As soon as JC got back from his lawyer's office, he began to get Kyle ready to go to the pool. He needed a few hours of relaxation and just hanging out with his son and the security guards. JC felt like the whole week had been spent trying to keep his mind off of the impending court case, but nothing was working. In every silence and every pause his mind wandered.

"Cawin Jussin?" Kyle asked as JC reached for the phone to call Frank.

"Justin?" JC shook his head back into reality.

"Yeah." Kyle sighed and tugged at his shoestrings.

"Oh yeah, we were going to call him weren't we?" JC smiled and cleared Frank's number from the keypad of his cell phone. "Come on up here, we'll call him right now."

"No you."

"Me what?"

"You here." Kyle put his hand on the floor beside him.

"Ahh, I see how it is." JC crawled off the bed and lay on his stomach, facing Kyle on the floor. "Do you want to say hi?"

"Yeah." Kyle reached for the phone.

"Okay just a second." JC dialed Justin's home number and waited as it rang. After a half dozen rings, his answering machine picked up. "Uh oh, he's not home. Do you want to leave him a message?"

"Yeah." Kyle giggled and reached for the phone again.

The machine beeped in JC's ear as he handed the phone to Kyle, "Okay say hi."

"Hi Jussin." Kyle asked into the phone. "Hi? Hi? Jussin say hi?" Kyle took the phone away from his ear and looked at it funny. "Is broke?"

"No it's his machine, tell him you miss him." JC smiled.

"Ina maseen?"

"Yeah." JC laughed.

Kyle put the phone to his ear and said, "Hi? Miss you. Hi? Jussin is broke?"

"Say bye buddy, we've gotta get going."

"Say bye? Bye bye bye? Jussin? Hi?" Kyle looked at the phone with a confused expression. "No have." He shook his head and handed the phone back to JC.

"Hey kid, I hope you're having fun out there in Florida. I'll give you a call a little later to touch base. If you see the others, tell them we said hi." JC smiled and clicked the phone off, only to turn it on a second later to call Frank.

"Is broke." Kyle sighed then went back to pulling on his shoelaces. "We go simmin?"

"Yep, I'm calling Frank to tell him we're going." JC nodded, then turned his attention to the phone when Frank answered.

Frank and Les joined JC and Kyle by the elevators a few minutes later to go down to the hotel pool. JC juggled Kyle and his floaty things as they stepped onto the elevator and pressed the button for the lobby. "Daddy take off." Kyle whined.

"Take what off?" JC asked as the elevator doors shut.

"My shoe."

"You've gotta leave your shoes on until we get to the pool." JC shook his head.

"No, off."

"Nope." JC shook his head and looked up to see the numbers light up as they descended.

"Yes off." Kyle frowned and kicked his foot gently.

"Don't kick."

"I not."

"Yes you are, you know better than to kick people. You need to keep your shoes on until we get to the pool."

"No off. Is owie." Kyle whined and kicked his foot again.

"Hey." JC looked Kyle in the eye as he grabbed Kyle's ankle. "I said don't kick. If you want to keep this up we can go back up to the room." JC dared him to keep kicking as the doors opened on the lobby.

"Daddy go." Kyle looked out to the lobby and urged JC to get off the elevator.

JC held his finger on the 'doors open' button and looked at Kyle, "Are you done kicking?"

"I no kick."

"Good." JC stepped off the elevator and the group walked down the side hall to the pool entrance. JC kicked his sandals off and put Kyle's floaties on then blew them up so they wouldn't budge off of his arms.

Once Kyle was inflated and unsinkable, they ventured into the shallow end of the pool where JC held onto Kyle and just bent his knees to get Kyle wet. "I can sim." Kyle insisted as he pushed JC away.

"You want to float?"

"I sim." Kyle frowned and tried to let go of JC.

"Okay, here you go." JC lower Kyle into the water and let go while keeping his hands only a few inches from Kyle's waist just in case. "Look at you big guy, you're floating."

Kyle kicked his feet a little bit and moved his arms back and forth while trying to dog paddle toward the edge of the pool. "Daddy no."

"I've gotta stay right near you." JC left his hands by Kyle's side as the toddler paddled over to the side of the pool. "Look at you tough guy, you're swimming." JC laughed.

"Yeah." Kyle grabbed onto the ledge of the pool as he sat there out of breath. "I sim." He ran his hand over his face to get the water out of his eyes and smiled up at JC. "Again?"

"You bet." JC smiled and bent his knees so that he was at eye level with Kyle as the little boy pushed away from the ledge to swim to the other side of the pool.

They played in the pool for a while with Kyle doing laps then Les got in the pool and Kyle wanted to go back to his old tossing game that he used to play with Joey and Lance. "Daddy throw."

"Throw what?"

"Throw me." Kyle laughed. "Les can hold."

"You want me to throw you at Les?"

"Yeah and Joey."

"What?" JC gave him a look.

"Joey and Lance would kind of push Kyle through the water towards each other." Les explained as he lifted Kyle out of the water.

"They did what?" JC made a face and vowed to have a talk with his friends. "I swear they think he's a football and not a kid."

"He had fun." Les laughed and grabbed Kyle under his arms, "Ready kid?"

"Yeah!" Kyle screeched.

"Ready Jace?" Les looked up with a raised eyebrow.

"Don’t throw him." JC said carefully.

"Relax." Les laughed and pushed Kyle in front of him as he practically ran through the water towards JC. He stopped at the last minute and Kyle tore through the water right at JC's chest.

"Oof!" JC laughed as Kyle flew into his arms with a spray of water.

"Again!" Kyle laughed and turned around in JC's arms. "Again daddy." He giggled and coughed off to the side.

Les clapped from the far side of the pool, "Come on back big guy."

"You guys are nuts." JC shook his head, but placed his hands under Kyle's arms to zoom him back to Les.

After another hour everyone was pruned and ready to go back upstairs to eat dinner and chill out. JC dried Kyle off as well as he could with the towel, then wrapped Kyle up and carried him back up to their room. They both took quick showers to get the chlorine smell off of them then changed into their pajamas to play cars on the bed.

"Hey buddy, how about if we go to the beach tomorrow, you wanna try that?"

"Beach?"

"Yeah, we can go to the ocean." JC nodded.

"And a shark?"

"Nope." JC shook his head; "We'll go where there are no sharks." He ran his little matchbox car up the curve of the pillow to the top of the "mountain".

"Kay." Kyle shrugged and bounced Lello around on the bed as the phone rang.

JC sighed and debated just not answering it. Curiosity got the better of him by the third ring, so he reached over and answered it, "Hello?"

"JC? This is George."

"Hey."

"You got a minute?" George asked.

