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Author's Chapter Notes:

"Wish I didn’t have to go


It’s hard to leave you all alone


Even when we’re far from home


Yeah, we’re right where we belong"


- John K.

It had been just over six months since our first date. I hadn’t seen Nick since winter break. He had a few concerts and interviews in January and I was working through my schooling here in New York. We were supposed to meet up for Valentine’s Day but Nick explained he would be working on the album with Joe through the Holiday. I sat in the study lounge for the school of psychology with some of my new classmates trying to differentiate between axons and dendrites.

“Okay, which one sends it, again?” Samantha asked for the third time?

“Axons, dendrites are the little hands that receive it,” I reminded her.

“So from A to D?” She clarified.

“Yes, girl!” Dustin let out annoyed. “Like the alphabet. Like Adrian’s pathetic ass who keeps trying to contact me to get the D.”

Sam and I burst out in laughter. “I’m sorry, weren’t you saying just last week that you needed a new boyfriend?”

Dustin rolled his eyes, “yes, keyword being boyfriend. That boy needs to wine and dine me and until he does he is not allowed to sixty-nine me.”

My phone buzzed on the table with a text.


From Nick

Hey partner, what are you doing today?


I smiled at my phone.

“Aww,” Sam and Dustin teased me together.

“Girl you are sprung as hell!”

“Leave her alone!” Sam smacked his shoulder, “she’s trying to get the D!”

They both laughed and I blushed. “It’s so embarrassing when you say things like that.”


To: Nick

I’m studying with some friends. What about you, lovebug?


“Lovebug?” Sam read over my shoulder, “girl are you trying to get dumped? No guy wants to hear you quote the Jonas Brothers.”

“Instant mood killer,” Dustin agreed. “This is only acceptable in my dating world where everyone has dreamed of fucking one of them. Straight guys don’t give a fuck.”

I rolled my eyes, “I’m sorry, shouldn’t you be studying SSRIs and not my texts?”

“That sounds, like a better study tactic,” someone agreed behind me.

Sam and Dustin looked up with a smile before their mouths gaped open. “Holy shit!”

I turned around to see Nick; looking absolutely awe-inspiring in a large heathered coat, white button-up, and dark slacks; smiling down at me, “hey partner.”

I jumped out of my seat to hug him, “what are you doing here? I thought you said-”

“Well, I had to throw you off the scent.”

A giant smile etched itself onto my face, “you’re the best!”

“Kiss him!” Sam whispered loudly beside me causing me to blush.

“Oh, bitch, you’re really overstepping!” Dustin scolded her.

Nick chuckled, before turning his attention on them, “you guys must be Vanessa’s friends; I’m Nick,” he introduced himself.

“Oh, we know,” Sam smirked. “Vanessa has been clinging to her phone for as long as I’ve known her, I just didn’t realize you were this Nick.”

“That’s Sam,” I introduced her. “And Dustin.”

Nick shook their hands while Dustin scolded me, “girl, how are you going to spend an entire semester pretending to be my friend and not tell me you’re dating Nick Jonas? This is treachery!”

Nick chuckled, “I’m sorry to interrupt your study time but I was hoping to steal Vanessa away for the day?”

“Take her! We didn’t even want her here,” Sam insisted.

I blushed when Sam winked at me as Nick took my hand and led me out the door.

“Your friends are nice,” he noted as we made our way down the hall.

“Yeah, they are, most days,” I joked.

He smiled down at me, “are you ready for today?”

I shook my head, “no, I thought I was just going to be studying all day, remember?”

Nick looked down at my apparel noticing my sweats and an oversized hoodie, “would you want to change maybe?”

I nodded, “I definitely don’t want to go anywhere with you when I look like this.”

“I think you look great,” he lied.

I rolled my eyes, “my place is this way.”

I opened the door to my little studio apartment. Nick glanced around and caught sight of various frames and boards on the ground leaning against the walls. “How come you haven’t put anything up on the walls?”

I shrugged, “I haven’t figured out how to hang things on a brick wall.”

Nick looked around from end to end, “is this place smaller than your room back home?”

“It’s New York, everything is smaller.”

Nick raised his eyebrow, “you’d be surprised.”

“What are we doing today?”

He smirked, “that would defeat the purpose of trying to surprise you.”

“How am I supposed to know what to wear?”

