Kevin sighed when the other guys started to dance with the girls. Why couldn't he find someone as easily as they could? They could always just go into a club, pick out a girl, and magically start a wonderful relationship with her. Kevin couldn't do that. Almost all of his girlfriends in the past had been close friends before they had turned into more. He had to know a girl well before he was attracted to her, which kind of put a damper on things in situations like this.
Out of the corner of his eye, Kevin saw someone come over to the bar and sit down. He mindlessly turned to see who it was and held back a gasp. Sitting on the other side of the bar was one of the most beautiful women he had ever set eyes on in his life. She had delicate features and blonde hair that tumbled around her shoulders. When she looked up to smile amiably at the bartender, he saw that she had amazing blue eyes. But it wasn't just her pretty face—and, he saw as he leaned back slightly to check her out, nice body—that attracted him to her so much. There was something about her that was so familiar, almost as if he had seen her somewhere before, which he found extremely mysterious and intriguing. Kevin knew from the minute that he saw the girl that he had to have her as his own. He was literally unable to tear his eyes away from her, and he couldn't help but envy her glass as she touched it to her lips to drink from it. He had never wanted anyone so bad in his life.
As Kevin watched, she seemed to sense that someone his eyes were on her and shifted nervously in her seat. He saw her turn to her right and see nothing, and when she turned to the left, she looked right into his eyes.
Katie's eyes widened slightly, and she swallowed hard when a blush crept into her admirer's cheeks, and he turned away quickly. G-d, he was gorgeous. He had finely chiseled features and dark brown hair that was spiked up on top of his head, which Katie found irresistible. He was wearing a sleeveless black shirt, and she let her eyes travel down his body and take in his muscular physique.
The man turned back up to look at her again, and the two of them made eye contact for the second time. As they looked at each other, smiles began to simultaneously form on the corners of their mouths, and before Katie knew it, she was sharing a warm moment with this stranger.
Her heart pounded faster as the man got to his feet and, after setting some money down on the counter for his drink, headed towards her, his eyes never leaving hers. She swallowed hard as he walked up and stopped a few feet away from her.
"Hi," he said softly. His voice was low and rich and seemed to soothe all of the pain that she had bottled up inside of her for the past ten years.
"Hi," she echoed with a half-smile.
"May I sit down?" he asked, gesturing towards the seat next to her.
"Please do," she replied. Wow, not only was he incredibly handsome, he seemed to be quite a gentleman as well.
"I'm Kevin," he said after he sat down, holding out his hand.
"I'm Katie," she replied. She took his hand and shook it, and felt overwhelmed with reluctance when she had to let go.
"I, uh, couldn't help but notice that you're all alone," Kevin observed lamely, trying not to stare at her chest and body.
"No, I'm actually here with two friends," Katie explained. "What about you?"
"I'm here with two friends, too," Kevin said. "Right out there." He pointed to where Brian and A.J. were still dancing with Linz and Sara.
"Oh...those are my two friends with them," Katie said with a smile.
"Really?" Kevin laughed. "What a coincidence."
"Yeah," Katie agreed. She squinted slightly as she watched Kevin watching their friends. She had the funniest feeling that she'd seen him somewhere before.
Kevin turned back towards her and caught her watching him. She quickly looked down at her drink, somewhat embarrassed. She hadn't acted this way around a man in what seemed like forever.
Kevin smiled when he saw her reaction. So she was attracted to him too. He frowned as he watched her take a sip of soda and then looked up and smiled at him. She really did look familiar. Maybe he could figure out where he knew her from. "This might sound kind of strange, but...you look really familiar. Do I know you from somewhere?"
"I don't know. You look familiar too," Katie admitted. "What's your last name?"
"Richardson," he replied. "Kevin Richardson. You've probably seen me on TV or something."
Katie was surprised. "Why? Are you an actor?"
Kevin shook his head. "No, I'm a singer. A Backstreet Boy, actually."
Katie's jaw dropped. "No shit?"
He grinned. "No shit."
"Wow...that's pretty cool," she remarked.
"Thank you," Kevin said. "But that doesn't explain why you look so familiar to me."
Katie shrugged. "I don't know...my last name is Cartier, if that helps."
Kevin froze. "Did you say Carter?"
