One Last Fling

By:  Julie, Jenn & Lara

 

Part 1 – The Seduction (by Julie)

 

"Now Jules, you know where the plant food is, and the fertilizer... Don't forget to water the ones on the deck every other day, it's so hot out."

 

Julie rolled her eyes and swished her hand in a "move along" motion.  "Yes, and I know that the big one gets a whole bottle but only half a bottle each for the little ones or they'll drown. You've told me three times."

 

"I know, and I also know your track history with plants. Maybe I should've gotten Jenn to watch the place...."

 

Julie scowled at her friend just as Chris honked from the driveway. "Time's a-wastin'!" he shouted.

 

Lara nodded and waved at him then pulled the other woman into a quick embrace. "Now you keep your hands off JC while I'm gone."

 

Julie looked as innocent as she could. "What would I do?"

 

"I've seen the way you look at him, and I remember the things you've said about him. If there's so much as a mark on his body when I get back, I'm keeping Chris."

 

Julie smirked and cocked an eyebrow. "And what makes you think I'd leave marks?"

 

"I'll know. He tells me everything." And with that, Lara turned on her heel and waved behind her. "I'll miss you!"

 

"You'll only be gone 11 days!" Julie laughed.

 

Lara just stuck her tongue out at her from the passenger seat of Chris' car, and then they were off.

 

When Lara first moved to Orlando, her mother had given her Chris' number for someone to be in touch with from home. Although they didn't know each other, their families were friendly, and any friendly face was a welcome one at the time. He had been more than happy to show her around and introduce her to a few friends of his own.

 

"After all," he'd said, "a daughter of a friend of my mom's is a friend of... a daughter.... um...." he'd frowned and scratched his head, then shrugged. "You're all good," he'd finished, with one of his disarming smiles.

 

On one of their nights out with his friends, Lara had brought along Jenn and Julie, two of her new friends from work. Everyone had hit it off quickly, and it was the first of many evenings they'd all spend together. Although attractions and flirting -- and a little fooling around -- had been immediate, no one had seriously hooked up with another yet.

 

They all had their preferences in partners, though they teased and swapped now and again, and nothing was exclusive. If Julie ever had opportunity to get closer to someone at a club, it was usually Chris she gravitated towards, although she would flirt openly with anyone who didn't seem to mind. Unless Lara was around. Despite the fact that Lara and JC weren't actually together, they usually found each other in the same way Julie and Chris would, and Lara glared daggers any time Julie tried flirting with JC. This, of course, only gave Julie more incentive to playfully aggravate her friend.

 

When Chris had said he was driving back to Pennsylvania to visit family, Lara had jumped at the chance to accompany him. She hadn't seen her own family in months, and she had some time off at work coming to her. And so they had packed up his car and were off for their eleven day road trip together.

 

Julie's mind whirled at the opportunity.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Julie paced through her house, muttering under her breath. It had been two days since Lara and Chris had left, and she hadn't even *seen* JC. She had considered just calling him up, but decided that was too forward. For now at least. She'd see how the next nine days went. What she needed was an opening.

 

Her phone rang, and she reached to answer it. She was greeted with a chipper voice at the other end.

 

"Hey girlie!"

 

"Hey, Jenn, what's up?"

 

"Well, it's a Friday night, so I'm trying to get a few people together to hit a club or something. You in?"

 

"Sure, sounds great. Need me to call anyone?"

 

"Nope, we've got it covered. Lance and Justin are already coming, and Lance said he'd call JC. Joey's family's in town, so he's out, but I think Justin's calling a few other friends too."

 

They finalized details of place and time, then agreed they'd see each other soon and hung up. Julie grinned into the empty house. Perfect.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Justin looked up from his conversation and gulped. He kicked Lance across from him, who'd been talking to Jenn, and motioned with his head towards the person walking to their table.

 

"Jules!!" Jenn hopped up from the table to give her friend a hug in greeting, her black dress swirling around her knees as she moved, then slipped back down beside Lance.

 

Julie grinned and waved in response, a surge in the music cutting off anything she might have wanted to say. She was wearing a sparkling black spaghetti-trap tank top and a short burgundy-black skirt, and had her nails -- hands and feet -- painted to match the skirt. The short skirt and high heels made her long legs look even longer, and her short dark hair was showing new streaks of colour. Lance eyed her up and down.

 

"Looks like someone's on the prowl," he said when the music dipped lower.

 

Julie raised an eyebrow. "You hopeful, Bass?"

 

He chuckled. "Maybe another night. Sorry. And I *do* mean that." He laid an arm around Jenn's shoulders, though a wink punctuated his words. Julie nodded; it was already clear who he was leaving with that night.

 

Julie looked around the table. "Well, I'm dancing. Is anyone going to join me?"

 

Someone she didn't know -- she assumed he was a friend Justin had brought along -- slid out of the booth and led her towards the dance floor.

 

Three songs later, she'd learned his name -- Derek -- and the fact that he was a very responsive dancer. He'd get close and dirty when she wanted but back off when she didn't, with very little body language required on her part. She stepped away from him at one point and turned around to see JC at the edge of the dance floor, scanning the crowd. She waved him over, backing against Derek in the process and resting her hands on his thighs while they swayed. JC nodded a greeting to the other man, who he knew, and leaned in to Julie.

 

"Where is everyone?" he shouted into her ear.

 

"Booth at the back, last I saw," she shouted back.

 

He nodded and headed in the direction she indicated, but not before giving one last look over his shoulder at the dancing couple. She smiled slyly at him, turning and grinding close against Derek for a few beats.

 

'Let the games commence,' she thought.

 

Julie switched dance partners frequently, and although she never danced with JC, she was always dancing for him. She would catch his eye and wink, or twist her hips in just a certain way when she knew he was watching. And she could tell he was watching her, though he tried to hide it. His head would be moving away a little too quickly or the label on his beer bottle would be a little too interesting any time she turned towards him.  Although they'd had no direct interaction all evening -- something she did deliberately -- she left feeling like she'd definitely accomplished something. The seeds had been planted.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Three days later, Julie floated on an inflatable chair in Lance's backyard pool, a drink in her hand. She didn't have a pool, and he lived closest of all her friends who did.

 

"You're a mooch, you do realize that?" he called from where he lay on a lounge chair nearby.

 

She opened one eye, though he couldn't see it behind her dark sunglasses. "And your point would be....."

 

He shrugged. "I'm just sayin'."

 

"You want me to leave?"

 

He paused a moment, admiring her tanned form in her two-piece bathing suit as she floated by. "Nope."

 

"Alright then."

 

They lay in companionable silence for awhile longer, only moving to refresh their drinks when necessary. The cordless phone rang beside Lance's chair.

 

"'Lo?..... Yup.... Sure.... Nope.... Okay." He clicked it off and lay back down again.

 

"Who was that?"

 

"Telemarketer."

 

"Hm."

 

Half an hour later, Julie had migrated to a beach towel on the lawn and Lance was doing slow laps in the pool. A shadow fell across Julie where she lay on her back, and she frowned, though she kept her eyes closed.

 

"Bass, you're blocking my sun....... As in, could you move please?..... Lance!!" She finally opened her eyes and jumped a little. "Oh! JC.... I didn't realize you were coming over."

 

He merely grinned and raised an eyebrow at her, then moved away to sit in a lounge chair nearby. He took a deep theatrical breath and let it out with a loud sigh.

 

"Ahhhh, fresh air! If I had to smell paint for another minute I think I would've gone insane!"

 

Lance pulled himself out of the pool and grabbed his towel to start drying off. "What're you having painted?"

 

"The basement. I'm finally finishing it."

 

"You wanna stay here 'till they're done?"

 

"Naw, I don't want to put you out any."

 

Before Lance could reply, Julie rolled over onto her stomach and looked up at them. "You could stay at Lara's. It's empty. It'd probably look better to have someone using the place anyway, while she's gone."

