This is the sequel to "Walk With Me". Alissa comes back into AJ's life. What will happen this time?
Fanfiction > Backstreet Boys Characters:
1. Chapter 1 by Kyrie
2. Chapter 2 by Kyrie
3. Chapter 3 by Kyrie
4. Chapter 4 by Kyrie
5. Chapter 5 by Kyrie
6. Chapter 6 by Kyrie
7. Chapter 7 by Kyrie
8. Chapter 8 by Kyrie
9. Chapter 9 by Kyrie
10. Chapter 10 by Kyrie
11. Chapter 11 by Kyrie
12. Chapter 12 by Kyrie
13. Chapter 13 by Kyrie
14. Chapter 14 by Kyrie
15. Chapter 15 by Kyrie
16. Chapter 16 by Kyrie
17. Chapter 17 by Kyrie
18. Chapter 18 by Kyrie
19. Chapter 19 by Kyrie
20. Chapter 20 by Kyrie
21. Chapter 21 by Kyrie
22. Chapter 22 by Kyrie
23. Chapter 23 by Kyrie
24. Chapter 24 by Kyrie
25. Chapter 25 by Kyrie
26. Chapter 26 by Kyrie
27. Chapter 27 by Kyrie
After Alissa left, AJ called the DNA lab and realized that it was a phony name and number. He had also found out that Adam had paid this woman to come to his house and pretend to be an old girlfriend. He waited for Alissa to call or come home but she never did.
Alissa had been gone for weeks and AJ hadn’t left the house. He didn’t want to see anyone or take anyone’s calls. The only person he called was Brooke. He kept checking every week to see if Alissa had called her. So far, nothing. There were no clues as to where she went and no one was able to find her. AJ didn’t know how much longer he would be able to take it. He was at his breaking point and had become very angry at Alissa. He couldn’t understand why she had done this to him.
Denise and the guys wanted to give AJ the space he needed but they finally decided that they had had enough. They couldn’t let him sit and wallow in that house any longer. It was only a matter of time before he started drinking again, if he hadn’t already.
The guys decided that Nick and Brian would go over and talk to him. Someone needed to get through to him and stop him from self-destructing. So, Wednesday night after work, Nick picked Brian up and headed over to AJ’s. Since AJ had refused to see anyone, they didn’t bother knocking on the door. They went around to the back because they knew the slider had a latch that could be unlocked from the outside if you knew how to do it. The guys let themselves in and were shocked to see the state of his house.
Everything had been torn apart. The furniture was in pieces and everything that could be shattered, was. It looked like a tornado had blown through the downstairs. The guys were becoming afraid of what the upstairs would look like.
They raced up the stairs and noticed that the door to AJ’s bedroom was closed. Nick barged in not knowing what they would find and was surprised that he wasn’t there. Brian checked his office and he wasn’t there either. When they entered the guest bedroom, they saw AJ curled up in a chair facing the window.
“Hey J.” Nick said quietly.
“What do you want?” he snarled without even turning around. “I thought I was pretty clear when I told everyone to stay away from me!”
“We can’t stay away any longer man.” Brian said. “You need to leave this house, go somewhere, do something. None of us can stand seeing you like this any longer. Do you think Alissa would like seeing you like this?”
AJ jumped up, knocking over the chair and slamming Brian into the wall.
“Who the fuck do you think you are, saying that to me? She didn’t die! She left! She left me!” AJ screamed in his face. “She doesn’t care what I do!”
Nick tried to pull AJ away from Brian. “J, she left because she thought you got another girl pregnant. She loves you so much and that must have killed her.”
AJ turned on Nick. “I didn’t have another girlfriend! She was a fake, someone Adam found on the street. Alissa should have known it wasn’t real, that I would never do that to her. She didn’t even have enough faith in me to give me the benefit of the doubt!”
AJ finally let go of Brian and sank to the floor and put his head in his hands. “I can’t take this anymore!” he said and started to sob.
I hope this one is as enjoyable as the last. Let me know what you think!
Alissa stood in the middle of her empty apartment. She’d been there for weeks now and all she managed to do was to buy a bed that she never slept on. No bed would ever be ok without AJ in it so she had taken to sleeping on an air mattress in the living room. That was when she could sleep. All she could do was replay that night over and over again.
When she left AJ’s house, she had no idea where to go. Her heart had shattered and she had no one to turn to. She couldn’t even go to Brooke because that would be the first place AJ would look for her. Alissa hadn’t even called her to tell her she was ok.
She quit her job at the daycare center and stayed in a hotel for a few days. She thought about going back to Boston but there was nothing there for her either. After she left the hotel, she found an apartment for rent about 3 hours south of everyone. Alissa figured that would give herself enough space and there wasn’t much of a risk that she would run into anyone.
Alissa finally snapped out of her thoughts and walked over to the window. I wonder if AJ’s ok she thought to herself.
Brian and Nick called Denise on their way home.
“You have to go over there. He’s a mess and he won’t listen to us. He slammed Brian into a wall!” Nick told her.
“Oh my god!” was all Denise could say.
“Please go over and talk to him. I know you’ve tried before but I think it’s time you go over there.”
Denise told them that she heading over right now and then hung up with the guys and drove over to AJ’s house. The boys had already told her what the house looked like but nothing could have prepared her for the sight when she walked in.
“AJ? Where are you?”
She wandered around the first floor calling his name when she realized he was sitting out by the pool. She walked over, sat down next to her son and waited for a few minutes.
“AJ, this has got to stop. You’ve destroyed your house and now you’re destroying yourself. I can’t watch you do this anymore.”
“There’s no more destroying to do. She destroyed me the minute she left. There’s nothing left here anymore.”
