Chapter 5: Love Bites and a Final Blow
That night, everyone went to our house to have dinner. We got to know Ben a little bit better. He was a pretty cool. A little too cool. I couldn’t imagine why Ken was so disappointed and I didn’t want to make any assumptions. Serena seemed especially enthralled with Ben. So did Chris. Ben and Dad also seemed to be getting along. Probably because of Ben always talking about how men do things.
After about two hours of talking and laughing, I started to get bored. So I silently slipped away and went to the garage. There, I played my drums, a cadence to “As Long As You Love Me”. It sounded pretty good. After about fifteen minutes. Amy came outside.
“That’s a nice song.” She told me.
“Thanks. I liked the songs you guys made too.”
She giggled as she approached. “I had no idea you knew how to play the drums.”
“Yeah well, Chris and me have been playing music since I can remember. HE even knows how to work the turntables.”
She laughed, covering her mouth every so bashfully with the back of her dainty hands. I could see she was coming on to me and the heat rushed from my chest. Next thing I knew, Amy came and sat down over my lap. Her perfume was intoxicating and my heart rate was out of control. I couldn’t believe it. I must have had the dumbest look on my face.
“You know, you and Chris are an odd bunch. I mean, you’re all smart, you hold your ground, don’t let anyone push you around. But the thing I like best about you is your conscience. Your determination.”
I thought it was ironic that she’d think that…having the audacity to sit on my lap as if I wouldn’t care.
She continued, her breathes grazing my ear as she said, “I mean, you’re the first guy to ever stand up to me and my cousins like that. And you’re just a normal human being.”
“Oh..damn.” I said under my breath as she started to move around on my lap.
“What?” She chuckled.
“Uh…That’s sort of like your cousins and Serena. You guys are always on task and focused on what you’re doing while Serena’s always goofing off or complaining.”
She started laughing, a light-hearted cute laugh. “That’s true.” She gushed.
Our laughter faded to silence. We gazed into each others eyes. I could’ve sworn I saw whole constellations in her big blue eyes. My heart was about to burst from my chest when she moved in for my lips.
“Uh, so how are you and Ryu doing!” I said suddenly, as if I had reached the surface for air.
“Ryu is okay. But he’s too dull. He’s always practicing karate or writing songs. And that’s on his spare time!”
“So what don’t you talk to him about it?” I asked.
She smiled. “I’d rather talk to you.”
Immediately, she wrapped her arms around my shoulders and started making out with me. She was surprisingly strong. It was like I was caught under a spell, under her control. My hands started to slip around her waist and after about 15 seconds, I came to my senses and pushed her off of me. Standing up and turning away. I couldn’t look at her.
“Amy! I don’t know what that was. But I can’t let it happen again!”
She was on the floor staring up at me with a look that gradually got saucy. “So now what? You’re gonna tell Ryu?”
“Amy…you’re a very beautiful girl. And attractive. But you can’t do Ryu like this. No, I’m not gonna tell him. I mean, it was just a kiss right?”
Her eyes got glossy. But she nodded and pulled herself together.
“So, we’ll let what happened here, stay in the garage.” I said, extending a hand to lift her up.
“Thanks” She said, getting up and patting off the back of her skirt.
Just as we were hugging, Lana came out. Followed by Renny and Mina. Serena was still having a good time with Ken’s dad. I saw her from the open door.
“What’s going on?” Lana asked.
Amy turned around, startled. “Uh! What do you mean?”
“What’s with the hugs?” Mina asked.
“Oh, she was just apologizing for the way she was acting towards me.” I said with haste.
“What did she do to you?” Lana said, as if no one should ever apologize to me.
“Well it’s none of your business.” I said, matching her attitude.
She was about to snap back when suddenly Ben came out with everyone else.
“Whoa man! That meal was like, bosanova!” Ben said patting his stomach. Everyone agreed and laughed at his every whit, while Lana just kept glaring at me. I glared back.
“Oh! I almost forgot. The business. Mom, Dad, could I speak to you in private about the future of the Backstreet Boys?” Ben said.
It was kind of funny to me. Ben came, spent two hours eating, and forgot the reason why he visited in the first place. Lana kept staring at me. I was starting to get pissed. Mom and Dad went back inside.
As soon as the grown-ups were gone, I approached Lana and put my hands together, trying to stay calm.
“What did I do now?” I asked her.
“You think I care what you do? I don’t.”
