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Chapter 25 of "Growing Up"

About an hour later, everyone was getting settled on the plane. Donna pulled her Discman out of her bookbag, along with her new Sister Hazel c.d..

"Attention passengers," a voice said over the intercom. "This is your captain speaking. We are preparing to take off and should be in the sky soon. Please make sure your seat belts are fastened, and enjoy the trip. Thank you."

Donna took a deep breath. Taylor, who was sitting beside her, took her shaking hand.

"You okay?" he whispered. Donna nodded.

"I'll be fine," she said. The plane began to move, and Donna tensed up. She squeezed Taylor's hand and closed her eyes. A few minutes later, Taylor tapped her on her shoulder.

"We're in the air Donna," he said. Donna opened her eyes and looked out the window. She saw clouds and tiny houses on the ground. She let out the breath she had been holding and relaxed. She turned to Taylor.

"How long is the plane ride?" she asked in a concerned voice.

"About an hour and a half," Taylor replied. "Will you relax? Everything is going to be fine." Donna nodded and leaned her chair back. She knew she wouldn't sleep at all.

"That's it!" Taylor suddenly exclaimed. He leaned over and grabbed his bookbag from under the seat.

"What's it?" Donna asked in a confused voice.

"Nothing," Taylor said, pulling a notebook and pencil out of his bookbag. "I just had an idea for a song." He began to write some things down in his notebook. Donna stared out the window and watched the clouds float by, as the music of Sister Hazel filled her head.

About an hour later, the plane was landing. Donna quickly slung her bookbag over her shoulders and buckled her seat belt. She took Taylor's hand and took a deep breath. Taylor gave Donna a warm smile and squeezed her hand. A few seconds later, the plane was skidding to a stop on the runway. Donna and the others stood up and proceeded to exit the plane.

After all the luggage had been collected, the group walked through the parking lot towards their rented van. Walker and Diana were in the front, Jessica (Hanson), Avery, and Mackenzie were in the next seat back, Zac, Kelly, and Isaac were in the next seat back, and Donna, Taylor, and Jess were all the way in the back. Walker pulled out of the hotel and began driving towards the hotel.

"Who wants to play a game?" Diana asked.

"Me! Me! I do!" Jessica, Avery, and Mackenzine said.

"Ooh! Ooh!" Zac yelled. "Me too!" Donna laughed.

"How about 'I Spy'?" Diana asked. "I spy with my little eye something....green!"

"Daddy's shirt!" Avery called. Diana smiled and shook her head.

The game continued until Walker pulled the van into the hotel parking lot. Donna looked out the van window at the hotel and gasped.

"Holy..." she said.

"That is one big hotel," Jess commented as the van stopped.

The doors opened, and everyone got out. They all walked around to the back of the van and got all the luggage out. Donna followed the others into the hotel. Walker checked in, and took four keys. He handed one to Isaac, and one to Donna.

"Ike, Tay, and Zac will share one room, Donna Jess and Kelly will share another, Jessie and Avery will share another, and me, your mother, and Mac will share a fourth room," Walker said to Isaac. Ike nodded.

"You guys have to be ready to go to dinner at 6:00," Diana said as the group squeezed into the elevator.

"Okay mom," Taylor said. "We won't go far." The walked down the hallway.

"We're in rooms 510, 512, 514, and 516," Walker said as they approached the end of the hall. "We'll take room 516, and the rest of you can figure where you'll stay."

"We'll take room 510," Taylor spoke up.

"We've got 512," Jess said.

"Okay then Jessie and Avery get room 514," Diana said. "Unpack before you go anywhere, okay?" Everyone nodded, and Donna followed Jess and Kelly into their room.

"Wow!" Kelly exclaimed. "This room is huge!"

"It sure is," Donna said. There were 3 double beds, a separate kitchen, a large couch, a few chairs, a big screen TV, stereo, phone, and fairly large bathroom.

"We're living in style now," Jess said as she fell onto one of the beds.

