Chapter 5

Christopher was somewhat flustered and Nikki a bit embarrassed as she closed the glass sliding door behind them.

"I'm sorry," she said. "I don't know why I keep wanting to kiss you."

"You didn't even drink," he replied in an attempt to keep things light.

"Well some Champagne and one glass of wine," she admitted. "It was a wedding."

"Some of them are heading up to a nightclub in Portsmouth," Christopher told her as they stood in the kitchenette. "You interested?"

"Not really," Nikki said. "But you should go," she encouraged. "It's your family."

"There's a farewell brunch in the morning," Christopher said. "I'm good with that."

"You don't have to worry about me," Nikki told him. "I'm fine here."

"I know, but it's been a long day already and I'm not all that in for more drinking."

"Okay," she said. "I need to get out of this dress though."

Christopher nodded and he headed for his room to lose his suit. Nikki followed and went into her room. Neither bothered closing their doors as they changed.

Christopher put on a pair of sweat pants and a long sleeve tee shirt and he flipped on the television, keeping the sound down.

In her room, Nikki slipped off her dress, hung it on the curtain rod of the small window and she stood in her bra and panties, momentarily frozen, not sure what she was supposed to – or wanted to – do next.

It had been a wonderfully positive and fulfilling weekend. She loved being with the Martin family again and even though Jan was missing she was still there in spirit.

It occurred to Nikki that she hadn't thought about her mother or Aaron much at all and that was refreshing. She went to the small mirror hanging over the dresser and looked at herself in the reflection.

"Well, Jan," she sighed. "What should I do?"

She could have sworn she heard a voice in her head: Go For It.

Nikki couldn't help but laugh. Why not? She thought, turning and walking confidently out of the room still only in her panties and bra.

Christopher was standing in the corner of the room with the remote in his hand staring mindlessly at the television. He looked up in surprise at the sight of Nikki heading toward him dressed like that. She pushed him against the corner wall and she began kissing him passionately.

Christopher dropped the remote and tried to do something with his hands which eventually ended up on her backside. In time, he dared to slip his them underneath the material of her panties to squeeze her bare skin.

"I don't care about anything I'm supposed to," Nikki told him when they paused to catch their breaths, standing in the corner of the room. "I only care about this."

"I care about you," Christopher replied.

He turned her so her back was against the wall and they resumed their kissing while his hands found her breasts to squeeze. Nikki was grinding herself into his crotch and softly whimpering. Then she started walking him backwards across the room until he fell onto the bed and she flopped on top of him.

"The last time we did this wasn't exactly the best sex," he reminded her with sorroweful regret.

"Maybe not, but it was the most meaningful sex of my life," she told him staring into his eyes.

"Can we try again?" Christopher whispered.

"We'll do better," Nikki promised, leaning down to kiss him.

Much later, when it was over and they lay naked together under the covers in the dark of the night, Christopher heard Nikki softly sobbing against him.

"It's never a good sign when the girl cries during or after sex," Christopher said quietly. "This is the second time for you."

"Only I'm not crying for Jan this time," Nikki told him.

"Who are you crying for?"

"Me."

"Why?"

"Because I'm miserable," she sighed, brushing tears off her cheeks in the dark. "Not now, about this, but about my life in general and tomorrow I have to go back to it."

"No you don't," Christopher said easily.

"Yeah, right," she said, rolling her eyes in the dark. "I'm stuck in a relationship that's not working and my job is what pays the bills."

"I'm still living with my parents," Christopher revealed. "I didn't want to leave them alone in that big house after Jackson moved out."

"What does that have to do with me?" Nikki asked with confusion.

"There's plenty of room," Christopher replied.

There was a long period of quietness in the darkness.

"Are you saying come live with you guys?" Nikki finally asked.

"There are plenty of computer geek jobs in Blue County," Christopher reasoned. "You can be closer to your parents but still removed."

She sat up in the dark and stared down at him. "Are you asking me to move in with you?"

"You know the house lay out," Christopher replied. "You can have the third floor to yourself. We'll date and figure out if the sex tonight was left over Jan stuff or if we're meant to go for it."

"Go for it?" She asked with surprise. "Why would you use that phrase?"

"It came to me this morning when I was walking on the beach watching the sunrise," he said. "I was wondering what I should do about you knowing that you're with somebody else when I've never stopped thinking about you all this time."

Nikki fell back on the mattress and let out a long sigh. "So, that whole friends only thing doesn't apply anymore?"

Christopher laughed. "Not after tonight."

She cuddled against him and they both fell asleep.

When Christopher awoke in the morning, Nikki was gone from the bed but he caught her out of the corner of his eye in the light of the dawn standing naked by the window peeking out.

"What are you doing?" He asked with confusion.

"Trying to see the sunrise," she said, glancing at him.

"Let's go do it the right way," he said with enthusiasm as he hopped naked from the bed.

She turned to face him, grinning widely. "Shouldn't we get dressed first?" She teased.

"We'll take a long morning walk on the beach before the brunch," he said, folding her into a naked embrace.

"Go for it," Nikki said with a wink.