"Maui baby, MAUI!" Joey cheered as they stepped off the tiny plane onto the tarmac in Maui. It was only ten in the morning Hawaii time and they were hyped and ready to go. There were handfuls of fans being held at bay with a flimsy looking wooden barricade.
"Thatís not gonna hold them back." Chris laughed as he cowered behind JC.
"Thatís what the two dozen security guards are for." JC smiled and waved at the crowd sending them into a frenzy of screams.
"So we can do anything we want?" Chris asked.
"Sure, do what you want." JC laughed.
"Hey Lance, flash Ďem." Chris laughed and slapped him on the back.
"Heck no, you flash Ďem." Lance shook his head and kicked the bottom of Justinís foot to trying to trip the half asleep kid.
"You dare me to?" Chris laughed and looked over his shoulder at Lance and said, "Maybe you should. The sun would reflect off your ass white skin and blind the fans into submission."
"Watch it pops." Lance shook his head and yawned as he hitched the waist of his pants up.
"Weíll be inside in another ten seconds, so do it now." JC laughed.
"Iíll do it." Joey stopped and dropped his duffel bag to the ground and turned to face the crowd. "Hi Maui!" He shouted, then lifted his shirt over his head and laughed hysterically.
"KidsÖ" JC shook his head and smiled as they walked into the airport.
The girls continued to scream and shout at them as they walked through the terminal and out the front to hop in their awaiting van with tinted windows. The van took them immediately to the Local Motion store where they were doing an autograph signing session until one oíclock.
"So whereíd you take off to?" Joey asked Justin as they sat in the employee lounge eating subway sandwiches.
"Hmm?" Justin grunted with a mouthful.
"Yesterday." Joey wiped his mouth.
"I was around."
"Not around the hotel." Joey shook his head. "Abby said you had personal time."
"Yeah." Justin nodded and took a sip of his soda. "We all had personal hours yesterday. It was our day off."
"Well yeah but we were all hanging around the hotel. Kara came over to smooch on Lance and she brought a couple friends, but you werenít around." Joey shrugged.
"I went out with some friends."
"Not with Kelly though."
"No, not with Kelly."
"I know. Thatís what I said. She called around looking for you, she said she found something that she thought was yours?" Joey explained.
"I told her I was going out of town."
"I know. She said that too. But she wanted to know when youíd be back so she could drop it off. Or whatever." Joey took another bite of his sandwich and opened a bag of chips.
"Iíll have to call her I guess." Justin shrugged and concentrated on picking the pickles off of his sandwich.
"SoÖ back to my original question, whereíd you take off to?"
"Vegas." Justin admitted.
"Whatís in Vegas?"
"I have some friends there." Not entirely a lie, Becca was definitely a "friend".
"Since when?" Joey laughed.
"A couple monthsÖ like six months or so." Justin shrugged and wadded up is trash then tossed it into a nearby trash can. "Why are you guys all worried about who I go see all of a sudden?"
"Because your secret love life is like, fifty times more exciting than our non-existent ones."
"JC has a love life, quiz him."
"Yeah but we all know he goes home to Blair like every chance he gets. Thatís not exciting, thatís old."
"So what if I donít have a love life, what if all I do on my days off his fly home to Tennessee and hang out with my grandma?"
"Nah, you come back way to giddy and tired to have been hanging out at an old folks home." Joey shook his head.
"You spend too much time thinking about what I do in my spare time."
"Iím not thinking about what you do in your spare time." Joey laughed. "Iím thinking about who."
"Get help Joe." Justin laughed and shook his head as he stood up and headed for the door.
"Do I even get a hint?" Joey shouted after him. Justin raised his arm over his head and gave Joey the finger as he laughed and headed out to the hallway where the others were waiting.
The guys did their autograph signing event then went straight to the beach to do an underwater photo shoot. They didnít wrap up their day until late that night when the University of Hawaiiís luau was finished.
Justin stumbled back to his hotel room, groggy with fatigue and dropped himself onto his bed. He checked his watch and sighed, it was only 9:00 back stateside, early enough to call if he wanted. But he didnít want to. All he wanted was to bury his head in his feather pillow and go to sleep and not wake up until noon the next day. But that wasnít going to happen, he had to be up and ready to go by 3:30 to drive to the top of this crater to film part of their new video, which could only be done at sunrise.