Denise sighed. “Have you tried calling Brooke again? Maybe she’s heard from her.”
AJ looked at his mother. “Don’t you think I’ve tried that? She hasn’t heard from her, no one has. I don’t want to talk about this anymore. I don’t care about it and I’m done dealing with all this. I’ll play your game and I’ll fix the house tomorrow, but please leave me alone tonight.”
He got up and walked into the house.
Denise knew that he was just lying to himself. He loved her fiercely and would never stop. She decided that she would go see Brooke herself tomorrow and try to find a way to find Alissa and save her son.
Alissa noticed that the clock on the stove said it was 6, so she got changed and headed to work. She had decided not to get a job in education. Her passion just wasn’t there anymore. If she had to be completely honest with herself, her passion for everything was gone.
She debated what to apply for and then decided to do something she already knew how to. She had put herself through school as a waitress so she figured that was something that she already had experience with. The first place she went to hired her and she was working most of the week.
The bar/restaurant was already busy when she got there. Hopefully, she would make some good tips tonight. She was in the middle of placing a large drink order when she looked up and saw AJ and the guys on the TV.
She dropped the glass that she was holding and it shattered all over the floor.
“Hey Alissa, are you ok?” Sam, the older bartender, asked her.
“Um, yeah, I’m fine. Just klutzy tonight I guess.” Alissa said wiping her hands on her apron. She walked over to the TV so she could hear what they were saying.
“The Backstreet Boys will be heading on a press tour for the next few weeks. It’s been rumored that they’ve already started a new album and will be working on it from the road.”
They were leaving? Her mind started racing. Maybe she should call Brooke and try to see her while they were gone. She hated herself for not calling or writing to tell her cousin she was ok. But was she really ok? Her heart was still in a million pieces and she was afraid that she would never be able to put it together again. She knew she should have told her cousin where she went but she just couldn’t face it.
Denise showed up at Brooke’s house the next day.
“Hi Denise.” Brooke said giving AJ’s mom a hug. “If you’re here to find out about Alissa, I don’t know anything. She still hasn’t called or even written. I have no idea where she is.”
Denise sighed. “I was afraid of that. AJ is falling apart trying to deal with this and I don’t know how to help him.”
Brooke started to tear up. “I feel horrible. I wish Alissa didn’t just pack up and leave before AJ could talk to her. She should have talked to one of us!”
“I wish she did too but I can see it from her point of view. She’s in love with my son and this woman shows up on his doorstep with the same necklace and paternity test results. I’m not sure I wouldn’t have run if I was in her position.”
Brooke smiled sadly. “Don’t let your son hear you say that. He probably won’t speak to you either.”
“He’s already barely speaking to me. I went over to his house last night and it was completely destroyed. I thought I could talk to him and convince him to at least leave the house for a bit but he’s determined to stay there.”
“Really? I saw on the news last night that the guys were leaving on some press tour or something.”
“What?” Denise yelled. She picked up her phone and called AJ. He picked up after the third ring.
“AJ, are you guys leaving?”
“Yeah we are. I’m taking everyone’s advice and moving on. Management wants us to go back to the studio before too long and they figured we could do a press tour to keep up interest. We leave in two days.”
Denise paused. There was no way her son was moving on. He was just burying all of this and throwing himself into another album.
“Promise me you’ll be careful ok?” she asked her son.
“I will Ma. Gotta go pack. Love you.” he said and hung up the phone.
Denise looked over at Brooke. “We have to do something.”
Alissa continued to watch the news to make sure that they guys had left before she called her cousin. She waited a few days longer and then called.
“Hello?” Brooke said.
“Brooke, it’s me.” Alissa said quietly.
“ALISSA EMERSON! Have you lost your fucking mind? We’ve been going crazy since the day you left. We didn’t know if you were dead or alive or where you were! What the hell were you thinking?”
“I’m sorry Brooke. I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t face AJ. I had to leave.”
“Actually, you didn’t.” Brooke snapped.
“You need to get your ass over here ASAP! I want to talk to you!” Brooke yelled into the phone.
“Brooke, I left for a reason.”
“I don’t care about your reasons anymore! They’re gone! You won’t be bumping into anyone! Get your ass in gear and get here!”
Alissa was surprised at Brooke’s anger. “Alright. I’ll see if someone can cover my shift at work. It’ll be a while before I get there though.”
“Ok. I’ll see you soon.”
AJ and the guys were on the fourth day of their press tour and he was barely functioning. The guys were worried that he might start drinking again so one of them was always with him.
“I don’t need a damn babysitter!” AJ yelled at Nick one day.
“Guess what AJ? I don’t fucking feel like babysitting you! I got the short straw today!” Nick yelled back.
AJ was stunned. Nick never talked to him like that.
Nick shook his head and sighed. “Sorry J, but this has to stop. I know you’re hurting and we want to help you but you’ve been an asshole to us and everyone else. Nobody wants to be around you or deal with you if they don’t have to.”
They were silent for a few minutes before AJ broke the silence.
Nick looked at him.
“I know I’ve been an asshole. I just don’t know how to deal with this. Part of me is so pissed off at her for leaving and another part of me misses her like hell.” he said with tears in his eyes. “I just don’t know which side is stronger.”
Alissa finally arrived at her cousin’s house and was shocked to see Brooke and Denise sitting at the kitchen table when she entered the house. She turned to leave when Denise called out to her.
“Please don’t leave.”
Alissa turned back around and walked over to the table.
Before Denise could say anything else, Alissa burst into tears.
“I know you hate me for hurting your son Denise. I’m sorry I ran away like a coward but I just couldn’t face him.”
“You do?” Alissa said, still crying.
“If I was in your position, I might have done the same thing. The problem is that you didn’t need to do it.”
