A Collaboration between Bron and Suzie
Kevin screamed to no one as he looked into the bakery shop only
to find the lights dimmed and the door locked. Checking his
watch, it read 6:52PM. The sign on the front door informed him
that he was 22 minutes late.
Realizing he was
still 30 minutes away from the girls' apartment, panic set in.
Kevin was never late……for anything! Except for one concert in
Denver because he was stranded in California due to poor weather
conditions in Colorado, he'd always been the reliable one.
Reaching for his
cell phone, he dialed Nick's cell while peering into the Sugar
and Spice's bakery front window.
Nick saw the caller ID and relaxed. He was getting nervous Kevin
forgot the cake. "Hey dude. Are you all….."
Nick's voice was
interrupted by Kevin's excited baritone voice. "Oh, I just
saw a shadow. I'll let you know if I got it or not." Kevin
saw a shadow in the back room. He banged on the glass of the
door with both fists.
A clicking noise
brought Nick back to reality from his dazed state. 'What the
hell was Kevin talking about?' was all he could question to
himself when Angel walked into her bedroom with another load
of whites that needed to be folded.
Kevin began tapping
on the window obnoxiously until a body appeared in the bakery
doorway coming from the kitchen area. The man yelled, "Sorry,
Kevin was shaking
his head back and forth, "NO!" Kevin realized he yelled
louder than he wanted to. He didn't want to frighten the poor
man, or worse, give him a reason to call the cops. "I mean,
I realize you are closed but PLEASE I need to pick up a cake
for a party tonight." Kevin's composure was one of a pleading,
almost prayer-like, form.
The baker knew exactly
who he was and which cake he was supposed to have picked up
earlier in the evening. A call from a 'friend' gave the baker
a head's up.
Kevin heard the familiar
ring tone coming from his pants, 'Why now?' he thought. He looked
at the caller ID and frowned while opening the lid, "What?"
Brian was running
a tad late as well, but at least he was approaching the meeting
spot. Kevin barking into his cell phone was nothing out of the
ordinary to him.
"Sorry I'm running late. I'll be there in about 5 minutes."
Brian blurted out.
"There where?" Kevin questioned while he waited for
the baker to finish putting the lights on and unlocking the
"Where we were
supposed to meet ten minutes ago. Don't you remember? We are
all supposed to meet in the parking lot, then go in one car
to the girls' apartment."
Kevin mumbled. "Listen, I'm running later than you..."
"You mean you
aren't there either?"
'Why do I surround
myself with these people?' "That's right Bri. But listen,
I'll just meet you there."
Kevin's speech, "Shit, let me call A.J. then"
Kevin heard the annoyance
in his cousin's voice before a clicking noise resonated in his
"May I help
you sir?" A middle-aged, tall, well-built man said as he
opened the door.
you so much for this. I owe you big time for saving me. I really
need to pickup this cake."
A quiet laugh escaped
the baker, "What's the name on the cake?"
"Angel or Angelina.
I'm not sure what Nick chose." Kevin said sheepishly. "Nick
Carter ordered the cake a few days ago."
I know the one. Let me go get it for you."
As the Baker returned
to the backroom, Kevin's cell phone rang again. "I'll be
there soon!" Kevin shouted as he answered his phone.
Sheridan eyed the
phone in her hand after hearing Kevin yell at her. "What?"
Kevin's jaw opened,
but no sound came out. Damn, the last thing he needed was to
tweak Sheridan's buttons. He was supposed to get his answer
and he was hoping it would be tonight, he had set his own private
deadline to tomorrow morning.
voice came booming through his ear, "Kevin, is that you?
Are you alright?"
Kevin closed his
eyes, dropping his head to his chest, 'I'm such an idiot,' he
"Hey Sheridan, I'm sorry. I thought you were A.J."
not the same person," Sheridan blubbered out nervously.
"Sorry to bother you, but I wasn't sure if you wanted me
to come to the office in the morning or not since you're scheduled
to be in the studio."
Kevin blinked, twice.
He hadn't thought about it. Truth be told, he hadn't thought
about anything more beyond sleep and getting the right answer
out of Sheridan. The baker rounded the corner as he spoke, "Here
ya go Mr. Richardson. All set. That'll be $175.00."
"A hundred and
seventy five dollars for THAT? Are you kidding me?"
are you? Are you okay?" Sheridan's voice raised a pitch.
call you later. I gotta go."
Sheridan heard nothing,
then a dial tone. Walking back into the living room where Angel
and Nick were spread out on the couch, she mumbled, "He's
a strange man."
Nick's ears perked
up, "Who Kev?"
"Yes. He was
acting very strange on the phone."
