Through Thick And Through Thin

Chapter Nine

"I think this would look great on you, Katie," A.J. said, holding up a tiny black spaghetti strap dress. The two of them were at the mall looking for something to wear that night.

Katie laughed. "A.J., that's barely even a dress," she pointed out.

"Exactly." He grinned.

"Bone--or, uhm, Boner, as Brian says--you're forgetting one thing."

"And what's that?"

"Kevin's going to be there," Katie reminded him. "And if he sees me in that, he's going into cardiac arrest."

"Oh..." A.J. laughed, then pouted. "But--"

Katie put a finger to his lips. "Don't worry, I'll still model it for you," she murmured, running a finger down his chest before going to look at more dresses.

"Damn it, why did I have to pick a tease to be my girlfriend?" A.J. whimpered, following her like a lost puppy dog.

Katie grinned as she took two more dresses off of a rack and handed them to him. "Because I'm so irresistible," she said with a laugh.

"Why are you laughing? It's true," A.J. agreed.

"Aw," Katie cooed, patting his cheek. "Come on, let me go and show you the real reason why you picked a tease to be your girlfriend."

"And what would that be?" A.J. asked as she grabbed his hand and pulled him towards the fitting rooms.

Katie looked at her boyfriend with innocent eyes. "Her good taste in clothing, of course."

Half an hour later, A.J. and Katie emerged from the mall, carrying two shopping bags each. As they walked through the parking lot to his car, they passed an employee on break who was smoking. Katie coughed on some of the smoke and wrapped her arms around A.J.

"I'm so glad that you quit smoking, sweetie," she whispered, kissing his cheek.

A.J. swallowed hard and drew her closer. "Me too, baby." He kissed the top of her head.

* * *

"Honey?" Kevin called as he knocked on Linz's door that evening. "Can I come in?"

The door opened, and Linz smiled weakly at him. "Sure, I guess."

"We'd better get ready."

"For what?"

"Oh, I didn't tell you?" Linz shook her head. "We're going out with Katie and A.J."

"Oh..." Linz looked away uneasily.

"Oh, but if you're not feeling well--"

"No, I feel fine, I just don't have anything to wear," Linz covered quickly.

Kevin grinned and held up a dress. "I got this for you in Milan," he explained as Linz took the dress and couldn't help but smile.

"Thank you, Kev," she said softly.

He grinned. "You're welcome, baby."

Linz swallowed and looked up at him helplessly.

"What is it, honey?" Kevin asked softly, putting his arms around her waist.

"There's...there's something I have to tell you, Pumpkin," she whispered.

Kevin smiled and glanced at the clock. "Damn. We have to leave in ten minutes. Think it can wait until after dinner?"

Linz sighed. "Okay."

"Hey, if it can't, then--"

"No, it's fine," Linz mumbled, breaking away from him and heading towards the bathroom to change.


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