Disclaimer: I know the girl from roseannes name isn’t gail. But I don’t know what it was and I don’t think it really matters because this is fiction. I chose it at random. Pretend it’s someone else.)

 

"Joey." Beth said quickly as she stopped the kiss seconds later. She closed her eyes and licked her lips quickly, stunned at how quick Joey moved, and how slow she did. "Whoa… Joe… I – what are you doing?"

"I’m saying I love you Elizabeth." Joey sighed and stood up, leaving Beth sitting at the small table. He went over to his suit case and picked out clothes to wear for the day, then went into the bathroom to change.

Beth sat there, unable to catch her breath for a second. "When did my life turn into a soap opera??" She thought to herself. She couldn’t erase the words Joey had just said, or the feel of his lips on hers. Beth slowly reached up and ran her fingertip over her bottom lip as her hand shook.

"Joseph! Joey Joe!" A voice shouted through Joey’s door. Beth looked up quickly as her cheeks burned deep crimson red, it was Chris. "You feeling okay Joe?" He asked again through the door.

Elizabeth immediately felt guilty as Joey came out of the bathroom, "Can you grab that and make him shut up?" Joey asked with shaving cream over half of his face.

Beth stared at him for a second, her mind was still reeling from the kiss and everything he had just said, and he expected her to face her boyfriend? "Beth? Can you grab that?" Joey repeated as Chris started knocking the beat to "Space cowboy" on the door.

"Yeah." Beth said softly as she stood up and straightened her slept in clothes. She ran her fingers through her hair and took a deep breath as she opened the door slowly.

Chris stopped his hand in mid-knock with a very surprised look on his face, "Beth? Whoa, what are you doing here?" Chris smiled uneasily and looked past her into the room.

"I um… I uh came to… you know, talk to Joey." Beth said as her cheeks burned. She couldn’t have looked more guilty if she’d actually done something wrong.

"And…?" Chris whispered.

"And nothing, that’s all." Beth looked up quickly.

"What did he say?" Chris asked softly.

"I uh… he didn’t really say-" Beth started.

"Hey Chris." Joey walked out of the bathroom fully dressed and shaved.

"Are you feeling okay Joe? JC said you didn’t feel good this morning."

"Beth and I needed to talk this morning." Joey said as he took his bathroom stuff over to his suit case to pack it away. "I feel okay. How did the radio deal go?"

"It was quick. We were only there for like 15 minutes." Chris explained, still standing in the hallway.

Beth tried to manage her curls by tucking them behind her ear as she nervously looked back at Joey.

"So you guys talked?" Chris asked.

"Yeah." Joey said.

Beth turned back to Chris, "Yeah." She nodded.

"And everything’s okay?"

"Justin fine." Joey said.

"So what are your plans for the rest of the day?" Chris asked as Beth cast him a wobbly smile.

"I um, I’m going back home this afternoon, I really only came out to smooth things over with Joey." Beth explained.

"Oh… well are you guys done?" Chris asked.

"Yeah." Beth nodded and looked back at Joey who nodded. "Do you want to go grab some breakfast or something?"

"Sure." Chris smiled and took a step back as Beth grabbed her backpack off the floor and stepped into the hallway. "Joey, you wanna come?"

"No thanks." Joey shook his head and zipped his suit case closed. He walked over to the door and leaned on the door frame, "Thanks for coming over, Bethy. I’m glad we talked." He pulled Beth in for a tight friendly hug and held her for a second.

She stiffened at his touch and forced a smile, "Thanks, you too Joe." She mumbled into his shoulder.

"Give me a call later." Joey stepped back and looked at Chris, "I’m going to meet you guys for the studio tour, that’s at 10 in the lobby right?"

"At the car, yeah." Chris nodded and waved over his shoulder as he and Elizabeth started down the hall. "Are you okay?" Chris asked as he looked over at Beth.

"Hmm? Yeah."

