The Beginning

Liz’s point of view

"But Mo-om!!" Yes, I was fully aware that I was whining but I couldn't help it! What my mom was doing was one hundred percent unfair!
"No buts," said my mom sternly looking at me. "You're going and that's final!"
"But I don't know anyone in Florida!" I exclaimed.
"Sure you do, you remember the Carters?" asked my mom. My eyes widened at the memory.
"Yes I remember them, oh no, wait, you meant that I'm going to be staying with NICK CARTER??" I yelled loudly.
"Yes, you two used to be such good friends, I figured it wouldn't be a problem," said my mom shrugging.
"NO WAY!!" I yelled. "No no no no and no, not happening, never, wrong number, I REFUSE!"
"But you two were friends when you were young," repeated Mrs. Lenie.
"No mom, YOU and Mrs. Carter thought that we were friends," I pointed out. "Nick and I hated each other from the first day we met!"
"That's impossible, but this isn't a discussion," said Mrs. Lenie.
"But why can't I go with you?" I whined.
"Because I'm going to San Francisco on a business trip for the entire summer and my company is covering all the expenses. They would never cover your expenses and I don't have the money to pay for you too," explained Mrs. Lenie.
"Ok, then why can't I just stay home?" I asked. "I'm nineteen years old, I'm not a child."
"You're not staying home because three months is way too long for a teenager to be home alone," said my mom sternly.
"But I don't want to live with NICK!!" I yelled.
"I don't know why you don't like him, he and his group seem to be very popular," said Mrs. Lenie shrugging.
"Because I just don't!" I retorted pushing my shoulder length blond hair out of my eyes.
"Elizabeth, this is the end of this conversation, you're going and that's final," said my mom. Whenever she called me Elizabeth, I knew that there was no more arguing with her. I whirled around and stomped up the stairs to my room, pounding hard on each step.

Nick’s point of view

"Please tell me you're kidding," I said to my mom as we sat in my living room.
"No, I'm not kidding," said Jane Carter.
"But how could you suggest it without asking me first?" I exclaimed.
"Because I remember that you and Liz used to be great friends before they moved away," explained Mrs. Carter.
"No mom, you and Mrs. Lenie thought that we were 'great friends'" I said mimicking my mom's voice. She glared at me.
"Nickolas, this is not up to discussion. You live in this house all by yourself and you don't have any tours this summer. What do you possibly have to do?" she asked.
"Tons of stuff," I said stubbornly.
"Like what?" she challenged.
"Like hanging out by the pool, going to the beach, hanging out with the guys," I said trying to come up with a lot of stuff. "Oh, and we also have some promotional stuff to do and we have to record some songs too," I remembered.
"And Liz will not be stopping you from doing any of those things," said Mrs. Carter calmly.
“But…” I started to argue but my mom of course cut me off.
“No buts, Liz is coming in three days and I expect you to be nice to her,” she said looking me in the eye.
“Fine,” I grumbled and crossed my arms over my chest leaning back on the couch.
“That’s all I ask,” said my mom satisfied that she won the argument.

