good or bad is needed.
The good feed back, strokes our ego. The bad feed back, strokes
the delete key. <grin>
This story can also be found on my web site at:
"Hello," Marc said.
"Hello, may I speak to Marc Newman please," a very pleasant female voice said.
"This is Marc Newman, how may I help you?"
"Marc, this is Diane Bass, Lance's mother."
"Hello, Mrs. Bass, if you're looking for Lance, he's not here. He's in Toronto today. They have a concert tonight, and are not expected here until late tomorrow afternoon," Marc said.
"Actually, Marc, it's you I want to talk to," she said. "I just want to know what are your intentions are toward my son."
"Ah, Mrs. Bass, I'm not sure if I understood your question," Marc said as his hands flew over the keys of his laptop. Marc quickly brought up Lance's file and found what he was looking for; Lance's parents' home phone number. Double clicking on the number, Marc's computer dialed the number. As Marc heard the phone his computer just dialed ring he heard clicks on the phone at his ear.
"One moment, Marc, I have another call coming in," Mrs. Bass said.
As Lance's mother clicked to engage the incoming call Marc activated his computer headset.
"Hello," Mrs. Bass answered.
"Hello, Mrs. Bass. This is Marc,"
"I'm sorry. But I needed to be sure who was calling," Marc said.
"Very clever. For all you knew I could have been a reporter."
"I was hoping you weren't a reporter," Marc said. "May I ask what Lance has told you about me?"
"Lance called me once while he was on break. He told us about meeting you and how well liked you were by him and the other boys. And I received a letter from him this week. It was filled with all the things you all were doing and how glad he was that you were there on tour with them."
"I'm enjoying my time with the guys," Marc said.
"I'm sure you are. But, Marc, there was something strange about his letter."
"What was that ?"
"It's what he didn't say. It was almost as if he was trying to say something but couldn't quite get it out. So I'm calling you to find out what is the story is between you two."
"This is something Lance should be answering."
"If he ever calls, I intend to ask him. But now I want to hear how you feel about my son."
"Lance is my best friend. We've grown close and I care about him a lot.," Marc said not sure just how much he should reveal.
"So, he is your best friend. And as best friends, I take it you have talked about a lot of things."
"Yes. It's part of getting to know each other," Marc agreed.
"Has he told you his secrets, dreams, and fears?"
"Yes, we have shared all those and more. Lance has shared with me the story of what happened the night he had a talk with you and your husband about who he is." Mark said quietly.
"He did. When did that come up?"
"The night of my concert with the Madison Symphony. Everyone else had gone to bed and neither of us could sleep. That night I got up the courage to tell Lance that I loved him."
"We talked a lot that night, he told me how he broke the news to you and his dad. And I told him about coming out to my family."
"So you're more than just friends."
"Yes ma'am, I'm in love with your son."
"And he is in love with you?"
"That's something only Lance can tell you. I can't speak for him."
"If he ever calls I will do just that."
"Mrs. Bass, would it help if I make sure Lance gives you a call?"
"Marc, please call me Diane. And yes it would help. But I don't know how you are going to accomplish it."
Softly chuckling, Marc said, "He does have a stubborn streak. But I think I can get him on the phone."
"How will you manage that?"
"They won't be here until late tomorrow afternoon. While he's unpacking I'll call you then hand him the phone."
"Do you think it will work?"
"I'll make him think I'm talking to my sister. They always say hi to each other, he will think he's going to talk to Sara. I just won't tell him any different."
"Now I don't want to cause any problems between you two," Diane said.
"I don't think there'll be any. Besides we've agreed we have to work out all problems before we can go to sleep."
"Marc, have there been problems?" Diane inquired.
"Just one. It was a misunderstanding. Lance lost his temper and walked out before I could explain."
"With Justin's help we got him to listen to me and we worked everything out. I wonder where he gets his temper?"
"From his father's side of the family," Diane quickly said.
"How do you think he will take to the news about James and me?" Marc asked.
"Yeah, I fell in love with James, the guy I met while he was on vacation, not Lance the celebrity," Marc explained.
"The only time I would call him James was when he was in trouble," Diane said with a soft laugh.
"He's told me that."
After a moment of silence, Diane asked, "Marc, if it ever came down to being with Lance or exposing your relationship and destroying his career, which would you choose?"
