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Chapter Four

Anna slammed the hotel room door shut and threw her purse down. Falling onto the bed, she didn’t hold back. She screamed as loud as she could, as long as she could. The day had started out so perfectly. Kevin had come into the hotel and had been sweet and charming. He had asked her to go out with him and she’d agreed. But the day had ended in disaster. Kevin had finally woken from his trance right when Anna was getting out of the limo. He had quickly crawled out behind her and apologized over and over. He hugged her and tried talking, but she had pretty much given him the cold shoulder. He had insisted on walking her up to her room, but she told him that she could go herself and quickly walked away. Anna knew that he needed somebody to be there for him, and she wasn’t exactly doing that, but she had hoped that Kevin would talk to her about how he was feeling. Instead, she barely got in a complete conversation with him. She hated the hurt look on his face when she’d walked away. Chances were, she would never see or talk to him again anyways, whether he’d been fully attentive or not.

Anna rolled onto her stomach, wondering why she hadn’t been kinder to Kevin. Normally she was understanding and wanting to help. But for some reason, his behavior had annoyed her. She figured that she would’ve been better to him if he had talked. Looking at the clock, she realized that it was only two in the afternoon. The guys had to be back at four so that they could be at the arena at six. She had a full two hours…no, another full two hours of boredom. She turned on the TV and watched a couple of shows on Disney but got bored after an hour. She wondered if Nathan was off of work yet. Taking his number out of her pocket, she read the number once and then dialed it. The phone rang four times before being answered.

“Hello?”

“Hey,” Anna replied, “Is Nathan there?”

“Him speaking,”

Anna took a deep breath, wondering if she should just hang up before she got herself in too deep. Shutting her eyes and counting silently to five, she decided to carry through with the call.

“Hi,” she said, “It’s Anna, the girl from the restaurant.”

“Oh, wow,” Nathan said, “I didn’t think you would actually call. Did your date go that horribly?”

Anna laughed just so she wouldn’t cry, “It wasn’t a date. Just lunch with…somebody I met last night.” She replied.

“Picked up kind of a spazz,” Nathan joked, “Where did you find that guy? He wasn’t exactly...erm, normal.”

Anna’s heart swelled at Nathan making fun of Kevin, “I met him at a concert that I went to last night. He’s going through a divorce right now,” Anna explained, “I was just there for him.”

Nathan didn’t say anything and Anna wondered if there was something wrong with her hanging out with a married man who was soon to be single and meant nothing to her. She wished that he did, but she couldn’t change that.

“So, Anna, do you live around here?” Nathan asked

“Hardly,” Anna spat, with a bitter and regretful laugh “My friends and I were up here for a concert. We live about five hours away. I really want to get away from that place. There is absolutely nothing there at all.”

Nathan let out a low whistle, “Jeez. That must really suck. I know it does for me. Are you headed back any time soon?”

“Well, that depends,” Anna hinted flirtatiously, “My friends met some guys too and if things go good for all of us, we might all just stay awhile.”

Nathan laughed, catching on quickly to her hint, surprising Anna with his sharpness, “Well, if your not doing anything tomorrow night, how would you like to go out to dinner with me?”

Anna smiled, but a sinking feeling tugged at her heart. Trying not to let her disappointment from earlier that day get the best of her, she swallowed, forcing herself to answer.

“I’ll have to see if the girls are going to stay another day. If they are, then I’m definitely interested. If not, then I gotta go with them. They’re my ride back. Steph doesn’t trust me to drive, or Jaime for that matter. I don’t exactly know why. If I had driven, I would tell them we were staying for sure. Anyways, the point is, tomorrow unfortunately depends on what Stephanie feels like doing.”

“I gotcha,” Nathan replied with a snicker, “If it comes to that then I think we’ll just have to keep in touch and go out another time.”

“I think you’re right,” Anna responded, amazed at how easily she was flirting with this boy. Normally she was shy the first time she spoke to somebody. But with Nathan, it was so easy for her to be her true self.

Just then, Anna’s cell phone started to ring. She tried to ignore it, but it kept buzzing in her ear.

