It Could Happen
By: Dolphin Princess and Elfkin Girl
The place was crowded. But it always was on Friday nights. She looked around the club for any new faces. The same DJ played the same songs, like he did every night. Then again, living in a small town like she did, she should have been used to it.
Brande turned around to see one of her good friends Samantha waving her over to the bar.
"Sam!!" she called back, and walked over to her friend.
Sam smiled, and turned towards the bartender, "One Strawberry Margarita, and one Beer please." Sam turned back to Brande, who by now had made her way to the bar.
"Get me my usual?" she asked
"Uh huh." Sam nodded, as the bartender put the drinks on the bar. "Thanks," Sam said as she grabbed her beer.
Brande picked up her Margarita, and drank it slowly.
"Are you ever gonna' try anything new?" Sam asked Brande, looking at her frosty covered glass.
Brande shook her shoulders and took another sip. "Only when they make a beer that taste like Strawberries."
Sam laughed, and turned towards the dance floor. "So, anybody new?"
Brande sighed and put her drink down, "Not as far as I can see. Same thing every Wednesday. We REALLY got to get out of this town!"
Sam put her drink down, and grabbed Brande's hand. "Well, girl. Until we do, let's go make our own fun, K?" Sam started leading Brande towards the dance floor.
"Sam, are we seriously gonna' dance by our self’s?" Brande said raising her eyebrows.
"Well, do you have a better idea?" Sam said standing 's by a table, that had a few guys in it.
"Well, I have an idea." Brande and Sam both turned towards the voice, to see it had come from one of the men at the table. The table lighting was dim, so neither of the girls could really see their faces.
"And that would be?" Brande asked skeptically.
Two of the five men stood up and walked towards the two girls. Only when their faces were clearly in the light did Brande and Sam fully register that these men where cute. Real cute.
The man with dark brown eyes turned towards Brande and held out his hand, "Well, you could dance with us instead," he smiled. Brande returned the smile weakly, as the man led her out onto the dance floor.
Sam watched Brande and the man go, and slowly turned her attention to the man in front of her. She was mesmerized by his dark blue eyes. He smiled, and bowed from the waist. "My lady. If you would be so kind as to dance with me?"
Sam smiled, and nodded her head, as she to was swept out to the dance floor.
The blue eyed man who grabbed Sam's hand swept her out onto the dance floor and pulled her close as a slow song began. She settled her hands on his shoulders but that wasn't comfortable and she wasn't sure where to place them.
"Here let me help..." He said and pulled them behind his neck.
"Thanks. I never know what to do with a new guy."
He smiled. "I can think of a few things."
Sam blushed and looked away, not knowing what to say. She tried to catch Brande's eye but she was staring too deeply into the eyes of the other guy.
"So what's your name?" His voice broke her out of her daze.
"Huh? Oh Sam, short for Samantha and yes I'm female."
He laughed. "Believe me I noticed."
Sam blushed again. "Quit that. I'm not used to compliments."
His eyes widened. "You're not! Are the guys here blind?"
"Apparently. Nah, there just isn't a lot of guys my age in this town."
She looked at him closely. "You look kinda familiar... you live around here?"
"Nope, me and my buddies are traveling. The names Josh."
Sam smiled. "Nice to meet you. How long will you be in town?"
"A few days."
The song ended and Josh thanked her for the dance. "You want to come and meet the rest of my friends?"
"Sure." She noticed Brande and the other guy heading toward the table and smiled at her friend.
Brande caught Sam looking at her and gave her a thumbs up, nodding her head toward the guy. She mouthed, "His name is Joe."
Sam rolled her eyes and turned her attention back to Josh who was introducing everyone at the table to her.
"And these are our friends, Justin" Sam looked towards the man that Josh had pointed out. The young man 'boy almost' thought Sam, stretched out his hand, and shook both the girls "Nice to meet you." Sam smiled back, and turned her attention back to the next guy at the table. "Next is Christopher," Christopher stood up and reached out for Sam's and Brande's hand, "Pleasure." Sam heard Brande giggle and turned to see Joe whispering in her ear, 'I gotta' get that girl alone.'
"And last but not least, James." Sam smiled at the young man. He leaned over and kissed her hand. "Well, its certainly nice meeting you." he brought his light green eyes over to Brande, "And you to ma'am." He said, and kissed her hand two.
Brande and Sam, both raised their eyebrows, and looked over at James. "Very smooth," Sam said.
"Thanks, I've been taking lessons" James said looking over at Joe.
Joe laughed and put his arm around Brande's shoulders. "When I told you that, I didn't think you'd try them on my girl."
At that Brande looked over at Joe, wide eyed. "Who said I was your girl?" She asked grinning.
Joe looked down at her, and smiled, "Are you saying you want the green-eyed monster."
Brande smiled again and looked over at James. "Well, I don't know." she teased.
At that moment, Joe tipped Brande back, leaned down and kissed her harder, and more patiently then she had ever been kissed before. Sam stared at the couple, along with the rest of the guys.
"Hey, Joe, breathe man breathe." Justin called from the table. Joe slowly stood back up bringing Brande with him.
Brande took in a struggled breath, and shook her head, to get the stars from dancing in front of her eyes.
"What about now?" Joe said, breathing heavily.
Brande looked up at Joe, and smiled, "What was the question again?" Joey smiled back, and sat down on a chair, bringing Brande down with him.
Sam stared at her friend for a few moments, before turning back towards Josh.
He looked at her and raised his eyebrows, "Well," is all he said, as he grabbed two chairs for Sam and himself.
Sam sat down next to Josh, as Brande began to ask questions. "So how long you guys in town for?"
Josh looked over at Christopher, who looked over at Joe, who in turn looked at Justin. Then all their gazes settled on James. James smiled, and took a sip of his drink. "Three days, then we're off to the next town."
Sam nodded, and called for the waitress to bring her a beer. She turned back to the guys, "SO what do you all do?"
"We're...uh.." Justin looked over at Josh wide eyed. Sam looked from Justin to Josh.
"We are..in..the..uh....magazine business." Josh said, smiling slightly.
"Oh really?" Brande said, "Do you write articles, or take photo's?"
"Umm..no," Christopher said picking up on Josh's vibe," We...uhh..."
"Sell them. Yeah, we sell magazines." Justin said causing all five men to laugh a little.
"Oh.." was all that Sam said, "Uh..Brande..I have to..uh..use the rest room. Can you come with me please?" She looked at Brande and tilted her head to the side.
"Uh yeah..sure," Brande said confused, "Uh..I'll be right back," she said to Joe, as she and Sam headed towards the restroom.
When they got in..Brande turned towards the nearest mirror and began to fix her hair. "What was that all about?" She asked Sam, who was leaning against one of the stalls.
"Well, don't you find it the least bit interesting that they all had to stall to tell us what they do?" Sam said, as Brande reached into her purse pulling out a hair brush.
"Yeah, So?" Brande said, brushing her hair.
"Well, I don't know..but..they're hiding something." Sam looked down at the ground and noticed something that had fallen out of Brande's purse. "Hey you dropped this," Sam flipped it over, and noticed it was a sticker of one of their favorite groups. "Hey, cool. Where you get this?" Sam said waving the sticker around.
Brande looked over at Sam, "That? Oh..the grocery store. I couldn't resist you know? They are just way too cute. Especially Joey. Omg...how funny. The guy I met tonight is named Joe. Hmm..wonder if they know each other?"
Sam laughed and looked at the sticker again. She focused in on her favorite JC. 'Dang he looks a lot like Josh. Wait...' Sam looked at the picture again, and then remembered what the guys at the table looked like. "Oh My God.." she whispered loud enough for Brande to hear.
"What? Sam? Sam what is it?" Brande said, coming up to Sam, and looking down at the sticker.
"Brande look real good. Then remember the guys at the table. Omg, I can't believe I didn't catch it sooner. CHRIStopher, James? Oh..Lance..JUSTIN...omg..JOEy..Josh." Sam sighed.."JC."
She heard Brande inhale quickly.."Sam..please tell me I'm imagining things or are the guys we are sitting with..dancing with..OMG..I kissed one of the guys in...." Brande turned wide eyed to Sam.
Sam looked at Brande's wide eyed expression in the mirror and started laughing. She laughed so hard that she clutched her sides and slid down the stall and landed on the floor with a thunk. Brande just stared at her in shock.
"Oh lord" Sam said wiping her eyes. "You should have seen your face."
"Oh...Shut up!" Brande said, still in shock but finally getting a hold of herself.
"Now what?" Sam asked, standing back up, struggling not to laugh again.
"I guess we go back out there and..." Brande trailed off.
"And?" Sam questioned.
I don't know." Brande threw her hands in the air. "NSYNC is out there, they asked us to dance, and JOEY KISSED ME!"
Sam slapped her forehead. "Oh give me a break. Get yourself under control. They are normal guys who obviously don't want us to know who they are or what they do so lets just go out there and have a good time."
Sam headed toward the door but Brande's question made her stop. "Girl, how can you be so calm? JC, your JC, is out there obviously interested in you and you're not jumping up and down for joy?"
Brande watched Sam's eyes glaze over. "I know...isn't it great?"
Brande laughed, slapping her upside the head, causing Sam to join in the laughter and the two walked back out into the bar.
The minute the girls had left. Lance and Chris simultaneously had smacked Justin and JC.
"We're in the magazine business?" Lance said incredulously.
"We SELL magazines?" Chris choked.
"What else could I say when nimrod said we were in the business?"
Joey sat silent. "Why didn't we just tell them we were in the music business... Lance could have been a producer as well as Justin cause that's what they do."
"Right and like they wouldn't have been suspicious of that due to how young we are."
"Sorry, dudes, it was the first thing that came to mind. We can play it off or just tell them the truth, I guess." JC said.
"If they ask, we'll fess up, otherwise we can hope they didn't pick up on anything." Chris said.
Lance rolled his eyes. "Yeah right, the redhead was giving us all looks like we were psycho or something. They know something is up."
Justin looked up just in time to see them cross the room. "Shhh, here they come. Act like nothing was out of the ordinary."
Brande and Sam walked towards the table that the group sat at. They we're all sitting there, hands folded on the table, looking everywhere but where they we're coming from. 'Oh yeah, that isn't obvious' Sam thought. Sam looked at them quickly and looked back at Brande wiggling her eyebrows at her. Brande tilted her head, and furrowed her eyebrows. '
"Just play along," whispered Sam, as the JC stood up when they had reached the table. Sam turned towards JC, and gave him a huge smile, "Why what a gentleman." JC blushed a little as he pulled out her chair.
Brande stared at Joey raising her eyebrows. "Aren't you gonna' get me a seat to?"
Joey grinned and grabbed her around the waist, and plopped her down on his lap. "Hey!" she laughed as she came crashing down on his lap.
"What, you said you wanted a seat. Right?" Joey said, as the rest of the guys at the table began to laugh.
"Yeah, yeah..well..." Brande began, but caught a look from Sam, that said, quite.
"So...Josh?" Sam began as JC turned towards her wide eyed.
Sam smiled and began her attack. "You guys sell magazines. That's pretty cool. What kind?" Sam leaned across the table, and smiled at Chris.
Brande stifled a giggle, as Chris's eyes began to grow as big as saucers. "Umm...well..you know..all kinds...uh....Mechanic Weekly..uh....RedBook..."
"TeenBeat?" Brande cut in nonchalantly.
Lance who had been taking a drink of his coke, began to cough violently. Justin reached around and hit him on the back. Sam looked at Brande and smiled slightly. Brande nodded her head in a thank you move.
Chris looked over at Lance's red face, and looked back at Brande.."Uh..yeah...I guess that's in there too."
Joey nervously spoke up. "Uh..are you interested in a subscription?" Four heads swiveled in his direction, all with looks of horror on their faces. At that comment Brande and Sam began to laugh uncontrollably. 'This is just too much' thought Sam, as she saw the looks of uneasiness across their faces.
"Hey Brande, umm....why don't you go and try to get the DJ to play a song."
Brande caught the look from Sam, and started to laugh. "Sure Sam. I'll be right back..Joe." Brande said, as she made her way to the DJ’s booth.
"So..uh..." JC began looking at Sam, as the rest of the guys eyes followed Brande to the DJ booth. "What do you do for a living Sam?" Sam laughed..'If he only knew.'
"Well, I'm almost out of college. Brande has a few more years left."
Justin eyes shot over to Sam, and he smiled slightly. "Students..cool."
Sam looked over Joey's head in time to see Brande come bopping back to the table. She laughed at the expression on her face. "So, you pick a good song?" Sam asked.
"Of course my dear. I picked one that we both LOVE." she said stressing the last word.
All the guys turned towards Brande, who by now had a grin from ear to ear.
"Really, what song is that....." Chris began, but even before he finished the song had begun.
"IT'S TEARIN UP MY HEART WHEN I'M WITH YOU...."
"AND WHEN WE ARE APART, I FEEL IT TOO...."
Brande winked at Sam and headed out to the dance floor. Sam started to follow but turned around at the last minute. "Don't you guys want to dance?" She smiled.
The expressions on their faces were priceless, she thought. Every one of their jaws had hit the table and Lance was busy coughing as he had just taken a drink of his beverage.
Her smile changed to a frown. "Is everyone alright?"
JC quickly stood up to cover their mistake. "Yeah, your choice in music just surprised us. Didn't know that you were fans of this type?"
"It's great to dance to."
"Uh...yeah." JC turned to Joey and looked at him. The rest of the guys still wore expressions of shock and JC nodded his head over at Brande who was yelling, "Joe, you comin'?"
He nodded and sprinted out to the floor to dance. JC and Sam laughed at him and soon danced over to where they were at in the middle of the floor. Sam looked over to the other three guys and noticed the little huddle as they were frantically talking to one another, trying to figure out if they knew or not. Lance and Justin would assume that the girls knew while Chris would play devil's advocate and try to convince them that they didn't while secretly agreeing with the two of them.
Sam, next looked over at Joey and Brande and saw that Joey was trying hard not to do the choreography. She caught Brande's eye and pointed at Joe, causing Brande to cough, as she tried not to laugh. Brande pointed back at JC, Sam's gaze following her finger back to JC and saw him also trying not to. That was it, Sam stopped dancing and started to laugh.
"What's so funny?" JC asked, eyeing her as if she was crazy.
Sam looked at him with a huge smile on her face. "You must like this group too, you seem to know all the choreography."
JC’s face turned red. "Well...uh...you know in the magazine business...you uh, have to interview groups and..."
"But, I thought you said you sold magazines?"
"Right, but we..uh...do some free lance on the side as well."
Sam grinned. "Really..."
JC eyed her expression and sighed. "You know don't you?"
"Know what?" She asked.
"That we're...uh...not in the magazine business."
"I kinda figured when y'all stumbled over what you did. So, what do you REALLY do?" She smiled slyly.
His eyes widened in shock. Did she really not know! "We're..."
Sam raised her eyebrows, waiting for JC to finish.
JC sighed again and took a deep breath, "We'll me and the guys are really......"
"Glad to meet great girls like you." Sam and JC both turned towards the voice behind them. JC’s mouth dropped to see Justin standing there moving to the beat. "And it's nice to know we're not the only people who like this kind of music, right JOSH?!?!" Justin stared hard at JC, trying to get the point across.
Sam smiled and looked over a JC, who by know had a very confused expression on his face.
"Ummm..yeah..right...what he said."
Sam began to grin at Justin’s attempt to cover up. "You still didn't tell me what you guys do for a living." By now the song was over and Brande, Joey, Chris and Lance we're already at the table.
"Well, I was just about to get to that, but first..is there a less crowded and noisy place we could talk?" Justin said, walking with JC and Sam back to the table.
"Umm..there's a Denny's up the street." Sam said, shrugging her shoulders.
"DENNY'S?!?!?!" Brande and Joey both shouted at the same time. They looked at each other and started laughing.
Sam laughed, and turned towards JC, "That's her favorite place."
JC smiled and looked over at Joey, "His to." At that the whole table laughed.
"So, I take it we're going to Denny's?" JC asked, grabbing his coat.
"Guess so." Sam said, signaling the bartender for her tab.
"I'll get that." JC said following her to the bar, while everyone got their stuff together.
"Nah, it's cool. I've got it."
"No, seriously, let me."
Sam turned and smiled at him. "Just because I'm a poor college student doesn't mean that I can't afford A beer. Thanks, but I've got it."
JC eyed her and finally shrugged. "Fine, have it your way."
"Thank you. I'm so glad you finally see it my way." She paid for the drink and grabbed her coat from behind the bar.
JC raised his eyebrows at that. "Come here often?"
Sam laughed. "Every Wednesday, Brande and I meet here so that we can touch base and hang out. Brian...the bartender...has been giving us a bad time ever since we first started coming in here."
"You're on a first name basis?!"
"I'm not a lush... I just like the atmosphere."
Sam smacked him on the arm. "Hush."
They headed out the door, meeting everyone at the cars.
Brande and Joey were going to ride in her car and it was just a matter of splitting up who was riding with who for the rest of everyone.
Sam headed over to her Jeep Wrangler, waving to Brande that they would meet them there. JC and the rest of the guys followed her and stopped by her car. The guys all started cracking up when she unlocked the door.
She frowned at them and asked, "What?"
Chris pointed to the same colored Jeep Cherokee parked directly next to it and told her that was Josh's.
She laughed. "Good taste."
He smiled. "Thanks. So who's riding with who?"
Lance and Justin offered to ride with Sam, leaving Chris with JC. They all hopped into the two vehicles and Sam rolled down the window. "It's not hard to find, just take a left at the entrance to the parking lot and you'll see it a couple of blocks down." She told JC.
He nodded that he heard her and backed out of his spot and drive off. Sam started the jeep and reached for her CDs, grinning at the two young men in her car. "Any music preferences?"
Lance leaned forward from the back. "No, anything is fine."
Sam laughed and grabbed her *NSYNC CD for pure torture and popped it in and put the car into reverse and followed JC out of the parking lot.
"Hope you guys don't mind listening to this again..."
She thought she heard Lance groan but she wasn't sure.
Justin choked out a "No, it's fine" before falling silent and staring out the window.
She glanced at his profile and saw the clenched jaw and turned the music off just as she pulled into the Denny's parking lot.
She saw Brande, Joey, Chris and JC standing at the entrance waiting for them as she pulled into a spot.
"By the way, I wanted to tell you guys that your music got me through four years of college and is still getting me through it. You really are one of kind guys." Sam told them, then opened the car door and walked over to the group, leaving Justin and Lance with their mouths hanging open in shock.
*Inside of Denny's*
"I still don't get it," JC said, as he turned towards Sam, "So you two knew the whole time?"
Sam laughed, and looked over at her menu. "No, not until a sticker fell out of Brande's purse, that's when we figured it out."
"What sticker?" Joey said, turning towards Brande.
Brande sighed, and covered her face, "One of the kind you get in the grocery store." The guys all turned to her, and smiled a little.
"Oh really?" Justin asked, grinning from ear to ear.
Brande turned towards Justin and swatted him in the head with her menu. "Shut up Fro Boy." The rest of the guys laughed at their antics, as Justin desperately tried to fix his hair."
"Hey..girl watch the hair." At that Sam, started laughing hysterically, "Hun..I think it's a little hard to miss."
Justin stuck his tongue out at her, as the waitress appeared at the table.
"Are you all ready to order?" she asked looking at everyone.
Uh..yeah..I'd like...the French Slam please." Brande said, "And a Coke."
Joey grinned and folded up his menu, "I'll have the same."
She took JC's, Sam's, Lance's and Justin's order to, then came to Chris. "And what would you like sir?"
Chris grinned, and said in a very loud voice, "I wanna' Ruity Tootie Fresh and Fruity please!" The waitress stared at him like he was nuts. "What!?!?" Chris asked looking at the rest of the group.
"Umm..Chris man, that's IHOP, we are at Denny's" Lance whispered to Chris.
Chris's face turned red, and he looked up at the waitress again, "Hee, sorry. Okay,. then I'll have some of those chocolate chip pancakes, with the smiley faces and a glass of chocolate milk." He folded up his menu and handed it to the waitress.
Chris turned and looked at the rest of the group who all had their eyebrows raised at him. "What!?!?!" he said again, which only caused the whole group to laugh, including Chris himself.
The waitress brought their food, handing over Chris' last with a dirty look before leaving them to eat. Everyone dug in and the only sounds heard were forks clanging and glasses being picked up and put back down.
Brande sat back with a sigh after devouring her food and noticed Joey finishing right along with her. She smiled and the two began laughing at how much alike they were.
Sam looked over at the two freaks and rolled her eyes before directing her attention over to the rest of the group. "So what brings you to our wonderful, attractive town?"
Justin and JC both had just taken a bite so they looked over at Lance who stopped with his fork midway up to his mouth and sighed before setting it back down. "Why me?" he muttered. "We're in town to shoot our next video for the new single that comes out next month."
"Which song is that?" Sam asked, leaning forward.
Justin swallowed then smiled. "It's classified. If we told you, then we'd have to kill you."
Sam glared at him. "Watch it fro-boy. I'm older than you, you're supposed to respect your elders."
Justin wiggled his eyebrows at her. "I’m watching it and am definitely liking what I'm seeing..." He leaned forward. "Did I tell you how much I like older women?"
Sam eyed him. "Stay on your side of the table, youngen. I don't want to have to take you down."
"Oh please do." He grinned flirtatiously.
Sam sighed and stared at the ceiling. "What did I do to deserve this?"
This statement caused everyone to laugh and a lull in the conversation happened.
Chris looked around the table. "So what are you girls studying?"
Sam smiled. "Environmental Law. I'm gonna fix the problems in the government and save the world."
Lance raised his eyebrows. "Someone's an idealist."
"Nope, just living in my imaginary world."
Joe turned to Brande. "What about you?"
"I'm undecided yet. There's just way too many options for me and when the time comes, I'll decide. Until then I'm just doing whatever I enjoy."
They talked a little bit more about school before a loud shout was heard from the back of the restaurant.
At the sound of a loud, angry, female voice, both Sam and Brande sat straight up in the booth before looking wildly for a hiding place.
"BRANDE! SAM! Were you going to leave me to work in this dump without letting me know you were here. Sandra *their waitress* remembered you coming in with me last week and told me my friends were sitting out here with a group of guys and forgot to tell me they were here."
The girl finally got to the table and stood in front of them with a fake chef's hat adorning her light brown hair with her hands on her hips.
Brande spoke first. "Shanna...uh...well... you were working and..."
Sam tried to help. "We just didn't think..."
Shanna's eyes flashed at them. "Obviously..."
Sam and Brande looked back and forth to each other as Shanna continued to stand there, looking very VERY angry.
Brande, knowing Shanna the longest finally decided to talk. "Well, you see Shanna, it's...well, I mean...we didn't want to.....uh.." Brande turned to Sam, who was trying to hide behind JC. She looked at JC who had a very bemused expression on his face.
"Ma'am..what the ladies are trying to say, is that they didn't want to get you in trouble with your boss, so they thought playing it low key would be the best over all..uh...way to go about it." Brande, Shanna, and Sam (who was now peeking from behind JC's shoulder) all looked at Chris, who except for the last bit, sounded very mature.
Shanna's eyes narrowed a bit, before she smiled, "Uh huh..doubtful..but it sounds good....Sam, you can stop hiding now."
Sam leaned back into her side of the booth, and smiled up at JC, "Umm..sorry about that."
Jc smiled shyly at her, and winked, sending chills down her spine, "No problem sweetie."
"Hey Shanna..are you working or gabbing?!?!" a voice called from across the Denny's.
Shanna looked back at the voice and shouted, "I'm on a break!" And to prove her point, sat down in the booth squashing Lance into Brande and in turn pushing Brande into Joey.
"Sorry" all three said at once, and then started laughing. Shanna looked over at Sam, who looked very cozy with the guy she was next to.
"So Sam..good buddy 'ole pal..who are these guys," she said sweeping her hand around the booth. Sam shot a look over to Brande, wide eyed. Brande looked from the guys to Shanna, and bit her bottom lip.
"Well, umm...Shanna...umm.." Brande looked at Joey, and then scanned the rest of the guys faces. Shanna looked at the expression on Brande's face.
"What?" Shanna said, looking at the guys again...then something in her head clicked.."Wait a minute I know who you guys are..."
Sam and Brande both sighed waiting for the rest. Brande leaned over and whispered in Joey's ear "Sorry." and waited for Shanna to finish connecting all the pieces.
"Oh My God." Was all Shanna could get out. All five guys looked at her with their eyebrows raised, waiting for her to finish.
Shanna looked at Brande, and then to Sam..as a huge grin spread across her face.
"It's the Meat and Cheesy boys."
All five guys stared at her in bewilderment while Sam and Brande immediately broke out in deranged laughter. Brande started shaking her head no, trying to get the word out, while Sam just continued to laugh. She was giggling so hard she started to slip down in the booth and almost fell under the table.
JC grabbed her before she fell but when he was helping her up, Chris adjusted his position and moved JC closer to Sam causing them to knock heads on her way back up.
"OUCH!" Both yelled and feel backwards away from each other, knocking Chris and Shanna out of the booth as everyone was pushed like dominoes.
Sam held one hand to the side of her head and glared over at Chris. "Thanks, bunches."
JC held the opposite side of his head and started to laugh. "Man, we sounded like two coconuts hitting together." He reached over and knocked on her head with his knuckles. "Are you sure anything is in there, it sounded hollow."
Everyone cracked up, while Sam's face turned as red as her hair. "Once again, thanks bunches." She muttered before staring at her food in embarrassment.
"I was just teasing you." JC leaned over and whispered in her ear.
Sam turned and glared at him before turning away again.
"JC is in the doghouse." Justin crowed. "Are you sure you're not into younger men?"
Sam's lips twitched in repressed laughter but she continued to stare at her food ignoring everyone.
Shanna smiled at her friend before turning back to the group. "So if you're not the Meat and Cheesy Boys...Oh I know...you're..."
Brande and Sam looked at Shanna again, wondering what else was gonna' pop into her head next.
"The Backstreet Boys!" Shanna said, raising her hand in the air, in a triumphant salute. At that all five guys groaned and Brande and Sam started laughing once again.
"Oh...my...god...Shanna.." was all Brande could get out. She began to laugh so hard, she was crying. Sam kept hitting her head on the back of the booth. Sam began to calm down enough to speak, "Shanna, now come on...I know you know."
Shanna grinned, and took of her "hat" to fix her pony-tail. "I know, I just wanted to see the expressions on their faces."
Sam, Brande,and Shanna all started laughing even more, leaving the guys with very confused looks on their faces.
Lance turned towards Sam, lifting his eyebrows, "Do ya'll normally do this to strange men that you meet?"
Sam grinned and took a deep breath, "Only when they are the object of every 12 year olds fantasy."
Brande grinned and looked slyly towards Joey, "A few 19 year olds to," she whispered towards Shanna.
Joey raised his eyebrows, and bent down close to Brande's ear, "Anyone in particular?" he whispered.
Brande shivered and tilted her head so that he mouth was inches away from Joeys. "Maybe..who wants to know?"
Joey began to lean in closer when he heard a cough from the other side of the booth. Joey and Brande looked up to see everyone else staring at them, with very amused looks on their faces. Joey and Brande's faces began to turn a dark red, as they sat up in the booth.
Brande looked towards Shanna, who's eyebrows were wiggling up and down.
Shanna turned back towards the cooking area, "Yeah, I'm coming." She put her hat back on.
"Okay gals, see you back home. Brande, you still house sitting right."
Brande pushed a lock of hair that had come lose behind her ear, "Umm…yeah...till next Friday…so we got the house to ourselves"
"Coolio...nice sorta meeting you guys. Hope to see you around."
Shanna began to head back to the kitchen when she heard Chris's voice call out, "You can count on it!"
Shanna turned around real quick, and waved to the group. Sam leaned back in the booth, and sighed. "Shanna...." was all she said, shaking her head back and forth.
"So what's this about house sitting?" Justin said, turning towards Brande.
Brande took a sip of her soda, and looked over at Justin. "Oh. Well, the people I usually babysit for went on vacation, taking their kid, and left me the keys to the house to watch it."
"Cool." Justin said nodding his head.
"Umm guys…did anyone check the time?" JC said looking up from the conversation he and Sam we're having.
Lance looked at his watch and slapped his head, "It's 4 a.m."
All the guys groaned, as Sam and Brande looked at each other. "What..s.o it's late." Brande said
JC slid a hand over his face, and looked over at her. "We have a 7 a.m. rehearsal."
"Ouch." Sam said, reaching over to rub JC's back soothingly.
"I guess that means time to go guys." Lance said getting up out of the booth. He reached in and grabbed Brande's hand, pulling her up.
"Thanks." she said.
"No problem." Lance smiled and started walking towards the front door, where Chris and Justin where already.
Brande shook her head in wonder, as Joey came up behind her.
"I'm gonna' have to find somebody else for him to use those lines on." Joey said, putting his arm around Brande's shoulders.
"Why have problems with him using them on me?" She said, as they began to walk towards the door.
Joey looked down at her, he had a very serious look on his face. "Maybe I do." Then he grinned and kissed the top of her head.
*Outside of Denny's*
"So…uh…I figured maybe…uh…you know...since we're gonna' be in town for a little longer maybe I could…well...I mean...me and the guys could...uh..." JC stumbled as he stood outside Sam's Jeep.
"Just ask the girl for her digits already...geez!" Justin yelled over to them as he was heading towards JC's jeep.
Sam laughed and turned back towards JC, whose face was now a bright red. "Umm…yeah...Uh...I was thinking maybe I could call you. Sometime?"
Sam smiled, "Here. This is my pager and my cell number, since I don't have the number of the house I'm staying at." Sam got out a piece of paper and wrote down the numbers, handing them to JC.
JC took them, and folded it carefully. "Thanks. I guess I'll talk to you later then."
"Yeah, I guess so." Sam said, starting to get nervous. JC looked around quickly, and leaned down and kissed Sam gently on the lips. Sam closed her eyes, and soon the kiss was over before she knew it.
JC leaned his head up a bit, and stared into her eyes. "Wow." was all he could say.
"Yeah." Sam said, smiling.
JC straightened up, and started walking backwards. "Okay well then I'll…woah..."JC stumbled over the curb, and caught himself just in time.
"Are you okay?" Sam yelled.
JC grinned and stood up agian. "Yeah…I'm okay...Bye Sam. Talk to you later."
JC turned and climbed into his jeep, where Joe and the rest of the guys where waiting.
"Bye." Sam whispered, as they drove away.
"So...." Sam turned to see Brande standing next to her, leaning against her car.
"So?" Sam said raising her eyebrows.
"Did he ask you for a number?"
Sam smiled and shook her head up and down, "Yup. You?"
Brande grinned, and pulled her car keys out of her purse, "You betcha'"
Sam laughed, as she pulled out her keys, and opened her door.
"Brande?" she called over the top of her Jeep.
"Yeah?" Brande said, as she opened up her car door, and started to get in.
Sam wrinkled her brow, and tilted her head. "Think they'll call us?"
Brande smiled when she remembered JC's performance in the parking lot, and Joey's words to her in Denny's. She began to smile and looked over at Sam "You know what Sam...I truly honestly believe they will."
"Okay, take a break, guys and then we'll come back and work on that dance sequence again before tomorrow's shoot." Darren called out and walked off to talk to the producer of the video.
Justin and Chris immediately dove for the water cooler while Lance dove for the coffeepot.
Joey laughed at Lance as he drank the caffeine in deeply. "Remind me why we were out so late again last night?" He asked.
"Cause it was our last real night of freedom." Joey said.
"To you Joey, every night is your last real night of freedom." Chris called out before collapsing.
Justin sat down beside the older man. "I'm hurting, but I don't even want to know how much you are."
Chris glared at him. "Watch it youngen, I can still take you."
Chris pounced on Justin and began to pummel him, Joey and Lance sat back at a distance and just watched the duo.
JC walked over to his bag and grabbed his wallet and phone and sat down and stared at the two objects. He pulled out the piece of paper and read the number. He mouthed the numbers out loud then stared back at the phone. "Should I call her? No. She won't want to go out. A girl like her...a college girl, nonetheless... she'd want someone who could be there for her all the time, not someone who would be there every few months...but then again..." JC started arguing with himself over whether or not to call her.
Joey and Lance exchanged looks and rolled their eyes then looked back to the figure sitting on a chair not far from them with his back to them, talking to himself.
Joey smiled and winked at Lance before walking up behind JC. JC was so entranced with the number that he didn't realize Joey was there until the phone and piece of paper were plucked from his finger tips. Joey looked at the number, dialed it and handed it back to JC and walked back to Lance, who by now had been joined by Chris and Justin and were all laughing at JC's dumbfounded expression as he stared at the now ringing phone in his hand.
He quickly put it up to his ear when he heard a voice saying "Hello? Hello? Is anyone there? If you don't answer soon, I'm hanging up."
"Finally. Hi, who's this?"
Sam's mouth dropped open, as she sat back against the couch. She looked over at Brande who was sleeping sideways across the lazy boy.
"Hello?!?!" she heard coming from the phone.
Sam shook her head, and remembered the phone. "Oh...hey…uh.… JC...ummmm…sorry...it's early"
"Did I wake you up? Dang I'm sorry Sam. Do you want me to call later?!?!" he asked nervously.
Sam smoothed her red hair on her head, and pulled her feet underneath her. "No it's really okay JC…I didn't get to much sleep last night. I had a lot of things on my mind." 'like you' she thought.
"Yeah me too." JC sighed, and turned to see Justin throw Chris to the ground and put him in a headlock. "Hey, Justin…watch it man." JC yelled to the guys.
Sam laughed, "What are they doing now?"
JC sighed, and rubbed a hand over his face, "Well, Justin thinks the rehearsal hall is the ring for WWF, and is trying to Pile Drive Chris."
Sam laughed again, "Sounds funny."
"Sounds loud." Brande mumbled from her position in the chair.
Sam turned and saw Brande start to sit up. "Awe, dang Brande, sorry. Did we wake you?" Sam said.
"Wake who?" JC asked.
"Who's we?" Brande said, yawning.
Sam laughed and answered both questions at once.
"Well, JC...we seem to have woken up Brande."
Brande grinned, and stood up. "JC!?! Really. HEY JC!!" she yelled loud enough for him to hear.
JC laughed, "Hello Brande."
Joey looked up from the wrestling match, and hit his hand to his head. "Shit!" he said.
"What!?!" Lance said, looking away from Chris's reversal.
"I was supposed to call Brande this morning." Lance started to laugh as Joey went diving for his duffel bag, and fished out his cell, and his wallet.
JC looked over at Joey, and laughed as he started dialing the numbers.
"Tell Brande to head to the phone." He said
Sam switched the phone to her other ear. "Why?" she asked, as Brande came out of the kitchen with a bowl of cereal.
Cause, she's gonna' get a phone call." he said, leaning back in his chair.
Sam heard the phone ring, and laughed. "Too late. Hey Brande get that."
Brande raised her eyebrows, since she had a mouthful of cereal. Sam shooed her towards the phone, and Brande shrugged her shoulders and picked up the phone. "Mellwo?" she asked.
Sam started laughing as Brande's eyes got really big, and she started walking towards the kitchen with the phone in her hand.
"Mnngule...oh..Sorry Joey..I was eating..hey."
Brande disappeared into the kitchen, as Sam turned her attention back to the phone.
"She get the phone?" JC asked.
"Yeah, she walked into the next room with it to."
JC smiled and watched Joey walk out of the rehearsal room. "You know those two or more alike then I thought."
Sam started heading up the stairs to her room. Along the way she passed Shanna's room. She looked in and noticed she was fast asleep with the lights on. Sam laughed and turned off the light, and shut the door.
"Why's that?" she asked as she got into her room.
"Because, Joey just walked out of here to."
Sam laughed again, and laidd down on her bed. "So…how's today going so far?"
Joey laughed as he walked out the rehearsal hall's door, and walked down the hall, before leaning up against the wall, and sliding to a sitting position. "Really...watcha' eating?"
"Apple Jacks." Brande said, scooping up another bite.
"Ohhh sounds good can I have some?"
Brande laughed, "Hmmm...are you asking to stay for breakfast?"
"Sweetie..we haven't even talked dinner yet." Joey said, smiling.
Brande smiled, "Well then we'll have to work on that huh?"
Joey laughed, "Dang girl. You're almost as good as me!"
"Should that be a compliment?"
"Umm..depends." Joey said
"If you think I'm good." Joey laughed as he drew patterns on the ground with his fingers.
"Well," Brande began, "I don't know about that yet either. First dinner. Then we'll decide if your good or not."
Joey began laughing again, "Oh..I see...Okay..well how about tonight then…after the shoot."
Brande stood up to put her bowl away but had to set it back down. "Are you asking me out on a date Mr. Fatone?"
Joey grinned, "Maybe…depends on what you would say."
"And if I said yes?"
Joey grin got bigger, "Then I'd definitely be asking."
Brande smiled, and remembered Sam, "Okay…but on one condition."
Joey frowned for a second..'oh well, what the hell' he thought. "Sure what's that."
Brande grinned, "One...you tell me what video your shooting, and two…Me, Sam, and Shanna gotta' be there, to see a bit."
Joey's eyebrows wrinkled. "Why ya' wanna' go?"
Brande smiled, "So Sam and JC can talk…in person."
Joey grinned, "Gotcha'. Okay...the video is for Promises, and you know where the old chuch is…up along Old Ranch Road."
Brande thought for a minute, "Umm, yeah...I think so…near the University right?"
Joey thought for a moment. "Yeah that's it. Anyway, can you and the other girls be there around.....2ish?"
Brande looked down at her watch, "It's only 10 a.m...so yeah…we can make it."
Joey laughed, "Good. So I'll see you later right?"
Brande grinned, "Yep, then we'll talk about dinner."
"Okay, till then. Bye Brande."
Brande hung up the phone, with a grin on her face, as Sam came walking back down stairs and in to the kitchen.
"What's the grin for?" Sam asked, as she fixed herself a cup of coffee.
"Go wake up Shanna."
Sam looked at Brande like she was crazy, "Why the heck would I want to do that???"
Brande grinned bigger, "Because my dear, at 2:oo p.m. we are going to be at a video shoot, with a certain boy group we all know and love."
Sam looked sideways at Brande. "And just how did you manage that???"
Brande grinned and held up her pinky. "I have that boy wrapped around my wittle finger."
"You mean that "boy" just wants some action." Sam grinned.
"Maybe another time." Sam laughed.
"I'll recind the offer before you decide to take me up on it."
"Oh...just... I'm gonna take a shower." Sam laughed and ran for the stairs.
Brande's eyes widened. "No, I'm first."
"Nope...already there. Get Shanna up." Sam yelled down the hallway.
"But...But..." Brande whined. "You were supposed to... Oh fine."
She heard the shower turn on across from Shanna's room as she poked her head in. "Oh Shanna..."
"Time to get up..." She creeped into the room.
"Get up you lazy bum!" She yelled into her ear.
Shanna sat straight up in bed then glared at Brande. "Was that necessary?"
Brande laughed. "Yup, get up and get ready. We're going to the guy's video shoot this afternoon."
"Why do I have to go..." Shanna leaned back on the bed. "All you and Sam are going to do is flirt with the guys and leave me out."
Brande grinned slyly. "I'm sure you wouldn't be too left out...Justin told us last night about how he's into older women...you might just be able to make his night."
Brande ducked out of the room before the pillow could smack her in the face.
The girls climbed into Sam's jeep and headed over to the location. They decided to park at the University due to lack of parking spaces that the trailers had taken up. They walked over to where everyone was running around, setting up cameras, getting equipment ready, but no sign of the guys. Sam looked around the place until she finally spotted five bodies dancing by a tree located on the far side of the trailers with another guy watching them. They could faintly hear him laughing about something that had to do with their embarrassment on national TV if they didn't clean up their choreography. The girls looked at each other and walked over to where they could get an up close and personal view of their total embarrassment.
Darren finally yelled for a break and Joey checked his watch for the millionth time that afternoon. He hadn't told the guys that the girls were coming cause he wasn't sure of their reaction. Justin glanced over at Joey and raised an eyebrow. "Late for an important date?"
Joey quickly glanced up. "Huh? Uh...well...no...not really."
Lance smiled. "What did you do now?"
