~*~ Custody ~*~ Part 2
At 8:30 sharp, Joey arrived to pick Tyler up for their date. Tyler was in her office finishing some paperwork when Joey knocked on the door.
"Hey, beautiful. Ready to go?"
Tyler smiled, "Sure!"
"Where are we going?"
Laughing, Tyler said, "I kind of figured you'd already decided that."
"Nope, I thought I'd let you pick."
"Okay. How about dinner at Sullivan's and then dancing at Tabu?"
"Sounds like a plan to me. The limo awaits you."
"Joey, if we take your limo, it's going to attract more attention. Why don't we take my car?"
"What about my limo?"
"Have the driver wait for you at my place. I'll give him the address."
Tyler turned off the lights and Joey put his arm around her as they left together. Tyler took him out the employees' entrance so that he wouldn't attract such a crowd. At her car, Tyler gave Joey the keys and they went to find his driver. They gave him the directions to Tyler's house and then headed to the restaurant. Joey was extremely attentive as Tyler told him what she had been doing since they last saw each other. She included working with Howie and the guys on a couple dance numbers for their show. Joey was impressed despite the fact that he didn't like them.
Over dinner, Joey told her about the tour they were getting ready to finish. They only had two more shows after Jacksonville. They also talked about Justin and Brittany.
As they finished dessert, Joey asked, "Tabu is new, isn't it?"
"Yeah. Howie bought it last year and remodeled it. It use to be a strip club."
"I'd heard they were into strip clubs. I'm surprised they..."
"Joey, don't please. Howie is my cousin and I'm friends with the others. I know you guys don't get along because of Lou but I�m not going to listen to you cutting them down."
"I'll be nice. So, how are we going to get into the club. People are bound to recognize me."
"Not a problem. The guys go in the back when there's a big crowd."
"Let's go then."
Joey paid the bill and they left for the club. Tyler drove this time. When she pulled into the club, she saw all the guys' cars/trucks and knew the whole gang was here. In the back of her mind, she knew this wasn't right but she really wanted to see them all, especially Kevin, even if he was with someone else.
"Joey, are you sure you want to hang out here tonight? I mean, you and the guys don't exactly get along."
"It's what you want so I'm sure. Tyler, I just want to be with you."
They went in together through the back entrance and down the hall towards the main area. They ran into Lex as she was headed back to the DJ booth.
"Hey, girlfriend!" greeted Lex. "I thought Howie said you weren't coming tonight."
"He did but Joey and I decided to come anyway. Are you working?"
"Yeah, I am."
"Cool! Do me a favor? Play 'Everybody' for me and tell AJ to come with me."
Lex laughed, "How did you know AJ was with me?"
"Two drinks and I can smell 'Jack' in one of them. Not to mention, you're way to happy to be working with the guys back in town."
"Busted! I'll tell him you want him."
Joey asked as Lex went to get AJ, "What are you going to do?"
"'Everybody' is one of the songs that I helped choreograph for them and when we're together here, we usually do it for the crowd."
"What makes you think they haven't already done it?"
"They won't do it without me. You don't mind, do you?"
"Not at all! It'll give me a chance to see you dance, now that you're all grown up."
AJ came out of the booth and grabbed Tyler by the waist hugging her tight. "Hey, Ty! What's up?"
"I am. Put me down you clown."
AJ set her down and said, "What did you want?"
"Are you ready to dance?"
"Sure. Lex is going to get the others."
"Joey, why don't you go on out and get us a table. I'll join you in a few minutes."
AJ said, "There's room at the table to the right of the dance floor."
Tyler knew that was where the gang sat when they were all together like this and she said, "AJ, I'm not sure that's such a good idea."
"Do you really think they are going to let you sit somewhere else?"
"I guess not. Joey, are you okay with this?"
"Just to be with you is enough," whispered Joey and he gave her a kiss.
"I'll meet you out front."
Tyler watched Joey leave and then AJ said, "I really thought you had better taste than that, Ty."
"BE NICE, 'Bone'!"
"Okay but come on, Joey Fatone? Give me a break."
"I did. I introduced you to Lex, didn't I?"
They heard the song begin so they went out onto the dance floor with the others. Tyler was in front with Howie and Brian on either side. Kevin was behind her with AJ and Nick on either side of him. The crowd went crazy.
After the song, the guys gave Tyler a hug and Howie said, "Glad to see that you ditched doofus."
AJ said, "Don't speak so quickly. Doofus is sitting at the table with his arm around YOUR girlfriend."
Howie spotted Joey and said, "Ty, I'm going to kill him. This IS NOT a good idea."
"Before you go any further, I told Joey earlier tonight that I wasn't going to tolerate him bad-mouthing you and the guys. That goes for you too!"
"Okay! Okay! I'll be nice but only because I love you. By the way," whispered Howie. "Kev's alone tonight."
"Really? And just why would you find it necessary to tell me?"
Howie didn't say anything more but gave Tyler a sly smile as they headed to the table. Tyler was greeted by Sonja, Fiona, and Kryss as well as Joey. Joey gave her a hug and held the chair for her to sit by him. Joey and Tyler spent the next few hours with Howie and the gang talking, laughing, and dancing. Tyler tried very hard to make Joey feel like one of the group and she gave him all her attention.
As for Kevin, he couldn't take his eyes off of Tyler the entire night. Everyone, including Joey but not Tyler, saw it. Every time Kevin tried to talk to Tyler or ask her to dance, Joey would cut him off.
While Tyler and Joey were dancing and Kevin was getting a drink, Brian said to Howie, "Is Tyler completely stupid tonight or what?"
