The walk out of the studio and the ride to the hotel was quiet. At
least it was quiet when considering the amount of conversation that passed
between her and him. He didn't know if Meredith was just tired or upset,
but she didn't say much to him as they walked. The people from MTV
had bombarded them with things as they walked out, including a stop in the
photo booth thing in the hallway before Gritty started going over her schedule
for the rest of the day with her. She'd been distracted and was probably
now a little overwhelmed with the schedule like he usually got on promo
On the street people screamed bloody murder at them calling out to them to smile and wave. Justin kept his eyes on the crowd, but could feel her hand squeeze his hard as if she might lose hold of him and get pulled into the crowd. When they were halfway to the car he looked back at her and saw her smiling and waving like nothing was wrong so he turned and led the rest of the way to where Gritty and Todd were pointing them.
As the car slid slowly through New York traffic, his phone rang three times, but after seeing the caller ID show who the people were, two calls from Johnny and one from Sonia at Jive, he ended up not answering. The fourth call was his mom so he picked it up and told her that he was in New York and that he'd see her in a few days. During his call with his mother Meredith leaned across the back seat of the Escalade and put he cheek against his shoulder. She was acting like the one who'd just flown in from Europe instead of letting him be the tired one.
When they got to the hotel Gritty and Todd escorted them into the lobby and to the elevator. They held hands, him leading the way through another crowd that seemed to have found out where she was staying. Again they waved to people with their free hands, but didn't stop for autographs. Usually at a hotel, especially in New York, he would stop with the guys, but Gritty had given him a strange look when they'd gotten out of the car and he didn't try to push the idea of autographs. He wasn't sure what exactly was going on, but he knew that if something was going on then Gritty's looks should be taken seriously.
It wasn't until inside the elevator that Justin finally showed more than a little affection for his girlfriend. He pulled an arm around her waist and pulled her back against him and leaned against the back wall of the tiny room. She was stiff in his arms for a moment, but when he placed a kiss on her cheek and smiled against her skin she took a breath and let it out, seeming to release all the tension in her body with that one breath.
"You ok bear?" he asked.
She nodded, but didn't say a word.
He didn't expect for her to say much about what was going on. It wasn't her style to complain. She'd learned early on dealing with all the other girlfriends in the group that making public displays of her feelings wouldn't be tolerated. It wasn't as if the guys were heartless and didn't want to hear what was going on with their women, but it was easier to deal with things if the general public didn't hear their opinions too.
Lately she had closed down a lot of what she said and did in public. To most people they wouldn't have noticed, but Justin wasn't that clueless. With the success of her album she'd gotten a lot of press attention and he remembered how hard that transition had been for him when the group had first started out. When they'd been a fairly obscure group he'd had a lot more freedom and Meredith was probably just now realizing the restraints that were going to be put on her life now that she had success.
It was normal to be feeling a little strange about saying and doing things in public with him. Relationships in public for normal people were a tricky things, but dating another star made their lives come under a microscope. Britney had fallen right into a pattern with him, but with Meredith things were different. She wasn't used to being in the spotlight, while Britney had craved the spotlight. Meredith didn't like the attention. He knew that she liked performing, but it was still a struggle sometimes for her to be comfortable in front of a crowd of people.
With a sigh he held his lips against her cheek and pressed another kiss there, trying to tell her with that action that he loved her and that they'd talk to her later about it when they were alone. He expected the pat she gave his arm around her middle, but what he didn't expect was a small annoyed sigh that came from Meredith and her action of pulling away from him to stand a foot in front of him.
"Bear?" he started to say, but the elevator reached the floor where her room was and she stepped out. He looked at Gritty and Todd for a moment then followed her down the hall to her room.
Gritty pulled out the key and Todd went and checked the room out before they entered.
Justin stood a few feet away from Meredith, hands in his pockets, leaning back on his heels, watching her roll her eyes in reaction to the guys having to check the room. He knew that she wasn't liking the fact that her room needed to be checked, but it was for her own good. He could remember a few times when fans had snuck into his room. Even though he should be flattered that someone had liked him that much, it wasn't a pleasant experience. They hadn't hurt him, but he remembered that having them jump out at him was just about the scariest thing that he'd ever had happen to him.
"This is ridiculous," Meredith breathed out as she crossed her arms over her chest and waited for the sign from the guys that it was safe to go into the room.
When the room was finally deemed safe they closed themselves in alone for the first time that day. The hotel suite that she had was smaller than the ones that Justin was used to these days. Her suite contained three rooms. A living room, a master bedroom, and a bathroom. It didn't have a balcony or anything extreme like what he had just come from in Sweden.