“Well you sure do a good job of staring a hole through my face.”
That’s when she pushed me. But I caught her arms and tried to swing her. She was stronger. She whipped me to the ground, rolled on top and started pummeling me with punches. I did my best to cover up as everyone swarmed to separate us, loud, and noisy. Amy was the first to hook Lana by the arms and pull her off.
“Get off of me! Let me go!” Lana shouted as she struggled to reach for my face.
Finally they pulled her away and I crawled to sit against the wall.
“Lana, chill out man!” Chris stressed.
“Oh shut up!” Lana snapped as she walked out of the garage towards the parked limo. Amy followed her.
“Jesus, Majestic. What did you do?” Ryu asked.
“Tell you the truth, I think she got jealous when she saw me hugging Amy.”
Ryu stood over me and crossed his arms. He smiled and asked, “Well, why were you hugging my Amy?”
“I forgave her for the way she acted towards me when we first met.” I told him.
“Anyways…” Chris said. “What do you guys think Mr. B’s talking to our parents about?
“Probably signing a deal.” Ken suggested.
“No offense, Ken, but can we trust your dad?” I asked.
“Don’t worry, Majestic!” Serena said all cheerful. “Mr. B may seem a little goofy but he’s a dedicated workaholic.”
“He’s one of the most creative men in the world.” Mina added.
“That’s what makes me mad.” Ken said. “He’s so into his work that he hardly has time for me.”
Rei, with her long black hair and red eye shadow, kept watching me as she leaned against the car. “Majestic, why would Amy need to apologize to you. Out of all of us, she treated you the best.”
I smiled nervously, then looked at Ryu. His straight face was about to turn ugly.
“What’s up with you and my girl, punk?”
Everyone was staring. The anxiety was caving in.
“Nothing man. I guess she felt guilty about the way the rest of you guys were treating me.”
Ryu’s black bangs were almost covering his eyes but he tightened his squint.
“You need a haircut, bro.” I said with a smirk.
Everyone started chuckling and Ryu let it go. Rei walked off to the limo to join Amy and Lana.
“Lana, you really need to calm down.” Amy pleaded.
Lana looked at Amy in earnest. “Amy, we’ve been best friends since before I can remember. Now tell me the truth.”
Amy slouched against the limo, her remorse apparent. With sorrow in her eyes, she told Lana and Rei what had happened. No one else overheard.
“Oh my god, Amy.” Lana groaned.
Amy wept. “I’m sorry! But there’s just something about Majestic. When he sings, when he dances, his courage. Oh god! I’m sorry.
Lana sympathized and embraced Amy. “Promise you won’t tell, Ryu.” Amy muffled into her chest.
Rei scoffed. “Amy!”
“I still love Ryu!” Amy said. “Majestic is just so…so…”
“Different.” Lana finished.
Amy looked up into Lana’s eyes. She could tell Lana understood.
“I won’t tell.” Lana whispered.
“Thank you!” Amy said with the utmost relief. Rei, however, remained on the fence.
Moments later, everyone came out to the limo, even Ben. Mom and Dad stayed inside. Serena was complaining about how cold it was until Ryu noticed Amy and Lana had streaks down their cheeks from where they’d been crying. He gave Amy a hug and asked what was wrong. Amy smiled, assuring him everything was alright.
“Alright, everybody in!” Ben said.
They said their goodbyes and filed in. Mr. B rolled down the windows. “I’ll catch you boys in a few days. Alright?”
Chris and I both said yeah in unison before the limo pulled off down the street.
“What do you think Mr. B said to mom and dad?” Chris asked.
I put my arm around his shoulder. “Chris, we’ve got a lot to talk about.”
The moment we were in the house, mom and dad called us into their room. We each had a chair and paid attention. Mom and dad were in bed, as they usually were when the planned to give us a long lecture. Luckily, they had proud looks on their faces.
They told us that Ben Masters wanted to sign us as the Backstreet Boys to an exclusive contract with Revolution Studios. From here on out, our lives were going to be different. We’d become celebrities. Our privacy, our childhood, any sense of normalcy would be given over to a new way of life. A fast-paced of high demands and constant scrutiny. They wanted to make sure we were prepared, that this was what we wanted.
Of course, that was exactly what we wanted. Or so we thought. How could we possibly have known any better? So we were excited. We bragged and celebrated. We hugged our parents and wished them good night before we went to our rooms and I told Chris all about what had happened between Amy and I.
