AJ McLean slowly slid down the brick wall of the old warehouse building on
the back street in New Orleans. The taste of blood filled his mouth, he
slowly ran his tongue across his teeth for a quick inventory. This was just
another typical bar fight. AJ was sick and tired of being called a boy band
wuss one time too many as far as he was concerned.
Leaning against the wall, AJ stared into the sky, thinking about where his
life had gone and where it was leading. He glanced at the alley and laughed
quietly to himself about his circumstances.
“Dead end,” AJ mumbled as he slowly got up to his feet. He picked up the
smashed tan cowboy hat and brushed it off and tried his best to re-form it
before placing it back on his head.
AJ ducked into the crowds of people that lined the French Quarter,
partying and spilling drinks as they tried their best from falling over ontop
of one another. Finding a side street that wasn’t crowded, he hailed a cab
and directed the driver to go back to the hotel where his bandmates stayed.
Nick Carter was resting back in his bed, intensely playing Quarterback Club
2001 on his N64. He glanced up from his game when he heard the door click
“Bone, god you look for shit! Where have you been?”
“Out,” AJ mumbled a hurried reply.
“Out where?” Nick persisted.
AJ threw a pair of boxers and a white wife beater onto the bed. “Just out,
leave it at that, okay?”
Nick flinched at the tone of AJ’s voice. “Good time then?”
“Nick! For crying out loud! Can you just keep your nose out of my life?” AJ
didn’t wait for an answer, he slammed the bathroom door behind him.
Nick shrugged his shoulders and settled back into the bed again, focusing his
attention back onto the game.
AJ looked at his face in the mirror. “God, I do look like shit,” he mumbled to
himself. Taking off his trademark sunglasses revealed a bruised cheek and a
lightly blackend left eye. His lower lip had been split and dried blood was on
his chin. He went to the shower and turned it on to the highest temperature
his body could withstand and started to undress, the steam clouding the
mirror, obscuring his face from view.
“Hey AJ! We’ve done this step millions of times, what’s the problem this
morning?” Kevin asked as he clamped a hand on AJ’s shoulder.
AJ winced as the pain radiated down towards his elbow. “Just a little under
the weather,” he replied in a raspy voice.
Kevin pulled AJ’s glasses down, his eyebrows furrowed into a frown when he
saw the black eye. “Uh-huh, I see. I take it you lost?”
“Whatever, Kev,” AJ spat back as he walked away over towards the table
that was lined up with water bottles.
AJ leaned against the table as he watched Nick and Howie going over a
dance step that Nick was having difficulty mastering. He shook his head and
turned on his heel and walked over to his duffel bag. He pulled out a bottle
of Advil and shook out three brown tablets. “I’m taking ten,” he called out as
he headed for the green room.
No one answered his remark, he closed the door cutting off the sounds of
the band playing the keyboard. AJ gulped down the water with the pills and
settled back onto the brown leather couch, placing his hat over his face.
“Go away,” AJ mumbled sharply.
“AJ?” the voice persisted.
AJ reached up and tipped his hat back, exposing his eyes. He glanced over
towards where the sound was coming from expecting to see a teenybopper
that was trying to bother him. “What the hell do you want, can’t you see I’m
rest---” He stopped quickly from his reprimand when he saw the female
figure standing before him, a perfect body and beautiful eyes. AJ sat up on
“Hi AJ, my name is April,” the woman stated.
There was something about her voice that drove AJ crazy. His body heated
up with passion and a strong desire to get to know her better.
“I want to do something for you,” she began.
“God, like you read my mind,” AJ exclaimed, thinking this was too good to be
April laughed. “First things first. I know you’ve been unhappy with the way
your life has been heading with the boyband image.”
AJ nodded his reply he didn’t trust his voice thinking it would crack with all
the feelings that were stirring in his body.
“I can change all that for you if you want me to,” April continued. “Would you
like me to do that for you?”
“But how?” AJ asked quietly.
“You would only have to sign this little contract here and I could give you the
respect you desire. You would, of course, have to continue for a little while
with the boyband but I could give you a solo career,” April replied as she
held out a piece of white parchment paper with flowing handwriting on it.
AJ eyed the paper in her hand wearily. He hated contracts and he knew that
he needed to contact his attorney before he signed anything.
“You can’t involve anyone AJ, it would have to be our little secret, just you
and me,” April stated.
“You can read my mind?” AJ asked.
April laughed. “I can read your mind, Brian’s, Howies, Kevin’s and Nick’s,
which I might add his is the easiest to read.”
AJ laughed nervously. “So what do you get out of this?”
“I get you,” April replied, holding a feathered quill pen in her hand.
Thinking only for a moment, his thoughts clouded by the thoughts of getting
this perfect woman to himself, AJ snatched the pen from her hand and
quickly scrawled Alexander J. McLean on the paper.
