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