Legal Disclaimer:

     This story is totally fictional and is not meant to imply anything about the personalities of Justin Timberlake, Lance Bass, J.C. Chasez, Joey Fatone, or Chris Kirkpatrick of the music group Nsync.  If you are under the age of 18, offended by male/male material, or it is illegal to view such materials in your area, you should be leaving now. 

Author's Note:

     Hi everyone, this is James.  I've taken some time off from my story 'My New Life,' to catch up on all the projects that have been piling up over the winter and can only be done during the summer months.  Most projects have been completed and I now find I have some time to enjoy this unusually mild summer weather and have some fun.  Feeling proud of all my completed projects, I felt I deserved a reward.  So my reward was tickets to NSYNC' No Strings Attached Tour 2000.  On August 1st., I attended the last concert of their tour and it was great! 
     That night, after the concert, as I sat in a massive traffic jam, an idea for a story was formed.

Have you ever found yourself 
daydreaming and wondering
What If. . . . .


By James

June 25, 2000

   It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon, and I was on my way to see my first *NSYNC concert. The traffic between Springfield and Joliet was surprisingly light.   It was a  perfect day until that damn flashing message board at the intersection of Interstates 55 and 80 telling everyone the NSYNC Concert has been postponed, tune your radios to 96.3 for details.  Of course, I was past the sign before the second half of the message, mentioning the radio station, was displayed. 

With my heart pounding, I turned off I-55 onto I-80 and headed for the Route 66 Raceway, hoping for more signs telling me what is going on.   And yes, there were more signs, one at the turnoff to  State Route 53, which is the old Route 66.  Still couldn't read the radio station number, going by too fast.  I spotted a third  sign up ahead and slowed down.  I pulled off into a nearby strip shopping center and parked.  Tuning the radio to the station  listed, I find a Chicago rock station that specializes in "60 minutes of uninterrupted music".  After fifteen minutes of music and no announcement of the concert, I head back down the road to the raceway. 

As I turn into the raceway grounds I could see a van turning around up ahead. Pulling up to  the van, I stop.. 

Rolling down my window I ask, "Do you know what's going on?"

"Tornado destroyed the stage Friday,"  said the girl in the van.

"Damn! Was anyone hurt?"  I asked.

"I don't know," she answered.

"Are they going to reschedule?"

"They will be announcing it later.  No one knows when,"  she  said.

"Thanks," I said as I pulled away to turn around.  I decided to park and go talk to the guard at the gate, just  then, Justin Timberlake came on the radio to announce that due to storm damage at the Route 66 Speedway, the concert has been postponed.  "When a date has been confirmed, we will announce it over this radio station."

As I was walking up to the gate, I could see what was left of the stage in the distance.  It was a pile of twisted scaffolding and there were three cranes working on the pile, trying to pull it apart.  I found out from the guard that late Friday a storm came up quickly as the crew was setting up the stage.  The crew took shelter under the grandstand.  A big wind came up, no one could confirm if it was a tornado or not, but it destroyed the stage and threw the light and camera tower back across the  Raceway .  As soon as a date is set, it will be announced over the radio.  A lot of good that will do me, that station can't be picked up in my part of the state.

Returning to my car  I realized there was nothing I could do but head back home.  My only hope was that the new date would be announced on *NSYNC's web site.

August 1, 2000

   Once again, I'm heading up I-55, coming up to the I-80 interchange when I spot a flashing sign.

My heart  jumps to my throat as I get close enough to read it.  "Road  Construction Next 14 miles.  Expect Delays." 

With a sigh of relief I take the I-80 exit I headed out to the raceway, I needed to see it for myself, I  cannot relax until I've seen the stage with my own eyes.  Driving down old Route 66 I noticed barricades at all the cross roads, it seemed strange.  As I approached, I could see the raceway over the  cornfields  and the stage was there. I breath a sigh of relief at the sight.  Now I just wanted to turn around and head for my motel but all the cross roads were blocked.    I had to go all the way to the raceway entrance in order to turn around and head back to Joliet and to my motel. 

On the way to my motel, I spotted a tour bus heading out to the raceway.  It was the biggest bus I have ever seen. It was gray and silver and as I passed it, you could see people  sitting in the front windows.  I could not see very well through the tinted windows, but  could make out at least four people  sitting facing each other, like at a table.  Could it be?  Yeah, maybe.  It was mid afternoon, they could be heading out for the sound check. 

