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A Collaboration between Bron and Suzie

Chapter 55

The light on the voice mail machine blinked rapidly as Nick adjusted his eyes to the offending light. "Angelina, you've got a message." Nick kept walking to the bathroom, completely naked.

Angelina rolled over to the side of the bed. She slowly stood up, grabbed her bathrobe and began walking to the bathroom. She quickly peered into her living room, then Sheridan's bedroom, where she saw a sleeping figure. Knocking gently on the bathroom door, Angel whispered she had to 'go.' Nick came to the door with a toothbrush in his mouth. "Unless you want Sheridan to see Thor, I'd suggest you put some pants on babe."

Nick gave her a look and rolled his eyes. Nick spit into the sink, "Who called?"

"I don't know yet. Had to go first." Angel brushed her teeth and washed her face and hands. Putting a brush through her hair, she pulled her hair up into a ponytail.

Nick strolled out of the bathroom carefully; he didn't want to run into Sheridan in his birthday suit. He put on some sweatpants and went into the kitchen to turn on the coffee machine. He pulled out two mugs and set them on the counter. He walked to the refrigerator and grabbed the cream and a spoon from the drawer. He set the spoon on the counter as he watched Angelina walk from the bathroom to the answering machine.

Angelina walked into the living room and hit the button. "You have two messages. First message, received on Thursday, January 29th at 9:39PM from an unknown caller, "Hi Angelina. It's Joey…" Angel stared at the machine in shock. Nick stared at Angelina. "... call me when you can. I want to make sure you are alright. I've seen your photos in the magazines gallivanting across the US and I want to be sure you are truly happy." Joey's voice was filled with sarcasm and jealousy. "Your life is being portrayed for the whole world to view and I know you are a very private person." His voice softened, "Just want to be sure you are alright." There was a slight pause, "And uh, I uh, well, the ring is beautiful, just like you. When are planning on getting married?" Angelina's mouth dropped open as she plopped down on the beanbag chair. "…call me please, Angel. I still love you very much. I need to make sure you are alright. Bye."

Nick leaped from the kitchen and was next to Angelina on her beanbag chair. "Are you alright?" Nick was generally concerned. He knew this kind of publicity could be a deal breaker with his relationship. In his past, it usually did, especially from some of the boys' fans.

Sheridan came out of her bedroom and noticed the couple sitting quietly with an intense look on their faces. Angel was staring at the answering machine, Nick staring at Angelina. "What's the matter?"

Nick looked up at Sheridan with a sad look on his face and shook his head. He went into the kitchen to bring her a cup of coffee.

"Joey," whispered Angelina as she waited for the second voicemail to begin.

"Next message, received on Friday, January 30th at 3:50AM from cell phone number…"

Nick handed Angelina her coffee mug. She smiled and said thanks. Her smile made him melt. Her sister's voice boomed through the machine brought him back to the present.

"…is there something you forgot to tell me? Tell Carter he's got great taste in jewelry." Angelina's face went pale; she turned to Nick. She didn't even listen to the rest of MaryAnn's message. "I haven't worn the ring outside my apartment except to lunch with the girls almost two weeks ago! I'm so sorry…"

Nick interrupted Angelina's tirade, "Angelina, you have nothing to be sorry for. I bought it for you to wear, not keep hidden in your jewelry box! I'm going to call Johnny." He leaned over to kiss her cheek. Picking up his coffee mug, Nick walked into Angelina's bedroom and closed the door.

Sheridan had been watching and waiting in the background but moved in to Nick's spot immediately after he shut the bedroom door. "What did Joey say?"

Angelina played both messages again for Sheridan. She deleted them and grabbed her phone to call her sister back. Sheridan had her computer booted up and was searching for any information on the BSB websites or celebrity gossip sites.

"Are you working days this week?" Angelina questioned her older sister. She sat on the couch with her legs tucked under her and wrapped up in her bathrobe. Angelina listened to her sister ramble on for a few mintues before she could get a word in edgewise.

"Where?"

