Here's the next chapter. Enjoy :-)
“Alex…” Ava asked while walking down the stairs a week later after having been up in her room playing her favorite Les Paul Guitar for hours. She found everyone sitting in the living room and walked in there. “When are we going on tour?”
“In three days…why?”
“Just wondering,” Ava shrugged and she went over and crawled into her brother’s lap – something she tends to do when she isn’t feeling well and she rested her head against his shoulder after he had shifted her so that he is cradling her. “What are we doing today?”
“Well the guys and I are going to a friend’s party…do you want to come? Tierja, Raven, and Kathryn are coming.”
“Do I know this friend of yours?”
“No, he is a new person that our manager has hired for our band. He’s hosting a party at his house so that we’ll have a chance to get to know him before the tour.”
“I don’t want to go.”
“Honey you are going to have to get to know him sometime. He is coming on tour with us. He’s going to be our new guitar player.”
“Well then I will get to know him then but I want to stay home. I have a stomach ache and don’t really feel like partying.”
“A stomach ache? What’s wrong?” AJ asked concerned and Ava shrugged her shoulders.
“I’m just feeling a little depressed, that’s all” She answered while glancing over at Nick who is still not talking to her and AJ sighed. Nick has reached the point to where he has officially pissed AJ off.
“Okay, okay…do you want someone to stay here with you and the kids?” he asked and Ava shook her head.
“I’ll be fine…I’ll stay here with Jade and Zara, you all just go have fun.” AJ regarded his sister for a long moment with a wary look upon his face.
“I don’t like the idea of you staying here alone with the kids…who knows what David is planning next.”
“I will lock all of the doors and windows. Alex I will be fine…” He looked at Ava for a long moment more still feeling very unsure about the situation, and then turned his attention on Kevin who had been lounging on the other couch across from him silently listening.
“Kev…what do you think?”
“What about Q? He could stay with her while we are gone, he’ll be more than willing to. You know how much he loves her.”
“Good idea,” AJ responded, liking that idea a lot. Q is the first person he can always count on when he needs to stick someone on “Ava duty” when they’re on tour. He was the first security guard to gain her trust when she was little. If she wasn’t clinging to him or Nick, she could be found clinging to Q which was actually pretty helpful because he always knew no one would mess with her if she was with him. AJ looked down at his sister then with a pleading look and Ava shrugged her shoulders.
“As long as no one is missing out on the party to baby-sit me…”
“I will call him in a little while then,” he told her feeling satisfied that they have reached a compromise and he pulled a blanket up on her as he sat there gently rubbing her stomach and she lay in his arms feeling small. She lay there quietly watching Nick play with Jade and Zara, and most especially, she watched the interaction between him and Jade, letting the guilt eat at her now that she didn’t have something to distract her from it anymore. She thought about how Nick has every right to be mad at her and he doesn’t even know the beginning of it. If he knew how horrible she really is, he would really give up on their friendship for sure. Watching Nick with Jade brought tears to her eyes as shameful memories flooded her mind.
“Ava are you okay? I don’t know if I like that look on your face...” Tierja asked after a half an hour. She’s been watching Ava watch Nick and Jade for quite some time. Upon hearing Tierja’s question everyone was now looking at Ava with concern, even Nick.
“No you aren’t…you’re thinking about unpleasant things,” Tierja accused. She is through with letting her get away with hiding her feelings. “What’s the matter?”
“Nothing Tier, I swear.”
“I know you better than that honey.”
“Ava, Tierja is right. You haven’t been yourself this past week – you are barely able to concentrate on anything, you don’t talk much, you’re having unknown stomach pains…there is something not right with you so what’s wrong?” Kathryn spoke up, coming to Tierja’s aid.
“Nothing is wrong with me, just leave me alone!” Ava begged while breaking down into sobs and she got up from AJ’s lap and fled up the stairs going straight for her room. They heard her door slam shut behind her and Jade looked around at everybody suddenly very frightened and upset.
“Why is mommy crying?” She asked and Nick pulled her into his lap cradling her. He kissed her cheek and brushed her hair from her face.
“It’s okay baby…mommy will be okay. She’s just not feeling well right now…she will be fine though. I promise.” She looked at him for a couple of moments, her lower lip trembling.
