The show that night didn’t go as planned, but the crowd was going wild. They didn’t notice the tension between them, however the guys turned off their smiles when they got off stage.
“That was not a good show tonight, you all seemed like you didn’t want to be there!!! We can’t have this from you..” their manager yelled. Nick tuned him out, thinking. He just wanted to get into bed and forget anything happened, it was a really crappy day.
“Nicky, you okay?” Howie asked, placing a hand on his shoulder. Nick pulled away, leaving Howie looking after him in disappointment. He loved Howie for caring but he just wasn’t in the mood as he walked to the bus, feeling a headache come on. He saw some fans outside but walked past them. A few even cursed, but he ignored it.
“Fuck this shit.” he mumbled.
He closed the curtain to his bunk as the others filed into the bus, arguing again….everything was an argument anymore. Between his family and his BSB family nobody was getting along, it killed him to hear it.
” AJ….what is wrong with you? You forgot half the words to the song and you screwed the whole set up.” Kevin hissed, slamming his hand on the table.
“Oh, I’m SO sorry your highness. It won’t happen again.” AJ retorted, walking towards the back of the bus.
“Excuse me, that was coming from our manager, not me. What is really wrong, AJ is that you don’t seem to understand what you do affects us as well.” Kevin said, looking at Brian and Howie for help. Neither of them added to the conversation, they just looked awkwardly at the floor.
“Fuck you, Kevin. You aren’t my dad or my boss. I do what I want.” AJ said before reaching for a beer in the mini fridge.
“See this is what I mean. It isn’t healthy…..we are just looking out for you.” Kevin added. Howie stepped forward and decided to speak up.
“We are worried about you, won’t you just talk to us for a while? I think we all need to just get things out in the open.” he said calmly. AJ finished his beer and just stomped off, his chains on the boots he wore rattling.
“That answers that. Well, Leighanne’s waiting for me to call her so I’ll be off then.” Brian announced, laughing awkwardly.
“Is that all you can think about?” Howie asked in disbelief although he wouldn’t admit he was about to do the same.
“It’s better than this squabbling every night. What is happening to us, we all used to be so close…”
Kevin put his hand through his hair and sighed, Brian was right. He wondered if anything could be done or if they would just get worse as time went by. The bus rolled onto their next stop, everyone riding in silence and eventually sleeping for a few hours.
They would be grateful for a full nights sleep before too long.
The next day was a show day and Nick found himself bumming a cigarette from one of the roadies since Kevin had cut him off. He puffed at it, kicking stones behind the venue and keeping an eye out for Kevin. There was no sign of him anywhere so far, so Nick was left alone. He liked to be alone these days but he felt lost not having anyone to talk to, especially about what was going on in his life.
Nick jumped but it wasn’t Kevin or any of the guys, it was the new roadie.
“Oh, shit you scared me. I thought you were someone else.” he laughed.
Russ smiled….sizing Nick up. He could definitely handle this kid, he was about Jamie’s build.
“I guess I am not the only one who needed a smoke, huh kid.” he said. Nick blew a puff into the air and wiped at his nose before taking another drag.
“I just needed to be alone. Plus this is my last one. Had to bum one.” he explained. He wouldn’t look the other man in the eye, something about him made him uncomfortable.
“Nick you back here?” Brian called. Nick cursed as his bandmate came towards them, shaking his head.
“What are you doing back here….without security?” Brian said, giving Russ a funny glance. “I’m not a kid anymore…besides, I wasn’t alone. He was with me…..uh….what was your name, dude?”
Russ put on a fake smile, this kid really seemed brain dead. He wondered what Chloe saw in him.
“We met the other day, now come on before Mike and Kevin both have coronaries when they find you missing again. It’s bad enough AJ is hungover, we don’t need this too.” Brian said, pulling Nick along and ignoring Russ.
Russell hated their attitudes, these two acted like they were entitled, especially the shorter one who kept going on about management and the show, not even bothering to ask the kid if he was okay. It would be all right, Russ thought while he puffed at his cigarette. Pretty soon they wouldn’t have the kid to kick around anyway.