Chapter   Eight

Nick stayed home for the next month or so, just kicking it. I was happy to have him around. I told Enrique that I didn't think it was a good idea for me to be with him again. He was angry at first, but he got over it quickly, so I heard. Me and Nick spent an endless amount of time together. He took me to Busch Gardens in Tampa one day. I found out Nick can be one of the most persuasive people and he got me on every ride possible. There were a lot of girls who looked at us strangely. They all pointed at Nick and started giggling or something. I went to the restroom once and saw a group of teenaged girls surrounding him when I walked back. By the time I reached him, they were all walking away. I didn't ask for an explanation nor did he offer one.

I guess you could say we moved along in our relationship. Everywhere we went, Nick was holding my hand. He became more affectionate towards me. I didn't resist in any way. I went along with it because it was what I wanted. Every night, he walked me to my room and gave me a goodnight kiss, short and sweet. We watched movies together, walked along the beach together, went swimming together. I suggested we invite all the guys, their girlfriends, and have a pool party one weekend. Nick loved the idea and called everybody up.

Me, Delia, Mary, and Tara went shopping for new bathing suits at the mall. I found one that I wanted immediately. It was a black bikini that tied around the neck and the back, and the bottom was held in place with golden clasps at the hip. The girls told me to go with it, so I bought it. We looked around a little more, the others bought bathing suits, then we went home. As soon as I walked in the door, Nick ran over and tried to get the bag away from me.

"Come on, Rosary," he pleaded. "I want to see what you got."

"Well, you're just gonna have to wait until the party," I told him.

He looked at me with puppy dog eyes and stuck his bottom lip out. "Pleeeeeeease?"

I laughed. "That's not going to work."

I turned and ran upstairs. I almost got to my door when Nick grabbed around the waist from behind. He turned me to face him and I held the bag behind my back. Nick looked me in the eye, then started places little, light kisses on my neck.

"Please let me see," he whispered in my ear.

"No," I said softly. "It's a surprise."

Nick continued to kiss my neck. "Please."

I shook my head. I felt Nick's grip on me loosen as he tried to seduce me into showing him my bathing suit. All this for a stupid bikini, but, hey, I liked it. When I felt Nick place his hands lightly on my hips, I reached behind me and turned the doorknob to my room. Nick finally kissed me on the lips. I let it go on for a while, quietly opened my door, then pulled away.

"Sorry, it doesn't work that way," I said right before I slammed the door in his face and locked it.

"Oh, that's cold," Nick yelled through the door. "That was really cold, Rosary."

"That's what you get," I yelled back.

I put the bathing suit away in my dresser and then opened the door. Nick didn't look happy. I didn't buy his expression. I walked past him and started downstairs. He came after me and blocked my way when I reached the middle.

"Can you describe it for me?" Nick said, looking hopeful.

"It's black," I said. "Now move out of my way."

"I'm sorry, I can't. That wasn't quite what I was looking for. Now you must face the consquences."

"Which are?"

"This." Nick kissed me fully on the lips.

I put my arms around his neck as he put his arms around my waist. We began walking down the stairs like that. We almost reached the bottom when someone walked through the door.

"Now there's something you don't see everyday," said Brian.

Nick and I looked behind him and saw Brian and Leighanne standing there with stunned expressions on their faces. There's one little thing I forgot to mention. None of the guys or girls had seen us like this before. We kept it to ourselves because it made things a little more exciting when there was always that chance we might get caught. Well, we got caught.

"Hey, B-Rok," Nick smiled a little uneasily. "What are you doing here?"

"You asked me to come over and help you with the party, remember?" He looked at me and Nick. We were still in the same position.

"Oh yeah," Nick said, letting me go. He turned around. "Did you bring the stuff?"

"Napkins, paper plates, plastic spoons, forks, and knives." Brian held up a plastic bag.

"Alright, cool." Nick grabbed my hand and lead the way into the kitchen.

Brian put the bag on the table. "Let's go fire up the grill."

"Let the party begin." Nick leaned down a gave me a quick kiss. "I'll see you later, in that black bathing suit."

"Of course," I said, kissing him back. I watched him follow Brian out the sliding door, smiling.

"When did you and Nick become lovers?" Leighanne asked bluntly.

"We're not 'lovers'," I said.

"Could've fooled me," she said, then walked outside.

One of these days, I'm going to slap her across her stupid face, I thought to myself. How can Brian like her? It doesn't make sense. Brian seemed like a really great guy to me, but the reason why he chose Leighanne as his girlfriend was beyond me. The doorbell rang and went to answer it. It was Kevin and Tara. I hugged them both and told them Nick, Brian, and Leighanne were out back. Tara stopped to ask me if her, Mary, and Delia could use my room to change in. I said it was okay with me. Then we headed out back.

Soon the rest of the guys had shown up. There were some other people there I didn't know, so Nick introduced me to every single person. Kevin and Brian manned the grill while the rest of us talked and danced. When the food was done, everyone grabbed a plate and piled on the food. We all ate and drank like there was no tomorrow. Only Leighanne seemed to eat practically nothing. After everyone was done, me, Delia, Mary, and Tara went up to my room to change. I walked out of the bathroom in my bathing suit and the others whistled.

"Girl, you are going to blow Nick away with that bikini," Delia said.

I laughed. "What are you talking about?"

"Don't play dumb with us," Mary said. "We know you like him. You can only tell when you look at him."

"Not to mention the way he looks at you," said Tara.

All I did was shrug. "I guess."

"You guess?" Delia said. "Rosary, trust us. We know what we're talking about."

"Delia's right," said Mary. "Me and her have known Nick for a long time now. We know when he likes a girl."

"I haven't known Nick that long," said Tara, "but I can tell he likes you, too."

"If you guys say so," I said.

The others took turns going into the bathroom and changing, then we all headed downstairs together. We were all talking and laughing when we saw Leighanne come out of an empty guestroom in her barely-even-there bikini. All of us got quiet for a moment, then resumed talking. Leighanne walked in way ahead of us. We heard the guys outside whistling and yelling.

"You can bet she's enjoying every second of it." Mary shook her head.

"I don't get it," I said. "Why is Brian going with her?"

"I've often wondered that myself," said Delia. "Brian and Leighanne met a couple years back. From what AJ tells me, she was nice enough back then, but there was still that bit of that inflated ego thing going on. I guess as time went on, she just got worse."

"Yeah. Leighanne was nice back then," said Mary. "We used to be really good friends, but all of a sudden she changed and our friendship just went down the tubes. I met Howie around the same time she met Brian. We started going out around the same time, too."

"I've noticed in the six months me and Kevin have been together, Leighanne seems to have Brian wrapped around her finger," said Tara. "I mean, whatever she wants, he gets it for her."

I shook my head. "I don't along with women like that. I guess that's why she and I aren't the best of friends."

"Come on, girls," AJ yelled out. "We're waiting!!"

"Better get going," Delia smiled.

We all walked outside and was greeted with whistles and catcalls, also. Nick's mouth dropped open when he saw me. Delia, Mary, and Tara had their guys practically drooling over them. We all gave each other a thumbs-up and walked over to our guys. Nick put his arms around me.

"You like it?" I asked him.

He looked me up and down. "Oh yeah."

The party resumed and we all had a great time. I watched Brian and Leighanne discreetly. She definitely had her way with him. There was nothing I could do about it, so I just went on with my merry existence and didn't worry about it. Me and Nick swam in the pool together, got tanned together, did everything together it seemed. I couldn't have been happier. Until I found out I really didn't know Nick at all.

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