In Pieces – Chapter 3

Ashleigh and Joey were now at their fourth concert of the summer. They had seen their first show in Albany, followed the boys to Camden to see their second show, driven to Hershey for the third and now they were in Boston. The boys were going to be performing five shows in that city, so naturally the girls had opted for a hotel room. It wasn’t the nicest hotel, but it was somewhere stable for them to stay for the next few days.

As far as the tour was concerned, the girls were having a fantastic time. While they were starting to learn what to expect with each show, every concert was a little different. The boys would say different things in between songs, they would move around the stage in a different fashion. Each stadium had a different atmosphere and it left the girls breath taken each time.

As the final chords of Backstreet’s Back came to a close, the stadium roared. The screams continued until the lights came back on. Ashleigh and Joey grinned at each other, once again feeling pleased with themselves for actually managing to accomplish their goal.

The two girls slowly walked through the sea of people leaving the Fleet Center, giggling as they discussed the concert in depth. They laughed as they recalled Howie and AJ crashing into each during the dance routine for “Get Another Boyfriend.” A common occurrence for the two girls was to laugh and joke about the boys as if they were old friends of theirs. “I figure Howie was just watching what Brian was doing and wasn’t paying attention.” One would say, and the other would laugh knowingly.

Decked out in their Backstreet Boys apparel, Ashleigh and Joey fit right in with everyone else there. Back in 2001 the Backstreet Boys were definitely in their heyday, a fact that was proven by their ability to sell out five shows in the same city.

Finally, the girls emerged from the front doors of the large stadium. Taking in a deep breath of fresh air, the started to walk down the street to where they had parked the car.

“Let’s do something tonight.” Joey suggested gleefully as the two of them approached her brother’s blue Toyota Corolla.

“Like what?” Ashleigh asked, climbing into the passenger’s seat.

“I dunno. Let’s go out or something. We don’t need to drive out of town.” She reminded her.

Ashleigh raised her eyebrows, not really sure what Joey had in mind. “We don’t exactly have a lot of money.” She said, thinking about their current financial situation. As it was, they spent the bulk of their money on concert tickets, gas and the occasional chap hotel room. They had mostly packaged food with them since there would be now way they could afford to eat out every day.

Joey shrugged. “Going out once isn’t going to bankrupt us.” She reasoned. “Let’s go to a club!”

Ashleigh nodded, seeming to accept this. That is until she remembered a vital piece of information. “We aren’t in Minnesota. The drinking age here is 21.” She said, irritated.

“I’m sure we can get in somewhere.” Joey said, excitement sparkling in her eyes. She winked at Ashleigh, and turned the radio up as they drove down to their hotel, windows rolled down.

Sure enough, they had managed to find a club that had an 18+ entry limit, and would only serve drinks to those 21 or over. Not that the girls could afford drinks, so they didn’t mind. They only thing on their minds was having something to eat other canned alphaghetti and perhaps relieving some of their adrenaline on the dance floor.

And so they sat at a high table, both on bar stools and both dressed up in their best party clothes. Ashleigh, always favoring pink was wearing a rose coloured tank top paired with a short black pleated skirt. Joey on the other hand wore a pair of black pants with a blue tube top. In typical teenage girl clubbing fashion, the girls had showered themselves in glitter and accessories.

Ashleigh giggled as their food was placed in front of them. Once their plates were set down, she grabbed a french fry and stuffed in her mouth, not realizing until that moment how hungry she was. Joey rolled her eyes jokingly, this was typical of Ashleigh. They would go out somewhere nice and she would still order a cheeseburger.

As they ate, they giggled over nonsensical things and continued to discuss the concerts. Gazing out onto the dance floor which was quite close to their table, they surveyed the crowd of people in front of them.

“I’m a shitty dancer.” Joey said, laughing and feeling somewhat nervous as she knew that her friend was probably going to end up dragging her on to the dance floor. Not that she could complain, this had been her idea after all.

But Ashleigh didn’t respond. Instead, she stared blankly at the dancing people in front of her. Her face had lost all colour and she was only able to stare.

“Ash?” Joey said carefully, wondering what was wrong with Ashleigh. “Are you okay?”

Ashleigh only nodded in response, unable to speak and still only able to stare at the scene that lay before her. She barely lifted her arm from it’s resting place on their table as she pointed.

Joey gave Ashleigh a puzzled look as her eyes followed her finger. There, dancing in the middle of the floor was the absolute epitome of perfection. At least, in their opinion anyway.

Nick Carter and AJ McLean.

Members of the group that the girls so unquestioningly idolized and just happened to be following around the country for the summer. And here they were, dancing like there was no one else around, or rather dancing as though they weren’t superstars. As if they weren’t adored by millions. As if they were just regular guys spending an evening in a club.

