JUST ME Part Five
EJ sat and stared at him. "Relationship? How dare you even bring that word
into this?" She paused for a moment. "You know what? I'm surprised you even
have that word in your vocabulary. Shock me, shock me."
Lance's expression was truly of confusion. "What are you talking about? Why
are you so angry?"
EJ wished she had something in her hand to throw at him. Maybe that would
knock some sense into him because it seemed that her actions so far had definitely
gone unnoticed. "You know Nick told me you were clueless but this really
takes the cake. I can’t believe that for a minute I thought that this might
work. I mean it’s been almost a year, and I wished and God forbid hoped that
"What?" He asked. She watched him scratch his head. She knew that this was
all really confusing and at the same time it hurt that he didn't remember
all the times she'd smiled at him over the last year. "A year? What are you
"A year," she said, "Yes, God Damn it! A year of my life watching you come
into Pop’s order your stuff and leave. You know I thought it was just you,
the way you would never say anything or to anyone else. I thought you were
shy or something, but really you're so caught up in yourself that...this
definitely wasn't was I expected." She scratched her head, "A year of wanting
to say something to you, to tell you how I feel. I should have known better.
I should have known that I should have just left well enough alone this small
hope that I had that you would be this amazing guy...You know what? All I’ve
learned in the last few weeks is that you’re an idiot and that I'm an idiot
for getting pulled into this little game of yours."
"Game?" He asked.
"Yes game," she said, "You know I’m sorry, but this is horrible. You may
be a rock star or pop star or whatever, but that doesn’t give you the right
to not function in normal society."
"Not function?" he asked, "I think at the moment you have no right to accuse
me of being a little out of the ordinary."
"You would say that," she said, "Because of course you're never wrong."
"Where is this all coming from?" He asked.
"You know what?" She said and turned away from him, curled into the covers.
"Why don’t you just stay here...I’m going to get a flight out in the morning..."
She started towards the door. "I don’t belong here. I never should have even
thought that I would."
"EJ you sound crazy right now," Lance said.
"You're the one who pushed me over the edge," she said.
"What are you talking about? I've done nothing but be nice to you," he said.
"Yeah right. Well you know what? It's time for me to have a little control
in this relationship and since I can see that you loving me is out of the
picture then I should just go."
"I do. I do love you, but I can’t be with you and that kills me."
"This is not love." She turned and stared at him. "THIS. IS. NOT. LOVE."
Her voice turned bitter as she stared at him.
Lance watched her. "What do you know about it?"
"I know enough to know that people who care about each other don't do things
like you did to me tonight." Tears threatened to fall, but she bit her tongue
so that they wouldn't. If she was going to get through this she couldn't
be falling all over the place crying over him.
"What did I do?" He took a breath, "What could I have possibly done in the
five minutes that I saw you tonight to piss you off this much?"
Willa looked away from him. "You hung out with Alayna all night."
"You were with Nick, what was I supposed to do? I saw the way that you guys
were hanging on each other so I thought you changed your mind about me so
"Do you even have a clue what's on my mind?" EJ asked.
He sighed. "Obviously not."
"Do you really want to know? Since I've kept it in for so long, do you really
want to hear it?"
"I have a feeling that you're going to tell me anyway so you might as well
"You know what?" she said glaring at him, "Get out of my room. Get out."
Tears started to fall down her cheeks.
"No," he said quickly. His voice was softer when he spoke again, "Tell me
what you were going to tell me."
"I don't want to now," she said, "Cuz you'll probably just use that against
"Use it against you? What are you talking about?"
"I'm talking about the fact that I've been nothing but nice to you, haven't
bugged you in any way, and you've taken advantage of that. I'm not ready
to have my love for you used against me either." Her tone was bitter as she
tried to keep a straight face and not let more tears run down her cheeks.
Lance looked at her for a moment then said, "Sit down EJ."
She stared at him. "No, just leave me alone. I don't want to talk to you
"No," he said firmly. "Just let me say one thing then I'll leave you alone."
"Fine." EJ plopped down on the bed and looked at him.
Lance sat next to her and looked her in the eyes. "If you want to go home
I can't stop you, but really I think you'll be missing out on a lot if you
"Great. Ego now too," she said.
"No," he said, "We're in Hawaii. You can be mad at me all you want--"
"I don't need your permission to be mad at you."
"That's not what I meant. Will you just stop?"
