Three weeks, and two dates later, Meg was kicking back on the group bus with her calendar binder open on the table in front of her. "Yeah, we can do that." She nodded as she drew little spirals on the paper in front of her. "I can get Justin and Joey out on the 13th, but they’ll have to leave that night, is that going to be okay?" She twirled the pencil between her fingers.

"That should be fine." Alice from Jane Magazine smiled. "Thanks a lot Meg, I owe you one."

"No problem, Alice. Now for this guest journalist thing, what do they need to do to prepare?" Meg asked as she got a fresh piece of paper out.

"Um, not much actually. We’re going to have the interviews set up with some questions already written out. As it gets closer to the date I’ll get you the names of the celebrities they’ll be interviewing so they can get some questions of their own."

"Okay, sounds good." Meg smiled and wrote the information down on the March page.

"I’m sorry for the late notice, but well… to be honest we had a couple people back out."

"It’s alright." Meg laughed. "They’ve got almost 2 months, that’s plenty of time to book it."

"Well thanks again Meg. I’ve got to go call Angelina’s people now though. Wish me luck."

"Good luck." Meg laughed and switched her phone off for a second, before turning it back on to dial up her contact at FOX to reschedule the voice work they were doing for "The Simpsons". Meg moved that out a day then called to book the flight for Justin and Joey.

"Hey hey Megasaurus!" Chris laughed as he bounced up the steps. The boys were finishing up their photo shoot at the hotel and boarding the bus for the arena.

"Hey Chris." She covered her hands free mouth piece and waved. "Okay, yeah, I need the flight for Timberlake, Fatone, Daniels and Davis." She nodded, naming off the boys and security for the flight.

"Where are they going?" Chris opened the little refrigerator as Lance and Justin boarded the bus with a flood of talking.

Meg frowned and waved Chris off, "Okay, great. Thanks a lot Kevin, I’ll talk to you later." She clicked her phone off and scribbled the flight information in the book.

"Where are they going?" Chris asked again.

"Who’s going?" Justin asked as Chris tossed him an apple.

"You’re going. You and Joey." Meg addressed Justin as she took the earpiece out of her ear and coiled the cord around her finger. "To New York for one day in March." She sighed.

"Cool, what for?" Justin asked.

"How come I can’t go?" Chris whined.

"To be a guest journalist for Jane Magazines celebrity produced issue." Meg yawned and re-did her ponytail. "And you can’t go because you’re all doing your voice work for "The Simpsons" that day and FOX would freak if I pulled all of you."

"So you made the executive decision to only let Justin and Joey go?" Chris pouted.

"Well, you’re flying in that morning from Florida, I didn’t think you’d want to hop back on an airplane to go to New York, and Lance is doing FreeLance stuff that night. JC doesn’t like to stay up for three days straight so I’m giving him a couple hours off, is that okay with you?" She was getting testy.

"Yeah, that’s fine." Chris held up his hands and shook his head. "That’s a-okay with me." He pulled himself onto his bunk as JC and Joey bounded onto the bus.

Lance sat across from Meg and reached for her hands, "You okay?" He asked softly.

"Yeah…" Meg sighed and tried to smile. "I just feel like as soon as I’ve got your guys’ schedules all under control someone comes in and monkeys with it."

"So just mokey it back." He laughed lightly as the bus jolted forward and they were on their way.

"I wish it was that easy." Meg laughed and rested her chin in her hands. "So how was your day?"

"It was alright." Lance yawned and rubbed his neck. "We still have a show to do though, right?" He asked, though he knew he did.

"Yeah." Meg laughed and reached across the table to mess his hair.

"Can you get me out of it?" Lance asked as he closed his eyes and rested his head on the table in front of Meg.

"Nope." She shook her head.

"Can you get me out of it?" Chris asked from the bunks behind her.

"No." She laughed.

"Me?" Justin asked.

"Nope, you all have to go." Meg laughed and played with Lance’s hair.

