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Author's Chapter Notes:

Nick comes across some very memorable photographs.

Chapter 10 – Spring Cleaning

“Oh Nickolas… I have a favor to ask of you,” Shayla’s voice sang in that sickingly sweet tone that she only used when she wanted something as she ducked her head into Nick’s office.

It had been a few weeks since the couple had returned back to LA from their vacation in Tahoe and there still was an air of tension between the two of them. At first, after Shayla’s not so subtle hints that in the end it was her who had the power to control whether they had children or not, Nick had lived in a constant fear that any day now she’d turn around and announce that she was pregnant. So far that day hadn’t come and with each day that passed Nick had to admit that he felt more and more relieved. Still there was a part of him who after their conversation in Tahoe, felt like he couldn’t exactly trust her. He had no idea if she was actually taking her birth control pills or conveniently “forgetting” about them. Since there really wasn’t way of forcing her to take them in front of him everyday, he was left no choice, but to distance himself from her just in case. Normally he really wasn’t the type of guy who could live without sex, but after Shayla’s seemingly innocent comments, it was like he was a completely different man. His friends would give him so much shit if they knew the truth, but almost overnight Nick Carter became very good at leading a celibate life style. There was no way he was touching Shayla with a ten foot pole if she was going to play those kinds of games with him.

If Nick’s way of dealing with the obvious tension between the two of them was to avoid her, Shayla’s was to keep her already busy self even busier. Besides returning to work at E! and resuming filming for her television show, she somehow found time on the weekends to devote to a new hobby; interior decorating. Since they’d returned to LA she’d already redone their living room and their master bathroom. She had plans in the works for the dining room and their bedroom, but before that she had her sights set on one other room in the house first.

“I need you to go through all these boxes of junk you have laying around your office in here,” she continued, not even waiting for him to respond. “I want you to get rid of some shit because I want to put new carpet in here and paint the walls and maybe get some artwork or something to spice the room up a bit.”

Nick sighed as he gazed at the piles of cardboard boxes that sat in the corner of the room opposite his desk. He still didn’t understand why Shayla felt the need to redo his office. His office was one of the few places in the house where he felt truly at home in. Besides, no one ever went up there, but him. “Don’t you think I should have any say so in whether or not I want you to redecorate my office?”

Shayla just stared at him blankly. “Nick, you have to be kidding me? This room is a mess! It needs something. No wonder you can never find anything in here. You need to get a system of organization down. Besides nothing goes in this room. It bothers me.”

Nick’s eyes gazed around the room. He had to admit that he had no clue what she was talking about. All the colors seemed to fit in just fine in his eyes. Okay… So maybe the walls were a little too dark for the carpet, but who the hell noticed things like that? Apparently his wife. Not wanting to get into it with her though he grudgingly agreed. “Fine. I didn’t have any other more important plans today anyway. I’ll get right on it.”

She triumphantly smiled; seemingly overjoyed that he had finally seen things her way. “Great! It’s going to look so amazing in here once I’m done!” With one last little overenthusiastic squeal, she closed the door behind her leaving him in privacy at last.

Nick leaned back against his leather desk chair and glared at the mountain of boxes that awaited him to rummage through. He really wasn’t looking forward to the experience. Over the years he’d become sort of a packrat and being in the entertainment business plus the fact that he’d moved around a lot in the last couple of years, meant that he’d accumulated a lot of useless shit that he was unsure of what to do with. He’d always been unsure of what exactly he should keep and what he should throw away, so he usually just kept it all. After he and Shayla got married and moved into their current home he’d sort of just left all his miscellaneous possessions in the corner of his office where they’d been sitting there collecting dust for almost a year now.

