"Sorry." She said quickly and made a move to pass him but he caught up to her.
"That's OK. Where are you going?" He picked up the pace nearly walking in front of her toward the elevator.
"Out." She replied flatly.
"Oh good. I'm about to head out myself. In fact, we should keep each other company. It is late; I don't wanna take any risks."
Amelia ignored him and jabbed her finger on the down button. As she was waiting she blew out a chunk of air. She didn't realize she wasn't breathing until he started getting closer to her. The gesture made her hands shake.
She moved further to the left and made a small thank you when the doors finally opened. She walked in a clipped manner as he followed right behind. It was unfortunate. He was making her really uncomfortable now. Plus the way he smelled was getting to her. When she knocked into him she got a good whiff of his cologne. He smelled like the ocean. Brought back a lot of memories she didn't knew were there.
"You're gonna be silent the entire time? Well OK, that's great. Makes things so much easier for me."
Amelia bit the inside of her cheek to keep from speaking. The second she gave him any attention it would be bad. Nick can't be the boy, he just can't. Those eyes. Everything about him seemed so far off. So different from her world. What confused her more than anything was when did she live in Florida? All her life she was a valley girl. Born in Hollywood, raised in Calabasas. Not proud of it but those were her roots. For all she knew she didn't have any immediate family. She was an only child too. She thought of another theory but quickly brushed it away. These were just merely hallucinations caused by… she couldn't think of an answer.
When the elevator doors opened she tried to bustle out of there. The second she stepped out she knew exactly where she was going: the hotel bar. Looked fairly quiet and empty. The perfect dive-like atmosphere that matched her mood. It was just want she wanted. She made a bee-line for the counter and ordered a drink. She looked back and low and behold, he was watching her.
She took the drink and moved to sit in the corner booth. She played with the cherry at the bottom, twirling the red cosmopolitan in a whirlpool.
"So, how are you doing?" Nick started casually.
She rolled her eyes and took a long sip of the cold drink. The icy liquid trickled down her throat slowly as she watched him sit on the other side of the booth.
"OK, fair enough, continue to ignore me. But you know I'm right about Brian. He's a married man. I don't know what you guys had going on but I want it to stop. Stop fucking around. Alright? Cause if you don't then, oh boy, just—leave him alone."
Amelia stopped twirling the tooth-picked cherry and glared at him hard. "You don't know anything. Stop with the bull shit already."
She downed the rest of drink sucking the cherry off the toothpick. As she chewed ravenously she felt his eyes on her.
Nick shook his head, trying to find another way to approach this. He rubbed his eyes, tired of the secrets. The trepid ones that haunted him on tour and whenever he saw Brian lock the door and barricade himself in his room unless Baylee wanted something. All Nick could do was look at her and it made him sad. He didn't want to be the bad guy here he just wanted some things straightened out. If Amelia was still after Brian then he needed to know. How was he going to know?
"That guy you're seeing… do you love him?"
Amelia narrowed her eyes. "Not that it's any of your concern, I do."
Nick pulled back, thinking of a defense. Instead he blurted out, "What's between you and Brian?"
"Look, I don't know what your game is but this is getting sick so you better leave me alone."
"I don't play games. I'm giving you a chance to simply come clean." He retaliated.
"Go fuck yourself." She attempted to stand up to put the empty glass on the counter.
After she placed the glass at the end of the counter, she reached into her pockets trying to locate a bill. Had she taken any? She smiled when she reached in her jacket pocket but frowned when she found just the key card. She was certain she left with some security.
"There's something going on with you. Brian's an idiot. Being separated wasn't ideal for him and he knew it. Whatever happened between you two was a detour. You and I both know it." He slapped down a 20 next to her, fixed the collar of his coat and turned on his heel. "Keep the change darling."
She grabbed the bill suddenly, as if it was the first time she'd seen it. What did he think she was? If there's anything that irritated her more it was others footing the bill. He just embarrassed her and got away with it. The bartender stiffly took the bill and placed it into the till. Everything happened so fast she couldn't process all of it at once.
