Honestly For You 9

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When they parked in front of JC's house she took a deep breath.  She wasn't looking forward to being there other than the fact that it was going to be great to see Farzana again.  After spending most of her time with Justin,  Mari and Trina she was starved for new company.  She loved everyone who was on tour, but there was only so much a person could take of seeing the same people day in and out.

Gritty walked her to the front door, carrying her bag for her which contained a change of clothes and a swimsuit knowing that there was a jacuzzi that JC had told her about earlier.  The house that JC and Farzana lived in was on the side of a cliff so the top two floors were visible and the basement studio where he worked could only be seen as you drove up the into the hills to his street.

When the door was answered a moment later she tried to act a little shy and smiled, "Hi Farzie."

Farzana mimicked her posture and tone when she spoke back to her.  "Hi there Merey."

"And how is my award winning composer friend doing this afternoon?" she asked.

"I haven't won any awards just yet," Farzana opened up the door all the way and leaned against the door for a minute.  "But you I hear are up for some awards in the Orlando Area."

"Something like that," Meredith said with a blush then looked over Farzana's shoulder into the house.  Meredith had heard rumors that some of her songs would be up for awards in the Orlando Music Awards.  She had been trying to ignore that and keep her mind on the important things.  "Is my boyfriend around in here somewhere?"

"Thank God," Farzana said and tugged her arm and pulled her inside, "Thanks Gritty.  We'll call ya if we need ya."

"You guys behave."  He handed over her bag.  "I'll be over at TC's house so call me if you guys need anything."

"Thanks."

Farzana flung the door closed, took  her bag and threw it next to the table that held a few sets of keys and some sunglasses and pulled her along with her.  "I was about to make another round of Margaritas."

"What was that whole Thank God thing at the door?" Meredith asked as they went into the kitchen.

"You called him your boyfriend.  From the sound of things earlier he seemed to think that you wanted to break things off with him."

"What?" she said closing her eyes.  She reached out for the counter as she started to feel dizzy and sighed.  Her chest hurt when she thought about the words that had just been spoken.  She remembered the six months of torture that they'd gone through when Britney had broken them up and she wasn't about to go through that again.

"Justin and I had a heart to heart or what you can consider one considering that he's a man--"

"What'd he say?" she asked opening her eyes.  She scratched the back of her neck nervously then looked around wondering where he was.

"What's going on with you two?" she asked.

"Why?" she asked as panic filled her chest, "What'd he say to you?"

"He didn't say anything that bad," she said, "This is what I'm talking about...you guys seem really stressed out."

"That bad?" she asked.

"Calm down girl," she said and moved her physically with her hands on her shoulders through the kitchen to the dining room table.  "You and Justin seem on edge about everything.  Are you guys sleeping enough?  I know you're all about being a couple, not everyone can have sex every night.  You should sleep some too."

"We haven't had sex since Thursday--"  Meredith ran her hands through her hair pushing it back from her face.  "Thank you very much.  Now tell me what your conversation was about."

"He just mentioned that you seemed to be snapping at him a lot and I can see where he got that idea from."

"I'm not snapping," she said snapping at her then sighed and leaned and put her head onto the table top.  She put her hands flat on the surface of the table and then curled them into fists and hit the wooden table.  "I don't know what's wrong with me, but everything sucks right now and I can't seem to do anything to fix it."

"Meredith you look like you're not having any fun with this."

"I am," she said looking around hoping that no one had heard the remark.  It was scary how close to the truth Farzana was and even more scary that it had been said aloud.  It was one thing for Meredith to think about how much fun she wasn't having, but it was another to actually have someone else noticed.  She'd tried hard the last week or so to feel happy about being on tour.

Having Justin there had helped things, but it also had reminded her of so many things that she'd thought she'd be able to forget on the road.  He, along with the record executives and media all seemed to think that there needed to be a follow up album to her previous one and while she knew that it might be something she might like to do, she wasn't sure that she could handle another barage of media attention and touring.  It had crossed her mind more than a few times in the last few months to give it all up, but she'd pushed those feelings aside first when she began working with Justin on the duet and again when the one day sales of the single had gone well and then again when they'd gotten the one week sales totals.  It was hard to leave something behind when the public and everyone around you is saying that you're hte best at the work you do.

