Secrets Kept, Lies Told

Secrets Kept, Lies Told
By Sarah
Chapter 17

    "Alexa?"  Denise walked into her daughter's room and didn't see her. "Alexa?"  She called again, searching the room.  She hurried out of the room and into the hallway.  "Alexa?"  She called louder.  Still no answer.  Denise hurried to the elevator.  'Maybe she's downstairs already,' she thought anxiously.  She waited impatiently until the elevator reached the bottom, then rushed around downstairs, checking everywhere for her daughter.  She started getting worried and ran to the waiting limo outside.
    "Have either of you seen Alexa?"  She asked Mike and Kevin.
    Kevin shook his head.  "No, she didn't come to lunch before, I assumed she was upstairs for today," he said.
    Denise worriedly tapped the package of room keys on her hand.  "No, she's not up there.  Make sure everyone gets here and quick, we have to leave soon," she said, looking at her watch.  She hurried back into the hotel and was met by AJ.
    "AJ, have you seen your sister?"  She asked him.
    AJ shook his head.  "No, I've been looking for Nick, have you seen him? He borrowed one of my CDs this morning and promised to give it back before we left."
    Denise shook her head, suddenly knowing where the two were.  "No, go out and get in the limo, I'll go find him," she said.  Her son nodded, knowing to accept her tone, and walked outside.  Denise hurried to the elevator and pressed up.  She rode to the fourth floor and walked quickly to Nick and Brian's room.  She knocked on the door and waited.
    "What?"  Nick asked hastily, opening the door.
    "You, outside, now, give AJ his CD and get out there without Alexa, understand?"  Denise said firmly.
    Nick nodded and closed the door behind him.  Denise left to do a final check of all the rooms.

    "Who was that?"  Alexa asked.
    "Your mother, she knew you were in here," Nick said, walking back over to the couch.
    "Damn, she knows me too well," Alexa said, pushing her hair behind her shoulders.
    "Shh, don't worry about it," Nick said, sitting down next to her.  He pulled Alexa into his arms and kissed the top of her head.  "Calm down, we aren't in trouble, you can stop being so pressured."
    Alexa relaxed in his arms and looked up into his blue eyes.  She got lost in them, like she always does, and reached up to push a lock of hair out of his face.  "You know, I could stay like this forever, just looking into youreyes," she said quietly.
    Nick smiled and kissed her forehead.  "So could I, but we have to go before your mother barges in here," he said.
    Alexa sat up with a groan and pulled on her shoes.  She helped Nick up and gave him one last kiss.  "I can't believe I have to spend another day and a half on that bus and I can't even come near you," she said.
    "I know what you mean, Brian practically has to hold me down when I see you.  But it'll be over before you know it and when we get to New York, it'll all be worth it."
    "We're finally getting out of Michigan?  Thank God!"  Alexa exclaimed, laughing.  "We've been here for the last three days and I just about can't stand it anymore."
    Nick smiled and traced Alexa's lips with his thumb.  "I know what you mean, but at least we got to spend a majority of our time here together."
    Alexa nodded and stopped the CD player.  "Yup, and I'm looking forward to seeing snow for the first time.  Remember, I've never been out of Florida," she said.
    "That's right!  You're gonna love it, I promise.  Friday night, you and me, Central Park, how does that sound?"  Nick suggested.
    Alexa smiled and gave Nick a hug.  "Wonderful.  I'll bribe Kevin or Howie into keeping AJ occupied and Mom won't mind, so we'll have the time to ourselves, with no one to bother us."  She walked out of the hotel room, leaving Nick behind.  She walked to the back steps, taking her time going down.

