Secrets Kept, Lies Told

Secrets Kept, Lies Told
By Sarah
Chapter 33

    "Aly," AJ whispered, shaking his sister's shoulder.
    "What, AJ?"  She mumbled, turning her head to face him.
    "Alexa, its time to get up."
    "What time is it?"
    "Two-thirty," AJ said, laughing.
    Alexa opened her eyes and looked at him, then closed them again.  "Too early," she mumbled.
    "Too early?  Aly, when did you go to bed last night?"  He asked, sitting next to her head.
    "I dunno, I was up with the Carters' and Nick all night, talking and laughing," she said, rolling onto her stomach and facing away from her brother.
    "Do you like them?"  He asked, leaning on her back.
    "Yeah, they're cool, and Aaron reminds me so much of Nick it's almost scary," she said, her voice muffled by her pillows.
    "Yeah, I know what you mean.  Come on, you have to get up, Nick has been asking for you all morning and he wants to come in here and wake you up," AJ said.
    "Tell him to leave me alone, I'll come out in time for the ball drop," she said.
    AJ laughed and tickled her sides.  "Come on, Alexandra Denise, get up!"
    "Don't call me that!"  Alexa exclaimed, trying to squirm away from him. "Nick!  Help me!"  She yelled through her laughter.
    "Hey, get off of her!"  Nick exclaimed, coming in the door.  He walked over to the bed and AJ backed away.  "I can only tickle her!"  He said, starting on Alexa's sides.
    "Stop, stop!"  Alexa squeezed out.  She was laughing so hard, she was crying.  "No fair, I'm still half asleep!"  She said, getting up from the bed.
   "So, what does that matter?"  AJ asked, coming up behind her and poking her sides.
    "It matters!  You can't tickle me if I'm still half asleep," Alexa said, jumping away from him.  She whirled back around.  "But I can tickle you!" She exclaimed, tackling her brother.
    "Hey, come on, no fair!"  AJ exclaimed, walking backwards to the couch.
    "It totally fair, Alex, there's nothing wrong with it," Alexa said, laughing at her own silliness.
    "Nick, bro, help me here!"  AJ said through his laughter.
    Alexa suddenly shrieked as Nick picked her up and held her over his shoulder like a sack.  She hit his behind, hard.  "Put me down, Nickolas Gene Carter!"  She exclaimed.
    "Not if you're gonna be mean about it!"  Nick said.
    "Come on, Nicky, please?"  She begged.
    AJ smiled and got up from the couch, then left the room, closing the door quietly behind him.  It wasn't his conversation, he had no right to be in there.  He loved his sister and was happy if she was happy.  And he knew that for her to be happy, she had to be with Nick.

