Chapter 24 – Freedom

I may run and hide from you screaming my name…

I didn’t speak to Nick that entire day. I know, it’s kind of weird, right? But I just didn’t have the chance, we were on separate planes, and then when he landed he was off doing press and God knows was else.

We never get the opportunity to talk to each other while getting ready for the shows, either. So you can image how awkward things were up on stage.

I couldn’t even look Brian in the eyes after the conversation we’d had the other night. It made me feel way too guilty, even though while he was performing he was a completely different person. He just danced and sang like everything was normal, which I guess was all he really could do.

But let me tell you now there are prices to fame…

Nick acted normal with Brian too. They were goofing around on stage like they always did. I didn’t know if it was because they had made up or just because they didn’t really have a choice.

I looked out at the crowd. I wondered how many of those girls would hate me if they ever found out (and I knew they would eventually) about Nick and I. I guessed probably a good number of them. Kevin hadn’t even told the fans yet that he was engaged for fear of the backlash. I would probably get killed in my sleep.

If those girls would hate me just for hating Nick, how would they react if they knew what I’d done to Brian? And I guess AJ, to a lesser extent. I was hoping that part would never, ever get out.

All of our time spent in flashes of light…

As usual, when the concert ended the guys would run as fast as they could to their busses. The rest of us dancers were of course already gone long before them, but I had to talk to Nick. I couldn’t wait anymore.

I didn’t want to have a confrontation with Brian though. That was definitely something I wanted to avoid. So after begging with Denise McLean, she agreed to let me wait on Nick’s bus for him. I felt like an insane fan, but I didn’t care. I had to know what was up.

So I sat myself down on the seating area of his bus and waited for him. It didn’t take that long for him to coming bounding in with a towel draped over his shoulders. I grinned, he was adorable. Even if he was drenched in sweat.

“Holy fucking shit Danica. You scared the hell outta me!” He shouted when he entered the bus, looking at me in shock. Oops. I guess I shouldn’t have sat there all creepy like after all.

“Sorry.” I said sheepishly. “I just missed you.”

He rolled his eyes, but smiled and sat down next to me. “I missed you too.” He replied, and leaned over to kiss me. It was a messy and sweaty kiss, but I didn’t care. I was still feeling like crap for all the drama I’d caused. At least being with Nick made it feel like it was worth it.

We were silent until we got back to the hotel. It wasn’t an uncomfortable silence, really. It was more of an “I’m glad we have some time together” type of silence. It was nice.

Unfortunately for me our nice moment of silence was ruined by the fact that the bus stopped and we were at the hotel for the night.

“Hurry it up; there are fans in the lobby.” Nick’s bodyguard, Frank, said as he ushered us off the bus. I followed close behind as he and Nick entered the hotel through the back door.

“I need a shower.” Nick announced once we were safely in his hotel room, leaning back against the door.

“Me too.” I agreed, and leaned over to kiss him. Instead of kissing me back, He pushed me away. What the hell?

“Go to your own hotel room, and get ready. We’re going to go out.” He stated.

“What?” He couldn’t have been serious. “Nick, it’s like, midnight.”

He only shrugged. “We don’t have to get up that early tomorrow. Just go get ready, see you in half an hour.” He grinned and pushed me out the door. So much for rest and relaxation.

I walked back to my own room, reasoning that I was going to have to go back there anyway to get some different clothes on. Of course as luck would have it, I almost walked straight into Brian on my way there. I would really, really like to know why that kind of thing always happens to me!

“Oh, um, sorry.” I stammered. Awkward!!

He just sort of looked at me and sighed. “Let’s just forget it happened, okay?”

Well, that was awfully blunt, wasn’t it? I couldn’t blame him though. After all the drama and hurt feelings, blunt was probably the way to go. “Yeah, sure.” I agreed. I went to shake his hand, and he studied it for a second before finally accepting. “Did you make up with Nick?” I asked carefully.

“Of course.” He replied. It still sounded kind of bitter. “Nick’s my best friend.”

I cringed. “Yeah, I know. I’m really sorry – ”

He held up a hand to stop me before I started rambling on. “I’d really just like to forget about it.”

Fair enough.

~~~

Just as Nick had instructed me, I was waiting outside his hotel room door half an hour later. I was exhausted, but I didn’t mind too much. Technically this was going to be our first official ‘date’.

He didn’t disappoint. As if on cue Nick opened up the door to his room, making eye contact with me.

“Ready to go?” He asked, holding up his arm to link with mine.

I smiled. “Definitely.”

After gathering his bodyguard to follow us, Nick and I opted to walk around searching for a place to eat. I’d actually got dressed up for the occasion, so I kind of wanted to go somewhere nice. Surprisingly, Nick agreed with that.

“Steak?” He suggested as we passed yet another brightly lit up restaurant.

I wrinkled my nose. I guess Nick took that as a hint.

“Sushi?”

I shook my head.

“Chinese?”

“Nah.”

After what felt like an hour we finally stopped in front of a Burger King. I hated to admit it…but God a whopper sounded good right then. I looked up at Nick and grinned.

Nick gave me a look. “Dani…no. We were supposed to go somewhere nice.”

“Burger King is nice!” I protested. “They have nice… counters…”

Nick raised his eyebrow. “And a nice self serve drink dispenser?” He said sarcastically.

I wasn’t about to give up though, and I knew Nick would be easy to convince. “Come on.” I said, dragging him into the store.

“Fine.” He said. See? I told you it wouldn’t be hard! “But don’t say I didn’t try to get you to go somewhere nice on our first date.”

Just like that, twenty minutes later we were back in Nick’s hotel room eating whoppers and mozza sticks like everything was normal again.

“Give me one of those.” Nick said, as he reached across the bed for one of my mozza sticks. I tried to swipe his hand away but he was too quick for me.

I rolled my eyes. “You could have just ordered your own.”

He just grinned. I hated that grin – it was all he had to do to get away with murder. “I know, they’re just so much better when they’re stolen.”

I took a bit of my burger and shook my head. And that is the story of how Nick and I spent our first official date all dressed up nicely, eating fast food. To tell you the truth I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

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