A stumble, a rumble, a cause
'I've held the hand of the devil.
Felt his breath of my skin.
Dip me into the water, wash me again.
Can I still be forgiven for all of these things.
Or have I gone too far now.
Have I lost my wings.'
"Ay yo Chris,
we don't have all day you know!" Justin screamed at the bottom steps
of their four star hotel apartment.
When their was
no reply he walked upstairs and gave an askance look at Chris, who
was still deep in sleep. Chris was always the one to jump on their
responsibilities and what they should be doing, but that was all
after he got a cup of coffee. Before that it took twenty minutes of
reiterating the same thing over for it to actually sink in his head.
Justin was the complete opposite, as soon as his eyes were open, he
couldn't go back to sleep. Hence why they roomed together, complete
opposites. Every one figured they'd balance each other out in the
mornings. The only other person who could successfully get Chris up
was Joey and he did it a more blunt way. Normally his wake up call
had a bucket of ice water involved.
his closely cropped curly head at Chris, who he's been trying
unsuccessfully to wake up for thirty minutes.
leave me no choice, I'm getting Joey!" Justin said as he headed for
the door, but Chris immediately popped out of bed and grabbed onto
I'm up alright. See, watch I'm going to the bathroom." Chris
mumbled, eyes barely open as he headed to the bathroom.
"The boys'll be
here in five minutes so put some pep in your step and some sugar in
your shake." Just said as he hauled his bags along with Chris's bags
When the boys
finally arrived ten minutes later. Chris was now getting out of the
shower and they just gave Justin a knowing look.
Chris, you got us late again. Were bunking permanently together
now," Joey said as he looked at his watch.
what's on the agenda today?" JC asked Joey, who took on Chris's
'papa bear' role in the mornings. Supa being short for Superman.
driving out to New York, we should reach in two hours. Were going to
see our open act choices, A hard rock California band named
Atrocity, a female R&B trio named Sinfully Deep and a
pop/rock/R&B singer named Angelboy. Its going to be us and the
tour director Wade and were going to see a mini concert from each.
So that we can get decide whose going on tour with us. Then after we
make the decision were returning back here for a little promotion
and then heading back to Orlando. Our open act choice should be on
the red eye and be touching down in Orlando around the same time."
Joey summed up as Chris entered and we all headed out to the tour
The tour had
two parts to it. The first half was kicking off shortly and the
second half of the tour was kicking off in 8 months. Giving the boys
an in between break to work on a new album and vacate a little bit.
eventually made it inside the large SUV. Chris had already had his
two mugs of black coffee and was alive again. They were still
running late, but they decided not to get too much on Chris's case.
Management did that enough already.
"You think we
should enlighten the masses?" Chris whispered loudly over to Joey,
who just gave him a confused look.
"You want to
tell all the fans?"
"No idiot the
masses as in the rest of Nsync. Damn Joey, you ever heard of just
smiled as he pulled on Chris's newly cut hair.
"Your no fun"
Chris fake pouted as he smacked Joey's hand away.
"And to think,
your supposedly the gay one" JC whispered in Justin's ear as they
all watched Chris and Joey. Those two acted like a newly married
couple, excluding the intercourse. They were sickeningly close to
each other, even finishing off each others sentence, you couldn't
see Ying without Yang and they had that whole play fight revoltingly
cute act down pat. The other members of Nsync often wondered exactly
the extent of that relationship.
"So we tell the
masses or what?" Chris asked breathing hard and still clutching his
sides, after Joey's infamous Ticklefest.
said as he settled back in his seat and started humming ' It's A
Small World After All.' The other men rolled their eyes at Joey and
shook their heads at Chris. Joey and Chris liked to tease. They had
a secret, they would let every one know they had a secret, even
offer to tell the secret, but never did. It would take months to
drag it out of them, which to say the least, drove the boys insane.
"So Justin when
we getting you a boyfriend." Chris asked out of the blue. Justin
blushed a soft pink and JC smiled at him and shook his head.
"I don't want a
boyfriend, too much work." Was Justin's cryptic reply.
"You have too
much work to have a boyfriends or a boyfriend is too much work?"
Lance asked, his eyebrow risen.
