"Okay, where’s Justin? Did he wimp out on me?" Dayna asked as she finished up with Chris’s hair.

"Is he last?" Chris asked.

JC stood in front of the mirror and pulled at little tufts of his hair, "He said he changed his mind, he’d do his own hair today."

"Wrong, someone bring me the fro boy. I’m not playing around here, I have 20 minutes to have you guys ready." Dayna shook her head and sat in her chair to take the weight off her ankle.

"How’s your ankle?" JC asked, turning away from the mirror.

"Fine." Dayna sighed and retied her ponytail. "Chris, can you poke your head out into the hall and have Stan bring Justin to me?"

Chris opened the door to the make shift hair room and asked Stan the security guard, to bring Justin to the room, then shut the door again. "Hey Day, what are you doing next Sunday?" Chris leaned against the counter and knocked over a bottle of gel.

"Making you guys pretty for the Grammy’s of course." She sighed and straightened the bottle.

"No, I mean that night."

"Why? Does your girlfriend need someone to pick her up at her mommy and daddy’s house?" She asked sarcastically.

JC snickered from the other side of the room, then finished messing with his hair and left as Justin flew into the room completely out of breath. Dayna frowned at him and stood up, "You’re late. Sit."

"Seriously, what are you doing that night?" Chris asked.

"Chris I don’t know. I’m probably going to sit in my room and watch pay-per-view movies and take a bath, just like every other night." She rolled her eyes. She spritzed Justin’s hair as he panted in the chair in front of her, but kept her eyes on Chris, "Why?"

"Because I wanted to know if you’d go with me to the awards."

Dayna almost choked on the cough drop she was sucking on, then sputtered out a laugh, "You what?!"

"Well see if you go with me then I can hit on the other girls there and not feel like a total knob." Chris smiled flirtatiously and crossed his arms over his chest.

"You can’t possibly be serious." Dayna shook her head and reached for her scissors. She met Justin’s eyes in the mirror and smiled, "I am going to love doing this."

"Not too short." Justin frowned and sunk low into the seat.

"Relax…" She laughed and made the first glorious snip as Justin cringed.

"I’m serious." Chris spoke up from Dayna’s side. "Come on, you’ll get a free dinner and I’ll introduce you to Mark McGrath."

"You said that last time." Dayna grumbled under her breath and continued to cut. "Besides, I’m not getting all dolled up so I can look like an idiot while you put the schmooze on all the 14 year olds." She shook her curl covered scissors at Chris and frowned.

"Dayna! Dude, watch what you’re doing." Justin leaned forward as she moved to snip again. "You’re getting short there."

"Be quiet and let me cut it, my goodness you’d think I never cut your hair before." She made another couple cuts and watched with smiling eyes as the curls fell to the floor.

The room was silent for a minute as she cut and Chris sighed. "Hey you know what?" Justin asked with his eyes closed. He had decided he couldn’t stand to watch his hair falling to the floor in small damp lumps.

"Hmm?" Dayna mumbled.

"If you go you could work on your little project thing."

"What little project thing?" Chris asked.

"Yeah, what little project thing?" Dayna echoed.

"That one that’s going to make you happy or whatever." Justin explained.

"Knocking off Patty?" Dayna asked.

"What’s wrong with Patty?" Chris frowned.

"No the other one." Justin cracked his knuckles in his lap.

"Oh." Dayna thought for a second, "Oh! Oh you’re right, I can. Ooo, that would be good. Thanks for reminding me." She laughed and turned to Chris, "Count me in."

"Wait, what project thing?" He asked.

"Nothing, don’t worry about it." Dayna shook her head and absentmindedly cut around Justin’s ears as he cringed. "You’re not going to change your mind like, Sunday afternoon and say I can’t come right?"

"No, no you can come. Do you have something to wear?" Chris asked.

"You mean I can’t go naked?"

"I guess you could." Chris shrugged, "I mean, I’ve seen you naked, but everyone else there might enjoy it."

"Ha." Dayna rolled her eyes.

"I know I wou– " Justin started. Dayna snapped the scissors closed dangerously close to his ear and he stopped talking.

