Standard Lines
Chapter Eleven
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Twelve

June 27, 2008


First off, props to my mother for covertly getting this letter to me within days of it arriving at her house. sounds like troubles are hitting us both here lately. While Nick and I are doing well together, we're both down and out from some of the things being said to us and about us. We stopped in Salt Lake City last night for an impromptu radio show because one of Nick's DJ friends, Beau Richards, works at the Top-40 station there, and Beau interviewed him on-air. The interview led to Nick doing a 30-minute show and an hour's worth of meet-and-greets. Everything started out okay. About 150-200 people showed up and Nick rocked out on the rooftop of the radio station. There was a window to the top floor of the two-story station behind him, so I sat in there and got to watch him shake his ass and scare me to death, thinking he was going to fall off the roof. He gets such a kick out of scaring the shit out of me.

The performance was awesome. The crowd was hyped and Nick was amazing, as usual. Afterwards, he went down into the parking lot and talked to a lot of girls, signing things and taking photos with them. For the first 30 minutes, things were as calm and cool as can be expected of 100 screaming 20-something year old women. I remained up in the upstairs room and watched everything unfold as it did.

Then, about 45 minutes into it, this group of girls sees me and one of them yells out, "Look, it's her, Yoko Ono!" The color drained from my face and I saw Nick's eyes widen in horror as he looked up at me. A bunch of the girls look up at me and their looks of cheer and excitement furrowed maddeningly and they begin screaming things at me, like, "You're the reason the Backstreet Boys broke up!" and "You're just having a baby to keep Nick!" and "If it weren't for you, Nick would be happier and still in the group." I'm pretty sure the words "bitch" and "slut" were also included.

Nick and I have been married for how long now? Four years? I thought the fans were over this already! You know how horrible things were when the fans found out Nick and I were dating and how it worsened with every step of our relationship. I can understand some of the sentiment there with Nick's previous serious relationships, given I was the first decent woman he ever dated and all, but many of them met me and they came to trust me and that Nick was safe with me, but now? After four years of marriage?

And how DARE they say that I'm having my child to "keep" Nick!! I fucking MARRIED Nick so I could keep him. Don't they see the validation of our wedding vows? Don't they see that he and I made a lifelong committment to each other and that nothing they can say or do is going to change that?! I really don't get these rabid Nick fans.

Then some of these crazy girls tried to get into the building so they could come up and tell me to my face what they thought of me. I was like, "Oh hell no. I may be 7 months pregnant and as big as the side of a house, but I will beat some bitches' asses." You know me. That was when Nick abruptly ended the meet-and-greets and the DJ told everyone the show was over. He came up to where I was at and got me. Nick told me he was sorry they were calling me names and saying things about me and I told him it wasn't his fault.

We had to wait about an hour and a half before we could sneak out the back door and jet to the bus to make the 5.5 hour drive to Vegas where has a show tonight. Nick was so quiet throughout the drive. I wound up falling asleep off and on and every time I woke up, he was starting solemnly out the window into the dark night.

I didn't have to ask him what was wrong. After seven years with someone, you start to know what their moods mean.

I knew he was thinking about the guys.

I wanted to ask him if he really believed I was the cause of the group breaking up, but I knew it was silly. Everything was great up until the day of the wedding, as far as my relationship with Nick versus his music career as it was for Brian and Leighanne, you and Howie, Kevin and Kristin, and A.J. and Sarah. We didn't stop them from recording their album. We didn't tell them they couldn't hang out with the fans. We were just there for the ride and to be with the men we loved. Nothing wrong with that, right?

I haven't been feeling too well here lately, so I've ducked out of the shows and stayed in the hotel room. Right now, Nick's off at the MGM Grand, performing the 23rd show of the tour, and I'm lying on the most plush, comfortable, king-sized pillow-top mattress with Egyptian cotton high-thread count sheets, and my mountain of a belly is being used as a desktop for me to write you this letter. My doctor is a little worried about me. He has been hassling me about traveling so much so far into my pregnancy and there have been some issues with my blood sugar levels. Dr. Mitchell thinks I may be on the cusp of developing gestational diabetes. Nick knows about that, but not that I've had some spotting lately and it's cause for concern with my doctor. I don't want him to worry more than necessary.

