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Brian whistled as he got ready for his lunch date with Leighanne a couple of days later. They were going to a place in LA on Wilshire Boulevard that Leighanne knew from being a local and Brian couldn’t wait to eat. He got up early to take a shower while Nick sat in front of the TV in his underwear, eating from a open box of cereal and watching some cartoon. He almost laughed at him because he was such a kid still.

“Where you going? We don’t have to be anywhere today.” Nick commented, his mouth full of Lucky Charms.

“I am seeing Leighanne today, I thought you knew that.” Brian said, picking out some fresh clothes to wear from his suitcase. Nick turned back to the TV and rolled his eyes out of Brian’s view.

How could I forget you and boob job Barbie having your stupid date.

If Nick rolled his eyes any further he felt they would fall out.

“I’m gonna be in the shower if she calls the room or anything, then I’m heading over to the restaurant.”

“Bring me back something to eat.” Nick mumbled with his mouth full of cereal again. They didn’t have any milk in the refrigerator in their hotel room that Lou was paying for and Nick hated eating his cereal dry, but he liked the little marshmallows and was busily popping them into his mouth.

“You’re always hungry.” Brian teased, as he started to undress. Nick blushed and pretended he wasn’t staring...Brian suddenly felt uncomfortable and stopped. Nick never used to watch him and now that he knew he was gay, or possibly gay- he wasn’t sure if he should change his clothes in front of him anymore. Nick being gay confused him and although he was trying to be supportive, he would be lying if he didn’t say it made him feel weird about their close friendship. Lots of things that made sense before just felt strange to him now.

After Brian went into the bathroom, Nick heard the door lock and sat there for a minute or two, thinking of ways to keep Brian from going on his date. He truly was happy for him but there was something about this girl that set him off and he had no idea why. His eyes spotted Brian’s wallet on the dresser and he smiled.

“If he can’t pay for the lunch she won’t be impressed with him because she is probably only after his money.” Nick thought to himself as he got up off the floor. He quickly hid the wallet inside a dresser drawer and snickered, thinking of what Leighanne would say when Brian couldn’t pay.

After plotting his little scheme, Nick went back to watching the cartoons as he balanced the cereal box in his lap sitting Indian style on the floor. As if on cue, the water shut off and Brian took a while to get dressed in the bathroom, which Nick was surprised by because usually he just got ready in the room. He came out wearing a nice pair of pants and a shirt, his hair slicked back. Nick pretended he did not notice but Brian was wearing some new cologne that had a really nice scent.

“I’ll be back later, maybe we can play Mario Kart or something when I come back from lunch.” Brian said, checking himself one more time in the mirror and spraying the cologne on himself as he fixed his hair.

“Okay.” Nick muttered, drinking in the scent like it was a drug and he needed a fix. Brian walked past and chuckled at him, ruffling his hair as he went by.

“See you.”

“Have fun.” Nick said as Brian closed the door, staring at the door for a few minutes after it closed, thinking to himself.

“Hi, Brian. I’m so happy you asked me to lunch. I hope you like this place, it’s one of my favorites.” Leighanne said when she met up with him outside the restaurant.

“Sounds great, I’m hungry.” Brian smiled. They went to a comfort food restaurant called Cravings, that offered many different dishes. Brian held the door for her and held her chair out, and she smiled the whole time. There was definitely an attraction right away. They ordered their food, and started talking about all kinds of things. Brian listened intently as Leighanne talked about her acting career, her childhood and what she wanted to do as an actress. Brian talked about music and his dreams as well. They had a great conversation and ate, laughing and talking like they were old friends.

“So you think your band will be around a long time?” Leighanne asked as she finished eating her chicken. Brian had not really thought about how to answer a question like this but he supposed that he wanted to be a part of the group for as long as he possibly could. He really enjoyed doing music and making people happy, being with his friends.

“I sure hope so. The guys really want it too. I like being with my friends and my cousin...we always have a great time performing.”

“I see how close you are with them.” Leighanne smiled.

Brian finished eating his burger and went to his iced tea, smiling back. He could stare into her eyes forever if she would let him...but something about all of this did not feel complete and he decided not to dwell on it.

“Here's your bill.” the waitress said with a smile as she set down their check.

“I'll get it.” Brian offered as he reached into his pants pocket. His smile slid off his face as his hands sifted through empty pockets.

“Is everything okay?” Leighanne asked in concern.

“I seem to have misplaced my wallet.” Brian said as his face turned red. Leighanne laughed and took out her purse, paying for their meal.

