Since Howie insisted on letting the police handle everything, AJ and Brian decided to investigate things on their own. Both of them knew Nick didn’t have much time left…they knew that the longer they waited, the less likely Nick was to come back alive. Brian had suggested visiting the house where Valerie’s mother was found, so the next day they drove to her house in Orlando.
“I got a bad feeling about this, Brian. We shouldn’t be snooping here.” AJ whispered as they pulled up. The house had yellow police tape around the porch. Brian ignored the tape and stepped over it, walking into the doorway of the house. AJ shook his head when Brian motioned him to follow, he wasn’t happy about the idea at all.
“Why did I let you drag me out here?” AJ asked softly. Brian walked into the house with his flashlight and they saw blood on the floor by the stairs. Part of the stain had been cut away for evidence, but the blood was still visible.
“This is definitely giving me the creeps, Jay. See if you can find a switch.” Brian whispered. AJ found the hall light and turned it on. The two of them walked upstairs, careful not to touch anything.
“Where do you suppose her room is?” AJ asked. He could feel his heart pounding. Brian shined the flashlight around and saw Nick’s face on a door at the end of the hallway. He turned to AJ and smirked nervously.
“Lucky guess.” AJ mumbled. The two of them walked into the room and Brian found the lightswitch.
“Oh…my…God…” Brian whispered. Posters of Nick covered the walls of the small room, from floor to ceiling. Not just pictures of magazines, but pictures downloaded off the internet, framed posters…she even had pillowcases with his face on them. A large throw blanket covered the bed with Nick on it, obviously custom made.
“Brian I don’t like this….this isn’t good…we shouldn’t be here.” AJ said frantically.
“Shut up, Jay. There’s nobody else here…stop being so goddamn paranoid.” Brian scolded him. He began to search the room…for anything that would help them find where Nick had been taken…any clues at all.
“Dude, she really was obsessed with Nicky…” AJ said, looking at all of the pictures.
“Well, duh.” Brian snapped as he looked under the bed. He pulled out a box covered in hearts that he found there and sat cross- legged next to the bed. Inside were several photos of Nick, but Valerie had pasted her picture over the girl in each picture.
“This girl has issues.” Brian said, placing them aside. He found a few love letters that she had written in a notebook inside the box. One of them stated she would do anything to make him hers.
“Brian, I still don’t think we should be in here.” AJ repeated as Brian stuffed the box back under the bed. They spotted a computer in the corner of the room that was not turned on.
“Maybe we can check and see if there is anything on here..I wish I had a password.” Brian said softly, after he had gotten onto it. Valerie had her computer password protected.
“Lemme think, you’re a Backstreet Boys fan…you’re obsessed with Nick Carter…what would you put as your password?” AJ laughed.
“Very funny, Jay. Seriously, would she make it that easy? I don’t think she would.” Brian said. AJ walked over and typed something on the keyboard, then hit enter.
“How do you do that?” Brian asked, looking at him skeptically.
“You gotta think like the fans….its a scary place but it works.” AJ laughed. Brian smiled, shaking his head at him as he looked through Valerie’s files on the computer.
“She writes fanfiction. What the hell is fanfiction?” Brian asked, looking at him again.
“They like to write fluffy romances about us,” AJ said. He had checked it out before because he was searching for something on the internet about zombies and came across a story about them. When he told Brian about it, he laughed.
“Really? Zombies?” Brian asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Yeah…its actually really good. Sometimes it scares me how they come up with these stories, honestly.” AJ told him, sitting down on the bed.
“This girl is writing about kidnapping Nick and it looks like she is acting it out…” Brian said as he read the story.
“How crazy is this girl? She is really doing this stuff to him…”
“Well, she never finished it…but we gotta find him. Maybe we can talk to her friend and see if she knows something.” Brian suggested.
“Let’s get out of here.” AJ laughed as Brian shut off the computer . The two of them headed for the door, but their hearts nearly jumped out of their chests when they heard a door shutting downstairs.