The arguing around the conference table was brought to an abrupt halt, but Nick didn’t appreciate the looks his band mates were giving him.
“That is so lame, Nicky.”
“Shut up AJ, you’re lame.”
“Dude, you are not suckering us into another one of your cheesy ideas.”
AJ looked to both Brian and Howie for support, and while they patronized Nick with sympathetic smiles, they shrugged, agreeing with AJ one hundred percent.
“Remember when you talked us into being scary creatures?” AJ laughed.
“Hey! You guys all liked that video!”
“Ok, Nick,” Brian conceded, “But then there was the spaceships and aliens. How on God’s green Earth did you ever talk us into that one?”
Nick slumped back in his chair with a pout. Even he couldn’t deny that video was a bit corny. The guys all snickered, but eventually Howie took pitty on the poor kid. “We’re not exactly larger than life anymore Nick. I’m not sure the fans will appreciate such flashy get-ups like they used to.”
“But it was a group of fans that suggested it.”
Again, Nick was receiving a round of curious looks from his peers.
“I was stopped by some fans when I was leaving the gym the other day and we got to talking,” Nick explained, choosing his words very carefully.
He opted not to mention the shameless flirting that ensued, knowing that this might be his one and only shot to get the guys to listen to him, and if they knew he was trying to nail a groupie at the time they wouldn’t take the idea seriously. “They asked me about losing all my weight, and when I told them that I took up boxing they seemed to think it was really cool. We had this whole conversation about who could take who in a Backstreet boxing match.”
Nick waited, but there was silence around the table. Whether it was from them contemplating the idea, or trying to figure out the nicest way to tell him it sucked, he wasn’t sure. But then, they’d never bothered to spare his feelings before, so maybe he could get them to go for it.
Nick watched the frowns begin to form on their faces and a smirk slowly spread across his own. He knew them too well. After fifteen years, he knew exactly how to get his way and this time would be no different. After all, AJ was right. Not about his ideas being cheesy, because they were awesome, but he did always sucker the guys into them.
That wasn’t exactly easy to do, and they didn’t looked thrilled now, but it would be a lot less daunting without stubborn old Kevin there being the voice of reason. “We’ll get to pick our own cool boxer nicknames.” He suggested raising his eyebrows playfully. “I’m Kaos.”
“I got dibbs on Jizzle!”
Nick smirked. AJ was too easy; it was almost pathetic. Next he looked at Brian and Howie, but they were both still frowning. “Come on Rok! You’re always pulling for the sports thing.”
“Yeah, but I don’t wanna be the Rok this time. I always have to be the Rok.”
“Ok, Brian, no Rok. We’ll come up with something so awesome you’ll never have to be the Rok ever again.
Nick grinned as he watched his friend’s eyes light up. Two down, one to go. “Howie?”
he questioned casually, knowing that singling him out for his opinion would stroke his ego just enough.
“Fine,” Howie replied, “But if he doesn’t have to be the Rok, then I’m not being Sweet D. I’m sick of Sweet D! Sweet D is so girly!”
Bingo! Nick Carter would be getting his way. Again. “Ok, then we’ll think of something not girly,” he laughed. “Something totally badass, like Diesel.”
For a third time this meeting, a silence hushed over the conference room. “Diesel?” AJ snickered.
“I was watching The Chronicles of Riddick last night.” Nick shrugged, “Vin Diesel kicks ass in that movie.”
“I am not going to be Diesel.”
“No wait,” Brian chimed in, “It’s actually not that bad. It sounds tough.”
“I don’t like it.”
“But D, its rough and dirty sounding,” AJ agreed, not particularly liking the nickname, but amused by how much Howie didn’t like it. “You said you didn’t want something girly.”
“Diesel?” Howie whined, “What does that even mean?”
After a ten minute debate, and with a 200 dollar pot now riding on the answer, the Backstreet Boys googled the definition of the word diesel. “An internal combustion engine in which heat produced by the compression of air in the cylinder is used to ignite the fuel,” Howie read with disdain.
“I told you!” Brian yelled, proudly accepting the stack of cash when he was the closest to the definition.
“So basically,” Howie pouted, “it’s a machine fueled by a bunch of bottled up hot air.”
Brian, Nick and, AJ all looked at one another and burst into obnoxious laughter. “That sounds about right,” Brian laughed.
“Diesel, it is!” AJ agreed.
“Don’t I have a say in this?”
“No!” Nick, AJ, and Brian all laughed together.
They laughed even harder when Howie folded his arms tightly across his chest with frown, and when he stomped out of the room they practically fell to the floor, “Nicky, this is the best idea you’ve ever had!”