Quit Playing Games

Chapter 64

The wedding scene from Runaway Bride flashed in his mind and he tried not to grin. Sure that scene was one of many wedding scenes in the movie - that was the point of it wasn't it? - but it was so oddly relevant right now… only instead of keeping eye contact he was determined to keep hand contact. He was sure that Kat wouldn't change her mind if they actually stopped holding each other's hand, but he still wasn't going to take that chance.

They hadn't said a word to each other since the club. Not even in the car back to the hotel. They'd both sat there, faces turning to look out the windows on either side of the car, hands clasped together in the middle of the seat.

And here they were in the elevator, waiting patiently as the lights flicked between the floors, still holding on to each other like we are afraid the other will disappear if we let go.

I am such a knob, he thought. I mean, she isn't going to run away… I think.

When they stood in front of the door to their room they both stopped and looked at each other. The trepidation he was feeling was mirrored in her eyes and he almost laughed. They both knew what they wanted… what was going to happen when they entered that room… and both were terrified the other was going to run before it happened. What a couple of morons!

Horny morons.

He took a deep breath and released her hand. Poof! She didn't disappear. Not even after he reached into his pocket and withdrew the electronic key card. And she was still there when he placed it in the lock and the little green light flashed. And she was sure as hell there when he pushed the door open and they entered the room…

He know that because his mouth had descended on hers and he was pillaging it the way he'd wanted to for the last few days. And judging from the way her hands twined through his hair, pulling him down to her, she wasn't going to disappear anytime soon.


He must have said it out loud because she shot him with a quizzical look and then stepped away from the door into the main room.

He followed.

She sat down on the bed and looked around, trying to focus on anything except him. He could tell she was nervous because of the way she kept folding and unfolding part of the bedspread. Hell, he was nervous too: now that their hands were no longer attached he realized how damp and clammy they were. They hadn't been a few minutes ago, had they? That would be gross. Far from the romantic mood he wanted to set.

"So…" Kat finally murmured.

He took in the faint blush on her face and the lushness of her just-kissed lips and strode over and put a finger across them.

"I think when we talk we get into trouble, sometimes. So let's not talk. Just answer me this one question: do you want me? 'Cause I want you bad," he said huskily.

Her blush went a little rosier at his words and her lips curved into a smile. But she didn't say a word. Instead she opened her mouth and sucked his finger in, her tongue laving it sensuously.

"Fuck," he groaned and dropped to his knees replacing his finger with his mouth.

A few moments later they were both naked, wrapped in each other's arms. If he'd been asked, Nick would tell you that he couldn't remember how they got that way… just that they were naked together and that was all that mattered.

He moaned as he slid into her, and judging from the way she sighed and shuddered as he moved forward she was more than ready for him. They found their rhythm quickly and soon, very soon, we both shouting out their rapture.

"Okay," he sighed as he rolled on his back. "That totally blew that whole "promise not to touch you" thing to hell."

Kat chuckled. "No kidding." She brushed the sweat off her upper lip. "Is that a bad thing?"

He rolled over to face her, absently running a finger through the sweat on her stomach. "Hell, no. I mean, other than that I promised. I just figured you'd be pissed at me again."

"I wasn't pissed at you the last time. I thought you were pissed at me," she replied softly.

He looked at her wide-eyed. "No way. I mean, you were the one who was crying."

She frowned. 'When?"

"When I got up. You were in the shower crying. I figured I'd screwed up big time. So I grabbed some clothes and snuck into Brian's room."

Kat took a deep breath. That was it: she'd wondered where he'd gone, but was afraid to bring it up because she was certain he'd left because, well, she wasn't exactly the poster child for a good girlfriend. Bad blood and all…

"I wasn't crying because of you…" She glanced at his worried face and shrugged. "It was just cause… you know…"

"'Cause telling each other all that shit is enough to make you wanna cry." He groaned and fell onto his back. "Man, I am an idiot. I just thought you were upset 'cause you told me all that stuff and then I went and, umm, got all sexual on you."

