Calling Nick Divine by Firefly
Chapter 1 - Voices by Firefly
Chapter One: Voices
“Hey, Nick! Where ya going?”
Nick cringed at the sound of Brian’s voice. He’d really been hoping to sneak out undetected tonight. And of all people to catch him, of course it had to be Brian.
The US leg of the Unbreakable tour had been a daunting one for Nick, and most of that was due to Backstreet’s only daddy. Brian often forgot that, technically, he was only responsible for Baylee, and that Nick was in fact, capable of living his own life – or at least that’s how it felt to Nick.
“We’re in Atlantic City, man, and Becca – ” Nick smiled at the scantily clad woman on his right and gave her waist a tight squeeze. “It is Becca, right?” The blonde smiled back, and when she nodded Nick turned his smirk back to Brian. “ – Becca says she knows the scene.”
“My father owns the Tropicana,” the woman stated proudly. “I’ve got the presidential suite. We’re going to see how much trouble we can get into in one night.”
Nick cringed again. It was true he’d said those exact words to the girl not more than ten minutes ago, but that was not something he was planning on sharing Backstreet’s newest Kevin.
“Relax, Brian,” Nick replied through gritted teeth, before Brian could spit out whatever lame warning he had in his mind. “We have the whole day off tomorrow. We’re just going to have a little fun, blow off some steam…” Nick smirked at the girl again and in a lower tone added, “Or maybe work up a sweat.”
“Nick I don’t think that’s such a good idea.” Brian smiled apologetically to the woman Nick was now kissing on the neck. “No offense.”
“None taken,” she giggled, swatting Nick’s hands away as they reached for her backside. “Later,” she hissed to Nick. “Let’s go dancing first.”
Nick shrugged helplessly to Brian and began to head toward the arena’s exit. “Nick, wait.”
I think you should wait, Nick.
Nick stopped dead in his tracks. He looked around, but the only people there were Brian and the beautiful Becca. He shook off the strange feeling, but he’d paused long enough for Brian to get another word in. “I was thinking maybe you should just come back to our hotel tonight. I’ll ditch Leighanne and we can have a Pro Madden tournament or something.”
You love video games, Nick. Take his offer.
Nick flinched. That time he knew he’d heard it. He looked around again, but he didn’t know why he bothered. He knew who’s voice it was, and it’s not like he was going to see himself standing behind him.
Brian and Becca were both staring curiously, confused by the odd behavior he was displaying, but Nick didn’t want to admit his momentary laps in sanity, so he ignored the voice. “You want to blow off your family to play video games with me all night?” he repeated incredulously.
Brian shrugged. “Sure. I’ll even spring for the pizza.”
You know you want to. When’s the last time Brian wanted to hang out just the two of you?
This time Nick whirled around trying to catch whoever was playing this sick joke. Again, the only thing that seemed out of the norm was his own actions.
“Are you ok?” Becca asked.
Tiny beads of sweat began to glisten on Nick’s forehead. He looked at the empty hall behind him, and then to the worried looks of Becca and Brian. He tried to shake it off again, but it was harder this time. “I think I need a drink.”
“Well then,” Becca giggled, perking up instantly. “Why don’t we go make that happen? Nothing like a good round of body shots to start the night off.”
Becca gave Nick a pout so seductive it made his body ache for her.
Don’t fall for it Nick. Paris was young, rich, and hot too.
“Ok, something really messed up is gong on here!” Nick yelled.
“Ok, forget the dancing,” Becca urged, “let’s just go back to my place and relax.”
Nick waited for a moment, listening for the sound of his own voice to continue ringing in his ears. Nothing but silence this time. “I’ve got to get out of here,” he muttered.
Fine, get out. But go with Brian, dude. Trust me.
Nick glanced at Brian, and then back to Becca, and finally back to Brian again. Finally the urge to get out of the building as quickly as possible won out. “Sorry, Bri. I made plans with the lady first. Another time, though. I promise.”
That’s what you think.
“Come on,” Nick said, tugging nervously on Becca’s hand.
“Nick, please,” Brian said more urgently this time. “Look I know this is going to sound crazy, but I just have a really bad feeling right now.”
As he should.
“What? Why?" Nick was yelling now, but not at Brian.