I passed several of the new motels that  have sprung up along the expressway over the last five years. They were packed with cars; most of the cars were decorated with pictures of the guys of NSYNC.  And almost every car had "Honk if you love NSYNC"   Can't anyone come up with something original? 

   Bypassing all the new motels, I head across town to the Lincoln Inn, my home away from home.  It has been around about forty years, solidly built, large comfortable rooms, and for the most part quiet.  As I turn into the parking lot I notice the no vacancy sign is lit, 'I haven't seen that in years, must be the concert'.  Pulling around to the motel office entrance it hits me, 'Strange.  The lot is empty.   'Wonder what's going on?

Parking near the front door I grab my bag from the trunk and go to the entrance to find it locked.  'What's going on?' I wonder.  Seeing William the day manager behind the front desk I tap on the door glass with  my keys, trying to get his attention.  Looking up, William spots me and quickly comes to let me in. 

"Hi, Matt, you're early.  I didn't expect you  for another hour,"  William said greeting me with a friendly smile. 

"I made good time.  What's going on?  No Vacancy?  And where are all the cars?"  I asked.

"Every room has been booked for two days.  We have a bus tour group staying with us," William said with a laugh.

"Oh, they must be over at the river boats.  Gambling tours must be picking up for them to take all the rooms.  I hope you didn't rent out mine," I said with a smile.

"I wouldn't dare, knowing who's in town tonight," said William as he went around the counter.

"Well, I need to take a quick shower before I head out to the raceway.  Talk to you later," I said as he turned go to my room.

"Matt, wait.   You're going to need this," William called out.

"Need what?"

"All the locks have been replaced.  Your key will not work."

"When did this happen?" I asked.

"Two weeks ago.  We are now like the big guys, electronic locks."

Returning to the front desk I pick up the new key, I eye it skeptically. "This is a key?"  I ask.

"It's an electronic key.  It has been  programmed to open the same doors your old key did," William said with a little laugh.

"You know, if you keep making changes around here, I may need to find someplace else to stay," I said with a half smile as I turned to leave.

"Matt, you and I both know that's bull shit.  You'd never stay anyplace else,"  said William.

Turning I just gave William a one finger wave over my shoulder as I head for my room.  I could hear William laughing at me.

   Pulling into my sister's driveway I am greeted by my niece, Jessica.  "It's about time you got here.  We're going to be late."

"Hi, Uncle Matt.  How was your trip Uncle Matt.  Oh, thank you for taking us to the NSYNC concert Uncle Matt," I mock Jess.

Turning red with embarrassment, Jess says,  "Sorry Uncle Matt.  I guess I did sound a little bratty."

"Little?" I ask.

With a smile growing across her face, Jess  runs up to me,  jumps into my arms  and plants little  kisses all over my face.  "Oh, Uncle Matt. Kiss Thank you for taking us to the concert. Kiss   You're the best uncle in the whole world. Kiss  I love you, Uncle Matt.  Kiss  You are my most favorite uncle.  Kiss

"And  you're my most favorite niece," I said laughing.

Pulling back and giving me a strange look, Jess said, "I'm your only niece." 

"And I'm your only uncle," I said with a chuckle.

"Jess, what are you doing to Matt?" asked Becky, my sister, coming out of the house to see what all the commotion was.

"Just telling Uncle Matt how great he is."

"Well, go get your stuff.  Or  you're not going with Matt."

"Ok, mom.  Be right back, Uncle Matt,"  Jess said as she runs  into the house.

"Matt, why do you let her do that to you?" Becky asked.

"Do what?" I asked.

"Let her wrap you around her little finger."

"Hey, Beck, I only have one niece.  So I spoil her, a little."

   "Gee, Uncle Matt,  we're not little kids.  We'll be all right," Jess  complained..

"I know  you're not little kids, but I want your promise, you three stay together.  No one goes off alone.  If one of you have to go the rest room, you all go together," I tell my niece and her two friends.

"Yes, yes we know," Jess answers, as she rolls her eyes.

"And where do we meet after the concert?" I ask.

"Right here by this post.  Who ever gets her first stays here until the others arrive.  Ok! Can we go to our seats now?"

Laughing at Jess' impatience, I reply "Go find your seats, enjoy the concert.

   "Uncle Matt, what's wrong?  Didn't you have a good time at the concert?"  Jess asked me during our long, slow drive home.

"The concert was great.  It's just this traffic is unbelievable," I answer.

"How was your seat?  Were you able to see everything?" Jess asked, hoping to take my mind off the traffic.

"My seat wasn't too bad.  I could see the stage.  With my binoculars I could almost tell who was singing," I said with a little bit of disappointment in my voice.

