Who in their right mind got up this early anyway, Danica thought as she was awoken by her alarm clock, fully aware what time she'd set it for. Five thirty in the morning was still night time in her opinion. A part of her wanted to just roll over and go back to sleep, but she was too excited to see Nick again. With the image of his smile in the forefront of her mind, Danica managed to pull herself out of bed. After putting on her bathing suit with a simple sundress over it, Danica slowly found her way out of the motel in a sleepy daze. She stood blinking at the silver truck parked, right where it had been last night like he'd never left.

"Good morning," Nick exclaimed.

"Not so loud," Danica whined as she got into the passenger seat.

"I don't recall us getting drunk last night," Nick laughed, starting the car and pulling out onto the road. "What's with the hangover?"

"I'm not hungover," Danica explained. "It's just too early for me to function properly."

"You want to stop and get coffee before we head to the beach?" Nick asked.

"Tea please," Danica agreed. "I don't like coffee."

"Wow," Nick replied. "I know you didn't have coffee last night, but I figured that was just because it was late. Who doesn't like coffee?"

"Yeah I know, I'm weird," Danica sighed. "But it just tastes burnt to me."

"If not coffee, what would you like then?" Nick asked as he parked the car.

"I can get them," Danica replied moving to open the passenger door, but Nick pressed the door lock button.

"You said next time it would be my turn," Nick reminded her. He got out, and she watched him walk away before turning to look at the sky. It was a rare, cloudless day and despite only being half awake, Danica was glad to see the sun. Nick returned moments later with three drinks in a tray.

"Is someone joining us?" Danica asked as she noted that Nick had remembered her tea order from last night.

"Charlie is working," Nick replied. "He agreed to cover my shift, only in return for coffee." Danica laughed as Nick started driving again.

When they parked outside the store, Danica got out with him and followed Nick inside. There was a very tired looking Charlie sitting behind the front counter. Danica couldn't remember there being a chair there the last time she'd been here, but it seemed Charlie had found one.

"This date better be freaking fantastic," Charlie grumbled as he took the coffee Nick offered him.

"I am sure it will be," Danica replied with a smile. Charlie eyed her, then spotted the teabag tag tucked under the lid of her to-go cup.

"You look about as tired as me," Charlie observed. "Why are you drinking tea?"

"I don't like coffee," Danica explained, as she took a sip of her tea.

"Who doesn't like coffee?" Charlie exclaimed incredulously.

"That's what I said," Nick pitched in. Charlie mumbled something before laying his head down on the counter again, as if his head were too heavy to lift.

"Geez," Nick rolled his eyes. "You can't be that tired."

"I never open," Charlie whined.

"Anyway we are going," Nick told his brother. "Have fun." Charlie scoffed at the very idea.

"Sorry about Charlie," Nick said as soon as the door closed behind them. "He's not a morning person."

"Neither am I," Danica replied while they walked back the way they'd come. "I do not think I have ever been up so early before."

"Really?" Nick asked skeptically.

"Oh don't get me wrong," Danica replied, smiling. "I've stayed awake until 6am countless times, but waking up at 6am, nope." Nick chuckled as he unlocked his truck. Now that she was awake enough to be paying attention, Danica noticed the two surf boards in the back of his truck.

"I have never stayed awake until 6am," Nick replied once they were both inside the vehicle.

"The night owl and the early bird," Danica said with a grin. "We complete each other."

"More like, we are never awake at the same time," Nick countered as he drove out of the back lane and onto the street.

"True, but I like mine better," Danica beamed.

"That doesn't surprise me," Nick laughed.

"Why do you say that?" Danica asked, watching Nick drive rather than look out the window.

"It's just that sometimes you say crazy things," Nick said, his eyes on the road.

"Sometimes the truth is crazy," Danica countered. "For instance, how we met."

"That was just a fluke of the universe," Nick replied.

"I prefer to think of it as fate," Danica said.

"See now that is crazy," Nick argued.