Guess I better get this over with, he decided with a sigh as he reluctantly got up from his chair and crossed the room. He grabbed the nearest box from the top of the pile and laid it down on the floor next to him. Plopping himself down on the carpet he began to rifle through the first box which contained several different plaques and awards he’d received throughout his musical career. One by one he pulled out several gold records and statutes from various different award shows. Damn, I could probably make a fortune selling some of this stiff on E-bay, he thought to himself with a smirk. Still, he supposed he should keep all of his Backstreet memorabilia to show off to his children someday. That is if he actually decided on having any.

Right… So not thinking about that, he decided as he reached for another box. This one was full of photo albums from his early days touring with the Boys in Europe. He had to crack a smile at one particularly dorky photo of him and Izzy taken when they were about 14 or 15 outside the Colleseum in Rome. God, I think this had to be taken at like the height of our awkwardness. He was so scrawny in the photograph that even he had trouble believing that it was really himself and Izzy’s wide smile displayed a gleaming mouthful of braces. He’d have to remember to taunt Izzy with this picture next time she came over.

One by one he went through box after box of memories. He flipped through dozens of photo albums immortalizing his history with the rest of the guys. Through pictures, he watched himself grow from a scrawny, awkward looking teenager to the man that he resembled today. He also came across several knickknacks that he had collected from his travels around the world that he really had no use for, but couldn’t bear to part with. About halfway through his rummaging, he looked back down at his piles and realized that very little was going in the pile to be thrown out.

Then he came across the box. The one box he’d almost completely forgotten about, but the one that always came back to haunt him. The Alyssa box.

As soon as he opened it he knew it was the box in which he had packed all the remaining odds and ends that she had left behind in his home because the scent of her perfume immediately intoxicated him. At the top of the box was some clothing she’d left behind when she came to visit him out in LA before they’d broken up. He’d offered to let her leave some of her things with him since the plan was for her to move back out there to be closer to him after the Never Gone tour. That unfortunately hadn’t worked out, and he’d never had the chance to return the clothing. Guess better late than never, he decided as he set it aside. He’d have to remember to return it all the next time he saw her. There was another photo album or two that he flipped through of them during the Black and Blue tour when Alyssa had been one of their backup dancers. He had to smile at the more innocent times those pictures represented. A few special occasion cards and letters that he’d received from her filled the bottom of the box that he just quickly glanced at. He was just about to move on when he felt one more item packed along the back corner of the box. His breath quickened as he pulled out a medium sized manila envelope with a few rubber bands wound tightly around it. Are these what I think they are? he anxiously wondered to himself as if his fingers raced to remove the rubber bands. They had to be. He hadn’t remembered seeing them in a few years at least.

A wide grin grew over his lips as he pulled out the glossy photographs, realizing he had indeed been correct. He doubted that even Alyssa knew that he still had these pictures of her. Right on the top of the pile a younger version of Alyssa at about age 21 or 22, laid sprawled out sexily across what had been his bed in his home in Florida, wearing just a skimpy pink bra trimmed with delicate white lace and matching bikini underwear. He began rifling through the intimate set of pictures, all variations of the original picture in different poses. It was amazing to see the progression between the ones at the beginning to the ones towards the end. The earlier pictures showed her making silly exaggerated faces as if she were not quite sure what she should be doing. But with each additional picture there had been noticeable differences until it became apparent that she’d finally fully relaxed and was comfortable. Any of the pictures that followed that point were just downright sexy.

Maybe it had to do with the fact that he hadn’t had sex in a while, but Nick found himself recalling the afternoon that he had snapped these pictures in very vivid detail. The way that when he had first pulled out the camera, her eyes had widened in shock. The way that she had resisted at first, embarrassed of what would happen if they somehow wound up in the wrong hands. The way that he had slowly persuaded her to change her mind, gently coaxing her along the way. But most importantly how hot it had been once she’d finally completely let her guard down. It was a side of Alyssa that he hadn’t really seen much of in their relationship. A side that was just beginning to emerge throughout the latter part of their first relationship before he had selfishly decided to call it quits after he learned of his parent’s divorce…


“Mmm…” Alyssa moaned against her boyfriend’s lips as his tongue grazed the roof of her mouth. Her left leg was hooked over Nick’s causing the skirt of the pale pink sundress she was wearing to hike up near the top of her thighs. Her teeth latched on to his lower lip nibbling at it gently as his hand traveled up her leg, urging the lightweight cotton garment upwards. Alyssa broke the embrace just long enough to raise her arms to help him pull the dress off her body and throw it to the side of the bed alongside Nick’s shirt that had been discarded only a few minutes prior.

