Chapter 3


“First thing is your contract. It covers your salary, bonuses, traveling coverage and job expectations.” He explained.

Emily glanced at the listed salary and nearly dropped her jaw when she saw what he had written in.

“I know it’s more than you asked, but we both felt that we are asking more than the typical family would of you and we want you to be well compensated for that.”

“That’s very generous of you.” Emily said.

“This next packet is a contract saying that basically, you won’t go selling stories or photos to the press or anything like that. Whatever you see or hear on this job stays confidential. In the same respect, we will protect your privacy as much as possible. Once the press finds out you work for us, believe me, they will want to get a hold of you.”

“Ok, that seems fair.”

They spent the next few hours going over the paperwork, talking about the expectations they had of her, and then they went over the schedule.

“We’re actually set to go away for a week in three days. I know its short notice but would you be able to accompany us?”

“I think that would work. I can start whenever you need me to.”

“Oh God bless you!” Brian said, sounding relieved.

“How will we be traveling?”

“Mostly by a tour bus. But it’s more an apartment on wheels than a bus. We’ll usually stay in hotels when we’re stopping in a city.”

Emily, Brian and Leighanne sat and went through what the schedule for the next several months was likely to be like. “We will give you two weeks vacation each year, but unfortunately it’s a little hard for us to say when that might be. If you have a specific time you’d like to use it, just let us know and we’ll see what we can work out.”

“Well, right now I don’t really have any specific time so if we just play it by ear it should be fine. The only request is that I would prefer to have every October 16 off.”

“Is that your birthday?” Brian asked.

“No, it’s not my birthday, just a day I need to be just for me.”

“I think we can work with that.” Leighanne said.

“Do you mind if I ask what is all the traveling is for?” Emily asked. She didn’t really want to give away that she knew exactly who he was. Besides, for all she knew, it could be for something completely different.

“Well, the band I’m in is going to be doing a small tour. I’m also releasing my own album this spring and I’ll be doing a lot of promotional spots for that. Then, Leighanne is actually going to be doing some modeling and she’ll be traveling to New York and LA and maybe even Paris so things are just going to go bananas and that’s why we decided to get some help.”

“Ok…so we’re going to be very busy!” Emily laughed.

“Really, all we expect as far as when you care for Baylee is that Leighanne and I will be doing the parenting whenever we’re home or if we’re traveling, whenever we’re available. We just wanted to have someone else consistent to be available for whenever we can’t be. He won’t be traveling with us everywhere, but Leighanne and I are going to travel together whenever we can and when that happens, we’d like to have Baylee with us. But when we’re not together, we think it would be best for Baylee to be at home with you.”

“I think that sounds best. Does he have any special kinds of routines?”

“Well, we put together a list of things for you like his bedtime routine and his nap schedule and all the basic stuff. And we’re trying to start getting him involved with having chores, so we get him to do simple stuff like pick up the dirty laundry in his room and put it in the hamper and put his toys away. We think it’s important that he learns to do this stuff instead of having someone do it for him. We have a cleaning service come in for all the heavy cleaning, we don’t expect you to be responsible for keeping the house in order, and we don’t expect you to cook our family meals.”

“Ok. This all sounds like something we can work with. Would you like me to start tomorrow?”

“Tomorrow would be great. We’ll both be here all day so that we can introduce you to the routine and help give Baylee a smooth transition.”

“That sounds great!”

“Emily, there’s one other thing we need to discuss.” Brian said in a very serious tone.

“What is it?” God, have I done something already? She wondered.

“It will probably never been an issue, but we live a very high profile life and there are people out there who are just sick people and they might want to hurt me, hurt my family.”

“Right…” Emily wasn’t sure where this was going.

“It’s really important that you’re careful with my son. Don’t let him talk to strangers, answer the door or the phone, and if you’re out in public, never ever turn your back on him.”

Emily’s face went white. She had never thought that sweet little Baylee would be at risk of getting kidnapped or worse.

