Junk Mail by foxsgrl17
Summary: Anna and Nick dated when they were younger but things didn't work out. They never stopped being friends though, and now that Nick is in town, he wants to show Anna how much he cares about her. But what happens as time goes on and things start to fall apart, and what happens when she leans on another Backstreet Boy for support? You'll just have to read to find out!




Categories: Fanfiction > Backstreet Boys Characters: AJ, Group, Nick, Other
Genres: Humor, Romance
Warnings: None
Challenges:
Series: None
Chapters: 30 Completed: No Word count: 43631 Read: 49399 Published: 10/04/05 Updated: 02/17/06

1. *Chapter 1* by foxsgrl17

2. *Chapter 2* by foxsgrl17

3. *Chapter 3* by foxsgrl17

4. *Chapter 4* by foxsgrl17

5. *Chapter 5* by foxsgrl17

6. *Chapter 6* by foxsgrl17

7. *Chapter 7* by foxsgrl17

8. *Chapter 8* by foxsgrl17

9. *Chapter 9* by foxsgrl17

10. *Chapter 10* by foxsgrl17

11. *Chapter 11* by foxsgrl17

12. *Chapter 12* by foxsgrl17

13. *Chapter 13* by foxsgrl17

14. *Chapter 14* by foxsgrl17

15. *Chapter 15* by foxsgrl17

16. *Chapter 16* by foxsgrl17

17. *Chapter 17* by foxsgrl17

18. *Chapter 18* by foxsgrl17

19. *Chapter 18* by foxsgrl17

20. *Chapter 20* by foxsgrl17

21. *Chapter 21* by foxsgrl17

22. *Chapter 22* by foxsgrl17

23. *Chapter 23* by foxsgrl17

24. *Chapter 24* by foxsgrl17

25. *Chapter 25* by foxsgrl17

26. *Chapter 26* by foxsgrl17

27. *Chapter 27* by foxsgrl17

28. *Chapter 28* by foxsgrl17

29. *Chapter 29* by foxsgrl17

30. *Chapter 30* by foxsgrl17

*Chapter 1* by foxsgrl17
“God damn it! I swear I need to get a new lock for this door!” I say out loud, trying as hard as I can to unlock the door.

I am so frustrated that when I finally unlock it, it swings open so hard it hits the wall inside and leaves a dent. Well that’s just great, I think to myself. I walk into my little apartment, throw my bag onto the couch, and walk over to the desk to turn the computer on.
“Sarah, you home?” I yell toward her room.

“Yeah, I’m in the bathroom.”

I walk into the bathroom (that unfortunately we have to share) to find my best friend Sarah getting ready for what was probably her 543,743 date of the week. We have been best friends since we were little and are rarely seen apart. It was fate for us to move into this little apartment together in LA. She is probably the only friend I have that I don’t get sick of.

“Hey love, how were the little demons today?” she asks.
“Oh the same. I swear, there is nothing I can do to get them to calm down! I really don’t remember why I decided to become a teacher in the first place.”

Being a teacher was one of the reasons we were stuck in this dump. I had wanted to be one since I was little, but I didn’t seem to take into account the fact that teachers are very poorly paid, hence the little apartment. I also knew I couldn’t count on Sarah for much; she went from job to job so fast I could never keep up.

I walk out of the bathroom back to the computer and open the internet to check my email.

Hmmm…let’s see junk, junk, junk, and more junk. Well, what’s new?

But then I see one email that isn’t junk. I open it up and read it:



Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnna!!!

So guess what? I’m coming home for two weeks and I really want to see you this time! I promise, I won’t bail. I just feel like we need to hang out…I haven’t seen you for like…years… So, write me back and let me know when you have time.

Love,
Nicky



I guess I was wrong. This is the definition of junk mail… I have known Nickolas Gene Carter, of the Backstreet Boys, for eight years. We met at a shoppe in LA and it was instant attraction for me and apparently, it was for him, too. We dated for a couple of months; it was nothing too serious due to the fact that we were so young, but we remained friends after our brake up. But…this was before he became Nick Carter, before girls were throwing themselves at him, before he had everything he ever wanted.

Nick and I have been sending emails and calling each other back and forth ever since he became famous and I have only seen him two times since then. The last time was probably three years ago. Whenever he’s in town, he always promises that we will meet up. But does it ever happen? Hell no. So I groan, click reply, and start to type:



Nick,

I don’t think the question is when do I have time? It’s more like when do you have time? I don’t know about this Nick because whenever you say you want to hang out, you always have somewhere else you have to be or something else that is more important. So I think that you should just call me next week and well see what we can work out.

-Anna


That’ll probably make him mad, but hey, he’s not the one getting stood up every time. I guess we’ll just see what happens in a week..
*Chapter 2* by foxsgrl17
*One week later*


“JOSH PLEASE STOP PULLING RACHEL’S HAIR!” I try to say as calmly as I can.
“What happens if I don’t!?” he yells back.

“Well, if you don’t stop, I think you get to come sit up at the front next to me for the rest of the day and you can’t do your coloring project.”

“Fine! I DONT CARE!”

Wow, I really don’t know why I volunteered to teach second graders.

They are so cute sometimes, but now is NOT one of those times.

So I bring Josh up and sit him down in a chair right next to the door, near my desk. I explain to him if he is good, he can do the coloring project instead of sitting here. I look at the clock.

11:45. Only 15 minutes until lunch. I can last that long.

I walk back up to the whiteboard and pick up the marker to finish showing the rest of the class how to do some math. For the next fourteen minutes, Josh sits quietly while I am teaching. This is a miracle because the kid is just so loud! I guess he really wants to color after lunch, but then all of a sudden I hear Josh scream.
“Hey who are you?! GET OUT!”

I am kneeling down at a desk helping one of the kids, so I turn around and look at Josh. I swear, I am about to go bonkers and ask him what he’s yelling about, but I stop, noticing someone standing in the door of the classroom. Their face was blurred from the sun coming in. Then, I hear a familiar voice.

“Hey buddy, it’s alright, calm down. Is your teacher here?”

You have got to be kidding me! It couldn’t be. Wouldn’t Josh or any of the kids have known if it was really him? Wait no. They’re too young. They wouldn’t know. It really couldn’t be.

“Nick?” I ask with a strange, stunned tone in my voice.

“Anna!”

He steps further into the room. I really couldn’t believe it. He looked so good. I see him on magazine covers and TV shows, but they don’t do him enough justice. His blonde hair is longer and wisped across his forehead; his body seemed to be fitter than last time I had seen him; and his smile just makes me want to melt.

I navigated myself through the jungle of kids as fast as I could, he put his arms around me and pulled me into a hug. God, I missed his hugs, his big arms wrapped around me. It made me feel so safe and protected. I come out of my trance with the bell ringing in my ear and I pull myself away. Even though it was the last thing I wanted to do.

“Ummm…okay everyone, uh, time for lunch. I’ll see you after.”

As the kids scurried to get their lunchboxes and hurry out of the room, I turn back to him.
“How did you know which school I taught at? How did you know I would be here? How---”
He just stood there laughing at me.
“Well I knew you would be here because its a Wednesday and that’s a school day. And I knew where you were because I called your apartment and Sarah told me how to get here. I thought I would surprise you.”

Well, I had to hand it to him. I was surprised. So surprised, that I still couldn’t believe he was standing in front of me.

“So, Anna, how about I take you out for a nice lunch?”

Well, how could I say no to that?
*Chapter 3* by foxsgrl17
“I don’t know what to think if this is your idea of a nice lunch, but I guess some things never change.” I say with a laugh

“Nope, they don’t.” Nick says with a full mouth of McDonalds.

I wasn’t surprised our lunch had ended up being going through the McDonald’s drive through and then eating it in the car. Even when Nick and I were dating all those years ago we never really did anything too fancy. He was just never that kind of guy, but I didn’t mind it so much.

“So how has the tour been going? I mean I know you have told me, but anything else exciting happen?” I asked.


“Naw. Nothing as exciting as coming home. I needed this little break before we go to Europe. I think we all do actually. And I am really glad that I‘m gonna get to spend some time with you.”

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


That’s the only thing I could think about. Spending time with her. Yeah, I know she is like one of my best friends and I haven’t been too great to her in the past, but I just love talking to her and never getting to spend time with her makes it even harder. She is the only one who I can call and whine to and won’t yell at me. All these years I have always had a thing for her. Even if I had a girlfriend it just wouldn’t go away.

“Nick it really makes me wonder why this time you are home you seem so keen on spending soooo much time with me when before you didn’t seem to care very much.” She says.

Great. The interrogation begins.

“It was never that I didn’t care. You know how busy my schedule is. I just missed you so much and I felt bad about not seeing you all those times that I decided we can spend all of the two weeks together.”

“Oh so you decided that I would just drop all my plans and spend every waking minute for the next 14 days with you? You know I can’t do that.” She says laughing again.

I wish she could.

“Well I know not every minute but how about most of them?” I say.

“Hmm….I guess I could handle that. But there is one thing you have to do for me or else the deal is off.” Anna says.

“Ok shoot.” I say, bracing myself for whatever she is going to ask.

“You have to take a shower EVERYDAY, and you can’t forget to wear deodorant.”

Damn!!

“Ok, I’ll do it. Only for you though.” I say in sort of an embarrassed way.

“Ah glad to hear it. So what do you have planned first?” she asks

“Be at my house tomorrow at 5. I’m having the guys over for a BBQ and I want you to meet them. Nothing fancy just a good old BBQ.”

“Well once again Mr. Carter how could I say no to an offer like that? Now if you don’t mind I think you should take me back to the school before the munchkins decide to kill each other.”
*Chapter 4* by foxsgrl17
As I pull on my jeans the clock reads 4:30. Shit. I am supposed to be at Nick’s in half an hour and I haven’t even put my makeup on yet. I need to learn to start getting ready earlier than I do.

I hurry into the bathroom and smack some cover-up and eyeliner onto my face trying to go as fast as I can, and then walk into the living room where Sarah is sitting on the couch watching something on T.V.

“Alright I’m leaving. I have my cell so you can call me if you need me…..Oh yeah and if you are gonna bring a guy home tonight can you please let me know before I walk out of my room in my underwear.”

“Haha sorry about that. I guess it just slipped my mind to tell you.”
“Slipped your mind my ass. You just like to see me embarrassed. I think it’s your main goal in life”

“Whatever you say. But hey, if you bring a Backstreet Boy home you don’t need to tell me. I don’t care if they see me in my undies.” She says laughing. “Now get out of here!”

“For God sake, I’m leaving!”


*Half an hour later*

Ok so I’m ten minutes late. Not too bad considering he’s late for everything. Ten minutes is nothing.

Before I get out of the car I just sit there gawking at his house. Man, what I wouldn’t give to live in something like this! Damn my tiny apartment.

I check myself one last time in the car mirror.

Good enough I guess.

I make my way up to the front door and all of a sudden I feel a rush of nervousness come over me. These guys have been Nick’s best friends pretty much forever and what if they don’t like me. Oh God, that would be bad. Damn can’t I just turn around?

Christ Anna, what are you thinking it’ll be fine….So I ring the doorbell.

Nothing happens for the first couple of seconds.

Should I ring again?

Just as I am about the press the button for the second time the knob turns slowly and when the door finally opens it reveals the cutest little boy I have ever seen. His wild, blonde curly hair is just too cute!

“Hey there little guy!” I say.
He responds with a quiet “Hi”

And then I see a woman coming up from behind him.

“Baylee honey I was wondering where you went! You need to stay outside with the rest of us.”

She looks out the door and sees me standing there. “Oh hi! You must be Anna! I’m Leighanne and this is Baylee.”

“Yeah, I’m Anna. It’s really nice to meet you. And he’s adorable by the way!” I say.

“Oh thank you! Well, why don’t you follow me to the back. Everyone is out there.”

So I follow Leighanne through the house and out to the backyard. As I step through the sliding door all my nervousness just goes away and excitement seems to rush through my veins.

Nick is playing basketball on his court (that looks like a pro-court by the way!) with Brian while Kevin is standing over the grill and with his wife and Howie. Nick looks over, sees me and yells out “Hey guys she’s here!” and then I feel all of their eyes on me.

Putting on a smile, I walk towards Nick who was running on his way over to me. As soon as we reached each other he once again pulled me into a hug. We already know how much I love those.

When we pull apart he starts the introductions……

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


“Ok so time to meet everyone. I see you already met Leighanne and Baylee, so this is Brian, Kevin, his wife Kristin, and Howie.”

They each give her a hug and kiss on the cheek while telling her how nice it is to meet her. She seems to be enjoying it a little too much.

“And AJ is coming a little later. He had some stuff to do. So now you have met the guys!”

“Haha yes I have.” Anna answers.

And then she turns to me.

“So Nick…did you do what I asked you to do?” She asks with a small giggle.

Damn she’s so cute.

“Of course I showerd!” I answer with pride. I so proved her wrong!

“And……” she adds.

“And what? You asked me to shower!”

“Yeah I did, but I also asked something else.”

“Oh um…..”

Come on Nick. Shower and……..shower and…….

Shit

“Deodorant!” I answer and run back into the house to put some on.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As Nick runs into the house, I turn around to face the guys.

“So I hear you told Nicky boy that u would spend all your free time with him. I seriously don’t know how you could do that.” Says Kevin.

“Well I guess it’s easier for me since I never get to be around him, but for you guys I’m sure it would be hell since you have to be around him pretty much 24/7. I don’t think I could handle that much Nick.” I reply and we all laugh.

“It really is nice to finally meet you. Nick talks about you all the time. Sometimes I have to tell him to shut up! Well I have to tell him to shut up anyways but you get what I mean.” Brian says.

Hmm...I think. That’s odd since I NEVER see him and only get to email him or talk on the phone with him about once a week. Sometimes only once every two weeks, so what in the world could he be telling them…

“Well I hope they are good things he’s saying, because If not then I may have to kick his big butt!”

“Never anything bad, but I think you should kick his butt anyways.” Howie says.

“I think that’s a good idea. I’m sure he deserves it for one reason or another.” I say and realize we are all still standing in this little circle so I add “Just because I got here doesn’t mean that you guys should stop what you were doing!”

So after a few more times of me telling them not to let me spoil their fun, the boys go back to what they were doing while Leighanne, Kristin and I decide to go sit at the table. In the background I can hear Brian yelling at Howie….

“Aw come on man just shoot some hoops with me till Nick comes back out!”

“I said no and I’m not gonna change my mind!” Howie yells back.

I know I am going to love these boys.

So as Leighanne and I sit down and Baylee runs over to the basketball court to play with his dad, Nick comes running back out of the house.

“Nice and fresh…..Smell!!!” he says and shoves his armpit into my face.

“Oh God Nick! That’s sick get away!” I say and playfully push him away.

He trots himself back over to the basketball court to finish his game, but not before he turns around and flashes me a smile.

“He still acts the same way he always has. Just like a little kid. I don’t think he’ll ever come out of it.” I say to the girls.

“Oh I’m sure he won’t. But when Baylee gets older I am going to be scared for my life because I know Nick will teach him all his dumb jokes and pranks.” Leighanne says, and we both laugh knowing how true this is.


*Half an Hour later*

“Come n’ get it guys!” Kevin yells from the barbeque.

Leighanne, Kristin and I get up from the table and walk over to the grill where the rest of the guys are gathering.

I grab my plate as Kevin asks, “Do you want a dog or a burger?”

“I think I’ll go with the burger. Thanks.” I say as he puts one on my plate.

I walk over to the table that’s set up with all the toppings, but all I need is ketchup. I’m a ketchup addicted.

When I am done putting the ketchup on (and adding a little onto the side of my plate just in case I need more) I walk back to the table where Nick is already shoving hotdogs down his throat.

“Come sit next to me.” Is what it sounded like he said, but I wasn’t sure due to the hotdog in his mouth.

So I walk over and take the seat next to him.

Leighanne and Baylee also come to sit down along with Brian, Kristin, and Kevin, and I see Howie walking out of the house. I hadn’t even notice him go in there.

“Howie what were you doing?” Nick asks in between bites.

“I heard the phone ringing. It was AJ and he said he can’t make it. He’s busy doing something…I couldn’t really hear him. But he’s really sorry and said he’ll see us soon.” Howie answers.

“Oh, alright.” Nick says.

So we all sit and enjoy a nice dinner. Well, not nice in the sense that it was fancy, because obviously it wasn’t when we were eating burgers and hotdogs, but nice in the sense that I was getting to spend time with Nick and his best friends.

Seeing him with them filled me with joy because just seeing him so happy made me happy. He had been through some rough times in his life and just seeing him like this, I just couldn’t help look at him and be happy.

*Two Hours Later*

I open the car door for Leighanne as she gently puts Baylee into his car seat. Once she is done she turns to me and gives me a hug.

“You have my number, so I am expecting a call from you this week.” She says

“Yes I have it and I promise to call.” I answer back.

As I finish my goodbye with her Brian says goodbye to Nick then comes around the car and gives me a hug.

Nick and I stand there as they drive away. It was just the two of us now. (Howie, Kevin, and Kristin had left a little earlier)

So now what? Do I go or stay…I have no idea.

“Hey, why don’t you come back inside for a while.” Nick asks.

Well I guess my question was just answered.

“Sure.”
*Chapter 5* by foxsgrl17
As I follow Nick back inside, a million things are running through my mind.

What is he expecting from me? I mean come on he’s Nick. He has confessed to me that he loves sex, so why exactly am I going back inside with him when I know what he wants. And if that really is what he wants do I want to give it to him?

We re-enter the house and I feel like turning around and racing as fast as I can back out to my car, but I know I would be making a fool of myself if I did it. And right as I am thinking about this, he turns around.

“Do you want something to drink?” he offers.

When I think about it, I really am thirsty but there is no way in hell I am going to let him give me alcohol. It doesn’t take much me to get tipsy and the last thing I want is to get drunk and do something I regret.

“I think I’ll just have a water.” I answer.

“Ok.” Nick answers quite calmly.

First I follow him to the kitchen where he pulls out two bottles of water from then fridge, and then we make our way to his living room.

I sit down on the couch and he comes and sits down right next to me; his arms and legs gently touching the sides of mine.

“So how’s Justin?” he asks.

“You mean Jason. I don’t know we broke up. He just wasn’t really anything special and was pretty much a jerk too so I ended it. And it’s not like it was serious or anything.” I tell him.

“Well that’s good then.” he said.

“Yeah.”

I have no idea what to say. Awkward silences are the worst, especially when you know the other person as well as Nick and I know each other.

Just as I am about to tell him that’s it’s getting late and maybe I should go, he breaks the silence…

“Anna, I miss you. I really do. I’m always thinking about you, and it drives me crazy; but I can’t help it.” He says.

I just look at him thinking he is about to start laughing and tell me he’s joking, but when he doesn’t I don’t know what to think. I have never seen him as serious as this. He is just sitting there staring at me, his eyes fixed on mine.

“Uh I miss you too Nick.” I reply.

This isn’t a lie. I really do miss him, but I think he is telling me he misses me as more than just a friend. But do I miss him the same way? I can’t even think straight.

And then, all of a sudden, he leans forward and his lips meet mine. I was shocked and at first I didn’t even know what to do, but when he kept at it, all I could do was return the favor.

I wrap my arms around the back of his neck, completely giving into his kiss. I feel his tongue gently parting my lips and I let it in without hesitation.

He lowers me down on the couch so we are laying there, our bodies pressed close up against each other while we are kissing passionately as if we are never going to see each other again. As I feel his hand slowly going under my shirt and up towards my breasts, I realize this is exactly what I didn’t want to happen.

I break our kiss and move my head towards his ear and whisper “We can’t.”

“Ok.” He whispers back.

Nick takes his hand out from underneath my shirt, then wraps his arms around me. I move down a little farther so his chin is resting on the top of my head.

I couldn’t believe that he would just stop that easily, but he did. I couldn’t help but wish we were together, wish that we could stay like this forever.

“Thank you” I say to him.
“Anything for you.” He says.

He lightly kisses the top of my head, and within ten minutes, I am asleep.


*The Next Morning*

The sunlight was pouring into the living room through the windows as I open my eyes. It took a minute for me to remember where I was, but I remembered quick enough when I realized my legs and arms were all tied up with someone else’s.

I turn my head to see Nick still sleeping next to me on the couch. Laying there looking at him I realize that there is no other place I would rather be right now than with him. All the questions that went through my head last night are answered with one simple fact…

I want to be with him.

Just as I am thinking this, I am startled by the sound of my cell phone ringing on the coffee table. It’s shrill ring shooys through my ears and instantly makes my head hurt, so I slide off the couch as quick as I can to answer it.
“Hello?” I say quietly.
“Where the hell are you? You are supposed to go to your parents house today remember? They have called like 438 times looking for you and I’m getting sick of telling them you are still sleeping.” Sarah yells through the phone.
“Oh Shit! I forgot about that!”

Then Sarah goes on to keep yelling at me for God knows what reason. I have to hold the phone away from my ear to keep from going deaf. I hear a rustle coming from the couch so I look over to see Nick scratching himself.

Well that’s attractive.

I bring the phone closer to my ear.

“Ok calm down! I’ll be home in fifteen minutes so I’ll see you soon. Ok Bye.” I say without letting her respond.

I stand up and turn back to Nick to see him awake and getting up off the couch.

“Good morning.” He manages to say still sounding like he’s half asleep.

“Hey sorry I woke you up. Nick I’m really sorry but I have to go. I totally forgot that I am going over to my parent’s house today, and if I don’t get home to call them and get ready then I think Sarah is going to murder me, along with my parents.”

“Don’t worry about it. It’s cool.” He says.

So I take my cell phone and my purse from the table and slip into my shoes. Nick walks me to the door, and when we reach it I turn around.

“Thanks Nick I had a really good time yesterday.”

“Me too, it’s sucks that you have to go. But you have to promise to keep your deal that you will spend every free minute with me that you can.” He says.

As I open the door and walk out onto the top step he follows me out.

“I won’t let you leave until I hear an “Ok Nick whatever you say.”” He says in as girly of a voice he could muster up.

I stop and turn around again, laughing. He stops too so I snuggle up to his chest and look up at him.

“Ok Nick, whatever you say.” I answer.

He leans down and kisses me. When we finish and I get into my car, the only thing I can think about is how happy I feel.
*Chapter 6* by foxsgrl17
As I walk into the apartment, Sarah is standing at the phone still dialing my number and trying to call me. She has been trying for fifteen minutes but I just don’t bother to pick it up.

When the phones connect, my cell phone rings in my hand and she looks up at me.

“There is no reason to call 9825 times. I told you I was on my way home!” I say to her.

“Well I was just making sure, so before I hound you with questions, please call your mother.”

“Alright, alright.”

So I walk over and grab the phone out of her hand to dial the house’s number. My mom answers on the second ring.

“Hello?” She says.

“Hey mom it’s Anna. I hear you’ve been calling. What’s up?”

“Oh hi honey. Nothing too important just making sure you were still coming over today. Your sister is going to be home too.”

“Yes mom, I’m still coming over so don’t worry. I am going to shower, get ready, and then leave in a while, so I’ll see you when I get there. Ok?” I tell her.

“Ok see you when you get here. And drive safe!” She says.

