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Chapter Edited: 11/23/2012
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Chapter Two: Just the Way It Was

When Ava arrived at the motel, just as AJ promised the man behind the desk in the lobby was waiting for her with her key. The moment she was safe inside her motel room, she placed Jade on one of the beds with some cartoons to entertain her with while she got in the bathtub to take a bath and she left the door open In case she was needed. Two hours later when she had just dried off and got dressed in a tank top and soft pajama pants and she was just brushing her long dark brown hair she heard a soft knock on the front door. She glanced at Jade who looked back at her worriedly.

“It’s okay baby, it’s just your uncle Alex” Ava reassured her, as well herself. She walked over to the door and peered through the window beside it, and much to her relief it was her brother. She unlocked the door and opened it up for him.

“Uncle Jay!” Jade exclaimed, grateful to see him.

“Hi sweetie…” AJ responded, going over and gathering his niece into his arms. She hugged him tightly and he checked her over for injuries. When he saw that she is okay, he kissed her cheek and set her down before looking at Ava.

“Are you okay?” he asked softly, and she nodded quietly.

“I took a bath as soon as I got here to clean up my injuries.” AJ nodded and he returned his attention to Jade.

“Are we going to your house now Uncle Jay?”

“Soon baby. I just need to talk to your mommy before we go. It’s a long drive though and you’ve had a rough night, so how about we get you in bed for now and you go to sleep. Okay?”

“Will you sing to me?”

“Absolutely,” AJ replied and he watched as Jade went over and crawled under the blankets and she lay her head down on the pillow and looked at AJ expectantly. AJ got on the bed and crawled over so that he was lying next to her and he wrapped an arm around her, rested his head in the palm of his hand and he began to sing softly to her the song All I Have to Give. By the time he finished, she was sound asleep hugging her doll close to her. AJ lay there in silence as he watched her sleep for a few moments just twirling a strand of her brown hair. God did he miss his niece so much. It was very hard for him to be away from her for an entire month. And it was even more torturing not being able to talk to his baby sister either. At the thought of Ava he looked over at her and saw her sitting on the other bed and hugging her legs to her chest with her chin rested on her knee and she was just watching him quietly as he took care of Jade. From the look on her face he knows she is wondering when he is going to stop ignoring her, which he had deliberately done when he walked in the door.

“Alex?” She spoke softly after a long moment of silence and he watched as a single tear rolled down her cheek.

“What?” he asked shortly, making it very clear that he is still angry at her.

“Do you hate me?” she sniffled, her voice so small and fragile.

“If I hated you, I wouldn’t come all this way to get you. I would have let you suffer. I’m just impressed that you even thought to call me…seeing as how I am an asshole and all…and that you think I should burn in hell, and seeing as how I don’t know what I am talking about. For someone who doesn’t know what he is talking about, I was pretty smart about the fact that the fucking bastard was all WRONG for you.”

“I was in love Alex, okay? I’m SORRY!” Ava sobbed. “I was blind…you of all people know what that’s like!” AJ let out a heavy sigh and looked back down at Jade and he gently caressed her bruised cheek with his finger. After a long while he looked back over at Ava and saw her lying on the bed curled up in a ball looking so fragile and broken that it tore his heart to shreds. He can’t see her face but he can hear her sniffles, and that is enough alone to make him cave. He didn’t drive all this way just to fight with her again and add another month to the silent treatment. He got up from the bed and went over and sat next to her and he rubbed his hand over her back in a slow circular motion. She looked up at him and he watched a tear roll down her cheek and drip off her chin.

“Come here,” He told her softly before gently taking hold of her arms and helping her sit up. She wrapped her arms around her legs and looked down avoiding eye contact with him. He tucked a brown curl behind her ear before placing his forefinger and thumb to her chin and he lifted it up so that she is looking him the eyes. “I love you very much honey…I could never hate you no matter what you do. You of all people should know that.” Ava scooted closer to him and he took her hand into his and gently squeezed it. “I missed you,” He told her sincerely.

“I missed you too Alex…so much…” she whispered as more tears fell from her eyes and he wiped them away with his fingers. “I’m sorry I said the things that I did…I didn’t mean any of it.”

“I know sweetie it’s okay,” AJ insisted while enveloping her in his arms for the first time and he brought her close to him for a very much needed hug.

“Does mom hate me?” she asked into his chest.

“Of course not…she’s very angry and hurt, but she loves her baby very much and misses her. She just wants you to come home like the rest of us.”

“I want to come home so badly. I feel so home sick…”

“That’s where I’m taking you sweetheart, I promise.” Ava slid her arms around his neck then and snuggled into him like the way she used to when she was just a little girl. She didn’t have a father to cuddle with, she had her brother. And though she would have liked to have a father growing up, AJ still managed to make everything okay. “But you have to promise me one thing.”