Nick drew in a deep breath as soon as he caught sight of the unfamiliar looking pink and white lace bra and matching underwear with little pink bows.
That has to be new, he decided. He’d never seen Alyssa wear it before. He was pretty sure he wouldn’t forget it if he did.

The stunned expression on his face must have been obvious to Alyssa because she smirked and rolled back over onto her back, allowing him a better view. “You like? I just picked it up yesterday,” she informed him.

“Ah… So that was what was in that Victoria’s Secret bag you brought home yesterday. I was wondering about that.” His fingertips already began to play with her bra straps as he bent down to place a kiss near her shoulder.

Alyssa just grinned up at him. “Yea, I know how excited you get when I walk in the door with that little pink bag.”

“Well, I love it. I think it’s very sexy,” he responded in a husky voice. His head bobbed down lower trailing kisses across the top of his breasts before pulling away with a devilish gleam in his eyes as an idea formed in his mind. “Stay right here,” he commanded, already siding off the bed. “I’ll be right back.”

Alyssa looked at him curiously, but didn’t move from her position, wondering what the hell her boyfriend was up to this time. Her questions were answered a few moments later when he returned to the bedroom pulling his digital camera out of its case.

“Oh, hell no…” was her first response once she realized what he was plotting. “There’s no way that you’re going to get me to-“

Nick slid back down onto the bed and pressed a finger to her lips to interrupt her. “I don’t understand what the big deal is. You look absolutely gorgeous and incredibly sexy right now. You don’t know how much of a turn on this would be for me.”

Alyssa felt her cheeks redden a little bit. She never was one to take compliments well and as many times Nick told her she was beautiful she still sometimes got a little flustered. “You trust me, right?” he continued.

“I trust
you,” she answered honestly. “I just don’t trust what might happen if those pictures wound up in the wrong hands. It wouldn’t be something I’d want my Mother to open up a tabloid and see. Then there’s the fact that I think if they ever got leaked I could probably kiss my entire teaching career goodbye.”

“No one’s going to see them, but us I swear. I won’t even keep them on my laptop if you’re that self conscious about it. I’ll print them out and keep them in a really good hiding spot,” he swore. “Look, let me just take one and if you really hate how it comes out we can delete it right away. Sounds, fair?”

Alyssa still looked skeptical, but seemed to be considering the idea. “You promise you’ll really delete it?”

“I swear,” Nick promised her, crossing his heart for emphasis. “So, will you do this for me?”

A thoughtful look came over her face. The expression on Nick’s face was practically begging. She seemed torn for a moment, but then reluctantly gave in. “All right. I’ll do it, but if I feel too stupid we’re stopping.”

“Fine with me,” he agreed. Alyssa got the impression that he was probably just grateful that he’d been able to convince her at all.

She watched as Nick positioned himself at the end of the bed where he could get the best shot. As he raised the camera, Alyssa was suddenly overcome with an uneasy feeling of shyness. All of a sudden she felt very vulnerable as she struggled to appear calm and relaxed. “How do you want me?” she asked, inwardly wincing as she realized how unsure she probably sounded at the moment.

“However you feel the most comfortable.” It was apparent that Nick was trying to make this as easy on her as possible. “Do whatever feels right.”

Alyssa just nodded and tried to settle herself into a somewhat sexy pose, but after only a moment or two lost it and burst out into giggles. “I’m sorry,” she apologized. “I just feel really retarded right now.”

“It’s okay,” Nick assured her, trying to sound as patient as possible. “I think that you’re trying to over think it too much. Just do it.”