"Earth to Meredith," a voice said and a moment later warm arms were hugged around her.  "Hey you.  Why are you spacing out?"

It turned out to be JC and not Justin that hugged her.  When she realized it was him she turned and hugged him back and smiled at him.  "I went to the spa today and got a massage and I haven't been the same since.  I'm all wiggly like jello right now."

"There's always room for Jello," JC said then his eyes widened.  "That reminds me.  We should have made jello shots."

"Noooo," Farzana said, "There will be no jello shots...You and Rip ended up throwing Kool-Aid in the jacuzzi last time."

"What does Kool-aid have to do with anything?" Justin asked.

JC broke into laughter, "I didn't tell him to pour the koolaid in there.  That was Rip's idea to try to make the jacuzzi one big jello shot except he was so drunk he wasn't understanding that Kool-aid and jello aren't the same things--" JC shook his hands and made a face.  "It was a mess."

"I don't care who's idea it was," she said, "You were in New York when the guy came to clean it and were in Vegas when the bill came...thanks."

He went over to her side of the table and leaned and kissed her.  "I paid you back for it."

"Why don't you make me a margarita and maybe I'll get tipsy and forget about the jello shot incident?" she suggested as she grabbed onto his T-shirt and held him close to her.  She puckered her lips and he leaned and kissed her.  "Maybe then I'll also forget the whole idea of you shaving your chin for me today."

"Oh," he said putting his hand to his chin, "I was gonna do that."

Farzana rolled her eyes.  "Sure you were."

Meredith sat back and watched them and wished that she and Justin could joke like that.  She hadn't felt in a joking mood for a while, not since they'd been in New York the last time when they'd been having a conversation about her breasts.  Since then there seemed to be too much tension between them to even try to joke around.

JC moved a little to stand up and pointed towards the other side of the kitchen.  "I was going to, but Alex and Rip came over and we--"

"I know Josh.  You and the boys were working," she said, "You always forget." She looked over at Meredith.  "Oh.  I forgot.  I have something I want you to take a look at."  She pushed JC away and got up and run out of the room.

"Gotta love her," he said looking at Meredith.  "She really is stubborn sometimes."

"Speaking of stubborn--"  She looked around a little and didn't see Justin anywhere.  "Have you seen my boyfriend in the last few hours?"

"Yeah.  He's down with Alex and Rip."

"What did I tell you?"  Farzana said coming back in with a folder in her hands, "Margarita?"

"I'm working on it," he said then looked at Meredith, "Want one?"

"Yeah," she said.

JC went back over into the kitchen and started to pull things out as he started to make the margaritas.

"You have to hurry or I might remember that you were smoking today with Alex on the porch."

"I wasn't--"  JC said with a laugh.

His smile was wide and there was a sparkle in his eyes that Meredith was instantly jealous of.  She remembered when Justin would look at her like that and hadn't seen it in a while.  She'd seen something like it on stage, but she knew it was more for show than for real.  He wanted to make the duet look good, not make her feel good.

"Yes you were.  You just stuck your tongue in my mouth honey...it's not going to get by me...plus you smell like it."  She frowned.  "You know it's bad for you."

"One cigarette every so often isn't gonna hurt me," he said.

"Well I could start to remember about your cigar night with the guys and the ashes that got all over my planter boxes out back."

"I'm going--I'm going," he said as his hands started to move faster as he grabbed out ice and threw it in the blender.  "Show Mere your folder."  He grabbed some limes.  "Meredith distract her.  The alcohol is starting to wear off."

Meredith laughed and Farzana opened up the file and slid some papers her way.  It was lyrics and sheet music.  Meredith didn't know what she wanted her to do with them, but she started to look over the lyrics first to see what kind of a song that she was showing her.

Moments later, as she was reading, arms came around her and a kiss was placed on her cheek.  "Hey Bear."

She moved her arms to hold his arms against her and held him there for a moment trying to pull as much warmth from him as she could before he let her go, not knowing when she'd have his arms around her again.

"What are you doing?"

"I wrote a song that I thought Meredith might want to look at."

Justin pulled away from her and sat down at the table and gave what Meredith would consider a confused expression to them.  "I thought you weren't--"

Farzana seemed to be nervous when she jumped in and cut him off.  "I know she's not working today, but I wanted to make sure that she saw it just in case."

