Copyright

A Collaboration between Bron and Suzie

Chapter 37

Wiping the tears from her eyes, Angelina tried to speak again without laughing. She wasn't successful. Doubling over, she held her stomach as laughter filled the room once more.

Nick chuckled into the phone, "Sorry Bro."

Angel tried to speak again, *hiccup* "Patrick?" *hiccup* was choked out before her voice gave out to euphoria once again.

Kevin rubbed his hand through his hair; he was not amused. "How long do they last usually?"

"The hiccups? It depends really. The harder she laughs the louder and faster they come."

"Sounds like the last time I had sex," Kevin said absentmindedly. Unfortunately, Nick heard him and started howling. "Oh God," Kevin groaned. "Listen, call me back when you two laughing hyenas can control yourselves long enough to answer a few stupid questions for me, okay? Bye," Kevin said as he slammed the phone down.

Nick and Angel had walked into to Nick's house and the phone was ringing off the wall. They had just returned from the Beverly Center with mixed reactions as to what happened to them today. It was supposed to be a simple day, shopping for some needed items that shouldn't have been a big deal. However, throw in a few celebrity sightings, the paparazzi, and you've got a disastrous day.

Earlier that day Nick and Angel had gone to the mall just to pick up a few things and enjoy each other's company. They also ended up dodging camera flashes as they passed by a shop that sold clothes for animals. Everything probably would have been fine, but Paris Hilton was also there shopping and wherever Paris went, paparazzi seemed to follow. One of the photographers noticed Nick and called his name. When Nick turned around, the camera started snapping pictures at him and they tried to get closer.

At first, Angel didn't understand what was going on. As soon as Nick pulled her close to him and began walking fast in the other direction, Angel knew something was wrong. "What's the matter Nick?"

As they boarded the down escalator, Nick whispered in her ear that he was sorry. She put her head on his shoulder and asked what he was sorry about. Camera shots were being snapped as an intimate moment was being shared. "Unfortunately, your life with me."

She lifted her head up and looked at him, "What are you talking about?" Angel was completely confused and completely oblivious to what was going on around them.

Nick held her hand and said, "Just follow my lead, okay? There are paparazzi here taking all kinds of photos of us. Let's just stay cool and not give them anything to write about, okay?"

Angel blinked, then blinked again, and slowly turned to face forward as she descended off of the escalator. It was then she got a clue about what was happening. She forced a smile at Nick and shook her head up and down. She now understood what Nick was talking about.

As the couple found a semi-private moment, Angel looked up at Nick horrified.

Nick's concern was evident in his voice, "What's wrong baby? Are you okay?"

With her eyes wide, Angel mumbled, "Kevin is going to kill us. He said keep a low-profile. I don't think this is what he had in mind."

Nick grinned, "Nah, don't worry about it. As Johnny says, any publicity is good publicity." Nick led Angel out of the Mall to the parking garage to get into his Escalade. He would figure out a way to deal with Kevin later.

Angel still unsure added, "I hope you're right."

Nick was brought back to the present when he heard Angel talking to Sheridan on the phone. Shaking his head, he looked at Angel.

*hiccup* "Are you serious Sheridan?" *hiccup*

"Well, it's not technically a date per say," Sheridan was baffled that Angelina knew about her dinner engagement with Patrick when she hadn't even told her yet. She knew Kevin must have called Nick to get the scoop from Angel about it. "Have you been drinking? Your hiccups are unusually bad this time."

"I've had some *hiccup* wine, but not enough to make me *hiccup* drunk." Angel tried to speak a complete sentence before another one struck. "Again, what made you agree to a dinner date with Patrick?"

Getting frustrated, Sheridan snarled, "Listen, my car wouldn't start this morning and the last thing I needed was to be late for my first day on the job with Kevin. If it wasn't for Patrick, I would have had the day from hell!"

Sheridan could hear Angelina's giggling and could sense the smirk on her face. "He's been our neighbor since we've moved in and has been nothing but friendly and helpful to us. He's harmless Angel. And this isn't a DATE."

*hiccup* "Uh huh, whatever. Hey tomorrow if you are having car troubles, you can always take my car. See you at 9." And with that statement, Angel hung up the phone dissolving completely in tears, again.

"SHIT!" Sheridan screamed as she hung up the phone. "Why didn't I think of taking Angel's car?" Sheridan was talking to herself, "You are such a blonde sometimes."

