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A Collaboration between Bron and Suzie

Chapter 9

Gene called Kevin first knowing he would be upset. "Kevin, I need to cancel tonight's meeting. I know you are leaving tomorrow, but I've got a family emergency I need to attend too. I'm sorry Kevin." Gene pulled the phone away from his ear knowing there may be some yelling. Surprisingly, there wasn't any.

"If you could call the guys for me, I will get in touch with Sheridan and Angelina and…"

Kevin interrupted Gene. "I'll call everyone Gene. You just go and take care of what you need to do."

"Are you sure Kev? I don't mind."

"Yeah, I'm sure. Maybe we can arrange to have a less formal meeting with the girls instead."

"Okay Kevin, good luck. Have a safe trip to London. I'll be in touch."

"Yup, you bet I will," Kevin said with a chuckle as he disconnected the call. Dialing another number he waited for the party to pick up on the other end.

"Shearson and Lambert. May I help you?"

'Someone has taken their happy pill this morning' Kevin thought. "Yes, may I speak with Sheridan Anderson please?"

"Hold one moment."

"Sheridan Anderson. How may I help you?"

"Hey Sheridan, Kevin Richardson. Listen I just got a call from Gene who has to cancel our meeting tonight with him. But I was thinking may be we could all meet informally someplace. What do you think?"

'Um….Hi Kevin…Uh…yeah…um…yeah, that should be fine. Did you have any place in mind?" Sheridan's mind was screaming 'please make it his place. I'm dying to know what his bachelor pad looks like.'

"Well, if I know the guys, all our places are pig sties, I know mine is," Kevin was chuckling, that was a little white lie. "And being in public isn't a good idea, I think. We would get nothing accomplished. How about your place?" he asked hopefully. Kevin was beyond interested where these two lived, and he always felt you could tell a lot by a person by where they live.

"Oh….um….yeah…that would be fine, I think."

"You think?" Kevin questioned.

"Well, just because we are females, don't think our place is going to be spotless either," Sheridan replied with a laugh. Sheridan knew there was nothing to eat in the apartment and the sink was full of dishes, her unmentionables were drying over the shower bar.

"Okay, fair enough. No comments on your crib. We cool then?"

"Yes, that should be fine. I need to run to a meeting. I'll see you tonight at my place at seven then?"

"You bet. We'll all be there. Thanks Sheridan."

"No problem Kevin, anytime. Bye."

Smiling into the receiver, Kevin said his goodbye. Touching base with Brian, Howie, and A.J., they were all set. Kevin just needed to call Angelina and Nick. As he was about to speed dial Nick, his phone rang. "Hey Keith, how are you?"

"Oh…not a problem. Give me five minutes and I'll be able to make the conference call. Use the home number, not my cell, just in case of static…Thanks. Bye"

Speed dialing Nick's number again, he prayed he wouldn't get his voicemail. He would need Nick to call Angel at work and fill her in. Last thing he needed was her spit-fire attitude. Kevin started to laugh just thinking about it.

"Hey Kaos. How are ya?"

"Good Kev. What's up?"

"Gene needed to cancel our meeting with him tonight but I spoke to Sheridan who said we could meet over at their house tonight. Do you have their address?"

"Ah, yeah….I got it on their resumes….somewhere.." Nick's voice trailed as he gave Kevin the impression he was thinking about where he would have put their resumes. Actually, Nick picked up Angel this morning from her apartment complex and drove her to the garage where her car had been towed to be fixed. 'Don't want him knowing I already know where they live' chuckling, Nick replied, "Yeah Kev, I got it."

"You sure Nick?"

"Yes Kevin. I'll be there at seven. See ya later."

"Cool. Hey, can you do me a huge favor? I haven't had a chance to call Angel at work and let her know we are invading her crib. And I have a conference call with Keith in Louisville, in one minute. Could you call her and let her know what's going on?"

"Not a problem Kevin. See you tonight."

"Don't forget Nick. I don't want to have to deal with her attitude when she goes to the wrong address for the meeting."

"Will you relax? Geez, I got it Kev. I know how to make a phone call." Nick was getting agitated; he hated the fact that Kevin still treated him like he was thirteen.

"Sorry Nick. I'm just trying to get so much done before I leave…" His home phone began ringing, "Gotta go kid. See ya." Kevin hung the cell up and answered his home phone.

