Secrets Kept, Lies Told

Secrets Kept, Lies Told
By Sarah
Chapter 8

    "Yo, I hate to break up a family reunion, but we have to be somewhere two hours ago," Kevin said, poking his head in the room and glancing at the clock next to the bed.
    Denise pulled away from her children and looked at the clock.  "Oh my goodness, you guys have a press conference to be at!  Come on, let's go, go get ready, AJ.  Alexa, you come with me," she said, wiping away her tears.  She stood up and pulled Alexa with her to the next room, closing the door behind her, and AJ walked over to Kevin.
    "AJ, man, you crying?"  Kevin asked as AJ walked in the room.
    AJ wiped his face furiously.  "No," he said, trying to cover it up.  He went quickly to his suitcase and started pulling out clothes.
    Nick snickered.  "Yes you were!  Don't deny it AJ, you were just bawling like a baby."
    "So?  How would you feel if you just found out you had a little sister, Nick?"  AJ shot back.
    "Incredibly confused, I already have three," Nick replied, sitting down and starting to tie his shoes.
    Kevin hit the back of Nick's head lightly.  "Give it a rest, smart mouth, and hurry up," he said, taking over control.  He always felt like the older brother, or the father of the group.  He acted like it too, it made him feel important.
    "Yes, Dad," Howie, Brian, Nick, and AJ all chorused.  They all laughed, including Kevin.
    "Ok, smart-asses, let's go before Denise comes to bug us," Kevin said, walking to the door.
    It opened in front of him.  "Let's go, guys, you have less than a half an hour," Denise said.  She closed the door behind her and Kevin turned to the rest of the guys.
    "What'd I say?"  He asked hypothetically.
    Nick shook his head and walked over to Kevin.  "Yeah, yeah, we know, Kevin.  You're always right when it comes to that sort of thing," he said in a monotone voice.
    "Get out there," Kevin said, a smile on his face, half-serious, half-kidding.  He pushed Nick out and led everyone else out to the main room, where Alexa was standing with her back to them, facing Denise.
    "Just relax, you won't have to say anything, just sit with me, that's all," Denise was saying.
    "Yeah, we're the ones who do all the talking," Howie said, walking over to them.  "In case you didn't know, I'm Howie," he said, holding out his hand.    Alexa shook his hand and Kevin thought of something.  'Come to think of it, I haven't really seen Alexa's face,' he said to himself.  He walked over
to them and was awestruck, Alexa was beautiful.  "I'm Kevin," he said, holding out his hand.
    Alexa smiled and shook his hand.  "Nice to meet you, Kevin, I'm Alexa."
    Kevin nodded and dropped his hand, still looking in Alexa's dark brown eyes.  He shook his head, trying to clear his thoughts.  "Ok, let's go, guys," he said, breaking his sight from Alexa and looking around the room.
    He saw Nick and Brian exchange a look.  "All right, let's go," Brian said, leading everyone to the door.  He and Nick walked ahead of everyone to the elevator, whispering back and forth.
    Denise and Alexa were the last two out of the room and Denise closed the door.  Kevin waited in the elevator and pressed lobby as the two women walked in.  They all walked to the van together and Alexa stuck with Denise, almost like she was afraid of everyone else.  As Kevin got in the van, he patted the
seat next to him for Alexa to sit.
    "Thanks," Alexa said quietly.  Kevin loved her voice, it was like a choir singing.
    "Yo, Kev," AJ said from behind him.  He leaned forward and whispered in his ear.  "You lay one finger on my sister, so help me."
    Kevin raised his eyebrows, shocked.  AJ never spoke like that.  But then again, he never had a little sister.  "Relax, AJ, I won't," Kevin whispered back.
    "All right, man, I'm just warning you," AJ said, sitting back.
    Kevin nodded and faced forward, thinking about what AJ had just said. Was it possible that AJ had become so protective of Alexa already?  'Yeah, it is.  He must've had a glance of what her life was once like and doesn't want her to go through it anymoreâ?¦he's going to be one protective older brother,'
Kevin said to himself.  He sat back and got comfortable for the ride.

    AJ glanced back at Alexa and their mother, hoping Alexa was ok.  She was a bit nervous on the ride there, like she wasn't sure how to act.  'Mom and I told her that she didn't have to do anything, say anything.  But for some reason, she's acting like she's going to have to explain things to people,' he thought.  AJ faced forward in his chair, smiling for the reporter's cameras, trying to forget that Alexa was in the back.  But he couldn't, she was too important to him, she was the little sister he always wanted.