Nick saw Angel finish off the last sip in her wine glass and refilled it for her. "Are you trying to get me drunk Nickolas?" she purred.

"Nope. Just trying to help you forget about today," Nick said as he pulled her into a hug.

Nick's phone rang again as he groaned into Angel's hair. Turning back towards the phone, he answered, "Hello."

"Hey Nick. How ya doing buddy?"

"Hey Brian. I'm doing pretty good. How were your holidays?" Nick sat back down grabbing his beer and patting the couch cushion next to him for Angel to sit. She snuggled up with her glass of wine into his side as Nick wrapped his arm around her.

"It was wonderful. I just got back to LA this afternoon and wanted to double check to see how things went with you in Pennsylvania before I saw you tomorrow."

"Christmas was wonderful. I tried all kinds of new things that people do during the snow season." Nick chuckled remembering his attempt at ice staking.

"You didn't hurt yourself, did you?"

"Nah, I survived unscathed. What did you guys do for New Years?"

"Leigh and I decided to stay in and have a romantic night at home. Too bad she had the flu." Brian chuckled while shaking his head, "It would be my luck that I was able to be home and she was sick. How was yours?"

"New Years was memorable. I think we've finally recovered," Nick uttered as he pulled Angel closer.

Brian laughed, "You guys are young."

"Not that young." Nick spoke, "I'm not in as good a shape as I once was."

Brian couldn't resist, "When were you ever in good shape?"

"Hey," Nick shouted with a hint of laughter, "That wasn't very nice."

"I'm sure Angel can help whoop your ass into shape." Brian didn't miss the cheerfulness and happiness in Nick's voice.

"Just as long as I don't loose my ass in the process," Nick looked over to Angel to wink at her, but her eyes were closed and she was falling asleep.

After speaking to Brian for another twenty minutes, he hung up to call Kevin back.

"Is she calmer now?"

"Yup, so calm she's sound asleep. But I just wanted to call you back to let you know that Sheridan is flat out denying this is a date-date."

"Uh huh. So why bother going out at all?"

"He's a nice guy and has been a good neighbor to the girls I guess." Nick rolled his eyes; Kevin questioned everyone's motives but his own.

"I'd hate to think what Patrick would ask of you if he needed to jump start her car," Kevin's sarcastic side was starting to rear its ugly head. Of course, two double shots of whiskey could do that to him.

Nick couldn't help but giggle, "Well, I doubt anything will happen then. Angel reminded Sheridan that she could always take her car since she's coming with me tomorrow."

"Good," Kevin responded while nodding his head up and down, "That's good. Sheridan needs a new car."

Nick noticed Kevin was acting strangely calmer and a little weirder than usual. He wanted to tell Kevin about the photographers at the Mall, but didn't think this would be a good time. "You okay bro?"

"Yeah, nothing a little sleep won't cure. I'll see you and the little lady tomorrow."

"Night." Nick clicked off the phone and slowly removed the empty wine glass from Angel's hand. Carefully, he picked her up and carried her into his bedroom, laying her on his bed. He removed her sneakers and socks before tucking her into bed, then he went to grab another beer and boot up his computer. He wanted to know if there was anything on the fan boards about him and Angel.

"This is death," Sheridan mumbled as her alarm clock blared at 6:30AM to wake her up. Hitting the snooze button, she rolled over to catch a few more zzz's before the annoying sound woke her up again. As she drifted off, a loud ringing noise was now replacing her alarm clock. "What the hell?" she sat up and tried to focus on the new disturbing sound.

Realizing it was the phone, she mumbled to it as if it could understand her. "Hello."

"Good morning Sheridan. I wanted to call you and wish you good luck before you started your first day of filming dear. How are you?"

"Hi Mom. Thanks for the well wishes. You do remember that I am THREE hours behind you, right?"

"Of course dear, but I wasn't sure what time you started today and I didn't want to miss you. I ran into MaryAnn last night and she told me she had talked to you yesterday. She was the one who reminded me about what was happening today."

"Remind me to thank MaryAnn," Sheridan mumbled.

"She's such a sweet girl. I'm surprised she hasn't settled down yet. She's not getting any younger."

"Mom, MaryAnn and I are the same age. It's not that uncommon to be my age and not be settled down. I'm only in my twenties."

