~*~Tracie~*~

I had an idea. I kept thinking about what had made things so good. We would party with everyone, but then weíd break off and party with just us. It had been a long time since we did that. Actually, since the party when Kevin told us he was getting married. Thatís been like two months ago. I wonder why we drifted away from that? Oh yeah, Kevin actually got married. Then all that shit. But why not in the last month? We didnít have secrets from each other then, either. And I wondered if when they werenít on tour if there was a drifting apart. That would make sense. They werenít living under each other anymore, makes sense to need some time apart. But this was too far apart. At least for me. It did wonders for Lee and I to get back to being kids, watching those stupid old movies. I wondered it the same might be true for all of us.

I had invitations hand delivered to them at the studio where they were doing final revisions to the video.

~*~Kevin~*~

Cute. Tracie is throwing us a welcome home party. At MY house. She has given us all "Super Secret Nicknames" that we must use to enter the party. Iím not allowed in my house until the party. Iím to go to her apartment and get ready. And weíre all to bring our favorite childhood game. We were issued a warning that if one of us chose to just bring "a bottle" that we should remember we would be kissing each other as well. She was ruining that one. Weíre to be there at seven. Last one there has to eat paste. They think sheís kidding.

We all went out to FAO Schwartz and bought games.

On the plane trip home we had a meeting. There have been a few times over the years when weíve done this, to clear the air. I started, I always started, "I think that being away was good. We always drift apart off tour, but this time has been different. A lot of things have happened. Hell, thatís mostly about me. And Iím sorry for not talking more about this. I canít."

AJ jumped in, "It hasnít been fun watching you do this, Kev. Drinking, getting stoned, fucking randomly. First you stayed away from anything female, then you over indulge. Whatís going on?"

"I donít know. I guess Iím trying to forget. I donít want a relationship. Donít want to trust. She destroyed that."

"Itís gonna eat you up until you deal with it. You need to talk to someone, hell, youíre not even talking to Tracie. You fucking tell Tracie everything."

I knew this was out of love, "I canít. Not yet. Too soon."

AJ pulled me into a hug, "We worry. Youíre not yourself."

"I know." I did know that. Trust had always been hard for me. I knew what real friendships and relationships were about before this. I thought I could trust Jessica. I was careful. I was wrong. More wrong that I had ever been in my entire life. I didnít know how to deal with that, my part in the death of my own child.

I had lost myself in the work, and spent time not thinking about this. Keeping myself numb to it all. Now was time to stop that. Cut back on my excesses. Use other ways to cope. I knew that may mean talking, and facing what had happened.

~*~AJ~*~

Nick was the next on the list. We talked more about Pam, and her effect on him. "Nick, man, I know that you love her. But love shouldnít be so hard. You do nothing wrong, and you think you do. She makes you think you do. You were fun again these last few weeks. You were just being Nick. Not the Nick you have to be to keep Pam happy. The should be the same, donít you think."

Nick ran his fingers through his hair, "I had fun. Itís been awhile since Iíve had fun. I should be looking forward to seeing her, and Iím happy that Tracie has planned a party that sheís not invited too. Weíre going to have to have a long talk."

I got the drinking to much lecture. I knew they were right too. I had gotten a little too out of control. It was almost a cycle with me.

Good thing about these sorts of talks with us. We had laid the ground rules long ago that anything said was said with respect and love. We all agreed to listen, and try to hear. We also had agreed to not get mad, but that didnít always work.

~*~Nick~*~

I went on home to relax a little before the party. I was looking forward to the party. Yes, weíd been partying the last 2 weeks, but that was work partying. Partying with other artists and industry people, having to be on. It really sucks when you canít even relax and be yourself at a party. Gotta work that baby. Tonight we could relax and have fun. I was bringing Twister and a little bottle of cooking oil!

Pam was waiting at the door. Naked. So far so good. We made love before saying anything to each other. We lay there quiet for a little while. "Nick, stay here. Donít go to the party. Youíve been gone so long. Stay with me."

"Pam, we need this. We need to come back together. I canít really explain it all. This is important for us. To me. We need this."

"What about me. About us. I need you." She was using the pouty voice. It wasnít working though.

"This has nothing to do with you and I. We are fine as far as Iím concerned. Donít do this, donít make this an issue. I realize itís my first night home, but you get me until six. That gives us time to be together, donít ruin it, baby. I love you." I was begging.

"Iím not the one ruining anything. Youíre the one leaving. You donít want me anymore. Out in California you found someone else didnít you? Prettier than me. I knew this would happen."

"Stop it! I did not. I donít walk around looking for anyone. I have someone, and youíre all I need. All I want. Pam, youíre ruining this with all your suspicions and insecurities. Please, stop." I got up, "Iím getting ready and Iím leaving. You need to think about what you want, and what youíre willing to do. Decide if youíre going to trust me or not."

I took a shower, got dressed, and went over to Howieís.

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