“Could you hold on a sec,” Anna asked, “My cell is ringing.”

“Sure,” Nathan replied.

Anna set down the phone and answered her cell, “Yeah?” she answered, almost positive that it was just one of her friends or her mom or
something.

“Anna, I need to talk to you,” a male voice came, and she automatically knew it was Kevin.

“This isn’t a good time,” Anna sighed, trying to keep the coolness out of her voice. She’d been having such a good time talking to Nathan.

“Anna, please,” Kevin begged, and she knew that she couldn’t turn him down again. It would be too mean.

“Hold on a minute,” Anna replied, setting down the phone and getting back on with Nathan, “Hey, could I call you later on,” she asked, “The date from hell is on the other phone.”

Nathan laughed, “Sure, just call whenever and let me know what’s going on for tomorrow.”

Anna said goodbye, feeling like a bitch for talking about Kevin like that, and picking her cell phone back up, “Yes?” she asked.

“Anna,” Kevin said, “I am really sorry about how I acted today. I know things started out perfectly. I don’t know what happened.”

“Kevin,” Anna sighed, “It’s not…”

“Please give me a second chance,” Kevin urged, not giving her the chance to turn him down, “It’ll be better.”

Anna bit her lip. She already had a date with Nathan and she didn’t want to cancel it unless she had to because of the fact that she was going back home. But she didn’t want to turn Kevin down either.

“I’ll think about it,” Anna replied.

Kevin breathed a sigh of relief. Her answer was much better than a flat out no. Anna couldn’t believe that she was giving in to Kevin.

“I have this idea,” Kevin said, “I know that Aje and Nick won’t mind. How about you girls come to the show tonight?”

Anna would like to see their show, but she wasn’t sure if she should go. But Kevin was trying so hard to make it up to her for his behavior.

“I guess we could,” she said, “But tell me…what was it today that triggered your little…episodes?”

Kevin sighed, “On the menu, her favorite meal…sushi with squash. Disgusting, I know, but I saw it there and froze. And afterwards outside, I saw a car that looked like hers. Its just the smallest things that do it.”

“Isn’t there anything that could make it so those things would, naturally, make you sad, but not totally conk out on people? I mean, you’re fine talking about it.”

“That’s the weird thing,” Kevin replied, “Just talking about it kind of helps. But visual reminders do things to me.”

Anna was silent, wondering what to say next. She wanted to talk to the man, but wasn’t sure what would be appropriate.

“Well, thanks for giving me a second chance. You’re going to love the show tonight. You girls can watch from backstage. It’ll be great. I promise.”

“I never had any doubt that it wouldn’t be,” Anna told him, “You guys have always put on a great show. I’ve seen plenty.”

“I’m glad to hear we’re doing our job,” Kevin said, “It feels great to hear fans positive input and support in person. I just hope that we can be friends.”

“I think that I would like that,” Anna told Kevin, “Being friends sounds great, as long as you promise that as soon as we go home, you won’t forget me and never speak to me again.”

Kevin laughed, and it was a beautiful sound for Anna to hear, “I could never forget you, Anna.” He told her. He didn’t plan on her going back home either. He had another plan that he would talk to the guys about. He was excited about it if it all went through as he thought it would.

Anna blushed at his comment, “Kevin, you’re so sweet.” Anna commented, “To be honest, I was a little mad at you at first tonight, but, I really enjoy talking to you. I’m glad that you called.”

Kevin paused, upset that he’d made Anna mad at him, “I’m sorry,” he said, “I didn’t mean for things to end so badly today.”

“I know,” Anna replied, “I guess that it’s not your fault that this happened. I’m going to be myself next time and be more comforting. I’m sorry I wasn’t exactly pleasant today.”

Kevin gave a small laugh, “Hey, don’t worry about it. If the roles were reversed, I’m not so sure that I wouldn’t be slightly rude myself. Anyways, I appreciate you not hanging up on me when I called.”

“I wouldn’t do that,” Anna told him.

“Well,” Kevin said, “I have to go. I would pick
you up for the show, but I don’t think that there is time. You can get a ride here with your friends and the guys. You don’t mind, do you?”