 

JC looked over at her. "I thought you were staying there?"

 

"Nope, I'm just stopping in every couple of days to water the plants and take in the mail. Come on, I know where she keeps a spare set of keys. I'll take you over tonight, you'll be all set."

 

He shrugged and stretched his legs out fully in the chair, getting comfortable. "Okay. Thanks."

 

And that was that.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

The day after JC had settled into Lara's house, Julie stopped by with a bag of groceries. He apparently wasn't up yet, so she let herself in and put a pot of coffee on to brew. The smell soon drew him to the kitchen, yawning and scratching at his stomach through the thin t-shirt he wore.

 

"Ummm... morning?" he grumbled, confused and still only half awake.

 

"Afternoon, sunshine! Coffee?"

 

A grunt was her only reply, so she poured a steaming mug and placed it before him where he'd sat at the little table. He watched her while he let the caffeine drag him into full wakefulness. Although she was wearing an apron covering her entire front, when she turned her back to him he saw that she was wearing very short cutoffs and a tight halter top that left her midriff exposed. As she moved around the kitchen, it seemed like everything she needed was either in the very top or very bottom cupboards. He shifted in his seat, adjusting himself, grateful for the baggy sweatpants he'd thrown on before coming downstairs.

 

When he was finally awake enough to form a coherent sentence, he cleared his throat.

 

"So what's all this?"

 

"Dinner."

 

He frowned. "At one in the afternoon?"

 

"The sauce has to simmer for a long time."

 

"Oh." He watched her dump a bowl of chopped vegetables into a pot on the stove and stir them. "Why?"

 

"So all the flavours can mix together."

 

"No, I mean... why dinner?"

 

"Oh. I thought you might be lonely over here, so I figured I'd come keep you company."

 

"Um, Jules... I live alone. I'm kinda used to it."

 

She leveled her spoon at him, waving it for emphasis. "Hey, I don't cook often. Don't argue. Take advantage." She went back to her stirring.

 

"From what I've heard, there's a reason why you don't cook often," he teased,

which earned him a glare.

 

"Do you *want* dinner tonight, or not?"

 

He sniffed the air. It did smell good already. "Yes, ma'am," he mumbled like a child, though there was a small smile on his face.

 

"That's a good boy. Now go shower, and maybe I'll let you have a little snack before supper."

 

He stuck his tongue out at her as he rose from the table, to which she replied "Don't stick it out 'less you intend to use it." He did it again, then bounded up the stairs to the sound of her laughing after him.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Julie wouldn't let JC help with any of the dinner preparations, as long as he promised to do the dishes afterwards. While she dried and he washed, she "accidentally" flicked water at him a few times.

 

"If I didn't know any better, I'd think you were doing that on purpose," he finally said.

 

"Ya think?" -flick-

 

"Yeah, I think maybe." He sent a flurry of suds flying in her direction, getting a splash of water on himself in the process.

 

"You might want to be careful, you're getting water all over yourself." -flick-

 

"Oh am I?"

 

"Yeah. And that'd really be a shame, y'know, to have to get you out of those wet clothes."

 

He just shook his head, and Julie turned to put a bowl away after drying it. She stretched up for the top of the cupboards, making her shorts hitch a little higher, then she turned to face him with a sigh, leaning back into the corner of the counters.

 

"I can't reach. Can you?" She pouted and held the bowl out to him.

 

He took the bowl from her, but she didn't move out of the way, making him reach over her to place it where it belonged. He could feel the heat of her body where it pressed against him; when he tried to step back, she stepped aside and around him. Somehow, in the small space, she got them both turned around so he was against the counters and she was blocking his way out of the corner. He looked down at her where she'd pinned him in place, a smile on her face that was an arousing combination of seductive and innocent. He returned her smile with a raised eyebrow.

 

"When the cat's away, the mouse will play, is that it?"

 

She blinked, running a finger down his arm. "I have no idea what you're talking about."

 

"I know what Lara says to you whenever we get close in a club. You would do this to her, now that she's not around to stop you?"

 

"Do what?" She gave him an innocent look, which he clearly wasn't buying. She sighed. "Look, you guys aren't exclusive are you?"

 

"No," he was forced to admit.

 

"Right. You're not even dating. You're just friends." She shrugged. "Fuck buddies. She already shares you with other women, so what does it matter? Besides, she never has to find out," she finished coyly.

 

He decided to try a different tactic. He needed to feel her out, see how far she was willing to take this. "And what about Chris?"

 

"What *about* Chris?"

 

"He really likes you, you know. More than just this screwing around thing we all seem to have going."

 

Her smile faltered for a moment. She had suspected as much, and the feeling was definitely mutual. But she'd shared her ideas for the week with him, and he'd been all too willing to go along. Heck, he'd helped her plot out half of it. This all flew through her head in a second, and the smile was firmly back in place.

 

"And what makes you think he's so innocent in all of this?" She pretended to look thoughtful. "Hmmm... they've got a few overnight stops on their way there and back... I wonder how Lara's doing under that smirk...."

 

JC laughed, reappraising her. "You are evil."

 

"Mm-hm." She smiled innocently before turning and walking away from him, deliberately swaying her hips a little more than usual.

 

'Good,' he thought.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Julie had left Lara's shortly after she and JC finished the dishes together, but after that night she wasn't able to make it back. She got busy at work, the quest got pushed reluctantly to a side burner, and she didn't see JC again for the rest of the week. Finally, Joey called everyone out for a night of dancing.

 

'Two more nights,' Julie thought, standing outside the club. 'It's now or never.' She straightened her short charcoal dress and stepped inside.

 

She spotted Joey almost instantly, on the dance floor with someone she didn't recognize. Moving around the room, she found Jenn by the bar and greeted her warmly.

 

"Hey, I haven't seen you all week," Julie said. "How've you been?"

 

Julie thought she might have seen Jenn blush, but it might have been the lights.

 

"Hmm.... good," Jenn replied with a shy smile.

 

Before Jenn could say any more, Lance appeared behind her. He wrapped his hands around her waist and planted a quick kiss on the side of her neck before sliding away to a nearby booth, smiling over his shoulder at her as he went. Julie looked at Jenn and raised an eyebrow in an "oh really" look. Jenn just shrugged, smiled again, and moved to join Lance.

 

Julie stayed where she was, watching the dance floor for awhile. She nearly jumped out of her skin when she heard a voice close behind her head.

 

"Hi."

 

She whirled around to find JC standing before her, smiling.

 

"You never came back," he continued. "I've been lonely." He pretended to pout, and she just laughed at him.

 

"Oh, I'm sure you're used to it."

 

He winced but laughed, remembering their previous conversation about living alone.

 

Joey danced up to them then, a huge smile on his face. "Jace! Jules!" He planted a sloppy kiss on her cheek. "Are we standing or are we dancing?" He didn't give them a chance to answer, he just grabbed Julie's hand and dragged her onto the crowded floor.

 

It was five songs later when he finally released her, spotting a short blonde across the room. "Nothing personal," he said to Julie with a wink before heading towards the blonde with a swagger and a smile.

 

Julie turned, laughing, to find JC standing behind her again. She jumped slightly, startled, but regained her composure quickly.

 

"Are you following me?" she teased.

 

"Do you want to be followed?" His eyes were glittering, dangerous but playful, and Julie's smile broadened.

 

"By you, anywhere."

 

A new song started, a sensual beat with a strong bass. She moved closer to him and wrapped an arm around his shoulder. He placed a hand lightly on her waist, keeping contact but letting her set the pace. She ground close to him, only breaking eye contact to watch where their bodies met. She started running her fingers through the curls at the nape of his neck, her other hand coming to rest on his thigh where it pressed beside hers.

 

The music in the club pounded into their bodies, and he leaned close to speak into her ear and be heard.

 

"So what is this week all about, Julie? What are you trying to accomplish?"