"I’ll do anything." Lance mumbled.

"Anything?" Meg asked with a raised eyebrow and a devilish grin.

"Absolutely anything."

"I thought you guys loved performing?" Meg frowned at the half asleep boys sprawled out all over the bus.

"We do." JC nodded. "And we will tonight. But right now we’re dreading it." He yawned and laid his head back on the back of the recliner like chair he was sitting in.

"I love performing." Joey said as he flipped the Sega on so that he and Justin could play. "But I could definitely go for a night off."

"You guys get the night after tomorrow off."

"Yay." Lance mumbled cheerfully, not bothering to raise his head.

"Totally free? Or do we just not have a show?" Justin asked from the floor as the bus shifted to the right.

"Completely free. You have stuff going until I think 5 or 6, but after that you’re on your own till 6 the next day."

"Twenty four whole hours?!" Chris shouted from the bunks.

"Twelve." Meg smiled. "Six in the morning."

"Shit." Chris sighed and threw his blanket over his head, as JC began to snore lightly in the front of the bus.

"So Megsley…" Lance smiled as she continued to play with his hair.

"Yes?" Meg laughed.

"Wanna do something the night after next?" He whispered, as if trying to keep it a secret.

"You know… I can hear you even when you whisper, Lance." Chris whispered loudly from the bunks. "And dating between the staff and us is strictly prohibited."

"Oh but Justin can have sex with all the Event Pro Arena Staff girls he wants?" Lance asked sarcastically. All of the guys knew about Lance and Meg’s new relationship, and none of them really cared.

"Hey!" Justin looked toward the kitchen area, though still playing the video game in front of him. "First of all, it was one Event Pro girl. Second, She wasn’t on our staff. And third, that wasn’t dating that was casual sex."

"You had casual sex with a Staff Pro girl?" Meg cast a disgusted look at Justin.

"Just one yeah. She was hot man." Justin smiled at the memory.

"And don’t forget that make up girl." Joey laughed and punched Justin in the thigh.

"Ugh, knock it off. I did not have sex with that girl."

"Yeah, uh huh." Joey rolled his eyes.

"You dated her though." Lance pointed out.

"For like a week." Justin said defensively.

"So it’s okay for you but not for me?" Lance asked.

"You want to date a make up girl?" Justin laughed.

"Yeah Justin." Lance said sarcastically.

"Listen, no one here cares if you date Meggy Megalicious." Justin laughed.

"Johnny does." Lance sighed. Meg remained quiet during the exchange and listened carefully.

"So don’t tell Johnny. That’s easy enough." Joey shrugged and re-loaded the game.

"And don’t advertise it." Chris said softly from the bunks.

"I know." Lance sighed and lifted his head to look at Meg, "Sucks huh?"

"Yep." She smiled and tilted her head slightly, "But it’s alright."

"Yeah." Lance raised her hand to his lips and kissed the back of her fingers softly. "So… would you like to do something?"

"Sure." She smiled and glanced at the calendar laid out in front of her. "We’ll be at a hotel it looks like, so maybe we can do something there."

"Bow chika chika bow bow." Chris made porno music sounds from his bunk as Lance blushed.

"Sure." Lance smiled, then covered his mouth as he yawned. Meg put her feet on the bench beside him and they rode the rest of the way to the venue in silence, broken up by Justin’s cheers as he kicked Joey’s butt at Cool Boarder 4.

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

Meg stepped off the elevator on the guy’s floor two nights later, and smiled at the security guard sitting at his position. "Hey Meg, you’re not coming to schedule the boys for something are you? They’re pretty much counting on having tonight off." Jamie laughed.

"Nope, I’m just seeing what they’re up to, and checking to see if they have anything to add before I start booking their summer." She smiled and held up her calendar binder, her prop for the night.

"Right on." Jamie waved as Meg headed down the hall towards Lance’s room. She wasn’t checking on their schedule, in fact she had no intention whatsoever of even opening her binder. She knocked quietly on Lance’s door and tapped her feet as she waited for him to answer.