"Look, I know you're mad, but you only have three more days in Hawaii. I
want you to stay. I won't bother you if you don't want me to. I'll leave
you the hell alone, but I think the other girls would miss you and that you
would miss out on a lot if you went home."
EJ looked at him. He had flown her there and had gotten her a great place
to stay so she might as well take advantage of that since it was clear that
her trip with Lance was ruined. She still could enjoy Hawaii without him.
"Fine," she said.
"Are you going to say anything to me besides fine?"
"I haven't decided about that yet," she said.
Lance pushed off the bed and got up to leave, "I think the girls are going
to go shopping tomorrow. You should go with them. I have press stuff to do,
just in case you want to know."
EJ was still sitting on the bed when he pushed out the door and disappeared
into the hallway.
His eyelids felt as if they weighed a ton, but he didn't let them close for
very long when they started to drift shut. His eyes would close all the way
then he would come awake with a start and his eyes would go wide again. He'd
been lying in bed for almost five hours staring at the door that separated
the two rooms, braving the battle, and playing his little game.
Groaning aloud he rolled onto his back for the fiftieth time that night and
his hands gripped the sheets tightly in frustration. The humid heat in the
room that had been quenched by the air conditioning earlier in the evening
seemed to return full force. Lance had turned down the temperature in the
room, but didn't at all feel the effects that he had earlier. He’d already
kicked the covers off the bed and had taken his shirt off a while ago, but
he still felt hot.
Hot and bothered, he laughed to himself. He'd never really actually experienced
what people meant by that saying until now. His skin was covered with a thin
layer of sweat and he felt on edge. An ache in his whole body seemed to manifest
itself in his legs making it hard for him to sit still. If he didn't know
any better he would have thought that he was getting the flu, but he didn't
at all FEEL sick, he just ached. He had to roll over and reposition himself
in bed every five minutes or so because he couldn’t find a comfortable position
to lay in without having his mind drift to the room next door.
He didn't know what it was about fighting and the sexual energy that came
with it, but he couldn't get the fiery look in her eyes out of his mind.
He had planned to spend a romantic evening with EJ, a little dancing and
maybe desert back in the room, but after their fight all he'd gotten was
a headache and a restless night of tossing and turning trying not to picture
her next door.
Just after he returned to his room he'd heard her take a shower. That had
been a torture to listen to. The sound of the water made his libido go on
overdrive when he thought of her next door, naked, and in the shower.
After the sound of the shower disappeared he'd heard the television go on,
then off shortly after. He wondered for a moment if she had gotten as restless
as he had gotten. He’d paced the room while she’d been in the shower trying
unsuccessfully to think of other things. No matter what he did he still pictured
the look in her eyes earlier or what she looked like when she'd spent the
night at his house or when she'd slept on his shoulder on the plane ride
over. It all seemed so perfect
When he'd heard her out on her balcony he'd gone to the door to see if he
could see her. Hiding behind the sheer curtains he’d stood and stared out
into the darkness. With just the moonlight to see her by, she'd stood there
staring out at the ocean, hair blowing in the wind like on some dramatic
movie, wearing a long robe, for almost fifteen minutes before looking over
at his door. He'd thought for a moment that she had caught him staring, but
she didn't seem to notice him. She continued to stare at the window then
looked again at the ocean then went back into her room.
Finally, unable to stand the boredom of staring at the closed door and the
strange thoughts that had begun to enter his mind, about climbing next door
to go crawl in bed with her, he pushed himself out of bed. He moved across
the room carefully, shuffling his feet so that he didn't trip over anything.
He moon was still out and he had just enough light to see to push the sliding
glass door open to the balcony.
He stepped out, bare-chested and barefooted and moved towards the railing.
Hiking up the boxer shorts he'd chosen to wear to bed, he stopped at the
balcony wall, settled his forearms against the railing and stared out at
the ocean and beach below, letting out a tired groan
"Well at least I'm not the only one who couldn't sleep."
Lance jumped, startled by the sound of her voice coming from the darkness,
and turned to find EJ standing next door in shorts and a T-shirt watching
him. His defensive stance softened. He could see that she was now wearing
only a tank top and shorts that seemed to be pajamas. He found himself wondering
what else she might be wearing to bed these days. "Damn girl. You scared
the shit out of me."
"Sorry," she said and a scraping noise filled the air as she pulled one of
the patio tables away from the table and slid into it, "I didn't mean to."
"What are you doing up?" he asked, "I thought you would have gone to sleep
hours ago." He cut himself before he revealed to her that he'd been listening
to her all night. He figured that it would probably come out wrong if he
explained to her that he thought she'd gone to sleep after her first little
visit to the balcony.