She still tells me to drive safe after all these years, and I have never even been in an accident. Oh well. I guess that’s what moms do best….worry.

“Ugh I will. Bye mom.” I reply and then hang up.

I turn around and Sarah is standing right in my face.

“So who did you have sex with!? She asks.

“What are you talking about? I didn’t have sex.”

“Oh please. You look all like….well all happy and bubbly like you had the best orgasm in the world.”

“I promise I didn’t have sex. You know I don’t just go and sleep with anyone.” I say to her.

“Then where were you last night?”

“At Nick’s.” I answer with a little smile.

“Oh my god Anna, you are so bad at lying. Look at you! You are smiling. I know you guys did it.”

“No we didn’t! Come on you know I would tell you if we did. We just sorta made out for a while. He did try to, ya know, but I didn’t want to so I told him to stop and he did without saying anything or getting mad at all. But it was the cutest thing Sarah. He was being so…I don’t know not Nick like. He was being sweet and not joking around too much. We both slept on the couch, cuddled together.” I tell her.

“Shit. You’re falling for him again aren’t you!” She asks.

As I walk towards the bathroom I think about this question, and am sure about the answer…

“Yeah. I am.” I reply.


*later in the afternoon*

It takes me almost exactly 1 hour to get from LA to Thousand Oaks.

As I pull up to the sidewalk next to my house, I think what I always do when I get here. I miss this house so much. My parents have lived in the same house since they got married. I grew up here. If they ever sold this house, I would bawl my eyes out.

I walk down the driveway past the big tree that is still standing in the middle of our front yard. As I am passing it, I can still see what I carved in the tree when I was 7…

Anna Marie Ghirardelli Forever

I can’t remember why I added forever on there but I’m sure it meant something to me back then.

Grabbing the handle on the front door, I push it open, and as soon as I do, our two dogs jump all over me.

“Hi girls! I’ve missed you!” I say as they slobber all over me. This happens everytime anyone comes home. There is no way to avoid it. The slobbering dogs are inevitable.

I walk farther into the house and into the living room where my mom is sitting on the couch watching TV.

“Hey mom.” I say to her

“Hi honey. It’s good to see you!” My mom says as she stands to come and give me a hug. “Your dad is out on the patio and your sister is in her room.”

“K ill go say hi.” I tell her.

“Oh and let them know that dinner is almost ready!”

First I walk out to the patio to say hi to my dad. He is sitting there with his cigar reading the sports section of the paper. Being around him growing up made me become a sports addict just like him. We always go to football and baseball games together.

“Hey daddy.” I say and give him a kiss on the cheek.

“Hi sweetie. Did you see your mom and sister yet?” he asks.

“Yeah I saw mom and I am gonna go say hi to Tessa right now. Oh and mom wanted me to tell you dinner is almost ready.” I say to him.

I go back into the house, through the kitchen and dinning room, and down the hall to my sister’s room. Our parents had kept our rooms the same since we don’t live to far. They built onto the house anyways so they didn’t need the rooms anyways.

I knock on the door and open it to see my sister sitting at her desk on the computer.

“Hey T.” I say to her.

“Hey.” She says looking over at me.

My sister is 22 years old. Two years younger than me. We have always been close, and when we were younger we did everything together. I know Sarah is my best friend, but she is too.

She was always known as the pretty one. At school all the guys would tell me how ‘hot’ they thought she was and I would sit there thinking, that’s nice but I don’t need to know. She doesn’t keep boyfriends long at all, but she always has guys chasing after her.

Just as I was about to sit down on her bed I hear mom yelling that it’s time for dinner, so Tessa and I walk to the dining room and sit down at our spots.

During dinner we all just make small talk since none of us like talking much while we are eating. We are Italian so eating is a big deal.
When we are done, my mom asks, “So Anna, how is your class?”

“Oh they’re fine I guess. Well most of them are. There is this one kid named Josh…all I have to say is that I feel bad for his mother. He’s a complete nightmare!” I tell her.

“ Haha that sucks for you.” Tessa says.

I give her a small kick under the table. God she still annoys me sometimes.

“Come on now you two, you aren’t little girls anymore.” My dad says.

I think he says this to us more often then he should have to.

“So who’s your new boyfriend Anna?” Tessa says.

Wow. She’s still trying to piss me off. She knows I don’t like talking about this topic in front of our parents.

“I don’t have one.” I reply rather quickly.
“Well I think you are lying, because I called you last night and Sarah said you were out but wouldn’t tell me where or with whom.”

“Come on are you seeing anoyne?” My mom asks.

Great. Now I can’t ignore the question.

“Well I guess I kinda am.” I tell them.

“Stop trying to avoid it! Who is it?” Tessa says.

“You don’t know him, so lets drop the subject!” I yell.

See if I were with a normal guy this wouldn’t be happening, but the problem is that they know that Nick and I are still friends and we talk about him sometimes, but they don’t like him very much, especially my Dad. They think that he isn’t worth it because of the way he has treated me in the past. The fact that we haven’t seen each other for 3 years (before this week) doesn’t help.

So my sister finally decides to leave me alone and when we finish dessert, I say my goodbyes and leave.

When I get home Sarah is gone, as usual, so I walk over to the radio to turn on some music. I walk into my bedroom and change into sweats before I walk back into the kitchen to grab a drink.

As soon as I close the fridge the phone starts to ring, so I set the drink down and walk over to it.

“Hello?” I say.

“Hey babe what’s up?”

It’s Nick.

“Oh nothing just got home from my parent’s house. That was super fun as usual.” I tell him.

“Well sounds like fun. Hey can I take you to dinner tomorrow nighr. Just you and me?” He says.

“Yeah that sounds good.”

“Ok well ill pick you up at six. Is that ok?” he says.

“Sounds great see ya tomorrow.” I say.

“Seeya babe.”

And then I hang up.

As I sit down on the couch I can’t stop smiling. The thought of me and Nick actually being able to be together keeps rising in my mind, and I realize that this may be what I have wanted all along.

I can’t wait to see him again tomorrow night.
*Chapter 7* by foxsgrl17
*Chapter 7*

“Holy shit Anna wake up!” Sarah barges into my room screaming.

She over reacts about everything, so she is probably coming in to tell me the trash bag is full and it needs to be changed. I pull the pillow over my head and try to ignore it.

“Don’t try to pull that pillow over the head crap with me! You have got to see this!”
“Ugh what.” I groan from underneath my pillow.

“You are on the cover of a tabloid!”

As soon as she says this I slowly pull my head out from under the pillow and turn my head to see her standing there holding a copy of one of the ridiculous tabloids she reads, but there, on the cover, was a picture of me and Nick standing on his front steps kissing.

I grab it out of her hand and look at it.

Fuck. That’s just great.

“Apparently you are pregnant with his baby and you got married yesterday in the backyard. Sounds exciting.”

“Oh come off it. At least nobody believes this shit anyways, but I don’t want my picture all over magazines like this.”

“Well you are gonna have to get used to it since you two got married.” She says laughing and starts to walk out of the room.

“Get out!” I yell and throw the paper at her.

I lay back down on the bed and just think for a while.

I had never really thought about what life would be like if Nick and I got really serious. There would be tons of pictures of the two of us and paparazzi following us around. Having a private life would pretty much be out of the question.

But I guess it wouldn’t matter as long as we have each other.


*One hour later*

“So what are you and Nick now? Are you together?” Leighanne asks.

“That’s a good question. I don’t really know what we are exactly. I am pretty sure we both like each other. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens next.” I tell her.

Leighanne and I are sitting outside of the Coffee Bean in Malibu drinking our lattes, while Baylee is sitting with us, coloring on a sheet of paper.

“Well that’s really the only thing you can do. Just wait to see what happens. You never know, you two could end up getting married and having babies.” She says

“Ha. Nick getting married. I doubt it. And as for the babies, I do wanna have some one day, but only if they are as cute as this little guy!” I say jokingly looking at Baylee. “ Do you and Brian want to have any more kids?” I ask her

“Oh eventually we probably will. Right now isn’t really the best time though with the group being back together, the touring, and not to mention Baylee is still young. But I’m sure one day we……..AJ!”

I turn my head to see him walking towards our table. First he walks over to Leighanne who stands up to give him a hug and then he walks over to Baylee.

“Hey little man.” He says to him, ruffling Baylee’s hair with his hand.

Then he turns to me.

“Now who is this lovely woman?” He asks Leighanne.

“Oh sorry I forgot to introduce you. AJ, this is Anna, and Anna this is AJ.” She says.

“Now please don’t tell me this is Nicky’s Anna, because if it is I don’t know why she is wasting her time with that one.” He says laughing, and smiling what is probably the most beautiful smile I have ever seen.

“Yep this is her.” Leighanne informs him.

“Well it’s very nice to finally meet you.” AJ says while he takes my hand and kisses the top of it.

Wow.

“It’s nice to meet you too.” I answer.

“Well do you two ladies mind if I join you?” He asks.

“Nope, go right ahead.” Leighanne says.

“Ok then well I’m gonna go grab a coffee and ill be right back out.” He says.


*5 minutes later*

As Leighanne and I are talking, AJ comes back out of the coffee shop and sits down at the empty side of the table.

“So what have you been up to for the last couple of days J? We haven’t seen you since we got back here.” Leighanne asks him.

“Oh nothing really. Just trying to unwind. I had a meeting the other night so that’s why I couldn’t come to the barbeque, but other than that, just sort of relaxing.” He says.

As Leighanne and AJ talk about this for a while, I just sit there quietly, staring at him. Sitting there looking at him, I think that this is the most attractive man I have ever seen. I mean Nick is attractive don’t get me wrong, but there is just something about the way AJ looks, dresses, and talks. Not to mention he has the most gorgeous brown eyes.

“So Anna you’re a teacher right?” He asks me.

Shit Anna come on. Snap out of it!

“Oh um…yeah I am. I teach second graders.” I tell him.

“That’s cool. So are they a good bunch or a bad bunch.” He asks jokingly.

“Well it depends. Some days they are fine but other I just want to walk out of the room. But I really do love it.” I tell him.

“Yeah teaching is a very respectful job. And I bet it’s really hard work too.”

“Oh it is.” I answer.

Just as he was about to say something else, a group of three girls walked up to the table, wide-eyed and looking nervous.

“Um sorry to bother you AJ, but do you think we could get an autograph?” The smallest of them asks him with a shaky voice.

“Of course you can.” He tells them.

As he asks each of their names and signs a napkin for them, I can’t help but think how sweet this is. He really does care about his fans. Watching him, I wonder if Nick would do the same thing.

“Thank you so much!” They all say to him as they walk away, clutching their signed napkins.

“You are very welcome.” He says, and flashes them a smile.

Then he turns back to us. “Sorry about that ladies.”

“Oh don’t worry about it. That was really sweet of you.” I tell him.

“I don’t mind as much as I used to. If it weren’t for the fans we wouldn’t be where we are today.” He says.
After about ten more minutes of talking, Leighanne looks down at her watch.

“Alright guys, it’s time for Baylee and I to go. He has a play date in a half an hour and I don’t want to be late.” She says.

So AJ and I stand up to give her and Baylee each a hug goodbye. When they are gone, AJ sits back down so I decide I should too.

“So how long have you and Nick known each other for again?” He asks me.

“Wow let’s see….probably about 8 years now.” I say.

“And you two have dated before right?”

“Yeah, when we were younger. Just for a couple of months though.”

“Oh yeah that’s right.” He says. “He talks about you a lot you know.”

“I know I’ve heard. What does he say?” I ask, taking a sip of my latte.

Maybe he will give me some answers.

“Well apparently you are the love of his life.” He says.

I nearly choke on my coffee and have to take a few breaths before I manage to say, “What?”

“Hey you asked what he said!” AJ says with a laugh.

“Well I didn’t think that would be the answer!” I say.

I lean back in my chair and think I am about to fall over. I don’t know whether to believe what AJ is saying or not. I mean Nick telling them that I am the love of his life seems highly unlikely, but then again he has been surprising me lately.

“Are you ok?’ AJ asks.

“Oh yeah sorry. I’m fine.”

“Ok good. Well I think I should get going. I have a few things to do today, but it was really nice getting to talk to you. I will probably be seeing you a lot in the next two weeks.” He says.

“Yep probably.” I say as we both stand up.

“Well I guess it’s a good thing that I like you then.” He says laughing.

My cheeks turn a bit red at this.

“Well I like you too.” I say giggling.

Wait, why I am I giggling? I NEED TO STOP!

“See you later.” He says as he steps forward to hug me.

I hug him back and when he pulls away I say goodbye.

I walk back to my car and sit there for a moment. Deep inside of me, I feel something that I can’t explain.

I don’t like him, like him do I? Of course not I don’t even know him. But then why do I feel strange like this.

Well whatever this feeling is, I push it down and remember that I have a date with Nick tonight, so ill just concentrate on that.

Yeah. I just need to concentrate on Nick…….
*Chapter 8* by foxsgrl17
“Ok so which one do you like better, the pink one or the black one?” I ask Sarah.

I can’t leave the house unless I have her approval of my outfit.

“Definitely the black one, your boobs looks really good in it.” She says.

“Hmm alright.”

I walk back into my room, pull my black dress on and examine myself in the mirror. God I don’t care if Sarah thinks my boobs look good, they are too big. Since I was younger, every guy I have had a conversation with had it with my boobs instead of my face.

I open my closet (that is 10 sizes to small for all my clothes) and dig through my pile of shoes until I find my black heels. Then I go into the bathroom, put some toothpaste on my toothbrush and put it in my mouth.

I don’t have that much time left so I decide to put my shoes on while I am brushing my teeth, and as soon as I have one of my heels on, the phone rings.

I hobble into the kitchen with my one show to grab the phone. I spit the toothpaste into the sink then finally answer the phone.

“Hello?”

“ Hey it’s Nick.”

“Hey what’s up?”

“Well, I kinda have some bad new.”

“What is it?” I ask.

“We are still going to dinner and everything but we aren’t going alone.”

“Oh who are we going with then?”

“The boys. I forgot that I told them we would all go out to dinner tonight, but they said it’s fine that you come with.” He tells me.

“Oh no, it’s fine I don’t want to intrude on your guys’ dinner.”

“Don’t worry. The way I see it, they are intruding on ours, so your coming and that’s it. Plus, they love you, they want you to come.

“Well alright then.” I say with a laugh.

“Ok I’ll pick you up in 15 minutes.”

“Alright bye.” I say and hang up the phone.

I walk back into the bathroom to finish brushing my teeth and then I start to think about what Nick just said. Dinner with all the guys. That means that AJ is going to be there.

Great now I’m nervous. Something about him makes me feel…I don’t even know. And I get even more nervous remembering what AJ had told me earlier that day while we were having coffee….that Nick told them I was the love of his life.

Oh God.

I try to put it out of my mind and finish getting ready, and before I know it, I hear a knock at the door.

I grab my purse and walk out into the living room to get the door, but when I get there I see that Sarah has already answered the door and was giving Nick a hug. They had met a couple of times when Nick and I were together.

When they finish he looks over at me and smiles.

“Hey baby. You look amazing.” He says.

“Aw thanks. You look good too.” I say to him.

And at this Sarah turns around so Nick couldn’t see her face and mouthed “hey baby” to me smiling.

I give her a look warning her to stop and then walk over to Nick.

“Well we should get going. Bye Sarah.” I say as I push Nick out the door then shut it.

You never know what Sarah will say so I thought it best to just get out of there as fast as I could.

*Half an hour Later*

When we pull into the restaurant parking lot, Nick gets out of the car first and comes around to my side and opens the door. Another very un-Nick-like thing to do, but hey, I like him like this.

I step out of the car and as we start to walk towards the front door Nick grabs my hand. I look over at him and smile. He smiles back.

When the two of us enter the restaurant, still holding hands, Nick leads me straight past the hostess and into the main room. Apparently he knows where he is going.

As we walk through the room I notice people staring at us, probably trying to figure out who I am. Just as I was starting to wonder if these people would ever stop looking at us, we walk into a hallway towards a big set of double doors.

Right before we are about to walk in, Nick stops so I do too.

“I’m sorry we couldn’t have dinner alone. I promise I’ll make it up to you.” He says as he brings me close and kisses me.

All of a sudden one of the doors swings open and Howie is standing there looking at us.

Nick and I break away as soon as we see him.

“Oops sorry guys.” Howie says trying to hold in his laughter.
“Shut up!” Nick says.

“Hi Howie.” I say to him as I give him a hug.

When we follow Howie back inside the private room everyone gets up to say hello.

First is Kevin and Kristin, and after that comes Brian, Leighanne, and Baylee.

Then there is AJ.

He walks over to me first, gives me a hug and says with a smile, “Hey sweetie good to see you again.”

“Wait, wait, wait. You guys haven’t met…” Nick says with a confused look on his face.

“Oh yeah I forgot to tell you. When Leighanne and I were having coffee this morning he showed up.” I tell him.

“Oh uh ok then.” Nick says.

So after everyone has said hello, Nick and I take sit down at the table.

*2 hours Later*

After drinking, eating, talking, and laughing we decide that it’s time to leave. Especially since the boys had an appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel show tomorrow night, and not to mention the fact that poor little Baylee had somehow fallen asleep on the floor despite all the noise in the room.

On the way home sitting in Nick’s car looking out the window, I thought about the night.

AJ had been sitting on the other side of me during the night and we got to talk. Actually we got to talk quite a bit. I mean, I know tonight was supposed to be about Nick and I but he was busy talking to everyone else. We had our own little conversation and it was as if the rest of the room wasn’t even there. When we left I felt a lot closer to him, which didn’t help my little crush.

That’s what I have decided to call it, ‘my little crush’. I’m with Nick, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have a little crush does it? But somewhere in the pit of my stomach I feel a bit of guilt for feeling anything at all. Even if it is just a little crush.

I come out of my thoughts when Nick says, “Anna do u want to come back to my place for a while?”

I think about this for a minute before I answer. There really isn’t anything to keep me from going back especially since tomorrow (Monday) is a day off at the school so I don’t have to teach.

“Yeah sounds good.” I say to him.

When we get to his house, he once more comes around to open the car door for me.

Once we are inside he says, “Follow me, I wanna show you something.”

So I follow him up the stairs, and into the master bedroom. We walk across the room and when we reach the other side of it he tells me to close my eyes, so I do.

I can hear him moving the curtains aside and opening what sounded to be a sliding door. I felt his hand close around mine.

“Keep them closed.” He says, and leads me through the door.

A flow of cold air hits me, and not being prepared for this, I immediately start to shiver.

After taking just a few steps, he takes my hands and places them on a railing. He moves from in front of me to behind me and whispers in my ear, “Ok you can open.”

I open my eyes and in front of me is a view of the city. My apartment is down in it so I have never seen it like this before. The glow surrounding it was stunning.

Nick wraps his arms around me as I tell him ,” Wow Nick, it’s beautiful.”

After a few more moments of taking in the sight, I feel Nick’s lips on my neck. His hands tighten on my hips and I don’t try to stop him. I stopped it last time, but this time I didn’t want to.

I turn around so my back is to the city and Nick and I are facing each other. I look into his eyes, and at this moment I feel like I can see inside of him. Somehow I knew that he really did care about me as much as all of the guys said he does.

I draw him close to me and kiss him softly. He deepens the kiss and pushes his tongue into my mouth. I let out a moan at this and he knew that I wasn’t going to try to stop this time, so without our lips parting, we slowly manage to make our way back into the bedroom……
*Chapter 9* by foxsgrl17
*Chapter 9*


I slowly open my eyes to find Nick laying next to me in the bed, just waking up as I was. He moves his head so he is looking at me, and I give him a smile.

“Morning baby.” Nick says, as he scoots closer to plant a soft kiss onto my lips.

“Hi” I say to him.

I glance over at the clock and realize it’s 11:00 already. I don’t think I have slept this late since I was younger. But who could blame us? We had a late night last night. Well, I guess you could call it that.

“Ugh I need to get up. Can I use your shower?” I ask him as I wrap one of the bed sheets around myself and climb out of bed.

“Only if I can come in with you.” He says playfully.

“You wish Carter.” I say laughing as I walk into the bathroom.


*a little while later*

I step out of the shower and grab a fresh towel from the rack.

When I am done drying myself off, I look around and find a robe hanging on a hook, so I grab it, and drape it over myself.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ok so now 2 cups a flour. But how much is a cup? Damn pancakes.

This is why I never cook, but I thought I would surprise her with a late breakfast.

I decide I should just dump in some flour, when I hear her voice behind me.

“Aww look Honey you’re trying to cook,” She says.

I turn around to see Anna leaning on the counter, her chin in her hands. She’s wearing my robe that is two sizes to big for her, and because of this, the tops of her breasts are peeking out from the low slit in the front. I get the sudden urge to just rip the whole robe off of her, but I decide against it due to the fact that I don’t think it would fly to well with her.

“Well, I am definitely trying.” I tell her.
She walks over and looks into the mixing bowl.

“Oh Nick, it’s so sweet that you tried, but why don’t you let me finish it up.” She says giggling.

I look down at the bowl and decide she was right, so I kiss her on the head and walk over to the table to sit down.

I just watch her as she finishes mixing the batter and then pouring the mix into the pan.

Last night was amazing. I have never felt this way about anyone and I want to tell her how much I love her, because I do, a lot. I just don’t know if I should tell her.

When the pancakes are done, she puts them on two plates and brings them to the table.

I notice she put a couple extra pancakes onto my plate. She knows me too well.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*10 minutes later*

“Oh my god I am so full!” I say as I lean back in my chair.

“I know how you feel.” Nick says. “Hey guess what.”

“What?”

And he answers with the loudest burp I think I have ever heard come out of his mouth. I break out laughing, not just at the burp, but at the satisfied look he has on his face.

He is the only person I know that gets excited when they burp.

“Very cute.” I tell him.

“I know it was wasn’t it? Ok now your turn.”

“I can’t burp. I have to like, drink a soda or something.”

“Well then I’ll get you one.” He tells me.

So he jumps out of his seat, runs over to the fridge, and pulls out a soda. He comes back to the table and hands it to me. I guess it wouldn’t hurt to try.

“Ok go.” He says to me.

I open the soda, give him a look, then start to drink it.

After half the soda is gone, I set it down and concentrate. I gulp some air, open my mouth, and out comes a burp.

We both start laughing hysterically and as I look up I notice someone else has just entered the room.

It’s AJ.

“Oh God.” I say feeling really embarrassed.

Nick turns around and sees AJ.

“Oh sorry guys, I didn’t know…”

“Hey J, don’t worry about it. Come sit down.” Nick says to him.

AJ walks over and sits down at the table as I pull the robe tighter around my body, since I’m not wearing anything underneath it.

“Hey Anna.” He says to me smiling.
“Hi.” I say back.

“So what’s up?” Nick says to AJ.
“Nothing much. I was just driving past and thought I would stop by to see what was going on over here.”
“Oh I see.” Nick says.

I take the pause in the conversation to let them know I was going to go upstairs and get dressed.

I climb the stairs and go back into Nick’s bedroom to pick my scattered clothes up off the floor. Once I finish picking them up, I walk to the bathroom to get changed. Looking through the drawers, I find a blow dryer to finish drying my hair.

