Chapter   Two

"So what are you doing today?" asked Eryka Garcia.

Eryka was one of Karen's closest friends. They were having lunch at Planet Hollywood. Ever since the death of Karen's mother, they've gotten closer.

"I have an interview at 2:00pm," Karen answered.


"The 'Backstreet Boys'."

"Are you serious?! I love them!" Eryka said, excitedly. "Their dance moves are the best. Of course, their choreographer is my friend, Fatima. She one of the best out there."

"So you have a connection," Karen laughed. "Why haven't you met them yet?"

"They've been touring every country in the world except for the US," Eryka told her. "I've gotten some postcards from Fatima. They travel a hell of a lot in a matter of months."

"Well, they found a free space on their calendar 'cause they're performing at 'The Big Help' tomorrow."

"Really? Maybe I'll just happen to 'drop by' to see Fatima." Eryka smiled michieviously.

"I'll give you a ride," Karen said, looking at her watch. "I have to go right now."

"Are you sure you can do that?"

"Of course. How many times have I done it?"

"You got a point."

Karen and Eryka got up, paid the check, and headed to Karen's car.


"Are you guys ready?" Donna asked the Boys.

"As ready as we're gonna be," Brian said.

"Okay, good. Ms. Davidson will be here any minute."

As if on cue, there was a knock at the door. The Boys arranged themselve on the couches of the room they were being interviewed in. They had dressed in casual, but nice clothes in hopes of impressing the 'Ice Queen'. Donna waited until they were seated, then walked down the hall to open the door.

A few seconds later, Donna came back with a dark-haired woman. When they got a good look at her, they all stared. But no one was more intrigued then Kevin.

Kevin saw the woman was of average height with long black hair and blue eyes. Man, she's beautiful, Kevin thought. She looks like that actress, Angela Steele. Karen hadn't even looked at the Boys, but she could feel them staring at her.

"Ms. Davidson, it's wonderful of you to fit us into your busy schedule," Donna said.

"I've been trying to take it easy these days," Karen said. "But I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to interview the music industry's newest, hottest group."

Finally, Karen looked at the Boys and studied them. When she saw the tall one with green eyes, her jaw almost dropped. Calm down, Karen, she thought to herself. You've interviewed many good-looking singers and groups. This one isn't any different.

"Well, shall we get started?" Donna said.

"Sure thing. Where shall I sit?" Karen asked.

"Right over here," Donna said, leading Karen to a chair. It was so close to the guy with the stunning green eyes. Keep you cool, Karen thought.

"Thank you," Karen said to Donna. "All right. First, introduce yourselves and tell me your ages."

The one furthest from her started first. He had dark brown hair, brown eyes that peeked from underneath a pair of shades. Both of his ears were pierced, and he wore a necklace with a huge cross hanging from it and a ring on almost every finger. Karen took down notes on his appearance.

"I'm AJ McLean," he said. "And I'm nineteen."

Then a young, blond-haired, blue-eyed guy spoke up.

"My name is Nick Carter," he said, a little nervously. "And I'm seventeen."

"My name's Brian Littrell," a chestnut-brown haired, blue-eyed guy said. Karen noticed his hair curled in the front. "And I'm twenty-two."

A curly-brown haired, brown-eyed guy spoke next. "I'm Howard Dorough, but the guys call me 'Howie D'. And I'm twenty-four."

Finally, Karen looked at the guy with the black hair and green eyes. She was so busy looking into his eyes, she almost didn't hear him tell her his name and age.

"My name's Kevin Richardson," he said in this deep, sexy voice. "And I'm twenty-six."

His voice sent chills all through Karen. Why am I reacting like this? she asked herself. He's just a guy. She looked at him again. A very sexy, gorgeous guy. It seemed like they'd been looking in each other's eyes for a long time, but it was only a few seconds.

"Next question. How do you feel about finally releasing album in your home country? You guys are international superstars, but practically nothing in the US." Karen looked at them expectantly.

The Boys cringed inside when they heard that comment. Neither of them knew what to say to that.

"Was the question too hard?"

