Sorry to all for the hiatus! I've been writing original fiction, but I've come back to this to relieve some original fiction pressure, lol

Mimi: Thanks so much! So glad you like it!

fdecastrolopez: There will definitely be a ton of Gab/Chad! I agree fully about Chad/Ab and Chad/Mel, so boring to me! I love the dynamic of Chad/Gab/Nick, and I think it's because it's so fiery and hostile. It's just full of juicy, soapy, drama!

lexie-king: Thanks!

I thought this might be helpful, it applies to this chapter and all following chapters.

Reading key:

Bold in LARGE portions: lyrics of songs.

Italics in LARGE portions: flashbacks, memories, or dreams

Italics in SMALL portions.: thoughts, inner monologues

Underline: Texts, writing or messages on the computer.

Chapter 3

CHAD

Melanie was coming home.

First on his agenda was to see how her father was doing. He visited Daniel in the morning, but was quickly shut down, which he had expected. Like Chad blamed Gabi for Melanie's departure, Daniel blamed Chad; and wanted nothing to do with him. Despite his attitude, Chad verbally wished him well and offered his assistance if anything was needed.

He found himself calling EJ after that, and sitting down with him for a cup of coffee. There was small talk, EJ wanted to step up his game with Sami given their business successes, but found Rafe problematic. Chad had no advice for him, as scheming was somewhat new to him now, and he found that it left a bad taste in his mouth.

EJ, in his powerhouse gray business suit, easy smile, and perfectly coiffed hair had no such reservations. It came as easily as breathing to him- and there was little remorse, if any. Chad found himself envious of this, and disgusted with himself for even that. If only he didn't feel that guilt, if only he could just wipe away the shreds of his conscience. His hatred for Gabi might have been enough to do it, and soon Chad found himself telling EJ about Melanie's return, and what it could possibly mean.

"This is a second chance, EJ." Chad claimed in a low voice, wary of others overhearing. "Having her here? I can fix things, I can show her I've changed, that I know she can take care of herself."

"Can she?" EJ then asked, as usual posing a problematic question. "Can she take care of herself?" EJ repeated.

Melanie was strong, but even in the best of circumstances she trusted too easily, which was surprising, seeing as she should understand that not everyone is forthcoming with their motives. It was like the girl had a target on her back…

And then he realized the answer, and he knew very well that she would be horrified by it. "No."

"So, in fact, you don't know that she can take care of herself?" EJ replied stiffly, "Chad, don't look so horrified, it's a common revelation. People like to think they are in control, like your Melanie, when in fact, they are not and never have been. You yourself ask for help, do you not?"

That was true too. "Getting help, and having other people keep secrets from you to protect you are two different things though." Chad reasoned, "she was right to be angry."

"But to just up and leave? To not fight for the relationship?" He raised his eyebrows, "Chad, she mustn't have loved you the way that you loved her- would you have traipsed off to Europe if the situation was reversed?"

He didn't even have to think about it, "no. I would have argued with her, I would have yelled- but I'd have stayed. I'd have tried to work things out."

EJ spread his hands, "so the question is not whether Melanie can forgive you, but whether you deem her forgiveness still relevant, eh?"

Chad stared at his brother, then shook his head. "But I still love her."

EJ stood, "but is it enough, Chad?" He gave a cynical smile, "I have a meeting with Samantha, so I think I shall leave you on that note, eh?"

Chad nodded, stood and gave his brother a forced smile. "Thanks for the talk. It gave me a lot to think about, I guess."

"Well, call me if you need some more to chew on- I've lived quite the life, Chad, and have thusly become quite the wealth of wisdom. Consider your older brother an open resource for you- and please, do not forget Kristen either. I am sure that she could be a navigational tool as well."

"Thanks. Good luck with Sami."

EJ chortled, "with Sami, it's never luck and always calculation."