Nick came out of his condo smiling, he had a better idea than a phone call and he was hungry anyway.

"I'm so going to enjoy these next six weeks." Nick said out loud.

"Here's your lunch Nick. What happens over the next six weeks?" Angelina asked as she set Nick's food on the bar. Nick had been chanting since he walked through the door about enjoying the next six weeks.

With a huge smile, Nick answered, "Kevin will be gone. With the nine hour time difference, he won't bother me too much except for early mornings," grabbing a fry, he added, "Thanks for lunch Angel."

"It's the least I could do. Thanks for bringing me to get my car this morning," Angel said as she smiled at him while making a frozen margarita for another customer.

After finishing his lunch, Nick called Angel over, and quietly spoke to her, "Oh, before I forget. We are meeting at your place tonight, not at the office. Gene had to cancel and you know Kevin, he needs to have his last meeting with all of us before he leaves." Nick rolled his eyes.

Angel began to laugh. That sounded just like Kevin, or at least the one they had in their fan fic world. "Thanks for letting me know. If I had gone to the wrong building, I'd be a tad upset with you."

"That's exactly what Kevin said too. See you tonight after work." Nick gave a wink and was gone.

Sheridan raced home knowing Kevin would be the first to arrive. He was always first and tonight, she didn't expect anything different.

Going through the main rooms, she straightened up the pillows and tables; dusting only what was visible. "What you can't see, won't hurt you." Lighting the Yankee candles in each room and putting the stereo on low, she went to freshen up in the bathroom and hide her laundry. Changing into her comfortable jeans and a t-shirt, she went into the kitchen to put on a pot of coffee.

Angel came zooming through the front door, running straight to her room, slamming her door shut.

"Well, hello to you too Angel," Sheridan yelled. "What the hell's on fire?" she asked as she opened up Angel's bedroom door.

Racing around the room, Angel was grabbing VCR tapes and CDs and putting them in a trunk in her closet. "I'm hiding my collection of their stuff. We've got more bootleg copies of their concerts. And God help me if Nick sees how many copies I have of his NON tour. He'd think I was a little obsessed and it might scare him off. I think he thinks I'm normal, well as normal as can be." Angel said giggling. Once her room looked presentable, she sat down on her bed and began to strip so she could change out of her work clothes.

Sheridan was amused by her roommate "Good thinking Angel. Have you eaten dinner yet?"

"Nah, I was going to grab a bowl of cereal. How about you?"

"That sounds good to me." Walking into the kitchen, "Hey Angel, can you check for any messages please? I forgot."

Grabbing a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt, Angel picked up the phone to check. Sure enough, there was a message. "Hi Sheridan and Angelina. This is Brian. I wanted to let you know we appreciate you having us over on such short notice. Don't worry about dinner, we'll bring the food and refreshments. See you around seven. Bye."

"Sheridan, stop getting the cereal. They're bringing dinner with them." Angel yelled as she was finishing getting ready.

Suddenly there was a knock on the door. "Twenty bucks says its Kevin, alone." Sheridan said as she strolled to answer the door.

"Angel, you have got one set of pipes in you woman," Kevin said while laughing at the younger woman, following in behind him was Nick, Brian, Howie and A.J. all carrying bags. "And you owe Angel twenty bucks Sheridan."

"Are you planning on feeding a third world country?" Sheridan asked as she eyed all the bags they were carrying.

"We weren't sure what you ladies had so we brought everything we thought we would need," Howie replied, "Brian and Kevin went to the liquor store and me, A.J., and Nick went to one of those grocery stores where you can buy food already made and ready to serve." Howie was grinning. He was so proud he knew about this shop.

"Nice apartment ladies," A.J. said while cruising through the living room, "Can I use your bathroom?"

"Certainly. The bathroom is last door, down the hall at the end." Angelina said from the living room.

Sheridan, Howie, and Brian were organizing the dining room table with the food and drinks. Nick went over to their stereo and began filling up the CD changer with quiet background music, 'oh I like their R&B collection.'

Kevin sat next to Angel on a giant beanbag chair; Angel was organizing her work area for the meeting.

"Yes Kevin?" Angel asked with a smile.

"Oh, I was wondering if we could get a tour of your crib."

