Chapter   Thirteen

"Wow, BJ, you're up early," said VJ, walking into the kitchen.

"I wanted to talk to you before you left for the office," BJ told her. "Since you go to school part-time now, the morning is probably the only free time you have."

"I know," said VJ. "I know haven't been around much. Everybody just decided to buy houses and property at the same time. Dad says this is the busiest we've been in a while."

"If you check out the music scene, you could see why. But, anyway, there's something I need to talk to you about."

"Sure. What's up?"

"I talked to my mom and dad about my engagment to AJ and they didn't take it too well. My dad said if I marry AJ, then I'm out."

"Your dad would really do that?"

"You know how my dad is, VJ. He always means what he says. But I don't care about the money. As long as I have AJ, I don't need anything else."

"Except for a house in live in, food to eat, a car to drive, and a job to go to. Wait a sec, what about your job at your father's office? If you marry AJ, will you still be allowed to work there?"

"I don't know. I totally forgot about that. And the car is already paid for, the apartment is almost paid for. I don't really have anything to worry about. Do I?" BJ looked completely helpless.

"Don't worry about anything. If you get fired, I'll have a position for you at my office. And I'll help with anything you need help with."

"But you're so busy already. I don't want to be a burden on you."

"Please, girl," VJ smiled, walking over and giving her friend a hug. "I'm the president now. I can afford to take some time off. I think I deserve it. Besides, nothing can stop me. My best friend is not planning this thing without me."

"Well, AJ said he would take care of everything, but he's a guy. What could he know about planning a wedding?"

"We could always do check-ups. I know how to do that pretty good with my computer. So what are you doing?"

"I have to look for a wedding dress. And you have to find a dress if you're going to be my maid-of-honor."

"We'll go shopping this weekend." VJ looked at her watch. "I have to go. I'll get off work early and we'll talk about this more."

"Okay." BJ smiled, feeling a lot better than she had since the day before.

*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^

"Waaaaahhhhhh!!!!" Nicky screamed.

Nick woke up with a start. He saw Alisha laying beside him still asleep. He looked at the clock. 6:30am. Nicky continued to cry his head off. I guess I'll go get him, Nick thought. He got up, careful not to wake up Alisha, and walked into Nicky's room.

Nicky looked up at his dad and immediately started to calm down. Nick reached into the crib and picked him up.

"How's my 'lil son, huh?" Nick asked him. He wiped the tears off Nicky's cheeks. "It's good to know you remember me."

"What's wrong with my Nicky? Are you hungry?"

Nicky nodded his head as if he understood. Nick picked him up and walked to the kitchen. He looked in the fridge and saw a bottle for Nicky, all ready to drink. Nick grabbed the bottle, warmed it up a little, then went back to Nicky's room and sat in the rocking chair that was in there, and gave Nicky his bottle. He was glad to see that Nicky could hold up the bottle pretty well by himself. When Nicky was done, he threw the bottle on the floor.

"Hey, kid, what did you do that for?" Nick asked him. Nicky smiled and laughed. "I probably used to do the same thing."

Nicky started wiggling around and Nick set him on his feet. Nicky started walking around and grabbing his toys. Nick watched as his son played with his toys. Then Nicky walked over to the CD player in his little table and pushed all the buttons. When Nicky pressed the power button, then the play button, Nick heard the music of the "Backstreet Boys" CD playing.

"So you do like listening to my music," Nick said. "How about we play with your Legos."

Nick and Nicky started playing with the Legos and that's how Alisha found them. She stood in the doorway, silently watching them play together.

"That's an interesting house," she said.

Nick looked up and smiled when he saw Alisha. "I always play with Aaron's toys whenever I'm home."

Alisha laughed. Then she turned her attention to Nicky. "Come here, Nicky."

Nicky smiled and walked over to him mother. "Mom," he said. Then he looked at Nick. "Dad."

Nick got up and put his arms around them. "I hope you don't mind, but I already fed him."

"Of course I don't mind," Alisha said. "It gave you some time to bond with your son. I see you two hit it off. And you like listening to the Backstreet Boys, too?"

Nick laughed. "Their music's all right."

Alisha felt Nicky's diaper. "Feels like it's time for a change. You want to do it, Nick?"

"No, thank you." Nick held up his hands. "You go ahead."

Alisha laid Nicky down on the changing table and changed him within minutes. She put him down on the carpet and Nicky walked out the door. Nick and Alisha followed him into the living room. Nicky sat himself down in front of the TV. He patiently waited for Alisha to turn on the TV. Then Alisha gave Nicky the remote and walked into the kitchen to start breakfast.

Nick watched her prepare the three of them some pancakes, sausage, hash browns, and poured them both a glass of orange juice and some for Nicky in a sipping cup.

"Is this what you do every morning?" Nick asked her.

"Yeah," she answered. "Cartoons keeps Nicky busy while I make us breakfast."

"DAD! DAD!" Nicky yelled.

Nick went to see what his son was yelling for. Nicky had turned it to MTV and saw the "As Long As You Love Me" video playing.

"Did he turn it to MTV?" Alisha yelled from the kitchen.

"Yeah, he did," Nick yelled back. Then he saw Nicky turn it back to cartoons when the video was over. "You're a music lover aren't you?"

"Breakfast is ready!" said Alisha.

Nicky got up and practically ran to the kitchen. Nick followed him. Alisha put Nicky in his high chair and served him his breakfast.

"What time do you go to work?" Nick asked after everyone was eating.

"10:30am," said Alisha.

"If you want, I'll watch him while you're at work."

"Okay, great."

"Is it okay if I call the others tell them to come over?"

"Yeah, sure. If you're going to be an active father, they're going have to get used to having Nicky around."

"Definitely. When are you going to tell VJ and BJ where you are?"

"I don't think I can keep it a secret much longer now that you and the fellas know. I guess I should plan on visiting soon."

"We're going to Orlando next week for a week off. How about you come with us?"

Alisha thought for a minute. "It'll be kind of short notice, but I'll ask for the time off."

"Okay, good."

After they finished eating, and Nicky finished doing whatever it was he was doing with his food, they put the dishes away and went into the living room to watch some cartoons.


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