Secrets Kept, Lies Told

Secrets Kept, Lies Told
By Sarah
Chapter 31

    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 awake.
    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.
    Alexa laughed.  "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?"  Aaron whined.
    "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, smiling.
    "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 up.

    Nick watched as Alexa hurried out of the room, then turned to face his mother.  "What?"
    "Did she just call you Nicky?"  She asked.
    "Yeah, why?"
    "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 answered.
    "What?  Think who is what?"  Aaron asked, sitting in between AJ and Brian on the floor.
    "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!"  Brian exclaimed.
    "Oh, scary thought," AJ said, sobered.
    "Bad mental images!"  BJ exclaimed.
    "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.
    "Hey!"  Alexa called from the door.  "Come here, AJ," she said.
    AJ got up excitedly and laughed as Alexa opened the bag.  "Did you shake them?"  He asked.
    "Yup," Alexa said.
    "Ready?  One" 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.
    "Brian!  Stop!"  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 herself.
    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.
    "Nicky!"  She 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 down one.
    "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 said.
    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.

    "Alexa?  Nick?  Come on, you two, time to get up," Denise said, shaking her daughter's shoulder.
    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.

    "Nick?"  Alexa asked as she opened her room door.
    "Hmm?"  He asked, barely awake.
    "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," he whispered.
    "Good night, Nick," she whispered back.  She closed her eyes and laid her
hands over Nick's, falling asleep almost immediately.

Back    Next