A Collaboration between Bron and Suzie
two grueling days, Angelina and Sheridan were finally done putting
the finishing touches on the sets. Sheridan sat back and admired
the set before her, it was exactly the way she envisioned it.
in a papazzan chair in one of the dormitory room sets, Angel
took a few minutes to reflect over the past few days as she
wiped sweat from her brow. Nick had been busy the past few nights
in the studio with the boys, but he found time to pick her up
and have a coffee date together this morning. Unfortunately,
so did the paparazzi. Both feeling a bit self-conscious, they
didn't stay too long in the coffee shop.
Nick and Angel missed
spending quality time together. Nick made reservations for a
nice dinner in Malibu at the Marmelade Restaurant Monday evening
for the two of them. Angel was looking forward to a nice evening
with her boyfriend and a decent hot meal, one she hadn't slapped
together at least.
They arrived on the
set from their coffee date a little after ten. Sheridan arrived
roughly around the same time. When Nick called Angel earlier
that morning, he conveniently woke up Sheridan.
Kevin had arrived
on the set first thing this Monday morning. He wanted to see
what was keeping his assistant away from her other duties. On
the business end, he wanted to see what the delay was that was
costing his production company a day of payroll without filming
Kevin was quite impressed
with what he saw. Everything flowed much better and he could
see the difference the girls argued about when it came down
to the little personal touches on each set.
After a full day
of filming, Sheridan dragged her sorry ass to Kevin's to get
some paperwork done that should have been done on Saturday.
"Nice to see
you," Kevin smiled as Sheridan let herself in the front
"How did you
know it was me?"
Sheridan wore a face
that read 'dumbstruck' and Kevin bit back the laugh, "Well
not many people have the keys to my house and I think I heard
the Titanic backfire when you turned the corner."
Sheridan smiled. "Patrick is going to fix it for me."
"Yeah for Patrick,"
Kevin was chewing his tongue so he didn't spit the words out
letting her know how he really felt about Patrick.
Sheridan didn't understand
Kevin's surly mood as she went to her desk and booted up her
computer. After two hours she went into the kitchen. Going to
the coffee pot, she stared at it. She could really use a cup
after the long day she had.
Watching her from
his office where he had the television on as a diversion, he
watched her walk to his kitchen. Checking his watch he knew
why, she hadn't eaten and it was going on nine at night. Standing
in the doorway, he thought it was comical the way she looked
at the coffeemaker. "It doesn't make it by itself, you
have to help it," Kevin went to the coffeemaker. Grabbing
the glass decanter, he filled it with water and poured it into
the holding tank. Grabbing coffee grounds from the fridge, he
watched Sheridan stare at him. "It keeps the coffee fresh
if you don't use the grounds fast enough."
shrugged as she left him to make the coffee.
Kevin stood back
and watched before he set the coffee down on her desk. Her fingers
were flying across the keyboard as she typed away and hummed.
He couldn't make out the song because she was singing so softly.
Then he heard it, it was "I Want It That Way."
hand slid to the mug. Taking a sip, she whispered a "thank
you." As she drank half of the contents of the mug, she
went to set the cup down and it landed on something soft. Her
eyes quickly went to the mug, not wanting spill it. Placed on
her desk was a small plate, next to where the coffee had sat.
On the plate rested a juicy looking chicken sandwich with lettuce,
tomatoes, red onion, and she so hoped mayo. Grabbing the sandwich
with two hands, she took a bite and moaned.
As Kevin sat at his
desk he heard the moan and closed his eyes. "Why can't
that be me instead of a sandwich?"
Sheridan said from his doorway.
"Oh how's the
sandwich?" Kevin sat up quickly almost flinging his body
from the chair.
Thank you so much, I haven't eaten anything decent in days."
Kevin nodded as he
dropped his head to the reports that he was supposed to be reading.
"I figured as much. Why don't you finish up what you're
working on and head home?"
Sheridan looked at
the paperwork on her desk and knew she wasn't being fair to
Kevin. "I really haven't spent enough time here to earn
a paycheck this week."
Pushing back his
chair, he forced it to lean back. Crossing one leg over the
other, he preceded to lace his fingers together. Placing his
hands behind his head, he stared at her.
Sheridan became restless
as he kept looking at her and not saying anything. 'Please dear
God, don't tell me I won't get a paycheck this week. The rent
"There will be times when I do need you here. Plus, there
is now stuff we can do on the set when we're not working, so
head home and I'll see you in the morning."
Sheridan was uneasy with Kevin's calmness, it made her squirm.
Shutting down the computer, she left him in the same place she
had found him when she had arrived hours ago. Still in his office
with the television on and his head buried in paperwork.