 

"You're a bright boy. What do you think?"

 

Any reply he might have made was choked off when she traced his earlobe with the tip of her tongue, dragging it between her teeth.

 

"Ah, fuck," he whispered with a gasp.

 

She quirked an eyebrow at him. "Is that an offer?"

 

He pulled back from her to look into her eyes, pausing a moment to make sure he read things right. He could play forever, but he wouldn't cross any lines without an invitation. The look in her eyes said one thing only, and it said it loud and clear. He took her hand and led her from the club to his waiting car. He opened the passenger door for her, only barely stepping out of the way.

 

She slid past him with an approving quirk of her eyebrows. "A gentleman, even."

 

Before she could pass him completely, he grabbed her and pushed her against the car, kissing her forcefully. His tongue demanded entrance, and learned the deepest reaches of her mouth.

 

"Or not," he whispered when he finally released her into the passenger seat.

 

"Damn," she muttered under her breath, still a little dazed. He missed it, though, as he was quickly on his way around to the driver's side.

 

By unspoken agreement, he drove to Julie's house, running a few lights along the way. When they were barely inside she slammed him against the door and kissed him, pressing her body tightly against his before pulling back and tearing at his shirt.

 

"Bedroom," JC gasped, and they scrambled up the stairs, leaving a trail of clothes behind them.

 

They fell onto the bed, a tangle of twisted limbs and searching hands. She wrapped her fingers in his long, soft hair when his mouth found her breasts. He shuddered a breath when she cupped his bare ass, pulling him closer to her. Their bodies ground together and he broke a kiss, panting.

 

"Where..."

 

"Nightstand, top drawer," she said quickly.

 

He found what he was looking for and deftly tore open the wrapper, but she took the condom from him and rolled it slowly down his length.

 

"Damn, Jules," he whispered.

 

She merely smirked at him and drew close for another kiss. He positioned himself above her, balancing his weight on his arms, and moved carefully inside her. He kept his movements slow at first, peppering nips and laps all over her body where he could reach with his mouth. Their bodies moved together, slick with sweat, their voices blending as their pace increased, changed, and increased again. When they couldn't take it any longer, they screamed each other's names, shaking with the forces ripping through them.

 

When JC finally collapsed, he rolled to the side so as not to crush Julie beneath him. He discarded the condom and crawled back to her, lying close while their breathing slowly returned to normal.

 

"You have no idea how long I've been wanting to do that," he murmured between kisses to her neck.

 

She giggled at the tickle of his breath and lips, then his words sank in. "You... but... what..." She sat up halfway and shook her head sharply to clear it. He looked up at her with an evil glint in his eye and pushed her back down, placing kisses along her shoulder. "You little shit...." she started, though she couldn't keep the smile from her face.

 

"You don't think any one of the guys would've taken me in in a heartbeat if the paint fumes had really been that bad? Which they weren't, by the way. Hell, I've even got Chris' keys, his place is empty too."

 

"So you knew I was at Lance's that day. It was a setup."

 

He mumbled an assent, returning his attention to her collarbone.

 

"Of course. The phone call, that was *you*..." Julie smacked a hand to her forehead. "Why didn't you say something sooner?"

 

He shrugged and lapped at the hollow of her throat. "It was fun to be the seducee for once." His lips traveled back up her neck, the vibrations of his voice making her squirm beneath him. "But since I didn't say anything sooner, and since I have a feeling some of us will be settling into steady partners soon, are we gonna shut up and make up for lost time, or are we gonna keep talking about it?"

 

She flipped them over with a growl and straddled his waist, pinning his arms above his head. He chuckled and nudged his hips against hers.

 

"That's what I thought."

 

Part 2 - Road Trip (by Lara)

 

By the time they reached the northern border of Florida, Lara was already prepared to jump out of the car while it was moving. She didn't know how she was going to make it all the way to Pennsylvania with Chris.  He was certifiable.

 

"Okay...so we could switch halfway, or we could do it by mileage," Chris was saying, turning the map in his hands as he drove.  Lara grabbed it from him.

 

"Please watch the road," she begged.

 

"What?  I'm a very safe driver."  Chris turned the wheel quickly, causing the car to swerve.  Lara screamed and he laughed.  "Just kidding."

 

"This is When Harry Met Sally from hell," she moaned, closing her eyes.  He reached over and squeezed her leg, right above the knee.

 

"Trust me, sweetie. I'd never do anything to hurt you." She looked at him, studying his serious brown eyes.

 

"I do trust you," she whispered. "But I just might have to kill you."

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

They had decided from the beginning that it would be easier to drive until shortly after supper, then stop to eat and sleep somewhere. It would make the driving easier and a lot less stressful.  Lara was grateful when they finally pulled off the highway and into the parking lot of a Holiday Inn. She groaned as she got out and stretched.

 

"Don't even go there.  Like we didn't stop thirty-five miles back for you to go to the bathroom," Chris teased.  "You've made us stop about every hour or so, just to pee."

 

"Is it my fault my bladder is small?"

 

"Is it my fault you've been slurping at Code Red Mountain Dew like it's going out of style?"

 

"I can't help it," she said defensively.  "Blame Josh?"

 

"Josh?"  Chris looked blank.  "Oh, Jayce.  Why?"

 

"He got me hooked on the stuff...he stocks my fridge with it."  Lara looked away wistfully.  "I missed him, so I drank it."

 

Chris tilted his head to the side as he looked at her.  "Is there something going on between you and JC?"

 

"What? No," Lara said quickly.  "Nothing more than what's going on between you and Julie, or Jenn and Lance."

 

"Ah," Chris said, nodding.  "Because you realize you left him in the lion's den...with Jules being back there and all."

 

"I'm not thinking about that," Lara said stubbornly, lugging one of her suitcases from the back of the car. "If I don't think about it, it's not happening."

 

"Damn," Chris whispered, watching her walk towards the hotel.  "Something IS going on."  He hurried after her and took the suitcase.  "Well, maybe I can distract you," he said.

 

"With what?"

 

"A hot shower, a delicious dinner, and dessert."

 

"I don't know about you giving me a hot shower," she said, but she grinned.

 

He followed her into the lobby of the hotel, chuckling to himself. "But you didn't say I couldn't give you dessert," he whispered to himself.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Lara's eyes fluttered open as she heard pounding on the door of her hotel room.  She pulled herself out of the tub, wrapped a towel around herself, and padded to the door. She peered through the peephole.  "Chris?"  She opened the door.

 

"What the hell...you...oh..." Chris faltered, his eyes running over her body.  Suds slowly slid down her bare legs, and tendrils of hair hung down from her bun, dampened from the humidity of the bathroom.  "I guess you were...uh...taking a bath?"

 

"Yeah."  Lara blushed pink, clutching the towel.  "I guess I fell asleep in there."  She looked over at the clock.  "Oh, Chris, I'm sorry!  I wanted to be ready ten minutes ago!"

 

"It's okay." Chris forced his eyes up to her face.  "I'll come back in thirty minutes."

 

"No, come on in." Lara moved aside and Chris walked in.  "Just cop a squat there on the sofa, and I'll be ready in fifteen minutes."  She grabbed some clothes and went back into the bathroom to finish her shower.  Chris made himself sit down on the sofa. Instead of turning the TV on, however, he stared at the closed bathroom door.

 

Lara came out fifteen minutes later, her still wet hair piled neatly onto her head.  She wore a dark purple sundress that flowed around her ankles.

 

"Wow."  Chris stood up. "You look fantastic.  That's my favorite color."

 

"I remember hearing that somewhere," she teased lightly. "You look good, too. I should have said that when you came in."

 

"You were dripping wet when I came in," he reminded her, smoothing down his blue dress shirt.  "Ready?  I talked to the front desk downstairs, and they said there's a great restaurant we can walk to not far from here."

