Chapter   Thirteen

I was happy that Nick would finally be meeting my family. I was a little nervous about how they'd react to him, though. They'd never seen me date a guy who wasn't Mexican. Then I thought about how Nick's family reacted to me. Nick's sisters and brother were cool and they were fun to hang out with, but his parents were a little distant. I guessed it was because they'd never seen Nick date anyone who wasn't of their background. I knew Nick was more nervous than he let on. Sure the Backstreet Boys were really popular in Mexico, but sometimes my parents could be a little.... traditional, I guess you could say.

I looked at Nick as he slept during the whole flight to Mexico. He warned me that he would probably do that 'cause he hated flying. We were about to land when he finally woke up. He reached over and grabbed my hand, looking over and smiling at me. I smiled back. I was really hoping my parents would get along with him. It was important to me that my family like the person I'm dating.

"Who's coming to get us?" Nick asked.

"My sister," I said. "I asked her to come get us. I thought it would be better to wait to introduce you to my brothers."

"How many brothers do you have again?"

"Five. Miguel, Jamie, Juan, Felipe, and Jose. Miguel is the oldest and Jose is the youngest."

"Okay. Hopefully I'll remember all their names. What are your parents names?"

"Gabriel and Theresa Novales."

Nick repeated the names softly.

"Nick, don't be nervous. Just be yourself. My parents will respect you for that."

The plane landed and we walked into the terminal hand in hand. I looked around the crowded airport, looking for my sister. Nick was the one who spotted her.

"Is that Constanza over there?" he asked.

I looked over to where he was pointing and saw her. "Yeah. Let's go."

We starting walking in her direction just as she spotted me. When there wasn't much distance left between us, I let go of Nick's hand and ran to Constanza. We threw our arms around each other and hugged for the longest time.

"Rosary, it's so good to finally have you home," she said when we parted. "From your letters, it sounds like you've been busy."

"I guess you could say that," I said, smiling. Then I turned to Nick. "Constanza, I'd like you to meet my boyfriend, Nick Carter. It's his house I live in."

Constanza looked him over and smiled. "I know you. You're from that group.... what are they called?"

"Backstreet Boys," Nick told her. "It's nice to meet you, Constanza."

"Nice to meet you, too, Nick." I watched them shake hands.

"Dad's gonna love him," she said to me in Spanish. I gave her a look. "Shall we go get your luggage?"

My sister didn't even wait for an answer. She just turned and walked off in the direction of the luggage claim. Nick and I looked at each other, shrugged, then followed her. Nick once again took my hand in his. I saw some people looking at us, but Nick didn't seem to mind. We got our bags and headed out to the parking lot. A couple girls recognized Nick and ran up to him asking for his autograph. Nick looked at me helplessly 'cause he couldn't understand a thing they were saying. I translated for him and he smiled. He spoke to them in English, thanking them for their support, and the girls nodded their heads in understanding.

Finally, we were on our way to the house. Constanza asked Nick every question that came to her about him, his career, his family, everything. I was happy to see them getting along. Constanza pulled up to our house and I started getting butterflies in my stomach. My brothers were all outside waiting for us. I looked over at Nick and he looked a little nervous. I smiled reassuringly at him, hoping it would calm him down. It seemed to.

"Nick's going to get it now," Constanza said to me in Spanish. "I hope he can handle our brothers."

"Don't worry about him," I answered her in Spanish. "He'll be fine. I won't allow them to intimidate him."

"What are you guys talking about?" Nick asked.

Constanza and I looked at each other, coming to a silent understanding. "Nothing important," I said. "Come on. Time to introduce you to the rest of my family."

"I hope their as nice as your sister," Nick said. He looked at Constanza as she walked into the house to tell our parents I was home. "Man, you two are completely identical. I don't think I've ever seen a set of twins as identical as you two."

"It was fun growing up with her," I recalled fondly. "We used to play some crazy tricks on the family. And we always ended up in trouble."

"So that's how you were as a little girl. A little mischievious one." Nick leaned down and kissed the top of my head.

I looked at my brothers and they were already giving Nick the evil eye. I gave it to them back and they tempered their looks. I grabbed Nick's hand and pulled him over to where my brothers were standing.

"Rosary, it's nice to have you home," my brother Miguel said. He gave me a hug. "How have you been?"

"I've been good," I answered. "Nick, I'd like you to meet my brothers Miguel, Jamie, Juan, Felipe, and Jose. Brothers, this is my boyfriend and housemate, Nick Carter."

"Nice to meet you all," Nick said, holding out his hand.

My brothers didn't say anything. They just stood there and studied him. I let out a loud sigh. Finally, Juan reached over and shook Nick's hand. One by one, my brothers shook hands with him.

"Does Dad know about him?" Miguel asked me in Spanish.

"Yes," I replied in English. I took Nick's hand, gave my brothers a defiant look, then led Nick into the house.

My mother got up from the couch and came to me with open arms as soon as she saw me. Then my father came up to me and gave me a hug. Nick stood in the doorway to the living room and watched. Then my parents noticed him.

"Who is this?" my father asked me in Spanish.

"Mom, Dad, this is my boyfriend and housemate, Nick Carter." I walked over to Nick and reached for his hand. He walked beside me to my parents. "Nick, these are my parents, Gabriel and Theresa Novales."

"Nice to meet you, Nick," my mom greeted. "Welcome to our home."

"Nice to meet you, too," Nick said. "Thank you for allowing me to come and visit with Rosary."

"Shall we sit?" my father asked.

We walked over to the couches and sat down. My brothers walked in the house and took seats around the living room. Constanza came in and sat beside Nick and me. For a while no one said anything. Finally, my sister spoke.

"Hey, Dad, guess what Nick does?" she said.

"What do you do, Nick?" my father asked, eying him skeptically.

"I work in the music industry, sir," Nick said. "I'm in a singing group called the 'Backstreet Boys'."

"I thought you gave up singers after Enrique, Rosary," Felipe said.

"I didn't know he was a singer until a few months ago," I said. "They're quite popular all over the world, Father. Even in Mexico. We were at the airport and some girls came over asking for his autograph."

"Is that why you weren't home whenever we called you for the past two months," asked my mother.

"Oh, that's my fault," Constanza said. "I forgot to tell you that Rosary told me to let you know that she would be going on tour with Nick for a couple weeks. Sorry."

"Actually, I stayed for the rest of the tour," I told them. "That's why I was gone so long."

"Do you two have separate sleeping quarters?" my father asked.

"Of course we do," I said. "Just because we're dating doesn't mean we're sleeping together."

"Rosary insisted we remain in our own bedrooms," Nick said. "I didn't think it would be a very good idea either."

"Nick, why don't I show you to your room?" I said.

A look of relief came across Nick's face. "Okay, Rosary."

We got up. I looked at Constanza. "Would you like to join us, sister?"

"Sure." Constanza got up also.

"It was nice meeting you all," Nick said to my family before we left the room. As soon as we were out of earshot, Nick spoke. "I don't think they liked me too much."

"It will probably take them a little while to warm up to you," I said. "Don't worry, honey. I refuse to let you feel unwelcome."

"Don't worry about it, Nick," Constanza said. "Our family can be a little overprotective at times. They'll loosen up soon."

Nick smiled at us. "I'm glad I have you two on my side."

I tiptoed and gave him a kiss. Nick immediately deepened the kiss. When we parted, I smiled at him. Then I saw my father, glaring at us from down the hall and I knew that things weren't going to get any better.