Nick sighed as he put the envelope onto Val’s doorstep. He hoped that she would forgive him after she saw what he had planned. He rang the doorbell and quickly hid. Val opened the door and looked around. She didn’t see anyone and looked down and saw the envelope. She saw Nick’s familiar handwriting on it and it brought tears to her eyes. She first wanted to take it and throw it out, but something inside told her to read it. Val picked up the envelope and went back inside. Nick came out of his hiding place and swallowed hard. He took out his cell phone and dialed a phone number.
“Hi, I would like to speak to Carson Daly please?” he said.
“This is Carson Daly.” Said Carson a moment later.
“Carson, this is Nick Carter and I’ve got a big favor to ask…” began Nick.


Val sat down on her couch holding Nick’s letter in her hand. She didn’t know if she should read it. Finally she made up her mind and opened the envelope. Inside, she found a TRL pass, a plane ticket to New York, and a note from Nick. She took the note and started reading it.

Dear Val,

I am so sorry for what I have said and done to you. I know that there is no reason for why you should read this but please do, I beg you. I know that I’ve acted like a ‘selfish jerk’ in Howie’s words, and he’s right. I don’t know what got into me that day but I am willing to go to the extreme to get your forgiveness. You mean everything to me and my life is nothing without you in it. Please come to TRL tomorrow. I thought of a way that I can make up what I did to you. If you don’t come, I will understand. But Val, I love you so much and I know that you love me too. Please give me a chance to beg for your forgiveness, and afterwards, if you still feel that you cannot forgive me, I’ll understand and be out of your life forever. But please be there on TRL tomorrow, that’s all I ask and beg for.

Love, Nick

Tears dropped from Val’s eyes onto the letter. Nick’s words hit her right in her heart but she still remembered all the things that he had said to her on that day. She held the ticket in her hand, trying to figure out if she should go or not.


“Nick is going to be dead meat the next time I see him.” Said Brian. The guys just finished their concert and were all sitting on the bus resting. They didn’t have another concert for three days and they all hoped that Nick would come back by then. As for the management, obviously they noticed that the group was one Backstreet Boy short. Kevin told them that Nick took off without notice and no one knew where he was. They were pissed off but said that they will handle it when Nick gets back.
“I agree. I mean, if he was going to go somewhere, the least he could’ve done was leave a note or something. At least this way we don’t have to wonder if he was kidnapped or something.” Joked AJ. At that moment Brian took his cell phone to try to call Nick and saw that he had a voice mail.
“Hang on guys, I got a voice mail. Maybe it’s from Nick.” Said Brian checking it. He put the phone to his ear and listened. “Hey Rok, it’s Nick. Now I know that all of you are ready to kill me by now and I don’t blame you. I shouldn’t have taken off like I did. But I finally figured out how to get Val back and I need yours and the rest of the guys’ help. I can’t explain now, but please fly to TRL tomorrow and I’ll explain everything when you get there. Bye for now. Please come.” The message ended and Brian turned off the phone.
“Well? Was it him?” asked Kevin.
“Yeah, he said that he was sorry for taking off like that but he said that he finally found a way to get Val back. He also said that he needs our help and he wants us to fly to TRL tomorrow and he’ll explain everything when we get there.” Said Brian relaying Nick’s message.
“Hmm, so you think we should help him?” asked Howie.
“Yeah I do. Nick might act like an idiot sometimes, but he is a really good guy with a good heart. We all know that he wants Val back and he’s willing to do anything. I think we should at least go and see what he thought of.” Said Brian.
“Okay, we’re with you.” Said Kevin, the other guys nodded in agreement.

Nick was pacing nervously in a back room at the TRL studio. He didn’t know whether the guys or Val would show up and he knew that if they didn’t, his plan was ruined. He then heard familiar voices in the hallway and moments later Brian, AJ, Kevin, and Howie walked in.
“Guys!” exclaimed Nick. “I’m so glad to see you!”
“Yeah, we’re glad to see you too Nick.” Said Brian. “Now what’s all this about?” he asked.
“Well, I thought of a way to get Val back and like I said in the voice mail, I need your help.” Began Nick. “Of course it also depends on the fact that Val has to come to TRL today too. And I really hope that she’s here.” He said nervously.
“She’s here.” Said AJ. Nick looked at his surprisingly. “I saw Carson, he told me that Val got here about twenty minutes ago.” He explained.
“Okay, great. Now all I have to do is pull this off.” Said Nick taking a deep breath. “Okay, now this is what we’re gonna do…”

