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Chapter 25

Deactivating the alarm, Nick unlocked the door and walked in, the scent of lemon furniture polish hit him strong as he shut the door. He didn’t remember calling the cleaning service to come, his assistant must have done it before she left or wait, she should be back by now shouldn’t she? It didn’t matter at this point; he just wanted to go to bed. Spending eight hours on a plane just wasn’t natural. His back was cramped, his internal clock was all screwed up, thinking it was later than it was and his head was pounding.

Lugging his bags into the living room, he left them there, he would unpack tomorrow, he just didn’t have the energy to do it now. He’d head to bed as soon as he went next door to get his mail. Looking up at the clock, he decided it wasn’t too late to head over now. Grabbing his keys, he headed out, locking the door and running next door. A few minutes later he came back with a grocery bag full of mail, shutting and locking the door and reactivating the alarm. Rubbing at his head, he headed up the stairs, bag in hand and headed into his room, flopping down on the bed. It was so good to be home.

Letting the bag drop to the floor, he pushed himself up and stared to undress slowly, yawning. Nick was so tired he could barely think, his eyes were burning and kept drifting shut. After stripping down to his boxers, he slipped under the covers, prepared to sleep, but he never was one to let unopened mail go for long, unless it was bills. There had to be more in there than bills. Sitting up, Nick put the bag on his lap and grabbed an envelope, he shouldn’t have many bills, he’d taken care of most of that before he left. Flipping the letter over, he scanned it quickly then tossed it into the garbage, he hated junk mail. Rifling through, he found more junk mail and also some fan mail. The fan mail wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been, he’d been careful with his address-- not careful enough cause he still got some, but it was no where near the level it used to be. An hour and a half later, Nick was at the end of the bed and had the mail separated into three piles. A junk pile, an important pile and a fan mail pile. Grabbing the junk stack, he tossed it into the garbage, took the important pile and slipped out of bed and out his room into his office, setting it on his desk. Walking back into his room, he slipped back into bed, grabbing the fan mail and started ripping it open.

Nick was partway through a rather racy letter when it hit him…he’d forgotten to check his post office box. Setting the letter down, he leaned back against the headboard, his mind wandering to Veronica. He wondered if she’d written him back, it’d been a month, plenty of time for her to write. Nick looked down at the stack of fan mail and frowned, suddenly they held no interest, he wanted to go to the post office. Well, that wasn’t happening tonight, he would stop over on his way out tomorrow. He stuffed the letter back into the envelope and tossed the stack down on the floor next to him, he would go through the rest of them later.

Slipping under the covers, he turned to flip the light off, cursing suddenly when he realized he needed to call his Mom and let her know he’d arrived safely. He usually did after going out of the US. Sighing heavily, he sat up again and grabbed his phone, dialing quickly.


“Hey ma.”

“Hello Nick.”

“I just wanted to let you know that I’m home safe and to see how things were going.”

“Oh, well I’m glad you’re home safe, and things are ok I suppose. Not much going on, your Sister’s still pissed at me, but what else is new?” Jane replied coolly.

She sounded annoyed and tired, Nick felt bad, as much as he wanted to not feel anything where his parents were concerned.

“I’m sorry Mom.”

Jane sighed, “No, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean…anyway, how was London?”

“It was nice, tiring and long, but I’m glad to be home.”

“You always did like to come home.”

“You know me.”

She sighed, “Sometimes I wonder…”

Nick frowned, “What?”

“Nothing, never mind. I’ll be sure to tell your Sisters and Aaron that you’re home, I’m sure they’ll want to see you. Leslie’s been moping around the house ever since you left.”

He smiled; he needed to get over to see her again. “Thanks Mom.”

“I’ll let you go, you sound exhausted.”

“I am, I’m still on London time, I never could deal with jet lag, not like the rest of the guys.”

Jane chuckled, “Get some rest, I’ll talk to you later.”

“Ok, bye Mom, love you.”

“I love you too Nick.”

He hung up, rubbing at his eyes. That had gone better than he thought it would, thank god, he wasn’t in any condition to put up with anything from her right now anyway. Slipping down under the covers again he drifted off.