Nick went into the bathroom and relieved himself quickly before running out to wash his hands. As he lathered his hands with soap he heard footsteps behind him. He turned around and gasped in surprise…..
It was as if he were looking in a mirror. The man looked exactly like him….from head to foot. Identical. Even their eyes were the same, but they were dead looking, no life behind the blue pupils.
“Who….who are you?” Nick asked, his heart pounding inside his chest. He backed up, running into the sink.
“You mean you don’t remember?” the man said. His voice was just like his. Nick began trembling when his eyes fell upon a knife in his hand. Nick blinked, flashes of images came to him, from when he was kidnapped.
“It can’t be….” Nick whispered.
“I’m you. Well, I’m going to be you.”
“You can’t do that.”
“Watch me!” the man screamed, lunging at Nick, grabbing him by the throat. He slammed him into the mirror, cracking the glass. Nick gasped and choked to get breath but the grip on his throat was too strong. Thinking quickly, he swung his leg and kicked him, falling to the floor. Nick coughed but got up and ran to the door, his double hot on his trail.
“Where ya going, Carter? I’m not finished with you yet!” the double cackled, tripping him and pulling him across the floor by his legs. The knife plunged into his side and was retracted, the blade slicing through his side. Nick screamed and called for help but nobody came. He was thrown into the last stall where his double stood over him, smiling like the Cheshire Cat, blood spattered on his face. Nick’s eyes went wide as he saw a trail of blood leading to his position on the floor.
“Please….please let me go. Why are you doing this to me?” Nick sobbed, holding the wound in his side. He couldn’t do anything to stop the bleeding, he simply laid on the cold bathroom floor feeling weak.
“Haven’t you noticed that they’ve been trying to get rid of you, Nicky? Haven’t you seen it for years? They’ve just gotten smarter about it.” the man told him with a sneer. The knife came again but in his stomach this time.
“I was made to destroy you, Nick….even the others cannot wait for me to take your place.”
“No….” Nick choked, smelling blood in the air around him. He could feel it oozing out over his hands, causing him to shiver.
“Goodnight,” his double sneered. Nick heard his footsteps until it was quiet, and that was when the realization hit him….he was being left to die.
He lay there sobbing….unable to move….until he saw nothing but darkness.
“So what did you want to talk to me about?” Alexis asked once she and Nick were in the bunk.
“Oh….that. Refresh my memory?” Nick said, still looking out the window. “You didn’t tell me anything.” Alexis replied. He was acting jittery….and kept looking at his hands.
“Well, I wanted to tell you how much I love you. I’ve been thinking of the right thing to say.”
“Really?” Alexis smiled. He smiled back and nodded before she kissed him. The kisses grew more passionate as the seconds passed, his hand behind her head, his thumb stroking her neck. It felt amazing.
“Nick…” she gasped, letting him continue. His hands began to wander, traveling inside her shirt…
“I want you so bad,” he whispered. He started removing her shirt but she pulled away……he seemed annoyed.
“We aren’t ready for this, Nick. I can’t do this.” Alexis said softly, pushing him off. He laughed and started kissing her again, this time starting on her shoulder blade.
“You don’t mean that.” he chuckled seductively. Something didn’t feel right to her, the safe feeling she normally had with Nick wasn’t there.
“Nick, I said GET OFF!” Alexis yelled, shoving him. Nick hit his head on the window and glared at her, his face red.
“What the fuck? I thought you were my girlfriend. Why are you acting like a bitch?” he hissed, his eyes boring into hers. It was then that she really looked at them….Alexis shook her head and her heart began to beat faster….it wasn’t possible….
“What’s wrong, baby? There’s plenty of this to go around if that’s what you’re worried about.” Nick smirked. He came at her again and this time a fist hit him in the face….Alexis cried out in surprise….it wasn’t her fist but AJ’s.
“Get off of her you son of a bitch!” AJ screamed. Alexis jumped out of the bunk as AJ attacked Nick…..grabbing him by the throat. She ran to the front of the bus where she fell to her knees, sobbing until Brian arrived.
“What the hell is going on?” he demanded.
“Nick…..that’s not…..he tried to…” she gasped between sobs. Brian held her, trying to calm her down.
“Shhh. He’s not here, just tell me what happened.” he said softly.
“That isn’t Nick!” she shouted through tears. Her mind was racing a mile a minute, where could Nick be? What if he was hurt….or even worse….
“We have to turn the bus around!” Alexis said. AJ burst into the room with a bloody nose.
“You…..what did you do to her?” Brian shouted, and immediately grabbed him by the throat, holding him against the wall.
“Brian…don’t…” AJ choked. Alexis got up and began pulling Brian off of him. “It wasn’t AJ. Nick tried to sleep with me. We need to go back to the arena, whoever that was….it isn’t Nick. They’ve done something with him.” Alexis said as she wiped her eyes. Brian looked at her and as he calmed himself down, he realized she was right.
“I say you let me kick that poser’s ass, Rok. Let me at him.” AJ snapped, pounding his fist into his hand.
“I don’t think confronting this guy is the answer. Let’s go back and try and find Nicky….we could talk to him and see if he knows where he is.” Brian said.
“Knows where he is? Brian, what planet are you living on? It’s obvious this fucker did it to him! Beat the shit out of him now and ask questions later….” AJ started, but Brian and Alexis were already looking for Kevin. They found him sitting near one of the windows, smiling.
“We have to turn the bus around.” Brian said firmly. Kevin looked at the two of them and chuckled.
“Not this again. We aren’t going back, we are already behind schedule. And besides someone is using the arena for rehearsals for their own tour.” he sneered.
“Something has happened to Nick, we have to go back.” Alexis insisted in frustration. It then occurred to her that Kevin knew what happened to Nick and was delaying things on purpose.
“Listen, you bastard- if you won’t turn the bus around then I WILL.” Brian hissed, his temper flaring again.
“If you keep this up you will regret it. You’re too weak to stand up against m-”
Kevin didn’t finish his sentance, he fell to the floor in a heap. Brian shook his head as AJ walked over.
“Throw him in the bathroom and lock it. We are going back.” he said. Alexis turned around as they heard Howie scream from the back of the bus so the two of them took off running once more.
“Howie!” Alexis exclaimed. Howie was slumped over to one side and the bus was stopped on the side of the road.
“Howie, are you okay?” Brian asked, shaking him gently.
“He’s gone…..Nick broke the window and got away….he said….”
“What did he say?” Alexis said.
“He said they’d have fun cleaning up the mess he left….” Howie explained. Brian went to tell the driver to hurry back to the arena…..but Alexis feared they might be too late. How could she have been so stupid?