“Of course not,” Anna said, “I’ll see you in a couple of hours.”

“I’m looking forward to it,” Kevin said.

The two said goodbye and hung up. Anna smiled to herself. She was going to see the Boys for the second night in a row and would have backstage seats. She was happy that Kevin was speaking to her. Anna had a feeling that they were about to become really good friends.

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Jaime rushed into the hotel room in with a huge smile plastered to her face. Anna looked up from the TV wondering what she was so happy about, and then remembered that she probably had a better time that she herself had.

“I had the most amazing time with A.J today,” she encountered without even being asked, “He is a really great guy.”

“I’m glad that you had fun,” Anna told her friend

Anna forced a smile. She had gone back to her mood before Kevin called. She was again full of regret for the spoiled day. She wasn’t mad at Kevin this time though, she was mad at herself.

“What did you guys go do?” Anna asked

“We went to a little café a few blocks away and just talked…about everything. I guess we pretty much got to know each other. He’s got an interesting life. Compared to his, ours are so boring, even with Stephanie around.”

Jaime decided to leave out the part about there talk on Kevin. She wasn’t sure if Anna would want to know, or what she had been told would make her sad and disappointed. It was always hard to tell how the girl would take things.

“Wow,” was all Anna said, her eyes widening, wondering how life with Stephanie could ever be considered boring.

“So, what did you do,” Jaime asked her.

“Kevin did end up coming over,” she started.

“See, I told you so,” Jaime laughed.

Anna held up her hand to stop her friend from speaking so that she could finish telling her about her day.

“He took me to a baseball game, but we only watched a few innings. Then we went out to lunch. He pretty much acted like he did last night after the show.”

“Oh,” Jaime replied, “Umm, I’m sorry.”

Anna shrugged, about to tell her friend his offer for that night, but stopped short. She would wait until Stephanie got back and tell them both at the same time.

“He did call me then after he dropped me off to apologize,” Anna put in, “Gotta give him credit for that.”

Jaime shrugged. She plopped down on her own bed, pulling a bag of chips out of her purse and started munching on them. Just then Stephanie breezed into the room.

“Nick may be blonde, and he may be a great big pussy about some things, but he knows how to have fun,” she told them, “We went to a theme park that’s about half hour from here. It was a blast.”

Anna snickered at the thought of the tall blonde being afraid of a roller coaster. She, herself loved them and would go on almost any one, excluding most wooden ones. They were way too rough for her preference.

“A.J. is downstairs, Jaime,” Stephanie informed her, “He wanted to say goodbye one last time before him and Nicky left for the show.”

“Hey guys, I have some good news,” she piped up, remembering again what she had been waiting to tell them, getting her friends attention, “Kevin called me and asked us of we wanted to go to the show tonight. I told him we would be there. He said that we could watch the show from backstage.”

Jaime’s eyes brightened and Stephanie smiled, “Good thing the guys are still here. Now we have a ride to wherever they are.”

The three girls all looked at one another for a moment and smiled. They were going to another show, only with the guys this time. They could tell that they were all thinking the same thing. Life couldn’t get any better than this. Just then there was a knock on the door. Looking at one another in confusion, Stephanie walked over to answer it and saw Nick and A.J. standing there.

“Damn you chicks are slow,” A.J. said with a grin, “Listen, we just came up to say goodbye. We’re running late as it is.”

The guys walked into the room and hugged Jaime and Stephanie, kissing them on the cheek.

“I’ll call you really soon,” Nick told Stephanie
softly, “Next chance I get, I’m going to that little town you live in to see you.”

Stephanie put her hands on her hips, “Um, guys, you ain’t going anywhere without us,” she remarked seriously.

“What are you talking about?” A.J. asked.

“We’re going to the show with you,” Anna informed him, “Kevin said that its alright and to hitch a ride with you.”

“Really?” Nick asked hopefully.

The girls nodded in sync with one another and the two guys smiled, “Well, lets go then,” A.J. said, taking Jaime by the hand and rushing out the door with the others trailing closely behind him, “We’ve got a show to get to and I have a feeling that its going to go better than ever.”

