Rich's and Nina's Secret: Continuation to Nina and Rich

**Please read Nina and Rich before you read this or else you'll be confused**

*The following contains slight spoilers for the movie "Must Love Dogs". If you haven't seen it, I'll save you about two hours by informing you that the movie isn't worth it and to watch something else instead.*

"That was a great movie. I'm glad that you took me to see it."

"No problem, Nina." Rich smiled at the Hawaiian beauty as they walked out of the local movie theater. Nina looked to him.

"Oh no! You had an awful time!" Nina gasped, in complete horror. "I'm a bad date!" She sobbed.

"What, no! I mean... the movie was really cheesy and I didn't really think it was that funny... but... When I'm with you, how can I have a bad time?"

"Aww, Rich! That's the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to me!" Nina gushed, grabbing onto Rich's hand as they walked away from the theater. "I mean, the last compliment I remember getting was from Uncle Knit Knocks this morning when he said that my new brown headband was almost boring."

"Oh. That's why you took it off, then? I thought it looked nice."

"Well, I don't want anything of mine to be boring!" Nina exclaimed, throwing her hand into the air and pointing dramatically at the sky. "The only reason why my mother left the main-land was to get away from her boring family."

"Do you want some not-boring ice-cream, Nina?" Rich asked, pointing into the ice-cream shop.

"Yeah!" Nina skipped into the shop and leaned against the glass display, looking at all of the flavors that they had.

"Hi, Nina. Hi Rich. Working a little late, aren't you tonight?" Isaac the Ice-Cream man asked, leaning on the counter top, ice-cream scoop in hand as he waited for their orders.

"We finished work a few hours ago, Isaac." Nina informed him. "Rich took me to see that new romantic comedy that just came out."

"Oh. Okay. I see." He winked at them. "What can I get for you, then?"

"Strawberry!" "Mint chocolate chip!" Rich and Nina exclaimed at the same time. Isaac chuckled as he pulled out a cone and started to scoop out Nina's strawberry ice-cream.

"I should have known. There are some customers who never order the same thing twice, but you two seem to enjoy consistency. Which I think is a good thing in a relationship. Trust me on this, you two! I've been married for twenty years now." Isaac handed them their cones and they sat down in a booth by the front window and watched people walking by as they ate their cones.

"Oh no..." Rich sighed, sinking low in his seat. "Here comes Scott."

"Hey, Rich, Nina! I didn't expect to see you two here! Hi, Isaac the Ice-Cream Man!"

"Of all the dumb luck..." Nina sighed as Scott invited himself to join them with his Rocky Road ice-cream.

"So, guys. What's going on?" Scott asked, licking his ice-cream. Nina glared at him.

"Nina and I were just enjoying some ice-cream. Alone."

"Oh. I see. So it's a good thing that I showed up, huh? Now you're not alone anymore!" Nina glared harder at the dense pianist. Rich ignored his idiot friend and turned his attention back to Nina.

"I thought that Sarah was an idiot for ever wanting to be with Jake because he really doesn't have any money or will to support himself."

"Who cares? It's John Cusack." Nina exclaimed. "He's really cute!"

"What does being cute have to do with anything? It was completely obvious to me why Jake's wife left him- because he is lazy and would rather see his boats to a good home than sell one to someone who would rip it apart and mount it."

"Well, I-" Nina started, but Scott cut her off.

"What are you guys talking about?"

"Oh! Rich and I just saw that new romantic comedy that just came out!" Nina explained. "I loved it, but obviously Rich did not."

"It wasn't funny!" Rich pointed out. "And for a supposed romantic 'comedy', one would assume that it would be at least a little funny!"

"Oh..." Scott licked up a drop of melting ice-cream off his hand and looked from Nina to Rich. He finally started to feel the awkward, third-wheel syndrome. "You know what, I think that I might just take the rest of his home for Freddy bear." Scott explained, getting up and leaving the shop. Nina sighed once he was out of sight.

"That was really awkward." Nina moaned. "Lets go before Smitty or Dave find us. Or worse... Uncle Knit Knocks!"

"Agreed." Rich exclaimed and they left the shop, heading in the opposite direction that Scott had gone in, just to avoid bumping into him again.

The two of them meandered back to Nina's cottage-house in a pretty thick silence.

