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- Mandy`n`Nick :
" THE ONE " : Third Part

Brian and I raced to the bus as Kevin and Howie chased their ways up to where we were. They were carrying a bunch of food and pop in their arms. We had enough food to last us a life-time! “Wait for us!” They called to acknowledge the driver they were coming. I was the last one to get onto our bus. I remembed what Rok had said, Be her friend. I took a deep breath and stepped onto the bus. Just as I reached the last step, I looked up and saw her angelic face looking right at me. I stopped dead in my tracks. Boy! This was going to be tough! Looking at Nick, I noticed a different look in his eyes. Something was wrong. He looked almost...scared. I was going to ask what had gotten him all upset, but he didn’t really seem like he was open enough to be talking about it. I left it be. What in the world did they talk about? Nick didn’t say anything as he took a seat on the nearest bean-bag. The other guys were all laying on their bunks by now. AJ and Brian were chowing down on food, while Kevin and Howie decided to take advantage of the time and get in as much extra sleep as possible. “Aren’t you exhausted Nick? I mean, after putting on a show like that I figured you all would be following Kevin and Howie!” Nick looked up at them and started to laugh. “Man! Those guys really love to sleep! They’ll sleep anywhere and anytime they’ve got the chance! But doing the shows don’t really get to Brian, AJ, and me as much. I guess because were always bouncin’ around with all kinds of energy anyways it doesn’t affect us too much.” “Really? Well, the show was really awesome!” “You liked it?” “Oh yeah! It was the BEST!” “Well thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed it.” We talked about the show some more, and then the conversation slowly started to come to an end.. as it did, I noticed how exhausted I was from the show! “Are you tired?” He must of noticed my occasional yawning. “Actually I am!” “Oh darn.” “What? What’s wrong?” “I guess that means, you want us to take you home now?” “Not really! Cuz I was planning on just staying at a hotel or something. But if you don’t mind.... would it be okay if I just turned in here? I mean, if you guys don’t want me to that’s fine, but-” “Sure! I’d- we’d- love for you to stay with us for as long as you want! You’re always welcome!” “Really?” “Really.” “Oh, thank you Nick!” I was so excited I reached over and pulled him into a tight hug. I backed off realizing he seemed so uncomfortable. I leaned back into the bean bag and felt utterly stupid for hugging Nick like I had. I don’t want to make him feel uncomfortable with me! That’s the LAST thing I want to do! “I’m sorry.” “For what?” “That hug.” “Why are you sorry?” “Because I obviously made you feel uncomfortable. I’m sorry Nick. I just got really caught up in the moment I guess.” “Oh no no no! You weren’t the one that made me uncomfortable! No! Not at all! It was something that Brian had said that’s getting to me.” “What did he say?” “Oh. Nothing important. I’ll just forget what he said.” “Okay.. Well in that case, it really is sweet of you for letting me stay with you for awhile.” “Hey, it’s really not a problem.” “You guys are so great..” I whispered ending with another yawn, and another, followed by yet another. My eye lids slowly shut and I fell fast asleep. “Mandy, I-” I turned to my side and looked at her. She was asleep. Deep sleep! I stared at her for a moment. She looked so peaceful and at ease laying there. I got up and walked over to my bunk. I reached for my green comforter, pulled it off, and sat back down in my bean-bag, which was still positioned right next to Mandy’s. I then laid the blanket over top of our legs, leaned my head against the back of the bus, and took one last glance at this angel laying beside me. Satisfied, I closed my eyes and also fell fast asleep. 2 hours later Screech! The wheels of the bus came to a sudden stop and the driver came over to Brian who was still awake from the night before. “Tough night?” “Oh, hey Dan. I didn’t see you there. Yeah, actually it was. I’ve been thinking a lot lately.” “Girl prob huh?” “You’ve got it,” Brian said with a sigh. “Hey, don’t worry about it! It’ll work out.” “I hope so, man! Are we supposed to head on into the hotel now or what?” “Yep. That’s the reason I came over. Do you think you could get everyone else the up? They’re not always in the best mood when they’re woken up! Especially AJ.. do you think you could handle it for me?” “Sure. And hey, I don’t blame ya for passin’ the job along to someone else! AJ can be a real grouch when he wakes up, can’t he?” “Definitely!” We shared a laugh and Dan continued, “I’m gonna go ahead and check you guys in and get some stuff situated ok?” “Sure!” “Oh and Good Luck Brian.” “Thanks.” As Dan got off the bus I muttered under my breath: I need as much luck as I can get! I shook my head and yelled, “Rise and shine everybody!!” I started to turn on all of the lights. “Rok! Turn that light back off, man!” “Sorry, AJ! No can do!” “Ugh!” snarled AJ frustrated. He turned over onto his stomach and put his comforter over top of his head, covering the light. “Nice try, man! But it’s not gonna work this time!” I tried to pull AJ’s blanket away from him. He was always so hard to get up before sunrise. “What time is it anyways?” AJ asked impatiently. “Uh,” I glanced at my watch, “2:30.” “A.M.?” “Yup.” “And you’re trying to wake me up? Are you nuts?!” AJ calmed down and I went down the isle waking the others. Once I got to Nick’s I noticed he wasn’t there. The bunk was empty. In no time at all, I spotted a leg sticking out in the middle of the isle near the back of the bus. I assumed it was his, and headed over there to wake my buddy up. When I reached him, I just burst out laughing. “Hey you guys. Come check this