“It’s nothing public, you can wear whatever you want.”

I sighed a breath of relief knowing I wouldn’t be facing any cameras today. After the public serenade, my face was plastered on social media for a week. Suddenly, old images from high school were surfacing. It felt like I was staring at a faceless crowd and they knew everything about me.

I decided on a floral print mini dress with some wool tights and booties. I tossed on a Guess peacoat and pulled my hair out of the bun it was in. I thought to do something else with my hair but given that Nick had been waiting, I decided against it. I applied some mascara and tinted lip balm before seeing Nick scrolling through his phone as he sat on my bed.

“I’m ready,” I bit my lip hoping he wouldn’t mind that I wasn’t exactly dolled up.

The smile that spread across his face lit up my soul.

“You’re stunning.”

I blushed as he got off my bed and reached his arm out to me, “shall we?”

I looped my arm through his as he led me out the door to a black sedan waiting out front. We were completely invisible as we slipped into the vehicle unseen by any lens.

“So where are we going?” I asked as I focused on the busy New York Streets that never seemed to run out of people with places to go.

“My place.”

My attention shot to him instantly. His place? In LA? That seems a little impractical given that I was not instructed to pack anything ahead of time.

“Your place?”

Nick shrugged, “I’ve got an apartment in West Lake.”

“Since when?”

He shrugged, “I kept it from when I was in How to Succeed, figured I come out here pretty often, might as well keep it.”

“West Lake? Isn’t that the rich side of town?”

Nick chuckled, “the rich side?”

I shrugged, “I went to Manhattan on a day trip once with some friends and we noticed there was a lot that we were not able to afford. We kind of just didn’t go back.”

He shook his head, “I mean Manhattan is a pricier area, but I wouldn’t say I’m living on the rich end.”

I rolled my eyes, “that’s what a rich person would say.”


Nick opened the door and allowed me to enter first. This space had high ceilings and plenty of space.

His foyer felt bigger than my entire apartment. “You keep this place just in case?”

He shrugged, “We tend to have a lot of business here in New York, it just sort of makes sense.”

My eyes widened as I walked further ahead to see a private dinner table set for two.

“May I take your coat?” He asked, reminding me to remove it.

I mindlessly removed the coat and handed it to him before moving toward the dining setup.

“How do you-”

“Good evening, ma’am,” A voice spoke up from my left.

I looked over to find someone in a white chef’s coat waving at me from the kitchen.

“Oh, geez,” I responded in surprise. “I didn’t know anyone was in here.”

Nick finished hanging up our coats before walking in to introduce us.

“Vanessa, this is Chef Giuliano. Chef, Vanessa.”

“Sorry, didn’t mean to scare you,” he apologized.

“Oh, no, not- I just- I’m afraid of everything.”

Chef Giuliano chuckled while Nick rolled his eyes playfully, “if that isn’t the understatement of the week.”

I tried to feign upset but I couldn’t help the smile creeping on my face. “You’re the worst.”

He flashed me a proud smile, “where’s the lie, Ness?”


A set of smooth jazz standards poured over the speakers adding to the atmosphere of the space. Nick sat across from me after having tested his levels as Chef Giuliano, brought us the Amuse.

“First, we’ll start with a cold smoked oyster on the half shell, with apple and pink peppercorn granita.”

I blushed while Nick thanked him. I remembered someone once told me that oysters were quite handy at getting things started. Given that, I suppose it would be sort of fitting since we hadn’t been intimate since his birthday.

Nick held his oyster out to me, “cheers.”

I smiled and grabbed my own to gently knock against his, “cheers.”

It was slimy and cold and slid down my throat faster than I anticipated.

“What did you think?”

“I don’t know,” I answered honestly. “I swallowed it so fast I didn’t even get to taste it very well.”

A smile spread across Nick’s face as he shook his head gently.

“What?” Did I miss something?

“Nothing, you’re just… being yourself. It’s one of the things I like most about you.”

I smiled feeling at ease knowing that even though I’d made a fool of myself, at least Nick was entertained by me. “You know what I like about you?”

Nick quirked an eyebrow.

“I feel like you’re my opposite and my same all at once.”

He squinted in confusion.

“I just mean, we have a lot of commonalities but we also have so many differences between us. You have this natural magnetism and you can just be wonderful and easy. You also have strong confidence, one that I so clearly lack, and given this life and, really, just life in general, you’re like my shield.”