"You seem kinda weird. I mean, Joey’s back to almost normal and now you’re all weirded out."

"I’m fine." She smiled tightly and tried to calm her nerves. She was way beyond weirded out at that point. Joey loved her. Joey kissed her. And she didn’t stop him. "What the hell is wrong with me??"

Elizabeth frowned and sighed as she and Chris stepped onto the awaiting elevator. "What? What’s wrong?" He squeezed her clammy hand in his.

"Nothing." She shook her head.

"Elizabeth, come on." He tried to laugh and catch her eye. "You look like someone punched you in the stomach or something."

"I’m just… tired. I didn’t sleep well last night." She faked a yawn, then kissed him quickly on the cheek. "I just need a nap or something." She tried to brighten her mood as her thoughts kept drifting back to the 10 seconds Joey’s lips were on hers.

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, I’m sure. Let’s go get something to eat, I’m starving."

Chris and Beth ate breakfast while Chris carried most of the conversation. He talked about the tour and some of the cool things they’d been able to do. Beth tried to pay attention, she really did, but she could not concentrate.

"Beth… are you sure you're okay?" Chris asked as they headed back towards the elevators.

"Yeah." She mumbled a second later, not the least bit convincingly. "I just have a lot of stuff on my mind."

"About Joey?"

"Kinda." She nodded. Kinda about Joey… kinda about everything, she thought to herself.

"What did he say? I mean, he seemed like the good old Joey this morning, you must have said something to change him."

Beth shook her head slowly, "I don’t know. We just talked."

"So he’s okay with us dating now?" Chris asked.

"I don’t know." Beth said under her breath.

"You don’t know? Isn’t that what you guys talked about?"

"Yeah. Yes. He’s okay with it. With this… us I mean." She sighed softly and adjusted her backpack on her shoulder. "I’m going to head out now."

"When is your flight?" Chris asked as the doors to the elevator opened.

"Um, eleven." She glanced at her watch and saw that it was only a little after 9. "I’ll call you tonight, okay?" She leaned in and gave him a tight hug.

"I have a show tonight, but I’ll call you after?"

"Yeah." She whispered and nodded, loving the feel of his arms around her holding her close. "Thank you Chris." She kissed him softly and let her fingers trail in his hair.

"You sure you’re okay?"

"I’m all right." She forced a smile, and hugged him again.

Chris didn’t know what was up with Beth, but he knew it had something to do with Joey… he’d have to ask Joey his side later.

 

Beth flew the whole way home with a frown permanently creasing her forehead. She didn’t know why this upset her so much. Or maybe she did. She loved Joey, she really did… but as a friend, as a real true, best friend. Him loving her any other way only made this whole situation harder. It was hard enough for her to date his friend when she knew that he was jealous because she wasn’t spending as much time with him… but now knowing that Joey was jealous of Chris’s relationship with her? That didn’t make anything easier.

Beth unlocked her apartment door that afternoon and dropped her backpack on the floor by the door. She was still in the same clothes she was wearing when she left, and she felt like a scrub. She quickly undressed and took a long hot shower, then wrapped herself in her one big splurge since she’d moved out on her own. A very thick, very comfortable, very luxurious and very expensive full length robe from Victoria’s Secret. It was dark red and fell all the way to her ankles.

Beth tied the long belt around her waist and walked barefoot to her kitchen to get herself a much needed wine cooler. She popped the top on her kiwi strawberry drink and leaned against the counter. She reached up and slowly closed her mini blinds before catching a glimpse of the big bouquet of flowers on her dining room table.

Elizabeth sighed and tucked her still wet hair behind her ear and sat at the table in front of the flowers. She took another drink of her wine cooler and just stared at the three day old flowers. They really were beautiful.

"… No body else this side of heaven… knows how you take my breath away…" She read for the millionth time. "Love," she could now see how the squiggle below that word was a J. She wasn’t sure before.

