Chapter One: Reservations

It wasn't supposed to be such a great adventure-in fact it was really supposed to be quite simple. They were hoping a flight from JFK to LAX to meet one of Angela's clients, and then taking a few days off to recover from the stresses of their lives.

Two weeks had past since Billy went back to live with Mrs. Napoli, and it was killing them both-Billy had been their son, no matter what their actual relationship was to him. When she came back into their life and asked for her grandson back, they both felt something in their heart break, and neither was sure that they could piece it back together.

Mona had suggested that Tony join Angela on the trip to get some time to himself, and to be some where there wouldn't be quite so many memories. After a week away, they both hoped, life would be simpler.

***

"I can't believe they messed up our reservations," Angela angrily spits.

"Look, it's not so bad, really," Tony said. "We're only one seat apart. So someone is sitting between us, it's not the end of the world. We live together-consider this a break from me," he laughed.

"I don't need a break! I need..." Angela carefully considered her words. "I don't want some stranger sitting between us. I bought two tickets that were supposed to be next to each other-not divided by someone."

Almost perfectly timed, a very average middle-aged man in a business suit approached them and stopped at the edge of the seat. "'Scuse me, I'm sitting there," he said to Tony who had the aisle seat.

Tony smiled, and then looked up at the man. "Hi, hi sir," he began, "um, ya see, there seems to be a seating problem, 'cause ya see, we," he said gesturing between himself and Angela, "were supposed to sit together, and the airline must have messed up, 'cause ... we're not."

"Oh, yeah? That's too bad," the man said, almost sympathetically. "Can you move now, 'cause you're holding up the other passengers."

"Yeah, yeah, sure," Tony said, as he stood up and moved into the middle seat.

"What are you doing?" the man asked, obviously frustrated by the situation.

"Moving?" Tony asked.

"That's my seat," the man stated.

"I know, but remember what I told you about us being here together?" Tony looked up at him, confounded that the man was so dense.

"Yeah, I do, but I specially requested a seat in the middle, and that I still want it."

"Oh," Tony and Angela said in unison.

Tony moved so the man could sit down and then returned to his seat, trying to avoid the glare he was getting from Angela.

As soon as he settled into his seat, the man with the grey-brown hair turned to Angela and smiled. "So, why are you going to LA?"

"Business," Angela stated simply, and then glared at Tony again, her eyes widening as if to ask for help.

"So, what field are you in?"

"I'm in advertising." She barely refrained from taking her heel off and beating him about the head with it.

"Nice. I'm in financing." The man looked at her and then to Tony, and back. "I'm Clyde, and you are?" He obviously had not deemed the younger, more attractive man to be a threat.

"Angela," she spat. "Look, I'm trying to work on some very important things, and I need to focus as much as possible," she stated simply, wishing Tony were beside her. There wasn't any real work that she had to be doing on the plane, but at the same time she really didn't want to talk to him.

"I understand," he said, turning back to face the front. He seemed somewhat disappointed that the conversation hadn't gone further, and Angela remembered one of the many reasons she hated being single.

***

The fates were against them, they decided, when the rental car company only had purple minivans left, and the hotel only had rooms on opposite ends of the hotel-reservations be damned, she realized.

"Damn fan club meetings," Angela muttered as she ran the key through the electronic lock.

"It's not so bad," Tony once again tried to reassure her. "At least we're surrounded by a bunch of happy people," he pointed out.

"They're sitcom addicts, and you're telling me I should be thankful?" She couldn't believe how things seemed to be working against them.

"Well, if you were surrounded by the national convention for serial killers, do you think you'd be any happier?" The frustration had been building in Tony since the plane took off. There was no way he was going to spend the next week dealing with Angela in an obvious bad mood. Something had to be done.

"I'm just saying." Angela stopped herself, not really sure what she was trying to say.

"What? What are you saying? 'Cause so far it seems like you're mad at the world, and I'm apparently included in that number." Tony fell on to the bed, and relaxed, wondering if things would be this difficult forever.