"Hey you." He smiled and held the door open.

"Hey." Meg smiled and stepped around him into the room. She set the binder on the table then hugged Lance quickly, "So what’s up for the night?"

"Actually, some of the guys are going to hit the pool downstairs."

"Some of the guys?"

"The crew and everyone." Lance explained.

"Oh… okay. I’ll need to change then." Meg looked down at her bootleg jeans and her short sleeved white sweater. A night with the guys wasn’t what she was expecting, or hoping for. They’d been on three "dates" and the most they’d done was hug or hold hands. She was fine with that, of course… but she would do anything at this point just to kiss him. Once. A small one even.

"We can get something to eat after that though, okay?" Lance asked as he held the door open for her and followed her down the hall.

"Yeah." She nodded and switched her binder to her other hand so that she could hold Lance’s.

"Did you need to talk to me about dates?" He asked as he pressed the button to call the elevator.

"Hmm? Oh, no. This is just my prop." Meg laughed and waited for the doors to open.

As the doors of the elevator slid apart, Lance heard people talking inside, and quickly dropped Meg’s hand. The relationship was still pretty new, and not much of the crew knew about it just yet. Once they found out it’d only be a matter of days before Johnny found out, so they were trying to keep it quiet.

Joey and Chris stepped off the elevator in the middle of a huge laughing fit, "Hey guys." Joey waved as Meg and Lance stepped into the elevator. "You going to the pool?" Joey asked.

"Yeah." Lance nodded as the door shut and cut of Chris’s laughing. They rode down to Meg’s room where she dug through her bag and pulled out her bathing suit.

"It’s indoors, right?" Meg asked as she looked out at the clear, but chilly shy outside.

"Yeah." Lance nodded and sat on the edge of her bed. He reached for her binder and flipped through the pages of months.

"Okay." Meg mumbled as she took the white suit into the bathroom to change. She ran her fingers through her shoulder length hair and sighed. Meg took her clothes off and folded them neatly on the counter, then pulled her white Nike two piece on. It wasn’t one of those barely there bikinis that she despised; this suit had a full bottom and a sports bra type top, and was tasteful. Meg took her contacts out and reached for her glasses, then decided against them, she’d do all right without.

She pulled her jeans on over her bathing suit and stepped back out into the room. Lance looked up quickly from the calendar and smiled, "Ready?"

"Yeah." Meg smiled and tossed her shirt on her bed, then slid her feet into her sandals and they headed out.

"After the pool we can go back to my room and order some room service or something, maybe watch a movie." Lance suggested, sounding almost shy.

"I… okay. That’d be cool." Meg smiled and took his hand as they stepped into the elevator alone.

"Hey, I’m really sorry we can’t… you know… date like a normal couple." Lance said softly as he swung her hand slightly.

"It’s okay." Meg looked up at him and nearly melted in his smiling green eyes.

"The tour will be over soon though." He leaned against the side of the elevator. "I think thinsgs’ll be a lot easier then."

"Yeah." Meg smiled, she hadn’t thought that far ahead, about what they’d do after the tour.

"Two more months." He sighed and closed his eyes as the doors opened slowly. Meg pulled his hand gently and they walked across the lobby to the indoor pool area hand in hand.

As Lance pulled the heavy glass door open, Meg went to release his hand but he held on tight, "It’s just crew." He whispered as he leaned in close.

"Yeah, but Lance…"

"Nah, it’s cool." Lance smiled and led the way over to a small pile of towels and grabbed two before they met up with the other guys at a table.

"Hey brat." JC smiled as they walked up.

"Me?! Hardly." Lance laughed and dropped the towels on the table.

"No, not you." JC made a face at Meg, "Her, Meg is a brat."

"Dude, she got you 12 hours of free time." Justin looked at JC like he was crazy.

"Yeah but she scheduled me for a solo interview with YM and Bobbee is not happy." JC explained.

