Secrets Kept, Lies Told
Secrets Kept, Lies Told
Alexander James! Get in here, now!"
Alexa ran to her mother's
hotel room, ignoring AJ as he followed behind her. It had been two
weeks since he'd attacked Nick, and she refused to talk to him, to forgive
"What's wrong, Ma?"
Alexa asked as she faced her mother.
Her mother held up
a magazine as Tami, one of the girls from Sprinkled Shake, hurried out
of the hotel room.
"This is what's wrong,"
she said, showing her the page in the magazine. It showed a picture
of AJ and Alexa, his arm around her shoulder, walking down a street.
It was a face forward picture, showing both of their faces plainly, and
the laughter in both their faces. "Mind telling me when this was
and where?" She demanded.
"I think that's in New York, I went with him to McDonalds in the morning
when we first got there. There was no one around, it was four o'clock
in the morning, we didn't think anything of it!" She said, her face
slowly turning whiter and whiter.
"Thought nothing of
it? Alexa, how many times do I have to tell you? It doesn't
matter where you are or when it is, you have to be careful! And you,
AJ, you should've known better!" Their mother said, starting to nark
"I know, Ma, but it
was four o'clock in the morning. Four o'clock! How was I suppose
to know that someone would recognize me when we weren't even suppose to
be in the city until the next day, we did arrive early! I mean, cut
me some slack here, it was a mistake!" AJ exclaimed.
"Cut you some slack?
Oh no, don't even think about it, AJ," Alexa started.
"What? What is
up with you, Alexa, you've been avoiding me like the plague!" AJ
said, walking over to her.
"Gee, I wonder why,
AJ, maybe because you beat up my boyfriend? Yeah, that might be it,
idiot!" Alexa replied, her voice rising in pitch and volume.
"Alexa, how many times
do I have to say it? I'm sorry, I'm sorry a thousand times over,
I don't know any other way I can say it!" He said, his voice rising
to match hers.
"Maybe you could stay
out of my life!" Alexa yelled.
"Alexa, I don't want
to stay out of your life! You're my little sister, I finally found
you about five months ago and you want me to stay out of your life?"
AJ yelled back.
"Yeah, I do!
matter of fact, I want you to forget I even exist. I don't want you
to remember that I am your sister, there is no point to it anymore," Alexa
mother yelled, interrupting their shouting match. "AJ, Alexa, apologize
to each other, that is no way to treat each other. If we're going
to solve this, we have to work together," she said, lowering her voice.
Alexa looked down at
the floor and mumbled a sorry, but she couldn't forgive him what he did
to her and Nick. That was still unforgivable.
"Good, now both of
you take a deep breath and listen, you're going to have to know what this
blurb is saying," their mother said. She started reading aloud from
the magazine in front of her. "Does Backstreet Boy AJ McLean have
a new girlfriend? Sources say he does, and this picture confirms
it, taken by one of our writers while she was on a trip to New York.
Thanks for all your information and if anyone happens to catch her name,
let us know!" She lowered the magazine from her face and looked
frankly at the two.
"Dammit," AJ and Alexa
said at the same time.
"Yeah, you could say
that," their mother replied dryly.
"How are we going to
straighten this out?" Alexa asked, sitting in a chair, still looking
at the floor. She was shocked, she didn't realize that something
like this could blow it all up.
"Well, we could have
a press conference, but that would be too big, and we don't have time for
that," AJ started. "Do you know if any other magazines have gotten
the news?" He asked.
"Not that I know of,
Tami brought this in to me as soon as she saw it."
AJ sighed and walked
slowly over towards Alexa, and she stood up, walking away from him.
She still wanted nothing to do with him. "Umm, what about writing
to the magazine? We could have this cleared up in time for the next
issue, can't we?" She asked.
"Yes, we could.
Good idea, Alexa," her mother said.
"But what will we tell
them?" AJ asked.
"The truth, that I'm
your sister," Alexa said, almost as if it was hard for her to say.
"But will they believe
that?" AJ asked.