They had lost a child they thought of as a son, and they were both grieving, true, but they couldn't spend the rest of their lives taking it out on each other.

"I'm just saying that we don't need things to be any more difficult than they already are. We have enough to deal with," she finished, sitting beside Tony on the bed.

Tony sat up quickly and sighed. "We're going to deal with this, because despite how much we miss Billy, we have to respect that he's living with his grandmother again. We can't change some things."

"How?" Angela asked. "How can you sit there and tell me life goes on? I know you-I've been watching you since he left and you've been just as miserable as I have! Don't lie to me!"

"I'm not trying to be dishonest, I'm just.It's not easy Angela-doesn't seem like anything has been easy for a very long time." It seemed like one day he made a decision to move and find a new way of supporting his daughter, and then he was moving to Connecticut. He moved from pro-ball to dust ball in eight seconds flat, and then he fell in love with Angela, and she was so beyond his reach.

"Why do you pretend that everything is fine?" Angela searched his eyes for an answer, but he was putting on his best poker face.

"I'm going to my room now," he said sadly, lifting himself off the bed and walking dejectedly to the doors.

"Try to avoid the sit-com freaks," she said as he pulled the door closed behind him.

*** Chapter Two: Arguments

When Tony didn't show up at Angela's room by seven thirty, she was starting to wonder. They had made plans early in the day-before everything went wrong-to have dinner together after she met with her clients.

Dinner was going to be simple and provide an opportunity for them to just talk about everything that had been happening in the family. At least, that was what Angela had planned. When Tony hadn't shown up, she started to wonder if this was the beginning of the end for them.

When Billy was taken away from them, Angela was distraught. She couldn't imagine their family without him, but then she realized-their family wasn't complete. They were all feeling emptier, and like there were more gaps in their lives. The pieces that used to fit together seemed less perfect.

It was easy for Tony and Angela justify how close they had been over the last few years when they had the interests of a six year old to consider. It seemed to make more sense that they were working together for his sake than that they chose to be that close together. He was her housekeeper, and she was his boss.

But she loved him.

Not that she had told him that-that would have been too much for their relationship when it was strong, but now that they were struggling.Angela couldn't fathom telling him now.

Picking up the phone, she dialled his extension. They weren't going to avoid each other, she decided, regardless of how painful it was for them to deal with each other.

After four rings, she began to wonder if he had left for dinner already. By the fifth ring, Angela hung up and tried to hold back the frustration she was feeling. There was no way she was going to let things deteriorate between them to that point, that quickly.

***

Tony had been listening to the phone ring, wondering if he should answer it. He knew that it would be Angela, and he was sure that she probably wanted to go out to dinner, but he wasn't sure if he could face her.

A voice inside of him was screaming that he needed to tell her how he felt, and that when they lost Billy, it was like losing Sam or Jonathon, but he didn't dare step up and say it. She seemed to blame him, Tony thought, for not having Mrs. Napoli sign any forms, or for not fighting her, and he didn't blame her.

Tony was jolted suddenly by knocking at the door. At first it was gentle rapping, but it quickly became faster, and more impatient.

"TONY, ANSWER THE DAMN DOOR!" Angela shouted from the hallway.

Bounding off the bed and over to the door, he quickly opened it.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" Angela pushed passed him, and threw her purse down on the chair. "Well, now I'm talking to you," Tony said, shocked that she had been pounding on his door.

"And before that, when I called, and you just left it ring?" She was seething, and rightfully so, she decided, because he was pushing her out his life just as much as she was pushing him away.

"I was." No good cover, he thought. No way around this one.

"Exactly-you were avoiding me." Flinging her body onto the bed and burying her head under the pillow, she began to question why she had gone over to his room.

"Ay oh, oh ay! I was not avoiding you!" Tony sat down on the bed beside her and waited for her to acknowledge him. "I wasn't avoiding YOU," he emphasized. "I was avoiding fighting with you."

"Oh," she said, unsure of what more she could say.