Donna tossed her bookbag onto the bed next to the one Jess had fallen onto.

"Where's that door lead to?" Kelly asked.

"I think I know," Donna said, walking over to the door Kelly had pointed to. She pulled it open, and found another door behind it. She knocked on it, and a few seconds later, Isaac opened the door.

"Cool!" Kelly exclaimed, running over. "Adjoining rooms!"

"Come on in," Isaac said. Donna, Jess, and Kelly walked into the guy's room.

"This hotel is awesome," Donna commented as she sat on one of the beds.

"You're telling me!" Zac exclaimed. "Even a balcony!" Donna looked over and spotted a sliding door.

"I didn't notice that," she said, standing up and walking over to the balcony. "Do we have this?"

"Walk outside and check," Isaac said. Donna pulled the door open, and stepped out onto the balcony.

"Wow!" she exclaimed. "What a view!" Jess came out to look.

"We have one too," she said, motioning to the balcony that was next to the one they were on.

"Very cool," Donna said, walking back into the room. "Where's Tay?" she asked, looking around.

"In the bathroom," Zac said.

"Oh," Donna said, sitting back down on the bed.

"Did you get the stuff from the bathroom yet Zac?" Jess asked. He nodded.

"Already in my suitcase," he said.

"What stuff?" Donna asked.

"I collect shampoo and soap and stuff from hotel bathrooms," Zac explained. Donna nodded. Taylor came out of the bathroom, and walked across the room.

"You're on my bed," he said to Donna with a smile.

"There's plenty of room," Donna said, returning the smile. Taylor sat beside her.

"What time is it Ike?" Jess asked. She had come back in from the balcony, and walked over to the couch where Isaac, Zac, and Kelly were sitting. She sat down and Isaac put his arm around her waist.

"It's...3:30," he said. Taylor also put his arm around Donna's waist. Zac looked around, and shrugged his shoulders. He also put his arm around Kelly's waist.

"I wonder if there's a game room," Isaac wondered aloud.

"Probably," Donna said. "Let's go check." So everyone stood up. Taylor took Donna's hand as the group walked out of the room.

"You have your key Donna?" Isaac asked before locking the door. Donna nodded, and Isaac locked the door.

The group walked down the hallway and to the elevator. They rode to the first floor, and proceeded to walk down the hallway after getting off on the first floor.

"There it is!" Zac exclaimed. He pointed to a glass door that said "Game Room" on it in white letters.

"Does everyone have money?" Taylor asked. They all nodded except Jess.

"I'll just watch," she said. Isaac pushed the door open and the group entered the large room.

"What do you want to do?" Taylor asked Donna.

"How about some pool?" Donna asked, eyeing the pool tables.

"You play pool?" he asked, as they walked over to the tables. Donna nodded.

"Me and my dad used to play all the time back in New Jersey. There was a place where we could play just a few minutes away from our house. We went every Friday night."

"Well, I've played a bit myself," Taylor said as he put the money in and began to rack the balls.

"Well I wouldn't be surprised if you beat me easily," Donna said as she leaned against the table. "I haven’t played in a while."

"We'll see," Taylor said. "You want to break?" Donna shook her head.

"You can," she said. Taylor shrugged, grabbed a stick, and took a shot. Two solid balls went in.

"Solids," he said, as he took another shot. Nothing went in. "Your turn," he said, smiling at Donna.

Donna leaned over and took a shot. She completely missed the ball and ended up getting the cue ball in.

"Oops," she said laughing.

"Here," Taylor said, placing the cue ball back on the table. "You're stance is wrong. Watch."

He showed Donna how to stand, and she tried it. Taylor snickered, and leaned his pool stick against the table. "Let me show you," he said, walking over to her. He wrapped his arms around her waist, and placed her hands in the right spot.

"Now shoot," he instructed, holding her hands in place. Donna shot, and 2 striped balls went in.

