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Author's Chapter Notes:
This is another trigger chapter, as Elisa finally lets Nick in on one of the main reasons her mother despises her.
“Oh my God, this place is amazing,” Elisa said, sitting on a gondola with Nick in Venice.

They had been in Italy for three days, and this was the first day Nick was able to actually spend with Elisa.

Elisa spent the first day with the girls, shopping at the best stores in Milan. Nick had given her his credit card and told her to have fun.

This sparked their first argument.

“I am not taking your credit card, Nick Carter,” she had said in disbelief.

“I told you, it’s nothing, babe,’ he had said back, exasperated.

“It’s something to me. I’ve never expected my boyfriends to buy something for me and I’m not starting now,” Elisa argued.

“The other girls let their husbands do it for them-“

“You’re not my husband, Nick! We’ve only been officially dating for three weeks, I can’t let you give me your credit card after you paid for my trip here, it’s not fair.”

Nick raised an eyebrow at the husband comment and sighed.

“Baby, look at me. I know, it’s got to take some getting used to, but I’m not the type to hold shit like this over your head. I don’t mind you using my card to get something nice for yourself. It’s not like I’m hurting for money.”

“But Nick-“

“Elisa, please, let me do things for you. You deserve to be treated well and I intend on doing just that. Now please, take my card.”

In the end, she did, and she bought an entire new wardrobe. She also bought Rochelle (her sister) and Leah some things, too.

The girls had a laugh at the argument Nick and Elisa had, and assured her that what Nick had said was true. He wouldn’t hold it over her head. And if he did, Leighanne said, they would make sure the other guys found out about it.

Today, Nick woke Elisa up and told her that he was taking her to Venice for the day. It was nearly four hours away, so it wasn’t too far for a day trip. He rented a car, and off they went.

Now, in the gondola, she was wearing one of the new outfits. A charcoal grey sweater style dress, with black knee high boots and black tights. She knew Nick loved it by the heated gaze he gave her when he first saw it.

She loved those looks he gave her, and they were coming more and more frequently. They melted her to her core, and she almost wanted to lock him up in their hotel room and have her way with him, but she also knew that it was best to wait.

Making matters worse, they shared a hotel room-suite, actually-, but they slept separately. Normally she was out before he came back in, as their schedule was hectic.

Despite what he probably thought, his experience didn’t scare her off. On the contrary, it turned her on knowing that he must be good in bed. She’d find herself zoning out, wondering what he could do with that wonderful body. When he played his guitar, she wondered exactly what else he could do with his hands. Sometimes, he’d catch her daydreaming, and ask what she was thinking about.

Like now.

“What are you thinking about?” he asked, interrupting her thoughts.

Elisa smiled as she kissed him on the cheek.

“You,” she said simply.

Nick grinned.

“What about me?”

“Just trying to figure out how I got so lucky, that’s all. This is just…amazing. And I never thought in a million years I’d even be in Italy, much less with you.”

Nick grabbed her hand and kissed it.

“I’m the lucky one here, baby girl. I don’t know what I did to deserve meeting you that day, but I am so glad I did,” he said seriously.

They soon got off the gondola and found a small restaurant to eat in.

As they ate, Nick told Elisa of what was on the schedule.

They had to go to New Orleans and a couple other places across the states in December, but they were free on the week of Christmas.

“That’s all cool with me,” Elisa said, smiling as he talked.

“Speaking of Christmas, what do you do?”

“Nothing. Rochelle and Leah go to Mom’s. My dad is gone, and everyone goes to my mother’s house. And I’m not going, especially not now.”


Elisa smiled.

“Okay, I do put in some time at a shelter, and I sing at a church. That’s it.”

“So, if we were to spend Christmas together…”

“I wouldn’t object, though I should tell you, I love Christmas. I always decorate, even if it’s just me.”

Nick smiled.

“Okay, then.”