Marc didn't answer, his heart was pounding and he was having trouble breathing. 'What is she asking? Does she want me to break up with James?'
"Marc, are you still there?"
"Yes, yes I'm still here. I just didn't expect that question. If it came to ruining his career, I hope I would have the courage to step out of the picture. But nothing will ever change the way I feel about him. I will always love him, even if I could never see him again, that will never change," Marc answered softly.
"Thank you for being honest with me, Marc. I can now appreciate what Lance sees in you," Diane said. "Now just one last question."
"Ok, what would you like to know?"
"Will you come to Thanksgiving Dinner?"
"I'd love to," Marc said with a big smile.
After his conversation with Diane Bass, Marc noticed he was running late for lunch. Arriving ten minutes late, Marc found Lynn already seated at a table.
"Lynn, I'm sorry for being late," Marc said as he sat down.
"Let me guess. You were on the phone with Lance and lost all track of time."
"No. I was on the phone with his mom," Marc said.
"Diane called you also?" Lynn said with surprise.
"Also?" Marc quizzed.
"I got a page from her this morning. She wanted to know how everyone was doing and when would be a good time to call Lance. I told her I wasn't with the boys. That they were in Toronto and I was here in Baltimore with you," Lynn said.
"Well, she must have called me right after. She wanted to know what connection there was between me and her son."
"I kind of got the impression that Lance hasn't told his parents about you," Lynn said.
"No, he hasn't. But she is a smart lady and she pretty much figured it out. She kept asking questions that I couldn't answer, only Lance can."
"I know how frustrating it is when they don't call home very often. I'm lucky, I have contact with them. I try to pass along as much information to the other mothers when I can."
"Well, when they get here tomorrow, I told Diane I would be sure Lance calls," Marc said.
"Good luck. I've harped at them time and again to call home. But it has done no good."
"I'm going to try a different method. I'm going to call Diane and then hand the phone to Lance. There's no way out of it, he has to talk to her," Marc said, confident of his plan.
Lunch was pleasant, but Marc noticed Lynn seemed preoccupied.
"Lynn, is there something wrong? You seem to be someplace else."
"Justin's little brother Jonathon is home sick," Lynn said.
"Oh, is it serious?" Marc asked.
"Chicken pox," Lynn said.
"Oh, poor kid. Is someone staying with him?" Marc asked.
"Yes, Paul, my husband, is home with him. He gets to play Mr. Mom while I'm on the road."
"Oh, poor guy. I don't know who has it worse, Jonathon with chicken pox or your husband stuck in a house with a kid with chicken pox."
"Paul's real good with Jonathon. To keep him from scratching, Paul has fixed him up with his laptop in bed. He's playing games on-line with his friends and he has kept my instant messenger going all morning."
"Lynn, can you give me his instant messenger id? I'll give him a shout and say hi."
"Sure, he'll love hearing from you," Lynn said with a smile.
Returning to his room, Marc logged on and went in search of get well cards. Finding a whole set of cards that would suit his needs. Marc adjusted his e-mail settings so it did not give his name, just an address. Attaching the first card, Marc signed it with an M.
When Marc got confirmation that the first card had been opened, he sent the second card signed with Ma. As each card was opened, Marc would send another each time adding a letter until his full name was spelled out. After the last card was opened Marc sent a instant message:
To Johnny Boy
Hey Chicken boy! Your mom said you're stuck home in bed covered with red dots. Want to talk? Marc
Johnny Boy 7
Johnny Boy 7
Johnny Boy 7
Johnny Boy 7
Johnny Boy 7
Johnny Boy 7
Johnny Boy 7
Johnny Boy 7
Johnny Boy 7
Johnny Boy 7
Jonathon checked his e-mail and when he opened Marc's e-mail, he found a picture of a chimpanzee smiling at him and waving with his left hand. Jonathon got the giggles when he saw the picture. His dad stuck his head into the room. "Jon, what's so funny?"
"Marc took my picture and he sent it to me," Jonathon said pointing to the computer screen still giggling.
"Who is Marc?"
"He's the one mama went to see."
"Oh, Marc Newman," Paul Harless said. "Can I see your picture?"
Jonathon nodded as his dad came around and sat next to him on the bed. Laughing, his dad said, "It looks just like you."