Nick sat up quickly,
nearly knocking Angel off the couch. "Hey, watch it!"
she hissed as she got up to go into her bedroom.
"Why do you
say that Sheridan?" Nick asked nervously resting his elbow
on his knee, bringing his hand up to his face as he began to
chew on his left index fingernail.
Angel returned from
her bedroom with a laundry basket in hand, "Here big guy.
Your turn to bring up the next load from the dryer. Don't forget
to pull our last load from the washing machine either."
Nick tried to act
relaxed but the girls noticed his demeanor almost immediately.
Nick trudged his way to the door. Before he closed the door,
his eyes appeared focused on the telephone.
"What's up with
him?" Angel questioned Sheridan since she was the last
person to talk with him.
"Beats me. He
started acting strange after Kevin called. Wonder what's up.
Is Nick meeting Kevin and A.J. tonight?"
"Not that I
know of. We have plans on ordering in food before calling it
an early night of sleep."
Peering over Angel's
shoulder and looking into her bedroom, "Well, you better
put away some of your clothes or you won't have a place to sleep."
A sly smile formed
on Angel's face causing Sheridan to grumble. Sheridan's hand
flew up in the air as she motioned Angel to stop with her hand.
"I don't want to hear about it. I don't want details, just
leave it alone."
Angel's head lilted
to the side. "I'm sure if you give Kevin the right answer
he'll be more than obliged to take care of that little problem
for you." Angel snickered as Sheridan frowned at her.
"You think so?"
Sheridan walked away with a little attitude in her step as she
headed back to her bedroom. "Everybody seems so obsessed
with my answer."
Angel shrugged her
shoulders. Her boyfriend was acting weird; her best friend was
a nervous nelly over giving her boss/friend/boss/could be lover,
an answer. "I wonder what he'll do if she says no."
A grin broke across her face as she thought about the possibilities.
"Maybe Sheridan needs a little nudge in the right direction.
I think I'll be the nudgee. It's time."
"How come so
much?" Kevin was still in a state of shock. "Is it
made of gold, diamonds, or something?"
The baker laughed
slightly, "No sir. We charge $100 for any after hour requests."
Kevin mumbled a few
profanities under his breath as he reached into his jeans pocket
to retrieve his wallet. Handing over his black American Express
card, he declared, "This is counting as a business expense
- screw that."
Kevin signed his
name to the receipt slip grumbling it was his own fault since
he was the one who overslept.
"Would you like
to see the cake?" the baker questioned.
Knowing baking was
somewhat of an art that should be appreciated, Kevin smiled
a sincere smile for the first time since he entered the bakery,
"Yes please. I'd like to."
The baker's cheeks
glowed with excitement. "Nick chose a beautiful cake, if
I do say so myself." The baker continued, "The cake
is in the shape of a decorated present box with a spectacular
bow on top. Do not press down on the top or it will break. It's
white with red and pink polka dots and a giant magenta bow."
Kevin was stunned
by its presentation. If he didn't know better, he wouldn't have
thought it was a cake. "Wow. That's amazing." Looking
on the counter, Kevin noticed the baker's business cards. "I'm
definitely remembering this for a special occasion. How did
Nick find you?" Kevin questioned the baker as if he knew.
The baker shrugged
his shoulders, "I have no idea. I think our bakery has
a good reputation so I'll guess it was by word of mouth."
Kevin nodded in appreciation,
"Very well deserved. Thanks again, but now I must really
get moving, I'm already late."
The baker came up
behind Kevin to lock the door, "I understand. Don't get
any speeding tickets."
Kevin rolled his
eyes. That's all he needed, one more driving offense and his
car insurance company would have a fit. He set the cake gently
in the back of his truck. He'd call the guys when he was a little
closer. There was no sense in being bitched at the entire time
he drove over there.
Brian finally met
up with A.J and Howie, who sat waiting longer than expected.
"Where the hell have you been?" A.J. questioned Brian
who was 15 minutes late.
Brian raised his
hand, "Don't ask!"
Howie saw the look
on Brian's face and concluded it had to do with Leighanne. "You
Brian sighed, leaning
up against his car, "Yeah, I'm fine. Sorry I'm late. It's
been one of those days that doesn't want to end."
comical that the two most reliable members are the two who will
be the tardy ones tonight." Howie smiled.
"Yeah - Kevin
said not to wait for him though. He'll go straight to the girls'
apartment once he pays for the cake." Checking his watch,
A.J. concluded that he must be done by now.
Kevin sat at the
light waiting on the green. He dialed his cell and waited for
the other party to pick up.
A.J.'s cell rang;
he flipped it open and smiled at Howie and Brian. "Nice
of you to join us," he snickered.
