Nick stood outside of Julie's door not sure if he should knock or not. So far that day, Julie had repeatedly avoided and ignored Nick if he tried to speak to her. He finally decided to knock. A few seconds later, Jessica opened the door.
"Yes?" she asked.
"Jess, can I please talk to Julie?" pleaded Nick.
"No, she doesn't want to speak with you, at all, ever again." Said Jessica coldly. "You know, I still can't believe you did that to her! I mean, you're a decent guy, what got into you?"
"I don't know! It was like a punch in the stomach seeing Julie with that guy. And I felt even worse when I found out that Todd was Julie's cousin." Said Nick in frustration.
"But how could you do this to her TWO days before her birthday?" yelled Jessica.
"WHAT? Her birthday? I didn't know her birthday was on Saturday!" exclaimed Nick.
"Well it is." Said Jessica.
"Wait a minute, it's her 18th birthday and she didn't tell me?" asked Nick.
"Yeah, she said that she doesn't want to make a big deal out of it." shrugged Jessica.
"How can she not make a big deal out of her 18th birthday?" asked Nick in disbelief.
"I don't know, but I can see how she really doesn't want to make a big deal out of it now, thanks to YOU!" said Jessica pointing her finger at Nick.
"How can I make it up to her?" asked Nick.
"You can't, not as far as I'm concerned anyway." And with that Jessica closed the door in Nick's face. Defeated, Nick went downstairs with his head down.
"She still won't talk to you huh?" asked AJ when he saw Nick come downstairs.
"Nope, not a word. She's got the girl patrol opening the door." Said Nick plopping down on the armchair.
"Well, can you blame her?" asked Kevin.
"No, if I were in her position, I wouldn't talk to me either." Said Nick resting his chin on his hands. "I gotta make this up to her somehow. Hey, did you guys know that Julie's birthday is this Saturday?" he asked.
"Really? Why didn't she mention it?" asked Brian.
"Jess said that she didn't want to make a big deal out of it, especially now." Said Nick. "And it's all my fault."
"Well, why don't you throw her a surprise party to show how sorry you are?" suggested Kevin. Nick immediately brightened up.
"That's a great idea!" he exclaimed jumping up from the chair. "Ok, so it's Wednesday today, so I've got two whole days to plan this. I'm going to need all of your help." He said gesturing towards the four guys.
"No problem." Said Howie.
"I'll help." Said AJ.
"Just tell me what to do." Said Kevin.
"Anything to get you two back together." Said Brian.
"Great, now all I have to do is get the three girls to help." Said Nick. He looked at the other guys. "Anyone wanna help me with this?"
"No way, you're on your own with them." Said AJ. The rest of the guys agreed.
"Ok, cover me, I'm going in." said Nick and with that he went back upstairs where all the girls were in Julie's room. He knocked on the door and this time Jennifer opened it.
"What do you want?" she asked.
"To talk to you." Said Nick gesturing for Jennifer to come into the hallway.
"To me? Shouldn't you be talking to Julie?" asked Jennifer confused.
"Well, she's not talking to me, as you very well know. Now, Jess told me that Julie's birthday is this Saturday and I want to throw her a surprise party to show how sorry I am. And for that to happen, I need everyone's help. I've got the guys helping me, now I really need yours, Jess's, and Angela's help. Please?" asked Nick making puppy eyes and Jen.
"Well, it depends on what you need us to do." Said Jen but Nick could see that she was willing to help.
"Ok, I'm going to need you and the other girls to keep Julie busy and out of the house until Saturday. And on Saturday, I'm going to need you guys to get her out of the house until 1 o'clock. Can you do that?" he asked.
"We can try. I'll talk to the other girls about this, but I think they'll be willing to help." Said Jen.
"Thank you so much! You have no idea how much I appreciate this!" exclaimed Nick his face breaking into a smile.
"Yeah, well, you better make this good." Warned Jen.
"Don't worry, I will." Said Nick. Jen was about to go back into Julie's room when Nick stopped her. "Wait, one more thing, can you get Christina's phone number?" he asked.
"Christina? That's Julie's best friend, why would you want her phone number?" asked Jen.
"Well, she knows her better than anyone so who better to get to help me plan the party than Julie's best friend?" said Nick simply.
"Ok, I'm not promising anything but wait here a minute." Said Jen and disappeared into the room. She came out a few minutes later with a piece of paper in her hand. "Here, that's Christina's cell phone number." She said handing the paper to Nick.
"Thanks, I owe you one." Said Nick.
"You owe me a hundred." Said Jen. "After the way you've been acting, it's a wonder I'm talking to you."