Johnny Boy 7
Johnny Boy 7
Johnny Boy 7
Marc pulled up Lynn's home number on his computer and double clicked to dial it.
"Marc?" an excited young voice answered on the first ring.
"Hey, chicken boy! How are your spots doing?"
"They itch. And I'm not chicken boy, I'm monkey boy," Jonathon said with a giggle.
"Yeah, you are kind of hairy. But you're mom would kill me if she caught me calling you monkey boy."
"You can call me Jon. Only mom calls me Jonathon."
"Ok, Jon, how long do you have to stay in bed?"
"Dad says a week if I don't scratch."
"Man that sucks."
"Yeah, what's my mom doing?"
"She's trying to get some work done. It seems someone sent her a hundred instant messages this morning."
"It was me."
"I know. When she told me about it I asked her if it would be alright if I try to catch you on-line."
"I'm glad you did. I liked the cards a lot."
"Jon, can I ask you how long has it been since you've talked to Justin?"
"He called me last month. But it is all right, he is real busy."
"How about when they get here tomorrow I get him to call you?"
"Yeah, I'll get him to call. They won't get in until late tomorrow afternoon," Marc said.
"Thank you, Marc, I'll be waiting for Justin to call."
"Jon, you sound like you're getting tired. I'll let you go. If you ever want to talk just send me a e-mail or check to see if I'm on line."
"Ok, Marc. I'll be waiting for Justin's call. Oh! My dad wants to talk to you," Jon said as he handed the phone to his dad.
"Hello, Marc. This is Paul Harless."
"Marc, I wanted to thank you for spending time with Jon. He's been one unhappy little boy today. Between missing his mom and itching he's been a handful," Paul said.
"Paul, it was no problem. I enjoyed talking with him. Lynn should be on her way home day after tomorrow. I think she said her flight left at three twenty." Marc said.
"Thanks for the info, Marc. And thanks for getting Justin to call his little brother. Jon is looking forward to the call."
"No problem. Besides this gives me a reason to pick on Justin," Marc said with a chuckle. "Bye, Paul. I'm going to go hunting for more get well cards for Jon."
"Bye, Marc," Paul said.
Marc spent the next hour searching for cards, finding several on different sites. Marc set it up for cards to be sent at different times over the next couple days.
Just after two o'clock, Marc received a fax from Judge Stevenson. `Better late than never.' Marc thought as he looked over the document that would have allowed him to enter Canada. 'Josh must have said something to Sara about my not being with them.'
Marc was sitting looking over the document when his phone rang. "Hello, this is Marc Newman, how may I help you?"
"Marc, this is Phyllis Fatone, Joey's mom. I need to ask you big a favor. . . ."
Marc was coming out of the bathroom when
a phone rang. This time it was his cell.
"Hey, sexy," Lance said softly.
"Howie, I told you not to call this number."
"What!" Lance exclaimed.
"Got ya!" Marc said with a laugh.
"He had better not have your number," Lance said.
"Too late. I gave it to him this morning," Marc said.
"This morning! Why were you two together this morning?" Lance asked, a little agitated.
"We had breakfast with Lynn and his mother," Marc said.
"Why did you give him your number?"
"James, am I detecting a little jealousy?" Marc asked.
"Ah, ah, yea, a little," Lance stammered.
"Howie is just a new friend. Even though he is cute, he has his own special friend," Marc said.
"What kind of special friend?"
"The same kind you have," Marc said
"Oh! Anyone I know?"
"Yeah, I think you may know him."
"Are you going to tell me who?" Lance asked.
"Ah, not over the cell. We'll talk about it when you get here," Marc said. Changing the subject, he asked, "How was sound check?"
"Ok, but it would have been better if you were here," Lance said. "What have you been up to today?"
"Working on some music, and playing with my new toy," Marc said.
"I bought a keyboard yesterday. I need to get some practice time in and do some writing," Marc said.
"What have you got planned for tonight?"
"Lynn and I will be meeting Howie and Paula after they get back from the wedding. We plan on grabbing something to eat before they have to leave for the airport," Marc told Lance.
"Darn! I have to go," said Lance.
"Pete has set up a meet and greet. I'll give you a call before we hit the road," Lance said
"Ok. Talk with you later. I love you, James."
"I love you too, Marc. Bye."
Through supper Marc and Howie talked off and on but Marc's thoughts were someplace else.