Of course I’m over thinking it too much. Don’t I always over think everything too much? Alyssa asked herself. Nick was right though. She was getting too hung up on whether or not she was projecting a sexy enough image. She took in a deep breath and repeated Nick’s advice in her mind. Just do it. She bit down a little on her bottom lip and attempted to glare proactively at the camera. The flash went off and her eyes wandered up to Nick’s face waiting for approval. She watched as a smirk grew on his face and he handed the camera to her, so that she could view the picture.

“Oh my God… Please delete it,” she begged as soon as she saw the image on the tiny screen in front of her eyes. The expression on her face just looked ridiculous and instead of a sexy glare, her eyes looked halfway closed. “I look like I’m about to pass out from alcohol poisoning or something.”

Nick just laughed. “Well, at least the lip thing was pretty sexy. How about I delete it and we try one more time? Just be yourself though. You don’t need to try so hard to look hot, because you already are. Just do the lip thing again.”

“You mean this?” she innocently asked again biting down just the slightest bit on her bottom lip.

“Yea, that’s exactly what I’m talking about.” Alyssa couldn’t help, but to smile a little as she tried not to laugh and before she knew it the flash had went off again. Again she looked up at Nick anxiously for his reaction and this time she knew that the picture had turned out better just by the smile on his face. This time when he showed her the picture she didn’t cringe as soon as she saw it. She had to admit that it had come across as much more natural and seeing it did help her relax a little more. “Now that’s a great picture,” Nick assured her. “Do you mind if I take a few more?”

Alyssa thought about it for a second or two before slowly shaking her head. “Not at all.” She had to admit that by now she was already becoming curious to see how they’d come out.

The camera flashed a few more times and there were still a few pictures where Alyssa found herself making unnatural facial expressions that just didn’t work right on film, but majority of the pictures weren’t actually half bad and with each click of the camera, she felt herself beginning to feel more and more comfortable with the idea of taking them in the first place. Once Nick could see that she had begun to relax, he began to give her some direction, telling her to tilt her head a certain way or to extend her neck a little more. Alyssa did exactly as she was told and within a few more minutes she forgot all about her initial nervousness. If anything, she began to grow slightly bolder with her poses, lowering her fingertips to play with the lacy trim of her bra. She could tell by the look on Nick’s face that he was enjoying her newfound confidence which only gave her more incentive to become more daring. She smirked as she was struck by an idea that she knew would definitely elicit a positive response from him. Nick could tell by the mischievous look on her face that she was up to something, because he shot her a questionable glance. Not changing her expression, she hooked her thumb into the waistband of her underwear, lowering it just enough for her brightly colored butterfly tattoo to peek out over the top. The camera flashed and she watched as Nick looked down to see the image appear on the screen in front of him. Just by the way that his blue eyes had almost immediately widened, Alyssa got the impression that he’d been impressed with the outcome. Getting curious herself as to what it looked like, she crawled up behind him resting her chin on his shoulder to get a better view.

Even Alyssa found herself a little taken back by the intensity of the picture. She found it almost hard to believe that it actually was herself in the photo. She looked… Well, she looked sexy.

As if he were reading her mind, Nick turned his head towards her, leaving only inches apart between their lips. “God, that last picture was hot… I can’t even think of any other way to describe it. I… I’m…”

“Speechless?” she finished for him with a giggle.

“Yea, I guess you could say that.” His lips drew nearer to hers until they were pressing against them intensely. Alyssa could feel his hand travel upwards to the back of her neck as the kiss deepened. She broke away from him just long enough to switch her position so that she was straddling his lap before seeking out his lips again. They didn’t stay there for long on hers. They made almost a painfully slow trail down the front of her neck and her collarbone. She breathed in sharply as his kisses continued to venture lower.