Alissa sank into one of the chairs at the table. She was trying to gain composure.
“Yes I did.” she said, her voice catching in her throat. “Your son is an amazing man but he has a child coming and I know he’s going to want to be a part of their life. He’ll do the right thing and try to make a relationship work with that woman. I wasn’t going to stand in their way and I wasn’t about to ask him to choose sides. I couldn’t stand being around and seeing AJ with someone else. It would kill me.”
“There is no woman.” Brooke said finally speaking up.
“What do you mean there’s no woman? I saw her with my own eyes!”
“That woman was a fake. Adam hired her to drive a wedge between you and AJ. The whole thing was a lie. There’s no other woman and definitely no baby!”
Alissa could feel the air being sucked out of her body. What the hell did she do?
AJ called a family meeting with all the guys and apologized for hurting all of them.
“I’m sorry. I know that I’ve been a jackass for a long time and that I’ve upset all of you. I wish I could take it back, but I can’t.”
Kevin was the first one to speak.
“J, you’ve been through hell. We all know you love Alissa and how much her leaving killed you. She should have tried to talk to you but she didn’t for whatever reason. None of us expected that you would just forget about her but we need you to come back to the land of the living.”
Howie and Brian nodded their heads in agreement.
“Let us help you. We’ll do anything we can for you but you have to talk to us.” Nick said.
“Alright. I’m going to try.” AJ said quietly.
Alissa just stared at Brooke and Denise. She couldn’t get any words to come out. There was nothing she could say. She had fucked up royally and had no idea how to fix it. If she was in AJ’s position, she wouldn’t talk to him and she’s probably would hate him. It killed her to think that he hated her.
Denise finally spoke up. “I know this comes as a horrible surprise. I’m sorry for everything it’s done to you and my son. I want you to know that I’m here for you and for him. I am looking for any way to fix this…..”
Alissa cut her off before she could say anything else.
“Fix it? This can’t be fixed. I left someone who I love with all my heart and I know that broke his heart. I walked out without giving him a chance to explain or to even find out what was going on. I never even gave him the benefit of the doubt. He’s going to hate me and I can’t blame him. I was wrong and I don’t think there is any way to make this right again.”
She stood up and walked to the door.
“I’m sorry. I can’t stay here knowing what I’ve done. I’m not coming back again.”
Alissa turned to Brooke. “I love you. You know I’m safe now so you don’t need to keep looking for me.” She then turned to Denise. “I love you too and I can only hope you can forgive me someday.”
The women were too stunned to even try and stop her. Five minutes later, she was gone and they were in the same situation as there were a few hours ago.
Alissa holed up in her apartment and cried for days. Work or anything else mattered. She didn’t think it was possible but her heart had shattered even more. There was no way she could back now. Her decision to leave had become permanent and she would have to live with what she had done every day for the rest of her life.
The guys had been on the press tour for almost two weeks now and AJ was slowly rejoining the group. One night, they decided to go out to a club and blow off some steam. He had promised the boys that he wouldn’t drink and he stuck to that.
An hour or so after they had gotten there, a group of girls had gone up to AJ and pulled him out to the dance floor. He blocked out everything in his mind and just let the music loosen him up. The girls were pretty and he figured that this might be a way to not think about Alissa, at least for a little while.
He left before the rest of the group and headed back to the hotel with a cute blonde. They arrived at his room and he asked her to spend the night. Screw Alissa he thought. He didn’t owe her anything anymore.
Alissa finally made it back to work. She apologized to her boss and he agreed to let this absence slide. He told her in no uncertain terms, however, that the next time she disappeared, she should stay gone.
She was about an hour into her shift when she noticed the TV. It was tuned into one of those celebrity news shows and they were talking about the guys’ press tour. All of a sudden, the host mentioned AJ’s name and they cut to a picture of him entering his hotel hand and hand with a pretty blonde.
Alissa dropped the tray she was holding. Her heart sank and she realized that AJ had finally gotten over her. That was it, there was no going back now. She ran out of the bar and jumped into her car speeding off.
AJ had been in the hotel room with the blonde for about 15 minutes. She was coming onto him and trying to get him into bed. He couldn’t understand what his problem was. He was single and she was good looking.
She put her arms around him and started to kiss his neck. Even though this woman was standing in front of him, all he could think of was Alissa. He remembered how it felt to touch her and kiss her. He immediately pushed the woman away and told her to leave. She refused at first but then noticed the look on his face. The blonde left and AJ just sank onto the bed. He curled up into a ball and started to cry.
Alissa packed her bags and left her apartment. She had to find somewhere else to go. There was no point in staying there anymore. Everyone was just fine without her and AJ had found someone else to love. Nobody needed her around, she was just extra baggage.
She drove and drove until she found a place that looked secluded enough to stay. She considered calling her cousin to tell her but decided not to. There was no point.
Another few weeks had passed and the guys returned home from their tour. Leighanne, Leigh and Kristen were there to pick them up. AJ looked around for Alissa and then remembered that she wouldn’t be there. She would never be there again and AJ died a little more inside. He turned down the guys’ invitation to go back to Brian’s and hailed a cab to take him home.
He’d been there for about an hour and the loneliness was crushing him. He finally called Nick and asked him to come over. Nick showed up about an hour later.
“What’s wrong J?”
“I can’t do this.”
Nick sighed. “What happened this time?”
“Do you remember the night we went out?”
“Yeah, you left with some blonde. All I saw was you guys heading out and then you showed up the next day at breakfast looking like you hadn’t slept in days. Didn’t work out like you thought huh?”
“No, it made how I felt even worse. I thought if I could just spend the night with her, it would be one step in the right direction. Instead, all I could think of was Alissa. She’s the only person I want to be with, to kiss, to spend the night with and she’s gone.”