"I don't know about this."  She said.

"Sing it to her Zana," JC said.

Farzana sighed.  "Ok."

Baby baby I watch you while you sleep,
Special moments it's a treasure I will keep
I whisper sweetly I've fallen so deep
Am I dreaming this feels like make believe

Farzana got up and took the lyrics to the kitchen and pointed at the page so that JC could see them.  Meredith and Justin turned and watched them singing.

I need this love to be strong
And I will give you my all
Oh baby wanna hold the
Night back always

JC leaned and kissed her and she pushed him away and kept singing.

When I'm close to you all I need to do
Is to feel you touching me
That's the only world I need
When I think of you just like lovers do,
Keep the stars and seven seas
They don't mean a thing to me
You're the only world I need

JC and Farzana had more of the song to sing, but instead of singing it they stopped it after that stanza that they were reading.

Justin started to clap a little when they finished and Farzana leaned against JC and kissed him again.  Meredith turned back around and stared at Justin for a moment.

"It's sad that you guys don't do that on stage anymore," Justin said.

"Justin!"  Meredith said, "That was rude."  She almost felt as if he was talking to her.  She wondered what he would say about her if she told him that she wanted to quit.  She could imagine him saying that it was a waste and that he was disappointed in her.  She guessed that she would be disappointed too.  She didn't want to disappoint him.  He'd been on such a high when they'd worked together and when they sang together it was magic, like JC and Farzana had been moments before.

The difference now was that she didn't want to share that magic with anyone else.  She wanted to save those moments for herself, like when he'd sung to her then made love to her.  Moments like that were too special to share with anyone else.

**********


"Play me sumthin'."

She smiled when she felt his fingers dancing along her arm, searching for her hand. She looked over her should and saw him standing behind the couch, towering over her, smiling softly. He brought her arm straight up in the air and her fingers to his lips. He kissed them gently, causing her to grin at him.

"Will you, please?" His voice whispered up her arm and soon he was leaning over the couch. He grinned seeing her eyes and knowing she had surrendered to him.

"Oh kay." She whispered back.

At that simple response, Justin had cradled her and picked her up, bringing her over the couch and standing her up in front of him. He turned her around and pushed her towards the grand piano in the corner of the room.

Before they got there, he grabbed her waist and sat down before her, plopping her down on his lap. "Justin!" She exclaimed.

"What?" He murmured into her shoulder.

"You expect me to play sitting on your lap?"

"Yeah. Please? It's been 15 minutes since I heard you sing, I need to hear you again. So...go at it."

She chuckled at the babiness of his voice. "Ok, baby."

She took a deep breath, thinking about what she could play and finally her fingers skimmed the white keys and she pressed down and began a beautiful, blusy song.

Put on my blue suede shoes and I boarded the plane
touch down in the land of the delta blues
in the middle of the pouring rain...

"You know I love this song." His voice was quiet as she sang and played the piano. He wrapped his arms around her and continued listening.

When I was Walking in Memphis,
But do I really feel the way I feel...

Meredith kept playing trying to keep herself from feeling his lips take over her neck and his hands wander to the hem of her tee shirt.

They had been together all summer, and while they did their fair share of kissing and other stuff, they hadn't passed a limit. Meredith had set that limit, but as time went on her resolve was shrinking and she didn't know what that would mean just yet. All she knew was that she loved him, more than anything she ever had.

By now her singing wasn't as loud and her notes had slowed, and his hands and searched the skin of her stomach, rubbing her sides slowly, causing goosebumps to tickle her skin.

She stopped her playing, but didn't stop him when his hands covered the fullness of her breasts and began massaging her gently. His breath blew softly against her ear as he spoke. "Does this bother you?"

She just shook her head no and leaned back against him, for the first time, getting a feel of how his body was reacting. Just as the thought of her limit entered her mind when he head tilted back, it flew out of her mind at those simple words he muttered to her. "I love you so much, Meredith."

Her eyes slowly opened and she turned her head to see him staring at her. "I love you too, Justin." She whispered.

With it said, he pulled his hands from her shirt and held on to her as he stood up. She was sandwiched between the piano and his front. She could feel every inch of him against her back and tried not to shutter, when he twisted her around and descended his lips upon hers.