"Both" Justin said as they pulled up to the
hall, that would be holding the auditions.
I listened to
Sinfully Deep do their four songs and it took a lot of resolve just
to stay put instead of fleeing, Sinfully Deep was amazing, voices
harmonizing perfectly, dance moves executed without a hitch. How
could I compete with that! I watched as the beautiful trio bowed and
headed off the stage.
The three left,
but one of them stopped by me with a warm smile and an unexpected
embrace . She was cinnamon brown, her hair short and spiky. She was
petite and was wearing some sort of trendy red leather outfit.
look like you needed one of those." She said in a southern accent.
Angelique." I said as she grabbed my hand.
good luck, you'll do fine now." She said as she gave my hand one
more tight squeeze. Maybe what they say about southern hospitality
was true. Being born and bred in New York, I would have never even
gave her a second look.
Angelboy" Wade voice boomed thru a loud speaker. I gave her a smile
and headed out.
I walked out
into the large auditorium and reached into the middle of the large
stage. I looked out into the middle of the seats and found the Nsync
boys along with Wade. I nodded my head to them and turned back to
the band and gave them the cue to begin. My first song was a sad
slow rock song, that I had written on a particular stormy day in my
life. Though I've sang it so many times its always hard not to let
my eyes get a little moist. The next two were pop songs, with a rock
edge, and a hip hop dance break spicing it up a tad. My final song
was this Latin persuaded song inspired by Mr. Santana and his
electric guitar. Out of all the songs it was my favorite, at times
I'd speed it up to a fast grinding salsa or to a slow tempting
groove. When I finished I gave my bow and headed into the wings with
the other contestants waiting patiently for the results.
"Ay boi, you
sure as hell did your thing out there. I think you got it in the
bag." Nicola said as I sat down next to her, much to her fellow
members displeasure. The band Atrocity just gave me a disgusted look
and kept quiet. I didn't have enough time to sit smugly and fuck
with the rock band and the mistakes they made during their
performance. I was too busy working myself up into a ball.
The tension was
rising too fast and after only fifteen minutes they came to their
decision. Calling us out on the stage. We all stepped out on the
stage and for once the spotlight wasn't welcomed, it made me feel
even more under pressure and scrutiny, here was this group help
deciding my fate as an artist. This very well could be the
difference between a one hit wonder and a lasting career and all my
competition knew that. To even be able to be considered you had to
have a current hit slaying down the charts, and then after that you
had to compete with all the other new comers to get into the semi
finals and then you got interviewed meticulously and out of that
three acts were picked and that's what brought us here. Me, being
the only solo act to make it thus far.
"Hey, I'm going
to get straight to the point, because I hate when people drag things
out. After a unanimous decision we decided that the opening act
would be Sinfully Deep." Lance deep voice said shattering me. I
hugged Nicola and was surprised when she slipped a piece of paper in
"I'm not coming
on to you, suga. Just wanna keep in touch alright?" She whispered in
my ear as I hugged her. I just shook my head as a reply and wished
her luck as I made a fast exit from the building.
I threw my bag
over my shoulder and jumped into my managers Benz jeep. I shot her
an anguished look. .
"Aww Angel this
is not the end of the world. Theirs other heavy hitters looking for
an open act." Eliza said as she pulled me into a hug. A knocking on
the window interrupted us, I looked out the window and was shocked
to see Justin Timberlake and JC, standing without coats in the
frosty New York air. I rolled down the window to see what the hell
just wanted to tell you it wasn't a unanimous vote. JC and I thought
you should of got the spot. We just wanted to say good luck in the
future and if the spots open again you'll be the first to be
called." Justin said as he shook my hand, followed by JC and turned
on their heels and headed back into the building.
Eliza mumbled to herself.
"Sis get me out of here, will you." I stated
as I closed my eyes and laid back in the chair. Letting the cold
winter weather blow on me from my open window.
I sat down in
deep thought, trying to decide exactly what shade his eyes were.
