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Author's Chapter Notes:

Sean is deployed to Iraq. Shayla confronts Alyssa and they work out an interesting compromise.


Chapter 19 - The Power of Goodbye


            The guilt that Alyssa harbored over cheating on Sean with Nick did not fade away as easily as she'd hoped, and the next few days were harder on her than she'd ever imagined. Thankfully enough once Monday rolled around, Alyssa still had school to distract herself with. There was only about another week or two left before school let out for summer, and Alyssa was beginning to regret choosing not to volunteer to teach summer school. At least it would be something to get her mind off of the mess that was her personal life. Teaching became her escape from reality. Her classroom was the one place she could go and pretend that she was anyone else, but herself.


            She'd successfully managed to avoid Sean as much as she possibly could. So far, if he noticed her irregular behavior, he hadn't brought it up with her. She knew that it was only a matter of time though before he began to realize that something was up, and Alyssa wasn't sure how much longer she could keep the ugly truth inside. She could only pray that something would come up to make her inner struggle easier to fight.


            In some cruel, perverse way, God answered her prayers. It was only a few days before they were due back at the clinic for their follow up appointment to discuss their test results, when Sean arrived home from work one day looking pale and pensive. As soon as she saw the look in his eyes, she knew that the day that they had been fearing since mid- October had finally arrived. So, she wasn't at all surprised when he made the announcement that could potentially change their lives forever.


            "It's official. I'm going to Iraq. I ship out next weekend."


            Alyssa hadn't exactly known how to react. On one hand even though she'd known that him being deployed was inevitable, she couldn't help but to think that somehow this was all her fault, like her unfaithfulness had caused it to happen. Yes, she knew she should be grateful that he hadn't been taken from her sooner, but she couldn't deny the feeling of bad karma when it came to the timing of it all. Then there was actually the part of her that as cold as it sounded was actually relieved. Without him around for a while, it would certainly make it easier on her to put the past behind her. Of course if God forbid anything happened to him over in Iraq, she wouldn't be able to live with herself. The guilt that she'd been carrying would only grow to be ten times worse.


            They'd talked over what exactly they should do about their upcoming doctor's appointment. Sean didn't want anymore bad news before he left for Iraq and he'd pointed out that no matter what the results read there wasn't much they could do at this point to change their fate. Besides, he didn't want to spend what little time they had left together in a doctor's office receiving potentially upsetting news. He urged Alyssa to reschedule the appointment until after he left, so that at least she'd be able to find out what the problem might be for future reference. She'd already called to cancel their appointment, but at the time chose not to reschedule, promising that she would be in touch. She doubted she ever would go back on her own.


            Their last few days together flew by all too quickly for Alyssa. It was strange, but knowing that he was going to be leaving made it easier for her to be around him. All she needed to do was pretend as if nothing had changed between them for a few days and then he'd be out of sight and hopefully at least a little out of mind. Then maybe she could begin to muddle through her confused emotions regarding her feelings for Nick. She hadn't spoken to Nick since sneaking out of the condo that morning, but he'd called her numerous times. There had even been a few calls on her cell that had been from a restricted number who she was more than positive was him trying to reach her. With Sean leaving, she could only deal with one hardship at a time.


            She and Sean's last night together was bittersweet. They'd tried to make it as romantic as possible, opting for a quiet, intimate dinner at home, versus going to a crowded restaurant and being surrounded by happy people. Then of course afterwards Alyssa knew that there was no way that she would be able to excuse herself from the farewell sex that was just expected. This time though, she was able to muster up at least a little bit of eagerness. As dead as their relationship had been as of lately, and as tainted as she felt after sleeping with Nick, she had still cared about Sean a great deal at one time. To think that he could possibly not make it back alive from Iraq was enough for her to be able to temporarily push her guilt aside and make love to him for what could very well be the very last time. She did it more to provide herself with a sense of closure than anything else.