JC glanced over at the trio. "Come on, Joey, you can't lie worth anything. What'd ya do?"
"I...uh..invited the girls to come and watch."
Chris took a drink of water. "Is that all? Fine with me."
The other guys nodded and shrugged and began to work on individual moves. Joey's jaw dropped but he quickly shut it when he saw three females laughing at them from beneath the tree. He wandered over and smiled down at them. "How are you three fabulous women doing today? I see you all got your beauty sleep after out late night escapade last night."
Shanna's eyebrows shot up as she looked up at Joey, "They weren't kidding."
oey frowned and tilted his head, "Who wasn't kidding?"
"Everyone who's ever met you. They all say you're a huge flirt, but now I believe them. You're almost as bad as Brande." Shanna said, nodding her head in Brande's direction.
Brande began to feign innocence, as she made her eyes round, "Me?!?! A flirt. Not me." She shook her head vigorously.
Sam and Shanna both started laughing. "And she's over-dramatic." Sam said, as she looked over to where JC and Justin where talking.
"Yeah, well." Brande smiled. She looked over to where Sam was staring. She grinned and looked up at Joey. "Are you gonna' take us over to the other guys, or are you just gonna' keep us all to your self."
Joey pretended to think about it, "Gee I don't know. Hard decision."
Shanna watched Brande and Joey flirt back and forth, and turned towards Sam who was still staring at JC.
"Well, here. I'll make it easier for you. Come on Sam." Shanna said, as she grabbed Sam's arm and pulled her towards the rest of the guys.
Joey laughed, as Shanna yelled over at the guys. "Well, I guess that just leaves you."
Brande raised her eyebrows, "Is that a problem, I can always call Shanna back." She opened her mouth, ready to call for Shanna, when Joey put his hand over it.
"No. I think you'll do just fine." Joey smiled, as he removed his hand.
Brande grinned, "You didn't have to put your hand over my mouth. There are other ways of getting me to shut up."
Joey smiled, and brought his head down to where her face was. "Oh really? And how is that?"
He inhaled slowly, as he watched her lick her lips.
"If I told you, then I'd have to kill you." she said, repeating Justin's words of the previous night.
Joey inched his face closer to hers, and whispered, "I have the feeling that even if you did have to kill me, I'd die a happy man." He slowly closed the gap, and kissed her gently on the lips.
Brande pulled back slowly and sighed. "Umm...that works."
Joey laughed quietly, and straightened back up. He looked over towards the rest of the group, then back at Brande.
"Umm, you wanna' go for a walk?" he asked.
Brande smiled nervously, "Sure." Joey reached for Brande's hand, and took it in his own.
"Well, then come on." He said, as they began to walk up a hill that was near the old church.
*Back with the rest of the group*
Shanna watched Brande and Joey walk up near the old church and disappear around the corner. She smiled, and elbowed Sam. Sam looked at her questioningly. Shanna pointed over towards the spot where Joey and Brande were, and then over to the church. Sam chuckled, and turned back towards the rest of the guys.
"What was that? Some sort of Female code?" Justin asked, looking back and forth between Sam and Shanna.
Shanna laughed, "No, I was just pointing out that, your good friend, just took off with our good friend, behind the church."
Lance looked over towards the church. "I was wondering where Joey and Brande went."
Chris laughed, and elbowed Lance in the ribs.
Lance stared wide-eyed at Chris, and hit him in the shoulder. "No, dofus. Don't make me get Justin to take you down."
Chris's mouth dropped open, as Justin began to laugh. "Hey since when did I become your body guard Lance?"
"Children, behave." JC said, looking at the other three guys.
Yes Daddy." They said in unison.
Sam and Shanna started laughing at their antics.
"You guys are too much!" Shanna laughed.
Sam giggled a bit more, and looked over at JC, who was staring at her. They both looked away quickly.
Chris grinned, "Hey Shanna. How about I show you the set? Lance. Justin, wanna' come?"
Shanna, Justin and Lance all got the point, and began heading off towards one of the trailers. A little ways away, Sam saw Justin put his arm around Shanna. "So, how old are you?"
Sam started laughing, as Shanna lifted up Justin's arm, and tilt her head at him.
"I've got a girlfriend already. Thank you."
Justin's mouth dropped, as Chris, and Lance began laughing hysterically. Justin quickly recovered, and laughed as well. "Oh well." She watched them go down the hill, leaving her and JC alone.
JC looked over at Sam, and noticed how the light hit her face, making her looke almost angelic. Sam turned towards JC, and caught him staring at her again. They both smiled, and JC walked over towards a bench, and sat down, patting the seat next to him.
Sam walked slowly over, admiring the way JC's muscles moved under his tight green shirt. Sam sat down facing him.
"So.." JC began.
So.." Sam answered.
They both looked at each other again, and laughed. "Why was this so much easier on the phone?" Sam laughed, as JC began to grin.
"The hardest part was calling you up." He said, grinning.
"Really, why's that?" Sam said, tucking a piece of lose hair behind her ear.
"Nervousness," JC answered, and looked over at Sam, "I was so nervous Joey actually dialed the numbers for me."
Sam's mouth dropped open a bit, and she began to laugh.
"You're kidding." she grinned. "You Mr. Superstar Extrordinaire, was nervous about calling me?"
JC smiled sheepishly at Sam, "Believe it or not yeah. After all, it's not every day you meet a girl who takes your breath away every time you look at her."
Sam's eyes widened in shock and she opened her mouth to speak but no words came out.
JC laughed at her expression and reached over and settled his hand on hers before entwining his fingers in hers. "You do, you know." he said quietly.
"Huh?" She said snapping out of her funk.
"Take my breath away. You are so..."
She lightly slapped him on his arm, silencing him. "I don't take compliments well, remember?" Her face beginning to match her hair color yet again. It tended to do that around him.
He reached a hand up and moved a stray strand of hair that had fallen into her face behind her ear. He lightly ran the back of his knuckles down the side of her face, following the trail the entire way with his eyes.
Sam sucked her breath in at the light touch and was once again struck dumb when their eyes met. Both, subconsciously began to lean closer and as their lips were about to meet...
"Positions! We're going to run through the opening sequence now. Places everyone."
Sam and JC both quickly sat back from each other, eyes wide.
"I...I need to..."
Sam nodded. "You have to go to work. No problem."
"Are you going to be around for awhile?"
"As long as you want me to."
He nodded. "Stay, I'll come find you when we're finished."
"Okay, I'll be here."
He stood up, took one last look at her before sprinting off to the field where they were shooting.
Sam saw three other bodies sprinting but not Joey.
Shanna came up and sat down beside her and with a frown looked around. "Where's Brande? Has she come back yet?"
Sam shook her head no. "Nope, and it looks like Joey is going to be hurting if he doesn't get over there soon."
All of a sudden a body came flying from around the church, smoothing his hair back as he ran over to the rest of the guys.
Shanna laughed. "Oh there he is..."
Sam looked over to the spot where he had come from and saw another person, slinking her way over to where they sat. "And here she comes..." She said with a grin.
Brande made her way over to where they sat and sat down.
Sam and Shanna both wiggled their eyebrows at her with questioning expressions.
"What?" She said innocently.
Sam eyed her. "You might want to fix your lipstick and your hair before trying to play Miss Innocent, Brande."
Shanna started laughing as Brande blushed and smoothed down her hair, while wiping the rest of her messed up lipstick off.
The girls settled down to watch the making of the video but it was hard to grasp the concept of what was happening because they didn't film it in order, mainly wanting to get the dance and individual shots done first before moving into the story line.
The first scene they worked on was the five of them out in the field walking around and doing some slow choreography to the beautiful lyrics.
It must have been the climax of the song because Sam watched JC get into the music and start his "conducting". She began to giggle and put a hand up to stop the flow of laughter.
Brande and Shanna looked over at her as if she had gone nuts before turning back to watch them.
The looks on their faces nearly sent her over the edge again, so she got up and decided to walk over and sit near the tree and watch.
The guys went to change for the next scene and on their way to the wardrobe trailer, they stopped to talk to the girls.
Sam was no where to be found and Brande and Shanna both shrugged their shoulders, not having seen her walk off.
"I'm sure she's fine. Probably just went to find a bathroom." Brande said.
"Or something to eat." Joey spoke up.
Chris slapped him upside the head. "No that would be where you'd be if you had wandered off."
JC looked around, hoping that she hadn't left when he spotted a small figure, leaning up against a tree, asleep.
"Found her." He said with a small smile. "You guys go get changed. I'll be there in a few."
They nodded and headed off to the trailer after telling the girls that there was only a few scenes left and it would probably be another hour or so.
JC, meanwhile, walked over to where Sam was asleep on her side, her arms pillowing her head. He hunched down and moved a strand of hair behind her ear. She's so beautiful, he thought. He rubbed his hand down through her hair before making up his mind. He leaned down and gently brought his lips to hers before sitting back up.
When he opened his eyes, it was to find two startled blue ones looking up at him.
"I guess that's one way to wake me up..." She said softly before, blinking away the sleep with a small smile and sitting up.
JC smiled as Sam yawned. "Tired?" he said.
Sam nodded, "Just a bit." She started to pull her self up.
JC reached down his hand to help Sam up. She reached up and took his hand. He tugged her up, bringing her body next to his. Sam inhaled deeply, smelling his aftershave. It was spicy, but not too spicy. At the same time, JC could smell a fruity smell coming from Sam. He inhaled deeply, and found that the smell came from her hair. "Strawberries?" he asked, looking down as her.
"What?" Sam looked up and was caught in his peircing blue eyes.
JC grinned, "Your hair. It smells like Strawberries."
Sam smiled shyly, "Oh, that. It's my Shampoo. You know Red head, Strawberries. I guess I thought it just goes."
JC inhaled again, "Oh, it definitely works."
JC and Sam turned to see Justin waving his hands at them.
"COME ON MAN!!! YOU GOTTA' GET CHANGED!!!"
JC turned back towards Sam, "I gotta' get changed I guess. You girls gonna' stick around for a bit longer?"
Sam looked over at Shanna and Brande. "I guess so. Someone had to keep an eye on those two."
JC looked back over the group. "Which two?"
Sam pointed towards Joey and Brande, "Those two. Look at where Joey has his arms."
Sure enough there was Joey, inching his arms around Brande's waist. JC nodded his head, "Yup, that's Joey for you. He's always like that."
Sam frowned a little, and looked up at JC. "JC this may sound strange…I don't know...maybe I'm being overprotective but..." Sam looked down.
"What? What is it sweetie?" JC lifted up Sam's face to see worry in her eyes.
"It's just. Well, it's Brande. You see, she may be a big talker, but she wears he heart on her sleeve. And guys see that, take advantage of her, and she gets her heart broken every time. She won't say anything, but Shanna and I know. We can see it in her eyes. She looses that sparkle." JC watched the sadness sweep across Sam's face. "Shanna and I try to watch out for her. We really do. But in the end it's her life you know. She does what she wants. But, I don't wanna' see her get her heart broken again. Not by him. If he's messing with her I need to know JC. I need to know now." Sam looked into JC's eyes waiting for his responSe.
JC sighed and looked over at his friends. He looked back to Sam, and sighed again, "I'm going to tell you straight out Sam, Joey's track record with women isn't the best. We mean it when we say he can't have just one girl."
Sam sighed, and looked down again. JC took her chin in his hand, and lifted it again, "But, and this is a big but here. I think that maybe, just maybe this time, Joey may have met his match in that small girl there."
Sam smiled, and looked over at her friends. "She sure is something." Sam said.
"Yes, she is." JC agreed. "I'm going to go get dressed. I'll meet you down there okay?"
"Sure." Sam said, as JC bent and kissed her gently on the lips.
"Don't worry about it." He whispered, and took off towards the trailers.
Sam headed towards the rest of the group, when she heard Brande telling a story. One she knew way to well.
"So there we were, in the middle of the night, sleeping cows all over the place, and me, Sam, and Shanna trying to knock one of them over." Shanna began laughing along with Chris and Joey.
"Do you have to tell this story. I hate this one." Sam said, as she stood next to Lance and Justin.
"You just don't like it, because of what happened." Brande said.
"Well, what did happen?" Lance asked looking over at Sam.
Sam sighed and began to finish the story, "Well, as we we're trying to tip this cow over, I guess I had an allergic reaction or something because I began to sneeze like crazy."
By then JC had finished dressing, and was standing behind Sam, with his chin on her shoulder.
"And?" Joey said, laughing a little.
"Well," Brande finished, "I guess Sam's sneezing woke the cow up, cause next thing we know, we are being chased out of the pasture by this very angry cow." All the guys started laughing by now, as Shanna picked up where Brande left off.
"So Brande and I jump the fence, and as Sam starts to jump, she slips in a pile of cow crap and falls flat on her back in the stuff!"
Everyone, including Sam was laughing by now. "It wasn't that funny you know." Sam giggled.
"Yeah it was!" Shanna said, "What was funnier was seeing you strip out there down to you underwear cause Brande wouldn't let you in the car!"
"She smelled like cow dung!" exclaimed Brande
"That's because I was covered in it, dork!" Sam laughed back.
"Dang, I wish I had been there." Justin laughed with an evil gleam in his eye.
"Why, so you could see me covered in cow crap?" Sam said, eyeing Justin carefully.
"No, so I could see you in your underwear." Justin laughed.
Sam's mouth dropped open, "Oh that's it. Run Fro Boy!" Justin started laughing but then took off in a full run as Sam started after him. JC laughed, and took off after Sam. Lance, Shanna and Chris looked at each other and grinned.
"Oh yeah. Let's go watch Sam beat the youngin'" Chris said, as he, Shanna and Lance ran after JC.
Joey stood there for a moment watching everyone else take off towards the main event.
"We're not going too?" Brande asked looking up at Joey.
Joey grinned, and spun Brande around in his arms, "Why. They all just left us alone. Finally!" Joey tilted his head down, adn moved in for a kiss, but Brande caught on and quickly ducked out of it.
"Oh no you don't Mr. Fatone. Not this time."
Joey grinned, and began stalking Brande. "Oh really who says?"
Brande grinned, "I do!" she stared to walk a little faster backwards.
Joey grinned wider, "Oh really...and what if I catch you."
Brande stopped, and stuck her tongue out at him, "Who says I'm going to let you?" and with that she turned around and took off at a dead run.
Brande took off after the rest of the group with Joey hot on her heels. She couldn't see where everyone else had gone but ran in that direction anyway. She glanced over her shoulder. Nope, he was still there. "Hey, Joe, you'll never catch me... Agggghhhhh, ugh!"
Brande tripped and fell right onto Justin and Sam where Sam had tackled Justin and was proceeding to tickle him.
"Brande.... get off. You weigh a ton." Sam muttered under Brande.
Joey stood over the pile of limbs and started to laugh. "Can't catch you huh....looks like I just did." He bent down and picked her up by the waist and set her down on her feet.
"Oh well...now that you caught me what are you going to do with me." Brande smiled flirtatiously up at him.
"The possibilities are endless..." He replied as his head dipped down towards hers.
Several throats cleared causing Brande and Joey to look over at the group who was now trying to be inconspicuous.
All of a sudden a loud groan was heard from below. "Could someone please get this cow off of me?" Justin called out from his position under Sam.
Everyone began to laugh and JC walked over and helped Sam up.
She groaned and checked her ribs. "Yeah but I think Brande broke every one of my ribs when she fell."
"Guys! Time to wrap this project up. Only a few more scenes to go and then you're free." The director called out. "Oh and Justin, get cleaned up and quit flirting with the girls.
The rest of the video was filmed while there was still enough daylight. The concept behind the video was that it started with this little girl who lost her parents in a car accident and then as she grew up, more things happened to her, her boyfriend broke up with her, grandparents died, heart breaking things and at the end, Justin (the main love interest of course) is promising to help her heal and make everything all right for her. The last scene filmed was Justin singing to the girl with the sun setting behind them.
"That's a wrap!" The director called. "Take the evening off and be here bright and early tomorrow for editing and splicing, guys."
"Thanks Dave." they all called out and ran for their trailer to change.
Sam, Brande and Shanna waited outside and were trying to come up with a plan for that night.
"Well Joey asked me to dinner tonight but what do we want to do after that?"
"I have the night off, so I'm free for whatever." Shanna said.
Sam shrugged. "I'm always up for a night out."
An arm slung around her shoulder. "With me of course right?"
"Sorry, youngen... not with you."
"You're breaking my heart, Sam..." Justin grinned down at her.
"I'm sure all the 12 year olds in your fan club will offer to mend it for you."
"Ouch, you wound me...I only have eyes for you."
"Oh, save it, that is about the..."
"Hey, man...Sam and I are going out tonight." JC said sliding his arm around her waist from the other side.
"No, she already promised me." Justin said grinning at the older man over her head.
"No, as I recall...."
"Boys!!!!" She laughed. "We can all do something, I'd hate for anyone to be left out."
"I'm hungry." Joey said as he got to the group. "Let's find something to eat."
Lance groaned as he stepped out the trailer. "You are ALWAYS hungry..."
"Well, this time he's not the only one. Coffee and muffins just don't do it for me anymore." Chris said, finishing up buttoning his shirt as he came toward the group. "Where's a good sit down place?"
Shanna glanced over at Brande. "So much for your date...looks like they come as package deal."
Brande smiled slightly, then turned back to the group. "There's TGIFridays, Olive garden, numerous chinese places..."
"MMMM, Chinese..." JC whispered in Sam's ear causing her to giggle.
"...the Hard Rock..."
"Sounds good." Chris interrupted. "Plus then JC here can grab a menu and remember Sam with it."
"HAHA, funny, Christopher." JC said glaring at him.
"Well, that sound all right with everyone..." Justin asked.
Everyone nodded and then started for the cars.
"Do you guys just want to follow us?" Sam yelled at them as they began to split up.
"Sure." JC called out to her.
She smiled and gave him a thumbs up, then climbed into her jeep. The girls cranked up the radio and were singing along to the guys as 'Bye Bye Bye' came on the radio. Shanna sat in the back and was singing and dancing as best as she could.
"Have I told you just how ORGAZMIC this song is lately?"
"Every day, Shanna, every day." Brande muttered.
Sam turned the music down and looked at the girls out of the corner of her eye. "So what do we want to do tonight?"
Shanna laughed. "What we do every night... try to take over the world!"
Okay brain...seriously though..."
"Well, its friday night..." Brande said looking at her.
"uh huh...and..." Sam said, flipping on her turn signal to take a left after checking her rear view mirror to make sure they were still following.
"Lets go dancing...we haven't been in a long time, well since those frat boys last month asked us."
Shanna began bouncing up and down. "Please oh please... I wanna hit on the girls... oh wait...I have a girlfriend....remember girlfriend, remember girlfriend..."
Sam and Brande laughed. "Sounds good." Sam said, smiling. "I'm sure the guys will be up for it."
She turned the music back up just as she coasted into the parking lot of the Hard Rock.
JC and the rest of the guys pulled next to Sam's Jeep, and turned off the engine. Chris started laughing, and pointed over to where the girls we're sitting in Sam's Jeep. All the rest of the guys leaned over and looked through the window at the girls.
Shanna was sitting in the back, headbanging to the music, while Brande and Sam we're up front singing to the music.
The girls didn't seem to notice as the guys got out of the jeep and walked to Sam's car. JC began to grin as Chris headed over to Brande's side. She had her eyes closed and was singing like crazy. The rest of the guys started grinning to, as he reached for the door handle.
"1, 2, 3," he mouthed, and swung open the door.
"SO BABY COME TO ME..SHOW ME WHO YOU ARE..YEAH..."
Brande, Sam, and Shanna were all singing at the top of their lungs. Shanna looked over and saw Chris with his eyebrows raised trying not to laugh. Shanna smiled weakly and tapped Sam on the shoulder, she looked over and saw Chris. Then looked behind her, and saw the rest of the guys standing around the car. Only Brande was left singing.
"You know who you are. Your love's as sweet as Candy. I'll be forever yours, Love always ..Brande....."
Chris started laughing hysterically, which made Brande open her eyes and look over.
"Oh my god!" She screamed.
Chris laughed harder. "Oh Brande, I never knew you felt that way!" Everyone started laughing as Chris bent down and picked Brande up, throwing her over his shoulder.
"Come my darling. I will take you away from all of this!!" Chris shouted, as he began to carry her towards the Hard Rock.
Sam and Shanna laughed hysterically, as Brande began to pound on Chris's back.
Chris. CHRIS!!! CHRISTOPHER ALAN KIRKPATRICK, PUT ME DOWN!!!!!!!" Brande shouted.
JC laughed as Sam came up beside him. "Would you like the same royal treatment?" Sam looked up at Jc with an amused look on her face.
"Don't even think about." JC grinned, and looked back at Chris.
Suddenly Sam felt her feet get swept out from underneath her. She went head over heels, and was suddenly looking at very familiar pair of pants.
"JUSTIN!!!!!!!" she screamed, as she began to twirl in the air.
"You never said anything about me!" Justin laughed as he stopped spinning and ran towards Chris.
Joey, Lance, JC, and Shanna all began laughing watching the girls being tortured.
"This is way to funny!" Shanna laughed, as she leaned against Lance for support.
JC began to sober up his laughing as he noticed a group of teenage girls had begun to gather. "Umm, guys, now would be a good time to go in to the restaurant." he said, pointing towards the group of girls.
Shanna looked at the girls and her eyes began to bulge, "Umm, yeah..considering that's like the resident teenie bopper crowd...now would be good."
"YO..guys!!!!" Joey called, and pointed over to the girls. Chris and Justin both turned and looked over at the girls.
Justin quickly set Sam on her feat, and reached into his back pocket, pulling out an old baseball cap. Chris debated a second before finally putting Brande down, and putting on his glasses that were in his jacket pocket.
Brande and Sam both stumbled a bit, before getting their bearings.
"I swear to god, Jus..." Sam began, as she was quickly silenced by JC, who had come up behind her.
"Umm..Sam..I know how you would love to finish with the boy, and I know many of us would love to watch, but...." he said pointing quickly to the girls. Sam mouthed an "O", as she grabbed JC's hand and began to head into the Hard Rock.
Brande reached over and swatted Chris on the head, before she and Joey went in, being followed by Shanna, Chris, and Lance.
"You could have helped you know." Brande said to Joey.
Joey raised his eyebrows and grinned wickedly, "What fun would that have been?"
Brande glared at Joey for a moment before, reaching over, and grabbing Lance's elbow.
"Well, fine then. I'll just sit with a gentleman." Brande stuck her tongue out at Joey, as she lead Lance over to where Sam and JC were trying to get a table.
Joey stood for a second with his mouth hanging open. Shanna walked by, and closed it, "Your gonna' catch some fly's standing like that." She said, as she and Chris began to follow the rest of the group. Joey shook his head for a moment before jogging to catch up with the others.
When he got to the booth, everyone was already in their seats. He noticed Brande in between Lance and Justin, with Sam beside him, then Jc, Chris and Shanna. Shanna smiled and tapped the seat next to her. "Come on, I won't bite."
Joey grinned and sat down next to her. "Unless, you want me too?" Shanna finished. Joey began to laugh, as Brande raised her head and glanced across the table. Shanna shrugged her shoulders and looked at the menu.
"Hmm..what to eat?" JC mumbled besides Sam. Sam smiled, and pointed to the onion rings.
"How bout those?" she asked.
JC looked up at her and grinned slyly, "How bout you?" Sam's mouth dropped open, as she finally caught JC's sexual flirt.
"Umm...well...uh..." Sam stuttered.
Justin laughed as he saw the look of shock on Sam's face.
"Nice one JC." Shanna said, as she flipped through the menu.
Suddenly a shrill ring came from the booth. 6 phones all were out in a blink of an eye. "It's mine." Sam said, as she answered it. "Hello??"
"Ok, I tried your house. Not there. Tried pager. Turned off. Called your mom, Brande's, Shanna's, I even sent you a fricken' e-mail. No answer. I only now remembered your cell. WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN!!!!! And it better be good!"
Sam began to laugh, as she turned towards Brande, "Nice to hear from you to Kat!"
Sam leaned back in the booth, holding the phone to her ear. "So, what's so all fired important that you just had to get a hold of me?"
Kat laughed. "Just making plans for our trip to Orlando to kidnap some very hot boyband members... you did say you were in right?"
Sam's face lit up like a tomato as she looked around the booth while listening to Kat.
"I'm just kidding. I called to find out our chemistry homework since I missed wednesday and thursday."
"Oh...umm. It's written down in my notebook at home, no wait its out in my car. We're eating right now but I can give you a call..."
Brande reached over and grabbed the phone. "hey girl, whats up?"
Kay laughed again. "Should've known the "we" included you and I'll bet Shanna is there too. Don't you guys ever detach yourselves from each others hips?"
Brande pretended to think about it. "No. We like each other too much to detach. But anyway, Sam can run out to her car right now cause we aren't eating yet. But she doesn't want to move from her spot is her true problem."
"Yeah she's getting cozy with a really cute guy named Josh in the booth at The Hard Rock."
Sam sent her a dirty look, causing all of the guys to roar with laughter. JC moved his arm from his side to sling it around her shoulders and bring her closer to his side.
Kat giggled. "The Hard Rock, huh. I'm at the University right now. How long you going to be there, maybe I'll swing by."
"Well since we haven't ordered yet...probably awhile."
Maybe I'll see you, now put Sam back on the phone."
"YES MA'M!" Brande saluted the phone then gave it back to Sam.
"Yes...." Sam asked.
"HOMEWORK!!!!! I must finish!!!!"
Sam groaned. "Fine, fine, I'm getting up."
She motioned the guys to move so she could get out, then walked toward the exit, the whole time Kat saying "MOVE MOVE MOVE!" causing her to crack up as she made her way to the car. She gave Kat the homework information and tried to hang up but Kat had to ask.
"SO.... who's Josh and don't leave out a single detail."
Sam sat down in the driver's side seat. "Well, I met him and his four friends in the bar the other night and we totally hit it off. They're all really cool and... and... I don't know what to say. I think you'll be surprised if you meet them."
"All of them there?"
"See ya soon." Sam stared at the phone as the dial tone emitted from it.
She shook her head and headed back inside. Everyone moved so she could get back inside and Sam looked at the table. There sat a plate of Onion Rings. Sam looked over at JC, "took my suggestion huh?"
"Well you weren't on the menu so...had to go for my second choice."
Sam blushed and shut her mouth.
Justin looked over her head at JC. "Another nice one...."
Sam dug her elbow into Justin's side. "I said to watch it, youngen."
"And the last time you said it, I said I was..." He wiggled his eyebrows up and down at her.
Sam slapped her forehead. "When will I learn to keep my mouth shut?"
JC leaned over to her and whispered into her ear. "I can help you with that problem."
Her eyes widened. "When did you get bold?"
Everyone laughed and the waitress came and got their drink and food orders before hurrying off.
All of a sudden, a figure stood at the table with her hands on her hips. "Ladies..." She surveyed the table. "Someone has some explaining to do. How come you get to go to dinner with five hot guys while I'm stuck working on p-chem?"
Sam grinned as Brande called out "KAT!" Kat looked around the table once again and raised her eyebrows.
Shanna laughed, "I've told you before Kat, I don't know the answers to your p-chem. You'll have to do it yourself."
Kat let out an exasperated sigh, "That's not what I meant Tinkerbell, and you know it!"
Chris began to snicker, "Tinkerbell?" he asked looking at Shanna.
"It's a nick name. Just like Brande is Keebler, Sam is Red, and Kat is Trouble."
Lance laughed and looked at Brande, "Keebler?"
Brande groaned and rolled her eyes, "My height."
"Oh." Lance nodded, and looked over at Joey who was staring intently at the two.
"Umm...excuse me guys, but was anyone gonna' let me sit down?" Kat said, still standing at the table.
"Hee hee, sorry Kat. Guys scoot down." Sam said, pushing all the guys over one. Kat put her very large book bag on the ground and scooted into the booth next to Joey.
"Dang that thing weighs a ton. Wait, I just noticed something, why isn't Joe next to Brande?"
Joey looked at Kat puzzled and Brande's eyes became as big as coasters.
"Wha-wha-what?" Brande stuttered.
Kat grinned, "Now come on Brande, you remember what you said you would do if you ever got your hands on the Joers here?" she said, as she placed one of her arms around Joey's shoulders. She looked across the table to see JC's arms' around Sam, "But it looks like Sam's plan was pulled off just fine."
Everyone turned to see Sam's head hit the table. Brande just started stuttering, as Shanna's mouth kept opening but with no response. The guys however were very interested in what Kat had to say.
"What did she say Kat?" Joey said, grinning from ear to ear.
"Yeah, come on Kat. It looks like Sam may be in on this to." JC spoke up, looking down at a very red necked Sam.
"Well, you see. What they were going to do.."
"JuJu" Brande finally coughed out, getting Kat's attention.
"Awww, shit. I forgot!" Kat said shaking her head.
"What? What? Who's JuJu?" Chris said bouncing up and down on the seat.
Brande looked across the table at Sam, her eyes dancing with humor. "Want me to tell him, Kat?" Kat sighed, and took her arm from around Joey. "No, no I don't. Never mind forget what I said." All the guys began to protest.
"I wanna know?"
"JuJu..hmm..sounds familiar?" Justin said.
All four girls began to laugh hysterically.
"What? What I say?" Justin said, as the girls began to laugh harder.
"Nothing Justin. Nothing at all." Shanna laughed.
The waitress stopped by with their food. There was a plate of nacho's, and some onion rings. There was also a plate of hot wings, and other appetizers.
"Hmm..hungry much?" Kat said surveying the food.
The girls sat back and watched the boys chow down on the food.
Shanna cast a glance over at Brande, who was taking in the scene before her. Shanna picked up an onioin ring, and caught Brande's attention. She mouthed, "Hey Joey!" and pretended to toss it at her.
Brande stifled a giggle as she caught Sam's and Kat's attention too, pointing to Shanna. Shanna agian did the "Hey Joey" thing, which caused them all to laugh quietly.
As soon as everything at the table had been eaten, and the bill was payed, (by JC even though Sam put up a big fight.) They all walked out to their cars. Kat opened up her trunk, and threw her book bag inside.
"So what now?" She asked, leaning against her car.
"Well, we were thinking about going clubbing, but now, I don't know." Sam said, leaning back in JC's arms.
"Well, there's always my place. Or the place I'm sitting for. Whatever." Brande said. Joey came up behind her, and placed his chin on her shoulder.
"You still mad at me?" he asked.
Brande grinned, "Gee, I don't know, Lance was such a gentleman and all..hmm....your gonna' have to make up for it.."
Joey leaned down and gave Brande a swift kiss on the lips.."That'll work"
The rest of the group laughed.
"So...our place it is?" Shanna said, walking over to Sam's Jeep.
"I guess so. Is that okay with you guys?" Sam asked.
"Yeah, probably better anyway, since we gotta' be up early.
"Hey, I just remembered. There's a pool at our place." Shanna said.
"Cool. Swimming!" Chris said.
Sounds all right. Kat you got a suit?" Brande asked.
"Umm..yeah..somewhere in my trunk. Don't ask why it's there. It just is."
Sam laughed, "Okay..well, since you guys don't why don't we meet you back at the house." Sam began to rattle off directions to JC as the rest of the guys got in his jeep.
"Hey Kat, want me to go with you?" Brande asked, walking away from Joey.
"Sure thing. See ya'll there!" Kat called out, as she and Brande got into her car.
"Hmmm?" Brande said, as she put on her seat belt.
"Thank you for not talking about my JuJu."
Brande grinned, "Thank you for not talking about our little road trip."
Kat laughed as she pulled out into traffic.
"Yeah?" Brande said again, looking through Kat's tapes.
"Do you realize we are going to be seeing are men, wet, in shorts?" Kat smiled at Brande.
Brande grinned, "Oh yeah."
Kat turned down the street to get to the house.
"I've just decided that life..is good." Kat said.
Brande began to laugh as Kat's smile got bigger.
"Life..is very good." Kat said again, as she turned into the driveway.
Sam and Shanna pulled into the driveway right behind Kat and Brande. The two were in some kind of deep conversation, sitting in the car and Sam held up a finger to her lips for silence and the two crept up behind the car, sat on the bumper and started rocking the car.
"AAAAAAAGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH! SAM STOP IT!" Kat screamed.
Sam looked around the car and smiled. "How'd ya know?"
"You're the only one I know who knows how much I love my car...you're asking for it, young lady!"
Sam laughed. "Young lady??? I'm older than you."
Kat climbed out of the car. "So?" She put her hands on her hips.
Shanna put two fingers to her lips and whistled.
"GIRLS! Inside wich ya."
Sam and Kat turned and looked back at each other and soon their lips started to twitch and they started to laugh. Shanna and Brande looked at each, shook their heads and headed inside with Sam and Kat hot on their heels.
The girls went their separate ways, Kat went to change, Sam went to the kitchen for some water, Brande went to check on the pool and Shanna headed over to the stereo and started flipping CDs. "What do you want to listen to???"
"Toss in whatever, girlie." Sam yelled from the kitchen.
Shanna flipped through some more and smiled. "I found the perfect one." She placed the CD in and pressed play.
"There you are....looking as fine as can be...in your fancy car, I can see you looking at me...."
She knew the minute the first few words came out of the stereo...
"SHANNA!" Sam came running from the kitchen laughing.
She looked up innocently. "What?"
"Baby what's the deal, would I be so forward if I told you how I feel...I'm so for real...are you feeling my timbs, my baggy jeans, my thug appeal...."
Sam started to dance around the room, quickly joined by all of the girls. The song ended but Kat ran over and turned it back on. "We need an encore, right ladies?"
Sam laughed, then jumped on the couch to dance. "I'll admire his thug appeal any day of the week, thank you."
"Is that so?" JC asked from the doorway.
Sam fell off the couch in a big heap as all the girls stopped dancing, Kat running for the bathroom to grab a towel to wrap around her waist as all the guys entered into the room, laughing at the spectacle.
Brande looked at Joey with her eyes sparkling. "Don't you guys know how to knock?"
Joey shrugged as the rest of the guys followed him in the room. Justin walked in and set his UNC bag on the floor. "Well, if the door had been closed. We would have knocked. But it wasn't so we just came on in." Justin said
Sam crawled off the couch, and walked over to JC, "Uh..hey." she smiled as he leaned down and gave her a kiss on the nose.
"Hey to you to. Now what was this about my thug appeal?" he smiled down at her.
"What thug appeal?" Shanna whispered to Brande.
Brande started to laugh, causing JC to look up. "I heard that." he said.
"You were supposed to." Shanna answered back, as Chris and Joey walked over to join the two.
"Hey bud, sup?" Shanna asked giving Chris a high five.
"Nuttin. Just ready for some fun. Where can we change?" Chris asked, looking at Brande.
"Well, there's a bathroom down here. Umm..the room I'm using....Shanna's, Sam's...uh..Kat's using the bathroom upstairs.."
"Not anymore." Kat said, as she came down the stairs with her bikini top and a sarong around her waist.
Justin looked up at Kat and whistled. He hopped up the stairs and met her on the landing. "Hey baby wus up?" he asked pinning her against the wall and him.
Everyone watched from below as Justin tried to make his move. Brande giggled, and Joey looked at her with his eyebrows raised. "What?" he mouthed.
Brande just shook her head and pointed to the landing.
Kat smiled, watching her JuJu put the moves on her. She slowly reached out her hand and rested it on the hem of his t-shirt. Justin looked down and slowly raised his eyes to hers, grinning like a mad man. Kat's smile got bigger as she slowly inched her hand up underneath his shirt. Justin's eyes rounded slightly as Kat began to stroke his abs. She grinned again and started to bring her hand lower. He gulped thickly as her hand hovered above his belt buckle.
Kat laughed lightly as she took her hand away and pinched his cheek. "Well, Justy. At the moment. It looks like you are."
Justin exhaled loudly as Kat ducked under his arm, and continued walking down the stairs.
"Bathroom's free if anyone want's to use it." Kat said as she headed into the kitchen.
The rest of the guys all stared at her as Kat walked into the kitchen. The girls on the other hand began to laugh hysterically.
"I can't believe she did that." Shanna gasped.
"I can." Brande and Sam both said at the same time. The looked at each other and laughed harder.
"I don't wanna' know." Lance said, as he grabbed his bag and headed to the downstairs bathroom.
Chris looked at the three laughing girls, "You know what..for once..I agree with Lance." He walked over and picked up Justin's bag, and headed up the stairs, with JC and Joey in tow.
He handed the bag to Justin who was still standing on the landing. "Come on Curly..let's go get changed." Justin blinked a couple of times, before grabbing the bag and following the guys upstairs.
The three girls laughed again and headed into the kitchen, where Kat was sitting at the table, eating an apple. They all looked at each other and laughed.
"You are too much Kat." Sam said, taking a seat at the table.
Kat grinned, as Brande and Shanna took a seat as well.
"I know I know. I just couldn't resist. I loved that expression on his face when I reached for his belt buckle." Kat laughed again at the memory.
"Hey, anyone mind if use the comp to check on my e-mail?" Lance said poppin his head into the kitchen.
"Sure, it's already on and connected. I was playing on it last night." Brande said as Lance's head disappeared around the door again.
"You have to post this whole thing on Hellbents." Shanna said, leaning back in her chair.
"I know..Oh my god..the girls are going to have a fit." Sam said, reaching for an apple.
Brande grinned, "I already started from last night. That's what I was doing on it. I didn't finish tough. It's probably still at the..play..pen..." Brande's eyes began to round as she finally put pieces in her head.
"Brande..please don't tell me you.." Shanna sat back up in her chair.
"Oh no..." Brande banging her head on the table.
Sam stopped with the apple half way to her mouth.
"Wait...you left it on the play pen, and Lance..he's......Lance..is..."
"Oh lord have mercy all mighty!" Kat exclaimed.
The girls all stared at each other before jumping up and running for the computer room. Brande got there first and stopped in the doorway at the site before her.
Lance was laughing his head off at whatever he was reading and kept scrolling down.
He looked up at the sound of a gasp and smiled.
"So, Kat... planning any stalking or kidnappings lately...Brande, Brande, you're perfect for Joe... Shanna... quit beating up the girls on cyberspace and last but certainly not least....Sam...all you have to do is ask, I'm sure JC will be very willing to let you take a bite of him as long as it doesn't hurt...too much."
No one could say a word. They were all too stunned.
Lance sat back and perused the group. "Anything else I should know..."
Brande shook her head, finally gaining control of movement and speech. "No, I...I think the girls will allow me to speak for them by saying that we need some secrets and please keep this one."
Brande rushed over in front of him and got down on her hands and knees. "Please oh please....don't tell the rest of the guys. This would be too embarrassing."
Lance smiled and pretended to contemplate the suggestion. "I could keep it to myself...but what fun would that be?"
Sam shot him a death glare. "Knowing that you'll still be alive tomorrow could be something you might get out of this."
Lance tried not to laugh. "Maybe...maybe not..."
Shanna ducked out into the hallway to make sure the guys weren't anywhere near.
Kat just continued to stare in shock at the albino. "The JuJu comment now makes a lot more sense as does everything else...who would've thought that we'd find four obsessed females on our trip to town and be hanging out with them?"
Sam shook her head. "He doesn't have the guts to..."
Kat shoved her hand over Sam's mouth. "Shut up, don't give him any ideas or hand him a challenge."
Sam's eyes flashed at Kat but she nodded, acknowledging that she wouldn't say anything else.
Brande looked up at him from the floor. "Please..."
Lance lost it from the puppy dog expression on Brande's face. "I'm not going to say anything, although I know they'd get a kick out of it too."
All the girls breathed a sigh of relief. "Thank you." Sam said before turning back to head to the kitchen and finish her apple.
"No problem...but...next time you need a magazine Sam, just give us a call and you won't have to hide it."
They all heard a foot kicking the wall but that was the only sound heard from Sam.
The rest of the room cracked up before leaving Lance to check his e-mail and the rest of the girls to continue getting ready to go swimming.
Sam headed into her room, ignoring the apple, and slammed the door shut. She began to dig through her bag, trying to locate her swimsuit.
"Where could it be?" She tossed more clothes on the floor, some landing on the floor, some on the bed, some on a random lamp.
"Just a minute..."
She opened the door to find JC standing there.
"You all right? I heard a door slam."
