Tour Bus….

"Hey."

"Hey."

"Did you see Quinn? Is she okay?"

Trent looked at his girl on the video chat screen and traced her face with the pad of his thumb.

This screen is nowhere near a substitute for that beautiful face. Oh, my love… look at the concern for her sister written in those eyes… She doesn't like to show that kind of emotion to anyone. We've come such a long way and this only underscores how much she's grown emotionally. She and Quinn would definitely not be so considerate of each other if this were high school.

"She's fine."

"What did she-"

"I love you."

She blinked a few times taken aback by this. They had long ago said 'I love you and they still did, but this seemed so random and out of order.

"I love you too." She waited a beat. "Is something wrong? Did something happen?"

He shook his head with a weary smile.

"No, I was just thinking…"

"About what?"

"I'm glad that we have good friends and family, but I don't want to lose sight of what's important- us." He looked at her sitting there looking so beautiful and he longed to hold her again. It had been too long for him. "Sometimes I feel like we're extras in a show that we used to be the stars of."

"I don't think anyone would tune in for a reality show about me and my neurosis, but throw in a hot musician like yourself and how could the MTV crow resist?" she teased around a playful smile.

"Seriously," he turned so that he was lying flat on his back and looking up at the screen that he held in his hand, "-and I know this sounds selfish, but I miss when it was all about us."

Her slight chuckle made him smile.

"Are you saying that you think that we are in a rut?"

"No, of course I don't." He sighed. "I guess I just miss you and seeing everyone else's relationships only underscores it."

"I kind of know what you mean, but then I remember the long road it took to get here and I'm glad that we're where we are at. I don't want any more angst or misunderstandings and uncertainty about our feelings."

"Well, yeah- that stuff I don't miss at all… I just miss you." His voice was quiet.

"I miss you too." She admitted just as quietly. "Sometimes I find myself filling every minute of the day with stuff to do to keep me distracted from thinking about it for too long." She lay back, turning on her side and looked at this man that she had grown to love so dearly over time. "I just want to let you know- in case you didn't already, that these kinds of admissions are not a part of my normal thing. You make me… softer…"

"Should I apologize?"

She gave a small smile.

"Never; you keep me human and that…is something Trent Lane."

"You give me far too much credit my love." He rolled to his stomach. "You are who you are and you are too smart to let anyone define that. With me, without me you'd still be the same smart and beautiful lady that you are. I, on the other hand would probably the drunk in the basement of my folks house hoping for 'the big break' to happen."

"That's not true Trent. You made things happen in your life without me or Jane being there. You felt that you wanted to make some changes and you did- and now you are pursuing your music career- quite wonderfully too. I'm so proud of you."

Trent gave a slight reddening and scratched the side of his head. He couldn't recall ever hearing someone say that too him and in such an honest tone that left no doubt about its authenticity.

"I'm proud of you too-"

"This isn't tit for tat Trent. I don't want you to ever feel obligated to say something back to me just because I said it to you. I know you weren't doing that just then," she said to the protest that she saw fixed upon his face. "I just thought that I should go ahead and clear that up- in case you didn't know."

He smiled and gave a nod.

"Okay and right back at cha with that." He waited a beat before speaking again. "I am proud of you though. I think that people can forget how hard it can be to be as smart as you are and you push yourself so hard… sometimes too hard to be more. I know with everything in me that you will succeed at whatever you want to do in life and you will always have my full support."

"Trent…"

"I love you lady and don't you ever forget it."

Her breath held for a moment; it still caught her off guard how he could just say something like that so easily. She felt it too and though it wasn't a struggle to say as she had once thought that it would be, she still found herself sometimes afraid to say it too loudly. She was as certain of his feelings for her as she was her for him, but old fears of rejection for any reason could pop up at any time, because as loathe as she was to admit it… she was human.

"I love you too Trent Lane…and don't you forget it either."

They spent a few moments of silence looking at each other before ending their call.