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Smile Sweetheart ch. 4
I woke up groggily and took a shower to wake myself up. After I was done I went searching for an outfit to wear. I dug deep in my drawer and found a lacey black and white top my mom had bought at a garage sale. I guess she thought I would like it, little did she know. At least it was serving a purpose for the day. I put it on and then pulled out a pair of dark blue skinny jeans and put those on. I debated on what shoes would look good with this outfit. I searched around in my closet until I found the pair of flip flops I never wore. I put them on then went to do my hair and makeup. I curled my hair away from my face again and then pinned it up with some bobby pins. I would never put a headband back in my hair. They hurt like crazy. I eyed the headband I had wore yesterday poking out of the garbage. Gina wouldn’t miss it. I put some eyeliner and mascara on, trying not to make it too gaudy but not too less. After I was done I went back into my room and packed a change of clothes, a bathing suit, and a beach towel, all in my purple duffle bag. I made myself a couple of pancakes and gobbled them up hastily. I put my dirty plate in the dishwasher then went to go wait on the front porch. A sleek black car drove up the street and honked as it pulled into our driveway. Nick got out of the car as I got to my feet. He got to me and grabbed my bag, slinging it over his shoulder.
“Good morning. How did you sleep? Ready for some fun at the Bradley’s?” he said enthusiastically.
“Yep.” I climbed into his car timidly, as he put my bag in the trunk.
“Awesome car, Nick, what kind is it?” I asked as he closed the door behind him.
“It’s a Mercedes GL550. It was a present from my parents.”
“Wow, wish my parents would get me a car for a present,” I said looking around at the interior. He laughed.
“Thanks for the map quest information by the way, it was helpful. It’s good that you live pretty close to my house, makes picking you up easy.” He smiled at my face and put his arm around my chair. I stared out the window so he couldn’t see me blush. We drove down a private road with a variety of large houses. They were all elaborately decorated, and expensive. Nick took a left and pulled into a white mansion’s looped driveway. In the center of the courtyard was a large statue that you might see in Rome. Surrounding the driveway and house were a large variety of flowers, shrubs, and trees, all arrayed perfectly and professionally. Nick got out of the car and opened the door for me like a gentleman.
“There you are mad’ am,” he said with a French accent. I giggled. He grabbed my bag from the trunk then held my hand as we walked up to the massive doors, decorated with beautiful glass. I stared at our hands, but didn’t refuse his hold. He opened the door and led me in. I stared around at the large entrance and living room. I heard a clatter come from the left, then a cuss.
“Klutz,” Nick mumbled under his breath.
“Nick, darling, is that you?” a soft voice asked.
“Yes, mother,” he replied dryly. A woman with blonde hair flowing down to her shoulders came out of the swinging doors. She was wearing a white apron over a canary yellow sundress. She had a dish towel in her wet hands, drying them off. She took in the site of us with bitterness.
“Oh! You must be Nick’s… umm…. friend?” she said trying to sound friendly without much success.
“I’m Morgan Hoffman,” I said politely, putting my hand out. She pretended to be busy with the dish towel, and stared at my hand like she was going to bite it. I dropped it quickly, feeling awkward.
“Nick, honey? May I talk to you in the kitchen for a moment?” she said darting her narrowed eyes at me then back to him. He sighed deeply, then turned to me and mouthed “sorry”. She walked back through the swinging doors; Nick looked at me hesitantly then followed. Talk about welcoming. I pushed some of my hair behind my ear and sat down on the intimidating, monster sized couch. I twiddled my thumbs, eavesdropping on their conversation.
“What the hell were you thinking, Nicholas?” Mrs. Bradley hissed furiously.
“I made a friend, that’s what I was thinking! She needs a pal anyway. And if I can be there for her, I’d rather it be that way than her have no friends,” he replied fiercely. The thought of no friends was like a punch in the gut.
“We’ll see about that young man. George! Where are you? We have something to discuss, immediately!” I heard her heels clank along the floor as she walked away trying to find Mr. Bradley, I assumed. Nick appeared back in the room, his face glum.
“Sorry about that,” he said as I got up. I tried to put a smile on my face.
“It’s ok; I’m pretty used to that kind of stuff.” He sighed.
“My mom really shouldn’t have acted that way though. It was just rude!” I said placing my hand on his arm, giving it a light squeeze.
“Don’t beat yourself up. People are just like that when they see me,” I said soothingly. He wrapped his arms around me, and laid his cheek against my head, while I stood there awkwardly in his arms. He was so warm, and I felt so incredibly cold. It felt so comforting in his arms that I could have stayed like that all day, but to my dismay, he let go of me with a smile.
“Time to tour the mansion!” He grabbed my arm and dragged me up the beautiful marble stairs. His brother’s and both sister’s rooms were all twice the size of my room; Mr. Bradley’s office could have been the size of my living room.
After I had stared enough, Nick brought me back to the main floor and showed me the kitchen, living room, dining room, and study room. He avoided the den where his parents were arguing. We walked back to the main room, and then took a right down a hallway which led to the basement. The first thing I saw was the five lane bowling alley. It was like a mini version of the normal lanes.
“Wow, how much money did that cost?”
“Not sure, most likely a pretty penny. Maybe we can play sometime, though,” Nick replied, winking at me. “But for now, I want to show you my room.” Again, he grabbed me by the arm and opened a large cherry oak door. The room inside was painted a royal blue. On the walls hung posters of famous athletes, all autographed. On all of the dressers was a sport trophy. Lying on the ground were baseballs, footballs, basketballs, and lacrosse sticks. Wow, was this boy ever hardcore. He walked over to his bed and plopped down; I followed slowly.
“So, what do you think of the house?” He asked.
“Yeah, I wish I lived here!” I replied.
“You can move in anytime.” I raised my eyebrows in surprise.
“Umm, I was just kidding,” I said trying not to sound weirded out.
“I know, the offer is still there though,” he said with a smile.
“When are we going swimming?” I asked, trying to change the awkward subject.
“Oh, we can go right now,” he said, yanking his shirt off, showing his eight pack, bare chest. I screamed a cuss in my head.
“Oh my god!” I said turning away before I could hyperventilate.
“Wha---? Oh… sorry!” he apologized, grabbing a pillow and putting it over his chest quickly.
“It’s ok,” I replied still not turning back. “I’m gonna go get changed, I’ll meet you upstairs.” I turned my back on him and ran up the stairs. I grabbed my duffel bag, and bolted for the bathroom. When I got in there I locked the door, and slid my back against the door until I was on the floor. Man, he was ripped. I put my red and black stripped bikini on in a rush. After I had it on, I stared at my too skinny of a torso. I really needed to gain some weight. I could probably pull of being a couch potato and eating chips all day. I put my clothes in the bag, pulled my towel out, and then opened the door. I walked over to the entrance way to have my bag out of the way. When I turned around, all I saw was Nick in his black swim trunks, abs and all.
Round Lake, Illinois
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