"You were nominated for YM’s heartthrob of the year or whatever, I figured you’d rather do the interview than turn down the nomination." Meg smiled sweetly. "And as for Miss Bobbee, she ca-"

"Hey hey hey now…" Lance laughed and held up his hands.

"Bob’s got you whipped." Justin laughed.

"No, if I was whipped I’d cancel the interview." JC said as he pulled his shirt over his head. The lights in the room came on as it got darker outside.

"What interview?" Chris asked as he walked up.

"Pretty boy was nominated for heart throb of the year by YM." Justin laughed and wadded up his shirt, then tied the drawstring at his waist.

"Lance?" Joey asked.

"Yeah right." Lance rolled his eyes.

"Me." JC rolled his eyes and smiled.

"How’d you get nominated and not me?" Chris asked, completely astonished. He and Joey cracked up laughing and dive bombed into the brightly lit pool.

 

They all played in the pool together for more than an hour; Meg sat on Lance’s shoulders and fought Chris on Joey’s shoulder in a chicken fight… Meg won both times. Meg finally pulled herself out of the pool and stood by Kat to dry off. "Lance sure is a cutie huh?" Kat asked, looking over Meg’s shoulder towards the pool.

Meg turned and followed her gaze with a small smile, "Yeah… he is."

"Are you ever going to tell me you guys hooked up? I mean, it’s been a couple weeks now." Kat smiled.

"We’re not supposed to." Meg blushed and tried not to laugh. "Johnny would shit purple bricks if he found out."

"Nah, Johnny’s cool." Kat wrapped a towel around herself and wrung out her hair.

"He’s already had that talk with me, and he made it crystal clear that it is not allowed." Meg sighed and wrapped herself in the towel. "So we’re just trying to keep it quiet you know. If all of the crew found out then Johnny would know… and I just don’t need that."

"I won’t say a word, hun." Kat laughed and draped her arm over Meg’s shoulders. "He’s a good kid though, you picked the best of the lot." They looked over at the boys wrestling at the other end of the pool.

"I think so too." Meg laughed and kind of half waved to Lance. She looked toward the hotel, then back at Lance. He nodded and smiled, then turned to talk to the guys.

"Real subtle." Kat laughed and led the younger girl into the hotel. "So you want me to cover for you?" She laughed.

Meg laughed and shook her head, "Like I’m on a secret mission?"

"Something like that. It’ll liven up my weekend so play along."

"Okay. Yeah cover for me. If Johnny comes snooping around tell him I went to the movies or something."

"Okay." Kat smiled and stepped onto the elevator. "I’ll see you later, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do."

"I won’t." Meg laughed and waved as the doors began to shut.

"But if you do, name it after me!" Kat laughed as the doors shut completely.

Meg laughed and shook her head as she looked back toward the pool doors. Lance pushed them open followed by Justin and JC. They walked over to the elevator doors and pressed the "up" button, as Lance stood close beside Meg.

"Lance and Meggy Meg sitting in a tree…" Justin whispered softly.

"Shut up J." JC whispered back at Justin.

"Aren’t they cute though?" Justin smiled.

"Yes, they are, but-" JC started.

"Do you mind?" Lance asked as he turned around. JC and Justin snickered under their breath as the elevator doors opened. Lance and Meg stepped onto the elevators and Lance turned to face the doors. He pressed the "close doors" button and waved as the door shut, leaving JC and Justin in the lobby.

"Those two…" Lance shook his head, sending tiny droplets of water down the back of his neck. Meg nodded slowly, which was about all she could manage. Lance was standing not two feet away wearing just his towel wrapped around his waist, and dripping wet. He held his dry t-shirt in one hand as he used the other to run his fingers through his hair, getting it out of his eyes.

Meg self-consciously tightened the towel around her waist and adjusted her top as she cleared her throat. "Do you want to take a shower then meet me back at my room?" Lance asked as the elevator climbed.

