Chapter   Four

"So, Tricia, where are you from?" Kevin asked her.

"I'm from Chicago," she answered him.

They were sitting alone together, getting to know each other. She has a really nice voice, Kevin thought.

I love his voice, Tricia thought. It's really sexy.

"Donna said you and one of the other girls were sisters?" Kevin gave her a questioning look.

"Yeah, Anissa DeLeon," Tricia said.

" 'DeLeon'?"

"She's my half-sister," she explained. "Our father was married to both our mothers. He married my mom when they were really young and had me. But they couldn't keep it together, so they divorced. A couple years later, my father married Anissa's mother and they had Anissa."

"Are you two close?"

"We're trying to be. See, I didn't know about Anissa until a few weeks ago. I rarely saw my dad and when I did, he never mentioned Anissa. I guess he didn't want me to feel like someone had taken him away from me. I was only eight years old when Anissa was born. Anyway, our dad got into a car accident and died as a result of his injuries. But right before he died, he told me and Anissa that we were sisters."

"Wow," Kevin said. "That must've been an incredible shock."

"You have no idea," Tricia said, looking at her hands. "Ever since our father died, I've been trying to spend as much time with Anissa as possible, but it's hard with school and all."

"You're still in high school?"

"No, no. Medical school. I want to be a pediatrician. I love kids and I want to be able to help them when they're hurting or sick."

"That's really selfless," Kevin said, impressed.

"Donna said you and Brian Littrell were cousins?" Tricia wanted to get the subject off her. Kevin sensed that's what she wanted so he obliged.

"Yeah. His mother and my father were brother and sister."


"My father died about six years ago, of cancer."

"I'm sorry."

"Me, too. He was a good man. Worked hard to support the family he loved so much."

"I guess we have one thing in common then."

"I'm sure we have more in common."

Kevin smiled at Tricia, who smiled back. They continued to talk to see just how much they had in common.


"How long are you going to be around here?" Nick asked Anissa.

"Only a week," she told him. "My sister, one of my friends, and two of hers are here for springbreak."

"Which one is your sister again?" Nick looked around at the other girls.

"The one over there with the guy that has green eyes," Anissa said, pointing to them.

"The one with Kevin," Nick said. "I thought her last name was 'Mason'."

"It is." Anissa looked at him. "She's my half-sister."

"Really?" Nick looked at her in awe. "I have a half-sister, too. Her name is Virginia, but we call her 'Ginger'. We have the same dad."

"So do me and Tricia." Anissa smiled at Nick.

Man, she has a beautiful smile, Nick thought.

"Are you and Tricia close?"

"I just found out about her a few weeks ago, right before our dad died."

"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that."

"I'm okay, I guess. I just wish he was still here sometimes. Tricia and I are trying to fulfill my dad's wish of becoming close."

"Do you have any other brothers or sisters?"

"Nope, just Tricia. How about you?"

"I have three younger sisters, a younger brother, and, of course, Ginger."

"You come from a big family. You're lucky."

"Well, you and Tricia have each other. As long as you keep it that way, you'll be okay."

"Thanks. I'm sure we will."

Nick and Anissa talked more and became fast friends. But both were wishing they could be more. Although Nick hadn't said he had a girlfriend, Anissa knew he did and she didn't want to mess that up. I guess friends is all we'll ever be, she thought. Oh, well. I can handle that.


"Are you from around here?" AJ asked Tamera.

"No," she said, shaking her head. "I'm from Chicago. My friend, Anissa invited me to come here with her sister and her friends for springbreak."

"That's cool," AJ said. "But that also doesn't give us much to time to really get to know each other."

"Oh, well. I'll take what I can get. And want things I can't have." Oh, man, I can't believe I just said that, she thought.

AJ laughed. "Trust me, you're not the only whose wanted something he can't have." Especially now, he thought.

"That's okay. Everyone wants things they can't have. It's just a fact of life."

"That's a very mature thought. How old are you?"

"Sixteen. How old are you? Or should I say how much older?"

"Three years older. I'm nineteen."

"Oh," was all Tamera could say.

Her and AJ sat in an awkward silence for a few minutes. Then AJ spoke up.

"Do you have a boyfriend?"

