* 4: Faithfully *
Two weeks later Christina had fully moved into JC's townhouse on the other quieter and safer side of the city and was given co-ownership with the club. They had grown closer than they ever imagined they would and it was nothing that they had ever imagined would happen. Their bond to each other was so strong that it seemed as if it was ment to be...and nothing was going to come between it.
"C'mon Asia!" Christina yelled from the stairs to the Rottweiler puppy that JC had given her when she moved in. "Asia!"
Christina stood for a second without a response and headed across the living room towards the kitchen when the phone rang. Noticing the puppy was busy licking the last bits of flavoring from the food that was in her dish, she turned quickly towards the phone.
"Uh, Christina? Is JC there?" a female voice asked.
"No. Who is this?"
"Abbie," she paused. "Abbie Marx."
Christina sighed lightly as her blood pressure started to boil. "Can I ask why you are calling here?"
"Yeah, if I can ask why you are answering the phone." she replied with an attitude.
"Maybe because I live here? I think I'm allowed to answer the phone since the last time I checked." she snipped back.
"Right. Whatever. I'll meet up with him later anyway. Bye." she slammed the phone down.
"Don't count on it." Christina said to the dead air on the phone and hung up. As if on cue the puppy trotted out from the kitchen and nipped at the back of her legs.
"C'mon you bad girl." she said as she looked down to the puppy and picked her up. "I'm glad I've got you to keep me company when Jace is away."
Christina headed back towards the stairs when the doorbell rang a few feet away. "Uggh, now what?" she exclaimed under her breath as she opened the door. "Joey?"
"Hey! What are you doing?" he grinned.
"I've been trying to go get a bath for the last half hour but things keep holding me up." she paused as he just stood staring at her. "What are you doing here?"
"Oh, no reason. Just thought you'd like some company."
Christina took a deep breath and held the squirming puppy tighter in her arms. "No offense, but I have all the company I need and I really do want to go get a shower now."
"Can I come back later?" her persisted.
"Joe, I know you want to be a friend here, but I really don't think JC would be happy if you came over while he was gone."
He looked at her strangely and continued. "Doesn't he trust you?"
She sighed as she thought about was the warm bath water on her body. "Yes, he trusts me. I just don't think he would be comfortable with it unless he knew you better. I'm sorry but I really have to go."
"Alright then, see ya at the club tonight?" he asked as he backed away from the door slowly.
"I'll be there." she gave a flat smile and closed the door quickly. "Finally! No more interruptions." she said to the puppy as she walked up the stairs. Asia barked in her baby voice in return.
The bubbles floated lightly in the spa like bath tub. Christina soaked in the steam filled bathroom; hardly even able to see Asia laying on the floor sleeping beside the shower. She closed her eyes as she relaxed and drifted off into a light sleep. Only a few minutes later she was awakened as JC stirred up the water as he entered the tub with her. The feeling of his body against hers invigorated her senses and she opened her eyes quickly to see his bright blue ones looking straight at her.
"Jace? You're home early." she smiled.
He rubbed his hands along the curves of her body underwater as he smiled back. "I missed you."
"I missed you, too." she replied as she kissed him softly. Asia quickly yipped from beside the tub as she realized that she was being left out.
"You spoil her." JC said as he looked down at the puppy as she bent her head sideways to look back at him.
"I try." Christina laughed lightly as she threw her mesh bath sponge out onto the floor allowing Asia to chase after it.
"Why'd you give her that?" JC looked at her strangely.
"I wanted her to leave us alone for a minute." she said softly as she pulled him closer to her. "Besides, it's falling apart. I need to get a new one anyway."
"So, anything exciting happen today?" he asked as he lathered her shoulders.
"Well," she paused. "Joey stopped by earlier."
"Yeah, he wanted to stay for a little but I told him that you might not like that so I didn't let him." she finished.
"Well, I guess I wouldn't have minded but I really don't know him that well." he said as he brushed a strand of her hair behind her ear.
"Yeah, that's what I said. He was okay with it."
"That's cool then." he smiled again as he kissed her.
Christina broke away as she remembered the rest of her news. "Have you seen Abbie Marx at all?"
"Abbie Marx? No, why?" he shrugged his shoulders.
"She called here looking for you." she huffed.
"That's what I'd like to know. She said she'd see you later."
"Well I don't know what she wanted. I hardly ever talk to her." he said as he put her hands in his.
The bubbles started to fade in the tub triggering Christina's instinct to turn on the spa motor. The water once again began to rotate as she continued. "Are you sure you're not leaving anything out?"
