Amanda wasn’t sure what to expect from this dinner with Lance, but she agreed to it anyway. He took her to the Olive Garden…not exactly a fancy place but it was better than nothing. Lance hated to spend money. He was always very careful how much he spent on Amanda, always going with the cheap way out. She didn’t mind this, as Amanda didn’t care about money…but she wished he put a little more effort into impressing her. Amanda had grown to not expect much at all in terms of romance with her boyfriend. He worked long days at the computer software company in Miami….he fixed computers and built them, and sometimes did technical support as well.
“Amanda, we have been together for almost two years, haven’t we?” Lance said suddenly. Amanda had been zoning out, barely touching her pasta.
“Hmm? Oh yes. Yes we have.” she said, pretending to be interested. Lance smiled at her and took her hand in his.
“I love you, Amanda. I think it is time to make the next step…” he continued, getting down on his knee in the middle of the crowded dining room. People were staring as Lance took the ring out of his pocket and held it up to her.
“Will you marry me?”
Amanda was silent for a few minutes, blinking at him in surprise. Lance was looking up at her expectantly, still smiling.
“I….uh…this is kind of sudden, honey.” she whispered.
“I love you…I think it is time we took the next step.” Lance told her. He saw her eyes searching and knew she must be thinking about him.
“Yes….yes I will.” Amanda replied shakily as he placed the ring on her finger. People were clapping and Amanda had never felt more awkward than she did now. She was not smiling and Lance picked up on this so he kissed her. That night when she got home from the dinner, Amanda looked at the ring and cried. She cried until her phone rang.
“Hey, Nick.” she said. Lance stood in the other room listening, wanting to burst into the room and yell at her for talking to him.
“You’re coming home? That’s wonderful news.” she said, a smile appearing on her face.
“Yeah I’m flying home from Japan. I can’t wait to see you.” Nick told her. Lance frowned, listening on the other phone.
“I can’t wait to see you either. I missed you.” Amanda said.
“Can you pick me up from the airport? I’m flying in Friday morning.” Nick asked. Lance did not like the sound of that at all. If Nick had Amanda alone at the airport, he would surely steal her away.
“Sure I will. Just call me and let me know your flight information so I know where to pick you up, okay?” Amanda offered. Lance felt his face flush with anger at this. He did not want her anywhere near that airport. He didn’t want her anywhere near Nick either. Lance hung up the phone and smiled. If that was the way Nick wanted to play, so be it.
Nick couldn’t be happier as he got off the phone with Amanda. Twirling the ring in his hand…he let the diamond catch the light and grinned as it glittered. He couldn’t wait to see her again.
“She will love it.” he told himself as he put the ring back into its little velvet box. He was packing to go home to Florida after a few months of touring with JC Chasez. Nick would miss performing every night, but he was happy to be going home for a while and seeing everyone. He had called Brian that day as well. Brian was at the police academy…he was doing well by the sound of things. Amanda was doing well in college. AJ had become manager of the tattoo place where he worked. Nick looked around the bus for anything he might have let slip.
“You okay?” JC asked, appearing behind him.
“I am not sure about telling her how I feel….do you think I’m doing the right thing?” the younger of the two men said, sitting on the bed.
“Of course you are. I think its a great idea….but you shouldn’t propose….especially since you never went on a date with her.”
“Isn’t love enough? JC, this is the only girl I have ever been in love with. She completes me in a way nobody could understand…we are meant for each other. I’m telling you…one day I will marry her.” Nick said, sounding much older than he was. At nearly 20 years old, he felt it was the perfect time in his life.
“That’s great and all, but as your friend…I feel like you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Just wait a bit before doing something so drastic. Trust me.” JC replied, a hand on Nick’s shoulder.
“I know what I’m doing. I’m gonna tell her everything….you will see. I am not like Lance….I’m so much better for her and I will prove it to her.” Nick said. He felt confident that everything he had planned would win Amanda over…as he continued packing the suitcase he called her and left her a message.
“I’m coming into gate 26. 9:00 Friday morning, Terminal C. I can’t wait to see you again…I have so much to tell you.” he said before hanging up and zipping up the suitcase. It was going to be a long flight and he hoped everything would be worth it in the end.
The answering machine was blinking when Lance came home from work and Amanda was taking a shower. He played the message and laughed.
“I don’t think so, Carter.” he muttered before walking away. He couldn’t wait to see what would happen tomorrow morning….when his plans finally went into action.