Chapter   Twenty-One

"Neat house, Nick," said Rae, looking at the house as she got out of the van Brian drove.

"Thanks, it's home," he said. "Come on. Everyone's waiting to meet you."

Everyone walked in the house and the introductions started.

"Mom, Dad, this is Raelene Lopez; her parents, Michael and Alberta Lopez; her brothers, Michael Jr., Gabriel, and Phillip; her cousin, Roseanna Waconda; and her boyfriend, Todd McKay," Nick said. "Everybody, these are my parents, Robert and Jane Carter; my sisters, BJ, Leslie, and Angel; and my brother, Aaron. Aaron and Angel are twins. My other sister, Ginger, won't be here until tomorrow." Nick looked on as everybody shook hands and said 'hi'.

"I'll show Michael and Alberta to their room. Bob, show Michael Jr. and Gabriel to their room. BJ, show Phillip and Todd to their room. Nick, show Raelene and Roseanna to Aaron's and your room," Jane directed everyone. "Michael, Alberta, I hope you don't mind Raelene and Roseanna sharing Nick's and Aaron's room." Jane looked at them.

"No, of course not," Robbie replied. "That's fine. And, please, call me and my husband 'Mike' and 'Robbie'."

"Alright, Mike and Robbie," Jane said. "This way to your room."

Jane led the way upstairs and everyone else was shown to their rooms. Nick led Rae and Rose to his room. Aaron had already run in ahead of them.

"Wow. This room is big. Check it out, Rose," Rae said, looking around. "My room's miniature compared to this."

"Well, with me and Aaron, you need a lot of room," Nick said. "That bed over there is yours, Rae. The one next to it is yours, Rose. Aaron and I are sharing a bed."

"I have an idea," Rae said, walking to her bed. "Let's push all the beds together to make one massive bed."

"Yeah," Rose agreed. "It'll be fun to sleep that way."

"Alright. Cool," Nick said.

They all pushed the three beds together. Aaron was standing by watching, holding a pillow almost bigger than him. When they were done, Aaron ran and jumped on the brand new bed.

"Nick, honey," Jane said from the doorway. "Bryn's here."

"Alright. Thanks, Mom," Nick said, excitedly.

He grabbed Rae's hand and dragged her downstairs with Rose close behind. Rae saw a pretty girl standing at the bottom of the stairs. She watched as Nick embraced and kissed her. Rae felt a little twinge of jealousy. Luckily, she knew how to hide it. Then Nick turned back around and introduced Bryn to Rae and Rose.

"Byrn, this is Raelene Lopez and her cousin, Rose Waconda. Rae, Rose, this is my girlfriend, Bryn Marshall."

"Hi, Bryn. It's nice to finally meet you." Rae held out her hand.

"Nice to meet you, too, Rae, Rose. Nick's told me all about the both of you." Bryn shook Rae's hand, then Rose's hand. Bryn studied both girls discreetly. Nick had shown her a picture of Rae and Rose before and she thought she had nothing to worry about. Now that she saw them both in person, Bryn began to worry. 'These two girls are prettier in person than they are in their picture,' she thought.

"I hope you don't mind, Rae, but Bryn and I thought it would be cool to go out to a movie together," Nick said, breaking Bryn away from her thoughts. Looking at Rose, he added, "You and Brian can come, too."

Rose and Rae looked at each other and nodded. "Alright," Rae said. "That sounds cool. We could get something to eat afterwards."

"Cool. The movie starts in a half hour, so we better jet," Bryn said.

"I'll go get Todd." Rae turned and went into the next room. Rose followed to get Brian. A few minutes later, the two couples came out. Todd and Rae had their arms wrapped around each other, as did Brian and Rose.

"Bryn, this is my boyfriend, Todd McKay," Rae introduced them.

"Hi," they both said and shook hands. Bryn thought Todd was gorgeous.

"And, of course, you already know my boyfriend, Brian," Rose said.

"Yeah, sure. How's it goin', Bri?" Bryn smiled at him.

"I'm doing pretty good now that Rose is here," he replied, as he tightened his hold on Rose. "Come on, let's go or else we'll be late."

They all walked out to Kevin's truck, since it could hold all six of them and took off to the theater.


"That movie was hilarious," Nick said. The three couples were now seated in a booth at a pizza place.

"Yeah, it was," Brian agreed.

"Let's order. I'm starving," Bryn said. "You can talk about the movie later."

"Yeah, guys. Let's order," Crystal said.

They all looked at the menu, except Todd and Rae. They were too busy being affectionate to bother looking. Nick looked up and saw Todd whisper something in Rae's ear. She smiled, whispered back, then she kissed him on the lips. Brian saw Nick looking at them and looked at them, too.

"Hey, you two," Brian said in a fatherly tone. "Stop sucking face long enough to help pick the toppings for the pizza."

"And this is coming from someone who probably couldn't tell me what the movie was about to save his life 'cause you and Rose were so busy lip-locking." Rae sent a knowing look both their ways.

"Don't knock us for making up for lost time, Rae. You and Todd are together practically 24/7," Rose pointed out.

"That's what you get for going out with someone who lives on the other side of the country," Rae commented.

"Can you all hold off on this 'til after we order the pizza?" Nick whined. "I'm starving."

"Go ahead, Nickyp--," Rae started, but Nick put his hand over her mouth.

"Don't even say it, Raelene." Rae nodded and Nick took his hand away.

The couples ordered the pizza and they all scarfed it down like there was no tommorrow.


"Rae, are you asleep?" Nick whispered.

"No," Rae whispered back. "I can't sleep. I don't think my body has caught up with the time change yet."

"Your body caught up pretty good, I think," he teased.

"Nick, I didn't mean that way," Rae said. You could hear the blush in her voice. "Besides, I didn't know you were looking."

"How could you not? Kevin was practically drooling. I'm surprised he didn't slip on his own spit."

"Ewww. That's gross. And Kevin was NOT looking at me. I talked to him earlier and he said he's seeing someone."

"Yeah, we know. He only talks about her non-stop," Nick said, sarcastically.

"I'm glad he has someone. Now he doesn't have to spend all his time with you weirdoes." Rae laughed softly.

"Hey!" Nick exclaimed.

He grabbed Rae around the waist, dragged her to his bed and started tickling her. She was trying to be quiet, so she wouldn't wake up Rose and Aaron, who were sleeping side by side on the other beds.

"Alright! Alright! I take it back! I take it back!" Rae said, trying not to get too loud.

"Good. Now let's get some sleep." Nick puts his arms around Rae's waist and fell asleep. It took a little longer for Rae to fall asleep, but she didn't move from her position.

It was strange, even though she didn't mind having Nick's arms around her. It felt companionable and he had to have known Rae was still getting used to being here, with his family. He's being comforting. With that last thought, Rae fell asleep.

Chapter Twenty-Two:
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