Love's Harmony Ch. 11bysimply_cyn©
Brian's voice rang true and clear in the packed auditorium. 'Hey girl, I don't want you to cry no more inside. All the money in the world could never add up to all the love I have inside... I love you.' Then the rest of the group joined in, their voices carrying right to the back of the packed auditorium. The concert was going great and Jennifer couldn't have been any happier. Through the past three weeks, things were finally working out for her and Brian. Glad to have the past behind them and a road of happiness ahead of them, Jennifer watched The Backstreet Boys perform from the sides of the stage. She watched Brian, her eyes following every step he made. When he came to the side where she stood, his eyes would lock with hers as he sang the words to their songs. Every time they came off-stage for a costume change, he would either embrace her or catch a quick kiss. Nick was constantly smiling and she knew that he was finally okay with it and nothing could ruin what she had... at least nothing Jennifer was aware of.
"Hi. I'm looking for Jennifer Matthews. Where would I find her?" One of the bouncers, Gary, looked up into the face of a young man whom he had never seen before.
"What do you want with Jennifer?" he asked, suddenly suspicious.
"I'm an old acquaintance of hers from Texas," he said, flashing his backstage pass at the man standing guard at the backstage entrance.
"The backstage party has been over with now for almost two hours," he replied, giving the young man a once over with his eyes. He didn't remember Jennifer telling him to look out for an old friend. "Is she expecting you?"
"No," he replied quickly, smiling at the big guy standing in front of him. Something told him that this big guy was particularly fond of Jennifer. "I wanted to surprise her. Trust me... she'll want to see me."
"Well..." he began, not sure whether or not to let him by.
"Look, we go back a long way and she'll be real disappointed if I don't get a chance to talk to her. It's important."
"Okay," he said, not wanting to disappoint Jennifer. She was so sweet and anything he could do to help her out was just an added bonus.
"Thanks," he said, walking past Gary on his way backstage.
Suddenly Gary took hold of his arms just before he could pass through the door. "What did you say your name was?" he asked again, not remembering if he had asked before.
"I didn't," he said, and then smiled at him. "It's Ty... Ty Crump."
"Oh, okay," Gary replied, releasing his arm as the young man disappeared behind the door. Once inside, the loud mix of pop and R&B met his ears. He could also hear the screaming crowd beyond the tons of equipment and props that were standing before him. He squeezed through the crowd of technicians and ground crew that were running around keeping the special effects and sound in working order.
Ty made his way towards the music, wondering if he would be able to find Jennifer there. It had taken quite a feat to finally track her down and he had been shocked when he learned she was the publicity director for one of the hottest bands to hit the U.S. in a while. One day he hadn't heard of The Backstreet Boys and now, suddenly, they were everywhere! And the fact that Jennifer was working and traveling with them was a surprise and a thrill. Ty and Jennifer had shared a love of good music and as he worked his way through the crowd, he enjoyed the music. The closer he got to finding Jennifer, the more excited he became. He knew she would be shocked to see him, but he also hoped that enough time had passed to heal some of the hurt. He had finally realized he couldn't live without her!
"They look great!" Fatima said into Jennifer's ear.
She turned her head, smiling at her friend. "They sure do!" she replied, turning back to watch them. She practically had to yell to be heard over the crowd and the guys. "I love the choreography!"
"Thanks!" Fatima yelled back. "This is my favorite routine!" Both women watched the guys take the audience from hysteria to frenzied hysteria. Jennifer was amazed at how they could take hold of the fans and transport each one of them into a world of their own. She knew how it was... each screaming young lady out there was imagining that these guys were singing to just her. But each time Brian got close to her side of the stage, his eyes meshed with hers sending a message only to her and she knew, just knew that he was singing just to her. She wrapped her arms around herself, deliriously happy with her life for once. Things were finally working out for her!
"Jennifer!" She turned at the sound of her name to find Gary suddenly beside her. "Hey, did that guy ever find you?"
"What guy?" she asked, confusion clouding over her beautiful features.
"Uh... shit! What was his name...?" he muttered to himself.
Suddenly Jennifer saw him from beyond Gary's shoulder and her face went ashen as she whispered, "Oh my god... Ty."
"What?" Gary asked, cupping a hand to his ear.
"It's Ty!" she repeated, not really responding to Gary but muttering his name in disbelief.
