"I want you by my side
For the rest of my life."
Brian Littrell all but tore off his headphones and slammed them down on the table that he and the other Backstreet Boys, Kevin Richardson, Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, and A.J. McLean, were seated around. He ran his hands through his light brown hair and wiped sweat from his forehead. "I don't know what's wrong!" he exclaimed in frustration. "The words, the notes—there's nothing wrong about them. But it's not...it's not whole. Something's missing!"
"Maybe it's the accompaniment?" Kevin suggested.
Brian shook his head. "No, the accompaniment is exactly what I had in mind."
"So it couldn't need more sound effects?" Nick asked.
Brian shook his head.
"Well, I agree with you, B, something's lacking," A.J. said.
"Yeah, but what?" said Nick.
Everyone was silent for a minute as they thought hard. Then Howie spoke up.
"What about...what about another voice?" he proposed tentatively.
"Another voice?" Brian echoed. "You mean make it a duet?"
Brian frowned, considering the idea carefully in his mind. "A duet," he repeated, a smile slowly spreading across his face. "We've never put a duet on an album before," he pointed out. "A duet. I like it!"
"Now the only question is who do we do it with?" Kevin asked.
"Well, it probably shouldn't be a guy...for obvious reasons," A.J. pointed out with a grin.
"How about...Mariah Carey?" Kevin said.
Brian shook his head. "She did that duet with 98º a little while back," he pointed out.
"Britney Spears?" Nick said.
"Slut-who-can't-sing!" A.J. coughed. "Wow, it's dusty in here."
The other guys stifled laughter.
"Christina Aguilera?" Howie suggested.
"She's good, but...I don't know if her voice really fits with the song," Brian pointed out.
"Well, who then?" A.J. asked, getting impatient. "Mandy? Jessica? Pick someone."
Brian sighed. "I don't know," he admitted, sounding discouraged. Then his face lit up with an idea. "Maybe we need a new voice."
"A new voice?"
"Yeah," Brian replied with a slowly growing smile. "We could ask a talent agency. Or even better, have auditions!"
"Hey, yeah!" Nick agreed. "We could go around the country to try to find someone...make it a big promotional thing!"
"And we could have the person who gets it open for us on tour," Kevin chimed in. "We don't have anyone scheduled yet."
"Great idea," A.J. said.
"That's perfect," Howie seconded with a nod.
"Okay, so are we all agreed on the duet idea then?" Brian asked.
Everyone nodded or said yes.
"Then let's tell management and we can work out the details."