Copyright

A Collaboration between Bron and Suzie

Chapter 31

"Three Cosmopolitans and one Corona," the waitress announced as she carefully placed the third round of drinks for the lively group on the table.

Nick squeezed the lime into his beer as he listened to the girls conversation about MaryAnn's latest on-again, off-again boyfriend.

"Does he have a brother?" Sheridan asked, "I don't care how old or young, nor do I care about looks. At this point, I'm not picky as long as he has a third leg and likes to sleep with women."

Nick's eyes bugged out at Sheridan's brassy comment. "You've been hanging out with Angelina too long."

With a goofy grin, Sheridan replied, "Yup. She's a bad influence." MaryAnn watched Angel, as she seemed to turn three shades of red.

"What is this all about Angel? You were the shyest kid on the block. These two have been talking about you for the last hour like you are some kind of party animal hunting for men."

On that note, Sheridan and Nick were wiping tears from their eyes as they both agreed simultaneously that pretty much described Angelina.

"Hey, I've calmed down a bit," she said with a giggle. Leaning into Nick, she answered her sister, "I was no angel May May." Angel took a sip of her drink and then slowly licked her lips seductively. She could see Nick watching her out of the corner of her eye. Nick adjusted himself in his seat as he cleared his throat.

"You don't say," MaryAnn replied as she watched her sister tease her boyfriend. In her alcohol buzzed mind, MaryAnn thought of a great idea. Clapping her hands together, she said "I've got a great idea! I'll make a deal with you two," referring to Nick and Angel. "If you tell me all about how you two hooked up and what happened to Joey, I'll let you two sleep over my house tomorrow night so you can have some quiet time together."

Angel bit the inside of her cheek as she contemplated her sister's offer. Nick's eyebrows shot up and his eyes sparkled, "Are you serious?"

MaryAnn leaned her elbows on the table placing her head in her hand, "Dead."

Nick glanced over to Angel to see what her reaction was. He was surprised that she wasn't as excited as he was. "It's up to you Angel. It's mostly your story to tell."

Sheridan wanted to help breakup the unwanted attention Angel was receiving. "Hey, if I tell you what happened to me, can I have the house for a night?"

MaryAnn eyed her old friend, "You bet."

Nick jokingly said, "What? Sheridan, have a one-night stand?" Saying it out loud made Nick laugh even harder causing Sheridan to frown.

"What's so funny Carter? It's not like I've never done it before."

Nick coughed trying to regain his composure, "Of course not Sheridan, but it's not like you. It's out of your character."

"Yeah, well this character hasn't had a real penis in over a year. I'm horny and I want sex with a real man." Sheridan announced to the group, and then some as people nearby couldn't help but hear her.

"Shhhh…" Angel whispered. "You want every man to hit on you now that they know you are looking for nothing more than a good fuck?"

Nick shook his head. "I can't believe the conversation we are having. Can we talk about something else for a bit?" Nick read his watched and saw that it was only 2:15 PM. He would nurse his last beer; he didn't want to have to face Angelina's parents drunk. It was Christmas Eve and he wanted to spend some alone time with Angel too.

Angelina leaned into Nick's shoulder to get his attention. "Penny for your thoughts," she whispered.

Leaning down, he kissed her forehead. "Just thinking about us, and being with you and your family. This trip is very different from when we went to Florida to be with my family." He said with a chuckle.

"Yeah, for one, you're freezing your ass off Florida boy." Angel tried to joke about what he had said. She knew what he meant. Her mother had cooked a homemade dinner and dessert, during which time some family members dropped over 'unexpectedly' to welcome Angel home. Then that morning, Mrs. Lydon brought out some family albums to show Nick. He was in awe at Angel's pictures. She was so athletic and never bothered to wear makeup. He came across her prom picture, which he stared at for the longest time. He had never gone to his prom before and felt a pang of jealousy seeing the boy in the tux holding his now-girlfriend. It wasn't until the college pictures that Nick really paid close attention to Angel. He could see the sparkle of life in her eyes in her first two years of college, but noticed a dramatic difference in her last two years. Her eyes told a very different story; she was not the same girl. He was surprised MaryAnn never noticed, especially since she was suspicious and was a cop, always looking for clues.
Angel noticed Nick was a hundred miles away in thought. She watched her sister and Sheridan talking but couldn't hear what they were saying. "What time do we need to be back at mom's May May?"