"Uh, yeah." JC nodded and sat on the corner of the bed.

"I need some clarification here. When we were talking this morning you said that Jessica doesn't live with you, right?"

"Right." JC nodded.

"But she has some stuff at your house?"

JC wracked his brain to try to remember, "Yeah?"

"And you were dating Ali up until the time Kyle was left with you, right?"

"Right."

"Were you cheating on Ali with Jessica?" George asked point blank.

"No." JC said forcefully. "No, Jessica and I didn't start seeing each other until later."

"Okay." George made a note. "And how many times have you been back to Florida since Kyle was left with you?"

"I haven't been home at all." JC shook his head. "Not since the weekend before Kyle."

"Then explain to me how Jessica has some things at your house and stays there sometimes if you've only been dating since after you got Kyle, and you haven't been home since before you got Kyle."

JC was silent for a minute. He took a deep breath as he shook his head; "I haven't been completely honest with you George."

"I'm aware of that."

"Jessica doesn't have things at my house." JC answered honestly.

"Okay."

"I just… I wanted to better my case by having the two parent household thing. I'm sorry."

"You need to be honest with me at least JC. I'm representing you and I don't want any surprises in the court room." George sighed. "And just so you know, a girlfriend is temporary and could actually damage your case. If you're relying too heavily on her that'll show that you're not sure of your own parenting skills. If things go south with the two of you, then what kind of parent will you be to Kyle? You need to show that you can raise Kyle on your own."

"George I…" JC's heart raced, "Jessica and I aren't dating."

"I need the truth JC. Don't just sit there and say that because I said it could hurt your case."

"I'm not." JC shook his head. "We're… there's nothing really between us. Jessica and I are not dating; we're just friends. She's helped me with Kyle, especially in the beginning. She's the one that made me see that I was terrible at it and she helped me get better with him."

"JC…"

"I swear George. I'm being a hundred percent truthful right now. I've never slept with her, that much is true. We're friends. She loves Kyle a lot and he loves her too."

"And…?"

"And I don't know where things are going to go with that, but… but right now we're not dating. At all."

"She may still need to come out here."

"I know." JC nodded.

"Because if she's had a hand in raising Kyle for the last four months she's going to have something to say."

"I know."

George paused, "Is that all you have to tell me?"

"Yes." JC took a deep breath, feeling more relieved than anything. "Everything else I told you was true."

"I'm serious."

"I know you're serious. I'm sorry for lying to you man. I just… I just don't want to lose this."

"Which is why you need to tell me the whole truth. The truth is something I can work with." George nodded. "See if I go in there and find out that I've based my argument on a lie, then I look like an ass and your credibility is crap. If I go in there with the whole truth, no matter how bad it may look to you, I can work it and tweak it to use it to our advantage… and you're the good guy. You see?"

"Yeah." JC nodded as his head drooped. "I'm sorry."

"So just keep it straight from here on out. I personally don't care who you're with or who you're not with… that's not my business. My business is to do all I can to get you custody, or shared custody, of Kyle."

"I know." JC acted like a scolded child.

"So if that's all I need to work around, I can deal with that."

"That's all." JC nodded.

"Alright then." George nodded. "Have you heard from Lori?"

"Nope." JC shook his head. "She knows she has to go through her lawyer though, I don't think she'll be calling me again."

"Well, you never know."

"I know." JC sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose.

"If she does call you though, I want you to let me know."

"I will." JC nodded.

"Okay." George nodded. "With court less than a week away I'm going to be pretty busy setting this up, but if you have any questions or anything call me."

"I will."

"And I'll want to meet with you again before Thursday, so let me know when you've got a couple free hours."

"Okay." JC smiled, he had plenty of free hours.

"Have you talked to Jessica about her coming out?"

"Not yet." JC shook his head. "Do I need to? You don't want me to wait and see if I need to?"

"Nah, it'd be better to have her here and not need her, than need her and have to wait a couple days for her to get here."

"Okay, then I'll track her down and see what I can do."

"Alright kid. Anyway, I just wanted to get that cleared up. Give me a call Monday and let me know when you wanna get together." George said, turning professional once again.

"I will. Thanks man."

"No problem." He shook his head.

JC hung up the phone and sighed deeply, "Well kid, I just got myself into a little bit of trouble."

"Uh oh." Kyle frowned. "Get spankin?"

"No." JC smiled slowly, "No I don't think I'll get a spanking. But George isn't too happy with me." JC made a face. "I goofed."

"Uh oh."

"Yeah, uh oh. Don't lie kiddo, it's not worth it."

"Isa no no?"

"Yep, it's a no no." JC smiled and reached for his car to run it over the top of the pillow and back down to the mattress.

"Kay." Kyle shrugged and sighed, as long as no one was getting a spanking he was okay with it.

Father and son played on the bed for a while longer before settling into bed with a movie on the TV to fall asleep to. JC had seen "Rugrats go to Paris" a dozen times, but Kyle got a kick out of it so he grudgingly sat through it for the thirteenth time.

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

On Friday morning they kicked back in their pajamas watching children's TV shows until almost eleven then got dressed for the beach and rounded up Les and Frank. They all stopped to grab lunch in the van on their way to the beach that George had recommended the day before. Once there they set up their new beach towels on the sand near the water and got their snacks situated. "We're gonna go up that way a bit." JC nodded to the right. They were in a little cove and it wasn't that busy.

"Have fun." Les waved his hand in dismissal.

JC took Kyle's hand and they walked down by the water for a few yards toward the high cliff walls of the cove. "This is pretty cool huh?"

"Yeah." Kyle sighed and looked out at the water. The waves that were rolling in were small, but enough to creep toward them and scare Kyle. "No shark?" Kyle looked up at JC with a worried expression as they neared the waters edge.

"Nope." JC shook his head and let the waves roll over his feet. "The water is cold though, here feel it." JC squatted beside Kyle and put his hand in the water. "See?"

Kyle bent over at the waist and put his fingers in the water, "Is code."

"Yeah it's kinda cold." JC smiled. "Have you ever been to the beach before?"

"No water." Kyle shook his head. "Ina sand."

"You've been in the sand but not the water?" JC asked. "Well sheesh, the water is the best part." He laughed and stood up while he kept a firm hold on Kyle's hand. They took a few steps closer to the water as another wave rolled in and soaked Kyle up to his knees.

"Whoa!" Kyle exclaimed as he jumped and grabbed at JC with a smile on his face. "Wow see?!" Kyle giggled as JC lifted him out of the water. "Daddy see?"

"I saw that." JC laughed. "You got all wet."

"Yeah." Kyle laughed and looked out at the water. "Wassat?" Kyle pointed out to the horizon.

"I don't see anything." JC shook his head, expecting to see a boat or jet ski.