"I hate fighting with you. You're my best friend, and it's awful to be mad at you." He looked sad, she decided. Reaching out for his hand, she waited until he made an effort to touch her too.

Pulling herself across the bed and closer to him, she stopped only long enough to tighten her grasp on his hand, and then pressed a kiss to his lips.

The kiss began slowly, and softly but quickly filled with passion. There was no denying the feelings that had been building between them. Sliding her hand out of his, she began to run her hands over his chest, and then up around his neck, pressing her body against his.

It seemed to last forever, and the passion they felt just kept building greater.

Their lips separating, Tony was the first to break the silence. "Wow," he said, instantly feeling stupid for his remark.

"Yeah," Angela agreed.

"So, is it safe to say that you're less mad at me now?" He looked at her, his eyes searching for the answer-it was nerve-wrecking. Whatever she said, he thought, would influence the rest of their lives.

"I wasn't ever mad at you-at least, not until you didn't answer your phone. Then I was mad." Angela lay back on the bed.

Tony looked down at her, wondering where their relationship would go from here. They had just shared the most passionate kiss they had ever experienced, and this time they were sober. No questions as to whether or not they were in the right state of mind. No denial. Nothing.

"I don't know what happens next," Tony confessed.

"What happens next?" Angela looked at him, confused.

"I like you, a lot, and have for a very long time. The question is what happens next between us?"

"What if we agree to just wait and see what happens?" Angela was hoping that he'd stand up and fight her, screaming "NO, I want you in my life" but it didn't look like that was going to happen."

"Okay, yeah, sounds good." Tony hated the idea, undeniably, but if that's what she wanted.

"Yeah," Angela agreed, pressing a kiss against his hand.

***

Chapter Three: No Room at the Inn

When Tony slid his key card through the electronic lock, instead of flashing green, a red light began to flicker intensely.

"What the hell?" Tony muttered, once again trying the key. The light still flashed red.

After four more attempts, Tony decided that something had to be wrong with the damn lock that it wouldn't work, despite the key, and his various efforts. On the walk down to the lobby, he grumbled about the evils of technology. A key doesn't screw up, he rationalized.

"Hi," he began as he reached the desk. He was trying desperately to maintain some degree of composure. "I can't get into my room-it keeps flashing red."

"What room sir?" The young boy behind the counter seemed no more than seventeen years old.

"310."

"Mr. Sarranga?"

"Mr Micelli," Tony said, more and more peeved as the conversation progressed.

"Oh.you, uh."

"I, uh, what?" Tony asked in a huff.

"Your belongings are being stored in our boss' office-you forgot to check out."

"I didn't forget-I'm here another four days!" Controlling his temper was rarely easy for Tony, and this occasion was no exception.

"Not here, you're not. We're totally booked through Monday."

"But I had a reservation!"

"That ended at eleven this morning."

Tony grumbled, and then gestured to the boy to get him his things. When being diplomatic about it didn't work, Tony finally muttered "get me my things, now." He didn't want to be charged with assault of a minor, and he wasn't sure that he could refrain much longer.

***

The walk from the lobby to Angela's room was nerve-wrecking. She was so stressed out already about how things were going wrong for them on this trip. Now he had to add to that by telling her that he didn't have a reservation any more and no longer had a place to stay.

When he knocked on her door, he prepared himself for what would inevitably come-some yelling, some frustrations being directed at him, and eventually some anger being directed towards the hotel.

"Tony!" Angela exclaimed, wondering why he was toting bags with him.

"Um, there's a problem," he said, trying to sound perfectly calm and rational.

"Yeah?"

"I don't have a room anymore-it was given to someone else."

"WHAT?" Angela's yelling took him by surprise. He had expected her to yell, but she usually waited for closed doors, and this one was most definitely open.

Pushing his way into the room and abandoning his bag in the corner, he looked around and then began the story.

"Funny story. They lost my reservation and now someone else has the room."

"When do you get to the funny part?"

"Well it was funny as in ironic, not so much funny ha ha."