“I’m sure nothing will happen Emily, we just need to make sure you’re aware that we have to be much more careful than other people do.” Leighanne tried to reassure her.

“No, it makes a lot of sense, I guess I just hadn’t really realized.”

“Still want the job?” Brian winked at her.

“Oh of course! I’ll be here first thing in the morning.. I’d better get home and start getting ready for the trip later this week!” Emily gathered up her papers, wanting to read over them again this evening to make sure everything was in order and read all of the fine print. Brian was kind enough to drive her to pick up her car.

“We really appreciate your willingness to put up with all the demands. If anything becomes too much, please don’t hesitate to say something. It’s a demanding schedule but the two of us are used to it, and we don’t want you to have too much trouble adjusting to it. So just speak up.”

“I will do just that. I’m actually a little excited to travel. It should be interesting.”

“You’re going to be a part of our family, so try not to think of us as your employer. Sure from time to time we’ll have certain requests and things, but don’t feel like you have to stay out of the way. You’re welcome to eat dinners with us and watch American Idol and things like that. I’d like for the three us to have the chance to get to know each other very well. I mean, you’re going to be like my son’s third parent. We should have good lines of communication.”

“I think communication is very essential and I’m glad that you agree. I think things should work out very well.”

Emily picked up her car and thanked Brian for the ride, and promised to see him first thing in the morning. She drove home and began to prepare for her new job. She felt very comfortable taking this job, even though it was a high profile family and the chaotic schedule would probably be a mess. They were such warm and inviting people that she wouldn’t have traded them for any of the other families she had talked to that week.

She went through her things, trying to plan what she would need to take with her, making a list as she went so she wouldn’t forget anything. After dinner, she sat down at her computer, wanting to do a little more research on her new family. She has always known the Backstreet Boys. She even had a few of their albums. She just didn’t know they still held such popularity all over the world. “Oh maybe I’ll get to go to Europe!” she said to herself. She read a bit about the other members of the band, not wanting to make assumptions based on what she read, but at least felt she would know who they were if she saw them. Kevin was Brian’s cousin, which was a good thing to know since he might be a little more involved with the family. Howie was a family man. Nick was the blonde who had a few smears in his past, but you can’t believe everything you read. AJ was…well, in her opinion damn sexy. Rehab agreed with him, she thought. She looked forward to meeting him in person just so she could look at him. (And try not to drool all over herself in the process.) She went to bed early, knowing that she would spend the next day chasing after a rambunctious three-year-old all day and would need to be at top performance.


Chapter 4

She arrived early, as promised. Baylee was still in his pajamas, sitting in the kitchen eating a bowl of what looked like Lucky Charms.

“Hi Baylee! How are you today?” she asked, brightly.

He shoveled another spoon of cereal into his mouth before answering, “Good!” Once he had swallowed he added, “Daddy says I can play outside after I eat my breakfast and clean up my room.”

“That sounds like fun; you’d better get your room cleaned up right away!”

“Yeah, I left all my cars on the floor and Daddy accidentally stepped on one and hurt himself. Then I got into trouble and he said I couldn’t play until I cleaned it up.” Baylee said with a bit of a pout on his face.

“Well, we don’t want people getting hurt, do we?”

“Nope!” he said, dashing up from the table to head upstairs.

“Good morning Emily!” Leighanne greeted her.

“Oh hi! How are you today?”

“Pretty good, I’m going crazy trying to get ready to leave later this week. You know laundry, packing, and all that fun stuff.”

“Oh believe me, I know! I spent a few hours last night trying to prepare myself. It seems like the stuff you need to pack is always the stuff that needs to be found, and then washed. It’s never the clean clothes hanging in your closet.”

“Well, I’m really glad you’re here today. I think Brian’s outside cleaning the pool. He’s still mad about hurting his foot on Baylee’s cars. He gets a little high strung right before we kick off a tour.”

Emily chuckled. “Is there anything I can do to help?”

