Secrets Kept, Lies Told
Secrets Kept, Lies Told
Alexa opened her eyes
and was met with the beautiful sight of Nick's pleading aqua eyes.
"Hey, sugar," she whispered.
"Baby, I know you've
probably already met everyone, but would you like to meet my family?
Now that I'm done rambling on and on with them, is that ok?" Nick
asked, kneeling in front of the chair she'd fallen asleep in.
Alexa nodded sleepily
and tried to push herself out of the chair. Suddenly, Nick just picked
her up. "Ahh! Nick, don't do that!" She exclaimed, wide
Everyone in the room
laughed and AJ looked up from where he was sitting. "Nick, do what she
says," he warned.
"Yes, big brother,"
Nick and Alexa chorused. They both laughed and Nick put her down
on her feet and someone attacked their legs.
"Nick, where's my Butterfinger
you promised?" Aaron asked, looking up at the two of them.
"Nick, what did you do?" She asked.
"I promised him last
time I talked to him that when I saw him I would give him one of my Butterfingers.
Sorry AC, they're all gone," Nick said, pulling Alexa to the couch and
sitting her next to him.
"Where'd they go?"
"Our stomachs," Nick
said, gesturing between him and Alexa. Alexa nearly laughed at the
expression on Aaron's face.
"Aaron, relax, don't
tell Nick, but I bought more Butterfingers the other day, I'll give you
one later, ok?" Alexa said, leaning forward and whispering.
"Ok!" Aaron exclaimed.
He looked at his brother. "Hey Nick, I like her!" He said.
"Really, why's that,
Airboy?" Nick asked.
"Because she's gonna
give me Butterfingers!"
Nick pulled Alexa across
his lap and started tickling her stomach. "You're gonna give him Butterfingers
and not me?" He demanded playfully. Alexa couldn't stop laughing,
so just shook her head. Nick finally stopped and she sat back up,
leaning back against Nick's chest, her head resting in the crook of his
neck. "I was gonna give you some when my stash ran low"
"Yeah, yeah, that's
what you said last time!" Nick said. "Ok, enough of this, Alexa,
as you know these are my parents, Bob and Jane, my sisters, in order of
appearance, BJ, Leslie, and Angel, and then you have Aaron, the baby of
the family. He and Angel are twins," he said, gesturing to each family
member as he said their name.
"Hi again," Alexa said,
"Alexa, I know this
is going to sound strange, but where did you come from? Last time
I checked, AJ was an only child," Leslie said, trying to be polite.
"Leslie," Nick started.
"No, Nick, its all
right, I'm going to have to start answering this question a lot and I don't
want everyone believe the BS that the press turn my words into, so I'll
just tell them," Alexa said, gesturing for him to be
quiet. "When I was four years old,
I was found wandering the streets of Orlando by a then-young girl named
Sherry. Sherry took care of me and raised me on the meager things
she had. Sherry devoted her life to helping homeless and lost children
and started the Help the Homeless program at a church in
Orlando. I lived there for a good
fourteen years until one day, when I was out looking for money, I saw a
big crowd of people in front of a record store and I heard a lot of screaming.
I thought it was strange that people were there and went to check it out.
I pick-pocketed a few people, simply because I had no choice, I had to
survive. Anyway, I found myself inside the store a little while later
and snuck into the back. I found AJ's wallet and stole his money
and left. That night, I went out and bought myself some decent clothes
and went out to a club. I walked in and almost immediately, a short,
dirty blonde-headed guy with bright blue eyes comes up to me and asks me
to dance. I start dancing with him and after the first song, someone
comes over and taps my dance partner on the shoulder. He looks between
me and the other person, like, three or four times and I finally look and
see AJ staring back at me, and it was like we could be twins. We
look that much alike, at first glance. Anyway, he drags me out of
the club and demands to know why I look
so much like him and I slip and call him
Mr. McLean by accident, I'd recognized him from his driver's license photo,
and I never forget a face. I start to run and he chases me, wanting
his money back and I end up back at the church, after out-running AJ, Nick,
Kevin, and Brian. To make an already long story short, AJ brought
me back to the hotel they were staying at and as soon as I saw my mother
I knew she was who I thought she was. It just struck me, head on,
like a ton of bricks. I didn't want to believe it and left, then
AJ came to find me and brought me back and I ended up staying. It
turned out to be that I was kidnapped when I was four days old and separated
from my family for my entire life," Alexa finished. She smiled as
AJ came over and sat on the floor space in front of the couch. "I
think the best thing AJ has done for me so far was dragging me back to
that hotel, kicking and screaming, just to find out why I knew who his
father was," she said, ruffling his hair.