"Yes dear, but most women your age are either dating someone or are lesbians these days." Sheridan heard a sharp intake of breath from her mom and started to laugh.

"Don't worry Mom, I'm not a lesbian and neither is MaryAnn."

"Well that's good to know dear." Suddenly, Sheridan's alarm clock blared in the background, "I'll let you go. Time for you to get ready. Call me later to tell me all about your first day of work on the set."

Sheridan rolled her eyes as she turned off the offensive blaring. "I'm not sure what the schedule is like today Mom. I'll call you when I can, okay?"

"Okay dear. Have fun. Talk to you soon. Love you bye."

"Love you too mom. Bye."

Sheridan booted up her computer and went to put her coffee together, "I hope this isn't any indication of how the rest of my day will be."

As she waited for the coffee to brew, she began surfing the internet. "Oh shit. I don't think it's going to be me that will have a bad day," Sheridan whispered as she saw pictures of Nick and Angel on one of the BSB message boards. She decided to check out a few others, but it appears the situation was getting worse, not better.

There were pictures of Nick and Angel kissing on the side of the road with Angel starting to get into her car. "This must have been after Nick and Angel went for a jog and before Angel went to work on Tuesday morning," Sheridan thought.

Scrolling down, she found a few more pictures of Nick in Malibu with his friends. "Classy Nick! Drinking from a brown paper bag, you wino." Sheridan chuckled, "I should forward these to Kevin."

As Sheridan surfed to a different message board, she saw a headline, "Who's the girl with Nick?" followed by 22 pages worth of replies, that made her gasp, "Uh oh." Sheridan scrolled through the thread, clinking on links to see the pictures of Nick and Angel shopping at the Grove. Further into the thread, she found another link for a website run by a Nick/BSB fan who posted enlarged pictures. For the most part, the fan responses were civil towards "the girl with Nick." The fans debated whether or not "the girl" was a girlfriend or just a friend. Then one fan wrote as if she 'knew' she was right, posted the picture of Nick and Angel on the escalator with Angel's head on his shoulder, "Nick would never show this much PDA if it was just a friend." That comment resulted in a fight among fans until one of the Moderators of the board issued a warning.

Realizing she had been surfing on her computer longer than she had intended, Sheridan yelled, "OH SHIT," as she ran into the bathroom for a quick shower. Panic set in when she realized she had less than an hour to get ready, eat breakfast and get to the set.

As she fumbled with her purse, Sheridan tried to find something for breakfast that she could grab and eat on the run. She almost knocked over her thermos full of coffee in the process. "Ah fuck it. I'll grab a donut on the way." Sheridan slammed the apartment door and locked it. As she high-tailed it down the stairs, her chant of, "Please let my car start…..please," was whispered as her head tilted up towards the sky.

Fortunately, luck was on her side as the car started right up. She peeled out of the driveway and was heading straight for Krispy Kremes in Burbank. "I certainly have my priorities this morning," she mumbled as she switched radio stations looking for something decent to listen to.

Nick and Angel were driving toward the studio where the entire crew was to meet some of the cast members. Angel was a bundle of nerves sitting in the front seat twisting the cuff of her jacket.

"Will you relax? The hard part of your job is done. I should be the one who is nervous," Nick said trying to make Angel feel better.

"Well, that's not the only reason I'm nervous Nick," she mumbled. Sensing there was more Angel wanted to talk about, Nick pulled over into a parking lot to pick them up some coffee. "What's this about Angel?"

"Oh, it's nothing," she said with a sigh that meant it was more, but she wasn't sure if she really wanted to talk about it now or wait. As she got out of the car, she met Nick who put his hands on her shoulders, making her look at him, "Talk to me. Please?"

With a heavy sigh, Angel revealed what she read on the internet that morning, "The fans know you have been out and about with me and they're speculating on our relationship. There are pictures from different paparazzi outlets of us together. It's really eerie to see how the websites post the dates the pictures were taken as well. It's almost like they can piece together what we did and on what days. Not to mention, Kevin is going to have a cow when he reads about it."

Nick pulled Angel in for a hug. He knew he should have given her a heads-up, but he really didn't want her to worry about it anymore than he did. Nick chuckled thinking about Angel's comment about Kevin. "Don't worry about Kevin. And don't worry about the pictures. I'm very happy to have you in my life and I'm sure the fans can see how happy I am." Releasing his hold on her, he gently lifted her chin up so he could look into her eyes, "And I am very happy to have you in my life Angel. I really do love you," and with that a kiss followed, along with more pictures being taken from behind another car.