Nick and Angelina
had a wonderful dinner at the restaurant but Nick noticed Angel
wasn't quite herself. The mood felt strained. "Are you
Trying her best to
smile, Angel said her usual response, "Yeah, I'm just tired."
Nick had felt a distance between them ever since Saturday. He
wasn't sure if this had anything to do with the encounter they
had with Kevin over the pictures. Nick wanted to talk to Angel
in private, but each had been putting in late nights. Unlike
Nick, Angel didn't have the luxury to sleep in. She was up early
and working on the set. Nick suggested he would come over and
stay at her place but Angel declined saying she wouldn't be
in the mood to talk, all she wanted to do was sleep.
Nick had talked to
Brian about Angel's behavior since it began to affect his mood
and attitude in the studio. Brian knew all too well what sleep
deprivation could do; he saw how tired Leigh was after taking
care of the baby, running on fumes.
After their dinner,
Angel asked Nick to drive her home since she had an early morning.
Nick was hoping for some more private time, just the two of
"Are you sure
you don't want to stay at my place tonight? I'll get up early
to take you wherever you need to be. I promise." Nick was
sad, but hadn't pulled the pout card just yet.
"Yeah, I'm sure
Nick. I haven't been sleeping too well and I wouldn't want to
wake you up and wreck your sleep."
'Okay, this is new
information,' Nick thought. "What do you mean Angel? What's
been bothering you that you can't sleep?"
"I fall asleep
just fine. It's the nightmares that wake me up that make sleeping
Nick hadn't known
about these. "What nightmares baby? When did you start
Realizing she was
running her mouth off about something she didn't want to discuss
with Nick, Angel downplayed the problem. "Oh, it's nothing
to worry about Nick. It's probably because of the stress of
getting the sets finished so filming can begin. That's all."
Nick didn't quite
believe her. "You sure? Did they start Saturday night?"
Nick knew Angel had been sleeping just fine before then since
he was with her the entire time. In the back of his mind, Nick
thought it had something to do with the paparazzi pictures.
Taking Nick's hand
in hers, "Yeah, I'm sure baby. Look, I'm really sorry Nick.
Please, just give me a few more days, I'm sure everything will
be back to normal."
something else going on, you'll tell me right?" Nick needed
to be convinced. His mind hadn't wandered too much but he could
tell his girlfriend was hiding something from him, and he didn't
want to push her. Yet, he didn't like the fact that she was
nothing else going on. I'm just tired." Angel was starting
to get bitchy. It was almost 11 o'clock and the only thing she
wanted right now was her pillow.
Nick was apprehensive. Nick dropped her off and headed for home.
Tossing and turning
in her bed, Angelina couldn't settle. She was sound asleep,
but she was thrashing about between her sheets. Kicking them
off, she sat straight up trying to catch her breath. She was
dripping with sweat, yet shaking from being cold.
Looking around her
room, she tried to calm herself, 'Oh my God. It was a just a
nightmare; just another nightmare.' Pulling her legs to her
chest, hugging them, Angelina started crying softly. Rocking
back and forth, she tried to console herself. Once she got her
breathing under control, she searched her room. Her eyes landed
on her clock, 4:39AM.
"You are so
stupid Angel. What an idiot!" she cried to no one. 'What
the hell am I going to do?' she thought. She felt very foolish
and isolated. Her nightmares made her feel ashamed and she didn't
want to talk about them with anyone, even Nick. However, she
also knew that until she talked to Nick, they weren't going
to go away for a while.
Sitting across from
her roommate, Sheridan watched as Angel played with her breakfast.
"Just in case you were curious, the process of eating works
best when you put the food IN your mouth rather than rolling
it all over your plate," Sheridan smiled hoping to cheer
When Angelina came
out of her room earlier that morning, she looked very upset.
Sheridan asked what was wrong, but Angelina just said she didn't
sleep well and was tired.
Staring at her now,
Sheridan knew something was wrong. Angelina loves to eat breakfast.
"Honey, what happened? You were fine when you went to bed
last night. 'Or at least she seemed to be.' Sheridan thought
as she tried to recall her mood when she arrived home after
dinner with Nick. "Did you get a call or email or something
that upset you?"
Sheridan knew that
Backstreet message boards had been inundated with speculation
of Nick's new female friend. The paparazzi appeared to be everywhere
the couple went. Sheridan was afraid may be the pressure was
getting to Angelina, although you wouldn't know it by looking
at the pictures or knowing Angelina's spitfire attitude.
Shaking her head,
Angelina replied softly, "No. It was nothing like that.
I just had a bad dream. A very, real-like, bad dream."
