Chapter 34: The Talk

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We left the bar and Nathan and I walked in pure silence.

It stayed like that for a few minutes, simply walking with no set destination. Until Nathan nudged me lightly and jerked his head towards a small café across the street. "Want some hot chocolate while we talk?"

"S-sure," I responded, feeling flustered and unaware of what to say. Was small talk apropriate right before a talk that was most likely going to be awkward? Probably not.

Nathan put his hand on the small of my back as we began crossing the street. I relaxed at his touch and his warmth, making me think maybe he isn't as mad as I thought he was, seeing as I ignored him for two days.

I didn't even notice we reached the café until I was greeted with the harsh smell of coffee beans and baked goods. Nathan made his way to the corner, where there was a small table for two and bookshelves along the wall with books overflowing from it. He pulled out a chair for me and gestured for me to sit. I gave him a small smile and he simply responded with a nod and went to the counter to order our hot chocolates.

A few minutes later he came up to the table with two giants mugs of piping hot chocolate and he placed two plates down on the table. With a sheepish grin, he said, "They had a special. Chocolate cheesecake brownies."

"Oh, that sounds yummy," I smiled gratefully at Nathan and eyed my brownie. "Thank you."

Nathan nodded his head and we settled into an awkward silence. We sipped our hot chocolate and nibbled at the brownies, but never uttered a word for a solid twenty minutes.

I was close to finishing my hot chocolate when I decided I should speak. Placing my cup on the table, I cleared my throat. Nathan's eyes snapped upwards and his hazel eyes pierced through my green ones. I sighed at the sight of them and deflated, my shoulders sinking. "Nate, I'm sorry for not talking to you after t-the-"

"The kiss?" He finished for me, cocking an eyebrow and crossing his arms.

I nodded my head lamely and he just shook his head, looking frustrated. "Audrey, I get it. You don't feel the same. I'm just sorry I put you into a situation that made you feel uncomfortable."

Taken aback, I literally jerked my head backwards and blinked in surprise. I felt terrible that Nathan thought he made me uncomfortable, but I didn't blame him for believing I didn't share whatever feelings he may have for me. After all, I did ignore him as best as I could for two days. I couldn't believe I was so selfish for not seeing how that may impact Nathan.

I reached over and placed my hand on his and offered him a sincere look. "I'm so sorry for making you think you made me uncomfortable, I just didn't know how to feel or what to say."

Nathan sighed and scratched the back of his head with his free hand. He stared at me with an emotion I couldn't place as he started to speak. "Audrey, I know it's hard for you to open up. Especially to guy like me, after being with a guy like Noah."

He licked his lips and leaned forward, staring at me with such intensity. "I like you, as more than a friend. And even though I have never had a girlfriend before or even dated before, I want to try with you."

I opened my mouth to respond and formulate what to say, but I couldn't figure out how. Nathan liked me and he wanted to be with me. I really liked him, but what about Darian? And what about the fact we live together, wouldn't that be too much?

I sighed and I looked at him, feeling extremely flustered. "Nate, I like you too and it took me awhile to realize that. Honestly, I couldn't admit to those feelings until we kissed and when we did... I realized I really like you. But we live together, with your brother. Wouldn't that be awkward or even hard for us?"

Now it was Nathan's turn to reach over and grab my other hand. He cradled both of my hands in his and rubbed reassuring circles, helping my nerves settle. His eyes softened and his plump lips were upturned in a shy smile. "I told Darian how I feel about you. A long time ago, actually. He gave me his blessing, as long as you were comfortable and I don't hurt you. Apparently, if I hurt you, I can kiss my gorgeous hair goodbye."

I laughed at that and blushed at the thought of Nathan going to Darian for his blessing. I can't believe he would do that.

"I know you have seen me with girl after girl and that I'm probably the last person you'd expect to want a relationship or to even just date. But I do - with you," Nathan spoke with such urgency, it was hard to not believe him. "We would take it slow of course, I wouldn't want you to be uncomfortable."

He sighed and shook his head downwards, no longer meeting my gaze. After a small pause, he looked back up and stared at me uncertainly. "I guess what I'm saying is I really like you. And I would really like to take you out on a date and see if maybe this could become something more?"

I thought for a moment, trying to come up with anything to say. I knew what I wanted, I wanted the same thing as him. But what if it did become something more? I wasn't sure if a relationship would be a good idea. Despite my relationship with Noah being tumultuous, it was still long lasting and for the most part, loyal - until he slept with Abigal. Nathan has never been in a committed relationship in his life, nor did he actually date. I don't know if it would work, and if it didn't it would be so awkward for our friendship, as well as our living situation.

I kept thinking of a million things that could go wrong but I didn't once think about the things that could go right. So for moment, I thought about it and said, "I'd really like that. I want to try too."

Nathan grinned like a child who recieved an Xbox for Christmas and he squeezed my hands slightly. "I promise you, you will not regret this." He looked at me intently as he continued. "Thank you for giving me a shot, princess."

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