Nick thought carefully before he spoke again.
“J, you need to make a decision and stick with it. Are you going to try to find Alissa and fix this or are you going to move on? You have to pick one or the other man. You can’t do both.” Nick waited for AJ to say something and when he didn’t Nick decided to give AJ his opinion.
“I think you need to find a way to resolve this with Alissa. If you’re still angry with her, then just tell her and end it. Or tell her how much you love her. You’ve gotta do it soon.”
AJ knew Nick was right but had no idea which direction he wanted.
Alissa had been at the cabin for a few weeks when she finally decided to go out. She had been to the store up the street a few times but that was as far as she ventured out. She didn’t even leave her phone on. The battery had died long ago and she felt no need to charge it. No one was going to call looking for her.
There was a rainstorm coming in the day she decided to go out so she finally relented and charged the phone. She couldn’t risk being out in this weather with no cell. As it turned on, it started vibrating. She noticed that she had five missed calls and all of them were marked the day before. She listened to them all and flew out to her car. She had to go back there!
Alissa drove for 7 hours and finally made it to the hospital. She raced up to the fourth floor and found Lucas sitting in the waiting room.
“What happened? Where’s Brooke?” she asked frantically.
“Alissa, sit down please. She’s in with one of the doctors now and they’re checking her out.”
“Why is she here?”
Lucas sighed. “Brooke’s pregnant. She’s about three months along. She was having sharp pains in her side and we rushed her here so they could figure out was wrong.”
Alissa looked shocked. She was about to ask why they didn’t tell her when the doctor came out. Both of them jumped to their feet.
“She’s resting now. We were able to stop the pains and we’re looking for the cause. She’ll have to stay here for a few more days. When we do release her, she’ll need to rest and not exert herself too much. Who does she live with?”
“Me.” Lucas said.
“She’ll need someone around pretty much all day. Will you be able to get some time off from work?”
Before Lucas could answer, Alissa told the doctor that she would stay with Brooke at the house.
“Are you sure you want to do that with everything going on?” Lucas asked. “I can try to take some time off.”
“I can do it. Brooke can’t work for a while so you’ll need a paycheck. You know your boss isn’t great when it comes to taking time off.” Alissa turned to the doctor. “Can I go in and see her now?”
The doctor nodded and told her that she could only stay for a little bit.
Alissa asked Lucas if it was ok for her to speak to her cousin privately for a few minutes.
“Sure. I’ll go get some coffee.” He went to leave but turned back around. “Thank you for doing this Alissa. I know it means you could run into AJ and I would understand if you had trouble with this.”
“I’m going to do it Lucas. She’s my cousin and she needs me. That’s my priority.” Alissa turned and entered Brooke’s room.
“Oh my god! It’s my long lost cousin!” Brooke said angrily.
“I’m so sorry Brooke. I should never have taken off and not told you again. I let my phone die and didn’t get your messages until today. I promise not to do that again. Please don’t be mad at me.” Alissa said tearing up.
Brooke’s attitude softened and Alissa sat in the chair next to the bed.
“Ok, I’m sorry. I was just so scared yesterday and I couldn’t find you. I needed you here. You’re not just my cousin, you’re my best friend!” Brooke said and started crying. “You had better not do that again!”
“I’m not going too. I just spoke to your doctor and he said that when they release you, you’ll need to have someone to stay with you. I know Lucas can’t take too much time off so I offered to stay here. I can go get my stuff tonight and head back down here. I don’t have a place here anymore so it means I’ll have to move in with you again. I mean if you don’t mind.”
Brooke looked at her. “I love you for coming and being here, but do you really want to do that? You’ve had such a hard time.” Brooke waited for a minute and Alissa didn’t say anything. “I saw the picture of AJ and that woman. It’s everywhere.”
Alissa just nodded and tried not to cry. Brooke reached over and held her hand.
“I’m supposed to be comforting you not the other way around.” Alissa said smiling faintly. “I’ll leave now and go get my stuff. I’ll be back tomorrow to see you.”
She leaned over to give her cousin a hug. “I love you and I’ll see you in the morning.”
“I love you too!”
Alissa picked up her purse and found Lucas in the hallway.
“I’m going to get my stuff and I’ll be back sometime late tonight. Is that ok?”
“Sure.” Lucas said. “You know where the extra key is right?”
Alissa nodded and left to get her stuff.
Two days later, Brooke got permission to go home. The pains had stopped coming and they hadn’t been able to find anything that might have caused the problem. The doctor warned her to come back in if there were any more problems.
Brooke finished signing the release papers and looked at Alissa.
“Ready to go?” Alissa asked.
“Absolutely, let’s get out of here.”
They went down to the lobby and Alissa told her cousin to wait there while she went to get the car.
AJ headed downtown to the studio. He was hoping to get some writing done before he was supposed to meet the other guys. A car passed by him when he was walking to the studio and he could have sworn that it was Alissa. Pulling out his cell, he called Nick.
“Hey J, we aren’t supposed to meet for another hour right?”
“Nick, listen! I was walking to the studio from the parking garage and I saw this woman drive by me. It was Alissa!”
“AJ, man, that’s impossible. We don’t even know where she is. Are you sure that you saw her? Maybe you saw someone that looked like her.”
“Nick, I know her! This was her no question!”
“What are you going to do?”
“I’m going to Brooke’s house and see for myself!”
Brooke heard the doorbell ring. Alissa had just left to pick some things up at the store and Brooke assumed she had forgotten something. When she opened the door, she was shocked to see AJ there.
“Is she here? Is Alissa here?” AJ said pushing right past Brooke into the house.