Which meant he had to be up in another three hours. He groaned to himself and pulled his pillow over his head and kicked his shoes off. He fell asleep fully clothed and on top of the blankets, and didnít get up until his wake up call yanked him out of bed at three.
They were halfway done with the shot the next morning when Justinís cel phone rang in his backpack. He called a time out and answered it before the voice mail picked up, "Hello?"
"Hi babe, Iím sorry to bother you, I know youíre working, but I was wondering if you could have JC contact Johnny sometime today?" Kelly asked sweetly.
"Um, sure, what for?"
"I talked to Amie about doing her duet work with JC and she was very interested, her staff called Johnny, and Johnny called JC but they havenít been able to get a hold JC, apparently his phone is out of service, or something." Kelly shrugged and spoke quickly. "So if JC could call Johnny he can get all the details."
"Oh, okay yeah Iíll have him call."
"Are you having fun?" She asked softly as she applied her mascara.
"No." He smiled and looked over his shoulder at the others who were trying their hardest not to yawn. "Weíre doing a video and itís 4:30 in the morning, how fun does that sound?"
"Yeah but youíre in Maui." Kelly laughed lightly and reached for her lipstick. "Iíll let you get back to work now."
"And donít forget to tell JC."
"I wonít." Justin smiled and leaned over his backpack, "I miss you baby."
"I miss you too." Kelly put her lipstick away and whispered, "Iíll talk to you later."
"Bye." Justin clicked his phone off and returned to the shoot, "Jace you need to call Johnny."
"Johnny? Why?" JC asked.
"Focus you guys, we only have 20 more minutes." The director sighed.
"Duet with Amie." Justin said quickly as the music started and he launched into the lip-synched chorus.
They finished the shot then were whisked away to do a quick tour of the island and another photo shoot down at the beach before they went back to the hotel to check out and fly to Oahu. When they got to Waikiki they checked into their new hotel and walked up the beach to the Luau that was scheduled for that night.
Justin left the party early and walked back to the hotel alone. He let himself into his dark room and tossed his cel phone on the bed before falling into the pillows and sighing. He flicked the small desk lamp on beside the bed and checked his dates to see when his wake up call would be waking him, "Shit, four thirty? When are we supposed to sleep?" Justin groaned. He turned the light back off and pulled the pillow to his chest before noticing the blinking green light on his cel phone indicating that he had voicemail.
Justin sighed again and pulled the phone to him, dialing the voicemail number blindly. He closed his eyes and listened to his messages, praying it was nothing he needed to worry about right then, "Hi sweetie, its mom. I was just calling to touch base and see how you were doing. I know you're in Hawaii so I hope youíre having a good time honey. Get some sun, and Iíll talk to you later. Love you. Bye bye." Justin smiled and pressed "2" to save the message, "Hey you. Itís me." Justin laughed and listened as Becca continued. "I know you think youíre pretty sly, but youíre not. Guess what I found out? I found out you and your pals are taping a concert here in Vegas. And guess what else? I bought a ticket." She laughed to herself, "Iíve stooped to a new low Justin, I've purchased a ticket to see a boyband. AHHHH! See? You try to be slick, but youíre just not. Iíll see you in two weeks." She laughed again, then hung up the phone. Justin laughed lightly and shook his head as the next message started, "Hey Justin itís Pam, Iím doing the time stuff for March and I need to know if you have anything you need time off for. Call me before Friday. Bye." Justin made a mental note to call her and waited for the last message, "Hi, itís uh, me. Just calling to say hi, and I canít wait to see you next week. Um, thatís all. Bye." Justin smiled again and hit "2" to save the message then set the phone on the nightstand. He closed his eyes and yawned, then fell right to sleep.
"So, where are you guys headed on your 36 hours off?" Chris asked as the five men sat around in Lanceís hotel room in Chicago. Theyíd been doing city stops for the last week after they got back from Hawaii, promoting their soon to be released home video and to help get their faces in the news before the Grammy's.
"Iím going home." Justin sighed and leaned back in his chair.
"Home? Or to Kellyís?" Lance joked.
"Home to Orlando. To my own bed and my momís home cooking." Justin closed his eyes and smiled. "Heaven."