As Nick and Angel ordered their coffee, whispers could be heard among the other patrons. Angel began to feel self-conscious and goose bumps ran along her arms as she noticed a man outside taking more pictures of her and Nick. As Nick paid for their drinks, the manager whispered, "I'm sorry Mr. Carter. If you'd like, you can exit through the back entrance."

Nick smiled weakly, "Thanks anyways, but I'm parked out front." Turning towards Angel, he held out her coffee which she took. As they walked out of the café, Nick took Angel's free hand and ignored the man with the camera.

Pulling onto the highway, Nick finally spoke. "I'm sorry Angel. Your life is only going to get more complicated because of me."

Angel knew deep down that Nick would worry about her and how his celebrity would affect their relationship. She needed to reassure him that she was strong enough to withstand this part of his life if she was to be a part of his life too. Squeezing Nick's hand, Angel replied with a smile, "Just ignore them, right?"

Nick shook his head, "Yeah." Thinking to himself, as he drove to the studio, 'I hope we'll be fine.'

Pulling into the parking lot, he saw his group members, Marybeth and Sheridan all gathered around Sheridan's car staring at it. Angel leaned forward in her seat, "Something is up with Sheridan's car. I hope it didn't catch fire again."

"Fire?" Nick looked at her with a mixed look on his face, one of part fear and part doubtfulness.

"It's done it twice to her," Angel laughed as Kevin crawled on the ground next to the car on his hands and knees. "This is when we need a photographer," Angel giggled as she watched Kevin intently look under the car. Jumping out of Nick's Escalade as soon as he parked, she darted toward the gathering of people. "Oh, Kevin on his hands and knees. I've always envisioned him crawling." Angel began to giggle. The others were just as bad as her and were laughing. The group began saying their "hellos" and engaged in idle chit-chat.

Slowly, Kevin went to his knees and leaned back on his calves. With his arms folded over his chest, he dropped a look from hell on Angel. Angel knew there was no reason to be afraid of Kevin but for some unknown reason her skin began to tingle; she felt very nervous and just stood frozen, staring at him. "Would you care to define the term 'Low Key' for me?" It took Angel a minute to comprehend what Kevin was talking about.

Nick immediately came to stand in front of Angel. Nick was well versed in the body language of Richardson. Angel had just pissed Kevin off to the roots of his hair. "Look I…"

A leg covered in grey flannel wearing a very sexy but insensible spike heel was placed in front of Kevin. The leg was shapely and the flannel clung very nicely to it. A lyrical voice chimed above his head, "I won't let you pick on them about the photographers. It isn't their fault. They're not posing for the cameras. How would you like it if it were you and your girlfriend?"

Kevin placed his hand on the car and pulled himself up to a standing position. "I would have been a little smarter about it. I checked the messageboards this morning after I got a call from Johnny. It's very unlike Nick to show PDA all over the damn place."

Kevin shook his head back and forth, as he stared at Nick and Angel. They both looked upset. Recalling Johnny's words in his head, "free publicity" and knowing Kevin's anger was more out of jealousy than anything else, he started to back off. "I suppose I probably would have done the same thing. I'm not known for tucking my tail between my legs and running when it gets a little hairy." Kevin turned to the blonde that had just gotten in his face and looked down at her. This was something new to him, Sheridan firing back at him, "You need a new car. We wouldn't want you to sacrifice yourself to Patrick the Auto God for the sake of transportation. Now, let's all go inside and get this meeting out of the way. We have too much to do in the next two weeks before… before…" Kevin stopped himself; he wasn't ready to tell them what they would be doing in two weeks. If he said anything now, he would get a chorus of 'no-s' from the women.

Sheridan's entire body was blushing at Kevin's remark. He definitely knew about her date with Patrick but why was he so upset about it. She turned to ask him about it but he turned and marched in the door to the studio.

Howie and Brian each grabbed one of Sheridan's hands.

"I like her," Brian smiled.

"Yes!" Howie was grinning from ear to ear.

"I can't believe she did that," A.J. just shook his head as he walked to stand next to Marybeth. "You are very cool, Miss S."