They looked to be grey or the palest blue.
not getting anything?" Chris looked at me with his eyebrow up. We
had already finished up the small promotion and were already on the
road to get to Orlando. We had stopped at a road stop and every one
but Chris and myself were already stretching out and getting food or
something. I just gave him a sheepish smile and headed out to the
convenient store. I grabbed a coffee muffin and some chocolate milk
and headed back.
immediately went back to the opening act auditions. The group
Atrocity was first and every one struck the rock band off their list
as soon as they performed. They were too sloppy, they even looked
like they had hangovers. You cant live like a rock star before you
Then came a
smooth trio full of shades of brown who had soul to them. They sure
as hell got your attention and kept it thru their songs. Each song
as smooth as freshly whipped butter. Coming out as if they didn't
have to practice at all, like the lyrics and moves came out
naturally. Like they knew each tempo and turn since they were born.
The final act
was a solo act. A man who went by the name of Angelboy. Who stood
about 6 ft, long dark brown curly hair that reached his elbow. His
eyes a color I was having difficulty to decide, a swimmers build
lean and slim. His songs weren't at all polished but that was his
appeal. The lyrics were deadly true, his acoustic guitar wailing out
the first somber tune, that made you actually feel his pain. The
second and third songs screamed 'Lets Party'. The rock influence
prominent in the dance songs. His moves more flowed then they were
precise, but it worked, oh so damn well for him. The little hip hop
breaks had all of us tapping a tune with our feet. The last song was
by far my favorite. It screamed flushed skin, fast grind, nails
sliding on a bare back. It was beating the tune to hot and heavy
animalistic sex, conveying absolute passion. His songs undoubtedly
were striking and filled with so much conviction. I would bet half
of everything I owned that he wrote those lyrics, no way could he
sing them like that. He in my opinion would give Diane Warren a run
for her money in the song writing career.
So it doesn't
surprise you that it came down to Sinfully Deep and Angelboy. They
both were equally as good in different ways. Both immaculate with
their dance moves, never going off key. So it was hard to pick which
one. Joey and Chris were adamant on Sinfully Deep, while Jc and I
were adamant on Angelboy. The tie breaker being left to Lance.
both are really good. So, not that we need it, but who will bring
out more fans. Its better if 75% of our fans actually like them,
then only 25%. So I have to go with Sinfully Deep because they have
more exposure then Angelboy" Was Lance's decision and that's how it
went down. He made the normal speech and we watched the different
faces jump in pure joy or drop in sadness. I watched as the Angelboy
gave one of the trio a hug and a kiss and made a speedy exit to the
door. His coat on and his bag over his shoulder before he even
reached the door.
"That sucks" JC
said to me and pulled me by my arm and headed to the door. We saw
Angelboy jump into a jeep and when we reached he was embracing a
very pretty woman. I knocked on the door and had a little chat with
him. Staring in his eyes the whole time, trying to decipher what
color they were. When JC and I reached back into the building we
passed Atrocity on the way out and I was right, they all had
We sat and
chatted with Sinfully Deep for an hour and then headed back out
here." Chris said as he pulled me out of my thoughts,
"Alright" I said as I grabbed my bags and
headed out to the group house we would be using for the week.
Its been an
exact 8 months since my audition with Nsync and I spent most of it,
ok all of it trying to make up for all the publicity I missed when I
didn't get the part for their opening act. Eliza had been running me
ragged. She pushed so that my second and third single dropped a
month or two before the record company wanted to. She's had me
performing all three songs on every late show, morning show, day
show, radio show that could possibly exist. She's been booking me in
clubs and one thing, she's not biased, because she books me at the
trendy jump offs and the gutter clubs as well. She had me make the
video for the second and third single. Throwing me from one photo
shoot to the next. I swear I don't have time to even take a piss
because I've been so busy. Sleep and Hunger have been fighting over
whose my first priority.
I'm not mad at
all at Eliza. I know she's doing it for my good and the fact that
Atrocity had already seemed to fall off the map, makes me grateful.
