JUST WHEN I THOUGHT -- ONE




Paradise Island, Jamaica was just that--Paradise, complete with the sounds and smells that were promised in those "come to Jamaica commercials that she'd been noticing on television since they'd chanced their plans.  When Lance had called her to tell her that they weren't going to Mexico she'd been a little more than upset, but finding out that Jamaica was their new destination was something that more than made up for the change in plans and everything that Lance had promised over the phone was coming true for her.

The moment she'd stepped off the plane and was greeted with steel drum music and a limo driver in a white island shirt and kahkis, to the moment the limo dropped her off outside the lobby of a set of bungalows of Harborside Resort she'd felt as if she'd traded her regular life for something entirely different.  She'd been used to the idea that Lance lived this way, but the people at the resort had treated her like royalty as they checked her into the hotel and made sure that she caught up with Lance and the others.

"Emma!"

She turned her head up as she and the beach clothed bell hop stepped up the steps to the second story bungalow.  She found Diane standing at the top of the steps wearing a tank top and a floral print skirt that a tourist only wore in the islands.  "Hi Mrs. Ba--Diane."

She smiled and waved.  "Come on up here girl!"

Emma smiled and moved her backpack a little on her back and hopped up the rest of the steps.  "Hi."

"Come here."  Diane pulled her into a hug then pushed the door open for her revealing the condo-suite they would be staying in.  "Come on in.  Lance and the guys went over to the main hotel for this last minute photo shoot down here, but when he gets back we're all planning to go out to this private beach where they filmed the Chilis commercial and we're going to barbeque."

Her backpack slid off her shoulder and the bell hop set her bags just of to the side of the suite's kitchen.  "Really?"

"So far no one really as found out that we're here.  I'm surprised though considering how many people are down here.  I think the count was up to almost fifty people.  It's mostly family, but we've taken up this whole building and the pink one across the way and the blue one around the corner," Diane said as she tipped the bell hop.

"Wow."

Diane stepped into the kitchen after closing the door and grabbed out a bottled water.  "Why don't you change into some beach stuff and we'll see if we can take the golf cart over to the photo shoot?"

Ej nodded and looked around a little bit.  "Sounds like a plan."  She sighed.  "Now all I have to do is figure out where my suit is."

Diane came across the room and picked up one bag.  "Come on.  Teamwork is what it's all about.  You carry one and I'll get the other."

"I didn't bring too much did I?" she asked.

"Of course not.  You'll probably be in your swimsuit most of the time, but we've got a few dinners planned and the boys will probably go over to the Atlantis and party at the clubs over there a few nights."

As they walked into the bigger of the two bedrooms EJ looked around and found that Diane was putting her things in the same bedroom as Lance's suitcases that were stacked in the corner.  They set the bags onto the bed and Diane opened up the closet opposite from the balcony that was attached to the room.  "There should be enough hangers in here, but if you need more I'm sure there is more in the other bedroom."

"Aren't you going to use those?" EJ asked.

"No," she said, "Jim and I are across the way from you guys."

"Then why did we get two bedrooms?" she asked.

Diane shrugged.  "The guys try to get places with kitchens so on the off chance that we get a minute to cook they can throw something together."

She laughed.  "I've never seen him cook anything, other than scooping ice cream at Pop's."

The smile that she got from his mother was completely sincere.  "He can do more than that, he just doesn't like to do dishes."

"Well I'll do the dishes if he cooks."

"Sounds like a plan."  Diane laughed.  "I'm gonna go call Jim an see if they're still over there.  Get dressed and we'll get some sun on you and a margarita or Pina Colada in you."

"Ok."

Diane shut her into the room and EJ took a moment to unpack her dresses and a few of her shirts.  When she went to hang up her shirts next to his in the closet she paused a moment and pulled one of his shirts to her face.  She buried her nose into it and took a deep breath.  She didn't want to be cheesey, but she'd even missed the smell of him being around her and putting herself just close to his things made her feel a million times better.

^V^V^V^V^V^V^

Justin pulled his dark sunglasses from his face and squinted over his shoulder.  "Who's the hottie?"

"Like you should be looking," Lance said before he turned around to see who all four of the other guys were talking about.  They'd been standing on a far edge of the beach taking pictures for the last hour or so and had been watching the girls on the beach making comments off and on like normal twenty something guys would do, but when he saw the girl wearing a shirt that looked strangely like the blue and white print one he'd picked up at Ron Jon Surf Shoppe in Cocoa Beach a few months before he knew that he was in luck.

"Where you going?" Joey asked putting a hand to pull him back to where they were standing.

