America - The Land Of Dreams by Ozbsbgirl
1. Chapter 1 by Ozbsbgirl
2. Chapter 2 by Ozbsbgirl
3. Chapter 3 by Ozbsbgirl
4. Chapter 4 by Ozbsbgirl
5. Chapter 5 by Ozbsbgirl
6. Chapter 6 by Ozbsbgirl
7. Chapter 7 by Ozbsbgirl
8. Chapter 8 by Ozbsbgirl
9. Chapter 9 by Ozbsbgirl
10. Chapter 10 by Ozbsbgirl
11. Chapter 11 by Ozbsbgirl
12. Chapter 12 by Ozbsbgirl
13. Chapter 13 by Ozbsbgirl
14. Chapter 14 by Ozbsbgirl
15. Chapter 15 by Ozbsbgirl
16. Chapter 16 by Ozbsbgirl
17. Chapter 17 by Ozbsbgirl
18. Chapter 18 by Ozbsbgirl
19. Chapter 19 by Ozbsbgirl
20. Chapter 20 by Ozbsbgirl
21. Chapter 21 by Ozbsbgirl
22. Chapter 22 by Ozbsbgirl
23. Chapter 23 by Ozbsbgirl
24. Chapter 24 by Ozbsbgirl
25. Chapter 25 by Ozbsbgirl
Working in LA, I was like everyone else. Trying to make it big in the world. I wanted to be a singer. Before I left Australia, I made sure I a career instead of just a waitressing job. I was working a 9-5pm. That made it perfect as I was performing at a few bars/clubs/restaurants at night. I had a friend who I knew that gave me studio time late on a Sunday night.
Having breakfast with my flatmate, who worked night, she suggested musical theatre. In New York. “I just settled myself here.” I said.
“I’m just reading this Aladdin they are doing. You’ve seen it right? Cassie asked.
“Sure” I replied as I gulped my orange juice and got out of my chair and left the messy house and walking out the door to go to work at the law firm I was working at.
Later that morning I looked at flights from LA to New York. I pondered at the opportunity. “Could be good.” I said to myself. By lunchtime I booked the flights and accommodation. Audition was Saturday afternoon.
Friday night straight after work, I went to LAX. As expected a 2 hour flight delay. Going over the script I had my iPod on for the soundtrack. Little did I know that when it came to boarding I almost missed my flight. Due to this, I was put in first class. Isle seat. Next to me, on the window seat was, Alexander McLean from Backstreet Boys.
After dinner I tried to concentrate on the script but having Alex next to me it didn’t help. I had a big crush on him. Him and Nick Carter.
Alex dozed off while on the flight but woke up when he accidentally with his leg, kicked mine. “Sorry.” He apologised.
“It’s cool.” I replied.
“Aussie huh?” Alex guessed
“Yup, in one.” I replied.
“I love how you guys talk.” He laughed.
“Ditto.” I said.
“I’m Alex.” Alex introduced himself.
“Hey I’m Brianna.” I replied.
“Sweet. What you got planned for in New York?” He asked.
“Oh, just an audition on Broadway.” I replied.
“What’s the production?” Alex asked.
“Aladdin.” I said.
“And let me guess, you are going for, ah, what’s her name, ah yeah, Jasmine.” He said.
“Yeah, my friend told to go for it or not come home.” I laughed.
“I think you better do it then.” Alex said.
“Yeah, what about you? What you doing in NYC?” I asked.
“The guys and I are recording there Sunday. I’m flying out early to catch up with friends. Guys wanna be home an extra day.” Alex replied.
“Sounds good.” I said.
The rest of the flight, we chatted about everything, except for our careers.
Flying into New York around 4am, the first place I went after my bag was to get caffeine. I sent a text to Cassie saying I got to NYC eventually.
After having a few hours sleep I got up and rehearsed a few hours before heading out.
Arriving at the American Airlines Theatre on 42nd Street, I filled in the registration papers and information that was needed. While waiting for the audition it was discovered that we would only be performing the theme song, A Whole New World. That had always been a favourite song of mine and had these ideas of performing the song but never had the opportunity to do it.
On stage, I had finished my audition when was a huge applause, more than the others had received. My voice and choregraphy had wowed everyone that much they even brought out the Producer, Kevin Richardson, who was playing Aladdin on stage.
“I’d like you two to perform it. See how it blends in.” John the Casting Director suggested. After Kevin and I did brief introductions we performed it, again with a huge round of applause. Auditions finished finally around 6pm after delays and the last minute fellow auditioners. Having limited money I grabbed something from local cafe before making my way back to JFK Airport for the flight back home to LA.
Wednesday lunchtime, eating lunch at my desk, slaving away, my phone rang. I had just been given the part of Jasmine. I had til Friday to get to New York, for rehearsals starting 9am Saturday morning. In 2 days I had quit my job, found a cheap run down apartment on the other side of Manhattan and flew over to New York. Majority of my think were put into storage.
I had no idea what to expect with musical productions. After all, 5 years in LA trying to make it. The first few days we mainly got to know each other and build a trust using exercises.
Cassie and I remained in contact every night and was so supportive of me, even reading lines with me over the phone or on the internet through messenger.
Two months into my life in New York, we had a rare weekend off. I had planned just to relax and go over the production. On the Saturday around lunch time, my phone time and found it strange it wasn’t Cassie.
“If you want to, would you like to come over and have dinner with me, Kristin, Mason and a few friends?” Kevin asked.
“Sure that would be great, thanks.” I replied. An hour later, I was pressing the doorbell on their apartment. Brian Littrell opened the door.
“Hey Brianna, how are ya? Come on in.” Brian said as if I had already met them.
“Thanks.” I replied following behind him. Going to the patio Kevin greeted me.
“Got here alright? I would have gotten Nick to come and get ya, but he’s hopeless driving in New York.” Kevin said.
“I’m not hopeless, just a bit cautious.” Nick Carter piped up.
“Nah, it’s all good.” I replied as I moved away from Kevin’s hug.
“Yo Alex, ya Aussie chick’s here.” Kristin called out.
“No way.” He replied coming outside with Mason running ahead.
“He liked ya from the moment he saw ya.” Howie Dorough added.
“Little did he know about how I knew it was you.” Kevin said.
Over lunch we talked about production, the guys new album coming out soon and the guys wanting to know more on me. Inside with Mason asleep, Kevin got a phone call – John. The look on Kevin’s face sensed something was wrong also giving me a cold shoulder which they noticed.
“Alright hun?” Kristin asked.
“Yeah fine.” I replied trying not to sound distracted as Kevin walked out of the room. Five minutes later, he walked out of a room, his expression, more concerning.
“Ah Brianna, we need to get to the theatre, urgent meeting.” Kevin said.
“What’s wrong?” Kristin asked getting up standing next to Kevin.
“I’ll tell you when I get back. Not sure what time.” He replied
“Take it easy man.” Alex said.
“Thanks, I’ll catch up with ya later guys. Brianna ya ready.” Kevin asked getting his car keys hugging Kristin.
“Bye, nice to meet ya.” I said as I walked out the door with Kevin.
Arriving at the theatre, ½ hour later, everyone was puzzled and confused. “We wanted to tell you all at once, face to face.” Peter the Director said.
“The investors in this production, had high hopes for this. We all had a risky gamble given the economic crisis globally. The money that was invested has gone. All of us production staff have lost money. This means we need to cancel the production.” James, the assistance Director continued.
We all couldn’t believe it. There were many in my situation. Packed up everything and moved to New York. There was only one thing I wanted to do – call Cassie. After saying goodbye to everyone, I made my way back to the apartment.
“You are leaving JFK tonight, 9pm” Cassie said when I told her.
“What you mean?” I asked.
“Check ya email. I just got you a return flight tonight for you. Girl as much as it sucks you gotta come back here and try again. New York wasn’t for ya. While you were talking, I made the reservation.” Cassie explained.
Packing my bags, I sent Kevin a text message saying thanks for everything and was heading back to LA that night. With no money to get a cab, I was getting to JFK by the subway. Opening the door to put the bags outside the door, I saw Alex standing in front of me.
“Kevin told me. I’m so sorry.” He said.
“Thanks. These things happen.” I replied, getting the final bag and shutting the door.
“Where you going?” Alex asked.
“JFK, 9pm flight.” I sighed.
“ Got ages even by New York standard.” He said.
“Not when ya going by subway.” I replied.
“I’ll take ya.” Alex offered.
“Thanks but I’ll be right. Beside don’t you have to be in the studio?” I asked as we walked down the stairs to the front of the block.
“Not for me, no. I was in Times Square chillin when Kev text me saying show was cancelled.” Alex replied.
Accepting his offer, we went to a cafe on 5th Ave he liked and he wasn’t bombarded by people.
“So what’s next for ya?” Alex asked as we ate dinner, burgers and fries.
“Start back Monday morning looking for work. Start from scratch. Daytime job, night – singing. Gotta be real about it.” I told him.
“Good plan. Get back on the horse straight away.” Alex said. At that moment the both of us said nothing. We had a moment where we looked into each others eyes, his hands on top of mine.
On our way to JFK, Alex got a call that he had to be in the studio. “Just drop me off, I’ll be fine.”I assured him.
“I feel bad.” Alex said.
“I understand. I appreciate what you have done tonight.” I assured him.
“I’ll give you a call tomorrow.” He promised me giving me a hug.
Arriving at LAX, the first person I saw was Cassie, holding a balloon for me, arms open for me. “It’s alright, it’s gonna be ok.” She told me.
Cassie and I were talking about preparing lunch a few hours later when my phone rang. “It’s Alex, I’ll fill you in when I get off the phone.” I said grabbing my phone.
“Hey sexy.” Alex answered.
“Hey you.” I giggled.
“How you doing? Take it you got back alright?” He asked.
“Yeah fine. Cassie and I are just catching up. How’d you go last night?” I replied.
“Hell, simple as that. Somehow the tracks were lost.” AJ informed me.
“Ouch, that sucks. How long that gonna take to re do again?” I asked.
“An extra day or so. Thank god the producers are here in town and free and studio most importantly.” Alex sighed.
“How long you going to be in NYC for?” I asked.
“Be another few days. Totally sucks.” He replied.
“I thought you liked NYC?” I said.
“Yeah I do like NYC but I wanna be home.” He told me.
“Know what you mean. While I liked New York, here for me LA is home. But I’ll always call Australia home.” I said.
“Can imagine. Hey I gotta get going. Guys and I doing something for You Tube. Check it out in an hour or so ok.” Alex said.
“No problem. Take it easy.” I replied.
“Love ya babe.” He said and hung up.
“Ok, what was all that about?” Cassie asked the minute I got off the phone.
“What? Don’t know what you are talking about.” I laughed.
“It’s Alex calling. Girl you hooked up. I wanna know all.” Cassie squealed. I filled her in on Alex without the fact that Alex/AJ was from Backstreet Boys. I didn’t want to let anything or anyone ruin anything.
Monday morning I began job hunting again, landed my old job back which was fantastic. Worked all week with my lunch hour going to clubs for auditions for open mic night sessions.
Collapsing on the sofa getting home from work before getting ready for a bar that night, Cassie and I caught up before she went to work. “I’ll take grocery money and do the groceries on the way home. You sleep in.” Cassie told me as she finished eating her dinner.
“Thanks, I’m sleeping to lunchtime get up and catch up on the laundry then go to the gig tomorrow night.” I replied.
“Free Sunday?” She asked.
“The girls from work and I are going to Santa Monica for the day, they wanna treat me.” I replied apologising.
“That ok, Sunday night, dinner?” She asked.
“Sounds great.” I replied
Arriving at the club, the manager asked for the CD, band cancelled last minute. Instead of 1 song I’d got 2 songs like everyone else. I was halfway on the program list so had the first half to prepare and come down, 2nd half to get over it. The 2 songs I was going to do – Inside Me, a song I wrote and produced and a cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girl’s Just Wanna Have Fun”. Before going backstage I could sense something was directly watching me but chose to ignore it. Backstage, got a text on my blackberry, from Alex, “break a leg.” It read.
I first performed Inside Me then did my 2nd number. Both got a big applause for. Getting back into the crowd, I checked my phone. “Were fantastic.” It was another text message from Alex. Before I had a chance to do anything Alex was standing in front of me.
“How did you know I was here?” I asked in shock as we hugged.
“I got contacts. Listen, the guys heard you as well and we want, well Nick mainly wants to talk to you. He’d come but if he came, 100 people would follow.” He replied.
“Now?” I asked.
“Yup come on.” He said taking my hand and leading out the door to an awaiting car.
“What’s going on? Why am I needed now?” I asked as I got in the car.
“I’ve been sworn to secrecy.” Alex replied.
“Any hints?” I asked.
“Nope.” He laughed.
Walking into the studio all the guys were there. Brian and Howie were in the booth with Nick at the control panel. “Sounds cool guys.” Nick told them.
“Guys B’s here.”Alex said.
“Surprise you did we?” Howie asked.
“Just a tad.” I laughed.
“Sorry about New York. Totally sucks.” Brian said.
“Hey that’s life. Just proves it wasn’t meant to be and something better would be coming soon. Roll with it.” I replied.
“How about now?” Nick asked.
“Sorry?” I replied puzzled.
“Kevin told us how good you are and tonight sealed the deal.” Nick said.
“Ok...” I replied slowly.
“Ya know how I got my own record label? Well I want you on it.” Nick said.
“Excuse me?” I asked shocked.
“I want you to do an album on my record label.” Nick said.
I couldn’t believe it. Shock. Disbelief. “Ya having me on. Right?” I laughed.
“Nope, no joke.” Nick laughed back.
“Oh my god. I can’t believe it.” I squealed.
“Here’s the thing. I aint got my own studio, per say. I’d be hiring this place. I know you don’t have a band but we can one of two ways. One I got some friends looking for a female lead or we could look for a band.” Nick suggested.
“Gee I don’t know. I really don’t know.” I replied.
“Relax babe, you don’t need to make a decision right here and now.” Alex said putting his arms around me.
“Paperwork aint even been done.” Brian said.
“At least sleep on it over the weekend.” Howie piped up.
“Something we can’t do. Back in we go.” Alex said.
For the next few hours I sat in the control room listening to them. Alex had that hidden spark. He seemed livelier than I had seen him in a while. 3am, they quit for the night. “Kid will want a feed.” Howie said.
“Mine got bball in the morning.” Brian yawned stretching his arms up in the air.
“My woman would be wondering where I am. Surprised call aint rung.” Nick said.
“Er Nick, it’s off.” Howie laughed.
“Never mind, mine was on.” Brian assured Nick.
We get downstairs and it’s just Alex and I alone. “Come on, I’ll take ya somewhere. Grab a bite to eat and all.” He said.
We stop off at a all night subway and get subway and go to one of the beach car park lookouts. Sitting on the park bench in front of the car huddled under a blanket we talk more about our albums.
“What kind of stuff do you want on there?” Alex asked me.
“A bit of everything. I want to be out there. Come out with a bang. Get people talking.” I replied.
“You don’t want it to be out there. Give people a wakeup call, sure.” He suggested.
“Oh yeah, I wasn’t going to go over the top.” I told him.
“Tell ya what, lemme talk to the guys, see if ya spend a few days with us. See what goes on.” Alex suggested.
“I thought you were done writing.”I asked.
“We aren’t. We wanna do a few more before deciding the final cut. We got all the writers and all but none of us are totally happy.” Alex replied.
“Bummer.” I added.
“Yeah I suppose so.” Alex laughed. For a few moments we were in silence.
Deep inside I had been dreaming of this all my life. Spending a morning at a beach nuggled up with someone I cared about. I wasn’t trying to let Alex know. “Ya right there?” He asked.
“Yup fine.” I smiled.
“Spill.” He said.
“It’s nothing, the early sun got to me.” I laughed.
“Nah doesn’t work with me.” He said.
“It’s corny, real corny.” I laughed.
“I’ll be the judge of that” Alex told me.
“It was this. What we’re doing now.” I said.
“Really?” Alex asked surprised.
“Yup, just sitting like this at the beach with a guy I like.” I told him.
“That’s cool.” He replied as he kissed me on my lips before we went into a deep and passionate kiss.
“Come on, get you home. You gotta rest up.” He spoke a few mins later.
Outside my apartment building we sat in the car for a few minutes. “You wanna come inside and meet Cassie?” I asked.
“Not just yet. Wanna keep a low profile. Soon though.” Alex replied putting a hand over mind.
“No worries.” I said as he leaned over and pecked me on the cheek.
I get inside and begin fuming. Cassie was asleep on the sofa in the lounge and no groceries done. She had promised. Wasn’t the first time either. With no food literally in the house, I went out and got breakfast. I wasn’t to give in to do the groceries. Having breakfast along one of the cafes opposite the beach, I saw some of the people from work and spend time with them not telling them anything of what was going to be happening with my life.