"I see." Kyle pointed off to the right again and JC smiled.

"That's a rock out there with some seals on it." He lifted Kyle a little higher. "Remember we saw them at Sea World? These are seals too."

"In Sea World?"

"Well these ones live in the ocean." JC nodded.

"And a mommy and a daddy and a Joey?"

JC smiled and shook his head, Kyle was constantly surprising him; "Yeah, there's probably a mommy and a daddy seal out there."

"And Joey?"

"A Joey seal?"

"Yeah."

"Well… I don't know. I guess so." JC shrugged.

"We say hi Joey." Kyle waved his little hand toward the rocks.

"Do you miss the guys?" JC asked as he tilted his head at his son.

Kyle sighed, "Yeah. An sink." He nodded then wiggled to get down. JC set him back on the sand with the water lapping at his toes as he said, "We see sink?"

"We'll see them pretty soon." JC nodded.

"We cawin Jussin?"

"Yep, we called Justin."

"And Chris?"

"We can call Chris later, sure."

"I see Laaaance?"

"Hopefully soon." JC smiled and reached for Kyle's hand as a wave rolled in.

"I see now?"

"Nope, not now." JC shook his head.

"We go and come back?" Kyle craned his neck to look up at JC.

"We can't go and come back." JC frowned slightly, he wished they could. "But maybe they can come out and see us here, I'll have to ask them."

"Yeah ask." Kyle seemed satisfied with that answer. "Can touch a see?"

"The seal? Nope, we can't touch them. They're out there on that rock and it's too far out there for us to go. We can't swim that far."

"I sim."

"Yep, you can swim, but not that far." JC smiled. "Remember when we were at Sea World? The only ones who can play with the seals are the people who work there and other seals, right?"

"Yeah." Kyle sighed. "No touch."

"That's right."

"And no shark."

"Nope, no sharks." JC laughed and shook his head. "Do you want to go in the water?"

"No." Kyle shook his head and grabbed at JC's knees.

"I'll carry you so you won't get too wet." JC lifted Kyle into his arms and smiled. "You're going to love it."

"You hold?"

"I'll hold you the whole time." JC nodded as he waded into the water up to his knees. JC talked calmly to Kyle as they slowly walked out into the deeper water. "When we get home to Florida, we can go to the beach there too. It's different though, it's a little bigger and there's a lot more sand and everything."

"I see?"

"Yeah, we'll go see it when we get home." JC nodded as the water lapped at his waist. Kyle kicked his feet lightly, splashing JC's chest with the cold water. "See? This isn't so bad." JC smiled.

"Is code?"

"Yeah, it's cold." JC laughed and wrapped his arm tighter around Kyle's midsection. "See now you can say you went in the ocean, pretty cool huh?"

"I in ossin?"

"Yep, right now you're in the Pacific Ocean."

"Cool." Kyle laughed. "All done?"

"You're done?" JC laughed and took a few steps toward the shore.

"Yeah." Kyle sighed and looked over JC's shoulder at the seals. "Say by seal."

"Bye bye seals." JC waved and smiled as Kyle did the same. "We'll see you later!"

"See later." Kyle giggled and squirmed to get down as they reached the sand. JC put him down as they headed back to where Les and Frank were hanging out by their towels. They had made themselves comfortable on the towels, but headed for the water when JC and Kyle got back.

"It's a slow day here Jace." Les explained.

"No problem. We're just gonna play in the sand here." JC smiled and grabbed one of the sandy buckets and a shovel. "Just don’t go in past your shoulders and stay where I can see you." JC playfully shook his finger at the two grown guards and laughed.

"Yeah okay dad." Frank chuckled as they headed for the water.

"Okay Kyle, let's build a sand castle."

"Casso?"

"Yeah, watch." JC packed damp sand into the bucket and patted it down firmly. As he turned it upside down and lifted the bucket off, the sand held its shape to Kyle's surprise.

"Wow!" Kyle laughed. "Again!"

JC laughed at Kyle's expression and filled up the bucket again and again until they had a small community of little sand buildings. "You want to knock them down?"

"I knock?"

"Yeah, watch." JC scrambled to his feet, then jumped on one of the little sandcastles. "Like a monster."

"Isa scary monster?" Kyle laughed and made his scary face, "I see?" He growled and brought his foot down on the sandcastle closest to him.

"Yep, if you're a scary monster you can knock them all over." JC smiled and watched as the "monster" went on a rampage. Kyle fell into a fit of giggles when he was done and looked up at JC. "Uh oh, you know what happens if you lay on the sand?"

"What?" Kyle's eyes danced at the thought of one more fun thing to do at the beach.

"You might get buried under the sand." JC raised his eyebrow and sat beside Kyle. He filled the bucket with sand and poured it over Kyle's little legs.

"No, you." Kyle kicked his legs free.

"You want to bury me?"

"Yeah." Kyle laughed and stood up to grab the little shovel. "You sit."

JC stretched his legs out in front of him and leaned back on his arms, "Go for it." He laughed as Kyle slowly dropped sand across his shins. At the rate he was going, it would take days to cover JC's feet, so he sat up and grabbed the bucket to help out.

"Daddy you toe."

"My toes are hanging out huh? That's kind of hard to cover my toes." JC made a face as he tried to pour the and over his exposed toes.

"Yeah." Kyle patted the sand down as JC continued to add more to the top. It took a while, but soon JC was buried in sand from his waist on down to his toes. "You suck?"

JC snickered, "Yeah, I'm stuck."

"Uh oh." Kyle frowned. "How go?"

"I don't know." JC frowned and shook his head. "Maybe Frank and Les can take you back to the hotel and I'll just wait here?"

"No. You have." Kyle crawled over the mound of his legs. "Take a sand off."

"I can't take it off I'm stuck." JC laughed lightly.

"I take." Kyle used his hands and clawed at the sand by JC's thigh. "I take and we go."

"You're ready to go home?" JC asked.

"Go out." Kyle dug around JC's breathlessly trying to get him out of the sand. After minutes of watching him dig, JC carefully moved his leg causing the sand to crumble. "Yay! You go out!" Kyle laughed and jumped up. "Fank?"

"Frank and Les went out to the water." JC smiled and brushed the sand off of his bare legs. "See? Right over there, Les is jumping in the wave."

"He sim?"

"Yeah, he's swimming."

"Kay." Kyle stood up and grabbed the bucket; "We can get sow?"

"Sow?"

"Sow ina water?"

"I don't know what you mean." JC shook his head and stood up slowly. He reached down and tried to brush as much sand as he could off of his butt and legs. Kyle took a few steps toward the water, then stopped to look behind him. "In the water?" JC asked.

