New York City – April 25th, 2012
“Where have you been?” Audrey heard an exasperated Nick Jonas moments after the tiny bell poised on the door of the dinner dinged with his arrival.
Her heart began beating rapidly at the sound of his voice. She was almost scared to even look him in the eye after what she and Joe did. She felt the burning of blush on her cheeks as their eyes finally met when he threw himself down in the chair across the table from her.
“I’ve been… around,” she breathed quietly.
The truth was she hadn’t been around. She purposely avoided the diner up until today to avoid all run-ins with any of the Jonas brothers.
“You’ve been around? Oh, really?” Nick asked sarcastically, giving her a look of absurdity.
“Well… I’ve been busy,” she huffed, hoping he’d just drop it.
“Too busy to even answer the phone? I probably called you a million times this week,” he huffed right back.
“I’m sorry,” she said quietly, admitting defeat.
She felt bad. She really did. Nick was her friend and she was avoiding him out of his association with his brother. When Joe left this past weekend to go back to Los Angeles, she should have gotten ahold of Nick.
“I mean, you weren’t even here. I was getting worried,” he kept on.
“I’m sorry, Nick,” Audrey said again, feeling worse and worse every second.
Nick paused momentarily to look at her. His dark brown eyes searching her own.
“Apology accepted,” he finally said, which made the guilt lessen quite a bit.
“Thank you,” she breathed, looking down at her homework.
“Nicky! What can I get yous?” George asked as he came up to them at the table.
“Hey, George. I’ll take a—” Nick started.
“Lemme guess. A diet coke?” George cut him off.
“You got it,” Nick smiled widely at the plump Italian man smiling back at him.
“You good on your water, Audrey?” George asked, focusing on her now.
“Yes. Thank you, Georgie,” she smiled pleasantly at him.
“Be right back,” he told Nick.
“Thanks,” Nick said.
Audrey tried to keep her nose in her book, doing her homework, but she could feel Nick’s stare burning into her. She hesitantly looked up to meet his eye and looked back down immediately.
“You’re acting weird,” Nick pointed out.
“What? No, I’m not,” she scoffed lightly.
“You are, Audrey,” he stated.
“No,” she said, shaking her head.
“Is this about Joe?” Nick asked, throwing her completely off.
“What?” Audrey choked out, looking straight at him.
She was certain her face showed some sort of horrified look, but she couldn’t stop herself.
“Joe told me,” Nick said quietly.
“Oh my god,” Audrey breathed, bringing her hand up to cover her face as her cheeks almost caught on fire from the blush the rose in them.
“I’m just confused,” Nick said, staring at her, despite the fact that she was avoiding his eye.
“What did he tell you?” She asked, peeking around her hand to look at him.
“Everything,” Nick told her.
“Everything?” She repeated.
“Everything,” Nick said again.
“What is everything?” She asked.
“Do you want me to say it out loud?” He asked, looking around quickly.
“Oh my god. Why would he tell you?” She whined, feeling absolutely mortified.
“Well, it wasn’t like he, you know, was telling the whole world. He only told me right before he left, after you’d been MIA for days,” Nick told her.
“Oh my god,” Audrey breathed.
“Why were you avoiding him?” Nick asked curiously.
All Audrey could do was give him a dead face stare. She didn’t want to have this conversation with him.
“What?” Nick chuckled.
“Is that a trick question?” She asked seriously.
“No. Why would it be a trick question?” He asked, looking at her oddly.
“Nick… oh my god,” Audrey sighed, really wanting to be doing anything else but talking to Nick Jonas about sleeping with Joe Jonas.
“Audrey. He was pretty hurt, you know,” Nick told her, making the guilt inside of her amplify.
“But he’s… he’s Joe Jonas,” she stammered.
“He may be Joe Jonas, but he’s still just Joe. Just because he’s famous doesn’t mean he doesn’t have feelings. The thing you need to learn about him is that he’s actually pretty shy deep down. He likes to put up a good front,” Nick explained, only making her feel worse.
“Gahh. I just… I freaked out, okay. It wasn’t… we weren’t… it just wasn’t supposed to happen, okay,” she stammered.