Liz’s point of view

I was packing my stuff when I heard someone knock on my door, “Come in,” I mumbled.
“Hey,” said Josh poking his head into my room. I’ve been going out with Josh for two and a half wonderful months. I couldn’t believe that I had to leave him for NICK.
“Hey,” I replied not smiling.
“What’s wrong?” he asked coming up to me and putting his arms around my waist.
“I have to go somewhere,” I said uneasily.
“Where? Can I come with you?” asked Josh grinning. God, I loved his smile.
“I’m going to Florida,” I said missing him already.
“Why?” asked Josh confused.
“My mom has to go to San Francisco for the entire summer on a business trip, as she calls it. She refuses to let me stay home alone so she’s making me go to Florida to stay with a friend of the family,” I replied. I was using the word ‘friend’ loosely since Nick was definitely no friend of mine.
“Oh, you’ll be gone the entire summer?” asked Josh, his hazel eyes filling with disappointment.
“Yeah, believe me, I don’t want to go at all,” I said angrily. “The last thing I want to do is spend the summer with Nick I’m-all-that Carter,” I added.
“Nick Carter? Why does that name sound vaguely familiar?” asked Josh scratching his head.
“Oh you know, he’s from that group, the Backstreet Boys,” I explained while folding one of my shirts.
“Oh yeah, that’s right!” said Josh finally remembering. “So you’re going to be living with the guy for three months?” he asked.
“Unfortunately, but trust me, you have nothing to worry about, I absolutely hate Nick,” I said turning around to face my boyfriend.
“That’s good to hear,” he said grinning once again and softly kissing me. “I’m sorry that you’re gonna have such a lousy summer though,” he added disappointingly.
“So am I,” I said staring at the floor.
“I’ll call you everyday,” he promised picking up my chin and looking into my greenish-blue eyes.
“So will I,” I promised back. We then kissed for a long time.

Nick’s point of view

“But Bri, I don’t want her here!” I exclaimed tossing the basketball to Brian.
“I know you don’t, but it might be fun,” he said dribbling the ball and sinking it in the basket.
“Yeah right, fun,” I snorted. “I’m sure Liz is NOT thrilled to be living with me either.”
“Oh please Nick, who WOULD be thrilled to live with you?” laughed Brian as he sank another shot.
“Very funny,” I said sarcastically.
“Frack, you might actually like this girl, did you ever think of that?” asked Brian as we finished our game and went to get some water.
“Like Liz Lenie? There’s no way in this world that that’s ever gonna happen!” I exclaimed wiping my face with a towel.
“Never say never,” said Brian.
“Now you sound like Kev, stop it,” I said and went into my house. Brian followed me.
“Ok, but still, why don’t you give it a chance?” he asked.
“Because I know what’s gonna happen!” I said loudly. “She’s gonna come, we’re gonna hate each other all over again, and we’ll both wind up having a miserable summer.”
“Sure Nick, whatever you say,” said Brian plopping on the couch and turning on the TV.
“You’ll see,” I said, and then I turned my attention to the TV also.
“When is she coming anyway?” asked Brian about five minutes later.
“The day after tomorrow,” I said not taking my eyes off of the TV screen.
“That soon? Why don’t you at least clean up your mess so that she doesn’t break her neck coming in?” suggested Brian.
“My mess is just fine with me,” I grumbled. “And I don’t have to clean up anything for her, in case you forgot, I don’t want her here,” I added.
“How can I forget? You keep reminding me every 5 seconds!” groaned Brian.
“Oh and you know what else?” I asked.
“What?” said Brian wearily.
“My mom told me that I have to pick her up at the airport! How do you like that?” I exclaimed.
“Oh yeah, the nerve of her, telling you to pick up your houseguest at the airport,” said Brian, his tone dripping with sarcasm.
“Ugh, forget it, you’re no help whatsoever,” I said and grabbed the remote out of his hands. I turned the channel to some basketball game and tried to enjoy my last two free days.

