Chapter   Twenty-Nine

A month later....

"Okay, Dad," BJ said into the phone. "Uh huh.... Uh huh.... We will.... Okay.... Tell Mom and the sisters me and AJ said hi.... Okay, I love you, too.... AJ is taking very good care of me, Dad.... We'll be back in Orlando in September.... Yes.... Alright. Bye." VJ laughed as BJ hung up the phone and flopped back on the bed. "Sounded like your dad is still playing '20 Questions'."

"I'm glad my father has accepted me and AJ's marriage, but I don't think he believes we can take care of ourselves. His primary questions are 'Do you need anything?', 'Is AJ treating you right?', and he ends with 'If you need anything at all, you know you can just call'. He's driving me crazy!"

The two girls laughed. VJ, BJ, Alisha, and Nicky were on tour with the Backstreet Boys as they traveled around the US and Canada. Right now they were in Virginia where the Boys had a show to do that night. When Brian, AJ, and Nick asked the girls to come with them on tour, they thought it was going to be pretty cool. Well, it was cool, but they had early wake up calls, they couldn't go anywhere without security (especially if they were with the Boys), some of the fans they talked to either hated them or thought they were the luckiest people on earth (mostly hated), they hardly ever saw their husband, fiance, or boyfriend because of photo shoots, TV and radio interviews, soundchecks, rehearsals, and when the Boys weren't doing any of that, they were sleeping. All in all, it was pretty much what the girls had expected. The only one who didn't seem to mind was Nicky.

Everywhere he went, he had a new playground, a new place to see, another big bed to jump on, and another fun pool to swim in. Nicky sometimes got a little fussy in the mornings because of the early wake ups, but other than that, he was just fine with the whole thing. He didn't mind the screaming girls at the hotel, the venues, the loud music at the concerts he sometimes attended, or the food he was forced to eat. Actually, Bob Carter said Nicky was starting to remind him a lot of Nick when he was just a little over a year old: a total attention-getter.

"Hey, people, how about some shopping?" Alisha said, walking through the door.

"Who's gonna watch Nicky?" VJ asked.

"Denise said she will," Alisha told them. "I don't think Lonnie can take watching Nicky again. Poor guy was run ragged the last time."

VJ and BJ laughed. Once Lonnie, the Boys largest bodyguard, had volunteered to watch Nicky while Nick and Alisha went out to dinner. When the couple returned, Nicky was as hyper as anything and Lonnie was about to pass out from exhaustion because he'd been chasing Nicky everywhere in the hotel. Now every time Lonnie saw Nicky, he tried not to get to close to him so as not to get stuck with babysitting him again. So far, it's worked. But the Boys were having a ball teasing Lonnie about it.

Right then, Brian, Nick, AJ, Howie, and Kevin walked into the room, looking dead tired. Brian and Nick threw themselves on one bed, while AJ threw himself on the other bed, his head laying in BJ's lap. Howie walked over to one chair and fell into it, while Kevin flopped back on the other chair. VJ went over to Brian and he grabbed onto her, pulling her down next to him. Nick pulled Alisha on top of him and held onto her tight.

"Are you guys okay?" BJ asked.

"Yeah, we're just a little bit tired," Howie said. Then he jumped up. "I gotta go call Maria."

Kevin grabbed Howie's chair, put it in front of his chair, and put his feet up. "Now I can call Alexis."

"Honey, are you okay?" VJ asked. Brian mumbled something but she couldn't understand him 'cause his head was buried between her neck and shoulder. "Say that again?"

"I said, I'm fine. We just had a pretty fast-paced rehearsal." Then Brian put his head back where it was.

"Nick, my dad called and asked when we were going to be able to take Nicky to see him, my mom, my brother, and sisters," said Alisha. Nick opened his eyes and looked at her.

"I forgot you were there, baby," he said. "You need to gain some weight."

Alisha smacked him in his stomach. "I'm surprised I haven't considering we've stopped at every McDonald's in every city and in between so far."

"Don't blame me, blame AJ," Nick said, an annoyed look on his face.

"Hey, nobody said you had to eat there," AJ said from the other bed. "You could always go somewhere else."

"Nick, you didn't answer my question." Alisha poked his forehead.