Looking at the signature, a slight smile spread across April’s face. She bent
down towards AJ and kissed him softly on the lips, more of a teasing type of
a kiss. AJ reached up to pull her down onto the couch next to him but she
managed to break free.
“Sorry AJ, first things first, I need to file this paper with my boss and then
we’ll get started with our little deal, understand?”
Defeated, AJ nodded. He wanted everything to start quickly but it seemed
that April preferred to move slowly. A lopsided grin appeared on his face, ‘A
girl that moves slow, I suppose I could like that for a change, it’s a little
different, but what the hell,’ he thought to himself.
“You are the sick one, aren’t you AJ,” April teasingly reprimanded.
“Damn, I forgot you could read minds,” AJ quickly apologized.
April softly laughed. “Just don’t forget it either.” She quickly kissed him on
the cheek and let herself out of the green room, walking past Nick Carter
who just stood and stared after her with his mouth hanging open.
Several months had passed since AJ signed the contract with April. She was
becoming his constant companion and his bandmates slowly accepted her into
their circle without question.
AJ sat on the couch with his left arm draped around April’s shoulder. The
two were constantly acting like young hormonal teens, barely able to keep
their hands off of one another when they were together in public.
“Ya know, that is a little bit gross guys,” Nick sighed.
“What is?” AJ asked, his lips still pressed against April’s.
“Get a room, would ya?”
“Oh, poor little Nicky can’t handle seeing someone with a girlfriend? See it
goes like this....you meet someone.....you actually start a conversation with
her.....and POOF.....you start dating!” AJ replied sarcastically.
“I’m not jealous AJ, just a little grossed out by your open display of
affection,” Nick replied.
Just as AJ was prepared to reply, he was interrupted by his personal
assistant holding a legal folder. “Mr. McLean, I have some more contracts
for you to sign for the Johnny No Name tour,” Cathy stated as she held the
folder out for AJ to take.
AJ smiled as he took the folder from her. “See Nicky, if you get both feet
wet, anything can happen. I predict in a few more months Backstreet will be
ancient history and you will be unemployed. I, on the other hand will be busy
with my solo career and living life high on the hog.”
“So the rumors are true, AJ?” Kevin looked up from his sheet music.
“You bet your sweet ass they are. As soon as this is a done deal, me and April
here are gonna take off and start our own little group, right babe?”
The four band members stared at AJ and April. This was something
completely new to them. April giggled as AJ tickled her neck with his mouth.
Nick appeared to look grossed out and Brian embarrassed.
“AJ I think you’re making a big mistake here, just slow down a bit, okay?”
Kevin pleaded. He opened his mouth to continue his sentance, but an erie
glow in April’s eyes caused him to stop, taking a breath sharply in.
Kevin closed his eyes and then opened them noticing the glow had disappeared from April's eyes. He blinked several more times trying to figure out if what he had seen had been his imagination.
"Weird..." Kevin mumbled under his breath not intending for anyone to hear.
"What's weird Kev?" Brian asked giving his cousin a puzzled look.
"Hmm? Oh...nothing, Brian, nothing."
"Hello Orlando! I'm Johnny No Name and I'm here to perform for my good friend AJ, you all know AJ, right?" AJ said receiving applause and cheers from the audience. He looked out at the small crowd of teenage girls and then said "You all know AJ's nickname is Bone so how about we start by singing AJ's favorite song, I'm sure you all know this song." The music to "Bad to the Bone" started and AJ began singing. A few girls in the back started laughing at AJ's attempt to perform solo.
"I think we know why his nickname is Bone, he's a bonehead." One girl said. All the girls laughed at the comment.
"Well this concert certainly was a waste of money, lets go." Another girl said as they all started to leave the concert.
After the concert AJ sat backstage with April looking over sale's records for all of his Johnny No Name concerts. He hadn't managed to sell out even a single show. After he had left the Backstreet Boys their success had doubled, but he was having no success with his solo career.
"April I thought you said if I signed that contract you'd give me everything I wanted." AJ said eyeing the sales records and looking up at April.
"And I am AJ, this is what you wanted a solo career. I never said you'd be successful at it." She said smiling.
"I want out of the contract then." He told April.
"Sorry Alex that isn't possible, once you sign the contract it can never be broken." She said in a voice so calm it sent chills through AJ. She smiled at him and got up to leave the room.
"Wait a minute! What do you mean it can't be broken? Contracts are made to be broken! And I want out of this one! Now!" AJ yelled as he grabbed her arm and turned her to face him.
"I'm sorry AJ, but maybe you should have read the contract before signing." Suddenly she pulled out a copy of the contract from nowhere.
"What the hell? How did you do that?" AJ questioned her.