“Kay…” She said while sniffling and Nick hugged her tight while resting his forehead against hers as he holds her close and he sat there being extremely scared himself. He wants so badly to know what’s wrong with his best friend, he too knows there is something wrong with her but he also knows that it’s something way beyond him not talking to her. He unlike everybody else can see that it’s more than that…he just wishes he knew what. Meanwhile upstairs, Ava went into her room and she lay down in bed before pulling her blanket on top of herself and she lay there just staring at the wall. After a couple of hours Tierja went upstairs and into Ava’s room shutting the door behind her and she went and sat beside her on the bed. She pulled the blanket from her head to find her lying there crying silent tears.
“Honey I’m worried about you…you haven’t been yourself. Please tell me what’s wrong.”
“I can’t tell you,” She insisted and she began to cry even more.
“Yes you can I’m your best friend, you can tell me anything and you know that.”
“Because David will kill Jade if I do…”
“David isn’t going to kill Jade…you know that AJ and everyone else is here to protect her. What’s wrong?” Tierja persisted gently.
“He’ll find a way to kill her Tier, I can’t. I don’t want my baby to die, I can’t lose her!”
“He won’t. You need to tell me because this is getting to be very serious. We can help but only if you tell us…otherwise we won’t know what’s going on. We can’t read your mind Ava…though I can honestly say the talent would be pretty helpful.” Ava lay there continuing to cry and Tierja went on. “If you tell me you’re only going to feel ten times better sweetie…” she pulled Ava into her arms as she sobbed and she sat there with her, just holding her as she does. When she had managed to calm down somewhat ten minutes later, she spoke up, her voice trembling as she did.
“David always hated Jade…he never once loved her in all her life. When I told him I was pregnant he was so pissed off at me that he beat me up and insisted that I made a mistake. The night I told him he beat me so bad that he nearly killed me. It was the worst beating that I’ve ever received.”
“Why? Why would he hate his daughter?” It took Ava a few moments to answer. Tierja waited patiently for her to regain her composure.
“Because Jade isn’t really his daughter…” She admitted and it took Tierja a moment to really process that. When she finally did she stared at Ava in bewilderment.
“Whose daughter is she then?”
“She’s Nick’s…” Ava revealed while sniffling and she drew her legs to her chest before wrapping her arms around them.
“Oh my God…Ava, are you serious?”
“Back when I was sixteen and Nick eighteen, we had sex while everyone was out doing their own things. I went into Nick’s hotel room and we sat around talking for a while before suddenly we got on the topic about sex and I told him that I wanted my first time to be with him because we experience everything together. He resisted at first but I got upset with him and he hates it when I am upset…so he gave in. A month later I found out I was pregnant with his baby…”
“Why didn’t you tell him?” Tierja demanded incredulously. “Why would you keep something like that from him? He’s wanted her to be his daughter all this time thinking that she isn’t.”
“David threatened to kill Jade if I ever did! The day I told him I was pregnant he knew right away that he wasn’t the father because we never even had sex…that’s why he nearly killed me, and that’s why he wasn’t there when she was born. He didn’t want anything to do with her. That’s why he abused her every day and called her a mistake and other terrible things. That’s why Jade looks exactly like Nick and loves him so much. She has the same shape of face as him, his eyes, his personality, his love for singing and dancing…because he is her daddy.”
“Does she know?”
“No, she thinks that David is her father.” Tierja gazed at her for a long moment.
“You need to tell him Ava.”
“No I can’t!”
“You have to honey, Nick deserves to know that Jade is his baby and Jade deserves to know too.”
“What part of David will kill her did you not understand?”
“But he is her father! Ava how would you feel if you had to go four years without knowing that you had a daughter? You have to tell him!”
“I am NOT going to put my baby’s life in danger by telling him something that I PROMISED NEVER TO TELL!” Ava yelled so loudly that everyone had heard her downstairs. She got up from her bed then, stalked out of the room, and stormed down the stairs furiously. She grabbed up her hoodie, put it on and went straight for the door.
“Ava where are you going?” AJ asked worriedly.
“Somewhere that Tierja isn’t!” she answered and she went outside and slammed the door shut behind her.