"Shit." She cursed, billowing out of there as fast as she could.
She caught up to him leaning against the lobby wall checking his Android. He looked up with large eyes. No not again.
"I'm not playing games. I promise, trust me." He whispered, coming closer to her.
"I don't know that-"
"Come on. The raft's over there. Get it and bring it here." Nick called to Amelia sitting at the edge of the pool.
Amelia pulled the silver flotation near the diving board and threw it in the pool. She looked around the backyard and couldn't find Nick.
"Nick? Where are you? Come on, where are you?" She called out, a little scared.
"Gotcha!" He came up from behind and tackled her until she fell in the pool.
When she emerged she started swimming away from him upset that he could be so cruel as to scare her that hard. She was about to swim to the diving board when she felt a strong spray of cold water on her back. She turned around to see Nick in a fit of giggles. He was holding his Super Soaker Mega. Amelia wasn't going to let him go that easily. He attempted to spray her again but she made a fast duck under water and swam swiftly to the bottom of the end of the pool. She didn't realize she was underneath Nick in a flash.
She pulled both his legs under the water and finally came up for air. She didn't have time to catch her breath because he was sprinting after her like an Olympian. When she reached the stairs he grabbed a hold of her leg pulling her back in the shallow end nearly making her fall on top of him.
Amelia caught her breath suddenly stopping. Everything stopped for that matter. She saw Nick. She was bewitched by his mischievous smile and curiosity.
"Ooh, hold still." He said suddenly.
"What?" She tried to suppress her fear that encumbered her senses.
He extended his index finger finding a small, bright red ladybug on her eyelash. It was so small it looked like a red dot. He looked at the insect then back at her. She was giving him that look again. The one that lies between trepidation and shyness. He adored that about her.
"Make a wish." He said wistfully.
She closed her eyes but there was only one thing she wanted: she didn't want him to leave. She didn't like it when anyone left.
"Nickolas, food's ready. Hurry up before it gets cold." Jane stood outside the screen door and turning to go back inside.
Amelia shunned away as he blew the ladybug off, threw the squirt gun to the side and swam to the stairs near the shallow end.
They say you're never supposed to tell a wish or else it won't come true. In this case Amelia might make an exception. When something good happened it may not last as long we thought. She wanted to know this for sure. Her father abandoned her while growing up, barely in her life when she was an infant. Her mother was bordering on following the same path. Would people stay if you tell them or do you keep quiet? She didn't know but she was going to find out.
He never knew. And why would she say anything? What would it help? She was 8 years old and her life was over. He said nothing and did what he was told to whenever his mother spoke. It was like a dog trainer calling its pet. Here he was, jumping out of pool leaving her.
Amelia pulled away when she realized she was so close to Nick she could hear him breathing. It was getting to be too much. She raced out of the situation and headed toward the stairs of salvation. The stairs. No. The pool stairs… They really were there. He felt so real. His amazing eyes made it surreal to comprehend. It's impossible though. Why didn't she remember any of this before? Why was it happening now?
Nick chased her up the stairs watching her open the door. Going after her would be a mistake; it'll only lead to more confrontational discussion. Did he really want to dive into the fire? Did Brian matter really all that much? This was about Brian? Wasn't it? What the hell was it about that girl besides being Brian's side order?
His legs moved before he could make a decision. Before she could close the door his foot stopped the motion. She yelped as he forced his way inside, not knowing his next moves. His skin was shivering when he saw the look on her face. She turned away and charged after her phone.
"Why are you doing this?" Nick moved to the bedroom.
She ignored him and found her cell underneath the sheets. She took a deep breath and rung up Will.
Nick took a seat on the sofa chair silently. He was afraid to leave.
"Will, hey it's me. No, I'm OK, when-what time are you coming back? The shooting goes passed midnight? Can't you get—yeah I know. No its, well, OK. Well, I want to wait for you—I see. Will, I just need you here. No, everything is fine. Nothing is wrong. I love you too. Yes, I'll figure something out." She hesitated before clicking off the line. She was expecting this to happen.