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The other four members of the Backstreet Boys looked at Kevin in complete bewilderment. Nick and A.J. had brought the girls to the show with them. They were in one of the tour busses, the guys on another getting ready for the show.

“Kev, you’ve got to stop doing this,” Brian finally said, “Why even bother taking a girl out if you’re going to go loony on her?”

Kevin put his head down to hide the shame that was written all over his face. He knew that his cousin was right, but it was hard on him to act normal, when he didn’t even realize that he was doing it until it was too late.

“Bri’s right,” Nick continued, “Anna’s a sweet chick. She didn’t deserve what happened.”

Kevin’s head whipped up. His eyes narrowed, glaring at his four best friends, “Lay off of it,” he nearly shouted.

The guys all looked at each other in shock wondering what they’d done to set him off so unexpectantly.

“Dude,” Nick stated, “We’re sorry. Just trying to help.”

“Well you’re not,” Kevin snapped, “You’re making it worse if anything. I feel guilty enough as it is.”

“Maybe you’re just not ready to date. It’s obviously not helping you get over the divorce any sooner or easier,” A.J. suggested, “We thought that maybe it would, but Kristin is obviously still overtaking your brain.

Kevin was about to remind A.J. of his bitter ending with Sara and how he’d retorted to drinking to help get over it. He decided to keep his mouth shut though. A.J. had been sober for a little over a year now after months of rehab. It would be wrong of him to rub that in his face, especially when he was doing so well. He was the oldest member and because of that he was expected to be the most responsible and act the most mature. It was too late though. A.J. must’ve read what was on Kevin’s mind by the wounded expression that came over his face.

“I know,” he said, looking Kevin square in the eye, “Don’t even say it. I already know.”

The others looked from A.J. to Kevin in confusion wondering what they had missed. Nick’s train of thought soon wandered off to Stephanie though. He would get to see her again in a very short time…he hoped. Sometimes they were so pressed for time that they could only run out on stage without time to even think. Nick prayed that it wouldn’t be one of those nights. He could really use seeing her right before show time to give him the extra motivational boost. Jumping when he heard a knock on the door, Nick stood up to answer it.

“Hi,” Stephanie chirped

The other girls waved from behind her and Nick said ‘Hi’ back to them before drawing Stephanie into his arms.

“I missed ya,” he murmured so quietly so nobody else would hear him.

Stephanie threw her head back and laughed out loud, “Nicky, it’s been like, an hour and a half, tops.”

Nick shrugged, not understanding why it was such a big deal for him to miss her already.

“Anyways, some person came and told us to come and tell you that Bluewave, whoever the hell that is, is running a little late, but to get ready to take the stage,” Stephanie informed them, “I don’t know who the person was, but he was big and kind of an ass.”

“Okay,” Nick replied with a laugh, “Bluewave is our warm up band starting tonight. No Authority decided to go off on their own. Bluewave, they’re pretty good and very new. I’m not surprised that you haven’t heard of the They consist of six guys. Anyways, go ahead backstage and wait. We’ll meet you there in a few, alright?”

Stephanie agreed and Jaime waved to A.J but got nothing but a cool, nonchalant nod back. She gave him a questioning look but he’d already turned his head away. Jaime tried to ask what was wrong but the door had already closed behind them.

“Okay guys,” Kevin announced standing up, “I guess it’s show time.”

Howie, Brian and A.J. all stood up and walked toward the door that Nick had opened again. Howie and Brian hopped out of the bus and ran toward the backstage arena with Nick behind them. A.J quickly breezed past Kevin in a rush to get away from him as fast as he could but the strong man grabbed his arm to stop him.

“I’m sorry,” he apologized, his voice full of sincerity, “I honestly didn’t mean anything by it.”

A.J tensed, refusing to meet Kevin’s gaze.

“If you didn’t mean it, then it wouldn’t have crossed your mind in the first place,” A.J. said coolly.

“A.J, please believe me. I...”Kevin tried to protest again, but wasn’t given the chance to finish.