 "Bad seat.  Sorry."

"No.  I did see NSYNC perform, and that was great.  The poor 20,000 fans in the back third of the raceway, they had the bad seats.  The midfield monitor did not work half the time, so they couldn't see anything," I told Jess.

Pulling into the driveway I could see lights on in the kitchen and Becky looking out the window.  "Ok, girls  we're here.  Don't forget your sleeping bags.  And, Jess, don't keep your mom and dad up all night talking.  Remember slumber party means you do go to sleep eventually." 

"I don't think that will be a problem.  I'm so tired, I'm ready for bed now,"  Jess said sleepily.  Leaning over she gives me a kiss on the cheek, "Thanks for taking us to the concert.  And don't forget about my party."

"I wont forget," I say to her as she gets out of the car.  "Jess."


"Happy Birthday, kid," 

Jess smiles, "Thanks, Uncle Matt.  Good night see you at the party."

   Entering my room, I toss my keys on the table.  My neck hurts, my shoulders hurt, lets just say most everything hurts.   The tension of three hours in a traffic jam has taken its toll.  'I know, the hot tub.  That's what I need.  A good long soak in the hot tub.  Good thinking, Matt.  Of course, having your own  private entrance to the pool helps.'

I quickly undress and grabbing a robe as I went to the pool.   As far as motel pools  go, this one  is quite unusual.  You see there are no windows in the pool area, only large skylights.   The lights from the parking lot shine through the skylights casting a low gray light in the pool area.  There is enough light, I don't need to turn on any other lights, besides someone forgot to turn off the lights in the bottom of the pool and hot tub.  Setting the timer on the jets for thirty minutes, I lower myself into the hot bubbling water and let out a long sigh.

Leaning back with water bubbling just under my chin, I start replaying the concert back in my mind.  Going over every detail of the night, I want to remember everything about tonight's concert. 

I'm brought back from my thoughts by the sound of the door to the pool open and someone coming in. There's more  than one person, I can tell by the shadows cast from the open door.  But I can't see who it is from the hot tub.

"Does anyone know where the light switch is?" asks one of the new arrivals.

"How would I know," answers another voice.

"Joe, you checked out the pool this morning. Do you remember seeing a light switch?" asks a third voice.

"No, I don't remember seeing any.  Maybe the lights are on a  timer.  Besides I don't think we need any.  There's plenty of light coming in the skylights." answers a fourth voice.

"Where's the hot tub? I need a long soak," asked a fifth deeper voice.

"Over this way," answers the Joe voice.

"What the shit!  There's someone in the hot tub," said the second voice.

"Damn! I thought we booked the whole motel," said the deep voice.

"Hey buddy, who are you and what are you doing here?" asked the first voice.

Stunned beyond belief, I sit there looking up at the members of *NSYNC.

"Hey! You speak English?  Maybe we should get security," said Chris.

Finally regaining my voice, I managed to reply,  "I'm Matt, Matt Morgan, and I live here."

"You live in a motel?" quizzed Justin.

"No, I have an apartment here," I answered.

"There was no mention of an apartment when we rented this place," said Lance.

"This motel was built and run by George and Mary Wilson, my god parents.  They retired to Florida three years ago.  It's their private apartment that I live in," I answered.

"Security said that a car drove up about twenty minutes ago.   But they lost it.  Couldn't fond any sign of it," said JC.

"The car was mine.  It's parked in the garage in the backside of the building.  There are two entrances to my apartment, the garage and through a door in the weight room just off the pool.  Most of the time the staff doesn't even know I'm in town unless they see me here in the pool."

"Sorry about the hassle, we have to be careful," Justin said with a smile. "I guess we should introduce ourselves."

"You don't have to, I know who you all are.  I got both Back  Street albums,"  I answer with a grin.

Joey was the first to catch on.  "Oh, a comedian."

"No, Just an *NSYNC fan," I chuckled.

Tossing off their  robes, they join me in the hot tub.

"You're a fan.  Did you see tonight's concert?" asked Joey.

"Yeah, I was there."

"Well what did you think of it?" asked Justin, confident of my answer.

I hesitate,  not sure as how to answer the question.

Sensing my hesitation, Justin's smile faded.  "What was wrong?"

All five heads turned to me.  I knew I had to choose my words carefully.  "The show was great, and if you talk to any of the fans in the front third of the raceway, you will get only positive feedback."

"I take it your seats weren't in that area?" Joey asked.

"No, my seat was in the center of the north grandstand," I said

"And?" prompted Chris.

