Nick finally got up and sat down on the couch again, looking at Brian. How was he going to stay with BSB if Brian would attack him every time Everybody came on? They performed the song at each show and tour….there was no way to avoid it.
“Remember that meeting you missed, Nick?” Howie asked, jarring him from his thoughts.
“You mean you don’t think I was there?” he said softly. He felt Alexis’s hand on top of his but ignored it.
“No. I realized when you sent me that text message about meeting us for breakfast. I realized that it was not you, but an impostor.” Howie explained.
“His clone? But how could you tell?”
“Alexis had mentioned one time something about the eyes. His eyes are a bit darker than yours, Nick….plus when he is around I feel a bad vibe. He’s got a dark aura around him. When I looked down at the text and looked back up….everybody was in a trance….but not him or Kevin. Brian and AJ were under a spell or something.”
Nick shivered, thinking about when he had arrived at the diner. Was his clone sitting at the table moments before he walked in? He’d missed him by a few seconds. Nick felt the lump in his throat again, the fear washing over him. He was no longer safe.
“So I could attack him at any time? What the hell are we going to do?” Brian asked, running a hand through his hair. His nose had stopped bleeding finally, a dark bruise forming already.
“Guess we can’t sing Everybody until we get this problem fixed.”
“Oh, I’m sure the fans will love that….Nick can’t ask them if he’s sexual or not without getting killed. This is so morbid.” Alexis pointed out as Nick chuckled and cracked a smile. “I don’t have to ask….they already know. It goes without saying.” he said.
“Back to the topic at hand, we have a serious situation here. I suggest Nick stay away from you and AJ for the time being.” Howie said, pointing at Brian, who nodded.
“What about the new album?” Nick asked. He kept looking at Brian….waiting for him to change again. There was no way he could trust anybody.
“You have some solo stuff you’re working on, don’t you?” Brian asked. Nick hadn’t told anyone the label was pressuring him for a solo album, that he’d been putting it off for a while. He didn’t want to quit just yet…but it couldn’t hurt to work on songs.
“Yeah, but I’ve been putting it off.” Nick muttered.
“I think it would be good for you to keep to yourself for now until this is sorted out. Change the password on your gate too, it’s too easy to figure out.” Howie said with a grin.
“What is his password?” Alexis wondered when she saw Nick blushing.
“It was 1,2,3,4. He never changed it since he moved in.” Brian laughed, and they all chuckled.
“Yuck it up guys. I haven’t been home.” Nick said moodily.
“Please stay safe, Nicky. This isn’t a joke. Someone really wants you dead.”
“Howie, I know. I’ll be fine.”
Howie left shortly after that, leaving the three of them to themselves. Eventually Brian and Alexis left too although Alexis was apprehensive.
“Why are we leaving him alone? What if someone attacks him?” she said once they got to the car.
“I don’t want to take any chances being where he is. Knowing I could snap at anytime is not something I take lightly. We are going to go and check something out.” Brian told her. They drove for a while, until they came to a fancy looking neighborhood. It wasn’t the Hollywood Hills, but still a nice place.
“What are we doing here?”
“I thought of something while Howie was talking about us being under mind control. Doesn’t it seem odd to you that Kevin wasn’t under it too? Where has he been this whole time?”
“No. None of this is weird at ALL Brian. Since I see Backstreet Boys being cloned all the time.” Alexis snapped playfully.
“The real question is WHY they cloned him. What is Dave up to and why did Kevin get involved in all this? He’s been acting strange for years now.” Brian commented.
The two of them pulled into the driveway and Brian found a key under the mat, after putting in the password to the gate. Alexis was confused the whole time, following him into the empty house. The lights were off and it looked as if nobody had been there for quite a long time, a fine layer of dust covered everything.
“I knew it. Kevin hasn’t been here in months.” Brian had said after they looked around a bit.
“How can you tell, though? Maybe he’s been staying somewhere else.”
“No, Ali. I’m pretty sure he hasn’t been here. It doesn’t feel right.”
Brian opened the refrigerator and saw there was no food at all. The house was fairly clean with dust over the counters and tables. As they searched the two of them knew they shouldn’t be here.
“So Kevin hasn’t been here…..but we’ve seen him. You’ve seen him haven’t you? This doesn’t make any sense at all.” Alexis pointed out.
“Howie said that only me and AJ were under the trance….if Nick’s been cloned and the clone is unaffected….that means Kevin is a clone too, although I don’t know how this is possible.” Brian explained.
“It really doesn’t. He’s been with you guys the whole time. Nobody has tried kidnapping him or anything. So how do we explain where he went if he was replaced?”
Suddenly Brian’s eyes darted in the direction of the foyer, and Alexis gasped before he silenced her. The footsteps echoed heavily on the hardwood floor, Brian’s heart pounding inside his chest.
“So nice of you to drop in.”
Brian hated himself for bringing her here…..if he could kick himself, he would have done it already.
What were they going to do now?