"We need to be back by 5 for dinner. Aunt Patty and Uncle Mike are coming over too." Nick snapped out of his thoughts and pulled Angel tighter up against him.

Sheridan piped in, "Oh, can I come too? I love them. Nick, wait 'til they start telling family stories and about their adventures. You'll pee your pants laughing." Both Angel and MaryAnn groaned. Nick smiled, but it didn't reach his eyes. Angel noticed Nick's mood and wanted to talk to him alone.

"Hey May May, Nick and I are going to go for a drive. I'll be back here to pick you both up at 4:30, okay?" Nick smiled at his girlfriend. He definitely needed to talk to her alone. He had so many questions he wanted to ask her but couldn't figure out when would be the perfect opportunity.

Walking hand in hand out of Chiller's, Nick whispered, "You know me too well sometimes. It frightens me."

"I've read your facial expressions for a long time, never quite knowing if I was right or not."

Putting his arm around her shoulder, he answered, "You're the best babe."

As she reached the car, Angel unlocked Nick's side first so he could get in. But before she could, Nick pulled her face to his, claiming her mouth. As the kiss intensified, both withdrew for some air. "That was nice." Angel said with a lopsided grin. She absolutely loved when Nick wore his turtleneck sweaters and jeans. Throw in his glasses and spiky hair to his already sexy look; Angel wanted to jump his bones on her family couch when she first saw him this morning.

Angel drove around her old neighborhood pointing out all the local attractions as well as some history she had. Nick felt relaxed as he held her hand and listened to her speak. He was just thankful they were alone for a while. He needed to talk to her about telling MaryAnn what she wants to know so they could have her home for a night.

"Angel, are you going to take MaryAnn up on her offer to let us have a night alone in her home?"

Angel looked over to Nick and then quickly back to the road. She pulled into a parking lot attached to a playground and parked the car. She turned to look at him and asked, "Honestly? I don't know." Angel sighed; the last thing she wanted to do was talk about Joey.

Nick took her hand, "Hey, if you don't want to, don't. I was just thinking that maybe if MaryAnn really knows what happened, she would be able to run interference with him next time he visits your parents. If anyone can make him go away and get out of your life for good, it would be her."

Angel thought about what Nick said and agreed MaryAnn could make his life miserable if he ever tried to contact her again. Slowly a smile formed on her face. "You are one smart man Carter!" Reaching over, she gave him a tight hug. Pulling away, she ran her hand down his face, caressing his cheek as she kissed him slowly.

Once the couple separated for air, Nick noticed it was getting dark outside. "Wow, what time is it?"

Angel looked at her watch and mumbled, "Shit. Hold on." Tearing through side streets, Angel got to the pub in time. She told Nick to stay in the car; she'd be right out.

As the two drunken divas got into the backseat of the car, Angel quickly sped towards Sheridan's house.

"So, what night should we go back?" Sheridan giggled to MaryAnn.

"Why don't we meet there at 6PM on the 26th? I get off work at 5 and will be definitely ready for a drink."

Angel rolled her eyes. "Hey May May, can Nick and I stay in your house that night since you've made plans to be out?"

Even buzzed, MaryAnn was still sharp as a tack. "Of course, but we'll need to have a little chat beforehand."

"Not a problem," Angel replied while smiling at Nick. Nick squeezed her hand.

Angel pulled into Sheridan's driveway. Turning around to face her, Angel said, "Okay chica, go straight to the bathroom, brush those teeth and gargle."

Sheridan scrunched up her face. "I don't want too."

Nick laughed as her mannerisms reminded him of someone else's. "Don't forget to call the boss man. If you don't check in with him, he will drive you crazy until he speaks directly to you. Trust me, I have the inside track on that one."

Sheridan was thinking that it just might be a better idea to go home with Nick, MaryAnn, and Angel. She couldn't move her body off the seat to get out of the car.

Angel got out of the car and walked around to help Sheridan out of the car, "Go spend time with your folks. I'll talk to you tomorrow." She gave her a big hug and whispered "Merry Christmas."

"Merry Christmas to you too Angel. Looks like you got St. Nick all to yourself this year," Angel rolled her eyes as MaryAnn groaned in the backseat. Nick chuckled thinking how incredibly different this Christmas was compared to his last year.

Angel continued to drive towards her home when MaryAnn popped her head between the two front seats, putting her arms around each of them.

"So, what do you think of Erie Nick?"

Turning to face her, "I like it. It's very beautiful to look at. All the white snow mixed in with the Christmas decorations. It's so different looking than Florida at this time of year. But I prefer to look at it from the indoors. I've been freezing my ass off," he finished with a chuckle.