"Iím staying right here." Chris said. "Iím not spending 10 more hours on a plane just to go home for a few hours, forget that. Iím gonna stay here and hit the pool, maybe go to a movie or something."
"Iím sticking around here too." JC nodded.
"Nah, sheís at her dads house in Houston this week." He shrugged. "I guess sheís helping him move or something."
"Hmm, that sucks." Justin said softly.
"Sheíd rather be in Houston moving her dad than in Orlando mackin down with you?" Joey laughed.
"I guess so." JC shrugged. "Actually I could use the day off to do just nothing, ya know?"
"Yep, Iím only going as far as New York to have a quick meeting for FreeLance." Lance nodded.
"Iím going out to LA." Joey said with a smirk.
"Whatís in LA?" Chris asked.
"An unattended Kelly Sullivan." He laughed.
Justin shook his head and tossed a pillow at Joey, "Go right ahead pal."
"I will." Joey laughed and threw the pillow back.
"Tell her I said hi."
"When do you leave?" JC asked Justin.
"Um, tomorrow, 6:30 in the morning." Justin cringed. "Iím planning on sleeping on the plane so Iíll be rested up so I can sleep all day."
"You could stay here and sleep all day you know." Chris laughed.
"Yeah right." Justin rolled his eyes. He really was looking forward to going home to Orlando, he hadnít been there in a while.
"Wait, donít we have something tonight?" Chris looked from JC to Lance.
"NoÖ just our regular group meeting, but I guess this is it because everyone else has taken off already." JC shook his head.
"No I thought we had some signing thing or something." Chris frowned.
"That was last night." Lance laughed. "The McDonalds Promotional CD signing. You were there you know."
"That was it?"
"Thatís it." Lance shrugged.
"Awesome. Iím going to bed then." Chris stood up and stretched as he headed for the door. "See you all in 36 hours." He laughed as he let the door slam behind him.
"Iím taking off too, see you guys later." Justin covered his mouth as he yawned and scratched his stomach lightly.
"Say hi to the beach for me!" Lance waved over his head as Justin left the room and walked down the hall to his own room.
Justin kicked his shoes off and sat on the corner of the bed to pull his socks off. He wadded them up and tossed them in the general direction of his suitcase and pulled his cel phone out of his pocket. He fell backwards onto the bed, leaving his feet on the floor as he turned the phone on and dialed Las Vegas, "Listen asshole, I donít want a subscription to your newspaper, I donít want to save money on my long distance and I sure as hell donít want you to come and clean my pipes." Becca answered loudly.
"I donít usually do pipes, but I meanÖ" Justin laughed.
"I thought you were someone else." Becca blushed and covered her eyes. "Letís start over. Hello?"
"Hey Bec, whatís up?" Justin laughed and ran his fingers through his hair.
"Hey! Justin! How are you?" She laughed with him and curled her feet up under her on her couch as Brodie crawled up beside her.
"Iím doing pretty good." Justin sighed. "Whatís new with you?"
"I got bumped up to head waitress. Woo hoo!" Becca rolled her eyes and shook her head, "But hey, itís a raise and better hours, so thatís cool."
"Thatís awesome." He yawned and unbuttoned the waist of his jeans. "Hey check this out, yesterday we found out that we get to do a digitally enhanced single with Frank Sinatra for the new tribute CD."
"Isnít he dead?"
"YeahÖ but you know how Natalie Cole did that single with her dad? Itís going to be like that."
"How is that the same?"
"Her father was dead." Justin explained.
"I donít think Iím getting it." Becca laughed.
"Theyíre gonna make it so it sounds like weíre singing together using an old track of Franks."
"Ahhh! Well then that sounds cool."
"YeahÖ I think so." Justin yawned and said, "SoÖ entertain me, tell me about your day."
"My day? I can promise you that my day was 10 times more boring than yours." Becca smiled and pulled her hair back into a ponytail. "Letís see, I got up at eleven, took a shower, got dressed, ran down to Michelle's to borrow her red shirt thing, ran to Dennyís for a Grand Slam breakfast then went down to UNLV to register for my classes, saw how much it cost and decided I was going to turn this four year college plan into a fifteen year ordeal, got my books then came home and cried because they cost more than the classes. I took Brodie for a run around the block which in theory sounds productive and good but when you stop to think that she outweighs me by a good 40 pounds, itís just plain scary. When she wants to go, she goes, regardless of whether or not youíre ready, so needless to say I tripped over the curb, gracefully I might add, when she took off after a dumb cat."