“That you won’t go back to David.” He pulled back from her hug and gently cradled her face in his hands. “You can’t go back to David honey, under any circumstance. Do you hear me? None of us would be able to handle that. You can move in with the boys and me and have your old room back and everything. Just please promise me that you won’t go back to him.”

“He’ll come after me Alex…he told me if I didn’t come home he would come find me and kill me.”

“I would like to see him try. There is no way he is getting through the five us. There is no way I am letting him hurt you.”

“I promise Alex,” she whispered and she rested her head against his shoulder comfortably as he rubbed his hand over her back.

“My tummy hurts…” she pouted after a few moments.

“Why? What’s wrong with it?” he asked as concern filled his voice. When he didn’t get an answer he lifted her shirt up just far enough to see her stomach and there is a big bruise on her stomach where David had been kicking her surrounded by a bunch of little tiny ones. It looks like her stomach is just one big bruise. “Oh honey…” he winced and he gently rubbed his hand over it. She looked up at him as tears fell from her eyes.

“They’re everywhere Alex…anywhere you could possibly think of. He hurt me really bad…”

“I know…I know honey…”

“And he…he…r-raped Jade…” she managed to choke out as she fought to keep from breaking down into sobs all over again.

“He WHAT?!” AJ nearly shouted.

“Shhh! You’ll wake her!” she hissed tearfully. “She’s been through enough trauma for one night!”

“He what??” AJ asked more quietly, but Ava noted the hysteria in his voice. "He raped her...he handcuffed me down so I couldn't stop him...she kept begging and pleading for him to stop hurting her and she kept begging and pleading for me to stop him and there was nothing I could do but lay there helplessly as he raped my baby...." Ava explained barely being able to talk but AJ did his best to understand.

“When did this happen?” He asked, fighting back the urge to go to his house and beat him to a bloody pulp for hurting his sister and niece so badly. How dare anybody hurt his family. How dare them.

“Last night…” Ava sniffled. “And today too…”

“Has she had a bath since then?” he asked, and Ava shook her head.

“Did he actually have sex with her or did he just touch her?”

“I don’t know…I didn’t take her to a doctor yet because I knew he would stop me. That’s why I packed up and tried to run…I was going to take her home to you and ask you to go with me…” AJ pulled her into a hug and he held her close as she cries.

“We’ll go first thing in the morning…okay?” Ava nodded her answer, as it was all she could do to keep herself from having an actual panic attack. “It’s okay…everything will be all right. Your big brother won’t let that sick fuck anywhere near you or my niece ever again.”

“I love you Alex,” she told him while holding onto him tightly.

“I love you too…and you did the right thing about calling me. I’m sorry I snapped at you earlier.” He kissed her forehead softly and when he pulled back he lightly caressed her cheek with his finger. “Is all of your stuff still packed? Let’s go home.”

“I just have my one backpack. I had to leave everything that couldn’t fit behind.”

“Jade has lots of toys at my house so I’m sure she won’t miss anything but I’ll take you shopping if you need anything else okay?” He asked as she got up and grabbed her backpack.

“Kay.” He got up then as well and he went over and gathered his niece into his arms being extra careful not to wake her up. He gently made her rest her head against his shoulder and he grabbed her blanket and placed it over her so that nothing was exposed to the rain. He then went over and opened the door and held it open as Ava walked out pulling the hood to her hoodie back over her head and he followed.

“What about the room? Will they mind that I didn’t even stay the night in it?” She asked as she climbed into the shelter of the front passenger’s seat and she watched as AJ buckled Jade into the extra car seat that he always kept at his house.

“Nope, they won’t mind at all” AJ replied and Ava spotted the smug look on his face.

“Did I get into that motel room just because I am the sister of AJ McLean of the Backstreet Boys?” Ava asked, narrowing her eyes playfully. It just now occurred to her how extra nice the old man at the front counter was to her. He had been treating her as if she were at some fancy hotel. Now that she thinks back, she doesn’t think it was just because she was in a bad condition when she walked in.

“Well…that factor may have helped a bit…” Ava raised her eyebrow at him as he got into the driver’s seat and shut the door and he looked at her.

“Okay, okay…so maybe it helped a lot.”

“Alex you know I don’t like using your career as an excuse for things,” she lectured as she scooted into the middle seat, buckled up, and rested her head against his shoulder as he pulled out of the parking lot and into the direction of home.

