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Elisa walked back to the greenroom after the show to grab her bag. She had had the best time tonight, and she was sorry it was over, but now she needed to call a cab or something to get her home. Her phone was in her bag, so she pulled it out.

Walking out, she ran into Pauly D.

“Hey, pretty girl,” he said, leering at her.

“Uh, hey. You’re in my way,” she said, raising an eyebrow.

“Don’t you know who I am?”

“Yeah, the guy who was the DJ tonight and the guy who was on Jersey Shore.”

Pauly rolled his eyes.

“I’m more than that, if you wanted to get to know me better.”

“Yeah, thing is, I don’t want to. Have a good day,” she said, walking around him, but not before he grabbed her ass.

Reacting out of instinct, she kicked him in the nuts.


The show ended on a high note, and Nick was so happy to be done. The girls had gone home or to the afterparty, and he was enjoying some peace and quiet.


Or so he thought.

He walked out to see Pauly D, one of the opening acts, grabbing his nuts and hitting the floor, and Elisa looking at his writhing form in rage.

"Touch my ass again and I'll rip them off, your sorry sack of-"

"Hey, what the hell?" Nick asked, helping Pauly to his feet while looking at Elisa in confusion.

"That psycho bitch attacked me!"

Nick raised an eyebrow at the douchebag. He punched him in the jaw, which dropped him to the floor again.

“What the FUCK, man?” Pauly asked, glaring at him.

"Don't call a woman a bitch in front of me again, we're not the Jersey Shore. Get to the bus and have the fucking nurse look at you," he said lowly and dangerously. He looked to see Elisa walking away quickly.

“Great, Elisa, you fucked up in front of Nick Carter, and now you’re probably getting sued,” she thought to herself.

"Hey, wait up!"

Elisa turned to see Nick, beautiful sexy Nick, in a black tank top and gray jeans, running to her.

“I’ve got to go, before he decides to sue me or some shit,” she said, continuing to walk.

“He won’t. If he does, he’ll have to sue me too.”

Nick grinned at her. She kept walking, but he grabbed her arm to stop her.

“Hey, did I do something wrong?”

She couldn’t let this happen. She needed to know what he was up to.

"What are we doing, Nick?"


"What are we doing? We've been doing this...thing all night, and I don't know what to think!"

Nick ran his hand through his hair in frustration.

“Neither do I. All I know is that I see you, and I don't feel like a Backstreet Boy, I feel like Nick. Just Nick. I can tell you anything. Which is fucking crazy because I don't know you from Eve."

Elisa groaned and put her head in her hands.

"This is fucking crazy. Just so you know, I'm not some fucking groupie like half of those women in that room were tonight."

Nick was hurt that she thought that way, and he let her know.

"I know that, Elisa! Jesus, why would I think you were one? You were the only one not throwing themselves at me. Which is what made me like you. You weren't looking for me to find you dancing this afternoon. You didn't go looking for me, and I didn't go looking for you. But yet, here we are. I'm sitting here, pulled to you for some reason."

"You're engaged, though!"

That didn’t hurt Nick like he thought it would.

"Not anymore!”

“What? But I thought-“ Elisa said, confused.

“She dumped me. She wasn’t ready to get married. That's why I've been in a crap mood. I've spent the last couple of weeks trying to get my fiancee back, yet I see you and she's the last thing on my mind. And I know that sounds shitty. But I can't help it."

Elisa gasped, and tried to keep the hope that entered her heart at bay. He stared into her brown eyes intensely.

“I…I have to go,” she said finally, turning and practically running to the parking lot, leaving Nick to wonder what the hell just happened.


The next day, Elisa left work for the gym. It had been a rough day, and her nerves were still shot from the night before.

She was beating herself up for running away from Nick Carter, but that was the go to plan lately since her last relationship had such a drastic ending.

The gym she went to was common place for celebrities, and in the three months she had been coming, she’d met quite a few of them.

Hopping on a treadmill, she put her earbuds in and began a run. She had upbeat music playing to keep her going. Looking out the corner of her eye, she could see someone coming in and she about fell off her tradmill.

It was Nick Carter. Putting her face down, she waited until he passed before looking up again. He chose a treadmill a little ways down from her, and looked frustrated. Luckily, he hadn’t noticed her. Breathing a sigh of relief, she went back to her run.


Nick was beyond relieved that there was only one other person in the room when he arrived at his gym. He hadn’t been here in a while and wanted to get his miles in.

He was still reeling from Elisa’s rejection last night. He wasn’t even trying to get in her pants, he just wanted to get to know her better.

He ran fast, enjoying the fire in his chest as he did. His eyes drifted over to the other person in the room, and he had to do a double take as she stepped off her treadmill.

“No fucking way,” he whispered as he watched her take a sip of water and leave the room.

He stopped his treadmill and followed her. He didn’t know if this was her or not, but he wasn’t leaving without finding out.

“Didn’t think I’d see you again,” he finally said. She stopped.

“Checkmate,” he thought as she turned around.

Yep, it was her. Nick smiled at her as she blushed.

“Hi,” she said finally, running her hand through her hair.


“Look, I’m sorry-“

“Not here. Come with me,” he said, going into one of the empty dance classrooms. She followed him in.

“I’m sorry about last night. I was incredibly rude,” Elisa said, sitting on the floor.

“Nah. It’s cool. I was a little overwhelming.”

“Yeah, just a little.”

They both laughed.

“Look, Elisa, I do want to get to know you. I’m not going to lie, you’re definitely one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met.”

"What are you saying?" she finally asked. She was staring at him, fear in her eyes. But there was that longing there, too.

"What do you want from me, Elisa?" Nick asked softly, taking her hand.

Elisa shook her head.

"I don't know."

Nick sighed.

"Look, I want us to ... be friends. I don't want to push anything on you that you don't want."

Elisa looked up at him.

“I’d like us to be friends,” she finally said.

Nick smiled. “Okay then.”

"I'm sorry about your engagement,” Elisa added.
Nick smiled.

"It’s alright. Maybe life is making room for something better.”

Nick caught up with Elisa again as she was leaving the gym.

“Headed home?”

“Yeah, I have to work in the morning,” she said.

“Where you work at?” Nick asked, walking her to her car.

“I’m a high school guidance counselor.”


“Yeah. I love my job.”

“Better you than me, I didn’t like teenagers when I was one,” Nick said.

“Maybe because most teenagers were grabbing you and pulling your hair out when you were a teenager. I love helping kids, and since I’m closer in age to them, I prefer high school kids.”

“Yeah that has a lot to do with it,” Nick admitted, laughing.

Elisa giggled.

“I guess I should go,” she said softly.

“Wait, before you do, can I have your phone number? I’d love to chill sometime, just me and you.”

“Um, sure,” she said, putting her number in his phone, as he put his in hers.

“Text me anytime, girl,” he said.

“I will,” Elisa said, putting her phone in her jeans pocket.

Nick watched her as she drove off, with a grin on his face. This was definitely the start of something interesting.