~*~Kevin~*~

More pieces to the mystery. It was a very good night. We went out for breakfast at an all night diner. Just for old times sake I went after Tracieís bacon. She grabbed the piece right out of my mouth, "Youíre on my turf now. Back off the bacon, pretty boy!"

Julia went back to the hotel and stayed with Tracie. We heard them talking and laughing all night.

AJ and I laid awake, "So this is her turf, she knows how to get into the private clubs, and people know her."

"It would seem so. I keep trying to put things together, but it doesnít fit yet."

AJ sat up, "I really donít give a shit. Iím just nosey."

"Me too, and I get this feeling that something was really wrong."

"Yep."

 

The next morning we found a note under the door, "Hey guys, I have to meet someone this morning. Iíll be back here by one. Plenty of time before we need to leave. Good luck. I may just have to stop by somewhere and actually BUY a copy of this CD of yours. Tracie"

All of us deal with stress differently. I clean. I cleaned a lot on this day. When Tracie got back I cleaned her room. She sat on the bed and watched, "This is how you deal with nervous? Can we go home, because my apartment needs cleaning in the worst way."

"Nothing is off limits is it?"

"What do you mean?"

"You, me, all of us. We all tease each other." I was serious. I am one of those who needs to clarify whatís going on. I think too much. Worry too much. Take some things too seriously. I sat down on the end of her bed.

"Yeah. No, Kevin, nothingís off limits. Itís been a long time since Iíve had guy girl friends. I like it."

I laughed, "I donít remember when I was a girlfriend last. Do I have to dress in drag for this gig?"

"Only if you want me to laugh at you."

"Aww, are you gonna be my fashion consultant?"

"No way, I donít want that pressure. Iím just gonna laugh at you when your fashion consultant makes you look stupid. Or when you fuck up your hair."

"Iíll count on it." She smiled this smile that I have trouble describing. Sneaky, sexy, innocent all in one. "What?"

She crawled to the end of the bed, grabbed her purse and rolled onto her back next to me, "Look what I got." She held up a copy of our new CD.

"You bought it. You didnít have to buy it. Weíll give you one." Her buying that meant a lot. I was fighting not to cry. I cry so damn easy.

She sat up beside me and hugged me, "Aww, Kevin. Itís good. Itís really good."

All I could say was "Thank you."

~*~AJ~*~

TRL was crazy. People fucking everywhere. Kevin is asking fans to quiet down so we can hear. Nuts. We listened to parts of all the songs. The crowd liked it. Tracie would go thumbs up, thumbs down, or in between. She kept making faces at Nick and he would laugh for no apparent reason. He looked like an idiot. It was great. Pissed Pam off big. I liked that.

After this we went to a few music stores to see what sales had been like. Amazing. The managers kept telling us it was selling better than anything theyíd ever seen. How high were we?

The party started earlier than expected. We went for dinner and just let go. All of us were trashed before we even hit the club. We had family and friends up. It was amazing. I keep using that word, but it was. The whole day was amazing. Except the Pam part. She got there and was in a bad mood. She flew coach. WE flew coach. Nick couldnít pick her up, didnít like that either. She glared all through dinner. She got drunk too. That was at least good.

~*~Nick~*~

It was my fault. I should have planned better. I donít think sometimes. I should have flown her in earlier so I could pick her up. I shouldnít have been assing off with Tracie like that. I know that Pam is jealous of Tracie. I should have been more considerate.

~*~Tracie~*~

It wasnít Nickís fault that she was a bitch. After she so nicely told me, "I didnít think youíd still be around." I ignored her. Not worth my time. Kevin, AJ, and Brian heard her and apologized for her. It wasnít needed. I was perfectly secure with my place in this circus. I got what I needed and if I needed more I could ask.

I was so proud and excited for them. I had no way to know what a huge phenomenon this was. All the crying girls, and the screaming. Girls staked out in the hotel lobby after the show. It was bizarre. As usual I just carried on and made my way through the zoo.