 

"That sounds nice."  Lara grabbed a sweater and her sandals and followed Chris out into the hallway.  She slipped the sandals on as they waited for the elevator.  Her blue eyes were serious as they stepped onto the elevator.

 

"Do you really think Julie's with Josh right now?"

 

Chris opened his mouth and closed it.  This wasn't good. She wasn't supposed to be THAT head over heels over JC.  "I don't know," he said honestly. "I know she had planned to hook up with him...I mean, check up on him," he said quickly. Lara smiled. 

 

"Oh, well...I told her that if she leaves marks she won't get you back," she said cheerfully.

 

"That sounds like a fair trade to me," Chris said, kissing her cheek. "Though you're getting the better end of the deal."

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

"No way.  Duran Duran is WAY better than any of those people," Lara contradicted, finishing her glass of wine.  Chris deftly filled the glass once more.

 

"Duran Duran was good, but they were too...girly."

 

"This from the man who sings like Mickey Mouse," Lara said, giggling.

 

"I do NOT sing like Mickey Mouse!"  Chris protested, and she only laughed harder.

 

They had playfully argued throughout dinner, talking about music and movies and anything but JC and Julie and what might or might not be happening in Florida.  Chris had gone along with it, had helped each of them set it up, but he realized he didn't really LIKE the idea of JC and Julie together.  And he knew Lara didn't like it, though she wouldn't admit it. The check came and he handed over his credit card.

 

"You're gonna tell me what half of that is, right?" Lara said as the waiter took the bill.

 

"No." Chris glared at her.  "Don't even try it.  Just drink your wine like a good girl and we'll get out of here and go dancing."

 

Lara's eyes lit up. "Dancing?"  He nodded. "But Chris...I told you we're splitting this trip down the middle."

 

The waiter returned with Chris' credit card and he signed the receipt.  He got up and held out Lara's chair for her.  "So you pay me some other way."

 

"Oh really?"  Lara smiled up at him. He smirked at her and her knees quivered.

 

"Really."

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

"Isn't this nice...we don't know anyone here, so no one cuts in," Chris said as he pulled Lara into his arms for a slow dance. The bar in their own hotel had a small dance floor, and they hadn't left it since they had arrived after dinner.

 

"Yeah," Lara said, wrapping her arms around his neck.  "I like it."

 

Chris inhaled the scent of her perfume and sighed.  He and Lara hadn't fooled around much.  There were a few nights where they had made out, and hands had wandered, but they hadn't gone any further.  This night, however, Chris wanted to go further.  He cared about Julie, and she was his first choice, but he and Lara were together and alone and he knew she wanted it as much as he did.  He pulled back to look at her.

 

"Lara...what's really up between you and JC?"  He needed to know before it went any further. Perhaps something had happened that neither he nor Julie knew about, and that JC hadn't had time to tell him about.

 

"Me and Josh?" Lara laughed.  "Nothing. We're...what does Julie call it...fuck buddies?  He could have a million girls. I'm just the one he plays with the most for right now."

 

With one look Chris saw through the front she was putting up.  "Well, what if I wanted to play with you right now?" He asked teasingly. She pressed herself against him.

 

"What if I felt like playing with you...right...now?"  She emphasized the last two words and he stopped dancing.  His brown eyes were stormy and she wondered if she had said the wrong thing.  "Chris?  If you and..."

 

"C'mon." He took her hand and led her off the dance floor.  She had to run to keep after him.

 

"Chris, I'm sorry. I..."

 

"Quiet," he told her.  They waited for the elevator and Chris refused to let go of her hand.  He didn't speak to her on the elevator, or even when they were in the hallway.  He unlocked his door and led her inside.  He closed the door and looked at her.

 

"Chris, I didn't know..."

 

"I couldn't talk about this downstairs," he whispered.  He reached up and let her damp hair down.  "If I started, I wouldn't stop, and I didn't think you wanted to be molested on the elevator."

 

Lara whimpered as his fingers wove through her hair.  "No...not in the elevator."

 

He smirked again and he swore he saw goosebumps appear on her skin.  "So I can molest you here?"

 

"If you want to," she whispered.

 

Without saying anything else, he picked her up and actually carried her to the bed. She giggled as he tossed her down.  He stood by the bed, watching her as he unbuttoned his shirt. She slowly sat up and took off her sandals, her eyes never leaving his.  He took off his shoes and pants, standing only in his boxers.  He leaned over her, kissing her until she laid back down.  He lay beside her, kissing her softly, teasingly, as one hand slid up under the skirt to slowly work her underwear down.  One by one he unbuttoned the small black buttons that lined the front of her sundress, and when he saw that she was bare on top under the dress, he moaned slightly.

 

"You're evil."

 

"What?" Her blue eyes were innocent as she smiled at him.  "Like I was gonna tell you.  The dress gives great support."

 

"I can do that, too," Chris whispered, lifting her breasts to his eager lips.  Lara arched her back, gasping as her hands ran through his short hair.  She slid her hands down his back, pushing at his boxers.

 

"Chris...please..." she whispered, then blushed.  He looked up at her.

 

"Why are you blushing?"

 

"I...you..." She blushed more. "I just begged you to get naked."

 

"And that's so bad?" He sat up and slid the boxers down, noticing she averted her eyes.

 

"I don't usually do that."  She bit her bottom lip. "I'm kinda shy."

 

"You?"  Chris started to laugh, then realized she was serious.

 

"In this kinda situation."  She smiled a little. "I'm surprised Josh does anything with me. I mean, he has all those women panting for him...and I know THEY wouldn't be shy."

 

"I'm sure JC loves everything you do," Chris said softly, his hand running up and down her arm.  "And shyness is a turnon."  He kissed her cheek, her shoulder, then brought her hand up to kiss her fingers.  As he nipped at the skin of her palm, he added, "And I'll just have to keep you so busy you'll forget to be shy."  He moved up to kiss her again, this time rolling over to cover her body with his.

 

"Chris...oh God..." she gasped as he rubbed against her.  "I want you so bad..."

 

Chris moved up and down her body, covering it with kisses then gasping as she reached down to stroke him.  "Hold...that...thought..." he finally panted, moving off the bed.  He threw things out of his suitcase until he found the box of condoms.  He put one on before turning around, and Lara welcomed him back with her arms open.  He slid inside of her almost immediately, and they both gasped.  "Holy fuck," he gasped, closing his eyes as she wrapped her legs around him, pulling him inside of her. 

 

"Chris...don't stop..." she panted, and he gladly obeyed.  Sweat began to form lightly on their bodies as he moved inside of her.  Her fingernails clawed at his back, and when she came, she pulled him down to bite on his shoulder.  That was all it took, and he whispered her name in her ear as he came hard and fast.  He moved off of her, and she immediately rolled onto her side.

 

"Was it so bad?" Chris asked, and she rolled back over to look at him.

 

"No."  Lara played with the blanket.  "Just...I feel like I used something that belongs to someone else."

 

Chris felt exactly the same way, but he was determined to keep it light between them. "Hell, Lara...like you said...me and Julie...just friends who play, you know?"

 

"Right," she said, nodding. "Just like me and Josh."

 

"Right," he repeated.  "So...if you're so shy...what the hell did you do with Lance that night?"

 

Lara blushed furiously. "Oh, GOD...we were both so drunk...we got our clothes off, touched a lot, got so close...then we both passed out."

 

Chris roared with laughter.  "I'm sure Jenn and Josh are very happy about that."

 

Lara looked at him timidly.  "Do you think Josh really could like me like...you know...like a girlfriend?"

 

"I bet he could," Chris said honestly.  And I bet he already does, he added to himself.  Lara smiled and said nothing more, snuggling close to him. "You keep doing that and we'll be leaving here awful late tomorrow," he warned her.  She giggled and moved even closer, putting a hand on his ass to pull him tight against her.  He groaned and passionately kissed her before resting her head on his chest.