"How the hell does this happen? How do you get into these things? It's like.it's like trouble looks for you!"

"Eh, oh, oh, eh! That's hardly the case. I can't help it! It's not like I asked for this."

She didn't know what was going on, and she couldn't admit that to Tony. That was the last thing she wanted to do. She was even-headed, most of the time, and she was in control of her life. She was supposed to be in control of everything happening around her too, but at this point, nothing seemed to be in any sense of order.

"On some cosmic level, I'm sure this is funny ha ha too, but right now, it's just ridiculous! I can't believe that this is all going around and around-all these problems! One day we have a child in our home that we love and nurture-we spoil him rotten we love him so much. We have a perfect family. Our children are smart, well rounded individuals-they excel in school, and have grown into beautiful people. One of them is dating a loser, the other is . God knows, he's the loser at love. I love Jonathon, but he's not excelling socially right now at all. Mother is making her rounds around the city again, and I love her, but if I have to get her to use her 'ways' on one more client while I sit home in my bathrobe eating ice cream.you're going to school, and you're not going to be my housekeeper forever.Then what? And my clients think I'm an idiot because I'm not as well versed in the sports world as they are. We get separated on the plane, we come during the national convention of sitcom addicts, and the only car we can get is a mini-van. Then, you lose your hotel room to one of those freaks?"

"Look, it's not liked I planned for everything to go wrong!" Tony couldn't believe how guilty she was making him feel for something he had absolutely no control over.

"I'm not blaming you-I'm just saying that this trip isn't working out at all! You're supposed be relaxing, I'm supposed to be getting things done, and I feel like I'm running circles around a cage." Angela sighed as she dropped into the chair. "And I can't even keep track of all the things that are going wrong!"

"You know what," Tony began, instantly regretting where this conversation was about to go. "I'm gonna call the airline and see if I can change my reservations for today, instead of Sunday evening."

"What?" Angela asked in shock.

"You don't need me here, I'm only adding to your problems. It's best if I go back, and then you'll have the room to yourself." Tony stood up from the edge of the bed, and grabbed his duffel bag from the corner. Before he could pull the airline ticket out of the bag, Angela was on her feet.

"You can't!" She said decisively. Angela was having a hard time dealing with all of the happenings with him around her, but if she were alone, and separated from him for that long, could she handle it?

"Excuse me? I'm driving you nuts here, and I can."

"No, you can't leave me.with the sitcom addicts, that is. I can't deal with them-no way." Angela watched Tony's expression, hoping to see a change in his demeanour. Still nothing. "And it's not you driving me nuts, it's the circumstances. Everything is blowing up in our faces."

"Look, it's not helping-having me here."

"But it is. These damn business meetings have been going so badly, and you've been helping me-when I get back, and we go out for dinner, I feel so much better. Really."

Tony's posture softened greatly, realizing that it might be possible that she needed him as much as he needed her. "If it's gonna be awkward for us to share this suite, I don't want to stay."

"We live together, Tony, seriously, we can share a hotel suite." Angela tried to sound nonchalant, but in truth, the idea of sharing a room with him did make stomach turn little flips. It wasn't as if she didn't trust him-she trusted him with everything in her life. There wasn't anything kept secret between them, except perhaps her feelings for him.

"But we have a hallway between us, and Jonathon's room. That's like, 27 steps." Tony hadn't realized it, but he did know how many steps there were from his bed to Angela's. He had counted them once, just out of boredom, he told himself, but he never forgot.

She blushed at the number, wondering sometime if there might be fewer steps between them at night. Permanently, she corrected, because if she could persuade him to stay for the rest of the week, they'd be sleeping much closer together.

"27 steps, or whatever, you're still my best friend, AND we're two grown adults. I can't think of any reason we shouldn't be able to do this!"

If she had any reservations at all, she was hiding them much better than he was, he decided, because his stomach was doing somersaults and he could feel his heart beating faster. The one time he had shared a bed with her- by accident of course-he had slept better than he had in a long time. He would be well rested coming off the vacation, assuming he could fall asleep.

