Somebody Needs You 11

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She liked the way that he held onto her hand as they left the hotel and almost laughed at the idea that he would tell her to be careful as she went to the driver side of the car as she went to get into the car.  What she found the most interesting was him pulling her into his arms as she was trying to open her door and kissing her full bore as if he was trying to brand her or something with his kiss.

"What was that?" she asked.

He shrank back.  "Nothing.  Never mind."  He disappeared to the other side of the car before she could stop him from leaving her side.

When she'd closed herself safely into the car she reached across the passenger seat to let him in.  She looked around the car to make sure that there wasn't anything that he might step on or sit on when he got in and then busied herself with getting on her seatbelt and starting the car so she wouldn't stare at him.  It had been a few weeks since she'd driven around with anyone other than Spencer and Stacey and she didn't realize it until then, but having someone in her car like that was almost like having a stranger looking through her closet.

As he started to put his seatbelt on she warned him,  "Sometimes it sticks."

True to her warning he started to pull on the thing and it stopped three times before he got it around him.  "Your car hates me."

She laughed nervously, "It hates everyone.  Stacey's been trying to get me to get a new one, but I've only had Gina for like four years."  She put her hand on the dashboard and mumbled her her car to behave that night.  How embarrassing would it be for them to break down on their way to her house?

"Gina?" he asked, "Wait.  Who is Stacey again?"

"Stacey is my  best friend.  She's more like a sister to me and well we're like tweedle dum and tweedle dee.  She's Ree and I'm Lee.  It's silly really, but it works."

"And Gina?"

She rubbed the dashboard.  "Gina is my car.  She's a little temperamental sometimes, but I bought her when I first got out of high school and so she's kind of--she's got a lot of sentimental value even if she just is a little Toyota Corolla."

"That's cute," he said, "I guess I don't have that big of an attachment to my cars.  I barely ever drive them."

"Them?" she asked.

"I'm not like Justin or whatever, but I've got three because, well because I don't know--"  He stopped for a moment and sighed.  "I've got my one in Mississippi and then my truck and my car in Orlando."

She could see that strange look on his face and thought about changing the subject.  Talking money with friends was one thing, but she wasn't going to even try to delve into the subject with him.  He probably had more now in his bank account than she would have in her possession in her whole life and he probably knew that.  She figured that she'd avoid the subject instead of putting a spotlight on it.  "So what movie do you want to watch?"

"I don't know," he said, "What do you have?"

"I thought we'd go to Blockbuster near my apartment real quick and grab something.'

"What?"  He looked instantly panicked.

"Are you a Hollywood Video guy?" she asked, "I've got a membership there too."

"No," he said, "No.  It's not that--"

"Well anyway," she said with a shrug, "We'll go over there and grab a movie then head to the apartment."

"Uhh,"  He looked out the window.

"We'll be in there for like fifteen minutes tops.  You aren't going to get mobbed in the Blockbuster."

"You'd be surprised.  Meredith used to get mobbed in the bathroom."  He sighed then used a lower, sarcastically scary voice.  "They're EVERYWHERE."

"I'll protect you," she said, "I deal with people all day long at work."  She lifted her hands from the steering wheel and did the little hand motions.  "The exits are here--"  She moved her hands to point more towards the back doors of the four door car.  "--and here."

"That's good," he said, "I'll have to teach that to Loni and the guys.  They'll like that one."

"Loni is your guard right," she said, "And Justin and JC and Chris and Joey are the other guys in the group...so who is Meredith?"

"Meredith Willis.  She's Justin's fiance.  They're pregnant with their first kid.  She performed up until a few months about, maybe about two months now.  She's taking a break which I'm sure she wants to be permanent, but I think she'll eventually get back to singing."

"So who else is there?" she asked.

"Farzana--"

"She's with JC.  I know that much.  I used to like her stuff, but I love her songs even more.  I know she lives out here and I've seen her at a few clubs with performers before."

"Yeah," he said, "She's great...they're all great.  Joey's Kelly and Chris's Dani."

"So there isn't anyone for you?"

He shrugged.  "There have been in the past, but right now I'm focusing on my career more than all that.  It would be nice, but the girls never stick around long."  He looked at his watch and laughed.  "I figure you're good for another few days then you'll probably not hear from me or something and just forget about--"  He looked at her again.  "It's nothing against you or against me, but life for all of us is just not what you would call ideal for keeping people around.  Even my friends these days are getting tired of it and they've known me all along."

"Sounds kind of like me.  I'm traveling all over the place and it's hard to keep in touch with people.  Half the time I think that the only way Ree is my friend is because she's the one that keeps calling me.  It's not that I forget exactly,  but sometimes there aren't enough hours in the day and with time zones it really can mess you up."

"Exactly."  He nodded.

Moments later they pulled into the almost deserted Blockbuster parking lot.  As she turned off the engine and took her seat belt off he didn't move to do the same.  Finally she moved her hand over to do it herself.  "It's a Blockbuster, not a jail or something."

She watched his throat move as he swallowed down his nerves.  "I know."