“What?! You pushed her off? Are you gay?” He asked me.
“No! Chris, it was just the right thing to do.”
“I know, bro. I was kidding. I think Lana got jealous.”
“I think so too, Chris. I dunno. I can’t smiling about it all.”
“I think I might be jealous. You punk.”
Chris and I laughed a little bit longer and called it a night.
We were almost done with the movie. The next couple days, G-Force finished up the last scenes of the movie. Our friendship got stronger with each passing day. I even let my hair grow out to get short braids. Then…it was Christmas.
Besides snow, we had a cold, wet and rainy day. It was kind of a drag. We would have stayed home and enjoyed the day, but it was the final day of shooting. Chris got to stay home because his lines were done. Yep. It was just me, the Sailor Scouts, Ken, and Ryu.
The final day was emotional for some of the crew. For me, I was worried if Ken’s dad would even come back. He’d been gone for over a week. I guess that was Hollywood talk for a couple of days.
It’s been real, getting to know everybody. For some reason, Lana wasn’t that angry at me after the garage fight way back when. She started to seem nervous around me. I still thought she was the prettiest I’d ever seen. I wondered how she felt anything like that about me. In wishful thinking, I thought she did that couple of times I caught her staring at me out of the blue. But it was hard to tell. With her always swinging on me.
I stayed behind the scenes most of the day, behind the lights and camera. My part didn’t come till later, when in fact…I’d have to kiss Lana. In a way, I was looking forward to it. Until then, I enjoyed the Christmas festivities with the crew. Ken and Ryu sang some of their old hits. Security was tight but so many fans arrived for their autographs. I persuaded them let some fans through.
Most of the fans streamed straight for Ken and Ryu, but some of them were also huge fans of the Sailor Scouts. Then there was one girl. She seemed only interested in me. She was gorgeous. It was 32 degrees out but she was wearing a Sailor Scout uniform. As if she was in costume or something. But she was hot. She had blue hair, not as dark as Amy’s, and much longer. She stared at me from across the room and for the life of me, I pretended not to notice.
My eyes were glued to Serena acting out her scene with Lana and Rei. Serena’s mouth was running non-stop, talking up a storm about the dilemma of choosing between two suitors. Rei would call her all sorts of names and tell her to just pick one and it was all hilarious. Serena and Rei were like a cat and dog they were they went back and forth, witty and charming.
Lana portrayed the strong, silent type who was often the voice of reason. She smiled and nodded. But when she wasn’t watching Serena and Rei, Lana was watching me. She noticed the girl in blue staring at me across the way. It was a friggin test.
The girl came right up to me and tapped my left shoulder. I closed my eyes and turned to her before they opened. “Hi, can I help you?”
“Are you Majestic?” She said with a soft baby voice. Although with that body, she looked sixteen.
For a moment, I was tempted to lie. “Yes. That would be me.”
“I heard the song for movie.”
“How? The CD hasn’t even come out yet.”
“Well, its on the internet.” She chuckled. “You guys are going to rock!”
She was so enthusiastic. I started to blush.
“You sing the bridge part right?”
“Yeah.” I nodded, grinning like an idiot.
“Well um…I was wondering. Could you sing it for me?” She said, shimmying her smooth shoulders toward me.
I sat her down in a chair and took off my jacket.
♪I tried to hide it so that no one knows
♪But I guess it shows…when you look into my eyes
♪What you did and where you coming from
♪I dont care!
♪As long as you love me baby
She and the crew clapped. Even the fans that were thronged to Ken and Ryu cheered for me. Everyone was impressed but the director came over and silenced us. He had to yell cut and Serena had to do her scene all over again. I apologized profusely, but was happy to have done it. It was irresponsible. I wasn’t sure what came over me, but I was smiling so much that my face started to hurt.
“Majestic! That was great! I feel so close to you right now.” The girl said, standing up, clearly smitten.
“Who are you? What grade are you in?” I asked her.
“My name is Cameron. I’m about to turn 13 in August. They’re my cousins. Just came from Los Angeles to spend Christmas with the girls.” She said, referring to Rei, Serena, and Lana.
She kept talking but I stopped listening as soon as she said she was Lana’s cousin.
“When I heard your voice…I fell in love with you.” She said. “It’s like…I can tell how a person is by the way they talk.”
She put her finger on my lip to silence me.
“You’re right! Love is crazy.” She said. At that, no lie…she pulled me into her arms and kissed me.