"Yeah, well, now I look like Iím 7 because my knees are skinned. No shorts for me this week."
"Are you okay?"
"Yeah. I almost had to beat her senseless though." Becca smiled and affectionately scratched under Brodies collar.
"You better not."
"YeahÖ like I could hurt this adorable little mound of fuzz." Becca said in baby talk as she leaned down and kissed the top of Brodies giant head. "Anyways, I worked from two to six, grabbed Robertos taquitos on the way home and now here I am. Kicking back on the couch with refried bean breath and no shoes."
"Attractive." Justin laughed and closed his eyes again. He loved hearing about Beccas "real life" days. He missed running around and doing mundane stuff like going to the post office and to Dennyís for breakfast. With Becca, he got to live vicariously through her.
"How about you? Whatíd you do today?"
"Oh manÖ" Justin sighed, "Up at four thirty to get ready for a radio show at six, did that until seven thirty, then we went to Sears Tower to do a photo shoot up there but there was a lot of fog so that took forever, we got breakfast after that was done around ten." Justin paused and yawned, "Then we had a signing thing at a video store for a couple hours, another photo thing for Sports Illustrated so we played some ball, which was actually the best part of the day. We came back to the hotel to shower and change, then we had to go to the arena and do a soundcheck for our show the day after tomorrow because we got a new soundboard, which by the way, sucks. So thatís my day. We finished up the soundcheck and came back to the hotel, powered down a burger and now Iím here."
"Now that sounds like fun." Becca smiled and flipped her TV on, careful to mute it before the sound got too loud.
"Yeah right." Justin smiled.
"Well the playing ball part sounds like fun. And the Sears Tower thing."
"Itís not." Justin shook his head.
"YeahÖ itís real hard being a celebrity with money coming out your ears and autographs to sign, and people catering to your every need and taking your picture while youíre at it." She said with mock sympathy.
"Shut up." Justin smiled and sighed, she really had no idea what this was like day in and day out.
"Yeah, come on over and make me."
"I would if I could, hun." Justin yawned again and scooted up on the bed so that he was laying flat. "I wonít have any kind of free time for another couple weeks."
"A couple weeks?" Becca frowned. "Thatís gonna suck."
"But youíll be in Vegas next week, so maybe I can see you then?"
"Vegas next week?" Justin asked, how could he have missed that?
"To tape your concert. Sheesh how is it that I know what youíre doing and you donít?" She laughed.
"Because I have to know what Iím doing tomorrow and the next day, not next week." Justin laughed and rolled onto his side. "If I tried to remember what I was doing next week, my head would explode."
"Lovely thought, but yes, youíll be here next week to tape your show. Iím gonna be there, remember? I left you a message."
"Ahhh thatís right." Justin nodded. "Cool, then yeah, Iíll definitely see you then."
"Cool. Iíll have to sneak you away and bring you back here, I believe you owe me an hour in the Jacuzzi."
"Ooooh thatís right." Justin smiled. "I can hardly wait."
"Me too." Becca covered her mouth as she yawned, "Ugh Justin, youíve got me yawning over here."
"Sorry." He laughed and tried not to yawn again. "Itís contagious."
"Then Iíd better let you go before I catch anything else from you."
"All right, I just wanted to say hi and everything."
"Hi and everything." Becca said softly.
"Youíre a nut."
"Yeah, but thatís why you adore me."
"Of course." He smiled and tugged at his bottom lip. "I miss you." Justin whispered.
"Naturally." Becca smiled and blushed, she loved it when he whispered to her. "Iíll see you next week."
"OkayÖ see you then." Justin hung up and dialed Los Angeles.
"Hi, youíve reached Kelly and Chloe, please leave your message after the beep, and one of us will get back to you just as soon as we can." Kelly's voice sounded perky as Chloe barked in the background.
The machine beeped and Justin began his message, "Hey Kel, itís me. I uhÖ I just wanted to call and say hi and to see ho-"
"Wait! Justin hang on, Iím here." Kelly pressed random buttons on her machine as it squealed high pitch feedback in both their ears. She finally reached behind the table and unplugged the machine, "Hi!" She said, half out of breath.
