Chapter   Eight

The rest of the week past by with some awkward times between Brian and VJ. They both knew the truth about each other, but they didn't want the other to know they knew. At times, Brian and VJ would be acting like they were the best of friends, then at other times, they would be sort of jumpy. When it was finally time for Brian to leave, he decided to tell VJ the truth. He asked her to meet him at a little park nearby their places.

"Okay, so what are we doing here?" VJ asked when they both arrived at the park.

"I have to talk to you about something," Brian started.

"What? Do you have some sort of secret you haven't told me about yet?" she said, laughing.

Brian only cracked a little smile. "Kind of. You know how you first asked me what I do?"

"Of course. It wasn't that long ago."

"Well, I have to tell you the whole truth or else it won't make sense for you to have me gone all the time." Brian took a deep breath. "The whole truth is that me, Nick, Howie, AJ, and Kevin make up this singing group called the 'Backstreet Boys'...."

"I know," VJ said softly, interrupting him.

"You know? How do you know?" Brian asked.

"One of my friend's recognized you. She's from France. She told me all about how popular your group is out there and in other countries. Also...."

"Also what?"

"That night me and BJ were at your apartment, and you guys got that call, we kind of, um, followed you guys," VJ explained, looking at the ground.

"You what?!" he yelled.

"Well, you guys were acting really weird. We wanted to know what it is you guys do all day!" she yelled back. "I didn't know if you guys were doing something illegal or what. All you said was you worked for the music industry. How was I supposed to know if you were telling the truth?"

"What about you? Why didn't you tell me that your father owns my apartment and all the other ones around it? Not to mention the houses in the surrounding area."

"How do you know who my father is?" VJ's eyes flashed in anger.

"I made a call to talk to him a few days back. He wasn't there, so they connected me to his 'assistant'. Imagine my shock when I heard your voice."

"Like I said, I didn't know who you were. I didn't think you needed to know. You don't know how many times I've met guys who went out with me expecting something out of it. Why should I have thought you were any different?"

"You could've tried trusting me," Brian said, getting angry himself.

"Yeah, right," VJ said, sarcastically. "And have you, like many others, play me for a fool."

"I wouldn't have done that. That's not the kind of guy I am."

"I bet you were wondering how I could afford to live in that apartment, drive the kind of car I do, go to an expensive school...."

"It did cross my mind. But I didn't think you were doing anything illegal. And you know why? Because I trusted you."

"I should've know better than to get involved with you," VJ said, shaking her head. "Someone who can't be honest in the first place is not the guy for me."

"Well, I'm sorry for wanting to keep that little bit of information to myself for a while," Brian told her. "I was going to tell you just now. That's why I asked you to come here. The experience I've had was as soon as a girl finds out you're famous and have money, they're all of a sudden your best friend."

"Then I guess we shouldn't be together, huh? You might think I'm trying to make my fortune bigger."

"Come on," Brian accused. "Don't tell me it didn't cross you mind when you found out who I was. Rich daddy, expensive apartment, expensive car, a flashy office in daddy's work place...."

"You go to hell. My father wouldn't let me move anywhere except somewhere on the property, with my brother nearby to keep an eye on me, to make sure I was safe. And I didn't even want that car or that stupid job. I took it because it's what my father wanted. He built up that empire for me. And I wasn't about to let all his hard work go to waste."

Brian was about to say something, but VJ wouldn't let him.

"You know where my brothers, JJ and AJ, are? In California, and New Mexico, taking care of the business over there. Later this year, when my brother PJ turns twenty-one, he'll take over the chain in Illinois. He's been training since he was sixteen and he started at the lowest position, just like I did. I didn't start in that 'fancy office'. I worked hard for that position. So don't you dare pass judgement on me."

Then VJ turned around and walked off. She jumped in her car and took off, tires squealing. Brian watched her disappear around the corner and out of his life.

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