A Collaboration between Bron and Suzie
Nick left with Kevin, he returned a short time later in his
own car. Quietly, he knocked on the door hoping that Angel was
still up. When she opened the door wearing a very short robe
and nothing else, she smiled, "Great minds think alike."
Nick had made many
calls, personal and professional, between his meeting with Gene
and the guys and his dinner with Kevin and the girls. His head
was swimming trying to absorb all the information he had gathered.
Lying on Angel's
bed while his head rested in her lap, Nick poured out everything
he learned. His father's charges had been dismissed and his
parents officially filed for divorce. His father was openly
dating his new girlfriend and introducing her as such. BJ was
arrested again for DUI, which Jane bailed her out. Nick was
still undecided if he would keep his home in Marathon or sell
it. Finally, he would be heading to London to do a couple of
tracks for his solo CD at the end of the week. Nick told the
guys in the meeting he would be unavailable for a few weeks.
They weren't too happy with his news, especially since Kevin
had just returned from being gone for six weeks, but they understood
and supported him.
The support part
almost freaked him out a bit. Nick was all set to defend himself.
Kevin was even nice about it. Nick felt a burden lift off his
shoulders but then immediately thought of how Angel would react
to him leaving for a while.
As Nick talked, Angel
played with his hair, while massaging his scalp. She could sense
him relaxing when he talked about his father's charges being
dropped. She felt him tense up while talking about BJ and her
troubles. Nick wanted to help her, but was at a total loss as
how to get her help. He could no longer ignore she wasn't troubled.
Angel tried to give him some advice, but since she didn't know
BJ, it was hard to know what would be best. Nick was grateful
Angel didn't form any opinions of his sister based on what had
been in the media.
As Nick told Angel
about going to London, he turned to face her. His eyes didn't
quite meet hers as he told her he needed to leave in a couple
days for maybe a month, it wasn't definite yet. Angel smiled
brightly; she was ecstatic for his CD to be finished. More importantly,
the boys appeared to be more supportive than last time.
news Nick. You must be kind of excited, huh? Are you all packed?
Do you need help with anything?" Angel was thrilled.
Nick looked at Angel
like she had three heads.
Angel's faced turned
to one of worry, "What's wrong Nick?"
"I just thought…"
now he was embarrassed to say what he thought, "...Never
mind, its nothing."
"Oh no, we told
each other we wouldn't play mind games and I'm not in the mood
to read yours, so what's bothering you? What did you think?"
Angel sat up on her knees waiting for Nick to answer her.
Nick was now cursing
himself for making that promise to Angel. After her confession
in Atlanta, he made her promise to keep the lines of communication
open. He figured it would be more of her over analyzing situations
or stories about him in the media, especially with fan encounter
stories and rumors that tend to circulate in the BSB message
Hanging his head
low in embarrassment, "I thought you'd be upset at me 'cause
I need to go away for awhile."
Before he could look
up and see her face, Angel pulled him into a strong hug. "Don't
get me wrong, I'll miss you but this is what you need to do.
And I, for one, am dying to hear this new CD, so you better
haul your ass across the Atlantic and get busy."
Squeezing her tightly,
burying his head into her hair, he felt overjoyed, "You're
the best. You know that? I know with the time zone difference
it'll be hard to stay in touch, but I promise to take my laptop."
Angel chuckled, "And
you're gonna use it?"
Nick gave her a sly
grin, "Yes woman! I'll keep in touch by emails. Of course
Kevin would kill me if I went into isolation without having
a way to communicate with him." Nick began chuckling at
Nick leaned into
Angel's ear whispering, "Can you keep a secret?"
"Yes, but it
seems you can't." causing Angel to fall into a fit of giggles.
Nick gave her a pout
with his lower lip, which she quickly sought out with her own
lips and sucked on it. This caused a delay in his plans to tell
Angel his secret. Realizing she didn't know what he wanted to
tell her, she stopped. "So?"
Slowly, Nick snapped
back to reality, "I will be flying to Chicago next Thursday
to surprise A.J."