"Hi." Justin laughed, imagining the scene in his mind. "So who won? You or the machine?"
"Me. I think I killed it." Kelly laughed as Chloe barked and danced around her feet. "Not now Chloe." Kelly pushed the dog away and fell onto her white leather couch.
"So how was your week?"
"Ugh, it was busy. You know how it goes." Kelly shrugged and curled a lock of hair around her finger. "I was in Nashville until this morning, have you been to the Take Two studios there?"
"Nope." Justin shook his head, "How is it?"
"Oh my gosh, Justin itís amazing. You should talk to Johnny about doing some work there next time around." Kelly smiled and cleared her throat. "Of course I sounded like Kathleen Turner all week, I really need to start practicing more during the week. Those 10 hour recording days almost killed me."
"Yeah, I know the feeling. After our first week we all sounded like Lance." Justin laughed and pulled his shirt over his head. "Did you hear we get to do that Sinatra project?"
Kelly gasped and clamped her hand over her mouth, "Youíre kidding?! Oh honey thatís great! That will be absolutely amazingÖ I canít imagine being able to sing with Sinatra, wowÖ sweetie thatís awesome."
That was the reaction Justin had hoped for, "I know, I canít wait either."
"Do you know which single youíll get to do?"
"I donít know, I donít think theyíve gotten that far in the planning process. I know Johnny and Rob are going to meet with whoeverís putting that together in a couple weeks."
"Hey, speaking of a couple weeks, guess where Iím going to be next week?" Kelly giggled lightly.
"Where?" Justin asked.
"Come on, guess. Youíre no fun at all Justin."
"Um, well Nashville is too obvious. Alaska?" He smiled.
"Paris?" He asked playfully.
"NooooÖ closer to home."
"My home or your home?"
"Um, my home."
"I donít know." Justin laughed. "San Francisco?"
"Youíre getting closer." Kelly laughed lightly. "Okay fine, forget it. Iím going to be in Vegas! For the taping of your Live show."
Justin blinked rapidly and licked his lips, "Youíre coming to Las Vegas?"
"Yes! Isnít that cool? Dominic arranged it so that I can fly out from Nashville to go to your show, then fly straight back to LA with you guys."
"I thought you were recording that whole week?"
"I wasÖ but I need to give my chords a break, and a three day weekend is just what the doctor ordered." Kelly smiled.
"WowÖ uhÖ cool." Justinís heart sped up as his mind raced through all the gruesome scenes that were sure to play out if he, Kelly and Becca were in the same small area. "Iím not gonna have a lot of time in Vegas though, you know. Weíve got the pre-show stuff to tape and everything that goes with taping a live show."
"Yeah, I know how that goes." Kelly laughed, "But Iíll get to see you after, and then on the flight home. Do you get the weekend off?"
Justin frowned, he had forgotten about the weekend off. He was going to have to ditch one of them, his mind raced as he took a deep breath, "Y- YeahÖ I get the weekend off."
"Great! Can I count you in for a bar-b-cue at my house on Saturday then? You and the guys I mean. You can make your carne asada burritos things that everyone loves."
"Sure thing." Justin nodded. Just what he wanted, a weekend surrounded by show biz assholes.
"So how was home?" JC asked as Justin walked into the room. He was the last one back from their day and a half off and the one they were waiting for to start their little meeting to discuss the weeks travel plans.
"Great." Justin smiled and fell onto the couch beside Joey.
"Did you win big?" Joey asked with a smirk.
"Win big? NoÖ what do you mean?" Justin gave Joey a confused look.
"You know, the slots." Joey made the motion of pulling down the slot machine arm.
"IÖ Joe what do you mean? I didnít play the slots." Justin continued with his confused stare.
"He went to Orlando you dolt." JC tossed a tiny rubber football at Joeyís head.
"Yeah right." Joey rolled his eyes.
"Why would he go to Vegas?" Chris asked.
"To see his Ďfriendsí." Joey explained.
"Dude, JoeÖ I went to Orlando. I hung out inside the whole time I was there and only got out of bed to eat and shower." Justin laughed and shook his head, for once he was telling the truth. "I had moms biscuits and gravy breakfast and watched hours of HBO."
"Man that sounds good." Lance said as his mouth watered. "Next time Iím going home with you."
