Spirit of Steel 21


The radio was playing in the room and Justin was still bouncing around, high from the adrenaline of the night.  He had taken off his stage clothes instantly after getting off stage and because they were staying another day or so in Denver he slid into the shower right away to rinse off, then quickly changed into the clothes he'd been wearing before the show.

The last thing on his mind was anyone or anything outside the realm of his mind.  It was this time of night where it actually hit him that he was a big star and that he'd just performed in front of a few thousand people.

"Did you forget something?"

Justin looked up to find Todd staring at him with a half angry look on his face.  He patted down his pockets for his phone then looked around to see if he'd forgotten something.  His shoes were tied and his fly was up so he couldn't understand the look on his guard's face.  "Ummm?"

"Think hard," Todd said crossing his arms over his chest looking more and more like a parent as the seconds ticked by.

Justin had to laugh at that.  The guards really had been like father figures to him over the years.  Instead of sneaking out after curfew with his own parents, he and the other guys had played tricks and tried to get away from the security team that looked over them.  It was only times like this where he wanted to bring up the fact that he was the boss and that he didn't pay them to be fatherly like this.  He wanted straight forward answers and none of this parental crap at the moment.  Justin took a deep breath.  "What?"

Todd turned a bit towards the door and clicked his tongue in his mouth a few times.

Justin leaned and looked at the door and still didn't understand what the guy was getting at.

Having a three hundred pound man roll his eyes at a person like a valley girl really was something that could make Justin laugh, but getting it from him this time wasn't comedic.  Todd sighed and finally spoke again.  "There is a very attractive young woman standing in the hallway wondering why her boyfriend--" Todd turned and looked at Trayce who was grabbing another drink from the catering table.  "And her boyfriend's best friend left her out in the hallway."

Trayce immediately put his hands up as if he was innocent in the whole ordeal.

"Fuck me," Justin groaned and started towards the door.  He'd been feeling the high of the show and the high of the day, but his routine was so set in his mind that looking for her after the show didn't even enter his thoughts.  He didn't mean to forget her, but being in show mode put him on autopilot and he normally didn't jump off that track under long after the show was over and the buses were on the road or parked at the hotel.

"I'll get her," Todd said with a laugh.

Biting on his lip, Justin took a few deep breaths and tried to formulate an apology.  He knew that she'd be understanding about all this and from what it seemed would get upset at Todd for making an issue out of it in the first place, but he wanted to let her know that he did feel bad about slightly forgetting about her.  He just hoped now that she wouldn't bring up the fact that he'd left town a few months ago.  He hadn't forgotten her even though his behavior had been blatant about his priorities and he wanted this time to not make the mistake he'd made before.

"Well hello there," she said with a smile coming up to him.

"You're chipper?"

"Chipper?" she laughed.

"Yeah," he said hugging her.  Justin waited for all hell to break loose, but it didn't.

"My boyfriend just performed in front of a few thousand people and serenaded me with a song...why wouldn't I be chipper?"   She made a face when she said the word chipper then laughed.

"I'm sorry--"

"No worries," she said, "At least you took a shower and got changed while I was out there.  I was afraid that you were going to want to hug me and no offense to you, but a sweaty boy is not someone I want to be around--"  She lowered her eyes.  "At least if that sweat is coming from performing on stage."

"I'm outta here," Trayce said immediately and started for the door.

He hadn't noticed, but Todd and Trayce had been watching them, probably waiting for the fireworks to start.  If it were anyone else in the world he would have gotten his butt chewed out for leaving his woman out in the hall, but Carolina was different.  He sighed. That's probably why he liked her so much.  She truly did understand, or at least faked it well, that there were certain things that he had to do that were out of his control.

"Can you leave?" she asked.

"Yeah," he said looking around for a moment then grabbed up his backpack.  "You ready Todd?"

"Yep," he said and walked towards the door.

Justin held out a hand to Carolina to invite her along.

"My purse," she said as she took his hand, "It's in the bus."

"Todd?"

"Got it," he said with a nod.

Justin knew that they'd head there first and turned his brain off from everything work, following Todd with a half dazed feeling while he enjoyed holding his girlfriend's hand and the idea that he could spend the rest of the evening with her without having to do anything else for the record label or radio stations.

*****

It had taken only a few minutes to get to the bus and get her purse, but traffic had been worse than they'd expected, leaving everyone even more tired than they'd been.  "Damn I'm starving," Justin said as they entered the hotel room about a half hour later.  He walked over, slid out of his shoes and immediately reached for the room service menu.  "I'm gonna order something.  Want to eat with me?"

She came into the room with him, putting down her purse on the counter where the mini bar was.  "We should have--"  She sighed and he looked over at her.  "I'm good."