"I'm on my way,"
he sighed. They had him dead to rights now. As if, A.J. needed
any more ammunition to torment him. At least there wouldn't
be a fine involved, they weren't performing. The last one out
of the dressing room door always put fifty dollars in the pot
for the post part at the end of the tour.
Howie knew whom A.J. was talking to by what A.J. had said. "Tell
Kevin we just got here!" Howie shouted.
"Tell D I said
A.J. turned toward
Howie after hearing the dial tone kick in. With a look of disgust
and a frown, "He heard you. Damn, D, stop screwing with
The three men piled
into Brian's car. The girls' apartment complex had a limited
amount of parking spaces. They had gotten in trouble in the
past for disobeying the tenants' rule. At least they would arrive
together, except for Kevin, naturally.
Stretching her arms
toward the ceiling, Angel whined, "I'm going to take a
nice long, hot bubble bath and relax my body."
Nick nearly flew
out of the bedroom, "NO, you can't."
Both girls jumped
when they heard Nick's sharp command. "I can't?" Angel
"Because I have
our dinner on its way and I wouldn't want it to get cold, that's
why!" Nick patted himself for not blowing his cover. Now
if only his four brothers would just get here they could get
the party rolling.
The doorbell rang
and Nick nearly leaped over the furniture to get there first.
Angel and Sheridan exchanged a glance showing they both questioned
his mental state.
Nick flung the door
open and stared at the woman. "Oh hey, it's you. Marybeth,
how are you?" Nick said as he reached to help carry some
of her bags. He walked with a sulk back into the living room.
Nick. How are you?" Marybeth said irritatingly.
Placing the bags
on the table, he rubbed the palms of his hands over his eyes
and replied, "Ditto."
Now Sheridan was
confused. Marybeth had showed up out of the blue without so
much as a phone call. "Hey Marybeth, you're just in time
for dinner." Sheridan chimed.
would be great! I brought over some wine and cheese to munch
on." Marybeth said as she placed the platter down on the
Marybeth carefully, something was going on. Marybeth had come
over and brought cheese? Great, what could they be up to? She
knew today was Angel's birthday. They always did one shopping
trip and lunch together for birthdays. They couldn't do it today
so it was planned for later in the week.
The doorbell rang
again and both Sheridan and Angel waited to see if Nick would
take off like a rocket from the kitchen. "Do you want to
get that Nick?" Sheridan asked.
"Yeah, I'm on
it." Nick casually walked towards the door as the girls
went into the kitchen to set out the plates, silverware, and
drinks for everyone. Sheridan tried unsuccessfully to corner
Marybeth in the first few seconds. The apartment was tiny so
she really couldn't ask without Angel hearing her.
Nick opened the door
and was greeted with a bouquet of flowers, huge arrangement
of balloons, and a large brown paper bag, stapled shut, which
smelled like Chinese food.
time you guys got here!" Nick mumbled under his breath.
"What happened? Where's Kevin with the cake?"
big guy," A.J. interrupted Nick's ramblings. He hadn't
witnessed Nick this nervous in a long time and wondered what
was up. "We're running a little later than the plan, but
it's all good, man." A.J. wrapped his arm around Nick and
Nick shrugged him off. A.J. headed towards the girls at the
what's sup?" A.J. was in high-spirits this evening. Stunned,
Marybeth almost dropped the bottle of wine she was attempting
to open. "Let me help you with that," A.J. insisted.
could you give me more than a thirty minute warning?" Marybeth
whispered behind clenched teeth.
A.J. was puzzled
at Marybeth's snapping comment. "What's wrong?" AJ
Marybeth's eyes grew
three times in amazement. "I'm exhausted from my trip and
fell asleep on my couch. If I had known, I would have planned
a little bit." Marybeth looked around to make sure no one
was within ear shot of their conversation. Sheridan and Angel
had drifted back to the living room. In the best whisper she
could manage, she ground out, "ANDIDON'THAVEACARD!"
Angel walked around
the corner of the kitchen door, "What's going on?"
at A.J. A.J. gave her a cheesy grin and then turned to Angel.
"Well, my good friend invited me for a dinner celebration.
Apparently, it's someone's birthday today." A.J. spoke
as his eyebrows wiggled up and down.
Sheridan and Angelina
hadn't quite processed what was going on in their apartment
yet. Howie watched matching quizzical looks grace both of their
faces. He stifled the giggle and walked up to Angelina and gave
her a hug. With his trademark wink, and his arms wide-open he
Angel's gaze swept around the room. It landed on Sheridan, who
stared just as blankly back at her.
Nick closed his eyes.
