"Hey, Kayla! Are we almost there?" Leah yelled over the loud music. They were driving towards the Latona household in Leah's bright red convertible with the top down and the radio way up.
"Yeah! Turn left up here!" Kayla yelled back after consulting the map that A.J. had drawn for everyone. "It should be the second house on the left!"
A minute or two later, Leah was pulling the car up against the curb a little ways down the street from the house. At least fifteen cars were already parked right outside. Leah and Kayla grabbed their bags and towels, locked up the car, and headed down the street to the house.
"Shit!" Kayla remarked as they walked across the lawn to the front door. "Lee, look at this place!"
"You're telling me," she agreed, ringing the doorbell.
"A.J. said that Amanda's parents were pretty well off, but I had no idea tható"
"Kayla!" a cheerful female voice exclaimed.
Kayla looked up and smiled when she saw Amanda standing in the doorway. "Hi, Amanda."
"Hi, cutie!" she replied, giving Kayla a hug. "Who's this?"
"This is my old friend Leah," Kayla said. "She lives here in Chicago."
Amanda smiled warmly at her. "Hi."
"Hi." The two of them shook hands.
"Well, come on in. Everyone's out back. If you need to change, the bathroom is right down that hall," Amanda informed them.
"This place is beautiful," Leah commented.
Amanda smiled. "Thank you. My parents inherited it. Otherwise we never would have been able to afford it."
"So did you grow up here?"
She nodded. "Yep."
"Yeah. Well, don't just stand there! Go have fun!" Amanda ordered, making shooing motions with her right hand. "The guys are already out back, so I'm heading out there too."
"Okay, come on, Lee, we're going to the bathroom." Kayla flashed Amanda a forced smile as she grabbed Leah's elbow and pulled her down the hall to the bathroom.
Once they were inside, Leah gave Kayla a weird look. "What are we doing? We're already dressed."
"I know, but number one, I don't want to strip in front of everyone, and number two, I have to tell you something. I didn't think I that I would have to, but I was just being stupid, because if I don't, you're going to be really confused."
"Okay. What is it?" Leah asked, looking a little confused anyway.
"Leah, you absolutely cannot tell anyone," Kayla warned.
"I won't, Kayla. You can trust me, whatever it is," Leah assured her. "Does this have to do with a guy?"
Kayla swallowed. "Yeah?"
"Someone on the tour," she said vaguely.
"Who?" Leah repeated.
Kayla gulped. "Well...you know Nick?"
"Nick?" Leah echoed, squinting. Then her eyes widened. "You mean Nick Carter?"
Kayla nodded, looking sick to her stomach.
"Oh my God. You're kidding!"
Kayla shook her head.
Kayla groaned. "Practically everything. To put it briefly...well, things have been almost happening between us ever since the beginning of the tour, but until a week ago, nothing ever did. Like one night a few weeks ago, he was helping me down in the recording studio and we almost kissed, but the other guys walked in on us."
"Almost? Like how close?"
"Like...his hand on my face, our lips almost touching close," Kayla answered. "But anyway, about a week ago...well...we were in his hotel roomówe go hang out in his room or my room after every showóand...we fooled around a little."
"Okay, a lot," Kayla admitted.
"Can you give me a base?"
Kayla's cheeks flushed bright red. "Home plate," she mumbled.
Leah's jaw dropped. "Seriously?"
"Oh my God," she murmured. Then she grinned. "How was he?"
"Lee!" Kayla scolded, laughing.
"Good?" she persisted.
Kayla was still blushing. "Yeah. But I can't really compare him to anyone."
"Can he compare you to anyone?" Leah wondered.
Kayla shook her head.
"So you lost it to each other?"
"Aw! That is so cute!" Leah remarked. "So are you guys together now? Oh, please say yes, Kayla! You two would be so adorable!"
"No, we're not," Kayla said softly.
"Why?" Leah asked. "He didn't use you, did he?"
"No...in a way I guess I used him," Kayla replied in a small voice.
Kayla quickly described the events of the morning after to her. "I'm not asking for your advice or anything, I'm just telling you because if I start avoiding him or something...I would really appreciate it if you could just go along with me, because I really need to think about this on my own for a little while."
Leah smiled. "Sure, that's no problem. Just tell me one thing."
"Do you love him?"
Kayla sighed and rubbed her forehead. "I know that I love him as a friend. Anything more than that..." She shrugged. "Now we had better get changed before Amanda starts to think something's up."
Leah nodded. "Okay."
Nick was lying on a lounge chair with his back to the pool, just relaxing and letting the sun warm his body through the glass ceiling, when someone tapped him on the shoulder. He removed his sunglasses and squinted up to see who it was. His eyes focused on Brian and Leighanne. His arm was around her waist and she had one hand on his back and the other on his stomach.
"Hey, I saw her," Brian said softly, leaning forward.
Nick shook his head. "Who?"
"Your girl. And if my lovely wife wasn't right here next to me...I'd be inclined to say...damn," he stated. Leighanne smiled and pinched him playfully on the stomach, but Nick didn't even notice because he was starting to subtly turn around.
"Where is she?" he asked.
"Over on the far left where the stairs are," Brian said.
"Thanks, man, I wouldn't have even noticed," Nick said.
Brian nodded. "With her little ensemble, I somehow doubt that, but yeah, it's no problem," he said before he and Leighanne went off to get something to drink.
Nick only turned around his upper body to make it look like he was stretching and then took the opportunity to search the pool for Kayla, trying to keep himself prepared for what she would look like. Brian almost never commented on her appearance, so that had to mean something.
Nick finally laid eyes on her, and his jaw dropped.
He just stared at her with wide eyes for a second before he quickly turned back around and faced straight ahead of him, panting.
God, she looked incredible!
She was wearing a blue and white floral bikini that he hadn't even known belonged to her. Maybe it didn't. At any rate, it was much skimpier than the stuff she usually wore. It was basically a string bikini, and did it show off her body. Her hair was twisted up on the back of her head, a few loose blonde strands hanging in her face. She was getting into the water next to a tall brunette who looked about her age, and they were both laughing. However, Nick hardly even noticed her face.
Shutting his eyes, he felt memories of that night only one week ago start to flood his mind again, and he drew in a shaky breath. Screw all of this emotional shit about her loving or not loving him. He wanted to have control of her again, to hear her moan his name as his lips caressed her skin, to kiss her over and over as their bodies molded together.
Nick glanced downwards and mumbled a curse under his breath, seeing that all of these thoughts were having the usual effect on his body. He quickly got up from the lawn chair and hurried inside to the bathroom. If she was going to be wearing that the whole time, he was never going to survive this party.