Val was sitting in the TRL audience enjoying the show but not understanding why Nick asked her to come. Carson was already up to the number 2 video and so far, nothing happened.
“And we will be right back with the number 1 video after these commercials.” Announced Carson. He then came up to Val.
“I’ve heard that you’ve been through a pretty rough few weeks.” He said sympathetically.
“Yeah.” Val nodded. “But can’t you just tell me why I’m here?” she asked.
“Nope, I’m sworn to secrecy.” Said Carson smiling. “Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.” he added and then went back to the front of the room since the show was about to come back on.
“And now, before our number 1 video will be shown, we’ve got a special surprise for everyone. We have with us, five people who weren’t supposed to be here today, but as a favor asked by one of them, they’re here, so guys, come on out!” said Carson and turned to face the guys who were coming out. The audience started to scream hysterically when they saw Brian, Nick, Kevin, Howie, and AJ come out. “Everybody welcome the Backstreet Boys!” announced Carson. The guys came up to him and they all shook hands. “Now Nick, I understand that this was all your idea.” Said Carson turning to Nick.
“Yes it was. I messed up badly and hurt the person that I love more than anything in my entire life. I want to make up for it.” said Nick looking straight at Val. “Val, I am unbelievably sorry for everything and I just hope that you can forgive me.” Said Nick to Val. Val looked at him with confusion in her eyes. She still didn’t understand what Nick was going to do.
“Now as I’m sure all of you know, the Backstreet Boys are number 1 today with their video ‘Shape of my Heart’, but today, instead of showing the video, they are going to sing a different song live, ‘It’s True’, right here on TRL.” Announced Carson and the audience screamed even louder. The guys then took center stage and prepared to sing.
“Val, I am dedicating this song to you.” Said Nick and then the Backstreet Boys started to sing.

“Even a lover makes a mistake sometimes
Like any other
Fall out and lose his mind
And I’m sorry for the things I did
For your teardrops over words I said
Can you forgive me and open your heart once again, oh yeah

It’s true
I mean it
From the bottom of my heart
Yeah, it’s true
Without you I would fall apart

Whatever happened
I know that I was wrong, oh yes
Can you believe me
Maybe your faith is gone
But I love you and I always will
So I wonder if you want me still
Can you forgive me and open your heart once again, oh yeah

It’s true
I mean it
From the bottom of my heart
Yeah, it’s true
Without you I would fall apart

I’d do anything to make I up to you
So please understand
And open your heart once again

It’s true
I mean it
From the bottom of my heart
Yeah, it’s true
Without you I would fall apart.”

When it came to Nick’s part he came up to Val and held out his hand to her. She took it uncertainly and he led her to the front of the room.
After the song was done, Nick said: “Val, I love you, will you please forgive me?” his pain was written all over his face and Val could see that Nick was truly sorry but yet…
“I-I-I can’t. I’m really sorry Nick.” Said Val through tears and then ran out of the room. Brian started to run after her but Kevin stopped him.
“I’ll go, you stay with Nick, he looks like he could use his best friend right now.” Said Kevin gesturing towards Nick, who looked completely heartbroken.
“Okay.” Agreed Brian. Then Kevin ran to find Val.
“Nick, it’s gonna work out, you’ll see.” Said AJ trying to console his friend.
“No it won’t. I’ve lost her, lost her forever.” Said Nick with a faraway look in his eyes.
“Don’t say that, you and Val will be together.” Said Brian putting his hand on Nick’s shoulder. Nick didn’t seem to feel it and just stood there, staring into nothingness.


Kevin ran all over the studio but couldn’t find Val anywhere. She had disappeared into thin air. He came back to the four guys.
“I don’t know where she went.” He informed them and then looked at Nick. “Is he okay?” The other guys just shook their heads.
“Come on, let’s go back to the hotel and figure out what we’re supposed to do next.” Said Howie. The four guys slowly led Nick out of the studio and into the waiting car outside. When they got to the hotel, they all assembled in Nick’s room. Nick still hasn’t said a word since Val ran out.
“So what do we do now?” asked AJ.
“There’s nothing to do.” Said Kevin. “Val ran out, I couldn’t find her.” He added.
“Kev, you don’t get it. If Val doesn’t come back, then Nick is going to be like this, for a long time.” said Brian gesturing with his head towards Nick, who was sitting on his bed, still with a glazed look in his eyes.
“Okay, I see your point. But how are we supposed to find Val?” asked Kevin.
“Well, we know that she left TRL, but where could she have gone?” pondered AJ.
“She could’ve gone back home to Florida, or she could’ve gone back to her house right here in New York.” Said Brian. “Okay, one of us is going to have to go to Florida and another to Val’s house in New York. I volunteer to go to the one here, who wants to go to Florida?” he asked.
“I’ll go.” Said AJ.
“Okay, it’s settled then. AJ and me will try to find Val, if we are unsuccessful, we’ll have to think of another plan. Until both of us come back, don’t let Nick out of your sight. I don’t think he’s in any condition to be left alone right now.” Instructed Brian looking over at his best friend.
“Got it.” said Kevin and Howie. With that, AJ went to get on a plane to Florida and Brian went to get someone to drive him to Val’s house in New York.

