Chapter 20 – The Chatter

Brittany woke up to a knock on her door the next morning. She opened her eyes groggily and glanced at the clock.

6:30 in the morning. Who could possibly be at her door at 6:30 in the morning?

But the knocking persisted, so she grudgingly got out of bed and opened the door. She softened a little when she saw who was standing there before her, but she didn’t say anything.

“Morning!” Danielle said brightly.

“Morning,” Brittany mumbled, rubbing her eyes. She’d gone to bed early, but after spending a good portion of the night before travelling, she really just wanted to sleep in.

“I know it’s early,” Danielle said quickly. “But I don’t have a lot of time, and I really wanted to see you while you’re here. So can we go for a quick cup of coffee?”

Brittany nodded. Tired or not, she really did want to have some one on one time with her friend, and this was likely the only chance they would have for that.

“Yeah, come in for a sec and I’ll get ready.”

Danielle stepped into the room while Brittany gathered some clothes from her suitcase.

“What do you think of the hotel?” Danielle asked while Brittany stepped into the washroom to get dressed.

“It’s nice,” she said. “Really nice. You guys made a good choice.”

Danielle nodded. “I think so. I can’t wait until you see the reception hall. It’s beautiful. Loads of space and it’s going to be decorated really nicely.”

“I can imagine,” Brittany replied, checking her face in the mirror. She brushed her teeth and pulled her hair back into a half ponytail before opening the door. “Let’s go.”

Danielle and Brittany made their way to a tiny coffee shop that was located inside the hotel. They grabbed a couple of drinks (of which Brittany insisted on paying for) and sat down at one of the tables near a large window.

“So, the big day’s tomorrow,” Brittany grinned, looking at her friend. “Nervous?”

Danielle smiled, but shook her head. “You know, I’m really not. People always said we were practically married all this time anyway, so I guess now, we’re just making it official.”

Brittany nodded. She definitely agreed with that – ever since she’d known them, Danielle and Liam were always like a sweet, old married couple that had been together for years. While she wasn’t sure she envied them, it would have been nice to be loved so unconditionally. “I can’t imagine ever being married,” Brittany mused.

Danielle laughed a little. “Well, you’re sort of busy touring and doing the pop star thing, aren’t you?”

“Yeah,” Brittany nodded. “Really busy.”

“I’m sure your time will come,” Danielle said, taking a sip of her latte. “And one day you and I will be sitting here saying that we can’t believe you’re getting married.”

Brittany shrugged. She wasn’t so sure about that. She barely had time for a relationship, let alone a marriage. Plus, the boy sleeping upstairs that she had her eye on wasn’t a fan of marriage to begin with. She shook her head and took a sip of her drink, to try and push the thought out of her mind. She hadn’t even told Nick she had feelings for him yet, and here she was contemplating the fact that he never wanted to get married.

“What?” Danielle asked, eyeing Brittany. “You’ve got this weird look on your face.”

“I don’t know, I just don’t really want to get married right now, and just… yeah I don’t know,” she blushed slightly, and stirred the foam in her cup.

Danielle grinned. “What, is there a certain marriage hating blonde boybander sleeping upstairs who you’re thinking about?”

“I didn’t say anything about Nick,” Brittany replied flatly, giving Danielle a look.

Danielle just shrugged. “Does Nick really qualify as a boybander anymore? I thought Backstreet Boys broke up. I wasn’t talking about him.”

Brittany looked at Danielle with confusion until she realized exactly what her friend was getting at. “Ugh, no!” she exclaimed, shaking her head. “I’m definitely not thinking about him. Besides, I thought he wanted to get married?” she asked. Wasn’t that part of the reason she’d broken up with him in the first place?

Danielle shrugged. “Maybe, but you’d never know it. This whole week leading up to the wedding he’s been nothing but negative about the whole idea, saying how it’ll never be him, and how Liam has to live it up while he still can.”

“He’s probably just jealous,” Brittany mused.

“Probably,” Danielle nodded in agreement. “But he’s still pissing me off.”