Angelina appeared a bit stunned, "Well, just don't blink okay, cause you might miss something." Smiling while putting her hair up in a scrunchie.

"Alright, I won't."

A.J. came out of the bathroom, "Whoa, you ladies have a nice place here. I love the bathroom. You have a shower and a separate Jacuzzi tub, that's too cool."

"Really?" Nick went to go check it out on his own.

"If you all will line up behind Kevin, we'll do a quick train tour." Angelina couldn't stop laughing at what she just said.

Sheridan was even speechless as she tried gasping for air. Finally, when the girls' laughter started to calm down, Angelina started hiccupping. Tears fell from her eyes.

"What have you been drinking Miss?" Kevin eyed her. He thought it was funny, but not that funny.

"Nothing." *hiccup*

Sheridan butted in, "It's quite scary sometimes. Let's just hope Angel hasn't swallowed enough air to let out a belch that will shake the walls."

"Oh, she's such a woman. I need a pop to be really loud." Nick sat on the arm of the couch.

Angel still couldn't stop laughing. She knew it was from her nerves. The Backstreet Boys were in their apartment and asked for a tour. She had the giggles earlier when Nick stopped by, but this was overwhelming.

Kevin sensed Angel's reaction and understood the absurdity of it all. Patting her on her back, "C'mon, I'll help interpret for the guys."

Spreading her arms wide, "This is our living room, also known as the TV room. The dining room is right there," pointing to the table. "Behind it is our tiny kitchen. If you need anything from in there, ask me. Sheridan isn't too familiar with that room."

Sheridan gave Angel a look that could kill.

Walking pass the kitchen she continuted, "Now the bathroom is at the end of this hall." Opening up the door on the right, "This is my room." Suddenly, Angel was pushed inside while the guys all came in, looking around at the photos, opening up her jewelry case, as well as her closet. Howie looked under her bed. Angel watched in awe. With her hands on her hips, "I hope y'all don't mind me snooping when I get into your bedrooms." Five sheepish men looked around at each other and bowed their heads in embarrassment. Nick raised his eyebrows at Angel and answered her question, "No problem Angel."

Kevin saw the look, but ignored it wanting to see the 'other' bedroom.

Angel walked across the hall and opened up the door, "This is Sheridan's room. Snoop away."

Kevin barged on in.

"I hope you didn't hide all your crap under your bed or in your closet Sheridan, they'll bust your ass."

Sheridan walked down to see what Angel was barking about. "What are you talking about?" The boys behaved themselves in Sheridan's room, well, except Kevin. He stayed behind to take a few sneak peeks in her stuff. Old fashion thigh-highs were draped over a chair. A casual touch of his fingertips told him they were freshly laundered. Very high heels lined the one wall. His head move from side as he looked from the panty hose and garter belt to the stilettos, "Ain't that a sweet picture."

A desktop computer was tucked in the corner. He would love the opportunity to check that out. He could almost guarantee all the answers to his questions were on that puppy.

Everything else in the room was a neat as could be. A little dusty perhaps but everything had its place, he could see it. A silver plated vanity set from the forties rested on the antique dresser.

Angel placed the utensils on the table that Sheridan had just set.

A.J. interrupted their conversation from the living room, "Hey Angel, who's this guy next to you in this picture?"

Sheridan's head shot up and Angel's eyes went huge as they both darted towards the wall. "Which picture A.J.?" Sheridan asked. Her mind started doing a visual inventory of what pictures hung on each wall.

"You don't know what pics are on your walls?" Laughing, A.J. pointed to what looked like a group photo of some friends. "The one of Angel. It looks like you were at a party or something."

Angel walked over and sighed. It was her favorite group photo of her and her friends in Boston, with the exception of Joey being in it. Touching it, "Just a group photo of me and my friends when I lived in Boston."

"So who's the guy?" Kevin had snuck out of Sheridan's room to join in on the discussion.

"An ex." Angel replied quietly while organizing drink orders. "So, who wants what to drink?"

Choruses of requests were shouted out. "Beer please."

"Make that two."

"Ditto."

"Soda water with ice if ya got it"

"I brought over a nice bottle of red wine to have with dinner. Where's your corkscrew?"

Sheridan went dizzy upon hearing Kevin ask for the opener, she didn't think she heard the word cork, screw was the only thing that registered in her brain. "I'll get it for you." Sheridan handed him three glasses and began to search for the corkscrew by moving things around and looking behind things.