"Come on."

Inside the place she saw him get very nervous.  It was a strange twist on things considering that the last time they'd been together, he'd known where to go and what to do and now the roles were reversed.

"Ohh," she said, "I know what we should get."  She started off across the store leaving him to either follow her or stay there in the doorway.  She went towards the comedies and then when she was facing back towards him.  "What's that movie that--"  She searched around, but she knew exactly what she was looking for.  She might have been drunker than a skunk when she saw the movie, but she'd never forget seeing that movie.  It had gotten the most comments out of them over all the other teenie movies they'd seen in the last year.  "It's not that Serendipity movie--"

"It's that movie.  The one with the guy and the Lucille,"  She waved her hand as if she was trying to pull the memory up from the ground.

She was pleased to see him come up to her and in a hushed voice say. "Maybe it's Blues Brothers.  BBKing was in that one and his guitar's name is Lucille."  He took a deep breath.  "Or there was CrossRoads that had Britney in it.  Her character was Lucy.  Or maybe it was If Lucy Fell."

"Don't die on me now. Listen, daddy knows you're tired, but daddy knows that got a few left in you. Yes you do! Yes you do!"

He groaned and covered his face.  "Oh God."

"What?"

"Nothing," he said, "I'm gonna go over and look at action movies.  Pick which one you want.  I just wanna see if there is anything out that I've missed."

"Lance?" she said as he walked away from her.  "Lance wait up.  I wasn't--I wasn't making fun of you."

"Well you know what?" he said, "Don't worry about it.  It's not like I didn't hear it the whole time the movie was running in the theaters then again when it came out on tape and DVD."

"Lance.  I'm sorry," she said.

He took a deep breath, ran his hands through his hair and sighed.  "It's ok.  I'm probably just too tired to joke around right now."

"Let's just go," She said, "I've got something we can watch at my house."

He took a deep breath and smiled.  "I'm not trying to make this difficult."

"Neither am I."

His eyes drifted closed as the sounds of the movie overtook him.  They'd been there for almost forty five minutes or so and he'd instantly felt at home.  He didn't mean to be rude, but after the day he'd had this was the first time he'd be able to close his eyes without completely ruining his reputation.  Maybe she might get a little upset with him, but during work there wasn't room for an error like that.

Lloyd Dobler:  One question: do you need someone or do you need me?
Diane Court:  I need you

He felt her move her arm from around him to scratch her face then it settled around him again.  About ten minutes into the movie he'd put his feet up onto the coffee table and she had curled up against him, half-laying on him as they watching.  Her arms hugged him around his ribs and her head was over his heart as her feet were stretched out along side his to reach the coffee table also.

"That's the best line of this movie."  Her arms squeezed him a little and she moved to touch her lips briefly against the fabric of his t-shirt.  "It's the only time I've ever seen two people be completely honest like that with each other."

Lance took a deep breath and couldn't help but have his mouth turn into a frown.  He was scared to death that if someone were to ask him that question that he wouldn't be able to tell the person the truth.  At least for him, a question like that didn't have a simple answer, no matter who he was with.

"You didn't fall asleep did you?" she asked quietly.

"No," he said and coughed a little.  There could be two ways that this conversation could go.  Either they could totally bare their souls to each other, or he could do the typical guy thing and avoid the subject with her.  He wasn't ready to let her in just yet.  He'd only known her a week or so now and it wasn't like they were a couple.  Stuff like that was couple stuff.

"This isn't boring you is it?" she asked.  He felt her pull away from him and sit up in the dim light of the room.  She moved to sit Indian-style facing him.

"No.  It's not boring at all."  He pushed himself up so he could sit with his back against the back of the couch since he'd slid down to be more comfortable while they'd been watching. "It just is interesting--"  He reached and turned down the sound on the television.  "What you said--"

"Interesting?" she said, "Interesting?  Is that a good thing or a bad thing?"

"It just says a lot about your past," he said simply trying not to turn the conversation into something that it wasn't.  "It just says a lot about the people you've been in relationships with."

"Why?" she asked, "Just because I like the idea that someone is actually truthful in a relationship and doesn't screw around about stuff that's important like that?"

"That's something in the movies," he said, "Because people --"  He sighed and looked at her.  "I've just been in a few relationships a question like that has come up and it always seems that the answer is someone instead of you."

"Why is that?" she said, "I know a lot of guys who are like that too."

"I'm not sure we know each other well enough to talk about this."  He pushed himself up and started to get up.  He was about to get up to get a drink when she pulled at his arm.

"Why not?" she asked.

"Why?  Why?"  He sat back down, this time with his feet on the floor.  "Because Colleen.  I don't talk about this stuff with the friends I've had for my whole life, let alone someone I just met."

"She really messed you up," she said, "Whoever it was that screwed you over really really did a great job."

"Whatever."  He started to feel anger rising in him.  He hated that she was so right about him, that it had been so easy to read him like that.

"I'm not gonna sell it to the tabloids."  She sighed and rolled her shoulders.  "It takes one to know one.  We're kindred spirits."

