In Pieces – Chapter 13

Kevin shook his head as he and the rest of the Backstreet Boys gathered in the hallway. That morning, they were leaving Boston and heading to Ottawa. As everyone got ready to check out of the hotel, they stood around discussing the tentative itinerary of the next few days.

Except for Nick. He had Ashleigh in his arms, kissing her goodbye. She wouldn’t be traveling on the bus with him, as she and Joey still had Aaron’s car with them. Naturally, Ashleigh was devastated that she wouldn’t be able to see Nick for the eight hour drive.

Kevin and the others exchanged a glance as they watched Nick. Joey stood with them, growing more worried about her friend by the day. She didn’t think Ashleigh really had any idea what she was getting herself involved in.

Kevin tried the subtle approach of clearing his throat. Nick and Ashleigh either didn’t notice him, or didn’t care.

“Nick.” Kevin said, getting irritated. He’d thought getting through to Nick had been difficult before, now he had to deal with Nick sucking face every five minutes. “Say goodbye to your girlfriend and let’s get going.”

Ashleigh blushed at the sound of Kevin calling her Nick’s girlfriend. She’d spent all of her time in Boston with Nick and was growing more attached to him by the minute. “I guess I should get going.” She said reluctantly.

Nick quickly kissed her again. “I’ll see you tonight.” He smiled, and Joey promptly pulled Ashleigh towards the elevators.

“Bye, guys!” Joey chirped. “See you later!” She called as the two girls stepped into the elevator.

Nick sauntered over to the rest of the guys, running his hand through his hair. They were all giving him quizzical looks, which was exactly what he had wanted. No longer was he just their pathetic friend that couldn’t get a girl for longer than a night. Now, he had someone to flaunt in front of them.

“I think I speak for all of us when I ask you, what the hell is going on, Nick?” Kevin asked, as soon as the girls were gone.

Nick shrugged, pretending not to know what they were talking about. “Nothing.” He said defensively. “Is it so wrong for me to want to date someone?” He asked accusingly.

Kevin sighed. “No, but bringing two crazy fans on tour isn’t exactly the best way to go about it.”

“Hey, her friend is cool!” AJ jumped to Joey’s defense, causing Kevin to give him a look.

Nick rolled his eyes. It still seemed like everyone was against him. Yes, he’d made some bad decisions in the past, but it wasn’t as though he was planning on getting serious with this girl. She’d follow them around on their tour, meet up with him after the show and when the summer was over, she’d go home ad it would be over. What was so wrong about that? “I’m capable of making my own decisions, Kev.” Nick said flatly. “You don’t need to baby-sit me.”

“We’re just concerned, Nick.” Brian said. Nick scoffed, the last thing he wanted was to be lectured by someone who supposedly thought they knew everything there was to know about relationships.

“Well don’t be.” Nick said harshly.

Kevin sighed. Feeling as though there was no way they were going to get through to Nick at the moment, he decided to continue talking about the itinerary. “So, as I was saying, once we get into Ottawa…”

Once the boys were in their busses and on the highway, the girls promptly followed right behind in Aaron’s car.

Ashleigh sulked in the passengers seat. She’d spent the last four days straight with Nick, and now she was forced to spend eight hours cramped in a car while he lived the life of luxury.

Joey looked over at her sullen friend. She’d never seen Ashleigh fall so head over heels for a guy. In fact, she’d never had a serious boyfriend before this. If you could call Nick a “serious boyfriend”. Joey wasn’t so sure. She got the sinking feeling Ashleigh didn’t exactly realize what was going on between then.

“Come on Ash, cheer up.” Joey said with a grin. “This’ll be fun, we can gossip!”

Ashleigh just pouted. “I miss Nick.”

Joey smiled at her friend, trying to lighten the mood. “I know, but you’ll see him in a few hours. Besides, I’ve hardly seen you in the last couple of days. Tell me everything.” She grinned. The fact that Ashleigh was neglecting her on a trip that was supposed to be for them was starting to get to her. She held her tongue for the only saving grace that while Ashleigh fawned over Nick; Joey got to hang out with the other Backstreet Boys.

