Nick lay awake in the bunk on the tour bus, the curtain drawn so he was in complete darkness. Feeling lonlier than ever, he scrolled through his BlackBerry and thought about calling Lauren again….but he knew that she wouldn’t answer. She was long gone, probably home by now or wherever she had been headed without him. Sighing, Nick closed his phone.
It was about five in the morning.
Today was a show day, and Nick felt himself wishing really hard for a day off to clear his head. Nothing was making sense, Lauren had broken up with him and now he had met a girl last night. This girl was on his mind all the way back from the after party and he couldn’t explain why. She was captivating…something about her sent sparks through him and he couldn’t figure out if they were good or bad, all he knew was that he wanted to know more about the mysterious blonde. He thought about calling the club and asking around…trying to find a name at least. Something about her had been familiar but she did not look all that familiar. Sitting up, Nick ran a hand through his short hair. It was darker these days, he was trying to stay away from the blonde stereotype that had plagued him all these years. The fans complained every time he did something to his hair or his body. Nick had liked Lauren for this, she could have cared less how he looked or what color his hair was. Trying not to think about her, he rolled over and closed his eyes to go to sleep.
The show the next night was packed, they were playing in Orlando tonight…there was something to be said about the energy of their hometown. The fans of Orlando knew how to show their support, that was a fact. It made Nick feel slightly better to be somewhat home. He couldn’t really explain why, but for some reason the fans always cheered him up….no matter what kind of mood he was in.
“Feeling better tonight?” Howie asked once they finished the show for the night.
“A little….I just wish she was here.” Nick whispered softly, looking at his feet.
“You gotta accept that she is gone…she won’t come back…” Howie replied, his hand on Nick’s shoulder.
“I tried calling her today, she didn’t answer.” he said wistfully. AJ and Rochelle came past him hand in hand and Nick felt a pang of jealousy. He wished he and Lauren could have been as well supported as those two. Nick often read comments on Twitter and LD, that they all wanted him and Lauren to break up….Nick chuckled as he thought about those fans getting their wish at his expense. He wondered why the fans never liked who he dated…they had always bashed his girlfriends, which lead to all of them leaving him or vise versa. Nick watched Leighanne and Brian as well, she was whispering something into his ear as his smile grew wider.
Nick wanted to go back to the hotel….he didn’t want to be around all of the happy couples and felt bad for feeling so glum. He had joined them again for the after party….Nick being the only one without a date for the night. He sat at the table and ordered a beer, followed by another. As he was about to start the second beer, his breath caught in his throat….it was her. The girl from last night was across the room, standing at the bar and waving at him.
“Nick….what are you looking at?” Brian asked as he noticed the goofy grin etched on his face.
“Wh-what? Nothing…” Nick lied. When he looked back, she was gone. Nick got up out of his seat and wandered around the club aimlessly looking for her….until he bumped right into her.
“Oh!” she exclaimed as her cocktail dropped to the ground. Nick bought her another and they sat down in a small booth in a corner of the nightclub. “I can’t believe you’re here, I have been thinking about you…” Nick said softly with a smile. She giggled, batting her eyelashes at him seductively.
“Really now?” she practically whispered. She smelled like vanilla and strawberries…her lips painted a deep red. Nick felt a strange feeling wash over him…something was definitely telling him to stay away…but at the same time something called to him.
“You never did tell me your name.” Nick said, flashing her his famous Carter grin, the one that usually made girls fall at his feet. It didn’t affect her…..he was impressed.
“My name is Lucy…why don’t we go somewhere and I can properly introduce myself to you.” she whispered into his ear. He felt his blood rise as she spoke…her breath on his neck. Nick was about to speak but he heard Brian nearby calling for him.
“Your friends are looking for you…” Lucy said as Nick opened his mouth.
“I want to know more about you, Lucy…but we keep getting interrupted.” he said quietly, trying to keep himself from being seen by Brian. His tall frame prevented this, he was never good at hiding. Lucy scribbled down a phone number on a napkin and stuffed it into his pants pocket, her hand wandering a bit. Brian was within two feet of the table before Lucy got up and started to walk away.
“Wait….” Nick half whispered, half shouted as he got up and practically knocked Brian over, falling on top of him in a questionable position.
“Well hello there Nick. I had no idea you felt that way about me….” Brian said, as Nick helped him up. Several girls nearby laughed, but Nick didn’t.
“Sorry Brian, but I don’t think Leighanne would approve of our relationship.” Nick retorted, his eyes wandering.
“What is going on with you? It’s like you’re in another world lately.” Brian asked as they met up with the others. Nick shrugged his shoulders, still looking to see if he saw her outside.
“I keep meeting this girl….she was at the last show too…there is something about her…” Nick explained.
“Hell, you might as well have dated the ass grabber, Kaos.” AJ chuckled.
“No way….I hate desperate girls like that. If I ever date one of them please do the right thing.” Nick said.
“Nick, I saw you with that girl at the club. Don’t get mixed up with the fans….” Howie warned.
“Oh hello, Kevin. When did you come back?”
“Ha ha, very funny smartass. I am not Kevin!” Howie protested as the others laughed.
“Kevin, let me know when Howie comes back from 1999, okay?” Nick snapped.
“Nick…this is serious. Please be careful….the last thing we want is you at the mercy of some crazed fan that you decided to date.” Howie said as Nick laughed in his face.
“Lucy is not like the other fans..she is really sweet.” Nick began, and AJ immediately jumped on this information once they got back to the hotel.
“So you never answered my question….is she hot?” he demanded softly at the door to Nick’s room. Nick looked up to see a pink envelope on it, and his name on the front in gold glitter.
“What’s this?” he asked out loud. Nick opened the letter…it had a pink and white heart inside.
“Who sent you this?” AJ wondered. Nick opened the card.
“I’m coming for you…” he read softly, his heart beating fast….his chest growing tight. There was no name on the card, no way of identifying who had left it. He wondered who had left this at his room…who had known he would be there…and if they were watching him even now. Nick quickly went inside the hotel room and locked the door, hoping he wouldn’t be bothered the rest of the night.