I'm exhausted and achy and emotional all of the time. Nick doesn't know what to do with me. He's been so wonderful though. So wonderful. I don't know if it's because he's getting to tour again or because of the baby or because he just realizes what a great thing he has with me and he's decided he wants to try to keep it. Whatever it is, he's been great. He's cut down on his drinking majorly and he FINALLY quit smoking for good. He's even lost a little weight, even though he knows I love him no matter what he looks like. I happen to like a little chub on that tummy of his even if it bugs him to death when I say so.

Things aren't perfect, don't get me wrong. We still fight from time to time, but we get everything out when we're feeling it, we're painfully honest with each other, and we try to resolve everything before the night is over with. The last big fight we had was right after my doctor's appointment, right after I told him what the doctor said about my blood sugar levels. He thinks I should go home, but I don't want to be there alone with him a thousand miles away, and he took it as me not trusting him on the road with all of his horny female fans and blew up at me. He said that I'm crazy to think he'd ever cheat on me again, especially now with us expecting a child. He said he was hurt that I thought he would do something like that again.
I don't know how he could think, with my trust issues before he cheated on me plus those issues added on, that I fully 100% trust him right now. Don't get me wrong, he's been great. I love him with all of my heart and I know it's the same for him. There's just this uneasiness inside of me when I think of Nick being on the road alone with his not-so-wonderful friends (though, thank God, he's managed to weed out the worst ones) and I know how lonely he gets. That loneliness and those friends of his always lead him into trouble. As much as I am excited to be a mother, I almost resent the timing of this pregnancy. I guess though, when you're married to a music man *humming "Faithfully"*, the timing for anything outside of it is never going to be perfect.

I've been on my laptop tonight, reading this fan forum that Nick and I have been lurking on for years, and the fans that were jeering at me earlier have gone onto the site to talk about how I wouldn't come out and talk to any of them, that I was a bitch, that Nick deserved better, etc etc etc. I just want to scream or cry or both. I am 7 months pregnant!! Do they honestly think I'm going to subject my baby's health and my own safety for the sake of appeasing a bunch of girls who think I'm something special just because I'm married to the person they're all still writing their x-rated fan fiction stories about? Especially with the things they were saying about me?! These girls are insane. I understand the Nick fandom--we both know I was there with the best of them at one time--but this is just ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.


Okay. I've got that off of my chest now so I can now reply to your letter like a real friend would.


Nick has finally gotten over the fact that we will not be naming our son after him. I told him it'd just be too weird with my bedroom habit of calling out Nick's name in the middle of things. Shawn Elliot Carter, it is. SEC. Mr. Uber-College Football Fan liked those initials. I guess I can appreciate them too, growing up with red and white painted across my cheeks, screaming, "Roll Tide!!" at the top of my lungs for the University of Alabama. I love the name. He's going to need to be a strong kid with parents like his.

Shawn is definitely kicking a lot more now. He's fine. Everything is developing according to plan. It's just Mommy that's not doing A-Ok. Nick and I sing to him when we're lying in bed at night. Nick and I still make love when we're both up for it, which is decreasing more and more the further we get along on this tour and pregnancy. Nick loves to rub and kiss my stomach and lay his head on it to feel the baby kick. There's just this sheer innocence to Nick when he's resting there, this youthful curiosity to him, that springs tears to my eyes. I love that man so much more than I could ever imagine loving someone. Despite all of the shit he's done to me this year, we are closer than we've ever been. I really, really, really hope me being home with the baby doesn't fuck it all up.

I wanted to stop in Charlotte so much. With every exit sign indicating that we were drawing nearer and near to the city, I was mentally checklisting every possible excuse I could use to get Nick to let us stop. For once, I didn't even have to pee and Nick was so anal about being on time. I was thisclose to calling him Kevin like we used to when he'd get like that. I bit my lip to keep it in because I didn't want to make Nick mad. Calling him Kevin would be worse than kneeing him in the groin at this point. He'd never forgive me for it.

Yes, I do believe you'd have quite a lot to say to Nick, and I would make him listen to every single word.

When we drove into the outer limits of the town on the interstate, I looked in every car to see if you and Howie were in any of them. I don't know what I would've done had I seen ya'll, but just seeing all of those North Carolina tags and not knowing what you were doing at that exact time had me checking every single vehicle that passed us by.