"I thought Angel said you didn't know where anything was in your kitchen." Kevin gibed.

"I can find the corkscrew, I think." Sheridan pulled out a few drawers searching for the magic opener.

Kevin followed her around the tiny kitchen, each drawer she opened he checked out. The first had a ton of scraps of paper. The second had take-out menus stuffed in it, the drawer barely closed.

Opening the third drawer Sheridan yelled, "Third one is always a charm." She waved the corkscrew in the air, almost poking Kevin in the eye as he pulled it from her to avoid injury.

"Watch it," he spoke sternly at her, "You could hurt someone." Kevin looked over her shoulder; the drawer was stuffed with cooking utensils. "I guess that would be the logical place to keep it, with all the other cooking implements."

"Would you like a lemon or lime A.J.?" Angel asked as she handed Brian, Howie, and Nick a beer. If she didn't get Kevin away from Sheridan quickly, a war would break out. Angel had seen the reaction Sheridan was trying to hide. She was shaking a little and a fine sheen of perspiration had formed on her forehead. Sheridan was almost glowing.

"Oh a lime would be nice with my water. Thanks." A.J. replied.

Kevin stood beside Sheridan as he opened up two bottles of wine and put them both on the table.

Everyone gathered around the dining room table. The boys brought over grilled chicken and fish, fresh garden salad with dressing, potato salad, a pasta salad and chips. As they began passing the food around, the phone rang. Quickly, Sheridan excused herself to answer it.

"Angel, its Sergio." Excusing herself, she took the phone from Sheridan and walked into the kitchen. "Can I call you back later? I'm in the middle of having company over for dinner. Oh, I can't make it, sorry."

Coming back to the table, Sheridan realized she drank her glass of wine already and poured herself another.

"Who's Sergio?" Brian questioned.

"Just the little Italian Angel went out with." Sheridan had forgotten that A.J and Howie had seen them at the club together last week.

"Oh." Howie and A.J. said at the same time. Nick looked around and saw the smiling exchanges his friends gave one another. For some reason, he didn't like it.

"Yeah, I'll call you later. Bye." Angel hung up the phone, "Or not," she said as she walked back to the table.

Six sets of eyes were now watching her put food on her plate, "What?" Realizing they were staring, all of them turned toward their respective plates and mumbled, "Nothing," and continued eating.

After dinner, refreshments were refilled and they all moved into the living room.

Once everyone found a spot to sit, they began hashing out their tastes. Each one of the boys would have a set designed around an apartment suited to their individual tastes.

Sipping her third glass of wine, Sheridan sat in the center of the room. If you could describe your tastes in as few words as possible as far as decor, what would it be? We can start with you Brian."

"Good Housekeeping meets Family Circle."

"What the hell is that?" Angel frowned.

"Family man," Sheridan answered for him. "You know the beat up furniture, used, begged, and borrowed."

"Oh, like us?" Angel's hands gestured around in the air.

"Exactly," Sheridan nodded.

"I think I'd like a Latin flare, lots of leather, fine fabrics, brick, that sort of stuff."

"Booty Crib!" Nick snorted.

Sheridan rolled her eyes; Angelina smirked. "And one booty smacker too." Then she groaned, "Fan moment, sorry."

"So, Mister Soulful, what will it be?" Sheridan tapped the tip of her pen on her lips as she looked towards A.J.. Out of habit, she began to chew on her pen.

A.J. seemed to disappear in the huge beanbag. He had cozied up to Angel. "Mmm, animal prints, wood, leather, mood lighting."

"Whips and chains," Sheridan added without thinking. Raising her eyes a little, "That was a joke."

"Sure it was," A.J. smiled and Sheridan caught sight of his beautiful eyes for the first time. She had dubbed him the Soulman a long time ago; his eyes solidified that for her. They were sweet, passionate, and innocent too.

"I was only kidding," Sheridan laughed.

"You come on over to my house, I'll show you who is kidding."

"Aje!" Kevin raised his voice. "Get back on track."

"Oh, I'm on track." He snickered from his seat. Squishing his little butt further into the uncontrollable object.

"Don't move so much, your shaking makes it hard to type," Angel whined.

"Okay that leaves Kevin and Nick." Angel looked at Nick. "We know messy, I think we figured that out on our own."