"Yes!" she exclaimed. She gave Taylor a quick kiss. "Thanks!" she said. "We make a great team!" Taylor grinned and nodded.

They played a total of six games, Taylor winning four, and Donna winning two. They were just about ready to start a seventh game, when Isaac and Jess walked over hand in hand.

"Hey guys," Isaac said. "We have to go get ready for dinner. It's 5:30." Taylor nodded, put the pool sticks back on the table, and took Donna's hand.

"Where's Zac and Kelly?" Donna asked. Isaac shrugged.

"We can't find them,” he said.

"Maybe they went back to the room," Taylor suggested.

"Well...I guess we could check," Isaac said.

Isaac, Jess, Taylor, and Donna left the game room. The rounded a corner, Jess and Isaac going first. Suddenly they turned around, and walked back quickly, obviously trying to hold in laughter.

"What?" Taylor asked. He peeked around the corner, and snickered.

"What is it?" Donna asked with a curious smile. Taylor motioned for her to look. Donna looked around and started giggling. Zac and Kelly were standing there, kissing. Donna pulled back. Jess, Isaac, and Taylor were smiling.

"Wonder where Zac learned that from," Jess said, poking Isaac playfully.

"Hey!" Isaac protested. He motioned to Taylor and Donna. "What about them?" Donna laughed.

"Come on," Taylor said. The group walked around the corner.

"Hey Zac!" Isaac called. "You coming up for air soon?" Zac pulled away from Kelly, and she looked down to the floor.

"Go Zac!" Donna exclaimed.

"Hey Zac!" Jess said. "Are you...blushing?"

"I think he is!" Taylor exclaimed.

"Shut up guys," Zac said. "You do it." Everyone laughed at that comment.

"Come on," Isaac said. "We have to go get ready for dinner. We'll bug Zac later." The group went back up to their rooms. Donna, Jess, and Kelly entered their hotel room.

"So Kelly," Donna said, pulling her T-shirt over her head. "Do you like Zac a lot?" Kelly nodded.

"He's really cool," she said. "I like him." Donna pulled a dark blue tight T-shirt out of her suitcase and put it on.

"You have to admit," Jess said. "They do make a cute couple." She smiled at Kelly. Donna nodded in agreement.

"I'm ready," Kelly said.

"Me too," Donna said after she had finished tying her shoelace.

"So am I," Jess said, pulling on her shoes.

"Come on," Donna said, walking over to the door. Jess and Kelly followed her out to the hallway. Donna put her finger to her mouth, motioning for them to be quiet. She rapped on the guys' door.

"Room service!" she called in an old lady's voice. Jess giggled, and Donna swatted her shoulder.

"Shh!" Kelly exclaimed.

"Coming DONNA," Isaac called form the other side.

"Rats," Donna said as Isaac opened the door. "How did you know it was me?" she asked as they entered the room. Isaac pointed to the peephole and grinned. Donna smiled and shook her head.

"Oh well," she said. "It was worth a shot. Are you guys ready?"

"Well...." Isaac observed the room. "I am. But Zac and Tay are a different story." Taylor ran out of the bathroom, wearing just jeans and socks.

"Woohoo Tay!" Jess exclaimed. "You been working out?"

"You might want to consider wearing a shirt Taylor," Donna said.

"I am," Taylor said. "I just need..." Donna walked over to where Taylor was standing, and rooted through his suitcase. She pulled out a light blue T-shirt with a black stripe across the front, and held it up.

"How's this?" she asked Taylor. He took it from her and pulled it over his head. He pulled on his shoes and stood in front of Donna.

"How do I look?" he asked.

"Fabulous," Donna said, pulling him into a hug. He smelled great, a combination of Pantene Pro-V shampoo and CKbe. Zac suddenly ran from the kitchen, and tripped over a pile of clothes.

"Zac you're such a klutz!" Kelly exclaimed, giggling.

"Okay," Zac said after he had composed himself. "We can go now."



Chapter 26: