Chapter 15 – Raise Your Glass

Danica probably thinks I’m doing every thing I can to avoid the issue. She probably thinks that I haven’t given this any thought and that I’m hoping it will all go away. That I spend my nights picking up random girls and forgetting that she exists and is waiting for me to give her an answer on what the status of our relationship is.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I mean, okay, I really do wish this would go away, but what can I do to stop it? She likes me, Brian likes her, I…

Well, where do I stand, really? That’s as good a question as any. And it’s most of the reason why I haven’t done anything about this. Dani deserves someone is sure about what he wants, who doesn’t make rash and stupid decisions and could potentially hurt her. I’m just not that guy… I don’t think I am anyway. And if I’m unsure, isn’t that sort of the answer?

The whole thing just makes my head hurt. I don’t know what I can do to figure out how I feel, because I know her. I know she doesn’t want some wishy washy answer. She wants the truth, she wants me to tell her I want her and only her. Can I do that?

I honestly don’t fucking know. I’m 19 years old, what do you expect?!

Since the whole thing was giving me a headache, I was laying on my stiff hotel room bed with my stiff hotel room pillow trying to get some rest. Of course, the key word here is trying. I was failing pretty miserably as my brain was racked with the problems at hand.

And what do you know? Just as soon as I’d started to drift off into dreamland, there was a loud knock at my door, followed by a thundering yell.

“NICKOLAS!” Ah, Kevin. See, I told you it was thundering!

I sighed. Rolling off of the bed I reluctantly opened my door. Kevin giving me a post show visit was never a good sign. What could he possibly want that couldn’t be saved until the morning?


“Get dressed.” He said, suddenly in a much nicer voice. I guess he assumed I was sleeping, thus using the loud voice before. Oh Kevin, how nice of you to be so considerate. “We’re going out for a nice dinner.”

I pouted. Nice dinners sucked. “Why?” I asked, in a much whinier voice than I’d intended.

“Because we always eat too much fast food, plus it’ll be good for us to all go out together.” He explained, and then put his hand on my shoulder. “Cheer up, you can bring your girlfriend if you want.”

Oh, come on! You have got to be kidding me! That was just cruel. Faced with my current situation, and now I have to go out and play as though Dani is my actual girlfriend, cause you know, we have this stupid plan and have to keep up appearances and whatnot. You know, my life would be a lot simpler if I didn’t have to “keep up appearances”. And I’m not even talking about Backstreet Boys stuff, because this fake relationship is turning out to be a lot harder than that, if you can believe it.

But I put on my most fake Nick Carter grin. “Sounds great. I’ll meet you guys downstairs in twenty minutes?”

Kevin seemed to accept that. Why he couldn’t see through my fake smiles by now, I had no idea, but so long as they kept working I wasn’t concerned. “Perfect.”

I shut the door behind me and leaned against it. What a mess. I was going to have to go invite Dani to dinner, and it was going to be awkward, and this time we didn’t have a TV show to distract us. It was just going to be us. Well, us and the others. But they didn’t count.

So, I mustered up all my manly courage and began the long and daunting walk down to her room. It didn’t take long for me to get there though, considering we were on the same floor. That, and I was nervous. Ever notice how time moves a lot quicker when you’re nervous about doing something?

Anyway, before I knew it I was knocking on her door. That’s when I started to really panic. What was I going to say? Should I try and ignore the awkwardness or should I comment on it? Oh crap, she was opening the door

“Hey!” She greeted me happily. Oh crap, did she think I was there to tell her I loved her and that I wanted to run off together?

“Uh, hey Dani.” I said, and suddenly the ugly hotel carpet seemed very interesting. Though, I did notice Bev peek out from the room and over at us. “Am I interrupting something?”

“No. What’s up?” She asked, still sounding happy, and now a little concerned.

Might as well get it over with. “Kevin’s getting the whole group together for some nice dinner…. and um.. since they think that you and I are…you know…” I stumbled over my words and tried to get my point across. I didn’t want to come off as an insensitive jerk… but I’m pretty sure I didn’t succeed in that mission.

“Yeah, I’ll go with you.” She agreed quickly. I smiled, glad that the hard part was over with. What was I expecting anyway? For her to yell at me? Hardly.

“Great. I just need to get changed…so I’ll meet you back in ten minutes or so, then we can go downstairs together?” I suggested, hoping I didn’t sound too pushy.

“Okay.” She agreed, and closed the door.

Why couldn’t I be in dreamland right now? Things are always so much nicer there.

After getting dressed I headed downstairs to meet up with the other guys. I kept to myself mostly, I didn’t really want to get stuck in a conversation about Dani with AJ or someone. That, and Brian kept giving me shifty looks. What was that all about? Jeez.

“Hey Nick.” I heard Dani say, and I spun around to face her. I was met with something I didn’t expect. There she was, looking completely different than she normally did. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, she was just different. Dressed up, yes. But she didn’t look like the Dani I knew, instead she looked like she’d taken a vacation in a Hollywood magazine and hadn’t adjusted back to her normal life yet. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not.

“Hey.” I said, giving her a quick kiss on the cheek and draping my arm over her shoulders. “Ready to go?”

She nodded, and I gulped. How awkward was this going to have to get before one of us cracked? I guess pretty awkward, because we’re both pretty stubborn.

Nothing out of the ordinary happened at the restaurant. I tried to walk the line with Dani. I didn’t want to be too touchy feely with her, but at the same time I had to show some affection, otherwise they wouldn’t buy our whole relationship, right?

“So Dani, are you going to be joining us after the tour?” AJ asked suddenly. Way to make things awkward, buddy! I felt Dani tense up beside me, so clearly she was unsure what she should say.

“We hadn’t really talked about it much, we’ll just see how things go.” I said with a smile, and looked over at Dani. She seemed to think that was a safe answer.

“Yeah.” Was all she said before excusing herself to go to the washroom.

I can’t say I wasn’t relieved that she was gone for a few minutes. It gave me a chance to breathe and now worry about how I should be acting around her.

“Is Dani okay, Nick?” Brian asked me, bringing me back to planet Earth.


Brian smiled and explained further. “She seemed a little bit nervous or something. Is there something wrong?”

I shook my head. Obviously Brian new that our whole plan was just a facade, but I couldn’t exactly explain everything to him in front of everyone else. I couldn’t even explain to him alone, because as far as I knew, he didn’t know that Dani had feelings for me.

“Not that I know of.” I answered, and then glanced in the direction of the washroom.

“Do you mind if I go talk to her?” He asked me, trying to give me some look I couldn’t figure out.

“Uh.. sure…” I replied. Why was he asking me, he can talk to whoever he wants!”

Brian just smiled and went to go meet Dani on her way back to the table. See what I’m talking about? Everything is awkward now! I shook my head and concentrated on the appetizer that had just been placed in front of me. At least there’s one thing that I’m sure of. No matter how awkward and strange my life got, there would always cheesy garlic bread.


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