Opening the front door later that afternoon, Cassie still was in the same position on the sofa when I first saw her earlier in the day. I had enough. Cassie didn’t work enough hours to be this tired so I decided to do the next best thing.
“Cassie, wake up. It’s 4pm already. Get up will ya do something.” I snapped at her trying to tidy up the apartment.
“Huh? What?” She said half asleep.
“4pm Saturday. No groceries. I’ve worked my ass off this week. You promised you would me out Casssie.” I told her in no uncertain terms.
“After work, the guys and I went out for early breakfast. Guess lost track of time.” Cassie casually replied getting up from the sofa stretching her arms and yawning.
“And what about the groceries?” I asked.
“Ah yeah, see I forgot I had these things to pay at work to people, stuff I bought and then I loaned a few bucks to people...” Cassie began to explain.
“Damn it Cassie. When are you going to learn” I whined.
“I’m sorry ok. I’ll be getting paid Monday.” Cassie apologised.
“Well that’s all fine and dandy, Monday, but we are here Saturday with no food or anything and we only have $20 to last us til then. Here, get up and get these groceries, I want to see the receipt to.” I snapped finishing writing a shopping list giving her my $20.
“Fine, fine.” She groaned getting the list and money from me putting her shoes on and going out to get the groceries.
In my room I sorted out all my washing into sections before going out and starting to wash my clothes. While Cassie was gone, I sent a text message to my friends saying that something had come up and couldn’t make it to the markets. Least I had the day to sleep in and catch up on things.
Monday morning I went and saw my manager about everything. I wanted him to know what was going on before anyone else knew.
“Naturally I would want you to be my lawyer.” I told Ross.
“No worries, it’s ok. Do their management and legal team know you are here on a visa and need sponsoring?” Ross asked.
“Alex is talking to them today and they will be getting back to me and to you also. They know the situation and fully aware of it.” I replied.
“No worries, I don’t think there will be a problem. I will call the temp agency, get someone in and you can train them as you know what’s going on and stuff and take it from there. You will always have a job here.” Ross said as he got out of his chair.
“Thanks. I just feel bad for coming and going back and forth.” I apologised.
“This is LA.” He laughed.
Getting home from work late Monday night, I knew Cassie would be at work so I was hoping that she would have done the groceries...or the place tidied up at least. When I walked in, the place was tidy to some extent but no groceries. There was instead, a note left on the fridge with money on top.
“Didn’t have time to get groceries. Pay was late coming in and got called into work earlier than normal. Grab some take out and I will bring groceries in.” It read.
“Yeah right.” I mumbled.
Sitting on the sofa having Chinese for dinner writing some songs, my phone rang.
“Hey wassup?” Nick said when I answered.
“Not much just having dinner chilling out. What about you and the guys?” I asked.
“Just going over some stuff. Wanna come on over and spend a couple of hours with us? Lauren is here and wanting female company.” Nick said.
“Am not!” I heard Lauren laugh in the background.
“Yeah alright sure. Be there in about 20 alright?” I told him.
Driving into the car park, Alex met me. “You would have had trouble getting in, no car park people here and all.” He said as I got out of the car and we hugged each other.
“It’s cool.” I replied, taking his hand and walked into the studio.
Getting into the studio, everyone gave me hugs and stuff. “What’s wrong?” Howie asked?
“Nothin, what makes ya say that?” I replied as I sat in between Alex and Brian.
“You don’t seem alright.” Brian added.
“I’m fine, just fine, no need to worry about me. So what ya been up to?” I assured him.
“Been cooped up here all day long.” Alex whined resting his head on my shoulder.
“Awww poor you. I’ve been stuck in the office all day long with deadlines and stuff. Had my lunch at my desk in between meetings.” I laughed.
“Did you talk to ya boss?” Howie asked.
“Yeah I did. He doesn’t seem as though it will be a problem. Just gotta do extra paperwork as I’m on the visa and stuff like that. As long as your legal team and all know it’s fine.” I replied.
“Kewl. I didn’t think it would be much of a problem. Especially since you work in legal.” Nick said.
“Yeah, damn laws.” I laughed. For the next few hours we just hung out listening and talking about the songs of what we thought and stuff for the album.
Leaving the studio about midnight, Alex and I made arrangements to have breakfast before I started work at 9am. “I’ll pick you up, surprise ya and take ya to work and all. When ya finish, ya here in the studio.” Alex said.
“I’m what?” I asked shocked.
“Oh, we forgot to tell ya did we? Oops! Well, tomorrow afternoon, Nick wants to have some time with ya. He isn’t recording tomorrow and gonna work on some stuff for ya. That ok?” Alex mentioned.
“Ok, no worries.” I laughed and got in my car.
Alex picked me up just before 7.30am and I was ready at 7am as I was still an earlier riser no matter what time I went to bed and he took me to Literati Cafe in Brentwood for breakfast. “So what you gonna do about your job? Going to quit your job and start the music?” Alex asked as we had our fruit juice.
“Not until I know that everything is official and all. I have stopped and started jobs too many times over the years thinking I had something and then it backfired on me.” I replied.
“You know everything is going to be fine don’t ya? We’ve been through hell ourselves with the managing and stuff and we wouldn’t do it to anyone else.” Alex said.
“Yeah I know, I just don’t want to take advantage and everything. I want this to be right for all of us.” I replied.
“It’s ok, it’s cool.” Alex smiled at me putting his hand out.
At work I was introduced to the new temp and took her through the procedures we do and let her do some work to get her into the groove of things so there wouldn’t be any problems. I had good a good feeling about this new girl, Sarah. She had a good idea of what I was talking about with the legal terminology and that she didn’t ask too much questions.
“There can be times where you do have days where you have a million things to do at once and all due at the same time. What I have learnt is that you can get anyone to help you. If you are unsure about something and its for a manager, ask the assistant manager not the admin team. One thing they stipulate here. If they are on a call, email them, they will email ASAP. Never be afraid to ask questions, even if its as simple as, how many copies of this page do you want me to print?” I explained to Sarah as we were going through the induction of her employment at the law firm.
“How come are you leaving?” Sarah asked.
“I’ve been given a career opportunity and this is my chance to grab it. I have been dreaming of this for years and this is my break, hopefully to make it in the world.” I replied.
“Where abouts you going to?” She asked.
“I rather not say at this stage but here’s hoping you will know in a while.” I replied as I was grabbing some folders off the shelf and went back to our desk.
Finishing work at 7pm, Sarah long gone, Alex met me at the front of the building. “Gee, feel weird being in here. Underdressed.” Alex commented as he met up with me.
“Ya fine. Some come in with jeans and shirt at times and they work here.” I laughed.
“How was work?” He asked as we got into his car.
“Work is work. Haha. Nah it was alright. The chick that is taking after me is pretty good. She is experienced and she knows what we are going on about. It won’t be long before she has my job down pact and breezing through it.” I said.
“Your just too good.” He laughed.
“Ya just saying that.” I giggled.
Arriving at the studio, all the guys were there, in the dining room deciding what food to have. “It’s just us here so thought we would do something different.” Howie said.
“We got Sushi, pizza, Thai, ah, what else?” Nick commented looking around.
“Oh and we got these.” Alex said opening the bag he brought in with us, chicken and fries.
“Dig in.” Brian said grabbing a plate and grabbin some food with his fingers.
“Why didn’t ya tell me?” I whined at Alex hitting him on the arm jokingly.
“Slipped my mind?” Alex smiled.
“Yeah yeah whatever.” I laughed as he pulled me in towards him and he kissed me.
“Woooooo.” Brian went and laughed as Alex and I pulled our lips apart.
“Get a room will ya! Some of us are trying to eat here!” Nick whined as he put some Sushi in his mouth.
“Never mind them.” Howie said.
Alright, so have you decided what you wanna do? Go through the hiring process of trying the band or check out my guys?” Nick asked as we went in one of the “chill out rooms”.
“You told them about my music and stuff like that?” I asked.
“Yup sure have, they are on board and stuff. They have had a few gigs and stuff but nothing to set them off to fame and all, they would like something stable and all. I can organise to have them here in a few if you want me to.” Nick explained.
“Yeah that’ll be cool. If you have them lined up and ya say they are good and all, I trust ya.” I replied.
“Cool.” Nick said as he got out his cell phone and made the phone call.
Within the hour I was meeting David (drummer), Ben (bass), Steven (guitar), Mark (backing vocals), Bec (backing vocals) and Marty (keyboard). They brought some CD’s over and some DVD’s of their gigs of what have they had been doing.
“I’m liking what I see. How long you guys been together for?” I asked them.
“Well David and Bec have been together since day 1, they are brother and sister. Ben been around for about 4 years, Steven 7 years, Mark 1 year and me Marty been for a few months now.” Marty replied.
“We were talking as we were coming here, about having a few songs and that together and all. From your sound of music and what Nick has said, this might be alright.” David suggested.
“Don’t believe everything Nick says.” Bec said.
“THANKS!” Nick laughed
“Na, nah, it’s cool. Yeah that’ll be alright. When you want to do it?” I asked.
“How about now?” Ben asked looking around at each of us.
“Yeah cool with me bro.” Nick replied. We all followed Nick into a studio and got prepared and all.
“What ya wanna do?” Mark asked.
“You know the song, Can’t Fight The Moonlight?” I asked.
“Sure do! I love that song!?” Bec replied. While we tuned up our instruments and warmed up our voices Nick was hanging around standing from a distance.
As the music started I got into the groove. They were playing so well. I liked it.
“Under a lovers sky, gonna be with you and no one’s gonna be around.” I began to sing. Just like in the movie and the video clip I moved around in the video clip and so did the others. I was feeling right. We all clicked.
At the end of the song there was a round of applause that was LOUD.
“You were smoking hot!” Alex said.
“Awesome!” Howie commented.
“Fantastic.” Brian said.
“YES!” Nick finally said. I looked around at Ben, David, Bec, Marty and Mark and they were impressed at how well.
“Not even we could get like that at first. You sure you haven’t met each other in the past?” Howie asked.
“I don’t know man, but I know what I like.” Nick said as he and the guys walked in more into the room.
“Dude! Please say yes. That was electrifying!” Alex begged coming over to me putting his arms around me.
“It’s all up to Brianna.” Nick replied, all eyes looking at me.
“It’s a yes then.” I said.
Getting home around midnight, things looked different. There were more cars than normal around our apartment block instead of the normal 10 or so cars in the parking lot. There were that many cars I had to park out on the street which I hadn’t done before. Walking into the block, lights were flashing and there was commotion going on and tape blocking the stair way, police tape.
“Can I help you Mam?” A Police officer asked.
“What’s going on?” I replied confused of what was happening looking up at the apartment door open, police going in and out.
“I’m afraid I cannot give you any information. I’m going to have to ask you to leave.” He said his hand gesturing for me to leave.
“But I live in that apartment. I live with Cassie.” I told him.
“Have you got some proof of identification?” He asked.
“Sure.” I replied going into my purse and showing him my drivers licence.
“Ms Day I’m afraid that Ms Stevens is helping us in regards to several matters. As you live with her, I would like you to accompany this officer to the Police Station to answer some questions to help the investigation.” The officer replied, a hand raising up to get a fellow officer to come over to me.
I didn’t make a fuss, I followed the officer to an awaiting police car and went to the precinct with him. “I would like to contact my lawyer.” I asked as I was taken into a interview room.
“Why would you like to call your lawyer? Have you done anything?” The officer asked.
“I would feel comfortable if I had a legal representative.” I replied.
“Ok.” The officer replied.
About ½ hour later Ross arrived. “Have you said anything?” He asked as he sat down next to me.
“Only that I live with Cassie.” I replied.
“Good, good on you.” Ross said.
The police officer and another police officer sat opposite us and began their questions.
“Can you please state your relationship with Ms Stevens please?” The first officer asked.
“I am her roommate. I have lived with her for just on 6 years.” I replied.
“How did you come to live with Ms Day?” The second officer asked.
“I was working at a restaurant where she was working and we became friends that way.” I answered.
“How long have you worked at that restaurant for?” The second one asked.
“I was there for 1 year before obtaining employment at the legal firm where I am currently. Mr Ross Slater is my lawyer.” I replied.
“Your boss is your lawyer?” The first one asked.
“Ms Stevens is currently in the process of leaving our company to work for a music company to set up her music career. Very good prospects. Myself and her employers legal team are in the process of organising the legal aspects. As I am sure you are aware, Ms Stevens is from Australia and has sponsorship from myself. We are transferring the sponsorship over to the new music company.” Ross stated to the officers.
“Have you always lived in Santa Monica with Ms Day?” Asked the second officer.
“Before my client answers any questions, why is she being asked questions?” Ross asked.
“Ms Day has been arrested for drug dealings and murder.” The first officer told me.
“WHAT???” I shrieked.
“You had no idea?” The second officer asked.
“No, no idea whatsoever. If I had any idea I would have mentioned something.” I answered.
“How has Ms Day been of late?” I was asked.
“I have to admit that she has been moody. We work different hours, she works at night, I used to work mainly during the day but I have been working into the night, into the early hours of the morning.” I explained.
“Such as?” The second officer asked.
“Well a few weeks ago, I gave her money to go and great groceries on our budget on her way home from work and she didn’t have any money or brought groceries. She said that she was having to pay off for some things at work and pay people off. That’s all I know.” I stated.
“How has her mood been of late?” The first officer asked.
“Very moody, snapping at me when I asked her something.” I replied.
Finally being allowed out of the police station having signed paperwork, Ross drove me home. “Thank you so much. I didn’t want to jeopardise anything. “ I said.
“You did the right thing. Personally I don’t want you staying here tonight, not alone. Have you got anywhere where you can stay?” He asked.
“I suppose I could stay at Alex’s.” I replied as he drove into the apartment block. Getting out of the car, Alex was standing at the bottom of the stairs.
“What happened? What’s going on? I have been so worried about you!” Alex exclaimed putting his arms around me.
“I’ve been at the Police Station since I got home. Cassie has been arrested for murder and drugs.” I told him.
“WHAT?” Alex exclaimed.
“It’s ok. I was with her. She called me. I’ve advised her to get some of her things and stay somewhere for a while.” Ross said.
“You’re staying at my place. You’ll be right.” Alex told me.
“I can’t. No.” I answered.
“Where will you go?” Alex asked.
“I would advise you to go with Alex. It would be wise.” Ross said.
“I got security and everything. You’ll be safe.” Alex told me.
“Take tomorrow off, Sarah will be right. Give her a chance to work on her own.” Ross suggested.
Going in the apartment it felt weird. “Have you got much stuff? I would take as much as we can and come back another time.” Alex asked.
“Not all that much. Some stuff is in storage, mainly just clothes and papers.” I replied trying to walk in my room to pack a bag.
“Want me to get some things?” He asked coming into my room.
“I can do my clothes, just whatever you can get and all.” I sighed.
“It’ll be alright. Everything will be ok.” Alex tried to assure me.
Half an hour later we are arrive at his place. I had never been to his place so I didn’t know what to expect. “Our places are almost like the Whitehouse, so secure it’s not funny. If a fly comes through here, it doesn’t get out.” Alex told me as we got out of the car.
We get inside and I drop my bag. His place is so big. All of the apartments could have fitted in and still have room. From the front door, the lounge room is to the left, entertainment room to the right, kitchen and dining room to the backyard straight ahead with the bedrooms up the spiral staircase. “You ok?” He asked.
“Yeah I suppose.” I replied. He gently took me by the hand and my bag in his other hand and lead me up the spiral staircase, with various prints on the wall of photos and movie prints.
“Have one of the rooms here, ya own bathroom, the works.” Alex said as we got up to the top of the staircase and pointed to the rooms around on the top floor. I took one that was next to his bedroom.
“Why so many rooms?” I asked.
“Seems crazy doesn’t it? I don’t know. Every so often the guys all come here after we have finished at the studio as I’m closer and its good for when Leighanne and everyone come here to LA. The other guys have the same thing. At the moment Baylee is loving spending time at Nick’s place when he and Leighanne are here in LA with Brian.” Alex explained ending with a laugh.
“Hehe that would be cute” I said.
“Yeah.” Alex said as we sat on the bed.
“Thanks for this. I owe ya.” I told him.
“It’s cool.” He replied putting his arms around me.
Next morning when I woke up, Alex was gone but left me a note on the kitchen bench.
“I’ve had to go into the studio as you would know. I gotta do some work on the songs, do what you want to do. Chill, do whatever. Call me when ya up. I will have my phone on but one of the guys will answer if I can’t. Something we all do. Love ya A.” It read. I took a few mins to try and come to terms with what had happened in the last 12 hours before I went upstairs to the bathroom and had a shower.
When I finally called around lunchtime, Brian answered the phone.
“You alright? Anything we can do?” He asked.
“Thanks but I’ll be alright. How’s Alex?” I replied.
“He’s alright, worried about you, I will admit that but AJ is just AJ.” Brian replied.
“Hey Bri, its Nick, you ok girl? Ya gonna come and hang out with us?” Nick got on the phone.
