I plop down on the lounge chair, and close my eyes, soaking in the sun. As much as I loved filming The Hunger Games in North Carolina, nothing can beat L.A. weather. And I missed it.
I put my ear buds in and start listening to my favorite band, Big Time Rush. I can't believe I still haven't met them yet, even though my uncle is the Gustavo Rocque. But they supposedly live here at the Palmwoods, so I should meet them eventually.
I lay there absorbing the heat for a few minutes, but then the sunlight is blocked. I wait a minute, but when the shade hasn't moved, I squint open my eyes and yank out my ear buds. I sigh, "Excuse me, I'm trying to get a tan, and you're kinda blocking the sun."
I try to look at the faces of the four guys standing in front of me, but after having my eyes closed for a while, I can't see well. One of the guys, who I can see has long blond hair, speaks up. "Sorry to disturb you, but we noticed you're new here, and we just want to welcome you to the Palmwoods."
I sit up and smile at him. He starts to continue. "By the way, I'm Kendall, and this is-"
I interrupt him as I can finally see their faces. And I know exactly who they are. "Oh my god, you're Big Time Rush!" I exclaim and look at them. Yep, it's really them, standing right in front of me.
"Um, yeah, we are," the guy on the left says who I realize is Logan. "Are you a fan?"
I nod my head and smile, hardly able to believe that I am meeting my favorite band. "Mhm, you should have seen how annoyed everyone on set got with me for always listening to your music."
"Sweet, you're an actress?" Carlos replies cheerfully.
Before continuing, I slide over on my chair, so that there's room for two of them to sit next to me. I pat the spots, and James and Carlos quickly sit down. Logan and Kendall both then sit on the chair next to mine.
"Yeah, I'm an actress. I just got done filming for The Hunger Games. But now, my uncle is making me record with him over at-" I pause as a thought dawns on me. "I just realized, I never introduced myself! I'm Lauren Rocque."
The guys scream out "What?" and Logan spits out the drink he had been taking a sip of. They all start examining me like I'm about to sprout horns or something bizarre.
"Rocque?" James says with eyebrows raised. "Like Gustavo Rocque?"
I sigh and nod my head. I knew this would happen. "Yeah, he's my uncle."
"But you're not evil like him!" Carlos shouts out and quickly covers his mouth. Kendall smacks him on the leg and glares at him.
I can't help but laugh at his response, since Uncle Gustavo can be quite mean. "I totally know what you mean! But luckily I take after my mom's side of the family; they are much less crazy than the Rocques."
"Are you staying here with your parents?" Logan asks curiously.
"No, they're too busy working so it's just me..." I trail off as I notice all of them get the same weird expression on their faces.
"You have your own place?" They all burst out at once.
"It's not that exciting. In fact, it's kinda lonely." I say and stare down at the ground, saddened by the thought of my empty apartment.
I glance back up at them right as they finish a silent exchange. James clears his throat, and I turn and look up at him. I get slightly mesmerized by his eyes, which are brown with just a slight amount of green in them, before he starts talking. "So every Friday night, we have a movie night, where we watch two movies. And we've decided that we'd like for you to join us."
They all stare at me expectantly for a few seconds. "It sounds great, I'd love to," I say and smile. "What time should I come over? And should I bring anything?"
"You can come over at about 6:30 for dinner," Kendall replies. "And bring you're favorite movie, a pillow, and a blanket."
"Alright," I say and stand up. I gather my things and look at the guys. "I'm going to head up to my room and get ready. I'll see you guys in a little bit."
I turn and start to walk back towards the elevator. I get to about halfway there, when I realize I don't know what apartment is theirs.
I turn around and start walking back towards the guys. I reach in my bag for my phone as I'm walking. "Hey, I forgot to ask, what room-" I stop as I glance up and see them all fighting.
"She's mine!" I hear Carlos yell. But then they notice me standing there. They freeze and we just stare at each other for a few seconds.
I clear my throat as it starts to get awkward. The guys step away from each other, evidently embarrassed. "Um, I don't know what apartment is yours," I say.
Kendall's face lights up as he realized that he didn't give that important detail. "Oh, it's 2J. Sorry about that," he says with a smile.
"Thanks. Bye guys, again," I say with a wave. I start walking away past the pool again, and I smile as I start to hear them bickering about me again. This should be an interesting night.
I take a deep breath as I stand in front of the door marked 2J. I knock and hear scuffling going on behind the door, and several thuds. Finally, the door opens, and James is standing there.
I glance past him and see Kendall, Carlos, and Logan in a pile on the floor. "Not cool, man!" Carlos shouts at James.
"Lauren, do come in," James says and steps to the side.
I walk in a look around at their brightly decorated apartment. Then my eyes land on the swirly slide. "You have a swirly slide!" I say as I drop my bag and start to run up the stairs. I get to the top and slide down. The guys are standing there laughing. "That is so awesome! This entire apartment is so cool."
