After two more beers and with dinner in his
stomach JC asked Farzana to take a walk with him. There was a small town center
area that seemed pretty safe looking so they walked around some of the shops for
a while before catching a cab back to the hotel. It was a nice change of pace
being able to walk down the street and not look out for fans or have to remember
to include security in their decision making process.
It was early for both of them, barely ten o'clock, but they both seemed to be
ready to go to their rooms, whether it was to get away from each other or to go
to sleep, the need to be apart again seemed mutual.
"Miss Jabbar?" the woman at the counter called to her as they entered the lobby.
"Yes?" Farzana said.
"May I speak to you for a moment?" she asked.
"Sure," she replied thinking that maybe there were more messages or something
she needed to take care of. She turned to JC and put a hand on his chest,
"Thanks for dinner tonight...I'll call up tomorrow after lunch and we'll go
snorkeling or something."
"Sounds good," he nodded and turned to watch her walk to the counter before he
went to the elevator. As he rode up to his floor after doing the little security
card thing he pulled his phone from his pocket and checked his messages again.
Another ten calls had been logged in; this time only six were from Bobbie's 310
cell number. The other five were from the guys and from Alex so he dialed in and
listened to the messages as he walked to his door and let himself inside.
Most of the guys were just checking in with him to see if he was ok saying that
his mother had called them wondering if they knew anything. All seemed to be in
laughing moods so he figured he'd call them all in the morning and explain it to
them. There was no use in bothering them while they were sleeping or out
partying for the night.
It wasn't too long after he'd gotten back to his room that the hotel phone rang.
Since no one knew what room he was in except Farzana and the hotel staff he put
his cell phone down and picked up the land line phone. "JC here," he said
staring over at the keyboard again. It was still sitting in the same place still
mocking him by just being there.
"Mr. Chasez, a Miss Jabbar was wanting your permission to come up and visit
you," the person on the line said, "I just need your permission and I'll send
"Yeah," he said scratching his head in confusion wondering what she might want.
He'd thought that she'd have gone to bed. "That's fine."
"Ok, she'll be up in a moment," the person said, "Sorry to have to bother you."
"No problem," JC said and hung up the phone. He walked into the bedroom and slid
out of his clothes opting for shorts and a T-shirt instead of his jeans and more
dressy shirt he'd worn to dinner. He grabbed up a baseball hat and threw it on
backwards then walked back into the living room.
A knock on the door sounded and he answered it, but what shocked with what he
found. Farzana was standing there with a frown on her face and her arms folded
around her own middle as if she was trying hard to hold herself up. "Zana, what
happened?" he asked knowing it had to be something.
"My contract has been dissolved," she said with a blunt deadened tone to her
voice as if the news was the final blow to her.
He blinked and immediately got defensive. He didn't really have any reason for
being upset over it, but the sad look in her eyes was enough to make him want to
go and slay all the dragons in New York and Canada so that she could keep
"Somehow the label dropped me." Worry lines creased her forehead and she seemed
to be having a hard time trying not to cry. "Like immediately and since they
dropped me they've claimed that I no longer need the use of my hotel room which
means I have to leave in the morning."
"What?" he asked then almost smacked his forehead, "Come on in and tell me what
They moved into the living room and took a seat on the couch.
Farzana sat there for a long time before speaking. He wondered if he should sit
next to her and be more supportive or something, put an arm around her at least,
but she seemed to be ok for the moment so he stayed the two feet or so away from
"They've said that by check out tomorrow I should be out or I should be paying
on my own." Her mouth formed the words very carefully. JC knew the feeling. He
hated to have to explain things once they happened. "Since I don't have enough
money with me or whatever to pay the prices here I'm going to have to leave."
"You can't leave," he said, "You just got here...I mean I just got here."
"Well I have to," she said, "This isn't something that I can just wish my way
When JC's cell phone rang he looked at the caller ID and saw that it was Johnny
calling so he knew he should answer it. He could put off the others, but when it
came to Johnny he needed to be respectful and tell him what was going on exactly
when it was going on. "Give me about five minutes and--I just have to get this
real quick, but throw on the TV or whatever and I'll be back."
"Ok," she said.
JC grabbed his phone and walked out onto the balcony to talk, keeping an eye on
Farzana as she flipped through the channels. He'd expected tears or something
out of her, but she hadn't cracked yet. "Hey Johnny."
"Why is your mother calling me up and asking me where you are?" he asked, "She
knows I'm not your keeper, but I thought that I'd call and see if I could get
any info out of you for her."
JC pulled the door closed and kept his voice down as he spoke. It was a little
windy and the place seemed dead enough for someone to not hear him, but he still
didn't want the information out before he'd had a chance to deal with it all
himself. "I just talked to my mom so I'm sorry you had to call."
"Well what is she upset about?" he asked.
