"Hey Nick! I’m so excited!" Jade said when I answered the phone that night. "Thank you so much for the rose and the note, they kept me going through the busy day I had today. You have no idea how much talking so much in one day will kill your voice. Oh geez, what am I saying? Of course you do, you’re a singer for crying out loud. I keep forgetting that." She sounded so cute on the phone.
"I miss you babe. I’m so glad your day was good. What kinds of questions did they ask you?" I asked.
"Aww, Nick. I missed you too, but don’t start that or I’ll cry. And I have way too much make-up on right now to start crying. They asked the same questions over and over. Oh my gosh. I know that every day of this tour I am going to answer how I am just like them and if I’m dating anyone. I swear, I love this job and I love the kids, but maybe we should all makes signs that pre-answer the questions. Hey, and then we can market them." She said sounding excited.
"Now now, sweetie. Don’t get too far ahead of yourself. You’ll drive yourself and everyone else crazy. So what are you doing tonight to celebrate?" I asked her.
"Well, I’m planning on just staying in tonight and getting lots of sleep since I didn’t get ANY last night at all." She said as she walked into the lobby. I had her in my view and I got up off the couch. I walked over to the elevator where she was walking to and I stood in front of her and said, "Wrong. You’re going out with me tonight."
She looked up at me and her mouth and cell phone dropped. She threw her arms around my neck and my cell phone fell to the ground as well. She jumped up and wrapped her legs around me and started kissing my face.
"Oh my god! I cannot believe that you’re actually here! I thought that I wasn’t going to see you for a month. I was so depressed this morning because I thought that you were going to come say goodbye to me, but then I saw the flower and now you’re here!" She said excitedly and kissed me full on the mouth before jumping down. "I am so happy to see you!"
"Well, I’m glad you’re happy to see me. I’m happy that you’re happy to see me. Are we gonna go upstairs or what?" I asked her. We picked up both of our cell phones and got on the awaiting elevator.
"I thought you said that we were going out." She looked up at me through her bangs, her brown eyes wide.
"Well, not tonight. I know what it’s like to be on tour and I know that you’re going to need as much rest as possible, especially in the first few weeks. We’re spending the night in." I said and leaned over to kiss her forehead as the elevator brought us to her floor.
We got off of the elevator and walked to her room. She unlocked it to see a large suite, not as big as the guys and I were used to, but hey, it was perfect for Jade and the girls. The guys and I also weren’t used to having our own rooms either, so that was a plus for the girls. Must be the bathroom situation or something.
"Oh really? Are you spending the night?" She asked cautiously.
"Only if you want me to." I said and she looked away.
"What? Jade, what’s wrong?"
"Nothing. I’m just not ready to go there with you yet." She said and sat down on the bed.
"Go where? Having sex? No way, me neither." I said and sat down on the bed next to her. Even through my reassurance, she continued to scoot away from me. "Jade, what’s wrong with you?"
"I don’t know. It’s just that, well, I’ve only had sex once in my life and the guy left as soon as it was done and I felt so dirty afterwards. Ever since then I’ve been really careful about getting that close to a guy. Well, I haven’t had a relationship since him." She confessed.
I tried to scoot closer to her so that I could put my arm around her, but she moved so far away from me that she fell off of the edge of the bed. "Jade! Are you alright?" I asked and got up from the bed to see her rolling on the floor with her eyes closed and laughing. I began to laugh and put my hand out for her to take so I could help her up. Instead, she pulled me down on the floor next to her.
"Jade, I just want you to know that I’m not that kind of guy. I don’t have sex with every girl I date. I mean, yeah, it can be good, but it’s not the most important thing. I believe that people should connect on every other level first before exploring the sexual chemistry they may share. I’m really sorry about the jerk who made you feel dirty. He must have been stupid and done it wrong!" I said and pulled her close to me. She laid her head on my chest and snuggled close. "So, what do you want to do tonight?"
"Well, there are plenty of things we can do tonight." I said. "We could just lay here on the floor and I could listen to your heart, or we could take a walk, or we could play video games, or we could watch TV or we could just talk and order dinner in."
"How about we talk and order in. Do you want room service or something take-out?" He asked me and began to stroke my hair. I could tell he was looking up at the ceiling and thinking about something.
"Let’s just call room-service. Hey, it’s paid for, right?" I said. Neither of us moved to get the menu, so I said, "Nick, can I ask you a question?"