 

Part 3 – Time to Choose (by Jenn)

 

"Hello?"

 

"Jenn dear."

 

"Hey Lara.  I thought you and Chris were leaving today."

 

"We're in the car right now.  Just wanted to call and tell you I'll miss you.  And to ask you to watch Julie.  I think she's up to something."

 

"Now Lara, why would you think that?"  Jenn answered with a giggle in her voice.  She knew Lara wasn't stupid, but she also knew that Lara wouldn't be too upset with Julie if she was indeed 'up to something'.

 

"I don't know . . . but . . . well, you girls be careful while I'm away.  And make sure Jules doesn't destroy my house or kill my plants!  I'll call you as soon as I get back!"

 

"Bye Lara.  You and Chris be careful, too.  And have fun!"  Jenn hung up the phone and immediately called Julie.

 

"Hello?"

 

"Julie, what are you planning?"

 

"Why, whatever makes you think something's up?"

 

"I just got off the phone with Lara.  She told me to keep an eye on you.  Especially where JC is concerned."

 

"Well, when the cat's away, the mouse will play.  Besides, there's nothing *serious* between any of us yet."

 

"Yet being the operative word.  I'm hoping to change that very soon."

 

"Oh?  Is there something I should know about?"

 

"Not yet.  It's just that the more time I spend with Lance, the more time I *want* to spend with Lance.  I'm just hoping it's a mutual thing."

 

"Jenn, I'm sure you have nothing to worry about.  In fact, I *know* you have nothing to worry about."

 

"You sound so sure of that.  I hope you're right.  Not that all this other stuff with the rest of the boys hasn't been great. But Lance is just-"

 

"Yeah, I know," Julie said rolling her eyes, "The Most Beautiful Man in the World."

 

"Well of course, but it's more than that.  He's just such a great guy.  Smart, intellectual, funny.  Everything."

 

"Okay girl, I get it.  Hey, I've gotta run, but we'll talk later."

 

"Alright, have fun with JC this week," Jenn laughed as she hung up the phone before Julie could answer.  She wished Julie luck with her endeavors while Lara was on vacation, but knew she wouldn't need it.  Plus Jenn had other things to worry about. She really hoped Lance would be interested in a more serious and exclusive relationship.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Two days later, Jenn was ready to start working towards her goal.  She decided to invite everyone out to a club.  Not the ideal setting to discuss the future, but she was hoping the morning after would present a moment.

 

Jenn picked up her phone to start calling everyone.  First up was Justin.  She was just a little too nervous to call Lance first and she knew Justin would calm her down.  Even though he was the youngest of all of them, he and Jenn had a lot in common.  Of the entire group, she knew Justin the best.  He seemed to be misunderstood by so many people.  Growing up in the spotlight hadn't been easy for him and he appreciated having an ear that understood and took the time to listen.

 

"'Lo?"

 

"Hey Ju!  What's up?"

 

"Hey girl!  Why haven't you called?"

 

"I just talked to you three days ago.  What do you mean why haven't I called."

 

"Well, I miss hearing your voice," he answered with a hint of loneliness.  Justin was good at making any girl feel needed.

 

"Okay, whatever," she answered sarcastically.  "Hey, whatcha doin' tonight?"

 

"Not much."

 

"You wanna go out to the club?  I thought I'd call Julie, we could get the gang together and go out and have a good time."

 

"You're just going to call Julie?"

 

"Well, no. . .I thought I'd call some other people, too."

 

"Like Lance?" Justin asked in a sing-song voice.  Jenn knew he was smiling on the other end of the phone.

 

"He is part of the group, Ju. I wouldn't leave him out."

 

"Girl, why don't you just tell him how you feel.  I've seen the way he looks at you.  Hey, you want me to put in a good word for you?  He and I are friends, you know."

 

"Ummm, thanks, Justin, but no.  I've got to do this on my own. And how do you know so much anyway?"

 

"Because I see the way you've been lookin' at him, too."

 

"Whatever, boy.  Anyway, you in tonight?"

 

"Hello!!  This is JRT you're talkin' to.  You know I'll be there.  I'll bring a few other friends, too."

 

"Great!  See you tonight!"

 

Jenn hung up the phone.  She jumped and almost dropped the phone because it rang in her hands.

 

"Hello?"

 

"Hey."  She immediately recognized the low voice that made her knees tremble.

 

"Well, hello."  'Oh my god, stay calm, Jenn.  You were gonna call him remember?'  "I was just getting ready to call you, but you beat me to it."

 

"Oh?  What did you want?"

 

"Well, we all thought we'd go out tonight to a club.  I wanted to see if you wanted to join us."

 

"Who's 'US'?"

 

"Let's see, I just got off the phone with Justin.  He's bringing Derek and a couple other friends and I was gonna call Julie and JC."

 

"Oh.  Okay.  That's cool.  I'll call C for you.  Ummmm, you mind if I pick you up?"

 

"No, not at all.  Thanks!  And thanks for calling Josh for me."

 

"No problem.  Anything I can do for you, you just let me know."

 

"What a sweetie.  I'll see you tonight then?"

 

"Yeah.  Bye."

 

"Bye Lance."  Jenn hung up the phone and screamed.  Then it hit her.  He had called her.  Had he wanted something?  Lance was usually not the one to call her, so she was sure he had wanted something, but didn't know.  She had been too giddy and excited to hear his voice that she didn't even think about asking after he had offered to pick her up.  'Oh well,' she thought, 'I'm sure I'll find out soon enough.'

 

Jenn's last call was to Julie.  Justin had told her that Joey's family was in town, so he wouldn't be joining them tonight.

 

"Hello?"

 

"Hey girlie!"

 

"Hey Jenn, what's up?"

 

"Well, it's a Friday night, so I'm trying to get a few people together to hit a club or something.  You in?"

 

"Sure, sounds great.  Need me to call anyone?"

 

"Nope, we've got it covered.  Lance and Justin are already coming, and Lance said he'd call JC.  Joey's family's in town, so he's out, but I think Justin's calling a few other friends too."

 

"Great, then I'll see you tonight?"

 

"Yup.  Lance is picking me up so we'll be there.  See you tonight!"  Jenn hung up the phone and smiled to herself.  She knew Julie's wheels were turning; she'd be in full force tonight for JC.

 

"Oh my god.  What am I going to wear?"  Jenn thought for a few minutes about running out and buying a new dress, but decided against it.  She didn't want to seem too anxious and she didn't want Lance to notice anything out of the ordinary.  So she decided on her black knee-length dress with the beads that hung at the bottom.  It wasn't quite a spaghetti-strap dress, but the straps were thin and it looked good on her.  Besides, she felt comfortable and confident in the dress and that was the most important thing.  Because that's what she needed tonight.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Lance picked her up around 10:00 and they drove to the club. When they arrived, they found a booth at the back and took a seat.  Justin walked in just a few minutes later with his friends and found them.

 

"Hey guys!!  Glad I found you.  Jenn, you look good, girl.  The sun does wonders for you."

 

"That it does," answered Lance.  Jenn blushed.  "Thank you."  She never was very good at taking compliments, but had learned how to deal with them from the guys.  They seemed to hand them out often to everyone around them, but were always completely sincere.

 

Justin was talking to his friends at the adjoining table and Lance and Jenn were discussing their respective days when Justin kicked Lance under the table.  Jenn looked up and saw Julie approaching and she jumped to her feet to give her friend a hug. Lance looked Julie over.  "Looks like someone's on the prowl."

 

"You hopeful, Bass?"

 

"Maybe another night.  Sorry.  And I *do* mean that."  At this, Lance put his arm around Jenn and pulled her closer to him.  Jenn grinned hugely at Julie as she announced she was going to go get her freak on.  Jenn settled in a bit more closely to Lance.

 

"So, you think she'll get him?"  Lance asked as Julie turned and walked away.

