' We totally deserve this vacation , Vince ,' implored Lola Martinez , pushing her long brown hair off of her shoulders as she waved her hands in the air expressing her excitement ,' You've been working ridiculous hours at the station and my show is about to go on an actual hiatus ! "
Vince Blake sat up straighter, reaching over to rub absently at Lola's neck,' Honey, I know that we haven't spent as much quality time together as we both would have liked but you seriously want to join our friends for a group vacation in Las Vegas '
Their friend Logan Reese and his wife Quinn had been planning a group vacation to Las Vegas for some time now hoping to continue on a tradition they had started when they were teenagers. Outside of Michael and Lisa's wedding in Georgia a few years back, they really hadn't managed to get away as a group in a while. Oh they did the weekly dinners and cook outs pretty much like clockwork but Vegas would be a real vacation.
Shooting him an annoyed look, Lola climbed out of bed, pulling the short dark blue robe over her lavender short satin nightie , folded her arms across her chest as if to demonstrate to her boyfriend how important this vacation was to her . She had given it a lot of thought lately.
" Yes, I do and you should too ,' continued Lola , pacing in front of the bed ,' It will be fun . Lord knows we could use some of that in our lives right now! Financially, we're in a good place so it won't like kill our budget if we do this trip plus Logan's Dad has a house in Vegas that we can all stay in so it won't be that expensive. 'She leaned in closer to nibble a kiss on his lips,' I've always wanted to go to Vegas! It could be romantic for us!"
Vince drew her to him deepening the kiss before she pulled away, as he let out a groan. Lola was a spirited, beautiful woman and the very love of his life and often impulsive, this was the first time since she had started starring in the teen drama that she had pushed for more time together recently. Not that Vince felt that their relationship had been suffering because of her acting career or his own work; he felt they had found a good balance between all.
'It won't be all vacation,' reminded Vince, being practical,' Logan wants to scout for possible movie sights in old Las Vegas for that new script that came across his desk 'Logan's first movie he had produced had done well and his friend was proving that he could live up to the expectations of being a new producer and the son of Malcolm Reese.
Lola rolled her eyes upwards, biting her tongue at the glib remark she was tempted to make but changed her mind. The actress walked across the room to the closet, pausing to rifle through the closet before pulling out a pale yellow polo shirt which she tossed to Vince.
'That doesn't mean that all of us need to go scout with him, Vince nor would Logan expect us to either! 'She yanked a bright turquoise halter dress off of the hanger folding it across her arm,' I cannot believe you are being Mr. Sensitive over this of all things. 'She pursed her red lips into a thin line,' you know the anniversary, our anniversary of the official day we became a couple is coming up soon and would be during Vegas which would be prefect !'
Vince slid the shirt over his head before answering, taking his time to think it through as Lola still considered their dating anniversary tracing back to high school and it somehow always tripped him up. It wasn't that he didn't think he could get time off from reporting on college sports news (Michael Barrett worked as the producer at the same station and knew that he and his wife Lisa were already on the bandwagon for the vacation along with their other friends, Chase and Zoey Matthews) or that he didn't want to spend time with her either, it surprised him suddenly how passionate Lola had become about this vacation. Maybe she needed to decompress from playing a vixen all of the time and just be herself.
Las Vegas wouldn't be his first choice for a romantic trip but they couldn't afford to jaunt off to Rome either right now. He ran his hands through his reddish brown hair then reached out dragging Lola back into his arms and into the bed with him.
'I hadn't forgotten our anniversary, Lola,' reassured Vince, quietly,' not that you would let me 'She kicked lightly at his legs where he captured hers,' what the hell, it might be fun!"
Lola's entire face lit up as she let out a high pitched squeal, wrapped her arms around Vince's neck, before covering his mouth with hers in a kiss that went on and on and on. He changed the angle of the kiss as he pulled her back down on the bed, all practical thoughts fleeing from his brain as their passion and love took them on another wild ride. Afterwards, Lola pushed her dark hair away from her face, a sated grin curving around her mouth as she tapped a manicured fingernail against her honey's chest as if to say they still had the hots for each other after all of these years together , only Lola didn't vocalize that thought out loud .
Vince wore calm like a second skin (no signs ever of the once hot headed jock he once had been so long ago) and even when he was in his Zen place, the man could turn seriously practical in a heartbeat. Lola didn't think it had a darn thing to do with their age, she blamed it on all of their married friends who were all living in that happy married bubble while she and Vince weren't there yet. It had bothered Vince awhile back and Lola knew her man had pushed past it, knew their relationship was great but she knew the signs now what would prompt these discussions.