When I decide I look decent enough I go back downstairs in my black dress from last night, and carrying my heels. AJ and Nick are still sitting at the kitchen table.

As soon as Nick sees me he says, “Hey babe AJ has a really good idea.”

“Oh he does?” I say in sort of a sarcastic way, walking towards the table.

“We think you should come with us to the Kimmel show tonight, you know to hang out before and then watch us perform.” Nick says.

“Yeah you should definitely come.” AJ adds.

I think about it for a second but it doesn’t take me too long to decide.

“Sounds good.” I tell them.

“Score.” AJ says laughing.
“Well I’m glad you’re happy, but I think I should go home for a while to get ready and all of that good stuff, and then I’ll come back over here. But Nick I need you to take me since, uh, I don’t have my car.” I say.

“I can take you if you want. I was going to leave soon anyways.” AJ offers.

“You sure? I don’t mind.” Nick says.
“Yeah it’s fine. I don’t mind at all.” He tells Nick. “I’ll just go pull the car into the driveway.”

AJ walks out through the garage as Nick walks me to the door.

“Thanks for a wonderful night Nick. Ill see you later today.” I say as I kiss him.

“Later babe.” He says.

He opens the door for me and I walk out towards the driveway. AJ is there in his black Range Rover waiting for me, so I walk over, open the door and climb in.
*Chapter 10* by foxsgrl17
“Ok so where do you live?” AJ asks as he carefully backs down the driveway.

I tell him how to get there, and as I am telling him I can’t help but feel a little bit awkward. He obviously knows what Nick and I were up to last night since he showed up and I was in a robe, and when I came back downstairs I had on the same clothes from last night. Oh well, he knows that Nick and I are together.

“Sorry I walked in on you two. I’m used to just walking in so I didn’t even think to knock.” He says.

“Oh don’t even worry about it. You didn’t interrupt anything. He was just trying to get me to burp.” I say with a laugh.

“Well that was a mighty fine burp you did.”

“Ha thanks.”

“So you and Nick are getting pretty serious, huh?” He asks.

“Uh I’m not really sure. I guess I haven’t thought about it.”

And this is true, I haven’t thought about how serious we were. He has only been in town for a couple of days. I must say that it’s getting pretty intense though.

“Well it sure seems like it.”

“It does?”

“Well you guys are acting all lovey-dovey and you did spend the night last night….”

“AJ!” I say shoving his arm lightly and feeling embarrassed.

“Well you did!”

“Thanks for stating the obvious. So anyways….”

I try to get away from the subject as fast as I can. I feel weird talking about this with him, I don’t know why.

“How is the girl hunt coming?” I ask him.

Last night at the restaurant, he told me all about how he wanted to find someone. All of his past girlfriends weren’t right for him in some way or another, and now he wants to find the right one. He also told me he was ready to settle down and have a family, and he seemed genuine about it. I could tell by the look in his eyes.

“It’s coming.” He says with a smile.

“Oh it is, is it? So you found someone in the short amount of time since I talked to you last night?”

“Maybe. We’ll see what happens.”

“Well good for you.” I say to him.

Before I know it, we pull up to the front of my apartment building. I lean down to grab my purse and heels from the floor of the car.

“Thanks for bringing me home AJ. I’ll see you later.”

I open the car door to get out and before I shut it he says, “No problem sweetie. But hey, next time you stay the night at Nick’s, tell me first so I don’t walk in on anything I don’t want to see. I was lucky this time.”

“Oh get out of here!” I say jokingly while he laughs, and then I shut the door.

As he drives away I walk into the building and take the elevator up to my floor. Thank God the door is unlocked. I still need to get a new lock for this piece of shit.

I walk in to see my sister and Sarah leaning up against the window that looks out onto the parking lot.

“Question.” Sarah says as I walk further into the room.

“What?”

“You left with one Backstreet Boy, and came home with another, and I know you fucked someone this time. You had to, so all you need to do is tell me which one.” She says.

Leave it to Sarah to get right to the point.

“AJ just drove me home. He stopped by Nick’s this morning and offered since I didn’t have my car.”

“So it was Nick! Well, I pretty much knew that anyways. But oh my God how was it! I want to know everything. Was he good?” She says jumping up and down.

“Calm down! Ugh I don’t want to go through every little detail, but I will tell you, he was good.” I say with a smile.

“Ah you are so lucky! You are with a Backstreet Boy. What girl doesn’t want that!?”

“I think you need to breathe.” I say to her still chuckling at her animated actions.

And then I remember my sister is standing there.

“So I suppose you are here because I didn’t tell you Nick was back in town, and that I have been seeing him. And I bet you found out because Sarah called you this morning to ask if you had seen the picture of Nick and I in the tabloid the other morning but of course you hadn’t seen it. Then she told you that I left with Nick last night, and didn’t come home, so you drove over here to wait for me so you can ask me why I didn’t tell you any of this.”

“Shit. How did you know that?” Tessa says to me with wide eyes.

“You have to remember, I know both of you like the back of my hand.”
“Good enough of an answer. But why didn’t you tell me you are with Nick again?” Tessa asks.

“Well partly because Mom and Dad aren’t too fond of him and I couldn’t get you alone at their house. And also, you can’t keep a secret for shit. I didn’t want everyone knowing about it.” I tell her.

“Another good answer.” She says.

“Ok well if you ladies will excuse me, I need to go get ready.”

“For what? You just got home!” Sarah exclaims.

“I’m going to the Jimmy Kimmel show with the guys tonight. They have a performance and Nick and AJ thought it would be cool if I went with them.”

“You lucky bitch.!” Tessa says.

“Yeah I guess I am pretty lucky.”
*Chapter 11* by foxsgrl17
I park the car in front of Nick’s house and make my way up to the front door.

I raise my hand to knock, but when my arm is halfway to the door, it swings open and Nick swoops me up into his arms.

“Woah! Miss me much?” I say as he plants one on me.

“Too much.” He says in between kisses.

“I was only gone for three hours!”

“Three hours too long.”

After one final kiss he adds, “We really have to get going, so do you need anything before we leave.”

“Nope I’m good. Let’s go.”


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As I make the short drive from my house to Hollywood, I look to the passenger seat of the car.

The late afternoon sun shines through the window and falls on her, making it seem like she’s glowing. Her illuminated light brown hair falls down to her chest and her hands are resting in her lap. She’s a sight to see. I need to tell her, and if I don’t do it soon I think I might explode.

All of a sudden, she turns her head and is looking at me, looking at her.

“What?” She asks with a small chuckle.

“Nothing.” I say smiling, and turn back to the road.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Nick makes a right turn onto a backstreet, and as we move forward, I see them.

A line of fans is there waiting for the group to arrive. None of them are paying much attention at the moment but I know this will change shortly.

“Get ready for your first extreme Backstreet Fan Experience.” Nick says.

As he slows down to head into the gated parking lot, one of the fans realizes it’s him, and all of a sudden, they flock towards the car.

Most of them don’t come too close, but other rush to the sides of the car, trying to get a look inside. Camera flashes are going off in my eyes and their screams fill my ears. I totally wasn’t ready for this. The security guard opens the fence and Nick pulls in, leaving the fans behind.

As he enters, another guard is there waiting for us and tells him where to park.

When the car stops, I open the door and step out. The shrieks are still there, but they get louder as soon as Nick climbs out. While he walks to the back of the car where I am standing, he waves to the fans. I can see most of them pressed up as close to the fence as possible, screaming his name and telling him how much they love him.

When he reaches me, he smiles, grabs my hand and asks, “You ok babe?”

“Yeah I’m good.” I say back.

All of a sudden I hear a voice from behind me.

“Hello Mr. Carter. My name is Lisa, if you’ll follow me, I’m going to take you up to the green room.”

“Ok thanks.” Nick says to her.

We make our way through the parking lot and up to a large building. She goes through the door and then starts climbing the stairs, so we follow her. When we reach the third floor she walks to a door and opens it for us.

Nick and I walk in as she holds the door open.

“I have to go back down and wait for the rest of the group, but if you need anything I left my cell phone number on the table there so feel free to call.” Lisa says with a cheerful voice.

“Alright. Thanks again.” Nick says to her as she walks out.

I walk over to one of the couches and flop down onto it. I’m still exhausted, seeing as that I barely got any sleep last night, for reasons that we already know, and the caffeine from the coffee I had an hour ago is wearing off.

For the first couple of minutes, Nick just walks around trying all the different food sitting out on the tables, but then he makes his way over, sits down next to me and says, “We have the room to ourselves. This could be fun,” as he starts to kiss my neck.

I jokingly push him away.

“Nick! The guys are gonna be here soon and you don’t want them walking in on us, do you?”

“Let them walk in. I don’t care.”

“Oh for Christ’s sake Nick, get a hold of yourself.” I say chuckling.

Just then, the door opens and in walks Lisa, followed by AJ.

“Hey kids.” He says with a smile, and then walks over to the couch and sits himself right in between Nick and I.

“Hey man, that sucks! Get up.” Nick says lightly shoving him.

AJ looks over and winks at me. I know he is just trying to piss Nick off.

“I think I like this spot the best, so I’m just gonna sit here.” He says grinning.

“Damn it AJ!” Nick yells, sounding annoyed.

“Now, now boys. No fighting!” I sarcastically say to them.

All of a sudden, Nick stands up, wraps his arms around AJ’s sides, and moves him to the other side of the couch. All the while AJ is just laughing at how pissed Nick is. I hold my laughter in as not to make Nick mad.

When Nick re-takes his place next to me the door opens once again. This time it’s Brian, Leighanne with Baylee stuck to her hip, and Howie. Kevin arrives ten minutes later, but without Kristin. She had some acting thing she had to go to tonight.

I look over at the clock from my spot on the couch.

3:30

They are supposed to do a sound check at 5, but they don’t perform until 8.

This is going to be a long night.



*1 hour later*

By now I have removed my shoes, and am sprawled out on half of the couch. Howie lays sleeping on the other side. How he remains asleep, I have no idea. There is so much noise in the room.

Nick, Brian, and AJ are sitting on the floor glued to the TV playing video games. Once in a while one of them yells at another, telling him to stop killing him or beating him or whatever the hell the point of the game is.

Baylee sits next to his Dad with a broken controller in his hand, spastically pressing buttons and glaring at the screen as if he were playing too.

The other couch is occupied by Leighanne who is reading a book, and Kevin who is looking through a magazine.

“Ok food break!” Nick says.

He stands up and walks over to the tables of food and drinks, with AJ and Brian right behind him.

Baylee disappears for a moment behind the side of the couch, but then reappears with a book in his arms.

He ambles over and stops at the edge of the couch, holding the book out to me.

“Hey Buddy. Do you want me to read that to you?”

“Yes please.” He answers in a cute little voice.

I take the book and set it next to me on the couch, then move myself to a sitting position. When I look back his arms are stretched out, so I pick him up and set him on my lap. He grabs the book from next to me and opens it up to the first page, where I start to read to him quietly.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I crack open the water bottle I just grabbed off the table, and turn around.

She’s sitting there, with ‘the little man’ in her lap, reading him a story. She makes the different voices of the characters in the books, and it makes him laugh.

She looks up at the end of a sentence and smiles. I smile back.

From the moment I saw her that morning, I knew she was one of a kind. Her smile could light up a room and she was real, not caught up in me being a celebrity. When we talk, it’s as if we have known each other forever. She is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen, and not just on the outside.

There’s just one problem.

She belongs to someone else, and that someone else is one of my best friends.

All of a sudden I feel and elbow hit my arm.

“So, AJ, what do you think of her?” Nick asks me.

“She’s a keeper.” I tell him, without looking up.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


*3 hours and 15 minutes later*

After being forced into playing a video game (and loosing miserably), eating Chinese take out, and falling asleep on the couch, it’s finally almost time for the boys to go on.

Baylee has fallen asleep once again, and Lisa has said she would stay with him while the boys perform, so Leighanne and I decide to walk down to the outdoor stage a little early.

Before we walk out I wish all the guys good luck, and give Nick a little extra peck on the lips.

Leighanne and I make our way down the stairs, and then out into the open.

As we are taken to a small section on the side of the stage, I see all of the girls packed like sardines into the outdoor stage area, waiting for their Backstreet Boys. There was the occasional guy scattered about, but mostly girls.

When we reach our destination, some of the girls standing nearby recognize Leighanne and call her over. She tells me she’ll be just a minute and walks over to them to take pictures.

When she comes back and asks, “So you excited?”

“Of course I am! This is so exciting. After all the years of Nick wanting me to come see them perform and not being able to go, I finally get too.”

I really do feel this way. I am so eager to finally get to see Nick perform. I have bought all their CDs and watched TRL to see their videos, so yeah I’m a fan. I mean come on, what girl wasn’t a fan at one point in their life.

Without warning, the crowd erupted with deafening screams. I crane my neck to see the boys walking up onto the stage on the opposite side from Leighanne and I.

They wave and blow kisses to the fans as they walk to their designated places.

A man walks out onto the stage and grabs one of the mics.

“Ok everyone we go live in 30 seconds so I want all of you to be as loud as you can and put your hands in the air!” he says enthusiastically. When the man finishes talking Jimmy Kimmel comes onstage and walks to the middle of it.

After a few last minute adjustments they start counting down…….

10, 9 , 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1……………….

The screams get even louder when Jimmy starts the intro.

“These guys have sold more than 73,000,000 albums, I still have their poster hanging over my bed. Their new album is called Never Gone, it’s deafening in here. With the song Just Want You To Know, it’s the Backstreet Boys!”

He quickly ducks offstage and the music starts.

My eyes drift to the middle of the stage where Nick stands, and then he starts to sing.

“Lookin’ at your picture, from when we first met
You gave me a smile that I could never forget
And nothing I could do could protect me from you that night.”

I start to sing along with him, and so does the rest of the crowd. I look over to Leighanne who is enjoying this as much as I am.

Seeing him up there was so weird. I felt like he was so far away from me, being a celebrity and all, but I just thought of him as a normal person.

As the song went on into the second verse, my eyes changed positions from watching Nick to watching AJ.

His voice was so amazing and not to mention sexy. Watching him up there performing makes me feel even more attracted to him. I don’t think there is a specific reason for this. It just happened. He’s smiling and waving to the fans while singing. His personality is just perfect. I try to look away but I can’t. He’s just…mesmerizing.

Everyone is still screaming and singing along as the song comes to an end.

“That I’ve been fighting to let you go
Some days I make it through and then there’s nights that never end
I wish that I could believe that there’s a day you’ll come back to me
But still I have to say I would do it all again
Just want you to know”

After a quick commercial break, Jimmy comes back out and announces they will be playing the show out with Weird World.

So they go on to sing Weird World, I Want It That Way, and I Still for the fans.

When the show is over I feel somewhat sad, since I am having such a good time and they were so awesome, but I also feel strange for no apparent reason.

Leighanne and I quickly make our way back up to the green room to check on Baylee, who we discover is still fast asleep. Leighanne thanks Lisa for staying with him as she leaves the room.

The two of us plop, once again, onto a couch to wait for the boys to come up.
After about 15 minutes they finally came in, because they had been signing autographs in the alley.

When Nick enters I run over to him. “Hey baby you were awesome!”
“Thanks!” He says hugging me.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see AJ walking towards the bathroom.

I follow him, and peek my head in the door to see what he’s doing.

“Hey.” I say when I see him splashing water on his face.

“Oh Hey.” He answers back.

“You ok?” I ask.

I could tell that something was bothering him.

“Nothing, I’m fine.” He says with a smile.

I hear Nicks voice from behind me. “Anna let’s go!”

“K coming.” I yell to him.

“I have to go, but you did an awesome job out there. They really love you.” I say to AJ.

“Thanks. I’ll see you later.” He says.

I walk away from the bathroom to say goodbye to the rest of them.

When this is done, Nick and I venture back to the car, and he drives me back to his house so I can get my car.

Before I leave he asks, “Do you have any plans tomorrow night?”

“Other than grading papers, no.” I say laughing.

“Well good. Can I take you out to dinner?”

“Of course, but alone this time right?”

“Yep. Just the two of us.”

“Awesome. See you tomorrow then.”

I give him a light peck on the lips then hop into my car and drive home.
*Chapter 12* by foxsgrl17
“Are you ready to order?”
“Yeah I think so. I’ll have a double cheeseburger with fries….Oh and also a side of onion rings.” Nick says smiling.

“Way to order half the menu Carter. I’ll just have a cheeseburger with fries.” I say the waitress.

“Ok thanks. Your food should be ready soon.”

Nick and I are sitting in a circular corner booth at a little burger joint somewhere in LA. He wanted to take me to somewhere where we could be comfortable and not have to get all dressed up.

This was perfect. I didn’t need to go somewhere fancy to have a good time, and he doesn’t either. As long as theirs food, he’s fine.

“Hey look.” He says.

So I turn my head towards him, and before I could respond, the paper covering from a straw flies into my face.

“Ugh no fair! I already opened my straw.” I say with a sarcastic pout.

“Aww baby don’t cry.” He says laughing as leans over and kisses me.

“So how was your class today?”

“Pretty good. I have a bunch of papers to grade by tomorrow though. I’m gonna be up half the night trying to get them done. I really should be doing them right now as a matter of fact, but I decided that you are just al little bit more important than the tests.”

“Just a little bit?”

“Yeah and it’s like, borderline too.” I say smiling.

The waitress walks back around the corner carrying the tray with our food on it.

“Ok so here’s your double cheeseburger with fries and onion rings, and here’s your cheeseburger with fries. Enjoy your meal!”

“Thanks.” We both say.

“Oh man I’m starving!” I say as I squirt ketchup on my plate.

“Me too.” He says with 3 fries already in his mouth.

I grab one of my fries and dip it into the ketchup. I raise it to my mouth and just as I plop it in, a huge glob of ketchup drips from the fry, onto my chest.
“Ugh damn.”

At least it didn’t hit my shirt since its low cut, but still, that sucks.

“Ill get it!” Nick says immediately.

He leans his head down over my breast and licks the ketchup up off of it. He’s turning me on in a restaurant. Not good.

When his head comes up, I look over to see a mother covering her little boy’s eyes at the table across the room.

We both start laughing hysterically.



*15 minutes later*

I stretch my legs out across the empty booth on my other side and lean my head on his shoulder.

“Why do I always get so full when I’m with you?”

“I donno. Maybe because I eat a lot and it makes you eat a lot?”

“Who knows.”

We sit there for a few moments in silence, and then Nick grabs my hand.

“Baby I’m so glad we are getting to do this, spend time together. I always felt horrible for never seeing you when I’m back here. I want you to know that it was never because I didn’t want to be with you, I was just busy. And since we have been together these past few days I have realized something that I think I have known all along.”

“And what’s that?” I ask

“Anna..I love you.”

I turn my head to look at him and see that he is completely serious. There is a sort of nervousness in his face that I have never seen before. So I guess everything that AJ told me was true.

“I love you too.” I tell him, grinning.

“Thank God!” He yells, and then jumps on top of me, smothering me with kisses.
*Chapter 13* by foxsgrl17
*Chapter 13*


“Miss Anna?”

I look up from my desk to see one of my students standing there.

“What’s up Lily?” I say to the young girl.

“You didn’t tell us our homework.”

I look up at the clock.

Shit. There’s only two minutes until the bell rings.

I rush up to the board and write down their homework just as the bell shrieks through the school.

“Ok guys see you tomorrow!” I yell as they all scramble out the door.

I have been out of it all day. Last night just took me by surprise. I didn’t know he was actually going to tell me he loved me. I sorta just thought he would keep it to himself.

It also flabbergasted me that I said it back. I mean I do love him, but I don’t feel like I love him as much as I should. I feel like I should feel more strongly than I do, but I don’t.

I walk around the room picking up stray crayons and papers from the floor. I’m a neat freak so everything has to be in it’s place.

Once everything is cleaned up, I walk over to my desk to grab my purse and the set of directions Nick had given me.

The boys are starting to film a new video somewhere in LA today and I told Nick I would come by after work.

*15 minutes later*

I was up so late grading last night that I’m exhausted and realize that I can’t function unless I get some caffeine into my bloodstream, so I find myself walking into one of the local coffee shops.

“One grande latte please.” I say to the man behind the counter.

“Coming right up.”

After a couple minutes of waiting I hear, “Grande latte for Anna!”, So I walk up and grab it.

I make my way out of the store and start back to the car. On the way I walk past a kiosk selling magazines, so I slow down to glance at them.

Just as I get to the end I slowly turn my gaze from the magazines back to the road, but then I realize I see something out of the corner of my eye.

I stop and walk three steps backwards, only to be staring at my own picture on the cover of People magazine.

Well it wasn’t the main big photo, but one off to the side. The caption read: Nick’s New Girl, and then there was a picture of Nick and I from last night in the burger joint.

“Holy shit.” I say under my breath.

I pick the magazine up off the rack and go over to the cashier and buy it.

When I finally reach my car I sit down and open it up.

I look at the table of contents, and then turn to page 52.

There again are pictures of Nick and I from the past week spread over the two page layout. They have the picture of us on his porch, the one from the diner last night, and even one of us holding hands at the Kimmel show.

An article also accompanied these photos and it read:

Nick’s New Girl

This week Backstreet Boy Nick Carter has seemed to have
hooked himself a girl. The two have been spotted all around Los
Angeles holding hands, and kissing in restaurants. The Backstreet Boys
have two weeks of down time before heading off to Europe on their
World Tour, Never Gone. Apparently, this mystery girl is also a girl from
his past. We found out her name is Anna, and she and Nick dated
when they were younger but things didn’t work out. Will this
relationship last? Who knows. Nick hasn’t had a serious girlfriend
since Paris Hilton, and has been seen around the country with
many different women. We will just have to wait to see if this one will
stick around for good.


Oh lord.

If my parents see this they are going to flip a bitch. Not only because they don’t know I’m with Nick again, but if they see these pictures of us they are going to be so angry. I shouldn’t worry about that now though.

I start the engine and drive my way over to the video shoot.

When I arrive I realize that they are filming in the middle of the street that they had blocked off for the day. As I start to walk up to one of the barricades, I see Nick walking out of a trailer.

“Nick!” I yell.

He looks over, and upon noticing it was me, ran over.

“Hey babe.” He says as he plants a kiss onto my lips.

“So how’s is going so far?” I ask as we walk towards the trailer.

“Pretty good I guess. It’s just taking forever like all videos do, I’m starting to get bored!”

“Well, then I guess we’ll just have to fix that.” I say smiling.

I stop walking and pull him close. He brings his head down and out lips meet. He grazes his tongue over my lips and then parts them with it.

After a couple minutes of having a passionate make out session, we finally make out way into the trailer.

“Hey boys.” I say as I walk into the trailer.

“Hey!” They all respond.

The trailer is cramped since they are taking a break at the moment, so as Nick takes a seat in the last remaining chair, I walk over and sit on his lap. He wraps his arms around my waist and I lean back on him.

Everyone goes back to their separate conversations, so I turn my head to look at Nick.

“So did you see the cover of People magazine this morning?” I ask him.

“No, but I heard about it. We made the front cover.” He says smiling.

