Let That Be Enough:   Nineteen

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JC watched Farzana's back as she slipped outside. He'd seen the look in her eyes and the change in her personality. Something had happened. He knew that talking to Melinda would help him, but he hoped that she hadn't said anything to Farzana about what they'd been talking about. He'd told her about Bobbie and everything, but he wasn't sure that he wanted Farzana to know the intimate details of what had gone on.

"You want a drink?" Melinda asked.

He waved When he reached in the refridgerator for a beer he immediately looked back at Melinda with a scowl on his face. "What'd you say to her?"

"Nothing," she said crossing her heart with a finger, "Cross my heart. She was putting her stuff away and I told her to come out here because you wanted to know what she wanted to eat."

"You swear?"

"I swear," she said turning to pull out a bottle opener out.

She threw it across to him and he opened his bottle and didn't speak to her until the level of his beer in his bottle was lower. "What's wrong with her then?"

Melinda went and grabbed a beer and took the opener from his hand then put it away. "Beats me."

When he heard a honk he looked over towards the door and could see Justin's mom's SUV pulling up. Meredith got out of the passenger seat and Jusitn got out of the driver's seat and they waited for a moment before coming in the door. Justin burst in the door with Meredith on his tail and Farzana slipping in the door behind them almost unnoticed. His friend came immeiately to him and hugged him and with a dramatic tone to his voice hugged him. "You're ok!"

"Get off me Justin," he said pushing him away.

He looked at Meredith over Justin's shoulder with an expression that screamed HELP ME. He took a breath, "I was gone for like a week. It's not like I was lost at see or one of those guys in that movie ALIVE."

"Still," Justin said, "We thought you'd--"

He read the expression on his face and knew that Bobbie was behind this reaction to him being gone. "How many times did she call you?" JC asked with a groan.

Meredith came and hugged him, "Only six times. She's a little psychotic like that, but do you blame her? You disappeared and everyone was worried about you...ok?" She leaned and kissed his cheek then moved over and curled herself around Justin.

JC was instantly jealous of the two in front of him, but he wasn't sure exactly why. Maybe it was because normally if they were all there socializing he'd have Bobbie at his side like Justin had Meredith with him. Even the loss of the act of her holding his hand was something that he missed. There was something about that kind of contact that he missed. It wasn't often that he even touched someone where the feelings weren't fake or at least held back. When he dealt with fans he hugged them and was personable, but it wasn't the same kind of physical contact that a person needed to stay sane.

Meredith looked at him strangely. He must have zoned out again. "We heard that you were in the studio today."

"Just for a few minutes," JC said then leaned and looked at Farzana who was staring at all of them. "Farzana was trying out some new songs." He waved her over and stopped to ask, "You want something to drink?" He needed to get away from the situation. If they knew that he hadn't sung a note since he'd left the tour everyone would freak out and he'd have something the size of a natural disaster on his hands.

Farzana stood with her hands crossed across her chest. "I can get it," she said.

"No," he said moving in between her and the refridgerator, "Tell Justin and Mere about the songs we're working on. I'll grab you a coke. You drink coke right?"

"Can I get a sprite?" she asked nervously touching her forehead a moment then turned to face Justin.

"Oh," he said, "Yeah right."

As he looked in the refridgerator he caught Melinda staring at him. "What?" he asked with a low voice.

"Nothing," she said with a shrug.

"So what happened to your head?" he heard Meredith ask Farzana.

"Ummm," he heard her say.

"Farzana got in a bar fight," JC said with a laugh coming back to her with a coke in his hand. He could hear it in her hesistation that she wasnt' comfortable talking about the incident so he saved her the agrivation by making something up.

"Yeah," she said, "Those Tony Lucca concerts are mad." She laughed. "That whole mosh pit was amazing."

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When silence filled the air between her and the others in the room she prayed for something to break up the tension. God must have been listening because her cell phone rang.

"Excuse me," she said and moved away from them to answer it. "Hello?"

"Baby where are you?"

"Mom?" she asked.

"Yes," her mother said, "Who do you think it is?"

"Sorry," she said, "I didn't expect you to be calling."

"Where are you?" she asked.

She cringed. She should have called and told them where she was. She hadn't even thought about it. When they'd been on the road she'd never really done the whole day to day check in thing. Her parents had her itinerary and she'd called when she could, but with her parents always wanting to have her come home she'd limited the calls to necessary ones. She and her brother had kept in better contact, but even he didn't know where she was at the moment. Her hand automatically covered her eyes for a moment. "Orlando."

