Cole woke up to thoughts of both Laney and Nicky. He was confused. He looked at the pictures of him and Nicky. They were taken the first night he kissed her. It had been thrilling for both of them. How could she say he was like a brother after that? It almost made him feel guilty for kissing Laney – almost. But only because he was really worried about Nicky.
He closed his eyes and remembered how it felt to kiss Laney. He could still feel her lips on his. It made him warm inside and he smiled. Laney had made it clear she wanted to be with him. Her kisses were hot. Plus, they had had a lot of fun together with the dance lessons. She even promised more lessons. He wasn’t sure how that happened, but he would do anything to have her kiss him like that again. Nope, he wasn’t disappointed at the prospect of having her in his arms again. Not at all.
Cole picked up the phone from the nightstand. He needed to ease his conscious and check on Nicky. He started to text her, but changed his mind before he even typed it. Instead, he found her number and touched it.
“Why are you calling me?” came Nicky’s angry voice through the phone’s speakers.
Not doing okay, he thought. “I called to check on you Nicky,” he snapped defensively.
“Check on me? Or gloat?” Nicky spit the words out like venom.
Ouch. “Gloat? No. I wanted to see if you were okay. I was worried about you.”
“Have you looked at Laney’s Facebook page?”
“No…I hadn’t even thought about doing that.”
Her sigh was audible over the phone and he was pretty sure he could hear her eyes rolling, just like she always did when he didn’t do something right. It almost made him smile.
“Of course you didn’t,” she continued, “She posted a picture of you and her at Noah’s party. Apparently she’s now teaching you how to dance.”
He quickly put the phone on speaker and went to her Facebook page to see what she was talking about. Nicky was right.
Cole ran his hand through his hair. There was always someone taking pictures with their phone so he wasn’t surprised. What surprised him was Nicky’s reaction. “Why are you mad? You told me to go talk to her.”
After a minute of silence, he heard Nicky sniff.
No more tears….please! thought Cole. He softened his tone. “Do you want me to come over?”
“No!” she said too quickly, “It’s just…I thought….oh, never mind.”
Cole felt a pang of guilt. Maybe she changed her mind and didn’t want to breakup. Although after the way Laney made him feel, he wasn’t sure if getting back with Nicky now was the right thing to do. Laney’s kisses were hot and hungry. She even climbed into his lap; said she wanted to see him again. Nope, he decided. He wasn’t going to sit here and let Nicky make him feel bad when she walked away from him. “Nicky, I’m coming over. Be there in a minute.”
“No!…not at my house,” she said sounding panicked, “Meet me at the coffee shop.”
Cole was already seated when Nicky arrived. His palms sweating and his knee was bobbing up and down. He almost didn’t recognize her. She had her glasses on and her hair stuffed under a cap. It was obvious she had been crying. He wanted to kick himself for making her come. But he needed to get to the bottom of what her problem was. He figured she would be glad to be rid of him. No one wants to kiss their sister, or in this case, brother. But, he didn’t know how to do this.
“I ordered your favorite, a mocha latte,” said Cole.
That earned him a small smile as she sat down and picked up her drink. “Thank you,” she said, and her smile disappeared, “Look, I just didn’t want Mom seeing us together. She would just ask a bunch of questions I don’t want to answer.”
“Oh,” said Cole, his brow furrowed in more confusion. Her mother was always nice to him. Then he realized she went home early. With Kolby. Crying. No telling what she told her mother. She probably hates him now for breaking Nicky’s heart when he didn’t do a damn thing. This was so screwed up.
“Look Nicky,” he said after a moment, “I don’t understand why you are upset. You told me to go find Laney. You said you didn’t want more with us. You said you only wanted to be friends. Did you change your mind now? Is that why Laney’s Facebook post upset you?”
Nicky stared at the cup in her hand for a second before finally looking up and answering, her voice soft. “No Cole. I didn’t change my mind. It’s just that, well, it didn’t take you long….I mean….” She stopped and let out a little breath and shook her head. “Things are never going to be the same between us are they? We used to have fun. Now we can’t even have coffee. I miss you and the gang already. I feel like an outsider.”
Cole was getting angry. All of that was her own fault. He still didn’t understand why SHE was upset. He was the one that should be mad. And if it hadn’t been for Laney, he probably would be a whole lot more upset. He had no idea what to say to make her feel better, so he said the first thing that popped into his head. “Maybe we can find someone to ask you out. I’m sure Mia, or Tahani knows someone. Berto certainly does. You are sweet and pretty. Anyone would be crazy to turn down a date with you.”
She looked at him like he was speaking a foreign language and shook her head. “Don’t you dare. I need to get over you first.”
Cole couldn’t understand her. He thought she was over him. That’s why she dumped him. But she didn’t want him seeing Laney? And she wouldn’t go out with anyone else until she ‘got over him’? Whatever that meant. And she wanted to continue to hang out with him like nothing changed? He tried to read her expression but all he got was sadness and hurt. But why? “God Nicky! You aren’t making any sense. Are you sure you don’t want to be with me?”
“No. . . I don’t know. . . No. . . Stop it. You are confusing me. I do and I don’t. Can’t we be friends without dating? I miss you. And if you are dating someone else, then I don’t feel like I can hang with you anymore.”
Cole was done with this conversation. It was a huge mistake. “You broke up with me, Nicky. I wanted to be with you. But you cut me off. I can’t do this with you anymore. I called you because I was worried about you and care about you. And now you are confusing the hell out of me. In my head, you were it for me. I saw you in my future. You can’t break up with me and then make me feel guilty about being with someone else.”
Cole stopped and took a deep breath and threw up his hands. “I’m done. I have to get to work!”
“Cole! …. and….Nicky?”
Mia…Oh god, what if Laney is with her? he thought. He spun around. Yep, Mia. And a pretty blonde he didn’t know but had seen around. Thank God. The two girls walked over to them.
“Hi Mia, I was just leaving,” said Cole, “Nicky could use some company, why don’t you guys join her?”
Nicky shot daggers at him with her eyes but he didn’t care. In fact he thought it was fitting. Let her try to explain everything to Mia, because he sure as hell couldn’t. And he knew for a fact Mia would ask. He stood up to leave. “See you around Nicky. Bye Mia and…uh?”
“Dannie Stevens,” said the pretty blonde, offering her name and a smile.
“Nice to meet you Dannie. Hate to run but I gotta get to work. Bye,” he said one last time and got the hell out of there.
A/N – Thanks to CitizenErased14 for Daniela “Dannie” Stevens. We will see more of her later in the story.