Secrets Kept, Lies Told
Secrets Kept, Lies Told
Alexa smiled at AJ,
who just gave her a dirty look and went into the bathroom in the back of
"Why is he so quiet
today?" Her mother asked, looking after AJ.
"I guess you could
say that a cat got his tongue," Alexa said, laughing to herself.
Her mother looked up
at her and shook her head. "You two get stranger everyday," she said
as she walked away.
Alexa smiled and walked
over to AJ as he came out of the bathroom. "How does it look?" She
asked. "Oh, wait, I forgot, you can't talk for the next few days,
AJ shook his head and
grabbed a piece of paper from his pocket and a pen, scribbling something
"I can't believe you
made me get my tongue pierced," Alexa read. She giggled. "Well,
you said you wanted something different, that's pretty different, and it
looks really cool too."
AJ took back the paper
and scribbled something else.
"It may look cool,
but I can't talk for the next two days because of it," Alexa read.
"So? You shouldn't want to talk, you don't have very much to say,
now do you?" She asked hypothetically. She nearly laughed again
as AJ's face got red. "Relax, I'm kidding. Besides, not only
is it different, but I guarantee you that you'll like it when you can swallow
real food later this week."
AJ shook his head and
raised his hands to Alexa's neck and pretended to choke her, only stopping
when his mother called them over.
"Ok, appearance time.
AJ, are you sure you're ok?" She asked, looking at him.
AJ nodded and pointed
to his throat. "That's AJ talk for I'm fine I just have the worst
sore throat," Alexa said.
Her mother shrugged
and sighed. "Fine, don't aggravate it too much, try not to talk,
and bring your water out there with you," she said to him.
AJ nodded and patted
his pockets where Alexa knew he was keeping the small bottles of Listerine
"Ok, well, all of you
out there, see you in about two hours," his mother said, gesturing out
to the table. Alex watched as the guys all walked to the table in
the front of the store and sat down, grabbing the pens that were set out
for them. She smiled and sat down, pulling a book out of her bag,
satisfied with being able to have a little down time while they all signed
Nick looked next to
him at AJ and noticed that he was so quiet and wasn't even smiling.
"What's wrong, AJ,
I can tell you don't really have a sore throat," Nick whispered, passing
on the poster for him to sign.
AJ shook his head and
reached into his pocket for a small pad of paper. He scribbled something
on it and handed it to Nick, signing his name on another poster.
Nick's eyes widened
as he read the note and started to laugh. "She made you?" He
asked through his laughter.
AJ nodded and looked
at him, pained.
"Oh, it hurts, don't
it?" Nick asked. AJ nodded again and Nick shook his head.
"You know, I thought
I was the only one who couldn't say no to her, I guess I was wrong."
AJ shook his head and
took back the pad of paper and wrote something else on it.
Nick read it silently.
'It wasn't my idea at all, she made me get in the chair and stood there
and watched while I got it. I didn't want it, but I have to admit
that I'll probably like it now.'
He nodded and signed
a few more pictures before looking at AJ again. "When can you talk
AJ wrote something
down and handed it to Nick.
"Two days? That
isn't that bad, at least you'll be able to for the concert," Nick said
after reading the note.
'But the problem is
that I don't know if I'll be able to sing correctly, I was already told
that I might have a bit of a lisp because of the ring,' Nick read as AJ
Nick shrugged and signed
the last poster. "You never know, I've heard that sometimes it doesn't
happen, sometimes it does. Either way, it won't really matter, you
can take it out if it bugs you," he said, reaching for his water bottle.
AJ nodded and took
a small water bottle out of his pocket, along with a small bottle of blue
liquid. Nick watched as he poured some of the liquid in the water
bottle and drank it with the water.
'Listerine, it helps
to disinfect, but it burns like hell,' he read from AJ's note.
"Oh," Nick said.
