"So here we are."
Jetta turned her head, casting
companion an amused smile. "Las Vegas. At last. If they'd just give us
our luggage, we could go find this 'otel of yours...your friend did
you the confirmations?"
"It's all in my bag, I promise." Justin nodded his head. He ran his glance over his girlfriend, pursing his lips as he did so. Her thick black hair was pulled back into a neat braid, fastened at the end by a mahogany clasp over one shoulder and her piercing grey eyes had been softened by the subtle tones she had chosen for her make up that morning. Dressed in a lavender polo neck and designer jeans, she was far from the wild girl of rock and roll. Indeed, the woman who stood before him had a chic, unassuming air to her, and, he acknowledged to himself with a wry grin, she could almost be mistaken for demure.
"You know, you couldn't look less like a Misfit today if you tried." He remarked. "Is this an attempt at incognito, or something else?"
"Do you 'ave any idea how much of a nightmare it is flyin' with your
hair all over the place?" Jetta demanded, her cheeks pinkening slightly
under his scrutiny. "Stop staring at me like you never saw me before!"
"Sorry." Justin looked sheepish. "I didn't mean to. I know I've seen you casual before, it's just...well, you almost look like something out of a Parisian fashion magazine right now. It's hard to pin point...but I like it. It's you...without the warpaint."
"Warpaint?" Jetta raised a perfectly styled eyebrow. Justin nodded.
"Much as I love you in all your Misfit glory, this is the Jetta I prefer." He agreed. "Au naturel."
"I'll give you au naturel when we get to the hotel." Jetta laughed. "In the meantime, that's my case...fancy bein' a gent an' grabbin' it for me?"
"Sure, I guess I could do that." Justin nodded good-naturedly,
over to haul the black case off the conveyor. "And that one's mine...so
there we go. Do we need a trolley?"
"I dunno - are you a wuss or can you carry them?" Jetta bantered.
"I thought you were your own woman...doesn't that mean you can carry your own?" Justin teased back. Jetta chuckled.
"Touche." She acknowledged, slipping her fingers through the handle of the case and lifting it. "There. Let's go grab a taxi before they're all gone, huh? The sooner we're in an' unpacked, the sooner we can explore. And I got a buzz just bein' 'ere, Justin. Stormer found this article in a magazine about this 'uge casino in the centre which we jus' 'ave to visit one night. An' there are the lights...the nightlife...the city. I 'ope you don't plan on doin' too much sleepin'."
"Hadn't really thought about it." Justin owned. "Listen,
is the first time we've taken a vacation together. You're all right
that? I mean, we're sharing a room...people will think..."
"People can think what they like." Jetta dismissed it with a gesture. "This is Vegas. An' the room is free. Plus, I don't mind sharin' with you an' if the old prudes at the desk 'ave a problem with unmarried couples sleepin' in their suites, you can refer them to your pal. It's just a vacation an' it's just an 'otel room. It's not a blinkin' 'oneymoon suite!"
"True." Justin laughed. "All right. I just wanted to be sure."
"Besides, dressed like this, most people will 'ave to look twice to work out who I am." Jetta added, as they reached the taxi rank. "By the time they've done so, I'll probably be out of their view. We're just another pair of tourists, an' that's all."
"I wasn't thinking of being recognised." Justin pursed his lips.
it bother you, then, if people were to know we were sleeping together?
I mean, if they knew Jetta of the Misfits had a guy in her life?"
"Me? Not really." Jetta shook her head. "But Pizzazz pretty much gets apoplectic at the bare idea, and right now, I live under 'er roof. So..." She shrugged. "It's easier to go along with what she says."
"And if we were to be rumbled here?"
"Why, Justin? What are you planning?" Jetta shot him a suspicious
"Nothing." Justin hastened to assure her. "I guess there are still rules in the Misfit sphere that I don't completely understand. That's all."
