“Alexis? What are you doing here?” Kevin asked when he saw her rolling her luggage into the hallway. She only had two bags, a rolling suitcase and a duffel bag as she wasn’t planning on staying very long.
“Nick asked me to keep him company.” she stated, walking past him.
Kevin watched her until she reached Nick’s room….shaking his head. Dave was not going to like this one bit.
“I didn’t think you would come,” Nick said, hugging Alexis when he saw her. She looked him over, he seemed fine except for the bags under his eyes. He was exhausted and she noticed he looked thinner.
“You look sick, are you okay?” she asked, setting her suitcases on the bed.
“This salad and water diet Dave’s got me on…..I’m so hungry….and I haven’t been sleeping.” Nick explained, running a hand through his hair. He hadn’t eaten a decent meal in nearly three days.
“Is that why you ran away the other day? Nick….you’re over 18 now. You don’t have to do what they want anymore. You’re not fat, you are perfect….”
“Shut up, Carter…you know what I mean. They can’t treat you like this.” Alexis said, laughing. Nick laughed with her and they sat on the bed, just talking and catching up.
“The girl doesn’t belong….she will get in the way. I want her out of here.” Dave hissed, slamming his hand on the desk. Kevin nodded.
“She’s Nick’s friend, I think her being here will ruin everything. Nick is already suspicious of my behavior. You don’t think he remembers?” he asked.
“He better not. He cannot know what is going on or all that we have invested in this experiment will have been for nothing. The boy must not remember.” Dave instructed.
He was hired by Lou…..Lou Pearlman wanted to create the perfect male singing group. When Nick was a child things were easier but as he got older, he realized that he was being molded……his life was being written and changed to made acceptable to fans. The fans didn’t know that before auditioning for Backstreet Boys that the guys hadn’t met. Even the boys themselves were told what to say in interviews. They all had been given instructions to follow the same story….that the guys formed the group themselves, and that each would have a role in the group.
When Nick turned 15 he had grown tired of his “cute one” role. It was then that Kevin had told Dave, told him he wanted Nick out…..and that was the beginning of it all….
“Give this to McLean. Tell him to listen to it but be creative about it.” Dave said suddenly, pressing a CD into his hand.
“Just give it to him, you can manage that, can’t you?” Dave spat at him before dismissing him. Kevin walked down the hallway, running into Nick…literally.
“Watch where you’re going!” Kevin scolded him. Nick helped him up and brushed himself off.
“Sorry. I wasn’t expecting anyone to be out here. I was going to the vending machine.”
“No junk food. Dave said salad and water, and you’re gonna follow that diet. Go back to your room.” Kevin snapped. He looked and noticed Nick had the disc, studying it carefully….
“Give me that.” he said, snatching it from him.
“Sorry. I wasn’t getting food for me. Alexis wanted a soda and I didn’t want to order room service since you said it’s not in the budget.” Nick replied, his hands raised.
“When were you going to tell Dave she was coming along? You didn’t clear this with anyone and I got my head handed to me. You can’t just invite anyone you like on tour.” Kevin said.
“She just kind of showed up. Look…she won’t be any trouble. She’s just my friend. She will stay in my room and Brian can room with Howie or something. It’s all worked out.” Nick replied brightly. He stuffed his hands in his pockets and rocked on the heels of his feet gently in an awkward motion.
“No, it isn’t. She’s staying with AJ. Dave made the arrangements and I can’t change his mind. It isn’t our fault you decided to have a friend tagging along.” Kevin said, his eyes cold. Nick looked hard at the floor and nodded. Kevin didn’t say any more, he strode down the hallway and around the corner, leaving Nick alone.
“It isn’t our fault you decided to have a friend tagging along…..jackass.” Nick said under his breath, mocking Kevin. It wasn’t fair….why did he always get treated like some dumb kid when he was perfectly capable of handling himself?
As Nick rounded the corner of the third floor, he saw Dave leaving his hotel room. Jumping back quickly, he hid himself from view just as he saw another man come out of the room. Nick peeked again, the man had blonde hair…..and from the back he looked strangely familiar. Nick shrugged it off and came out of his hiding place before heading to the vending machine. Maybe it was a trick of the light…..
Kevin knocked on AJ’s door a few times before he answered.
“What’s up?” AJ asked, smiling.
“Dave wanted me to drop this off, it is a demo track for the next album. Everyone has a copy, just listen to it and we can decide on if we want to record it.” Kevin smiled.
“Sure, that sounds great. I was having a beer….I will put this on right now. So when’s Nick’s friend coming by?”
“Oh, she’ll be here.” Kevin replied. He had no idea what Dave had up his sleeve, but deep down he hoped it would backfire. He laid down on the bed in his room, thinking when there came a knock at the door.
“What do you want?” he demanded when he saw Alexis standing there. She pushed her way into the room and past him, slamming the door behind her and leaving Kevin looking surprised.
“How can you treat Nick the way you’ve been treating him?” she shouted. Kevin raised an eyebrow, a 18 year old girl was in his face without a care in the world. Who did she think she was?
“You don’t know me.” Kevin said moodily.
“I do. I’m a fan of you guys just like anyone else. We see how you guys act…..Nick is miserable.”
“He’s not a child, you know. I’m not responsible for him.”
“He looks up to you….they all do. What happened to you, Kevin? Where is the big brother, the one who looks out for everyone? You’ve changed.” Alexis said.
“I don’t look out for anyone but myself. Times change, people change…..and it is time that Nick grew up.” Kevin sneered.
“This isn’t you. Where did the real Kevin go? He wouldn’t tell Nick he was fat or call his cousin selfish….” Alexis pointed out. Kevin rolled his eyes, how did she know he and Brian were disagreeing over his relationship with Amber? She knew way too much…
Somehow she was making sense. Who was he? Kevin couldn’t look himself in the eye in his mirror anymore. The man that looked back was so cold…..it was like someone else had taken over.
“You’re right…..this isn’t me…” Kevin said suddenly, his head in his hands as he sat on the bed.
“Kevin, I don’t know what is going on but you need to stop. It isn’t too late to make things right again. Everyone can see how you’ve changed.” Alexis said. Kevin nodded as he listened to her…..
It was time to tell Dave he’d had enough.