            After it was all over, and the enormity of what was about to happen to him fully hit her, Alyssa couldn't help but to burst into tears. Always one to comfort her, Sean had held her close and stroked her back, trying to console her. But it was impossible. Alyssa was just simply inconsolable. He didn't understand that she wasn't just crying because he was leaving her to fight a dangerous war for their country. She was crying because she'd failed him as a wife. Not only did she disappoint him by not being able to bear any of his children before this point, but she'd gone off and found comfort in the arms of another man; a man that Sean despised. And through it all he didn't suspect for one moment that she'd been unfaithful to him at all. If anything, he thought she was just taking his leaving very roughly. If only he'd known the real reason for her tears.


Finally somewhere in the middle of the night she'd finally cried herself to sleep only to be awoken a few hours later to have to go with him to the airport to see him off. The entire morning passed her by as if she was in a fog, until finally she found herself standing with him at the air force base, realizing that they only had a few precious moments left together.


            "I promise that I'll try to keep on touch the best that I can," Sean began, breaking the awkward silence between them. "I'll call whenever I can get near a phone and I packed my laptop and my webcam, so we can talk through e-mail and instant messages and stuff."


            Alyssa just nodded. She should be used to tearful airport goodbyes by now. Lord knows she'd had more than her share of them from her experience dating Nick in the past. But then again this was a different situation entirely. On each of these occasions when she'd seen Nick off on his next tour or overseas recording session, she always knew that he'd definitely be back eventually. With Sean going over to Iraq, Alyssa didn't have that automatic guarantee. There was always that possibility that he'd return home in a body bag instead.


            Sean sighed at her silent reply. Obviously he seemed frustrated by her lack of words and was beginning to run out of things to say to keep the conversation going. "Lyss, please say something," he begged. "This could be our last five minutes together and I'm already running out of things to say to you. Please tell me what's going on in that head of yours."


            Alyssa sadly looked back up at the pleading expression in his eyes. His cleanly pressed uniform made the reality of the moment that much more severe. If only she could tell him what was really going on in her head at the moment. If only she could admit to him the guilt that she was feeling over his departure. How she felt that this was somehow her punishment for sleeping with Nick. Somehow though, she got the feeling that now was not the time or place to admit to her infidelity, so instead she did the best to push those feelings aside and focus in on the fears that she could admit to him. "I'm sorry I'm so quiet. I guess that it just hasn't really sunk in until just now that this is it. You're really leaving," she tearfully admitted. "It's not like I shouldn't have been prepared. We both knew that this day would come, but now that's it finally here it just feels really surreal."


            Sean looked at her sympathetically as he wrapped his arms protectively around her and pulled her body close to his. "I know. I can barely believe it either. It just feels like a scene out of some bad war movie or something. I don't think it's really going to hit me until I'm on the plane."


            Alyssa broke her gaze with him and focused down on the ground sniffling. "I'm sorry that I disappointed you. I feel like I failed as a wife because I wasn't able to give you the one thing you really wanted."


            He frowned appearing confused. "What do you mean? How did you disappoint me?"


            "I wasn't able to get pregnant. I know how badly you wanted to a child and now you might never get that chance," she explained. "I feel like it's my fault. That I shattered your dream."


            Sean looked startled by her confession and immediately reached down to cup her chin, so that he was sure that she was looking at him straight in the eyes. "Hey, I need you to know that I don't blame you, okay? I'll admit that I really did want a child before this point, but maybe it just wasn't meant to be. It's just not the right time for us and I'm sure that when I get back and things settle down it'll happen like it's supposed to. Besides..." He paused letting his hands drift down to her stomach. "Who knows? For all we know we could have a little son or daughter in there already and not even know it yet."


            Alyssa tightened her lips, but nodded in agreement as she reached up to brush away a few stray tears that had trickled down her cheeks. She would love to have shared Sean's optimism, but she found it impossible. After eight months of unsuccessfully trying to be become pregnant, she doubted that in the last few weeks it had just magically happened, but she didn't want to tell him this. She was just opening her mouth to say something in response when she heard the sound of Ian's voice a few feet away where he stood with Kim and their newborn son Gavin. "Sean, they're starting to get ready to board so you may want to wrap it up."


