AN – I know it's been too long… AGAIN. No excuses just that life kind of got in the way.

A big thank you to those of you who reviewed the last chapter. Once again, your lovely words of encouragement put a big smile on my face. I hope you all got your deleted scenes at least, but if not, drop me a review and I'll get the last chapter's deleted scene out to you ASAP. If you didn't get the deleted scene, it is probably because you either don't allow PM's on your fanfiction account or I couldn't see your email address on your review.

If you didn't get a teaser, I'm really sorry. FF changed the system you use to reply to reviews in the time since I wrote the last chapter which meant that the link I usually use to reply to emails wouldn't work so I had to do everything through PM's instead, and you can only send 100 a day, which meant that the chapter was ready before I managed to get round to everyone! I figured you'd rather just read the whole chapter rather than 400 words of it!

Huge thanks goes out to my girls Rebecca and Kristen for their support and comments.

I'm going to be quiet now, because it has been an age since I updated and I'm sure you just want to read the story. A quick reminder from the end of previous chapter:

As soon as Nathan's breathing evened out, he pulled out of Haley, feeling completely spent and then suddenly realised that he had just taken her like an utter savage. He quickly lifted her up and turned her around so that she was facing him. His eyes ran over her face quickly, looking for any sign that he had hurt her. He stared intently into her eyes, as he couldn't see that anything was obviously wrong with her but he wanted to be sure. He cupped her face in his hands and furrowed his brow. "Did I hurt you?" he asked.

Haley smiled and placed her hands on Nathan's wrists, running her hands down his strong arms until she got to the crook in his elbows. "I loved it," she said honestly. She couldn't help but think of the item on her list which that had reminded her of, and she suddenly couldn't wait for the night when they would tick that off her list.

Nathan sighed in relief, for he could see that she wasn't lying to him and lowered his face to hers. He looked into her eyes and rested his nose between hers and her lips, his fingers tracing along her jaw, feeling so glad that he hadn't harmed her with his aggressive behaviour. He was still breathing rapidly from their rampant exercise, and his fingers eventually found themselves on Haley's lips. She parted them slightly and he ran his index finger through the gap she had created, utterly confused by the sudden rush of emotion he felt consume him entirely. The air felt thick with tension, and he couldn't see anything other than the beautiful woman in front of him. He moved his fingers back to Haley's jaw and tilted her mouth up to his.

Haley's heart was beating so fast she thought it was going to burst right out of her chest. She felt Nathan's hands lift her face slightly, and she looked into his eyes, perplexed by the feelings which were bubbling away inside of her. His breath fanned across her face, warm and sweet. She noticed that it was laboured and heavy though. Time seemed to slow completely, and everything moved in slow motion. It was taking her far too long to get to his lips.

Enjoy! x

Chapter Sixteen

Nathan wasn't sure how he was able to breathe, or perform any other normal bodily functions because the moment he was currently caught in seemed far too surreal for it to be reality. Not quite believing that he was really here, he had to brush his fingertips along Haley's face just to prove that she was really there in front of him. His mind couldn't process anything, least of all how the hell he had ended up in this situation, and it felt like all his thoughts were whirling through his mind at a thousand miles per hour. A slight whimper escaped from between her lips which dispelled all his musings from his head. He realised in that instant that it didn't matter how or why he was about to kiss his best friend. It simply wasn't even worth analysing because he could just feel the charge in the air which swirled around him. He could feel it in the way that her soft, silky skin felt underneath his fingers, and he could see it while he watched her, completely mesmerised by her beauty as her eyelids fluttered closed. His eyes moved down to her mouth and he watched in rapt fascination as her lips pressed together so welcomingly. He realised in that moment that what was about to happen was in fact entirely right.

Haley tightened her grip on Nathan's arms as she felt his fingers brush gently across her face. She whimpered again and was slightly embarrassed about how desperate she was to move her lips slightly so that they were joined with his. But she looked up at him and saw that he was looking at her so intently, it seemed as if he was completely infatuated with her, and all her previous embarrassment dissipated because it was incredibly clear from the look he was giving her that he wanted this just as much as she did. She didn't even think about the rules she had demanded they create before this whole arrangement began. She didn't even think about the implications this kiss would have on their friendship with each other because in that moment it simply didn't matter. The intense feelings coursing through her veins like a wildfire were more than a want she felt to kiss him; she actually needed to kiss him. She was moving nearer and nearer to where she craved to be, and her eyelids fluttered closed as the anticipation rapidly flowed through her, causing her to shudder slightly.

Nathan's eyes roamed over her face quickly as he continued to lower his head, feeling Haley straining to reach him. Her fingers were digging desperately into his arms, and she kept making these incredibly sexy sounds. Her eyes were now closed, and he sucked in a deep breath, his mouth so close to hers he felt as if he could actually taste her. He moved his hands so that they were cupping her face delicately, and just as he was about to lower his head that last, final inch and at long last connect his lips with hers, a shrill ringing cut through the atmosphere like a knife. All the magic that had been in the air disappeared instantly and he dropped his hands from her face incredibly quickly. He could feel the heat rush through his body and it was as if touching her had scorched his skin to a crisp.

As soon as the incredibly loud, invasive noise hit Haley's ears, she snapped right out of what felt like an incredibly intense daydream and had to shake her head so that she could gather her thoughts again. She felt Nathan jump away from her as if being in such close proximity to her was endangering him somehow, and she looked at him in complete and utter confusion. Her lips were tingling, which was odd because he hadn't actually kissed her. She brought her hand up to touch her lips and dragged her fingers over them, trying to stop the strange sensation she was feeling because it felt too foreign for her body to cope with.

Nathan wasn't sure how he felt about the interruption. Part of him felt incredibly fucked off, because he had wanted to kiss her so damn much. But there was another part of him which was relieved for the disturbance, because the accompanying thought to the fact that he had wanted to kiss Haley, was one of complete and utter bewilderment. Why the hell had he wanted to kiss her so much? She was his best friend and best friends didn't kiss. He was vaguely aware of an incredibly annoying voice in his head which reminded him that best friends also don't sleep with each other, but he disregarded that thought as soon as it entered his head; they were protected from that oddity by an agreement and rules that they had both signed. So it didn't matter that it wasn't normal for them to sleep with each other... but it did matter that he wanted to kiss her, because that certainly wasn't normal, and wasn't in the realms of what they had agreed to. In fact, it was breaking the rules they had agreed at the start of all this.

The ringing sound continued and Haley glanced over at Nathan, who was still looking at her with an incredibly puzzled look on his face. She closed her eyes, unsure of how she was feeling at the moment because the only sound which was reverberating inside of her head was the infuriating noise of his mobile phone, and she just needed some peace and quiet so she could comprehend and understand how she was feeling after what had just nearly happened. "Nathan, will you answer your Goddamn phone," she snapped at him as she moved her hand into her hair, gathering a fistful and tugging on it as if she wanted to pull it from her head.

Nathan shook his head as he heard Haley's voice and attempted to clear the fog which was continually building inside his brain. He could still hear his phone ringing and realised that he needed to answer it. "Sorry," he muttered as he moved his eyes quickly around the room, trying to locate where the noise was coming from. He found his pants which were laying in a heap on the floor from when he had hastily changed into his board shorts earlier and stalked over to them. With each step he took he felt the anger bubble along his veins, already pissed off with whoever it was on the other end of the phone before he'd even looked to see who it was. The fact that he was irritated added to his confusion, because what other reason could there be for how he was feeling, other than the fact that he had wanted to kiss her more than he realised? He reached into his pocket and pressed the 'connect' button without even looking to see who was calling him. "What?" he barked into phone once he had placed it at his ear.

Haley cast her eyes over to where Nathan was standing and watched as he sighed in annoyance, hearing the feint chatter of whoever it was on the other end of the line carry over to where she was stood on the other side of the room. She drew in a breath and lowered her hand from her hair, only realising that her fist was shaking when she looked down at it. She honestly didn't know what to think about what had just very nearly happened. She was rather hoping that the peace and quiet would provide her with some much needed clarity, but even in the mere minutes which had passed everything just seemed to continue to become more and more convoluted.

Lucas held the phone away from his ear as his brother's rough voice snapped at him through the phone. "Dude, it's me. Where the hell are you?" he asked, picking himself up from his seat and walking towards a corner in the hope that he would be able to hear Nathan better if he moved away from the music which was blaring through the speakers.

Nathan couldn't help the fact that he rolled his eyes in frustration. He'd been interrupted because his dumb idiot of a brother wanted to know where he was? Who the hell did Lucas think he was, his father or something? "Are you serious?" he said, raising his voice automatically as a response to the agitation that was coursing its way through his system.

"What do you mean am I serious? I'm wondering where the hell you are, and where Haley is too. It's Friday night and you're not at the bar, and neither of you have bothered to pick your phones up all evening, or let us know in advance that you weren't even planning on coming out tonight," Lucas responded with a touch of audacity present in his voice. He wasn't going to let Nathan's sour mood affect him. He was being nice, worrying about his brother and Haley as he was. Last time he checked it wasn't a crime to care about your friends and family.