London and going to Chicago to surprise A.J? Why?"
"A.J. is going
to appear on Oprah. The producers want the rest of his Backstreet
brothers to surprise him, show our support with his alcoholism,"
Nick shrugged, "And to talk about how his illness affected
the group. How he has been doing. Ya know, the usual shit."
The fans are going to flip out seeing you guys all together.
It has been over two years since all five of you were in public
as a group."
Nick watched her
eyes bounce and sparkle while she processed the information.
Nick quieted her down by pressing his lips to hers, which were
moving a mile a minute.
know WHY you can't tell anyone. And I mean ANYONE Angel."
Nick gave her a look she hadn't seen before.
She swallowed hard.
"Is this a test? To see if I can keep my mouth closed?"
Nick snorted. "Now
that you mention it, yeah. Of course, if this gets out, I'm
totally screwed 'cause they'll know it was me who spilled the
"How do you
figure? It could be Howie. You know how he is. He has a way
of just talking and blabbering, something could slip out."
Nick grabbed Angel
and pulled her down with him on her bed. "Enough talking
woman. We have a busy day tomorrow."
"Yeah, I need
help doing laundry and packing."
"Yeah, YOU do
have a lot to do." Angel said as Nick just laughed.
"Hey, you offered,"
Angel replied slyly,
"But you didn't ask nicely."
"Hmm, I have
something better in mind," Nick said, as he slowly got
True to her word,
Angel kept her mouth shut for the next week. It was killing
her. She wanted to tell Sheridan and Marybeth so badly, but
she couldn't risk it. Nick was trusting her and she would prove
to him she was trust-worthy.
The following Wednesday
AJ flew to Chicago to appear on Oprah to discuss his drug and
alcohol addiction. Much to his surprise, all the guys surprised
him by showing up. Since Nick had flown to London to cut some
tracks for his solo CD and Brian went home to Atlanta to take
care of his own personal recordings, AJ never suspected a thing.
The fans were equally
as surprised. However, the fans weren't aware that the boys
had been working together for the past two months. So to them,
this was the first time, in a long time, the boys were all together.
Meanwhile, back in
Los Angeles, Sheridan had a little drama of her own.
After dropping the
bomb on her parents that she wouldn't be home for Thanksgiving
and then explaining why, she stared at the ceiling with one
hand in the air while Angel sat on the couch giggling at her.
"Mom really, I'll be home for Christmas… Yes Mom, I know
I am your baby. You'll be fine Mom, you can still make a turkey
for Dad." Sheridan paced the floor with the portable in
Angel smiled at every
sour face Sheridan made and then laughed her ass off. Angel
guessed she had it pretty easy with her parents, they didn't
drive her half as crazy as Sheridan's did. Angel would just
ignore her parents instead of talking to them.
The phone was handed
to her and Sheridan smiled as she covered the phone, "Mom
wants to talk to you and I can almost guess about whom. Keep
it short and don't tell her a damn thing…." Sheridan released
the phone, "Don't tell her what you really think either."
Angel hated being
put on the spot. She growled at Sheridan as she took the phone.
Sheridan went and
stood by the window as Angel spoke to her Mom. The past week
or so she had spent reflecting on her relationship with Tom.
Their arguments were more and more frequent. At first she chalked
them up to nerves for both of them. She was going to meet his
parents for the first time. Tom was constantly keyed up and
continuously asking her how the project was going. The last
argument was a dozy; she was replaying it in her head. "How
come you never talk about it with me?"
"Because I signed
a contract. You know I am not supposed to talk about it."
Sheridan sat at her desk as he sat on the corner of it.
"It's me, I'm
your man," Tom leaned forward and kissed the side of her
face in full view of everyone at work.
"I would appreciate
it very much if you would not do that here." Sheridan shuffled
papers on her desk.
"You are very
uptight. What is wrong?" Tom reached for her hand to only
have it pulled away from him.
Sheridan knew he
wouldn't like the answer, but she really didn't give a hoot
anymore, "The same thing that it was last week, and the
week before, and the week before that."