I auditioned for other tours, and got on tour with the British
sensation Craig David. The tour lasted 8 weeks. I was picked up for
the American part of the tour. Then I linked up with BBMak in Europe
for 6 weeks. Then I finished up with Enrique Igleasis.
being on tour didn't stop Eliza's over working ass. She remarked
that they weren't nearly as big as Nsync, so I still needed to
hustle. On that note, Sinfully Deep's song jumped up on the charts
when it was released that they would be the opening act and their
second single is still flying high. The tour finished five months
ago and Sinfully Deep and myself are back at competing against each
other for tours and events. Though at the risk of sounding conceded,
they aren't much competition at all anymore. Nicola has been keeping
me posted on her life and I have been doing the same as well. Sweet
girl Nicola turned out to be, and I did end up calling her and we
ended up friends via the telly.
It was 5 am and
I was doing my morning Tai chi stretches and meditation with Eliza.
We finished in an hour and quickly bathed and met in the living room
of the relatively small hotel room where Eliza ran off the day for
your on break. You only have to do a radio interview via phone, add
the finishing ad libs to the last song for your album. Then your
going to be performing on TRL. Oh, and heads up, the Nstink boys are
there. Then you got a small meet and greet." Eliza said while
sipping a cup of strong coffee.
"Alright I got
business to work on. So here's the papers with everything you need
to know and have for today. Theirs other things in your wardrobe
besides t-shirts you know, so it wont hurt to wear an actual shirt
when your on TRL. You'll be performing 'What's left' the same way
you did for Leno last night. So you should have no problems. I'm
sorry I cant be with you today, but I guess that's just the way the
wind blows today. " She said while she bustled around the kitchen,
clearing things up. She gave me a kiss on the forehead and headed
out the door.
One thing I love about interviews via phone
is you can lay in bed and wear whatever the hell you want and just
chill. The radio interview was short, but that wasn't the end of the
day. I dressed in a pair of light jeans and totally ignored Eliza's
remark and threw on an army green Nucking Futs (Fucking Nuts, with
the first words switched) T-shirt. I jumped in my old 1986 Benz that
I refused to let go of and headed out. I made light work at the
studio. I was doing a duet with the ever bitching Christina Aguilera
for her highly expected next album. I reached TRL with time to
spare. I got to my dressing room and started on the lemon/honey tea.
My voice was already warmed up from the studio, so I just laid there
and sang parts of old songs.
The tour didn't
go quite as well as one would like. We kept up our half but the
Sinfully Deep turned out to be Sinfully Shallow. Two of the trio had
already copped the diva attitude and we're seriously working our
nerves thin at a point.
wouldn't been having those problems if we picked Angelboy like
Justin and myself told you all. One thing I'm sure of is there not
coming on the second half of the tour." JC said irritably as we all
hung out in our TRL dressing room..
"Who says, he
could have been just as bad." Joey said not too convincingly.
whole theory with who has more influence went down the drain because
now he's three times as more popular as the Shallow. He's a break
away hit now, they think his album is going to go gold in its first
week. His album is dropping in two days and their already talks
about multiple Grammy nominations." Chris said, as he annoyingly
kept tapping his foot on the wall, with no beat all.
true. He's fighting us for the number one spot now on TRL. Maybe we
can get him to go on tour now, or you think he's already signed to a
tour." Lance thought out loud.
" Well it's the
second half of the tour and management already gave us the okay to
have him. So its either we ask him or we go back to Simply Deep,
because management is not going to have unnecessary auditions." Joey
said as he frowned at their name.
"Well we could
go see if he's here now and talk to him. He's suppose to be
performing." JC said as he got up and stopped an intern and
whispered something in her ear and slipped her a crisp green bill.
"Leave it to
Josh to slide the green over when he doesn't even have to. He's such
a sucker." Joey said as he threw a paper ball at Josh.
come on and follow along children. Stay close and hold hands, don't
want anyone to get lost." Josh said in his best old lady voice. I
just gave him a kick in the ass to respond to him.
We reached AngelBoy's room and heard him
singing some old song that I couldn't quite put my name too. We
knocked but he didn't hear us, so we let ourselves in. He was laying
on the couch on his back. His arms behind his head, his eyes closed
and his voice soaring. I don't know what stunned me; his voice, or
the way he looked lying there.
I zoned out for
a hot minute singing and old tune from The Five Heartbeats
Soundtrack, called 'I Got Nothing But Love For You', I was really
into it, though I was singing it a capella I could hear the music in
my heart. I would go in and out of the song. Singing some parts and
just listening to the other parts in my heart.
