In Pieces – Chapter 11

Ashleigh awoke the next morning to a loud banging on Nick’s hotel room door.

“Get up, Nickolas!” She heard Kevin’s voice shout through the wall.

She glanced over at Nick, who was dead to the world. He didn’t look as though he was going to wake up anytime soon. Grinning to herself, she climbed out of the bed and pulled Nick’s discarded t-shirt from the night before over herself. Opening the door, she attempted to contain her giddiness as she came face to face with Kevin.

“Hi Kevin!” She said, beaming.

Kevin didn’t crack a smile. “Is he awake yet?”

Ashleigh glanced back into the room. Nope, Nick was still asleep. “No.” She said shaking her head quickly. Kevin really was a hardass, just as she had Joey had suspected. “Did you need him for something?”

Kevin sighed. It wasn’t surprising that Nick would stay up late with some girl, only to neglect his work the next day. “There’s a radio interview in half and hour. I want him downstairs in ten minutes.” Kevin replied coolly, turning and walking away.

Closing the door, Ashleigh walked back over to the bed, and crawled on top of Nick. “Nicky…” She purred, kissing him softly on the cheek.

Nick stirred a little. “Mm?”

“Kevin says you guys have some radio thing.” She said, sitting up.

Nick opened his eyes and glanced at the clock. Grudgingly, he got up and headed towards the shower. “Fucking Kevin.” He mumbled, stumbling towards the washroom.

Still grinning, Ashleigh flopped back down onto the bed. This time, she hadn’t left early. After last night, it was clear to her that Nick wanted her around for more than just meaningless sex. If that was he’d wanted, he wouldn’t have gone through all the trouble of seeking her out and asking for her by name.

Nick emerged from the washroom a few minutes later, and began to dig through his suitcase in search of something to wear. He glanced over at Ashleigh, she was still in his room. At least he would now have someone to keep him busy for the remainder of their time in Boston, he figured. After getting dressed and styling his hair (which Ashleigh watched intently) he turned to her.

“What are you doing today?” He asked.

She shook her head. “Nothing.” She said. “Well, besides the concert tonight.”

He nodded, fumbling around the table in search of something. He’d only been in Boston for two nights, and already the room was a mess. Finally, he found it. “Here.” He said, handing her his extra room key. “I’ll see you after.” He smirked, kissing her quickly before he left the room.

Nick Carter’s hotel room key was in her hands. She felt like she was on top of the world. Basking in her glory for a moment, she quickly got dressed in the clothes she had been wearing the night before. She knew she’d have to go back to her own hotel room to change, but now she had a free pass to come back whenever she wanted.

As Ashleigh gathered her things, there was another knock on the door. This time, it was a much more pleasant surprise.

“Look.” Ashleigh said, unable to contain her excitement as she shoved the room key into Joey’s face.

Joey looked at her, confused for a moment. “You’re taking his room key?!” She asked in disbelief. “You’re going psycho, Ash.”

“What?” Ashleigh asked, as Joey stepped into the room. “He gave it to me!” She grinned.

Joey’s eyes widened. Nick giving it to Ashleigh was even more unbelievable than Ashleigh taking it on her own. “Seriously?” She squeaked.

Ashleigh nodded in excitement. “Oh yeah. I told you, Joe. He’s in love with me.” She sighed.

Joey raised an eyebrow. She didn’t have the heart to tell her friend that Nick probably just wanted to have sex, and keeping Ashleigh around would be easier than picking up a different girl every night. “Right…” Joey replied. “So, how was it?” She asked, partially changing the subject. “I read in Cosmo that it’s better the second time.”

Ashleigh nodded as the two girls walked down the hallway. “Much better. We did it in the shower.” She grinned.

Joey whistled. “That’s hot.” She said. “Definitely hot.”

While Ashleigh and Joey made their way back to their own hotel, Nick was in a car on his way to the radio station.

“Have fun last night, Nick?” AJ asked slyly. “I could hear you through the wall.”

Nick blushed. “Shut up.” He said, playing with his Discman. “How was her friend?”

AJ shrugged. “She’s cool. We watched a couple of movies, laughed at the noises you were making.”

Nick rolled his eyes. “Whatever, J. You didn’t hear us.”

“How long do you plan on keeping her around, Nick?” Kevin asked, somewhat irritated. Nick’s groupies had always bothered him.

Nick shrugged. “I don’t know. Until we leave Boston, I guess. I assume she lives here.”