"I couldn't sleep," she admitted with a light tone to her voice then her
voice lowered and he almost couldn't hear her say, "Too much stuff was on
"Same here." Lance moved to the edge of his balcony where it met up with
hers. He leaned against the wall, choosing to stare out at the ocean instead
of at the parts of her body that he could see of her in the moonlight as
he wander over.
"I'm--" they both started to say at the same time.
"Go first," Lance said and pulled a chair over. The two balconies were only
about three feet away from each other so he thought he'd sit on his own balcony
to talk to her. He still wasn't sure if she was upset with him still or not
so she thought he'd stay away from her a little.
"Why don't you just come over," she said after a moment.
"You sure?" he asked. She must have seen how he was leaning her way trying
to see over the wall to see her.
Lance shuffled back into his room. He looked around for a moment and wondered
if he should put on a shirt. As he was looking for his bag he hit over a
chair. Instead of picking it up he rubbed his foot then went to open the
door on his side that would lead to her room. Once it was open he knocked
on the connecting door between the two rooms. His hands began to shake as
he waited for her to open the door.
Finally, an excruciating long moment later, she opened the door and let him
in. He shuffled forward and once he was all the way inside he was stopped.
He could see in the dark what was going on, but he didn't understand what
EJ was doing when she slid her arms around him pulling herself close to him.
He got lost in the feeling of her skin against his. Her tank top was paper-thin
and her entire upper body was pressed against him.
"EJ?" he asked silently knowing he'd probably regret later interrupting her.
"Yeah," she said in a breathy voice as if she was just as nervous as he was.
Her lips found his neck in the dark and he felt her hands curling around
him, first caressing his back then sliding lower to the waistband of his
"Are you still mad at me?" he asked trying to think of something else as
her hands explored his body, running along his sides then around to the front.
"No," she said and he felt her tug at the waistband at the front of his shorts.
"Good," he said. Her admission of forgiveness gave him the opportunity he
was looking for.
He slid his arms around her and walked more into the room backing her up
until they hit the edge of her bed. "Tell me now to go away if you want me
to," he said.
"No," she said.
Lance took a breath; paused for a moment to steady his hands then reached
for her shirt. He slid it over her head then slid his arms around her until
they were skin to skin from the waist up.
They stood there for a moment holding each other, letting each other get
comfortable before Lance moved to pick her up then a few moments later they
found themselves lying on the bed. EJ lay on her back and Lance was above
her trying to stay there with her and not crush her with the weight of his
"You ok?" he asked as she seemed to settle herself under him.
"Yes," she said.
With her signal to go ahead Lance leaned and kissed her, moving his hands
to the parts of her body he'd only dreamed of touching before.
Suddenly an alarm went off and Lance bolted upright in bed. The sun was already
fairly high in the sky and he was in his room alone. The chair that he'd
thought he'd knocked over was still upright. It had all been a dream.
A damn dream that was going to haunt him for the rest of the day.
"Damn dreams," Lance mumbled. His chest vibrated from his sleepy voice and
he thought for a moment about letting the sound linger a little longer. He
had been quiet most of the morning and he almost felt like he needed to talk
so people wouldn't forget he was there. He didn't realize that he'd even
spoken aloud until JC turned his head and looked across the table at him.
"What?" Lance asked.
After some time o studying his face, Lance noticed him watching his eyes
as if he was looking to see if he had a hangover or not, JC passed him the
next thing to be signed then seemed to wait for some sign of recognition
from Lance. "Did you say something?"
"No," Lance grumbled and sunk lower in his seat. He'd been sitting there
for almost an hour and hadn't been able to get comfortable. He'd had little
sleep after the dream he'd had the evening before and was becoming a little
crabby from his sleep deprivation.
Numbly he slid his hand out and pulled the poster across to him then signed
his name wildly before capping the pen and waiting or the next thing to sign.
His nervous fingers danced over the pen and the poster as he tried to be
patient and wait until the interview was finally over.