"Yes, I will have something to wear." She sighed. "Are you waiting to see how his baby fro is gonna turn out?"

"Yeah." Chris laughed and leaned against the counter as Dayna cut a few more locks off. Justin’s hair was substantially shorter than when she started, and with a little control freak styling gel he’d he fabulous.

Dayna wiped her hands on her little towel and reached for the bottle of styling lotion. She worked in through his hair, then grabbed the hairdryer to speed up the finished look. "Wow, lookit you kid. You look hot." She smiled and held a hand mirror out for Justin to see.

"Ding dong the fro is gone!" Chris sang as Justin cringed and looked in the mirror.

"I have no hair!" Justin cried as he reached up to touch his sheared locks.

"Oh you do too." Dayna rolled her eyes, "It looks much better like this. At least this way we know that your hair hasn’t taken control of your head."

"That’s the last time I ever offer to let you cut my hair." Justin pouted and dropped the mirror on the counter.

"Honey, that’s my job. To cut and style your hair so your adoring pre-pubescent girly fans can screech and pinup your posters in their rooms. Without me you guys would look like dook."

"I think that’s a bit excessive." Justin laughed and shook his head, actually enjoying the feeling of his hair remaining still.

"Think what you want, I know the deal." Dayna laughed and pulled Justin out of the chair so she could sit and elevate her foot.

"She has a pretty high opinion of herself doesn’t she?" Justin asked Chris as they headed for the door.

"Yeah she does." Chris nodded.

"Well someone has to." Dayna laughed in her defense.

"I think JC does too."

"Ugh, go away. You two annoy me." Dayna shook her head and tossed a handful of unused bobby pins at them. The two charmers laughed as they left Dayna alone in the room to sweep the priceless curls up from the floor and throw them away.

Over the next week Dayna’s ankle healed a little more every day, and by that Sunday she was feeling back to normal. Chris reminded her every day that Grammy day was coming up and she only had a few days left to find something to wear. He seemed overly concerned with her wardrobe, and he joined JC on Dayna’s "people who annoy me" list.

The day of the Grammy’s the boys had a million and a half things to do starting at sunrise, so naturally Dayna had to get up and primp them for their day of adventure. They left as the sun was rising and weren’t expected back until three that afternoon when they would have a little less than 2 hours to get ready for the awards show.

After getting the boys taken care of for the morning, Dayna went back to sleep until ten and then proceeded to spend the day lounging around the hotel in her well worn painters pants and a neon pink tank top. She hopped across the street to the little shopping mall for a quick lunch, then took her time getting back to help the guys get prettied up for that night.

"Dayna!" A soft female voice called down the hall of the hotel.

Dayna stopped in her tracks and winced as she turned around, "Hi Patty! Wow, when did you get here?" She put on her best sorority sister smile and spoke sweetly.

"This morning, I’ve been out all afternoon getting waxed and made up for tonight." Patty smiled and rolled her eyes, "Too much information huh?" She tentatively touched her perfectly curled and pinned hairdo.

"It looks worth it." Dayna tried not to gag on her words as she continued to smile.

"So what are you doing tonight while everyone’s gone? I’d hop in that big jacuzzi down stairs and just sit there till I was pruned." Patty laughed again and rooted around in her little purse for the hotel room card.

"I uh… actually I’m going to the awards tonight with Chris."

"Oh! Are you two dating again? Oh that’s great, maybe we can all go out to lunch or something while I’m in town, I’ll be here till Tuesday." She pulled the card out of her purse and played with it between her fingers.

"No no, Chris and I are not dating again. We’re just going as friends." Dayna shook her head and pulled at the strings hanging from the pockets of her old painters pants.

"Oh, okay. Well we can still go out." Patty smiled and tilted her head as she pushed the door open, "And hey! Maybe we can hit the gym again tomorrow."

"Oh hey yeah!" Dayna said with a hint of sarcasm. She’d have to make sure she was busy in the morning.

"Hey babe, is that you?" She heard Lance call from inside the room.

"Yeah, me and Dayna." Patty smiled into the room and Dayna saw her face light up as Lance walked over to her. He gave her a quick kiss and wrapped his arm around her waist, then lightly scratched her side through her rayon blouse.