Sam sighed. "Fine, fine, the girls were just giving me a bad time about something and I lost my temper...no biggie."
He could tell something was wrong but left it at that. "Okay... you going swimming?"
"Yeah I was just looking for my suit." She motioned toward the room.
JC's eyes widened. "It looks like J's room when he can't find his lucky baby blue sweater."
Sam blushed. "Yeah...well..."
JC smiled. "Not a big deal, just glad I don't live with you."
Sam stuck her tongue out at him. "Fine...like I'd want to live with you anyway, but..." her glance flew to the other side of the room. "I found my suit, so I'm going to change and I'll meet you down there."
"Sure thing." He leaned down and kissed her before turning away.
Sam quickly changed and headed down to the pool area where she could hear splashing and laughing, as well as music being played.
She grabbed a towel from the closet and entered the pool house to find Joey dunking Brande and Chris and Justin holding Kat over the pool, threatening to drop her. Shanna and Lance were sitting by the pool, laughing and watching the activity but she couldn't find JC.
Just as she opened her mouth to ask, two hands grabbed her around the waist, slung her over their shoulder, took the towel away, then ran for the pool and jumped in with her.
Sam came out of the water, sputtering. She looked around for the culprit, but all she could see is Joey, Brande, and Chris laughing hysterically at her. Sam swept her hair from her face.
"Not funny. Way not funny!"
"Yes it was!" Shanna called lounging in one of the deck chairs.
Sam turned and glared at Shanna, before looking around the pool again.
"Joshua Scott Chasez, I know you're around here." Suddenly Sam felt herself being dunked under the water again. She came up once again sputtering water. She turned around quickly, and noticed JC swimming right in front of her. She looked up at him, and swam close.
"That was way not funny JC." Sam said, giving him a disapproving stare. JC grinned and swam backwards a little.
"Sam, come on now. You gotta' admit it was a little funny?"
Sam swam around Jc a couple of times, before stopping right in front of him. "Ok JC, it may have been a little funny,"
Sam swam up close to him, and put her hands on his hips. "But not half as funny as this." Suddenly Sam's hands grabbed on to his shorts, and pulled them down around his ankles.
JC's mouth dropped open, as he finally realized what had happened, by the time he was able to pull his shorts up, Sam was already, across and out of the pool.
"Hey now. That was no fair." JC yelled, as everyone laughed at him.
Sam grinned, and took her towel to go dry out on one of the lounge chairs. "Who ever said that life was fair!" she called back.
JC rolled his eyes, and slowly made his way towards the edge of the pool where Sam was at. She looked down at him, as he swam near the side.
"Can I help you?" she smiled.
"Yes, actually I was looking for the most beautiful woman in the world seen her?" he asked, putting his arms on the side of the pool.
Sam thought for a moment, "Hmm..nope don't think so."
"Hmmm, that's strange, because I know you must have looked in the mirror sometime today."
JC grinned at her, as Sam began to smile. "Get that one from Joe?" she said, as JC pulled himself from the pool, and sat down on the edge with his feet dangling in the water.
"Nope, made that one up myself." JC leaned close to Sam's face. "Like it?"
Sam giggled, "Loved it." She reached over and ran her hands through his wet hair.
"Glad to hear it." JC whispered as he brought his lips closer to Sam's.
"GET A ROOM!"
JC and Sam both looked up to see Shanna, Lance and Chris making gagging faces at them.
Sam rolled her eyes, "Are we sure we want to know them?"
JC laughed, "Unfortunately, I'd be no where without them, so it looks like I have no choice you?"
Sam looked over at Shanna, who was now trying to put Lance into a head lock, "They have some qualities about them."
JC and Sam turned toward the sound of a very angered Kat.
"JUSTIN...I MEAN IT...PUT ME DOWN!!!!!!" Kat was being held high above Justin's head. Justin laughed, and brought Kat down towards his chest.
"If I put you down, what are you going to give me?" he asked eyeing her and then the pool.
Kat eyed Justin warily, "What do you want?"
Justin grinned evilly, "Other than your everlasting love?"
Kat let out and exhasperated sigh, "Justin...."
Justin laughed, "Okay okay, I want a date."
Kat lifted her eyebrows, "A Date? Monday the 12th of September."
Justin took a step towards the pool, "Kat?" he said, swinging her towards the pool.
"Okay okay.." screeched Kat. "A date. You got it."
"Really?" Justin said, looking into Kat's eyes.
Kat was a little taken aback by the seriousness in them.
"Yeah, really." She said quietly.
Great." Justin said, and grinned. "Then you won't mind if I do this." Justin laughed as he ran towards the pool, with Kat still in his arms, and jumped straight in.
Kat came bursting to the surface, pushing her hair back from her face. "JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE!" she screamed.
Justin laughed, and came up behind her. "I love it when you scream my name. But next time, let's wait till after the date!"
Kat's mouth opened and closed for a minute before she closed it for good, and reached over to dunk Justin in.
Shanna kicked back in her lounge chair watching the events unfold before her.
"You sure got some weird friends." Shanna looked over at Lance who was sitting next to her.
"And you don't?" she said, nodding to Chris who was doing a Tarzan call, before leaping off the diving board.
Lance shrugged his shoulders, "Point taken. He where are those two going?" he said pointing towards the house.
Shanna looked over to see Brande and Joey sneak off, into the house.
"I have no idea. But do you really think they should be left alone?" Shanna said wiggling her eyebrows.
"Oh no, definately not. I think they need some chaperones." Lance said, getting up from his seat.
"Quiet chaperones. Not seen chaperones. Get the drift." Shanna said, getting up from her seat as well.
"Drift easliy caught. Come on."
Joey grabbed Brande's hand, and held a finger up to his lips, his eyes twinkling. "Shhhh." he whispered.
Brande smiled and nodded, allowing herself to be pulled along into the house.
"Where are we going?" She whispered back.
She gave him a weird look before asking why.
"Because I'm hungry."
She sighed. "Oh."
"So much for anything romantic." She muttered softly to herself.
They got to the kitchen and he began to dig through the cupboards. "Anything good in here?"
She leaned her back against the counter with her hands folded across her chest. "Depends on what you're making...."
He turned to smile at her disgruntledness. "Because we didn't get to go to dinner, I wanted to fix us something while everyone is outside, enjoying themselves.
"Oh..." She said, her mouth dropping open slightly at the sweetness of his gesture.
He walked over to her and caged her in against the counter. "Plus...I wanted to get you alone for a little while..."
Brande's mouth dropped even wider. "Oh.." Was all she could get out as his mouth closed the distance between them and he kissed her.
Lance and Shanna snuck in through the door and hid behind the counter, peeking into the kitchen. Shanna couldn't see anything due to the blonde spiked head in front of her. "Move, I can't see." She whispered.
"Shhhh, they're just kissing."
"Nothing else?" She whispered, disappointed not to have caught Brande in more of an awkward situation.
Lance turned and grinned. "Not yet but knowing Joey..."
They both made room to watch the scene.
Brande pulled back. "So what about dinner?" She asked breathlessly.
"Dinner?" Joey asked. "Oh right...later." He said, pulling her back into his arms.
Lance turned and looked at Shanna again. "I think they need to be cooled off, what do you think?"
She nodded with a small smile. "Right, because they shouldn't be alone in the house together since they just met and who knows the kind of trouble they could get into."
Lance and Shanna began to plot against Joey and Brande who were oblivious to anything around them.
Lance snuck out the door to get the hose, while Shanna sat behind the counter, ready to signal Lance when to come back inside, when they weren't looking. "Like that's going to be a problem..." Shanna thought watching the couple.
She waved Lance back inside and the two set up the hose right alone the counter so that it was facing them. Lance then snuck back out to turn it on. He looked through the door and counted on his fingers. "1...2...3..." then turned it on.
"AAAAAGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" Brande and Joey screamed in unison, jumping away from the other.
Shanna and Lance began to laugh uncontrollably, before jumping up and running back outside, with Joey and Brande hot on their heels.
Everyone heard the scream and turned to watch Lance and Shanna come running into the pool area, only to jump into the pool and hide behind Chris, Kat and Justin.
Sam and JC were sitting on the chairs, watching Chris, Kat and Justin race each other but turn and look as the others came running.
Brande and Joey burst into the pool area, wet from head to toe.
"When I hands on you, you mississippi albino, you're race is going to become extinct." Joey said, looking at the people in the pool.
Brande looked at Shanna. "How could you?"
Lance and Shanna just looked at each other and started to laugh.
Brande glared at Shanna, before starting to laugh. "You do realize I'm going to hurt you later?"
Shanna grinned, "Try it Keebler."
Brande laughed, and jumped into the pool. Shanna, swam around Chris a few times, before heading off to the side of the pool.
"Get back here Tink!" Brande yelled. Shanna got out of the pool, and ran over to her towel.
Joey looked from Brande chasing Shanna, to Lance who was hiding behind Justin. "Lance..who have three seconds to get out of that pool or prepare to face the consequences.
Lance pretended to think about it, "Either way I'm going to hurt. So, I think I'd rather have Justin take most of the punishment first."
Justin turned around and raised his eyebrows at Lance, "Excuse me. I had nothing to do with this." Justin took off across the pool, leaving Lance with Kat. Lance looked over at her with pleading eyes.
"Uh uh...I don't think so." Kat took off for the edge of the pool, and pulled herself out. Lance looked around the pool, finding himself alone.
Joey laughed, "Time's up."
Lance yelled, as Joey jumped into the pool, landing right next to Lance.
"You're gonna' die!" Joey laughed, as he dunked Lance under the water.
"HELP!!!!!" Lance screamed, as Joey dunked him under again.
Brande had stopped chasing Shanna by now, knowing she'd never win. Everyone gathered around the pool, to watch Joey pound on Lance.
"That's it! I can't take it anymore. I'm coming little buddy!" Chris said, as he dived into the pool, to join the fray.
Justin and JC looked at each other for a moment, before Justin shrugged his shoulders, and dived into the pool, heading over towards Chris, who was climbing on top of Joey.
JC looked back and forth between Sam and the boys. Sam raised her eyebrows, and gave him the 'Go ahead' look. JC grinned.
"COWABUNGA!!!!" he screamed as he did a cannon ball into the pool.
Sam walked over to join Kat, Brande and Shanna who were all watching the guys playing in the pool.
"Cowabunga?" Kat said, turning towards Sam.
"I don't know?" Sam said shrugging her shoulders.
"I'm getting cold." Brande rubbed her arms to prove her point.
"Me too, OH BOYS!!!!!" Shanna called out. The guys stopped horsing around for a second and turned in the direction of the girls.
"We are going in now." Shanna yelled.
"Okay!" They all called out, and went back to pounding each other.
Brande rolled her eyes, "Were gonna' call for PIZZA!!!" The girls laughed as the guys stopped.
"FOOD!" they all yelled, as they scrambled to get out of the pool.
Justin got out of the pool first and walked up to Kat, dripping wet.
"Gimme' a hug!" he said.
"No WAY!!!" Kat yelled, as she ran into the house.
Justin started to follow her, but Brande stopped him, "Don't you come into that house wet!!!!"
Joey laughed, as he grabbed at towel from one of the chairs.
"Pizza for dinner huh?" He asked.
Brande put on her t-shirt as she opened the patio door, "Uh huh. Anything in particular?"
"Nothing with mushrooms." Lance called.
We know." Shanna said laughing.
"Don't care. Pepperoni....sausage..cheese..." JC began, taking a towel that Sam handed him.
"Gummy bears, pixie sticks, anchovies." Chris said, stepping into the house.
"What?" Sam said, coming in behind Chris.
Chris grinned, "Kidding." Everyone else began to pile into the family room, as Brande headed to the phone.
"Got it, Pizza, combo. No mushrooms." Brande picked up the phone and began dialing.
"Hi. Yeah I'd like to order a pizza...." Brande began as she headed towards the kitchen.
Sam, Shanna, and Kat headed upstairs to change. The guys sat down and rested, until Lance shot up out of his seat.
"OH SHIT!!!" Lance yelled.
"Uh oh....Lance used naughty words. Must be big deal." Chris said, grabbing a remote of the table.
"Lonnie." Lance said, looking at JC.
JC hit his hand against his head. "Shit, I knew I forgot something." JC walked over to his bag, and pulled out his cell.
"He's gonna' kill us." Justin said, walking over to where JC was talking.
"Hey, Lonnie..sorry bout not calling but...."
Justin raised his eyebrows as JC began shaking his head.
"Uh huh..I know..yeah...really we're really sorry. I know I know. What? Were at a friend's house why?" JClooked up at Justin and raised his shoulders.
"You're kidding?" JC said, his jaw dropping.
"Okay..yeah....I think we can..if not we'll give you a call. Okay. Yeah, tomorrow at 10. I know. Okay...let me know if anything changes. Right. Bye." JC clicked off his phone and turned towards the rest of the group who had all been staring at him.
"What?" Joey said.
"Well, it looks like we can't get back to the hotel because there seems to be..a.....rodent problem." JC said, sighing.
"What? What about our stuff?" Justin asked.
"Lonnie's got it all. They found another hotel, but there was only one room left. They don't want us on the bus because of the fans, so it looks like we're gonna' have to stay over."
"Who's staying over?" Brande asked, coming in from the kitchen.
"We are. If that's okay with you?" Lance asked.
Brande pretended to think about it, but inside was screaming 'OH HELL YEAH' "Ummm...yeah sure. You guys got spare clothing to sleep in?" Brande asked.
"Ummm....no dang. Oh well. Boxers and t-shirt time I guess." Joey said, getting up from the couch, and walking over to his bag.
"Oh...okay..well, the girls went to go put on their pj's so I guess I will too." Brande said, pausing on the way up to give Joey a quick kiss.
"Then I guess we'll change too." Justin said, as the guys all went over to grab their things.
"Cool." Brande said, and went up the stairs.
She headed into her bedroom, and looked for her Pj's. "Hmmm...now where are those things?"
Brande heard a knock on the door.
"Come in." she yelled. She looked in a suitcase. "Ha ha..found them!" She said, as the door opened and in walked the rest of the girls, all in their Pj's.
"Pizza coming?" Shanna asked sitting on the bed.
"Yup." Brande said, heading into the bathroom that was connected to her room.
"Cool," Kat said, and sat down on the floor.
"By the way, the guys are spending the night!" Brande yelled from the bathroom. When she came out, she noticed that her friends all had their mouths wide open. "Girls..close them, before ya'll attract flys."
Sam was the first to regain her speech. "They are staying the night?" she said, her eyes still wide.
"Yup, any problems with that?"
Kat grinned, "Are you kidding me? HELL NO WE AIN'T GOT NO PROBLEMS!"
Brande laughed, as she tugged her pj top down one more time. "Come on, let's go see if the guys are done yet?"
The girls all began to walk down stairs. As the got to the landing the all came to a dead halt. The picture before them was too good to be true.
"Oh.." Sam began
"My.." Kat continued
"Freaking..." Brande said.
"God!" Shanna finished up.
The scene before them was every 12 year old's dream. There was *N Sync, all in boxers, wearing either t-shirts (in Chris and Lance's case) or wife beaters (Joey, JC, and Justin.) They were either sitting in a chair, on the floor or on the couch. Chris sat on the floor indian style, as Lance looked over the movie titles.
Sam looked over at the girls and then back at the guys. "What did we do so good to deserve this?" she whispered.
"I have no idea." Kat whispered back.
"This sucks." Shanna whispered.
"What sucks?" Brande asked.
"The fact that five fine men are laying around in practically nothing, and I'm not single."
Kat, Brande and Sam all grinned evilly, "Hee hee, but we are!" Kat whispered, looking again at the guys.
Sam and Brande looked at each other at the sound of the doorbell.
I'm going to get it!" Brande yelled and took off for the door.
"No, I've got it!" Sam said and took off after Brande, tripping her on the way.
"Mine!" Brande said, grabbing Sam's arm and yanking her out of her path.
"I want to answer it!"
All the guys turned to stare at the two laughing females, trying to make their way to the door.
Shanna and Kat rolled their eyes and turned to look at the guys. "They do this every time a door gets knocked on or the doorbell rings." Shanna explained.
Kat raised an eyebrow. "OR if the phone rings."
Shanna nodded. "That's true, then too. They just like to fight with each other and they get a kick out of seeing who can get there first."
Sam made it to the door and flung it open. "HI" She said breathlessly to the pizza guy.
"HI." He looked her up and down and smiled appreciatively.
Brande stepped up behind her. "How much do we owe?"
"That'll be $18.99 with your coupon."
Sam dug into her pocket and pulled out a twenty and handed it to him. "Keep the change."
Sam glanced at him as if to say 'What do you want now?'
Brande knew exactly what he was about to ask and pulled Sam back in the door. "She's taken." She said before slamming the door in the poor kid's face.
"What'd ya do that for?"
"The kid was just about to ask you out as he drooled down the front of your shirt."
"He was not." Sam scoffed.
"He was too."
"Why would a pizza delivery boy be checking me out...no one checks me out."
"Why wouldn't he?"
"Because he just wouldn't."
"and what's this about guys not checking you out... they do all the time, you just happen to be oblivious."
They kept arguing all the way into the kitchen, forgetting about the audience that they had who was making no effort to conceal their interest.
"What am I chopped liver?" JC asked Justin who was sitting next to him on the couch.
"Nah, man, she's just being female...you know... not making any sense..."
Kat looked over at him as she settled onto the floor. "Excuse me?"
Justin's eyes widened. "What?"
"Females don't make sense?"
"Nope not at all."
"Is that so..."
"When were we going on our date again?"
Kat shook her head. "Not with that attitude, you're not." Then turned to Lance. "So what movie are we watching?"
"Uh...I don't know. Anything you're partial to?"
Shanna squeezed onto the floor between Chris and Kat.
"I wouldn't mind watching a horror movie."
"Let's see....there's Scream, Halloween, numerous Nightmare on Elm Streets, I Know What You Did Last Summer...umm..."
"Brande, I don't even know why we're arguing about this. The kid was just being nice and was going to thank me for the tip or something. You shouldn't have been rude."
"Well, maybe if you'd open your ears and eyes, you'd see I was just trying to protect Miss Innocent from gettin her chest stared at for another minute. The guy never looked you in the eye!"
"He was not."
Justin leaned down to whisper in Kat's ear. "Are they still going at it?"
Shanna sighed loudly. "Yes, they are. GIRLS!"
Both turned their heads. "WHAT?"
The entire room in unison. "SHUT UP AND SIT DOWN!"
Brande and Sam had the decency to blush before sitting down with their pizza.
"By the way, Pizza's ready." Sam said.
All the guys rushed into the kitchen to eat, except JC who pulled Sam down next to him on the couch.
She looked over at him and smiled. "Sorry about that."
"No problem...but no guy ever hits on you, huh."
"Well..." Sam blushed. "Only one guy that I've noticed, but then he's the only one I really want to hit on me too."
JC leaned down and kissed her forehead. "Just so we're straight on that. Wouldn't want to think my efforts were going unnoticed or unappreciated."
"Oh, they definitely are on both counts." Sam said smiling, leaning in to kiss him.
Kat snorted. "You two are too much. I have to go get something to eat otherwise I'll have nothing to vomit up later if you keep this up.
"I'm with you." Shanna said.
Sam and JC laughed, then Sam snuggled into JC's arms, curling her feet up under her. She took a bite of pizza before noticing that JC wasn't eating. "Want some?" She pointed to her plate.
She held up a piece and fed it to him.
"Gross!" They heard from the kitchen.
"What's going on in there?" Sam asked.
"Do you really want to know?"
They looked around the room and noticed everyone had headed to the kitchen, probably either to eat or to get away from their sickly sweet attention they were giving each other.
All of a sudden, Kat was heard above everyone else
"Justin you are not going to actually eat that are you?"
Justin wiggled his eyebrows at Kat. "Dare me too?"
"NO!!!" she yelled looking at the monstrosity before him.
Everyone looked at the personal pizza that Brande had ordered.
"You did know I was just joking when I said I wanted a pizza with Gummi Bears, Pixi Sticks and Anchovies…" Chris said turning to Brande.
Brande smiled, "I know. I just wanted to see what you would do."
JC and Sam walked into the kitchen where everyone had gathered around the small pizza box.
"What's going on?" JC asked, as he peered down into the box. JC's eyes widened and he looked over at Brande.
"That's not what I think it is. Is it?"
Brande laughed, "Yep, a Chris pizza special."
Justin looked into the box again, "It really doesn't look that bad guys."
Everyone turned to Justin again. Sam raised her eyebrows, "You're not actually thinking about eating a piece of that, are you youngin'?"
Justin shrugged his shoulders, "Joey dared me too."
Joey laughed, "You don't have to J-man. It was a joke. Really."
Lance grinned, "That is if you're a chicken."
Kat turned to Lance and smacked him in the head, "Don't encourage him!"
Everyone laughed, as Lance rubbed the back of his head. "Oww, that hurt."
Kat rolled her eyes at him, "It was supposed too."
While everyone was talking, no one noticed Justin picking up a slice of the pizza. He examined it form all angles, and slowly brought it up to his mouth. Brande looked over and noticed Justin with the pizza. She elbowed Joey, and he looked over too. Then…he bit.
"Guys, this ain't to bad." Justin said munching on the pizza.
Everyone looked at him wide eyed, as he went in for the second bite.
"Ahhh!" Kat cried, "That is way so sick!"
Justin laughed, and shoved the rest of the slice into his mouth.
"No, that's sick." Shanna said, looking at Justin's bulging cheeks.
"Come on, let's go watch the movie," Chris said, grabbing a slice of the regular pizza and heading into the living room.
Soon, everyone had their slice of pizza, and was gone leaving Kat and Justin in the kitchen.
Kat shook her head, "I can't believe you ate that."
Justin grinned, and grabbed a soda from the fridge, "Why not?"
"Because it was just plain sick!"
Justin laughed and popped the top on the soda. "You still love me though."
Kat raised her eyebrows, "Oh yeah? Who said that?"
Justin grinned, and grabbed a slice of the normal pizza, "Oh a little bird told me."
Kat eyed Justin for a second, before grabbing his soda, and taking a drink. "Well, the little bird lied."
Justin smiled, and leaned closer to Kat's ear, "Really? That's strange, I thought JuJu was a word of endearment."
Kat's mouth dropped as Justin walked out of the kitchen to where everyone else was sitting, still trying to figure out a movie.
"No horror. I can't stand horror!" Brande said, arguing with Chris over the movie choices.
"Cause I said so."
Justin walked into the room, and sat down on the couch. Shanna looked after him, but saw no Kat. "Hey, where's Trouble?"
Justin looked towards the kitchen. "Oh she's picking up something off the kitchen floor."
"What?" Shanna asked, biting into a piece of pizza.
"Huh?" Shanna said.
Just then Kat came out of the kitchen, with the look of murder in her eyes.
"What's up Kat?" Sam said as she snuggled into JC's arms.
"Lance?" Kat ground out.
Lance's eyes darted towards Kat, as he raised his eyebrows. "Yeah?"
Kat took a small step towards Lance's place on the floor.
Brande looked at Kat and smiled. "No blood on the carpet please."
Kat gave her a death glare before focusing on Lance. "If you want to live to see any of your illegitimate children reach the ripe age of 3 than you had better run."
"What did I do?"
Justin smiled and leaned over to whisper in his friend's ear. Lance's eyes grew wide and he started shaking his head no. "I didn't do it!"
"Then who?" She said as she advanced on him slowly.
"I don't know." He started to scramble backwards and fell into Chris' lap.
"Help me! She's going to kill me..."
Chris looked down at Lance as he tried to jump behind him.
"What'd ya do now, Scoop?"
"NOTHING! I've been framed."
Kat glared at him. "You were the only one that knew."
Justin started laughing at that point. "It wasn't him. I went in to check my e-mail after he left and like the good boy that he is, he returned the browser back to the original page that you had left it on and boy did I get an eyeful."
Kat's eyes widened as she turned to look at Justin. "YOU...You read the...uh...entire board?"
He smiled slowly. "Uh huh."
Brande and Sam both slapped their foreheads before groaning. "Oh no...not another one."
Shanna just grinned. "Why don't we just let all of them read it then so there aren't any skeletons in..."
Brande lept across the couch to cover Shanna's mouth. "Cause that's not an option, remember." She turned and smiled at the guys. "Anyway, what movie were we going to watch again?"
Chris looked at her with a puzzled expression. "We couldn't decide between Scream and..."
Brande just shook her head. "That's fine." She shot Shanna a pointed look, basically telling her to keep her mouth shut before moving back to her original spot.
JC, Joey and Chris all looked at each other with a puzzled look before shrugging.
Chris stuck the movie in and Justin patted the place on the couch next to him for Kat.
She stuck her tongue out at him and sat on the floor.
Justin shrugged, stood up, picked her up and put her on his lap while he sat back down.
Kat began to squirm but Justin just tightened his arms around her so that she couldn't move.
JC leaned down to whisper in Sam's ear. "So, what's this about a board?"
"I have no idea."
"Watch the movie."
"I'll find out."
"No, you won't."
"So, you do know."
"Shhhh. The movie is starting."
"Glad you could see it my way."
"I'll find out eventually."
"No you won't."
Sam looked over at JC, who was staring at the TV, but still had a half grin on his face. She shook her head and looked back at the screen.
Everyone settled in around the TV. Lance sitting in one seat, with Chris in front of him. JC and Sam settled together on one end of the couch with Kat and Justin at the other.
Sam looked around the room, and noticed Joey and Brande nodding off on the love seat.
'There's one' Sam thought as she watched another person die on the screen. Sam shivered a little, and sighed when JC wrapped his arms tighter around her. She leaned her head on his chest. She sighed again as her eyes slowly closed shut.
JC looked down at Sam who had drifted off to sleep. The thought crossed his mind to see this web page, but he looked down at Sam again and saw her peacefully sleeping. He smiled, and kissed the top of her head.
'If she wants me to know,' he thought, 'She'll tell. And if not, I'll find out some other way." He grinned, and looked over to see Lance nodding off, 'Lance can't tolerate pain that much.' JC stared at the TVfor a bit more, before his eyelids began to droop.
Chris looked around and noticed everyone but Kat and Justin had now fallen asleep.
"The movie ain't even over yet!" Chris exclaimed
Kat yawned, and looked down at Chris, "Don't matter, when it comes to those three," she said pointing to the three girls. "They fall asleep like that." she said snapping her fingers.
Justin laughed, and ran his hand over her hair, "Looks like your pretty tired too."
Kat yawned agian, "Yeah, well, I had p-chem to study for. I have an excuse."
Justin chuckled deeply, "Uh huh..night Kat." Kat mumbled something Justin couldn't make out, before closing her eyes, and falling asleep.
Justin looked over at Chris, who had also fallen asleep, sprawled out in front of the TV. Justin shook his head, and continued to watch the movie till he fell asleep as well.
Brande awoke, to hear a door close. She looked around the room, she noticed everyone asleep, in various positions around the room. Sam and JC looked very comfy on the couch. She looked over at Kat and Justin, and grinned. Both of them were sprawled across each other, like two little kids. She looked over to see Chris and Shanna, laying on top of each other.
She looked around the room, and noticed Lance was missing. She slowly untangled herself from Joey's arms and walked into the family room. She looked out the sliding glass doors, and saw Lance outside looking up at the sky. He had thrown on a pair of jeans, but still only wore his undershirt. She smiled, when she saw him close his eyes, and let out a breath, that fogged up the air.
Brande looked around for something to put on, and saw a jacket laying on one of the couches. She slipped it one, and headed towards the doors.
Lance turned around and saw Brande coming outside.
"Couldn't sleep?" she asked, burrowing into the jacket.
"Yeah, I guess. I don't know. I was just thinking how nice it was today you know. Being normal, so to say. Hanging out with normal girls." Lance looked down at Brande, "True girls who have plotted to kidnap me friends and I,"
Brand rolled her eyes, "It's all a joke."
Lance laughed, "Yeah I know, I know."
Brande shivered and burrowed deeper into the coat. " I like this jacket. I think I'm gonna' steal it." Brande said, looking back up to the stars.
Lance laughed when he looked at the coat, "Umm..okay..but you're gonna' have to ask."
Brande looked down, and noticed it was Lance's tour jacket. "Oh..hee hee..sorry."
"If you want it, you can have it."
Brande looked up at Lance, and smiled, "Watch what you say, I may hold you to it."
Lance grinned, and puffed out his breath watching the fog form. "So are sites like what ever one I was at common?"
"You mean humor sites?"
Lance laughed, "Humor, yeah."
Brande opened up the sliding glass door, and motioned Lance to follow her. They slipped in quietly and headed for the computer room. In the corner was a beat up old couch, and Brande sat down, with Lance taking a seat next to her.
"Yeah, there are lot's of Humor sites. Most of them poking fun at ya'll, but all in good humor. There's a lot like Hellbent's and Sam's which have a lot of Fan Fiction as well.
Lance raised his eyebrows, but let Brande continue. "There are a lot of good writers out there. A lot of artist, poets, singers, actors, everything, mostly young girls, who because of ya'll, have done amazing things. You'll never know, really how much you mean to a lot of these girls."
Brande looked over at Lance who was looking at her with amusement. "What?" she asked.
"I was just thinking. You know, if you hadn't met Joey first if we could have, would have..." Lance blushed, and looked away.
Brande smiled, "Lance. That's sweet, but...I don't know. The girls always said, if Joe and I ever meet. And, well, I guess it worked ya' know? It's like..I don't know..it sounds silly, but fate almost."
"Like JC and Sam?"
Brande grinned, "Yeah..those two are perfect for each other."
Lance laughed, "Oh well, it was worth a try huh? Friends?"
Brande reached over and gave Lance a hug, "Friends. Ohh your warm!" Brande snuggled into Lance's arms, and wiggled back and forth.
Lance laughed, "You cold?"
"Uh huh!" Brande yawned.
Brande shook her head yes, and yawned again.
Lance put his arm around Brande's shoulder's and pulled her closer. "Then go to sleep."
Brande began to protest, but soon Lance started talking.
"No talk. Just sleep." He began to humm gently in his deep voice. Brande listened to the sweet sound, before nodding off. Lance continued to stare at the screen saver, before sleep finally overcame him as well.
Chris woke up and glanced around at all the sleeping figures. He laid back down and tried to go back to sleep, but he was wide awake and he knew there wasn't a chance that sleep would overtake him again.
He sat up and looked around for Lance. "Lance is always an easy target," he thought, but he couldn't see his blonde head in the fray.
However, JC and Sam, were laying there to peaceful not to do something. He got up and headed into the kitchen but on his way, tripped and fell over Joey's foot, waking him up in the process.
Joey sat straight up from where he had been lying on the love seat, then turned and glared at Chris.
Chris held up a finger to be quiet and motioned for him to follow him to the kitchen.
The two walked into the room and Chris immediately began rummaging through the cupboards.
"What are you looking for?" Joey asked quietly, holding up a hand to cover his yawn.
Joey's eyes perked up. "Who?"
"Sam and JC."
Joey laughed quietly. "I'll be glad to help."
Together they managed to find some whipped cream but ended up putting it back.
"Nah, I'll go in the bathroom and find something." Joey said and headed off in the direction he thought the bathroom was. He grabbed shaving cream, hair gel, lipstick, and some glitter stuff that was on the counter and met back up with Chris in the kitchen. "How about this?"
Chris' eyes lit up. "Perfect."
The two quietly snuck back into the living room and over to the pair and began to "decorate" the two to the best of their abilities.
The two sat back and admired their handiwork. "We are artists!" Chris sat back and beamed at Joey.
"Why of course." Chris smiled and pulled out a disposable camera. "Never leave home without it."
They snapped a few pictures then went back into the kitchen to find something to eat.
"I can't believe they didn't wake up."
"Well, JC never wakes up, but I figured Sam would, but guess she's as deep a sleeper as good ol Jace is."
"Too perfect. But, how come you didn't get Lansten? Thought he was your next victim after Justin last week."
"Couldn't find him."
"Hmmmm. Wonder where he went off to?"
"Don't know. Hey, could you go wake Brande up and ask what is allowed to be eaten and what isn't?"
"Sure." Joey said and walked silently back into the living room before walking immediately back into the kitchen with a frown. "She's not there..."
"Yeah, maybe she went back up to her room. I'll go look."
"Okay. I'll be here munching on...leftover pizza."
"Sure thing, man."
Joey walked down the hall toward Brande's room but a pair of feet stopped him as he walked by the computer room. Maybe she fell asleep in here, he thought, and glanced in.
What he found, however, wasn't something he was expecting. Lance was sitting, sprawled on a couch, head thrown back in sleep, and Brande was curled up next to him, her arm thrown across his chest, sound asleep as well.
Joey just stood there stunned, not knowing what to do. Should he wake them? Should he wait and confront them later? So many mixed emotions were running through him. He didn't know what to do...
"Hey, Joe, ask her if she just wants to go out in...oh boy." Chris said, coming up behind him.
Joey looked back at him with a murderous expression on his face.
"Dude, I'm sure it's not what it looks like."
"How could it not be?"
"I don't know, but don't do anything you'll regret."
"I won't." Joey muttered before stalking across the room and jerking Brande to a standing position.
Her eyed flew open and the first thing she saw was a blurry Joey.
"Morning..." She said sleepily with a small smile.
"Good morning to you too, two timing, two bit..."
"Joey..." Chris said.
Brande looked at the two confused. "What?"
Lance was soon jerked awake, by the sound of some very angry voices. He blinked open his eyes, and noticed a very angry looking Joey, standing in front of Brande, who looked quite shaken. Lance shook his head and looked past Joey, to find Chris and everyone else standing in the doorway.
"Uhh what's going on here?" Lance said getting up from the couch.
"I was going to ask the same thing." Joey said, releasing Brande.
Brande rubbed her arms, and took a step backwards. "Joey, what are you talking about?" she asked, her voice trembling.
Joey looked disgustedly at her, "What am I talking about?" he turned and looked over towards Chris, "She wonders what I'm talking about."
Brande rubbed her arms, and took a step backwards. "Joey, what are you talking about?" she asked, her voice trembling.
"Now Joey Man, come on I'm sure we can talk a bout this calmly and..." Chris started, and looked behind him, noticing JC making his way towards them.
"Calmly?!??! You want me to be calm!?!?" He looked over at Lance, who was now standing by Brande, "And here I thought you were one of my best friends."
"Joe. Man we are. But what the hell are you talking about." Lance said.
Joey felt a hand on his shoulder and turned around to see JC standing behind him. He would have laughed, if it not for the fact that his "girlfriend" was cheating on him. JC hadn't noticed yet that he had lipstick all over his mouth, and glittery stuff on his eyelids. All he knew was that if Joe didn't calm down, it was going to get ugly. Real ugly.
"Joe. I think we all need to just chill for a second, then figure out the problem."
Joey laughed angrily, "The problem. I know the problem. My girlfriend is cheating on me with my supposed best friend!"
"Girlfriend?" Brande whispered, looking over at Lance.
Lance looked down at her, and then back at Joey. "Man..I don't know what you think you saw, but that isn't it."
Joey laughed again, "Really. Well, you know what I don't care." Joey looked down at Brande glaring the entire time, "You can have her."
Brande gasped, and then shoved past Joe, and everyone else, and ran crying to her room.
The girls all looked at each other worriedly. Shanna nodded, as Kat and Sam ran after her. Justin looked back and forth before proceeding Kat up the stairs.
Joey stood motionless for a second, before turning his eyes to Lance. "What?" he asked.
Lance glared at Joey, before shaking his head. "You know what Joe..." Lance said taking a step towards Joe…no never mind." Lance looked Joey before starting to walk out the door, "You're not even worth it." Lance walked out the door, and headed towards where Brande had gone.
Joey looked after him, catching JC's and Chris's eye.
"Was that really necessary." Chris stated, looking at Joe.
"Well, Chris, the day you catch your girlfriend cheating on you with your best friend, you let me know if it was necessary." Joey walked over to the window and stared out it for a second.
"You didn't let them say their side. Maybe there was an explanation." JC said walking over towards Joey.
No one noticed Shanna standing in the coroner, looking very angry, staring at Joey with rage in her eyes.
"Like what Josh?" Joey yelled, using JC's old name. He began to mimic Brande's voice, "Oh hunny. All we were doing was sleeping with each other that's all." Joey curled his fist into a ball and pounded the wall.
"Shut up." Shanna said.
Everyone turned suddenly towards her voice.
"What." Joey said, looking at her. "Are you going to try and defend her like Chris did? You saw, we all saw. She is nothing but a two-cent, two-timing.."
"Shut the f--- up you arrogant egotistical ass-hole!" Shanna yelled.
Chris turned towards Shanna, who was now advancing on Joey.
"Shanna. Calm down." Chris said, trying to block her.
"Why? Why should I? He can just go off on my best friend, calling her everything that she's NOT! I'm not aloud to get angry? I'm not aloud to yell???" Shanna yelled.
Joey glared at Shanna, "You don't know shit."
"Oh I don't know shit? Let me tell you something Mr. Fatone. That girl, who you just humilated, she is the nicest, sweetest girl I know. She would never NEVER do anything to hurt anybody. Not even your sorry ass."
Joey looked over again as he took a seat on the couch. As Shanna continued, leaving both JC's and Chris's mouths hanging open.
"That girl's been through more s--- then anyone I know. She's had boyfriends abuse her mentally, and physically. She's had her mind controlled for so long by others, that the only time we actually get to see her, the real her, is when she's with us. But for some God Forsaken reason, she showed it to you."
Chris looked at Shanna, as she continued. Joey still stared at her, listening to every word she said.
"She would never, ever, EVER cheat on any man. No matter how much he does it to her, or treats her like shit." She turned her eyes to Joey and locked with them as she finished, "I really really hoped that maybe, just maybe, for once, he had found someone who would care for her. Someone who would let her be herself. Obviously…I was wrong. And for that, I am truly truly sorry." Shanna turned around, and headed out the door. The guys stared at her a second before turning back to Joey. Chris looked towards the door, before looking at JC.
"Go ahead, I'll handle it from here."
Chris gave JC a slight smile before chasing after Shanna.
"Brande? Brande can we come in?"
Brande looked towards the door from her position on the bed.
"Who's all there?" she croaked
Sam peeked her head around the door, "Just Kat, Justin and me."
Brande nodded and sat up as they came in the door. Both Kat and Sam sat on either side of Brande, giving her a hug, as she began to sob again. Justin stood against the dresser, watching the three.
"I can certainly pick them huh?" Brande sniffled.
Sam hugged Brande even tighter, "It's not your fault sweetie. None of it is."
Brande smiled a little, before looking over at Justin. "You didn't have to come."
Justin walked slowly over to the bed, and sat next to Sam. "Yeah, I did. I wanted to. Joe's being an asshole." He leaned over and gave her a small hug.
"Thanks." Brande whispered.
A knock cam from the door, and everyone looked over towards it.
"Who is it?" Kat yelled.
"Lance. Can I come in?"
Brande smiled weakly, "Yeah, come on in."
Lance opened the door, and saw Brande sitting on the bed. He walked over, and gave her a hug, "I am so sorry..." he began.
"It's not your fault Lance." Brande whispered.
"Yeah it is. If we had just gone back to the others.." Lance started again.
"Lance. What's done is done. We can't change it now. It's over." Brande trailed off.
Everyone looked at her, as she sighed.
"If you guys don't mind. I think I'm going to go rollerblade. Alone, to clear my head."
Sam and Kat nodded, "Go on sweetie."
Lance glanced out the window and noticed the sun just coming up. "Bring a jacket. It's still kinda chilly out there."
Brande nodded, as she headed towards her bathroom, with her jeans and a shirt.
Kat sighed, "How long this time?"
Sam shook her head, "Who knows. He hurt her pretty good."
Justin scrunched up his forehead. "What do you mean? How long?"
Kat sighed, "Whenever Brande gets depressed she goes out. Usually roller blading. She may be gone for a few hours or all day."
Kat stop talking as Brande came out of the bathroom, wearing her flares, and her favorite. Sailor Moon baby-t. She walked around the room, and grabbed her walk-man, and a few CDs to put on her should pack.
"You going to be okay sweetie?" Sam asked, as Brande turned the handle of the door.
Brande looked back at them, and gave a half grin, "Don't worry mom. I'll be ok." and with that she left.
