chapter eighteen

“Hi Cass.” Brian greeted.

“Hey Bri, let me help you with those.” I took some grocery bags from him, allowing him to handle the ones he still had a little better. Nick had invited us all over for a barbecue at his house, and had naturally counted on Brian to bring anything and everything he may need.

“I take it Kevin has to barbecue?” Brian asked me as we started taking the ingredients out of the bags.

“Yeah, he got the privileged job.” I laughed. Nick’s charm had worked for him today; he had Brian buy the stuff, Kevin barbecuing, and AJ, along with Keri and Howie, setting up his backyard with tables and chairs to accommodate everyone.

“Nick’s going overboard,” Brian told me. “One of these days we’re all just gonna learn to say ‘no,’ and we’re gonna mean it! Then he’ll have to do stuff on his own!”

As Brian continued to talk about Nick, my sister came in, with AJ in tow. All it took was one nervous glance from AJ to my sister, and I knew something was up.

“We need more sodas.” Keri announced.

Brian sighed. “Fine, I’ll go back to the store and--”

“Bri,” Keri began slowly. “Why don’t you take a break and let some one else do it? Someone who hasn’t really been doing much anyway.” she looked right at me.

Brian followed her gaze and chuckled. “Hiding from Nick, I see.”

“OK, All right, FINE.” I said in mock-anger. “I’ll go get the darn sodas.”

“Great,” Keri exclaimed, pushing me to the front door. Outside, she said, “You can go with AJ.”


“Cass, shut up. This is no time to argue, we need sodas, and fast,” she opened the passenger’s side to AJ’s Mustang Convertible and pushed me in. “Because if Nick finds out we’re running low, he’ll freak out.”

I shot AJ a sideways glance before turning to my sister. “You owe me.” I muttered.

“Sure I do,” she teased. “You kids have fun now!”


Brian watched from the doorway as AJ and Cassie pulled out of the driveway. When Keri joined him on the doorstep, he voiced his question.

“Keri, why’d you send them for sodas?”

“Because we’re out?”

“Nice try,” he grinned. “I checked, we’ve got enough to last us three days.”

“Brian, don’t you think its about time those two worked things out?”


“So do I,” she laughed, putting her arm around her friend. “So do I.”

It dawned on Brian as they entered Nick’s backyard. “You just better pray they don’t tear eachother apart. They aren’t under our supervision, you know.”

“I’ll take that risk,” she told him. “Anything, just to see them move on.”

Brian said a quick prayer, hoping things would be fine. Keri spotted Howie across the yard and gave him the ‘thumbs up’ sign.

[chapter 17 | chapter index | chapter 19]