He gave her an odd look.  If she started to turn into a hippy and bring out tarot cards he was going to have to leave the apartment.  He'd walk back to the hotel if he had to.  He'd probably end up walking anyway if she was going to be trying to pry into his life.  Only Carrah had that right and at the moment even she wasn't being let in.

"I am not going to make you talk about it--"  She put a hand on his arm and rubbed her thumb over the skin there.  "God knows you probably have enough people prying you for information about stuff like that."  She took a deep breath.  "But just because I know from experience that forcing someone to talk about something like that doesn't always help the situation, you can tell me all about it once you feel comfortable."  Her hand moved away from him to smooth over her hair.  "I hope we get to that point, but maybe we won't--Until then we'll just know that we are two people with some pretty screwed up past relationships."

He didn't say anything, but it was due to the lack of something to say.  He'd never had someone be so honest with him, or seem that honest with him.  He almost had to wonder if it was a trick.  She had no need to be that honest with him unless she wanted to get something out of him.  It was sad to think of it that way, but their situation was such that there might be some manipulation.  The other guys didn't have to deal with things like this.  They had married and dated people from their life before fame or someone who that knew what it was all about and he had this deep seeded feeling that Colleen didn't know anything about the person that he was, the way that he acted, or the life that he lived.

"Ok," she said, "If I had a pin I guess I could hear it drop."

"It's not that Colleen," he said, "I'm sorry.  I'm just tired and it's just that this topic is a lot more complicated that just spilling my guts to you about something like this...especially after what happened in New York."

"You think that I'm totally trying to make this into something bigger than it is."  She cleared her throat.  "I'm not sitting over here thinking that this is going to become a relationship or whatever, but when I meet a guy I actually like to talk to him, despite my behavior in New York and your behavior there."

"Fuck," he said, "I didn't mean to make you feel like--"  He put his hands to his face.  "I'm not good at this shit.  I'm just not.  I don't know what it is about me, but I get sooo close to doing the right things and saying the right things then end up putting my foot in my mouth--"  He turned and looked at her.  "I'm not assuming that you're in any way a slut or ANYTHING like that because of New York.  It takes two to tango and all that shit.  I was there and I probably took advantage of the situation,  but at the same time I'm not someone that can totally trust someone.  Shit.  Right now I probably should be in my hotel room because God knows how many women would want to be alone with me then come back at me with some story about how I'm their baby's daddy."

"All I want of you is to have a good time with you.  What exactly runs under that title, that topic, whatever you want to call it is up to you.  I know that your life isn't normal and I know that there have to be a lot of understanding on my part and your part on how to deal with the interaction we have with each other, but look at it this way."  She cocked her head to the side and looked at him.  "I'm on the road more than you and I'm not going to be sitting home waiting for a call from you.  I have my own life and I'll be living it.  If you want to make time for me then make time.  If not then don't, but don't walk away from it because I'm being honest and sincere with you about things."  She closed her eyes.  "That's the worst excuse I've ever heard for not being with someone."

"You're an amazing amazing woman," he said.

She moved so that she was straddling his lap.  "Its not that big of a deal.  I figure life is too short to worry about the things you don't have or might have  You should enjoy what you do have a the moment."

His hands went to her hips.  "And what's that?"

"I have an incredibly sexy man alone in my apartment--"  She moved a hand to his forehead and pushed his hair out of his face.  "I think that I should enjoy that and not worry about anything else that happened in New York or that might happen tomorrow."

"I kind of like to think about New York."  He closed his eyes and yawned.  "I wouldn't mind remembering that for a long time to come."

"I think you need to remember to sleep too," she said.

"Yeah," he said, "I probably need to do that."  He scrubbed his hands over his face.  "I should probably get back to the hotel."

She moved away from him and started to pick up the blankets that Stacey had left out.  "I can take you back any time."

"I'm not running away from this Colleen.  I know I may avoid talking about stuff, but I'm not running away."  He sighed and stood up and went over to her and hugged her, making her drop the blanket she was folding.

"I wasn't saying that you were."

"I want to stay, but Loni doesn't even know I'm gone and he freaks out when he can't find me."

"That's his job isn't it?" she asked.

"Yeah."

"So I'll take you back and we'll figure out something for the next time we see each other."

"How about tomorrow night," he said immediately.

"Tomorrow night?" she asked.

"Yeah," he said, "I don't fly out to Chicago until the morning after so maybe we can hang out."

"I can't," she said, "I'm gonna be on a night flight home."

"Well--shit."  He sighed.  "How about I call you tomorrow night then?"

"You don't have to."  She started to move away from him.

He caught her.  "I want to.  I want to stay here with you more, but I know that I can't be falling asleep tomorrow.  There is too much riding on the group and the contest to mess that up."

"Really.  It's ok."  She yawned.

Carefully he took her hand and lead her in the direction of where he expected her bedroom to be.

"Where are we going?" she asked.

"I'm gonna tuck you in then take a cab back to the hotel."

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