Let That Be Enough:   Six

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Morning sun was shining in the room when she opened her eyes for the first time that next day. She was lying on her stomach hugging a pillow to her face with her head towards the door. Strange patterns of sun formed designs on the carpet in the living room and when she rolled over she saw that the sliding glass door was opened and it was then that it hit her. The heat had woken her up. She'd been fine when she'd been in her own room with the air conditioning on, but with the door wide open and the mid morning sun blaring down on them it was extremely hot.

"JC must have left it open," she mumbled to herself as she pushed back the covers. Moving quickly she walked around the far side of the bed and shut the door then decided to turn on the air conditioning. It was when she turned back that she saw him lying on the bed. He'd been curled up in the same blanket as her, facing towards the sliding glass door almost in the same position she'd just woken up in, with his face pressed to the pillow, lying on his stomach.

Her feet immediately began to walk a little quieter as she moved passed him. She saw that he had his baseball hat on still so she went over and carefully removed it, setting it on the arm of the couch before she left him alone so she could go shower. She figured he needed the rest and wasn't about to wake him up to tell him to go to bed.

Collecting her clothes and her brush and hair dryer she went into the bathroom and spent the next forty minutes getting ready for the day. When she emerged from the confines of the bathroom she put her things away then went to check on JC before she quickly wrote him a note and left the room.

She had planned to do laundry that day so wearing a pair of slightly dirty jean shorts and her bikini top she went down to the lobby and hailed a cab to take her into town. She knew that there was a laundry facility at the resort, but she figured that she'd pick up some detergent and some other things to munch on before she spent her afternoon with her guitar or at least sitting in the sun writing.

It had been a while since she'd been grocery shopping alone. She wished that Patty or Rodney were there with her, but she knew that she was going to have to get used to being normal again and starting that out in a little town was probably better than being back home. At least here she didn't have to explain to the neighbors why her career had just been flushed down a toilet. Not knowing JC's snack food tastes other than what he seemed to forage through at gas stations in the middle of the night with the rest of them, she ended up getting a whole cart full of things. Everything from milk and some apples down to a bag of chips and bean dip.

The taxi ride back to the hotel was quiet and when she arrived to the hotel one of the Valet's helped her carry her bags up to the door. She didn't know if JC would be awake or not she told the guy that she could get the things into the room. He nodded and proceeded to line up her six bags he'd been carrying along the wall so no one would trip over them then left her there, refusing the tip she offered him.

Moving quickly, but quietly she opened the door and brought the bags into the kitchen. On her last trip into the room she shut the door and turned on the air conditioner low. Normally she would have the thing on full blast, being that she was from a somewhat cooler climate, but now that she was sharing the suite she figured that JC didn't need to freeze to death since he was more used to the weather.

It took some thought and some practice, but she soon had a method for getting the food and things from the raspy plastic bags into the cupboards quietly. Even with her system she still turned her head towards the couch to watch for any sign of disturbance as she moved everything.

By noon all the things had been put away.

Fearing that she might wake him up she gathered her laundry together, leaving it by the door, then took the quiet morning to go out on the porch, leaving the sliding glass door half way open, to write. On her way she threw together some instant iced tea and took her glass out with her while she scribbled thoughts in her notebook. It wasn't the most social of activities, but she was getting the work she needed to get done in between staring into the living room to see if JC had gotten up yet.

By three she still hadn't seen any activity out of him and was starting to think that something might be wrong so she decided to go in and wake him up to see if he was ok.

She didn't need to wake him up though. He was coming out of his coma-like state when she pushed the door closed behind her, keeping the air conditioning in. "Hey."

"Morning," he said.

"Afternoon actually."

He pushed himself up and ran his hands through his hair scratching at his scalp as if the friction would get his brain working faster. "What time is it?"

She looked at the clock on the VCR. "Just after three."

"Damn." He yawned and pushed himself up to a standing position. "What have you been up to?"

