You Can Let Go by tiggerc128
Chapter 23 by tiggerc128

Chapter 23

            With everything that's happening, all the stress, all the drama, all the tears and apologies, everyone pushes it aside to give the fans an awesome show. Dottie however, isn't feeling so strong. She's afraid. Fear is nagging at her soul because she doesn't know what to expect. She's afraid of facing Jake again. She's afraid of not being able to stop Glenna. But most of all, she's afraid of being away from Nick.

            With six songs left in the show, she turns to Amy and grabs her hand. When Amy's eyes meet Dottie's she knows her friend is in a world of turmoil. She pulls her back to the dressing room and makes her sit on one of the sofas.  Jenn had seen them leave and followed closely behind.  By the time she made it to the dressing room, Dottie was in a full blown panic attack. When they finally calm her down, Jenn says, "Dottie, you do not have to do this. We'll figure out another way."

            Dottie sniffs and says, "I...Jenn, I want to do it, it's just...I don't know if I can handle being away..."

            Amy says, "I'll go talk to Jake, Dottie. Stay here with Nick."

            Dottie looks at Jenn, then at Amy and says, "No, I have to do this. He won't talk to you A. It has to be me. I'm just afraid."

            Jenn says, "What are you afraid of?"

            She sighs and says, "I don't want to let you all down again. I don't want to lose Nick."

            Amy actually laughs and says, "First of all, who said you let any of us down? D, it's not your fault. NONE of it. Just like it's not Brian's fault. You two were used and hurt. As for Nick, my God, the man is crazy for you. You seriously think you'd lose him? He'd give up his career for you and you know it. We're all going to get through this together, ok?"

            Dottie sniffs and says, "I hope so. Amy you took care of me when I didn't think anyone would ever want anything to do with me again. You drug me back from the depths of hell and I don't know what I'd do without you. I'm going to stop Glenna so you and Brian can be happy."

            Amy says, "We will all be happy, D. I promise. Will you stop worrying?"

            Before Dottie can answer, they hear the encore start. Jenn says, "Listen, we're delaying leaving for a couple of hours so you two can spend time with Nick and Brian. Do you have hotel rooms for tonight? I know your flight leaves early."

            Dottie nods and says, "I managed to get one room. We'll have to share. Is that ok?"

            Amy hugs her friend and says, "Of course. I'd never leave you alone D. I doubt you're going to sleep so someone has to be there to take care of you."

            Dottie sighs and says, "Thanks." Looking at Jenn, she says, "Will you take care of Nick while I'm gone?"

            Jenn smiles and says, "I promise. Call me if you need anything."

            After hugging them both, Jenn leaves. Dottie turns to Amy and says, "I need to be alone for a few minutes. Will you...just tell Nick I'm on the bus, ok?"

            Amy hugs her tightly and says, "Of course. Will you be ok?"

            Dottie nods and gives her friend a watery smile and says, "I'll be fine."


            Once on the bus, Dottie curls up on the bunk and hugs Nick's pillow to her chest. She doesn't want to cry in front of him again, but she's just not strong enough to stop the tears from falling.  She sits up and presses her head to her knees, rocking back and forth as sobs rack her body.

            Nick finds her this way and almost falls apart. He sits beside her and says, "Dottie, look at me." When she doesn't stop rocking, he says, "Baby, please, you need to stop and listen to me. You're gonna make yourself sick."

            Her head snaps up and she says, "I am sick. I'm sick of not being in control. I'm sick of being afraid and I'm sick of everyone treating me like it's all ok. It's not ok Nick. That bastard stole a year of my life when he stole all that money from you and set me up. Now Glenna is stealing Brian's happiness with Amy and I'm sick to death of everyone telling me it's all going to be ok."

            Nick just stares at her. Her tirade startles him to his core. He doesn't know what to say. His heart is breaking because the woman he loves is hurting so badly and he can't do anything to fix it. He turns from her and sits on the edge of the bed, lowering his head and letting the tears fall from his eyes.

            In the silence following her outburst, Dottie is appalled with herself. She watches Nick's shoulders shake and her head falls in defeat. She scoots closer to him and lays her head on his arm. She whispers, "I'm so sorry."

            He turns and puts his arms around her and says, "No. Don't be. You have every right to be angry with me."

            She pulls back and forces his gaze to hers and says, "Nickolas, I am NOT mad at you. I'm mad at Jake and Glenna. I'm mad at myself. But I could never ever be mad at you."

            He touches her face and says, "Why are you mad at yourself?"

            She says, "For letting all that go on you. I'm sorry. I'm just so frustrated and so scared. Nick I don't want to do this, but I have to. I have to face him. I wish you could go with me."

            He says, "I want to. I will. I'll skip tomorrow night's show."

            She shakes her head and says, "No. No you won't. Nick, I love you but this is something I think I have to do on my own. If it wasn't for Amy going to the doctor, I'd make her stay with Brian. I have to...I have to start standing on my own two feet instead of leaning on all of you to protect me. I'll never be me again if I don't, Nick."

            He pulls her against his chest and says, "Baby, you are you again. You're just fragile."

            She smiles into his shirt and says, "I don't want to be fragile. Nick I'm so tired of being afraid of my own shadow and being afraid of what's next.  I want to look forward to my life with you without the fear I'll wake up screaming in the middle of the night again."

            He kisses her temple and says, "What can I do?"

            She pulls back and says, "Love me. Kiss me like you mean it and be here waiting for me when I get back."

            He crushes her lips with his and pulls her body hard against his frame. Pushing her back onto the bed, he covers her body with his and savagely kisses her. She pulls him tightly against her body and moans as his hands slide over her body touching all her secret places. When their lips part, she whispers, "Please, Nick."

            In mere moments, he's ripped her clothes from her body, ruining her blouse in the process. When he's naked and his body covers hers, he whispers, "I love you Baby."

            Smiling up into his eyes as she wraps her legs around his waist, she whispers, "I love you to, Nick."

            No more words are spoken as he pushes her body to new heights of pleasure. The ecstasy she feels with Nick compares to nothing she's ever felt before.  Sliding her hands over his body, she urges him deeper inside, her, feeling his body swell with his impending release.

            She almost blacks out from the sheer pleasure of feeling Nick explode inside her. As he gasps for air, she holds him tightly against her, savoring how his weight feels pressing her into the mattress. When he rolls off her and cuddles her close against his body, she whispers, "I'm going to miss you Nick."

            Kissing the top of her head, he says, "Not half as much as I'll miss you. Hurry home to me, D."

            Sliding her hand up to his shoulder she whispers, "I will. I promise."

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