"You can ask me anything." He said.
"Ok, well, I want you to be 100% honest with me. I wanted to know how many girls you’ve slept with. Just so I know, when we do have sex, I won’t worry about not having asked you." I said and looked up at him. Sure enough he had focused on the ceiling and his eyebrows were scrunched together. "That many huh?" I said and chuckled slightly.
"Did you know that there are 325 dots in that one square of the ceiling tile?" He said trying to change the subject.
"Oh wow, that many huh?" I said and pushed myself off of him. I sat back down on the bed and leaned back on my pillows.
"Four." Came his answer from the floor.
"Ok, well, I know of three. Willa, Paris, and Kirsten. Who is the other girl?" I questioned.
"Jade, do we really have to talk about this now?" Nick asked as he sat up on the floor. He too got up and joined me on the bed.
"Well, I just want to know. I mean, I’m obviously not as experienced as you are, but I’d tell you what you wanted you to know if I had more to say." I said and looked at him.
"Well, her name was Holli." He said and closed his eyes. He looked like he was in pain and I reached over to took his hand in mine. "I was going to tell you about her sooner or later, but I guess the time has come. She and I were engaged. We were three weeks away from our wedding when she up and left me for one of our other dancers." I knew I had a confused look on my face, but I was trying to rub circles of encouragement on his hand with my thumb, showing my support.
"We have kind of a complicated relationship. I mean, I was dating someone else when I met her, kind of like you and Kirsten, but our relationship was totally different. We were friends, and then we went on a date and things went well, and then the next day she was in a really bad car accident and ever since that we were inseparable, so she became a Backstreet Dancer. I thought she was "The One", but she wasn’t. I mean, I really truly loved her, but I gave so much more to the relationship than she did." Nick said and continued to brush my hair.
"I didn’t realize that things were that serious. So what happened? I mean, what made her leave you. Now talk about a stupid person!" I said, rolling closer to him, happy that he was finally opening up to me.
"To be honest with you, I still don’t know. I’ve only seen her once since she left and that was to pick up her stuff from our house. She cancelled everything for the wedding, so luckily I didn’t have to deal with any of that mess. It was really weird. Like, one day she was there and the next she was totally gone." He said and put his arm around me.
"How long was it before you dated Kirsten after her?" I asked, still curious.
"Um, probably 10 or 11 months." He said. "What about you? You have so many questions, do you have answers as well?"
"I got answers to whatever you want to know. But can we order some food first? I’m starving!" I said and picked up the menu next to the bed.
We ordered our food and the waiter brought us our hamburgers, shakes, and fries in about 20 minutes. We took the food and sat at the little table provided in the corner of the room.
"Ok, so you have questions to ask me?" Jade asked me as she took a bite of her burger.
"Well, yeah. Of course I do. So, tell me about this guy who had sex with you and made it such a horrible experience that you never want to do it again." I said, half serious and half joking. I watched her intently as she bit her lip and thought about what to say.
"Well, his name is Landon. We dated for over two years. He professed his love for me every day. He bought me a red rose every Friday. We were the cheerleader/football player couple. You know, those picture perfect ones that everyone thought was great." I nodded for her to continue.
"But things got really weird between us about a year and a half into our relationship. He wouldn’t call as often and we didn’t see each other as much. Well, I finally gave in and had sex with him because I thought it would bring us back together. Then I didn’t hear from him for a while, so I went over to see him at his apartment and there he was, in bed with another girl. Another CHEERLEADER. I was furious. I felt so used and disgusted. It turns out that they had been dating for over 8 months. I was devastated. I haven’t seen him since that day either." She said and took another bite of her food. "It’s not that I hate sex. I’m sure it’s really great with the right person, but I’m more afraid that if I do it with someone else they’ll leave me too."
"You don’t have to worry about that with me. Wow, that really sucks." Was all I could come up with.
"Tell me about it. I mean, obviously Holli was cheating on you with the dancer before she just left you, but you never caught them together. I actually had to walk in on my first everything having sex with another woman. And mind you, it wasn’t sweet, passionate sex. It was mad crazy monkey sex." She said and laughed. "God, I can’t believe it’s been almost two years since that night. I’m glad I can look back on it with you and laugh. I was so sad and depressed when it first happened."
