My Happy Ending – Chapter 4

Ashleigh sat silently in the bedroom for about an hour before going to talk to Nick. They’d had a nice afternoon with Howie and Leigh, and she didn’t want to ruin his good mood. However, she knew it had to be done sooner than later. So, she’d gathered all her courage and approached him when he was sitting in the den.

“Nick…” She started, walking up to him. She had no idea what she was going to say.

“Hey.” He said with a smile on his face. It broke her heart, this definitely would have been easier if he wouldn’t look so cheerful all the time.

She sat down beside him and sighed. “We need to talk.” She cringed when she heard herself speak those words. She hated it when conversations started off that way.

Nick gave her a strange look. He didn’t have the faintest idea what could be on her mind. “Okay.” He said, putting down his book and turning to face her. “What’s up?”

She took a deep breath and prayed he wouldn’t be too upset. Maybe he would understand. “I love you…so much.” She assured him, and herself.

“I love you too.” He replied, still not knowing what she was getting at.

“Promise you’ll remember that when I tell you this?” She asked him. This was almost unbearable.

Nick searched her face for any indication of what she might be talking about. He looked at her, watching him. She looked as though she had something important to say. The only thing he could think of was. “You’re pregnant?” He asked her, sounding terrified.

“What?” Ashleigh said, startled. She hadn’t expected him to jump to conclusions like that. “No, Nick.”

Nick let out a sigh of relief. As happy as he was with Ashleigh, having a child was not his top priority at the moment. “Then what is it?”

“This engagement thing.” She started, still not really knowing what she was going to say. “Don’t you think it’s a bit too soon?”

Nick studied her for a second. He didn’t think it was too soon at all. They’d managed to keep a good relationship for the past year, even though they lived on opposite ends of the country. “Of course not.”

She bit her lip, though she knew that was the answer she was going to get from him. “I sorta do.”

Nick looked as though someone had killed his dog. Ashleigh didn’t want to marry him? “What? Why? I thought everything was fine…”

Ashleigh internally kicked herself. She felt as though she was being extremely insensitive. Watching him get upset wasn’t helping the situation, in fact she would have preferred it if he would have gotten angry. “It’s just that we’ve only been together for a year. I don’t think that’s enough time to determine if our relationship can last.” She said simply.

“But you said yes! Why are you suddenly changing your mind?”

Asheligh gritted her teeth. She hadn’t said yes, and her decision wasn’t sudden. “I never said yes, Nick.” She said calmly. “I told you I loved you, and you took that as yes.”

“Wouldn’t you have taken that as a yes?” Nick questioned her. He still didn’t understand where all this was coming from.

“No, Nick, I wouldn’t have! But what was I supposed to say?” She asked him, starting to get upset. The fact that Nick was sitting there looking heartbroken and dejected was not making this easy. Part of her wanted him to get angry, so at least she’d feel a little better. “Everyone was standing there watching us. It was embarrassing. I had no idea you were going to do that, I’m not even remotely ready to get married yet!”

Nick sighed. He’d thought that proposing to her with everyone there would have been romantic and exciting. All he’d wanted was to show everyone how much he really loved her. Evidently, she didn’t feel the same way. “You were engaged before.” Nick pointed out, choosing not to argue his opinion on his method of proposal.

Somehow Ashleigh knew he was going to bring that up. “Matt and I were together for three years before we even considered it.” She said, rolling her eyes. He was the last person she wanted to talk about. “Besides, you saw how that turned out. I still had feelings for you, Nick. After eight fucking years. Do you really think it was a good idea for me to get married when I was pining over some other guy?”

“So?” Nick shouted. Her argument wasn’t making any sense to him. He knew she and Matt hadn’t gotten along from the start. “Who cares about that? If you had those feelings for so long, isn’t it safe to say that they won’t change? You don’t have to worry about Nick Carter coming and messing things up because I’m him!”

Ashleigh laughed a little at that. “Feelings aren’t the only important thing in a relationship, Nick. You need to make sure you are compatible. That you agree on major life issues…” She trailed off. This entire conversation was getting derailed. The fact that Nick was getting angry wasn’t helping like she thought it would have. It only made her feel worse. Ten minutes ago he’d been so happy, and then she ruined it. She wished she could have wanted to marry him too.

“So let’s talk about major life issues!” Nick said, feeling exasperated. He had thought they were both in tune with each other, now he wasn’t sure. He felt like he was losing her.

“That’s not what I meant.” Ashleigh said, also feeling exasperated. This was definitely not going well. Why couldn’t he understand how rash he was being? “Can we just cool it on the marriage talk for a while?”