"Wait, how did you
know who his father was?" Jane asked.
Alexa swallowed and
played with AJ's hair, not looking at anyone. "Because he was the one who
kidnapped me and raised me until I was four years old, when I walked away
from him in Orlando."
She could hear gasps
and felt tears coming to her eyes. She didn't know why she wanted
to cry, there was no reason to. She leaned back against Nick and
choked back the tears, and he hugged her close. "Its ok, baby," he
whispered, kissing the top of her head.
Alexa couldn't help
but feel the pain that she didn't realize was there. The pain and realization
that her own flesh and blood had nearly ruined her life was blocked out
for so long, she didn't want to remember what had really happened, she
just wanted it all to go away. 'But it won't, not until I come to
understand what happened and why it happened,' she said to herself.
She composed herself and twisted locks of AJ's hair around her fingers,
and he smiled at her. It was an 'it's ok, I'm here now, nothing can
happen to you'
kind of smile. It made Alexa feel
better, and she knew Nick was looking at her with the same expression in
his eyes, the eyes she so adored.
"Aly, why don't you
go grab my yellow bag from my room," AJ said, breaking her train of thought.
He winked. "You remember what's in there?" He asked.
Alexa nodded and instantly
cheered up. "Sure do, be right back, Nicky," she said quickly, standing
Nick watched as Alexa
hurried out of the room, then turned to face his mother. "What?"
"Did she just call
you Nicky?" She asked.
"Because you hate it
when people call you Nicky, you practically kill us if one of us do," BJ
said from the other end of the couch.
"Well, don't expect
that to change, I just like the way she says it," Nick said, getting defensive.
"Ok, just checking,
calm down," his mother said, holding up her hands. She looked next to her
at Nick's father and smiled. "What do you think?" She asked.
"I think he is," he
who is what?" Aaron asked, sitting in between AJ and Brian on the
"I think Nick fell
in love with Alexa," his father clarified.
Nick blushed and looked
down at the floor, trying to ignore the catcalls and narking.
"Oh, Nicky boy is in
love," AJ said.
"Yeah, with your sister!"
"Oh, scary thought,"
AJ said, sobered.
"Bad mental images!"
"Hey!" Nick exclaimed,
hitting her with a pillow. "Stop that, don't think about it, or keep
your mouth shut, Bobbie," he said, adding the last word at the last second.
"Don't call me that!"
BJ shrieked, hitting him back with a pillow.
called from the door. "Come here, AJ," she said.
AJ got up excitedly
and laughed as Alexa opened the bag. "Did you shake them?"
"Yup," Alexa said.
AJ started counting, reaching into the bag.
"Alexa, what are you
doing?" Nick asked.
"AJ, Alexa, don't do
anything you'll regret," Kevin said warningly.
AJ and Alexa pulled
things out of the bag and started spraying it all over the room, at everyone.
"Silly string fight!"
Nick exclaimed as he was hit in the face. He tried to cover his face,
but didn't succeed. He crawled on the floor to the bag and pulled
out another can of the stuff. "I'm in on this too!" He exclaimed,
shooting everywhere he could.
Everyone in the room,
all five families, was racing around, trying to take cover. Brian
crawled from his place on the floor and got out the last can of silly string,
and proceeded to spray it at his family.
His brother, Harold, exclaimed.
Nick took the idea
and sprayed his family, concentrating on Aaron and BJ.
"Nick! I'm going
to kill you!" BJ exclaimed, squirming on the couch, trying to cover
Finally, AJ and Alexa
stopped, both of their cans were empty, and they stood behind Nick and
Brian, resting, until Nick noticed that they stopped. He turned around
and started spraying the two, concentrating on Alexa.
"Ahh, Nick, stop!"
Alexa exclaimed, trying to cover her face.