“Yeah I am alright thanks. I might come over later on alright.” I replied.
“No worries. I just don’t want ya on ya own that’s all.” Nick told me.
“I’ll be alright, trust me.” I laughed.
“That’s my Aussie gal.” Nick said.
“How’s things down at the studio?” I asked.
“Yeah they are going alright. So far so good but ya never know what might happen haha.” Nick laughed.
“Hey sexy, how my favourite girl?” I heard Alex.
“Yeah ok. Woke up not so long ago and just got dressed and stuff and thought would give you a call.” I replied.
“Sweet. Want me to come and pick you up and bring ya back here?” He asked.
“Oh ok. If ya must. Nick wants me down there to.” I sighed.
“I love the Aussie accents.” Nick called out.
“I’ll pick ya up in about ½ hour alright.” Alex told me.
True to his word, he picked me up within the half hour. He drove right up to the door that I thought he was going to bring the car into the house. “Talk about pick up at the door.” I joked.
“Well I said I would pick u up at the door.” He laughed as I got in, then he put his arms around me and we shared a quick kiss before he drove off to the studio.
“What’s been happening?” I asked.
“Not much really, the guys were wondering about ya. They know the basics. I didn’t know if you wanted them to know everything. That’s up to you. If anything, Nick should be aware and stuff for when you get gigs. While I was waiting like crazy last night, I was thinking about getting ya a bodyguard or something for you. Now I am thinking you definitely would need one. I will even employ one myself.” Alex replied.
“No, you don’t need to do all that. No bodyguards or anything. I want to live my life as normal as possible. I need to remain normal. Please Alex, don’t do it. I’ll be fine.” I pleaded.
“Bri, were you there last night? Your apartment was trashed! Cassie was arrested for murder and drugs possession, you are in a difficult position. Not many people know but you will know now, but the girls and even the kids have one.” Alex said.
“But I haven’t seen them around, well from the pics I have seen and stuff, before I met you .” I said.
“They are there. Just female ones. Don’t wanna start speculation. For the kids they are Nannies and bodyguards.” Alex informed me.
“We’ll see.” I replied slowly, turning away from him looking out the window.
Arriving at the studio, I got out of the car first, then Alex did and we went upstairs to where the guys were. “Ok...what happened on the way here?” Howie asked, noticing the tension between Alex and I.
“Nothing, it’s all good.” I replied as he came over to hug me.
“Spill. NOW!” Brian said.
“Just a difference of opinion. We’ll be right. Won’t we?” Alex told him as Alex stood next to me and put a hand around my back.
“Yeah fine.” I quietly answered as we all sat down around the control deck, me sitting next to Howie not wanting to look at Alex.
“You doing alright now Bri? When AJ told us what happened last night/this morning, we couldn’t believe it. We are so sorry.” Nick said.
“What’s there to be sorry about? I did nothing. I just lived with a roommate who I thought was my best friend here in the USA, my only friend here in the US until I came across Alex. Then I find out from the cops that she is up for drugs and murder charges. Welcome to America!” I replied.
“Bri, now come on.” Alex said.
“What is going on? Really?” Brian asked.
“I’m being told I need a bodyguard. I don’t want one.” I snapped.
“I’m saying she needs one, especially with the last 24 hours and all.” Alex said.
“You aren’t the boss of me. You can’t tell me what to do.” I told him.
“Guys, guys, guys, take a break.” Howie interjected.
“I wasn’t one for bodyguards at first but they are alright.” Nick spoke up.
“I don’t want one now, that’s all. I just don’t feel I have to. I want to try and keep my life as normal.” I told him.
“We understand that. Believe us when we say that we do. We want normal lives, but anyone close to us who spends time with or whatever, needs some protection. In some places where we tour we can’t go out at all. Not even down to the lobby!” Howie said.
“Listen, you still are trying to take everything in, its only natural, ya safe here, just chill here alright.” Nick told me as he knelt down in front of me.
“I’m sick of chillin!” I screamed and ran out of the building.
3 MONTHS LATER....
“Ms Angeles, I am from the Department of Justice. Here is a summons of your request to appear at the Los Angeles Superior Court in regards to the case of Ms Day.” A District Attorney said handing me a piece of paper.
It had been 3 months since I ran out on the guys, on my life. The only person I called was Ross in case he needed to call me. I told him that I wasn’t living at Alex’s anymore, he advised me that he had received information about the case with Cassie. He picked me up in a secret location and took me to a secret location of where he told me where I would be living. I was going to be in witness protection. Cassie’s “friends” were known to cause trouble and he informed me my life was in danger. Severe danger.
I was given a whole new identity and relocated to Tampa Bay. I was not to let anyone know of where I would be or anything. Ross was going to handle everything for me. Only Ross and the Department of Immigration knew where I was. My visa was extended on special circumstances because of the court case and I would be granted American Citizenship in exchange for my testimony. I felt bad for doing what I had done.
Ringing Ross, I informed him of what happened. “I had a feeling it would be happening soon. I have been making arrangements for when you to come here. I am flying down to Tampa a few days before the trial to let you know what is happening.” Ross informed me.
“Do you know how Alex and everyone is?” I asked.
“You know I can’t tell you that. Alex is still asking for you, everyone is.” Ross replied, tears welling up in my eyes.
“You don’t think...” I began to ask.
“We’ll see. I can’t promise anything.” Ross cut in knowing what I was going to say.
“Please?” I begged.
My life in Tampa was alright. It felt weird living in Tampa Bay, knowing that I could have driven past Nick or anyone, knowing that he had a house here and came here every so often. I was working as an administrative assistant for a radio station at 93.3 FLZ Tampa Bay. I had a few days warning of who was going to be on and stuff. The friends I had were jealous of where I was working, seeing all the music and movie stars, getting free passes to events, etc.
This one day, I was working away, typing away minding my own business when one of the morning DJ’s came and told me to make accommodation reservation for someone tomorrow night. “Who for? What kind of accommodation do you want?” I asked
“Nick Carter, he is co-hosting with me tomorrow.” Brent replied. My body froze.
“Doesn’t he live here?” Amanda another assistant asked.
“Yeah but his place is under renovations or something. Told me when I was talking to him a few minutes ago. I said we would hook him up with somewhere to crash. He knows that my place is a mad house with the kids and all and with the mother in law from hell.” Brent explained.
“Ok.” I replied getting on the phone to organise accommodation for Nick.
Finishing work, switching off my light and computer, I heard Brent leaving his office. “See ya tomorrow Lisa. Thanks for organising the hotel for Nick. He’ll love it.” Brent said.
“No worries. Enjoy your night.” I replied politely not wanting to let on.
“Yo! Brent, ya here?” I heard a familiar voice. Nick Carter.
“Yeah just leaving now man. Ah! Crap. Nick, come up here man, in my office. Just gotta handle something.” Brent said as he went back into his office. I panicked.
“Brianna?” Nick asked puzzled. He noticed me. I froze. He discovered me after my new hairstyle, my now American accent, my clothing look.
“I’m sorry?” I replied.
“Brianna, it’s me Nick.” He said.
“I think you might have me confused with someone Mr Carter. Mr Conway has said you can go into his office.” I replied gesturing him into Brent’s office.
“What? Bri, its Nick! We have been worried about ya like crazy!” Nick said.
“My name is Lisa.” I replied. Confused Nick went into Brent’s office scratching his head.
I left work immediately, raced home and locked all the doors and called Ross. “I just saw Nick.” I panicked.
“He what???” Ross freaked out.
“What do I do?” I asked.
“I can’t believe he saw you, he seriously recognised you!” Ross exclaimed.
“Ross, help me. He is here in Tampa overnight co-hosting with Brent in the morning.” I told him.
“Ok, don’t worry. Stay home, only answer to me. Pretend you aren’t at home. Your car is in the garage isn’t it?” He said.
“Yeah it is.” I replied.
Ok, I will call Brent now, I will explain that you won’t be in tomorrow morning and that you need to lay low for a bit. If Nick asks Brent about you, I will tell Brent to tell him something.” Ross told me.
“He can get confused with people sometime, especially if he hasn’t seen them in a while. I’m just hoping Brent will convince him.” I replied worried.
All night I stayed up unable to sleep. I panicked. What would Nick do? If he told Alex that I was here in Tampa, Alex would be on the next plane out or have private investigators out here. I couldn’t run away again, not without Ross knowing. What would Nick say? If Nick was definitely positive it were me, he would be on the phone straight away.
I must have fallen asleep just after dawn as the next thing I knew, my phone was ringing, Ross.
“Well?” I asked when I answered the phone.
“Nick is adamant that it is you. Brent is in a difficult position. He finally convinced Nick to let it go.” Ross said.
“Nick would call Alex, regardless. Alex will be out here by morning hunting me down. He has stared into my eyes. He knows my facial features. He will know when he sees me straight away.” I panicked.
“I knew this would happen.” Ross said taking a deep breath.
“What?” I asked.
“If you say that Alex will definitely know you, I guess we will have no choice. I think we should only let Alex know. Maybe Nick. Do you think the others will be ok with just Nick and Alex seeing you?” Ross replied.
“Nope. I haven’t known them for that long, just under a year and I think that it won’t happen. Cause trouble between them and from what I have been reading and know, they are about to go on tour soon and I don’t want to cause trouble.” I said.
“Ok, I will make arrangements for just Alex, Nick, Brian and Howie. No one else. I know you have the other band members but they will have to deal with it.” Ross replied. Tears streamed down my face.
“Thankyou.” I cried.
“Let me organise things and I will get back to you.” Ross told me.
By dinnertime, it was arranged that we would all meet up at the Grand Hyatt in Tampa Bay the following morning in a private hotel room with security surrounding. Ross made the arrangements for no one to be near the level below our hotel room and no one around while we were going to be there. Ross would pick me up before sunrise and whisk me away.
Waiting in the hotel alone, I wondered what I would say. The last thing I said to the guys wasn’t good, I was fighting with them. I didn’t know what was going to happen. Were they going to hate me? Were they wanting to get in contact with me to dump me or something? All these thoughts were going through my mind, when Ross text me and said he was coming in.
“They are here. They are outside waiting. I filled them in on what has been happening. They are just wanting to see you.” Ross told me.
“Can I see Alex first?” I whispered, trying to hold my tears inside. Ross nodded and he went outside the hotel room. My heart started to beat a million beats a second, feeling sick inside.
Moment of truth...the door slowly moved ajar. There stood Alex, no glasses or anything on, to me that was strange. His face was full of hope, relief. I just stood there in the middle of the room wondering what he would do.
“Thank god you’re alright!” He cried.
“I’m sorry!” I cried back as we held onto each other tight. We just didn’t let go. We clung onto each other for so long.
“You ok?” He asked through his tears.
“Now I am. I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean what I said before I left. It has been on my mind ever since I walked out. I couldn’t...” I rambled.
“Sshh! It’s alright. It’s ok.” He whispered.
One by one they all came in, Nick, Howie, Brian. I had never seen 4 grown men cry so much in all my life and I had been around. Once we all calmed down and all, Ross came back in the room. “Now for what happens...” He said.
“Ross, can you hold this off for a bit? Please?” I begged.
“Yeah ok. I’ll leave you to it. I got things to check on.
“If you knew how bad I felt...” I began to say as we all sat down on the couches near the windows, the grey curtains shut as per the request was made by Ross, Alex wanting me to sit on his lap not wanting to let me go, his arms holding me tight.
“The main thing is that you are here. You are here safe, and back with us.” Howie said cutting me in.
“Not even the girls or anyone knows we are back in touch with you.” Brian told me.
“What did you say to everyone about coming here?” I asked.
“I just said I wanted to stay here longer. Everyone knows I wanna stay here longer. When Lauren isn’t here with me and I come here, she tends to know that I hang around. She hates it, but what can ya do?” Nick laughed.
“We told the girls that we gotta fly down to Florida for promo at last minute. They were fine with that. Always are.” Brian told me.
“What about with the band and that for me?” I asked.
“I’ve just said to them that you had to go out of town for personal reasons. They pestered but I told them to quit it or else.” Nick told me.
“And when Nick says that, or else, he means it!” Howie exclaimed.
“Only for those I care about the most.” Nick added defending himself, giving me a wink.
“Uh oh. The Nick Carter wink.” Brian laughed.
“The Nick Carter wink?” Nick said.
You’ve heard about the Nick Carter wink, right Bri?” Alex asked me.
“What is this Nick Carter wink?” Nick freaked out. That brought us all into fits of laughter.
“You want to explain from a fan’s point of view?” Howie asked me.
“Ok, ok. The Nick Carter wink is when you wink, all the fans go crazy even more for you. They cry, they faint, they scream, begging for you to do it again.” I told Nick.
“WHAT! Ya serious!” Nick shrieked.
“Even Kevin knows!” Brian laughed.
“Oh god! Is it that bad?” Nick asked.
“Let me put it this way. You could stand up on stage, no one around ya, with only female fans, say nothing and do nothing only just wink and they will still scream and stuff.” Alex laughed.
“It’s true.” I giggled.
“You all know that when I come back to LA that I will have to go into hiding again, while the trial is on and all.” I asked a short time later.
“Yeah we do. Ross filled us in.” Howie replied as we sat around the dining table having dinner.
“On everything?” I asked looking around at the guys.
“Yes everything. Babe it’s alright, just relax.” Alex tried to reassure me.
“So while you have been here, what have you heard about us?” Brian asked.
“I have been hearing and seeing what has been out in the press. I haven’t been totally out of this world you know. Just Brianna has. Lisa has been here. I’ve heard the music, seen the interviews, been like a real fan. Just not in the way I was before Lisa arrived.” I assured him.
“That would have sucked!” Nick said.
“Don’t get me started. It was hard at first but I got there.” I replied.
“If it’s any consolation, you are incredible. I don’t think any of us could have done what you have done. Especially Nick.” Howie said.
“What is this? Why is everyone having a go at me?” Nick whined.
“It’s true. You couldn’t handle being a whole new identity, new life, new everything.” Brian told him.
“Sometimes I wish it could happen.” Nick sighed.
“We all do, but this is our life now.” Alex said.
As the guys left later that night, they all gave me big hugs before leaving Alex and I alone. We just wanted a few minutes to ourselves. “I wanted to tell you alone as it would only be us to know.” I said.
“What’s that?” Alex asked standing in front of me, brushing my hair away from my face.
“I haven’t been with anyone.” I told him.
“If you had, it would have been alright. You had to live a different life.” Alex replied.
“I couldn’t do that to you. After how I left...” I said.
“Sshh! It’s ok. I understand. Remember that is in the past.” Alex whispered pulling me closer in tight.
“When this is all over...” I began to say.
“When this is all over, we can continue where we left off.” Alex cut in before he kissed me on my neck moving up towards my lips, giving me a deep and meaningful kiss, making me feel weak in the knees. This was what I wanted. Then a gentle knock on the door.
“I don’t want you to go...” I whispered.
“It won’t be forever. I swear.” Alex said as he slowly parted from me. “I love you.” He added as he walked out the door. Once he was gone, I ran to the bed and cried my heart out.
“You knew it was only for today.” Ross reminded me.
“I know. I knew it would be hard but not this hard.” I cried, wiping my tears away.
“We better get going, get you back home.” Ross said. Getting up, he put a arm behind me and helped me to the awaiting car downstairs in the carpark.
LONG CHAPTER THIS!
A few weeks had passed and I was back in Los Angeles, morning of my testimony . I was ready to confront Cassie. I had been offered to be screened off but I wanted to face Cassie. Ross advised me not to, but I had to do this. I wanted to look Cassie in the eye and I wanted her to do the same to me. I had wanted some kind of apology from this, even though it felt selfish but she had ruined the last 4 months of my life. Four horrible months ...
Finishing getting dressed, putting on my jacket, the hotel room door knocked once. That was to tell me that the security guards were ready to escort me to the car to go to court. There was going to be a car either side of me, in front and behind me. I felt this was way too much for me but from what I had heard about Cassie and the people she was associated with, this was the minimum security I needed. It felt like I was the President of the United States of America.
Walking in the court room, Ross guided me in to where I would be sitting. I would be first up to testify.
“Can you please state your relationship with Ms Stevens please?” The District Attorney asked.
“I was her roommate. I had lived with her for just on 6 years.” I replied.
“How did you come to live with Ms Day?” The District Attorney Johnson asked.
“I was working at a restaurant where she was working and we became friends that way.” I answered.
“How long have you worked at that restaurant for?” Johnson asked.
“I was there for 1 year before obtaining employment at the legal firm where I was until the incident happened.” I replied.
“Wasn’t your lawyer, Ross Thistle your employer at that time? Johnson asked.
“He was my employer at the time yes.” I answered.
“Only seems natural that your former employer to become your Lawyer. Why did you leave your lawyer’s law firm? A music contract is that right? Johnson asked.
“Yes that is correct. Outside of my job at the law firm, I was doing some singing at nightclubs and bars. I am a singer. In between music acts, I befriended someone and eventually landed a music contract.” I informed him.
