Chapter   Sixteen

AJ was right. The next morning, the Boys and their managers asked him where he took off to the night before. AJ told the managers a half-ass story, but Kevin, Nick, Howie, and Brian knew there was more than AJ was telling. As soon as the managers left, they started firing questions left and right. AJ told them what almost happened to Tamera, that he took her home and they had a long talk. The two of them came to the conclusion that, despite all that happened between them a year ago, they wanted to try being friends. When AJ told them he pumped Tamera about information on Anissa's date, Nick got completely..... curious?

"So who was that guy Anissa was with?" Nick asked him.

"That's her boyfriend," AJ said. "Tamera said she started seeing him last week. Said that this was the longest she's every been with one guy. I guess she really likes him. Tamera said he's exactly what mom doesn't want for daughter. Drives a motorcycle, leather jacket, all that kind of stuff."

"Anissa told me about her unusual fasination with motorcycles," Nick said. "She loves them. She said she wants to get one, a Harley-Davidson."

"I never would've thought that a girl like Anissa would be interested in that stuff," Brian said.

"Well, she's gone totally biker chick," AJ said. "Tamera showed me some pictures Anissa and this guy took a couple days ago. This guys looks about twenty-one, maybe older, and looks like he's trouble."

"Wow," Howie said. "I hope Anissa's knows who she's dealing with."

"Well, we don't have time to worry," Kevin said. "Johnny said we're leaving today and heading to our next promotion stop. So we have to go and pack."

All the Boys headed to their rooms. After Brian was done packing, he walked over to Valerie's room. He knocked and waited for her to answer. Valerie opened the door and smiled when she saw Brian. They shared a quick kiss then walked over to the bed and sat down.

"Are you finished packing?" Brian asked.

"Yup. All set," she answered. "I've called the agency and told them I wouldn't working anymore. You should've heard them. They tried anything and everything to convince me to stay, even a major pay raise, but nothing they said could change my mind."

"Well, I don't blame them for trying. You are one of their top models. But you do know, that if you want to stay, it's okay with me, right? You don't have to leave your job for me. I'd never ask you to do that."

"I know, Brian. This is what I want. I have all I need right here with me. Why the agency thought they could keep me with a pay raise, I don't know. Sure, the money's great, but it's not important to me. You're what's important to me. I became a model because it was fun for me, not the money."

Brian took her hand in his and smiled. "Okay. I just want to make sure you know what you're doing. I don't want you to have any regrets."

"How could I regret traveling with the man I love?" Valerie leaned over and kissed Brian softly. "Besides, I have a hidden talent, I guess you could say."

"What's that? Not singing, I hope," Brian teased.

"No, it's not singing," Valerie laughed. "I'll show you."

Valerie got up and walked to the closet. She pulled out a box and walked back to the bed. Brian took the box and looked inside. He saw a bunch of sketch pads, pencils of all kinds, markers, things like that. Brian took out a sketch pad and looked through it. As he went from drawing to drawing, his eyes got bigger.

"These are amazing, Val," Brian said after he was done. "How long have you been designing clothes?"

"I've been sketching stuff for the last few years," she said. "I was thinking I could try my hand at being a fashion designer. What do you think?"

"I think you should go for it. You're really talented."

"Thanks. See, the way I figure it, while you're touring to different places, I could go with you and check out different fashion designers, see if I can get something started."

"Like you're own clothing line or something?"


"That's a good idea. You could design some of our clothes for Backstreet Boys tours, Backstreet Boys merchandise......"

"Whoa, buddy," Valerie laughed. "Let me get famous before I start working with you guys."

"Okay. Come on, let's go see if we can't straighten out your friendships with Tricia, Ariana, Tamera, and Anissa."

"It's worth a try. I'd hate to lose my closest friends over something stupid like this." Brian pretended to look hurt. "Not that our relationship is anything less than great....."

Brian laughed. "I'm just kidding. I know what you mean."

Brian and Valerie told Donna Wright they were going out, and went on their way. They only had a few hours before they had to leave. Valerie hoped that she'd be able to salvage her friendships.

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