I enjoyed the party. Even more than other parties. This is going to sound bad, but part of it was about WHO they were. Not that it made a difference in how I related to them, but in the sense that I knew how important this was to them. I sat at the tables with them and watched all of their faces light up with every compliment and every well wish they received. I knew them as these five great guys. Friends of mine. The fact that I had no idea from being around them so much that they were famous was a big tribute to them. Very down to earth. So seeing this larger than life thing was excellent. Very humble and truly thankful. That was refreshing.

About ten I got a phone call. Iíd been waiting for this one all day. Great timing. Iím sitting at a table with Kevin, AJ, Nick, and Pam. I tried to keep my part cryptic, which really wasnít hard.

~*~AJ~*~

I didnít like this at all. Something was wrong. It wasnít what she said, itís what she wasnít saying. The way her eyes went. Straight to the floor. That was wrong. It wasnít a long phone call, just a minute or two, but it changed her mood. She sat there for a few minutes and tried to act like she was back into the party, but she wasnít. Then she said she was going to the ladies room and headed that way.

"Fuck that!" I had looked at Nick and Kevin. All three of us had the same thoughts. I followed her right into the ladies room. Kevin and Nick were right behind me. She was standing at the mirror, both hands on the sink with her eyes closed. "What is it?"

She looked over at the three of us, "First time in a ladies room or is this a habit?"

Nick laughed, "First for me."

Kevin shook his head, "Been here before."

I wasnít as amused, "You know you need to tell someone." A woman came out of the stall and glared at us as she left. "Itís not like we could see you, sweetheart."

Tracie turned and scooted onto the vanity, "I used to be in PR. I was working with a very low level politician and screwed up and fell in love with him. Ethically I couldnít work for him anymore. A few months ago some things came out that were potentially damaging. They were sent to me as a mistake, should have gone to the new PR person. Nothing I couldnít have forgiven. I turned it over to his family. I guess they didnít trust me since I wasnít employed by them anymore. So they had him offer me money to be quiet. I would have never said anything. That he actually offered me money killed me. I left. That phone call was the end of it all, from the meeting this morning. Iím sorry it came in now."

I hugged her, "Donít apologize."

Nick and Kevin took their turn with the hugs. Weíre a very huggy group of men. Nick kissed her cheek, "It came at a great time. We were all around to be here for you."

She laughed and that sparkle came back, "Thank you. Letís go party."

~*~Tracie~*~

I know itís not that bad, but itís yucky and I want to leave it behind. I am nothing if not trustworthy.

We rejoined the party and I got to see something new and interesting. The mating behavior of the Backstreet Boys.

Brian was with Sara, and Nick was with Pam. Nothing there. Howie was in a small group of women dancing. Best I could tell he was checking out who had the best moves and using that as a sexual indicator. He moved from girl to girl. Looked like he was mingling. I knew better.

AJ took off to the bar to drink and flirt. I think I saw him lick someone. Thereís a new technique. He disappeared into the crowd.

Kevin sat back and watched the crowd. After checking things out he approached one girl.

~*~AJ~*~

Iím never quite sure if Iím going to party or if Iím out to get laid. Depends on my mood. Tonight I was in the mood to get laid. It starts the same. I drink, I flirt. I see who is drinking and flirting back. Nothing obvious. If sheís obvious sheís out for the notoriety and will tell everyone who will listen. If she flirts, but isnít all over me sheís the one. Tonight there were a couple like that. It would take a while to narrow the field. Or maybe Iíd take more than one. This job has itís perks.

~*~Kevin~*~

The dayís adrenaline had turned into me being horny as shit. And getting some strange at your CD release party is a perk of the job. I watched and waited until I found her. Pretty enough, and not too out in the middle of this. But with it enough to not be scared of me. I walked over and told her she looked very pretty and asked if she liked the CD. I donít introduce myself, itís not necessary. It didnít take long to know she was willing to do whatever I wanted, something in the way she spoke.

~*~Tracie~*~

I wasnít gonna be left out of this one. I made eye contact with this hottie across the room. He came over and we talked for awhile. Iím not big on one nighters. But tonight was different. I needed to feel wanted. I realize the limitation of this. A quick fuck with a stranger gives a little boost as long as you realize itís not real. I know itís not real. I just wanted the attention, and to get off. He served his purpose.

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