“But it did happen. And you can’t just run from that,” Nick told her.
“I’m sorry,” she said quietly, feeling a hole being ripped through her gut. She felt terrible for being such a coward.
“Look, I didn’t come here to yell at you. I actually came here to hang out and to see if you were still alive,” Nick said, smirking at her.
“I’m alive,” she said quietly.
“Audrey, I can tell you feel bad. Just… just don’t avoid him, I guess,” Nick offered.
She nodded, knowing she needed to face it rather than run away from it. She slept with Joe Jonas. The first step was admitting it, right?
Los Angeles – April 25th, 2012
A week passed since things went down with Audrey in New York. A week passed and she was still all Joe could think about. Images and memories of what happened that night kept coming back to him over the course of the week – in the most inopportune times. He’d be pumping gas or standing in line getting coffee and a flash of Audrey’s naked body would throw him off completely. Or the thought of their heavy breathing or the pleasure that raced through his body while they were together or his lips grazing her heated skin would entrance him and he’d be lost. It was rather embarrassing when he’d finally snap back to reality and some random person would be staring at him, trying to get his coffee order or needing him to pay for his groceries. It was like he was losing touch with reality. And it was really starting to get to him.
Joe had so many feelings over the whole thing. He couldn’t even wrap his brain around it. They had a genuinely good time with each other that night at the club. That much he knew. She was enjoying his company and he was enjoying hers. But then they kissed and it escaladed enough for them to take it home. And somehow it turned into a one night stand, where she ended up running away in the morning and avoiding not only him, but Nick too, for the rest of the week. That was enough to thoroughly bruise his ego.
“So, I talked to Audrey today,” Nick told Joe over the phone that night.
“What? You finally got ahold of her?” Joe asked curiously, sitting up straighter on his couch. It was good news. It had to be good news.
“Yeah. I went to the diner and she was there,” Nick told him.
“What did she say?” Joe asked a little too excitedly.
He knew he should probably rein himself in, but after a week of not knowing what the hell was going on, the possibility of getting some sort of insight was much too appealing.
“I kind of told her you were bummed that she just disappeared,” Nick told him.
Joe’s stomach twisted violently, hoping Nick didn’t portray him as some poor little puppy off licking his wounds because of her. It was a low blow, but it wasn’t anything he couldn’t handle.
“Ohh-kay,” Joe said, wanting a little elaboration.
“She felt bad about it. She looked pretty upset when we were talking,” Nick told him.
“What did she say?” Joe asked, hoping he could get a little more out of his brother.
“I don’t know. That she was sorry. And that she freaked out and that’s why she left, I guess,” Nick explained.
“Alright,” Joe said quietly.
“I think you two should talk about it. I just don’t want there to be any hard feelings or weirdness,” Nick said.
“If she’ll talk to me,” Joe said quietly.
“I think she will,” Nick said.
“Alright,” Joe said again.
“I don’t know why you had to have sex with her in the first place. Aren’t there plenty of girls lining up for that? Why her? Why my friend?” Nick asked, suddenly becoming defensive.
“Whoa. I asked you, dude. I asked if you had feelings for her,” Joe said, defending himself right back.
“I don’t have feelings for her… like that. And when you asked me, you most definitely didn’t make it clear that you were gunning for her. I thought you were just giving me the third degree like Kevin and Danielle,” Nick told him.
“Are you mad?” Joe asked boldly.
“No, I’m not mad. I’m just annoyed that you’ve alienated her from me,” Nick snapped.
“Look, I’m sorry, okay. I didn’t mean… I really didn’t want to… look, I like her, Nick. I think I really like her,” Joe confessed to him.
Nick was silent on the other end. Joe had to pull his phone away from his ear to see that the call was still connected.
“Are you there?” Joe asked.
“I’m here,” he heard him say.
“Does that bother you?” Joe asked hesitantly.
“The only thing that bothers me is that things are awkward. And you made them that way, so you need to fix it,” Nick told him firmly.
“I’ll be back out there soon. I promise I’ll talk to her, okay. Just… I might need a little help getting her in the same room as me,” Joe told him.
