Nick stole a glace sideways, seeing the last of Annie’s tear streak down her cheek. She was curled against the arm of the couch, pillow cushioning her head, eyes puffy. He knew she’d blame it on the movie, but he knew there was more to it than that.

She never looked more beautiful to him.

Slowly, with butterflies swirling in his stomach, he reached towards her cheek and ran his thumb across her tear-bed. She opened her eyes wide, bringing her own hand up to wipe away her tears. “Sorry,” she whispered, sitting up. He stopped her from saying any more by cupping her chin, forcing her eyes to meet his. He hoped she’d see what he felt there. What he’d felt for a long time but was always unable to say, the timing never right. Even know it wasn’t perfect, yet he couldn’t wait any longer.

He leaned his head towards her, mouth finding hers for a brief, sweet dusting of lips.

He watched as the surprise filled her eyes. She pulled back, startled. “Nick…what…” Her thoughts seemed jumbled, the look on her face mirroring that perfectly.

“I’ve wanted to do that for a long time, Annie. It’s never been the right time. There might not really be a ‘right time,’ but I just wanted to let you know.” Nick sighed. This was just all wrong. This was not how he expected to tell her. “I’ll wait, Annie. I have waited for…”

“Stop, Nick.” She took his face in her hands, rubbing her thumbs against his stubble. She closed her eyes, fingers wandering until she found his collar, and pulled him into her.

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