Copyright

A Collaboration between Bron and Suzie

Chapter 40

Kevin settled into his bed after midnight, but it wasn't easy. He tossed. He turned. He kept thinking about that big scene again. His mind relaxed when he envisioned doing the scene with Sheridan, and not Jamie. Substituting Sheridan for Jamie made the acting more palatable actually, the scene took on a life of it's own in his head. If anyone could have spied on the sleeping man, they would have seen him drift off with a smile on his face.

Saturday morning, a loud knock on her door made Sheridan jump and spill her coffee. "Come in!" Sheridan was cursing quietly as she mopped up the mess on the table. Picking her head up, she saw Marybeth standing in her living room. "Good morning," she smiled at her.

Lifting her shades, Sheridan gave her a star smile, "Good morning. Are you ready to find yourself a new flashy ride?"

Sheridan rinsed the dishcloth in the drain. "Not flashy Marybeth and not new. I can't afford that. I found a nice Saturn in the paper that I want to go look at. It's at a dealer."

"A Saturn?" Marybeth's face scrunched up. Marybeth was now driving a Viper; she had been for years.

"Yes Marybeth, nice and practical. It's great on gas and it won't put me in debt too badly. I can swing the payments. I brought the car I'm driving now all the way from Pennsylvania because it was paid for."

"I said something similar to A.J last night. He laughed at the concept of payments." Marybeth started to smile. "He said he has always just written a check for a car. He also suggested that we look at something with at least a warrantee on it or a new car. This way you can get rid of the demon car and be sure your new car isn't a lemon."

"Demon car?" Sheridan looked puzzled.

"Yeah, Kevin says it breaths fire," Marybeth chuckled.

Sheridan's face soured, "Kevin is too self-conscious of what others think. Besides it doesn't breathe fire, it catches fire."

"All the more reason," Marybeth giggled as she made her way to the kitchen and poured herself and Sheridan a cup of coffee.

About ten minutes later, Patrick opened Sheridan's front door and walked in, "Are you ready?"

Marybeth's expression didn't show how she felt but her eyes did. Patrick was just a little too comfortable walking into the girls' place.

After her conversation with A.J. last night and knowing how Kevin felt about Sheridan, Marybeth began to make a plan of her own. Patrick was going to get the message loud and clear that Sheridan was spoken for even though she didn't know it yet. She liked Sheridan. She was sweet, kind, non-judgmental, naïve, and oh so gullible. People like that needed protection in the world. "There is only one person who is perfect for the job," A.J. had told her, "No one other than the same man that protected me for years, my older brother, Kevin." The words came out of A.J. with enough emotion to make her heart bleed.

The three of them headed directly to the dealer that Sheridan wanted to go to first. Patrick was impressed as he watched her a little more closely while she examined the car. Then she sat behind the wheel. Marybeth observed quietly for now. Patrick had Sheridan open the hood latch and he went over the engine. The salesman was hanging on for dear life as Sheridan went through the inside of the car and Patrick went over the engine. Closing the hood, he shook his head as he walked beside her. "This thing was in an accident and the engine is in rough shape. It looks clean but that is about it. It's not going to last you."

Sheridan was flustered; she hadn't looked any further. She thought this car would be perfect for her. Her eyes upturned to look Patrick in the face.

"Come on, I'll take you to a reputable place where I know they won't screw you." Patrick's words were loud enough to make the salesman blush and take off. They piled into Patrick's truck. "You really want a Saturn right?"

"It's all I can afford right now," Sheridan pouted in the seat.

Marybeth thought about opening her mouth about Sheridan's new job, which paid her twice as much as her old one, but changed her mind.

"Don't worry, we are going to get you a car. But it's going to last you and not wear out before you've finished making the payments." Patrick dropped an arm around Sheridan's shoulder as the rode the busy street for five miles. Pulling into a parking lot of a new Saturn dealer, Sheridan was shaking her head no.

"It's okay, you'll be fine. I want you to look at their new Ion Coupe. I think you'll love it and it's perfect for you. The engine is great, it has great mileage, and it comes in red too."

"Oh," Sheridan perked up in the seat as they drove by a very cute little car. "Look at that one."

"That's the one I want you to see. How much money do you have for a down payment?"

"I don't have one but I have my car as a trade-in…" Sheridan frowned when Patrick and Marybeth laughed at her.