"Can I shower in your room?" She asked softly as he took a step closer to her.

"Sure." He nodded slowly as he stood only a couple inches behind her. He placed his hand on her waist and just let it sit there as the doors opened on his floor. He left his hand there as he led her down the hall to his room, leaving wet footprints behind them all the way down the hall.

Lance unlocked the door and held it open for Meg as she stepped in and headed for the bathroom quickly. She reached into the large shower stall and turned the hot water on before she dropped her towel in a damp pile on the bathroom floor and stood looking in the mirror. Lance walked into the bathroom and tossed his towel in the pile with hers.

Meg reached up and wrung the water out of her hair over the towel pile and smiled at Lance in the mirror as it began to fog up. "Do you want to go first?" She asked, holding his gaze in the mirror.

He shook his head slowly, "No, you can go."

"Do you want to join me?" She asked, turning her eyes toward the shower.

"I… Meg, I-"

"With our suits on, I mean." She stampered quickly, not believing for a second she had actually suggested what was going on in her mind.

"No… I… that’s okay… you can uh, you can go."

"Come on." Meg smiled and touched his arm softly.

"Meg…"

"Don’t be a dud." She smiled and took his hand as she opened the shower door and stepped in. There was plenty of room for the both of them as he shut the door behind them and turned to face her.

"I’m not a dud." He smiled flirtatiously as the spray of water hit him across his shoulder.

"I know." She smiled back and moved to the side so that her hair was getting wet. She reached up and ran the water through her hair, getting the cold chlorinated water out.

Lance placed his hands on either side of her waist and pulled her to him as her arms fell around his neck. "You’re driving me insane, you know that?" He asked, barely audible over the sound of the running water.

"Yeah?" She asked and looked up at him. Their eyes met for a second before he leaned forward and kissed her softly at first, then a little more aggressively. She held his mouth to hers with her hand at the back of his neck, and stroked his hairline with the tips of her fingers.

Lance slowly ran his hands up Meg’s back, then down her sides, stopping again when they reached her hips. He gently nibbled on her lower lip before he removed his mouth from hers and just stared into her eyes, "Wow."

"Wow…" She smiled back and licked her lips quickly. The water continued to hit them where their stomachs met, bet neither of them said a word for a minute.

Lance reached up slowly and moved a wet lock of hair off Meg’s forehead and smiled, "Know what?"

"What?" She smiled as the shower filled with steam.

"You are megalicious." He laughed lightly and kissed her again.

"You’re crazy." She said when they pulled apart a minute later. He lowered his mouth to her neck and bit her gently.

"Yeah." Lance trailed his tongue slowly up her already wet neck, then kissed her deeply, causing her knees to go weak beneath her.

"What on Earth took you so long?" Meg asked breathlessly a minute later.

"I was being a gentleman." He laughed and ran his fingers through his dripping hair.

"And today?"

"The gentleman lost as soon I stepped in here." He smiled and placed is finger over her lips. "So I’m sorry if I crossed the line."

"Are you kidding? I practically had to drag you over it." She laughed and reached up to touch the light stubble that had sprouted on his chin.

"We’d uh… better get cleaned up." Lance said, though he made no move to step back.

"Yeah." She nodded.

"So we can get some dinner or something." He said with a short laugh.

"Okay." She laughed at his uneasiness and took a reluctant step back to wet her hair again. She reached for the soap and began to clean herself then passed it over to Lance and they washed the chlorine off of their bodies.

Meg stepped out of the shower and wrapped a clean towel around herself, then used another on her hair as Lance turned the water off and stepped out behind her. He dried himself off and went into the other room to dig in his suitcase for dry clothes. They passed each other in the doorway as he headed back to the bathroom to change into his warm up pants and a t-shirt. "Do you want something dry to put on?" He asked before he shut the door.

"That’d be great, yeah." She said as she shivered in the air-conditioned room air.

"Help yourself to anything there in my suitcase, most of the pants are drawstring so they should fit."