Brittany felt awkward talking about this, but now that they’d started, she felt the need to know everything. “Yeah, I get that. Why’s he so upset anyway? Doesn’t he have a girlfriend?”

Danielle shook her head. “He did for a while, but he broke up with her a few months ago.”

“Hmmm…” Brittany said, staring out the window. When she’d told Danielle she hadn’t been thinking about Niall at all, that hadn’t been the complete truth. The entire trip was making her far too nostalgic. She was convinced that nostalgia was the only thing causing that fluttering feeling in her chest upon hearing that Niall didn’t have a girlfriend anymore.

“Anyway,” Danielle said, quickly changing the subject. “Speaking of blonde boys in your life, how’s Nick doing?”

Brittany looked back over at Danielle. When she thought about Nick, she couldn’t help but smile. That awkward feeling she’d had when she’d thought about Niall was instantly replaced with a warm and happy one. “He’s good,” she said quietly, unable to hide the smile on her face.

“It was nice of him to come with you,” Danielle said, rising her eyebrows a little.

“Yeah, it was, considering he usually hates weddings.”

“I guess he must have had a good reason to come to this one, then,” Danielle said suggestively.

“Yeah,” Brittany laughed, not picking up on the hint at all. “Maybe he’s in love with you,” she joked, thinking of her conversation with Nick about the Friends episode the night before.

“Or maybe he’s in love with you,” Danielle said quietly, giving Brittany a nod.

Brittany raised her eyebrow. There was no way that was possible. Nick didn’t fall in love, and she’d never seen him spend more than a week at most with a girl. He just saw her as a friend. A close friend, a best friend, but a girlfriend?

“No way,” Brittany said. “There’s no way.”

“He came all the way here to go with you to a wedding that he has no interest in attending. And yesterday when the three of us were talking, I saw the way he looked at you. Maybe he’s not in love with you, but he definitely has feelings for you.”

“Yeah, platonic ones,” Brittany scoffed.

“I don’t think so,” Danielle said. “And you like him too, don’t you?”

“I don’t know,” Brittany said slowly. Even though she did know, she just didn’t quite want to admit it.

“Well,” Danielle said, finishing her latte and standing up. “I’d really love to dig into the details of your relationship with Nick, but unfortunately I’ve got a million things to do today,” she said with a sigh.

Brittany stood up to join her, and the two of them walked out of the restaurant and made their way back to the elevator. “See you at the wedding tomorrow,” Danielle said with a grin. “Oh and Britt?” she said, before stepping off onto her floor.

“Hm?”

“Don’t shy away from Nick just because you might be afraid of what happened with Nialler. Because I really think he does like you, and that you guys would be good together.”

Brittany nodded, unsure of what to say to that. “Thanks, Dani. Good luck tomorrow.”

She leaned back against the elevator wall as the doors closed again and thought about what Danielle had said to her. She wasn’t even sure she wanted a relationship with Nick or that she’d have time for one. All she knew was that when she thought about the fact that there was even the slightest possibility, her stomach started to do flips.

She smiled to herself, stepping off the elevator and walking back towards her room. She still didn’t know if Nick actually was attracted to her or not, but for the next little while she intended to watch him closely to try and figure it out.

***

Nick awoke to his cell phone buzzing on the bedside table.

He rolled over with a slight grumble, not particularly wanting to wake up yet. He hadn’t managed to fall asleep until nearly three in the morning, and was looking forward to sleeping in.

But his phone continued to ring.

He sighed, sitting up and looking at the clock. It was nearly 11am. He supposed that was an adequate amount of time to sleep in and besides, he knew he had to be awake early the next day. He picked up his phone and looked at the caller ID.

AJ.

“Hi,” he said groggily, holding the phone to his ear and rubbing his eyes a little. He glanced around the lavishly decorated room. He’d nearly forgotten about that part.

AJ’s laughter rang through the receiver of the phone. “Dude, tell me you’re not actually in London for that One Direction wedding.”