    "Hey you, where've you been?"  AJ asked as Alexa climbed into the limo.
    "I was using my time alone wisely," she answered, smiling at the other guys.
    "Yeah, yeah, sure you were," AJ teased, tickling his sister as she sat next to him.
    "Hey, leave me alone!  Excuse me if I like to spend some time to myself, I find it relaxing," Alexa said, pushing his hands away from her.  She took a magazine out of her bag and opened it, laying it on her lap and reading it.
    "What, now you're going to ignore me?"  AJ demanded.
    "No, I just don't feel like talking to anyone," Alexa said, engrossed in her magazine.
    AJ looked at her strangely as Nick climbed in the limo and sat next to Alexa.  "Hey, Bone, thanks for letting me listen to that CD," Nick said, handing him the case.
    AJ nodded and stashed the CD in his bag.  "Sure, no problem."  He watched as Nick and Alexa exchanged a glance, but shrugged it off as nothing.  He sat back and closed his eyes, nearly asleep until Alexa shrieked.
    "What?"  AJ asked, sitting up.
    Alexa shook her head and held back laughter.  "Nothing, absolutely nothing," she said, smiling.
    AJ gave her another strange look and relaxed, waiting for the short ride to the bus to start.

    Alexa held back laughter and lightly hit Nick's hand.  He'd tickled her on her side and surprised her.  He responded by taking her hand and squeezing it.  She could see the looks the other guys were passing around, but ignored them.  If she wanted to have a relationship with Nick, she was going to do it.  No matter what anyone said.  She looked up and saw Brian looking at her. She glanced at AJ and then back at Brian.
    'What?'  She mouthed.
    'One of these times, you'll get caught,' Brian mouthed back.
    'No we won't, we're too careful.'
    'Are you?'
    'Yes, and I need a favor from you, when we get on the bus.'
    Brian nodded and gestured to AJ, then looked away.  Alexa glanced at AJ, who was dozing next to her.  She looked back at her magazine and pretended to be occupied with it, still holding Nick's hand.

    "Ok, Alexa, what favor do you want?"  Brian asked, closing the divider behind him.
    Alexa looked up from the floor where she and Nick were sitting.  "I need you to help me and Nick get out Friday night.  Mom will let us go, but AJ's a different story," she said, patting the floor next to her.
    Brian sat and leaned against the bench behind him.  "I don't know, Alexa, as it is, I'm practically asking for AJ to kick my ass by letting you two be like this," he said.
    Nick sat up, removing his head from Alexa's lap.  "Bri, come on, do you have to be so pessimistic?  Help us here, I've helped you before!"  He exclaimed.
    Brian nodded, but couldn't help thinking about all the horrible things that could happen.  "I know you have, and you know I'm grateful for everything you have done for me, but I don't know how much longer we can do this, sneaking around AJ's back.  I mean, we've been doing this for the last four months, I'm wondering how much longer we can all last.  Everyone is covering for you two, even Denise, and I don't think we'll be able to much longer, AJ might be starting to catch on."
    Alexa nodded and looked at Nick, lacing her fingers with his.  "I know, but I don't want to make him mad and I don't want Nick to get hurt," she said, playing with Nick's hair.  "Please, Brian?  Please, do this for me,
I'll owe you big time," Alexa begged, turning back to him.
    Brian couldn't help it, he had to give in to Alexa's pleading brown eyes.  Nick always said that they were one of his weaknesses and Brian now knew what he meant.  "Ok, fine, I'll help, but I can't guarantee anything, remember that."
    Alexa smiled with glee and gave Brian a hug.  "Oh, thank you, could you do me one more teeny favor?"  She asked.
    Brian sighed as he got up.  "What?"
    "Let Kevin and Howie in on the plan, they have to help too, please?  Tell them that I owe them big if they help, ok?"  Alexa said, pleading with her eyes again.
    Brian sighed.  "Ok, fine, I'll go talk to them.  But Alexa, you have to tell AJ and soon.  We can't keep doing this for much longer."
    Alexa just nodded, barely aware to the fact that he was there.  She was leaning back against Nick's chest and he was playing with her curls, her eyes were closed and Nick was humming to her.
    Brian walked out of the back area and towards the front, stopping to make sure AJ was still asleep on the way.  He shook his head at himself as he walked away from AJ's bunk.  'What am I getting myself into?  I'm already in over my head and I keep diving lower. I'm so gonna get it,' he thought to himself.  He walked to the front and sat Kevin and Howie down to talk.
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