“Heaven?” Geraldo Basirico said, rolling his eyes towards his daughter. “Now I’ve heard it all.”
“Dad…please…” Isabella trailed; her eyes darting back to her mother. “Just be nice to him, okay? Kevin’s really nervous.”
“And he should be,” her father stated. “He needs to make a good impression here.”
“Geraldo…if you know what’s good for you…” Annetta trailed, shaking her head.
“I know…” He straightened his shirt and stood tall. “Let’s not keep this Backstreet Boy waiting.” Geraldo smiled and headed towards the foyer where Kevin was waiting.
“Oh God,” Isabella moaned. It was going to be a long night, a very long night. When she and her parents returned to the foyer, Kevin was standing there with his back turned the other way. “Kevin,” she said, placing her hand on his shoulder. “I’d like you to meet my parents.”
He slowly turned around and held out his hand to Geraldo.
“This is my father, Geraldo.” Isabella waited until her father and Kevin were done shaking hands before turning to her mother. “And this is my mother, Annetta…mom and dad, this is Kevin.”
“Nice to meet you both,” Kevin said with a nervous smile. Isabella could tell how nervous he was just by the look on his face. And when his hand flew up to his hair to push it behind his ear, she slightly cringed.
She knew how uptight he was over the hair issue, but she didn’t budge. She loved his long hair and practically begged him to leave it as it was. He was almost out the front door that morning to go and get it cut, but she persuaded him to stop. She wondered now if that was such a good idea.
“Hi Kevin, it’s so nice to meet you dear.” Annetta grabbed his hand and pulled him into the hallway towards the kitchen.
Geraldo simply stood there, checking out the situation.
“Geraldo dear, why don’t you get everyone a glass of wine,” Annetta suggested, throwing her husband quite the look.
Isabella rolled her eyes at her father, nudging him with her elbow. “Please, dad…”
“Why does that man have long hair?”
She cringed at the tone of his voice and was glad that her mother and Kevin were both out of earshot range. “Dad…please.”
“Please what Izzy?” he asked, placing his hands on his hips. “And he is definitely not a young boy now…is he?”
Confused, Isabella looked at him. “No, he’s not a young boy and I’m not a young girl. Why are you asking that in the first place?”
Her father sighed. Not a good sign. Whenever he sighed it meant he was disgusted with something or another. Right now, all bets were on him being disgusted with her. “What’s with the name Backstreet Boys? He’s not a boy at all.”
Now it was her turn to sigh. “Dad, it’s just a name, okay? When the group started out, they were all a lot younger than they are now.”
Geraldo just stared at her, taking in her explanation. “Maybe he can explain it better,” he replied, walking into the dining room of his home.
Isabella stood there, shaking her head. Kevin was going to be in for a long night. It was going to painful and she could only hope that by the end of the night, he’d still want to marry her. Her family played an important part in her life, brothers and all. Thankfully, none of her brothers were married, so he wouldn’t have to deal with sister-in-laws or anything…and what a blessing that was because her brothers were going to be more than enough to deal with.
Sighing, she dropped her head. How would her brothers react to Kevin? For the most part…they were pretty cool and always had been. But they were definitely not into Kevin’s type of music, not at all. They were rockers, through and through. And in less than thirty minutes, they’d be there too.
Between her father, mother, Dante and Giovanni, she was pretty sure it was going to scare Kevin off.
Or at least put him on high alert as to what he was getting himself into.
Raising her head, she took a look around and nervously smiled. At least the house was in order. Her mother was never very good at that. She wasn’t messy or dirty, but she wasn’t organized either. Never was and probably never would be at this point in her life.
Both her parents were well into their late sixties. Geraldo was a retried police officer and her mother would never be “retired” officially…she was a homemaker and always had been.
Isabella slowly made her way into the kitchen, fearing the worst. When she made it there, she was surprised to see Kevin standing over the stove, stirring something in a pot.
“Oh good Izzy,” he mother replied when she saw her. She threw a wooden spoon in her direction and pointed to the stove. “Check on the sauce dear. I’m gonna go help your father with the wine.”
“Okay,” she replied with wide eyes. Walking over to the stove, she looked at Kevin and nudged him with her elbow. “What’re you doing?”
“Helping your mother.”
He looked back at her. “Because she asked me too.”
Kevin stopped with what he was doing and turned to her. “You gotta problem with me trying to get in good with your mom?” he joked, squinting his eyes. “I’m gonna need to have someone on my side.”
“Not at all,” Isabella replied, smiling at him. “And don’t worry about my dad…he’ll come around. Besides, you’ve got me on your side.”