"Dangit Joey." She sighed and lay the card on the table in front of her, then pulled one of the white roses out of the bunch. Water from the stem dripped on her plaid place mat as she began to slowly pull the petals off. She let them fall around the tiny card as she frowned at them and what they meant.

When Elizabeth had pulled all of the petals off, she tossed the stem to the other side of the table and rested her head in her hands. "Why is this bugging me so much? I mean, he’s Joey right? Joey, my best friend. So he has feelings for me? It’s not like this is such a rarity. I had the biggest crush on him a couple years ago, so what’s the difference? The difference is that because he was seeing April at the time, I didn’t say anything. So who was right? Me? For not saying anything? Or Joey, for saying something? What would have happened if I had told him years ago? Nothing probably." Beth thought to herself and sighed. "And besides, I’m way over that and dating Chris… Chris Chris wonderful Chris…"

Beth silenced her internal monologue and took a silky petal in her fingers. She methodically tore it into tiny pieced, then started in on another petal. Before she knew it she had shredded all of the petals from that one rose, and the room smelled heavenly.

Elizabeth brushed the small pile of petal pieces aside and picked up the little card again. Oh well, it was nice to know that someone, even Joey, cared that much. She tucked the card in the pocket of her robe and stood up from the table with her wine cooler in one hand. Beth delicately touched the remaining roses and sighed as she turned to head for her room.

The phone rang as she shut her bedroom door, and Beth immediately looked at the caller I.D. box, it was her mom, but she just didn’t feel like talking. Beth let it ring through to her voice mail and pulled a trashy romance novel from her bookshelf before laying under her covers. It was still early in the evening, but she was more than ready to just close her eyes and drift away into dreamland where everything was right.

She read for an hour or two before falling to sleep with her cheek resting on the paperback pages. Hours later she awoke to the sound of the phone ringing beside her head. She untangled herself from her robe and belt and reached for her phone, seeing by the lit caller I.D. log that it was Chris’s cel phone.

"H’lo?" She mumbled as she propped herself up on one arm. She clumsily reached for her bedside lamp and turned it on low.

"Hey baby." Chris said softly as the bus rumbled beneath him. "I’m sorry to wake you up."

"S’okay." Beth yawned and stood up to take her robe off. She dropped it to the floor and shivered as she opened her dresser drawers and pulled out clean underwear and her flannel pajamas. "How was your show?" She asked as she pulled her clothes on.

"It was good, nothing exciting tonight." Chris yawned and pulled the curtain on his bunk closed. "Are you feeling any better?"

"Hmm?" Beth pulled her flannel shirt over her head they lay back in her bed.

"You seemed kinda blah when you left today, I just want to make sure you’re feeling better."

"Yeah, I’m feeling better." She said unconvincingly.

"Okay." Chris nodded. "We only have a couple more weeks left on tour, and I was thinking it’d be cool if you could come out for the last show. We’re going to have a big party thing after, and I’d like you to come."

"Sure, yeah I can do that." Beth nodded. "Just, you know, let me know where and everything."

"Yeah, as soon as we get the details for the party I’ll let you know. But our last show is in Las Vegas at the MGM. So that’ll be fun anyways."

"Yeah… hey… do you think you’d be able to stay for a couple days? We can make it like a little vacation before you guys head out to Japan. Just you and me."

"I don’t know, I’ll have to check with Kate." Chris frowned. He really hoped he could, he didn’t get to spend hardly any time at all with Beth. "Well babe, I just wanted to call and check up on you. I’ll let you go back to bed now…" Chris said softly.

"Okay." Beth yawned and switched her light off. "Good night Chris, I miss you."

"I miss you too, Bethy." They said goodbye and hung up.

Joey grumbled in the bunk below Chris and rolled over. He’d left his CD player in this backpack or he’d have turned it on to block out the sound of their conversation. He could play nice in front of them and everyone else, but that didn’t mean he had to happily sit and listen to all of that. He pushed the thought from his mind and concentrated on the fake wood paneling that lined his bunk, as he let the rocking of the bus put him to sleep.