GABI

Red and yellow, pink and green, purple and orange and orange and blue.
Are all of the colors I see my love, every time I see you.

Gabi turned the dial up on the volume of her car radio when the cheerful song came on. She was in the mood for a jaunty little tune, and this one made her think of how she felt about Nick.

And at the same time, it made her think of her friendship with Will, because music was something that they shared. She had really loved listening to music with him, and they had each introduced each to new and exciting bands. It had been a bonding element for them, and the more Gabi listened to music, the more she wanted to hear. Not just from that band, but from others. She enjoyed losing herself in a well created song and melody.

It eased the tension that had been forming in the small of her back that had been created by Chad's being her partner in Philosophy. She thought that it would be terrible- but there had to be a way to make it less problematic.

She didn't want to drop the class.

But she didn't want to be around Chad.

And she really didn't want Nick to be angry with her.

Sighing, Gabi tried to focus her mind back on the road and the song playing loudly in her car.

I don't know if I'll survive,
In this magical land behind your eyes.
And there's all these funny little men,
They're all asking me to dance and sing.

Nick had been so wonderful when they went looking for houses.

"This one feels right, doesn't it?" He asked, settling into the room he wanted to use as the nursery. "It's smaller- but it feels better. It feels happier. Like we could really start a family here." He grinned widely, "like, feel it, come over here," he motioned for her to come stand where he was, by the window. She followed suit and looked outside. They were on the top of the hill, so the view was lovely. She could see for miles, even over trees- and the skyline was divine. "I can see you here, rocking our little girl to sleep, your hair swept up in a bun," he leaned down and said lightly into her ear, "unkept and lovely."

"Little girl, huh?" She asked, laughingly. "You decided the sex of the baby- well, I'll let the doctor know."

"She has to be a little girl. A beautiful dark-haired, dark-eyed beauty like her mother."

Gabi smiled as she slowed down to the red light in front of her

I'm so wasted on you

I'm so wasted on you.

I'm so wasted on you.

She knew that she could wait a thousand years and never meet a man as sweet and protective of her as Nick. What other guy would love her enough to claim the baby as his own?

But it was more than that, it was more than just the fact that he loved her as much as she loved him. He was smart and exciting. They had conversations worth having- the kind that kept the mind sharp and her world-view clear. He was handsome, he was funny, he was everything a man should be. I'm so wasted on you.

I don't know just what I'll do
Every time you walk into the room
Oh my head is spinning around
And I can't see clearly right now

But a jarring bump and crunching on the back of her car took her from these sweet thoughts, and she turned around to see a large black truck.

Her heart was racing, her hand automatically going to her stomach and fears flying to the child within her. She tried to get her seatbelt off, but the mechanics of her fingers refused to work, when she looked down, she realized why, her hands were shaking uncontrollably.

Deep breaths. Come on. Calm down and do what you need to do to make sure your baby is alright.

The calming thought soothed her shaking, and forced her to take off her seatbelt and get out of the car. She turned around as the man in the truck, a blonde in a wife-beater and ripped blue jeans with a tattoo on his right shoulder was stalking toward her. "I- I have to get to a hospital," she told him, not really catching what the tattoo was of or what his face looked like, "I'm pregnant, I need to make sure my baby is okay."

"Done- my truck is drivable, your car on the other hand," he waved a hand at it and she followed the gesture with grim recognition. The back end was completely smashed in, no one could have even gotten into the back seat…

She put her head in her hands helplessly. She couldn't just go to the hospital with this man, he was a stranger with poor driving skills. Still, she had to get to the hospital, and ambulances were far too pricey…

"You have to promise me that you'll drive carefully."

She finally looked into his eyes, then scanned curiously over his face. He was handsome- more than handsome, really. The guy was beautiful- not the kind that she felt attracted to though, the kind of feeling one got from looking at some breathtaking sculpture or painting.

He looks like an angel. She thought with wonder, and then, I must be in shock.