Now so wasn't the time for a where are we really going talk.
'Well, damn, I didn't want to get out of bed anyway 'managed Vince, winking at her.
'We could drive to Santa Barbara today,' decided Lola, mind whirring a mile a minute as she felt around the carpet for her robe,' we could visit Quinn and Logan. They finally finished renovating that old room into Quinn's lab so that she can work at home and the woman has been dying to show it off to us.'
Vince glanced at the clock with a nod.' I thought you were signed up to take one of Lisa's dance classes today. Didn't we pre=pay for them? '
Lisa's dance studio had been open going on its second year and finally starting to show a decent profit and a nice steady clientele for the dance teacher who taught everything from ballet to contemporary with morning yoga classes mixed in. With Lola's insane shooting schedule the actress tried to fit in classes when she could manage and support her friends business.
'Lisa won't mind if I take class another time '
Vince drew in a few calming breaths to center himself wishing he could fit in yoga with Lola and Lisa. He enjoyed the solitary state of meditation fine on his own but there was something easy and relaxing when they practiced yoga together as they had since they were all teenagers back at P.C.A. . Not to mention, Lisa was always the best sounding board of their friends.
'I'm sure that Lisa won't mind but you might as well go,' Vince sat up, pulling his feet over the bed and on the ground,' I have to go into work for a few anyway to tape promos. I should only be gone an hour or two then we can visit Quinn and Logan "
Lola wrinkled her nose in distaste for work. Between her crazy film schedule and Vince's sports commentary job at the studio, it felt as if they were ruled by work more often than not. It was true that neither of them had too many complaints job/career wise but she missed them. They did spend time together but it felt rushed. They needed to put the spark back into their relationship, add some spontaneity, cut loose together, and Vegas were the perfect place for her and Vince to reconnect their love.
Lola kissed his chin,' I'm holding you too that, Vince '
'I'll call Logan on my way to work,' called out Vince, heading into the bathroom to grab a shower,' Make sure we don't horn in on his and Quinn's private time together '
Lola made a face,' They are our best friends, they won't mind if we just pop in for a visit '
'It couldn't hurt ….remember how tense it was the last time we all group surprised them? I hadn't seen Quinn or Logan that tense since, well, the whole stalker …..'
Lola made a sympathetic clucking sound as she picked up the framed photograph of her and Vince taken during prom their junior year at P.C.A then glanced at a more recent picture of them glammed up at Michael and Lisa's rehearsal dinner in Georgia .
'I think it's healthy that Quinn and Logan still bicker, it means their marriage is good '
'Be that as it may be, Lola,' answered Vince from the bathroom,' I still don't like being around them when they fight.'
'At least they aren't stale and an incredibly boring married couple 'declared Lola, simply.
Marriage had been playing around in her head more often than not lately. It should have made her take a giant leap backwards only it made her think more deeply. Strange.
***************************************Wedding Bells *************************
Meanwhile in Melrose at the small house that belonged to Chase and Zoey Matthews, the upcoming group Las Vegas vacation was the topic of discussion while their one year old son Toby slept in his room. Zoey's blonde hair was falling out of her ponytail, she had slight bags under her eyes and was dressed in baggy grey sweats and an old Paris tee shirt was debating on brewing up coffee or making a mimosa to get her going this morning.
Chase didn't stop just went through the process of brewing a pot of coffee.' Zo, we can't keep dancing around the subject of a real life vacation, Logan and Quinn deserve an answer and soon. Logan's Dad's house is there so we won't even be paying for a hotel room so it's almost like a free vacation …..'
He looked imploringly at his wife then went to the fridge pulling out an Orange Blix as if the drink of his teen years held the answers to this question. It didn't but it was good.
Zoey blew a blonde strand of hair out of her eyes.' I know but what about the baby? Chase, we can hardly leave Toby alone for a fun filled Vegas vacation! I suppose that we could take him with us but Las Vegas is hardly an appropriate place for a one year old '
She picked up an old stuffed bear and a pacifier off of the floor before picking up her sketchbook. Between her hours at the boutique and being a mom, Zoey was starting to feel a little frazzled, trying to be the best at everything which also included a wife.
Chase prepared Zoey's coffee just the way she liked it before handing the mug to her and joining her on the couch. He took another slug of the sugary sweet Blix before sitting it on the scarred coffee table and placing a warm hand on her leg.
