- Text Size +
Nick snuck out of the party shortly after Lucky went back to dancing with Hunter. He made it home safely and stumbled into his apartment. He scowled at Lucky’s empty room when he fumbled past it. When he got to his room, he collapsed on his bed and passed out almost immediately.

Back at the party, Lucky took Hunter back to the table she shared with the Backstreet Boys and their girls and looked around, scanning the room for Nick. “Hey, where’s Nick?”

Brian looked around and didn’t see Nick anywhere. He shrugged and said, “Maybe he went to the bathroom.” When Nick never showed up again, they figured he must have picked someone up and left the party.

The party came to an end and Lucky invited Hunter back to the apartment. He accepted and they headed to the limo that Lucky had previously shared with Nick. They talked during the short ride back and were soon standing outside of the door to Nick’s apartment. Lucky unlocked the door and led Hunter into the apartment and down the hallway to her room. She left for the bathroom to change into her night clothes and when she returned, she saw Hunter sprawled on her bed in his boxers. She frowned when she saw that there was no room left for her. She shrugged and pushed him off the bed and onto the floor. He didn’t wake up and she snuggled into her comforter, falling asleep quickly.

The next morning Lucky woke up bright and early. She looked over her bed and stifled a giggle. Hunter was still in the same spot he landed the night before, so she climbed out of bed and headed to the shower.

After her shower, Lucky headed to the kitchen to make breakfast. As she was cooking, she felt arms come around her. She smacked his hands away and turned around. Hunter was still in his boxers. “You need to go get dressed. This isn’t your house, or mine for that matter and I don’t think Nick will appreciate it if he woke up to you walking around his apartment in your boxers.”

“If I must.” He left the kitchen and walked back to Lucky’s room.

Nick woke up and groaned. His head was killing him. He walked into his bathroom and groaned again when he found that he had no aspirin. He looked down at himself and realized that he was still in the suit he had worn the night before, and he reeked of alcohol. Changing into sweats and knowing that he needed a shower, Nick walked out of the bathroom in search of some aspirin.

Nick stopped in his tracks when he saw Hunter across his living room, coming out of Lucky’s room. Hunter spotted Nick and smirked. “If your fans could see you now,” Hunter mouthed and shook his head and walked back down the hall.

“Dick.” Nick thought to himself as he shook his aching head and walked into the kitchen, grabbing the available bottle of Advil from the countertop. He inhaled the scent of breakfast and his stomach churned.

“Hey Nick, you’re up earlier than normal.” Lucky smiled as she flipped the pancakes she was cooking.

“I couldn’t sleep.” Nick lied as he leaned against the counter, steadying his balance. He jammed the aspirin into his pocket and straightened up to walk out of the room.

He made it back to his bathroom and swallowed two of the small pills. Nick jumped into the shower quickly and as soon as he was dressed in a fresh pair of sweats, he went back to his bed and buried his head in the pillow, hoping that his headache will pass.

About ten minutes later, Lucky knocked on Nick’s door. When Nick didn’t answer, Lucky opened the door slowly. Nick had already fallen back to sleep. “Nick.” She said loudly, shaking Nick out of his nap.

He opened his eyes and glared at her. “What?” He squinted his eyes and rolled back over.

“I thought you said you couldn’t sleep.” Lucky said as she walked farther into his room and closed the door, but flipped on a light.

“So I lied.” He grumbled into his pillow.

“I just came to ask if you wanted breakfast?” Lucky asked as she stepped back towards the door.

“No.” He replied and continued keeping his head in his pillow.

“You need to eat something.” Lucky suggested, knowing why he was having such sensitivity to the light.

“Hangovers and food don’t mix. Now, if you don’t mind. I was trying to sleep.” Nick growled and looked at the door, suggesting Lucky leave.

“Ok Nick, I’ll leave you alone.” She left the room and closed the door gently behind her. Rolling over and covering his head with the covers, wishing sleep would come soon so that he wouldn’t have to feel the pounding in his head anymore.

The phone rang and jarred Nick from his sleep. He put the pillow up around his ears, hoping that Lucky would answer it. When the phone kept ringing, Nick looked at the clock and saw that 5 hours had passed since he had fallen. He reached for the phone and answered it, just to shut it up. “Hello?”

“Nick, its Johnny. You need to come down to the studio.” Nick heard Johnny’s voice coming cheerfully over the speakers of the phone.

“When?” Nick asked groggily.

“Now.” Johnny’s voice became stern.

“Now?” Nick groaned in frustration. “Is that necessary?”

“Yes Nick. Of course it’s necessary. It is very important.” Johnny said in another stern tone.

“Can’t somebody just fill me in later?” Nick asked, as he began to rub his eyes to wake himself up.

“No Nick. You should know better than that.” Johnny practically yelled.

“Come on Johnny. I don’t feel good.” Nick complained and rolled out of bed, heading towards the bathroom.

“Nice try Nick, but your hangover isn’t enough to get you out of a meeting. Now, get your ass out of bed and come down here.” Johnny said, in a chuckling glad-I’m-not-you voice.

