His breath could be heard in the silent room as he followed her inside.  She was pacing the far side of the room with her hands on her face taking deep breaths.  Her feet were now bare and she'd slid out of the pajama pants she'd been wearing.  The sight of her in a t-shirt, it's hemline coming just to the point where it covered most of her underwear, should have made him think of good things, but all he saw now was this faceless guy Vincent with his hands all over her.

He set the phone onto the dresser across from the bed and leaned against it.  His arms went to cross themselves over his chest and he took in a deep breath, counted to ten then let it out.  His lungs hurt and his eyes had started to water thinking about what would happen if everything was to fall apart.

"I'm sorry about the phone call," she said.

His voice cracked a little as he replied to her comment.  "It's not the phone call."  He uncrossed his arms and moved across the room to sit at the head of the bed, moving the sheets back so that he could get back into bed. He wanted to show her that he wasn't angry with her and getting back into bed seemed to be the best way to do that.

"Vincent is my lawyer," she said.  He couldn't tell what the tone of her voice meant.

"Lawyer?"  His whole body tensed.  It wasn't that he didn't like lawyers.  He'd been through enough with his own lawyers to know first hand that if they were involved it wasn't because good things were happening.  He also thought that any issues with her father's will had been handled.   "Is something wrong?"

"Just some accounting stuff that needs to be handled."  She rubbed at her eyes.  "I think we're getting audited this year."

"Then that's all you had to say," he said.  He wasn't quite sure that he believed her, but he could take than answer for a moment.

"I'm not cheating on you--"  Her voice cracked a little.  "And I hate that you would think that.  It would be the last thing on my mind to do something like that to you--to us.  We have enough crap going on between us for either of us to bring on more drama on purpose."

"I'm sorry," he said feeling truly ashamed of himself for thinking that.  He knew he could trust her, but the past had left him believing that it wasn't at all ridiculous to think that someone would want to find someone else due to the way his career kept him away.  "I'm just--There isn't an excuse for acting the way I did.  I just--"

"Can we have a truce or something?" she asked.  "I'm not wanting to avoid the subject all together, but this is supposed to be a vacation and I don't think either of us need the stress right now.  I want us to just be normal for a few days.  No restaurant talk, no show business talk.  Just us."

He nodded.  "I didn't mean to--"

"I know you didn't."  She moved to lay next to him again.  "I think we both need some sleep.  It's only the first night of the vacation.  We need to treat it like a vacation."

"That sounds good."


The sound of the ocean mixing with his soft snoring was the best way to wake up in the morning.  The was lying there on her side staring at him when the sound of a stereo in the room below them began to blast some new song by the Neptunes and a moment later she heard Justin's voice out on the balcony below them singing the lyrics.

"Shut up Justin!"  Lance's voice boomed.  He slid out of bed for a moment and pounded his heel on the floor.  He took a deep  breath.  "Turn that shit off!"  His foot pounded again and he screamed at the floor.  "Damn Justin!"

Emma started to laugh at his antics.  It was what she imagined dorm life for the two of them would have been like if they'd been roommates in college.  She had never really seen them be roommates, but she'd heard stories the night before from when they'd all lived in one house when the group had first started out.  They'd been closer than family and with that came the little petty fights that families had.  She imagined that this wasn't the first time they were yelling at each other like this.

"I hate him," Lance said with a grumpy tone.  He coughed a little and pulled his arm over his mouth for a moment then moved to lay on his back.  He turned his head and looked at her for a moment.  "Sorry about that."

"You don't hate him," she said with a smile.  She pushed her hair out of her face and moved her shirt a little so that it wasn't cutting off her circulation.  "You know that you die when those guys aren't around."

"I hate him.  I do," he said with a nod, his eyes closing for a moment, "He needs to go back to sleep."

"Well honey.  It's--"  She moved so that she could see the clock.  "It's already almost eleven."

"What?"  He rolled over and looked at the clock then lay on his back again to look up at the ceiling.  "I feel like I just fell asleep."  His arm snaked out and grabbed her, pulling her so that she was lying up against his side.

"It's because we were up at around four in the morning honey."  She leaned and kissed his neck and watched his eyes open.  He looked at her for a moment.  "It wasn't a minute, but we've been asleep for probably four hours, or at least you have been."

"It was four?" he grumbled.  "Is that a good enough reason to be mad at you?"

"No."  She put on her pouting face.  She didn't want them to be upset at each other, even if it was just playing around.

"You know I'm just kidding sugar," he said.  He moved a hand up and touched her nose.  "I couldn't stay mad long at someone that looks as hot as you."

"So I guess you'll be forgiving Justin quickly then."

"You think that guy is hot?" he asked.

"Well most of the female population of the United States--"  She put a finger to her head tapping it as if she was thinking hard.  "--and most of Canada, Mexico and I guess all of Europe and Australia think that he's good looking so I would have to say that if they all think he's cute that maybe he's got something going on."

"What?"  He was giving her that shocked face that was half serious and half joking.

"Oh my God.  I knew that it might be a rumor, but you're really jealous of him aren't you?"

"What the hell?"

"I'm kidding," she said.  She moved over him and straddled his hips.  He looked up at her with a shocked look.  She didn't like the way things were going.  "I'm kidding.  I swear it."

His hands went to her thighs and he smiled.  "I'm sure you--"  He laughed.  "--weren't."

"Just for that," she said, "I'm going to take my shower on my own.  You can go jump in the ocean."