"Thanks." She smiled over her shoulder as he shut the door behind him. She opened the suitcase on the bed and rooted around until she found a pair of sweat pants and a big green t-shirt. She kept the towel wrapped around her waist as she took her bikini bottoms off and pulled the pants on over her bare bottom. She tied the drawstring and sighed at the warmth and softness of the pants. Meg struggled to pull her top over her head; wet material is not as cooperative as one might think. She worked it off and pulled the shirt over her head as Lance opened the bathroom door and stepped into the room.

"Much better, thank you." She smiled and carried her wet towel and bathing suit to the bathroom to hang up to dry.

"You’re welcome." He smiled and stopped her as she walked by. He kissed her softly and asked, "What would you like for dinner?"

"Pizza." Meg smiled and draped the towel over the shower door.

"You got it." He picked up the phone and called down to room service to have a pizza sent up, as well as some drinks and other snacks. He sighed as hung up the phone and rested his head in his hands. "This is going to be harder than you think." Lance said quietly.

"What?"

"Dating me." He sighed. "I mean, dating me would be hard enough, but trying to keep it away from Johnny will be twice as bad."

"I know." Meg looked down at her hands.

"We’re going to have to be extra careful about publicity."

"Yeah." She nodded, not looking up to meet his eyes.

"But… I don’t mind." He smiled and tilted her chin to look up at him. "Do you?"

"No." She shook her head and smiled; though she had no way of knowing exactly how quiet they’d have to keep it.

"Cool." He leaned across the table and kissed her quickly. "So you’ll be in charge of scheduling us time to go out."

"I… Lance I can’t do that." She shook her head. "Johnny will freak enough if he finds out we’re going out, but if I’m changing the schedules to do it… he’ll be livid."

"You change it for Chris and Dani though right? And JC and Bobbee?"

"Well… yeah, but-"

"Then it’s the same thing."

"He won’t think so." Meg shook her head. "And I’d rather not push it."

"Okay…" He smiled and sighed. "But with you being on tour with us we’ll be seeing a lot of each other anyway."

"Yeah." Meg smiled as room service knocked on the door. Lance stood and answered the door, carrying the pizza into the room causing Meg’s mouth to water. "Man that smells good." She said as she followed him to the bed. He sat it in the middle of the bed and grabbed the remote to turn the TV on.

"I hope you like plain old pepperoni pizza." Lance said as he pulled the top back on the box and inhaled deeply. "Oh good they sent napkins." Lance handed Meg a handful of napkins and grabbed a slice out of the box. "Heaven." He smiled and handed the slice to Meg, then took one for himself. "Did you want to watch a movie?"

"Sure." Meg took a bite of the pizza, then leaned over to grab the little TV Guide thing off the nightstand. She flipped to the pay-per-view index and read through the names, "Have you seen ‘Notting Hill’?" She asked.

"I don’t think so, who’s in it?" Lance asked as he took a bite.

"Um, Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant."

"Ahh, Elizabeth Hurleys boyfriend." Lance laughed.

"I guess you could say that." Meg smiled and took the remote to turn the channel.

"Well no, I haven’t seen that."

"Cool, then that’s what we’ll watch." Meg lay on her stomach and supported herself on her elbows facing the TV. Lance followed her example and they lay with the pizza box between them as the movie started.

When the pizza was finished Lance tossed the box to the floor and sat up in the bed with his back against the headboard and his feet straight out in front of him. Meg yawned and moved to the head of the bed also. She curled up next to Lance as he wrapped his arms around her and stroked her hair with a rhythmic motion.

Before the end of the movie, Meg was asleep on lance’s chest and he was about ready to doze off himself. He clicked the TV off as the credits started and sent the room into darkness. He slid down slowly so that he was laying on his back, then pulled Meg closer to him. She had her cheek and left hand on his chest, and her leg thrown carelessly over his.