 

"Yeah, there's no doubt in my mind.  Besides, he wants it too and thought with Lara and Chris out of town, this would be the most opportune time."  Jenn turned and smiled at Lance and then started feeling a bit uncomfortable.  She'd been out with Lance and the boys many many times and had hooked up with him on more than one occasion.  But tonight was different.  She wanted this to be more than just casual sex.  Fuck buddies, as Julie put it. Jenn was ready to pick one, and she had picked Lance.  She only hoped he would pick her back.

 

"C'mon, let's go dance."  Jenn stood up and pulled Lance to his feet.  She figured she might feel more comfortable on the dance floor.

 

They made their way to the dance floor and immediately started to grind together.  They were pushed as close together as they could get, Jenn's hand on Lance's left thigh while his right leg was between hers.  His hands were on her lower back holding her tightly as the beat pounded through their bodies.

 

"You know, you have got some rhythm, girl," Justin said in her ear as he moved up behind her.  "Lance, you mind?"

 

"Yeah, actually I do.  Jenn's with me.  At least, tonight."  This made Jenn's heart lurch.  What did he mean, 'At least tonight'? Maybe she was wrong.  Maybe he wouldn't pick her.  But she didn't want to think about that now.  Having him pressed against her was just too much.  Her senses were in overdrive.  As Justin danced away, Jenn took her free hand and slid it between her and Lance, reaching his crotch and brushing her hand over his growing erection.  Then she suddenly pulled back.

 

"I need a drink," she said and started walking back to the table.  Lance groaned but followed her back to the booth they had previously been occupying.

 

Lance brought her a Midori Sour and himself a Jack and Coke and he slid in next to her.  She turned and smiled at him and all of a sudden his lips were on hers, his tongue licking, begging for entrance into her mouth.  She opened her lips slightly and his tongue slid in, probing the deepest reaches and tangling with her own tongue.  He pulled back and Jenn gasped trying to catch her breath.  "Well, so much for the drink."  She laughed as Lance pulled her to her feet and they walked out of the club hand in hand.

 

He opened the passenger side door to his silver 4Runner and Jenn hopped in.  Lance reached in and quickly kissed her again, then walked over to the driver's side.  The butterflies in Jenn's stomach were busy doing kamikaze dives and she thought for a minute they might dive straight through her skin and out into the car.

 

They pulled into Jenn's driveway and Lance once again hopped out of the car and came over to help Jenn out.  "Always a gentleman. Thank you Mr. Bass."

 

"For you, *anything*."

 

Jenn fished in her purse for her keys and they walked up to the door.  No sooner were they in the foyer than Lance grabbed her and drug her upstairs to the bedroom.  Once there, he gave Jenn a long, slow kiss, licking her lips and then moving down her jawline to her ear.  He sucked her earlobe into his mouth and playfully nipped at it with his teeth while unzipping her dress. He pulled back and his green eyes glared at Jenn while he pushed the straps of her dress off her shoulders and it fell in a puddle around her feet.

 

"You are beautiful, do you know that?"

 

Jenn blushed at the comment and started unbuttoning Lance's shirt, lightly kissing his chest where each button had been previously.  She slid the shirt off his shoulders and then looked at Lance.  "No, you're the-"

 

"The Most Beautiful Man in the World?"  At this, Jenn stood straight up and blushed furiously, then started laughing when she saw Lance do the same thing.

 

"Ummm, you weren't supposed to know about that."

 

"But I think it's one of the nicest things anyone has said about me.  Even though I think you're wrong."

 

"Hmmmm, let me see."  Jenn stood back and admired Lance's shirtless body, feeling all of a sudden completely exposed standing there in just her bra and panties.  She stepped closer to Lance and unbuttoned his pants.  "Nope.  I'm pretty sure that statement is correct."  Lance moaned as Jenn's hand brushed over his cock as she pushed his pants and boxers down while starting an assault on his nipples, first travelling to one and then the other, teasing them until they were hard too.

 

Lance pushed her down on the bed after stripping her the rest of the way and started his own assault.  He kissed her passionately and then used his tongue and small baby kisses to trail down her neck to her chest.  He cupped one breast in his hand while he sucked and licked the other.  After a few minutes, he switched breasts so each of them got attention.  This was driving Jenn insane.  She was writhing on the bed.

 

"Lance . . . damn . . ." He looked up at her and then continued his slow journey south, kissing every single inch of her stomach on his way.  Once he reached her crotch, he slid down the bed just a bit farther and started kissing up her legs.  His hands slipped between her thighs and pushed her legs open as he made his way up this time.

 

By this time, Jenn was on fire.  She could not stay still on the bed as Lance reached her crotch and carefully flicked his tongue out against her labia.  She sucked in her breath and then let out a sigh.  "Oh . . . yes . . ." Lance's tongue and fingers went to work spreading her lips.  His tongue immediately found her clit as his fingers slid into her wet opening.  He continued his double assault for a few minutes.  "Lance, I'm gonna . . . keep going . . . ohhhhhhhh.  I'm gonna cum!  Fuck!!  Oh my god!!!"

 

Jenn came hard and when her body stopped it's convulsions, Lance worked his way back up to her neck and kissed her neck before grabbing her and pushing his lips hard to her mouth.  She returned the kiss, their tongues intertwined with each other until she flipped them over and started her own journey to the nether regions.

 

She decided to be just as slow as he had been.  She took her sweet time kissing and licking all over Lance's chest.  She hovered above him making sure she wasn't touching him with any other part of her body.  As she slowly reached the line where hip and thigh met (the "V", she called it), Lance's body involuntarily jerked.  "Getting a bit excited, are we?"  Jenn giggled as she wrapped her hand around his throbbing cock.

 

"What are you dooooooing . . ."

 

"Just taking my time like you did, my dear."  She stroked his cock a bit and then licked the head, tasting the precum that was beginning to gather.  His hips jerked up forcing his cock further into her mouth.  She relaxed a bit and took his length all the way in while cradling his balls.  She pulled away and blew over the tip as he moaned.  She carefully started licking his cock from the base to the tip a few times until Lance said, "NOW!  I want you now!!"

 

Jenn looked up and smiled as she climbed on top of him guiding his dick up her pussy and settling all the way down.

 

"Holy fuck.  You feel soooo good on me.  I love when we're together."

 

"We fit together well."

 

As they moved together, Jenn leaned down and kissed Lance deeply.  He thrust into her hard and she thrust equally hard against him.  "Fuck!  I'm gonna cum so hard!  Keep going.  Oh . . . my . . . god . . ."  Lance screamed as he came into Jenn, Jenn following right behind him with her own moans and yells.

 

They lay there for a few minutes, Lance still in Jenn, while they caught their breath.  She rolled off of him and he immediately rolled on top of her and started kissing her neck down her collarbone and shoulder.

 

"Wow."

 

"Ummmmm, yeah.  I'd say so.  I don't know where that came from but I'm glad I was there for it," answered Lance.  They both giggled and wrapped their arms around each other, just relaxing, limbs tangled together so it was impossible to tell where one person ended and the other began.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

The next morning, Jenn woke up first and turned to see Lance laying there, completely naked, looking absolutely perfect.  She knew at this point she was in trouble.  Her breath caught in her throat and tears sprang to her eyes.  She was deathly afraid now.  Afraid that she'd gone too far with her feelings and he would not reciprocate them.  She quickly got out of bed and went to take a shower, but not before lightly kissing Lance on his forehead.

 

When she stepped out of the shower, she noticed Lance was gone. She started to worry, but then smelled the coffee brewing.  She walked down to the kitchen and saw Lance slicing fruit for breakfast, his back to the door.  He was wearing his pants from the night before and no shirt.  She suddenly wished she'd had something else for him to wear, but couldn't think of anything for him.  She snuck up behind him and wrapped her arms around his waist and kissed his back.

 

"Good morning," he growled as he turned around to kiss her.