Sheridan looked lost and so did Angel and Marybeth. The guys were laughing their asses off and grinning a mile wide. "I don't get it," Sheridan whispered as she walked into the building with Angel and Marybeth.

"I don't either but I'll be asking Nick about it later," Angel didn't understand what had taken place either but she understood that Kevin wasn't pleased about had happened with the photographers. Angel wouldn't push her luck with Kevin today, it just wouldn't be a very good idea.

Marybeth walked up to John Hughes who was conversing with Kevin. The others approached slowly but unsure of their surroundings.

"Welcome!" he yelled to the group as they followed Marybeth. John stood as they gathered around him. "Okay today is going to be a little unconventional. All of you are going to meet the people on the set and learn what they do because all of you are new to this." A young woman came from the back of the set came to stand next to John. "Everyone meet Jaime Pressly."

The usual rounds of hellos were pitched towards the actress, as well as hands. Kevin stepped forward and offered his hand, "It will be a pleasure to work with you Jaime. I loved your movie Footprints."

Sheridan rolled her eyes. Nobody saw it but Angel and of course Nick, as Angel alerted him to it. Sheridan didn't notice that she was being watched by the two as she listened to Kevin heap the compliments on the starlet.

Nick and Angel stifled their giggles as they watched Kevin drool over the actress.

John grabbed a bullhorn from his chair and yelled. "Meeting everyone! I mean everyone!"

A crowd of over one hundred people gathered around them. Sheridan was bumped slightly from behind, turning slightly she discovered that it was Kevin that was doing the bumping. He had moved to stand behind her while she watched the people assemble.

"Okay we're going to run through this one time and only one time. Then these green horns are going to be taken on a tour of this studio and set. If they have any questions, please answer them." John set the bullhorn down knowing that using it now was un-necessary. "Ladies and gentleman I will go around and introduce the cast. After that, I will call your name, please step forward. I will give them your job description at that time." John waited until all eyes were focused on him.

"Meet your cast: Kevin Richardson the Professor who advises undergraduate and graduate students in the Music program; Nick Carter is the student with ADHD and a surfer; Brian Littrel is a married PhD student; Howie Dorough is your music industry man who teaches part-time at the University and is also a ladies man, and finally, A.J. McLean is your music prodigy - singer and musician."

Clearing his throat, John smiled at Sheridan and Angelina. "Please also let me introduce Ms. Sheridan Anderson and Ms. Angelina Lydon, the creators of this story, who will make it come to life, they are the writers, and our screenwriters. This movie is their baby. Any questions, ask them or Marybeth, who all of you are familiar with since she hired most of you."

Angel and Sheridan smiled; Angel was thrilled, Sheridan was scared to death. She backed up and stepped on Kevin's foot. She heard him inhale loudly but he didn't gasp in pain or anything from behind as he slid his foot out from under hers.

"We are running on a shoestring budget so most positions have been left unfilled. We have condensed and reorganized positions to make this movie. We have one person in charge of the set. There is no greensmen on this set nor is there a background artist, color consultant, prop manager, property designer, set designer, set decorator, Foley artist, or sound designer, instead we have Greg." John laughed as he looked at the kid who looked like he had just fallen out of bed. "Say hello Greg," John smiled.

"Hello Greg," Greg laughed as he answered the director's request stepping forward and then back in line with the others.

"This is Helen. She does wardrobe and costumes." John pointed to a middle age woman who stepped forward and then backwards rather quickly. "Helen also helps Greg and Donna on the set when she is needed. Helen will also be doing makeup and hair too."

Kevin had a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach over all the short cuts that they were taking. Backstreet Boys go to acting and they were going to look like asses to the masses. He had nightmares about "Spiceworld," over this. The acid was churning in his stomach.

"Donna," John pointed to a woman with a cellphone in each ear, "Is our Production Manager and anything else we need her to do." Pausing to see that his words weren't falling on deaf ears, he called a name, "Terry!"

A husky man in his mid-fifties with silver hair stepped forward. "Meet Terry, he's is our redeemer and he is going to get this movie made top notch. He's our gaffer and runs the minions around here. So let's take a tour, shall we." John strode away and it took a scant thirty seconds for everyone to follow him quickly.