"We knew someone was performing but couldn't see who."

"Didn't the video screens help?" asked Justin

"Yeah, with binoculars I could see them clear enough to tell you all apart.  The video screen on the light tower was off line more than on," I told them.   Then chuckling at the memory, I add, "Your opening number had you coming up from the bottom of the screen.  The image was upside down.  Anyone in the back third could not see the screens, so they could not see you."

"Shit! That's not good," said JC.

"I knew the big venues would be a problem," said Chris.

"Don't you have your own people in the audience to spot these kind of problems?"  I asked.

"Yeah, but it seems the feedback was flawed.  Telling us everything was great," Justin said.

"Telling you what you wanted to hear, and covering their own butts,"  I pointed out.

"Was anything about the concert right?" asked Lance.

Laughing I answered,  "Yeah, your sound system was awesome.  Much improved over your HBO Special."

"What!!" they all said.

"I need to learn to keep my opinions to my self," I said softly.

"No, Matt, we need to hear what you think.  You're a neutral point of view, unlike our own people," said Lance. 

"Ok.  Have you seen a tape of the special?"  I asked.

"Yeah, we watched it the next day," said Chris.

"When did you get it?"

"It arrived by messenger that afternoon.  We watched it after sound check,"  Joey answered.

"And the sound was great.  Right?" I asked.

"Yeah, The sound was perfect," said Justin.

"It was doctored.  What was  broadcast really sucked.  And I bet the tape you got will be used on all the rebroadcasts," I said.

Lance asked, "By any chance, did you tape the show?"

"You bet.  I have two copies; I got the West Coast feed three hours later.  And they didn't have enough time to fix it."

"Do you have a copy we can see," asked Justin seriously.

"Sure, I brought both tapes with me when I drove up for the concert," I said.  "When you've had enough time in the hot tub we could go watch it." 

"You said you drove up for the concert.  Didn't you say you lived here?" asked Chris. 

"I actually live in Springfield, but my job has me traveling." 

"What do you do?" JC asked.

"I work for the State of Illinois, I am an auditor for the Department of Revenue.  I inspect and audit the  casinos in this half of the state." 

"Cool, you get to hang out in  casinos all the time.  Play a little blackjack and the slots," Chris observed.

"Actually, I've never played any of the games.  I work too hard for my money to  waste it on a game where the odds are on the side of the house."

The timer cut off the jets.  "You all want more time?  Or have you had enough?" I asked.

"I've had enough.   Let's go watch the video," said JC.

As everyone was climbing out of the hot tub, Lance noticed I had not moved.  "Matt, what's wrong?"

As the blush rose in my face, I had to confess,  "I thought I would have the pools to myself.  I'm not wearing a swimsuit."

Lance smiled, "Matt, were all guys here, I'm sure you don't have anything we haven't seen before.  And I promise not to look."

As I got out of the tub, everyone seemed to look  elsewhere, giving me a little privacy.  As I was walking over to the shower to rinse off Chris shouted,  "OH MY GOD MATT!  I'VE NEVER SEEN SUCH A LARGE. . . . ."  Making me turn to Chris and everyone else to look at me.  "SPIDER ON THE WALL."

Pleased that everyone reacted as he wanted, Chris grinned at me.

Smiling at Chris's prank and shaking my head, I said, "I  have heard you were the joker of the group, now I know  firsthand it's true."   Springing at Chris, I picked him up and tossed him in the swimming pool, which is 50 degrees cooler than the hot tub. 

As I was watching Chris come to the surface, coughing up water, I did not see Justin and Joey come up behind me,  picking me up and tossing me in the pool.  As I went flying into the pool, I managed to grab Joey's arm and pulled him in with me.  When I came to the surface the three remaining guys jumped in doing cannon balls.  Before the water settled, I was half way across the pool and treading water in the deep end.

"Where is Matt?" Justin asked looking around.

"There he is," JC says pointing at me.

" Let's get him," Chris urges everyone.

"Hey, five against one is not fair," protests Joey.

"Then you can be on Matt's side," Justin said as he dunked Joey.