“Have you always lived in Santa Monica with Ms Day?” Asked Johnson.
“Apart from the few months I was New York, yes.” I replied.
“Why were you in New York for?” Johnson asked.
“Objection your honour...Relevance?” Ross interjected.
“I’ll allow it.” Judge Masters answered.
“Ms Day was Ms Stevens supportive of your music career?” Johnson asked.
“Yes she was.” I replied.
“She brought you back to Los Angeles from New York when your job failed. That right?” Johnson asked.
“Yes.” I answered.
“Did Ms Stevens provide for you when you weren’t financially able to when you arrived back from New York?” Johnson continued.
“For a certain period.” I replied.
“Which period was that?” Johnson asked.
“The first few days back.” I answered.
“Did my client, show any signs of drug use, use drugs in your presence?” He asked.
“No, she didn’t.” I answered.
“Did my client show any signs of killing someone?” Johnson asked.
“Your honour. My client is not a medical professional. She cannot answer that. As you can see in the briefs upon you and Ms Day’s legal team, my client did not have any idea what was going on. I don’t see why we have to go through this.” Ross cut in.
“I’m fully aware of that Mr Thistle but we need to answer these questions.” Just Masters interjected.
“Ms Day, did my client show any aggression to you, physical?” Johnson continued.
“No she did not.” I replied looking directly into Johnson’s eyes.
“Are you only testifying because you are an Australian Citizen on a working visa that is due to expire and that you were told that you would be granted American Citizenship if you testified.” Johnson asked.
“Objection.” Ross said.
“Overruled. I will allow Mr Johnson to continue.” Judge Masters answered.
“No.” I answered.
“No? But you are on a working visa for here in Australia? You were given an extension on your visa for your testimony.” Johnson asked.
“Yes...” I began to reply
“Yes what? Yes you are overstaying your visa and that you are only here as you want to stay in America and have the fame like millions of other people do?” Johnson asked.
“No, no.” I stammered.
“Get your facts straight Ms Day.” Mr Johnson snapped walking off back to his desk.
“Your Honour, Mr Johnson is badgering Ms Day. He is making her twist her words.” Ross called out.
“Ms Day, please state to us what is the situation arising from your visa?” Judge Masters asked.
“I am here on a working visa. My visa was due to expire in a month or so and was going to renew it, apply for an extension but then this all happened. I was offered to get American Citizenship.” I told the court.
“And what if this situation didn’t occur and you extension was not granted? “ Johnson spoke up moving closer towards me.
“I would have understood and if I were to be deported, I wouldn’t have made a fuss.” I answered.
“Even though you had this music contract and a partner? If worse case scenario would you have married your partner?” Johnson asked.
“I would have not tricked my partner into marrying me.” I told him.
“But what about your contract with the music?” Johnson asked.
“I am sure arrangements would have been made for me in Australia.” I replied.
I had a full on day of grilling by Johnson. I still had to have Ross cross examine me. I knew the day would be tiring but I didn’t expect it to be that tiring that when I got back to the hotel room, I sat in the chair to unwind and watch TV before doing something for dinner that I fell asleep within a few minutes and didn’t wake up til the next morning with Ross calling me.
“I know I was tired that I went for a nap but didn’t realise I slept that long.” I told him as he came into my hotel room door.
“It would be all the stress that Johnson put you through. I had heard about how he can tough, but geesh! I didn’t realise how bad.” Ross said.
“It’s ok. Gimme 15 and I will have a shower and dress and we’ll be right.” I replied.
In court, it wasn’t that bad, less pressure. Ross was going to be asking me questions and we had rehearsed on what we going to say and respond tone wise and how I should react. I would only be on the stand for the morning and just after lunch and then I would be free. Free until the verdict was going to be delivered when I wanted to be in court to witness it.
Johnson objected to nearly every second question but was overruled and Ross was allowed to continue. Cassie had made comment about things but Judge Masters pulled her up reminding her that she could be held in contempt. Ross asked questions about how I arrived in the US, how I was with Cassie, how Cassie was with me, how my life had been changed since being in witness protection and if I saw any signs of Cassie doing this. Basically going over again my statement I made to the Police in the very beginning.
For the remainder of the trial, the next 3 weeks I was cooped up in the hotel room. Fortunately it was a big room so I didn’t feel closed in but I was wanting fresh air, even if it was pollution in LA. The three weeks went slow but I was able to occupy myself with writing music, rehearsing material from songs I had written, ideas for the band, if it were going to continue. I also wondered what my life would be like after the trial.
As I had been in witness protection all this time, seen no one from my life as Brianna except for the day where I saw Nick, Alex, Brian and Howie, I needed to readjust to life back in the world again, not the Lisa life. I was given a Psychologist who was on call provided by the state if I needed them.
Finally the day arrived of the verdict. I hardly slept a wink and showed signs of it. At the end of the day, I would be Brianna Day. Brianna Day the person who was madly in love with Alex McLean. Who had a music career starting. Who was starting to have a life.
“Do you have unanimous verdict?” Judge Masters asked the Jury Foreperson.
“We do your honour.” Foreperson replied giving the piece of paper to the Bailiff to hand to Judge Masters. Ross put his hands on top of mine waiting for the verdict. Judge Masters looked at the paper, handed it back to the Bailiff to give back to the Foreperson.
“On the matter of Stevens V Tripp, what say your verdict on the 1st charge of drugs possession?” Judge Masters asked.
“We find the defendant Cassandra Stevens guilty on the first charge of drugs possession.” Foreperson replied.
“On the matter of Stevens V Tripp, what say your verdict on the 2nd charge of soliciting?”
“We find the defendant Cassandra Stevens not guilty on the second charge of soliciting.” Foreperson replied.
“On the matter of Stevens V Tripp, what say your verdict on the 3rd charge of murder in the 1st degree?” Masters asked.
“We find the defendant Cassandra Stevens guilty on the third charge of murder in the 1st degree.” Foreperson replied.
We did it. The evidence was all there and my testimony helped convict Cassie. She was to serve life behind bars with no parole in a maximum security prison. I couldn’t help but cry of relief.
“Well done!” Ross told me as he hugged me.
“Can I see Alex?” I begged. Ross smiled. I knew Ross knew where they would be, Alex had always remained in contact but Ross couldn’t tell me how he was or anything.
Arriving in the car park at the Los Angeles Staples Centre, I got more excited and just wanted to run to Alex and the guys. Danny, one of the security guards stopped me. “What’s wrong?” I asked.
“They are just having a disagreement with something. I’d hold off if I were you.” He said.
“Nick and Alex?” I asked.
“Yup.” Danny replied.
“Typical.” I laughed. On stage I could hear Nick and Alex fighting about in which direction they should have been. Brian and Howie staying out of it. From what Danny told me, Nick should have moved, not Alex. Alex said he moved Nick didn’t and that’s where they collided.
“I think I will distract them, let them cool off.” I told him. With my security pass Ross gave me as I entered the centre, around my neck , I pulled the curtain aside and walked on stage, Alex facing me.
“Bri?” He said, looking up at me.
“Yup.” I smiled as I moved towards him. Our embrace was tighter than what we had when we were in Tampa. Alex felt me all over making sure it was me.
“Guys, Bri’s back, she’s back.” Alex called out to them. I wasn’t looking Brian, Nick or Howie. I was looking at Alex.
“Who are you now?” Nick asked me once we all calmed down from the hysteria, Alex not letting go of me, his arms around my waist.
“I’m me.” I replied.
“Which is that? Lisa or Brianna?” Nick asked.
“Nick, Oh my god! You thick or something! Brianna of course!” Brian said his hand going up to whack Nick on the head.
“Everything is fine. Everything all over. I can go back to who I was before all this started.” I assured Nick.
“So we can get back to work?” Nick asked me.
“No, not yet. She gotta be with me first.” Alex told him laughing.
“What was the result? What now?” Howie asked trying to get things to a sane level.
“Guilty. Life.” I replied smiling.
“Yes! There is justice!” Brian said.
“What about the citizenship and everything now?” Alex asked me.
“I see Ross Monday next week. He actually wants to see you all next week. Fill in you all in and all. He’s calling your people.” I replied.
“Gee that sounds so yesterday, our people call your people.” Nick laughed.
“So what’s going on here? Rehearsals for new tour?” I asked changing subject.
“You have been catching up on what we have been doing. Haha, yeah, just before you came, your man and Nick were discussing shall we say about who should have moved and all as Nick crashed into AJ.” Howie told me.
“How about an independent non bias opinion? Show me what you were doing.” I suggested.
“You will go for AJ, that’s bias!” Nick said.
“I will not. Now get on with it.” I laughed. The guys got in position and the band began to play “The One”.
“Yeah baby!” I called out every so often.
“Now this is where.” Howie said. Nick and Alex were at the chorus where ‘where you feel like there’s nowhere to run’, when Alex ‘ran’ into Nick. Brian and Howie were going into a run trance towards the left, Alex was to. Nick thought it was straight ahead.
“Well?” Brian asked.
“Let me see after that bit, then I will know.” I replied. They continued on from that bit to the end of the song.
“Definitely straight ahead. Definitely straight ahead for sure.” I told them.
“Ya think?” Nick asked.
“Yeah, it just depends what kind of stage you are going to have. You had the round for the Millennium tour didn’t ya?” I replied.
“Yeah, man that was crazy. I got dizzy.” Alex said.
“You never went to Millennium?” Howie asked.
“Ah, Howie, I was in Australia then. You all forgot about Australia! Damn you all for forgetting Australia.” I laughed.
“Ok, we’re sorry! We’re sorry! We’ve made it up to ya’s...Haven’t we?” Nick asked confused.
“Yes you have. You have been to Australia. I got proof you were in Australia.” I replied.
“Phew! Nah, it’s all good.” Nick laughed.
“Ok guys, back to work.” Brian spoke up. I stood at the edge of the stage while they were rehearsing.
That night, walking into Alex’s place, I felt content. “You right babe?” He asked as he shut the door, putting his keys on the table near the door.
“Yeah.” I replied.
“So good to have you back.” He whispered moving closer to me and held me tight.
“Glad to be back.” I replied.
“While you were away I missed you so much. Made me realise how much I love you so much.” Alex said. I stood back. “What?” Alex asked.
“You love me?” I asked shocked.
“Sure do.” He replied. I was blown away. No one had ever told me they loved me.
“I love you too.” I smiled as we embraced again. “Don’t let go.” I whispered.
We were up in his bedroom just talking, his bed facing the big windows, curtains not drawn, about our feelings and what we wanted to do now that we could move on with our lives. “Mom wants to meet you.” Alex told me.
“Me? She know about me? Everything?” I asked.
“Not everything, everything, geesh! What do you take me for? Yes she knows you, would love to meet you. She says since you and I have been together, I have been more down to earth.” Alex replied.
“I have noticed a few things in you too.” I admitted.
“Such as...” Alex asked.
“One, you haven’t had any more tattoos and two you have slowed down on the smokes.” I told him.
“With the smokes, I admit, when you walked off and all, I was doing them big time but when I found out and all, I returned to normal.” He admitted.
“I didn’t mean to run out. That wasn’t to do with the plan of what happened...” I began to say.
“Hey, now what did we all discuss in Tampa? No explanation or nothing.” Alex interrupted me then he kissed me.
“I haven’t been with anyone either. I wanted Brianna to be with you and not cheat on you. The time I was away, even here in Los Angeles, I wanted to be with you. Like this.” I said.
We watched the sunrise come up like we had done on the beach that morning, just after that I must have fallen asleep.
Later that morning, Alex and I moved my things from the bedroom I was in, into his bedroom. We were both ready for the next stage, the separation brought us closer to another level. The following day, Denise, Alex’s Mum would be coming over.
For dinner that night, Nick and Lauren came over for dinner and movies. Alex knew Nick and I had a connection, even without me spending more time with him sometimes because of the recording.
“You know you got it made here girl. You got Backstreet Boys to open for you when your touring or you can tour them. Open for them. Nick here wants his name on your record, wonderful boyfriend AJ, Kevin as your manager...” Lauren said before Nick interrupted her.
“Kevin my manager?” I asked confused.
“Oops!” She blushed putting her head down.
“We were going to mention it to you before everything happened. With the way the world is and all, money is tight, even for us. Kevin is in a dry spell, things haven’t been working out for him, same with Kristin. We were all talking and thought, you need a manager now that you are on your way and what better of a manager could you have than Kevin. Someone that has been in the business like us, we got screwed over and he knows what he’s on about.” Nick explained.
“Ok, sounds fine to me.” I said.
“I think, wait til things have calmed down with you. Get back into the groove of things. Kevin understands.” Alex said.
“Nick, just answer one thing for me.” I asked.
“What’s that?” He replied.
“With the band, have they found something strong? Have they got a new band or something?” I asked.
Nick didn’t know how to answer. “It’s ok if they have. They are fantastic!” I added.
“Yeah, they have actually formed together as a band collectively, were at a music festival and were signed up to an independent label. Are recording.” Nick replied hesitantly.
“Why hesitant?” I asked him.
“Because you were so looking forward to being with them and all. They were too.” Nick replied.
“Nick, its alright. I understand. I’m happy for them.” I assured him. Once that difficulty was over we went into the entertainment room while Lauren and I watched some “chick” flicks according to the guys while they were playing computer games. A good Saturday night after everything that happened.
The following morning, I tidied the house up with Alex’s Mum, Denise coming. “Why you cleaning? The place is clean?” He asked me as I was straightening the cushions in the lounge.
“I just have this thing for when people come over, meeting people for the first time or for a while.” I replied.
“Bri, it’s just Mom.” Alex told me.
“Exactly, your Mum, meeting the girlfriend of her one and only son.” I stated.
“You expecting Mom to be some wicked witch of the west do ya?” Alex asked.
“When it comes to girlfriends yes.” I replied.
“Mom is fine. Sometimes she doesn’t act like a Mom. Everything will be alright. I promise.” Alex tried to assure me as I continued to clean the house, even though it was spotless. I guess it had something to do with my life in Australia. Living with my parents, before they died.
Just before lunchtime, Denise drove up the driveway. My heartbeat began to beat three times as fast. Standing next to Alex watching her drive up, he held my hand to give me some kind of reassurance.
“When Alex told me you were from Australia, I couldn’t believe it. He has always had a thing for Australian girls.” Denise said as we sat outside in the sunshine overlooking the garden and pool that was magnificent.
“It was just by accident on how it happened. If it wasn’t for me catching the earlier flight, this wouldn’t have happened.” Alex told her.
“Has he tried to improve his accent?” Denise asked.
“It’s still the same, so British but he’s catching on.” I laughed.
“She’s trying to get me to eat that Vegemite crap. Ugh!” Alex added.
“Hey, its just like how you guys go with your Peanut Butter and Jelly and Nutella.” I told him.
“How are things going with your music?” Denise asked.
“Nick told me last night, basically we are at stage one again. I had expected it, after what had been happening. Ross is catching up with us. He’s going to fill us in on what happens with everything and naturally my citizenship.” I informed her.
“It has been assured that you would be given citizenship? What if it backfires?” Denise asked concerned.
“Brianna will go back to Australia Mom.” Alex told her.
“I wasn’t saying anything.” Denise defended herself her arms in the air.
“You didn’t need to.” Alex replied back.
“I was just wondering what would happened with your relationship.” Denise said.
“If we can handle the past few months of no contact, as if we didn’t exist basically, we can handle being different continents apart for a while. Anyway, we are going on tour just after the summer, Brian has some gigs for his album and his Christian music so Brianna can use her Australian passport. We’ve checked it all out. Both Ross and our legal team.” Alex explained.
“Excuse me.” I said as I got up and went into the kitchen with some of the dishes we had used.
While I was putting the dishes in the dishwasher to let Alex and Denise have some time together alone, I was watching from the kitchen wondering what they were saying/doing. From what I could gather, Alex was defending me. He and Denise were beginning to get louder. I just stayed inside the kitchen then all of a sudden he and Denise come storming back into the kitchen.
“Brianna, I’m sure you are a fantastic woman, Alex sure has told me a lot about you but I’m sorry, I don’t think you are right for Alex. It seems to me you only want to be with him for your career and your stay here in American to be permanent.” Denise blurted out before walking out the door. Alex was just fuming and yelling at her.
Once she left, I went upstairs to leave Alex alone, let him calm down. Without saying anything, I just ran myself a bath, that way Alex could do whatever he wanted to do without me getting in his way.
“I’m sorry. I had no idea.” He apologised later on when he calmed down and he found me, standing against the bathroom door shut.
“I expected it.” I confessed.
“You did? Why?” He asked.
“Alex, look at the circumstances. I’ve been here for what nearly 6 years, my visa about to expire, no music deal, I saw you on that flight to New York, get into a relationship with you. Then I am in the middle of a murder and drugs trial, granted full American Citizenship no questions asked...” I went on to explain, before he cut in.