"And what an ass it is," both girls replied in unison. They stopped, looked at each other and laughed leaving a puzzled Nick staring at them.

"Oh honey, you know how the fans love your ass. They even gave it it's own name." Angel said trying to keep a straight face.

"Not to mention other body parts," MaryAnn mumbled before quickly sitting back into the backseat, picking her nail polish while secretly trying to avoid the glare her sister was giving her.

As they pulled into the driveway, Angel parked next to her Aunt and Uncle's car. "Oh boy, they're here!" MaryAnn yelled as she ran out of the side door.

"Wow, she really misses them, huh?" Nick questioned.

Angel shook her head, "Nope. She wanted to get the hell away from me before I dope slapped her for her comments."

Nick took her hand as they entered her house, "I can see why. You've got one hellofa dope slap Angel."

Angel's Aunt Patty and Uncle Mike were definitely the life of the party at the dinner table. Nick had to learn to time when he took a sip of his drink. At the start of dinner, Uncle Mike told a story that made everyone at the table laugh. Poor Nick was taking a sip of his water at the exact same time and almost spit it out across the table. He choked for about two minutes before his breathing returned to normal. Angel's family didn't ask Nick about "Backstreet," other than to ask what he did for a living. They kept the conversation like he was any other average Joe, nothing special. Nick was relieved to know they didn't care.

After dinner, coffee and desserts were served in the living room. Aunt Patty and Uncle Mike left so they could get back home relatively early.

Mr. Lydon had been eyeing his presents under the tree for the past ten minutes before his wife caved and said everyone could open up one gift before bed. MaryAnn was staying at her parent's house so she'd be there for the Christmas morning ritual.

Nick observed the interaction among the family members and suddenly felt a little homesick. He knew his family was having a much different Christmas Eve than he was. Looking at his watch, he decided he needed to hear a familiar voice. Excusing himself, he left to go to the guest room for some privacy.

Back in California, A.J. was frantically getting his house in order for his company. He could have cared less what his mother thought; he was more nervous of what Marybeth would think. Being the typical bachelor, his house looked like what most bachelor pads would. But AJ decided to spruce his up a bit and make it more festive and less bachelor-esque. He arranged to have poinsettia plants delivered to be displayed around the fireplace and Christmas wreaths to adorn the windows. A Christmas tree was decorated using white lights and all angel ornaments. He had gone shopping the day before and was awaiting its delivery when his cell phone rang.

"Merry Christmas," AJ said in a cheerful tone.

"What punch are you sniffing?" Nick asked with a chuckle.

"Hey, Little Man. How's the cold treatin' ya?"

"I'm freezing my ass off, but it's going great. The snow looks really pretty from inside a warm house or car. But tomorrow, me and Angel's dad are going ice fishing. I plan on wearing a couple of pairs of socks on each foot." Nick said laughing.

"You're going fishing on Christmas Day? Did you do something to upset her parents because that sounds like one way of making you disappear?" AJ laughed at his own joke.

"Nah, seriously everything's going great. We're going to get out of the house so the girls can clean up and get Christmas dinner ready. I guess Mr. Lydon is sent out of the house every Christmas, but this year he has company. They are a very nice family and Angel's older sister, MaryAnn, is a character."

"Glad to hear you are having a good time. Have you talked to your brother or any of your sisters yet?" AJ was relieved to hear from Nick. The boys were a little nervous for him about this visit.

Nick's voice got quiet, "No, not yet. Part of me doesn't want to call them but I know I should. I just hate getting put in the middle of everything. I hate choosing sides."

"I understand Nick. Do what feels right to you. But I'm sure your cell phone will be ringing off the hook. If you don't call, they'll call you."

"Yeah, you're right. I will call them, later. So how are your Christmas plans going?" Nick wanted to change the subject.

Admiring his living room, AJ replied, "Oh, everything is coming out great. Just waiting for my food to be delivered and then I'm all set. They should be here any minute." Just as AJ spoke his last words, the doorbell rang. "Speak of the devil. Hold on while I answer it, okay?"

"Okay."

"Sorry about that. I want to ask you something. I got Marybeth a Christmas gift, and I'm not sure about it.

Nick interrupted, "Oh yeah, I forgot she was coming to your place for Christmas dinner. What did you get her?"

"I got her a pair of earrings and a gift certificate for a spa. Is it too much? Too little?"