"You can order something."  He leaned and checked the clock on the VCR, "They're still open for business."

"It's just--"

"What?" he asked holding the phone to his ear and looking at her.

"It's expensive," she said.

He smiled, "My treat.  Or rather Jive Records will pick up the tab for this one."

She sighed and moved to sit on the couch, pulling off her shoes.  "Are you sure?"

"Definitely."  The menu was handed over and he set the phone down thinking that she might need a little time.  It wasn't the greatest menu, but it would have to do since they clearly would have to make an ordeal out of things if they chose to go out anywhere else.  "I've got to check my messages real quick.  I'll be right back."

She nodded and looked over the menu as he slipped into the bedroom and dialed home.

"What's wrong baby?" his mother's voice asked two seconds after the first ring.  He normally called around this time so she knew it would be him and she probably was waiting up until she hear from him.

"Nothing Momma," he said with a smile.  "I haven't talked with you in a day or so and I thought you'd want to know about me and Carolina."

"You and Carolina who?"

He sighed.  His mother was being difficult on purpose.  She knew exactly who he was talking to.  She'd grilled him about getting in touch with her for weeks now knowing that she'd be in the area.  "From next door?"

"OHHH," his mother said with a laugh.  "I thought it was some new tabloid story you were going to explain to me and tell me not to worry."

"Not this time," he said, "I just wanted to let you know that I met up with her here in Colorado like her mom suggested I do and that we've made up."

"That's good honey," she said sleepily.

"And we're probably going to start seeing each other again," he said, "I know I don't have to tell you these things, but I figured that if her name pops up on Access Hollywood or something her mom might freak out and need some support or something like that."

"What a sweet thought honey," she said, "I'm glad things are going well for you."

"Yeah," he said with a sigh feeling dumb now that he had told his mother all this.  He shouldn't have had to tell her, but he needed to celebrate with someone over what was going on.  "Anyway I'll let you go because I know it's late.  I just wanted to let you know."

"Thanks honey," she said, "Paul says hello and the boys were out here today with Randy working on your motorcycle so they say hi too."

"Dang.  I need to call all of them."

"I was just going to remind you of that," she said.

"Thanks mom."

"I'll talk to you soon honey. Get some sleep."

"I will."

He put the phone down and went into the other room and laughed quietly when he saw Carolina curled up on the couch, head down, eyes closed, with the menu still in her hand.  Her shoes were off and her feet were tucked under her.

He took the menu from her hand and when she stirred in her sleep he sighed.  "Baby?"

"Hmm?"

"Baby let's go to bed," he said.

When she nodded he could see that she wasn't about to move so he curled his arms under her and carried her into the other room.  Considering all things she wasn't that heavy, but after putting her down, her head already on the pillow and her arms curled up around it automatically, he felt tired or maybe that he was just comfortable.  He knew that the only thing he wanted to do was to get in bed with her.

Leaning over her he pressed a kiss to her forehead.  "Carolina?"

"Hmmm," she said in her sleep.

"You comfy?"

"Hmm," she said nodding with her eyes still closed.

He started to undo his own pants and pull his shirt off leaving him in his boxers.  "You want to take off your pants?"

"You," she said pushing her face into the pillow but turning her hips towards him.

He paused for only a moment as he realized what she was offering.  "Ok."

His fingers shoot as he undid her pants and pulled them down.  He got them off her feet and stood watching her for a moment.  Dressed in only her shirt and underwear and socks she looked sexy.   It was slightly perverted taking her clothes off this way when she seemed to be sleeping, but as he looked up at her face to see if he'd disturbed her and found her staring at him with a smile on her face.  She looked completely awake now.  "Having fun?"

"You little--"  He threw her pants onto the bed next to her and crawled up the bed.  She moved to lay on her back and smiled up at him.  He stretched out so it looked as if he was going to do a push up lying over her, but kept his body off hers as much as possible.  "I'm standing her thinking I'm perverted for staring at you with your clothes off and you're--"

"You can't molest the willing," she said curling her arms around him pulling his body down against hers.

"You're willing?"

"You seem to be," she said moving her hips against his.  "So I guess I could join in the fun."

"And what fun would that be?" he asked.

"A few months ago type of fun," she said.

"You didn't drink anything while I was in the bedroom did you?" he asked.

"No," she said.

He laughed a little and moved onto his forearms so he was against her, but not squishing her.  "What the hell has gotten into you?"

Her eyes lowered.  "It's not what's gotten into me but what I want in me."

"Oh really?"

"Yeah," she said and leaned and kissed him.  "I've been waiting for this for a while...soooo?"


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