A Collaboration between Bron and Suzie
Nick answered as he flipped open his cell phone.
you decided to join the human race again and turn your phone
on. Damn boy."
"It was a rough
night A.J. Angel and I just woke up about an hour ago."
Nick yawned as he wiped sleep from his eyes.
"You are certainly
keeping yourself busy. I just found a dozen or so shots of you
and Angel at Sundance parties. Our fans are very good at finding
"What are the
fans saying?" Nick sat up a little straighter as if it
would help him hear better.
"You name it
- the fans are saying it." A.J. began talking in a high
voice, 'That's his new girlfriend.' 'No it's not, it's his sister's
friend.' 'Which sister? She looks too old to be Angel's friend.'
'I heard her name was Angel.' 'Ew, Nick's doing his sister?'
Nick groaned, "Oh
God, that's sick! Fans are saying that shit? Jesus, they must
not like me much."
Nick, "Hey, how was the food at Grappo's Restaurant?"
"How did you
know I ate there?"
"Duh Nick. Some
of the pictures are of you and Angel leaving the restaurant."
Nick mulled the information
over in his brain. "Oh," was all he said, sounding
very somber. He was miffed. The photographers could have taken
a few pics of Kevin and Sheridan, and then the heat would be
off Angel a little bit.
matter Nicky?" A.J. could tell his little brother was troubled.
Running his hand
through his hair, Nick replied, "Nothing. Just thinking
about stuff. The paparazzi pictures. Angelina. My mom. Aaron.
Hopefully, my screwed up family and my way of life won't scare
Angelina off enough to leave me."
A.J. tried to console
him, "Awe c'mon Nick. You know Angel ain't like that. She's
been a fan, so she knows about your screwed up family and what
your life is like… on and off the camera."
"Yeah, but now
she's front and center in the action. It's not like she's an
outsider lookin' in anymore man. God, I hope she doesn't flip
"Take a deep
breath Nick. You're getting yourself all worked up for nothin'."
think so?" Nick prayed A.J. was right.
"You bet I do.
Now, go have fun. I'll keep my eye out on the gossip and I'll
Peace." Nick flipped closed his phone just as Angelina
came storming into the hotel room white as a ghost.
"Oh my God.
Have you seen these?" Angel said as she held up the latest
issue of People and Star Magazine.
Angel had gone out
to get some fresh air and check her voicemail messages. After
listening to her sister's message, she went to the gift shop
to see if she could find the magazines in question.
seen them before," referring only to the magazines
Angel dope slapped
Nick upside his head, "I KNOW you know the magazine you
idiot. Have you seen THESE copies?" Angel thrust both magazines,
one in each hand, in his face.
Nick shook his head,
"I don't pay any attention to those Angel."
Holding up Star,
"This one claims we moved in with each other!" Angel
fell onto their bed. "I should have known something was
up when MaryAnn left such a cryptic message on my voicemail.
My parents are going to flip."
The color drained
from his face, "Oh." Fear was beginning to rear its
ugly head and increase his insecurities about their relationship.
"Don't worry about it Angelina. I'll call and talk to your
folks to explain how things are made to look for publicity sake.
Johnny recommended that maybe all of us, him included, could
go visit your parents and talk to them. I don't want them to
feed into the twisted truth these magazines print."
Angel turned her
head, smiling at her worried boyfriend, "I don't think
that'll be necessary Nick, but thanks." She shot him a
cheesy grin, "My mother was happy you took me away. She
says I looked great in the People magazine picture; tanned and
well-rested. She wondered how long it took them to braid my
Nick breathed out
a sigh of relief he didn't realize he was holding. He watched
Angel closely as she made a weird face.
Feeling the vibration
in her sweat pants, Angel reached in her pocket to retrieve
her cell phone as she nodded her head up and down to Nick, "Guess
It was her sister
again. "You are on ET's website. You're in a video on the
internet!" a voice screamed at her loud enough for Nick
Angel ran towards her laptop. "Send me the link."
She clicked off her phone as she booted up her laptop.
Nick stood up and
stretched, "I guess you talked to your parents and they're
cool about it?"
Angel mumbled, "No,
not really." Looking at the clock in the lower right hand
corner of the computer screen, Angel mentally calculated the
time difference between Utah and Pennsylvania.
He rambled towards
their room service cart, picked up a bagel, and smothered it
with cream cheese. "Whatcha looking at?"
the moment. MaryAnn said there is a video of us on ET's website."
