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Nick lay in his bed, completely awake with a headache that would cripple most people. He hadn’t slept all night; all he did was replay the night before over and over in his head. There wasn’t a time he could remember that he was more ashamed of. His feelings were taking over his brain and he was lashing out at everyone, especially at Emma and AJ. What had happened the night before was inexcusable and he wasn’t sure how he was going to face the guys again.

As if on cue, Nick heard the door rattle and then open; somebody was not going to wait for him to open the door. Crawling out of bed and hanging his head, he made his way out to the suite expecting to find four angry men; to his surprise, he only found one.

“Have a seat,” Kevin told him sharply as he took a spot on the couch, “we need to have a talk.”

He knew that he could get away with a lot of excuses and promises with some of the other guys but his older brother was going to lay down the law with him and not listen to any of it.

“Are the other guys coming?” Nick asked after Kevin hadn’t spoken again for a few minutes.

“No,” he replied, “Brian is cleaning out all the vomit in his car…”

Nick groaned as he remembered throwing up all over Brian’s backseat and he was even more embarrassed than before.

“Howie is doing damage control with Addie,” Kevin continued, “and frankly, AJ wants nothing to do with you right now. He is absolutely furious and told me that he doesn’t even want to be in the same vicinity as you. I don’t think he can stop himself from doing something he’ll regret later. So for now, you lucked out and I’m the only coming.”

When he initially saw Kevin, lucky was not the work that sprang to mind. However, after being reminded of how much he screwed up, he was glad he only he had to face one brother. He hung his head and waited for Kevin to start the lecture he knew he deserved.

“Look at me.” Kevin demanded causing Nick’s head to snap up. “This fucking ends now. I’m done watching you throw tantrums, treat people like shit and act like you’re the only person with feelings and the one that everyone else has done wrong. You’re being a complete asshole and I’m not going to sit back and let this continue.”

Nick was shocked by the profanity coming from Kevin; the oldest member of the group rarely swore at anyone much less his brothers. He could feel the anger radiating off of his friend and he realized how far he had pushed everyone; they were at their limit and were not going to take anymore.

“I am only going to say this once so you had better listen carefully.” Kevin spat. “You are going to start being civil to everyone and I mean everyone! You are going to apologize to Howie, Brian and AJ, and then you are going to apologize to Addie. Finally, you are going to apologize to Emma…”


Kevin stared him right in the eye and Nick immediately closed his mouth.

“You are going to apologize to Emma. I don’t care if you two talk at all afterwards but you are going to say you’re sorry. And frankly, you had better really be sorry. If you cannot do ALL of these things, I am going to book your ass on the next plane to anywhere and you are not going to be welcome back until you do. And if I have to have this talk with you again, I won’t be as nice. Do you understand me?”

All Nick could do was nod and tears started forming in his eyes. He knew how mad Kevin was and he also knew that his older brother was not playing around.

“I would start with Brian if I were you,” Kevin said as he made his way to the door, “he’s the least likely to punch you in the mouth.”

Nick sat like that for a few minutes after Kevin left and he realized that, if he didn’t do something, he would be persona non grata with everyone. He dragged himself into the shower, letting the steam work on his muscles and his head. After he dried himself off, he took two aspirin and drank a whole bottle of water. It didn’t do much to improve his migraine but at least it wasn’t getting worse.

Kevin had told him that Brian was at the car wash so Nick decided to wait a little bit before going to his room. Leighanne would be absolutely pissed about the car so he didn’t really want to be alone with her. After about an hour, he headed to Brian’s room to see if he was back.

Thank fully, Brian opened the door after a few moments and informed him that Leighanne had taken Baylee out for the afternoon. Nick was glad for that but he could tell by the look on Brian’s face that it was going to take a lot for Nick to dig himself out of the hole he was in. He asked his brother to sit with him and he started his round of apologies.

“I’m really sorry for everything Bri. I can’t tell you …”

“No,” Brian replied sharply, “you can’t tell me how much you regret it. All I’ve heard for months is excuses for your behavior. Last night was the last straw for me. I don’t want to hear your apologies, I want you to change.”

Nick sat there without saying anything.

“I have sat back and let you wallow in everything that’s happened and I actually stuck up for you several times. I’m done Nick, you need to figure out what is going on in your head and straighten it out with everyone. You’ve gotten out of control.”

“I know.” Nick admitted a minute later. “I know that I went overboard…”

“Overboard doesn’t even describe how you acted last night.”

Nick started to get irritated that Brian wasn’t letting him finish but he bit his attitude back. He knew that all the guys had the right to lay into him and that he deserved everything he was going to get. There were always excuses he used to justify his behavior but he knew that he had pushed everyone past their limit with his recent explosion.

“I can only tell you I’m sorry Bri and work to show you guys that I really am.”

“And how are you planning on doing that?”

Brian knew that Kevin had gone to see Nick earlier and that was the reason Nick was there. Kevin could be harsh with them when he saw them get out of control but Nick deserved everything that was said to him.

“I’m going to talk to AJ…”

“Good luck with that.” Brian chuckled easing the tension. “Don’t let him have any sharp objects near him.”

“I’ll try.” Nick replied. “I really am sorry, I know what I did last night was inexcusable and that I need to get a handle on my drinking.”

“You can say that again!”

The two men sat for a little longer and discussed what Nick needed to do and how he needed to apologize to a lot of people. As Nick was leaving, Brian pulled him into a hug and wished him luck with everyone else.

“We’ll be here for you but you need to let us and you need to start working on making things better.”

“I know and I’m starting today.”