Chapter   Twenty-Five

A month and a half later....

Brian looked at VJ as she gazed out the window of his room at his parents house. As long as they've known each other, Brian never had the opportunity to introduce her to his parents until now. But it wasn't the way Brian had seen it happening in his mind. Coming back to Kentucky for heart surgery wasn't the way Brian planned it. And he was kind of disappointed that he wouldn't be able to attend the World Music Awards in Monaco or perform during Grad Night at Disney World with the rest of the guys. But he couldn't put off the surgery much longer. He had to be in top physical shape for the North America Tour the Backstreet Boys were going to do during the summer.

Brian's thoughts turned back to VJ. He knew she was scared, but she did her best not to show it. It worked with everyone but him and the fellas. Brian walked over to VJ and silently took her in his arms.

"Everything's going to be okay," said Brian, reassuringly.

"I know, but I can't help but worry," VJ said, leaning against him. She held onto his arms in front of her and her engagement ring sparkled in the sunlight. "Even in the simplest procedures, something could go wrong."

"I have one of the best surgeons in this country working on me, Angel. But I have to admit, I'm scared, too."

"Wow. You haven't called me 'Angel' in the longest time. You gonna call me that in front of your parents?"

"Sure, why not? They love you just as much as I do. I just wish you didn't have to meet them under these circumstances. I would've perferred a completely different situation, like the day we announce our engagement to our families."

VJ laughed. "I don't think your parents, or mine for that matter, have missed this engagement ring, honey. They just don't want to bring it up. But you're right. I wish it could've been different, too."

VJ turned around and gave Brian a kiss. It went on until there was a knock on the door and Brian's brother, Harold, walked in.

"Whoa," he said. "I didn't mean to interupt, little brother."

Brian looked behind him, his arms still around VJ, and saw Harold standing there, smiling. Brian let go of VJ and went to give his big brother a hug. Then, he went back over to VJ and pulled her toward him.

"Harold, I'd like you to meet my girlfriend, Victoria Johnson," Brian said, proudly. "Angel, this is my big brother, Harold."

"Hi, nice to meet you," VJ said, holding out her hand.

"Nice to meet you, too," Harold replied, shaking her hand. "Damn, Brian. Mom and Dad weren't kidding when they said your girlfriend was beautiful."

"My girlfriend," Brian said, jokingly. "Just remember that."

VJ looked at Harold. "You're almost as cute as Brian is."

Brian started laughing hysterically. Harold just stood there and watched his brother fall onto his bed, laughing his head off.

"Very funny," he said. "Anyway, the folks sent me up here to say dinners ready, so come on down." Harold looked at VJ again. "It was nice meeting you, Victoria."

"You, too." VJ smiled as Harold left the room. "So, that was your brother."

"The one and only," said Brian. "Come on, let's go eat."

VJ and Brian walked downstairs and into the kitchen, hand in hand. Brian's parents asked VJ about her parents, her work, her school, just about everything. VJ answered all their questions patiently, knowing they were just trying to get to know her better. She was still nervous, though. VJ watched Brian and Harold pick on each other like little kids. She could see how his family brought out a different side of him. More boyish than when he was around Nick. And his parents treated him like their miracle child. Well, he is their miracle child, VJ reminded herself. He could've easily not be sitting here right now. VJ looked at Brian and tried not to think of what she might be doing right now if she hadn't met Brian or if he'd been taken away from her before she knew he existed.

Later that night, Brian and VJ went to their separate rooms and tried to get a good night's rest before Brian checked into the hospital the next morning. VJ kept tossing and turning. No matter what she did, she couldn't get to sleep. Finally, she gave up and laid in the dark, thinking. The sound of her door opening took her away from her thoughts. VJ looked up and saw Brian peek around the door.

"I couldn't sleep," he said, quietly. "I just wanted to see how you were doing."

VJ sat up. "I couldn't sleep either."

Brian walked over and sat down beside her on the bed. "What's wrong?"

"I don't know. It just feels weird being here with you and not having you sleeping next to me. I guess I'm spoiled. I'm not used to sleeping without you when you're near."

"You could always sleep with me in my room." Brian smiled wickedly.

"I'm sure your parents would love that."

"Come on. I'm twenty-three. They'll have to get used to it. Now let's go to my room."

VJ thought silently for another minute. "Okay, let's go."

Brian grabbed her hand and pulled her out of bed. Quietly, they walked into Brian's room and he locked the door behind them. VJ sat on his bed. It looked different in the dark somehow, with the moonlight shining through the window.

"You know, you're the first girl I've ever brought up to my room," said Brian.

"Yeah right," VJ said, sarcastically. "And this is the first time I've ever been in a guys' room before."

"No, I'm serious. I was never allowed to bring up girls into my room. It was considered improper in my family. Then again, I've never had the overwhelming desire to bring anyone up here until I met you. That was one of the first things that entered my mind when I first saw you. I wondered if you would like my room. How weird is that? But I'm glad the first one is going to be the only one."

Brian leaned down and kissed VJ. VJ kissed him back with all the love she felt for him. They lay back onto the bed, Brian keeping most of his weight on his arms, so he wouldn't crush VJ. Things kept going and going, neither of them making any attempt to stop. Brian's hands were all over VJ's body as if trying to memorize the feel of her.

"I want to make love to you so bad," Brian whispered after a pretty lengthy time of heavily making out.

"No one's stopping you," VJ whispered back. "Certainly not me."

"So I have your permission to explore uncharted territories?"

VJ giggled. "Travel to the places you see fit."

Brian leaned down and kissed VJ again. Soon, their night clothes were on the floor next to the bed and Brian had a full view of VJ's body in the moonlight.

"You really are a piece of heaven on earth, Angel."

VJ responded by pulling his head down and kissing him passionately. The two of them explored each other's bodies, tasting and touching every inch. The moment came when they couldn't hold out any longer. Brian reached into the nightstand by the bed and took out a condom. Within seconds he was ready and inside VJ, making them one. Together, they reached physical pleasure and saw heaven.

Afterward, Brian held VJ close, refusing to let any space come between them. Both felt like their souls were connected completely together now and they had found their other half. And neither of them could think of a better way to show their love for one another.

Chapter Twenty-Seven:
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