“Ha, well I’m it makes you feel special.” I say in a sort of sarcastic tone.
“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing really. I don’t care that our picture is on the magazine as well as all inside it; it was bound to happen sometime. It’s just that I’m worried about what my parents are going to say.”

“Why would they say anything? And why do you care so much?”
“Uh, because they are my parents! And if you haven’t forgotten Nick, they don’t like you very much.”
“Oh yeah, huh. They should get over it.”

“Well I think it might be hard to forgive someone who was a total jerk to their daughter.”

“I was not a jerk.”

“Oh my God Nick!” I say laughing in disbelief. He knows he was, he just won’t admit it.

“Ok if you think I was a jerk, then tell me what I did.”
“No. if you don’t know why then I’m not going to tell you. Just forget about it.”

“See you don’t even know the answer.”

“Just drop it OK.”

“No, I want you to tell me why you think I was a jerk, and why your parents hate me.”

“Nick please stop. You’re being a jerk right now too.”

“Whatever.” He says.

Ugh, now I’m stressed and angry.

I look over to see everyone looking at us. Apparently our conversation had gone from whispers to shouts.

“Aw, look, love’s first fight.”

I shift my eyes to see that Howie was the one who said it.

“Shut up Howard!” Nick says angrily.

As he says this, I get up from his lap and walk out of the room. If I was around him for one more second, I think I would have exploded.

I sit down on the bottom step of the trailer, and breathe deeply to calm myself down.

The reason I’m so mad is because he knows exactly why he was an asshole. I can even count the reasons:
1) He was rude
2) He ignored me
3) He hung out with other girls
4) He even cussed at my Dad.

Who knows why I even liked him in the first place. We were young though, so I guess these things should be expected. And he wasn’t all bad. He had his sweet moments. He’s different now though, the only thing is that he’s still cocky.

As I sit here thinking, I take notice of the door of the trailer swinging open and someone walking out.

The person walks down the steps and plants them self right next to me.

“Hey kid.” I hear AJ say.

“Hi.”

I feel embarrassed that Nick and I fought in front of all of them.

“You alright?”

“Yeah I’ll be fine. I just need to calm down.”

“I know how you feel. Whenever I get in a fight with someone I just need to go and cool off….So Nick cussed at your Dad?” he says with a small laugh.

“Ha yeah. He was over and we were watching TV in the living room. My dad came in and told us he wanted to watch the TV, and then they got into a yelling match. It was pretty funny at the time. I thought my dad was gonna kick him out of the house though.”

“What a little rebel.”

“Oh man he was.”

I hear the door open, then close again, and this time I knew it was Nick.

“Well I think I’ll go back inside.” He says, and lightly touches my arm as he gets up.

Nick walks down, and stands in front of me at the bottom of the steps. He grabs both of my hands and holds them in his. I keep my eyes on the ground.

“Anna look at me.” He says, so I raise my head to him.

“I shouldn’t have said what I did. I didn’t mean to be a total asshole. I was just confused and I’m really sorry.”

Oh please, confused my ass. But whatever I’m not going fight about this anymore.

“It’s ok I forgive you.”

“Good.” And then bends down to hug me.

“I love you babe.” He says.

Ugh

“Love you too.”

“Hey Nick, it’s your turn.” Says a voice from behind him.

“Let’s go.” He says, and pulls me over to watch him shoot his part of the video.
*Chapter 14* by foxsgrl17
“Alright I’m done. You ready to go?”

“Well what about the other guys? Don’t you want to watch them?”

He makes a face that means no.

“Oh come on Nick I wanna watch them!” I say as I make a fake pout.

“Ok I guess we can stay a while.”

“Aw thanks.” I say and kiss him on the cheek.

Over the next hour, I watch Brian and Kevin do their scenes for the video. The whole experience is so exciting. I love seeing how they make the video and everything that goes into it.

When Kevin finishes up and leaves with Brian, Nick goes back to his question.

“Ok I’m really ready to go now.” He whines.

“Howie still has to go, and AJ has a little more to do that he didn’t finish from this morning.”

“I know, but I’m tired and hungry! It’s also freezing out here!”

Well, he was right about that. The sun had almost disappeared and the night air was colder than usual.

“Well then why don’t you go and I’ll stay?”

“I want you to come with me.” He says trying to make the same face I had earlier.

“That’s not going to work on me mister. I’m staying.” I say smiling.

“Ok fine. I’ll call you later tonight?”

“Sounds good.”

“Alright, bye babe.” He says as he gives me a light peck on the lips.

“Bye.”

As Nick leaves, Howie makes his way out of the trailer. Upon approaching the chair where I am sitting he asks, “Hey where’s your boyfriend?”

“He just left, he was whining about being tired, hungry, and cold.”

“Well what’s new he’s always whining.”

“You got that right!” I say as we both start laughing.

*5 minutes later*

The cold is really getting to me now so I decide to go inside and see if I can find an extra jacket somewhere.

I open the door to find AJ sprawled out on the couch, looking at a stack of cards he held in his hands.

“Watcha doin?” I say as I scan the room for a spare jacket.

“Nothing really, just looking at these cards Howie and I found. I’m pretty sure it’s a game. I think you answer the questions that are on them.”

“Sounds interesting.”

“Lemme ask you one.”

*15 minutes later*

“Is that really a question?” I say in between laughs.

“Yep. I’m reading it straight from here! Look, Do you like hairy backs on the opposite sex?”

“Ew, NOOOOO! Just thinking about that makes me sick. Ah. Ok give it to me time to ask you another one.”

He hands the stack of cards over and I randomly pull one out of the middle. I was going to go back outside to finish watching Howie, but after he asked me the first question I decided this might be a more fun.

“This one has a couple questions about your friends so you have to answer all of them. Ok so first one, who’s the nicest?”

“None of them.” He says with a grin on his face, I knew none of these answers were going to be real. We have been pretty sarcastic about most of them anyways.

“The cutest?”

“Howard of course.”

“The tallest?”

“Howard.”

“The shortest?”

“Howard.”

“So he’s the shortest, tallest, and the cutest?” I ask laughing.

“You got it.”

“Ok then. Last one. Do you have a crush on one of them?”

“If you haven’t noticed, I’m hot for Howie.”

I bury my face into the couch trying quiet laughter but it just doesn’t work.

After we stop laughing he pulls a card from the deck.

“Next one, If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would it be?”

“Easy. Italy. I have always wanted to go there, not only because I’m Italian, but to me it just seems like such a romantic place. I would probably end up not wanting to leave.”

“It really is nice there. We should go one day.”

“Oh man we should.” I say as I draw another card.

Before I get a chance to read it, the director’s assistant walks in and says, “AJ we’ll be ready for you in 2 minutes.” And then walks back out.

“Ok so this is the last one.” He says to me.

“Ok the question is, if you could be a millionaire or have true love, which one would you choose?”

“Well I already really have one of those elements, but I would trade the one I have for the other. If I had true love, the money wouldn’t matter. It’s nice to have money, but I don’t think it’s nicer than having love.”

“Good answer.” I say smiling at him.

“It was wasn’t it. Now let’s go finish making this video.”

We both get up and make out way outside, but not before I grab a jacket that’s draped over the couch. I take a seat in the chair I had been in before, while AJ walks over to talk to the director.


When Howie wraps up his scene, he walks over to me. “It’s freezing out here, and I need to find a fricken chair!”

“Ha calm down. Here, we can share.” I say giggling. It’s funny when he’s pissed.

So I get up, he sits down, then I retake my seat on his lap. I’m sure it looks funny since I’m almost taller than him.

AJ walks up to his spot in front of the camera. Apparently he has to kick the top off of a fire hydrant and then all the water comes out soaking him.

As Howie and I bundle together to try to keep warm, AJ looks over at us.

“OOO look at Anna and Howie. Before we know it they are going to get married and have little Anards. Get it! Anna plus Howard equals Anard.”

He starts cracking up with a satisfied look on his face. He was proud of his joke.

“Kiss my ass AJ!” I say to him laughing.

Howie doesn’t even say anything. He’s used to this kind of harassment.

The next five minutes consist of AJ practicing kicking the top off the fire hydrant, and stubbing his toes more than one time. When he finally has it down, they deiced it’s time to shoot it with the water.

“Ok AJ you ready? We only have one shot at this.”

“Yeah let’s do it.” he replies.

The camera starts rolling and the music starts playing. At the right moment, he raises his leg, and kicks the top off, which shoots water straight up into the air. When the stream of water comes back down it totally soaks him.

“Cut! Awesome job AJ we got it!” The director yells.

An assistant rushes over and puts a few towels over is shoulders and hands him an extra one for his face.

After he dries off his face, he slowly walks over to Howie and I with a devilish look on his face.

“Ya know what, I just love you guys so much! I’m getting the urge to give you two both nice, big hugs!”

And with that he runs toward us, and we fly out of the chair, both running in different directions. There is no way I am going to get wet.

At first, he goes after Howie but then he turns towards me. I was never a fast runner, so almost as soon as he runs after me, I feel him grab my waist and turn me around. He wraps his arms around me and squeezes me so that the water in his clothes seeps out and gets me wet.

“AJ!” I scream, as I try to get away from him.

All of a sudden Howie, jumps onto AJ’s back so he lets go of me, and the both of them fall to the ground. I stand there laughing at them, while they laugh at themselves.

“Ok guys I’ve gotta get home. School tomorrow.” I say as they get back onto their feet.

They both walk me to my car and before I get in I turn to Howie.

“Howard, thank you for saving me.” I say as I give him a hug.

When I turn to AJ he is standing there with his arms open.

“No you don’t get a hug, you got me wet.”

I realize this wasn’t the smartest thing to say because he rushes after me again, and with nowhere to run to this time, I just stand there defenseless as he hugs me, getting me wet again.

“Thanks for that.” I say with a fake smile when he releases me. “See you guys soon.”

And with that, I get into my car and drive home.
*Chapter 15* by foxsgrl17
The ringing sound of the phone wakes me from my sleep.

Without raising my head from the pillow, I reach for the phone, press talk, and bring it to my ear.

Before I have a chance to say anything, I hear a voice on the line.

“Anna?”

My eyes widen and I hang up the phone without even thinking.

It was my mom.

I have been dreading this call since I saw the magazine cover yesterday.

I lay my head back down onto the pillow, hoping she wouldn’t call back, but this is my mother we are talking about. She always calls back.

Low and behold, ten seconds later the phone rings again. For a few moments, I think about not picking it up, but then I hear Sarah yelling from the other room.

“Answer the damn phone!”

Oh well. I’ll have to deal with it later if not now.

I take a deep breath, then pick up the phone.
“Hello?”

“Anna, sweetie, why did you hang up the phone?”

“Oh sorry that must have been Sarah.” I lie.

“I see. Well, I was just calling to see how you are.”

“You wanted to see how I am at six o’clock in the morning?”

“Uh, yeah.” She answers.

“Come on mom. We both know why you called.”

“Ok fine. I was just a little shocked that you didn’t tell me. Diane came over last night with the magazine, but I didn’t want to call you because it was so late.”

“So you decided to call me really early in the morning?”

“Well I’m sorry! I just….I don’t know what to say or think. How did this happen?”

“He told me he was coming to town, so naturally I thought I wouldn’t see him. He surprised me in class one day and took me to lunch. Ever since then we have been spending a lot of time together.”

“Wow.” She says, still surprised.

“Mom, he told me he loves me.”

“Oh my God! Do you…”

“Yeah, I love him too. He’s different now Mom. Well, some things are different. Um, does dad know?”

“Unfortunately, yes. He has been in a pretty bad mood since he found out.”

“Shit.”

“Anna!”

“Ugh sorrrry. Maybe Nick and I should try to come over to talk to him tonight.”

“Well I guess that would be ok.”

“Alright, so I’ll see you tonight then.”

“Ok sweetie, see you later.”

As I hang up the phone, I realize what I just did. Nick and my dad in the same room.

This isn’t going to be pretty.
*Chapter 16* by foxsgrl17
Chapter 16*


I decide I wont be able to go back to sleep after being woken up by my mom, so I climb out of bed. As I walk into the kitchen to get some coffee, I hear a knock at the door.

Ugh, why are people bothering me so early in the morning, I think.

I set my cup on the counter and make my way to the door.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________


I stand on the other side of the door, patiently waiting for her to answer it. I hear the lock click, and the door finally swings open.

She stands there in the open doorway wearing only her booty shorts and an oversized t-shirt. Her eyes still seem tired from sleep, her hair is a tangled mess, and she stands there looking confused.

“Nick what the hell….”

I know she’s pissed that I came this early, but her mood changes when I pull my hands out from behind my back revealing a dozen flowers.

“Aww baby.” She squeals as she jumps on me.

I walk into the apartment with her still in my arms, close the door with the my foot, then take us both over to the couch.


When she lets go she asks, “ So what are these for? Am I missing something?”

“Ha, no you’re not. I just wanted to do something nice for you.”

“That’s so sweet. Thanks Nick.”

She gets up and walks to the kitchen to put the flowers in a vase.
“Do you have any plans tonight?” I ask hopefully.

“Well actually, I wanted to talk to you about that. My mom called this morning, that’s why I’m up so early. She saw the magazine and she knows.”

“Oh God.”

“Yeah I know, but the bad part is that my dad knows too, so I told my mom that you and I would go over there for dinner tonight.”

“I guess that sounds ok.”

“I know you don’t necessarily wanna go, but thank you.” She says as she comes back over to the couch and kisses me.

Great. I mean, I don’t mind going over there, her mom is pretty cool, but her dad, well let’s just say he’s not.

“So why are you here so early anyways?” Anna asks.

“I donno. Was up and just thought id come over.”

“Well I have to go get ready so you can just watch TV or something.”

“K thanks babe.”

As she walks out, I grab the remote, put my feet up, and turn the TV on.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________


When I’m done getting ready, I walk back into the living room to find Sarah and Nick on the couches laughing at cartoons.

“Well I’m glad you guys are having fun, but I’ve gotta get to work.”

“Why don’t I take you?” Nick offers.

“No its alright, because if you take me then I wont have a car.”

“Well if I do take you, I can pick you up right after school and we can go straight to your parent’s.”

“Oh uh, alright that sounds fine.” I tell him.

He gets up off the couch and we both say goodbye to Sarah as we walk out the door.
*10 minutes later*

I climb out of the car, and then bend back down to stick my head into the open window.

“School gets out at 3 so try to be here a little after that, ok?”

“I’ll be here.” He says smiling.

“Good. See you later.” I say and blow him a kiss.

As I start walking into the school, I hear him yell, “I love you!.”

I turn around laughing and reply, “I love you too!”


*3:10*

I walk out of the school into the parking lot, hauling my bags full of papers and projects along with me. I wobble over to an empty bench and take a seat.

As I sit waiting for Nick, I really start to worry about tonight. The only thing I want is for my dad and Nick to get along, and not get into another yelling match.

As the minutes tick by and there is still no sign of Nick, I start to wonder where he is.

I pull my purse onto my lap and fish through it until I find my cell phone. I dial his number then bring the phone to my ear.

After a couple of rings, it goes straight to his voicemail. I click send again and on the third ring he answers, but doesn’t say anything.

“Hello?” I say into the phone.

He doesn’t answer. The only thing I can hear is music and laughter.

“Nick!” I yell getting frustrated.

“Oh hey baby.” He finally answers.

“Nick where are you?”

“Don’t worry about it.” he replies. His voice is shaky and has a strange tone in it.

“What do you mean don’t worry about it? You were supposed to pick me up almost twenty minutes ago!”

“Oh yeah. Sorry.”

“ What is wrong with you?”

“Nothing babe. Everything’s cool.”

“Nick are you…are you drunk?”

“Um, just a little I think.”

“What the hell were you thinking, I mean, we were supposed to go to my parent’s tonight!”

“Hold on say that again. I wasn’t paying attention.”

“Forget it. Where are you, I’ll come get you.”

“No don’t.”

“No I’m coming, so where….” My voice trails off as I realize he had hung up.

I sit there not knowing what to do. I have to call my parents and tell them we can’t come and my boyfriend is sitting at a bar somewhere, drunk. There could be a million places he might be and I don’t even know where to start….

But then I get an idea.

I re-open my phone, find the number I’m looking for, and press send.

“Hello?”

“AJ it’s Anna. I need your help.”


*15 minutes later*

As the car pulls around, I gather up all my things. I walk to the back door, open it throw my stuff in, then get into the front seat.

When I climb in, a look over to AJ who gives me a smile.

“Thank you so much AJ, I’m really sorry you had to come do this.”

“Oh come on I didn’t have to do anything, I wanted to help. Besides, I think I know where he is.”

“You do?!”

“We all used to go there a lot when we were here, so we’ll go over there and see what we can find.”

We pull up to a bar in the middle of LA a half an hour later. He parks the car and we both get out.

“AJ, you don’t have to come in, I can just go…”

“No, no, no. I’ll be fine.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah I’m sure.”

He takes the lead, and I follow him into the bar.

When we enter, the smell of smoke overwhelms me. It takes a moment for my eyes to adjust to the dim lighting, but when they do I see that it is almost empty except for three people. One of them is Nick.

He is sitting at the bar, with his head in his hands, staring at a TV set mounted on the wall.

The bartender looks up, and when he sees AJ, he says “Look who it is! How are ya J?”

“Hey Chuck, I’m doing good. This is Nick’s girlfriend Anna.”

“Nice to meet you. You two came to here to get him I’m guessing.” Chuck says.

“Yeah.” AJ answers.

AJ walks over to Nick with me right behind him.

“Nick.” I say when I reach him.

“Hey baby what are you doing here?” he says woozily, as he leans in to try to kiss me. I move my head back. The smell of alcohol and cigarettes contaminates his breath.

“Come on Nick, let’s go.”

I help him off the stool, and he puts his arm around me. AJ appears on his other side to help me support him.

“Bye Chuck.” Nick says as we walk out of the bar.
“Bye guys.”

We slowly make our way to the car and when we reach it, I open the back door and AJ helps him in.

“Thanks man.” Nick says.

“I’ll sit back here with him.” I tell AJ

When we are all situated in the car Nick says, “Wow, I’m tired. I think I’ll just lie down.”

He scoots his body sideways and plops his head down onto my lap. He falls asleep pretty quickly due to his drunkenness.

I rub my hands gently through his hair. Even though I many not seem it, I’m really angry. He knew what we were supposed to do tonight. I don’t know if that’s what drove him to get drunk or not, but this whole scene worries me. Why would he just go to a bar in the middle of the afternoon? He hasn’t had any problems this week, but I know he has been having some alcohol problems. Nothing too serious, I just know he parties a lot and gets drunk all the time.

The only thing keeping me from not blowing up is the fact that he’s still drunk. And I know it wouldn’t do any good. It’ll just have to wait for later.
*Chapter 17* by foxsgrl17
I sit on the couch in Nick’s living room with my papers spread across the coffee table. I hear movement upstairs, and finally the sound of footsteps coming down the stairs floats through the house.

I rotate my head to see Nick walking into the living room, looking perplexed.

“How long was I asleep?” he asks.

“About two hours. I ordered pizza if you’re hungry.”

“Thanks.” He says as he walks to the counter to grab a slice.

When he’s done with it, he comes over and sits next to me.

“Anna, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to ruin the night and go get drunk.”

“Then why did you? You picked the wrong time to be random and stupid.”

“I don’t know really. I didn’t have anything to do until I was supposed to pick you up, so I thought I would go see Chuck. When I got there he gave me free drinks and I guess it just went on from there. But hey, they were free! How could I have passed that up?”

“Oh come on, you could have easily just had one, but you kept going.”

“I know and I shouldn’t have. I didn’t mean for it to happen. It was just a spur of the moment thing. I’m really sorry, and you know I love you.”

“I know.”

“So you’re not mad at me?” He asks.

“I’m not mad, just disappointed. I’ll get over it though. I just wish you hadn’t done it, that’s all. My mom was pretty upset we couldn’t come.”

“You didn’t tell her the real reason did you?”

“Are you kidding me? I would never tell her that. I just said something came up in your schedule and you couldn’t miss it.”

“Alright good.”

“So how you feeling?” I ask him.

“As good as expected I guess. I’m still a little groggy. So what are you doing?” He asks as he lays his head down on my shoulder and stares at the mounds of paper covering the table.

“Just grading some papers.”

“Can I help?”

“Ha, no, it’s ok, I’m almost done anyways.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah I’m sure.”

“Ok then.” He says as he moves his head up off my shoulder and starts kissing my neck.

I close my eyes as his lips move from my neck down to my chest.

“Nick I should finish these and…..”

“Shhh..”

He pulls me on top of him and his hands make their way up my back.

Even though I’m still slightly upset, I can’t resist him.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


“Now I know you can’t be mad at me after that.” I say to her.

“I wasn’t mad, just…..”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah disappointed. I know you’re not anymore, so don’t deny it.”

“Ok fine, I’m not.” She says giggling.

“Tell me how good it was.”

“It was amazing, the best sex ever. You happy now?” She says still laughing.

“Very happy.”

“Jesus wipe that grin of you face Carter, I need to get up.”

“Why! I don’t want you to.”

“Oh stop whining. I need to finish these papers and I have to get to the school early in the morning.” She says as she wraps a blanket around herself, and gets up off the couch.

After she gathers her clothes up and walks into the bathroom, I go back upstairs to get dressed.

As I change, I realize I have done something I shouldn’t have for the second time today. I lied to her. Going to that bar today wasn’t just out of boredom. I was way stressed about going to her parent’s, and lets face it, I just wanted to drink. I love going to clubs, drinking, and having a good time, but ever since I have been back I have been trying to cut down on it. Anna knows I like to party, and I know she doesn’t like it, but she won’t say anything. I love her, and I would do anything for her, but I don’t know if I can give up that part of my life, I just like it too damn much.

As I finish pulling a shirt over my head, I hear her calling from downstairs.

“Nick you ready?”

“Yeah I’ll be down in a sec. You can just wait in the car if you want.” I yell back down.

I grab my keys so I can take her home and make my way down the stairs and out the door.
*Chapter 18* by foxsgrl17
It’s Saturday and I have to sit through a teacher meeting. Why Saturday? I could kill the idiot that scheduled it for eight in the morning.

“Ok everyone, don’t forget that next Tuesday there is no school for the students, but we still have to come to work. Hmm, let’s see, I think that’s it, so have a good rest of the weekend everyone.” Says the principal, as all of us teachers get up and walk out of the room.

I quickly make my way out to the car, and drive out of the school parking lot.


*15 minutes later*

Walking up to the coffee shop, I see Leighanne and Baylee are already there waiting for me.

“Hey Anna!” She says, as I approach the table.

“Hi, sorry I’m late. The meeting went a kinda long. Hey little man! Can I have a high five?”

Baylee raises his hand and smacks mine with a smile on his face.

“I got your latte for you.” Leighanne says, pushing the cup across the table to me.

“Oh thanks so much! Lord knows I need this.”

“Sooo, how’s Nick?” She asks.

“Oh just dandy.”

“I heard about what happened yesterday; AJ called.”

“Ugh, yeah. That was special.”

“He has been doing things like that a lot lately, like during this first half of the tour. He would always go out and party.”
“Gee thanks Leigh, that’s encouraging.”

“Well I’m just saying that’s how he has been, not that he’ll stay that way.”