AJ arrived in Florida a few hours later and went straight to Val’s house. He rang the doorbell and waited patiently for someone to answer. Finally, the large doors swung open and Jeffrey stood there.
“Yes? Mr. McLean right?” asked Jeffrey seeing AJ.
“Yeah, just call me AJ. Is Val here?” asked AJ.
“No, I’m sorry she’s not. I thought she was in New York with you and the rest of the group.” Said Jeffrey slightly confused.
“She was, until she ran out of the TRL studio and we’re trying to find her now.” Explained AJ.
“Well, I wish I could be more of help. Please let me know when you find her.” Said Jeffrey.
“I will.” Said AJ, and with that he left. While he was on his way to the airport, he called Kevin.
“Hey Kev, it’s me.” Said AJ.
“Did you find Val?” asked Kevin anxiously.
“No, she wasn’t there.” Replied AJ.
“Damn, well, I guess it all depends on Brian and whether he finds her or not now.” Said Kevin sounding even more worried.
“He has to, otherwise, we’re screwed.” Said AJ. He then hung up the phone and tried to imagine what would happen if Nick never saw Val again. He shuddered at the image, and then pushed it out of his mind, praying that Brian was talking to Val at this very moment.

Brian stood in front of Val’s house and tried to determine if she was there or not. Unfortunately, because of the curtains on the windows, looking through them was useless. He rang the doorbell but no one answered. Brian began to give up hope but then tried the door. To his surprise, it was open. He slowly walked in and shut and locked the door behind him.
“Val?” he called softly but got no response. He looked into the kitchen, only to find it empty. He looked in the living room, same thing. He walked all over the house but didn’t find any trace of Val. Brian was about to call Kevin when something in the window caught his eye. At first he thought that his eyes were playing tricks on him, but as he looked closer he saw that he did indeed see Val. She was sitting on the beach looking at the ocean. Brian half walked half ran out of the house. He reached Val and stood in front of her. She looked up at him and Brian saw that her eyes were red from crying.
“Hi Brian.” Said Val quietly.
“Hey.” Said Brian sitting down next to her.
“I knew one of you guys would find me sooner or later.” Commented Val, not looking at Brian, but looking at the ocean.
“Yeah, well. We had to do something, we couldn’t just leave this situation as it happened.” Said Brian shrugging.
“Brian, I’m sorry.” Said Val finally turning her head to look at Brian.
“I don’t think that I’m the one you should be telling this to.” He said gently.
“I know, but I can’t face Nick.” Said Val emotionally.
“Why not?” asked Brian. “Why did you run off like you did?”
“That’s just the thing, I have no idea.” Said Val shaking her head.
“Boy, you and Nick really are made for each other.” Commented Brian dryly. When Val looked at him quizzically he realized that Val had no idea what he was talking about. “When me and the other guys were trying to figure out why Nick blew up at you that day, he kept telling us the same thing, ‘I don’t know’. That was his answer, just like yours.” He explained.
“Oh.” Said Val softly.
“Val can I ask you something?” asked Brian.
“Sure go ahead.” Said Val.
“What did you feel when Nick was singing to you on TRL?” asked Brian.
“Lots of things. I felt anger, sadness, relief, happiness, forgiveness, love.” Said Val listing her feelings.
“So if you felt forgiveness and love, you did you say that you couldn’t forgive Nick?” asked Brian not understanding.
“I…” started Val but she was at a loss for words. She thought about it for a few minutes. “I guess I said it because he hurt me so deeply that day and I didn’t know if I could be sure that he’ll never do it again. I know that Nick is a wonderful guy, but how can I know that he’ll never hurt me like that again?” asked Val looking at Brian with fresh tears in her eyes.
“I can’t answer that question Val, only Nick can.” Said Brian helplessly. “You know he’s going through hell without you right now.” He added. “And it’s only been a few hours. I’d hate to think what would happen if he never saw you again.”
“Yeah, I know how that feels.” Said Val turning her head to look at the water once again.
“Val, come back with me.” Urged Brian.
“I don’t now if I can. Nick probably hates me right now for doing what I did. He went through all that trouble to make up his mistakes, and I just threw it all away.” Said Val sadly.
“I’m sure he doesn’t hate you.” Said Brian comfortingly. “He knows that he really hurt you, I’m sure he doesn’t blame you for running out. He’s just in a state of shock and I’m afraid you’re the only one who can get him out of it.”
Val remained silent for a few minutes. “I can’t, I just can’t.” she finally said. Brian’s shoulders slumped.
“Okay, I understand, but I’m not leaving you alone here.” Said Brian. He took out his cell phone to call Kevin. “Hey cuz.” He said when Kevin picked up the phone.
“Bri! Please tell me you found her!” exclaimed Kevin.
“Well, I’ve got good news and bad news.” Said Brian. “Which do you want first?”
“Give me the good news.” Said Kevin.
“I found Val.” Said Brian.
“That’s wonderful!” said Kevin. “But what’s the bad news?” he asked.
“She won’t come back with me to see Nick.” Replied Brian.
“Oh, that’s not good.” Sighed Kevin.
“I know, I’m gonna stay here for a couple of days, maybe she’ll come around.” Said Brian.
“Okay, call me if anything.” Said Kevin. Then they hung up.

chapter 9 chapter 11