When getting to know Nicole a little better, Clay revealed he never said "I love you" in his last relationship, which lasted for eight months.
Clay then received a Date Card and asked Nicole out on a date.
But Clay and Nicole's first date got off to a bit of a rocky start, as Annaliese Puccini made some waves and felt the need to speak her mind on behalf of her good friend Angela Amezcua.
Annaliese accused Clay of not being over his ex-girlfriend, Angela, and said his intentions were not to find love and get engaged in Paradise.
Annaliese wasn't happy Clay was on Paradise because she said Clay had been stringing Angela along and giving her "hope." Annaliese claimed Clay and Angela had met up in Chicago two weeks prior to the show and had looked at houses when they were together.
Clay also allegedly said he wanted to marry Angela but needed to find himself first.
"Jumping into Paradise is not where you find yourself!... I don't think he's here for the right reasons. I don't think he's in it for a relationship," said Annaliese, who admitted she was tired of men not following through on their promises.
When Annaliese confronted Clay, she said he was "crushing" Angela by being on the show. Clay said he and Angela broke up three months previously and had been talking about houses and babies "earlier on" in their relationship.
But Annaliese alleged Clay and Angela had discussed baby names the day before they broke up.
Clay told Annaliese that she was very misinformed and should focus on herself and her own relationships.
Clay wasn't going to let Annaliese affect his date with Nicole, and he insisted he had moved on from Angela.
Clay told the cameras he was ready to "get back out there" in the dating game, even though his breakup with Angela had been hard.
"At this point in my life, I'm ready to find the person I'm meant to be with," Clay said.
For their date, Nicole and Clay went to a carnival with donkeys, games, lights and more. The couple danced to the music of a local band, and Clay said he thought Nicole was so much fun and gorgeous.
Clay talked to Nicole about how he found it "hard" at times to be away from Angela but he was totally over the relationship and believed they just weren't a perfect match.
The couple kissed and watched fireworks together on their first date, and Clay quickly determined he and Nicole had "a special connection" and it had been a long time since he was so excited about someone.
Nicole was also on Cloud 9 and said Clay made her feel like she's "the sexiest woman alive."
At the season's first Rose Ceremony, Clay gave his rose to Nicole.
But then Jordan Kimball arrived in Paradise and asked Nicole out, and she accepted with hesitation.
Nicole hoped Clay would realize she's "a hot commodity." She felt like the Bachelorette in Paradise and didn't mind playing a little "hard to get."
Clay found it difficult to watch Nicole go on a date with a different guy, but he felt confident in their connection and what they had.
"Obviously it sucks. It's tough. I'm starting to develop real feelings for this woman. Real feelings. I don't think I've had feelings evolve this fast ever, and now I'm in a situation where I could end up heartbroken," Clay vented to the cameras.
Nicole and Jordan had a great time on their ziplining date, but when they returned to the beach, Nicole fell back into Clay's arms and assured him there was "no comparison" between the two guys.
Clay realized Nicole was exactly who he wanted, and when she was gone, he really missed hanging out with her.
As a result, Clay and Nicole picked up right where they had left off, and he determined he wanted to be exclusive with her going forward.
"That's a testament to Paradise can work and this process is special," Tayshia Adams said of Nicole and Clay's unexpected romance.
But Nicole and Clay's "intense" relationship, according to Nicole, was really tested once Christian Estrada -- a suave, smooth-talking model and former semi-pro soccer player -- stepped onto the beach.
Christian told Nicole he was on the show for love and he was on the show for her, and so he asked her out on a date.
There was a clear spark between Nicole and Christian immediately, but Tayshia pointed out Clay was the total package -- a good and successful guy with a good heart -- and she hoped Nicole appreciated that.
Nicole accepted Christian's date invitation and Clay didn't know what to think. Clay thought Nicole would have turned down the date since he was developing strong feelings for her, and he began to worry he was going to lose her.
Clay admitted to his friends it was tough to see Nicole leave with another guy and it felt like a knife to the heart. Clay wasn't interested in pursuing other relationships because he's "a one-woman man," but Nicole was incredibly attracted to Christian.
On their jet-skiing date, Nicole said Christian made her feel like they were boyfriend and girlfriend already. The couple had some passionate makeout sessions, and Nicole said she was taken with Christian's charm, confidence and aggressive approach to dating.
Nicole, in fact, had been wishing Clay would be more aggressive. She feared he was "too passive" for her because Nicole is into a man who is assertive and would surprise her.
Clay therefore decided he would fight for Nicole, and his attempts resulted in a couple of heated conversations between Clay and Christian as they both attempted to pursue her.
When Clay failed to steal Nicole away from a little date Christian had planned for her before the second Rose Ceremony, Clay's friend Jordan decided to take matters into his own hands by trying to rip down Christian's pinata and ruin the date.
Jordan and Christian ended up brawling on the beach, and their physical altercation got them both kicked off the show.
That meant Clay and Nicole could resume their romance without distractions. Nicole gave Clay her rose at the second Rose Ceremony, and then the pair continued to get to know each other and grow closer.
Nicole appreciated Clay more than ever and apologized for sticking him in the middle of two "unpredictable, wild men." Nicole felt she could always rely on Clay, and then Clay confirmed how interested he was in her and how badly he wanted to see things through.
In the latest episode, Nicole and Clay were shown kissing on the beach and laughing. Nicole even wrote and performed a cute song for her man.
Tayshia even called Nicole and Clay the strongest couple in Paradise thus far.
What happens next between Clay and Nicole?
According to Reality Steve spoiler blogger Steve Carbone, Clay gave Nicole a rose at third Rose Ceremony.
However, Angela and Clay apparently never reunited or revisited their relationship after she arrived in Paradise.
Carbone didn't release details of Angela and Clay's interactions in Mexico, but Angela allegedly went on a pair of dates with Mike Johnson and Chase before she later decided to give her rose to Chase at the fourth Rose Ceremony of the season.
During that Rose Ceremony, Carbone says Nicole gave her rose to Clay and the pair stayed together.
"There's A LOT that goes down this episode because it's the last Rose Ceremony before the remaining couples have to decide whether to split or stay together and take the overnight date, so a lot of people eventually get weeded out/sent home," Carbone teased in his July 23 spoiler blog posting.
But Clay still reportedly opted to give his rose to Nicole and continue their relationship in Paradise. As for Angela, Chase reportedly offered her a rose at the fifth Rose Ceremony of Season 6.
Angela therefore apparently stayed out of Clay's lane in pursuing a romance with Chase.
However, Carbone reported "Chase and Angela broke things off" before the couples were given an opportunity to enjoy overnight Fantasy Suite dates in order to have some privacy and potentially take their relationships to the next level.
"I believe Chase ended it," Carbone wrote in his July 23 posting.
Did Clay and Nicole end up together or did they eventually split?
Clay and Nicole were reportedly one of four couples to enjoy an overnight Fantasy Suite date in Mexico.
However, the pair apparently did not grow closer that night. Instead, Nicole allegedly became frustrated with the man she had committed herself to.
"On 'Decision Day,' Nicole breaks up with Clay because he won't tell her he's in love with her," Carbone wrote in his blog posting.
Clay also reportedly did not want to propose to Nicole, and so she dumped him and they left the show broken up.
Although Nicole and Clay did not survive Paradise, the three other couples who had overnight dates all reportedly got engaged! To find out which couples got engaged during the finale, click here.