“Let’s hope he won’t.”

“So how are you gonna be when they leave for Europe?”

“I have no idea. I don’t even want to think about it.”

“But it’s two days away!” She says laughing at me.

“I know, I know. I have been able to deal with Nick being gone, but we were never together like we are now. I have never been away from a boyfriend for that long. I’m going to miss him so much. Actually, I am going to miss them all. My life will go back to being all dull again.”

“No it won’t. I’ll be here! And I know how you feel. I still hate it when Brian leaves. It’s hard for me to go with them now, especially to Europe, since we have Baylee. I wouldn’t worry about it, you’ll be fine.”

“I hope so. I also hope Nick doesn’t go find some tall, leggy European woman and fall in love with her.”

“Oh please! You are being ridiculous. You know he loves you.”

“I know. I’m being sarcastic…kind of.”

“So when are you gonna get Nick over to your parent’s house?”

“Actually, we’re going tonight.”

“Are you nervous?”

“Are you kidding? There’s no way not to be.”


*6 pm*

Nick follows me down the driveway and up to the front door. There are nervous butterflies in my stomach that I haven’t been able to get rid of all day. Before I walk in, I turn to him.

“Don’t be nervous k.”

“I’ll try not to be.” He says as he lightly kisses my cheek.

I reach for the handle and open the door.

“Hello?” I yell into the house.

“Hi honey!” My mom says with a cheery tone in her voice. She walks over from the kitchen and give me a hug, and then she turns to Nick.

“Hi Nick it’s good to see you again. It’s been so long.”

“It’s good to see you too.” He says and pulls her into a hug.

“Well why don’t you two come into the living room, Dave is in there.”

We make our way into the room, and there is my Dad, sitting, waiting. I’m surprised he’s not sitting not polishing a gun. The look on his face is not one that would usually be there. He seems, well, pissed. He gets up from the chair and I walk over to him.

“Hi Daddy.” I say hugging him.

“hello.” He answers back.

“Uh , and Dad, you remember Nick.”

“Ah yes. Hi Nick.”

“Hello.” Nick says as he extends his hand.

My dad shakes it and I let out a minute sigh of relief. Ok, they shook hands. That’s a good thing.

“Why don’t you two sit down. Can I get you anything to drink, maybe a beer?” My mom offers.

“ I’ll have a beer, thanks.” Nick replies.

“And I’ll just have a coke.”

She walks out and reappears a few moments later with our drinks. When we are all finally sitting down, there is a moment of awkward silence, but it is quickly broken by my mother.

“So Nick, how have things been?”

“They’ve been good. Busy but good. We just finished the North American part of the tour, so it’s nice to have this two week break.”

“Oh I’m sure that must be tiring to be on the road like that, although you’re probably used to it by now. But did you say you were on a break?”

“Yeah, we’re leaving for Europe on Monday actually.”

“Europe, eh. For how long?” My dad asks.

“Two months.”

“Wow, that’s a pretty long time.” My mom says giving me a wide-eyed look.

“It’s kind of a bummer, but I have to do it.”

“Yes, well, uh, Anna will you help me set the table?” My mom asks.

“Sure.” I tell her reluctantly. I don’t want to leave Nick alone with my dad yet, but I’m sure they’ll be fine.

I get up off the couch and give Nick a smile before I go to the dining room.

“Do you really think it’s safe to leave them alone already?” I say.

“Your father doesn’t bite. Nick will be fine. But Anna, two months? He’s going to be gone for two months?” She says as she hands me the stack of plates.

“I know it sucks, but it’ll be fine. We’ll talk on the phone and over the internet. He’ll be home before the Holidays.”

“Yeah but still. I’m not so sure this is the best thing for you two. He’s not going to be here and what if you meet someone else, or what if he does!?”

“Mom stop it, you’re overreacting. It’ll work out.”

We finish setting the table, and then call the boys in for dinner. As they enter, neither of them seem upset. They haven’t killed each other yet.

During the meal we mostly made small talk that consisted of the kids in my class, Nick’s experiences on tour, and my dad’s fishing. Everything was going fine, but I had a feeling it wouldn’t stay that way.

When we finish eating and my mom clears the plates, my dad leans back in his chair and looks to Nick.

“So Nick, what are your intentions with my daughter.”

My mouth opens almost as wide as it can go and my eyes bulge out of my head. I look at Nick who pretty much has the same expression. You have got to be kidding me. He soo did not ask that question.

“Dad!”

“Well I want to know. What if he’s just using you?.” He says with a stern look on his face.

“I can assure you that’s not what I’m doing.” Nick breaks in.

“It seems that you never cared before, but now you do. Maybe because your LA girlfriend got a real boyfriend so you had to find a new one and you chose Anna.”

“Dad what are you doing! Stop it.”

“No. This boy was never good to you and he wasn’t to me either. If he wants to be with you then he needs to prove to me that he cares.”

“I shouldn’t have to prove anything to you. The only person I should have to prove anything to is Anna, and she knows I love her. I could care less if you believe me. You’re just an asshole.”

“Well look who’s calling who the asshole.”

“Just stating the truth.” He snaps back.

At this my dad stands up and furiously throws his napkin on the table.

“Dave sit down!” My mother pleads.

“No. I want him out of here. He can’t talk to me like this in my own house. It seems that nothing has changed. You are just as immature as you were when you were younger.”

Nick gets up from his chair and I do the same.

“I’ll be glad to leave. I don’t want to be here anyways.” he says as he grabs his jacket off the back of the chair.

“Nick please, just calm down.”

“No, I’m done with his bullshit.” And with that he grabs his coat and walks out the door.

I stand there, still shocked at what had just happened. It went so bad in such a short time.

“I cannot believe you just did that dad. You attacked him for no reason! He was trying so hard, he just wanted you to like him, and you just jumped all over him for no reason. No reason at all!”

I fling my purse over my arm and take hold of my coat.

“Mom thank you, the dinner was very good. Dad..just..ugh!” And I walk out.

I am glad to see that the car is still parked so I hurry over and climb in. As soon as I’m buckled he drives off.

For ten minutes I don’t dare say anything, not knowing how he would react, but then I finally get the courage to talk to him.

“Nick, I’m really sorry. I didn’t know he would do that. I feel so bad…..”

“Don’t worry about it. It’s not your fault.” He says. I know he means it but there is still anger in his voice.

“Well do you want me to stay over tonight? We can…”

“No it’s fine. I’m gonna take you home.” He says cutting me off for the second time.

“Oh, ok.”

We didn’t talk at all the rest of the ride home, and when he dropped me off all he said was “Bye, I’ll call you later.”

I stand there and watch his car speed off into the night, and the only thing going through my mind is that he won’t go and do anything stupid.
*Chapter 18* by foxsgrl17
As I turn my car onto Nick’s street. I hope I’m not making a mistake. I called his cell and the house phone numerous times; he never answered. I know he’s not mad at me, he has no reason to be, but he’s just angry in general. The whole scene last night was bad. They both overacted, which was exactly what I didn’t want to happen.

I park in the driveway and make my way to the front door. When I ring the doorbell, there’s no answer. I get the same result from knocking, so I grab the knob and walk in. He always forgets to lock the door.

“Nick?” I say into the house.

Still no response. I walk upstairs to his room but he’s not there, so I go back down to the living room, and there he is.

He’s lying on the couch asleep with beer bottles scattered around him.

“Great.” I say to myself.

When I get to the couch, I sit down next to his legs.

“Nick.” I say, gently rubbing my hand over the back of his leg.

He jumps, and moves his head in my direction.

“What are you doing here?” he asks, squinting at me.

“I called and you didn’t answer. I just wanted to make sure you were ok.”

“Oh.”

“So are you ok?”

“Yeah I guess. I have a major headache though.”

“I’ll get you some Advil then.”

When I come back and hand him the pills with a glass of water, I start to pick up the empty beers.

“Did you drink all of these last night?”

He doesn’t answer.

After setting the bottles in the kitchen, I return to my seat on the couch.

“You know you don’t have to drink to get away from your problems.”

“I don’t do that.”

“Then why did you do it two days in a row? I know last night was bad but…”

“I juts felt like having a couple of beers ok. It’s not a big deal.”

“Fine.”

I decide to drop it. There’s no use in talking to him about this because he obviously won’t tell the truth, and doesn’t want to talk about it.

“So are you all packed to leave tomorrow?” I ask him.

“No, I have to do that today actually. Would you mind helping? I never know what to take.”

“Yeah right, you know damn well what to take, you’ve packed for big trips soo many times. You just want me to fold the clothes so everything fits because you’re too lazy.” I say laughing.

“Well, you caught me. You’re right.” He says leaning over to kiss me.

Well his bad mood disappeared fast.

We get off the couch and head up to his room, for what would be a day full of cramming clothes into suitcases, and taking breaks for the occasional make out session. By 5 o’clock, we finally had him packed for Europe.

*The Next Day*
*7:00 am*

I sit in the back of the town car with Nick on the way to the airport. Our heads are resting each other and our hands are clasped together in his lap. The ride takes place mostly in silence due to the fact that we are both still half asleep.

When we arrive at the airport, the driver comes around the side and opens the door. Nick climbs out first, and when I follow him I realize there are paparazzi waiting for us. They are snapping pictures as fast as their fingers could go and screaming “Nick! Anna! Look over here!” What the hell they already know my damn name? God they are annoying.

As an airport employee gets the bags, Nick wraps his arm around my shoulder and we hurry past them to the door.

Since the boys have their own plane taking them overseas, we are escorted to a separate gate where they will board the plane.

We make our way through the airport and when we turn the last corner, there they all are: Kevin, Kristin, Brian, Leighanne, Howie, AJ, and last but not least Baylee.

When he sees me, he runs over and I bring him up into my arms.

“Hey Baylee!” I say with a giggle. I still cant get over how cute he is.

“Hi Anna. Look at the big plane!” he says as he points out the window.

“Wow look at that! It really is big.”

I put him down and he rushes back to press his face against the glass, trying to get as close to the plane as he can, and I go to say hello to everyone.

After a couple of minutes, a flight attendant appears and informs the boys that it’s time for them to board.

I take a deep breath. This is the moment I have been dreading for two weeks.

While Nick says his goodbye’s o the girls and Baylee, I take the opportunity to say it to the guys.

I go down the line starting with Howie, then Kevin, Brian, and last but not least AJ.

As I stand in front of him he smiles and says, “I’m gong to miss you! I’m gonna call you ya know. I’ll just have to make sure to do it when you and Nicky aren’t having phone sex.” He says laughing at his own joke.

“Ha. Well that’s very considerate of you, and you know I’d love it if you called. Keep an eye on the dumb blonde over there for me.”

“Don’t worry I’ll watch him. Bye sweetie.”

“Bye J.”

After he hugs me he disappears around the corner, leaving Nick and I alone. We stand there looking at each other, then he says, “Well I guess this is it.”

All of a sudden sadness overwhelms me. A tear escapes from my eye and drips down my cheek

“Aww baby don’t cry.” I feel him wrap his arms around me. “I’ll be back before you know it, and we’ll talk on the phone everyday.”

Kevin reappears and shouts, “Nick you really need to get on the plane.”

“Alright just give me a second!”

“I’m gonna miss you so much” He says kissing me.

“I’m gonna miss you too. You really should go though.”

“I know. I’ll call you as soon as I get there. Love you baby.” He says as he places one last kiss onto my lips.

“Love you too.”, and with that he leaves to board the plane.

Kristin, Leighanne, and Baylee had left a couple minutes ago, so I wrap my sweater tighter around my body and walk back to the car alone. I get into the empty backseat and ask the driver to take me home.
*Chapter 20* by foxsgrl17
*Chapter 20*

One month has gone by since Nick and the boys left. Life for me has gone back to the way it was before, boring and routine. Everyday I wake up, go to work, come home, and go to bed. Well, not exactly like that, but you know what I mean.

Nick and I talked on the phone everyday the first week, but then the number of calls gradually went down. AJ calls once a week just to talk and let me know how everyone is.

Occasionally, just out of curiosity, I go on the internet to see what people are saying about them, and to see what they are really doing in their free time. The majority of it is just pictures of them in concert and leaving their hotel, but recently I have been seeing some of Nick in clubs, and even one of him leaving with a group of girls.

Now, I know this could very well be innocent, but it’s hard for me to sit here, all the way across the country, and try to tell myself he is being faithful. I want to believe he is, but there really is no way to tell. For now though, I have to believe him. Like they all say innocent until proven guilty….

It’s Friday and there is only one minute left in class. Today seemed to go by so slow. All I want to do is go home and go to bed.

When the bell rings, I dismiss the students and clean up as fast as I can. On the way out to the car, I stop by the office to check my mailbox. Nothing is in it except for a single envelope that only has my first name printed on it.

“Hey Judy, do you know what this is?” I ask the main office clerk.

“Nope, someone just brought it in and asked for your box.”

“Oh alright, thanks anyways. Have a good weekend.”

I walk out of the office, and when I am seated in my car, I break the seal on the envelope.

Inside is a folded piece of paper, so I open it up, and as I do something falls onto my lap. I ignore it for the time being and read the note.

Anna,
When you read this is will probably be around 3 o’clock. You need to fo home, pack your bags with whatever you would need for a weekend. There will be a car at your house to get you at 4…and don’t forget your plane ticket

-Your Lover boy

I re-direct my attention to my lap and realize that it was indeed plane ticket that had fallen out of the envelope. I look at it closely, but there is no destination on it.

What the hell is going on? Nick didn’t tell me anything about this.

I sit for a moment feeling totally confused, but I snap out of it and I realize it’s already 3:10 and according to the note, I have to be ready by 4.

I drive home and as fast as I can, throw all of my things into a suitcase. When I’m done, I leave a note for Sarah, telling her to call me when she gets it and to call my parents and tell them I was going to be gone for the weekend.

As I haul my bag down the stairs and exit the building, I see the car is waiting for me.

“I’ll take that miss.” The driver says as he appears from the inside of the car. He puts it into the trunk and opens the door as I climb into the back.

When he gets in himself, I lean forward.

“Excuse me, sir?”

“You can call me Ed.” He says with a warm smile.

“Ok, Ed. Where are we going?”

“Not allowed to say.”

“You can’t even give me a hint.”

“Nope. Sorry I’m sworn to secrecy, and you don’t want to ruin your surprise do you?”

“Well I’m not being kidnapped or something am I?”

“Ha, no. Just sit back and relax.” He says with a laugh.


*Half an Hour later*

We pull up to what seems to be a small, private airport that I have never been to before. I get out of the car as Ed hands my bag to an employee, who carts it off.

“Excuse me miss, are you Anna?”

I turn around to see a small, mousy looking woman staring at me.

“Yes that’s me.”

“Will you follow me please?”

She sets off at quite a fast pace through the airport, so I try my best to keep up. The place was pretty small and had very few people so it doesn’t take long for me to find out where I was headed.

We reach a door leading outside and when we walk out, there is a jet sitting on the runway, waiting for me. The woman leads me straight up the steps and into the plane.

“If you’ll just give me your ticket, you can go ahead to the back and take a seat.”

“Alright.” I say handing my ticket over.

I slowly make my way to the back and when I open the last curtain, the only thing I can get out is and excited “Oh my God!”

Leighanne, Baylee and Kristin sitting on the couched looking as confused as I am.

“Hii!” they both squeal and get up to give me a hug.

“Anna!” Baylee yells running over to hug me too.

As we walk back to the couches I ask, “So does anyone know where we’re going?”

“No clue.” Kristin answers.

“Yeah we just got letters telling us to come here. Did you get one?”

“Yep, I did.”

All of a sudden a voice comes over the intercom

“Welcome ladies, and little gent, to your top secret surprise. I’m sure you all know who is doing this for you, and they have wished to keep your destination a secret, so with that, if you need anything feel free to call an attendant, and happy flying everyone!”

We glance at each other, all having the same excited expression on our faces.

“I wonder what these boys have up their sleeves this time.” Leighanne says with a laugh.

A million things are going through my mind. I haven’t realized until just this moment that I am going to get to see Nick. I can barely keep a smile off my face as the plane leaves the ground and glides up into the air.
*Chapter 21* by foxsgrl17
After sitting on this plane for six hours, we have all concluded that we are going to Europe. I mean, we were pretty sure we were going there, but the length of this plane ride has confirmed it. Where in Europe though, we have no idea, but for me I could care less. I have always wanted to go somewhere outside of the United States, and now I finally get to, and the fact that I am going to see my boyfriend makes it even better.

Nick and I need to spend some time together, not just for the sake of being together, but also we need to talk about things. While he has been gone I have been thinking about what will happen with us. I realize that the one thing I want to do is get married and have kids. That’s what I’ve always wanted. By no means do I want to rush into marriage, I just want to know if he has even thought about it. If Nick is the one that I will be doing all this with, I want to know. I want to know if he even wants to get married, ever. I want to know how serious he is taking this relationship. I want to know if he can clean up his act and be there for me.

Hopefully I’ll be able to get these things answered, and if not, then maybe I will have to rethink things.


*A few hours later*

After what seems like an eternity, the plane finally touches ground.

The same voice from when he took off comes back over the system…
“We have now landed at our secret destination. We hope you all had a pleasant flight, and there is a surprise waiting for you outside.”

The three of us girls look at each other, hurriedly gather the few things we have with us (and for Leighanne that thing is Baylee), and rush to the exit.

I step out after the other two, and I immediately look around to try to see where we are. The bare grounds of the airport don’t help me figure out much, but then I look down under the wing of the jet.

There I see four of the five Backstreet Boys. When I take a closer look I realize the one that’s missing, is of course, my boyfriend. That’s nice. He flies me out to wherever the hell we are and isn’t even here to get me from the airport.

I try to put it at the back of my mind for the moment, and then realize that the four that are here are holding something in their hands……

One big sign with the words WELCOME TO ITALY LADIES!

Oh! My! God!

We all rush down the steps, nearly tripping over our own feet. When we reach the ground, they set the sign down and we run over to them. The girls head to their husbands, while I go towards AJ, who was already on his way to me with a huge smile on his face.

“I can’t believe you brought us to Italy! Oh my God!” I say as he pulls me into a long hug.

“I told you I would get you here, didn’t I?”

I think back to that night during their video shoot when AJ and I were playing with those cards. I didn’t think he was really paying attention when I told him the one place I wanted to go was Italy. I also didn’t think he actually meant it when he said we would come here one day.

“I can’t believe you remembered that. Was this your idea?” I ask as we pull apart.

“More or less. We wanted to have you girls out here, but we didn’t know where, so I suggested Italy, since I knew this was the one place you wanted to go.”

“That’s so sweet. Thank you so much!”

After a pause I say “So, uh where’s Nick.”

“Oh yeah sorry I forgot to say. He had an interview and he wanted me to tell you he was sorry he couldn’t be here.”

“That’s alright I’ve got you!” I say laughing.

“Hey, what about me?” Howie says from behind me.

“Hi Howard.” I say still laughing.

After getting warm welcomes from the rest of the guys, we all load into a bus that will take us to the hotel.

The whole ride I sit staring out the window in awe. I never actually thought I would be in Italy! As the sun goes down, we drive through the city (Rome to be exact) and it’s just beautiful. Between all of the enormous, ancient buildings, immense fountains, and the shops lining the streets, I feel like I might just die.

When we arrive at the hotel, I am still in a daze…..until I hear the screaming. I had failed to notice that there had been about fifty girls waiting outside for the boys as we had pulled up. The security guards had made a pathway for us to walk through, so when I had gathered my things, I was instructed to walk as quickly as possible into the hotel.

I step out after AJ, and the screaming increases greatly. He smiles and waves at all of them and so do the other boys. They let them all know they’ll be back later but have to do some things right now.

When we all finally enter the hotel, we are informed that our bags are already in the rooms. Since Brian and Kevin decided to show their wives (and Baylee) where their rooms are, AJ and Howie came with me to Nick’s.

“Here’s your key.” Howie says as he hands me a credit card looking piece of plastic, and they show me down a hall.

“Alrighty, this is it. All you have to do is stick the card in there and the door will unlock.” AJ tells me.

I slide the card and the door makes a sound indicating it’s unlocked, so I turn the handle and the door swings open.

“Holy shit!” I say as my mouth drops open.

This is probably the most beautiful hotel room I have ever seen. There is an entryway, with a full on living room and kitchen. Everything looks so nice I don’t even want to touch anything.

“You like it? We got the suites for the weekend.” AJ asks laughing at the look I have on my face.

“Are you kidding me!? I love it.”

“Good. We had to call in the cleaning service this morning though, you should have seen the way Nick left it.”

“Oh I’m sure it was disgusting.” I say turning back to them with a smile.

“Well, we should go and let you get settled in. Nick should be back soon so if you need us we are just down the hall.” Says Howie.

“Ok thanks so much you guys. Bye!”

With that, they depart from the room and leave me standing there by myself. Still in shock, I decide to go check out the rest of the room.

I walk to, and open a set of double doors and there is the master bedroom. The bed is ENORMOUS, and the sheets are big and puffy. All I want to do I jump on it, until I look over and see doors leading to a deck. I hurry over and go out, and my I literally stop breathing. The sunset casts shades of pink and purple over the hills in the distance, and there is a vast lake, with small waves that curve slowly up to the shore.

I stand here for a few moments just taking in the view. This is perfect. I couldn’t ask for a more beautiful place to be staying for the weekend.

All of a sudden I hear the front door slam shut, so I run into the darkening suite and there he is, standing in the entryway taking his jacket off.

“Nick!”

He looks up and the biggest smile appears on his face.

“Hey baby!!” He says and then unexpectedly runs at me. He lifts me up into his arms and spins me around as I laugh, and when he stops he presses his lips against mine.

In between kisses he manages to say, “God I missed you so much.”

“I know I missed you too.” I say back to him.

I wrap my legs around his body, and he carries me over to the bed. When we reach it, he lightly throws me down, slips off his shoes, and crawls on top of me.

He gives me a devilish look and says, “I think we should stay in tonight. What do you think?”

“I think that sounds like a good idea.” I say smiling as he brings his head down to kiss me and starts the task of undressing me.
*Chapter 22* by foxsgrl17
*Chapter 22*

I wake up to the smell of food, and I open my eyes to see Nick rolling in a cart with tons of food piled on it.

“Someone’s hungry this morning.” I say, propping myself up on my elbows.

“Ha ha very funny. I wasn’t sure what you wanted.”

He stops the cart at the end of the bed and we both pile food onto our plates.

“So why are you up so early?” I ask in between bites.

“We have a long day.”

“Oh we do, do we. What are we doing?”

“Baby, we’re touring Rome!”

________________________________________________________________________________
After 45 minutes of getting ready, Anna and I make our way down to the lobby of the hotel to meet the rest of the group. We all load onto a bus that drives us around Rome.

All day we drive through the city, occasionally getting out to explore. We got to see so many things that I never even paid attention to in the previous times I had been here. We saw St. Peter’s Basilica (the largest church in the world), the Coliseum, and the Sistine Chapel.

I found myself just watching Anna. She seemed so excited about being here and so interested in all of the history.

Having her here is really great, I mean I love her and I have missed her while I’ve been on tour, but something’s been bothering me.