"I donít think so pal." Justin shook his head as Johnny walked in and began the short meeting. They went over their schedules for the next couple days, as well as the Vegas plans. They had lots more to do in the way of preparation for that shows, since it was going to be taped. After two hours of listening the five boys numbly nodded with glazed over looks, and headed back to their rooms to relax a little before their day officially began with a press conference in the ballroom.
The next week passed in a blur of flashes and cameras around every corner, by the time they got to Vegas, all Justin wanted to do was sit in the Jacuzzi and not move for three days. That of course was not even an option, and Justin pouted at the fact.
He grumbled and groaned through the rehearsal, but before they took the stage for the show, he snapped out of his funk and got his second win. He dropped onto the stage beside his four friends, and hit solid ground with a newfound energy. This was going to be a great show.
Justin scanned the crowd between songs trying to locate Becca, but he had no idea where she was sitting. Kelly was up in the VIP seating with other friends and family members, kicking back with their bottled water and recliner chairs, he could hardly miss her bright blue sequined top. After the wardrobe change before the sixth song, Justin finally spotted Becca in the section off to the right of the stage.
He laughed to himself and shook his head, she shouldnít have been that hard to find. She was in the tenth row or so and she was the oldest person around. She was the only one not losing her mind every time he spoke, and the only one wearing a sleeveless Korn shirt, cut to bare her tummy. The teenies around her gave her dirty looks as she stood there with her arms crossed, smiling up at the stage.
"So this is what you get paid the big bucks to do huh?" She whispered to herself. She could have shouted it at the top of her voice and no one would have heard.
Justin caught her eye and smiled, then quickly tugged his lip, "So hey Joe, you know weíre taping this show tonight, right?"
"Right." Joey nodded and scratched his ear on the other side of the stage. The other three guys were off stage changing, this was Joey and Justin's turn to play with the audience.
"Is there anything youíd like to say to all of America?" Justin smiled flirtatiously at the camera near his feet.
"Hi!" Joey waved.
"Come on now, you can do better than that." Justin put his hands on his hips and glared at Joey.
"Youíre sure all of America is watching?"
"Pretty sure." Justin nodded.
"Probably." Justin smiled and nodded.
"How about Chicago?"
"Without a doubt."
"Now come Joe, you know Níawlins is watching."
"Orlandoís watching, I know that." Joey scratched his goatee in thought, "But what about Eugene?"
"SureÖ we have guy fans out there too." Justin laughed.
"No, Eugene Oregon. Do you think theyíre watching?"
"Oh! Oh sureÖ of course they are." Justin nodded.
"So what do you wanna say to them?"
"I only have one thing I want to say."
"Okay, what is it."
"Wait, we forgot one."
"Is Vegas watching?" Joey asked and looked out over the crowd as they had a collective freak attack.
Justin and Joey stood on stage laughing with each other as they waited for the crowd to calm down. "I think itís safe to say Vegas is watching." Justin nodded as the fans lost their minds again.
"Okay." Joey nodded. "Then hereís what Iíve got to say to you guys, to all of America."
"What?" Justin crossed his arms and looked at Joey expectantly.
"You ready?" Joey asked Justin.
"Are you guys ready?" Joey turned to the crowd, who replied with high-pitched squeals.
"Theyíre ready Joe." Justin nodded.
"Okay." Joey took a deep breath and paused for the dramatic effect. "H- okayÖ youíre sure youíre ready?"
"Dude, weíre ready Joey." Justin laughed and fanned his shirt away from his sweaty torso.
Joey smiled at the camera and raised his eyebrow, knowing his image was looming behind him, 90 feet larger than life. "Hi!" He showed all of his teeth in a big dopey smile and sent the girls in the arena into yet another frenzy.
As soon as the show ended, Justin led the pack off stage and ran to the dressing room, "Ten minutes guys! Make it quick!" He heard their stage manager shout after them. He tore his headset and shirt off in one fell swoop and tossed it on the floor by the door, on top of the growing pile of discarded clothes that would be cleaned and ready to wear at their next appearance.
The five boys went through their almost choreographed moves backstage, straight to the individual showers then into the main room to grab clean clothes before running back to the dressing areas to change. They managed to do all of that without slamming into each other or accidentally seeing each other naked. Theyíd had plenty of practice.
