A Collaboration between Bron and Suzie
in first class, Nick held Angel's hand during take off. Neither
of them was too fond of this part of the flight. Across from
them sat Leighanne, Brian and a sleeping Baylee, tucked neatly
in a car seat. They took a late morning flight, hoping he would
take a nap and sleep most of the flight. They would be arriving
into Atlanta close to five o'clock where a car would take them
to the Littrell's home.
Nick and Angel fell
asleep on the flight, leaning into each others shoulders. Both
of them didn't sleep very well last night, their nerves got
the best of them. Now that they were on their way, both were
much more relaxed.
over toward the sleeping couple, "Awe Brian, don't they
make a cute couple?" Brian leaned over and smiled, "I
think this was a great idea Leigh," leaning into his wife,
careful not to wake the baby, "Thank you."
After the plane landed,
Angel, Leighanne, and Baylee went to the car while the boys
went to get their luggage. Nick turned towards Brian, "Bri,
A smile and a manly
hug later, "Anytime Bro. It will all work out. You'll see."
"I hope so Bri.
I really do." Nick noticed his bag coming down the lift.
Nick? Talk to me while the girls are outside." Nick looked
around and spoke quietly, "I just get the feeling that
Angel doesn't like me more than a friend. She has these walls
protecting her; I'm not sure what I should do."
"If you like
her, you should take a chance Nick. You won't know until you
"Yeah, but Brian,
she's been such a great friend to me and I really need that.
I don't want to lose that. I'm scared. I don't want another
fuck buddy, I can get one of those anytime I want."
Looking at his friend,
Brian put his hand on his arm, "Go for it Nick. I see the
way she looks at you. Leighanne sees the way she looks at you.
Hell, Sheridan, A.J., and Howie are surprised you haven't slept
Nick looked over
at Brian wide-eyed, "Why would they think that? Okay, that's
a loaded question with me," Nick laughed at his own comment,
Brian smirked at
his friend, "It appears Angel is quite the playa herself.
You two are more alike than you know."
Nick's smile dropped,
Patting his back
as they grabbed the last of their luggage, "Angel must
be feeling something for you Nick. Sheridan said she was shocked
when she learned Angel had slept over your house, twice, and
nothing happened. You haven't even kissed her Nick. I thought
Sheridan was going to need CPR learning this news." Brian
was laughing at Nick's facial expressions.
"How do you
know this Brian?" Nick was pissed, Brian knew this information
should have been kept private between Angel and Nick.
in Sheridan needing advice. Sheridan was having a particularly
bad day when we were out looking at location shots, and it just
sort of slipped out. She never meant to tell me and I told her
I wouldn't say anything. But seeing that you are struggling,
may be this news will encourage you to follow your heart."
With that said, the boys walked toward the car.
As they walked into
Brian and Leighanne's home, it was time for dinner. Everyone
was tired, hungry, and cranky from the flight. "Why don't
we order out? What is everyone in the mood for?" They ordered
pizza and subs to be delivered.
Angel looked around
the gigantic house wondering what the hell she was doing there.
Leighanne gave Angel a tour of her house while Brian helped
Nick carry Angel's bag to the room where they will be staying
for the weekend. Leigh and Brian didn't think twice about putting
them in the same room since they've slept together at Nick's
Nick noticed Angelina's
expression as she learned about her room. He tried to talk to
her about it, "If you don't feel comfortable Angel, we
can switch to another guest room, they have plenty," he
was a little pissed.
Angel looked at him,
"No Nick. This will be fine. Why are you getting upset?"
"I'm not upset
Angel. I just saw the face you made and wondered why. Is it
you don't want to sleep with me?" Angel's eyes went huge.
Hanging his head, 'shit' didn't mean to say that. "I mean,
be with me."
Angel saw the hurt
in Nick's eyes. At that moment, Angel's cell phone rang. Excusing
herself, she answered it. It was Sheridan calling from work.
Nick walked out of their room to go for a walk to clear his
Is everything alright?"
sucks. I'm glad to have the weekend off from the project. This
will be our last weekend before Kevin arrives back from London.
Tom has made some plans for this weekend, but it's a surprise.
I'll fill you in when you get back. Did you get in okay?"
"Yeah, we just
arrived to Brian's house about thirty minutes ago and are waiting
for dinner to be delivered." Angel's voice was very soft.
