Chapter   Twelve

All the Boys, except Nick, were in AJ's room, wondering what it was that AJ had to talk to them about. From the way he practically pushed them into his room, it seemed really important.

"Bone, what's this all about?" Howie asked.

"Yeah, AJ," said Brian. "What's so important that you had to drag us in here in the middle of the night. And where the hell is Nick?"

"Nick went to go see Alisha," Kevin said. "He said he couldn't wait until tomorrow to go see her and Nicky."

"Who cares," said AJ, shrugging it off. "One of you can tell him what's up later. This is important."

"Well, get to it already," Howie said, impatiently. "I want to get some sleep."

"It's about me and BJ," AJ started. "We both talked to our parents about the engagement. To put it lightly, they don't approve of us getting married since we're still pretty young. BJ's father even threatened to cut her off if she married me, but she says she doesn't care about that. My mom is being the same way. She won't even think about the possibility of us getting married."

"So what does this have to do with us?" said Kevin.

"Me and BJ are planning on going to Vegas and getting married there. We really want you all there. BJ is going to tell VJ about it tomorrow. But I need your help in putting together a wedding in three months time. I told BJ I'd take care of everything, but I don't know anything about planning a wedding."

"What makes you think we do?" asked Brian.

"Howie's had one of his sisters get married," reasoned AJ. "Isn't it the bride's family that plans almost everything?"

"With some families it is," said Howie. "But not everyone follows that tradition. We sure didn't."

"Well, how hard could it be?" asked Kevin. "I mean, we book a church, get a caterer, hire someone to make the cake, hire a DJ for the reception, find a place to have the reception, get the decorations, find a priest or whatever, book a flight to Hawaii for the honeymoon."

"That covers pretty much everything," said Brian. "The wedding planning experience is coming back to me."

"Well, since there's going to be only me, BJ, VJ, Alisha, and you guys, it won't be that major, said AJ."

"Okay, forget the DJ, the caterer, and the reception hall," Brian said. "Are you going to get married in 'The Chapel of Love' or an actual church?"

"An actual church. But a small one, seeing as how there's only going to be eight of us."

"Okay." Brian thought for a minute. "We'll all split the work. But can we figure that out tomorrow. I'm dead tired."

"Yeah, sure," said AJ. "Thanks for helping out, fellas."

"No problem," said Howie. "I just hope your guys' parents don't get too angry when you tell them afterwards."

"Me and BJ are going to worry about that later. Goodnight, guys."

"Goodnight," they said in unison. Then they left and AJ went to sleep feeling very lucky to have the friends he has.


Nick walked into his son's room and saw a there was indeed a giant-sized poster of him right at the foot of his crib where Nicky could see it whenever he woke up. His toys were put neatly in a little toy box, his clothes in a small dresser, some dress clothes hanging in the tiny closet. Nicky slept with a teddy bear by his side. Nick watched him sleep peacefully.

"He looks so peaceful in his sleep," Nick whispered.

"He looks like you when he sleeps," Alisha whispered back.

Nick watched Nicky for a little while longer then the two of them turned to leave. They sat back in their seats on the couch.

"You never did tell me why you're not mad at me anymore," Alisha told him.

"Like I said, I was at first," Nick started. "But then, the more I thought about why you did what you felt you had to, the anger started to melt away. Alisha, I know you did what you did to keep my career from falling to pieces. I realize where you're coming from. I mean, you took on a lot of responsibility to protect me. I don't know if there is any other girl on this earth who would've done that for me."

"Sure there are," said Alisha.

"Maybe, but you're the one who actually did it." Nick got quiet for a moment. "When VJ told me that you lost the baby, I was devastated. I locked myself in your room for hours. I looked and saw that you have gotten everything of us and took it with you. I hoped to God you hadn't gotten rid of it."

"No, I kept it. It's in my room. And now that my friend Alexis knows about you, I've been putting up the pictures of us together and the pictures of VJ, BJ, and the fellas."

"I missed you. I missed hearing your voice, hearing you laugh, seeing your smile. I missed everything about you. I prayed every day that I'd find you and now I have."

"I missed you a lot, too. Even though I saw you on TV, heard you on the radio, listened to your CD, it wasn't the same as being with you. And I felt really bad that Nicky didn't grow up with you being here physically. Carson is pretty much the only major male figure he knows."

"You spend a lot of time with Carson Daly?"

"I guess you could say that."

"Is he the guy you told me you've been seeing?"

"No. Actually, I was talking about Nicky that time. I haven't really been out with anyone."

"Oh." Nick looked at his watch. "I better go. It's almost two in the morning."

"You don't have to," said Alisha, quickly. "You could crash here if you want."

Nick looked at her for a moment. "Okay. Can I use your phone to call Brian and let him know I'm staying here?"

"Yeah sure." Alisha grabbed the phone and handed it to him.

She listened to Nick as he talked on the phone. When he hung up, he told her everything was cool.

"I'll go get you some pillows and a blanket," Alisha said, getting up. "I'll be right back."

Alisha grabbed a couple pillows from her bed, a couple blankets from the hall closet, and took them into the living room. Alisha made up the couch for him to sleep on. When she was done, she said goodnight and went back to her room.

After what seemed like forever, Alisha stopped trying to get to sleep. Not matter what she did, she just could not sleep. She felt too restless and it was starting to make her mad. I need some sleep, damn it, she thought. Finally, Alisha gave up. She threw the covers off of her and went to the kitchen to get something to eat. All of a sudden, she heard someone behind her and she tensed up.

"Couldn't sleep either?"

Alisha breathed a sigh of relief at Nick's voice. She turned around and saw Nick in a T-shirt and his boxers. At first, Alisha couldn't say anything.

"No, I couldn't," Alisha said, when she finally got her voice back. "What about you?"

"Me either. For some reason, I'm feeling really restless."

"Me, too. You want something to eat? I was just about to make myself a sandwich."

"Yeah sure."

Together, the two of them made some sandwiches. They took them to the living room scarfed them. They talked for a while, then finally, they were both able to fall asleep together on the couch.

Chapter Thirteen:
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