She grabbed his forearm and gave him a meaningful look, "you are taking me to the hospital, you are driving carefully, and you are making sure my baby and I are completely safe. Do. You. Understand?"

For a second she didn't think he was going to answer, he looked stunned but then quickly muttered out. "Yes, yes, of course I will, Doll."

NICK

When he woke next to Gabi on her small bed, all intertwined with her so that there had been room for both of them, Nick had felt better about life. There had been no nightmares, no thoughts of loathing about himself or anyone else. Just safety and happiness.

With Gabi, he was special.

They had gone house hunting, and had more fun than he had ever known. They walked around each house, making joke poses and being ridiculous. The rest of the world had melted away- and there was no Will, there was no past, there was only a bright and happy future where they were happy and they were loved.

Seeing how happy he made her, made him intrinsically happy- and kept him in that place as he worked diligently on the equations before him. He was so wrapped up in numbers and theories that when a rapping on the laboratory door woke him from this state of focus, he almost jumped a mile high.

"Yo, Fallon. It's lunch-time." Kaz told him cheerfully as he walking into the lab, then looked down at Nick's work. "Whoa, man…that's intense." He looked down at the work and then they were both immersed in it, lunch forgotten for another couple of hours.

Nick's phone went off, finally bringing them back to growling stomachs. He looked down and read the text with a smile.

Don't forget to eat! For someone so smart, you sure do forget the basic functions to stay alive. Love you!

"Is it the bride-to-be?" Kas asked with a laugh, "it has to be, you look like you just won a million bucks."

"I did." Nick grinned, "yeah, it's Gabi, reminding me to eat."

"It's like she has a sixth-sense….about me. I'm starving, Fallon. Let's get some grub and talk about something that doesn't need a factor of x, okay? We skipped lunch, so we can head out early."

Nick nodded, liking that idea before shuffling the notes and papers neatly away in his folder and filing it away for the next day. "We should go to the pub, I promised to take you there, remember?"

"Great idea."

Nick drove to the pub, with Kaz following in his own car. The dulcet, slow, sweet tones of Angus and Julia Stone filled his car, wrapping him up like he was in a warm blanket and leaving a smile on his face. It was music that Gabi had turned him onto, and though much of it was downright melancholy, it still soothed him, just like she said it would.

How did he get so lucky?

The Hortons all accepted him back with open arms. He had the perfect job. The perfect girl.

By the time he reached the pub, he was so cheerful that not even the sight of Will soured it. He just nodded at him before walking inside with Kaz, who was talking quickly about how his wife had somehow disappeared into some kind of scrapbooking vortex. "It's like, the more she scrapbooks, the less we do things that she can scrapbook about." Kaz joked as they walked inside and grabbed a table.

Nick greeted their waitress, Tina, who had little to do with him while working there. To be honest, not many on the staff really talked to him, and if they did, sometimes there were downright rude. Gabi had really been his only friend at the pub. After picking out their food and then ordering, Nick and Kaz's began talking about Kaz's wife again. "We got married a few months ago, kind of a whirlwind marriage." Was Kaz's answer about the girl he had married. "I mean, how did you know it was right with Gabi? You're getting married really fast."

Nick already had an honest answer for Kaz, after all, he had been the one who considered all of these things thoughtfully and thoroughly before proposing to Gabi. She had gone along with it, because she loved him and trusted him. And why shouldn't she trust you? He asked himself, you will always take care of her, provide for her and be the man she loves and needs.

But he was lying to her. He was keeping a part of himself as far away from him as he could. To protect her, He assured himself, she doesn't need that kind of darkness.

"Whoa, Nick- Buddy." Kaz waved a hand in front of his face, "where did you go?"

Snapping back into the world outside of his head, Nick shrugged.

"Are you sure you're into marrying this girl, Nick?"