"I'll stay, but if there is any hint of this not working out for us, I'm on the next plane out-I don't want to make you uncomfortable and I don't want to stress you for no reason."

Angela couldn't hide her excitement. "Great," she said enthusiastically.

"So, uh, I'll just.sleep on the chair."

"Oh, um, that's not going to be very comfortable-and it will be terrible for your back."

"No worse than the floor will be."

"We'll have them send up a cot-that will help." Angela grinned-things were turning out so well.

***

Tony lay in the tiny cot, wondering if the hotel staff had expected him to be a midget. It was about four feet long, and two feet wide. The width wasn't so much a problem as his legs were proving to be as they hung over the edge, his knees catching the cold metal bar at a sharp angle.

"That doesn't look very comfortable," Angela stated, looking over her book towards Tony.

"I've slept in worse," he tried to downplay. "I was twenty years younger and shorter then, but." his voice trailed off.

"And you're SO old now," she laughed.

"Hey, age is only a state of mind," he declared, and sat bolt upright in the bed. At the exact same moment as he came to a sitting position, hands and arms outstretched behind him, the cot closed on him, and tumbled on its side.

"Oh, my God, Tony, are you alright?" Angela asked, racing to his crumpled body on the floor, still trapped within the confines of the cot.

"Uh," he said, pulling himself from the wreckage, "I think so. I may never have to worry about having kids again, though," he tried to joke, obviously having been injured by one of the bars in the collapse.

"Well, can you stand up?"

"Ya mean I'm not," he teased, slowly pulling himself to his feet and trying not to think about the pain in his groin.

"Ha ha," she mocked, offering her hand to him.

"I'm fine. Not sleeping on that though-it's a death trap!" Tony hadn't considered what the other options (or lack there of) were.

"Get into bed," Angela said, watching him hobble over to a chair.

"Your bed?" He asked nervously.

"Well, technically it's the hotel's bed, not mine." She pulled back the blankets on what would be his part of the bed, got in and patted the spot beside her. "Come on."

As he got into the bed, he felt his heart beat faster. Being beside her, in bed, would be too much for him, he was sure.

Pulling the blankets up over his waist, Tony watched as Angela settled in to her pillow, tugged the blanket around her, and closed her eyes.

"Yeah, this will work," she said softly as she reached over and turned out the light.

Before long he could hear her breathing even out to a slow, rhythmic hum, and when she rolled on to her side, facing him, he couldn't help but watch her.

There was no doubt in his mind that Angela was the most beautiful woman he'd ever met. She had the most amazing figure-she was tall, and slender, with legs that ended at her neck and beautiful eyes. And she had the most perfect lips, that he wished he could spend the rest of his life kissing.

While she was sleeping, she seemed so peaceful. Her lips curled in a small smile as her hand found its way to Tony's chest, to find its way to its final position strewn across his hips.

At first he considered moving her arm away, but it was a fleeting idea- after feeling her hand on his body, he couldn't imagine ending their connection.

This is gonna be a long night, he told himself, as fantasies of a potential life with her ran through his mind.

Chapter Four: Slow Turning Tide

Waking up was the last thing Angela wanted to do. The bed was warm, and she felt perfectly at home curled into Tony's side. It didn't hurt that his arms where wrapped around her, and that his one hand played with the back of her nightgown.

She could tell that Tony was still asleep-he wouldn't be that forward if he were awake, but she didn't mind. It was a little piece of intimacy that she had wanted for so long, and now she was getting to experience it.

Angela could feel the rhythm of his breathing change beneath her arm, and she knew that he'd be waking up soon. That meant that the space between their bodies would increase, and she'd have to pretend to still be asleep.

The games, she realized, had been a part of their lives since he walked through the door of her house all those years ago. When he broke his leg, she made a point of trying to please him, and there was a power struggle. When Tony took her class, there was an issue because neither lived up to the other's expectations.

