The following tale is a written record of thoughts running rampant in my imagination that I wish to share with the world - in other words, none of the following is true (and if it is, I don't know about it). Any personalities or entities that parallel any real individual(s) ought not be taken as factual information, but should be recognized purely as a creation of the author.
     If anyone is reading this, and alternative material is personally objective to you, or illegal in your area, immediately stop reading and leave.  If this doesn't apply to you, feel welcome to respond with praise and/or criticism.

Author's notes: More than in my other parts, I'm writing this part from more than one perspective.  I've denoted the perspective I'm writing from by placing the person's name in italics atop the section.  Also, this is my first story (and my first time writing fiction in a long, long time -- I'm a poet by trade.)  So, I'd love to get some outside opinions.  Thanks.

I Got What You Need
(Part IV)

Lance Bass

     Look at him -- he's like a god to me.

     The way the light reflects in his eyes, the sexy grin that he flashes for the camera. The way he carries his slender frame, and the fashion statement he makes every time he dresses. He even has a subtle glow about him. Oh, I can't help but to be mesmerized.  Externally, I play it cool, but I'm secretly as molten lava -- red-hot and rapidly racing.

     No one knows that I like guys.  I know that everyone accepted JC's homosexuality, but it may be too much to have two gay members in *NSYNC.  With all the popular rumors and stories questioning our sexuality prevalent in various forms of media, it may be a little overwhelming to know that some of the rumors are indeed fact.  So, I withhold my secret desires from my four best friends, especially JC.

     Especially from the one whom I find myself daydreaming of during rehearsals, interviews, and en route to whatever location, like now - we're on our way to Midtown Studios to work with Thomas Dublin.  I wake up in the height of darkness, longing for his scent filling my nostrils, his soft lips to caress mine, his slender fingers to travel up and down my body.

     But, I hold it in for now. Eventually, I'll express my secret need to JC, and my secret life to the rest of my friends.  But, with us being at the height of our careers, and my film career taking off, it's just too risky to be happy.

*                                    *                                    *

     We finally get through the Manhattan traffic to Midtown Studios -- and it only took 45 minutes (probably would've made it on foot in twenty, but we can't do that because we're pop stars).

     The other guys are anticipating this session with Thomas.  Especially Justin.

     "Man, Thomas is the coolest," Justin said. "I think he and us will have excellent chemistry in the studio.  I never got along with a producer like this and I can't even imagine how it'll be in the studio."

     "Calm down, Just," Chris said. "We may not even record today."

     "You sure are excited about this Curly -- what exactly happened after we left?" JC inquired.

     "Well, we ate peach cobbler and talked about our backgrounds. How we feel about music, our sex lives, and a little gossip."

     "You didn't talk about our little observations, did you?" Joey said.

     "Ummm," Justin crept away from Joey and closer to Steelo, "Yeah"

     "Shit, Justin! You could've been discreet."

     "Wait a minute.  He didn't deny anything."

     "Wait," I said.  "Did I miss something?"

     "We'll discuss it when we get off the elevator," Joey said. "It's not a big deal, but it's interesting nonetheless."

     Suddenly, the elevator just isn't moving fast enough.  And, when we finally get to the fifteenth floor, it seems to take hours to get to Studio C. I'm about to burst with anticipation by the time Steelo and Big Rob take their positions outside the studio and the engineer goes to the restroom.

     "Well," I start, "what were you guys talking about in the elevator?"

     "Yeah.  You guys got me worked up -- I just hope it's justified," Chris added.

     "Well," Joey started, "last night, at Thomas' place, we noticed him behaving in a certain way that led Justin and I to suspect that he belongs to the `secret fraternity'"

     "What," I said. "Thomas is gay? How could you tell?"

     "Well, the way he spent half the night locked in on JC's ass was a strong indicator," Joey said.

     "And the fact that he came out to me last night heavily supports the argument..."

     "Wait," JC said. "He actually admitted that he was gay?"  Justin nodded.  "Wow. I think he's the first black gay guy I've met.  Wow."

     "He's not the first one you've met.  What about Sisqo, Jay-Z, and Ginuwine?" Joey said.