"Yeah! that's it!" Gary said suddenly. "Ty!"
Jennifer's gaze turned towards Gary, surprise registered there. "You let him in here?" she asked.
"Yeah," he answered, concern suddenly coming over his face. "Why? Is there a problem?"
"Shit!" she replied, suddenly looking for a place to hide, a place to run to. She didn't want to see him. She couldn't see him! Panic suddenly rose up in her as she watched him approach where she stood with Fatima and Gary. She hadn't seen Ty since the evening before their wedding day and now, suddenly he was here! Here in her world... her world with Brian!! "Oh shit!" she repeated. BSB was starting a new song and the beat matched Jennifer's heartbeat at that same fast rate.
"Are you okay?" Fatima asked, holding onto her friend's arm. "What's wrong?"
Jennifer turned towards her, panic clearly etched on her face. "Help me," she pleaded.
"What?! Tell me...!" Fatima yelled, looking around for the source of Jennifer's sudden panic.
"It's Ty!" she yelled back, looking back over her shoulder. Suddenly Ty spotted her and he smiled, picking up the pace as he moved deliberately towards where she stood. She turned back towards Fatima, tears springing into her eyes. "What the hell am I going to do?" Fatima shrugged her shoulders, shaking her head at the predicament that was suddenly here. After all she and Brian and had been through, it just wasn't fair for this Ty guy to show up now... here.
Jennifer turned to meet Ty head on, not sure of what she was going to say but knowing she had to say something. There was no place to run... no place to hide, and to tell the truth, she was tired of running from him, from the pain that she was suddenly shocked to find was still there.
"Jen!" he called, a bright smile crossing his handsome face. She couldn't help but look him over, her eyes recalling every little thing about him that she had known so well... those inviting lips, that sexy smile of his, the way his hair curled at the nape of his neck, and those eyes! God... she had forgotten the way his eyes caressed her when they took hold of hers. "Jen," he repeated, swinging her around in his embrace. "God, it's good to see you!"
Jennifer pushed away from him, backing out of his embrace. Her eyes glowered at him as she spit out, "How dare you! You have some nerve coming here after, after..." She stopped, searching for the words to express how she felt. And then she knew she didn't know how she felt! A part of her wanted to slap his face and spit in his eye and then a part of her wanted to fall into his embrace and cry on his shoulder. "What the hell are you doing here?" she finally asked.
"Jen, I know you're pissed. You have every right to be," he offered, taking a step towards her once more. She backed off from him automatically, right into Gary.
"Okay," Gary announced, quickly assessing the situation and stepped forward, grabbing Ty by the arm. "It's time for you to leave, buddy."
Ty jerked his arm back from Gary. "Back off," he hissed and then turning to Jennifer. "Jen..." he pleaded. "You have to give me a chance to explain."
"I don't have to do anything," she said, tears suddenly springing into her eyes. After all this time, after all that had happened, she was amazed at the hurt he had brought with him again. "You made that choice for me a long time ago," she said, shaking her head at him sadly.
Suddenly Fatima was at her side, her eyes blazing at Ty. "Jennifer, tell this jerk to hit the road," she hissed.
Jennifer turned to her friend, confusion clouding her beautiful features. "Where's Brian?" she asked.
"He's still on stage, sweetie," she crooned and then her eyes turning hard back to Ty. "Get this jerk out of here before he comes off."
"Who's Brian?" Ty suddenly demanded. "Jennifer, we have to talk."
"It's none of your business who Brian is!" she suddenly shouted at him. If there was one thing she didn't want, it was for Brian and Ty to meet... especially here and now. She wasn't sure what Brian would do if he found Ty was here. And she wasn't sure what Ty would do, or better yet, what he would say. They had a lot of history together and Jennifer wasn't about to add a new problem that could come between her and Brian again. "Leave, Ty. Just leave!"
"Not until I have a chance to talk to you... to explain what happened," he said, taking a hold of her elbow. She tried to wretch it away and he held fast to her. "I deserve that at least," he pleaded with her. "Please..."
"Don't listen to him," Fatima interjected as Gary moved towards Ty once more.
"Back off," Ty warned, giving Gary a look. At his height of six two and the stature to go with it, he didn't have a problem tangling with Gary if needed. Gary knew it too as he stopped, looking over at Jennifer for direction.
