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Day Eighty-Five.

It happened again.

That is, for our latest video shoot, I got stuck with the worst girl. Her name was Kendall, and she was much, much worse than Nina. No, she wasn't awkward. She was the opposite of awkward and to the extreme. And okay, it wasn't like I was stuck with her - it was more like she was stuck to me. Like, attached to my arm by some sort of adhesive device. She was one of the extras, and for some reason she would not leave me alone when all I wanted to do was get this over with.

Fuckin' A. Somebody shoot me.

I must have been staring at her with an expression that read those exact words, because all that came out of her mouth was, "Ah ha, ha, ha!" as she laughed. Loudly. "Nick, you're so funny." She brushed my arm and let her hair swing into my face.

And I'm not going to lie: she wasn't as hot as Nina, so there was really no incentive to be friendly with her. This was probably a good thing, because I'd almost feel like I was cheating on Rainie if I pitched a tent because I was turned on by someone else. (Also, last time it happened, I was embarrassed and stripped of my dignity, etcetera, etcetera).

If I wasn't in public, I would have had no problems telling her to fuck off. But I was being watched, so I had to - in the words of my father - grin and bear it. Which, by the way, is really exhausting, and my cheeks got sore after a while. I couldn't complain about it, either, because then Joe and/or Kevin would undoubtedly call me ‘Princess Nick', and the last thing I needed was for that nickname to be unleashed to the general public.

"So is your dad really a pastor?" Kendall asked me. "I mean, if you guys are as religious as you say you are, how do your parents feel knowing that, if given the chance, millions of girls would sell their souls just to get your alone and rip off your clothes and-"

Honestly.

"Nope," I interrupted her. I didn't know how long I could last making ‘small talk' while Joe and Kevin shot their scenes.

"No as in your parents don't know, or no as in-"

"We're not religious. We're atheists, actually," I informed her. (Lies).

Kendall seemed genuinely confused. "But then your purity rings-"

"Are actually wedding rings," I finished. "Yeah. Arranged marriages. It's common in our culture." (Our culture of atheists? God, this was dumb).

She tilted her head to the side, unfazed. "I thought you were Italian..."

"No," I shook my head. "We're Indian. And Japanese. Joe's actually Ethiopian."

"But how can-"

"Mom slept with the milkman," I cut her off. I cleared my throat, standing up and coughing, "Excuse me."

Insane. That girl was insane. In the hour I'd spent with her, she'd rhymed off my favourite food, favourite sport, the colour of my bed sheets at home, and what she did to celebrate my birthday on September 16 - which, by the way, was almost eight months ago. She also asked me if I was single, why I broke up with Miley, and whether or not I would date a girl with an STD.

I especially had to tell Pep about that last part. She'd get a perverse kick out of it. As I walked away from the nutcase, I pulled my cell phone out of my pocket and found Pep's number. I had told her I would call today, anyway, because we really hadn't spoken since I'd left LA a week ago. Our tour hadn't started, but we had album promotions to take care of in New York City, plus our video to shoot, before we took off for the summer.

While I waited for Pep to answer her phone, I checked my watch. It was 2:30 in New York, which meant that in California, it was... shit, I've never been good at math. To be honest, I have no idea what time zone I'm in half the time. In fact, my watch might have still been set on California time, which meant that in New York, it was... I had no fucking clue. I just had to hope that Pep wasn't in school, that was all.

"Nick!" she exclaimed happily, her bubbly voice
surprisingly refreshing from Kendall's.

"Hey," I replied, feeling myself relax.

"Where are you?"

"I'm on set of our next video," I informed her. "In New York."

"Sweet. How's it going?"

As I walked further from the set, I told her all about Kendall and how relieved I was that Joe and I shared a hotel room - that way, she couldn't find me and kidnap me in the middle of the night - and I mentioned that I was extremely nervous to shoot with her. Pep, of course, found all of my stories side-splitting.

I found a tree to lean against as I listened to her laughter. When I grew bored, I groaned in discontent. "Just please tell me you've had an equally unfortunate day."

"Nah. I got an eighty-three on my English paper," she replied nonchalantly.

"Fuck you. What was it on?"

"Hamlet."

"Oh, yeah. I like that guy. He's tricky."

"He dies in the end." She said it simply, like it made my previous statement untrue.

I rolled my eyes. "Thanks. I can see you were deserving of that eighty-three percent."

"I know my shit, Nick J," she told me matter-of-factly. "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."

"I disagree whole-heartedly," I answered instantly. There are definitely bad things. Kendall is bad. On the flip side, Rainie is good. Very good. Heavenly, if you will.

"Maybe you should remind yourself that working with this lunatic isn't the end of the world," she suggested.

Trying to be sly, huh, Pep? I could tell when she tried to give me advice. I'm not an idiot. And like I said, Pep fails when it comes to advice.

"Shakespeare's got nothing on me," I stated. "I won't let him try to brighten my spirits. This girl is mental, Pep. Off her fuckin' rocker. You have to meet her."

"I can't," she sighed unhappily. "You're there, and I'm here."

"Yeah," I muttered, pausing for a moment to stare at my feet. It was then that I heard my name, and I knew I had to go. "Ugh. Duty calls," I said quickly.

"Alright. Tell Jesse I say hi the next time you see him!"

"I'd rather die. Wish me luck."

"Good luck!" she cried. "Miss you!"