Sadly, Howie's actions only confused Angel more. 'This is a
disaster.' He needed to explain. "Angel, I thought I'd
invite the gang over for a little dinner and cake as a surprise
for your birthday."
Angel's knees nearly
buckled, almost causing her to fall. Her life had been turned
upside-down and inside out; it was surreal to her when she actually
thought about it. And now, standing in her apartment, is a group
she had admired from afar for so long, had written about for
years, and had filled many a night's dreams; now one by one,
they were coming up to her, offering hugs and kisses for her
birthday. Tears began to form in the corner of her eyes but
she shook them off. "Oh Nick, that's so sweet of you. You
didn't have to do that for me."
Sheridan had turned into fan-mode again, but with a twinge of
jealously. It was wrong to be jealous but dammit, she was frustrated
as well. Add to the fact Kevin wasn't here, which really annoyed
her. "Yeah Nick, you shouldn't have--" Arms dropped
around her shoulders and she heard a southern drawl in her ear.
"So, did you give your answer yet?"
She squeezed her
eyes shut and her nose crinkled. "No," she moaned.
"What the moan
or the nose wrinkle?" Howie jumped in on the conversation.
"I think the
moans are reserved for Kevin." Angel spoke and shot Sheridan
"It's none of
your business," Sheridan's sing song voice laced with anger
filled the room.
"It will be
if he is a pain in our collective ass," A.J. sang back
in front of A.J. Her brows rose on her face and her lips puckered.
"Then again, maybe not." Alex grabbed a glass of soda
water and cut around Marybeth. He wasn't doing well with her
As they were setting
up the table to eat and preparing the drinks, the doorbell rang
a third time. Slowly, Nick crossed the living room, heading
towards the door when another knock came booming through, evidentially
he wasn't fast enough for the person on the other side. Sheridan
gasped as she realized it had to be Kevin, he was the only one
"Hold your horses!"
Nick yelled as he opened the door. Kevin stood in front of him
holding a huge, white box.
Nick's eyes lit up
when he saw the box. "Oh man, thanks for getting this!"
Nick took the box and was almost skipping towards the kitchen.
that box Nick. I paid an arm and a leg for it…Oh hey Angel,
happy birthday Sweetie!" Kevin scanned the room with his
gaze. He found what he was looking for in the kitchen. Her head
down as she set out silverware, at least she didn't bolt from
the room. She'd been skittish since this morning when they flew
home and he knew why.
"Wow, what a
pleasant surprise. You guys, you didn't have to do this."
Angel said in a shy voice. Her mannerisms became oddly introverted.
Nick walked over
to Angel with a glass of Merlot, putting his arm around her
as he handed her a glass. "Oh, the best is yet to come."
Nick played host,
grabbing everyone a drink and setting up the rest of the food
on the table for dinner with Marybeth and Sheridan's help. Nick
couldn't help but notice Marybeth was avoiding A.J. and Sheridan
wasn't even acknowledging Kevin.
Everyone went to
the table and grabbed a plate. Sheridan looked bewildered as
she looked around. The phone ringing broke her from her reverie.
"I got it," was all she said.
"Hello. Is Angelina
home?" a male voice boomed through the phone. Sheridan
turned towards the table and saw seven pairs of eyes looking
at her, causing her to freak a bit.
"May I ask whose
calling?" Sheridan tried to ignore the five men and two
women staring at her.
Sheridan heard a
male voice, "An old friend."
A chill ran through
Sheridan's veins thinking who this psychopath could be. Their
apartment was invaded while they weren't home and now freaks
"Does this old
friend have a name?" Sheridan watched all the boys' heads
turn ever so slightly to her. 'Boy, talk about an intimidating
"Is this Sheridan?"
The voice came back to her.
She almost dropped
the phone, but remained calm. "Yes this is Sheridan… who
is this?" Kevin was half way across the room to grab the
phone out of Sheridan's hand when she started to laugh. He froze
before snatching the phone from her.
"Hmm makes you
wonder how that is going to pan out, doesn't it?" Angel
smirked at Howie and Brian when Kevin's mind-set kicked in.
She watched him fly towards Sheridan's side.
Kevin walked nonchalantly
pass Sheridan and down the hall to the bathroom.
Brian and Howie grinned
back at Angel. She narrowed her gaze, "You know how this
is going to pan out don't you?"
"Oh my God.
How are you? Where are you? How have you been?" Sheridan
waved to Angelina to come get the phone.
herself and slowly got up from the table and proceeded to follow
Kevin's footsteps. As she did, Kevin came back. He stared at
her as he returned to the table. She would be talking to the
two quiet ones as soon as she finished speaking to whoever was
on the phone. They knew something.
