Copyright

A Collaboration between Bron and Suzie

Chapter 5

“The nerve of that asshole.  How dare he?  Who does he think he is, Mr. I’m-no-longer-on-top-of-People’s Sexiest list?  Mr. Backstreet-Boy-who-gets-no-respect?”  Sheridan was brewing, making Angelina nervous since Sheridan insisted on driving them home.

Sheridan finally took a deep breath and asked, “What the hell did we do?  I don’t get it.  We submitted a manuscript and we end up meeting the people we write about?  How the fuck did that happen?”

“Not to piss you off, but I told you so!”  Angel had been dying to rub it in Sheridan’s face once the initial shock wore off.  Somewhere around dinner, she wanted to say something, but under the circumstances, she knew better.  “I must admit dinner was delicious.  Didn’t you think so Sheridan?”

Sheridan turned towards Angel and gave her a look, “Have you lost your mind?  We just spent two hours with five people we have been writing about, fantasizing about, for the better part of three years, and all you can talk about was the damn dinner?”

“Okay, I’ll admit my initial reaction at meeting them as our new bosses frightened me.  Suddenly, I was wishing we were working for the Mafioso.  But then, I thought about it, we somewhat know about these guys; a hell of a lot more than they know about us.  We can use that to our advantage.”

“Yeah, I bet by next week, they’ll know all about us.  Hell, they’ll know more about us than we know about ourselves.  Kevin will hunt for something to hold over us, I just know it.”

“Oh my God, you have gone psychotic on me.  Will you relax?  It’s just a movie project.  How hard can it be?”

“Those will be famous last words, Angel, I’m telling you right now.”  Sheridan jammed the car into park and hopped out, leaving Angel sitting in the car by herself.

“I guess she’ll be calling Tom now,” Angel snickered as she skipped into the building.  She hadn’t felt like skipping in a long time.

Back at the conference room the boys continued to meet together. They were discussing each other’s schedules and this project, hoping to accommodate each individuals needs.  Kevin was leaving for London for six weeks, which would keep him out of the loop.  Phone conferences would be set up so that he could partake in most of the meetings.  The time difference would be a killer so the meetings would be limited.  Fax machines and email would help.

“Ya know, I was just thinking.”  Howie began, “Do you think Angel wrote my character?  She winked when she left.  Maybe that was supposed to be a hint.”

Kevin rolled his eyes at Howie’s logic.  “I’m sure on some level, she was trying to send you some sort of subliminal message.  Can we stay focused on our calendars so we can go home?”

Nick frowned, he liked being around everyone, except when Kevin was grouchy.  ‘Just like old times,’ he thought.  ‘Maybe doing this film will help bring us back together again.’

Brian looked over and stared at Nick, he knew exactly what Nick was thinking.  Brian smiled and turned towards Kevin, “Why don’t we meet for lunch or something tomorrow and go over this then?  I need to get my schedule from Leighanne anyways. I can’t do this tonight.”  Turning back towards Nick, Brian smiled.

“Yeah Kevin, I need to check into a few things too.  I can meet anytime tomorrow,” Nick said keeping his eyes down, appearing to be fascinated with something on the conference table.  He knew the boys were somewhat upset with him about his solo plans and he didn’t want to really bring that up now.  But this had more to do with his real estate in Florida and his parent’s separation.

“I’m sure you do Nick,” Kevin said sarcastically.  Kevin leveled the death-glare on Nick.

“It’s personal Kevin, not business,” Nick answered a little hurt.  He knew this project would be hard, but he was going to make every effort to be included, whether he felt wanted or not.  Backstreet just needed time to re-group and get rid of some lawsuits.

Howie sensed the tension building, and it was getting late, “That’s a great idea Bri.  My schedule is clear all day.  What about you AJ?”

“Lunch works for me.  How 'bout it Kev?”  A.J. watched as Howie and Brian tried to keep Kevin and Nick from boiling over at each other.

“Fine,” Kevin answered while fingering a piece of paper.  Suddenly, his eyes scanned the paper.  A small smile crept over his face, “And I know exactly where we can meet.”

Later that evening, Nick was restless in his condo, trying to absorb all that had developed from their meeting.  He had had so much other stuff on his mind lately with working on his second CD, his family situation, and working with MTV on a few projects that they were developing.  His meeting today was a welcomed break to not have to deal with any of it for an evening.  Being back with his brothers offered him some comfort.  The papers and tabloids had latched onto his parent's split as well as his father’s arrest.

Fingering through the papers he was given, the girls' resumes, references, and a copy of the manuscript, he began curling the corners of Angelina’s resume.  He laughed out loud thinking back to the sea grass question Kevin asked him.  What an outrageous amount of money he had been fined.  “How did they know the amount?” he wondered aloud.