"I don't know but it's driving Kevin nuts!"
Kryss said, "Every time Kevin tries to talk to her, Joey cuts him off."
Nick said, "This ought to be interesting. The battle of the bands over Tyler."
"Let's just hope that Tyler doesn't get hurt," said Fiona.
"Oh, Joey's going to end up hurting her," said Howie. "He use to treat her like crap when they were dating earlier."
Tyler and Joey came over to the table and Tyler said, "Howie, Joey and I are cutting out of here. Do you want me to wait up for you?"
Howie looked at Kryss and she said, "I have to work in the morning, baby."
Howie said, "You don't have to but it would be nice."
"Cool. I'll see you later, 'D'," said Tyler as she gave him a kiss on the cheek.
On the way out of the bar the back way, Joey asked, "Are you living with Howie?"
"Yeah. We bought a house together in Kissimmee. He didn't want to live alone and leave the house empty when he was on tour. Kevin has had a lot of problems with fans and stuff so they have all stepped up security or gotten roommates who aren't with the band. Kevin, Brian, and Sonja are living together. AJ and Lex have their own place and Nick and Fiona have their place near us."
Back at the table, Kevin returned with his drink, "Where's Tyler?"
Howie said, "She and Joey took off."
Disappointment took over Kevin's face and everyone saw it. He said, "I'm going to call it a night then. I'll see you guys tomorrow."
The guys watched Kevin leave and Howie said, "I sure hope he doesn't keep it bottled up how he feels about Ty for long."
Kryss said, "If he'd just tell her, I'm sure that Ty would dump Joey in a heartbeat! She's crazy about him."
Brian said, "He's so damn shy sometimes with women!"
As Tyler drove home, Joey asked, "What are you doing tomorrow?"
"Just hanging out with Howie and the guys."
"Why don't I send the limo for you and you can join me for the show?"
"Sounds cool! I'd love that."
"Tyler, when I get finished with the tour, I'd really like to spend more time with you."
Tyler looked at Joey and said, "I'd like that," but in the back of her mind she was thinking about Kevin and wondering what it would be like if HE were telling her this.
At the house, Joey walked Tyler to the house and kissed her goodnight. Tyler watched him leave and then went in and decided to skip waiting for Howie.
The next morning, Tyler was up early and went for a jog around the block. When she got back, Howie was in the kitchen fixing coffee. Tyler bounced into the kitchen and gave her cousin a kiss on the cheek, "Good morning, 'D'! What time did you get in last night, well, this morning?"
"About an hour after you. I thought you were going to wait up for me."
"I decided to go to bed. I'm going to Jacksonville tonight for the 'NSync concert."
Howie shook his head, "What is with you?"
"I happen to like Joey."
"He treated you like crap when you were dating before. Why are you being so nice to him now?"
"Because I'm giving him a second chance. He may have changed, Howie. You know, that does happen."
"He's a jerk!"
"Tyler, I don't want to see you get hurt!" said Howie as the doorbell rang.
"I'm not going to get hurt," called Tyler as she went to answer the door.
There was a delivery man at the door when Tyler opened it. "Tyler Dorough?"
"These are for you," said the guy as he handed her a dozen roses, 11 red and one white one. Tyler took them and closed the door behind her. She took out the card and read it. 'It was really good to see you last night.' It had one letter at the end but Tyler couldn't make out what it was but she assumed that they were from Joey.
Before she could do anything, the doorbell rang again. She opened the door to find Joey standing there. "Joey! What are you doing here?"
"I wanted to surprise you. Come spend the day with me."
"I still have to get a shower."
"That's fine. Go get ready and I'll wait for you in the living room."
Tyler set the roses down and gave Joey a kiss. "Thanks for the roses."
Joey hadn't sent them but he said, "You're welcome."
Tyler ran upstairs to get ready while Joey made himself comfortable in the living room. Howie was watching from the kitchen and shook his head after what he saw. He had a feeling that Joey hadn't sent the roses because of the look on his face.
Half an hour later, Tyler came back downstairs ready to go. She spoke to Howie to tell him where she was going and not to wait up for her. Then she and Joey left. They passed Kevin in the driveway on their way out and Tyler waved to him. Her heart skipped a couple beats because Kevin looked so good today. He was wearing a pair of khaki shorts, a white tank top with a blue oxford cloth shirt over top of it, and tennis shoes. Tyler tried hard not to let her reaction show but Joey saw it. He didn't say anything though.
Inside, Kevin asked, "Where's Ty going?"
"Jacksonville for the 'NSync show."
"I thought you said she'd be here all day."
Sarcastically, Howie said, "She was suppose to be but 'bonehead' showed up so they could spend more time together. He wanted to surprise her."
Kevin spotted the roses and asked, "Did she like the roses?"
"Of course! 'Bonehead' sent them."
Kevin shook his head, "No, he didn't. I sent them."
"Why didn't you sign the card?"
"I told them to sign it 'K'! I never sign things to her with my name."
Howie went to get the card and looked at it. "It has a 'K' but it could be mistaken for a 'J'. Ty probably couldn't read it and assumed that he had sent them. That bonehead took credit for them too!" he said angrily.
Kevin didn't say anything but he thought to himself, "Tyler, just give me a chance to prove that I love you."Sarah D.Help Howie and Pollyanna find a cure for Lupus. Visit www.doroughlupusfoundation.org and make a donation.Check out Pollyanna's DEBUT CD, 'Wings of Hope' at www.pollyanna.net. It's awesome!!!