Nick rested his hand on the door and looked at the floor, hoping that no one could see that he was crying. Why had she said those things to him? She loved him too, he could see it whenever she looked at him, and so could everyone else who knew her. So then why had she pushed him away like that? He had offered her everything that he could possibly give to her, his love—his entire life—and she had refused. What was there to do now? I need to talk to Frick, Nick decided. He'll help me.
Nick walked down to Brian's hotel room and knocked on the door.
"Who is it?" he heard Brian's groggy voice ask.
"It's Nick. I need to talk to you," Nick called back.
The door opened and Brian was standing there in his boxers and a t-shirt, rubbing his eyes sleepily. "Can it wait? I still have another fifteen minutes of sleepy-time," Brian pointed out.
"Sorry, I'll come back," Nick said, turning and starting to walk away. He sounded so dejected that Brian sighed sharply and stopped him.
"That's okay, man, what is it? Come in," he said, opening the door wider.
"It's Kayla," Nick explained.
"Oh, God," Brian groaned. "What has she done now?"
"Well, last night, you know how Kayla always comes down to my room after the show and we talk?" Nick related.
"Yeah," Brian said with a nod.
"Last night, we were just kidding around—I was tickling her because she was calling me Nicky—and then suddenly we fell on to the floor and I was on top of her and, one thing led to another, and we started kissing, and then we went further than kissing..." he trailed off, starting to blush.
Brian's eyebrows shot up. "You didn't," he murmured.
"Oh, but we did," Nick replied with a strange expression that was a mixture of a smile and a grimace.
"Gimme five, man!" Brian said with a grin, holding out his hand. "You lost it!"
Nick slapped his friend's hand glumly.
"And you lost it to her! Does this mean that you two are together now?"
Nick shook his head. "She wasn't there when I woke up, and her clothes were gone too. So just now, I went by her room, and it turns out that it meant nothing to her. She said that for her, it was just physical. Which is nice and all, but it's not what I want. And I then I uh...I sort of started begging her for a chance—I told her practically everything about how much I love her, without actually telling her straight out. And she still said no! I can't believe her, Frick! I thought I was finally making some progress, but it turns out that things are just the same as when I started, and she still doesn't want to be with me!"
"Just give her time," Brian suggested, trying to calm his friend down. "She loves you."
"I thought she did too, but she told me that she doesn't feel 'that way' about me!"
"Nick, she's lying to you," Brian replied. "Do you have any idea how scared she must be right now? She just slept with someone for the first time, and what's more, she slept with you. That's really big, and you know that. It's not like y'all just kissed or messed around a little. It's so much more than that. She needs some time to calm down and come to terms with it."
Nick sighed sharply. "So what do I do know? Just sit back and do nothing?"
"There's a difference between doing nothing and giving her space until she feels okay about what y'all did," Brian replied. "And when you are around her, just act normal. Just be nice. You know how important that is to her. Show her you're a good guy, and that'll help her feel better about it. You should only make another move when you're sure that she's secure. Otherwise she'll get too scared. Let her take everything one step at a time."
Nick sighed. "Okay. I can do that, I guess."
"And when you make that next move, don't kiss her right away. Just talk to her. And don't overwhelm her with all those romantic love song type words...keep it simple, and go slow enough for her. You have to remember that she's two years younger than you, Nick, and that makes more of a difference than you would think."
Nick paused a moment, contemplating all of this, before he nodded slowly. "Okay. I can do that too." He shook his head. "How in the world did you come to know all of this? Your marriage?"
"A little bit of it, yeah," Brian acknowledged. "But mostly just by being one of her closest friends."
"I'm just as close with her as you are," Nick pointed out.
"But you're so infatuated with her you let it blind you," Brian returned.
Nick smiled wryly. "That's the truth. Well, thanks for the advice, Frick. I have to get going and pack a little...but I'll try to stick to what you said."
Brian smiled back and nodded as Nick went to the door. "Whatever you think is best."
About three minutes after Nick had left, Brian heard another knock on his door. He opened it and was not at all surprised to see Kayla.
"Hey, Kayla," he greeted cheerfully. His main goal with Nick had to inform him on what to do. Now, with Kayla, it would just be to make her feel better so that Nick could work his magic on her again.
