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Story Notes:
This is the final story in the Emma and Nick trilogy, let me know what you think!!
“How’s Addie doing?” Nick asked his brother as he drove to the airport.

He was catching a flight to Boston because Howie and his wife were getting ready to have their baby and all the guys were converging to see the newest Backstreet baby.

“She’s pregnant.” Howie replied with a laugh. “We’re both excited about the baby but she really wants to be done with being pregnant.”

Nick smiled and took the exit for the highway. He had a flight that would get him there by dinner and he planned to check in to the hotel before going to the hospital. Normally, he would have stayed at the beach house whenever he came out but, since he sold it a year ago, he either stayed at a hotel or with Howie and Addie. With the baby coming, he wanted to be out of their hair so he decided on the former this time around.

Howie could tell what was going through his brother’s mind as if they were connected. He knew how much Nick hated selling the house but he needed a new start and that could only happen if he cut the cord to something that just brought back memories that weren’t helping. The last breakup with Emma really stung and its aftermath had lasted for quite a while. Nick had gotten back together with Lauren after she broke up with her fianc but, within the year, they knew that they were better friends than a couple and split again for the last time.

The one concern that Howie had when asking his brother to be there was that Emma, who was for all intents and purposes Addie’s sister, would be there too. He had seen Emma a few times since the breakup but he was upset with what happened and how she left his brother with a broken heart. Hoping that he could keep them as separate as he could, he had planned a different day for Nick to come in.

“Ok Dorough, get off the phone and let me catch my flight.”

“How can you manage to cram all that stuff into such a small bag?”

“Genius folding techniques.”

Emma smiled as she watched her roommate Michael pack his suitcase. She had just gotten hers closed and she was waiting for him to finish so they could go to dinner.

“How long are you going to be gone again?” Michael asked as he finally finished zipping up his bag.

“Addie wants me to stay for a couple of weeks and since school’s out for the summer, I think I can stay.”

“You’re definitely coming back after that?”

Emma nodded. “I don’t have enough money to stay in a hotel much longer than that. Plus…”

Michael sat down on the bed next to her and put his hand on hers. He knew this trip north was going to be difficult for her. She had told him everything that had happened with Nick and the whole fiasco at the end. Even though she tried hard to hide it, he knew that deep down, she still had feelings for him.

“I wish I could go with you.”

“I know.” Emma said and squeezed his hand. “But you have things to take care of. Besides, it’ll only be a couple of weeks.”

“Good.” he said and kissed her forehead. “I don’t know what I’m going to do with all my free time.”

She chuckled as she stood up. “I’m going to change and then we can head out to dinner.”

Michael sighed as he watched her head to the bathroom to change. He knew that she was thrilled to be with her friend during this important time but he was worried about how she would deal with all the rest. He’d met Howie twice and, as friendly as he seemed, the younger man could tell that he was still upset with Emma for all that happened. She had broken his friend’s heart not long after getting back together and she spent the last few years punishing herself for doing that. No matter how mad Howie or any of the other guys were with her, Michael knew that nothing could be worse than the guilt she felt.

Normally, a visit up to see them wouldn’t be so stressful on her but he knew that everyone would be in town to see the baby and that meant that she would have to face all of them all at once. He wished he could be there for her because he knew how much she would need someone that was totally on her side. Addie was always on her team but since her husband was like family to Emma’s ex, it made the whole situation pretty sticky. It almost seemed like everyone would be ganging up on the woman he really cared for.

“I can cancel my trip.” Michael said as Emma came back into the room. “It’s really not that important.”

“Yes it is.” Emma responded. “Thank you for worrying about me but I’m a big girl. I know I made a huge mess and I ran from it. I’m going to have to face the music at some point and I guess that’s now.”

She linked her arm around his and dragged him to the door. They had fun at dinner and she knew she’d miss the laughs they had together but this was something that needed to be done. Heading to bed early that night, she spent the whole time tossing and turning; she was up before her alarm clock ever went off.