Setting Everything Up

TWENTY MINUTES BEFORE MIDNIGHT
Liz’s point of view

I was standing near the refreshment table and drinking a soda. I really tried my best to have a good time, I really did. But my mind kept wandering back to the scene at the movies. I couldn’t help it.
“Penny for your thoughts?” said Lana coming up next to me.
“Just thinking about stuff,” I replied.
“And that stuff would be?” she asked.
“My ruined New Year’s,” I responded glumly.
“Liz, forget about Brad, he’s a jerk who doesn’t deserve you,” said Lana firmly.
“I know you’re right, I just need some time to get over this that’s all,” I said softly.
“I understand,” said Lana nodding.
“Five minutes till midnight!” someone yelled out and I felt a pang in my heart. I wasn’t going to have a kiss at midnight, which stunk. At that moment, Lana’s boyfriend, Andrew, came over to us and wrapped his arms around Lana’s waist.
“Hey Drew, long time no see,” I commented and he grinned.
“Yeah, school is a pain in the neck,” he said and kissed Lana softly.
“I feel like I haven’t seen him forever,” she said and snuggled closer to him.
“And I think that’s my cue to go find something else to do,” I said smiling slightly and stepped away from the happy couple. I wandered around the party and wound up near one of the huge windows. I stood there watching the stars twinkle in the sky high above and listened to the distant sounds of fireworks going off somewhere not very far away.
“Five, four, three, two, one, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!” everyone shouted and I sighed. At that moment I felt two sets of lips, one on my right cheek, and the other on my left. I looked at the guys to whom the lips belonged to and found myself staring into the grinning faces of AJ and Brian.
“Happy New Year,” they both said and enveloped me in a huge hug.
“Guys, I’m so glad to see you!” I exclaimed as I hugged them both tightly. “But I thought you were spending the holidays with your families,” I said slightly confused.
“We did, we just flew in about an hour ago,” replied AJ. “All of us,” he said gesturing towards Kevin and Howie standing and talking to Nick a few feet away. They spotted me and came over.
“Hey, Happy 2002,” said Kevin hugging me.
“Happy New Year,” said Howie hugging me also.
“Thanks,” I replied smiling at both guys.
“We heard you had a rough New Year’s Eve,” said Howie sympathetically.
I nodded. “Yeah, rough is one way of putting it,” I said.
“We’re here for you if you need us,” said Brian.
“Thanks,” I said. I felt a little better since all the guys were there. They were like the four big brothers I never had.
“So what’s everybody talking about?” asked Nick as him and Kelly joined us.
“Nothing,” we all replied and laughed.
“Were you guys talking about me?” asked Nick suspiciously.
“Actually Nick, we completely forgot about you,” said AJ grinning.
“Yeah, and contrary to what you might believe, not every conversation that takes place here tonight is about you,” added Brian, also grinning.
“I’m the human punch line,” said Nick sighing and shrugged. “Oh well, that’s nothing new.” He grinned.
“Okay, how about we get this party started?” suggested AJ.
“What did you have in mind?” I asked looking at him suspiciously. When AJ was involved, there was no telling what could go on.
“Nothing dangerous,” he said grinning and walked over to the stereo. He turned on the music loudly and then walked back to us. “May I have this dance?” he asked holding out his hand to me.
“Sure,” I said placing my hand in his. We then proceeded to the middle of the living room where a makeshift dance floor was set up.
I danced with AJ for five songs before excusing myself and going to get something to drink. Dancing with him was pure fun, but also completely dehydrating. While I was drinking, Tanya came over.
“What’s up?” she asked getting a drink too.
“Nothing, just trying to have a good time,” I replied. “Having fun?” I asked.
Tanya nodded enthusiastically. “Of course, I can’t believe that you know Nick Carter still!” she exclaimed.
I laughed. “You do know that all of them are here right?” I asked.
“All of whom?” asked Tanya confused.
“All of the Backstreet Boys,” I replied and pointed to AJ and Kevin, who were dancing with two girls. Then I spotted Brian talking to a member of the ‘Fate’ cast about something. I looked around some more and saw Howie; he was involved in a deep conversation with one of the extras from the movie.
“Oh my God, I didn’t even see them!” exclaimed Tanya, a little too loudly; she was standing right next to me.
“Tanya, lower on the volume please,” I said laughing and rubbed my ear.
“Oh sorry, I just can’t believe it!” she exclaimed, more softly this time.
“Come on, I’ll introduce you to them,” I said setting down my empty soda cup. Tanya nodded eagerly and we made our way over to Brian, since he was closest to us. He grinned when he saw us coming and excused himself from the person he was talking to.
“Hey,” he greeted.
“Bri, I’d like you to meet Tanya, she’s a part of the cast of ‘Fate’ and a big fan,” I said gesturing towards Tanya, who was looking at Brian in awe.
“It’s nice to meet you,” he said politely and shook her hand.
“You too,” said Tanya, snapping out of it.
“So how do you like working on the movie?” asked Brian.
“It’s great,” replied Tanya enthusiastically. At that point, I quietly left them to talk since they seemed to hit it off very well.
I looked at my watch and saw that it was close to 4 in the morning. I yawned and decided that it would be a good time to go to sleep. I was about to go up the stairs to my room when someone grabbed my arm.
“Oh no you don’t,” I heard Nick say. “You danced for five songs with AJ but none with me,” he said and pouted.
I laughed; he was so cute. “But Nick, I’m tired,” I proceeded to whine.
“Liz, it’s New Year’s, you’re not supposed to sleep,” he pointed out and pulled me onto the dance floor. Thankfully a slow song came on so at least I didn’t have to do much dancing. I rested my hands on Nick’s shoulders as we swayed to the music.
“Happy?” I said grinning after the song ended.
“Yep, but you’re still not going to sleep,” he said grinning back.
“But I’m tired and sleepy,” I whined again.
“Liz, don’t whine,” said Nick sternly.
“Why not? You do it all the time,” I said smugly.
“I do not!” retorted Nick. We then proceeded to argue about who whined more.