            "Thanks man," he shouted back, turning his attention back to Alyssa. Even he sounded a bit choked up. "Well, I guess this is it."


            The tears that Alyssa had fought on and off broke free as she tightened her grip around him. "Please try to stay safe," she begged. "I don't want to see you on the local news unless it's for doing something heroic."


            "I'll try," he promised. He tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and bent down to kiss her softly and as slowly as he possibly could. Alyssa closed her eyes and felt a chill go through her as she realized that this really could be their last kiss. Reluctantly, he pulled away squeezing her hand in his. "God, I'm going to miss you."


            "I'll miss you too," she echoed, as their hands drifted apart.


            "I'll try to talk to you as soon as I can."


            Alyssa just nodded. "Good-"


            Sean held up his hand to stop her. "Don't say goodbye. It's too final. I'm coming back. I promise you that. I just don't want to end it like this."


            "Okay," she agreed, biting her lip. She looked up and saw that other soldiers were beginning to prepare for boarding. Sean just bent down and gave her another light kiss on her cheek before gathering his belongings and shooting her one last smile, turned around and started heading towards the gate.


            Alyssa watched him go through a film of tears. No matter what anyone said she was certain that this was God's way of punishing her for what had happened between her and Nick. All she knew that was of anything happened to him over in Iraq she really would not be able to live with herself. If he was killed, in her eyes it may just as well have been herself that pulled the trigger.




Shayla adjusted her dark designer sunglasses along the bridge of her nose as she killed the engine of her Mercedes. She glared up at the house in front of her knowing exactly what she needed to do. Opening up the car door, she stepped out onto the asphalt driveway, making sure the manila envelope that she had brought with her was carefully tucked under her arm. She hadn't heard a word from Nick in almost two weeks now and nobody seemed to know about his whereabouts, but there was still one person she hadn't tried, and she had the feeling that this person would know exactly where he was hiding.

       Of course getting Alyssa to talk wasn't going to be easy. Shayla wasn't dumb in the least bit. That's why she'd printed off the copies of the pictures she'd found of her on Nick's laptop. She figured that she'd need a little motivation to supply her with the information she wanted. Shayla just knew that there had to be more going on between her husband and his ex-girlfriend, ever since the dinner party where Alyssa had mysteriously came up from the basement with smeared lipstick. She wasn't exactly sure what she would do if Alyssa did in fact confess to having an affair with Nick, but she knew that she couldn't live without him, so some sort of decision would have to be reached.

       Her high heeled sandals click clacked up the driveway until she reached the front door. She rang the doorbell and after only a few moments a surprised Alyssa answered the door. Her eyes looked puffy and had dark circles under them like she hadn't slept very well the night before and she was dressed in sweats with her hair thrown messily on top of her head. "Shayla?" she asked sounding confused. "What are you doing here?"

       "We need to talk," she sharply insisted, nearly knocking Alyssa over as she pushed past her into the house.

       "Uhh ok... But now really isn't the best time. I-"

       "Oh, it's the perfect time," Shayla nastily interrupted. "I'm not going to beat around the bush here. I know you know where Nick is. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if you've been hiding him out somewhere, so that you can go and visit him every time your husband has his back turned. By the way, I heard about him being sent to Iraq. You must be relieved. Now you're free to fuck my husband right here in the comforts of your own home!"
       Alyssa gasped, looking as if she'd been slapped. "If you came here to accuse me of hiding Nick from you, please leave. Maybe Nick is hiding from you because you're a lying, manipulative bitch!"

       Shayla looked unfazed. "I find it ironic that you have the audacity to call me a lying bitch when you've done quite a bit of lying yourself there lately. In fact, you're lying to me right now."

       "Get out now before I call the police and they drag you out."

       "Not until you tell me not only where Nick is, but what's been going on between the two of you lately. I know that the two of you have been doing more than just hanging out together."

       Alyssa snorted. "There's nothing going on between Nick and I. But as his friend, I will say that what you did to him, lying about being pregnant, was extremely fucked up and I completely support his decision to divorce your sorry ass!"