Almost everyone stopped what they were doing. Even the director stopped the scene for a second. They chewed and awed. And when we stopped kissing, they all clapped.
“Alright Majestic!” Ken shouted.
Amy and Lana flashed their shock and abhorrence at each other with Amy ending up looking at the floor in disappointment. Lana got angry. More angry than ever before. I discovered this when we started out scene.
It was at 5:30 when the director called Lana and I to the set for our scene. In the movie, it was supposed to be the last day of school. And I was supposed to kiss Lana goodbye. As I was performing my lines, I noticed Lana’s eyes were red from tears. I continued and got through it. When it was her cue to speak, Lana didn’t say anything.
“Lana! Say your lines!” the director whispered aloud.
“Why don’t you get Cameron to do it!” Lana erupted.
She ran from the set and through the hallway. I followed.
“Lana, wait! I know why you’re upset!” I said as I caught up with her and grabbed her shoulder to turn her around.
“It’s because I kissed Cameron isn’t it!”
In a blur of motion, Lana slugged me with the most vicious right hook I ever tasted. Before I could even fall, she yanked me up by the collar, jacked me against the wall and punched me in the stomach. The pain was intense, like getting stabbed in that pit beneath my navel. By the time Ken and Ryu got to me, I was on my knees in agony. Lana turned and ran out into the cold freezing rain wearing nothing but her schoolgirl outfit.
“Damn!” Ryu said, half amused. “You alright?”
I was pissed, still cringing from the pain. “Where did she go?” I growled.
“Outside,” Rei said, walking up.
I barged past Ken and Ryu and shouldered through the doors.
“Majestic wait!” Mina called out. “Where are you going?”
“To settle this once and for all!” I shouted back.
“Let’s go.” Ken said as he started follow.
That’s when Ryu put a hand on his shoulder and said “Don’t. Majestic’s right. They should settle this.”
“I’ll go and make sure they don’t kill each other.” Amy suggested.
“Alright, Amy. But remember. Let them settle this.” Ryu reminded.
Amy nodded. And before their eyes she did her little dance where she transformed into Sailor Mercury. Then, she was out the door coming after us. In the gray, cold, freezing afternoon rain.
Lana was running along the side of the road and I raced after her. She was fast. But I was faster. I was determined to finish the fight we started the day we first met. She glanced over her shoulder and spotted me, increasing her speed as if I wasn’t already losing my breath. But I pushed on. I wasn’t about to lose her. And right when it felt like I was out of gas, I got my second wind, tapping into the reserve tanks to keep running, flailing my arms and half blind with the rain stinging my eyes.
At home, Chris was having a good ole time drinking egg nog. He was with mom and dad, watching “The Temptations” all cozy in the living room.
“Damn!” I thought. “How long are you gonna keep this up.”
My legs started to tighten up but gradually, I closed in on her. And while the boost of confidence was something I needed, I noticed something. I could sense her. It was like she was giving out some kind of heat or energy. I could sense something else. I was being followed. Thankfully, the energy from my pursuer wasn’t as powerful as Lana’s.
After a fifteen-minute sprint, I realized that she was leading me to my house. So I slowed down, wondering if this was a trap. With the Sailor Scouts, I didn’t know what to expect. We came to within three houses of my own when Lana stopped and transformed into Sailor Jupiter. I watched, wheezing, catching my breath with this perplexed, frustrated look on my face.
There we stood in a stare down from forty yards. The gray clouds were darkening and the freezing rain picked up. Whoever was following me must had stopped and hid because I could barely sense them. Then…we started for each other in a begrudgingly heavy march.
“Lana, this is crazy!” I shouted over the rain. “What do you have to get so mad? If you like me, just tell me!”
“What makes you think for one limey second that I like you!?
“Because I saw it in your eyes!” I roared. “I saw it when Amy hugged me and when Cameron kissed me.”
“Majestic!” She said, grinding her teeth. “I never felt this way about anyone. But it’s not because I like you. I hate you. You’re attractive, but that’s it. The reason I can’t stand you is because you’re normal. You’re normal and you beat me in a fight. Sailor Moon might be more powerful but I’m the strongest and you beat me! If I can’t a mere mortal like you, then I’m a failure.”
“Lana, you don’t understand. I’m not…”
“The only one who can beat me is the son of the most powerful mutant in the world. And you’re not half the man Kyo is.”
“Lana, you have to let me explain.”
“SHUT UP! And get ready.”
