Elizabeth slowly walked down to Lances room and pushed the slightly open door inward. "Hey! Beth’s here, let the party begin." Justin danced toward Beth with a beer in one hand.

"Wow." Beth smiled broadly as she walked into the semi-crowded room. Aside from the 4 remaining Nsyncers and Gail, there were two other girls in the room. One, the young looking redhead, was sitting on the floor beside JC talking animatedly with her hands. And the other, a tall brunette was sitting at the table in front of a large tray of dixie cups.

"Come on in!" Justin laughed and draped his arm over Beth’s shoulders.

"Hi Bethy." Joey waved as he tipped a dixie cup back, emptying the contents into his mouth. He swallowed and made a face then laughed, "Dang Gail, these are stronger than last time."

"I know, did you try the margarita ones?" She asked from her position on Lance’s lap.

"I don’t know. What color are they?" Joey smiled and offered Beth a dixie cup with blue stuff in it.

"They’re red. Strawberry and tequila." Gail laughed as Lance playfully tickled her side.

"What is this?" Beth asked cautiously.

"Jell-O shooters." Joey said as he picked up another blue one. "The blue ones are the best, what are they?" He asked Gail.

"Those are Berry Blue Jell-O and everclear. Those are the dangerous ones, don’t have too many."

"I won’t." Joey smiled and tilted his head back, "Try one." He said to Bethy with a big blue smile.

"Joey, you know I don’t like the taste of alcohol." Elizabeth sniffed carefully at the cup in her hand.

"Oh you can’t taste it in these, trust me." Gail stood up and walked over to the little table and took an orange shooter. "Have you met Kathryn?"

"No, hi, it’s nice to meet you. I’m Beth." Beth smiled at the brunette.

"Kathryn, hi." She smiled and licked her stained green lips.

"How long have you guys been here?" Beth laughed, still holding the cup in her hand.

"Only about a half hour. We just got started." JC said from his position on the floor by the window.

"Shoot it Bethy." Joey laughed and reached over to raise her hand to her mouth. She opened her mouth and poured the sweet, halfway melted Jell-O into her mouth and swallowed.

"Whoa, there’s alcohol in that?" She asked Gail, who simply laughed and nodded. "Wow, I can’t even taste it."

"Which is why Jell-O shooters are dangerous." She shook her finger playfully, then walked back over to Lance.

"Come on Joey, let me finish kicking your ass." Justin said as he flopped down on the over stuffed couch and grabbed a Playstation game controller.

"Dream on fro boy." Joey laughed and walked over to the couch.

"What kind of party is this?" JC asked from the floor. "We’ve got those goombahs over there playing video games, Lance is getting a woody in the chair and Chris is strung out on Vicks."

"And you’re sitting on the floor doing nothing." The redhead laughed.

"Let’s do something." JC stood up and leaned against the window. "This is the city that never sleeps, let’s go out there." He waved his hand casually towards the Vegas strip.

"You can go out there if you want. I’m staying right here." Lance nuzzled Gail’s neck like a puppy dog.

"We could always play truth or dare." Joey said as his arms flailed wildly with the controller.

"Watch it." Justin frowned at Joey as the cord smacked him in the face.

"No truth or dare." JC sighed and rolled his eyes. "That always get everyone all bent."

"Then quit your bitching." Joey mumbled. He gave one last triumphant swing with the controller and stood up to cheer, "Yeah baby! 10,241 points, kiss MY ass Timberlake."

"Bite me." Justin grumbled, taking another swig of his beer. If that was all he was drinking, he’d be the most rational one of the night. Beth decided to hang out by him.

She sat on the couch between Joey and Justin and leaned back on the cushions, "So the dud boy left you all alone tonight, huh?" Justin asked.

"He was beat. That cough stuff knocked him out." Elizabeth smiled. "I don’t want to stay here too long tonight."

"Okay." Justin nodded and finished his drink.

"Do you want another one?" Joey asked as he stood up and headed for the shooter table.

"No, thanks." Beth shook her head. Joey grabbed two more of the Berry Blue shots and carried them back to the table, "In case you change your mind." He handed one to Elizabeth, then shot his.

"How many have you had?" Beth asked.

"Three. Mom." Joey gave Beth a look and picked up the controller again, "You up for a game of Tekken Tag?"

"Me?" Beth asked as she played with the cup in her hand.