Nick sat still and watched her every move like a cheetah, conniving and cunning. She was becoming really unpredictable and it was confusing the hell out of him. His eyes followed her as she sprung up from the bed and pulled open the door of the mini bar. She grabbed a few choice bottles and went to the balcony, shutting the screen door abruptly.
Amelia decided it was time to drown. She didn't care anymore; she wasn't going to tell Will the truth. Why was she always holding things back? She cast aside the question and opened another small bottle of vodka peach and chugged most of it in one swing. She managed the bitter taste in what little feeling she had left.
She heard the screen open slightly but didn't turn around.
Nick sat next to her and stared at her. There was no way he was going to leave now. She was sad now; maybe she might open up and talk. Maybe about Brian. He tried once again to get through to her. She just moved to the corner as far as she could.
Amelia barked at him again telling him to just leave her alone. She didn't want to talk and she didn't want him to see her like this, or anyone for that matter. She just wanted to wallow the rest of the night. Doing whatever she could to numb the isolation she felt. Be invisible.
Nick thought for a moment and took the initiative. He couldn't take it anymore. At this point it was beyond a buzz she would be experiencing. He knew this personally. But with a girl, any girl, anything more than 2 mini bottles is a red flag. He grabbed the last bottle out of her grasp and held it above her head.
"Hey asshole, that's mine." She grabbed above slipping on the chair when she made another attempt.
She was sloppy. He held the bottle higher when she climbed on the chair to match his height.
"Not anymore. Come on… were you planning on cleaning out the fridge? You don't wanna do this. Whatever happened on the phone can't be that bad." He maneuvered the bottle from his left hand to the right one.
"Oh yeah? I wouldn't be stuck with you if that were true."
He rolled his eyes and threw the bottle down to the street letting it smash to pieces.
She pushed him, her face contorting in a frown. "You're going to pay for that you know?"
She pushed him again only to move away. No she wasn't going to lose it.
"I just wanna talk." His sincerity threw her for a loop.
She looked at him and scoffed. "And I don't give a fuck."
She pushed him away and stomped out in a huff staggering; her body swaying. There was no getting away from him since he was hot on her trails.
"You're clearly not all together. Just sit down and take a second. You know the headaches come first—"
"Can't you just stop already? Stop following me and stop it with the memories!" She yelped, it was too late to save herself.
He pulled back and raised his eyebrow at that. "What are you talking about?"
Her eyes widened and she pulled back, her body staggering against the end of the couch. "Nothing, forget it."
He got fed up and stood her up. Lowering his voice this time, "What do you mean memories?"
When she looked back at him she couldn't help it. A few flashes from childhood came in a blink and she was overwhelmed with the power they held.
How could he possibly understand these flashes? His eyes were triggering them. It was something in his gaze that awoke them out of nowhere. She felt weak, almost like she'd fall over any second. She looked at him with glazed eyes and fell against the wall in the living room.
Nick caught her and looked in her eyes. This time, he had a flash of a small one of a brunette little girl playing a video game with him. He never noticed her before until now. Her eyes, they were these wide green and butterscotch color. She had a big stretched smile on her face and a twinkle in her eyes.
He shook his head and stared at Amelia. No way was that her. No way any of this was true. They were the exact same eyes.
"I think this must be a dream." He whispered not believing what just happened.
She looked away, anywhere but his eyes. "I should go." She looked at him briefly. "Let me go."
He moved away, she was finally leaving. As he was watching her walk away he had another flash. This one was about Nick in a car riding in the back as he was leaving his home. Out of the corner of his eye he spotted the small brunette staring at him as the car was pulling away, tears burning her eyes. She left the window and he turned around. It was the first time he cried that much. He was trying to keep it in but his mother was saying it was going to be OK.
Nick pulled out of the flash. Amelia and this girl… They can't be. No it isn't. There's no where she was the girl he left years ago when he was 12. One thing was certain he concluded.