Justin knew that Todd and Gritty would wait outside or next door for them. He'd heard on the way over that she had a few hours free that afternoon before a party at Planet Hollywood and since he didn't have plans until the next day he had planned to go with her schedule for once and hang out with her until she had to leave.
"So is this a PMS thing or--" Justin sighed as he watched her take off the sweatshirt he'd let her borrow. Shoes came off next and she walked across the room to throw herself down onto the master bedroom bed. The white bedspread conformed to her body and flattened where her arms were spread on the bedspread. He stood on the far side of the living room, staring into the bedroom not knowing how exactly to react her attitude. He didn't know if it was something he'd done or if she was just in a mood.
"No," she growled and rolled onto her back to stare up at the ceiling. Her shirt rode up a little and he could see her bare belly. He hated that he was distracted by her body like that. He knew it wasn't good for either of them to get off track like that. Especially with the look on her face at the moment. "It isn't a PMS thing." She moved to prop herself up so that she could look at him. "Why does it have to be a PMS thing? Do men not understand that women can be upset and not have it be a hormonal thing?"
Justin kicked off his shoes, pulled his jean jacket off and threw it on the couch with hers then walked towards her. He stopped near her feet for a moment then moved to crawl up on the bed. He straddled her body with his, hovered over her for a moment as she lay back and looked at her with a critical look on his face. "Let me rephrase my question then...Hey Bear. How are you doing Bear?" When she just stared up at him he leaned and kissed her. "What's wrong?"
She slid her arms around him and pulled him down on top of her. He worried for a moment that his belt buckle would hurt her, but she didn't seem to mind. "I hate this BeeDee. I'd rather go to the dentist or sleep on a bed of nails." Her voice as almost a whine when she spoke to him. "I hate promos. I hate work. I had a long morning and I hate--"
"You did fine today though," he said kissing the side of her face. He pushed his arms up and moved his hips away from her, knowing instantly what this kind of contact would do to him. He could feel himself physically starting to react to her. He felt that tingle in his stomach that moved lower and when he started to feel the blood rush to the more sensitive parts of his anatomy he knew that he needed to move or do something before he ripped her clothes off.
He tried to think of something that would get his mind off things. Someone had always told him to think of his mother, but in his state he couldn't think about something like that. It would seem perverted so he decided to talk about work instead. He didn't want to get all hot and bothered and have someone interrupt them. "TRL loved you and the song is going to come out soon and it's going to go to the top of the charts."
"Ugh!" She pushed him away and got up off the bed and went to grab a drink at the bar in the living room. She grabbed out a soda and opened it and leaned against the counter staring across at him. "Do you ever think of anything about work?"
He wanted to tell her why he'd done what he'd done, but was too upset with the fact that she was making him sound like a workaholic to care. "You were working today. I was just trying to say that you did fine. I know you hate doing interviews, but you're good at it."
"No," she said, "You're good at it. You were the one who came out and took over when they started to ask questions. You were the one who had to control the situation. You were the one who had to--" She took deep breaths. "If I didn't know better I'd think that you were a little jealous of the fact that I was the focus of that interview today."
"You've got to be kidding me," he groaned and lay back on the bed like she'd been lying moments before. "You really think that I'm that petty? That I'm that spoiled? Have you been reading People magazine again? I know they like to make me seem like a spoiled brat--"
"You are a spoiled brat," she interrupted him with angry voice.
He stretched his arm up into the air above him and yawned. He rolled his wrists and heard them crack, then cracked his knuckles as he tried to stay calm. He'd slept on the plane, but had been traveling for what seemed like two days and he needed to remember to stay calm. "Bear..." He spoke into the room not looking at what she was doing. "I switched subjects because I know how you hate to discuss us in front of people. Was it you or someone else who left me a voicemail two days ago--" He lifted his head from the mattress and looked at her. "--when some magazine, Twist or Bop or whatever did a whole spread on our relationship."
She sighed and sipped her soda. "I called you because they said some crappy things about us...They called me the new Yoko Ono."
Justin laughed. "Bear they always do that. I warned you about that. They called Britney that a year or so ago and she didn't even know who Yoko Ono was."
She drank down her soda some and set the can down then came back over to where he was sitting, this time, a sexy look in her eyes. "Why didn't you tell me you were coming home?"