Katie shook her head and smiled uneasily. "No, Cartier."
"Are you sure?" Kevin blurted out before he realized what he was saying. His eyes had widened, and he was staring at her with a new light. Could it really be her? Could it really be the same Katie? Kevin realized just what he had said and laughed. "I'm sorry, that was a stupid question."
"No, it wasn't, because I'm not," Katie whispered, looking down at her cup.
Kevin's eyebrows shot up. "What?"
She took a deep breath. "Ten years ago, I was in a car accident and lost all of my memory. All I had left was a note signed by me and a picture of my family. The note looked like it was signed 'Cartier,' but it was hard to read and it could have been something else," she explained quickly. "So I just decided to go with Cartier."
"Do...do you have the picture of your family still?" Kevin asked. He couldn't believe it. There was a very strong chance that HE had found Nick's long lost sister!
Katie nodded and reached for her purse, although she didn't know why. Why on earth was she sharing all of her secrets with this man whom she had just met less than five minutes ago? And why did he even care about her past? "Here it is," she said, taking out the picture and handing it lovingly to Kevin.
Kevin set eyes on the picture and felt like he was going to faint. He had seen this picture before. At Nick's house. That was Nick's family in the picture! He had done it! He had found her! Kevin started to say something, but his mouth was so dry that no words were coming out.
"Are you okay?" Katie asked with concern, touching his arm.
Kevin nodded and smiled widely.
"So...I've got to ask, why do you care so much about who my family is?" she asked with a frown.
"Because I know them. The people in this picture. I know them," Kevin said with a confident smile.
Katie stared at him blankly for a second before she narrowed her eyes in suspicion. "Are you kidding? Because it's not funny."
Kevin's smile melted away into an expression of pure sincerity. "No, I'm not kidding, I swear. Nick Carter, the guy right here [He pointed to the boy that Katie was next to in the picture.], is one of my best friends," he explained. "One of the other Backstreet Boys."
Katie felt a growing lump in her throat as she searched Kevin's green eyes for a sign of truth. "You're...you're really being serious? No shit?" she said again.
Kevin shook his head slowly. "No shit."
"You know my family? I'm really Katie Carter instead of Cartier?" she asked in disbelief.
Kevin nodded and smiled slowly.
Katie's hand flew to her mouth. "Oh my G-d, I think I'm going to be sick," she murmured, looking queasy.
Kevin quickly stood up and took her hand, pulling her up to her feet. "Come on, let's go outside," he said, putting an arm around her waist and guiding her towards the exit. The two of them walked past their friends, who were still out on the dance floor.
"Hey, Kev, where are you...Kev?" A.J. asked as he hurried by with Katie.
"Katie?!" Linz called after her.
"You two know her?" Brian asked Sara.
"Yeah, you two know him?" Sara returned.
He nodded. "Small world," he remarked with a smile.
"I wonder where she's going," Linz remarked worriedly to no one in particular.
A.J. smiled at her. "Don't worry, she'll be safe with Kevin," he reassured her.
Linz smiled back. "Okay."
When Kevin and Katie were outside, she took in a few deep breaths of fresh air and started to feel a little better. She still couldn't believe that this man knew her brother and family, though.
"Hey, are you going to be okay?" Kevin asked, withdrawing his arm from around her waist.
Katie nodded. "I think so..."
"I'm sorry if I scared you a little, but..." A smile spread across his face. "Nick is going to be so happy to see you."
"Can...can you tell me where he lives?" she asked with wide eyes.
"Well, he lives down in Florida, but he's up recording with us. I can take you to our hotel, if you want," Kevin offered.
"Oh, you don't have to come with me," Katie said quickly. "I can go on my own."
Kevin shook his head. "No, you can't. I have to be there with you to get you into the hotel. They really tighten the security when we're there, and only people with rooms or reservations can get in," he explained.
"Well...I can't ask you to do that," Katie said softly.
"Sure you can. You just say, 'Hey, Kevin, can you take me to see my long-lost brother?'"
Katie laughed. "Are you sure that you don't mind?"
"I would be honored to take you," Kevin said, half-joking and half-serious.
"Well, I wouldn't want to deprive you of the honor," Katie replied with a coy smile.
"That's a yes, then? You want to go?"
She nodded. "Yeah, I want to go."