Chapter   Twenty-Four

AJ watched Destiny as she put the finishing touches on her outfit. It was the last day of her spring break. He didn’t want Destiny to leave. He wanted her to go with him on tour. But Destiny made up her mind that she was staying so she wouldn’t miss any classes. It’s not that AJ didn’t want her to complete her college education. After all, she had one more year to go. But he missed Destiny more than he ever thought he could miss anybody when they were apart. It’s not over yet, he thought. She still has four years at Harvard Law to go. He was amazed at his wife’s determination to become a lawyer. He saw her working on her assignments, mock cases, prepare for a mock trial, and saw Destiny would work until she either had a surefire way to defend her client to a not guilty verdict or a hung jury, or to prosecute the offender to a guilty verdict. AJ knew Destiny would make a great lawyer, whether she was on defense team or on the prosecution team.

Destiny made AJ proud. She received outstanding grades and was one of the top 10% percent in her class. But he rarely got to see her and not because he was always working, but because she was always working, too. When they were together, she was usually thinking about her assignments. When she was on vacations, he was working. Granted she went with him a lot of the times, but it was still hard to find quality time with her. Destiny turned around and caught AJ staring at her. She smiled and walked over to him, putting her arms around his waist. He put his arms around her and gave her a brief kiss.

“What are you thinking about?” Destiny asked.

“Just thinking about how much I’m gonna miss you while I’m on tour,” AJ told her.

“It’s only for a few weeks,” she said. “And I know you’re a little upset that I’m not going, but I can’t afford to miss classes this close to the end of the semester. I’m surprised that my teachers haven’t told me that I’m close to flunking out.”

“I know I shouldn’t expect you to go with me all the time,” AJ said. “But it was hard enough when it was just me being too busy to spend time with you. Now is both of us being too busy to spend time with each other.”

“Do you want me to give up my college education?” Destiny looked up at him.

“No, of course not. You’ve gotten this far.” AJ tightened his hold on her. “I just wish our schedules didn’t conflict so much.”

“I know, Alex,” Destiny said. “I understand how you feel ‘cause I feel the same way. But in the next few months, I’ll be on my summer break. Three whole months for us to be together. I’ll be free to travel with you everywhere you go.”

“But we’ll be recording the new album, working day and night for weeks on end. I don’t want you to start feeling neglected or anything. Especially now that you’re pregnant. I don’t want anything to ruin our marriage. Divorce is almost a requirement in this business.”

“Listen to yourself. Don’t you have any faith in us and our love? I have everything I want right here, with you and our baby. I have my health, my education, my life. And may I remind you that our love is what brought me back to you.”

AJ let Destiny go and brought them over to sit on the bed. “I have faith in our love and in us. But it’s in my nature to worry. Ever since I got you back, I’ve been on edge because I’m afraid I might lose you again and I don’t want that to happen. Even as much as I love you, I have to admit that one of the reasons I asked you to marry me is to make sure we’d always be together.”

“You don’t think I know that?” Destiny looked AJ straight in the eye. “I’ve been just as scared as you that I could be taken away at any moment. One of the reasons I married you was to make sure we’d always be together, also. Alex, you’re not alone in this. If you want me to quit going to school, I’ll do it. You’re the only one I’d ever do that for. Because I love you and I want us to stay together forever.”

“No, don’t quit.” AJ laid back on the bed, his arms covering his eyes. “I guess I’m just a little bit jealous that you’re doing something I’ve always wanted to do. Don’t get me wrong, even though I wanted to make it big in the music business, but, Destiny, going to college was another dream I wanted to come true. I just feel like I’m never gonna reach it.”

“That’s not true,” Destiny told him. “Whenever you feel like the time has come for your career as a Backstreet Boy to be put on hold, you can always go back to school. A lot of my classmates are way older than me, with husbands, wives, families. Whether or not that time comes, you should always feel proud of what you’ve accomplished. You bring so much happiness and laughter and love to so many people all over the world. And most of all, you make me that happiest I’ve ever felt in my whole life. Don’t feel like I’m on a higher level than you because I’m going to college. I’m not. You and me, Alex. We’re on the same level success because you’re doing something you love and I’m doing something that will give me the chance to do something I love. I love being in a court room. I love defending the innocent, prosecuting the guilty, making things right in the eyes of the law. It’s what I want to do for the rest of my life, along with growing old with you and raising our children together.”

AJ laid in the bed, quiet for a few minutes. “I’m sorry if I made you feel like I wanted you to chose between us and your career. I know you’ll be a great laywer.”

“It’s all right, Alex,” Destiny said. “I know you would never do that.”

“No, I wouldn’t,” said AJ, looking at her. “And sometimes I may feel like I’m not good enough for you because you’re so smart. I just wanted you to know how I was feeling.”

“I’m glad you feel you were able to tell me. Like I said, you’re not alone in this. You know the main question I get from people all the time when they find out you’re my husband?”


“ ‘Aren’t you afraid he’ll cheat on you?’ ‘He has a million girls in love with him. How do you know he won’t stray?’ I’ve had fans come up to me during concerts, when I’m at the mall, when I’m at a restuarant, at the grocery store, and tell me they don’t think I’m good enough for you. Just because I’m studying to be a lawyer, doesn’t make me any different than the average gold digger. ‘Who’s paying for your tuition, Destiny?’, ‘I bet you just married him for his money’, ‘AJ can find someone so much better than you’, ‘If I were married to a Backstreet Boy, I’d go to an expensive college, too’.”

“How come you never told me this?” AJ sat up, looking Destiny with concern.

“Because I didn’t want you to get the wrong idea about your fans,” she said. “I know it’s just their jealousy or their concern for your well-being.”

“You should’ve told me,” AJ said.

“It wouldn’t have mattered. I’ve been dealing with it since we’ve been together. They don’t care about the fact that I’d been going to Harvard for two years before I met you. They just want to think the worst because it give them the sense of hope that maybe you’ll see it their way and leave.”

“I’d never be unfaithful to you, nor have I ever been. I would never do that. Sure, there are a million girls out there, but you’re the only one I want.”

“I know that.” Destiny touched his cheek gently with her hand. “I know you love me. I love you just as much. And nothing will ever change that.” Destiny looked at her watch. “We better go. The banquet is going to start in fifteen minutes. I know you want to be there to walk in with the rest of the guys.”

AJ and Destiny got off the bed. Destiny grabbed her jacket and purse, then they headed downstairs. AJ set the alarm on the house, and escorted Destiny to the car. Right before she got into the passenger seat, AJ leaned down and gave her a passionate kiss. Destiny smiled at him when they broke apart, then got into the car. AJ ran around to the driver side and got in. On the way to the hotel where the banquet was being held, he reached over and grabbed Destiny’s hand and held it for the rest of the night.

Chapter Twenty-Five
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