They soon headed back to the car, and drove back to Milan. Nick took the car back to the rental place and they took a limo back to the hotel. They used the back entrance to go in.

Once in the room, Nick kissed Elisa sweetly. Soon, the kiss turned fiery and urgent, as he pressed her back against the door.

“I know I said we should wait, but there’s definitely other things we can do together,” he said lowly, kissing her neck sensually.

“Oh, like what?” she said, shakily as his hands grabbed her ass and pulled her into him.

“I could show you,” he said playfully. Picking her up, he carried her to the couch and he sat down, with her in his lap. His hands caressed her ass as they kissed frantically, and he inched the dress up to slide his hands underneath it. His hands rubbed her back softly as she moaned.

“Does that feel good?” he whispered as she placed kisses on his neck.

“Mhm,” she moaned as a hand slid under her bra and cupped her breast.

“What about that?”

“Yeah,” she said softly as the hand slid lower down her body. She began to unbutton his shirt, eager to feel those abs that he had worked so hard to get.

His phone rang just as she was reaching the last button, and his hand reached the waistband of her tights. He groaned as he looked at the phone.

“Shit, it’s Kevin,” he said.

“Answer it,” she said, sliding off of him and adjusting her clothes.

“Yo? No come on man, we’re supposed to be free today…oh screw you, Kev…fine, I’ll be there but I won’t be happy.”

Elisa smiled sympathetically at him as he buttoned his shirt back up with a pout on his face.

“You have to go?”

Nick sighed.

“Yeah. I don’t want to,” he said, raking his eyes over her hungrily. “I want to pick up where we left off.”

“C’mon, Kaos, don’t disappoint them. I plan on sticking around for a while, so I won’t be mad if you go do your thing,” she said.

Nick smiled at her.

“Why are you so awesome?”

“It’s a gift. Now go, before Kevin neuters you before I have a chance to enjoy what you have to offer.”

With a quick kiss, Nick left her and went to go to this thing with the rest of the guys.

The girls were in Kristin and Kevin’s suites, as all the kids were asleep.


“Let me just say that I am so happy we don’t have to give you the ‘this is the life’ talk,” Kristin said after they discussed their men going to an unscheduled event. “Leigh was the worst.”

Howie’s wife blushed, but didn’t deny it.

“I missed him so much,” she admitted. “I cried every night during the first tour he went on after we started dating”

Elisa smiled at the shy woman.

“I miss him, too, but I know that this comes with the territory,” she said.

“And oh my god, when Kevin left for a while, he was…well I’m not going to say miserable, but he missed it.”

Leighanne sighed.

“The touring sucks but it takes a special kind of woman to marry a superstar. And it gets worse before it gets better.”

Elisa sighed.

“I don’t think I’m ready to get married for a while.”

“No, we aren’t saying you two are. But I can see that the two of you…it’s special. And we called it with Rochelle and Leigh. We never felt right about Maureen for some reason and now I know why, it’s because Nick’s girl is you,” Leighanne said.

“Nick’s not an easy man to hook. Especially since he became sober. Honestly, he didn’t have much to do with the groupies after he became sober. And he does have some anger problems. But I think if anyone can help him it’s you,” Rochelle said softly. "You seem to be cut from the same cloth but your choices led you down a different path than his did."

The girls talked for a while, and then Elisa headed back to her room. Laying down, she thought about the anger problems she had herself. She knew she needed to talk to Nick about it, especially if he was wanting this to be forever.

She was in therapy twice a month for it, but lately she hadn’t felt the need to go. She was sure that was Nick’s doing, but she still needed to talk about what had happened and what had resulted from it.

Feeling a wave of depression, Elisa rolled to her side, and brought her knees up to her chest. She hated feeling this way. It made her feel out of control and vulnerable. She had left her Xanax in the States, not expecting the panic attacks to occur here.

"Nick, I need you," she whimpered as the tears started.


