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Alissa continued to watch the news to make sure that they guys had left before she called her cousin. She waited a few days longer and then called.


“Hello?” Brooke said.


“Brooke, it’s me.” Alissa said quietly.


“ALISSA EMERSON! Have you lost your fucking mind? We’ve been going crazy since the day you left. We didn’t know if you were dead or alive or where you were! What the hell were you thinking?”


“I’m sorry Brooke. I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t face AJ. I had to leave.”


“Actually, you didn’t.” Brooke snapped.




“You need to get your ass over here ASAP! I want to talk to you!” Brooke yelled into the phone.


“Brooke, I left for a reason.”


“I don’t care about your reasons anymore! They’re gone! You won’t be bumping into anyone! Get your ass in gear and get here!”


Alissa was surprised at Brooke’s anger. “Alright. I’ll see if someone can cover my shift at work. It’ll be a while before I get there though.”


“Ok. I’ll see you soon.”


AJ and the guys were on the fourth day of their press tour and he was barely functioning. The guys were worried that he might start drinking again so one of them was always with him.


“I don’t need a damn babysitter!” AJ yelled at Nick one day.


“Guess what AJ? I don’t fucking feel like babysitting you! I got the short straw today!” Nick yelled back.


AJ was stunned. Nick never talked to him like that.


Nick shook his head and sighed. “Sorry J, but this has to stop. I know you’re hurting and we want to help you but you’ve been an asshole to us and everyone else. Nobody wants to be around you or deal with you if they don’t have to.”


They were silent for a few minutes before AJ broke the silence.


“I know.”


Nick looked at him.


“I know I’ve been an asshole. I just don’t know how to deal with this. Part of me is so pissed off at her for leaving and another part of me misses her like hell.” he said with tears in his eyes. “I just don’t know which side is stronger.”