"You know what?" Nick asked Kayla one evening a few days later in his hotel room. Recently it had become a tradition for the two of them to go up to one of their rooms and talk after every show.
"What?" Kayla asked. She was sitting on the bed.
"You never exactly told me what happened with Scott," Nick pointed out, walking in from the bathroom and collapsing onto the bed as well.
Kayla raised her eyebrows. "What made you think of that?"
"Oh, nothing...I heard you talking about him with one of your friends at your birthday party, and it just kinda popped into my head," he said. Actually, that wasn't why he was asking. It was a very calculated move. He wanted to know why she had broken up with Scott so that he wouldn't make the same mistakes. Because by this point, Nick had every intention of winning her over again. How could he give up after that scene at the recording studio?
Kayla sighed. "Well, the story isn't too complicated. Scott's another senior at my school. A really hot senior I happened to be friends with. I really liked him. He asked me out, and I said yes. We went out for a month, we had fun, we ended up making out at a party one night, and then he tried to get me into bed with him and almost dumped me when I wouldn't let him."
"He almost dumped you?"
She grinned. "I dumped him first."
"I see," Nick replied with a wry smile. "Sounds like a real prick."
Kayla nodded. "I was really hurt. I thought he was genuine. I mean, we'd been fairly close friends ever since seventh grade, and then he suddenly turned on me. He was actually the one who first told me about the audition, and throughout all of it, he supported me more than everyone else combined." She sighed again. "I guess I'm just a bad judge of character."
Nick put an arm around her and gave her a friendly squeeze. "Well, not all guys are like that," he reassured her.
She half smiled put her head on his shoulder. "I know, I know. I'm sure that you're not, and neither are Brian and the others. But all of the guys that I've dated have been like that."
"Don't worry, Kayla...you'll find someone who's not," Nick said, memorizing the soft touch of her head on his shoulder. "You deserve it."
"Thanks, Nicky," Kayla replied, stifling a smirk as she lifted her head and looked defiantly into his eyes.
"Haven't I told you a thousand times not to call me that?" Nick protested with a grin, starting to tickle her stomach.
"No!" Kayla gasped through laughter. "Please, I take it back...I won't do it again!"
He stopped tickling her but did not let go. "Promise?" he asked with fake austerity.
Kayla nodded solemnly, being sure to keep one hand out of his view. He finally let go of her, still grinning.
"Okay, but you'd better not call me that again," he warned, shaking his finger at her.
Grinning right back at him, Kayla lifted up her far hand to reveal crossed fingers. "Okay, Nicky!" she replied cheerfully. Anticipating his reaction, she laughed and wriggled farther towards the other side of the bed.
"You're not getting away that easy!" Nick said ominously, crawling towards her. He lunged for her dramatically but ended up sending them both tumbling. She landed on her back on the floor, and he landed face-down on top of her.
"Oomph," Kayla groaned, still laughing. She noticed that his head had landed against her breast. "Uh, Nicky..." She patted his head and he lifted it. "There ya go."
"Sorry..." he apologized hastily, looking embarrassed.
She shrugged. "Don't sweat it."
It was quiet for a moment as Kayla rubbed her head where she had bumped it on the fall. Nick looked down and finally noticed the way that they were lying. He had to stop himself from smiling. Kayla seemed to notice it too. She slowly stopped rubbing her head as their eyes met, and a long silence came over them.
Nick finally broke it. "You know, Kayla, if someone didn't know us, this might look kind of suspicious," he whispered, looking into her blue eyes.
A serious expression came over her face. Suddenly her mind was filled with the memory of that night at the piano, when his hand had been on her face and their lips had been so close to touching. "And what if they did know us?" she breathed, captivated by his almost hypnotic stare.
Nick hardly believed the next words that came out of his mouth. "Then I think they'd be even more suspicious," he replied slowly. Time seemed to freeze as he pushed a strand of blonde hair out of her face, looking into her eyes for another brief moment before he finally leaned down and kissed her.
Her lips were exactly how he had thought they would be. So soft they made him want to die on the spot because of how perfect they felt against his own. One of his hands touched her cheek while the other slid around to the back of her head, cradling it as he kissed her. One of her arms slid around him, and Nick didn't think he had ever experienced happiness that measured up to what he felt in that single moment.