Shanna slammed her hand into a tree in the backyard, and yelled frustratedly.
"Now now, what did that Tree ever do to you?"
Shanna turned around and saw Chris walking towards her, smiling.
"I was pretending it was Joey." Shanna sighed, and sat down at the base of the tree. Chris shook his head, and sat down next to her.
"So other than this morning's fiasco, how has your day been?"
Shanna laughed, "Well, first I find out my girlfriend is cheating on me..then the whole Joey Brande thing...hell. Hell sounds bout right."
Chris lifted his eyebrows, "Sheeesh. That mean your single again?"
Shanna laughed, "Yep. Single and ready to mingle."
Chris groaned, "Oh lord."
Shanna laughed, and looked over at Chris, "Sorry couldn't resist."
Chris groaned again. He looked over at Shanna, and tilted his head. "This may sound weird but, are you how do I put this, totally girl or.." he moved his hand back and forth.
Shanna shook her head and laughed, "I'm what Brande call's sexually confused."
Chris smiled. "Sexually confused?"
"Yeah, she says I don't know what I like."
"Well, what do you like?"
Shanna thought for a moment before turning her head to Chris, "To be honest. I have no idea."
Chris looked into her eyes for a moment, before placing his hands on her face, and leaning over to kiss her gently. He pulled back, and saw a very dazed expression on her face.
"Umm..what was that?" Shanna asked exhaling slowly.
Chris breathed deeply, "Umm..I really have no idea. I just..I don't know...wanted to."
Shanna smiled, and looked at Chris again, "Well, do it again."
After Brande left, Sam and Kat looked at each other before turning to the boys.
"Now what?" Sam asked.
However, now that the crisis was over for the most part, they had all gotten a good look at Sam.
Her face was covered in lipstick and glitter and her hair was practically standing on end from the gel and hairspray. "What?" She asked, looking around as everyone's jaws dropped.
Kat looked over at Justin and Lance before falling off the bed, laughing and pointing at her friend.
"Oh dear..." She managed to get out in between giggles.
Lance and Justin had started laughing as soon as Kat had but Justin had at least some sense to grab Sam's hands and drag her over to the mirror.
JC's head jerked up as he heard Sam yell his bandmates name upstairs.
He looked over at Joe. "I wonder what Chris could do outside to Sam?"
Joe's lips twitched. "Try what he did this morning."
JC's eyes narrowed as he walked over to the mirror.
He turned to look at Joe. "I've been like this the entire time."
Joe started to laugh. "Uh uh, ain't it great."
Joey laughed harder, the laughter beginning to calm him down to the point of being rational again.
JC sighed before continuing. "Plus I thought it was Lance's..."
Joey stopped laughing and turned to glare at the older man. "It was, but we couldn't find him for some odd reason."
"Look Joe. I'm sure it was completely innocent. Brande is a kindhearted person and I'm sure she saw Lance gone and went to check on him, you know how he tends to disappear around people he doesn't know very well."
Joey sighed. "That's true..."
"And, Lance would never make a move on someone that he knew you cared about AND could tell was reciprocated. She genuinely cares about you for some unknown reason that we haven't been able to name yet."
"Why don't you go talk to her?"
"He could if she was here." They heard from the doorway.
Lance was leaning against the doorjamb with a closed expression on his face.
Joey walked toward his friend. "I'm sorry..."
Lance held up a hand. "JC basically explained it, but I'm going to tell my side of it and then this issue is closed between us. I went outside last night to get some fresh air cause I couldn't sleep. These past few days have been great, getting to know people who don't care who we are...well too much... and she followed me outside. We came back in and wanted to talk but didn't want to wake anyone so we came back here. But, we ended up falling asleep in the middle of our conversation. That's it."
"Im really sorry, Lance."
"I'm not who you should be apologizing to."
"Where did she go?"
JC threw the keys at Joe. "Go find her."
Joey left, leaving Lance and JC in the computer room.
JC turned to Lance with a smile. "So what about this webpage that Sam doesn't want me to see....Lansten
Lance turned to JC, and raised his eyebrows "You wanna know about the web-site?"
JC grinned and shook his head yes.
Lance rolled his eyes, "They are gonna' kill me. Come here." Lance led the way to the computer. Before he got there, he turned towards JC, "Nice look by the way, but I have the feeling the PR guys might not."
"Ha ha ha. Very funny. You were supposed to be the victim not me."
Lance sat in front of the computer, and moved the mouse, disabling the screen saver.
"*N Sync Access All Area's Play Pen?"
Lance looked up at JC, "Yep. This is where I found some very very interesting things." Lance moved out of the chair, and let JC sit down.
"Just scroll down."
JC cocked his head towards Lance, and turned his attention to the computer, as he began to read.
Joey ran outside, and straight towards JC's jeep. As he was turning the key, he looked over towards one side. He looked again, shook his head, and stared. There was Chris and Shanna kissing at the base of a tree.
"Well, well." He muttered to himself. He was about to get in the car, when he realized he had no idea where Brande had gone. He looked over towards Shanna and Chris again.
'She'd know.' he thought, and slowly made his way towards them. Both of them were so wrapped up in themselves that neither one of them noticed Joey walking towards them. Joey stood quietly for a few second before finally clearing his throat. Shanna and Chris both looked up, startled to see Joey standing there. Chris had a confused look on his face,
while Shanna had a look of pure murder.
"What do you want?" Shanna ground out.
Joey looked towards Chris, and back at Shanna, who was now standing up, and facing him.
"Look, what I want to say is..."
"I don't think I want to hear it." Shanna cut him off.
Joey sighed, "I deserve that. I think I deserve a lot more than that. Everything you said in there about me was true. I wasn't thinking straight, and well, I guess I just lost my temper."
Shanna raised an eyebrow and looked at Joey disappovingly. Joey stepped back a bit before continuing. "Which I know is no excuse. I was an asshole, and I'm telling you, I am truly truly sorry."
Shanna shook her head, as Chris came up behind her, and put his arms around her waist.
"Well, that's great. But I'm not the one you should be apologizing to."
Joey ran a hand down his face, "I know, but she's not here."
"What do you mean?"
"Lance said she went rollerblading. And since I figured you knew her better, maybe you would know where she would go." Joey looked at her, pleading with his eyes.
Shanna sighed, and looked back at Chris who was smiling slightly. "Yeah. There's a couple of places, but I'd try the old school house."
"Up the road a bit from where you guys did that shoot. Keep going past the church. Off on the left there is an old school house. It has a small playground. Swings and stuff. She goes there when she gets depressed."
"Shanna. Thank You. Thank you so much." Joey said, turning around and heading towards JC's jeep.
Joey turned around and looked at Shanna.
"Don't hurt her again." was all Shanna said. Joey nodded and climbed into the jeep. Shanna and Chris watched him pull out of the drive way and take off down the street.
"You okay?" Chris asked, turning Shanna around.
"Yeah. I just..worry...."
Chris grinned, and kissed the top of her nose, "Well, stop. Joey's seen the error of his ways."
Shanna nodded, and leaned in towards Chris again. Chris smiled slightly, and lowered his head.
Shanna and Chris turned around to see Kat, Sam, and Justin all looking at them from the porch.
"Shud up." Shanna said, looking at Sam.
"It's just too cute. Chris and Shanna. How...sweet." Kat said, grabbing Justin's hand and squeezing it.
"Now, Shanna if you're done?" Sam said, looking at Shanna.
"Ummm yeah..what?" Shanna said.
Sam took a step towards them, and stared directly at Chris, with her full make-up on.
"I have a certain Chris Kirkpatrick I must kill."
Chris's eyes widened as Sam began to approach. He turned towards Shanna, and kissed her cheek quickly, "Sorry sweets. Gotta' run!" Chris took off across the yard with Sam in hot pursuit. Shanna walked towards Kat and Justin, who were watching the proceedings with much amusement.
"She's gonna kill him you realize this." Shanna said looking towards Justin
"Oh well, I'll just take over his solo's" Justin shrugged, as Chris and Sam ran past them.
"DREAM ON FRO HEAD!" Chris yelled, as he ran past the group and into the house.
Justin laughed, "Why is it half the time he can hear me, and half the time he can't."
"Old age does that to a person dear." Kat said, smacking Justin on the rear.
"Ohhh I like it rough." Justin said as he wiggled his eyebrows.
"Really?" Kat began, but Shanna cut her off.
"There are some things I just don't want to know."
"OH GOD NO!!!!"
Kat, Shanna and Justin turned towards the house, where they had heard Sam screaming. They gave each other strange looks, before running towards where the voice had come from.
They all stopped in front of the computer room, and looked inside. Justin began to laugh as Kat and Shanna screamed and ran in the room.
There they saw Chris and JC, both laughing staring at the computer, as Lance was trapped against the wall, with Sam blocking his only escape route.
"He didn't!" Kat excalaimed.
"He did. And boy am I glad he did!" Chris practically yelled.
Shanna looked over at Kat, as they both advanced on Lance.
"I'm gonna' do me some Albino hunting." Kat grinned.
Lance found himself shoved up against the wall by the two girls, he would least like to have put him in that position.
"I thought we had a deal..." Sam glared at him.
"You said you'd keep your mouth shut." Kat said.
"What do you have to say for yourself?" Sam asked, interrupting again.
"Spit it out!" Kat demanded.
"I didn't have a choice!" Lance finally got out.
Chris and JC looked at each and started laughing at that absurd remark because they both knew damn well, he had jumped at the chance to show it off.
"Shoving your foot down your throat even farther, are we?" Shanna laughed from the doorway.
"Yes..." Kat and Sam both mimiced.
"Anyway..." JC began...
Sam whirled around to face him, her fist still in Lance's shirt, therefore, jerking him with her. "I haven't even started on you yet Chasez, so I'd keep quiet."
Chris watched JC close his mouth slowly and not say a word.
"DAMN! I think that's the first time I've ever seen JC speechless...Go SAM!"
Chris..." She warned.
She nodded before turning back to Lance. "So what should be your punishment..." She looked at Kat and smiled.
Joey pulled into the parking lot and ground the gears for the millionth time in the short drive. He smiled. "What JC doesn't know, won't hurt him."
He climbed out of the Jeep and shielded his eyes against the sun to look around. He didn't see anyone but then again he was pretty far away still and any one of those dark blobs could be a person. He headed toward the park and noticed a small figure, swinging slowly while staring at the ground, wiping her eyes every now and then.
He came up from behind and pushed her on the swing.
Her head came up but she could really see who was behind her. "Who?" Brande asked, trying to get a good look at who it was.
He watched her stiffen up in her seat and become silent.
"Look... I don't know what happened back there and I'm sorry. I just...I saw you with Lance...and...there's nothing I can say that will take back the hurt that I caused you but hopefully maybe we can move on and forgive and forget."
"You called me a two-timing, two-bit..."
"I know and I'm sorry."
"Have you talked to Lance..." She asked quietly.
He kept pushing her. "Yeah, Lance and I are okay....but I think that if you don't forgive me...he might not anymore either."
She dragged her feet until she came to a complete stop and stood up to face him. "Why should I?"
"Because...because I care about you. I just met you a few days ago but...it feels like I've known you forever. It's weird, we have so much in common and it's great, it's like talking to myself. I never imagined that I'd ever meet a girl that I feel this comfortable around and click so well with."
Brande gave him a look that said she wasn't buying the line he was giving her.
He grabbed her hand. "This isn't a line. You have to feel the connection...I know I can't be going completely insane over this."
She shook her head slowly. "No...I...I feel it too."
"So...I don't know. I'm still not sure about this. You really hurt me."
"And I said I was sorry..."
"But that doesn't make the pain go away magically...it's still there."
"No but time does make it go away and that's all I'm asking for."
Brande was silent as she thought over his words. "That I can give you."
Joey looked into Brande's eyes, and sighed, "Thank you."
Brande looked down at the ground, before looking back up into Joey's eyes.
"Joey. I'm letting you know right now. It's gonna take time. A lot of it. I...I'm not going to get hurt again."
Joey brought Brande into his arms, and hugged her tightly. He leaned back and looked at her, brushing away the last of her tears.
"I promise you. As long as I live. I will never, ever let you get hurt again."
*back at home*
Lance's eyes darted from the girls to JC, Justin and Chris. "Help. Please?"
Justin shook his head, "No way man. You got yourself into this."
Lance's eyes widened, as Kat began to smile.
"I have an idea......"
Lance looked at Kat, as she leaned over to Sam.
Sam glanced at Lance, grinning from ear to ear. "Oh yeah. Shanna, need some help here."
Shanna walked towards the girls. "Happy to be of service."
Chris, JC and Justin all stood there mouths hanging open, as Shanna grabbed Lance around the waist and tossed him over her shoulder.
Kat glanced over at the other three, "We'll be back."
JC looked over at Sam, and began to open his mouth, but Sam cut him off. "JC..don't even start. I'll get you later."
And with that, Kat and Sam followed Shanna out the door, leaving the other's staring.
*back at park*
Joey and Brande walked over to JC's jeep. Joey opened up the passenger side door, letting her in.
Joey smiled, and walked over to the driver's side, and climbed in.
Brande looked out the window, as Joey started up the engine. He put the car into gear and backed up. Then she heard the gears grinding.
"Ummm..Joey. You have to push in the clutch."
Joey grinned sheepishly at her. "I'm used to an automatic."
"Obviously." Brande smiled
Joey laughed, and put the car into first to pull out of the parking lot.
Brande continued looking out the window, as Joey pulled out into the street heading back towards the house. The sun had come up completely, and the small town was starting to come alive.
Joey glanced over at Brande. "Brande?"
"Hmmm?" She looked over at Joey who was looking at her with mixed emotions.
"Umm...what exactly..I mean..." Joey stumbled over his words. He turned down the street the house was on, and slowed down to pull into the driveway.
"What is it Joey?"
Joey finished parking the car, and put on the emergency break, and turned off the car. He sighed and turned so that he was facing her. "What did those other guys do?"
Brande looked down, and away. Joey reached out and brought her head up, so that she was looking directly at him.
She glanced around again, and sighed. "I've...well...I haven't had the best of luck with men. And well, it always seems that whenever I find a guy I like..he...well..."
Joey shook his head, "I get the point. You don't have to finish."
Brande smiled again, "Thanks."
Joey nodded, and opened up his side door.
Brande opened hers too, and they both got out and headed towards the house.
Joey looked over and saw the early rising sun reflecting off of Brande's hair, giving her a halo.
Brande looked up, and caught Joey staring at her. "What?"
Joey smiled, "You look beautiful you know that?"
Brande smiled shyly, "You're too much Fatone."
Joey smiled back, "No, I'm just telling the truth."
Brande shook her head again, as Joey reached for her hand. They both locked eyes, and smiled.
"Come on." Brande whispered, as she dug out her keys, and unlocked the door.
They both walked into the house, and looked around.
"Where is everyone?" Brande asked.
Suddenly they heard a shout from the computer room. They looked at eachother, before heading in that direction.
When they walked into the door, they were greeted by a sight.
Brande and Joey stopped in the doorway and stared as Shanna hefted Lance onto her shoulder and began to walk toward them with Kat and Sam following while whispering behind them.
"What are you three doing?" Brande exclaimed.
Sam sighed. "Albino boy here showed JC and Chris the site."
Brande's face turned white. "What?!"
Kat smiled. "Exactly."
Joey looked between the girls puzzled. "What site?"
This caused the rest of the guys to start cracking up and motioning him to come over to the computer. Brande grabbed his arm when he attempted to move toward them. "There's nothing to see....please don't go over there."
"Women..."Joey laughed. "You aren't getting out of this one."
He shrugged her off and headed over to where JC was sitting and Justin and Chris were leaning over his shoulders, finishing reading the board.
"NSYNC Access All Area's Play Pen?" Joey asked, raising an eyebrow at the girls.
"Oh forget it!" Brande ground out and grabbed Shanna's arm pulling her and Lance with her.
"I'm in the mood to punish someone as well girls."
Sam and Kat laughed. "Lead the way almighty one."
JC watched the girls leave before turning back to the computer.
"This has to be my favorite one, Joe." He said pointing to the fashion show.
"SPANDEX!" Joey exclaimed and began shaking his head furiously. "There's no way...."
JC laughed. "Well at least they don't have you in chaps and bandanas and nothing else."
Justin broke in. "Or a baby blue tutu..."
"I love it that you guys have all their attention cause they don't have anything in here on me."
JC clicked back a few pages. "Oh contrair... there's a bunch of topics in here on you after you got your hair cut."
Justin watched Chris' face light up like a Christmas light and started laughing. "They are too much..."
"JC, click back, I want to finish reading...what's this about kidnapping?" Joey said, his eyes reading down the list.
Justin snickered. "Kat had this grand plan of skipping school, driving to Orlando and kidnapping our bus. Sam joined the band wagon and then Brande...they had everything down to where they would take out Mike and Lonny and the busdriver and then drive to wherever."
"Oh..." Joey said puzzled. "You know, we could arrange it if they really wanted to get their kicks by..."
JC smacked him upside the head. "Don't be stupid."
All of a sudden, someone's phone rang. "Mine." Justin said.
"Right, I'll let them know."
"Okay...got it, Mike.
"Bye." Justin shut the phone off before turning to the guys. "We had better go and grab the albino before the girls kill him and get on the road. That was Mike, they want our butts back to the hotel to pack and get on the road. We've got to get back to Orlando to rehearse for the new tour that's in a few weeks."
They all sighed. "Just when I was starting to feel normal again." JC said before standing up and stretching.
"Yeah...just when things were turning out to be pretty cool." Joey said and walked out of the room.
JC, Justin, Joey and Chris filed out the door, all grumbling. They began to head up the stairs towards where the girls had made off with Lance, but as they started up, Kat came down and blocked their way.
"Uh uh boys. The shows not yet begun." Kat walked down the stairs shooing them into the main living room. When they got in there, they saw Brande near the radio, rifling through the CDs.
"Found it yet?"
Brande looked up from the pile of CDs, and smiled when she saw the rest of the guys.
"Yep!" she waved a CD in the air, and put it into the CD player.
"Good good." Kat turned towards the guys, "Please sit. The show will beginning momentarily."
The guys all turned to each other with half amused grins on their faces.
Why do I have the feeling I should have my camera?" Joey said, sitting down on the sofa.
"One step ahead of you."
Everyone turned towards the entrance into the living room, and found Shanna standing there with her camera.
Chris grinned, "That's my girl."
Shanna rolled her eyes and stuck her tongue out at Chris.
"Promises promises." Chris chided.
JC laughed, and looked around the room. "So..uh where's Sam?"
Kat grinned and looked over at Brande. "She's putting the final touches on today's performance."
Suddenly the heard a voice ring from up-stairs, "Ready down there?"
Kat, Brande, and Shanna broke into cheshire cat grins.
"Ready!" Shanna called.
Kat turned towards the guys, as Brande walked over to the radio.
"Ladies.." she turned towards Shanna and Brande, "And gentlemen." She nodded at the guys.
"The Play Pen Crew is proud to present, that entertaining, show stopping…." Kat paused for effect, and saw out of the corner of her eye, Sam walking down with a very reluctant Lance in tow.
"That Pop Diva herself…" Kat projected her voice louder.
The guys eyes began to widen, as Brande pushed play on the radio.
"Oh baby baby…"
"Miss. Lanceney Smears!!!!"
On cue, Lance walked into the living room, and mouthed the next words that came out of the speakers.
"Oh baby baby…"
The guys's mouths dropped open at the site of their band-mate and friend. Chris was the first to smile, then chuckle…
"Oh baby baby..how was I supposed to know…" Lance mouthed again.
By now, all of the guys on the couch were rolling around laughing. Justin laughed so hard that he fell of the couch.
Lance rolled his eyes, and continued to sing. It was part of the girls "punishment."
Shanna zoomed in with the camera to catch all of Lance in his finery. The girls had somehow gotten a hold of a plaid skirt, and a pair of Brande's knee socks. They were now on Lance, with one knee sock rolling down slightly. Shanna giggled as she panned the camera up to show Lance's shirt. They had used one of Sam's old shirts and tied it up right above his navel. To top off the whole thing, they had put small pig-tails in his hair. With the pink make-up, and way too much lipstick, they had transformed Lance Bass of *N Sync, into a very scary, but quite handsome version of Britney Spears.
By now even the girls, who had dressed him up in the get-up, where now laughing so hard that they were crying.
Shanna tried hard to keep control of the camera, but after a point she had to put it down.
Once the song was over, and Lance looked at his friends laughing hysterically. He raised his eyebrows, and pursed his painted lips together. "I hope you guys appreciate what I had to do, for ya'll to see that damn web-site."
Chris looked up at Lance, who now had his hands on his hips, and tapping his foot. "Lance….I don't know how to tell you…but…I'm so glad you let us see that web-site."
"After all…" Justin finally was able to control his laughing to talk. "It's not every day we see you dressed as your real self." At that Justin began to laugh hysterically again.
"f--- You Justin." Lance said shaking his head, and smiling.
"Don't say that Lance." Brande giggled, and walked over to where he was, "He may take you up on the offer."
Lance gave her a, "f--- you too" look, and looked over a Kat. "Can I get out of this now. This bra is killing me."
Joey doubled over with laughter, and looked over at Brande, "You made him where a bra?"
"Of course, how else could we get his breast so perky looking?"
All the guys began to laugh again, as Lance glared in their general direction. "Can I PLEASE get out of this thing?"
Kat smiled, "Yes Lansten…you can get out of that now."
Lance sighed in relief and ran up-stairs to change.
Soon everyone had calmed down enough to talk. Kat sat on the couch with Justin, JC and Sam. Chris and Shanna both sat in the love seat, while Brande sat on the edge of the chair that Joey was in.
"I still can't believe..I mean how did you?" Chris started.
"It was quite simple really." Kat said, smiling at Chris, "Either he did it, or he died."
Justin chuckled a little, and grabbed Kat around the waist. "Very very clever. Why can't we do things like that?"
Shanna laughed, "Because Justin my boy, unfortunately for you, ya'll need him. We on the other hand…don't."
"I heard that."
Everyone looked towards the direction the voice was, and saw Lance coming through the entryway, rubbing his face with a towel. The girls smiled, noticing that he hadn't quite gotten off all the mascara and eye shadow.
"How the hell do you get this stuff off?" Lance asked, wiping his face with the towel once again, before sitting on the back off the couch.
"Cold cream. Except I forgot to bring some. Looks like your gonna' have to stay like that till you get back to your hotel and take a shower."
Suddenly Justin hit his hand to his head, "s--- the hotel. JC man what time is it?"
JC brought his arm back from around Sam, and looked at his watch. "Uh…9:25 why?"
Justin sighed, "What time did you say we had to be back at the hotel."
Chris banged his head against the back of the couch, "We are supposed to be at the Hotel by 10 so we can be packed and ready by 10:30"
The girls looked at each other, sadness evident on their faces.
"Does that mean you all have to go?" Sam whispered, looking over at JC.
"Yeah, it does."
JC stood up and stretched, then looked down at Sam. "Hey, cheer up... We'll see each other again."
"Right, well... it was...uh...nice to meet you and..." She didn't finish her sentence, just turned and ran up the stairs.
JC turned startled to the rest of the group.
Brande shook her head before walking over to give JC a hug goodbye. "She doesn't take goodbyes well. But, she was at least a little coherent this time and managed out a few words. Usually, she just starts crying and doesn't say a word."
Brande pressed a piece of paper into this hand. "This has her phone number and address to her apartment. I also added her cell and pager number too."
JC hugged her again. "Thanks, I don't know what to say."
"No problem, and the only thing I ask is that you write and call that girl upstairs."
JC smiled. "I don't think that will be a problem."
"A blue tutu?"
"You should get on the rest of the site and read my dreams... whoops!" Kat's eyes widened in disbelief that she had said that outloud.
Justin laughed at her expression. "Maybe I will."
"Well, if you're going to read the rest of noodles site, make sure you go to the humor section too. She has a really nice picture of you..." Kat smiled evilly.
"Uh...on second thought...with the look on your face...maybe I won't."
Kat laughed. "Oh it's not that bad."
Justin's eyes took her in her smiling face. "I could always post on the message board so we could keep in touch."
Kat shook her head. "No, I don't think that would be a good idea...if some of those girls knew it was you...not a good idea...plus...where would we go to talk about you five if you were there?"
Justin smiled true. He grabbed a piece of paper from the kitchen and wrote his cell number down. "Here...if you ever...you know want to talk."
"Thanks. I'll call you."
He gave her a hug. "Thanks. This is probably one of the best weekends I've had in a very long time."
Justin didn't know what else to say and turned to say goodbye to the rest of the girls.
"Will I be able to call you?"
"Every day if you want..." Brande smiled.
"I don't think my pockets would be able to afford the time I want to talk to you."
"Well, just call regularly then."
"I think I can do that." Joe smiled then leaned down and kissed her.
Brande grabbed a piece of paper. "This is my apartment address and phone number so you can get ahold of me."
"Don't say goodbye...I'll talk to you later."
Joey nodded. He grabbed her in a huge hug before walking out the door as fast as he could.
"That boy doesn't do goodbyes well either." Brande thought. She smiled as Justin and Lance came up to give her a hug and then follow Joey out the door to where JC had the Jeep running.
Chris looked into Shanna's eyes since they were about the same height. "I'll call...Don't worry. We just found each other..."
"I know. I just..."
"Shhh. I realize that we're...well...all we've done is kiss and not much talking....but I do want to get to know you and I won't forget you."
"That's all I wanted to know."
He kissed the end of her nose before sprinting out the door, yelling goodbye to everyone.
The girls heard the Jeep pull out of the driveway and everyone sat there stunned. "Nsync spent the weekend with us and has now left the building..." Kat whispered.
"Yeah...and..." Brande started to say.
"What now..." Shanna asked.
Brande leaned back in the recliner. "I don't know...he left...and...I'll probably never hear from him again and now I'm going to be sitting by the phone waiting and you girls know how I hate to wait and..."
Kat laughed. "Girl, you're starting to babble."
Shanna and Brande both laughed. "yeah I know..."
Shanna and Kat looked at each other. "Well... back to the grind tomorrow. What time does classes start for you,
"9 am, what about you?"
Kat slapped her forehead. "Sam and I have a chem test at 8 tomorrow. We haven't studied. Lord...breathe Kat breathe....I am not going to pass out, I'm not going to pass out."
Brande and Shanna both began to laugh as Kat made a big production of putting her head between her knees, so as not to hyperventilate.
Sam stood at the window and watched the Jeep pull out. JC saw her standing in the window and waved, before on a whim, blowing her a kiss.
"They always leave..." Sam thought as she caught his kiss.
"Always...he won't call...why would he call...wait...he doesn't have my phone, oh Brande probably gave it to him. He still won't call though..."
Sam sniffled before heading over to the stereo and cranking the music up.
*One month later*
"School is out! School is out! I'm so happy, I think I'll scream and shout!"
Sam looked up from the computer, as Kat came singing through her door. "Last class out already Kat?"
Kat grinned, and threw her book bag on the Sam's couch. "Yes Finally! Woo-Hoo! The summer time...Summer Summer Summer Time...." Kat began to sing, and dance around the room.
Sam shook her head, and turned back to her computer.
"So whacha' doin'?"
Sam looked over at Kat, who was rifling through her CD's. "Just updating my site."
"Cool." Kat nodded.
"What the heck was all that catterwailing...oh hey Kat." Shanna came out of Kitchen, carrying a soda.
"Very funny dear. Thank you." Kat grabbed Shanna's soda from her hand, and took a drink.
"Glad to be of service." Shanna rolled her eyes, and headed back to the kitchen.
Sam chuckled at the girl's antics, and went back to her site. Since the guys had left, she was able to finish a few stories.
She put on a few pictures that Brande had given her, for her new humor section. Sam heard a door close behind her, and turned to see Brande walk through, taking off the headphones she was wearing.
"Hey Sam. Hey Kat." Brande said, throwing her keys on the table by the door.
"Go ahead, make yourself at home." Sam grinned.
"Thank you. I think I will."
Shanna walked out from the kitchen with another soda in her hand. "Hey Brande."
"Oh hey Shanna." Brande grabbed Shanna's soda, and popped the top. "Thanks, how did you know I needed that?"
Shanna glared at Brande; "I'm psychic."
Brande grinned and took a drink, "Thanks."
Shanna shook her head and grumbled under her breath, "This is getting to be quite annoying."
Brande laughed, and looked over at Kat, who held her soda up to her.
"Well, you know what they say. Great minds think alike." Brande smiled, and walked over to Sam at the computer.
"So then how does that explain you two?" Sam said not looking up from her typing.
"Ha ha ha...very funny." Kat called over to Sam.
Sam grinned, and looked up at Brande, "What's up chicky?"
"Nuttin' much. What's up with you?"
"When the world that surrounds you...bring tears to your eyes..."
Sam turned around to see Kat practically hugging the speakers. "Kat what the hell are you doing?" Sam raised her eyebrows.
Kat looked over at Sam and Brande, and began to fake cry, "I miss my man. JuJu...JuJu come back!"
Brande and Sam began to laugh as Kat broke down into hysterics, all the while smiling.
"That girl is too much." Brande said, looking down at Sam.
Sam just shook her head, and continued with her typing.
"So, did he call you?"
Sam looked up with a sad expression on her face.
"No....well, yeah, but I wasn't home, so he left a message."
"And you didn't call back?" Brande asked.
"He forgot to leave his number." Sam said.
Shanna came out of the kitchen with two soda's in her hand and walked over to where Sam and Brande where.
"I thought I'd better bring out another one. Just in case."
Sam smiled and took the soda from Shanna. "Thanks."
Everyone looked over at Kat as her voice began to rise above the music. "This I promise you...ohhhh ohhh...I promise You!!!!!!" Kat sang with her eyes closed. Kat heard the sound of applauding, and opened her eyes, to see the girls clapping and shouting.
Kat rolled her eyes, and bowed, "Thank you, thank you...for my next number...."
But Kat was cut off by the sound of the doorbell ringing.
"Saved by the bell." Brande grinned, as Sam got out of her seat and went to the door.
"Ha ha ha..very funny Brande." Kat said walking over to Shanna and Brande
"Thank you." Sam said to the man at the door taking a large package from him. She closed the door.
"Hey guys, take a look at this."
"What?" Shanna called, as they all walked over to the couch where Sam was looking at the box.
"What's the box about Sam?" Kat asked.
"I have no idea, But it's addressed to Kat, Sam, Brande and Shanna care of Sam Riddle...and then my address.
"Hmmm...." Shanna said looking at the package.
"Well, girl just don't stand there looking open it up." Brande said
"Here use this." Shanna handed her pocketknife to Sam.
Sam began to open the box. Once she got the lid off she peered inside and found four small envelopes, each with their name on it. Then one long envelope with all their names, and another single vanilla envelope with just her name on it.
"Well..." Brande said, looking over at Sam.
Sam sighed and reached for the long envelope. She opened it up and began to read.
Inside each envelope you will find three things. Do not lose them. You will need them in the future. Also inside are instructions, each of you have a piece, so you have to put them together to understand them all. Okay girls. Good Luck.
~The Mystery Men
P.S. Sam, don't forget to open your present!"
Sam looked puzzedly to each girl. "What the heck?"
Brande shrugged, and took her envelope from the box.
"Ohhh a mystery...cool." Kat said, picking hers up as well.
Shanna and Sam each grabbed their respective envelopes, and looked at the others.
"Well?" Sam said looking from girl to girl.
Kat wiggled her eyebrows, and opened her envelope. The rest of the girls followed suite, and a collective gasp was heard in the room.
Inside each envelope was a piece of paper with a part of the instructions on it. Also inside was a plane ticket, a ticket to a concert and a backstage pass.
"This isn't what I think it is. Is it?" Shanna said breathlessly.
Sam opened up the plane ticket holder, and looked at the destination. "Orlando."
The girls all looked at each other, mouths opened.
They stared at the tickets, "Oh my god, they're front row. Oh my god...Oh my god!!!"
Brande started jumping up and down.
"Calm down girl. Let's get these instructions figured out." Sam said, trying to calm herself as well.
They soon where able to get them all in order. Once done Sam began to read.
"Congrats! You did it. Okay, if you hadn't guessed it by now, you're on a mission. A mission to get down here, and visit some friends of yours who miss you gals something bad. So here's the next part. Today at 4:30, a man will pick you up at your house. We have figured it out, since Kat, Brande, and Shanna live down the hall, you won't have rush to pack anything. You'll be here for a week, so what you don't have, you can get when you get here. When the man comes and get's you, follow him out. He will take you to the airport. Once there, check in. Get on the plane, and relax. The first part is over. When you land in Orlando, go to the customer service counter. Give the guy/girl your name and they'll hand you another envelope with more instructions.
Now, hurry up! You don't have much time.
~The Mystery Men
Kat's jaw practically fell to the ground. "Oh my. What time is it?"
"Umm...2:30." Brande said, looking at her watch.
"We've only got two hours!" Kat said, standing up. "Sorry girls, but..." Kat raised out the door, and down the hall to her apartment.
"I'm with her." Shanna said, and rushed off after her.
Brande looked over at Sam and laughed, "I better go get started too. What's in the other envelope to you?"
Sam grabbed the package, "Don't know let's find out, shall we?"
Sam opened it up, and turned it upside down. From the envelope fell a Teen Beat magazine.
"What the.." Sam picked it up, and noticed *N Sync on the front. It was signed to her, and under Lance's name was a message..
"Sam, so you don't have to sneak anymore." Sam read outloud
Brande started laughing as Sam's face turned red.
"I'm gonna' kill him." Sam said, looking down at the cover.
"But it's pretty funny." Brande said.
Sam glared at her, as Brande walked towards the door.
"I better go get packed. See you in two hours."
"Yeah, bye for now." Sam said, as Brande shut the door behind her. Sam looked back at the magazine and grinned.
"What have you guys have planned?" She asked looking at the cover. Sam shook her head, and put the magazine down, heading for her bedroom.
"Well, in the immortal words of a certain five guys...Here We Go."
Sam stood in front of her closet, picking up random clothing from the floor and tossing them over her shoulder. "Unwashed. Needs washing. Oh gross, don't think so. *sniff* Clean. Perfect. Am I going to need something dressy? Probably just in case...ummm....swimsuit?"
Sam pulled out her bikini and stared at it. "Ummmm... why not..."
She threw the rest of her clothing into her bag and walked out into the living room to find Brande struggling with a huge suitcase to get through the door.
"Girlie, you are NOT going to need that much." Sam exclaimed.
"I know...but...I couldn't help myself and I couldn't decide what to bring."
"So you brought your entire closet?"
Brande smiled. "Pretty much."
Shanna and Kat both walked up behind Brande and shoved her through the door.
"You're blocking the entrance, move it." Kat yelled, while laughing.
Brande stuck her tongue out at her then jumped when someone knocked on the door.
Sam walked to the door and opened it to find a man dressed in a black suit wearing sunglasses standing before her.
"I'm here to pick up a Ms. Kat, Ms. Sam, Ms. Shanna, and a Ms. Brande."
Sam exchanged bewildering looks with the girls before answering. "That would be us."
"Alright, follow me."
The girls hefted their bags and made their way down to a rental car and piled their bags into the back.
The drive to the airport was relatively short but it felt like it took forever to the girls, due to the fact that the guy acted like he was a drivers license tester and couldn't speak to any of the occupants.
That didn't stop Kat though. She talked to him nonstop the entire way until she had him smiling in acknowledgement if nothing else.
They thanked the driver at the airport and sprinted through the terminal till they reached their gate.
Shanna checked the ticket. "Gate 607, United. Boards in...15 minutes."
They checked in at the ticket counter just in time before boarding.
Sam gave the flight attendant her ticket and was shown to first class.
She smiled as the girls sat down around her. "I could certainly get used to this."
Brande leaned back. "Me too. This is the life."
They had to sit through the flight attendant's speech on safety but finally the plane lifted up and they were on their way to Orlando to see the guys.
When the seatbelt sign clicked off, Shanna leaned over the aisle to where Sam and Brande were sitting. "So...have either of you actually talked to the guys?"
Brande shook her head. "Yeah, Joey and I talk almost every night. We've really gotten closer this past month but I had no clue that they had a week off. This must have been planned for a long time."
Sam grimaced. "Josh and I keep missing each other. He calls when I'm gone and... always forgets to leave his number. He's called two different times... I just don't know...this is going to be weird."
Brande reached over and squeezed her hand. "It'll be fine. Maybe he's just shy or something..."
"Or too busy to call." Sam said snidely.
Shanna laughed. "Or just too busy in the studio and when he does have time is too considerate to call late."
Brande laughed. "I think Shanna hit it on the nose."
"I don't know..."
Brande glanced back at Sam. "Don't think about it. It'll kill your brain to analyze it and then you'll turn into Kat. Very scary." Brande shuddered before glancing over at Kat who wasn't paying an ounce of attention to them.
She was too busy being plugged into her headphones, rocking out to some group and singing under her breath.
Sam shook her head before signaling for the first available flight attendant. "Might as well put free drinks to free use up here."
Brande and Shanna stared at her. "You're going to drink?!"
Sam smiled impishly. "Why not?"
The plane touched down in Orlando on time, but the girls practically had to carry a very giggly Sam out of the plane.
"Who let her drink this much?" Brande muttered.
"You were the one sitting by her?" Shanna stated.
Brande glared at her. "You're point..."
Kat sighed as she brought up the rear, carrying the bags. "You'd think she'd know by now that alcohol goes straight to her brain when she gets nervous. Remember that Eric guy she made a fool of herself over..."
Brande laughed. "Oh yeah...but what has she to be nervous about this tr... oh right the fact she hasn't talked to JC for, hmmm, a month really..."
Kat nodded. "Exactly."
Shanna began to laugh. "Imagine their faces when we bring her drunk ass to wherever we're going."
The three began to crack up as they made their way to the customer service counter. Kat sobered up quickly though.
"You don't think it's a party, do you?"
Brande stopped in midlaugh. "I hope not for her sake."
"Can I help you?"
Shanna laughed, as she juggled Sam to an upright position. "I sure hope so. Our names are.... and we were told you had something for us?"
"Oh right, here ya go."
She handed over four slim envelopes before turning to help the next group.
Brande turned to the girls. "Well, let's open these bad boys up and get to our men."
Brande opened up her envelope, and pulled out a piece of paper. She looked at the other three girls, who stared at theirs.
"Well?" She asked.
Kat and Shanna shrugged, and opened up theirs. Brande looked over at Sam, who was giggling while trying to open the thing up.
"Oh give it to me." Brande sighed. Sam handed over the envelope, and Brande ripped it open.
Kat and Shanna studied their papers.
"This make's no since." Shanna said.
Brande looked at hers and Sam's.
"It's another one of those put together things, here." Brande grabbed the four papers, and headed over to the terminal bar.
She placed all the papers on the table, as Shanna and Kat brought Sam over.
"Can I help you?" The bartender said.
Shanna looked at Sam, and then back to the bartender, "Yeah, a cup of coffee."
"Black" Kat added.
"Okay girls, I think I figured it out."
Kat and Shanna looked at Brande, as the bartender placed a cup of coffee infront of Sam.
Sam looked at it puzzedly.
Shanna sighed and grabbed Sam's hands and put it around the coffee cup. "Drink. It'll sober you up."
Sam nodded loosely and took a sip.
"Yuck! That taste nasty."
"It's supposed to." Shanna said, "Now the letter?"
Brande looked over at the girls and began to read.
Congratulations. You made it to our hometown. Hope you had a good trip. Okay, now for your next set of directions. Go to the front of the terminal. There will be a man waiting for you, with a sign. You'll know when you see it. He'll be taking you to where you're staying for the week. When you get there, check in. Your under your own names, two
room's, connected. (Hope yo don't mind.) Go to your room's and wait. You'll get your next instructions there. Oh and by the way...Welcome to Orlando.
~The Mystery Men"
Kat looked over at Sam, who was shaking her head vigorously, "I guess she wasn't as drunk as we thought. Sam you gonna' be okay hunny?"
Sam shook her head, "Yeah. Thanks guys."
"No problem sweetie, now...let's go get our luggage, and find this man." Shanna said.
Brande paid the bartender for the coffee, and grabbed her carry-ons.
