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Author's Chapter Notes:

I want to apologize for not updating in a long time. I've been VERY busy lately and I kind of just needed a break from writing for a bit. A lot has been going on between me working two jobs, the holidays, and a lot of personal/family drama. This is a rough time for me, so I can't guarantee updates, but I will try to get them out sooner. I struggled with this chapter and actually scrapped pieces of it so I could get it out sooner. It's hard to write happy Alyssa/Nick lol. I hope once I really get this off the ground it'll be easier to update. I hope you enjoy!


Chapter 2- Happily Never After


            The next few days flew by quickly with so far no mention of any divorce plans between Nick and Shayla in the media. As far as Nick was concerned, the media still had no idea of the impending divorce. He wasn't too sure how they hadn't yet caught on that something was amiss. They hadn't been photographed together since the night of his birthday which had been over six months ago. He knew that Shayla had been giving pretty bullshit excuses to explain his absence. He'd supposedly been recording for months now to their knowledge. He seriously doubted that excuse would be able to withstand much longer, especially with him being back in LA and Shayla threatening to make his life a living hell.


            Not knowing when or where they'd be when the news finally broke, Nick and Alyssa tried to steer as far away as the public eye as possible. By the time the weekend rolled around they were both bored and beginning to grate on each others nerves from being cooped up inside the condo together. Deciding that they desperately needed to get out and do something by Saturday, they planned to take Nick's boat out for the afternoon. They packed a picnic lunch, rode out into the middle of the ocean, and just relaxed and sunbathed as they enjoyed the tranquility and privacy of being in the middle of nowhere.


            At that particular moment, Alyssa was sprawled out on her stomach on top of a beach towel on the deck of the boat working on her tan. She'd managed to get some pretty good color, having the opportunity to be outside so much this summer. Of course her naturally olive skin tone had definitely helped speed the process along. Her arms were crossed in front of her and her head nestled against them. She had untied the bottom string of her pink bikini top to eliminate any pesky tan lines leaving the string behind her neck still secure. It was so relaxing lying out there with the suns rays radiating against her bare back, and the gentle sounds of the waves lapping against the side of the boat, that she began to feel her eyelids start to grow heavy and before she knew it she was beginning to drift off into a peaceful state of unconsciousness.


            Her moment of serenity did not last long. Just as she could feel herself begin to doze off, a large shadow fell over her body and she shuddered from the sudden lack of sunlight. She twisted her head off to the side to investigate the interruption and was not very surprised to find Nick standing behind her, his arms crossed over his chest and a pout on his lips. "You're blocking my sunlight," she crankily groaned, upset that she'd been pulled out from her almost slumber.


            Nick ignored her complaint, but continued with one of his own. "I'm bored," he whined. "Play with me."


            Alyssa rolled her eyes and chuckled under her breath. "Play with you? What are you? Five?"


            He shook his head. "I'm just really bored and you're ignoring me."


            Alyssa almost couldn't believe that they'd actually gotten to this point. Who would've ever thought that eventually she'd have Nick so whipped that he'd be the one pouting about her not showering him with attention every five minutes? It was ironic how things turned out. Seeing Nick pout over something so infantile filled her with amusement though and she couldn't help but to push his buttons a bit. "Well, I'm quite comfortable right here enjoying the sun. It's peaceful. You should try it."


            "What's so fun about just laying there? I can't stay still for that long," he continued to complain.


            This time Alyssa didn't bother to hide her laughter. "I swear Nick; you really are like a little kid sometimes. I'm not moving, so find something else to amuse yourself with. Didn't you bring your fishing pole?"


            "Yea, but nothings biting today," he reported.


            "Well, try again," she urged before turning her head face down again to send the clear signal that she was done talking to him. She could hear him huff and sigh from behind her, but the shadow lifted as he faintly turned around and walked away. She smiled to herself as she snuck a peek of him a few feet away fiddling with his fishing rod. He was shirtless, only clad in a pair of swimming trunks, and as Alyssa appreciatively took in the sight of him she had to admit that he was probably looking the best that he ever had as of lately. He'd continued to lose weight and although sometimes she thought he'd lost a little too much in his face he'd definitely buffed up in other areas of his body. Not wanting him to catch her staring, she finally peeled her eyes away and got back to her tanning.


            She was just fading out again when all of a sudden she felt something cold and hard bounce off her back causing it to arch in surprise. What the fuck? she wondered as her head shot up just in time to see another ice cube go flying towards her. This one landed right in between her shoulder blades causing a hissing sound to escape her lips as the cold object melted against her hot back. The sensation caused her to clamber up in surprise. Her eyes immediately zeroed in on her attacker who had given up on the fishing and was now bent over the cooler in which they had packed their lunch in. Apparently, his new form of amusement seemed to be in pelting her with ice cubes to see how long it would take her to abandon her sunbathing and pay attention to him. "Nick!" she cried. "That's so not cool!"


