Chapter   Eight

"Hey, where were you guys?" Brian asked Kevin and Rae as they walked through the door. "We been looking for you everywhere."

"We went for a walk," Kevin said. "I needed to talk to Rae."

"Careful, Kevy-Kev," AJ smiled wickedly. "Rae's taken."

"Shut up, AJ," Rae said. "It wasn't like that. So, where's Nick?"

"In the backroom, playing video games with your brothers and Todd," Howie said.

"I'll you later, fellas," Rae said. "I'm going to chill with my favorite brothers, my favorite best friend, and my future husband. Bye, guys. Bye, Kev."

They watched Rae as she left the room.

" 'Bye, Kev'," said AJ, imitating Rae. "Alright, Kevy-Kev. We want details."

"Nothing," Kevin said. "We walked, we talked, we walked back."

"Why didn't you tell anyone where you were going?" Howie asked.

"I didn't want anyone to interrupt us," Kevin said. "Why all the questions?"

"There has to a reason Rae said bye to you," AJ said. Kevin was about to say something, but AJ cut him off. "She singled you out, man."

"She said 'bye', AJ," Kevin said, irritated. "What's wrong with that?"

"Nothing," Brian said. "It was the way she said it that's making us wonder."

"You guys really want to know what we did?" Kevin looked at them and Brian, AJ, and Howie nodded. "Okay. I asked Rae if I could talk to her. I wanted to see how serious she was about marrying Todd. We got into a little spat, then I told her about me and Beth. When we were done, she gave me and hug and a kiss, thanked me for talking to her, then we headed back here. That's it."

"That's all?" Howie said. "And I thought something actually happened."

"Wait a second," Brian said. "She kissed you?"

"Yeah, it was nothing," Kevin shrugged.

"On the cheek or on the lips?" AJ asked.

"On the lips."

"Are you serious?" Howie asked, astonished. "Kevin, she's engaged!!"

"I know that, Howie," Kevin said.

"Was it a deep kiss?" AJ asked, wanting to know. "I know she gives those pretty good."

"No, it wasn't a deep kiss, AJ. It was nice." Kevin had a tiny smile on his face. The others noticed it.

"Did you feel something, Cuz," Brian asked.

"Just a little tingling sensation when our lips touched, nothing major. It was probably just me anyway. I'm positive Rae didn't feel it."


"Nick, what if I'm making the wrong decision? What if marrying Todd is a mistake?"

Nick watched Rae pacing back and forth in front of him in her room. "Why would you think that? What happened on you walk with Kev?"

"Nothing," Rae said. "At least, I hope it was nothing. It had to be nothing."

"Sounds like you're trying to convince yourself. What happened, Rae?"

"Me and Kevin went out for a walk, then we started talking about my engagement to Todd. Kev started asking me if I knew what I was doing, we got into a small arguement, then Kevin told me about his ex-fiancee, Beth."

"Kevin actually told you about Beth?" Nick asked with a looked of surprise. "He hasn't talked about her in years from Frick says."

"That's what he said. I was so sad, Nick. Kevin and Beth got engaged, he moved out to Florida, then Kev's father died and Beth and Kev decided to break it off." Rae looked down at her hands. "They realized they were too young."

"Is that what's got you trippin' out?"


"What's the other part?"

"I gave Kevin a hug," Rae said. "I thanked him for talking to me and letting me know that he cared about me...."

"Tell me, Rae."

"I.... I...."


"I kissed him."

Nick was shocked into silence for a few second before he finally spoke. "Why?"

"I don't know. But what's scaring me is that I kind of liked it. It was just a little peck on the lips, but it was enough to get me thinking."

"Alright, calm down," Nick said. Rae sat down beside him on her bed and put his arms around her, comfortingly. "You love Todd, right?"

"Yes, with all my heart. Nothing could ever change that."

"There you go. Listen to yourself. 'Nothing could ever change that'."

"I guess you're right. I'm worrying over nothing." Rae looked at Nick and smiled. "Thanks, Nick. I don't know what I'd do without you."

"You'd be half-crazed right now," Nick laughed. Rae laughed with him.

"I love you."

"I love you, too."

Nick and Rae hugged, then went back into the living room to chill with the rest of the crew. Kevin looked at Rae and smiled. Rae walked up to him and plopped down on his lap. Nick, Howie, AJ, and Brian looked on in surprise. Brian noticed how Kevin put his hand on her leg, just above her knee, but he didn't say anything. Not that it helped 'cause the other guys noticed, too.

When Todd walked in the room, Nick thought World War III was about to break out. But Todd just picked up Rae and carried her outside with him. The rest of the guys started laughing. A few minutes later, Rae came back with big smile on her face, and sat down in Kevin lap. Brian started to worry about both of them. After a couple of hours of talking, everybody started drifting off to sleep. Rae fell asleep in Kevin's lap.

"Looks like we bored her to sleep," Brian joked.

"I'll go put her to bed," Kevin said, getting up. He was careful not to wake her, then carried her to her room.

Kevin layed Rae down on her bed and pulled the blankets up over her. He didn't want to change her into something else 'cause it was taking every ounce of his will to just let her sleep. Finally, Kevin gave into his urge, leaned down and kissed Rae. Rae felt Kevin's lips on hers, but chose to pretend she was still asleep. As soon as Kevin left, Rae sat up and touched her lips with her hand.