Turning towards Nick, she questioned, "When did we get
"Damned if I
remember Angel." Nick was now standing behind Angel waiting
for the email from her sister. "There it is."
Angel grabbed Nick's
hand and stole a bite of his bagel, "Hey!"
Turning her head
up to look at him, she said a cheeky "Thanks." Nick
started laughing as he saw cream cheese all along Angel's cheek.
Bending down, he used his tongue to lick off the excess cream
cheese. Hearing the familiar beat of ET, his attention went
directly to the computer screen.
"Huh, I didn't
see a camera when we talked to that guy, did you?" It was
in a gift shop in the Bahamas that sold golfing attire.
Angel sat there dumfounded.
"Nope. Didn't even cross my mind to look for one. Should
we call Johnny and let him know?" Angel questioned.
Reaching for his
phone, Nick muttered "Yeah, I better. Besides, I need to
call him back to explain last night's fiasco." Nick wasn't
looking forward to discussing last night's events with Johnny.
Remembering his conversation with Marybeth at the bar, he knew
Kevin was pissed; thinking about it just made him depressed.
Angel began biting
her fingernails. She suddenly felt like a school girl who got
busted by her parents for something she shouldn't have been
doing in the first place.
want me to have gray hair soon, don'tcha?" Johnny greeted
I'm sorry about….."
"Listen, I understand
there will come a time when the two of you will fight, but PLEASE,
for the love of God, don't do it in a public area!" Johnny
chastised Nick appropriately.
Nick shifted his weight from foot to foot feeling uncomfortable
about what was to come next.
me and sent me some links. You two certainly have been targeted
by the paparazzi lately. I wonder why?" It was a rhetorical
question. "Put Angel on the phone."
Nick looked over
to see Angel staring at him wide-eyed. "He wants to talk
Angel pointed to
herself, in a half whispered, high voice, breathed out, "Me?"
Smirking, Nick sat
down next to her on the couch, "Yeah you."
held the phone to her ear, "Hi Johnny. How are you?"
"We'll I'm a
lot better now dear. How are you doing?"
"Oh, well, um…."
Angel was a bit stunned she wasn't being lectured, although
truthfully, she wasn't sure what to expect. She began rambling,
"Tired. I'm definitely tired and looking forward to sleeping
tonight. Amazed at all the celebrities we just happen to be
bumping into too. Enjoying being treated like a princess."
Turning towards Nick, Angel smiled.
Johnny chuckled to
himself, "I'm glad all is well Angel. Take it easy - the
both of you!"
"We will Johnny."
and snuggling on the couch talking, Nick decided he needed to
take a shower. Angel was lying down, almost asleep, when she
heard Nick singing in the shower. She couldn't quite place the
song, or really hear the words, so she went to the door and
put her ear up to it.
thing I am, I promise it will be, much sweeter than you ever
could dream. Let's do it tonight baby, let's do it for love."+
Angel's eyes lit
up while her brain screamed, 'its one of the new songs for the
album!' Angel decided she needed to get closer to hear it better.
She opened up the door and slowly tiptoed her way in the bathroom.
She could see the silhouette of Nick through the frosted shower
Letting the water
cascade down his back, Nick finally relaxed. There was only
one other person he had to deal with. Nick was playing the 'avoid
Kevin game' since his ass was in the wringer from the night
before and he had no intentions of rushing to see him. Nick
and Angel had a few parties to attend that afternoon, and then
they were calling it an early night. For tomorrow night, they
would have to attend a couple of parties with Kevin, Sheridan
and Marybeth. None of whom he really wanted to see any time
Kevin had a quick
breakfast meeting with Sheridan and Marybeth; then they would
part ways for separate meetings afterwards for a few hours.
Kevin grumbled as he looked down at the t-shirt he was wearing.
Sheridan had spilled her coffee down the front of him at the
meeting. Unintentionally, he had startled her in her suite when
he walked in and the coffee went flying directly at him.
Marybeth had walked
in the room just as Sheridan flew into the bathroom and the
door slammed. Tilting her head to the side, she smirked at Kevin
as coffee ran down the front of his light blue shirt. "You're
not making much progress."
Kevin grabbed napkins from the room service cart and began to
dab the brown stain from his shirt.
"I'm so sorry,"
Sheridan bolted back into the room armed with a wet washcloth.