I paused trying to find the right way to say it so that he understood me completely, “I feel so safe when I’m with you. There’s a calm in being near you that I don’t have anywhere else. I know that sounds weird and maybe a little bit like a lie since… I just- there’s a side of me that I only ever get to experience when I’m with you. You’re the only one who brings it out of me.”

Nick smiled as he reached out for my hand and placed a kiss on it.


After dessert was finished, I sat back in my seat feeling satiated.

“What did you think of the dinner?”

“Everything was amazing,” I beamed as Chef Giuliano cleared away our plates.

Nick refilled our champagne glasses, “what do you have on the schedule tomorrow?”

I quickly ran through my agenda in my head, “I told Sam I’d help her study for the midterm. I was going to get some laundry done. Get some groceries.”

“Do you have time to stop by a home store?”
“Home store?”

He shrugged, “thought, I could give you a hand and hang up some of those frames you’ve got.”

I shook my head, “you don’t have to do that.”

“Of course I do! Those are number 27 on the list of boyfriend duties.”

I looked at him confused. “Wait, are- are you serious?”

He smiled, “what, don’t think I can be a handyman?”

“I-I don’t know, I never really thought about you in that position.”

He smirked, “well, yeah, but I can hire someone to get the job done. Be there around 2 tomorrow.”

“Wait seriously?”

“I want you to feel at home while you’re living here.”

I smiled a big, goofy grin, “you’re amazing.”

He smiled and shook his head, “just doing my job.”

“Can you stay the night?” he asked.

I bit my lip recalling how stressful it was the last time we shared a bed. I’d awakened with a jump and inadvertently scared him, too. “You want me to stay?”

He nodded, “I just got back to you, I want to be around you as much as possible.”
Why is he so freaking cute? I want to melt and just live here with him for as long as he wants me. I blushed a deep shade of red while scrambling to compose a response.

Chef Giuliano excused himself for the evening with a round of thank-yous from the both of us.

Would it be the worst thing if I stayed? Maybe it’ll be different this time?

I took a sip of my champagne, “Okay, I’ll stay on one condition.”

Nick tried to hide the smile as I stood up and walked over to his side, “can we dance?”

Nick hopped out of his seat eagerly, “oh, I’d use any excuse to hold you close.”

I giggled as he wrapped his arm around my waist and pulled me in.

“The way you wear your hat, the way you sip your tea....” Ella and Louis serenaded us as I leaned my head on Nick’s chest and he rested his chin atop my head.

“I missed being held by you,” I admitted.

“I miss you every second of every day. I’m just dying for a chance to see you.”

I smiled against his chest as we danced along without another word.

Nick pressed a kiss to the top of my head and I returned the gesture by kissing his chest. Nick chuckled in silence and I looked up to catch a glimpse of that smile.

“I love you,” he whispered into my hair.

My heart swelled at his confession and I wanted nothing more than to make sure he understood how I felt about him. I reached up onto my tiptoes and pressed my lips to his gently. He pulled me in a little tighter. My hands slithered around his neck and his hands began squeezing my waist. 

I don’t know why but every time he did that, my insides would catch fire, and goosebumps spread across my skin. This simple gesture signaled to me his enthusiasm and sparked my own. Something about knowing the effect I had on him excited me. 

I began tugging on the collar of his shirt trying to pull him in closer. I could feel the smile growing on his lips as he chuckled at my response and pulled away.
“Maybe we should stop here before we get carried away.”

My lips pouted in response. I don’t want to stop, yet.

Nick kissed the top of my nose before letting go and moving to sit in the living room. I watched him move while I plotted my next move.

Then again, maybe he just doesn’t want to? If that is the case, would it make me a jerk if I pursue this further? I figured if Nick can respect my boundaries, I owe him the courtesy of respecting his.

I huffed out the built-up energy before joining him on the couch. I kneeled on the couch beside him and cuddled into his side. Nick chuckled as he wrapped an arm around me and kissed the top of my head.

“How’s school been treating you?”

I shrugged, “it’s not bad? I feel like it's a good pace and all the instructors are so knowledgeable. I think the worst part is the weather.”

I felt Nick’s chuckle before I heard it, “the weather’s no good?”