Nathan felt slightly guilty that he'd just had a go at Lucas, because he realised that in his haste to whisk Haley away for the weekend and make everything between them right again, he had completely forgotten to tell any of their friends that they wouldn't be attending the weekly drinks at the bar. But he didn't have it in him at the moment to admit that he'd been wrong to not warn them, because he was still incredibly confused about the nearly kiss he'd just shared with his best friend. "Well you know I'm okay now, so I'll speak to you later," he said, wanting to just get off the phone so that he could try to work out what the hell he was going to do about this whole mess he'd created with Haley.

Lucas' eyes moved over to the bar and he watched as Brooke came sauntering over to where he was standing. "I know you're okay, but what about Hal..." he started, and then felt Brooke trying to grab at the phone. He tried to lift his elbow up in the air so that she couldn't grab onto it in an attempt to snatch the phone from his ear, but she was clinging on and was winning the fight. He looked down at her with wide eyes. "Babe, I've got it."

Nathan rolled his eyes and sighed heavily. "Lucas, I'm fine okay so just…" he started but was soon cut off from continuing by Brooke who interrupted him mid-flow.

Brooke raised her eyebrows and smiled briefly in triumph at Lucas who had lost the battle, which he was always going to, and she brought the phone up to her ear. "Listen, Nathan, what the hell are you doing and where are you?" she snapped down the phone, wanting to cut right to the chase.

Nathan raised his arm and rubbed his hand across his forehead. It was bad enough having to speak to Lucas, but listening to Brooke twitter on and on was most definitely going to give him a headache, which was the last thing he needed at the moment. "I'm out, Brooke," he deadpanned.

"You don't say," Brooke responded in a sarcastic tone. "Out where?"

"What's it to you?" Nathan snapped back at her, moving his hand from his forehand and running it through his hair. If he had any sense he'd just hang up but he knew she'd just keep phoning until she got whatever answers she was looking for out of him.

Brooke began pacing and sighed heavily in frustration. Why Nathan could never give her a straight answer she'd never know. "Because it's Friday and you're not here, and neither is Haley. Because we've been calling both of you all evening and neither of you had the decency to answer your phones. You know the deal on Friday's, so I want to know where you are, because you're certainly not where you're supposed to be," she responded indignantly.

"Look, I'm fine, Haley's fine, everyone is fine, okay?" Nathan responded, wondering why he always seemed to face the Spanish Inquisition whenever he missed one of those silly Friday night meet ups.

"Where are you?" Brooke asked, determined to find out what Nathan had deemed to be of such significance, it was more important than meeting up with his friends, or at least was that important he couldn't even show the common courtesy of letting someone know he wouldn't be attending their regular rendezvous.

Nathan grabbed onto his hair with his hand and tugged on it in frustration. Did she ever let up? "I'm in a hotel," he said, wanting to be careful not to give too much away. The resort he and Haley were staying at was well known for being a romantic couples retreat, and he didn't want the aggravation or questions he knew he'd face if Brooke ever got wind of where they were staying. It was probably best if he didn't even mention Haley was here with him, because that might rouse unwanted suspicion, and Lord knew he and Haley had enough problems of their own to deal with without having to consider Brooke butting her unwanted nose into their business, especially after what had just nearly happened tonight.

"Is Haley with you?" Brooke questioned, a slight hint of surprise in her voice. She may be jumping to conclusions here, but how else would Nathan know that Haley was okay if she wasn't there with him? And if she was there with him, what the hell were they doing in a hotel together?

Nathan sighed heavily in complete and utter frustration. He ran his hand through his hair again and began to pace up and down the room. He knew he needed to keep the fact that Haley was here with him under wraps, but he was so confused about everything which had transpired that night that he couldn't think straight and instead decided to just ramble. "Why do you automatically assume that Haley is with me, huh? We're not joined at the hip; we don't spend every single second of every single day together. God, what is it with you lot? And don't even get me started on the whole Friday night thing. It's ludicrous to expect a group of six individuals to keep the same night free for eternity. I have a life which exists outside of the bubble the six of us seem to be trapped in, you know? I have a very demanding job, which you know keeps me extremely busy, so forgive me if I can't always commit to sitting in a bar once a week. And last time I checked, you weren't my mother so just back the hell off, Brooke…"

Brooke decided to interrupt Nathan, employing a slightly different tact. She could hear how worked up he was getting and hoped that his confusion and frustration would play right into her hands. "Can I speak to Haley?" she asked and then held her breath. She wasn't sure what it would mean if Haley was there with him, but she knew something fishy was going on and she couldn't wait to get to the bottom of it.

"Here she is," he said, pulling the phone away from his ear and holding it out towards Haley. Nathan was so wrapped up in his frustrations and the thoughts which were running through his head at a thousand miles per hour, it wasn't until Haley had walked over and put the phone to her ear that he realised his mistake, and also realised that he'd fallen right into the clever trap Brooke had created for him. He was usually much savvier than this. Obviously the mess with Haley was completely warping his brain. "Fuck!"

Haley gave Nathan a confused look as he swore out loud and put the phone to her ear. Before she could even ask who it was, or say hello she heard Brooke screech down the phone at her.

Now that Brooke knew for definite that Haley was there with Nathan, she started vibrating on the spot with excitement. She was trying to connect the dots in her head. Nathan, Haley and a hotel. It had to mean something. But just as she tried to entertain the idea of Nathan and Haley being together in that way, a big warning sign flashed in her head, reminding her of the fact that it was Nathan and Haley, and they weren't in a relationship, even though they acted like an old, married couple most of the time with each other. Even so, she still wanted details. "You're in a hotel room with Nathan? What the hell are you doing? And where the hell are you? And why the hell didn't you tell anyone where you were going?" Brooke rushed out in an extremely high pitched voice.

Haley sighed heavily, wishing that Nathan had pre-warned her of Brooke's inquisition before he had handed the phone to her. "Yes, I'm in a hotel room with Nathan," Haley responded, answering the first question. She considered the second question Brooke had asked and realised that she couldn't answer that one. What the hell was she doing? She had just been about to kiss her best friend. How screwed up was that? She decided to park that question in the hope that Brooke would forget she had asked it, and moved onto the third one. "I didn't tell you because Nathan had arranged this trip as a surprise, and I didn't know we were going anywhere until I finished work today."

Brooke considered Haley's answers to her questions. Something wasn't right here, best friends didn't whisk each other off on hotel breaks, as far as she was concerned. That was something which couples did. She was more confused the more she thought about it. Something wasn't adding up here. She decided to press on with some more questions, in the hope that she would have a light bulb moment once Haley had revealed some more details to her. "Well where are you?" she asked.

"We're in a hotel ,I already told you," Haley replied. She didn't want to give away too much because knowing Brooke, she'd turn up and surprise them or something and she really didn't want that to happen, not when she wasn't sure what the atmosphere between her and Nathan was going to be like considering what had happened tonight.

"I know that, what hotel?" Brooke asked, wanting to get some more information out of her friend. If it was a motel, she had nothing to worry about. If it was some fancy, romantic place, then she'd have more of a reason to wonder what was going on. She was vaguely aware of a little voice in the back of her head which told her that Nathan wouldn't ever slum it in a motel but she quietened it down, because in her head, her logic made sense.

Haley rolled her eyes and looked over to where Nathan was standing across the room. He had stopped pacing up and down now, which was something at least. She was trying to read him, but she couldn't make up her mind as to what she thought he was feeling. He was frustrated, she could see that in the way he looked like he was about to pounce on something, but she wasn't sure whether that frustration was directed at her for the nearly kiss, or Brooke for just being Brooke. "I can't remember the name of the hotel," she lied, knowing that if she revealed the name of this famous resort Brooke would immediately put two and two together and get five. Or was what Brooke would think actually right, and therefore mean she was getting her maths correct?

Brooke wasn't deterred by Haley's obvious lie. Who forgets the name of the hotel they're staying in when they only arrived that afternoon? "Well what's the hotel like?" she asked.

"It's nice," Haley responded vaguely.

"How nice?" Brooke questioned.

"Very nice, Brooke," Haley answered.

Nathan shook his head in complete and utter frustration. He couldn't listen to this anymore. His head was swimming with confusing thoughts and he just needed some peace and quiet for a second. He just needed to not think at all. "For God's sake," he muttered, loud enough so that Haley lifted her eyes again and glanced over at him. He crossed over towards where she was standing and found his suitcase. Grabbing a pair of lounge pants, he walked into the bathroom and slammed the door shut behind him.

Haley jumped a little when the door slammed shut and decided to move the conversation out onto the balcony. She didn't want to aggravate Nathan's irritation anymore than he was already and she presumed that he had gone to get himself ready for bed. She was vaguely aware of Brooke rambling on about something or another but she wasn't really listening. She sat herself down on one of the chairs and crossed her legs, her mind completely preoccupied with rerunning the entire night's events. How on Earth had she nearly kissed her best friend? She thought about the amazing time they'd had in the hot tub, and then again back in the room. Had something felt different tonight compared to all the other times they had ticked something off their lists?

Brooke stopped talking and waited for Haley's reaction to what she had said. When there wasn't one, she decided to continue on. "It just doesn't seem right, you and Nathan staying together like that. I wonder if I'm missing something…"

Nathan walked into the bathroom and threw his lounge pants onto the floor before he leaned his arms against the sink, bowing his head and closing his eyes. He took ten deep breaths and tried to banish all thoughts of what had happened tonight from his head. He just didn't want to think about it, actually, he simply couldn't think about it. Once he had counted to ten, he opened his eyes and stared at his reflection in the mirror. He glared at himself for a good thirty seconds, berating himself for doing something so stupid. How could he have nearly kissed Haley, how could he jeopardise their friendship like that? Realising that his ten second trick hadn't worked, he growled at himself and turned the shower on, stepping under the spray before the water had even got hot, hoping the cold would wake his obviously sleepy brain up. He decided that he was just tired from the drive and all he needed was to go to sleep. Everything would be alright in the morning. It had to be.

