© 2003-2005 Josh Brandon
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This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The sexuality of all characters is entirely a figment of the author's imagination, and does not reflect on any celebrities used in this story. For those of you that are NOT of legal age, please find other material to read. If you are offended by male/male material, or it is illegal to view such materials in your area, you should be leaving at this time.
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This is a story of friendship and love. I have read some other stories on the Nifty Archives and I wanted to try my hand at writing, so here I am. Any questions or comments can be emailed to me at firstname.lastname@example.org I would like to hear what you the readers have to say about my story. But please, don't send me flames. I would never do that to other people.
“I hope you want to have fun, because with this tour, there isn’t anything but fun.” She exuberantly said.
“Are you always this cheerful at eleven o’clock at night?” Kellen asked her.
“Yes she is. You’ll get used to it. She definitely makes for some really awesome pranks.” Kevin said before Melinda could respond to Kellen’s question.
“Uh, I don’t want to interrupt this little pow-wow, but we need to get you back to the hotel and settled in.” Melinda said looking at Kellen. “Oh, and you need to rehearse with the band tomorrow morning. Be in the hotel lobby at 6:30 so we can get to the venue for practice.”
“Are you serious?” Kellen asked wide-eyed. “I get to play with the band tomorrow and rehearse with Nsync?”
“Yeah, that’s why we hired you. David has to leave the tour in tomorrow, so we need to make sure that you’re up to par with everything. You won’t get to actually get to rehearse with Nsync until then.”
“Ok. That’ll give some time to make sure I have what need to have down. I don’t want to mess up in front of the guys.” Kellen said nervously
“If I were you, I would be more worried about messing up in front of 50,000 fans onstage.” Melinda said as the group made their way to the baggage claim.
After they had the baggage, the group made their way out of the airport and to the hotel that Nsync was staying at. Kellen couldn’t believe how big Cleveland was. The whole city was huge. Nothing compared to New York City, but still big. It also amazed Kellen that even at midnight, there were hordes of screaming girls at the hotel. Kellen had called his mom while on the plane to feel her in on what was going on and after about 20 promises to call her every day, he was allowed to hang up.
Kellen followed the group into the elevator and to floor reserved for the Nsync crew and staff. Melinda stopped at a door and gave Kellen his keycard and a sealed envelope. Then she walked down the hall and moved into her room. Kellen opened his door and walked in shutting the door as he went. The room was fairly nice. Nothing compared to the presidential suite he was used to when traveling, but it was nice. He put his suitcase down and plopped onto the bed and fell asleep.
Kellen awoke to the sound of the phone ringing. He reached over to the bedside table and picked it up. “Hello?”
“This is you automated wake up call. Thank you for choosing West Point hotel this morning.”
He hung up the phone got out of bed, got in the shower and prepared himself for the day he had been waiting for his entire life. Today was his day and nothing would mess it up. As he finished getting ready, his cell phone rang. “Hello?”
“Hey Kellen. How’s Florida treating you?” JC’s chipper voice sounded over the phone.
“What are you doing up this early in the morning?” Kellen asked surprised that JC would even be conscious this early.
“I couldn’t sleep so I figured I would bug you for a while.”
“Well, it’s going have to wait. I’m on my way to a very important meeting.”
“What meeting?” JC asked. His curiosity started to suddenly pop up.
“Can I tell you the day after tomorrow?” Kellen asked.
“I guess, but I don’t want to have to wait that long.”
“Sorry Jace, we all have to wait sometimes in life. But hey, I have to go.”
“Okay. Can I call you tonight?”
“Yeah. I’ll talk to you later.” Kellen hung up. After saying goodbye, Kellen left his room and went to the hotel lobby and met Melinda. After about forty minutes and a breakfast in the lounge, Kellen, Melinda, Kevin, and Ibrahim made their way to the venue to meet with the rest of the band. The whole day was spent practicing Nsync songs. Kellen found it very appealing and seemed to fit right in with everyone. He met David Cook, who was leaving the next day to be with his mom in the hospital. At lunch break, he ate with Troy (bass), Billy (drums/percussion), David, Paul (Horns), Ruben (guitar), and Kevin Antunes. They all talked about what touring was like and all that Kellen would be doing. Kellen was hanging on every word. It was like a whole new world for him. After lunch they went back to practicing. The bend was especially happy that Kellen knew the music and was catching on with changes that were constantly being made.