“Just forget it. I know I had a problem, but you had no right to even think about throwing that in my face,” A.J spat, shaking his arm free roughly. He was tempted to punch Kevin but it would be obvious when he bruised up that it was him who’d done it. He was, after all, the last to leave the bus before Kevin. He decided that if he got into another argument with Kevin, he would do it at a time that wasn’t so predictable that it was him who’d taken a swing at the man. He opened the bus door. He quickly bolted out letting the door slam loudly behind him. Kevin sighed, closing his eyes in guilt. He hadn’t meant a thing by his thoughts. He cared about A.J a lot, and the other guys too for that matter. He wouldn’t hurt any of them for anything but it looked like he had anyways. Kevin opened the door and slowly stepped out. The show would start in ten minutes. He didn’t want to put them behind schedule even though he had a feeling that the show would go badly anyways.

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Stephanie, Anna and Jaime screamed as Bluewave ran off of the stage. Nick wasn’t kidding when he’d said that they were pretty good. They were amazing. Anna found all six guys to be extremely good looking and talented. She had learned that they were between the ages of nineteen and twenty-four. The guys were Bryan, Ryan, Eric, Alex, Michael and Cody.

“Oh my god,” Jaime screamed over the loud cheers of fans, “I think that I have myself a new favorite band.”

Anna and Stephanie looked at Jaime in disbelief. Had she just said that she liked the new guys more than Backstreet Boys? Jaime wondered what she had said and then realized her mistake.

“Second favorite, I mean,” she corrected herself, “Nobody can top Backstreet Boys or replace them.”

Stephanie nodded in satisfaction at Jaime’s changing her way of wording. There was no way she was going to let one of her friends like Bluewave more than Backstreet Boys, no matter how talented, gorgeous and awesome they were on stage. It wasn’t going to happen in this lifetime. The six guys game walked past the girls to get to the other side of the stage.

“Hey, great job boys,” Anna called, then winced at the fact that she’d called them boys. They weren’t boys. They were men. Gorgeous, healthy, great looking men. She hoped that they weren’t offended in any way at her horrible terming.

“Thanks,” Ryan replied, walking back toward her. The others stopped and turned around, all flashing her white smiles, following Ryan.

Anna could feel her face start to flush. She hadn’t expected them to come and talk to her. She turned around to get help from her friends, but Stephanie and Jaime had disappeared somewhere, probably on purpose, and she was left alone with the guys. She had no idea what to say and the guys were looking at her expectantly.

“So, um, was being out there anything like you expected?” she said, asking the first thing that came to mind before they thought that she was stupid.

“We’ve done show’s before,” Cody replied, “But nothing like this. The size of the crowd completely blew our minds.”

“I agree. It wasn’t expected at all,” Michael put in, “It was an amazing feeling but scary. It was our first huge show. I think we’re all just happy that we’ve made it this far. We never really thought that we would.”

Anna grinned, but she was shaking inside, trying to figure out how to keep the conversation going.

“You did great,” she repeated.

“Thanks again,” Ryan said, “So, what part do you have here? Will you and your friends be around after every show?”

“We’re friends of the Backstreet Boys. Um, I don’t know if we’ll be around much though.” Anna told them

Anna thought that she saw disappointment cross their faces but wasn’t too sure. They all seemed really sweet. She just hoped that once they got famous…and she knew that they would with their talent…that the popularity didn’t go to their heads and turn them into the typical stuck up celebrity.

“Well, we hope that you’ll be around. You’re one of the first who’s actually made a point to talk to us.” Bryan said, “I think that we can all agree that you seem like you’d make a great friend and fun to get to know.”

Anna shrugged, not knowing how to respond to his compliment. She hoped that her and the girls would be around a lot too. She wanted to get to know the new band. Then she could have eleven close guys friends…eleven gorgeous close guy friends.

“Well, we should get going,” Michael said when he saw Kevin coming toward them, “Gotta clean up and head to the busses.”

“In case I don’t see you for awhile, good luck,” Anna told them.

Each guy hugged Anna and walked away disappearing from view. As soon as she could no longer see them, she turned to Kevin.

“Hey you,” she greeted him.

“Hi,” Kevin replied, “I see you met Bluewave. Nice group of guys, dontcha think?”