Suddenly, thinking back to their conversation and which girl wrote which part, Nick grabbed his phone and dialed the number on the resume.  He was suddenly curious, very curious.

“Hello,” Angel said while hitting pause on her VCR.

“Hello, is Angelina or Sheridan home?”

“This is Angelina.  Who is this?”

“Hey Angel, it’s Nick.  How are you?  I hope I didn’t wake you.”  Suddenly realizing it was rather late to be calling her.  It was almost eleven at night.

“Nah, I’m usually up late.  Wait, how did you know our number?”  Angel looked at the phone quizzically; private number was displayed on the caller id.

“Don’t you remember our meeting?  It’s written on the resumes you gave us.” 

Angel smacked her head, “Oh yeah, I forgot.  Sorry, didn’t mean to jump down your throat.  I’m sure you called for a reason.  Is there something I can help you with?” 

Angel’s mind raced thinking how cool this phone call would be if it had been a booty call.  Giggling distinctly at her thoughts, Angel coughed to cover up for her slip-up.  ‘Focus Angel,’ her head screamed.

“Are you alright?”  Nick asked with concern.  He could have sworn he heard her laugh, but obviously, he was hearing things.

“Yeah….I’m fine.  Sorry.”

“I was wondering if Sheridan was around actually.” 

“Oh…yeah….hold on.  Let me go check.  I’m in my bedroom.”

Nick heard Angel’s footsteps, a door open, what sounded like a knock on a door, and then a male’s voice.  ‘Who the hell was that?’  Nick thought, suddenly feeling a bit uneasy.

It just occurred to him that he, or any of the boys, really didn’t know these women, other than what was on paper and that they were fans, that was it.  He didn’t like his lack of information very much.  He would work on that, and soon.

There was some mumbling and then a door slammed shut. 

“Ahh, no Sheridan’s sleeping.  Do you want me to take a message and have her call you in the morning?”  Angel sounded disgusted all of a sudden.

Her voice sounded like the grim-reaper from a horror flick.  “Are you alright Angel?” 

‘Oh sure, seeing Tom cradling Sheridan in his arms is exactly what I needed before I try and go to bed.  They both were still dressed too.’  “Yeah, I’m fine.  I’m really tired Nick, is there something else I can help you with?”

For a quick second, Nick thought ‘Hell yeah, I’ve got something you can help me with.’  Shaking his head, he said no to the bad thought in his head, not that Angel could see.  “Um…well, now that you mention it.  Can I ask who else lives with you girls?  Ya know, just in case I call back sometime and he answers, I won’t think I dialed the wrong number or nothing.”

Smiling at Nick’s question, Angel answered with a laugh, nosey little shit, isn’t he.  “Oh him?  That was Tom.  He doesn’t live with us though; well not officially.  He’s Sheridan’s boyfriend.”

Nick’s lips turned down, “Oh really, she has a boyfriend?”

Angel was laughing in her head as she spoke to herself, Sheridan thinks she does.  I dunno, I just interrupted them; I’ll be on the shit list for awhile.  “Yes she does.”

“So, do you have a boyfriend too?”  Nick figured he would just keep right on going and gathering his information. 

‘Where the hell did that come from?’ she thought.  “Not that it’s any of your business, but no I don’t.  Now if there’s nothing else I can help you with, I’m going to go.  I have to work in the morning.”  Angel suddenly felt nervous and wanted to get off the phone.  The last male she talked to this late at night while she was in bed was Joey.   

“Yeah, one last thing.  Can you tell me who wrote which parts?” 

Angel could sense his smile through the phone.  “Nope.”

“Awe…come on.  Why won’t you tell me?”

“Why should I?”

“Cause I asked, nicely,” Nick replied, getting a bit frustrated that he wasn’t getting the answers he wanted.

“Sorry, not good enough”

“What!  Hey, I’m one of your bosses.  I demand to know who wrote what!”  Nick was proud of himself for remembering to bring that up.

“Oh, you're playing that card huh?  Now you sound like Kevin.  Are you always this demanding Nick?”  Angel replied with a laugh, Nick didn’t scare her one iota.

“Yes I am, and normally I don’t need to demand anything.  I just get what I want,” Nick could tell she was laughing, and not in a bad way.  This was a good sign he thought.

“Really?  Wow… must be nice to get whatever you want.”  ‘Am I crazy?’ she thought, I’m flirting on the phone with Nick Carter.

“Yes, it is,” flirting back.  ‘Oh, this is different.  Kevin would kill me if he knew what I was doing right now’ Nick thought but not really caring at all. “So, how about it?  You gonna give me what I want?” 