The most annoying thing about Haley's thoughts was the fact that she couldn't process them at all. Absolutely none of what she was feeling made sense. She was a logical girl and liked to understand everything, but this was so convoluted she couldn't see the wood for the trees. She was racking her brains for a meaning behind the feelings she had felt completely overwhelm her body when she and Nathan were about to kiss. But she quickly found that she couldn't come up with one. It was absolutely infuriating and was starting to worry her.

Brooke finished her extremely long winded musings and became quiet again, sure that Haley would have at least something to say to her accusations. However, once she had repeated Haley's name three times, it was clear that she wasn't listening at all. "Haley?" Brooke screamed down the phone, wondering if she had in fact hung on her.

Hearing Brooke scream her name caused Haley to jump out of her seat. She pulled the phone away from her ear and realised that she had been on the phone to Brooke for a good twenty minutes now. Completely distracted, and realising that she really needed to analyse this situation further, she decided that the background noise Brooke had been provided was a source of why she couldn't understand this mess. "I'm sorry, Brooke, I'm going to have to go. See you soon," she said and then hung up the phone, placing it on the small table beside where she was sitting.

Nathan had been in bed for about ten minutes now and couldn't seem to fall asleep, which was pissing him off further. He wondered where Haley had got to because once he had stepped out of the shower she wasn't in the bedroom where he had left her. However, he had managed to convince himself that all this mess would go away if he managed to get to sleep so instead of concentrating fully on Haley's whereabouts, he crawled into the bed and had tried to get to sleep. Sleep, however, was completely evading him, because he couldn't seem to stop wondering where Haley was. What if she'd wandered outside and had tripped up and hurt herself? Or what if someone had abducted her? He knew his thoughts were completely irrational, but they were worrying him nonetheless. He sat up and switched the light on for a brief second, about to get out of bed and start a mammoth search party when he heard her voice coming from the balcony. Breathing a sigh of relief, he settled back in bed and concentrated all his efforts on falling asleep.

Haley stared into the darkness, hoping to shed a ray of light on her feelings, but the dense blackness in front of her was rather symbolic of the state of her mind at the moment. There was no light inside her head at the moment at all. No answers, just endless questions and it was starting to drive her insane.

Nathan stared at the sliding door which led to the balcony and wondered what was taking Haley so long? She couldn't still be on the phone to Brooke, a good half an hour had passed since he'd walked into the bathroom. He debated with himself as to whether he should go and check that she was okay, but if she wasn't okay, he didn't know how he would handle that along with all the other mess which had happened that evening. In fact, the more he thought about it, the more obvious it became to him that she clearly wasn't okay, because who would be after what had happened that evening. Hell, he didn't even think he was okay with it all. However, he decided that if she wanted to be near him, she would be in here with him not shut out there by herself, so he decided to not go and ask if she was okay.

After what felt like hours of soul searching, Haley was no nearer to finding the answers to the questions she was asking herself. She decided that she'd sleep on it and see how she felt in the morning. Hopefully she'd be able to see some clarity on the whole situation and once her feelings had settled down some more she was sure things would be much clearer. She got up from the chair she had curled up in and stretched her legs when she felt how numb they had become from sitting in one position for too long. Once her legs felt like they had some life in them, she walked over to the sliding door and opened it, stepping into the room before closing it behind her. She stopped in her tracks when she re-entered the room because all she could see was the image of Nathan being on the cusp of kissing her. She quickly shook the memory from her head, feeling the blood rise in her cheeks, and rushed over to the first suitcase she could find, and pulling out something to wear before hiding herself away in the bathroom.

Nathan rolled his eyes as he watched Haley run across the room and then into the bathroom. It was no surprise that she had done that, and he knew that she would be mulling the whole situation over in that head of hers for a ridiculously long period of time. In true Haley fashion, he wouldn't be shocked if at some point in the future, maybe even if they were lying on their death beds having a disagreement, she'd bring up the night they almost kissed as an argument against him. He smiled a little at the thought of it and rolled himself over, pleased that she'd at least come back inside.

Haley turned on the bathroom light, threw the item of clothing she had brought into the bathroom with her onto the floor and splashed her face with some cold water. When that didn't clear the fog from her mind, she began to brush her teeth and then brushed her hair, sure that if she kept to the same old, well practiced nightly routine, somehow everything would return to normal. She almost scoffed to herself when that though entered her head. How could anything return to normal after what had happened? Looking down at what she had brought into the bathroom with her, she rolled her eyes when she saw that she had grabbed one of Nathan's t-shirts rather than something from her own bag. She put it on regardless of who's it was because she couldn't be bothered to go and change out of it. She then walked towards the door, fully intent on just breezing back into the room as if nothing had happened, but she found that she couldn't seem to get herself to open the door. Berating herself at how stupid she was being, after all, it was only Nathan who was out there, Nathan who had been her best friend since forever, she took a deep breath and forced her hand to open the door.

Nathan could feel the light from the bathroom flood into the room but he didn't open his eyes. Instead, he just waited for the feint light to disappear and for Haley to get into bed with him. Once a good minute had passed, he wondered why he could still see the light, and then he sighed to himself as he squinted one eye open and glanced towards the bathroom, seeing Haley standing in the doorway, wringing her hands together and biting down on her lip. "Gorgeous, are you coming to bed or are you planning on sleeping standing up?"

Haley nearly jumped out of her skin when she heard Nathan's voice. She had simply assumed that he had been asleep. She cursed to herself because the light from the bathroom had probably woken him up and now getting into bed with him was going to be even more awkward than if he had just been asleep. She was also surprised at how normal Nathan's voice was. Had what happened earlier not affected him at all? She disregarded that thought entirely because she couldn't be the only one who was feeling so confused, and if he thought everything was fine between them, then he was clearly deluding himself. Deciding that if he could play it cool, then so could she, she turned off the bathroom light and walked around to the other side of the bed to where Nathan was laying. "Did I wake you up?" she asked as she pulled the covers back and then climbed into bed.

"Hmmm, kind of. I was sort of dozing," Nathan responded and then rolled over so that he was facing away from Haley. Now that she was next to him everything seemed to be even more vivid inside his mind. He could feel her soft skin under his fingertips, he could almost taste her again, and he grew incredibly confused once more at why he was feeling like this.

Haley lay on her back and stared up at the ceiling. "Sorry," she said although she didn't even really hear herself say it, because once again her mind was whirling with questions she didn't have the answers to.

Nathan tried his hardest to fall asleep again but he sighed after a good ten minutes had passed and shifted himself around so that he too was laying on his back like Haley was. He opened his eyes stared into the darkness. He needed to break the silence somehow, because it was the noisy kind of silence and neither of them were going to get any rest if this continued. "You know, you're thoughts are so loud I can practically hear them myself," he said, and then mentally cursed himself because the last topic of conversation he wanted to talk about was what had happened tonight. Quite frankly, after much deliberation with himself, he was of the opinion that acting like nothing had happened was by far the best thing to do. And besides, they hadn't kissed, so no rules had been broken and nothing technically had happened.

"I'm sorry," Haley said and sighed heavily to herself. She tucked the covers more tightly around her body and rolled over onto her side so that she was facing away from Nathan. She closed her eyes and begged sleep to come quickly, though with how preoccupied her mind was she was guessing it wasn't going to come around anytime soon.

Nathan rolled his eyes to himself as she apologised once again. Was that the only thing she was going to say to him? "You don't have to be sorry, gorgeous," he replied. If anything, he was sure that he should be apologising for nearly kissing her. However, he couldn't quite bring himself to say it, because he wasn't sure if he really was sorry for nearly doing that.

It suddenly dawned on Haley that all this could mean big problems for their relationship. She had been so caught up in what her feelings regarding the nearly kiss had been, she had failed to see the big picture, which was that things could turn really weird between the two of them. The thought almost made her feel sick and she turned her head slightly so that she could look back at Nathan's figure in the bed behind her. "Nathan?"

"Haley?" Nathan responded as he turned his head slightly towards her.

"We're going to be okay, aren't we? I mean, nothing's going to change?" Haley asked, unable to keep the worry and angst out of her voice. If he said no, she wasn't sure what she would do. Nathan was the most important person in her life and the thought that she could have jeopardised her relationship with him was almost too much for her to even comprehend.

Nathan frowned as he processed her question and then shook his head at the doubt which started to creep into his mind. He shuffled his body over to where Haley was laying, sharing her pillow with her and positioned himself behind her, wrapping his arm tightly around her body. "Of course nothing's going to change. We're Nathan and Haley. Nothing can shake our friendship." He moved his head slightly and placed a kiss on her shoulder. He felt Haley's entire body relax as his words sunk into her body and he settled himself down again, breathing in the scent of her. An incredibly strong possessive wave rushed through his body. He couldn't lose her, not ever. And he wasn't going to let some stupid nearly kiss spoil things between them. "I mean it, Hales. Nothing," he repeated, although as he closed his eyes he wasn't sure whether he was trying to convince her, or himself.