"She's here," he said raising his eyebrows.

She was the one good thing about this trip.  Even though they'd been there for five days now instead of four, he hated the fact that they had added work the a schedule that had been totally free the week before.  While most people would have been celebrating the idea of being in the islands, but to Lance the whole idea of the trip had changed when they'd moved locations.  He'd told EJ that when they changed locations it hadn't been because of fans finding out where they were or weather concerns.  They'd gotten a call from the record company saying that they wanted to send them to Jamiaca instead and have them film side footage and do a photo shoot that would go along with the full length video of a concert that they would be filming later on in the year.

Everyone around them seemed to stop what they were doing.  The production people that were walking towards them seemed to lean a little closer to hear whatever gossip was about to be divulged to the others in the group.  "She?"

"Emma," he said and smiled turning away from his friends to walk over to her, leaving work behind for a moment to meet up with her.

It wasn't until she was in his arms and almost falling into him that it was all real to him.  He'd called her a million times in the last three weeks and this trip had been built up in his mind as another the turning point in their relationship that he was glad to see that she looked relaxed in her sandals and shirt and bathing suit.  He pulled her close, sliding his arms around her waist and kissed her quickly then kissed as much of her neck as he could get at.  "How was your flight?" he asked breathlessly.

"Good."  Her head nodded twice and she smiled at him.  Her hand went to wave to the other guys who were now staring at them and she slid an arm around him as they stood there.  "I'm sorry about borrowing your shirt."

"It's ok," he said with a laugh, "Really it's ok."

He stood back a little and looked at her.  He knew she didn't like to be stared at like that, but he couldn't help it.  She'd gotten the perfect suit for the trip and looked as if she'd been sitting out in the sun a little at home to get ready for the sun down in Jamaica.  He also had to admire the way she was showing off  and not showing off at the same time.  The blue shirt she'd picked came to her mid thigh and looked almost like a dress on her.  She'd rolled up the sleeves of his shirt a little and had buttoned a few of the buttons on the shirt, letting only a bit of the white bikini she wore show to the public.

"Are you almost done here?" she asked pointing towards the others.

"Lemme check," he said and leaned and kissed her.  He didn't want to tell her that this was just the begining.  He'd told her that they would have time alone together and he had planned some for a few days from then, but for the mean time cameras and production people were going to be a part of their lives.  "Wanna come over and say hi and see if we can get out of here?"

"Sure," she said with a shrug.

When they reached the other guys, who had now been joined by make-up people and the shooting crew EJ said hello to the other guys then stepped back a little bit as more people joined them on the small wooden decking that they were using to pose with.

"We're almost out of here," a production assistant said, "We want to get another twenty minutes of group shots since we got almost all the other shots done then you guys can go and play.  The mini cams are set up for you and we'll be staying over here while your group is on the island."

EJ could tell that the faster she got away, the faster they would be done.  She pointed a thumb over towards where a few beach chairs were set up and bit own on her lip a little.  "I'll go hang out over with your mom and dad."

He frowned and wanted to escape with her away from the madness in front of them.  "It should be too long.  Did my mom tell you about the barbeque tonight?"

"Yeah," she said, "I already packed up a bag for me and I threw in some jeans and your black RipCurl sweatshirt in there for you.  She's got your dad's stuff and some extra blankets and beach towels and everything."

"Dang."  Joey hit Lance's shoulder, "What's up with you?  It took years before Kelly was packing for me."

"Joey you better go kiss that girl," Lance said seeing that Kelly was coming up behind him.

"Why's that?" he asked.

"Because she's behind you," EJ said with a smile then looked behind him,  "Hi Kel."

Kelly smiled at everyone and slid her arm through Joey's.  "Hey there."

"Hi baby," he said and hugged her.  "Did you make sure to put on extra sun-tan lotion?"

"Yeah," she said, "I'm fine.  Are you guys almost done?"

"About a half hour," EJ supplied.  "I think if we get out of the way maybe these boys can actually earn their paychecks and we can get to dinner sooner than later."

"Sounds like a good idea."

Lance watched her walk away and found his place in the middle of the group before trying to concentrate more on the camera than the scene of EJ moving her shirt aside to show the other girls the bathing suit she was wearing.

"I'm soooo gone," he said with a hiss thinking about how in love with her he really was.  It wasn't until that moment, until he'd met her on the beach there that he'd seen who she really was and how much he really had wanted to be with her.

"What?"

"Nothing," Lance found himself under JC's stare.  He forced a smile to JC for only an instant before he licked his lips, straighted his shirt and smiled the smile he knew he needed to show the camera.



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