"Hey Day, how’s it going?" He asked with a slow smile.

Dayna’s heart fluttered in her chest as she smiled and said, "Uh, good. You look really nice." Her eyes drifted over his simple black suit and a dress shirt splashed with the primary colors.

"Thanks." He glanced down at his bare feet and laughed, "We need to finish getting dressed." He said softly as he kissed Patty near her ear.

"Okay I’ll uh, I’ll just see you in 30 minutes in my room to do your hair." She said to Lance, "And I’ll see you tonight I guess." Dayna smiled at Patty, then continued down the hall to Chris’s room. She sighed then knocked lightly, "Let me in." She said loudly to be heard through the door.

"Hang on, hang on." Chris said from inside as he wrapped a towel around his waist. "What?" He asked as he pulled the door open. Water dripped from his nose as he held his towel closed.

"Nice." She looked him over with a raised eyebrow.

"What’s up? I’m running late."

"Yeah I can see that." Dayna smiled and eyed his towel. "I was just coming to see what you were going to wear tonight so I could decide what I am going to wear before you guys show up at my room."

"You don’t know what you’re wearing tonight?" Chris brushed his dripping hair out of his eyes.

"No, not yet. So what are you wearing?"

"A dark brown suit."

"How dark?"

"Like almost black."

"Can I see it?"

"Do you see that I’m standing here dripping wet and mostly naked?"

"You say that like I’ve never seen that before." Dayna raised an eyebrow at him. "Let me see." She brushed past him into his room and looked at the suit laid out on the bed like a little flat man. "That’s a cool shirt."

"Thanks." Chris said quickly as he adjusted his towel again.

"Lance has one just like it but it’s all different colors."

"I know. The designer did all of ours." Chris wiped the water droplets from his goatee and sighed.

"Cool." Dayna nodded and turned to leave the room, "You have thirty minutes." She scooted past him and headed back to her own room to get ready.

She opened her garment bag and took out the pale yellow Victoria’s Secret slip that was hanging on the tiny hanger, and laid it across the back of the chair. The slips made great dresses if she accessorized well enough, and since they were relatively inexpensive, she had them in a small array of colors… just in case. She hopped on the phone and found a local fabric store and asked to have two yards of sheer yellow material and a small package of silver beads delivered to the hotel. She gave them her credit card and address information, then returned to the task of dressing.

She stood in the middle of the room and pulled the smooth satin slip over her head. She adjusted herself in the built in bra and straightened the front. All she had to do was add her silver strap sandals and she would be ready to go. Dayna left the shoes by her garment bag and pulled a long t-shirt over her makeshift "dress" so she wouldn’t get goop on her when she did her make-up, or the guys hair.

Dayna held the curling iron in one hand as she applied bark colored lipstick with the other. There was a knock on her door as she removed the curling iron so she set it on the counter and jumped over her make-up bag to get to the door. She smiled and held the door open as the five guys filed into her room and Joey handed her a bag from the fabric shop. "Some guy was at the elevator trying to get by, he said these were for you?"

"Ahh yeah, thanks." She smiled and placed the bag by her shoes. "Let’s get going, I still have to finish putting my face on."

The boys took turns in her chair as she gelled and sprayed their hair into shape. Each of them looked classy in their almost matching suits, which was a nice change from the garish outfits they’d been wearing.

She got through them all with time to spare, and had to admit they all looked pretty sexy. Chris was the last one again, and she told him she’d meet him at his room in ten minutes so she could finish getting dressed. He left grudgingly tapping his watch as he left, as if she would ever be late.

Dayna sat on the edge of her bed and pulled the fabric store bag onto her lap. She used the sewing kit from the hotel and sewed a dozen of the silver beads randomly into the sheer fabric, then tossed the rest away. The fabric fell over her shoulders like a wrap, then she went back into the bathroom to touch up her eyes and spritz on a hint of perfume. She may not have been going as Chris’s date, but that was no reason for her to look like a slob. Dayna slid her bare feet into her sandals and grabbed her room key before she headed back down the hall to Chris’s room.

