Secrets Kept, Lies Told

Secrets Kept, Lies Told
By Sarah
Chapter 40

    Kevin smiled and watched as Alexa and Nick fell asleep next to each other in the front of the bus.  They'd just gotten out of a concert in Madrid and Nick was exhausted.  Kevin guessed that Alexa was too, she'd been sightseeing all day.
    'Its great, those two have barely been apart for the last two weeks.  Finally, an end to his moping and Alexa's short temper and sudden bouts of tears,' he thought, walking to his bunk.  He laid down and relaxed, listening to the bus's wheels as they turned on the road beneath him, taking them to another venue.
    'Paris, here we come,' Kevin thought.

    "Those two certainly are inseparable," Denise commented, gesturing to Nick and Alexa.
    "Yup, thank God.  Its good that they finally listened to each other, now we don't have then both moping around this bus," Howie said, collapsing exhaustedly at the table.
    "Yeah, this bus is too small for them to both be in foul moods, its bad enough when AJ gets dumped on at a club," Brian said, smiling.
    "Hey, its not like you don't do it too!"  AJ said, swiping at Brian's head.
    Denise laughed and shook her finger at AJ.  "Now, Alexander, no hitting," she said.
    "Ohh, Alexander!  You got ragged on by your mom!"  Brian exclaimed.
    "Oh, I'm gonna get you, Kentucky boy!"  AJ exclaimed, chasing Brian into the back of the bus.
    Denise smiled and glanced up at Howie.  "I'm too tired to get up and stop them," Howie said, shaking his head and closing his eyes.
    "Why don't you just drag yourself to your bunk, then you can go to sleep there, I don't need three people sleeping out here," Denise said, walking over to him and helping him stand up.
    Howie nodded and yawned as he walked blindly into the back.  "Good night, Denise," he said.
    Denise nodded and watched as he went.  She looked over at Nick and Alexa and sighed.  'Another battle to be fought,' she thought.
    "Alexa, Nick, come on you two, move into the back," Denise said quietly as she walked over to them.  She shook Nick's arm and tried to pry Alexa out of his grasp.
    "No, tomorrow," they both muttered, tightening their grasps around each other.
    Denise chuckled and stood back, her hands on her hips.  "Come on, you two, to your bunks and you can sleep forever."
    Alexa groaned and opened her eyes.  "Come on, Nicky, if we don't move she'll bug us for the next hour," she said sleepily.  She stood up and pulled Nick with her.  Denise watched as the two walked into the back and Alexa pulled Nick onto the bunk that was officially declared 'theirs'.  Within moments, Denise heard silence on the bus and went to check on everyone.  They were all fast asleep, AJ holding his Dopey doll, Kevin facing the wall where he posted a bunch of pictures of his family, Howie was talking in his sleep,
Brian was snoring, and Nick and Alexa were sleeping soundly, his arms around her waist.  Denise smiled, knowing that they were the best together, no one could change what they had together, even though minor set backs came along, they belonged together.
    'And I hope nothing will ever try to tear them apart, it could hurt them both beyond imagination,' she said to herself.  Denise walked to the bunk reserved for her and fell asleep, leaving the bus driver in control of
everything around them.

    "I think she's finally asleep."
    Alexa smiled up at her brother and yawned.  "AJ, don't you know to let sleeping people lie?"  She whispered.
    "No, come on, Alexa, you promised that we would talk," AJ said, practically whining.
    Alexa sighed and gestured to Nick's hands.  "Well, I can't exactly do anything when he's holding me with the death grip," she whispered jokingly.
    AJ smiled and reached for Nick's hands.  He pulled them apart and Alexa wiggled out of the bed, landing on her knees.  She gave Nick a small kiss on his cheek and pulled the curtain closed, walking into the back with her brother.
    "Well, Mr. 'Oh-I-Think-I'll-Just-Disturb-My-Sister-From-Her-Much-Needed-Sleep'?  What do you want to talk about?"  Alexa asked teasingly as she sat on one end of the couch, wrapping a blanket around her.
    AJ smiled and sat next to her.  "I wanted to hear about you and Nick, you two have been inseparable since last week when I made you listen to him," he said.
    Alexa chuckled.  "Yeah, sort of.  It was all one big misunderstanding and after I listened to him, everything made sense.  But let's not talk about my relationship, let's talk about yours.  Who's Christina?"  She asked.
    AJ practically blushed.  "She's one of our dancers, she's really sweet and I like her a lot.  Does she meet my darling sister's standards?"  He asked jokingly.
    Alexa's eyebrows furrowed and she frowned.  "I don't know, I haven't really had a chance to talk to any of the dancers.  I suppose they're all nice, and I know they usually lose the bus food fights, but still.  I don't
talk to them, they don't talk to me.  I think they're all a little scared of the fact that I'm your sister."
    "They shouldn't be, its not like you're a bull dog or anything."
    "They treat me like one, I think that when you warned the guys to stay away from me, you also told them and they're still scared of you."
    "Nah, I told them that I was mentally blocked at first, I was just being over-protective.  Maybe you and Christina should get together and talk sometime, I think the two of you would get along well."
    "Really, AJ, I don't know.  I mean, I've got you five, what do I need anymore friends for?"  Alexa asked hypothetically, ruffling her brother's hair.
    "Alexa, just get to know her.  You know I highly value your opinion, and I trust you.  Though I think I'm gonna regret saying this, I want you to meet all my girlfriends and tell me if you think that we ought to be together or not."
    "You're kidding me, right?  This from the brother that told me to back off when it came to Cindy the slut?  From 'Mr. Oh-I-Can-Take-Care-Of-Myself'? AJ, what has gotten into you?"
    "Aly, I just trust you a lot and I know that you're an excellent judge of character, and I just want you to be around, ok?"
    Alexa nodded.  "What about her do you not like?"  She asked, knowing what was bugging him.
    AJ sighed.  "Sometimes she wants to spend a lot of time with me, a lot.  And that would involve taking time out of the time I spend with you and the time I spend by myself.  I like her and all, but I'm not too sure I can give her that much time.  We aren't even going out, yet, and she wants us to act like a real couple and make everything official."
    "Tell her that, AJ, tell her that you can't spend all the time in the world with her, that you don't have that much time.  Tell her that you're still getting over Amanda and you want to take things slow.  I can tell
that's what you want to do, whether or not she ends up in your bed after the first date," Alexa said.
    "Oh, please, AJ, like I don't know you that well.  Just go with your gut instinct, but first and foremost, follow your heart.  It ought to be the thing that makes most of your decisions in life," Alexa said, a serious look coming over her face.
    AJ nodded, taking all of his sister's words in.  He looked down at the floor, thinking, then looked back up at Alexa in time to see her yawning.
    "Come on, let's go back to bed, we get in Paris tomorrow," he said, standing up.  He helped Alexa stand back up and walked her back to the bunk she was sharing with Nick.  He said good night to her and went to his bunk.  He laid down and faced the wall, thinking.
    'Alexa's right, I don't want to rush into anything right now, it's too soon.  But I really like Christina, her only flaw being that she really wants to spend time with me.  I can understand that, I only see her right before the shows and right after them, we don't really get to talk.  Oh, well, I'll think about it tomorrow, we have the next two days off.'
    AJ sighed and closed his eyes, clearing his head of all the thoughts roaming around inside.  He fell asleep moments later, still not able to make any sort of decision.
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