Jeanne shrugged. “Okay.”
“That’s all? Just okay?”
“Yep.” She was silent for a moment. “Brian, I know he’s your friend and all, but he is kind of strange.”
Brian smiled. “Tell me about it. What he do this time?”
“The man doesn’t talk. I mean he seemed fine at the barbie, and he was chatty with Kevin when he picked me up. Then nothing. I swear he was more verbal under water than he was above. And yes, I did hear him nattering away at you when you were playing ball.” She shrugged. “Guess he’s not much into girls.”
Brian exploded with laughter.
“What’s so funny?” Leighanne asked as he padded into the room. Her blonde hair was tied back loosely, and she wore a red sleeveless shirt and tight hi-cut shorts. Her feet were bare. She looked like the quintessential femme from a Gasoline Alley comic.
“Jeanne thinks Nick is gay,” Brian gasped.
“I never said that,” Jeanne replied. ”I just said he didn’t seem to like girls much. Or maybe he just didn’t like me.”
“Let me guess, he was supremely untalkative,” Leighanne said. At Jeanne’s nod she continued. “That’s Nick. He’s pretty quiet until he gets to know you. Sort of shy. He’s actually not that way around fans – he puts on a game face then – but around people who are pretty much in the Backstreet camp, but who he doesn’t know well… well, he needs some time.”
“He was talkative the first time we met,” Jeanne pointed out.
“True,” Brian said. “Probably because we were all there and he really spent most of the time talking to us. You were just there so you heard it all. If you two had met without all of us around he would have been a lot more quiet.”
Jeanne thought about it and then shrugged. “Oh well, no worries. Doubt I’ll see much of him anyway,” she said dismissively.
“Probably not. We’ll be at rehearsals a lot, so I wouldn’t worry about it,” Brian agreed. He walked over to Leighanne and gave her a kiss on the cheek then whispered in her ear. “See? Told you he wasn’t interested.”
She chuckled and then slapped him on the butt, sending him on his way out of the room.
Waiting a moment, until he was gone, she turned to Jeanne. “So how was he really?”
Jeanne grinned. “Couldn’t shut him up.”
“What do you mean you aren’t coming?”
Miriam shrugged. “I told you Howie, I have work to do here.” And a fierce young thing out at UCF who I am dying to get my hands on. He’d been coming to her gym for a few weeks now, using the steroids she’d sold him so he could bulk up for the football team. He was really starting to get aggressive now, and she wanted to make sure she was there to take full advantage.
“But it’s our tour! I need you there!”
“Baby, come on. You know how important my job is to me. I wouldn’t ask you to abandon your tour to stay here with me, would I?” she purred, putting her arms around his neck.
“Everyone else is bringing their girlfriends. Well, ‘cept for Kevin and Nick, of course. And I’ll really need you.” He dropped his voice low and sultry. “You know how I get after a concert… all hot and horny…”
She shuddered. Yeah, and until you really get going its all hot and horny and so damn sweet. Gross! She wanted to be manhandled … she wanted to be ravished… she wanted to be fucked into unconsciousness. “Oh baby, can’t you wait for me?” she cooed. “I promise… I’ll be there as soon as I can.”
“How long?” He noticed that there was a tinge of a whine in his voice and cleared his throat. Wasn’t good to sound so needy. “How long until you are able to be there?”
“As soon as I can. I’m sorry, Howie. I can’t promise anything more than that. But we have time before you leave. And I’ll be here for the first concert,” she moved closer to him, sliding her body against his hardness. “We can celebrate all night long.”
He groaned, his arms tightening around her, “oh yeah, we can do that.” He kissed her passionately. “We can start right now.”
“Oh, please,” she murmured against his lips, as his hands moved down to remove her wraparound skirt. Oh please! Put some life into it, okay? Take me like a man should take a woman…
“Well, the call display says it’s his number and Leighanne is on her way over here… so I’d say the chances are good,” he retorted.