The girls nodded, and headed towards the luggage carousel.
They never noticed the two men, standing in the corner wearing baseball hats, trench coats, and sunglasses. One of the men took out his cell phone, and hit a button.
"Motherbird? This is Blue Jay. The canaries have landed." The man flashed a grin to his partner who returned the smile.
The four girls walked out into the Florida sunshine, each shielding their eyes.
"Damn it's bright here!" Kat said, squinting into the sunlight.
"First thing to purchase, Sunglasses." Sam mumbled.
Brande laughed and looked around at the parked cars. "Hmmm...wonder where the guy..uh...girls.." Brande pointed to a man in a chauffeur's outfit, with a sign that read, "Play Pen Gals."
Kat rolled her eyes, "I'm gonna' kill him."
The girls laughed, and walked over to the man.
"Yes?" he asked looking at them.
"Uh..we're the play pen gals." Shanna said.
"Oh good, right this way please." He walked over to a limo that was running.
"No way!" Brande practically yelled.
"This is soo hella cool!" Kat said, as she climbed in to the limo.
Sam and Shanna laughed and went inside, followed by Brande.
They looked around the inside of the limo, and noticed a radio.
"Ohh..wonder what's on?" Shanna said, turning on the radio.
They heard the driver get in the car, and pull out.
Shanna fiddled with the radio, as Kat, Sam, and Brande all messed with the button's controlling the sunroof, and windows.
"Hey hey..Bye Bye Bye!!!!"
All the girls in the limo screamed and began to sing at the top of their lungs.
*at the hotel*
The girls got out of the limo, and looked up at the hotel.
"Damn!" Shanna said.
"My words exactly." Sam said, looking up at the towering building.
The girls turned to see a bellboy with all their luggage on the cart.
"Oh, sorry." Kat said.
They walked into the hotel, and headed towards the front desk.
"May I help you please?" The person at the desk asked.
"Uh..yeah. Umm...I think we have a room here. It should be under a Sam Riddle...."
The woman looked in the computer, and nodded, "Yes.two rooms conjoining..." She handed Sam four sliding cards,
"Rooms 456 and 457. The bell-hop will show you to your rooms."
"Cool thanks." Sam said, as they followed their bellhop into the elevator.
"You guys do realize that this is probably the coolest thing that has ever happened to us, right?" Brande asked, as the elevator began to rise.
"Better than Chocolate Ice-cream?" Kat asked raising her eyebrows.
Shanna and Brande looked at each other, and grinned, "*N Sync sundae's" They said together, as the elevator stopped, and they got out.
"Oh my god..that was way funny." Sam said.
The bellhop stopped infront of one of the rooms. "Here you go ladies." He turned and began to head off.
"Wait a minute.." Brande said as she began to dig through her purse. The bellhop raised his hand, "No need Miss. Already taken care of."
Brande raised her eyebrows, as the bellhop went down the elevator.
"Okay who rooms with who?" Sam asked, waving the cards.
"Umm..don't care." Shanna said grabbing one of the cards.
"Me neither." Kat said, grabbing the other one. Sam and Brande shrugged and each took one.
"Okay I have 457." Kat said.
Shanna grinned, "Me too. Look's like we're roomies."
Brande looked over at Sam, "Well, that leaves us two." The girls split up, and each went into their hotel room.
Sam and Brande walked into their room, and threw their bags on the bed.
"Nice place." Brande nodded, looking around the room.
"Very." Sam agreed.
They heard a knock coming from the linking door.
Brande went over and opened it, finding Shanna standing there.
"I thought we just got rid of you?" Kat smiled.
"Ha ha very funny." Shanna walked into their room and sat down on one of the beds.
"Where's Kat?" Sam asked, sitting in one of the chairs around the room.
"No I'm not."
They all turned to see Kat walk in and sit down on the other bed. "So now what?" Kat asked.
Sam shrugged, "Don't know. I guess we..." Sam was interrupted by the phone on the bedside ringing."
The girls all looked at the phone for a moment, before Shanna reached over and picked it up.
"Well, ready for the next clue?"
Shanna smiled at the voice. "Well if it isn't the albino..."
Lance laughed. "I told them my voice was a little inconspicuous."
Sam glared at the phone. "Give me that...I have a few choice words to deliver."
Shanna shook her head no.
Lance laughed. "Is that Sam in the background I hear?"
"Yes, I don't think she was happy with her gift."
Lance cracked up. "Yeah, JC said she was going to be royally ticked off, but I couldn't help it."
"So when do we get to meet our mystery men?" Shanna asked.
"When you find us of course." Lance said, as if that was the logical answer.
Shanna muttered under her breath before continuing on. "So, what's our next clue."
"So glad you asked that question, madam. In a few moments you'll hear..."
Shanna couldn't hear his next words over the screams of quite a few teenage girls down in the lobby.
Sam, Kat, and Brande all took one long look at each other before grabbing Shanna and taking off for the lobby.
When they got there, all they could see was a limo leaving the curb with girls running after it.
Kat looked at Shanna. "So what did he say?"
"He got cut off by the screams said our next clue would be something that we'd hear..."
Brande nodded. "The screams. They were calling from downstairs probably...so now what?"
Sam held up a key that the clerk had just handed her. "We follow them. It's out in the parking lot." She grinned. "A red jeep."
The girls rolled their eyes before running for the lot. Shanna checking to see where it went. Kat grabbed the key from Sam. "I'm driving. After the stunt you pulled on the flight, you aren't driving."
"Fine...I get to later though."
Kat laughed. "Go for it."
The two guys dresses in hats, glasses and trenchcoats stepped out from the shade by the front door of the hotel.
"Blue Jay to Motherbird. Tell the driver to slow down, the canaries are arguing about who the leader of the flight should be."
"WHAT! Justin...speak in English."
Justin laughed. "Sorry, JC. The girls seem to be arguing about who's driving...oh wait, Kat is and they're off..."
"Okay, I'll let Chris know to slow down so that they can catch up."
"All right. So how much longer are we going to drag them around Orlando?"
"I don't know, probably till we get them to the studios where we have to rehearse today."
"Over and out."
Joey looked over at Justin who was pouting. "Aw, what's wrong, little blue jay?"
"I'm just anxious to see Kat."
"We're all anxious to see them, J. Soon enough."
"I know, Joe. I know."
The two walked over to Justin's Mercedes to head over to the next checkpoint and make sure the "canaries" landed.
"There they are..hurry up..."
Kat looked over her shoulder and saw Brande leaning forward.
"I'm hurrying I'm hurrying...wait…damn it…where they go?"
Kat looked through the traffic, but couldn't spot the limo.
"Shit, we lost them." Shanna practically shouted besides Kat.
The girls all looked at each other then to the glove compartment of the jeep. Shanna shrugged, as she opened it up, and pulled out a cell phone.
"Kat, pull over." Sam said.
Kat drove for a bit, before finding a Wal-Mart, and pulling into the parking lot. Shanna clicked the phone on.
"This isn't funny."
Lance laughed, "I think it is. You didn't think you we're gonna' get away that easily?"
Shanna groaned, suddenly the phone was snatched out of her hand. She turned to see Brande grinning at her with the phone in her hand.
"Lance, I swear…this is getting to be a little irritating." She could hear other voices in the background laughing.
"Sorry…but their rules are the rules. Ready for the clue?"
Brande sighed, "Go ahead Oh Great White one."
Lance chuckled, "Okay here it is, behind the back seat is a backpack. Inside you will find two polaroid camera's, with two extra packs of film. Also there are four tickets two Disney World, and a map of how to get there. We are sending you on a sort of scavenger hunt. The proof you did it will be the pictures. Your list of things to do and get, are in the bag as well."
"Is that it?"
"Yes, for now. Keep the cell on one of you gals. Talk to you later."
Brande heard the phone click off. She turned off her phone, and looked towards the girls who were all looking at her expectantly.
"Well?" Kat said.
"We're off to Disney World."
"Woo-Hoo, I've always wanted to go there." Shanna said.
Brande rolled her eyes, and reached over the back seat to find the bag. She opened it up, and dug out the two camera's handing one to Shanna and the other to Sam. She got out the rest of the things, and opened the map.
"You ready Kat?" She asked, looking into the mirror.
Kat looked up, and winked. "Aye Aye, Captn."
It was close to 10 p.m. when the girls all came back together at Cinderella's Castle.
"Did you get the hats?"
Kat smiled and held up 5 hat's each with one of the guys names.
Brande looked down the list.
"Okay…hats...we rode three rides…"
Shanna looked over at Sam who still looked a bit green from Space Mountain.
"Check" Sam said weakly.
Shanna laughed, and Sam hit her in the arm. "Not funny." This caused Shanna to laugh harder.
"Okay girls…it looks like we got everything…but...having our picture taken with Mickey and Minnie Mouse." She looked up at the girls, who all had puzzled looks on their faces.
"We've looked all over for them…no where." Sam said, looking around again.
"Well, we can't turn in our sheet, until we find them and get our picture taken." Brande said.
"Wait…look...there they are." Shanna pointed.
All four girls turned around to see Mickey and Minnie Mouse heading towards them. The girls all looked at each other and took off at a dead run towards them.
"Hey Hey Mickey!" Kat shouted.
The person in the Mickey costume turned around and waved. All the girls came to a stop in front of them.
"Hey...we were wondering if we could get a picture with you and your lovely girl-friend." Brande said, grinning up at the giant mouse.
Mickey nodded, and motioned for Minnie, to come over.
Shanna found a person to take the picture and all the girls gathered around the Mice.
"Okay girls…say cheese."
The flash went off, and the person came forward to give them their camera back.
"Wait…can you take one more?" Sam said.
The girls all looked at Sam with puzzled faces.
"For us." She said.
They all grinned, as the flash went off again.
"Thanks alot." Shanna said, grabbing both the camera and the pictures.
"That's it…now to the info booth, to meet the Tyler guy." Kat said.
Brande turned towards Mickey. "Thanks a lot." She looked over at Minnie who was looking in her direction. She looked back at Mickey and grinned.
"Hope your girlfriend doesn't mind.." She leaned up and kissed the mouse on the cheek.
"Thanks again. Hey girls…wait up!!!" Brande ran after the girls, who were making their way to the booth.
The two costumed mice, headed toward one of the fake buildings and headed inside. As soon as they got in, they took off their masks.
"She's a cutie huh?" one of the men asked.
"I still don't know why I had to be Minnie." the other man said, trying to straighten his hair.
"Justin, give it up man." Joey said, walking towards the dressing room, with the Mickey head under his arm.
"What's that supposed to...wait…Joe…man...wait up…"
The girls all came up to the info booth, and waited. A young man came around with a grin from ear to ear.
"Can I help you?" he asked.
Kat smiled, "Yeah, we're looking for Tyler?"
The young man grinned once again, "That's me, and you four must be the Play Pen gals..."
Kat's eyebrows shot up. "Yes we are."
"Did you get everything?"
All the girls placed what they had on the counter. Pictures of various rides, hat's, some t-shirts, everything that was on the list.
Tyler went down the checklist. "Yep, everything's here." He reached down under the counter and pulled out a envelope.
"Here you ladies go."
"Thanks." Shanna said, as she took the envelope and tore into it. All the girls took up the things they got, began to follow Shanna, who was making her way to a table.
"Sam?" Tyler called out.
Sam turned around, "Uhh...yeah?"
Tyler grinned, "My brother wanted you to know, that he's awfully sorry he didn't get a hold of you, and that…well…" Tyler began to blush.
Sam grinned and walked towards the booth again.
"Your Tyler Chasez? JC's brother?"
Tyler grinned again, "Yep, that be me. He'd tell you himself, except Chris thought that this scavenger hunt thing would drive you all crazy and..." Tyler trailed off.
"It's okay…tell JC I miss him too. So this was Chris's plan, huh? Thanks Tyler."
Sam leaned over and kissed Tyler on the cheek before heading over to the rest of the girls.
"Where'd you go?" Shanna asked.
"Oh…I was talking to Tyler…Chasez…that was JC's younger brother."
"That's why he looked a little familiar." Brande said.
So what does that note say?"
Shanna sighed, and looked up at Sam, "Well, it says to head on back to hotel, and we'll get our next clue tomorrow. So it looks like the rest of the night is ours."
"Good…I'm tired." Sam said.
Suddenly their was a loud banging overhead. The girls looked up to see the fireworks going off.
"Ohh..." Kat said, looking up into the night sky.
The girls all watched until the grand finale. As they headed out towards the parking lot, Brande nudged Sam. "So what did Tyler want?"
Sam grinned, "He was just telling me how sorry JC was for not talking to me as much."
"Oh..." Brande said nodding.
"And he told me who's idea this all was."
Brande looked over at Sam. "And…"
Sam looked over at Brande, "Chris."
Brande shook her head, "He's gonna die."
Sam laughed, as the girls all filed into the Jeep.
"I'm driving." Sam said.
Kat shrugged, and tossed the keys to Sam.
Joey and Justin watched as the taillights of the jeep disappeared out of the parking lot.
"So those were the girls huh?"
They turned around to see Tyler standing behind them.
Tyler raised his eyebrow, "Cute..."
Joey looked over at Tyler, "Lay off man…they are all taken."
Tyler held up his hands, "No problem man. Wouldn't even think about it."
"Good." was all that Justin said.
"So you all coming over to my house tonight." Tyler asked.
Justin shook his head. "Yep, we're meeting the other guys there. Tomorrow is JC and Chris's turn to be the lookouts."
"Cool." Tylre said nodding. He pulled his key's out of his pocket, "So I'll see ya'll there." Tyler walked off towards his car, leaving Justin and Joey standing on the sidewalk.
"It's killing you huh?" Joey asked.
Justin shrugged his shoulders, and nodded reluctantly, "She's right here man. I could reach out and touch her…but I can't."
Joey sighed, and placed an arm around his young friend.
"Well, you're not alone. Come on, one more day..."
Justin nodded his head.
"Let's go meet the guys." Joey said and both men walked towards Justin's car.
Sam groaned and rolled over, taking the pillow with her.
She reached out and grabbed the alarm clock and bashed it against the wall in hopes that would stop the offensive noise.
Brande rolled over and watched Sam finally toss the clock across the room, however, the sound didn't go away.
"Sam, it's the phone."
"Make it stop." Came mumbled from under the pillow causing Brande to giggle softly before reaching for the phone.
"I think you have the wrong person, Lance."
"No, I know who I'm talking to Brande. Everyone up?"
Brande looked over at Sam who was bundled under her covers with the pillow still over her head, sound asleep.
"No, but they will be soon."
"Good, your next clue is waiting for you down at the desk. Happy Hunting today!"
Brande groaned and went to glance at the clock but remembered that it was now out of commision.
"Hey Lance, do you happen to know what time it is?"
"Time...it's...8 AM. Why?"
"No reason, our clock was just broken is all so I was curious."
"Ummmm kay. Anyway...I've been told I've spoken enough and must go."
Brande stared at the receiver before shrugging and heading toward the bathroom but not before grabbing Sam's cover and yanking them off her.
"Time to get up and get a move on." She sang as she walked by as Sam grumbled incoherently before settling into Brande's bed and going back to sleep.
"I've got coffee, juice, bagels, muffins, you name it I got it." Brande said walking into the hotel room as they were waiting on Kat to finish getting ready.
Sam just glared at her.
"What is your problem this morning?" Brande asked, setting the food down on the table.
"Someone didn't tell me that they snored loudly and that it would keep me up all night."
"I do not snore."
"No, but...I don't."
Sam raised an eyebrow.
"Okay...so maybe I do a little but..."
Shanna stepped into the room. "So what's the clue, I take it you grabbed the envelope downstairs."
"Yeah...all it is, is four tickets to Universal. I think they've lost their creative edge."
"Maybe or just got sick of writing or something..."
"More likely something." Sam said before grabbing the keys and a ticket. "KAT! Hurry up!"
They were let into Universal Studios and handed a map. They stood around, trying to figure out what they were supposed to do.
"What now?" Kat said.
"I dunno." Sam said shrugging.
Brande looked at the map in Shanna's hand. "What's there to do...oh I want to see where Joey was the Wolfman." She grabbed the map from Shanna and opened to find a handwritten message on it.
"How long did you guys take to look at map? A few minutes? An hour? Anyway...your mission, should you choose to accept it is to go to each live show and pick up a clue from one of the cast members. This will lead you to your final destination."
The girls looked at each other then counted the number of shows. "There's four of them." Shanna said pointing. "Let's split up and meet back here, in say...two hours."
"Sounds good." Sam said and wandered off.
"JC, man, you'll talk to her soon."
"But..." JC followed after Sam, keeping a low profile with his hat and glasses but couldn't take his eyes off of her.
Chris grabbed him by the collar and dragged him back a safe distance. "Get it together, man."
JC glared at him. "We could've spent last night with them but no....someone had to be clever and think up this stupid..."
Chris eyed him. "Yeah, and you all thought it would be hilarious to go along with it."
C lost his steam. "I know...it's just...she's so close. Tyler talked to her yesterday and said that I had good taste...and not to lose this one."
Chris watched Sam walk into the show and sit down front. "Yeah, I think you found a good one this time. She's definitely better looking and a hell of a lot more intelligent than your past girlfriends."
JC laughed. "Yeah and she doesn't giggle uncontrollably and primp 24 hours a day like most of them did either."
Chris sighed. "Lord did they ever..."
The girls met in exactly two hours and pieced together the clues. One sheet said music, one said practice, one said album, one said tour and the last one said NSA.
"What? I don't get it." Shanna said sitting down.
Kat, Sam and Brande continued to read over the words silently to themselves over and over. Sam looked at Kat and they both said at once. "Recording Studio?"
Brande's eyes lit up. "Jive Records. Bet they have rehearsal today."
Shanna stood up and brushed off her pants. "Let's go so that we can kill them for this."
They all nodded and ran for the Jeep.
JC grabbed his cell phone and dialed Justin's number. "They're on their way, see ya in a few."
Chris clapped an arm around the younger man's shoulders. "Almost done...almost done."
The girls pulled up at the entrance of Jive records and stared at the massive building.
"Wow." Brande said, pulling off her sunglasses, and looking up.
Sam shook her head, and drove towards the guard's gate.
"Did anyone think of how we would actually get in here?" Shanna said, looking in the back towards Brande and Kat. The two girls shrugged.
"May I help you ladies?"
Sam turned from Shanna, to the older man who was at the guard house.
"Umm…hey...we…uh..." Sam looked towards Shanna again, who shrugged. Sam widened her eyes, and looked backwards towards Kat and Brande.
Brande bit her lip, and mouthed one word.
Sam moved her head from side to side and turned back towards the guard.
"We're here to see *N Sync."
The man looked at Sam for a second than turned and looked towards Kat and Brande in the back. Both girls smiled very big, and waved.
"Uh...huh…and who may I ask are you?"
Sam bit her lips, and tightened her hands on the steering wheel. "We're friends of the guys."
The guard nodded his head, "Sure...you and about a half dozen other girls. Nice try ladies but..." the guard was cut off by his phone. "One second." he walked in to answer it.
"I'm gonna' kill 'em." Shanna gritted out between her teeth.
"Not if I don't get to em first." Sam said smiling.
"I can't believe they..." Brande started
"Chris…Chris did." Kat corrected.
"Sorry, I can't believe CHRIS sent us on this while goose chase to end up here, and forget to let them know we're coming." Brande banged her head on the back of seat.
"I'm gonna' kill em. I'm gonna kill em." Shanna hit her fist on the dash.
The girls all turned towards the guard's booth.
"Sorry ladies about all of that. Go right on in."
Sam's eyes widened, and her mouth fell open. "But…uh...thank you."
"No problem. Pull ahead, you want to go to the third building on the left. Room 230."
"Thanks." Sam smiled, and pulled forward past the gate-house. As she made her way towards their final destination, she looked over at Shanna. "We got in."
"I'm still gonna' kill em." Shanna said grinning.
"They're gonna hurt you…"
Chris looked over at Lance who was peeking out between the blinds watching the girls pull into the parking spot.
"How was I supposed to know they'd get here so soon?"
Joey and Justin laughed from the floor in the rehearsal hall.
"Man I told you…tell the guard in the morning but nooo." JC laughed.
"I seriously thought it would take them longer." Chris exclaimed.
"They're gonna' hurt you. They're gonna hurt you." Lance taunted from the window.
"Oh yeah. I think I'm about to put on rare albino into extinction." Chris made his way towards Lance, who moved away from the window, and was now edging close to JC.
"JC man, a little help here." Lance said, eyeing Chris.
"Oh hell no. You got yourself into this." JC laughed as Chris lunged towards Lance.
"Ahhh HELP!" Lance yelled, and dodged Chris.
Joey and Justin laughed, and watched Chris chase after Lance.
"20 bucks on the Albino." Justin said, glancing over at Joey.
Joey looked back at the younger man, "Since when did you go for such long shots, you're on little man."
"Umm excuse me, Joey?"
Joey and Justin looked up to see one of the secretaries for Jive records standing in the doorway.
"Yeah?" Joey said, not getting up.
"Umm…if you don't mind, their are a few things that I need you to fill out. That is if you're not busy." She smiled sweetly.
Joey glanced over at Justin and rolled his eyes. "Sure, no problem." Joey stood, up and walked over to where she was waiting by the door.
JC shook his head, and walked over to Justin. He squatted down, and looked at his younger friend.
"That girl is nuts." JC said, looking at the now empty doorway.
"I know. She's had her eye on him, since we got here."
"Think he knows?"
Justin looked up at JC with a very amused expression. "We are talking about Joey here. If it was Lance, I could see you asking that question, but this is Joe."
JC shook his head and laughed, "Oh sorry. What was I thinking."
"AHHHHH GET OFF ME!!!!!"
JC and Justin turned to see Lance sitting on top of Chris, grinning from ear to ear.
"Wow, the old man is loosing his touch." JC commented, as he stood up, to try to get Lance off of Chris.
"And Joey just lost 20 bucks." Justin said, standing up and following JC.
"Where is Joe anyway?" Lance asked looking around the room.
"Oh, he had to go sign some papers."
Lance looked up at Justin, "Really?? Crazy secretary?"
"Yup." Justin stated.
"You know not that this conversation is really that boring, but will someone get him off of me!"
The three men all looked down at Chris, who was sprawled on his stomach.
"Oh sorry, forgot all about you." Justin said, laughing.
"HA HA HA…get him off."
JC grabbed Lance's arm and pulled him off of Chris.
Lance looked down, at a still unmoving Chris.
"Uh oh…I think I killed him."
"Uh uh...you can't kill him till we do."
The four men all looked towards the door, where the girls had just entered, and were all grinning. They looked at each other for a second before breaking out into grins, and sprinting over to the girls.
Justin ran over to Kat, and grabbed her around the waist. Kat laughed as he swung her in the air. "Oh I missed you!" Justin said, burying his face into her hair.
Kat smiled, and pulled back to look into Justin's clear blue eyes. "I missed you too, JuJu."
Justin grinned, and lowered his head, for the sweetest kiss Kat had ever had.
Chris scrambled up from the floor, and made his way over to Shanna "Hey babe." he said, reaching out and taking her hands in his.
"I'm gonna kill you. You realize this right." Shanna said, looking into Chris's warm brown eyes.
Chris tilted his head, pretending to think about it. "Can I get a kiss first." Chris wiggled his eyebrows, and stuck out his lower lip.
Shanna grinned, "Stop that. I can't resist that face."
"That would be the whole point." Chris leaned in and kissed Shanna gently on the lips. "I missed you." he whispered, his face near hers.
"I missed you too." Shanna whispered, as their lips met once again.
JC stared across the room. She was here, finally here. Sam looked away from Brande who was talking to JC.
Her face became a unreadable, as JC walked toward her.
Brande looked back and forth between JC and Sam, before catching Lance's eye, and nodding towards the hall. Lance shook his head, as they both went outside.
Sam didn't notice Brande leaving. The only thing she could see was JC. JC stopped in front of Sam, and looked down at her. "Hi."
Sam bit her bottom lip and looked up, into a pair of the most startling blue eyes she had ever seen in her life. A pair of eyes that she thought she had known all her life. "Hi." she said shyly.
JC ran his the back of his hand across the side of her face. "How ya' doing?" he asked, looking into her eyes.
Sam leaned into his hand, as he moved his hand into her hair. "Better."
JC raised his eyebrows, "Better?"
Sam tilted her head, and smiled slightly, "Now that I'm with you."
JC's inhaled quickly with that one simple declaration.
"Sam…" he murmured before lowering his head, and kissing her with all the love and passion he had been wanting to show her.
Brande and Lance walked into the hall way, leaving all the kissing couples inside.
Lance turned to Brande and held open his arms.
"Where's my hug?"
Brande laughed, and ran into Lance's arms hugging him back.
"Dang girl, I forgot how short you were."
Brande looked up at Lance, and stuck out her tongue, "Yeah yeah yeah. And I forgot how white you were." She said punching him in the arm.
"Owww." Lance rubbed his arm.
"That did not hurt." Brande said, rolling her eyes at him.
Lance shrugged his shoulders, "So."
Brande rolled her eyes again, before grabbing Lance's arm, as they began to walk down the hallway.
"So did you gals enjoy the little scavenger hunt?"
"Yeah, we did. But don't do it again."
Lance laughed as they came upon the cafeteria.
"So, where's my Joers?" Brande asked, as Lance opened up the door.
"Oh, he had to go sign some papers, he should..." Lance looked towards the last table, and saw something he really didn't want to see. Lance slammed the door shut suddenly and turned towards Brande. "Umm..I'm not that hungry anymore. Let's go outside, okay?"
Brande raised her eyebrows, "Oh come on Lance. All I've had to eat today was a apple fritter. I'm starving." She pushed Lance out of the way, and opened the door.
'Please let there be an explanation...' Lance thought, as he followed her in.
"Now Lance, where do ya'll keep the..." Brande trailed off as she looked over to the corner. She felt Lance behind her.
"I'm sorry Brande, I'm sure...."
"Save it." she said. She turned around and ran out of the cafeteria, slamming the door behind her.
Joey finally shoved the secretary off of him, and began to straighten his shirt.
"What the hell. I have a girlfriend. And if you do that one more time…I will find a way to fire you. Now stay away from me." Joey yelled, anger showing on his face. He looked up to see Lance standing by the door. Joey looked at Lance, then to the door that was swaying in and out slightly. Lance shook his head, and looked at Joe.
"Oh…SHIT!" Joey yelled, as he pushed himself from table. He walked over towards Lance. "Lance man…this is not what you think."
"I know…I heard. But she didn't." Lance said, nodding towards the door.
"FUCK!" Joey screamed, as he balled of his fist, and hit them against his thighs.
Lance shook his head, and placed a hand on Joey's shoulder.
Joey looked up at Lance. "What now?"
Lance shook his head, "Go get her. And be ready to explain."
Joey ran his hand over his face, and took off through the cafeteria doors.
Brande ran back to the rehearsal room and grabbed Sam, breaking off JC's kiss. "I'm leaving."
Sam eyes widened. "No, you're not."
"Yes I am."
Kat shook her head. "What happened?"
Brande's eyes welled with tears. "He..her...they..."
Justin looked at JC and both nodded. Crazy secretary.
C walked over to her and pulled her into a hug. "It wasn't what you think you saw."
"What else could it be?" She said sniffling into his shirt.
"Well, you see..."
Joey burst into the room at that moment. "Brande..."
JC could feel her recoil into him and hugged her tighter.
"Brande let me explain."
"I think what I saw was explanation enough."
"No, it's not."
Brande looked up at him with fire in her eyes. "Oh really...a month ago, you jumped all over me calling me things that I wasn't for falling asleep in a groupmates arms and NOW! I can't be upset and have to listen to YOUR explanation when I caught you red-handed kissing someone else. I DON'T THINK SO!"
Joey took a step back at the angry words. "But..."
JC waved him off. "Brande, listen...she's a secretary that works here that has been trying to get into Joey's pants since we started working here. Every time she tried something, he sends her away but she must have grown bold today."
oey shook his head. "She kissed me. You can ask Lance after you ran off, I shoved her away and told her I have a girlfriend."
Lance stood in the doorway and groaned. "Sure, pass the buck to me to back you up."
He walked over to Brande and took her from JC. "I wouldn't lie to you, shortie. What he said is the truth, you should have stayed, it was quite the sight to see Joey finally turn down a skirt."
Brande smiled through her tears. "Really..."
Lance nodded and Brande threw herself into his arms to give him a hug.
"Thank you." She whispered before turning to Joey.
He held his arms out hesitantly and that was all Brande needed before sprinting across the room and jumping on him, causing the two to tumble to the ground in a big heap of arms and legs.
Justin laughed at the two. "Get a room!"
JC looked at the young man with his arm wrapped around Kat as if he would never let go. "Why don't you two get a room?"
"Nah, I think those two in the corner need to come up for breath and get a room out of all of us."
They turned and found Shanna and Chris kissing as if they would never stop. They finally stopped when they heard laughter and bodies falling onto the dance floor.
Chris fixed his hair. "What?" he asked innocently.
Justin gasped for air. "Nothing, man, nothing."
Kat slapped him on the back when he started to cough from laughing so hard.
"So how much longer do you guys have rehearsal before we can actually spend time with you instead of running all over Orlando?" Brande asked, trying to gain some footing before finally giving up and falling back onto Joey where he was yanking her back down.
Sam met Brande's glance before turning back to JC. "Speaking of that..." She poked a finger into his chest. "What was the big idea sending us all over like that? Not appreciated. Granted, I had never been to Universal or Disney World but I would have liked to have done it WITH you." By this time she was on a roll and was poking him on every word.
"Uh...but...Chris..." JC looked around at the guys, trying to find someone who would help him, but all the guys had wide eyes and were shaking their heads, letting him know they weren't about to back him up because the girls would jump on them in an instant as well.
Sam was pretty much spilling everything she was feeling at this point. "And another thing...you say you missed me...I saw no indication of that. You called twice. TWICE! Joey managed to call Brande every day, Justin called Kat once a week, Chris called every other day or some odd combo that makes him him, Lance even managed to call us when he could. But then there's you... You had my cell phone number, my pager, my home phone, and called TWICE! Not to mention FORGOT to leave your own phone number so I couldn't call you back... then you guys pull this stunt and bring us out to Orlando cause why... couldn't any of your young pre-teens fulfill whatever it was you wanted from me?" She threw her hands into the air. "I don't get you, I don't get this, and I don't get us. Why the hell couldn't you call? Too busy in the studio to pick up the phone? Too busy with someone else? or did you just plain forget about me or didn't want to talk to me? Huh mister what was it? Do you know how many nights I sat by the phone waiting..." She clapped a hand over her mouth at that last statement. "Oh boy..." She muttered.
The room was silent as the impact of everything she had said sunk into the group.
JC stared at Sam, whose face had turned a slight shade of red. He looked towards the other guys, who all shrugged.
"Sam…I..." JC looked down at the ground and then back at Sam. "Can we go somewhere…alone."
Sam inhaled and shook her head.
JC placed a hand on her back, and lead her through the doors out to the hallway leaving everyone else in the dance hall.
"So…" Lance nodded looking around that the three remaining couples.
Lance wrinkled his eyebrows, and looked at everyone again. "You know what? I just realized something. I have no woman." Lance stuck out his bottom lip, and pretended to cry. "No one loves me."
The girls laughed, as Brande got up off of Joe and walked over to Lance.
"Oh sweetie, I love you." She enveloped Lance into a big hug.
"I love you to Lance!" Kat called from her place with Justin, and ran over to join Brande who was still hugging him.
"Oh what the hell, I love you to." Shanna said, and ran over to the girls who were now practically strangling Lance with their hugs.
Joey, Justin, and Chris all looked at their women, hugging Lance.
"How did that happen?" Justin asked, walking over to Joey.
"I have no idea."
"Must be that albino charm." Chris stated, looking towards the group.
"Uh, guys…uh…a little help here." Lance called out.
"Oh no…you said you wanted some loving…you're getting it." Joe called over.
"This is not what I meant." Lance groaned.
"Oh sorry...I LOVE YOU LANCE!" Chris shouted, and ran over to join the girls.
"Group hug!" Justin called out, as he and Joe ran over to the rest of the group.
JC leaned against the wall, and sighed.
"Sam…I am so so sorry."
"You're sorry? You're sorry. So am I. I waited by the phone JC. You could have called more than twice. And then I come here, and you kiss me like everything's gonna' be okay?" Sam, leaned against the opposite wall, folding her arms across her chest.
JC sighed again, "Sam…I...I know I was being a dumb ass. A stupid, selfish dumbass. I wanted to call."
Sam raised her eyebrows in disbelief.
"I wanted to call you every night. But…I was...afraid."
Sam shook her head, "Afraid? Of what?"
JC threw his hands in the air, and brought them down against his legs. He looked up to the ceiling and continued. "Of you. Of me. Of us. What we could be. I've never...I've never felt this way in my life, and it scares the shit out of me."
Sam opened her mouth slightly, but JC cut her off.
"I...I want to give you more than I can give. I want to be with you all the time. I can't offer your stability. I'm off touring all the time. I'm never around. You don't deserve that. You deserve someone who can be there for you, who can take care of you."
"Wait," JC said, walking across the small hallway and taking Sam's small hands in his own. He looked down at them, noticing how small they were compared to his own. "I've never cared about someone this much before. It happened so fast…and..." he looked up into her eyes, "I was acting out of my own cowardness."
Sam looked up into JC's eyes, shining with unshed tears. "Oh Josh...I…" Sam began.
JC put a finger over her lips. " I may not be there for you all the time. I may not be the best boyfriend in the world. But…I want to try. I knew when I saw you walk through the door, I couldn't live another day without you." JC wiped a tear that had fallen from her eye, with his thumb. "I love you Sam."
Sam inhaled sharply and looked into his eyes. She looked for any sign of falsehood, but all she saw was love and caring. "Oh…Josh...I love you too."
JC sighed, and lowered his head. Their lips meet, in a soul-searing kiss. All their troubles and problems were melted away, as their souls combined in that one single kiss.
JC and Sam pulled apart slowly and looked towards the door. They laughed when they saw everyone leaning against each other, and sighing.
"That was just so sweet." Lance said, wiping a fake tear away.
"Why don't you say things like that to me?" Kat said, punching Justin in the arm.
"Yeah!" Brande and Shanna said at the same time, hitting their respective man.
Joey laughed and brought Brande close to him. "I don't think I need all those big words."
"Oh really?" she said raising her eyebrows?"
Joey lowered his head, "Really."
Brande grinned as she brought her face closer to Joey's.
"AAAHHHEEEMMMM!!!" Joey and Brande both turned to see everyone staring at them.
"Oh sure, it's cute when they do it," Brande said pointing to JC and Sam, "But when we do it, it's annoying."
Chris pretended to think about it, "Yeah, you could say that."
Brande reached over and hit Chris.
"Umm..if we are done with this love fest, we gotta' get back to rehearsing." Lance said.
Justin's eyebrows shot up, "Did that line just come from Lance? Hey Jace, I think your starting to rub off on him."
"Ha ha ha..not funny." JC said.
"We better get going anyways...we girls gotta' get ready for the show tonight." Kat said.
Justin looked down at his watch, "The show doesn't start for another 4 hours."
"Oh my god…only four…come on girls…we better get going." Kat said.
Everyone laughed, as the girls said good bye to the guys, and left laughing and talking down that hallway.
Justin, Lance and Chris went into the rehearsal hall first leaving Joe and JC in the hallway. Joe looked over at JC, and raised his eyebrows. "Jace?"
"Would you give it all up?"
JC looked over at Joe questioningly, "What do you mean?"
Joey turned towards JC, "Would you give it all up? For Sam."
JC looked off towards the hallway again, and looked back at Joey, "If she wanted. Yeah."
Joey shook his head, and grinned.
"What?" JC asked.
"Strange, I never thought love would affect any of us…and then…BOOM...we meet…and its over."
JC smiled, "You like Brande a lot huh?"
Joey grinned, "I love her."
"You tell her that?"
"No...not yet....I have a plan though..."
JC grinned, "Really…let's hear it."
Joey shook his head, "I think the rest of the guys better be in on this as well."
JC nodded, as they both headed back into the rehearsal hall.
The girls pulled out of the parking lot at Jive and all started talking at once.
"Did you see the way..."
"I wish I was still..."
They all looked at one another except Sam who was driving and started to laugh.
"Anyway..." Sam said, "about tonight..."
Brande leaned forward from the back seat. "What about it?"
"Do you realize that we will be sitting in the front row where every single girl at this concert is going to be drooling and wanting the guys?"
"Uh huh...and..." Shanna asked.
"I...I don't know if I'm going to be able to handle the signs, the screaming, the..."
Brande smiled. "The girls wanting your man?"
Sam nodded. "Exactly."
Kat grinned at her. "Is someone jealous?"
Sam scowled. "No."
"Right." The three girls said and started laughing again.
"Don't tell me it hasn't crossed your minds..."
"Nope." Brande said.
"Nada." Shanna smiled.
"Ummmmm...." Kat said.
Brande laughed. "Sam's not the only jealous one."
"Well...all those girls dressed in skimpy baby blue t-shirts and outfits all bobbing up and down yelling for Juju...I think someone will be going down tonight and I'm not proud of feeling like this cause it's not like he'll even really look at any of those girls, although if they flash him..."
Sam choked. "Kat!"
"What?" She smiled innocently.
"If any girl flashes any of the guys..." Shanna started.
Brande looked incredulously at her. "Oh no, not you too."
Shanna looked down. "Maybe a little..."
Brande slapped her forehead. "And I'm with the most to worry about..."
Sam turned onto the street where their hotel was and saw a few shops. "Hey girls... I've got an idea on how to keep their attention on us tonight."
"I can't believe you made me buy this!" Kat exclaimed from the bathroom.
"Oh come on. It looks great." Shanna laughed from their room.
"I am not wearing this."
"Yes you are. If I have to wear this... you're wearing that."
"Fine." Kat opened the bathroom door and stomped out.
The look on her face made Shanna fall off the bed onto the floor laughing.
Sam opened the connecting door and peeked in to find out what was so funny.
She found Kat standing in the middle of the room wearing the outfit that she had bought that day on and Shanna rolling on the floor laughing hysterically. "What's so funny?"
Shanna pointed at Kat.
"I'm just not sure about this." She said pointing at her outfit.
Sam looked her up and down. "It looks great and believe me Juju won't know what hit him."
She looked over at Shanna. "You look great too."
"Sam...bathroom is all yours." Brande yelled from the other room.
Sam waved and went to shower.
"I'm stating for the record that I still don't want to wear this." Kat said, pouting.
Shanna just continued to laugh.
They arrived at the venue to find massive amounts of pre-teen girls standing around, chanting NSYNC over and over and waiting to get in and sit down.
Sam shook her head and tried not to look any of them in the eye as she walked past. Most of these girls were ten years younger than her and that alone made her feel old.
They showed their passes to the guards who let them in and they wandered trying to find the right hallway to the arena and also, casually glancing around for the guys.
The plan was for them not to see them until they came on stage so sneaking by them was going to be a problem as they had said that they'd be looking for them.
Brande was lost in thought and stumbled into a coat rack.
"Shhhhhhhhhh." The other girls turned and silenced her.
She shrugged. "Sorry, its not like you guys don't call me trip for nothing."
Shanna snorted and covered her mouth to silence her laughter.
Sam stopped and asked a guard where to get to the arena and he pointed down the far hallway.
She smiled. "Thanks."
"Um, excuse me Miss..."
She turned around. "Yes?"
"You wouldn't by chance happen to be Sam would you?" He asked smiling.
"Uh, yes I am..."
"I've heard a lot about you and the other girls, who I'm assuming are the three staring into the guys dressing room at the moment, from the guys."
Sam whirled around and glares at the girls. "That would be them. And you are?"
"I'm Mike. Nice to meet you."
Sam smiled. "Nice to meet you too. But...we don't want them to see us yet and..."
He laughed as it registered what she and the other girls had on. "Got it. Get going, they're almost ready to kick the sack around."
She nodded and grabbed the girls before heading down the hallway to find their seats.
The girls all took their seats, as Shanna began to dig through her backpack.
"Signs?" Kat said.
Shanna nodded, and pulled out a hand full of glow bands. "Check check...we are all teenied out."