Nick watched the
situation in front of him intensely.
she is. Hopefully, we'll see you soon. Oh, you won't be seeing
my picture in People anytime soon. Okay. You too. Bye."
Sheridan handed the phone over to Angel, "It's Jay."
Angel's face lit
up with excitement, "Hey Jay. How are you?" Nick's
face turned a bit sour seeing his girlfriend's eyes light up
with the mention of another man's name. Hearing Angel's laugh
was causing him to lose focus as he ate his Chinese food with
Sheridan sat down
smiling. She reached for her fork to continue eating. When she
looked up to take a bite, six sets of eyes were staring at her.
"You guys have
to stop doing that!" Sheridan said in a shrill voice.
Kevin said calmly before biting down on his chopsticks.
"You guys are
paranoid, you know that? And…..and…..and you are making me paranoid
too. I KNOW some one was in our apartment earlier today, but
can't figure out who and why yet. And….and…your behavior isn't
"Oh stop it,
I do not." Angel's loud voice vibrated through the dining
Nick repeated what
Kevin said, but in a deeper tone.
"Calm down Nick.
Your neck vein is starting to rear its ugly head." Howie
said hoping the others saw Nick's anger beginning to boil.
Sheridan cocked her
head to the side, "Are you jealous Nick?"
don't they," Marybeth mumbled under her breath. A.J. dropped
his head at her words.
"Oh thanks babe.
I gotta go. We'll catch up later. Yeah, I promise. Thanks for
thinking about me and calling. Much love to mom. Love you too.
Bye." Angel's smile reached ear to ear as she walked back
to the table, completely oblivious to her surroundings.
Jabbing some food
with his chopstick, Nick managed to break the silence, "Who's
"Jay? Oh, he's
an old friend of mine from way back in Erie. Great friend, and
his family was always so sweet, especially his mom. Hey, he
has the same birthday as you next week."
his birthday?" Nick squeaked, before grabbing his drink
and gulping it.
Sheridan could sense
the fury ranging in Nick. "Angel retains useless information
in that head of hers. Why….she knows every one of your unreleased
NON songs like they're the most popular songs on the radio."
Angel's head snapped
up and her eyes bulged out of her head. Behind gritted teeth,
"I don't think we need to have this conversation Sheridan
Brian got caught
up in the moment to try and distract the conversation, "This
doesn't surprise me. She has every one of his concerts on bootleg
CDs under her bed."
Quickly turning her
head, Angel yelled, "How do you know that?"
Nick's facial features
softened a bit. He turned toward Angel, "You do?"
Kevin and Howie turned
towards Sheridan, "Why?"
answer them, otherwise she would be busting herself as well.
If anyone ever found her Kevin collection, she'd die. She thought
it would better to lay blame elsewhere. "Yes Brian, how
would you know?"
A.J. looked at Brian,
"I'm with Angel. How would you know that?" Marybeth
kicked him under the table. He turned to her, "That hurt."
"It was supposed
to," Marybeth stabbed a piece of chicken with her chopstick.
"How the hell are you supposed to eat food with these damn
things! No wonder most Chinese people are so damn tiny. Must
take them hours to finish a meal…." Marybeth noticed all
eyes were on her. She had been rambling out of anger and now
was feeling a bit embarrassed. Needing to take pressure off
of her, she turned towards Brian, "Brian, how do you know
what Angel has hidden under her bed?"
Brian sat stunned. He hung his head; it was time to fess up.
"I was the one in your apartment earlier today." Looking
at Sheridan, "And so was Leighanne and Baylee. And Baylee
broke your vase with the dried flowers by an accident. I'm sorry."
Turning towards Angel, "And I was looking for a place to
hide Nick's gift in your room but was having trouble with all
A.J. licked his lips,
"What kind of stuff? Any kinky stuff?"
Angel didn't think
before she spoke, "Not too much……" A hand covered
her mouth before she said anything else.
"I think they
get the point Angel," Nick said as slowly removed his hand.
Angel's face turned crimson as the light bulb went off in her
Howie leaned in toward
Brian, "What else did you find?" Angel closed her
eyes to avoid the looks.
Brian turned towards
Angel, "You really need to clean your room young lady."
Nick's face paled
as he realized his friend snooped through Angelina's bedroom.
Kevin decided to
rag on Angelina, "Brian, did you find any pasties in her
"What are pasties?"
Sheridan asked causing a few chuckles.
Kevin rolled his
eyes, some days she was just too much. "I'll get you some
to try out."
Angelina sat staring
at Kevin, her shoulders were going up and down, but her lips
were pressed into a hard line.