Nathan awoke the next morning to find that he and Haley had moved positions during the night. He was now back on his own pillow, but it seemed that Haley had followed him during the night, because she was now tucked tightly to his chest. He carefully moved back a little and watched as she frowned in her sleep, before she shuffled over and then settled back in exactly the same position she had been in before, tucked tightly to his chest. He chuckled quietly to himself and wrapped his arm around her, placing a kiss on the top of her head.

His thoughts quickly started to drift back to the previous night's events, but he stopped them from progressing any further, determined to make sure that, as he had promised, nothing would change between him and Haley.

So instead of thinking about last night, he began to think of ideas for what they could get up to today. He hadn't planned anything beforehand, but after the madness of last night he figured that an action-packed day would be the perfect way to keep both of their minds from wandering down unwelcome paths.

He began to formulate a few ideas in his head and felt Haley begin to stir in her sleep. He moved his head away from her body and brushed some of her hair out of her face, placing it securely behind her ear as her eyelids fluttered open. "Good morning, gorgeous," he said as a smile stretched across his face. He realised in that moment, with the sun pouring through a gap in the curtains and shining on her face, just how much he enjoyed waking up with her.

Haley blinked the sleep away from her eyes and smiled back at Nathan. However, as soon as her eyes focussed and she connected her gaze with his, memories of last night came rushing back and she could feel her entire body tense up. She couldn't understand how Nathan could act so nonchalant about everything.

Nathan could see Haley tighten up as the realisation of what had happened last night dawned on her, but he had promised her last night that nothing would change, and instead of focussing all his energy on worrying about what had happened, he focussed it all on ensuring that he kept his promise. So he decided to carry on as he would any other normal day. "So what do you fancy doing today?" he asked. "I have a few ideas but if there's something in particular you want to do then we can just do that."

Haley frowned as she watched Nathan carry on as if absolutely nothing had happened last night. How could he do that? How could he just chatter on about what activities they were going to do today when they had some real problems to talk about?

Nathan threw the covers back from the bed and jumped out, walking over to his suitcase. Haley still wasn't talking, which wasn't a good thing and a feeling of pure dread began to swim along his veins. He decided to try one last time. "So, is there anything you want to do, gorgeous?"

Haley considered Nathan's question as she watched him root around in his suitcase. She pondered his behaviour for a good minute and then came to the conclusion that if he could act as he was and not feel any sort of confusion, then she shouldn't worry herself with those thoughts either. He had taken her away to a lovely hotel and regardless of what had or hadn't happened last nights, she really didn't want to enjoy some quality time away with him. Pleased that she had reached a satisfactory decision, she threw the covers back from her side of the bed and jumped out. "Whatever you want is fine. I don't really know what there is to do around here anyway. Is it okay if I use the shower first?" she asked as she walked into the bathroom and began to close the door with a big grin on her face.

Nathan breathed a huge sigh of relief as he heard Haley respond to his question. It seemed she was on the same page as he was with regards to last night. He continued to look in his suitcase for the t-shirt he had packed for the day and grew incredibly confused when he couldn't find it. He then looked up at Haley as she asked him whether she could use the shower and he scowled as he finally found his t-shirt, which was on her body. "Hales, that's the only t-shirt I bought with me, and I was just about to use the shower!" he moaned.

"Well, you should have got to the bathroom quicker, shouldn't you?" Haley responded with a cheeky lint to her voice.

"I would have got there first, if someone hadn't decided to sleep in my t-shirt," Nathan returned, raising his eyebrow at Haley and folding his arms across his chest, trying to look as threatening as he could.

Haley smiled back at him, trying her best to look as angelic as possible. "I couldn't find anything else."

"Liar, you just couldn't be bothered to find anything else. I packed my old college t-shirt for you to sleep in," Nathan replied.

"Well, I couldn't find it. You can still wear this one anyway, what's the big deal?" Haley said and then shrieked as Nathan charged towards the door, before she slammed the bathroom door shut and quickly held the handle up and pressed her back against the door so that he couldn't get in with her.

Nathan smiled as he pushed the door handle down, only to be met with unexpected force. He pushed against the door but realised he needed to press the handle down to open it, only Haley was holding the handle up. He tried to push the handle down with a little force, but nothing too excessive because he didn't want Haley to hurt herself, because if he wanted to, he could get in easily. Once he had done that a few times, he banged on the door three times. "Haley, are you going to open the door?" he asked with a smile on his face.

"No," Haley responded, a smile spreading across her face too. She was still holding the door handle up, even though Nathan hadn't tried to press it down for a good thirty seconds.

"Are you going to wash my t-shirt for me?" Nathan questioned.

"Why would I do that?" Haley asked.

"Because I have nothing else suitable to wear today, and if you don't wash it, I'll smell like a damn girl all day," Nathan responded.

"I don't smell bad!" Haley replied with a slight hint of audacity in her voice.

Nathan smiled to himself as he heard her response. "Yes, you do Hales," he returned.

"Do not," Haley shouted back through the door, sniffing the t-shirt just to make sure. She was right, she didn't smell at all.

"Do."

"Not."

"Do."

"Not."

Nathan chuckled to himself, realising that this could, and most likely would go on all day if he didn't concede. "Fine, you don't. But you'd better hurry up in the shower because we have a lot of things to do today," he said.

"Nathan?" Haley asked as she stepped away from the door and turned the shower on.

"Yes, gorgeous," Nathan replied as he walked back to the bed and flopped down on it, waiting for Haley to finish in the bathroom.

Haley smiled as she pulled Nathan's t-shirt over her head, covered herself with her free hand and opened the door slightly, before throwing the t-shirt towards Nathan, grinning when it landed directly on his stomach. "I don't know why you're complaining, I smell much nicer than you do."

Nathan shook his head as he watched Haley shut the door to the bathroom, brining his t-shirt up so that he could smell it. He couldn't argue with her really, because Haley was right, she did smell much nicer than he did. He was pretty sure she had the nicest smell in the world.

Once Nathan had got out of the shower and had told Haley that she needed to change into her bikini, much to her annoyance because she had already got herself ready, they wandered back through the woods towards the main building of the hotel. "So, what are we doing today?" Haley asked as she upped her pace so that she could keep up with Nathan's quick step. Whatever they were doing, he was clearly excited about it because he was practically running to get to the main building.

Nathan glanced over at Haley as the main building came into view. "It's a surprise," he responded as he continued to head towards the reception area of the hotel. He really hoped she liked what he had planned while she was in the shower. He had spoken to the woman at reception, Charlotte, and explained what he had wanted to do and she had said she could have everything ready in an hour, which he was very impressed with.

"Well I'm going to find out in a second, so you might as well tell me!" Haley said petulantly. Nathan was still racing ahead of her and when he reached the door to the reception area, he held it open for her.

"Patience, Haley, is a virtue," Nathan responded with a smile as Haley walked inside the main building.

Haley scowled at Nathan and folded her arms across her chest. She really didn't like surprises. "One which I do not possess," she returned.

"Clearly!" Nathan replied with a chuckle as he made his way over to the reception desk. "Hi, I'm Nathan Scott, I called about an hour ago with a special request."

"Ah, Mr Scott! Everything has been arranged," Charlotte responded and then bent down to retrieve the cool box which had been pre packed as per Mr Scott's request.

"Thank you," Nathan returned and took the cool box from Charlotte's hands.

"Paolo is waiting for you," Charlotte said with a smile.

Haley couldn't quite understand what Nathan had planned as she tried to piece the jigsaw together. He had a cool box in his hands which suggested a picnic or something perhaps, but he had told her to put her bikini on, and some guy called Paolo was apparently waiting for them.

"Excellent," Nathan returned and smiled back at the helpful receptionist.

"You've got a very thoughtful husband there, Mrs Scott," Charlotte said as she turned towards the woman who was standing next to Mr Scott.

Nathan couldn't feel the whole atmosphere shift as what Charlotte had said registered with both himself and Haley. He felt like kicking the woman for assuming that they were married, because marriage implied a real relationship between two people, and after what had happened last night, things between himself and Haley were clearly so unstable it could all come crashing down in an instant.

Haley tensed up when she heard the receptionist call her Mrs Scott. It wasn't the first time people had assumed herself and Nathan were together but after the madness of last night, she felt the weirdness begin to creep into her brain. She glanced over at Nathan who was looking like a rabbit caught in the headlights, carefully waiting for her next move. She quickly decided that she wasn't going to let this ruin the day that Nathan had planned for them. Turning her attention back to Charlotte, she reached her hand down and grabbed onto Nathan's. "I know I am, he's such a wonderful husband," she said and then smiled at both Charlotte and Nathan.

Nathan frowned in confusion as he felt Haley grab onto his hand and heard her response. He looked down at her and saw that she was smiling sweetly at him, and then he realised that she was playing along, and not letting the events of last night ruin the weekend, which he was incredibly grateful for. He cleared his throat and glanced back over at Charlotte. "Well, we'd better go and meet Paolo then," he said.

"Absolutely, he's waiting to give you the demonstration," Charlotte replied.

Haley grew even more confused when she heard Charlotte say they were getting a demonstration. However, she shook the curiosity from her body and instead focussed all her energy on making sure she enjoyed her day out with Nathan.

