- Text Size +


Chapter 35

            After the show, Dottie and Nick slowly make their way to their car. Nick has his arm around her and he says, "You look so beautiful tonight, Dottie."

            She smiles up at him and says, "I was hoping you'd like this dress."

            He says, "Like it? Baby you're drop dead gorgeous in it. And I can't wait to get you home and get you out of it."

            She blushes all the while pushing herself closer to him and says, "I love how that sounds." Nick helps her into the car and climbs in behind her. She turns to him and says, "Nick, tonight was incredible. I don't think you'll ever know how much it meant to me."

            He leans closer and captures her lips for a quick, sexy kiss. He pulls back and says, "Baby, you deserved that and more. We kept trying to find a way to tell you how much you mean to all of us. What you did..."

            She stops him and says, "What I did I had to do, Nick. I could never get past what happened until I faced it. None of you deserved what was happening to you and I was the only one that could fix it."

            He says, "No. No, Dottie, you didn't have to do it. We could have worked it out. What you did was the most selfless thing anyone has ever done for us as a group. It's always been about what we can do for people. You've never been that type of person. It's one of the things I love most about you. You care more for others than you do yourself."

            She snuggles against him and buries her face in his neck. He holds her close and lets her cry, knowing she's overwhelmed by it all. When she pulls back, she says, "Nick, I love you all so much. You're my family. Anyone that hurts you, hurts me. I just...I guess I knew you all love me but tonight blew me away."

            He smiles and says, "It was supposed to. And it's just the beginning. This weekend is going to be all about you, D. I promise, before it's over, you'll know exactly what you mean to me."

            She spends the rest of the ride trying to find out what he has planned. He just laughs and says, "You'll see." When they pull up to his house, he steps out and reaches for her hand. When she's standing by his side, he says, "Welcome home, Baby."

            Even in the dark, she can see the house is very contemporary. It suits Nick. He leads her to the front door and she says, "This is so beautiful Nick."

            He opens the door and lets her go in first. Once inside, the amount of open space is amazing to Dottie. She says, "Nick this is simply gorgeous."

            Putting his arms around her, he says, "Now that you're here, it's perfect."

            She turns in his arms and says, "I'm so glad to be back where I belong."

            He lowers his lips to hers and gives her the sweetest, gentlest kiss she's ever felt. When Nick pulls back, he says, "You do belong here, D." He takes her hand and pulls her to the sofa, having her sit. He gets on his knees in front of her and frames her face in his hands. He says, "What happened in Florida?"

            She covers one of his hands with hers and says, "When I went to the house, I just let it all go. I couldn't do that with you because I didn't want you to watch me fall apart." Tears fill his eyes and she wipes them away as they fall. She says, "Nick, you have been my world for a long time. The first time you took me out to dinner I fell for you. When everything happened with Jake, I was so mad.  I wanted to hate all of you for everything, but I couldn't. That's why it was so hard. I loved you more than anything and I felt as if you and the rest of the guys didn't believe in me anymore. I was...I was devastated."

            His tears fall faster and he whispers, "D, I am so sorry. We always believed in you, I swear we did."

            She pulls his head to her shoulder and cries with him. She says, "I know that Nick. I knew it then. This week I finally...I finally purged the bad feelings and the bad memories. Even before tonight, I knew it was gone forever, but what you did...all of you...Nick, that meant so much to me."

            He pulls back and says, "I knew it would, D. Before you left, we all knew how fragile you were. We wanted you to know we're here for you. I wanted you to know I'll love you forever...in fact..."

            He smiles at her and she says, "What?"

            He says, "No, first finish your story. What happened after you fell apart? You said you were writing?"

            She smiles at him and says, "Yeah. I used to keep a journal all the time. I stopped while I was in prison. When I got to the house, I just figured it was time. I sat down and put everything I was thinking and feeling onto paper. Every little feeling, every wish, every dream I have ever had."

            He sits back on his heels as she slides off the couch in front of him and puts her arms around his neck. He holds her close and asks her, "Are you going to share with me?"

            She smiles at him timidly and says, "I want you to know, Nick. You need to know."

            He says, "Why?"

            She says, "Because, for a long time now, every wish I have ever had has been for you. I've wanted you to be happy, healthy and, selfishly, I wanted you to love me as much as I love you."

            He falls back on the floor, pulling her with him before rolling her over onto her back and pressing his body onto hers. He whispers, "D, I love you with every part of me. I've loved you for so long. I made up excuses to take you out for business dinners just so I could be with you. Even when you helped me find the house, I only wanted it so I could spend time with you. You meant everything to me and you still do."

            She smiles at him and slides her fingers into his hair. She whispers, "I wanted you then, Nick. I always fantasized about you coming into my office and taking off my clothes and making love to me until we couldn't move. I wanted to be with you so badly, I ached. The first time...Nick I've never felt anything like that in my life and I feel it every time we're together."

            He leans down and nibbles on her lips before deepening the kiss. Just as she's getting to the point of no return, he pulls back and whispers, "Dottie, can I ask you something?"

            She searches his eyes and whispers, "Of course you can. Anything."

            He smiles and sits up, pulling her with him. He reaches into his pocket as he says, "I love you. You're my angel. D, will you marry me?" He opens his palm and lying in the center of it is a diamond ring. Her lip starts to quiver and tears fall from her eyes. She looks up as Nick wipes the tears away. When her eyes meet his, he says, "I love you. Please, say yes."

            She cups his face and sobs, "Yes, oh YES Nick!"

            He pulls her into his arms and squeezes her tightly. Pressing his face into her hair, he whispers, "My God, Baby, I love you."

            Pressing her nose to his neck and hiccupping through the sobs, she gasps, "I love you too."

            He pulls away long enough to lift her hand and slide the ring onto her finger. Her hands shake as she stares at it. When she looks back to Nick, he whispers, "I promise, D."

            Knowing what he means, her heart overflows with love. She whispers, "I promise Nick."

            Their lips meet and they sink back onto the floor. Their promises were simple promises of love. Nothing more and nothing less. Yet to them, those promises are the start of their lives together. And nothing would ever come between them again.



Chapter End Notes:

PLEASE let us know! :)