Nick gets a sinking feeling in his stomach. It seems like their date is about to get cancelled. He hears a door close and then "Nick, are you still there?"


"I'm so sorry. I completely forgot I have a dorm committee meeting tonight. We are supposed to get supplies for a party next week. I'm so sorry. Reschedule?"

"I'm leaving tomorrow for spring break, so I'll have to let you know."

"Oh shit, I forgot about that. I keep forgetting since mine isn't until next week."

"I know. It's not a big deal." He's trying not to sound as disappointed as he feels. "I'll be in touch, okay? You know I won't forget. Have fun doing committee stuff or whatever."

She laughs. "Okay. And have a good break, if I don't see you."

He hangs up. He may be wrong, but it seemed like she was disappointed, too.

He gets an idea, and he's not sure why he didn't think of it before.

Me: Can I come see you?

He'd never been able to visit her before because he worked every weekend, but he's off this entire week. Why shouldn't he spend it with the person he wants to spend it with? That is, as long as she wants him to.
He has a message come through ten seconds later.

Bailey: Yes!
Me: I'm on my way. See you in 3 hours.

Nick had already packed for the week, so he grabs his bag and heads out the door. He runs into Pete in the hallway. "You're leaving tonight? I thought you were going in the morning."

"Change of plans. I'm going to see Bailey."

Pete laughs. "Fuck. I guess Candace won the bet."

When Nick looks at him questioningly, he explains. "She said you would see her this week. I told her you'd be too chicken shit. Now I have to deliver her coffee all week. Fuck you, man."

Nick laughs and shakes his head as he continues on his way. The drive is a long and boring one—flat planes and corn fields as far as the eye can see—so Nick has time to think.

He's not nervous about seeing Bailey, just excited. He was relieved that they kept in touch this semester, unlike the last one. He wasn't sure how it would go. After their night together, they barely spoke over break.

With Bee being in the house, and Nick sleeping on Ian's floor, they weren't ever alone. He had hoped that she would go out with Ian and him on New Years Eve—he wanted an excuse to kiss her again—but she decided to stay with her grandma, who was still recovering at the time.

He finds a spot in a parking lot near Bailey's dorm and walks in. He decides to leave his duffel bag in his truck. They didn't discuss how long he would be here, and he doesn't want her to see a week's worth of clothes and think he assumed anything.

He remembers which room is hers from when Ian and he dropped her off two months ago. He knocks and waits, anxiously. He sees his reflection in a nearby window and straightens his hair where it was sticking up. He got it cut while he was home in December, but he needs it again. He looks like a bum. It's amazing how he never thinks about his appearance until he's getting ready to see her.

Bailey doesn't answer, so he knocks again. Maybe he was too quiet the first time. A couple of girls walk past him and stare, one of them smiles at him and winks. He returns an awkward smile, somewhat annoyed. He hasn't so much as looked at another girl since being with Bailey.

Bailey still isn't answering, and he's not sure what to do. Should he leave and come back? Should he leave and not come back? Should he just continue to stand here like an idiot?

Then he hears a familiar laugh down the hall. He looks and sees Bailey, walking and talking with fucking Derek. She sees Nick in the same instant and pauses, her breath catching. Derek looks surprised as well.

He wants to know what they were doing, just the two of them, and what Derek said that Bailey found so fucking funny.

"Nick, you're early," Bailey says, smiling when they are a few feet away. She seems out of breath, but Nick finds that he is too—ever since he spotted her walking toward him.

"Yeah, I guess I didn't realize how fast I was going," he says. She grabs a set of keys and slides one into her lock. He's staring at her, and he needs to stop before it gets creepy. He looks over at Derek who is still fucking standing here for some reason.

"Hey, Robinson, how's it going? I didn't know you were going to be here."

Nick responds. "Yeah, it was kind of a last minute thing."

"Yeah, I bet," Derek looks at Bailey who is just now opening her door. She smiles bashfully when she sees him. Oh good, they have some sort of inside joke that Nick doesn't get. Fucking fantastic.

Nick hopes Derek won't be joining them. "Well, I'm going to see what Abby's doing. Have fun, you two."

He walks further down the hall and walks into a room who's door is open. "So guess what?" He says as he walks in and shuts the door behind him.

Bailey walks into her room and leaves the door open for him, so Nick follows. "Do you want me to shut this?" He asks.

She sets her purse down on her desk. "I think so, don't you?"

He smiles and shuts it behind him. Her room is similar to his, two beds, two desks, two closets. A big difference, though, is that there appears to only be one person living here. "Where's your roommate?"

"She never came back from Christmas break. She missed her boyfriend too much, I guess." She gives Nick a look that lets him know exactly what she thinks about that.


He laughs.

"Sorry I didn't clean up. I didn't really have time."

Nick couldn't care less about the clothes on the floor or the books and papers scattered on the two desks. "What were you two doing, anyway?"

She smiles at him and pulls out a bottle of vodka from her purse.

Nick smiles back. "Some things never change."

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