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Why Are We Still Friends?

By Rachel

Copyright 2014


Chapter 4

Shopping with Bella and the kids was exhausting. I thought my brother could shop, but she beat him ten times over. We stopped at Petite Pastries for a snack. The kids were eating cupcakes and looking at the books I had bought them. Bella and I sat drinking coffee and eating the most delicious cupcakes.

“Lexi can I ask you a question?”  My sister-in-law asked casually.

Usually when someone asked you that; it wasn’t a good thing. I was a little apprehensive. “Okay.” I pushed my hair behind my ear.

“What’s going on with Nick?” She said softly.

“What do you mean?” I asked back in confusion. I had to pretend to be clueless. There was no way I wanted anyone to know I was in love with Nick, well except Nick.

She started wiping the frosting off of Ian’s face. “I’m just getting a vibe from you that you like Nick as more than friends.”

“Me….like Nick in that way?” I started to laugh. “He’s my best friend. It would be weird thinking of him in that way.”

Bella gave me a look like she didn’t believe me. Was I that transparent when it came to Nick? I thought I was doing a great job at hiding my feelings for him. If Bella could see it, who else could?

“Lexi, you can trust me. I’m not going to share you secrets with anyone.”  I stared at her. “I’ll share a secret with you.”

I nodded as I sipped my coffee. I was glad to have something that kept me busy. I wasn’t one for keeping secrets, well except my own.

“Your brother wasn’t the first Backstreet Boy of my dreams.”


“AJ and I were nothing alike when we first met. We still aren’t. I was a secretary at the recording studio where they were recording Black and Blue. All the guys were nice, but my attention was on Kevin.”

“Really, Kevin?” I laughed, picturing Bella and Kevin together.

“Yes.” Bella looked embarrassed. “Kevin had everything I thought I wanted in a man. Your brother was hot, but so not my type.”

“So how did you end up with my brother? I’ve asked him a million times, and he wouldn’t  tell me.”

Bella thought for moment before she spoke. I was excited to find out the big secret my brother was hiding. “This is the most humiliating story. One day at the studio, I had to use the bathroom. I wasn’t paying attention and just opened the door. Your brother was in the middle of taking a piss. I was mortified.”

“I can just imagine. What did AJ do?” My curiosity got the best of me.

“When he walked out I was leaning against the wall with my eyes shut. I was mortified knowing I saw a client’s penis. I figured your brother would say something and I’d get fired.”

“I’m guessing that didn’t happen.” I beamed. AJ and Bella was a beautiful couple.

“Nope. The next thing I feel is a pair of smooth lips on mine. I opened my eyes and stared into your brother’s brown ones. It was a simple kiss, but it did me in.”

“That’s sweet and romantic. I can’t believe you fell for him because of his penis.” I whispered, not wanting to draw attention to our conversation.

“It wasn’t because of that.” She tsked at me. “That kiss was like nothing I ever experienced. I ended up inviting him  to my place for dinner.”

“I’m sure that’s all you did.”  I giggled. I loved spending time with my sister-in-law. We always had fun, but this was the first time we were sharing secrets.

“Well we never did eat dinner that night. Alex and I didn’t make it past the living room.” Bella smiled at the memory.

I was grossed out. “Spare me the details of your sex life. I don’t want to picture my brother naked, doing that.”

“Geesh, everyone has sex.” She laughed and took the last bite of her cupcake.

“It’s been a while for me.” I coughed out.

“Lexi, why don’t you have boyfriend? You’re young and should have a hot sex life.”

I looked at Bella. I decided to trust her and tell the truth. I could feel a sense of relief run through my body. It would be nice to have someone to talk about this with. “I’m in love with Nick.” I whispered.

“Lexi, so why aren’t the two of you dating? You make a cute pair.”

“I don’t think he sees me in that way. I’m not a woman; I’m just his best friend.” I played with my spoon.

“Have you ever tried to show him that you could be the woman of his dreams?”