Patrick introduced her to a good friend of his. Marybeth was very impressed by the way the entire deal was done. Neither Patrick nor the salesman talked her into anything. They swung a few thousand off to look like a down-payment and Sheridan had a brand new Saturn Coupe that was Chili Pepper red, with a sunroof too.

"I love it," Sheridan bounced around in the cab of the truck. She leaned over to Patrick and kissed his cheek, it wasn't that difficult since she was sandwiched between him and Marybeth. "Thank you so much, it's beautiful and I can afford it. My first new car!"

Patrick was taken by surprise and almost lost control of the truck. Marybeth frowned, Sheridan was a little too happy around this guy. "So you guys are going to dinner at Dolce tonight?"

"Yes we are," Patrick smiled as he dropped an arm around Sheridan.

Marybeth was starting to steam; this wasn't working out at all. She had to think of something. She had an idea, "I hear Kevin is going out with Jamie tonight," Marybeth looked out the window to catch Sheridan's reflection in the glass.

"Yes, he is," Sheridan sounded a little off. "It's good though; he should go out more often."

"Who's Kevin?" Patrick was intrigued.

"You've met him, my boss," Sheridan smiled at Patrick.

"I have?" Patrick was sure he would have remembered if he had met her boss.

"Tall guy, with a beard, mustache, goatee, very gorgeous dark hair, striking green eyes, and a great body," Sheridan was smiling even brighter now.

Marybeth covered her mouth to hide the smile and keep the giggle inside. Sheridan had just described the Kevin that she had feelings for, that was obvious, because she didn't describe him like you would a boss.

"Oh the flower guy," Patrick knew who Sheridan was speaking of now. He also knew from his past conversations that Kevin was more interested in Sheridan than Sheridan was interested in him. "Are you dating him?" Patrick was a little confused; he needed to clear this up before dinner.

"Oh no, I could never date my boss. I made that mistake once; I'll never do it again." Sheridan bit her lip and somehow wished that those words never came back to haunt her.

"Very good. I just want to know my competition," Patrick turned into the parking lot of the apartment building.

"You aren't competition, not even close," the words came out of Marybeth's mouth before she could close it.

"You must be friends with the man." Patrick caught on, even if the pretty, little blond sitting next to him didn't. Pulling up to the apartment complex, Patrick parked his truck.

"Yes and we all work together." Marybeth's cellphone rang as she exited the truck. Flipping it open, she answered it. She knew it was A.J. right away. "Yes we're done. Yes she has a brand new car. Ummm… Why don't I let her tell you about it." A.J. had asked her how things were going. She couldn't tell him the wrong way with Patrick and Sheridan standing there.

Marybeth handed Sheridan the phone as they walked into the apartment. "I'll meet you at 8 Patrick and thank you so much. I can't wait for tonight." Sheridan looked funny at Marybeth and handed her the cell phone back while she unlocked the apartment door. "He sounds funny, like he's sick or something."

"I bet he does," Marybeth forced a smile while grabbing the telephone back.

"That doesn't sound good," A.J. was on the other end with his finger stuck in his ear trying to hear Marybeth.

"It's not. Kevin is not going to like this, at all," Marybeth watched Patrick smile and wave as he entered his apartment. "This is not going according to the plan. I wish Angel were here. Sheridan actually told Patrick that she couldn't date Kevin because he was her boss."

"Oh man," A.J. was trying to think and all the noise and flashing lights of the casino weren't helping any.

"You should've heard her describe her boss. A great body and striking eyes."

"Well, that's one good thing. I'm going to call Angel and see what she thinks."

"Nick won't kill you for bothering them during their down time?" Marybeth followed Sheridan into the apartment.

"Well Nick might be a little pissed but Angel won't be," A.J. laughed. "See you later babe. I'm being a good boy."

"Like it matters to me," Marybeth laughed as she flipped the phone closed. A.J., as of late, had been acting as if they were a couple, but he hadn't asked her out officially. That was something he needed to do to make things right, but all in due time.

Nick and Angel had arrived in Miami early Friday morning. They checked into a hotel on Miami Beach and later met with Nick's sisters, Angel and BJ. They brought him some paperwork that required his signature. Nick's dad, Bob, had driven his boat up the coast so Nick could use it. Nick didn't feel like driving down to his house in the Keys, especially with everything going on with his family. He wanted to avoid any confrontations with anybody, including his parents.