“I knew I should’ve gotten a hair cut,” he mumbled under his breath, returning his attention to the pot. “Did you see the way your father’s eyes shot right up to my hair?”
“Sorry,” she whispered back. “Just ignore him, he’ll come around.”
Kevin put his free arm around her waist and pulled her closer to him. “So, are you a good cook?”
“The best,” she replied. “My mother was a good teacher.” Isabella could feel his breath on her neck as he leaned in closer to her ear. Instantly, she closed her eyes and willed her body not to react to his voice…his breath…
“You ever cook naked?” he asked, squeezing her waist.
So much for not reacting…
“No…but I do wear an apron, just like my mom and just like you are right now.” Laughing, she glanced over at him. “I take it she made you put it on?”
“Hmmm…” he mumbled, ignoring her last question. “Cooking in just an apron sounds…”
“Kevin,” she shot back. “That’s not what I meant.”
“Hey you two,” Annetta said, clearing her throat.
Kevin immediately dropped his hand from around her waist.
Isabella stood up tall and froze.
“Your father forgot to get the wine that I’d asked him too,” Annetta said, grabbing the keys off the counter. “I’m having him drive me to the party store down the street, we’ll be back shortly.” She walked over to the stove and excused herself.
Both Kevin and Isabella stepped back from the stove and looked at each other.
“I’m just gonna turn this stuff off for right now…keep your eye on it though, we should only be ten minutes.” Annetta turned the knobs on the stove before turning around and smiling. “Dante and Giovanni should be here shortly too.”
Isabella blew out a breath. “No problem. Are you sure you just don’t want Kevin and I to run out and get the wine?”
“No,” her mother huffed. “You’re guests here…make yourself comfortable.” She turned around to walk away, but stopped short. Leaning her head in towards them, she whispered, “Besides, I’m gonna have a little talk with your father during the car ride.”
“Good,” Isabella replied, rolling her eyes and looking over at Kevin.
Kevin took a seat on one of the stools on the other side of the counter, looking relieved at what her mother had just said.
Once they heard the front door shut, Kevin raked a hand through his hair. “You didn’t tell me your brothers were coming.”
Isabella swallowed down the lump in her throat. He was right, she didn’t. And she did it on purpose too. “I know honey,” she replied, making her way around the counter. “I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want you to be anymore uptight than you already were.”
Once his hand slid down his face, his eyes focused in on hers right away, but he didn’t say a word.
“It’ll be okay, just be yourself.” She smiled, trying to lighten the mood. “Their gonna love you, just like I do.”
“Oh I’m sure of that,” he replied sarcastically. “You’re their little sister and I’m the big, bad Backstreet Boy with the bushy eyebrows and long, unruly hair who came in and swooped you off your feet.” Shaking his head, he mumbled, “They’re gonna eat me alive.”
“No they’re not, stop it.” Isabella grabbed hold of the stool that he was sitting on and turned the swivel-top stool around, positioning herself right between his legs. She placed her hands around his neck and leaned in to kiss him on the cheek. “Do you need help loosening up?”
Kevin smiled. His hands immediately wrapped around her waist, pulling her in closer. “What’d ya have in mind?”
She shrugged and then leaned over to place her mouth directly on his ear. “You’ll see,” she whispered, making her way to his lips.
Once their lips met, all bets were off. His kisses were enough to make her throw all caution to the wind and do something she’d never done before…let alone even thought about.
Opening her mouth, Kevin’s tongue dove inside instantly. “God Isabella…”
She knew what was happening, she could feel it happening.
“Shit…” he mumbled, prying her body from his. “Your parents are gonna be back here in a few minutes and what I definitely don’t need to be doing is sportin’ a hard-on.”
Isabella threw back her head and laughed.
“You’re toying with me, aren’t you?” he asked deeply, bringing his hands up and cupping both her breasts. “Two can play at that game.”
When his fingers roughly grazed over her nipples, her head flew back down to look at him. Eyeing him carefully, she let her gaze drop down. “Your apron’s not doing a very good job at hiding that hard-on dear.”
Kevin didn’t respond with words. He just pulled her closer with one of his hands but kept his other hand firmly planted on one of her breasts.
Without saying another word, Isabella crouched down and pushed his apron up.
“What’re you doing?” he asked, placing his hand over his erection.
She looked up at him and sweetly replied, “Just trying to help you loosen up honey.” Without saying anything more, she pushed his hand aside and undid his belt, unbuttoned and unzipped his dress pants and slid her hand into the opening of his boxers.
“Shit,” he mumbled, leaning back and propping his elbows up on the counter. “What’s gotten into you?”