Unfortunately Brian didn’t know that. “I don’t know,” he shrugged, redness starting to creep into his cheeks. “I just have this feeling like something bad is going to happen tonight. I really don’t think you should go out.”
“Ok, what the hell is that supposed to mean?!”
“I don’t know, ok? You’re right, there’s something really weird going on. Can you just trust me this once?”
It means that if you go out with Miss October here, you’ll end up dead. And getting beat to death by a psycho ex boyfriend is not the most fun way to go. Trust me.
Yes, trust me. Or trust you, or whatever. It’s all the same. And before you say anything, I know what you’re thinking. Great minds think alike and all that. You can’t take him. I wouldn’t be here if you could. The guy’s an ex marine turned security guard at the casino. Huge dude. Totally psycho.
Nick’s head began to spin. When leaning against the wall turned out to be not quite enough support, he slid to the floor and stuck his head between his knees.
“Nick, are you ok?” Brian asked, his concern escalating to panic.
“Uh, I don’t know what’s going on here,” Becca interrupted, “but you guys are starting to freak me out.”
“I’m fine!” Nick snapped even though he was quite sure he was anything but fine. “Just give me a minute.”
“What about that drink?” Becca whined. “Come on Nicky, let’s go. Maybe you just need a little fresh air.”
Maybe you should stay out of it!
Nick was surprised by the hostility in his voice. Well, the voice he was hearing anyway. I t sounded like him, but he had no reason to be hostel to this woman. The strange thing was, though, hearing the voice's anger, made him feel angry too. “Maybe you should go.”
“What?” Both Becca and Brian chimed together.
Wait, did I just say that, or did you?
Brian looked a little shocked, but Becca looked really insulted now. Nick wasn’t too concerned about her, though, He had too many other things on his mind at the moment. Well, one other thing, but it was sure saying a lot. “Nick, you’re not seriously buying into this shit, are you?”
“Look, you heard what I said, alright? I’ve got a fucking headache all the sudden, so maybe you should go find someone else to screw tonight.”
Dang! Way to go Nick! I knew you had it in you.
Brian stood there speechless as Becca stormed out of sight. Unfortunately for Nick, Brian was the only who managed to keep his mouth shut.
That’s right! Keep walkin’ bitch! You ain’t getting us killed this time! Ow! Damnit! OW! Ok, ok, I’m sorry. No more swearing, I get it. Put away the smiting stick already… Sorry, dude, my boss has a thing about profanity. You know, for someone so merciful, that man sure likes to inflict a lot of pain.
“Would you mind shutting the hell up for a minute?!”
Sheesh. I only saved your life. A simple thank you would have been enough.
Nick just glared in the direction the voice was coming from.
Fine, I’m shutting up.
“Um, Nick? I didn’t say anything. Are you sure you’re ok?”
Nick was startled by the sound of Brian’s voice, and blushed when realized that he was talking to himself. Literally. Talking to himself. He looked at his frightened friend for a minute, but there were was just no explanation for what was going on – at least not one that he was going to share with anyone... Ever.
He waited for a moment longer, but the voice seemed to have silenced itself at his request. With a deep sigh, Nick slowly made his way to his feet. “I’m ok,” he said when Brian reached out to help him.
Brian didn’t seem too convinced, but he didn’t argue. “I’m really sorry Nick. I don’t know what came over me, but I really did feel terrible. Thanks for staying.”
“Forget it, alright.”
“So, you really up for some pizza? I wasn’t kidding. I’ll tell Leighanne not to wait up.”
“Thanks, Brian. That sounds like fun. Really, it does. But I think maybe I should just go to bed. I don’t think I feel all that well.”
“You think you need a doctor?”
A head doctor, maybe, Nick thought. “No. Sleep ought to do it. Maybe we can hang out tomorrow, though. Day off and all that.”
“Yeah, sure. I mean I’ve got Leighanne and Baylee, but we could all do something together.”
“Sure. Call you in the morning.”
The two said goodnight rather awkwardly, and then Nick headed to his hotel room – stopping at the drugstore on the way for a bottle of Advil. The voice had stopped, but the feeling of being crazy was still in the front of his mind, making his head throb. There was so much wrong with what just went down, that Nick decided the best thing to do was pretend it didn’t really happen. He chalked it up to the daunting stress of tour life, and welcomed the view of the back of his eyelids.
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