"What are you doing in Orlando?" The shock in her mother's voice wasn't something she couldn't just gloss over. She was in trouble and she was going to hear about this, if it wasn't now then it would be later.

Farzana looked over at the group. Melinda was now chatting with Justin and Meredith and JC was staring at his beer bottle with wide eyes. He wasn't blinking and it was starting to scare her. "Working on some demos."

"When are you coming home?"

She looked around for a moment. This was it. If she told her mother she was coming home right away she'd never get back to New York to work on getting another deal, but if she stayed in Orlando she wasn't sure that she'd be able to support herself while she waited around for her auditions.

JC finally blinked and when he did he came over to her and put an arm around her. "What's wrong?" he mouthed to her.

"Mom can you hold on a second. I need to answer the door," Farzana lied.

"Sure honey," she said.

Farzana put her hand over the microphone and took a deep breath. "My mother wants to know when I'm coming home."

"Oh."

It wasn't his problem. She should have told him that nothing was wrong. She knew his personality well enough by now to know that he'd try to help her and she wasn't sure that she should be his shadow like she had been for the last week or so. She needed to get back on her feet and get to New York and if that didn't work out then she would go back to school like she should have a long time before. "I don't know what to tell her."

"Want me to talk to her?" JC asked.

"No," she said, "It'll just make things worse. I need to just tell her something...but if I tell her I'm coming home I'd have to leave like tomorrow. She and my father I'm sure have already gotten paper work to enroll me back in school."

JC paused only for a moment, "Tell her that you're going to be staying in Orlando with me for the rest of the month."

"What?" she asked.

"I'm hiring you for a month to...to...to be my assistant." His eyes went wild. "I'll pay you two thousand dollars to help me out until we go back out on tour."

"What?"

"Just tell her," he said, "We'll talk about details later."

Her hand dropped to her side, but her finger stayed over the microphone. "Are you sure?"

He rolled his eyes at her. "Do you want to go back and be in school by the end of the week?"

"No." The group was still talking, but Meredith seemed to be glancing over at her every once in a while checking to see what was going on with her and JC.

"Then tell her that you got a new job and that you're needed here in Orlando or wherever until the end of the month."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes...now do it."

This was probably the hardest thing that she'd done since she'd told her parents about wanting to chose music over school. She knew that her mother would be upset, not that she didn't support her, but any time she seemed to chose something other than being with her parents, they seemed to take it totally personally, as if taking something over them was a direct reflection on how she felt about them.

"Mom?"

"Yes?"

"I'm not coming home until the end of the month. JC and Lance have a position for me for the month and I'm going to work for them and work on some demos."

"What about school?"

"Mom," she said trying not to whine, "Please let me do this. Don't you get it? This is what I want to do."

JC leaned and hugged her and ended up sheilding her a bit from the looks on the other's faces. They almost looked like they were going to say something to her, but instead some more people arrived, taking the tension off her shoulders while they all greeted each other.

"I don't want to argue with Farzana, but I think you need to come home."

"Please mom," she said moving back from JC so that she could speak. "I'm an adult. Please try to remember that."

The noise grew in the room and before Farzana could burst into tears she spoke into the phone, "Things are getting crazy around here. Can I talk to you later?"

"Call me tonight," her mother said, "We haven't finished talking about this."

"Ok Mom," she said, "I love you...tell daddy and everyone else back home that I love them."

"I will." Farzana hung up and held her breath. She looked at the door and turned and started to walk outside.

"Where are you going?" JC asked grabbing her arm back just as Chris was walking in the door.

"I need to go outside," she said, "It's getting crowded in here. I'll be back."

"You ok?"

"Yeah," she said looking around for a minute, "I'll be back soon."

"Did it stop raining?" he asked.

"I don't know," she said, "Why don't you go down into the studio or something so you don't get wet?"

"No," she said with an urgent tone looking at the door. "I'll be fine."

Pushing her way out the door she walked across the driveway and found her way to the gazebo. Never in her life had she had so many decisions to make. She shouldn't have agreed to JC's plan. His head wasn't on correct at the moment. He was still emotionally unstable and being around him wasn't the best thing for either of them. He didn't need to be taking her on as a project and she didn't need to be hoping that something would happen between them when it was likely that nothing would happen.

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