Justin sat on the couch and tied his shoes as his hair dripped big water droplets onto the toes of his shoes. He shook his head like a dog to get the excess water off and continued to tie his shoes quickly. He jumped up and shoved his t-shirt into his jeans as it stuck to his still damp body.
"Loose your towel?" JC laughed and sat on the arm of the couch beside Justin.
"Iím in a hurry, Iíve gotta get outta here before Ė "
"Are you guys decent?" Kelly shouted through the door as she knocked.
"Is that Kelly?" JC asked Justin, who sighed and nodded. "Yeah, weíre decent." He shouted back.
"Hi!" She gushed as she pushed the door open and slid into the changing room. "You guys looked great out there, hi JC." She smiled sweetly and gave the older man a quick hug and a kiss on the cheek.
"Hey Kel." JC said quickly. "Where are you headed?" He asked Justin.
"Huh? What?" Justin gave JC the Ďshut upí look.
"Youíve gotta get out of here beforeÖ?"
"Hmm? NoÖ nothing." Justin shook his head and smiled at Kelly. "Hey you." He pulled her in for a tight hug and a quick kiss on the cheek. "Whatís up?"
"Not much." Kelly beamed as she looked at Justin and seemed to forget that JC was standing right there. "Iíve seriously got to talk to Dominic about getting Wade to choreograph my next video, you guys looked great."
"Youíve got a dance single?" JC asked.
"Yeah, Iím releasing "I donít" April first."
"I always thought you were more of a ballad girl." JC shrugged. "Hey thanks for helping get me hooked up with Amie, thatís going to be awesome."
"Oh no problem. Sheís great, if I thought we could pull it off Iíd do a single with her too." Kelly laughed.
Justin excused himself and ducked out into the hall. He looked both ways as he pulled his cel phone out of his pocket, trying to find a quiet place to make this phone call. He walked quickly down several halls before finding a quiet corner near what looked like old hockey gear. He pulled the strings on the net and dialed Beccaís number from memory.
Her machine picked up after three rings, "You know the drill." Becca said quickly before it beeped in his ear.
"Hey Bec, hi Brodie." Justin smiled and continued, "Donít be pissed, but I have to cancel this weekend. And tonight." He sighed. "Things came up and I have to be in LA tomorrow, soÖ Iím sorry. I saw you tonight, you didnít look like you were having much fun. I guess I could have warned you about the onslaught of 12 year olds, huh?" He forced a smile as he half frowned, he'd really been looking forward to seeing Becca that weekend, "So um, thatís it. Iíll call you later. Sorry about Ė you know what? Scratch that. Iíll have to leave early, but Iíll be over tonight. See you around 12." He switched the phone off before he could change his mind, and dropped it back in his pocket. Heíd have to think of something to tell Kelly.
On his way to the green room Justin spotted Truck, one of their bodyguards, standing at the side stage with his arms crossed, in a heated discussion with someone just out of sight. He stopped and watched for a second, then leaned as far around the corner as he could to see what was going on.
"I donít care if youíre his mom. No one gets back here without a badge."
"Listen asshole, just go back there and tell him Iím here. Whereís George? Iíve met George." A female voice argued with Truck.
"Namecalling ainít the way to butter me up sweetie, if he was such a great friend heíd have hooked you up with a pass. Now take yourself on outta here before we have to get ugly."
"Get ugly?! Oh honey you havenít- " Justin recognized the voice and winced as she finished her sentence, "- looked in a mirror lately have you?" That pretty much assured him that she wouldnít be coming backstage anytime soon. Truck just laughed and hopped on his radio to get the arena security to escort her out.
Justin knew Becca well enough to know that she wouldnít let herself get kicked out over something so stupid, and he would bet that she turned right then and walked away in a huff. Truck laughed and shook his head as he turned from the opening and walked toward Justin, "There you are Mr. Troublemaker."
"Me? Whatíd I do?" Justin smiled innocently as Truck fell into step beside him on their way to the green room.
"Little girl back there swearing up and down that you and her are friends. Youíve got some flipped out fans you know that? She did her homework though, Iíve gotta give her that."
"Hmm, itís amazing how much people can find about you on the net, huh?" Justin blushed and pushed the green door open and stepped in.
"Yep." Truck smiled.