“Of course… you’re Nick Carter,” Angel said sweetly.  Then there was a deafening silence.

“Well?”  Nick said.

Click.  

“See you tomorrow Angel,” he said aloud while grinning into the receiver.

The next morning Angel tip-toed out to the kitchen.  Sheridan would be up and ready to go to work.  By now she would be drinking coffee and fiddling with whatever she had wrote last night.

“Freeze Angel,” Sheridan barked as she came around the counter.

Angel’s eyes closed tight shut.  “I’m so sorry.  I didn’t know that you were... you know.”

“We were until you knocked.  He left right after that.  Who the hell were you giggling on the phone with?”

“You mean you didn’t umm.... ah....”

When the dishrag flew through the air, she knew they didn’t.  “I’m sorry Sheridan.  I really am.  Maybe you should be the aggressor and everything will be fine.”

“I’m not like that, that is you.  You still haven’t answered the question, who was on the phone looking for me?”  Sheridan shut down the computer as she spoke to Angel.

A nervous giggle escaped Angel, “Why don’t I just go to the gym and from there I’ll go on into work.  We can talk later.”

“Angel you ruined my entire evening.  I was going to have sex for the first time in months.   I mean months Angel, not weeks, not days, not hours, months.”  Sheridan wasn’t really angry with Angel as much as she was with Tom.  Once Sheridan pushed the door open, it was over.  Tom scrambled for his pants and left.  This morning would be even worse when she had to face him at work, still cranky.

Checking her watch, Sheridan snatched her briefcase off the counter.  “When was the last time you got laid, a week ago?  I bet you don’t remember his name!” 

The door slammed, “Damn I didn’t think he was such a freakin’ wimp ass.  I need to find her a little stud-muffin to play with.   Something to make her want to ditch Tom, Tom was gay and he was stringing Sheridan along.” 

Twirling into the bedroom like a teenager, she grabbed her black book and began thumbing the page.  “Hmm let’s see we have, Alberto... Nah, he would be to rough with her, that’s not her style.  James?  No, but he would be perfect for Tom.  Richard, now Richard had possibilities.” 

Picking up the phone she dialed the number only to hear the voice mail tell her that he would be out of town for the next week.  Dialing a few other numbers, she discovered that everyone was busy or seeing someone.  “Damn, there has to be someone.”  The phone ringing swayed her away from her thinking.

“Hello,” Angelina kicked at the dirty clothes that were strewn on the floor.  She needed to find sweats that were dirty but not too dirty. 

“Where’s Sheridan?  She’s not here yet.”  Tom spoke softly.

This was Angel’s golden opportunity.  “What do you care?  You walked out on her last night.  I’m sick of this Tom, you better tell her the truth and soon.  What you are doing isn’t right.  If you need to experiment or discover yourself, use someone else, not my friend.”

“Stay out of my business Angel.  I care about Sheridan.”  Tom loosened his tie slightly and flung his jacket to the couch.  Yes, he had left last night, but only because he wasn’t comfortable and he needed to go home and evaluate the reason why.  Angel was on to him now and he knew that he would have to talk to Sheridan before she went back to the apartment. 

“Not enough to make love to her!”  Angel slammed the phone down.  She winked in the mirror at her own reflection.  “He’ll be over tonight and he had better do it right this time.”  Snagging clothes from the floor, she stuffed them in her gym bag and out the door she went. 

Patrick watched her walk from his window.  Damn those two together were like the hottest thing he had seen in years.  The fire queen and the ice queen, the fire queen had just walked by his apartment.

Angelina walked into work, The Barefoot Restaurant, refreshed after her workout.  Her smile pretty much told her co-workers how the meeting had went the day before. 

Once the girls returned home the night before, and a bottle of wine later, Sheridan interpreted what their potential salary would be.  Somehow, Angelina lost the rest of the conversation after that point.  Tom had shown up because Sheridan had locked herself in the bedroom and spoke to him. 

Bringing her back to her thoughts, Angel’s friend Kim was waving her hand in front of her eyes.  “Earth to Angel.  Come back girlfriend.  Who hired you?  What will you be doing?  Details woman!”  Blinking a couple of times, Angel refocused.

“Sorry.  Lost in thought.  I can’t discuss the plans but let’s just say that I’ll need to cut down my hours at some point.”  Angel’s smile reached her ears.

“I’m so thrilled for you and Sheridan.  We’ll have to get together and celebrate.  This doesn’t happen everyday,” Kim said as she hugged Angel.

‘Neither is working for your dream man,' Angel said to herself.  “You bet.  I’m going to have a lot of energy to burn off too."  ‘Sexual energy, damn I need a man,’ Angel grumbled as she hopped around the bar.  “Let me know when and where, and I’ll be there with bells on.”

