My Happy Ending – Chapter 24

It didn’t take long for Ashleigh and Nick to spread the news of their engagement to everyone that they knew. Ashleigh’s mom was of course beyond excited, and insisted that she throw and engagement party for the two of them. As such, Ashleigh and Nick had hopped on a plane to Minneapolis to visit everyone and attend said engagement party.

Most people had been able to make it. Naturally, all of Ashleigh’s friends were there as well as the other Backstreet Boys and their wives. Aaron had also managed to be there. This made for Ashleigh’s mom’s house to be quite crowded.

“How surreal is this?” Kate asked, walking into the kitchen where Ashleigh and Joey were helping her mom prepare some snacks. “Ash, did you honestly ever think that all five Backstreet Boys and Aaron Carter were going to be in your house?” She gushed.

Ashleigh laughed a little. “Nick’s been here before.”

“I know, but all of them? God, should I go over there and introduce myself?” She asked, leaning over the table where Ashleigh was sitting.

“Go ahead.” She said. “But don’t ask them to sign anything!” She called after Kate, who quickly scampered off.

Joey snickered once Kat was out of the room. “My God. You’d think she was still fifteen.”

“I know.” Ashleigh laughed.

Ashleigh’s mom rolled her eyes and per her arm around her daughter. “I seem to recall someone else who was once like that.”

Ashleigh cringed and glanced at Joey, who only laughed. “She has a point, you know.”

At that moment, Nick came walking into the kitchen with an annoyed look on his face. “Ashleigh, Kate is taking pictures with Howie and AJ.” He said with a sigh. “Oh, what’s that?” He asked, as he looked down at what Joey was arranging on one of the plates.

Joey smacked Nick’s hand away just as he was about to pick at the food. “They’re jalapeño poppers.” She said. “And you can wait until we put them out for everyone.” She added, giving him a look.

Nick pouted and attempted to take another one off the plate. This time, Joey didn’t smack his hand away, she only shook her head.

“If you eat that, I’m not kissing you for the rest of the night.” Ashleigh said, wrinkling her nose.

Nick grinned and her and popped the snack into his mouth, promptly pulling her closer to him by the waist. He moved into kiss her, and Ashleigh struggled to break free of his grasp, giggling all the while.

“Look, I’m glad that you guys are all happily in love, but if you’re going to fool around can you please do it outside of the kitchen?” Joey asked them, they they were hardly paying attention to her.

Eventually, they got the hint and moved out of the kitchen and back into the living room. Sitting down on one of the couches, Ashleigh and Nick briefly surveyed the room. There were quite a few people in attendance, something that made both of them quite happy.

“I can’t believe that Kate brought him here.” Nick whispered in Ashleigh’s ear motioning to Matt, who was sitting on the couch across the room, looking rather dejected.

Ashleigh shook her head and laughed a little. “That’s what Kate does.” She said.

Evidently Matt realized that Ashleigh and nick were talking about him, because he quickly made his way over to where they were sitting. This caused Nick to protectively put his arm around his fiancée, and for Ashleigh to roll her eyes.

“Congratulations, Ashleigh.” He said stiffly, holding out his hand for her to shake.

“Thanks.” Ashleigh replied awkwardly, responding to his hand shake.

He looked behind himself and watched as Kate talked with AJ and Rachel. “Yeah… well…” He said, as he walked towards Kate.

Ashleigh and Nick glanced and each other and laughed a little. “Well, that was beyond weird.” She said, shuddering. “Hey, wouldn’t it be hilarious if AJ hooked up with Kate?”

Nick shook his head. “AJ’s married to Rachel.” He pointed out.

“Yeah, I know. I mean if he wasn’t, you have to admit, it would be funny.” Ashleigh giggled, giving Nick a quick kiss on the cheek.

A few minutes later, Brian and Leighanne made their way over to Ashleigh and Nick to offer their congratulations. Of course, they’d already known that Nick was going to propose on account of his conversation with Brian, but they were still excited to hear the news.

“So have you guys decided on a date yet?” Leighanne asked, and Ashleigh and Nick gave each other a look.

“I have no idea.” Ashleigh laughed. “I don’t even know where we’re going to have the wedding.” She said.

“Well, if Nick gets his way you guys will be having it out on the ocean.” Brian laughed, and Nick grinned at Ashleigh.

Ashleigh pretended to think about that for a moment. “Well, I don’t know. I was sort of hoping we could have a winter wedding, and for the reception we could go ice skating.” She joked, knowing that Nick was hardly a fan of Minnesota winters.

Leighanne laughed. “That actually sounds like it might be fun.”

Nick just shook his head in dismay. “Don’t get too used to the idea.”

Once Ashleigh and Nick arrived back home, the enormity of the fact that they actually had to start planning a wedding hit them. There was still quite a bit to do, and not a lot of time to do it in with Nick setting off to Sweden to record for a little while. However this time, Ashleigh would be joining him on his trip.

“Nick.” Ashleigh said, as she sat in the living room looking at a calendar. “We need to pick a date to have the wedding.”

Nick sat down beside her on the couch. “Sure. How soon do you want to do this?”

Ashleigh bit her lip as she stared down at the dates in front of her. “I don’t know. It’s going to take a long time to plan… and we’re going away. Maybe like a year from now?”

Nick nodded. “That sounds good. What about September sixth?” He asked, referring to the date that they officially became a couple two years prior.

Ashleigh shook her head. “No… I don’t like that. It’s kind of cheesy. We should go with something a little more subtle.”

Nick thought about that for a moment, and suddenly he got an idea. “Hey… do you still have that ticket stub?”

Ashleigh looked at him in confusion. What was he talking about? “Ticket stub?” She asked.

“Yeah, from when you and Joey saw us in concert. We should get married on that day.” Nick explained. It seemed logical to him, it was the day that they’d met each other once again.

“Why do you need the ticket stub?” Ashleigh asked him, wondering why he’d needed that. “That was August 23rd.”

Nick stared at her in amazement. “You have a freakishly good memory.”

Ashleigh giggled. “Obviously I would remember that day.” She said, swinging her legs up over Nick’s lap. “But that’s a really good idea. I like that a lot.” She agreed, flipping to the date on the calendar and putting a big circle around it.

“I can’t believe this is actually happening.” Nick said, as he stared down at August 23rd, which was now marked with a large blue circle. “I was starting to think it never would.”

She smiled at him. “We were tested a lot this year weren’t we?”

“But we passed.” Nick said, inching his face closer to hers.

“Mhmmm.” Ashleigh agreed, kissing him softly and wrapping her arms around his neck. She’d never felt as excited and impatient for anything as she did about their upcoming wedding.

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