Kat grinned looking down at her shirt, and to the other girls. They all word blue jeans, with flares. And their t-shirts all matched. Almost.
Kat wore a baby blue one, Brande wore a red one, Shanna wore Black, while Sam wore orange.
"Why orange. Why couldn't he have picked a better color?" Sam said, pulling at the material of the shirt.
Shanna laughed, "Oh come on. We'll a tleast have their attention." She handed Sam a few glow necklaces.
"Okay, we got to set ourselves up right. Shanna you move between Kat and me, Sam on the other side of Shanna."
Brande looked down the line, and grinned. "Got it."
Kat laughed as she looked down at the girls. Across their shirts, were letters.
Kat had an N.
Shanna an S.
Brande had Y and an N.
And Sam ended the bunch with a C.
"We are soo teenie." Sam said, sitting down into her seat.
"Wouldn't that be the whole point?" Brande said looking over at Sam.
"Excuse me, Miss.?"
Brande looked up, and found herself looking at a man that looked remarkably like Joey.
The man grinned, and held out his hand. "Hi, Steve Fatone. Joey's brother. You must be Brande."
Brande shook her head. "Oh yeah, hey. Nice to meet you."
Steve took in the girls shirts, and the glow bands around their heads, arms, feet, and necks. "Well, they won't miss you." He chuckled
Shanna grinned, as the girls choursed, "That's the whole point."
Steve laughed, and pulled an envelope out of his pocket, "Well, I'm supposed to give this to you. From my brother."
Brande took the envelope. "Thanks Steve. You're a sweetie to do this for him."
Steve grinned, and winked, "I'm always a sweetie no matter what." And with that he walked away.
Shanna laughed, "They're all alike."
"Who?" Sam asked, looking at the stage.
"The Fatone's. They're all flirts."
"They're all Italian." Sam commented back.
Shanna laughed, and took her camera out, to take a picture of Sam.
"And they said no camera's aloud. Ha." Shanna laughed, as she took a picture of Kat.
Brande stared at the envelope in her hands. "I hope it's not another one of those wild goose chases again." She mumbled under her breath. She sighed, and opened the envelope, and began to read the letter.
Before you start, no it's not another one of the clues for a scavenger hunt. I just wanted you to know, how beautiful you look right now. And don't say I can't see you, because I can. I have a picture of you in my mind. I see it now, even as I'm writing this, and I'm letting you know, you are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in my life. I'm trying to say something here, that I can't find the words to…so I'm just gonna' say this. Tonight, when I'm on that stage...pretend I'm singing only to you. (Well, except for Bye Bye Bye..ignore that..well don't ignore that..but...I'm getting off track.)
Just listen for a song…you'll know it...and I hope...that will explain everything that I just can't find the words for.
Okay..I gotta get going now.
Brande smiled at the letter.
"What's it say?" Kat said, looking over at the letter.
Brande folded the letter, and looked over at Kat, "Nothing...nothin' at all."
Kat shrugged, and turned back to the stage, as the house lights suddenly went out.
A roaring went through the entire auditorium. Brande and Shanna laughed, as Kat and Sam covered their ears.
"I forgot this is their first concert!" Brande shouted to Shanna.
Shanna laughed, and looked up to the stage, as the opening act came on.
"You see them?"
Joey turned and looked over at JC who was bouncing up and down. "No…not yet. But you should see these girls in the front row. They're glowing."
"Huh?" JC walked up behind Joe, and looked out into the crowd. Sure enough, in the front row, he saw four girls with glow bands all over them.
"Well, that's one way to get noticed."
"Can you two tear yourselves away from spying on the girls, and hit the hackey." Chris called over.
JC and Joey grinned sheepishly.
"Sorry Dad." They both said.
"I can't believe they said that to me?" Chris said, shaking his head.
The house lights came down one more time, as the screams in the auditorium became almost deafening. Only this time, the four girls were screaming as well.
A large screen hung over the stage. Suddenly, an image of JC and Lance in the car from Bye Bye Bye, came on the screen.
Shanna laughed as she heard Sam scream at the top of her lungs.
The images of the video ran in quick secession, as the words from Pinocchio came on.
"But you're a puppet."
"No, I'm a real boy now."
"I have no strings to hold me down…to make me fret to make me frown...."
From the ceiling five limp figures were lowered to the stage.
"I have no strings as you can see there are no strings on me..."
Suddenly the lights came on to illuminate the five figures hanging from the strings.
They all began to raise their arms in a stiff puppet fashion, all the while chanting...
"No Strings No Strings No Strings.."
Then the lights all went out, and five bright lights flashed..
"No Strings Attached!"
And with that the five bodies tumbled to the stage.
"Oh my god!" Kat yelled.
The opening strings to Bye Bye Bye came over the speakers, as the five bodies began to slowly rise, and make their way towards center stage.
"Bye Bye Bye!"
The girls screamed as *N Sync began to do the dance moves. Brande and Shanna began to imitate them a bit, and laughed.
Joey looked out into the crowd as he sang. Where are they..' he thought, 'Steve told me..' Joey directed his gaze towards the four glowing girls in the front row. His eyes widened, and a slow grin came on his face. He glanced to his right, and noticed JC trying to fight a smile as well. 'Those girls are nuts.' he thought. He glanced at Brande, and made eye contact. Brande waved, and screamed out his name. Joey smiled, and shook his head.
Throughout the show, the girls continued to amuse the guys. They held up signs saying:
YOU AND ME JOEY AIN'T NUTHIN BUT MAMMALS.....
HEY JUJU THRUST IT MY WAY....
BRING IT ALL TO ME...JC....
I WANNA GET LUCKY...LITERALLY....
But the sign that cracked them up the most, was one by all the girls which read:
ALBINO: THE OTHER OTHER WHITE MEAT
Towards the middle of the show, Joey came out onto the stage, with the guys following, all with chairs. "How ya'll doing tonight?"
Joey was answered by screams. "Well, it's great to be here. The next song we're gonna' do means a lot to me."
Joey stopped in front of the girls, and looked down at Brande. "And we'd like to dedicate it to a few special people, that we have all gotten to know pretty well over the last month or so."
All the girls mouths dropped, as Joey continued, "So, Trouble, Red, Tinkerbell, and Keelber...this is for you."
Joey walked over to his stool, as the opening to Promises began.
"The visions around you
Bring tears to your eyes..."
Sam looked up at the stage and watched the guys dance in awe. The only problem with the song was that she couldn't concentrate on the lyrics due to the fact that if she did, she'd cry. That was not an option at this stage.
"I'd love you forever
In lifetimes before
And I promise you never
Will you hurt anymore."
JC came right up to where she was standing and began to sing directly to her.
"I'd give you my word
I'd give you my heart
This is a battle we won
And this is how never has now begun
....till my life is done this I promise you."
She looked up into his blue eyes and the tears began to run down her face. His eyes crinkled when he smiled down at her, but she saw the look of concern that touched their depths.
She shook her head to let him know she was all right at the end of the song before turning to look at the girls. They all had mascara rings around their eyes from the tears.
Brande looked around and saw that they looked like her and began to laugh, causing everyone to turn and look at them but none of them cared as they tried to wipe the mascara off and enjoy the rest of the show.
After the concert, a bodyguard came around to help them backstage. Sam looked up at him and smiled, "Mike, right?"
He looked down at her. "Got it on the first try."
She laughed. "Well at least I didn't call you Erin."
Brande choked on the water she was drinking and turned and looked at her friend. "I can't believe you just said that. No wait, yes I can."
Shanna looked confused. "Erin?"
Kat laughed. "Sam's site... her first story The Bodyguard...her character Erin..."
Shanna's face lit up. "Oh right."
Mike looked between the four and shook his head. He did NOT want to know what they were talking about. He walked them by all the screaming teenagers that were waiting to catch a glimpse of their favorite NSYNCer but would probably just cause him to go deaf instead of their screaming and crying.
JC wiped his face off with a towel. "Did you guys catch the girls in the front row?"
Chris laughed. "I can't believe them sometimes. Where on earth did they come up with that."
Justin sat on the couch with his head leaning back, his eyes closed. "I can tell you...Kat."
"I don't think so, J. She didn't look real pleased at first out there, kinda uncomfortable." Joey said, walking to get some water.
"Hmmmm, then I don't know. She's the only one out of the four that I would think could..." His eyes caught JC's look and they grinned.
"You don't think..." He started.
JC laughed. "It was Sam. During the concert, she pointed to herself with a huge grin and motioned at the girls clothing."
Lance sighed. "I can't believe you all have women coming to meet you backstage and I've got no one."
Joey clapped an arm around his shoulders. "We could go outside and grab some lucky fan for you?"
Lance shook his head. "Nah, Joe, that is just fine...but..."
"Sorry, Lance, it's too bad they don't have another friend that's legal for ya..."
He smiled. "I'll live."
Mike came in. "Sorry guys. I couldn't find them."
"WHERE DID THEY GO?"
Lance just cracked up from the chair he was sitting in cause he could see a head of blonde hair behind Mike. The guys turned and looked at Lance as if he had lost it before turning back to Mike.
"You mean they just up and took off after the show?" JC asked.
"But...but they knew we were going to do something.." Justin said in shock.
"The letter...the letter made her panic..." Joey mumbled.
Chris didn't say anything, just stared at Mike like he had completely lost it.
All of a sudden a giggle was heard before it was quickly cut off. "Whoops. Sorry girls, guess I gave us away." Kat whispered.
Sam stepped out from behind Mike, laughing. "Oh that was good. You guys should have seen your fa..." JC swept her up into a hug, effectively cutting her off.
He looked down at her. "What?"
"I was just asking what that was for."
"For scaring me."
"Oh, sorry, it was mainly to get back at Chris, but you all kinda got it in the process."
"Chris?" Justin asked, his arms wrapped around Kat.
"Yeah...we were telling Mike about the pranks Chris pulled while you guys were visiting and he told us about the pranks all of you have pulled on him and...we came up with this idea."
Mike held up his hands. "I'm innocent."
Everyone laughed and he left, leaving them alone, but shutting the door behind them.
Joey walked over to Brande and buried his face into her neck. "Not funny, shortie. I thought you'd left."
"I'm right here and I'm not going anywhere any time soon."
He looked into her eyes and spoke without thinking. "How about not going anywhere forever?"
Brande's eyes widened at Joey's softly spoken words. "What did you say?"
Joey inhaled deeply, and repeated his question. "How about not going anywhere forever?"
Brande gulped, and looked around the room. Everyone had stopped their talking, and was now all staring at them, waiting for her answer.
Joey smiled, "I know…I'm not asking for marraige. Neither of us are ready for that. But…what I am asking for...is...a chance. For us to be together."
"Joey...I don't..." her head lowered, looking to the ground.
"I love you."
Brande's head shot up and looked at Joey's face. There was no sense of humor. All she saw was trust, caring, and love. "You what?" she whispered
Joey smiled again, and took her chin in his hand. "I love you, Brande."
Brande's eyes began to tear up. "Oh Joey...."
Joey saw the hope in Brande's eyes, and bent down, to kiss her sweetly, with all the love that he had for her.
"That's so sweet." Shanna whispered to Chris.
"Never thought Joe would be the first to go."
Shanna hit Chris in the arm. "Shhh old man."
"Old man huh?" Chris raised his eyebrows. "I'll show you old man." Chris grabbed Shanna around the waist and began to tickle her.
"Ahhh Chris...no stop...Help…someone help!" Shanna got out between giggles
"I'll save you!" Kat shouted, as she jumped into the pile of bodies. Kat and Shanna both attacked Chris.
Brande and Joey looked up to see Justin dive into the pile of bodies.
"TICKLE WAR!" Lance shouted, as he joined the fray.
Sam looked over at Brande, as they both grinned. Sam nodded her head, and turned back towards JC.
JC grinned, "Don't even think about it."
Sam smiled again, and placed her palms on his sides.
"Sam." he warned.
"JC" she smiled back.
"AHHH Brande no fair…ah...stop." JC looked over at Joey who was being attacked by Brande.
Just then Sam struck, and began to tickle JC's sides.
Sam continued to tickle JC, until a throat clearing made everyone look up to open door.
Lonnie and Mike stood there, eyebrows raised. Everyone looked around at each other, and began to giggle and laugh.
Lonnie cracked a smile, "If the children are ready…I do believe we have an after party to get to."
"YES DADDY!" The girls all called out before dissolving into giggles.
"He's right you know. We do gotta' get going." Lance said, pulling himself off the floor, and taking off his shirt.
The girls all stared as he removed it leaving a wife-beater underneath.
Kat's eyebrows raised, as she looked over at Shanna, Sam and Brande, who's jaw's had all hit the floor.
"Girls? The guys must get dressed now."
Shanna looked back towards the door, at Lonnie.
"Right…uh...we gotta' get changed too."
Uh huh." Kat said. Justin lifted her up, and set her back on the ground.
"See you at the after party okay?" he asked.
Kat shook her head, and looked at Justin, "Right. See you there." Justin kissed he nose, and turned around, and began to strip out of his shirt as well.
Joey looked at Brande, "We'll talk about everything later…okay."
Brande nodded, "Sure. See you later sweetie."
"I love you." Joey said.
Brande smiled, "I love you to."
The others all said good-bye, and began to strip as the girls walked out the door.
Brande and Sam both looked back in time to see the wife beaters come off as well.
"DAYUM." They both said at the same time, as Lonnie closed the door.
The girls smiled sheepishly at Lonnie.
"Uh..sorry..we better go get ready." Sam said, looking at Brande.
"Yeah…see you later Lonnie." Brande waved to Lonnie as Sam dragged her away from the door.
Sam and Brande met up with Kat and Shanna at the end of the hallway. The girls looked at each other and laughed.
"Oh my god." Kat finally breathed.
"I love those guys." Shanna said, looking back at the hallway.
Sam and Brande grinned, "Oh yeah."
"So…where to?" Shanna aksed as they headed out of the arena.
"Back to the hotel to change. Tonight were gonna' get our groove on." Kat laughed as she began to shake her houlders.
Brande began to sing softly at first, but then steadily raised her voice. "Waiting for tonight…wa-oh…when you would be here in my arms...."
The girls arrived at the club with the party already going on full swing.
Sam could hear the music coming from the club and immediately started dancing while they were waiting to get in.
"Can't stand it, can you?" Kat said grinning at her.
Sam smiled. "Nope. I hear music, I start dancing."
Kat shook her head and turned to look at the line. "Are we ever going to get in?"
Shanna leaned against the building. "Not anytime soon at least."
Brande grimaced. "I'm going to go talk to the bouncer."
She came back a few minutes later smiling. "We've been waiting for nothing, they put our names on the list."
They all groaned and then headed for the door and were immediately swept inside by the onslaught of teenage girls, although they did get let into the 18+ part.
Sam looked around but couldn't find anyone, she had been separated from the group and stood there looking like a lost lamb. She felt a tap on her shoulder and turned around to find Lance grinning at her. "Want to dance?"
She smiled. "Sure."
They headed out to the floor and the slow song Crazy For You by 112 came on.
JC and Joey were standing off to the side when they saw Lance dancing with Sam.
"Guess they made it in all right?" Joey said, watching the two.
"Yeah." JC said distractedly while watching the two.
He turned and looked at Joey. "Did you mean it when you asked Brande to stay?"
Joey thought about it. "Yeah...I mean it just slipped out but..."
JC nodded. "I'm going to ask Sam to stay too."
Joey smiled. "Really?"
"Go for it, buddy. I'm behind you all the way."
JC nodded and continued to watch Sam and Lance until he couldn't stand it any longer. The minute the song ended, he weaved his way through the throng of people and tapped Lance on the shoulder, motioning for him to take a hike.
Sam smiled up at him but didn't kiss him like she wanted to due to the amount of people around. Another slow song came on and JC wrapped his arms around her waist and drew her close. "Having a good time?" He whispered directly into her ear so she could hear.
She nodded. "I just got here though so..." She shrugged.
"I need to talk to you." He said.
She looked up at him in puzzlement. "Okay... whenever."
He grabbed her hand and tugged her through the people, taking her outside where they could be hear each other think.
Lonny and Mike nodded as they went past, not following though, to give them privacy.
JC leaned against the wall and sighed as the music became dull instead of right in your ear loud. Sam watched him rub his face before turning to her and smiled. "What's up?"
He smiled and grabbed her hand. "Just wanted some time with you is all."
He pulled her into a hug and inhaled her vanilla perfume.
She leaned back. "No, seriously...what's up?"
He sighed. "I was going to wait but...you know what Joe asked Brande..."
She nodded. "Yeah, I couldn't believe that he asked her to stay, I mean her life is in California...is she supposed to pack up everything and move here..."
JC stared at her and she read the hurt in his eyes.
Her eyes widened. "Oh dear...you...me...oh man..."
"It could work."
She took a step back from him. "I...I can't move here. My life...college..."
"Why not? You could transfer to U of F..."
She shook her head. "No I can't. I have less than a year left till I graduate. If I transferred now that would put me further behind. I need to be done. I've been in school for over four years...I can't go longer."
He sighed. "This wasn't how I was expecting this to go."
She reached a hand up to his face. "I'm sorry...after I graduate, I could move to Florida and work, it's just not in the agenda right now."
He pulled her back into his arms. "Can we do this?"
She sighed. "I hope so. I really want it to...but..."
"I love you."
She smiled. "I love you too but that's not the end all...if we want to try and I do, don't get me wrong...it's going to be hard."
He nodded. "We'll try...and...I'll call this time."
Sam laughed. "You better, mister. AND leave your number this time."
"I will...another dance?"
"You can have all my dances."
He kissed her nose before ushering her back inside
Sam looked around her empty apartment. Who would have thought that in less than 6 months, she would have gotten everything together to graduate early. Kat came into the room, carrying her backpack.
"Ready?" she asked.
"Yup. You know, you don't have to come. You can finish up here if you want."
Kat tilted her head, and pretended to think. "Hmmm…stay here...with no friends. Or...go to Sunny Orlando…lot's of friends...oh yeah…and theirs that curly haired guy I kinda like to...huh...tuff decision."
Sam laughed, as Kat picked up her backpack. "I repeat...you ready?"
Sam smiled, and picked up her own backpack. "Yup, just gotta' drop off the keys downstairs, and then...we're gone."
Kat smiled, as they both walked out the door. "I still can't believe you've been able to hide this from JC."
Sam grinned, "Neither can I...almost blew it a few times." Sam walked into the manager's office, and dropped her key.
As the girls headed towards Sam's jeep, Kat's cell went off. "Hello?"
"Are you guys gone yet?" Brande paced around the small four-bedroom house that Shanna and her had lived in for the past month.
"Yeah...just leaving...should only take us a
day or two to get there. How's the house look?"
Brande walked into the kitchen, where Shanna was putting away some groceries.
"Pretty good. Ya'lls stuff arrived yesterday, so we got the living room in pretty good order. Though we had no idea what to do to your bedrooms, so we just set up the beds, and left everything else in the boxes."
Shanna turned towards Brande and mouthed "Sam?"
She shook her head and mouthed back "Kat."
Shanna nodded her head, and went back to putting away the groceries.
"Ya'll do realize that the guys come home in 4 more days."
Brande heard the jeep start up, as Kat laughed. "So Justin keeps telling me everytime he calls."
"What if he tries to call you at home?" Brande sat down on the couch, and flipped on the TV.
"Thought of that already. I told him that they were working on the telephone lines for the next few days...so if he wanted to get a hold of me, to call my cell."
Brande stopped her channel surfing on MTV, as Shanna came into the living room, and heading straight to the computer.
"Uh oh...Looks like Shanna wants on the computer so I gotta' go."
"You didn't install the other line yet?" Kat asked, as Sam pulled onto the freeway.
"No....not yet. Probably won't till ya'll get here."
"That's cool. Okay...we'll call when we get to the hotel tonight."
"All right...drive safe."
Brande turned off the phone, and looked over at Shanna who was staring at her.
"You can get on now." Brande said, shaking her head.
"Thank you sooo much." Shanna said laughing.
Brande shook her head, and looked back at the TV.
"So where are the guys now?" se asked not looking up.
"Umm...Chris says somewhere in Penn. Then to NY. Then home." Shanna read aloud from her e-mail.
Shanna continued reading, until she began to hear Brande laughing hysterically.
"What?" she asked turning around.
Brande waved Shanna over to the TV, and pointed.
Shanna walked over and looked. Brande had put in the old PPV concert, and it was now at 'I WANT YOU BACK'.
"What is it? What's so funny?" she asked, looking at Brande like she was crazy.
"Sam was right."
Shanna raised her eyebrows. "Huh? Right about what?"
"Joey does make some pretty weird faces during I WANT YOU BACK!"
Shanna laughed and shook her head, "Girl...you're sad…you know that?"
Brande looked up at Shanna grinning from ear to ear. "I know...I know."
*Somewhere in Penn.*
"Chris man...sit still!"
Chris looked over at JC, who was trying to sleep on one on the couches.
"Aww...come on J-C!!! Let's dance!" Chris grabbed JC by his hands and began to do a very strange rendition of the tango.
JC rolled his eyes, as he allowed himself to be
lead around be the demented 28 year old.
"Okay...who gave him sugar?"
Lance and Justin looked up from their PlayStation Basketball Game.
"No me man." Lance said, shaking his head.
JC rolled his eyes, and looked over at Justin.
"Whatcha' lookin' at me foe?"
Lance laughed, and hit Justin upside the head, "Justin...remember your white."
Justin glared at Lance and hit him back, "I know. AT least I'm not as white as you...OH GREAT ALBINO GOD!"
Lance laughed, and grabbed Justin in a headlock.
"Oww...man watch the hair!"
Lance laughed evilly and began to give him noogies.
Chris stopped dancing with JC, and dove on Lance and Justin. "Dog PILE!!!!!"
JC rolled his eyes, as Busta came barreling in barking.
Chris looked over and yelled, "Help me Busta!"
Busta ran over to where Lance was on Justin, and began barking like crazy.
JC shook his head, and headed out of the lounge towards the bunks. "Hey Joey?"
A hand shot out from one of the bunks and waved.
JC chuckled, and walked towards the bunk. He opened up the curtain, to reveal Joey lying in the bed staring up at the ceiling.
"Hey man what's up?"
Joey looked over and raised his eyebrows; "You mean other than me?"
"Yeah...other than you."
Joey shrugged his shoulders, "Not much. Just thinking'."
JC leaned back against the other bunks, and folded his arms across his chest. "Really? About what?"
Joey bounced his bed back and forth. "You know...the girls...when we get to see them."
JC smiled, "Brande?"
Joey looked over at JC with a grin on his face.
"Is it that obvious?"
JC laughed, "Man…you've been moping around here for 6 months."
Joey sighed, and turned over in his bed, lying on his side facing JC. "I can't help it. I call her every night...but...I don't know...I just wish..."
"You could be around all the time?"
JC sighed, and ran his hands through his hair.
"I know man. WE all do. I know there isn't a moment of the day I don't
think about Sam. Wonder what she's doing. And I think...God...I wish I could be
normal...you know a normal guy...so I could spend all my time with her."
again. "But then I think. If I had been normal. IF I had never joined this group. I never would have met her. Somethimes...things just have a way of working out. You get it?"
"Good, now come out of there. I've been wanting to pound on Chris all day...and now may be my only chance."
Joey laughed, "I'll be there in a second."
JC nodded, and headed back towards the lounge.
Joey flipped back onto his back and looked up at the roof of his bunk. To the top he had pictures of all the guys, and the girls. He looked at one that showed just him and Brande. It was taken at Disney World...a few days before they left to go back to school. They both had on Mickey Mouse ears, and where smiling happily towards the camera.
'Why can't every day be like that?' he thought to himself.
'Because you have a responsibility to the group. And you love what you do.' another voice told him.
'But I love her too.' he thought.
'Well, Fatone. What are you going to do about it?' the voice said to him.
"I have no idea." Joey said aloud. He stopped and looked around his bunk.
"I need to stop doing that. I'm beginning to sound like Kat." He laughed to himself.
"HEY JOEY!!!" a voice yelled from the lounge.
Joey smiled to himself, "COMMING!" he
yelled back, and hopped out of his bunk.
"What do you want to listen to?" Kat said, digging through the CDs.
Sam shrugged. "Whatever."
She flipped her turn signal on and got into the fast lane and set the cruise control.
She leaned back in the seat and sighed.
Kat looked over concerned. "You okay?"
Sam nodded. "Fine. I can't believe I'm a college graduate though..."
Kat smiled. "Me either...who would've thought you'd finish before me."
Sam glared at the younger girl. "That's not funny...so it took me over four years..."
Kat laughed. "I'm just teasing you...jeez."
Sam ran a hand over her face. "Sorry...just stressed. Now I have to find a job..."
Kat pulled out a CD but turned and looked at her.
Sam shook her head. "Nothing."
"No something...what's on your mind?"
It's just...is what we're doing right?"
Hello everyone, and welcome to TRL." Cheers went through the audience as Carson Daly opened up the show. "Today we'll be counting down the top 10 video's you the viewer wanted to see. We'll also be retiring *N Sync's Promises...and to do that...we have a few special guest."
The camera panned off of Carson, and cut to a shot backstage, of five bodies, all with hat's covering their faces.
"And we're clear!"
Justin took the hat off of his face, and smacked Chris with it.
"I swear Chris...you do that one more time!"
Carson walked into the back, to see Justin putting Chris in a headlock, with the other three watching on in amusement.
"Do I really wanna' know?" Carson asked turning towards Joey.
Joey pretended to think about it for a second before looking back at Carson, "Probably not."
Carson just nodded his head. He looked over at JC who was trying to put his hat back on. "Hey...uh...Jc."
JC turned around and found Carson walking up to him.
Chris and Justin both stopped play fighting, when they saw Carson lean over and whisper something into JC's ear.
JC's eyes became as huge as saucers.
Carson straightened up, as the guys all tried to look nonchalant.
"Think about it." Carson said, as he walked back to the TRL set.
JC's jaw dropped, as he went sliding to the floor.
All the guys walked over to JC, and looked at him worriedly.
"What...man...what he say?" Lance asked.
JC looked up at them, and opened and closed is mouth a few times.
"What is it Jace?" Justin asked.
"He...he...he...just asked me out on a date."
The rest of the guys all stared at JC, before breaking into hysterical laughing.
Chris fell into one of the couches, and buried his face into one of the pillows.
"You're joking man." Joey asked, as he continued to laugh.
JC looked up at Joey, his face still in shock. "Do I look like I'm joking?"
"Oh...shit..." Justin began to laugh again.
"*N Sync...you're on!" a stagehand yelled into the back room.
All the guys nodded, as they began to head out to the set.
Joey looked back at JC, who was trying to adjust his hat. "Yeah."
JC looked over and smiled, "I'm trading spots with you."
Joey laughed as Carson announced them.
Shanna walked into Brande's bedroom, and found her hanging up a poster. "You're not putting that up."
Brande turned and cocked her head at Shanna. "Why not. It's my room."
Shanna looked from the poster than back to Brande. "Think about it Brande. Do you really think Joey's gonna' wanna' come in here with that thing above the bed?"
Brande looked at her poster, and smiled. "Okay Okay I get the point...but I'm not getting rid of it."
Brande took down the poster and walked over to her closet.
"What are you going to do with it?"
Brande grinned, and opened up her closet door, and hung to poster on the door. "I'm pulling a Sam."
Shanna began to laugh as she watched Brande hide in her closet
"I'm not coming out...I'm not coming out!" She wailed from inside.
Shanna laughed, and banged on the door. "Come out I say...you can't hide in there forever."
Brande opened the door a bit, an peaked out, "Yes I can...I have my men," she said pointing to the door, "that's all I need...now if you'll excuse me." Brande began to shut the door again.
Shanna laughed, and grabbed the door before she closed it. "Get out of there retard!"
Brande laughed as she came out of her closet. "I don't wanna'." She whined.
Shanna rolled her eyes and took a step towards Brande. "Don't make me go Jackie Chan on your ass!"
Brande yelped, and ran out her bedroom, and out into the living room. "Help...I'm going to be beaten by an over-grown fairy!" she yelled, as she ran out the door.
"Shud Up Keebler...or your really gonna' get it."
Brande laughed, as she ran outside onto the lawn. She saw the hose, and grabbed it aiming at Shanna. "Don't make me use this." She threatened.
Shanna rolled her eyes, and picked up the other end of the hose. "It's not hooked up dork."
Brande laughed, and ran away again.
Shanna turned around to see Sam's jeep pulling into the driveway.
"SAM! KAT! Hey Brande...they're here!"
Brande turned around and ran towards the driveway.
"SAMMYYY!!!!! KAT!" she yelled, as they got out of the car.
"BRANDE! SHANNA!!! HEY!" Sam called back, as she and Kat walked over to the girls.
There was a lot of hugging, and laughing, as the girls unloaded the rest of Kat and Sam's stuff from the Jeep, and went inside the house.
*Later that night*
All four girls sat in the kitchen, eating their dinner and talking about the up-coming day.
"So they're flying in right?" Kat asked, as she took a bite of her dinner.
"Yup...Lance said something to the fact that the other four didn't want to wait another day or two before they saw us." Brande grinned.
"That sounds like something Lance would say." Sam said.
"So...what are we going to do...pick them up at the airport...and surprise your there?" Shanna asked.
Sam and Kat looked at each other before grinning.
"Actually...we thought of something different. Brande, you still have Mike's cell number?" Sam asked turning towards Brande.
"Umm...yeah. It's in my purse...what's the plan?"
Sam grinned, and turned to Kat, before looking back at Shanna and Brande..."Well, if we can work everything out....."
Brande and Shanna stood at the gate, waiting for the plane to land.
"Where is it?"
"Calm down woman...it'll be here."
Brande bounced impatiently. "But...but..."
Shanna looked over at her. "You look like you have to pee."
Brande stopped bouncing. "Shut up."
All of a sudden, people began to unload through the door and the girl's attention was moved to focus on the people exiting from the flight from New York.
"Honey Bun!" Someone yelled and ran to the girls.
Brande looked at Shanna like what is this freak doing before realizing it was Lance.
She smacked him. "Dork."
He laughed. "You know it."
The rest of the guys walked over to them, followed by Lonny and Mike and hugs were exchanged by everyone.
Joey grabbed Brande in a huge bear hug. "Did you miss me?"
"Like a canker sore."
He pouted, causing her to laugh. "Of course I did big boy! How was New York? We watched you on TRL but you guys looked a little uncomfortable for some reason."
All the guys turned and looked at JC, who turned red and pulled his baseball hat lower. "Carson hit on me."
The two girls looked at each then back at the guys. "What?" They said in unison.
"Carson hit on me." He said a little louder, pulling the hat even lower.
The girls cracked up, losing all control. Brande fell to the floor; she was laughing so hard.
JC scowled at them. "ANYWAY... shouldn't we get out of here before we get noticed?"
Brande continued to laugh. "Yeah, probably."
Everyone started walking toward the baggage claim
area, to grab their stuff, but Mike stayed behind to make a quick phone call.
"They're on their way."
"Check. Thanks Mike."
Sam clicked the phone off and turned to Kat. "Mission: Our Men is now underway."
Kat grinned then looked down. "What do you think? Is this really my color?"
Sam laughed. "Black is anybody's color, dork."
Both girls were wearing black cargo pants with military boots and black pullovers, in their back pockets were the ski masks that they were just about to put on. They'd stopped by an army supply store in Texas where they'd thought up the plan.
Kat was standing behind a pillar outside the airport, watching for the entourage to exit.
"See them yet?"
She shook her head. "Nope...oh wait..."
She looked over at Sam and nodded. "Time to move."
They both giggled as they put the masks on and got
out the water guns.
"So you guys just laughed as JC got hit on by Carson?"
Lance cracked up. "What were we supposed to do? Tell Carson to hit on one of us and not JC, I don't think so."
Brande smiled over at Lance. "Why not? You certainly could use a date."
Lance's mouth opened and closed in shock. "I...I'm...I'm not gay."
Brande eyed him. "Are you sure..."
"I'm so going to hurt you."
Lance took off after Brande but stopped when someone grabbed him from behind.
Don't move." A voice whispered into his ear and he felt something poke into his side.
"What...what do you want?"
"Just keep quiet until your friends head on over here too."
"Where do think they took off to?"
"I don't know Jace...probably to the car."
Lance just watched in amazement as his friends walked toward him and he wasn't able to warn them.
"Hey buddy..." Joey called out, spotting Lance. "What's wrong?"
Lance tried to shake his head and tell them to go back but he saw someone else in black jump out and grab JC, holding a gun on him as well.
"Don't move." The other person shouted. "Or he gets it."
Everyone's eyes widened and a van pulled up beside them.
Shanna went to scream but Justin grabbed her and held a hand over her mouth. "They'll hurt him, don't."
Joey looked angrily over at Mike and Lonny. "Aren't you guys going to do something?"
They shook their heads. "We can't take the chance."
Chris looked over in shock. "You're not going to do ANYTHING! Those are our friends!"
Lance felt himself get shoved toward the van. "Everyone in." They called. "You guys are our ticket to fortune."
Lance began to struggle. The person holding him wasn't very strong and he thought he could take them.
The voice whispered into his ear again. "My partner has your friend Josh, one move from me and he'll get it, don't try it."
He stopped and followed obediently to the van, in shock that this was actually happening.
The five guys were shoved into the van and tied up in the back. The two conspirators had moved the guns to Shanna and the guards, making them help as well.
"You two won't get away with this..." Mike told them.
"We already have." One of the people said and jumped in.
"I'm going too!" Shanna said. "If you take my man, you take me."
One of the gunmen shrugged. "If that's the way you want to play it." They slammed the gun into her head and she crumpled to the floor. she got shoved into the back as well and the two jumped in the van as it took off with a screech of its wheels.
Mike and Lonny shook their heads. "Those girls...they re so dead when the guys find out."
Lonny laughed. "But don't you wish you could be there to see their faces?"
The guys sat in the back in shock. What was happening? How had they known? They weren't supposed to be back for two more days and then again they were supposed to be on their tour bus?
"Guys...what just happened?" Chris whispered.
"I'm not sure." Joey said.
They could hear the people in black up front talking but nothing was clearly said.
One however, turned around to look at them. They couldn't see any specific details about the person to give them away, just black clothing, mask, and the gun that was trained on them.
The one looking back at them crawled back to where they sat and began to giggle.
They looked at one another, giggling?
The person brought the gun up and pointed it at JC. "Tsk Tsk...we said to behave...and you all are talking back here so someone has to be made as an example that we mean business." The person pointed the gun and pulled the trigger.
The guys all flinched as they saw her finger tighten but when no shot was heard they opened their eyes in shock again. A wet spot had appeared on JC's shirt where the person had shot him with the water gun.
Laughter erupted in the van, but the guys were still clueless as to what was going on.
"Oh come on...we thought you guys were smarter than that? Haven't you wondered where Brande is?"
The mask came off and Sam smiled at the guys. "Welcome home."
They all stared as Shanna sat up laughing, Brande pulled off her mask while driving and Kat turned around cracking up.
"Oh you guys should have seen your faces when
Sam shot JC..." She fell out of her seat laughing into the back
JC was the first to come out of his stupor.
The girls began to laugh even harder. Sam wiggled her eyebrows, and grinned at JC, "Miss me?"
"I'm...I'm...I'm gonna' kill you." Lance stuttered from the back of the van.
"Aww, come on Lance...it wasn't that bad was it?" Shanna said, placing an arm around him.
Lance looked over at her, his face twisted in sarcasm, "Let me think here. I had a GUN held to my HEAD, and forced into a strange van. Then one of the Gunman...or woman...shot one of my friends...hmmm...I don't know."
Shanna lifted her arm of Lance, and looked over at Kat, "I think we made a boo-boo."
Kat bit her bottom lip, and looked over at Justin,
who was staring stony faced towards the front.
Justin turned towards her, his face emotionless, "That was way way not funny."
Kat looked back at Shanna and shrugged her shoulders.
Sam looked around the silent van. "Come on guys. It was a joke. Ha ha." she said.
"Oh yeah...big joke. Giving me a heart attack...I always find that hysterical." Chris said raising his eyebrows.
Sam sighed and looked over at JC, "Hunny?"
JC looked over at Sam, and sighed, "I know you gals may have been thinking this would be a really funny joke...but it wasn't."
Sam bit her lip, and lowered herself back into her seat. "Sorry."
"I still don't understand why Mike and Lonnie let you guys grab us." Joey asked from the back of the van.
"Well...mainly because they were in on it with us." Brande said, as she pulled into the driveway of the girls' house.
"Huh?" Joey asked, looking into the rear view mirror.
Sam sighed, and opened up the passenger side door. "Come on in. We'll explain everything to you."
*Inside the house...a few hours later*
JC looked stunned at Sam, who was sitting on the couch, opposite him. "So you mean...you're living down here now. Permanent?"
Sam smiled, "Yelp...me and Kat."
Justin looked at Kat, and smiled, "So no more long distance cell bills?"
"Only when you're on the road JuJu."
Justin walked over to Kat, and enveloped her into a huge hug.
Sam and JC watched Justin and Kat then turned back towards each other.
"You still mad at us?" she asked
JC sighed and walked over to where Sam was sitting. He took her hands in his, and looked into her eyes. "Sam...hunny...I could never be mad at you to long. But next time, don't scare the shit out of me."
Sam smiled, "Okay."
Chris looked over at the other two couples and then back at Shanna. "I guess this means all is forgiven now."
Shanna looked at Chris, "Mean it?"
Chris grinned, "Yep, just remember...payback's a bitch."
Shanna laughed, as she fell into Chris's lap. "Punish me. Please."
Chris wiggled his eyebrows. "Ohh...don't tempt me baby."
"Ewwww...I don't wanna' hear this!" Lance called from the other side of the room.
Everyone laughed as Lance put his hands over his ears and began to sing.
Sam got up and walked over to Lance, pulling his hands from his ears. "Awww come on Lance...you know you like it."
Lance's eyes widened as Kat and Shanna got up and walked over to Lance.
"Girls...girls...now behave." Lance said, trying to get up from his chair.
"Uh uh...you've been a bad bad boy...now you must be pusnished."
Lance yelped, as Kat, Shanna, and Sam began to tickle Lance profusely.
*In Brande's room*
Joey sat on Brande's bed, and looked around her room. She had posters on the wall, of the Beatles and Sailor Moon. He looked at a shelf that held a whole bunch of Star Wars collectibles. Brande leaned against one of the walls, and looked over at Joey.
"So." she said.
"So..." Joey nodded.
Brande sighed, "I'm really sorry about all that...at the airport. It seemed funny at the time."
Joey shook his head, "It's okay girlie. I'm over it. It's just...you know what the main thing going through me head was?"
Joey looked up at her, "You."
Brande's eyebrows drew together, "Me? Why me?"
Joey stood up, and walked over to her. He ran the backside of his hand across her cheek.
"I kept thinking...what would I do if I could never see you again."
Joey lowered his head, and kissed her sweetly on the lips. He slowly brought his head up and gazed into her eyes. "I love you."
Brande smiled, "I love you to."
Joey smiled, "Should we go downstairs?"
Brande pretended to think about it, "Ummm...I don't know...I rather like it in here. With you. All to myself."
Joey raised his eyebrows, a smile playing on his lips.
Brande pulled him over to her bed, and stood on her toes so that she was face to face with him, "Really."
Joey grinned, as they both fell to the bed, wrapped
up in each other.
Sam stood up and offered JC a hand. "Help me take some of these boxes upstairs?"
She grabbed one and he grabbed one and they went up to her room.
"Wow. Lots of dolphins." He said looking around.
She smiled. "Oh yeah, you never saw my room in my apartment."
She motioned to the wall. "This is my obsession." Everywhere, dolphin posters, cards, framed photographs were hung up and on the shelves were more statues and little collectibles.
He shook his head. "When I saw your e-mail address and screen name, I never thought..."
"Dear, you aren't my only obsession...I do have another love in my life."
He grabbed her around the waist and pulled her to him. "Yeah, but I better be the only one you kiss."
She scrunched her face up. "Ew! I'm not about to kiss a dolphin...although...no, nevermind." She laughed.
They began to unpack her boxes, hooked up her computer and phone, put some of her clothes in the closet when they heard a moan from the next room.
"Whose room is that?" JC asked.