"Ali, stop!" Nick yelled. Everyone looked at him, surprised. Alisha looked really hurt. "I'm sorry, sweetie. We'll go when the tour is over. Right now, we don't have time."

"Okay," Alisha said, quietly. She got off of Nick and grabbed her purse. "I'll be back later. Nick, your son is with Denise."

"Alisha---" Nick got up, but she had already walked out the door. Whenever Nick heard Alisha say "your son", he knew she was mad at him. "Man, not even two weeks and we're already pissing each other off."

"You shouldn't have yelled at her," Brian stated simply. "You asked her to come with you, so you could spend time with her and Nicky."

"Go talk to her," AJ said. "She couldn't have gotten that far."

Nick took off out the door. BJ looked at VJ worried.

"I guess that's it for the shopping spree," VJ shrugged. BJ nodded. Brian and AJ didn't say anything. The girls looked down and saw they were asleep.


"Alisha! Alisha!" Nick yelled at the retreating figure ahead of him. He ran to catch up with her.

"Baby, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings by yelling at you." Nick grabbed her from behind and wrapped his arms around her. "I was just tired, that's all. I'm sorry."

"Maybe I shouldn't have come, Nick," said Alisha, ready to cry. "Maybe I should've stayed at home with your mom, Leslie, and Angel."

"No. I'm glad you're here with me. I want you here with me."

"Well, it doesn't seem like it."

"I know I've been gone most of the time, but that's the way it is when we're on tour, Ali. I'm used to it, you're not. I'll try to make a better effort in spending time with you and our son."

Alisha turned around in his arms and looked at him. "I knew it was gonna be like this, Nick. I thought I prepared to handle it, but it doesn't seem like I am. I'm too used to you being around all the time. And I'm sorry for acting like a spoiled little girl."

"You may be spoiled, but I love you all the same."

"I love you, too."

Nick and Alisha shared a kiss. Right then, a crowd of girls came out of a resturaunt near the hotel and spotted them, hugging.

"LOOK!! IT'S NICK CARTER!!!" one of them yelled.

The couple broke apart and looked at each other smiling. Time to be not together, they thought as the girls came running up to them. They asked for Nick's autograph and Nick happily signed them. Alisha stood off to the side watching him. A girl of about thirteen came up to her.

"Who are you?" she asked.

"That's Nick's girlfriend," another thirteen-year-old girl said. She looked Alisha up and down with dismay.

"You are?" the first girl asked.

Alisha nodded. "I'm 'Alisha'. What's your name?"

"Marla," the girl answered.

"Hello, Marla. Is Nick your favorite Backstreet Boy?"

"Yeah. He's really cute. I love hearing him sing, too. What's Nick like?"

"He's sweet," Alisha started. Marla nodded. "Very caring, loving, funny. He's the best guy any girl could ask for."

"I think Nick could do better," the other girl said and walked away.

"Don't mind Anna," Marla said, waving her off. "She's likes Nick, too. She doesn't live in the real world. She says she gonna marry Nick some day."

"So that's why she didn't like me too much," Alisha said, as if she didn't already know. "That's too bad. You seem pretty cool with Nick having me for a girlfriend."

"Well, I figure if Nick wants to be with someone that's not me, then as long as she's nice, I can deal with it. You're pretty nice." Marla smiled shyly.

"Thanks, Marla. Are you going to the concert tonight?"

"I tried to get tickets, but they sold out."

Alisha thought a minute, then came up with something. "Marla, how I meet you at the gate at 7:30pm? I'll take you to meet the guys before the concert. You can bring a friend if you want to."

Marla got an excited twinkle in her eyes. "Really?"

"Sure. You can bring Anna."

"Nah. I'll bring my friend Stephanie. She's likes Howie. And she's nice."

"Okay, then. Remember at 7:30pm, be at the gate. Don't tell anybody you're going backstage. Tell your friend that, too."

"Okay." Marla hugged Alisha. "Thanks."

"No problem." Alisha watched as she went over to the crowd and left with them. Nick walked over to her.

"Any problems?" he asked.

"Nope, no problems." Alisha gave him a kiss on the cheek.

"Cool. Let's go back to the hotel."

The two walked back to the hotel, arms around each other. They were completely unaware the crowd of girls was still watching them from a distance.

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