"Yeah I know, I've been a total asshole but I'm trying to make it up." Said Nick apologetically.
"Well, you better." Said Jen and with that, she went back to into Julie's room.
Nick then immediately went to his room to call Christina and pretty much beg and plead for her to help him. He dialed the number and waited for her to pick up.
"Hello?" said Christina.
"Hi Christina?" asked Nick.
"Yes, who's this?" said Christina.
"This is Nick Carter."
"Nick? Why are you calling me?" asked Christina confused. "In case you were wondering I spoke to Julie today and you've got some nerve talking to her like that!"
"Yes I know, believe me, I know. I'm an asshole, a very big one, we already covered that, but I need your help."
"My help? For what?"
"Well, as I'm sure you know, Julie's birthday is this Saturday, so I'm throwing her a surprise party to let her know how sorry I am for the way I acted."
"I'm listening, go on."
"So, I need your help because you know Julie better than anyone and it would really help if you can help me plan the party." Said Nick.
"Well, I want Julie to be happy, so ok, I'll help you." Agreed Christina.
"Ok great, how about I meet you tomorrow at Party City so we can both get the supplies. Do you know where that is?" asked Nick.
"Sure I do, I'll meet you there at 11." Said Christina.
"Great, I'll see you then." Said Nick and then hung up. He then went back into the living room.
"Ok, I've got the girls and Christina on my side. Now, tomorrow Christina and me are going to buy the supplies, you know balloons, and whatever else we need. So on Saturday, I'm going to need all of you to help me put up the decorations since the girls will get Julie out of the house." Said Nick to the guys.
"Sure, we'll help. But how are you going to keep this from Julie?" asked Howie.
"I don't think that'll be a problem seeing how she's avoiding me." Said Nick. "That's just about the only good thing."
"Ok, no problem then." Said Howie.
"Oh, and one more thing, I'm going to ask Christina to call all of the friends that she knows Julie has, so I need you guys to make sure we have a fridge full of food. And if there isn't enough, please get more." Said Nick.
"Ok, anything else?" asked Brian.
"Nope, I think that's about it, I'll take care of everything else." Said Nick.
"What are you going to get her?" asked Kevin suddenly.
"Oh yeah, that's right, I need to make it something good. Any ideas?" asked Nick looking at his friends.
"I think you're going to need Christina's help with this one. After all, she does know Julie better than any of us." Said AJ.
"Yeah, you're right. Ok, I'm going to sleep since it's like almost midnight, night everyone!" said Nick and he headed to his room. He passed by Julie's room and felt a pang in his heart. He sighed and went into his own room.
*~*~*

Julie was sleeping when she felt someone shaking her by the shoulders. She opened her eyes to find Angela standing there.
"What are you doing here? And what time is it?" asked Julie sleepily.
"It's 10 o'clock and I'm here to get you out of bed and out of this house." Said Angela pulling Julie's arm and pulling her friend out of bed.
"But I don't wanna get up." Wined Julie.
"It won't do you any good to mope around the entire day." Said Angela.
"It might, you never know." Said Julie trying to get back into bed, but Angela stopped her.
"Me, Jen, and Jess are getting you out of the house for a day full of shopping!" she said and threw Julie's towel at her. "Now go take a shower, brush your teeth, get dressed and meet us downstairs." She said pushing Julie into the bathroom.
"Alright, alright, I'm going." Said Julie and went into the bathroom.
"Good." Said Angela and went downstairs.
Julie went downstairs twenty minutes later dressed in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. On her way to the kitchen, she passed by Nick who was getting ready to leave.
"Hey Julie." He said in at attempt to lighten the mood. But all he got was silence and a cold look. "Ok, I deserved that." He said sighing and went out the door.
"Ok, I'm ready." Said Julie coming into the kitchen and seeing the three girls around the table.
"Great, now if you can just wipe that expression off of your face, we can go." Said Jen.
"What expression?" asked Julie.
"The one that says that you're totally miserable." Said Jess.
"But I AM totally miserable." Pointed out Julie.
"Yes, but the whole world doesn't have to know it." Said Jen.
"Come on, cheer up, it's not the end of the world." Said Angela putting an arm around Julie.
"Maybe not for you." Said Julie, she was still unhappy.
"Well, you're coming with us whether you like it or not, so come on, let's go." Said Angela taking Julie's left arm and Jen took her right arm and they led her outside and into the car.
"We are going to the mall and you're going to enjoy it!" said Jess determinately.
"Yeah whatever." Replied Julie.
"This is going to be a long day!" said Jess as she started the car.


chapter 7 chapter 9