Nick groaned again. “Fine.”

Nick got up and got dressed in some jeans and a better shirt. He left the house as quietly as possible and didn’t see Lucky or Hunter on his way out. As his mind wandered to what they could be doing, he shook his head and pushed the “Down” button on the elevator.

It was hours later before Nick made his way back to the apartment. He opened the door and stopped instantly at the sight before him. Lucky and Hunter were cuddling on his couch. He felt his heart sink through his toes. He knew he stood no chance now. He took a deep breath and headed to his room. He could hear their laughter reverberating off the walls. The louder they laughed, the more depressed he felt.

Once he was back in his room, Nick heard the door to his apartment close. That meant either Hunter left, or they both left. Nick didn’t open his bedroom door in fear that he would find out that the latter was true. He sat in the middle of his bed, lost in his thoughts, and wallowing in self pity.

Nick jumped at the knock at the door. That answered his question; obviously Lucky hadn’t left. He wasn’t so sure he was glad she didn’t leave. “Come in.”

Lucky opened the door. “Hey Nick.”

“Hi.” Nick responded, still a little dazed from the thought of Lucky and Hunter together.

“Feeling any better?” Lucky asked caringly and fully entered Nick’s room, moving closer to his bed.

“Not really.” Nick wasn’t sure if he was talking about his hangover or his feelings for Lucky. “What do you want?”

Lucky shook her head. “I wanted to see how you were feeling. Is that a crime?”

Nick scowled. “What did you really come in here for?”

“About that meeting you went to earlier…” Lucky trailed off, refusing to meet Nick’s eyes.

“What about it?” Nick paused. “How did you know I went to a meeting?”

“I talked to Johnny about it last night before the ball. He told me it was for a month long North American promotional tour.” Lucky supplied.

“Yeah, so. What’s it to ya?” Nick asked sarcastically.

“I wanted to know if it would be ok if I brought someone with me.” Lucky asked slowly, staring at a piece of Nick’s beige carpet.

“Who?” Nick asked, knowing damn well he didn’t really want to know.

“Hunter.” Nick’s heart dropped to the floor.

“Hunter?” Nick was shocked. That was the last person he had expected her to say. “Why would you want to bring Hunter?”

“He’s cute, he’s funny, he’s sweet. And most importantly, I can have an intelligent conversation with him.” Lucky said, while Nick wished he had never asked.

He turned away from her feeling the unintentional dig. He also felt completely defeated. “Fine. Whatever. You can leave now.”

“Nick?” Lucky asked, hoping that he would want her to stay and talk more.

“Leave.” Nick demanded through gritted teeth.

Lucky nodded. “Ok. I’ll come get you for dinner.” Nick shrugged. Lucky shook her head and left the room.

A couple hours later, Lucky stood over the stove wondering why she was cooking dinner for Nick. She rationalized it as she was cooking for herself, but making enough for him to eat too. She shut the stove off and set the table, placing dinner in the middle. She contemplated not getting Nick, but she figured if she didn’t, the rift between them might keep growing, instead of dissolving. With that thought, she headed down the hall to get Nick. She approached his door and knocked.

When she received no answer, she called through the door. “Nick?” She heard his door unlock, so she opened the door. “Dinner’s ready.”

“Ok.” He wouldn’t look at her.

She rolled her eyes and headed to the kitchen. Nick was following her. They sat at the table and served themselves. Nick was barely eating. He was merely pushing the food around on his plate. He wouldn’t make eye contact with Lucky. “Nick, are you ok?”

“I’m fine.” He lied and picked up his glass of water to conceal his lie.

“You’re not eating. Are you still feeling the results of last night?” Lucky asked carefully, not knowing whether or not she should even be caring.

“Not really.” Nick said, this time telling the truth.

“Then why aren’t you eating anything?” Lucky prodded.

“Not hungry.” Nick said and continued pushing the food around on his plate.

“I find that hard to believe.” Lucky said, looking at Nick in question.

“It’s the truth.” Nick shrugged and pushed his plate away.

“You haven’t eaten anything all day.” He shrugged. “Nick.”

“What?” He finally snapped.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” Lucky asked, slamming her fork down on the table.

“Nothing. How many times do I have to tell you?” Nick returned, getting annoyed very quickly.

“Fine Nick. Whatever you say.” Lucky went back to eating. They were eating in silence until Nick stood up and abruptly left the table. Lucky looked after him and shook her head.

The situation in Nick’s apartment went downhill from there. Wherever Lucky was, Nick wasn’t. When Lucky asked him a question, he responded with either a shrug or a one syllable grunt. His most used response was a mumble of “I don’t know.” This was frustrating to Lucky. He wouldn’t even look at her when they were discussing his schedule.

After two weeks of Nick completely ignoring Lucky, it was time for them to begin the short 4-week tour of the US promoting the new album, Never Gone. Nick continued to ignore Lucky with the few exceptions of needing her input for a photo-shoot outfit or whatnot.