'Actually Mom called a while ago,' said Chase, choosing his words with great care,' She and Dad are wanting to come visit; they always want to spend time with Toby. I am sure that my folks would love to stay here and babysit their grandchild while we were in Vegas '
Zoey took a few drinks of the strong coffee = bless his heart, Chase always brewed the coffee strong enough to wake the dead, before putting the mug down. Her heart fluttered a bit as she supposed she was somewhat of a nervous Mommy as Zo hadn't even let any of their closest friends watch Toby. It was probably silly of her but she worried more than ever including when she left their son with his Daddy when she went to the grocery store. Zoey dropped her sketchpad on the couch beside her as she decided her choice of words.
'Wouldn't that make us horrible parents? '
Chase gaped at her, shocked.' No! No! It's a week trip to Vegas, we're not redisposing off to, erm, Bangladesh or Cartagena on some wild adventure leaving our son home alone with a family of hobos or something worse, and it's my parents! Toby's Grandparents! '
Chase crossed the room, taking a defensive position, resisted the urge to turn on the television rather than have this stupid argument with his wife. He figured Zoey had some of that after baby issues women sometimes developed (only because Quinn had made him read up on the article in her science magazine which made zero sense to him)
Zoey twisted her wedding ring around her finger.' I know that! I trust your folks as I do mine but ….the idea of leaving Toby makes me nuts '
Chase hung his head, thoughtful. He loved his son more than life, would do anything for him, but he felt as if Zoey needed the mini getaway. He'd even been tucking away some money to treat his wife to a spa day with the girls whom he felt she needed to relax and rejuvenate.
Wasn't there an old episode of Sep by Step about this whole thing? Didn't Carol go nuts after the Lambert baby was born so Frank planned a romantic getaway – he'd have to ask Michael.
A guy could always find helpful hints in those old family comedies of the 80's/90's.
'I think that is why we should go with the gang,' Chase implored Zoey, simply 'it'll be fun. We could even look at it like a mini second honeymoon! Heck maybe next year we can take Toby with us to some kid friendly park and drag all of our friends with us '
The idea wasn't completely awful and there was a lot of merit to what Chase was saying to her. Not to mention, Pamela had been dropping anvil sized hints about babysitting the grandbaby for months now and she had always found reasons why it wasn't feasible. She didn't want to be one of those crazy moms on a made for TV movie either!
Zoey made a snap decision before she changed her mind.' Call your mom and make sure your folks are cool with them staying here with Toby while we are out of town '
Chase leaned down to drop a happy kiss on her mouth,' Vegas, baby, here we come '
********************************Wedding Bells ********************************
Across town at Lisa's dance studio , the dancer was in the midst of combination dance /yoga class with a handful of her regulars keeping in time with the very upbeat melody of songs from the 1980's that would then soften while Lisa eased them into the yoga poses .
A glance over her shoulder showed the dance instructor that most of her students were keeping up with the routine and the musicality though Lola seemed to be lagging a bit behind but then Lisa knew her schedule lately had left her very little free time for class. She also knew the actress had been relying on using the old treadmill to keep at shape at home between works. After all those TV cameras added ten pounds!
' Alright , good ,' called out Lisa, bending at the waist , shaking it out from her whole body to her arms as she came back up,' now don't forget to breathe '
There were a chorus of groans including Lola's which brought a small chuckle from Lisa as she whirled back around to face them, pausing to pick up a clean towel to swipe at the sweat beading her forehead . Time for a little break .
'Why don't we take five then we'll finish up with some yoga '
Lola walked over to the chair where she kept her oversized fake designer gym bag pulled out a towel to wipe down the disgusting sweat from her face then grabbing a water bottle glugged it down while Lisa did the whole praise her students gig which she so rocked well. The woman was a natural born dancer and since her dance studio had opened Lisa had built up a nice steady clientele.
' Lola , I'm glad you could make it ,' Lisa sidled up to her friend looking every inch the glorious dancer that she was in a lavender leotard and grey dancers pants ,' not getting enough cardio on those finely tuned teen soap club sequences ? 'Her blue eyes teased, merrily.
Lola made a face at her friend before plopping down ceremonially on the chair that Lisa had reupholstered.' Two hours filming me dancing in harsh lights doesn't technically count as actual dancing especially since my characters prized cool move I borrowed off of Buffy dancing at the Bronze on our last binge a whole month ago. 'She took another swig of water,' So, yes, I am out of shape.'
Lisa couldn't help but laugh at her friends' ever so dramatic diatribe – only Lola. She patted her friends hand in sympathy then scanned the oversized clock on the wall to check if the break needed to be over or if she could give them a few more unwind time.
