As the first set of automatic doors opened, Sarah got her first glimpse of what they were about to face. There were reporters and TV cameras everywhere and fans behind them. Looking out to the parking lot, she could see even more fans gathered holding up signs.
"Oh my god," gasped Sarah.
The group came to a sudden stop and Kevin asked, "What’s wrong, Sarah?"
"I didn’t realize how many people would be waiting for me to leave."
"We don’t have to do it this way if you don’t want to," said Billy moving to her side.
"We can get you and the babies into the limo without any pictures while the guys talk to the press. Just say the word and I’ll pull more men in to shield you."
Howie knelt in front of Sarah, "’Angel’?"
"It’s okay. I just wasn’t expecting all this. It’s like we’re royalty or something."
"’Tigger’, you and Becca are royalty as far as the press is concerned. Hell, if Becca had been here to have Garrett, it would have been worse."
"I guess you’re right, ‘J."
Howie spoke gently, "Don’t try to figure it out, Sarah. It still amazes me that people want to be close to me simply because I sing." Looking at Jesse, he said, "’Princess’, I want you to hold on to Uncle Alex’s hand and do not leave our side."
"I’m okay, Papi. Raoul told me all about this."
With that, the group moved through the second set of automatic doors and as soon as they opened, the flashes began going off and questions were shouted at them.
Kevin held up his hands to get everyone quiet and then said, "We want to thank everyone, the press and our fans, for all the love and support you’ve given us through the years. It really means a lot to all of us…not just Brian, Nick, AJ, Howie and myself…but to the entire Backstreet family."
Brian spoke up now, "Before we introduce you to the newest additions, we do have a request. Please, when the children are with their nanny or at school, leave them alone. It’s tough enough being a kid today, but even tougher when your parents are famous."
Motioning to Nick and Becca, Kevin said, "Back in September, when our nation was plunged into chaos by the terrorist attacks, a beautiful ray of sunshine came into our lives. Garrett Thomas Carter was born September 12th in a Toronto hospital."
Becca held Garrett for all to see and get pictures then passed him to Nick so that the press could get pictures of him as well. Then it was family pictures including the ‘uncles’ holding Garrett.
With pictures of Garrett done, Nick and Becca moved back behind the group so that the press could easily see Howie and Sarah. It was their turn now.
Placing his free hand on Sarah’s shoulder, Howie started, "Let me introduce our oldest daughter, Jessica Paige."
Alex gave her a nudge and Jesse took a step forward waving and smiling at the cameras. Knowing all eyes were temporarily on her, the little girl put on her own show. Not once did she show any fear of being in front of the crowd having learned from her parents as she put on her own little show. AJ had to pull her back to keep her from stealing the spotlight completely.
Laughing, Howie said, "That was our little star. Now for my Valentine’s Day present from my beautiful wife….Caroline Ann and Dwaine James Scott."
"Sarah took the easy way out of buying Howie a gift," teased Nick.
"Easy for WHO?" shot Sarah causing everyone to laugh.
"We’ve heard Becca’s delivery was difficult. What about your delivery, Sarah?" asked a reporter.
"Actually, it really wasn’t that bad," answered Sarah. "When I went into labor, we knew Caroline was in position but we thought they were going to have to do a c-section to deliver Dwaine."
"Howie, were you with Sarah the whole time?"
"From the very beginning," beamed Howie.
The press continued to ask questions of the whole group about the children, the tour, Nick and Sarah’s CDs, and plans for the future. Once, a question was asked about Nick’s arrest but Kevin quickly stopped that line of questioning, much to Becca’s relief. They could have easily been there for several hours answering questions and posing for pictures but the children began to get restless and Sarah nudged Howie telling him she’d had enough.
Howie signaled Billy and security surrounded the group ushering them to the waiting cars. They waved to the fans and tried to sign a few autographs.
Safely inside, the twins were secured in their car seats and Sarah nestled next to Howie with his arms holding her close. He pressed a kiss into her hair as he held her and he felt her fighting a yawn.
"Why don’t you sleep on the way home, ‘Angel’?"
"Don’t think I could keep my eyes open if I tried," yawned Sarah. "I can’t believe that little bit wore me out so easily."
Seeing that Sarah wasn’t going to be able to get comfortable, Nick said, "Come here, ‘Peanut’…sit beside me and help me with Garrett so your mom can stretch out a little."
"Thanks, Nick," smiled Sarah.
With everyone settled, the car pulled away headed to Cocoa Beach.
Chapter 74 Index