“Yeah, they seem like it. What really happened with No Authority though?” Anna asked him out of curiosity. She loved their music and hadn’t seen their departure coming. She had just seen them the night before and everything had seemed fine. She had been hoping to get to meet them but was one day too late.

Kevin sighed, wondering if he should expose the situation to the girl. He trusted her with the information but the ordeal was somewhat of a personal measure. No Authority was trying so hard not to let the news go public or anywhere near the press. They didn’t want the attention on their problems.

“What?” Anna asked, not liking the chilling silence that had come from her simple question.

Kevin turned and met her eyes, “You have to promise that you won’t tell a soul,” he demanded kindly. Anna nodded, telling him that she wouldn’t, “One of the members found out last week that he had a type of cancer. He’s going in for treatment starting tomorrow. If things don’t go well, then they’re breaking up all together. If things do, they’ll tour again with us next year. The line Nick fed about them wanting to go out on their own was what they told us to say to protect the member.”

Anna’s eyes widened, her breath catching in her throat. They were one of her favorite music groups. She couldn’t believe that something so horrible was happening to the poor member.

“Oh, wow,” she said, “I’m sorry to hear that.”

“Yeah, so were we,” he said, “The poor guy kept his act up pretty good considering the situation. They put on a great act but I think that we did a decent job finding someone to take their place for the time being.”

“Yeah, you did,” Anna complimented him, “I can see that they’re going to be going places real soon.”

Kevin shrugged, “Can’t do it over night, but I can see them being really popular a few years down the road. Anyways, Nick and A.J are with Stephanie and Jaime. Its about time for us to go on. I just wanted to apologize again, in person this time.”

“Kevin, its okay,” Anna assured him, “Just go out there and give it all you got. You guys always do such an great job.”

“I have a feeling that this show will be interesting for all,” Kevin said more to himself than to Anna.

Anna shot him a quizzical look and he knew that he had to explain what he had meant by the comment.

“A.J. and I aren’t on good terms right now. I kind of did, or rather thought something that offended him…and he read my mind. I don’t know how the show is going to turn out. Hopefully better than I’m expecting but I have a feeling its not.”

“Try to get things right in the minutes you have left before you go out,” Anna suggested just as an announcer was introducing the Boys. She was glad that they had a three minute intro before they went out on stage, “You’d better get going if you wanna make it,” she informed him, practically rushing him out to the rest of the group.

Kevin jogged over to the other four guys and
two girls. Anna joined them soon after. The guys slipped quickly into their first outfit. Before Kevin ran out onto stage, Anna gave him a quick hug and kiss on the cheek. He kissed her back and took off to catch up with the others.

“Good luck out there,” she yelled as he entered the stage and started dancing.

They all watched with intensity and awe at the guys. None of them really ever realized just how much work the guys really put into the shows until that moment, seeing them up close. Stephanie could easily make out the sweat that was pouring off of their glistening, muscular bodies. None of them notices that Bluewave had come up behind them to watch until Ryan started speaking.

“Think one day we’ll be as good as them?”

The girls all looked behind them and Anna’s breath caught in her throat. The guys were even more gorgeous cleaned up…and shirtless. They had nothing on but pairs of baggy jeans and tennis shoes. Their abs rippled and glistened with moisture from their recent showers.

“You’re good, but Backstreet’s been around for
almost eleven years,” Stephanie informed them, making a point to let the new group know who she was favoring, “It’ll take a while to live up to them.”

Anna elbowed Stephanie in the side, letting her know to keep her mouth shut before she discouraged the newcomers, “As I told you earlier, you’re…amazing. With time and work, you will definitely be as well known and good as the Boys out there. I can guarantee it.”

“Thanks,” Cody told her, “We appreciate your encouragement. We’ve been singing for three years but this is our first big break.”

“Well, touring with the Backstreet Boys, you’ll become famous pretty quickly,” Jaime said, eyeing the guys up and down.