AJ shook his head. “Wrong again, Nicky.” He said, laughing. “They’re from Minneapolis.”

Kevin narrowed his eyes. “Then what the hell are they doing here?” He asked.

“They’re trailing our tour.” AJ explained, remembering what Joey had told him the night before. He shot Nick a look. “And if you did more with your groupies than just fuck them, you’d know that.”

Nick smirked at Kevin. “Well, then I guess she’ll be around for quite a while.” He laughed, and glanced at AJ. “And that’s what groupies are for. And if you did more with yours than just talk, you’d know that.” He shot back, placing his earphones over his head, not caring to hear anymore sarcastic comments. All she was doing was keeping him company, no harm in that, right?

That night, Ashleigh rolled her suitcase back into Nick’s room. That afternoon, she and Joey had packed their things and checked out of their room. After the concert, they’d promptly driven Aaron’s car from the arena to the hotel where they’d spent two nights already.

“Following us on tour, are you?” Nick asked cheekily, as she strolled into his room. He was sitting on the bed lazily, wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Ashleigh suspected he’d just gotten out of the shower.

“How’d you know?” She asked quizzically. She hadn’t recalled actually having any sort of conversation with Nick.

“Your friend told AJ.” He replied dismissively. He nearly frowned, thinking about AJ’s comments towards him earlier. He talked to his groupies! Well…this one at least. “You hungry?” He asked her, and Ashleigh quickly nodded.

“Let’s go get AJ and your friend and get some food.” He suggested, standing up from the bed. This would show AJ.

“Okay!” She exclaimed, grabbing her purse and following Nick out of the room.

Half an hour later, the six of them were sitting in a booth at a nearby pizza place. Once Brian and Leighanne had caught wind of the idea of dinner, they’d decided to tag along.

Nick gave AJ a look as he sat with his arm around Ashleigh. As if to say “See? I can do more with fans than just sleep with them.”

Leighanne and Brian just looked at each other, both unsure of what was going on before them. Dating a fan certainly hadn’t been one of Nick’s better ideas.

“So, you guys are following the guys around all summer?” Leighanne attempted, not really knowing what she was supposed to say to these girls. However, she got the feeling that Nick’s stubbornness was going to keep them around for a while.

Joey nodded, she was starting to feel a little more comfortable sitting with her idols. Very quickly she had learned that they were just normal people. Glancing over at her best friend, she noticed Ashleigh was still grinning like an idiot. Evidently she hadn’t yet come to that conclusion. “Yeah. We had to work tech support for six months. Remember, Ash?” Joey said, trying to get Ashleigh to tear her eyes away from Nick.

“Huh? Oh yeah.” Ashleigh said, finally noticing that Joey was talking to her. “It was lame. But worth it.” She finished, putting her head on Nick’s shoulder.

Brian tried to catch Nick’s eye, to try and figure out just what was going through his head. There had to be more to this than he was letting on, Nick just didn’t date random girls at the drop of a hat. Hell, he didn’t date girls at all, he only slept with them! So what exactly was Nick trying to prove with this girl that seemed so enamored with him. Did Nick have any idea what he was getting himself into? Brian didn’t think so.

Joey rolled her eyes. Ashleigh wasn’t making them look good at all, sitting there gawking at Nick. She tried to play it off. “It was horrid. Can you believe there are some people out there who don’t know what the space bar on the keyboard is?” She laughed. “I had to explain it to this one lady for ten minutes.”

Brian smiled. At least Ashleigh’s friend seemed normal enough. “So you’re enjoying the shows, then?” She asked, and Joey promptly nodded.

“Oh yeah! I mean, we’ve had really bad seats for the most part ‘cause they’re so cheap…but yeah! It’s awesome!” She said, smiling. Even if Ashleigh acting insane, she still was having a good time on the tour. How could she not? She was having dinner with three fifths of the group!

Brian nodded. Truthfully, he didn’t even know what he was supposed to say to her, or Ashleigh. Though, by the looks of it Ashleigh didn’t seem to want to talk to anyone besides Nick. The two of them were engrossed in their own conversation. Watching his best friend, he made a mental note to talk to Nick later. Clearly, something was up.

But Nick just sat, quietly conversing with Ashleigh. He didn’t care that Brian was watching him, in fact, he was a little glad. Now, while Brian sat all lovingly with his wife, Nick no longer had to feel lonely and inadequate. He now had his own girl he could flaunt in front of the rest of them. For the rest of the summer, anyway.

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