“Uh,” Nick said, feeling ridiculous talking about this with AJ. He hadn’t told anyone he was going to be attending the wedding with Brittany. In fact, he’d hoped to keep that relatively quiet. Which was, of course, impossible. “How’d you know?” he asked, essentially admitting that he was there.

“It was on Perez Hilton that you’re in London, and you know Ro reads that shit. So… what’re you doing there? Did you miss the boyband thing so much that you decided to join their group?”

Even though he was well aware that AJ couldn’t see him, Nick rolled his eyes. “Not in a million years,” he said with a hint of bitterness in his voice.

“So what’re you doing there?”

Nick sighed. “Brittany got invited to it and I went with her,” he muttered.

AJ was silent for a second and Nick just waited for whatever ribbing he was going to get on account of his confession. “Dude,” AJ whistled. “You went all the way to the other side of the world to go to a wedding with her? And you still haven’t slept with her yet? You better get on that… or I guess get in that,” he laughed at his own bad joke.

“I’m trying,” Nick muttered before he could stop himself.

“Wait,” AJ said quickly, cutting him off. “Hold up. What happened to ‘I’m not trying to sleep with her.’ like you say every other time?”

“I don’t know,” Nick admitted, getting up and pacing around the room. He walked over to the intricate lace curtains and played with them a little, studying the designs as he thought. “I just changed my mind, I guess.”

“Well it took you long enough,” AJ laughed. “And you’ve decided the best way to try and get into her pants is by going with her to London. Why not just wait until she gets back?”

“She didn’t want to go alone,” Nick said, playing it off as though he was doing her a favour. As though he wasn’t being completely ridiculous and irrational.

Of course AJ saw right through him. “You mean you didn’t want her to go alone and forget about you,” he said. “Dude, I know you. Don’t act like you were doing something nice for her when you’re only there to make sure she doesn’t fuck her ex-boyfriend.”

Nick couldn’t completely deny that. “She’s not going to fuck him,” he said, pulling the curtains open a little and glancing out the window. “She hasn’t even seen him. We haven’t even seen anyone in that group since we’ve been here. We went out for food and went to sleep and that’s fine with me. There’s no way I want to hang around with a bunch of kids or her ex.”

“That’s probably just as well,” AJ laughed, and Nick could practically hear him grinning through the phone. “He’d probably punch you or something for stealing her from him.”

“I could take him,” Nick said easily.

“Yeah, you could,” AJ agreed quickly. “Man, I wish I was there to see that. So when are you gonna make your move on her?” he asked, changing the subject back to Nick’s obvious plan to get Brittany into bed.

“I’m not going to make a move on her,” Nick said with a sigh, walking away from the window and beginning to pace around the room.

“You’ve got to be kidding me.”

“No,” Nick said plainly, falling back into his bed and looking up at the ceiling. “I’m not a relationship kind of guy and she’s my friend. I’m not going to fuck that up.”

“Nick,” AJ said seriously. “You’ve been friends with her for years. You don’t talk to any girl for more than a week.”

“Yeah exactly,” Nick said. AJ was only proving his point. A relationship between him and Brittany wouldn’t ever work.

“No,” AJ said. “You’re not getting it. She’s the only girl since Lauren that you’ve gotten close to.”

“I have to,” Nick retorted. “We work together.”

“Bull fucking shit!” AJ laughed. “You don’t have to be that close to her, you just are. So stop being a pussy and make a fucking move. I don’t care if you’re not a relationship guy, you’re pretty much in a relationship with her already.”

Nick didn’t say anything. He couldn’t argue with AJ – his friend wasn’t completely wrong. But changing the status of his relationship with Brittany still terrified him. “Yeah, whatever. I gotta go get ready.”

“Have fun at the wedding,” AJ said with a laugh before hanging up.

Nick sat up and took in a deep breath. AJ’s words still rung through his mind, and he couldn’t deny them. He walked off to the bathroom to get ready for the day, thinking about how he wasn’t sure he wanted to play the role of the boyfriend again.

Even if he basically already was.

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