Nick grew more nervous as time went by. He knew someone was planning something…..but he didn’t tell anyone. He wasn’t sure who was in on anything, who was working to get rid of him. Alexis had mentioned Kevin wasn’t being himself…..what did this mean?
“Alexis….you said you didn’t think he was Kevin. How do you know?” Nick asked one night in his bunk. They spent a lot of time there together on the road, and had come to call it their spot. It was Nick’s sanctuary from everything going on at the time, a place he could be alone and think. Alexis made him feel safe, like nothing could happen as long as she was there with him.
“His eyes. His eyes are dead….there is no spark in them like Kevin’s had. They’ve done something to him.” Alexis explained.
Brian walked past the closed curtain on Nick’s bunk, hearing Kevin talking to Nick’s mother on the phone.
“I’m telling you, Jane. Everything is fine. He’s been feeling a bit under the weather and is resting. That’s why he can’t come to the phone.” Kevin said icily. Brian shook his head as he listened. Kevin was blatantly lying to her, how could she believe him?
“What the hell is wrong with you, Kevin? He might have wanted to talk to her.” Brian snapped.
“You shouldn’t be chastising me when you’re the one being selfish.” Kevin replied, crossing his arms.
“Selfish? How am I selfish? I’m not the one treating everyone like crud all the time. Nick doesn’t deserve to be ragged on constantly, Kevin.”
“You are putting your own life in front of what is best for the group. Don’t you see that being around Amber is not good for you? She’s manipulating you.” Kevin said as he stood up. Brian followed him all the way to the back of the bus, past Nick’s bunk where he and Alexis had fallen asleep. The two of them continued to argue loudly.
“Nick, you hear that?” Alexis muttered.
“Mhhhmmmm?” Nick replied, opening the curtain a little and peeking out.
“The only one being manipulative around here is YOU, Kevin. Twisting everything around to make yourself look innocent. We all know you’re up to something.” Brian shouted, his hands in the air and his face tinted red with anger.
“Should we do something?” Alexis asked. Her eyes were closed, her head resting on Nick’s chest as he smiled.
“Nah. My money is on Brian. He can take him.”
“You just want to see Kevin get his ass kicked.” Alexis whispered. Nick simply chuckled and rested his head on hers.
“You only care about yourself, Brian. I am trying to improve the group through what I am doing. Can’t you see that?” Kevin screamed.
“I DON’T CARE?! I don’t care? I’m not the one telling Nick he’s fat. I’m not lying to his mother that he is fine and I’m not ignoring the fact AJ attacked someone the other night. So if you think for one second I don’t care, you’re WRONG.” Brian hissed, an inch from his cousin’s face. Kevin’s face did not falter nor did it show any type of emotion other than a smug grin.
“I am just doing what is best for the group, dear cousin.” he said calmly.
“You fucking prick. You think killing off our youngest member is what is best for the damn group?” Brian retorted, his voice dripping with malice. All Kevin did was chuckle. Brian was shaking, he was so angry…..and here Kevin was laughing, laughing like nothing was wrong.
“Nobody is plotting to kill him. Where did you get that idea from?” he laughed.
“LIAR! Everything is lies with you anymore. What happened to you? You’re not the Kevin I know….he’d never do this to us.”
“People change, Brian. I learned not to be so naïve like a certain cousin of mine. You don’t see what is in front of you, an opportunity to change.” Kevin stated. Brian shook his head, he couldn’t believe what he was hearing.
“How can you sit back and hurt everyone like this? Nick especially. What did he do to deserve this treatment?” he demanded, clenching his fists.
“Nick deserves everything he gets. He is a selfish little brat and is worthless just like the rest of you. We don’t need someone like that dragging us down.” Kevin explained with a smirk. Not a second later he felt a fist connect with his face….Brian standing over him, glaring at him.
“Son of a bitch!” Kevin yelled, jumping on him….the two of them throwing punches in a full on fight.
“Guys, stop….it isn’t worth it!” Howie protested, running into the back of the bus followed by AJ.
Nick and Alexis had long fallen asleep, laying together like they had no other cares in the world.
Things were very tense between everyone for a few days after the fight. It even came through onstage where the fans were noticing. After one show just before her birthday, Nick and her walked to the bus together, hearing the crowd cheering for them.
“That was a great show.” Nick said, wiping his face with a towel.
“Yes, I think so too.” Howie agreed.
“You all were off key….Nick especially sounded a bit flat tonight.” Kevin interjected as everyone stared.
“That isn’t what the fans were saying. They said he sounded perfect. It was you who is acting a bit off, Kevin. The fans aren’t stupid….they could tell something was wrong with you.” Alexis smirked.
“The fans don’t know anything.” Kevin scoffed, walking by them in a huff. Nick laughed and put his arm around Alexis, his hand on her hip. He started to really think about the fight Brian and Kevin had and what he had heard before he fell asleep. What could it all mean?
Nick walked onto the bus with the others feeling confident and the urge to go to bed quickly. At least he was safe on the bus.