Lance didn’t want to wake her by trying to pull the covers over both of them, so he let them be and just held her close.

At five o’clock the next morning, Lance’s wake up call woke Meg out of a deep sleep. She was shocked to find herself snuggled up in the crook of Lance’s arm, covering him like a human quilt. She raised her head slightly as Lance tried to move unobtrusively to reach the phone.

Meg slid off his chest so that he could lean over and grab the phone, "Yeah? Hello?" He mumbled as he lay across Meg.

"Hey Lance, this is your wake up call. WOO HOO! Time to get up!" Chris shouted into the receiver.

"Yeah I’m up." Lance grumbled and rubbed the sleep out of his eyes. "Our ride leaves at six?"

"Yep." Chris said as he pulled his shoes on. "Me and Justin are going down to get breakfast, wanna come?"

"No, I’ll meet you downstairs at 6."

"Okay." Chris nodded.

Lance hung up and sighed as he rolled off of Meg, "I’ve gotta get up."

"Okay." Meg whispered and pulled herself into a sitting position. She ran her hands over her hair and yawned, "Thanks for letting me stay last night."

"Anytime." Lance smiled and stood up. He stretched his arms over his head and looked down at Meg, "You can sleep here any time you want."

"Okay." Meg smiled as Lance crossed the room to the bathroom after getting some clean clothes out of the suitcase.

He came out a couple minutes later dressed in tan cargo pants and a plain white t-shirt. His hair was brushed and he smelled like toothpaste as he sat on the bed beside Meg, "So what are you plans for today?"

"Not much." Meg shrugged and watched him tie his shoe. "I have to call the FOX people and solidify your recording times and make those final arrangements."

"Sounds like fun."

"Yeah right." Meg laughed and rolled her eyes.

"You should come hang out with us. We have that interview thing at a park this afternoon." Lance finished tying his shoe and put his hands on his knees.

"Yeah, maybe I will." She was planning on tagging along anyways, Johnny always liked to see the management staff interacting with the boys, "it’s good PR" he had said. She’d be doing a lot more "good PR" from now on.

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

Meg stood off to the side as Kari from Youthquake interviewed the guys as they sat around a picnic table. Meg made herself blend into the camera crew and sound guys as she held a clipboard to her chest. Her hands free earpiece was in place so that she could look busy if she needed to.

Kari asked all of the guys the top 5 questions mailed in by the teen age viewers, the #2 question was – "Do they have girlfriends?"

Megs ears perked up and she paid close attention as they answered, "I do, yeah." JC smiled.

"I’m seeing someone." Chris smiled, everyone knew about him and Dani.

"I date but I’m not like seeing someone exclusively." Joey smiled flirtatiously.

"I’m not dating anyone." Justin blushed and tried to look shy, it didn’t work.

"Me neither." Lance shook his head. Meg blushed as he said it, she knew they had to keep it quiet, but couldn’t he just say he was seeing someone and leave it at that?

Meg decided not to let it bug her as they moved on tot he next question. "For those of you who are single, what do you look for in a girl?"

"Joey looks for a pulse." Chris joked as Joey reached back to smack him.

"Even that’s optional." Lance laughed.

"Oh! That’s sick… no a pulse is not optional." Joey laughed and shook his head.

"I pretty much just look for a girl who’s funny… you know, who makes me laugh and who will laugh at my stupid jokes." Justin smiled.

"Blonde? Brunette? Red head?" Kari asked.

"Yes." Justin laughed as the others joined in.

"Joey?" Kari asked.

"I don’t know. I’m not too picky." He said. Everyone on stage laughed and he clarified, "About hair color. Sheesh, I’m not picky about hair color. Everything else I’m picky about. She has to be between 4 feet and 6 feet, not more than 6 feet, I don’t know if I’d date a girl who was taller than me." He laughed.

"What about you Lance?"

"I don’t know exactly what I’m looking for." He smiled and shrugged, "I usually go for the brunettes. Tall, dark and…"

"Handsome?" Chris laughed.