"No," Howie said. "It's a really wonderful feeling to release an album here in the US. We've been waiting for so long, to show our friends and family what we've been doing for the past three years."

"So what took you guys so long to break in the US?"

"We wanted to make sure we had a strong fan base in Europe, the UK, and other countries before we released anything in the US," Kevin said. "We wanted to come back strong."

"That's an interesting technique," Karen said with a bit of sarcasm.

The Boys looked at each other, feeling helpless. It was apparent they weren't impressing Karen Davidson, the 'Ice Queen'. They couldn't wait for the interview to be over. When the interview was finally over, Karen got up and picked up her small briefcase. She place her notes in it and turned to the guys.

"Well, it's been a pleasure, boys," Karen said and shook all their hands. When she reached Kevin's hand, they seemed to hesitate a little. Finally their hands touched and an electric shock seemed to go up and down Karen's arm. She quickly pulled her hand away from his, turned around, walked down the hall, and out the door. Kevin kept looking in the direction Karen had taken off in. The other Boys just looked at him.

"What's up with you, Kev?" AJ asked. "You're spacing out."

"Nothing," Kevin answered.

"I think someone has a crush," Brian said.

"I do not," Kevin said, defensively.

"Who wouldn't?" AJ said. "That was what every guy dreams of."

"No kidding," Brian said. "Long, black hair that's soft to the touch. Eyes so blue, you could drown in them. And did you see those lips? Man, I'd give anything to touch them."

"I wonder if she has a younger sister, the 'Ice Princess'," Nick said.

"What happened to 'She's the Ice Queen', 'She's harsh'?" asked Howie. He almost couldn't believe what he was hearing.

"She's a very beautiful Ice Queen," AJ said. "She could freeze me with her ice cold blue eyes any time."

"What do you think, Kev?" Howie looked at him. "Has your opinion changed?"

"That woman is dangerous," Kevin said. "But you know what, guys? I feel like I've heard her voice before."

"Like when?" Brian asked.

"I don't know," Kevin answered. "Her voice just sounds familiar to me."

"You probably heard her over the radio, bashing some other group," Nick said.

At that moment, Donna walked in. "Come on, guys. You have a photo shoot in half an hour. We have to get going if you want to be on time."

The Boys all filed out of the room and into the limo waiting for them. Kevin was in his own world the whole time. He could swear he heard Karen Davidson's voice before, but not on the radio. It was some other time. Kevin didn't have much time to think about it. Before he knew it, they were at the location of the photo shoot.


"So what were they like?" Eryka asked as soon as she saw Karen.

"They were all right," Karen said. "I could live without interviewing them again."

"They were that bad?"

"It's not exactly that. It was just that I got the impression that they were intimidated by me. I have no idea why."

"Fatima said they were extremely nervous about meeting you," Eryka explained. "Apparently, they heard of the 'Ice Queen' reputation you got stuck with."

"I don't even know how I got that rep."

"Maybe 'cause of the time acted 'kind of' cold toward Leonardo DiCaprio. I wouldn't be surprised if he's the one who started calling you that in public."

"I'd expect it from a jerk like that." Karen rolled her eyes. "I wasn't about to let him ruin my parents anniversary. I don't even know why they invited him in the first place."

"It's that attitude that got you your 'Ice Queen' rep. You could've just politely turn him down instead of telling you never go out with him 'in this lifetime nor any other lifetime'. Your words."

"He was what? Just turned twenty-one? He should've known I wouldn't go out with him," Karen reasoned.

"Well, that new movie he's starring in, 'Titanic' is supposed to be big. Did you get invited to the premiere?"

"My father did. I'm going with him. I just hope I don't run into Leo there."

Leaving behind that subject, Eryka fired questions about the Backstreet Boys at Karen. Karen answered them as best she could, but couldn't get Kevin Richardson out of her mind. He made her feel like a little schoolgirl with a crush. You'll forget about him soon enough, she told herself. After their little performance at 'The Big Help', Karen could get on with her life. But something deep inside her said she wouldn't be forgetting about Kevin any time soon.

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