Ashleigh gave Joey a small smile. What had she and Nick done in the last few days, other than have sex? She really couldn’t think of anything worthwhile to tell her friend. “There isn’t really much to tell.” She shrugged.

Joey frowned. “Come on, there has to be something. You’ve spent the last couple of days with Nick Carter, for God’s sake!”

Ashleigh shrugged. “I dunno.” She really wasn’t in the mood to talk about Nick, it only made her miss him more. “What have you been doing?”

Joey grinned. Truthfully, she’d been having a great time hanging out with AJ. She was glad he seemed to pay attention to her, even if her best friend didn’t. “I went with AJ and Howie to this really cool place for dinner the other night. It was like a re-make of a 50’s diner type thing. Really cool.”

Ashleigh smiled. She had to admit, that did sound like a lot of fun. “Did the waitresses wear roller skates and stuff?” She asked.

“Yeah! And poodle skirts too! You and Nick should’ve come with us.”

Ashleigh pouted again. “We were busy.”

Joey bit her lip. She didn’t really know what to say to Ashleigh. Part of her wanted to warn her about Nick, especially after having conversed with AJ and Howie. Nick really didn’t seem like the ideal guy.

“I hope your friend knows what she’s getting into.” Howie had said, as the three of them sat in a booth. “Nick…doesn’t always make the best choices.”

AJ nodded. “He’s been acting really weird lately. Tell Ashleigh to be careful. The last thing we need is a real life version of The Call video.” He laughed.

Now Ashleigh sat glumly beside her. She was falling for him, and Joey didn’t think there was much she could do about it. If she did try to warn her, Ashleigh would probably just get defensive and angry. Better to leave it be, she figured. “Nick’s that good, is he?” Joey laughed.

Ashleigh smiled, but continued to look out the window. “He’s amazing.”

When the girls finally arrived in Ottawa, Ashleigh practically jumped out of the car and ran into the hotel. Joey sighed, as they rode up the elevator Ashleigh was giddy with anticipation.

Yet again, the boys were talking in the hallway. Presumably about their plans for the next couple of days. Running up behind Nick, Ashleigh nearly tackled him to the ground. Joey rolled her eyes.

“Hey, you guys made it!” Nick said, pulling her in for a kiss.

“Of course.” She said, a smile plastered to her face.

Sensing that they were about to lose Nick to the depths of his hotel room yet again, Kevin cleared his throat. “I hate to break up your reunion, but we’ve got an autograph singing in forty five minutes.”

Ashleigh pouted yet again. “Well, I’ll come with you.” She said turning to Nick, who obviously knew better than to agree with her.

Kevin shook his head. “That won’t be necessary.”

Again, Joey bit her lip. Ashleigh was acting totally ridiculous. “Come on Ash.” She said, taking her friends hand. “We can come back later. I kind of wanted to go look around and touristy things.” She suggested, trying to get her friend to forget about her obsession with Nick for at least a little while.

Ashleigh sighed, but she obliged. “All right. I guess we’ll see you guys later.” She said sadly. “Bye Nick.” She said, kissing him softly before she was quickly whisked away by Joey.

Nick glared at Kevin once the girls were gone. “You know, I don’t see why they couldn’t come along. I think they would have had fun.” He said, irritated.

“Yes Nick, they would have had so much fun watching you sign autographs and kiss other girls on the cheek. I’m sure Ashleigh would have loved that.” AJ said sarcastically. “Besides, did you want her picture all over every internet message board? Because if anyone saw you and her together, and you know that they would, that’s what would happen.”

Nick rolled his eyes, but he knew AJ was right. Not that it mattered, that night Ashleigh would be back at their hotel and he would her all to himself. “I guess.” He muttered.

Still, he felt annoyed as Brian and Leighanne walked into the hallway and were met with warm greeting from everyone. Why didn’t they respect he and Ashleigh like that? Nick didn’t get it. He figured he was just going to have to try harder…

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