Tom sat and mulled
her words over. Crossing his arms, he leaned forward, "I
want you to meet my parents first, then we'll take it from there."
Tilting her head
to the side, she stared at him, "Are you serious? I have
to meet your parents before you'll sleep with me?"
rose higher and higher with each word. Nervously Tom glanced
around to make sure people hadn't heard her. "You know
what I mean," he laughed nervously.
"No, I don't
think that I do. We go to your parents in two weeks Tom. Can
you tell me what is going to change between us after we go to
your parents versus say today?" Sheridan was still just
as confused about their relationship.
A loud clap startled
Sheridan and she turned to see Angel smiling at her. "All
taken care of. Mama Anderson now thinks you are dating the most
wonderful, all around American jock, a successful businessman,
a real mover and shaker. I left out the gay part." Angel
added the last line for humor.
When Sheridan stormed
from the room, Angel knew she made a mistake. "Shit,"
Angel groaned as she walked down the hallway and knocked on
Sheridan's door. "I'm sorry Sheridan. I was just kidding."
"Go away. I'm
sick of this shit." Sheridan yelled. Dressing quickly,
she took off while Angel was in the shower. She knew Angel didn't
mean it, but her words were sounding truer and truer to her
Sheridan sat in the
park for over an hour trying to get her thoughts straightened
out. "This is hopeless," she muttered as she went
back to her car and drove home.
Friday, the boys
flew back into town and things resumed as they were before the
Oprah show. Even Nick returned to Los Angeles instead of London.
Keeping the fans in the dark about some projects had its advantages.
The next meeting
was scheduled on Tuesday, two days before the long weekend,
their Thanksgiving break. Brian had been adamant at the last
meeting before the Oprah jaunt about getting the time off even
though the director wanted all of them to work. "We all
have plans. We all have family. We won't be here."
Sheridan was astonished
at the time that the small-framed man could act so authoritatively,
but he did get them the time off without another word said.
John had again tried to get them to stay in town and Brian,
once again, had refused him. Not one person in the room spoke
after Brian, he was speaking for all of them and their silence
threw weight behind his announcement.
During a break in
their Tuesday meeting, before everyone took off for other places;
Kevin caught up with Sheridan in the hallway. "See and
ya'll thought I was the bad ass," Kevin laughed as he spoke.
me again," Sheridan smiled back. "Are you looking
forward to going home for Thanksgiving?"
my Mom is cooking. I love my Mom's cooking. Turkey, stuffin',
mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, without the marshmallows, biscuits
and gravy, the whole nine-yards. Then I get to sack out on her
couch and watch the games."
"That sounds like so much fun for your Mother."
Kevin blushed, "Oh
we help. We all pitch in and do the dishes and clean-up."
"I would hope
so," Sheridan began to walk through the door back to the
meeting. Gentle pressure on her hand stopped her. Turning, she
looked at Kevin, "Did you want something Kevin?"
Kevin wanted to ask
her what she was doing for Thanksgiving but there were times
when Sheridan seemed unapproachable to him, this was one of
those times. He had never approached her about her relationship
with her boyfriend or about the premiere again. Instead he opted
for something safer, "Um… No, just have a great holiday
if I don't see ya."
"I will. I think
it will be very special." Sheridan thought about how special
it might just be. "Finally anyway," a smile appeared
on her face after she spoke.
Kevin thought about
what Sheridan had said through the entire meeting. The words
didn't make sense. When the meeting wrapped up, the words still
haunted him as he boarded a plane to head home to his family.
Angel was having
Nick over for Thanksgiving dinner. With everything going on
with his parents' relationship, he didn't really want to choose
whom he wanted to spend the holiday with.
As Sheridan packed,
she was grateful that Nick was coming over to spend Thanksgiving
with Angel, since she knew Angel wouldn't go home and she had
the plans to meet Tom's family. Meeting Tom's family was not
only upsetting her, it seemed like her relationship wouldn't
move forward until this was over with. It was the strangest
thing since she couldn't figure out why this was so important.
