Chapter 7: Dinner time
They pulled up in Brian’s driveway, and Kat tried hard to calm her uneasiness. Howie noticed and squeezed her hand supportively. She couldn’t figure out what she had done to deserve him. The night before had been magical. Dinner was exquisite and the movie a lot of fun.
Howie had decided that the only reason she went to movies alone was so that she didn’t have to share her popcorn, or so he said as he grandly presented her with her own small bag. Kat laughed and pelted him with a few corns, which naturally degenerated into a small food fight that continued through the previews. They settled down and enjoyed the movie, Howie’s arm around her and her head resting on his shoulder.
Afterwards they went for coffee and dissected the film, analyzing its pros and cons and discussing other films like it. They ended up closing the place down, talking into the wee hours. He then escorted her back to her hotel, leaving her with a chaste kiss on the cheek and instructions for the meeting him the next day.
Then they had been in their own private world. Now…
"They won’t bite," he said, breaking into her reverie. ‘Besides AJ says you have sharp claws."
"Gods, AJ. He’ll be there won’t he?" Kat took a step backwards.
"He’ll behave, don’t worry. And if this is going to work out you two have to patch things up." He looked deep into her eyes again, "and I want this to work."
It would take a stronger person than she to resist him, and Kat allowed him to lead her up the path.
Tyke was the first to notice them. He came barreling out of the house, yipping excitedly.
"I think he remembers you," Howie grinned.
"Me too," she said, picking up the little dog and letting him lick her face.
She had just put the Chihuahua down when Kevin grabbed her in a big bear hug.
‘Girl, where have you been? I’ve been worried," he kissed her cheek and then pulled a face. ‘Yuck, dog spit."
Kat laughed and hugged him back.
He held her at arms-length, looking at her face. "You are okay, right? You worked your stuff out?’
"Yeah. Thanks Kevin. Now all I need to do is put the plan into action."
"And you and Howie?" he said glancing over his shoulder to where Howie was talking to Nick. "I didn’t tell him where you were; hell, I didn’t know where you were. I just answered his questions about what you said you wanted to do while you were here."
"Its okay. Yes, he found me, and its okay," she reassured him.
He wiggled his eyebrow at her mischievously, "just okay?"
‘We’re taking it very slowly. If it turns out into something, that’s great. We’ll see."
"Good," Kevin said as he kissed her cheek again. Same cheek. Same spot.
"Damn! Brian! Come and get your little monster before he kisses all the pretty girls and leaves none for us." He escorted Kat up to the house, tyke nipping at their heels and returned her to Howie’s side.
Brian came over to see what Tyke was fussing over and was happy to see her. They discussed Tyke’s "recovery." He had indeed strained his neck, and had a few deep cuts on his front legs, which Brian had only found after he had cleaned him up. Other than that, the dog had rarely left his side for days. In fact, Brian noted, the only time Tyke had left him was for her. Kat laughed and hugged the little dog closer. They were both glad to see, after she had let him go, that Tyke wandered around the party happily. "Almost his old self," Brian said.
He pulled her over and introduced her to his girlfriend Faith, who he called Bubble. She had long chestnut hair, blue eyes and very fair skin. Then finding out she hadn’t met Nick, introduced her to him and his girlfriend, Jordan.
Kat couldn’t help but notice AJ. He was with a tall beautiful woman with café a crème complexion. She looked vaguely familiar to Kat, but she couldn’t place her. AJ kept glancing at Kat, but trying to avoid her gaze.
No so the girl. When she saw Kat she turned to AJ and talked rapidly to him. He pulled back and shook his head sadly, before she turned from him with a grunt of exasperation and walked over to Kat.
"Hi? Remember me? Kimberley. I was your waitress at the club the other night."
"Right," Kat smiled. "You’re a friend of AJ’s?"
"The ass. I heard what you said to him that night and seconded it. Now he won’t stop asking me out," she laughed, then leaned in conspiratorially, "its kind of fun keeping him off centre."
Kat laughed, liking her immediately, "good. Keep him guessing."
"Maybe I will. He really is a nice guy when he’s not drinking."
The two chatted amiably, discovering that they were both from Toronto and gabbing about various haunts that they’d frequented there. After a little while AJ came over.
He cleared his throat, " umm. Kat?"
Kat winked quickly at Kimberley, and then pulled a serious face. "Mr. McLean."
"Ah," he said nervously. ‘I wanted to apologize for the other night. I was a jerk…"
"Too right," Kimberley said sternly.
He shot her a frightened glance then turned back to Kat. "I’m sorry if I hurt you. I didn’t mean any of it," he finished.