The couple had gone to bed early Friday night. Waking up before sunset Saturday morning, Nick planned a romantic early morning boat ride before they needed to catch a plane to the Bahamas. Fresh coffee, fruit and muffins were catered by a local café and the two lovers cast off out to sea.

Wrapping his arm around Angelina's shoulder, Nick pulled her in as close as he could to his body while the other arm drove the boat. Angelina loved being out on Nick's boat and watching the sun rise over the water was incredible, even if they did get up at an ungodly hour to see it.

Nick dropped anchor when they got to a secluded spot. Grabbing Angel's hand, he led her to where their breakfast was left so they could eat. As they sipped on their coffees, they both leaned into each other as the sun rose in the distance.

Nick needed to talk to Angel about something that had been bothering him since their "talk." His original plan was to tell her in the Bahamas, but he didn't want to think about it any more. He needed to get it off his chest so the butterflies in his stomach would go away.

After they both consumed their breakfast, Nick figured now would be a good time. "Hey Angel, can I tell you something?"

Angel pulled her legs up underneath her as she curled under Nick's oversize sweatshirt. She turned towards Nick, "Of course."

Nick froze. Angel frowned, "What's the matter?"

Taking a sip of his coffee, "Oh nothing. Just needed to gather my thoughts before I said something that would get screwed up in translation from my mind to my lips."

Angel smiled, "Don't worry. I'm used to your Nickisms."

"Nickisms?"

"Just something I've always referred to when you screw up whatever you are trying to say."

"Gee thanks, I think," Nick said laughing.

"No problem. So, what do you need to tell me?"

"I should have said this the other night, ya know, after our talk," Nick's voice grew quiet. Angel began chewing the inside of her cheek, a nervous habit she'd developed recently. She would never have guessed that he needed to say anything else about the subject, ever!

Nick coughed, "What I mean is, I want you to know that you are the only woman I've been with in months. Even before the project got started, I haven't been with anyone, intimately, since early summer," Nick pulled Angel's hand up to his lips and kissed the palm of her hand, "and I plan to keep it that way for a long time."

"I'm glad to hear that. Thank you for telling me." Angel smiled as Nick wrapped his other hand around Angel's neck and pulled her closer to his mouth. After an amazing kiss, Nick pulled away when he heard another boat approaching them.

While lounging on the deck of Nick's boat, Angelina wondered why she hadn't heard from Sheridan yet. Angel reached for her purse and pulled out her cell phone. It was then she realized her cell phone was turned off, and had been off since Thursday evening. Angel turned it on and began listening to her messages.

"Hey Angel, time to get going. We have a plane to catch." Nick yelled as he docked the boat. Angel noticed the time and panicked. Neither one of them realized the time; they were now running late. Running back to the hotel, they quickly threw together their belongings and were off to the airport.

As Marybeth was leaving the apartment, the telephone rang. Marybeth waved and let herself out when she heard Sheridan squeal, "Guess what Angel!" Angel was now sitting in Miami International Airport, in the VIP section, talking to Sheridan while Nick slept listening to his CD player.

After a long conversation with Angel, Sheridan had come down from her little high. Angel had made her think, she hated when Angel did that to her. Telephone calls back and forth took up almost all of the afternoon. Frowning as she showered and dressed for her date with Patrick, she had wondered why Angel was so insistent that she not sleep with Patrick until they had chance to talk face to face. Sheridan didn't understand it, she wasn't into one night stands and Angel knew that. There was no way Sheridan was going to sleep with Patrick tonight or anytime soon.

Sheridan felt better about taking Angel's car to the restaurant instead of riding with Patrick. He balked but she did what she wanted anyway. It had been awhile since she was on a date and she wanted an escape if things weren't going well. Patrick was waiting for her at the door as she entered fifteen minutes late. "You're late. I was beginning to think you weren't going to show." Patrick reached out to grab her hand; Sheridan held her hand back and then let him take it.

"Wow, this place is loud," Sheridan followed Patrick, who followed the hostess to the back of the restaurant. The walls were black and flames were painted on the wall behind the bar. Everything was black, the linens, all of it. Candles blazed on every table casting shadows on the walls. They were led out to a patio that was romantically lit with candles. Old cypress trees shielded the patio from prying eyes and the noise from the street. Sheridan was seated facing the entrance of the patio. "Oh it's beautiful. Thank goodness it's warm for January. At home, we wouldn't be eating outside," Sheridan laughed at the memory of her father trying to make burgers on the grill during a blizzard. They were seated and informed that their server would be by soon. Menus were handed to them as they waited. Sheridan relaxed when she saw the prices, it was pricey but affordable in her book. She had become so money conscious lately that she thought about everything she purchased at least twice, maybe three times. Buying a new car didn't help.

