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Part 5

Alex peeked out the door into the room. She walked out wearing Nick’s huge shirt and was glad he wasn’t there at the moment. Hanging from the headboard was one of the most beautiful dresses she’d ever seen.

“Oh, Nick,” she whispered to herself. “Lobby at seven is it, Mr. Lachey?” Alex asked the empty room.

Alex exited the elevator and looked for Nick or Drew. Neither of them was in sight.

"Miss Devereaux?” a man asked, walking up to her. “Mr. Lachey has asked for me to escort you to his table. If you’ll follow me,” the British man said. Without waiting for an answer, the man started walking away briskly. Alex followed the host and noticed how the eyes of all the men followed her until Nick rose to greet her. Besides Nick and Drew, the other two members of 98 Degrees were there. Alex pretended she’d never seen or heard of either of them.

“Alex, I’d like you to meet Jeff and Justin. Guys, this is Alexandria du Pres,” Nick made the introductions.

“Nice to meet you both,” Alex murmured to Justin and Jeff, who both smiled.

“You look beautiful,” Nick said quietly so only she could hear.

“Alex, did you make a doctors appointment?” Drew asked, making conversation.

“No. Nick made one for me.”

“Good. I doubt anything will be wrong. But it’s a good idea to get checked out anyway.”

“Yeah, it is,” Alex agreed, not looking at Nick.

“Where are you from?” Justin asked, looking up from the menu he was holding.

“Well, I was born in Minneapolis, but I’ve lived all over, most recently here. I’m only here to get some things I left behind when I moved last week.”

“Army brat?” Jeff asked.

“No. My family just moved around a lot. Liked the change.”

“That must have been hard for you growing up,” Nick remarked.

“A little. On the bright side, I have friends all over the world and I was always instantly popular at every school I went to.”

“If you don’t mind my asking,” Jeff started, “how old are you?”

“How old do I look?”

“Eighteen?” the four of them asked in unison.

“Plus four and you’ll be right.”

“Twenty-two,” Drew said. “We were close.” Their waiter interrupted their conversation
“What can I get you miss?”

“I’ll have a cheeseburger and fries if you serve them here,” Alex said.

“We do miss,” the waiter said with a smile.
“Good.”

“And to drink?”

“Um. Coke.”

“Cherry, classic, or diet.”

“Uh, classic?” Alex guessed, not caring what she got.

“And you sir?” he asked Nick.

“The same.” Alex didn’t notice what the others ordered; she was too busy smiling shyly at Nick, who simply grinned back.

Dinner was basically polite conversation, and a lot of questions Alex had to answer. At the first yawn, which came from Drew, Justin suggested everyone go to their rooms.

“I’ll sleep on the couch,” Nick said after he’d closed the door.

"No, it’s your room. I wouldn’t want to impose.”

"You’re not. That’s part of my taking car of you . . . I always keep my promises, Alex.”

“But-“

“No ‘but’s! If it makes you feel better, we’ll switch off. Now go to sleep. Everything will be fine,” Nick said, hanging his coat and tie on the back of a chair.

“Okay,” Alex said. She had neatly folded the clothes he’d given her earlier to wear and had sat them in a neat pile on a chair. Nick had taken the top blanket off the huge bed and a pillow. “Uh, is it okay if I wear the clothes I had on earlier?”

“Yeah, of course. Tomorrow before we go to the doctor we’ll go downstairs to get you a normal outfit. Then we’ll go shopping to get you some things after the doctor.”

“I’ll pay you back,” Alex said.

“You don’t have to,” Nick replied.

“Yes, I do. I can’t just let you foot the bill for everything. It just wouldn’t be right.”

“Look, I promised I’d take care of you and I will. You can stay with me and the guys as long as you like.”

“Thank you, but I couldn’t. Like I said before, I wouldn’t want to impose.”

“You’re not. Now where was it you wanted to go? Minnesota?” Alex simply nodded. “Now you can stay with us and go on the road with us, or you can have me buy you a plane ticket to Minneapolis.”

Alexandria stood there, not sure if she should pick the road trip or the plane ticket. She knew she wanted to spend more time with Nick and the others, but she didn’t want to be a burden.

“If I were you,” Nick whispered, walking over to her, “I’d choose the road trip.” Still, Alex knew if she took the airline ticket offered, she’d regret it for the rest of her life.

“Okay, fine. Road trip it is.” Alex was grinning the biggest grin she’d ever grinned before.

"Good. Now go change. We have a busy day ahead of us tomorrow.” Alex nodded, grabbed the pile of clothes and once in the bathroom, changed slowly into the baggy clothes.

When Alex walked out of the bathroom, she found Nick lying on the couch trying to sleep.

“Don’t worry. I’m not asleep yet.”

“Oh, well good night then,” Alex, said. “Are you sure you don’t want the bed? I mean after all, this is your hotel room.”

“I’m sure. Just go to sleep. Like I said, you’ll need your sleep.”

“Good night, Nick,” Alex said quietly as she climbed onto the huge bed.

“Good night Alex.”




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by Jen Drake





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