Slapping Kevin in the chest with the wet rag and her hand, she
almost knocked him off his feet.
Kevin grappled for the hand that seemed to be almost pounding
at his chest. "It's fine, stop."
"I'm sorry Kevin.
I know you were heading out so that you could get something
done. I'm sorry, I'm so sorry," Sheridan kept muttering
as her face slowly turned towards him. She froze as she looked
into the dreamy green eyes she had dreamed of for so long. Her
eyes dropped to the lips that weren't frowning but were hinting
at a smile.
Marybeth called her.
her head, Sheridan murmured yet another apology to Kevin.
"I can change clothes. We're done here and I know that
you two have a long day ahead with the press and film credentials
luncheon." Kevin felt a jolt when her soft emerald eyes
looked at him. His eyes dropped to the soft petal pink lips
that formed a slight pout. His body wanted nothing more than
to taste those lips. Leaning forward, Sheridan snapped away
from him when Marybeth had called her name. Internally he groaned
at being swayed once again from what his body and emotions wanted.
off to the bathroom again with her washcloth in her hand. The
door closed slowly this time.
Kevin turned to face
Marybeth. "I would…
to talk to you and so do Angel and Nick." Marybeth jumped
in to save herself from Kevin's usual speech and antics when
he was upset.
"Are you ready?
We need to get going." Sheridan entered the room once again
stopping the conversation between the two occupants. She had
directed her question to Marybeth.
I change," Kevin's mood wasn't surly but his voice indicated
that he wasn't pleased either. "Leave your cell on so I
can find you if I need you." Walking to the door, his hand
was ready to close the door behind him when he heard Marybeth's
distinctive giggle. Debating whether or not to go back and give
her a piece of his mind, he opted for closing the door with
"OH MY GOD!"
Sheridan stared at the closed door. "I am such a klutz.
I can't believe I did that."
"Don't worry about him; he has a busy morning ahead of
him. He has to handle some things for Johnny."
Pausing as she grabbed
her purse from the table, "Why is that? Do I need to be
around when he does?"
laughed, "I wouldn't recommend it." She didn't feel
a need to explain what was happening with the photographers
targeting Nick and Angel. Sheridan would hide out at the hotel
and support Angel in the mess that had been created. "How
did that happen?" Marybeth pointed to the coffee soaked
napkins on the cart.
"He scared me.
He came in here, I was only half-dressed and I lost the grip
on my coffee cup and it hit him." Sheridan looked at the
carpet where Kevin had stood. There wasn't much of a stain was
on the carpet, most of the liquid landed on Kevin.
"I guess he
won't be surprising you again anytime soon," Marybeth closed
the door behind her as the two women headed for the elevator.
Making a mental note that Kevin was beginning to get a little
devious in his plan to snag Sheridan, Marybeth would be letting
Angelina know about this move.
Waiting for a car,
they discussed all of the meetings and networking they were
going to try and cover in one day. Marybeth was used to this
type of schedule and knew her facts cold. She hadn't been with
Gene for as long as she had without knowing her job inside and
out. Now it was her turn to teach Sheridan a few things. "We
are going to have a good day," Marybeth knocked into Sheridan.
"We are a team."
"No, we're great,"
Sheridan winked at her as the two of them hit the first meeting
with high spirits.
Kevin journeyed out
early in the morning in essence to avoid the photographers that
flooded the town. He wanted to do some shopping as well as getting
a few meetings out of the way. During a lunch meeting, Johnny
called and informed him that it wasn't necessary to harass Nick
about the paparazzi pics since he had already done the same.
Kevin was relieved; he really didn't want to have to have another
talk with Nick. Nick may be his baby brother but he wasn't Nick's
keeper either. A second call at the end of his meeting confirmed
that everything was moving as smooth as glass for Sheridan and
Marybeth. Sheridan seemed excited as she relayed her day so
far to him. "That's great news Sheridan. We'll celebrate
tonight. I think you and I, and the rest of our friends, will
hit a few of the parties."
with the telephone thrown off guard by switching from business
to friends so quickly. "I don't know. I need to digest
everything I've learned today. There are notes to be reviewed."
"As your employer,
you will accompany me to the Charity Party at the Play Station
2 tent." Kevin wasn't taking no for an answer. He was hoping
to get out and about a little bit with her to get her used to
the publicity. The last thing he wanted was for her to end up
with her picture plastered all over the papers as a surprise.