"She has her eyes."Amelia laid in bed wrestling with sleep. She wasn't thinking of anything in particular but one thing just wouldn't leave her thoughts. If there's anything she didn't want to confront: those flashes. Nick was the boy who left her in Florida. There was no hiding it anymore. The truth rang out so loud she thought she would be going deaf from the harsh reality. Now all she needed was concrete proof but there wasn't any. Another misshape formed. Only one problem remained: she didn't want to believe it. How could she have known Nick growing up? Surely he would have recognized her but he just looked at her as if she were crazy.
She reached over and checked her phone for the 13th time in the last 30 minutes. She sighed and slammed the mobile on the cushion of the comforter making it bounce. Will's not listening, what's the point? She picked it back up starting to flick around her address book and scrolled down the name list. A lot of people she rolled her eyes on, wondering why some of these people mattered. She froze when her finger stopped on Brian's contact information. She'd received two missed calls earlier from him and no message. She knew he was around even if she didn't see him. NKOTBSB was sort of hard to ignore. The promos for the performance were everywhere. It was part of the reason why she wouldn't watch TV. That would mean Donnie was with the guys probably and hanging out in clubs after rehearsal. No doubt they would be staying in the same hotel.
She knew it was just unforgivable. It was so wrong that everything inside her screamed to remind her how downright evil it was. Will is a good man. Don't do this. You can't do this to him. You love him.How often did she listen to that voice controlling her every move? Every time. Now her heart was speaking. Her conscious was non-existent.
She grabbed her phone and texted Brian. She wasn't going to regret this, was she?
Room 213, come alone. -Amelia
She pounded the back of her head on the pillow. There was no turning back. She did it. She's going to this. Can't back step anymore.
The knock on the door pulled her into reality. Wow, that was fast. She was suddenly terrified. Her hands shaking from the thought and reality of it all.
She slowly moved to get up, taking her time walking to the front of the door. She took a deep breath and placed her hand on the handle. She closed her eyes and reopened them when she opened the door.
She pulled his face close to hers. She looked directly in his eyes taking in the dark patience in his stare. Her lips barely brushing his.
"The bed?" Brian breathed out, just barely.
She answered him by shutting the door, locking it and backing him against it.
She moved closer, her lips lingering over his, waiting for him to sing her song. Did he know it? Did he know how she felt?
"Make love to me. Make love to me now—" She was cut off by his lips brushing over hers fervently.
He's never kissed her with such passion and a crazy desire that would make her fall against him for support. Until she was about ready to melt right then and there they moved to the bed, unfastening and discarding every piece of clothing they had. Her breathing sped up at a glorious rate and she wondered if he could feel her body shake under his.
She closed her eyes. Making sure this wasn't another dream. Then she was sure she wasn't when she heard her name being called.
"Look at me Mia. Open your eyes." He whispered gently.
When she opened her eyes, she could feel him begin to enter her. He was just brushing the tip over her. He pulled back and kissed the corners of her legs so slowly she thought she was being kissed by a feather. His lips trailed to the sides of her hips setting her nerves on a high she didn't know existed. She forgot what it was like to feel this good again, about everything. Taking in the moment as it comes. She closed her eyes when she felt his tongue slip inside.
She grabbed the pillow in a balled up fist and pulled the pillow over her mouth. She wasn't going to take the chances on letting anybody know what's going on.
When she felt him slide two fingers inside. She screamed her lungs out directly into the pillow. She yelped his name and started heaving.
When she came he took all of her in. She tangled her fingers in his hair and pulled his eyes to slowly meet hers.
"I love you so much."
"I love you back." He said against her lips before melting into another passionate kiss.
Their hands linked as he pushed her legs apart. He pulled from her lips, planting a small sweet kiss before looking into her sedated eyes.
He stared hard and deep as if confessing his secrets. The ones only she could know. The ones that irritated him every time he did what he was told. Followed the rules. Swallowed his pride and dragged his soul along once again. But now, the dream is no more. She was his fantasy for many years. Now she was a reality.
She brought him back when she moved her hips to meet his. Granting him passage in her own way.