"Well thank you for your help," Nathan said and then turned around so that he could lead Haley away from the reception building. He dropped Haley's hand as they reached the doors and he held it open for her, allowing her to walk through first.

"Which way?" Haley asked as Nathan walked through the door behind her.

"This way," Nathan said as he pointed in the opposite direction to their room and watched as Haley walked along the path in front of them. He quickly caught up with her and fell into her stride beside her. "So… Mrs Scott?"

Haley giggled and grabbed onto Nathan's hand again. If they were going to pretend that last night didn't happen, then she might as well pretend to be someone else for the weekend. "Why not, just for the weekend? I think it's got quite a nice ring to it. Mrs Haley Scott. It doesn't sound too bad, does it?"

Nathan shook his head and smiled at her as he gripped onto her hand tighter. "I suppose it doesn't sound too bad at all."

The surprise Nathan had planned was a day out on an incredibly luxurious speedboat. Paolo had given Nathan a quick demonstration on shore and then they had been left to their own devises. Nathan had sailed them around the vast lake and when he had got too hot, he had jumped into the lake for a quick swim. Haley had decided to stay dry and as Nathan was drying himself off and putting his t-shirt back on, she had decided to take to the helm.

"Haley," Nathan said in an incredibly stern tone, "I thought you said that you knew what you were doing. In fact, I know you know what you're doing, I taught you how to sail a boat, and definitely not this badly! What the hell happened?" He arched his eyebrow at her and folded his arms across his chest. It was clear that she didn't have a clue about what she was doing. But he was going to humour her. Surely she'd pick it up again soon enough. He shook his head at her, knowing that he should give her a bit of a break; it had been a good few years since they'd been out on the Scott family boat after all. But all she needed to do was flick the switch. Not that he was going to tell her... yet.

"I do know what I'm doing, Nathan," Haley huffed back at him. However, the truth of the matter was that she didn't actually have a clue. She'd forgotten everything Nathan had taught her. But she was too proud to tell him so, and as she glanced over at him, she saw that he had that incredibly smug look he was famous for slapped right across his face. She vowed to herself that she wasn't going to give him the satisfaction of being right. She just needed to remember how to sail the damn thing.

"You're right, gorgeous. I'm sorry, I know you know what you're doing," Nathan said as he raised his hands up in the air in mock surrender. He had to turn around and face the lake in an effort to stop himself from laughing at her.

Haley had exhausted every option on the dashboard, and the damn boat still wasn't starting. She tapped the steering wheel in frustration, and glanced over at Nathan. She very nearly opened her mouth and asked him for help, but thought better of it, he'd only tease her relentlessly, because she had blatantly missed something so simple. Yes, it had to be simple. She ran her finger over the options again, trying to decipher which button would bring the boat to life.

Nathan had to bite down on his lip to stop himself from bursting out in laughter as he turned himself around and saw Haley trying to work out which switch she needed to press. He took a few deep breaths and once he had calmed himself down, he walked towards where she was standing. "Everything okay, gorgeous?"

Haley glared up at Nathan, who had walked right over to where she was trying to start the boat. Clearly, he just wanted to rub the fact that she couldn't remember how to start the damn boat right in her face. "Yes, everything's fine," she responded resiliently.

"You sure about that?" Nathan asked, giving Haley another opportunity to admit defeat and concede to the fact that she didn't have a clue. Of course, this was Haley in front of him, and he certainly didn't expect her to give in so easily.

Haley ignored Nathan's question and once again began to deliberate over which switch would start the stupid boat. There were so many, and she really didn't want to press the wrong one and cause an explosion on something equally disastrous. Not only would that cost a hell of a lot of money to fix, because if she knew one thing about boats, it was that they weren't cheap, and also Nathan wouldn't let her ever hear the end of it.

Nathan watched Haley struggle for another five minutes, before he conceded himself. He walked behind her, grabbed her hand and led her finger to the right switch. "It's that one, gorgeous," he whispered in her ear, and then casually walked towards the front of the boat.

Haley sighed to herself and watched as Nathan walked back towards the front of the boat. He stripped off his t-shirt and sat himself down on the padded mats on the boat before turning around so that he was facing her. He looked like he was waiting for her to start the thing so she pressed the button Nathan had showed her and the boat surged to life. She smiled at him in thanks and then began to move the boat forwards so that they were heading away from the shore of the massive lake and into the middle of it.

Once Haley was happy with the spot she had steered them to, she cut the engine. She glanced over at Nathan and shook her head at him, before she walked over to the cool box, hoping that he'd had the sense to ask Charlotte to pack some sun cream for them. Surprisingly, she found sun cream in the box, and grabbed it along with two bottles of water. She wandered over to where Nathan was sunbathing and watched as her shadow fell over his body.

Nathan could feel the temperature drop slightly and he opened his eyes, finding Haley standing above him. He sat himself up a little and looked around, seeing that they were bobbing along in a secluded part of the lake.

"Here," Haley said as she threw the sun cream towards Nathan's body, watching as he caught the bottle effortlessly. "You'll start to burn if you don't put some on soon." She sat down beside him and peeled off her strappy top and her shorts, throwing them aside and leaving her dressed in her bikini, before she lay down and closed her eyes, enjoying the warmth of the sun on her skin.

Nathan sat up and squirted some of the sun cream into his hands before spreading it over his body. While he was rubbing the cream into his skin, he looked over at Haley, who was stretched out on the mats. His eyes roamed over her whole body, taking in every gorgeous curve as if he'd never seen her this exposed before, which clearly wasn't the case, but still he was completely mesmerised with her. She had started to put on a little bit of weight since she'd stopped running with that idiot dude from the gym. He knew it would be hardly noticeable to anyone else's eye, but he could see the slight, healthy roundness she had on her stomach. Once he had ensured he had covered his body with cream, he held the bottle out to Haley. "Hales, you need to put some on too," he said.

"Thanks," Haley responded as she sat up and took the bottle Nathan was offering to her. She squirted some cream into her hand and then began to rub it into each of her legs first. She then moved to her arms and shoulders, before placing some cream on her face. She then lay back down on the mat and rubbed some into her stomach. She thought about the dress Nathan had packed for her to wear tonight and remembered that it was a strapless one, and she didn't really want any strap marks, so she lifted her head and unknotted the tie from her neck.

Nathan turned his head and watched as Haley began to tie the string meant to be tied at the back of her neck on her back. He frowned as he watched her struggle to reach. "What are you doing?" he asked in confusion.

"I don't want any tan lines," Haley responded as she continued to struggle with the ties.

Nathan shook his head and turned his face back towards the sun. "Just take the top off," he said as he closed his eyes again and continued to sunbathe.

Haley never went topless, and she was shocked that Nathan had suggested such a thing. "Take it off?" she said in an incredulous tone, as if the very thought of sunbathing topless was so ridiculous, he had been a complete fool to suggest it in the first place.

"Why not?" Nathan returned. "It's not as if I've not seen it all before. And in case you hadn't noticed, we're in the middle of a huge lake. It's not as if there's a whole load of people who will be looking at you. No one will see you."

Haley considered what Nathan had just said and realised that he was right. She'd not even seen another boat on the lake when she had been steering this one, and as he had pointed out, he'd seen her naked loads of times before. Hell, last night she was wandered into the hot tub completely naked. So she lowered her hands and untied the lower knot, before throwing her bikini top onto the pile of clothes she had already disregarded. Putting some more sun cream onto her chest, she laid down once she had finished and closed her eyes.

Half an hour passed in near silence. Nathan had just asked Haley whether it was okay for him to have one of the bottles of water she had bought over with her, before they had settled back into silence. The silence wasn't awkward, not by any stretch of the imagination, but every time Nathan turned his head subtly towards her body and sneaked a peek at her fantastic breasts was turning into severe torture. He did it again, unable to resist the temptation laid out next to hum, and almost had to suppress the moan he could feel beginning to escape through his lips, before he quickly turned his head back again. He was cursing himself for suggesting that she take that stupid bikini top off. It would be much easier for him to relax if she was still wearing it.

Haley turned her head towards Nathan and opened her eyes, trying to find her water bottle. Once she located it, she sat up and took a swig of the liquid, before turning her eyes over to Nathan's body, and she was surprised to find that he was watching her. "What are you looking at?" she asked.

Nathan almost blushed as he realised he had been caught staring at Haley. However, his eyes dropped to her full breasts for a moment before he forced them back up to her face and all his previous embarrassment was forgotten as he felt his cock begin to take notice of the sexy woman sat next to him. "I'm looking at you, gorgeous," he returned and then smiled at her.

"Why are you looking at me?" Haley questioned, feeling slightly exposed and vulnerable, as she always tended to whenever someone looked at her like that. She wished that she didn't feel like she did, but she guessed it was just a product of how incredibly insecure she had been about her body when she was at college, and of course her illness.

Nathan sat up and shuffled himself over towards Haley. He sat himself in front of her and lifted his hand so that he could lift her chin and make sure that she was looking at him. Once he was sure he had all of her attention, he asked her a question. "Why are you hiding?"

"Because..." Haley started, and then realised that she didn't actually have a reason to feel as embarrassed as she did. It was Nathan in front of her, and he was her best friend, and was someone she knew would never judge her like that. And it wouldn't make a difference if it was someone else who was in front of her for that matter.

Nathan shook his head at her. It was typical Haley behaviour to get all embarrassed about her body, but she had no reason to at all. "You're beautiful, Haley."

