"Just think, Joey, in five weeks, I'll be a bridesmaid!" Kelly exclaimed as she tucked Brianna in. The wee
little one was sleeping. She was five, and seemed to do that a lot, taking her her Uncle JC's favorite hobby.
"And to think, last week, we didn't even know the wedding was still on." Joey chuckled. He kissed his daughter's
"I'm glad they worked out everything." She smiled blissfully as she took his hand. "Joey..." she murmured.
"Why can't we work something out?" She looked up at him innocently as he closed the door to Brianna's room.
"Kelly..." He rolled his eyes. "We've been over this." They walked into their bedroom hand-in-hand.
"Joseph Anthony Fatone, Junior!" she cried, slamming the door. "We have been together for thirteen
years. Since we were both sixteen. We made a baby five years ago, Joey, and every night, she asks why her mommy and daddy
"I told you, darling, I'm just not ready for marriage. Not yet." he said. "I'm just not ready for the commitment.
This is hard, Kelly. I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. I love you, but you'll just have to wait."
*I was countin' down the minutes
I was wishin' on the stars
I was prayin' for a sign
And tryin' to beat the odds*
"'Commitment'? Yes, Joseph, let's talk about commitment!" Kelly cried bitterly. "You made a commitment in
this relationship when you said you wanted to see me exclusively. You made a commitment when you told me you loved me. You
made a commitment when we first made love. You made a commitment every time we broke up and got back together. We were never
apart for more than a few months. And you made the biggest commitment of your life when you helped me make Brianna. So there's
your commitment talk!" Tears were falling down her cheeks. "I have waited all my life for someone like you, Joey. All of my
*I was dreamin' of you, love
Before I saw your face
And there you were
Waitin' for that day
Then you reached through the hurricane
When you, baby, you called my name*
Neither of them spoke again that night, only climbed into the bed and slept.
The next morning in NYC, as JC and Becca lay in each other's arms, watching a soap opera, both of their cell
Becca groaned. "I'll go to the kitchen, baby." She took out her cell phone as she stood and walked to the
"Hello?" JC answered his phone. "Hey, Joey! What's up?"
"Not much." Joey replied sadly. "I'm at the pool hall."
"Instead of with Kelly and Brianna?" JC asked. "Why?"
"Another fight?!?" Becca exclaimed, crossing her legs while she sat at the kitchen table talking to Kelly.
"Yeah. It just keeps happening." Kelly murmured. "I mention marriage, we fight."
"I don't get it. You and Joey love each other. You've been together longer than I've been with JC, and we're
getting married in a few weeks. You've been with Joey for thirteen years, give or take a few months." Becca shook her head.
"I don't get it either, Becca." Kelly sighed. "He went on such a mission to get me, and when he did, we were
both in heaven."
Kelly could remember it all too clearly. They had both been juniors in high school when they had met. She
had been the classic new kid in school, the shy choir girl he sang with in class. She thought he was cute, and nice, but her
friends kept telling her that Joey was a notorious flirt, and he'd do nothing but hurt her. She remained friendly toward him,
but never let herself get too close.
Shortly after, Joey began flirting immensely with her, and one afternoon after school, in the parking lot,
he dropped to his knees in front of her and sang a rousing rendition of The Platters' "Only You", and told her that he had
a major crush on her. They went on a date that night, her first, and at the end of the night, he gave her her very first kiss.
*Must have broken into heaven
Just to roll back the clouds
Were you on a mission
Were you seekin' me out
Was I that one sacred kiss
That you couldn't chance
You just couldn't miss*
They dated for a month when Joey became frightened by his feelings for her, and he broke up with her. The
breakup didn't last long, because they were both miserable.
Joey had called Kelly and asked her to meet him at his house one night after they'd been broken up a month.
When she arrived, Joey was alone, his parents having gone out with his brother and sister.
It was there that Joey had told Kelly that he wanted her, and only her, and that he loved her. It reduced
her to tears as she told him the same, but he quickly eased her tears away, and before either of them even thought about going
out and celebrating their newfound feelings, she gave her chastity to him, certain that they were meant to be.
*Then you, babe
You whispered through the silent tears
When you swept away all my fears*
Later that night, Joey ended up at a bar in the bad part of town as Kelly was dropping their daughter off
at a friend's house and grocery shopping.
They'd had another fight about marriage, and Joey hoped to forget it as he drank his third glass of vodka.
This fight had been different from all the others. Brianna had caught the end of it.
Joey shook his head as the bartender handed him his fourth glass.
A tall blond sat next to him.
"You look so sad." she said, eyeing him sympathetically. "What's wrong, honey?"
"Woman troubles. I don't wanna talk about it."
"Oh, I'm sorry. My name's Angelina."
He shook her hand. "Joey."
"Nice to meet you." She smiled.
The two began talking, and Joey soon discovered that she was a massage therapist.
"If I let you drive me home, can I get a free massage?" he asked.
She giggled. "You bet."
They arrived in Joey's driveway fifteen minutes later.
"So where's that massage, hotcakes?" Joey asked.
"Well, Joey, I'd rather not give you a massage." Angelina replied. "I'd rather go to bed with you."
"Well, that was blunt!" he shouted.
"So?" she asked, as Joey watched her hand run up his leg.
"I like blunt women." That was Joey's only response.
"ANOTHER?" Becca asked.
"Yes." Kelly said. She held her cell phone in one hand as she used the other to put her groceries into her
car. "And Brianna caught the end of it."
"Oh my gosh. That's terrible." Becca said.
"Yeah." Kelly said. "Now she wants to know if mommy and daddy hate each other."
"Oh, that's horrible." Becca said. "What are you gonna do?"
