Secrets Kept, Lies Told

Secrets Kept, Lies Told
By Sarah
Chapter 21

    Alexa laughed as she opened her hotel room door.  She pulled Nick inside and closed the door behind him.  She pulled his head down to hers and kissed him, trying to keep him quiet.  She led him to the couch and sat down, lying back, not breaking the kiss.  Nick kissed her back eagerly, his hands running through her now loose hair.  Before, it was up fancily, but she let out the clips when the play was over and they went to a diner.  They had dinner and then came back to the hotel.  It was only a little after midnight, but she knew everyone was asleep.  She ran her hands up and down his back, deepening the kiss, and he suddenly broke away from her.
    "What?  What's wrong?"  She asked quietly.
    "Did you hear that?"  Nick whispered.
    "Hear what?"  Alexa asked.  "Nicky, we're finally alone, stop being so paranoid and enjoy this while we can," she said, pulling his head back down to hers.  She wrapped her arms around his neck and suddenly felt him being torn away from her.
    "What the hell," she started, sitting up.  She let out a strangled scream as she saw her brother pull his fist back and let go, hitting Nick in the face.

    "What is going on in here?"  Denise demanded, rushing into Alexa's room.  She saw Nick laying on the floor and AJ on top of him, hitting him over and over again.  "AJ!"  She exclaimed, pulling him away from Nick.  She pushed him towards the other side of the room as Kevin and Brian came running in the room, followed by Howie.
    "Wha... " Brian started.  He saw Nick on the floor and then looked at AJ.  "What on earth are you doing?"  He shouted.
    "Beating up the bastard, I told him to stay away from Alexa and he didn't listen," AJ said, starting for him again.
    Kevin held him back and Denise ran to Alexa, who had the worst look on her face.  "Alexa, honey, tell me what happened," she said.
    Alexa started breathing heavily and knelt on the floor next to Nick, who was groaning and covering his face against the bright lights.  "Nick and I came back and we were kissing and AJ came out of nowhere and started hitting him!"  She said between breaths.  She held Nick's head in her lap and started shushing him, wiping away his tears and brushing his hair out of his face carefully.
    "I told him, he didn't listen!"  AJ exclaimed, fighting against Kevin's grasp.
    "Alexander James McLean, I don't care what you told anyone, you have no business fighting anyone!"  Denise said, walking back over to her son.  She could see the rage in his eyes, how badly he wanted to hurt Nick.  "Besides, what did you tell them all?  What are you talking about, warning them?"
    "AJ came and told us all that Alexa was off limits and we weren't allowed to be around her at all," Brian explained, helping Nick sit up.  "He said that whoever did, he would hurt them," he said, handing Alexa some ice Howie had brought from the freezer.
    "You did what?"  Denise was shocked that her son could do something like that.  But before she could reach him, Alexa came over and slapped AJ in the face.
    "Don't you ever think that you can control my life.  Never, understand? No one says what I can and cannot do, not even you, AJ.  I trusted you and asked you numerous times about why no one was speaking to me.  I thought that maybe they didn't like me, but no.  When I finally made Brian and Nick spill why no one was talking to me, I wanted to kill you.  But no, I kept my temper and got along with all the guys equally well.  Nick and I have been together, going out together, behind your back because I knew this would happen.  If you ever again try to decide what I do in my life, you will get more than a slap in the face, and you will never see me again, understand?  Do you understand me?"  She demanded, tears running down her face.
   "Yes," AJ mumbled.
    "Good," Alexa said.  She looked up at Kevin.  "Please get him out of here, I can't stand the sight of his face," she asked, walking back to Nick.
    Kevin looked at Denise and she nodded.  She was so shocked at her son, it was beyond belief.  She watched as Kevin dragged AJ out of the room and to his own, then turned to Nick and Alexa.  "Are you ok, Nick?"  She asked, kneeling next to Alexa.
    "I think so, I can't quite breath, though," Nick said, sounding a little nasal.
    Denise reached forward and gently lowered the ice from his face."My God," was all she could say.  She gestured for him to put the ice back on his face.  "Just keep the ice on it, the swelling will go down," she said.  His nose was incredibly large, and the left side of his face was already starting to swell up and bruises were starting to show.  Denise stood up and backed away from Nick, bumping into Howie and Brian.
    "Come on, let's leave them alone, I'll go see if I can get more ice," Brian said, trying to get everyone out.
    Denise nodded and left last, closing the door behind her.  The last thing she saw was Alexa bent over Nick, tears streaming down her face, apologizing to him a mile a minute.

    "Nicky, I'm so sorry, I should've told him before, I should've been more careful," Alexa said, rambling.  She felt so bad that Nick was suffering because of her.
    "Alexa, honey, stop.  You didn't do anything.  We all covered it up, but its over now.  We don't have to walk on eggshells on AJ's behalf.  We can be together, don't worry about this.  Nothing is wrong, this will heal," Nick said through the ice he was holding on his face.
    Alexa laughed lightly and wiped away her tears.  "You sound so funny," she said.
    Nick laughed with her, then suddenly stopped.  "Ow, it hurts to laugh."
    Alexa smiled and gave him a hug.  "Oh, poor baby," she said, half-laughing, half-crying.  She kissed his head and looked in his eyes.  "You know, I think you're lucky.  He didn't hit your eyes, just your nose," she said.
    "Yeah, my nose and my arms.  He really can hit hard, I think he was trying for my face, but I had enough sense to defend myself," Nick said, leaning against Alexa.
    Alexa smiled and played with his hair, flipping pieces back and forth and twining them around her fingers.  "Well, none of this would've happened if AJ wasn't so selfish, but we aren't going to think about that, now are we?"
   Nick shook his head.  "No, we aren't."
    Alexa kissed his forehead and glanced at the clock.  "Come on, baby, can you stand?"  She asked.  Nick nodded and sat up the rest of the way.  Alexa helped him stand and moved him to the couch.  "You're sleeping here tonight, and I'm sleeping right next to you," she said, sitting on the floor by his
    "Alexa, you don't have to do this," Nick started.
    "Shh, yes I do," Alexa said, putting her finger on his lips.
    Nick smiled and took her hand in his, then kissed her fingertips lightly.  "I love you," he whispered.
    Alexa smiled and looked in his eyes.  "I love you too," she whispered back.  She reached for the lamp next to the couch and switched it off, leaving them in total darkness.
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