"But… I really
to hit the Sean Jean party with Angel and Nick. Marybeth is
coming too. See, all of us, together, as friends."
her teeth together. "Yes Sir," she practically spit
through the telephone.
"No, it's yes,
Kevin," Kevin snickered and snapped his cell closed. Just
as he did, a photographer snapped a picture of him. Kevin blinked
and tossed his scarf around his neck, striking a pose. A quick
turn to the left to dodge the rest of the press sent him into
a sports boutique. It was exactly what he was looking for. A
blue tracksuit was on his list. Kevin shopped, found some of
things that he needed and some that he didn't. Hitting a few
more boutiques he blew time until his next meeting which coincided
on her cell phone with A.J. again.
while they entered another tent. A.J. seemed to be in continuous
contact with Marybeth. "Does he call all the time?"
Sheridan looked puzzled.
but I enjoy it. I enjoy talking to A.J." Marybeth drifted
off for a second.
"How much are
you enjoying A.J.?" Sheridan smirked.
"Not that much.
Please like he would be interested in me." Marybeth gathered
the speaker's notes and set out to start networking the room.
along watching every move the woman made. "I happen to
think you two are great together. It appears to me that he misses
you very much."
"I miss him,"
Marybeth hated to admit it, but she did. "He did an interview
with Joey Fatone on his radio show."
Sheridan gasped back.
"You need to
grow up a little," Marybeth snickered at the traces of
the old boy band rivalry. "He's trying to take the heat
off of a certain couple."
"What did Angel do now?" Sheridan hasn't talked with
or seen Angel since dinner a couple nights ago.
"Well, we can
worry about that later but A.J. did tell everyone that the boys
were going back into the studio on the 26th. Did you know about
"I found out
last night. They've been practicing songs these past few weeks,
just not recording them yet. I'm so excited that they are going
to record again." Sheridan felt like she was walking on
air as she spoke those words. She really was excited that they
were going to record another album. "Did he say anything
else about the album?"
"Just that they were going in to see what comes out of
the recording session and that they didn't really have a direction."
What she had told Sheridan had sounded better than what A.J.
had repeated to the D.J. "We're going in to fart around
and see what happens." She closed her eyes and smiled,
A.J. will always be just A.J.
"Oh God, look
over there." Sheridan elbowed Marybeth.
cute," Marybeth leaned back against the wall. "He
must be with one of the bands that they hired to perform up
here at all the parties."
"I hope we see
him tonight," Sheridan giggled as they headed in another
direction. "I wonder what Nick and Angel have been doing
"Hiding, I would
assume." Stopping at a table, they both were jolted by
the sound of the paging system. "Welcome everyone."
"Let's get this
over with so you and I can go to dinner. We're all going out
tonight. It's our last night here and I want to enjoy it,"
Marybeth leaned over and whispered to Sheridan.
"I know. Who
told you?" Sheridan queried
Marybeth sat back. "I guess he talked to Kevin sometime
The two of them sat
and listened to the lecture and made their rounds of the guests.
They finished their day off by having dinner at a pub around
the corner from the hotel. They had enough time to get back
to the hotel, change, and meet up with Kevin, Angel, and Nick.
"Nick, we have
to face them sooner or later. Let's just go and get this over
with." Angelina pleaded with Nick as he sat on the couch
not wanting to go out with the rest of the Sundance gang. A
slight rap on the door didn't dissuade Angel from her talk.
last thing I need is to hear Kevin bitch and complain at me.
He treats me like I'm a little kid." Nick pouted on the
Angel raised her
eyebrow at Nick. Sarcastically, she replied, "Why would
he do that?"
Nick eyed Angel with
a smirk. "Careful woman. You're sleeping with me, not Kevin.
Don't piss me off."
"Look Nick, we managed to avoid him yesterday. If he was
going to bitch and complain, he would have been banging on our
hotel door first thing yesterday morning, but he didn't. Let
it go. I believe he has."
Eyeing his girlfriend,
he thought about what she said. It did make sense, but with
Kevin, Nick could never be too careful. "Fine."
Kevin couldn't resist
after he had heard Nick speaking. "Don't worry Angel. You
can always sleep with me if he's stupid enough to let you go."
Sheridan's demeanor. She went from shocked to jealous in a matter
of seconds. "Okay, let's get this party started."