“Smartass,” she retorted. “Well, this is it. Better answer the phone.”
Nick took a deep breath and straightened his shoulders, then grabbed the phone. “Hello?”
“Jea… Nick?” Brian confusion was palpable.
“Hey, Rok. Wassup?” Nick said in a relaxed tone. He hated lying to Brian like this, but then they were all lying to him. It was just time to step it up a notch.
“Umm. I must have hit the wrong number on the speed dial. I was trying to get Jeanne.”
“Nah, man. She’s right here. Lemme get her for you.”
“Wait!” Brian’s voice shouted through the receiver. Just as they had expected him too.
“What? You don’t want to talk to her?” Nick had known this day would come. Hell, they’d gone to lengths to set it up.
Ever since Jeanne had moved into her own place, ‘just to be out of the way until they left for their tour’ they knew they had to find some way to let the others know that they were ‘seeing each other.’ The three of them had thought of several ways to tell them – everything ranging from the straightforward: ‘hey guys, we are dating’ announcement, to the unsubtle: having her show up at the buses with a suitcase. They’d decided on an ‘accidental’ closure and picked Brian as the stooge. Leighanne said it made sense, as he had been around to see Nick spending a little more time at their house and to see Nick chatting with Jeanne when they stopped by rehearsals. Besides, they had to move it forward and while she hated using him this way he was the best person to break the ice with.
“What are you doing there, Frack?” Brian had obviously decided on the direct approach.
“Umm. I was helping Jeanne with some stuff and… Oh hell, we were going to tell you anyway. Jeanne and I have been seeing each other a bit.”
“A bit?!” Brian’s voice had this little squeak that only appeared when he was surprised by something. “I thought you two didn’t get along!”
Nick shrugged. “We do and we don’t. I mean, we are still getting to know each other, you know? But we do stuff together and it’s great.”
“I don’t believe this! You are dating Leighanne’s friend?”
“Well, I don’t know about dating. We spend a lot of time together… Just not at fancy restaurants or anything. I don’t think we’ve actually been on a ‘date’ date. Just hung out a lot.”
Kat rolled her eyes. Nick could be quite the ham, and he was obviously enjoying this role.
“Do you have any idea how old she is?” Brian cut in. “She’s a lot older than you, Nick,” he said in a fatherly tone.
Nick snorted. “You’re one to talk. Last time I checked Leigh was older than you too. Yeah, I know how old Jeanne is.” He looked over at her and shrugged.
“28,” she mouthed. She and Leighanne had decided that they needed to make her a believable age: close to her age, but not so old that the others would really complain if she started seeing a 22 year old man.
“She’s 28. Big deal. I like older women,” he concluded.
“Nick, you only say that for interviews and stuff!” Brian was obviously not taking this well. “Six years, man! That is a hell of a lot of difference.”
“One more than you and Leigh. Sheesh, Bri, chill will you.” He turned as the door opened and Leighanne walked in. He gave her a little wave and a signal to be quiet. “It’s not like we are getting married or anything. Just getting a little close.”
“I just… I…”
“Rok, what was it you wanted to talk to Jeanne about?” Nick said patiently.
“Hunh? Oh. Just that Leighanne is running late and that her cell is low on batteries so she couldn’t call,” Brian replied absently. “I don’t believe it.”
“Why? Cells run low all the time. Some group even wrote a song about it,” Nick teased.
“That wasn’t what I meant, you dumbass!”
“Come on, Rok. What’s the big deal? I like her, she likes me, we got together some. We’ll see how it goes. We’re going to be on the road soon, it probably won’t last. You know me and chicks…”
Kat cleared her voice. “Call me a ‘chick’ one more time and you really won’t last long,” she whispered.
Nick chuckled. “Look, Rok. I gotta go. We have a rehearsal to get to. Want me to pick you up?”
“No,” Brian replied absently. “I’m fine.”
“Okay then. I’ll let Jeanne know about Leigh. See you soon,” he chirped happily before hanging up.
