"Ugh, I hate this!" a frustrated Kylie complained that afternoon. Dylan had been trying to get her a gig for that evening, but he had called dozens of nightclubs with no success.
"It's okay," he said almost automatically. "We'll find something."
"What makes you so sure?" Kylie muttered.
"I have faith," Dylan replied, putting a comforting hand on her back.
She turned her head to look at him. "In what?"
"Well, you, for one thing."
He touched her cheek, and she smiled. "What else?" she wanted to know.
"My amazing people skills, of course," he said smugly.
She grinned. "Uh oh. We're screwed."
"I resent that," he said, grinning back. "Okay...more phone calls."
Kylie let out a groan and fell back against the couch. "What's the point?" she mumbled gloomily. "We already know what the outcome is going to be." She raised her voice up an octave, mimicking the people he had called. "'Sorry, we do our booking through record labels. Sorry, we get our acts from a talent agency. Sorry, we're full for tonight...and the next night...and the night after that...'" She sighed and dropped the impression. "Face it, Dylan, the only way we're ever gonna get anywhere is if we find a connection."
"We have one..."
"I'm not talking about your best friend's nightclub. We always perform there. I mean something big. If we don't have a connection, we'll never be able to make this work."
"Kylie, don't be so cynical. It's not impossible to get a gig withoutó"
"I'm not being cynical. I'm being realistic," she replied, sitting up again. "I know you say there's a way to do it, but look at the facts. We've been trying to do it that way for months, and we haven't had any results."
"We can't just give up," Dylan said.
"I'm not saying we should give up. I'm saying we should try something different," she replied.
"Okay, I'm listening."
"Well, why don't we try to make a connection?" Kylie suggested.
"Okay, that makes sense...but how do we do that?" he wanted to know.
She sighed. "That's what I don't know yet. But we'll think of something."
He already looked deep in thought. Kylie bit back a laugh and watched him. He was so cute when he was pondering something. His eyebrows would furrow just slightly, and he would chew on his bottom lip and cock his head to the side a little. Suddenly, something glimmered in his coffee-colored eyes, and he got up from the couch and hurried into the kitchen. Seconds later, he was back with the newspaper, flipping through it quickly. He sat down again, still searching, and Kylie scooted up next to him.
"What are you..." she began. She stopped because he had found it: the entertainment section.
"Bingo," he said with a grin. He turned a few pages until he reached the listing of upcoming concerts.
"Spill it. What's your idea?" Kylie asked.
"I'm just seeing if there's anyone coming to town soon that we should..." His eyes widened, and he trailed off.
"Should what?" she asked impatiently.
Dylan smiled slowly. "Tell me, Kylie," he said, "what would be the ideal group to have a connection with? Who's at the very top of the charts right now?"
"The Backstreet Boys," Kylie said sarcastically.
Dylan didn't laugh. "Exactly," he said.
Kylie's wry smile faded. "You're shitting me."
He shook his head. "I shit you not. They're coming to town in a month."
"Dylan, that's...ridiculous. We'll never be able to establish anything with them."
"Never say never."
"Sweetie, they're kind of...out of our league," she reminded him gently.
"They're just people."
"Yeah, people who are constantly surrounded by bodyguards, journalists, and a mob of about a million screaming fans," she retorted.
"We can get past that," Dylan insisted.
He was silent, but he was thinking again. Finally he spoke up. "Divide and conquer. It'll be easier to get to one of them than all five."
"Okay, how do we do that?" she reiterated.
He took a breath to speak but then hesitated, obviously reluctant to share his idea.
"Tell me," she coaxed.
He sighed. "Well, you're a beautiful girl. If you could get one of them to..."
She raised her eyebrows. "To what?"
Another sigh. "To either...really fall for you, or...sleep with you...that would probably buy you a favor."
"So let me get this straight, you think I should seduce one of the Backstreet Boys," Kylie said, smiling at how strange that sounded.
"It could work."
"And...you would be okay with that?" she asked incredulously.
Dylan shrugged uneasily. "Not really, but...if it helps you out...I mean, it's worth it."
"I can't believe you would actually let me do that," Kylie remarked.
Dylan smirked. "Well, I would expect that you...ah, make it up to me," he said.
"Oh, naturally," she agreed, smirking back.
"Okay," Dylan said, getting back down to business. "We figured out that you're gonna seduce one of them." He put down the paper. "Now the only question is...which one?"