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Chapter 25

          After saying good bye to Nick and Brian, the girls were silent in the cab on the way to the hotel. Dottie doesn't stop hugging Nick's pillow and Amy keeps fingering the neck of Brian's shirt while staring out the car window. After they get checked in, Amy looks at Dottie as they wait for the elevator and she says, "How are you doing, D?"

          Dottie gives her a shaky smile and says, "I'm scared, A."

          Amy nods and says, "Me too. But we can do this together."

          Once in their room, they take turns in the bathroom getting ready for bed. When Amy comes out, Dottie is already curled up on her bed, tears falling down her face and soaking into Nick's pillow. She sits on her bed across from Dottie and says, "D, you gotta calm down."

          Dottie sniffs and says, "I did something horrible, A. I don't know if I can ever make up for it."

          Amy sighs and says, "What happened? What did you do?"

          Closing her eyes, Dottie says, "I...I lost it and jumped down Nick's throat for no reason. I hurt his feelings."

          Amy says, "Tell me what you said, D." After Amy hears the whole story of Dottie's meltdown, she says, "Oh D, come on, you know Nick understands how much stress you're under right now. You've been through a lot."

          Dottie says, "Amy, I wish it was only stress. Everyone is treating me like I'm going to break. Hell, I feel like I am. I just exploded because I'm so sick and tired of being told everything's ok. It's not fucking ok. You and Brian are in the middle of a load of shit because his bitch of an ex is stealing from them." Dottie gets up and starts pacing as she continues ranting, "Jake stole a year of my life from me on top of what he stole from the guys. I'm so freaking pissed off I could scream and all I hear around me is people telling me it's all going to be ok."

          Amy jumps up and grabs her arms and says, "D, calm down! Look at me."  When Dottie stops and looks at her, Amy says, "I'm sorry. I guess we're all so worried about you we're treating you like a baby."

          Fresh tears course down Dottie's face and she says, "Amy, I love you and all the guys. You're all trying to hard to take care of me and I love it but I need to stand on my own two feet again. How can I when everyone is trying to protect me?"

          Amy says, "What can I do?"

          Dottie says, "After your appointment, go back to Brian and take care of Nick. Let me face Jake."

          Amy shakes her head and says, "No, D, I can't..."

          Dottie says, "Amy, please...you have to let me do this."

          Amy takes her hand and says, "Are you sure?"

          Dottie says, "A, I have to do this. I'll never be me again if I don't."

          Amy hugs her tight as tears falls from both their eyes and she says, "You are the bravest person I have ever known. I'll have to see if I can get a flight."

          Dottie says, "I already have your ticket. You fly back 3 hours after your appointment and you'll meet the guys day after tomorrow."

          Amy says, "You...how did you know I'd agree?"

          Dottie says, "You know I need this. Nick will be furious. Tell him I'll meet him in LA on Friday."

          Amy shakes her head and says, "You'll be lucky if I can keep him from flying out to Florida to get you."

          Dottie kind of laughs and says, "I know. Remind him that the tour needs him and I need him to be on the tour. I'll be fine A. I promise."


          After a fitful night of hardly any sleep, Amy and Dottie find themselves strapped into their seats on the plane. Nick insisted on them flying first class and Dottie was so thankful. They had room to stretch out and relax. Even though they both needed sleep, neither did. Dottie was going with Amy to her doctor appointment then driving her back to the airport. She wasn't tackling seeing Jake until the next day. Detective Peters wants to go with her.

          When the plane takes off, Dottie looks at Amy and says, "A, what happens if you're pregnant?"

          Amy sighs loudly before saying, "It's so strange. I'm scared to death but excited at the same time. Brian wants a baby."

          Dottie smiles and says, "For some reason, I'm not surprised at that." When Amy doesn't say anything, she asks, "What about you, A?"

          Amy thinks about it for several minutes before saying, "I think I want to have Brian's baby."

          They look at each other and smile and Dottie whispers, "A, I'm so happy for you, I can't tell you. Even if you aren't pregnant, you and Brian are perfect together."

          Amy says, "But this mess with Glenna..."

          Dottie cuts her off, saying, "Will be over soon and you can focus on building your future with Brian."

          Amy chuckles and says, "Well, look at you Ms. Determination." When Dottie smiles at her, Amy sees a glimpse of the Dottie she used to know. Crossing her fingers that her friend is finally moving on, she says, "What about you and Nick?"

          Shadows darken Dottie's eyes briefly and she says, "I don't know, A. We haven't really talked about where we're going. I'm always gonna want to be with Nick, but I don't know what he wants."

          Amy says, "What do you mean, D? The man is totally in love with you."

          Dottie says, "I know he loves me, A. But you know me. I've been on my own for a long time now. You're the only family I really have. There is no one else."

          Amy says, "Yeah, we've both had our share of family issues. It's why we get along so well."

          Dottie nods and says, "I never thought I'd have a family of my own, A. Never dreamed it. But with Nick, I..."

          Amy says, "Look at us D. I'm worried about being pregnant and you want to be. We are so messed up."

          Instead of laughing, as Amy intended, Dottie sighs quietly and says, "But A, it's not just about having a baby. It's growing old with Nick. I want that A. More than anything."

          Amy says, "Then tell him."

          Dottie says, "I don't know if I can. He has something planned for us this weekend and I'm hoping we can talk about the future. If I'm ever going to get my life back on track, I have to talk to Nick about where we're going. He has to know how much he means to me."

          As the plane descends to land, Amy squeezes Dottie's hand and says, "Thanks for going to the doctor with me today, D."

          Dottie says, "I'd never let you go alone and since Brian can't be here, well...you're stuck with me. Besides, you've taken care of me the last few months. I owe you."

          Amy says, "You're a good friend, D, and I love you. You don't owe me a thing."


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