     "Jay-Z's gay???" I said.

     "According to Sisqo."

     "So," JC said as he stood up and placed his hands on his hips, "Thomas was checking me out?"

     "Like a census form."

     Thomas was checking out JC.  Thomas was probably thinking the same things that I was thinking.  I really don't know how to take this information.  On one hand, I'm glad that Thomas has the balls to accept his sexuality; however, I'm fearful of the impact that the expression of his sexuality could have on my life.

   *                                   *                                   *

JC Chasez

     Thomas was checking me out. A brotha was checking me out.

     I'm impressed.

     I must admit -- I'm attracted to him.  He's one of the types I like.  I like blonds, Latinos, and brothas like him -- not short, but not tall; toned; and a killer smile. Plus, his dark brown sugar skin and his droopy eyes are enough to make my mouth water. And, he even resembles...


     "Huh... what?"

     "You were in a daze man," Justin said.


     "Thomas is on his way up. We need to do our vocal warm-ups."

     By the time we finished warming up, Thomas was entering the door.

     "Ha ha ha -- you got jokes," he said to Big Robb.

     "You know you look like him -- three more inches, and you could be his stunt double."

     "Lose 20 lbs and you could be Fat Joe's impersonator."

     "I ain't the only one with jokes," Robb replied.

     "I don't joke about anything, especially in the studio."

     I'm enjoying this verbal jest, but this studio time is costing us money -- man, that's something Lance would say.  So, I cough to get their attention.

     Thomas, Robb, and Steelo turn towards me.

     "Hey, I've got to get to work. I'm going to give our boys here a number one hit."

     Thomas picked up his bag from the chair, and walked towards me.

     "What's up, JC," he said, as he grabbed my right hand and threw his left arm around me. I tried to be as subtle as I could as I inhaled.  He smells like Cool Water cologne and Colgate.

     "Are the rest of the guys in," Thomas asked.

     "Yeah. We were just finishing our warm-ups."

     "Cool," he said, as he went in and greeted the other guys in similar fashion.

*                                    *                                    *

Lance Bass

     I hate to admit it, but Justin didn't even come close to capturing Thomas' genius.  In one hour, we had recorded one song, and he and Justin are almost finished with another one.  I thought that he wouldn't be open for collaboration, but Thomas has proved otherwise.  He reminded us that he and Beyonce wrote the lyrics together for "Haterade," and that our labelmate Joe had wrote the words and music for the three songs that Thomas produced for him.

     However, I'm still uneasy about him.  I like him, but I still can't get over the fact that he was checking out Josh.

*                                    *                                    *

JC Chasez

     Thomas is incredible!  We've done two songs in 90 minutes -- written and recorded.  Thomas wrote one, and he and Justin did the other one -- a slow number that reminds me of a Babyface song. And, not only did Thomas give us two songs, but he's giving me one of the hardest hard-ons I've ever had.
     I love the way those Guess jeans outline those solid thighs and the curvatures of his buttocks; the way the black sheer T-shirt hugs his bulging pecs, his washboard abs, his back...
     His laugh is soft and melodic -- a song I've never heard until now.  His stride is confident - not cocky, but assured.  I can't help but marvel at the sincerity evident in his eyes. I can tell that he would never lie to me or anyone else. Plus, he's educated, thoughtful, and patient -- he would have to be to not be bothered by Justin's constant inquiries.

     "Thomas," Lance said, "didn't you say that you could sing?"

     "Well, yeah.  I've been singing since I was five.  I've gotten pretty good in eighteen years."

     "Ooh, will you sing something for us, Thomas?"

     "Yeah, I wanna see if you're better than us," Chris said.

     "Oh, I think that's a challenge -- it's on."

     Thomas got up from the mixing board and turned to face the entire group. "I'm going to sing one of my favorites for you -- Aaliyah's "One in a Million."

     Thomas closed his eyes and started the song.

Baby you don't know, what you do to me.
Between me and you, I feel a chemistry.

     I couldn't believe how smoothly the words flowed from his lips, or how melodic his voice is.  The best way to describe his voice is to say that it's a cross between Darren Hayes, Brian McKnight, and Tyrese; and even this comparison doesn't do him justice.

