Sequel: Shut Up. Kiss Me.

Just Jenny!

Chapter 14

I shouldn’t have worried about Frankie coming to movie night, because much as I predicted, he fell asleep about five minuets into the meet and greet. Heck the boy didn’t even stirwhen Kevin picked him up and took him onto the bus at the end of the night.

“So, Jenny this movie night, are we allowed to decorate?” Joe asked excitedly as we sat in the back of the bus with Nick and Brittany as Kevin went to talk to his dad.

Allowed? Babe for youI’ll make it mandatory!” I laughed.

“Awesome! Because I have tinsel, and candy canes, and Christmas hats…” Joe started rambling off, making me wonder just where in the heck did this boy find it all?

“Um, it’s July…” Brittany stated looking at us like we were crazy…okay so I kind of getthat look, but still.

“Yeah, it’s Christmas in July.” I informed her in my best, no-I’m-not-mocking-you-this-is-me-being-understanding voice.

“But Christmas is in December.” She persisted causing Nick to hold back a snort. Oh boy, movie night’s defiantlygoing to throw her entireholiday schedule out of whack.

“Yeah, it’s just a theme thing we sometimes do.” I explained kindly.

“Oh, like a guything?” she asked me…is she smirking?

“Um, yeah sure close enough.” I laughed, because really I’m not going to start some kind of drama over nothing.

“So how do you know the guys, I mean your not anybodyare you?” she asked innocently.

“Um…” did she just disme?

“Oh I meant like you’re not famousright?” she amended, having the decencyto look embarrassed.

“Not really, no. I met them in the city.” I explained being as vague as possible, I mean if nobody bothered to fill her in that’s not myfault.

“Yeah, and she’s our plus one.” Joe added causing Nick and I to laugh.

Once we got to my place we all split up to go change, while Joe started pulling stuff out of his massive suitcase. That thing looks like it could house a human body and stillhave room left over to move around.

“Jenny! Where’s your tree!?!” Joe called through the bathroom door (Brittany has officiallytaken over my room).

“Hall closet, top shelf!” I called back as I finished braiding my hair.

“Found it, but how the heck did you get it up there?!” he yelled turning around and almost crashing right into me, already in his snowman pajamas and reindeer antlers.

“I was standing on a chair.” I laughed as he finally pulled it down.

“Well, that would explain it, now lets go set it up on your work table!” he said running to the living room and shoving most of my drawing tools haphazardly into the now empty box for my two foot tall Christmas tree.

“You need a hat,” Kevin proclaimed coming up behind me where I was monitoring Joe as he decoratedthe tree.

“Nice look.” I laughed taking in his dark green Christmas gift pants, and a shirt telling Santa, that he 'can explain', all topped off with an elf hat!

“You too, the Grinch suits you, but you still need a hat.” He said handing me an elf hat.

“Any particular reason I’m an elf?” I asked.

“Well, there is the whole heightissue, “ this earned him a glare, “that and we voted Nick president last time, so he obviouslygets the only Santa hat, and what’s a better VP to Santa than an elf?” he finished quickly.

“Yeah, nice save.” I laughed.

About thirty minutes later all the decorating was done, there were candy canes and coffee cups everywhere, and Nick true to Kevin’s word was wearing Nightmare Before Christmas pjs with a Santa hat, but Brittany had yet to finish primping.

“Hey Jenny, how long does it take a girl to get ready for bed?” Joe finally asked.

“Um, I don’t know, depends on the girl I guess, I was ready at about the same time as you.” I pointed out, just as Brittany decided to grace us with her presence. And let me tell you, the girl looked even moredone up than she did at the concert! Her hair was perfectly straight; she was wearing tiny light pink shorts with a baby blue tank top. Guess she’s not big on dress code.

“Alright, lets get this movie night going!” Nick exclaimed successfully killing the awkward silence.

“This movie sucks!” Joe proclaimed for the seventh time just as Whitney Huston’s character started singing ‘I Believe In You And Me’.

“Hey I lovethis movie.” I argued throwing some popcorn at him.

“But she ends up with the wrong guy!” Joe persisted.

“Like, her husband?” Nick questioned rolling his eyes.

“But he’s not Denzel!” Joe sighed causing me to break into a fit of giggles, because that’s my only complaint with ‘The Preacher’s Wife’ too!

“That I can agree on.” I said as Joe and I raised our candy canes in a ridiculous toast, which only caused Kevin to throw reindeer corn at us from the couch laughing.

Eww, Kevvy you’re making a mess!” Brittany exclaimed from where she was draped across his chest.