When I’m around her, I find myself trying to act differently; trying to clean up my act I guess you could call it. Everyone knows that I’m a party boy. I’ll even admit it, and I know I shouldn’t be like that. It’s hard knowing that I have this great girl at home, but I still want to go out and do my own thing. It’s even worse that she doesn’t want me going out and drinking, because then I know I’m hurting her. I just can’t drop this whole part of my life. I’m not ready too.

The last place we decide to visit is the Trevi Fountain. It’s said to be the most beautiful fountain in Rome.

We all get out of the bus and walk over to the edge of the fountain. She wraps her arms around me and says, “Nick thanks you for today. It was really wonderful. And look at this fountain!”

“You know what they say about it right?”

“That if you toss a coin over your shoulder with your back to it, you will return to Rome?”

“Thanks for stealing my smart comment of the day.”

“Sorry babe. So do you have a coin I could throw.” She says smiling at me.

I rustle through my pockets and hand her a quarter. I watch her as she turns around so her back is to the fountain and throws the coin over her shoulder.

________________________________________________________________________________

*Later that Night*

After couple hours of shopping with Kristin following our tour, I struggle through the suite door with my bags.

I walk into the bedroom and set them all on the bed, just as Nick comes out of the bathroom.

“Hey you look nice.” I say to him.

“Oh, uh thanks.”

“So what are our plans for the night?” I ask sitting down on the bed.

“Well actually, I have plans.”

“Oh.” I say somewhat shocked. He has plans. Without me.

“Yeah.”

“Where are you going?”

“Just out with a couple of people I met a few nights ago.”

“When are you leaving?”

“Right now. So I’ll see you later k?”

“Uh yeah ok.”

Nick grabs his wallet off the table and then walks out the door.

I sit here on the bed feeling depressed. He made plans, knowing I would be here, and left me by myself. I came here to see him, not to stare at the bedroom wall waiting for him to come back.

I decide anything is better than sitting here alone all night, so I walk down the hall to Brian and Leighanne’s room.

I knock on the door and within seconds Leighanne opens it, wearing a slinky black dress and a sparkling diamond necklace.

“Oh hey Anna come in.” She says.

“You guys going somwhere?” I ask her.

“Yeah Brian’s taking me out.”

“O la la sounds fun. Well I guess I’ll just go then…” I say turning around and heading for the door.

“Stop right there. I know something’s wrong and you better tell me what it is.”

“It’s nothing. Nick just went out for the night with ‘some people’ and left me here by myself so…”

“Oh honey I’m so sorry. What a….”

“Don’t say it! Baby coming through!” Shouts Brian as he walks into the room with Baylee in his arms.

“Yeah so anyways...what are you two gonna do with Baylee while you’re out?”

“Actually we were gonna see if you could watch him.” Brian says.

“Sure. I’d love to.”

“Are you sure? You don’t have to, we can ask Howie or AJ…”

“No don’t ask the boys. I want to.” I say as Brian hands Baylee over to me

“Ok well you have both of our cell numbers and feel free to stay in here or you guys can go to your room.”

“Got it covered.” I reassure them.

“Ok thanks so much Anna! Call if you need us.” Leighanne says as the two of them walk out.

I look at the little boy I’m holding in my arms and say, “So little man, will you be my date for the night?”

“Sure!” he says in his little high pitched voice.

“Ok then.” I say laughing.

The two of us went back to my suite and after a night of watching Finding Nemo two and a half times and eating as much candy as we could, Baylee and I are passed out on the couch, his little head resting on my chest.

The slam of a door wakes me from my sleep. I turn my head to look at the clock. I can’t make out the numbers at first because they’re too fuzzy, but when my eyes focus, I see that it’s one o’clock.

I gently lift Baylee up and lay him down on the other side of the couch. I walk out of the living room and into the bedroom where I can see light shining from under the bathroom door.

“Nick?” I say knocking.

The door suddenly opens and Nick is standing there.

“Hey baby.” He says with a goofy grin on his face.

“Did you just get home?”

“Yup.” He says walking past me and falling onto the bed.

“Well where did you go?”

“I donno a few bars and then some clubs. Come lay with me.” He says slurring his words.

“No that’s ok.”

“Come on baby just come over here.”

“Nick you’re drunk. I said no.”

“I said come over here.” His voice gets louder and angrier as he gets up off the bed.

“Stop it! Baylee is in the other room!”

“I don’t care!” He yells

“Please Nick, you’re scaring me.”

He walks closer and when he’s within reaching distance he grabs me by the arms and slams his lips against mine.

I push him away and quickly walk into the other room.

When I get to the couch I lightly wake Baylee.

“Come here honey, it’s time to go.”

He rubs his eyes then extends his arms. I lift him up, still wrapped in his blanket, and hurry to the door.

Just before I shut it, I hear Nick calling from inside. “Hey, Anna! Come back here!”

I ignore him, and trying to hold back my tears, I make my way down the hall to Leighanne and Brian’s room.

I knock on the door, hoping they would be home, and sure enough, Brian answers the door. It looks like they just got home.

“Hey. Looks like you guys had fun.” He says looking at his son.

“Yeah we did. Here you go.” I say handing Baylee over.

Leighanne appears behind Brian in the doorway, and once again, notices something’s wrong.

“Anna what’s wrong? You look like you’re about to cry.”

“We’ll talk about it tomorrow ok, I gotta go.”

“Alright.” She says

“Feel better, and thank you!” Brian says as I walk away.

I pause, realizing I don’t want to go back to the room. I don’t want to be around him when he’s this way.

I back up against the wall and slide down until I’m sitting on the ground. I put my head in my hands and just start crying.

I’m sure I look pathetic, but at the moment I could care less. I feel like this has been building up inside of me, and as sad as I am, it just feels good to cry.

After I calm down, I get up off the ground and walk back down the hall, in the opposite direction of my room.

When I arrive at the door I was looking for, I wipe the tears from my face with the end of my sleeve, and then knock on the door.

After knocking again, the door finally opens.

AJ stands there half naked, his eyes squinting from the light in the hall. Before I could even say hello, he realizes that I have been crying.

“Hey what’s wrong.” He says in a soft voice.

“It’s Nick, but I don’t really want to talk about it. Do you think I could sleep here tonight?”

“Sure. Of course you can stay here. Come in.”

I follow him into the darkened room and when we enter the living room he flicks on a light.

“I’ll just sleep on the couch.” I tell him.

“Are you sure? I can kick Howie out of the other bed.” He says pointing to the bedroom where I can see Howie in one of the beds snoring as he sleeps.

“No no, don’t do that.” I say with a small smile.

“Ok then. Lemme get you some blankets.”

As he walks out of the room, I take my sweatshirt and shoes off and sit down on the couch.

“Here ya go.” He says carrying two blankets and a pillow.

He puts the pillow down and I lay my head on it. He unfolds the blankets and helps me spread them on top of me.

When I’m all situated he asks, “Do you need anything else?”

“No thanks I’m good. Hey I really appreciate this. It means a lot.”

“Don’t worry about it. Goodnight sweetie. Oh, and if his snoring is bothering you, feel free to punch him.” He says laughing.

“Ha thanks.” I say, and after 10 minutes I am asleep.
*Chapter 23* by foxsgrl17
*Chapter 23*

“Anna?”

I open my eyes to see AJ standing over me.

“Yeah?” I say sleepily.

“Sorry to wake you, but Nick’s here. He wants to see you.”

“Ugh. Can you just tell him I’ll be back in our room in, like, ten minutes?”

“Sure.”

He walks out and reappears about a minute later.

“So are you going to tell me what happened or am I gonna have to drag it out of you.” He says sitting down at the end of the couch.

“Last night he went out with some people and came home at one in the morning drunk off his ass. He started yelling at me when I wouldn’t get in the bed with, and he got even madder. He got up, cornered me, and started kissing me. I pushed him away, grabbed Baylee and left.”

“You had Baylee with you?”

“Yeah I was watching him for Leigh and Bri.”

“He didn’t see any of that, did he?”

“No, he was sleeping on the couch. I told Nick he was in the other room, but he just yelled that he didn’t care.”

“Shit, I’m really sorry.”

“Yeah, me too.”

A few minutes later, I leave Howie and AJ’s room and head back to my own.

When I get there I look through the suite until I finally find him out on the balcony, sitting in one of the chairs.

As soon as I walk out, he gets up and says “Anna, I’m so sorry.”

I walk to the ledge and lean on it, staring out at the landscape.

“Are you going to say anything?” he asks.

“What do you want me to say? Oh, it’s ok that you went out, left me here alone, got drunk, yelled at me, and tried to have sex with me when I didn’t want to. I feel like I’m always saying ‘Don’t worry about it. It’s fine,’ And then dropping it. I’m sick of that. I’m sick of this! I know you like having a good time and there’s nothing wrong with that, but when you do it constantly there is something wrong. What about me Nick? I feel like you don’t care anymore; that you’re only concerned with your lifestyle and doing whatever you want to.”

“Come on you know I care about you.”

“It doesn’t seem like you do anymore. In the beginning you did all these nice things for me, but when you left, you barely called or talked to me, and now that I’m here, it still seems the same way.”

“I don’t know what to say other than that I’m really sorry. All I want to do is be with you.”

“Ok. Whatever.” I say walking off the balcony, and back into the room.

I walk over to my bag and throw on a pair of sneakers.

As Nick walks in he sees me and asks, “What are you doing?”

“Going for a walk.”

“Do you want me to come with you?”

“No, I’d rather just go alone.”

So with that, I finish tying my shoes and walk out the door.

As I step out onto the street, I breathe in the air.

Well, my first trip to Italy didn’t go exactly the way I wished it would. As I walk through the streets of Rome, I think that I had too many expectations that I shouldn’t have had. I though Nick and I would get to spend all this time together and that he would do something special, like at least take me out to dinner.

The girls and I are leaving tonight, and the two of us hardly got a chance to be alone and talk; he just did what he wanted.

I don’t know how much more of this I can take.


*Later that Night*

As I finish cramming things into my suitcase, Nick sits on the couch watching TV.

Earlier we all went out to dinner. Nick and I sat next to each other, but didn’t talk. We just sat there making conversation with everyone else.

When it’s time to leave, Nick grabs my suitcase and we silently walk down to the lobby, where once again we pile onto the bus and head for the airport.

The ride is not too long and when we get there, we are immediately lead back to the jet we had come in. Just before we had to board, we say our goodbyes…again.

I gave Brian, Kevin, and Howie each their hugs, and then came AJ.

“Thank you so much. You don’t even know how much this meant to me. And thanks for helping me out last night.”

“No problem sweetie. Have a safe trip home and I’ll call you tomorrow.”

“Ok bye.” I tell him.

I walk over to Nick who was standing behind the other guys.

“Well I guess this is goodbye.”

“Yup.”

“So, I’ll see you in 3 weeks then.”

“Ok. Bye.”

He leans down, gives me a small peck on the lips, and then starts to walk back to the bus.

I take a deep breath and holding back my tears, make my way up into the plane. When we enter, I sprawl myself out on one of the couches, while Kristin takes one and Leighanne and Baylee take the other. As soon as the plane takes off, I pull the blanket over my head and try to muffle the sounds of my crying.

____________________________________________________________________________________

I follow the rest of the guys back onto the bus and take a seat by myself at the back. I close my eyes and try to relax, but once we start moving I feel someone take the place next to me.

I re-open my eyes to see AJ sitting beside me.

“Hey.” He says to me.

“What’s up?”

“Nothing really, I was just wondering, why did you go out last night? Your girlfriend flew all the way across the country to see you and you left her alone.”

“I don’t want to talk about this now ok. Just forget it. It’s none of your business anyways.”

“Well if you don’t want to talk about it fine, but I would watch it because you’re hurting her, and if you keep doing it, she’s not gonna stick around.”

“Seriously leave me alone. This is between me and Anna, not you.”

“Dude I’m just trying to help you! She was crying and upset. I don’t like seeing friends that way, and knowing you, her boyfriend, was the one that made her that way just sucks.”

“She’s my girlfriend AJ, so just fuck off.” I yell.

I get up and walk to the front of the bus. I can feel all of the guys staring at me but I just close my eyes and try not to think about it. I try not to think about any of it…
*Chapter 24* by foxsgrl17
It’s been 3 weeks since I got home from Europe, and the boys are coming home today.

It’s 5 in the afternoon and I’m sitting here waiting for Nick to call, but I’m almost positive he won’t.

Since Italy, our relationship has been going downhill. I called him twice and that was it. Our conversations were only ten minutes long each. According to AJ, he’s acting the same, selfish and crazy. All these things are running through my mind and I don’t know what to make out of any of it. I keep thinking about how it was when we were first together. He surprised me, always took me places and talked to me, and constantly told me he loved me. All of it has seemed to stop.

After another hour of waiting around, I decide to head over to Nick’s, and if he’s not home, I’ll wait for him.

“Sarah I’m leaving, k?” I shout towards her bedroom.

“Where are you going?” She asks walking out with her head tilted, trying to get an earring in.

“Nick’s.”

“Are you sure you wanna go over there now? Maybe you should wait until tomorrow.”

“No, I’m going. I’m not waiting anymore.”

“Ok well have fun…I guess.”

I make the drive over to Nick’s, and as I get nearer to his house I notice that there are cars lining the streets.

I slowly make my way up to the house and park in a rare empty spot. As I step out, I hear the pounding bass from a stereo echoing out of the house and the sound of people laughing and screaming.

Making my way up to the front door, I see that it’s propped open so I just walk in. The music is deafening and there are people everywhere. I scan the house looking for Nick but I find nothing except drunk people and a couple practically having sex on the stairs. I don’t think I have seen anything like this since college.

I push my way through the crowd and head out to the backyard where I spot him, standing in the middle of a group of people. As soon as I cautiously head towards him, he sees me and walks over.

“What are you doing here?” he asks.

“Well hi to you too, Nick.”

“Sorry, I just wasn’t expecting you to come over.”

“I can tell. Why didn’t you call me when you got in?”

“I donno, I kinda just forgot I guess.”

“Thanks, that makes me feel special.”

“I’m sorry. Well I should get back over there but I guess you can stay if you want too.”

“No I’m just gonna go. I’m going to come by in the morning, ok?”

“Yeah, sure.” He says and as he turns around he puts his arm around one of his buddies and takes another swig from his beer bottle.

I hurry out of the backyard through the side gate, and head back home.

*30 minutes later*

I walk back into the apartment and see Sarah making a cup of coffee.

“Hey make me a cup will ya.” I ask her as I walk into my room to change into my sweats.

“Sure, that was a fast trip. How is the blonde?” She yells from the kitchen.

“Oh fine; having a party, getting drunk, you know, the usual.” I say sitting on the bed feeling pathetic.

Sarah walks in handing me a steaming mug.

“I’m sorry honey.”

“This is exactly the problem. I feel like people are always telling me how sorry they are when he goes and does something stupid and selfish. I feel like we aren’t getting anywhere, like we’re stuck in a ditch. He’s stuck in his party phase and I’m just caught in the middle of it.”

“Well, I don’t know if you are going to like what I’m about to say but I think the relationship is over. It’s breaking you down, and it’s not fair. I bet if you pulled some of the shit he does he would flip a bitch. i just don’t think he’s the right one.”

“I love him, but I just can’t take this anymore.”

“Precisely my point. I mean, look at it this way, you want to get married and have kids, but can you see yourself doing it with him. Look at the way he acts and treats you. I just think it’s over.”

I take a deep breath and take a sip of my coffee. Sarah gets up and pats my back, but before she walks out she says, “You just relax tonight, think about things. I have to go finish getting ready for my date.”

I set the cup down on the side table and lay my head on the pillow.


*The next day*

All night I tossed, turned, and got very little sleep. I laid there thinking about everything, and realized what I have to do, even though it’s the last thing I want to, so this morning when I pulled myself out of bed, I quickly got ready and drove to Nick’s.

I walk up the familiar path to his front door and knock. I hear him coming down the stairs and then he appears at the door.

“Hey, come in.” he says to me.

I step into the house and follow him to the living room, where we each sit down on a separate couch.

After a few moments of silence, Nick says, “You’re upset, I can tell.”

I look up at him, and in a shaky voice, say, “Nick, I can’t do this anymore.”

“What are you talking about?” he says with a shocked, scared look on his face.

“You know what I’m talking about. Us. This relationship.”

“What’s wrong with it!?”

“Are you kidding? We are at totally different places in our lives. We want different things. You just want to have fun and party, while I want to get married and have a family. We can’t be together if we don’t want the same things, not to mention you being a jerk to me half the time. We just can’t do this anymore.”

“No I’ll change, I promise. We can get married and I’ll stop going out.”

“Stop. That’s not what you want and we both know it. If we do that then you won’t be happy; I won’t be happy.”

“I’ll do anything.”

“I don’t understand why you want to fix things when it’s too late to fix them. You hurt me so bad, Nick. I flew out to Italy to see you and you left me alone. You didn’t even care I was there. You came home and you were drunk, again. And before you and my dad got into that yelling match, you both overreacted. And before that you couldn’t even tell me what you did the first time we went out. How about ignoring me, and hanging out with other girls? Sounds kinds like what you are doing now.”

“I’m not cheating on you!”

“I didn’t say anything you were, but I have seen pictures of you with girls in clubs though. I’m sitting at home while my boyfriend is the overseas party animal. You broke my heart.” I say as I stand up and wipe a tear from my face.

“Anna, don’t do this.”

“I have to, and if you don’t think this is hard for me to do, you’re wrong because it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. All I want is to be with you, but all we do is fight and I’m tired of it. I’m tired of being ignored and blown off. I feel like I don’t fit in your life.”

“You do fit. I want you in it.”

“I want to be in it. I just can’t be in it the way I am now.”

I start walking to the door. I’m about to start sobbing, so I try to leave before I do. I make it to the porch but then I feel Nick grab my arm. He turns me towards him and grabs both of my hands.

“Baby please, I can’t loose you.”

I look down to the ground. If I look at him I’ll loose it.

“I’m sorry.” I whisper.

I move my head up and get on my tip toes to kiss his cheek. I let go of his hands and turn to walk down the steps.

“Don’t go!” he says, following me.

I try to ignore him and keep going until I get into my car. I lock the doors and out of the corner of my eye is see members of the paparazzi, snapping away. They always make bad situations worse.

I turn the keys in the ignition but before I get a chance to go anywhere, I see Nick’s face in the passenger window of my car.

“Anna come on, let’s just talk we don’t have to breakup..”

“There isn’t anything else to talk about. I’m sorry.”

I slowly pull away from the curb leaving him behind.

I don’t look in any of my mirrors, all I hear is him yelling, “Anna I love you!”

When I’m a few blocks away I pull the car over.

I had everything thought out, the reason we couldn’t be together and I knew what I was going to tell him about his drinking and partying, but I never thought of how I would feel afterwards. I realize that I just left the man that I love, and possibly the only one who has ever really loved me.

I sit in the car until my heaving sobs turn into quiet tears, and then slowly drive myself home.
*Chapter 25* by foxsgrl17
“Rise and shine! Up, up, up!” Sarah says in an overly cheery voice as she rips open my curtains and tears the coves off of me.

“What are you doing?” I ask her, shoving my head under the pillow, trying to block the early morning light from my face.

“Get up.”

“I don’t want to.’

“You don’t have a choice. I’m not going to let you sit around the house and mope, so let’s go.” She says, pulling me up into a sitting position.

As she walks out of the room, I decide she’s probably right, so I get up and start getting ready.

I drag myself lazily into the bathroom where I look at myself in the mirror. I’m not gonna lie; I look like shit. I spent most of the night crying, so my face was puffy and my eyes looked tired and empty.

I have no interest in looking special, so I throw my hair up into a bun, and put on a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt. Sarah walks into the bathroom and asks, “You ready?”

“Yeah.” I tell her, and then we both make our way out of the apartment.

We get into the car and she tells me we are going to get some coffee. She parks a few blocks away, so we get out of the car and head to the shop.

“Do you think I did the right thing?” I ask her as we walk down the street.

“Absolutely. I mean I told you what I thought. He was such an asshole Anna. Don’t worry, you did the right thing.”

I take a deep breath and say, “I know, it was something I had to do, it just wasn’t working for me anymore. I don’t think it was working for him either he just wouldn’t admit it. But Sarah, before I left he was yelling after me saying he loved me. I think driving away from him at that moment was the hardest thing I have ever done.”

“I know sweetie but you did what you had to do, what your heart told you to, and that’s all that matters.”


Meanwhile…….

________________________________________________________________________________

“Hellooooooo.” I yell walking through the house and into the living room. When I enter, I see Nick sitting on the couch staring blankly at the TV screen.

“So what are we watching this morning? Power Rangers again?” I ask sarcastically, walking into the kitchen.

“Shut up AJ.” He says in a heated voice.

“It sounds like someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.”

“It’s over.”

“What the hell are you talking about? What’s over?” I ask as I scan the fridge for something edible.

“She left me.”

I stop moving things around and turn back to face the living room.

“What?” I ask in a shocked tone. I can’t believe she actually did it.

“She dumped me. Told me it wasn’t working anymore, that we wanted different things. She wants a family, I want to party. She thinks she doesn’t fit in my life. And don’t you dare say I told you so.”

“Dude, I’m really sorry, and I wasn’t gonna say that.”

“I still love her man.”

I just stand there looking at him. I can tell by the look on his face he means it. I don’t think he realized how much he was hurting her, so this came as a surprise to him.

“What do I do now?” he asks looking up at me.

“I don’t know…I really don’t.”

________________________________________________________________________________

When Sarah and I finally reach the coffee shop, I sit down at a table outside as she goes in to get our drinks. It’s pretty crowded, so I take the last remaining table in the corner. I sit down and take of my sunglasses sine we’re in the shade. Looking around, I notice a few people, well women and girls mostly, staring at me. Thankfully, Sarah comes out about a minute later and hands me my latte.

“Hey those people are staring at you.” She says as she sits down.

“Yeah I noticed.” I say trying not to pay attention and taking a sip of my drink.

“Well, make a face back.”

“Oh please.”

“If you won’t then I will!” She says and sticks her tongue out and crosses at two teenagers who were sitting across from us. As soon as she does, they both turn around.

“Yeah you mind your own business.” Sarah says to them.

“Oh God, I can’t believe you just did that.” I say laughing.

“Finally I got a laugh out of you! I’ve been trying all damn morning.”

We sit there talking and drinking our coffee with the continued staring and pointing. When we finish, we both stand up, but as we start to walk out I feel a tap on my shoulder. I turn around to see a girl around me age, standing behind me.

“Um sorry to bother you, but you’re Anna right?”

“Uh yeah.” I tell her.

“Is it true?” She asks.

“What?”

“About you and Nick, that you two broke up. It’s all over the tabloids and I saw it on the news last night.”

“Oh uh yeah. Sorry, but I have to go.” I tell her as I turn back around and Sarah and I finally leave.

As we walk down the sidewalk back towards her car she says, “Sorry I didn’t say anything to that girl. I should have stepped over and just told her to fuck off.”

“Oh jeez, I know you’re just trying to look out for me but you don’t have to be mean to do it!” I say laughing at her again.

“I’ll be mean to whomever I…..holy shit.” She says stopping in the middle of the sidewalk.

