My Happy Ending – Chapter 25

“You’re amazing, Nick.” Ashleigh sighed as she snuggled up closer to him. “How did you get to be so good?” She asked.

Nick shook his head and put his arm around her, kissing the top of her head. “I’m not sure you want to know the answer to that.”

Ashleigh giggled. “It can’t have been that many girls.”

Nick attempted to get up from the bed, but Ashleigh quickly pulled him back down. “I don’t like where this conversation is headed.” He said with a hint of nervousness in his voice.

She pouted. “Nickers… just tell me.”

He looked away from her and started to fiddle with the disheveled sheets. “Um, I don’t think I can.” He said slowly. “But honestly, you’re the best that I’ve ever had.” He finished quickly, hugging her.

Ashleigh rolled her eyes, but laughed. “Can I ask you a question?”

Nick grimaced. He thought that he’d done a good job at avoiding the topic of past lovers before this. It was something he really didn’t want to talk about at all. He didn’t want Ashleigh to know much about his past in that regard, and he wasn’t sure he wanted to hear about hers. “Sure.” He replied cautiously.

“Was I good the first time we slept together?”

“Of course you were.” Nick said without missing a beat.

“Really? I was really nervous.” Ashleigh said slowly. She hadn’t even told Nick he’d been her first, in fact she’d led him to believe that she’d slept with her high school boyfriend. It hadn’t been to difficult, Nick had never really asked about her past relationships.

“Well, you were wonderful.” Nick assured her. He wasn’t lying either, there had been a reason he’d kept her around. “Did Kyle not think you were good or something?” Nick asked, referring to the guy she’d dated for a while in High School.

“Uh… no.” Ashleigh said uncomfortably. “I never… we never…”

Nick looked at Ashleigh, wondering what she could possibly try to be telling him. And then it hit him. Could she have been? No, that wasn’t possible. “Ashleigh? Was I your first?”

“Maybe.” She said timidly. Why had she even brought up the subject? Even now, almost ten years later she was embarrassed beyond belief.

But Nick just grinned and hugged her. “That’s adorable.”

Ashleigh pouted. “It’s not adorable. It’s embarrassing.”

Nick just shook his head. “It’s not embarrassing at all. I think it’s sweet.” He said, smiling and she held her head in her hands. “And I wasn’t lying before when I said you were the best.”

Ashleigh blushed, and couldn’t hide her grin. “I love you.” She said, peeking up at him.

“I know you do.” he grinned.

Ashleigh sighed as she sat at the dining room table. All afternoon, she’d been writing up wedding invitations ans she was starting to get rather bored. Nick had offered to help her but she’d declined, stating that she wanted people to actually be able to read the invitations.

She looked over the list she and Nick had compiled. Most of the guests were pretty obvious. The other guys, some of Nick’s friends, Ashleigh’s friends from Minneapolis, her mom and Grandparents, Nick’s siblings, his dad…

Ashleigh frowned. “Nick!” She called.

“What?” Nick answered, he had been in the kitchen preparing dinner.

“Can you come here?”

Nick walked into the dining room, wiping his hands off with a towel. “What’s up?”

“You’re not inviting your mom to the wedding?” She asked, pointing to the list.

“Oh.” Nick said, not really wanting to get into the specifics. “Nope.”

Ashleigh sighed. She’d never understood Nick’s issue with his mom. One day they were fine, the next minute he was swearing up and down that he’d never talk to her again. Ashleigh had never even met her, and Nick had never made any mention towards the fact that she would one day. “It’s your wedding Nick. You should invite her.”

“Are you going to invite your dad?” He snapped at her. Talking to his mom never ended well, especially since the whole House of Carters fiasco.

Ashleigh refused to lose her temper with him. “That’s a little different.” She said, sighing. “I’ve never even met him. You lived with your mom for twenty years.”

Nick crossed his arms an continued to stand across from her. “Technically, no. I was away in Europe for a huge part of my teenage years.”

Ashleigh rolled her eyes. Nick was being completely unreasonable. “Nick, how bad can she possibly be?”

Nick sighed and looked up at the ceiling, trying to find the words to explain to Ashleigh exactly why he couldn’t stomach the thought of his mother. “She doesn’t care about me. She cares about how much money I make, and give to her.”

“How do you know she doesn’t care?” Ashleigh asked softly, giving him a sympathetic look. She couldn’t quite imagine what Nick’s situation would be like. She’d grown up without her dad, but that had been fairly easy, as she hadn’t really known anything else.

Nick sat down at the table and started to look through the pile of invitations. “She didn’t call here at all to say she was sorry about James.”

“Maybe she didn’t know.”

Nick rolled his eyes. “Everyone in the world knows, Ash. Or do you not keep up with the message boards anymore?”

Ashleigh shook her head and continued to address yet another invitation. “You don’t need to be rude to me, Nick. I was just asking.”

“Well, I’d rather you didn’t.” Nick said bitterly, getting up from his seat and walking back into the kitchen. Leaving Ashleigh without any of the answers she’d wanted.

“How can you not think the topic of his mom would be a touchy subject?” Joey asked as the two girls talked on the phone later that night.

“I don’t know.” Ashleigh sighed. After thinking about it for a while, she’d felt a little guilty bringing up the whole thing. It had been obvious that Nick didn’t want to talk about it, and she’d kept pushing him. “I just thought it would be important for him to invite her!”

“Yeah, but at your wedding don’t you only want to invite people you love and who won’t start shit?” Joey asked. “Speaking of which, are you going to invite Kate?”

Ashleigh rubbed her eyes. As much as she enjoyed picking out patterns and flowers, she really was starting to tire of planning. She really just wanted the wedding to be over with. All she really wanted was to be married to Nick. “I don’t know. Maybe I’ll write on her invitation not to invite Matt.”

Joey snickered. “Or you could not do that, Matt could show up and you could totally rub it in his face.”

“Yeah, okay, because we’re sixteen years old.” Ashleigh said sarcastically, and then jumped back to the original topic. “Seriously though. I think I really upset Nick. I mean, he dropped it after a while and we had dinner normally… but still.”

“I’d say just to leave it, Ash.” Joey advised. “If he wants to talk about it, he’ll talk about it. Just let him invite who he wants to invite.”

Ashleigh couldn’t argue with that. It was as much Nick’s wedding as it was hers, he had a right to invite (or not invite) whoever he wished. “Yeah, you’re right. Thanks, Joe.”

“You know I’m always right.” Joey laughed. “Now, when are we going to go dress shopping?”

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