Chapter 33: The Awkwardness

28.5K 901 64

"HE DID WHAT?" Samara screamed as soon as the words slipped out of my mouth.

I grabbed my pillow and smacked her with it playfully. My friend laughed as she almost fell off my bed. "Shut up, I don't want Darian to know!"

It was a couple of days after mine and Nathan's kiss and things have been extremely awkward. While Nathan was at work, I called Samara and begged for her to come over to talk about it. I had no idea what to do and needed some guidance.

She straightened herself out and her facial expression turned serious. "Alright, so what happened? Did you kiss him back?"

"Well, yeah, I kissed him back," I stated. I pursed my lips together and replayed the event of the kiss in my head again. "We were walking home and all of a sudden he turns to me and says he needs to do something and asks me not to hate him for it."

I run my hand through my hair, feeling giddy at the memory. "The next thing I know he's calling me beautiful and then his lips are on mine."

Samara squealed and clapped her hands together excitedly. She flipped her silky black hair over her shoulder and leaned forward. "Well, did you like it?"

"If we're being honest..." I sighed dreamily and it felt like Nathan kissed me all over again as the moment replayed in my head over and over. "It was amazing and I know this sounds bad, but, I never felt that way before. It was like... fireworks."

I remembered as our lips touched, his taste had consumed me and it felt like we were in our own little world...

Nathan suddenly stopped walking and he looked at me with a completely serious face. "Audrey, I need to do something and please don't hate me for it."

"W-what do you mean?" I stuttered out, my heart starting to pound as Nathan gently grasped my hands and pulled my closer to him.

He lowered his forehead onto mine and stared at me for a moment. Bringing his hands up, he placed them on either side of my face and sighed. "You're so beautiful."

As his lips met mine in a hungry kiss I let out a little gasp and I felt his soft smile against my lips. Not wasting another moment, I found myself instantly kissing back just as urgently. As a result, he pulled me even closer and tangled his hands in my hair, causing me to sigh in delight.

Nathan pulled back to catch his breath and his forehead rested on mine as he did so. "You have no idea how long I've wanted to do that."

Shaking my head and grinning like an idiot, I placed my hands on the back of his neck and pulled him closer. "Just kiss me."

We continued our very public make out in the street, not caring is was unbearably cold. In that moment, it was just Nathan and me, immersed in one another and feeling nothing but fireworks.

Snapping back to reality, I shook my head slightly and bit my lip as I looked at Samara. "Sorry, I just can't stop thinking about it."

"Okay," my friend said slowly, she paused for a moment and played with the strings dangling off my pillow. "But why would you act so weird after the kiss?"

I sighed in defeat and thought about how I responded the next day. Long story short, I avoided Nathan with every fiber of my being and we haven't talked since. Darian is completely oblivious because he's been with Justin so much but he'll probably catch on sooner rather than later.

"Ugh, Sam. I don't know," I whined. "It was so great and it felt so right but it scared me for all of those reasons."

She gave me a look of confusion and I flung myself backwards on my bed to stare at my ceiling. "It was too great and too right. I never felt like that when I kissed Noah. I thought that feeling of fireworks was only in movies and novels, but I was wrong."

"And truth be told, I didn't even know I liked Nate like that until the kiss. I mean, I felt flutters here and there but I never realized it was, well, that," I squeezed my hands in the air to emphasize my point and I let out a huge breath of finality. "Do you think he likes me or did I just set myself up for disaster?"

Suddenly, I felt a pillow smack me hard in the face. "Girl, you are fifty shades of stupid if you can't tell that boy is head over heels for you. He's been chasing you since day one, but you're stubborn ass refuses to see it."

I groaned and threw the pillow off of my face so I can think without being suffocated. Sure, Nathan had flirted with me since the moment I met him but that was how he was. I've seen him do it with loads of girls while he was doing it to me. Does that necessarily equate to him wanting to be with me? I didn't think so. Yes, he kissed me and said that I was beautiful but once that ever turns into anything more - if it were to turn into anything more, he'd get bored of me super quick. I've only ever been with Noah. I'm nothing special and he'll see that soon.

I sighed. "I don't know, Sam. I've only ever been with Noah. Once he sees how boring I am, he'll take back any feelings of romance he's ever had for me."

"I could smack you again for your stupidity," my best friend started. "He wouldn't leave you and you certainly aren't boring. You always find an opportunity to try something new. Remember the time we got a group of people from class to try paintballing because you were always curious about how to play? Or that time you signed up for that hip hop meets ballet dance workshop? Or hmm, I don't know, the time you moved out of your tiny hometown so you could experience a city life of your own?"

"Audrey, you are the least boring person I know. I think you're just scared to put your heart out there for Nathan to hold. Trust me, I get it. But also think about Nathan. You haven't talked to him in two days and you haven't told him about how you feel," Sam placed a hand on my knee and gave it a light squeeze. "He deserves to know how you feel and you deserve to be with someone who makes you happy, even if it scares you."

▪▪▪

"Do I really need to do this?" I whined as I stared through the window of Ed's from the outside.

Nate was inside serving some customers at the bar but he didn't look like his usual laid back self. Instead, his face was twisted in a permanent scowl, causing him to look anything but friendly.

I studied him as he continued to serve customers. Once he was done, he began to vigirously scrub the already spotless counter.

Samara gave me a pointed stare and jerked her head towards the grumpy Nathan. I sighed and nodded my head, understanding that she was right. She patted my back encouragingly as I opened the door. "Just be honest and tell him how you feel."

Nodding my head, I stepped into the bar and Nathan's head snapped upwards, his hazel eyes staring at me intently.

I gave him a sheepish smile and sat on the stool across from him. "Hey."

"Audrey," he greeted with a curt nod and went back to scrubbing the counter. His eyebrows were knitted in concentration and he refused to look up at me.

I sat there lamely for a few minutes while Nathan continued to clean the perfectly intact counter. Reaching over I placed my hand on his and gave him a hesitant smile. "Nate, can we talk when you're off?"

He stopped cleaning and he looked up at me once again. When he saw me how unsure I was, he gave me a small smirk. "I suppose we could."

Turning his head to look at the clock behind the bar, his eyes widened at the time. "I didn't realize I'm supposed to be off the clock. Gimme a minute to get my stuff from the back, then we can talk. Is that okay?"

I pulled my hand back so Nathan could leave and I nodded my head. "Sounds great!"

As I watched him walk out from behind the bar, I prayed that I wouldn't mess anything up between us during our upcoming talk.

The Art of the Bartender's HeartRead this story for FREE!