You should be ecstatic to be away for the weekend and spending
with someone who I know you like."
things aren't that great. I just pissed off Nick."
As Angel explained
what happened, Nick had run into Brian and was now being drilled
with the same questions.
"B, I don't
know why I got so mad. Hearing what you said about her past
and then realizing we haven't… and the face she made as Leigh
showed her where we would be sleeping… I just don't understand."
"Nick, you have
been friends with her. Not all friends are fuck buddies. Maybe
she doesn't want that with you. Maybe she's intimidated by who
you are. Remember she's been a fan of yours and knows you inside
out, or as much as fans can with the information they find out
on you." Nick let Brian's words sink in. Nick didn't really
think about the entire situation.
The doorbell ringing
signaled dinner had arrived.
dinner is here. I got to go. I'll call you tomorrow."
let me just say one more thing, please?"
Nick isn't Joey." Angel's laugh somewhat startled Sheridan.
"They have similarities
Sheridan. Having Nick as a friend is a hell of a lot safer on
my heart than having him get close to me. We know the drug use
with cocaine is a rumor, but some have been reliable sources.
He has a temper. He dated an abusive girlfriend. Who knows if
it was reciprocated? And he is a player! I'm not stupid and
naïve to think he's a saint. He's fucking 23 years old.
He's my age. I know what I like to do. He's a popstar; most
likely getting a hell of lot more than I am."
Sheridan was shocked
hearing Angel compare her past relationship to her current one,
"I'm so sorry Angel. I didn't realize… you've never told
"Yeah, I know.
I didn't mean for it to come out. It just did. Thanks though"
Angel said through a smile.
Nick slowly backed
away from the door as he heard Angel's conversation with Sheridan.
He was stunned at her words and now really wanted to know what
went down with her and Joey. Pushing those thoughts aside, he
called Angel for dinner.
my cue. I'll call you later Sheridan, I promise."
"Hang in there.
Things always have a way of working themselves out. Bye."
you're right. I will. Bye"
Angel quickly gathered
strength to go downstairs and eat dinner with everyone. She
kept her breathing in check. Last thing she needed was to have
an anxiety attack while on vacation. That would be about the
only thing that could make this weekend vacation worse.
Dinner was a little
tense at first but Baylee helped break up the tension. He was
quite taken with Angel and insisted on being with her. He even
tried feeding her his food. She looked like a giant adult finger
painting by the time dinner was over. She excused herself to
take a shower and go to bed. Nick followed behind saying he
was just tired. Before Angel got into the shower, Nick asked
if they could talk when she was done. Angel agreed.
Coming out of the
bathroom, Angel saw Nick pacing. "Okay, I have to ask you
a question that's been bothering me for a while." Nick
shifted, "Su-ure Nick. What's up?"
into her eyes, he stated "Tell me about Joey."
Dropping down on
the bed shocked, Angel took a deep breath and let it out slowly.
"Wow, wasn't expecting that question."
Nick noticed her
eyes getting watery. He could see pain in them.
Taking her hand in
his, he continued, "I want to know more about you Angel.
We've talked on the phone for weeks and I feel like I know you,
but there's this one part of you I can't reach. I can't figure
it out. And I think it has to do with him. He is the one who
made you put up a wall around your heart Angel, and I want to
know why." Nick said as honestly as he could.
"I don't want
to bore you Nick," trying to laugh it off.
to do with you Angel, could never bore me. I know he must have
been an important person in your life. You've said his name
in your sleep."
'Oh God, please tell me I didn't.' Angel felt terrible and realized
maybe this would help her forget about him completely.
Gazing into his eyes,
reading how serious Nick was, Angel began. "Joey was the
first love of my life. He was two years older than me when we
met in college. We bumped into each other at a nightclub over
the Christopher Columbus day weekend in October of my sophomore
year. We hit it off immediately. It was like we had always been
friends. I felt so comfortable around him, like I do with you."
very vulnerable and realizing the similarities in their relationship,
Angel tried to pull her hand away from Nick's but he held on
letting her know he was not going anywhere and he needed for
her to talk about this relationship.