    "How much longer, Nick?"  Aaron asked.
    "About a half hour, Airboy," Nick replied, sitting the bowl of chips on the coffee table and moving before Brian took off his hand as he reached for it.
    "Wow, you're actually gonna make it this year, Aaron," BJ teased from her spot on the couch next to Brian.
    "Shut-up, BJ, I always do," Aaron protested, plopping on the floor at his sister's feet.
    Nick chuckled.  "Sure you do, AC," he said, ruffling his brother's recently cut hair.  He walked out of the room and into the hallway, down to Alexa's room.  He knocked on the door.
    "Alexa?  Are you ready yet?"  He called.
    "Just a minute!"  Alexa called back.
    Nick smiled and leaned on the wall across from the door.  He thought about what they had talked about earlier, how she was looking forward to celebrating the New Year with him and everyone else.  She told him about her past celebrations, always at the shelter, except for one year when she couldn't get there because she was running from people all night.  He felt upset about that last part, but she talked him out of thinking that anything bad happened.  She said to him, if something bad had happened, how could she
be there with him at that moment?  Nick agreed and kissed her, on a whim, then Aaron decided to walk in at that moment.  Wonderful timing, everyone in his family seemed to have it.  Aaron held it over him, and it was probable he would for a while, considering that he wasn't suppose to be with Alexa at all.
    "Well, what do you think?"  Alexa asked as she opened the door wide.
    Nick's eyes widened and his mouth dropped open.
    "I'll take that as a 'wow, you look great, Alexa' look," she said, giggling.
    Nick just nodded and walked forward to her, wrapping his arms around her waist.  "You do look great, Alexa," he whispered in her ear.
    "Thank you, kind sir, you don't look half bad yourself!"
    Nick smiled and backed away from Alexa, looking her over again.  She was wearing a short party dress, not too dressy, but casual enough for the night.  He admired her 5'9" frame, drinking her in with his eyes.  'God, she's beautiful,' he thought.
    "Nick, do you mind stop acting like I'm a painting at a museum and lead me to this totally awesome rager I've been hearing about?"  Alexa asked sarcastically, snapping her fingers in Nick's face.
    Nick gulped and nodded, carefully holding her around her waist, leading her down the hall to Denise's room, where everyone was gathered to watch the ball drop.
    "Wow," Aaron said as they walked in the room.
    Everyone burst out laughing.  "AC, did you just exclaim about my sister?"  AJ asked, still laughing.
    Aaron's face turned bright red and looked to the floor.  "No."  He trailed off, completely embarrassed.
    "Oh, AJ, leave him alone," Alexa said, letting go of Nick's arm.  She walked over to where Aaron was sitting on the floor and gave him a kiss on the cheek.  "Thank you, Aaron, that's more of a compliment than any of these guys have ever given me," she said.
    "Hey!"  Nick exclaimed, only joking.  He noticed that his little brother didn't move to wipe the kiss off his cheek.  He just sat there, blushing a crimson red.  "I think someone likes you," he whispered in Alexa's ear as he wrapped his arms around her waist.
    Alexa smiled.  "He's cute, he reminds me so much of you," she whispered back.
    "You know, you're the first girl he's ever done that with.  He usually despises all girls, except for his sisters, and he often wipes his face off if they kiss him," he whispered.
    "Maybe he'd growing up, unlike some people I know," she said, her voice still low.
    Nick pulled Alexa on his lap as he sat on the couch behind Aaron's head. "I'm gonna take that as a compliment," he decided, playing with her curls.
    "Why's that?"
    "Because I like acting like a kid, it's the fun part of life."
    Alexa smiled and interlaced her fingers with his.  "Well, if you like being a child, why are you such a devastatingly handsome man?"  She asked.
    Nick smiled and kissed her lightly.  "I do it just for you," he whispered, nuzzling her neck.
    "Ohh!  Nick and Alexa, sitting in a tree, N-E-C-K-I-N-G!"  Aaron and Angel both burst out.
    "Aaron!  Angel!"  Jane called from the hallway.
    Nick and Alexa jumped apart and she sat on the other end of the couch, blushing.  Nick looked down at the floor and was met with AJ's scrutinizing eyes.
    "Nick, I'm warning you," he started.
    "What?"  Nick asked innocently.
    "Alex!  Leave him alone!"  Alexa exclaimed, sitting on her brother's lap.
    "Oomph!  Sheesh, Alexa, warn me next time you're gonna do that, ok?"  AJ asked, moving her to a more comfortable position on his lap.
    "Why?"  Alexa asked, just as innocently as Nick had.  He smiled at her and she winked.
    "Because oh, nevermind, its useless to explain anything to you," AJ said.
    Alexa giggled and gave her brother a hug.  Nick admired the bond that they had, something that reminded him of the way he and his sisters acted together.
    "I love ya, Alex," she said.
    "And I love you, Aly," AJ answered, giving her a hug and kissing her head.
    Nick smiled and sat back as the two started a tickling war between them.

    "Ten... nine... eight... seven"
    Alexa looked excitedly at Nick, who was standing next to her, holding her
around her waist.
    "Six... five... four... three"
    Alexa turned to face Nick and reached up, touching his face.  She wanted
to remember him, just the way he was.
    " Happy New Year!"  Everyone shouted.
    Everyone, that is, except for Alexa and Nick.  Alexa leaned forward, going on her toes, and kissed Nick.  She was lost in him, she loved him so much.  She broke away from Nick and turned to come face to face with her mother.  She gave her a hug, trying to hold back the tears.  She moved to her brother, who held her for a few seconds longer, holding her tight.  Alexa moved on to hug all the other guys, then came around to Aaron.  She knelt down and gave him a hug and a little kiss on the cheek.  She smiled at him.
"Happy New Year," she said, though she knew he couldn't hear her over everyone else's voices.  She stood up and circled the rest of the room, giving hugs and kisses to everyone.
    "Ok, that's it, everyone to bed!"  Kevin hollered as they all settled down.
    "What?  I don't think so, Kev, the party's just starting!"  Alexa exclaimed, reaching over and turning on AJ's portable CD player.  One of her dance CDs came blasting through the speakers and she reached for Nick's had, pulling him closer to her.
Back   Next