"My little secret AJ, now look here." April said pointing to the fine print at the bottom of the paper. AJ read the small disclaimer at the bottom stating that he was bound to the contract for all eternity.
"Dammit!" AJ yelled, "There has got to be a way out of this contract and I am going to find it!"
April rolled the contract back up and it disappeared from her hand just as quickly as it had appeared. All the while she kept a smile on her face watching as AJ walked back and forth across the room.
"Wait a minute! According to that contract you still have to give me anything I want, right?" AJ asked.
"That's right AJ. But you should be careful what you ask for." She said still smiling. Her calm voice was starting to irritate AJ to no end.
AJ sat on a couch at one end of the room thinking to himself 'I could just ask for success since I already have the solo thing going on now.' April's smile grew bigger knowing what AJ was thinking and knowing exactly how to give him the success he wanted.
"Alright, I know what I want April. I want success, since you didn't give it to me before, I want it now." He said standing up.
"Then success is what you will get Alex." With that April disappeared from the room.
AJ finally fell asleep on the couch when April didn’t return after an hour. He didn’t have any way of getting ahold of her so he had no choice, but to wait. He tried to call Howie and then Nick, but there was no answer from either of them. He didn’t think anything of it until he couldn’t reach Brian or Kevin either. He didn’t really have an important reason for getting ahold of them, but he thought it was strange that he couldn’t reach them anyway. Hell, like I give a shit anyway. Who needs ‘em?” He thought to himself. His thoughts kept drifting back to April. There was something about her. It was almost as if she had a sense of danger about her. It was something that he kind of liked, but it also scared him a little.
To get his mind off of her until she came back, he flipped on his television. News filled the screen and he almost flipped the channel until something caught his attention. A reporter stood about 20 feet away from what looked like a horrible automobile accident. The car looked familiar to AJ. It was a yellow BMW. It was in flames and the entire front and left side was totaled.
“We still don’t have any details on which members survived the accident. No cause has yet been determined. Witnesses say that without warning, the hood burst into flames and the driver, not identified as of yet, lost control of the vehicle. They crashed head on into a light pole and then skidded into the median, finally hitting the cement wall...We have just learned of one casualty...”
AJ felt sick. It couldn’t be. Oh god, it couldn’t be.
“But it is.” Came that calm, chilling voice. April materialized behind AJ and laid a hand on his shoulder. “I gave you their success.”
AJ turned back to the television to see the reporter announce the latest news from the accident.
"The driver of the vehicle has died. No name has been released as of yet, we will update you as soon as we have more information on the accident."
AJ grabbed the remote and turned the TV off sending the remote hurdling towards the opposite end of the room.
"How will killing them give me success April? How?!" AJ yelled. AJ buried his face in his hands and began to cry. April smiled to herself before approaching AJ.
"I thought you wanted success, that's what I'm giving you." She said standing in front of him.
"I never said I wanted them dead!" He said glaring at April.
"Well it's too late to think about that, now isn't it AJ?" April laughed.
"How can you be so cold?" AJ questioned giving her a hateful glance.
"It's what I do best." She grinned.
"I want them back! I want you to bring them back!" AJ yelled.
"Hmm...I'll have to think about that." April responded. AJ stood up from the couch and walked to where April was standing. He grabbed her by the shoulders.
"I said, I want them back!" He calmly said, with anger in his eyes, his face inches from hers. April suddenly disappeared from AJ's grasp and from the room.
"Dammit!" AJ yelled. Knowing there was nothing he could do until April returned he sat down on the couch once again after turning the television on. To his surprise there were no reporters talking about the accident. He flipped through the channels aimlessly until deciding on MTV. He rested his head against the back of the couch letting a few tears fall from his eyes as he thought about what had happened to his friends because of him. Soon he fell into a fitful sleep.
A few hours later AJ awoke to find himself sitting on a couch in a hotel room. He got up off of the couch and walked into another room to find two beds, one occupied by Howie. AJ then remembered what had happened, the wishes, the accident, April...How could he be here with Howie? Howie and the guys had been in the car accident, Howie couldn't be here.
"You broke the contract." AJ spun around to find April standing in the doorway behind him.
"What?" He asked.
"You broke the contract, it's all over." April said walking towards him.
"How?" AJ asked puzzled.
"Remember when you said you wanted the guys back?" She questioned.
"Yeah, I remember. What does that have to do with anything?" AJ asked looking at a sleeping Howie and then back to April.
"You asked for something that wasn't for you. You didn't make a selfish demand. That voids the contract." April stated.
"So you mean everything is back to normal?" AJ asked.
"Everything is as if you never met me. None of your friends will remember me, and I will not be back again. Good-bye AJ." with the April disappeared from sight.
"Good-bye April." AJ said climbing into the unused bed. Before drifting off to sleep he hoped what April had said was true, that no one would remember her, especially him.