"It's a battle
for you babe, but you can fight it." Kevin laughed as he
raised his glass to Angel in Salute. "So did you?"
Kevin put Brian right back on the spot, including Angel.
"No, but I did
find a young Nickolas in a video titled "Griswold the Turkey."
Nick began choking
on the beer he was attempting to swallow. "I asked you
to hide her gift, not go looking through her shit!"
Angel sat quietly
in her seat staring in front of her. Her cheeks were bright
red and she could feel tears welling up in her eyes.
Nick gave Brian a
look that spoke a thousand words. "I'm really sorry Angel.
I shouldn't have gone through your stuff like that. I….I….I
guess I was really intrigued to know what was in the most private
space belonging to one of our biggest fans. I never dreamed
of finding so many personal mementoes of our lives in your room.
Sheridan doesn't have as much under her bed but shoes. Do you
wear all those shoes? Leigh said the one pair was puccini's."
they're Pucci," Sheridan grinned.
"When the hell
did you get a pair of Emilo Pucci's?" Angel scoffed at
the secret Brian had revealed.
did you get anyway?" Marybeth pointed her chopstick at
Sheridan, "You shouldn't spend that much on one pair of
"I should kill
you for buying those, but can I borrow them first?" Angel's
head bounced up and down. "Those babies are killer. They're
the rage out here."
The guys heads bounced
between the women as the topic was side tracked temporarily
by a pair of shoes.
"They run a
bit on the small side, but there hot." Sheridan grinned
from ear to ear. "Thong shoes, nice little chain on them."
they make thongs for shoes?" A.J. looked at Kevin.
"I like the
thong ones, especially with the nice chain around the ankles.
Very sexy with the right dress." Kevin closed his mouth
after letting the remark slip out. His band-mates were staring
at him with a glazed look in their eyes. "Speaking of thongs…
Brian, did you find any of Angel's."
Brian didn't hear
his cousin. Attempting damage control, he began to ramble on
once again. "And your song writing ability? Angel, you've
got an incredible talent! I was intrigued by what I had found
and looked for more. I guess I got too greedy because I was
shocked to find thong underwear under your bed beside the handcuffs
and blindfold…..that's when it hit me, what I was doing was
completely out of line." Looking down, Brian's face was
beat red, "I was wrong. Will you forgive me please?"
Nick was horrified.
He, along with the rest of the boys, sat staring at Brian with
their jaws hanging down.
Angel began to stand.
She looked up just as a tear slid down her face. "CHOIRBOY
snooped in my bedroom!" was all she could say before a
snort came from deep within her, followed by laughter. Sheridan
took her normal route to fan-mode and immediately started belly-laughing
contain herself either. "Brian, out of everyone here, I
must say, I am shocked at your behavior. I didn't think you
had it in you. A.J. and Kevin? Definitely. Howie? Maybe. But
Kevin raised his
voice, "HEY, I wouldn't do that."
"Oh, what about
the thong shoes with the chains around the ankles? Or were you
discussing something else about Sheridan and chains around her
ankles?" Angel stopped as Sheridan choked on her food.
Kevin banged on her
back to dislodge whatever was caught in her throat. Most likely,
it was Angel's words. Kevin bit the inside of his cheek, "Smartass.
Hey Bri, what else did ya find?"
A.J. leaned in on
his elbows, "Yeah, what else did you find?"
Nick stood up. "Okay
guys. That's enough. We've got a special present for Angel and
I think now would be the best time."
Angel's eyes widened,
she turned toward her roommate who had an indifferent look on
her face. At least the redness had left. Reaching for the wine,
Angel poured herself another drink and refilled Marybeth's and
Sheridan's glasses as well.
Kevin inserted his
glass between Angel and Sheridan. "Don't mind if I do."
His southern drawl made Sheridan shudder as a chill ran up her
spine and down her toes. He leaned in, realizing his body caused
this reaction. He put his lips close to her ear and whispered,
"Listen carefully." He fought not to kiss her right
in front of everyone. He didn't give a damn anymore.
Angel smirked, "Hey
Kev, I heard drinks can be used as a social lubricant. Maybe
Sheridan just needs a little more lubricant."
Howie's head snapped
up with a smirk. A.J. coughed, he didn't think anyone would
be able to even remotely recall that specific interview. He
glanced towards Marybeth, it looked like Angel wasn't the only
one bringing a little Backstreet from the back of their minds.
cast his lines and trolls, ask Kevin." A.J. grinned.
was the loudest, he had been acting like a real dog that day
and busted on both of them.
"I think it's
time to get this party started." Howie moved around the
living room to his man bag, pulled out a CD and put it in the
girls' stereo system. Turning towards the living room, he asked,
Nick nodded his head.
