His eyes began to dry out as he stared out the window. His gaze alternated from focusing on the silhouette of her outside sitting in the corner of the yard and the reflection of his own face in the window. Both scenes were equally depressing. He could tell that she was crying. He knew her posture enough to know that she was slumped forward then trying to hide her face from the world. It usually worked on most people, but it had never worked with him.

Justin tried to keep his emotions in check. He wished that things were easier and that he could go to her and comfort her, but he wasn't sure that he could. He always hated when she cried, even when they'd been making love that first time it had taken all his strength to leave her alone and let things go. He had wanted to stop and hold her in his arms and tell her that things would be ok, but now all he could do was watch from the sidelines.

It wasn't his job anymore to make sure that she was ok. She'd taken that right away from him all those months ago.


He kissed her forehead and hooked her other leg around his narrow hips. "I just want you to be happy."

"I am happy Justin. I'm here with you aren't I?"

He nodded against her shoulder and turned his head to whisper in her ear. "I love you." And then he slowly pushed himself into her.

She cried softly, and whimpered against him, holding on to his back for support. Tears streamed down her face and with a little bit of a push and a small sigh on his part he broke past her barrier and glided deep within her. He stretched her to no end, and she would have literally thought she was dying if he wasn't saying what he was in her ear. And that made the world of difference.

All the while she was crying and his body was moving on top of hers, he was whispering sweet little encouraging, loving words in her ear that only she could understand.


His lips lifted into a smile as he thought of that moment. She'd told him later that his words had comforted her beyond what he could comprehend. He hadn't really said much to her that night. He'd just told her what he felt and that he loved her and that he wasn't going to hurt her.

It had been a big moment for him. He'd never been that open with anyone and he couldn't imagine being that open with anyone again. He tried to be that way with Britney, but every time he said words like that to Britney he felt guilty because he wasn't saying them to Meredith, like he always had thought he should be.


Finally he lifted his head from her shoulder, a bead of sweat feel from his forehead and hit her cheek, mingling with some of her tears. Her eyes were tightly shut and she was biting her lip.

Justin leaned down and kissed her tears and his sweat sway and then brushed his lips over her eyelids.

They fluttered open and with that one look, he was sent over the edge. He stilled above her for a moment, quietly groaning, and finally with a loud sigh that sounded a lot like her name he collapsed on to her.

After a long time, he finally caught his breath and whispered into her neck. "If only you knew how much I loved you Merebear."

She smiled and wrapped her arms around his back, holding him tightly. "Believe me Just, I know."


He wished that she had really known. He'd said that he loved her a million times after that and that fact had been what had killed him so much. Yes he had been caught in a compromising position, but at the same time he had thought that their level of trust had been where he could make a mistake like that but that she would believe his explanation and not what things had looked like.

When the knock at the glass sounded in front of him he jumped. When his eyes began to focus properly from where he'd been staring off in space he found himself face to face with Meredith with only a pane of glass between them.

She could have been a million miles away from the look on her face. She was angry and tears had been shed, as he suspected. The worst part about it was that she was only an arm's length away but there was no way to get to her. He could in reality, open the glass door and pull her into his arms, but actually reaching her would be something else.

The rough sound of the glass sliding open startled him then he watched her eyes looking up at him. "Justin move out of the way."

He wanted to say something to her, but before he could his mother spoke up, "Justin move out of the way so you two can get dinner."

Justin stumbled backwards a little and went and got in line with the rest of the family to get dinner.



[Later That Night...]

"I really had a great time," Meredith said as Lynn pulled her into a hug.

"Don't lie honey," she said, "I know it's hard for you two. I just wish you could at least be civil to each other. Our families have know each other for too long for things like this to come between everyone.

"I'll try to be better about it Lynn," she said.

"You do that honey."

When the lights from the car shown from the street Meredith turned to the door to leave. She didn't want to have Gritty come up to get her. She wanted the parting to be short and sweet, but most of all she just wanted to get home.

She rushed towards the door when she saw Justin coming in from the den. "See you tomorrow. Late day...remember?"

He nodded and she pulled the door shut behind her with a quick good-bye.

"You cried didn't you," Gritty said when she opened the door to climb into the front seat of the truck. He must have known instantly that something was wrong since she'd run out of the house the instant that he'd pulled into the driveway. He didn't wait for an answer. "What did he do to you?"

"Nothing," she said pausing in the glare from the overhead light. It was dark now and the shadows on her face from the strange angle of the light probably made her face look a lot worse that it was. She ignored him then pulled herself up into the seat and leaned back in her chair to look out the window. "How was your night off?"

"What'd he do to you?" Gritty asked.

"Nothing," she said avoiding his look, "I don't want to talk about it. Dinner was fine, I'm fine, and I just wanna go home."

When she closed the door the light had gone out in the car, but Gritty leaned over and flipped the dome light on again to look at her. "The hell you're fine. Your face is all puffy and red. Don't try to deny it. I've seen you cry too many times for you to hide if from me," he said gripping the steering wheel, "What happened?"