       "Of course you support his decision, hun. In fact, you're hoping he divorces me! That way you can squeeze your way right into my place, right?"

       Alyssa had to hold herself back from lunging at the blonde woman in front of her. "For the last time, I'm not interested in Nick like that!"

       "But he is of you," she pointed out.

       Alyssa looked confused. "What is that supposed to mean?"

       Shayla just smirked and for the first time Alyssa noticed a manila envelope in her hands. She watched as Shayla opened the flaps on the envelope and pulled out what appeared to be some kind of photographs. Alyssa paled when her eyes finally came into  contact with the very same compromising pictures of herself that Nick had given her only a month or two ago. "Care to explain what these were doing on Nick's laptop?" she icily asked.

       She sputtered trying to get her mind to formulate a response. "Those pictures are really old. They were taken back when we first started dating. I didn't think that Nick still had them."

       "Bullshit. You probably gave them to him. You're a teacher, right? I wonder what your principal would think if these ever got into the wrong hands? You'd lose your job, wouldn't you?"

       "You wouldn't..." Alyssa gaped.

       "Oh, yes I would. That is unless you start talking and tell me the truth. The whole truth. Or else you won't have a job come September," Shayla threatened. "So, I'll ask you again. Where's Nick?"

       Fuck... Alyssa mouthed to herself, seeing that she was cornered. She had no choice, but to admit the whole truth to Shayla since she held all the cards at the moment. "He's staying at a condo about twenty minutes from here," she sighed. "It's a place he bought for me back when we were dating and I was supposed to move out here. It never wound up happening and he kept the place for himself to go when he needs to."

       "And I take it that you've seen him since he's been at this condo, huh?" she continued to interrogate.

       "Yes... Yes I have," Alyssa carefully admitted.

       She watched Shayla's lips tighten as she attempted to bring up the inevitable question. "And you've slept with him there, haven't you?"

       There it was. The million dollar question and Alyssa was unsure whether or not she should answer truthfully or not. She didn't have much choice she supposed. Every moment that she hesitated made it more and more obvious that the answer was yes. Her eyes floated downwards, not having the courage to meet Shayla's gaze. "I'm sorry Shayla..." Those were the only words she could get out.

       Surprisingly Shayla did not look very shocked. She'd probably mentally prepared herself for that admission. "I knew it! How long has this been going on between the two of you?"

       "Not very long," Alyssa admitted. "We only slept together twice and it was only after Nick decided he was going to divorce you. I swear that nothing happened between us before that point."

       Shayla raised her eyebrows suspiciously. "What about the dinner party last month? How exactly do you explain the fact that you're lipstick was perfectly intact when you went down to the basement to get those wine glasses, but once you came back up it was smeared?"

       Again Alyssa knew that she had been caught in another lie. "Okay. We did share a few kisses down in the basement, but you need to know that at the time I knew that it was wrong and I honestly tried to distance myself from Nick because I was afraid of hurting both you and Sean." The stress of the situation was beginning to eat away at her as her voice rose in distress. "I even told him that we should stop hanging out with each other. We were doing pretty good too until Sean and I had a fight and I ran off to the condo for the night not knowing he was there. That's exactly how it happened."

       The other woman rolled her eyes in disgust. "Sounds rather convenient to me."

       Alyssa sighed already feeling frustrated tears burn under her eyelids. "Nick and I have had a rather complicated past and I've only just recently realized that I don't think that we can be friends without flirting with the idea of something more. It's happened more than once to us, and although it certainly is no excuse for what we've done, it explains a lot. As hard as we try to stay apart from each other, fate just keeps pushing us together again. It's almost like a vicious cycle with us."

       "That's real cute that the two of you can't live without each other, but I'm sure as hell not going to sacrifice him by handing him to you on a silver platter. I love him too and I'm certainly not going to give up on our marriage, divorce or no divorce. So, you see where this could be a bit of a problem?"

       "I'm sorry Shayla. I'm not asking him to choose between me and you. Like I said, I never meant for this to happen between us and if it's easier for me to just cut myself out of his life; I'd do it in a heartbeat. The last thing I want to do is ruin his life or his marriage."

