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Author's Chapter Notes:
Thank you to everyone who has been reading and reviewing. A special thank you to BeastieBarb for sending me some suggestions - I'm stealing one!
AJ woke up early the next morning and crept downstairs so he wouldn’t wake anyone. He started a pot of coffee and reached for his cell phone. It took five rings before Nick picked up.

“Damn J, it’s six o’clock in the morning. I hope for your sake California is sinking into the ocean and that’s why you’re calling me.”

“Nope, it’s still where it’s supposed to be.” AJ said with a chuckle. “I need a favor.”
“Seriously? You’re calling me at the butt crack of dawn to ask me for a favor?”

“Yes. This is a big one and we’re really need it to turn out perfectly.”

“You can’t call me back at eleven and we can work it out then?”

“No, it needs to be now. I’ll be at your house in twenty minutes so be ready.”

“I hate you J.”

“Love you too Nicky. See you in a few.”

AJ hung up the phone, filled his travel mug with coffee and went upstairs to check on Kat. He didn’t want to disturb her so he left a note next to the bed letting her know he had to go out for a while. He kissed her on the cheek and headed out to Nick’s.


“Nick’s in the shower.” Brenda said as she opened the door.


Brenda smiled. “I have magic powers.”

“I don’t even want to know.” AJ said with a laugh. “I actually have a favor to ask you too.”

“What’s that?”

“Can you go over and hang out with Kat while we’re gone? She’s having a tough time and I think she could use some company.”

“No problem.” Brenda said. “I’ll jump in the shower when Nick’s done and….”

“I’m done.” Nick said, rubbing a towel over his head. “I’m telling you J, this had better be VERY important.”

“I promise it is.”

“Can you tell me?” Brenda asked.

“No. This one needs to be a complete surprise.”

“But Nick’s gonna know about it.”

“I know but that’s only because I need his help.”

“Thanks J.” Nick said sarcastically. “I’m not in on it because I’m your friend just because you need my help.”
“Sorry Nick but this is really important to me and it would mean a lot to Kat. She needs something like this.”

“If it’s for Kat then I’ll let it slide.”

“Thanks.” AJ said, grabbing his arm. “Now let’s go.”

“Have fun boys!” Brenda called out to them as they climbed in the truck. “Try to behave!”

She smiled as she walked back in to take a shower. Kat definitely needed something to get her out of this funk and she hoped whatever surprise AJ was planning would do it.


Brenda arrived to find Kat playing with the boys on the living room floor.

“Hey chica.” she said bending down to hug her. “Whatcha doin?”

“Just hanging out with the boys. I woke up and AJ was gone.”

“Did he say where he was going?”

“No just that he needed to take care of something and he’d be home in a while.”

“I’m sure he will be then.”

“It’s just weird that he didn’t mention anything last night. Did Nick talk to him this morning?”

“No, Nick’s still in bed.” Brenda said, playing dumb. “I figured I’d come hang out with you. I miss it just being us two girls.”

“Well, it’s really us two girls and these two little ones.”

“I know but they’re less trouble than our other boys most of the time and they definitely eat less!”

“That’s the truth.” Kat said with a chuckle. “Speaking of these two guys, I was thinking about taking them down to the park if you’re up for a stroll.”

“Sure. You’re ok to be going out so much right?”

“I’m fine. The doctor says nothing has changed.”

“But you’ve been tired.”

“He said it’s fine as long as it’s not more often than usual. And, before you ask, it’s not. I’m fine.”

“Ok. Let’s get the boys changed and get going.”


“Holy shit J!” Nick yelled. “Where the hell are you going to put this?”

“In the backyard. Think she’ll like it?”

“Hell yes! I think it’s perfect.”

“Good.” AJ said with a smile. He hoped and prayed that this was going to bring Kat’s smile back.