He didn't waste any time, conquering her lips that succumbed to his, and then her hands that splayed across his back in search of balance, and finally her body, which fell into his and pushed herself into him.

Finally with a soothing thrust of his tongue and brief caress of her lips, he pulled away and stepped over the small piano bench. He held out his hand for her and she looked at it, timidly.

"Do you wanna go upstairs?"

Her eyes shot to his at his question and his smiled at her tenderly. "We don't have to do anything you don't want to. You know there is no pressure from me."

After a good minute, and after staring at his hands for what seemed like an eternity, her tiny hand slid into his much larger one. As soon as their fingers locked, he squeezed her hand for reassurance, and pulled her around the bench and towards the steps, that led to his bedroom.

She let him drag her up the steps, her behind me, trying to keep up. It wasn't that he was speed walking, just his legs were a lot longer and she wasn't really trying to get there in record time.

But then before she knew it, he had stopped and she almost came crashing in his back. She braced herself, with her hands on his shoulders and gasped, not intentionally though.

"Merebear. Are you sure that you..."

She interrupted him, and slid in front of his body. "Justin, just...stop asking so many damn questions."

He smiled down at her. She smiled up at him. They both leaned forward and their lips met softly, just once.

And then after that it was pure raw emotion occurring between them. She fell into his arms and let him claim her lips over and over again. His mouth moved with hers, over hers, and finally away from hers, and made their attack on her neck. She moaned something inaudible when he picked her up in his arms and forced her to hang on to his torso as he, lavished her neck with sloppy kisses and carried her to the bed.

Once there, she slid down the length of him and sat down on the bed. Keeping eye contact with him, she slid back further, her legs straight out in front of her.

With a soft smile he tickled her bare feet, hanging off the end of the bed. She giggled and it turned into a squeal when his hands grabbed her ankles and pulled her legs around his and leaned over her. "You know, this will change a lot of things."

"I know. I want this Justin. I love you..." She paused and ran a hand over his cheek and jaw. "...Please, make love to me."

"I'll make love with you, how bout that?" He whispered, his breath on her face.

"Ok."

With that, it was almost a done deal. With a small kiss on the mouth, Justin stood up and peeled off his tight plain white T-shirt and threw it to the floor.

She stared up at him, resting on her elbows and sighed. She had seen him without a shirt on before, but this was like nothing she had ever experienced. Truth was, she had never experienced this.

Her thoughts about what was about to happen to her, to him, to their relationship bombarded her mind. And it wasn't until after he was left in his boxers and after her shirt had been removed did she finally voice her thoughts. "Justin..."

He immediately stopped everything he was doing and stared down at her navel, and stilled his hands that were working on the fly of her jean shorts. His blue eyes slowly scanned up to her face. "You want me to stop?" His voice wasn't as much a question as it was a statement.

"I'm scared."

"It's just me baby. Don't be scared."

"I can't help it." She swallowed her tears and looked away from him, not wanting him to see the worry in her face.

"Shhh..." He traveled up her body and rested on his side, beside her. He turned her chin back to him and smiled. "To be honest, I'm scared too."

"But you've done-"

"Not with you. Not with the girl that I love more than anything I've ever known. It's almost as new to me as it is to you, Merebear."

His fingers danced upon her cheek. "I'll try not to hurt you. Trust me? Please?"

**********


He was trying not to hurt her, but in the process was causing her more pain than he could ever imagine.

"What?" he asked.  "I was just trying to say that she has a good voice and she should perform."

"Maybe she doesn't want to perform," Meredith snapped.

Justin pushed himself up and walked through the kitchen.  "That's my sign to go back to the basement."

When he was gone Meredith turned back to JC and Meredith and with tears in her eyes choked out, "Maybe I should go home--"  She put a hand to her forehead when it started to ache.  "Or the hotel or whatever."

"Maybe you need more sleep or something--"  JC said.

Farzana looked at her closely then said, "Girl come on.  Let's go out on the porch and talk."

Meredith wiped her face and followed her friend out onto the porch where they dropped into lounge chairs and stretched out.  "I don't know what's wrong with him and me."

"I was right earlier," she said, "You really hate touring don't you."