"First of all, what were the chances that I'd vacation here?" Danica said sweetly. "That we'd both be on the same stretch of beach at the same time."

"Yes, but that doesn't make it fate," Nick shot back. "Everyone ends up on the beach here."

"We shall have to agree to disagree on this point," Danica conceded. Just then, they turned onto a small gravel parking area and Nick cut the engine.

"Are we here already?" Danica added, surprised.

"Don't forget that we can see the ocean from the shop," Nick said. "It isn't far. If not for the surf boards, I might have made you walk."

"Heaven forbid," Danica joked as she opened the passenger side door and got out. As she saw Nick standing next to his truck, her tired brain finally registered what he was wearing. Nicholas had on a pair of plain swimming trunks and a shiny shirt that hugged his torso. Danica stared for a moment, her mouth open slightly. His outfit was a light grey with hints of blue, and the shirt in particular was so tight that she could see the well defined muscles of his chest where it clung to the fabric. Before she knew it, she was fantasizing about how they'd feel under her hands, her lips. With a shake of her head, Danica tried to bring her thoughts back to surfing.

"That isn't gonna work," Nick said, looking her up and down. "You can't surf in a dress, and you need a rash guard."

"Oh," Danica replied, more disappointed than she cared to admit to learn Nick's true motives for eyeing her up just now.

"Come on," Nick said. "I brought an extra guard for you." Nick reached into the back of his truck. She was suddenly assaulted by something soft. Nick had thrown a shirt in her face.

"Put that on," Nick suggested. Danica pulled her sundress over her head, revealing the simple one piece bathing suit underneath. She threw the dress at Nick who caught it grinning. The tight fitting shirt was made of some plastic like material. Before she put it on, she watched Nick. This time, he was staring at her chest. Satisfied, Danica put the rash guard on before taking the spare surfboard Nick handed her.

"Follow me," Nick said. Together they went down a gravel path that led to the beach. Danica heard seagulls, and took a deep breath, taking in the salty air. She had expected Nick to keep walking toward the water, but to her surprise he stopped at the edge of the beach, where the gravel of the pathway melted into the sandy expanse that stretched out to the sea in front of them.

"I am no expert," Danica quipped. "But I am pretty sure surfing is a water sport. Not a sand sport."

"No water for you yet," Nick scolded teasingly. "Beginners have to prove they can pop up without falling over on land. As soon as you're able to do that, we can move on to water."

"Pop up?" Danica asked, curiously. Nick placed his board flat on the sand then lay face down on it. With a quick movement, Nick brought his legs up under him, and suddenly stood in a surfing stance on the board.

"That's a pop up," Nick explained. "And before you get wet, you will need to master it."

"What if I'm already wet," she smirked. It took Nick a whole six seconds to figure out what she meant, then he stuttered something about how he meant the ocean. Danica laughed, before placing her board on the sand and laying face down on it.

"It's harder than it looks," Nick instructed her and Danica had to resist the urge to reply with another innuendo. "Okay, so you want to have the heels of your feet facing up, toes bent. Legs straight, don't hang your knees over the edge of the board. Yeah that's it. Hands tucked under you." Danica followed all the instructions, then on Nick's cue, she tried to pop up with marginal success.

"Told you it was tricky," Nick said, smiling.

"Actually you told me it was hard," she replied raising her eyebrows at him and grinning.

"Focus," Nick reprimanded her, but he was smiling too. She layed back down and tried again.

"That was great," Nick said as she stood on the board again. "Too good for a second attempt actually. You have surfed before, haven't you?"

"Nope, never surfed a day in my life, but I dance," Danica replied. "Same principles really. Grace and balance."

"You dance, you sing," Nick counted off on his fingers. "You travel the world, you're stunningly gorgeous, and to top it all off, you showed up out of nowhere to make sex jokes at me." Nick regarded her with narrowed eyes. "What's the catch?"

"Well you already know that I can't cook," Danica chuckled, glowing inwardly at him calling her stunningly gorgeous.

"Pfft," Nick waved her imperfection aside.

