove on, and Kayla slept in his arms.