Chapter   Seventeen

The next two weeks were pretty fun for everyone. The Boys took Rae out for a special birthday dinner. Everyone went all out and dressed up. They all had dates, too. Todd and Rae, Brian and Rose, Nick and Alisha (Rae's cousin), AJ and Julia, Howie and Tiffany (Rae's 18 year old friend), and Kevin and Cory Lynn (Rae's 19 year old friend and Todd's older sister). They had a great time out together.

Brian and Rose soon became inseparable. Rae felt bad for Julia though, because she like them, too. Julia said she understood, as down as she felt about it. She started hangin' out with AJ and they became really good friends. They had fun together.

Since Rose was going to Kennedy with Rae, Julia, and Nick, she was just as happy as they were when lunchtime came. They would all pile up in Todd's car and Kevin's rental, then head for the high school or the Del Taco that was near by. Everyone knew the deal with Rae and Nick whenever the crew saw them together at Kennedy, but Todd was getting tired of seeing some other guy put his arm around his girlfriend and holding her hand.

Soon, it came time for the guys to leave (not soon enough for Todd). Julia came over to Rae's house three days in a row and she was going to the airport with the crew the next day. Rae was in her room help Nick get all his things packed and ready. Everybody else was packing, too. Rose was helping Brian and Kevin, while Julia was helping AJ and Howie.

"I can't believe you have to leave already," Rae said, putting some shirts into a bag.

"I know. These two weeks flew by fast," Nick said, quietly.

"I don't want to leave." A couple of tears slipped her cheeks.

Nick must have heard the quiver in his voice. He came and sat down on the bed, looking at Rae.

"Rae, sit down." Rae sat next to Nick.

"Rae, these past two weeks have been great," Nick began. "I had fun getting to know your family, your friends, even going to your school, if you can believe that. And pretending to be your boyfriend. That was fun, but I think Todd was getting tired of it. Anyway, I really wish I didn't have to go. And though things didn't go the way I wanted them to with us, I still want to be your friend."

"Always. You're one of my best friends. I wouldn't have it any other way. As my friend, I love you." Rae looked him straight in the eye.

"I love you, too." Nick wrapped his arms around Rae's waist as her arms encircled his neck. They don't know how long they stayed that way, but it must've been a while.

"Awwww," AJ said from the doorway.

"Ain't that just cute," Kevin commented.

"I see you didn't get much packing done," Brian said, looking at all the open bags and piles of clothes around the room.

"Can't you see they're preparing for tomorrow?" asked Howie.

"What's tomorrow?" asked AJ, acting clueless.

"You guys are leaving, remember?" Julia looked up at him.

"Oh yeah." AJ put his arm around Julia. "I don't want to go. I'm gonna miss you guys too much."

"We're going to miss you, too," Rose said, looking at Brian.

"I'm going to miss you," Brian said, meaningfully.

Rose blushed. Brian leaned over to give her a small kiss.

"Awwww," everyone said.

"Chill, guys," Brian said.

"Come on, let's leave these two alone so they can finish packing," Howie said. He turned and left the room. Gradually, the rest of the crew left, leaving Nick and Rae alone.

"You have to come to Florida and visit me soon." Nick held Rae's hand in his. He looked at their fingers meshed together. He saw how perfect they fit.

"I will. You can pretty much guarantee it." Rae was looking at their hands, too, thinking the same thing as Nick. "We should alternate our visits. You come out here, I go out there, and so on."

"That's a good idea."

"Until you become famous, that is."

"You don't know that...."

"Yes, I do. I know you will. You guys are really good at what you do. Someone's bound to notice."

"I guess. You know what Brian said when he first saw you?"


" 'She could be our good luck charm. You better hold on to her, Nick'. I think he's right."

"Is that why all of you were watching me? I remember turning around and seeing five cute guys staring at me."

"No. They were staring at you 'cause they thought you looked beautiful."

"Oh." Rae blushed faintly.

"Why do you do that?"

"Do what?"

"Act like you don't believe me."

"I believe you. Kind of."

"Why? I've noticed that everytime someone pays you a compliment, you blush."

"I'm not used to it. I've always been that way. Ask Todd."

"Don't you believe your beautiful?"

"What I see in the mirror is different than what you see. Sometimes I like the way I look, sometimes I don't."

"I'll always tell you are 'cause that how I see you. That's how Howie, AJ, Kevin, and Brian see you."

"How do Howie, AJ, Kevin, and Brian see who?" AJ asked, walking through the door.

"Raelene as beautiful," Nick told him.

"Of course. There is no other way to describe that face, that hair, that body...."

Rae's mouth dropped open when she heard that.

"Okay, AJ," Nick interrupted him. "You can stop now."

"Alright. Anyway, the fellas and the other beautiful ladies wants to go out for a farewell dinner. So, let us go."

Nick and Rae got off the bed. "Okay."

The held hands the whole time, just like they did in Orlando.

Chapter Eighteen:
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