Chapter   Nine

"Do you think you and AJ invited enough people?" I asked Skye. I was looking at all the people in AJ's house and I couldn't believe that so many had come to their anniversary party. His house was going to look like a complete and utter disaster area by the time this party was over. Skye was laughing at the look on my face.

"AJ said he was going to invite a few friends over. You should know by now that he actually means he's going to invite everyone he knows in this city," she said.

"No kidding," I said.

"So, where's Nick?"

"He went to go get us something to drink. I hope he can find something to drink in this mob."

"Are things going okay with you two?"

"Yeah. We've been together for about three months now. It's really everything I expected this relationship to be, but trust me, Nick still surprises me sometimes."

"You'd think I would know everything there is to know about AJ, but he still surprises me with all the crazy stuff he does. I think that's what makes all the long weeks he's gone worth it."

"But if you think about it now, we actually have it pretty easy. The Boys are home a lot more than they used to be. If we had been with them at this time a year ago, I doubt they would even be in this country."

"True. Hey, look over and Crystie and Brian. I have to say, she looks a lot more happier than she did when she wasn't with him."

I looked over at them. It was true. She did look a lot more happier. They had been together for only about a month and a half, but they looked like they were married. Probably in their minds, they were. It was hard for them to be together. When they first hooked up, Crystie's ex-boyfriend did everything he could to break them apart. It got to the point where Crystie was thinking about breaking up with Brian just to get Scott to leave them both alone. Brian wouldn't hear of it. He finally made Crystie see that if they broke up, Scott would get exactly what he wanted and by staying together, then Scott would get the picture that there was nothing he could do to mess up their relationship.

It soon became clear that they were going to have an all-out battle to get Scott to leave them alone. One night, when her and Brian were taking a walk in the park, Crystie decided she'd had enough and screamed her head off at Scott. It was then, and only then, that he got the message. He never bothered either of them anymore. And me being Crystie's cousin, of course I would know all this.

"Here's your Coke, Baby Girl," Nick said, walking up to me. He handed me my drink.

"When did you start calling her that?" Skye asked Nick.

"About a few weeks ago, after I saw her carrying this huge teddy bear that she found in a store and she wouldn't leave without it," he explained, smiling down at me.

"It's really cute. It's over at Nick's house. I knew it wouldn't fit in my room at home," I said, looking up at Nick.

"You got that right. That bear is almost bigger than you are." He was laughing when Brian and Crystie walked over with AJ.

"There you are. I was looking all over for you," AJ said to Skye, putting his arms around her.

"I'm surprised you can find anything in this crowd. You were supposed to invite a few close, personal friends," Skye said.

"These are my close, personal friends," he said.

"You know all these people," I said, looking unconvinced.

"Well, no, but I'm getting there." Skye burst out laughing. Pretty soon, all of us were laughing. I looked around at all of us and saw what I never would've seen if we hadn't gone to the Backstreet Boys soundcheck. But nothing would compare to the next occasion we were all to be together.

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