He pulled away with a sly grin on his face. “That last picture is going to be a hard one to outdo, but I’m sure you’ll give me something memorable.” His hands reached around her back and were just about to pull apart the clasp of her bra when she shrugged out of his embrace. “What’s wrong?” he asked, in a concerned voice.

She looked him in the eye very seriously. “I think now would be a good time to put the camera away.”

“But…” he started to protest. “You’re doing great and we’re just getting started. Please let me-“

Alyssa cut him off. “Absolutely not. You should be glad that you got me this far, but this is where I draw the line. I’m definitely not comfortable with naked pictures of myself being out there.”

“I already told you that no one is going to see these, but me,” he tried to convince her. “Trust me.”

“Nick…” Alyssa crossed her arms in front of her chest and just glared at him giving him the indication that she was not going to budge. He knew from experience that at this point he was better off just cutting his losses and being grateful for the pictures that she had allowed him to take.

“Fine,” he reluctantly gave in with a pout as he turned the camera off and slid it back into its bag. “You win.” He tossed the bag off the side of the bed and turned back to her.

“Thank you,” she told him as she began to pick up exactly where they had left off…


The sound of footsteps in the hallway outside of his office jarred Nick out of his daydream. His heartbeat quickened as he heard the doorknob begin to jiggle. All of the pictures of Alyssa were spread across his lap, painting an obviously incriminating scene. In a frenzied panic, he scooped up all the photographs and hid them underneath their envelope just as Shayla entered the room.

“Wow… Looks like you’ve been busy. I can actually make out the corner of the room finally,” she commented as she looked around the room, finally settling her eyes on Nick’s garbage pile and wrinkled her nose. “Although I hoped that you’d be getting rid of a lot more junk than that.”

“I’m working on it,” he quickly replied, already feeling like a kid caught sticking his hand in the cookie jar.

Her eyes continued to scan around the room before settling on the pile of Alyssa’s clothing, lying on the other side of him. “Why do you have a pile of women’s clothing? Where did that come from?”

Shit, Nick silently cursed as he noticed the pile of clothing for the second time. He’d been in such a rush to hide the pictures that he’d forgotten about the clothing and how suspicious it probably looked. Not being able to think up a good enough lie fast enough he had no choice, but to tell the truth. “They’re some old things of Alyssa’s that she forgot at my place when we were together. I must’ve thrown them into one of these boxes with the intention that I’d like mail them to her or something and forgot about them. I thought that since she’s so close now I could finally return them to her.”

“Ahh, I see.” Was it his imagination or did Shayla’s lip tighten at the mention of Alyssa’s mind. He thought that by now Shayla wouldn’t have much of a reason to dislike Alyssa since he’d explained the whole tabloid scandal to her. Apparently he’d been wrong. “Well, I guess I’ll leave you alone and let you finish up in here.” With that she turned on her heels and left the room.

Why didn’t I just tell her that the damn clothes belonged to one of my sisters? Nick asked himself with a sigh. It would have made the moment ten times less awkward. He removed the envelope from the top of the pile of the pictures and gazing down at Alyssa’s sexy pout staring back at him only made one thing clear. He had to do something about these pictures before Shayla discovered them. If she ever got her hands on them it would not be pretty. Nick may have been able to talk his way out of those tabloid pictures, but even he doubted that he could talk his way out of these pictures.

Nick pondered on what exactly he should do with the pictures that he had discovered of Alyssa over the next few days. They were always there in the back of his mind and every time he closed his eyes he could picture each of them in explicit detail. This wasn't good at all. As of right now, the pictures remained hidden inside his desk drawer, but he knew that they wouldn't be safe for long there. If Shayla stumbled upon them... Well, he didn't even want to take that thought any further. Even though the perverted guy part of him wanted to keep the pictures as sort of a trophy, he also knew that keeping them would be risky. Yet, he couldn't bring himself to destroy them even though he assumed that's probably what Alyssa had thought he did with them. He wondered what she would think if she knew that he'd held on to them for so long. Would it freak her out? But then again it wasn't as if he looked at them everyday either. That would just be creepy and not at all healthy. He even went as far as to consider handing them over to Alyssa and let her decide what to do with them. Then they'd be out of his hands and hopefully out of his head. He couldn't decide though if that was too weird or not, though. He supposed it would seem a little odd if an ex who he now had a friendship with randomly decided to give him such intimate photographs that they had come across. It was evident that he was in desperate need of some advice.