"And I thought you disappeared 'cause you didn't want to have anything to do with someone with my history. I mean, not the most attractive background, you know?"

He snorted. "How many times I gotta tell you: there's nothing wrong with YOU. Your parents were fucked up. Like mine are. But that ain't you any more than that's me. I mean, I don't even think about it much anymore."

"And it's all I've been thinking about," she whispered sadly.

Nick pulled her into his arms. "Hey, I didn't mean to make you cry. I just meant that when I heard you then I didn't think that you were still upset about your folks 'cause I just don't think about mine if I don't have to. But you do. I know that: hell, that was what all the nightmares were about. I should have thought…." He sighed. "That's just me, hunh? I'm the dumb Backstreet Boy. What do I know?" She looked up at him, making sure she caught his eye. "No, you're not. You are not dumb. Stop saying that."

"Yeah, but…"

"Nick, it's like you said earlier. When we talk we get in trouble sometimes. So we misunderstood each other. Big deal: we worked it out." Her cheeks got rosy when she mentioned working it out and he chuckled and then tried to repress a yawn.

"You think?" he asked. "You think I'm not dumb?"

She looked at him, noticing how he was trying to hide the pain that he felt. She thought about all those times, as a fan, she'd shrugged him off as the 'dumb blonde' - and heard others do the same. Even through all of this she hadn't given him a lot of credit. Even the times when she marveled at his insight she'd never said anything to him about it. Just marveled and moved on.

"I mean it, Nick. You don't give yourself enough credit. Hell, no one does. We both screwed up this time. And as for all the other times, well, sometimes you talk before you think. That doesn't mean your stupid, just…" she thought for a second. "Overeager. Yeah, that's it."

"That hardly means anything. Doesn't mean I'm smart," he replied with a petulant twinge to his voice.

She knew instinctively that they had left the discussion about where their heads had been for the last few days and crossed over into one of Nick's anxiety areas. "Get real. You're smart. Hell, you scare the hell out of me sometimes."

"I do?"

"Yeah. I mean I have been trying to figure out how else to get Howie to admit what he's been doing - without me having to be here - and I can't come up with one idea. I mean if you just say 'hey I heard you been boffing our chicks' he'll laugh it off and you're not gonna get him to change. You HAVE to catch him in the act. There's just no other way. YOU thought that one up. No one else. You came up with the best solution. The only solution. No one who's dumb could have done that."

"Yeah, but you just said I talk before I think," he murmured peevishly

"Sure, but you're not stupid about it." She sighed and rubbed the palms of her hands against her tired eyes. "I mean, you can keep a secret can't you? You talk before you think sometimes but I've been hear for almost six weeks now and you haven't once given them a clue that I'm anything other than Jeanne, your girlfriend. I'm almost blown it a few times. You haven't. Not once. See, I think Howie knows that. That even when you're mouthing off you're not going to blow his cover. So if you tell him he better back off and behave and you'll never let anyone else know what he's been doing he'll believe you."

"You think?" Nick mused.

"Hell yeah. If AJ found out you'd all know about it and Howie'd have his ass kicked from here to Kingdom Come. AJ can't keep a secret. You can. Howie knows that. So if you catch him and confront him and let him know you know about the others he'll be running scared. Scared straight. He knows you'd beat the crap out of him no matter how much muscle he's put on, but he also knows you'd keep your mouth shut. But only as long as he behaved. You're a smart guy, Nick. Never forget that," she reassured him.

He sighed. "Maybe. I just wish other people thought that."

Kat rolled her eyes and yawned. "Can we save the pity party for some other time? I don't think you're dumb. I think you're pretty damn smart. And very cute… and," her voice dropped to a sultry level, "I wouldn't mind you showing me some more of what I was missing for the last few days."

He laughed quietly as he started to nuzzle her neck. "You just want me for my body."

"Hell yeah. But it takes a mind to keep me interested. You, Mr. Carter, keep me very, very, very interested."

His throaty gasp may have been an affirmative response - or maybe just a reaction to what her hands were doing. She chose to believe it was the former.

Chapter 65