"This is a very nice place," Patrick reached for Sheridan's hand and grasped it lightly. "So, what do you like to eat?"

Sheridan took a deep breath, Patrick was moving too fast. "Chicken probably," Sheridan tried to pull her hand back. "Patrick, this needs to slow down or it's going to stop right here. I'm sorry but I haven't dated much lately and I'm very skittish."

"Hmm," Patrick pulled his hand back. "Thank you for being honest. We'll slow it down." His eyes glanced over her face and body, he never thought that either of the girls would give him the time of day, let alone go out with him. "So tell me about your new job."

Sheridan nodded understanding that Patrick had accepted what she had said. "I'm a personal assistant to a musician and entrepreneur…" her words stopped coming as she looked through the entranceway to see her boss and his date. They were heading straight for them. 'Oh no,' she groaned in her head. Feelings overwhelmed her as she watched Kevin's fluid body come through the door behind the actress that had been hired to perform in her dream scene. Quickly she lowered her head, hoping that Kevin wouldn't see her. Too late, he had a bead on her and he was heading her way, leaving Jamie to stand by herself at their table. "Hello Sheridan, what a surprise seeing you here."

"It shouldn't be, you knew we were coming here," Sheridan's innocence was glowing even as Kevin smiled and Patrick frowned. Pieces of the puzzle were falling together very quickly.

"Oh, well I had no idea that she would pick here." Kevin shoved his hand towards Patrick. "Nice seeing you again Patrick."

"Likewise," Patrick mumbled knowing damn well that this was more than coincidence. His eyes traveled to the woman who sat at a table across from them. She sat with a humpf and there was no doubt she wasn't happy. He knew who the starlet was and he knew her reputation for being slightly spoiled. "Your date doesn't look too happy," Patrick sipped his water as he looked beyond Kevin towards the woman.

Kevin turned back and gave Jamie a gesturing that he'd be with her in a minute. "It's not a date," Kevin smiled at Sheridan. "Not an official date, more like yours and Sheridans'. At least that is what Sheridan told me. "Right Ms. Anderson?" Kevin looked at Sheridan.

Sheridan was now less than happy with Kevin and Patrick. "I bought a new car today. Patrick helped me pick out. It's a coupe and it's red."

Patrick smiled and squeezed her hand again. "It's perfect for you. It's sweet and hot at the same time."

Sheridan coughed and excused herself from the men. She needed to go the ladies room and quickly. She hated confrontations and she hated them even more when she was in the middle of them.

Sheridan wasn't surprised to find Jamie in the ladies room with her not too long after she had excused herself from the table. Coming out of the stall, she smiled. "Hi Jamie."

"Hi Sheridan," Jamie was applying her lipstick. Jamie didn't know what to say to Sheridan. After listening to Kevin talk all the way over to the restaurant, it was obvious that he was very taken with Sheridan. Kevin asking Jamie out on a date was a way to get to know each other and that was all. There was no romantic interest in her at all. "So who is the sweet guy you are with?"

Washing her hands, she was hesitant to answer, "My neighbor. We're out tonight because I need to repay him for a favor he did for me."

Jamie shook her head, "I see. Kevin wanted us to get to know each other a little better. I think he is very nervous about the big scene."

"I would be too," Sheridan blushed.

"I think he'll be okay. He did Chicago in New York and London, and don't forget his regional theater." Jamie smirked at Sheridan.

Sheridan missed that last one and she knew everything about the man, "Regional theater?"

Jamie laughed as she left the ladies room. "Disneyworld I guess. I just hope he doesn't get a hard-on during the scene. It can be very embarrassing for everyone involved."

Sheridan went to the sink and splashed cold water on her face. The thought Jamie planted in her head wasn't going to go away anytime soon and she had to go back and sit through an evening with Patrick. Standing up, she looked in the mirror. Squaring her shoulders, she convinced herself she could get through this. Angel's words niggled at her, 'Don't do anything with Patrick, you'll regret it.' "How does she know these things?" Sheridan whined into the mirror just before she left the ladies room.

Returning to the table, she saw Kevin walk away and take his seat with his date. "You two seemed to have hit it off."

