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Chapter Fifteen

I looked miserable. By I, I mean Howie in my body. He was sitting across the table from Nick, who kept shooting little smirks and winks at him and hanging all over Becky. I'd warned the guy, but would Howie listen? Nooo. And how many times had I complained that Nick was a full-blown, massive freak? Probably a million and nobody had ever listened to that either.

However, I wasn't looking much rosier than Howie was, I'm sure, because, in his lack of consideration for me, Howie hadn't mentioned what a freaking freak that Brian is.

See, for me, it works like this: Me and Nick joke about sex constantly. It's like a running, permanent thing. We are always on perverted mode. We never exit that mode and that is the way we like it. We communicate well on that level. Then there's me and Howie, who, despite our current situation, have always gotten along quite well and have always traded sex tips and ideas that we've picked up along the way. Mine to make him wilder, his to make me more romantic. It works. It's a relationship, a give-and-take thing that turns on and off depending on the mood and how great the tip is.

Me and Brian, though, we've never talked about sex. At least not while he was sober.

Apparently, he reserved all that for Howie.

"It was amazing," he was saying in a whismical voice.

I stared at him. He'd gone on and on for the last ten to fifteen minutes - probably longer than the encounter lasted - about him and Leighanne and their friggin love sex. I'm sure the kinkiest thing Brian's ever done was missionary position. Brian's not a big adventurer.

I mean the guy's idea of a dirty joke is that lame ass thing about sex on TV being bad for you.

Yeah, you know the one.

Because you might fall off.

Right now, I felt like pushing him off. Off Nick's 2nd story deck and into his pool below.

"I'd like to propose a toast," Nick suddenly yapped, getting up and hitting his glass with his knife. Lemonade spilled over the rim and dribbled down his wrist. He licked his arm with that big gross tongue of his and winked at Becky. I didn't even want to imagine what that was supposed to mean.

Brian lifted up his cup.

I hesitantly followed suit.

"To the best potato salad maker ever, my sexy bride-to-be, Becky." He petted her head. "And to the best fucking tour that ever happened," he grinned.

"Here, here," Howie said in my voice.

Nick looked at him like he was nuts, "Okay Howie," he teased.

Howie turned red.

"Yeah, man," I said, "Stop narking my phrases."

"Narking?" Brian looked at me funny.

"As soon as you stop narkin' mine, dude," Howie replied back.

Nick glanced between the two of us. "Ya'll are fucking weird," he commented. Then he tossed the drink back and sat down, letting out a gigantic belch as he sat.

"Ten pointer," I muttered under my breath.

Nick started macking on Becky's neck and Howie looked ready to throw up.

I almost felt bad for him, until I heard Brian say, "Anyways, where was I? ...Oh yeah, right... So anyways, the condom thing..."

I smacked my forehead.

At least Nick's sexual escapades were interesting to listen to. Brian's was about as exciting as a slightly damp moist towelette.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"I love you Nicky-nicker-kins," Becky simpered. They rubbed noses before Nick shoved his tongue down her throat for the fifteenth time and she wrapped her leg around his waist. I coughed and looked at my wrist. AJ didn't wear watches. AJ was grinning, watching the action unfold like a Pay-Per-View flick. Bri was staring at the sidewalk, scuffling her huge ass sneaked into a crease overgrown with weeds.

"Don't forget to Sykpe me," Nick whined as he pulled away. He ran his hands up along her sides, every single time grabbing a half-palm full of her boobs. She nodded.

I groaned. I was stuck on a bus with him and J. I knew Nick wasn't just going to Skype to check up on his nursey-poo's day.

This was going to suck.

"Are we ready?" I asked. Nick looked at me.

"Just a couple more sec--AH!"

Becky squeezed his ass and he attacked her like she was watermelon and it was a hundred degree day.

I turned and climbed into Bri's SUV. It was tradition that AJ and Nick rode to the airport together and Brian and I traveled together.