Angel had been eyeballing the new waiter, Sergio.  “I feel like a little Italian tonight,” Angel poked Kim in the ribs.

“Honey, check out the package, and I don’t mean UPS, that ain’t little.”  Kim hid her face as she mixed a Manhattan for a customer.

The lunch crowd started drifting into the restaurant and bar.  Angel was keeping herself busy.  Suddenly, she felt eyes watching her.  She turned around slowly and saw a familiar pair of deep blue eyes staring at her.  “Oh shit,” she bit her lip as she dashed to the back of the restaurant.  'What are they doing here?' she thought to herself as she ran into the kitchen.

The short order cook was used to Angel being in a tizzy, they had lovingly labeled her ditzy.  “Hey ditzy, what’s up?”

“Damn!”  Angelina waved her hands in the air.  “They’re here, they’re here.”

Kim made her way to the kitchen, with a huge smile on her face, “Oh Angel.”

“No!” she backed away from Kim.

“Your ever loving Backstreet Boys are here!  They heard about us in the paper and thought they would try us out.  Oh, what a bunch hotties too.”

“Shit, shit, shit...”  Angel leaned on the stainless steel counter as Kim’s words sunk in.  “Did you say the paper?”

“Yeah, the critic that did the write up a couple of weeks ago.”

“Ohh! I see,” Angelina gathered what was left of her wits about her. 

“Let’s go girl, it’s your only opportunity to see that little Carter kid in the flesh.”

“Um-yeah,” Angel walked into the employee bathroom and fixed her hair.  She smoothed the wrinkle from her apron, then applied a fresh coat of lipstick. 

The short order cook Tony, was laughing.  “He’s a little boy, besides I thought you were going for Italian tonight.”

Angel stuck her tongue out at Kim, nothing was a secret in this joint.

Pulling it together, Angel walked to the bar.  Kim handed her a tray, “We’re short handed.  Louise is on break.”

“You set me up,” Angelina hissed at them.

“We sure as hell did,” Louise snickered from the door that led down to the liquor storage.

Angelina grabbed an order pad and went directly to the table that her friends had so nicely given her to wait on.  “Hello gentlemen.  What may I get for you today?  I see you have your menus, are you ready to order?”

Nick nodded eagerly, “Hmm, I would like a barefoot sandwich cooked medium well with cheese and bacon and some fries.  I want a Heineken with that too.”

“I need proof of age.”  Angel grinned at him.

“Ohhh,” A.J. laughed at her.

“You... You... You know I’m old enough to drink,” Nick stuttered.

“Maybe she doesn’t, that might be Sheridan’s job.”  Kevin sat back, highly amused. 

Angel opened and then closed her mouth, “Still trying Nick.  Like when you called me last night.”  Two can play that game.  Angel waited as Kevin looked from one then to the other.  Going around the table, she took their orders.  She did watch Nick sink down in the chair slightly every time Kevin looked at him.

“I’ll be right back,” she chirped and headed to the bar.

“So how is it going?” Kim giggled as she poured a soda water for A.J.

“Oh please, the only thing worse would be for Sheridan to show up.”  Angel dropped the liquor order off at the table and then dropped the kitchen order off.

Approaching the table like a professional with their lunch she smiled, “If you need anything else, let me know.”

“We need to meet next Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday night.”  Kevin shuffled the pages around in front of him.  “I’m leaving for London next Friday and I need to cover a few things with both of you and the guys before I go.”

“I see.  Let me talk to Sheridan tonight but I don’t think it will be a problem. I get off work at six, so anytime after that.”

“I didn’t think it would be,” Kevin nodded at her.  His tone wasn’t nasty or demanding, just light hearted. 

The gentlemen were still having their meeting at the table when Angel clocked out. Kim told her she would save her tip for her.  Angel had them autograph a menu that she had left on the table.  “Just so it looks good, my co-workers know I’m a fan.”

“Ah, good thinking,” Kevin grabbed a sharpie and signed his name.

“Sheridan!”  Angel was yelling as she took the stairs two at a time up to their apartment.

Patrick opened his door.  “She’s not home yet.”

“Oh...  Hi Patrick, She’s not? Huh… thanks.”  Angel pushed the door open and closed it quickly.  There were days that Patrick would step on her last nerve.  The first place she went was the answer machine.

Hitting the button, she heard Sheridan’s voice.  “Eat dinner without me, Tom and I are going out.”  A long pause and a sigh, she heard the rest of Sheridan’s message, “He wants to talk.  I’m sorry about this morning.”

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This is a work of fiction.
The characters and events portrayed are fictitious.
Any resemblance to real people or events is purely coincidental.

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