She looked at Ty once more and then relented. "Its okay, Gary." She looked over at him. "Its okay," she repeated once more. And then looking at Ty she said, "Make it quick. I want you gone by the time Brian comes off-stage."
"Who's Brian?" he asked once more, looking back over her shoulder on to stage.
"It's none of your business," she repeated. "Get on with your story."
"Jennifer," he said, trying to draw her into his embrace. "I was a fool. I love you. Nothing's changed."
She slapped at his hands as they tried to encircle her waist. "You jerk!! You asshole!! Everything's changed!!" she said, her voice lifting with every word that came out of her mouth. "The minute my father had to stop the wedding to announce to me and the 350 guests that were there that you hadn't bothered to show up for our wedding, everything changed!!" She stepped away from him, started to walk away and then circled back to face him once more. "You are a dog!! The lowest of low!! I can barely stand to look at you!!"
"Bullshit!" he countered. "You still love me or you wouldn't give a shit!"
Tears sprang into her eyes as she stared at him. "You don't know what love is!" she retorted. "If you had really cared about me, you wouldn't have left me at that altar." When he just stood there and watched her she fired again, "You had a choice to either walk down that aisle or not and chose the later!"
"You're right," he admitted. "But now, now I choose you. I was a fool but I'm here to make amends.... to get you back and I'm not leaving without accomplishing that goal!"
"You're so full of crap!" she screamed, suddenly losing control of her anger. She flailed at him then, her small fists beating on his chest. "You deserted me at that altar!! Do you know how humiliating that is?! Do you have any idea what you put me through?!" Through her tears all she could see was that terrible day, the faces of the 350 guests that sat waiting and then the pity written across everyone's face that she had seen afterwards.
Ty pulled her into his embrace and she collapsed against him, gasping for breath and the tears rolling unchecked down her face. She leaned into him, her sobs racking her body. He wrapped his arms around her and buried his face in her hair. It had been so long and he longed to kiss her, to make everything right between them again. They had loved another so well and he wanted that back again.
That is how Brian found them as the band came off stage one last time for their final costume change. The rest of the guys stopped around him as he stopped suddenly, wondering who in the hell was holding his girlfriend! And then suddenly he saw her step away from him once more, her hand coming up to slap his face. "You heartless bastard!" she screamed.
Suddenly Brian was beside her, reaching past her for Ty as he realized suddenly who it had to be and jealousy like he had never know took over. As he grabbed Ty by the collar and hauled him up before him, he spit out, "Don't you touch her! I swear to God, I'll kill you!"
Ty's physical stature loomed over Brian's smaller one but to no avail. Jennifer quickly realized that in Brian's state of mind that size didn't matter. And worse yet, they were in the middle of a concert! "Don't you talk to me that way, you little punk!" Ty hissed, shoving Brian away from him.
If it hadn't been for Jennifer's hand on Brian's arm pulling him back away from Ty, a physical confrontation would have resulted in Ty's remark. "Brian, don't!" she pleaded with him. "He's not worth it!"
"So... you're Brian," Ty hissed. "Not much to look at." That did it! Brian flew at him, his fists pummeling at his face. Suddenly Kevin, A.J., and Nick were pulling at Brian as Gary tackled Ty to the ground. Jennifer screamed as Fatima took her by the arm, keeping her from getting involved as well. With all the noise that the screaming fans were making back in the audience and all the noise that was suddenly coming from the side stage as well, there were more security suddenly surrounding them and pulling the guys apart. Jennifer burst into tears once more, not only for the situation but for the concert that was quickly coming apart.
She pulled free of Fatima as she charged at Ty, grabbing hold of his arm once more. "Don't do this here," she begged, tears streaming down her face. "Please... this is not the place." She turned to Brian, struggling to free himself of his friends' grips. "Brian," she pleaded, coming over to touch his shoulder. "He's not worth it. You have a concert to finish."
"The only thing I'm going to finish is him," he hissed, struggling once more against Nick and A.J.
"Come on man," Kevin said, coming around to face his cousin. He grabbed hold of Brian's shoulders and shook him as A.J. and Nick continued to hold him. "You've got to let this go. We have a job to finish and Gary can take care of this creep."