 

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

Beth went for more than a week without hearing from or talking to Joey. She was starting to get worried, and on the verge of calling him herself when her pager went off on her nightstand and scared the living daylights out of her. She flipped it open as she sat on the edge of the bed and read the pale glowing message:

 

Message 2 from 4077028@airmessage.net: hey you… remember me?

 

Bethy smiled to herself, she’d always thought Joey had ESP. She pulled the covers back on her bed and slid her feet underneath as she paged him back:

 

To: 4077028@airmessage.net: hmmm… todd right? :) whats up? I’m at home. - call me?

 

She waited for a few minutes before her phone rang beside her. She turned the volume on her radio down as she clicked the phone on. "Hey you."

"Hey Bethy." Joey said softly. Wherever he was it was quiet, which was odd for Joey.

"Where are you?" Beth asked.

"Um, in my hotel room. We’ve got our own rooms again so it’s actually kinda nice." He smiled and leaned back in his chair.

"Where are you guys?"

"Don’t you have a schedule?" He asked.

"Well… yeah, but not in front of me." She said slowly.

"We’re in San Francisco." Joey answered. "I uh… haven’t talked to you in a while, so I just wanted to see how things were going."

"Things are going fine." Beth nodded.

"Yeah? With you and Chris?"

"Joey…"

"What?" He asked defensively.

"Come on."

"So I can’t ask now? You and I always used to talk trash about our significant others. Now because it’s Chris that’s off limits?"

"No…" Bethy sighed. "It’s just… I mean come on Joe."

"Come on what?" He laughed. "All I did was ask how things were going with you guys. Shit it’s not like I asked for gory details."

"Joey…" Elizabeth frowned. "Things are going fine, can we drop it now?"

"If you want." He nodded. "How are things going with you?"

"Things are going good here too. We’re getting ready to wrap this tour up, so that’ll be nice. We’ll get a couple days off to see our families and everything."

"That’ll be nice. You haven’t seen them in a while." Beth said softly. It was painfully obvious how they skirted the topic of the kiss. But Joey didn’t seem weird about it, so she left it alone.

"Yeah… that’ll be a lot of fun. Chris says you’re coming out to Vegas for the last show?"

"Um, yeah, I was thinking about it."

"Oh man, you’ve gotta come. Vegas always rocks, and since it’s the last show there will be a big party and everything afterwards." Joey smiled. Okay, this was just a little too "normal" for Joey.

"I… okay…" Elizabeth frowned at the phone.

Joey sighed for kept the forced smile on his face as he tried not to grit his teeth. He was playing happy for Beth, but he wasn’t sure how much longer he could keep this up. He knew he had to do it to keep the peace with everyone. So far Bethy hadn’t said anything to Chris, and he wanted to keep it that way. "So… well I’ll see you then for sure, unless you’re coming out before?"

"No, that’ll be as soon as I can get out. I’m really busy with school and everything." Elizabeth explained.

"Okay." Joey nodded as he pinched the bridge of his nose tightly. "I um, I don’t want to keep you up, I was just calling to say hi."

"Oh… okay." Beth said slowly. "I’ll let you go then."

"Okay, good night Bethy."

"Good night Joey, thanks for paging, that made my night. I had been thinking about calling you."

"No problem. Sweet dreams."

"You too." Beth smiled and hung up the phone, at least they’d made contact. Maybe now things wouldn’t be so weird.

 

Joey clasped the phone tightly in his hand and set it down on the cradle slowly. He took a deep breath then rolled over in his empty bed, and pulled his pillow tight to his chest. For now… that would have to do.

 

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

Two weeks later Elizabeth was in a taxi on the way to the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. She arrived the day before their last show so that she would have time to see the sights and hang out with the guys for a little. Most of them would be leaving in the morning after the show, Joey included, and she wanted the chance to see them.