            Nick just smirked, clearly pleased with how well his plan had worked out. "But, I finally got your attention. And I get boobage out of the deal. This worked out better than I expected it to."


            Alyssa looked down only to realize that her bikini top was still half untied and when she had sprang up like she had it had flown up, leaving nothing to the imagination. Furiously blushing, she grabbed the towel that she had been laying on and held it up around her chest to cover herself. "You suck," she grumbled. "Fine, you win. I'm all yours."


            Nick came around towards her and settled down beside her, grabbing her waist from behind. "You know, it's not like we're not alone out here in the middle of nowhere and it's definitely not anything I've never seen before," he pointed out, his fingers already dancing along the edge of the towel.


            "I guess you do have a point there," she agreed, releasing her grip on the piece of the material. Even though she was way past the point of being shy around Nick instinct did sometimes kick in like it just had. "So, I take it that you had something specific in mind?"


            "Perhaps," he mysteriously sang, his lips near her ear. She took in a deep breath at the sensation of his lips against her neck. She could feel goose bumps beginning to rise on her arms even though it was far from cold as he continued to trail kisses along to the back of her neck. A small shudder of delight traveled down her spine as his lips landed on the tattoo that lay right above the string that held her bikini top still to her body. "Maybe we should work on getting rid of this," his voice continued, his teeth already nipping at the knot. Within a few moments and with the help of his fingertips, the piece of material fell off of her body, landing in a heap besides them. Not being able to keep up her act any longer, Alyssa whirled her body around and pressed her lips so roughly against his that even she was taken back with the intensity of it. She could tell that Nick was just as surprised by the way his mouth widened against hers, but he quickly recovered and responded back with just as much passion as she had. After a few steamy kisses were exchanged, Alyssa felt herself being lowered against the beach towel beneath them.


            Just as things were really beginning to heat up, the far off sound of Alyssa's cell phone echoed from its place in her beach bag a few feet away. At first, she chose to ignore the disturbance, but the phone continued to ring proving that the person on the other end was not going to give up until they received an answer. "You've got to be fucking kidding me," Nick muttered under his breath, obviously agitated. Losing his patience he finally reached over and snapped up Alyssa's shrilly ringing cell phone, fully prepared to tell who ever it was who had been incessantly trying to reach her off. Not even bothering to look at the number he flipped it open. "What?" he barked into the mouthpiece.


            "Is that anyway to answer a phone, Nickolas?" the familiar voice of his good friend Isabelle Richardson replied with a laugh. "And why are you picking up Alyssa's cell?"

       "Because I was closer," he simply answered. "What is so important that you had to keep calling Alyssa repeatedly for the past five minutes anyway? Did you have some crisis like you weren't sure which shoes to wear with which outfit?"

       "Ouch! That burns! Actually I was hoping to talk with you and not Alyssa. I tried your number, but it kept going straight to voicemail."

       Nick just rolled his eyes in the direction of the phone, clearly impatient by the interruption. "Yea, my phone was off and it was off for a reason. Alyssa and I were kind of trying to spend the afternoon together just the two of us without anyone else interfering. Hence, my phone being off."

       Finally seeming to understand that she had indeed interfered with the couple's afternoon, Izzy seemed to be a little more apologetic. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to like interrupt anything between the two of you. Did I interrupt anything?" She paused for a second or two before changing her mind. "Never mind... I don't really want to know. Like I said, I'm sorry for calling you guys, but this is something pretty important that I think you should know about."

       By this point in the conversation Alyssa had sat up wrapping the beach towel around herself and was looking over at Nick questionably. "Who is it?" she mouthed silently.

       Nick ignored her and continued on answering Alyssa's question anyway. "Just spit it out Iz, so that we can get on with our afternoon. This better be important because so help me God if it isn't-"

       "I'm guessing that you haven't been on Shayla's My Space page recently, have you?" Izzy quickly cut him off.

       Alyssa watched as Nick's face crumpled in confusion and perhaps a little bit of anger. "Oh yea, because I totally check my soon to be ex-wife's My Space page religiously," he sarcastically replied. "Come on Izzy, don't you think that I have a little bit more of a life than that?"

       "Well, I suggest that you take a look at it," she advised. "Like as soon as possible. The shit has hit the fan."