"Make love to me Brian." She held on tight when he entered her strongly.The sun shined through the silvery silk curtains that next day. Amelia stirred and shifted in his arms. The more she moved and squirmed in place the tighter his arms secured around her frame. She felt so warm. So protected. She had put on her clothes since last night. Her thoughts were muddled but it's was all real. The night. How she felt when he wanted her. Finally, it wasn't a dream. She shifted around holding onto his hand as she tried to get more comfortable and didn't feel like a contortionist.
"Quit moving, you're waking me up." Amelia's eyes came into focus. That sounded an awful lot like—
"Nick?" Amelia scooted away as if she were burned by him.
Nick in all his tired glory sat up on his elbows with one eye closed. His bed head prominent and obvious enough for anyone with eyes but she didn't seem to notice.
He groaned, rubbed his eyes, slowly reanimating, "Good morning."
Amelia realized she was still in her clothes and breathed a sigh of relief. Then she realized this was Nick. What was he doing in her bed? More importantly, why was his arm around her like they just-
She looked around the room. Everything seemed quiet, shaded and peaceful; she was feeling anything but. She kept looking from him to her body, wondering, just what the hell happened last night.
She sat at the edge of the bed with her face falling in her hands. "Where's Brian?"
She felt him kick off the covers and move closer. "He couldn't make it."
She pulled back and looked at him strangely. "What does that mean? I asked for him."
Nick whistled and stood up next to the bed. "I know that. He never got the message."
"Quit fucking around, what happened? Why are you in my bed?" She stood up and charged toward her demanding answers.
"You sent him a message. But I got it when he wasn't looking, deleted it and found you here nearly half awake. You looked like me 2 years ago."
Amelia scrunched up her face as if she were back handed. "What?"
Nick rolled his eyes, straightened his clothes and grabbed for one of his shoes. "Don't worry. Nothing happened last night. Brian doesn't know anything. I'm actually surprised your boyfriend didn't come back. I half debated coming to your room."
Amelia harshly pulled her hair up with one of her butterfly clips and fastened it out of her eyes. "Wow. So none of it happened? Jesus. But why didyou come?"
Nick laughed despite pulling back what went down. He'd barely had anything to drink so he remembered everything. Even when she thought he was someone else.
"Because I didn't want you doing something you'd regret. And quite frankly, it was wrong to leave you to get all liquored up. I was sort of afraid you'd contact him. Knowing he'd jump at the chance. I gotta say though, you're pretty tough when you're sloppy drunk." He secured both shoes on and stood up to make some coffee.
Amelia was left still confused. Her ears started ringing as if she heard a freight train coming closer. She was glad it went away and looked around for her cell. She reached under the pillow, her usual hiding place and came up empty. She checked the night stand drawer and still nothing. She felt underneath the bed and frowned when she ducked her head under to find nothing but empty space.
She stood up and walked to the kitchen, watching as Nick made himself right at home. "Where's my phone?"
The coffee drip started and he grabbed two mugs setting them on the counter near the machine. "Oh, its safe don't worry."
"Why do you have my phone?" She asked with attitude.
He turned his body to her, looking at her with a lopsided grin. "I had to take it away. Brian has his phone on him 24/7. I got lucky when he walked away from the charger."
Amelia fake smiled and stuck out her hand. "Give it back."
Nick debated whether to succumb to the request. Then he thought of her strength and went to his jacket on the balcony, pulling the mobile from the inside pocket. "No more calls to Brian."
He dangled the device in front of her face and rose it up. Clearly his 6'1" frame was no match for her meek stature. She held up a silent fist and he relented. He remembered she could punch the air out of him if she wanted and he didn't want to be the brunt of the unnecessary violence.
She noticed her phone was completely dead. There was no way to know if Will or anybody called to leave a message. She sighed and plugged it into the charger hoping she could bring some florescent life to the screen for a few seconds. When it came up, she noticed the screen was blank. Nobody called. She looked at her phone in disbelief nearly squashing the compact mobile as if it was Will's head. All this worrying and he didn't care to let her know if he was coming back or not. Did he stop caring when she came to New York? It was like he was a totally new person.