Marybeth clapped her hands to help get Nick off the couch.
Kevin was acting
particularly weird for Angel's tastes. 'I wonder what the hell
he's up to,' she thought.
"Oh, by the
way Nick and Angel, you guys suck at dancing," came out
of Kevin's mouth as he exited the hotel room before erupting
Nick rolled his eyes,
"I guess the photographers were taking pictures of the
dance floor at last nights Xbox party."
Angel grinned knowing
they were pretending to not know how to dance. "We ain't
got no rhythm; I kept telling you that." Angel winked at
Nick who now had grabbed her hand as they headed out of the
The group was now
gathered in the hallway waiting for the elevator. Kevin couldn't
help but ask, "So, out of curiosity, when did you two get
so friendly with the camera?"
Angel chuckled, "I
wouldn't say we've been getting friendly with the camera. More
like, I don't care after consuming one too many drinks. You'd
be all smiles too."
"I bet I would."
"I'd love to
see it in person." Sheridan let slip out before her eyes
grew wide in embarrassment.
In his southern Kentucky
drawl, Kevin asked, "Another fan moment?"
Staring at the elevator
doors, wishing them to open, a soft "Uh huh," was
the dynamics of the group. Angel had become more of an extrovert,
if that was even possible, and Sheridan had become more introverted
as time passed.
Angel took this opportunity
to help steer everyone's attention off Sheridan, so she could
regain her composure, "Hey Kev, what's up with the scarf
dude? You've been wearing that thing everywhere - indoors as
well as out."
Kevin looked down
while picking up the scarf hanging around his neck, "What's
wrong with it?"
"Are you wearing
it to keep your neck warm or is this a new fashion statement?"
"Well, I don't
have any female arms to wrap around my neck to keep it warm
for me." Kevin purred as he wrapped his arm around Angel's
neck for a demonstration.
Sheridan didn't care
for the flirty conversation Angel and Kevin were in to. "I
happen to think it's very stylish." Sheridan still hadn't
turned her head to look at him although she knew damn well how
close he was to Angel just by looking out of the corner of her
Angel's eyes grew
wide and a smile beamed off her face hearing her roommate defend
Kevin's attire. Angel winked at Kevin. A light bulb went off
in Kevin's head, 'somebody's a bit jealous. I can't wait 'til
Kevin shouted, causing Sheridan to jump. "No more caffeine
for you young lady." The elevator dinged and the crew climbed
fashion sense," Kevin continued flirting with Angel, "Where
did you find that white, tight ski outfit yesterday? You guys
looked good together in matching suits."
Now it was Nick's
turn to wonder what the hell was going on between these two.
Kevin saw the look Nick was giving him, "What? I was just
wondering where you got those ski outfits. And more importantly,
did you ski?"
"No, we didn't
ski and no we didn't go shopping. We were asked to pose in them
at the Stuff party yesterday," Nick mumbled, wondering
why Kevin was keeping tabs on them or rather, why he was surfing
the internet looking for pictures from Sundance.
help but laugh, "Boy, you two are certainly making the
rounds this week."
Angel grinned at
Marybeth, "Just doing our jobs. Mingling and making connections.
You should see all the business cards I've acquired while talking
to folks." Angel was having a great time, a little sleep
deprived, but other than that, she was truly enjoying herself.
Nick kissed the top
of Angel's head, "You should see her in action. She's very
captivating when she has to be."
While starring at
Sheridan, Kevin couldn't resist one last comment, "I can't
wait to see her moves tonight."
Sheridan's face paled
and her brows burrowed. Slowly, she turned her head only to
see piercing green eyes starring back at her.
alright Sheridan?" Kevin questioned.
she said through clenched teeth. The doors couldn't have opened
up fast enough as she began sprinting out of the elevator and
into the hotel lobby.
"Ya think she's
mad at me?" Kevin said as he took another swig from his
Marybeth shook her
head in amazement. "What the hell are you doing?"
"I'm gonna have
me some fun tonight." Kevin's Kentucky accent was more
prevalent than ever.
Angel and Nick shared
a glance, almost as if reading each other's minds. A smile formed
on both sets of lips.
+ "Let's do it for love" by Backstreet Boys (unreleased)
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This is a work
The characters and events portrayed are fictitious.
Any resemblance to real people or events is purely coincidental.
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Graphics by Bronwyn