"That was so classic. I can't believe you did a face plant in the lobby." Joey laughed loudly.

"I don't care Joey. It wasn't funny," Lance said as he pulled the hotel room door open.

"Yes it was!" Joey yelled from the hallway.

"Shut up!" Lance called back to him then pulled the door shut behind him and looked around. the place looked deserted. "EJ?"

"Hmm?" The noise came from the couch and he noticed that she was watching a movie, laying out on the couch.

"Have you been in front of the TV all day?" he asked.

"Yeah," she said and stretched. "I caught up on my Oprah and my Regis."

"Quite an accomplishment," he said with a laugh then came around and sat on the edge of the couch. He leaned over and kissed her then pulled back, "Hello my little girlfriend."

"I'm not little," she said with a sleepy smile and rubbed her eye.

Lance put a hand on her forehead. "Are you ok?"

"Yeah," she said.

"The group has a shoot around in about an hour and then we're going to lunch. We aren't going to come back here so--"

"I'm up," she said widening her eyes.

"Good one," he said and leaned and kissed her again then moved to pull off his t-shirt.

"Whoa there turbo...here for a quickie?"

"I wish," he said, "Actually I need to get changed to go to practice if you wanna come...I just have to warn you that I suck at basketball so don't expect to see me impersonating Michael Jordan out there."

"I don't think you'd look with a shaved head."

"Ha ha," he said, "Funny."

"What?" she said squinting and staring at him, "I'm not sure the shape of your head is quite right for that do."

Lance ran his hands through his hair knowing that he'd be able to take a shower later to fix it. He hated having to be so self concious about stuff like that, but it came along with the job. "What's wrong with my head?"

"Nothing," she said then stopped and tipped her head a little. "But--"

He moved his hand and tickled her side making her squirm and squeal. He pulled her up into his arms and their laughing session soon turned into more kissing. "We have to leave by eleven so I've gotta get changed."

"Ok," she nodded and sat up and followed him into the bedroom. He slid easily out of his clothes and pulled on his mesh shorts and t-shirt. He leaned and threw a pair of jeans and a shirt and a pair of shoes into his backpack then walked into the bathroom. His mind wandered through the schedule for the rest of the day, but when he got into the bathroom and saw her things next to his on the counter he stopped for a moment.

A smile crossed his face and he looked at himself in the mirror for a moment. He was dead tired and any other person int he world would have been dead tired, but he knew that what they were doing that weekend was important so he pushed on through his fatigue. As he grabbed up his things, he paused only for a moment to see that she used the same shampoo that his sister used before going back into the bedroom.

He found her sitting on the bed looking through a thick magazine with her purse already strung over her shoulder and a new outfit on. She was superwoman or something. When she saw him she turned her chin up and smiled at him.

I could get used to this.

"You're gonna wear that shirt?" she asked looking at him when he came back.

He sat down to put a different pair of socks on and as he leaned to pull on a fresh sock he glanced down at the front of his T-shirt and then looked up. "What's wrong with it?"

"You're wearing your own face on your T-shirt."

"I like this t-shirt," he complained smoothing a hand over the picture of the group on the front.

"People are going to make fun of you," she said.

"Oh really?" he asked, "I bet they'll think it's funny."

"Laughing with you and laughing at you are totally different things," she said.

"I know."

Silence fell over them for a few minutes as Lance tied his shoes. He felt her eyes on him and a smile spread over his face. He usually had people staring at him, but the look she was giving him, he could tell without looking, was one of true appreciation.

"So what do I get to do at the shoot around?" she asked then looked at him feeling like she'd just whined at him about being bored.

Lance sighed. He hated that he had to work. It wasn't the best way to spend time with him especially on such little sleep, but he knew he wouldn't have seen her if she hadn't been able to come to Las Vegas. "You can play if you want or you can hang out with all the family memebers."

"Family members?" she asked.

"Yeah." He kept his tone casual knowing full well that she didn't know about all the other people that were there. They'd practically rented out the whole floor this time. There were over a hundred people there with them, which for being on the road wasn't a record, but this time everyone was family. "My parents and everyone else's families are here and some people from back home came out to see everyone."

"Oh," she said, "Are you always going to bring family members along on our dates?"

"EJ are you mad at me or something?"

"No," she said with a whiny voice, "I don't want to whine, but I'm kinda bored and I wanted to spend more time with you today."

"Come with me to the shoot around and lunch then we'll go to the press conference and then come back here for the rest of the night...everyone is going to go out to dinner and go clubbing, but if you want to stay here we can."

"No," she said, "Let's go out tonight. I kinda missed out on dancing the night away with you in Hawaii."

"I don't dance," he said.

"You're in a--"

"That's work," he said.

"Fine," she said, "I'll go down and find someone to dance with...is Nick around?"

"Oh don't even go there," he said with a laugh and came over to her, "We'll go out to dinner and dance and then I plan to come back here and make love to you all night long."

"Two out of three ain't bad," she said with a smile and kissed him then walked away.

"Whoa...only two out of three?" he asked, "We have to eat ya know."

She made a face at him.


An hour later Lance was sitting socializing on the court with everyone when he noticed EJ. He'd thought at first that she wouldn't have fun with everyone, but when he looked over she was sitting with his mother talking with Meredith Edward's mom and a few of the other people from the neighborhood back home.

She must have felt him staring because she looked up and stared over in his direction then a moment later made her way over to the edge of the court. She had sandals on and didn't want to step onto the floor seeing that no one except people in basketball shoes were on there.

"You can come over here," he called over to her.

"My shoes," she said pointing to her feet.

Lance handed the ball off to Dante next to him and walked over to her. "Kick your shoes off."

"I'm not being out here barefoot," she said, "Someone might step on my toes."

"No they won't," he said with a smile.

She kicked off her shoes and left them next to the bench then walked towards him.

"Piggy back?" he said and turned around.

"You're not carrying me around," she said.

He turned around and pulled her into his arms, "It's the only way I get to have you all over me and be in public at the same time."

"Purely selfish reasons will get you nowhere," she said.

"But I like feeling your body all over mine," he said.

"Lance!" she scolded, "We're in public."

"I know," he said, "So hop on and I'll show you just how much fun you're missing out on right now."

EJ wasn't at all ready for what he did when she got on his back. His hands went around and grabbed onto her bottom and he took off in a small run with her bouncing along with him.

"Be careful," she said, "I did eat breakfast this morning."

"Sorry," he said.

When they joined the group standing near the foul line Lance stopped and joined back into the conversation.

"You should really get that looked at," Joey said nudging Lance.

"Get what looked at," Lance asked.

"That growth on your back," Joey said.

Before he knew what happened EJ was off his back and running after Joey. Lance laughed all the way until EJ slid on the floor and fell on her butt. She went from standing up to on her back in and instant and he found himself running across the floor and sliding onto her level before he thought twice about it.

"EJ?" he asked her. Her eyes were closed and she was lying still. "EJ open up...Emma...Open up and look at me."




(c) 2002 Pit Pat Productions