       Nick frowned. "What do you mean by that?" He could already feel a sick feeling beginning to form in the pit of his stomach and the last few minutes he'd had with Alyssa were already beginning to feel like nothing more than a fading memory. Talk about a buzz kill...

       "She posted a blog and... You just have to read it for yourself. Basically she took it upon herself to let the entire world know that the two of you were getting a divorce. Of course, she didn't hold anything back. I'm sorry Nick, but she pretty much just opened the gates for Hollywood's next big scandal."

       "Shit," he cursed under his breath. "I'm going to kill her! Of course she'd do something like this and in this fashion. She can't just wait to release a public statement. She has to take matters into her own hands and air all our dirty laundry over the internet where anyone can read it! Let me guess, she probably twisted everything around to make her look like the innocent victim right?"

       Izzy hesitated for a moment. "It is pretty bad," she finally admitted. "If you want I can read it to you?"

       "No." Nick shook his head. "I'd rather just read it on my own. Thanks for letting me know though Iz. Alyssa and I are going to be on our way back now. I'm going to have to check this out and then I guess give Diane a call to decide what she thinks the best thing for us to do is. She is going to be livid! I'm really not looking forward to this."

       "Again I'm really sorry to have to interrupt your afternoon with news like this. I just know being in the PR field, what a nightmare something like this could be. If you need anything, professional advice or just someone to talk to, you know that both you and Alyssa can always give me a call."

       "Thanks for the offer and thanks for letting me know what was going on Iz. I guess it was definitely better to hear it from you first than to come home to paparazzi waiting for me at my front door. I'm going to check out this blog and Alyssa and I are going to have to discuss what our next step will be."

       He quickly wrapped up his conversation with Izzy and after ending the phone call, he threw the phone down in disgust. "God, I can't believe that selfish conniving bitch would stoop this low! She's really fucked us over this time!"

       Slightly alarmed by Nick's sudden outburst Alyssa placed a comforting hand on his back to calm him down. "What's going on?" she anxiously asked. "Who are you talking about? Shayla?"


            "Who else would I be talking about?" he answered between gritted teeth. "That was just Izzy. Apparently Shayla has let the cat out of the bag about us... Over the internet where anyone and their grandmother can read all about it."


            Alyssa's hand flew up to her mouth as she gasped in shock. Suddenly Nick's outburst seemed to begin to make sense. She couldn't say that she was entirely surprised because in the back of her mind she'd almost anticipated Shayla doing something like this, but to be that catty and immature as to post the whole story over the internet? That was low. "Where on the internet? And what does it say?"


            "On fucking My Space," Nick grumbled. "In a blog. How classy is that shit? I'm guessing it was sometime within the past few hours. Izzy didn't say when it was posted, but it had to be pretty recently for us not to know about it earlier. I have no idea what it says. I told Izzy I'd rather read it on my own, but maybe I should've had her read it to me. Let us know what we're in for once we get back."


            "Well, you have one of those fancy Blackberry's right?" Alyssa pointed out. "Can't you get internet on your phone?"


            Nick just shrugged. "I do, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to connect to anything this far out."


            "It's worth a try right? Worst that can happen is we can't get it and if that's the case we can always just call Izzy back and see if she can read it to us."


            Nick had to admit that she had a good point there. What did they have to lose? He wanted to know exactly what they were dealing with as soon as possible and he definitely would prefer to read Shayla's blog with his own eyes. "You're right," he agreed. "Let me just get my phone."


He stood up and headed towards the cabin of the boat where he had stashed most of things when they'd first arrived. Retrieving the phone he pressed the button to turn it back on and was instantly greeted with a series of loud beeps indicating several missed calls and messages. It seemed like as if everyone he knew had tried calling him to warn him about Shayla's distasteful blog. "Damn... This must be serious," he murmured as he made his way back onto the deck.


"Is your inbox completely full already?" Alyssa asked as we rounded the corner back into sight. While he had been inside, she'd thrown her beach cover back on and was now anxiously waiting for Nick's return.


"It's pretty swamped," he replied, plopping down beside her. Bypassing all of the missed messages he opened up the internet application on his phone. "Let's see if we can get this to work."


Alyssa bit her lip, patiently waiting another minute or two as Nick attempted to access the website. "Okay, I'm on," he reported. "Just have to get to Shayla's page." Another minute or so painfully ticked by until he scooted his body closer to hers so that she could see the screen. Nick smirked and rolled his eyes as he clicked on Shayla's most recent blog post. "Just the title is enough to make me want to hurl. Here you read it, I don't know if I can stomach this." He thrust the Blackberry towards Alyssa's open hand.


