6. Bailey

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"So...do you think you could sleep in the boys' room tonight?" I didn't know how to broach the subject, so I just blurted it out as we were getting ready for bed.

Mandy stops searching through her overnight bag and stands up to look at me. "Why?"

She flips her long pink hair onto one of her shoulders and creases her eyebrows together. She's always been the black sheep of our family, a title she wears proudly, but that doesn't stop her from needing to know everyone's business. I love her for it—except this time.

"Um...is there anyway you could just go? And not need an explanation?" I already know her answer, but I'm hesitant to talk about Nick.

A sly smile spreads across her face—now she knows it must be good. "Tell me what's going on...now.
You know you can't keep secrets from me, anyway. I know you too well."

She's right. I groan and avoid her eye contact—suddenly very interested in a loose string on the comforter. "Okay well...I think Nick is going to be coming by."

I hear her gasp. "Nick? As in Nick? Is coming to your room tonight? And you're okay with that? What the hell did I miss?"

As she is assaulting me with her questions, she makes her way over to the bed and sits across from me.

"Well..." I don't even know how to answer her. Do I want Nick to come here? And what the hell did happen?

I hadn't allowed myself to process what went down in the closet. I immediately ran to my room after he and I left the basement and hid in here until Grandma called us for supper.

I was kind of hoping to forget about the whole thing, but Nick obviously had other plans. When he approached me in the hallway, my body betrayed me as his close proximity was reminiscent to the close quarters we had been in earlier.

I give in and tell Mandy about what happened during hide and seek while she stares at me, playing with her lip ring, jaw on the floor.

"So are you telling me you finally had an orgasm?" She asks once I am done. Of course that would be the most important information to her.

I nod slightly. She knows all about my sexual history, just like do with hers—hers being much more extensive than mine.

"Oh my God!" She starts jumping up and down with excitement for a moment before crashing back down on the bed on her stomach with her feet in the air. "Nick Robinson gave you your first orgasm?!? How was it?"

I can't help but giggle at her reaction. "First of all, I have had an orgasm before, just not when anyone else was involved. And second of all, it...was...amazing."

"So you're going to hook up with him again?"

"No," I say automatically, but then pause to think. "Well, I guess I don't know. Maybe...I guess."

She nods like she understands when we hear a knock on the door. Our eyes both become wide as we look in the direction of the sound.

"I'll give you guys some privacy," she teases while she rolls off the bed.

I'm so nervous, I can't move while I watch her grab her bag and open the door. Nick is leaning against the door jam and looks surprised to see Mandy.

"Don't worry, I'm staying in the other room tonight," she says to him before looking back and giving me a wink. As she walks past him into the hallway, she adds, "I'd give you a high five, but I know where that hand has been."

I'm not able to see Nick's reaction because I push my face into the throw pillow sitting on my bent knees, trying to curl up and disappear. I hear him chuckle while he steps into the room and close the door behind him.

I look up as he casually walks toward the bed and sits next to me. "So, Mandy's big on high fives?"

I roll my eyes. "No. She just can't miss an opportunity to be a smartass."

He smiles. "Yeah, but at least it let me know that you told her."

"And now I wish I wouldn't have..."

"And why's that?" He asks while placing his hand on my leg.

I look down at his hand and lose all train of thought. His touch is doing unexpected things to me, sending thrills throughout my body.

When I look back up at his face, he has that usual, cocky expression, and it brings me back to reality. This is Nick. I hate him. Why am I thinking about all the things that he is capable of with that hand?

I clear my throat, and raise his hand off my leg and gently set it down on his own. "There will be no more of that," I say matter of factly.

The cockiness doesn't seem to fade. "We'll see about that."

"No. Actually. We won't."

He doesn't respond, and I remember a question that I had been wondering earlier. "So how did you know Justin and I broke up? I've only told Mandy. Has Justin been talking about it?"

His expression, once again, doesn't crack. "You and Justin broke up?"

I push against his chest, suddenly angry. "You are unbelievable. You've been doing all this and coming in here, and you thought I had a boyfriend?!? Do you have no morals? Actually...don't answer that. I already know."

I stand up to try to increase the distance between us, but then he also stands up. I have to tilt my chin up to look into his face because he is so much taller than me.

"Bailey, why should I care if you have a boyfriend or not? You had every opportunity to say no in the closet, but you didn't. That's all I care about."

Our eyes don't lose connection as his hand reaches toward me and grazes down my arm. "Do you regret it?"

I think I see just a little bit of worry in his eyes for a second before he returns to his arrogant self. I hadn't allowed myself to think about this question until now. Probably because I already know the answer.

"No. I don't regret it."

That makes him smile. His hand is still on my arm and he lowers it until it reaches my hand. Our fingers interlock, and I take a step toward him. I don't know why I'm doing this. I don't kiss random guys.

I guess Nick isn't a "random guy", technically. I've known him for almost six years, and he spends at least three nights a week in my brother's room, next door to mine.

He places his other hand in my hair and tilts my head slowly toward his. He takes a moment to pause and look at my face. His slow movements are driving me crazy, but I'm glad for them. It allows me time to look at him—really look at him.

I can see his hazel eyes have a vulnerability in them that he doesn't usually show. He took his baseball cap off from earlier, and his thick hair is unruly. I had always assumed he styled it that way, but now I can see that this must be how we wakes up. A heavy breath is escaping from his pink, full lips before he licks them and leans in closer.

I close my eyes in anticipation of his mouth on mine.

I feel his breath on my skin when he stops his progression. I groan inwardly as I hear a knock on the door.

I don't move. Maybe whoever it is will just go away. There's a second knock. "It's Ian. Open up."

Shit. Ian can not catch Nick in my room—for several reasons. I see the doorknob begin to turn and quickly yell, "No!"

Ian stops when the door is open a crack. "Why?"

"Uh...um...I'm changing. Give me a minute."

He shuts the door again, and I look at Nick, panicked. Nick seems much more calm but is looking around for a spot to hide—obviously in agreement that Ian should not know about us.

Us? Is there an 'us'? I don't know, and I can't think about that right now.

I shove him in the direction of the closet and shut the slotted door behind him.

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