Breaking free, Joey headed for the deep end of the pool.  Everyone's attention was on Joey, a mistake.  You see when I was a little kid, I would spend my summers here with Aunt Mary and Uncle George.  I spent most of  my free time in the pool, swum like a fish and Uncle George swore I must have gills.  Taking several deep breaths, I slipped under the surface and began my attack.  Joey had managed to stay out of reach of the others and was headed across the deep end.  Coming up below Lance, I grabbed his right foot and pulled him under.  Not being prepared for a dunking, Lance struggled to get back to the surface but not before I accomplished my goal.  Releasing Lance I headed for Justin who was about to dunk Joey again.  Pulling him under it only took seconds to do what was needed.  As Justin broke the surface next to Joey, Joe took a deep breath, certain Justin was about to dunk him.  Instead, I pulled him under and dragged him to the side of the pool, surfacing in a shadow.  I placed my hand over Joe's mouth to keep him from making any noise.  "You all right?" I whispered.

"Yeah, where did you come from?" Joe whispered.

"Here, hold these," I said as I handed Joe two swimsuits, With a  grin I added, "Be right back, I have two more to collect."

As I slipped under the surface, Joey could clearly see his four friends treading water, searching for some sign of Matt and himself.  Chris was pulled under and reappeared a few seconds later splashing and sputtering.  As soon as Chris broke the surface, JC went under.

I surfaced a minute later next to Joey, my mission accomplished.  Holding up the last two swimsuits, I tossed them out of the pool.  Joey grinned and tossed the two he was holding, out of the pool also.

"Now we are almost on equal footing," I whispered.  "Except for one." 

Grinning, Joey said, "Wait! You don't have to dunk me to get it.  Here,"  offering me his swimsuit.

Taking the offered suit, I hurled it at the wall where it hit the door to the pool with a loud splat.

All heads turned to the sound and  spotted Joey and Matt at the  pools edge. "There they are," Justin said.

"And there  go our swimsuits," Lance added with a chuckle.

"Shit! Were did Matt go now?" Chris said nervously.

"I'm right behind you," I said with a grin.

"Damn, boy.  I never seen anyone move through the water as fast as you do.  You must be part dolphin,"  said Chris.

Just then, the door opened and the biggest man I have ever seen stood there.  He was so big he almost blocked out all the light from the hall.  "Is everything all right in here?" he asked.

I sank lower in the water with only my eyes and the top of my head above water.

"Yeah, we are fine, just screwing around," JC shouted back.

"Ok, I'll be nearby if you need anything," he said.

Getting an evil idea, I slipped under the surface to bob up seconds later bottom up.  I quickly felt hands on my butt pushing me back under the water.  Righting myself I break the surface in time to see the guy at the door shaking his head and calling out,  "Joey, your butt is looking better, it has helped staying away from the  Twinkies."

The door closed and everyone turned to me laughing. "Man  you are insane," Justin said.

"Who was that?" I asked.

"That was Buba, our body guard," said Joey as he joined us. "And he now thinks I mooned him."

"If he gives you any grief just drop your  pants and he will see he was mistaken," I injected. 

From the direction on the weight room a phone could be heard ringing.

"What's that?" Lance asked.

"My phone," I said as I swum to the edge of the pool.

As I got out of the pool, the others were right behind.

Snatching my robe from a lounge chair, I headed for my apartment.  As I enter my apartment, I turn back to my dripping new friends.  "You'll find towels on the shelf by the door," I said over my shoulder.

Tying my robe shut, I picked up the phone.  "Hello.  Jess!  What's wrong?  Jess, stop crying and tell me what's wrong." 

The  guys came into the living room after quickly drying off and slipping into their robes.

"Jess, you had it with you when you got into the car. It still must be in the car,"  I told my hysterical niece. "Just calm down.  I will look for it in the morning.  If it's not there you can have mine.  Now go back to bed.  Good night, Jess, I love you  too."

Hanging up I turned to find five questioning looks.  "That was my niece, Jessica.  She has misplaced her tour program.  I'm sure she left it in my car."

"Jessica is a fan also?" asked Joey.

"Yeah, she's a fan.  I drove her and two of her friends to the concert.  Her dad got her tickets for her thirteenth birthday," I answered.

"When was her Birthday?" Justin asked.

"It's today, August 2 nd."

"Who's her favorite *NSYNC?" Justin asked with confidence.

Laughing at Justin's confidence, I had to burst his bubble.   "Lance is her favorite.  Let's see how does she put it.  `His  eyes are so dreamy you just get lost in them.'  She usually  sighs and goes catatonic for about ten minutes."

The expression on Justin's face was priceless, I just wish I had a camera.  He just couldn't believe anyone would pick anybody other than him. 

We all had a good laugh at Justin's expense.  Trying to get the attention off Justin, I went to the door and picked up six pair  of shorts.  "Here, you may feel more comfortable without a draft on your bottom.  They should fit, the bean poles will just have to pull the strings tighter."