“You,” she replied before freeing his erection through the opening of his boxers and placing the tip of his erection into her mouth.
“What if your parents or someone…” he trailed.
“Makes it more exciting, doesn’t it?” she questioned, allowing his erection to remain in her mouth the entire time she mumbled her response.
“Your dad will throw me out on my ass,” he moaned, grabbing her head and pushing it down further.
Isabella couldn’t think about anything else now except what she was doing. This was something she’d never done before…
Pleasuring a man in her parent’s home was a first for her…
Taking a risk as big as this was also another first for her…
She’d never done anything so foolish in her entire life…
“God,” she moaned, working her hand along his length while his erection was still firmly planted inside her mouth.
“Faster,” he moaned back.
Feeling him shift in the stool, Isabella opened her eyes and looked up. His eyes were directly focused in on her. What she could see of his eyes through the slits anyway.
“God…you’re beautiful,” he moaned, jerking slightly in his seat.
She pulled her mouth off him, but kept her hand working while she looked at him again. “And you taste good,” she said, licking her lips. “How about if I just hike my dress up a little and get on.”
Kevin’s eyes widened. “Shit…are you serious?”
“Yeah,” she replied, standing up and hiking her dress up quickly.
“It won’t take me long, that’s for sure,” he barely said, watching her every move.
“That’s good,” she mumbled, removing her underwear. Swinging them around her finger in the air, she smiled. “Because we’ll be lucky if we even have five minutes.” Without any further hesitation, she stood on the rungs on the stool.
“You know what?” Kevin asked, lifting her up and off the stool. “It’d be faster just to bend you over the counter.”
“Oh God,” she sighed, closing her eyes and letting her underwear fall to the ground.
“This is a first for you sweetie, isn’t it?” he asked, pulling her in and kissing her passionately. “You’re not used to being bad, are you?”
“No…” she barely said, letting herself be turned over.
“Good,” he said, running his hands over her exposed bottom. “Step up on rungs of the stool,” he demanded, squeezing her bottom. “And we’re gonna need to hike this dress up further too.” Kevin yanked on her dress and pulled it up to her bra, leaving her completely exposed and vulnerable.
Within two seconds, he was inside.
Within five seconds, Isabella was wildly bumping back into him.
It was frenzied.
It was hot.
And it was over in less than two minutes.
“Sorry,” he mumbled, grabbing a towel off the counter and wiping the evidence of their sexual escapade off Isabella’s back.
“For what?” she asked, trying to catch her breath.
“That you didn’t get to finish,” he replied, bringing her dress down.
“Hey,” she replied, turning around and watching Kevin frantically pull up his pants. “I still had fun.”
“Me too,” he said, smiling. Lowering his voice, he leaned in close to her. “And I promise that tonight you’ll definitely be repaid.” Once he finished buckling up his pants, he pulled her in close. “Damn woman…I think I like this side of you.”
“Yeah,” she mouthed, pointing to herself. “Me too.” Isabella kissed him passionately and smiled. “You relaxed now?” she asked, pulling back.
“Think so,” he sighed, bending down and picking up her undies. “I just hope I don’t fall asleep during dinner now.”
Hearing the front door open, she jumped down off the stool and ran her hands over her dress. “Showtime.” She grabbed her undies from Kevin and ran behind the counter, sliding them back on. Biting her bottom lip, she grabbed the towel Kevin used from off the counter and made a face. She didn’t want her mother using it for anything, not knowing what they knew. Walking over to the garbage, she tossed it inside.
“Good idea,” Kevin said with a smile.
After Isabella’s brothers were formally introduced to Kevin and the dinner was well on it’s way to being served, she cleared her throat loudly. “Hey everyone…” she said, holding up her left hand and moving it towards her mother who was sitting next to her. “Kevin gave me my engagement ring last night.”
“Isabella honey,” her mother exclaimed. “It’s beautiful…it reminds me of your eyes.”
“That’s the same thing Kevin said,” Isabella replied, turning to Kevin and smiling. He smiled back and squeezed her thigh.
“Let’s see Izzy,” Dante asked, lifting himself up from the seat and stretching across the table. “Wow, it’s nice.”
Giovanni, who was sitting next to Dante and across the table from Isabella and Kevin, stood up from his seat and leaned over the table as well. “Nice,” he replied, nodding his head to Kevin.
Isabella got up and walked over to her father, who was sitting at the head of the table and next to Kevin. She smiled while holding her hand out.
“That’s beautiful dear,” he replied with questioning eyes. “But isn’t an engagement ring supposed to be a diamond?”