"You're right," Danica grinned, moving off her board to stand on his, then standing on her tiptoes in hope of a kiss. "It isn't much of a flaw." To her delight he leaned down and kissed her, pulling her close with his strong arms.

"Are you trying to tell me there is no catch?" Nick asked. "And a perfect woman just fell out of the sky, and landed on my lap?"

"That's exactly what I'm telling you," Danica whispered, stretching up once again to kiss him before returning to her board to practice popping up. Nick continued to instruct her, and within the hour, he was willing to let Danica try in the water. Nick made her attach a leash to her foot - for safety he said - before they waded out into the water together.

"Not so fast," Nick said as she made her way for deeper water. "You have to know how to position your weight on the board next." After a quick lesson on this, Nick continued. "Remember if you are about to fall off, don't fight it. Embrace it, and make sure to fall away from your board and flat on your back. When you resurface, hold one hand over your head."

"Safety first," Danica nodded. "Got it."

"Also-" Nick started.

"Relax!" Danica interrupted him, smiling. Nick opened his mouth to keep talking, but Danica reached up and placed a finger over his lips. She would have kissed him into silence, but he was so tall she couldn't reach him if he didn't lean down. Nick tried to mumble something about how safety is important under her finger, before smiling and pulling her in for a kiss. Together they turned and headed for the water, but Danica hung back to watch him. Nicholas paddled into a wave, popped up, and glided elegantly over the water's surface before flipping his board through the air and hitting the water again. It was unreal to watch.

"He's good, isn't he?" a voice called from her right. Danica turned. Karla was sitting on her surf board just a few meters from her. Danica waved and she paddled over.

"Hi Dani," Karla said pointedly as she sat up on her board again.

"Danica if you please," she replied. "Though reading between the lines of your note. I gather you aren't going to spoil my vacation and rat me out to the press?"

"Everyone deserves some privacy," Karla confirmed. "But you have to promise me, you aren't just messing with Nick. You're older than him, and I don't want him hurt."

"I assure you, hurting Nicholas is the last thing I would ever want to do," Danica said softly.

"You really like him huh?" Karla grinned at her.

"I do," she whispered.

"Good, as long as you aren't stringing him along or using him, I shall keep your presence here to myself. I promise."

"Thanks," Danica replied with a smile.

"But I have to ask," Karla said. "Why the heck did you decide to come to this tiny little bit of nowhere when you left Toronto?"

"I let fate decide," Danica smiled. She was pretty sure Karla rolled her eyes, but she was too distracted watching Nick surf to care.

"So is Nick just really clueless, or does he not know who you are?" Karla asked.

"He knows I sing," Danica replied. "Though the level of success, he hasn't inquired after."

"Why haven't you just told him then?"

"It's kinda nice," Danica confessed. "Him not knowing." She was so used to reading lies and false scandals of herself, that it was nice for a change to tell someone the truth, and know they weren't going to twist it into something it isn't. Karla seemed like a trustworthy soul.

"I can see that," Karla smiled at her. "Whenever I read the covers of magazines at the grocery store, I always think 'Wow! It must suck to be so famous.'"

"There are benefits too," Danica chuckled. "But yes, the tabloids are definitely not one of them."

"You should tell Nick though," Karla added. "He values honesty."

"That is one of the things I like about him," Danica said, though she didn't add that it was also one of the reasons she was scared to tell him.

"Nick is a very solid guy," Karla continued. "Unlike his brother."

"Ah yes, Nick told me you dated Charlie," Danica replied.

"Would still be dating him if the fool would figure out what he wanted," Karla sighed. Just then Nick arrived on the scene.

"Look who I ran into," Danica smiled, pointing to Karla.

"Hey," Nick greeted her.

"Anyway," Karla smiled. "I should leave you two alone."

"Nah, you should surf with us," Nick told her. "I'd get Charlie to come, but I made him cover my shift this morning."

"Oh he must be all kinds of grumpy about that," Karla laughed.