Brooke couldn’t decide whether he looked frantic or angry. She was concerned for Alissa so she decided it was best if she didn’t tell him about Alissa being back.
“No AJ, she’s not here. Can I help you with something?”
“I saw her Brooke; she drove by me earlier this morning. I know it was her!”
“Are you sure? It was probably just someone who looked like her.”
AJ sat down on the couch. “Are you sure she’s not here? I need to see her.”
“She’s not here.” Brooke said. At least it wasn’t completely a lie. She wasn’t here right now. “Why don’t you go home and get some rest.”
AJ looked at her. Something seemed off. He was sure she wasn’t telling him everything and he was determined to find a way to get to the truth.
“Alright Brooke. Thanks for letting me in. I can see myself out.”
AJ left and drove straight to his mother’s.
“Ma!” AJ said charging into the house.
“I’m right here.” Denise called from the kitchen.
AJ came around the corner and slipped into one of the chairs at the table. “Alissa’s here.”
Denise looked stunned. “What? Did she call you? What did she say?”
“Nothing, there was no phone call. She drove right past me on the street today!”
“Are you sure it was her AJ?”
He slammed his fist down on the table. “Godammit! Why does everyone keep asking me that? I know it was her!”
Denise was surprised by his outburst. “Ok, ok.” she said thinking back to the last conversation she had with Alissa. She had been adamant that she would not return and Denise was sure of that.
“AJ, I need you to calm down. I’m going to tell you something and I just want you to listen.”
AJ looked at his mother’s face and knew that he was not going to like what she had to say.
“I saw Alissa a few months ago.”
“WHAT?” AJ exploded. “You saw her and never said anything to me? You knew where she was! How could you do that to me?”
Denise started to tear up. “I’m so sorry. Brooke called me after you guys left and told me that Alissa had contacted her. I was there the day that she visited Brooke.”
AJ jumped up. “You know how much this is killing me and you never said a word!”
“AJ please listen. Let me finish.” Denise pleaded with her son.
“I’ve heard enough! There’s nothing more that I want to hear!” AJ said storming out of the kitchen. Denise heard the front door slam and his truck peel out of the driveway. She called Brian and told him about what had happened. He promised to find AJ and figure something out.
Alissa came home with the groceries and found her cousin in tears.
“What happened Brooke? Is it that baby?” she asked rushing over to her cousin. “We’ll go back to the hospital now.”
“Who knows? What are you talking about?” Alissa asked completely confused.
Brooke nodded. “He came here this afternoon looking for you. You must have driven past him earlier today. He swore up and down that it was you and wanted to know if you were here.”
“What did you tell him?”
“I lied. I told him you weren’t here. The look on his face was strange. I couldn’t tell whether he was angry or desperate. Maybe I didn’t do the right thing.”
“Brooke, you did the right thing. I’m sure that it was anger on his face. I hurt him badly.” Alissa paused. “I just don’t know why he came here. He’s moved on.”
“I don’t know but what do I tell him if he comes back?”
“He won’t.” Alissa said with certainty.
Brian was waiting on AJ’s front steps when he pulled in.
“What do you want?” AJ said, stepping over him and opening the door.
“Your mom called.”
“Fantastic! Are you going to add to the big fucking mess? If you are, leave now!”
Brian followed AJ into the kitchen. “She wants to talk to you.”
“Well, I don’t want to talk to her! Did she tell you what she did? Did she tell you that see saw Alissa and never even mentioned it to me?”
“You didn’t let her finish.”
“Terrific! There’s more to the story!”
Brian sat down on the couch. “Your mom and Brooke told Alissa the truth.”
AJ stopped in his tracks. “Excuse me?”
“Your mom and Brooke told Alissa what happened with that woman. She had no idea AJ. She left to spare you….”
“Are you fucking kidding me? She left to spare me? Fucking spare me? What the hell was she sparing me from? She killed me when she left!”
Brian just shook his head. “Are you going to listen or just scream at me all night? I’m tired AJ. Either let me finish or I’m going home.”
Still furious, AJ agreed to keep his mouth shut at least until Brian was done.
“Alissa thought that you would leave her. She said she knew what kind of man you were and that you would want to work on a relationship with the baby’s mother for the sake of the child. She didn’t want you to feel like you had to make a decision or choose a side.”
“Are you done?”
Brian nodded and braced for what would come next.
“Well, isn’t she the best person in the world? She sacrificed herself for me.” AJ said snidely, pacing around the room. “Don’t try to convince me to believe that bullshit! She did this for herself, not for me! She spent all this time telling me how much she loved me and then she runs out on me and doesn’t even have the guts to talk to me. You know she could have tried to call me or see me when she went to see Brooke and my mother!”
Brian shrugged. “I don’t know why she didn’t AJ.”
AJ finally sat down on the sofa. “I’m tired of everyone deciding what’s best for me and what I can or can’t handle. Can’t someone just tell me the damn truth?”
Denise showed up unexpectedly the next morning at Brooke’s house. When she door opened, she was taken aback to find Alissa waiting on the other side.
“So he really did see you.”
Alissa nodded and stepped aside so that Denise could come in. The women walked through the kitchen and went outside to sit with Brooke.
“Surprise.” Brooke said quietly to Denise.
“It’s definitely a surprise. AJ told me he saw Alissa driving past him the other day and I was sure he just saw someone who looked like her.”
Denise turned to look at Alissa. “Not that I’m not happy to see you but why did you come back? You were very clear the last time that you didn’t plan on ever returning.”
“Congratulations sweetheart.” Denise said hugging Brooke.
“Alissa came back because I got sick and needed someone to take care of me.”
“I’ve messed up enough and hurt too many people. I needed to stop running and be there for my cousin so I came back.” Alissa said softly.