That night when Kellen got back to the hotel, he felt like a shower was desperately needed. After soaking for about an hour, he finally got out. As he dressed, he noticed his laptop flashing as message icon. He moved across the room, to his laptop and accepted the message.
Fishin4bass: Where have you been?
Kellen began typing a response to Lance’s inquiry. He waited for a response; which didn’t appear for a few minutes.
Kis4kool: What do you mean? I’ve been working. Lol
Fishin4bass: Oh, okay. You know, in all the months we talked, you never told
me what you did for a living.
Kellen paused at typing a response. ‘I could say the same about you Mr. Bass’ he thought to himself. It had crossed his mind to type that, but he thought better to wait until his bigger surprise was pulled on both he and JC in a couple of days.
Kis4kool: Do you remember me telling you that I liked music? Well, I play for a
Fishin4bass: That’s cool. What instrument do you play?
Kis4kool: I actually play the keyboard.
Fishin4bass: How long have you played?
Kis4kool: Since I was 4 years old. Now I’m 18. It’s fun.
Kis4kool: So, what city are you in tonight?
Fishin4bass: I am in Cleveland. At least I think its Cleveland.
Kis4kool: Wow! Nsync is there also. That must be so cool.
Fishin4bass: Really? That explains why all the hotels are booked and the traffic.
‘Traffic indeed’ Kellen thought to himself. “I can’t believe he is still playing this game.” He said aloud to no one.
Kis4kool: I need to go to bed now James. I have to be up and at work
tomorrow at dawn.
Fishin4bass: Ok. I guess I will talk to you later then. Goodnight.
Kellen shut off his laptop and climbed into bed. As he fell asleep, he thought of JC. The subject had been on his mind a lot lately. He was so gorgeous and everything about him was perfect. Kellen had come to terms with the fact that he was indeed falling quickly for JC. He was starting to think that he really was gay and that he had to tell his parents, but was scared about what their reaction was going to be. Kellen’s last thought was of JC before his eyes shut and he drifted into the land of the subconscious.
The next morning, the rising sun shown through the window and woke Kellen up. He dressed and met some of the band members in the lobby. They all made their way out into a van and were on their way to the arena. The whole day was spent in practice. That evening David left the tour. The band had wished him well and gave their respects to his mom. Kellen had enjoyed getting to know David, but was thrilled at having the opportunity of playing with Nsync. That night, as Kellen was getting into bed, his cell phone rang.
“Hello?” he said into the phone.
“What’s up?” JC’s overly cheerful voice boomed into Kellen’s ear.
“Not much, I was just getting into bed.”
The thought of Kellen in bed gave JC a tingling feeling and he suddenly felt his boxers become very small. “You’re in bed? But it’s only 10:30. You should be up partying.”
“Ha. I’ve been working all day. Besides, all you have to do is sing. How tiring is that.” Kellen stated.
“Oh no you didn’t!” JC responded in his best drama queen voice, complete with head movements and a snap. However, JC was the only one who was able to see that.
“Oh yes I did.” Kellen rebutted.
“Hey, I put a lot of work into my voice. Besides, I have been in choreography lessons all day.” JC said in mock hurt
“Ah, Poor baby.” Kellen said poking fun at JC.
“No I’m not. But really, how was your day?” Kellen asked.
“It was a day like every other. The guys and I were in choreography lessons most of the day. What about you?”
“I spent most of my day practicing.”
“Yeah, Lance mentioned something about you being part of a small hometown band.”
“Well I never said it was a hometown band but yeah. I am part of a band.”
“That’s cool. So what is the bands name?” JC asked.
“Can I tell you tomorrow? I really tired right now.”
“Yeah, I guess. If you have to make me wait.” JC said pouting.
“Yeah I have to make you wait.” Kellen said, “Talk to you later Jace.”
“Ok. Talk to you later.”
Kellen hung up his phone and plugged it in to charge. Almost as quickly as his head hit the pillow, he fell asleep. The next morning Kellen woke up early. He was excited because today was the day he got to meet the guys again. He made sure he was extra clean and that he was really awake. As he was getting ready to walk out his door, he stopped at his suitcase and pulled out a cap and pair of very dark shades. He put them on after he shut the door.