I was quite amazed at Nick perfoming the songs from the album either. Apparently, he still listens to those songs from time to time. I heard him humming along to "I Want It That Way" when we stopped at Wendy's last night to grab some burgers on the way to Vegas. It made me smile to look up at him and see his body threatening to knock him to his knees and belt out, "Don't wanna hear you saaaaaaaaaay..." He wanted to so much, it was so obvious. I wound up stifling a giggle into his arm and he just looked at me all confused-like and smiled. He knew though.

Oh gosh...the barbeques. Girl, no one could cook up a mean rack of ribs like  Howie Dorough. Howie might've whined about getting his hands messy and the barbeque sauce that got under his perfectly manicured nails, but he really cooked the hell out of those ribs. And the potato salad you made was absolutely divine. I still crave it to this day. It was such a wonderfully relaxing time. No fans. No media. No managers and bodyguards and all that jazz. Just Nick, me, Howie, you, Brian, Leighanne, Baylee, Kevin, Kristin, A.J., and Sarah, laughing and digging in. Nick, Brian, and Kevin would be drunk before the evening was up and would wind up throwing each other in the pool. A.J. and Sarah would have napkins thrown at them for making out in front of everyone. Kristin, Leighanne, and I would be playing with Baylee, and you and Howie would be cuddling on the swing, lost in your own little world together. Before long, Nick would run over to me--his drenched self--wrap his arms around me, scoop me up, and toss me in the pool. I'd pretend to be mad but before long we'd be splashing each other and stealing kisses underwater. Then while everyone else was involved with the various things going on, Nick and I would sneak off to the pool house and have fun in the shower.

The good ole days. I hate to say it, but our parents were right. We've really gotta cherish our youth because it disappears faster than we could ever imagine.

Good Lord, when did Brian become such an asshole?! I just don't understand why he is putting her, Baylee, and himself through so much. I imagine the others would probably be somewhat similar in their reactions if they knew we had been talking for nearly half a year now. Poor Leighanne. I haven't heard from her at all. I just wonder if Brian discovering it is going to somehow lead to our husbands doing the same. They will one day, I know. Guess we'll just have to burn that bridge when we get there.

I still wish Nick had let me come up with a better name for his album. He can stick to the artwork and songwriting and whatnot, but leave the titles to me. And, of course, Jive Records is already trying to put a limit to what he can put on the album. I'm so glad he'll be out of his contract after this. Jive doesn't know it, but Nick and I already have a few prospective labels lined up for the day his contract with Jive is fulfilled. We are more than ready.

I hope Howie is feeling better. Make that boy go to the doctor!! I hate to hear of how sick he is. I really hope and pray that it's nothing serious. Nick had his usual round of sinus infections at the beginning of the tour, but when I scolded him about being too harsh with his voice and he settled it down some, he started getting better. I've made sure he's eating right, exercising, and getting his required eight hours of sleep at night, as well. I'm sure that's another routine that will go straight out the window when I have to leave the tour. Bah. Stupid men. Seriously though, if you have to get the doctor to Howie before Howie will let himself be seen by one, do it. I could hook you up with a list of doctors who still make house calls. My mom works with a whole slew of them down there in Tampa. She could help you out if you needed her to. Feel free to call her anytime. She'd love to hear from you.

I'm glad to hear that the kids are doing well and enjoying their summer break. Kudos to you on finishing your third novel!! You know I get the first printed copy, right? Autographed too, right? I'm still writing and editing my first novel and I've started writing songs again. Nick's encouraging me to record them, if not for a personal album, for other artists, including him, to record for their own albums. I think my dreams of being a pop star are being fulfilled times a thousand by being married to one. I'm much more looking forward to fulfilling my dreams of being a mother.

Glad you liked the photos of Nick and me in People. I hope Howie sits down when he's feeling better and reads the article because there's so much there about Nick missing the Boys. Maybe somewhere in the lines, Howie (as well as Brian, Kevin, and A.J.) will see just how much each of them mean to each other and how much they need to reconcile things.

Well, I'm getting a serious writer's cramp in my hand and I've run out of things to say. Oh yes, loved the photos of Little D with his drum set. He looks about like Nick does now when he's out in the garage banging away on his set. With the way the baby is punching and kicking me inside, I kinda wonder if he's going to come out with a drum set of his own. Geesh. I'm sooo going to get paid back for all the things I did as a child. Nick too. Oh dear GOD, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

Oh crap...Nick's coming in now. Got to go. Love you soooo much and I can't wait to hear from you again! Kiss and hug Howie and the kids for me!!

Your friend,