AJ nodded and stood up, walking to the garbage can. He spit out the
liquid and returned to his seat as Denise walked over to them all.
"Hey, guys, have a
good day?" She asked, standing in front of the table.
"Sort of, some of these
girls only spoke French, so they were talking a mile a minute and I couldn't
understand a word," Kevin said.
"Yeah, and this one
girl was in tears when she came over and I could only say that it was ok
over and over again, but she didn't understand me until I gave her a hug,"
Denise smiled and ruffled
Brian's curls. "If I had a penny for everytime you made someone happy
that way, I'd be able to sit home and not worry about this all," she said.
She looked over at AJ and Nick. "Feeling better, AJ?" She asked.
AJ took the pad of
paper away from Nick and wrote something on another sheet. "Sort
of, but I'm mad because I can't talk," Denise read aloud. "Why can't
"It hurts him too much
to talk," Nick interjected. He smiled at AJ and chuckled. "That
and his voice sounds like sandpaper against wood."
AJ hit Nick's arm lightly
and Alexa came out of the back and sat on AJ's lap. "Hey, bro, leave
him alone," she said, hitting AJ lightly on the back of the head.
She leaned over and gave Nick a kiss. "Hey, sugar," she said, smiling.
AJ made a face and
stood up, placing Alexa in his seat after he stood up, and walked into
"What was that all
about?" Denise asked Alexa.
"He's angry because
he hasn't gotten any from a girl in a long time," Alexa said witheringly,
holding Nick's hand. It was all Nick had to keep from laughing.
"So what does that
have to do with him practically dropping you on the floor?" Brian
asked, looking curiously at her.
Alexa shrugged and
moved onto Nick's lap. "Probably because his little sister can have
fun and he can't," she said, facing Nick. She leaned forward and
gave him a kiss, a kiss that he thoroughly enjoyed.
"Ok, you two, let's
get going, you can do that some other time," Denise said, interrupting
Nick broke away from
Alexa and chuckled, looking in her eyes. She stood up and he stood
up after her, then picked her up like a sack and tossed her over his shoulder.
"Nick, put me down!"
She shrieked as he tickled the back of her legs.
"No way, this is easier
than having you walk smack dab in front of me while we walk, practically
making me trip over my own two feet," he said, running his fingertips along
the back of her knees and down to her ankles.
"Ahh, Nick, that tickles!
Stop, you're gonna make me fall," she said, serious.
Nick let her down and
caught her as she lost her balance. "Whoa, dizzy," she said, giggling.
Nick laughed and put his arm around her shoulders, but letting go of her
when she winced.
Alexa shook her head.
"Nothing, my shoulder hurts, I'll explain when we get to the hotel," she
said as she got in the waiting van. Nick got in next to her and held
her hand tight while everyone else climbed in. AJ got in last and
sat on Nick's other side, looking slightly mad.
"You ok, AJ?"
Nick asked, barely making himself heard over the noise in and outside of
AJ shook his head and
pulled out his pad of paper. 'My mouth hurts like a bitch, Alexa
is teasing me about it, and I can't talk, what do you think?' Nick
"Sorry," Nick said
AJ let out a strangled
sigh and took the paper back from Nick. 'No, I'm sorry, I shouldn't
have said it that way, if you can even calling this talking. I'm
just mad, that's all, don't mean to take it out on you.'
Nick nodded and gave
the paper back to AJ, who stuffed it in the pocket of his coat. "If
it makes you feel any better, you can get slushies and milk shakes in the
bar at the hotel," he said.
AJ nodded and leaned
back, closing his eyes, a smile sneaking on his face. Nick grinned
as the van rolled away from the store and to the hotel.
"Ok, now what is it
that you wanted to tell me?" Nick asked as Alexa led him into her
Alexa smiled and tossed
her jacket on her bed. "This is what's hurting me," she said, turning
around. She pulled off her green sweater and revealed her white tank
top underneath and something on her shoulder.