When Kellen stepped out of the elevator, he saw that the rest of the band was waiting for him. After a quick breakfast, they all made their way out into several vans and to the arena. When they arrived, they sound crew already had things hot and ready to go. All they were waiting on was Nsync. Kellen got behind his keyboard and started warming up when someone called his name. He looked up and saw Kevin walking towards him.
“Hey, what’s up Kevin?” Kellen asked.
“Oh I was just wondering why you’re wearing a dew rag over your head and those shades in here?”
“Well, I don’t want the guys to know it’s me just yet. I want to surprise them a little.” He answered.
“Just don’t let it interfere with the sound check ok?”
“Gotcha” Kellen watched Kevin take his place at his own keyboard to start warming up. That was when Kellen heard several loud screams coming into the arena.
“WE”RE HERE!!!” Chris yelled.
“DA POSSE HAS ARRIVED” Justin yelled following Chris. Joey yelled something else as well, but Kellen couldn’t make out what it was. Melinda walked up to him and handed him a note.
Your secret is still safe. Have fun with it, but don’t give JC or Lance a heart attack.
Little was said as the guys put their headsets on and started warming up their voices. Kevin started counting down and the music started. The opening measures passed before the guys Justin started singing.
When the visions around you,
Bring tears to your eyes
And all that surround you,
Are secrets and lies
I'll be your strength,
I'll give you hope,
Keeping your faith when it's gone
The one you should call,
Was standing here all along..
And I will take
You in my arms
And hold you right where you belong
Till the day my life is through
This I promise you
This I promise you
Kellen played the song like he had known it all his life and when JC’s solo started, Kellen’s heart skipped a beat. He looked right at JC. JC noticed him and looked at him also, but didn’t recognize him because of the glasses and hat. They couldn’t stop looking at each other. JC wondered who this guy was. He knew that David had left the night before, but this new guy was a mystery. Kellen played the last measure then let the music fade out. As the guys put their headsets away, Joey spoke up.
“Hey Kevin, who is the newbie on the keyboard?” Kellen noticed everyone’s head turn towards him as Joey finished.
“Oh, I can answer that one.” Fritz, the road manager spoke up. “Guys, I would like for you all to meet…” before he could finish, though, Melinda interrupted him.
“Um, excuse me newbie? Could you remove your shades and the hat so we can get a better look at you?”
“Talkin’ to me?” Kellen asked trying to sound like a guy high on drugs.
“Yeah you.” She said. Kellen took off the hat and let his thick brown hair fall to his shoulders. “And the glasses” Melinda said. Kellen removed the glasses and looked strait at JC and Lance. Melinda laughed as everyone watched five jaws drop.
“Guys, I’d like you all to meet Kellen Bradley, the new keyboardist” Fritz said.
“I can’t believe it! You’re part of our tour?” Lance asked dumbfounded.
“Yeah. I took pity on your poor tired souls.” Kellen said.
Right about that time, Joey jumped onto Kelly’s back and started yelling like a cowboy “Giddy up. Yippi I yo! Boys getting smart his first day on the job.” The musicians just laughed.
“Actually, it’s my third day on the job. And are you making fun of Oklahomans?” Kellen asked giving Joey an evil eye.
“Who me?” Joey asked pretending to be innocent.
“I still don’t believe it. You’re actually here?” JC asked unbelievingly. Kellen just nodded. “And you’re playing in the band.” JC stated. Kellen just nodded again. “I CAN”T BELIEVE IT!” JC cried out happily.
“Whoa there C. We still need that voice tonight so don’t damage it.” Justin said playfully. All the other guys were just looking at JC with confused expressions. On the inside and outside JC was thrilled that Kellen was here. JC wanted to tell Kellen so bad how he’d felt, and try to come to an understanding about his feelings. JC just hoped that when he finally did tell Kellen, he wouldn’t beat the hell out of him. JC’s thoughts were suddenly interrupted as Fritz spoke.
“Oh guys, I know this is a happy reunion and everything, but we have a concert tonight and we need to finish this sound check.” After he said it, everyone moved into position and went through the sound check and practice. At lunch all the staff was released for a few hours to have lunch and a break for the afternoon. Kellen started turning all of things off.
“Hey man. How are things going?” Lance asked walking up to Kellen.
“Not bad. You?”
“Oh just hanging out.” Lance said chuckling. “So how exactly did you get the job?”