There was no other way. I put on the red gloves from Chris’s dreams and let the focus surge through me. Getting in the shotoken stance Ken taught me, I faced off against the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen. Sailor Jupiter. And I sensed it. Her power started to grow, like a burning furnace getting hotter. Even the rain turned to steam before making contact with her.
Inside the house, Chris could feel the strange sensation in the air and was prompted to cautiously walk over to the window. He stared down the street and sighed. “Oh man…Majestic, I sure hope you know what you’re doing.” He said.
Jupiter let out a blood-curdling scream and charged for me. She was moving so fast, but I was ready. She threw a fast punch aimed for my nose, but I side-stepped and kneed her in the stomach. As she staggered back, I jumped forward and spun for a back-heel kick that slammed into her chest. She went skidding back down the wet road. Chris cheered, covering his mouth and looking around to see if mom and dad had noticed him.
While she was still sliding on her back, she kicked back to her feet and rushed me again. This time, before she got too close, she juked to her left and clubbed me with a double-fisted swing that had me sprawling into the chain-link fence. It hurt so bad. I thought my jaw was dislocated.
I recovered just in time to block a roundhouse aimed for my head but the strength of her kick rattled the nerves in my neck like whiplash. In that slight daze, Sailor Jupiter took advantage. She was good. I thought Ken’s karate was dazzling, but Sailor Jupiter did a three-kick combo, a double-tap to the ribs followed by a spinning crescent kick to the face. I hit the ground hard.
I rolled to my back and heard her roaring as she came down to slam her knee into my stomach, but I moved just in time. Seeing the crater she pounded into the street enraged me further. I felt a wave of energy rush through my body and I charged her from her blindside, throwing an uppercut into her ribcage that launched her into the air. I rose up before she could fall and spiked her into the buildup of rainwater filling the drainage ditch.
I was breathing hard. My muscles felt like they were burning off of my bones. I wanted to think it was over, but I remembered the last time I turned my back and walked away in the middle of a fight. Sure enough, Sailor Jupiter emerged from the ditch and held out her hands like she was about to stop an incoming car.
“JUPITER LIGHTNING POWER!”
She shouted this before a bolt of lightning circled around her. My eyes widened with terror and apprehension. She didn’t even hit me yet and I was already experiencing a flashback of the agony from her last lighting strike that hit me in the gut.
Sailor Jupiter discharged the streaks of lightning at me and I clenched up with my eyes half open thinking that was the end. But the thing is, I caught with my bare hands. A loud electric ball of lightning was wrapped around me hands. It was incredible. As if I didn’t feel like I was inside a sauna already, my body heat only amplified. I wanted it to stop. I’d rather have just taken the hit than have this raw dangerous power burning around my red gloves. It got heavier as if the lightning was being overcharged. My bones felt like they were about to crack under the pressure.
“I CAN’T TAKE THIS MUCH LONGER!” I shouted.
Suddenly a gale force wind whirled all around me. Power to all the houses immediately shut off in a neighborhood wide blackout. “AAAAAAAH!!!” I screamed.
The electricity charging in my grasps shot forth in a massive bolt of lightning punching Sailor Jupiter in the dead center of her chest, knocking her off her feet. The lightning was accompanied by a loud near-deafening boom. As soon as I discharged all the power from my fingertips, power to the neighborhood came back on. I stood, frozen in place, stiff as a rock.
Chris came running outside. “Majestic! You did it! Alright.”
I didn’t think I was in control. And the pain of going through such an ordeal was still rattling my bones. Chris didn’t help. He slapped me on my back, cheering, “Alright, Majestic.”
It felt like someone just belted me with a hot poker. I love Chris as a brother, but in that moment, the pain streaking across my back caused me to react in kind. I punched him hard in the chest, sending him flying over the drainage ditch and rolling across the yard.
“MERCURY STAR POWER!”
A massive blue beam of what felt like ice water in a hard wave blasted me from my back and caused me to wash out over the street. The attack was so strange. It was like a linebacker just pummeled into my back, I was underwater for a second, and the last thing I knew, I was face down on the asphalt coughing up like I was just saved from drowning.
Chris ran over. I saw his shoes. Then I saw someone in blue boots join him. It was Amy, Sailor Mercury. Then I blacked out.
“Thanks.” Chris told her.
“Don’t mention it. Really. Don’t mention it.” She told him. “Come on. We need to get them out of the rain, Chris.”