"No, not handsome." He laughed, "Just tall and dark and mysterious. Real feminine." Lance smiled and blushed.

"Would you date someone who was taller than you?" Kari asked.

"Oh you bet." Lance nodded.

Meg felt herself blush as she turned to leave the sound stage. According to Lance she was almost the complete opposite of his ideal woman. She was short, with dyed dark red hair, and way more sporty than feminine. She sighed as she pulled herself up the steps to the guys’ bus and flopped down on the couch. This was not as fun as she thought it would be.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ 2 weeks later ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

"Meg, we’ve been over this." Johnny said as he sat across from Meg at the table on the bus.

"What?" She asked innocently.

"About dating between the crew, staff and talent." He frowned.

"I know." Meg nodded.

"Then why am I seeing pictures of you and Lance in a teen magazine?" Johnny asked as he held the article out for her to see. There was a fuzzy black and white photo of her and Lance holding hands from weeks ago when they all went to the hotel pool together.

"We walked to the hotel pool together. There were plenty of other crew members there." She said as she blushed slightly.

"Listen Meg… I know you’re an attractive young lady, and those are 5 good-looking young men. But this is only going to make your job harder." He sighed.

"Does it say anything in there about me being on the staff?" She asked as she skimmed the article.

"No, not this one. But how long do you think it’ll be before they make the connection? You are the press contact for the group, they aren’t stupid you know."

"I know."

"So what are they going to think if you don’t give them the time they want so that you can have time with your boyfriend?" He asked.

"Johnny, it’s not like that." She shook her head.

"You know that, and I know that… but that’s not how they’re going to see it when you keep telling them no for an interview or shoot." He explained.

"I can deal with them." She said stubbornly. "I deal with them now. Hell I’ve pissed off plenty of PR people by telling them no, what difference will it make if I’m dating one of the guys?"

"It will make a difference. Trust me on this one Meg. I’ve been in the business a long long time." He sighed and shook his head; "I’m not going to stop you from having a relationship with Lance." He said softly. "I just don’t want to know about it. Don’t give me any way to find out about it. If I find out about it…" He looked at the magazine picture again, "Then we’re going to have to discuss your future with the tour."

"I… okay." She nodded.

"And the media comes first with the scheduling. I don’t want you rearranging schedules to accommodate your relationship."

"Johnny…" Meg sighed. "I don’t do that."

"And nothing in public." He shook his finger playfully at her. "This tour is all about having a good time, but work is work."

"I know."

"So I mean it. I see anything else like this, and it’s not going to be pretty." He pointed at the magazine.

"Okay." She nodded.

"Okay." He smiled and shook her hand, making it official. "You’re a good kid Meg."

"Thanks." She laughed lightly. At 22 she hardly considered herself a kid, but coming from Johnny she didn’t mind it.

That night she crashed on the boys bus and vented a little to Lance about Johnny, "I don’t see what the big deal is." She frowned.

"Neither do I… but if it’ll keep him calm and keep you on the tour, that’s what we’ve got to do." Lance kissed her neck softly as she sat in his lap on the couch. They were all gathered around the ‘living room’ half watching "Austin Powers" and half chit chatting. Except for JC, as usual he was crashed out in his chair.

"Yeah I know." Meg continued to frown. "But would it kill you to say you have a girlfriend?" She was in a foul mood, and snappier than a turtle.

"Meg… we’ve talked about that. We have to keep it quiet. You just told me Johnny had a talk with you about-"

She cut him off, "But you can’t just say ‘yes I have a girlfriend’ and leave it at that? I mean that’s what JC does."

"Everyone knows about Bobbee." Lance argued.

"So?"

"So I just don’t even want to open that door."

Meg sighed and shut her mouth; she watched the rest of the film in silence with a scowl on her face. If she didn’t like Lance so much, this would hardly be worth it.

 

On to the next part…

 

Copyright � 2000 Amy Lynn