“Well I applied for it in Orlando and played one of your songs for them. I think I did really well because I’m here now.” Kellen said walking with Lance to the backstage area.
“Well from what we’ve heard you sound wonderful. Do you want to catch some lunch with us?” Lance asked Kellen casually.
“Sure, If you guys don’t mind. I’ve been wanting to tell people that I hang out with Nsync all the time anyway.” Kellen said looking at Lance.
“Yep, Everyone wants a piece of us.” Lance said full of himself. They walked into one of the dressing rooms. It had been converted to a green room for the guys.
“So, Scoop, where we going for Lunch?” Chris asked looking at Lance and Kellen.
“I don’t know, Where do you want to go Kellen?”
“No, I got to choose where we all went in Denver. It’s someone else’s turn.” Kellen said turning over the responsibility to someone else.
“But your the guest, and the guest gets to decide” JC interjected.
“Actually, I’m not the guest because I work for the five of you now.”
“Hey, that’s right.” Joey said evilly. “That means you have to do what we tell you to do.” Joey was grinning and rubbing his hands together.
“Yep, I’m the band bitch now.” After the last syllable left Kellen’s mouth, Justin, Joey, Chris and Lance fell out of their chairs laughing. After a couple of minutes of laughing, Kellen spoke to get everyone’s attention. “No really guys. Where do y’all wanna go.”
“You know, I could never figure out what ‘y’all’ means. What does it mean Kellen?” Chris asked.
“Shut up.” Kellen said. He looked over at JC with his lips sticking out, “They won’t stop picking on me.”
The look almost sent JC into another world. ‘He looks so damn hot’, JC thought to himself. “Come on guys. Leave him alone.”
The six of them left the arena with a set of bodyguards. They climbed into two vans and were off to find a restaurant. “What do your parents do Kellen?” JC asked making small talk and wanting to know everything about Kellen.
“Well, my mom is Vice-President of the college in my town and my dad owns a small business. Why?”
“Oh, no reason. Just trying to get to know you better. After all, we’re all gonna be spending a lot of time together.” JC said casually.
“So Kellen, where do you want to go for lunch?” Lance asked from across the van.
“Do you think we could hit the Hard Rock Cafe?” Kellen asked looking from guy to guy.
“Hey, that’s perfect! We haven’t ate at the Hard Rock since,”
“Since Kansas City. The other day JC.” Joey said interrupting JC.
“Hey, Hard Rock’s a good place. You guys should try the one in New Orleans. It’s great. So is the one in Las Vegas, and LA, oh and the one in New York. The one in Washington DC isn’t as good as most of the other ones though.” Kellen said shrugging his shoulders. The other guys just stared at him.
“Have you actually been to all these places?” Chris inquired.
“Never mind that, Are you a Hard Rock Cafe fan?” JC asked wide-eyed.
“Yes to both questions.” Kellen said noticing that they were on a familiar street. “Excuse me Driver, can you make a left turn at the next light. Then drive two blocks. On your left you’ll find a sporting goods store. Can you turn in there?” Kellen said. He sat back down in his seat and looked towards the guys, “I hope you don’t mind. Is it okay if we stop by a store for a sec.?”
“I guess. We have time for some sight seeing.” Lance said. “Hey Kellen, that store has your last name.” Lance kidded. He finished as the guys pulled into the parking lot.
Kellen looked up and out the window, “Wow! It is. That’s so cool!” Kellen said acting surprised.
“What. Don’t they have Bradley’s sporting goods stores in Oklahoma? It’s only the best store in the Country.” Justin said as the van stopped.
“Of course they have Bradley’s in Oklahoma. But not everyone can afford to go there.” Kellen said snickering quietly. They all walked in flanked by five security guards. Kellen walked up to the customer service desk, “Excuse me.”
“How may I help you sir?” A young red head lady said turning around.
“Well for starters, what’s with all the high prices? I mean no one can afford this place.” Kellen said raising his voice.
“Uh, I’m s…sor…sorry Sir. I don’t price things. That’s the way they come.” She said timidly.
“Yeah, well, that’s messed up. I want to talk to the manager right now!” Kellen all but shouted. The girl quickly walked towards the back of the store.
“Dude, what are you doing? We just walked in here. Don’t make a full of your self. Calm down.” Lance said.
“Well their prices are high. Someone needs to do something about it.” Kellen said.