    Alexa fidgeted, playing with the ring on her finger, and watched the guys from the side.
    "Alexa, its ok, calm down," her mother said, laying her hand gently on Alexa's.  Alexa appreciated the gesture, but couldn't calm down for some reason.  She was happy she'd finally found out who her mother was, and to find out she had a brotherâ?¦simply amazing.  She'd never been so happy, but being at the press conference made her nervous.  She was afraid something could happen and everything could be ruined.  She didn't know what, but she felt it something was going to ruin it allâ?¦maybe not right then and there, but soon.
    "Alexa, you ok?"  AJ asked as he walked over to her.  The press conference was over, they'd been out there for a good hour and a half.  AJ knelt in front of Alexa and took her hands in his.  "Its ok, we can leave
now, if that's what you want," he said quietly.
    Alexa nodded and felt tears gather in her eyes.  She was so relieved that AJ was being nice to her, and sensitive to her feelings.  She stood up with him and walked next to him, holding hands with him, until they got out to the van.  He got in and helped her in next to him, holding her around the shoulders, protecting her.  She felt so safe with him, she didn't want him to leave her.  Not for a long time, not until after the feeling in her stomach disappeared.

    "You'd think they were twins."
    "Yeah, they act like it."
    "And they look enough alike."
    "But they aren't, just brother and sister.  You still have a chance, Nick."
    Nick sighed and pulled his T-shirt off.  "That's just the thing, I don't.  Brian, didn't you hear what AJ said to Kevin in the van on the way to the press conference?  He practically threatened Kevin, telling him to keep his hands off of Alexa.  If he's not afraid of Kevin, imagine what he could do to me he'd kill me."
    Brian shook his head and tossed his towel on his bed.  "Nah, I seriously doubt he would.  He might yell at you, threaten to kill you, but he won't.  I mean, you would do the same thing, wouldn't you?  Say one of the guys started to hit on BJ, wouldn't you be overly protective of her?"
    "Hell yeah, I'd kill anyone to protect her, but I know my limits, Brian. I let her have a choice, I don't protect her like that.  She knows if she has a problem to come and tell me about it, but otherwise, I stay out of her personal life.  But AJ, he's a different story.  Frick, if you'd heard just how he said that to Kevin"
    "Frack, I understand.  Believe it or not, I do.  I would do the same thing, maybe even to the same extent as AJ.  But he's probably only so over-protective of her because he just found her and he probably had a
glimpse of how her life was, she must've had it bad, and he doesn't want her to ever have the kind of life again.  You probably still have a chance, she likes you, I can tell," Brian said, smiling as he sat on the edge of his bed.    Nick sat across from him, on his own bed, in the room they were sharing.  "Are you sure?  I mean, she seems to like you a lot more than the rest of us, she won't even speak civilly to me."
    Brian nodded and pushed his clothes off his bed and onto his floor.  "Positive.  Did you notice that before she wouldn't talk to anyone nicely, but now even AJ gets treated like a king, before she couldn't stand him.  I'm willing to bet that, if you tried talking to her, you could get a good conversation out of her, and you'll get to know her better.  Just go for it, bro, you won't lose anything by trying."
    Nick nodded and got in bed, thinking it over.  He really liked Alexa, she was so pretty, and smart, and so sophisticated to top it all.  'She's different from everyone else I've ever met, she has a certain aura around
her, its almost like she's an angel,' Nick thought.  He was interrupted from his thoughts as someone knocked on the adjoining door.
   "Come in," Brian called, looking up from his laptop.
    AJ walked in.  "Hey, guys, can I talk to you?"  He asked, closing the door over behind him.
    Nick nodded and sat up, and Brian closed his laptop.  "What's up, Bone?"  Nick asked.
    AJ sat on the edge of Brian's bed.  "Guys, Alexa is going to be with us for a while, a long while.  I just wanted to tell you that she's been through a lot and she doesn't need anyone to get on her case about anything.  I'm telling you now, before anyone does anything, that she is off limits.  No one touches her, no one takes her out, no one does anything with her unless we're all together, understand?"  AJ wasn't joking, Nick could see it in his eyes.  He was dead serious.
    Nick nodded involuntarily and glanced at Brian.  "Sure, AJ, whatever you say," Brian said, returning the glance.  Nick gulped as AJ left the room through the door he had come, he was scared.  Very scared.
    "Nick, don't worry about it.  Conversation isn't going to hurt, and besides, you heard him, she'll be with us for a while.  Its ok, just get to know her, then take it from there," Brian said comfortingly, putting his
laptop on the floor.
    Nick nodded numbly and got comfortable in the bed.  He shut his eyes as Brian turned off the light, but couldn't help but think that when he did start to talk to Alexa, something would happen that would be out of his control, out of his hands.  'And to tell you the truth,' he thought.  'I'm scared of what will happen.'
Back   Next