"That looks like it really hurts." Nick said as he moved her sweatshirt aside and sat down in its place.
"Nah, after a while it doesn't hurt as much. Terra can hit pretty hard, but this time I guess she really wasn't trying."
Cate said, slightly wincing as she ran her hand over her bruise. "It should go away after a while."
"So, how long do you think it'll take for you to take care of what you have to do?"
"Not long. Hopefully when they see this bruise, they'll let me leave as my own guardian. If not, I'll have them call one
of my neighbors while I wait til they have what they need. I just hope they won't need Terra..."
"Well if you want, I doubt that Mark would mind going there with you. We have some interviews tomorrow, otherwise I'd say
we might go with you if you needed help."
"Thanks, Nick. You're all really cool guys, not like that whole snobby celebrity stereotype."
"Yeah, I bet you think one of us is cooler than the rest..." Nick said as he stretched his arms out and placed them behind
"What? What are you talking about?"
"Don't play around, Cate. I can tell you like my brother. I saw it in your eyes... It seemed like it was love at first
"Okay, Nick. No need to go into sappy details."
"Hey, I got into more when I tried to get Aaron to admit it..."
"What? Aaron said what?" she sat up slightly when he said this.
"Well, I pointed out that I saw how you two seemed to act around each other, and..."
"And why do you suddenly seem so intent on hearing what I have to say?" he smirked.
"B-Because, I want to know what he said."
"Well, all I'll say is that you and him seem to get along better than any other girl I've ever seen him with. I mean, you
opened up to him the day, er well, night you met him. You don't act like your shit doesn't stink. Not to mention you
helped him get out of what I bet was a pretty tight situation, even after he almost ran you over."
"Okay, I get it, you want me to talk to him about it."
"No, I'm just telling you what I know, thats all."
"Gonna go back and report to him later?"
"Thats for me to know and you to find out..."
"So... do you have feelings for my brother? I swear I just want to know."
"Well, hes certainly not who I thought he'd be, and I'd be lying if I said that when I first saw him I didn't feel something.
I had a good feeling about him the second he got out of the car to help me up..."
"Ooohh. I get what you're saying, I think."
"Like, when we were walking down the hall on the way here, I was a little freaked from all the cameras-"
"Oh, you get
used to it."
"So I've heard," she said with a frown. "Anyway, I was a little freaked out about that, and I was worried about you guys
getting pissed at me and Aaron and making me go home, and when I told Aaron about being worried about getting in trouble,
he stopped right where he was and looked me in the eyes, and I could tell he wasn't lying to me. In fact, I think hes probably
the first guy to ever look at me like that..."
"Wait, wait, wait. Are you telling me that you've never had a boyfriend?"
"Your words, not mine."
"I kid you not. I mean, I've hung out with guys before, but nothing really romantic. But you know how some guys are, they
hang out with a girl once and even if nothing happens, they talk shit..."
"Ohh. I still don't see how you could have gone 16 years and not had a boyfriend, not even once!"
"Easy when you don't stay in one place long enough."
"I know what its like to travel a lot."
"But you were traveling and meeting people who liked you, not moving around because you were hated every place you went."
"Yeah, I guess so..."
"So why do you find it hard to believe?"
"I mean, when you walked in the door, I thought maybe, for like a split second, like before you'd said or done anything,
"That I was a slut? Just hanging out with your brother to makeout or something?"
"More 'or something' than 'makeout', but yeah. Kinda. I mean, Cate, you're a, a-"
"Sounds like, looks like..."
"Looks good. Don't get me wrong, I mean, Cate, you're pretty. And too young for me, so don't get the wrong idea here."
Nick laughed. "Are you blushing?" Nick asked, seeing the color red Cate's cheeks turned after he complimented her.
"Nick, had your brother said anything to me or acted in any way sexual towards me, he would have walked in that door alone
and with a red mark across his face."
"...Oh. So I should tell him you said 'no'?" Nick asked with a big smirk on his face.
"Very funny. You were kidding, right?"
"If I wasn't kidding, believe me, you would have known."
"Good, because the answer is 'no'. If he'd was only hanging out with me because he thought he was gettin' some,
then he'd really be like any other guy I've hung out with. Isn't thats why guys talk shit on girls? Because they either get
some or they don't?"
"Only the morons, and my brother isn't like that. Not with you."
"Are you saying he has been before?"
"No, but he can be pretty stupid sometimes."
"I'll remember that."
A few seconds later they both started to laugh.
"Why are we laughing?" Cate asked.
"I," Nick said, "have no idea." The laughter died down a few seconds later. Nick stood up and stretched again. "Nice talking
to you, Cate."
"Yeah, nice talking to you too, Nick." Nick walked over to where Alex and Aaron were sitting and talking, and joined in
their conversation. Cate watched as he got up and walked away. She waited til he sat down to walk by them and sit at the window
and look at the view of the city, then she went back to tending to her bruise. 'Well, so much for that whole 'sneak on
a Greyhound bus' idea. These guys really aren't what I would have expected. Especially Aaron, I never would have expected
him to be the way he is. Guess he proved me wrong, hes so much more... laid back than I expected. And when he was comforting
me... Wow, I must really be into him, I've barely stopped thinking about him since I saw him... Nick's pretty perceptive.
I guess it was love at first sight... but how to tell him how I feel...'