"Yeah you." Joey smiled.

"You wanna humiliate yourself in front of all your friends?" Elizabeth gave him a playful, yet daring grin.

"Oh really?" Justin’s eyebrows shot up. "You play?"

"I introduced Joey to the wonderful world of Playstation." Beth laughed.

"Dude!" Justin sat there stunned.

"Yeah but who puts hours a day into learning the game?" Joey asked. "We sit on a bus with nothing else to do but video games."

"I’ll make you a deal Joe, if you kick my but, I will…" She thought for a second.

"Do four more shooters?" Joey asked hopefully, his playful side coming back. Without Chris around it was easier to pretend it was just good old Bethy.

Elizabeth laughed as the attention in the room turned to her and Joey, "Sure, if you beat me I’ll do four more."

"And if you kick his ass?" JC asked from across the room.

"He has to do four more." Beth shrugged.

"I’ve already had four!" Joey protested.

"I thought you said three?" Beth asked.

"Lightweight." Justin rolled his eyes and grabbed another beer from the mini fridge.

"Make him run naked down the hall again." Lance suggested, the room erupted in laughter and Joey blushed.

"No!" Beth covered her eyes in mock fear, "I’ve seen that already."

"What?!" Joey asked.

"We used to bathe together, Joey." Beth laughed.

"Well shit I hope I’ve changed a little since then." Joey rolled his eyes. "I will not run down the hall naked again."

"Again huh?" Elizabeth smirked. "Does your mom know that’s what you do for fun?"

"It wasn’t fun." Joey shook his head. "Drink that one and let’s get to playing."

Beth took her Berry Blue Jell-O shot and downed it then reached for the controller. "So when I kick your butt, what do I get?"

"I don’t know… I’ll buy you a car or something." Joey shrugged.

"Sounds fair." Beth nodded.

"No really, I’ll pay for your plane ticket home." Joey said.

"Where’s the fun in that? You win and I have to get shitfaced… I win and I get to go home? No way."

"I’m already half shitfaced." Joey argued.

"So if she wastes you Joey, you have to uh… sleep in the bathtub." Lance offered from his chair.

"Been there done that." Justin raised his beer.

"No no no, I have the perfect thing." Elizabeth laughed and played with the controller in her hand. "If… when, I smoke you… you have to go get your superman cape and wear it for the rest of the night."

The room erupted with laughter and Joey blushed, "Oh come on!"

"Yes!" JC laughed from the floor. "Yes that would be perfect."

"A drunk Joey in a superman cape, right on." Justin high fived Beth and she just grinned at Joey.

"Are you afraid you’ll lose?" She asked innocently.

"Not at all." Joey smirked.

"Let the games begin." Justin scooted over on the couch to give the players more room.

Joey re-loaded the game and smirked at Bethy, "You’re going down, missy."

"Don’t hold your breath cowboy." Beth shook her head slowly, holding his gaze until the menu screen loaded on the TV. They made their selections and the war began. Slowly the others in the room made their way around the couch to watch the neck to neck battle.

They played steady for a good fifteen minutes, each taking their turn on the top. They smirked at each other and laughed hysterically as they threw their controllers around, trying to manipulate the figures on the screen.

"Hey Joey?" Beth asked calmly, her eyes glued to the screen.

"What?" He asked, his mind set in the game.

"You do have the cape with you, don’t you?"

"Um, yeah. I think so." He said as he frowned at the screen.

"Good." Elizabeth smiled. Joey looked at her with a confused frown as she licked her lips, laughed, and ended the game.

"No way!" JC laughed hysterically as he draped his arm around the red head.

Joey sat on the couch with the controller in his hand just staring at the screen. Elizabeth stood up and triumphantly lay her controller on Joey’s lap, unintentionally brushing his leg with her fingers, he looked up and blushed quickly, "How’d you do that??"

"Practice." She kissed the top of his head quickly and said, "Now how about that cape?"

"It’s down on the bus." Joey sighed as he leaned back on the couch.

"Well…? Go get it!" Elizabeth laughed and gave high fives to all the guys in the room.

"I can’t go out there!" Joey complained.

"Ooooh! Stop it. They’re teeny bopper fans, you can’t make a mad dash to the bus?" Beth said with mock sympathy.

"Let’s get five shots into you and see how well you ‘mad dash’." Joey smiled slowly.