“I know but he wasn’t going to let you in without paying right away and unless you stayed the night if I didn’t tell him you are my sister. I had my manager call in and talk to him for me and she made it sound all professional like, telling him that I would be there in person to pay for it later if they just allowed you a safe place to stay until then.” Ava shook her head and couldn’t help but smile and she decided to let this one slide. She is just happy to have her brother back in her life and making sure everything is okay for her. She made herself comfortable next to him and he placed an extra blanket on her and she closed her eyes and was asleep very shortly. Two hours later when he arrived at his house he found all four boys sitting out on the front porch waiting. AJ looked down at Ava to find her still sitting close to him with her head rested against his shoulder and her eyes are barely open.

“Hey sweetheart…we’re here,” he told her gently.

“Kay…” Ava replied softly. “I need to get baby J…”

“No, shhh…let me do that.” AJ insisted while opening the door. He took Ava into his arms while getting out of the car and he put her down and pulled the hood to her hoodie back down over her head as it is still raining. He wrapped her blanket around her and closed his door and he walked around the car to Jade’s side with her following. He opened the door and took Jade out while being careful not to wake her and he gently made her rest her head against his shoulder before pulling her blanket back on her. He turned around and saw Ava standing behind him. He wrapped his arm around her waist and brought her under the shelter of the porch.

"Are they okay?" Nick was the first to ask as so much concern filled his voice. AJ shook his head in response and carried Jade inside and Ava followed. He carried her upstairs to Ava's old room and he laid Jade in the middle of the huge queen sized bed, covered her up and laid her doll next to her and he looked at Ava.

"Come on," he whispered softly as he takes her hand in his and he brought her out of the room, turned off the light and shut the door just a crack and he brought her back downstairs. Once down there he brought her back outside to four very concerned guys.
"What’s going on?" Kevin questioned as he watches Ava stare at Nick uncomfortably. She is afraid he might be mad at her like AJ was. Nick and Ava have been best friends since the very first day Backstreet Boys had started. Since she is inseparable of her brother she begged him to take her on tour with him. It didn't take much begging though because he can't live without her either, so he talked his mom into letting him take her with. After a little begging she finally agreed. When AJ first stepped onto the tour bus with his baby sister by his side, and Nick had first laid eyes on her he was in love. He knew he had to make friends with her, and he did. Ever since then they've been best friends, and Nick has always secretly been in love with her. He just could never find the courage to tell her. But ever since the fight between her and AJ, Ava is afraid that Nick might be mad at her for all the things she did and said even though the fight didn't involve him.

“David beat her up pretty bad…she was pretty broken up when I got there.”

“How is Jade?”

“Frightened…not so good…” AJ answered softly. “We have to take her to the doctor in the morning.”

“What? Why?”

“Ava was telling me he raped her last night and earlier today. She’s been keeping her from having a bath because she wants to take her to a doctor but David wouldn’t allow it so that’s why she attempted to run away…” AJ explained and everybody can tell that his heart has been broken upon hearing that his niece was raped.
“Oh my god…”

“Yeah, I know. She doesn’t know if he just touched her or actually had sex with her” AJ explained while looking down at Ava who hasn’t left his side at all since they arrived and her eyes are watery. He wrapped his arm around her and pulled her into him before kissing her forehead softly.

“And everything is okay between the two of you?” Howie questioned.

“Yeah, we made up back at the motel before leaving.”

“Good…because no one likes it when the two of you fight” Brian insisted.

“Ava come here…” Nick spoke up after a while of just watching her stare at him uncomfortably. She looked at him for a couple of moments before letting go of AJ and going over to him and she stood in front of him quietly. He looked back at her for a couple of moments before sliding his arms around her and pulling her into a hug. She returned his hug and rested her head against his shoulder.

“You don’t hate me?” she sniffled.

“Of course not honey, I could never hate you…I’m just happy that you are here and okay.” He reassured while gently rubbing his hand over her back. After a few moments she pulled back slightly and looked up at him and he brushed away her tears with his finger.

“You aren’t going home to him are you?” He asked softly, fully expecting her to say yes because that’s all his Ava ever does is run back to that asshole. But much to his surprise and relief, Ava shook her head.

“Aje says I can move back into my room here and he would protect me if he came after me.”

“We all are going to protect you,” Howie replied as he went over and wrapped his arms around Ava too and hugged her. “We missed you…”

“I missed all of you too…so much. You have no idea,” Ava replied as she received hugs from everybody. “Alex…” she spoke up after a few moments when all of the guys pulled away from their group hug.


“Can we go see mom? I miss her…”

“She’s coming over here first thing in the morning for breakfast. I called her and told her I was bringing you home. It’s too late to go over there now though; you are tired and need your sleep.”


“Yeah baby?”

