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Chapter 20 Can I Ask You Both A Question?

            That night we found ourselves in Orlando. Most of our tour crew got hotel rooms while the Boys and their spouses stayed over at my house. It was only for one night because the next morning Kalie and I visited her students at the dance studio. She even taught them a quick little lesson. I could tell that she loved the break from the concert routine. I didn’t blame her because I was getting tired of performing the same moves two or three times a week.  

            After visiting her students we meet up with our best friends for lunch. Kalie and I never realized how much she missed Chris, Michelle, Dan and Crystal until they ambushed her with a huge group hug with their first glimpse of her. Lunch was filled with stories of what happened on tour so far and Kalie even debriefed our friends about Alana. It was good to see our friends again and hear that they were going to be at the show on Saturday.

            “This is awesome! I’m going to have all my good luck charms at the concert!” Kalie exclaimed.

            “And we can’t wait to see you dance on stage with BSB!” Michelle squealed.

            “How many people that we know are going to be there?” Chris asked.

            Kalie was smiling widely as I replied, “Enough to fill up one of the VIP sections!”

            “Seriously?” Michelle questioned.

            “Well my parents are going to be there, along with all of my siblings and their spouses. Lacey, Mark and Diangela will be there too. Oh and my Aunt Jewel, Uncle Kev and cousin Katie are coming with Katie’s three friends,” Kalie listed her guests.

              “Plus you guys and with the other dancer’s families the one section of VIP seats will be filled,” I added in.

            “That’s awesome,” Chris said.

            “Kalie I am so happy for you!” Crystal hugged her best friend. “You finally get to live out your dream of touring the country as a professional dancer!”

            Dan smiled at Kalie, “We’re all very proud of you Kayl. And it’s really good to hear that you’ve decided to perform without the disguise.”

            “Knowing Nick he’s happy to have you back to normal,” Chris commented.

            I placed my arm around her waist and pulled her closer to me, “You know me too well Chris. I’m very proud of her too.” I kissed her forehead and she blushed.

            “Well you guys Nick and I better head over to my parents’ house because they are expecting us for dinner and I think the other Smiths are coming over too.” Kalie got up from her chair and started hugging our best friends, “I will see you guys on Saturday!”

            “I can’t wait for this show Kayl!” Michelle exclaimed.

            “Me neither! This is too exciting!” Crystal piped in.

            About ten minutes later we pulled into Kalie’s parents’ drive way. Before I even turned the car off I heard Mrs. Smith scream, “Kalie’s home!”

            Her dad stepped out onto the porch and exclaimed, “My baby girl is here!”

            Kalie flung open the car door and ran into her dad’s arms then embraced her mom. Kalie really missed her parents and it was obvious that they missed her. I stepped up on the porch and Mrs. Smith engulfed me in a big hug. She kind of caught me off guard.

            “I wasn’t going to leave you out Nick,” Mrs. Smith smiled at me.

            “It’s good to see you again son,” Mr. Smith shook my hand.

            “It’s good to see you too Mr. and Mrs. Smith.”

            “Why so formal Nick? What happened to you calling us Mama and Papa Smith?” Mrs. Smith asked.

            “I don’t know,” I shrugged my shoulders. “To be honest it feels strange to call you that. I feel like I’m disrespecting you. I guess I grew out of calling you that.”

            “You’re not disrespecting us,” Mr. Smith protested, “Mama Smith and I like being called that.”

            “Besides Mark, Chris, Michelle, Dan and Crystal still call us that. We’re perfectly fine with it,” Mrs. Smith added. “But enough about that the rest of the Smiths are inside and are chomping at the bit to see you Kalie so we better get inside quickly.”

            Once Kalie stepped through the front door her aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, nieces and nephews rushed at her to greet her.  I smiled at how close the Smith family was and how well everyone got along. I wished my family was more like the Smiths. It was only on rare occasions that my family would get along. We always ended up fighting or yelling at each other. We were good at yelling and fighting.  

            It was pretty late when everyone went home and Kalie said that she wanted to stay in her old bedroom which her parents turned into a guest room. She went upstairs to take a quick shower as her parents and I sat out in the backyard by the fire pit. I stared at the fire and thought about Kalie.

            “Nick, honey, are you ok?” Mrs. Smith asked. “You seemed awfully quiet tonight.”

            “I just have something on my mind that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.”

            “What is it son?” Mr. Smith questioned. “You know you can always talk to us if you want to.”

            I took in a deep breath and looked up at them both. I gulped then said, “Can I ask you both a question?”

            A few minutes later we went back inside.

            “This is too exciting Nickolas!” Mrs. Smith said in an excited whisper.

            I grinned but said quickly, “It is very exciting but please keep it a secret. I want to keep it a surprise for as long as I can.”

            “Our lips are sealed,” Mr. Smith reassured me placing a strong hand on my shoulder.

            Kalie walked into the kitchen where the three of us were.

            “What are you guys talking about?” she asked as she reached for a bottle of water in the fridge.

            “Your mother and I were asking where this tour was going to take you two,” her father smoothly covered.

            “It sounds like you’re going to see a lot baby,” her mother commented.

            “I already have seen much more than I could ever imagine. It’s exciting to think that I’m going to see even more.”

            “Very exciting,” Mrs. Smith nodded with a huge smile on her face.

            “We better get up to bed hon,” Mr. Smith said putting an arm around his wife’s shoulder. “Good night you two.”

