Chapter 22 – The Perfect Moment

Brittany knocked on Nick’s door just before noon the next day. She absentmindedly played with the charm on her necklace as waited for him to answer.

“Hey,” he said when the door opened. “You look nice.”

“Thanks,” she said, smoothing out her dress. It wasn’t anything overly fancy, just a royal blue floral print and black heels. “You do too.”

Indeed he did. Nick wasn’t one for getting dressed up, but of course for this occasion he sort of had to. And to Nick ‘getting dressed up’ meant putting on a white dress shirt, a pair of black pants and actually doing something with his hair.

“Shall we?” he asked, linking her arm with his.

That fluttery feeling Brittany had felt when they’d held hands the night before was back. They stayed that way until they got into the car that would take them to the church. She smiled to herself as she looked out the window. She was positively giddy. Even Nick looked happy, which was strange for him considering his aversion to weddings.

The ceremony was long. Nick and Brittany had chosen a spot close to the back of the church. Well, Brittany had chosen that spot and Nick had just gone along with her. Even though she knew she’d have to see everyone at the reception later, she really wanted to be able to make a quick getaway back to the hotel once the ceremony was over.

Plus, she didn’t want Niall to see her from the front. Even though when he walked by during the processional, he glanced at her. They had an awkward moment of eye contact, and she looked down at her lap, trying to avoid watching him as he walked the rest of the way.

As much as she tried not to, she couldn’t help but look at him during the ceremony. It was hard not to take notice of the proud look on his face, and the goofy grin he wore when he whispered something to Liam.

All of those things reminded her why she’d been in love with him. She honestly wasn’t sure how she felt about that. Instinctively, she reached for Nick’s hand during the ceremony and held onto it, as if to remind herself who she was there with.

Nick glanced over at her and gave her a small smile. He laced his fingers with hers and they stayed that way for the remainder of the service.

When it was all over, they were quick to get into a car and go back to the hotel. Nick leaned back in the leather seat undid the top button of his shirt. “That was so long,” he commented, stretching out a little. “This is why I never go to ceremonies. Just the receptions.”

“That, and you can drink at the reception,” Brittany reminded him.

“Yeah,” he laughed. “Someone should have a wedding ceremony with an open bar. If I ever got married, that’s what I’d do.”

“And all of your guests would be drunk and rowdy while you said your vows,” Brittany said, rolling her eyes a little.

“I’d have to be drunk to say any vows,” Nick said, giving her a serious look. “Fuck.”

Brittany shook her head, but smiled all the same. She wondered if marriage was something that Nick would ever change his mind about. Given that he was thirty-six years old, it seemed doubtful. “It really was a beautiful ceremony, though. Dani and Liam looked so happy.”

“I guess,” Nick shrugged.

“I suppose they’re going to do pictures now,” Brittany said with a smile, looking out the car window and ignoring Nick’s passive attitude. “I wonder if they’ll do any outside. Those pictures are going to be so nice. I can’t wait to see them.”

“I hate that part,” Nick said. “It’s so boring.”

Brittany laughed. “I guess. I’m sure if it was your own wedding it wouldn’t feel boring. I’ve never really been in a wedding party before though.”

“I was a groomsman a couple times…” he trailed off. “Lauren was in AJ and Rochelle’s wedding and I wasn’t, and I had to just stand around while they took a bunch of pictures. It was boring as fuck.”

“Have you ever been to a wedding that you enjoyed?” Brittany asked him, somewhat amused by his annoyance.

“No,” he said bluntly.

“Not even the other guys’ weddings?” she pressed.

Nick shrugged. “Brian’s wedding was the most elaborate money suck I’ve ever been to. Kevin’s was just boring… AJ’s was weird, but fun. Howie’s was pretty chill… actually Howie’s was pretty fun,” he said, looking as though he was deep in thought. “Actually, it’s kinda weird how the weddings represent the people who are in them.”

Brittany couldn’t help but burst out laughing at that last remark. “Oh my God, Nick,” she giggled. “You’re so bitter.”

“I’m not bitter,” he protested.

“You are,” she said with a nod. “You’re so bitter. But it’s okay, that’s why I like you,” she smiled, leaning over and kissing him on the cheek.

She’d done it without thinking, and when she pulled away, she looked at him a little awkwardly. But if Nick thought that it was weird, he didn’t say anything. Instead, he just gave her a half smile. “Aight,” he said, as the car stopped in front of the hotel. “Let’s go order a pizza.”

“We’re going to eat a huge dinner, Nick.”

“You really want to eat that fancy shit?” he asked, raising his eyebrow as they got out of the car.

Nick paid the driver, and though Brittany didn’t say anything, she took notice of it. Before they’d left, he’d told her in no uncertain terms that the condition for him joining her was that she had to pay for everything.

They made their way back up to Nick’s room. There were still a couple of hours to kill before they had to go downstairs for the reception, so they kicked their shoes off and flipped on the TV.

“So? Pizza?” Nick asked, picking up the phone. “I’m really hungry.”

Brittany shrugged. She had to admit, pizza did sound good, seeing as they’d skipped lunch. “Yeah, sure.”

She watched as Nick placed a room service order for a cheese pizza and smiled to herself. He was always so predictable. Especially when it came to his boring taste in pizza.

When he was done, he sat down beside her on the bed. The two of them relaxed for a bit, watching an old Seinfeld rerun that was on TV. “Excited for the reception?” Nick asked, after a little while.

“Oh yeah, totally,” she replied with sarcasm. “I don’t even know who we’re sitting with.”

“At least you know we won’t be sitting with your ex,” Nick reasoned, cocking his head to the side a little.

“Yeah,” Brittany muttered. “We could be sitting with the other one, though,” she said with a sigh. She was quite sure that Danielle probably had sat her with the rest of the members of the group – the only other people she knew at the wedding.

“You have another ex here?” Nick raised his eyebrows.

Brittany rolled her eyes. Yes, she did, and he was decidedly worse than Niall was. “Yeah. One of the other guys in the group.”

Nick snorted. “Wow Brittany. Way to go.”

“Yeah, it was dumb,” she said with a laugh. “Either way, you’re right, Niall will be sitting at the head table so it won’t be so bad.”

“You nervous about seeing him?” he asked seriously.

Yes, she really was. Especially now that they’d had their little moment in the church. She’d done such a good job of avoiding him over the past couple of years, and now she was finally going to have to talk to him. She had no idea what she would say, as the last real interaction she’d had with him was storming out of their shared hotel room.

Now more than ever, she was thankful she’d brought Nick along with her.

“Sort of,” she said, looking up at Nick. “But I’m glad you’ll be there with me.”

Nick took a deep breath. While she looked at him with sincerity, he was sure he saw something in her. They’d been flirting all day and she hadn’t backed away from his attempts at testing the waters. His hand shook a little as he placed it down on the bed and leaned over to face Brittany. “Brittany, I-” he began, but was rudely interrupted by a knocking at the door.

“Oh,” Brittany said, hopping off the bed. “That’s our pizza.”

Nick put his head in his hands and flopped down so that his head was in the pillow. He quickly sat up and forced a smile, but inside, he was screaming.

Whenever he was on the brink of spilling everything, something always interrupted them. He was beginning to think that he would never find the right time to tell her.

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