All nine of them watched the Boys perform for a while putting their full attention on them. Stephanie couldn’t take her eyes off of Nick. He looked so cute when he was concentrating on his dance moves. She laughed when she saw Kevin almost trip over A.J’s foot and wasn’t sure if it was intentional or accidental. She was leaning more toward intentional when Kevin pushed A.J. She wondered what was going on between them. It didn’t matter though. It had made the show somewhat interesting. Besides the little fight, she had to admit that it was their best show ever.

“I don’t think we got the chance to formally meet you,” Michael spoke, “What’s your name?”

“Anna,” she said, sticking her hand out to shake theirs.

“Hi Anna,” Michael replied, “I’m Michael, the blonde with the spikes is Cody, the other blonde is Ryan, the one with black hair is Erik, the brown haired one with frosted spikes is Bryan and the one with just plain brown hair is Alex.”

“The blonde girl there is Stephanie and the brunette is Jaime,” Anna introduced, “They’re my two best friends.”

“Nice to meet all of you,” Bryan greeted, “And thanks for the welcome earlier, Anna,” he said.

“You’d better not think you’re going to replace
my Boys,” Stephanie warned them, “Nobody can replace them. Got it?”

Bluewave stepped back slightly intimidated by the small blonde with the steel face. They didn’t know what to make of a girl telling them how it was going to be and how it wasn’t.”

“Don’t worry about her,” Anna whispered after she had turned back to watching the Boys, “It’s how she is…sarcastic and…yeah. Don’t let her get to ya.”

“I think we’ll be fine,” Alex joked.

For the rest of the show, nobody said anything. They just watched the Backstreet Boys perform. Each song brought on a new unique dance. Anna caught on to a few little bouts between A.J and Kevin and hoped that nobody else was noticing. He hadn’t been kidding though when he’d said that A.J. was not happy with him at all.

All to quickly, the last song came on. The guys all performed perfectly, giving it their all as those in the audience shrieked and cried out. Anna couldn’t believe how together they were and how well they used teamwork to put on a perfect show. The girls all cheered their hearts out and clapped their hands as loudly as they could as the guys finished up their last song. The show the night before was great, but being there behind the scenes was an experience that they all really wanted to get used to as part of their daily routines. Anna smiled thinking about her date the next day with Nathan. She was going to have three days of excitement. She just hoped that she could actually follow through with it.

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“Thanks again for going out with me tonight,” Nathan said, turning to Anna, “It’s not every day I get a date with a beautiful girl like you.”

Nathan had taken Anna out to a nice restaurant. They talked the whole time and got to know each other. There really wasn’t much else to talk about at that point, but she was still happy to be in his presence.

Anna blushed, “You say that to every girl you date,” she accused jokingly, yet she was serious.

Nathan shook his head, “Actually, I don’t date a lot. I’m always too busy. You caught my eye though. I knew that I had to get to know you.”

Anna smiled and turned her head back to the movie theater screen. Advertisements were still running. Stephanie had decided to stay due to an offer that they’d gotten after the show the night before so she’d been saved the trouble of begging her friend to stay so that she could go on her date. Anna was happy that there was no show that night though or else she would be missing it. It was probably a good thing that there was no show that night because A.J. still wasn’t speaking to Kevin. She bit her lip, wondering if she should tell him yet about the offer that her and her friends had received the night before. It was a once in a lifetime thing and she really wanted to take it with her friends. They were going to no matter what. She was still indecisive of whether she should or not. She wanted to, it wasn’t a question of that. It was because she was really enjoying her date with Nathan and he seemed to like her too.

“I’m guessing things didn’t end so well with the lunatic from last night,” Nathan said with a laugh.

Anna could feel herself starting to lose her temper but held back. Kevin was a great guy and she knew that he didn’t deserve the harsh things that Nathan kept saying about him, even if he would never know.

“For one, he’s not a lunatic. Things with him are fine,” Anna informed him, “We’re friends, nothing more, as I told you before. It could be more, but he’s not ready to take on another relationship quite yet. He’s famous, you know.” She added, hoping to intimidate him a bit.

Nathan raised an eyebrow, “Really,” he asked skeptically, “Just how famous is this guy?”

“Well known world wide,” Anna told him and he laughed, “I’m serious. I met him backstage after a show and he asked me out.”

