Nick & Jess


"Ohhh, heyyy, Niiiick, um... I have to... go feed my goldfish..." She turns on her heel in a lame attempt to flee before he notices the fact that she's no longer barricaded in her room.

"You're a bad liar, Jess."

This is true, she muses, but she dare not agree out loud. "At least I don't backsweat," she retorts without turning to face him. "Backsweater." She can't resist a petty jab at him. She's still Jess.

"That sounds like something you wear."

His voice is agonizingly calm, and he is unperturbed by her lame insults. This can't be good. "You know, Nick," she says, shifting her weight from one foot to the other, "we could always just pretend... this never happened... I know you've had eyes on my new iPad for a while now..."

"Are you trying to bribe me?" he asks incredulously.

"NO!" she denies quickly. "Yes," she sulkily admits seconds later.

"It's not going to work."

She considers whining but knows that will be equally ineffective.

"Why don't you turn around, Jess."

"I don't want to," she refuses stubbornly, crossing her arms in front of her.

"This isn't going to make this any less awkward, you know."

"Who says this is awkward? I'm not awkward. I'm not being awkward. What's awkward about this situation, Nick?"

"You just said awkward four times in one breath."

"And you counted," is her pointed retort.

He doesn't answer immediately, and she stares in fierce concentration at her bedroom door. So close... so close! Briefly she wonders if he will notice if she ninja crawls back to her room. And then she wonders what exactly a ninja crawl is.

"Do you... do you regret it?" he asks in a low, somber voice. She feels as if her heart is being ripped out of her chest, and yet she is frozen in fear.

A long, loudly silent moment passes before she is able to answer. She swallows hard. "No," she finally confesses.

"Then turn around and talk to me."

She adamantly shakes her head. "No. I can't."

"Fine." He sighs, in an almost dramatically and excessively loud manner. "I'll talk." This should be interesting. Or bad. Very bad, she decides.

"I don't regret it. I don't regret kissing you. I wanted to. And - and it's not because I was drinking. I've wanted to do that for... a long, long time." An involuntary shiver ripples down her spine at his intense words. "I've thought about it... a lot. Too much. Maybe more than I should have... Definitely more than I should have. And maybe slightly more risque... I mean..." Another sigh. He's trying hard to make sense. She might be impressed. Maybe. Only a little.

"What I'm trying to say, Jess..." She cringes at the ensuing pause, helpless to halt or even slow what may come next. "I don't regret saying that I love you. Because I do."

The only audible sound in the room is her heavy breathing and her heartbeat pounding in her ears. She should speak, she thinks. Maybe. She should say something. But she can't. Her mouth is suddenly made of sandpaper.


Her heart beats faster as she hears him take small, light steps closer to her.


And then he is standing behind her, and his hand is touching hers, and then she spins around, and she is falling, but she is in his arms, and then their mouths collide-


No. That was their foreheads. That was definitely their foreheads colliding, and not their mouths. Miss. Again.

"I'm sorry," she blurts, finding her voice at last. "I - I'm-"

He helps her regain her balance, shaking his head. "Don't be." His brown eyes are staring down at her, setting her skin on fire and sending her pulse racing off into a sparkly rainbow on a unicorn singing the happiest song she has ever heard.

When their lips touch this time, there is no pain and no collision. And this time she doesn't pull away. This time she sinks against his body and lets him cradle her head in his hands and...

Just. Gives. In.

Eek. (Not done yet!)