Angelina called over to Sheridan, "Look up this addy, www.imlimages.gr," turning her attention back to her sister, "MayMay, how did you find out about this?" Her sister replied she was sent an email from Joey earlier that night. "Yeah, he also left me a message to find out if I was engaged."

Mary Ann pulled her cruiser off the road and parked it, appearing like she was going to look for speeders on the side road. She wasn't sure how this conversation was going to go, or how long she'd be on the phone.

A low whistle came from Sheridan's lips as she looked through the photos that appeared on her computer screen. "Um…yeah, there must have been someone lurking outside in our parking lot. With an amazing zoom lens!"

Nick came back and was leaning over Sheridan's shoulder, "Good thing you had clothes on, Angelina." He winked at her as he walked into the kitchen for more coffee. Angelina wondered why Nick wasn't upset over this. 'Cause he's used to this shit,' she mentally smacked herself. Nick sat beside Sheridan scrolling through the pictures.

A few more minutes on the phone with her sister then Angelina hung up. She stretched her body, raising her arms in the air. "So," she stopped herself trying to figure out how to word what she wanted to ask, "What did Johnny say?" Angelina questioned as she came around to sit on Nick's lap.

"Wow," was all Angelina could say as she looked through the photos. She did a quick search on a few other websites and noticed a few of her with Nick on ISIFA's website. "What's up with the foreign paparazzi?" Angelina wondered out loud.

Nick snuggled in her neck. He could care less but was hoping Angelina could get past this. "Johnny said not to worry about it. The press is always trying to make something out of nothing. He'll issue a statement on our behalf if he's called."

Angelina turned around in Nick's lap and eyed her boyfriend. "And what about Kevin and the guys?"

"This has nothing to do with them." Nick said flatly. "Just you and me." They stared at each. Sheridan thought she should probably leave the room until Angelina answered a minute later, "okay." And with that, she got up and went to get something to eat.

Nick turned to look at Sheridan. "So, how did it go last night?"

Sheridan turned pale, "What do you mean? Did you talk to Kevin? What did he say?"

Angelina walked back to the table and watched with extreme interest in her roommate's reaction to Nick's question. Putting down the box of Raisin Bran, two bowls and two spoons, she eyed her roommate, "I think Nick was asking you how it went with Kevin last night on the studio set. You know, helping Kevin rehearse the scene!"

Sheridan's lips pursed together, "Fine. It went fine. He should be fine today." Getting up, she walked quickly to the coffee pot. Noticing the time, she said her goodbyes to take a shower.

Angelina put a spoonful of cereal in her mouth, "Was she acting strange to you?"

Nick shrugged his shoulders, "Not any more strange than her usual self."

Angelina eyed her boyfriend, "Huh? In English please."

"She always acts strange in my book. Not that it's a bad thing, but especially when you mention Kevin to her. Now that she works for him, like all the time, she acts strange all the time." Nick picked up his bowl and drank the rest of the milk in his bowl.

"Want anything else to eat?" Angelina questioned.

"Nah, I'm good. What do you want to do after work today?" Nick was hoping they'd spend it together at his place. Since he knew Joey will probably call again if Angelina doesn't return his call, he'd prefer she weren't home, just in case.

"Well, what do you have in mind, Carter?"

"Well, assuming you've caught up on your sleep, how about we call A.J. and see if he'd like us to use our rain checks and hit a club later tonight? We can either grab a bite to eat, or maybe you can cook us up something at my place?" Nick's lopsided grin told Angelina he would like a nice home cooked dinner.

Angelina grinned; inside she was melting while admiring his smile, "What do you have in mind?"

"Something that contains meat, potatoes and veggies. I'll leave it up to you." Nick stood and picked up their bowls, kissing the top of Angelina's head before bringing them to the sink.

"Are you going to be at the studio or movie set today?"

"I need to be at the set then after lunch I need to head over to the studio to finish up my backup vocals on one of the songs." Nick knew Angelina and Sheridan were dying to hear something, anything that they've recorded so far. He felt Angelina staring at him.

"Ya know, if you need an unbiased opinion, I'd be happy to take a listen."