"I thought it was three?" Beth asked.

"Three, five, seven? What’s the difference?" Joey pushed himself up to a standing position and scratched his stomach lightly.

"Two." Lance said softly.

"Huh? Justin turned to look at him.

"Two. The difference between three, five and seven." Lance smiled and tipped his beer back.

"What? Yeah." Justin shook his head and looked at Beth. "Why don’t you run out and get it so poor Joey Joe doesn’t get mobbed in his drunken state?"

"I’ll go get it, I don’t care." JC spoke up.

"No, I’ll go." Elizabeth stood up and got directions from Justin and Joey as to how to get on the bus and where the cape was once she got there. She smiled, and took another Jell-O shot before heading downstairs to get the bright red cape.

Beth pushed her way through the mob of girls to the bus, flashed her badge and climbed in, shutting out the sounds of the screaming girls. She slowly made her way to the bunks and frowned, which one was Joey’s? She looked into the two bunks at elbow level and knew right away they couldn’t be Joey’s. One was actually made, the dark blue and black quilt was tucked neatly under the mattress and the pillows were fluffed at the head of the bed. The other looked slept in, but the collection of stuffed animals on the bed gave it away. There was no way Joey could sleep with that many distractions.

She stepped further in toward the back of the bus and saw another four bunks back there. She pulled the little curtain back on the bunk to the right and smiled, "Joey you’re so cute." She laughed and shook her head. There was a well loved Superman pillow propped up in the corner, and the dark blue blanket was one she recognized from all the times he’d spent the night at her house as kids.

She leaned onto the bed, reaching under the covers to find the "hidden" cape. Bethy looked around at the pictures he had taped to the wall and ceiling of his bunk. His mom and dad, other family members, one of him and Howie Mandel, one of a full arena and the top of Justin’s head, and one of her and Joey together at his new house in Orlando sitting poolside. She was sitting on Joey’s lap with her arms wrapped around his, their cheeks pressed together, both of them laughing.

Elizabeth stared at the picture for a minute, sliming at the memory. About three seconds after the picture was taken, Joey rolled sideways and dunked her into the pool, then cannon balled right beside her. "Why can’t we be like that again Joey?" She whispered with a sigh.

Beth pulled the cape out from under the covers and shook it out in front of her. It was big, bright red and would look great on him. She laughed quietly and tucked it under her arm as she headed for the exit.

A security guard showed up out of nowhere and escorted her back into the building as fans from the entrance screamed at top volume. "That’s nuts. They’re freaking because I went on the bus?" Beth laughed.

"Beth!!!" She heard her name being screeched.

Beth stopped in her tracks and studied the crowd, looking for a familiar face, someone who she would know well enough that they would scream her name. She saw no one she knew, but then she heard her name being screamed in unison by a pack of about 5 girls on the end.

"They… how do they know my name?" Beth asked the security guard, still rooted to the concrete.

"They know everything." He laughed and reached for her elbow.

"But they know what I look like? Sheesh, that’s kinda scary." Beth cast a worried glance at the girls, then continued into the hotel with the security.

He took her back up to her floor and let her off at the elevator, "You’re going to want to see about having security go with you when you leave the building, especially around here."

"Are you serious?" Beth laughed with disbelief.

The guard just shrugged, "You’d be surprised…"

"Okay… well thanks for seeing me home safe." Elizabeth laughed again and headed down the hall, shaking the cape out in front of her. She let herself back into Lance’s room and tossed the cape at Joey, "There you go Superman, let’s see if you can fly."

Joey held the cape in his lap as he sat on the couch and looked up at Beth slowly. He had trouble tracking her as she walked across the room thanks to all the shooters he’d had.

"If I go crazy then will you still call me Superman?" Justin sang as he spun Kathryn around the room like a ballerina.

"Okay, okay…" Joey signed and draped the cape across his shoulders. He tied the straps around his neck and stood up to model it.

"Oh you’re a hottie." Kathryn laughed as Joey held the cape out behind him and circled the room.

JC laughed so hard he had tears running down his face as Joey rounded the couch and fell back into his seat, "You’re next Joey." Lance laughed and shook his head.

"What?" Joey asked.

"Truth or dare?" Lance asked.

"Ummm…" Joey thought about it for a second.

"I thought truth or dare always got everyone bent?" Elizabeth asked JC who was slowly regaining his composure.