out!” Kevin, Howie, and AJ were all interested in what the commotion was about and came over. “Well, look at that!” Kevin said smiling. “Kodak moment!” “Speaking of which Howie.. do you still have that camera with you?” “I think I do!” Howie scrummaged through his backpack and handed the camera over to me. “Here you go, man.” CLICK! “Thanks. I know Nick’s gonna want to see this one!” They all smiled at the thought and finished unloading. “Hey. Nick.... Nick!” I said while moving his arms around. “What..?” he mumbled, still half asleep. “Get up! We’re at the hotel! The other guys are settled in.” “Already?” “Yep! Oh and hey, you might want to take care of sleeping beauty, there. I tried to wake her up, but she won’t budge, man!” I lifted my head and looked down at Mandy. She was still asleep. Her head was on my shoulder, and the blanket I had laid down last night, was still over top of us. She looked so comfortable and as at ease as she did from the night before. I decided not to wake her. “Hey, Bri. Ya got the keys to the room?” “Yeah, man. You heading there now?” “I guess so. I think I’m just going to take Mandy on in. Would you mind, carrying my suitcase?” “Not at all! You go ahead and get her situated. I’ll take care of your stuff.” “Thanks, Rok! You’re a lifesaver.” I carefully lifted her into my arms and got someone to help me with the door, and headed on inside to our suite. Room 118- not too far from the entrance. I used the key Rok gave me earlier, and opened the door very slowly, while still holding Mandy in my arms. I dropped the keys on the floor and gently and very slowly laid her down on the bed. I then reached over, and pulled the covers over top of her body. I looked at this sleeping beauty in front of me and couldn’t help but placing a kiss on her right cheek. Her skin was so soft and delicate. I heard a knock on the door. Rok came in to tell me he wasn’t tired. So he was just going to go on over to the arcade room and keep him busy for awhile. Once he had left, I took a spot on the bed; opposite Mandy. As soon as I hit the mattress, I zonked out. Just like that. Mmm.. I slowly turned to my side and started to wake up. I stretched and yawned a few times. I then sat up. Where am I? I looked around. That’s when I spotted Nick, AJ, and Brian sitting in front of the television placed in the hotel room we were staying at. They were playing somekind of video game. I looked at the clock that was sitting on the night stand. It was 7:02 exactly. My gosh! I knew they liked playing video games, but at 7:00 in the morning! They’re crazy! Nick looked up noticing I had woken. “It’s about time!” he said jokingly. “Hey! This is like the earliest I’ve gotten up in a LONG time!” “Really? We’re usually always up at the crack of dawn, if not earlier.” “Geez! I couldn’t handle it! So.... where are we anyways?” I asked as I looked around the very nice hotel room. “Oh. We’re at the Mariott Griffin Gate Resort, not too far from Lexington!” “This place is nice!” I exclaimed. “Oh, this is nothing! You’ve gotta see this place! Would you like me to give you a tour?” Nick’s eyes were still glued to the screen. I took him up on the offer anyways. “Yeah. I’d like that but could you show me where the restroom’s at? I think I’m gonna take a quick shower first.” “Oh, sure.” Nick said standing up. He came near me and opened the door that connected to Kevin and Howie’s room who were both still asleep. “You see that door right there?” He asked pointing his finger. I nodded. “You go through there and there’s this HUGE tub, and the shower’s just to the right of it.” “Thanks. Oh, um.. I didn’t exactly bring many clothes with me.. do you think we can go shopping a little later?” “Sure! Wait a sec..” He went over to his suitcase and brought over some clothes. “Here you go. You can wear something out of here until we go shopping, if you want.” “Thanks,” I replied again as I made my way through the door, into the bathroom. I grabbed a towel and headed for the shower. This bathroom is huge! This place was just so gigantic! Once I got out of the shower I smelled like.. like kiwi! I had tried the new Bath and Body shower gel. smelled heavenly! Kiwi. Yum! The smell made me realize how hungry I actually was. I changed into some of Nick’s clothes which included a long-sleeved t-shirt of his, and a pair of baggy- but very comfortable jogging pants. I looked under the sink to see what all I had to work with for my hair. Oh my goodness! Look at all of this! Under the sink was a bunch of stuff! I mean there were samples of everthing! Hairspray, soap, shampoo, a blow-dryer, deodorant, body lotion, tissues... anything you needed was in here! To my surprise I even found a curling iron! I got to work. It took about 10 minutes to get my hair completely dry. Once it was I began to curl it. I left it down, turned the curling iron off, and went back to where Nick and the fellas were still playing their game. Kevin, and Howie had come in by now had joined them. “Oh so you two finally decided to join us, huh?” I walked in and placed my clothes from the day before into the laundry basket. “Hey, Mandy.” Kevin leaned over to give me a hug. “It’s nice to see you’ve decided to stay with us another day.” “Aww. Thanks Kev.” Nick looked up at me, “You look kind of different like that. With your hair down, I mean.” “Really? that a bad thing?” I questioned. “Oh, no! I.. I like it.. a lot.” “Ugh, thanks!” I paused. Switching the subject, “So.... have you guys eaten yet?” I asked. “Nope!” they all said in unison. “Good! I was afraid I’d have to eat alone!” “Nah! We’ll always keep you company,” said Nick flashing that gorgeous smile of his. “Well then what do you say we all head down for breakfast? I’m starvin’!” “Sounds good to me,” replied Brian. They finished their game in a hurry, and we all headed downstairs.

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