The next day Alexis woke up early on the bus, it was her birthday. She wished she was home to spend it with her family but being here with Nick was just as good. She wanted to be there to protect him, from whatever was coming their way on the road.
“Hey, birthday girl.”
Howie was already sitting at the table in the kitchenette, sipping at a cup of coffee and smiling at her. Alexis poured herself one and sat at the table next to him.
“You’re up early, Howie.” she commented. She realized then that she and Howie hadn’t talked much since she joined the tour, he normally kept to himself or was on the phone, but today he wasn’t. There was no cell phone attached to his ear today.
“I like the peace and quiet before the others wake up.” Howie replied, setting down his mug.
“Me too. Are things always so hectic?” she asked.
“Not usually. We’ve always gotten along but over the last year or two Kevin has changed. Nobody else thinks so, but I can see it. It’s in his eyes.”
“You’re not the only one, I can see it too.” Alexis said, drinking her coffee. The two of them began snickering as Nick shuffled out, his hair standing on end as if he’d put his finger in a light socket.
“Someone isn’t a morning person.” Alexis giggled.
“Mmmmhmmmph.” Nick said, pouring himself some coffee as the others laughed. He took a sip and rubbed the sleep out of his eyes before waking up.
“Well, I’m gonna go make some phone calls. See you later.” Howie said with a wink, heading to the back of the bus.
“Good morning sunshine.” Alexis giggled, watching Nick drink his coffee.
“Hey, today is your birthday, isn’t it?” Nick said, looking more awake now. Alexis couldn’t stop giggling at his hair. Nick blushed and nervously tried to flatten it.
“Yes it is, but please don’t make a big deal of it just because we are friends.” Alexis whispered. He smiled at her. Was it so bad she wished he would kiss her?
“I got you something…..wait here.” Nick said, holding up his finger. Alexis watched him run to the bunk and come back, breathing heavily as he held out a little box.
“It isn’t what you think. See?” Nick said, opening it. Inside was a silver chain with a silver pendant on the end, in the shape of a music note. Alexis felt her eyes water as he took it out and put it around her neck.
“Happy Birthday,” he said gently into her ear. Alexis smiled and before she knew it his lips were against hers.
“I’ve been wanting to do that for the longest….you make me so happy, and I think you’re beautiful.” Nick said, his breath on her neck.
“Nick, I’m not. Look at me, I don’t even have makeup on.” Alexis laughed, pushing him away a bit.
“You don’t need it. I love you like this…..chilling in your sweat pants, just being natural. You’re perfect.” he smiled. Alexis smiled back and returned the kiss again.
“Get a room.” Brian teased, causing them to jump.
“If you don’t like it, don’t look!” Nick laughed. He pecked her on the cheek before going to shower for the day.
Later that night, Nick threw a birthday party in the dressing room for Alexis. Even Kevin and Dave wore party hats, and they all sang Happy Birthday to her, Brian presenting her with a charm bracelet to match Nick’s gift. Everyone was getting along so well, even Kevin was joking around with them as they all ate cake. Nick even had the crowd that night sing Happy Birthday during the show, Alexis under a spotlight as she grinned, tears in her eyes. She couldn’t ask for a more perfect birthday, the show was going along great and everyone was still in good spirits.
So I’ve been thinking, and I know this is probably crazy…..but I’d like to take you on a date sometime. Like a real one.” Nick said as they hung out backstage.
“Really? Nick, we don’t have to be so formal. We’re practically dating already.” Alexis laughed, hitting him playfully on the arm. She could have sworn she saw a head of blonde hear out of the corner of her eye….moving towards the bathrooms.
“I gotta go do the last song, we will talk more a bit later, okay?” Nick said as he ran back onstage for the final number. As she watched him go, a sinking feeling began n the pit of her stomach. Something told her this night was not meant to last.
“That was a great show, guys!” Dave exclaimed as they headed for the bus after the concert ended.
“Nick, where are you going?” Alexis asked, noticing him walking away from the group. Nick stopped and smiled at her, she loved the way he looked at her.
“I gotta drop the kids at the pool real quick. I won’t be long, I promise. Meet me in our spot….we have stuff to talk about.” Nick said, kissing her.
“Shouldn’t you take someone with you?” Alexis asked.
“You don’t need to worry about me, I will be fine.” he promised.
“Nick, I don’t want anything to happen to you…..I love you.” she whispered.
“I know. I will be back in a bit.” Nick said brightly before heading into the bathroom. It was as if he didn’t hear her. Alexis felt stupid, cursing herself silently for blurting out her feelings like that. He didn’t love her back, did he?
“Where is he? We should have left already….” Alexis said about fifteen minutes ater, pacing the bus. She saw Kevin watching the door, as if he was waiting for something.
“I’m going to go look for him.” Brian said, but Kevin stopped him.
“No need. Here he comes now.” he said softly, a grin on his face. Nick wandered on the bus, smirking at Kevin. The two of them stood there whispering before walking straight to the back of the bus. Alexis noticed he kept wiping his hands on the thighs of his jeans and looking at them….it was all so strange. She went to the bunk to wait for him, and he finally poked his head inside.
“Hi there.” he smirked, a devilish grin on his face. She noticed his hair was not sweaty like it had been before he went into the bathroom, it seemed very odd.
“Hi, Nick. You had us worried for a bit. What took so long?” Alexis asked as he climbed into the bunk.
“Just had to go to the bathroom. Don’t worry.” Nick replied, wiping his hands again. He looked out the window as the bus pulled away…..Alexis staring at him the whole time. At least now they could be alone to talk without any more interruptions. Or so they thought…..