"Of course," he answered certainly, "and to answer your question, Gabi and I have made mistakes in our pasts, and she understands me in a way that few others could. We want the same things in life- a strong family unit, an open and loving relationship. She listens. She's smarter than she gives herself credit for. For instance, I was helping her study for astronomy, and she just got it, you know?" Nick opened his hands and smiled sheepishly, "what are the chances of ever finding that person again? And we both know the statistics. We're not easy people to live with, guys like us, we get wrapped up in things, obsessed…"

Kaz was nodding, "yeah, I know what you mean. I don't think I'd ever even come out of my work haze and enjoy my life if it wasn't for the Misses. I guess she keeps me in this world instead of the one in my head."

"Exactly." Nick confirmed, "maybe we should introduce them. Gabi could use a new friend, the ones she has are kind of…" He shrugged, "less than great."

"I think that's a great plan. I really think Cassie will like that."

WILL

"It's so good to see you both." Melanie told Will and Sonny after hugging them. She stood before them in a pair of sweat pants and a t-shirt, something she wore for comfort so that she could stay the night with her father. Her hair was pulled up into a messy ponytail, and her eyes were red from crying. Will wished that he could make it all right for her, that he could make her dad well. If the world was a fair place, people like Melanie would finally get a chance at happiness, not get more tragedy heaped upon her. "Thank you for coming to see me."

"Of course!" Sonny said reassuringly, "you're our friend."

"I know, but Gabi-" She stopped and looked at Will, "well, I know your close with her."

"So?" Why was everyone always acting so weird about Gabi so suddenly? It had happened with lightning quickness, all of a sudden Chad, Sonny and now Melanie were all acting like Gabi was some kind of leper.

Her eyes widened a bit, then she looked at Sonny, "you mean…the two of you don't know?"

"Know what?" Will insisted. He was getting more than a little frustrated being the last one in the know, although he too was keeping secrets from them. He tried to use that fact to quiet him from demanding answers. He really had no right to do that.

She shook her head slightly, "nothing. I'm…I heard about Nick and Gabi. I was just…a little surprised is all." Was her excuse, "I mean, she was supposed to be my friend."

"I'm sure it has nothing to do with you," Will told Mel almost apologetically. "Gabi likes to see the good in people, I mean, she was really there for me despite the lying that I did." He couldn't miss the fleeting look of disgust that danced across Melanie's face as she fought for composure. "Seriously! What is going on?"

"It's between Gabi and me," Melanie said slowly, "and if she wanted you to now, she'd tell you." She looked nervously down at her hands, then back up at them, "I'm going to go in and sit with my dad, but really, thank you so much for coming."

They hugged again, and then Melanie disappeared into her father's room.

Sonny, who had been quiet during the exchange was now under Will's scrutiny as they started to walk towards the elevator to leave. "So…is your sudden distaste for Gabi for the same reasons hers are?" Will finally asked him point black, "the same reason Chad does?"

"I don't really want to talk about this, Will." Sonny temporized, looking at him as they entered the elevator. Will busied himself with the buttons, then leaning back so that the wall was holding the bulk of his weight. Had it really come to this for them? So many secrets…

He glanced back at Sonny, then sighed. "Fine. I get it. It's a secret."

"I made a promise, Will."

"And of course you're going to keep it." There was resignation in his voice, and Will knew it. Still, he tried to think of the bright side, "at least I know you keep your promises."

Sonny cast a sly smile in his direction, "you know Will, I think you just might be too good for me."

He had meant it to be sweet, Will was confident of that, but it prodded at the guilt of his own lies to Sonny, and soon to his own child, and so he did his best to not wince at the remark. Instead, in the most smooth voice he could muster, Will told Sonny, "I think you might be the only one who believes that."

The elevator door opened, and kept the moment from becoming awkward. He knew it had been a weird thing to say, but the words had tumbled off his lips anyway and now it lingered between them as they started toward the entrance.