Laughing Nick agreed, "I know you would. I don't think you are as unbiased as you think you are."

Shaking her head thinking about their plans for the evening, she told Nick to call A.J. and ask if he'd like to join them for dinner. The couple walked into Angelina's bedroom and shut the door.

"I'll run by Ralph's first on the way to your place. Will you be home for me to get in?"

Nick contemplated for a second before he realized now would be good a time as any. Reaching down into his gym bag, he pulled out a wrapped present. "Here, open this."

Angelina eyed her boyfriend. "What's this for?" Mentally she was calculating if she forgot some important 'anniversary' between them.

"It's for nothing but it's something for you."

Angelina giggled, "I totally understood what you meant." Angelina sat on the end of her bed as she opened up the long, rectangular box. Pulling off the cover, Angelina noticed what was inside immediately and took a sharp intake of breath as she realized Nick gave her a key to his condo on a nice diamond heart shaped keychain.

"Now young lady, with ownership of this key comes a lot of responsibility." Nick teased. He realized Angel wasn't paying attention, "Earth to Angel."

She looked up at him with a smirk. "Remember the day you taught me how to surf." Nick didn't have to remember, he relived that day in his dreams for weeks. "Yeah.

"And you gave me a tour," Angelina's face held a wicked grin.

"Yeah?" Nick questioned wondering where Angel was going with this conversation and what it had to do with his key.

"Well, I may have to give myself a private tour of your bedroom now."

Nick chuckled, "You've seen it all. There are no skeletons in any of my closets."

Angel sounded disappointed, "Really? No fan mail, pictures, presents, videos, fugly shirts….nothing?"

Nick laughed out loud. "I hate to disappoint you babe, but I have no idea where that stuff is now. It's probably all in a box sitting in a truck or warehouse someplace." Angelina pouted which turned into a smile when she looked at the key again.

"I need for you to memorize my alarm code. Do not write it down, please." Nick's brows furrowed

"No worries, I promise not to write it down. What is it?"

Sheridan walked past Angelina's closed bedroom door and gently listened to the couple talking and giggling and wondered what her future with Kevin held after last night. 'Time to find out,' she said to herself. Sheridan tapped her knuckles on Angel's bedroom door, "I'm off to Kevin's house. I'll see you later at the set meeting."

Sheridan arrived at Kevin's to find the house empty. She couldn't decide if she was happy or disappointed that he wasn't there. She tossed her purse on the kitchen counter and went to the coffee pot. The pot was brewing a fresh pot. Her brows knitted together for a moment and then she shrugged her shoulders. The coffee had never been made before but she wasn't going to look a gift horse in the mouth this morning. Sheridan crossed the room to the refrigerator and pulled open the door. The milk jug stood front and center on the shelf. Attached to the milk was a note that had been taped neatly to the cap. She pulled the note off and closed the door on the appliance. Sheridan leaned back against the fridge and read the note aloud.

"Good morning Sheridan,
Last night was the consummation of the beginning of a life long love for us. I didn't get to tell you that last night because of the setting. Know this much, last night was a first but not the last; it was the real deal and not a rehearsal for us. You'll be writing love scenes for us for the rest of our lives. From the bottom of my heart thank you. Look for a delivery this afternoon around lunch time."
Love,
Kevin."

Sheridan collapsed against the fridge, her knees bent and she slowly slid to the floor. She fanned herself with the note until she cooled off. Then her emotions went haywire for a second until she could come to grips with the impact of the words Kevin had written. "OH MY GOD, HE SIGNED IT LOVE KEVIN!!!" Sheridan sat on the floor until the phone rang yanking her out of her rehash of the night before. She crawled across the floor on her hands and knees. She didn't trust herself enough to stand up as she pulled the phone off the counter to answer it. "Hello."

"Good morning," a velvet bass voice caressed her ear. She drew in a breath sharply and it sounded like a yelp.

"Are you okay?" the voice asked.

"Um, ah, um, I----"

"Do I need to come home to see if you're okay?" the voice asked.

"NOOOOOOO, I'm fine, better than fine." Sheridan bit her bottom lip to stop from screaming.

