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Eventually, Nick and AJ went home and the girls and I decided to get some sleep to adjust ourselves to the time change. We all fell asleep around 9:30 p.m. and woke up to blaring alarms that we couldn’t remember setting. Groggily, we all got up and got dressed in some jeans and t-shirts. Then brushed our teeth and went to the elevator. We got downstairs and saw a man standing in a suit holding a sign that had each of our names on it. We laughed and introduced ourselves to him.

"Hello ladies, my name is Frank. I’m your driver. I’ll be with you for the next year. Now, I’ll be taking you to Tess’s office and she’s going to explain everything." He said as he led us to the awaiting stretch Hummer that was parked outside of our building.

The four of us got inside and opened our mouths in awe. Even though it was only 7:30 in the morning, we were awake enough to see all the extra features this car had. There were just way too many to name. Savannah, Amethyst and Bianca fell asleep on the way to Tess’s office. Because I was a morning person, I appreciated seeing the morning quiet of the city. We passed by a few stores that I was planning on shopping in and I just stared out the window until we pulled up to O’Rourke and Piston and Frank stopped the car.

He got out and I shook each of the girls awake. He opened the door and helped each of us out and drove off, saying something about when he would be back to pick us up.
The four of us walked into the familiar foyer and stopped when we saw Erin, the receptionist behind the desk.

"Good morning girls. It’s great to see you again, how was your trip?" She asked.

We each offered our opinions and gratefulness for the trip and I told her that we were here to see Tess. She buzzed us up to her office and when we walked in, we saw Tess at her desk and an unfamiliar man sitting in one of the armchairs across from her.

"Ah, girls, you’re here. Wonderful. Now we can begin." Tess said as the four of us arranged ourselves in the other armchairs in her huge office. "I’m sure that all of you have met Frank, your driver, lovely fellow, isn’t he?"

We all nodded and yawned. I looked at my watch and saw that it was barely 8:00 a.m. I turned back to Tess in time to hear her start talking about the important stuff.

"The tour is going to last for a little over a year. You’ll be traveling on 2 Greyhound busses across the States.
Today, you’re going to be trying on about a million outfits just for the next three months. Since it’s just going into the summer, you’ll be wearing lots of pastels and capris and tank tops." Tess commented, her British accent making everything she said sound amazingly sophisticated.

The four of us were in awe of everything that we would be doing for the next year. Tess handed each of us leather binders with the first 6 weeks of the tour. Luckily, we were going to actually be able to sleep. Our first stop was right in New York, in a small town a few miles outside of Manhattan.

By this time, Bianca was flaunting herself in front of the mystery guy, Savannah had positioned herself next to him, and Ames couldn’t keep her eyes off of him. I was looking at him, but for some reason, Nick was the only guy who entertained any thoughts of romantic interest in my mind.
Tess could see that all of us were interested to find out who this guy was. I mean, don’t get me wrong, he was gorgeous, and for some reason, extremely silent. Probably for the same reason as the rest of us. It was 9:45 in the morning and there were 5 girls talking loudly and excitedly about modeling. Any guy would probably hate to be in that situation.

"Well, ladies. I’d like to introduce you to the man who is going to turn your careers around. He is going to be your tour manager for the next 14 months. Savannah, Bianca, Amethyst, Jade, I’d like to introduce you to your new tour manager, Jordan Tylerton." Tess introduced.

We all said our hellos, and he continued to speak to us. I tuned him out because he was actually kind of boring. My thoughts returned to Nick. Just as I was daydreaming about kissing him for the first time, my cell phone vibrated in my purse.


Nick’s POV

Come on, come on. Please pick up." I said to myself as I heard the ringing in my ear. I hoped that she didn’t mind I was calling at 10:00 a.m.

"This is Jade." I heard her voice in my ear. I breathed a sigh of relief and opened my mouth to speak again.

"Hey Jade, it’s Nick. Are you busy?" I asked nervously.

"Well, I’m actually in the middle of a meeting with my manager and the tour manager that she’s assigned us for the Girls Across America tour. What’s up?" She asked.

"Oh, I didn’t mean to interrupt your meeting. I guess I’ll just talk to you later then." I said, about to hang up.

"No, wait. What’s going on? I’m out in the hallway." She said.

"I just wanted to see if you were busy and wanted to do lunch or something? You know, so we can talk." I said, carefully choosing my words.

"That sounds like a great idea. We’ll be out of here by 12:00. I’ll have Frank me off somewhere at 1:00. Where do you want to meet?" She said, actually sounding excited.
"Um, how about Tavern On The Green?" I offered.

"Isn’t that a little expensive for a not so famous band member?" She asked and laughed over the phone. God, she was sexy even on the phone.

"Well, I have some connections. I’ll meet you there at 1:00." I said and hung up the phone. It was time to be perfectly honest with her. If I was going to continue to have even just a friendly relationship with her, she needed to know the truth.

Jade’s POV

I walked back into Tess’s office and found that all eyes had been turned to me. Jordan looked at me expectantly and said, "You know, Jade, this is a very exclusive opportunity. If you’re not going to take it seriously and drop everything when the little boyfriend calls, then we’re just going to have to find someone to replace you."

"Excuse me. But first off, let me say this to you Mr. Tylerton. That was not my boyfriend, but my mother. It seems that she wants to talk to me about my grandmother. She’s sick with lung cancer and the doctors have told her that she only has 3 more months to live and it looks like she’s taken a turn for the worse. So, if you’ll excuse your know-it-all attitude, I’d consider talking to me in a different manner. And secondly, you do not own me. You may be my manager, but I am my own person and I know how to make decisions for myself. So the next time you talk to me like a 5 year old, I’ll be calling Tess on your ass and having you fired." I said and sat back down in the chair and stared him down, proving that I meant business.

"Then my apologies Ms. Carroll. But we do need to get back to business." He said and handed me a cardboard picture of the girls and I. "We need to come up with a name for you girls. The tour is called Girls Across America, but we need to have a catch phrase and a nickname for you girls. Do any of you have any ideas?" He responded.

"How about the Esteem Team?" Ames suggested.

"I like it!" Savannah exclaimed. "How did you come up with that?"

"I dunno. I guess I’ve been thinking about it for a while now. Let’s think about the catch phrase." Amethyst said and she, Bianca, and Savannah all turned to me.

"What? Why are you looking at me?" I asked, completely confused.

"Because, Jade, you’re always the best when it comes to things like that. You know how to put your words in a way that makes everyone want to listen. I mean come on. You just put Jordan in his place." Bianca pointed out. Jordan turned a bright shade of pink and looked back over nodding sheepishly.

"Alright then, let me think for a second. How about … Just like us." I suggested. "I mean, these girls are just like us if you think about it. I know that the four of us didn’t know that we would be doing this one day and we all thought that there would be something holding us back."

"I think that’s perfect." Tess interjected. "Just like us. I love it! I’ll let the press know as soon as possible. Let’s get you girls into the fitting rooms."