“Mom knew all this. I told her, I told her everything apart from the witness protection and crap when you were going to be here in LA for the trial. She was fine about this.” Alex said.
“People can change their mind.” I tried to mediate, try and make him see it from another view.
“It just sucks, I thought it was the right time.” Alex sighed.
“Let her calm down for a few days, see how things go...”I suggested.
“And what if it doesn’t? What if she is right out angry and all?” Alex asked now sitting on the floor against the wall next to the bath.
“I had all these scenario’s while I was in protection. If that situation does arise, I have made a rational decision.” I replied.
“Such as?” He asked removing his glasses rubbing his face to try and lose the stress.
“We remain friends.” I simply said.
“No way. Bri, I love you so much. You have been the best thing in my life in such a long time. No way could I be friends with you. I want what we have now. This is how we belong.” Alex firmly told me.
“Alex, she’s your Mum. If there is anyone needs to have, it’s their mother. Believe me I know.” I said.
“I just...” Alex began to say.
“You just nothing. You know I’ve lost my parents. You still have your Mum. I have heard and seen too many of this happening and it always ends in a all round split. They lose their partner and the parent. They end in the middle. I will not let it happen.” I firmly told him.
“She will come around. I think once the Citizenship comes through, she may be ok.” Alex sighed.
“It will be ok.” I tried to assure him but he couldn’t see it.
Monday morning first thing, Ross met us all including Kevin and the guys legal team, sitting in the boardroom office. As it was an official thing, it seemed weird to see the guys in work gear, especially Nick shirts and all. Deep inside I melted, and not just because of the summer heat.
“Right, first thing is first. Witness Protection program. That will cease at the end of the week. While Brianna is not in Witness Protection, she will have security for when she travels to and from places.” Ross told us getting straight into things.
“Did you know about this?” Brian asked me, swivelling his chair round towards me who was a few chairs in front of me.
“Yes. Everything relating to the Witness Protection I know about.” I replied looking at him first and then the guys.
“Because Brianna has been in Witness Protection for a while and because of her career, readjusting to this new reality will be difficult. Therefore she will have access to a Psychologist at least once a week. Even though she had access to everything while she was in Tampa, presuming leading a normal life, she will need to adjust being Brianna.” Ross continued. Alex squeezed my hand and Nick lifted his head a bit to give me a bit of a nod, facing opposite me.
“Alex, we were thinking of this for you too. Seeing as you are Brianna’s partner.” Ross added.
“Ok, thanks.” He replied not knowing what to say.
“You will be surprised on how you will need to see one. We have had men like you saying, nope, no way, but they end up seeing our Psychologist.” Ross said.
“How long will this last for?” Howie asked curious.
“However Brianna needs it or wants it. It’s totally up to her. Brianna had a tough case with her and it was lengthy compared to some cases.” Ross replied.
“Second, is Brianna’s Citizenship. We have worked with Ross and the District Attorney of Los Angeles. The District Attorney is allowing full citizenship. To quickly smooth things along for everyone, it will be for this week, Friday at 5pm.” Ross stated.
“Friday?” I shrieked. The guys and I looked around shocked.
“Yes Friday at the courthouse in the judge’s chambers.” Ross informed us. Alex gave me a great big hug and there were congratulations all round from the guys.
“It will be a low key affair and be brief. Would you guys be able to come?” I spoke up.
“Try and stop us!” Nick said.
The next thing on the agenda was my career. “This is where Kevin comes in.” Michael, one of the guys lawyers spoke up, taking over from Ross.
“When we did the managing a few years ago with Krystal and we each have down our own over the years at some times, I wanted to get back into it. When Nick was telling me about Brianna coming onto his record label and that her starting out in the biz, he approached me about considering being a manager.” Kevin spoke up.
“It may look as though we are keeping it in the family, we ain’t, well we are but you know where I’m coming from.” Nick said.
“I’ve had both our legal team and Ross go over the contract I set up. You naturally will need to read it but that can be later in the week.” Kevin told me.
“As for music wise, I don’t know if you were aware of this or not, but I got a few shows coming up over the next few months. I need a female vocalist that will come with me. I have a few names who can do it but I want to see if you wanted to experience the touring side of things.” Brian asked me.
“Sounds good, unless I don’t have any other commitments.” I replied looking at the guys.
“Ya free.” Nick told me.
“Mr Manager?” Alex asked Kevin.
“Don’t ask me, I am not her manager yet.” Kevin replied.
“Well?” Brian asked.
“Sure, why not?” I replied shrugging gently.
“Now you musically.” Nick said looking straight at me.
“Yes...” I replied looking back at him.
“As we told you the other night, Shane and all are set up doing their own thing. They couldn’t turn down this offer they were given. So, we are back to square one. This time, going to have get people in to see if they have got what it takes.” Nick explained.
“That’s fine with me. I had suspected it anyway.” I replied.
“I’ll help you with that if you want me to. The guys would be busy doing rehearsing for the tour and then Brian on top of that will be rehearsing his small one.” Kevin suggested.
“Yeah that’ll be great. Thanks so much!” I replied looking at Kevin.
By late morning all of this has been discussed and the guys had to go back to work, leaving Ross, Kevin and I to go over the contract in more detail and for Kevin and I to discuss the new band set up.
TWO MONTHS LATER....
Brian and I started the tour in Lexington KY, Brian and Kevin’s hometown. Everything had been all smoother sailing with the management, Kevin my manager and we were in the process of getting people to join the band but it was causing problems, the people we selected weren’t getting on with each other. Kevin was going to try and work it out while I was away with Brian. Alex and Denise, patched things up. I was right, it was the Citizenship that was getting to her. We have spoken a few times and we are building up the relationship.
The afternoon of the show in Lexington, Brian introduced me to his family back home. Also he wanted to have his Mum’s cooking. A decent home cooked mother meal. “What is up with you? You smiling over a roast?” Brian laughed as we ate dinner.
“It’s the fact that it’s a real home style roast. The mother’s touch.” I replied as I passed him the butter for the roll he was breaking into it.
“Mother’s touch!” Brian remarked.
“Leighanne would do it.” His Mum added.
“She’s my wife. The mother of my child.” Brian said.
“When ya home with her, when she has time, get her to do a roast.” His Dad said.
After the show, we went back to the hotel room, which we were sharing, and just chilling back. We made our phone calls, Brian to Leighanne and Baylee and I was calling Alex.
“You know what we should do?” I asked as were chilling watching the TV to settle us down for the night before we were on the road again to the airport to go to South Carolina.
“What’s that?” Brian replied.
“It’s been a while since its happened from what I can tell, let’s get online for a bit, well mainly you, and tweet to some fans. Give them a shock.” I laughed.
“Why just me? People are knowing you now, ya AJ’s girlfriend. Ya have a following.” Brian told me. “Ok, ok.” I laughed. Before we did, we decided to take a photo of ourselves together on his Blackberry, and tweeted it out to the fans.
When we finally decided to call it a night, we got up out of the sofa at the same time, some reason our heads bumping into each other. What happened then, shocked me. Brian looked into my eyes and he kissed me.
“What was that?” I asked moving away from him. Brian couldn’t answer me. We were both in shock that this had happened. I would have never thought that Brian of all people would do this.
“I...I....I....” Brian tried to bring some words out.
The whole night, I lay awake wondering what to do, what to say, what to I don’t know. In my own bed, next to Brian’s, I heard him tossing and turning. Deep inside me, I always thought, even though he was true to Lauren and faithful, and according to both Brian and Alex, the best he had ever been with a woman, Nick would be the one.
As the sun was rising up, I quietly gotten up and gotten dressed, packed my bag and sat down in the lobby waiting for Brian to come down. We were needing to leave for the airport around 8am to catch the mid morning flight. I couldn’t look at him unless I needed to. When I had to look at Brian, I could tell he had the same feelings as me. In public we went on as if nothing had ever happened.
The flight from Lexington to St Louis putted more strain on what we were feeling. Halfway, the aircraft had engine trouble and with Brian being a bad flyer, this panicked him. With nothing else to do, I assured him by holding his hand. I think he was taking as a sign or something else.
Getting into our hotel room, a few hours before rehearsals we talked.
“For that split second I thought you were Leigh.” Brian said.
“Well I’m not. Nothing like Leighanne.” I replied.
“This will never happen again. It ends here. I’ll go downstairs and see if I can get another room for myself.” Brian told me.
“It’s all booked out.” I reminded him. Just then, the phone rang. “Alex” I whispered.
“Hey you.” I said answering the phone.
“Hey yourself. What’s happening? You in St Louis yet?” Alex asked.
“Yeah we are. We got here like what? An hour or so Brian?” I replied looking at him.
“Yeah be about that.” Brian called out.
“Brian alright?” Alex asked.
“Will be, halfway here we had drama, we’re all fine, so don’t worry. Just had some engine trouble, one blew up but we’re alright.” I replied.
“Leighanne know?” He asked.
“No. He will soon though.” I replied.
“I’ll let ya go, call me later alright.” He said.
“Yup. I love you.” I replied.
“Love you more.” Alex added then we got off the phone.
“So what now?” Brian asked when he got off the phone. At that moment, I felt sick, running to the bathroom.
“You right?” Brian asked when I came back from the bathroom.
“Probably the turbulence and all. Happened to me one time.” I replied sitting down on the couch.
“Just take it easy.” He suggested.
“Yeah I will. Don’t worry not that we can rest much.” I tried to break the ice with a laugh. We had a awkward silence.
“Brian, we need to talk about this.” I said after a few minutes.
“I know, I know.” Brian repeated a few times bringing his hand to his forehead hitting himself.
“On the plane this morning, coming here when we had the turbulence you held my hand, the way you held it...” I began to say.
“Way I held it?” He asked puzzled.
“It wasn’t in a scared way, you weren’t gripping onto it as tight as one would.” I replied gently. Brian remained quiet, not looking my way.
“I’m sorry. Leigh and I are having a few problems, no one knows, only you, how it will stay. This was just a once off, a mistake.” Brian asked turning around to face me, hoping I was going to say yes.
“Yes. You know I love Alex so much. No one will ever know what happened.” I replied.
“Just.......one.......more......time?” He slowly asked looking sideways, his eyes telling me of his loneliness.
“You know the answer Brian...” I began to tell him before brought me forward to the couch we were near and we gently kissed for a while. Whatever I tried to do, I couldn’t break the kiss apart. He had me trapped in the corner of the couch. I didn’t feel anything for Brian. Just as a friend.
Three months had passed on and the tour for the guys was starting. US in every state including Alaska and Hawaii. This delighted fans especially in Hawaii. I was in the process of finalising my album and was going to be promoting at the same time, with Kevin by my side. I didn’t know America at all apart from a bit of New York and Los Angeles and obviously Tampa. I hadn’t ventured anywhere else. At a few interviews, Nick was with us for the interview and Alex occasionally.
The first city we were in New Jersey. It wasn’t so far from New York so we had a few days in NYC. I thought we would be crashing at Kevin and Kristin’s place in New York City but turns out this wasn’t the case. Management like to have the guys stay at a hotel for security reasons although they could go back their own place for something but not to spend the night.
Trenton, New Jersey was the first stop. Kevin and I drove to Jersey for the promo at a radio station there. This was my first interview. Testifying was easier than this. One slip up or sound and it was known globally.
“Brianna meet Tracy. She’ll be doing the interview this morning.” Kevin said to Tracy. Kevin had been a friend of Tracy’s throughout the years. Tracy had always supported Kevin’s work outside of Backstreet Boys.
“Nice to meet you. So, you are with the boys? They are a crazy bunch aren’t they?” Tracy said breaking the ice.
“Including Kevin?” I joked.
“Hey watch it!” He laughed. A few minutes later we went into the radio booth where we were going to be doing the interview. We had it agreed that I would only be asked questions about my music career and nothing else, that was with every media commitment.
“So Brianna, you are starting your tour with Backstreet Boys today or tonight, however you wanna take it. Excited?” Tracy asked.
“Oh yeah sure am. Couple of months ago, I just finished doing a small tour with Brian for his Christian music and loved the touring. I have always had the travel bug.” I replied laughing.
“How did you get signed up? It was a pretty funny situation wasn’t it?” Tracy asked.
“Haha, yeah. Like everyone, trying to make it big in LA. I went to New York to audition for Aladdin. I got the lead but unfortunately, financial backing went down. On the way to New York from LA, I was sitting next to AJ McLean on the flight. Anyway between them two Alex and I formed a friendship, followed by the guys, Nick, Howie and Brian. While I was working at a club one night, Alex surprised me and apparently Nick heard me on the phone and wanted me on his record label. And Kevin wanted to be my manager.” I explained.
“Wow, so lucky.” Tracy said.
“I wouldn’t say lucky. I would say fortunate. Like most people would say, right place right time but it is so hard work. They work me so damn hard.” I laughed.
“Tell us about your single. Deep inside me. You wrote that a few years ago didn’t ya?” Tracy asked.
“Yeah, I was working away at a restaurant and saw a situation and it hit home to me. That night I sat up for hours writing that song. The more I wrote and heard the song more the more I realised that it was about my life and how I felt overall as a person.” I said.
“And the album coming up in the next month, tell us more about that.” Tracy asked.
“I am totally blown away with it. With some of the songs, I have written myself, Howie and Brian have polished it off you could say and with their help, this has gone beyond my wildest expectations.” I replied.
“Before we let you go, everyone wants to know...how are you going to survive touring around with Backstreet Boys...How long you going away for?” Tracy asked laughing.
“If I can survive hours locked up in the studio with them for almost 24 hours, I think I can handle it. We know our boundaries. Once we finish the US in a few months, we head down to South America, then we go to New Zealand and my hometown Australia.” I replied. After that they played my song.
“When we get back to New York, have we got time for Alex and I to be alone?” I asked as Kevin was driving back to New York.
“Ooooh, I don’t know. We can see, depends what time we get back in there. Why?” Kevin replied.
“I just need to tell him something.” I told him.
“Why can’t ya call him or whatever?” Kevin asked.
“I need to tell him in person.” I replied.
“Everything is alright isn’t it?” He asked concerned.
“Yep, fine.” I smiled at him looking at the scenery.
Got back into New York City around lunchtime and the guys were in Howie’s hotel room with Leigh and their son James. James and Nick were on the Playstation 3 battling against each other in Guitar Hero, Nick obviously winning but convincing James that he was winning. Everyone laughing with Howie trying to help James. “I can do it Daddy. I winning.” James told him.
“Hey there! Congrats!” Brian said soon as he realised we were in the hotel room.
“Thanks.” I replied as he hugged me followed by the guys.
“God you make me like a god!” Alex laughed.
“You are.” Leigh joked.
“I thought you were fantastic. Conrgatulations!” Howie said.
“Thanks, ah guys, can I pinch Alex for a bit?” I asked.
“Everything alright babe?” Alex asked.
“Yeah fine, just wanna tell you something. ALONE.” I replied enforcing the alone bit to everyone.
“Bye Bri.” James said.
“Bye champ.” I replied.
“So what you wanna tell me?” Alex asked when we were in our hotel room a few minutes later.
“I don’t know how to tell you this.” I sighed sitting on the edge of the bed.
“What is it? Bri you alright?” Alex asked worried.
“Geez, and with the tour, everything getting back on track with your Mum...” I was blurting out.
“Bri, what is it? You got me worried.” He pleaded.
“I don’t know how to tell you. This wasn’t meant to happen.” I began to get upset.
“Bri, just tell me.” Alex said.
“Remember when the trial and everything was over, first night back?” I asked.
“Yeah, what about it?” Alex replied.
“Remember it was my first time?” I asked.
“Yeah, sure do.” He replied cuddling me. Just then his phone rang.
“Answer it.” I told him.
“It’ll go to voicemail.” He said as he got his phone and pressed ignore and switching phone off.
“So you were saying.” Alex began as he turned off his phone.
“Alex, I’m...” I began to say when the door knocked.
“Yo, AJ, we gotta get goin man, Bri you coming?” Nick called out.
“Five minutes dude.” AJ called back.
“No now, I was given my marching orders. If I have, you two have yours. Jen just tried to call ya.” Nick said.
“Fine!” He muttered putting his head down in frustration.
At the venue, we got wired up and started sound check. Alex tried to get it out of me what I was trying to tell him, even tweeting me on our tweet pages privately but I wouldn’t saying no. He kept giving me looks to see if I was alright but I kept smiling at him. When it came time to let the fans in for a meet and greet, I hid away, getting on Twitter to answer fans. It was known that I was dating Alex and with the guys on tour.
“Hey, Bri. Can you come out here, fans wanna meet ya?” Nick said using his microphone.
“Yeah sure.” I replied walking out onto the stage, nervous. Walking out, I was shrieked and cheered. Kinda overwhelmed me.
“Thanks guys, that’s sweet.” I said walking over to the guys.
“They just wanted to see my latest creation.” Nick laughed.
“Oh puhlease!” I joked.
