If someone couldn’t tell that I was an inexperienced roadie before, the night after the concert at the IP Spa and Casino proved it. I was packing my bags when Andrea walked in.
“What are you doing?”
“Why? Do it in the morning,” she said, falling back on her bed with a happy sigh.
“The concert in Mass. is in two days,” I said, sitting on the edge of my bed. “The last time I checked,
Massachusetts and Mississippi aren’t next to each other.”
Andrea laughed, rolling over on her stomach. “I know that. We’re flying,” she explained. “The busses have already taken off.”
“Ohhh,” I felt the stupid sign lighting up above my head. “That makes sense.”
Andrea giggled. “Want to hear something amazing?”
I lay back on my bed. “I could use a little amazing. What’s up?”
“You know Paul? The cute guy who always wears the tight jeans that mold his ass?”
I laughed. “I know who Paul is, but I can’t say I spent much time staring at his backside.”
“Well, after the show he came over and asked if I’d sit next to him tomorrow on the plane,” she said, arching her eyebrows.
“Oooh,” I said, smiling at her excitement. “When’s the wedding?”
Andrea’s pillow came flying at my head. Laughing, I caught it before it smacked me in the face.
“You don’t understand,” she said, sighing dramatically. “I mean he’s gorgeous; he actually looks a little like AJ. Not so many tattoos, but he’s still a
“You and AJ,” I said, shaking my head. “You’re obsessed,” I chided good-naturedly.
“Well,” Andrea paused, propping her chin on her hand. “Aren’t you a little obsessed? I bet your husband looks like Nick.”
I snorted. “Oh that’s a good one. No, he definitely doesn’t look like Nick.”
I leaned over, pulling my wallet out of my purse. Flipping through the pictures, I stopped at one taken the year before at Christmastime. I held it up for her to see.
“That’s Hunter,” I said.
“Really?” she said, leaning over to get a better look. “Huh. More Brian than Nick,” she concluded. I flipped the wallet over, staring at the picture.
“Brian? Really?” I squinted at the picture. I didn’t see it.
“Yeah, like the nose. And the haircut. A little. You got to use your imagination.”
I had always thought my imagination was pretty good; Andrea’s put mine to shame.
“I guess so,” I said, even though I didn’t see it. Tucking the wallet back in my purse, I dimmed my bedside light.
“Well, I guess I’m going to enjoy this bed one more night.”
Andrea laughed and stood up.
“Where are you going?” I asked.
“I’m going to Paul’s room,” she said slyly.
“Well,” she said, picking up a tube of gloss and liberally applying it across her full lips. “Sharing airplane space is pretty personal. I shouldn’t do that until I get acquainted, right?’
I shrugged in defeat, rolling my eyes as she bounced out of the room. I couldn’t ever remember a time when I had been that carefree.
The next morning, I sat staring out the window of the plane as Nick hovered above me, stowing our bags in the compartment above. Finally he slid next to me, smiling.
“You know, I haven’t really seen you since the gym,” he reminded me. “I feel like I was replaced by a mattress.”
I grinned sheepishly. “I’m caught up on sleep. I promise.”
I pulled out my laptop and camera, setting them on the pull down tray in front of me. Before I could stop him, Nick picked up the camera, flipping it on and turning it towards himself.
“Good morning ladies and gentlemen. I’m Nick Carter and I will be your pilot for today. We are currently on our way to Massachusetts for our fourth stop on our U.S. tour. Now for weather conditions. What’s shaking Howie?” Nick said, leaning across the aisle to get a close up of Howie.
“We’ve got turbulence. James just pooped,” Howie said. “Hold your breath. I can’t change him till we’re elevated.”
“Ew. Oo-kay, moving on,” Nick said, pulling back quickly. He turned the camera on me.
“Here we have our intern Livvy,” he said. I looked up surprised, holding my hand up to the lens.
“Nooo,” I mouthed. Nick laughed, pulling my hand away.
“Isn’t that cute? She’s shy. Livvy, why don’t you explain to the folks at home what you’re doing.”
I forced myself to smile, telling myself I’d delete the footage as soon as I got the camera back in my hot little hands. “I’m going to upload the concert photos from last night onto the fanclub site as soon as we’re allowed to turn on electrical equipment,” I explained, hoping he’d take the hint. Nick grinned in understanding, but instead of turning it off he flipped the camera back onto himself.
“Well, folks, if you don’t see me again you’ll know I’m in FAA custody,” Nick explained. “Bri, you going to bail me out of jail?” He swung around in his seat, pointing the camera back at Brian.
“Hmm, I don’t know. What do you think Baylee?” Brian said, looking down at Baylee. Baylee looked up from his coloring book.
“Okay,” he said. “Wanna color?”
Brian laughed. Leaning towards the camera, he smiled. “I’m cutting Nick off, but we’ll be talkin’ to ya’all real soon,” he said with a thick layer of southern twang. He reached up and hit the off button.
“You’re no fun,” Nick pouted. I grabbed the camera.
Before Brian could respond, the pilot came on over the intercom, giving the standard emergency instructions. I leaned back, my ears popping like crazy as we rose into the air. As soon as we leveled out and were given the all clear, I turned on my laptop. Nick leaned over my shoulder.
“Did you enjoy the concert last night?” he asked. I nodded, flipping through the pictures.
“Of course. You guys were fabulous. Like always.”
Nick smiled, watching quietly as I worked. The process was therapeutic. After awhile, I paused to stretch. Out of the corner of my eye I saw fluffy white clouds flying along with the plane. I squirmed a little thinking of how high we were above land, then dove right back into my work as a distraction.
“Do you have a favorite song off the album?” Nick asked after awhile. He cracked open a bag of complimentary nuts and tossed one into his mouth.
“The new one.”
“Yup,” I said without a pause, switching over to work on the video.
I heard Brian groan behind me. Nick laughed.
“Why do you like it?”
“Well,” I said, pausing a frame. “Every time I hear it I see this vision in my head.”
“Yeah. It’s silly, but I kind of see it played out like an updated version of the Everybody video. You have the girls in the corsets and flowing skirts and you guys in the puffy shirts. Only the girls have on masquerade masks. When Brian holds out the long note I can see you guys picking up the girls and twirling them in the air, their skirts adding artistic color and movement.” I waved my hand in front of my eyes, seeing it played out behind my eyes. “I also picture this elevated stage like you had for the European tour. When you sing I gotta know, the girl behind the mask, I can see the girls running up the stairs onto the upper platform. Once they’re up there they fling off their masks and jump down into each of your waiting arms. It’s so Romeo and Juliet.”
I took a deep breath. No one said anything. I felt my face turn red.
“Ugh, sorry,” I said. “I just get carried away.”
“Sorry? That sounds cool. It would give me something else to do instead of just standing there holding a note forever,” Brian said.
“It would be a cool thing to do before the encore,” AJ said. “And it would make a cool music video,” AJ added.
“Ugh, you don’t need to humor me AJ,” I said. I looked at Nick for support, frowning at the smile that played upon his lips.
“I think we should do it.”
“Puh-lease,” I said, shaking my head.
“What? I think it sounds cool. It would be neat to tie it back to Everybody.”
I turned back to the laptop, still shaking my head. The guys began to talk logistics, pausing only long enough for Howie to scoop James up for a second diaper change. By the time we landed in Massachusetts, they had several sheets of notes and a rough sketch.
As we walked through the terminal, Nick fell in step with me.
“I’m not talking anymore,” I said, shaking my head.
“Because. It’s dangerous.”
AJ caught up with us, waving the plans in the air.
“Good thing we like danger.”