“Sorry, it’s tradition.” He shrugged.

“Oh, how cute, Jenny really isone of the guys.” She said sweetly. Uh, this girl is getting to me, I know I amone of the guys and I like that, but not when shesays it.

By the time we finished watching our fifth movie (The Holiday), Brittany had retired to my room for some beauty sleep (psh, like she needs that) after delivering Lord only knows how many subtlesnubs (if I hear the word quaintone more time I’ll hit somebody!), Nick had shoved Kevin off the couch and Joe was curled up with Frederick and a half eaten candy cane on the floor, once again leaving Kevin and I awake.

Throwing some stale popcorn at me to catch my attention, Kevin raised his coffee cup, then motioned for me to follow him out to the fire escape, apparently anothertradition. Motioning for him to hold on, I went and grabbed the still full pot of coffee, and brought that with us as well, because something tells me we're going to discuss Brittany, and that will require sustenance.

“Hey.” He smiled sitting on the ground and leaning on the railing.

“Hey…” I smirked doing the same, then taking a sip of my coffee. This stuff tastes so much better once you melt a few candy canes in!

“Another tradition I guess, huh? Us out here once everyone else has knocked out.” He laughed.

“Well, we do have a lot of them, there’s the Jonas tackle…” I started.

“And the mandatoryskinny jeans…” he added.

“The movie night pjs…”

“The projectile junk food…” he managed with a straight face.

“And late night conversations on the fire escape.” I finished.

Exactly, so what’s this I hear about you and Frankie running a muck with the scooters?” he asked with an almost straight face.

“Well, it was after the webkinztutorial, and Frankie decided I couldn’t learn to skateboard properlyin the arena, but I could get in some practice time with a scooter, which isn’t the same, but close enough.” I informed him. Well it made sense when the eight year old said it!

“Wow, he must really like you, he hates when people touch his webkinz.” He laughed.

“What can I say, I’m a big kid myself.” I shrugged.

“Mm-hmm, so how’d it go, you a big webkinz girl now?” he asked smirking.

“Oh my goodness, it’s so confusing! And you have to like actually carefor the pet, like you can’t just have it there and let it hang out?” I ranted, causing Kevin to laugh hysterically.

“I know, some fan sent me one, and I tried to raise it myself…yeah do webkinzdie...because if they do, then mine’s dead.” At least he had the decency to look sheepish.

Nobodyblames you for that one trustme.” Because it’s too complicated!

“So, about Brittany…” Darn! I’d kind of hoped he’d forgotten about that.

Mm-hmm?” yeah noncommittal I know.

“You never reallytold me what you think about her, although I do appreciate you giving up your room.” He smiled.

“It’s no big deal, and I don’t really know what to say about her, she’s just so different.” I tried, fingering the charm bracelet the guys gave me, sort of a nervous habit I’ve picked up.

“What do you mean?” he asked honestly.

“Um, well she and I are like polar opposites, she’s tall, superthin, blond, immaculateeven in pjs, poised, well spoken…I’m not. You know, as she said earlier I’m just one of the guys, and she’s all girl hon.” All she needs is a blastedminiature dog in a Guccibag to complete the look.

“Is that a bad thing?” he asked unsure. Great give me that look, I can’t tell him I don’t like her when he looks at me like that!

“No, not necessarily.” StupidKevin and his stupidcurly hair, and even stupiderhazel eyes!

“So did you guys talk at all?” he asked changing the subject a bit, though not enoughfor my taste.

“A little, she asked me how I know you guys…” I trailed off with a raised eyebrow hoping he could fill me in here.

“Oh, yeah…well I didn’t see a point in mentioning it to her when I firstmet you, and then after that I thought it might look like I was keeping it from her, and you know she’s a little jealous, so…sorrywhat’d you say?” he asked sheepishly.

“Nothing, I just told her I met you guys in the city a while back, and then Joe saved me from going into detail by making some Joe joke.” I laughed.

“Nice, so what about you? Any guys lurkingaround?” he asked raising an eyebrow.

“Aside from the threecrashing at my place tonight, nope.” I laughed.

“You know that’s interesting, because I heard there may be something going on between you and one of those guys?” he asked amused.

“Really? Which one?” I asked interested.

“Well, the press seems to think you like the oldestbut he’s taken.” He shrugged, “though an insidesource tells me you may be going youngerlike a year younger?” he asked just as I took a sip of my coffee. Choke, sputter, cough, cough…JOE!?!?

Pleasetell me you’re kidding!” I said once I regulated my breathing.