"Oh he is," Nick grinned. Karla thanked Nick for the offer, but decided to rejoin the group of friends she'd been with before she'd seen Danica.

"Ready to surf?" Nick asked. "Or would you like to chit chat all the good weather away?" He laughed, Danica punched him playfully on the shoulder and the two of them headed out into the waves.

The water wasn't warm, but it wasn't too cold either. Since it was summer, Danica suspected that surfing here during the winter was impossible without a very effective wetsuit to keep you warm in the undoubtedly icy water. This also explained why 'Greenberg Rentals' had been one of the few surfing stores without a wetsuit on display in the window. Danica paddled up to a wave and waited to feel the back tip of her board hit it, just like Nick had told her, before she popped up. Suddenly she was surfing.

"Woo!" Danica exclaimed as she tried to keep her balance, though no one could hear her over the sound of the waves. They weren't very high, and while she didn't surf them nearly as expertly as Nicholas, she was still surfing.

Together they rode the waves while the sun moved across the sky. Hunger eventually drove them back to dry land. All that was in her stomach was tea. Her favourite time for breakfast was usually closer to noon, so Danica hadn't even attempted to eat after getting up at 5:30 this morning. With their stomachs growling, they both started walking back up the beach.

"For your first time surfing," Nick began as they reached the car. "That was great. You're a natural."

"Dancer," Danica reminded him in a cheery voice. Nick laughed as they reached his truck, and he pulled two towels out of the back, throwing one to Danica. They dried off as best as they could, she took off her rash guard and threw her sundress back over her bathing suit before getting into the truck. The conversation of the day's surfing, the condition of the waves, and the number of times Danica had fallen off her board kept them talking easily until Nick parked. Danica looked out the window. She hadn't been paying attention to where they were going. They were in front of a lovely little house with wood trim around the window. The railing on the steps up to the house were made of a similar natural wood. A carport ran along the left side of the house. The rest of the house was covered in a light green siding.

"Is this your place?" Danica asked.

"My parents," Nick mumbled. "I just need to change then we can go get lunch."

"Can I come?" Danica asked. "I would love to see where you live."

"I live with my parents," Nick said as if this would suddenly change her opinion of him.

"Well with a mother who cooks like I believe yours does, why would you leave?" she chuckled, trying to tell him subtly that this didn't matter to her.

"Wait here," Nick said. "I'll be right back."

"You really don't want me to come in with you?" she asked.

"Oh all right," Nick sighed. Smiling, Danica followed him inside. "Dad's out of town and if we are sneaky, mom won't notice us. She's probably in the garden."

Danica followed Nick as he moved through the hall. She tried to take note of the family photos on the walls as they went. There was a very homey feel in the house. The decorations spoke of the sea, like everything else here, but also gave the impression that it was someone's job to make it homey. Danica felt like it was probably Laura who had decorated the room.

Up the stairs and down another hallway, Danica found herself in Nick's bedroom. There were surfing posters on every wall, a laundry hamper in the corner, and a twin bed in the center of it all. The remarkable thing about the room was the lack of mess. In Danica's experience, teenage boys were supposed to be messy, but there wasn't a single item of clothing on the floor. Collecting clothes from his dresser by the window, Nick left to change. He returned moments later holding his rash guard and bathing suit, now wearing dark jeans and a t-shirt with some kind of surfing logo on it that matched one of his posters.

"You are sexy," Danica stated once Nick was back in the room. "You surf like a god. You're honest, kind and caring. Plus you keep a clean house. How lucky am I that you are still single?" Danica was half teasing, but she gazed at Nick all the same. To her surprise Nick didn't share her euphoric mood.

"Ha," Nick laughed casually. "Me single is just the status quo. Luck had nothing to do with it, trust me." Her surprise must have shown on her face since his self-mocking laughter died as they looked at each other. The sun was streaming in through the window, illuminating his face. She walked slowly across the room, stopping once she stood in front of him. Danica reached up, gently taking Nick's face in both her hands as she gazed into his eyes.