Kelly’s point of view

I smiled as I watched Liz and Nick argue. They were so cute together. Yes, I was fully aware of the fact that I was Nick’s girlfriend and that technically I wasn’t supposed to think that Nick looked cute with another girl. It was impossible not to do it. Those two were perfect for each other and they didn’t even know it. It was either that, or they refused to believe it.
“They were just dancing, there’s nothing between them, don’t worry,” commented Howie coming up next to me.
“What?” I asked looking at him.
“Nick and Liz, they’re just friends,” he said gesturing towards the two of them, who were still arguing.
“Howie, I know that they’re still in love with each other, I want them to be together,” I said honestly and saw surprise on Howie’s face.
“You do?” he asked genuinely confused.
“Of course, Nick and Liz are meant to be, me and Nick aren’t, who am I to stand in the way of true love?” I asked shrugging.
“You know what, you are definitely the sweetest person I know,” he said smiling. “I don’t know any girls who would give up their boyfriend so that he can be with someone else,” he added.
“I just want Nick to be happy, and I want Liz to be happy too,” I said simply and I meant it. If being with Liz was what made Nick happy, so be it.
“So, do you have a plan?” asked Howie grinning.
“Of course,” I said grinning back and started describing my plan to him.
“Do you think it’ll work?” asked Howie after I was done.
“Definitely,” I replied nodding.

Nick’s point of view

“I still say that you whine a whole lot more than me,” I said to Liz.
“I do not,” she retorted.
“Do too,” I shot back.
“Do not,” she said.
“Guys, you sound like two five year olds,” commented Kevin coming up to us.
“He started it,” said Liz pointing at me.
“She started it,” I said at the same time pointing at her.
“I rest my case,” said Kevin.
“Okay, you know what, I’m going to sleep,” announced Liz and headed for the stairs.
“Oh no you don’t,” I said and stopped her by grabbing the back of her shirt.
“Nick!” she exclaimed turning around. “I’m tired, I want to get some sleep,” she said.
“No you’re not and no you don’t,” I said. “You just want to go and sulk in your room about Brad,” I added.
“I don’t want to sulk, I want to sleep,” said Liz.
“Are you sure?” I asked.
“Yes!” she exclaimed and sighed.
“Okay, fine, go sleep,” I said giving up. There was no arguing with her.
“Thank you,” she said with a nod of her head. “Good night,” she added and started walking up to her room.
“Night!” I called out. Liz waved without turning around and disappeared into her room. I looked around for Kelly and saw her standing and talking to Howie.
“What’s up?” I asked coming up to the both of them.
“Nothing,” they both said at the same time. They looked guilty, they were up to something, I just knew it.
“What’s going on?” I asked suspiciously.
“Nothing, why would you think that something is going on?” asked Kelly innocently, too innocently.
“Because I know that it is,” I stated.
“Nicky, nothing is going on, Kelly and me were just talking,” said Howie.
“About what?” I pressed.
“About the tour,” answered Kelly hastily.
“But the tour is over,” I reminded her.
“Oh right, well, we were talking about how great it was,” said Kelly smiling at me.
“Okay, I get it, you don’t want to tell me what you two are up to, but believe me, I will find out,” I warned and grinned. Kelly and Howie just smiled without saying a word.

TWO DAYS LATER
Brian’s point of view

“So you really think that this will work?” I asked.
“No doubt about it,” replied Kelly. Her, Howie, Kevin, AJ, and me were all hanging out at my hotel room. Kelly wanted to put her plan, to get Nick and Liz back together, into action.
“But don’t you think that they’ll know something is going on?” asked AJ.
“No, not if everyone does what they’re supposed to do,” said Kelly. I had to hand it to her; the girl knew how to come up with a good plan.
“Are you sure you want to do this Kel?” asked Kevin.
“Of course I’m sure,” she responded.
“You do know that Nick is crazy about you right?” I asked.
“He might be crazy about me, but he’s completely in love with Liz,” stated Kelly. She was too much. Here she was, giving up her boyfriend so that he could be with someone else, it was slightly unreal but I totally respected her for doing that.
“Okay, so what do we do?” asked AJ.
“Well, you and Kevin set up everything at Nick’s house while I keep him busy,” explained Kelly.
AJ raised one eyebrow. “And how exactly are you doing to keep him busy?” he asked mischievously.
“AJ, stop being a perv,” said Kelly laughing and threw one of the pillows from the couch at him. He caught it and threw it back at her. Kelly ducked and the pillow sailed over her head and hit the TV.
“Hey you two, do you mind not destroying my house?” I asked walking over and picking up the pillow. They both grinned but didn’t respond.
“Anyways, Howie, you gotta get the supplies for Kev and AJ so that they can set everything up,” said Kelly going on with her plan.
“Okay, no problem,” said Howie giving a thumbs up sign.
“What about me?” I asked.
“What about you?” asked Kelly grinning and looked at me.
“You don’t have a job for me?” I asked pouting.
“Sure I do, you have to get Liz to Nick’s house,” replied Kelly.
“And how am I supposed to do that?” I asked.
“I don’t know, but I’m sure you’ll figure it out,” said Kelly shrugging.
“Oh sure thanks, I get the hardest part,” I grumbled.
“You’re welcome,” replied Kelly cheerfully. I sighed and tried to figure out how I was supposed to get Liz over to Nick’s house without arousing suspicion.


chapter 4 chapter 6