In Pieces – Chapter 19

Ashleigh grinned ear to ear as she and Joey pulled up in front of Joey’s parents house. Today was the Backstreet Boys show in Minneapolis, and as such, the girls were home for the evening.

Of course, Ashleigh didn’t waste any time. She bounded quickly into the house, giving Joey’s mom a large hug. The girls had been friends for so long, that they were nearly accepted as a part of each other’s families.

“How’s you trip been, girls?” Trish, Joey’s mom, asked as the three of them walked into the kitchen. Ashleigh and Joey were desperate for something to eat that wasn’t pre packaged.

“Amazing.” Ashleigh said while digging through the fridge. “Absolutely amazing.”

Joey smiled, eager to tell her mom everything that had happened. “We met them.” She said excitedly. While she’d gotten used to the idea of hanging out with AJ after shows, she still felt as though it was a surreal experience.

“I’m going out with Nick!” Ashleigh squealed, beginning to make herself a sandwich.

Trish raised her eyebrow while looking at the excited girls. Surely, they had to be joking. “I’m sure.” She said, laughing.

“No, mom, really.” Joey said, pouring herself a glass of water and sitting down at the table. “We ran into them in Boston and ever since then we’ve been hanging out with them mostly every day.” She said seriously. “They’re actually pretty normal guys.”

“Nick is way hotter in person.” Ashleigh said, as she stuffed food into her mouth. “Like, you have no idea.”

Trish laughed. These girls had been talking about the Backstreet Boys for the past four years, so there was every reason why they should be excited. “Well, it sounds like you girls are having fun. I assume Aaron’s car is serving you well?”

“We don’t need the car anymore!” Ashleigh commented, directed more at Joey than at her mom. “We can just travel with Nick in his bus.” She said, thinking it sounded like a good idea. The car had just become a nuisance to her, taking away valuable time she could be spending with the blonde wonder.

Joey cringed. It did seem to make more sense to leave the car here, but the only time she seemed to be able to talk to Ashleigh was when they were traveling from one city to the next.

“Well, I guess that’s true, but you girls still need to come home before school starts.” Trish reminded them, and Joey nodded. That was true; she doubted that Nick was going to want to escort them back to Minnesota.

“Ugh, do we have to go to school in September?” Ashleigh complained. That was the last thing she wanted to do. If she could, she would have been content following Nick around for the rest of her life.

“You can’t follow Nick around forever.” Joey said, rolling her eyes.

“I know, but it would be so fun!” Ashleigh said with a grin. Once the girls finished eating lunch, they set off to Ashleigh’s house to go visit with her family and brag to them about their amazing summer.

While Ashleigh and Joey regaled their families with tales from their trip, Nick and AJ took a much needed afternoon off, and walked through Mall of America in search of new shoes.

“Dude, you don’t make any sense.” AJ laughed as they walked through the large mall. “You’re all over her the second we get a free hour, but we have an entire afternoon off and you’re shopping with me? What gives?”

Nick shrugged. Truthfully, he’d told Ashleigh that they had some rehearsals to do that afternoon. He hadn’t wanted to be subjected to meeting a bunch of her friends and being shown off, as he predicted he would have been. Nick just shrugged. “I didn’t want to meet her family.” He said, which was also true.

AJ nodded. “Makes sense. I thought you guys were pretty serious though?”

Nick rolled his eyes, walking into a store. “Why does everyone think that?” He wondered aloud and AJ chuckled.

“Because you spend every waking moment together?” He tried, Nick wasn’t making any sense to him. “You should probably tell her you aren’t looking for anything serious though. She probably thinks you guys are going to get married one day.”

Nick gave AJ a dirty look. Ashleigh had to know that this was only just a fling. She hadn’t given him any reason to think otherwise. “She doesn’t think that.” He said sharply.

AJ shrugged. “You never know. Besides, I talk to her friend. Ashleigh’s pretty crazy about you. You shouldn’t string her along.”

Nick rolled his eyes. “She’s a big girl. She’ll be fine.”

That night, Ashleigh and Joey met up with a few of their friends outside of the Target Centre. It seemed as though the Backstreet Boys concert was the hot ticket of the summer in their city. Nothing else interesting ever happened in Minneapolis.

“Ash, you are not sleeping with Nick Carter.” Kate, a girl who had been friends with Ashleigh and Joey all through high school, laughed. “You are totally not.”

Ashleigh pouted. None of her friends seemed to believe her. “I am! We even did it on his bus!” She exclaimed, and Joey nodded.

“Yeah, she is.” She said reluctantly. Ashleigh was blowing the entire thing out of proportion. She was making it sound like she and Nick were practically married, when in reality they only slept together after the concerts.

Kate shook her head. “I don’t believe it. Not until I see photo evidence.”

Ashleigh giggled. “I’m not getting you naked pictures of Nick, Kate.” She laughed.

“I didn’t mean naked pictures! I mean a picture of you guys together. Clothed.” Kate exclaimed. “But now that you mention it, I wouldn’t be opposed.” She snickered.

“Uh, sorry, but that’s only for me to see.” Ashleigh giggled. The girls continued to laugh and joke as they walked through the arena, and eventually took their seats. They had opted to sit in the seats they had originally bought for this concert so they could sit with their friends.

Throughout the concert Ashleigh felt increasing more and more glum. She couldn’t shake the feeling that the next time she would be back in this city would be when the tour was over and she had to return to her normal life – without Nick. 

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