“Yeah well, write a letter to the owners or something. Don’t yell at the hired help. That’s just ill Dude.” Justin said. “Guys maybe we should go before we get kicked out or the police called on us.” Everyone was looking at Kellen. JC had a disappointed look on his face. He couldn’t believe that Kellen was acting so childish.
“No, whe have to stay until I talk to the manager.” Kellen said determined. Inside he just wanted to crack up laughing. His plan was working out great.
“Can I help you Sir?” A voice said behind Kellen. He turned around and looked at the almost bald headed guy walking towards him with the same red headed girl from earlier. “Oh, It’s you Sir. I thought we had real trouble out here.”
“Hey Dave.” Kellen said shaking the guy’s hands. The guys just looked from Kellen to Dave and back to Kellen.
“What’s going on?” JC asked
“Oh, this is Dave Fisher. He’s the manager of the store.” Kellen said.
“OH MY GOD! KELLEN?” He turned around at the yell of his name only to be grabbed by Tyler.
“Tyler! What are you doing here?” Kellen asked surprised.
“Uncle Anthony brought me with him.” Tyler replied.
“Dad’s here? Where is he?”
“He’s right behind you Son.” Anthony said. Kellen turned around and grabbed his dad in a bear hug. The guys were just looking at the scene in utter confusion.
“What’s going on?” Joey asked.
“Oh, I’m sorry. Guys this is my dad Anthony, and my cousin Tyler.” Kellen said pointing to them. “Dad, Tyler. These are the guys. Justin, Chris, Joey, JC, and Lance.”
“You’re Nsync!” Tyler said. “You’re Kellen’s favorite group. He stays in his studio all day long playing your music all the time.”
“Tyler!” Kellen said blushing.
“Actually, I think he’s somewhat obsessed.” Tyler added.
“Oh really? So you play our music all day long? Well.” Chris said mimicking a questioning detective.
“Of course. How else do you think I got the job as your keyboardist?” Kellen said.
“Wait, I’m not following on something.” Joey said. “I thought you lived in Oklahoma?”
“Then how do you know the manager of a famous sporting goods store in Cleveland. And what is your family doing here?”
“You haven’t told them Kellen?” Anthony asked looking directly at Kellen.
“Told us what?” Justin asked looking at Kellen.
“My family owns all the sporting goods stores known as Bradley’s” Kellen said looking at each of them as he said each word.
“Yeah ok. Sure you do.” Joey said unbelievingly.
“No Joey. I’m serious. My family owns this store. Well actually I own this particular store, but it’s my dad’s business.”
“Small business my ass. You said your dad owned a small business. Bradley’s is huge. It’s ranked number one in the country.” Justin said. Then as quickly as he said it, another idea popped into his head, “Hey Kellen? Since you own this place, you think you could hook me up?”
“Justin!” JC said playfully jabbing him in the stomach.
“What? I was just asking.” He replied rubbing his stomach.
“Actually, we do have a surplus. I see what I can do for you.” Anthony spoke up.
“Wow! Thank you Mr. Bradley.” Justin said appreciatively.
“Hey, you are all friends of Kellen’s, not to mention his heroes. Call me Anthony.”
“Okay.” Came a chorus of replies.
“Kellen, can I hang out with you this afternoon?” Tyler said with hopeful eyes.
“Tyler, I’ll be very busy this afternoon. I have to practice. Can we hang out some other time?” Kellen said. When he finished the last word, he saw the puppy dog look appear. “Don’t you even start that look Tyler.” The look just stayed. “I’m not looking.” Kellen said turning around.
“Oh Kellen. How can you resist that face? Of course you can come Tyler.” Chris said. Kellen just turned around to see Tyler stick his tongue out at him and hug Chris.
“You traitor. I’ll get you later for that Tyler” Kellen said playfully.
“Keep an eye on your cousin Kellen.” His dad said. “And don’t let him out of your sight.”
“Okay Dad.” What hotel are you staying at? I’ll drop him back by after the concert tonight.” Kellen asked. They exchanged information.
“Guys? We should probably head to lunch. We have to be back at the venue in an hour and a half.” JC said.
“That’s right. Kellen has to play in front of 40,000 people tonight for the first time.” Justin said.
Kellen felt his stomach suddenly turn in five different knots. The reality suddenly hit him. He would be playing in front of all those people. What if he messed up?
TO BE CONTINUED…