Isabella playfully smacked her father on the back. “They can be whatever they want to be. Kevin had six different rings for me to choose from and this is the one I wanted.”
“Six?” Dante asked, nodding. “You actually bought her six different rings?”
“Well,” Kevin hesitated.
“Yes Dante,” Isabella interrupted. “He bought six…now he gets to take five back, right honey?”
“Yeah,” Kevin lied.
“So…” Geraldo said, filling his plate up with pasta. “Isabella tells me you’re a Backstreet Boy.”
When he heard the words, Kevin forced a smile on his face and turned to him. “That’s right sir.” He took the pasta dish from her father and offered it to Isabella. “I’ll hold it for you honey.”
Geraldo cleared his throat. “My daughter tried to explain to me why it is that you’re called the Backstreet Boys, but she didn’t do a very good job. Maybe you could explain it better.”
Kevin looked at his fiancée and immediately noticed the frown forming on her face. “It’s okay,” he whispered. Once she was finished with her helping, he began to fill up his own plate. “Well…we got the name from a market, Backstreet, that was located in downtown Orlando at the time.”
Geraldo interrupted him. “What’s with the boys then…you’re a grown man.”
“True,” Kevin said, passing the dish to Isabella and then turning back to his soon to be father-in-law. “But at the time, we were a little younger then. It was over ten years ago that this all happened.”
Geraldo ran a hand through his hair, keeping his eyes on him. “Well, even ten years ago son…you weren’t that young.”
“No, I was twenty-one at the time.” Kevin took a deep breath and remained focused. He wasn’t about to let on how nervous he actually was. Hell, he should be used to this by now what with interviews and all. But it was different. The situation was different. And he was nervous. “The other four members of the group are all younger though. I’m the oldest.”
Giovanni shifted in his seat. “Yeah…isn’t the youngest one only like fifteen or something now?”
“Actually Giovanni,” Isabella replied, cocking her head to the side. “Nick is the youngest and he’s almost twenty-two…not fifteen.”
Kevin looked over at her and smiled. She obviously did her homework, because he never mentioned how old the rest of the guys were. In fact, besides the occasional mention of their names, they hadn’t really talked about Backstreet at all.
“Oh,” Giovanni replied, looking rather perturbed.
“So,” Geraldo said, bringing the conversation back to his end of the table. “If the youngest is only twenty-two now, are you saying that he was only twelve at the time you guys just began?”
“Yes,” Kevin replied quickly. “His mother was really involved though, going everywhere we went, so he pretty much had a chaperone twenty-four/seven and when she couldn’t make it, we had our manager with us and really, being that I was older, I looked out for the rest of them a lot.”
“Twenty-four/seven?” Geraldo asked, shaking his head.
Isabella laughed, rolling her eyes. “Twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.”
“Don’t you roll your eyes at me young lady,” her father huffed, taking a bite of food. “I’m not up on this lingo you kids use nowadays.”
“Obviously,” Dante laughed. He looked over at Kevin and took a drink of his wine. “So Kevin…not to be offensive or anything…but I’m really not into that type of music.”
Kevin could have sworn he heard Isabella swear under her breath. Not wanting to draw any attention to it though, he remained focused on her brother. At this rate, he’d be lucky if he got a bite of food down him. “No offense taken Dante,” he replied, holding up his wine glass.
“You actually like it?”
If the situation hadn’t been so serious, Kevin would have laughed out loud at that question. Instead, he just took a huge drink of wine and smiled. “I like all different types of music.”
“Kevin,” Geraldo said, placing his fork down and looking rather serious. “What are you going to do when this gig of yours is up?”
Isabella lunged her head forward to see her father better. “Dad…please.”
“It’sall good,” Kevin replied, placing his hand on top of hers. “I’m not really sure this gig will ever be up. We’ve been together a long time sir and don’t have any plans of breaking up, if that’s what you mean. Granted, we won’t be making albums every other year or touring like we have been, but us, as a group, will probably always be together really.”
“And what happens if you’re not?”
“Then I’ll keep myself busy with my foundation more than likely.” Kevin took a deep breath and tried to act casual the best he could. The current line of questioning was starting to rattle his cage. “There’s always acting too. I’ve had a few offers already but I just haven’t had the time to pursue that avenue yet and then there’s always politics.”
Once he said the word ‘politics’, he immediately regretted it. Everyone stopped doing what they were doing and glanced at him. Not a single word was said, but the look he was getting from everyone was clearer than any words.
Kevin swallowed. “By politics I mean…environmental issues, that’s what my foundation is all about.”
“So you’re a tree hugger then?” Geraldo asked.
