Spirit of Steel -- 34

Being half awake was a feeling that Justin didn't get to savor often.  Because of his long hours and intense schedule it was a rare thing for him to be able to wake up without an alarm so that morning when a few sounds finally got through the blanket of sleep he was curled in he found himself not wanting to let go of his sleep just yet.  To fight off wakefulness, he rolled over and curled his arms around his pillow to pull it up to his face.  The light in the room was bright and he found that when he moved his face to the new position that the sun was blaring off the water and straight into his face.  He didn't open his eyes yet for fear of being blinded.  "Shit," he breathed out and rolled onto his back before he remembered that Carolina had been in bed with him the night before.  His eyes flew open and he reached for the sheet, pulling it up a little as it rode lower on his hips.

"Carolina?"  he said sitting up a bit as he rubbed his eyes.  There were little crusty things at the edges of his eyelids and it took a moment to get them fully cleared from his face.  Normally he would be disgusted by the gunk in his eyes, but that morning he was glad for it.  It meant that he'd slept really hard, which was what he needed.  After last night, feeling that in love and that exhausted by their love making he wasn't sure if he'd ever get to sleep.  He didn't want to miss a moment of being with her.

The room was now empty.  It was warmer now and when he took a deep breath he remembered that he was in Hawaii and had the next few days off.  When he took his next breath it was a lot easier to breathe.  That was, until he realized that he was alone and he didn't have a clue where she was and he panicked for a moment wondering if being with her the night before had upset her in some strange way.

He looked out towards the back door and found that the door was open and the screen door had been pulled shut to keep out the bugs.  He found Carolina, already dressed and sitting on one of the lounge chairs out back waving at him.  "Hey sleepy head.  I'm out on the porch with Denosh."  She paused for a moment.  "There's shorts on the--"

He looked around for a moment for clothes.  There had been a few times that people had seen him naked accidentally, but knowing it would make everyone a little uncomfortable he needed to cover up before he moved away from the bed.  "I got them."  He pulled them under the covers with them and slid them on before moving out of bed.  He didn't bother with a shirt, instead making his way out back, only stopping to grab a cup of coffee on his way.

"Hey J," Denosh said from her spot on the porch.  She wore large sunglasses and had her hair in pig tails, a definitely younger look than she ususally had around him when they were on tour.

"What are you guys doing?" he asked sipping his coffee.  It wasn't bad stuff, but he realized that if he drank the rest of it he'd get sick to his stomach without breakfast or lunch in there with it.  He set it down on the table between them.

He didn't make eye contact with either of them for a moment.  He wasn't completely quiet about his relationship with Carolina with the crew of people around him, but having Denosh out on the porch while he clearly was naked under the sheets just inside left him feeling a bit strange.

Carolina held up the playing cards in her hand, "Playing bridge."  She had her hair up in a ponytail and was already in her bikini top and shorts, looking as if she'd probably spent some time on the beach that morning already.

"Bridge?" he asked with a laugh, "Isn't that an old lady retirement home game?"

"Well I am retiring," she said with a laugh and a dramatic flip of her hand into the air.

He watched her laughing and smiled.  "Getting starting early?"

She nodded and stuck out her tongue.

Instead of bringing it to a more playful level he found himself wanting to kiss her.  He'd pictured waking up a little differently, but since Denosh was there he really couldn't pull her back inside and show her just the way he wanted to wake up that morning.  Instead, he held himself back a bit.  He propped a hand up on the back of her chair and leaned to kiss her.  He cupped her face and kept the kiss long enough to let her know it wasn't a peck, but again something that didn't make her feel uncomfortable.  To keep the moment light, he patted her head a little.  "Are you winning?"

"I hope so," Carolina said, "I haven't played this in a while, but that doesn't seem to matter--"  She put her cards up to her mouth and spoke in a loud whisper.  "Denosh doesn't really know how to play either so if I'm winning I don't know and if she's winning she doesn't know either."

Justin couldn't imagine playing a game for fun like that.  His competitive nature was a little too much.  Lately he'd been able to curb the urge to compete with Carolina, but he knew that she was a tough girl too and they'd probably end up hurting each other or themselves in the process of having what other people wouldn't see as having fun.  "Sounds like fun."

"We're just taking advantage of the weather.  We'd all be in the snow if we were back home so--"  Denosh stretched her arms out and laughed, "Sitting on the porch seemed to be the only good way to spend the morning."

"I thought Beau was coming into town," Justin said.  He didn't want to shoo her away, but at the same time he couldn't help being selfish and keep his woman to himself.

"He's here," she said staring at her cards before looking up and rolling her eyes, "He's off playing golf with the boys--aka--having a meeting on the golf course."