She didn't smile. Actually, she was frowning. "Hey, Bri," she said slowly. "Has Nick talked to you yet about last night?"
"Last night?" Brian repeated, pretending not to understand. He didn't like lying to her—or, more nicely put, avoiding the truth—but he wanted to hear her side of the story.
"He hasn't talked to you yet," Kayla decided. "Can I come in?"
"Sure," Brian said with a warm smile.
They went into the room and sat down on his bed. "So what's up?" Brian asked.
"I'm so confused," Kayla blurted out.
"Start from the beginning," Brian instructed, knowing how mixed up she tended to get when she had a problem like this.
Kayla quickly related her version of the story all the way up until she shut the door in Nick's face. "I didn't know what to do. I hate hurting him like that, but...he was talking about really serious stuff like never breaking up. I don't think I'm ready for such a big commitment," she said. "And I know I probably should have thought about that before we had sex, but—"
"You weren't thinking. I know how it goes," Brian finished for her. She looked to him with a hopeful expression that meant that she was asking him for advice. "I don't think the question here is whether or not you like him too."
"But it is, because I'm not sure," Kayla protested.
"Come on, Kayla. Can you honestly tell me that you have no feelings for him whatsoever besides friendship?"
"Well...okay, yeah, I do," she said guiltily. "Otherwise I wouldn't have slept with him."
"There you go. Now a harder question. Do you think you want to be with him?
"Well...I don't want to lose his friendship," she pointed out, deliberately dodging the question.
"You don't have to," Brian said, shaking his head. "Leighanne is still my friend even though we're together."
"But you're five years older than Nick, and seven years older than me," Kayla argued. "Which is another thing. The age difference."
"Leighanne's five years older than I am."
Kayla closed her eyes. "Um, Bri, could you please not compare me and Nick to you and Leighanne? It's kind of freaking me out. I mean, you two are married, and we haven't even been on one date."
"Sorry. But the point remains, it is possible," Brian concluded.
Kayla groaned and buried her face in her hands. "I just don't know. I have all of this relationship and commitment shit that—"
"Hey, watch your fucking language," Brian demanded, finally bringing a smile to her face.
"Do you know that if my friends knew about this, they'd think that I was insane?" Kayla said with another smile. "They'd be like, 'You had the chance to get with a BSB and you didn't take it?! Are you crazy?!'"
"Well, whether you like it or not, the fact that you're not getting with him right away given the opportunity shows that you really do care about him," Brian reasoned.
"I know that I care about him. I care about it him a lot. Seeing that pain in his eyes when I was telling him no was like torture..." She put her head in her hands. "Am I insane? Because that would explain a lot of this."
Brian put an arm around her and hugged her. "Sweetie, don't analyze the situation too much just yet. Give yourself some time to think about it before you decide anything," he suggested. "Over the next few days...really look at how he acts towards other people and towards you. Maybe you'll discover some good things about him. Who knows, he could be the one you're waiting for."
"Okay, I'll do that," Kayla agreed.
Brian glanced at the clock, and his eyebrows shot up. "Hey, you have to go get ready," Brian pointed out. "We're leaving for the airport soon."
"Where are we going?"
"We're going to Detroit today? I completely forgot!" Kayla exclaimed. "I'm gonna see all of my old friends again!" She had lived in Detroit for two years of her life, in fifth and sixth grade, and she was still in touch with a few of her friends who lived there.
"So go get ready!"
"I am ready. I've been up since five thirty." Kayla stuck her tongue out at him.
"Well...I have to change and stuff, so you have to go, babe. But I'll see ya in a few." He started to push her towards the door.
"Okay, okay, I know when I'm not wanted. Later," Kayla laughed as she went out into the hall.
"Alrighty then," Brian said, imitating Ace Ventura.
That always cracked her up. "Bye, Bri," she giggled.
She turned to walk and immediately collided with no one other than Nick Carter himself. "Oh, um, sorry, Nick."
"It's okay," he said with a perfectly normal friendly smile.
She frowned at his casual manner. "Um, okay..."
"Hey, is something wrong? Do you need anything?" Nick asked, eager to do something for her.
"N-No, I just...never mind," Kayla said quickly. "See you later."
She hurried away down the hall.