"This guy bothering you?" Howie asked as he came over and offered Kat a drink.
"Gee, Howie. You spoilt it. I almost had him groveling," Kat replied playfully. AJ’s face cleared as he realized he was in the clear. "Its okay, AJ. We all have bad days. Don’t do it again, though."
AJ heaved a sigh of relief and held out his hand, "hi. AJ McLean…occasional idiot."
"Hi. Kat. Occasional grape," AJ flushed, "but with sharp claws."
"And how," he muttered.
"Lighten up, AJ. I was teasing. It is nice to meet you," Kat shook his hand and gave him a warm smile, which he returned. Kimberley rolled her eyes and led him off.
"Poor AJ," Howie mused. "He’s got a handful there with Kim."
"Good," Kat said, with a tinge of maliciousness. "Sorry. Throwback response. I think she really does like him – just likes to keep him guessing."
"Yeah," Howie laughed. "He’s getting a taste of his own medicine.’
He led her over to a darkened alcove on the patio.
"So you are leaving tomorrow?"
"And I suppose it would be unfair to ask you to stay a little longer?"
Kat wanted to. She wanted to spend lots more time getting to know this intelligent, kind, okay and sexy man; but she shook her head.
"I told you I couldn’t."
He sighed, "I know. I’ll just miss you and I haven’t even had a chance to get to talk you."
"We can still talk. I just won’t be here," Kat said, knowing the likelihood would be small. The Boys had finished one world tour but they still had albums to sell and promo tours, which both Kevin and Howie had told her about, each from their own point of view, sounded hectic.
"So I can call everyday?’ he asked, holding her close.
"What? Not twice a day?" she asked.
"How about three times as day?" he said, kissing her hair. "Four?" he kissed her neck. "Maybe five?" he kissed her lightly on the lips.
The butterflies in Kat’s stomach started dancing a wild dervish. "He has the softest lips I have ever felt," she thought as she leaned in for another kiss. He ran his tongue smoothly across her top lip, causing her to her mouth in response. Her tongue flicked out, caressing his lightly as he deepened the kiss. She could feel his hand on her ace, holding her close, but could concentrate on nothing more than the touch of his wide, sensual mouth and the feel of his tongue. She bit down softly on his bottom lip, causing him to moan softly, and wound her fingers through her thick, curly hair.
Then they finally broke apart both were breathless. They gazed at each other, somewhat shocked by the intensity of the kiss.
"Now I really don’t want you to go," he said as he leaned in and planted a trail of butterfly kisses on her neck.
She shivered at the occasional flick of his eyelashes on her cheek. "Now I know why they call you Sweet D," Kat responded, trying to control the rapid beating of her heart.
"Not too sweet, I hope?"
"I may go into insulin shock later, but I’m okay now," she teased lightly, stroking his cheek.
He laughed and captured his mouth again. How long they stayed like that neither knew, nor cared. All that mattered was lips, and tongues, and…
Kevin stood over them with a smirk on his face. "Food’s ready."
Kat flushed, but Howie growled at him, "go away, Train." Then he took Kat’s hand and led her to the main table, where they sat together, with Faith on Kat’s left and Nick on Howie’s right. Kevin kept throwing her glances throughout the dinner, which she tried hard not to notice.
After the meal, Howie said, "you better go talk to your new best friend," and set her off in Kevin’s direction.
Kevin looked up as she approach and said, "so? Was I wrong?"
"As Howie so eloquently put it, ‘behave yourself, Train.’"
Kevin laughed and corrected her, "that’s not what he said." He drew her over to the couch in the den. They talked about the last few days, and Kat told him about the decisions she’d made, and a little bit about the situations which had been troubling her. He was apologetic for interfering and had several good suggestions about how to handle things.
"Howie was right. I should have asked for your advice earlier," Kat noted.
"Yeah, about that," Kevin glanced nervously at Howie as he talked to AJ. "Are you going to tell him – about the other night?"
"I don’t need to. Kevin, I know what you said and I really do feel something for him, but Howie and I aren’t there yet. You know, at that point where what happened would matter."
"You seemed there a little while ago."
Kat blushed, "yeah, well, first kiss."
Kevin laughed. "Hell of a first one. And you still don’t think you are in love with him?"
"We are taking it slow. Maybe I am." Kat looked at Kevin. ‘But I wanted YOU that night."
He turned away embarrassed, "and I wanted you. Badly. But I want your friendship more."
"Howie has declared you my new best friend. On account of me not having one."
"Good. I’ll take it. And you’ll be mine?’
"Always." Kat kissed him on the cheek.