His hands moved to her hips and kept her in place when she tried to move.  She felt a moment later the first effects of where she was sitting on him.  He was in boxers and she was in her underwear and there wasn't much in between them to keep their feelings from each other.

When she looked down at him he was smiling.  "See what you do to me?"

"Me?" she asked.  "I just said I was gonna leave you alone and go get in the shower."

"Jesus."  He sighed out.  "Do you think you could stop moving and talking about showering?"

"No," she said, "That's your torture."  She moved her hips again.  "I never said that you couldn't come with me."

"Sugar, if I go get in that shower with you I'm not going to be in the mood to be washing you and you washing me."  He stuttered out the words and took a deep breath.

"I never said that I was going to do that," she said.  She pushed against his chest and finally got herself free of him.  As she walked into the bathroom she pulled off her t-shirt and looked back over her shoulder.  "You going to go back to sleep or are you coming with me?"

She watched Lance push himself out of bed and finding himself a little off balance he stumbled towards the bathroom and while she turned on the water he slid his arms around her and pulled her under the spray of the shower with him.

"Lance you've got your boxers on and I have my under--"  She was cut off when he kissed her.  His hands seemed to be everywhere at once and when her back was pushed up against the wall of the shower she shivered from the cool tile.

"You ok?" he asked.

She nodded.  "Mmm."

There was a knocking sound on the door of the room and Lance turned his head towards the living room.


"Oh my god!"  Emma moved to hide herself behind him in the shower.  The shower doors were shut and there wasn't much that could be seen through the frosted glass, but she was still worried about being seen.  She didn't like the idea that his mom would just walk in and talk to them.  Her father never would have walked in.  He might come upstairs into her apartment and leave her a note, but it normally wouldn't yell to her because she seemed to startle easily.

It was nothing against Diane, in fact, she was glad that she and Diane had spoken that morning.  It made her feel even more relaxed about her relationship with Lance.  She just didn't like the idea of his parents finding her in the shower with him.  Of course they were adults and were allowed to be naked or half naked in a shower together, but she still felt that getting "caught" there wasn't going to do good things for her reputation with his family.

Lance curled his arms around her and faced towards the door to the outside bedroom.  "Mom?"

"Where are you baby?" she asked.

Lance's hands wound around behind him and wrapped around her middle pulling her almost naked body against his back.  He was trying to hold her still as she began to squirm, but it wasn't working too well.  "In the shower!"

She hit at his back as he spoke to his mother and shrieked a little.  "Don't tell her that."  She whispered harshly.  "She'll come in here."

"She's gonna figure out where we are," he said with a laugh.

She pressed her forehead against his back and held her breath before she let out a breath.  "Still."

"Where's Emma?" his mother asked.

Lance took a breath and turned to hug her against him.  "In here with me."

"LANCE!" Emma said hitting him.

"I'll leave you guys alone then," Mrs. Bass said.  Emma could picture her snooping around a bit and looking to see if they'd spent the night in the same bed the night before.  She knew, "I'm heading over to the resort with your dad.  If you guys don't have plans later we thought we'd take you both out to dinner tonight."

"Sounds good mom," Lance said.

"Love you baby," she said.

"Love you too mom."

Diane seemed to be stifling her laughter.  "Have a good rest of the morning Emma."

She sighed and leaned against him.  Her face was completely red by now for sure.  "Thanks Diane."

When she was gone Lance hugged Emma to him and ended up kissing her deeply.  "Nothing to worry about."

"Easy for you to say," she said, "Your parents have seen you naked before."

"Not in a few years," he laughed.

"This isn't funny," she whimpered and pressed herself against him.  As much as she hated to admit it, this was just the thing that might bring them together.  They had been up against each other, but she now really had an excuse to hug him closely.

"Sugar, you're so cute."  He rubbed his hands over her body.  "Babe we should get this over with.  You're family now.  It's gonna mean that my family--your family is going to know all about you."

Her hands pressed against his chest.  "My family?" she asked.

"Well they've kind of adopted you.  You know that, right?" he said, "Even if it's not official yet my mom already thinks a lot of you and my dad loves you too."

"Let's not count our chickens before they hatch ok?"

"Can't you just believe for a minute that things could actually be like a fairy tale?"

She was stunned at his comment.  "I have been Lance."  She leaned against him.  "I'm trying to do it more every day,  but it's not easy."

He leaned and kissed her softly.  "You deserve the fairy tale."

"I know that I do," she said.

He stared at her for a long moment before moving his hands along her arms.  He sighed a bit.  "Let's get this shower over and we'll go sit on the beach and hang out a while before dinner."


"Sugar are you ready?"

He turned just as she came out of the bathroom and sucked in a huge breath of air.

"What?" she asked.

"Nothing," he said, "Nothing at all."  She'd already started to tan from the day or so in the sun and the white dress she'd slid into after she'd taken her shower was now making her look like she was glowing.  "Sugar you look amazing."

"Thank you," she said.  Her eyes went over him once then a second time.  "I like you in beach wear."  She wiggled her eyebrows at him and laughed a little.  "If you have to wear something, that's probably the best thing to see you in."

The knock on the door made them both turn and they found the Bass family in the doorway, including Lance's sister and brother-in-law. "You kids ready?"

"Yep," Lance said and held an arm out to Emma.  She took it and smiled at him.  It made him feel more relaxed.  He knew that she was nervous about being around his family and he hoped that after tonight she'd really feel a part of it all.  He wanted her to be officially part of his family, but he was going to have to take things slow so that she wouldn't shy away from the way he wanted to make things more permanent with her.


(c) 2002 Pit Pat Productions