My Happy Ending – Chapter 14

Ashleigh carefully answered the phone, not wanting to sound too eager. “Hello…”

Nick breathed a sigh of relief; he had been starting to think that Ashleigh wouldn’t pick up. “Ash, I’m so so sorry…” He started, not really knowing what else to say. “I suck.”

Ashleigh rolled her eyes. This wasn’t what she wanted at all, she didn’t want to hear empty apologies and him begging for forgiveness. She wanted to know what he intended to do about his attitude. “Yeah you do.” She said. “Why are you calling me, Nick?”

Nick sighed once again. Ashleigh really wasn’t going to let him off easy. “I did a lot of thinking like you wanted me to… I’m sorry I acted like such a jerk. I really want you to move back to Florida.”

Ashleigh smiled a little, but she tried not to show it in her voice. “What did you think about?”

“I just… thought. I went to the baby store and stuff. I really want us to start planning baby stuff together.” He said, unsure of how to explain himself. He was still scared, but he felt strangely hopeful about their future. “Please come home Ash.” He said sincerely.

“Okay.” She agreed softly. She still felt a little annoyed with Nick, it had taken him quite a while to come to this realization. However, the point was he was now in the same place she was, or closer to it anyway. From here on, they could start to work on things and get things in order for the baby. “I’ll come back as soon as I can get a flight out.”

Nick beamed. He had half expected her to reject him. “I love you so much Ashleigh. Call me when you find out when you’ll be here.”

“I love you too, Nicky.” She replied, flashing Joey a grin. “I’ll call you as soon as I know what’s up.” She said, and flipped her phone closed.

“So, I take it all went well?” Joey asked, though judging by the look on Ashleigh’s face she really hadn’t needed to.

“He seems to feel better about the whole thing.” Ashleigh shrugged, walking over to the computer to check for flights back to Tampa. “He said he wants to go baby shopping and stuff.”

Joey nodded, wondering if Nick really was excited, or if he was once again just saying things to make Ashleigh feel better. “I really hope it works out for you guys.” She said.

“Me too.” Ashleigh replied. “I don’t think I can take any more drama.”

The next afternoon, Nick sat impatiently in the Airport terminal as he waited for Ashleigh’s flight to arrive. She had opted to fly out the next day instead so she had time to pack and get her things together. Nick would have preferred that she jumped on a plane as soon as possible, but he figured her coming home a day later was better than her not coming home at all.

As Ashleigh walked through the gate, Nick nearly tripped over himself running over to her. “I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you.” He said quickly, hugging her tightly. “Don’t ever leave me again.”

Ashleigh rolled her eyes, but couldn’t help but smile. “Nick, there are people taking pictures…” She said as she glanced over his shoulder.

“Let them.” He replied, kissing her. “Maybe there’ll finally be some good things said about us.”

She giggled a little and kissed him back. Nick certainly seemed to be more attentive than the last time she’d seem him. Though, that could just be chalked up to his excitement over the fact that she’d come home. She took his hand as they began to walk out to the parking lot.

“So, I trust that you and Joey had fun for the last couple of weeks?” Nick asked. He wasn’t sure he really wanted to know, but he figured he may as well start to make some sort of conversation.

Ashleigh shrugged. She hadn’t had that much fun. Joey had spent most of her time with Jared, and Ashleigh had just hung around the house. She hadn’t wanted to go out much, knowing that she would have to explain to her friends the entire story as that what had gone on with Nick. “Not really. She goes out with her boyfriend a lot.”

Nick just nodded, not really knowing what else to say. It seemed as though things were still a little awkward between them. “Did you want to go out for lunch?” He asked, once they were in the car.

Ashleigh gave him a strange look. “Are you trying to get us to be seen?” She asked sarcastically.

“Maybe.” Nick answered sheepishly. He figured if the press saw him and Ashleigh on good terms, they’d start to leave him alone. “But I’m actually hungry too. Let’s go to Chili’s.”

Ashleigh laughed. “I’ll never understand your fascination with Chili’s.” She said, staring out the window. Glancing around, she sighed to herself. As much as she loved Minneapolis, Tampa was starting to feel more and more like her home.

“They have an Awesome Blossom, Ashleigh.” Nick replied, as though it were obvious. “It’s awesome.”

Ashleigh made a face. “It’s a deep fried onion. It’s disgusting.”

Nick raised an eyebrow. “Okay, it’s obvious you’ve never had an Awesome Blossom.”

Ashleigh laughed at Nick’s attempt at sarcasm. “You know I’ve had one. You make me share one with you every time we go there.”

“And this time.” Nick said, as he pulled into the parking lot of the popular restaurant chain. “Is going to be no different.”

Once they were seated and had ordered their food (including an Awesome Blossom as an appetizer) Nick placed his hand on top of Ashleigh’s and grinned at her.

Ashleigh shifted in her seat. She still felt somewhat uncomfortable around Nick, though she supposed she was going to have to try and work on their relationship as well. It seemed as though he really had done quite a bit of thinking.

“I thought about baby names…” Nick said slowly, as he waited for Ashleigh’s response.

“Oh?” She asked, intrigued. “And what did you come up with?”

“Well I actually really liked James for a boy.” Nick started, pausing to give Ashleigh a moment to think about it. “And I also thought Katherine would be okay too, cause I don’t know, Katharine Dane sounds really cute…” Nick rambled, and Ashleigh just listened to him intently.

“Carter.” Ashleigh said, interrupting Nick’s babble.

“What?” Nick asked, thinking that Ashleigh was trying to get him to stop talking. “Sorry, I just got carried away.”

“No.” Ashleigh giggled. “I mean the baby’s last name, it’ll be Carter.”

Nick gave Ashleigh a confused look. “But your last name is Dane.” He said, referring to the fact that Ashleigh had the same last name as her mother.

“Yeah, I know. That was because my dad ran off before I was born. You’re still here.” She replied causally, shrugging her shoulders.

“I guess that makes sense.” Nick said. He really was beginning to feel quite a bit better about the whole situation. Having been apart from Ashleigh made him realize that he would rather be with her and deal with the pregnancy issue than not be with her at all. “I’m really glad you’re back, Ash.”

Ashleigh gave him a soft smile. She was happy too, wasn’t she? Nick had hurt her, but he had just been confused and scared. She didn’t think he was going to betray her trust again, at least she hoped he wouldn’t. “Me too.”


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