- "I Can Do Better Than That" performed by Sherie Rene Scott from The Last 5 Years
Title: Right to Your Side
Word Count: 2,174
Fandom: Backstreet Boys
Genre(s): Alternative Universe, Romance, Mystery/Crime
Characters: Brian Littrell
Warning: For sexual referrences.
Disclaimer: I have no personal contact with Brian Littrell. He does not know that he's being used as the main character for this story - and I do not claim to have any ownership of his character. Everyone else in the story, though, is mine. Touch them and face the consequences.
Summary: After receiving a phone call from her sister begging for help, Natalya Chehovskaya packed up her life in Kratovo, Russia, got a work visa and went to rescue her in New York City. But after four months of doing her own investigation and getting nowhere, Natalya realizes she needs help. Now she just has to remind herself that Brian Littrell is exactly the kind of man she doesn't need to fall in love with. Their marriage, after all, was simply to keep her in the country until they could track down her sister. That was why she was here, after all. But if she cared so much for Sonya, why was it she had to remind herself so much?
Author's Note: This is only the prologue and chapter one. I will be adding more to this story as I get inspired to do so. I'll post a new little header each time I post a new chapter - because the rating will change as the story heats up. Parts of it will be NC-17 (I can never stop myself from adding good smut into a novel).
Sonya Vladamirevna Chehovskaya had always been the kind of girl to find herself in trouble. She led with her heart, instead of her head, and she always seemed to fall for the wrong kind of guy. When she left her home in Kratovo, Russia, with a tall, handsome man who swore he’d make her a famous supermodel, her family was sure they’d see her back on their doorstep with tears in her eyes in two weeks. But that didn’t happen.
Instead, they found themselves receiving letters from her, excitedly telling each and every story of her success. Her younger sister, Natalya Vladamirevna, eagerly read each letter, living vicariously through her sister. Once they even received a page ripped from a magazine with Sonya selling designer shoes.
Her family was blown away. They never expected her to be successful at anything, much less modeling in the United States. So, when the letters stopped coming, they’d simply believed that she’d grown too busy for letter-writing. No one was even considered when they got an odd phone call in the middle of the night. No one except Natalya.
Brian Littrell sat at his desk, grinding his teeth in frustration. He hated this business. Most days, he couldn’t remember why he stayed in a job that made him miserable. He remembered why, though, every time he received his paycheck.
He fit in well with the stereotypical businessman in New York City. It used to bother him. Truth be told, though, he liked feeling powerful and respected. He liked the things that handfuls of money brought you – like free tickets to sold-out Broadway plays, the best table at any restaurant he stepped foot in, the best hotel rooms at half-price. It always amused him how willing people were to give you free things once you had the money to pay for them.
The girl in front of him was babbling again, but he didn’t hear a word she said. He looked up from her resume and headshot, allowing his gaze to fall on her frame, taking in her barely-there curves and visualizing Armani’s newest creation on her. His upper lip curled and he shook his head, lifting a hand to shoo her out the door. She knew rejection when she saw it and with a frown and a huff, she exited his office.
“Mr. Littrell, the L.A. office for you.”
Brian stared at the intercom on his desk and exhaled loudly, clicking the button down. He hesitated on what to say in response, not sure if an excuse would work to hold them off. Instead, he decided to take the call and after informing his secretary – Whatshername – so, he picked up the phone.
“Mr. Littrell. I’m Nancy Kerwidge, calling on behalf of Franco Adamanti in Los Angeles. I’m calling to see if you’ve decided on the models to use for our show.”
Her voice was brisk and curt and it instantly set Brian more on edge than he’d been previously. He’d been assigned the job of picking through hundreds of models for a runway show only yesterday morning and already he’d received four phone calls asking about his progress.
“I’ve decided on some, not all. I’ll call you when I’m finished.” He didn’t say it anymore rudely than she had, though he winced just after his statement. He was certain that was going to come back later to bite him in the ass. Instead of waiting to see if he offended her, he simply hung the phone up and clicked the button on his intercom. “Jessica, don’t put the L.A. office through again.”
Brian lifted his finger from the intercom and shuffled through the papers on his desk, feeling worn out and deflated. He was never going to find the perfect girl to be the center of this show. And without someone to really draw the attention, the whole show was doomed – no matter how small it was. He’d no sooner allowed that thought to cross his mind when he heard his door creak open.
She was entering the room slowly and quietly, obviously trying not to draw attention to herself. She eased the door shut behind her and turned to approach the desk, only to find Brian looking at her with a mixture of curiosity and mild agitation. A slight blush rose to her cheeks and she moved over to the chair opposite his, taking a seat without explaining herself.
He had to admit he was interested. No model walked in his office like that. They always sauntered in, showing all that they had in an effort to draw his attention. And it usually worked fine. Models were supposed to be poised and confident, not meek and mild like the creature across from him now. And yet, she seemed like a breath of fresh air to him. She was gorgeous, breathtakingly so. A lot of the models that came through had a fantastic walk or they photographed well – he always referred to them as the “from an angle” girls because they only fit that traditional model beauty from a certain angle. This one, though, had an obvious beauty.
She seemed elegant. She looked to be 5’10” or so, which explained the legs that seemed to go on for miles and the long, almost swan-like neck. She was tan, but naturally so, not the fake tan many girls boasted. With dark brown hair that almost seemed black and green-blue eyes, he was blown away. And she hadn’t even walked in the room like she owned it.
