Chapter   Nine

"Wait a minute," Maria said. "Do you know these guys, Anne?"

"I've met them a few times," Alisha said, slowly.

"Yeah, we know her," said Nick. "Anne is somthing like an old friend. Right, Anne?"

"Yeah, something like that."

Then someone called Maria from out in the hall. "Excuse me, people."

When Maria left, the questions started flying. All the Boys started talking at once and Alisha couldn't get a word in edgewise.

"If you guys want to have a discussion among yourselves, go ahead!" Alisha said, loudly. "I have to go."

Alisha was about to leave when Nick spoke up.

"What's his name?"

Alisha turned back around. "Nickolas Daniel Walker."

"How old is he?" Brian asked.

"He'll be a year old on February 18th."

"Why didn't you call and tell me about him?" Nick asked. "Why did you have to keep him a secret?"

"You don't know how many times I picked up the phone, dialed your number, and hung up scared," Alisha said. "I wanted tell you so many times about the son you had. But I didn't want to ruin things with your career, JIVE Records, your management, the fans, your parents. My own parents don't even know where I am, let alone about Nicky."

"Do VJ and BJ know about him?" asked AJ.

"Yes, but I made them promise not to tell any of you or else I wouldn't call anymore."

"So instead you made me think that I had lost my baby!" Nick yelled out, angrily.

Nicky heard the loud voice and started crying.

"Damn it, Nick," said Alisha. She turned her attention to her son. "It's okay, Nicky. Your father didn't mean to scare you."

After a few minutes, Nicky started to calm down. He looked at his dad.

"Can I hold him?" Nick asked.

Alisha looked at him for a second. "Sure."

Nick started to get up. "Wait," Alisha told him. "Just sit right there."

She put Nicky on his feet and kneeled down. "Nicky, go walk over to your daddy." Alisha looked at Nick. "Hold out your arms. He'll come to you."

Nick did as she told him. "Come here, Nicky."

Nicky looked at him for a few seconds, as trying to decide if he wanted to go over there. Then he started walking slowly to his father. When he finally got there, Nick picked him up and hugged him. Then he sat his son on his lap and looked at him. Nicky was studying him, too.

"Hey, little buddy," Nick smiled. "Do you know who I am?"

"Mom," said Nicky.

The other guys started laughing. Alisha smiled.

"Congratulations, Nick," said Brian. "You're a mom."

"No, you're close," said Nick. "I'm your dad. Can you say 'dad'?"

"Dad," said Nicky.

"He does know who you are, Nick," said Alisha. "He has a giant-sized poster of you in his room. He watches your music videos, he listens to your music. Recently, whenever he saw you on a magazine in the store or at home, he'd point to you and say 'dad'."

"At least you told him about me," Nick said.

"Of course I did. Just because you didn't know about him doesn't mean he shouldn't know about you."

"I still think you should've called and told me about him."

"I couldn't do it. I tried to tell you the day I talked to you on the phone. Then I couldn't go home to see VJ take over as president of my uncle's company or during Christmas if I want to be able to get the job to work here in the studio. I needed the money."

"I would've helped you."

"I know. I didn't know what to do. I came here to New York City, stayed with a friend until I could afford to get my own apartment, which wasn't for a while, and it's hard getting a job when you're pregnant. This is my first actual job. And they allow me to bring Nicky with me."

"Look, why don't we go over to Alisha's apartment and we can all have a discussion about this," suggested Howie.

"We can't," said Kevin. "We have a concert, remember?"

"I have plans anyway," said Alisha. "Why don't I give you my address and phone number. Then whenever you want to come over, you can call me."

"All right," Nick said.

Alisha wrote down the information on a piece of paper from her purse and was giving it to Nick when Carson walked in.

"Trying to steal my date, huh, Nick?" he joked.

"Yeah, sure," Nick smiled.

"Are you and Nicky ready to go, Anne?" Carson looked at her.

"Yeah, we're all set." Alisha walked over to Nick and he handed Nicky to her.

"I'll see you real soon, okay, buddy?" Nick gave him a kiss on the forehead.

Kevin, Howie, AJ, and Brian all told Nicky 'bye' and smiled when he was waving goodbye to them.

"I'll see you guys sometime," said Alisha, trying not to break their cover.

"Yeah, sure," said Kevin.

Alisha grabbed Nicky's bag and walked out of the room. Carson watched her leave.

"Hard to believe she's only nineteen," he said.

"You like her?" asked Howie.

"Ever since she started working here. I mean, look at her. She smart, funny, caring, beautiful. And she's a great mother. She really loves her son."

"She's a terrific mother," agreed Nick.

"Well, I don't know if we'll make it to your show since we have Nicky with us, but we'll try. Thanks for coming on the show, guys."

"Thanks for having us," said Kevin. "We better get going. Don't wanna be late for our own concert."

The Boys followed Carson down to the elevator. When they arrived outside, they saw Alisha waiting patiently by Carson's car. The Boys went to their van, while Carson walked over to his car and opened the door for Alisha. Nick watched Alisha get in and sit Nicky on her lap. That's my son, he thought. I'm going to do everything I can to make sure we're a family.

The car took off in one direction while the van took off in another direction. Nick couldn't believe what had happened today. Finding out his son was almost a year old was one hell of a birthday present. Then he thought of Alisha. I still love her. Nothing she does could ever make me stop. I want Alisha back in my life.

By this time, the van had arrived at the concert hall. The Boys could see the fans that had already lined up even though the concert didn't start for a couple more hours. A fan spotted the van and started jumping up and down, screaming. The whole big crowd of them ran after the van as it pulled up to a side door. Their bodyguards came out and formed a little walkway through the crowd. The Boys ran inside the building. Several fans got threw and attacked the Boys.

The girl that attacked Nick refused to let go. So he kissed her on the cheek and, as he expected, she loosened her grip on him in her shock. The guard was then allowed to take her off him. She was the last one of them and they closed the door. Even through the door, they could hear that girl screaming that she got kissed by Nick Carter.

"Good strategy, Nick," said Howie. "So what are you planning on doing about Alisha and Nicky."

"Man, did you see that kid?" Brian shook his head in amazement. "It was like looking at a younger version of you."

"I know," said Nick, smiling. "I love him so much already. I can't wait until tomorrow."

"Are you mad at Ali for keeping him from you?" AJ asked him.

"I was at first, but then I began to see where she was coming from." Nick was quiet for a minute. "She did all this so my career wouldn't be ruined."

"She took on a lot of responsibility for the both of you," Kevin said. "But you need to be a part of his life, too."

"I plan on it. And I plan on being a part of Alisha's, too."

"You're gonna try to get back together with her?" asked Brian.

"Yeah. I love her. Nothing will ever change that."

The Boys all smiled, then went to their dressing room to chill before they had to start getting ready for the show.

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