Meredith's eyes filled with tears and she stared up at the sky.  The last week ran through her head.  The shows had been a high like no other, but that same high had left her feeling a little odd offstage and having Justin badgering her about going on stage and recording and working was just making that empty feeling even worse for her.  It seemed as if he knew that there wouldn't be another high like that for her unless she worked for it.  It was never like that before.  She'd had her highs and her lows, but they were never directly related to just one thing.  She had highs and lows in everything, but now it seemed that her highs and her lows in her career were directly related to her relationship with Justin and she didn't think that it was very healthy to be like that.

"I do but I dont," she said, "It's just different now.  Its bigger than anything I thought it would be, but--its too much--too fast."

Farzana moved from her seat and went and hugged Meredith.  "Girl you look like you're dying over here."

"I just want to get on a plane and go home to Orlando, but now it's not just about me or about Justin.  There's a crew of people working for me and with me and the record executives are saying that the single is doing well and Justin wants me to--"

"Calm down."

Meredith started to hiccup.  "I can't," she said, "I've been trying to, but it's--"

Farzana sat back a little.  "Girl look at me.  You're gonna hyperventilate or something."  Frazana helped her wipe her face with the edge of her shirt.  "Justin is gonna see you like this and freak out."

"That would be typcial of him.  He pushes me to the edge then I break down and he puts me back up on my feet and sends me back out there."

"You sound like you're describing a car or something at the Indy Five Hundred."

"That's what I feel like...or more like a horse or something.  God."  She pushed Farzana's hands away and stood up and began to pace.  "I can't be saying this.  You know there's a million kids over in China that sleep on the floor and only eat rice and I sit up in my tour bus and cry about being stuck with a lot of stuff to do and enough money for a third world country."

"Mere," Farzana said, "Sit down."

Meredith stared at her.

Farzana pointed to the seat where she'd just been.  "Sit down and let me explain something to you--"

"I think I'm gonna throw up," Meredith said, "I just need to go in there and tell them that I want to quit, but I can't because they'll all be mad at me."

"Are you going to listen to me?" Farzana said and repeated the pointing action towards the chair.  "I'm the one person in the world who knows what you're going through.  Remember that whole thing about JC coming to Toronto to save me from my father and me moving to New York then to Orldando and then touring--how do you think I ended up here?"

"How'd you do it?" she asked, "And how is JC not completely pissed off at you?"

"He was," she said,  "Believe me.  He was.  I'm not going to sugar coat that part of it, but he eventually learned that when I was touring I was miserable.  It wasn't good for me or him and he finally saw that if I wasn't touring and singing that I was having a lot more time on my hands to love him instead of hating him for pushing me."

"I don't hate Justin."

"No," she said, "You're confused about Justin at this point--"  She held up a hand when she started to speak.  "I can see it on your face.  You want to thank him for everything he's given you, but at the same time it's like Pandora's box.  You've unleashed this monster that wants to push you to the top."

"Exactly," Meredith said and finally flopped down into the seat, "I can't do that to him.  I can't make him think that I don't appreciate all that he's done for me.  I mean I know he started out doing this because he loves me--"

"Mere, he loves you and he's not gonna want to sit around and watch you be like this."  She sat back a little.  "I mean look at you.  You've been on the road for little over two weeks and you're looking like it's killing you to do it."

"I just wanna go home and get in bed and cover up with the covers."  She sighed, "Maybe Justin's right and this is just a PMS thing or whatever."

"Don't write it off like that," Farzana warned, "You need to do something about this."

"I need to think more about it," she said, "At least wait until the whole PMS thing passes because I know that it's coming around soon and maybe if I just wait it out things will get better."

"Are you sure?" Farzana asked.

"Yeah," Meredith said, "I think that I'm just over tired and my hormones are messed up or whatever."

"Becareful with this Mere," Farzana said, "I don't want this to get the best of you."

"It won't  If I can get through recording with him.  Get through him and Britney being together then a few more days isn't going to be anything to worry about."  Meredith gathered her courage up and walked back into the house, grabbed a soda out of the refridgerator and went down the stairs to the studio wiping her face off as she went.

lyrics Farzana shows to Meredith--Close to you by Svala --  http://www.svala.com/lyrics.html#8

lyrics that are in the flashback -- Walking In Memphis by Marc Cohn -- http://users.bestweb.net/~ecnev/mc/lyrics/wim.html  

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