We were on a plane four hours later. We got first class and lounged in the comfy seats, hand in hand. I was so comfortable that my eyes started to droop. I fought it, I really did... but I fell asleep before Nick even realized that I was tired.
"So where are you headed?" Ryder asked, sitting in a designer leather couch by the window of a beach house.
"New York," I told him, not bothering to lie. "We're doing this tomorrow night."
"Works for me," he laughed, looking at me. "When and where?"
"Times Square, nine o'clock p.m."
"Didn't know you were an exhibitionist," he raised an eyebrow.
"I'm not," I sighed. "We're going to the nearest hotel from there. Just me, you and the body you'll be wearing, no one else. No one."
"Alright," he shrugged. "But I have one request. Change that body before then. I really do not want to be taking a child, what is she fifteen? I have morals."
"Morals?" I snorted.
"Yes," he raised an eyebrow. "I could just delay, keep your friends in their comfortable miniscule prison longer. Poor Ray is getting awfully thirsty."
"Fine," I snapped. "I'll find a twenty year old."
"A pretty one."
"I have my pride," I shrugged. "She won't be ugly."
"It's a date," he grinned.
I woke up.
"When?" Nick was watching me when my eyes opened.
"Tomorrow," I murmured.
He stiffened, then put an arm around my shoulders, hugging me to him as far as the seats allowed. I took a deep breath and let it out, trying to be calm. It was hard, knowing that I had so little time. But I had to do this. I just had to get it over with and get Matt, Ray and Justin out. I'd just pretend that it was Nick. I closed my eyes again, praying that time would crawl by.
We landed in New York and got a cab to the nearest hotel. Nick kept an arm around me the whole time, like he was afraid that I'd suddenly disappear. It was comforting though, I liked having his warmth there. He got us a room, then led me up to the elevator.
The second the doors closed he pulled me into a grand sweeping kiss. I completely melted against him, savoring how safe and loved I felt. I wasn't going to feel like that tomorrow and probably not for a while after that. It's only natural that Nick would feel different around me for a while. It was too much to ask that he just accept me sleeping with another man, no matter the consequences.
"This is strange," Nick breathed a laugh when we broke apart, but he didn't let me go.
"What?" I asked, still pretty much limp against him.
"You're a lot shorter now," he smiled wryly. "I still feel like I'm cheating on you."
"Yeah," I laughed. "Can't blame you there, I imagine it's weird for you."
The doors opened onto our floor and we grabbed our bags then got out of the elevator.
"We're in room 412," he took my hand and led me down the hall.
It was eleven at night, so we stayed in, watch TV, cuddled some more and finally fell asleep in each other's arms. Blissfully, I had no dreams.
My eyes opened to sunlight for the second time in too short a time. I was not happy. Nick had an arm around my waist and I sighed, turning to face him so the sun wasn't in my eyes anymore. He murmured something in his sleep and pulled me closer, pressing his face in my hair. I smiled and happily went back to sleep.
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