“What did you do? Ava has never been so mad at you like that before…” Kathryn wanted to know, and everyone was staring at Tierja with concern. Tierja stared at Nick for a few moments and then looked at Kathryn.
“Nothing,” She answered while shaking her head and she went outside onto the beach to cool off. AJ got up and went after her. When the two of them came back five minutes later AJ knew everything that was said up in the bedroom and he is very shocked. He wants so badly to tell Nick because he deserves to know, but he wants Ava to do it on her own. He sat down on the couch and gazed quietly at Nick now, just watching him play with Jade. He understands exactly why Jade looks so much like him now. Ava stayed out all day and when it was only a half an hour before it was time for them to leave, everyone became worried. Its seven thirty and it’s after dark.
“She is supposed to be back by now…” AJ announced worriedly.
“Maybe she just lost track of time…” Brian suggested trying to think of a rational explanation of why she’s not back yet, but it’s not working out so well. Ten minutes passed them by as they waited and then AJ got to his feet.
“I’m going out to look for her.” Before he even made it to the door however, Nick grabbed his arm and AJ looked at him. “Let me…it’s mostly my fault that she is upset.” AJ nodded and sat back down and Nick handed Jade over to him. He went outside shutting the door behind him and he began looking for Ava in the freezing cold rain. He spent an hour looking when he suddenly heard a faint cry in a dark ally. He ventured into it and found Ava lying on the ground and David was kicking her repeatedly in the side. She is sobbing as she cowered weakly against the garbage cans.
“Leave her alone!” Nick demanded and he ran over to David. He grabbed him by the arm and sent him flying across the ally and right into a few garbage cans sending those crashing down as well. David was up in an instant and he darted toward Ava only to have Nick move between them protectively and his fist connected with David’s jaw sending him staggering back. Nick grabbed up a big wooden stick that was lying on the ground and knocked a relentless David to the ground and he began beating him with it. He did this until he was no longer able to fight back and then threw the stick to the side before turning his attention on Ava. He helped her up from the ground and enveloped her in his arms protectively as she cried into his shoulder and put a death grip on him.
“It’s okay baby…I’m here now it’s going to be okay. Everything will be okay now,” he told her softly in her ear. She rested her head against his shoulder and he held her tightly as he glanced at a weak David who still laid moaning and groaning on the ground. He pulled out his cell phone and had his finger on the 9 when suddenly out of nowhere David reached out, grabbed him by the ankle and yanked on it sending him and Ava both to the ground.
Ava shrieked and held onto Nick tighter and he gently rolled them over so that she was lying underneath him. He turned so he was lightly lying on top of her with his back to her and was shielding her just on time for David to punch him in the face and Ava cried harder. She watched as Nick got to his feet and shoved David hard against the wall. She watched in fear as Nick struggled with David and winced each time he was hurt. “Ava honey, take my phone” Nick ordered after a few moments when he was starting to get control of the situation a little bit and he tossed it to her. “Call 911” he added and Ava quickly obeyed and started dialing and he soon heard her talking. Just as she was hanging up, he yelled out in sheer pain causing her to whip her head around and look at him fearfully only to see him leaning against the wall holding his stomach and David was tearing off around the corner. Nick waited a few moments for the pain to pass, and then went over to Ava and helped her up again pulling her into his arms.
“Did you call 911?”
“Yes they’re on their way.” Nick nodded and gently took her hand and pulled her out of the dark alley where he could see them coming better while they wait and she lightly pressed him up against the wall. “Are you hurt?” she sniffled, and she looked his face over and lifted his shirt up slightly so she could see his stomach, and was relieved to see no flaws in his beautiful features. He was still in the perfect condition that he was in before she left the house.
“I’m fine…I just want to get you home where you are safe. We’re going to report this to the cops, let them see that you’re hurt so that it’s on record, and then tomorrow we’re going to see what we can do about getting you a restraining order on him. Okay?” Ava nodded tearfully and noticing that she is shivering and that her arms are almost pink Nick unzipped his bucs hoodie, pulled it off, and instantly put it around her causing her to slide her arms into the sleeves and he zipped it up for her before pulling her against him protectively. They only had to wait a few moments more before the police showed up and after being questioned and then released, Nick picked her up so that her legs are wrapped around his waist and he carried her home.