"Ladies, if there is something that is not correct or how you want it to look, say so now. We have a few days to fix things before we roll film." John walked them through the different sets, one of A.J.'s apartment, one of what would be Howie's office. As the guys touched and looked around the sets, they were in awe that this was actually going to happen. They also could see the detail put into each set along with little touches of their own personality. The group stopped at the back of the studio where Nick's dorm room scenes were going to be filmed. Nick was like a kid as he checked out the mock room. "This is really cool," as he grabbed a basketball off the desk and began bouncing it around. A quick game of pick up started between Brian and Nick.

Kevin smiled as it brought back old memories. Brian and Nick would play basketball anywhere, anytime. Biting his bottom lip, he was saddened by how much they all had grown apart. Maybe this movie would help keep them together as men, not just boys.

John grabbed the ball from Brian and placed it on the desk. "Next we have Brian's apartment," John spoke as he rounded a corner.

"Oh God," Brian grasped as he looked at the room. "This is so close to what our first place looked like."

Kevin was laughing as he stared at the gold-colored refrigerator which clashed with the avocado-colored stove. The guys were remembering the first apartment that they had shared together as a singing group. Kevin drove his roommates nuts with his cleaning habits; he thought Brian and A.J. were slobs.

"How did you know all this?" Brian literally stepped into the middle of the set and felt like he had stepped back in time too.

"All we need now is Lou," Howie laughed.

Sheridan and Angel studied each set intently and began to scribble notes on one pad. They would mumble and say yes or no. Most of the sets were fine, a few things were missing here and there that they felt the sets needed. One was that Nick's dorm room didn't have any posters of babes on the walls. "Most college kids have some type of girlie posters on their walls," Angel mumbled loud enough for the others to here.

"We can make adjustments ladies. Just let us know what you want," Greg voiced from not to far away.

"You did a great job," Sheridan smiled not wanting to ridicule the man. "Our list is just little things that need to be changed. It will bring out the character's personality and make them more believable. We can get a poster for this room."

"Just don't put up a Paris one," Howie snickered. Four men turned towards him with looks of anger, "Sorry," he apologized. He was damn happy that his set was ultra modern and sleek, with metal and glass.

Angel couldn't control her mouth, "Don't worry Howie. We are trying to keep this film rated PG-13. We'll look for a Playboy Bunny poster."

A.J.'s ears perked up. "Really? Which one?"

Angel gave him a "what the fuck" look. "I don't know them by name A.J. Just one that looks good and whose colors in the poster match his décor." Nick gave Angel a smirk knowing what was going to be said next.

"Well, if you want, I can get you a copy of some of my pics with some of them."

Sheridan saw the look on Marybeth's face, "Thanks anyways A.J. but we want poster-sized, not personal sized photos."

Just like a little kid, A.J. excitedly answered, "I know! I have some poster sized."

The look of shock on Angel's, Sheridan's, and Marybeth's faces were priceless. Kevin decided to break up the conversation and keep the tour moving. "A.J., keep those locked up tight somewhere. Your secret may soon be made public to your adoring fans." Kevin was laughing, "Let the girls go shopping for the damn posters. It will keep them busy."

The last two sets were of Kevin's office and his apartment, since he was a principal character in the film along with Jamie.

Sheridan spotted it right off. She was very specific on what the wall color for Kevin's apartment was to be. The walls were to be a medium light blue color. She kept staring at the dark walls. They were navy blue, way too dark for what she had envisioned in her head. "These walls aren't right John," Sheridan walked up to the wall and touched it. The paint was still wet and it rubbed off on her finger.

John stopped, turned, and walked directly towards hers, "What's wrong Sheridan?"

"I know the color of the walls that I wanted. I even stapled some paint chips to the sheet that I turned in. This wall looks like Midnight Blue paint to me. I wanted the color to be Intrigue." Sheridan stepped around the room and found the pile of blue paint cans sitting in the corner. Turning, she looked at Greg, "This isn't the paint that I wanted and this won't do."

Kevin coughed, "It's just paint."

Angel elbowed Kevin, "Be quiet, this is important to her. This is your bedroom," she whispered, "The one where you're going to make love on camera."

Kevin started to perspire as he stood next to Angel, 'Why did she have to bring that up?' he moaned in his head as his eyes went from Jamie to Sheridan.