"Whoa, you're asking me this question? Dude, you should be asking Howie. He gives the best advice when it comes to dating and gifts."

"Seriously, you've got sisters. What do you think Nick?"

Shocked, Nick replied that he thought they were great gifts, practical, but ones that she would enjoy.

"You'll be back for New Years' Eve, right?"

"Yeah, Angel, Sheridan, and I will return on the 28th."

"Excellent," A.J announced, "I'm going to make some plans for all of us." AJ thought for a second, "Nick, do you and Angel have plans for New Years' yet?"

Laughing, "Are you kidding me? We couldn't get passed planning this trip. We have nothing planned."

"Great. I've got a great idea for all of us."

Nick teased AJ, "And who would 'all of us' include?"

AJ could sense the smile on Nick's face, "You'll see on New Year's Eve."

"Ah huh," Nick replied. "Okay Aje, I'm going to make one more phone call then go back downstairs to open one present."

"Only one?" AJ questioned.

"I guess its tradition to open all the presents on Christmas morning, but Mr. Lydon was impatient this year so Mrs. Lydon gave in and said we could all open one tonight." Nick was laughing as he told AJ.

"I like Mr. Lydon," AJ announced.

"He's pretty cool."

"Okay little man, you go do what you have to do and don't upset the little lady. Give her a big ol' kiss and hug from me. I'll see you in a few days."

"Okay, bye." Nick hung up the phone and contemplated his next call. Biting the bullet, he dialed Aaron's number but was transferred to his voicemail. Nick left him a message and then proceeded to dial his Dad and Mom's numbers. No one answered so he just left messages for all of them.

Returning down stairs, Nick was greeted by Mr. Lydon. "There you are boy. Come here so we can open up our presents." Mrs. Lydon dope-slapped her husband, "Leave the boy alone Seamus! He does have a family to call on this holiday eve you know! Besides, the only reason I'm letting you open up one gift is because we have company this year," Mrs. Lydon gave Nick a wink. He smiled giving her his Carter charm.

MaryAnn and Angel watched as their father's eyes grew wide opening up his 'one' gift for the evening. It was a box filled with new golf balls, golfing gloves, and a gift certificate to a sporting goods store to pick up some new clubs.

Mrs. Lydon opened up her present next. It was a beautiful memory box made out of mahogany.

MaryAnn opened up her present next. It was an engraved plaque with her picture, along with a community service award she was given last month.

Nick looked nervous as he eyed the present given to him. Feeling like a little kid again, he tore into the paper. Opening up the box, he found a set of lambskin hat, gloves, and a cashmere scarf to keep him warm.

"There you go, the women were thinking. You'll be needing those tomorrow to go ice fishing on the lake." Seamus looked over Nick's gift.

Nick looked at Angel for help, the idea of walking on a frozen lake the size of a state and then cutting a hole in the ice to fish, seemed a little insane to him.

"Dad, you are scaring him," Angel pursed her lips together in frustration.

Nick needed to cover for himself, "Angel, he isn't scaring me. It's just fishing, I fish all the time."

Angel knew better but let it slide as she let out a little puff of air.

Finally, it was Angel's turn. Opening up her gift, she looked at her mother and father in horror as she read the name of the store on the box. Darting her eyes to her sister, she noticed MaryAnn's cheeks were beet red and her shoulders shook from laughter. Mrs. Lydon noticed her daughter's reaction and questioned, "What's wrong Angel? What did you get? Let us see."

Nick's curiosity got the better of him, and repeated Mrs. Lydon's, "Let us see."

Carefully, she took off the top of the box. Nick saw the pink and black lines and knew immediately where it came from. His shoulders tensed a little bit as he saw Angel slowly remove the paper. Looking up at her parents, she explained, "It's pajamas," and left it at that.

After Mr. and Mrs. Lydon retreated to their bedroom, Angel gave MaryAnn a piece of her mind. "Are you crazy? I'm not sure what Mom and Dad think about what I do and don't do, but this just brings the thought to the front of their minds…and on Christmas to boot!" Angel was beside herself. Nick opened up the box to get a better look. They were sexy, yet classy. He let out a low whistle as his finger touched the fabric, "Nice taste MaryAnn," giving her a wink.

"Okay beach boy, go to bed so my sister and I can talk. Then maybe she'll wear those for you when you sleep over my house." MaryAnn winked back at Nick.

Quickly, Nick gave Angel a kiss goodnight and was off to his room for the evening.