As they were leaving the restaurant, Howie leaned into Marc and asked, "What's going on with you tonight? You seem to be someplace else."
"Just thinking about something," Marc said.
"Something or someone?" Howie quizzed.
Smiling, "Someone," Marc answered.
"You miss him don't you?"
"Yeah, I do," Marc said. "Howie, would it be all right if I rode with you to the airport?"
"Sure. We have to leave in fifteen minutes," Howie said.
"Ok, let me get something out of my room.
I'll be right back," Marc said as he headed off to the elevator.
Marc grabbed his backpack, stuffing his cell phone into his pocket and picked up two extra batteries for the cell. Stopping at the desk, he grabbed his laptop and the document from Judge Stevenson.
As Marc came out the hotel entrance, he found Lynn and Paula saying their good byes. Howie was loading the last of their bags into the car as Marc approached. Handing his backpack to Howie, Marc turned to see Lynn giving him a questioning look.
"Marc, hun, are you going someplace?" Lynn asked.
"Yeah, I'm hitching a ride to the airport," Marc said.
"Where are you going?"
"Hopefully to Toronto, if I can get a flight out. I called and there is a flight out leaving at eight. My name is on the top of the stand by list," Marc said.
"How can you go to Toronto? You can't leave the country."
"I got the necessary documents this afternoon. Dad had Judge Stevenson fax them to me," Marc said.
"Alright, now you just be careful," Lynn said as she pulled Marc into a hug. Then she whispered, "Hope everything works out, baby."
"Thanks, Mom," Marc whispered back, giving Lynn a kiss on the cheek.
Howie, Paula, and Marc were waiting in the VIP lounge waiting for their flights to be called. Marc's flight was the first called. Marc said his good byes to Paula, and Howie walked Marc to the lounge door.
"Marc, have a good flight. Hope you catch up with your guy," Howie said as they shook hands.
"Howie, thanks for being a good listener and a good friend. When I get down to Orlando, I'll give you a ring. Maybe we could double date, hit Disney World or Universal," Marc said. Then leaning in closer, Marc kissed Howie lightly on the lips.
A little surprised at Marc's actions, Howie asked, "Do you always kiss guys good bye?"
"Only guys I consider a close friend. And that I know wouldn't mind it," Marc said with a grin as he turned to catch his flight.
George was relaxing on the bus. He had the door open and he could hear the screaming coming from the arena. >From what he could hear of the music, he knew they were into the last encore.
The phone by the driver's seat rang. "Hello," George answered.
"Hi, George, it's Marc."
"Hey, Marc, you're a little early. They're still on stage."
"I don't need to talk to them. I'm at the airport. I just flew in."
"Here in Toronto?"
"Yeah, I'm waiting to go through customs. I have a car and driver waiting for me. I need to know what route you'll be taking. There's no way I can make it to the arena before you have to leave. I want to meet up with you on your way out of town," Marc explained.
Pulling out the map, George said, "Marc, my planned route is . . . "
Marc had just cleared customs when his cell rang. Checking the caller ID, Marc knew it was Lance calling. `Damn, he will be able to tell I'm not at the hotel,' Marc thought.
"Hello," Marc answered.
"Hi, lover," Lance said softly. "Marc, where are you? What's all the noise?"
"I'm at the airport. I came down to see Howie and Paula off," Marc said over the noise of the terminal.
"It gave me something to do tonight. Anyway it was boring back at the hotel, no one to talk to, no one to wash my back, no one to cuddle up to."
"Poor baby," Lance said. "But you won't be lonely much longer. We're on our way."
"Hurry. Lance, I'm going to have to cut this short. This place is a mad house. Give me a call in the morning when you stop for breakfast."
"Will do. I'll talk to you in the morning. I love you, Marc."
"James, I can't wait to see you again. Love you. Dream of me tonight."
Marc rode in the front seat next to the driver. It was three hours since he had first talked to George. Clearing customs had taken longer that expected. A call to Judge Stevenson was made to confirm the document. Marc now rode with a flashlight in one hand and a map in the other. Dialing his cell, Marc waited for George to answer.
"George, it's Marc. What's your location?"
"Just passed kilometer marker 156."
"Great, I'm only a kilometer behind you. I think I see the busses up ahead."
"Do you want me to slow down?"
"Is anyone still up?"