JC shook his head as he looked at her intensely. "What are you saying? You think I'm cheating on you?"
Christina sighed as she looked at her shriveled up hands. "No. I don't think you would cheat on me. It just upsets me when girls like Courtney, Kelly and Abbie are always around you or calling you."
"We've had this conversation how many times before. You know I would never do anything to hurt you and I'm not going anywhere." he added as he put his hands around her face.
"I know." she sighed again.
"Hey look." JC said as he looked at Asia who fell asleep again on the floor. "Let's take advantage of the situation." he grinned.
Christina didn't reply. She instantly kissed him without hesitation and pulled him down on top of her making the water splash all over the floor.
"Christina!" Maddie yelled over the music in the club later that night.
"Hey Maddie!" she smiled as she gave her friend a hug.
"Aren't you glad you don't have to work behind the bar anymore?" Maddie asked as she grabbed her drink from the counter.
"Yeah, it's okay. I do get to mingle more now." she replied as she walked around the bar to get herself a beer.
"Hey hun, whats up?" Jack asked as he came up behind Maddie.
"Jack!" Christina exclaimed as she gave him a hug. "Where ya been?"
"I've been around. Places to go, people to do." he smirked.
"Yeah, I know." Christina rolled her eyes.
"Tell your man that he's got a nice ass." Jack said as he looked out into the crowd.
"What?" Maddie and Christina both said at the same time.
"You heard me. I was about to smack it but I realized you were around somewhere." he smirked.
"Jack." Christina huffed. "Don't look at his ass again."
He looked back at her with an offended expression. "Well, excuse me!"
"As a matter of fact, don't look at, don't touch it and don't even think of him like that either." she hissed at her friend.
"Well what the hell crawled in your pants and died Mrs. Prissy?" Jack defended himself with a feminine flair.
Christina sighed as she rubbed her face with her hands. "I'm sorry, Jack. It's just there are alot of people obsessed with Jace right now and I can't deal."
"He doesn't know how lucky he is." Jack snapped back. "I wish people even looked at me as much as they do him."
"Jack..." Christina started but was interrupted.
"Fairy boy get out of here." Courtney jumped in from behind them.
"Excuse me. Don't tell me what to do." Jack defended himself for once.
"Oooh, he's gettin' tough, Court." her best friend, Joni, said from beside her.
"You don't have to go anywhere, Jack." Christina added.
Jack looked at her with dissapointed eyes. "That's okay. I wasn't welcome here anyway." he finished and walked away.
"I'll go make sure he's okay." Maddie said as she followed him quickly.
"You sure are getting a little bossy around here." Joni snapped at her.
"Yeah, especially for someone who just slopps out beers to all the drunks." Courtney paused as she smirked. "Just because you are with JC doesn't mean you own the place. He can dump you on your ass at any moment and you won't mean shit."
Christina smirked back, knowing that she had the upper hand. "Actually, I do own this place and have full authority to dump you on your ass."
"What are you talking about?" Joni responded quickly.
"JC gave me co-ownership. I now own half this club with him." she continued to smile at their frowned faces.
"Uggh. He never asked me to own this place or to move in with him." Courtney said still shocked.
"That's because you didn't mean anything to him. You were just a piece of ass when he needed it." she continued.
"I ment more to him than you ever will." Courtney pulled out her last desperate strings.
"Oh, is that why I am with him and you're not?"
"You stole him from me." Courtney came closer to her, making others around them in the club turn their attention to them. "I could handle his little flings with other girls here and there but when you came along, you just wouldn't let go."
"That's because I'm the only one who actually gave a shit about him since all you were doin was playin' him." Christina sighed, obviously getting tired of these run ins with Courtney.
"Only because he was playin' me. Just like he is playin' you." she pointed at her.
"My tricks may not seem to work on him anymore, but if I were you I'd watch out for Abbie and Kelly."
Christina rolled her eyes as she took a long swig of her beer. "And why do you care?"
"Oh, believe me, I don't." she backed up a bit. "It's just a warning. You won't have him for long. I know him better than anyone. Enjoy it while you can."
"By the way, you better go join the party. Seems as if he already has enojoyable company." Joni hissed as they walked away.
Christina looked down to the dance floor and noticed JC sitting in a booth with Kelly sitting closely beside him. Joey and JC's other friend, Lance, who was one of the city's best police officers, were sitting across from them.
"Well this looks cozy." Christina said sarcastically while she gave a mean look to Kelly.
"We were in the middle of a conversation, do you mind?" Kelly shot back.