Across town, Sheridan walked around the living room trying to work off the booze before she called Kevin back.

"Sweetheart, are you okay?" her father, the worrier, followed her with his eyes as she paced the room.

"I'm fine Daddy. I just need to call my boss, but before I do that I need to sober up."

The large, gentle man folded his paper and watched his daughter walk off an alcohol induced haze. "When were you going to tell us about the new job?" Harry asked as his eyes glanced towards the kitchen and the Christmas Eve dinner being placed on the table. "And what happened to the old job?"

Sheridan finally gave up; she wasn't a liar by nature, she sucked at it. Going over to the footstool next to her Dad's chair, she sat down with a whoosh. Placing her chin in the palm of her hand, she puckered up her lips. "Tom fired me," she looked at her father for support or any type of assurance.

"Why? He had no cause too, did he?" Harry's eyes leveled on his only child.

"He said I called in sick too much and I was no longer productive." Sheridan blinked, "At least that is what he said."

"I see," Harry folded the footrest down on his recliner. "Did you?"

Sheridan twisted in her seat, "Only after finding out that he was gay and he broke my heart. I thought he was the one Daddy, I really did. I think there is more to it though."

Harry stared for a while, two things came to mind. One, Sheridan couldn't have been too upset or MaryAnn and Angelina's sleuthing skills would be in full force. He had to hand it to those two girls; they were the best people for friends he could hope for his daughter. At first, he was worried about Sheridan taking off with the 'Wild Angel,' as most people referred to Angelina, to Los Angeles but he understood it was time. The second one being the young man who had been calling their home all day looking for Sheridan.

"Daddy?" Sheridan stared back at him.

"Yes sweetheart?" Harry smiled with his eyes.

"You're not listening," Sheridan pouted at him.

"I'm listening Sheridan, I'm listening." Harry took two telephone calls today, both of them from Sheridan's new boss. His curiosity was getting the best of him since the young man on the other end of the telephone was extremely polite, a very southern gentleman with manners. Sheridan's green eyes weren't as vivid as they usually were. Rubbing his chin absently he could tell she was still hurting. "What about the new man in your life?"

"I don't have one Daddy. I'm done with men." Sheridan stood up in a huff and walked around the room. "All men are jerks and I don't want a thing to do with them."

Harry tried very hard not to smile, whenever Sheridan was mad at the male species, they were sworn off until her dying day or her next crush. He chuckled as he remembered poor Tommy Fisher tried to win her heart with flowers at the tender age of twelve. Then there was the ass that had dumped her for a cheerleader, he was so glad when that one was over. He didn't think Sheridan would ever forgive him for wanting to kill the kid. The boy had hurt her badly. At first, he didn't want Sheridan to move away but in the end he understood that it was good idea mentally and career wise for her. Of course, Joyce balked and had a fit but he brought her around to understanding why it was important. Now there was Tom who had recently dumped her, her track-record with men seemed to be failing miserably. Sheridan was kind hearted and very loving but some days, her smarts were not her strong suit. "Don't swear men off too long Sheridan, your Mother wants grandchildren."

Sheridan gave her father a half frown and he smiled back at her knowing what her answer would be. "But Daddy, men aren't necessary to have a baby…" She laughed as she watched him put his and up in the air.

"In my day and age it is!"

"Dinner!" Mrs. Anderson called from the kitchen.

Sheridan put her hand up to help her Dad out of the chair. "I don't need your help. I'm not old and feeble."

Sheridan giggled, he was right he didn't, it was the chair. "You need a new chair Daddy. That thing is falling apart."

"You leave my chair alone!" he squeezed her hand. "I won't tell your Mom, but you had better call your boss. He doesn't sound like the patient type."

"Darn it!" Sheridan reached for the phone as she headed into the kitchen. Grabbing her day planner, she tried his cell phone and hoped he wouldn't answer.

"Hello," Kevin answered the phone.

"It's me," Sheridan turned her back to her parents and smiled.

"Well hello Me," Kevin spoke as he sacked out on his couch. "Where ya been? I was worried about you. You were supposed to call me right away."

"Are you always going to yell at me if I don't call you back right away?" Sheridan frowned as her parents were eavesdropping on her conversation.

"Sheridan, you were bottled up with Nick for hours yesterday. I know how that is," he chuckled.

"It was actually fun. He has the most beautiful blue eyes and cherub face when he is sleeping," Sheridan recalled studying Nick and Angel yesterday when they were sleeping.