 

"Good morning yourself.  Thanks for making breakfast.  I'm famished."

 

"I'm not surprised.  So am I.  I need to replenish myself after last night."

 

"Yeah, that was nice."  Jenn felt the butterflies wake up in her stomach and start their acrobatics once again.

 

Lance put the fruit salad into two bowls and sat them down on the table.  Jenn poured the coffee and joined him at the table.  They ate in relative silence.  This bothered Jenn.  'What's going on? Why isn't he saying anything?  Did I mess up?'

 

After he finished his last bite, Lance got up from the table. "Ummmm . . . I've got some FreeLance stuff to do today, so I really gotta get goin'.  I'll talk to you later, though."  He walked over to Jenn and kissed her sweetly as she smiled at him.

 

After Lance left, Jenn picked up her phone and called Justin.

 

"This better be good.  You woke my ass up!"

 

"Justin, it's Jenn."

 

"Hey girl, what's wrong?"

 

"I don't know if anything is.   Lance just left-"

 

"That doesn't sound like a bad thing to me."

 

"No, it wasn't bad.  It was incredible," Jenn felt her blush as she smiled sheepishly thinking back to the night before.  "But he left.  And he was so quiet this morning.  Maybe I picked the wrong one.  And now it's too late to pull back.  I've fallen for him, Justin.  And now I don't know what to do."

 

"I told you, I don't think you have anything to worry about.  He looks at you like he looks at no other person.  I haven't seen him look at someone like that in a loooooooong time.  And besides, you know Lance, he gets nervous and shy and VERY quiet when he's thinking."

 

"Yeah, well, he wasn't shy last night."

 

"Give him a few days, Jenn.  I'm sure you'll hear from him.  And if not, I'll kick his ass for you and make sure he knows what he's missing."

 

"You know, Ju, you're an amazing friend for being such a baby."

 

"Hey!  Watch it!  Just because I'm young does NOT mean I'm a baby."

 

"I know.  What would I do without you.  Thanks, hon. I'll catch you later."

 

"Bye, babe."

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Three days later, Jenn was sitting at work when her phone rang.

 

"This is Jenn."

 

"Hey.  Ummmmmm, it's Lance."

 

Jenn suppressed a giggle.  'As if I couldn't recognize that voice from the top of Mount Everest'.  "Hey.  How are you doing?"

 

"Ummmm, good.  Listen.  I was wondering.  I'm sorry I, you know, left so fast the other morning.  And I was wondering if, well, if you maybe wanted to go out tonight?"

 

"Sure, who else is gonna come?  Where were you thinking of going?"

 

"Well, ummmmm, I was hoping, you know, that you and *I* could maybe, well, get some dinner.  Just us."

 

"Okay, sure."  Jenn screamed silently as Julie walked past her door.

 

"Alright.  Good.  Thanks.  Ummm, I'll pick you up around 8:00? If that's okay."

 

"Yeah, 8:00's perfect.  I'll see you then."

 

"Okay.  Bye."

 

"Bye."

 

Jenn jumped out of her chair and ran to the door screaming her head off.  Julie grabbed her and shook her by the shoulders. "What's going on?"

 

"That was Lance.  We're going out to dinner."

 

"Oh really?  I just left him.  He didn't say anything to me."

 

"Oh.  Hmmmm.  I wonder what he wants?"

 

"Probably you," Julie said with a wink and smile.

 

"Yeah, but maybe not," Jenn said with a sigh.

 

"Jenn, snap out of it.  Why is it so hard for you to think that he might be feeling the same way you are?"

 

"Because he's Lance Bass."

 

"Would you get over that.  He's just Lance.  You know that.  I know that.  He knows that."

 

"Yeah well, we'll see.  I guess I better go.  I've got to get ready.  I only have four hours before he picks me up."  Jenn grabbed her bag and ran out the door.

 

"Have fun tonight.  Don't do anything I wouldn't do!"

 

"Right Julie, I don't do much you *do* do!"

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Jenn was ready at 7:30.  She had left work to go buy an outfit but just couldn't find anything that seemed to fit the moment. So she decided on her black skirt and a nice black sleeveless top.  She wore her hair down -- Lance had commented many times on how much he loved her long blond hair.

 

The doorbell rang at 8:00 sharp.  Lance was nothing if not punctual.  Jenn opened the door and her breath caught.  He was wearing a tight gray V-neck sweater and black leather pants. 'Breathe, Jenn.  This won't work if you're passed out on the floor of your house.'  "Hey."

 

"Jenn, you look beautiful."

 

Jenn blushed furiously.  Those damn compliments again.  "Thanks. You don't look half-bad yourself."

 

"What?  I'm not The Most Beautiful Man in the World anymore?"

 

"You know, first I'm gonna kill Justin or Julie – whoever decided to share that with you -- and then I think I'm gonna have to get a copyright on that phrase.  It's gonna catch on and then I'm not gonna get credit for it."  She was glad he was joking around.  It put her at ease and made her feel a bit better after his leaving so abruptly the other morning.

 

"Shall we?"

 

"Yeah.  Let me grab my bag."

 

They drove to the restaurant in virtual silence, both a little fidgety in their seats.  When they arrived, Lance came around and opened her door.  He helped her out of the car and didn't let go of her hand until they reached their table.  He pulled out her chair and sat across from her.

 

"So, how was your day?"

 

"Oh, you know, the usual.  Julie said she was at your house today?"

 

"Yeah, came over to go swimming for a while.  C called while she was there then came over."

 

"Oh?  He knows what's up, doesn't he?"

 

"Yeah, and I think he's having just as much fun playing this little game as she is."  They laughed, helping to relax them both.

 

"Oh, you called me on Friday, but I never got to ask you what you wanted."

 

"Oh, ummm, yeah.  Well, I got what I wanted."

 

"What was that?"

 

"I wanted to see you."  Lance put his head down as he said this but then shifted his green eyes up to peer into Jenn's face.  He felt like he was taking a big risk saying this and was afraid maybe it wouldn't work out the way he was hoping.

 

"Oh really?"

 

"Well, yeah.  You see, I've been thinking a lot recently.  About all of us.  About what we've been doing.  And I've noticed that there seem to be pairs setting up.  And, well, I was hoping that, you know, you'd maybe wanna kinda pair up with me.  You know, make this something a bit more permanent."

 

"Oh.  Wow."  Jenn was speechless.  It was true!  And it was happening.  Her feelings were being reciprocated.  At this point, the butterflies were going crazy, but this time it was a good crazy.  A feeling she'd been waiting to have for weeks now.

 

"Oh.  Ummm.  Okay.  Yeah, I understand.  I know I left quickly Saturday morning.  But it's because I felt like such a heel.  I thought that maybe I'd crossed a line.  I wanted to stay with you all day, but didn't know how you felt.  And then I started to feel uncomfortable.  I didn't know what to say.  Things hadn't worked out on Friday like I'd hoped.  I'd hoped to have done this on Friday when I -"

 

"Has anyone ever told you that you start to babble like JC when you don't know what to say?"

 

"Ummm, no."

 

"Well, you do.  So, now can I say something?"

 

"Sure."

 

"Lance, I have been waiting for quite some time to hear you say this.  In fact, I was going to give you until tomorrow to say something and if you hadn't, then I was gonna have to be the one to speak up."  Jenn smiled big and reached her hands across the table to grab Lance's.  They held each other's hands and stared into each other's eyes.

 

"Man, I'm sure glad Justin was right."

 

"Justin?  When did you talk to Justin?"

 

"Yesterday.  He called me and told me I better not dick you around anymore and end up breaking your heart or he'd kick my ass."

 

"That little shit!  I told him not to say anything."

 

"Oh, but he only did to get me going.  I was sooo afraid you didn't want to have a steady boyfriend.  That you were enjoying what we had between all of us."