She groaned as tears came to her eyes again as her frustration came up again. She had gotten control of her emotions through dinner, but now, being alone again made it hard to be strong. She knew she should let Gritty know how she was feeling, but she knew that he would make it into something bigger than it was, which wasn't going to help her situation any. She needed him to be strong for her. "Please Gritty don't make me go through this. I'm tired and I need sleep and dealing with Justin is horrible and well I tried to call Adrianna and she wasn't home and mom wasn't home and basically I just need someone to talk to who isn't going to yell at me. Ok?"

"I'm not yelling at you...when have I ever yelled at you?" He sounded offended that she all of a sudden didn't trust him.

She opened her mouth to say something.

"Don't even try to find a time. You know what I mean." Gritty leaned back in his chair and took a deep breath, "Are you sure you're ok?"

"I like your shirt," she said turning towards him to put a hand on his shoulder before she removed it and turned back to stare out the window.

She could tell without looking at him that he was scowling at her, the way he scowled at her every time she tried to get out of being in a conversation with him. "Don't change the subject."

She nodded and wiped her face then reached up and turned off the dome light, "I just need to get out of here." Her voice shook with emotion as she caught a glimpse of Lynn standing in the front window watching them. "Please just take me home...I need to go home...Lynn is staring and if I know her she's going to get on the phone with my mother and then you'll have two Willis women to put up with. She'll be out here in Orlando in a heartbeat if she knows anything is wrong."

Gritty took a deep breath, one that she knew meant that he was getting frustrated with her. "Home home, or apartment home?"

"As bad as it sounds I feel like just jumping on a plane right now and going away from here. I wanna go Home home," she said then burst into tears, "Why did my parents have to move? God how pathetic does it sound right now that I don't know where my home is."

In the darkness of the car Gritty reached in the center consul and found her a tissue. He handed it to her without a word and the car was silent the rest of the way to the condo.


Just as they were entering the door to the condo Meredith's phone began to ring it's familiar tune. She pulled out the phone from where it had gone into her pocket and looked at the screen before putting it to her ear.

"Addy, thank God!"

"What happened?"

After locking up the front door behind the two of them Gritty motioned that he was going to go to his room as Meredith took a seat on the couch for a moment. She had leased furniture for the two months that she would be in town. The couch she'd gotten was like the couch at home, nice and big and puffy and she'd made sure that it was big enough for Gritty to watch football on.

Tonight though it seemed to swallow her up. She barely took up half the space of one of the three couch cushions. "It was ridiculous," Meredith said after waving to Gritty about his plans.

Adrianna laughed a little then took a deep breath, "I can't believe that Lynn had you two in the same house. I know she's a little out of the loop when it comes to her son's life, her thinking that he's still a virgin and all, but really she knows how bad it is to have you two in the same city let alone the same house."

"Yeah well that wasn't even the worst part about it." Meredith started to think of how many ways she could embarrass Justin teasing him about the conversation she'd overheard. If she was really bad she could call up the enquirer and spill the beans. "When I called you I'd just overheard Justin having phone sex!"

"EWWWEEE," Adrianna said. From her end of the phone Meredith pictured Addrianna flapping her hands trying to brush away the mental images that were coming to mind. "That's just gross. I'm sure it was with Britney."

Meredith got up and walked across to the kitchen. She needed a drink or something if she was going to talk this long. "Oh it was."

"That's sick." Addriana made a gagging noise, "Mental pictures that I don't need right now."

"Well what about me?" she said, "I totally was grossed out. I had to hear him--How you don'? like that cheesy Joey line from FRIENDS."

"He's such a sleaze like that too. Did you see the picture of them in people last week. I mean damn Justin just hire a hooker already."

"I think the worst part about it will come tomorrow when I have to face him at work...I mean how am I supposed to go into work and not think about all the stuff he was saying."

"Well what did he say?"

Meredith threw open the door to the fridge and pulled out a bottled water and cracked it open, holding the phone to her ear with her shoulder. " was like a bad porno--"

"HEY! When were you watching porno?"

A laugh almost escaped her mouth as she made her way back over to the couch to take her seat again. If she had laughed she would have spit water all over herself. This time when she sat down she slid out of her shoes and curled her legs up under her. "Hello? Boogie Nights?"

"That wasn't porno! That was just Marky Mark, I mean Mark Wahlberg stripping down."

"Same thing."

"Anyway you have to work tomorrow?"

"Yeah...I work with JC tomorrow afternoon, but tomorrow morning I have to get up at the butt crack of dawn to get my picture taken!"

"Shut so love what you do," Adrianna said.

"Tell me that after waking up at 3 to go to a shoot that will probably not start until ten in the morning."

"So who are you shooting with tomorrow?"

"Herb Ritz or something like that. I think that's who it is...I mean it was him, but it might have changed. I think Lynn is going to be there tomorrow so I'll get my schedule updated."

"Your agent better be there...what the hell good are they if they don't ever work for you?"

"Lynn works hard for me. I know it doesn't seem like it, but she does."

"If you say so."

"I do," she said, "She's not the one in that family that I have issues with. You know that."

"Don't you hate having too much of a connection to them?"

"Kinda," Meredith said with a shrug and picked at the lint on her sock, "I miss being a part of their family. I mean now I go over there or see them and everything is strained. And my parents are pissed now because this break up has messed up things between them and Lynn and Paul and Lisa and Randy."

"Girl don't go down this road again. You know this is his fault. He shouldn't have cheated on you. He knows better than that."




(c) 2000-2001 Pit Pat Productions