"Yeah, but then he woke up!" Kevin punctuated the end of his sentence with a little huff.

Sheridan thought for a second that it sounded like a little jealously, "No."

"What?" Kevin turned down the television.

"Nothing. So what did you need me for?" Sheridan sat at the table with the telephone in her hand.

"Nothin,' I just wanted to make sure you got home safely." Kevin did a dance around three bodies lying on the floor. Two of which were his brothers who were starting to get loud and teasing him for finally reaching Sheridan. "So what do you guys have planned to do over the break?"

"More potatoes Mommy," Sheridan spoke to her mother as her mother filled her plate.

Kevin snickered hearing the term 'Mommy' come from Sheridan. Sometimes she was such a kid to him. "Mommy?"

"Don't pick on me, I've been drinking," Sheridan giggled into the phone like a twelve year old. It finally hit her. She was talking to Kevin on her phone, at her home.

"Are you having another fan moment?" Kevin let out a laugh himself.

"Yes I am," Sheridan popped a piece of food in her mouth.

"Sheridan, don't talk with your mouth full!" Joyce spoke very sharply and loud.

"Tsk, tsk, mind your manners Sheridan," Kevin was again laughing. "The plans?"

Swallowing the lump of potato, she excused herself from her spying parents and walked into the living room. "I'm going to stay home tomorrow. Nick will probably go ice fishing with Seamus. Angel will call me tomorrow night and then we'll compare gifts. I bet she wins, she has Nick…" Sheridan took a breath, "We might take Nick ice skating. The next day we are going out again to the bar." Sheridan smiled; she was going to get a hook-up if it killed her. She knew Nick and Angel would end up crashing at MaryAnn's house. "It's a good thing MaryAnn has lots of bedrooms."

"Why is that?" Kevin stared at the phone and then felt that little tingly feeling in his groin.

Sheridan tried to dodge the question, "Why is what? I think Nick would like ice skating."

"Nick is going to kill himself skating so don't take him. We need him healthy and in one piece." Kevin leaned on the counter and looked out the kitchen window. The kids in the family were coming in to eat dinner. They had been outside building a snowman. He heard his mother call them in and announce dinner was ready.

"He'll be fine. We'll take good care of him," Sheridan paced the room. "So anyway?"

"You didn't answer the question. Why is it good that MaryAnn has extra bedrooms? Who is MaryAnn, anyway?" Kevin stared at the floor tile of his kitchen as he waited for her to answer.

"Oh because Angel and Nick are going to stay over there," Sheridan gulped, she had almost given Kevin the very thought that she was thinking. The only thing that would be better is if it were him that she could hook up. "MaryAnn is Angel's sister and my best friend. Then we fly home the next day."

A hand waved in front of Kevin's face and he shoved it away. It was Jerald telling him to end the conversation. "Listen I have to go. Mama has dinner on the table. We'll talk when you get back. We need to give you a set schedule so that I can find you. Bye," Kevin waited for her to return the good-bye.

"What for?" Sheridan stared back at the phone.

"Don't worry, I have extra bedrooms too," Kevin laughed as he hung up.

"Did you find your girl?" Jerald stood in front of Kevin while Kevin was lost in thought.

Kevin thought about the conversation that he had just had. From what he had garnered out of it, they were all going to party, big time. "She's not my girl Jerald," Kevin hung the phone up. "Not yet anyway, but I'm working on it."

"Come on, dinner's ready. Don't make Mom mad, you know better." Jerald began to shove Kevin towards the dining room.

"Just a minute," Kevin reached for the phone. He dialed the number, and waited for the person to answer. Kevin considered this a pre-emptive strike in his plan to acquire Sheridan as his. Now he just needed a little inside information and the ability to level things before his mind started spinning torrid tales. "Nicky, my little brother…"

"Oh man," Jerald shook his head as his lips quirked in an odd grin. "You so suck when you have to get the Little Man to help you bag a chick." Jerald laughed as he walked away.

Kevin heard Nick laugh on the other end, he must have heard Jerald, "Don't even go there peckerhead. I called to wish you a Merry Christmas."

Nick laughed even louder as he sat on the bed, "Sure ya did. Did you get in touch with Sheridan? Did she tell you where we went tonight? I'm telling you Kevin, she is totally different around here than she is with us."

"I'm listenin'," Kevin headed to the dining room table without much choice since his mother grabbed him by the arm and towed him to the table but he wasn't hanging up from this conversation.

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