Damn Bella was right, I hadn’t done anything to make Nick notice me. He would always think we were just best friends instead of taking our friendship to the next level. “No. Bella, I don’t know what to do to get him to notice me in that way.”

“That’s the first thing we need to do is get him realize you’re a beautiful woman that deserves to be loved. Hold on.” She picked up her phone and started talking.

I thought about it, and didn’t think there was much I could do except just jump him. He’s seen me in all different clothing from barely there bikinis to beautiful gowns. I could flirt with him, but I was horrible at flirting. I just wasn’t Nick’s type.

“Lexi, you want to go out tonight. The guys want to go to dinner and then dancing tonight.” Bella asked.

“Who’s going to watch the kids?”

“Your mom.”

“I can watch them since we’re closer to my house.”  I suggested. It wasn’t that I didn’t like hanging out with everyone. I just wasn’t the type to go out in big crowds. I preferred staying at home, cooking dinner, and watching movies. I was such a wallflower.

“You’re not getting out of this. You are going out tonight, and you are going to get Nick to notice you. Let’s go find you a new outfit for tonight.”


As soon as we got back to the McLean house, Bella made it her mission to make me over. I wasn’t sure this was a good idea, but I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. She curled my hair and did my makeup. When I looked in the mirror I didn’t recognize myself.

“You’re going to knock him dead tonight.” Bella announced as I put my red spaghetti strapped animal print dress on.

Before I could answer, I heard a low whistle. I turned around and saw my brother standing in the doorway. “Where is my sister?”

I blushed. “Shut up, Alex. I’m right here.” Bella handed me my black stilettos and I started putting them on.

“Damn, girl you look beautiful. You’re going to be dancing all night. All the guys at the club will be fighting for a dance with you.”

“I seriously doubt it.” I only wanted to dance with one man. The thing was I didn’t want it to be on the dance floor. A little mattress dancing with Nick and my life would be complete.

My brother chose to ignore my comment. He started kissing his wife. I wanted to have a relationship like they did. I gave them some privacy and made my way downstairs.

“Oh, wow! You…you…you look…um absolutely stunning, Lexi.” Brian stuttered, but managed to get out the words.

“Thanks, Brian.” I wasn’t sure he meant it, since he could barely get the words out.

Brian abruptly sat down. He looked flustered. “Are you okay, Bri?  You seem a little agitated.”

“I’m fine Lex. It’s just a little hot in here.” He fanned himself with a magazine. Brian was acting weird, but I chose to ignore it.

“So you two ready to head out?” AJ smiled at us.

“Yes, are we all riding together?” I grabbed my purse.

“Why don’t you and Brian ride together? I need to drop something off at mom’s. No need for us all to be late.”

I noticed Bella giving AJ a strange look. This whole night was beginning to get weird. Maybe because I was nervous, I noticed things that weren’t normal.

“Sounds good. Let’s go Lexi. We’ll see you at the restaurant.”

Brian was a gentleman as always. He held the door open for me when I got in the car. The drive to the restaurant was quiet. Neither of us was talking.

“Is everything okay, Brian? You’re so quiet tonight.”  I asked as I watched him drive. Usually he talked nonstop to me.

“I’m fine. Just have some things on my mind.” His hand moved to my shoulder and he gave it a friendly squeeze.

“Does it have to do with Anna?”

“Yes and no.” He pulled into the restaurant. “I know that I should be happy Annalise is back, but I’m not. It’s hard seeing her again after all these years.”

“Give it time. It’s okay to feel that way you do. Do you want to make amends with her?” The falling out between Brian and Anna was rough. I knew it would be hard for them to reconcile. I hoped they would come together and resolve their issues.

“Lex, I know I should, but right now I don’t want anything to do with her. It’s like the cut has been reopened and the blood is draining out of me.”

I took Brian’s hand and gave it a squeeze. “Just give it time.” I whispered.

“Enough with the depressing talk. Let’s go have some fun. Remember you owe me a dance before all those other guys sweep you off your feet.” He teased.

“You can have the first one.” I giggled.