Haley breathed in deeply and lowered her gaze from Nathan's, before raising her eyes back to meet him again. She could see the sincerity in his eyes and it almost overwhelmed her completely. "Thank you," she said, knowing that in his eyes, she really was beautiful.

Nathan was quite surprised with Haley's response to his statement. He had been expecting her to argue back with him, to tell him that he was being stupid, but he was pleased that she had simply accepted what he had said. "You're welcome, gorgeous," he returned and smiled at her. "Now, do you want some lunch?"

"Lunch sounds like an amazing idea. I'm quite hungry actually," Haley responded. She watched as Nathan stood up and once she had put her bikini top back on, she began to get up herself so that she could help him, watching as he walked over to get the cool box from the other side of the boat.

Nathan grabbed the cool box and brought it back over to the mats on the front of the boat. Of course, the first thing he noticed was that Haley had put her bikini top back on. He couldn't decide if he was glad of the fact that he wouldn't be distracted by her amazing breasts, or disappointed because they were now covered up slightly. He unpacked the food, leaving the champagne and strawberries in the cool box while they ate the lunch the restaurant back at the hotel had kindly put together for them to eat while they were out for the day.

Haley had completely devoured the delicious sandwiches and snacks the hotel had prepared for them, and even though the beef sandwich which was still sat on her plate was absolutely scrumptious, she couldn't possibly eat another bit of food. Admitting defeat, she placed the plate down beside her. "If I eat another mouthful of food I think I might explode," she said as she patted her belly.

Nathan chuckled as he leaned over Haley and grabbed her plate, before he walked over to the cool box. He put the unwanted food in a carrier bag and placed the plates back inside the box once he had grabbed the champagne, strawberries and two glasses. He held them up in the air as he walked back over to Haley. "You've not even got some room for these?" he asked, raising his eyebrow as he sat himself back down on the mats.

Haley grinned as she reached over and grabbed a strawberry, biting into the juicy fruit. "There's always room for dessert!" she exclaimed.

"I thought so!" Nathan responded, as he opened the bottle of champagne and poured it out into the two waiting glasses. He topped them up once the bubbles had settled a little and then passed one of the glasses over to Haley.

"Thanks," Haley said as she accepted the glass Nathan was offering her. "Are we toasting anything?"

Nathan pondered over what they could toast to, looking out over the seemingly never ending lake that they were currently bobbing on. He thought back over the journey he and Haley had been on over the years, and how their relationship with each other had changed, most significantly over the last couple of months. He couldn't remember a time when they were closer, and she truly was the only person in the whole world for whom he would give up everything for. "How about we toast our friendship?" he suggested.

"I think that is an excellent idea," Haley said as she raised her glass in the air, waiting for Nathan to say something.

Nathan followed suit with Haley and raised his glass in the air. He thought carefully about what he wanted to say, and took a deep breath before he opened his mouth. "I don't quite know how we got here, Hales, but I just want you to know that you're always going to be the most important person in my life. I wouldn't want to be on this boat with anyone else in the world."

Haley could feel the blood rushing to her cheeks as she heard Nathan's words. She could see the sincerity in his eyes and the moment was becoming far too serious again. The atmosphere felt similar somehow, and as soon as that thought entered Haley's head, the image of them both nearly kissing last night came right into the forefront of her mind. She needed to break the silence which was growing louder and louder with each second that passed, but all she could see in her head was that nearly kiss. She needed a distraction quickly. "You know, you could have just said, 'to us', Nathan, instead of going all soppy on me," she said and smiled at Nathan in the hope that he understood what she was doing.

Nathan shook his head and chuckled at her. "Well that's just charming, isn't it? I give a really sentimental speech, which is completely disregarded and unappreciated. I won't bother next time!" he jested with her.

"You don't need to bother," Haley responded. She said it with a joking lint to her voice, but the reason that Nathan didn't need to bother was because he wasn't saying anything she didn't already know.

"Oh really?" Nathan returned. He grinned over at Haley as he jumped up and rushed over to the cool box, grabbing the can of squirty cream. He held turned around and hid the can behind his back, slowly walking back over to Haley.

Haley had laid back down on the mats, wanting to catch a few more rays once Nathan had wandered off somewhere. She lifted her head slightly when she heard some noise, seeing Nathan walking towards her with a sly grin on his face. She knew trouble was coming, and she could see that he was hiding something behind his back. "What have you got there, Nathan?" she asked.

"Never you mind," Nathan responded as he halted his movement once his was in front of Haley.

"Judging by the crafty look on your face, I think I do need to mind!" Haley replied and then before she knew what was happening, Nathan had squirted some cream right in the middle of her stomach, which was freezing cold and made her yelp in surprise. "Nathan! What the hell do you think you're doing?"

Nathan laughed as he saw Haley's surprised face and continued to squirt even more cream on her outstretched body. "Just getting my own back," he said.

"Your own back for what?" Haley asked, wondering how he could justify squirting cream all over her stomach.

"For you mocking my toast!" Nathan answered. By now, Haley's stomach was completely covered in cream, so he decided to be nice and stop.

Haley opened her mouth in complete shock. "How does me teasing you ever so slightly mean that it's okay for you to do this to me?" she asked. She looked down at her stomach and shook her head in utter disbelief. "Nathan, I'm completely covered in cream!"

"Well, technically only your stomach is covered in cream, but I can get the rest of you if you'd like," Nathan threatened, holding the can of cream out in front of him again with his finger hovering over the button.

"Don't you dare," Haley said. "In fact, give me the damn can."

"Nope," Nathan responded, unable to keep the grin off his face.

"Nathan…" Haley warned.

In response to Haley's warning, Nathan pushed the button down so that a tiny bit more cream landed on her body. "Oops."

Haley had had enough and she tried to reach up to grab the can of cream from Nathan's hands, only his reflexes were too quick for her, and before she knew it, he had thrown the can of cream overboard. "What the hell, Nathan!" she screeched at him.

Nathan couldn't help but laugh at Haley's sudden outburst. She couldn't stand up because otherwise the cream, which was already melting, would run right down her body, and there were no towels in sight, so she was stuck laying on the mats, which he found hilarious.

"I can't believe you've done this to me!" Haley said. "Get me a damn towel."

Nathan didn't particularly want to get Haley a towel so instead, he crouched down, reached his finger forward and gathered a big slather of cream on his finger and had the intention of licking it off, but before he could do that he felt Haley shiver underneath his fingertip and he immediately stopped his hands from moving any further. The whole atmosphere shifted again and the air became thick with anticipation instantly. He looked earnestly into her eyes, wanting to find out if she felt it too. "Are you okay, gorgeous?" he asked.

Haley gazed into his blue eyes and nodded her head. "I'm fine, Nathan," she responded, and then bit down on her lip. She wasn't fine really, if she looked at the situation pragmatically. She was laying on a boat in the middle of this massive lake, with her stomach covered in melting cream, and all because this man, her best friend, had simply touched her, she was reduced to a withering mess, feeling this incredibly strong surge of needing him rush over her body. The craving she felt for him was increasing, until she really thought that she wouldn't be able to take much more. How could things shift so suddenly between them? She really didn't understand it. However, she also knew that now was not the time to be asking such deep questions, not when she wanted him so much. She tried to convey just how much she needed him through her eyes, and she breathed in and out slowly and deeply, watching as Nathan's eyes grew darker than their usual bright, blue colour, which only served to cause her to want him even more.

Nathan nodded his head at Haley's answer, and instead of believing what she had said to him, he chose to believe what he could see from the expression in her eyes. He continued to move his fingers over Haley's stomach, licking his lips when he felt her shudder again. Once he had gathered enough cream, he moved his finger up to his mouth and licked the cream off, all the while looking at her right in the eyes. "It tastes good, gorgeous, do you want some?" he asked, moving his hand back to her stomach so he could gather some more cream. If she didn't want any, then he was happy to keep enjoying it himself. He watched as she bit down on her lip, obviously trying to bite back the moan he was pretty certain was building up inside of her. He gathered some more cream and then lifted his finger to Haley's mouth. "Try it."

Haley opened her mouth and felt Nathan's finger pass through her lips. She closed her lips around his finger and sucked on it, moving her tongue around to make sure she got all of the cream off it. She watched as Nathan's eyelids grew heavy and when he began to pull his finger out, she raked her teeth lightly over his skin, causing him to groan a little. She then watched as he straddled her and began to lower his mouth down to her stomach, her eyes completely hooked on him in rapt fascination as he began to lick all the cream off her stomach. She felt his warm breath hit her skin as more and more of it was exposed, causing her to shudder once more as he combined his licks with kisses. The cream quickly disappeared, yet he still continued to kiss and lick his way around her stomach. She knew exactly what he was doing, he was teasing her now, and so, in retaliation, she grabbed onto his arms and lowered him down slightly so that she could hook her legs around his waist. She could feel his arousal through both his shorts, and given that all she had on was a skimpy pair of bikini bottoms, she began to move her hips slightly to give him some friction. She heard him gasp quietly at her actions and she stifled a grin, but then he began to nip at her skin. She couldn't help the moan which fell from her lips in response to his actions and her hands travelled along the sides of his body until she tangled her fingers in his hair, pulling on the strands in an effort to get him to keep continuing his ministrations.