Won't let no one come and take your place.
Cause the love you give can't be replaced.
See no one else love me like you do.
That's why I want to spend my life with you.
Wanna please you in anyway I can.
Wanna share my world don't you understand.

     I look at the other guys to see their reactions.  Justin is grinning uncontrollably, Chris is wide-eyed, Joey is showing the world his tonsils, and Lance... he looks like he's about to cry!

Your love is a one in a million it goes on and on and on
You give me a really good feelin' all day long.
Your love is a one in a million it goes on and on and on
You give me a really good feelin' all day long.

     I don't think that dust moved as Thomas finished the song.  For four minutes, we forgot who we were, who he was, where we were, and why we were here.  I personally felt a warm softness creeping in me as Thomas took the song and sung it as though he was actually singing to his lover.  I found myself wishing that he was singing to me...


     I didn't even know that Thomas had stopped until Justin broke the silence with his one-word declaration.

     "You sound better than most singers out there," continued Justin. "You ought to be singing your self, instead of writing songs for other people."

     "Well, that was the plan, originally.  I wanted to sing, write, and produce my songs.  But, I ended up getting on the production end first.  I have a demo that I've been shopping around, but my agent hasn't found any interested labels."

     "No shit?" Chris said. "If I had a label, I would sign you immediately."

     "Maybe you need some new management," Joey said. "I can't see how someone with such an incredible voice could not get a deal; and, you've written and produced some hit songs already.  You would be high-priority for any label you sign with."

     "I'd be willing to manage you, and help get a deal for you."

     Everyone turned around and looked at Lance.

     "It would be a waste to not be able to share your gifts with the world. I'd like to do whatever I can to get you a deal."

*                                    *                                    *

Thomas Dublin

     I didn't think Lance was that serious until he called me four days later. He asked me to meet him at the Jive offices.  When I got there, I found him, his executive assistant, and some Jive executives.  He didn't tell me why I was here, but it had to be big, with the suits here and everything.

     "Sit down, Thomas," Lance said.

     As I sat in the seat closest to the door, I heard the man next to Lance begin to speak.

     "Thomas, Lance brought your demo to us, and I honestly was taken aback by what I've heard.  I can't believe that we've never heard of you."

     "Huh.  I've been around for about a year.  I've produced songs for several artists. I've even worked with artists on this label."

     "Well, I apologize for my ignorance.  But, I'm glad I learned who you were and about the talent you possess before some other label."


     "Oh, I'm Barry."

     "Barry, are you guys offering me a deal.  It sounds as though you're offering me a deal."

     "Yes.  We would like for you to join the Jive family.  As you know, we have some of the biggest artist in Pop, R&B, and Rap music.  We feel that you have as much talent as an artist to be as big as R. Kelly, Joe, or *NSYNC."

     "Well," stepped in Lance, "I believe that my client is interested in a deal.  He and I will have to look over the contracts, but I'm sure that Thomas Dublin will soon become Jive's next multiplatinum sensation."

     "Oh, so Lance," Barry said, "are you managing Mr. Dublin?"

     I looked over at Lance before answering Barry with a simple, "Yes."

*                                    *                                    *

     Sean is going to be pissed when he finds out that he'll never be my manager.  But, he had over a year and still couldn't get me a recording contract; Lance had Jive declaring me to be the next big thing in less than a week.  Obviously, someone is more serious about their work, it appears to me.  But, I won't drop Sean totally.  He can still be my agent -- after all, that's about the only thing he's good for.  Well, that's one of the two things he's good for.

*                                    *                                    *

Lance Bass

     I managed to get Thomas a deal in four days.  I could tell that he was skeptical about my managing him, since he's a college graduate and I'm just a pop star who barely got out of high school.  But, I have way more business experience than he does, and I can get the job done.

    I almost can't believe my luck.  I get to manage someone who may be the next big thing in music.  With his sound, his lyrics, and his voice, Thomas will devastate the industry.  And, I will get some of the credit, since I'm the one who got him signed to Jive.  Plus, I get to keep an eye on him.

To Be Continued...