"Only Pete, I think the rest have all turned in."
"Ok, slow down a little, but do it so know one would notice."
"I'll let you know where to pick me up after we pass you."
"I'll be waiting for the news," George said as he clicked off the phone.
As they came up on the first bus, Marc
was able to identify it as support staff. The next bus was
the band and dancers. The lead bus was the one Marc had been chasing.
Checking the map, Marc made his next call.
"I've been waiting for you to call. Were you in the white Ford that passed us a couple minutes ago?" George asked.
"Yeah that was me. George you will be coming up on a rest area about eight or nine kilometers ahead. I'll be waiting for you on the truckers side."
"Got it. See you in about ten minutes."
Marc paid the driver and was waiting under a streetlight as he watched the bus pull into the rest area. It slowed down and came to a stop in front of Marc. Climbing on the bus, Marc was all smiles. Giving George a pat on the back as he passed him. Pete looked up from his paper when he heard the door close. Marc held a finger up to his lips indicating for Pete to be quiet.
"What on earth are you doing here?" Pete whispered with a grin.
"I couldn't wait," Marc answered as he sat down across from Pete.
"How did you get into Canada?" Pete asked.
Pulling out several pieces of paper, he
showed Pete. "This came yesterday afternoon from home. It's my proof
of citizenship, and this one is a short term entrance permit.
"Why don't you go get some rest? I think you know where the bunks are," Pete said with a smile.
Making his way back to the bunk area, Marc could hear the sounds of his sleeping friends. Going on into the lounge, Marc closed the door behind him. Pulling the drapes closed on all the windows and tossing the cushions off the seats onto the floor, Marc arranged them into a soft nest. Stripping down to his underwear Marc went to claim his guy.
Squatting down by Lance's bunk, Marc slowly pulled back the curtain. He smiled at the sight of his sleeping lover. Reaching in, Marc softly stroked Lance's cheek. Running his finger along Lance's strong jaw line, Lance started to stir. Leaning in, Marc softly kissed Lance on the lips. Lance instantly returned the kiss. Breaking the kiss, Marc pulled back and smiled as Lance opened his eyes.
Smiling up at Marc, "Umm, this is a good dream. I don't want to wake up."
Not saying anything, Marc only smiled and leaned in for another kiss. As Lance reached up to touch Marc, Marc pulled back. Indicating with a nod of his head toward the lounge, Marc got up and went into the lounge.
Lance, not sure if he was dreaming or not, got up to follow Marc. Entering the lounge, Lance found Marc standing in the middle of the room. Reaching out hesitantly, not sure if this was real or just a phantom. Lance's hand touched the solid chest of Marc.
"I'm not dreaming am I?" Lance asked.
Pulling Lance into an embrace, Marc finally
said, "Does your dream lover do this?"
Finally breaking the kiss, Lance gasped for air then asked, "How did you get here?"
"I caught a flight to Toronto, hired a car, and chased down your bus."
"How did you get into the country?"
"Paperwork arrived yesterday afternoon. I went with Howie to the airport to see him off and I found out I could get a seat on a flight to Toronto. So here I am," Marc said by way of explanation.
"I missed you," Lance said as he gave Marc a hug.
"And boy have I missed you," Marc said returning the hug.
Looking down into Marc's eyes, Lance asked, "Ok, who is Howie's special friend?"
Marc grinned up at Lance. "He has the same taste in men as I do. He likes green eyed blonds too," Marc said.
Marc nodded yes.
"How long?" Lance asked.
"A couple years."
"Does he know about us?"
Marc nodded yes again.
"You sure aren't keeping us much of a secret."
"He figured it out from the way we talked on the phone the other night."
"You didn't just tell him?"
"No. He asked me how long we've been together."
"And you told him?"
"No, not at first. He told me he knew how hard it was personally to keep feelings for someone a secret. He said that he had known about you and put our conversation and his knowledge of you together."
"This isn't going to cause us any trouble is it?" Lance asked with concern.
"Howie said they would never use that kind of information against you guys. Especially since I know their secret," Marc said reassuring Lance.
Lance leaned down and gave Marc a kiss, "God I wish we weren't on this bus,"
"I know. But we will just have to settle for holding each other while we get some rest." Marc said.
Rolling off Marc, Lance settled into Marc's arms, "I'm glad you're here. Love you, Marc," Lance said softly.