"Hardly," Patrick grumbled. Kevin had given him an earful about Sheridan and that she wasn't on the market. Patrick had volleyed back that Sheridan had stated that she wouldn't date her boss. Kevin said he could fire her but then she wouldn't be able to make those new car payments. "Your choice," Kevin spit out as he rejoined his date.

"Let's just have a nice dinner, as friends," Patrick couldn't do this. He was shocked that the boy band member could be such a creep. Patrick had thought that maybe he would date her anyway but then again, he wasn't in for punishing himself. Sheridan's description of her 'boss' that she had given him earlier chimed in his head. Sheridan may have forbidden her body and her brain from dating Kevin but not her heart. Kevin seemed just as passionate about her, if not threatening at the very least. Patrick would sit back and wait to see how things developed. It had taken him this long to get to go out with her, he wasn't going to blow it now. Besides, he could be there to pick up the pieces when she was dropped flat for the next starlet the Backstreet Boy wanted to chase. Dinner would be as friends tonight so that he could learn more about her.

On Sunday, Sheridan woke up and spent the rest of her day off writing the story that had been twirling around in her head. After last night's testosterone display, Sheridan was quite perplexed at Kevin's attitude. It didn't seem appropriate and she wondered what "herbal" substance he consumed beforehand. She would have guessed he had been drinking, but couldn't smell anything on his breathe.

Monday morning arrived too soon. Sheridan pulled into Kevin's driveway and noticed his car wasn't there. Unlocking the front door, she realized Kevin's home was empty. He had left her a note saying he would be out all day and he would see her tomorrow on the set. Along with the note was a bunch of paperwork and filing that needed to be done before she left. "Just great," Sheridan mumbled, "I hate filing."

Since the workload was rather light, Sheridan had all afternoon to surf the internet and find out what was going on on the BSB message boards. "Oh boy," Sheridan mumbled as she saw new pictures of Nick and Angel posted. "At least they look good," she said to no one.

"I wonder when Angel is coming back," Sheridan mumbled as she locked up Kevin's house around four that afternoon. She was taking Tuesday off to pick up her new car and get the insurance too. All went well until she ran into Tom at the Department of Motor Vehicles. He tried in vain to strike up a conversation with her. When that faltered, he begged her to see him one more time to try and reconcile. As Sheridan stood in line at the DMV, her face glowed red from the man's words which were carrying through the room. Closing her eyes, she hoped that Tom had enough sense not to blurt out Kevin's name. The DMV was loaded with teenagers applying for permits. Running out of the DMV she jumped in her car and sped home, just in case Tom had any ideas of following her. She cursed herself for being so stupid. After showering and settling down, she nuked a frozen dinner and sat down at her computer to do some more writing.

Tuesday came too quickly as Nick and Angel returned back to Los Angeles. It was a long flight back West even though they both slept most of the way. Both were still recovering from too many late nights, early mornings, hot sun and too much alcohol consumption. The young lovers had spent an incredible weekend together displaying more PDA than ever before shocking many guests and other celebrities.

As Nick and Angel returned to Nick's place, he checked his messages. Aaron called to let Nick know that he dropped the charges against their mother and that they reconciled their differences.

"That's good news Nick," Angel said as she emptied out their suitcases on his bed.

"Yeah, I guess it is." Nick said sadly as he walked into the bathroom to unpack their toiletry bags.

"What's wrong Nick?"

"Oh, I just have a bad feeling about all of this, that's all."

Angel called Sheridan to let her know she was back in LA and that she would see her on the set in the morning.

By 8PM, Nick and Angel fell asleep in each other's arms as they were watching TV. Around midnight, Nick's cell phone ringing pulled them both from their slumber. "Don't answer it," Nick mumbled as he let it go to voicemail. Nick crawled under his covers, dragging Angel along with him.

The set on Wednesday was relatively quiet. Chitchat among the guys seemed to flow but only when they were alone. If any of the women walked in, they all clamed up and stared at them. Finally the three went off to gossip by themselves.

"Can you believe those guys? What is up with them? I hope it isn't locker room talk," Angel spoke as she stared at the five guys having lunch together off in the corner.

"I don't think they are like that," Sheridan smiled. Her mood was high since all of the guys seemed to love her knew car. She played show and tell with each one of them. Kevin even asked for the keys and drove it around the parking lot. He was driving around the lot as if it were the Indy 500. "Those are new tires!" Sheridan yelled at him as he slammed on the breaks and left twenty feet of skid marks.