She continued on,
"He had graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences
that May and was planning on attending Boston University's School
of Law in September. I left to go to New York City that summer
for an internship I had. Joey wasn't too happy that I left for
the summer. When I returned to Boston, Joey and I had a great
relationship. While we were home for the holidays, Joey called
me and asked me to move in with him. He had gotten an apartment
in the Back Bay. Since it was cheaper to live off-campus, I
"At first, I
didn't tell my parents about us moving in together because I
knew they would be mad. I had brought Joey home for them to
meet him and they fell in love with him." Quietly she added,
"They still keep in touch with him too."
Tears slowly slid
down her face. Nick brushed his fingers over her hand, silently
telling her it was all right to continue.
"The first year
we lived together was a lot of fun, maybe too much fun at times.
But we both strived to do our best in school and sometimes got
on each other's nerves when it was a stressful time." Taking
a deep shaky breath, "I would leave our apartment during
midterms and finals and stayed in my friend's apartment just
to keep us from having screaming matches." During our second
summer together, I came out here to Los Angeles for another
internship. It was such an awesome experience, but Joey never
understood my career goals I think. We would fight on the phone
while I was away. I would go out clubbing with friends I met
here and it drove him crazy. He always questioned my fidelity
towards him. He hated having me gone for months at a time, he
hated the long distance relationship thing."
'I know how that
can be' Nick thought.
my senior year, Joey had no clue what my dreams really were.
But he loved me and if you take out the fact he didn't get my
career, it was an incredible relationship. I loved him so much
I was willing to try and make it work"
Tightening her hold
on Nick's hand, "Looking back, my senior year was truly
a nightmare. I hated going home to our apartment. I was so angry
at Joey but I didn't say anything. Didn't talk about how I felt.
One night I decided I needed to talk to him about us.
I needed to tell him everything about how I was feeling. I walked
into our apartment and I heard voices coming from our bedroom."
for air, "I walked in on him and one of his female law
study partners in our bed. I ran out of the apartment. I remember
it was close to finals our fall semester, early December and
it was cold outside. I walked blocks in the dark, cold streets
of Boston for hours til I collapsed in the street and was taken
to an area hospital."
Nick, still holding
her hand, gave Angel a hug. He held onto her tightly, stroking
her hair, encouraging her to keep going.
"Joey was called
to the ER and he came and got me. He swore it was the first
time he had ever cheated on me and that it was a huge mistake.
It would never happen again. Like a fool, I took him back, but
our relationship was never the same. I was very withdrawn. I
didn't trust him anymore. He tried to make it up to me, but
no matter what he did, how hard he tried, it wasn't the same.
I do believe he did try, I just couldn't get pass the hurt.
I've never felt so betrayed in my life. I hated feeling ashamed."
Stepping out of his
embrace, Angel went to get some Kleenex. Blowing her nose and
wiping her face dry, she continued. "Joey was very clingy
towards me after that. I couldn't stand it sometimes. I lied
saying I was going home, when I would stay over a friend's house,
just to get away from him for a weekend. I would go out clubbing
and would have fun without him. I was secretly hoping that he
would catch me and break up with me. I ended up being unfaithful
to him and realized I felt no guilt. I'm not proud of my behavior.
I was immature, I was too young to be in such a serious relationship.
I was too afraid to break it off with Joey and I was embarrassed
that I was afraid. I felt so much shame and resentment towards
him yet I couldn't find the balls to leave him for good. It
doesn't make sense, I know."
her tears, she continued, "That April during my senior
year, I interviewed for a job at a TV station, WGBH, which is
Boston's PBS channel. This was the same job Kevin's investigator
found out about."
Nick nodded his head,
this was something he knew.
Angel smiled, "I
came back to our apartment knowing I nailed the job and it would
have been perfect for my career."
Angel lowered her
eyes, "I remember that day clearly. Joey was so excited
too because then I would be staying in Boston with him while
he continued attending Law School. He mentioned us getting married
someday soon in the Chapel. My heart broke into a thousand pieces.
I realized that if I took this job and I stayed in Boston, I
would never be able to leave him. A few weeks later I lied to
As more tears ran
down her face, "I told him I didn't get the job. He told
me not too worry, I would find another job in town. Realizing
this wouldn't work either, I finally told Joey the truth. I
was going home to Pennsylvania after graduation. I finally had
the nerve to tell him I wanted to date other people, see what
else was out there for me in this world. He was so mad."
Angel began to hyperventilate, "So mad at me. He became
enraged. So angry. So very angry. I was never so… so scared."
Nick held Angel's
head looking into her eyes, "He's not going to hurt you
Angel. You are safe with me, okay?" He questioned her.