“Will you sleep in bed with Baby J and me tonight? I miss your arms…”

“Yeah,” Nick replied, glad that he was invited and that he doesn’t have to find his own way up there himself. He was fully prepared to do so though if it came down to it.

“Thanks…” she told him gratefully and he took her hand into his and kissed it.

“Come on, let’s get you in bed…” he told her gently before taking her inside the house and AJ smiled. He is happy to have his baby sister home and he is glad that Nick can finally be happy too. Next to AJ he was the one affected the most by Ava being gone for so long.

As soon as Nick and Ava were upstairs they went into Ava's room and Ava looked around to see that it’s just the same as it was when she left. There are posters of Evanescence, Metallica, Nirvana, Bryan Adams, Cinderella, Motley Crue, Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver, Slash, The Spill Canvas, Green Day, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, My Chemical Romance, The Used, Fall Out Boy, and many other rock/80’s bands on her lavender painted walls. She also has some family pictures covering her closet doors and the headboard to her bed.

The queen-sized bed is covered in pastel purple sheets with a black comforter, purple pillowcases, and little black heart shaped pillows for a decorative look. The dresser, TV stand, the shelf holding her wall mount stereo, and headboard are all black, and she has wood floors just like everywhere else in the house. Her bedroom also has her very own bathroom in it, which is pretty convenient, when you live with five guys.

Basically, AJ spoiled her and made sure she had the best room in the house. When the boys all moved in together AJ gave Ava a room too so she could have one at his house and at Denise’s house too when she used to live with her still. He told Ava she could decorate the room anyway she wants because it’s hers and she went rock star crazy on him. AJ and Ava are the exact same in almost every single way that they could almost be twins. The only difference between the two is that while AJ is busy performing pop music in his well-known boy band, Ava leans more toward the hard rock side, and shows more interest in rock music and 80’s.

She likes some pop stuff, and she has a special place in her heart for Country music, but mostly she is a rock girl through and through. She has five electric guitars that she has collected and played in the past and they sit in a corner of her room on guitar stands. She eventually wants to collect more and start hanging them on one of her walls. One similar quality in Ava and AJ is their personality. She can be just as rebellious as him, just as stubborn as he can, and she developed a liking for tattoos, sunglasses, and hats at a very young age. And when they are both angry at the same time…everybody tends to run for cover because things get pretty crazy. Nick noticed Ava looking around the room and went over to her. He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her close.

“You guys never took anything down…” she spoke softly.

“It’s your room, why would we take stuff down?” he asked and Ava shrugged.

“Because I didn’t live here anymore…and I was such a rotten bitch I just didn’t think you would want memories of me in your house,” she told him as tears form in her already watery eyes.

"AJ and I wouldn't allow anyone to mess with anything in here. We wanted to keep it the way it is because we were hoping that one day you would come to your senses and come home. AJ would come in here every day and just sit here holding a teddy bear of yours close with tears in his eyes and he would just sit here for hours thinking about you. No one would go near him when he was in one of those moods because we were always afraid we'd get our heads bit off or something.”

“Really?” Ava sniffled.

“Mhm” Ava rested her head against Nick’s shoulder as she leaned into him and he rubbed her back. "And you weren't a rotten bitch you were blinded by love...and it’s okay because everyone goes through that at one point in their life." After a few moments of hugging Ava pulled away from him and walked over to her red backpack that AJ had sat on the foot of the bed and she opened it up and pulled out her brush. She went into the bathroom and turned on the light and she brushed out her still damp hair from her bath earlier, and the rain. When she finished she walked out of the room to find Nick lying on the bed with his arm wrapped around Jade as she lay there sleeping peacefully and he was just watching her. Ava went downstairs and found Brian, AJ, Howie, and Kevin all sitting around in the living room. She went over to AJ, sat down next to him, and slid her arms around him, and she hugged him tightly. He smiled some and returned her hug affectionately.

"Thank you for leaving my room the exact way that it was...it’s comforting to come home knowing everything is just the way I left it..."

"I knew you would come back eventually...Kevin wanted to make it into a guest room thinking you weren't coming back but I demanded that everyone leaves it the way it is."

“Nicky told me…and I love you so much for having faith in me.” Ava sat with AJ for a few moments more and then she kissed his cheek before getting up and going upstairs. When she got up there she found Nick still lying on the bed watching Jade sleep. Ava turned the light off and shut the door just a crack before going over and lying down on the other side of Jade. Nick wrapped his arm around her and pulled her close as he stared into her light brown eyes as Jade lay between them. Ava lay there gazing into Nick’s blue eyes for a long while before finally drifting off to sleep and Nick fell asleep shortly after.
Chapter End Notes: