Lydia ran as fast as she could away from the screaming fans that were following
her and JC. She could hear JC yelling for her to run faster, but her short legs
and overweight body made it hard for her to keep up. She could hear the screams
coming closer and closer to her. She looked to her left when she heard a girl
yell JC’s name then turned to her right to see another girl, this cause fear to
flood her body. They have caught up to me. I’m a dead woman. Her mind racing
with thoughts of her getting trampled and getting hurt. Her mind begged her body
to run faster but her legs began to ache and her lungs began to get weak. She
heard a familiar voice beside her but when she looked no one was there. It was
Justin’s voice. She screamed for him to help her but he appeared nowhere. She
felt someone pushing on her back and tried running faster to save her life. She
felt another and another. She was scared to death but calm at the same time.
Hearing Justin’s strong voice and hoping he’d come save her caused her to stay
as strong as she could. She stained her eyes trying to make out the face that
was coming towards her. She realized it was Justin and began to run towards him.
He held his arms open and when she went to run into them for safety he was gone.
She could still hear his faint voice so she knew he was there. The screams
stopped and the girls disappeared. She was alone again. Just like she had been
in the past. No one in sight and nothing to hear, nothing but Justin’s still
calling voice.


Lydia rolled over and groggily opened her eyes. She slowly opened her curtain to
her bunk causing light to flood the once dark bunk. She flung her legs over the
side and sat up. She could hear the TV in the back of the bus so she knew she
wasn’t the only one awake. She hopped off her bed and padded into the living
area of the bus.
“Well, good morning sunshine,” she heard JC’s voice. “How’d you sleep?”
“I slept pretty good. How bout you?” she replied.
“I slept pretty good. Justin told me he tried to wake you up last night. He
said you were yelping and crying. What’d you dream about?”
“Ooooohh. That explains why he was in my dream.”
“Ok? What was it about?”
“You and I were getting chased by all these fans and you were running faster
than me. They caught up to me and I began to get scared. Then I heard Justin
calling my name but I couldn’t see him. That must have been when he was trying
to wake me up.”
“Probably,” a grin sliding over his face, “Or, you could have had him on your
mind, causing you to dream about him being your rescuer.”
“Ummm. I don’t think so C. That ain’t gonna happen.”
“What ever you say.”
Lydia was about to say something back but the door flew open showing Jeni and
Chris. “Why are you guys up so darn early?” Chris asked.
Lydia couldn’t help but laugh. “Chris it’s 11:30.”
Jeni looked shocked and looked at her watch. “Wow. I must have been more tired
than I thought I was.”
“I’m surprised that you’re awake already. You were up really late last night,”
Lydia said.
“There’s nothing like partying in Chicago. Well that is until we get to Vegas.”
“Jeni, you are crazy,” Lydia laughed.
Chris sat down on the couch next to Lydia and Jeni next to JC. “So what are we
watching?” Chris asked.
“We just finished watching American Pie,” JC replied.
“Dang it. I love that movie!” Chris replied.
“I know you do. That’s why we are not watching it. You’ve seen it like a
million times and you say every line before it’s even said.”
Chris got a look of pride on his face. “I practiced that. I knew it made people
mad so I did it on purpose. It’s like Lance lip-syncing during This I Promise
You. It drives us all nuts but he still does it.”
Lydia had to laugh at that. She knew it was true because for the past 3 shows
she noticed him do it. She also heard Joey and Chris talking about it.
Joey and Lance opened the door just as Lydia had calmed her laughing, but
seeing Lance caused her to laugh harder. She didn’t know why it was so funny.
She came to the conclusion that she was still very tired. Lance looked at her
like she was crazy, as did Joey. JC decided that he’d inform them of why she was
laughing. Lance rolled his eyes playfully and Joey laughed with her.
It had been two hours since Lydia had woken up and she still hadn’t seen Justin
or Klare. She wasn’t really worried, she was just curious. How can they still be
sleeping? They went to bed at around 2:30 this morning but it’s 1:30. Lydia was
sitting in the kitchen area towards the front of the bus while everyone else was
in the back or sleeping. She could hear the TV in the family area and could hear
deep breathing from the bunks. She wanted to find out how Klare’s night had gone
but didn’t know if she should wake her up.
Lydia slowly stood up after much thought and headed towards the bunks. She
opened the one that Klare was to use, but she wasn’t there. She looked in her
bunk, Jeni’s bunk, JC’s, Joey’s, Chris’s, and Lance’s bunks but didn’t find her
in any of them. Maybe she’s awake and I just didn’t hear her get up. She walked
towards the family area and opened to door. She looked around and noticed that
Klare wasn’t in there. Nobody noticed she opened the door because they were all
watching the real world and discussing how they would never let cameras be put
in their houses.
Lydia quietly slipped out of the room and started walking back towards the
kitchen. She sat at the table and thought about where Klare could be. Justin’s
bunk popped in her head and she was suddenly feeling sick to her stomach. She
wouldn’t do that to me, would she? Lydia wasn’t quite sure how she felt about
Justin but in the past three days they had spent a lot of time together. He
would watch movies with her and would let her help him write some lyrics to
songs. It was just buddy stuff but it made her feel special. She had told JC the
day before that she was starting to develop feelings for Justin again but was
afraid to. He had told her to listen to her heart but to give him a chance to
prove himself to her before letting him have it all.
All that thinking about Justin and his sweetness made her want to see him. She
decided that a quick peek at him sleeping wouldn’t hurt anything so she quietly
stood up and walked towards his bunk. She slowly pulled the curtain back to see
his peaceful face fast asleep. She suddenly got this feeling that told her to
pull the curtain back a little more and she couldn’t fight it so she did. She
slowly pulled it back a little more, careful not to let too much sun in. She
found Klare lying next to him with his arms wrapped around her stomach. Lydia
could see a slight grin on Klare’s face and that caused Lydia to become filled
with unwanted emotions. She closed the curtain once again and climbed into her
bunk. She grabbed one of her pillows and hugged it to her chest as all her
memories of Justin and her flooded her memory.

Chapter Two

Lydia awoke an hour later to the sound of Justin laughing. What time is it? She
thought as she rolled over. She didn’t feel like facing Justin quite yet so she
rolled over and tried to fall back to sleep. She was almost fully asleep when
she heard her name.
“Where’s Lydia. I wanted to ask her something,” Justin’s faint voice asked.
Lydia’s ears perked up as she tried to listen to every detail. “Last time I
checked she was in the kitchen,” Joey replied.
“Big surprise,” Klare replied.
Lydia couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Why would Klare say that about me?
I never did anything to her. She was about to get up and see what was going on
but just as she sat up she heard the door separating the family area and the
bunk area. She quickly laid back down and pretended to sleep. She knew it was
Justin because she could smell his cologne as he walked by. Once he was in the
kitchen she heard him turn around and sigh.
“Why would he want to talk to me when he’s got Klare?” she mumbled to herself
without thinking. She quickly slapped her hand over her mouth and hoped he
didn’t hear her. How could I be so careless?!? I’m lucky… her thoughts were cut
off when the curtain to her bunk flew open and Justin’s face was level with
hers. She gasped in fear and wished she could disappear.
“Wow, you must have been more tired than I was,” he said to her with a smile,
unaware that she had seen him and Klare earlier.
“I just have some stuff on my mind. I usually sleep my troubles away,” Lydia
replied with a half smile.
“Do you wanna talk about it? If it’s about your ‘rents, you can talk to me. You
know that right?”
“Yeah, I know.” Too bad that’s not what’s bothering me.
“You hungry? I was going to make myself a sandwich. I could make you one too.”
“No thanks. I’m not hungry.”
“Are you sure?”
The conversation ended and there was an awkward silence. Lydia avoided looking
at Justin and Justin concentrated on her facial expression. “Lydia. What’s
wrong? Seriously?”
Lydia didn’t want to talk to Justin about what she had seen and how she had
felt. When she didn’t reply, he scooted her legs over and sat on her bunk. This
caused her to sit Indian style so he had more room. “Lydia, look at me.”
She slowly lifted her eyes to meet his and all her problems disappeared. “What.
Is. Wrong?”
She kept her gaze but didn’t answer his question. “Justin? Ummm. I changed my
mind about that sandwich. I’m going to make it myself though ok?” She slowly
stood up and walked towards the kitchen, hearing Justin following closely
behind. She stopped and turned around. “Justin, I don’t really want to talk
right now ok?”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah, I’m sure. But when I do you’ll be the first to know ok?”
Justin didn’t look too pleased but decided that he’d leave her alone. Come on
J. You remember when your mom and dad broke up. Just give her time.
As Justin left the room, Lydia sat down on a chair by the table and put her
head in her hands while she thought out loud. Not knowing Justin had just gone
to his bunk in hearing distance.