Of course, that's when I was Howie.

"Whatcha doin' J?" Bri asked. I stared back at him. "What?"

"Dontcha wanna ride with Nick?"

"It's okay," J said quickly. "I can ride with Nick."

Bri looked uncomfortable. "But it's tradition...it's like good luck. It's like fortune cookies."

I had no clue what Bri was talking about. All I knew was that we were going to probably get a Jim Carrey-esque freakout if we didn't play along. I slid out of the SUV.

"Just yankin your pickle," I said. It sounded ridiculous, but I could imagine AJ saying something like that. Can't you?

Ten minutes later, Becky's boobs finally left Nick's doorway and Bri was backing his car out of the drive. I was sitting in Nick's brand new, bright blue, convertible.

"Isn't this baby, awesome?" Nick asked. He rubbed his long fingers over the steering wheel.

"It's nice," I admitted. "Not really a family car," I added, thinking of James.

Nick snorted. "Of course it's not a family car," he said. He broke into a full-out grin. "But it is a baby-making car."

He made pointed glances to the seat I was sitting in. My body tensed. I was sitting in Nick goo. I just knew it. Sure, it was probably dried or evaporated, or whatever, but I was still contaminated.

"You're acting weird," Nick pouted. "You'd usually ask me something about how I managed to maneuver around the gear shift.

I exhaled loudly. It wasn't even day one and even Nick was suspicious.

"Sorry," I said. "I've just been having issues."

"What kinda issues?"

What kinda issues did J have? I was still struggling with the depression, but it was getting better. AJ didn't HAVE any other issues. Except...

"Drinking," I lied.

"Dude, I thought you kicked that."

"It's hard. You know that."

Nick nodded. "I know. But, Becky says that drinking leads to importance so I don't do it as much as I did before."


"Yeah, yanno." Nick made a lifting motion with his fingers. "Your junk starts off like this and thirty seconds later..." Nick lowered his fingers, sagging them pathetically. "I don't want importance. Do you?"

Oh, Nick. I bit the inside of my cheek. "You mean impotence."

"That's what I said!" Nick exclaimed. "Ya don't want a soggy balloon when your lady wants a pillar of strength," he said wisely. Or as wisely as Nick got.

"Well, I'll make it my job to keep you too busy to even think about drinking," Nick said. He held out his hand, clenched in a fist.

I had seen Nick and J do their bro-shake a million times before. But seeing and doing are two totally different things. I sloppily mimicked his motions. Nick pulled up to a light, his hand hanging sideways and me not sure what came next.

"Okay, what's going on?"


"There's something wrong. I can't put my finger on it, but I mean your doing this handshake like Howie."

I choked. "What?!"

"D can't remember dance steps. Lord only knows he couldn't remember a handshake." Nick smiled. "What did you two do? Switch bodies?"

I paled.

Nick gave a bark of laughter. "Just joking! Are you hung over?"

He looked concerned. I had no choice but to nod. Nick sighed.

"What are we going to do with you?"

"I don't know, Nick," I said quietly. "I don't know."

Nick didn't bother me for the rest of the drive. He knew well that talking and hangovers didn't mix. We got to the airport just a few minutes late. For Backstreet time, that was impressive.

It wasn't a secret that we were starting the tour; ergo, we had fans waiting for us. A LOT of fans.

And they all seemed to want Nick. And AJ. Besides our little trips to Latin America, I was never mauled.

I never knew how scary it could be.

Unknown McLean Fact #15: One time when we were in Canada during the Millennium tour, Nick and AJ decided to go fishing. They bought about a thousand dollars worth of clothes and equipment and rented a small boat. Unfortunately, a couple fans tracked them down. Two Backstreet Boys + Two Insane Canadian Fans = One scene right out of the movie 'Jaws'. Nick and J both came back with only one rubber boat, suspenders, and their boxer briefs. When I asked what they caught, they both said (jokingly) 'Herpes.'