"He won't hurt it," Nick chuckled. Then he looked at Sheridan, whose eyes registered horror at the way her new car was being treated. "Really he won't, he's just making sure it's safe enough for you."

"Patrick said it was fine," Sheridan folder her arms across her chest and frowned.

"I do believe Patrick is the problem," A.J. laughed.

Angel elbowed him to be quiet from one side and Marybeth on the other. "Ouch!" A.J. looked at both of the women. "You guys are brutal."

Kevin exited the car and handed her the keys. "It's okay," he nodded up and down and handed her the keys. "Now since we are all standing out here together without a ton of film people around us… I have something to say to the ladies."

A.J. was grinning; Nick threw his hands up in the air and started shaking his head no. Brian and Howie were unfazed at they stood next to Kevin.

Angel's brows creased together as Kevin gave her a blank stare. He then turned to Sheridan who had a look that was similar to a small child who was getting a surprise. He focused on her. "Marybeth, Angel, Sheridan. You will be accompanying us to the Sundance Film Festival."

"Cool, skiing!" Angel did a little dance and hugged Nick. "You thought I wouldn't go, didn't you?"

"Well yeah," Nick shrugged and then stood a little taller as he turned to Kevin. "Angel and I are not getting separate rooms."

Kevin snorted and laughed, "Don't worry Nicky, I know that Angel has replaced your Nintendo for hotel fun."

Marybeth looked at Kevin bewildered. "Why do I have to go?"

Kevin swung his arms forward and then clapped his hands together. "Simple, I need the help. You could meet a ton of contacts at this festival even though we can't discuss the film. The girls will need to meet people too. I need Sheridan because she is my assistant and she will travel with me frequently. Plus I need Angel to keep ADD boy out of my hair."

"Hey!" Nick knew Kevin was referring to him.

"Quiet," Kevin barked at Nick, who did what he was told to do.

Sheridan's mind raced as she slowly decompressed what Kevin had just said. Suddenly, panic overtook her body as she wondered about the sleeping arrangements. She lowered her eyes to the ground when she heard Marybeth's voice. "Sheridan and I will share a room." Sheridan said a soft 'thanks' inside her head; her prayers had been answered.

The group broke up and slowly drifted inside, except for Sheridan and Kevin.

"I really don't think that I need to go. Angel is more of an extravert than I am. It would be better if people talked to her."

"That's not fair to Angel. You are a team; you work as team Sheridan. I really do need you there to do business if it crops up. It's not going to cost you a dime. I foot the bill for your travel expenses."

"Okay," Sheridan blew out a breath and went inside.

Kevin lingered in the parking lot. Marybeth had thrown him a curve ball with the sleeping arrangements. He knew Angel would go for it, she was a party girl to the bone. Sheridan was reluctant but it wasn't anything that he expected. Now he was going to finish working on his plan in his head. He had a few little surprises for Sundance.

By nine that night, everyone was too tired to go on. The set was closed for the evening and they were due back on the set the next morning at 7 sharp.

While driving home, Nick checked his voicemail messages that he successfully avoided hearing all day. But the constant vibrating his cell endured throughout the day and the numbers displayed from all of his siblings, he knew something was wrong. In his heart, he knew it was bad news, but didn't want to know what it was. He was looking forward to a good weekend away and prayed it wasn't the sort of bad news the media would know about or want to discuss while he attended events at Sundance.

Looking over at Angelina asleep next to him, he could hear her voice telling him to find out what it is so you will be informed and can talk about it or decline comment if need be. Knowing what the right thing to do is, he dialed Aaron's cell.

"Hey Bro, what's up?"

"Nick! Where the hell have you been? We've been trying to reach you for hours man!" Aaron practically yelled.

"I figured if it was THAT urgent or THAT important, someone would call Howie or Kevin to tell me to call home. Otherwise, this was just our normal Carter family drama. Am I right?" Nick was annoyed. He knew his family too well.

"Well, yeah you are." Aaron sounded defeated. For all the times people thought his older brother was an idiot, he was underestimated.

"What the fuck is wrong now?" Nick was pissed.

"Mom got arrested last night, but she's out of jail now."

"WHAT? What happened? What are the charges against her?"

Angelina jumped then stirred a little bit after Nick yelled, but drifted back to sleep.

"Battery. Mom broke into the house last night and found Ginger and Dad sleeping in bed. Mom grabbed Ginger by the hair and dragged her out of bed, threw a remote at her and began slapping her around. Dad and I tried to stop Mom and get her off of Ginger, but she's a strong, stubborn woman. Ginger is pressing charges."