"It was supposed to be a surprise--" He laughed as she wiggled her eyebrows at him. "Remember that whole thing--TRL--me coming out...you crying? Sound familiar?"
She came over to him and crawled so that she was straddling his lap. "You know I don't like surprises."
"Opps," he said putting his hands on her hips.
"So how long are you here for?" she asked softening her tone of voice. Her chin dipped down a little and she got in what he would call her cuddly mood. Her arms snaked around his neck and she tipped her head back.
Justin smiled at her and leaned to kiss her lips. "Diet Pepsi," he said with a laugh as his arms pulled her closer and he rubbed her back a little. "I'm staying here with you in New York until you go back to Orlando then I have to make a stop in LA before I go do some other stuff."
She looked at him closely and leaned and kissed him. "Some other stuff?"
"Yeah," he said with a smile. He could have told her about his plans to show up on tour, but he thought that he'd save that surprise for later. He knew that she'd be surprised and would like him being there, but he needed to find the right time to tell her..
"Where are you staying in the city?" Her mouth formed into a pout as she leaned back a little. She ran her hands across his short hair. "You got it cut again?"
He nodded and let go of her for a moment and patted the bed. Normally he would have stayed in another room or another hotel. When he was with the guys they only stayed in one hotel suite across town or he would have stayed at Britney's brother's place, but tonight he'd planned to stay with her. She hadn't noticed that his bags had been delivered to the room, but he'd been planning things for almost a week now to meet up with her. "Here," he said, "If you don't mind my snoring."
"You're gonna sleep with me tonight?" she asked moving up off his lap a little before she lowered herself and ground into his lap a little.
"Whoa whoa," he said shocked to see her so affectionate to him. "Not on the first date." He pushed her hips off his lap a little to keep himself from over reacting to her being there. "I never fuck on the first date."
"Justin you suck," she said and backed stepped away from him. "I meant sleep. You know we don't have to have sex every night that we're together,"
"No sex?" he joked, "Well then I should go back to Sweden."
"Like I said--" She made a face at him over her shoulder. "You suck."
He grabbed for her but she got away. He was half aroused as she stepped away from him and he was a little embarrassed that it hadn't taken that much to get him up and going. She hadn't really done anything sexual to him and yet he was ready to pull off her clothes and make love to her right then and there. "I thought sucking was your job."
She found her soda again and pouted. "You're mean."
"Awweee," He laughed, "Come on girl. You know I'm just kidding."
Meredith kept the pout on her face but came back over, this time bringing the remote control for the television in the room with her. She sat down this time on his lap, turned towards the television. "You want to watch TV with me?"
"Can I be nekked with you and watch a movie?" he asked, letting his southern accent flow a little harder this time.
"I have to go to a party tonight I'm not having sex with you and going out again."
"Why?" he asked as his arms went around her. "Because I might wear you out?" He winced in anticipation of getting hit before he let the words all the way out of his mouth.
"No," she said and started to get up again. Her hands were full with the soda can and the remote so she couldn't hit him.
"Bear," he said holding her, "I'm sorry."
"Yes," he said, "I'm sorry."
"No you aren't," she said.
"Yes I am," he said moving her hair out of the way. He pressed his lips to her neck and rocked her a little in his arms. "Can I help it if I want to make love to you every minute of the day?"
Meredith giggled and leaned back as his hands slid under her T-shirt and up to her breasts. His finger worked their way under her bra and she stopped him. "Lemme take this off and put this stuff away."
He was shocked that she was fairly easy about making love to him. When she was working she always seemed to be in work mode and while they'd made love in New York and LA, Orlando seemed to be the place where they were most comfortable being together. Maybe it was the time away that caused them to want each other. It had been a few weeks and it was easy to think that they'd want each other. "You sure?"
Meredith pushed his hands away from her shirt. "I haven't seen you in two weeks and Justin Jr. there is about to break the zipper on your jeans."
Justin looked down as she stepped away and found that he was now fully erect and straining against his jeans as she said. "You know Mere--we don't have to--"
"No," she said, "I haven't seen you in two weeks--"
"Do we have enough time?" he asked.
"I think so." She pretended to look at a watch her wrist. "I've got three hours."
"Maybe we should wait," he said knowing that in the shape he was in right then that the jet lag would make it impossible to think about letting her go when she needed to get up and leave for her party. "How about we wait?" He shifted a little, "Why don't we go to the party and then we'll come back here tonight and--"
There was no chance for her to answer because there was a knock at the door and Todd was calling him to come to the door. "Justin...Sonia is on the phone and needs to talk to you!"
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