'I don't think your quite that horrible, Lola,' reassured Lisa, tugging her dark hair over her shoulder,' fact is that I am so happy to see you in here. Vince has been coming in for some mini yoga sessions when he can but it's been awhile since it's been the three of us '
Lola dug back into her bag to pull out a bright blue towel which she handed to Lisa with a flourish and a devilish grin. Lisa caught the look and recognized it immediately. They had been friends for too long for her not to know when something was up.
Lola Martinez didn't have a subtle bone in her body either.
' We can plan on it when we're in Vegas '
Lisa arched an eyebrow.' Vegas? I didn't think that you and Vince were up for the trip any more than Zoey and Chase...Actually I figured it would wind up being just me and Michael tagging along with Logan and Quinn "
"No, Vince and I are definitely going. I decided for the both of us this morning '
"Should I even ask what exactly that means? '
"It means that we need this vacation with our friends '
Somehow Lisa sensed that there was more to it than just that but now wasn't the time to interrogate Lola about it, she had a dance class to get back to after all. The rest would wait.
" Alright, breaks over,' called Lisa, tugging on Lola's hand as she called out to the rest of her students,' no more dawdling with your friends, let's do some yoga.'
***************************************Wedding Bells ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Across town at the local news studio, Vince nursed another bottle of water as he sat in the make-up chair between takes for the promo spots he was filming today. It had been good to see Lola in such a chipper and feisty mood this morning as sometimes she tended to bring the character that she was portraying home with her. He preferred his girlfriend.
Michael Barrett approached him, slapping a friendly hand across the back of his chair in a gesture that dated back to high school. Michael was his producer and one of his best friends. He waved away Vanessa, the makeup artist, with a smile then leaned his hip against the counter dropping his clipboard on the table with a thud.
" Hey Vince, you're on in about seven minutes after Dee Dee wraps up the weather highlights ,' Michael considered another donut from the box with trepidation as Lisa had been trying to improve their eating habits with health food ,' and your way too quiet for my liking . You and Lola locking horns again? '
Vince pushed a strand of reddish brown hair out of his eye.' Lola was in a really good mood this morning making me a lucky man ' He flashed a cocky grin at his friend ,' She also wanted me to put in a weeks' vacation so we join the whole gang in Vegas '
Michael let out a low whistle of surprise.' Seriously? Cause I've been giving both you, and Chase and Zoey the hard sell for weeks about this vacation to nada. Chase literally just text me an hour ago letting me know he and Zo were on board now you and Lola too. "
Michael counted to five silently then opened the box of donuts helping him to a jelly.
"Did you all get hit over the head at the same time and come to your senses or was it something in the air? Logan's been testier than a girl lately so this ought to improve his mood, thank the Good Lord 'He bit into the donut, chewing in utter joy,' what gives? '
Vince took another drink of water. Eyed his friend, thoughtfully. "I thought Lisa had you on a green diet, Michael. That donut clearly isn't healthy or green '
Michael flipped him off with a laugh.' There is no kale donut and if there were, I'd probably throw that crap up. There is no need for you to tell my wife if I have a little work donut on a weekend, Vince, or I can veto the whole vacation thing '
Michael didn't have a mean bone in his body nor would he enforce his own threat but they both knew it was a bluff. He liked his breakfast at the station and looked forward to As much as he loved Lisa, a man could only drink so many smoothies.
" Your secret is safe with me ,' agreed Vince, clapping his friend on the arm ,' Lola did the grocery shopping last week and when she fixes breakfast it's avocado on dry toast with one egg white . I had two donuts on the way in myself '
Michael chuckled." I hear ya , man ,' went on Michael , rubbing his hands together ,' now that we're all set, I can print out my list of the best buffets we can check out in Vegas '
"Viva Las Vegas "
The music echoed in the studio signaling the end of the weather segment and Michael resumed that it was time to get back to work as he picked up his clipboard, nudged his friend.
"Vegas can wait, time to go to work Vince "
He was no longer The Vince Blake of P.C.A. he was just plain regular Vince Blake, sportscaster and Vince the grown up was good with that. Still Vegas might be what he needed, after all.
*************************************Wedding Bells ******************************************************************************
Logan Reese sat behind his desk finishing the last of finalizing all the details for the trip to Las Vegas next week now that he had heard from the last of his friends that had been holding out on going. He was glad they had gotten past that old point of contention regarding the whole money issue finally –what did it matter if he and Quinn had money when they wanted to share things in life with their best friends . He liked to think that he was long past being the cocky asshole that talked big and was proud of the honest man that he had become over the years; he'd worked hard on himself though he credited falling in love with Quinn as being what he needed. He was a better man because of her, for her, and she was his great love of his life.
