Autumn walked in the door to Cedar Park Studios at 4:55. She didn't know where she was
supposed to go at all. Luckily Howie just happened to get out of the elevator at the moment she
walked in. "Autumn, good to see you again,'' he said shaking her hand.
"Yes, you too."
"If you'd just follow me into the elevator I'll take you up to meet the guys."
Howie chuckled. "I was going to tell you to just be yourself, but I guess you have that
figured out already."
"One of the things we look for is charisma, or just an outgoing nature. I'm guessing you
probably have both."
"And humble, always a plus."
Autumn laughed. They walked down the silent hallway to Studio 34. RESERVED it
said in big black letters. "Here we are," Howie said opening the door. Autumn thought she was
going to puke from the nerves in her stomach. She saw Brian Littrell, AJ McLean, Kevin
Richardson, and Nick Carter sitting around a table with 2 empty chairs and papers scattered all
over the table, and some stacked up on the floor. There was an attached room with 4 or 5
microphones in it that she could see from the giant window. She looked to the left of the room
and saw that she was in the room where they mixed the music. "Guys, this is Autumn Crane."
"Hi Autumn," they would all say.
"Howie said he heard you sing and thought you sounded pretty phat," said AJ.
"Yeah, he said you had a hot sound," Brian said.
"Not to mention being hot," Nick joked. He thought she was hot. He wasnt lying. Autumn could
feel herself blushing. The rest of the guys just laughed. 'Dude, she's hot,' he kept thinking to
Nick had just gotten over his break-up of a year with actress Holli Grant. He was head
over heals for Holli. They were the Jennifer Anniston and Brad Pitt of 2003. Nick was even
thinking about proposing to her on Christmas Day. Unknowingly, on Christmas Eve, she broke it
off with him. He saw her on Entertainment Tonight with a new man, Kevin Karns, at a New
Years Eve party.
Nick went on a drinking binge and wouldve almost ended up like AJ if it wasnt for his
neighbor Rick. Nick came home, late one night from a bar at about 1:00 am. His neighbors,
Rick and Jean, were retired from Oklahoma, where they owned a part of an oil company. They
bought the mansion next to Nick's place a few years before. Rick and Jean also had a big
family, who would visit them quite often. This night, their 15 year old granddaughter happened
to be visiting them. Her grandparents weren't very strict, plus she was there on Christmas
vacation, so they didnt care that she went outside during the middle of the night to shoot hoops.
She was on the varsity basketball team and it was a good way to get tired when she couldn't
sleep. Nick was totally wasted and was on his way home, he saw the girl playing in their
driveway. He couldnt keep his eyes off of her. Before he knew it, he was drifting off the road,
into the neighbors lawn and onto the driveway......hitting the girl. He slammed on the brakes just
in time, his big Chevy Suburban only knocked her off balance. Rick and Jean came running out
of their house at the sound of screeching tires and their screaming house guest. Everyone
standing there could tell where Nick had been. They treatened to file charges and tell every
tabloit in the nation what happened unless Nick got some help. Even Jannie, the granddaughter,
thought it was a good idea. She promised not to tell anyone also, even though she was
site-mistress of bsbgossipcorner.com.
Nick went a counselor, but he had to admit that the best advice he received during that
time came from Rick. Rick had also been an alcoholic years ago, but for much different reasons.
But thanks to weekly dinners at the neighbors, Dr. Duell, and a buddy of Rick's who had gone to
AA meetings in the past, he got over this spell, and over Holli. He was ready to date again. He
wondered if Autumn had a boyfriend.
"Well, thanks, I guess," she said, not knowing what else to say.
"We took a listen to the CD that your boss gave Howie, we liked what we heard," Kevin
"Could you do us a favor and sing a couple bars of it, a capella?" he asked.
"Sure." She cleared her throat. "You're so untruthful. Maybe I am too. You've got
some secrets. I do too. My love was real, I dont know about you. Please let it out. You cant
hide it no more....no I cant take anymore!" she sung. She looked around the room to see their
expressions. They looked around at each other, nodding in agreement.
"Great Autumn," Howie said. "Listen, Kev here wrote a song a few weeks ago, but it's
more for a girl to sing. Would you mind giving it a try?"
"That'd be great!" she said with enthusiasm.
"Well, you haven't heard it yet," Howie said, laughing. Kevin walked over to a stack of
machinery, which Autumn knew a little about, but wasn't sure what it all did. He stuck a cassette
tape into the almost ancient player. AJ handed her a piece of paper with the lyrics on it. Kevin
hit the play button.
"It's a little more of a ballad, but I'm sure you'd have no problem with it." They all
listened to the music, there was no words recorded with it, but Autumn could tell where they went
in. "Do you want to try it?"
"Yeah, that'd be great!"
"Yeah, we know," he remarked sarcastically. They all chuckled. He led her to the room
with the microphones and handed her the headphones. She put them on her ears, pushing her
Nick couldn't help staring at her. He had a crush on her alright. He watched her push
her medium-length, brown, highlighted locks behind her ears and she glanced at him. He
glanced down, not wanting to look rude. She just shook it off, the feeling of someone watching
Kevin walked back into the room with the other 4. He pushed a button near the
equipment and leaned in to talk. "Autumn, are you ready?"