Chapter   Five

I couldn't believe my eyes. There were so many people at the Universal Amphitheater. I kind of got nervous about performing in front of them. Nick noticed I all of a sudden got quiet. We had been having a pretty good conversation before we got there, but now I didn't have the voice to say anything.

"You getting nervous?" Nick asked, even though he already knew the answer.

"I guess you could say that," I said. I was looking out the window of the van, at all the people. "I've never danced in front of more than a hundred people," I went on. "I just hope I don't mess up and end up falling on my face."

"You'll be fine. If you get nervous, just look at me. Pretend there aren't that many people in the audience. Besides, I'll be right up there with you. I'm kind of nervous myself. We never done a show in LA before."

"I guess even a Backstreet Boy gets nervous now and then." I looked at Nick for a second. He reached over and took my hand. I didn't know what to do. I knew I shouldn't let him do that, but I was pretty much frozen at the moment. To distract myself, I looked at Crystie and Brian. I saw her jitters were worse than mine. Brian was trying to calm her down by hugging her and saying something to her in her ear. Then, I looked at Skye and AJ. Skye didn't look nervous at all. Her and AJ were laughing and laughing like they were going for a walk in the park.

Kevin pulled up to the backstage door at that moment and parked the van. There was a crowd of fans, reporters, and photographers. With a crowd this big, I knew there was no way of avoiding this.

"I hope you girls don't mind getting your pictures taken for the front page of tomorrow's paper," Kevin said,from the drivers' seat, "because as soon as the doors to the van open, the lights will be flashing."

"I don't mind," said Skye.

"I sure don't mind," said Crystie. "I love having my picture taken."

"Well, I don't, but I guess I have no choice in the matter," I said.

"Not unless you want to stay in the van for the rest of the night," Nick said, laughing.

"And a word from the wise," said Howie. "I suggest you hold on tight to Nick, AJ, and Brian because there are going to be people grabbing at your clothes and you don't want to get sucked into the crowd."

"I have no problem with that," said AJ, looking at Skye. She started laughing.

"Neither do I," Brian said, looking at Crystie. "In fact, I'm kind of looking forward to being a bodyguard."

"Just don't quit your day job," she said, smiling at him.

"Wouldn't dream of it," he said.

"I'm about to open the doors," Nick said. "Everybody ready?"

"I'm about as ready as I'm going to be," I said.

"Okay, here goes," said AJ. He and Nick opened the doors.

A roar from the crowd went up as soon as the doors opened. This time it was me grabbing a hold of Nick's hand and I wasn't about to let go for anything. Apparently, Skye and Crystie did the same thing with AJ and Brian. I looked at their hands and the girls had a death grip on the guys' hands. It didn't look like they would be letting go any time soon.

Since Kevin and Howie were by themselves, they went into the crowd first. Their bodyguards had formed a little pathway through the crowd, so getting through was kind of easy. Brian and Crystie went next, then AJ and Skye and last, me and Nick. I guessed it was because Nick was the tallest of the three guys. Instead of pulling me behind him, Nick pushed me in front of him and held me around the waist with his right arm. He kept me close to his side and didn't let go until after we had gotten through the backstage door.

When I got inside, I saw Crystie sitting down in a chair with Brian looking at her left foot. I walked over and asked her what happened.

"We were almost to the door when somebody stepped on my foot. Brian didn't want me to walk on it in case there was a broken bone and carried me the rest of the way." She was smiling during the whole explanation, though I couldn't imagine why. Brian looked satisfied with his little examination and told Crystie she could put her shoe back on.

"Shouldn't we have somebody else look at her foot?" I asked Brian.

"No, it looks all right to me. Crystie can still feel her foot. Right, Crystie?" He looked down at her.

"Yeah," she said, looking up at Brian.

I saw that light in her eyes again, but it wasn't just her this time. Brian had the same light in his eyes, too. I could tell Brian was starting to like her as more than a friend. What I couldn't predict was if he would do anything about it since he knew Crystie had a boyfriend and I didn't know if Crystie would discourage any attention she might get from him in that sense.

I saw Skye and AJ practicing the dance routine. I didn't know what to think about their relationship. AJ was always flirting with Skye, but then that was pretty much expected of him. There was just something in the way he did it, now that I think about it. Something sincere. I guess that's when AJ got more attentive. Looking back on it, he was always around Skye after that.

I didn't even want to think about my relationship with Nick going any further. It was the last thing I wanted to happen, but somehow it did. It surprised me a lot. I turned around and saw Nick looking at me in a way that I had never seen any guy, even Jenson, look at me. I still didn't admit it to myself. I was absolutely sure that nobody could fall in love with someone else after having only met them a few hours before. Until now, that is. Now, I wasn't really sure about anything.

Chapter Six:
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