For a handful of years, they had been dancing around each other, trying not to be the first one to 'break'. She wanted to stop the charades and say 'look, I love you, damn it, and I'm sure you love me too, so let's give up, give in, and get on with our lives.' Of course, getting on with their lives included pursuing a relationship-she couldn't pretend otherwise-but she wanted to get to that point.

His arm shifted away from her body, and she tried not to wince at the loss of contact. Angela had been expecting it, she reminded herself, but she still wasn't quite prepared for it.

Tony rolled away, his back to her. Had she been able to open her eyes, she would have seen a smile on his lips, but she couldn't have-she didn't want him to know that she wanted him to hold her. She didn't want him to know how much she wanted him to make the next move.

Chapter Five: Business Associates

Flinging the door shut, Angela tossed her keys on the oak stand beside the bed. "Damn it," she shouted as she flung her body down against the mattress.

"Hey, hey, hey," Tony said, rushing out of the bathroom. "What's going on?"

"Tony?!" Angela asked in shock, quickly appraising his wardrobe and the body that was revealed by the lack of one. "I thought you were going to do the 'dead Hollywood' tour?"

"I was," he responded, his intonation revealing how concerned he was for her, "But I went for a walk that turned into a jog, and I wanted to shower first." He wasn't about to tell her that she had distracted him.

"Oh."

"Now, you can tell me what has you so upset!" Tony sat down in the chair across form the bed and hunched his body forward, apparently still aware of his state of undress.

"Why don't you, uh, get dressed first and then we'll talk." She tried to sound non-chalant but it was difficult to focus when he was almost naked in front of her.

Looking down, Tony suddenly realized that he was only wearing a very short towel. "Yeah, I'll be. right back," he stumbled.

***

"Sorry 'bout that," Tony said as he exited the bathroom. "I heard you, and I was worried. I didn't even think."

"Thanks," Angela offered hesitantly. "It's been a bad day and I'm getting too tired to mask my contempt for my clients."

"What's going on," Tony asked, as he settled on the edge of the bed. He knew that whatever was going on was almost killing Angela, and he hated to see her upset.

"Cregg and Donavon, those stupid idiots, want me to fly out the highest ranking male member of my staff because they don't feel that I can adequately understand their products." Angela's fingers kneaded the pillow in her arms.

All of her life, she had been fighting to make herself an equal-and for the most part, it had worked. She was welcomed into the advertising world as a strong executive, with a fledgling but employable company. Angela had become a name in the industry, only further proving that she wasn't going to just disappear. She was head strong, smart, and damn good at what she did but through it all there were still things she couldn't do-like talk sports or honestly explain what a man wanted. If she could do either of those things, she rationalized, she would have Tony by now.

"They're worried you don't understand protective gear?"

"Cregg's exact words were: 'when was the last time you wore a cup?'" She winced as she recalled the details of the conversation.

"That." Tony began, searching for the right word.

"Tony," Angela interrupted. "It's a fair enough argument, I guess." She tried to further rationalize her horrendous day.

"No, no it's not Angela! They're not going to find a stronger agency than yours. Yes, you're a woman, and you're brilliant. 'Sides, being a woman isn't like you're missing a leg or anything."

"But they want a man to talk to, and there's not much I can do but try to find one for them."

"I'm here," he pointed out.

"I know you are, and I am so thankful that you are." She meant it. Tony had a way of making her feel better at the worst of times, and this was no exception.

"I mean, I'm here and I could fill in as your man," Tony smiled. "What's the big deal?"

"What?"

"I could pretend to work for you-it's not much of a stretch, I already do. You could prep me for whatever, we could both take the meeting and they'll feel better." Tony watched her expression. When she continued to stare at him in surprise, he decided to bring out the big guns.

"I played sports for a while professionally, I live sports, and I was born in a cup, so what more could you want? They want a male go-between, and you don't need it, so why not use me to appease them, and keep control of your account?"

"You're on vacation," Angela finally said.

"So? It could be fun-I get to watch you in action and discuss sports."