“What? He’s not thatyoung, and Brittany said something about you guys sharing looks?” he defended. He’s serious? Ah, what is up with that girl!

“I’m sure she meant well,” Psh, yeah right! “But she’s got it all wrong, I see Joe as a younger cousin” I said mimicking Joe’s words at the arena, “not anything in any way romantic. And judging by the way he was oglingthat girl at the meet and greet, I’d say the feeling’s mutual.” I laughed.

“Yeah, okay I can see it, just want you to be happy you know?” he asked seriously. And while I appreciate it, I’m fine without a man.

“I know, thanks, but I am. I don’t really need a guy to be happy, and honestly I’m not sure I can get back out there just yet.” I finished refilling my coffee.

“Not all guys are like that you know.” He said draping an arm across my shoulder.

“Yeah I know, but the guy I dated after him…well I guess I wasn’t really readyto date, so it became an issue. Even though he knew my past, he kept expecting me to react a certain way to everyday stuff, and I guess I failedthe test? You know, he accused me of still being in love with the crazyguy, because I would still have the occasional nightmare, and I guess I made the mistake of telling him the truthwhen he asked me what was wrong…needless to say I dumped him soon afterwards, not just because of that, but I couldn’t be with someone who thought so littleof me.” Explained studying the patterns in the brick.

“Good, at least you know you deserve better.” He said squeezing my shoulder.

“Oh yeah, because, I ain't settlin', for just getting by. I've had enough so-so, for the rest of my life. Tired of shooting too low, so raise the bar high…’Just enough,’ ain't enough this time…I ain't settlin' for anything less than everything.” I sang the chorus of an old Sugarlandsong, and then burst out laughing.

“See, now that’s what I want to hear.” He laughed.

“Yeah well at the moment I’m in between that one and ‘In Repair’ by John Mayer.” I shrugged.

“There are worse places to be.” He pointed out.

“Yep, I could be insidetrying to pry the good pillow away from Joe.” I nodded seriously.

Exactly!” he chuckled. “So why’d you tell Joe you didn’t sing?” he asked after a beat.

“Why don’t yousing any leads?” I retorted, pulling a candy cane out of my pocket snapping it in half, then handing him the curved end.

Touché,” he shrugged pealing his end. “But I doplay guitar, and mostgirls would killto be up there.” He pointed out.

“Yeah, but I’m notmost girls. I can’t play an instrument, I have horrible stage fright, and your girlfriendwould have hatedit.” I laughed.

“No, I guess not.” He chuckled, “But you could have sang, or stolen one of Joe’s tambourines. I find it hard very to believe you have stage fright, and Brittany would have gotten over it...eventually” He finished.

“I don’t know, I’m fine around people most of the time, but as soon as I know that it’s a performance, I freeze. Anyway, I’m not a classically trained singer like you….” I threw back at him.

“How do you know I’ve had training, and it’s not all God given talent, huh?” he asked poking me with his candy cane.

“I heard you warming up, you were singing from vowel to vowel, that's choral training…pop music is sung from consonant to consonant, plus you mentioned Mr. J is like a musical genus!” I smirked poking him with my finger, because reallywho eats a candy cane thatslowly?

“Wait, if you’re not classically trained how do you even know that?” he asked indignantly looking around for support, and then realized we were alone.

“You’re not the only one who grew up around music Jonas, that and I was in freshman choir when I was fourteen,” at his triumphant look I added “but that only lasted about nine weeks before I moved and then I never really had room in my schedule to pick it back up.” I laughed.

“Well, I’m impressed. So tell you what, you let mecontinue to waste my potential and I’ll do the same for you.” He bargained lifting up his newly refilled coffee cup for a toast.

“It’s a deal.” I agreed noting that the sun would probably be up soon. “Now, what do you say to sleeping?” I asked.

“You go, I have to start straightening my hair in little while.” He yawned.

“I say you sport the natural, and get some sleep.” I laughed.

“But Brittany prefers it straight, and I didn’t have time yesterday so…” he started.

“And Mrs. J will killme if I return her oldest son three miles pastexhaustion, so Brittany will understand, and youmy friend will get at leasta few hours of sleep, come on.” I said ushering him back inside as I grabbed my coffee cup, and the now empty coffee pot.

“I’m really not that tired…” Kevin yawned in protest.

Mm-hmm.” I said one hand on my hip and the other pointing at the pillows and blankets on the floor.

“I have to make my bed before I can sleep in it.” He mumbled, looking pathetic, I almost burst out laughing, but everyone else was still asleep.