Sheridan walked around the set determined to find something she could use. After walking into the mock teacher's lounge, she saw a can of white paint. Sheridan picked up one paint can and dumped the contents into another. She grabbed a brush and mixed the paints together. She was clueless that she had stopped the entire tour of the set just because the bedroom walls on Kevin's set were wrong. Sheridan brushed the paint on the wall. "The color is all wrong and it won't work. That is why the sheets aren't working with the accessories." Pausing she stood back and pointed to the wall with the paintbrush still in her hand. "See, this is a lightly darker blue. The walls need to be a lightly darker blue."

Angel snorted to which Sheridan responded to the outburst with a sharp look.

"Did I just hear that?" Kevin asked Angel. Kevin's lips were twitching as he tried not to smile. The other members of the group were trying not to do the same.

Angel rolled her eyes, "See what I have to put up with every day. Blonde to the bone."

Nick stepped forward and studied the wall as if it were a Picasso. "Yeah, it is a lightly dark blue. I like this better." Nick folded his arms and nodded as he stared at the wall. "And the baseboards should be a darker lightly blue."

Kevin laughed this time as he put his arm around Angel's shoulders and pulled her close to him and whispered, "See what I have to put up with every day." He gave her a genuine smile and a wink. Angel knew Kevin wasn't upset with her or Nick. She gave him a smile back then looked back over to Nick and Sheridan who were inspecting the newly coated paint on the wall.

A.J. pushed himself between Angel and Kevin. "Ya know, if those two were together…." A.J. didn't get to finish his sentence as both Kevin and Angel gave him a push backwards and he fell on the floor laughing.

Sheridan came towards Kevin, "I know we have a lot to do at the office this afternoon, but could I stay and help them get this set together? We are not going to be able to start filming until we get everything fixed and I really want it to look like I visualized it."

Kevin was being put on the spot in front of the guys. He had hoped to go back to the office with Sheridan, get some paperwork done, have a late lunch or an early dinner, and then go to the studio with the guys. Walking away and then back, he looked at her, how could he resist such an angelic face. "Yeah sure. Angel, are you staying?"

"Yep, I am. We're a team. We can probably knock this down by dinner time," Angel's eyes cruised over her list. "Maybe."

Kevin remembered something Johnny asked of him. "Well, just be sure you and Nick can meet with Johnny later tonight. He said anytime between eight and ten works for him." Angel's face went pale.

Nick pulled Angel into a hug, "He just wants to meet the other half of the free publicity duo you are giving for the group and to give you some guidelines to follow. He just wants to be sure you are safe."

John could see that the tour had reached an end since they realized there was at least a day of work ahead of them before they could begin filming on these sets as they now stood. "Why don't we call it a wrap for today then and we'll continue with the rest of the studio tour in two days?" None of them realized that they had completely forgotten about John's schedule for today.

Kevin walked over to John to make sure he was okay with the change in plans. "John, I'm sorry if we ruined your plans. We can stay and continue."

John looked at Kevin and gave a smile, "Nah, I'd rather we not lose too much time on shooting this film. The sooner the set is completed, the better."

"We'll see you guys tomorrow then." Kevin sucked in his cheeks. Turning towards the guys, he asked, "Anybody want to go to the studio early?"

The guys headed to the studio while Angel, Sheridan, and Marybeth stayed behind to work on the sets. Angel borrowed Sheridan's car to meet Nick and Johnny at the studio later that evening.

Johnny was very nice and cordial. He also gave her the cold-hard facts of what she was up against when it came to the paparazzi, especially all the rumors that would circulate. Johnny's words kept ringing in Angel's ear, "Communication is the key. Don't assume what you read or make assumptions from pictures you see because each one can tell a very different story."

Angel left the studio feeling a little insecure that her privacy would be invaded. She also thought about some of the rumors Johnny mentioned. One kept sticking out in her mind, sending goosebumps up her arms.

Finally, Angel went home with Sheridan around midnight but had trouble sleeping. She tossed and turned for most of the night until the alarm clock blared at 6AM.

This process of working late and getting up early repeated itself for two more days as both Sheridan and Angel called their employers to tell them they wouldn't be available. Luckily, Sheridan didn't really need to explain too much since Kevin already knew what was going on. Getting the sets together and ready to go was much more difficult than the ladies had thought it would be. There was a process to follow and they were feeling constrained but they dealt with it. They slept very little and it was beginning to take its toll on one of them.

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This is a work of fiction.
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