Nick wrapped his arm
around her waist and sprayed it down the back of her sweater, then piled
it on her head.
shrieked, trying to get away from him.
Nick's can was empty
and he pulled her out the door, away from the chaos inside. He quietly
shut the door behind him and pulled her to his room across the hall and
"Shh," Nick said, leading
her in the room. He closed the door behind him and looked at her.
"You're such a sight, you're covered in silly string," he said.
Alexa giggled as she
pulled the string off her arms. "I wouldn't be if someone didn't
attack me," she said.
Nick smiled and walked
over to her, helping her clean herself off. He finished cleaning
her hair out and checked her over. "It's gone," he said.
"Except for the stuff
you put down my back," Alexa said, backing away from him as he advanced
to give her a hug. "It's sticking to my back and I don't know how
I'm gonna get it off," she said.
Nick smiled and went
around her back. He chuckled as he took a hold of her shirt.
"I'm just gonna get it off, ok?" He said.
Alexa nodded and Nick
gently rolled her sweater up, pulling pieces of silly string off as he
went. Alexa's back was totally exposed by the time he finished.
"All gone," he said
softly, fixing her sweater. He held her closer to him and started
kissing her neck lightly.
"Nick, people are going
to be wondering where we are," Alexa whispered, her head involuntarily
rolling to the side.
"Let them wonder,"
he whispered back. He kissed up to her ear and kissed along her jaw
line until her met her lips. He kissed her gently, almost like he
was afraid to kiss her, and deepened it slowly. He turned her around
and held her closer as the door opened.
"Nick? Whoops, never
mind," BJ said, opening and closing the door quickly.
Nick and Alexa broke
apart and she blushed. "I think we should go back there now," she
Nick nodded and kissed
her a final time. "Yeah, but I get you later, just you, me, and the
stars, tonight, ok?" He said.
Alexa smiled and nodded,
looking up at him. Nick couldn't help but love the innocent look
on her face, he knew she was feeling the same feeling he felt whenever
he saw her. Everytime he did see her, it was like he was seeing her
for the first time again.
Nick snapped out of
his trance and kissed Alexa's forehead, then led her to the door.
He held her around her waist and led her back to Denise's room.
"Nick, Alexa, where
did you two go?" AJ asked, suspicious.
"She had silly string
all over her, I was helping her get it off," Nick said. BJ started to cough
and Nick shot her a look that said 'don't even, or I'll spill what I know'.
BJ nodded and looked away from him, but AJ looked skeptical.
"Yeah, sure you were,"
AJ said, cleaning up silly string from the floor.
"Yeah, I was," Nick
insisted, walking with Alexa to the couch. He sat down and pulled
her on his lap, leaning back so her head could rest next to his, on his
shoulder. As she sat back, he hugged her body close to his, feeling
her heartbeat next to his.
"I love you," he whispered
in her ear.
Alexa smiled and turned
her head to face him. "I love you too," she whispered back.
Nick smiled contentedly
and watched as Aaron and Brian faced off in a nintendo game.
Come on, you two, time to get up," Denise said, shaking her daughter's
Alexa opened her eyes
and looked at her mother, then around the room. "Where'd everyone go?"
She asked, yawning.
"To bed, it's past
eleven o'clock. Go get to your room, honey, and go back to sleep,"
Denise said, smiling at her daughter.
Alexa nodded and nudged
Nick, who was still holding on to her waist. He woke up mumbling
something and Alexa whispered to him. Denise watched as the two walked
out of the room quietly, stumbling sleepily. She closed her door
behind them, trusting them to go to their rooms and to sleep.
asked as she opened her room door.
"Hmm?" He asked,
"Stay here tonight,"
Alexa said, pulling him into her room. She closed and locked the
door behind him and kissed him lightly.
"But what about"
"Shh, they'll never
know. Brian won't tell, and neither will I," Alexa whispered, pulling
him over to her bed. She sat him on the bed and hurried to the bathroom.
She changed into a pair of shorts and a T-shirt quickly, then walked out
to find Nick lying in his boxers. She laid beside him and he wrapped
his arm over top of her waist and pulled her closer to him. He kissed
the back of her head.
"Good night, Alexa,"
"Good night, Nick,"
she whispered back. She closed her eyes and laid her
hands over Nick's, falling asleep almost