Disclaimer: I do not own JONAS.
A/N: So I found time to write in the hotel room. Not sure about the quality, though. Let me know if you think the Macy/Kevin story line needs more closure. Thanks for the reviews on the first chapter. Also, I was excited by the wave of new JONAS stories recently. If you haven't yet, go check them out in the Pure Horace Mantic community in Misc. Television.
Stella had spent a lot of time getting ready for her "date" with Kevin. In the back of her mind, she knew she wasn't primping for him; she wanted to rub how good she looked in Joe's face. Because while spending time with Joe Lucas as a pal was nothing special, having him notice her as a girl would be spectacularly, highlight-of-her-life exciting. But she was pretty sure she had a better chance of getting a pet Dodo for her next birthday.
And to be honest, she was sort of dreading her evening with Kevin. She loved the oldest Lucas, but she felt guilty about using him to get back at his brother. And she wasn't one hundred percent sure that he knew it wasn't really a date. You never could tell with Kevin. But she had gotten herself into this mess, and she couldn't back out now.
Squaring her shoulders and putting on a smile, she rang the Lucas family's doorbell.
After waiting outside for a few minutes, she turned the handle and opened the door, briefly wondering why it wasn't locked. Any crazed fan could just walk in off the street.
"Hello?" She called.
Shrugging, she walked in and sat down on the family room couch, waiting for Kevin to appear. After a few minutes, she heard someone come down one of the fire poles. Standing, she was surprise to find herself face to face with Joe. This was not part of the plan. He was supposed to see her looking gorgeous, heading out for the evening on the arm of his brother, not find her sitting by herself with no date in sight.
With a hint of satisfaction, though, she saw his eyes widen as he took in her appearance; her happiness disappeared as soon as he opened his mouth. "Where's your date, Malone?"
"I don't know, Lucas. Isn't he upstairs getting ready?"
At that moment the clock on the wall chimed six, and both teens turned towards the door, expecting to hear Macy knock. By six fifteen, they were both sprawled on the couch, staring morosely at the entryway.
"Where are they?" Joe whined.
"Macy and Kevin?" Frankie asked as he entered the room. "They're on a date."
"They can't be," Stella answered, "because we're supposed to be their dates."
"They blew you two off because they already had a date with each other."
"What!" Joe exclaimed.
"Yeah. Where have you two been? It took Kevin like three weeks to work up the courage to ask her out, but he finally called Wednesday and asked her to the movies. I have it on video if you want to watch," Frankie offered as he grabbed an apple from a bowl on the counter and headed back to his room.
"What the hell?" Joe said angrily. "If they already had a date, why did they agree to go out with us?"
Stella ran a hand through her hair. "I don't think we actually gave them the chance to say no. We pretty much ordered them to go out with us and then walked away."
"Oh, yeah," he replied. "But they still could have told us. A text or something would have been nice."
"It would have saved me the trouble of getting ready, that's for sure," Stella said, pouting a little.
Joe snuck a glance at her before clearing his throat and saying, "That shirt's a nice color on you. It brings out your eyes."
Stella tried not to grin. Instead she looked over at Joe, noticing for the first time that he was wearing an outfit she had recently put together for him.
"Thanks," Stella said before adding. "That outfit really does look good on you."
"Yeah, this awesome girl I know picked it out for me," he replied with a smirk.
"She must have really good taste."
"Normally I'd agree, but today she said that hanging out with me was nothing special, so I think she's losing her touch." Even though Joe tried to sound like he was joking, she could tell that what she had said had hurt him.
"Well, maybe she's tired of being taken for granted."
"I don't take her for granted! She's my best friend."
"Well maybe she's tired of just being your best friend," Stella blurted out.
"She is?" Joe said in shock. "I mean… you are?"
"I said maybe," Stella snapped, upset with herself for giving into the moment and revealing too much.
They both sat quietly, staring straight ahead, neither of them sure what to say or do next. Finally Joe muttered, "Well maybe I would like to be more than friends with her too, but it's complicated. Cause she's my best friend and when I inevitably mess up, I'll lose my girlfriend and my best friend at the same time."
"And maybe she's afraid of not only losing her best friend, but his family and her job."
Neither of them would look at the other. Instead, they both sat on the couch, staring straight ahead.
Finally Joe asked, "So what do we do?"
"First stop talking about Stella like she's someone else. It's annoying," Frankie called from somewhere nearby.
"Shut up, Frankie!" Joe yelled.
"I'm telling Mom you told me to shut up."
"Then I'm telling Mom you're eavesdropping again!"
That seemed to work because the youngest Lucas stayed silent and hidden. Both teenagers sat looking miserable.
"There's probably way too much at stake to risk dating," Stella finally concluded, part of her hoping he would disagree and tell her she was worth the risk.
"You're probably right. It would just mess everything up."
They returned to sitting in silence, staring off into space. When they both glanced over at the same time, they exchanged pained smiles before looking forward again. Then Stella's hand accidentally brushed Joe's thigh, and she flinched and moved away. That was the last straw.
"Date me!" He blurted.
"What?" Stella asked incredulously. "I thought we agreed it was a bad idea."
"The past five minutes have been the most awkward of our entire friendship. Now that I know you like me too, I can't just sit here and pretend to be your friend. And there's no way I can sit back and watch you go on a date with someone else."
"I wanted to punch Kevin when you asked him out," Joe admitted.
Stella launched herself across the couch, kissing him with all the pent up passion and frustration she had been carrying around for the past few years. When they finally broke apart, Joe leaned his forehead against Stella's and muttered, "Wow! There is no way we're going back to just friends after that."
She sighed happily, "Agreed."
"I think I've got a solution to our problem," Joe whispered, beginning to trail kisses from her ear down her neck.
Stella could barely concentrate on what he was saying, so she made a sound to indicate that she wanted to hear his idea.
"We just won't break up," he said between kisses.
Stella knew the idea was unrealistic and impractical, but that fact that Joe Lucas said it to her made her melt. Closing her eyes and running her fingers through his hair, she breathed out, "Sounds like a plan to me."
"Did you get it?" Nick whispered, holding onto his little brother's ankles as Frankie aimed his video camera into the family room from one of the holes in the ceiling. Where other people saw an opening for the fire poles, Frankie saw an opportunity to spy on his older brothers.
"Yup! I got it all. But they're making out now, and I might be sick so let me up. Thank goodness Macy and Kevin didn't kiss earlier; I can only handle so much mushiness in one day."
"You do know I'm never bringing a girl back to the house now, right?" Nick asked as he helped his brother to his feet.
"You'd have to get a girl to date you first," Frankie teased his brother. "And by the time that happens, I bet you forget all about my little camera here."