"Pizzazz's take is that love is for wusses." Jetta raised her hand to alert a taxi driver, gripping her case more tightly as the car wheeled in towards them. "Mine too, for that matter. But she doesn't see the difference between mushy 'Ologram love affairs an' you an' me sleepin' together. She thinks it would be bad for Misfit image if we were seen gettin' all lovey dovey an' she thinks sleepin' with the photographer is tacky."
She pursed her lips.
"Considerin' 'ow many of 'er Daddy's execs she's slept with, I think she's got a nerve, but there you go. Sometimes it's easier to comply."
"I guess there's no place in Misfit society for a significant
Justin looked amused. Jetta nodded her head.
"Something like that." She agreed. "She about flipped her lid when Stormer told her she was going to go to DC to visit with Elliot over the weekend."
"Though she needn't worry. Stormer's stuck in some romance novel and very likely is saving herself for Mr Right. Noone in their right mind could mistake that for a scandalous relationship - and he's one of Harvey's execs that Pizzazz hasn't bedded, so I don't see the 'arm in it."
"Poor Stormer." He chided. "It can't be easy, being the only romantic surrounded by you lot."
"She manages. We try and knock it out of her most of the time."
shrugged, pulling open the taxi door. "Pizzazz is just mad because she
likes to be in charge and blatantly, this week, she isn't. Roxy'll
spend the whole week with her bike and Aja...and Pizzazz will just have
to lump it on her own."
"Pizzazz has always struck me as a bit of a loner." Justin mused, as they dumped their cases in the boot of the taxi, climbing into the back. "Er, we want the Rosenberg Hotel, on ninth and west." This last to the driver. "I don't see why she cares so much if you all do your own thing. Then she can do hers. Right?"
"Well, so you'd think." Jetta sat back in her seat. "But it wasn't real pretty when I told her about this little jaunt. Your name 'as become a dirty word in Gabor HQ."
"I'm real fond of her too." Justin grinned. "In a sense, though, it's a pity that Raymond guy turned out to be such a scam artist, running off with the money the way he did. I almost thought that he and Pizzazz would have been well matched with each other, once upon a time."
"If I comment on that, I'll probably lose my job." She said wryly. "But let's just say I'm glad it never came to pass an' that Eric is well out of the US now. Pizzazz is the sort of girl who self-destructs around men, anyway...the further away from them she keeps, the better for everyone."
She glanced out of the window.
"And enough on her now." She ordered. "This is our vacation. Not hers."
"It's cute when you use Americanisms." Justin cast her a grin. "With your accent and all...it sounds funky."
"Why? What did I say?" Jetta looked startled.
"Vacation." Justin told her. "I've known you long enough to know that you Brits say holiday."
"Well, when around the yanks..." Jetta shrugged, looking rueful. "I'm far more American these days than I was when I first came to the States, thats for sure. I do it without even thinkin' about it, now."
"Well, I like it." Justin decided. "I like your accent. It stands
Makes you exotic."
"Nothin' exotic about it." Jetta snorted. "Come spend a few weeks in the east end of London, mate. That'll soon cure you of that."
"I'd like to." Justin admitted. Jetta raised an eyebrow.
"Yes." Justin nodded his head. "I'd like to see your city, Jetta. You've seen something of mine...albeit in a thunderstorm, and probably not at it's best...but you have seen New York. I've never been to London, and I'd really like to go."
"You might change your mind when you actually visit." Jetta sighed,
leaning up against him as the taxi ran over bumpy road. "Pollution.
People. It's not all Buck 'Ouse an' Parliament, Big Ben an' all that.
just the centre. Westminster. If you ain't got cash, livin' in London
bloody expensive. I know Cali is costly, too - but I'm tellin' you,
you pay on your apartment wouldn't even rent a bedsit in a decent part
of London. Plus, there are some real dives. Trust me. I grew up in
"I 'ave a love-hate relationship with London." She admitted. "It's both 'ome and somewhere I'm desperate to leave, whenever I'm there."