"The sow." Kyle nodded and ran a few steps to the very edge of the water.

JC followed cautiously as Kyle's toes were covered by a small wave. "Be careful buddy." He said softly as he reached for Kyle's shoulder.

"No daddy, a sow." Kyle bent his knees and reached his hand into the water, surfacing triumphantly with a broken white sea shell in his hand.

"Oh a shell?"

"Yeah a sow." Kyle nodded and picked up another piece. "See? Sows ina water."

JC smiled and looked down at his feet, "Yeah, there are a lot of shells."

"I can have?" Kyle asked as he dropped the pieces into his bucket. "I have all sows." He sighed and continued to bend and pick up the little shells.

JC watched with wonder as Kyle rinsed off each shell in the few inches of water before putting them in the pail with the others. In just a few minutes Kyle had a small collection of rocks and seashells and seemed satisfied with that. "Kay I have all." Kyle sighed and ran his hand over his head as he yawned.

"Are you tired?"

"No." Kyle shook his head as he finished his yawn. "Fank tired." He nodded toward the towels.

Sure enough, Frank was laying on his stomach with a spare towel rolled up under his head; "He's taking a nap." JC smiled.

"Yeah." Kyle giggled as they walked up. "Fank a nap." He said to Les as he set the pail at Les' feet.

"Yeah, he's an old man. He's all worn out man." Les laughed.

"Are you guys about ready to head in?" JC asked.

"Yeah, I'm ready whenever you are." Les nodded. "It's getting kinda late and it'll get cold here pretty quick."

"True." JC looked up at the sky as the sun dipped lower. "You ready to go home kiddo?"

"Home ina aopane?"

"No, back to the hotel." JC shook his head as he frowned. "We can't go on an airplane for a while."

"Go back to tell?" Kyle asked.

"Yeah, are you ready?"

"Yeah." Kyle nodded and sat on the towel by Frank. "Fank too?"

"All of us." JC nodded. "Can you wake him up and tell him it's time to go?" JC asked as he picked up the other towel and carefully shook it out toward the water. The van was going to get all sandy no matter what he did, but he wasn't going to intentionally bring in eight pounds of the stuff.

Kyle woke Frank by sitting on the older mans back and tapping on his head, "Fank up go bye." He said in a normal voice. "Fank?"

"Yeah?" Frank's eyes peeled open and he instinctively tried to roll over, tossing Kyle to the sand. "Whoa, hey dude. You okay?" Frank sat up all the way and reached for Kyle.

"Yeah." Kyle said as he flopped back on his butt. "I fall."

"I'm sorry buddy, I didn't know you were sitting on me like that." Frank laughed. "What's up? Are we leaving?"

"Yeah go tell." Kyle nodded as JC snickered with Les as they folded up the towels.

"Right on." Frank stood up and picked Kyle up off the sand. "Whatcha got there?"

"Sows."

"Wow, would ya look at al those pretty shells." Frank seemed impressed. "Those are pretty cool, you'll have to show them to me in the car or something."

"Yeah." Kyle nodded.

"Okay guys, are we ready?" JC asked with the towels tucked under his arm. He and Les had the gear packed up and ready to go.

"Yeah, I'd say so." Frank yawned and bounce Kyle on his hip. "Let's go little dude." Frank smiled as the four of them headed across the sand to where the van was parked. After a long day in the sand and sun they were all looking forward to a hot shower and a warm dinner.

As soon as they returned home from the beach JC turned the water on in the bathroom and started a shower. "Do you want to go first, or me?" JC asked as Kyle reached for his toothbrush.

"You sower." Kyle sighed and stuck the toothbrush in his mouth.

"Okay, but you have to stay right here. Don't go in the bedroom."

"Why?"

"Because you're all sandy and I don't want to get it all over the place." JC pulled his shirt over his head and tossed it under the sink.

"Make a mess?"

"Yep." JC laughed and stepped into the shower, letting the hot water warm him his cold hands. He washed quickly and shampooed his hair. When it was wet his hair hung in his eyes and across the back of his neck, which was long that it had ever been before. "Hey buddy, I think I need a hair cut."

"No I cut." Kyle shook his head from the other side of the shower curtain.

"You don't need a cut, you just had one." JC smiled. "I need a trim though, this is getting out of control." He ran his hands through his hair and shook his head to release the droplets of water, "So what was your favorite part about the beach today?" JC asked. If he kept Kyle talking he'd be able to make sure he stayed in the bathroom instead of wandering around the bedroom getting sand everywhere.

"See a seal." Kyle nodded.

"That was pretty cool huh?"

"Yeah. And see a casso."

"Ahh, yeah the sand castled were fun huh?" JC smiled and stood under the water to rinse the lather of soap off of his body. He kept Kyle talking about the beach as he pulled the stopped to fill the tub with water before he stepped out wrapped in the white hotel towel.

"My turn?" Kyle asked as he jumped up with his toothbrush in his hand.

"Yep, in just a second." JC nodded and ducked into the bedroom to grab his sweat bottoms and t-shirt. He pulled them on over his still damp body then went back into the bathroom to drop Kyle in the bath. "Don't forget your soap." JC handed Kyle the bright orange Scooby Doo soap they'd found at the store the other day and Kyle wrapped it in his wash rag.

JC laughed as Kyle rubbed the soapy wash cloth over his legs, "Is sand."

"Yep, that's a lot of sand buddy."

"Ina bass." Kyle giggled as the sand ran towards the drain.

"Yep, that's going to be a mess."

"I a mess?" Kyle moved the wash cloth to his face, then grimaced as the soap dribbled into his mouth. "Yucky."

JC smiled and used the large cup to pour clean water over Kyle's face; "Soap tastes bad, huh?"

"Yeah." Kyle spit into the water and smiled up at JC as the phone in the other room rang.

"Dangit." JC jumped up and lifted Kyle out of the water, "Sit here."

"I sit ina bass?"

"No, sit on the towel for just a second." JC shook his finger at Kyle as he ran into the other room. "Hello?"

"Hi JC, this is George again."

"Hi." JC's brow furrowed into a frown, what was it now? He'd been completely honest.

"Lori would like another visit with Kyle tomorrow."

"Tomorrow?" JC instinctively checked his watch, then looked into the bathroom where Kyle was sitting on the folded up towel with the wash cloth dripping water from his hand.

"Yes." George nodded slowly, "But she'd like to take him out."

"To… you mean out of the hotel?" JC's heart pounded in his chest.

"Yes. You don't have to, of course. But… she hasn't done anything to make us think she'll take him and with the court date being so close, you might not want to rock the boat. She was just talking about going to the movies or something, not far."

"She can't go by herself." JC shook his head as the worst case scenarios flashed through his mind.