Kendall walks over and links an arm with me. He walks us over to the kitchen, where I just now noticed there was someone standing there. "Mom, this is Lauren. You might not believe it, but she's Gustavo's niece!"
"Hello, Mrs. Knight. It's very nice to meet you," I say as I shake her hand. "Thanks for having me over for dinner."
"It's no problem at all. The guys explained how you're by yourself. So you can join us for dinner any time you want," she says with a smile.
"OMG you're Lauren Rocque!" I hear a girl shout from the direction of what appears to be their bedrooms. I look over and see a small girl walking over towards me. "I'm Katie, Kendall's sister. Can I have your autograph?"
"Sure," I say and go to grab the paper, but she won't let go. I yank the paper from her and hold it above my head where she can't reach this. "What's this?" I say as I read over it. "A contract saying that you're my manager, you get 60% of my pay, and I have to buy you you're own mansion." I hand the paper back to her. "Nice try, but I actually look at things before I sign them."
She gives me a mean look. "Darn it, I was so close." Then she stalks off to her room.
"Don't mind Katie," Mrs. Knight responds at my confused look. "She does that to everyone she meets who is remotely famous. Now, let's eat!"
We all sit down at the table and enjoy the dinner of what I learned to be "Fish Stick Friday". After we finish, Mrs. Knight starts to walk to her room, but she stops just before entering. "Lauren, if you like, you are more than welcome to stay the night. But if you don't, make sure the guys walk you home, alright?"
"Thank you so much, Mrs. Knight. I'll definitely keep that offer in mind." She smiles at me one more time before she enters her room.
I turn and see Carlos and Logan are choosing their spots on the couch; James is setting up a movie in the DVD player; and Kendall is walking over with several bowls of popcorn. They left a space open between Logan and Carlos, so I head over there and sit down. "So what movie are we watching?"
Kendall hands a bowl to me, and takes his spot on the other side of Carlos. "Well, it's Logan's turn to pick a movie, so he chose Scream 4. And then we'll watch whatever movie you brought."
My face drops when he says what movie we're watching. I absolutely cannot stand horror movies. "Do we have to watch that movie?" I say in a meek voice. It's quite obvious how terrified I am.
"What's the matter, Lauren? Can't handle a little scary movie?" Logan says tauntingly and I look over at him.
"Fine, it'll be your fault when I can't sleep later, and I come bothering you." I turn away from him, and situated my blanket so I'm comfortable. Then I start munching on my popcorn. "Let's just get this over with."
James presses play, and the movie starts. I sit there cowering behind my blanket, to terrified to eat my popcorn. The movie goes on, and I'm doing ok with not being too scared.
But then eventually the killer jumps out, and I scream as I flail around, sending my popcorn flying. I burrow my face into Carlos' back, trying to avoid watching the movie.
He puts an arm around me, and rubs my back, trying to comfort me. "Shhh, it's alright, Lauren. It's just a movie. You're safe." He whispers into my ear.
I stay like this for the rest of the movie, not watching most of it. But when curiosity would win the better of me and I would peek at the screen, I usually went back to hiding right away.
Finally, the movie ended, and I was able to come out from hiding behind Carlos. James stands up and stretches. "Alright, time to get pajamas on, before we watch the next movie."
The guys all stand up and start to walk to their rooms. I sit on the couch awkwardly, since I didn't bring any pj's. "The bathroom's over there," Kendall says and points to a door.
"Oh thanks, but I didn't bring any pj's because I didn't know I was going to stay the night."
James walks back over to the couch and grabs my hand. "C'mon, you can borrow a t-shirt and shorts from me," he says as he leads the way towards his room. I stop outside as he goes in and rummages through his dressers. After a minute, he comes back with a shirt and shorts. "Here you go."
"Thanks, James," I say as I take the clothes from him and head to the bathroom. I change into them, and notice they have a faint smell of cologne to them. I inhale the smell, and smile a bit: it's chocolate axe, my favorite cologne.
After a few seconds, I walk out of the bathroom, and see all of the guys are sitting on the couch waiting. I walk over and get my movie out of my bag. "Thanks again, James, for the clothes."
"It's no problem. So what movie are we watching next?" He replies with a dazzling smile.
I lose my train of thought temporarily, because of his smile. "Oh, um, I brought Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. It's one of my all-time favorite movies."
Kendall hops off of the couch, and grabs the movie from me to put in the DVD player. As he's doing that, I sit down in my spot and get comfy. He walks back and the movie starts to play. I glance at Logan quickly, and notice that he has a bowl of popcorn. I reach over and grab it from him, and start eating. He gives me a look to say what was that for, and I respond with a shrug of my shoulders. "You made me dump my popcorn because you chose a scary movie. So it's mine now."
I turn back to the movie, enjoying the popcorn. After a little while, my eyes start to droop. And eventually, I fall asleep, happily surrounded by my new friends.