“So hands up who wanna hear her Bri sing?” Alex asked the crowd who replied in cheers.
“Let’s add a special touch. Guys, take a break.” Nick said to the band as he got on the drums and the guys went to their instruments, Alex bass, Brian piano, Howie on the guitar. More squeals but for the guys, mainly Nick on the drums. I just giggled. “This is rare.” I told the crowd.
After a fantastic show, the drive back to New York seemed so quick. “That was so awesome! Woot!” Nick said as we were on the road.
“How on earth did you learn my song?” I asked them.
“Bri, you forget something? We are machines.” Howie replied laughing.
“Oh yeah. Silly me.” I laughed, Alex putting his arm around me.
Arriving back at the hotel room, we all went into our own rooms, wanted to be with our loved ones.
“So where were we?” Alex asked as we closed the door turning on the lights in our room.
“I was trying to tell ya something.” I replied as I took off my jacket and went into the bar fridge to get a bottle of water sitting down on the lounge.
“Well no one will bug us now. They are all busy. Phone is switched off. Hotels know that when we come back from show, not to disturb us.” Alex told me sitting next to me on the lounge.
“Ok, well....I am pregnant.” I quietly told him.
“Ya wha?” He asked shocked.
“I’m pregnant.” I repeated.
“Oh my god, this is fantastic!” Alex shrieked getting up.
“Is it?” I asked worried, not knowing really if it was or not.
“Baby, this is fantastic.” He replied, his hands out for me to hold and getting me off the couch.
“This is beyond wild.” He added hugging me.
“But timing is wrong.” I reminded him bringing him back to reality letting go of his embrace walking away.
“We can always work things out. The world doesn’t stop women from falling pregnant especially artists. It will be fine.” He assured me, hugging me again.
“Yeah.” I replied trying to sound happy.
“What’s wrong?” He asked as we were getting ready for bed, Alex pulling down the covers for us to get into bed.
“I’m just worried that’s all. Just concerned what everyone will say. Your Mum, Kevin...” I began to say when he cut me off.
“Why them two mainly? That’s none of their damn business. We are entitled to our own lives. We are human.” Alex cut in.
“But...” I stammered.
“But nothing. Babe, this is fantastic. Let’s just enjoy this moment alright.” Alex said putting a finger on my lips then skimming down to my chin and kissed me.
We wanted to allow a good week before telling everyone the news. We wanted to keep the excitement to ourselves for a bit but the girls knew. They knew the following morning when we were downstairs in the gym.
“Ok, this might sound weird, but are you pregnant?” Lauren asked as she was stretching her leg muscles.
“Lauren!” Leigh shrieked.
“What makes you say that?” I asked.
“Well, er normally you would be going for the small weights and you are just on the treadmill walking slowly. Your top is looser than normal almost baggy and I have noticed you have been puking for a while. Guys have noticed too.” Lauren explained.
“That true?” Leighanne asked.
“I am wearing baggier clothes, just coz I want to.” I replied.
“That may work with the guys, but honey, ya one of us now. Nothing is secret.” Leigh spoke.
“So are you or aren’t ya?” Lauren asked.
“I am.” I giggled. The girls stopped doing what they were doing, coming over to me squealing.
“Sssh! Only Alex knows. We were wanting to keep quiet for a week or so before telling the guys.” I added.
“Please, can you keep this a secret?” I begged.
That didn’t last long. The guys ganged up on Alex and I one afternoon at sound check in Chicago two days later.
“What’s gotten into you two lately? You are all super lovey dovey. Making Leighanne and I look nothing.” Brian asked as I was testing the mics which one I felt comfortable with.
“Should we?” I said looking at Alex who was getting a drink of water.
“May as well.” He sighed.
“Ya getting hitched?’ Nick guessed.
“Does she have a ring on?” Alex asked Nick.
“Don’t need a ring these days man.” Howie spoke up.
“Guys we aren’t getting married...Not yet anyway.” I laughed looking at Alex.
“Ooooh. Pressures on ya now man.” Brian laughed at Alex.
“Nah, no pressure at all. Knowin you guys.” Alex laughed back.
“So, we gotta tickle ya to get it outta ya?” Nick asked.
“He will.” Brian joked. Alex moved over towards me, standing behind me.
“We’re pregnant.” I announced. Just like the girls, the guys were the same but to Alex giving him high fives and all.
“How far are ya?” Brian asked after all the hysteria.
“Ah about 4 months.” I replied, Alex kissing me on the neck.
“Relax, it’s none of yours.” I laughed.
“All mine.” Alex grinned putting his arms around me.
“Told Kev?” Howie asked.
“Have to now.” I replied.
6 months pregnant and in Australian summer wasn’t that great. We were in Australia earlier due to problems in South America. We thought this would be a nightmare for everyone concerned but just had a few readjustments and had to add additional shows for a couple of cities. Fortunately Melbourne was one of those cities.
Kevin had no problems with the pregnancy and everything. My schedule changed a little bit, finishing my promos earlier than expected and opening up for Backstreet Boys. I would have the final month at home in Los Angeles, Denise staying with me in case anything happened. It was her first Grandchild after all and I needed a mother.
When we arrived in Melbourne from Sydney, security made way for all of us so no one of us would be trampled on and especially for the kids, scared. It was emotional coming back home.
“How long since you been here?” Leighanne asked as we were following the boys to the hotel.
“Nearly 7 years.” I sighed remembering all the sights I missed.
“Least we got time to chill here.” Lauren sighed.
“Amen!” Leigh laughed.
I was only two hours away from where I used to live. I only had one day of press work and the rest I was on my own. I wanted to go and see what had changed. That day I had a few media spots to do with the following day to myself until sound check.
Following morning, sun was shining, beautiful summer day without being too hot. “Come on, we’re going out.” Alex told me after we finished breakfast looking over the Yarra River as we were staying at the Crown Casino hotel complex.
“Where we going?” I asked as I was getting my bag.
“Just get in the car and see.” He laughed putting a hand behind my back.
“You drive here in Australia? Alex you know we drive on the other side of the road? Everything is the opposite here.” I reminded him.
“Reason why I’m not driving. Come on, car downstairs.” Alex replied. Going down the lift and into the car park, I was wondering what he was up to. Some landmarks were still where they were when I was last in Melbourne, but it wasn’t until I saw the sign for one place I knew where we were going.
“BENDIGO!” I squealed.
“That alright by you?” Alex asked turning to face me as we sat next to each other in the back seat of the black Mercedes Benz that was driving us to Bendigo.
“How did you know? I never told anyone about Bendigo. I haven’t told you about that.” I asked, questions flying a million miles an hour.
“Relax, I did some investigation. I have people you know. Haha. Seriously I was talking to Nick a while ago and he mentioned something of Bendigo, just slipped ya mind might have and then he mentioned it.” Alex explained.
Couple of hours later, we arrived in Bendigo. It was how I remembered. As we were at an intersection I realised that we were turning to the main road of the cemetery, where my parents were. Dad buried and Mum cremated. Mum and Dad together. Getting out of the car, I knew directly where to go, Alex not that far behind me. Mum and Dad weren’t far from the main road.
“Alright babe?” He whispered standing behind me, pecking me on the neck, arms around my stomach.
“Yeah, I seriously never believed that I would be back here. I thought I wouldn’t be able to come back here. I feel so bad for leaving it so long.” I replied.
“They would understand, your dream, your life.” Alex said.
“If I had known we were coming here...” I began to say.
“You would have brought these?” He asked showing a bunch of roses, 2 dozen red roses.
“How?” I asked.
“Stop asking so many questions.” He replied.
“Thankyou.” I said as he knelt down and put the roses in the holder.
“I thought of a name for our child.” Alex mentioned on our way back to Melbourne late that afternoon.
“What you thought of?” I asked.
“If it’s a girl, Michelle Pamela or boy Michael” Alex replied.
“Don’t know the male version either do ya?” I laughed.
“Gotta get a baby name book and find out don’t we?” Alex replied.
Halfway back to Melbourne, the driver, Alex and I were talking about the heat and the show that night, Alex was allowed to miss sound check just this once when something happened. We were hit. I couldn’t move, I could hear Alex murmur but couldn’t hear anything from the driver.
The next thing I knew, I was opening my eyes, sore to open. “Brianna, it’s Lauren. I’ll just call the nurses.” Lauren spoke pressing the button for the nurses. Moments later Lauren was being asking to leave, so the nurses could attend to me alone without freaking her out. I had a tube down my throat and had to bring that up. That was frightening.
“Alex? My baby?” I asked hoarsely, mouth dry. The nurses ignored my first question, just wanting to know about my observations.
“Alex? My baby?” I repeated. I tried to move my hands down but they were sore to move, trying to feel my stomach.
“Alex is recovering as well as can be expected. Unfortunately your injuries were to severe for your child.” A nurse told me as she held my hand. I couldn’t speak, tears just streamed down my face. I lost my child. Our child.
“I want to see Alex.” I begged.
“After you have had some rest.” Another nurse told me. I tried to fight the tiredness off but couldn’t.
Opening my eyes again, Lauren was there sitting in the chair next to me. “Hi sweetie.” She said.
“You know?” I asked her.
“We all do. We’re so sorry.” Lauren replied getting out of the chair, taking hold of my hand sitting on the side of the bed with me.
“Alex, he know?” I asked. Lauren nodded.
“How is he? No one has told me anything. Lauren you have to tell me.” I pleaded with her.
“He’s been better. It’s not a pretty sight, I’m not lying to you. He’s got a few burns, had a few skin grafts and still more to come, broken ribs. Otherwise he is doing alright. He’s just more worried about you.” Lauren replied.
“I want to see him. I want to see him now.” I told her.
Few minutes later, I was being wheeled into Alex’s room. He just lay there, on his back, his eyes closed. “No glasses, that’s a first.” I tried to make a joke as the nurse wheeled me in, Lauren not far behind us. Holding Alex’s hand, I just sat there. Saying nothing.
“You ok?” Alex asked me waking up sitting up slowly.
“Yeah. I know.” I replied quietly saving him to ask the question. Alex remaining silent.
“When you wake up?” He asked a few minutes later.
“Lauren says about 4 hours ago. No one would let me see you until now. She’s called the guys to let them know I’m awake.” I replied. For the first time we didn’t know what to say to each other. I don’t know if it was the shock of the loss of our child, the drugs making us sleepy or what.
“Has he spoken to the guys?” I asked Lauren as we were going back to my room.
“Not really. They are concerned though.” Lauren replied.
“Has he told you anything?” I asked.
“Nope nothing. Bri, I’ll let you go and get some rest. I’ll come back in the morning alright.” Lauren replied.
“Ok. Thanks for staying here. How are the guys? Where are they?” I asked.
“Ah you know them. Putting on brave faces, letting everyone they are alright, show must go on.” Lauren replied leaving down to give me a hug.
“Must be weird with just the three of them on stage.” I commented.
“Kevin decided to come out of early retirement to help out. Three looked weird. Everyone around the world is wanting him back full time, and cursing themselves that Kevin is doing it.” Lauren replied.
“Knew he would make a comeback. Where are they tonight?” I asked.
“Brisbane. Final night. Tomorrow head off to South Africa.” Lauren replied and left.
When Lauren left, I realised I was on my own. I can’t remember the last time I was on my own. I had found out Alex’s and my child had died in the crash, the driver had died, Alex had burns to his arms and broken ribs, they guys were continuing on with the tour. Lauren stayed on in Melbourne at Nick’s insistence so I would have someone with me when Alex couldn’t. I remained motionless all night long.
Next morning, just finished showering and the Dr’s came and checked on me when Lauren came in.
“Told ya, I’d be back. How you doing?” She asked as she hugged me.
“Yeah alright, I saw Alex last night but we just said nothing. How’d last night go for the guys?” I replied.
“Why don’t you ask you themselves?” Lauren replied opening the door and Kevin, Howie, Brian and Nick walked in.
“When Loz called and told us, we agreed to come down here this morning before heading off.” Brian told me.
“It wasn’t even a thought or anything. Actually I don’t know what. I think we all knew that we wanted to see you right away, well the first moment we could.” Nick said rambling on. That brought a laugh to me. If there was anyone that could make me laugh, it would be Nick and Brian.
“Now, we know you would be mad as angry for missing out on the shows and all so we did something for ya...” Howie told me going into his pocket and grabbing something out.
“Leighanne and Leigh took footage of the concerts we have done here and thought you would want to see.” Brian continued.
“Thankyou guys so much.” I replied quietly.
“How you doing? Seriously.” Kevin asked.
“More worried about Alex but give him time. I know about everything and all. Nick, thanks for having Lauren stay here, you didn’t have to do that.” I replied, turning to look at Nick.
“We couldn’t have you all alone.” Nick said as Lauren leant on him. The guys spent about an hour with me before Howie reminded them they had to go and get a flight back to Sydney to go to Johannesburg.
“We saw AJ before we saw you as we knew he would be going for treatment now.” Brian explained when I asked about what about Alex. Hugging me again, they all left, Lauren just stepping out to say goodbye to the guys and especially Nick.
“You know, when we all found out about the accident, Nick didn’t ask about AJ, it was you.” Lauren told me when we were setting her laptop up to watch the concert.
“Really? Weird.” I replied shocked.
“Your his best gal pal, next to me of course.” Lauren laughed slightly.
“Wow. Didn’t know that.” I added as the concert began.
I was discharged from hospital a week later after my injuries went down and could handle some of my daily tasks, Alex was still requiring treatment. We were talking but slowly. It was like we were strangers or something. We had counsellors to help us but Alex wasn’t interested. I tried to make some kind of conversation about the guys but Alex wouldn’t comment or make any remark. After many failed attempts, I ended up making the decision to leave Melbourne, joining everyone in Europe. Alex and I just ended up in arguments.
Arriving in London, I organised it with their management to surprise them at sound check after the fans had finished the meet and greet. They knew obviously Alex and I weren’t talking and it was an off topic. Once cleared customs, Marcus met me and took me to the hotel, checking in and refreshing up. I was on track again. Starting my life all over again.
Around 5pm, I arrived at the H20 arena ready for them. No one had any idea that I was coming back. Walking behind the scenes, I saw Baylee.
“Aunty Bri.” Baylee squeeled. Baylee ran up to me, Leighanne not far behind him catching up.
“Careful honey.” Leighanne called out as I bent down to hug Baylee.
“We missed you.” He told me.
“I missed you to sweetie. Been good for Mummy and Daddy?” I asked giving him a kiss.
“Yup.” He smiled.
“How you doing hun?” Leighanne asked.
“After not long flying in from Melbourne, exhausted but I’m here.” I replied as we hugged.
“Come on.” She said, putting her hand for me to take and guided me through to the stage where the guys were. They were rehearsing ‘Drowning’. I grabbed a microphone and during the chorus I went on stage. All faces dropped, including the band.
“No wonder we weren’t able to call you! We had been trying to call for what a day or two now and nothing. Problem solved.” Howie said.
“I wanted to surprise ya.” I laughed.
“You certainly did. Welcome back!” Brian spoke.
“How you doing?” Nick asked.
“As good as I can get. I’m ready for work now.” I replied, Nick putting an arm around my shoulders.
“Good to have ya back.” He said give me a kiss on the cheek.
“Um, how’s...” Howie began to ask.
“Getting there.” I replied.
For the concert that night, I was on the side of the stage. Leighanne and I were having the time of our lives. “I feel like a fan again for some reason.” I laughed in between songs.
“Hard not to.” She replied holding my hand for reassurance before wolf whistling, Brian looking towards where we were and laughing his head off.
Following morning, we all had breakfast in Nick and Lauren’s hotel room, enjoying the full English breakfast, finding out what we had been up to. “Wanna come shopping with us?” Howie asked me.
“You bet! Always wanted to shop in London. Bugger it, want to shop everywhere.” I replied.
She’s one of us.” Brian laughed. The guys had the day free off press and didn’t have to go to sound check til later. Media and fans naturally followed us but we just ignored it, the guys meeting fans.
“Guys, I know you are wondering about Alex and I and what’s going on when he gets back which is about a week or so away.” I began to say as we were having dinner before Leigh, Leighanne and I were going back to the hotel with the kids.
“Who says we were?” Howie said.
“It’s written all over your faces. It’s going to be alright. Kevin and I are starting back on press in the morning and I’m gonna be busy. You guys are going to be flat out. The only time we would be seeing one another is really on flights and first thing in the morning and after the shows.” I told them.
“You sure you are going to be able to handle it?” Brian asked.
“Yeah sure, why not? We did agree on that. We just aren’t communicating as much.” I replied.
Following morning, Kevin and I were going from one interview to another. “Ah just feels like a few years ago.” Kevin laughed as we were in a cab going from one radio station to another.
“You going alright with it?” I asked.
“Feel like a kid all over again.” He replied as the cab stopped at the next interview. It was interview after interview. My popularity had soared since I started touring and the interviews grew. Some we had to do on phone interviews because we were running out of time.