Shaking her head
yes, "I left him after that. I ran before he caused any
more damage to my self-esteem or my heart."
Nick thought for
a moment and tried to digest everything Angel had told him.
He thought she missed a part in her story, "So he didn't
hurt you physically? He didn't hit you?"
Shaking her head
yes, "Joey did hit me… that afternoon. As I tried running
away from him… he told me all about the whores he had during
our relationship. All the weekends I went home. All the summers
I had left him. That's what finally made me leave him for good.
He abused me, used me, and played me. I knew I deserved better.
I had been with other men and none of them ever treated me as
badly as Joey did, especially that day."
Rubbing her back
while she cried, Nick tried to soothe her back to him. "Shhhh,
it's okay Angel. Let it out. Get it all out." After awhile,
Angel started to breath normal again.
Pulling away from
her, Nick looked down at her. Her face was looking down at the
floor. Using his fingers, he gently lifted her head up to look
at him, "Thank you," was all Nick said before he leaned
in to give her a kiss. A soft, gentle loving kiss.
Angel smiled at him,
"I'm sorry… I just don't feel comfortable right now. You
understand that don't you? I don't want to lose a friend by
sleeping with you." When Nick started to laugh, Angel frowned.
"Is that funny to you?"
Nick laughed at his
own nervousness; she was just as scared of taking the plunge
as he was. "Angel, I'm not lauging at you, I totally feel
the same way, that is why I was laughing. I didn't know how
you felt about me and I don't think you knew how I felt about
you. Now that we have that straightened out, I don't think that
waiting a little longer is going to kill either one of us."
They fell asleep
wrapped around each other with a newly formed bond in their
relationship. Trust was difficult for a popstar who had been
around. Trust was even harder for a woman with a broken heart.
Sheridan waited by
the window for Tom to pick her up. She was told to pack a light
bag and a swimsuit. After searching her dresser drawers she
found the perfect little camisole and tap pants. Nothing too
slinky but enough to at least hopefully turn Tom's head in the
right direction or better yet do something.
Sheridan saw his
car pull into the parking lot so she locked up the apartment
and began to walk down the stairs. Patrick their neighbor opened
his door. "Hey Sheridan how long will you be gone?"
twisted, "Just a couple of hours." In her mind she
was wondering if the freak would try to get into their apartment
if she said much more.
"Oh, have a
nice time." Patrick closed the door as Tom came up the
steps of the center hallway.
"Hey baby, are
you ready?" Tom plucked her bag from her hand.
Sheridan was frowning
at Patrick's closed door. The man knew how to freak women out,
that was for sure.
Sheridan?" Tom smoothed a hand over her cheek.
go." Sheridan walked out as Tom turned towards Patrick's
door. "What a freak he is."
Sheridan sat in the
car comfortably dressed, as Tom weaved in and out of traffic.
"So what my dear, is the big surprise?"
Tom shifted the car into another lane.
After a series of
short-cuts, Sheridan found herself in the parking lot of the
Raffles L'Ermitage Hotel. "Why are we here?"
going to pamper you for the next two days. I booked the Raffles
Amrita spa for us baby. I have made reservations for everything
from a deep muscle massage, facials, pedicures, manicures, body
wraps, even the waxing you wanted."
"That was a joke."
Tom looked at her
disappointed, "It was? I'm sorry baby, I thought you were
A valet approached
the car as they unloaded Sheridan's one bag and Tom's full suitcase.
Sheridan's eyes bulged. "You said pack light."
"Yes I did,
you won't be dressed much," Tom breezed a kiss on her cheek
as he grabbed her hand.
Sheridan felt that
little flicker of anticipation. Could this finally be happening
between the two of them? They were shown to a beautiful room
that was a mix of her favorite décor. French doors led
out to a private balcony. The room and its amenities were the
plushest she had ever seen. "Oh Tom, this is breathtaking."
"Only for you
sweetheart," Tom purred in her ear after tipping and dismissing
The voice that he
used was seductive and flamed her desire for him as well as
creating an inner clash of hormones. Setting her bag down she
kicked off her shoes and watched Tom enter the bathroom.
With a light step
she went to the bed, she lay down on the mattress in a very
seductive yet provocative position.
Tom came out the
bathroom, a quick look at Sheridan and he frowned at her, "What
are you doing?"
took on her emotions rapidly. "I don't know. What
are we doing?"