“Well, once he’s done cleaning his room, would you mind taking him out back to play? I have to go out to pick up the dry cleaning and Brian has a conference call to take in about twenty minutes.

“I think I can handle that.” Emily set her bag off to the side and went to check on the room cleaning.

“Miss Emily I cleaned up my cars! Do you think I can play outside now?”

Emily pretended to inspect his room very thoroughly before announcing that he could go play. “You need to get dressed and put on some shoes first! I’ll meet you downstairs.”

Baylee came downstairs. He had definitely dressed himself. His jeans were on backwards and his shirt was inside out. At least he had his shoes on the right feet, she thought. He led her over to his swing set and insisted that she push him on the swing.

“He’ll make you do that all afternoon if you let him.” Brian came up behind her.

“Daddy look how high up I am!” Baylee squealed.

“Wow! I bet pretty soon you’ll end up in outer space if you’re not careful!” Brian responded.

Baylee laughed. “Daddy, you’re silly. I can’t swing into space! You gotta take a rocket to get up there and it takes like, hours!”

Emily and Brian laughed. “Did he clean up his room?”

“He certainly did. I checked it myself. It’s once again safe for you to walk.”

“Those darn cars hurt, you just wait, you’re probably next!”

Brian went inside to take his conference call leaving Emily and Baylee playing a game of catch in the yard. After awhile, he went back inside to play with his cars again. This time he was careful to only take out the ones he wanted to play with. He’d had enough getting in trouble for one day.

Emily went into the bathroom to wash up a bit then helped Leighanne fold some laundry. “The boys will want their lunch soon.” She said as she put another load in the washer.

“I can make some sandwiches.” Emily offered.

“You don’t have to do that!”

“It’s ok, really! Just point me in the right direction.”

Emily had just set the plate of turkey sandwiches on the table when Brian came in asking about lunch.

“This cook’s off duty, you’ll have to ask Emily.” Leighanne said.

Brian turned to Emily, who just pointed him to the table.

“Well this I could get used to!” he said as he went to get himself something to drink. “Would you like some ice tea or lemonade?” he offered Emily.

“Oh no thank you, I’ll just have water.”

“You sure? It’s real southern sweet tea!”

“Actually, I don’t really like iced tea. Sweet or not.” Emily laughed. “Or lemonade for that matter.”

Brian gave her an odd look. “Are you sure you like living in the south? All southerners drink tea!”

“Well, this girl’s still a northerner at heart I guess.”

Leighanne joined them at the table. “To tell the truth, I don’t really enjoy tea either.” She said.

“That’s great. Her first day here and she’s already got my wife turned against me.” Brian feigned frustration.

Emily spent the rest of the day helping out where she could, observing the interaction between Baylee and his parents. She knew that she was really going to enjoy taking care of him. She also enjoyed sitting back and watching the way he interacted with his parents. She always had her doubts about famous people actually having a family life. Brian made it very apparent that his family came before anything else in his life, and that comforted her as she thought about the hectic schedule his family somehow managed to keep up with. She herself had trouble on the days when she had more than 5 errands to run.

She observed from the doorway as Brian put Baylee to bed, carefully taking note of the routine. Brush teeth, pajamas, bedtime story, prayers, lights out. Simple enough.

“Well, I suppose I should be heading home! Would you like me to come back the same time tomorrow?” she asked.

“Why don’t you stay awhile?” Brian asked.

“Oh I don’t want to intrude; you probably want to relax before you have to go out of town.”

“You’re not intruding! We’d like to get to know you a little better!”

“If you’re sure…”

“Of course! Join us in the family room, I’m going to go convince my wife to stop fussing about and relax.”


Chapter 5

Emily sat down in one of the chairs, and she had to admit, after the day she had, it felt incredibly good to take a load off. Brian and Leighanne joined her, sitting together on the sofa across from her.

“Baylee is adorable.” Emily smiled at them.

“Thank you!” Leighanne smiled back at her. “So how did you get to be so good with kids?”

“I don’t know really. I just always had that instinct I guess.”