Liz’s point of view

“Honey, I’m doing this for your own good,” said my mom looking at me. We were in the JFK airport. I was about to board my flight to Florida and I was still mad at my mom.
“Yeah sure mom, my own good,” I said absentmindedly.
“You’re gonna thank me for this one day,” she promised.
“Don’t expect it to be any time soon, probably not even in this lifetime,” I mumbled.
“I wish you didn’t leave still mad at me,” she said shaking her head. I turned to face her.
“Okay, fine, I’m not mad at you, happy now?” I asked, although my voice was full of anger.
“Fine, if that’s the way you want it,” she said and I could tell that she was getting mad at me too.
I sighed, “Mom, I’m sorry. It’s just that I was planning on spending the summer with Josh just hanging out at the beach, or at each other’s houses, you know, taking it easy,” I explained. “But then you drop this bomb on me and all of a sudden I have to move somewhere for the entire summer, to a place I don’t even remember with a guy whom I hate.”
“Liz, you might like Nick now, he’s changed a lot, and so have you,” said Mrs. Lenie gently.
“I wouldn’t count on it,” I said.
“Flight number 243 for Florida now boarding,” came the voice over the loudspeaker.
“Okay, that’s me,” I said picking up my carry-on bag.
“Call me when you get there okay?” asked my mom giving me a hug.
“I will, I wish Josh was here too,” I said unhappily. Josh would’ve been there but he had been called in to work at the last minute. We had said our goodbyes the day before.
“I know sweetie, but you will see Josh when you come back in August,” said my mom. Suddenly, August seemed light years away.
“Yeah I guess,” I said disappointingly. “Anyways, bye mom, have fun in San Francisco,” I said and gave my mom one last hug before walking towards the gate at which my flight was boarding.
“Bye honey! Have a good time!” called my mom. I waved at her, gave the woman my ticket, and then walked forward to board the plane.
The two-hour trip seemed to be too short and before I knew it, the plane was landing in Florida.

Nick’s point of view

I craned my neck to see over the heads of the people that were coming out of the plane. I also adjusted my sunglasses and hat in a futile attempt to keep myself from being recognized, and eventually, mobbed. I haven’t seen Liz in about fifteen years and I didn’t know how I was supposed to recognize her. So I did the only thing I could think of; I made a sign with her name on it. I was standing there like a moron holding the sign for a good fifteen minutes before I finally saw a girl approaching me. She looked about 5’7” and had layered shoulder length blond hair, and what looked like greenish-blue eyes.
“Nick?” she asked wearily coming up to me.
I nodded, “Liz I presume?” I asked. She nodded and then went to pick up her baggage without saying another word to me. I followed her, but not before I threw the stupid sign into a nearby garbage can. She picked up two heavy suitcases and set them down near her. I was about to take one to help her out when she glared at me, “What?” I asked confused.
“I can handle my own luggage thank you,” she said coolly.
“Geez, I was just trying to help,” I said moving away from the suitcase.
“I don’t need you help,” she informed me.
“Fine,” I said angrily. “My car is this way,” I said and started walking without bothering to see if she was behind me. This girl was only here for a few minutes and already she was annoying the hell out of me. How was I supposed to live with her for the next three months? Maybe Bri would let me stay with him.
I got to my car and turned around. Surely enough, Liz was right behind me, dragging her luggage, which I now saw, had wheels. I opened the backseat door of my Durango so that Liz would be able to put her suitcases there. As soon as she did that, I walked around to the front, hopped in, Liz got in too, and we were off.
The ride to my house seemed to last forever. Liz was staring into the window and saying absolutely nothing to me. In fact, I think she was trying to forget that I existed. I couldn’t blame her, since I was trying to do the same.
“Look Nick,” said Liz all of a sudden turning her head to look at me. I raised my eyebrows questioningly at her. “Let’s just make a deal, how about we try to be civil to each other as long as we’re living under the same roof?” she suggested.
“Fine with me,” I said shortly and turned my attention back on the road.
“Good,” she said and then continued staring out the window.
This was going to be a very long summer.