Justin sighed.  If security was having a meeting it meant that someone was in trouble.  If they'd found out that he snuck out last night he would surely get a talking to.  When he agreed to have full time protection they'd signed a contract and he'd signed another one saying that he would try to follow their suggestions and rules.  "Meeting?"

"Yeah," she said seeming to see his reaction to the news of the meeting.  "Nothing serious, just going over the plan for the next few weeks."

"Oh."  He'd asked them about it later.  He wasn't sure what had happened at the club last night, if anything had happened.  Every once in a while someone would get a little too drunk and a little too impatient and end up getting into a fight with a fellow fan.  While he knew that he wasn't to be blamed for that, he still felt horrible when he heard that someone had gotten kicked out of the building before or during the show.  "Ok."

"Vacation honey," Carolina said.

He took a deep breath.  "Have you guys gone in the water yet?"  He motioned to where people were already lined up on the beach.  The waves weren't that biog and the sun was out and everyone seemed to be taking advantage of that.  "Wait, what time is it?"

"It's almost noon."  Putting her cards down she curled an arm around his leg and leaned against his hip as he stood next to her.  His hand rested against her head and he kept his eyes off the beach realizing that there were more people out there than he'd first thought.  "Do you want to get lunch in a little bit?"

"Sure," he said then crossed his arms across his chest and took a deep breath, "I should take a shower first though."

"We can just order it and have it sent over," she said.

"Oh no," he said, "I've created a monster."

"No," she laughed, "I just was thinking that you and I could have a picnic or something on the porch since Beau is taking Denosh out hiking up Diamond head."

Denosh looked up at him rolled her eyes and smiled, "He says it's the most romantic place on earth, but a few hours hike up a big hill of old volcano doesn't seem like something I want to be a part of."

"He wants to spend time with you though!"  Carolina said, "He flew all this way to hang out with you.  That has to mean something."

"No offense to boys who think traveling is romantic."  She motioned towards Justin.  "I travel enough with this boy."  She sighed.  "I just want to lay on the beach and not move for a few days."

"Oh," Carolina said with a nod, "Yeah."


"You guys stay here and battle it out."  He looked out at the water for a moment and took a few deep breaths.  There were a few people on the beach that seemed to be looking their way and for a moment he let himself buy into the paranoid feeling that he normally could push to the back of his mind.  There were fans out there.  Maybe going to the beach that day wasn't a good idea.  "I'm going to get cleaned up and I'll check you guys in a bit."

"You ok?" Carolina asked.

He nodded and moved to kiss her again.  "I'm not fully awake yet.  I need my shower."

"Ok," she nodded.  "We can order lunch when you get out."

He nodded and moved back into the room before grabbing up his stuff so he could shave and wash up.

There's a radio in the bathroom so he flipped it on.  When he heard his own voice coming out of the speakers he turned it off again and glance in the mirror.  "Vacation."  He mumbled to himself then slid out of his shorts and into the shower, moving the shower head so it would spray on the wall so he could let the water warm up before it hit his skin.

He found himself humming a bit as he tested the water and by the time he was all the way underneath it, the words came to him.

Much has been written about
The world and all its kind of loves
But the sweetest of them all
You seldom will find stories of, oh oh oh oh

He grabbed the bar of soap that was already on the holder and took it in his hand, lathering himself as more lyrics echoed in the empty bathroom.

My love lives outside my window
Clouds burst to give water
So her love can grow, oh
My love smiles to me each morning
Says she’ll never leave me and I know it’s so

La-La-La La-La-La
La-La-La La-La

A playful laugh filled the air and when he cleared the water out of his eyes he found Carolina standing in the doorway with a smile on her face. 

"Hey," he waved a wet hand at her.  With the walls of the shower being glass, half see through and half frosted, they could stand there all day and talk and not be embarrassed about it.

She put a hand on her hip and looked at him with a smile.  "What are you doing?"

"Singing in the shower," he said and thought for a moment.  "Like a NORMAL person."

"Oh," she said.

"What?" he asked, "I'm not allowed to sing in the shower?"

"No."  She paused.  "No,  I mean yeah, go ahead."

"What then?" he asked.

"I've just never heard someone who sings professionally sing in the shower."  She smiled, "I've actually never heard anyone, professional or not, sound that good when they sing in the shower."

"It sounds even better inside here," he flirted.

"Oh really?"

He nodded.  "Maybe one day I'll get you to sing the shower with me."  He turned his back so he was facing the shower head again and waited.  With a challenge like that he assumed that she would come in the shower with him.

Justin's shower song:  Outside My Window -- Stevie Wonder

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