"Okay..." she reluctantly agreed as she began to read the title. "Guess Fairytales Really Don't Come True. Mood: Betrayed. Currently Listening: You Oughta Know by Alanis Morissette." She paused biting her cheek to hold back her laughter. "Wow... She really is playing this whole woman scorned routine to the hilt isn't she? I mean she just went Alanis on your ass. That's serious."


"Please don't remind me," Nick dryly replied. "Keep reading."


Alyssa took a deep breath and proceeded to read the rest Shayla's desperate plea for sympathy.


Guess Fairytales Really Don't Come True

Mood: Betrayed

Currently Listening: You Oughta Know by Alanis Morissette


            Three years ago I had thought that I had found the love of my life. The man that would one day become my husband and the future father of my children. I had it all. The man of my dreams, a promising career in front of me, practically anything I could ever want... It really was almost like a real life Cinderella story.


            Well, the fairytale is officially over. After only slightly more than two years of marriage Nick and I are getting a divorce.


            How do you ask that a couple that seems to be so much in love and so happy together end this way? So many people thought that our marriage seemed to be ideal. That we had it all together; that we had the perfect relationship. So did I, but unfortunately this story has a much bitterer ending to it.


            You see this fairytale ends with the princess finding out that her prince really isn't the kind of man that she thought he was. In this story, the princess discovers that her prince has been living a lie. He has been holding a torch for his estranged ex all this time and has even gone as far as to forge a relationship with said ex behind her back. As if finding out that the person you trust most in life is cheating on you isn't bad enough, the prince's deceit does not end there. Oh no... That is only the beginning of the lies that he has been hiding...


            No, I am definitely not going down that route. I am better than that and I don't need to degrade myself to their level by blurting out the whole sordid truth. Unlike them I do have class, so it is best to keep the details vague. The truth will prevail soon enough as it is. I am just glad that I found out when I did and that I am strong enough to put an end to the marriage. A lot of women in my situation would turn their backs and pretend not to see what was really going on in front of them. Ignorance is bliss and all that. Not me. I am way better than that and I deserve better too.


            I will get through this. I am strong, independent, and I happen to have an excellent lawyer (just kidding). My only regret is that I hadn't realized earlier that no matter how much a man appears to change on the outside, it doesn't necessarily mean that they can change on the inside. I've learned my lesson. The moral of this tale: Once a cheater, always a cheater.


            I may be broken and my trust may be shattered at the moment, but in time I WILL overcome and I will survive.


                                                                                                Signing off,

                                                                                                  Shayla (soon to be ex) Carter


            "What a piece of convoluted bullshit this is!" Alyssa cried in an outraged voice as she lowered Nick's phone after she was done reading. "Is she fucking serious? Does she honestly think that anyone is going to buy her little ‘poor me' sob story?"


            She turned towards Nick who looked just as disgusted as her. "It's fucked up all right, but I have to give her one thing. She certainly knows just how to spin the truth to garner people's sympathy. You forget that we know her well enough to know that this is just another one of her schemes to make herself look good, but to someone who didn't know any better, it might appear that she is actually the true victim here."


            "You seriously think that people are actually going to believe her twisted propaganda?" Alyssa stared back at him in disbelief.


            Nick just shrugged. "You'd be surprised. She's not stupid Alyssa. In fact, I think that she's a lot more intelligent than we give her credit for. First off, in the media's eyes this probably isn't all that surprising to them. You know the field day that the media has had with me in the past. They probably are immediately going to take Shayla's side over ours. Shayla's been their little sweetheart from the moment that we first got together. Secondly, she's worded everything very carefully. Notice that she almost teases everyone with her explanation. She gets as far to reveal that I cheated on her with an ex, but she doesn't mention the pregnancy outright. Just that we were hiding things from her. Then she immediately backs off and goes on that whole rant about how she's not going to lower herself by airing out all her dirty laundry for revenge."


            "But isn't that exactly what she's doing by announcing the divorce in a My Space blog in the first place?" she questioned. "And she has the audacity to claim that what she's doing is ‘classy?'"


            "It's all part of her act Lyss. And you know that in Shayla's mind she thinks that she is the epitome of class even when she's being completely tasteless. Anyway, by doing all that she is only peaking everyone's interest. It's almost like a trailer for a movie. It's to get people talking and wondering what really happened. I guarantee you that this has probably got the paparazzi practically salivating to uncover the scandal. If she just completely sold us out than it would make her look bad, plus it would take away all the mystery. This way she draws it out which makes it all that more dramatic and more shocking when the truth finally does begin to unravel," he explained.