And there was only one person that he'd consider going to for their opinion on a matter as strange as this one. If there was one person one earth who had gotten themself into more awkward situations than Nick, it had to be AJ. He'd pretty much been through it all before with the opposite sex, so in situations such as the one he was in now, Nick never hesitated to seek out AJ's advice.

Finally one afternoon a few days after finding the pictures, he found his mind so engrossed in his dilemma that he realized he was getting very little work done. He was at his office in the studio where he conducted majority of his label business and even though he had a bunch of things that needed to be taken care of, his mind wasn't with it. Realizing that he wasn't going to get any work done until he got Alyssa and the pictures out of his head, he picked up his phone and dialed AJ's number.

The phone rang a few times before AJ picked up. "Nick? Hey, what's going on? Haven't heard from you in a while."

"I've been pretty good," he answered. Before he could say anymore AJ interrupted him.

"By the way, I caught those pictures of you and Alyssa in the tabloids. Pretty brutal, huh? How'd Shayla react?"

Nick sighed, not wanting to relive the whole ordeal. Luckily, since they'd returned from Tahoe the picture scandal had been pretty much dying down, but every once in a while he was still questioned about it, even weeks later. "Yea... The paparazzi can be pretty shitty when they want to be. Shayla got really pissed at first because she saw the pictures before I did, but eventually she accepted my explanation. We hid out in our place up in Tahoe until the whole thing blew over, so it wasn't so bad."

"Since when did you Alyssa start hanging out again anyway?"

"Like a month or two ago? It's a long story. Actually, while we're on the topic of pictures of ex girlfriends I kind of could use some advice about something," he expertly changed the subject.

AJ's interest appeared to be peaked. "Sounds interesting. What kind of issue did you get yourself involved in this time, Carter?"

Nick took in a deep breath. "Okay, so let's say hypothetically speaking you took some rather uhm… intimate photographs of an ex of yours... And then the two of you broke up and you sort of just hid the pictures away in a box and almost completely forgot about them. Fast forward a few years later and now you still keep in touch with the ex, but you're both in new, separate, serious relationships. You come across these photos randomly one day while say, cleaning out your office and now you can't get them off your mind. Also, you definitely don't want your current partner to see them because she's already not exactly fond of this ex. What would you do with the pictures?"

"Okay whoa back up there!" AJ sounded as if he was slowly trying to process this information. "Okay I'm assuming that this hypothetical person is none other than you and the unmentionable ex is Alyssa? And the jealous current partner is Shayla?"

"Wow J... Someone should give you a medal for figuring all of that out on your own," Nick sarcastically replied.

"Shut up, Carter. All right exactly how intimate are we talking here?" AJ asked.

"Does it matter?"

"Of course it does! There's a lot of ambiguity there. Intimate could refer to anything from very private and tame to like triple x hardcore shit," he pointed out. "I need to know exactly what we're dealing with before I can properly advise you on what to do."

Nick wrinkled his nose. "Come on, this is Alyssa we're talking about. Do you really think she'd let me take pictures of her that were that graphic?"

He could picture AJ shrugging on the other end of the line. "You never know sometimes. It's the one's that you least expect sometimes that are the most willing. Besides, if she's anything like her sister..."

Nick inwardly shuddered not wanting to hear the details about AJ's short romance with Alyssa's older sister Meg, going back a good seven or eight years ago. "Well, sorry to disappoint, but they really weren't that bad I guess. I mean bad enough that Shayla would be pissed that I still have them, but not bad enough to where it would be life destroying for her if they ever got out."