Liz’s point of view

I was looking out the window at the passing by scenery. I had to admit, Florida looked pretty good. Of course it would’ve been better if I didn’t have to live with a person I loathed during the entire summer. I sighed and leaned back in the seat. I wondered what Josh was doing at that moment and tried to tell myself that August was gonna come around quickly; it didn’t work. I missed Josh, I missed my friends, I missed my house, and I was actually already missing my mom. I looked at Nick out of the corner of my eye and tried to figure out why so many girls were going nuts over him. He looked okay, but not gorgeous or anything. His blond hair was sticking out from under his hat and a pair of sunglasses hid his eyes. Why someone would wear sunglasses in the car was beyond me. It’s not like anyone was gonna recognize him. I looked at the road and saw that Nick’s was the only car on it.
Finally, after about twenty more minutes, we came to a stop near a gate. I looked around but saw nothing but the gate.
“And we are where?” I asked.
“My house,” answered Nick curtly and got out of the car. He went up to the gate and punched in some code after which the gate slowly opened. He got back in the car and drove through the gate, it closed right after his car passed. It was then that I saw his house. I was impressed. The place was huge; it was like a mansion. Nick drove up the circular driveway and stopped the car. He got out and took my suitcases out of the backseat and set them on the ground.
“Would you like some help with the bags or not?” he asked.
“Thanks, that would be nice,” I said trying to keep up with my own suggestion of being civil to each other. Nick grabbed one bag and I took the other and we walked into the house.
“I’ll show you your room,” said Nick starting to walk up the staircase. I followed him, looking around the house in amazement. The walls were covered with pictures of him and his family, and there were also plenty of pictures with his band mates too. The stairs were covered with plush carpeting and I also spotted a room with all sorts of awards in it. I assumed it was where Nick kept all the things that the Backstreet Boys had won in their career.
“Why do you have such a huge gate around your house anyway?” I asked as Nick was walking towards the room that I thought would be mine.
“Because some fans tend to get a little nuts and take the grass or my mail for souvenirs,” he answered and stopped. “This is your room,” he said and opened the door. I walked into the room and was startled at how stunning it was. A four-poster bed stood in the middle of the room. There was a balcony on the right and its doors were open, causing the curtains to sway gently in the breeze. To my left was a large closet and near it stood a dresser with a mirror. There was also a small desk with a chair opposite of the dresser.
Nick set down the suitcase near my bed and turned to look at me, “Do you like the room?” he asked.
“Yes, it’s beautiful,” I replied putting down my carry-on and the suitcase I was holding.
“Good, if you’d like, I’ll show you the rest of the house,” he offered.
“Sure,” I nodded and followed him out of the room.
“Okay, now this is my room,” said Nick gesturing towards a door on his left. I noticed that his room was an evident distance away from mine. Good, at least he knew that I didn’t want to be near him. “You have your own bathroom, it’s the door right next to your room. The kitchen is downstairs and to the left, the living room is downstairs and to the right. The doors to the backyard and the pool are right behind the dining room,” explained Nick as we went downstairs. I looked around for the doors he was talking about, and spotted a pair of glass doors behind which a pool was sparkling in the sunlight. “This is the entertainment room, or whatever you want to call it,” said Nick as we walked into the room where I had earlier seen his awards.
“Nice trophies,” I commented.
“Thanks.”
I looked to the left and saw that there were a number of CD’s in glass cases in the room. I assumed that they were the CD’s that went platinum or gold or something like that. There was also a lot of expensive looking stereo equipment in the room as well as a huge TV.
“There are also a number of guestrooms upstairs, but other than that, this tour is over,” said Nick stopping and turning around.
“Okay cool,” I said. An uncomfortable silence followed. “I’m gonna go to my room and unpack,” I said and started up the stairs.
“Uh huh,” mumbled Nick and disappeared into the living room.

Nick’s point of view

Why me? That’s all I could keep asking myself. I had no idea how I was supposed to survive the summer without going out of my mind. I reached over, grabbed the phone, and dialed Brian’s number.
“What’s up Frack?” said Brian picking up the phone.
“I see you’re finally using your caller ID,” I commented.
“Yep, so how’s Liz?” he asked.
“Oh just peachy,” I replied sarcastically.
“I take it things aren’t going too well,” he said sympathetically.
“The word horrible comes to mind,” I said dryly.
“Well, you want some company?” asked Brian. “Bone’s here too so we could come over,” he added and I could hear AJ yelling ‘hi Nick’ in the background.
“Yeah that would be great!” I said relieved that I wouldn’t have to sit alone and be bored.
“Okay, so we’ll see you in ten,” said Brian.
“Great,” I said and hung up.


prologue chapter 2