Haley was moving against his cock at a much quicker pace now, but it was still torturous, because Nathan knew exactly how close he was to feeling her without the two barriers of fabric in the way, and it was something he wanted greatly. The friction she was providing wasn't nearly enough to keep him sated and he craved so much more than she was currently offering him. He moved his mouth further up her body, stopping when he reached her bikini top. "You should have just left this off," he said as he moved his hands underneath her body and untied the two bows on her back, pulling the fabric away from her body and discarding it to the side of where they were laying.

Haley felt Nathan's lips move towards her nipple and she moaned loudly when she felt his mouth cover it, loving the way that his tough circled her nipple. She raked her nails through is scalp down to the nape of his neck, tightening the grip her legs had around his waist, pushing him closer to her so that she could increase the pressure. She tried to move her hips so that his cock was running over her clit, but just as she found the right angle, she felt his teeth bite down on her nipple, causing her to hiss a little. She breathed in deeply and felt his mouth leave her breast, moving slowly down her body. His fingers were following suit, and when he reached her bikini bottoms, she lowered her legs from around his waist so that he could take them off her body.

Nathan threw Haley's bikini bottoms to the same place as her top and then crawled back over her body, lowering his mouth to her leg, placing a kiss just below her knee. He continued to move his mouth up her leg, running his tongue around her knee before he peppered kisses along her thigh. He was getting closer and closer to her pussy, which he badly wanted to taste. Any other time, he would have continued to move down her other leg, waiting until she begged and pleaded with him to put his mouth on her, but he could actually smell her arousal and it was turning him on so much he didn't possess the self-restraint to deny himself for any longer than he already had. He sucked on the skin right at the top of her thigh as he moved one of his hands to her pussy, running his finger through her folds, groaning when he found her absolutely soaking and ready. "You feel so wet, gorgeous," he mumbled into her leg, before his fingers ran over her clit and then he lowered them to her entrance, slowly pushed two of his fingers inside of her, watching in fascination as they disappeared.

Haley gasped as she felt Nathan's fingers press inside of her and she lifted her hips off the mat, desperately wanting them to go deeper inside of her. He twisted them inside of her and then stilled his motions, so she lowered her hips back down to the mat but as soon as she her skin touched it, she felt him curl his fingers and move them back out of her, rubbing against her g-spot which caused her hips to buck off the mat again. "God, Nathan, that feels so fucking good," she moaned, and then gasped when she felt his mouth move unexpectedly from her thigh and felt his tongue flick her clit lightly.

Nathan groaned as his tongue moved against her clit, hearing her gasp in response to his ministrations. He moved his fingers out of her and added a third, spreading her and increasing the pace, curling his fingers each time they moved out of her so he continuously hit that spot, the one he knew brought her to orgasm really quickly. Pressing his tongue against her clit, he circled it a couple of times, before sucking it into his mouth. He could feel Haley wiggling and he moved his free hand to her torso, pressing down lightly in an attempt to stop her movement.

Haley forgot all about her inhibitions, in fact she was pretty sure she couldn't even remember her own name right now, as Nathan increased the movement of his fingers and pressed his tongue in a ferocious rhythm against her clit. Her orgasm was building quickly and she moved her hands back into Nathan's hair, pulling on it as her thighs clamped together around his head, her entire body shaking with the force of the intense shock of pleasure which rushed over her body. "Yes, God, yes," she cried out as her body continued to shudder as wave after wave of sensation flooded her body.

Nathan felt Haley release the death clamp her legs had on his head as he rode out her orgasm with her, slowing down both his mouth and his fingers. Once her body had stopped shaking, he moved both his hands up along the side of her body, caressing her hips, her waist and then moving up to her breasts and he continued to run his fingers on the underside of them, watching as she shuddered slightly. He raised his head and left a trail of kisses along her stomach, moving to her left breast where he licked a circle around her nipple and then sucked it into his mouth, hearing Haley suck in a sharp breath. He captured her nipple between his teeth and tugged gently on it, hearing her moan and feeling her shift underneath him, before he released it. He really didn't think he could ever get enough of her. He crawled up her body and settled himself on top of her, resting his forearms beside her body, staring into her eyes.

Haley was still struggling to catch her breath as she gazed into Nathan's eyes while he hovered above her. She licked her lips, suddenly realising that they felt far too dry and she saw his eyes peer down at her mouth for a brief second before they returned to connect with her gaze. Once again, those feelings from last night began to creep into her head, but she batted them away as quickly as they had tried to infiltrate her thoughts. She bought her hands around to the front of his shorts and pulled them off his body, watching as he kicked them down his legs. When he moved back on top of her, she wrapped her arms around his back, pushing his body down onto hers, wanting to feel his weight on top of her. She looked intently into his eyes and despite just having had an incredibly powerful orgasm, she didn't feel remotely satisfied because she wanted his cock inside of her, she desperately wanted to rekindle that amazing feeling she knew was waiting for her once he was inside of her.

As Nathan lowered his body onto Haley's so that he was covering her, he felt the tip of his incredibly hard cock press against her still very wet pussy, and he heard her gasp at the contact. He realised that she was probably still feeling a little bit sensitive after her first orgasm. He continued to stare into those gorgeous, brown eyes of hers, getting completely lost and not wanting to be anywhere else right now. He really hoped she knew just how much she meant to him.

Haley could feel Nathan right where she wanted him to be but he was looking at her with this bemused expression on his face. She rocked her hips as best she could and would have grabbed his cock with her own hands but as she lowered her hands down his back she realised that she couldn't reach him. She was that desperate for him she sighed heavily in exasperation. "Nathan, enough with the waiting, please," she moaned, wondering what was causing the hold up.

Nathan snapped himself out of his thoughts when he heard the desperation behind Haley's voice, and he berated himself for thinking about all of that now, when he had a sexy and willing Haley laying underneath him. He had plenty of time to tell her how much she did mean to him, if she didn't know already, though he was pretty sure she did. He lifted his hips slightly, causing his cock to brush against Haley's clit, to which she muttered an expletive under her breath and he smirked slightly to himself because he had just confirmed that she was definitely still sensitive. He grabbed a hold of his cock and slid it between her folds before pressing inside of her slowly and releasing his hand.

"God, I love this part so much," Haley muttered as she closed her eyes, savouring the sensation of feeling so filled by him. She then opened her eyes after a few seconds and found that Nathan was staring at her intensely again, and she raked her nails up his back as she felt him begin to move in and out of her slowly, pulling himself nearly all the way out before filling her with his cock again and again.

Nathan didn't rush his movements because he didn't want it to be over quickly, he wanted to appreciate being so close to her, and he wanted to relish this intense connection he had fostered with her for as long as was possible. He felt her hands move into his hair, and he groaned when he felt her tug sharply on it, because he really liked it when she did that, as she was obviously finding out, given how often she did it to him.

Haley rocked her hips against him, trying to get him to increase the pace a little but she realised after a few rounds that he wasn't cooperating with her. He completely took her by surprise, however, when he grabbed onto her legs and pushed them up so that her legs were now resting above her shoulders. The new angle felt so deep and so amazing, she couldn't help but tell him so. "Nathan, that feels so good," she moaned.

Nathan groaned as he upped the pace because the new angle meant that he was moving deeper and deeper inside of her, which felt absolutely sensational. His mind was filled with this complete craving and need for her, causing him to up the pace slightly. He ran his eyes up and down her body, until they rested where they were joined and he groaned once again, completely mesmerised with the sight because he kept on seeing his cock disappearing inside of her, which was one of the biggest turn ons in the world. He tore his eyes away and ran them back up her body until they rested on her face, finding her mouth open and her eyes closed as he continued to pump himself in and out of her. He upped the pace even more and heard Haley moan in appreciation. "Is that how you want it, gorgeous?" he murmured as he repeated his actions over and over again.

"Fuck, yes it's what I want!" she cried out, unable to hide just how much she was enjoying herself. She wrapped her hands around Nathan's neck, digging her nails into his skin as she began to feel her second orgasm build quickly inside of her. Her breaths were coming much shorter and were beginning to feel much more laboured than usual. She arched her back and dug her head into the mats, unable to hold back the oncoming pleasure any longer. "Nathan, God, yes, I'm gonna..." she moaned loudly, unable to complete her sentence as she felt her orgasm take over her entire body, causing her to shudder and clench around his cock. She felt Nathan continue to pound into a few more times before he stopped, groaning her name as he came deep inside of her.

Nathan stilled his movements and threw himself down on the mats beside Haley. His breathing was fast and erratic; much like hers and his heart was beating wildly, his body covered in a light sheen of sweat from the heat of the sun. He felt Haley move so that she was resting on his chest and her lips pressed onto his skin as she sighed contentedly. He lifted his arm and wrapped it around her, tracing idle circles on her back.

Haley wasn't sure how much time passed, but the gentle rocking of the boat was causing her to get a little sleepy. In an effort to keep herself away, she started to draw patterns on Nathan's stomach. "I love how peaceful it is here," she said.

"So do I," Nathan responded. He had his eyes closed and jumped a little when Haley hit a particularly sensitive part of his chest, but he soon got used to the feel and began to relax again.

"Nathan?" Haley asked.

"Hmmm," he responded.

"I wouldn't want to be on this boat with anyone else in the world either," she said and then pressed her lips against his chest, leaving a kiss right above his heart.