"Of course not. Kyle's security guard is required to stay with him at all times."

"Y-yeah." JC stuttered as he sat on the hard chair at the table. "What about me?"

"That's your call." George said carefully. "But you… you might want to stay home for this one. To let Kyle have some time with his mom while you're not around."

"He freaked when I left the room last time."

"Probably because he could see you. If you let her take him out of your sight, he might be fine."

"Shit." JC sighed and rested his head in his hand.

"Daddy ina bass?" Kyle shouted from the bathroom.

"Just a second buddy." JC said as he leaned over to smile at Kyle through the doorway.

"She'd like to come over at ten thirty again and have him until two."

Three and a half hours without Kyle anywhere near? JC couldn't imagine that. "Frank has to like… fuckin… hold her hand the whole time."

"That's fine."

"Ten thirty?"

"If that's okay with you."

"Yeah… yeah I guess that's okay." JC took a deep breath, he was going to have to get used to letting Lori be Kyle's mother if they were going to have any kind of partnership in raising him.

"Great, I'll let her know then. Call me and let me know how things go, okay?"

"I will." JC nodded. "Thanks."

"No problem." George smiled. "Talk to you later."

JC hung up the phone and went back into the bathroom where he plopped Kyle back into the bath and tossed the soaked towel into the sink behind him. "Guess what buddy?" JC tried to smile.

"What?"

"You get a special visitor tomorrow, do you want to guess who?"

"Is Fank?"

"No you silly goose, Frank isn't a special visitor. You see Frank every day." JC laughed lightly and poured water down Kyle's back.

"Is daddy?" Kyle laughed and splashed his hands in the water.

"You're a goof." JC laughed and splashed him back. "You get to see your mommy tomorrow."

"Kay." Kyle nodded and squished the softened bar of soap in his hands. "Isa soap." He held it up for JC to see.

"Yep, that's pretty cool huh? The water's so warm it melted the soap."

"Hot?"

"Yep, it's hot." JC smiled and reached for the shampoo. He washed Kyle's hair then let the little boy play for a couple more minutes. When Kyle was cleaned up and the sand was washed down the drain, JC lifted him out of the tub and they went into the bedroom to get ready for bed.

"Okay pal, which pajamas do you want? We've got the blue ones, the green and red ones or… what are these? It looks like animals?"

"Amals." Kyle nodded.

"Animals, you got it." JC set the pajamas on the bed and got a clean diaper out. "Hey, how would you like to use the big boy potty? Like me and Joey and everyone?"

"Now?"

"Not right now, but whenever you have to go." JC shrugged. If Kyle could use the bathroom, it would save a lot of time and trash. Besides, no one liked changing diapers.

"I have diapo." Kyle patted his diaper as JC fastened the sides.

"Yeah, but don't you want to be a big boy?"

"Later. Ina week." Kyle sighed and held onto JC's shoulders as he stepped into the pajama bottoms.

"Okay." JC laughed softly and shook his head. "It'd probably be easier to do when we get home." He nodded. "We'll try it then."

"Kay." Kyle shrugged and forced his arms through the sleeves of his pajamas.

"Okay." JC whispered and flopped Kyle onto his back. "All right big guy, its time for bed. Do you want to read a story?"

"Yeah." Kyle smiled and pulled at the comforter as he slid under it.

JC dug around in the suitcase to find a book for Kyle. His collection was getting bigger, but JC was getting tired of reading the same book over and over again. He chose one that he hadn't read before then joined Kyle on the bed.

JC leaned against the headboard and crossed his feet at the ankle as Kyle shimmied up beside him. "Okay, this book looks pretty cool." JC said softly as Kyle rested his head on JC's arm. "Let's see. It's called 'The Giving Tree', isn't that a cool picture?"

"Isa boy?"

"Yep, that's a little boy like you, and his tree."

"Kay." Kyle yawned as JC flipped open the front cover of the book and found the start of the story. He read slowly and quietly so that Kyle could fall asleep easily. As JC read, he realized that the story was probably way over Kyle's head but the little boy hadn't made a sound. "You okay down there buddy?" JC stopped reading for a minute.

Kyle's eyes were closed gently and his mouth was hanging slack as he snored lightly. "Oh man, you are out like a light." JC smiled and scooted over a few inches so that Kyle could lie flat on his bed. He finished reading the story out loud just out of habit, and then he shut off the bedside light and stood up carefully. He cracked his back and yawned as he crossed the room to sit at the little table across the room to do some reading of his own.

JC made himself a cup of hot chocolate, the only warm drink the hotel had available in the room that wasn't coffee, and opened the "What to expect - The toddler years" book that he had picked up when they were out earlier in the week. JC didn't want to kid himself by thinking he could handle everything that Kyle was going to throw at him, so he thought he'd study up just in case. Baptism by fire is how he'd describe his learning method up until then, but with potty training right around the corner, JC was feeling more unsure about how to go about being a good dad… and he didn't want to mess it up.

The book held his interest for an hour or so, then he too pulled back the blanket on his own bed and turned out all of the lights. He put Lori's pending visit out of his mind as he fell asleep thinking about how he'd have to childproof his house.

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

Kyle slept in until almost eight the next morning, which was a pleasant surprise for JC. "Hi daddy." Kyle smiled as he hoisted himself up onto his father's bed.

"Hey buddy." JC cleared his throat and rolled over. "What's up?"

"We go ina ossin?"

"Not right now."

"Ina bit?"

JC smiled and rolled onto his side so Kyle could crawl up next to him, "I don't know when." He shook his head. "Are you hungry?"

"Yeah." Kyle nodded and grabbed his toes. "Have pop?"

"You want a pop tart again?"

"Yeah."

"I think we're going to have a real breakfast today." JC shook his head. "How about some eggs or maybe some cereal?"

"And pop?"

"I'll tell you what… I'll get some eggs and stuff and if you eat some of that then you can have a pop tart."

"Kay." Kyle shrugged as he lay on his back with his head near JC's pillow. He yawned softly then giggled as JC tickled his side, "Stop." His tiny hand pushed JC's away.

"Stop what?" JC smiled and tickled him again.

"Tako." Kyle pushed his hand away again and tried to move away.

"I'm not tickling you, that must be someone else." JC wiggled his fingers across Kyle's tummy.

"Is you!" Kyle laughed while he tried to tickle JC.

"No it's not! It must be the tickle monster! Ahhhhh!" JC planted his face in Kyle's tummy and blew a raspberry through his pajama shirt.

Kyle screeched with delight as the wrestled in the covers for a minute, "Daddy no!" Kyle laughed and slid off the bed to stand by the window. "No pay." He smiled.

"You don't want to play?"