Ohhhhhhhhh ain't got no money.
Ain't got no fancy car
Don't live a life of a millionaire,
Or a movie star.
Their's nothing in this world I posses
to equal your loving and your tenderness
I got nothing but love for you baby.
I got nothing but love for you baby.
I got nothing but love for you baby.
Got nothing but love for
Ain't got no penthouse
I don't eat no caviar.
Got no obsession,
With FOOLISH possession.
You're my lucky star
Look here baby
Don't need no diamonds.
Don't need no pearls.
As long as I got you, I'm the king of the
I got nothing but love for you baby.
I got nothing but love for you baby.
I got nothing but love for you baby.
Got nothing but love for
As soon as I
hit the high note I was startled by clapping. I jumped so damn high
and the first thing out of my mouth was foul and the totally New
York; You know cram in as much 'fuck's' as you can, and you cant go
"What the fuck
is fucking going on here!" I jumped up, but felt my cheeks get
redden when I saw who it was.
that song before, sounds good." Justin said smiling at me.
"Um, sorry bout
that. Scared the hell out of me." I smiled sheepishly.
figured as much, your girlfriend kiss you with that mouth." Joey
said as he slid past every one and came and took a seat beside me.
"So what brings
you guys here." I said completely ignoring Joey's comment.
opportunity" JC said as he sat next to me.
"Joey you think
we should tell the masses?" Chris asked, his face scrunched up in
"Well the masses already know, so you cant
really say masses Chris."
amused as Chris and Joey started their whole dialog from this
morning again. I knew JC was itching to say "And you're the supposed
masses already know, so you cant really say masses Chris."
"God dang it
Joey! You don't seem to fathom the idea of going along." Chris
pouted as Joey punched his shoulder.
"Your no fun AT
ALL" Chris said in full out pout, when he was ignored by Joey; He
decided to just jump on him and try to pin him down and try to start
his own Ticklefest, but Joey having the upper advantage when it
comes to weight and height easily turned the tables around. We all
looked at them slightly irritated and very much amused.
"So you think
we should divulge our opportunity to him?" Chris asked as Joey
pulled him and helped dust him off. Joey stopped mid brush and put
on a pensive look.
"No, I don't
think so." He said, help finished brushing off Chris.
said as he stared at the TV for a second and amused face played on
"So Justin when
we gonna find you a..."
"If you finish
that sentence I will get all Lorraina Bobbett on you and throw 'it'
in a pickle jar and sell 'it' on Ebay." I interrupted Chris. Every
one visually cringed at the thought.
"Now boys, I
know you love the little games you play, but if he doesn't agree to
it then we'll be back with the Shallow. " Which made Joey groan and
sent AngelBoy into a bit of a laughing fit. We all looked at him
"Strange boy he
is" Chris said as he grabbed a straw and started poking AngelBoy as
if he were some kind of science project. Mumbling the words
'interesting' and 'uh oh' every now and then.
believe Nicola when she said you guys started calling them Simply
Shallow behind their backs." AngelBoy said as he shook his head and
chocolate chip cookies" Chris drooled.
"So I guess our
secret opportunity isn't secret anymore." I said as I smiled over at
AngelBoy who was chuckling at the antics of Joey and Chris. It
amazed me that those were the oldest and were actually responsible,
astonished me even more that every one else in the band looked at
the two goofs as second and third fathers.
"No I guess
not, you guys mind if I call my sister. She gets all bitchy if I
"Um sure, she
in your band." I asked as I was walking slowly up and down the width
of the room, looking at his eyes from different areas.
"Nope I'm his
manager" a sweet voice came from in back of Chris and Joey. It was
the very pretty woman from the jeep all those months ago. She smiled
and I glanced back and forth at her and her brother. They defiantly
"The answer is
yes" She said as she took a seat on her brothers lap, more so on the
knee and thigh then on his crotch. The couch already full, hence why
I'm standing up.
laaaaaaaaaaady" Chris said as he stared at AngelBoy's sister with
his mouth open and his eyelids batting so animatedly that you
couldn't help but laugh.