Later that evening, Haley swayed in time to the music as the jazz pianist continued to play once their dessert plates had been taken by the waiters. She watched enviously as couples danced on the dance floor, really wanting to be out there herself. She took another gulp of her wine, finishing what was in her glass and pushed her chair back, wobbling slightly as she stood up, realising that she'd obviously drunk a lot more wine than she thought. "Come on, Mister," she said as she held her hand out towards Nathan over the table once she had steadied herself.

"Come on, what?" Nathan asked, wondering what she had in mind.

Haley smiled sweetly at Nathan. "I want to dance."

Nathan groaned begrudgingly. "Really, Hales? You know I don't like dancing."

"And you know that I do. Please, Nathan," she said and pouted at him a little, knowing that he'd say yes anyway because he was Nathan. And he was powerless to resist the super pout.

Nathan shook his head and sighed as he looked up at her face. She knew he couldn't resist that look that she was currently giving her. He placed his napkin from his lap onto the table and pushed his chair back. "Come on then," he said as he took Haley's hand and led her to the middle of the dance floor, wrapping his hands around her waist and feeling Haley's hands wrap around his neck.

Haley looked around at all the other dancers on the dance floor. There was a real mix of young and old, and she couldn't help but find it incredibly endearing as an older couple to the right of her danced in a perfect ballroom dance effortlessly. She wanted something like that when she was older. She looked back at Nathan and looked into his eyes, wondering who he would end up with when he was that age. She hoped he ended up with someone who deserved to be with him, because he really was the most amazing person on the planet. However, she could see that Nathan was distracted by something.

Nathan held onto Haley as he shuffled around in a circle. He could feel his mind beginning to wander down that unwelcome path, the 'what next' path. However, he'd made a decision not to think about what was going to happen to his and Haley's relationship, at least while they were at this hotel. So in an effort to shake it off, he began to think about the various meetings he had lined up next week, and what preparation he was going to need to do once they got back to the apartment tomorrow.

"Hey, stop thinking so much," Haley said as she brushed her hand over Nathan's shoulder, and then wound it back around his neck.

"Sorry." He looked down at Haley and sighed heavily, shutting off all his thoughts of work. "You do look beautiful tonight," Nathan said as he continued to look at Haley who staring up at him with her big, expressive brown eyes. She had definitely caught the sun today, and had a healthy glow about her, which simply added to her sexiness in his opinion. She was wearing a beautifully simple black, strapless dress, one which he had of course packed for her, and she looked absolutely stunning in it.

"Yeah..." Haley responded and rolled her eyes slightly as she continued to sway to the music coming from the grand piano sat on the centre of the stage. She stared up at Nathan, and ran her eyes over the white shirt he was wearing. She didn't know what happened but a sudden rush of need coursed its way through her body. Maybe it was the wine, or maybe it was the fact that they had just had the most amazing day together, but either way, she had to have him, right this instant. "Come on."

Nathan frowned as Haley grabbed onto his wrist and began to lead him through the throngs of couples who were all dancing on the dance floor. He really didn't know where she could be leading him. He would have stopped her, but curiosity meant that he allowed her to lead the way.

Haley led Nathan out of the jazz bar and marched him towards the men's bathroom, a grin appearing on her face as she released Nathan's hand and pushed the door open, before she grabbed a fistful of his shirt and pulled him inside with her.

Nathan opened his eyes as wide as they could possibly go as Haley forced him into the bathroom with him, and what she had planned dawned on him. "Gorgeous, what are you doing?" he asked, unable to keep the shock, and the anticipation out of his voice as he walked backwards a few paces.

Haley locked the door and walked over to where Nathan was standing, pushing him up against the wall and pressing her body onto his. "What do you think I'm doing?" she asked in a sultry tone as she ran her hands up his chest and began to unbutton his shirt.

"Haley, this is a public bathroom, we're in a respectable hotel, there are people out there..." Nathan began to protest. He looked down and watched as Haley continued to unbutton his shirt, knowing that he wasn't doing a very good job at putting a stop to this insane act. If he really didn't want to get caught, he could place his hands on top of hers and stop her. He knew that, and by the look of things so did Haley, because she was grinning at him wildly.

"The door is locked," Haley said as she finally reached the last button of his shirt. She pulled it out of his pants and took a step back, admiring his finely sculptured chest. She ran her finger right down the centre of his chest and over his abs, until she got to the button at the top of his pants. She then looked up at Nathan from underneath her eyelashes. "You don't want to?"

Nathan couldn't ever say no to Haley when she was looking so damn sexy. Not that he wanted to say no. He didn't think he'd ever be able to say no to the opportunity to be inside of her, to be connected to her in that way ever. He looked down at her and watched as her finger began to play with the button of his pants. He could feel his cock begin to stir and he knew that there was no turning back now. He moved his hands to Haley's hips and pulled her sharply towards him, making sure that she could feel how much he wanted to have her. "What do you think?" he whispered hotly in her ear, before he moved his mouth to that special point on the side of her neck and began to place a line of kisses all the way down to her shoulder.

Afterwards, Nathan rested his forehead against Haley's, waiting for both of their breathing to calm down a little. Pulling away from her a little, he looked intently at her face, the post-orgasmic glow looking incredibly sexy on her. Just as he was about to speak, he heard someone outside the bathroom door.

"Hello, is anybody in there?"

Haley froze completely, praying that she had locked the door properly. She started to unhook her legs from around Nathan's waist but he stopped her, and she watched as he put his finger to his lips, telling her to be quiet.

"I swore I heard noises coming from inside."

Haley couldn't help the giggle which escaped from her lips and she felt Nathan's hand cover her mouth in an effort to stop the noise. She couldn't believe that there had been someone standing outside while they had been having sex inside the restroom. She should be embarrassed about it, but she actually found the whole situation hilarious.

Nathan waited for a good two minutes, and when he didn't hear any more noise from the man who was outside the restroom, he lowered his hand from Haley's mouth. "I think he's gone," he whispered.

Haley unwrapped her legs from Nathan's body and slipped down onto the floor. She shook her head at Nathan, a huge smile on her face. She pushed him back a little so that she could open the cubical door and as she walked through she turned her head over her shoulder. "That was so funny! Can you imagine if he heard us?" she said as she stepped back into her dress and pulled it up over her body again.

"I damn well hope he heard nothing!" Nathan responded. He pulled his pants and boxers back on and then began to button up his shirt again.

"Oh, come on, Nathan. You have to admit it is kind of funny," Haley said as she looked in the mirror, wondering how she was going to make her hair look like she hadn't just been having restroom sex.

Nathan walked out of the cubical and found Haley scooping her hair up into a messy ponytail. "If we got caught, it wouldn't be funny at all."

"Well we didn't get caught did we? Are you honestly going to tell me that you didn't enjoy what we just did?" she asked, knowing fore well that he had enjoyed it just as much as she had.

"I didn't say that I didn't enjoy it, gorgeous, just that it could have been really bad if someone found us doing that in here," he answered.

"Like I said, no one found us. No one will even know what we just did," Haley said, satisfied that her hair looked presentable. She turned herself around so that she was facing Nathan. "So how are we going to slip out of her unnoticed?"

"I have no idea, but I think we should go back to the hotel room and get some sleep. We've got to go back tomorrow," Nathan replied. He wished that they could stay here a little longer, but he had a big pile of work waiting for him and given that he'd been ignoring his Blackberry, wanting to instead just enjoy his time with Haley, he was sure that he had a mountain of e-mails waiting for him too.

Haley didn't want to think about them going back to New York right now because she was having far too much of a good time here with Nathan. She patted her dress down and smiled up at Nathan. "How about I slip out first and meet you by the reception desk? Then we can walk back together." she asked.

"Sounds like a plan, gorgeous. Just don't trip up on your way out, okay? The last thing we want is to draw attention to ourselves."

Haley glanced over at Nathan as they drove away from the resort which had been their home for the past two nights. As much as she had loved the trip away, she wasn't so sure that things, as Nathan had promised her, really could keep evading them. Surely there had to be some consequences as a result of what they had been doing with each other? And the almost kiss was almost a huge wake up call, which they seemed to just be brushing under the carpet. The worry immediately began to eat away inside of her, and she began to wring her hands together and bite down on her lip.

Nathan turned out of the resort and could feel the anticipation of returning to New York begin to creep along his veins. However, he banished it as quickly as it had arrived. He wasn't going to go down that road, not after having just had an amazing weekend with Haley. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Haley begin to wring her hands together and he quickly grabbed her hands with one of his, knowing exactly what she was thinking about. "I meant what I said, gorgeous. Nothing is going to affect us. We're always going to be us," he said with as much conviction as he could muster.

Haley grabbed onto Nathan's hand, grateful for the reassurance he was offering her. She had managed to convince herself that now they had left the security of the resort, things would start to change immediately, which clearly wasn't the case. However, she did begin to wonder how much longer they could keep running away from this elephant which seemed to be growing bigger and bigger each week. She just prayed they had enough strength to withstand the stampede she could feel approaching.

AN – I promise to get teasers for the next chapter out to you much sooner, so the same problem doesn't happen again!

As with the last chapter, there is a deleted scene from here too... I got asked to write a one shot for 6 x 23 from a few people so the deleted scene is kind of my Never Say Never twist on that!

Let me know what you thought of the chapter, or if you want any extras (teaser or deleted scene or both) by leaving me a review! :o)