He hadn't meant to, but his mind had wandered when he'd seen the doors on
the far side of the room open. He hadn't seen her yet this morning up until
that point, but he'd heard from the other guys that all the girls had gone
out to the beach to lay out. That of course brought to mind a picture of
her in her swimsuit lying out on a towel, probably smelling of coconut oil
instead of the Sharpie pen smell he was faced with. If he'd been alone his
fantasy of her would have played out more thoroughly, but since he was in
the midst of interviews he only got a quick glimpse of what he would do with
her if they'd been alone on the beach. It wasn't anything to be alarmed at
when the girls walked into the room, but it seemed as if their entrance wasn't
ignored. Usually when people came into the conference rooms or backstage
areas unannounced it was a shock to the system, but this wasn't like some
fans finding their way past security or something. He couldn't help but to
keep his eye on his not-so-friendly, scantily-clad, bikini-wearing guest
as she moved with the other girls into the room, across the back wall, and
"Keep your head in the game LB," JC tapped the table with the back of his
pen then slid the next item to him.
"What?" he asked startled again by his friend's voice.
He uncapped his pen and held it in his hand and stared at the poster of the
group that was staring up at him from the tabletop. It was an old picture,
way older than they should have been handing out, but the merchandising company
said that the current poster was way too popular to stop selling so they'd
continued to manufacture it even though the guys looked nothing like they
did back then.
He shifted in his seat and looked across the room at the door the girls had
left out of. What he would give to get up and go after them at that moment.
He didn't know where they were headed but it was probably a million times
better than being stuck in a conference room signing his name to posters
and CD covers all morning. Thank God they didn't have to deal with fans until
later, because he knew he'd probably not be a very good host to them at the
"Keep your head on straight man. Don't let her get to you," JC mumbled as
a few of the radio representatives gathered around the back of them to check
on their progress.
"What are you talking about?" Lance asked. He looked around the room trying
to avoid the stare that he knew JC was giving him, "Her? Her who?"
"Oh get off it," JC said then lowered his voice so that the radio station
people wouldn't hear his comment. "Everyone knows you slept in different
rooms last night. I thought you were going to put the moves on her this trip,
but I guess that all went down hill after you hung out with Alayna. I would
figure if you had two girls on your jock that you'd at least get one of them
Lance signed the poster and slid it down the assembly line with great force.
He knew that only a few people knew about last night and while they usually
kept their mouths closed, this time it seemed as if his personal life had
been broadcast to everyone in Hawaii. "Damn fucking security."
"HEY!" Wes said from over his right shoulder.
"I know, I know," Lance said ducking down a little incase Wes was closer
than he thought he was. He glanced back and found Wes giving him an angry
look, "I'm sorry."
"We're almost done here guys," Johnny called to the guys and although no
one made a sound, you could tell that the spirits of the five men at the
Ten minutes later, after finishing all the duties that were expected of them,
all the people in the room cleared out and headed to the upper floors of
the hotel. Lance's plan was to change into his swim trunks and lay out for
a while. He had paperwork to read over for FreeLance and decided that he
would sit out on the balcony to read instead of taking security down to the
beach with the others. He needed the peace and quiet and knowing his tendency
to let his mind wander that morning he thought it would be best that he stayed
away from the general public. It was one thing to be caught day dreaming
by his band mates, but another thing for something like that to happen to
him in public.
When Lance was going into his room he saw EJ coming out of hers. He was almost
inside his room when he heard her door open and against his better judgement
he leaned back out into the hallway and threw her a smile. She wore shorts
and a T-shirt now but he could see the strings of her bikini top hanging
out of the back of her shirt so he figured she was still going to lounge
around that day.
"Where are you off to?" he asked with a soft voice hoping that she wouldn't
get upset with him for bothering her. He'd promised that he would leave her
alone, but after the night before he couldn't help but want to talk to her.
Seeing her like that in his dream had definitely drawn her closer to his
thoughts rather than put him out of his misery.
"The girls and I are going to take a jeep and head up north and go to a beach
we heard about," she said as she pulled a backpack over her shoulder. She
held onto her key tightly and he could tell that she was nervous standing
there in front of him.
"Are you going to take some of the guys with you?" he asked. He really wasn't
worried about her safety really. With the group of girls with her, she would
be fine, but he wanted to try to prolong the conversation a little.
"I think we'll be fine on our own."
He thought about trying to say something else to her, but he couldn't find
something that didn't seemed forced so he backed up a foot and put his hand
against the wall. He ran his fingers over the pattern on the wallpaper. "Well
have fun," Lance said with a sigh.
He started to go into the room when he heard her speak so he leaned back
"You've got a few hours off," she said, "What are you going to do?"
"Paperwork," he said with another sigh, "I have a few contracts I have to
look over and some calls to make, but at least I can sit out back and work
on it all."
(c) 2002 Pit Pat Productions