She presses the talk button, more than ready for the nightly
conversation, and smiles.
"I feel like I should be insulted."
She laughs. "Why?"
becomes something worse than the cheating boyfriend, dammit. I've become predictable. How did that happen?"
giggles and begins playing with the bedspread. "You fell into a rut?"
"Not possible. Nick Carter does not fall into
"There's a first time for everything."
"Then I want out!"
Finally, she gives into the laughter.
"Baby, the rut includes these nightly phone trysts of ours. You know that, right?"
"Dammit." But he is grinning, and
she knows it.
"Still want out?"
He grunts, and she laughs.
"I'll take that as a no. How was your day?"
sighs and falls back against the ample supply of throw pillows lining the hotel bed du soir, relaxing into the regular flow
of daily conversation. "Long. I miss you."
"I miss you too, baby."
He smiles sleepily. "It was a travel day
today. We drove through this ridiculous expanse of Colorado mountains."
She smiles wistfully. "Sounds like beautiful
"It was. I made them stop the bus so I could take a picture for you."
Her laugh holds much more than
sentimentality. "That's really sweet, Nick."
"I just wish I could share this with you. We're almost at the end of this
thing, and now that getting home is more than a distant possibility, I wish I had home on the road to see what I see."
words register somewhere below the radar of romanticism, and all she can do is thank God that this man has returned to her
after so long. "Opportunity's been good to you, Nick."
"Yeah, tell me about it. It brought me you."
have to say that."
He smiles demurely. "Don't I? That's what got me into trouble in the first place, Sam. There was
too much that I didn't say that I wish I'd said. So now, no matter how silly or stupid or fucking corny it sounds, I'm going
to say it."
"And I'm going to get to love you for it."
His brow furrows in contemplation. "You really mean that?"
I'm a lucky girl."
"Some people wouldn't agree with you."
"Oh, really?" Her eyebrow arches wisely. "I think
there are a lot of people who would."
"They're all in grade school."
"You're being hard on yourself."
laughs. "No, I'm making fun of myself. It's been a long day, but it's been a good one. I just miss you too much for my own
good right now."
"And what are you doing that makes you think that you're missing me too much?"
beside me. Thinking about how much you'd love the view I've got from this fucking hotel room. Wishing that it was our bed
I'm about to crawl into." He pauses as he folds back the covers, listening for sounds that might tell him where she is. "Have
you moved back in yet?"
She shakes her head in amusement. "I did that a long time ago, babe."
"I'm glad. I want
it to feel like you've been there."
"It will. Thanks to me, this place is well lived in."
He nods. "Yeah, well,
hopefully I'll get to live in it when this tour's over. I'm looking forward to a long break after this."
you deserve it," she adds, and he laughs.
"Yeah, but I won't get it until hell freezes over." He pauses again to get
situated under the covers and closes his eyes, letting the sound of her voice wash over him in gentle waves. "What'd you do
She wrinkles her nose. "Laundry. And dishes. Lost of cleaning."
He laughs deeply. "Sounds like fun."
I did use the stereo, though."
He groans playfully. "Do I want to know what you played?"
"Maybe. The Doors,
Elton John, Billy Joel. Lots of 80s hair bands."
He arches an eyebrow expectantly. "Is that all?"
"I knew it! You've been abusing my stereo again!"
She holds her laughter and adopts a haughty
tone instead. "So sue me. I needed entertainment, and my boyfriend wasn't around."
"So you chose to pollute the air
with the music of his arch enemy's making?"
"Well, if you're going to put it that way...yeah."
He laughs. "Man,
I need you under twenty-four-hour surveillance, don't I?"
"Not necessarily. Something tells me you don't want the security
guys seeing some of the things I do during the day."
"Don't you mean some of the things you don't wear?"
laughs. "That too."
He sighs wistfully. "I miss watching you walk around the house naked."
"Nice to know that
you're dating me for my charming personality and intellect."
He grins. "Yeah, I miss that too. That's more easily acquired
by phone, though."
For a moment, they sit together in silence, content to listen to the other breathe,
"I love you, and I do love our little chats, but I'm absolutely exhausted."
"Can we save the rest of this for tomorrow?"
He smiles. "Absolutely. I'll call you after the show."
closes her eyes softly and smiles with him. "I'll be waiting."