Denise felt bad for the position Alissa was in.
“Well, for whatever its worth, I’m glad you came back.” she said hugging her. “To be fair though, I should tell you that AJ may not exactly feel the same way. I tried to talk to him yesterday and when I mentioned that I had seen you, he flipped out on me and left. I never got to explain anything to him. I asked Brian to go over and talk to him, but I’m not sure if he was able to get through to him.”
Alissa hung her head. “I don’t expect him to be happy to see me. I expect him to hate me and to tell me to go to hell.”
“Oh honey,” Denise said taking her hand, “AJ doesn’t hate you. He’s angry right now and he lashes out. I can tell you right now that if he didn’t love you, there’s no way he’d be this upset.”
“Thanks Denise but I’m not expecting anything. It’s probably in the best interest of everyone for me to avoid AJ completely. He’s moving on with his life and I don’t want to come back in and mess everything up again.” Alissa stood up and gave Denise a hug. “I’m happy that I got to see you but I have to go pick some things up for Brooke. I’ll see you later.”
The women watched her leave and decided that she had no idea what she was talking about and if she and AJ were too damn stubborn to do something, then the rest of them would do it for them.
Denise called the guys and asked them to meet her at her house that evening. When everyone arrived, they were surprised to see Brooke and Lucas there.
“Um, what’s going on?” Nick asked. “This looks like an intervention.”
“It is.” Brooke said. “Just not for any of us. We need to talk about Alissa and AJ.”
“Oh God.” Kevin said shaking his head. “I don’t think I can handle any more of this stuff.”
“I agree.” said Howie. “It’s gotten to the point where AJ’s hallucinating and thinks he’s seeing Alissa all over the place.”
“Actually, he’s not hallucinating.” Denise said.
“Excuse me?” Nick, Howie and Kevin said all at once.
“You’re freaking kidding me right?” Nick asked.
“No,” Brooke said, “she came back for me. I’m pregnant and I was rushed to the hospital. We had been calling her and calling her. She finally showed up the next day and she’s been staying with us.”
“Does AJ know?” Howie asked.
Brooke shook her head. “No. He came to see me a few days ago and asked me if she was here. I lied to him about being back. He looked so angry that I was afraid to tell him the truth.”
“I can’t believe you did that.” said Kevin. “He’s been a colossal jackass since she left and no one told him she came back?”
“Actually, I did.” Denise said. “And he blew up at me. I asked Brian to try to talk to him.
Nick, Howie and Kevin all turned to Brian, who had been silent up to this point.
“You knew?” Howie asked.
“I didn’t until Denise called me the other day. She asked if I would talk to him and I tried. He doesn’t want to listen to anyone.”
“Alissa’s being just as stubborn!” Brooke interjected. “She believes that AJ hates her and refuses to even attempt a conversation with him. She saw that picture of AJ and his new girlfriend and says she doesn’t want to mess things up for him.”
“She’s not a girlfriend.” Nick said quietly causing everyone to look at him. “She was just some girl. Nothing happened.”
“Yeah right!” Brooke yelled. “The photographer got the picture of him and that blonde going into the hotel hand and hand!”
“Well, they didn’t get the one from 10 minutes later when AJ kicked her out. He talked to me the other night. He thought he could move on but he can’t!” Nick was getting frustrated.
“Stop arguing!” Howie said. “AJ’s pissed and hurt. Alissa feels guilty and is just as hurt. Both of them are being equally unreasonable! The question is how do we fix it?”
None of them knew the answer but they were determined to find a way.
AJ went into the studio to do some writing. He was hoping that it would clear his head. Some ideas came to mind but he couldn’t get anything to make sense. He pressed play on the CD deck to see what they had done last when they were here and was surprised when their song “Incomplete” started to play.
Empty spaces fill me up with holes
Distant faces with no place left to go
Without you within me I can't find no rest
Where I’m going is anybody’s guess
I tried to go on like I never knew you
I’m awake but my world is half asleep
I pray for this heart to be unbroken
But without you all I’m going to be is incomplete
He didn’t even realize that he had started to sing along until the last bar came through. Listening to that song, he finally understood what he needed to do. It didn’t make a difference to him how it happened, but he was going to talk to Alissa no matter what.
Alissa dropped Brooke off at Lucas’ work so they could go to a class at the hospital and when she returned, she found AJ sitting on the front steps. She didn’t know whether she should leave or try to talk to him, but leaving seemed like the better option. She tried to turn the car around to leave but AJ ran over and stood in front of the car.
He slammed his hands on the hood. “No way are you going to run away again!” he yelled. “We’re going to talk whether you like it or not!”
Alissa saw the look on his face and realized that she wasn’t going to get out of it this time. She put the car in park and stepped out. Brushing past him, she unlocked the door and went to the kitchen. AJ followed right behind her.
Alissa turned to face him and tell him how she was feeling but she lost her nerve to speak when she saw the look in his eyes. Sitting down in one of the chairs, she waited for him to say something but all he could ask was why.
Alissa thought for a minute and decided to tell him the truth.
“I left because I was hurt. I felt angry and betrayed. You had been gone for months and this girl shows up on your doorstep. She’s wearing the same necklace as I was and handed me papers that said you were the father of her child. What did you expect me to do?”
“What did I expect?” AJ started to yell. “I expected that you would talk to me, to give me the benefit of the doubt and listen to my side. I expected you to know me better than that. I expected better than you leaving and ripping my life apart!”
“I ripped your life apart?” Alissa started yelling back. “I went away so that you wouldn’t have to make a decision between me and some other woman. I thought it would help…..”