"Well, maybe for our next...holiday, we could spend a week or two there?" Justin suggested. "If you were game. Knowing you has made me curious...I'd like to see it. All of it."
Jetta looked doubtful.
"Maybe." She said at length. "I'm not sure if I want to let you that far into my world - you might not like what you see."
"And you think it'd change how I think of you?" Justin asked. Jetta
"I don't know." She said frankly. "But I'm not sure if I'm ready to take you 'ome."
"I'm patient." Justin leant over and kissed her on the cheek. "Whenever you are."
At that moment the taxi drew up outside the hotel and, after paying the driver, they headed into the lobby towards the busy reception desk. As they reached it, a young man cast them a smile.
"Can I help?" He asked.
"We have a booking. Pelligrini." Justin returned the smile. The man checked his book.
"Yes, sir...room eight eleven." He agreed. "It's a double room..." He paused, his glance resting on Jetta. "I presume that's all right?"
"Well, if it isn't, I'm sure Justin can always sleep on the floor."
Jetta said blithely. "Jus' give us the keys, huh? We've 'ad a long
"Oh. Of course." The man seemed flustered, and he fumbled with the keys on the rack, almost dropping them on the floor. He set them down on the desk.
"Here." He said. "Could I ask you to both sign in?"
"Yeah, of course." Justin picked up the pen, scrawling his name then handing it to his companion. Jetta took it, hesitating and then, very carefully printing 'Sheila Burns' in the box beside his. Then she scooped up the key, glancing at her boyfriend.
"Let's go." She said. "Eight eleven? Floor eight?"
"Yes, Miss." The man had recovered his composure by this time. "Floor eight...right at the far end. Dinner is between seven and ten at night, breakfast between half six and half nine in the morning and the bar is always open. The pool is open between six am and eleven pm, except for special bookings...enjoy your stay in Las Vegas."
"We will." Jetta winked at him. Justin rolled his eyes, linking his arm in hers.
"Elevators are that way." He indicated. "Come on. Let's go settle in."
As they crossed the lobby towards the lift, Jetta became aware of a man with a distinctive style of camera and she frowned, reaching to toy with the end of her braid.
"Press." She muttered. "You don't suppose...?"
"They're on our tail?" Justin looked surprised. "No, I doubt it. Why would they be?"
"I don't know." Jetta admitted. "But I get kinda nervous when I see them about like this. I want to know why they're here."
"If they want a story, we could give them one." Justin said firmly. "But it's probably a coincidence. Jetta, you said you didn't care if press found us out. Well, what if they did? So what?"
Jetta bit her lip, glancing back at the pressman. She shrugged.
"I guess I don't know." She confessed. "Puttin' it in print is a written confirmation?"
"Of what? The fact we've been sleeping together for more than a year now?"
"I guess." Jetta sighed. "Look, let's go upstairs. If he ain't after us, we're givin' him a reason to spot us by standin' 'ere gawkin'. And if 'e is, well, I ain't giving him an exclusive."
Justin looked pained, but he nodded, jabbing the button to call the lift down to the ground floor. For a moment they stood in silence, then, as the doors swung open, Jetta spoke.
"Don't sulk, Justin. It ain't pretty."
"I'm not sulking." Justin replied. "I'm not giving our press friend any reason to think we're together. That's all."
"Oh, damn you." Jetta rolled her eyes. "Fine."
She dropped her case, putting her arms around him and kissing him firmly. "There. Could we be any more of a public spectacle than that?"
"What was that for?" Justin looked startled. Jetta shrugged.
"To prove I'm not ashamed of bein' with you." She said simply. "But that bein' with you is a different thing from wantin' the rest of the world gawkin' in on our lives. Now come on, before the lift goes back up. I ain't waitin' any longer, an' there's an old crone over there who might come hit us with 'er cane if there are any more public displays."
Despite himself, Justin laughed.
"All right." He agreed. "Let's go."