She was met at the curb by Dean who pulled her in for a tight hug and grabbed her bag, "It’s good to see you again kiddo." He smiled.

"It’s good to be back." Bethy smiled and kissed his cheek quickly. She caught a glimpse of the entrance to the hotel and her jaw hit the floor. There was a massive crowd of certainly underage girls waving signs and t-shirts in the air at the huge glass doors. "What the hell?"

"It’s a casino… they don’t have enough security to man the floor so they’re making the girls stay outside for now." Dean smiled.

"Seriously?"

"Yeah." Dean laughed. "The guys are on the floor, that’s why. Playing a little poker, shootin craps, you know how it goes."

"They’re gambling?"

"The over 21 ones are." Dean laughed and pushed his way through the thick crowd of girls as Beth followed close behind. "You’re over 21 right?"

Elizabeth laughed and said, "Slightly."

"Good." He pulled the door open and followed her through. "You want me to go put this up in the room?" Dean asked, looking at the suitcase in his hands.

"I… well… sure. Where is Chris though? I wanna find them before you go too far." She laughed nervously.

"You can’t miss them. Chris and JC are at the last craps table, they’ve pretty much taken over there. And… I think Joey and Lance are over by the slots. They were losing last I saw."

"Typical." Beth laughed and said, "Well can you come right back down and make sure I’m not totally lost?"

"You bet. You’ve got your pass on you though, right?" He asked.

"Yeah." She patted her back pocket.

"Put it on hun. You’re going to need it."

"Okay." She reluctantly pulled it out of her pocket and slipped the nylon cord around her neck as Dean took off with her luggage.

Beth walked slowly across the casino floor keeping her eyes open for anyone she recognized. She finally spotted JC standing at the last craps table, just like Dean had said. The table was surrounded by a handful of fans that must have been over 21. They giggled like teeny-boppers though, and she could tell JC was starting to get annoyed.

She walked toward him with a big old smile on her face and was within five feet when a hand reached out and grabbed her arm, "And where do you think you’re going?" Chris asked in a mock gruff voice.

"Hey you." Beth turned around and wrapped her arms around Chris tightly as he kissed her neck. "Are you winning big?"

"Well, you know what they say. In order to win big you’ve gotta do what? Lose big. What’re we doing now? We’re losing big." Chris laughed and kissed Beth again quickly.

"Are you at least having fun?"

"I’m having a great time." Chris wove his fingers through Beth’s as they walked over and stood behind JC.

"Hey… blow on these for lucky." JC held the dice out to Beth.

"Oh… blowing on them makes them lucky huh?" Elizabeth smirked.

"That’s what I’ve heard." JC smiled sweetly, holding the dice in front of her mouth. She blew seductively on his dice, then laughed. "Nice." JC threw the dice, and groaned.

"Sorry." Beth shrugged.

"Your girl has unlucky breath." JC said to Chris.

"It works fine on me." Chris smiled and draped his arm over Beth’s shoulders.

"Oh yeah?" JC asked as he reached for the dice again.

"Yeah… she blows on me and I get lucky." Chris laughed as JC rolled his eyes and shot the dice again.

"You’re terrible." Beth shook her head as they headed away from the craps table, the fans eyes boring holes into Beth’s back.

"So are you going to the show tonight? Or just tomorrow?"

"I don’t know, I wasn’t planning on going tonight, but I guess I can."

"If you want." Chris shrugged as they walked towards the slot machines.

"But the party is tomorrow after the show, right?"

"Yeah." Chris covered his mouth as he coughed dryly into his hand. "It’s here at the hotel at Studio 54."

"Right on, that’ll be an awesome party."