"Thanks Matt, how do we get these back to you?" asked JC.

"Just leave them in your room.  The staff is use to finding my stuff around the place,"  I said, suddenly realizing how it  sounded.  "That really didn't sound right."

Laughing, Joey said, "That's all right Matt.  I think we know what you meant."

"Anyone want a soda before we watch your concert?" I asked.

"Yeah, what do you got," asked Chris.

"Coke, Pepsi, Root Beer, Dr. Pepper, Orange and Strawberry soda." I answered.

"Two Coke's, one Dr. Pepper, one Strawberry and a Root Beer," Lance answered for everyone.

   Getting one of the copies of the HBO special from my suitcase, I went back into the living room.  I noticed Joey and Justin looking over my computer setup.  They were talking softly between themselves as I came in with the drinks and the video.

"Matt you must really be into computers, two lap tops and a  desktop," Joey observed.

"It's  worse than that.   I also have a desktop in Springfield.  I  travel with the two laptops.  One is strictly for work, and the  other is my personal one," I  replied.

Everyone gathered around the TV as inserted the video.  I  fast forwarded through the opening and stopped at the first  number.  "Ok, everybody ready?" I asked.  Everyone nodded. I pushed the play button and put the remote down in front of JC.

I didn't watch the video, but instead I watched the faces of the guys of NSYNC.  Smiles quickly faded to sour expressions.  Before the first number ended, JC picked up the remote and fast forwarded a couple numbers.

"Shit, we sound awful," JC said with  disgust as he turned off the video.

Lance, who's face had turned red with anger asked, "Matt, can we have that tape?"

"Sure it's yours," I answered.

"We can use it against HBO, they did not live up to the contract," Lance said.

"It would be neat if you could use it to get another special, maybe a Christmas Special,"  I said hopefully.

Smiles returned to their faces as everyone looked at Justin.

"See I told you, our fans want to see a Christmas Special,"  Justin said smugly.

"I take it you're the only one that wants a Christmas Special?" I  asked.

"I'm the only one who wants to do it using only Christmas  music.  The big shots want us to do stuff from out new album  and Christmas songs,"  Justin said.

"There are a few ballads from both albums that would work. But  the stuff from your Christmas album should be more than  enough.  Especially if you do Christmas hymns a cappella.  No one can touch your sound,"  I pointed out.

A smile grew across Joey's face as he shook his head.  "Matt, being around you is like a ride on a roller coaster. Every time you take us down, you pull us back up."

"I'm not sure if that is good or bad?" I asked.

"It's good.  Your fun to be around and you've been honest with us.  Something we're not getting from our own staff." Justin   said with a smile.

"Matt, can we have your e-mail?  Our management may want to get in touch with you,"  asked Joey.

"Sure, let me give you one of my business cards," I said as I went to  my desk.  Turning the card over,  I jotted down my other e-mail address.

I handed the card to Joey and he read it.  "Matthew J. Morgan, Illinois Department of Revenue, Casino Audit." 

Laughing softly, I told them, "It sounds more important than it really is.  I'm  basically an accountant.  The e-mail on the front is my  business address.  The one on the back is my personal  address.  I check that one daily." 

Joey turned the card over and read the address  then looked up at me.  Handing the card to Justin, who took a look  then passed it on down the line. 

With a big yawn, Joey said,  "It's getting real late, I think we  should head back to our rooms."

"Yeah, It's been a long day.  Matt, thanks for the  sodas and the  video," said Chris as everyone got up to leave.

"It's been nice meeting you all in person.  And thanks for a  great show tonight," I said as I walked them to the door. 

"Sorry about all the wet towels," JC said.

"It comes with the pool.  What time do you all have to leave?" I asked.

"Noon.  Our flight is at two,"  answered Justin.

"How about you come by around eleven, I'll make brunch." I  offered.

Everyone smiled at my suggestion.  "That would be great.   We'll see you at eleven.  Good night Matt," said Joey.

   Standing in front of the elevator, the five friends were discussing what had just happened.

"I tell you he's the one," insisted Justin.

"How can you be  certain?" asked JC.

"The e-mail he gave us tonight is the same one on his story,"  said Lance.

Joey added,  "When Justin and I was checking out his  computer he had the same icon on his screen that appears on  the web site."

"You know anyone can lift any graphic from any web site," JC  pointed out.

"But two of the icons were labeled part 21 and part 22,"  Justin  said.

"So?" JC asked.

"JC there has only been 20 parts posted to the story.  Matt has  got to be James," insisted Joey.