Nick eyed Angel as he spoke, "Lots of ocean stuff and sports... Music too."

"Do you want us to add a poster of Sue Bird?" Sheridan closed her eyes; she had done it again. She was mixing up fan talk with business talk. The ringing of the phone made her jump and saved her at the same time.

Jumping half way across the kitchen, she uttered a hello into the phone. A smiled graced her face immediately.

"Damn, it's him," Angel's nose scrunched as if she had smelled a noxious odor that had suddenly invaded her personal space.

"Him?" Kevin questioned.

"Tom, her boyfriend," Angelina watched Sheridan pick up her wine glass, refill it and go down the hall and to try to hide the phone conversation from all of them.

A knocking at the front door stopped the evil thoughts running through Angel's head. Yanking the door open she was about to yell. 'Wat'da ya want?' but stopped when she saw Patrick.

Patrick stood holding a large package. "Good evening Angel. You and Sheridan got another package from Pennsylvania." as he looked over Angel's shoulder to see who was inside their apartment. He had heard a group of men walking past his apartment earlier.

"Oh thanks Patrick. A care package from Sheridan's parents." Pulling the parcel from Patrick, she muttered a thank you and slammed the door shut.

"Aren't you pleasant," Kevin laughed.

Whispering, Angel replied, "He's gives me the creeps, besides there is good stuff in this." Angelina tore the paper off the box.

"Isn't that for Sheridan..." Nick stopped talking as Angel pulled two small boxes out of the larger container.

Angel smiled, "Her mommy loves me and sends me stuff too." Angel ripped into her package like a two year old. Grabbing the note, she scanned it. "Yep the usual. She's yelling at me for not calling home to speak to my folks." Looking up she added, "We always end up fighting so why bother right?" looking back at the note, "And she wants me to call her to talk about Tom. Eww, I don't think so." Angel flashed the note. "See she labels everything that's in the box. We have cookies, brownies, new socks…"

"Socks?" Brian laughed

"Shut-up," Angel snapped at him. Ripping a pretty package open, she found hunter green silk boxers and a camisole top.

"That's from Sheridan's parents?" Kevin was shocked, it wasn't exactly a gift a parent would buy for a child.

AJ commented, "Damn, I thought most people from PA were conservative; I thought they would send flannel."

Sticking out her tongue at A.J., "I'm a big girl. I bet Sheridan has the same thing in lace." Angel looked at Sheridan's box but her actions were stopped by the words. 'Don't touch my goodies.'

Hanging up the phone with a pissed off look on her face, Sheridan picked up her box and carried it back to her bedroom, but not before she refilled her wine glass.

The guys frowned but A.J. had the audacity. "We don't get to see your new jammies."

"No, A.J. because mine probably have crotch-less panties too."

Kevin coughed at her comment.  It seemed that the ice lady was thawing a little. "That's nice of your mom."

"My Mommy loves me," Sheridan winked.

"Lay off the wine, you're drunk," Angel took her glass.

"I am not," Sheridan wore a silly face.

"Okay Kevin, my partner is sloshed. We'll have to cut this meeting short. Give me your taste in decor."

A wide grin came over his face, "Exactly like Sheridan's room: forties, Art-Deco, clean lines, tight curves, true colors..."

"Is that a decorating theme or a woman?" Sheridan giggled.

"Could be both," he smirked.

Sheridan shut up as Angel glared at her. She showed their guests out. Howie stopped at the door, "I'm so glad that this movie has a point."

"What do you mean?"

"The whole ADHD and how kids benefit from music. I was thinking, maybe we could sell tickets to the premiere and donate the proceeds to Save The Music Foundation or something like that."

Angel liked the idea but was a bit skeptical. This film was very low budget, she couldn't see a huge star-studded opening. "We'll go over the exteriors at the next meeting. Let's get the film made and if we are lucky enough we won't have to host the premier at Hooter's, we'll talk."

"Hey Hooter's? I like Hooters, they got the best..."

"Let's go Nick," Brian pulled him along.

Kevin stopped and looked at Angel, "Is she okay?"

"Yes, she's fine. They probably just had a lovers spat. It'll work out."

"Aren't you lucky," Kevin quipped since he couldn't forget her earlier attitude when Tom called.

"Oh, yeah for me," Angel began to shut the door.

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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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