"You don't sound fine. Are you sure? I'm right around the corner."

The voice on the other had a hint of amusement in it along with something she couldn't recognize. "No you can't come here; you can't come home at all..."

"I live there; I can come home anytime I want." The voice wasn't stern but it had an attitude behind it.

"I know that, it's just well… Look I need to get my head together after last night. Last night changed things between us."

"It certainly did. Did you make your coffee yet?"

"You made the coffee."

She heard a chuckle, "Yes I know. I was wondering if you had made a cup for yourself yet."

"Not yet," Sheridan smiled at the note.

"Why don't you do that and call me back later. I think there might be a surprise for you there."

The caller hung up on her. "I wonder why he wanted to know that." She fanned her face again with the note. Her face blanched, "Oh shit he wanted to know if I found the note!" Sheridan smacked her open palm into her forehead. "You idiot!"

~~~~

Kevin shook his head from side to side as he disconnected the phone. He was smiling like a mad man this morning when he woke up. He hadn't had sex that good in a long time. It was perfect.

"Man, I haven't seen you grin like that in ages. Did you finally get laid?" A.J. tried in vain to swat at Kevin's head.

"None of your business tattoo boy." Kevin fended off the hands that were trying their hardest to connect with his body.

"Ah-ha that would mean yes." A.J. dropped his hands and stared at Kevin pensively. "It'd better be Sheridan."

"I'm not sayin' another word tattoo boy so forget it." Kevin pointed to the soundproof booth. "Get your skinny butt in there so we can get this done. We have a meeting with John and I have to do my scene."

A.J. finished his track in record time and Kevin was slightly suspicious that the little twerp just wanted to get to the film studio like it was on fire. A.J. raced to his side. "Let's listen and then go. We can clean it up later."

"No, we're going to listen to it and clean it up now. Then we'll go."

"You're such a damn perfectionist Kevin." A.J. grumbled as he dropped in the seat next to Kevin.

"Yes I am," Kevin hit play and began to slide switches up and down. "We're not due on the set until one."

"I want to go early." A.J. listened to the music.

"You just want to tag up with Sheridan and that's not going to happen. You're too nosey about this and she is edgy enough after last night." Kevin ignored the puzzled face A.J. was wearing.

"Does that mean-"

"Not open for discussion." Kevin quipped as he dropped his headphones over his ears.

"You're such a shit Kevin. I just want it to work out for you guys." A.J. spoke out of turn since Kevin couldn't hear him.

Kevin lifted his headphones off his ears. "I understand that but I'm not going to go around yelling that I finally scored with the woman and then you go up to her and make her feel like an ass." Kevin paused, "Next time make sure the music is on so I can't hear you."

A.J. wore a cheesy grin. "I knew it. Damn, now I can't say anything. God, I'm surprised you're here. Why aren't you two cuddle up in bed? How many times? You're still walking-"

Kevin stuck his finger in A.J.'s face. "Shut up!"

A.J. finally stopped flapping his lips long enough for Kevin to talk to him. "This is why I didn't want you to know. I'm telling you right now that after last night that woman is going to be my wife and you guys are out of my bedroom chatter from here on out."

"Great, another Brian," A.J. moaned.

"Not really, Brian was stupid enough to tell you guys Leighanne can put her feet behind her ears." Kevin smirked.

A.J. tilted his head, "Can Sheridan?"

"I have no fucking clue, okay." Kevin dropped his headphones over his ears and his concentration left. The thought of that was just too much for him. He had to get through this day come hell or high water. He needed to get the scene shot and then take Sheridan home to his place to make love to her all over again. He knew Sheridan would be somewhat embarrassed over her behavior but since she was the one who had initiated the sex. However, he should have been a gentleman and told her to wait until they got back to his place. But the scene had been important to both of them for different reasons. For him it was his first hard core love scene, for Sheridan she had written for him with her playing the role of the student.