"Well what do you want to do?  If we all go and confront him it  will scare the shit out of him and he will deny it.  Anyway I'm  too tired to deal with this now," said JC.

"You're right," Joey agreed.  "I'll go talk to Matt alone.  See  what I can find out."

"Sounds good," said Chris.  "Let us know how it went in the  morning."

The elevator door opened and four of the guys  stepped aboard.  Joey returned to the pool to talk to Matt.

   I was putting the last of the wet towels into the wet towel bin when the door to the pool opened and Joey came over to me.

"Hey, Joe.  Forget something?" I asked.

"No, but I do have a question," 

"What is it?"

"Who is Not an Angel?"  Joe asked.

"Oh shit," was all I could say as I slowly backed away from  Joey.  If he planed to beat the shit out of me I wanted room to  escape.

Seeing the fear in my eyes Joey quickly said,  "Matt, I'm a   fan of your story.  But Angel has me stumped.  I don't know  who she is."

"You're a fan?" I asked.

"Yeah, we all are," Joey stated causally.

Visually relaxing I shook my head.  "I can't believe all you  guys have read my little story.  How did you know?"

'We recognized your e-mail.  Midwestjames gave it away."

"Oh, I guess that was not very smart," I said as I sat on one of  the plastic pool chairs.  "I never imagined any of you guys  would ever read it."

Joey took the seat next to me.  "I was the first to find your  story.  I was surfing the web one night and I came across it.   You had only posted the first three parts and I was hooked  right away.  Two weeks later we got a report from out PR rep listing the stories about us on the web.  They want us to be  aware of the sick stuff out on the web.  My New Life was  flagged."

"Oh great, I made the sicko list," 

Laughing at my reaction, he replied, "No, Matt.  You made a different  list.  A very short list of positive stories about us.  I think  everyone checked it out that day.  A couple days later we were  in rehearsal and we hadn't had a break in hours.  Chris  needed to go bad and he was dancing around trying to hold it  in.  We all saw him and we broke up laughing at him  remembering the story of Chris and the outhouse in your  story.  Since we realized we were all laughing about the same  thing we started to talk about the story.  You're story has  become one of our favorites."

Still a little stunned a terrible thought came to me.  "Lance  must hate me, especially after the last chapter."

"No he wasn't upset.  I think you made his day.  You gave him a little more than actually exists,"  Joey chuckled. After a few  moments of silence he asked, "Matt, why haven't you asked  me the big question?"

"If anyone is gay?" 

"Yes," said Joey.

"That would be getting too personal.  I've just met you and you  don't know me.  Besides knowing might influence how I write  my story."

'Matt, are you?"

"Gay.  Yes Joe I'm gay,"  I admitted.

"Are you seeing anyone?"  Joey asked nervously.

"No, not at this time,"  I answered.

Looking at me with hope filled eyes, Joey asked, "Can I spend  the night with you?"

"Joey, I'm flattered that you would want to be with me. But. . . "

"You'd rather be with Lance.  I've read the story.  You're in love with him." Joey snapped as he got out of his chair and headed for the door.

Going after Joey I grab his arm and spin him around facing  me. "Joe if you would let me finish, I was going to tell you I don't want to be a one-night-stand.  I would rather we get to know each other as friends.  And see where it takes us." 

"I just thought you had a thing for Lance,"  Joe said softly as a  single tear ran down his cheek.

Reaching over I wipe the tear off Joe's cheek.  "Joey, Joey.   Marc has a thing for Lance.  But I am not Marc.  You need to remember that what I've written in the story is not real," I  reminded him.  Then leaning in, I give Joey a soft kiss on the  lips.  "In the real world I have a thing for you."

"You do? Joe asked with a shy smile. 

"Yeah, I've been drawn to you since I saw your Disney concert on TV," I told Joey. 

"Wow!" Joey whispers.  As a frown spreads across his face he asks, "But why me and not. . ." 

"Justin or Lance or JC," I finish his thought.  Taking Joe's hand, I answer, "All three are cute, but Justin is  too young for one.  The others are just not my type." 

"And I'm your type?"  he asks. 

"Yeah,  you're a teddy bear, someone I could cuddle up to," I told Joe as the blush rose in my face. "You're the kind of guy I would want to have as a best friend." 

Joey pulls me into a hug. "Thank you, Matt,  I'd like to have you as a friend too.  And knowing how  you feel, makes it that much more special." 

Standing in the dim light of the pool, holding each other, I finally ask, "Joe, how much are you going to tell the others?" 