Brian's head moved to the beat, "That sounds good. Why
don't you turn that up? Woo Woo" Howie turned up the volume
and walked closer to the sofa.
Angel sat down with
a thud when she realized they were going to sing a song. A new
song. "Oh dear God," she whispered as she sat Indian-styled
on her beanbag chair staring at her favorite band.
Sheridan seemed dazed
as she fixated on Kevin. Her eyes locked onto his hands and
then his lips. After three glasses of wine, her mind was going
to the gutter.
It took a few second
for Marybeth to catch on. She was on her fourth glass of wine
and was not used to drinking this much. A.J.'s husky voice resonated
in her ears, "Baby…..Hooo Hooo."
Brian began singing
with a beautiful smile and walked over to Angel singing,
attention are you listening
You're my favorite girl
Excuse me for the moment
I'm in another world
Tuning out, Sheridan
was experiencing a mix of emotions: excitement, jealousy, happiness,
anger. It wasn't until she heard all their voices singing, she
realized what song they were singing,
the sign upon the door, It says
Don't disturb this groove
Just a way to tell you that
I'm so into you
and the feelings are so real
don't disturb this groove
Erotic whispers for the listener
Let the music fill the air
Excuse me for a moment
I'm at a loss for words
AJ and Nick sang,
"By election." Nick stopped and walked towards
Angel while AJ continued,
And as if these eyes would care
Your heart is in the right place
A.J. joined Nick,
"So don't you go and change." A.J. leaned down
and gave Angel a kiss while Nick continued,
over and over
the passion starts again
and the lollipops and everything
and A.J leaned in on the couple, "with a little taste
of sin." Angel was in full blush mode while Sheridan's
face alternated between green from Angel getting all the attention
to red when she would stare at Kevin.
Nick grabbed Angel's
face, singing directly into her eyes,
fire and desire
In this mortal soul to live
Till the angels fall from heaven
And the day the earth stands still
Now it was Kevin
and Brian's turn to join the birthday girl,
a sign upon the door
Say don't disturb this groove
Just a way to say that
I'm so into you and the feeling's so real
don't disturb this groove
Cause I want to tell you that
I'm so into you
As they continued
singing, Angel had a lovesick goofy look on her face. She was
melting hearing their voices sing the melody,
your eyes and let the music put you in the mood
Lock the door and turn the phone off, it's time for me and you
Hang the sign upon the door, it says don't disturb this groove
Of course, Nick ended
the song with his trademark improv,
the feeling girl
It's the feeling girl
It's the feeling girl
With his hand on
her cheek, he brought his lips to hers in a very simple, yet
passionate kiss. Angel kept her eyes closed for a few seconds
longer. She didn't want to move and ruin the feelings coursing
through her body at the exact moment.
Brian leaned in and
whispered, "You're the birthday girl. Any requests?"
Angel's eyes shot
open, "Are you serious?" She made eye contact with
all of them and they all nodded their heads.
Pulling her legs
from under her, she stood up and began to pace with her arms
flying around in the air, while mumbling to herself.
Kevin leaned into
Sheridan as he sat on the arm of the couch. He dipped down and
whispered his question. "What's she saying?"
Sheridan half smirked,
"She's debating with herself which song to choose."
Like a deer caught
in headlights, Angel grabbed Sheridan's arm, "Which one?"
She needed some support from her best friend.
Sheridan was playing
it cool. "I can't believe you don't know which one."
Shaking her arm,
Angel repeated through grit teeth, "10,000 Promises or
Like a child?"
been a long time since we've sung those two songs," Howie
expressed fear hearing those titles.
"I've seen you
perform all my other favorites live in concert. I've only seen
you sing these two songs on Another Night Out video. Of course,
there was the a capella performance on Regis…"
"C'mon D, she's
not going to care if we have mess it up," A.J. interjected
Angel asked Howie,
"Well, which one are you more comfortable with? I don't
"I think 'Like
a child' is best sung a capella."
The girls sat in
awe. After the last note was sung, they simultaneously said,
Nick and A.J. went
to get the cake ready and light the candles. "You think
she liked it Aje?"
"Liked it? Pfft….I
think she orgasmed during one of her 'oh my Gods.'"
Nick smirked, "Nah,
she's much louder than that."
his friend, "I bet she is. You young stud you. So, are
you giving her THE present?"
Nick bit the inside
of his cheek, "I think so."
A.J. finished lighting
the candles, "You think so? You got a backup present in
case you don't want to give this one?"
Nick shook his head
no, "Shit. I know…I'm just…."