"Jesus Christ," Nick mumbled. "Is Ginger alright? Was Angel home? Who bailed her ass out of jail?" as he asked each question, Nick's voice rose with anger.

Angelina slowly opened her eyes to see Nick visibly upset while talking on the phone. Looking around, she realized he must be driving around because they just passed his place.

"Ginger was a bit startled and shaken. Dad was livid at Mom."

"Well Dad should have waited until after the divorce before he cheated on Mom. Nevermind, that's not important. Was Angel there?"

"Yes, Angel was there too. We all had to give a statement to the police after Ginger said she was pressing charges. I ended up bailing Mom out since she couldn't get a hold of you."

"Figures," Nick muttered. "Why didn't she ask her new boyfriend?"

"I don't think that relationship is very strong."

"There's a surprise." As Nick rolled his eyes, he noticed for the first time Angelina was now awake looking confused. "Thanks for the update Air. Hopefully this won't make any news in the entertainment world, but at least now I know in case I get asked."

"Where are you going?" Aaron asked.

"I'm headed off to Sundance with Angelina on Friday. Kevin will be there too. I need to let him, Johnny and the rest of the guys know about this."

"Well, have fun this weekend. I'll be flying out to California soon. Can I still stay at your place?"

"Yeah, no problem. We'll talk later." Nick closed his phone and looked at Angelina. "We need to talk. But first, I'm stopping to get some alcohol."

"Good news from home, eh?"

"Usual shit, different day. But this time, my Mom has really done it."

Nick had a full plate on Thursday morning; he was filming a backdrop scene with no lines. All of the guys were filming the same sort of material. John assumed that this would help the men learn how to work with the camera and hit their marks when they needed too. "It's sort of like practicing before you start saying your lines." The entire day was filled and they stopped at eleven.

Sheridan went to Kevin, "I'm so far behind at the office."

Kevin escorted her to her car, "Don't worry about it. We knew this would happen. We'll catch up later." Kevin stood next to her car as she closed the door and started the engine. Kevin knocked on the window when he saw something he didn't like.

Rolling down her window, Sheridan looked up at him, "What?"

"Lock your doors," he grumped at her.

"Yes Daddy," Sheridan yawned.

A smile played on Kevin's face but he stifled it. Normally Sheridan wasn't one for smart remarks to him, but she was over-tired. "Go home and get some sleep, you're a little punchy." Kevin watched her roll up her window and push down the lock on the door.

The alarm buzzed earlier than she would have liked on this sunny, Friday morning. "I'm so freakin tired," Angel complained as she packed for yet another long weekend away from home. Nick picked up the shirt and sweater he wore out the night before and smelled them. Shrugging, he threw them into his suitcase.

"Eww, those need to be washed Nick," Angel scrunched up her nose at him.

"Wha? What's wrong with them?"

"Nick! The Forbidden City and the El Centro nightclubs smell is all over your shirt, sweater and pants. Put those in the laundry pile." Nick and Angel had attended Stuff Magazine's, "Pieces of Ass," after party Thursday night as well as hitting the El Centro nightclub before calling it a night. Angel was still amazed she let Nick talk her into going, or rather, tricked her. It was very entertaining and quite interesting to see some of the ways celebrities acted and interacted with each other and their entourages.

Nick looked over at his overgrowing laundry pile in the corner. It had all of Nick's and Angel's Bahamas clothes. "When are we going to get a chance to do laundry?"

Angel looked up from her suitcase as she folded her undies, "Why? Are you out of clean underwear or something?"

"Nope. Just curious when our schedules will slow down." Nick said with a sigh. "Don't get me wrong, I love spending time alone away with you Angel. But I wish we could spend time alone hanging at my place or yours."

Realizing Nick was in need for some good news, Angel needed to check on their schedules. She knew they would be slowing down. "We're returning to Los Angeles on Tuesday," Angel grabbed her organizer, "and we don't have filming that day. We can spend my birthday doing laundry. Maybe we could order in Chinese or something." Angel walked into the bathroom to gather her toiletries.

Nick's face paled. He had no idea Angel's birthday was next week. "Holy shit," he mumbled.

"What's wrong Nick?" Angel said as she walked out of the bathroom, back into his bedroom.

"Oh nothing. I just crushed my finger in my suitcase."


 

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