Angelina picked up her bowl and went into the kitchen to put
it away. "I'm going to take a shower. What time do we need
Sheridan looked at
her watch. They had plenty of time. "Take your time Angel.
We'll get there when we get there." Angelina nodded and
shut the bathroom door.
Running to the phone,
Sheridan quickly called the one person who may know something
about what's bothering her roommate. "Hey Nick. How are
Dropping his towel
on the floor after towel drying his hair, he replied, "Hey
Sheridan, I'm good. How 'bout you?"
Listen, I have a question to ask you and before you say it's
none of my business, hear me out, okay?"
Nick groaned, "Why
do I get the feeling I'm not going to like what you have to
ask me?" Nick sat down on his bed as a nervous flutter
shocked his body.
"It may be nothing.
I always make something out of nothing. Angel just doesn't seem
like herself. This is the third time this week I've noticed…."
"What are you
talking about Sheridan? Cut to the chase please?"
It has to do with Angelina. Has she been acting strange to you
lately?" Sheridan held her breath waiting for Nick's reply.
"No. Well, maybe
a little distant at times, but she says she's tired; she didn't
sleep well the night before."
Sheridan contemplated her next question, "Hey Nick, can
I ask you a rather personal question?"
"You can ask
me anything Sheridan, it doesn't mean I am going to answer it
though," Nick wasn't sure where Sheridan's line of questioning
Angel's been staying ….I mean, she's been sleeping here in our
apartment lately. Is there anything wrong between you two?"
Sheridan's voice was very quiet as she finished her question.
Nick sat on his bed,
staring out the window, thinking about what Sheridan just asked
him. "There's nothing wrong between us. We haven't had
a fight or anything. Sure, we've had disagreements but nothing
serious. When I've asked her to stay at my place, she prefers
to go home because of the early mornings you guys have been
putting in on the set. She said she's been having nightmares
and doesn't want them to interfere with my sleep. She told me
this last night. I didn't know beforehand since she hasn't been
around. She said that they are probably from the stress of putting
the set together…" his voice trailed off and panic set
in. "Sheridan, why do you think something is wrong with
Angelina? What's she been doing? Has she been acting funny?"
tired. She's not sleeping well at night, that's for sure. I
walked by her room this morning and her bed covers were strewn
all over the place. She looked like she had a fight and lost."
"What has she
told you Sheridan?" Nick was now getting upset hearing
what Sheridan was telling him.
don't know what's wrong Nick, that's why I'm calling you. I'm
trying to figure it out. I'll keep my eyes and ears open."
Sheridan heard the shower stop and began to whisper, "Listen
Nick, I have a plan. If you could, can you get her to stay at
your place tonight? I think if she is having bad dreams every
night, about what, I don't know, maybe you can figure it out
if you are in the same bed. She's always been a great sleeper.
This is so unlike her."
"Of course Sheridan.
I haven't been pushing her to stay here with me or questioning
her motives for wanting to go home since I know some pictures
of us have surfaced to the general public. The fans know about
her. I figured this was a way for her to try and keep the relationship
under wraps. Her way of dealing with it, so to speak."
"I don't think
that's it Nick. Angelina's a pretty strong minded woman. That
wouldn't bother her too much, she'd tell them to kiss off."
Nick questioned. He was pretty sure of himself or rather talked
himself into thinking this must be the reason Angelina didn't
want to be with him.
Sheridan could hear
the sadness in Nick's voice. Mentally kicking herself, she retracted
her statement a bit, "Anything's possible Nick. Maybe she
is softening and this is affecting her more than I realized.
I remember when we were younger, she would always worry about
what other people thought of her. After the Joey fiasco, she
certainly hardened her shell. Maybe she's doubting herself again."
Angelina walked out
of the bathroom and into her bedroom. She looked a little better
and smiled to Sheridan, "Who are you talking to?"
Nick's ears perked
"I need to set
up a dentist appointment." Sheridan replied. She hated
"I'll be ready
in five minutes," Angelina said before shutting her bedroom
I got an idea," Nick said as his mind raced, "And
I'll need your help."
"You got it.
What's your plan?"
of taking Angelina away for the weekend, away from the stress
here. What do you think?"
"Can I come
too?" Sheridan said while laughing, "I'm just kidding.
That wouldn't be a bad idea. Where are you thinking of going?"
"Brian is headed
back to Atlanta this weekend when Howie goes to Japan and A.J.
is off to a convention in Las Vegas. I was planning on going
back to Florida for some personal business anyways. So I was
thinking I could take Angel with me and we could head off to
the Bahamas from there." Nick said grinning. "What
do you think?"