"No want pop." Kyle pulled on the drapes to climb behind them. "And you have egg."

"Okay okay, we'll get some breakfast." JC sighed with a smile and sat up in the bed to order up room service. That was one more reason he wanted to get home, real food.

"And a bago?"

"You can't eat all of that."

"Yeah, I big."

"Dude, you're big, but there's no way you can eat eggs, a pop tart and a bagel." JC shook his head.

"And orange."

"If you eat all of that you'll explode." JC laughed. "Kaboom."

"Kyboom?" Kyle laughed and pressed his face against the glass looking out onto the balcony. "You eat?"

"I can't eat all of that either, I'll be sick."

"Yucky." Kyle made a face as he turned around.

"Yeah, that would be yucky. That would be nasty."

"Nassy." Kyle giggled. "Kay, eat now?"

"I'm working on it." JC laughed as he held the phone to his ear. He called in their order then picked up the room a little so that they'd have room to sit when the food came. Kyle arranges Elmo and Lello on the table so they could eat too, then sat quietly as they ate their breakfast.

"Do you want to wear your shorts or overalls today?" JC leaned into Kyle's suitcase.

"Dunno." Kyle shrugged and stood beside him. "I have." He reached in and took out a little pair of swim shorts.

"Those are for swimming." JC shook his head.

"I can have." Kyle nodded. "I sim."

"Nope, you're going out, remember?"

"Yeah, but I have." Kyle held onto the shorts. "Later I sim."

JC shrugged, did it really matter? "Okay, you can wear those. Let's get you a shirt then too so you match."

"Is red?"

"No, I don't know what happened to your red shirt." JC mumbled. "How about white? That one is clean and it matches."

"Kay." Kyle shrugged and raised his hands over his head to let JC dress him.

"Your mommy is going to come and take you out today. You're pretty lucky." JC said softly as he pulled the plain white t-shirt over Kyle's head.

"And you?"

"I'll see her, yeah." JC nodded. He held the swim shorts down by Kyle's knees and helped to balance him as Kyle stepped into them.

"Anen we go a ossin?"

"Sure, after you see your mommy then we can go to the ocean." JC smiled. "It might be too cold to go in the water, but we can go walk maybe."

"Kay." Kyle nodded and made a face as JC lifted him to sit him on his behind. "See a seal?"

"Heck yeah, there are lots of seals. I'm sure we'll see another one." JC strapped the little sport sandals on Kyle's feet and adjusted the velcro straps.

"Kay." Kyle smiled and hopped off the bed. "We go now?"

"Nope." JC checked his watch. "She'll be here in about fifteen minutes. Why don’t we get your bag together so it'll be ready to go." JC stretched his arms over his head. "Where's Lello?"

"Seepin."

"Are you going to take him with you?"

Kyle sighed and seemed to ponder that for a minute, "No. Lello say."

"Okay, I'll keep an eye on him here. We'll watch out for alligators and stuff."

"Kay." Kyle nodded and dragged his backpack over to JC. "Have a shoe?"

"You've got shoes on your feet already."

"Ina bag?"

"You want another pair in the bag?"

"Yeah."

"Okay, I think we can do that." JC dug around in Kyle's suitcase and came out with a pair of sneakers. "How about these?"

"Yeah." Kyle nodded and took them from JC to put in the backpack. "And diapo?"

"Yep, we've got diapers in there and wipe things. We've even got a jacket in there for you, pretty cool huh?"

"Is code?"

"No, not yet. But it might be where you're going." JC nodded and added a little thing of fruit snacks and a juice box to the backpack. "There you go, you've got a snack and everything. You're set."

There was a sharp knock on the door just then that startled Kyle, "Whosit?"

"I'll bet that's your mommy and Frank." JC said as he blushed quickly. "Let's see."

Kyle beat him to the door and began to pull on the handle, "Hi?" He shouted through the door.

"Hang on Kyle." JC turned the lock and pulled the door open for Frank and Lori. "Hi." He stood to the side to let them in.

"Hi angel!" Lori knelt in front of Kyle and pulled in him for a tight hug just inside the door. "Guess what?!"

"What?" Kyle asked as his cheek pressed against her shoulder.

"We get to go out today." She smiled and leaned back before she scooped him up and bounced him on her hip. "Won't that be fun?"

"Ouside?"

"Yep, we get to go outside." Lori smiled up at JC. "Did your lawyer tell you my plans?"

"Yes." JC nodded as he stood to the side. He carefully zipped Kyle's bag and held it out to Lori, "He's got a snack in there and a jacket and diapers and stuff."

"And shoe."

"Yeah and a spare pair of shoes." JC shrugged.

"He needs to change his shoes?" Lori asked.

"No he uh… they're just in case."

"Ahh, okay." She set Kyle on the floor so he could walk.

"So you uh… you guys are going to the movies?" JC asked as he shoved his hands in his pockets.

"Yeah, we're going to go see that movie 'Cats and Dogs'." Lori smiled, "He loves dogs."

"Yeah." JC nodded. "Well um, have fun." He just wanted her to leave already, the longer she stood there and chit chatted the harder it was going to be for JC to let Kyle walk out the door.

"We will." She smiled and took Kyle's hand as she headed for the door with Frank only a step behind.

"Daddy too?" Kyle asked as he looked over his shoulder.

"No, I'm going to stay here and do some work stuff and keep an eye on Lello, remember? But hey, you get to go to the movies." JC tried to look excited. "Maybe you can even get some candy or popcorn."

"You say?"

"Yeah, I'm going to stay here." JC nodded. "But you're going to have so much fun and you can tell me all about it when you get back."

"And Fank?"

"Frank's going with you, you bet he is."

"See a mooby?"

"Yep." JC held his smile; "You guys are pretty lucky."

"Bye Jace." Frank waved as he pulled the door open.

"Bye guys." JC leaned against the counter in the mini kitchen and waved quickly.

"Bye daddy, bye."

"See you later alligator." JC waited until the door was shut before he let out the breath he'd been holding, "Shit."

JC ran his fingers through his hair then pulled on his lip. "I need a drink." He said to himself as he bent over and pulled open the mini refrigerator under the counter. "Hmm, milk, juice box, coke or sprite? This is a tough call." JC sighed and thought for a second. "Sprite." He grabbed a can and popped the top as he walked over to the recliner chair where he sat and put his feet up.

If he could just keep his mind occupied for a couple of hours he'd be fine. JC clicked the TV on with the remote and channel surfed three times through the small selection of stations, then settled on MTV. The videos they played all looked new to JC, but then he realized he just hadn't seen MTV in four months and had missed out on a lot of new music.