"Truth." Joey answered.

N one answered Beth as Lance smirked and asked, "Is it true that you peed in a corner of the dressing room after a show because you couldn’t find the bathroom?"

Joey blushed shook his head vehemently, "No! I did not. I don’t know who started that shit, I didn’t pee nowhere. Except in the bathroom."

"You peed in the corner of the bathroom?" Lance laughed.

"No, it the thing." Joey laughed, "I didn’t pee anywhere on the floor."

"Okay okay…" Justin laughed, "Next!"

They played truth or dare for a little while longer while they finished off the Jell-O shooters. By the time it got around to Beth she was way tipsy and laughing hysterically with JC off to the side. "Bethy, truth or dare?" Justin asked.

"Dare!" She laughed and leaned back against the side of the couch.

"I dare you to kiss Amber." Justin laughed.

"Hey!" Beth protested.

"Yeah baby, we’re gonna get some hot lesbian action!" JC laughed.

"Wait, who’s Amber?" Beth asked, looking from girl to girl.

"That would be me." The redhead giggled, sitting directly across from Beth.

"Okay wait, are we talking like a small kiss, or a full on make out session?" Beth asked.

"Just kiss her." Justin laughed and watched with anticipation. Joey sat quietly in the corner of the couch and watched careful not to move his head too much.

"Hi, I’m Beth." Elizabeth laughed as she shook Amber’s hand. "I’m sorry about this." She laughed and quickly kissed the other girl on the lips. Nothing more than a grandmotherly kiss, but the guys thought it was the best thing in the world.

"Yes!" Justin cheered and high fived Lance.

"Okay, okay, my turn. JC truth or dare?" She smiled evilly rubbed her eyes, trying to keep herself awake.

"Dare." He said mysteriously.

"Okay." Beth laughed quietly, then spoke quietly in a sinister tone, "I dare you… to kiss… Joey."

Gail and the other girls cracked up laughing and watched JC’s reaction. "No! Nooooo way… nu uh, I don’t think so, no." JC shook his head and laughed.

"Dude, Joey’s okay with it." Justin laughed and pointed at Joey who hadn’t changed expressions.

"Huh?" Joey asked, snapping back to reality.

"JC’s gonna kiss you." Lance laughed.

"What?! No no no." Joey held up his hands and shook his head. "Ain’t gonna happen."

"You guys have to!" Amber laughed.

"I kissed Amber." Beth argued.

"Yeah but that’s…" JC was at a loss for words.

"That’s nothing, kiss him or the girls win." Beth smiled smugly and crossed her arms over her chest.

JC looked at Joey and shrugged, "No Jace, don’t even look at me like that. You’re not touching lips with mine. I don’t know where those have been"

"Mine!? I’m the one who should be worried here." JC laughed and stood up.

"I’m serious Jace, you keep your lips away from me." Joey held up his hands defensively.

"I’m not going to kiss you, relax." JC laughed.

"Yes you are!" Justin shouted as he grabbed a bottle of water, the only fluid left in the room, and popped the top. "I’m not sleeping on the floor because you’re a homophobe."

"I’ll go back to my room and sleep, I don’t care." Joey shook his head.

"So are you forfeiting the game?" Gail asked.

"Yes." Joey and JC nodded.

"You guys suck." Lance scowled, then laughed as the girls cheered and jumped up and down on the beds.

"We get the beds, move your butt." Amber kicked at Lance sitting on the foot of the bed.

"Good thing too, I’m tired." Beth crawled up onto the empty bed and lay her head on the pillow.

"Party pooper." Justin rolled his eyes as he stifled a yawn.

"Shut up." Beth mumbled into the pillow. It wasn’t long before everyone settled down and half of them fell asleep.

Kathryn and Elizabeth took the bed on the right while Amber and Gail took the other one. Beth fell asleep first, followed by Kathryn, and the others dropped like flies as the sun began to rise.

Joey woke up after a very short sleep and looked around the room. His back was sore for laying flat on the floor behind the couch, so he stretched carefully and looked at the inviting bed. In an alcohol haze he walked over to the two sleeping figures and climbed into bed beside them. He pulled the closest body to him and sighed as he fell back asleep, happy to have a pillow under his head.

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

Joey woke up the next morning to the shrill screaming of the phone by his ear. He growled and pressed his face harder into the pillow under his head. He pulled the body in front of him closer and kissed the neck that was pressed against his lips. Joey ran his hand slowly up her front and cupped her small breast in his large hand as the ringing continued.