Christopher you sure do know how to get to a girls heart" she said
in a southern accent. She looked at her brother.
"I gotta surprise for you"
begging, graveling and cries of how great you are do I have to do
for you to divulge your little surprise." I smiled at Eliza.
maximum, since I see you wore a T-shirt anyways and you forget
lifelong promises of boot kissing and babysitting."
"I draw a line
at diapers!" I said in mock horror.
you coming or what?" Eliza said as she stood up. In walked Nicola
looking just as sweet as she did the last and only time I saw her in
person. I jumped up and pulled her into a big hug, spinning her
She smiled at me.
brings you out here little lady." I smiled as the Nsync boys quickly
wrapped her in hugs, one in particular hugging a little longer then
necessary. I looked at Justin who was staring at the long embrace
and winked at him.
"Damn JC you
got her all hemmed up, how she suppose to breathe when you all over
her like that." I gibed and he blushed.
"Oh shut up,
"You and your
southern talk" I said rolling my eyes as I go do exactly what I was
kidding on JC about. Giving her another bear hug.
"Well if I
didn't know better I would think you were glad to see me Angel."
Nicola said as she messed up my hair. I just shook my head hard and
it was back to how it was.
"Well I'm glad
you know better Cola" I said as I moved over by Justin and JC,
letting the girls sit on the small couch.
"So for the
second time, what brings you out here?" I asked curious.
stuffs been going on that I haven't been quite telling you." Nicola
said as one of her crossed legs started to jiggle back and forth.
asked, wondering if it was personal or something and didn't want to
say it around Nsync.
since the end of the Nsync tour I've been in the studio secretly
working on a solo cd. I figured it would be only a matter of time
before those two heads would get so big that they'd want to kick me
out of the group because the record company doesn't exactly like me
and rather I be out and replaced by this Jlo looking chick. So a
friend of mine hooked me up with a home studio place, so no one
would know about it and sure enough I got the papers that I was
kicked out two weeks ago. The friend already has me signed to a
record label, actually yours." Nicola summed up.
seeing as I'm not with a big time record label. Actually my mother,
father, sister and myself run that little record label that I'm
assigned to so the only way you could be signed to it is if that
friend of yours was a relative and seeing that you have not met my
mom and dad then it could be no other then Ms. Busy Body." I said
smiling appreciably at my sister. Now it made sense, she seemed so
much busier now then she did before.
"You have your
own label?" Justin asked shocked.
"Yeah, dad was
stock broker. Moms in love with the whole music industry. I wanted
to be a singer and my sister wanted to manage me. You got dads
money, moms business savvy, a singer, and a hard working manager who
already had connections and you make a record label." I said, making
it sound way more easier then it actually was. We all had to stay up
late and work our asses off to get the label going and as an act I
had to work three time harder then other performers with big time
record labels backing them because they got better connections and
more money backing them. Even though I was considered a hit, we were
still working our asses off.
said "Well, I think a celebration dinner is in order, we've got so
much to celebrate. Nicola getting a recording deal, Angel joining
the tour with us and us not having to worry about Simply Shallow."
We all agreed
and sat in the room and chatted. The Nsync boys were soon taken,
since TRL started and they were needed. I sat in the couch squeezed
up by Nicola who I in all rights regarded as my best friend and my
"So how did she
get signed without my signature" I said, all acts signed to Diverse
Records, our label had to be signed by all four CEO's. A sort of
Eliza said as she reached in her bag and held out a crisp folder,
which held the contract already signed by every one but me.
"Not to be mean
or anything, but I need to hear her CD before signing this." I said
feeling a little guiltily for questioning her talents and I couldn't
help but wonder how this friend/boss situation was going to go down.
"Oh don't be
silly, ain't nothing mean about that. If you would of signed me
without hearing it then I would of been worried." She said as she
stood up and put the CD in the CD player. I listened intently to the
12 songs and was very impressed. It flowed like Simply Deep's song
but had better lyrics, had more of an edge and held more conviction.
pensively at Nicola, my face for the whole time not giving any
indication on my feelings. Just as I was about to speak and intern
called me and told me it was time I performed. I nodded and headed
out to do my thing.