Sheridan was surprised
to hear that 3/5ths of the boys had plans already for this weekend.
She hadn't had time to look at the schedule since her mind was
focused on a day-to-day basis with the work she had to do. 'I
wonder what Kevin has planned,' she thought to herself.
"I think you
are right Nick. I'll help you convince Angel if need be."
Nick hadn't thought
he'd need to convince his girlfriend she needed a vacation but
was glad to know he would have help.
"I'll make the
reservations, then tell the guys I have plans that weekend and
will be away too. Thanks Sheridan."
See you in a little bit."
After hanging up
the phone, Angelina came out of her room all dressed and ready
to go back to the set.
Sheridan needed to
do some quick thinking if she was going to help Angel spend
the night at Nick's. "Hey Angel, why don't we take my car
Angel looked up from
her handbag as she pulled out her set of keys, "You want
to risk us breaking down somewhere and be late?"
Sheridan bit the
inside of her cheek, 'smartass,' she thought. "Well, I
need to stop and get gas before I forget."
Angel shrugged her
shoulders, "Works for me. If we are late, you can call
Kevin, the Lord and Master, and explain." Laughing, Angel
walked out the front door.
Sheridan mumbled as she locked up the apartment.
On the set, the day
went well as far as filming was concerned. Johnny Wright stopped
by around lunchtime to give Howie and A.J. some material they
would need for the weekend. Sheridan watched in awe at the interaction
the boys had with their manager. Being the fan she was, she
always thought there was bad blood between them but it turns
out it was more the boys vs. Lou and Donna Wright, Johnny's
now ex-wife. Kevin was deep in conversation many times but always
stopped when she approached. She started to get offended until
Johnny introduced himself and Kevin introduced her as his "Right
Kevin blushed and
shook his head at Johnny.
Angel was trying
to be discrete and hide. She knew Johnny would want to know
how things were going with the paparazzi and she really didn't
want to talk about it anymore.
Nick noticed Angel
was very quiet. Just before lunch, he walked over towards her
and asked if they could find a quiet place to talk. Angel knew
she better shape up or her relationship was going to be in jeopardy.
like a great idea Nick. Where would you like to go?"
"Why don't we
eat lunch in my trailer? A.J. is running uptown on an errand."
There were three trailers on the set for the boys. One is shared
by Nick and A.J.; another one is shared by Kevin and Howie and
the third one is for Brian, since Leighanne and Baylee were
in town and visiting on the set.
As the director yelled,
"CUT! Time for lunch," a siren went off. The caterer
hired for the set was a favorite of the boys and served good
food. As much as the money factor bothered Kevin on some level,
the boys weren't going to skimp on the food for the staff. They
were all working too hard and deserved a well-catered meal.
Sheridan had left
Kevin talking into his cell phone. Johnny was walking behind
the scenes as Sheridan went to seek out Angel. She wanted to
have lunch with her friend and try and find out what was wrong.
Sheridan approached Angel and Nick. Nick was behind Sheridan
to see Kevin hang up the phone. Johnny approached Kevin once
Sheridan opened her
mouth to speak to Angel.
Kevin bellowed around the huge set since he couldn't see her.
Sheridan rolled her
eyes as Nick stuck his tongue out at her and began to laugh.
"I'm so glad he has you to yell at now."
lucky me," Sheridan turned around and smiled at Kevin who
stood with Johnny. "Yes Kevin?"
"Oh there you
are. Come on, lunch. You, me, Johnny. We have work to do."
Kevin walked off towards the caterer's set-up.
As soon as Kevin
was out of earshot, Angel snorted and Nick was cracking up.
"Ape man wants you Sheridan." Nick laughed and elbowed
her in the ribs. "Oh a new story line for her."
"Shut up, you…
you… blonde knuckle dragger," Sheridan stomped towards
Angel pulled Nick
back for a minute. "Cool it, she's pissed. She really is."
pissed?" Nick hesitated for only a second.
Angel nodded as she
watched Sheridan shoot daggers with her eyes at her boss's back
but she wouldn't ever say anything to him.
Nick wasted no time
in getting his food so he could finally have some time alone
with his girlfriend. He still needed to think of a backup plan
in case Angel insisted she go home tonight and not stay with
him. He made it back to his trailer in record time. Angel got
side-tracked by one of the crew members.
Hearing a knock on
his door, Nick groaned, 'Who could this be?' He was surprised
to see it was Angel. "Why did you knock? You can just come
in, ya know."
Angel said, "You never know if A.J.'s plans changed or
something. I didn't want to barge on in, just in case."
Nick smiled and shook
his head. "I never would have thought of that."
"Of course you
wouldn't, but I would. I worry about the little things sometimes.
