Chapter   Sixteen

A couple months later....

"How are you feeling?" Kevin asked Karen.

"I'm feeling pretty good," Karen answered.

Her, Kevin, and William Davidson were going to Kentucky to spend Christmas with Kevin and his family. Kevin didn't want to leave Karen alone on Christmas, so he invited her and her father to come home with him. It took some persuading for Karen to agree, but she finally did. Now, the three of them were on a plane to Lexington. Howie and AJ were in Orlando with their families, Brian was already in Kentucky, and Nick flew to Los Angeles to be with his family.

The Backstreet Boys had been on a little vacation of sorts. Their world tour, which had been scheduled to start in November, was pushed back to the group could continue to work on their new album. Kevin had gone to Sweden to record some tracks with the guys. He'd also went to a songwriter's home for a week to write a song, but no matter how hard she tried, Karen could not get Kevin to let her hear it. Anyway, all the Boys were writing songs for the next album and collaborating with other artists. But they would all get together once again in Tampa on the 30th of December and then Orlando to perform a concert on New Year's Eve.

Also, the Boys were in Las Vegas, Nevada, for a little over a week where they attended the 1998 Billboard Music Awards. Kevin brought Karen, Brian brought Leighanne, Howie brought his sister Pollyanna, AJ brought his mother Denise 'cause Amanda couldn't make it, and Nick brought his new girlfriend Mandy. Karen was kind of glad Amanda didn't go, but having Mandy there wasn't too much better. Her and Leighanne were like the best of friends, and to Karen, that wasn't exactly a good thing. All that aside, the Backstreet Boys did an amazing performance of "I'll Never Break Your Heart" and "All I Have To Give". They also took home two awards for "Best Group Album" and "Best Adult Contemporary Album", but they lost "Album of the Year", which was no surprise to them, so everyone but Brian, Leighanne, Howie, and Pollyanna, left early.

Anyway, back to the present, Karen was feeling a little nervous about meeting Kevin's family, which she knew would include meeting Brian's family as well. Kevin seemed to sense her nervousness.

"Don't worry, Kare Bear," he whispered in her ear. "Everything's going to be cool."

"I just to don't want to make a bad first impression, that's all," Karen whispered back.

"How can you be nervous about meeting ordinary people like my family and not be nervous about meeting some of Hollywood's most famous stars? It doesn't make sense."

"I find it kind of weird, too, but I was raised around movie sets and spent half my life around those movie stars. I don't know, Kevin. I mean, I'm meeting your family, people who are very close to you, and I feel like you're bringing home the girlfriend tragedy...."

"You're not a tragedy, Karen. You're hardly that. Besides, the doctors side you're fine now. No more cancer that they can speak of."

"I know," Karen sighed. "I can't believe it. It's really gone."

"Just remember what the doctors said," Kevin reminded her. "It's not over."

"You don't have to remind me. It's with me everyday."

Their conversation was interrupted by a stewardess saying they would landing soon, so they should put their seats in an upright position and fasten their seatbelts. William, who had been asleep, woke up and straightened his seat and fastened his seatbelt. He looked over at his daughter and told her not to be so nervous.

"Great," Karen said. "Now my father is telling me not to be nervous."

Kevin and William started laughing while Karen just glared at both of them. The plane landed and they got off into the terminal. A few minutes after they reached the inside of the airport, a tall guy came over and tackled Kevin. Karen stood back and studied him. She noticed he looked a lot like Kevin, almost identical, but a little bit older. When Kevin was done giving the guy a hug, he turned to Karen and William.

"Jerald, I'd like you to meet Karen Davidson," Kevin said as he put his arms around her. "Karen, this is my brother Jerald."

"So, this is Karen," Jerald said. "Kevin, how do you find all the gorgeous girls?"

"I wouldn't say I found her," Kevin smiled. "It's say it was destiny that brought us together."

"More like my job," Karen said. "It's nice to meet you, Jerald. And this is my father William Davidson."

Jerald stood there kind of in awe. Then he offered his hand. "Nice to meet you, Mr. Davidson."

"Likewise," William said, shaking Jerald's hand. "Please, call me 'William'."

"Kev, why didn't you tell us you were going out with 'America's Little Sweetheart'? Mom is going to freak out when she finds out that Angela Steele's daughter has been dating you."

Karen looked at Kevin. "You didn't tell them who I was?"

"No," Kevin said, shaking his head. "I thought they already knew. I mean, we haven't exactly been hiding out. We've been seen all over TV together, said during interviews that we're a couple. How was I supposed to know my family wasn't paying any attention."

"We have lives, little brother," Jerald said. "Me and Veronica have been busy. I like to spend a lot of time with my wife and not watching TV."

"Well, anyway, we better get going," said Kevin. "Before I get recognized. Or William for that matter."

The four of them walked to the baggage claim, grabbed their bags, and headed out to the car. As they were driving past the front of the airport, they saw a small crowd of fans. They started jumping up and down in excitement and Kevin waved to them. It didn't take long for them to get to the house. They all got out and Jerald led the way in yelling that "Kevin and his guests" had arrived. Kevin's mom, another guy, and two women came out to greet them. Kevin went and gave each of them a hug before introducing Karen and William.

"Everyone, this is Karen Davidson and her father William," Kevin said. "Karen, William, this is my mother Ann Richardson, my other brother Tim, my sister-in-law Veronica, and Tim's girlfriend, Jennifer."

"Oh my gosh," Ann said, and put her hand over her mouth in surprise. "You're William Davidson. William Davidson is standing in my living room." She looked at Karen. "Oh my gosh, Angela Steele's daughter is dating my son. How nice it is to meet you both."

"Nice to meet you, too, Mrs. Richardson," William said, shaking her hand. "Thank you for allowing my daughter and I to share the holidays with you and your family."

"Oh, think nothing of it," Ann said. "We're happy to have you." She turned to Kevin. "Kevin, you didn't tell me Karen was Angela Steele's daughter."

"I figured you knew I was talking about that Karen Davidson when I told you about her," Kevin said, shrugging.

"I never made the connection." She looked at Karen and William again. "Let me show you to your rooms."

"Mom, Karen is going to be staying in my room," said Kevin.

"Not in my house, until you're married." Ann looked at her son sternly.

"But, Mom...." Kevin said.

"No 'buts', young man. You may be twenty-seven, and you may stay in the same room when you visit each other, but not while you're here. Now go and help your brothers bring in your things. Jerald, Tim, have at it."

Kevin gave his mom one last pleading look, but she shook her head, then he followed his brothers to the car, sulking. Karen giggled at how immature he was acting and in front of her, her family, and his brothers' wife and girlfriend. Karen and William said hi to the rest of the people, then Ann led them up the stairs to their rooms.

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