Justin walked through the crowd saying "Hi." to the reporters and cameras as he flashed his multimillion-dollar smile. He walked up beside Kelly who was talking with a journalist from Flash Teen Magazine, Australia. "Hey, when you get a minute, come on over." He said softly, so not to interrupt her mini interview. She smiled and nodded as Justin headed over to where the others were chatting.
"Man sheís hot." Joey said as he stared at Kelly. He was just trying to get under Justinís skinÖ and Justin knew that.
"Sheís alright." He shrugged as the others laughed.
"You canít be serious. Just admit it man." Joey shook his head.
"Thereís nothing to admit."
"Well then if youíre not seeing her whereís your little Vegas girlfriend?" Joey asked.
"Youíre dating a Vegas girl?" Lance asked.
"Iím not dating a Vegas girl." Justin laughed.
"Yeah you are." Joey insisted.
"I think heíd know it if he was." Chris pointed out before he slapped Justin on the back, "If I were youíd Iíd just stick to Kel, sheís just the right amount of woman for you."
"Shut up." Justin blushed and shook his head.
"What?" Kelly asked as she walked up to the group. The guys immediately found other places they needed to be and dispersed through the crowd.
"Nothing." Justin blushed quickly and cleared his throat, "Hey listen, Iíve got some buddies in town and I kinda told them weíd hang out tonight."
"JustinÖ" Kelly whined. "Tonight?"
"Yeah, I mean, I donít get to see them very often. Youíve got my whole weekend though." He took her hand and laced his fingers through hers.
"Okay." She half pouted and looked at her shoes. "Are you leaving now?"
"Yeah." He checked his watch, "Pretty soon."
"Youíre still flying back to LA in the morning though, right?"
"Yeah." Justin nodded and smiled. "Then Iím yours till I leave on Sunday."
"Okay." Kelly smiled up at him with her pale blue eyes. "Thatís okay, Joey invited me to come over to his room tonight, I think he said something about watching a movie?"
"Ha, I donít think so." Justin pulled her closer to him by her jeans pocket.
"Weíre just friends." She smiled flirtatiously and laughed.
"No. Uh uh. Joey isnít friends with girls." Justin shook his head and kissed her quickly, then let her go. With all the press around here he really shouldnít even be talking to her. "Iím gonna go, Iíll see you in the morning."
"If you get done sooner, Iím at the Venetian under Monica Gellar." She laughed lightly and ran her fingertips over his sleeve.
"Iíll see what I can do, but donít count on it." He smiled and squeezed her hand, "See you in the morning." He waved lamely over his shoulder as he checked out with his security team, then snuck out to an awaiting limo that took him to Beccaís apartment.
Justin walked empty handed up the old stairs to Beccaís dark apartment and knocked on the screen door. He waited for the familiar sound of her bare feet slapping on the dark hardwood floor, but he heard nothing. He leaned over and peeked in her window, but the room inside was dark.
Brodie lumbered off the old couch and stretched in front of the window before giving one short soft bark in the general direction of the front door. "Hey Bro? Whereís Becca?" Justin asked softly as he leaned against the window. "Sheís not in bed yetÖ whereís Bec?" He asked the dog again, being careful not to make too much noise.
"Iím right here." She said as she stepped up behind him. He jumped up quickly and knocked his head on one of the plastic hanging planters.
"Ow." His hand reflexively went to his head, "Hey." He smiled as she dug in her pockets for her keys.
"Your little guard men are assholes." She grumbled as she shoved the door open and stepped around Brodie. Justin followed her in and knelt in front of the huge dog to scratch behind her ears. "Good show though."
"Thanks." He said softly as he tried not to yawn. He stood up and stretched his arms over his head.
"I'll be you could use a nice long soak in the Jacuzzi right about now, couldn't you?" Becca smiled over her shoulder as she set her keys down and wrapped her arms around Justin's neck.
"Did I ever tell you that you're perfect?" Justin laughed lightly and kissed her.
"Yep, and your right. Now how about that Jacuzzi?" She playfully bit his lower lip and raised her eyebrows.
"That would be awesome." Justin smiled and leaned against the wall by the door. Somehow Becca always knew just what he needed. That's what he loved about herÖ
On to part 3Ö
Copyright © 2001 Amy Lynn