Sheridan packed an
over night bag since Tom's parents lived in a small town a couple
of hours away. Angel had gone with Nick to Whole Foods, and
by the looks of her list when she had left, she wouldn't be
back before Sheridan left. Not to mention the lines at the grocery
store the day before a holiday were long and there was a cashier's
strike going on.
Tom waited as Sheridan
locked up the apartment and grabbed her suitcase. They headed
to his parents' house. The drive didn't do much to ease Sheridan's
jitters. From the moment she arrived at his parent's house,
the situation left her nerves raw, it went downhill from there.
Kevin sat at the kitchen table talking to his Mom as he thought
about Sheridan and the group. In the little time since he had
been back, he had been accepted and now was as tight with the
girls as the rest of the guys. "Mama, I have to use the
phone. I'm gonna check up on Nicky."
Anne shook her head
at her son, "Dear, Nicky isn't a little boy. You told me
he was spending time out in Los Angeles with a 'Special Friend,'
as you called this person. I will assume that would be a woman
and I'm sure he doesn't want to talk to you right now."
Kevin's face scrunched
up into a weasel like expression as he smiled, "Aw Mama,
I know he doesn't want to talk to me, that's why I'm callin'"
Kevin laughed as he grabbed the portable phone off the wall
and headed to the living room.
Anne shook her head
and looked at her daughter in law, "Some things will never
change with those boys. They constantly pick at each other."
"Just like brothers,"
Tracy smiled back.
"Yep, only Kevin
isn't the underdog like he is here," said Tim, Kevin's
older brother, as he laughed.
Kevin dialed Nick's
home number and the machine picked up. He thought about dialing
Nick's cell next, but he knew exactly where Nick was. Dialing
the apartment number, he waited for one of them to answer the
phone. Most likely it would be Angel because she wouldn't know
this number on the caller id. He wasn't sure if Nick would recognize
the number either.
Nick laughed into the phone. "You're not supposed to be
calling me. We're on a break."
not supposed to be sleeping with the employees." Kevin
laughed back into the receiver. "So what's going on out
Nick's laugh was
loud and taunting in his ear, "You mean has Angel heard
Kevin sat in the
recliner, "Dude, don't yank my chain before I eat, ya know
better. Sheridan seemed to think that this weekend was pretty
Papa Bear. But on the QT, I really think Sheridan and Tom are
history as a couple. Sheridan isn't spending Thanksgiving with
him anymore. She left his parents and went home to Pennsylvania."
"What did you
say?" Kevin bolted up from the recliner. "What are
you talkin' about?"
it's great... Tom's gay." Nick had to throw the last part
in or Kevin would never go for it. Nick had a small flashback
in the middle of the conversation.
Kevin had made many
calls to Nick lately, trying to get a grip on Sheridan's relationship
with Tom. Nick, of course being the ever-loving brother, passed
along anything he heard. Then he would remind Kevin that he
should be doing this himself. Kevin's standard reply was, "Can't
dawg, she's involved with someone. I don't go there."
"Just like you
never told a woman you loved her just to have sex with her!"
Nick would yell back into the phone and then hang-up before
Kevin could yell back at him.
Returning back to
his telephone conversation with Kevin, Nick continued, "Angel
swears up and down that her 'Gaydar' goes off every time she
is around Tom. Ya know what else?" Nick whispered.
"Why are you
"What else Nick?"
Kevin felt a headache coming on.
got it on yet. It's been months. Can you imagine that shit?
Angel told Sheridan to ask Tom why he hasn't slept with her
yet. You know what he said to her?" Nick's words couldn't
be heard over his laugher. Kevin heard one word, 'marriage'.
Kevin was rubbing
his temple as he tried to understand what was going on, "Run
that by me again Nick."
the telephone from Nick who was now rolling on the sofa holding
his stomach while continuing to laugh.
"We can't tell
you anything. It is against the employees rules of do's and
don'ts." Angel said with a laugh.
"You broke that
rule awhile ago lady. What's the dish?" Kevin relaxed.