"Come on we
have a manicure and pedicure scheduled in fifteen minutes."
Tom dashed back in the bathroom while Sheridan jumped off the
Jamming her shoes
back on, she was both angry and annoyed. "I can not believe
this," she cried on the inside. "Why do I keep coming
back for more?" She waited by the door for him to return.
"Let's go sweetheart.
It's a girlie weekend for you." Tom grabbed her hand and
pulled her along with him.
Sheridan flashed him a wooden smile.
Angel tried to reach
Sheridan a couple of times over the weekend without much success.
Her weekend was turning out to be the best one she had ever
had. Kevin had called but Leigh had covered for her and not
told him that Angel was there. "The press coverage of the
game wouldn't be released until Kevin is on the plane back home
to Kentucky." Leigh grinned at Angel.
"I never thought
you were this devious," Angel laughed.
"She can be,"
Brian laughed until the icy glare from his wife told him he
had better close his mouth and rather quickly too.
Angel had a fantastic
time at the game, she missed the sports she used to be involved
with. More than once Angel had tried to get Sheridan involved
in a sport or a game on television. Sheridan was too much of
a girlie girl to get into it.
Angel knew Sheridan
would be curled up on the other end of the couch with a book
in her hand, not even paying attention to what was on the screen.
After a night out
on the town after the game both of the couples dragged their
weary bodies home. Leigh served a brunch after picking Baylee
up at her parents. The rest of the day was spent just talking
about various subjects but mainly sports.
At the airport, Angel
thanked Brian again for inviting her and hugged him. Brian pulled
her away from Nick for a minute for a small private conversation.
"He likes you, take it slow, don't let it blow up in your
Angel hugged him again. Nick and Angel stood by the boarding
Brian called back,
"Don't worry about my cousin, I'll take care of him."
Brian winked as they boarded the plan.
"Do you think
Kevin was serious? He was pretty adamant about us not being
together." Angel buckled up and prepared for take off.
"Do you think Brian will run interference?"
"Oh I'm pretty
sure if he doesn't," Nick started to snicker.
Angel finished his
sentence, "Leigh will."
The flight was late
and they arrived at eleven at night. Angel picked her head up
off the pillow. "Why do you fly so late? We left there
in the middle of the night."
"I can avoid
more fans that way," Nick smiled. "Come on, let's
get you home."
They walked hand
in hand to Nick's car that was left at the airport.
how the weekend had gone. She had told Nick her darkest secret
and he didn't flinch or turn away. Now she had spent the entire
weekend flirting with him. She wanted to sleep with him now
but how could she get him to see that. 'Maybe just a kiss at
Nick stood holding
her bags at the door of the apartment. Angel unlocked the door
and pushed it open. Now was her chance but she just wished he
would take the initiative and not her.
Setting the bags
down, Nick looked around the room. The apartment was quiet and
only one light was on in the kitchen above the stove.
sleeping by now," Angel whispered as her hand brushed up
Nick leaned over and captured her lips between his. Pulling
away he glanced at her, "I'm sorry, you wanted to wait."
long enough," she mumbled as she crooked her finger for
him to follow her down the hall to her bedroom.
Nick never did get
home that night to listen to the message on his answering machine.
Kevin had called for a meeting at nine the next morning with
everyone that was in L.A. "Hey Bro, where have you been
all day? I've
been trying to reach you. I called Bri, he can't make the meeting.
I think the wife is riding his ass again. You do know about
the meeting on Tuesday with the ladies, right? He'll be
here for that one. I'll see you in the morning. DON'T BE LATE!"
Kevin laughed as he yelled into the answering machine. "Feels
good to be home," he sang as he headed to the shower.
Kevin had caught
a flight from London directly to Lexington courtesy of the Producers
of his show. They wanted to show their appreciation just a little
more. After spending half a day in Lexington, he itched to be
in Los Angeles. Anne smiled as she drove him to the airport.
"Next time you come home, you're going to stay longer."
"I will Mama,"
he grabbed some of things. The remainder of his stuff would
stay at his mothers until his next visit. She had complained
about the weight he had lost and said she would take care of
him, if he couldn't.
"I'm not a little
boy Mom, I'm thirty-two now." Kevin gave a quick kiss on
the cheek and headed to catch his flight.
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This is a work
The characters and events portrayed are fictitious.
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