The two of them left and went walking for a little while down Wilshire Boulevard, talking some more.

“I'll pay you back, I feel like such a ass. I'm so sorry about all that.” Brian apologized. Leighanne took his hand and patted it, smiling.

“Really it's not a big deal. Things happen. I hope nobody stole it.”

Brian suddenly wondered if Nick tried to sabotage the date by hiding his wallet. He suddenly felt very angry. Nick didn’t like Leighanne, would he do something like that? Signs pointed to yes. Leighanne drove him back to where they were staying because he didn’t have enough money to take a cab back and he brought her up to the room. It sounded like AJ and Nick were watching wrestling or something on TV because there was a lot of noise.

“Is there a wild party going on in there?” Leighanne laughed.

“No, just the kids messing around.” Brian laughed. He wanted so badly to kiss her but he knew it was their first date. He was on the fence about doing it because he wanted to be a gentleman.

“Did you have a good time?” he asked instead.

“I was hoping you'd ask that. I did…so is there a second date in the future for us then?”

“Things are looking good.” Brian winked. He went to say goodnight to her but she leaned in and their lips touched. They kissed and for a few moments Brian forgot about his chest pain, about Nick and about everything that was weighing down on his mind. It was like his mind was a huge garbage can and someone finally took out the trash.

“I want to see you again.” Leighanne whispered into his ear when they finally parted. Brian didn’t know how he was so lucky to find her, an older woman after his own heart. The only trouble was that the boys were about to go back on tour overseas and he hoped that she would be okay with this. He should have brought it up during the date but didn’t see a need to just now. This girl didn’t seem like Samantha so he had a good feeling she would understand about his work. She was in the entertainment industry being an actress so Brian felt that she would be okay with him being away so much.

“That can be arranged. I’ll call you?” Brian said, pecking her on the cheek before she left. Brian went into the hotel room to find not only Nick and AJ but also Howie watching a movie on the television.

“Hey lover boy, how was your lunch?” AJ called from the bed, where he and Howie were laying. Nick was sitting on Brian’s bed next to them, playing his Game Boy and did not look up. He could see that Brian had a good time without asking him, the look in his eyes was one of love.

“She’s amazing but something interesting happened on my date.” Brian said suddenly.

“You mean other than you guys making out in the hall just now?” AJ teased, as Howie elbowed him in the stomach. Nick rolled his eyes.

“Well, it went great until I realized that I did not have my wallet. Any idea where that went, Nick?” Brian snapped. Nick shrugged.

“No, not really.”

AJ and Howie watched, knowing a argument was about to erupt between the two of them.

“Nick, did you try to ruin my date on purpose?”

“No.” Nick lied, still playing his Game Boy. Brian snatched it out of his hand and went towards the window across the room, opening it. He held it out as Nick ran over, trying to grab it from him.

“You are full of shit, Nick. Tell me the truth or your Game Boy is going to learn how to fly.”

AJ found this hilarious so he started laughing until Howie hit him in the stomach.

“Knock it off you guys.” Howie shouted. He wished Kevin was here to break this up because he was better at it.

“I didn’t do anything, I swear! Your date seemed fine, what the fuck is your problem?” Nick shouted.

Brian thought for a moment and privately agreed that his date did go well but he wanted Nick to learn his lesson so he took the cartridge out of the Game Boy and threw the copy of Zelda out the window, before giving Nick the Game Boy back. Nick started crying as he saw his game flying down ten stories.

“Here come the waterworks.” AJ moaned.

“Where is my wallet, Nick?” Brian demanded. Nick reluctantly went to the dresser where he had put the wallet and gave it to Brian who sighed, feeling slightly bad as he watched Nick cry.

“I didn’t throw your wallet out the window, that was really unnecessary!”

“Why did you want to embarrass me anyway, Nick? You know I like her. What is your problem, exactly? Are you that jealous that I’m spending my time with someone else that you need to sabotage my dates?” Brian yelled. Nick looked from Brian to AJ and Howie as his own face went pale. He did not want Brian to tell them he was gay so he made up the quickest lie he could think of to save himself.

“I don’t know what I was doing. I’m sorry. I just was playing a joke…” he said through tears. Brian’s face softened and he apologized for overreacting but he didn’t buy the excuse for a second. Nick was acting strange and he knew the reason. He was jealous and couldn’t control himself. There was no other explanation.

“Let’s go downstairs and see if we can find your game.” Brian said with a sigh as they left the hotel room, the kiss from Leighanne fresh in his mind the entire way down. He couldn’t wait to see her again and hoped it was sooner rather than later.