"Just call him. I'm sure his phone died too. Donnie and AJ said they all went clubbing after the restaurant. I didn't feel like going since those rehearsals were a bitch."
Amelia calmly turned the phone over and yanked the coffee pot mid drip. She poured it into one of the cups and set it down almost soundlessly. She couldn't believe the nerve of Will. This was just like him to do this whenever he parties with Turtorro. Sometimes she really doesn't trust him. He didn't once bother to call her just to check on her or anything. She thought the drinking would make her forget all that. But it led to other things: blond things.
She lifted the mug attempting to drink but put it down without feeling. No, she wasn't going to crumble. Hold it in. Just hold it in until he leaves. He doesn't care. Nobody really cares what she does, who she does it with.
"You OK? Hey, Amelia?" He caught her up before she fell on the tile.
"Yeah, sorry. Think my head. Oh shit!" She covered her mouth and ran out making a straight head on to the bathroom and closed the door.
How embarrassing was this? After she finished coughing up an organ she slumped her head against the cool wall. This was the worst she's ever felt in her life. The dry itchy feeling she got in her throat irritating her to the brink. She needed to regurgitate but hated the residuals that came after. She flushed the toilet looking anywhere but the slimy remains of what she ate last night. Did she even eat anything? She had to stand up, the smell was getting to her. That rotten egg citrus aroma was burning her nostrils above anything else. She picked herself up slowly and washed her face. Everything in her stomach hurt beyond belief but she felt a little better.
She didn't notice the water was running until Nick swung the door open. She looked at his hands: glass of water in one, aspirin in the other. He seemed to know this move all too well.
He set the water and aspirin near the tissue box. "How are you feeling?"
She was surprised at how gentle he sounded. Nobody ever spoke to her in such a hushed tone. Nick turned over the toilet lid and helped her sit on it.
"I didn't see which organ I lost. Felt like all of them." She said, gruffly.
"Well, good to know you're coherent. Maybe you should take this." He handed her the antihistamine and the glass of water.
When she took them she leaned back and titled her head against the wall, closing her eyes.
Nick got down on his knees and looked at her. She barely opened her eyes when he glanced at her. She felt above her head for a wash cloth and wiped her face. She straightened her body so she was sitting out of the slump. She noticed Nick looking at her. She blinked twice and balled the cloth.
"Looking at me like that."
"I'm just glad Brian wasn't here."
"Why do you even care what I do? I still lov—I don't know what I want with him. I just know I want him. I miss him. You have no idea what happened 2 years ago."
"Sure I do. And I know how you feel about him but I guarantee he doesn't feel the same. You still have your boyfriend. If you're unhappy then tell him. Don't sweep things under the rug before it gets worse." He put his hand on her knee gently.
"Nick, it's not your place. I know how he feels. I don't need to hear this when I know the truth."
Nick looked at carefully. Was she? Those flashes were really messing with his train of thought. But he needed to do one thing at a time.
"I think you should lay down. Just rest. You look like you haven't slept much. Come on." He held out his hand in front of her.
She groaned deeply and tried to move her feet but it felt like they were on ice or stuck on glue. She looked around with an odd expression.
"I think my legs have given out. Shit, I think they're asleep." She banged on her knee for a response.
Nick bit the bullet and slowly scooped her up in his arms. "This is probably from the headache. I used to get weird shivering feelings when I threw up too. It'll pass soon."
As he carried her to bed she held onto his neck tightly. He was warm, it relaxed her. His body, all of him was comfort. She never noticed this before. She almost forgot about her legs falling asleep when he brought her to her side of the bed. He pulled the covers halfway over her body. The trick to rid temporary paralysis is to keep warm. He learned this from AJ.
As he was tucking the covers she was looking at him. He was a mystery. Did she want to know what the hell that meant? How curious was she?
"Why are you doing this?" She asked sternly.
"Because you asked me to." He said, simply.
Nick sighed. It was going to be near impossible to dodge these questions when she's wide awake. He opted for the terse version.
"In your memories." He leaned over to kiss her forehead.
Her lashes weighed down slowly and she sunk into a deep peaceful slumber, completely letting go.