My apologies for the long wait.

Unlike my previous patterns, this chapter is not current day. It's kind of filler, but it was a chapter that needed to be written. Enjoy!

CHAPTER NINE

His Point of View

I'm an idiot.

When a beautiful girl hugs you, you are supposed to hug her back, not stand there like you're on drugs.

I walked back to my house in somewhat of a daze. She hugged me. It wasn't some awkward hug that you gave your mother's friends when they visited the house. It wasn't some guy hug that you gave friends to seem more manly. It wasn't one of those mushy hugs that you give your girlfriend when she wants a hug. Not that I've had much experience in that area.

It was short, but it seemed more than that.

The warmth was one thing but it surprised me how strong she was. Some girls give really weak hugs. While I've never had a proper girlfriend, I have hugged girls. Shocking, I know. They were always so weak. I mean, they would just put their arms around you and just hang there.

But not Marie. It was a hug, a great hug at that.

And I didn't hug her back.

Why didn't I hug her back?

Because I'm an idiot, that's why.

I got back to my house and opened the door. I locked it behind me, paying no attention to my mother sitting in the kitchen next to me. I walked quickly up the stairs, wishing not to bring attention to myself.

But of course my mother must have some sixth sense that I don't know about because she stopped me. "Oh Nick, wasn't that dinner nice?"

I closed my eyes and let out a deep exhale. I didn't want to be rude and pretend that I didn't hear here. But I really didn't want to talk to my mom about "my feelings". But because I am just such a gentleman, I turned around and walked into the kitchen.

"Yeah, the dinner was great mom. The food was delicious."

She smiled wide. "Why thank you. Besides the pie…"

I cut her off. "Mom."

She pointed to the seat next to her. "I know, I know. Now why don't you have a seat? It's still early, I know that you're not at all tired."

I frowned. "Maybe I am. Today was extremely exhausting. Plus I'm on vacation."

"All the more reason for you to stay up late."

I sighed in defeat. My mother wanted to talk to me about something. That much I knew. So I sat down next to her and prayed this wouldn't take so long.

"Marie is a really nice girl."

I closed my eyes and rubbed the back of my neck. "Mom…"

She shrugged her shoulders and took a sip of her tea. "What? I'm just making a simple observation. The girl can't cook, but she seems very sweet."

I frowned. "So you're going to judge her on her cooking skills?"

She kept her mouth in a taut line. "You know I didn't mean it like that. I was just pointing that out. But she was very sweet throughout dinner."

"You didn't even talk to her mom."

She gave me a knowing smile. "I'm not saying that she talked to me."

"Yeah, her and Kim seem to get along really nicely. It'll give someone for Kim to hang out with this summer. She shouldn't spend all of her time with Michelle. She's already teaching Kim how to pick up guys at the mall!"

Mom rolled her eyes and smiled. "She's getting older, don't worry about it. And you know I wasn't talking about Kim."

I looked down at the marble countertop. I started picking at it, pretending there was something on the table. "Where is this conversation heading exactly?"

"How did your walk along the beach go?"

I could hear a slight smirk in her voice. I shrugged my shoulders and pretended to be nonchalant about it. "It was okay. We didn't really talk much."

Lies. We talked, we did more than just talk. Okay, so it wasn't exactly like that. But we did hug! More lies, she hugged me and I just stood there like an idiot.

"Oh."

I looked up to see disappointment in my mother's eyes. I frowned. I didn't mean to make her unhappy. I just didn't really want to get so into it.

"Look, Mom…"

"No Nick. I understand. You're shy, and you always have been. It's just your personality, and there's nothing wrong with that. There are a lot of shy boys everywhere. It's okay to be shy, your father was quite shy when I met him. But he's more talkative now. sJust please try to be a little more outgoing. Marie is a really nice girl, and if you don't talk to her she's going to take it the wrong way."

I mumbled. "We talked during dinner."