"When they see that
it's in your handwriting they will," his mother said, handing him a pad
of paper and a pen. "Start writing, AJ, then you are confined to
your room until further notice. You too, Alexa," she said, turning
to her daughter.
"What? I had
no involvement in this, he was the one who said it would be ok if we went
and got something to eat!" Alexa exclaimed, gesturing to her brother.
Her blood was already at boiling point and it was rising even higher.
"I don't care, Alexa,
to your room, now, before I change my mind and make your time in there
indefinite," her mother said, pointing to the door.
Alexa stomped her foot
exasperatedly and hurried out of the room. She rushed to her room,
slamming the door behind her, and went quickly to her phone. She
dialed Nick's room number, praying that he'd be able to come see her.
"So what should I say?"
AJ asked, sitting at his mother's desk.
"Well, start with hi,
how are you, the basics, then start on the blurb and picture. Explain,
but not in depth, just what happened and tell them that she's your sister.
Don't tell them her name, just leave that part out. Tell them that
you want her name to remain unknown for privacy purposes. Finally,
tell them that they can publish the letter if they want to, and sign it.
Then go to the other guys' rooms and get them to sign another piece of
paper, just as a bit of a bribe, make sure they write little messages saying
how great the magazine is. Then we'll send it off tomorrow, after
I check it over," his mother said, her voice set and firm. AJ knew
that tone, it meant that he wasn't to mess with her, not to second guess
AJ nodded and started
the letter, writing whatever came into his mind. He started off with
telling them that the tour was going great and he and the guys were having
fun. He then started a new paragraph, bringing up the subject of
the picture. He explained that 'the girl in the picture' was his
sister, not his new girlfriend. He added that all the guys were single,
just seeing people, no one specific. He then explained that his sister's
name wasn't going to be announced, she wanted to keep her privacy for a
while longer, since she'd stayed out of the spotlight for so long, she
didn't want anyone to know who she was. He also asked that they not
publish any more pictures of her, she was a regular person, she didn't
deserve to be known around the world just because she was his sister.
He finally ended the letter, saying that he hoped to be able to stop in
their offices soon, then signed the bottom of the page. It took him
a front page and half of another front to finish the letter, but he did,
making the letter a page and a half.
"Ok, I'm done," AJ said,
holding up the letter for his mother to see.
"Good, now take another
piece of paper and tell the guys to sign it," she said, taking the letter
and starting to read it.
"Umm, Ma? Could
you do that? I'm not exactly on speaking terms with the rest of the
guys," AJ said, ashamed.
His mother looked at
him with what could've been called sympathy, but it disappeared instantly.
"Sure, now get to your room, I don't want to hear anything out of either
you or your sister until we leave, understand? And even when we're
on the bus, you are confined to the back, you are not allowed to go up
front, got it?"
AJ nodded as he headed
for the door. "Yes, ma'am," he said quietly. He walked forlornly
to his room and closed the door quietly behind him. He sat on his
bed, thinking, and glanced at the picture frame that was next to his bed.
It was of him and Alexa, taken about a month ago. They looked
so happy together, the perfect brother and sister relationship. 'But
no, I had to go screw it up, now didn't I?' AJ thought. 'I'm
sorry, Aly, I'm trying to make it up to you, but you don't seem to want
to let me,' he said to himself, picking up the picture. 'I promise,
Aly, I'll find some way to make it up to you.' Suddenly, AJ got the
best idea he'd had in a long time. "And I think I know exactly how
to do it," he thought aloud. He put down the picture and picked up
his cell phone and started dialing.
"Alexa, honey, calm
down, start from the beginning," Nick said, coming into her room and sitting
next to her on the bed.
"Mom called me and
AJ into her room and showed us a picture in a magazine. A picture
of us, together, laughing, having a grand 'ol time, and his arm was around
me. The magazine editors thought it meant that I was his new girlfriend.
His new girlfriend! Nick, I've been confined here until further notice
and that means we can't go out tonight, or any other night until she says
I can!" Alexa exclaimed, visibly upset about it.
