In Pieces – Chapter 7

Nick awoke rather late the next morning. He glanced over at the clock, 10:38 it read. Groaning, he knew he was going to have to get up soon before Kevin came banging on his door.

Rolling over to the other side of the bed, Nick went to drape his arm around the girl who had slept beside him for the entire night. However, all he found was an empty mess of covers where she had been.

Confused, Nick sat and surveyed the room. Sure enough, she was gone. He shook his head, usually the girls stayed until he forcefully told them to leave. This girl hadn’t been like other groupies. She had been cheeky, innocent and cute. Shrugging off the oncoming loneliness, he got out of bed and headed to the shower.

Ashleigh, on the other hand, smirked as she sat in the hotel restaurant. She was quietly sipping coffee, sitting at the table nearest the lobby. She sighed to herself, and closed her eyes, reliving the events of the previous evening in her head. Nick had certainly made it memorable.

Her thoughts were brought to an abrupt stop rather quickly. “Tell me everything.” Came Joey’s voice out of seemingly nowhere.

Ashleigh opened her eyes to come face to face with Joey standing right in front of her. She was also wearing the same clothes as she’d had on last night. “What are you doing here?” She asked, confused.

Joey sat down across from her friend. “You totally abandoned me!” She accused, but her grin never left her face. “Not that I mind, I totally understand. AJ was nice enough to bring me here and let me stay the night while you were with Nick.”

Ashleigh smirked. “I’m sure you hated that.”

Joey rolled her eyes. “Shut up. We didn’t do anything. You, on the other hand…” She grinned, itching to hear every detail.

Ashleigh took a sip of her coffee, her thoughts once again returning to the night before. “It was the best sex I’ve ever had.” She sighed.

Joey laughed. “It was the only sex you’ve ever had.”

Ashleigh shrugged. “It was still the best.” She defended. “No one will ever be able to top Nick Carter.”

Joey nodded in full agreement. There was no refuting that, Ashleigh had adored Nick from day one. “So, how was he?”

Ashleigh thought for a moment. “He was very…courteous.”

Joey wrinkled her eyebrows, not knowing what Ashleigh meant. “The sex was courteous?” She asked, confused.

Ashleigh shrugged, not really knowing how else to describe it. “I mean…he wasn’t a jerk about it, you know? He could have been a lot ruder… but he wasn’t. He was just really…sweet. He took the time to say my name and everything. I felt like it was really something special…” She explained, trailing off and getting lost in her thoughts again.

Joey raised an eyebrow. “Ash… you know that – ” She started, only to be cut off.

“I have to see him again, Joe.”

Joey stared in disbelief at her friend. She couldn’t possibly be serious; one night with him wasn’t enough? It was more than most fans would have! “Ash…” She began, not really knowing what to say.

At that moment, the girls noticed Brian and Leighanne stroll in to the restaurant. They both looked at each other in shock, though it wasn’t something that should be unheard of. They were staying in this hotel for the next few days, after all.

“Lets go.” Ashleigh said quickly, placing a five dollar bill on the table and hurrying out the door. Joey followed closely behind her. She knew what Ashleigh was thinking, she didn’t want to play the part of an obsessive stalker. If Brian and Leighanne were having breakfast, Nick surely would be soon to follow.

About a half an hour later Nick casually strolled into the restaurant, and found his place at the table with Brian, Leighanne, Kevin, Kristin, AJ and Howie.

“Mornin’ fellas.” He said, falling lazily into his chair. “And ladies.”

Kevin shot Nick a look. “We were supposed to meet at 10:45, Nick.” He scolded, always the big brother of the group.

Nick smirked. “Sorry, I was out late last night.” He replied, taking a sip of the water in front of him.

“Nicky here was with a girl last night.” Howie teased. Nick rolled his eyes.

AJ scoffed. “Yeah, and left me with her ‘no sex until marriage’ friend.” He said, shooting Nick a glare, which he ignored.

“She was hot.” She shrugged.

Brian shook his head and laughed. He and Leighanne stole a quick kiss, which made Nick’s familiar feeling of loneliness return. Funny, he had felt perfectly comfortable last night. Waking up alone was definitely the worst part about not having a stable relationship. He hadn’t really worried about it that much until this tour started. Last time, he’d had Mandy with him. Now, with Brian and Kevin both married he’d begun to understand the feeling of being alone.

Especially since she’d been the one to leave him. That had really made him confused, and somewhat irritated. He supposed it was fair, he would have just told her to leave anyway. But her leaving… he felt it gave him a loss of power. Maybe he hadn’t been as good as he’d thought.

“You’d better have got a quickie before breakfast.” AJ laughed, hoping Nick had made his hospitality to Joey worthwhile.

Nick ran his hands through his hair. He was still trying to figure that one out. He probably could have had another round with her, but that probably would have made him another half an hour late… and she hadn’t given him the chance anyway! “Nope.” He said simply.

“What do you mean, “nope”?” AJ asked Nick, turning to him. The others however, couldn’t care less about Nick’s rendezvous. They were now engaged in another conversation.

Nick shrugged. “When I woke up she was gone.”

AJ furrowed his eyebrows. “That’s not very groupie like.” He observed.

“I know!” Nick exclaimed, finishing his water. “It kinda bothered me.” He admitted.

AJ smiled and patted Nick on the back. “Oh Nicky. Every girl can’t worship the ground you walk on.”

Nick sighed, stealing yet another glance at the happy couples that were before him. It bothered him a little, to be so adored, and yet… so lonely.

That afternoon, the two girls were back in their hotel room across the city. Ashleigh continued to babble about her night with Nick, and Joey was eager to listen to her. It was definitely the most exciting thing that had happened to either of them.

“He’s just so much hotter in person. Like, words cannot describe.” Ashleigh giggled, as she popped a Ritz cracker into her mouth.

“Was he big?” Joey wondered, looking to Ashleigh for a response.

Ashleigh pondered that for a second. “I don’t really know!” She laughed. “I mean, I guess? It hurt a lot.”

Joey nodded. She’d always been excited to hear about Ashleigh’s first time, the fact that it was with Nick Carter made this doubly exciting. “God, I cannot believe you did Nick.” She exclaimed after a moment of silence.

“I know!” Ashleigh squealed, hugging a pillow to her chest. Collapsing backwards onto the bed, she giggled yet again. “It was the best night of my life.”

“Still, I don’t get why you left his room.” Joey replied, grabbing the box of crackers away from Ashleigh’s side of the bed. “What if he would have asked you to be his girlfriend or something?” She joked, knowing that wouldn’t have happened.

Ashleigh sat up. “You gotta let guys chase you.” She said wisely. “If you give them a mystery, they’ll come back wanting more.” She explained, taking a handful of crackers out of the box. “That’s why we have to get into the front row tonight.” She grinned devilishly.

Joey gawked at her friend. She was actually serious about this. There was no way there were going to be able to sneak down to the floor, much less the front row. “Ashleigh, you don’t really think that Nick’s going to want to be with you again, do you?” She asked skeptically.

“Gotta give him a chance, don’t I?” She beamed. Joey sighed, knowing she wasn’t going to be able to talk Ashleigh out of this. She only hoped that Ashleigh would soon come to understand that the Nick from her fantasy probably wasn’t the same person she’d met the night before.

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