            Alyssa cocked her head to the side as she thought about what Nick had just told her. What he said did kind of make sense to her the more she thought about it. Maybe Nick was right. Maybe they hadn't give Shayla as much credit as she deserved. Maybe she was even more devious than they had originally thought. "That does make sense I guess. But it's so twisted. Who thinks that way?"


            "You kind of learn exactly how to manipulate the media when you're in the spotlight. It's almost an art form I guess. One that I never picked up on until much later in my career after a lot of the damage had already been done. I learned a lot from Paris actually. That girl could make what Shayla is doing now look like child's play."


            Alyssa almost felt sickened by his explanation. Now she remembered exactly why she'd preferred to stay as far as possible away from the limelight while she had been dating Nick previously. She just wasn't good at all the games that other celebrities played to manipulate their image. Now whether she liked it or not she was about to be pulled into this world of mind games and dirty tricks. She was going to have to have Izzy give her a course on how to handle the media without making herself look badly in the process. "But she practically lied Nick! She made it sound like the divorce was all her idea. And she made it sound like she just found out about us when she's known for months now. In fact, she's no better than those same women that she was denouncing for refusing to see what was going on right in front of their faces! How long did she wait around again hoping that you'd change your mind and come back to her? What a hypocrite!"


            "You're completely right, but that's Shayla for you. Did you really expect anything less?" Nick paused and continued on. "At least there's one good thing about this whole situation."


            "There is?" Alyssa wasn't sure if she could think of anything the slightest bit positive about their predicament.


            Nick just nodded. "You see the only person she called out on anything was me. All she insinuated was that I had cheated on her with an ex. I've had lots of exes. So, it at least takes the heat off of you for a bit and gives you some more time to be prepared when the media finally does discover that you're the ex Shayla was talking about. I guarantee you that as soon as the media reads this blog they are going to do whatever is in their power to discover who this ‘other woman' is and they are going to investigate it from every angle."


            "But don't you think I'd be the obvious choice?" Alyssa asked. "We've been together the longest and there were those tabloid pictures of us back after we first started to hang out together again. I just think we'd make the most sense. Katie is out of the equation. Mandy's married, and Paris? After the way things ended with the two of you I don't think anyone is going to buy that you gave things a second chance."


            "You were married too," Nick pointed out. "I really think that the media would check out the Paris or Mandy angle before you just because it's juicier if this other woman was someone in the entertainment world. Besides that, an ex doesn't necessarily have to mean someone that I was serious with. I've dated plenty of other women casually in my past."


            "We know," she remarked with a roll of her eyes, not being able to pass up the opportunity for the snide comment.


            Nick ignored her. "I really don't think they'll find you out right away. We've been keeping things on the down low ever since we decided to make things official for this very reason. And even before that while you were pregnant we were pretty careful. I don't think anyone we know will try and sell us out. We just have to be cautious for a little while more, that's all."


            Alyssa sighed. "I'm just sick of hiding out! I'm sick of not being able to walk down the street holding your hand or show you any kind of affection in public. I thought that the whole point of us deciding to make this work between us was so that there wouldn't be anymore sneaking around? "


            "It is and we'll have all the time in the world for that once this all blows over. But in the meantime, trust me; it's better to let the tabloids do their speculating. Let them stumble upon the truth on their own time," he advised. "Believe me, once we're found out all our privacy is done with until the next bigger scandal arises. You'll appreciate as much time as we can buy."


            "I'll take your word for it." Really Alyssa had no idea how the entertainment world really worked, so she supposed that she had no choice but to rely on Nick and his experience. Still, she worried and doubted him a little bit. There was bound to be someone who had spotted them together at one point or another. And if there was money dangled in front of someone else's face to give them away, she seriously doubted anyone would turn down the opportunity. Her mind briefly flashed to thoughts of Kim, her neighbor when she lived on the base with Sean and ex-friend. Towards the end of her pregnancy, Kim began to grow more and more suspicious of the time she spent alone with Nick and had made it quite clear that she disapproved of their friendship. Her husband, Ian had just been killed over in Iraq a few months earlier and she was struggling to raise their son Gavin on her own. If some tabloid were to offer her money to out them, would she really turn down the money? Or what about her OB/GYN, Dr. Spencer? Although it had never been verbalized, Alyssa was pretty sure that her doctor could put the pieces of the puzzle together on her own. She knew that she had the Hippocratic Oath on her side, but would someone risk losing their career if there was enough money involved? Alyssa couldn't help but to feel paranoid now. Could she really trust anyone?


            The rest of the ride back towards the marina was tense and silence. Somehow Alyssa had the feeling that as soon as she stepped off that boat and onto dry land, nothing would be the same again.