Nick walked in about an hour later, tired as hell. He walked to Elisa’s room, which was open, and he stopped when he heard a sob.

“Elisa, baby, you okay?” he asked.

All he heard was another sob.

“Shit,” he whispered as he sat on the bed. He knew she wouldn't like the him going away part of their relationship.

“Come here, baby,” he said softly. He pulled her up where she was sitting and held her. “I’m sorry I was gone so long.”

“No, Nick, it’s not you.”

Nick was shocked at her answer.

“Then what is it, baby girl?” he asked, concerned.

Taking a deep breath, Elisa realized it was time to tell him what had happened all those years ago.

“I need to talk to you, and you can’t be mad at me.”

“Okay.” He was worried now.

Elisa sighed. The painful part of the attack had already passed, so she was glad he hadn't seen that.

“You remember the night I almost kicked my sister’s ex boyfriend’s ass?”


“Well, I reacted the way I did because the same thing he did to Leah, one of my mom’s boyfriends did to me.”

Nick felt sick.

“Elisa…you don’t have to tell me now.”

“I do. Because you need to see why I am the way I am. If you plan on sticking it out with me, you need to understand all of my issues.”

Nick was silent but he nodded for Elisa to continue.

“It happened from the time I was eight to the time I was fourteen. And I can’t have children because he damaged me so badly. Something about the uterus I don't know. I didn't listen to all of it when I was checked out, because i don't like thinking about it. But he took that part from me. The only way I can have kids of my own is to hire a surrogate.”

Nick wanted to cry. He pulled Elisa into his arms and held her.

“What did your mom do?” he asked, although he probably knew the answer.

“She didn’t believe me. No one did until I skipped school the day he did it for the last time and I went straight to the hospital. Everytime I would tell her, she would call me a liar. Tell me that no one would believe me. Rochelle was too young to know what happened. But everyone else knew but didn’t believe me. My dad was already gone. My grandma on his side, she was in another state. My mom still doesn’t believe it, and she blames me for him being in jail.”

Nick rubbed her hair.

“I’m so sorry it happened to you, Elisa. I really am,” he whispered, with tears in his eyes.

“I see a therapist 2 times a month for it. But lately, you help keep the bad shit away.”

"What about your pills?"

"I left them in the States, thinking I wouldn't need them here."

"Elisa, you can't do that. Panic attacks aren't shit to fuck around with."

"I know."

Nick sighed.

"So this is why you and your mom, have your problems for lack of a better word?"


Nick kissed her softly.

“You can tell me anything, baby. I mean it. Whenever you’re hurting or scared or angry, just tell me. And I’ll make it better, I promise. And as far as the kids thing, if we get to that point and that’s what we want, there’s plenty of kids who need a home. We can adopt them. Or we can hire a surrogate. It’s a non-issue for me.”

Elisa smiled as he placed another sweet kiss on her lips.

“Anything else bothering you?”

“No, but can you stay in here tonight? I don’t want to sleep alone.”

“Of course, baby.”

Nick shed his shirt and got under the covers with her. She placed her head on his chest, with a hand over his heart. He wrapped one arm around her and kissed her hair.

“You know, you’re not alone, Elisa. I’m a little messed up, too,” he whispered to her.

She was already asleep, but Nick was awake for a while, processing what she’d just told him. It made him angry, to know that his girl was violated in the worst way, but her own mother didn’t believe her. And yet, here she was, successful and beautiful and loving life despite everything life had thrown at her.

And Nick was falling for her, and he was falling hard. His heart beat under her hand, and with every beat, it ached for the woman in his arms. He wanted to kiss all her pain away, make love to her and show her the way a real man loves a woman. He wanted to wake up to her every morning, and fall asleep with her every night.

But he couldn’t do that without knowing for sure he was ready, and that she was too. Because while he knew what he felt was real, the reality of the situation was that what they has was too new. However, he had all the time in the world to prove himself to this woman. Because he wasn’t planning on letting this one go.