“So you want to break up.” Nick said angrily. He was grasping for straws at this point, saying anything he could to get her to reconsider.

“No! I want us to be together.” Ashleigh replied, putting her head in her hands. “I just don’t think we’re at the point where we can make a commitment to each other like that.”

“Why not?! Do you think I’m not capable of being faithful?” He asked, still standing in front of her, while she sat on the couch, fuming. “Because let me tell you Ashleigh, out of the two of us I’m not the one who has a history of cheating on their fiancées.”

Ashleigh turned her head sharply to face him. She couldn’t believe he had gone there. Especially when she’d cheated with him. Furthermore, he almost looked pleased with himself for saying something so hurtful. “You don’t get to do that.” She said angrily, standing up and moving towards the stairs. “You do not get to try and use that to guilt me into changing my mind. Goodbye, Nick.” She said before walking upstairs and leaving the house.

Not that she knew where she was going to go. She’d grabbed her purse before leaving, and started walking around the block. Digging through her things, she found her iPod and started looking through the songs. Music usually helped to calm her down, however she couldn’t find anything that would make her feel better. Sighing, she walked in silence.

Nick , on the other hand continued to sit the basement. He was shocked that she’d actually left. He simply couldn’t understand where she was coming from. Did she think that they had some underlying issues that hadn’t been discovered yet? Was she suddenly going to stop loving him?

That thought terrified him. She was one of the only people in his life that had ever given him a second chance. He’d treated her like dirt, and yet years later she’d been able to see past that. At times, he felt like she was the only one who understood him. Sure, he had the other boys but they all had their own families now. Nick was the only one who hadn’t yet settled down. Before, he’d blamed that on simply not finding the right girl.

Now he had, and she didn’t want to be with him. Not in the sense he wanted her to be, anyway. Nick wondered what the point of them even staying together after this. Why did she even want to stay with him if there was no room for their relationship to progress? She was so pessimistic about their relationship. Everything had been fine, perfect even. Who was to say that was going to change?

Of course it was going to change now, but that was because Ashleigh had declined him. Now things were going to be awkward between them, and Nick wasn’t sure they’d be able to get past it. That he would be able to get past it. He felt ridiculous. He’d proposed in front of everyone, and now he was going to have to tell them all that the wedding was off. That she didn’t want to go through with it.

Nick sighed. The others would probably think that he’d failed miserably yet again. Either that or they would begin to dislike Ashleigh, which he didn’t want either. Not that it mattered, Nick wasn’t exactly sure their relationship could survive a test such as this one. Which made him wonder, maybe he hadn’t been so right about proposing to her. If she couldn’t understand his desire to be with her, was she really the right girl?

He loved her with all his heart, and it seemed to him as though she didn’t care at all.

His thoughts were interrupted by the ringing of the phone. “Hello?” He answered irritably.

“Hey Nick.” Came Brian’s cheerful voice. Nick rolled his eyes, he hardly wanted to talk to him. “How’s it going?”

“Fine.” Nick said coldly. He wasn’t exactly in the mood to discuss the matter.

Brian didn’t let Nick’s tone put him off. “How’s Ashleigh?”

“Fine.” Nick replied, feeling himself get angry all over again at the mention of her name.

“I kind of wanted to talk to you about her…” Brian started, not exactly sure what to say. “You guys kind of had a weird relationship before, I just wanted to make sure you knew what you were getting into. Marriage is a big commitment-”

“You think I don’t know that?” Nick cut him off. Brian’s attitude was really starting to grate on his nerves. Nick wasn’t a child anymore, he hated being treated as though he didn’t know anything. “Anyway it doesn’t matter. She said she didn’t want to marry me.”

“What?” Brian asked, confused. That surprised him, he would have figured she’d jump at the chance to be Mrs. OhMyGodNickCarter!

“She said we weren’t ready.” Nick said sadly. He felt like such a failure explaining this. Especially to someone like Brian.

“I’m sorry Nicky. Maybe she’s right though. You guys haven’t been together that long.” Brian said, feeling a little better about the Ashleigh situation, even though Nick sounded quite upset. The fact that Ashleigh had been the one to tell Nick it wasn’t the best idea told him that perhaps she had grown up a little.

“I guess.” Nick muttered, still irritated and still not really wanting to talk about it. “We had a pretty big fight and she ran off. I should probably try to go find her.” He said, feeling a little guilty.

“Okay, Nick. I hope things work out for you guys.” Brian replied before hanging up.

Nick rubbed his forehead as he walked upstairs. He didn’t exactly feel like going to find Ashleigh. Instead, he went into his bedroom and sulked unable to shake the feeling of resentment he had towards his girlfriend.

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