"You're sure you don't mind?"

"Positive," he beamed.

"Then let's get to work," Angela announced.

***

The meeting had gone particularly well-almost to the point where Angela wondered if she was employing Tony in the wrong capacity.

"You were superb," she said, kicking off her shoes and unbuttoning the top button of her blouse.

"Well, you were.amazing."

It was extraordinary the way that he stepped up to the challenge and offered input. Angela tossed out the campaign ideas while he talked about the male perspective and periodically injected sports talk. Cregg in particular had been impressed that Angela was employing a former athlete.

"So I should buy you dinner now," Angela offered, "to thank you for once again coming to rescue."

"Eh oh, oh eh! I did almost nothing. I was there."

"I know, and it meant a lot." Angela went to the closet and pulled out a turquoise spaghetti strap dress. "Get dressed," she ordered, "and we'll get out of here."

Chapter Six:

The week had followed the same patterns as it began on-there was lots of confusion, and lots of things to fix, but regardless of what was going wrong in their lives, every day seemed to end on a good note, with Tony and Angela getting into bed and nervously pulling the blankets up around their bodies.

Everyday began with the same romantic awakenings. Their hands would entwine through the night and Angela would bring her body closer to his, resting her head in the crook of his arm.

Nothing more had happened, since they'd shared on their first day in Los Angeles. Not to say that they weren't close to having more happen at any one point, but they had stopped themselves, for reasons which confounded them both. They had agreed to wait and see, and yet they both seemed too scared to do anything to determine the repercussions.

The entire week had turned into separate mini-adventures. Angela would go to work, do her necessary work, and return to the suite. A couple of evenings, they had gone out for dinner and talked.

Tony had taken Angela out dancing one night at a jazz club he found on Sunset. It was fun, it was hip, and it gave him a chance to be near to her, and touch her without having to be brave and make any other moves.

Packing their bags to leave the hotel, Angela couldn't believe how sorry she felt for the week. She felt like Tony deserved so much more than she had been giving her-more than a one night dance partner, one night make out partner. She couldn't bring herself to the point of making a move herself, and since she couldn't, it was impossible to fathom what he could want from her.

This is turning out to be quite the wasted week off for you, isn't it?" Angela said quietly. "The idea was that you were supposed to get a break and instead you're keeping me together and saving my accounts." Leaning back into her chair, Angela began to wonder why he was still there-every other man in her life had always left before all the cards were dealt. But not Tony.

"It's not a waste," Tony stated as he cautiously took her hand in his. When she didn't pull away, he tightened his grasp. "I've been spending time with my best friend in the world, and helping her through a couple of hard times-this has been everything BUT a waste."

The look that passed between them was remarkably intense, and neither one wanted to break away from it. Seconds passed and the continued to sit in silence, and soon the seconds became minutes as they soul searched and decided what they might want from the other.

"Tony," Angela said, finally breaking the silence. "I want you to know that your being here-not only in LA, but in my life, means more to me than almost anything else in the world. If it weren't for you, I don't know what would have happened to me or Jonathon. You've stood by us through absolutely everything and in the hardest times, you really did carry us," Angela finished, tears swelling in her eyes.

"Eh oh, oh eh," Tony used the thumb of his free hands to wipe away the tears that trailed down her face. "You've been there for me and Sam-hell you welcomed us into your home and family. You amaze me. And as for anything I've ever done for you, I've done it because you're my best friend and have been for years. There's nothing I wouldn't do for you."

Angela smiled, realizing that their lives truly were an interwoven tapestry. "I know," she said, smiling.

"Good."

"Kiss me?" Angela asked, hoping that the moment would be as natural as all the others they had shared that day.

Wordlessly, he leaned in and pressed a gentle kiss to her lips, their free hands finding each other and entwining their fingers. This kiss was like none other that they had shared. For once there was no nervousness, and no fear of what it would do to change their relationship.

When their lips finally parted, they both smiled, know that this was a whole new ball game, and that they'd face the future together.

The End