Chapter   Nineteen

Three weeks later....

"When's the new single coming out?" VJ asked Brian. Her and Brian had been talking on the phone for two hours.

"It's being released next week," he answered. "It's called 'Get Down (You're The One For Me)'. It sound's really good. I like it a lot."

"Are you gonna send me a copy so I can listen to it everyday?"

"Of course. Actually, I already sent it. They gave us all early copies, so I sent you mine. You should be getting it in a few days."

"Thanks. What about the 'girlfriend thing'. Is it all over?" VJ silently hoped it was.

"Yeah. It finally went away," Brian said, putting her fears at ease. "Before, the fans would ask me about the pictures every time we met them or ran into them somewhere. I just told them that it was an old picture."

"And they believed that?"

"They seemed to. Nick and AJ said the same thing. We checked out a few websites and it's appearing on them. I guess that took care of that."

"I'm glad. I didn't like feeling like an outlaw."

"I'm sorry it made you feel that way. But now I get to see whenever I want to. We'll just have to be careful no one notices me."

"Now I feel like your mistress."

Brian and VJ laughed.

"Anyway, where are you guys?" VJ asked.

"I don't know. We've been moving from country to country so much these past few weeks, I stopped trying to keep track. Hold on, I'll ask Nick."

VJ listened as Brian asked Nick where they were. She heard Nick say something, but she couldn't understand what.

"Nick said he doesn't know either," Brian said when he got back on the line. "And he wants to know if Ali is around."

"Nope. She's at work and won't be home until nine o'clock."

"Okay." Then VJ heard him tell Nick what she just said. "Now that we're done with that, didn't you have to work today?"

"No. Today's my day off. My dad said he didn't think it was a good idea for me to work weekends anymore."


"I told him if he didn't give me weekends off, then I'd get worn out and have no energy for class during the week. It worked."

"That's a good one. I wish I could have days off whenever I want to. But it's the price I have to pay for my career."

VJ looked at her watch and jumped out of her seat on the couch.

"Brian, honey, I have to go. I'm having dinner with my parents and my brothers. They're all here in Orlando, so we decided to have a family dinner."

"Alright. I'll talk to you later. Tell your family I said hi."

"I will. Bye, B-Rok."

"Bye, Angel."

VJ hung up. She smiled to herself happily. Brian always called her 'Angel' instead of 'VJ' now. VJ felt like she floated, instead of walked, to her room to get ready for dinner.


VJ walked into the restaurant at 7:30pm, and looked for her parents. She saw that her brothers and her sister-in-law were already there, and headed towards their table.

"Victoria, you made it," her mother, Elizabeth Johnson, said. She stood up and gave her daughter a hug. "How have you been? It's been a while since you've visited the house."

"I know, Mom," VJ said. "I've been so busy with class and work, I hardly have a minute to myself."

"Josh, dear," Elizabeth said to her husband. "You've been working her too hard."

"I just gave her weekends off, Elizabeth," VJ's father, Joshua Johnson Sr., said. "Which she shouldn't get used to if she's going to take over in two years."

"I won't, Dad," VJ reassured him. "I just needed the time to rest. They've been teaching us a lot of new songs and difficult routines for the show we'll be putting on in a few weeks."

"I don't understand why VJ got to go to a dance and music school while the rest of us had to go to a regular college," VJ's second oldest brother, Adam Johnson or 'AJ', said.

"Shut up, AJ," VJ's third oldest brother, Paul Johnson or 'PJ', said. "It's not like you had any musical aspirations like VJ."

"Yeah," VJ's oldest brother, Joshua Johnson Jr. or 'JJ', said. "I didn't hear you complaining when you went to the college of your choice."

"Listen to me, AJ," Joshua Sr. said. "VJ convinced me she would learn to run the business more efficiently if she had hands-on experience without the pressures of school work to handle. She has shown me that it is true."

"AJ," VJ said. "If you think I should go to a regular college than say so. If not, why even bring it up? I wanted the chance to improve upon my other abilities, which happen to be in the performing arts."