"Shit." He grumbled as he pried his eyes open to see a mass of soft curls and Bethy’s profile inches from his face. "Oh shit." He sat up quickly and reached for the phone as he stood up. "Yeah." He answered gruffly in his morning voice.

"Shit are you all in Lances room? No one else picked up." Chris frowned and rested his head in his hands on the table.

"Wh- huh?" Joey looked around the room. "Yeah, I think we’re all here." He saw Justin curled up in a little ball on the couch, Lance was sprawled out on the other bed with Gail snuggled up close to his chest. JC was asleep on the floor between the two beds and Amber was snoring lightly against the front of the couch with Justin’s socked foot wrapped in her arms. "Yeah. We’re here." Joey sat on the edge of the bed and scratched his chin.

"And Beth, she’s there?"

"Yeah." Joey looked behind him at the two girls sound asleep on the bed. Kathryn and Elizabeth were facing each other, their knees just barely touching.

"Alright, I was just making sure. We gotta be downstairs in the ballroom thing in 2 hours. Consider this your wake up call."

"I’m awake." Joey yawned.

"Get out of bed Joe."

"I’m up."

"Then get up and flush the toilet." Chris coughed away from the phone, and winced at the pain in his throat.

"What?"

"Get up and walk into the bathroom and flush the toilet, so that I know you’re awake."

"I’m awake." Joey protested.

"Then flush it."

Joey sighed and pulled himself up off the bed. He stumbled across the messy room to the bathroom and opened the door slowly. His head spun as he flipped the light on and reached for the toilet.

Chris smiled as he heard the flush over the phone line and said, "Good enough. Now get the other freaks up."

"I will."

"Do I need to make you get Lance up before I hang up?" Chris asked.

"I’ve got it. Thanks Chris."

"You bet. Can you send Beth back here when she gets up? I’ve got all her clothes."

"Um, yeah." Joey said. "I’ll do that now."

"Okay… see you guys downstairs in a bit."

"Okay." Joey nodded and hung up, then just stared at Elizabeth lying in the bed beside him. He knew nothing had happened last night, but he still felt like he should be guilty, if only for the feelings he was having. He’d almost wished something had happened.

"Whousdat?" Justin growled quietly from the couch.

"Chris." Joey answered as he stood up and stretched his arms over his head. "We got that thing downstairs in two hours so we gotta get moving."

"We can’t call in sick?"

"No." Joey shook his head and yawned as he headed back to the bathroom, intending to use it.

"Can we call in hung over?" Lance asked as he rubbed his eyes and sat up.

"You can if you want." Joey scratched at his jaw line and shut the door behind him.

"What time is it?" Gail asked sleepily as she rolled over and ran her fingers down Lance’s back.

He closed his eyes slowly and smiled, "I don’t know… but we have to get up."

"Ugh…" Gail frowned and pulled the covers up to her shoulder.

"You don’t have to get up babe, go on back to sleep." He leaned down and kissed her quickly.

Joey came out of the bathroom and picked up the hackey sack from the little table. He tossed it from hand to hand, then chucked it lightly at Justin’s head, "Heads up J."

"I’m up." Justin frowned as the hackey bounced off his cheek.

"JC?" Joey asked as he kicked JC’s foot. He didn’t make a sound, so Joey kicked a little harder, "Joshy poo, come on."

"Hrmgrrmph." Came the primal response.

"Yeah I know, but you gotta go get cleaned up. You look like shit." Joey sat on Kathryn’s side of the bed and shook her shoulder lightly, "Hey…" He whispered.

"Ow!" Amber cried as Lance accidentally kicked the back of her head as he rounded the couch to try to rouse Justin. The room seemed to come alive as people woke up and stumbled around looking for lost articles of clothing and shoes.

"Bethy Beth?" Joey sat on the bed beside her and pulled his shoe on over his bare foot, he didn’t want to look around for his socks. Elizabeth didn’t make any kind of sound that would acknowledge that she heard him. "Beth, come on kid, you’ve gotta get up."

"Let her sleep." JC frowned as he stood and became human.

"Chris wants her." Joey explained

"I’ll bet he does." JC smirked, still half asleep.

"Tell him I died and I’ll call him later." Beth mumbled from the bed. "What kind of ungodly hour is this?"