            “Good night Daddy. Good night Mom,” Kalie hugged her parents then I shook Mr. Smith’s hand and hugged Mrs. Smith.

            “Nick and I will probably still be comatose by the time you two get up to go to work so we’ll see you at the concert tomorrow night.”

            “Ok baby. Sleep well.” Kalie’s mom followed her husband into the master bed room.

            “You ready to go to bed sweetie?” Kalie wrapped her arms around my waist.

            “Where you do you want me to sleep? On the couch or should I take one of your brothers’ old rooms?”

            “I have a queen sized bed in my old room baby.”

            “But what about your parents?”

            “What about them? They’ll be down stairs and we’ll be up stairs. They won’t bother us.”

            “What if they walk in on us?”

            “Are you embarrassed to sleep with me in my parents’ house?” she asked with a laugh in her voice.

            “I will be if they walk in on us.”

            She laughed, “Are you in the mood tonight?”

            “Not at this moment but I could be. Do you know how awkward that would be if they did walk in on us? I think I’d be embarrassed if they just came in and we were just cuddling.”

            She rolled her eyes at me, “Nickolas. Cuddling… really? They won’t walk in on us. They trust you baby and they’re not stupid.”

            “But I have more common curtsy then to do that in your parents’ house.”

            “I know you do. You respect them and that’s why they respect you. Come on let’s just go to bed.”

            She grabbed my hand and we quietly climbed the stairs.

She flopped on the bed and I chuckled after she said into her pillow, “Oh man did I miss my old bed!”

            “I don’t think I’ve ever been in your room before Kayl.”

            She sat up and looked at me, “That’s right. This is the first time you’ve been in here. My parents pretty much kept it the same except all the pictures I had on the walls are now on hallway walls back home.” She looked up at my face and laughed, “Nick relax. You’re standing here like you’re in some museum or expensive store afraid to touch anything. Come sit down next to me.”

            I looked at the bed and hesitated.

            “I’ll give you a kiss if you sit down.”

            “You don’t have to say that again,” I sat down next to her and she planted a gentle kiss on my lips.

            “If you lay down I’ll give you an even longer kiss.”

            I grinned as I let myself fall onto my back, “Your bribes are working Kay.”

            She giggled, “I can see that.” She slowly slid down next to me and kissed me again.

            We looked into each other’s eyes for a few seconds after the kiss.

            “Are you excited for tomorrow night?” I asked.

            “I can’t wait! I finally get to perform on stage as a professional dancer with my good luck charms in the audience. My dream is finally coming true and it’s because of you. I never really got to thank you. So thanks for everything you have done for me baby. You don’t know how grateful I am to have you…”

            I interrupted her by placing my finger on her lips, “You don’t have to say another word. I owe a lot to you too.”

            “No you don’t. All I ask is that you love me unconditionally.”

            I pushed a stand of her hair behind her ear and whispered lovingly to her, “You don’t have to ask me to do that… because I already do.”

            The next day Kalie and I slept in really late so we wouldn’t be tired for the show that night. By late afternoon we went back to my house to meet the rest of our touring family because it was the closest meeting place to the concert hall. Kalie and I made dinner for everyone and then we just hung out until it was time to load up the bus.

            Backstage at the concert hall, Kalie was buzzing around as she was getting ready.

            “Do I look ok?” she asked me after Rochelle finished doing her makeup.

            “You look gorgeous sweetheart. And I really mean that.”    

            Furiously she ran her brush through her hair one last time before dousing it with a holding cream.           

            “Kalie, calm down, why are you running around like a mad woman all of a sudden?”

            “I’m kind of nervous tonight. And I want to look my best and I want to have the best show of the tour tonight so I can impress all of my good luck charms who are showing up. I want to make them proud.”

            “Baby,” I grabbed her shoulders and looked into her eyes, “They are already proud of you. You don’t have to be nervous. All of your good luck charms will be even more proud and happy for you when you dance tonight. Right now you need to calm down and try to relax.”

            “But I don’t think I can relax. I feel like something really big is going to happen tonight but I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

            She knows. I thought to myself but said quickly, “Everything is going to be fine tonight so try and collect yourself while the opening act is playing and I go get myself ready.”

            “I’ll try my best.”

            I smiled at her before I went to the dressing room.

            Once I joined the other guys in the dressing room Brian asked, “So are you going to do it on stage tonight?”

            “I’m not sure man,” I answered honestly.

            “You’re not chickening out are you?” AJ asked.

            “I’m not chickening out. I just don’t think the stage is the right place to do it.”

            “And are you sure that’s all you want to give her? It’s pretty simple don’t you think?” Howie questioned.

            “That’s why I choose it,” I replied. “She never wanted to be spoiled and she would never want something over the top. That’s why I think I need to pick a simpler place to do this.”

            “But if you were to do it tonight on stage which song would you pick?” AJ asked.

            “I was thinking She’s A Dream or All I Have to Give.”

            “Well whatever you choose to do I wish you good luck bro,” Brian placed a supportive hand on my shoulder.

            “Thanks man.”

            “We better get to the group prayer before we’re late,” Brian said heading out the door.

            I was the last one out the door and before I followed the Boys I looked into the mirror one last time and spoke to my reflection, “You better make up your mind quickly Nick. You better do it before it’s too late. It’s now or never.”