He imagined that the location scouting part of the trip would be a hoot especially with all of the guys with him to understand his vision; after all, they knew him the best. Outside of Quinn, of course. Logan hadn't forgotten the girls either and had already booked a spa day for them.
Logan ran a hand through his coppery blonde curls cut to the nape of his neck then glanced out the large picture window taking the time to enjoy the lovely view of the ocean outside the house. A quick glance at the clock on the wall told him that it was almost two in the afternoon , he had finished up with work and last minute vacation plans and the house was entirely too quiet . It was Chauncey's day off which usually meant Quinn had free rein to clean to her heart content without hurting the old man's feelings but he hadn't seen his wife since breakfast.
He didn't think that she was still holed up in her lab working on a new Quinnvention but Logan pushed away from the desk, stood, then called out ,loudly ,' Quinn , babe? You upstairs "
When Quinn didn't instantly respond to his shouting, Quinn took the stairs two at a time upstairs stopping outside of the door to his wife's lab pausing to knock in case she happened to be working with dangerous chemicals or anything that could explode. Taking it to mean she wasn't there, Logan strode into their master bedroom where he found her sitting on the bed , her brown curls in a loose ponytail, glasses perched on her nose , a sad expression in her pretty eyes alerted Logan that something was the matter .
Logan was at her side in a flash, pulling her close into his arms.' What's wrong? Is it your folks? I thought your Mom was doing better on the herbals stuff Lola's mom fixed her up with for her nerves '
Quinn took a moment to just hold tight to him, relax into his strength, and collect her wits.
'Mom is well as far as I know,' spoke up Quinn, swallowing a lump lodged in her throat,' I, um, I thought...I had a good feeling this time so I took another pregnancy test. I was so sure , Logan, I thought surely this time was our time that we made a baby .'
Quinn choked back a little sob, as she clutched at his shirt.' Negative! No baby! I...i think it's time we be honest about this whole situation, Logan. Obviously something is wrong with me else we would have clearly conceived a child after all of this time we been trying '
It pained her to admit to herself, then especially to her love but Quinn was a scientist, she couldn't ignore the facts that were presented to her. They had a good marriage, a healthy sex life, and they had been trying nearly a year now to get her pregnant with no luck.
Logan cuddled her, pressed a kiss on her head.' Quinn, don't talk like that, there isn't a thing wrong with you. We could always go see a doctor, have tests run on us both if that will make you feel better. Maybe we're trying too hard and stressing out is working against us …that's a real thing, isn't it? '
'Quinn considered the possibility of his words also wondering where he came up with that particular theory. It wasn't as if her Logan read health or parenting magazines and she highly doubted the Hollywood reporter covered such weighty subjects but then he always kept her on her toes with his unexpected knowledge. Logan really was clever.
' I suppose so but doesn't seem likely to me however I suppose it might be best to know for sure before I continue second guessing myself ,' She looked up into his eyes, her own watery ,' I just really want it to be positive this time '
' It will be when it's our time , I promise ' Logan drew her into a deep kiss pouring in all of his love for her into it until she relaxed against him,' hey, you know , I will love you, no matter what '
'I love you too '
Logan couldn't resist pushing her glasses up and received a small smile for his efforts.
God, Quinn still could stop his heart with that sweet smile!
'You know, baby, a change of scenery may be what we need, get away from it all,' decided Logan, a devil may care look on his face reminding her on the cocky boy she had fallen madly in love with so long ago it seemed and the man he was today,' I hadn't had a chance to tell you, the gang is all in. Chase and Zoey, Vince and Lola, Michael, and Lisa – it'll be the best damn vacation since our spring break in Yosemite '
Quinn's lips curved ever so slightly, remembering that vacation clearly.' Yosemite was pretty wild '
'We can still be wild '
Quinn managed a half giggle.' Really? Cause last I checked none of us are 17, honey '
'Lola is playing freaking 17 on TV so your lying best friend might argue that '
" Knowing Lola that might be true ,' admitted Quinn, wryly ,' just promise me that you guys won't be trying to test out any of those Vegas themed sitcom episodes of old shoes you idiots have been watching lately . I don't want to have to bail you out of jail '
Logan nipped another kiss.' We're not half alien so not a problem '
'Let's hope the best things really do happen in Las Vegas '