Gary had Ty on the floor, placing handcuffs on his wrists as he struggled, calling out for Jennifer. Jennifer looked over at Ty once more and then ran to Brian, throwing her arms around his neck. He quickly shrugged off A.J. and Nick and wrapped her in his embrace. "Did he hurt you?" he asked, kissing her full on the lips and then looking her over.
"No, I'm okay," she cried. "Are you okay?" She looked him over and then wrapped him tighter in her embrace.
"Yeah," he hissed, looking over her shoulder as Gary hauled Ty up.
"Jen," he pleaded. "I've got to talk to you. Please, tell this jerk to get off of me."
She turned to face Ty and said, "You should have never come here." Tears filled her eyes once more as she added, "Why did you come here?"
"To explain what happened. Why I didn't show for the wedding," he said.
"I don't care anymore," she said, shaking her head at him.
"I think you do," he said. Brian started for him once more but Jennifer pulled him back to her. "You want to know what happened and I'm here to tell you. You have to give me a chance to explain."
Jennifer turned to face him. "Okay, so explain."
"Not like this," he said, twisting his head to encompass everyone standing around them. Then he held up his hands for her to see the handcuffs. "We need to talk privately."
She looked around at the crowd. Howie had come back with the guys' outfits and they were quickly shrugging them on, everyone but Brian. She turned towards him and said, "Brian. You have to finish the concert. I'm going to listen to Ty."
"No," he said adamantly, shaking his head at her as he grasped her on the arms. "I'm staying here with you."
"You can't," she explained. "How am I going to explain why you didn't show up for the last part of the concert. It's unprofessional." She turned back to look at Ty once more and then looked at Brian. "He is not worth all the heartache and trouble that this will cause if you don't go back out there."
"She's right," Howie said, handing Brian his outfit. "It's best to come back out and let her handle it." All the rest of the guys nodded in agreement as they slapped him on the back.
He turned to face each of them, knowing he couldn't let them or the fans down. But he was torn between that and the fact that he knew Jennifer needed him. He turned to her once more and took her in his arms, suddenly afraid that after all they had been through this was going to tear them apart once more. As if she could read his mind, she cradled his face in her hands and swore, "Brian... I love you! Nothing changes that. Do you hear me? Nothing!!"
He searched her eyes and then drew her into his embrace, his breath caressing her cheek. "I love you Jen. Don't you ever forget that!"
She pulled back from him, a smile on her face. "Go do your thing and let me handle this. I'm a big girl." She kissed him one last time and pushed him gently to where the rest of the band stood ready to go back on. The crowd was chanting their names over and over, each time getting louder and louder. "Your public awaits. Go give them the show of their lives." She reached over once more, kissing him full on the lips as the guys started back out and a deafening roar met her ears as she watched them jog back onto stage.
Jennifer turned back towards Ty as he shrugged off Gary. "Get off me," he hissed, and then turning towards Jennifer, "Tell this goon to take these off me," he said.
She looked at him, seeing that he was calm and knew now since Brian was back on stage, things would be calmer. "Its okay, Gary," she said turning towards him. "He doesn't need those."
"I'm going to call the cops on his sorry ass," Gary said, picking up his cell phone.
"That's not necessary," she said, reaching out to touch his arm. "It's okay, really." At his questioning gaze, she reassured him once more. "Ty's harmless. It's okay."
"If you say so," Gary grumbled, grabbing his keys and took hold of Ty's arms roughly as he shoved the key into the handcuffs.
"Watch it," Ty warned and then rubbed his wrists when they came loose. "I should sue your ass."
"Ty, you're the one that's interrupted and caused trouble here," Jennifer pointed out as she saw Gary's temper rising once more. "Gary, Fatima... excuse us for a minute," she said, grabbing Ty's arm and ushered him back to the green room at the back of the stage.
"Jennifer, you've got yourself mixed up with a great crowd there," Ty said once they entered the green room and she closed the door behind them. "Where did you get a hold of them?"
Jennifer turned to face him, her eyes blazing. "Drop it and get to the point," she said, crossing her arms over her chest as she glared at him. "Tell me your sad, pitiful story and then get the hell out."
"Jen..." he said, starting for her.
"From there," she demanded, pointing back to the spot where he had been standing.
"Fine," he said, raising his hands in an attempt to hold off her temper. "Whoa girl!" he said, gently laughing at her anger.
"What's so funny?!" she demanded. "Why are you laughing?! There's nothing to laugh about!"