I don't want to upset the others or anything." Angel put
her drink and plate on the kitchenette table while looking for
Nick thought about
what Sheridan said on the phone earlier that morning and it
Coming back to the
table, she put a bunch of napkins in the center of the table
and quietly began cutting her teriyaki chicken with grilled
vegetables. They had asparagus, her favorite.
Nick sat across from
Angel and stared at her as she engrossed herself into cutting
the food on her plate. Nick patiently waited for her to finish
and look up at him.
As she began to eat
her meal, she noticed Nick was just sitting across from her,
staring. "Aren't you going to eat Nick?"
Smiling, he picked
us his fork and nodded, "Uh huh." After a few minutes
of silence, Nick decided if he needed time to convince Angelina
to stay with him tonight, he better ask her sooner, rather than
worries were for nothing. As soon as he asked, she shocked him.
"Angel, I was
wondering if maybe tonight we could grab a bite to eat and take
it back to my place and we could come to work together tomorrow
Angel finished chewing
her chicken before she spoke, "I'd like that," she
replied with a genuine smile.
Nick began pleading
his case, "I'd love to spend tonight with you Angel, it's
been a long time..."
Angel cut in on him,
"Me too Nick."
Nick looked up from
his plate shocked. Angel's response didn't register until now,
Angel half smiled
at him, knowing she hadn't been the best girlfriend these past
few days, "Yeah, really. Look Nick, I'm sorry if I seem
a little distant from you lately. It's just there is a lot going
on and I didn't want to have you deal with it too. You've got
enough going on with your family, the CD, the movie…"
Nick reached across
the table to take Angel's hand, "Baby, I don't care about
all of that as much as I do about you, okay? Next time you feel
overwhelmed, lean on me, okay?"
Tears welled up in
Angel's eyes as she listened to Nick's words. In a horsed voice,
she whispered "Okay." Thinking about her nightmares,
she knew she had to come clean with Nick also. "I need
to talk to you about something that's been bothering me."
Nick looked surprised,
Angel looked down
at her plate, "I don't want to talk about it here Nick.
I'd rather we talked at your place."
Feeling a sudden
sense of uneasiness and nervousness, Nick's smile turned into
a frown. "Can you at least tell me what it's about? Because
I'm clueless Angel. I thought things were good between us."
Angel needed to reassure
Nick before his mood carried out onto the set, "They are
Nick. Something sort of came up and I just want to talk to you
about it. That's all."
Nick wasn't pleased,
"It's about us though, right?"
"In a round-about
way, yes. But it's nothing serious. I just need to talk to you
about something that's been bothering me lately. That's all.
I'm trying to use Johnny's advice Nick and communicate when
something's bothering me, okay?"
Nick tried to calm
himself down. "Okay, if you say so. We'll talk about this
tonight." Realizing he lost his appetite, he got up and
threw away his lunch before heading to the bathroom in the back
of the trailer.
Blowing out some
air to push her bangs out of her eyes, Angel huffed, "That
didn't go so well."
Suddenly, there was
a knock on Nick's trailer door. Angel got up to answer it since
Nick wasn't around. The one person she had been successful in
avoiding was now standing in front of her.
come on in. Nick's in the bathroom at the moment."
I came to talk to you."
"I just wanted
to see how you were doing, that's all." Johnny was a very
friendly and caring man.
"I'm doing pretty
good Johnny. Thanks for asking."
"No she's not,"
Nick's voice boomed from behind her. Startled, Angelina jumped
back a bit and gave Nick a nasty look.
Johnny could sense
some tension between the young couple. "Well, if I can
help either of you, in any way, please don't hesitate to contact
me, okay?" As Johnny was about to leave, Nick joined him
and they walked out of the trailer together.
"What's up bro?"
Running a hand through
his hair, Nick huffed, "Damned if I know. Listen, I just
wanted to let you know that I'll be heading to Miami this weekend
and then I'm off to the Bahamas, that is if I can convince Angel
to come with me."
Oh man, I'll stop by later tonight or tomorrow and drop off
some VIP vouchers for Michael Jordan's charity golf tournament
this weekend in Nassau. If you go, you can stop by and enjoy
some celebrity mingling."
Nick smiled, "Cool."
His smile faded, "But I'm only going to go if Angel comes
with me. Otherwise, I'll spend a day or two in Miami then head
back to LA."
Putting his arm around
the younger man and giving him a reassuring squeeze, "I'm
sure it will all work out Nick. Besides, who can resist that
pout of yours? Besides Kevin that is," Johnny chuckled.
Nick half smiled,
"I hope you are right."
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The characters and events portrayed are fictitious.
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