       Now it was Shayla's turn to sigh in defeat. "As much as I'd love that solution, it would never work. I know Nick and the fact that you're even less attainable will make you even more desirable to him." She paused as her eyebrow furrowed as if she was deep in thought. "As much as it pains me to admit this, I don't think that Nick's ever gotten over you and I don't think he ever will. It's obvious he loves you although I have no idea why. But as I said, I also love him and I'm not ready to let go of him either, so I see only one option in mind."

       Alyssa eyed her warily. "What exactly do you mean by that?"

       Shayla just smirked. "We reach a compromise. He's not ready to let go of you, and I'm not ready to let go of him, so the way I see it the only way of ensuring that everyone's happy is if he can have us both..." 

       Nick must've ran just about every red light from the condo to Alyssa's house, because he arrived there in record time. He was actually surprised to have arrived there in one piece and without a speeding ticket. Normally he'd be more cautious, but when Alyssa had phoned him a little while ago, she'd sounded noticeably upset to him. She'd pleaded with him to come by the house because she wanted to see him and the need was quite clear in her voice. He'd at first tried to convince her to come over to the condo, but she'd been quite insistent on him coming to her. Nick decided that if it was that important to her something definitely had to be up. He knew that Sean had just left for Iraq, so maybe she just needed someone to talk to.

       When he got to the door and rang the doorbell though, he was not at all prepared for the Alyssa that met him. Instead of the grieving wife of a husband that had just left for war, he was confronted with a total sex kitten who looked like she'd just stepped off the pages of a Victoria's Secret catalogue. She came to the door clad only in a short purple and black nightie that barely grazed the top of her thighs. Her dark hair cascaded down her back in loose waves and was that a glass of champagne in her hands? This Alyssa seemed anything but upset like she had sounded over the phone. For the first time, Nick wondered if perhaps maybe it had just been a ploy to get him over there.

       Smirking at his stunned response to her appearance Alyssa grabbed his arm and pulled him inside, slamming the front door behind them. "I'm so glad that you're here," she purred, throwing her arms around his neck and pressing her body tightly against him. "I've been waiting."

       Before Nick could respond, her mouth enveloped his in a sweltering kiss that caught him completely off guard. He was almost too shocked to respond to the action. This certainly wasn't the reception he'd expected from her, but between the sweet taste of her lips against his, the light floral scent of her perfumed skin, and the thin, satin material of her outfit, he found himself having little problem going along with it. She broke contact with him, just long enough to ditch her champagne class onto the coffee table, finally giving Nick an opportunity to speak.

       "Is everything okay? You sounded pretty upset over the phone earlier," he rasped out.

       Alyssa just waved her hand. "Everything's fine now," she told him stepping closer to embrace him again. "Especially now that you're here." She raised herself onto the balls of her feet, so that her mouth grazed his ear. "I have a surprise for you."

       Nick couldn't help, but to grin wondering what it could be. Based on the way she'd met him at the door and her aggressive greeting, he could only guess that the 'surprise' had to be something sexual. "Oh, yea? What is it?"

       She just shook her head teasing him. "I can't tell you because it would ruin the surprise. It's upstairs though." She led him back towards the foot of the staircase, pausing for another steamy kiss.

       By now Nick was more than curious to see what exactly Alyssa had hiding up her sleeve. He groaned against her lips as he impatiently grabbed her hips and began to pull her up the steps not coming up for air the whole time. Alyssa nipped at his bottom lip as her hands dove under his shirt and tore it off his head, letting it fall somewhere along the middle of the stairs. By the time they reached the top landing, Alyssa was already fiddling with his belt as she backed into the nearest doorway which Nick assumed was the bedroom. Once they were inside it took a moment or two before he felt the presence of a third person in the room. Pulling away, he gasped as his eyes settled on Shayla who was standing near the bed, her hands on her hips. Like Alyssa she was also dressed in bedroom lingerie.