“Oh man, he was not expecting that one,” Nick chuckled. “How blind is the guy? I have been doing just about everything except hang on your arm for the last two weeks.”
“Sometimes he doesn’t see what he doesn’t want to see,” Leighanne said. “He’ll come around, don’t worry.”
“Doesn’t have a choice, does he?” Nick replied. “I hate to think how he’s going to react when I announce you are coming with us.”
Kat glanced at Leighanne. “Actually we’ve been meaning to talk to you about that. We thought it made more sense for you go and then invite along after a few shows.”
“Shit, man,” Nick complained. “I thought we were a team! Stop deciding things without me.”
“We aren’t deciding things without you…” Leigh started.
“Oh yeah? First I am not allowed to see Kat until YOU two decide I can. Then YOU decide she’s coming on tour without telling me. Now you tell me she isn’t coming… When the hell am I getting a say in all this?”
“Don’t be such a baby, Nick,” Kat said as she curled up on the sofa. “We were just talking and thought it seemed more ‘romantic’ if you ask me along after the tour is on. Like you got lonely for me or something.”
“I thought you were coming along as Leighanne’s guest anyway. I was just going to tell them you were staying for me,” he replied. “That plan worked well for me.”
“Yeah well, this way you can play around with those groupie friends of yours for a few days instead,” she snorted.
“I do not play with… Leighanne will you help me out with this? She’s driving me nuts,” Nick grumbled.
Leigh shrugged. “I like it. You get a few days to blow off any steam, then decide you like having a girlfriend instead. They’ll buy that.”
“They’ll buy it the other way too,” he complained.
“Fine, whatever!” Kat threw up her arms in frustration. “We’ll do it whatever way you want, whiner boy. Just let me know what is going on, okay?” She turned to Leighanne. “Can we go now? I want lunch.”
“Listen here, you…” Nick glared at her.
“Me what? Me tired of playing this game already? I happen to like Brian. I hate lying to him,” she retorted.
“How do you think I feel?” Leighanne said quietly.
Kat glanced at Nick. “Oh shit, Leigh. I didn’t mean it that way,” she said, putting her arms around the other woman. “I just…”
“Ignore her Leigh,” Nick said, coming over and hugging the two of them. “She just has low blood sugar.”
Kat snorted and Leighanne chuckled. “Thanks guys. Thanks so much for doing this for me. I know how much fuss it is.”
“Hey,” Kat said as she pulled out of their embrace. “We aren’t only doing it for you. We are doing it so Howie never does this again.”
“Yeah, we are doing for all the others he tried it with before. Well, except for Marissa, ‘cos she’s a bitch and deserved it,” Nick grinned impishly.
Leighanne raised a blonde eyebrow. “And Tina?”
“Oh she’s a bitch too,” Nick smirked.
Kat laughed. “I second that. Anyway, we are not just doing it for you, but for all future Backstreet girlfriends and wives. A way to find freedom for unwanted advances.”
“From persecution and depravity,” Nick said jokingly
“From tyranny and oppression,” Kat continued, a huge grin on her face.
“From sneaky friends and, and… I can’t think of anything else.” Nick admitted.
Leighanne was giggling heartily. “Okay, I get it. You’re not helping me: it’s a crusade.” She shook her head. “You two are such dumbasses.” She grabbed her keys and gestured towards the door.
“Do you think we need a flag?” Nick asked innocently as they walked down the stairs.
“That might be a bit much,” Kat replied, trying to repress her laughter. “Maybe just a coat of arms.”
“I wouldn’t mind a banner,” Nick said. “Something to wave when I charge in.”
“Hard to explain why you packed it if anyone sees it,” Kat pointed out. “Maybe I could just stitch something onto one of your t-shirts.”
“Do we get swords? I want a sword,” Nick chuckled.
Leighanne groaned loudly. “Would you two stop that! Sheesh! Why the heck I put up with the two of you…”
(c) Kat Morgan