[[ Las Vegas -- Three months later ]]
Sin City had always been a fun place for the guys to go and spend time, but
this visit Lance wasn't looking forward to the slot machines, the clubs;
not any of the other attractions. He stepped down the few steps of the bus
and was met by security as he slid glasses over his eyes to walk towards
the door of the MGM Grand. "Is she here yet?" he asked Mike, who was walking
next to him. Most of the security crew had been sent ahead to clear things
with the hotel staff due to the unique circumstances of the weekend so he
figured that Mike would be the one to know if her flight had gotten in yet
"She's up in the suite," Mike said with a knowing smile.
Everyone knew the momentous occasion that was about to occur. They'd been
waiting forever for this day to happen, partly because they knew that Lance
needed to see EJ, but partly because they didn't want to hear him after yet
another phone call where she refused to visit. Lance had been battling with
EJ for almost three weeks about coming out to visit. She'd refused every
attempt to get her on the road and when Lance had realized that it had been
almost three months since he'd seen her he insisted that she come to town
for the Challenge For The Children events. It would be the only time on tour
where they'd be in one place for a few nights and he thought she'd at least
agree since they wouldn't be mobile that weekend. He knew she wasn't that
big on traveling and the whole commotion of his life was almost too much
for him to handle, let alone for someone else to handle.
Being on tour definitely had taken up a lot of his time. With FreeLance,
movie prep work, and the Charity Weekend he was having a hard time fitting
anything else into his schedule, but he'd made it perfectly clear that he
needed to see her in person and she finally agreed that she needed to see
"How long has she been here?" he asked looking over at Mike trying to read
his expression. He'd been witness to the huge drama that had occured when
he'd left town for tour and had been very sensitive to the situation. Mike
would be the only one to know if she was still upset now, Mike's expression
would key him into that fact.
"A few hours," Mike said casually checking his watch as he turned and scanned
It should have been an action that reminded Lance of where he was and what
he should be paying attention to: namely the crowd and not his personal life,
but it didn't. He should have been waving to everyone and looking around
to give the fans a chance to catch him on film, but truly he didn't care
what happened. He needed to get up to the suite and get his arms around her
and make sure that she was really ok. She'd told him a million times over
the phone that she was, but he'd still heard the sadness in her voice when
he called and he needed to make sure that it wasn't something permanent.
Mike nudged him and had him stop for someone to take his picture then sighed,
"When we went up to get things settled for you guys she was already there
and we got here about two hours ago."
"What was she doing? She look ok?" Lance asked.
"Dang man, you're like a five year old with that," Mike said, "She looks
fine…I mean she looks like she always did…you'd think you hadn't seen her
in years. It's only been three months."
"I know, I know," Lance said as Mike finally pushed through the front door
and headed him towards the elevator, "I'm just nervous."
"I only talked to her for a few minutes, but she seemed ok from what I saw."
Lance nodded and stepped into the elevator with a few other people, leaned
against the wall and closed his eyes as they made their way up to the top
floor. He'd been up early that morning after getting to bed late and was
starting to feel the effect of his sleep deprivation. He knew though that
he needed to stay up. If EJ was going to be with him for only four or so
days he was going to have to not miss a minute of it.
When the elevator opened up they stepped out into a small lobby area and
the woman at a receptionist-like desk greeted them. They nodded to her as
if they were old friends and went to the big door at the end of the hallway.
Mike unlocked the door and Lance walked into a living room that was just
about the size of his living room at home.
"EJ?" he called out as Mike closed him into the room, letting him be alone
to day for the first time.
Slowly EJ made her way out of the bedroom into the living room. Before she
stepped into the other room she checked herself in the mirror. She hadn't
dressed up for the occasion, but she didn't want to look sloppy for him.
Afterall, it had been a while and she didn't want him to change his opinion
of her just because of a bad first impression.
When she found him he was slipping out of his running shoes, kicking them
off with his feet as he stood and looked at the Las Vegas skyline. Her voice
failed her the first time she tried to speak, but she finally got out a noise.
When she said his name he immediately launched himself at her, leaping from
his position with only one shoe on, pulling her into his arms by slipping
his hands around her hips to hold her there. He leaned and kissed her cheek
then moved his hands from around her waist up to her face, where he framed
her face for a moment then kissed her deeply.
She finally pulled back and looked to see that there were tears running down
his cheeks. It startled her to see him this emotional. SHe'd thought about
it a million times on the plane ride there and had cried herself due to nerves
when she'd first arrived and found that she would have to wait to see him.
"Are you ok L?" she asked. She cocked her head sideways a little and let
the tears that were threatening to well up in her eyes to do so, "See, now
you've made me cry."
He nodded and kissed her again then smiled before pulling away far enough
to wipe his cheeks on the arm of his shirt without letting go of her hand,
which somehow had become entwined in hers. "I'm just--I'm just glad to see
you." He held her at arms length for a moment then pulled her in and hugged
"Are you sure?" she asked, "I hate to say this, but I think I know why you
call me so much…If I acted anything like this when you left it's amazing
that you didn't go five minutes without calling me. I would be worried about
"I'm fine," he said and kissed her cheek, "Definitely fine."