JC sang along to the Cake video that played next as his mind wandered to Kyle and where he was right then. He knew that Frank had his cell phone on and that he could call at any time to check up on them, but he didn't want to look desperate.

His tiny black cell phone sat on the counter by the refrigerator, just barely out of reach as JC stretched to grab it. He kicked the recliner back to it's fully reclined position and stretched his fingers as far as they could go before making contact with the phone. Once he had it in his hand he called Lance just to say hi, but got his machine. "That's right, you're on vacation aren't you? Maybe you're not though… I don't remember. Anyway, I checked out that studio out here, Time out in La Jolla? It's sweet; man you'd love it. It's seriously about two blocks from the ocean, the gear is high tech and the guys I talked to know what they're talking about. Next time you come out this way you've gotta swing by, I was impressed." JC laughed lightly. "Anyway, I was basically just calling to say 'hey'… so hey. I'll talk to you later then. Bye."

JC hung up and dialed Joey's number; it was after one o'clock on the East Coast so he was probably already awake. "Hola! This is my machine. I went to Mexico and left this stupid thing here. It probably hates me now and will delete my messages, so if I never all you back it ate the tape. Or I've decided to move to Mexico and change my name to Pablo and I never want to see you again. Or I'm in a Mexican jail and want to see you real bad, so come get me. Leave a message. Hopefully I'll get back to you. Maybe. Bye." JC laughed at the message, but hung up before the beep.

"Come on Justin, be home so I don't go nuts here." JC said under his breath as he used his thumb to dial Justin's number from memory.

"H'lo." Justin answered on the fist ring.

"Hey kid." JC smiled and sighed with relief.

"Hey C, what’s up? How’s mini-me?" He laughed.

"He’s cool. He’s uh… Lori took him to the movies so I’m just… you know, just calling everyone while I’ve got some real free time."

"You’re pretty much going nuts though, aren’t you?" Justin smiled, though he knew he was right.

"Yeah, pretty much." JC laughed nervously. "It’s just too weird you know? Kyle’s not here and I honestly have no idea where he is. How do parents do this all the time? I mean, I know that when I was a kid I’d take off to the mall or whatever and my parents didn’t know exactly where I was. How did they not lose their minds?"

"I don’t know man."

"And this is only for a couple hours."

"How many down and how many to go?"

"One down, two to go." JC sighed.

"You’re good to go, not a problem." Justin smiled and tried to think of something to get JC’s mind off of it. "So how’s the beach out there? Is it just like out here?"

"Nah, it’s different. It’s more crowded actually, but there’s like sand, then grass and a playground, then the parking lot. It’s pretty cool. Next time you come out here I’ll have to show you."

"Yeah definitely."

"So how’s the family

"They're cool." Justin smiled. "My mom's worried for you, she keeps asking how you're doing and stuff."

"Tell her I'm doing alright." JC smiled.

"Hey, I heard Chris is coming out to LA this week."

"He is?"

"Yeah, he hasn't called you?"

"Not that I know of." JC shook his head. "But I haven't checked my voicemail today, so… maybe. Is he coming out for FuMan stuff?"

"Yeah, he's meeting with some designers or something out in Santa Monica."

"I thought that wasn't for another week or whatever? He said two weeks."

"Chris doesn't know the difference, just be glad he remembered." Justin laughed.

"True." JC smiled.

"So what have you done out there so far?"

"Oh uh… just about everything. We hit the Zoo and Sea World, the beach." JC shrugged. "It's pretty cool, but it's kinda hard to just hang out you know?"

Justin laughed, of course he knew. "Yeah mean, I know. Just think, when you get home you'll be able to just chill in your back yard, go shopping, all that fun stuff."

"Yeah." JC smiled, he couldn't wait. "Hey you don’t have security or anything with you, do you?"

"Nah, it's low key around here." Justin shook his head. "By the time you get here no one will even glance twice." He laughed.

"Cool." JC smiled and suddenly missed Justin and the rest of the guys. "Well hey, I'll let you go. I just wanted to touch base, ya know?"

"Yeah." Justin sighed. "I've gotta go get my oil changed. Turns out if you don't drive your car for months at a time it's no good for the engine."

"Genius." JC laughed and rolled his eyes.

"So give me a call later though, okay? Let me know how things are going?"

"I will. Thanks Justin."

"Anytime Jace." Justin smiled as they hung up.

JC tossed his cell phone from hand to hand as he took a few deep breaths. Two hours more to go, and nothing to do. He frowned and tapped his fingernail against the backlit display on his phone, pursing his lips in thought.

He hadn't talked to his parents since right after Lori showed up, and he wasn't sure how things were left with them. His mom was supportive, but kept leaving him alone as if this were his own problem. It was… Kyle was his responsibility, but he could use some support and he wasn't sure why he suddenly wasn't getting it.

JC dialed his parent's home number and waited anxiously until his mom answered after the third ring. "Hello?"

"Hi mom, it's me." He said softly as he tried to smile.

"JC! Well hi honey, how are you?" Karen smiled happily at the sound of her son's voice.

"I'm okay." He nodded and cleared his throat.

"How's Kyle?"

"He's uh… he's good. Lori came by for a visit today so they're uh… she took him to the movies." JC stood up and walked to the balcony doors. "It's weird though, you know? Without him here."

"I'll bet it is." His mom smiled and knew exactly how he felt.

"How did you do it? I mean, there were so many times I'd take off and go to my friends house or whatever, how did you stay sane without knowing where I was all the time?"

"I knew where you were." She smiled knowingly, "That's something kids never understood; parents know everything."

"Not me." JC shook his head. "What's going on mom?" He asked after a moment's pause. "Are you disappointed with me?"

"Disappointed? Why would I be?" She sounded almost shocked.

"Because of Kyle."

"JC…? No, of course not."

"He's been with me for four months and you haven't seen him once. That just… I don't know mom, that's just confusing." JC said softly as he pulled the drape back and slid the glass door open.

"Things have been nuts there with you JC, at the beginning you said things were too busy and you didn't want to scare him."

"But four months?"

"JC honey, I'd have been out there a dozen times if I could have. But you sounded like you wanted to handle it on your own and that you didn't want any help or anyone to tell you what to do. Babe…" She sighed and sounded genuinely concerned. "I didn't want to step on your toes. If you thought you needed time alone with your son, then that's what I was going to give you."

"I'm no good at this stuff." JC laughed as tears rose in his eyes.

"I'm sure you're doing fine sweetie." His mom said softly. "Do you want me to come out there? Dad and I can leave this week."

"No, I'm - " JC stopped. He'd gotten so used to saying, "No, I'm fine." That he hadn't noticed people were listening. "Yeah."

"Yeah?"

"Yeah… I'd love it if you guys could come out. Not just for me, I'm sure Kyle wants to see you guys."