Angel, he could understand, she wasn't laughing half as hard
what Nick had said, "Tom is gay. The little fucker is gay
and he is using her to hide behind. Ten months of going out
with him and nothing but one second base encounter. He even
took her home to meet his parents, but they had a huge fight."
"Where is she
"She went home
to Erie. You'll see her Monday. Have a nice dinner." Angel
hung up the phone to see Nick dancing around her.
"He so likes
her. Thank you," Nick picked her up off the floor and squeezed
going to kill me. Did you know she wrote all of Kevin's parts?"
Angel began to stuff the turkey.
"Shit, I figured
that one out after the first time we slept together." Nick
plopped down on the couch only to have the television turned
off on him.
"If you are
eating, you're helping." Angel stood with the remote in
Nick dragged himself into the kitchen. Once at the sink, Angel
flicked the television back on. "Thanks," he gave
her hug. "It would be so cool if they could get it together."
on it right away. I've been trying for months to get her to
cut Tom loose and it hasn't happened. They have had fights before
but nothing like this."
"All we can
do is try!" Nick batted his eyelashes at Angel.
she quipped as she slapped him with a dishtowel.
Sheridan sat in her
room, at her parents' home, crying her eyes out. She had called
Angel to tell her that she was at home and not with Tom. Angel
tried to pry but Sheridan wasn't sharing any of the messy details.
When she found out that Tom had invited a ton of people to meet
her, she became angry. The anger came from the fact that she
thought they were going to be able to spend some of their time
alone. Every single minute of every day was scheduled to do
something. Sheridan blew up when it dawned on her, not too soon
after their arrival, that they were not going to have any time
together alone and they were sleeping in separate bedrooms.
Calling a cab, she left a dejected Tom sitting in his parent's
kitchen. Paying an absorbent fee, she was able to catch a flight
to Pittsburgh and a commuter jump to Erie to get home. At first,
she was going to head right back to her apartment but then she
remembered that Angel and Nick had private time scheduled.
Her parents were
happy she came home, but could see how sad their daughter was.
Both chose to ignore the obvious and enjoy the time they had
with her. "It will be fine dear, every couple has their
quarrels." Her mother said.
"I think this
is more than that Mom, much more." Sheridan spent the entire
Thanksgiving moping around the house in an old bathrobe and
The day came when
Sheridan had to return to California. At the airport, her mother
handed her a huge tote with a handle. "What is in here
You don't eat right," her mother kissed her cheek.
"I can't take
leftovers on a plane," Sheridan wanted to hide from everyone.
She heard the giggles from the bystanders.
"Yes you can
baby. Tell them your Mother said so. Now go." Mrs. Anderson
waved frantically as if she were a five-year-old child seeing
a grandparent off to Florida for the winter.
Sheridan stowed the
tote in the overhead compartment and prayed to God nobody would
smell the food. The plane and cab ride back to the apartment
were uneventful and boring as hell.
She had started writing
a new story but wasn't sure where she could go with it. Sitting
at her desk in her room, she waited for Angel to come back from
where ever she had gone. Crawling into bed later that night,
she assumed Angel was at Nick's place.
As she lay in bed,
she heard Tom's voice on the answering machine. He had made
no less than five calls to their number in the last two hours.
The last one was pleading and whiney. "I know you are there.
I called your Mom."
Sheridan closed her
eyes, "Great. Just great. Now I have to explain all of
this to Angel and then to my parents."
She listened to him
speak. "I'll see you tomorrow at work."
"Not if I can
help it. I have a meeting with the guys tomorrow night here
at the apartment. You have meetings all day. With any luck,
I won't even see you." Sheridan said to no one. Pulling
her quilt over her shoulder, she smiled as a pair of green eyes
smiled back at her in her dreams. A loud sigh would have been
heard in the room, had anyone been in the room, but her.
Mail To Bronwyn
Mail To Suzie
This page © 2001 - 2007 Bronwyn
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This is a work
The characters and events portrayed are fictitious.
Any resemblance to real people or events is purely coincidental.
Used with Permission
No part of this text may be copied or reprinted
without the author's permission.
Graphics by Bronwyn