"Whoa, when did you
get that?" Nick exclaimed, walking forward and moving the strap of
her tank top to the side. He stared at the tattoo, a red and white
rose entwined together.
"I got that yesterday
when I went with AJ to the tattoo parlor," she said.
"And he got his tongue
pierced?" Nick asked.
"Yeah, how did you
"AJ told me, sort of,
he wrote it down. He said he's pretty mad that you made him get it,
but he said that he'll probably like it when he can talk again," Nick said.
Alexa smiled and turned
back to face Nick. "That's what I told him, he'll like it, he's just
got to get used to it."
She looked up at Nick
as he moved closer to her and kissed her softly. She was enjoying
the kiss until his hands touched the tattoo on her back.
"Ahh," she said, backing
away from him.
"Oh, baby, I'm sorry,"
Nick said. "Come here," he said, holding out his arms.
Alexa walked back over
to him and he walked behind her. She closed her eyes as he started
to kiss her shoulder blade lightly and then moved his kisses up to her
neck. She nearly moaned in delight as he kissed her on the inside
of her neck, towards the back. She felt his kisses move closer to
her mouth and turned her face to him and met his lips. They were
kissing for a while and didn't hear the door open.
The two broke apart
and Alexa looked at her mother. "Hi, Ma," she said sheepishly.
Her mother shook her
head and pointed out in the hall. "Alexa, could I talk to you for
a moment, please?" She said sternly.
Alexa nodded and looked
up at Nick who bit his lip and sent her an 'I'm sorry' look. Alexa
shook her head and gave him a quick kiss before following her mother out
of the room.
"Alexa, do I have to
set rules for when you and Nick can be together?" Her mother asked
as she closed the hotel room door.
"What? No, Mom,
no," Alexa said, careful to keep her back faced away from her mother.
"Then Alexa, I better
not have to walk in on the two of you again, you know you shouldn't be
alone in each other's rooms in the first place. If I catch you two
alone again, I will not be as lenient as I am being now. Go back
in your room and Nick has to go to his, you aren't allowed to see each
other for the rest of the night," she said.
"But Mom! We're
going out tonight!" Alexa exclaimed.
"You'll have to cancel
your plans, neither of you are going anywhere tonight, you are confined
to your rooms. And I don't want to hear another word about it," she
said, stopping Alexa from protesting again. Alexa stamped her foot
and went back into her room, slamming the door behind her.
"Whoa, calm down, what
happened?" Nick asked, standing up from the chair he was just sitting
"We can't go out tonight,
we aren't allowed to, and we are both confined to our rooms, we can't see
each other," Alexa explained, starting to cry.
Nick pulled her into
his arms, careful to not touch her shoulder blade. "Shh, shh, it's
ok. We can go out tomorrow together, ok?" He said, stroking
"But you had reservations
tonight! You were gonna show me the city at night!" Alexa said.
Nick nodded and kissed
Alexa's forehead as he pulled her away from him gently. "Yes, but
that's ok, we don't have to go tonight. I'll go call the restaurant
and cancel, its no big deal. We'll go out tomorrow and have a good
time by ourselves. Do you remember what tomorrow is?" He asked,
smiling at her.
asked, wiping away her tears. She looked up into Nick's bright ocean
colored eyes and could see the laughter.
find out tomorrow. I'll see you in the morning, ok? I better go before
Denise comes back in here and yells at us again," he said. He gave her
another kiss, slow and sweet. He pulled away from her and walked
out of the room, closing the door softly behind him.
Alexa sighed and wiped
away her tears. She walked to her dresser and pulled a pair of baggy
sweat pants she took from AJ and a big sweatshirt that Nick had given her.
She tossed the sweatshirt on the bed and went into the bathroom to change
into the pants, then came out and tossed her skirt and shoes by her dirty
clothes pile. She let down her hair and grabbed some currency and
went downstairs to get something to eat and some ice cream to drown her