"And we want to see him too."

"You should have just come out here, since when do you listen to me when I say 'don't come, I'm fine'?" JC wiped at his eyes quickly and smiled.

"Since you grew up. JC you won't get any stronger if dad and I come bail you out every time. Part of becoming a parent and a grown up is asking for help when you need it. If you insist that you're okay, people will think you're right and let you be."

"I am okay, but I'd still like you to be here."

"Then we'll come out as soon as we can arrange it."

"You will?"

"Of course we will." His mom smiled. "I'm dying to see Kyle in real life."

"I'm sure he'll be excited to see you too." JC smiled, it all made sense now. JC had been too good at pushing help away, and when it came to his parents he didn't want them to think he couldn't do it by himself, but in the process he closed them out.

"When does your court start?"

"Thursday." JC took a deep breath. "Nine in the morning."

"In LA right?"

"Yeah." JC nodded.

"Okay, well then we'll probably wait until you get to LA before we come out, that way we don't have to worry about getting from San Diego to LA."

"It's not that far of a drive."

"It's only a couple of days." Karen smiled.

"Okay." JC smiled, just happy that his mom would be coming out to see them. "Thanks mom."

"You're welcome honey." She smiled. "Is everything else okay out there?"

"Yeah, things are fine. I can't wait to get home though."

"You're sure things are fine?"

"Yeah, no mom, things really are fine. I'm getting into the swing of things around here, I just think it'll be a lot easier when we have like, a real kitchen and his own room and stuff like that."

"Okay Jace, well I'll let you go. I'm sure you've got things to do now that you've got a few hours without the little guy running around."

"Y-yeah." JC said softly. "Give me a call when you know what's going on. I can't wait to see you."

"Me too babe. I love you."

"I love you too mom." JC smiled slightly as he watched a fighter jet cross the sky with a trail of white smoke behind it. He clicked his phone off and sighed as he watched until the jet was out of sight then he stepped through the sliding glass door and let himself onto the small balcony to get some fresh air. He pulled up one of the ornate chairs and sat with his feet resting on the railing as he dialed his cell phone. JC wasn’t sure what Jessica had planned for the time she was off and deep down he was scared that she would say no, that she couldn’t come out.

"Hello?" A girl answered the phone.

JC’s mouth went dry as he began to speak, "H-hi, Jessica?"

"No this is Katie, let me get Jess for you." Katie smiled. "Can I say who’s calling?"

"This is uh, JC." He said softly.

The silence on the other end was deafening, "JC Chasez?"

"Yeah. Is Jessica there please?" He dropped his voice a notch.

"Is this really JC?" She asked.

"Um…" JC fought the urge to laugh, "Yeah, this is JC. Is Jessica there though? I need to talk to her."

"Oh my God." Katie’s voice was muffled behind her hand.

JC cringed as he waited for the shriek, but instead he was met with silence, "Hello?" He asked softly.

"Hi." Katie whispered.

"Is Jessica there?"

"Yeah." Katie said slowly. "Just a sec."

JC held on the line waiting for Jessica to pick up, "My word what did you say to her?" She laughed when she got to the phone.

"Nothing, I just told her I wanted to talk to you." JC shook his head with a smile.

"Well she’s running up the street right now to get some of her friends, so you might want to make it fast." Jessica smiled. "How are things? How’s Kyle?"

"Um, good. Kyle’s doing great."

"Cool." Jessica nodded and hopped up on the counter in the kitchen.

"I need to ask you a huge favor."

"Okay…?" She bit her fingernail and frowned.

"George, that’s my lawyer, anyway he thinks it would be good for you to come back out to California."

"Why? What’s going on?"

"Nothing yet." JC shook his head. "But I… if this court thing doesn’t get settled right away they might need to ask you some questions, you know, just about Kyle and stuff." JC took a deep breath, "And also when I have to go to court I’d like to have someone he knows watch Kyle."

"Oh." She was slightly taken aback. "I uh… you want me to come out there?"

"If you could, yeah."

"When?"

"Monday?" JC took his feet down from the railing and leaned forward to rest his elbows on his knees.

"For how long?"

"I don’t know." JC said honestly. "I hope the court stuff doesn’t take too long, and you wouldn’t have to stay the whole time if it got too long." He rushed through his words quickly, hoping that she’d just say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and be done with it.

"I just… I guess, yeah I can."

JC let out the breath he hadn’t realized he was holding, "Really?"

"Yeah, not for too long though." She shook her head. "I have some things I have to get done out here and stuff, plus I got your date package thing for Europe so I’m going to be busy here for a while."

"Okay." JC nodded, "Yeah, no that’s fine. That’s fine, I’ll go ahead and get your tickets and stuff all set up. You can go home whenever you want. I just… I really need some help here I think." He didn’t want to mention the fact that she might have to actually go to court.

"Alright." Jessica smiled, "Oops, I hear Katie and her buddies coming up the walk, I’d better let you go."

"Okay, give me a call tonight or tomorrow when you have a minute to yourself and I’ll give you the details."

"Okay."

"Thanks Jess."

"Sure, no problem." Jessica hung up quickly as the three girls rushed into the kitchen anxious to grab the phone from Jessica.

"Hi." Katie smiled innocently as she and her two friends tried to look casual. "What's up?"

"Anything new?" Her friend asked.

"Yeah, hey Katie, I'm going to be gone for a few days. Can you give me a ride to the airport on Monday?" Jessica asked.

A tiny squeal escaped from one of her friends as Katie grinned, "Yes! Of course I can! Where are you going?"

"Um, Los Angeles. I don't know what time or anything but I'll - "

"No, don’t worry, I'll take you no matter what time." Katie giggled and looked at her friends.

"You guys… come on." Jessica said with a stern look to the three girls in her kitchen. "He's just a person. He's a person I work for I he needs some help."

"He's JC." The blonde shook her head and bounced up and down.

"You're acting like you're 13." Jessica frowned, though she secretly enjoyed it.

"Hey, my mom wouldn't let me go nuts over New Kids so I'm making up for it now." The blonde shook her head.

"We're living vicariously through you." Katie laughed. "So go get some JC action, and fill us in when you get back." Her friends laughed with her as Jessica blushed.

"You guys need counseling." Jessica said softly as she shook her head and left them standing in the kitchen.

"Oh! Oh my God, do the *69 thing!" One of the friends squealed.

Jessica cringed as she opened the door to her messy room. She had some packing to do and she still had to wash some of her clothes from the tour. Jessica frowned and scoffed at the pile of clothes by her hamper, "Get some JC action? Ha." She grumbled under her breath. What were the chances of that?

 

Next...

 

Copyright � 2001, Amy Lynn