1 minute to press conference “Is Kevin here yet?” Nick asked, his eyes darting around the crowded room, looking calm. No one knew what was going on inside him though; the small signs of an incoming panic attack still broiling. Howie caught hold of Nick’s arm and squeezed it just enough to catch his attention. “He will come Nicky, he just called Brian fifteen minutes ago.” “Well a lot can happen in fifteen minutes.” AJ said, as he too, looked around the room hoping to find Kevin. “Nice AJ.” Howie glared. “Nick really needed to hear that.” “I’m just saying that I understand. Kevin better get his ass here right now so I can stop worrying.” Brian walked in to the room after successfully dodging his way through the crowd. Where they were now, Howie couldn’t even tell who were working for John Klass. They couldn’t trust anyone. “Okay,” Brian said as he exhaled. “it’s safe with me for now, I’ll put it up whenever you give me that cue.” Nick nodded, unsure of what to say. There was no way that anyone would doubt him after seeing what they had planned but he also realized there was no room for error, they only get one shot. And for some reason, Nick felt as if he couldn’t pull this through unless he knew Kevin was there with him. He needed his brothers to be here, when he go out there and reveal everything. “Brian, can you try Kevin again? What’s taking so long?” Nick asked for what had seemed like the hundredth time for the guys. “It’s okay Nick, I just called him again like five minutes ago, he said he’s stuck in traffic.” “I have a song for that one.” AJ blurted. “You have a song for what?” Howie asked. “Stuck in traffic.” AJ said matter of factly. “I got stuck in traffic one time on my way to an AA meeting and I just got this sudden rush of thoughts about hooking up with some stash it was horrible.” “So…you create a song instead?” Nick smirked. “Atta boy! A song it is.” “Good, make that your drug and you’ll be fine.” Brian said, patting his shoulder lightly. They fell into yet another tensed silence as people around moved in and out of the room. Johnny for once, had been MIA. Last that Nick heard, he was trying to get in touch with Nick’s lawyer for some last minute advice, since the man himself was given the news earlier that day. Matthew Lee had made it his mission to make sure that none of them spilled of what was to come to anyone else. He knew if Johnny was given ample time about this press conference, he would be able to pull out some tricks to prevent Nick from having one. Nick didn’t feel so hot. “Are you sick?” Howie asked, already about to get the back of his hand on his forehead. Nick dodged away and snickered. “Did I say that out loud?” “You did kid.” AJ smirked. “Are you sure you’re up to this Nick? I mean, we can always ask your lawyer to straighten things out for you.” Brian offered. Nick shook his head. “I can’t put anyone at risk right now. He expects me to go out there and make a statement and that’s what I’m gonna do.” “Nick-” “Brian, for all we know, they have someone parked right outside your house right now and he’ll make one phone call and you’ll never see your wife and kid again.” Brian went numb. “He wants me to be out there, I can’t ruin his plan. Look, I promise you, by the time I break the news, the police will get him and John Klass so fast, he wouldn’t even know what hit him. He’s not gonna have any time to make a damn phone call.” Brian was about to say something when they heard someone calling out to Nick. It was Johnny Wright, with Nick’s attorney, Bryan Watts in tow. “Okay look, before you even say anything, could you at least please hear Bryan out?” Johnny exclaimed when he saw Nick’s dark mood rising. Nick said nothing and he took it as his one last chance to make him see why his rash decision to have a press conference was suicidal. He motioned Bryan to start. “You don’t have to do it Nick. I can go out there and make a statement on your behalf.” Nick shook his head. “I can do this myself.” “It’s going to get ugly out there, I don’t want you to feed yourself to the sharks! Look, investigations are still on going, you don’t have to say anything for now. Lets not rush into this Nick.” Johnny urged. “Johnny I freaking killed a man! I’m going out there and tell the damn truth and the law can do whatever they want with me.” Nick cried, forgetting they weren’t alone in the room. “You’ll clear my name from the drinking charges because I’m innocent about that, but nothing can change the fact that it was my car that hit him. He’s dead because of me.” Bryan came forward. “I know that Nick, but if you go out there, you’re giving prosecutors a lot to use against you in court.” Nick felt lost. He wished he could tell the truth. He wished they would all shut the hell up. He knew he was about to fly off the handle at that point; sometimes, he wondered if Johnny was really worried about