“You’ll make a great mother someday.” Brian said.

“Oh, I don’t know about that! It’s all different when they’re not your kids!” Emily laughed. “With the exception that when you’re the nanny you can’t give the baby back when it has a dirty diaper.”

“But apparently, you can when you’re the father!” Leighanne kidded.

Brian cleared his throat rather loudly. “So how long have you played the piano?”

“I started taking lessons when I was only three years old.”

Brian looked at her incredulously. “I can’t imagine trying to teach Baylee right now.”

Emily laughed. “I have taught a few three-year-olds, mostly girls though. Sexist as it may seem, most boys aren’t ready until age 4 or 5. It just takes them a little longer to be able to sit still and pay attention.”

“Yeah, I still can’t get Brian to pay attention enough to change the roll of toilet paper when it’s empty.” Leighanne said.

“That is the greatest mystery of men.” Emily smiled.

“How long did you take lessons for?” Brian asked, changing the subject again.

“Through college, then I started teaching for myself.”

“What did you study in college?” he asked.

“Actually, my degree is in Music Business.” She admitted. Being that he was in the music industry, she felt a little awkward sharing that with him.

“I’ve never heard of that before. What exactly is that?”

“Basically, you take the course work of a music major, add to it a minor in business administration, then throw in some courses on entertainment law and arts management, and you’ve got me!”

“And what exactly do you do with that kind of degree?”

“Well, if you’re me, you teach and nanny. But in theory, you can do all sorts of things. Manage local orchestras, run a music shop, or work for booking and management firms if you wanted to.”

“And you never wanted to get involved in that?”

“Well, there was a time in which I thought I wanted that kind of lifestyle, but then I started teaching to earn some extra cash and I found that I loved it so much I didn’t want to do anything else. I finally figured out what I was meant to do with my talent, and there’s a certain pride and joy in watching your students grow and learn, knowing that you did that. The only real business aspect I ever did was work to set up a scholarship program for underprivileged kids in my area to be able to receive lessons and music. I just hated hearing stories of there being kids out there with a real talent, and no way to channel that talent. So I set out to do something about it.” Emily felt a sense of pride in talking about her work.

“That’s pretty admirable. Is the program still running?” Leighanne asked.

“Yes, it is. I left it in the hands of an old friend of mine, but ultimately, it’s still my baby.”

“Would you ever be interested in teaching Baylee to play?” Brian asked.

“Oh I guess I had already thought that was a given! I teach almost all my kids to play, even if it’s just a little. So how did you get started singing?”

“Oh, you know, a little here in church, a little there in high school, then I landed this gig and it’s just grown from there. I’ve been really blessed with the opportunities I’ve had, and with the family God has given me.”

“What should I expect from this tour coming up?”

“Well, pure madness I’d say. Baylee likes to watch us rehearse, and the guys are pretty attached to him and they’re used to his presence. I’m sure you’ve figured out that he wouldn’t be one to sit quietly and watch. Usually, Leighanne and Baylee don’t arrive or leave with me; I don’t really want him in the mob scenes. I’ll probably have you take him with you, it should be perfectly safe.”

Emily stayed a little while longer, but when she noticed Leighanne starting to fall asleep on the couch, she excused herself and went home to sleep herself.


Chapter 6

The next few days passed much like the first one, each one increasingly hectic. It was finally departure day. Emily needed to arrive at their house promptly by 3:30 am. The van was there to pick them up, and the driver loaded her bags in as Leighanne climbed in next to her followed by Brian, who was carrying a still-sleeping Baylee. They flew in first class to New York, where they met up with the tour caravan and headed for the arena to get ready for their first performance. Emily had no idea what to expect so she gave up trying to figure it all out and decided that it all felt very spontaneous to her, not knowing, and she had always wanted more spontaneity in her life so this was a good thing.