"Um... so... How's Knit Knock's joke book coming along?"

"Oh, it's going very good! The Official Boring Company just simply loves all of Uncle Knit Knock's boring jokes, especially this one: What's square and deep and brown all over?"

"I don't know..." Rich thought about it for a moment. "What?"

"A cardboard box." Not even the filling-awkward-silences cricket chirped at the end of that bad joke. "Yeah." Nina sighed.

"Hey, Nina: What do you call a sleeping bull?"

"I don't know, Rich. What?"

"A bulldozer!" Rich laughed and Nina joined in.

"That's a good one, Rich. You should put that in the Mover's Joke Book."

"I should. Once we get around to starting it, though. We've just been so busy coming up with new ideas to help customers, helping customers, solving our own problems, solving the problems of you and Knit Knocks... Oh! And don't forget that we have to solve the problem of how to get even more customers!"

"Of course." Nina nodded. They walked in silence until they reached Nina's house. "Thanks for taking me out, even if you didn't have a great time."

"No, I did have a great time, Nina! Well, until Scott showed up... But after he left, I went right back to having a great time again!"

"I had a good time, too. Especially after Scott left! I was afraid that he was going to catch on, like Isaac did!"

"Well, Scott's Scott... but Isaac has been married for 20 years. He knows love, unlike Scott."

"Um, Rich?"

"Yeah, Nina?"

"Did you just-"

PLOP.

"AH!!! I'M SORRY!!"

"COLD-COLD-COLD-COLD!!"

***

"I'm sorry that I dropped my ice-cream on you, Rich. Your uniform should be washed soon, though, with the Super-Duper Washing Machine that Dave made for me!" Rich was sitting on her fuzzy, pink sofa, wearing his red undershirt, socks, shoes and blue boxers with red gears on them.

"It's okay, Nina. For the millionth time. It was just an accident." Rich reminded her as she went into the kitchen and came out with two cups of tea. She handed one to Rich as she sat down next to him.

"Still, it's really all my fault, Rich." Nina sighed as she sipped her tea.

"Accidents happen, Nina." Rich reassured her, wrapping his hands around the cup. "It wasn't exactly the world's worst date, either." He laughed nervously, and Nina started laughing a minute later.

"Why, what was your worse date?" Nina ventured after a minute of awkward laughter and another of awkward silence.

"Lets just say that it involved alot worse than getting ice-cream over my clothes. And without the luxury of being anywhere near a washing machine."

"Um..." Nina's nose wrinkled as she thought of what it might be. "Ew."

"Yeah." Rich agreed. He took a long drink of his tea and stared blankly into the brownish liquid. "I really like you, Nina!" Rich blurted out rather suddenly.

"I like you, too, Rich." Nina smiled at him.

"Un..." Rich muttered, his face going bright red. Nina sighed, leaning her head on him. Nina sighed deeply, closing her eyes. Rich's face became even more red and he stared straight ahead, trying not to move or do anything at all.

Bzzzzzz.

"Oh! Your uniform must be finished washing! I'll go check on in to see if the ice-cream stain came out!" Nina exclaimed, putting her tea cup down on the coffee table and dashing to the laundry room. "Ummmmm... Yep! I'll just throw this into the dryer and it'll be good as new!" Rich heard Nina moving about in the laundry room for a few minutes before he heard the hum of Nina's dryer start and Nina came back out. She yawned as she sat back down on the sofa. "Mm, I'm tired. Today really wore me out."

"You should go to bed. I can get my uniform out of the dryer and lock up before I leave if you give me a key."

"No!" Nina protested. "That would be really rude of me to fall asleep when I have house guests!"

"Oh, come on, Nina. It's only me. We must have done this a thousand times before!"

"But, this isn't the same, Rich!" Nina protested.

"Yes it is!" Rich stood and effortlessly picked Nina up. "And I'm going to put you to bed because you are tired!" Rich carried Nina upstairs and laid her down on her red and pink bed.

"Rich..." Nina protested half-heartedly; she was getting really tired and her plush bed wasn't helping matters any.

"It's okay." Rich reassured her. He leaned over and kissed her on the forehead before he left the room. "I'll lock up before I leave. I promise, sweetie." He whispered before he closed her bedroom door, but she was already asleep.