They looked at each other and both of their eyes widened at the same time.
"Oh...ummm...maybe we should head back downstairs." Sam stuttered.
"I think we should." He settled one hand
on her back and pushed her out the door.
"Anyone hungry?" Lance asked.
"Yeah, plane food doesn't do it for me anymore." Chris said, rubbing his stomach. "Want to order in or go out?" He said looking at Shanna.
She shrugged. "Doesn't matter...we could always cook..."
Justin shook his head. "No, takes too long. I'm starving.
Sam and JC quickly came down the stairs. "We're starving too, why don't we head out." He said and grabbed his coat.
Sam grabbed hers too. "Yeah..."
Everyone in the room looked puzzled but shrugged. "All right...is Brande and Joe coming?" Justin asked, standing up and pulling Kat with him.
JC and Sam looked at each other and began to laugh.
Sam smiled. "That's one way to put it...nah, I think we should give them some time to themselves...if you know what I mean."
Chris' eyes widened. "That sly dog..."
Shanna hit him. "That's not going to be your welcome back gift though..."
"Damn...oh well, food everyone?"
JC leaned down and whispered into her ear on the way out the door. "Was I a very good boy too and am getting a welcome back gift?"
She shot him a dirty look. "Maybe in your next lifetime... I'm hungry. Lets go." She saidfollowing the group out the door.
"I was kidding."
"Too bad buddy."
"Don't you honey me..."
"I love you...." He said jogging to catch up with her, smiling.
"I love you too," She said sweetly.
"Am I forgiven?" He leaned down to kiss her.
"Nope." She smiled and walked off.
"Oh come on..."
"Welcome back, Josh."
"I'm not listening..."
Justin laughed and shoved them into the Jeep. "Kids, kids...let's all get along."
*Few hours later*
Joey woke up and let his eyes adjust to the rooms darkness. His arm reached out and he ran his hand down Brande's back. She turned around and snuggled closer to his chest. Joey grinned, and kept running his hand up and down her back.
"Hunny. Come one baby...we gotta' get up." He whispered to her.
Brande wiggled around a bit, before opening her eyes. She tilted her head up a bit, and smiled.
"Hey you." Joey whispered.
"Hey." Brande whispered back shyly.
Joey smiled, as he ran his thumb across her cheek and her lower lip.
"How ya' doin'?" he asked
Brande smiled, and sat up a little, "I'm okay. How are you."
Joey chuckled a bit, and shook his head; "I'm fine."
Brande's eyes widened as she finally got what he had meant, "Oh you mean I'm...well...I...uh...don't feel anything...I mean...I felt...something...but...oh..."
Joey chuckled again as Brande rambled. He placed one of his hands over her mouth, "Shhhh. It's okay."
Brande smiled weakly as Joey removed his hand. "Sorry."
Joey shook his head, "Brande. There's nothing to be sorry about. Okay?" He looked into Brande's eyes, and saw worry. "Brande...I mean it. Okay?"
Brande bit her bottom lip, and looked up at Joey, in his eyes she saw nothing but trust, concern and love. Brande smiled, and nodded.
"Good. Now I'm hungry...what about you?"
Brande laughed, "Joey your always hungry."
"Only for you." Joey said as he wiggled his eyebrows, and rolled over pulling Brande underneath him. Brande yelped a bit, as she found herself underneath Joey.
"Ahh...Joey...get off of me...you're heavy." Brande laughed trying to push him off of her.
"That's not what you said earlier."
Brande's mouth opened, and closed rapidly, "Why...you...ahhh!!!" Brande grabbed one of the loose pillows from her bed and hit Joey in the face with it.
"Oh no you didn't." Joey grinned. Brande's eyes widened as Joey grabbed another pillow, and went for Brande.
"AHHHHH!" Brande ducked from Joey's blow, and hit him again in the head. "Sam...I'm begging. Please."
Sam was now to the point of smiling as they everyone came back to the house, with bags of food in their hands.
They all walked into the kitchen, as Shanna and Kat grabbed some plates.
Chris and Justin grabbed some of the sodas.
"I think I'm gonna' go check and see if Joe or Brande want to eat.
"I think Joe might have already," Chris whispered to Justin.
Shanna came up alongside him and smacked him in the head; "I heard that."
Justin laughed at Chris, as he grabbed Kat around the waist, and proceeded to a chair at the table.
"Justin, I can sit in the seat you know."
Justin grinned, and leaned over to kiss the top of Kat's head, "I know. But I noticed no booster seats, so I figured I'd fill in."
Kat rolled her eyes, "Do you guys ever get tired of going there?"
Justin pretended to think about it, "Umm nope."
Kat sighed, and got up off of Justin's lap.
"Hey where you going?"
Kat looked down at Justin, "I'm setting the table...if you wanna' help me, you can."
Justin grinned, and stood up making Kat crane her neck to look him in the eye. He grabbed Kat around the waist, and lifted her up so that they we're eye level.
"Hunny...I don't have enough schooling help you." He began to laugh as Kat smacked him in the chest.
"Hey guys, come in here. You gotta' see this!"
Justin and Kat looked at each other quizzically.
Kat shrugged her shoulders, and nodded towards the living room.
"Okay Josh. Go ahead."
JC took a deep breath, and looked around at the crowd that had gathered around him. "Sam, sweetie...do they all have to be here?"
He looked over at Chris and Justin who were both having a hard time not laughing. Shanna and Kat raised both their eyebrows, and nodded grinning from ear to ear.
"Josh...darling...you're begging remember?" Sam tried to keep her grin in check, but it was getting difficult. JC was on his knees in front of her, and had his hands in the prayer position.
JC sighed again, and began, "I Joshua Scott Chasez, am the lowest of low, scum beneath the bottom of your foot. I have no right even to breathe the air you breathe, or to even exist on the same global plane as you. I am begging for your forgiveness, and promise never ever to say anything that may cause you distress again." He looked up at Sam with puppy dog eyes.
By now Sam couldn't help it. She began to laugh hysterically.
"Did we miss something?" Lance said, with Brande and Joey following him.
"Nope, just JC on his knees. Begging." Justin said grinning.
"Damn. And I didn't get that on camera?" Joey laughed.
Chris turned towards him, and smiled, "Well at the time you seemed a bit...pre-occupied."
Everyone except JC, who was still on his knees, laughed as Joe's and Brande's faces turned several different shades of red.
"Sam...please?" JC begged.
Sam laughed, and held out her hands, to help JC up off the ground.
"Okay okay...you know I could never resist that face."
JC grinned, and bent over to give Sam a kiss on the cheek, but Sam pulled away.
"What? I'm not forgiven?
Sam smiled, and stood on her toes, to place a sweet kiss on JC's lips. "No...I just wanted to do that."
JC grinned, as he wrapped an arm around her waist, and headed towards the kitchen.
When they entered everyone was already getting their food, and finding places to sit.
"Chinese? I wonder who picked that?" Brande asked as she grabbed a soda.
JC grinned, and grabbed two plates. "Watcha' want hun?"
Sam smiled, and walked over to Brande, calling over her shoulder, "Whatever you're getting."
Sam looked back at Brande, and raised her eyebrows;
"We need to talk."
Sam grabbed Brande's arm and steered her upstairs. Everyone turned and looked at Joe.
"Looks like Brande is getting the lecture." Justin laughed, shoveling noodles into his mouth.
"Must you eat that way." Kat said with a disgusted look.
"Never bothered you before."
She wrinkled her nose at him but didn't say anything else.
Joe watched the girls head up the stairs. "Uh...guess so..."
"It's okay buddy, Sam won't hurt you too bad when she's done with Brande." Chris smirked.
"She's going to hurt me?" Joe said, finally looking at Chris.
Everyone laughed. JC patted his arm before reaching for more food. "Doubt it..."
"Oh yeah, she lives to torture me...what fun would she have with you?"
"True...oh man..." He put his head in his
Sam sat down on her bed and looked at Brande. "So...."
Brande looked at her and smirked. "So.... what?"
"How was it?"
Brande's eyes glazed over. "Oh man..."
Sam laughed. "That good huh."
Sam looked around the room. "I...I don't really know what to say. Hope you two were safe."
Brande knitted her brow. "I think...so..."
"What? You don't know?"
She shook her head. "I can't remember."
"You better hope that doesn't come back and bite you."
Brande's eyes widened. "What do you mean by that?"
Sam shook her head. "Nothing. I'm sure everything is fine. Just be careful."
"Like you have..."
Sam didn't say anything. "Just take my advice and do what I say not what I've done...we'll leave it at that."
Brande nodded. "I know honey...I'm sorry I threw that at you."
She shrugged. "It's fine. Just don't let him pressure you into doing anything you don't want to."
Brande grinned. "Maybe you should have that conversation with him..."
Sam laughed. "Oh dear. I think we created a monster."
"HEY!" Brande grabbed a stuffed dolphin and threw it at her.
"Not the dolphin!" Sam said picking up a pillow and whacking her with it.
"You asked for it girlie!" Brande said grabbing the other stuffed animals.
"Leave Rose and Jack out of it!" Sam said, trying not to crack up.
"Rose? Jack?" Brande said raising an eyebrow. "You need help."
"I know...but I don't have enough money to pay for the help I actually need."
"Ain't that the truth."
Sam chucked the pillow at her.
"OUCH! Now, you've asked for it."
Everyone could screams coming from upstairs and turned to look.
"Sam's killing her." Joey moaned and put his head on the table.
Everyone looked at him as if he was crazy then went back to eating.
JC got up and headed to Sam's room. "Everything okay in..."
SMACK! A stuffed dolphin hit him in the face.
"Here..." He looked at them stunned.
"Whoops, sorry Josh." Sam said laughing.
"Yeah JC sorry." Brande said giggling.
"Uh...yeah." He looked around the room, pillows, stuffed animals, and feathers were everywhere.
"Talking went okay I take it."
Both girls looked up innocently. "Uh huh." Then they lost it. Both fell to the floor, gasping for breath and uttering non-finished sentences.
"Did you see his..."
JC just stood there and watched them laugh at his expense. "If you two are finished...dinner's getting cold."
"In a minute, sweetie." Sam said, sitting up, wiping her eyes.
He nodded and turned to go downstairs but stopped when he heard Sam talking.
"Hey, you didn't tell I heard from any of the companies!" She squealed at Brande.
"Uh...Surprise?" Brande laughed.
"And a good one...Dolphin Communications! They actually want me to work with dolphins!"
Brande read over her shoulder. "Looks like it. I take it this was your first choice?"
Sam nodded. "But I didn't think I'd get it with my degree. Florida doesn't have many environmental agencies but they have an abundance of biology facilities I as looking at. Oh this is so cool! I have to call them!"
"Sam, they're closed its Sunday."
"Oh...right...first thing tomorrow."
"Good girl. Hungry?"
Sam laughed. "Starving."
JC hurried down the stairs before the girls saw
that he'd been listening. He kept thinking about what she had said upstairs
earlier. "Josh, I do have another love besides you..."
*month and a half later*
Brande walked out of the bathroom, sweat glistening off her face.
"Are you sure your okay sweetie?"
Brande looked up to see Kat, Shanna and Sam all staring at her worriedly.
Brande grinned slightly; "I'm fine ya'll. It's the flu. It's been goin' around. All the kids in the class I assist in have had it. I'm sure it's just effecting me differently.
Sam shook her head, "Okay girl...but you need to go to the doctor, and see if she can give you anything for it."
Brande pulled her robe around her and headed towards the living room.
"I know I know. I have an appointment tomorrow at 2."
Kat and Shanna grabbed their book bags and started towards the door.
"Well, we're off." Kat called.
"Okay...see you later."
Shanna stopped in the doorway, "Brande, call me if you need anything okay?"
Brande sniffled, "I'm fine. Really!"
"Brande..." Shanna warned.
Shanna nodded before walking out the door.
Sam sat down next to Brande and turned facing her. "Just the flu?"
Brande looked over at Sam, eyes widening, "Sam. Stop worrying. It's just the flu. That's it. Now you better hurry before you're late for work."
Sam shrugged, and stood up, and went to grab her purse.
Sam turned around before she walked out the door. "Yeah?"
Brande pulled her feat underneath her, and bit her bottom lip, "Do you think maybe...you could come with me...tomorrow...I mean..."
Sam smiled, and walked over to Brande, arms opening. Brande reached up and both girls shared a comforting hug.
Brande released Sam, and grinned, "Thanks Sammy."
"No problem Babe." Sam said.
*Somewhere in California*
Lance lay in his bunk, trying to get some sleep. They didn't get in the previous night till 4 a.m., but Lance just couldn't seem to make himself sleep. He climbed quietly out of his bunk, and walked into the back room. Lance took a few minutes to straighten the mess that Joey and Justin had made the day before, playing wrestlemania.
Lance was startled as his cell went off.
Lance smiled, and sat down on one of the couches, "Hey shortie. Long time no talk."
Lance smiled as Brande laughed.
"Not my fault. Everytime I call, your out."
Lance rolled his eyes, "But your always calling Joe's cell not mine."
Lance laughed, "So what's up?"
"Nothing much. Just stuck at home. Sick."
"Awww...poor thing. Whatcha' sick with?"
"The flu, I think. I've had it for almost a month now. It's getting real old real fast."
Lance sighed, and massaged the back of his neck. "Have you seen the doctor yet?"
"Naw…I'm going tomorrow. Maybe they'll give me one of those all better pills."
Lance chuckled, "Well, if they existed I'm sure they'd give you one."
Lance heard the door to the lounge open and looked up to see Joey walk in, yawning, and scratching his head.
"It…Is…Alive!" Lance laughed
"Huh? Who are you talking about?" Brande asked
Joey raised an eyebrow, and raised his hand, giving Lance a very rude gesture.
"And he's grumpy."
Brande laughed, "Justin?"
Lance laughed along with her, as Joey threw him a very annoyed look.
"Nope actually it's your man."
Joey's eyes popped open as looked over at Lance.
"Joey's awake? It's...6 in the morning over there."
Joey gestured towards the phone.
"He wants to talk to you." Lance said into the phone.
"Well, then put him on."
Lance looked over at Joey and grinned, "She says she don't wanna' talk to you."
"LANCE!" Brande yelled into the phone.
Lance laughed, as he handed the phone over to Joey.
Joey glared at Lance one more time, before talking to Brande.
"Hi hunny. What are you doing up so early?"
Joey sighed, and fell back into the opposite couch of Lance.
"Couldn't sleep. What about you… I thought you didn't have class today."
"I don't. I was sick."
Joey's mouth frowned in concern. "You okay baby? What's the matter?"
Brande laughed a little, "I'm fine sweetie, it's just the flu. I have a doctors appointment tomorrow."
Joey's face softened a little, "Okay...just checkin'."
He looked over at Lance who was yawning, "Okay sweetie…it looks like Lance is about to pass out. And I'm almost there to. Call me tomorrow, and let me know how the doctors went."
"I will. Though I'm fine. Tell the rest of the guys hey for me okay?"
"All right. I love you baby."
"I love you to."
Joey hit end of Lance's cell phone, and looked over at Lance, who was making kissing faces.
Joey rolled his eyes, and threw a pillow at him.
"Whatever Albino Boy."
Joey laughed, as he threw Lance's phone back at him.
Lance placed the phone back on the table and turned towards Joey. "Yeah man?"
"I need to talk. Seriously."
Lance looked at Joey puzzedly, "Okay man. What's on your mind."
Joey sat down, and folded his hands between his legs.
Lance sat down opposite Joe. "What about her?"
"Remember a long time ago. When we joked around who would be married first. We all said you...right?"
Lance frowned, "Yeah...what's this has to...Joey…you're not thinkin' of.."
Joey looked up at Lance. "You are. Oh man. You sure you know what you're doing?"
Joey sighed, and ran a hand threw his hair. "I think so. I...I know I can't live without her."
Lance shook his head, "Then...do what you feel man."
Joey smiled a little, "I know. But...I wanted to talk to the rest of the guys first…you know..to get their permission I guess. I mean this effects the whole group."
"What effects the whole group?"
Lance and Joey looked towards the door, to see the rest of the guys standing there.
Joey took a deep breath, "Umm…guys you may want to sit down. I got something to tell ya'."
*the next day*
Sam stared at all the pictures on the waiting room walls. She hated hospitals. They always smelled like old people. Sam grabbed a magazine off the table. On the cover was a picture of a baby, with dark hair and blue eyes. Sam grinned, and looked at the baby. 'Maybe one day...' she thought to herself.
"Excuse me Miss.?"
Sam turned to see the nurse who had taken Brande to the back, next to the door the lead to the examine rooms.
"Umm...Ms. McElroy wanted to know if you would could come into the examination room."
Sam wrinkled her brows together, "Sure."
Sam followed the nurse. She opened the door, and shooed Sam in. Sam looked over to find Brande sitting on the exam bench, fully clothed, her face unreadable.
"Brande? Brande baby what is it?"
Brande looked up at Sam, and Sam saw the first sign of tears in her eyes. "I'm pregnant."
"I...I need to sit down." Sam said, glancing around for a chair.
"My reaction too...but I was already sitting down." Brande said glancing at her.
"What…what are you going to do?"
"I don't know."
Sam took a deep breath before continuing. "Are you going to keep it?"
"I don't know."
Sam nodded. "Okay. Do they need you for anymore tests or do you want to go home?"
"I need to get out of here."
"Okay, honey." Sam stood up and grabbed Brande's coat and purse and helped her off the table.
"Are you going to tell Joey?"
Brande turned and glared at her. "I DON'T KNOW!"
Sam swallowed thickly. "Okay..."
Brande turned and walked out of the doctor's office
shakily with Sam following.
Shanna and Kat bounded in after class. "So how was the doctor?" Kat asked.
"Fine." brande said snippily staring at the wall.
Kat and Shanna both turned to stare at Sam who just shrugged.
"Are you okay?" Shanna asked, walking over and sitting down beside Brande.
"No." Brande said, not saying anything else.
"What's going on?" Shanna said.
"Im pregnant. I don't have the flu."
"Oh..." Kat and Shanna said at the same time.
Sam grabbed her purse and keys. "I have to go to work...are you two going to be able to get her to talk at least, she's been doing that since we got home."
Shanna nodded. "I'll take care of her."
Sam nodded. "Okay, I'll be back in a few hours. The clinic wants me to work with Rosie today."
"Okay, see ya in a few."
Sam was just pulling into the clinic's parking lot when her cell rang. "What's wrong? Is she okay?" She answered quickly without thinking.
"Who? What? Huh? I just called to say HI."
"Oh Hi Josh. I thought it was the girls."
"Obviously. What's up?"
Sam rubbed her forehead. "Nothing. Nothing that I can talk about right now."
"Well when you need to..."
"I know. Look I can't talk right now. Rosie is sick and..."
"You're at the clinic? It's Friday, you have fridays off..."
"I know but they needed me and well..."
"So Rosie?? Who's Rosie?"
"Rosie is the dolphin I'm trying to teach to speak and..."
"Oh." He said interrupting. "I should let you get back to work. I'll call tomorrow."
Sam stared at the phone when she suddenly heard a dial tone.
"What's wrong with him?" She said then
shrugged and headed inside.
JC stomped into the other guys hotel room and sat down glaring at the wall.
"What's wrong with you?"
"Just got off the phone with Sam."
"And that amde you unhappy why?" Justin asked, while trying to beat Joey at MarioKart.
"Because she never talks to me anymore...its always Rosie this or dolphins this or Rich that..."
Lance raised an eyebrow at him. "Rich?"
"The guy she works with."
"I think we found the problem here guys." Chris said.
"That's not the problem, I don't care who she works with."
"I think someone's jealous."
"I'm not jealous."
"I think you are." Chris said getting in his face.
"I'm not and I'm not going to sit here and listen to you guys tell me I am." JC got up and left the room.
"Someone's snippy." Joey said, throwing down the controller when he lost.
He stood up and grabbed his phone. "Hey Shanna. Can i talk to Brande?"
"What do you maan she doesn't want to talk to me?"
"What happened at the doctor's?"
"You can't tell me?"
He turned to look at the guys. "She hung up on me. What's going on over there?"
*few weeks later*
"What do you mean you won't be back for a few more days?"
Joey got up off his bed and walked over to the window. "Just that. Somehow I got picked out of all the guys to be a judge for Say What Karaoke."
"But…I really need you here."
"I know baby. I'll be there as soon as possible."
He could hear Brande sigh. "Okay..."
Joey pushed away from the widow and walked back to his bed. "I'm sorry baby…but...you know how it goes. I'll make it up to you. I promise."
"It's okay. Just get home quickly. I have something I really need to tell you."
Joey stopped reaching into his bag, "What? You can't tell me on the phone?"
"I'd rather not."
"What's the matter?" Joey asked worriedly.
"It's…nothing...forget it Joey. I'll see you in a few days."
Joey sighed, "Okay. I love you Baby Doll."
"I know. Bye."
Joey stared at the phone as he heard the dial tone come on.
"Hey Joe Man!"
Joey turned to see Chris bouncing into the room they we're sharing.
Chris stopped, and stared at Joe. "What is this the down group. JC's been sulking for a week. Now you." Chris sat down on his bed and faced Joe. "What's up with you two?"
"Women." JC said, walking into the room.
"Well, look who's decided to join us." Chris chirped happily.
"I take it Sam and you are still fighting?" Joey asked.
"We're not fighting…we are just...." JC began.
"Fighting." Chris finished for him.
JC glared over at Chris.
"Everything will be fine once we get home. Then Sam and I can talk it out. What your problem." JC looked over at Joe.
"Brande. She said she had something to tell me, but she wouldn't tell me on the phone."
Chris shrugged, "Don't know what to tell ya' Joe. Me and Shanna haven't fought once."
Joey cracked a smile, "Oh contrair...I do believe you to getting into it one night at a club. Something along the lines of who was flirting with who?"
Chris rolled his eyes, "That was a misunderstanding, not a fight."
"Uh huh." JC and Joey both said together.
Chris stuck his tongue out at the two men, and walked out of the room.
JC turned to Joey and raised his eyebrows, "So, did you get it yet?"
Joey smiled, and reached into his coat, taking out a small box. "Yep. Take it with me wherever I go."
JC smiled, "Well, come on man. Let me see."
Joey laughed, "You sound like one of the girls."
"Ha ha ha...very funny. Just show me the ring."
Joey opened up the small box, and showed JC the ring inside. It was a solid gold band, with a large diamond in the middle. Surrounding the diamond were smaller diamonds.
"Nice." JC nodded.
Joey grinned, "Believe it or not, Chris actually helped pick it out."
JC widened his eyes, "Chris having taste. That's a scary thought."
"I heard that!" Chris yelled from the next room.
Joey and JC laughed, as the rest of the guys came through the door.
"So your actually gonna' do it?" Justin asked, looking at the ring.
"Yep." Joey said, looking at his bandmates. "Guys…This may sound really corny, but thanks. For supporting me in this and all."
Justin and Chris both began to pretend to cry.
"This is soo special." Chris began.
"Our little boy is growing up pa!" Chris sobbed, and turned his face into JC's shoulder.
"Get off me man!" JC laughed shoving Chris to the side.
"Group Hug!" Lance yelled out, as everyone jumped on top of Joey, laughing.
Shanna stared out the window, as Kat sat on the couch flipping through the tv channels.
"Shanna, they'll be here soon. Step away from the window."
Shanna turned and glared at Kat. "Shut up Kat."
Kat laughed, and stopped her surfing on MTV.
Sam ran down the stairs, "They're here!" she yelled. Shanna and Kat both broke into a dead run as JC's Jeep pulled into the driveway.
Shanna opened the front door, and ran outside. Chris laughed as he saw the girls running towards the jeep.
"Well, somebody certainly missed us." Justin commented as he got out of the jeep.
"JuJu!!!!" Kat called, as she ran into Justin's waiting arms.
Justin picked her up and spun her in a circle. "Hey Meow Mix."
Kat smiled, and hit Justin playfully in the chest. "Watch it Fro Boy."
Lance and JC stood off to the side as Shanna and Kat both greeted their respective men.
Sam walked slowly up to JC, her hands in her back pockets.
Lance looked over at JC, who was looking only at Sam. "I think I'll go say hi to Brande."
"Yeah…okay." JC said, not even looking at Lance.
Sam stood in front of JC and looked down at her shoes, before looking up again. "Hey."
"Hey." JC drank her in with his eyes, like he couldn't get enough. He had missed her so bad, yet there was still this distance between them, that he know they had to fix. "How are you." He asked.
Sam sighed, "Fine. You?"
"I'm okay. Don't you have work tonight?"
Sam sighed, "I'm supposed to..."
"Oh..." JC started.
"But...I took the night off. I think we need to talk."
JC nodded, "Wanna' go for a drive."
"Guys, Sam and I are going out for a while okay?"
Justin and Chris both nodded, as Sam and JC got in the jeep, and backed out of the driveway.
"Is everything okay between those two?" Kat whispered in Justin's ear.
Justin shrugged, "I hope so."
"Come on you guys…I'm starving what's for dinner?" Chris yelled over at Justin and Kat.
"Is that all you think about? Food?" Shanna asked, looking at Chris.
Chris grinned, and placed his face close to hers so that they were nose to nose, "No...I think about you to. Usually along the lines of food though. Whipcream. Cherries. Hot Fudge."
Shanna laughed, "You are soo bad."
Chris wiggled his eyebrows, "You know you like it."
Shanan laughed as everyone walked into the house.
Sam leaned back in the seat and stared up at the sky. It was a clear night and the sky was littered with constellations. She could pick out the big dipper and the north star but that was about the limit of her knowledge. She rolled her head so she could see him and didn't say anything at first. She noticed that his hair was getting longer and was beginning to curl around his ear and that he hadn't shaved in a few days.
She looked down at his hand as he shifted the jeep into fourth and turned onto a back road and wanted to reach out and place her hand on his as she normally would have but the distance he placed between them was overwhelming. "Where are we going?" She asked, turning her face back up to the sky.
"One of my favorite places to think."
"If you wanted to think, why am I with you?" She asked.
She looked over at him again and watched his jaw clench. "Because I wanted to share the place with you, all right?"
"Fine." She said and looked out the door at the passing scenery.
They drove the rest of the way in silence and finally stopped at a cove.
JC got out and waited for Sam before walking down the dune to sit on a log and stare out at the water.
Sam looked out at the water, than at the sand, everywhere but at JC, before she finally turned to him. "So..."
He looked at her out of the corner of his eye. "So..."
"Uh, How was the tour?"
He stretched. "Long, tiring, exhausting...I didn't get much sleep."
"I'm sorry, babe, but you've got a few days off now right?"
He shrugged. "Yeah I guess."
She grew silent again, not knowing what to say. She couldn't get him to talk.
"How's work?" He asked nonchalantly.
She smiled. "Great. We have come so far with Rosie and..."
Her smile faded as it finally clicked. "It's my job isn't it..."
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"You don't like my job."
"It's a great job."
He sighed. "But it takes you away from me..." He put his head in his hands and sighed again. "I can't believe I'm jealous of a dolphin."
"My job doesn't take me away from you..." She started but jumped when he turned quickly towards her, eyes flashing.
"Do you know how many times I've called in the past few weeks and you haven't been home or returned my phone calls?"
"Try 24. I've counted."
"I've been busy, settling in and..."
"Bet you weren't too busy to return Rich's phone calls."
Sam started to lose her temper. "Is that what this is about really? To find out if I've been CHEATING on you? I haven't. I don't like Rich that way."
"But you jump at his every beck and call." He said snidely.
"No and I don't do that for you either. I don't jump for anyone but myself." She said standing up, ready for a fight. "What do you want from me Josh? To sit at home and wait for your every phone call, to watch the TV just to catch a glimpse of you, to wait by the door for you to come home...sorry I'm not programmed that way. I'm doing what I love just like you're doing what you love to do."
He sighed before walking toward the water. Sam followed, hoping that he'd talk to her, tell her what he was feeling.
"I don't know what I want." He said softly.
"Maybe we shouldn't see each other until you know then cause I can't take you being off and on with me." Sam said, surprising even herself with her bluntness.
JC nodded but didn't say anything.
"I want to go home Josh."
He nodded again then took one last look at the
water before going back to the jeep and driving back to the girls' house in
Lance walked up the stairs to brande's room and knocked. "You decent?"
"Lance!" Brande yanked open the door and jumped into his arms.
"Hey there, little girl. Gaining weight?" He raised his eyebrow at her as his arms settled around her waist.
Her eyes widened. "What a thing to say to someone when you first come home?"
Lance grimaced. "Sorry, didn't mean to open up a can of worms."
She shrugged. "No problem. Everyone here?"
They headed downstairs. "Everyone but JC and Sam, they took a drive. Who knows when they'll be back."
"That girl has been moping all over the place and working even longer hours than usual because of him. He had better beg prettily for her."
"He's been pretty bad too. I hope they work it out."
They found everyone hanging out in front of the TV, watching the Blues brothers.
"I have never seen this movie." Shanna said.
Lance and Brande sat down to watch as well. "What?" He said. "This movie is a classic."
She shrugged. "Never wanted to. So its good huh?"
"THE best." Chris said.
They settled in and watched the movie and all of a sudden Brande began to feel nauseous.
"I'm...uh...I'll be..." Her face turned green and she took off toward the bathroom. Everyone looked stunned and Lance got up to go after her but Sam and JC came through the door at that moment. Sam taking off up the stairs in tears and JC looking stonily at everyone. "I'm leaving, who's coming with me?"
Lance looked back and forth between JC and where everyone sat staring in shock.
"Come on…..I'm leaving."
Lance looked at Chris, shaking his head.
"Go ahead." Chris told Lance. That was all Lance needed to run past JC and up the stairs.
Justin and Chris looked back and forth, deciding who should go with who.
JC stared at both men. "Fine, none of ya'll wanna' go. I'm gone." JC opened up the door and stormed out.
"Shit…Hold up Jace I'm coming." Chris looked at Shanna, and shrugged, "Do you mind?"
Shanna smiled a bit, "Go ahead."
Chris smiled back and kissed Shanna quickly, "I'll just make sure he gets home okay..then I'll be back."
Shanna nodded, as Chris grabbed his coat, and ran out the door after Jc.
Justin stared at the direction Chris had just left.
"I wonder what happened? Kat whispered.
Justin shrugged, "Who knows. I've never seen Josh that upset since….." Justin frowned for a second, and looked quickly at Kat. "Has Sam been seeing anybody else."
"What!" Shanna practically yelled.
Justin turned towards Shanna shrugging his shoulders, "I don't know. The last time I saw JC this upset was when he found out his girlfriend was cheating on him."
Shanna sighed, and glared at Justin, "Sam would never do that. She loves that stupid fool to much."
Justin held up his hands in defense, "I didn't say she was…I was just thinking…."
Kat patted Justin's hand, "She knows. She's just real defensive right now. A lot of things have been going on."
"Oh. So what's up with Brande…she still has the flu?"
Shanna and Kat looked back and forth at each other, "Ummm…maybe you should ask Brande."
Justin laughed, "What? It's not like she's pregnant or anything."
Both girls looked at Justin, and looked at each other mouths opening and closing.
"Kat? Shanna? She's not…right?"
Shanna bit her lower lip, as Kat's eyes widened.
Justin fell back against the sofa, "You're kidding me. How…."
Shanna sighed, "Well, it's kinda complicated."
"Yeah," Kat put in, "Your gonna' have to talk to Brande about it."
Justin nodded, "Looks like it."
Brande walked out of the Bathroom wiping her forehead.
"Damn I hate this part." She said to herself.
Brande started heading down the stairs when she heard sobbing coming from Sam's room.
Brande frowned and walked towards her door. She knocked gently and called, "Sammy? Sweetie?"
When she got no answer, she opened the door slowly, and peeked in. She found Sam curled up on her bed, sobbing into one of her dolphin animals. "Oh…Sam.." Brande sighed from the doorway.
Sam turned and saw Brande standing in the doorway. "It's over." She sobbed quietly.
"Oh baby.." Brande walked over to Sam and wrapped her arms around her shoulders, letting Sam cry her heart out. Brande rocked her gently, and tried to get her to calm down. "Shhh...shhh…it's okay sweetie…everything will be all right I promise."
"Is she okay?"
Brande turned to see Lance in the doorway.
"I didn't want to intrude," Brande shook her head, and motioned him to come in. Lance walked forward and sat on the end of the bed, as Brande continued to rock the sobbing Sam.
"I came up here to check up on you…but…." He nodded towards Sam.
"What happened?" She whispered to Lance.
Lance shrugged, "I don't know…."
Sam's sobs began to quite, and Brande leaned back a bit, trying to look at Sam.
Lance walked over to Sam's dresser, and grabbed a few tissues. He chuckled to himself, as Brande looked over questioningly. "Even the tissues have dolphins."
Brande smiled slightly, and she heard Sam hiccup.
Lance walked over and placed a hand on Sam's back. She turned and saw a hand full of tissues being dangled in front of her.
"Thank you." She whispered, taking the tissues.
Brande waited until Sam blew her nose and dried her eyes. "Better?"
Sam blew her nose, and nodded.
"So what happened?"
Sam hiccuped, and began to talk, "He said he was jealous."
"Jealous? Of what? Rosie?"
Sam nodded, "Kinda…it was mainly Rich?"
Brande tried not to laugh, "Rich? Your boss?"
Sam nodded again, sniffling.
Brande began to laugh, as Lance looked at her like she had lost it.
"What what's so funny?"
Brande calmed down a bit before continuing, "Her boss, Rich…is married, 60 years old and has two grandkids. Hell, he could be Sam's grandpa!"
Lance looked at Sam, "Is she serious?"
Sam nodded, "Yeah."
Lance shook his head, "Then why did JC get so jealous?"
Sam shrugged, and blew her nose again.
Brande looked at Sam, and raised her eyebrows, "You didn't tell him that…did you?"
Sam shook her head no, and began to cry again, "I…I…didn't get the chance…we both started yelling…and next thing I know…" Sam broke down into sobs again.
Brande pulled Sam into another hug, and began to rock her again, "Shh…shh…it's okay..it's not your fault…calm down hunny…"
Sam's sobs quieted down, and she began to hiccup once again.
Sam looked at Brande apologetically, "I'm sorry Brande."
Brande sighed, and hugged Sam again, "Hey…don't talk like that. We're soul sisters. Right?"
Sam giggled, "Soul Sisters."
"And I'd do anything for one of my sisters…including babying them."
Sam laughed a little, "Well, I guess you could use the practice."
Brande's eyes widen, as she looked over at Lance. Lance tilted his head, and looked at Sam.
"Why would she need the practice?"
Sam groaned, "Oh…Brande…I…I forgot…"
Brande shook her head, and rubbed Sam's back, "It's okay…he was bound to find out anyways."
"Okay…now I'm really confused…find out what?"
"That she's pregnant."
The three on the bed, all looked towards the door, to see Justin standing there with Kat and Shanna behind him.
"I didn't tell him. I swear!" Kat called out from behind Justin.
Lance looked at Justin and then back at Brande.. "Did I just hear him right? Did he just say…"
Brande smiled weakly and looked from Justin to Lance.
Lance looked at Brande. "Surprise?!"
She shrugged. "I wanted to tell Joe first but..."
Justin pulled the seat out from Sam's desk and sat down. "How far along?"
"Almost three months."
"So, the last time we were here and..."
"That would be it."
Lance reached over and grabbed her hand. "So I take it you're planning on keeping it."
She nodded. "Yeah... I don't know what Joe is going to say but... I've got my girls if nothing else."
Sam smiled weakly at her, rolling to a sitting position. "Yeah. you've got us. I mean just what we needed in this house is a little Fatone running around to liven things up. Its not like it's already liven up... already..."
Lance and Justin exchanged a look. They knew that Joey was planning on proposing when he got back into town but now with this twist, who knew what he would do.
Shanna took one look at the two miserable expressions on her friends faces and excused herself and went down to make some tea.
Kat walked over to Justin and sat down on his lap. "You okay sweetie?" She said, looking at Sam.
She nodded. "Just fine."
Justin laughed. "Why is your face all red and blotchy then?"
She glared at him. "Watch it youngen."
Justin smirked. "What are you going to do, nothing that's what."
"I could take you down like that." She snapped her fingers.
He smiled. "See that's the spunk we all like and love. What's going on girlie?"
She sighed. "You don't want to know. Josh and I just have a few things to work out or mainly he has a few things to work out and then maybe we can get over this hump in our relationship."
Chris peeked in the room. "So this is where everyone went..."
Sam motioned him to enter and sit. "Yeah, this is where the party got moved to. How is he?"
Chris looked at Justin and sighed before answering. "I don't think you want to know."
Sam face went pale. "Why?"
"He's pretty upset. I don't know what you said but he's leaving for New York tomorrow."
Brande looked at him confused. "New York, why?"
"There's some group that wants him to write and produce their album. He's going to spend our break checking it out instead of resting like he needs to."
"Oh." Sam whispered. "Guess that means he finally knows what he wants."
Lance pulled her to his side and squeezed. "Talk to us. Maybe we can help."
She shook her head. "Honestly...we got into a fight about my job. He was jealous cause I'm never home."
"Like he has the right to talk..." Justin whispered in Kat's ear.
"Then he started spouting off about Rich and how I'm at his every beck and call and other nonsense. I told him I wasn't at anyone's elbow but my own. I'm my own person not..." Sam broke down and started crying again.
Lance let her cry into his shoulder and looked to everyone with a bewildered expression on his face.
Justin shook his head and moved Kat off his lap. "I'm going to go and see what's up with him."
Chris shook his head. "He won't talk. I tried, couldn't get a thing out of him and that's that. Maybe Joe can help him out...they've gotten a lot closer because of the girls in the past year."
"Okay, but I'm going to go downstairs...let's let Sam get some sleep."
Lance shook his head. "I'm going to stay here till she falls asleep. Maybe if I can get her talking again, we can get something worked out."
Justin nodded. "She needs someone thats for sure."
Everyone went downstairs and sat, loking at each other stunned.
"So..." Kat said, leaning into Justin and putting her head on his shoulder.
Brande sat gingerly down in the rocking chair and tried to will the nausea away.
Chris looked at her speculatively. "You okay?"
She nodded. "Just fine."
He looked around the room and when no one would look him in the eye, looked back to Brande. "If I didn't know better, I'd say you were pregnant."
No one said anything causing Chris to look around the room again. "She is?"
Brande nodded. "I'm so glad the entire world but the father knows at this point." She said throwing her hands in the air.
Justin sat forward and eyed her curiously.
"So... now what... you going to tell Joe or are we?"
JC slammed his bedroom door closed, and stalked around his room.
He couldn't believe it. It was over. Finished. Done. Finito.
He grew angry again, and grabbed one of the many stuffed animals on his bed, and threw it across the room. His steam was beginning to run out, as he fell back against his bed, looking up at the ceiling.
"Hey Big Brother...everything okay in here?"
JC sat up a bit to see Tyler sticking his head around the door.
"I'm fine Tyler. Go to bed."
Tyler looked at his brother, "Are you sure man. I heard a lot of noise in here and.."
JC sat up suddenly, "I'm fine okay!" he snapped.
Tyler's eyes widened, as he backed out the door, "Okay..okay…geez…sorry." Tyler closed the door behind him.
JC fell back against the bed, and covered his eyes with his arm, "Damn it, damn it, damn it!" he yelled at himself. What am I so angry about. I agreed with her. I was the one who told her I didn't know what I wanted.
JC shook his head, and reached over, and picked up his phone.
Joey turned over in the hotel bed, and eyed his cell phone. He looked up at the portable clock, and it glowed 2:00 a.m. He groaned, and reached over to grab the phone.
"Somebody better be dead."
"I might as well be."
Joey rubbed the sleep out of his eyes, as he began to recognize the voice. "Jace?"
Joey shook his head, getting out the last remnants of sleep. "What's up man. It's two in the morning. And why should you be dead?"
Joey heard JC sigh, "Sam and I broke up."
"We broke up. That's it. That's all."
Joey ran a hand over his face, as he sat up in the bed, and threw in legs over the side. "What do you mean that's it? Something happened. What was it?"
He could hear JC take a deep breath, as he began to tell his story. "You know Sam and I have been having some problems while I was gone right?"
"Well, we went someplace to talk…and well…the talking turned to yelling…and fighting…and next thing I know…she wants to go home."