him or what setbacks his actions was going to put on the group. “Hey guys, I think this is Nick’s decision, just let him do what he wants okay?” Brian interrupted. “Just this once, let him do what he wants.” No one got to say anything else, Matthew Lee came and swiftly took Nick away. The last thing Nick heard was AJ telling him that they would all be in the room, watching him on TV. He smiled and left. The conference hall was packed. He didn’t realized just how much the media cared about this. Anything to sell a story these days. “Just read from this and everything will work out fine for everyone.” Matthew Lee whispered to him as he passed the piece of paper to him. He didn’t even bother to look at it as they approached the podium. He stood next to Nick and instantly the flashes of light went off like fireworks. Except there was nothing to admire in those lights. When the crowd finally died down, Nick cleared his throat. He looked forward but saw nothing but this huge blinding spot – the effect of too much flashlights going off on him. “I have a statement I’d like to make and I just want everyone to know that what I’m going to say is the absolute truth. It sounds crazy but it’s not…” Nick took a deep breath, ready to crush the piece of paper that contained webs of lies. In his head, he saw the police officers coming forward and arresting Matthew Lee while everyone snapped the shocking moment and have it printed on the front page of all newspapers and tabloids. “The truth is…” Do as told and you’ll see Kevin again. Nick did a double take. He couldn’t believe what he was reading. He turned to Matthew Lee. He was looking at Nick as if everything was doing well. He even smiled at him. “Go ahead Nick, tell them.” He turned to the expectant crowd, everyone looking back at him, waiting for his next move. They have Kevin. They have Kevin. They have Kevin. Nick knew now what he had to do. He couldn’t take any chances now that the game had turned. He read through the first paragraph of the typed statement and found himself swallowing hard. This couldn’t be happening. “Nick, they’re waiting.” Matthew Lee whispered. Nick nodded, not even once did he look back to the crowd. This was it, his ‘truth’. “A week ago, after having too much to drink, I drove myself to Jive for a meeting. I was aware that I was…” Nick felt himself choked up. What if they already killed Kevin? “I was…under the influence of alcohol…” Didn’t Kevin said something about killing them off and make it look like an accident? “I lost control of my car while on the highway and I failed to prevent it from smashing into an incoming vehicle.” What if they made Kevin died in a road accident? -- Brian was pacing around the room. There was no one there except for the guys along with Johnny and Bryan. Howie and AJ were at a lost for words, this wasn’t in the plan. “This is not looking good Johnny.” Bryan said as he studied Nick. “He’s giving way too much info, the prosecutors are gonna have a field day if we file to retract that sentence. I thought he made it clear he wasn’t drunk.” “I don’t know what’s going on anymore!” Johnny exclaimed. “We should get him out of there.” “No!” Howie yelled almost instantly. “Something’s going on here. Why would he want us to prove his innocent and then went off and admit to the world that he was drinking!” Johnny questioned. “Maybe he told you that so you won’t hold him back, ever thought of that?” AJ said while his gaze was still fixed on the tv screen. Nick was struggling through his statement, his hands were trembling, he was fighting hard to control his tears, he could even see snots coming out of his nose. Nick was in a total mess. And what puzzled AJ the most was the fact that Nick didn’t carry out his plan. “Are you trying to tell me that he was drunk that day?” Johnny asked. “Did you get the doctor’s report?” AJ asked. “Didn’t it show you that his alcohol level in his blood was high?” “I know, but-” “But you think there’s a huge conspiracy going on and you think you can fix it.” AJ said. “Well there’s nothing to fix here Johnny.” AJ tuned out the heated conversation going on in the room, there was no point arguing now. He watched as Nick was being escorted off the podium. Matthew Lee boisterously putting the handcuffs on him. Two police officers had to lead Nick back because he almost passed out. There went one for the tabloids to print. “They’re taking Nick away.” AJ announced. Johnny and Bryan rushed to try and stop them. Perhaps Bryan could work out a plea for bail. Anything to keep Nick out of prison. The room fell silent as the three remaining Backstreet Boys faced each other. It seemed like no one dared to voice out their thoughts. But AJ doesn’t need to hear them, he knew they were all thinking of the same thing. John Klass had Kevin. The question on everyone’s mind was, did he hid him somewhere or killed him.