"It’s like, 8:30 I think." Joey said as he reached behind him and shook her leg. "Come on, you can go back to Chris’s room and crash out there.

"No…" Beth whined. "If I go back there he’ll make me stay up."

"No he won’t." Lance laughed and helped get the other zombies up and out of his room. He shooed them all out the door and hoped for the best as he went back to his suitcase to get his clothes out for the day.

Elizabeth stood in the hall leaning heavily on the doorframe as she slowly slid the room key in the little slot, then pulled it out again… the lights didn’t even blink. She tried it a third time, then closed her eyes and sighed. "That key’s not going to work." Justin said softly as he walked up beside her and pulled his key out.

"These suck." Beth frowned, but kept her eyes closed as her head pounded.

"Not really, I’m sure it will work on Chris’s door, but this is mine." He smiled and slid his card in, making the lights flash green. He pushed the door open and looked back at Beth, "Are you going to be okay?"

"Yep." She yawned and opened her eyes, "I just need a shower and an Advil. I’ll be good as new."

"Okay…" Justin laughed lightly. Beth stood there leaning against the door, not quite willing to stand up straight. "It’s um, one more door down."

"Right." Beth nodded and looked down the hall, "I would have found it eventually."

"I’ll see you later." Justin laughed again and waved over his shoulder as he softly shut his door behind him.

Elizabeth pulled herself away from the wall and walked down to the correct room, where she slid the key in and waited for the lights to turn green. "Dammit, come on." She grumbled as she tried it two more times. "Come on you stupid bitch." Beth mumbled under her breath as Chris pulled the door open.

"Hey hu –" Chris stopped and took in the sight before him. Elizabeth stood there in her wrinkled clothes, barefoot and hung over. "You look about as great as I feel."

"You still feel crummy?" Beth asked as she walked slowly into the room.

"I feel like shit." He corrected her.

"So you’re saying I look like shit?" She asked with a small smile.

"I’m saying that on a scale of hot to shit… you look more like shit." He laughed lightly and pulled her close to kiss her cheek. "But that’s okay."

"I must reek to high hell." She gently pushed him away and rubbed her eyes. "Can I take a shower? Or, I mean… do you have to go?"

"No, go ahead. I have an hour before I’ve got to leave." He coughed into his hand.

"Great. Thanks. I’ll be human in twenty minutes." She smiled and walked past him into the bathroom where she turned the water on as hot as it would go. She stripped down to nothing and ran her fingers through her hair to get some of the tangles out.

When the room was filled with steam she turned the water down and climbed into the small shower. She washed the night before off her body and out of her hair with the sweet smelling hotel soaps and shampoo. When she was through she stepped out onto the bathmat and wrapped the big thick towel around her body and rubbed her eyes again. She brushed her teeth and washed her face, then started on her hair.

Fifteen minutes later she was as close to human as she was going to get. Her damp hair was pulled back into a loose bun and her skin glowed as she stepped out into the room, "Much better." She smiled and sat on the bed beside Chris as he put his shoes on.

"Did you have fun last night?" He asked as he tied his shoe.

"Yeah, it was fun. Gail was set to kill me though. Have you had her Jell-O shooters?"

"Yeah." He laughed and shook his head, "How many did you have?"

"I have no idea, but I know it was too many." Beth yawned and adjusted the towel. "Did that medicine help?"

"A little. I actually got some sleep last night, so that’s good."

"Yeah." Elizabeth reached out and placed her hand on the back of his neck, "Do you have a lot to do today? Or will you be able to take it easy?"

"We’ve got some stuff to do, but I’m going to try to sneak back for a nap." He said softly as she scratched his neck gently. Chris sighed with content and smiled as he dropped his chin to his chest.

"I’ll probably just hang out around here today, if that’s okay."

"Yeah, that’s fine. You wouldn’t want to come with us anyways." Chris whispered, her fingers trailing their way up into his hair. "You know Beth, if you would scratch my neck all day, I’d stay here with you."

"Sounds good to me." She smiled and caught his eye as he glanced up.

"Don’t tempt me." He laughed quietly, knowing he had to go to "work" shortly.

"This isn’t tempting you." Beth smiled, "This is." She leaned over and kissed him slowly.

"I’m sick…" Chris tried to complain. "But that is pretty tempting."