"Yeah." Chris nodded. They cruised around the casino floor for a while, stopping to play some slots and a couple hands of black jack, then Dean came through with Lonnie and Steve to round everyone up. They were all ushered back stage where the guys were sent to the green room to visit with their meet and greeters, and Beth was sent to the dressing room to wait it out like a good little girlfriend.

"You must be Elizabeth." A tall blonde said as she extended her hand.

"Yes, I am…" Beth said as she tried to register where she knew this girl from.

"I’m Gail." Beth shook her hand and smiled.

"Hi, it’s nice to meet you. I… have we met?"

"Um, I don’t think so." Gail smiled and sat down in the corner of one of the couches. "You’re trying to place me aren’t you?" She laughed lightly as Beth sat on one of the metal folding chairs.

"Yeah, you look so familiar." Beth shook her head.

"I’m Gail Andrews, I played Becky on "Roseanne" for 5 seasons." Gail laughed and tucked her straight hair behind her ear.

"That’s it!" Elizabeth laughed and covered her cheeks as she blushed, "Wow, do you get that a lot?"

"Yeah." Gail smiled and nodded. "But it’s okay, it’s not so bad now."

"So… I don’t mean to be rude, but what are you doing here?"

"Lance." She said simply.

"Lance?"

"I… we’re dating." She said shyly.

"Oh! I didn’t know that, that’s great. Lance is the nicest guy." Elizabeth laughed and straightened her T-shirt. "Are you staying for the party tomorrow?"

"Yeah, that’s the main reason I came up here." Gail tugged at the cuff of her jeans and re-tied her shoe.

"Are you staying here for the show?"

"I don’t know." Gail scrunched up her nose, "I was thinking about it. Are you?"

"I don’t know. I mean I’m going to the show tomorrow… so…"

"Yeah, me too. We should just cut out and go do something." She shook her head and stood up again.

"Do you want to?" Beth asked softly.

"Sure, why not. You’re over 21, right?"

"Yeah."

"Great, so let’s go." She headed for the door and Beth followed close behind. They ran into Lonnie a couple feet from the door and let him know that they were going to head out on the town for a little while, and if anyone asked, they’d meet them back at the dressing rooms after the show.

The two girls left the arena area and straight through to the exit. "So, where do you want to go?" Gail asked as she placed her hands on her hips and looked up and down the street.

"I don’t know, I’ve never been here before." Elizabeth looked at the huge castle across the street. "Can we go there?" She pointed.

"Sure." Gail smiled as they headed for the street light to cross the street. Beth took the laminated badge from around her neck and carefully placed it back in her hip pocket as they crossed the street.

 

Elizabeth and Gail spent the next couple hours checking out the gift shops in all of the hotel near by, and chatting about what it was like to date an Nsyncer. They had totally different perspectives about the whole thing, and each one had something to offer the other. Gail understood more what it was like to be a celebrity and how hard that was to work into a relationship, where Beth had more real relationship experience to share.

They made it back to the arena shortly before the concert ended, and were waiting happily in the dressing room when the guys ran off the stage covered in sweat and pumped.

"Hey gorgeous." Lance panted quickly as he placed a quick kiss on Gail’s cheek.

"Oh don’t you smell delightful." She laughed as he and JC ran by.

"You missed one hell of a show." Justin said as he walked by with a towel over his head.

"There will be another one tomorrow." Elizabeth laughed. "Where’s Chris?"

"He had to find Scotty to get some cough stuff." JC said loudly from behind the clothing racks.

"Is he sick?" Beth asked loud enough to be heard over the noise in the room.

"Yeah… kinda. A little." JC shouted back.

"He’ll be okay, he’s a trouper." Joey said softly as he came up behind Beth.

"I hope he’s not too sick to party tomorrow. Par-tay!" Justin laughed as he tore his shirt off and flung it towards the growing pile of dirty laundry.

"Hey Joe, how’s’ it going?" Elizabeth reached out to touch Joey’s arm.

"It’s good." He smiled as he face glistened with sweat. "I’m gonna go get cleaned up, I’ll see you later?"