Christina's mouth shot open as her remark took her offguard. "Do I mind? Who the hell do you think you are?"
"I'm someone thats in a better position than you." she smiled.
Christina huffed and grabbed her arm and pulled her out of the booth. "Get out of here, now!"
"Get off me!" Kelly exclaimed as she threw her arms up in the air and walked away.
"What the hell was that about?" JC asked.
"I should be asking you that. I've had it up to here with these people today!" she explained as she put her hand up to her head.
"You need to chill out. She wasn't doing anything wrong." JC replied.
"I got into a big argument with Jack and Courtney and then I got that call earlier from Abbie and now this. I swear, this has to be the worst day of my life." she sighed.
"Well if you wouldn't be so defensive all the time maybe it would go a little smoother." he continued.
"Kelly was acting as if I was the one out of place here. Why do I feel like I am?" she said softly near the end.
"You wouldn't if you accepted my friends."
Christina looked from the floor back to JC. "I would if they weren't always all over you."
"Christina." he paused. "How is this gonna work if we are going to continuously argue about this?"
"I think this is our cue to leave." said Lance, who he and Joey had been sitting at the booth listening the whole time.
Christina stopped him before he stood up. "No, it's okay, Lance. I'm the one that's leaving." she sniffed lightly.
"Where are you going?" JC asked quickly.
"Home. To pack my things." she bluntly replied as she turned quickly on her heel.
"No, wait!" he yelled after her.
"Trouble in paradise?" Courtney said with a sneer as she walked in front of her.
Before Christina could say anything JC stepped in front of her. "That's enough, Court! You start anything else with her and I will permanently remove you from the club!"
Courtney didn't say anything except point her finger at Christina in a threatening way as she made her way to the bar.
Christina continued to walk again and made her way outside. JC stopped her as soon as she stepped through the door. "Christina stop."
With a tear stained face she turned around as the cool air whipped around her. "Why, Jace? Let's not avoid the inevitable."
"I don't want you to go, Chris." he blurted out without thinking.
"Jace." she put her head down and wrapped her arms around herself to keep warm.
He put his hands on her arms to console her. "I'm sorry. But, please don't move out. I didn't mean what I said earlier. It was stupid of me."
"I'm just going to keep causing you problems." she said but was quickly cut off.
"No one has ever loved me more than you have. I couldn't even function without you. Nothing means more to me than you. I need you Christina."
Abbie quietly walked up behind him and interrupted. "Jace, I need to talk to you."
"Not now Abbie." JC grunted.
"She can wait. I need to talk to you now." she replied straightforwardly.
JC turned around as he started to get irritated. "No, Abbie, she is my girlfriend. You are going to wait."
"Fine." she hissed. "I'll see you inside."
"See what I mean?" Christina spoke as Abbie walked into the club.
"Ya know what? I think I have an idea on how to get everyone to back off." he said as he looked into her glossy eyes.
"Stay here." he said as he walked around her.
"Wait. Where are you going?" she asked curiously.
"Home quick. I'll be right back." he smiled as he ran around the building to his truck.
Christina shivered from the chilly air and went back into the club.
Twenty minutes later Christina finished her rum and coke with Maddie as JC came back to the club. The band was on its break and the club was at its peak of the night with its maximum capacity.
"Christina! Come here!" JC yelled from on the lower level.
"What?" she responded as she dragged her feet down the ramp to the dance floor.
"Stay right here." he smiled as he made his way through the crowd.
"What's going on?" Maddie asked as she handed Christina another rum and coke.
"Uh, I'm not sure." she replied as JC made his way to the stage. She also noticed her three favorite people watching every move he made.
"Everyone! Can I get your attention?" he announced loudly to the 150 people in the club. Everyone suddenly became quiet and all eyes were on him.
"I'm guessing you all know that I have been with my girlfriend, Christina, for a little while now." he paused for a moment. "She is now the co-owner of The Midnight Club because she has become a major part of my life."
"Do you know what this is about?" Jack whispered in Christina's ear.
She turned slightly, surprised that he was talking to her. "No, I don't."
"She recently moved in with me and I just wanted you all to be here when I make it official." he continued.
Christina made her way through the crowd and found an empty space as JC dropped his eyes to hers and connected them to each other as if they were completely alone inside the room full of strangers.
"Christina." he paused as the huge club was silent enough to hear a pin drop. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a box with a ring inside. He jumped down off the stage and leaned down in front of her and then continued. "Will you marry me?"
The only sound in the distance was glass shattering on the floor. It was the martini glass that Courtney was holding as she ran out the door.
* 5: Tea and Sympathy *