"Wow… look at you." Chris smiled as he stepped into the hall. He glanced down the hall to wear the other couples were anxiously waiting by the elevators, then looked her over again, "Remind me why I broke up with you?"

"Because I do things like this." She licked her thumb and wiped a bit of dried toothpaste off the edge of his mouth.

"Gross." He ducked away and wiped his mouth. "You’re disgusting." He laughed.

"Exactly." Dayna laughed and shook her head as they got to the group by the elevator. "Thanks." Chris said, "Now I don’t have to worry about wanting to hit on you tonight."

"I’d nip that in the bud if you tried to anyways." Dayna smiled sweetly and blushed as she caught sight of Lance and Patty locked in each others embrace near the corner. She had seen Lance all dressed up earlier, but Patty looked absolutely radiant in her little blue dress.

They all rode together to the awards and waited patiently as they made their way up the red carpet, being stopped every couple feet. The girls stood off to the side making small talk and complimenting each other on their dresses. Having worked with the guys for a while, Dayna knew all of the steady girlfriends, and already liked Joey’s date for the evening.

They sat through the awards ceremony and cheered when they wont two Grammy’s. As a group they were shuttled to an after party as soon as it was finished, and Chris promptly took off to find the other single chicks at the party. Dayna snuck around doing the same.

Most of the ladies at the party were either dating someone, or not at all Chris's type. She talked to a handful of potential dates for Chris, but basically came up short. Maybe this wasn't going to be as easy as she thought it would.

Dayna wandered over to a quiet table on the second floor looking out over the bar, and leaned on the railing. From up there she could watch Lance move across the dance floor and not be too obvious about it. As each new song started, Patty convinced Lance to stay out on the floor for just one more. Patty would look up at him with those wide smiling eyes and Lance would be lost, he'd do anything she asked. When seeing them together began to bum Dayna out, she turned around and scoped out the chicks on the second floor with her.

Since looking for girls wasn't something she usually did, Dayna really had no idea how to approach a girl, or how to suggest that she go out with her ex… but she was bound and determined to give it a try.

"Ooops, excuse me." A pretty blonde smiled and bumped into Dayna as she tried to pass. "I'm sorry, tight quarters up here."

"It's okay." Dayna laughed lightly, "I was standing in the way there, trying to decide if I should go back down or not."

"Nah, stick around up here, there's just a bunch of old farts down there trying to get in your pants." She laughed and peeked over the edge. "See? Surrounding the dance floor. Who are those guys?"

"Ahh, the ever popular record execs. Hunting down new talent." Dayna shook her head and laughed. "Thank God I'm not in the business, I'd never be charming enough to wow them."

"Yeah, tell me about it. I'm glad I have female representation." The girl smiled and pulled up a chair at a table nearby. "I'm Emily by the way." She extended her hand.

"Hi, I'm Dayna." She shook her hand and leaned on the table beside Emily.

"So if you're not in the biz how'd you end up here?"

"Friends of the biz." Dayna laughed, "Actually, I'm working the Nsync tour, so I guess I'm kind of in on it. Just not on the performance level."

Emily laughed and before they knew it they had been talking for a half hour. Dayna waited for just the right moment before she asked, "I know this may sound weird, but would you consider going to lunch with Chris?"

"With Chris?"

"From Nsync." Dayna scanned the crowd trying to find him, and hoped he wasn’t hanging all over some other girl. "The guy I came with."

"You came with him?" Emily laughed.

"He’s my ex." Dayna smiled quickly and spotted Chris standing at the bar with Joey. "There he is. At the bar down there by the guy playing with the lime thing?"

"With the bandana?" Emily asked as she squished up her nose.

"No, other side. With the spikeyish hair."

"Ahh, cool hair." Emily nodded.

"Thanks." Dayna smiled proudly. She waved Chris up to their table and introduced him to Emily, "She’s a new recording artist, I thought you guys might like to get together for lunch and talk shop or something. She’s going to be starting a tour soon also." Dayna smiled. If she could just get them together, chemistry and mother nature would take over from there.

"Sure." Chris smiled and shook Emily’s hand. "Are you in LA?"

"Yeah, for another two weeks. I’m doing the promo circuit." She rolled her eyes.

