As Katie ran the brush through her long brown hair one last time that night, she heard three knocks on her dressing room door. "Come in, Nick!" she called, recognizing the knock.
The door opened and Nick indeed stuck his head in. "Ben's here," he said, grinning suggestively.
Katie stood up. "Do I look all right?"
"Beautiful, darling!" Nick replied in an Italian accent.
Katie smiled and swung her arm around Nick's neck. "Bring him on," she declared.
Nick wrapped his arm around her waist as they walked. He and Katie had been very close ever since the group got together because they were so close in age, only a month apart, in fact. Nick let go of her when they reached the end of the hall and turned a corner, where a tall guy with brown hair and brown eyes and holding half a dozen roses was waiting.
"Ben!" Nick said, giving his old friend a quick hug. "This is Katie," he said, bringing her forward.
"Hi, Ben," she said with a winning smile, shaking his hand.
"Hi, Katie," he replied. "I'm a big fan," he added, handing her the roses.
"Aw, thank you," she said, smelling them.
"Well, I'll let you two get to know each other a little," Nick said with a wink, smiling warmly at the two of them.
"Okay, bye, Nick," Katie said with a wave.
"Later," Ben added.
"So...want to take a walk?" Katie suggested.
"Sure," Ben replied.
"Come on then." She slipped her hand into his and they started to walk.
On the other side of the room, A.J. was watching, trying to quell the emotions of jealousy that were quickly rising inside of him. Before a couple of months ago, he and Katie had always had a brother-sister kind of relationship, but now...A.J. couldn't help but notice her green eyes and long brown hair andóNo! A.J. shook his head quickly. Come on, Alex, what's your problem? This is little Katie Richardson we're talking about! Kevin would have a heart attack if he knew about this! A.J. paused to contemplate this sentiment. No, he wouldn't have a heart attack, he'd just beat the living shit out of me, he corrected himself. Not that she would ever get with me anyway. She deserves so much more than I could ever give to her... A.J. sighed and started to walk in the opposite direction. Hopefully he would get over her soon.