"Love you too, James. Now let's get some rest,"
The sun was up as everyone started to stir. Marc could hear the bathroom being used. Looking down at his sleeping lover, Marc smiled. Slipping a hand under Lance's t-shirt Marc began to lightly rub the hairless chest and stomach of his lover.
Lance slowly stretched as he awoke to the gentle caress. "Morning," Lance said as his eyes focused on Marc's smiling face.
"Did you have a good dream?" Marc asked.
"Yep, the best," Lance said as he wrapped his arms around Marc's neck. "And I hope I never wake up."
Leaning down, Marc gave Lance a soft kiss. "This isn't a dream, I'm here with you and from the sounds of movement up front, it must be getting close to our breakfast stop," Marc said. "Come on, let's get this place put back together and get dressed before someone decides to barge in on us."
Chris was yawning as he came to the table area. Pete was on the couch watching Justin on the phone. "Damn!" Justin cursed as he put down the phone.
"What's wrong, Curly?" Chris asked.
"Marc's not in his room. And my mom said the last time she saw him was last night. She said he was going to see Howie and his mom off at the airport," said Justin.
"No one has seen him since?" asked Chris.
"No. No one has seen him today." said Justin.
"Damn, you don't think Howie kidnapped him do you?" asked Chris.
Marc and Lance were standing behind the curtain that divided the sleeping area from the rest of the bus. They both found the conversation very interesting.
Leaning into Marc, Lance whispered, "You're not going to let this opportunity pass are you?"
"What do you think?" Marc said as he pulled out his cell. "Go up front and play along."
"Kidnapped who?" Lance asked as he stepped through the curtain.
"Ah, ah, no one," Justin said. "Lance, when was the last time you talked to Marc?"
"Last night. He was at the airport seeing Howie and his mom off. We didn't get to talk much, the place was a mad house and Marc couldn't talk. Why?" Lance asked.
The phone rang in Justin's hand. Looking at the caller ID Justin recognized Marc's number. With a big sigh, Justin answered it. "Hello, Marc. It's good to hear from you"
"This isn't Marc," came a gruff voice. "And if you ever wanted to see your friend again you will shut up and listen."
Placing a hand over the mouthpiece, Justin said, "Marc's been kidnapped. The kidnappers are on the phone."
"Get Kirkpatrick on the phone. I'm not going to deal with some baby-faced pretty boy," the voice said.
Holding out the phone to Chris, Justin said, "The kidnapper wants to talk to you, Chris."
Pete looked over to Lance as Lance winked and smiled slightly. Pete figured Lance was in on what ever was going on.
Chris gulped as he put the receiver to his ear. "Hello," Chris said weakly.
"Kirkpatrick! If you ever want to see your friend again you will do as I say," the gruff voice stated.
"How do we know you got Marc?" Chris asked.
"Just a minute, I'll put him on," the voice said.
"Chris, man, you got to do what he says," Marc said weakly.
"Ok, Kirkpatrick, here's what going to happen. First you contact no one. Second, if you want to see your friend again you will do what you're told." the voice said.
"Yes, anything," Chris said.
"Ok, Kirkpatrick, I'm in a car following your bus. If I see anyone in the back window, your friend is toast. When I hang up, we will pass your bus. And when we pass I want to see your white ass pressed up against the window. If it is not there your friend will be pushed out the door in front of the moving bus," Marc said in his gruff voice. Seeing a car approaching with three young ladies, Marc knew they would be treated to a full moon. "You have ten seconds. If I don't see a full moon your friend is toast."
Chris jumped up on the seat pulling down his pants.
"Chris what the hell are you doing?" JC shouted.
"The kidnappers have Marc in a car right behind us. They said if they don't see my ass in the window when they pass Marc is toast," Chris said.
JC, Justin, and Joey rushed to the window to get a look at the kidnappers as they passed. Marc walked up behind Lance wrapping his arms around Lance's waist and looking over Lance's shoulder. "James, what's Chris doing?" Marc asked.
"Chris is mooning the car of girls that just passed us," Lance said as he watched the car of waving girls drive off.
All heads snapped around at the sound of Marc's voice. Looking at Chris who still had his butt against the window, Marc said, "Chris, old man, if your hemorrhoids are bothering you, I could get you a ice pack. I'm afraid you're making a mess of that window."