Anna could tell that Nathan still didn’t believe her but she didn’t care. She knew the truth because she had lived it. Some guy indicating that she was lying wouldn’t bring her down. She could see where it would be unbelievable though. Again though, it didn’t matter. She wasn’t dating Kevin. She was on a date with Nathan and wanted it to continue going smoothly like it had been going since early evening.

“So, do you live around here?” Nathan asked, changing the subject, slowly taking her hand. Anna didn’t resist or try to pull away, “I know you said you might be going home, but, how far is home?”

“Five hours,” she told him, and she could feel Nathan tense up a bit, “I like you a lot though. If I decide not to take advantage of this opportunity, it won’t be so bad. We could like, go back and forth every other weekend or something.”

Nathan smiled at her, “I guess that would work out okay,” then a worried expression came over his face, “What opportunity?”

Anna laughed, “A music group wants me and my friends to tour with them. My friends are going. I want to, but, some part of me is telling me not to. I have until tomorrow morning to decide.”

“Is this some sort of joke to get out of seeing me again?” Nathan demanded, forcing her to look him in the eye.

“No,” Anna responded, “It’s one hundred percent for real.”

There were a few minutes of silence. Anna could tell that the offer had struck a nerve in Nathan. She didn’t know how he could already like her so much after a day as to not know how to respond to her.

“If you want it, then go for it,” Nathan finally told her, “I mean, I wish you wouldn’t, but, you’re right, it’s a great opportunity. We aren’t officially dating. I’d have no right to hold you back.”

Anna shrugged, still unsure of what she wanted. She had less than twenty-four hours to decide and it was a major decision to make.

“If I do go,” Anna stated, “I’ll write and call you.”

“It’s up to you,” Nathan replied, “I don’t want you to feel held back just because of our date.”

Minute later, the theatre lights dimmed and the movie started. Neither said anything for the remainder of the movie. Anna’s thoughts were on wanting to go with the band and tour. Nathan’s thoughts were centered more toward not wanting her to go but not wanting to hold her back. He didn’t know her well enough to do that. And even if he did know her well, it would still be wrong of him to tell her that she couldn’t go. Not when he could read it in her eyes that it would mean everything to her.

By the time the movie had ended a little over two hours later, a heavy rain had begun. Nathan drew Anna in close to him to try to keep her as dry as he could as they ran to the car. He drove her back to the hotel in silence. The rain slammed against the car like pellets and Nathan slowed down and turned the windshield wipers on full blast. Pulling into the parking lot minutes later, he drove right up to the curb.

“I had fun tonight,” he said, turning to Anna.

“I did too,” she whispered.

Nathan leaned in and hugged her goodnight
and Anna wrapped her arms around him back.

“Whatever you decided to do,” Nathan started, “Keep my number and call me sometime. Let me know how you’re doing.”

“I will,” Anna promised.

She opened the car door and said goodbye before making a mad dash for roofed shelter from the rain. The short run had already gotten her pretty wet. Anna made her way into the building and ran up the stairs to her second floor room. Digging the room key out of her purse, she slid it into the door and opened it. The room was completely dark, which surprised her. There was no way her friend were asleep this early. She guessed that they had decided to go out with their dates again. Flipping on the light switch, she walked over to the beds to change into her pajamas. She didn’t even hear footsteps coming up behind her as she pulled her clothes off and slipped her pajamas on.

“Where were you?”

Anna whipped around, ready to face the intruder, “Kevin,” she shrieked, “You scared the shit out of me. What are you doing here in our room? And how the hell did you get in?”

Kevin stared at Anna for the longest time, trying to figure out what to say to her. No words could express how he was feeling. He had seen her get out of the other guys car. Jealousy shot through him. Anna turned away from him and he could tell that he she was really mad and that he had overstepped his boundaries of waiting in her hotel room for her to return. But he didn’t care at that moment in time. He just wanted some answers to the questions running through his head.

“Steph got me an extra key. I was hoping you’d go out with me tonight,” he finally replied, “Where were you?” he then asked again.

Anna’s heart stopped when she turned around and looked up and saw the hurt expression that had come over his face.
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