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Chapter 23

            “Steph can you come to my house? I’m not home but I need you to check on the house and make sure I turned everything off. I left in a hurry this morning. I left you a note on the dining room table. It explains everything. Call me when the note tells you to. Yeah I know I sound like I’m playing a game in some action movie with notes and such but I’ll explain everything later. I just needed to get away. I have the Pups with me,” that’s what the text message that Stephanie woke up to the next morning read. She quickly threw on some clothes and sped over to her sister’s house.

            The house was eerily silent when Stephanie stepped in the front door. She went to the dining room and read the notes Heather left for her.

            “First make sure that everything is turned off like the gas, water ya know all the essentials,” the first note read.

            The second note told Stephanie to read Heather’s dairy. She read every page Heather listed.

            “I can’t believe her!” she thought out loud. “Where the hell did she run off to?”

            “Now that you’ve read Violet I want you to call Nick and Rich and tell them to come over to the house. Tell them that it is urgent. Once they are both at the house read them the letters I wrote for them. It’s pretty important that they know what I have to say. I love you Steph and I promise I will let you know where I am when I find a place I’ll be comfortable in.”

            Stephanie dialed Rich first then Nick and for both she said, “This is Stephanie, Heather’s sister. Something happened to her and she needs you at the house right away. It’s urgent.”

            Fifteen minutes later Rich pulled into the drive way first and right as he stepped out of his car Nick pulled up beside him.

            “Why the hell are you here?” Rich glared at Nick as he got out of his Cadillac.

            “I’m here for Heather. Her sister said something happened to her and I’m concerned.”

            “Bullshit you’re concerned!” Rich screamed.

            “What did you just say to me?” Nick was shocked by Rich’s outburst.

            “Since when would you be concerned about a girl you’re only going to dumb when it’s time to move to the next stop on tour?!”

            “Ok I know you and I have different views when it comes to women but this time it’s different. I love Heather and I want to make sure she’s alright.”

            “You are such a bullshit artist! You don’t love Heather. I love Heather and how dare you use her like one of the other sluts you conned into sleeping with.”

            “Whatever man. Don’t believe me.”

            “Heather is mine! She’s in love with me. So step aside and let me see my baby.” Rich pushed past Nick and started toward the house.

            “Excuse me but she’s mine so let me go first,” Nick grabbed the shoulder of Rich’s shirt and pulled him out of his way.

            “That’s it!” Rich lunged at Nick and knocked him to the ground.

            “What the hell is wrong with you?!” Nick couldn’t believe Rich was acting this way. His hand balled into a fist as he got back on his feet.

            They threw punches at each other and once Rich’s fist connected with Nick’s face. Nick hit him back making his nose bleed.       

            Just then Stephanie came out of the house because she saw the cars parked in the drive way.

            She screamed when she saw them fighting, “You idiots! Stop fighting! Heather is nowhere to be found because of you two! You need to stop fighting right now and come in the house! You assholes chased her away!”

            They stopped fighting immediately and followed the fuming Stephanie into the house.

            “Steph,” Rich said wiping blood from his face, “What do you mean Heather is gone?”

            “She up and left because of you two. I woke up to a text message from her this morning asking me to come over here and read you both something. Now can the two little five year olds behave while I read the letter she left you?” Stephanie was livid.

            Rich and Nick glared at each other then Rich grabbed himself a paper towel to stop the bleeding from his nose and Nick took a seat at the table.

            Stephanie unfolded the purple piece of paper and started reading a loud:

            “Dear Nick,

            I don’t know about you but I have had so much fun getting to know you. I thought about it and you’re right, the connection you felt when we first met is mutual. I felt it too I just didn’t know what it was until now. I love you it’s as simple as that and even though we have known each other for a short time I feel like we’ve known each other for years. Like I said I love you—more than just a fan—and that’s a problem. I’ve been looking for love for such a long time and I felt it with you but, would it last between us? I don’t think I could love someone like you… correction a celebrity like you. I’m sorry. I will always be your fan so I will always love you in that aspect. I hope that’s enough for you because I’m ok with you loving me as just a fan. Yeah the sex was great and you’re an amazing person but I have a feeling your profession would tear us apart.”

            Nick hung his head. He was upset. He truly did care about Heather deeply and he wanted to be with her for as long as he could. But now she was gone.

            Stephanie then looked to Rich and read:

            “Dear Rich,

            What can I say? I still can’t believe you are alive and we found each other again after so many years. I also can’t believe that all those horrible things happened to you of all people. I have to admit that it’s crazy how we did find each other though. And what a ride it’s been between the two of us. All the years, tears, laughs, memories, did I mention tears? But there’s another thing between us that I finally realized when I got that letter you wrote and really noticed it when we found each other. It’s love. Real love. I should have known from senior prom that you wanted to be more than just friends. And like I said to Nick, that’s a problem. The idea of us falling in love is fantastic don’t get me wrong but I don’t think I can bring myself to love you like you love me. I’m sorry Bud. I’m truly sorry.”

            Rich slammed his fist against the wall and headed for the door.

            “Don’t you dare walk out that door because I’m not finished yet,” Stephanie said sternly. She continued after Rich turned around and leaned in the door way:

            “And finally to the both of you,

            I knew this was going to happen between the three of us. You two would be fighting over me and I’d have to choose between you. But I can’t do that because I realized you two are the same and the connections I share with each of you are the same. I love both of you too much to choose either of you. So Nick, thank you for being a gentleman and convincing me that being single for the rest of my life isn’t the way I want to live and that there is a real, down to Earth guy behind the Backstreet Boy. Rich don’t get me wrong, I love that you’re back but I’m not ready to have our relationship grow the way you want it to and have it all crash like it did once before. So I’ll say this, “Just knowing you are out there breathing is so wonderful/It’s a chance I’ll take even if I break it/ I’ll lose it all/If I lose it all… it wouldn’t matter anyway.” I don’t want this cycle to continue with us so I’m ending it now.

            Don’t go searching for me and don’t try calling me because I’ve changed my number.

            Please remember that I love you both.

Sincerely yours,

            Heather/Violet, which ever you loved more.”     

            Rich fell to his knees and screamed, “VIOLET! NO VIOLET NO! VIOLET!”

            He repeated her nick name but every time he did so his voice became fainter until Heather realized Rich was whispering it in her ear.

            “Violet,” Rich whispered a little louder in her ear, “It’s time to wake up.”

            She slowly opened her eyes when she felt a long strand of hair being brushed away from her face. She stretched out her arms then slowly flipped onto her back.

            “Good morning baby,” Rich smiled at her.

            “Good morning honey,” she slightly yawned back. “What time is it?”

            “Four am.”

            “On a Saturday? Why’d you wake me up so early?”

            “Melina’s coming from Germany in about an hour and a half. You said you didn’t want her to wait long for us.”

            “Oh that’s right. I forgot.”

            “Did you sleep well last night?” Rich ran his fingers through Heather’s long, soft hair.

            She grinned, “I had the most emotional, exciting, weird, kick as dream ever last night!”

            Rich chuckled, “Really? You’ll have to tell me about it during breakfast. I’m going to start making French toast.”

            “Can I have a kiss first?” she asked sweetly.

            He grinned widely, “That’s my usually line.”

            She giggled then closed her eyes as Rich locked his lips with hers.

            After the kiss she looked into his eyes and smiled, “It’s great to have you home from tour DJ Lani.”        

            “Heather, I told you I’m only DJ Lani on stage. When I’m home with you I’m plain ole Rich. Got it Vi?” he winked at her.

            She giggled, “I got it Bud.”