Pouring in from the outside was Gabi and a very tall, broad blonde wearing rags and splattered with a few tattoos. Gabi looked strained, her mouth set in a frown. Her arm was around the man's neck, as if he was helping her inside the hospital. It couldn't have been comfortable for him, as he had to lean so far forward to be her height. "Gabi!" Will exclaimed in disbelief, "Oh my God, are you okay?"

"Yes- yeah, I'm sure I'm fine." She replied in a voice that made him more than doubt her sincerity.

"You don't look okay. Oh Jesus, Gabi…"

"Come on, let's get her into emergency- it's over here." Sonny helped, immediately jumping into action to help Gabi turn to their left. He threw Will a worried glance, then focused back on Gabi. "What happened?"

She allowed him to help her, but before she could answer, the guy with her was talking.

"Some complete moron, who should have been paying attention, rear ended her. Can you believe him?" The blonde shook his head, and then looked at Gabi, who had suddenly looked up at him sharply. "I found her on the side of the road. Her car was completely totaled, so I brought her here."

"That was really nice of you," Will praised, but still confused about the shared glances between she and the blonde.

"It was," she said slowly and purposefully, "I'll just have to think of a great way to thank him."

"You know, I don't think that is at all necessary." The blonde said as the double doors to the emergency room opened automatically as they approached. "Look, here we are." He sounded relieved. "Could one of you help sign her in?"

"I'll do it." Sonny replied, "come on, Gabi. Will- could you go get us some water? We might have to wait for a few before we see someone."

Will nodded, and started off to the cafeteria to buy a few bottles of water for the group.

But really his mind was frozen with one thought- was she going to lose the baby? And he found himself more than slightly shaken by that idea. His eyes stayed low to the ground as he walked the hallway which seemed to last forever. He looked up a few times to check for his turn. He knew it was right on the blue hallway, he had paid attention going up.

But he didn't remember being this long of a walk.

Or maybe it was because his life suddenly felt very short, and every second had to matter. Every single one meant something. Your life was always one second to changing at some point. His life was being irrevocably altered, every thought changed from the moment he learned that Gabi was having his baby. Even if his life itself didn't change, and he still had the man he wanted and the freedom children-less lives offered, the very fiber of his character had, and he knew that somehow.

Walking away was wrong.

That thought was never as strong as it had been at that moment though. Those words had only whispered themselves into his ear. Yet his mind offered reasons why that was not so. The child would have a stable life with Gabi and Nick. They would show him that parents loved each other, that family was possible, that maybe, just maybe, two people who were really in love could actually make it.

Will wasn't sure that he could make that environment for his kid.

Yes, he loved Sonny- but he was already messing everything up with lies and secrets- was that just going to stop? Or was it his Sami-gene just kicking up a storm? Or his Lucas-gene giving off sparks? He wasn't meant to have the happily-ever-after. But he had now with Sonny, and so he was going to take it, enjoy all of it that he could until he was found out for the fraud that he was.

I'll never be with anyone for very long. I don't think it's in my genetic make-up.

And so he was giving this kid a real shot at a normal life, maybe he'd have a better go at it than his dad did.

You're throwing yourself a pity-party, Will. Man up.

Sighing, Will's thoughts ceased as he purchased the bottles of water, then leaned against the vending machine that he had happened on by, apparently, making a wrong turn in the hospital.

Shit. I'm lost.

SONNY

"Why isn't the doctor in here yet?"

This guy, some blonde who looked to have spent more time in the gym or a tattoo shop than a clothing store, asked in a slightly irritated tone.

"We just got in, give them a second to process stuff, you know? Maybe the doctor is like…saving someone's life?" Gabi asked in a nervous, high voice. Saw that she was scared. No. She was terrified, and so Sonny bit back his question on when other people's lives started mattering to her, and nodded.