Joey stood up and walked over to the mini kitchen. "Jace….something had to have happen for her wanting to go home."
JC sighed again, "She asked me what I wanted…"
"I said I didn't know."
Joey propped the phone against his shoulder and ear as he reached for a soda from the fridge. "Was it a lie?"
He could hear JC pause, as if looking for an answer. "I…I don't know."
Joey popped the tab on the soda, and took a drink. "Well, Jace… it looks as if you have to make a decision. What do you want?"
"I want her, but…"
"But," JC sighed, "Damn it, I want her, but I don't want to feel like I have to take a number to see her."
Joey nodded, "Jace…listen I know what your thinking, but you have to remember something, she does have a life other than you."
"I know I know…it's just…something she said a while ago struck me weird."
"What was that."
"She said I wasn't the only love in her life. And that's just it…I want to be."
Joey smiled sadly, "Jace…let me ask you a question. When she said this, she meant her job right?"
"Well, she was talking about dolphins, but yeah…I guess so."
"Okay then. Do you love performing? Do you love getting up on that stage, doing what we all do, almost every single night?"
"I couldn't live without it."
"Then think of that as your other love. Like Sam and her dolphins, instead you have the stage."
He heard Jc chuckle, "What? What's so funny?"
"You're starting to sound really smart there Joe. Better watch it or your rep. for being the dumb one may be disappear."
"Ha ha…very funny man. But it makes since right?"
JC sighed, "Yeah…it does. Look, I've gotten an offer to help with this group up in New York. I was going to go tomorrow. Wanna' pick me up at the airport?"
Joey set his soda down on the dresser in his room. "Sure man no problem. Maybe you can think of what to do about Sam while you're up here."
"Don't sweat it. Just remember...you owe me one."
JC laughed, "You got it. I'll call you tomorrow before I leave to let you know what time and gate."
"Jace…it is tomorrow."
"Whateva' talk to you later."
Brande looked at Justin, "I'm gonna' tell him. I am. I just don't know…how…exactly."
"I have an idea…how about...Joey….I'm pregnant."
"Yeah Justin, why don't I say that, and watch him freak out."
Chris looked over at Justin, shaking his head.
Justin frowned, and glared at him.
Chris sighed, and looked up at Brande, still rocking in the chair.
"What makes you think he will freak?"
Brande sighed, "Oh come on Chris. This is Joey here. He's not ready for this…" she said sweeping her hands down the front of her shirt, "Hell, I don't even know if I'm ready."
"Brande sweetie calm down." Kat said, from beside Justin.
"I am calm…it's just…I want to tell him every time I talk to him…but…I don't want to scare him away."
Chris cocked his head, "Scare him away? How?"
"The responsibility of it all. This isn't a puppy he can just leave at his mom's when he goes on tour. This is a baby. His baby." Brande reached up and began to massage her neck.
Shanna walked out of the kitchen, carrying a tray of tea cups. "Here, maybe this will help." She handed Brande a cup of tea.
"Thanks." Brande reached out to grab the cup, but Chris took it away from her.
"Uh uh..no caffeine for you young lady."
Shanna smacked Chris in the head, and grabbed the cup from him. "We know doofus. It's caffeine-free."
Brande took the cup and took a sip, "It's okay. I didn't know I couldn't drink or eat a lot of stuff. The doctor gave me this pamphlet to answer any questions I had."
Justin took a cup from Shanna, and leaned forward, "Can you…feel…it yet?"
Brande grinned, "No…it's still to early. Maybe in another month. I don't know. This is kinda new for me you know?"
Everyone grew quite as foot steps were heard coming down the stairs.
"Hey everyone." Lance said quietly as he walked into the room.
"How she doing?" Shanna asked sitting down next to Chris on the floor.
"She's asleep. Finally."
"Did she say anything else?" Brande asked.
Lance turned towards her, "No…she just kinda cried herself to sleep I guess." Lance narrowed his eyes on the cup she was holding, "Is that tea? Your not supposed to be drinking that. It has caffeine, and it's not good…."
"IT'S CAFFIENE FREE!" the girls all yelled together.
Lance turned a shade of red, "Oh…sorry."
Brande rolled her eyes, "Am I gonna' have to deal with all of ya'll like this?"
Justin grinned, "Yup. You're our little sister…"
"I'm older than you fro-boy" Brande said, grinning.
"By less than a month. Anyways…I'm taller."
"What does height have to do with it?"
"Yeah?" Kat said raising her eyebrows at Justin.
Justin sighed deeply, "When you're tall you come to think of any girl smaller than you as younger..and…will you two stop…I'm getting off subject."
"Like that's hard to do with you." Lance said, trying to hide a grin.
Justin looked over at Lance and made a face, "Ha ha…very funny Poo-Foo."
Brande laughed, and looked down at her abdomen, "Don't worry sweetie, they're not always this weird." Brande looked up, and Chris, Justin and Lance all began to make faces at her. "God help me."
JC's alarm went off exactly two hours after he had finally stopped tossing and turning. He groaned and sat up, staring at the clock. "Why am I up this early?" he mumbled before falling back on the bed. "Oh right...New York."
He stumbled into the shower and turned the water on
hot to wake him up. He couldnt get what Joey had said out of his mind. The
comparison between Sam's love of dolphins and his love for
the stage. Was he right?
He wearily packed and climbed into his jeep and
drove to the airport, barely making it in time because of traffic. The flight
attendant showed him to his seat where he immediately fell into a deep sleep,
this was the sleep he knew, cat naps here and there, not an actual bed.
The phone rang besides Sam's bed and she reached over and grabbed it. "Hello?"
"Hey. You awake?"
"I am now, Rich. What's up?" She asked tiredly.
"I need a favor..."
"Rich, you always need a favor. What is it this time?"
"Well...we just got an injured dolphin sent over and...no one can get him to calm down. Could you..."
"I'm on my way."
Sam stumbled out of her room towards the bathroom, when Brande's door creaked open. "You okay? Who was on the phone?"
"That was Rich. I need to go to work. Go back to sleep, babe."
"You can't go to work. Are you okay?"
"They need me. I have to. I'm fine...or I will be. Once I get to work... JC won't even factor in. It'll get my mind off of things."
"Honey, he's always going to be on your mind. You love him."
"I know I do. I probably always will love the scamp but... he's not my everything, just like I know I'm not HIS everything. I have to get going."
Brande sighed as the door closed. "I hope they
know what they're doing..."
"JC, man, you look like hell." Joey said, pulling him into a hug.
"I feel like it. Didn't sleep well last night."
"Well you called me at two, your flight left at ten, I know its at least an hours dirve to the airport...how much?"
"Damn man...still thinking..."
"I can't get what you said out of my mind."
"About Sam and you... you two being similar?"
"Yeah." JC slung his bag over his shoulder as they exited the airport. "Was I overreacting....not understanding?"
"I don't know, man. When we met them.... Sam is one independant woman, always has been. Remember the arguments you two used to have about who would pay for food when you'd go out?"
JC laughed. "Yeah...we'd always end up compromising, her one night, me the next."
"Exactly. Remember when she got after you about not calling when we first left..."
"Yeah and then I got upset when she stopped during finals."
"Which she was working her ass off to pass her classes so that she could surprise you by moving out early."
They arrived at the hotel so JC could drop his stuff and head to the studio to meet with the group. He got the keys to the rental and turned to look at Joey.
Joey smiled at him. "You look tired, man, sure you don't want a nap before going."
He shook his head. "Nah, I'll be fine."
"Okay...anything clearer yet?"
JC shook his head. "Everything up until this point I've know what to do about and what I wanted out of it. I mean...my career is my life. I'm finally getting into the studio and writing my kinds of music, producing my kinds of artists and ultimately when our gig is done, this is what i want to do. Sam never factored in when I was dreaming about my future..."
"And now..." Joey asked.
"I can't see my life without her."
"Have you told her that?"
JC shook his head. "No..."
"Maybe that's your next step."
JC sighed. "But what if she doesn't feel the same way?"
Joey shrugged. "I'm not the one to be talking about doubts with. I'm the guy with a ring in his pocket who's itching to get back to orlando and propose to his woman."
JC laughed. "Oh right... A few days man."
"I know. You flyign back with me on Wednesday?"
Jc stared off into space before nodding. "Yeah I'll be with you on that flight."
Joey laughed. "Good man."
Brande pulled into the parking lot of the dolphin research/rehabilitation center. She turned of the motor and looked out past the main building to the ocean. She sighed, and got out of the car, and began walking into the main center. As she walked through the doors, she caught a glimpse of white hair, coming in from the research center. "Rich!?"
The man turned around revealing a weathered tanned face, and bright blue eyes, that sparkled youthfully. "Brande babe. What's going on?" Rich walked over and enveloped her into a hug.
"Nuthin' much. Just came to see Sam."
Rich grinned, "That girl. She works way to much."
Brande sighed, "I know it. That's why I was kinda' wondering…maybe…she could...maybe…get the afternoon off."
Rich nodded his head, "Go ahead. She needs a day off anyways."
Brande grinned, and gave Rich a hug. "Thanks a lot. I hate shopping by myself, and the other girls are at school…"
Rich's eyebrows shot up, "Shopping huh? You need some new clothes?" He asked eyeing her stomach.
"Yeah….these are getting a little tight."
Rich laughed, and shook his head, "Well, my dear. I've gone through three of my own kids, and two grandyounin's and let me tell you…those clothes are going to get a lot tighter."
Brande rolled her eyes, "Thanks Rich…I feel a lot better now that I know I'm going to be huge."
Rich laughed, "But when a woman's pregnant…it looks beautiful."
"Uh huh…remind me of that when I'm waddling in here, and people mistake me for one of the whales."
Rich laughed heartily, "You are to much…go on…Sam's out back."
Brande smiled, "Thanks again Rich."
outside in the rehabilitation center
Sam looked up from her clipboard to see Brande walking down one of the planks between the dolphin tanks.
"Hey Brande. What are you doing here?"
Brande grinned, "Breaking you out. Come on, get your stuff."
Sam shook her head confused, "What? No, I can't. I still gotta do some more papers, and…."
"No way girl. I just got you the day off."
"You did what?"
Brande sighed, "I talked Rich into letting you off for the day. So come on girl, we gotta' go. Time's a wasten."
"Brande..I'm serious..I can't…I have so much to do."
Sam turned around to see Rich coming. "Rich…I still have a lot of things to do…"
Rich shook his head, and placed a hand over her mouth, "You're right. You have to go shopping with Brande."
Sam pried Rich's hand off her mouth, "But what about Lance?"
"Lance will be fine. Now go!"
Brande grabbed Sam's hand and dragged her away, "Come on girl. You heard the man. We gotta' shop. Bye Rich!"
Rich waved at the girls, as Brande dragged Sam up the plank, and into the center.
"Bye girls. Have fun."
Brande finally got Sam through the centers doors, and pushed her towards the employee lounge.
"Come on. Let's go. There's only 10 more shopping hours till the malls close!"
Sam laughed, "Okay okay…geez lady…"
Sam began to get her things out of her locker, as
Brande sat down in one of the low couches.
"I better not get used to this."
Sam turned around to see Brande resting on the couch,with her legs spread before her. "Why not?"
"Because in a few months, I'm not going to be able to get up from this position."
Sam laughed, and shut her locker. "Okay. Ready."
Brande stood up, and cocked her head, "Ummm….I was just wondering…but what's up with Lance?"
"Lance?" Sam asked puzzedly.
"Yeah, you said something about you had to do something with Lance."
Sam laughed, as she headed towards the parking lot. "Lance is the newest dolphin at the center."
Brande glanced over at Sam, "Why's he named Lance?"
Sam grinned, "Well, they let me name him."
"Again…why is the dolphin's name Lance?"
Sam grinned, "Because he' s a rare Albino Dolphin."
Brande looked at Sam, "Your kidding?"
Brande began to laugh, "That is way to funny."
Sam stopped at her jeep, "Umm….separate cars?"
"Well then where are we going?"
Brande looked up at the blue sky, "I don't wanna' be trapped indoors today…how about that outside mall in downtown Orlando?"
Sam nodded, "Sounds good. Want me to follow you?"
Sam smiled, and got into her jeep.
"I can't believe you got so much stuff!"
Brande looked down at her bags. "Well, most of it was on sale."
Sam rolled her eyes, as she eyed Brande's hands full of bags, as well as her own. "Sale or not, you got a lot of stuff."
Brande nodded her head in agreement. "True…but I mean come on. I'm gonna' need most of this stuff."
Sam and Brande wandered over to one of the benches and sat down, resting their feet.
"Oh yeah…you really needed that stuffed bear."
Brande looked into her bag from FAO Schwartz. "Okay…I didn't need that. But I don't know. I thought…maybe…"
Sam grinned, "You got it for the baby huh?"
Brande smiled, "Yeah. Couldn't help it."
Sam smiled back, and watched a couple pushing a stroller past the two women. She looked over at Brande still watching the couple. "Penny for your thoughts?"
Brande rolled her eyes over at Sam, "That's corny. Very corny."
Sam shrugged, "Okay then how bout, watcha' thinkin'?"
Brande laughed, "I was just thinking about Joe…"
Brande sighed, "Very. I don't know how to tell him. Or when I tell him, how he's going to act. Or if he's going to want to…" Brande groaned, and shook her head, "I'm terrified Sam. I mean…what if he decides he doesn't want to be with me anymore?"
Sam shook her head, and put an arm around Brande's shoulders, "Brande, my dear. I don't know much about how Joe's gonna' act, but I can tell you this one thing, He won't stop loving you because your pregnant."
"I know…I'm just so nervous."
Sam smiled a little, "Who wouldn't? Have you talked to him recently?"
"I did for a few minutes last night. He's gonna' be in tonight."
"Are you going to meet him there?"
Brande nodded, "Planned on it. Justin said something like having a little party for us at the house."
Brande glanced over at Sam, "Ummm…I also found something else out."
Brande bit her lower lip, "Jc's gonna' be with him."
Sam's face froze as she looked over at Brande, "I thought he was staying up in New York."
Brande shrugged, "I guess he decided he had more important things to do down here instead."
Sam, was silent for a few minutes.
"So…are you coming with me to the airport?"
Sam shook her head, "I…I can't. I mean. You know how badly it ended. I'm the last person he wants to see. Plus…I don't know if I can take it."
"You have to face him some time. Sam, you still love him."
"I know that. But…what if he doesn't return the feeling."
Brande shook her head, "Oh Sam…I know he still loves you. There's no way a love as deep he feels for you can go away over night."
"How do you know?"
Brande took Sam's hand, and faced her, "I could see it everytime he looked at you. It was…intense to say the least. When ever you came in the room, his eyes would just follow you."
Sam widened her eye's, "But…after….we…"
"People fight. God knows Joey and I have had our fair share. Maybe now, that you've bothcooled down, ya'll can talk."
Sam shrugged, "Yeah…maybe."
Brande pulled Sam into a hug, "Good. So you coming with me to the airport tonight?"
Sam bit her lip and nodded slowly.
Brande grinned, "Good. Now enough of the female bonding stuff. We still haven't hit the other side of the mall." Brande stood up and grabbed he bags, "Well, come on Sam…we don't have all day!"
Sam laughed as she stood up, "Brande girl…sometimes I think your worst than Justin when it comes to shopping."
Brande laughed, "Sam….no one is that bad!"
Joey leaned over and shook his companion awake. "JC? We're here."
JC's blue eyes opened sleepily. "Already?"
"Yeah man. Come on, they're waiting for us."
"Oh…right…" JC sat up and grabbed his bag. "Do you think…uh…"
"I don't know…Brande didn't say…"
JC nodded and started down the aisle.
The two donned baseball hats and glasses before exiting the flight.
Joey looked around the airport and JC could tell exactly when he spotted Brande, his entire face lit up.
JC stood by and watched the reunion. Joey picked her up in a huge bear hug and swung her around in a circle. He tried to keep his face passive and not let the reunion affect him but, he kept thinking about Sam and how she should be there for him to hug and kiss as well.
"Babe…I don't mean to uh…but…" He heard Joey say, breaking him out of his thoughts.
"What is it?" Brande asked, smiling over at JC in welcome.
"Ummm, been eating a few cookies there?" Joey said, trying to put it tactfully.
Brande thought about it for awhile. "No." She said shaking her head.
"Uh… you're uh…"
"Put on a little weight, yes I know, thank you for pointing it out." She said, her face losing all emotion. She turned to JC. "Hi. Didn't think to see you here."
"I…ummm…." He didn't know what to say.
She waved him off. "She's not here. She bailed on me last minute to go and play with Lance."
"Lance?" Both guys turned to her in surprise, although one was tinged in jealousy.
JC's face darkened. "She's seeing someone else already? Not to mention one of my friends?"
Brande walked over to him and poked him in the
chest. "Buddy. You have some issues. She's not seeing someone else because
she's head over heels in love with you. She went to the center to see Lance,
the dolphin, not Lance, your groupmate." She poked him again. "I
don't want to hear another word out of your mouth about that girl cheating on
you, got it!"
He nodded, before glancing over at Joe who shrugged.
"I got it….sorry…."
She shook her head. "No problem….you guys ready?"
Both said yes and they headed to baggage claim.
Brande dropped JC off at his apartment and then turned to Joey and smiled. "Your place or mine?"
He laughed and reached over and drew her into a kiss. "I missed you so much."
"I miss you too, Bear."
"I need to talk to you about something." He began.
Brande looked at him with a small smile. "I need to talk to you as well."
He reached over and grabbed her hand to hold it in his. "Do you want to get some dinner later?"
She smiled. "Sure, but…"
"Shhhhh." He held up a finger to her mouth. "We'll talk tonight. I should get settled in at my place. So I'll call you later."
"Okay." Brande drove to his place and dropped him off.
When she made sure that he had got in okay, she hit her head on the steering wheel.
"Over dinner??? Hey Joey, I'm pregnant. How's
Joey arrived on the girl's doorstep with a bouquet of roses.
Sam answered the door in sweats and a t-shirt with her red hair all up in pony-tail. "Yeah, Fatone…. What do you want?" She asked smiling.
"Good to see you too, Sam."
She pulled him into a hug and buried her face into his shoulder.
"You okay, doll?"
She shook her head. "I'm doing better, but…"
"I don't want to hear it Joey. Come on in. She'll be down in a minute."
He came in and stood awkwardly, wanting to say something to make her feel better.
"Have you talked to him since he got home?"
Sam whirled to face him and he could tell she was nearing the breaking point. "No, I haven't bothered to answer the phone every time he calls, if you must know. He's called twice but every time his name pops up on Caller ID, I leave the room. I'm not ready. He… He hurt…me…Joe…" Sam said, tears starting to roll down her cheeks.
"Oh Sam." He pulled her into another hug wanting to take away all her pain.
"Joey, you ready? What did you do?" Brande said, walking into the room.
Sam wiped off her cheeks. "He didn't do anything. Go…Go have fun."
She walked up the stairs as the two watched her disappear around the corner.
"She going to be okay?" He asked.
"She will be."
He opened the door and held it for her. "Ready?"
She sighed. "Ready as I'll ever be."
He drove the two of them to his favorite Italian restaurant and parked.
They were seated immediately and he took away her menu and smiled at the waiter as he ordered for both of them.
Once he had left, Joey reached across the table and took her hand in his. "I've been waiting over a month to see you….I'm so glad to be back with you."
"It's good to see you too, Joey Bear. But, I…there's something I need to tell you."
He squeezed her hand. "There's something I wanted to ask you as well."
He stood up and walked around the table to get down on one knee in front of her. He reached out to grab her left hand and dug into his pocket and took out a box.
"Joey, what are you doing?" Brande asked, her eyes widening.
"I know we all said Lance would be the first
one to go but…Brande, would do me the honor of becoming my wife?"
Brande stared at Joey down on his knee, and the small diamond ring held in his hand.
"What?" she aksed in a whisper.
"Brande, will you marry me?"
Brande stared at Joey for a few more seconds, her eyes filling with tears.
Brande couldn't get out the words she wanted to say. So she did the only thing she could think of. She ran. Joey watched Brande run out of the resturant. He slowy got up and looked over at the waiter, who was bringing their drinks.
"Well, that didn't turn out like I excpected." He said more to himself than to the waiter.
The waiter looked over at him puzzedly, "Sir?"
Joey looked at the waiter, and shook his head,
"Oh sorry. Here." he tossed him a 50 dollar bill, and ran out the
restaurant after Brande.
Brande ran as far as she could, finally stopping at a park. She walked towards the children's play area, and found a swing. She sat down, and cried her eyes out.
'He asked me to marry him.' she kept thinking to herself. 'Why? Why did I run away? Oh God…I'm so sorry Joe." She kept thinking.
She didn't hear the footsteps that came behind her. She was to lost in her own world to even notice that he was there.
"Well, this seems familiar."
Brande looked up to see Joey standing behind her, a sad smile on his face.
"Oh Joey...I'm…sorry…" Brande began.
"Hey…it's okay…really." Joey sat down on the swing next to her. "Forget I even mentioned it okay." He pulled the ring out of his pocket, and looked at it. "Forget the whole marry me thing. Think of this as a friendship ring. A very large, expensive friendship ring." Joey said, handing her the box.
Brande took the box from Joey, and opened it up, staring at the ring. "It's beautiful Joe. But..."
Joey turned towards her, "Hey look, it's okay…really...so you don't feel the same way.."
"Oh Joey…it's not that...it's just..."
"What? Tell me maybe I can understand." Joey grabbed her hand, and held it in his own,
"What is it Babe?"
Brande began to cry softly again, "I...I...I can't marry you. If you marry me now, it would be under false pretenses."
Joey raised an eyebrow, "False pretenses? Big words now, sweetie. What is it? You're really a man?"
Brande giggled slightly, "No. I'm a woman."
Joey sighed, "Good, because I was about to say I've seen you. And you don't look like no man."
Brande giggled again, "No..it's...that..."
Joey grabbed Brande's other hand, "Sweetie..what is it. You know you can tell me anything right?"
Brande nodded yes, and mumbled something under her breath.
"What? Hunny, speak up. I can't hear you."
Brande looked up into Joey's eyes.
Joey stared at Brande, first in disbelief, then in shock. "Your...your..." he stuttered.
"Pregnant. I'm going to have a baby. Your baby." Brande looked at Joey again, her voice softening, "Our baby."
Joey stared at her eyes wide. "Your..I mean..I'm gonna' be...I mean we are...." He looked from her eyes to her stomach and back up to her face, "How? When?"
Brande laughed a little, "I think you know how. And I'm three months."
Joey let everything register in his head, "That means when I came back that first time..and we.."
Brande shook her head, "That would be it."
Joey looked at her. "Why didn't you tell me sooner?"
Brande sighed, "I...I didn't want to tell you on the phone. Plus..I was afraid, you wouldn't want me...us..anymore."
Joey shook his head, "Oh Baby Doll, I want you no matter what. You got that. No matter what happens to you, I don't care if you go out and kill 100 people, I'd still love you."
Brande giggled, "I don't think I'd ever do that."
"But you get my point right? Brande, I love you. Forever and Always."
Brande looked into Joey's eyes and saw love radiating from them."
"I love you to."
"Is that why you ran. Because of..the baby."
Brande nodded slowly, "I'm sorry. I...I was scared, and I didn't know what to think..so..."
Joey nodded, "Hey. I understand." He smiled, and took her hands in his, and placed him over her stomach. He grinned and looked up at her, "Our baby."
Brande smiled, "Our baby."
Joey grinned bigger, "Well, momma' what do you say. Think you can handle another Fatone in your life?"
Brande smiled, "I think I'll do okay. As long as your there."
Joey smiled slowly and took the ring box from Brande's lap.
"No matter what. I will always be there for you."
Brande began to smile, as he opened the box and got down on one knee. "Let me try this again. Brande Marie McElry..will you make me the happiest man on the earth, and be my wife?"
Brande's eyes filled up with tears again, but this time, happy ones. She sniffled a bit, before shaking her head, "Yes."
Joey grinned and slipped the ring onto her finger,
and then kissed her palm. He placed both of their hands on her stomach, and
whispered, "Hear that. Your momma' said yes."
He looked back up into Brande's smiling face.
"You are to much." She whispered.
Joey grinned again, "But that's why you love me."
Brande giggled, "Well, it's one reason."
Brande's stomach at that time began to growl.
"Hungry?" Joey asked eyebrows raised.
"Starving. But do you mind if we go someplace else?"
"No problem. Where ever you want." Joey stood up and pulled Brande to her feet.
"Pizza it is my pet." He reached down for
her hand and entertiwined their fingers, as they both walked towards Joe's car.
*The girls place*
Shanna walked over to the door, and opened it revealing two grinning faces.
"Can I help you?" She asked raising her eyebrows.
"Yes, we're here to see if anyone was hungry?"
Shanna glanced over at Justin. "If anyone was hungry? Are you trying to ask me out to dinner?"
Justin grinned, "No...that would be his job," Justin nodded over to Chris, "I'm going to ask another brunette."
Justin turned to see Kat jumping down the stairs. "Kat!"
Kat jumped into Justin's arms, giving him a hug.
"Doesn't that just make you sick?" Chris asked looked over at Shanna.
Shanna nodded, "Disgusting."
Kat rolled her eyes at the other two, "Yeah yeah yeah..shud up."
Shanna laughed, "Wait a second, let me go get my wallet. Where's Lance by the way?"
"He's at the recording studio. Said something about fixing some tracks..I don't know." Chris said, as he followed Shanna into the house.
Chris turned around, to see Kat and Justin walk out towards Justin's m-class.
"We better hurry, we don't wanna' leave those two alone for to long."
Shanna laughed, "Just a second. Let me see if Sam wants to go."
Shanna walked up the stairs, and peeked her head into Sam's room. "Hey Sam."
Sam looked up from the book she was reading, "Yeah?"
"We're gonna' go out to eat. Wanna' come?"
Sam shook her head, "No thanks. I think I'll stay in tonnight and catch up on some reading."
Shanna shrugged, "Okay. See you later."
Shanna walked down the stairs, and shrugged, "She said no."
Chris shrugged back, "Oh well, more pizza for us then."
Shanna shook her head back and forth, "With you and Justin, there is never enough pizza." They both started out the door, but stopped when they saw JC standing there, peering into the house.
"JC?" Chris said curiously
JC looked back and forth between Shanna and Chris. "I need to talk to Sam."
Shanna shook her head, "JC. She don't wanna' talk to nobody. Especially you."
JC sighed, "I know. I know I'm an idiot. But please Shanna…I need to talk to her."
Shanna sighed, "Okay…but only because she miss's you so much she making everyone in the house miserable. She's in her room."
JC looked over at Shanna gratefully, "Thank you."
Shanna nodded her head, "Go on."
JC took off up the stairs, as Chris and Shanna walked out the front door.
"Should we stay?" Chris asked.
Shanna shook her head, "No…they need to work this out alone."
Shanna and Chris made their way to Justin's M-class.
"Took you guys long enough!" Justin exclaimed as Chris and Shanna got in the car.
"Was that JC I just saw go in the house?" Kat asked.
Kat nodded, "Hope it all works out."
Shanna sighed, "So do I Kat. So do I."
Sam nodded her head in time to the music coming out of her walkman. She didn't notice her bedroom door open. Nor did she notice someone step into the room, and shut, and turn the key in the door.
JC watched Sam mouth the words to the music. He slipped the key from the door into his pants pocket. He stood there for awhile, just watching her.
Sam felt a presence in the room, and looked up from her book, and inhaled sharply. She slowly took of her headphones, and exhaled softly. "JC?"
JC leaned back against her desk. "Hi Sam."
Sam's mouth dropped open in shock. "What are you doing here?"
JC sighed. "We need to talk."
She shook her head. "No, we did all of our talking a few days ago."
"No." She jumped off the bed and walked quickly to the door, only to find it wouldn't open. She turned and glared at JC. "Josh…"
His eyes widened innocently. "What? Guess you aren't going anywhere and we'll have to talk then, won't we."
"Josh…unlock this door now. You can not lock me in my own room."
"I think I just did."
"Arguing isn't going to make it open any quicker, if you'd sit and let me explain, maybe that would."
She glared at him before letting out a breath and walking back to sit on the bed. "Fine, but for the record, I'm not happy about this."
He rolled his eyes. "Believe me, I figured."
"So, popstar, get on with it. What epiphany did you come up with while you were in New York?" She leaned back against her pillows and crossed her arms over her chest.
"Could you ACT like you missed me at least!" JC asked, getting frustrated with how this whole thing was going.
"What did you expect? Me to welcome you with
open arms? I don't think so. First you hash on my job, then you tell me you
don't even know what you want from our relationship, what now, Josh….are you
going to propose marriage? I
don't think so."
"Well, no that wasn't quite what I was going to talk to you about, but…" He sighed.
"But what?" Sam asked snippily.
"Could you PLEASE get that tone out of your voice?" He asked just as snottily.
She clenched her jaw but didn't say anything else.
"Thank you. Now as I was trying to say…"
"Trying being the operative word." She shot at him.
He sighed. "Do I have to shut you up to listen to me?"
"Maybe. Maybe I don't want to hear what you have to say?" She raised her eyebrows at him.
"That's it." He stood up and before she could stop him, he tackled her, one hand over her mouth and one hand around her waist to keep her from squirming.
"There. Much better." He smiled at her.
Her blue eyes just shot sparks at him, letting him know she was not happy with the situation.
"As I was saying…I arrived in New York, tired, unhappy, and missing you like hell. I didn't know what had happened that night, just that something had gone wrong and I didn't know how to fix it. I ended up talking to Joe quite a few times the past couple of days and he made me realize some things about myself and about us. Can I take my hand off your mouth now?"
She continued to glare at him. "I'll take that
as a no. Anyway…Joe made me compare say my studio time with your rehab time. I
know that when I get into the studio, I don't come out for days, as you well
know…and it's the same when you get around your dolphins. We both love our work
and wouldn't give it up for anything. Our work is our other
love. I overheard you that night you got the letter asking for an interview at the rehab center. I also remember you telling me that night, that I wasn't your only love and that scared me."
He looked into her eyes and noticed them softening.
He took his hand off her mouth and wrapped it around her waist with his other
one and buried his head in her shoulder.
"I can't lose you. This past couple of months, every time I've called. I always imagine you leaving me to go and do some project and I got insane. It's not right of me to want to keep you, but I can't help how I feel either."
"Can I speak now?" Sam asked, her eyes twinkling.
He nodded, looking up at her.
"Now you know how I feel, every time you walk
out my door to go on tour. Every time a teenage girl, yells, "I Love you
JC!" or when I get a quick message saying Don't try calling, I'll be in
the studio until late. Music is your passion, performing is your passion, and I
understand that, but like you said, it doesn't keep me from wanting to lock you
closet and throw away the key, just so that I can keep you to myself."
She laid a hand on his cheek. "Josh, I love you. I love your passion, your intensity, your stick up your ass, and sometimes even the performer, but not when you conduct your invisible orchestras…that I'll never understand. I love sleepy spice, and I even love hyperman….I love you. When I asked what was going to happen now? I don't know if I wanted an answer. I told Kat on the drive over from California that I wasn't sure what would happen between us and because of that I was going to focus on my career. Maybe I focused too much….Rich keeps telling me to take a day off…."
"Let's run away together…"
Sam laughed. "I don't think that would solve anything."
"I know what would solve it all."
He kissed the tip of her nose. "For me to accept everything about you, including your other love, just as you have with me."
Sam smiled. "I'm so glad you are finally seeing things my way."
"I didn't say I was happy about it…" He laughed at her fake glare.
He looked into her eyes and smiled. "I love you."
"I love you too, Josh." She leaned up and
Joe and Brande pulled into the driveway, before looking at each other in puzzlement. "Wasn't there supposed to be a party here tonight?" Joe asked.
"I… I thought so." Brande said and shrugged. "Oh well."
"That means we have the place to ourselves." Joe wiggled his eyebrows at her.
She smacked him. "Is that ALL you think about?"
Joe thought it over in his head. "Pretty much."
Brande laughed and opened the car door and looked up at the house. "Oh…Sam's home, her light's on."
Joe sighed. "Oh well…. Think she finally took JC's call?"
Brande shook her head. "Nope, she was pretty adamant about not wanting to…"
Brande's mouth dropped open in shock. "Nevermind. I see JC's jeep parked over on the street and no one else is home, so…maybe we shouldn't…"
Joe grabbed her hand. "They may need a
referee. Come on, let's go see if they've killed each other yet."
Joey and Brande walked into the house and looked around the deserted rooms.
"Sam?" Brande called out.
"JC? Hey Jace man you here?" Joey walked into the kitchen then back out again shaking his head.
"Not in there."
Brande rolled her eyes, "Sweetie, that's where people go to find you, not Jc."
Joey opened his mouth a little, "Hey now…I'm not always in here."
"Just most of the time." Brande laughed.
Joey was about to say something back, when they both heard a huge thump coming from above.
Joey and Brande looked at each other before running up the stairs. Joey got to Sam's room first, and tugged on the handle.
"It's locked." He said, as he turned to Brande giving it another quick tug.
Brande looked around, "I know there's a spare key..." she was cut off as she heard noises coming out of Sam's room.
Joey and Brande both looked at eachother, eyes-wide. "You don't think they're...." Joey began when her heard a low moan coming from the room.
Brande bit her lip, and started to laugh. She motioned Joe away from Sam's door, as they both slipped down the stairs and into the backyard.
Brande walked over to the patio furniture, and sat down with a thump.
Joey grabbed another chair, and pulled it next to her. They both looked at each other, before breaking into hysterics.
"Oh my god!!" Brande started, as she doubled over in laughter.
Joey shook his head, and grinned, "Now that's something I never really wanted to hear."
Brande opened her mouth to say something, but ended up laughing again.
Joey looked over at Brande, wiping away the tears that had formed in her eyes, from laughing so hard.
Joey quieted his laughs, and kept looking at her a grin on his face.
Brande could feel his eyes on her, as she turned and caught him staring at her. "What?"
Joey smiled again, "Nothing."
Brande shook her head, "I'm never going to be able to understand you am I?"
Joey grinned, and reached over to take her hand.
"You will. One day. It may take 70 or 80 years, but eventually, you will."
Brande smiled, "Only 70 or 80...hmmm...I think I can handle that."
"Good. Because that's how long I plan on keeping you."
Joey began to lean in towards Brande when they heard someone clearing their throat.
Brande and Joey both turned to see Lance standing there, arms folded, and eyebrows raised.
"Did you know you have wonderful timing Lance." Joey said, rolling his eyes.
"I do don't I. Welcome back Joe." Lance
grinned, and turned towards Brande, "Hey shortie..how ya' feeling?"
Brande stood up and walked over to Lance giving him a hug, "Much, much much much better."
Lance laughed, as Joey stood up and walked over to them, frowning slightly.
"Why would she be feeling better?" he looked at Brande, "Were you sick?"
Lance looked down at Brande, "You didn't tell him?"
Brande sighed, "Yes I told him. Joey morning sickness."
Joey nodded, "Ah. I see. Wait...Lance knew?"
Brande sighed, and wrapped an arm around Joey, "Hunny...I think everyone knew."
The threesome walked back into the house, and found places to sit around the kitchen table. Joey pulled Brande down on his lap, and wrapped his arms around her waist. "What do you mean everyone knew."
Brande rolled her eyes, and began to explain, but Lance beat her to it. "Well, it seems that the girls knew first. Of course she lives with them. Then Justin figured it out, he went to go and confirm it, but I was with her and Sam, and Brande was going to tell me, but Justin said it, and then Chris found out pretty much by guessing. I think that's it, right Brande?"
Brande nodded, "Thank you so much. I feel like a sporting event and Lance just gave the play by play."
Joey and Lance laughed, "Sporting event?"
Brande shrugged, "I put it in terms you men could understand."
"Hey." Joey laughed.
They all turned towards the sound of the voice, as Brande called out, "We're in here!"
Kat, Shanna, Chris and Justin, all rounded the corner, with a pizza box in their hands.
"Hey Joe's back!" Shanna said.
There was a round of welcome back Joey's, as everyone settled in the kitchen.
"So?" Justin looked over at Brande eyebrows raised.
"Yes...he knows." Brande sighed.
Joey laughed, "You weren't kidding. They do all know."
Shanna laughed, "I think the only one other than you who didn't know was JC."
"Speaking of JC, where is he. When we left, he was here." Chris said, opening up the fridge, and grabbing a soda.
Joey and Brande both turned towards each other laughing.
"What? What's so funny?" Kat asked, leaning back against Justin.
"Let's just say...they...are...making up for lost time." Brande tried to put tactfully.
"Who's making up for lost time?"
Everyone turned to see Sam and JC walk into the kitchen hand in hand.
A round of "Hey's" rang through the kitchen.
"Well, looks like they made up." Chris said, sitting down beside Shanna.
"They made more than that." Joey whispered into Brande's ear.
Brande giggled, and smacked Joey in the arm lightly, "Hush."
Sam and JC smiled, as JC hoped up on the counter, and Sam positioned herself between his legs, and leaned back against his chest.
"So what's going on? We having a party?" JC asked, glancing at Joey eyebrows raised.
Joey nodded, "You could say that."
Joey whispered something in Brande's ear, and she nodded. Joey stood up, and brought Brande with him.
"Okay, well, we have something to announce. The guys knew this, but the girls didn't so…"
"Get on with it!" Lance yelled at them.
Joey rolled his eyes at Lance. Brande took his hand, and smiled up at him.
"Go on." She said.
Joey grinned, "I asked Brande to be my wife, and she said yes."
All at once the girls squealed as they all rushed towards Brande hugging her.
"Oh my god, Brande." Kat practically yelled.
"Oh show us the ring." Shanna laughed.
Brand held out her hand, as all the girls ohhed and awwwed over the ring.
Joey and the rest of the guys stood back, and watched the spectical.
"Women." Chris said shaking his head.
"I heard that!" Shanna called over to Chris.
The guys laughed again, as all the girls began to talk rapidly.
"So when is the wedding?"
"Oh, say the spring I love spring weddings."
"No, winter, then you can get all those pretty blues, and silvers."
Brande laughed, "Dang girls. I haven't even thought about it. But..." she looked over at Joey who was grinning. "I do know I want to wait..until...."
Joey nodded, and Brande smiled, "Thanks."
JC looked at Joey confused, "Until what? Why do I feel like I'm missing something?"
Brande laughed, "I forgot…JC doesn't know."
JC looked at Brande a small frown on his face, "I don't know what? Okay very confused man here."
"Like that's something new." Sam laughed as she walked over to JC, and put her arms around him.
"Ha ha ha...very funny. Now come on, what? What's the big deal?"
Justin laughed slightly, "Well, it's not that big…yet."
Kat slapped him on the arm, and shook her head.
"What?" Justin threw his hands up.
JC looked at Brande, "Okay...now I'm really confused. Brande what's going on."
Joey walked over to Brande, and placed his arms around her.
She looked up into Joey smiling brown eyes, and
JC's mouth dropped, as he looked at Joey and then back to Brande, "Your...I mean....you two are...."
Brande laughed, "You sound like Joe. Yes JC I'm pregnant, and Joe's the father. So I guess technically, your going to be an uncle." She looked around the room at all the guys,
"You're all going to be uncles."
Brande looked at the guy's aging, before looking up at Joey, "Oh dear lord."
Joey laughed and hugged Brande tighter.
JC finally came out of his stupor, and smiled slowly. "Well, I guess then congratulations…both of you…on...everything…"
Everyone began to laugh, as what JC had said, finally began to sink in.
Lance looked around at the laughing couples and sighed. 'Oh well, I guess this is how it's supposed to be.' he thought to himself.
Brande looked over at Lance, and slowly released
her self from Joey grasp. Everyone began to talk at once, as she walked over to
Lance, and gave him a small hug.
"Hey…you look gloomy."
Lance gave he a sad smiled, "I was just thinking how everyone else has found someone, and I'm still...alone."
Brande shook her head, and stood on her tiptoes, to place a small kiss on his cheek.
"Lance, you're not alone. We all love you. You're probably one of the best friends I've got."
Lance sighed, "I know…but still...it's.."
Brande interrupted him, "I know...you don't have that special someone yet. Lance...it will happen. When you least expect it. Tr