The studio time was wrapped up in no time and Kevin headed to the film studio. The paparazzi swarmed his truck as he and A.J. exited the sound studio. There was a crowd in front of his truck as cameras went off at a hundred miles an hour. They were shouting at both he and A.J., who rode in the passenger seat. "This is bullshit, I'm gonna be late." Kevin groaned and hit the window's power window button.

"Are you crazy!" A.J. jammed his finger down on the lock button as the driver's window went down. "Kevin, man are you trying to get us killed?" A.J.'s eyes constantly scanned the crowd around the vehicle. Some of them almost climbing on top of the truck.

Kevin stopped the truck. "What's up man?" His slid his gaze to the side. A.J. was scared shitless right now. Kevin started to grin.

"Kevin give us some gossip!" they shouted at him.

"Gossip huh, Nick's getting married on Valentine's Day." Kevin watched the pack of photographers swoop to their cars. Kevin laughed as they cleared out from in front of his truck and pulled out of the parking lot.

"Holy shit!" A.J. straightened up in his seat.

"It works every time, suckers!" Kevin laughed a deep belly laugh.

"Not that man, Nick is going to kill you." A.J. punched him Kevin in the arm and they both laughed. "Shit, I'm going to be out with Nick and Angelina tonight. I better not be around when they hear this tidbit." A.J. was lost in his thoughts figuring out what the couples' reaction would be. He knew Nick would take the news of his upcoming rumored Valentine's Day wedding with a grain of salt. Who knew how the Carter family would react? Hopefully they wouldn't take it to the media again, especially Jane. What about Angelina? What about her family?


Kevin drove by his house just in time to see Rose's delivery van parked in his driveway. A smile escaped his lips and he kept on driving, right by.

Forgetting that A.J. was with him Kevin became lost in his own thoughts on the way to the movie studio. They went from rehearsing a scene to the real deal in seconds. Characters names were replaced by real names. He had thought back over the night several times this morning before he had called Rose at the flower shop to have his full bloom red roses delivered.

"Rose, it's Kevin Richardson. I don't know if you remember me."

"Oh, Kevin of course I do. How are you?"

"I'm fine, thank you. How are you and your husband?"

"We're just fine. So why are you calling me Kevin?"

"I'd stop by but I'm running late today. I don't know if you remember our conversation from when I stopped by last time."

"I most certainly do. We had quite a long chat about roses. I bet you learned more than you wanted to."

"I enjoyed our conversation very much…. Um, Ah."

"Are you ready for those fully bloomed red roses young man?"

Kevin felt the color creep up his neck and face. "Ah, yeah I am," he cleared his throat. "Is there anything you can put with them?"

"What are your intentions?"

Kevin almost choked, it sounded as if he was taking to Sheridan's mother and not his florist. "Ah…"

"Besides to do it again," Rose's voice bubbled in his ear.

"Gawd," Kevin started to laugh. When he finally stopped he answered her. "I plan on that and getting married… soon I hope," Kevin sighed.

"Is your girl a lover of roses?" Rose questioned him.

"Definitely and she knew most of the meanings so I looked like an expert thanks to you." Kevin was still pleased from that night. He could hear tapping on the other end of the phone line. It sounded very much like someone tapping a pencil or pen on a flat surface.

"I think we'll send her two roses entwined together around one white rose." Rose paused. "Same address."

"No, my address she works for me now." Kevin blushed again.

"Ahhh, keeping her close are you? You devil you." Rose questioned him.

Kevin couldn't help but laugh. "Just keeping the others away Rose, just keeping the others away. So what does this bouquet signify so I don't look stupid?"

"Trust me, you won't look stupid, you'll probably get just what you're looking for." Rose's laugh was full of merriment as she hung up.

Kevin pulled into the lot on auto pilot. He hadn't heard a word A.J. had said on the way over. A.J. just about jumped out of the truck. "Hold up Aje!" Kevin called him back.

A.J. dropped his head and walked back to Kevin. "Don't say one word when she gets here, I mean it."

"It must be serious, you had flowers delivered you freakin' suck up." A.J. laughed, punched Kevin in the arm and sprinted to the door of the studio.

"I so wanna friggin' kill him," Kevin moaned as he locked up his truck.

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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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