Nick chuckled and pulled
her into his arms. "Is that what you're so upset about? Don't
worry, honey, its ok. It'll all be cleared up soon, the rumors will
stop, and you will eventually be allowed out of your room. Its not
that big a deal that we can't go out, I'd rather we stay here anyway,"
he said, rubbing her back.
"But, Nick, it took
you forever to get those reservations" Alexa started.
the last time we went there, the waiters were really mean and snotty to
us, just because it was a bunch of guys wanting to have something to eat
and chose a fancy place. Trust me, I wasn't really looking forward
to going back," Nick admitted.
"Then why did you make
such a big deal about it?" Alexa asked, looking up at him.
"Because you're worth
it. I was willing to go back there with you and only you because
you're worth it. I would do anything for you, go anywhere for you,
as long as you asked," Nick said quietly, moving a few curls out of her
Alexa smiled and sat
up next to him. "Does that mean you'd actually stay with me, here,
until I'm off this stupid charge of room confinement?" She asked.
Nick smiled back and
tickled her stomach. "Of course I will! Just let me run back
to my room and get something, I'll be right back, ok?" He said.
Alexa nodded and he stood
up, walking to the door. He hurried down the hall and across and
opened his hotel room door.
"What's up, Frack?"
Brian asked as he walked in.
"Nothing, Frick, I'm
just going to hang out with Alexa for a little while. She's been
confined to her room until further notice, I'll fill you in on the details
later, but for now, I'm gonna take advantage of this and
spend some time with her," Nick replied,
going to his suitcase and pulling out a large bag of junk food.
"Yo, when did you get
that?" Brian demanded, sitting up from where he was lying on his
"I got this, lemme
think, about five days ago, right before we left Maine and came here to
New Hampshire. They had this big-ass candy store right down the block
from us and I took the liberty of stocking up on what I could," Nick said,
grinning and closing up his suitcase. "Don't tell Denise, she'll
have a hissy fit because I wasn't suppose to leave the hotel that day,
we were all suppose to stay inside."
"Oh, I know, I went
out for a slushy and nearly got caught," Brian said, going back to watching
the movie on the television.
Nick smiled and walked
out of the room, carrying the bag of candy at his side. He hurried
over to Alexa's room and knocked quietly.
"Nicky, you know you
don't have to knock, you have the key," Alexa said as she opened the door.
"I know, but my hands
are a bit full," he said, showing her the bag.
She gasped. "Ohmigod,
gimme those Butterfingers!" She said, letting him inside the hotel
Nick hugged the bag
to his chest. "No way, those are mine!" He exclaimed, walking
to her bed.
"But Nick, I love Butterfingers,
you know that," Alexa whined as she sat down next to him.
"I know, but so do
I," Nick said.
"We'll share them,"
they both said at the same time.
Alexa giggled and held
out her hand. "Deal?"
"Deal," Nick said as
he shook her hand. He opened the bag and spilled a large portion
in front of them. "Ok, here, this is our stash for the remainder
of the month," he said, holding up the bag.
"What, are you insane?
That is not nearly enough to last us that long," Alexa said.
"I know, that's why
we have to make it last," he replied, selecting a Reese's peanut butter
Alexa smiled as he
unwrapped the piece of chocolate. "Did I ever tell you what my biggest
weakness was?" She asked.
"Umm, I believe you
said it was me," Nick said, confused.
"Besides that," Alexa
said, moving closer next to him.
"Umm, I don't know,
what?" Nick asked as he popped the Reese's in his mouth.
answered. She leaned over and kissed Nick, then pulled away.
"Hey!" Nick exclaimed.
Alexa giggled as she
chewed. "You can't say I didn't warn you!"
Nick shook his head
and pretended to grumble as he unwrapped another candy. "You know,
if I didn't give in so quickly to you, we'd have some major problems here,"
he said, wagging his finger at her.
Alexa giggled and reached
for a Butterfinger. "And if you didn't have Butterfingers, imagine
what would happen then?" She asked.
They both laughed and
started on a binge.