Pete was the first to loose it. Then the laughter cascaded through the bus. Even George had to pull the bus over to the side of the road, he was laughing so hard.
After pulling his pants up, the laughing Chris went to Marc and pulled him into a tight hug. "Man, you know I will have to get even for this one," Chris said with a laugh.
"Chris, I think you'll have your work cut out for you, if your going to top this one," Marc said as Chris broke the embrace.
One by one, each of the guys greeted Marc with a hug while still in fits of laughter.
"Marc, how did you get here?" JC asked as he whipped tears of laughter from his face.
"I flew in last night, hired a car, and chased the bus down," Marc said.
"How did you get into Canada?" Justin asked.
"Dad got Judge Stevenson to fax the necessary proof of citizenship," Marc said.
"Then you're here legal," Chris said.
Marc noticed Joey slip into the back of the bus. Thinking something may be wrong, Marc excused himself to use the bathroom.
After checking the bathroom, Marc knew Joey could only be in the lounge. Entering the lounge Marc found Joey looking out the window. Joey turned to look at Marc.
Marc reached up and wiped the tears from Joey's cheeks. Marc pulled Joe into a hug and held him. Nothing was said, Marc just held Joe until Joe pulled away.
"You all right?" Marc asked with concern.
Joey sniffled and nodded yes.
"You want to talk about it?"
"No, I'm alright," Joe said softly.
Rejoining the others, Marc stopped at the refrigerator for a bottle of juice. Lance came up to Marc and asked, "Is Joe alright?"
"I don't know, something's really bothering him," Marc said softly.
"What can we do to help him?"
"Be there for him. When he's ready to talk, he will."
Everyone was relaxing in the lounge, filling Marc in on Toronto when Pete called over the intercom asking Marc to come forward.
"What's up?" Marc asked as he sat down.
"Security just called. The hotel is a zoo. It seems word got out where we were staying." Pete said.
"Not everyone is staying at the hotel right?" Marc asked.
"Yeah, we're putting up the rest of the staff at another hotel. We couldn't get enough rooms at our hotel," Pete said.
"Ok, have security rent a van and meet us behind the Wal-Mart on 23 rd street. It's just a block off the expressway. We'll transfer to the van and go to the back entrance of the hotel," Marc said.
"It's still going to be hard to get by the fans," Pete pointed out.
"They wont be there. When we transfer to the van, we get the guys from the band to ride in this bus. Then all three busses will drive past our hotel slow enough to get the fans attention. If our guys don't get too close to the windows, give the fans a few waves as they pass, the fans will see they are at the wrong hotel and follow the busses to the other hotel," Marc said.
"I like it. It should work," Pete said with a smile.
Smiling at his plan Marc said, "You know, being sneaky is fun. I amaze myself at how easily I come up with this stuff. Maybe I was with the CIA in my former life."
Lynn opened her room door when she heard the noisy group exit the elevator. Smiling, at the group, she was greeted with hugs from everyone.
"I see you found them," Lynn said to Marc.
"Yeah, I tracked them down," Marc said.
"And how was your flight?" Lynn asked.
"Not to bad once I remembered to breathe," Marc said.
"What does breathing have to do with flying?" Justin asked.
Putting her arm around Marc's shoulder and pulling him tight, Lynn explained. "Marc had never flown before we came to Baltimore. During take off I thought he was going to crush the armrest he was holding on so tight. And he held his breath so long he was turning blue."
A little embarrassed, Marc added, "Lynn pointed out the fact that the flight was too long to hold my breath all the way."
The luggage cart arrived and everyone grabbed their bags.
"Marc, what room is the lounge?" JC asked.
"Lance and I have a suite. Everyone's key will also open our door," Marc said.
"How come you two get a suite?" Chris asked.
"Because, I got here first and claimed it. And what are you complaining about, you each have your own room," Marc pointed out.
"You sure you want us to have access to your room?" Justin said. "I mean like I don't want to interrupt anything."
"You wont. We'll lock the bedroom door if we don't want to be interrupted," Marc said with a smirk.
Putting down his bags, Lance turned and pulled Marc into a soft kiss.
"Wow!" Marc said. "I will have to carry your bags more often if that's the kind of tip I get."
"That was not for carrying my bags. It was for getting on that airplane and coming to find me," Lance said.