       His eyes darted back and forth between the two of them, not believing what he was seeing. This can't be what it looks like, he told himself. This has to be some kind of set up or something. Any minute or now they're both probably going to turn on me. He actually braced himself expecting the imminent confrontation, but shockingly enough it never came. In fact, the two women actually exchanged a glance and giggled! "Okay uhh can someone please explain what's going on here?"

       This only made Alyssa giggle harder. "Nick you're so adorable when you're clueless! It's very cute."

       "Yea, really," Shayla agreed. "I didn't think that the situation really required much explanation though. To me it seems pretty obvious."

       Nick's jaw actually dropped in shock. "Are you trying to tell me...?" He stumbled over his words already getting flustered. "If this is some kind of joke it's not funny. Please tell me you're not fucking with me?"

       "We're quite serious," Alyssa assured him.

       "Uh huh. We're definitely not fucking with you. At least not yet anyway," Shayla snickered.
       "Holy shit... What? How?" He sputtered.

       The two women exchanged another conspiring glance. "Well, Shayla confronted me about what was going on with you and me and kind of cornered me into confessing that we'd hooked up again," Alyssa admitted.

       "And since it's pretty evident that you don't want to let Alyssa go, but you're still married to me we decided that our best option would be a two for one special," Shayla continued with a smirk.

       "But you hate each other," he pointed out.

       "Pretty much, but if that's the only way to keep you interested in our relationship, it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make," she confessed. "I'd do anything to ensure that you stick around."

       Another round of giggles escaped from Alyssa. "I think this is a first. Is Nick Carter actually reconsidering a chance for a threesome?"

       Hearing it said outright like that was enough to make Nick realize that both women were very serious about this. Yes, it was an extremely fucked up situation, one that he wouldn't have imagined actually happening in a million years, yet he also found the idea strangely hot in a disturbing way. Maybe it had to do with the fact that he knew exactly how much both women disliked each other, so he was hoping for some fiery passion between the two of them. After swallowing hard, he finally found himself able to respond. "No way. I'm totally fine with it. Seriously!"

       "Now that's more of the reaction I expected." Alyssa stepped closer to him. "Strip," she commanded.

       Nick did exactly what he was told, fumbling with the button to his jeans and pulling them off so clumsily, he was sure that he was a sight to see. He didn't care though. He wasn't completely shocked by Shayla's willingness to a threesome, but Alyssa? He never would've imagined it in his wildest dreams... Okay, maybe he had, but he was pretty damn sure those dreams would never turn into reality. One thing was for sure, she was certainly shocking the hell out of him today.
       Both women grabbed his arms and pulled him down onto the bed between them. Nick lay back against the pillows with a huge grin on his face. He still couldn't believe it, but hey he wasn't going to question what was being handed right to him. His eyes widened as both of them crawled up next to each side of him and leaned across his chest, giving him a perfect view of their mouths drawing nearer and nearer to each other. 

       This is the coolest thing that's ever happened in my life, he decided as their lips just barely touched...

       The loud beeping of his alarm clock sent Nick shooting up into a sitting position in bed, breathing heavily. Oh, my fucking God... Why did the alarm have to go off at precisely that moment? he wondered. His skin felt hot and his heart was still racing from the dream he'd just woken up from. It was probably one of the most fucked up ones he'd ever had, but he couldn't help but to feel disappointed that he'd been woken up just before it had began to get good. Never would happen in a million years, but it certainly would've been interesting.

       He pulled the blankets away from his body and stumbled towards the bathroom. Something told him that a cold shower was definitely in order at the moment.




- In case you hadn't noticed (Which if you didn't what is wrong with you? Do you REALLY think I'd write a threesome? Much less one featuring Alyssa/ Nick/ Shayla? Maybe if I were on crack which many of you probably thought I was while reading this LOL) this is NOT the real Chapter 19. The first scene is from Chapter 19, but the rest was all an alternate chapter I wrote as a joke (Sorry! I couldn't resist!). I hope you thought it was funny. I have kind of a fucked up sense of humor, so I at least thought it would be funny. I'll post the REAL Chapter 19 in the next few days. Thanks for being such good sports! Hopefully I didn't piss anyone off. *hides*