"See? You could stay here all day and do this…" She kissed him again, then said, "And watch TV and stuff."

"And stuff huh?" Chris smiled. "What I wouldn’t do to stay here, trust me."

"But no?" Beth pretended to pout.

"No." He shook his head, "I’ve got to go to work." He sighed and kissed her quickly, "Now if you get sick just remember that you kissed me first."

"I’ll remember." She smiled.

"Good." He placed his hand on her thigh and pushed himself up off the bed. "I’ve got to go down to the ballroom for a meet and greet press type thing, but that shouldn’t be more than a couple hours."

"Okay." Beth nodded and lay down on the bed, pulling the towel down to cover her thigh.

"Then after that I think we’ve got an hour or so before we have to go start doing show preparations. There’s some new stuff for tonight since it’s the last show."

"That sounds like fun."

"It will be, if I can get a nap and stop coughing for a couple hours." Chris coughed into his hand and rolled his eyes.

"Well I may go downstairs for a little bit once my head decides to stay attached to my body, but for right now I’m happy just to lay down."

"Okay." Chris whispered as he leaned over and touched her cheek softly. "I’ll be back around one."

"Okay." Beth smiled and fluffed the pillow under her head.

"There’s aspirin in my bag in the bathroom, so take some of that and get some breakfast."

"I will." She nodded and closed her eyes.

"All righty." Chris leaned down and kissed her forehead quickly. "See you later, babe."

"Bye." Beth sighed as Chris headed for the door. She waited until the door shut tightly before groaning and pressing her temples. She hauled herself slowly out of bed and into the bathroom where she rummaged around in his bag to find the aspirin he’d promised. She shook three caplets out of the bottle and swallowed them with a big gulp of cold water.

Beth rested her head on the cool tile of the bathroom wall and took a couple deep breaths. She went back to the bedroom and fell back on the bed, just hoping the pounding in her head would stop, or at least slow down for a few minutes. She closed her eyes and pulled her towel off, then slid naked under the covers.

Two hours later a knocking at the door woke her from her light sleep. She opened her eyes and frowned, thinking the pounding hadn’t yet subsided. But then it stopped for a minute, before starting again with a new beat. She pulled the covers back and reached for her towel on the floor. Beth wrapped the towel around her and walked sleepily towards the door, "Yes?" She asked loudly.

"Beth? Its Gail and Kathryn, are you decent?" Gail asked.

"Yeah." Beth unlocked the door and pulled it open slowly. "Come on in, I need to get some clothes on." The two other girls followed Beth into the room as Beth dug through her bags and pulled out clean clothes. "Where’s Amber?"

"Home probably. Or at her hotel." Gail shrugged.

"She didn’t want to stick around?" Beth asked, confused.

"She um, she’s not a girlfriend." Kathryn explained.

"Ahhhh…" Beth smiled and took her armful of clothes to the bathroom. She changed quickly, then came out dressed in blue cami pants and a white baby doll shirt with the FumanSkeeto logo across the front in dark blue.

"Nice shirt." Gail laughed.

"Thanks, Chris gave it to me, free advertising." Beth shrugged and retied her bun.

"You feeling okay?"

"Yeah… I found my head this morning, and I had some trouble getting it put on straight, but I’m feeling better now." Beth laughed and sat with the others at the little table. "So what’s up?"

"We were going to run downstairs and get some food, you know, one of those all you can eat buffet things." Kathryn smiled.

"Right on." Elizabeth smiled as her stomach growled.

"The guys will be done in an hour or so, do you guys have plans for the afternoon?" Gail asked.

"Well Chris is still kind of sick, so I think we were just going to hang out up here. You know, so he can rest up for the show."

"We’re going to try to go see the white tigers and stuff, do you want to come with us?" Gail asked as she twisted a lock of hair around her finger.

"Nah, I’m going to stay up here with Chris."

"Come on, that’s no fun." Kathryn laughed.

"Yeah but I came here to see him, I don’t want to just dog him the whole time I’m here." Beth smiled.

"Fine, but you’re going to the party tonight right? You can’t miss that." Gail shook her head and laughed.

"Oh, no I’ll be there, definitely." Beth stood up and stretched her arms over her head. "Let’s go eat, I’m starving." She grabbed her bag and followed the other two out of the room, her mind set only on eating.

 

On to the next part…

 

Copyright 2000 Amy Lynn