"I sat out for a while and I went down to the store and got some food and stuff so we don't have to eat out if we don't want to. I was about to go see about doing some laundry if you have any that needs to be done."

"No," he said, "I'm good." He looked around for a minute then moved towards the bedroom, pulling his shirt off as he went, "I'm gonna jump in the shower then maybe see about finding something to do for the rest of the afternoon so don't forget your key."

"I won't," she said and watched his bare back retreat around the corner.

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The groggy feeling that he'd woken up with didn't leave until long after his shower. He was dressed and had plopped down in front of the television to call in to check his messages when his head finally seemed clear enough to think.

"Hey," Alex's voice came through the line with a slight hint of sarcasm to it, like always. It was a good thing to hear. If he'd sounded worried he would know that Bobbie had been giving him trouble. "Bobbie is out of the house. I don't know if she took any of your shit with her, but she's gone and I have the key. I've got the alarm on and I called and changed the password so she can't get in, like you said...so I guess we're back to the regular tour schedule. I'll check the place out every so often and grab your mail or whatever for you."

JC knew that Alex was a god. He was as close to him as a brother and JC knew that one of these days he was going to have to pay him back. He'd have to think about getting him a present or something. He'd already gotten most of the things he needed for the studio so he'd have to think hard on this one for a while to find the right gift.

"JC," the voice on the message said and he took a deep breath. He'd been deleting all of her messages so far, but he decided to listen to this one, just in case it was important. "JC I gave my key to Alex so I guess this is good-bye. I'll be staying at my parents and you know my cell number if you need to get in touch with me. I still don't understand all of this, but I guess it's for the best."

He clicked it off before she could say anything more. He didn't want to hear the sob story or whatever about her being the lonely girlfriend left at home. He'd heard it too often in the last few months and didn't need to hear it again.

"Hey Jace," the comical voice of his younger voice said, "So mom says you're in Key Largo with Farzana. I hope you're having fun because she's driving everyone up here nuts. Oh...and Bobbie has called me like six times. I didn't tell her anything, but you should give Heather a call. She was worried about you too."

Taking a deep breath JC clicked along to the next message.

"C," the next voice said, "Where in the freaking world are you man? I though LA, but I got the machine there and got the machine in Orlando so I called your mamma and she of course says you're being a hermit. Call me and tell me where you are and we'll party like rock stars...oh wait...we are rock stars! Ugh...Busta, damn it. C...some advice. Never get a dog. Busta just sat his fat ass on my shoe and shit on me." A laugh escaped his mouth as he heard Chris pick up the dog and run to the back of his house with him scolding him the whole way. "Cya!" Chris finally said and the line went dead.

Finding himself a little overwhelmed by the messages he went back through and deleted the ones he'd listened to then went in search of a pen. He needed to make a list of people to call back. He found his day planner in his backpack and pulled it out to an open page then went in search for a pen. He normally kept one in the book, but it must have fallen out.

The first one he found as he dialed his brother's cell phone was his lucky writing pen. The one he'd left by the keyboard. When he reached for it his hand hit into the instrument and he pulled his hand back as if he'd been burned.

"Hello?" the voice on the line said, "JC you there?"

Finally JC answered his brother knowing that he'd get worried if he got a call coming in from his cell phone, but no one said a word. "Hey T," he said, "Sorry about that. I got distracted."

"So where are you?"

"Key Largo Resort...I think it's the Marriot."

"You think it's the Marriot?"

"I had it booked for me. All I know is that I'm here and I'm in my room."

"Penthouse?" he asked.

"Yeah."

"Damn...just you down there with all those women...oh wait...you're with Farzana aren't you?"

"I'm here with her, but I'm not WITH her," he stressed the point with his voice as he moved back to his seat on the couch to start his list of people to call back.

"It's all in the details," Tyler said with a laugh, "So what happened with you and the Boobster?"