 

"Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy it.  It was fun while it lasted.  But when I started to develop *real* feelings for you, well, I just couldn't do it anymore.  Every time I even looked at one of the other boys, all I could see was you.  Okay, I'll shut up now."

 

"You don't have to shut up.  I love listening to you talk.  Your lips move in such a beautiful way and your eyes and face are so animated.  It's such a lovely sight."

 

"Well, now you're really making me blush."

 

"I hope to do more than that after dinner.  In fact, I was hoping we could have a replay of Friday night, only it not ending so abruptly."

 

"You're on, Mr. Bass.  Anytime you want."

 

Part 4 – Sealed With a Kiss (by Julie & Lara)

 

CHRIS

 

A few days after Lara and I got back from Pennsylvania, Lance threw a party.  Who knew why; he never seemed to need a reason.  It was a Friday.  There you go, reason enough.  I pulled a hoodie out of the closet for later that night and searched for my car keys.  I was a little nervous about seeing everyone.  I had slept with one of the best friends of the girl I was hoping to hook up with soon.  I had also helped that girl seduce one of my own best friends, who was also hoping to hook up with the person I'd been with.  And this was the first time we'd all be together again.  Yeah, I think saying I was a little nervous was an understatement.  I knew things wouldn't be too weird, we'd all played around before, but this time was different.

 

The party was in full swing by the time I pulled up in front of Lance's house.  I could hear music blaring from the back yard, so I let myself in around the side gate.  The smell of food cooking on two large barbecues filled the air; he even had patio lanterns strung around the yard, with a canopy of tiny lights over the pool.  That's our boy, goes all out if he does it at all.

 

I chatted my way across the yard, forgetting my problems for a while.  Joey was in his element, with a burger in one hand, a beer in the other, and a smile on his face.  We talked for a few minutes, until Justin came up and just HAD to take Joey to meet some women who were apparently waiting for them in the kitchen of the house.  I let them go with a laugh, turning down Justin's invitation to join them so I could continue my trek through the partygoers.

 

I still hadn't seen Lara or JC, and I wondered for a moment if they'd even come. Had we screwed things up that much, that they were avoiding everyone now?  No, wait, there's C, by the pool.  Okay. I took a deep breath and mentally smacked myself; come on, Kirkpatrick, how old are we again? Then my stomach flopped when I finally spotted Julie.

 

She was sitting on a large bench swing with Lance and Jenn.  Lance had his hand resting casually on Jenn's knee,  and she didn't seem to mind a bit. Barely even seemed to notice.  Jeez, go away for eleven days... someone was going to have to give me the Cliff's Notes version of what I missed.

 

“Hey, is this a private orgy or can anyone join?”  I smiled at everyone but directed my question at Lance.  He groaned and rolled his eyes.

 

“Sorry, Chris.  There’s an age limit to this particular orgy…and a taste limit, too.”

 

I licked my hand.  “I think I taste pretty damn good, thank you very much,” I said.

 

Lance groaned again. “You’re too much.”  He kissed Jenn’s cheek.  “Please tell me you’re not ever gonna leave me for him.”

 

“Trust me, she won’t be leaving you anytime soon, and definitely not for him,” Julie said before Jenn could respond.  She smiled up at me.

 

I looked down at Jenn.  “So... wanna explain?”

 

“We kinda hooked up,” Jenn said, blushing slightly.

 

“I kinda figured that,” I said, grinning.  “Congrats.”

 

“Thanks.  C’mon, Jenn.  Let’s get something to eat.  I didn’t pay for all this food just to look at it.”  Lance took Jenn by the hand and led her to the food.

 

“Well?”  I said.

 

Julie beamed at me, an evil glint in her eyes.  "Mission accomplished."

 

I felt a stab go through me.  Why? Lara and I certainly hadn't been angels on our nights together last week.  And I knew she and JC both had to get this out of their systems before they could move on to anything else.  This was a good thing.  But did she have to sound so damned happy about it?  I looked down when I felt her snuggling up against me.

 

"But I missed you," she said.

 

Okay, I admit it. I melted right there. But I wasn't about to let her off the hook quite that easily.  "Oh, our dear boy couldn't quite measure up, could he?"

 

She pulled away and smacked my side.  "I didn't say that."

 

I clutched at my heart.  I was going to play this up.  "Oh, I'm hurt! Now you're saying he's better than me?"

 

"Not better, you're both just diff... wait.  No.  I am not getting into this conversation with you."  She glared at me for trapping her, then started laughing.  "Come on, I'm hungry."

 

She got up and left me for the picnic table loaded with food, and I just shook my head.  She hip-checked Justin on her way across the lawn, then slung an arm around Lara's shoulders at the table.  I saw the two women laugh at something, then she looked back and smiled at me, beckoning for me to join them.  Yeah, things were going to be just fine.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

JC

 

I watched Lara all night at Lance's party, but we never got the chance to be alone and talk.  She was so beautiful.  The way she moved, the sound of her laugh...why had I waited this long to tell her how I feel?  I shook my head at myself.  Probably because I didn't even realize it until recently.  Well, no more waiting.  Chris had called me right after they got back, and he told me some of the things she'd said on their trip.  Maybe not word for word, but he basically told me to go for it.  I planned on doing just that.

 

The next night we went out to dinner... a new place down by the beach.  Could she have looked more sexy and beautiful?  Probably not.  She wore an off the shoulder dark blue dress that swirled around her ankles.  A slit crept up the left side, revealing more of her leg then should be allowed in the state.  I didn’t mind though.  Once or twice I dropped something, just so I could look at her legs.  She figured it out, though, giggling as she kicked at my head.  She seemed nervous though, and I finally asked her what was wrong.

 

“I just... Julie and Chris.  They’re like official now, you know, and I feel bad about some things that happened on our trip to Pennsylvania.  I’m glad they’re together, though.  If it doesn’t matter to them, it shouldn’t matter to me.”

 

“Yeah,” I said simply.  I don’t think Julie had actually come out and told Lara something happened while she was gone, but she wasn’t stupid.

 

“It’s just great for them…that their relationship has progressed,” Lara said almost sadly.

 

“You finished?” I said abruptly.  “Let’s go for a walk.”

 

I threw down some money and took her hand.  We got up and went out of the restaurant and onto the boardwalk.  She slipped off her sandals, I took off my shoes, and we hid them under the stairs as we picked our way down to the sand.

 

Lara sighed as she looked up at the stars.  “I love the way I feel right now,” she said, taking in a deep breath of air.  “I don’t ever want this feeling to change.”

 

I looked at her carefully.  Did she mean the comfortable way we were together?  Or did she mean that she didn’t want our relationship to change?  Did she only want this to be an occasional thing?  Or did she want what I wanted?  I took a deep breath.  It was now or never.  I led her to a small jetty of rocks, sat her down beside me, and looked at her.  Just say it, man.  "Lara, I... I'm tired of just fooling around.  I want more.  Do you?  I mean..."  I looked down at my hands and chuckled a bit.  "God, I feel like I'm in high school."

 

She laughed lightly, a beautiful sound to my ears.  "Are you trying to ask me to go steady, Josh?"

 

I looked up at the use of my given name, and I could feel myself blushing.  "Uh..." I laughed at myself again.  "Yeah, I guess so.  I'd offer you my pin, or a class ring, or something..."

 

She laughed with me this time, then she quieted and looked me in the eyes.  "I'd like that," she said softly.

 

"Yeah?"  I bit my lip and hoped, and she smiled and nodded.

 

"Yeah."

 

I cupped the side of her face and leaned in, gently placing a soft kiss on her lips. When her eyes fluttered open, I couldn't help but smile a little.

 

"What?"  she said.

 

"Hm?  Oh, nothing.  Just an old song came to mind."

 

She smiled, too. "Sealed With A Kiss."

 

What...how…oh, who cares how.  I grinned. "Yeah."

 

And so I kissed her again.

 

The End

 

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