EJ opened an eye to look up at Lance. She was shocked first to see that he was leaned down so close to her and second that he had a scared look he was giving her. She'd knocked her head pretty hard on the ground, but it looked like he was expecting her not to wake up or something. She started to sit up a little, but lay back down when her head began to pound. It gave her a moment to look around and she was terrified of what she saw. "Am I dead yet?" she asked

She could feel her cheeks get warm when she looked up at everyone and she knew that her face had just turned pink with embarrassment. From her vantage point it seemed like the whole world was watching her, witnessing one of the most embarrassing moments of her life. Her whole purpose of this trip, besides seeing Lance of course, was to try out living as his girlfriend with him instead of being back at home, but she felt that she wasn't making a good first impression. "This has got to be hell...Think I'm make Entertainment Tonight with that fall?"

"You'll make funniest home videos," Chris piped up with suddenly appearing above her. "I think Steve caught it on tape...think I should send it in?"

"No," she groaned and moved to get up again.

Lance reached down and pulled her up and held an arm protectively around her as she sat there. "Jesus you scared me," he said with a sigh.

"Sorry about that," she said, "Didn't mean to be a complete klutz."

"No," Chris said again, "A complete klutz would have broken something."

"Chris?" Lance asked turning to face him.

Chris's eyes widened as if Lance was going to say something very important to him. "Yeah?"

"Go away!"

EJ smiled as Chris moved out of her vision and Lance pulled her up. She was still rubbing her head and he moved her hand out of the way and looked at the back of her head, "No blood, but I have a feeling you're gonna have a bump there."

"No Michael Jordan haircut for me then," she joked.

"I think you'd need to learn how to be on the court and not fall down first," he said then looked over towards the bench, "How about we go sit down?"

She nodded and walked with him ducking her head and hoping most of the people hadn't seen what she'd just done. It occurred to her that there was press there for the event and the joke about the whole Entertainment Tonight thing might actually come true, who knows what of her life along side Lance would end up as public property.

One thing that was nice was to have Lance be so over protective of her. When he'd been on the road the last few weeks he'd called her, but it hadn't been light the night that he'd spent out on her backporch and the way he'd been so attentive to her. Now, as he sat her down in a chair and made her lean back a little then he had this look on his face, this contented look as if he truly liked being there for her. She watched him as he said that he'd be right back and as he walked down to the end of the bench. He pulled out a bottle of water and then a plastic bag. He filled it with ice and grabbed a towel that was there too and brought it all back over.

He put the drink down on the seat next to her and wrapped the bag of ice in the towel and handed it to her, "Put it on your head to keep the swelling down."

She nodded and felt her stomach twist. She suddenly felt dizzy and had to close her eyes to keep herself from losing it.

"I'm gonna go get someone to check you out," he said.

Opening her eyes she wet her lips with her tongue and smiled, "OK...I'll be right here."

As Lance walked away for the second time Diane Bass made her entrance. "Are you okay EJ?" she asked.

EJ smiled and said, "That really hurt."

"It looked like it did," Diane said.

"I'm dizzy," she said and slumped down in her chair a little.

"Why don't you lay down until Lance gets back," Diane suggested and moved over one seat so she could lie down onto the empty chair between them.

The next few minutes were pure chaos in her mind.

"EJ this is Garret," Lance was saying a few minutes later.

She looked up and stared at Lance and the paramedic.

"Is your head hurting there a little bit?" the guy asked her.

She closed her eyes, "Yeah, but if I don't move it doesn't hurt."

The guy put a hand on her arm and pulled at her a little bit to get her to face him. "Why don't you sit up for me and we'll check you over?"

"Lance make him leave me alone. My head hurts and I wanna take a nap." EJ pressed her face against the seat and curled up a little more.

"You can in a little while," he said, "Just sit up for him real quick."

EJ finally did what she was told and he began to ask her a few questions, asking her name and her job and where she was. She answer everything, but kind of slowly and couldn't help but to see the worried faces on everyone around her. "Am I gonna be ok?" she finally asked.

"Yeah," Garret said, "You should be fine." He stood up and looked at the people around them. "Have you guys ever had concussions before?"

Lance nodded and Garrett went over a list of things to do to make sure that EJ was ok.

"I don't feel good," EJ finally said to stop the conversation. All the noise was making her head hurt and she couldn't quite follow the conversation so it was frustrating her.

"Do you feel sick to your stomach?" Garret asked.

She nodded then said, "I feel like I'm gonna throw up."

"I'll take you to the restroom," Diane offered, "Well put some water on your face and see if that helps."

EJ followed her along to the bathroom and washed her face and then leaned against he wall.

Diane looked at her for a moment then pulled her into a hug. "Are you ok sweetie?"

"I think I should go back home," she said.

"I'll try and see if we can get someone to take you back or if no one can I'll go with you."

EJ nodded and took a deep breath, "Thanks Mrs. Bass."

"Its ok," she said.

"Now I know where Lance gets his niceness from," she said then paused for a moment to think. "Is niceness a word?"

"I'm not sure, but that's a nice compliment to get from you."

"Your welcome."

Diane put an arm around her and led her back to the stadium floor.

"You know what?"


"I love your son," she said, "He aggravates me to no end sometimes, but he usually has the best intentions when he's doing that."

Diane smiled at her. "I'm glad you like him."

"No," she said and stumbled a little, "I love him."

Diane just kept smiling. "Are you gonna be ok to get back to the hotel?" she asked.

EJ frowned, "My head hurts."

"I know EJ," she said, "Let's get you home.

When they got back to the main gym Lance was shooting around a little but came over. "You ok?"

"I'm gonna take her home," Diane said, "She's not feeling her best right now."

She rubbed her head, "Where did that ice go?"

"I'll grab it for you," Lance said and came running back a moment later with it. He pulled her into a hug and leaned to kiss her cheek, "I'll come back after this and have lunch with you."

"No," she said, "You have things to do...work..." She put a finger to his lips when he started to talk. "I don't want you to get in trouble."

"The only thing that could get me in trouble would be to molest you in front of my mother...as far as work goes, I'm the boss aren't I?"

"I guess," she said, "But still you have to work and this is for charity isn't it?"

"What about the charity of me?" he asked.

"We'll deal with that later," she said then paused for a moment as her head began to swim.

"Go on and have fun with my mom oky?" he said, "Watch Rosie this afternoon and relax."

EJ nodded and made her way back over to Diane.

"EJ where are your shoes?" she asked.

EJ looked down and with an embarrassed look moved away from her and went to go collect her shoes, not choosing to walk in them due to the higher heels on them. "Sorry about that."

"No trouble."

With one last look back over her shoulder she left the arena. She saw Lance, but he was deep in conversation with someone and for the first time since she had arrived in Vegas she had bad feeling about the two of them. She wasn't sure if things were going to work out with him and his schedule.




(c) 2002 Pit Pat Productions