"But not much. Please Nick, try to be a little more outgoing. If you two didn't talk she much have taken it the wrong way! Why don't you give her a call in the morning and ask if you can have lunch with her tomorrow? She's new around this area and probably doesn't know where anything is. And you can practice driving the car. Just take her for a drive, show her around. Please Nick, don't push her away!"

I looked at my mom in shock. "Why are you getting so carried away with this?"

She frowned. "Nick, I know my son. And I know when my son shows interests in a girl. And I know that my son doesn't know what to do about it."

I frowned and started blushing. "I think I can handle this myself mom."

"Really? Because not talking to her for a whole two hours isn't really a good way to impress a girl."

"I never said that we didn't talk! Just not as much. And why does it even matter? It's only two months anyways."

She frowned. "Two months is a long time Nick."

I whispered. "Not long enough."

"What was that?"

"I said it's only like 60 days."

She frowned and took another sip of her tea. I took this as my opportunity to get the hell out of there. "Well this was a great conversation mom, but I think it's time that I start getting ready for bed."

She nodded her head. "Yeah, goodnight sweetie."

I walked over and kissed my mom on the cheek. "You should get some sleep soon too. It's getting late."

She nodded her head. "I will, I just still have some thinking to do."

I nodded my head, not wanting to be too pushy. "Goodnight mom."

"Goodnight."

Before I headed up the stairs I turned around. My mom was looking out the window and I could tell from the look on her face that she was thinking very deeply about something.

--

[Her Point of View]

I crept up the stairs. I didn't want to make much noise. It was late, but not late enough for everyone to be in a deep sleep. I didn't want to bring more attention to myself.

So, I took off my shoes and walked up the stairs quietly. Once I made it to my room I threw my shoes in a corner and turned on the light. I let out a small yawn. I had gotten a bit tired.

I shrugged my light jacket off my shoulders. I put it back in the closet, it wasn't really dirty.

I was about to run into the bathroom but then my rolling chair slowly turned around, scaring the life out of me. I jumped and then ran to the other side of the room.

"Relax little sister. It's just me."

I frowned. "What the hell are you doing in my bedroom?"

He raised an eyebrow and taped the pads of his fingers together. You know, like what the bad guys do in the movies when they're explaining their evil plot. Yep, that's what my brother was doing right now. Except he looked even more like an idiot.

"I've been waiting for you."

Creepy much?

"And you couldn't just wait until I was home and then knock on my door? You just sat here in the dark, for how long exactly?"

He shrugged his shoulders. "About an hour. Now tell…"

"An hour! What Tom, have nothing better to do? You couldn't even turn on a light? What the hell?"

He rolled the chair over to me as I walked out of my hiding position in the corner of my room.

"Excuse me, I was waiting for my little sister to come home. I mean, you were out on the beach forever. How was I supposed to know if you were alright? I mean anything could have happened! You could have drowned."

"Tom…Nick was there."

"Exactly! What were you doing going skinny dipping with him in the first place?"

I furrowed my eyebrows. "What are you talking about?"

"Don't interrupt me Marie Mitson! It was probably freezing out there anyways. Did he touch you? Because I swear to god, if he did anything to you…"

I stepped closer to him so that I didn't have to scream. I didn't want to bother my parents about this stupid argument.

"TOM! Would you shut up? Nothing happened. We just sat along the beach and talked for a little while. We just lost track of time is all. We didn't go skinny dipping, and we kept our clothes on, no touching involved. Now would you please get out of my room?"

He narrowed his eyes. "I'm watching you. But not as meticulously as I am Nick."

He kept his eyes focused on mine as he walked out of the room and closed the door behind him. I rolled my eyes. My brother was such an odd guy. I mean, one second he's totally normal, the next I went skinny dipping with Nick?

He would have been shirtless…

Ugh, shut up.

My brother has always been just slightly over protective of me. He was just always really weird about it. But ignoring him wasn't as difficult as it looked.

A little while later I got in bed and turned off the lights. I nuzzled my head into my clean pillows and smiled.

I hugged Nick Darrington.