Chapter Three

Folding her arms on the table in front of her and laying her head on them as a
pillow she began to dwell in her own self-pitty. “Lydia, how could you actually
think that Justin would actually be interested in you? I mean, sure he hung out
with you, but did you ever notice that it was when Klare was in the shower or
watching a movie with JC or one of the other guys?” she thought out loud. “Of
course not because you were too busy swooning over him, daydreaming about him,
wishing he’d give you the time of day.”
Slowly she stood up and headed toward the fridge to get a bottle of water. She
leaned on the counter next to her and looked out the window as the world passed
by her, seeming to leave her behind. She began to wonder why she hadn’t just
gone with Bryce when he confessed his love. “Justin,” she answered herself out
loud, “He’s the reason I’m on this tour. He’s the reason I want to be on this
tour.” She sighed and headed toward the back room to get JC. She needed to vent
and she needed someone to help ease her pain.
As she walked by the bunks she could hear someone roll over in one of the
bunks. Her stomach suddenly was in knots and she wished she could disappear. She
knew it was Justin’s bunk and she also knew that he could hear everything she
had just said. She didn’t want to face him at the moment but decided sooner
would be better. She slowly opened the curtain to his bunk, ready to explain her
solo conversation. Just as she got ready to form her first sentence she noticed
he was sleeping. His breathing was slow and deep and his delicate eyelids were
closed over his crystal blue eyes.
Lydia let out a sigh of relief and closed the curtain again careful not to wake
him up. She smiled to herself and walked into the living area of the bus.
Everyone, minus Justin, was watching “What Lies Beneath”. Lydia hadn’t seen this
movie in awhile so she decided to sit down and watch it with them, forgetting
her troubles. Not knowing that her troubles had just caused trouble in another
person on the bus.
Justin sat up as soon as he heard the door shut to the living area. He tried to
make sense of what he had just heard. Why was Lydia talking to herself about me?
He wondered to himself. “And what the heck is up with the whole Klare thing?” he
asked himself out loud. He had noticed how she had been throwing herself at him
and putting Lydia down when he was in the room. He remembered waking up that
morning with Klare under his arm. He had woken up when he had felt the heat from
the sun on his face, but he hadn’t thought that Lydia was the one who had opened
the curtain. “I hope she didn’t see that. I didn’t even know she was in my bunk
until I woke up.” He said to himself, trying to convince himself that she hadn’t
seen them together and gotten any ideas.
“She was acting kinda weird today though,” he argued out loud. He was becoming
frustrated with himself. Why did he care if Lydia saw him in his bunk with
Klare? He didn’t care about her in a romantic way, but she obviously cared about
him. He decided that he would have to figure out a way to make her realize he
didn’t care about her that way, and he had the perfect plan.