"Good," she said and waited patiently as Lance wiped her face carefully with
his fingers to rid her of the tears.
"So what is the schedule for the day?" she asked trying to change the subject.
She not only wanted to know how much time she got with him, but she knew
that she needed to prepare herself for the busy weekend ahead. If she was
going to survive this visit she knew she needed to plan for the worst case
senerio and hope for the best.
"I have the night off then Thursday I'm going to be busy almost all day,
but I made sure that I can take you to lunch and dinner then Friday we have
the concert...which sucks, but at the same time you'll finally get to see
it. Saturday is the Skills Challenge which should be fun and it's going to
be pretty casual with stuff so we can hang out. Melinda planned it so it
should be like a backyard barbeque type thing, just with an audience and
Sunday is the game. There is going to be--" He broke off his sentence, sighed,
and looked at her, "It's long and it's complicated, but I've got time set
apart for just us."
He stared at her.
"I just wanted you to be here and I wasn't sure that you'd be on that plane."
"Well I'm here," she said and held out her arms.
He let his lips curl into a smile then stepped back a little. "Turn around?"
"Because I haven't seen you in three months and I want to look at you."
"Ok, that's a little strange L," she said nervously, but twisted around so
that he could look. She'd been at home for three months now waiting for the
right time to return to his life and from the happy look on his face she
could see that she'd picked the right moment. "Why don't you grab a shower,
we'll order lunch and talk."
"Wow, look at you, making all the plans," Lance said. He watched her for
a moment, "How have you been?"
"I'm fine," she said with a nod. She prayed that he wouldn't keep asking
her that. She was ok, but asking her about it would only bring up emotions
that she was carefully tucking away for the time being. SHe could get through
the day fine without mention of what happened, but when she did she couldn't
stop crying, "You talked to me yesterday…you should know that I'm fine."
He nodded, "I just wanted to make sure... You like the room?"
"Definitely," she said, "This place is like a fairytale or something."
"Mmmm," He looked around and seemed to look at it with a different eye than
hers, as if this monstrosity of a hotel room was normal, which to him it
probably was, but for her it was something amazing, straight out of a movie.
"Well I should go shower," he said.
"Sounds good," she said and watched him. It was a shock to see his face,
his mouth moving and words coming out of it. It had been a rough three months
being in Orlando alone. They'd spoken almost on a daily basis, but being
there with him now, in the same room, she felt as if she hadn't spoken or
seen him in years.
"Honey you have to let go of my hand so you can go take your shower," she
said. As much as she knew she wanted to spend time with him, she needed a
moment away from his critical eyes. He saw things about her that she didn't
see and for the moment she didn't want to be reminded of how much weight
she'd lost or the tired look that had graced her face since she'd let him
get onto the plane that would fly him out to the first show of the tour.
His eyes fell to their hands that were still linked then his eyes flew across
the room as if he was looking for something. "Did you see my? Never mind."
His hand broke contact with hers when he went over to where his bags were
piled, grabbed up the rolling suitcase and walked towards the bedroom. As
he passed he wiggled his eyebrows at her and said, "Care to join me?"
She shook her head no to him. As tempting as it was, she knew that she couldn't
do it. She needed to talk to him first then decide how things would go from
then on in. She still thought that she wanted to be with him, but now that
they were back in the same town she thought things might be a little different
for them, due to the time that had lapsed.
"You're loss," he said with a lazy tone.
"I'm sure I can handle it," she said with a smile and made her way over to
the couch still shocked with the accommodations.
"You ok?" he asked.
"Yeah," she said, "I already took a shower when I got here and I thought
you'd want a minute alone or something since you've been crammed on that
bus since yesterday."
Lance came over around to the back of the couch and leaned over her. He kissed
her softly on the forehead, "Thank you."
"For what?" she asked looking at him and trying not to get too carried away
with the light feeling that she got from his kiss.
"For being here, for understanding," he said with a simple tone, as if it
really all could be that simple, that her being there was enough for him.
"I love you too sweetie," she said suddenly feeling the need to remind him
and herself of the matter.
"That's really nice to hear…in person," he said. He leaned and kissed her
again, "If you want go ahead and order lunch…they have really good cheeseburgers
"No white hot chocolate?" she asked.
"No," he said, "I can't cheat on Pop's like that."
She laughed, "You want me to order you a burger?"
"Yeah, if you're going to get something for you," he said before he left,
"No onions please."
"No onions," she repeated with a smile and leaned to kiss him again before
she pushed herself off the couch and followed him.
"Wouldn't want to have anything come between us," he joked breaking off to
go towards the bedroom.
She went to the tiny kitchen and picked up the phone to order. It was strange
to be there and be so normal. She'd expected tension, but wasn't running
across any so far. She thought that she might like the idea of it being a
part of this thing that they were calling an "us".
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