Realizing how long the kiss was becoming, Nick frowned slightly in concentration, trying to figure out if he should end it or not. She seemed really into it, and he was really enjoying himself, but on the other hand, he didn't want to overwhelm and frighten her. Finally he decided to pull away but to leave his hand on her cheek, stroking it gently, to let her know that he wasn't ending the kiss because he didn't like it.
"Mm," Kayla remarked without meaning to when he pulled away from her. She opened her eyes slowly and found him looking to her for a response, so much hope present in his blue eyes. Kayla didn't know how to answer his question, except to reach up and touch his cheek as a hesitant smile spread across her lips. The hope in Nick's eyes was replaced almost instantly by pure gratitude, and he quickly leaned down to kiss her again, unable to contain himself. This time he parted his lips and let the kiss deepen, unable to hold back a smile when he tasted the sweetness of her mouth.
Until this point, Nick's full weight had been on her, but now he got to his hands and knees and carefully moved so that he was kneeling slightly to one side of her. Then he scooped her up in his arms, still kissing her with all of the passion that he had bottled up and forced away for so many days. He stood up slowly and carried her over to the bed, pulling back the sheets before laying her down in between them. He broke the kiss briefly to lie down on next to her and then roll over so that his body once again covered hers.
They made out for a few blissful minutes before Nick could actually allow himself to pull away from the lips for which he had hungered for so long and let his kisses stray to her cheeks and forehead. He could hear her breathing harder as he moved down from her cheek to her jaw and then her neck.
Then, to his incredible dismay, she began to get a hold of herself. "Um, Nicky, maybe we shouldn't be..." Kayla began. She trailed off and held back a moan as he started to kiss the very base of her neck, feeling warmth spread through her body. He moved his kisses down away from her neck and in between her breasts, and she swallowed very hard, placing her hand on the back of his head. "Nicky," she repeated, pulling up on his hair gently. She knew that if she didn't stop him now, she would never be able to.
He lifted his head and desperately slid a hand up to her cheek, touching it softly. "Please trust me, Kayla. Please just let me do this," he pleaded, his eyes locking with hers again.
Kayla swallowed hard, unfamiliar feelings building up inside of her body. His eyes alone were doing things to her that she had never experienced before. As she lay there at a loss for words, he gently placed his free hand on the side of her abdomen. Still looking into her eyes, he slid it up her body, trying to comfort her. He reached her neck and stopped, letting his hand stay there. Silently he started to stroke the back of her neck, sending shivers all through her body. His other hand moved through her hair as he bent down and gave her the softest kiss she had ever received in her life.
That was all it took to convince her. When he lifted his head again, she nodded, relaxing and indicating that it was all right for him to take over.
Nick reached for his shirt but stopped himself and looked to her cautiously. "You haven't done this before, have you?" he asked softly.
"You know I haven't, Nicky," she reminded him with a hesitant smile. "Have you?"
He shook his head, and she smiled wider. Nick returned the smile as he reached for his t-shirt and pulled it up over his head. Kayla sighed, seeing his bare upper half. She placed her hands on his shoulders and ran them down his arms, still smiling contentedly. Nick smirked and slid off his shorts, leaving him in only boxers. He was reaching for them, about to take them off, but then he stopped and looked to her again. Without a word, he reached down to unbutton and unzip her jeans. As he started to pull them down below her hips, Kayla felt slight apprehension in her stomach, but she saw that his hands were trembling, and she felt comforted by that, knowing that she wasn't alone in feeling nervous. She raised her hips off the bed to make it easier for him, and he flashed her a smile that was a mix of gratitude and long-suppressed desire as he managed to pull off her jeans. Nick let his eyes travel up and down her legs before he reached up for her shirt and pulled that off too. After dropping it over to the side somewhere, he leaned down and started to kiss her again, his hands pressing against her almost bare back. Kayla could feel a new type of desire and anticipation building up inside of her when she felt so much of his skin pressing up against so much of hers.
She shut her eyes and relaxed, giving Nick complete control over her body, as he finished undressing both of them and pulled her even closer to him. In his arms, she felt completely safe. It was the first time in awhile that she had really felt that way.