Chapter Four

Justin stumbled through the door of the family area pretending to be half
asleep. He slowly made his way towards where Klare was sitting and plopped down
beside her, beginning his plan. He looked over at Lydia and noticed she wasn’t
paying attention to them. She was whispering something to JC and noticed that he
got a worried look on his face. I wonder what’s going on with her, he thought
getting a little worried. He realized what he had just thought and shook his
head to push it out of his mind.
Lydia stood up and JC followed her into the kitchen area. Lydia sat down and JC
chose a seat across from her. He had a concerned look on his face and she knew
that he was sincerely worried. She kept her eyes on the table in front of her,
refusing to meet his gaze.
“I thought you needed to talk,” JC said with a nervous chuckle. He reached out
and picked up her hand. She lifted her eyes and looked into his blue ones.
Seeing concern in his eyes she decided to talk to him. And confess everything.
“J,” she began, “I’m really confused.”
“Me too,” he joked with a smile.
She had never noticed how beautiful his smile was, in fact, she had never
realized how wonderful he was, how great a listener he was, or how happy she was
when she was with him. “I’ve told you everything about me, J. I told you about
my past, you know all my feelings towards my parents divorce, and you know how
much I care about Justin. There’s just one thing I want to tell you.”
“And what’s that?”
“You are a very special person to me. You listen to me when I need to talk. I
just feel selfish because I don’t do that for you. Granted, you’re famous and
that makes it difficult to trust people, especially after the whole Lou thing,
but I still feel like an inadequate friend. If you ever need to talk, you can
come to me. Even if its about how awful you thought a show was, or how happy you
are that you’re finally going to Florida, you can talk to me. OK?”
JC let her hand go and stood up. She looked up at him with worry in her eyes,
afraid she had said something wrong. “J. What?”
He once again took her hand and pulled her to her feet. He wrapped his strong
arms around her and pulled her into a tight hug while looking over her shoulder.
Lydia wrapped her arms around his tone middle and laid her head on his shoulder.
She was still trying to figure out what was going on with Klare and her feelings
for Justin. Just as she closed her eyes he pulled her back and looked into her
“Lydia, thanks. I really needed to hear that. But you aren’t an inadequate
friend,” he said with a small smile on his face. He turned around and sat down
again ready to listen to her talk. She did the same and let out a small sigh.
“Ok. I think that Klare and Justin have a relationship. I know that shouldn’t
really bother me and all but for some reason it does. I shouldn’t like him like
that, in fact, if I liked anyone it should be you. But for some strange reason
I, along with the rest of the teenage girl population, am drawn to Justin.
There’s just something about him. I don’t know what it is either. J, I don’t
think I’d be able to handle it if they hooked up.”
JC looked over at her with a determined look on his face. “Lydia. Maybe he just
doesn’t know what he’s missing out on. Maybe you need to help him realize what
he’s missing out on.”
“How am I supposed to do that?”
“Oh I have a plan,” he replied with an evil look in his eyes.
“This is gonna be good, ain’t it?”
JC raised an eyebrow at her. “Aren’t you the one that’s supposed to be in
college? That isn’t good English.”
“My major isn’t English. I’m majoring in Marine Biology.”
JC chuckled and then became serious again. Looking into her eyes he got the
evil gleem again. “You wanna hear the plan?”
Lydia couldn’t help the excited bubbly giggles from coming out of her mouth.
“Yeah, I wanna hear it!”
“You and I pretend to be an item and then we’ll find out how much Mr.
Timberlake likes you. Then once he realizes how much he cares we’ll ‘break up’
and you’ll be ‘heart broken’. He’ll come to the rescue and you’ll become an
“How much do we have to do in order to make this believable? Like how fast do
you move with a girl?”
“Well, I’m not Joey, so don’t worry about us having to have sex. Ummm, I
usually wait like a week before I kiss them, but in the mean time I hold hands
and snuggle. Is that ok?”
Lydia looked a little apprehensive. “Are you sure that this is going to work?
How long do you think it’ll take?”
“I’m guessing about a week or two, but it should work. Nothing’s positive
though, remember that. Also, you’re the one that said that if you liked anyone
it should be me, so let’s just find out how the guys respond to this. If we can
get Lance to believe that we’re an item then all the others should fall for it
“Ok, I’m in,” Lydia replied with a smile that could light up a room. How
difficult would it be to ‘be in love with’ JC? She thought as her smile grew.