“What?” I say to her. I follow her gaze to see what she’s looking at.

I hadn’t realized we were walking past that same magazine and newspaper stand where I had found that first magazine with Nick and I on it. This time, instead of the usual lovey-dovey pictures of us that graced the tabloid covers, there were the pictures from yesterday, from when we broke up. If it had only been one magazine I wouldn’t care, but the whole stand was covered with the pictures on the different covers.

I walk closer to examine the pictures.

“Anna, come on, let’s just go.” Sarah says to me, but I don’t answer her; I just keep staring at the magazines.

Looking at these pictures brings a whole new wave of sadness over me. I guess that’s the price of dating a celebrity, having to deal with people knowing about your life, but to me, we were just two people in love, and now that we are broken up, the whole world knows.

“Anna!” Sarah yells, and I snap out of my trance. She grabs me by the arm and we quickly walk back to her car to go home.


*Later that Night*

Ever since we got home this morning from coffee, I have been on this couch, just sitting. The only times I got up were to go to the bathroom and get some more ice-cream out of the freezer.

“Are you sure you don’t want me to stay home with you tonight. I can totally cancel my date.” Sarah says walking into the living room.

“No don’t do that. Go, I’ll be fine. Besides, aren’t you going out with the same guy you’ve been seeing for the past two weeks?”

“Yeah, crazy huh?” She says with a small chuckle.

“He must be special if he gets more than three dates with you, when was the last time that happened?”

“ I donno, maybe like 4 months, but I do like him a lot. And he’s here!” She says as the doorbell chimes. Sarah rushes over to the door as I sink further into the couch, not wanting anyone to see me looking as shitty as I am.

“Wow, you look great.” I hear him tell her.

“Thanks, you’re not looking bad yourself. Scott, that lump on the couch over there is Anna, and Anna this is Scott.”

I turn my head and look him over. He’s tall with brown hair, green eyes, and he’s built. Not bad.

“Hi.” I say waving to him.

“Hey. I’m really sorry about you and your boyfriend, I saw on the news that you broke up…..”

“Ok, we’ll just be leaving now, if you need me you know you can call.” She says quickly shoving Scott out the door.

I try to push the comment to the back of my mind and refocus all my attention to MTV.

After watching three episodes of Laguna Beach that I have already seen, I decide I’m sick of it, and as a commercial comes on, I start looking through the couch cushions for the remote. Before I can find it, an MTV News Break comes on and starts talking about some artist’s new CD or something like that, I’m not really paying attention but then I hear, “And in other news, Backstreet Boy Nick Carter and his girlfriend Anna have called it quits in a dramatic scene yesterday that took place outside of his house….”

“FUCK!” I yell at the TV as I finally pull the remote out and quickly turn it off, and right as the screen goes black, I hear a knock at the door.

I get up off the couch and open the door to see AJ standing there.

“Nice mouth.” He says walking into the apartment smiling.

“I just got pissed, and it’s not like you don’t cuss, so I wouldn’t be talking.” I say walking back over to my spot.

“So how are you?” He asks, sitting on the arm of the couch.

“I’m…I don’t even know, but if Nick sent you here then just go.”

“He didn’t send me. I came on my own.”

“Ok then, what’s up?”

“Nothing, I just wanted to come and see how you were. Did you go out or do anything at all today?”

“Well Sarah and I went for coffee, but that didn’t go to well. So other than that I just sat here all day.”

“Ok, well get up.”

“No not again, Sarah made me leave this morning and you’re not going to make me do it now.”

“Oh come on, you need to get out. It’ll help I promise.”

“Ugh AJJJJJJJJJ.”

“Stop whining, come on.”

“Not until you tell me where we’re going.”

“I donno, let’s just go to a movie or something.”

“A movie. On a Saturday night. At 8 o’clock. Are you crazy? There will be TONS of people there and everything will probably be sold out.”

“No, not everything will be, so let’s go.”

“Ok, lemme just go get ready.”

“No time for that, you look fine.”

“Are you serious? I can’t even go put on some makeup?”

“Nope. We’re leaving now.” He says grabbing my arm and pulling me out the door.

*10 minutes later*

We walk from the parking lot to the theater and get into the line for tickets, which, as I predicted, was not short.

“Nice job Mr. Know-It-All. I told you it would be packed.”

“Don’t worry we’ll see a movie.”

When we get to the front of the line, every movie had already started and the only one that had tickets left was a kiddy cartoon, so we got two tickets.

“You want any food?” he asks as we enter the theater.

“Uhh yeah candy. I always get gummy worms when I see a movie. It’s just a habit that I’ve had since I was a kid.”

“Aww how cute.” He says in a high girly voice.

“Oh shut up!”

We walk over to the snack counter and get my gummy worms, then head to the right screening room.

When we walk in, I see that there aren’t too many adults in the theater but there were a lot of kids. Tons of kids actually. AJ and I take two seats at the very back of the theater just as the movie starts.

I lean back in my chair, open my gummy worms, and throw some into my mouth. I feel AJ’s arm reach into the box and take some out too.

“Heyy.” I say pouting my lips.

“Shh the movie’s starting.” He says smiling.

“Oh the movie’s starting my ass, stay away from my worms.” I say laughing.

During the movie it’s hard to concentrate due to the fact that there were kids on a sugar high running around, up and down the aisles. I found myself watching them more than the movie. At one point one of then came to the back where we were sitting, stood there, stared at us and waved. AJ and I both started laughed and waved back, and then the kid just runs away again.

When the movie is over, we make our way to the parking lot and get back into the car.

“So how’d you find out that Nick and I…”

“I went to his house. He was pretty upset. He still loves you, ya know.”

“God, maybe I messed up. All day I have been asking myself if I did the right thing. Sarah says that I did, and I’m almost 100% sure I did, but there’s that 1% of me that tells me I still love him and I shouldn’t have left him.”

“Well , from what you told me when you were with him, you were never happy. Yeah, there were moments when he would be there for you, but didn’t you tell me that most of the time he wasn’t? From what I saw, I think you did the right thing. He’s one of my best friends, but I can’t back him up on this one. He did always go out, no matter what he might have said.”

“I figured.” I say leaning my head against the window.

He looks over at me and then says, “Don’t worry, you’ll make it through. I know it.”

When we get back to my apartment, he walks me up, and after I unlock the door I turn back to him.

“Well I hope you had fun.” He says grinning at me

“Oh I did.” I say leaning over and giving him a kiss on the cheek. “Thanks AJ.”

“You can call me Alex. Everyone who’s close to me calls me that.”

“I’ll try to get used to it.” I say smiling.

“Good. Bye sweetie.” He says, and turns away to walk down the hall.

I head in and go directly to my bedroom, where I let myself fall onto the bed. I needed that. I didn’t think about Nick at all, the only time was when we were talking about it in the car, and he really helped me realize that what I did was the right thing.

I think AJ…wait, Alex, was right. I think I’ll be able to get through this.
*Chapter 26* by foxsgrl17
“Mornin’.” I say to Sarah with a yawn as I walk into the kitchen.

“Oh look, little miss popular is up.” She says smiling at me.

“What are you talking about?” I say as I pour coffee into my mug.

“People have been calling for you all morning. People magazine called for an interview and so did MTV.”

“No way.”

“Yeah I didn’t think you’d do them so I said no for you, but Leighanne, Tessa, and your mother also called.

“Oh christ.”

“Yep, sorry it’s true. She called three times this morning already, so you better call her soon.”

“Ugh, I will.”

“So how are you this morning?” She asks with a concerned look on her face.

“Ya know, I’m actually doing good.”

“Well good! You didn’t go out after I left last night did you?”

“Actually, I did.”

“By yourself?”

“Uh, no…”

“Well with who for god’s sake!?” She asks excitedly.

“With AJ.”

“Oh my god Anna!”

“It wasn’t a date! We just went to a movie. He came over after you left and wanted to get me out of the house. I thought it was sweet, but enough of what I did, what did you do?”, and just as I say this, Scott walks out of her room in only his underwear. He sees us and hurriedly runs back into the bedroom while we fall onto the floor laughing.

After we finish our giggling fit and I eat some breakfast, I pick up the phone to call my mom, and on the first ring, as always, she answers.

“Hello?”

“Hi Mom.”

“Oh hi honey. How are you? Are you ok?”

“Yes mom, I’m fine.”

“Good. So what happened? Tell me everything?” She says.

“Well to make a long story short we are just in different places and wanting to do different things. He didn’t want to get married, he just wanted to do what he wanted to do.”

“Do you still love him?”

“Of course. It’s going to take time for me to get over him, but it’s already getting better and it’s only been two days. I don’t want to dwell on it. I think the best thing to do now is to look for someone who wants the same things, is at that place in their life, not someone like Nick who doesn’t want to move out of the partying phase.”

“Well that’s good honey. So what did you say to him?”

“Mom, do I have to go through every detail? I kinda don’t want to talk about it.” God the woman is wearing me out already. I know that she’ll just keep asking questions.

“Fine. I knew that boy was bad news. As soon as you told me he was going to Europe I knew it wouldn’t last, and what happened between him and your father, that was just so horrible, and…..”

She is going to talk forever. I walk into the living room where Sarah and Scott are sitting on the couch and when I approach them, I tap her on the shoulder.

“What?” She asks.

I point to the phone and make a desperate face. She knows what it means. Sarah turns her whole body towards me and then yells, “Anna get off the phone, It’s an emergency!”

“Oh, I guess she needs the phone. I’ll call you back later sweetie, feel better!”

“Bye.” And with that I hang up the phone.

“Thank you so much.” I say as we both laugh again. We have used this technique many times with both our mothers.

A few seconds later the phone starts to ring again.

“Hello?” I say still chuckling.

“Don’t hang up the phone.”

I stop laughing immediately. It’s Nick.

“Who is it?” Sarah mouths to me. I just stare at her; all I can hear is his breathing on the other end.

“Is that Nick? Oh my God It is! Give me that phone; I’ll give him a piece of my mind…”

“No stop it. I’ll deal with it.”

I quickly walk into my room and shut the door.

“Anna, we need to talk.” he says.

“There isn’t anything to talk about.”

“Please don’t do this. I still love you and I know you still love me. I just don’t think breaking up is the right thing.”

“It’s the right thing for me Nick. I’ve already told you what I think. If we stay together we will both be unhappy and neither of us want that. It’s done.”

“You’re killing me here, I don’t know what to do without you.”

I take a deep breath. I hate doing this to him, and to myself.

“Move on. I’m trying to and you should too. It’s the best thing. We can still be friends. I know probably not now. It could me months or even years, but us going out and breaking up before didn’t stop our friendship; I just can’t get hurt by you anymore. Yeah it’s gonna be hard but we’ll both find other people.”

He doesn’t answer for a few seconds but then he I hear him take a breath like the one I had taken a minute before and answer, “Ok.”

Ok? Did my little speech really convince him? I thought I was going to put up with a lot more than that.

“Ok, well I have to go so I guess I’ll talk to you later.”

“Alright, bye.” He says sadly.

“Bye.”

I hang up the phone feeling relieved and sad all at the same time. I think he actually got the fact that he’s going to have to move on, so now I feel like I can. I thought he would be calling and begging for a while and we got closure in two days; it’s surprising yet I’m glad it was fast. I open the door to see Sarah at my door holding the other phone to her ear with her hand over the receiver.

“Well I guess you don’t need to ask me what happened do you?” I say shaking my head and smiling at her.

“Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.”

“Yeah I figured.”

“You handled it well. Perfectly even. I think he is gonna be ok too. I mean, it won’t take him too long to find someone else, look at his lifestyle for god’s sake!”

“He’ll be fine. He’s just dramatic; he always has been. And you’re right, I’m sure he’ll find someone soon. Now the question is, how am I gonna find someone.” I say smiling at her.

“You will. I wouldn’t worry.”
*Chapter 27* by foxsgrl17
I hate Mondays.

I never thought about the fact that I would have to go to school every Monday for the rest of my life when I became a teacher. I’ve always despised Mondays and I still do. The only thing that’s good about this particular Monday is that it’s the only school day of the week.

It’s almost 2 o’clock which means that it’s project time for the kids. Today they are making turkeys out of their hands since Thanksgiving is in two days. As I walk around and help them trace their hands, my cell phone starts to ring over on my desk and it makes all the kids jump.

“Sorry about that guys, just keep working on your turkeys, this will just take a second.” I tell them as I rush over to my desk to answer the phone. Before I open it up I look at the front display to see that’s it’s AJ, so I pick it up and say, “Heyy.”

“Hey what’s goin’ on?” he asks.

“Not much, just making hand turkeys.”

“Sounds extremely exhilarating.”

“Oh it is. So what’s up?”

“Well I was wondering if you were free this afternoon.”

“Hmm, it depends.” I say sarcastically.

“I’m going shopping and I don’t want to go alone so I wanted to know if you wanted to come with me.”

“Well in that case, no I’m not busy.”

“Good. What time does school get out?”

“2:45. I usually don’t get home until 3:15 though.”

“How about four o’clock?”

“Sounds good.”

“Cool, so I’ll pick you up at four then.”

“K, see ya.”


* Later that Afternoon*


He picked me up right on time, four o’clock, and we headed to our destination. It didn’t even occur to me that the places we would be going to would be places that I would have never stepped foot in before, knowing I could never afford anything. Now, the two of us are browsing around the Armani Exchange. All the women and men walking around here are just beautiful; all of them toned, tall, and tanned to perfection. That’s what you get for living in Los Angeles.

“So what are we shopping for anyways?” I ask him as we slowly make our way around the store.

“Well the AMA’s are tomorrow night and I don’t have anything to wear.” He says looking through a rack of shirts. He pulls out a plain black, long sleeved dress shirt and holds it up to himself, turning towards me.

“No, it’s too plain.”

He turns back around and sifts through the shirts again, pulling out one that was orange, blue and green with a flower pattern.

“Ew. Do you want me to vomit.” I say laughing.

“I was kidding.” He says smiling and putting it back.

“Good because I was a little worried about your mental health for a second there.”

He turns around for the third time holding a pink shirt with tiny black dots covering the whole thing.

“Now that one is hot. I like a man in pink.”

“Well then I guess I’ll just have to try it on. Do you want to look over in the women’s part first?”

“For what, I can’t buy anything.”

“Just to look around. Come on.” He says grabbing my hand and leading me to the women’s section.

We walk over and start to look at all the dresses and skirts on the wall. Everything is amazingly spectacular. There wasn’t one dress that I wouldn’t love to wear. They have every color and cut you could ask for. When we were done browsing and about to head to the dressing room so he could try on his shirt, I stop.

There in front of me is the most beautiful dress I have ever seen. I guess you could call it my dream dress.

“Oh my god!” I say walking over to it and taking it off the rack.

The top is strapless and has a heart shaped cut. The bottom part poufs out just the right amount; just enough to look pretty and not like you’re wearing a tutu, and it ends right in the middle of the knee. The whole thing is black except for a pink band that is about 5 inches wide, wrapped around the waist. On the back of the band rests a large pink bow, tied perfectly.

“Now that’s a nice dress.” I hear AJ say from behind me.

“It’s gorgeous.” I say in almost a whisper, still admiring it.

“Try it on.”

“No. I don’t need to.” I say, carefully hanging it back up.

“No you’re trying it on.”

He grabs it back off the rack just as an employee walks over to us.

“AJ! How are you? You didn’t tell me you where coming in today!”

“Hey, sorry it was a last minute thing. Karen this is Anna, and Anna this is Karen, she usually helps me when I come here.”

After we say hello and shake hands, she asks, “So do you guys need a dressing room?”

“Actually yeah. We have some things to try on.”

“Alrighty then, I’ll take your clothes and you can just follow me back.”

So we do as she says. We follow her to the back of the store and then into a luxurious room with white carpeting, a huge white couch in the middle, and mirrors all around. There is one section with a white cloth hanging to the floor where we are to change.

“This is our special dressing room, only for important people.” She informs me smiling.

“It’s really nice.” I tell her sitting down on the couch.

“So AJ here’s your shirt, and did you have any pants to try on?”

“Oops.”

“Well what were you thinking? Just regular dress pants?”

“No, I’d rather have something different.”

“Hmm..….Oh! How about a pair of black suspenders! They are different and we just got a bunch of new ones in.” She says excitedly.

“Sounds good.” He says. Right away, she puts on her head set and asks an employee to bring her back a pair and within seconds, AJ is in behind the curtain trying on his outfit.

After only a few short minutes, he emerges from behind the drape dressed in the shirt and suspenders.

“So what do you think?” he asks looking at himself in the mirror.

“It’s perfect, you look really good.” I tell him. Not only does he look good, he looks hot. I just stare at him, looking at his reflection. We all know I have thought he was good looking from the first moment I saw him and that I have always had a little crush on him, but I have to admit that lately, spending so much time with him has made me think about it more.

“Well then, I guess this outfits a winner.” He says as he heads back behind the curtain. When he reappears, he pulls me off the couch and pushes me into the dressing room.

“Now you try on your dress.”

“No, I really shouldn’t….”

“Stop. Try it on.” He says grinning and then ducking out of sight.

Well, I guess I have no choice. It’s not that I don’t want to try it on, because I really do, but it’s just that I know I could never have it. I quickly shed my clothing and then carefully slip on the dress. After zipping up the side, I take a deep breath and step out.

“Wow.” AJ says straightening up from his slouched position on the couch. I give him a smile and then turn to one of the mirrors.

Wow is right. The dress is so beautiful and it fits every curve of my body perfectly. “Anna that dress looks amazing on you.” Karen says walking over to stand next to me. “So do you want me to take it up to the register with AJ’s things?’

“Oh, no, I was just trying it on….”

“Karen take it up with you.” AJ says from behind me.

“Great! I’ll just grab a new one from the back.” She says leaving the room.

“What are you doing? It’s so expensive and I really don’t need it!”

“Actually you do.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Anna will you be my date for the AMA’s tomorrow night?”

My mouth drops open in shock. “Are you serious?” I ask as he stands there grinning at me.

“Yep, I’m serious.”

“Oh my God Alex! Of course I’ll go.” I say excitedly as I rush over and give him a hug.

“Good, now, go get dressed while I go and pay for our things.”


*The Next Day*

“Baylee honey don’t touch that! It’s hot!” Leighanne says to the little boy who is pointing his finger dangerously close to the curling iron. He makes an evil little laugh and then runs out to cause some damage elsewhere.

Leighanne, Kristin, and I are all seated in the master bathroom at Brian and Leighanne’s house with people swarming all over. I never knew how much work went into getting ready for an award show. It’s around two thirty in the afternoon (or at least I think it is due to the fact that I haven’t been anywhere near a clock for hours) and all of us are supposed to arrive on the read carpet by three thirty. It’s crunch time and it’s more hectic in here than ever.

There are two women for each one of us; one doing our hair and the other doing our nails and make-up. Kristin is getting her hair put up into a sleek ponytail while Leighanne is leaving hers straight. I got mine straightened and now it is being curled into loose curls. I must say we all look gorgeous. For me, this is a whole new thing. I have never gotten my make-up or hair done this nice, ever! I really do feel like a princess.

“So does Nick know?” I hear Kristin from one of my sides.

“Does Nick know that I’m going with one of his best friends? Uh, that would be no, unless Alex told him.”

“Isn’t it going to be awkward though? What do you think he’ll do?” Leighanne asks.

“Of course it’ll be weird and awkward but I’m just gonna try to have a good time. Nick is not going to ruin my night. And plus, it’s not like I wouldn’t eventually see him. I’m still friends with all of you so it was bound to happen. I still want to be friends with him; we have known each other for so long, but being his girlfriend is too much.”

“How are my lovely ladies coming along?” says Brian appearing behind us, already dressed and ready.

“We’re good.” Leighanne says to him smiling.

“Any word from the others?” Kristin asks.

“Actually they’re all on their way over here with the limo.”

“What!?” All three of us scream at the same time, sending the woman working on us almost falling over backwards.

We jump out of the chairs and rush into the bedroom. Leighanne shoves Brian out of the room as we throw off our robes and help into our dresses. About five minutes later, there’s a knock on the door and Brian’s voice yelling, “They’re here ladies, let’s go!”

After a few last minute make-up fixes and a couple looks in the mirror, we leave the bedroom finally ready in our dresses and heals. We make our way down the stairs and towards the living room where they are all waiting. As soon as we enter the room , we are greeted with whistles and clapping.

“You girls look so beautiful!” Kevin says as he walks over to his wife and wraps her in his arms.

Looking around the room, I see Nick standing behind all the rest, arms crossed over his chest, staring at the ground. I try to ignore it and turn my attention to AJ, who was walking towards me with a huge grin on his face. When he reaches me, he pulls me close, grabs my arm, and brings his head to my ear and whispers, “I have something for you.”

He lets go of one of my arms and moves his hand down my other one until our hands meet. He closes his fingers around mine and leads me away from the group and into the kitchen.

When we enter, he stops and digs around in his pocket until he pulls out a long, black velvet box. He opens it to reveal a diamond necklace sparkling in the light shining down from the ceiling.

“Oh my god! Alex you already got me so much….”

“Oh stop. You deserve it and I thought it would go with your outfit.” He says smiling warmly at me.

“It’s so beautiful.” I say lifting it up from it’s carrier.

“Here, let me help.”

He takes the necklace and walks behind me. As he pulls my hair over to one side, his fingers brush the back of my neck, sending chills down my spine. Jesus what is wrong with me. Every time he touches me I get a feeling, one that I can’t really explain.

When he closes the clasp, he walks back so he’s standing in front of me and says, “Anna you look amazing; absolutely beautiful.”

I feel my cheeks getting red, just like they always do when I receive a compliment. I’m not used to people telling me I’m beautiful. Well, my parents tell me that but I never believe them, they have to say that. I don’t even think Nick told me I was beautiful, he just told me how hot he thought I was.

“Thanks.” I say back to him.

All of a sudden I hear Kevin’s voice echoing through the house, “Let’s go you two! We’re all waiting!”

“My lady.” He says in a scary British accent and sticks his arm out, indicating that I should grab it.

I walk to him laughing and wrap my around his as we stroll out of the house and into the limo.

*20 minutes Later*

“So how long will be on the red carpet?” Howie asks as we all sit in the limo getting closer to the theater.

“It’s not going to be too long since we only have to take some pictures then go inside, so I’m thinking fifteen to twenty minutes.” Answers Kevin.

AJ looks over and me and says, “So you ready for your first red carpet?”

“Ha I don’t know. I think when I get out there I will be standing there with my mouth open. You’ll have to pull me down it.”

“You’ll be fine, don’t worry about. Besides, I won’t let you go more than ten feet away from me. You’re my date tonight.”

Only a few short minutes later we arrived on the red carpet. When we get out of the limo I can barely see anything. The cameras are flashing everywhere and the photographers are screaming their names, telling them to look to the right and left. Fans are screaming at them to come and sign autographs and take pictures with them. For a split second all I want to do was jump back into the limo and go home, but then I feel AJ grab my hand and pull me close to him.