"Since they realize who you are, I will just confirm that you are James,"  Joe pulls back to look into my eyes. "Matt, where does James come from?" 

Smiling, "James is my middle name." I answer.  "And what about us?" 

"Only that I like you and that I think you'd make a great friend." Joe said while smiling at me.  "And I think I should get up to my room." 

"Yeah it's been a exciting day for both of us.  I'll see you at brunch." I said as I started to break our embrace. 

"Well have a good night," Joe said as he leans in and gave me a parting kiss.

   The next morning I was up at ten and made a quick trip to the mini mart for fresh breakfast fixings.  At quarter  to eleven I opened  the pool door so the guys could get in.

"Matt! You home?"  shouted Joey.

"I'm in the kitchen.  Make yourself at home," I called back.

Joey came into the kitchen smiling.  "Need any help?"

"No, I have everything under control.  How did you sleep?" I  asked.

"Not  too well.  And you?"

"About the same,." I answered with a slight smile.

Lance walked into the kitchen, "Joey, you need to go sign  Jessica's program book.  The rest of us have already signed  it."

Joey went to sign the book leaving Lance in the kitchen with me.  When I looked up I saw Lance studying me.  "Lance, I'm  sorry."

"Sorry  about what?" Lance asked not understanding.

"If any part of my story offends you."

"Matt, relax,  I enjoy your story.  I understand it's fiction," Lance  said.

   Brunch turned out good, everyone kept pumping me for  information about where the story was headed.  But I would not  let anything slip.

It was nearly time for them to leave when the phone rang.  I  looked at the caller ID.  "Ah, it's Jess.  Calling about her  program."

"Matt can you put her on speakerphone  We have a birthday  gift for her,"  asked JC.

"Sure." I said as I moved the phone to the table.

"Good morning, Jess."

"Uncle Matt, how did you know it was me?"

"Just a lucky guess."

"Did you find my program?"

"I think so, did your program have the autographed photos of  *NSYNC?"

"No, I didn't have enough money for the photos."

"Well it must be yours; this picture says `To Jessica my number one fan Justin Timberlake.'"

"Uncle Matt, you're not going to fool me with a fake autograph."

"Fake! This doesn't look like a fake to me.  Chris, does this look  like Justin's signature or not?"

"Yeah, it sure looks like Justin's.  JC, man, this is Justin's  chicken scratching isn't it?"

"Yeah, I think so.  Lance, you know Justin's signature the best.  Is this  Justin's."

"It sure is, I saw him sign it myself."

"Oh!  my! god! It's really you. It's Lance!"  Jess shouted  excitedly before she started to squeal.

"Jessica, this is Justin.  Your Uncle Matt told us today is your  birthday.  And we wanted to give you a little gift."

I sat there watching the guys as they sang Happy Birthday to my niece.  Then each one took the phone and privately wished her Happy Birthday.  Lance was the last to talk to Jess and he spent extra time with her. 

Buba came to the door, and lightly knocked.  "Guy's it's time to go."

I walked them out to the waiting limo.  Saying good bye to  each I received a hug.  As Lance was about to get into the limo  he turned to me.  "Matt, I have something special for Jessica."   He removed his tour jacket and handed it to me. 

"She is going to love it.  Thanks, Lance,"  I said.

Everyone got into the limo and it pulled out heading for the  airport.  I waved as they turned onto the road.  Turning around, I saw William standing at the door smiling at me.

"You know, if I would have found out that *NSYNC was staying  here and no one told me.  You would be a dead man."  I said  shaking my finger at him.

"Matt, how was the hot tub last night?" William asked with a  smirk.

"Did you set that up?" I asked.

"Who me?  All I did is suggest to them the hot tub might help  them relax." said William as he turned and went back to the  front desk.

   Going back to my apartment I placed Lance's tour jacket on  top of Jessica's program and  photos.  Taking a stack of dirty  dishes to the sink, I spotted folded on the counter a *NSYNC tour  jacket.  I pick it up and saw the name Joey on it.  And sticking  out of a pocket was a note.  Reading it I smile and put the  jacket on.  Going to my computer I log on to my instant  messenger and begin to type.

You are invited by James to chat:

Viking:  Got your note and gift.  Thank you so very much.  I  understand you can not give out your e-mail.  I will set up a  account for you.  I will have all the information for you tonight. Give me a buzz later.  I should be back from Jesse's party  about nine my time.  Till then.  Be safe.  Your special friend.   James 

I smiled at the message
then clicked the send button.

It could have happened that  way.

Couldn't it?


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