They dropped Brian off at the arena while she and Leighanne took Baylee back to the hotel to get settled. Baylee was cranky from getting up early and traveling was apparently not his favorite thing. He was on about his tenth temper tantrum of the day when Emily decided it was her job to step in and give Leighanne some relief.

“Why don’t I take Baylee into his room and have a little rest so you can have some time to freshen up and relax?”

“Oh Emily, thank you so much! Listen, if you can’t get him to sleep come and get me, ok? He has trouble falling asleep in strange places.”

“I think we’ll be just fine, won’t we Baylee?” Emily asked, taking his hand.

Baylee could only manage a sleepy nod before they headed up to the room. It really didn’t take him that long to fall asleep. Emily was tempted to nap herself but she was afraid she wouldn’t wake up when he did, and the thought of him basically alone in the room might not be such a good idea given his mood that day. The hotel had some lunch sent up while he was still asleep, and Emily finally decided she needed to wake him up or they would be late getting over to the arena.

Emily quickly learned that she and Baylee had something in common: they both hated being woken up. She was hoping that his nap would make him less cranky, not crankier. She sighed. Maybe I can bribe him with food, she thought. “Baylee, I have some lunch here. Let’s see, it looks like there’s a hamburger, some French fries, and oh look! Cookies!” Her plan worked. He sprung out of bed at the mention of cookies. “You have to eat your burger first, and then you can have cookies.”

“Do we get to go see Daddy soon? I wanna tell him something.”

“As soon as we finish our lunch, it will be time to go see Daddy.”

They met Leighanne downstairs in the van. “Did he get a nap?”

“Yes, but it didn’t seem to do much good. He’s still crankier than ever, I’m afraid.”

“It usually takes him a day to settle in. He’ll cheer up once we get there. He loves to watch the guys practice. Listen, can you watch him when we get there. They’ll show you in to the stage area. I have some business to do.”

“Sure.”

“Just try and make sure he stays somewhat out of the way. Brian will probably let you know when it’s time to calm him down. It usually depends on the mood of the group and the amount of stress in their rehearsal. If you walk in and they all seem grumpy, it’s probably best to hang back.”

“Ok. What should I do after they’re done?”

“Brian will probably come and visit with Baylee. One of us will find you, don’t worry. We won’t leave you hanging!”

“Baylee are you ready to go see Daddy?” Emily asked as they walked inside.

“YAY! DADDY!” Baylee took off running towards the stage. They hadn’t started practicing yet and Brian seemed to be the only one out there.

“Hi, Baylee! Did you have a good nap?” he met Baylee and grabbed him up in a big hug.

“Well, I did until Miss Emily woke me up!” he said, shooting Emily a rather nasty look for a three-year-old.

“If she didn’t, you would have slept for days and days and missed the concert!” Brian said.

“Daddy, I can’t sleep for days and days! That’s a long time to sleep.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yep.”

“Ok then. Well, I’m glad you got out of bed and came to visit me.”

“Me too.”

“Why don’t you take Miss Emily and show her where you want to sit. I have to go backstage for a few minutes, and then we’ll come out and sing for you, ok?”

Baylee led Emily over to where he wanted to sit and then began talking about how his daddy sings, and how at first it hurt his ears but now he likes the loud music, and he likes it when they act silly on stage. Baylee finally got tired of sitting and was running around playing. Emily never took her eye off of him and didn’t let him get too far before she asked him to come closer.

“Can I help you?” Emily was startled; she hadn’t heard anyone come over. She looked up to see a very large man who was eying her like she was some kind of criminal.

“Umm…no I’m just watching Baylee.” She managed to say.

“How do you know my nephew?”

“I’m uh...” she cleared her throat. “I’m his new nanny.”

“What’s your name?” he demanded, eyeing her even more.

“Emily.” She was starting to get annoyed with his rudeness. “Who are you?”


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"Never Gone" is a work of fiction.
The characters and events portrayed are fictitious.
Any resemblance to real people or events is purely coincidental.

Copyright 2006
All Rights Reserved
No part of this text may be copied or reprinted
without the author's permission.

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