“I hate it, I feel like I’m always cold. There was like one warm week when I first moved out here and then I never felt the sun again.”

“Well, it’s winter,” he allowed.

“Winter was not like this back home,” I shook my head. “This is not winter, it’s an abomination.”

“Ha!” Nick let out.

I looked up just in time to catch the smile on his face.

“Winter is not a thing in LA,” he countered.

“Is too, it’s like 55 degrees. It rains sometimes.”

Nick shook his head, “you’re hilarious. It rains sometimes?”

“It does!” I couldn’t help the smile creeping onto my face despite his teasing.

“There are tons of great things about LA but seasonal changes is not one of them. There is no fall, no winter. It’s Spring and Summer. That’s it.”

“Those are the best ones anyway!”

Nick raised an eyebrow to me, “you don’t think that might be a biased opinion?”

“Every opinion is biased. Opinions are, by definition, biased.”

“Why are you so smart?”

I blushed, “my brother says I was born to be a smartass.”

His lips pressed together as he tried to hide a smile, “you mean because you’re smart and you’ve got a nice ass?”

My jaw dropped. How do I even respond to that? I mean I’ve gotta say something, right?

“Um… I- words...”

I could feel Nick chuckling beside me, “did I make you uncomfortable?”

I shrugged feeling my cheeks begin to heat up, “I don’t know what words I’m supposed to say. I don’t- um, flirting… I just… don’t know how.”

“Well, we’ve made it this far; so clearly, you know something.”

I stared at him puzzled, “did I flirt with you?”

He smiled at me, “it's very cute the way that you do it. Just a touch here. A misspoken compliment there. It’s barely there. But, I couldn’t stop staring at you long enough not to notice.”

I wrapped my arms around his neck as his slithered around my waist. “Why are you so good to me?”

“Because you’re amazing.”

I kissed his cheek before whispering against his skin, “you’re my favorite person.”


The next morning I woke up to the sound of a strumming guitar. I woke up to see Nick sitting on a chair in his pajama bottoms playing with a small smile.

He watched my eyes open before he started singing,

“Feels like it’s been six months and seven days

When I’m without you
There ain’t no way I don’t think about you, yeah
All I do is think about you, yeah


I love when you get so shocked
That your cheeks turn red
How am I the only guy inside your head?
I’m thinking out loud
Yeah, I’m just thinking out loud, yeah


‘Cause baby, when we fall asleep

You know that you’re safe with me

Baby, this is all we need

And we’re right where we belong

Wish I didn’t have to go

It’s hard to leave you all alone

Even when we’re far from home

Yeah, we’re right where we belong


All these things between us

Yeah, it starts to hurt

I’m getting jealous of my own t-shirt

The way it holds you, yeah, yeah

You know I wish that can hold you


Haven’t slept in three nights

Yeah, you’re on my mind

Flipping through photographs to pass the time

I’m thinking ’bout you

Yeah, I’m always thinking ’bout you

‘Cause baby, when we fall asleep

You know that you’re safe with me

Baby, this is all we need

And we’re right where we belong

Wish I didn’t have to go

It’s hard to leave you all alone

Even when we’re far from home

Yeah, we’re right where we belong


‘Cause baby, when we fall asleep
You know that you’re safe with me
Baby, this is all we need
And we’re right where we belong
Wish I didn’t have to go
It’s hard to leave you all alone
Even when we’re far from home
Yeah, we’re right where we belong


Girl, I really love you
Yeah, we’re right where we belong, yeah
You know I really love you, love you, yeah
You know I’d always love you
Yeah, we’re right where we belong”


He finished strumming while I just stared in awe, “Happy Valentine’s Day, Vanessa.”

A giant smile spread across my face as my face started to get hot. I got out of bed and crawled into his lap while he wrapped his arms around me tightly. “You wrote a new song?” I whispered into his neck.

Nick nodded and kissed my hair, “it’s yours.”

I looked up at him confused, “what?”

“It’s your song.”

I pouted my lips as my emotions started to get the better of me. He smiled, “you’re adorable.”

He leaned in to kiss me and my heart fluttered uncontrollably.

“You make me happy,” I mumbled against his cheek.
He chuckled, “that’s all I ever want to do.”

Chapter End Notes:

So Nick threw out some big words. Also how cute are they? Am I right? Anyway, leave your thoughts behind. Positive or negative, they help me grow!

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