“Just breathe and smile.” He says to me quietly, so I do as he says and within a few seconds, I am posing in front of a massive group of photographers along with the other girls and the rest of the guys. AJ has his arm going around my back with his hand gently placed on my hip, and Howie was on my other side. I wasn’t sure where Nick was, but I didn’t care. That first feeling of being overwhelmed had passed and now I had on my biggest smile for the cameras.

Once we finished the group photos, the girls and I stepped off to the side so just the boys could get their pictures taken. As we stand off to the edge of the red carpet, my eyes begin to wander and all around me were celebrities. There is Kelly Clarkson, Mariah Carey, Will Smith, Gwen Stefani, and every other big music star there is. I can’t believe I am actually on a red carpet with all these people. It’s amazing.

When the photos were done the boys grabbed us and we all went inside to take our seats. Almost right after we sit down, I lean over to AJ and say, “Thank you so much for bringing me.” Then I lean over and give him a light kiss on the cheek. When I settle back into my chair, he reaches his hand over and grabs mine, and we sit there talking and holding hands until the show starts.

*Three Hours Later*

Although it is amazing seeing, and being around all of those stars, award shows are completely and utterly exhausting. The first hour of the show was great but then I found myself having to straighten myself up in the chair every ten minutes. It seemed to just keep going and going.

When we exit the theater and walk back outside we all decide we just want to go home. Thanksgiving is tomorrow and nobody wants to have a hangover from a night out partying. We all pile back into the limo, but before we leave, we realize that Nick didn’t get in with us.

“I’ll see if I can find him.” Brian says making his way to the door and stepping back outside. Brian walks only a few steps until he stops, and I see through the open door why he did.

“Hey Nick you coming?” Brian asks him.

“No sorry man, I was just coming to tell you guys I’m gonna go to a few parties. I’ll see ya later.” He says and as Brian moves to get back into the car, I see that Nick has his arm draped around the neck of a trashy looking blonde with long hair and humungous fake boobs. He sees me looking and smirks before he turns around and heads in the opposite direction with the blonde.

I close my eyes and scoot closer to AJ who wraps his arm around me while I lower my head down onto his shoulder.

I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I know AJ is gently removing his arm from behind me.

“Hey sorry to wake you but we’re back.”

I look out the window to see my apartment building next to the car and also realize that we are the only two left in the limo.

I gather my things and then we both get out and walk into the building. We make our way up to my room in silence and when we reach the door I turn back around to face him.

“Thanks for coming with me, it was really great.” He says to me.

“No, no, no. Thank you for taking me. It was perfect.”

“No, it’s not perfect yet.”

All of a sudden he brings me close and our lips meet. He wraps his arms around my waist and I wrap mine around his neck. As he stands there kissing me, I kiss him right back. The whole time I feel like I am on cloud nine. This feels right. I feel safe with him. I would give anything to just stay here kissing him, but all too soon it’s over, and he pulls away.

“Now it’s perfect.” He says smiling. He turns around and walks back down the hallway. I stand there for a few seconds before walking into the apartment with a smile plastered onto my face.

I walk into the bedroom, quickly remove my dress, and fall into a deep, peaceful sleep.
*Chapter 28* by foxsgrl17
The next morning, I am woken up bright an early by Sarah who wants to know all the details of my night.

Now I’m sitting on a stool in the kitchen talking over the sounds of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade blaring from the TV and Sarah’s cussing. She’s trying to make sweet potatoes to bring to my house tonight for Thanksgiving dinner, since her family went out of town.

“So he kissed you?” She asks, vigorously stirring a bowl full of orange goop.

“Yeah.” I say blushing while a tiny smile creeps over my face.

“Well you know you can’t date him.”

“Uh, why not?” I ask, surprised at her comment.

“Because he’s one of Nick’s best friends, that’s why not. That’s kind of a shitty thing to do.”

“Well I’m done with Nick. It’s not like I broke up with him because Alex and I were having some secret love affair. I mean what if I really like him? It wouldn’t be fair if I couldn’t date someone because they are close to Nick.”

“You probably just like him because you don’t like not having a boyfriend. You do it all the time. After you and a boyfriend break up you find a rebound guy, and this time it’s AJ.” She says adding things into the bowl.

“Well what if he’s not just a rebound guy.” I whisper to myself, not meaning for her to hear it.

She turns to me and says “If he’s not, then I will totally be surprised.”

I take a deep breath and decide to change the subject. “So is Scott coming with us tonight?”

“Yep. He’s coming over in a little bit. He’s so sweet; he asked if he could bring anything!”

“Oh god.” I say laughing at her.

“Shut up! So are you sure I need to make so many sweet potatoes? I feel like I’m cooking for an army.” She says arranging marshmallows on top of the potatoes before putting them in the oven.

“Yes I’m sure. Do you not remember how many people are in my family? You can barely walk around in my house when they are all there.”

“Oh yeah; forgot about that.”


*Later That Afternoon*

Sarah, Scott, and I pull up to my parent’s house at around 4 o’clock. We walk up to the door , each of us carrying a pan full of potatoes, but before I could even open the door, it is opened for me.

“Hello everyone!” My mom says in her party voice. Years ago I had established that she had two different voices. One was her normal one and then there is an overly cheery party one.

She hurries us into the house and within seconds she takes the food out of our hands and pushes us into the living room, right into the middle of all of the relatives.

The house is full of aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. I’m used to the fact that I have a huge Italian family, and Sarah’s is pretty big too, but I look over at Scott who looks completely overwhelmed. I have to hold my breath to keep myself from laughing.

After the hellos and introductions, the three of us find a space to sit at a table in the backyard. It didn’t take long for some of my relatives to close in on me, and soon the table was full.

I had been dreading the drilling I was gonna get from all of them but I knew it would come sooner or later, and sitting at that table, it didn’t take long for the subject to come up.

“Anna I read in the paper about you and Nick. What happened?” Asks my aunt Sue.

“Yeah, what was it like dating him? Did he cheat on you? Or did he have sex with you and leave?” asks a cousin.

“Jeez you guys. It wasn’t anything like that, it just wasn’t working.”

“No juicy details?” Aunt Sue says.

“No, not really.”

Like I’m really going to tell them he has a minor drinking problem and was kind of an asshole.

“So what about you and AJ,? You went to that award show thing with him yesterday. I saw you on TV!” Says my fourteen year old cousin Rebecca.

“What about AJ and I?” I ask her.

“Well I thought you two looked cute together. You guys were matching. He was wearing that pink shirt and you had a pink band and bow on your dress.” She says smiling at me.

“They’re just friends.” Sarah says to them.

As most of them get up from the table, displeased with the answer they had received, I turn to Sarah.

“I think I’m capable of answering questions that are about me.” I say to her.

“I know you are, but I’m just helping out. You two are just friends, nothing else.”

I’m glad she’s making my life decisions for me now.

After having most of the relatives make their rounds around to me, and asking me about my Backstreet Boys experiences, my mom lets us all know that it’s time for dinner.

We walk into the dining room where we added two extra tables to fit everyone. Sarah, Scott, my sister (who had arrived just minutes before) and I take our seats near the end of the third table, so if we needed to escape we could.

When everyone is situated, my dad stands up at the head of the table, and starts distributing the slices of turkey. I make sure to load my plate up with everything we had, except for the green beans. They make me sick, always have.

After only about five minutes of cramming food into my mouth, I jump as I feel my phone vibrating in my pocket. I lean back to pull it out and look at the caller ID. My heart jumps, seeing that it’s AJ. I feel Sarah’s head leaning across my body to see who it was and once she sees, she looks up and whispers, “Don’t answer it.”

“I have to.” I whisper back. I start to stand up but she grabs my arm. My dad looks down the table and sees us.

“Anna?” he asks is an angry voice.

“Uh, excuse us for a second.” I say pulling Sarah out of her seat and rushing to the back of my house to my old bedroom.

When we are both inside, I shut the door and flip open my phone.

“Turn on the speaker!” Sarah says at the last second, so I hit the button and turn it on.

“Hey.” I say into the phone.

“Hey sweetie, whatcha doin’?” He asks.

“I’m at my parent’s house. We’re in the middle of shoving turkey down our throats.”

“Oh shit. Sorry interrupting, so I guess I’ll make this quick. I was wondering if you wanted to come over tomorrow, just to hang out and stuff.”

I look up and turn my head to Sarah. She shakes her head at me and mouths ‘NO!’. I bite my bottom lip, trying to decide what to do, but then I realize, why should I listen to her? I should do what I want. I don’t care if she thinks I shouldn’t see him.

“That sounds great.” I tell him as Sarah falls down backwards onto my bed and lets out a deep breath.

“Ok great, I’ll email my address to you, and I’ll see you tomorrow! Have fun with the turkey.”

“Oh I will. Bye.” I say and hang up the phone.

“Why did you say yes?” Sarah asks, pushing herself up from the bed.

“Because I like him that’s why. If you don’t think I should see him, well, you should get used to the fact that I’m gonna see him if I want to.”

She just stands there smiling at me.

“What?” I ask her, confused.

“You’re finally growing some balls and standing up to me. It’s about damn time!” And at this, we both leave the room laughing.
*Chapter 29* by foxsgrl17
The next morning I wake up around ten thirty, feeling bloated from all the food I ate yesterday. I will never eat that much again. I feel like a hot air balloon. After showering, blow drying, and straightening my hair, and putting on my makeup, I walk to my closet. I realize I haven’t even seen what the weather is like today so I walk to the window and open the curtain.

“Aw shit.” I say to myself. The sky is a shade of dark gray and I can see tiny droplets falling from the sky. As I walk back to my closet, I decide on a long-sleeved tan sweater with my jeans and Ugg boots.

Just about fifteen minutes later, I am out the door and heading to my car with an umbrella in hand, just in case. I take a look at the directions that he had sent me last night to make sure I knew where I was going, and after studying them, I pull out of my parking spot.

When I realize I have just entered Malibu, I decide to stop at the Coffee Bean to grab us something. I need the caffeine and I know he would probably appreciate some too. After the five minute detour, I’m back on the road, and ten minutes later I pull up to his house.

I get anxious as I walk up the driveway, coffees in hand. I get nervous every time I see him, and I don’t know what will happen. Last time we were together, he kissed me, but does that mean he really likes me? Who knows, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

I ring the doorbell and almost suddenly it opens.

“I come with coffee.” I say smiling at him as I walk in the door.

“Awesome! Thanks so much. And Coffee Bean too, huh? I thought you were a Starbucks girl?”

“Oh I am, but I decided I could sacrifice my Starbucks for one day.” I say grinning at him.

“Well thanks again.” He says taking his cup from my hand and leaning over to kiss my cheek.

“So this is my house.” He adds turning back around.

I had been so caught up in him that I hadn’t noticed the house. From the outside it looks just like a normal house, but inside, it’s beautiful.

The living room is warm with candles, leather couches, and a vast fireplace in the center. He had stunning paintings hung on the walls in different places all over the house.

“Is this hand carved?” I ask looking at a cabinet with intricate designs and admiring all the pictures inside of it.

“Yeah I got it a couple years ago. So this is the living room, the kitchen is through that door, and the bedroom is downstairs.”

As we walk farther inside I see that he has a day bed set up next to a wall of ceiling to floor windows. Through the fog, I can just barely make out the waves crashing onto the beach.

“God, look at this view.” I say to him as he walks up next to me.

“Yeah I know. It’s awesome. Sometimes I just lay here and look out there, to relax.”

“So how long does it take you to get to the beach from here?”

“Only about fifteen minutes. We can walk down there if you want.”

“Really? I haven’t been to the beach in……well I don’t even remember.”

“Well then, that settles it. Lemme just find the dog so we can take him too.” He says and then turns around and shouts, “Bernie!” as loud as he can.

For a few seconds there is no sound, but then I hear a pounding noise coming up the stairs, followed by a huge white and black mass running towards me. It only takes a few moments for him to jump on me, his paws almost reaching my shoulders.

“Bernie get down!” AJ yells as he grabs the dog from behind and pulls him down.

“Oh calm down, my dogs are worse than that. And he’s cute.” I say laughing as I bend down to pet him, and in return he gives me a nice, slobbery kiss on the face.

AJ walks out of the room, and when he comes back he has a leash in his hand. The dog immediately runs to him, and then he attaches the leash to his collar.

“Alright let’s go.”


*15 minutes later*

“You ready boy?” he asks as he teasingly waves a tennis ball in front of the dog’s face.

“Just throw the ball! He looks like he’s gonna bite your hand off.” I say jokingly, so he chucks the ball into the ocean, and Bernie bounds off into the water to retrieve it.

“I wish I lived this closer to the ocean. I would come down here all the time.” I say as the two of us start to walk down the beach while the dog swims to the ball.

“I don’t come as much as I would like too. When I come home though it’s usually one of the first things I do.”

Bernie comes trotting proudly back up to us and drops the ball at AJ’s feet. After a few seconds of letting him rest, AJ picks the ball up and throws it back into the ocean.

“Ya know, I’m sorry about Nick the other night. It was really messed up that he went off with that blonde bimbo.”

“Don’t apologize for him. There really is no reason for it anyways, I mean we’re not together and he’s moving on. Yeah it was a little rude to make sure I saw him with another girl but hey, I’m the one who shows up to an award show on the arm of his best friend. We are both free of each other. He can date that her, or any other girl for all I care, and I can date, well, whoever I want.”

“Very true. You know I told him before hand that I was gonna take you.”

“You did? What did he say?”

I had no idea he had said anything to Nick about me going to the award show with him.

“Well, he really didn’t say much, which for Nick, we all know is weird. I told him we were just going as friends and all he said was, ‘Sure whatever.’”

“At least he didn’t freak out on you.”

“Yeah I know.”

After a few more minutes of walking, talking, and throwing the ball to Bernie, the loud sound of thunder rips through the calm silence of the beach.

“I think it’s gonna start to rain.” I tell him with a worried expression. I spent way to long on my hair this morning for it to get wet.

“Naw, I don’t think so. It’s probably just a false alarm….” And just then a drop falls down from the sky and land on his face.

“Still think it’s a false alarm huh?” I say as the sound of booming thunder once again surrounds us.

“Well I guess I was wrong. We should probably go before it starts pouring.”

He manages to grab a hold of the dog, who wasn’t quite ready to leave, while I fasten on the leash, and then we start walking back.

We are only about five minutes away from the house when the light drizzle turns into drops the size of golf balls, and not just a few of them..they were everywhere.

“I think that we chose a really bad day to take a walk.” I say almost shouting over the sound of the rain hitting the ground.

“I think you’re right.” He says turning back to me and smiles.

The rain starts to come down harder, and I have to squint my eyes to see where I’m going. All of a sudden I feel his hand grab mine. “Here follow me.” He pulls me off the road a few feet and under the cover of a tree with thick leaves and branches; only a few drops were getting through.

I take my sleeve to wipe my eyes, since I’m sure my makeup is running and there is water all over my face, but then I realize that it won’t do any good; it’s wet too, just like everything else on my body.

He must have seen me trying to clean my face because the next thing I know, he is wiping the makeup from under my eyes with his thumb and then brushes my cheek with the back of his hand. A chill runs down my spine, and I know it’s not only because I’m wet and cold.

His hand moves from my cheek to the back of my neck and he pulls me close. When he pushes his lips against mine, I gladly give into him. After a few seconds I feel his tongue parting my lips, and entering my mouth, desperately looking for mine. The first time we kissed it was sweet and soft, but this time it was passionate and hard in the most perfect way.

During the few moments we stand there, under the tree in the pouring rain kissing, I feel like this is not really happening. This is like a scene from a movie. A girl and a guy who like each other in the torrential rain, kissing what seems to be the most beautiful kiss in the world.

When it’s over he just smiles at me and I smile back. He turns his head to look out from under the tree.

“Well, it’s still pouring. I guess we’ll have to make a run for it.” he says still grinning.

“I guess so. Just try to keep up.” And with that, I run out from the safe coverage of the tree and back out into the rain. I realize he let Bernie go when I see him bound ahead of me. After only a few seconds I feel him grab me from behind. I scream with laughter as spins me around. When he sets me back down, he grabs my hand and we run as fast as we can back to his house.


*5 minutes later*

“So what should I do? I don’t have any other clothes.” I say to AJ as we stand in the foyer, dripping wet.

“I’m gonna run downstairs to get changed and I’m sure I’ll find you something you can put on.”

“K.” I say as he runs down the stairs as fast as he can. I look down to the floor to see Bernie sitting there looking at me. We had tried to dry him off as best we could, but he was still sopping wet.

“What’s wrong boy.” I say to the dog, but as I bring my hand down to pet him he brings his butt up off the floor and shakes his whole body, sending water flying everywhere, including all over me. When he’s done he gets up and vanishes around a corner.

Well, now I’m soaking and smell like a wet dog. I’m sure Alex will like that….not

“Here ya go, I think these will fit you.” He says reappearing in sweats and handing me over a pile of clothes with a towel.

“Alright I’ll be right back.”

When I enter the bathroom I look at myself in the mirror. My hair has curled from the rain and there was some leftover makeup smudged across my face. Ten minutes later I emerge from the bathroom with half dried hair and wearing a pair of AJ’s sweatpants and an oversized sweatshirt.

I make my way back into the living room where I find AJ sitting on the couch in front of a roaring fire. As I walk around and sit down next to him, he asks, “So everything fits alright?”

“Yup. Thanks for the clothes.”

“Thanks for today. I really had a good time, and I don’t know any other girl who would run through the hammering rain without whining and complaining.”

“Well I guess I’m just special.” I say jokingly.

“You definitely are.” He says taking my head in his hands once again and kissing me. When I force myself to pull away, knowing where it would go if I didn’t, he says “So do you want to watch a movie?”

“Sounds good.” I answer. So for the rest of the day we lay on the couch, me in his sweats and him holding me in his arms, with the occasional kissing, watching movies while the rain pounds against the windows.
*Chapter 30* by foxsgrl17
alrighty guys...before you read the chapter i just want to say that i am sooo sorry to all my readers that i haven't updated in a super long time. life has been busy and all that stuff but i promise i'll pick the story back up now that i have more time....so i hope you guys like it!!!

Chapter *30*

“Hey, throw me that puffy jacket hanging up in the back.” I yell to Sarah as she rummages through my closet.

She removes it from the hanger and tosses it in my direction.

“There is no way that is gonna fit in there.” She informs me.

“Well it has to. I’m not taking another bag. I’ll make it fit.” I tell her as I shove the jacket into my suitcase and then throw myself on top of it to zip it up.

“I seriously can’t believe he is flying you out to New York! I am so incredibly jealous and not to mention mad at you because we were supposed to go to together for the first time.”

“Oh we’ll still go one day. What do you want me to tell him… ‘Oh sorry Alex I can’t come to New York to see you because Sarah is too jealous.’ I don’t think so.”

“I know I know. I hope you have enough warm clothes though.”

“I am almost one-hundred percent sure I don’t. We live in California where there is no winter, so that means I have no winter clothes. I mean, I bought a couple of new things but not much.”

“Well just shop while you’re there!”

“Oh you know I will.” I tell her laughing.

“Well let’s get your bags down to the car, your plane leaves in one hour!” She says grabbing one of my suitcases.

“Good idea.”

The two of us load up the car with my things and hop in to go to the airport. When Sarah drops me off at the curb, she hugs me and reminds me to buy her something while I’m there. After having and employee take my bags, I head to the gate and arrive just as they are boarding. I take my seat in first class and immediately whip out my iPod for the long trip. When the captain announces we have reached cruising level, I unbuckle my seatbelt, turn on my music, and lean back in the chair.

Alex and the boys have been away doing shows for radio stations during the Christmas season, and last weekend Alex told me he was going to fly me out for the New York show. I was so excited, and not only because I was going to New York, but because I missed him. Ever since that rainy day we have been dating. We spend a lot of time together doing almost everything.

The only problem is that we haven’t really told anybody. Well, Sarah knows and Alex told Kevin, but as for the rest of the guys….they don’t know. We both thought it would be best that Nick and the others didn’t find out we were together until later on, so we’ve been sneaking around most of the time, but not only from them, but from the paparazzi too.

The only reason I’m even going out to see them is because Kevin helped Alex tell the guys it would be a good idea if I came out since they all missed me so much. I’m sure Nick isn’t too happy about it, but this trip isn’t about him…just me and Alex.


*A Few Hours Later*

I stand up from my seat and try to stretch my legs out as much as I can. The flight to New York wasn’t nearly as long as the one to Italy, but for someone who doesn’t like planes….it was a long trip.

As soon as the isle had cleared, I moved my way out and reached up to grab one of my bags from the overhead container. Once it was slung around my shoulder, I joined in the line of people getting off the plane.

As I make my way toward the exit, I realize that I didn’t know who I am supposed to be looking for. Alex never told me if he was picking me up or if he was sending somebody to do it. I’m almost positive he sent someone though because he can barely go to the grocery store without being followed and it would be even worse in an airport with hundreds of people.

When I finally emerge from the gate, I scan the room to see if I can figure out who is taking me to the hotel. As I expected, I don’t see anyone, so I walk over to a row of chairs and set my bag down. I start to rummage through it and at the bottom, find my cell phone.

Before I dial, I take another quick glance around, and that’s when I spot a man standing in a far corner of the terminal. He’s wearing a black suit with a black driver’s hat. He is slumped against the wall looking at the floor seeming to be extremely bored with his life, and in his hand he is dangling a white sheet of paper with my name written on it.

He couldn’t be the one picking me up could he?

I decide it’s best if I just go talk to him so a grab my bag and slowly make my way over to him. As I get closer he doesn’t even look up, giving me the feeling that he’s sleeping since I couldn’t see his eyes due to the sunglasses he was wearing. Great. He sent some shady guy who stands in corners and falls asleep standing up.

When I get close enough to him, he finally brings his head up from its dangling position.

“Uh, excuse me sir, you are looking for Anna right?” I ask the man.

“You know I am.” He says flashing a huge smile, and with that he lifts his glasses up just slightly to reveal a pair of kind, familiar eyes.

“Oh my G…..” I start to squeal but he cuts me off, pushing his finger to his lips signaling for me to not acknowledge that it’s him.

I can barely hold back from throwing myself at him while we go down to get the rest of my bags, but I know it would just cause commotion.

While we stand there grabbing my bags, I can’t keep a smile off my face. I knew he wouldn’t send some creep to come and get me. It made me feel so special just knowing that he cared about me enough to come into this huge airport, with the potential of someone recognizing him, just to pick me up.

When the bags were on a cart, he led me out of the airport and into the pick-up area. A light snow was falling as he opened the door of a town car for me. I climbed while he loaded my bags into the trunk. When he was done, he opened the door and slid onto the seat next to me, removing his sunglasses.

He took off the hat and placed it on the head of the man sitting in the front seat, whom I hadn’t even noticed upon first entering.

“Thanks for the hat Al. Now, take us to the hotel” he tells to the driver.

As soon as he gives the directions, he turns back to me, and within seconds, pulls me into his arms. After a few straight minutes of kissing, he says, “ Oh hi, by the way.”

I break out laughing realizing we hadn’t even said hello to each other, and through my giggling say, “Hi to you too.”

I lean back into his arms and glance out the window. I have never been in real snow, and it was just beautiful. As we enter the heart of the city, a feeling of warmth comes over my whole body. Being here, in New York, with Alex is the best thing I could have asked for.
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