“Help me?” AJ cut her off, yelling louder. “You’ve got to be fucking joking! How does the woman I love tearing out my heart help me? You were selfish and only concerned about yourself! I wanted to try…”
Alissa started screaming. “Try? Try to do what? Me be the other woman? I saw that picture on TV. You had no problem moving on with some woman you brought back to your hotel room! You don’t love me anymore, you just want to let me know what a mistake I made and then you can feel free to screw anyone who comes your way!”
AJ was furious. Before he could stop himself, he picked up a vase and sent it flying into the kitchen wall. It shattered with pieces of glass going everywhere. It took him a few seconds to realize what he had done and he turned to face Alissa. The words she said had been like a knife to the heart but the look on her face was a deeper cut. She was terrified and it was all because of him.
“I’m so sorry.” he said with tears in his eyes. He walked out of the house and drove away.
Brooke and Lucas came home about an hour later and found Alissa sitting on the kitchen floor sobbing and surrounded by glass.
“What the hell happened?” Lucas said while Brooke rushed to her cousin.
Alissa couldn’t stop crying. She had never seen AJ that angry and it frightened her.
“Please talk to us and tell us what happened.” Brooke pleaded with her.
All Alissa could say was AJ.
“AJ did this? What the fuck is his problem?” Brooke yelled.
“Calm down Brooke.” Lucas said not wanting another trip to the hospital. He knelt down in front of Alissa so they were eye to eye. “Alissa, why did AJ do this?
Alissa’s crying had subsided to the point where she could talk.
“He was here when I got home and said he wanted to talk. We started arguing and he got so mad that he picked up a vase and threw it against the wall.”
Brooke took a deep breath. “What were you fighting about?”
“Me leaving and hurting him. Him moving on and not loving me.”
“What did you guys say before he threw the vase?”
“I told him that he didn’t love me and just wanted to sleep with any woman he could.” Alissa said, starting to cry again.
Both Brooke and Lucas just stared at her. Neither one could believe that she had said something like that nor did they think it was the best time to tell her that there was no other woman. They decided that there was nothing else anyone could do tonight. Brooke took Alissa into the living room to talk while Lucas cleaned up the mess.
After leaving Alissa’s, AJ drove straight to his mother’s house. He went racing into the house and found his mother in the living room.
“Oh my God AJ! What happened?” she asked as he collapsed onto the couch.
“I scared her. I promised her I would never to do that and I did it anyway!”
“Slow down AJ. I don’t understand.”
“I scared Alissa.”
AJ took a deep breath. “I went to Brooke’s to talk to her. I was planning on listening but she started to get angry at me. Then I got angry and we started screaming at each other. She told me that I didn’t love her and I just wanted to sleep with every woman that came my way. I got so angry that I picked up a vase and threw it. She was terrified.”
“Oh AJ.” was all Denise could say as she hugged her son.
“All I wanted to do was talk and now I fucked up any chance of doing that. She’s never going to want to be in the same room as me.” AJ said, breaking down in tears.
Denise held her son knowing that nothing she could say would help. She asked him to stay in the guest room that night because she didn’t want him to be by himself. AJ agreed and when upstairs to try and sleep. As soon as she heard the bedroom door close, she called Brooke.
Brooke went upstairs after talking to Denise and found Alissa curled up in the chair near the window.
“Honey, I think we need to talk.”
“What is there to talk about?”
“I just got off the phone with Denise and AJ is a complete mess. He went over there after the fight with you and told her everything. AJ’s in so much pain and he feels terrible for what happened.”
Alissa just stared at her.
“You’ve got to talk to him.”
“Why, so we can get into another screaming match? So he can break more stuff?”
“No, so you two can resolve this.”
“I don’t want to…”
“That’s it! I’ve had enough!” Brooke yelled. “I can’t sit here and watch you two do this to each other anymore! You’re both being ridiculous!”
Alissa looked at her cousin. She hadn’t heard Brooke this worked up over anything in a while.
“You have to talk to him. I don’t care what’s happened! He didn’t mean to scare you and I think deep down inside, you know that.” Brooke took a breath. “Please talk to him. I’ll make you a deal. If you promise to be in the same room with him, I will remove any breakable objects. Hell, I’ll pad the walls if I have to!”
Alissa burst into laughter. Brooke was so glad to see a smile on her face. It had been far too long since it was there.
“Does that mean you’ll do it?”
Alissa smiled. “Ok.”
Denise greeted Alissa at the door the next morning. She hugged her and brought her down to the kitchen.
“I was so glad when your cousin called and said you were coming over.”
Alissa looked around. “Is AJ here?”
“He’s upstairs. Want me to go get him?”
“Please. Mind if I wait outside?” She saw a look pass over Denise’s face. “I promise not to leave.” she said with a smile.
“Just what I wanted to hear.” Denise said and left to get AJ.
Alissa wandered out to the patio and tried to prepare herself.
“AJ? Are you awake?” Denise asked opening the door to the guest room.
“Yeah.” said AJ sitting on the bed. “I’ve been up for a while now. I can’t get what happened out of my head. I really fucked up and now it’s unfixable.”
“Don’t bet on that.” Denise said with a smile. “Someone’s here to see you.”
Before she could say anything else, AJ jumped out of bed and bolted down the stairs. He flew around the corner in the hallway and was surprised to see the empty kitchen. He was looking around thinking maybe she had left when he finally spotted her on the patio.
AJ raced outside. All he wanted to do was hold her but he was afraid she’d leave if he upset her again.
“Hi AJ.” Alissa said as he sat down in the chair across from her. “I just wanted….”
AJ stopped her. “Before you say anything else, I want to tell you I’m sorry. I had no business screaming at you like that. I threw the glass out of anger and I was devastated when I saw the look on your face. I did the one thing that I promised you I wouldn’t do. It killed me that I scared you that badly and I wish I could take it back. I can’t fix it but I need you to know how sorry I am.”