"There is nothing status quo about you," Danica whispered. "For my sake, I am glad you are single, but even if you are unaware of it, you are worth snatching up Nicholas." He didn't speak, but he didn't break eye contact with with her either. From one moment to the next, Danica was lifted up into the air, then found herself standing on the corner of Nick's bed. She was now suddenly looking at him head on, eye to eye as if they were the same height. Then he was kissing her, his hands tangling in her hair, while she pulled him closer. They fell backwards onto the bed, Nick on top of her as the kiss deepened. He was so warm and close, she couldn't stop herself from wrapping her legs around his waist. He held his body weight up with one arm, while the other moved down her body, over her breasts. Like before, she could feel that his blood wasn't flowing north anymore.

"Nicholas," Danica gasped as he released her lips to trail kisses down her neck. The feel of him hardening against her thigh was too much. "If we don't stop now I am going to tear off all your clothes." But rather than embrace the idea, Nick pulled away. Both of them panting, trying to catch their breath. She unlocked her legs from behind his back, instead sitting cross legged on his bed.

"I have never felt like this before," Nick said. "Never wanted someone so much before. I like you far more than I should."

"I like you far more than I should," Danica echoed. "This is new to me as well."

"Oh please," Nick scoffed standing up and moving away from Danica. "I do not believe that."

"Alright, in matters of the body, I seem to have more experience," Danica agreed. "But my heart is a different story. Though I broke up with someone just before I came here, I already care more for you than I ever did for him."

"We just met," Nick laughed, but Danica sensed anxiety and insecurity in his laughter. "That's not possible. You're just on the rebound."

"No!" Danica said quickly. "Oh god no Nick! I felt nothing when we split. Well, nothing but relief, and all my previous relationships have been like that too. I thought there was something wrong with me, but you have shown me differently."

"Danica I-" Nick started. "I don't know what to say."

"You don't have to say anything," Danica replied. "Just believe me, please." Nick smiled, and Danica couldn't resist touching him again. She stood up and walked across his room to wrap her arms around him.

"Shall we go get lunch?" Danica asked.

"Sure," Nick smiled, returning her hug. They walked hand in hand back down the stairs and out to the truck.

Guest Reviews:
Hi! Love the story! I was just wondering if you had an update schedule so I know when the next chapter is coming out! I find myself refreshing the page just to see if there is a new one! Can't wait to read me! Keep up the fantastic work! :)
Love the story so much! Quick question, will this story be as long as Elusive Love?! Can't wait to read more! You rock!

My Reply:
Awws thanks so much! I don't have a 'schedule' but since this book is basically all finished I am planning on updating as fast as helps my view count the most which from my experience is every day or every other day. I might slow down when I get close to the end. The story will be 18 chapters plus an epilogue or 19 total. It is a little shorter than Elusive Love as I decided to end it more in a standard way than the slow drawn out way of fanfic.

Sneak Peek Chapter 7

"Now may I please read one of your poems," Danica tried again, once they were settled on her couch. "You don't have to read it to me or anything."

"What do I get out of this?" Nick teased.

"I could sing to you," Danica smiled. "A song for a poem?"

"Hmmm," Nick pretended to think, tilted his head but the effect was ruined by the smile on his face. "Alright then."

"The back of your hand touches my skin," Danica sang softly as she stroked the back of her hand over Nick's arm.

"As you walk by, I can feel you here. Know you're near. I'm aware of you." Danica hummed the missing instrumentals before she continued, tapping her foot on the floor as the beat picked up slightly during the chorus. "I'm aware, oh so aware of you. The lights go out, it's as if we are alone. I feel you in the room. I'm aware you are near me." Danica let the last note slowly fade.

"Did that earn me a poem?" Danica asked into the silence.

"That was beautiful," Nick told her awestruck.

"It sounds better with music," Danica dismissed the praise. "Poem please." With a sigh, Nick reached forward to grab his notebook on the coffee table. Leaning back against the couch, Nick turned to a particular page, then handed it to Danica.