“Are they nudie shots?”

“Of Alyssa? Pfft! I could only wish. You know she’d never have gone for that.”

"So, I'm guessing the pictures were of her in some sort of lingerie or something?" AJ guessed.

"Yea..." Nick slowly admitted. "She was in her bra and underwear."

"So, she was in her skivvies... Was there anything else going on in the pictures?"

Nick rolled his eyes. "Who the hell says skivvies?"

"You're avoiding the question," AJ pointed out. "What was she doing in these so said pictures?"

"Nothing too crazy. They were mostly just kind of teasing. Probably the most scandalous one was her pulling down her underwear a bit to show off her tattoo. Otherwise it wasn't like there was anything pornographic going on."

"Okay... I'm beginning to get a visual here now-"

"Hey, I don't want you envisioning Alyssa half naked!" Nick interrupted. "She'd chop off my dick and hand it to me in a plastic bag if she even knew that I was telling you all this."

"Chill Carter... I was just trying to say that I'm beginning to get an idea of what we're dealing with here. Although if she looks anything like her sister underneath all those clothes-"

"AJ! Remember, you're supposed to be giving me advice. Not commenting on how my ex girlfriend might look naked."

"Oh, right... Well, I think that it would probably be best if you got rid of them. Out of sight, out of mind. And that way you can't worry about Shayla finding out about them," he suggested. "Does Alyssa know that you still have the pictures?"

"Not that I know of. She hasn't asked me about them. They're pretty old... Like from 2002. I think she thinks that I've burned them or something. I don't think she has a clue that I still have them."

"Hmm... How close would you say the two of you are as friends? Is this something you'd be afraid of bringing up with her?" AJ asked.

Nick thought about his friends question for a moment. "I think it probably would be kind of awkward, but I think after everything we've been through together there's very little that I'd feel entirely uncomfortable with bringing up with her. Especially lately. Now that we're not together anymore I feel like we're more open with each other in ways we never were when we were dating."

"So, maybe you should bring the pictures up to her and ask her what she thinks you should do with them. I mean they are of her, so I guess she should have some say so about what happens to them. Just explain that you found the pictures and you don't want Shayla to find out about them, so before you go ahead and destroy them you just figured you'd ask her if it was all right. Who knows? Maybe she'll want to keep them," AJ suggested.

"I'm not sure if I can picture Alyssa wanting to keep them. It was hard enough getting her to take them in the first place."

"You never know with chicks. They can be very unpredictable at times. I still think you should take it up with her and at least get her input before you do anything. And oh yea... Even if she says to destroy them I'd still keep one or two, for posterity of course."

Nick grinned at AJ's last comment, amazed at how he had almost read his mind. He could easily hide one or two of them from Shayla. She definitely wouldn't understand his reasons for hanging on to them. It was after all a man thing. "Thanks for the advice J. Strangely enough; you've actually helped me out."

"Well I'm glad I could've been of service then. Let me know how it works out."

"I will. Anyway I should get back to work. I'm at the studio and I'm swamped with shit I have to get to. Thanks again."


The two men said their goodbyes and Nick focused his attention back on the work in front of him. He did feel a certain sense of relief confiding in somebody else about his dilemma. Still, now he was faced with a bigger reason to worry. How was he going to bring up the pictures to Alyssa? Should he bring the pictures up to Alyssa?

Sure, he'd made it sound as if it would be a piece of cake. That he and Alyssa were completely comfortable with each other and their past, but deep down he had to admit that wasn't entirely true. They'd definitely come a long way, but Nick wasn't quite sure if they were at the right place to have a conversation like the one AJ suggested just yet.

Nick sighed in frustration as he banged his head against the desk. Realizing that he wasn't going to get any more work done that day he finally gave up and grabbed his car keys and a pile of things he could attempt to get done at home. All he knew was that whatever he decided to do about this picture situation he had to do it soon because it was starting to prevent him from getting anything accomplished.