"Does Brian know that you can sing and dance?" VJ's sister-in-law, Christy Johnson or 'CJ', asked her.

"He knows I go to a performing arts school, but he's never heard me sing or seen me dance," VJ said.

"That's too bad. He's missing out on a good show," JJ said.

"Well, he's been busy with his own career," she defended him.

"How has Brian been doing, dear?" Elizabeth asked.

"He called earlier today," VJ answered. "He said the 'Backstreet Boys' have been really busy with putting on shows, doing interviews for TV, magazines, and radio, doing photo shoots, and recording songs for their album. And before I forget, he said to tell you all he said hi."

"Where is he right now?" Joshua Sr. asked.

"I don't know. Brian said they've been moving from country to country so much within the last few weeks, he stopped keeping track of where they are."

"How come we've never heard of the 'Backstreet Boys' out here in the US?" AJ asked.

"Probably 'cause they haven't released any songs out here since last year. Do any of you remember hearing a song called 'We've Got It Goin' On' back in '95?"

"I do," CJ answered right away. "I thought it was really good."

"Well, that song was sung by the 'Backstreet Boys'."

"Wow. They have an amazing sound. How come they haven't released anything else?"

"Because they suck," PJ said. JJ and AJ started cracking up.

"Shut up, PJ," VJ said, giving him a evil look.

"Paul, Joshua, Adam, that wasn't very nice," Elizabeth said, sternly. "This is your sister's boyfriend you're making fun of. Apologize to her right now."

"Sorry, VJ," they said in unison.

"Like I was about to say before I got interrupted by the young and the useless," VJ said. "The reason they haven't released anything else is because 'We've Got It Goin' On' didn't do as well on the music charts as they had hoped and their type of music isn't too popular here right now. Brian said it reached only 69 on the charts."

"Oh, that's too bad," CJ said. "I would've like to hear more from them. I really like them."

"They hope to hit the US with their music soon, but they want to concentrate on the UK, Europe, and the other countries around the world right now. Then when they do release something out here, they'll have a strong fan base everywhere else."

"Are they really popular overseas?" Elizabeth asked.

"Oh yeah. When I went to visit Brian in Sweden, me, BJ, and Ali ran into a bit of trouble," VJ said, looking at her hands.

"What trouble?" Joshua Sr. inquired.

"While I was out with Brian, BJ was out with AJ McLean, and Ali was out with Nick Carter, some of the fans recognized them," VJ explained. "They took some pictures of us together, then gave them to some tabloids over there. They ended up on front page and their managers, Johnny and Donna Wright, freaked out. Johnny and Donna feel that if the fans know the Boys have girlfriends, they'll stop liking them."

"That's stupid," AJ said. "If they like the 'Backstreet Boys' for their music, then the fact they have girlfriends shouldn't even matter. They do have lives, right?"

"That's what me, BJ, and Ali said, but Johnny and Donna asked us to leave nonetheless. That's why we came back earlier than planned."

"The Wrights asked you to leave?" VJ's father looked at her, astonished.

"They thought it was best, Dad. We understood that and we didn't want to jeopardize their careers by staying."

"It's nice to know you care about Brian's career," Elizabeth said. "And that you support him. I assume he's doing the same for you."

"Yes, Mom," VJ assured her. "He's very supportive of me and the business."

"Good. I wouldn't want you to be with anyone who wasn't," JJ said. "Back to the 'Backstreet Boys', when do they plan to release their album?"

"Brian said they're hoping August or September," VJ answered. "But next week, they're releasing their next single called, 'Get Down (You're The One For Me)'. Brian sent me a copy, so I should be getting it in a few days. I have 'We've Got It Goin' On' and their second single called, 'I'll Never Break Your Heart' already."

"You have to let me borrow them sometime," CJ told her.

"I'll record them on a blank tape and give it to you before you leave," VJ said.

"Okay. Thanks."

The family went on to discuss how the businesses in California, New Mexico, and Illinois were going. VJ just kind of tuned them all out and thought about Brian. By the time she got home, Alisha was already asleep. VJ went to her room, changed into her favorite pajamas, and drifted into a deep sleep.

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