Lucky finally figured that Nick was so mad at her because she wanted to bring Hunter along on the tour and he didn’t want that. Oh well, she thought to herself. If he was going to be a jerk to her, at least she’d have someone there being nice to her, even if he was there just to make Nick jealous, but she would never tell anyone that.

A few days after the tour started, Lucky purposely started flirting more openly with Hunter. She was always hugging him and smiling at him and laughing with him, and always had one eye on Nick, to make sure he saw.

In the middle of the second week of the tour, the Boys were sitting around in the common area of their hotel in Dallas, Texas when Lucky and Hunter walked through. Lucky waved at the guys and smiled as she led Hunter down to her room.

“Wow. Seems to me that Hunter and Lucky are getting along rather well these days, don’t you think?” Kevin observed, throwing the question out there.

“Yeah, real well.” Nick snorted.

“Well, you live with her dude, how are they at home?” Kevin asked.

“Just friggin’ peachy. Just perfect. Lucky and Hunter sitting in a fucking tree.” Nick said and stormed off to his room, which just happened to be right across the hall from Lucky and Hunter. As he stood at his door, he looked over his shoulder wistfully and then shook his head and walked in.

“What the hell is wrong with him?” Kevin asked, completely bewildered by Nick’s actions.

“Can’t you tell cuz? Nicky’s gotten bit by the green-eyed monster.” Brian said.

“But why? He doesn’t even LIKE Lucky.” Kevin said, completely out of it.

“That’s where you’re wrong. He DOES like her. He feels like crap because he and Hunter look so much alike, but Lucky went for Hunter instead. And he knows it’s because he was a total asshole.” AJ said and shook his head. “We should try to encourage him to talk to Lucky.”

“He does talk to her, doesn’t he?” Kevin asked, again bewildered by this newfound knowledge.

“Man Kev, you’ve been out of the dating circuit for too long man. Nick talks to Lucky as his PA, not as a woman he’s trying to pursue. I don’t even think he talks to her that much anyways.” AJ stated. “I’m positive he has romantic feelings for her though. He always stares at her, and he told me himself at the ball a few weeks ago.”

“So all of this time, Hunter’s been hanging around with Lucky and Nick has had to witness them getting closer?” Howie asked. “That’s gotta suck.”

“Yeah, it really does. Like I said, we need to convince Nick to tell her how he feels. I’ll go talk to him.” AJ offered and got up and walked down the hall to Nick’s room.

AJ knocked on the door as Lucky and Hunter came out of Lucky’s room. Hunter looked pissed and Lucky looked upset. She tried wiping her face so that AJ wouldn’t see her, but he caught a glimpse regardless. He looked at her with questions in his eyes, but she just shook her head and said, “Call me later Hunter?”

“Maybe.” Hunter returned without turning around, and throwing a hand up in the air. “Whatever.”

Lucky looked at AJ and closed her door quietly. AJ turned around to see Nick coming out of his room.

“What did that asshole do to her?” Nick asked AJ in a hushed tone.

“I don’t know man, but I think we need to talk.” AJ said and pushed Nick back into his room and closed the door behind him. “You need to tell Lucky how you feel.”

“Well, you sure don’t beat around the bush now do you? Here’s me not beating around the bush too … No.” Nick said and laid back on his bed, folding his arms behind his head.

“Chicken. She’s hurting, she’s vulnerable. Go over there and show her that you care even just a little.” AJ encouraged.

“No. She’s hurting, she’s vulnerable. You said it yourself. She’ll probably think that I’m trying to take advantage of her.” Nick said, trying to make sense of his words in his mind.

“Not with the way you’ve been treating her.” AJ snorted and Nick shot him a dirty look. “Just go over there, talk to her like she’s a human, not the worst thing on earth.”

“That’s just the thing. She’s not the worst thing on earth, which makes it so hard for me to talk to her normally. You know how I am about women.” Nick said and looked at AJ knowingly.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. But Nick, that was what, 12 years ago. You really need to get over it and move on. I mean, you dated all those other trashy girls, why not go for a nice girl for once in your life?” AJ suggested and grabbed Nick’s arm.

“I know … hey! You thought all my other girlfriends were trashy?” Nick asked, looking mildly hurt.

“Well, I’ll sum it up for you … Paris Hilton dude.” AJ said and Nick smirked.

“Yeah, I guess you’re right. I guess I’ll go over there and at least apologize for being such a jerk these past few weeks.” Nick admitted and adjusted his clothing. “Wish me luck man.” He said and exhaled.

With a pat on the back, AJ opened the door for Nick and pushed him across the hall. Nick stood in front of the door and mentally prepared himself for what he was going to say. AJ walked back down to the common room and sat with the guys.

Nick lifted his hand to knock and dropped it quickly. He shook his head and forced himself to do it. He knocked five times and waited patiently. He was about to turn and walk away when he heard the click of the lock and the door opened with a tear-stained faced Lucky. He didn’t know what came over him, but he walked into her room, closed the door and pulled her into a protective hug.