My Happy Ending – Chapter 10

A few weeks had passed since Ashleigh and Nick’s trip to Los Angeles. As Ashleigh started to get more and more excited about her pregnancy, Nick only grew more and more nervous. However, he hid it well. Every time Ashleigh mentioned anything about their child, Nick was always sure to smile and nod, to offer hugs and to grin with anticipation and false excitement.

It was now the middle of March, and winter was slowly coming to an end. Now that the snow was melting and it was starting to get warmer out, Ashleigh had no problem convincing Nick to take a short trip up to Minnesota. Seeing as Ashleigh wanted to start preparing their place for the baby, and Nick was going to start recording soon this was probably going to be their last chance to go before their baby was born.

“Ash!” Joey shrieked, upon spotting her and Nick walking through the terminal. Much to Nick’s pleasure, they would be staying at her place rather than Ashleigh’s mom’s. Staying there had made Nick just a little uncomfortable. It wasn’t that Ashleigh’s mom didn’t treat Nick well – far from it. Nick just felt as though he would rather stay in a place where he could freely kiss his girlfriend without feeling as though he was being watched.

Ashleigh grinned and ran towards her friend. The two girls quickly embraced each other in a hug, leaving Nick to stand around uncomfortably. He hated lingering in airports, the paparazzi always seemed to find him there. News that Ashleigh was pregnant hadn’t quite got out yet, and Nick intended on keeping it that way as long as possible.

“Ash…” Nick said, putting his hand on her shoulder as the two girls stood, laughing and gossiping.

Ashleigh turned around to look at Nick. She knew right away what he was thinking. “Yeah, okay. Shall we go somewhere for lunch?” She asked Joey.

Joey shook her head. “Let’s take your bags back to my place. I told some people that you were coming in for the week, and so a bunch of us are going out to dinner.” She said, with much excitement.

Ashleigh grinned. “That sounds awesome! Where are we going?”

The three of them continued to walk through the airport, Nick glancing around suspiciously. He always had the feeling he was being watching, and wasn’t particularly fond of that fact. Ashleigh and Joey continued to talk, not caring that they may end up in a magazine the following day.

“Manny’s.” Joey simply replied, causing Ashleigh’s jaw to drop and to throw her arms around her friend.

“You know me too well!” She exclaimed. “Who’s all going?”

Joey shrugged. “You know. The usual people from school, and Jared…” She said, trailing off.

“Who’s Jared?” Ashleigh pried.

Nick sighed as Joey gushed about her new boyfriend. What had possessed him to stay at Joey’s place again? He was starting to think that Ashleigh’s mom’s house might have been a better idea. “Can I stay back?” Nick asked, knowing that it was a futile attempt.

“Of course not! Don’t be silly.” Ashleigh replied as they stepped into Joey’s car. Nick rolled his eyes as he reluctantly sat in the back seat. This week was sure to be full of girly gossip and baby talk. He contemplated if it was too late to catch the plane on its way back to Tampa.

“I love you.” Nick muttered as he came up behind Ashleigh and began to kiss her softly.

“I love you too.” Ashleigh replied, however she was a bit distracted with getting ready for the dinner that night.

“Time for a quickie before we go?” Nick asked suggestively, winking at her.

“Not quite.” Ashleigh said, glancing at the clock on the bedside table of the guest room.

Nick pouted. “Come on. I have to put up with all your crazy friends tonight. I deserve something.”

Ashleigh gave him a quick peck on the lips before stepping out of the room. “You’ll get your reward after.”

Soon, the three of them were once again speeding down the highway in Joey’s car. It was at this time that Joey decided to drop the bomb on Ashleigh. She figured she should wait until they were in the car. This way, Ashleigh couldn’t cop out.

“There’s something you should know, Ash.” Joey said, biting her lip. Ashleigh was not going to be pleased at all.

“Oh?” Ashleigh replied, looking out the passenger seat window. She glanced behind herself at Nick, who wore an annoyed look on his face. She made a mental note to let him have the passenger seat on the way back.

