The Hardest Thing

Chapter One

Kayla hummed softly to herself as she plopped down on her bed seven months later. Grinning, she crawled up to her pillow and rolled over onto her back as she picked up the phone and pressed speed dial one.

After two rings, she heard the click of someone picking up the phone and a "Hello?"

"Do you like scary movies?" Kayla replied in a low voice.

Nick laughed. "Stop calling me, you little bitch."

"Not till I see your insides," Kayla said. "Or at least molest you a little."

"Is it still molesting if the other party is willing to participate?"

She chuckled. "Guess we'll find out tomorrow night, huh?"

"Guess we will," Nick agreed. "God, I'm not gonna sleep tonight."

Kayla smiled. "Where are you right now?"

"Right now I am in the bus headed for the airport."

"In L.A., right?"

"Yeah. Are you back home?"

"Yeah." Kayla's smile widened. Three months ago, when she had found herself looking for a place to live, Nick had bought her an apartment in New York as an anniversary present. An early one—their actual anniversary was tomorrow. Tomorrow was also the day of the Boys' New York show, and Kayla was currently on a short break from working, so she would be able to spend it with him—and celebrate with him that night.

"So where are you right now?" Nick said, his voice warm.

"Bedroom," Kayla replied.

"And what are you wearing?"

"Nothing but a thong," she replied in her sexiest voice.

Nick laughed for a moment then cleared his throat. "Seriously?" he asked urgently.

She giggled. "No. Seriously I'm wearing a black tank top and my beloved grey pajama pants."

"Mm," Nick remarked. "And you're on the bed?"

"Yes sir."

"Baby, I don't wanna wait until tomorrow night," Nick said.

"Aw, Nick, we've waited 364 days. What's one more?"

"A looong time," Nick answered. "Two months is way too long to go without seeing each other."

She sighed. "I know. But what could we have done?"

"I don't know," he said softly. "Something."

Kayla softened her voice too. "At least we get a whole week together now."

He took a deep breath. "Yeah. Oh...we just got to the airport. I have to go."

"Okay. See you tomorrow," she said with a grin.

"Love you."

"Love you too."


"Night." Kayla hung up the phone, turned off the light, and went to sleep, comforted by the fact that tomorrow, she would be lying in Nick's arms.

* * *

"Kayla Prescott!" she heard a voice exclaim from behind her early the next evening.

Kayla whirled around. "Brian!" she shrieked, throwing her arms around his neck.

He laughed and hugged her back. "Hey sweetie! How are you?"

She nodded as they let go of each other. "Good."

"Nervous? I mean, tonight's the big night," Brian reminded her, raising his eyebrows suggestively.

She rolled her eyes. "Oh, God. I knew Nick would tell everyone."

"Actually, he didn't. I guessed it without much difficulty, being his best friend, and your best friend," Brian replied with a suave grin. "So it's a year today!"

"I know. Hard to believe, huh?"

He nodded. "Y'all should be proud."

She smiled. "Thanks. Where is he, by the way?"

"He and the other guys got held up by some fans," Brian explained.

"What about you?"

"Well, I wanted to come see my little sister!"

"Kayla, oh my God, come here right this minute!" AJ demanded from the doorway.

She laughed and went over to hug both him and Howie. "Hey guys!" she said, kissing their cheeks.

"Hey shrimp!" Howie greeted her cheerfully.

"Shut up, shorty!" she replied.

"Kayla, I can't take this!" AJ exclaimed.

"Take what?" she asked, looking to Howie, who only shrugged.

"Touring without you to open for us!" he replied. "Our new opening act will hardly even talk to us, let alone stay up till three in the morning watching scary movies with us."

"See, I have the opposite problem. My opening act won't stop hitting on me," she complained.

"Tell him you have a boyfriend," Howie suggested.

"I did! But I can't tell him who, so he doesn't believe me."

"Well, tomorrow he will, right?" Brian asked.

She grinned. "Yup." Tomorrow night were MTV's Video Music Awards, and she and Nick were finally planning to go public.

"Kayla, c'mere and give me a hug!" Kevin called as he walked into the room.

"Damn it, where is Nick?" she wondered in frustration.

"Well hello to you too," Kevin replied.

She smiled and hugged him. "Sorry, Kev. You know how I get."

"Yeah, rumor has it that you and Nick are finally gonna..." He chuckled.

"Finally gonna what, Kevin?" she asked, folding her arms.

"Nothing, nothing," Kevin said quickly.

"Oh, don't worry, Kayla," Brian said, grabbing her hands. "You and Nick have all week to have all the hot sex you want."

"Brian, the fact that you would mention that scares me," she replied. She tried to back away but bumped into someone. "Oh!" she remarked. Before she could turn around to see who it was, two familiar hands covered her eyes.

"Guess who," Nick whispered into her ear.

"Derek?" she asked innocently.

He grinned and pulled his hands away to wrap his arms around her as she turned to face him. "You'd better be kidding," he warned her.

She shrugged and pulled him in for a nice long kiss.

"Ewww!" Brian said loudly.

Kevin shoved him. "Shut up, Rok."

Kayla and Nick pulled away laughing. "It's good to see you," she remarked, running a hand through his hair. Kayla loved his hair.

"I know," he agreed with a smile. "Happy anniversary, by the way."

"Same to you," she replied, laughing. "Want your present?"

Nick's eyes widened. "Out here?"

She burst out laughing and rolled her eyes at him. "Yeah, Nick, out here," she said sarcastically.

"Come on!" Nick said quickly, grabbing her by the wrist and dragging her out of the room.

"Uh...bye, guys, see you later!" Kayla called over her shoulder with a laugh as Nick pulled her into his dressing room.

Brian shuddered. "That is so disgusting."


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