"No one serious." Tamera waited for him to say something about the girlfriend she knew he had, but he didn't say anything. Maybe I was mistaken, she thought, hopefully.

As they continued to talk, AJ never mentioned the girl from the limo. Tamera thought that kind of odd, but she didn't question him about her. She just enjoyed the time she was spending with him.


Brian watched and Valerie laughed. He had been making her laugh thoughout their whole conversation. She has a beautiful laugh, he thought. Can't let those thoughts enter my head. What are you gonna do, Bri? Stop thinking? Then I guess those thoughts will enter my head.

"You are really funny," Valerie said when she calmed down. "Are you always like this?"

"Most of the time, yeah," Brian said. "I like to make people laugh."

"Well, you're really good at it," Valerie said, softly.


Brian and Valerie looked into each other's eyes and wouldn't look away, even though they both knew they should. Finally, Valerie looked away and at the rest of the couples.

"How long has your group been together?" she asked.

"About four years," Brian answered. "We all wanted to get into the music business, so here we are."

"What's the name of you're group again?"

"Backstreet Boys."

Valerie thought for a minute, then shook her head. "Never heard of you."

"We haven't released anything in the US since '95. We've been traveling and doing concerts everywhere but in our home country."

"What song did you guys sing in '95?"

" 'We've Got It Goin' On'."

Valerie thought again. She smiled as she remembered. "I heard that song. I liked it, but never found out who sang it. That was you guys?"



They went on to talk about other things, like school, lives, family, everything. Brian liked Valerie a lot, but knew he couldn't do anything about it. Valerie wished she could hook up with him, but knew he had a girlfriend, even if he didn't say anything about her.


"I have a girlfriend," Howie said all of a sudden.

Ariana just looked at him. "So?"

"I just wanted you to know."

"Thanks for telling me. Howie, we're only working together. No need to tell your whole life story."

"I'm sorry. I just felt like you should know. I didn't want you to feel like I was trying to pick you up."

"I don't feel that way. I like you, but I think it's a bad idea to get involved with someone you work with, no matter what the circumstances."

When Ariana heard Howie say he had a girlfriend, it was like someone came up to her and slapped her across the face. Thank God I'm a good actress, she thought. Or I would've broke down and started crying right here.

Why did I just say that? Howie asked himself. I shouldn't have said anything. Now she thinks I'm weird. And it's going to really hard not to admire her opinion on relationships. Howie looked at her. I hate to even think this, but she's gorgeous.

Howie was about to say something when he heard voices. He turned around just as his girlfriend and the other guys' girlfriends entered the tent. They stopped short when they saw the Boys talking to some girls they'd never seen before.

"Hello, Boys," Jazzmine said. "What are you doing?"

Nick, Kevin, Brian, AJ, and Howie saw their girlfriends standing at the entrance of the tent.

"What are you doing here, honey?" Kevin said, walking up to Marianna, who was glaring at Tricia. Then Marianna looked away and gave Kevin a long, deep kiss.

"We came to see how the video was going," Marianna said, when she ended it. "Looks like you haven't started yet."

"We were just getting to know our co-stars," Nick said, walking up to Laura. Laura put her arms around Nick possessively and glared at Anissa.

Jazzmine, Lisa, and Sarah walked over to their boyfriends and gave them a kiss on the lips in front of Tamera, Valerie, and Ariana. Then they sat in their laps. AJ, Brian, and Howie looked at each other helplessly.

"Um, I guess we should go find Donna," Tricia said. "She still has to explain the concept of the video."

Before Tricia could stop herself, she tiptoed and gave Kevin a kiss on the cheek. "It was nice meeting you."

Anissa did the same thing with Nick. "I hope we can talk again soon." Then Anissa gave his girlfriend a evil look before walking out of the tent.

Valerie couldn't help but do the same thing with Brian. So did Tamera and Ariana. They left the tent with Lisa, Jazzmine, and Sarah glaring at their retreating backs.

Valerie, Tamera, and Ariana found Tricia and Anissa waiting for them just outside the tent. They heard their girlfriends asking who they were and why they were kissing them on the cheek. They could also hear the Boys trying to calm their girlfriends down. The girls walked away with one thought on their minds. Operation Jealousy: Completed.

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