Haunted CastleWinter months had always been hard for Nick. He lacked motivation, but this year things were different. With Lauren, things were better than ever. He felt blessed, as if everything finally tilted in his favor. He had been through so much, and he felt like it was about time some good things started happening.

He decided to coach Tommy’s basketball team at the YMCA. The practices were on Tuesdays and Thursday, so he and Lauren rode together because she taught the self-defense classes on those nights.

The games were usually on Sundays and Lauren attended loyally. Lauren’s nieces and nephews also played, so the entire Harris family came out in full support not only for their own kin, but for Tommy and Nick, too.

Nick also felt proud of his brother. They finally had a real chance of becoming close again. Brandon transferred to the University of Dayton to finish his studies. He moved in with Chelsey. Brandon had always been a professional student and already had one degree. He decided on pre-law this time, probably because he saw a future at the Harris’s law firm.

Nick spent most of his downtime at Lauren’s. His apartment simply housed his material belongings. Still, he didn’t want to bring up the idea of moving in together yet. He feared approaching it too soon could have a very negative impact on the progress they continued to make. So, he kept it in the back of his mind. The fact that she gave him a key to her house suited him fine for now.

As he lay beside her after a morning of love making, his mind wandered backward. He felt ashamed of how he had treated her when he first met her. He hoped he could make it up to her. In fact, he hoped he was making it up to her already. The concept of them being together now as a couple seemed too unreal to even believe, but here she lay resting so peacefully on his chest.


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