He cleared his throat and shifted in his seat, hiding the fact that his pants had tightened considerably since she’d entered the room. It took him a moment longer to form his words, finally speaking in a smooth, even tone.
“And who, may I ask, are you?”
She noticed that he didn’t say it unkindly and her hopes grew as she opened her mouth to speak. Her heart was thudding in her chest and she knew that her nerves would show, but now it didn’t seem to matter. “Chehovskaya. Natalya Vladamirevna.”
Brian’s brow furrowed in confusion. Her accent was thick and if he had to place it, he’d say Russian. Accents weren’t usually a problem for models – how many of them really spoke to the press? However, he hadn’t dealt much with models from East Europe. In seven years of this job, he’d handled one French model (whose English was better than his) and two German models, but no Russians.
Natalya realized her mistake and quickly sought to remedy the situation. “I apologize. In Russia, last name is first. Then first name and father’s name. My name, in English, is Natalya Chehovskaya.” Her voice was finding its ground, losing its wavering and scared tone. Her nerves were slowly residing and her confidence was growing.
He shifts in his seat, leaning back in his chair. His fingers steeple together and he looks over them to watch her, a thoughtful expression on his face. He was still taking her in, imagining her in everything he could think and, at present, imagining her in nothing at all. However, she seemed to expect something from him.
“Nice to meet you, Natalya.”
She couldn’t explain why that simple statement sent a chill down her spine. A smile spread over her features and she leaned forward, placing her arms on the edge of his desk. She was looking at him hopefully now, a look he was very well acquainted with.
“Pleasure to meet you, Mr. Littrell. I have been trying for very long time to get here.”
The words rolled off her tongue in a soothing manner and, although it took him a few moments to sort out what she’d said, he found he enjoyed the sound of her voice. Her accent made each word seem softer. She let them roll off her tongue after caressing them like a lover and he couldn’t help but conjure images of the like. And that was all he needed to convince him that she would be the next supermodel. Not only would she be the next it thing, but he would be the one to launch her. He’d take her under his wing and make sure of it.
“You’re hired,” he said in a husky tone, leaning forward in a motion that mimicked her. The combination of him leaning forward and his husky tone sent a mood of intimacy and while it scared her senseless and caused warning bells to go off in her mind, it was intoxicating to have him looking at her with those eyes and she couldn’t pull away.
“I believe you misunderstand me. I’m not a model. I’m here for your help.”
Brian’s mouth curled into a knowing smile, and he nodded slowly. “I know. You’re not a model yet. But with my help, you will be.”
“No. No. Mr. Littrell. I have no ambition to be a model. My sister was a model. I’m here about her.”
Her statement shocked him. It seemed to hit him square in the chest and it caused him to sit back, trying in earnest to breathe. It was the first time a beautiful woman, who he offered to make a model, said no. It was the first time anyone had surprised him.
Natalya decided not to wait for him to catch his breath. She may have to repeat some of it later, but she didn’t want him asking her to leave before she had a chance to explain herself. She’d tried too hard for too long to get here. She wouldn’t leave without giving it her all.
“Please. My sister, Sonya, worked for you. Three years ago, you hired her to be in a runway show. She worked for you seventeen times after that. She’s missing now. No one’s heard from her in a year.”
She wasn’t going to have to repeat herself. He may be stunned, but he was always a good listener. It was part of the reason he’d been so successful. He could eavesdrop in restaurants while carrying on his own conversation. He always managed to get a table two away from his competition and after overhearing who they wanted for their show, he’d just get them first.
“What do you want from me?” He asked her in an accusing tone. He was certain she was on the road to accusing him for whatever had happened to her sister. At the same time, he was racking his brain to try to remember this Sonya.
Natalya recognized the tone in his voice and realized she’d put him on the defensive. She hadn’t meant to, but she was beginning to feel rushed. Her voice took a desperate edge to it. “I want you to help me find her. She worked for you the most out of everyone. I have been here for four months. My work visa runs out in two months. I need someone in the industry, someone who knows people, to help me. Please. I can pay you. I just want to know what happened to my sister.”
Brian wasn’t a stranger to hearing pleas. He certainly wasn’t a stranger to beautiful women looking at him with that desperate look. He turned thousands of people down a week and he never felt a thing. He had started to believe that he really was heartless. He didn’t feel anything when he watched them cry. He didn’t feel anything when he made love to one of them. And he certainly didn’t feel anything when he passed a homeless person on the street after spending unspeakable amounts of money. He was accustomed to being stone. But something about the way she was looking at him now, something about the way her voice quivered, made him want to say yes.
He opened his mouth to tell her that he could help, but his brain latched onto a minor detail of what she’d said. “You only have two months left? Your visa runs out?” He leaned forward again as he asked this, one eyebrow rising in curiosity. Natalya nodded in response, her face still desperately hopeful.
“You’ll need longer.” He said this quickly, his gaze intense on hers.
“In two months, I will be sent back to Russia. Once there, I can apply for another visa. It could take up to a month for processing. By then, the job I need the visa for will be filled. I don’t have longer, Mr. Littrell.”
He noticed the tears gathering in her eyes. She was certain he was going to turn her down. She was certain she’d leave this country without ever discovering what happened to her sister. She was certain now was the time for despair. The burning urge to protector her from the pain she was experiencing was filling him and he knew that he wouldn’t say no. He wouldn’t let her leave without what she wanted. He’d do whatever it took to make her smile. And it was then that he knew he was in trouble.