“DAD!” Isabella yelled, standing to her feet. “Mom…make him stop.”
Annetta firmly placed her hand on the table. “Geraldo!”
“Dad!” Dante huffed.
Giovanni leaned into the table and peered at Kevin. “A tree hugger could only mean one thing,” he said, shaking his head. “Please tell me you’re not a Democrat.”
“Giovanni!” Isabella screamed, looking at her mother again. “Mom…make them both stop.”
Geraldo’s eyes widened. “Democrat?” he questioned, dropping his head down.
“Could we just stop with all the questions and let this young man eat?” Annetta questioned, peering at the other men at the table. “I’m sure Kevin doesn’t mind answering them and all, but please…haven’t we had enough for now?”
Once Annetta put her foot down, the rest of the dinner went smoothly. Too smoothly. Everyone completely avoided Kevin all together. He wasn’t sure if that was good thing or a bad thing. But at least he did get to eat, that was a good thing.
“Annetta…the dinner was excellent, thank you.”
“You’re welcome Kevin,” she replied, smiling from ear to ear. “I’m just glad that you got to eat it honey.” Annetta jumped up from her seat and asked Isabella to join her. “We’re gonna go get desert ready.”
Isabella hesitated before standing to her feet. "Be nice," she whispered out loud.
As soon as Isabella left the room, Geraldo leaned over and placed his elbows on the table, resting his head on his hands. “What’re your intentions with my daughter?”
Kevin slowly put his glass of wine down and looked over at him. “To marry her.”
“I know that son,” he replied, shaking his head. “I mean after that.”
Kevin swallowed down the lump in his throat. Despite his reservations about just saying what he felt, he did anyway. He wasn’t going to play games. Marriage was a serious thing. “I love your daughter Geraldo, more than anything. And I know that this all happened fairly quickly and everything, but I’ve never felt this way about anyone.”
“Aren’t you divorced?”
He managed to stay focused. “Yes sir, I am and let me assure you that I don’t intend on that ever happening with us.”
“And you did with your first wife?” he questioned, narrowing his eyes.
“Not really,” Kevin answered. “But to be honest with you…I knew that I was making a mistake with my ex-wife.”
“Then why’d you marry her in the first place?” Geraldo questioned, raising his eyebrows and lifting his head off his hands.
“Because I thought it was the right thing to do sir,” he replied honestly. “We were together for almost ten years before we got married and I felt I owed it to her.”
“I see,” Geraldo mumbled, looking away. “Do you have any children?”
“Are you sure about that?” he questioned, cocking his head to the side. “I know how you rockers can be. Are you sure you won’t have any kids crawling out of the woodwork down the road?”
“I’m positive,” Kevin replied flatly.
“Are you going to give me any grandkids?”
Kevin’s eyes flew wide open. Wasn’t that kind of personal? “Well…um…I hope so. I definitely want kids. I love children.”
“Thank God,” he mumbled, his hands flying over to Giovanni and Dante. “These two are useless for grandkids…they still haven’t found the one.”
Kevin had to hold back his laughter on hearing that. Both the other men at the table looked a little perturbed with their father’s comment, but neither one said anything.
“Are you going to take care of my daughter?”
“Absolutely,” Kevin replied, looking back at Geraldo.
“Are you going to make her quit her job and tour with these other Backstreet Boy friends of yours?”
Kevin stifled his laughter again. “I won’t make her do anything she doesn’t want to do sir, I promise you that.”
Geraldo tilted his head slightly. “And you do realize that she’s a widow, right?”
“How long are you in town for son?”
“That’s it?” he questioned, frowning. “Is this how it’s going to be with you? Are you always going to be jet setting here and there and leaving my daughter behind?”
“I hope not,” Kevin replied earnestly. “But I’m not going to lie either. Isabella is aware of what my life is like at this point. For the next year and half, it’s going to be busy and I’m hoping that your daughter will come with me for most of it.”
“So you are going to make her quit her job then?” Dante asked, finally speaking out.
Kevin shook his head. “I’m not going to make her do anything. The choice is hers. If she chooses to stay behind, that’s fine too. It’s not like I’ll be gone all the time. We have breaks now and then.”
Geraldo scratched his head and then rubbed his chin. “Where are you staying right now?”
Kevin froze. How was he supposed to answer that one?
“Dad,” Isabella said, walking in at just the right time. “Kevin has a house here in Orlando, he’s staying there.”
“Yes daddy,” she replied, placing a kiss on his forehead. “I’m sure.”
Geraldo grabbed his daughter’s hand and kissed it before extending his hand to Kevin. “Welcome to the family son.”