A week later we were in Sweden, Alex was due to arrive. We had talked a few minutes since we separated but there was no spark. Alex was talking to the guys as normal. I was more or less like a stranger to him.
The first concert in Stockholm, I was opening up for them at the last minute after illness for the person that was opening up and had to be hospitalised.
“I just got word that the boys are coming...Howie, Brian, AJ and Nick......make some noise!” I screamed to the audience and ran off stage for them to appear.
Lauren wanted me to go back to the hotel with her, spend the night with her as after the show, the guys were going clubbing and she couldn’t be bothered clubbing. At first I said no but I sent her a text message saying I was staying on. Leighanne was staying at the hotel as Baylee was coming down with a cold and Leigh was keeping her company.
“You gonna come clubbin with us?” Alex asked me when they all came off stage from the final encore. The guys looked at me shocked.
“Yeah why not?” I replied shrugging as if I didn’t have a care in the world. You couldn’t tell that Alex had burns to his body, except that he was wearing full length sleeve shirts. All the tattoos had been burnt. While we were at the club, Alex was his normal self as if nothing had ever happened. Brian came up to me when I was at the bar wondering what was going on with Alex. “I seriously have no idea but while he’s like this I am taking it while I can.” I told him.
“Don’t think it could be a publicity thing?” Nick asked joining us at the bar.
“Who knows now?” I said as I walked back to the table where Alex and I were drinking, non alcoholic drinks.
3am, we all get back to the hotel room. To not wake the Leigh, Leighanne and the kids, Brian shared Alex’s room and Howie shared my room for the night.
“What was with AJ tonight?” Howie asked as we sat down on the couch taking off our shoes drinking a bottle of water each.
“God, I don’t know. Before the show he barely said boo to me and then after the show, as if nothing ever happened. What do you think?” I replied sinking into the couch.
“I’ve known AJ the longest, seen everything and I have no idea. He could have realised what a jerk he’s been and this is him making it up to you. But he would have done something better. He would have apologised to you in some way.” Howie thought.
“As I was saying to Brian at the club, I’m taking whatever I can have at the moment. I know if this continues, I wanna have a talk with him.” I added.
“I’d get an explanation in the morning.” Howie told me.
“See what happens.” I replied.
Next morning, Howie had gone and was in the next room playing with James while Leigh and Leighanne were down in the gym working out. That was for me just after lunch. I sent a text to Alex to see if he was up. Got one back, yup. I was doing as Howie suggested. See Alex and see what was going on.
When I knocked on the door, Alex opened it slowly with one hand. He had the bandages all the way up his arms with half a shirt on. “Want some help?” I asked him as I entered the hotel room closing the door behind us. After closing the door, I helped him put the other arm in of his shirt, not wanting it buttoned up, he was wearing a t-shirt underneath.
“How you going?” I asked as we went more into his hotel room.
“Yeah getting there. Slower to get started in the morning. When we get back to LA, I go back for more skin grafts and stuff.” Alex replied as we sat at the kitchen bench not looking at each other.
“Bet last night would have been tough? Not being able to do all routines and all. Would have sucked for ya.” I commented.
“Ah I’ve done it before but yeah it was hard.” Alex replied.
“Ah Alex....” I began to say a few minutes later.
“Bri, don’t.” Alex cut in.
“You didn’t even know what I was going to say.” I said.
“It’s pretty obvious isn’t it? You wanna talk about it. I don’t ok.” Alex snapped.
“Then what was last night? Why invite me to the club?” I asked.
“Because I wanted to ok. Because I didn’t want to have everyone falling awkward between us.” Alex replied.
“Us...Yeah, about us...Are we an us? Last I saw we were.” I snapped.
“Yeah of course we are.” Alex replied, raising his voice.
“The last few months sure haven’t felt like it. When I woke up in the hospital, I asked about you first. Not our child. You!” I stammered.
“What do you expect me to say? Huh?” Alex asked yelling at me.
“Something. I’ve been trying but you don’t want to talk about our child, me, us. I feel as though last night was some kind of publicity stunt.” I cried.
“Maybe I don’t wanna talk about it. Maybe I just want to forget it. Forget everything that happened and our child.” He yelled back at me. That just tore me up.
“How could you say that! How dare you say that!” I yelled at him.
“Bri, Bri, I didn’t mean it that way.” Alex tried to say.
“Leave me alone.” I cried running out the door.
“How could he say that? How could he say that Brian?” I cried into his arms in his and Leighanne’s room, Baylee spending time with Kevin.
“I’m sure he didn’t mean it.” Leighanne tried to say.
“You didn’t see his eyes Leigh. He looked directly at me and that he wanted to forget about everything including the baby.” I answered in between my tears.
“Don’t you worry about him alright. We’ll work something out.” Brian assured me, lifting my head up, wiping the tears away from my face, Leighanne putting an arm around me.
“I just wanna go home...but for me, where’s home?” I said.
“We’ll talk to Kevin alright. Come on, let’s go back to your hotel room alright, Brian will talk to Kevin about organising things.” Leighanne suggested. She went with me into their bathroom and cleaned my face up before we left their hotel room, one either side of me in case Alex approached me. When the door opened, Nick and Lauren were at their door entrance wondering what was going on.
“Bri you ok?” Lauren asked.
“Bri?” Nick asked. I couldn’t answer them.
For the rest of the day I was in my hotel room upset and broken hearted about what Alex said. I kept trying to tell myself that Alex didn’t mean it but it help. Around dinner time, Kevin, Nick, Brian and Howie were at my door.
“We’ve been talking.” Nick spoke as I let them in.
“We had a talk with AJ about everything. With the tours for the both of you, and with what AJ has said, it’s going to be easier for you and I to go separately. Different flights, commitments , etc.” Kevin explained.
“But that’s going to cause a nightmare for you.” I told him.
“For the first few days yeah but it will be alright.” Kevin replied.
“I am sorry.” I apologised.
“You have nothing to be sorry about. You have done nothing wrong. Alright? Always remember that.” Nick said giving me a tight hug. Nick’s hugs always gave me security for some reason.
“I haven’t put stress on you guys?” I asked.
“No, none.” Howie replied looking directly in my eyes to trust him.
A few days later Kevin and I were on our way from Spain to Vienna for our promo tour. As I didn’t have Alex in my life that much I found myself on Twitter answering fans more and spent more time on social networking sites. The guys were due to be in Vienna as well but we had separate hotel rooms, no one letting Alex know where I was. We all communicated through our phones in one way or another.
Having a few hours to myself, we walked around Vienna looking at the sights, Kevin enjoying it as well. “If I don’t get something for Kris and Mason, mainly Kris from everywhere we go, my life won’t be worth living.” Kevin laughed as we were looking at toys for Mason.
“She cool with you touring and all this with me?” I asked.
“Yeah she is. She knows I’ve got the touring bug and all. I’ve missed it but not missed it.” Kevin tried to explain.
“You love the travelling but not the early starts and all.” I guessed.
“Yup got it in one.” He laughed.
Having a late dinner at the hotel restaurant downstairs, Kevin and I were talking about the rest of the tour. Another month left on the road in South America, when his phone rang.
“Hey Nick, what’s up?” He answered. Kevin turned away from me trying not to say anything but Kevin’s face could tell something was wrong.
“What?” I asked Kevin.
“Send it to me on my phone now. Call ya later, and thanks.” Kevin said to Nick and got off the phone.
“Kevin, what’s wrong?” I asked again worried.
“Go upstairs and we’ll talk.” Kevin replied getting up, a beep coming through on his phone.
In my hotel room, Kevin sat me down. “Nick just called and wanted me to warn you about something that would be coming out in the next few hours or whatever, knowing the public.” Kevin said.
“What? What is it? Why didn’t Nick call me?” I asked.
“The guys were at a club just now, saw this and Nick captured it on his phone.” Kevin replied sitting down next to me, opening his phone with the message from Nick. “Sorry Bri.” It read.
Alex was dancing with other women and deeply passionately kissing her.
“It means nothing.” I simply said.
“Not over yet.” Kevin warned me. The women were getting down and dirty with him.
“What do you expect me to say? I wanna kill him or something?” I remarked looking at Kevin.
“I don’t know. I thought you would want to know before it gets leaked.” Kevin replied taking the phone off me as it rang.
On my phone in my bag, I heard a text message. I knew it was from Brian as it was his voice singing, “message from me”. We all had it on our phones for something funny. Brian always had Baylee for home. So cute. I open my phone, get my phone and see the text from Brian. “Call cops.” It read. I showed it to Kevin and he was confused. We called the police and a search was underway. Within minutes there was a police officer, thankfully that spoke English and was helping us. With the use of Brian’s technology on his phone they were able to track him down to where he was.
“We understand that a man has taken the nightclub hostage, a weapon in involved.” The Police Officer said through his accent. Kevin and I looked each other in panic.
“My cousin is in there, our best friends are in there.” Kevin told him holding back his emotions.
“And my boyfriend.” I added. Kevin looked at me. “I still love him Kevin. We are just on a break at the moment.” I told Kevin.
“Are you able to tell us anything?” Kevin asked, brushing a hand through his hair in worry, desperation, looking out of the hotel room window trying to see anything from our hotel room, the club in clear shot view.
“A man with a weapon, hostages, intoxicated. All I can tell.” Officer replied. I looked over at Kevin.
“He wouldn’t. No, he wouldn’t.” I said to Kevin whose eyes were guessing it was Alex.
“Do you have any information?” The Police Officer asked us. Kevin and I looked at each other.
“Brianna’s boyfriend is in there. A few months ago when we were all in Australia, Brianna and Alex were in a accident. Since then, there hasn’t been much communication.” Kevin informed the officer saving me from doing it.
“Since the accident, Alex has been difficult in some way to spend time with. It’s only because of the loss of our child.” I explained to the officer.
“Can you let us know if our friends are in there? Their family is in the United States and one of our friends girlfriends is flying from here to Los Angeles now.” Kevin asked.
“I will make the necessary calls and find out for you.” The officer replied leaving the room to make phone calls.
For the next hour Kevin and I were watching the club from the hotel room. “Please don’t let it be Alex.” I begged to myself. Within a few hours everyone was notified, Leigh and Leighanne catching a plane over to where we were, leaving the kids behind. The FBI was going to tell Lauren when she arrived in the United States about the situation. We had it confirmed that Alex did indeed have a weapon, the only hostages were the guys.
By sunrise, I had enough. All the negotiating wasn’t getting anywhere. “Let me talk to him. See if I can help.” I suggested to the Police.
“Brianna, no. It’s too risky.” Kevin said.
“I have to do something. I can’t just sit here.” I pleaded getting up from the kitchen chair near the window.
“It would be too risky. I won’t let you put your life at risk.” Kevin warned me.
“Kevin, I love Alex. I would do anything. I love the guys as well. They mean, you all mean so much to me. I would do anything for you guys.” I explained.
“But this...” Kevin began to say.
“Kevin, your cousin and your best friends are in there. Please.” I cut in, letting him know I was being serious.
“No, it’s alright. AJ will end this soon.” Kevin assured me.
“I would like to speak to him.” I said to the officer, ignoring Kevin.
Down at the nightclub site, I was all wired up and was given instructions on what to say, how to say it, how to react. “I just want to do this.” I told them.
“Alex, it’s Brianna. I just want to let you know that I love you and everything will be ok.” I said into the megaphone that I was given.
“Let the guys out, and you talk to me. Please Alex. It’s me that you need to talk to. I don’t blame you for the accident. I don’t one bit.” I continued. After a few moments, Nick came out carrying out Howie, Brian limping behind him. Emergency teams, raced over to them to get the attention they needed. Moments later, Alex was being put into a Police car.
“What did he do?” I asked Kevin who was standing behind me, his arms holding me up. Once the guys were on their way to hospital, Alex to the police station in town, Kevin and I were asked to go down the police station to.
After about a further 3 hours down at the police station, we were finally released. The girls were still a few hours away from seeing Brian and Howie, Lauren at least another day or two at the moment. I didn’t want to let them feel alone and all.
At the hospital, the guys were in Howie’s room. When Kevin and I walked in, their heads all turned. “You alright?” We asked them all.
“Meh! Can’t complain.” Nick replied.
“What happened?” Kevin asked.
“We don’t know. We didn’t even know AJ had a gun.” Brian replied as he and Kevin hugged.
“What he do to you guys?” I asked shocked.
“Just a few bruises with me, I’ll be alright.” Nick said.
“Twisted ankle.” Brian said.
“Broken ankle, couple rubs.” Howie told me.
“I am so sorry! If I had continued on with him and I together...” I apologised.
“Bri, you didn’t know what was going to happen. None of us did. We were just talking about this. How on earth he got a gun.” Brian said.
“We know he can have a bad attitude and all but never this bad. I have known him for a while and never thought he would be this bad. Something is up with Alex.” Howie said.
“It’s the accident, simple as that. Either he saw something or did something?” I suggested.
“Bri, ya nuts. Did something?” Nick asked as he let me sit on his lap.
“Yeah totally.” The others agreed.
“Come on guys. Look at it. I love him as much as you guys, but look at the facts. He surprised me without you guys knowing about taking me to Bendigo, everything going great and then the crash. After the accident, when I come to, he doesn’t want to look at me. He won’t talk about the crash, either pretends to be tired or something.” I stated the facts.
“AJ wouldn’t do that. He was so excited for the baby. I knew he was out there baby shopping. Toys, necessities. The works. You almost didn’t have to do a thing.” Brian quietly told me, putting his hand out to me.
“Something is definitely wrong.” I concluded.
“We still love ya.” Howie said taking my hand, Nick cuddling up to me.
Leighanne and Leigh arrived that night, worried sick but relieved Brian and Howie weren’t seriously hurt. Lauren was on her way back, she managed to call Nick in between flights. Nick was in my hotel room playing on the computer with me when she called, Nick breaking down when she called, me taking over the call in the end. “Stay with him. Don’t leave him alone.” She pleaded.
“No worries.” I assured her.
Following morning, I was allowed to see Alex. For only a short time. I walked into the jail, Kevin wanted to come with me. This whole tour we have bonded so well. He became like my big brother. Sometimes a bit to over protective.
The moment I laid eyes on Alex, my heart melted. I fell in love with him even more but I was still angry for what he did but I had to put it out of my head.
“Hey.” I said as I sat opposite him.
“Hey.” He replied not looking up from the floor, his head sunken.
“How you holding up?” I asked.
“Yeah ok, could be worse I suppose.” He replied, head still down.
“Yeah spose. Know some countries where its disgusting in places like this.” I commented.
“How the guys?” He asked.
“They are alright. Just few cuts and all.” I replied.
“I didn’t mean to get that far. I didn’t.” He told me.
“Wanna talk?” I asked.
“That’s all you wanna do...talk. Shit Brianna, you wanna do something else?” Alex groaned.
“I’m sorry, I just want to know what is going on with you.” I stammered. The whole world does. I muttered underneath my breath.
“I don’t know alright. I don’t know. Just go alright.” He snapped wanting to go back to his jail cell.
“I still love him, no matter what he says.” I told Kevin as we were going back to the hotel room.
“Don’t tell what happened alright? This is between you, Alex and me alright. Don’t want the guys getting more angry towards AJ.” Kevin warned me. The events were just starting to hit the guys.
“Nah, I wouldn’t. Wouldn’t know what to say” I replied. When we got back to the hotel, the guys were just wanting some quiet time to get over what happened, Kevin was making phone calls about what happened, but not making comment on anything. Between Kevin and the guys management, they rescheduled everything.
That night, in my hotel room, I was on the computer checking my emails, looking at what websites were saying and also what the fans were saying. Some were really concerned, some were wanting to attack Alex. To try and distract me I was watching the movie The Hangover and a tub of ice cream when there was a knock on my door. “It’s Nick.” He said to let me know it was him as I wouldn’t answer the door unless I knew who it was.
“Nick what you doing here? Shouldn’t you be in bed or something? Be with Lauren?” I asked surprised looking at the time.
“She’s asleep, I couldn’t sleep so went online and noticed you were online so thought would see ya.” Nick explained.
“You alright?” I asked as he sat on the chair next to me where my computer was on the table, helping himself to a spoon of ice cream.
“Just can’t sleep. Can’t believe all the shit that’s happening. We all start of well, have a bad time, then when we are on a high something bad happens. Again it’s all thanks to AJ.” Nick sighed, the spoon stabbing the ice cream.
“So you decided to come here and stab my ice cream?” I asked trying to make a joke.
“How can you be so calm with all this? Aren’t ya mad at AJ?” Nick questioned me, his eyes focusing on the ice cream falling off the spoon back into the container.
“Why be mad and all that? Won’t get anywhere. Yeah course I’m mad at Alex but I love him.” I replied sitting down next to him in front of the computer, moving the lap top aside digging in another spoon.
“You still love him?” Nick asked puzzled.
“Yes I do. I know it’s not Alex doing all this. Something is wrong with Alex. He means so much to me. We are just taking a break from each other, he says we are over but I know we aren’t.” I explained.