Once he got her in front of him, he had of 50/50 chance of things going his way. It was the prospect of things going unfavorably that had him worried.
New York City – May 1st, 2012
“Audrey,” she heard and her whole body tensed at the sound of the voice.
She looked up into the eyes of the man who hadn’t left her mind in weeks.
“Joe,” she breathed quietly.
“Hi,” he said, smiling weakly at her.
“Wha-what are you doing here?” She asked, looking around the small diner that was hers and Nick’s spot – not Joe’s. Joe had never been there before.
“I mean, how… how did you know where I was?” She stammered, her brain already answering the question for her as she spoke it.
“Nick told me where I could find you. I hope you don’t mind,” he told her.
“No, no. That’s fine,” she said, feeling incredibly flustered.
“I think we should talk,” Joe said, looking straight in her eyes, showing no hesitation or uncertainty.
“Yeah,” she nodded, dropping her eyes from his.
“Can I sit?” He asked.
“Sure. Yeah,” she told him.
Audrey waited as he took the seat across from hers – the seat his brother usually occupied when they were together at the diner.
“Listen. I’m just going to come right out and say it, okay,” Joe said, boggling her with his words of intrigue.
She knit her eyebrows together as she looked into his eyes.
“I like you, Audrey. And… and I don’t regret what happened, okay,” he said, shrugging his shoulders.
Her mouth dropped open slightly as she stared at him in disbelief. This wasn’t really happening was it? Because if it was, then she literally needed to hope and pray that the constricting in her chest wasn’t due to some sort of heart failure.
“You—” She choked out.
“I like you,” he said again.
“Oh,” she breathed through the daze she was in.
“Oh?” Joe asked.
“Uh…” She stammered as her brain stalled inconveniently.
“Jesus, Audrey,” Joe scoffed lightly, breaking his vision away from her. She was upsetting him. That much she could be sure of.
“I’m sorry,” she breathed, apologizing for her lapse in the conversation.
“You’re sorry? For what? Are you… are you trying to let me down easy? Because I can take it, okay,” Joe said, his voice filled with annoyance.
“Joe, no. No,” Audrey said quickly, shaking her head. She couldn’t believe this was happening.
“Then what, Audrey?” He asked impatiently.
“You don’t understand,” she said quietly.
“I don’t understand what?” He asked.
Audrey’s eyes looked up into his narrowed brown ones, hoping her words would come out right.
“I’ve liked you, okay. I’ve liked you for a long time,” she said, shaking her head, feeling like a complete idiot.
“What are you talking about? We only—” He cut himself off and Audrey looked up in time to see his eyes grow wide.
“You…” He breathed.
“I’m sorry,” she said quietly.
“Nick said you… that you didn’t. You weren’t a… fan,” Joe stammered.
“Well, I was. I am. I just… I… I don’t know. I didn’t want to… fuck,” she breathed, unable to complete a full sentence let alone a thought in her head.
“You didn’t want to what?” He asked, his voice coming out sharp.
“God,” Audrey grumbled to herself, hating how uncomfortable the whole confession was.
“You’ve just been lying to us?” He asked.
“No. No, I haven’t,” she said as she shook her head.
“You weren’t honest,” he scoffed.
“And what does it even matter?” Audrey asked, letting her voice raise slightly, feeling the annoyance building up inside of her.
“It matters, Audrey,” Joe shot back.
“Why? I’m still the same person, Joe. Nick and I still met under the same circumstances. You and I still met under the same circumstances,” Audrey argued.
“If Nick knew, I’m sure we wouldn’t be sitting here talking about this right now,” Joe scoffed unforgivingly.
His words cut through her. They were hurtful and mean, whether he meant them to be or not. Audrey felt the stinging of tears in her eyes.
“Well, I guess then we wouldn’t have made the mistake we made then,” she shot back at him, immediately wishing she could take it back.
“You’re right,” he seethed, meeting his angry eyes with hers for a few moments before he stood up abruptly.
Audrey watched him turn and walk toward the door without another word. He didn’t even bother to look back and she knew she messed up by not telling them. But once it all started, she wanted to do everything in her power to keep it all running smoothly.
A part of her was certain she would do it all over again if she was given the chance to go back.