"Mothers have pains all the time," He said generously, and tried to keep his voice steady. It didn't matter that he thought she was a terrible person, she didn't need any more stress, and he didn't want anything to happen to the baby. It wasn't his or her fault that Gabi was freaking psycho, so why should the baby have to pay? But he did have to remind himself of this a few times. "The doctors probably aren't even worried, this is probably as common as a cold, you know?"

Gabi was nodding, "Yeah, exactly."

The blonde turned to her, "You need to be okay."

"I know."

"I'm so-"

"And hello Gabi." Dr. Cameron Davis interrupted stepping into the room. "Oh, we have company." He looked quizzically at Sonny, then to the blonde, "and you are?"

It was then that Sonny realized that he hadn't even gotten the guy's name. "Connor Lockhart. I found her on the side of the road, car wrecked."

"And I am grateful." Gabi told the doctor quickly, then glanced nervously at Connor. There was something weird there, Sonny thought curiously. Watching as the two looked at each other. "But you've done so much for me already. If you just leave me your number, I'll call you and let you know how everything is- also so I can thank you again."

"You…want me to go?" He pulled his head back, "just leave. Like that?"

What the hell was going on?

"I just thought you might have things to do. Remember? When you were keeping me calm in the car, you said you were going to get your headlight fixed? Shouldn't you still, you know, do that?"

Connor closed his eyes and exhaled, "I can't believe you would think of that right now."

"I'll call you, I promise." She said again, very calmly, "I'm sure everything is fine, all right?"

"Here," Connor answered, putting his hand in his pocket and bringing up his phone. "Put your number in here, and I'll call you tomorrow, okay?"

"Yeah," Gabi answered as he handed her the phone. She dialed, then handed it back. For a moment, as she gave him the phone, their eyes met in the most peculiar way. Something was definitely going on between them. It didn't feel romantic though, it was something different. Sonny wished that he could put his finger on it, but the exact word for it eluded him. She handed him his phone back.

"Good." Dr. Davis said stiffly, and for the first time since the exchange between Connor started. "I'm glad that's all decided- Gabi, do you want Sonny here?"

She slowly shook her head.

"Can you please leave too, Sonny? I'd like to talk to my patient by herself." The doctor couldn't have sounded more annoyed. Sonny could only sheepishly nod, and follow Connor out of the house.

The door shut behind them. "Well, I feel like an idiot." Sonny pressed his hand again the back of his neck, "why would I think Gabi would want me in there with her?"

Connor stared at him blankly then said, "You thought maybe she needed moral support or something." He shrugged, "I got some stuff to do, so, um, see you around or whatever. Tell that other guy to chill, and that I said bye."

Sonny nodded.

He noted Will's strange reaction to Gabi too, how a dark cloud had immediately covered his expression upon seeing her in trouble. So Sonny hadn't been crazy, Will's alarm was a little over-the-top, after all. "Will do."

And then Sonny was alone….waiting for Will

MELANIE

She felt like she was living in some kind of nightmare.

Her father was sick, and it just didn't seem fair after what happened with his hand. Why couldn't he catch a break? He was a good guy, or at least he was trying to be. Why did he have failed relationship, after failed relationship? Why was he getting cancer?

What had he ever done?

Her thoughts were not just about this unfairness of the universe in regards to her father though, they were mired in discomfort at being in Salem again. She didn't want to be that close to Chad, Gabi or Nick. Hell, part of her didn't want to have to face anyone else either. She had left so abruptly, with no real excuse to anyone besides her father and Chad. What was she to say to them?

She didn't want to tell the truth, to turn the entire town against Gabi. No, she didn't like her, didn't want to be friends with her, but she could see that life was getting out of control for her, she knew how things were when they started spiraling out, and you were too afraid to do the right thing because by then the consequences were already so dire…

But that kindness and empathy was coming with a price. There was also some worry, because If Gabi could let that have gone as far as it did, how well was she mentally? Maybe she should have told someone who could have gotten Gabi some help.

With her pregnant- with Nick and Gabi as parents….?