"Miss you," I repeated. I cracked a smile at her resilience. There's something about Pep that's contagious. It might be her childishness, or it might be her overwhelming enthusiasm... she's like a frisky, miniature kitten you can hold in the palm of your hand that is unendingly amused by things like shadows and balls of yarn and pieces of fluff on a string. Even if she annoys the hell out of me, I have to smile sometimes. (No matter how much my cheeks hurt).

As the director gave us instructions once I'd rejoined the shoot, Kendall leaned over and whispered in my ear, "I'm wearing grapefruit body butter."

Two things about this comment:
1) Fucking psycho. Who says shit like that?
2) Instantly my mind drifted to a couple of weeks before, when Pep and I found Rainie buying grapefruits. Suddenly I had an overwhelming craving for citrus.

________________________________________

I was thoroughly enjoying sucking the juice out of triangular cuts of an orange when Joe was sent into the hotel room that we shared, head hung low in shame. Big Rob the bodyguard, who had been escorting him for some reason, gave me a wave and shut the door for the night.
Even though he's my brother, it was a little awkward to have him walk in on my fruit celebration. I was probably enjoying it way more than was healthy.

"What's up with you?" we asked simultaneously.

I feared that Joe's expression was far more creeped-out than mine, so I pointed to my plate of orange rinds and answered, "I was hungry."

Joe made a move to grab one of the nicely-sliced oranges, and with a frown, I slid the plate away from him. Mine.

"I was in the arcade room," he replied with a sigh. "These girls found me and started talking. They were talking so loud they drew a crowd, and... I accidentally ran away."

The thing about being famous is that people are so in love with you, they'll go to the extent of chasing you down with loaded machine guns just to say they touched you.

Shoving another orange in my mouth, I inquired, "Why woul' ‘ou wun?"

Running provokes them. People think we're outstanding gentlemen because we don't ignore our fans. The truth is, we're scared for our fucking lives.

"I don't know," he answered, apparently just as confused as I was. "I was really lost in this game, and then they screamed to jolt me back to reality, and I couldn't really process what was happening, so I ran. Man, I'm still seeing stars."

"Snap out of it. It's only me," I joked.

Joe didn't laugh (I don't think he understood. My sense of humour far surpasses his in wit and cleverness). He tried to reach for an orange again. I slid the plate further away. "Dude, what's with you and coveting oranges? If you eat too many of those it'll send your blood sugar out of whack."

"It's fine," I told him, putting the orange peel from my mouth back onto the plate.

Reaching across the bed, Joe struggled to say, "I just... want... one!"

Originally, I was sitting cross-legged on the bed wearing my pajamas pants and a t-shirt, the plate of oranges in front of me. I was still cross-legged, but leaning all the way back with the plate held over my head. Joe was stretched across my stomach, his fingers wiggling as he tried to reach.

"No!" I cried. "Get your own oranges!" I tried to kick him away and shimmy further up the bed at the same time.

Joe's lips formed an O-shape as he let himself go and sat up straight on his own bed. "Where the hell am I supposed to get oranges at this time of night?" he demanded. "I just want one! Just give me a little piece! What are you, five?"

With an offended scoff, I turned my back to him and set the plate on my lap, leaning over it to shield it from his greedy little hands. "I don't share fruit," I replied as Joe huffed. "I got it first. It's mine."
I don't share Rainie, either. I saw her first. Jesse can suck it.

Though I wasn't facing him anymore, I could easily picture Joe's pissed-off face in my mind. "You know, you really are a princess, Nick."

That nickname was brutally irritating, but I was so offended that my own brother would try to steal what was rightfully mine that I refused to speak to him in order to correct it.

He went into the bathroom to brush his teeth. He stuck his head out the door and called, "And by the way!" I turned my head to glance at him with his mouth and surrounding area covered in toothpaste. "One of those girls was looking for you! She was the girl from the video shoot today, and I told her you'd meet her for breakfast tomorrow morning! Bright and early, Princess!"

Liar. With a roll of my eyes, I returned to my plate.

"Kendall Haggarty," Joe shouted from the bathroom. "Six-thirty a.m. Continental breakfast, motherfucker."

I paused mid-orange.

Joe finished, "She told me she knows you like it, so she'll be wearing the same grapefruit body lotion!"
Well, I'll be damned.

________________________________________
Chapter End Notes:
FAQ's (Just so we're all on the same page) (After writing them out, I realized that very few of them are actually questions...):
Q: I don't understand this story. (?!?!?!)
A: It's very simple. There's nothing tricky about it, I assure you.
Q: But where is the usual green and yellow twisted web?
A: I decided to do something different. Twisted webs keep me interested in what I'm writing, but I'm trying something new and simple.
Q: But I still don't get it...
A: No really, it's easy. Everything is in chronological order and not a lot happens because all Nick ever does is think.
Q: But... but what about Joe and Kevin? Do they have girlfriends? What's their story?
A: The thing is that 364DOW is written in Nick's POV, and Nick just happens to be a very self-absorbed individual. We love him, but it's true. Unless he deems something worthy of thinking about, we're not going to hear about it. He finally mentioned that Joe is dating Camilla, and we can predict that Kevin's not dating anyone because he went solo with Jesse to the after-party in chapter three. Anyway... I don't know what else I can say on this issue.
Q: Nick is a jerk. (?)
A: Yes.
Q submitted by SocrBritney: Is it weird to just completely worship me?
A: No. You are a spectacular piece of work.
With that, I hope most of your queries have been satisfied... if not, drop me a review or a PM and I'll do my best to answer.
PS. Dewy... you know what you're looking for.
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