Alissa looked at him with tears in her eyes.
“I’m sorry too. I’m sorry I hurt you, that I didn’t have faith in you and that I never even tried to talk to you. I was awful to you yesterday. I had no right to say that to you. You have every right to move on after what I did.”
“I didn’t move on.” AJ said quietly.
“But the picture…”
“It was wrong. Well not completely. I did bring that woman back to my hotel room but nothing happened. It was a shitty decision on my part. I thought that I could make the memories of us disappear but I was wrong. I couldn’t get past you.”
AJ waited for a minute and then reached out for her hand slowly, not knowing whether she would give it to him. When she did, he pulled her onto his lap and held her there.
“I love you Liss. That’s the first thing I should have said. Nothing is ever going to change that. No matter what’s happened, I don’t want anyone else in my bed or my life. You’re my world….”
Before he could say anything else, Alissa cupped his face with her hands and kissed him.
“I love you too AJ.” she whispered in his ear.
AJ kissed her back and pulled her closer. “I’m never going to let you go again!”
Denise couldn’t hide her smile as she watched her son and Alissa. Both of them were exactly where they were supposed to be.
When AJ and Alissa were finally able to pry themselves away from each other, AJ suggested they go back to his place.
Alissa smiled, stood up and reached out her hand to AJ.
“Don’t you think you’re moving a little too fast Mr. McLean?” she said teasing him.
AJ walked over, scooped her up in his arms and carried her to his truck. “I don’t think I’m moving fast enough!” He laughed and kissed her. He buckled her into the passenger side and then jumped into the driver’s side. He drove as fast as he could back home.
AJ woke up the next morning and thought he was dreaming. Alissa was curled up next to him, pressed into his side with his arms wrapped around her. If he was dreaming, he never wanted to wake up.
He stared at her for what seemed like hours before she finally opened her eyes. She looked surprised and then her face lit up and she kissed him.
“Good morning Liss.” he said pulling her tighter and kissed her deeply.
She smiled. “It’s definitely a good morning” she said stroking his face. She paused for a minute and then said “I’ve missed sleeping in a bed.”
He laughed. “Where else would you sleep?”
She grew quiet. “A chair, an air mattress, the floor.”
“I don’t understand.” AJ said softly.
“I haven’t slept in a bed since we’ve been apart. I couldn’t stand waking up to your side being empty.” she said looking down, her eyes filling with tears.
AJ felt his heart break. He cupped his hand under her chin and raised her face up so that he could look in her eyes.
“You will never have to feel like that again. I will be in this bed with you for the rest of our lives. I promise you that Liss.” He pulled her close and kissed her on the head. He smiled and tried to make her laugh by saying that they weren’t going to leave the bed all day to make up for it.
By the time AJ and Alissa left the house a few days later, everyone knew they were back together. The guys were thrilled and Brooke was happy to see the life back in Alissa’s eyes.
Brian planned a huge party at his house to celebrate. The guys, their wives, Denise, Brooke and Lucas were all there. AJ and Alissa were shocked when they saw everyone.
Nick bounded over to them and put AJ in a headlock.
“You don’t know how excited everyone is to see you two back together. Now AJ can stop being such an asshole!” he said backing away quickly.
AJ spun around, grabbed Nick and threw him into the pool. He was still standing there laughing when he saw Alissa coming up behind him out of the corner of his eye. He turned around just as she was going to push him in and grabbed her by waist, pulling her in with him.
Everyone laughed as the three of them bobbed up and down in the water. AJ pulled Alissa over to him and leaned in to kiss her.
She laughed and whispered, “Everyone’s watching AJ.”
AJ smiled. “I don’t care who’s watching. I love you Liss and I’ll kiss you whenever I damn well please!” He kissed her again just to prove that he meant it.
AJ announced to Brooke over dinner that Alissa would be moving back in with him. He said they would go over and pick her stuff up in the morning.
“Don’t you guys want to ease back into this slowly?” Brooke asked laughing.
“Hell no!” AJ said. “You guys will need space for the baby and I’ve spent enough time away from Liss to last me the rest of my life. I’m not planning on being away from her for a long time. If you’re that concerned though, we could both live with you!” he said winking.
“As a great man once said, hell no!” Brooke yelled causing everyone to laugh.
After everyone returned to talking, Alissa smiled at AJ and whispered, “You know you’re probably going to get sick of me after a while.”
“There is absolutely no chance of that ever happening.” AJ whispered back. He smoothed her hair out of her face and kissed her.
The guys agreed to help AJ move Alissa’s stuff the next afternoon. It didn’t take them very long and Alissa thanked everyone by making a huge dinner.
After everybody left, AJ took Alissa outside. He lay down on the lounger and pulled her down next to him. He wrapped his arms around her and kissed her neck. Suddenly, he pulled back.
Alissa was surprised at his action and sadness passed over her face. “What’s the matter AJ?”
“Something’s missing.” he said quietly. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the necklace he had given her.
“You saved it?” Alissa asked.
“I saved it.” He smiled. “I was hoping that I would have the chance to put it back around your neck someday.”
Alissa smiled, sat up and pulled her hair back. AJ clasped the necklace and started kissing her neck again.
“It looks almost as beautiful as you Liss.” he whispered into her hair.
They sat in the lounger for a couple of hours just talking and watching the stars.
“I love you Liss. This night couldn’t be any better.”
Alissa leapt up suddenly and leaned over to kiss him. “I wouldn’t be so sure of that Mr. McLean!” She winked at him and took off running into the house. AJ jumped up and chased her inside and up the stairs.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.