"Don't call her that man," JC said putting his pen down to rub his forehead, "That's not cool."

Tyler was silent for a moment, "You two aren't a couple so what's the difference."

"Just don't talk shit ok T," JC said, "You know how the press gets."

"You're not the press the last time I checked," Tyler spat at him, "I just wondered what happened."

"You know what happened," he said, "The same thing that happened last time I came home from the tour. She freakes out when I'm not there then freaks out when I am there. Its a never ending battle so this time I told her to move out and that it was finally over."

"Just booted her like that?"

"I gave her a few days notice," he said, "She moved home...she already called me to tell me where I could find her if I wanted her."

"Can I have her?" Tyler asked.

"That's not funny at all T," JC said, "I wouldn't wish her on you...too much drama with that one."

"I KNOW," Tyler agreed.

"So what are you up to now that you're not on the road?" he asked his brother.

"I start classes next week," he said, "I'm gonna fit in a semester of school so mom doesn't bitch before you guys go back out on the road."

"Going to Maryland or Virgina?" JC asked.

"Both actually," he said, "I have one business class at one campus and a math class at the other."

"That's good," JC said, "I'm proud of you for doing that...I wish I could get into school or something, but I don't have time to."

"You'll get back," Tyler said knowing that JC always had wanted to take college classes, "One of these days."

"Yeah," JC said, "Could be sooner than later."

His brother's shock came out immediately. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"Laryngitis." His eyes moved over towards the keyboard and he took a deep breath remembering the nights in the studio with Alex and how his voice had actually cracked when he'd tried to sing the songs they had planned to work on for the upcoming Wild Orchid album.

"You sound fine."

His head began to ache at the thought of trying to explain it all to him. It was confusing in his own head. He had writers block and he seriously hadn't been able to get a note out of his mouth. "I can't sing. I tried at Alex's and squeaked like a 10 year old," JC said softly.

Tyler was silent on the other end of the phone. "Maybe your voice is just worn out from the tour?"

"Nope. I thought about that, but I think it's more than that," JC explained and pushed himself up and went out onto the balcony, "There is something wrong with me. I mean have you ever known me to not be able to sing?"

"Like what?"

"Writer's Block."

"That always passes," Tyler laughed, "You know you always get this way when you're tired."

"No. This is serious."

"JC chill out, have a margarita or something and wait a week. You're supposed to be on vacation."

"I am," he stated.

"Well act like it then."

The door to the suite opened and JC looked over to see Farzana coming back in the room with a laundry basket with her. He waved and turned back to his conversation, "I've gotta run. I'll call Heather either tonight or tomorrow so just tell her to chill out."

"Have fun," Tyler said.

JC rubbed his forehead hoping that his brother's wishes of luck and relaxation would actually come true. At the moment he didn't feel so relaxed just yet. He had to return calls and reassure everyone that he hadn't lost his mind, which was going to be a little bit of a challenge at this point. "Good luck with school."

"Thanks," he groaned, "Back to the grind."

"Whatever," JC said, "You know you love it."

"No," he stated firmly, "Mom LOVES it. I only LIKE it."

"You know you love it," JC said and looked at Farzana as she went into the bedroom. "I'll talk to you more about it later, ok?"

"Ok. See ya."

"Bye."

JC put the phone down and scribbled a not to himself to call his sister and ask his mom about Tyler's classes a little more.

"Good calls?"

After jumping a little he turned and looked at her. "My brother..." a smiled curled onto his face thinking of how funny his brother had become lately. They used to fight a lot as kids, but now they were in a state of friendship that was comforting. "You met him I think in LA or Vegas or something like that...he's starting back to school for the semester...taking some business classes between tours."

"That's good of him to do. As much as I don't want to give up my career going back to school will be ok, but--" She sighed, "I want to go back on my own terms, ya know?"

"Yeah...Doing anything on your own terms is better than being forced to do things," he said.

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