“Kate’s boyfriend is coming.” Joey started.

“Yeah? So?” Ashleigh replied.

Joey drew in a breath, preparing herself for the inevitable screaming that would come from her friend. “Yeah…. she’s dating Matt.”

Much to Joey’s surprise, Ashleigh didn’t scream. She didn’t yell, she didn’t demand the car be turned around. Instead, she laughed.

Evidently, Nick was just as shocked as Joey was. “You’re not mad?” He asked in astonishment. Admittedly, he wasn’t too keen on spending the evening with Ashleigh’s ex, but it didn’t bother him too much. After all, he was the one that ended up with her.

Ashleigh shook her head. “Mad about what? That Kate is dating my ex, or that I have to see him?”

“Both?” Joey asked.

Ashleigh just shrugged. She really couldn’t care less, which didn’t surprise her in the least. She had never regretted her decision to break up with Matt, and she knew she was much happier with Nick than she ever would have been with him. As far as she was concerned, he was just another lame ex-boyfriend. “Not really. I don’t care what he thinks of me and it kind of seems like something Kate would do. She’ll learn eventually.”

Joey laughed. Dating their exes really was a habit that Kate had. They usually found it more amusing than hurtful. “That’s true.”

Ashleigh, Nick and Joey entered the restaurant and quickly found their table. They were the last ones to arrive, as per the usual. Ashleigh always liked to be late, finding it awkward to be the first person to arrive. “Hey guys.” She said, sliding down into a chair near the centre of the table.

Nick sat down beside her and couldn’t help but smirk to himself as Matt glared at him. It had been a year and a half and evidently, the guy was still holding a grudge. “Hey.” Nick said, nodding in Kate’s direction. This caused Matt to protectively put his arm around her, once again providing amusement for Nick.

“Ash, this is Jared.” Joey said as she sat down beside her new boyfriend. Ashleigh nodded a small smile in his direction. Admittedly, she was a little jealous of Joey. She always seemed to have relationships that lacked drama. Quite unlike those of Ashleigh’s.

“So, you’re pregnant?” Kate asked, grinning at Ashleigh. “Have you started thinking of names yet?”

Ashleigh and Nick exchanged a little bit of a glance. They hadn’t thought of names at all. In fact, Ashleigh wasn’t sure how she could have forgotten about such a detail. “Uh, no, we haven’t.”

Kate stared at Ashleigh wide-eyed. “Really? I have my children’s names picked out already!”

Ashleigh stifled a giggle, and watched as Matt shifted uncomfortably in his seat. Children had always been an uncomfortable subject for him, and Ashleigh decided to take this opportunity to make things uneasy for him. “Oh? What are they?”

Kate grinned. “Ross for a boy, and Rachel for a girl.”

Nick nearly spit out the water that he was drinking, and he could tell that Ashleigh was equally as amused. Perhaps this dinner wasn’t going to go so badly after all. He got to laugh inwardly at Matt’s awkwardness, and later he’d get to make fun of Kate’s ridiculous baby names.

However Ashleigh was one step ahead of Nick. “Actually, that’s a good idea!” She exclaimed. “I should name my kids Chandler and Monica!” She said, her voice dripping with fake enthusiasm.

Nick gave Ashleigh a glare, he couldn’t tell if she was joking or not. “Kids? I thought we were only having one!”

However, Kate and Ashleigh ignored Nick. “And Joey should name her kids… hm, well I guess she can’t really name her kids Joey and Pheobe.” She said, after thinking for a moment.

Joey stuck her tongue out at Ashleigh, upon hearing that piece of their conversation. She knew that Ashleigh was just making fun of Kate, and hated the fact that she had to be a part of it.

Ashleigh giggled, and gave Nick a quick smile. He sighed to himself. It was now evident that she was only joking. However, the seed had been planted in Nick’s mind. Would Ashleigh eventually want more children? He didn’t think he could stomach that thought, one was enough for the time being. He took another sip of his water and quickly ordered something harder to drink. He definitely just wanted to make sure he could get through this first child before thinking any further ahead.

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