It could have been that they were in a club that didn’t allow under aged teenyboppers inside, or it could have been that no one else seemed to notice or care whose presence graced the club that night. Whatever it was, the boys remained relatively unbothered and seemed to be enjoying themselves as they danced with the number of girls on the floor, presumably attempting to pick them up.

“Should we go over there?” Ashleigh whispered meekly, her hands shaking. She felt so nervous she thought she might throw up right then and there.

“I don’t think we need to.” Joey stammered, also shaking slightly, and also feeling the unfamiliar feeling of being star struck and anxious. Ashleigh turned her head to stare at her best friend as she realized what was happening and why there was no need for them to attempt to make their way over to them on the dance floor.

Nick sauntered his way over to their table, running a hand through his blonde hair as he walked over to the only two girls who were still sitting quietly at a table while the rest of the patrons moved in rhythm to the familiar sounds of Britney’s “I’m a Slave 4 U”

The girls looked at each other, suddenly immersing themselves in a conversation about the finer points of their education, and what they planned to do in College that coming September. It was a forced exchange of course, neither girl knowing what to do that at point. They both spoke very fast and stumbled over their words.

The conversation didn’t last long, as Nick approached their table. He flashed the girls a cocky grin as he stood beside them, a look that would have got any other male a roll of the eyes and a snide remark from Joey.

But not Nick Carter.

“Hey girls.” He said slyly. “I couldn’t help but notice that you’re the only ones still sitting down. What are two gorgeous girls like you doing just sitting around when you could be owning that floor?” He asked, winking in Ashleigh’s direction. Another cheesy gesture that would have been followed by a roll of the eyes had he been any other member of the male species.

Ashleigh stared at him wide eyed for a moment, unable to form words, and even if she were, she wasn’t sure what she would say. Joey looked across the table at her friend, internally giggling at Ashleigh’s expression.

This was a look that Nick knew all too well. A look of recognition, a look of awe, a look of adoration. A look he could use to his advantage. “What’s your name, gorgeous?” He asked, leaning on the table getting closer to her.

Ashleigh’s heart skipped a beat. Nick Carter’s face was five inches away from her own, and she had once thought that just being in the same stadium as him had been exhilarating. “Ashleigh.” She squeaked.

Joey couldn’t help but giggle at Ashleigh’s inability to communicate with her idol. But Nick continued to stay smooth and collected as he spoke to her. “I’m Nick.” He introduced himself, though he knew it was unnecessary. “You girls wanna dance?” He asked, flashing his famous smile and glancing over at Joey. “I’ve got a friend.” He said to her.

“Sure!” Joey grinned, and looked over at Ashleigh. She continued to stare at Nick in awe, and only slightly nodded her hand.

Nick took her hand as she hopped off the high stool. Joey followed the two of them as Nick led them back over to AJ.

As Nick introduced them to AJ (another non- necessity) Ashleigh composed herself a little and gave Joey a look that said “Holy Shit.” Here she was, standing in the middle of a crowded club with none other than Nick Carter.

Once AJ and Joey were acquainted, Nick turned his attention back to the girl standing behind him. She breathed as he put his hand on her shoulder. If there was one thing Ashleigh knew how to do well, it was dance.

And dance they did. The rapid beat of Nsync’s Pop served as good background noise as she was grinding against him, grinning devilishly. Like Nick, Ashleigh was a skilled master of the art of seduction. She had been a little taken by him at first, and still was, but she had managed to regain her composure and flirt a little.

Not to be outdone by her teasing looks and light touches Nick pulled her closer to him. Not that it did much, they were already quite pushed up against one another. He gingerly touched her face as Pop ended and I Wanna Be Bad began.

Normally Ashleigh would have picked up on the irony of the situation, and laughed at the poor music choices that played around them. However, she was much too engrossed with Nick to even notice or care. She stared into his eyes as they danced together, not paying attention to the world around her in the slightest. It was as if she were living inside a dream, separate from reality.

She moved her body against his, flipping her long hair out of the way. Smiling at him with a look of passion and desire. All her inhibitions were lowered as a result of Nick Carter being so close to her, touching her, kissing her…

Kissing her? When had that happened? Her mind raced as Nick’s lips touched hers, softly at first but quickly becoming a kiss filled with craving. His tongue exploring her mouth and his fingers entwined in her hair. She felt her heart pounding in her chest; certainly this wasn’t going to lead to anything else, was it?

Nick pulled back, a look of satisfaction on his face though he was no where near finished with her. Pulling her closer her whispered in her ear. “You wanna get out of here?” He said huskily.

Ashleigh looked at him for a moment, and that shaking star struck nervous feeling returned. Before she realized what she was doing she was nodding swiftly and leaving the club with Nick’s arm around her waist without another thought. 

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