"I don't know. Right now, I just need to get home in one piece." Kelly breathed. "Goodnight, Becca."
"Goodnight, Kel." Becca turned off the cordless phone and gently laid it on the bedside table.
She felt the bed dip down behind her, and then a warm, muscular pair of sweaty arms wrapped around her.
"Mmm... who was that, baby?" JC asked, inhaling the scent of her hair. "Mmm... That Herbal Essences stuff
drives me crazy."
"Thanks." she said. "That was Kelly. She and Joey had another fight."
"Aw, man." he murmured.
"In front of Brianna, too." she said.
"Man, I remember when Joey and Kelly were perfect together." he said.
*Standin' in the middle of nowhere
With your arms wide open
You were the reason
When there was no reason in my life
You're the reason in my life*
"Like us?" Becca whispered.
"Hmm... yeah." JC smiled. "Except with more nakedness in the bedroom."
"Hmm... well, I guarantee there'll be much more of that after we're married, sexy." She growled, playfully
biting his hand. He chuckled. "How was your workout?"
"Great." he replied. "It's a great replacement for your hot little body." His sarcastic tone didn't please
"Oh, yeah, baby..." She rolled her eyes. "Hey... who you callin' little?"
Kelly was going to ask Joey for help with the groceries when she pulled up at their house... until she spotted
his car rocking slightly.
"What the crap?" She wondered as she got out. The car abruptly stopped rocking, but she decided to check it
Kelly was absolutely astonished to find Joey and a blond naked in the back seat.
"JOEY?!?" She screamed.
Before he could respond, she ran into the house.
She put the groceries on the kitchen counter, then calmly went to she and Joey's room. She took out her suitcase,
and put a few of her clothes in it, tears falling from her face.
She darted into Brianna's room and packed a few of her daughter's things.
Becca was awakened shortly after three in the morning by not only someone banging on her door, but the sound
of her lover crying out her name in his sleep.
He purred in his sleep. "Oh, baby..."
She popped his face.
"CHASEZ, WAKE UP, YA DORK!"
He jolted awake. "Hyuh?"
"Someone's at the door, stupid." She pointed.
"Oh. You woke me up from a really good dream." He complained, getting out of bed and slinking his robe on.
He started to the living room, Becca following.
JC opened the door to find a crying Kelly standing there, holding a bag and carrying her sleeping daughter.
"Kelly, we love you. But what the crap are you doing here at three in the morning?" Becca asked.
"I'm sorry, but we had to go somewhere." Kelly said.
"What happened?" JC asked.
"I came home and found Joey having sex with some blond in his car." Kelly murmured.
"Oh my gosh..." Becca put her hand over her mouth. "I'm so sorry..."
"You can stay here as long as you need, Kel." JC promised. "Please, you and Brianna stay in our guest room."
Just then, the little girl woke up.
"Mommy?" She looked around. "Hi, Uncle JC. Hi, Aunt Becca." She looked back at her mother. "Why are we here,
Mommy, and where's Daddy?"
"Your Daddy's at home, Brianna. Ummm... Mommy and Daddy can't be together right now. I'm sorry, sweetie."
Kelly breathed. "So we're gonna stay with Uncle JC and Aunt Becca a while."
A few days later, Joey sat alone on the porch of he and Kelly's home.
"What have I done?" he asked to no one. "Kelly and Brianna were the best things that ever happened to me."
He recalled the day that Brianna was born. He had been in the studio with the guys when Kelly had called from
a cab, crying endlessly, telling that her water had just broken. He and Lance had raced to her side. Joey had needed his closest
friend there for moral support.
"It's okay, Joey. I'll be fine." She assured him in a hushed voice between contractions. Here she was, having
a baby, and trying to calm him down.
*Like the light in the eye of the storm
Tellin' me not to cry anymore
There you were
Where I watched my whole world fall apart
Shinin' through like an angel from afar
Oh, like an angel*
"I can't let them get away that easily." Joey murmured. He ran into the house and picked up the phone. He
hastily dialed a number. "Yes, I need a flight to New York City." He knew that's where she was. Becca and Kelly were close,
and Brianna adored her Aunt Becca and Uncle JC.
"Mommy, when are we going back home?" Brianna asked as Kelly pulled the blankets over her.
"I... I don't know, honey." Kelly said. "Mommy and Daddy aren't getting along well."
"I miss Daddy." Brianna whined.
"I know." Kelly said. "I'm sorry, Brianna."
"Can't you drive faster?" Joey asked the taxi driver as the cab sped through the streets of New York. "If
I don't get there soon, I might lose everything."
*You broke through the storm
And you turned back the night
Baby, you are the fire
Burnin' the midnight sky*
"Who the heck is that?" JC asked as someone pounded endlessly on the door." He hopped up from his spot on
the couch with Becca. He opened the door. "Joey?"
"Where's Kelly?" he asked. "I need her... now."
*And your love keeps taking me higher*
"Okay, you two. Brianna's in bed. We can watch..." Kelly's voice stopped in her throat when she looked up
and saw Joey.
*Just when all hope was gone
Where the hero belongs...*
"Kelly, baby, I love you. And I wanna spend the rest of my life with you. But right now, I just don't feel
emotionally stable enough to ask you to marry me." Joey dropped to one knee in front of her. "But... I can PROMISE
you that one day we'll get married." He took a little silver ring from his pocket. He slipped it onto her hand. It was just
barely big enough to fit her dainty finger. "It's a promise ring. I promise I'll marry you."
Becca smiled up at JC. "Isn't this sweet?"
JC sniffled and ignored that fact that tears were welling up in his eyes. "Yeah, if you're the sentimental
Becca easily saw right through her