"Yeah, you know, you really are a special person. I don’t know how that stupid guy could have ever let you go. I wanted to tell you, that when you and I eventually sleep together, I will not consider it sex. You and I will be making love to each other because when we finally do do it, we will be madly, head-over-heels in love with one another." I said and took her hand in mine.
"I hope so. I know that making love to you will be fantastic, but I just don’t want to go that far until I’m madly, head-over-heels in love with you. Don’t get me wrong, I’m heading down that path, but I’m not ready for it just yet." She said and looked deeply into my eyes. "Did you ever feel like Kirsten was "the one"?"
"No. Never. What I had with Kirsten was purely sexual. But, with a chance to defend myself, I was not the aggressor. Don’t get me wrong, the sex was great, but it wasn’t the kind of sex you have with someone you’re truly in love with. I think we just told each other we loved each other to feel better about all the sex." I told her.
"So how’s the sex when you’re really in love with someone?" She asked me. I was a little taken aback by the way she phrased the question.
"Actually, I wouldn’t know. I’ve never been truly in love with someone. Yes, I had very deep feelings for Holli. Willa was my first and she and I were so young, so I can’t ever call that true love. First love, maybe, but not true love. I thought I was in love with Paris, but she had too much shit with her. She and I had a good time when we weren’t fighting and when she wasn’t accusing me of beating her up." I said.
"What?! She accused you of what?! You’re the gentlest person I’ve ever met in my entire life." She said, with shock written all over her face.
"You didn’t know about that? It was all over the news and in the magazines and everything." I said, more in shock that she hadn’t heard.
"Are you serious? I don’t like to read those grocery store magazines because I don’t believe in the crap that they spread. I mean, I read Cosmopolitan, but that’s it. I hardly ever even go to the grocery store anymore. I almost never watch TV either because there really is no good TV on anymore." She said.
"Well, that’s a good way to look at it." I said and sat back in my chair.
"However, I do like movies. Do you want to order one in-room?" She asked.
"No actually, I just want to be here with you and talk tonight. We have the rest of our lives to watch movies." I said and she smiled. She got up and moved back over to the bed and lied down on her stomach. I joined her shortly and she turned her head to look at me.
"I knew that you and Kirsten didn’t really love each other. The night I saw you in the club fighting with one another I knew your relationship was doomed." She said and giggled a little. "I’m glad it was."
"So am I. I’m so happy you’re in my life. And imagine, I almost lost you to Jordan." I said and smirked. She slapped my stomach playfully and said, "There is no way that you would have lost me to Jordan. I was upset and vulnerable and he was there. I didn’t feel a single thing for him. I told you that I thought about you the entire time we were together."
"I’m glad he meant nothing to you. I was so upset when you told me that you were all over each other. I felt stabs of jealousy and it was killing me. I almost cried. Well, not really." I said and laughed. "Were you really upset about me being in the Backstreet Boys?"
"Well, at first I was more shocked than hurt. But I was never really angry. I think I just used it to cover up my jealousy for Kirsten. I figured, ‘Well hey, now I have a reason to stay away from the guy’." She said and looked up at me. "But we all knew that I couldn’t do that. If I had stayed away, we never would have gotten together. I can honestly say that this has been the best month of my entire life."
"I couldn’t agree with you more. We’ve had fun and shared special times and I really just enjoy being with you, like now. I know that the next year is going to be really hectic, but we’re going to get through it." I said and pulled her closer to me.
"Do you mean that Nick?" She asked me with her eyes wide.
"Yes, I mean it. I don’t want to go through a day when you’re not in my life. But we’ll worry about the future in the future. Let’s just worry about now." I said and kissed the top of her forehead.
"I can’t imagine my life without you. I can’t even remember what it was like before that fateful day in Spain when you couldn’t speak Spanish. Who knew that high school and college would actually pay off?" She said and began to laugh. Her smile and laughter were infectious and we began a tickling match on her bed.
I soon had her pinned underneath me and I leaned down and kissed her. I pulled her body close to mine and traced her face with my fingers and then began to kiss her face. I started with her forehead and then kissed down her nose. I kissed over each eyelid and her cheeks and then I kissed her chin. She smiled and I kissed her lips while she was smiling. The kiss was short, but it shared a lot of emotions; passion, love, reflection, comfort, confidence, and many others.
"So, I guess the real question is, can I stay the night?" I asked and looked deep into her eyes.