"Cool, well we’re here for what? Two more days?" He asked Dayna, who nodded in response. "So do you wanna shoot for tomorrow afternoon?"

"That’d be great." Emily smiled, showing her perfectly straight white teeth.

"We’re at the Beverly Hilton, if you want to come by maybe around one? We can grab something around there."

"Great, thanks." Emily smiled again as Chris waved and headed back over to the boys. Dayna stayed and chatted with Emily and some of her friends for another hour or so, then when the night was over they piled into separate cabs and headed back to their hotels. Dayna rode back with Justin and his girlfriend then went on up to her room to unwind from the exciting night. She, like the boys, got to sleep in the next morning and couldn’t wait.

Or so she thought. At eight thirty the next morning Dayna was awakened by a loud knock on her door. She mumbled something about not needing towels, and rolled over again. But the knocking persisted until she crawled out of bed and wrapped her well loved green robe around herself to answer the door. "You’d better be bleeding or bald." She grumbled as she pulled the door open. Her unpleasant mood didn’t lift when she saw Patty standing there in the brightly lit hallway wearing spandex shorts and a sports bra, "Hi." Dayna said as she rubbed the sleep out of her eyes.

"Oh man, I’m sorry. Did I wake you up?" Patty frowned and looked genuinely sorry.

"Yeah. It’s alright. What’s up?" Dayna asked. Not that she couldn’t tell from Patty’s clothes, she was just stalling, hoping to come up with a good excuse.

"Well I was just going to see if you wanted to go work out this morning, but you don’t look like you feel very well. I know the flu is going around… I hope you don’t have that." She said like a concerned mom.

"Ahh, no I don’t think that’s it." Dayna shook her head and coughed into her shoulder.

"I’ll let you go back to bed then, rest is important."

"Yeah, okay thanks." Dayna forced a weak smile and waved.

"I hope you feel better."

"Thanks, me too." She waited until Patty had turned around and began back down the hall before she shut the door and fell back into bed, happy to have dodged that bullet. She felt bad being dishonest with Patty because she really was a sweet girl, but the thought of even looking at a stairmaster again made Dayna’s back ache.

Dayna slept in for another couple hours, then spent an hour in a bubble bath before she hopped on the phone and made lunch reservations for Chris and Emily. She was going to do this right, Emily was too good to pass up.

Just before one, Dayna crept out of her room dressed down in jeans and a sweater. She headed down to Chris's room and knocked on the door as she sang "Lump" under her breath.

"Lump sat alone in a boggy marsh… totally motionless except for her heart. Mud flowed up in Lumps pajamas, she totally confused all the passing piranhas." She tapped her foot to the beat and frowned when he didn't answer the door after a minute. She pounded again, "Is Chris fast asleep or rockin out with the band?" she asked loudly to the beat of the song in her head.

"He slipped on the kiss and tumbled in the love." Justin laughed as he walked down the hall toward her with a long rope of red licorice in his hand.

"Where is he?" Dayna asked.

"That chick singer person from last night came over and they were going to go to lunch or something." Justin shrugged and wrapped the licorice around his finger.

"Emily?"

"Is that her name?"

"Blonde?"

"That doesn't narrow it down." Justin laughed and took a bite as he chewed with his mouth open.

"Where'd they go?" Dayna asked.

"Is that the girl you hooked him up with? Has the project officially started?" Justin asked.

"Where'd they go Justin?"

"To JC's to get keys or something." Justin frowned and continued down the hall as he sang, "She's lump, she's lump, she's is my head…"

Dayna sighed and walked to the end of the hall to JC's room just in time to see Chris and Emily step out of the room. "Thanks Jace, we'll be back in a couple hours." Chris smiled waved at JC who was still inside the room.

"Hey Chris, hang on a second." Dayna smiled and dug in her pocket for the piece of paper as she neared where they were standing. "Hi Emily."

"Hi." Emily smiled sweetly and tucked her short hair behind her ear.

"Here guys, I made you reservations at Hacienda up on Via Rodeo." Dayna smiled and handed Chris the note pad of paper with the directions and reservation time on it. "I heard it’s some of the best mex in LA, so I thought you two would like to check it out."

