Breakfast had been a business meeting with Steve. To Sarah’s surprise, Kevin, Alex, and Brian had shown up to join Nick and Howie. All the necessary contracts had been signed and now, Sarah was officially on the same label as Bon Jovi with Richie and Jon as her producers. The rest of the contracts were for Sarah to open for Bon Jovi, Nick, and Tim and Faith on their upcoming tours; guest appearances with Richie to promote their tour; and the TV show.
After the meeting, it was time to say good-bye. Arrangements had been made for Becca to take Jesse back to Orlando so she could go back to school. Sarah and Howie along with Ilse and the twins were headed on to New York with Jon and Richie as well as the rest of the Backstreet Boys. There, Sarah would meet her new band.
Settled into an over-sized seat in first class, Sarah had her laptop out and open looking through her email while the guys were chatting about music. She wanted some down-time to clear her head and get a handle on what was going on in her life.
Not too long into the flight, Richie sat down beside her. “You okay?” he asked as he nudged her.
Sarah smiled, “I guess.”
“A little,” she shrugged.
Richie gave her a comical but inquisitive look. “Just a little?”
“Okay….a LOT! I mean….I’m really excited about it all but it’s all happening so fast. What if I don’t like my band? The only band I’ve worked with other than my brothers is Backstreet’s band.”
Richie laughed, “It’s going to be okay. I promise, you’re going to like the band we picked for you.”
“You’ve already picked them?”
“Yes, and we have a couple backups just in case.” Seeing the doubt in Sarah’s eyes, Richie said, “Tell you what. If you don’t like someone, I’ll run naked through Central Park.”
Sarah laughed, “I might have to not like someone just to see that.”
“Seriously, if you don’t like someone, say so. Jon and I will fix it.”
“I know you will and I’m sure you two have found the perfect back up for me. I can’t wait to meet them.” Sarah closed her laptop and looked up at Richie, closely. “What’s wrong?”
Sarah reached out and took his hand in hers lacing her fingers with his. “You know, I can read you like I read Howie. It’s Heather, isn’t it?”
Richie simply nodded his head.
“I remember back in January when the doctor had put me on complete bed rest. Howie had to fly to Huntsville with Kevin for a business meeting. It was only for a day but I was supposed to go to the doctor that day and he was going to have to miss it. He called Alex to get him to take me and to spend the day with me. Later that afternoon, Alex and I were doing something and I guess we’d left our phones in another room. Howie tried to call me and couldn’t get through. He panicked. All he could think was something had happened to me. Later, once he’d landed and could turn his phone back on, he got my voice mail. When he got to Alex’s house, Jesse, the babies, and I were just fine.”
Richie gave her hand a squeeze. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. And if things aren’t okay….I’ll run through Central Park naked with you.”
That got a hearty laugh from Richie, “It’s a deal, baby.”
“What’s a deal?” asked Kevin as he plopped down beside Sarah on the other side.
“Just something between Richie and me,” smiled Sarah. “What’s up?”
“You’ve been kinda quiet so I thought I’d check on you. I see Richie beat me to it.”
“I’m fine, Kevin. We were just talking.”
Getting serious, Kevin said, “Baby, we’ve been talking.”
“You know, I really hate it when you say ‘we’ve been talking’. It usually means you’ve told Howie he’s wrong about something that has to do with me.”
From behind her, Howie said, “That’s not the case this time, ‘Angel’.”
so what is it?”
“You need to go by something other than ‘Sweet D’s Angel’ on stage. We’ve discussed this with you before.” Seeing Sarah about to say something, Kevin cut her off, “Jon and Richie have gone to great lengths to get you out of our shadow, to give you the credibility as an artist that you deserve. Your name is just one more thing.”
“Okay, but I can’t get away from Dorough. That’s…..”
“What Nick suggested was to simply use ‘Angel’. It’s still what Howie calls you but it’s not overshadowed by ‘Sweet D’,” said Kevin.
Sarah seemed to be thinking about it when Richie said, “It sounds good to me. Your voice is like an angel.”
“Fine,” conceded Sarah. “I’ll just go by ‘Angel’.”
“Oh, and we forgot to tell you….you’re performing Thursday night,” added Kevin.
“In New York….opening for Tim and Faith,” said Howie. “You signed the contract for it.”
“Oh, just lovely,” snarked Sarah. “A brand new band and I’ve only got three days to pull together a country set while working with them on a rock set.”
“You’ll be okay, ‘Angel’,” reassured Howie. “You can always do the set you did in Canada with us….when we told you to relax.”
“Uh, no I can’t. I used one of Faith’s songs in that set, Howie.”
Richie gave her a nudge and said, “Everything will be just fine, Sarah.”
Isle interrupted the conversation with a very fussy D.J. Sarah took him from the young nanny, threw the blanket over her shoulder to shield herself, and began to nurse him. Kevin moved to allow Howie to join his wife and the group continued to talk about music. Before she could finish with DJ, Caroline was fussing too so Howie took her to keep her calm until Sarah could switch infants.
“Here, let me take D.J. for you,” offered Richie when Sarah held the infant up.
“Are you sure?”
“Positive. You know, I did have a little experience with babies,” he smirked.
“True,” smiled Sarah and she handed Richie the burp cloth first, then the infant.
The rest of the flight was quiet. Everyone had settled in to do their own thing getting ready to go to work in New York.
Chapter 106 Index