Marc knocked on the first door. The door opened. "Hi, Marc," Chris said. "What's up?"
"Chris, I need to see your cell for a minute. I have a new battery that should give you twice the life." Marc said.
"Sure," Chris said handing Marc his phone.
Marc took the phone and removed the battery replacing it with a fully charged one. Dialing a number Marc put the phone to his ear. "Hi, it's Marc. Can you talk? OK," Marc said as he walked over to Chris and held out the phone. "Here, Chris. Someone wants to talk to you."
Taking the phone from Marc Chris asked, "Who?"
Marc smiled, "It's your mom," Marc said as he left the room.
Marc used the same ploy with Joey and JC and they fell for it.
Knocking in Justin's door, Marc decided to try something else.
"Hi, Marc, come on in. What's up?" Justin said.
Spotting Justin's cell Marc went over to it and picked it up. Exchanging batteries as he asked Justin, "Just how long has it been since you talked to your little brother?"
"A couple weeks, why?"
"Is it more like four weeks?" Marc asked.
"Yeah, how did you know?"
" Jonathon told me."
"We started talking on line yesterday. Justin, he's home with the chicken pox."
"Shit! How is he feeling?"
"He itches, and he misses his big brother." Marc said as he dialed the phone.
"I should call him," Justin softly said.
Putting the phone to his ear Marc heard it picked up on the second ring. "Hey, monkey boy. How are you doing today. Oh great. Justin. Yeah, he's here. Just a moment."
Handing the phone to Justin, Marc said, "Come over when you're done talking. But take your time."
Entering his suite, Marc dialed Diane's number.
"Hi, it's Marc. Yeah he's here. Diane, I'm going to try something that may make it easier on Lance. Just listen."
Marc walked into the bedroom to find Lance sorting out his clothes. Placing the phone on the nightstand, Marc sat on the bed with his back up against the headboard.
Looking over at Marc, Lance asked, "Where have you been?"
"Taking care of a few favors," Marc said. "James, can I ask you something?"
"Sure, what?" Lance asked as he joined Marc on the bed.
"Have you told your folks about me?"
"Yeah, I called and talked to my mom the week we were on vacation. I told her about how we met you and what we did that week. And I wrote her last week filling her in on what we were doing."
Taking Lance's hand, Marc asked, "What have you told her about us?"
"Well, I, I," Lance stammered.
"You haven't told them about us have you?" Mark asked gently.
"I, I tried. When I wrote last week. I just couldn't figure out how to tell them," Lance said sheepishly.
"Do I embarrass you?"
"Oh, god no! It's just I've never done this before, I don't know where to start."
"Would it help if you practiced what you want to say first?" Marc asked.
"Yeah, I think that would help."
"Ok, I'll be your mom. Ring, ring, ring. Hello!" Marc said, holding a imaginary phone to his ear.
Smiling at Marc, Lance played along. "Hi, Mom, it's me."
"It's Lance, your son."
"Oh, Lance. I didn't recognize your voice, it's been sooo long," Marc said with a smile.
Rolling his eyes, Lance said, "It's not been that long."
"It's been almost a month. But I understand. You're too busy to call home, all that traveling, interviews, concerts, and screaming fans. I'm so glad you could find a little time to call your mother and let her know you are still alive!"
"Mom, I'm sorry for not calling. Mom, I need to talk to you about something."
"Lance, you know you can talk to me about anything, what's on your mind?"
"Mom, I've met someone."
"Oh, Lance, I'm so glad. What's her name?"
"Mom, it's not a girl."
Looking into Marc's eyes, Lance continued. "Mom, his name is Marc Newman."
"The boy you wrote about?"
"Yes. I'm in love with Marc. He's my boyfriend."
"Lance, are you sure about this?"
"Yes, Mom, I'm sure. I love Marc with every fiber of my being. Marc completes me," Lance said with conviction.
Smiling at Lance, Marc leaned in and softly kissed Lance. "Now that wasn't so hard was it?" Marc asked.
"No, it wasn't," Lance said with a sigh. "I think I'm ready for the real thing."
Picking up the phone Marc handed it to Lance. "James, you just told your mom. Just say hi," Marc said.
With big eyes, Lance looked at the phone seeing that it was on. Slowly putting it to his ear Lance said, "Mama?"
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