AJ drove this time…he and Brian were headed back towards Nick’s house in Tampa. However, it was different this time. He and Brian, along with Howie decided to go to the address they found on their fan club website. Valerie lived in an apartment complex that wasn’t far from Nick’s house…it was just down the street.
“Are you sure this is a good idea?” Howie asked as they pulled up and sat in AJ’s car, looking up at the building.
“Nick needs our help, this is the only way we will be able to find him. I have a good feeling about this place.” Brian said, grinning.
“Funny, I get a ‘stay away or you will end up like Nick’ kind of vibe.” AJ mumbled, turning off the engine.
“Yeah, I got the same feeling….” Howie admitted. Brian felt uneasy as well, but he was confident that Nick was inside or at least there would be some clue to where he could be. The three of them walked into the apartment building and found room number 128.
“Nick’s birthday. She picked this apartment because its the same as his birth date.” Brian noticed.
“She really is obsessed with him, isn’t she?” Howie said, his eyes fearful…AJ nodded in reply. He did not want to go beyond the plain door in front of them…he didn’t want to find out what was on the other side, but Brian looked for a way in.
“It’s probably locked. Oh darn. I guess we will have to go home…” Howie said as AJ chuckled.
“Very funny, Howard. You two are so chicken….” Brian teased. He turned the doorknob and surprisingly it wasn’t locked.
“You go first.” AJ whispered, gently pushing Brian into the dark apartment. The lights were off and it was quiet.
“Nick?” Howie called, and AJ hit his arm with the back of his hand.
“You dumbass, he’s not gonna answer you! She probably has him tied up somewhere.” he snapped. Brian found a light switch and turned it on by the kitchen. There were pictures of Nick on the refrigerator.
“It doesn’t look like anybody’s been here for a while,” Howie pointed out as he noticed the layer of dust on the kitchen table. Brian found her bedroom and it was relatively empty, a large poster of Nick on the wall near the bed and pictures of him covering the door. He noticed a stack of papers on the desk in a room nearby.
“Hey guys…I think I found something.” Brian called as he read the papers. Howie and AJ came into the room looking disappointed.
“He’s not here.” AJ said, not looking at them. He and Howie had searched everywhere, Nick was not in the apartment.
“That sick bitch. She was watching him using Google Earth…” AJ said after he looked at the papers.
“She got his address after pretending to be Lucy and tricking him…then she used it to get pictures of his property.” Brian guessed. They all looked at the printouts….little notes were added in the margins, she was planning on redecorating when she married Nick.
“Look what’s circled here. I didn’t know Nick had a guest house…” Howie pointed out. Nick hadn’t been living in this house for long, it was fairly new and some of it wasn’t finished yet.
“Why would she circle the guest house?” AJ asked. Brian looked at them, an expression of sudden horror appeared on his face. He wanted to kick himself, it had been right in front of their noses the whole time. Nick’s guest house was circled…he was being held captive in his own house.
“THAT’S WHERE HE IS!” he shouted, gasping. It was all making sense now. Valerie had typed in Nick’s address on Google Earth and used it to stalk him, watch his house….plan out her attack.
“This girl is sick….she has wedding dresses picked out and everything.” Howie said, ignoring what Brian was saying.
“Howie, forget about that….Nick is at his own goddamn house. We were there, he was probably right under our fucking noses.” AJ snapped, practically kicking himself. He remembered the scream the day they had gone to Nick’s house….
“Oh my god. Brian…..what if he’s in the guest house? I heard a scream that day we were there.”
“I heard a scream too…I thought it was my imagination. This girl is crazy…..she killed Lauren, what if she kills Nick?” Brian asked fearfully.
“We have to hurry.” Howie said, agreeing with the two of them. The three of them left Valerie’s apartment, headed for the car. Now that they knew where he was, they were confident that could finally get their bandmate back. Nick’s time was running out…and they hoped it wasn’t too late.