"Oh, uh, thanks Day." Chris took the paper and smiled quickly at Emily, "Well we've got a car and reservations, we might as well go."

"Thanks Dayna." Emily waved over her shoulder as they headed for the elevator across the hall.

She watched them walking side by side and realized what a cute couple they’d make. "This is going to be easy." She thought to herself.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

"Dayna!" Chris shouted as he walked down the hall toward her room three hours later.

"Yeah?" She poked her head out of her door. She was in the middle of an avocado and oatmeal facial mask so her face was covered with the mint green goop.

"Was that a date you were trying to set me up with?" He asked as he continued down the hall.

"Yeah! How’d it go?" Dayna laughed and held the door open with her foot as she stepped into the hall.

"Oh fine, great. Just fabulous. It would have been better if I was a lesbian though. You know. Because lesbians tend to like other lesbians better than… well… non lesbians." He crossed his arms over his chest and frowned.

"What?"

"Oh yeah. She’s a lesbian. Did she forget to tell you that?"

"Well I uh…" Dayna tried not to laugh.

"Dayna… this isn’t funny."

"Well you just said 'lesbians' a lot." She said with a little laugh.

"What was that about anyway? Jeez, since when are you my personal matchmaker?"

"Since you’ve made such a disaster area of your love life."

"I… what?!"

"I can do a better job finding you a girlfriend than you can."

"Day you’re not even listening! She’s a great girl, she’s beautiful and smart and funny and everything like that but she’s not into guys! How is that considered ‘finding me a girlfriend’?"

"Well okay, that one may have been a slight mis-"

"That one? How many more do you have up your sleeve?" He asked as he shook his head.

"Are you mad?" She asked softly.

Chris sighed and uncrossed his arms, "I’m not mad Day… but what the hell’s going on here?"

"Chris…" She sighed and held her door open, "Why don’t you come inside, I’ve got to wipe this crap off my face before I crack." He followed her in and sat at the little table in the corner as she went into the bathroom. She came out a couple minutes later with a clean face and her hair in a ponytail.

"So what’s going on?" Chris asked.

"You’re whoring yourself around like Joey and that’s not cool."

"A, I’m not whoring myself around, and B, even if I was what difference does that make to you?"

"Chris you are, you don’t remember the girls name from three nights ago, because you’ve had 5 girls in the last week. That’s crazy and stupid." Dayna paused and caught her breath, "And it makes a difference to me because even though we broke up and you’re an immature little snot, you still deserve better than what you’ve been getting."

"I’m lost."

"You deserve someone better than that. You deserve someone who will be there for you even when you’re out on the road, and someone who will play and be goofy with you and at the same time understand when you don’t want to be that way, someone who is mature and fun at the same time. Someone you could potentially settle down with."

"But Dayna, that’s not what I want."

"No, but that’s what you need." She explained.

"No offense, but how do you know what I need? You’re an ex girlfriend." He laughed lightly. "I don’t think that puts you in a very good position."

"No, it puts me in an excellent position. I know what you’re like and the type of personality that would compliment that. Even though it’s definitely not me."

"No… it’s not." He shook his head.

"But I’m not looking for someone like me, I’m looking for someone for you."

"Why are you looking at all? That’s what doesn’t make any sense." He shook his head.

"Because that’s something that will keep me busy and keep my mind off… other things that are going on."

"But – "

"Oh come on Chris, it’s a win win situation. I get to give myself something to do and you get to be hooked up with girls. Where’s the problem with that?" She asked.

Chris didn’t answer, he just spun the empty mug around the table and sighed, "Will you at least make sure they dig guys before you go hooking me up again?"

"So it’s okay?!" Dayna giggled like a schoolgirl. "Oh yay! You won’t be disappointed." She laughed again and threw her arms around his shoulders in a quick hug.

"I’m serious Day, don’t go overboard here."

"I’m not, I’m not. But you have to promise to at least give each girl a shot."

"Fine, whatever. I’ll give them a shot." Chris shrugged. How bad could it be? He had his own private pimp practically, he could definitely see this as a win win situation.

 

 On to the next chapter…

 

Copyright 2001 Amy Lynn