“Don’t you think you have your head in the clouds or something? What if he doesn’t change? What if...”Nick went on.
“Nick, trust me on this one. I am positive that there is something medically wrong and its going to be proven. Something happened around the time of the accident. It will come out, all in good time.” I cut in.
“Just thinking, you and he would be parents now.” He commented.
“Yeah.” I sighed. A few minutes later, Lauren was knocking on the door.
“Thought I’d find you here.” She remarked as she came in, seeing Nick at the table.
“Sorry. Just couldn’t sleep.” Nick apologised, Lauren standing behind him, leaning down, her arms around him, Nick turning his head sidewards, giving Lauren a kiss.
“It’s ok. Just got concerned. Knew you wouldn’t be in with Brian and Howie and naturally thought here.” Lauren said as she sat down next to Nick, their hands holding each others.
“I got more ice cream in the freezer.” I suggested getting Lauren a spoon.
Next morning, the guys decided to head back to Los Angeles. Doing a tour with 3 guys, amongst all the controversy was going to much and making security hard for them. The guys emotions were taking its toll. They would return back to Europe and finish the tour but at this moment, they wanted to be home with their family. Kevin wanted me to go back with them but I said no. I needed to be with Alex. He needed me.
A month later, Alex was released from the jail in Vienna where he was being held and we flew back to Los Angeles. Between the American Consulate and Alex’s personal lawyers, a agreement was made where Alex would go into a psychiatric centre for 30 days for assessment followed by another 60 days at a rehabilitation facility.
Arriving in Los Angeles, I saw Alex being taken away by officials to the psychiatric centre, hand cuffed, before I left the aircraft, starting my life in Los Angles again alone. But at least I had a home. I didn’t feel right living in Alex’s place but his Mum assured me it wouldn’t be a problem.
Nick wanted to start my music career again. It was time for a new promo, single, the works. He thought by starting into things almost immediately, it would show people that I can lead a life and show people I am continuing on with my life. He needed it too. Since the incident in Vienna, Nick hadn’t been the same, almost spending his time in the studio, working on his solo album, almost wanting to stay in the studio, either at his place down in the basement or in the studio in Santa Monica. Lauren tried to understand and stand by Nick but she couldn’t handle on how Nick became a recluse. They separated but wanted to remain friends.
Nick would only talk to the guys and I. He wouldn’t even talk to his family. Aaron was in a similar situation a few years ago that not many knew about and Aaron couldn’t even talk to Nick. The guys had sort of moved on and were moving on with things. The only other person that was still troubled with the situation was me.
Almost towards the end of Alex’s stay at the rehabilitation centre, there was a family conference on his progress. Denise and I were sticking by with Alex, the guys not really mentioning Alex. I just never brought it up as they were now angry at him. It caused dramas for me sometimes but I learnt not to say anything. Just go on with daily life.
The day of the family conference, Denise picked me up, she knew where we she was going. I hadn’t seen Alex all this time. It was almost like when it was back when I was in Witness Protection. I had heard of the name where Alex was but family weren’t allowed there so he could rehabilitate.
Arriving there, Denise and I were anxious on how Alex would react to us being there. We had been told he was aware of us coming and he was looking forward to it. I didn’t even tell the guys about this. When I was asked where I was going, I said I had something to do and needed to take care of. They questioned me but I didn’t give in.
In the family meeting room, Alex was standing across the room looking outside the sunshine and all. Alex had somewhat changed. For the better. He was no longer wearing the bandages from where the burns were and he looked healthier. There was a new glow on him. His Psychiatrist and counsellor were there along with his case manager for when he leaves in two weeks time.
“Hi Mom.” Alex said to Denise when he saw her, no sunglasses in sight.
“How you doing sweetie?” She asked giving him a hug.
“Doing good. Doing good.” He replied nodding his head.
“Missed you.” Denise said.
“Me too.” He whispered holding onto her. Moments later, she let go and stood aside. She too, was wondering how this would go when/if he talked to me.
“Hi.” I said.
“Hi.” He replied gently smiling at me.
“It’s good to see you.” I remarked standing in front of him.
“Same here.” Alex replied, slowing moving in to put his arms around me. It felt so good. 6 months since this had happened. I didn’t want to let go but he let go.
The Doctor explained what Alex had been doing in the Psychiatric centre and here at the rehabilition centre. Alex had been diagnosed with a psychiatric condition but with treatment had recovered from that. The demanding schedule for the guys, pressures on Alex himself as a person of what the media and public expected of him. His counsellor continued on how to approach things when situations arise and how Alex can be more assertive when he feels the pressure of things getting on top of him. His case manager went over everything and had agreed with Alex to see him when he got out on a regular basis.
“When Alex was in therapy, he talked about something and he wanted to tell Brianna.” His case manager added.
“Oh?” I remarked, shocked.
“We’ll leave you two alone.” Kelly his case manager added and got up along with Denise, the psychiatrist and the counsellor.
For a short few moments, it was quiet, awkward, didn’t know what to say to each other. Deep inside me I wanted to hold him. I wanted to be with him, be in his ar to ms.
“How have you been?” He asked as he looked out the window again.
“Yeah doing ok. Getting there. What about you?” I replied moving closer towards him.
“Same, be glad when out of here though. What about the guys?” He replied. How could I say the guys didn’t want to talk to him? Talk about him?
“It’s ok, I probably know the answer.” He said a few minutes later when I was trying to come up with the words without trying to hurt his feeling.
“I’m sorry.” I apologised, my right hand on top of his right shoulder.
“No need to be sorry. It happened last time when I was in rehab, the first time. You remember that?” He replied asking me.
“Yeah, saw that. My heart bled for you.” I replied.
“It’s alright. The first time was bad when I got out, but I think this will take a bit more than last time.” He sighed turning around to face me.
“Give them time.” I said.
“Yeah.” He sighed.
“So what did you want to talk to me about alone?” I asked a few minutes later when silence happened again.
“I want to explain about the accident, why I changed from the time of the accident.” Alex replied.
“You don’t have to, it was just one of those things that happened...” I began to explain.
“Something happened Bri, and I want to tell you. I owe it to you. Especially after all the shit I put you through. This is why I wanted to tell you on your own. Tell now before I come home.” Alex cut in.
“Ok...” I replied sitting down facing Alex who was sitting next to me, facing me.
“After we were hit, I must have been knocked out for a bit as when I realised what had happened, I got no sign of the driver of showing signs of him being alive and I couldn’t move. I was in the backseat next to you and I know I shouldn’t have but I turned myself round to face you to see if you were alright. You were unconscious but you were breathing. Fortunately an off duty nurse witnessed the accident and came to help us after calling for help. She looked on you and realised that because of the impact of the shock from the accident, you were having contractions and you were dilated already. The next thing when the paramedics and everyone arrived....” Alex began to explain starting to choke at this point.
“SSh...Alex, its ok.” I whispered holding his hands, tears down my face.
“I want to.” He managed to say, eyes looking down on the ground.
“Ok.” I said.
“When the paramedics arrived, our baby was already crowning. I wanted to be with you but I was being treated and then taken away. The burns were from the lighter I had in my shirt pocket. When I got to the hospital, I asked and asked about you and our child until I pestered them. With the help you had at the accident site, our son was born.” Alex saying in between choking up, tears welling up in his eyes. I couldn’t talk or anything.
“Son.” I cried looking at him. We just put our arms around each other and cried til we could cry no more. We agreed no one would never know what happened.
“You alright?” Denise asked on our way home from the centre that night.
“Just been a big day, didn’t realise it would be this big.” I replied turning round to face her, as she drove back to Santa Monica.
“I think you did really well. Honestly, I don’t think any of Alex’s girlfriends in the past could have handled on what you have gone through these past few months. Sticking around even after what happened in Europe.” Denise told me.
“I love him. I knew there was something more to what was going on and all.” I explained.
“I know you do.” She smiled at me.
Back home at Alex’s place, it felt strange. I couldn’t explain on how I was feeling. I was feeling elated that Alex would be home, where he belonged, emotional after what he said happened and what he witnessed at the crash site and anger towards the guys for leaving Alex high and dry.
On the computer at home I was emailing some people and on twitter answering fans tweets when Brian pulled up in the driveway. It wasn’t strange to see the guys late at night like around 11pm.
“Hey, how are ya?” He asked as I let him in.
“Yeah alright, you? Shouldn’t you be home with Leighanne?” I replied as we walked into the kitchen.
“Leigh and Bay are at her folks for a few days. “ He replied.
“Bay would like that.” I remarked.
“Yeah. You and Denise saw AJ today didn’t ya?” He asked.
“What?” I replied.
“No need to lie to me. It was pretty obvious. Not exactly saying where you were going today, AJ’s nearly finished his stay at the centre. I’m not that crazy Bri.” Brian replied.
“Ok, yeah I did see him.” I said as we walked into the living room with our drinks sitting on the couch, Alex’s dogs running around.
“How’d it go?” He asked.
“It went well. Made some progress. He’s gonna be alright.” I replied.
“That all?” Brian asked wanting more information.
“It’s up to Alex to tell you. There are a few things he mentioned to me that will only remain between the two of us. All I can say is, Alex witnessed a few unpleasant things at the crash site and something actually happened to him causing an injury but he is alright.” I explained.
“How is he?” Brian asked.
“Looking forward to coming back home, that’s for sure. You will notice something different about him. I am not saying anything. Will have to find out when he is home.” I replied.
“How are you?” Brian asked putting a hand out to touch my arm, showing concern.
“Be glad when I have him back and we can start again.” I told him.
Two weeks later, Denise and I went to go and get Alex from the centre. He was coming home. Denise had been in contact with the guys and let them know what was happening. If they wanted to, they could come over that night and see him, Alex was prepared for any situation. When we arrived, Alex was in his room waiting. He hugged both of us tight. Walking out of the centre Denise took his suitcase and walked on ahead, Alex holding my hand, pecking me.
Home about lunchtime, his dogs met us at the door, tails wagging eager to see him. “I missed you guys so much.” Alex cooed kneeing down to pay attention to them. Denise had lunch with is before she left Alex and I alone together.
The two of us alone, nothing but silence in the house, we stayed on the couch just holding each other, feeling each other, bonding together like we used to.
“Brian called this morning. He and Nick are coming over tonight.” I mentioned to Alex as he was stroking my arm, his arms around me, I was in between Alex’s legs stretched out on the couch.
“Ok, cool. Nothing about Howie or Kevin.” Alex replied.
“Little James is teething, Leigh’s been having a rough time with him, Howie be round in the morning. Kevin, he’s outta town. He’s organising something for me. Don’t know what or anything.” I replied.
“That’s alright.” Alex said now wanting to kiss me.
“You want to?” I asked.
“I want you so much.” Alex whispered looking into my eyes, no sunglasses in sight.
Brian and Nick turned up around 7pm, bringing in Pizza. “Nick was craving for it.” Brian said.
“More like, yikes I forgot my credit card.” Nick added.
“Who was driving? Who locked his keys in the house?” Brian asked him.
“Not again! Nick! You like did that when?” I whined.
“This happened before has it?” Brian asked me.
“Thursday wasn’t it? You called me to take ya to like a grocery store or something?” I reminded Nick.
“Whatever, whatever. Brian’s dropping me around Angel’s place on our way back to get my spare set.” Nick said. Alex was coming downstairs from our bedroom.
“Hey guys.” Alex said wondering what would happen. I had never seen him this nervous.
“Hey wassup man. Soda?” Nick asked throwing Alex a can of soda.
“Yeah thanks.” Alex replied opening the can of soda.
“You looking good.” Brian commented.
“Thanks, yeah I feel good.” Alex nodded sitting down on the kitchen bench next to me.
“Dude, we got your back alright. We were like assholes, yeah even Rok here, but last night Brianna explained the situation. We’re so sorry man.” Nick apologised to Alex going over to Alex, Brian doing the same thing.
“Thanks man. Means a lot.” Alex replied as he hugged Brian and Nick.
Once we had finished dinner and I put the trash out, Nick coming outside with me, he was saying Brian wanted to have a few words with Alex, just apologising and all from Brian in the way Brian wanted to. Nick and I were playing ball with the dogs who were wanting to have a play of fetch.
“You really do love AJ don’t ya?” Nick commented as we were sitting on the grass next to each other throwing the balls at the dogs for catch.
“Ah, yeah Nick. I love Alex so much. Why you ask?” I replied.
“Nothin, it’s nothing.” Nick quickly said.
“Nick, spill.” I warned him.
“I’m just looking out for the both of you. I love ya guys so much. For some reason for a while I had been wondering if this was all a scam or something. Just wanting his money and stuff.” Nick confessed not looking at me, throwing the ball even harder for the dogs to run.
“You think I would have done all this witness protection crap, lying to you all, all that time, the extra work to try and NOT get Alex to marry me. I went through hell in witness protection. I worked my ass off before meeting you guys to get some permanency work to stay here as a citizen. If I was using Alex and you guys, would I have not called outside help for a few things I wanted to get done? How could you say this? Why do you think I did what I did in Vienna?” I shrieked quietly.
“Anyone would have done that. Just to be linked with that.” Nick sarcastically said.
“What has gotten into you?” I asked.
“Nothing, I was just wondering.” He replied.
“You are being such a jerk tonight.” I told him.
“Whatever!” He remarked.
“Seriously, before you walk in that door, tell me what is going on. I want this cleared up before going inside. Alex only got out of rehab today and he doesn’t need this shit.” I warned him.
“Stop treating him as if he’s a baby. He ain’t.” Nick retaliated back.
“Least I was there for him and didn’t think he was whacko or something. You were the one that ditched him when we got back to the United States. You brainwashed everyone against him.” I said.
“It was their calling. After the first time in rehab he swore he would never go back to the way he was. Then you came along and ruined all that.” Nick replied.
“Oh ok...so blame this on me. Blame every single second on me. Alex was actually sick, he was sick. But he is on track again.” I stormed at him. Silence.
“I love you alright. I love you.” Nick stated as I was walking back inside the house, dogs running behind me.
“WHAT!” I shrieked quietly not wanting anyone to hear, Nick catching up to me.
“I do. After what happened in Europe, how you were there for me, Lauren wasn’t I realised that there was something deep inside that was missing. Lauren and I had something but I feel different when you are around.” Nick said.
“I’m sorry. I love Alex.” I replied sincerely.
“But what about...” Nick began to say.
“What about what?” I asked
“Then what was all this stuff I heard about how you wanted to be with me?” Nick said.
“Nick, that was well before I even left Australia. I was a teenager, like every girl was saying and is saying about you.” I let him know.
“Oh.” He quietly replied.
“I do like you, a lot. Alex is the one I love.” I said.
“Can you see yourself being with him for the rest of your life?” Nick asked me.
“Guys, what’s going on out here?” Alex called out.
“Just talkin man. Thought leave you and Rok talkin while Bri and I talk work.” Nick told him.
“Geeze ya could have talked inside. Freezing out here.” Alex mentioned as he came over and put a jacket on me.
“We’re cool. It’s all good.” I spoke him, holding Alex’s hand giving him a kiss.
“We gotta get going Nick. If ya wanna get your keys from Angel’s we better go. I know how long you talk to Angel for and I got phone calls in the morning before heading out to do some recording.” Brian said.
Not long after Nick and Brian left, Alex and I decided to call it a night and it had been a long day. “I love you.” Alex said.
“Love you too.” I replied as we kissed each other.
“Every waking moment, I was praying for the day we would get to do this. I’ve missed this and you so much. Nothing else matters now.” Alex confessed, his fingers running down my body, looking into my eyes.
“Me too. Me too.” I added.
Daddy!” Alex Junior squealed. Three years had passed, Alex and I were married and had another child, Alexander Brian Junior. The guys had just finished another tour in Europe. The reunion was going to be at our place, in our new home, just outside of Los Angeles. The kids, James, Baylee, Alex Junior, Mason and Nick’s child Aaron who just turned 4 months were in the backyard running around, Aaron watching on Lauren’s knee. The guys had just arrived home. Nick and Lauren weren’t married but they were as good as it was going to be.
“Hey kiddo.” Alex said hugging Squirt as we called him.
“Bring me anything back?” He asked.
“Nice to see you too.” Alex laughed scruffing his brown straight hair, then pulling out a train Alex bought in London giving it to Squirt.
“Wow! Thanks Daddy!” Alex Junior replied hugging Alex and then running off to the Mason.
“Hey you. Welcome home.” I said giving him a hug.
“Still sexy as ever.” Alex sighed hugging me.
“Quit it will you.” I laughed as he kissed me.
“And how is my cute alien in there?” He cooed at my stomach, 6 months pregnant. I laughed. I knew what we were having but Alex didn’t want to know.
Once all the family reunions had finished with all the kids and wives and all, we all sat down and had a big lunch. The guys decided during the tour that this would be their last for a while, and work together as the guys wanted to spend time with their families and have their lives as normal as possible.
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