"Yeah, I’ll be here for a couple days." Beth nodded.

"I meant tonight, we’re meeting up in Lance’s room in about an hour."

"Oh, um, I’m not sure." Beth said as Chris walked quickly into the room with a bottle of purple cough syrup. "Hey babe." Elizabeth reached out and took Chris’s free hand, "You’re sick?"

"I’m trying not to get sick." He said as he coughed into his shoulder.

"Oh man…" She frowned. "You need to get some sleep."

"I know… I’m working on it." He held up the bottle of syrup and tried to smile.

"So I’ll catch you later Bethy." Joey said over his shoulder as he headed for the changing area.

"Okay." She waved lamely as she turned her attention back to Chris.

"You’re going to Lance’s thing?" Chris asked before he coughed again.

Beth winced at the sight and said, "Well, I was invited, but we don’t have to go. You really just need some hot tea and some sleep."

"And a lot of this." Chris tore the protective plastic seal off of the cough medicine and leaned in quickly to kiss Beth’s cheek. "I don’t want to give you whatever this is I’ve got." He wiped his brow.

"Okay." Beth frowned as she watched Chris walk back towards the racks. He didn’t seem sick earlier, this must have come up during the show.

Beth waited with Gail as the boys wandered out 20 minutes later, showered and dressed in their casual clothes. JC came out bouncing as usual, the boy was a never ending bundle of energy after a show. Justin followed him out with Lance as they laughed hysterically at something no one else got.

"So you’re coming over too, right?" Lance asked.

"I don’t know… it depends on Chris."

"Aww man, he’s gonna go back to his room and sleep off his meds, you should come over anyways." Lance shook his head.

"I don’t know… we’ll see." Elizabeth smiled as Chris walked slowly from the changing area over to her. "Feeling any better?"

"Not really." Chris coughed.

"We should just head on up then, you need to go to bed."

"That’s okay… you can go to Lance’s thing." Chris said as his eyes started to drift closed.

"No… I don’t mind." Elizabeth argued as Dean fell in step beside them. They walked across the back stage area to the freight elevators and they all rode up to the 19th floor together.

When they got off the elevator, Beth walked with Chris down the hall to his room. She unlocked the door for him and followed him inside where he collapsed face down on the bed. "You know, shows take a lot out of me to start with, but with this cough thing going on… man I just feel like a train wreck." Chris mumbled into the bed spread.

"You took that cough stuff?"

"Yeah." Chris nodded.

"That ought to knock you out here pretty soon."

"Like I needed the help." He laughed lightly. "Seriously, Beth… go on down to Lance’s. You’ll have fun."

"I don’t mind, really." Beth said as she sat on the bed beside him.

"Joey will be there, it’ll be fun Go on."

"Chris… I don’t want to just leave you here." Beth frowned as she reached for his warm hand.

"I’m just going to crash out here, I won’t be any fun I can promise you that." Chris coughed into the pillow by his head and frowned. "Just take the key with you so I don’t have to pull my ass outta bed at the butt crack of dawn to let you in." He forced a smiled and handed her the room card.

"Chris…"

"Oh stop it." Chris rolled onto his side and squeezed her hand, "Go on, leave me alone." He smiled and nodded toward the door.

"Fine, but only because you told me to." Beth smiled and stood up. "I won’t stay too long."

"It’s alright, no offense, but I won’t even notice." Chris folded the pillow under his head as Beth leaned down and kissed his forehead. "Have fun."

"Thanks Chris. I’ll be back soon." Beth took the key card off the bed and headed for the door. She waved back at Chris as she left, but he was already asleep. Elizabeth took a deep breath and checked her watch, it was 11:30pm as she headed down the hall towards Lances room. She gave herself 2 hours, she’d be back in Chris’s room by 1:30.

 

On to the next part…

 

Copyright 2000 Amy Lynn