"She's upset because I'm not in LA," he said, "I flew to Orlando the other night
then flew to Miami and hopped in a taxi down to Key Largo."
"Key Largo," he said, "For the next few weeks."
"With who?" he asked. It was a question Johnny was allowed to ask. He needed to
know if security needed to be down there with him or if some incident might
happen that needed a publicist to take care of.
"By myself," he said. It was strange to say that aloud. Of course Farzana was
with him, but technically he was there alone, something that never happened, or
at least hadn't happened in a previous time that he could remember at the
"Where's Bobbie?" he asked. Yet another question that JC expected him to ask,
but hated to have to answer.
"She's in LA," he said slowly letting his eyes fall onto Farzana's head as it
dipped and she covered her face. He thought for a moment that he should get off
the phone, but when she sat up straight again he left her alone. "Moving out of
my house hopefully."
"And there's the key I've been looking for," Johnny said. There was a pause as
if JC was supposed to fill in the answer, but since he didn't say anything to
him Johnny filled in the gap. "So you guys finally broke it off?"
"Yeah," he said with a sigh. He turned away from the window, "I'll leave out the
gory details, but yeah, we've broken things off and I'm down in Key Largo trying
to get some R&R."
"Well if you need someone to talk to you know that Melinda or I or Ericka are
around ok?" Johnny said, "You can call us up any time."
"Actually I think I'll be fine," he said. It was nice knowing that they were all
there for him and he was sure that the other guys would be, but at the moment he
needed to process everything himself before he tried to explain it to everyone
else in his life. "I may fly up to Orlando for a visit in a week or so, just to
check in on the house and stuff there, but I'll be sure to stop by."
"Ok," he said, "Are you sure you're ok kid?"
"Yeah," JC said with a nod for effect, "I'm fine."
"Ok, well keep in touch ok?" Johnny said easing off on his parenting kick for a
"I will," he said, "I'm gonna try and pull together some songs while I'm down
here and bring some stuff up when everyone gets back together at the end of the
"Relax first JC ok?" he said.
"You know I will," JC and hung up the phone.
He moved back into the hotel's living room and found Farzana slumped over
looking more than a little tired and depressed. "You ok?" he asked.
"Yeah," she said, "I just don't know how I'm supposed to get back up to
Toronto," she said, "My ticket is through the label so I feel like they've
probably cut that off too."
"I can lend you the money if you really need it," he said, "I mean put it on my
credit card or whatever and you can pay me back later."
"No," she said, "Really, that's ok."
He was genuinely sad to see her go. He'd thought that he'd have some time to
spend with her and chat a little more. He knew that he needed to say what was on
his mind about his failed relationship with Bobbie, but he needed time and he
felt this strong urge to only tell Farzana about it.
"How about this?" Getting up he began to pace trying to think of something. He
knew that he didn't want her to leave and he knew that she needed to work on her
writing. It was the sight of the keyboard on the table that shot the idea into
his mind. "Why not stay here with me for a few days?"
"Stay here?" she repeated looking around the room as if she already didn't
belong there, "With you?"
"You said that you needed to write and--"
"I don't even have a contract any more," she stated.
"Well then stay here and write some songs and then get another manager and get
another deal," he said.
"Another deal? Like it's just that easy?"
"Come on Zana have a least a little confidence," he said, "I mean I can make
"No," she said, "If I'm doing this I'm doing it on my own."
JC held up his hands in surrender. "Hold on there girl," he said, "I'm not
trying to push something on you, but really in this business if you're gonna get
anywhere you're gonna have to work on those socializing skills--"
"Farzana," he started.
"Uh oh," she said, "That full name again...here goes."
"Just listen to me for a second ok?" he said, "I know that you're not wanting
help right now and as admirable as that is, just take in the information I'm
giving you ok?"
"Fine," she huffed now looking angry instead of hurt.
"I'm gonna call my friend Alex who is a producer out in LA and he'll hook you up
with someone down here ok? We'll pull some songs together and we'll go looking
for a manager. I'm not going to do this for you. I'll give you a list and you
can make the calls, but at least help me help you."
Silence fell over them.
"I'm not calling you my ambassador of quan," she said.
"Help me help you," she said, "Jerry Maguire? Ring a bell?"
JC nodded and flopped down into a seat near her with a slight smile on his face.
"So will you stay?" he asked.
"Are you sure?" she said, "I mean I don't have the money to--"
"Look," he said, "The couch folds out into a bed. You can just crash in the
living room or whatever...I'd give up the bed, but you know how I am about my
sleeping...not even you could pull me away from a King-sized bed."
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah," he said, "I've got all this room and--"
"I really wouldn't be bothering you or anything?" she asked, "I mean I know you
came down here to get away."
He smiled at her, grabbed his baseball hat off his head and ran his hand through
his hair. "Actually it'd be kind of nice to have some company."
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