A.J. put the cake
down and made sure he had Nick's attention, "If you are
not sure, then don't do it Nick."
want to give it to her Aje…..I'm just afraid I'll scare her
A.J. smacked Nick
upside the head, "Are you kiddin' me? You really think
Looking down at his
feet as he kicked one foot out, "Yeah. Yeah I am. I've
got the most screwed up family that would put the Osbourne's
to shame in a reality show. Plus I have such a public life.
There's no privacy and I'd be dragging her into it."
A.J. calmed his friend,
"Nick, you already have. She's been dealing with the 'no
privacy' issue for a while now."
Nick thought about
it as he watched his friend's back carry the cake into the living
room. "Yeah, you're right."
"Of course I
am." A.J. said as Kevin dimmed the lights and they all
sang "Happy Birthday" to Angel.
"This is the
most beautiful cake I've ever seen." Angel admired her
wrapped box present cake, complete with a big magenta bow wrapped
Angel began to cut
it, but realized the bow was in the way. Kevin couldn't help
himself, "Hey Blondie, that's part of the cake there."
Angel and Sheridan
replied simultaneously, "It is?"
"Were you two
twins and separated at birth?" Kevin couldn't believe how
identical they could be on occasion.
"Do you know
some twins can feel what each other are feeling at the same
moment in time? They can feel when one another are physically
injured and other stuff." Sheridan looked towards Angel
with a smirk.
Kevin watched, Angel
seemed clueless, Sheridan was grinning now.
"If that were
true, you'd have a different attitude Sheridan." Marybeth
was the one who drove the joke home for Kevin.
"I don't think
that's funny," Sheridan's head moved from side to side.
The guys caught bits
in pieces of the conversation but these three women could talk
in code some days and they never understood it.
Howie helped cut
the cake and distribute it. Angel sat on Nick's lap as they
ate their cake. They shared a huge piece. A small amount of
frosting ended up on Nick's cheek. Angel leaned down and seductively
removed it with her tongue. Groaning, Nick whispered, "Did
they leave yet?"
Brian felt his pants
pocket move by his vibrating cell phone for the fifth time since
he arrived at the girls' apartment. "Well kiddies, I've
got to get going."
"Why? Is the
ball and chain paging you again?" Kevin ragged on Brian.
"At least, Leighanne
didn't hire a private detective to follow me." Brian spit
back at him.
All heads turned
towards Kevin. "Not yet anyway," came back from Kevin.
He was getting damn sick of hearing about that.
a bit. A.J. grabbed a hold of her arm, "I think I'm going
to bring Marybeth outside and get some fresh air."
"Ya need a hand?"
Howie watched A.J.
"Nah, why don't
you head on out." A.J. looked back at Nick and Angel sucking
face on the couch. "I think the private party is getting
ready to start."
"Eww you two,"
Sheridan groaned and everyone else chuckled. "I'm going
to bed." She turned to walk and tripped over large feet.
A hand grabbed her by the elbow and righted her.
"We need to
talk first…" Kevin glanced around the room. All eyes focused
on him and he watched them hold a collective breath. "Jesus,"
he groaned. "About tomorrow and work, okay?"
Heads in the room
turned and laughed. Finally, they all filtered out leaving Angel
and Nick cavorting on the couch and Sheridan frozen in her spot
as the door slammed closed.
Kevin kicked the
couch, "You two want to take this private."
Nick groaned as Angel
pulled at him to get up. "Fine. You do know this isn't
your place, it's theirs."
"I don't think
Sheridan wants to see this anymore than I do." Kevin stood
with his hands on his hips as the eyebrows went up.
Once up, Nick walked
to Angel's room wordlessly.
I lived with it for months with Sheridan and Tom sucking face
on this couch. It's payback time." Angel blurted out as
Sheridan gasped in horror.
for that visual," Kevin groaned ever so slightly.
Angel squinted her
eyes at Kevin, "Can you teach me how to do that to him?"
"Doubt it, it
comes from years of intimidation and practice," Kevin softly
From Angel's doorway,
Nick laughed. "And poundings, he never tells anyone about
the pounding he used lay on A.J. and me. I got him once though.
I punched him right in the face. Knocked him right on his ass
too." Nick laughed as headed toward Angel's bedroom.
"I still owe
you for that, don't I?" Kevin growled.
Nick quickly shut
angel's door. Kevin was satisfied when Angel's bedroom door
closed the second time and the lock clicked into place. He grabbed
Sheridan's hand and led her to the couch. He hit the seat cushion
with a whoosh and Sheridan followed. "Ya got an answer
for me?" Kevin held onto her hand. Her fingers tightly
wound in his. He squeezed his eyes closed as well as squeezing
her hand as he waited for the answer, the right answer.
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