Could she really just stand idly by and let a kid be raised in that kind of household? But did she have the right to say anything against it?

Drawing in a troubled breath, Melanie tried to turn her thoughts to her father, who was the one who truly needed her attention. She had, after all, come back for him and him alone.

With a cup of awful hospital coffee in each hand, Melanie started back towards her father's room, only to see Chad and stop short. She was in no way ready for him, and she instinctively started to turn and walk away, but he called her name and she stopped, sucked in the deepest of breaths, and turned back to him, almost spilling the coffee due to his closeness, "Man, you walk fast." She muttered.

"I'm sorry about your dad, Mel." He told her softly, "let me know if there is anything that I can do for you, okay?"

There was a long silence between them as she waited for him to continue, to plead his case, or tell her about his feelings. Instead she was met with sympathetic eyes and quiet. "Um, thanks, Chad. I will."

They stared at each other, and she shifted awkwardly under his gaze. "Tell your father the same. He has my number."

Melanie, confused, but touched by this selflessness, nodded. It was so much more like the Chad she fell in love with, instead of the DiMera he had been on his way to becoming. They stood there, clumsily, as former lovers other often did when confronted with each other on new, uncertain ground. They might have even stayed in that fashion, had a blonde not come barreling down the hallway, almost knocking down Chad as he went.

"Whoah, watch it!" Chad exalted in half surprise, half anger.

The guy put both his hands up, a phone in one of them. "Sorry, man- it's just this chick left her phone in my car and I can't remember which room is hers. I was lost in thought and didn't see you. My bad."

He stared at him for a second, "no problem."

"Maybe you know her, or could help me find her? Hot girl, Hispanic, goes by the name of Gabi."

"Hernandez?" Melanie practically squeaked.

He nodded, "yeah, some bonehead hit her car and I brought her here." He flashed a grin, "she left this, and I didn't want her to be without it. And you know? It's a small world, right? Because here on the front of her phone is her old man, or I guess it's her old man or whatever. Anyway, I know this guy- he got into the joint just as I was leaving. Crazy, huh? Nick Fallon. Nice, nice dude."

Melanie blinked, shocked by this man's candor, his tattoos and his stunning good looks. She opened her mouth to speak, but unsure of what to say, snapped it back shut.

"I can help you." Chad said, swooping in with surprising pleasantness, then he glanced at her. "You just take care of you, okay, Mel?""

She nodded, allowing Chad to take the reigns on this one, afraid of how she would react, dealing with Gabi and Nick while on such tenuous terms with composure. The two guys started walking away when Gabi and Dr. Davis were rounding the corner, talking intently.

"Yo, Gabi!" The blonde, tattooed boy waved at her with the air of an excited puppy, "I found my phone in my car, so I came back. Glad I didn't miss you." He jogged over, and Melanie found herself glued to the floor, curiosity keeping her where she stood. "And you'll never believe this- but the guy on your phone background is an old friend of mine. I knew him in prison- it was crazy we met too, because it's kind of hard to find an atheist in the joint."

Gabi furrowed her brow, "you must have him confused with someone else-"

"Nah. Nick Fallon is one-of-a-kind. You know? He's got a mug that you won't soon forget. Hell, he emailed me right before he got out. It's definitely the same dude. We should all hang out or something."

She shook her head again, color draining from her face. "Um, that's impossible. Nick is a believer. I'm certain about it."

"Well," the blonde shrugged, "he's lying to one of us, anyway. Probably me. Who'd lie to a looker like you, right? Anyway, here's your phone. I'll see you tomorrow, right, Doll?"

She took it from him, almost as if she was no longer present in the conversation.

"Doll?"

"What? Yeah, sure." She nodded. "Tomorrow."

Author's note: Recognize a name? LOL. Heck yeah I SORASED Connor Lockhart and made him a bad boy! I imagine him being played by Chriz Zylka. YUM! lol